Friday, November 09, 2007

The many levels of prostitution...

On Abbey 2 I wrote a post concerning a bishop from the UK endorsing the legal regulation of brothels. Brothels are just one aspect of the sex-trade industry. Movies such as "Butterfield 8" starring Elizabeth Taylor remind us there is a class structure within prostitution - not every prostitute works the streets or a brothel. (Think royalty and their concubines, the rich and their call-girls, or, as in previous days, women married off against their will into arranged marriages for money or property. Sounds like prostitution to me.) Nevertheless, prostitution in all of its forms is dehumanizing and degrading - not just to women, but all of humanity.


  1. I always try to remember that this woman is somebody's daughter or sister or friend or mother.Puts a human face on this tragedy.

  2. Link

    'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'

    By Clare Chapman

    Last Updated: 12:23am GMT 30/01/2005

    A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

    Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

    The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe.

    She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile'' and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel.

    Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit...

  3. Jeron8:35 AM

    What Angela said.

  4. Very true, there are many levels of prostitution. Although I would disagree about arranged marriages being prostitution. Most marriages in Europe and Asia up until modern times were arranged by parents, usually with careful discretion, and to say all of those women were prostitutes or treated like prostitutes is not true. Even in traditional societies, married women had certain rights and prerogatives; they cannot be compared with the degradation endured by prostitutes.

  5. Elena - you are right. Thank you for that clarification.

  6. I was never able to get away from putting a human face on prostitution. I grew up knowing a few, who were mistresses of my Uncle Chuck. Thoroughly delightful ladies, when they were treated right. They were the house variety, though. I understand the ones in Toledo are more likely to wander the streets. Had a very strange woman I'd never even seen before stop me on the street once and start ranting about how another woman who was just walking down the other side of the street, minding her own business, was a prostitute. I hadn't the vaguest idea what to say to her.

  7. Unfortunately, I think many women have been objectified by their own husbands since the onset and widespread use of artificial contraception beginning in the last century. There is a silent misery among contraceptive using women which was foretold by Paul VI in his brilliant encyclical Humane Vitae. I'm not saying it's the same as prostitution but the aspect of "using" for the purposes of lust, without life, is destructive to the persons involved and is a disordered sexual expression.

    Isn't the Church lovely, that she has held firm in that all persons are created in the image of God and shall not be used as objects?
    That means college girls should be urged to avoid acting as unpaid prostitutes, married women should throw out their pills, prostitutes should be given a helping hand, not pushed further into the life.

    All women are dear to God.

    (And this applies to men as well. Men are used as prostitutes through out the world. It is heartbreaking.)

  8. SF makes an EXCELLENT point!


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