Big Bang Theory: Legalizing Prostitution

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Prostitution is alive and well in the world today in spite of numerous stringent laws restricting it in many first world nations. The question of why prostitution is illegal, but intercourse outside of wedlock and sexual entertainment of other varieties are both legal has plagued many debaters over the course of time. “The Benefactor Factor” episode of Big Bang Theory claims the difference in these is strictly within self-justification, and uses comedic relief to entertain the viewer while prompting the audience to consider whether transactional intercourse can be justified in any circumstances. In the producer’s opinion, it cannot. This episode of Big Bang Theory (BBT) shows one of the main characters, Leonard, struggling with whether it…show more content…
When Leonard arrives home from a dinner meeting with the benefactor, his friends’ varied reactions each show various counter arguments to Leonard’s principals. These represent counter arguers and the producer’s point of view on the subject of transactional sex, and is a brilliant way to include the rhetorical strategy of counter argument. Leonard reiterates in varying forms that, “I’m not going to prostitute myself just so we can get some new equipment” (“The Benefactor Factor”). His steadfastness that it is wrong to exchange intercourse for the enormously expensive machine, and the fact that the episode revolves around Leonard and his struggles, can be translated to an assumption that his ideals are the ones that the producers wished to convey. However, one friend considers Leonard quite “lucky” that an “old lady wanted to have sex with you [Leonard] in exchange for giving your…show more content…
This is supported by the benefactor stating, “I’m making the donation to your department regardless of what happens between us. … You deserve the money.” However, due to his friends’ and colleagues attitude and perception of the event, Leonard persists in feeling as if he has done something wrong. He is greeted by one character with the phrase, “Good morning slut” (“The Benefactor Factor”) when he arrives home in the morning. His costume at the time represents the idea for the other characters that he has slept with the benefactor. His clothes are in a disarray, with his shirt untucked, tie undone, and his shirt buttons are in the wrong holes. He is later congratulated as a hero for “taking one for the team” (“The Benefactor Factor”). His protests that things didn’t happen in the way that they portray the situation are nullified by other characters saying, “Keep telling yourself that” (“The Benefactor Factor”). This would suggest that something is still wrong with what Leonard

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