VENDING VAGINA, BREAST AND BODY Suvidutt M. S.
AB INITIO The aged profession but today‟s mushrooming traffic- „The Prostitution‟- to which many interpretation, definition and demarcation has given by both the society and the state in the long course of history‟s peregrination. The elucidation for the flesh trade varied but the practice went on safe and sound despite its interdiction on some countries as anyone couldn‟t imagine a planet without prostitution; a world without carnal pleasures and passions. The sexual service is rampant now in the rural hamlets as well as in the urban metropolis in diverse forms making it as a „necessary evil‟. Whatever, the flesh market has got its own precedent, present and posterity. In the simplest fashion prostitution could be defined as „selling sex for money‟. Encyclopedia defines prostitution as “the practice of engaging in relatively indiscriminate sexual activity in exchange for immediate payment in money or other valuables”. Legally, prostitution is the sale of sexual services. The service may consist of any sexual acts, including those which do not involve copulation. In other words: “sex may only be exchanged for sex, and sex has been redefined by law to mean: any non sexual act, anything other than sex of any value, is defined by law to be a consideration, which must be of exactly equal exchange of consideration other than sex, or the law may freely create artificial exchanges by interpretation”. Definitions were defined and redefined but the history bore witness how the profession proliferated right from the incipient of mans search for hedonism to his today‟s emporium of sex-„the brothels‟. By rummaging the rectos and versos of the history it‟s apparent that the roots of the prostitution go back to ancient Greek times, Roman empires, Chou dynasties and Indian four „Varna‟ systems. Probably the earliest form of the institution was temple, or religious, prostitution, which may have derived from communal, orgiastic fertility rites. Similar roots were seen in western and non-western societies. But apart from this there 1
were various radicles and reasons which turned to be a cause in the budding stage of the sexual bartering. In the western societies Solon (c.639-559 B.C.) established state brothels in Athens, the employees of which came from the lowest strata of society. Later, independent prostitutes were synchronized and taxed. The hetaerae were courtesans who provided various kinds of entertainment including music, poetry, and most notably, intellectually thought-provoking conversation and companionship. In ancient Rome, prostitutes were licensed by the state and taxed. Patrician woman were absolutely forbidden to engage in prostitution. Women who were neither patricians nor slaves, but relied on other means of income (actresses, musicians, dancers, and so on) were free to sell sexual services without registration or taxation. Side by side Male prostitutes were also numerous in Rome, but were not regulated by the state. Then afterwards, the early Christian church excommunicated (A.D. 305) all prostitutes on moral grounds. Nevertheless, prostitution remained a well-established institution, and it provided an important source of tax revenue to the imperial state. Thus, by late antiquity, the status of prostitution had been reversed from its temple origins: it was now specifically excluded from the sacred while it flourished in the profane world. Eventually, after the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire, women experienced a sharp decline in economic and political status as a consequence many went and sought the shadow of convent but many of them for providing fiscal support found relief under the shelter of Bawdy house. In the High Middle Ages, prostitution came under the protection and regulation of municipal government as a result female prostitution greatly expanded. The graph of prostitution soared high in modern Europe, while at the same time its practice was increasingly condemned. Beginning in the 19th century, the rise of capitalism and the liberal state brought increasing freedoms and economic rights to women as a result those who entered the urbanized work force often turned to occasional prostitution to supplement their incomes and many women became involved in regular prostitution either through forcible recruitment or as the only alternative to unemployment. In non-western cultures, both secular and sacred prostitution co-existed. In India since classical Hindus times till the Muslim invasions of India (c. A.D. 1000) prostitution
amplified. Since prostitution is forbidden by the Koran, there was an official pronouncement against it but the practices under Muslim rule did little to discourage it. As time passed, temple prostitution, in which girls are dedicated to a deity, has continued into the 20th century. In China, the earliest historical reference to prostitution dates from the Chou dynasty (c.650 BC), at which time it was already a well established institution. In China, more than elsewhere, the predominant form of prostitution has been in brothels of female slaves. After slavery was officially ended, the sale of wives, concubines, and daughters into prostitution remained a common practice. Since the Communist revolution, a campaign against prostitution along with efforts to provide women equal access to economic and political rights has greatly diminished the