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Former featured articleProstitution is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 3, 2004.
Article milestones
January 26, 2004Refreshing brilliant proseNot kept
April 10, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
December 20, 2004Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Lead image[edit]

The lede image was just changed from Femmes de Maison to "A prostitute in the Middle Ages". I reverted, simply because I feel we should have some criteria for the lede image. Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Work permit (talkcontribs) 08:33, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I had added this image which I thought well-illustrated the subject by depicting how some brothels appear from the street with a pink light to identify them. The change was reverted back to the image of a painting which I feel is not educational. How do folks feel about this image of a "salon"? It could be cropped closer, but I like that it shows the view from the street. The faces seem blurry enough up close to protect their privacy. The image is found at Prostitution in China. Kolya Butternut (talk) 23:29, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
A concern I do have with the salon image is that it does not give readers visual confirmation that they've arrived at the right page per MOS:LEADIMAGE. This image from Amsterdam would accomplish that, but the sex worker's face would need to be blurred and the woman on the right should be cropped out. Kolya Butternut (talk) 00:59, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
A hair salon where prostitutes work in Bao'an District, Shenzhen. Brothels are often disguised as hair salons, or they operate out of working hair salons.[1]
Non-physical cheat, Red Light district, Amsterdam (27536327901).jpg

My response to the September 3, 2020‎ edit is here. I stated, "Regarding the new lead image replacing the long-standing lead image, this topic is prostitution, not brothel. Sure, it's not called 'Prostitute', but 'Prostitute' redirects here and the article mainly concerns female prostitutes. But I'm not going to get into some debate with the editor on this matter. So noted for the edit history." I stand by that since I feel that the current image aligns more so with what MOS:LEADIMAGE states better than any image of a brothel, and since the editor who made the September 3, 2020‎ change by replacing the long-standing image will show up at an article they never edited and incessantly debate to add their preferred image. The most recent instance of the editor doing that is this discussion and a related one on their talk page regarding the Drag king article. Despite objections from SergeWoodzing and Seraphimblade, the editor re-added the image they wanted to add. So editors' objections to their suggestions for changing the prostitution lead image will not matter much if the editor is just going to change the lead image anyway (even if it means edit warring and being reported for edit warring and them not getting their way in the end). I don't feel passionately enough about this "prostitution lead image" topic to debate this editor for hours on end.

