No Laughing Matter
In an attempt to be funny, comedian Steve Martin quipped during one of his acts: “Sex is one of the most beautiful and natural things that money can buy.” I’d bet that got a lot of laughs from the listening crowd . . . maybe even guffaws from the men in the crowd who patronize prostitutes.
I would also bet that ninety-five percent of prostitutes and sex slaves aren’t laughing.
Studies abound addressing the question of why women become prostitutes and remain in that line of “work.” Notwithstanding the variety of reasons, the endpoint is often the same: severely damaged lives, sexually, mentally, emotionally. This is particularly true for females forced into prostitution, and especially true when it comes to minors and children. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture what it does to the psyche of a thirteen-year-old raped by, say, five men a day, seven days a week.
The men who do this are truly sick . . . the men who pimp little girls and the “johns” who rent them. It is incomprehensible to me how a sane man could do either . . . but then perhaps that is because I do not have the intellectual tools to understand insanity. To kidnap and pimp little girls is insane. To pay for sex with minors (we’ll leave the issue of consenting adults for another day) is insane. So how is society supposed to deal with the immoral people who perpetuate this scourge?
Ethicists, lawmakers, and the law enforcement establishment struggle to answer this question. At least one conclusion is to lay the blame on the perpetrators instead of the victims. And to provide ways out and ongoing support for victims. A few years ago I spent part of a day with a cadre of vice squad police officers in WA state. One overwhelming theme in their responses to my questions was the desire to aid the victims, and both governmental and NGA organizations work hard to do so. (One can check out said agencies in one’s own state.)
The problem continues . . . larger than ever. What can you or I do? We need to at least ask the question and explore possibilities.