Prostitution is Against Women’s Human Rights

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Prostitution is Against Women’s Human Rights
by Azadeh Azad
29-Mar-2011
 

So much could be written about the institution of prostitution, but here I only write down a few ideas that might open the eyes of those who see nothing wrong with making light of prostitution (calling it humour) and giving playful and fun advice to men for when they go “whoring,” as “Shazde Asdola Mirza” puts it in his "fiction."

http://iranian.com/main/2011/mar-37

Prostitution is against women’s human rights!

In most cases around the world, prostitution is not a conscious and calculated choice. Most women who become prostitutes do so because of extreme poverty and lack of opportunity, or of serious underlying problems such as drug addiction, past trauma (especially child sexual abuse) and other unfortunate circumstances. Or they were forced or coerced by a pimp or by human trafficking.  If prostitution is a free choice, why are the women with the fewest choices the ones most often found doing it?

In prostitution, women have sex with men they would never otherwise have sex with. The money thus acts as a form of force, not as a measure of consent. It acts like physical force does in rape.

Some prostitution scholars hold that true consent in prostitution is impossible: "In the academic literature on prostitution there are very few authors who argue that valid consent to prostitution is possible. Most suggest that consent to prostitution is impossible or at least unlikely."( Barbara Sullivan, Rethinking Prostitution and “Consent”, 1995, in Caine, B. & Pringler, R. (eds.) Transitions . Allen & Unwin: Sydney.)

No person can be said to truly consent to their own oppression and no people should have the right to consent to the oppression of others. In the words of Kathleen Barry, consent is not a “good divining rod as to the existence of oppression, and consent to violation is a fact of oppression. Oppression cannot effectively be gauged according to the degree of “consent,” since even in slavery there was some consent, if consent is defined as inability to see, or feel any alternative.”( Barry, K "The Prostitution of Sexuality: The Global Exploitation of Women". 1995.  New York: NYU Press.)

Sexual liberation for women is extremely important in the fight for gender equality, but it is crucial that society does not replace one patriarchal view on female sexuality—e.g., that women should not have sex outside marriage/a relationship, that casual sex is shameful for a woman etc.—with another similarly oppressive and patriarchal view—prostitution, a sexual practice which is based on a highly patriarchal construct of sexuality: that the sexual pleasure of a woman is irrelevant, that her only role during sex is to submit to the man’s sexual demands, and to do what he tells her, that sex should be controlled by the man and that the woman’s response and satisfaction are irrelevant.  Sexual liberation for women cannot be achieved as long as we normalize unequal sexual practices where a man dominates a woman.

Prostitution is a form of male dominance over women. In the act of prostitution,  the client has sex with a woman who does not enjoy it and who is making a tremendous psychological effort to mentally dissociate herself from the client. It is not a mutual and equal sex act,  as it puts the woman in a subordinate position, reducing her to a mere instrument of sexual pleasure for the client. Many clients use the services of the prostitutes because they enjoy the "power trip" they derive from the act and the control they have over the woman during the sexual activity. Prostitution isn't sex only, it’s you do what I say, sex.

Prostitution is a practice which leads to serious negative long term effects for the prostitutes, such as severe trauma, stress, depression, anxiety, self-medication through alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and a greater risk for self-harm and suicide, as prostitution is an exploitative practice, which involves a woman who has sex with customers to whom she is not attracted, and which also routinely exposes the women to psychological, physical and sexual violence.

Prostitution reinforces the idea that women are sex objects which exist for men's enjoyment, which can be "bought" and which can be "used" solely for men's sexual gratification. When a society accepts prostitution, it sends the message that it is irrelevant how the woman feels during sex or what the consequences of sex will be for her, and that it is acceptable for a man to engage in sexual activity with a woman who does not enjoy it and who is mentally and emotionally forcing herself in order to be able to cope. It is very much like the husband and wife relationship within a practicing Muslim family that follows the Sharia Law.

Although the normalization of such one sided sexual encounters might negatively affect the way men relate to women in general and might increase sexual violence against women, I do believe in decriminalization of prostitution - not its legalization. Legalization is a messy way to go about protecting prostitutes. Legalization has led to more black market prostitution and child prostitution. It does not work.  Research has proven to be much more effective if we simply decriminalize it. That way, women can work for themselves and are not under the tyranny of pimps (or "entrepreneurs" as they are called when legalized).  