prevalence of prostitution in China. In Japan too there was prostitution in the well-known role of the Geisha which is of relatively recent origin, dating from the 18th century. This institution resembles that of the classical Greek hetaerae. The territorial classification of prostitution as Chinese or Japanese doesn‟t matter, and what matter is the phenomenon i.e. prostitution is prostitution. Prior to European colonization, prostitution in the Western Hemisphere and Africa was probably limited to the religious realm. In what seems to be a world historical pattern, an upsurge in prostitution followed the effects of urbanization and wage labor. In Africa and Latin America this trend was heightened by industrial development, which greatly accelerated extensive displacement of people from traditional kinship ties. And the result- Women often supplemented their low wages with occasional prostitution, or, in the absence of employment, turned to prostitution as full-time work. In India, if looked closer and shoveled deeper, the nidus of prostitution can be traced on the emergence of the class society and the so called civilization when, for the first time, woman become subordinate to man. Lack of property rights, segregation from social production and division of labour along gender lines have made the woman powerless and totally dependent on the men from childhood to old age. In a class-divided society, economic and social power was naturally in the hands of the class that owned the chief means of production. The vast majority of the non-propertied classes had to live by selling their labour. Their body has been the only asset these non-owning classes
possessed and it is only by pressing their body into service in exchange for a wage or remuneration in kind that their very physical survival could be ensured. Prostitution too arises from the compulsions in a class divided society to sell one‟s body for the sake of one‟s subsistence. Unlike men of the labouring classes women do not have the opportunities to take part in similar productive activities due to relations of patriarchy enforced by society. Thus women were rendered powerless and socially and economically vulnerable. Once the support of the men of her family is withdrawn, she becomes property less even if she belongs to the middle class, thereby leading to a life of insecurity and even poverty. This social and economic susceptibility of women arising out of gender inequalities in class societies played a significant role in sustaining prostitution. Those who have been forced into prostitution are generally the destitute, the deprived sections of the society, belonging to the lower castes, and the tribals. To The simple fact that hardly 1%of the property in the world is owned by women today shows the acute defenselessness and powerlessness of women. Within feudal society, prostitution was restricted, to be found for example around temples, institutionalised in the form of the devadasi system. The development of market forces transformed prostitution into a trade. Prostitution centre grew in port cities; around the colonies of migrant male workers; and around cantonment and military barracks. Natural calamities such as famines, floods, earthquakes and epidemics or social and political upheavals such as wars led to large-scale displacement of populations and to a phenomenal increase in the number of prostitutes as more and more uprooted, hapless women were left with no other options of livelihood. Thus the colonial era gave an impetus to the sex trade by punishing millions of women to sell their bodies in the areas where migrant male work force or military troops were located. But it is the development strategies pursued by the various governments of the Third World countries in the neocolonial phase that had seen it grow by heaps and bounds. Big dams and mining and industrial projects, break up of subsistence economies by modern technology leading to pauperisation of entire communities, cyclones, floods and families resulting from indiscriminate deforestation and so on, had uprooted millions of people from their homes
and a large number of women have been forced to seek a refuge in prostitution to economize their livelihood. In contemporary, technologically developed societies, the vast majority of acts of prostitution are carried out by sporadic prostitutes who use it to supplement low incomes. Men and women who rely on prostitution as their key source of income typically have left their natal families in adolescence. Without education or work skills, and often prevented from employment by child labor laws, such escapee children resort to prostitution as their only means of endurance. Among others a considerable section of women are forced into prostitution due to patriarchal oppression and repression in the family and society, victims of rape by the male chauvinists, deception by lovers, fatalities in communal riots and atrocities by the police and the state‟s armed forces and so on. The overwhelming majority of the prostitutes are there due to destitution, deprivation, displacement ostracism and deception; that many have been victims of sexual assault either at home or in work place or in the street; they quite a few of them have been bought from starving parents by unscrupulous pimps even before they reach their puberty, administered steroids like Benetradin to make malnourished children