Germany’s Legalized Prostitution Industry Looks Like A Real-Life Horror Movie

When German anti-prostitution advocates talk about the situation of prostitution in Germany, we hear the same responses, over and over: “You’ve got to be kidding!” or “How is this possible?” When we do presentations in other countries, people in the audience will often start to cry or ask for a break after 15 minutes to get some fresh air. The same presentations in Germany cause outrage as well, but we’ve noticed that people have become so accustomed to the situation, their emotional response is subdued. In fact, German men will often openly and proudly out themselves as sex buyers at abolitionist events. There is no shame in being a “john” (someone who buys prostitutes) in Germany. This is an obvious and alarming sign that decades of legalized prostitution have shaped society.
It’s easy not to notice the harms of prostitution if we don’t look at them directly and, while all women are impacted by the realities of prostitution, most people who aren’t directly involved in the sex industry have limited knowledge as to what goes on in it. We have to ask ourselves honestly what the implications of normalizing prostitution are, and whether we have done enough to push back. It is not acceptable to simply say, “I am not personally affected by it and there are more important things to focus on.”

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