Pretty Woman – remember the movie? A prostitute and her best friend openly talked about their choice to make money by selling sex. It was portrayed as just another means of making a living. It should be legal after all because women should have the right to do with their bodies whatever they please.
But of course it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t legal and the ‘pimp’ was never mentioned.
As a society, we pass through era’s of extreme wherein rights are confused and cross boundaries of ethics, morality and values. The line is muddied to allow behavior that ordinarily we would never condone. But it comes from a place of vindictiveness. It comes from a place where freedom is manipulated to represent something perverse. And then the freedom slips and the pendulum ultimately betrays someone else on the other side.
Sex trafficking, child trafficking, slavery. Why do we as a society do so little to mitigate this kind of slavery? Our focus is on black vs white all while truth would have it as our children. The statistics are staggering, albeit rough. Estimates give the industry a tab of anywhere from $9 to $32 billion in annual revenues. The number of children drawn into the industry in the US is also a rough figure from 100,000 to 300,000. Pimps are said to handle 4 to 6 girls. Each girl brings in about $150,000 per year. Denver has the second highest pay at an average of $31,000 per week.
Who is buying?
Research has shown that for the most part, those paying for sex span the gamut of normalcy. Average Joe, regular job, perhaps married or in a relationship, and not really sure why he pays for sex. They are out of touch with their feelings and with values. They have buried their feelings of hatred toward women and find prostitution a release. The buyers tend to have feelings of anger and contempt toward women and dehumanize them as being property subject to their sexual whim. The average life span for a prostitute is 34. Prostitutes have the highest rate of ‘workplace’ homicide than any other ‘profession’.
Years ago, I wrote about the relationship between children raised in day care settings and the long term effects that might have on their inability to bond. Children raised in daycares are not touched as often, are not tended to in a nurturing, fretting motherly way. They are confined in a small space competing for attention with 20 to 30 other children. They are only 2, 3 and 4 years old, but their life has been institutionalized. Everything about their life is regulated by people they barely know. Turnover in teachers is high and thus even this bond is typically destroyed over and over again.
I know this because I once owned a day care. We catered to 70 children and I vowed that my children would never have to attend. Daycare had become a drop point for parents who didn’t want to be parents. But that isn’t how daycare started. It began with a more noble cause at heart in the administration of Head Start. I volunteered there as a child with my mother. The purpose of Head Start was to allow single mothers a chance to get off welfare by having a safe place to tend to their children while they trained for a good job. But it morphed.
Today, daycare is by far the norm. It’s given fancy names like Piaget and Montessori, a learning environment. But in truth, it remains – daycare, a drop point for mom’s who don’t really want to be moms. It is used by the poor, the middle class and the wealthy. It is the pendulum at full swing in the opposite direction. And we are now seeing some of the effects – including an inability to bond.
Sex is used to create a bond that is lacking. Porn isn’t enough because there is no interaction. In a research study done in the UK, some men claimed they had some delusion that sex with a prostitute might lead to a relationship, others claimed it was simply a release, an act without emotion. But even more interesting, a good portion of the men said they knew the woman was in an involuntary setting and they felt no desire to help. They really just didn’t care.
The sex trafficking business is only so profitable because it has a steady stream of buyers. Eliminate the buyers and the market collapses, it is simple economics.
So how do you eliminate the buyers?
First, foremost and easiest should be to make solicitation illegal for the buyer. But while that may appear an easy solution on the face, few states in the US and few provinces in Canada actually act on this proposal. Police arrest the prostitute, the buyer leaves, and everything goes back to normal the next day. Why? Because men want to believe that a prostitute is performing consensually, it is prettier, it is Pretty Woman. And because, our media would have us believe that this trade is just as it was since the beginning of time. But it’s rise may link to the empty feelings of abandonment, being raised in a daycare institution, and having no other model to feel a sense of morality. As such, it becomes an entitlement. “I deserve it” attitude.
If we can’t move past the first hurdle and create a morality and legal issue on the part of the buyer, the industry will continue to abduct and traffic whomever they can because money is the driver. Statistics show a small percentage of pimps or traffickers being arrested. And most return to the job because it pays and they haven’t the education to do anything else. There have been a few buyers prosecuted, but the numbers don’t support any real effort to curb the activity. Media reports tend to put the victim label on the Madame or even the Pimp and certainly the buyer – he didn’t know – Most often, the only victim, the girl, the prostitute, is the one punished.
How do you retrain buyers?
It starts with raising your own children. It starts with nurturing, instilling values, living values, and filling the voids of emptiness. It means teaching compassion and evolves into education. It means defining sex as something very special to be shared only with a spouse. It means giving back a child their life, whether it is your own, or the abducted one sold and humiliated, and given the status of property. It means when you think looking at porn is harmless – you are engaging in the trafficking of children. And that child could be yours.