Tuesday, May 30, 2006

PROSTITUTION – THE ‘MORAL ISSUE’ ???

“Prostitution, cud b a necessity, a compulsion or simply a choice? its such a deep rooted social existence, that nw, if uprooted wud leave possibly too many ppl unemployed, n ostracized.i wonder, is it such a moral issue?(if taken up by choice?)”

~This was one comment I received on my previous post - A Walk in the Rain. I started replying to this in the comment box itself, but it got too long that I decided to turn it into a post. But I would like to make it clear that I am not lashing out on the person who wrote it. Because the person was only voicing a viewpoint which most of us share. So this is just an attempt at setting some facts straight~

"Prostitution, cud b a necessity, a compulsion or simply a choice? "
I got the last two parts.. but NECESSITY???? Why wud prostitution hv be a NECESSITY????

"Its such a deep rooted social existence, that nw, if uprooted wud leave possibly too many ppl unemployed, n ostracized.".. I completely agree with this.. It is only gonna make matters worse if we just ban prostitution, fold our hands and watch... I remember a couple of years back in Kerala, where I hail from, the govt had introduced strict measures to curb prostitution. It only gave the police more reason to raid public places and demand more money from prostitutes in the pretext of ‘cleansing’ society of immoral traffic. Conditions had become so bad that women started selling their bodies for as low as Rs 25!!!

Now the govt and a lot of NGOs have initiated a more structured approach to the whole issue which attempts at addressing the root cause… In 1997 the Health Intervention Program was launched. As part of this program, first and foremost, these women were issued ration cards, id cards which gave them voting rights and officially reframed the word "prostitutes" to "sex workers".. Guys.. This may sound funny to mentally secured ppl like us.. But I think the fundamental thing an individual needs is an IDENTITY, which these women are deprived of and this gesture went a long way to give them just that… For ppl whose lives r filled with the dearth of hope to a better living, any ray of light can breathe life itself…

As a next stage in the program, these women were given basic awareness abt AIDS, condoms and counseled abt dictating terms to ensure their safety.. Friends.. u wud be shocked at the torture these ppl are made to suffer.. I read somewher that in US abt 87% of prostitutes have succumbed to torture in some way or the other!!! You can only imagine what the numbers would be like in India. I cannot even fathom what element of sexual pleasure it gives a man when he tortures another human being!!!

Then these women were taught stitching, weaving, typewriting.. Some of them surprisingly displayed immense talent in pottery and painting.. This gave them something to fall back on and attempted at empowering these economically handicapped women.. It did help in atleast revealing a trace of light at the end of a long tunnel and giving them a choice to be able to atleast think of quitting prostitution and taking up another means of living...

I know this initiative has many bottlenecks.. First of al the geographic penetration is very limited.. Its not yet been taken to the interiors wher the problem is more prevalent.. Besides I wonder hw truly effective it has been considering the mentality of our society.. Questions like 'who wud employ these women?' remain unanswered.. Although there are many NGOs who have started cottage industries to employ these women, they are very few in number. Financial resources and manpower in the form of volunteers are always a constraint. And there will always be men knowing that she was once a prostitute trying to take advantage of her vulnerability… Thus it becomes a vicious circle these women are trapped in. I think our society has a long way to go in terms of maturing and opening up their minds to embrace an individual into a new life regardless of the person’s past...

Besides these, certain other 'Moral Issues' have not been addressed yet, such as kidnapping of women and being forced into prostitution, so called ‘Arab Sheiks’ marrying girls from poor families and turning then into prostitutes, etc. We live in a world were children as young as 8-10 yrs are subject to sadistic pleasures of mentally twisted men, leading to their deaths and eventually their bodies are burnt so that it leaves no trail.. Guys… don’t think I stole this out of a Steven Spielberg movie.. It is happening as we speak..

Let me say something about ‘Choice’… (Let me make myself clear at this point.. I am NOT taking about the call girls who sell their bodies to earn extra pocket money so that they can afford expensive cosmetics. I am only talking about women who have to sell their souls for a day’s meal.) I think we all need a serious reality check here.. There is a huge segment of the society that is deprived of the basic right to CHOICE!!!

I was a very small part of this Health Intervention Project for sometime as a counselor. But at the end of it all, I wondered who counseled whom. My heart goes out for them because they are out there in the world living it night after night. Before we talk of moral issues there is an issue that’s far more fundamental – the humanitarian aspect.