Still, I will state now that I object to changing the current lead image. I prefer the current one. I don't see how any reader will think they've arrived at the wrong page when seeing it. On the contrary. John B123, who reverted the latest lead image change, might also prefer the current lead image. Also pinging Beyond My Ken since he is a long-time watcher of this article and may have something to state on this matter. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 06:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Oh, and since there is a reply to Work permit above, I've just now pinged Work permit. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 06:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Since I got pinged here, I'll note that my only objection on the drag king article was on BLP grounds. Once a reliable source was found and those were alleviated, I do not particularly object to the use of that image. So far as here, I don't think the "pink light" image is a good lead image, since it does not provide a particular visual cue to having arrived at the right place. The painting both does that, and does not raise any BLP concerns, so I think it is the best choice of the options available. I would not want to see an image with deliberate blurring being used as the lead image anywhere. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:48, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
Flyer, I would ask you to assume good faith. I BOLDly added a new image; you expressed that you didn't like it at least partly because it depicted a brothel and not prostitute(s), and it was later reverted by someone else. I went to the talk page with two new suggestions taking your criticism into account. While the first image is still in the context of a brothel, both images do depict prostitutes. You narrative is skewed, but it is unrelated to the present article. I note that you have stated no policy reason for objecting to the two proposals. I don't know that I can presume that you feel the current image better confirms to the reader that they have arrived at the right place than the two proposed.
Seraphimblade, would you object to shadowing the face of the woman under the awning if it can be made to look natural? Kolya Butternut (talk) 07:49, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
What about this photo? Editor Jucos has given her permission many times to use this photo of her, so I don't want to ping her right away. The deletion discussions should be read first if there are concerns. Kolya Butternut (talk) 08:26, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
German prostitute
The only narrative here that is skewed is yours. I stand by everything I stated above. Noting how you behave is not a WP:Assume good faith violation. And I'm letting you know now that if try to force a lead image in this article (like you've done or tried to do at other articles) that lacks consensus, I will be reverting you. I'm sure that others will be reverting you as well. And this will be escalated to the WP:Edit warring noticeboard and/or WP:ANI. I am beyond tired of your WP:Tendentious editing when it comes to lead images. Editors should not have to keep debating you because you can't take no for an answer. My answer is no. I will not approve of any lead image change you propose or make for this article. Your image selections are often poor and POV-motivated. I prefer the current lead image. And stating "I feel that the current image aligns more so with what MOS:LEADIMAGE states better than any image of a brothel" is a policy (guideline actually) reason for objecting to the two proposals. That one proposal has a caption that states "Brothels are often disguised as hair salons, or they operate out of working hair salons." That the image shows (presumably) prostitutes does not mean it is more focused on prostitutes than the brothel. I agree with Seraphimblade that "So far as here, I don't think the 'pink light' image is a good lead image, since it does not provide a particular visual cue to having arrived at the right place. The painting both does that, and does not raise any BLP concerns, so I think it is the best choice of the options available." And the other proposed one? So? The third one? Sigh. Rationale for lead images are often subjective anyway. As seen at Talk:Scarlett Johansson/Archive 7#RfC for photo, a discussion you participated in, consensus regarding images (and some other things) is not always about some policy or guideline-based reason. Later, the following discussion was had without you: Talk:Scarlett Johansson/Archive 7#New lead image.
I will very likely ignore your next reply to me; so go off with whatever skewed logic or WP:Wikilawyering you have. My response remains the same. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 09:32, 5 September 2020 (UTC) Fixed typos. Then tweaked post. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 09:43, 5 September 2020 (UTC)    
File:沁樂園 (35).jpg, when you enlarge it, shows a bike lit by a red light. Not sure how that illustrates the subject. File:Barber shop Bao'an Shenzhen China.jpg isn't too bad at full screen, but at infobox size it becomes indistinct. I'm surprised the "Amsterdam" image hasn't been deleted under Photographs of identifiable people. The image also has a political message, as demonstrated by the filename File:Non-physical cheat, Red Light district, Amsterdam (27536327901).jpg and the description Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe - Jackie Mason
but the sex worker's face would need to be blurred and the woman on the right should be cropped out and the guy's face remains unblurred? --John B123 (talk) 09:37, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

My being notified of this discussion seems to be because I have objected to bulldozer tactics and incessant excessively argumentative, largely irrelevant discussions and dogged efforts to get one's own way no matter what and the display of no respect whatsoever for an administrator's point of view. It looks to me like the same syndrome can be identified here. I can only condole us for that, and I'm not willing to get into it again.

On the issue: no change should have been made to the current long-standing, excellent image and no posed or authentic photo of some girl, whoever she is, should be on top of the article. Since my being called here can be considered canvassing, my opinions probably don't matter anyway. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 09:46, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Your opinions matter regardless of the fact that I pinged you. Canvassing with regard to pinging an editor when making a point about a related matter has been discussed at Talk:Canvassing Wikipedia talk:Canvassing before and rejected as canvassing (depending on the intent). I had no way of knowing your opinion on the prostitution image matter. I also wasn't expecting you to comment. But, yes, I could have stated "Despite objections from two editors" instead. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 09:58, 5 September 2020 (UTC) Tweaked post. Flyer22 Frozen (talk) 05:59, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Thank you - no problem. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 10:22, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

I reject these narratives, but I would like to focus on feelings about the images rather than about me. Serge, could you share why you would not like to see a photo of a girl as the lead image? I'm not sure what you mean by that and what policy you feel it violates, unless you are saying you don't want any images of real females, perhaps for privacy reasons, and you only want a painting? If that is so, all I can say is that she has given her permission, and I'll have to agree to disagree with you.

