Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flesh Trade





This is a post by the guest of honor Sujatha Sathya.

About the guest
Sujatha is blessed with natural flow of writing. The topics she takes on can range from a microbe to a galaxy; such is her versatility. Following her for the past 6 months, I have known that she is good with the language, (so no turn-offs) and has the talent to project the thoughts, the ideas, and the observations that occur daily amazingly.(so guaranteed 'good-read')






About the Topic
Should the Sex-trade be legal? 
Sex is legal, Trade is legal, why is sex-trade illegal? A topic to ponder, let us hereby know the opinion of the guest of honour. :) 

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Yes it should be.
I am not aware of the socio-political history of prostitution.  But I do know that prostitution has existed since eternity and will continue to exist for as long as human civilization does. So legal or illegal, it will remain; it is here to stay.
I also know that many of them are in this due to poverty or other unfortunate circumstances like rape/abduction/abuse/cheated by husband/lover/boyfriend or sold by father/husband or brother. There are countless women involved in it who run their families with the money earned & are in most cases the sole bread winners of the household.


Even if you say you can rehabilitate them, it’s an idealistic solution which is very hard to be implemented. Where will these women get jobs? And how many can you give jobs for? When skilled, educated workforce is still largely unemployed in India, employing these women would be a herculean task. And even if a few did land some jobs, do you think they would be looked upon with respect? Don’t you think their colleagues & others would proposition to them & harass them with words & gestures? The jobs they are likely to get are as maids. But will the exploitation stop there? They would become easy targets for lecherous men in the house while the lady of the house would conveniently put all the blame on them & they would lose their jobs & consequently, their bread & butter in no time.

When that is the case, and with little or no education to speak of, how does the government or the civil society plan to reintegrate them into the mainstream? And if that were the case, why hasn’t it been done in all these years. The truth is once they are caught in this web, there is no escape for these women.

I don’t mean to say that prostitution should be encouraged as a means of livelihood. All I am saying is, it has existed forever & will continue to exist till the last living man on the face of this planet. For those who are already in it for reasons that involved some form of betrayal from a trusted friend or family member, and have nowhere else to go, if they are faced with the choice of death or life as a prostitute, then what will she do?  
They are ostracized by society and verbally abused and treated as if they were not human at all. For the women if the sigma goes, then they can at least continue to live their life in peace. Otherwise, not only is there no escape for them from their existence but also they have to bear the brunt of being labeled immoral & called names.

Prostitutes are very vulnerable to repeated rapes & physical abuse. Who would sympathize with a prostitute who has been raped? The police would laugh & so would the lawyer. People would laugh too & think of it as a joke. It is not. They are easy targets for physical violence because of the nature of their work. For them it is just another work, something that gets them money to pay their bills & brings food onto the table. But since it is illegal, they have no rights whatsoever; no voice and no opinion.

When I started this post, all I wanted to get across was that maybe it’s time this particular segment of society had a means to get their voices heard too.
 If we make it legal, at the very least, these women can free themselves from the harassment & hafta vasooli of the policemen & the extortion by the criminals or the local goons. Being made legal is only a small respite for them from blood-suckers present within our social framework. It’s their livelihood now whether they chose it of their own free will (which is highly unlikely) or was thrust upon them by fate. Maybe, just maybe, at least that would stop, eventually, slowly, in due course, in time, sooner or later, some day, one day!

103 comments:

  1. I too support the notion that the sex trade should be legalised, for at least one particular reason—it might stop minors from entering the profession. While this profession may never get any respect from larger society, it might get at least the fringe benefits of a service industry.

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  2. Totally agree with this , it should be leagalised. It will be so very beneficials for those in flesh trade and as mentioned save them too.

    Lot of issues though either way

    Bikram's

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  3. This Discussion is really a very serious topic, most of us have known flesh trade only by name or max by movies, But the real world there is much more dreadful than what we can imagine or talk about.

    I also believe flesh trade at certain point also helps in maintaining safer society because people know that they can get things by paying and not have to force someone unwilling!

    So keeping all these in mind and being in the country like us, if legalizing will help reduce their difficulties then I truly vote for it!


    BTW I loved the idea of Hosting a Wonderful blogger like Sujath on yet another Wonderful Blog :D i vote for this too

    Kudos u both rock!

