Prostitution Is Not Working And Not Free Choice
“Ancient profession”, “intimate services” - these and hundreds of other euphemisms bashfully cover up the word “prostitution”, hinting that this occupation is not much different from “ordinary” professions. Nevertheless, psychologists insist: prostitution is not a job, but a legalized form of violence against women.
SOURCES OF MISCELLANEOUS
The belief that prostitution is an absolutely legitimate activity is based on two false beliefs:
- The first is that selling your own body is a free choice for women (and very rarely men) who want to get “easy” money without burdening themselves with hard work.
- The second is that “sex for money” is the same service as, say, dragging heavy loads with a loader or sweeping streets with a janitor: after all, there and there are involved physical resources - muscle efforts, coordination of movements, etc.
Why both of these postulates are not true? If we analyze them a little deeper, it turns out that in both cases there is a serious substitution of concepts based on the patriarchal belief that the female body does not belong to the woman herself, but is the object of a commodity-money or contractual relationship between men.
In this sense, one cannot help but recall the tradition of matchmaking with the invariable saying “You have a product, we have a merchant!” And weddings, in which the bride’s ransom or “theft” is performed in a symbolic or direct form - despite the fact that the words “selling woman”, “Buying a woman” are obvious references to prostitution.
Thus, the difference between a “lawful” marriage and going to a “brothel” consists only in the price and the term for concluding an “agreement” on the use of a female body between a father and a groom or a pimp and a client - the woman is given the role of a wordless product, a commodity, not having the right to control itself.
But today, women freely choose partners, husbands, work and image - isn’t prostitution the same choice in such conditions? Unfortunately no.
1. Firstly, speaking of a “free female choice”, one cannot ignore countries and regions living according to religious or traditional customs. In a number of countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and even in some regions of modern Russia, “reification” of women is still practiced: they are denied even the right to leave their homes unaccompanied by men, and there can be no talk of a free choice of sexual partners . The practice of prostitution of women persists both within traditional communities and in the form of “exporting” girls to other countries1 - deprived of basic rights in their own homes, they actually exist as slaves in brothels around the world.
2. Secondly, many women are embroiled in prostitution through fraudulent or violent means2. Replenishment of brothels takes place both by direct abduction (“pushed into a car, injected a drug, taken to an unknown destination”), and by luring victims under the guise of an invitation to “normal” work - for example, as an animator or a waitress in a hotel - after which the women they take away passports, money and communications, rape and force them to “serve” customers, exerting physical and psychological pressure. According to the UN, about half a million women become victims of the slave trade for sexual exploitation every year3.
3. Thirdly, often a choice that is presented as “free” is in fact forced. If, as an alternative to prostitution, a woman is offered starvation or the prospect of placing children in an orphanage because of the inability to support them, lack of housing, etc., one can hardly name the decision to sell her own body voluntary. Alas, our contemporaries are forced to repeat the story of Sonya Marmeladova: eloquent statistics indicate that 92% of women engaged in prostitution would like to stop this activity, but they cannot because of lack of money.
Attempts to normalize and even romanticize prostitution in films such as "Intergirl" or "Beauty" play a certain role, transmitting the dangerous myth that this path is something like a "social elevator" for girls from poor families. It can be assumed that some of the girls fall into the “sex industry”, succumbing to the illusions of a beautiful life and believing the promises of the golden mountains.
However, for some reason, for similar actions to lure money from the pockets of gullible citizens, responsibility is provided for under the article “Fraud”, and women themselves are blamed for the fact that women's lives are broken.
NOT SEX AND NOT PROFESSION
Sex is primarily a relationship - it doesn’t matter for one night or for many years. The key principle by which sexual relations should and can be built in the active consent and desire of both parties. At the same time, an important point for both partners is the ability to get out of these relations at any time - even in “hard” BDSM practices, the rule of “stop words” is necessarily stipulated.
However, in almost all cultures, sexual intercourse becomes not only a means of obtaining mutual pleasure but also a way of self-affirmation, the manifestation of power and the establishment of hierarchy. That is why, for example, homosexual contacts in a prison subculture are not considered a stain of shame not for both men participating in them, but only for those who were hosted (in slang vocabulary this is reflected in the connotation of the expressions: “he had” or “him raped ").
In the case of violent heterosexual contact, women are usually humiliated, and often physically tortured (with the rarest exceptions) - and the “service” of clients by prostituted women is almost always a continuous series of violence.
Men who pay for “sex services”, of course, do not think about the feelings of a woman who consents to sexual intercourse out of fear of a pimp or extreme need. Moreover, they are often sure that the money is given guarantees them carte blanche for any action: bullying, beating, painful and humiliating sexual practices, etc. - and, without hesitation, implement them.
According to surveys, up to 80% of women involved in prostitution experience acts of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by clients5. At the same time, both participants know that there are no and will not be any protection mechanisms for a woman: after all, she “agreed” herself, which means that any of her claims will be dismissed as meaningless.
Is it possible to use the term “work” based on the fact that the activity, the involvement in which most often occurs by force or because of an extreme need, the termination of which is usually not possible on one’s own volition and which is associated with an extreme degree of humiliation, violence, and lack of rights, a scanty percentage of women do it voluntarily and / or enjoy it?
The answer seems to lie on the surface.