Monday, November 3, 2008

The Idea of Prostitution

I've been reading a great book by Sheila Jeffreys, 'The Idea of Prostitution' that outlines the history of feminists opinions on prostitution and the connection between human trafficking. Very enlightening. The state of victoria (where I live in Australia) decided to legalize prostitution fourteen years ago - I think in the hope that it would 'liberate women'. The reality of course is a harsh one... fourteen years later:
- more men go to more and bigger brothels
- each week 60,000 men spend $7 million on prostitution
- the number of illegal brothels is 4 times more than legals ones (400 vs 100) 2002
- legalization makes men more demanding of practices which women do not like - and makes women more powerless to resist them because of greater competition and gives more power to the brothel owners
- 80% of street prostituted women are drug users and 85-90% are homeless
- legalisation and decriminalisation lead to the growth of the industry of prostitution. The traffic in women to supply the legal and illegal brothels is an inevitable result
- trafficked women are placed in both illegal and legal brothels.. women are sold to both for $15,000 each. Police suspect they are forced to have sex with 800 men to pay off debts to the traffickers before they receive ay money (Murphy 2002)
- legalisation creates a culture where men's prostitution behaviour is normalised and takes an ordinary everyday place in the culture
- brothel owners are welcome in the Rotary Club and are profiled as role models in respectable newspapers - brothels are even listed on the stock exchange

I'm wondering how many more years will pass before we decide to treat Australian women with some dignity and stand up for their real rights by offering them meaningful work! check out this site for more info: CATW


Andrew Bale said...

The following is from my blog (2/11)

There has always been a strong traditional belief that the 'woman caught in adultery' in John 8 was a prostituted person; it's a theory that makes sense, the men who used her to prove a theological point knew where to find her and knew exactly what she would be doing. In addition there is no man on hand to protest her innocence or offer any protection.

This encounter is well known but there is a deeply significant theological point made here - this woman is beyond forgiveness. That is not to say she cannot be forgiven but that Jesus (in his wisdom) says she doesn't need it!

Look at what passes between them:

"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

She doesn't need forgiveness because Jesus refuses to condemn her!

Someone who is fighting against human trafficking and is especially involved in helping prostituted people really ought to pick this up and run with it!

Along with abused children, prostituted people are the victims of the most gross moral and social injustice - taken (often) against their will and forced (even if only by circumstance) to 'service' the whosoever.

When you and I were thrown at the feet of Jesus he forgave us - hallelujah!

When the prostituted woman was thrown at his feet he refused to condemn her - that's significant!

Who said Jesus doesn't have favourites!

Love and prayers A

Bernard said...

Andrew has raised an interesting point – it sent me back to the Scriptures, which is always a good thing – I think I would still see ‘no condemnation’ as the ever present, mirror image or twin, so to speak, of forgiveness – we are pronounced forgiven, but we are also not denounced as guilty – being told either (and in this case the woman heard ‘no condemnation’), or both, is amazing good news – for all who trust in Jesus – for none of us stand higher than the woman, or any other in her position – all are unrighteous before God.

What a wonderful salvation, and a wonderful Saviour, is available for all those who trust in Jesus.

John Finkelde said...

Powerful post - really makes you think again.

thank you