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  4. Great post Sujatha. I too agree that flesh trade should be legalized. It’s just a profession like others and sex-workers should be treated with respect that they deserve.

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  5. @Israr: ?????? is that an expression of disgust ?

    @Sudha: 'the fringe benefits of a service industry' - that's what i wanted to convey! why couldn't i come up with that?! thank you Sudha

    @Bikram: yes, too many complications either way.no denying that.

    @Ramya: you've understood my perspective perfectly - IF legalizing can reduce difficulties....thank you
    actually Ramya nimdu obrudey nodi comment andre bhaya nange---yane twist kodthira anta :))

    @Prasanna: yes Prasanna true, its just another profession, whether we accept it or not, & they should be treated with respect they deserve, thank you for your views

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  6. sujatha sweetheart, you look awesome in the photo! i had to say that :)

    and i am all for legalizing the sex trade. by the way its always good to talk about bold stuff, if we won't who will?

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  7. You both are rocking, ladies...

    I have never thought about this problem so seriously but i have heard and read a lot about police men harassing them when they don't get their share (no doubt some of them are major stakeholders in this business!). If legalizing this profession can protect them from such a harassment, then i am 'for' it.

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  8. Even, I think it should be legalized. Maybe, few of the problems will be solved after that. However, I wish women should be treated more than a sex object...Great post and perspective...

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  9. rape is having sex against a person's wish...somehow many people do not understand that...it's a shame that we have dialogues in hindi film like 'Tawaif ki lutt ti izzat bachchaana Aur Tees maar khan ko qaid karna, oye dono bekaar hai' even today...making prostitution legal will make the world a lot safer for the prostitutes...once legalized you one can pass strict laws to stop violence against the prostitutes..moreover once a women is arrested for prostitution she can never change her trade and find another job if she ever wants...

    great post and i totally agree with you Sujatha...

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  10. Sahana and Sujatha,kudos to both of you..acceptable article...very nice ....very socialistic....

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  11. Sensitive subject and usually I stay away discussing sex on blogs but it is not really about sex.

    In some countries sex trade is legal. Others are heading in that direction.

    Even in the countries where it is illegal, most people do not see it as a crime - so it is virtually legal.

    Bigger question is :- Is sex trade moral? Are we willing to accept a prostitute as our friend, work mate? Are we willing we see them equally as we see other women. Keep in mind, most of the time these women DO NOT choice and they are sold at a younger age. But society still does not accept them ....ARE YOU WILLING TO ACCEPT THEM AS YOUR FRIEND?

    Do not answer 'yes' if you don't mean to.

    My answer is 'yes' and I mean it.

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  12. @Chintan: sahi kaha Chintan - if we wont, who will?
    (thank you, that snap was selected & put up by Sahana)

    @Bharathiraja: yes, some protection for them is what we ask for. after all they really have nowhere to go.

    @Saru: true, even if "a few" of their problems are solved its a welcome breather for them

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  13. @SUB: thank you Sub, am glad you think on similar lines. legalizing will check the violence to soem degree.
    and yes, that Tees Maar Khan dialogue infuriated me no end.

    @Girish: thank you very much Girish.

    @A: me too, i stay away. & no this isn't about it AT ALL.
    as regards the question, it begs self-introspection. & i know my answer is a YES

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  14. Kudos to Sujatha and Sahana for taking this "so-called" sensitive topic in this society. I agree that legalizing sex-trade will solve lot of unresolved issues and bring a fresh lease of life to the victims. A great perspective indeed!

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  15. well i dont deny the fact that this section of society needs to be liberated and given their basic humanly rights atleast.
    but wen it comes to 'legalizing' or 'appreciating' such a thing..its definitely not my call.India is a developing country and the job prospects r innumerable..resorting to such measures is definitely not acceptable.


    sarah

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  16. Legalizing or otherwise, the female double standards is a huge problem. Why legalize something so loathing than solving these issues? Indian economy is growing at such exhilarating rate, there is no excuse to not look forward to noble jobs. Albeit, I am aware that many of them has no choice (or threatened) to prostitution, but if you do have to choose... What would your choice be?

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  17. A very well selected topic Sahana and kudos to you Sujatha, not at all easy to express views on such a sensitive issue....