Decriminalization of prostitution needs a separate blog and discussion.

Azadeh

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Truthseeker9

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by Truthseeker9 on

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comments

Blame men...... ?

by comments on

I am a man, but so curious about women.

Statistics: "Women on average still do twice as much as housework as men, about 31 hours to 14 hours.  And here is the strange part: that ratio holds mostly true even if both spouses have full-time jobs.  Even worse for women is the child-care ratio.  Moms do an average of five times as much with kids as dads.  (working moms do a measly 3.7 times as much.).  This is the same raio as ninety years ago"  New York Times magazine.

Personal example 1: my mother and father both worked full-time.  My father's income was exceedingly higher than my mother.  They both were the best parents and the backbones of family.  My father tried to do housework as much as he could, but my mother (a teacher) did almost all housework.

Personal example 2: My wife and I both work full-time.  We have almost similar income.  I know all houseworks.  I cook better than her and etc.  But, she is the one who wakes up 1 hour earlier than me and sleeps 2 hours later than me.  She doesn't bring any thing from her work to do at home. 


asadabad

carrots and sticks

by asadabad on

Removing the punishment for a crime (decriminalizing prostitution) will only increase the problem.  If you remove the stick, then women and men can practice  prostitution without worrying about punishment so naturally the industry will expand

Imagine if theft was decriminalized.  What would happen to banks???  Can you guess???  America experimented with prohibition.  Then they decriminalized alcholol production/consumption.  Has the alchohol industry evaporated?  It used to be illegal for women vote in the US, then female voting was decriminalized.  Have women disappeared as voters?  

Your sympathy for hookers is like sympathy for drug dealers.  According to you, even consensual sex is rape if money is involved.  Money is only a medium of exchange. 

The definition of rape is unwanted sex through physical means or threats thereof.  Do women working on the free market fit that description?  Use some common sense and work on your English.

 

 


Esfand Aashena

If every man on the face of the earth vanished, women would stil

by Esfand Aashena on

If every man on the face of the earth vanished, women would still work as hookers. 

Obviously you have women issues.  If there were no men women would work as hookers for women?!  And you're the one to call others "retarded"!  Stupid is what stupid does! 

Everything is sacred


asadabad

Stop blaming men for your problems

by asadabad on

Your post makes no sense.  You condemn prostitution yet you support decriminalization.  Don't you see that'll only make prostitution even more widespread!  I suppose if we get rid of police then there will be less crime, right?  Are you retarded?  You say that because women receive money in return for sex, this makes prostitution forceful?  If there is no physical force--or threat of force--then it is a conscience/free market choice.  If you  buy a pepsi from 7-11 is that a forced transaction as well?  Did you exploit 7-11?  This is stupidity. 

The only case where force is involved is if a gun, beating etc. is used or threatened against the woman.  That is force.  Stop blaming everyone else for corruption.   Both the customer and the hooker are responsible for prostitution.  You're trying to shift all the blame away from women and onto men.  If every man on the face of the earth vanished, women would still work as hookers.

Yes, some women are forced into prostitution--which is terrible obviously--but that still doesn't change the fact that most women choose to be hookers in Europe/USA.  That is their own choice.  They could just as easily clean toilets for a living but they choose to be sluts.


ComraidsConcubine

Madame Monda and the peanut gallery

by ComraidsConcubine on

Neuroscience as applied today, has existed since the advent of Functional Magnetic Resonance imaging technology, beginning of 1990's. "

This clearly shows you haven't a clue. For one MRI isn't the only technology used in the vast field. From studies on different species, from bats, chimps, varying types of rats to humans, there is LOADS out there, including studies on sexual behaviour. Look it up properly instead of a confirmation bias search! Read a few science journals. 

 

"The rest of your accusations require a different form of expression for me to respond to, which I leave to you to create. Your anger and rage on and about this site - is unsettling yet heartbreaking. "

Please, spare me cheap psycho games which are way off the mark and only serve the purpose of self-aggrandissment . If anything, I sometimes flip into accumulated frustration for wasting my time here, learning nothing. But, that IS a personal matter, that I should not have typed, as it obviously fell on flat eyes for someone to look things up. In future, I shan't bother.

