Publication Citation

2 (1) IUSTITIA 39 (1974)


One of the most telling issues on the state of the women's movement today is that of the legalization of prostitution. It would be inappropriate to say that the issue has caused a breach in the ranks: the term is inapplicable to a movement which has never claimed coherency and which has, in fact, consistently demonstrated an inability to reconcile the views of its various factions. The prostitution issue is important, rather, precisely because it underscores these differences of analysis and tactics which have appeared in other areas and the splits between white middle class liberal women, radical feminists, marxist socialists and working class and minority women which have characterized the movement since its inception. It is a "cutting edge" issue because its resolution will signal either the reassertion of a new model of equality for all women or the acceptance of second-class citizenship for one group of them. The swing vote lies with the middle class liberals because their forte has been legislative and legal action and because they are now developing the capacity to resolve the issue in these terms. To the end that women avoid selling their own down the river, the writer presents the following paper.