Sticky Situations

stripperpeeps 300 Sticky SituationsThe Internet is a funny place. (Okay, hang on and I’ll tell you something you don’t know.)

I’m talking, specifically, of how old news gets re-posted and recycled years later for continued debate. It’s even funnier when the story wasn’t true in the first place.

Since my co-blogger already busted the myth about gerbilling – which, admittedly, was circulating long before the Internet — what’s left?

A story that originated several years ago has now been revitalized due to our current economic climate: Since Germany legalized prostitution in 2002, the tale goes, a woman can be denied her unemployment benefits if she refuses a job in a brothel.

We’re not just talking about a hypothetical case, either. As The Telegraph, a UK paper reported, a 25-year-old unemployed IT professional phoned a brothel for a job after the job center said the establishment expressed interest in her profile. She thought she was calling a restaurant/bar and answering their ad or a waitress. By German law, any woman under 55 who has been out of work longer than a year must take any job offered. According to the article, the government considered exempting brothels from the law on moral grounds, but found it to hard to distinguish them from bars.

Thanks to Snopes.com, we find the story isn’t true—at least not quite. While theoretically, if a brothel were to recruit employees through a job centre, and a woman under 55 who had been unemployed more than a year refused the job, she could lose her benefits. But most job centres, according to Snopes, refused listings from brothels, to avoid putting a woman in such a predicament.

The actual waitress this allegedly happened to? It turned out to be a computer error and as soon as real-life bureacrats discovered the situation, they pulled the ad and permitted the woman to keep her benefits.

Of course, the topic begs the question: Is it fair to require someone to work in a job that contradicts their morals? If the waitress in question, for instance, were a vegan, should she be forced to work in a steakhouse?

But it also opens a host of other questions, not all of them related to morality and personal freedoms.

I’ve often joked that, should society collapse, there won’t be much of a need for bloggers, journalists and other freelance writers. (Fiction writers? More likely. There’s always something to be said for escapism and the town bard will always find welcome company, a warm bed and a cold beverage.)

Barring freelance writing, I have precisely one other skill.

I find it a compelling philosophical question: If prostitution was legal in the U.S., regulated, relatively safe and the pay was good, would I do it?

My answer: “Why not?”

I’ve always been intrigued by exotic dancers… not so much their moves, which I could never replicate, but their motives. During my one experience with a semi-private dancer, I found myself talking to a lovely Australian girl who was working her way through law school as a stripper.

That’s stripping, some may say. Sex is a whole different animal (so to speak).
I’m not talking about sex with animals, of course, just plain old garden variety men and women. And my answer is still, “Why not?”

That doesn’t mean, however, that I would force others into the job if they were uncomfortable with it, which brings us back to that whole sticky situation of forcing people to work in jobs they find morally offensive rather than collect unemployment.

For me, that would be a job as a telemarketer, which is far more morally reprehensible than sex with strangers.

What about you, dear readers? How bad would the economy have to get before you would consider sex as a means of income? And what job would be worse than prostitution?

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