So here's the situation: apparently there's been a rash of questionably-legal postings on Craigslist which involve men looking for women who will live with them "rent-free" if she performs some agreed-upon chores for him. And yes, they're chores of the sexual variety, which is where the illegal nature of this comes in.
Now, I'm not one to put restrictions on anyone's sexuality, or what they do with their body. If consenting adults want to enter into a sexual relationship purely as a business transaction, I think they should have every right to do so.
BUT. I also wonder if the head of NOW, who issued a statement (which naturally, I can't find) about this being a practice which contributes to the perpetuation of institutionalized inequalities, is right. Does this, in fact, harm the progress of gender equality? I know that personally, I would never agree to such an arrangement- not because I think it's morally corrupt, simply because I enjoy supporting myself and the independence afforded therein. That is my brand of feminism.
However, should it be considered wrong by feminist standards for girls to engage in these transactions? Where does the feminism come into play: the furthering of womens' independence at all costs, or the freedom for women to do what they want- even when it serves to reinforce inequalities? IS it unequal, or is sex as a commodity just as valuable as the material possessions these men are offering?
In sum: are women who trade sex for a good lifestyle essentially dismantling everything Ms. Friedan and crew fought for, by way of subjugating themselves and becoming reliant on a man...or are they simply opportunists who know a good thing when they see it?