John B123, my thinking was that the man is not recognizable with his face turned, but I note your disapproval. What are your thoughts on the image of the woman in red? Kolya Butternut (talk) 13:18, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Is she a prostitute, or a model selling the bed she is on; a snap of somebody's girlfriend? It wouldn't be out of place on Tripadvisor as a shot of holiday accommodation. Psychology Today think it suitable to illustrate the article Internet Porn: Its Problems, Perils, and Pitfalls, so perhaps it suggests the start of a porn movie? --John B123 (talk) 14:48, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
According to the subject of the photo, this is a self-portrait of a German prostitute. She confirmed she has been a sex worker.  I hear your concerns about whether the image actually depicts a prostitute, but how do you otherwise feel about the image? Kolya Butternut (talk) 16:14, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
This is not an argument for blurring faces, but I did find that blurring faces is permitted by policy.[2] Kolya Butternut (talk) 00:00, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • The previous lede image was vastly preferable, and should not be changed. Prostitution is well known as the "oldest profession", and there is no need to have a moden photograph about which there are serious doubts in the lede, when a historic painting will do the job just as well. This seems like a case of change for the sake of change, and I oppose it strongly. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:49, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • To add: if an attempt is made to force a lede image change against consensus, I too will be reverting to the long-standing image. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:52, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Everyone so far has also expressed a very strong preference for the current lead image. Can you help me understand what folks like about it? I may be dense, but I just see a painting of a nude woman; I am not able to recognize prostitution from the image. Personally I strongly prefer lead images that provide real life illustrations of the subject whenever possible, as opposed to a painting. I have not heard that folks here feel the same way. I have heard arguments against the images of the brothels, and I have heard concerns about privacy and authenticity, but I don't know what people think about the actual content of the photographs of the prostitutes in Amsterdam and Germany. Kolya Butternut (talk) 01:24, 6 September 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ [1]

German prostitute photo use[edit]

I found that the photo of the woman in red above has been the lead image off and on since 2005.[3] Daniel.Cardenas has edited it here and Patrick has at Sex industry, where it is also currently used. Genericusername57 and Levivich have worked hard analyzing the criteria of controversial pictures of women so they may have some insight to offer. What do folks think of the German prostitute image (or the others) and the current lead image? Kolya Butternut (talk) 14:22, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

I think it's time to drop the stick. Beyond My Ken has already summed up the situation well. --User:John B123 (talk) 15:11, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
John, there is no stick to be seen here. I did not hear anything from BKM about their opinions on the content of the images. They shared that they felt a historical image is just as good as a new image, so I infer that they feel no change is needed on that basis. They have not commented on my stated opinions on the images. Change for the sake of change this is not. I observe that folks are very unhappy to see a longstanding image be challenged (and a couple particularly don't like me), but a fruitful discussion may still be had. I also noticed that the German prostitute image has been the lead image of Prostitution in Germany since 2005,[4] and you've made a few dozen edits there so I presume you aren't strongly opposed to the image (although obviously it is precisely fitting there for being German). I haven't heard what you think about the photo's content vs the status quo, but iwon't ask you to participate in a discussion you don't want to have, but others may want to discuss this. Kolya Butternut (talk) 17:02, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
The suggested replacements are inferior to the original one for various reasons, all of which have been expressed above. There is no compunction for a discussion such as this to continue to recycle the same arguments over and over again, and it seems highly unlikely that a "fruitful discussion" is in the offing, since you are the only one pushing this. There is clearly no consensus here for the change, so the stick-- yes, there is indeed a stick, and you are carrying it -- needs to be dropped. Please move on. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:02, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
As I stated, the various reasons expressed have not been responsive to my reasons for initiating this discussion.[5] I hear your concerns, but I respectfully disagree with your assessment of this discussion. Kolya Butternut (talk) 21:18, 6 September 2020 (UTC)

"Private shows" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

Information.svg A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Private shows. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 October 17#Private shows until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. Hog Farm Bacon 01:55, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

"Prostitute" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

Information.svg A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Prostitute. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 November 21#Prostitute until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. P,TO 19104 (talk) (contribs) 19:37, 21 November 2020 (UTC)