Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Let's help women sell themselves?

Seven or eight years ago, I saw one of those back page interviews on Newsweek. It featured Nelia Sancho, a Filipina former beauty queen who later took to the mountains with the leftist movement. She has since abandoned that cause and has, of late, been devoting her efforts to women's causes.

Reading the interview prompted me to write a reaction to Newsweek, since the gist of Sancho's words was the "need" to legalize prostitution. Doing this, according to her, would provide the prostitutes with legitimate work permits (or something like that) and thus help them get better treatment. I cringe even now.

My letter was brief, but the idea that I hoped to put across was that taking measures to legalize prostitution would be tantamount to telling women that that is all that they can be, that that is all they are able to do. Sancho's idea of protecting women's welfare sure is warped. Does she hope to do wonders to these women's self-esteem?

Okay, enough ranting. Here is a relevant article from MercatorNet.


Porn 'fuels prostitution'
Anna Hodgekiss
AUGUST 10, 2005

Sex abuse expert Mary Anne Layden will tell a NSW parliamentary forum today how Australia's increasing appetite for prostitution has led to more women being trafficked into the country than ever before.

Dr Layden is a psychotherapist at the University of Pennsylvania who specialises in treating victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and addiction.

"Internet pornography and the legalisation of prostitution have driven up demand through a set of beliefs that imply that this behaviour is normal, acceptable, common and doesn't hurt anyone so the person has permission to continue to behave in that way," she will tell the forum, hosted by state Labor backbencher Kristina Keneally and the NSW Working Party on Illegal Non-Citizens in the Sex Industry.

"Examples include 'All men go to prostitutes', 'Women like sex mixed with violence', and 'Children enjoy sex with adults'."

Dr Layden warns that as the demand for prostitution increases, with internet porn being both anonymous and available 24 hours a day, supply is failing to meet demand. "There are not enough women in Australia who have been raped as a child, are homeless, or have a drug addiction, to be prostitutes, because in reality these are the women who end up in this situation.

"In this case, you have to deceive or kidnap women and children from other countries, take their passport, beat them up and put them into sex slavery.

Full story

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