Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stop Being A Whore Or I'll Tell Mommy and Daddy

In times of economic strife many women are forced to resort to prostitution to pay bills, others are forced into it by cruel pimps, and some actively choose prostitution because they enjoy it.  For those that want help leaving the sex trade we should do whatever we can to facilitate their exist, but for those that want to continue to work in this field we should support their choices.

image Unfortunately globally the worth of a woman is often determined by what she chooses to do with her vagina.  When women do not comply to a life of chastity they are often slut shamed.  Yes it is the year 2008, but still yet women are deemed to be the property of their families until they are married off; such wonderfully progressive values.

The sex trade is on the rise in the Ukraine and the authorities have decided that the best way to deal with the situation is to inform the parents of the prostitute upon arrest.  Should you get caught being a naughty girl the authorities immediately dispatch a note to mommy and daddy informing them of your behaviour. 

The letter-writing campaign is aimed at reducing sex-for-hire in the former Soviet republic by bringing parental pressure to bear on prostitutes, said Aleksey Lazarenko, an internal ministry spokesman.
"We inform the parents their daughter was arrested at the moment she was selling her body," Lazarenko said.
"As soon as the parents of one girl found out how their daughter was earning a living, there was such a scandal in the household, that (the prostitute) had no quiet at home for an entire week, and she quit the business," he said.

So in its great wisdom the government has decided not to go after the Johns thatimage exploit the prostitutes; of course it's the dirty women that are at fault.  It takes two people to engage in sex and apparently the men who feel that they have the right to purchase another human being somehow don't qualify for public shaming. NICE.  If there were no customers there would no prostitution.  Isn't it wonderful how the boys clubs is always looking out for itself.

Not only does the woman have to deal with the legal consequences of her actions, she must now deal with her families response.  In patriarchal families were young girls are taught to keep the family vagina pure at all cost this notification policy could have terrible consequences.  Where is the concern for the safety of these women?  How many times must a woman be beaten or die at the hands of her family for the police to understand that this is not a good idea?  Where is the respect for personal privacy?...Oh that is right women are eternally children and as such are not entitled to respect.

This new policy fails on epic proportions.  It does not take into regard the safety of the women involved and further subjects them to social discipline for circumstances that might be beyond their control. If the government really wanted to help women leave the sex trade it would confront the reasons why women turn to prostitution in the first place.  Slut shaming just reasserts patriarchal control over women's bodies.


8 comments:

Danyell said...

Do they notify the parents with all criminal activity or just prostitution? Are we talking minors here, or adult women?

Renee said...

@Danyell
I did some more research and they are only informing in the case of prostitution. It does not matter if they are adults or minors.

PseudoAdrienne said...

You're post is right on, Renee. And indeed the "demand" is rarely if ever punished for accessing the *ahem* "supply". Poor widdle menz just can't help themselves, for their sex-drives must be indulged and placated. These women and adolescent girls in dire circumstances (or if they've been trafficked and thus enslaved) know that there men out there who don't care about their age, or hell some don't even care if the prostitute/sex-worker/sex-slave might have a STI. All that matters is a few seconds of sexual dominance over a female for a couple of bucks, with a society that will turn the other cheek to his indiscretions. How could a fella not get off from that? Ain't misogynistic sexploitation grand?! Ugh...

P.S. I am NOT condemning sex-work itself. I am condemning a society that gives men a free pass for soliciting sex from women, while scarlet-lettering the women. I do however condemn human-trafficking, sex-slavery, and misogynist pornography.

PseudoAdrienne said...

"Your," not "you're."

Dawn said...

Wouldn't you'd think, in this point of human evolution, we would be way past this kind of thinking?!!
Will this blame the female attitude ever change?

Anonymous said...

You write about the value of people over that of commodities, yet it also seems that you value women's "choice" to "voluntarily" enter into prostitution. Does prostitution not in fact perpetuate a view that all women are commodities for male use?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1: The two views are not contradictory. You can disagree with the system and not hate the people caught up in it. Many (though not all) women enter into prostitution and other sex-related jobs because the money is incomparably good, and this allows them to ensure both personal and familial security. The majority of feminists who support the choice to enter prostitution will also agree that once the money is handed over, the woman doesn't just become a doll for male playtime. She should still be able to insist on condom use, ask him to stop if he puts her in pain, be able to refuse service, and know that she won't be hit or abused. Such things are basic human rights, HUMAN rights, not OBJECT rights.

I personally view prostitution as a negative industry for women in general, nevertheless I know that prostitution has existed forever, and will continue to exist. The most sensible course of action, in my opinion, is to legalise it so that we have control over the conditions of prostitution, rather than letting it be ruled by STIs, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and abuse. In this way the lives of many women would be saved.

My point is that you don't have to think it's a good thing to acknowledge the importance of other values within it: values such as choice, freedom, and human rights generally. Lord knows I'm no fan of the catholic church, but nevertheless I can celebrate when advances are made within the church, and I can still respect the choices of those who are part of that institution, despite what I see as the very negative effect of the institution in places such as Africa.

If you spend all your time just telling people 'your choice is WRONG WRONG WRONG' then they won't listen to you. If you say 'well if that's your choice then that's fair enough, nevertheless I would like to see X Y and Z changed, what do you think?' then that starts a conversation, rather than closing it down. Nobody wants to listen or talk to someone who's trying to shame or judge them.

Anonymous said...

So prostitution is bad for women in general, but we might as well make the best of things. Sounds like quite a defeatist attitude.