But I leave you with this, something that normal people learn at school, that so many fail to grasp: it is self/criticism that leads to improvement and progress, not self-serving, self-righteous sycophantic praise. 



Rea

Against Women’s Human Rights?

by Rea on

Not really.

I know personally some of them, making twice as much money as I do. And they are quite happy with it. 


Azadeh Azad

Simorgh and Anahid :-)

by Azadeh Azad on

It is Liar, not Lier.

Just trying to bring you two together via a common mistake :-)).

Cheers,

Azadeh


comments

Funny for ESL speakers and ..

by comments on

(a) ComraidsConcubine: I have been practising "Radical Honesty" this week.  I don't like to be too upfront with others.  The below link is for compensation:)

(b) ESL Speakers: Have a good weekend all and enjoy the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1TnzCiUSI0 P.S. Radical honesty from Chapter 3, “My life as an Experiment”, A. J. Jacobs


Bavafa

Dear Azadeh, Thanks for the suggestion

by Bavafa on

I will make sure to read your other post, educating myself will never hurt. 

Regarding the choice, even though that it may be hard to imagine some choose this way of life, nevertheless it is possible and ought to be protected.  Also, one needs to keep in mind that prostitution is not always an exchange of sex for money.

Mehrdad


Anahid Hojjati

Simorgh, I did not call azadeh a lier

by Anahid Hojjati on

Please don't address me here or anywhere for at least 24 hours. You overwhelm me.


Simorgh5555

Anahid

by Simorgh5555 on

You called Azadeh a lier. A while back you called me stupid and then accused me of wiring a vulgar poem and sending you a nasty email. I am not attacking you, I am only curious as to why you make wild accusations.

Anyway, did you enjoy the Sabzi Polo Mahi this year?  


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Azadeh jan for your suggestion

by Anahid Hojjati on

It is a good one.


Azadeh Azad

Anahid jan

by Azadeh Azad on

My friendly suggestion: Next time, tell the person directly that they are a liar if you think so.  You also need to tell them in the related blog.

Anyhow, vaguess and hinting are not healthy as they create confusion and waste people's time and energy.

Cheers,

Azadeh

 


Anahid Hojjati

Simorgh, why didn't you object to CC when she attacked someone b

by Anahid Hojjati on

i am really wondering. On this same thread, CC attacked Monda by name. You did not ask why she was doing it, but now you ask me? Why the difference? Is it because CC gets the male treatment and i get the female. what men say, is aasumed to be correct but we females just accuse. Is that the reason for you being quiet when CC attacked someone by name and now that I don't even name any one, you felt compelled to attack me. Please clarify why?


Anahid Hojjati

Simorgh, why did you comment about my comment?

by Anahid Hojjati on

Do you hate me so much that you have to object to whatever i write? I can understand Azadeh asking about it since it is her blog but you have not made one single comment on this thread and now you appear out of nowhere to write that I make accusation. I never made accusation before. I just wrote the truth and you did not appreciate it.


Anahid Hojjati

Simorgh, this has nothing to do with you either

by Anahid Hojjati on

happy New year to you too.


Simorgh5555

Anahid

by Simorgh5555 on

Sprouting out more accusations, are we?

You seriously need to chill out.

 Happy New Year by the way.  


Anahid Hojjati

Azadeh jan, my comment has nothing to do with you

by Anahid Hojjati on

i rather not clarify but in general, some people on this site; again, I don't mean you, act intellectual but then act very manipulative and think others don't see it. That is all my comment means. Emphasis is that it is not about you Azadeh jan, and the person that my comment is about, knows what I am talking about. You did not know since it is not about you.


Azadeh Azad

Anahid: Lying is really hurtful (???)

by Azadeh Azad on

Please clarify what and whom you are talking about. Thanks.

Azadeh


Azadeh Azad

Bavafa

by Azadeh Azad on

Dear Mehrdad: 

 Decriminalization as it is practised in Sweden helps to diminish / eradicate the prostitution, while the one in Germany simply regulates it with laws and zonings and taxes. I think it is worth your time reading both blogs, as it will give you some ideas on which model is better for future Iran. 