Just to enlighten you a little as to what these women have to go through EVERYDAY of their lives, let me share this document with you.

www.thrani.com/pdf/viole.pdf

53 comments:

Dew Drops said...

gud post babes.

just prostitution?
remember the incident wherein one eng student was raped by her own bf? what was more shockin to me was that one of our well educated MBA class mate told me she was asking for it as used to go to his place...

that means each time v go to a male fnds place v r supposed to b raped.

i read somewhere (i think it was WEEK) that there is a village in our very own Kerala where the whole village thrives on prostitution. men marry these girls, and these girls earn for the family selling their bodies. entire village in our god's own country !!!!!

i feel a lump in my throat when i see those outragously made up girls at some parts of Mumbai. it makes me sick. how can someone feel anything other than compassion or sympathy for them.

well, some ppl do. that is why they r called MEN ...

why blame men, when v women ourselves call them the "immoral" ones. and sadly though, it is women who run most of these rackets.

in the comment u mentioned, i too wonder how come it is a necessity. may b if the female to male ratio goes down like this, a day may come that it is a necessity. u never know. ;)

Ranga the Raja said...

is prostitution such a moral issue??? we think we r from such a pure country where prostitution has germinated recently!!! but the reality is kautliya has explained some milleniums back about how to tax a brothel....

the real issue is socio-economic!!! is prosti done by force and brute??? is the economically handicaped exploited both physically and mentally???

the recent real issue is medical by-products of unsafe sex!!! this is brought out in ur writing....

but i felt you come out very strongly on this issue... prob the topic is close to ur heart!!!

endevourme said...

prostitution is the oldest profession on earth,
its bad.but difficult to eliminate.
what about male prostitution?
its quite on rampage in cities like mumbai.
what about girls which do it for 'extra pocketmoney'?
and why blame only men for this?
i see a lot of feminist people just blaming men,
but they never see the other side of it .

Will Powers said...

Perhaps prostitution reflects a need in humankind just like all other biological needs. Afterall it has been around before capitalism so it's not anout the money per se but rather an exchange, a trade, one service for another.

starry nights said...

Sometimes it is a hard choice that the women has to make, maybe not the right one but when you are faced with the circumstance she is in and only she knows maybe that was the only way out for her and sometimes it begins a cycle.I am not for prostitution but who are we to judge. I think it should be legalized and by doing so maybe someone can look out for these poor women and help them make a better life for themselves.It is not going to disappear by us just looking the other side.

Jetru said...

I think women become prostitutes because it's easy. People always want easy ways to make money.

I don't think there's any moral problems but there are the STDs and the possiblity of getting caught. I think women who do prostitutions want the money or the thrills.

Maybe I should become a whore. I can charge 10k per hr. Hah!

@dewy
//gud post babes.

If there wasn't a pic of you, I'd swear you were a guy.

Prashant said...

i dont think so its a necessity ....there is always a reason behind everything....nd in case of prostitution the most probable reasons are poverty,lack of education,throughb same rackets etc.So here we all are responsible for this and believe me we all kan contribute to society to remove this evil.....

Advitiya said...

A good write up. Read through the link and felt goosebumps. Its awful but haven't we got this on ourselves. We ban something in the name or morality and that's what we want more! There was a time when Delhi was announced as a Dry State and Liquor consumption went up! Don't know how but it did...

We all want the grass from the other side simply because we know we can't have it.

SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP said...

"Necessity, compulsion or simply a choice"..You have covered all the aspects...I always thought about the stigma tht would be prevalant when these ladies are once a prostitute...It is hard, esp in India...I am sure everywhere else too...They r considered easy girls in future n it is a taboo...

It is good to note that some occupation is comming up for these people who have choosen prostitution to earn their daily bread.....

Selling as low as 25 bucks..thts just crazy!

Men torturing women...Tht happens , some guys geta kick and so do some women...I have not understood tht part but it is some deranged part tht excited them when they hurt another.

Good post and very factual!

Sreekumar said...

As they say, Hate the sin, not the sinners

Marthyan said...

It does not matter even if 99% are there by choice.

If atleast one person is there against her will it is wrong.

While a law can be passed to make it illegal, the point is how the exploitation can end.

May be we should enforce the law strictly on the customers attending the brothel (and them alone)

Also prostitutes will not be charged even if caught with a customer,

I guess people will change with this

Rose said...

