Who isn’t hip to “the relationship hustle”–negotiations and having needs met by your romantic partner? Of course, willingness to compromise is the first order of business in achieving a win-win scenario for both people. In this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri challenge you to think about the historical and modern day role of prostitution as it relates to limiting the rights of women to control their own bodies. They also delve into an interesting conversation about division of finances and duties in romantic relationships, gender roles, manipulation and compromise in relationships and more!

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Segment 1

  • Discussion about prostitution–legality and morality of the practice.
  • Why is prostitution illegal? It’s really about trying to control people.
  • Controlling prostitution is a way to ensure that a woman doesn’t have complete control over her body. A man can be a pimp, but he has no rights of ownership of the woman’s body to rightfully sell it.
  • When it was legal, prostitution allowed women to have some level of financial freedom during times when she couldn’t own property or vote.
  • In terms of prostitution being illegal in most places in the U.S. now, the notion that you cannot choose to have sex in exchange for whatever you like is preposterous. If you want to sell it and someone wants to buy it, there should be no issue with this.
  • Discussion of the point that many women (and men) “prostitute” themselves–that is trade sex–for lodging, material goods, and even money. They just don’t call it prostitution. Think about women who get drinks and meals paid for with the understanding that they will have sex at the end of the night.
  • Discussion about getting meals or material goods versus getting money directly.
  • The fact that prostitution is illegal and is considered immoral restricts the benefits that women can get from it.
  • A woman should be in control of her body, whether it is regarding abortion, medical issues, and even prostitution. This doesn’t mean that women should exercise these things, but rather they should have the right to make the decision for themselves.
  • Discussion about how issues like this continue to keep women subjugated to a male-dominated system.
  • Voltairine de Cleyre called marriage sex slavery, because women were marrying men as a “job” and means of stability.
  • Now that women can hold jobs outside of the home, vote, and own property the need for female prostitution has decreased. Interestingly, the need for males who might want to engage in soliciting a prostitute may have increased as a result of this shift.
  • Discussion about there being many more single women and women who never get married.
  • Single women today, might still be looking to men to provide some of the same needs as men have provided historically–paying for dates, subsidizing bills, etc.
  • Discussion about whether women expect men to pay for dates in full.
  • Some people suggest that the person who asked the other person out should pay for the date.
  • There are some women who prefer to be in a relationship with a man who will be the traditional provider for religious or cultural reasons. There are some women who view it differently, and want to balance things.
  • Discussion about women who appear to go along with the traditional male/female relationship, but they attempt to control the relationship through manipulation tactics. They do not lead the relationship overtly, but rather they lead through their influence over that man. They attain what they want through indirect means.
  • At points in history, this was a very legitimate way for women to operate because of the historical oppression of women.
  • Discussion about women who allow men to think they control things in the relationship while they choose to exert their dominance indirectly.
  • Discussion about the influence of programming and environment on women who choose to operate in this way.
  • The women are not controlling the men in these situations, but rather are having more of an impact than would appear based on a superficial view of the relationship.
  • Anytime a person has influence over another person that does not exist in the opposite direction, there is always the potential for that person to have the “upper hand.”
  • Ultimately, people use whatever they can use to achieve their end goals within the confines of their morality.
  • Every human being has a certain level of selfishness in trying to get what they want. Depending on how badly they want it determines to what degree they are willing to “relax” or even break their personal principles.
  • Discussion about women who use threats of police action in domestic disputes because they know the man doesn’t want to go to jail. In these situations, some women choose to use domestic violence laws in their favor when the men aren’t actually being violent toward them.
  • Discussion about how some men use finances to control women.
  • Discussion about how some women expect to save their money while the man spends all of his to meet the demands of the household.
  • Cheri thinks that in any relationship, everyone should pull their own weight. This doesn’t mean that they both do the same things, but rather they work as a team to ensure all things are accomplished–with everyone contributing.
  • Societal norms come into play as well. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to trade off efficiency of accomplishing tasks in favor of accommodating personal feelings in the relationship.
  • We should all be in control of ourselves, but in certain situations there is a certain amount of cooperation that makes our lives more enjoyable.