The new politically correct word for prostitute is “sex worker”–on the theory that prostitution is a job just like any other job, so let’s make it legal. Indeed, in “The Vagina Monologues,” the “sex work” profession is presented as downright empowering in the feminist sense.

Sorry, but count me out on that one. Everything I’ve read of (and seen, via ho’s on the street) suggests that unless you look like a supermodel and can command an exclusive, expensive clientele, it’s nasty, exploitative, and dangerous. And if you look like a supermodel, why not be a supermodel and earn your money legitimately?   

So it’s good to see this op-ed in the Washington Post protesting the plan to make the World Cup soccer match in Berlin (prostitution is legal in Germany) the site of the world’s biggest brothel:

“Human trafficking is the third-largest criminal industry in the world, after arms and drugs. While soccer fans anticipate the excitement of the games, many of us in the anti-trafficking movement are deeply troubled by the expected surge of sex trafficking in Germany to meet the demand for commercial sex associated with the World Cup. It is estimated that more than 40,000 women and children will be imported to Germany during the month-long competition to provide commercial sex in the ‘mega-brothels,’ ‘quickie shacks,’ other legalized venues and vast underground networks that exist in Germany.

“The traffickers and those who benefit from sex trafficking promote an image of women freely choosing to be involved in prostitution, making huge amounts of money at it and in general having a great time. It is the ‘Pretty Woman’ myth, which many apparently like to believe in order to justify their inaction or ignorance on the issue.”

The authors, Katherine Chon and Derek Ellerman, head the Polaris Project, an institute that fights human trafficking and modern-day slavery, typically involving young women and underage girls from impoverished countries in Eastern Europe and the Third World who are lured into the trade by promises of huge earnings and then find they can’t leave.

Fortunately, our own State Department has also condemned the move to combine soccer with the exploitation of women:

“At a briefing [last week], Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced ‘the sordid trade in human beings’ and said the fight against trafficking is ‘a great moral calling of our time.’

“‘Together we will stop at nothing to end the debasement of our fellow men,’ she said.”

So think again when someone tells you what a great idea it would be to legalize prostitution.