The factors which lead men and women to enter prostitution are many and complex, however large numbers of people shy away from complexity preferring to look for all embracing answers to complicated issues. I came across an example of this reductionist approach while browsing the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper on 23 November. In an article entitled “Why Amsterdam’s legal brothels are a lesson for Britain about telling the truth on sex gangs and race” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237170/Why-Amsterdams-legal-brothels-lesson-Britain-telling-truth-sex-gangs-race.html) the author reports on the forcing of young women into Amsterdam’s sex trade. So-called “lover boys”, usually young Moroccan men flatter youthful girls (frequently European) by showing them attention. However once the “lover boys” gain the confidence of these impressionable young girls they cajole and/or force them into Holand’s brothels. The article implies that Amsterdam’s legal brothels are part of the problem as they make it easy for men to force vunnerable young girls into prostitution. If they didn’t exist the reporter implies then, the exploitation of young girls would be rendered far more difficult in the Netherlands.
I have a number of issues with this article. First it’s concentration on the race of the exploiters is deeply troubling. The exploitation of vunnerable people is to be condemned irrespective of the race of the perpetrators. The failure of the piece to mention the exploitation of young women by people other than those of Arab origin smacks of an unpleasant obsession with race. The report is based largely on the work of one lady’s charity which assists the families of those forced into prostitution. The daughter of the charity’s founder was befriended by a man of Moroccan origin and forced to become a prostitute. This is, of course appalling, however to base an article largely around the experiences of a single family (and the charity they founded) is not good journalism. Where are the independent studies into forced prostitution in the Netherlands? They exist, why aren’t they referenced in the article?
Secondly the fact is that men (and women) of all races abuse vunnerable young persons. In the most famous fictional portrayal of paedophilia “Lolita”, it is Humbert Humbert (a white European male) who sexually abuses Lolita.
Turning to the world of non-fiction, the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by the late Sir Jimmy Savile pertain to a white European male and (to my knowledge) all of those who have thus far been investigated as other alleged abusers in connection with the enquiry are of white (European) origin.
Men of Asian origin have recently been convicted in the UK courts for exploiting vunnerable (mainly white) young girls and forcing them into prostitution. The reporting of the activities of these sex gangs makes for shocking reading and those responsible for these crimes against children are rightly now undergoing long jail sentences in UK prisons.
Thirdly the article fails to acknowledge that significant numbers of adult men and women enter the world’s oldest profession voluntarily. In my forthcoming collection of short stories, “The First Time”, the main story deals with Becky and her decision to work as a professional escort. Becky is in debt due to her excessive use of her credit card and fears being made homeless unless she can obtain the money both to clear her credit card bill and pay the rent on her flat. One may argue that circumstances are forcing Becky into sex work, however the fact remains that she chooses to become an escort girl, there is no pimp with wrap-around sunglasses, a fast car and a mobile exerting pressure on her. Whether Becky does, in fact have a choice is a matter for my readers to determine but in “The First Time” we see two young ladies (Becky and her friend Julie) who are not subject to the pressure of “boyfriends” (both of the girls are single) but who do, arguably make a positive choice to become sex workers.
Are Becky and Julie as portrayed in “The First Time” representative of those who enter the world of prostitution? While there are people who are trafficked (forced) into sex work in my view the majority of men and women in the west who work in that profession are not compelled to do so. One may question the wisdom of those choices but they are, in my view choices none the less.
(The First Time”, by K Morris is scheduled for publication in December 2012. For “The Girl At The Bus Stop And Other Erotic Short Stories”, by K Morris please visit http://www.amazon.com/other-erotic-short-stories-ebook/dp/B00A6H75Y6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353246930&sr=1-1&keywords=the+girl+at+the+bus+stop+and+other+erotic+short+stories