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  18. @Anand: yes,some issues can be addressed may not be all. thank you Anand

    @Sarah: Thank you Sarah, i know it isn't easy to come to terms with an issue like this one.

    But legalizing in no way means "appreciating". It only means there is a forum to address certain issues & seek justice or redressal if need arises

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  19. @sm: thanks

    @Kiran: if given a choice, NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE would 'want' to be locked up in a room with a strange (or otherwise) man, giving one's body to him while the soul died one day at a time.

    solve an issue that hasn't been solved since the time human civilization began & something that we humans have ourselves created? that would be Utopia.

    I am sure if you or the govt or anyone else for that matter, can promise a "noble job" for the victims & integrate them in the true sense of the word, they would be more than willing. but beware of the numbers! there are 1000s & lakhs of women involved in this.

    and how do we integrate the pimps & the middlemen & the fathers & husbands who sold the women in the first place?

    Indian economy is surely "exhilarating" but there are still countless villages with no toilets/drinking water. why villages? even in Bangalore, in certain areas access to drinking water is still a huge problem. victims of prostitution benefiting from India's booming economy, toh door ki baat hai!

    India's growth story is one of limited reach. miles to go before it percolates to the grassroots in a substantial form

    thank you Kiran for posting your opinion. It wasnt easy for me to talk about this and i really appreciate the time & effort readers have taken to respond. and i value your response. i truly do :)

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  20. @Sunitha: true. i had never dared to do so, so far, on my blog

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  21. Ideally yes, but it is something so fraught with moralistic overtones that it seems difficult to agree totally. Good post!

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  22. @Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    Kiran, let me introduce a new perspective.
    There is NOTHING called 'noble' jobs. It is very subjective. Few people may think it is ignoble to have a manhole cleaning job and some may think it is ignoble to sell your brain to some MNC.
    Some one is selling some body part to make his/her money. So, are prostitutes.
    And if the talks are about morality, societal wisdom etc etc they are the prejudices which have formed over ages.
    Why should we loathe this profession? There are people(men or woman) for whom it is a physical requirement, if someone else can satisfy that requirement and get money out of it, why not?

    And I do agree with Sujatha's reply as well.

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  23. i had written such a long comment... i don't if it got deleted or it just dint post i am sad...

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  24. @Thousif Raza@Thousif Raza
    I do not know what really happened. But, I have a copy of your wonderful comment in my mail. And I am pasting that here. Your opinion is very valuable.
    -------------------------


    i loved your views, they are strong and provide value to what you have to say. looking at your article and arguments in the comment section, sujatha i really feel like making it legal is much better than letting it stay illegal.

    what a woman goes through when she is called a prostitute only she knows... so s making it legal would solve the basic issues where at least they dont have to walk in shame. Everybody says no job is big or small, but no one believes it, because everyone wants respectable jobs like doctors or engineers...

    I ask you when in films and music videos, women are shown in such degrading manner with item songs and what not, and are still treated with such respect that you dance to the tunes with your children in our house, then why can't you see a woman who entered into this trade not by will but by force.... and just let her live her life in peace. i am not asking them to give respect, i am just asking them to accept them as a part of our society and see them as human beings rather than disgusted creatures..

    If you just give one thought abt what a prostitute goes through in one single day, you'd know how painful and soulless her life is, but she lives on, why because she has to feed her baby... she lives on not for her, but for others, if that is not noble thing then what is??... i donno what more i can say but all i can say is... if legalizing would bring them less pain... i am all for it....

    This is one of the best articles i have read.,.. great work ya... it was great to meet you in person, but its is much more great to read your views on such a sensitive topic... great work :)

    Take care and keep writing..........

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  25. Nice lovely Pic there Sujatha!
    and a great and bold post.. I have never thought in this angle..
    you have provided a good insight and thanks for that!

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  26. well documented and thought out post...the fact that they too are humans and ought to have rights is sumtin that is always ridiculed. at least legalising it should help address it.

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  27. This is another must read post by sujatha...appreciable views and well said.

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  28. Many have already brought in the stuff that I need to tell. The trade should be legalized for the very reason of giving them their right to live with no more hazzles in their life than the one they already have. Thought provoking post Sujatha. Sahana thanks for giving Sujatha such a debatable topic.

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  29. Tricky topic and kudos to both of you for coming up with it. I am just wondering what other topics were and why you gals decided on this?

