Why Your Vagina May Need A Brake Tag
In about 3 weeks, the state is going to get all up in your vagina. Prepared? There will be some poking. There will be some prodding. And there might even be some smacking it up, flipping it, and rubbing it down. Oh no, metaphorically speaking of course. The legislative session begins on April 12th. A bill to legalize prostitution will be one of the debated bills amongst the plethora of tax related proposals.
Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. A penis could be just as frequently prostituted as a vagina. And that’s true. But prostitution is mainly associated with women in the United States, hence the focus. So, feel free to call me short-sighted, just not a chauvinist.
Rep Mandie Landry Introduces Controversial Bill
Anyway, State Rep. Mandie Landry sponsored the bill (HB366). Rep. Landry appeared on WBOK’s The Good Morning Show this past Friday. She believes that people are unnecessarily thrown in jail for prostitution. Apparently, Landry is like many who believe that prostitution should be legalized because it’s essentially a victimless crime. Sex trafficking aside, it’s simply two adults consensually agreeing to have sex for money. The only offense is to the moral predispositions of those who disapprove.
It’s a well-intentioned bill with immediate short-term implications. Among those, unnecessary arrests and harassment are the first that come to mind. But there are also long term implications to consider. First among them is what does it mean for the state to declare that a vagina is a legal product that can be sold?
Typically, when the government approves of a product, which is essentially what decriminalization means in this case, it’s also vouching for it. So let’s say you sell me some bad vagina. As a result, I get gonorrhea. Or worse, I get something like herpes or AIDS from it. What are my legal recourses if this happens? First off, you are definitely liable, because it’s your vagina. But so is the state if it simply allows you to put it on the market. That’s what Rep. Landry’s bill does. Though it does call for future studies and recommendations, it’s still a simple decriminalization bill with no immediate regulations. And because of that it will be subject to all kinds of liability interpretations if approved.
You should see where this is going by now. Eventually, your vagina will need the equivalent of a brake tag. Just like you can’t legally put a car on the road without having it properly inspected, you won’t be able to put your vagina on the market without it also being inspected and given a tag of approval. But how would this play out practically? How often would prostitutes have to submit to an exam given that they’re potentially having sex with different partners daily?
In the U.S., Nevada is the only case study to draw from. Rhode Island accidentally legalized indoor prostitution (massage parlors) in the early 2000s but that was due to a wording loophole in the legislation. Because of that, there was no legislative consideration of the implications. New legislation corrected the loophole, and now all prostitution is illegal.
In Nevada, though, there is regulation. By state law prostitutes must be employed at a brothel. They’re also required to undergo monthly blood tests and condoms are mandatory. One thing to consider though is that prostitution is not legalized statewide. It’s only legal in rural-like counties with a population of less than 700,000. In a major tourist hub like Las Vegas it’s still illegal.
It’s a start
If approved, Landry’s bill would be the first in the U.S. that applies to a major tourist town like New Orleans. Yes, we have a population under 700,000 but the city is constantly hosting thousands of tourists monthly. If Landry’s bill had been written to immediately deal with the legal implications, it might’ve been one that made interesting discussion in the legislature. As of now, that lack of foresight and the uptightness of Republican legislators will make it one that probably won’t survive its committee hearing. Stay tuned though. This is probably Landry’s first shot at dealing with an issue well worth considering.