Friday, August 8, 2008

Buying and Selling Women - Who Gets In Trouble?

A teenage girl in New York City is charged as a prostitute:

As her advocate points out, she could not be said to have legally consented to sex in any other context, yet prosecutors will charge her for prostitution.

Meanwhile, the Bejing Olympics promise to be a boon to prostitution and human trafficking in China:

Just a few weeks from now, on August 8, 2008, the Bejing Olympics will begin and sex-for-sale will probably be part of the festivities….

When the World Cup was held in Germany in 2006, Julie Bindel wrote an article, "Foul Play",” in the UK Guardian (30 May 2006) about the explosion in sex trafficking that would be an overlooked sideline of the event. She also pointed out that other major sporting events, like the Olympic Games, are venues for this kind of exploitation. In my dumbness and innocence, it never occurred to me to connect sports and prostitution before reading Bindel’s piece; but I have since learned that sex-for-sale is rife and common, whether it be at the Olympics or the NFL Superbowl. Inevitably, girls are trafficked in, to meet the high customer demand.

Bindel interviewed Alina, “a woman who knows something about the link between sex and sport. She escaped as traffickers tired to bring her into the UK from Athens….She had been abducted from…Moscow for the Olympic Games. When the games ended, Alina was considered ‘second-hand’ and sold on to another criminal gang who transported her to London in the hope that she would make money in a Soho brothel. ‘I was worn out, literally used up and spat out,’ she says, talking from a safe house in London. ‘During the games I saw hundreds of men, some British, who thought that a good time was watching sport, drinking and having sex. We were part of the entertainment.’”

The Olympic torch had a tough time on its journey due to protests over Tibet, a widely covered story. Animal groups have done some protesting of open-air markets where dogs are butchered live and of the bear farms where animals are milked for their bile. But, of all the ‘rights’ violations being leveled against China in order to discredit the Olympics, this particular one–trafficking, which involves all the nations of the world in a spirit of rape and degradation of women–is being ignored, as usual.

For the World Cup, British men could buy condoms at 500 branches of Superdrug with slogans emblazoned on them like ‘Lie Back and Think of England,’ and decorated with the cross of St. George....

China is the largest importer of trafficked Russian girls in Asia, with Korea being second. For the Olympics, will there be a large importing into Beijing and sale of Russians and their Chinese counterparts, along with all the other nationalities currently trafficked into the Chinese sex trade: girls from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan?

If this is a typical Olympics, it seems a certainty. (Back during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, some male athletes insisted they be given geisha. The Japanese dressed up some pathetic prostitutes in geisha style and sent them to the men.)

Will girls be put to use to service the Olympic tourists in Beijing? Will the athletes themselves be celebrating their victories by buying sex?

via Heart at Women's Space

Yes, because under the patriarchy, every moment of every day is fine for objectifying women, even buying coffee (Occasionally, Best Friend does theme days, such as "schoolgirl" or adding glasses for a sexy "secretary" look, manager Heather Bacon said....At places such as Cowgirls, the barista is the brand."If I'm going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee" said one male customer, "I'm not going to get served by a guy.") and maid service.

In this world of misogyny mated with hyper-capitalism, being sexualized is oh-so empowering for women. Prostitution is "sex work," a free choice (and God knows, individual free choice is to be worshipped). Actresses in pornography are also sex workers, sexually liberated women making free choices (not). Even stripping as exercise is oh-so empowerfulizing. It's even possible to get a stripper pole in your hotel suite. And now, Tesco toy company in the U.K. has been offering stripper poles as toys for young girls - after all, a girl can never be too young to begin learning the joys of sexualized empowerfulment.

Seriously, I'll be post feminist in the post-patriarchy.

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