Beer & Champagne: Am I a wife or a whore?

March 3, 2006

as though women required evidence that our worth is calculated financially, and only in reference to our vaue to men, Forbes has covered a paper appearing in the Journal of Political Economy that caculates the value of prostitutes – in direct comparison with wives.

I can’t even work up feigned surprise that the theories of economic mating completely leaves out a calculation of the value of male prostitutes and husbands, so I’ll just stick to some of the more egregious aspects of the article.
http://www.forbes.com/…

some key quotes that underscore the placement of women in a patriachal, capitalist society (just in case you needed a reminder):

But the implication remains that wives and whores are–if not exactly like Coke and Pepsi–something akin to champagne and beer. The same sort of thing.

“This begs the question of why married men go to prostitutes (rather than buying from their wives, who presumably will be low-cost providers, considering that they can sell nonreproductive sex without compromising their marriage).” Guys, nothing says “Happy Valentine’s Day” more than “low-cost provider.”

and beyond the this-is-making-my-head-explode aspects of the devaluation of women, there’s also the huge problem with the  market-based, risk assessment, take on prostitution:

Edlund and Korn were merely building an admittedly grossly simplified model of human behavior in an attempt to answer a nagging question: Why do hookers make so much money? Prostitution is, seemingly, a low-skill but high-pay profession with few upfront costs, micro-miniskirts and stiletto heels aside.

Apparently rape, denigration, injury, STDs, arrest, poverty, physical beatings, drug use and risk addiction, and being controlled by a pimp aren’t costs that need to be taken into consideration.