Last updated on: 2/1/2008 | Author:

Melanie Phillips Biography

Journalist and Author
Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“The danger to prostitutes comes essentially not from where they ply their trade but from the trade itself. Prostitution embodies a view of women which is intrinsically brutalising, dehumanising and predatory. That is why the violence to which it gives rise is routine. That is why it is so appalling that anyone should be arguing that it should be regularised and thus condoned.

The crucial fact that such proponents fail to acknowledge is that if illegal activities become legal, many more people will engage in them. That means a huge increase in the damage they do — because it’s the activities themselves that are so harmful, not just the further crime to which they give rise….

That doesn’t mean excusing drug-dealers or treating prostitutes as victims. But these evil trades will never be curbed unless we stop making excuses for, or sanitising the behaviour of, those whose demand for both drugs and paid sex drive the trades that supply the means for such personally and socially destructive behaviour.

Sweden understands this very well. That’s why it has criminalised both drug-takers and those who use prostitutes. The result is that Swedish drug use is a fraction of our own, while in Stockholm street prostitutes have been reduced by two-thirds and the number of men using them has dropped by some 80 per cent.”

Daily Mail, Dec. 18, 2006

[Editor’s Note: e-mailed Ms. Phillips on May 8, 2007 to confirm the accuracy of her biography. She replied that we did not have permission to quote her article, that it was misleading, and that her biography should be removed. exchanged emails with Ms. Phillips over the next week seeking clarification of her views. She responded that we were misleading readers because she felt her statement did not address our core question “Should prostitution be legal?” She asked us for the third time to remove her biography or present a disclaimer that she had written.

After internal deliberation and review, we believe that an average reader would conclude that Ms. Phillips’ statement above is CON to the question “Should prostitution be legal?” and that should observe its editorial policy by keeping accurately quoted information on the site for the historic record and for our readers’ benefit. We have respectfully added the following statement as written by Ms. Phillips, with which we obviously disagree:

“The above entry is wrong and misleading. In her column quoted here, Ms Phillips was not addressing the questions of whether or not prostitution was legal. Her remarks have thus been taken out of context and misrepresented by this website.”]

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Columnist, Daily Mail, 2001-present
  • Orwell Prize for Journalism, 1996
  • Former Columnist, Sunday Times
  • Former Columnist, Observer
  • Social Services Correspondent, Social Policy Writer, and News Editor, Guardian, 1977-1987
  • Studied English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford University
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Prostitution Tolerance Zones like Red-Light Districts Be Created?