    Few days back Narayan Murthy talked about legalizing giving of bribe?
    My take on this topic: Okay let's make it legal then what?

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  30. It reminded me of the Ban on bar dancers in Mumbai. For Interested ones..
    http://www.indiatogether.org/manushi/issue149/bardance.htm

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  31. @Rachna: definitely hasn't been easy for me - thinking & writing about this because as you said there are far too many angles to it

    @Thousif: oh i so know how it feels when your comment (esp if its long!) vanishes!!

    thanks Thousif for reading & sharing your thoughts. yes you are right - if it can reduce the pain & the troubles they face then legalizing should be looked into. your comment really shows your sensitive side - the Thousif i met at the meet was the very humourous/jovial one :)

    @Sahana: thanks Sahana for pitching in with your perspective
    AND for retrieving Thousif's comment :)

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  32. @KP: thanks Krishnapriya. i too thought about this seriously only now

    @Rohit: ya thats what i felt. You expressed it succinctly, thanks :)

    @chitra: thank you Chitra

    @Ashwini: true, very debatable! and yes to the line "no more hassles than they already have".thank you

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  33. @Kirti: Hi Kirti, the other topics she suggested were:

    1)When should sex education begin?
    2)Which is our national language?
    3)Pros and Cons of working mom/ Stay At Home Mom
    4)Flesh trade. Should it be legal/illegal?

    I didnt want to write on the
    1st one coz i've a 5 year old daughter & this is something i am still jittery about, am not so sure :(
    2nd one coz i really have no opinion about it. i am really fine with hindi :)
    3rd one coz it would be tooooooooo long. hahaha
    I chose this topic because it must have been at the back of my mind somewhere & felt should ponder over it & express what i felt

    as for your other question: once it's legal, the victims can look forward to a harassment free life - hopefully & maybe treated like other human beings who also 'work' though the work maybe different

    And hey thanks for the link Kirti. i will definitely read it

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  34. @Kirti: that was a wonderful link. i read the whole article. hope everyone reads it. thank you so much

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  35. Sujatha,your post felt the pulse of people who are considered inanimate objects to satisfy the thirst of body. You understood the situation very well and tried to elaborate it with your complete capability as a writer.

    Bravo!

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  36. @Neeraj: i am honored. thank you so much :)

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  37. Hey Sujatha.I completely agree with your viewpoint.Its very important that this issue gets highlighted since the perspective of majority on it is very naive.Judgement is passed without thinking on the fact that so many lives could be affected.I am firmly behind you when you say it should be legalized.

    Kudos to you for writing so beautifully.Thank you once again!

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  38. Nice concept to get in a guest blogger.

    The topic is very serious and I agree with the exploitation part. There is no sure way to end it. But are they ways to minimize the exploitation? If so, it would be better.

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  39. A lovely angle to a very sensitive topic. I would love it if women were considered to be something more than just pieces of flesh, but this post really got me thinking.
    I totally agree with legalizing prostitution, if that would help a hundered million women walk on the roads with their heads held high. As you mentioned, most of them have entered this field only because they had no other door to knock. And it is high time, these women received some respect in the society.

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  40. your 115th follower! Guest posts is such a good idea, I see so many doing it these days.

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  41. @Upasana: yes Upasana when it is a matter of the livelihood of thousands of women, being judgmental doesn't help. thank you for your response

    @Nona: no, it cant be ended. never. period.
    can we minimize it? yes.maybe. lets try.
    thank you Nona

    @Deepthi: i remember your post where you'd written 'meat of flesh'.
    yes Deepthi true, a door to knock when in need & some respect, is all they ask

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  42. Ah. This just doesn't sit well with me. Even though I get the logic behind it. Sigh.

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  43. It is high time prostitution is legalised in India, so that all the stigma attached to this profession is removed. I believe the cops and judiciary could focus their attention on other evils and criminal acts. There is no way judiciary can reform this segment according to me, why the hypocrisy well written post Sujata

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  44. @Zeba: that's ok Zeba. it's understandable :) thanks for the response

    @Deguide: thank you Sir. you are right judiciary cannot reform the segment. that was a good observation

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  45. Legalised it or not, I think situation will remain same...overall nicely written.

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  46. Damn! Am I the only one who thought it was legal? It isn't?!

