Guest Posts (International)

Prostitution: Beyond Sexual Exploitation

In several parts of the world many people live a sad reality, and we’re not just talking about prostitution but about a deep dehumanization. Latin America, South East Asia, Africa and much of Eastern Europe have become, for many years now, leading exporters of women and girls, in the majority of cases, to more developed countries. Our obligation as a society is to reflect and act against an activity that not only is based in the act of sexual intercourse but in what we can find behind the scene: a history, repression, humiliation and ultimately, their lives.

Prostitution can be perfectly observed as a power chain, of classism and even racism. People in higher ranks take advantage of a woman’s necessity, of a life that’s almost hopeless due to both economic and social poverty where they are immersed and the limitations that are imposed innately to establish a business that involves not only physical, but in turn, moral damages for them but also for their relatives.

In the majority of cases it can seem that because the issue is coming from somewhere else and of a country less developed with more necessities than ours, we think we have a right to be unconcerned by what their real situation is.

Do we observe a lack of empathy? Here’s what I think the matter is. The classism prevailing in those societies causes permanent blindness leading to situations marked by selfishness and self-centeredness derived quite simply for belonging to a society that has had more opportunity to develop. Instead of using the many tools available to provide a higher quality of life for these women and girls, such activity is encouraged with the lack of restrictions that should be necessary with the aim of profiting from the sale of something as personal as is the body, privacy and dignity of a person.

I think the most serious the situation is normalizing the activity in developed countries as being able to access the services of a prostitute is as easy as lifting your finger and take a taxi. The lack of specific legislation regulating this type of practice and the huge demand form an explosive cocktail that does not help eliminate and safeguard the rights of women. Sexual intercourse is the most visible face of prostitution but, what about the physical, psychological and moral abuse? Again classism enters with a touch of racism prevailing in these societies. The power of a strong person (man free national resources) against the subordination of the weak individual (slave woman, without foreign resources).

Picture Credit: Amnesty International

Picture Credit: Amnesty International

The best way to support my arguments is through my own experience in Spain, as in the rest of the European Union, I could observe how the vast majority of prostitutes are from the so-called Third World countries, the no papers. They are exploited by networks and mafias dedicated to human trafficking who make life a real torture. Many girls make their body their own business, without intermediaries and with less risk of being abused with the support of institutions from their country. On the other hand, the exploitation is the order of day, because foreign prostitutes are required to give more services for a lower amount of money, and because of the situation, they accept it looking a minimum income to maintain their children or send money to their respective countries.

Is putting your body and dignity for sale to satiate sexual appetite at any cost worth it? This is their reality. We must fight for the universal rights that correspond to all, respect, balance of classes and global economies, gender equality, education and greater humanity to make prostitution be considered for many an alternative to their daily struggle to keep going.

Post written by our guest blogger Roger Bruguera, who studied Administration and Political Science in Barcelona. He is currently working in Mexico City. This post was originally written in Spanish, translated into English by The SunFlower Post Team.

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