@Endevourme...
I think u hv got it al wrong.. Yes prostitution has been part of the social structure for as long as time, it may remain to do so for years to come... Mayb in some ways its existence IS justified.. But the issue in my write-up was not at all abt whether prostitution shud be eliminated or the moral issues revolving arnd it.. I was purely talkn abt the humanitarian aspects.. The torture involved, forced prostitution, children trapped in this institution.. Did u know that children esp from the North-east are actually kidnapped and smuggled out of india into prostitution.. Some years ago there was this article in a newspaper when the body of an Indian girl of abt 8 years was discovered in a hotel room in Bangkok. She had been raped repeatedly and had been cut up so many times that it was difficult to even identify her.. Later it was discovered that she was part of a huge racket that smuggled children to foriegn countries.. I doubt if the people behind the racket were identified.. and i believe it still continues..

"what about male prostitution?".. Wat abt it? Do u know wat is the proportion of male prostitutes to female ones? Miniscule!!! And how many of them are tortured or exist in miserable conditions? Next to Non-existent..

And did i blame men for it??? I think u need to read the write-up again.. Like Prashant said in his comment we ALL are responsibl for it..

"i see a lot of feminist people just blaming men,
but they never see the other side of it"... Errr.. Wat is the other side of "IT"????? :)

I really doubt if u have read the link.. It is very imp that u do to get a glimpse of reality.. Pls do..

:)

..Me

Rose said...

@ Will Powers..
Trade?.. Hmmm.. Didnt quite luk at it frm that perspective.. But will it stl be a trade if it involves an inidvidual's soul.. Wat wud the compensation for that be? Wat if the 'trade' is an act of coercion? Wat if the 'trade' involves minors? Wat if?..

@ Starry Nights..
Yes sumtimes its a hard choice.. Sumtimes it not a choice at all..
"It is not going to disappear by us just looking the other side. ".. Very true...

@ Jetru..
"I think women become prostitutes because it's easy... I think women who do prostitutions want the money or the thrills"... If it were tht easy and if it were such a thrilling career option, then every women wud hv opted for it.. Why shud i slog for some co.. hell, i can even take up prostitution as a secondary occupation ~laughs~.. Well, Jetru it jst doesnt wrk dat way.. And believe me its not easy.. Hmmm... Mayb u shud bcum a whore.. or mayb u already are in ways u never imagined.. ;)

@ Marthyaaaaa..
Then what will these women do for a mean of living? Every law shud be backed up by a social system for them to fall back on, which wud take lots of time and effort.. But nonetheless the both - legal and social reform - shud go hand-in-hand...

:)

..Me

endevourme said...

#rose
/-"what about male prostitution?".. Wat abt it?
why just brush aside these topics?
do u know how cruel this thing is in jails?

/-It is very imp that u do to get a glimpse of reality
i understand u have strong feelings,
but at least u shouldnt accuse others of being insensitive!

Virgo Guy said...

Well i agree with what u have said completely. i dont think most of the women take it as a choice becos of frivolous issues or easy money... i think most of them are forced into it ... but is there a way out of all this ... this is simple demand and supply.

Probably what can be done is that people who are forced into all this can be asked the reasons/people who resulted into this and then go back and punish the people and try to eliminate the reasons.

Rose said...

@ endeavorme..
OMG! U r misinterpreting wat i hv written.. ~laughs~.. I meant u shud read the document that i have attached to get a glimpse of reality.. I was shocked myself after reading it.. Phew! Nw i realise any other form of communication other than a face-to-face one cud be dangerous...

Well.. i dnt think u r insensitive.. Every human being has a sensitive chord deep within.. Besides every individual has a right to his/her opinion.. And most of the time there is no such thing as a right opinion or a wrong one..

:)

..Me

S-R-S said...

Me ..strongly believe that the root cause of prostitution is socio-economic.
We can't clear folded cloth(I mean chulungiya thuni) by pulling it frm one corner.

Then ofcource if we clear the socio-economic probs then prostitution may stop.
But what abt "Offering sexual intercource without pay" ??

Mr. J said...

Talking about prostitution, allow me to introduce how it's done in Austria and other developed countries in the EU.

Firstly, the prostitutes pay taxes. In return they get medical/dental insurance and other benefits apart from a monthly medical check up.

Secondly, no one forces them. They join when they want to, they leave when they want to. And even inside the strip clubs, they have the RIGHT to deny a customer if they feel like.

Prostitution is a profession that has come a long way, infact one of the world's oldest. The best way to deal with it is to accept it and make things neat, clear and legal, rather than firstly force people into it and then torture them later point in time.

It all boils down to how this can be handled. Sad to say but I don't really see the day in the near future in my country.

Wanderer said...

