Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two Female Accademics and the saga of sex workers


Two interesting articles I have recently read about two prevailing attitudes towards 'sex workers' or prostitutes - women who get money for allowing themselves to be abused sexually, physically and emotionally by men who have the money and desire to do so.


The  writer of the first article gets it more right than the santimonous patronage of the second article's author Catherine Lumby. I laughed out loud at her article and thought to myself how out of touch is this woman in her safe little ivory tower and so detached from the realty of these women and young men's lives.
I did taxi driving years ago for about five or six years. I drove at night because I hated traffic and I also liked the peace of driving at night. I gave it up when it became increasing dangerous to be a taxi driver, not just female and not just a night driver. Some of our best customers were the workers at the brothels. massage parlours and their customers. Some people for the obvious reasons did not want it known what sort of establishments they frequented and the workers had to get to work and be returned home.  By the nature of their work, a lot of them  did not think it such clean work as they often were zonked out on drugs to block the despair and pain of the daily abuses that they endured from customers. I and other drivers used to drive to work and home a woman who had horrific scars criss crossing her face from a broken bottle a violent and obviously dissatisfied customer dragged across her face. The workers would talk to you about the diseases, the awful things they were required to do by some customers and what were the consequences of refusals for them. You often didn't want to know. From what I heard and observed second hand about this industry, there is nothing noble or even pleasant about this 'profession' unless of course you are the pimp living on someone else's earnings and misery.
Dr Caoline Norma is more correct in saying that the sex industry is based on the exploitation and degradation of another human being. We need to move beyond that sort of behaviour in this modern world. However there are still some people who live at a very instinctive and base level. They are ruled by their animal natures and always will be unfortunately. The Craig Thompsons of this world are not an anomaly but more the norm.
I think there is a lot to be said for education of women and young men, making them smart enough and educated enough that they do not have to sink to the level of selling their bodies to survive. Sex workers are simply vulnerable people who have been taken and exploited yet again and again by those persons who are callous enough to do so and  in perusing their own agendas, they dehumanise other beings for personal material gain.

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