2. Sexual harassment, prostitution: solely matters of form. Harassment is in fact one of the clearest examples of form: it is the use of power and position to impose oneself on others. In the workplace it constitutes culpable, punishable abuse, as does “reverse” harassment, the accusing of someone who is innocent of such sexual advances to gain a personal end. The ethical challenge, of course, is to define harassment: to draw the line. This is because of the problem of subjectivity of perspective. (Also, as with political correctness, we can fight a form so hard that we create a new one in the process.) One guideline, though, which can be used, is the basic distinction between form and education. If I seek to impose on you, forcibly influence you to have sex with me, this is form, and harassment. On the other hand, if I make it clear to you that I am available, and that this is an excellent opportunity for you, to get together with me, but that I understand if you decline, then this is education and not harassment. (At this point the issue becomes one of the basic challenges of life: attracting a mate. It seems there is an existential side to it after all.)

Similarly, prostitution is also an issue of form. There is no fundamental basis for prohibiting anyone, man or woman, from sleeping with other people for money. However, and as we shall see with many of the other social issues, there are numerous forms attached to it as well. The first of these is that for many people selling their bodies is not a matter of will. Through harsh life circumstances they have either felt compelled, or been physically forced, to do so. In such cases engaging their services reinforces these forms. Also, even in those cases where people willingly choose to provide sex for payment, they still must deal with the many unavoidable consequences of their behavior. They expose themselves to violence, and disease, and they also put the satisfaction of their higher needs, and therefore critical aspects of their identity, at risk. This is because if you have sex with many, many people, you degrade your ability to form a strong, lasting bond with one person, and to give and receive love.