artificially plump and chubby just as they fatten cattle and chicken to yield more meat; that some of them are made into „servants of god‟ (devadasi) against the law and the will. Apart from this due to massive population and development of the large sections of the population in the third world countries where those people who are left with no other options sell their vagina, breast and body voluntarily in order to eke out a living. It seemed for many that reaching teenage years and releasing menses are a sin for their life, but in actuality every menstrual twenty-eight day is the moment nearing the maternal opportunity. Now that the world has turned to be a global village and so has prostitution got its global texture due to globalization? Yes, the sex trade moves on swiftly in all ultra modern cities from Mumbai to Manila and from Tel Aviv to Texas camouflaged as massage parlours, pubs and hotels. Sex tourism and sex trade germinates and govern the global market world wide due to the fall out in policies of globalization and economic liberalization adopted by most countries of the world. The qualitative and quantitative jump in the sex hi-tech bazaar is because the sex trade is now organized on a global basis
just as any other multinational enterprise. It has become a transnational industry where the principal players and beneficiaries involved in the intricate web includes nor just the doxy and the client, but an entire syndicate consisting of the pimps, the politicians and the local doctors. The major actors connected to the sex trade cross the confinements of their national and territorial boundaries and operate both legally as well as clandestinely and it is believed that the profits according to the organizations of sex-industry currently equal those flowing out of the global illegal trade in arms and narcotics. The other factor which makes sex trade qualitatively different today is that it has become a chosen development strategy by several Third World countries. The World Bank, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank and several other imperialist aid agencies have encouraged the development of tourism and entertainment industry in Third World countries with the aim of meeting their balance of payments and debit deficits. As a result, sex tourism and sex entertainment have developed at an amazing speed and have acquired national and international legitimacy under globalisation as never before. International capital through the vast media network at its disposal- the print and electronic media, the internet etcmould the minds of the people living in an already patriarchal, male-dominated world in favour of commodification of the female body from the crudest to the most sophisticated of ways. Capitalism has transformed relations between human beings into callous cash relationships; it had commodified every aspect of human life including human body parts, female reproductive work and virtually every thing on the earth making clear that capitalism has no ethics other than amassing profits. The odyssey of prostitution Ab Initio of the history till today‟s contemporary modernity is a blend of cool stories and callous non-fiction as well. The time now compels us to think of whether there is an ethics for the vending of stimulating sexual portions in order to host the culture of Epicureanism and sybaritism. IS ‘SEX FOR SALE’ SALUTARY? Shakespeare has said that – “nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so”. The questions like- is prostitution beneficial or bad, whether prostitution is needed or it be negated, could prostitution be termed an offence of offered legalization etc are all having
relevance if with ratio decidendi one arrive at a concluding verdict. Prostitution till today was a necessity to the world revolving of erotic bagnio, by concupiscent hoi polloi and for Arcadian fleshpots. There might be skeptics who say that prostitution should be prohibited. Never mind, the subsequent paragraphs are jam-packed with the dialectics and dynamics bolstering in favour of the prostitution; raising the voice for the want of the oldest profession and lending a helping hand to the protagonists of prostitution- „The Fille de joie‟. People in a free society have the right to work in their chosen profession, and to do with their own bodies as they so choose. Article 19(g) of the Indian Constitution accouter with the right to profession. In a free democratic setup like India, all the persons above eighteen years have the right to engage in consensual adult sexual contact. Prostitution is a personal choice and fills a vital role in our society by addressing the sexual and emotional needs of the men and women, and by providing high paying employment options to women and men who wish to provide sexual services. After all, prostitution provides a better alternative to starving or stealing. Am I right? Most of the trollops believe that making money from sex is not selling a part of their body which is in no way different from selling our brains or physical labour. If society says that bawds are bartering their body parts or selling their torso in the market of red-light district, then it‟s moreover same what the IITians , B.Tech, M.B.A. and other graduates do, who sell their brain and brilliance for M.N.C.‟s and other corporate under the climate of brain drain. There seems no difference between a mason who sells his physical labour by standing on the scaffoldings and keeping brick on brick to construct a building and a prostitute who on the cuisine couch or cot sell her orifice, bosoms and pudenda to build pleasure on her clients. Labour is labour whether it be done by extracting it from ones brain, body or booms. Whatever we do it‟s for the safety and security. Courtesans do the same thing. They make the world safer for women and healthy for normal man. Rather than encourage rape, or sexual harassment from sexually frustrated men, prostitutes are there for people who have a strong sex drive and cannot find anyone to have sex with or who