“For some money and thrill ….”…… these are concepts only rich can think of , appreciate and understand …… “ two times meal, and a place to get some undisturbed rest with out being forced to “work ” that is more or less what these people wuld be looking for.
To them its less an issue of morality and more an issue of mere exsistance.

Its difficult to explain, let me see….

To put it in a more understandable manner, if a computer engineer were feel the same in his professional sphere, then he should have his eye lids stitched open and sit in front of the monitors for 23 hrs a day, 7 days a weeks and type codes and each syntax error he makes his boss stubs a cigarette on his back. And mind you he has three bosses. Oh and also his head is permanently fixed on the screen with an iron rod… can you call that Thrill…. Anybody?!!!! Ya you sure might be paid a few bucks more.

We just are being childish while Crying about Male prostitution and female prostitution. If males were to be treated just as badly then that is also equally wrong. …. “If”.

Wanderer said...

“For some money and thrill ….”…… these are concepts only rich can think of , appreciate and understand …… “ two times meal, and a place to get some undisturbed rest with out being forced to “work ” that is more or less what these people would be looking for.
To them its less an issue of morality and more an issue of mere exsistance.

Its difficult to explain, let me see….

To put it in a more understandable manner, if a computer engineer were feel the same in his professional sphere, then he should have his eye lids stitched open and sit in front of the monitors for 23 hrs a day, 7 days a weeks and type codes and each syntax error he makes his boss stubs a cigarette on his back. And mind you he has three bosses. Oh and also his head is permanently fixed on the screen with an iron rod… can you call that Thrill…. Anybody?!!!! Ya you sure might be paid a few bucks more.

We just are being childish while Crying about Male prostitution and female prostitution. If males were to be treated just as badly then that is also equally wrong. …. “If”.


Admit it ... we all live in a rather male dominated society...
So it’s an easy guess as to who could be more prone to these atrocities

Wanderer said...

And this is not just the issue......

Prostitutes are not merely the once who have such a pathetic plight.... its easier to empathize with them because of
1) Its prevalent in cities where "we" the so called educated live....
2) Because of its “ethical “ aspects

but equally deplorable is the plight of half rural of India. Eternally indebted to the zamindars, unable to feed their children even one proper meal, force to extended that few even commit suicide…

To cut it short, I believe that education has a major role in affecting change in most of these cases… be it prostitutes, be it the farmers of rural India…

Wanderer said...

And this is not just the issue......

Prostitutes are not merely the once who have such a pathetic plight.... its easier to empathize with them because of
1) Its prevalent in cities where "we" the so called educated live....
2) Because of its “ethical “ aspects

but equally deplorable is the plight of half rural of India. Eternally indebted to the zamindars, unable to feed their children even one proper meal, force to extended that few even commit suicide…

To cut it short, I believe that education has a major role in affecting change in most of these cases… be it prostitutes, be it the farmers of rural India…

Shama & Diya said...

Prostitution a necessity? I don't think so...there are so many other things a woman can do besides this. Though I do feel the majority that prostitute, do it because they are forced to. What disgusts me however, is child prostitution. A girl who is 10 years old may not have the mental capability to understand right and wrong, but I am pretty sure the people who use her do! Sad...

Has to be me said...

Wow Rose! thats such a lovely post & its so touchy as well.

It was soooooo sad to read abt the torture & trauma that these sex workers have to go thru.

U know, one thing which I dont like abt our society @ large is that they have so many faults in them but fail to look @ that & instead pin point others for some reason or the other. Why this double std? Cant they value a person for what they are instead of looking @ the profession or their personal relations with others?

Anycase, really wish we cud do something to help them out of it.

Very well written.

Thanks for stopping by my blog & keep visiting! :)

Rose said...

@ Virgo Man..

Gues u r right.. its a slow and ongoing process.. :)

@ S-R-S..

Hmm.. ur 'Chulungiya Thuni' analogue was rather interesting i must say.. :D..

And abt the "Offering sexual intercource without pay".. U mean consensual sex, dnt u? Well, but even in western countries where sex b4 marriage and casual sex is prevalent, prostitution stil flourishes..

@ Me..

Ya.. Our country has a long way to grow, both in terms of intellectual maturity and tolerance.. I gues if prostitution cannot be and will not be eradicated from our social system, then it shud be accepted as a profession (wich it actually is).. This wud ensure security to a large extent and improve conditions..

Rose said...

Wanderer..

U stole the words out of my heart..

:)

..Me

Rose said...

@ Koffeshop..

I know..

Suji said...

I suppose most of them are forced into it by somebody. And also because they probably don't have enuf education and can't do anything else. I am sure, not many of them do it by choice. And once they fall into this racket, they probably can't get out.