Regarding the concept of  "choice" in prostitution, many (myself included)believe that there is no real choice in selling one's body as a profession, while other believe that there is a choice + there is a need for that. So, the debate continues around the world.

Azadeh


Monda

Azadeh

by Monda on

While writing my comment to Esfand, those issues came to me - again. Sorry if they were repetition of your established facts.


Azadeh Azad

Monda

by Azadeh Azad on

I swrote about the Bronze Age in response to a question that was posed by someone, either you or someone else, I don't recall. I did not think it had anything to do with today's issues.

Another thing: Even if there is the "male's fundamental difference in cerebral structures and hormones", no one's need should be satisfied with the suppression of someone else's human rights, i.e., the female. I know you agree with this, so I'd like to know why you opened up this issue. Thanks.

Azadeh


Bavafa

Dear Azadeh,

by Bavafa on

Thanks for writing about this very important and engaging topic and issue that involves such great number of human being. Like most, I have my own thoughts about the subject and as such did not read the referenced blog as I think making a mockery out of this issue is just not worth nor dignifying.

I admit I don't quite understand "decriminalization" vs. "legalization" and its significant for advancing human rights, in this case some thing that is more relevant to women then men. But I believe as many do, the existing practices both in the Western world and 3rd world counties is just not acceptable. But I also believe in one's right to choose and if this enterprise is based on one's choice, then I have nothing against it.

Mehrdad


Esfand Aashena

Monda jaan the percentages are the same as in our generation.

by Esfand Aashena on

The current population is about 3 times "more" than what it used to be in our generation.  The 30 below population being 70% of the entire population also adds to the skew.  In Tehran the population is 4 to 5 times higher, going from 3M in our time to 14M - 15M.  So we see and hear "more" young people are having sex in secret.

However, the same percentage had sex during our time which wasn't too much, say 20% - 30%?  When I say sex I mean the whole shabang not just a kiss here or there!

The way kids are brought up in schools in Iran, especially girls, they don't even know enough about the biology of the other sex.  There was an Iranian film about trying to have sex education in Iran (Qom of all the places, I think :-) for young girls and it showed how little they knew.  How afraid they were to even consider having a boyfriend or such.

Anyway, as far as global institution and at present time, kids in US for example in general don't experiement with prostitution until much later.  When they want to "try" the kinky stuff!  Of course now porn is everywhere and even girls are sexting and again a whole other topic!

Kids in US are more sexually active.  There is even a reality show on MTV about teen parents.  So bottom line I think lack of co-ed schools is the #1 reason we see the kind of prostitution and culture that we see in Iran.  Imagine you were to change the current school system to a co-ed one, whether under this regime or a new one.  Don't you think the parents of many would say not my kid!  Not now!  

You'd have to establish the law and wait a few years and then allow the law to take effect.  Sort of like the healthcare law in US when the majority of the requirements goes into effect in 2014. 

Everything is sacred


Anahid Hojjati

Lying is really hurtful.

by Anahid Hojjati on

To those people who lie and manipulate people, I have a message, some of us, we know you are not truthful and your intellectual facade does not hide your lies. We are not stupid.


Monda

Vildemose jan, that is all we can have

by Monda on

however the rest is up to the capable but angry person's choice to seek understanding and calm.


Monda

Azadeh

by Monda on

Your new blogs sound very interesting. Those are my Next reads here! Thanks!


Monda

bit more on How and Why

by Monda on

Good response, Esfand. Any such deep-rooted change takes understanding of the dysfunctional dynamic and then Time.

From the reports I get out of Iran, girls and boys start sexual relationships much earlier in life than our generation did. Secrecy is key.

My comment, by the way, was about the need to investigate the hows and whys in the present time, rather than relating them to the Bronze age. Gender apartheid, has inherent the cultural dysfunctions. However, as a global institution, the industry simply comes down to (male) demand (for detached sex) and supply (women sex workers). The demand is not only a function of cultural pieces, but also male's fundamental difference in cerebral structures and hormones. (As societies have become more technology-dependent, loneliness has been on the rise; even more demand for detached sex - Yet another Broad topic!)