enjoy sexual variety. For the socially inept man, they cope with all those with confused and repressed sexuality, removing the risk of attack they cause to other women. But most clients are just ordinary men, your neighbours, your child‟s teacher, your lawyer or politicians. Some of us are well adjusted normal men who enjoy physical intimacy with a variety of drinks and damsels and it is physically and emotionally healthy for otherwise healthy men. Whores are experts who offer high quality sex. If there was not such a negative stigma, most of us would have wanted to visit prostitutes for erotic inspiration and self indulgence. They provide the chance for new experiences without entering a new relationship which many people find of enormous value at certain stages of their lives. In some cultures, it is customary for all young men to learn about sex from the local prostitutes before they have sex with other women. Altogether it can be said that the institution and inspiration of prostitution is just like a University where you get sex education from the prostitutes as teachers. Therefore prostitution must be respected for its beneficial service for the society by the service of sexual entertainment and sex enlightenment. Cash and dash is not the only texture of the bordello and belly dancers. Prostitutes offer many services often far more than just sex. The nomenclatures of prostitutes vary from whore to therapist; slut to Tantric teacher; hostess to surrogate. Each have their own style but when you hark to what they actually do, most provide appropriately the same range of services. They act as listeners (to every one in pain, including sufferers of child sexual abuse), pacifiers, substitute mothers, sisters and brothers. Their services range from enacting fantasies to electrifying orgies. Think, how could all these be harming the tranquility of the society? The job of vending vagina, breast and body parts for fucking, sucking and licking is a satisfying job. The fact is that a growing number of women are switching to work in sex rather than in other jobs because they find it gives them more freedom and job satisfaction. You chose your hours, you make more money per hour than most of your friends and you spend your time giving pleasure and often receiving it too. Prostitutes
provide fun by offering a service of pleasure forcing rest of the worldly pains and predicaments of the clients under the drugget of forgetfulness. In countries where sex parties and orgies with several prostitutes are there, people and clients enjoy visiting for light hearted yet get intensely erotic experience, which may be very difficult to find elsewhere. Feminist assert that the world is dominated by masculinity and male chauvinism making the concept of emancipation of women a far factuality. The traffic of copulation for currency enables many women to liberate themselves. Prostitution paves a cosmos where the women birds could aviate as they wish from the gyves of man and his machismo. Females by pursuing the profession in prostitution could outline their own mind's eye, could erect their own podium of assertion, could free themselves from the patriarchal stranglehold and sketch their own demarcation of choice and freedom. Sex work could be empowering. People gain personal strength from selling their bodies because their clients worship and admire them, they have as much sex as they want and defy traditional mores and roles imposed on them. Often prostitutes are extremely healthy, playful, creative, adventurous and independent women. From this it‟s obvious that whores have their own ways of empowered living. Prostitution is never a menace rather it‟s a medicine and acts as a therapeutics for the society soaked in multi macro and micro dilemmas. Prostitution is good for mental health. Comforting sex without ties is excellent for mental health, soothing the nervous system, and helping the client improve their sense of well being. People with social disabilities such as stammers can be helpful to overcome their problems by loving attention and uncovering anxieties. People who have been sexually abused as children often need a lot of patient body work to overcome sexual difficulties and prostitutes do the job excellently. One of the chief battle cries of the modern feminists is that a woman has a right to do with her body as she pleases. Yes, that‟s true and should be emphasized in this context. Body parts of a woman, be it her face, womb, thighs, lips, breast or buttocks, its