Nice blog u have here. Thanks for dropping by mine.

Ankit said...

well i always thought makign prostitution legal will solvea lotsa prbs there are many european countries like germany where it is legal.
We can have proper laws n regulation to control this "INDUSTRY".

SUNMAY said...

well can just write two words...

""simply superb"".
..mebbe wud write something on it soon

Saroj said...

Rose,

Very touching issue and very nicely presented.

Prostitution was there in past and it would remain. May be we won’t be able to eliminate it fully, because for some its an easy way of making money.

But yes the forcible one should be eliminated. I agree with your views that they should have some other means of earning bread so that they too can live with dignity.

I also believe that we need to change our mind set, whole society’s mindset. How many men will accept a woman who was once in prostitution? Or how many people will give her a job? We need to take them together, with us, like us.

Anonymous said...

Read all your write-ups. Must say you have an incredibly beautiful style of writing. U have some talent man. I think you have the talent of becoming a writer some day.

Will keep stopping by. All the best!

Rose said...

@ Has to be me..

I hate that abt our society as well...

@ Suji..

Thanks for sharing ur views.. :)

@ Ankit..

Oh yes.. It is def an industry.. a huge one too..

@ Sumnay..

Lukn forward for ur write-up... ~smiles~

@ Saroj..

As u put it rightly, i feel changing mindset and creating the 'mindspace' to accomodate these people is the key..

@ Anonymous..

Whoever u are... Ur words meant a lot.. :)

..Me

anup.777 said...

this issue is just too depressing for me ... and yet all this happens ... :(

jac said...

rose
It is nice to know that there are people like you who care and nicer to know that there are others who has other points for discussion.

I have just a small point. With the present corrupt set up there, you will have a hard time to maintain equilibrium.

Well! The question is who would dare to tie the bell around the cat’s neck...the elder mouse asked. LOL

psychacid said...

Thanks for your comments.

anup.777 said...

I think I'm falling 4 u Rose ... ;)

... I think I'm gonna get a new muse real soon :) lolz ....

Axiomate said...

Nice topic ... just dropped by.

rahul

Rose said...

@ hey Jac, 'The Elder Mouse ;)..

U hv raised the key question.. That is why the "mindspace" of poeple need to change drastically.. Not that its easy... Afteral next to nothing is acheived without effort..

Rose said...

@ Anup..

OMG!!!! The Six-Finger Footed Monster is after me!! HELP!!!

~teethy wide grin~

Hmmm... It must the first time in history that a guy talks abt falling in luv, when the girl is talking abt PROSTITUTION!!!

LOL..

Keep musing Poet.. ;)

:D

..Me

Rose said...

@ Psychacid & Axiomate..

Thanks for dropping by..

Phooka said...

Isn't it about a hierarchy of needs - the first one being the need for food, need for shelter and the physical needs of the body ?

Where does a need for dignity fit in ?

anuj said...

very nice post . it was nice to read it.

Blue Athena said...

Inspires me to write about it.

Prabhal said...

Very well written. I guess its very difficult to eradicate it. You are right about changing social mentality.

Prabhal

Anonymous said...

I see that you have a lot of fans here. :-)))

A

Keshi said...

Prostitution can be a necessity for some and a choice/compulsion for others...sadly ppl choose to judge all of em as sinners.

Keshi.

SiN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SiN said...

I believe that the word prostitute or prostitution just generalize the whole issue. As you've mentioned, some people do it out of need, some just for some pocket change (which i think is really foolish), and most of them are forced into this evil. Nothing can ever happen, unless the root problem is solved, which is to be the population and the mentality of the people.
In the US and other western countries the scene is different, its infact worse than india but its all hidden in the shadows. There are more unreportted rape cases there and they are here, and its almost a casual thing there now. My fr. who visited the US recently heard two females talking, the other was complaining that she was raped yesterday and there wasnt even the emotion which we generally associate with such a thing, not even from the listeners side, coz she too had gone through the same multiple times.
Anyway, i think legalising prostitution may help, but again it may back fire. Being a Sex Worker is better than being tagged a prostitution. And yes the rehab work(kinda) should be continued and the women stuck in the grind should be empowered and a choice must be provided. Yes i know its easier said than done.. anyway i need to rush.. will continue this debate later. take care.. keep the good work on. bye. Peace.

neermathalam said...

Rose I too have posted something similar but on eve teasing...
and tat too in mumbai trains...

priya said...

i sincerely think thats a wonderful post.

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