12 April 2013

Prostitution and sex tourists

As much as I would love to see all those working in prostitution be able to stop, the language of rescuing prostitutes always makes me uncomfortable. Rescuing sounds like something I do to feel better and not something that is primarily about caring about the women/men and what they themselves might want. Rescuing language makes me even more uncomfortable when it's about us needing to rescue prostitutes in other/poor countries, especially children prostitutes.

It's not that I don't want children prostitutes to be rescued. In fact, like most (westerners), I find it sad and even horrible that girls at the beginning of their teenage years (and younger!) are sold/given (even temporarily) to men who can do whatever they want with them.

But even more horrible than the girls doing this work are the ones who come and pay. Most of the ones doing the buying aren't from the poor countries - they're from western countries: businessmen, tourists, married and single, diplomats and even church-goers. And we are suspiciously silent about these "sex tourists" and how our western ideas about individual rights and sex might be part of the demand for children prostitution. 

A blog I've started reading, Jamie the very worst missionary, recently highlighted this issue: how we get so worked up about the "sweet little baby prostitutes" and completely ignore those who create the demand, even though the latter ones are the ones closest to home. She has a rather unconventional and direct way of describing things, so I'm looking forward to hearing about her visit to those areas of prostitution and what she will be saying as part of that. I'll keep you updated!

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