up to her to do what ever she wishes. If she has the obligation to save her body parts from any vulnerability, then she too has the right to sell her body parts. In this matter no one can question her. In this way, feminism too supports the soliciting for selling sex. As long as laws are there prohibiting prostitution, so long the right to privacy of the prostitutes gets violated. The bizarre raids by the police in the brothels, truly speaking, breach the seclusion of any strumpet. Therefore the trafficking laws banning prostitution must be first altered or if possible be banned. In most parts of the world sex work benefit to the cultures. Historical studies have shown that the more repressive a culture sexually the more violent it is. Porn along with the prostitution reduces sex crimes and it‟s salutary to a society. Many studies have made related to this in various countries and data shows that sex crimes against women and against children goes down as the availability of erotica goes up. The crime rate is low in the countries where prostitution is legalized comparing to those countries banned the institution of prostitution where the offences related to the sex is high. I believe that by reading above systematized statements, you may be now turned a staunch supporter of prostitution. Isn‟t it? LEGALIZING THE LOOKOUT Prostitution has been in existence for millennia, going back to the Byzantine, Roman, Greek, and Egyptian Empires. Ironically, the ancient religions of those eras dealt with the needs of the group and consequently developed protocols for dealing with sexual relations that have propagated throughout time to the modern era. As a result, prostitution is not about to disappear anytime soon. Right from the origin of this sex institution, there has been different strata of prostitutes. Within the top layer rests discrete call-girls for the affluent. The middle layer holds bordello-dwelling prostitutes or others in less subtle environments such as strip clubs and massage parlors that offer backroom services. Streetwalkers (harlots, hookers, nightwalkers) occupy the lowest layer. The lowest layer prostitutes are plagued with the
most problems. It is the group that usually remains perpetually vulnerable. They work in conditions that make them prone to violence due to a lack of supervision. And, there are healthcare risks due to unsafe sexual contact with unscreened clients. These lower strata prostitutes are the women who require help since they cannot afford decent medical services and are either lured into the industry by drugs or they turn to narcotics as a means to cope within their hellish lives. It‟s the bottom strata prostitutes remain always trapped, but the upper two-third are far less constrained as they are able to carefully parlay their gains into real estate or financial investments even within localities having laws against prostitution. They can choose to leave prostitution for other careers or simply retire or continue to make a fiscally respectful living from it. The only salvage for the underneath layer would be the legalization of the lookout. Vesya Anyay Mukti Parishad (Kolkata) which is an association of prostitutes that had come into existence during the latter half of the 90‟s, is among the most vocal proponents of legalisation. The following are a few of its arguments“Prostitution is a way of life like any other. It isn‟t created for the benefit of the men
rather it is primarily for the women who live off it. Women in prostitution make money out of the sex and are the bread winners of their families”; "We believe that we are more empowered than most women within male-dominated patriarchal structure. The relationships we share with the men from our families are more honest and equal because the veil of double standards is not necessary”; "Economic independence from men is a reality that we enjoy with pride and dignity. Brothel owners, goons, the police and the self-appointed crusaders of morality in society harass us, try to curb our independence and are forever trying to douse our spirit”. These voices are not mere voice and their upheaval is not mere upheaval. Rather it‟s the voice of assertion, an upheaval for recognition and never having a conception for genuflection. By presenting a legal insignia or indulgence to this shouting sector, there could be umpteen benefits for them as well as for the public. The state by giving green light to the Red-light district would free putas from the vexation of the Don Juan pimps, demonizing by the draconian police and the use, abuse and misuse done by the Casanova clients. If there is no legalisation prostitutes have to undergo the harassment occurring underground which remain
unnoticed. Cannot the campanile of law toll for them? The silence of law is the death toll for the suffering sector in the Sex Wall Street. Sex industry by legalisation should be recognized as an economic sector. Sex work should be considered as any other work. Basically, Legalisation means position of regulation by the State to ensure the continuation and perpetuation of prostitution. It implies that the prostitutes have to pay taxes and have so many other obligations towards the state. The state on the other hand is also expected to guarantee the rights of the prostitutes. As it goes on, the benefits of legalized prostitution also includes allowing law enforcement agencies to respond to more important crimes, freeing justice systems from nuisance cases, helping women who are trapped by prostitution, and preventing teens from being ensnared into prostitution without their consent. The interest of the state in permitting legalisation should not be confined to the rights of the prostitutes but also to check the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The status quo is a poor health-safety plan. With sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and herpes, prostitutes must be monitored to prevent the spread of these afflictions. Cancroid, a STD typically found in third world nations, which makes ulcers in the vagina that assist with the spread of HIV / AIDS, could be prevented from dispersal by a thorough scrutinizing. Therefore, by legalisation it would turn mandatory for the women to undergo medical check-ups regularly or face imprisonment. Clandestinely many people work in massage parlors, escort services, strip bars and modeling agencies or still work corners as traditional streetwalkers. There are legitimate parlors, dating services, bars and agencies but of the hundreds that exist within newspaper classified advertisements and telephone directories, there are a large number that provide sexual services unknown and unnoticed. A routine search through Goggle‟s Internet news engine for 'prostitution' routinely reveals connections between prostitution and these falsetto agencies. If we allow prostitution to remain hidden from view and basically invisible to the law as it is today, we allow a number of teens to be swept up into prostitution every year. When adult women decide to exchange money for sex, it is a personal choice open to them under the philosophy of a free, democratic society. When
troubled minors who do not yet have the social survival skills decide to prostitute, they are often manipulated by opportunists who exploit these teens, typically leading to horrific ends. Legalizing prostitution will help prevent these instances through regulation. Legalisation by the state would involve heavy regulation of prostitution through a whole host of zoning and licensing laws. Zoning segregates the prostitutes into a separate locality and their civil liberties are restricted outside the specified zone. Along with this, issuing of licenses, registration and disbursement of health cards to the women will bring good results and make the alleys of prostitute a better place for them as well as for other people who tour such streets. In Singapore, sex for money is open in commonplace. Denmark women can be legal prostitutes so long as it is not their sole means of income. Canada, France and Mexico allow it. Prostitutes must be contained within brothels in the Netherlands, unlike within England and Wales where prostitution is limited to individual providers. Israel, the historical stage for the Bible, allows, it, too where the city like Tel Aviv is there, known as the prostitution capital of the world. Even International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for the economic recognition of prostitutes as legitimate work in its controversial report of 1998. Enlightened people within civilized societies pride themselves on the contributions made to others who are less fortunate. Low strata prostitutes clearly rest within the domain of the less fortunate, but the countries that cling to anti-prostitution laws choose to abandon these people and thereby negatively affect the crime, health, and general safety of those nations. One must reconsider whether or not those countries are truly civilized. In this sense, is then India a truly civilized nation with a background of oldest civilization? THE ORGASM The commercial sex industry includes street prostitution, massage brothels, escort services, outcall services, strip clubs, lap dancing, phone sex, adult and child pornography, video and internet pornography, and prostitution tourism. Most women who are in prostitution for longer than a few months drift among these various permutations of the commercial sex industry. Life goes on, as it has come till today since millennia. Every one has to live under the sun including the prostitutes to whom a
negative notion and an immoral stature have created by the society consisting of hollow hypocrites and bourgeoisie with braggadocio. Let them too live. Prostitution was very common in biblical times. Many wives and concubines were acceptable as "common" prostitutes. For Christians or Jews there is clearly nothing wrong to see "common" prostitutes. The only negative reference in the Bible is to the sex goddess prostitutes in the Temples worshiping the fertility gods. Many times common prostitutes are mentioned in the bible with no negative inference. Even Judah saw nothing wrong in hiring a prostitute for the night. In New Testament times, there also was nothing said about prostitution being wrong and in fact Jesus makes the point that harlots ( zonah in Hebrew) who believed John the Baptist will enter the kingdom of God (Matt. 21:3132). Today on the same soil from Hamasger Street to Shozino Street, prostitution flourishes making Israel the notable spot on the international map of prostitution. Jesus Christ displayed a perfect balance between compassion and judgment. He did not pretend that the woman was innocent. He did not get sidetracked into debate about the man's guilt or the unfairness of the woman alone being brought for judgment. He loved her. He forgave her. Now it‟s high time to change the mindset of the world which thinks that prostitution is a stigma. Remember that all men in this world are like Caesar craving for power and pleasure and whole women just like the feelings of Cleopatra‟s. I think you got it.