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  47. @A Bumpkin Speaks Man.. Have you forgotten about India being in the US? :P
    Or.. I don't know :-D
    It is currently illegal.. :)

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  48. You made me look it up! :( Anyway, now I may as well link the same: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_India
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_the_United_States

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  49. Now I know who is the Bumpkin is :P
    Thanks for enlightening! :)

    **WONDERING STILL*** :-O

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  50. I was wondering, if the ways to get into it, i.e, soliciting in a public place, keeping a brothel, pimping and pandering, are illegal.
    What are the possible ways of finding the customers for them?
    Isn't this an example of Catch-22 situation?

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  51. "According to a report last year [2005] by UNODC, countries that were major sources of trafficked persons included Thailand, China, Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

    Thailand, Japan, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the US were the most common destinations, the report said."

    Except for Thailand and the US, the countries that are said to be top destinations have all legalized prostitution. Of course, I did not just make that list up, I can provide the link should anyone raise doubts.

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  52. But that's hardly the problem, or is it?

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  53. I did read that.
    But human trafficking is illegal. If a woman by her own will wishes to sell her body for money, that is legal.
    If there are no roads to reach the destination and if the destination is legal place to survive, what is the point? I ponder.

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  54. Mmm.. I really do not know the problems faced by them. What I can comprehend is that the law is just trying to 'keep the cake and eat it too'

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  55. Netherlands stands as prime example: prostitution - fully legalized and regulated; the problems you mention, not being able to solicit, absent (the road to the destination, clear) and yet top destination of human trafficking! Shocking!

    So how exactly would 'fully' legalizing it, help?

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  56. A serious thought about it is telling me that it is a double edged sword. But still, I would say, legalizing would
    1) Regulate human trafficking. Minors who are kidnapped and who are pushed into this profession cannot join such institutions without registration or something like that.
    2) By 'fully' legalizing it, government will be giving that profession too a 'profession' status.
    3) Girl child which goes missing, enters into the red light area has no protection whatsoever. It may be killed, it may be tortured. No one will ever question. Such violence can be brought down because, people actually know where they are! to track down.

    Many more points I can think of. But it will become a looooong comment.

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  57. Nice post. But as person who works with civil society and who has come into contact with many of these ladies- the word is "sex worker" and not prostitute. They are employed in the sex industry and are workers within that. As you rightly pointed out it is not an employment of choice but for many women given the very limited choices in their lives this is possibily the only one option that is available to them. It is very sad but the people who control this so called "sex industry" are not exactly the women who work within it. We may think that the "Madam"is the one who controls but I would urge you to dig deeper and you will find a man somewhere who is actually pulling the strings. A sex worker has a very short work life. She does not have a pension and often her children are vulnerable to being pushed into the same industry. Even NGOs did not actually acknowledge them until the HIV/ AIDs era.. where they were seen as the carriers of the disease! "Rehabilitation" is not the answer. No woman who has earned her livelihood through sex work is going to suddenly start working on a tailoring machine! We need to look for expanding choices within their sphere of work- what about the savings options for them? Pension options? I once came across a 17 year old sex worker who was pregnant but still soliciting because she had no other option..! The issue is prevention- we must ensure that no girl gets into it and that calls for addressing more systemic issues like poverty! Sorry about writing so much by way of a comment!

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  58. Man is legal, slaughter is legal; Why Man-slaughter is illegal?

    Well couldn't resist that question when I read the title of this blog! Be that as it may, I do not think legalisation of prostitution will achieve any of the objectives that author is aiming at. First of all, the taboo on flesh trade will continue for long time and therefore, it is difficult to envisage a situation where many girls will enter the profession willingly, even if it is legalised. That would mean continuation of trafficking as the major source of supply. Legalising the trade is only likely to make it more attractive and easier for the exploiters, no doubt with the complicity of authorities, to continue their activities.

    Need is for more social organisations/ NGOs to work with the sex workers and ensure their rehabilitation. At the same time law enforcement authorities must prevent human trafficking for prostitution. That is the way we can reduce the exploitation.

    While I have no problem with flesh trade, legal or otherwise, I am only concerned about the trafficking and exploitation that are closely associated with the sector.

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  59. I subscribe to Mr. Ambadi's views here, and couldn't agree more to what he supposes, the effect regulating 'the industry' is likely to have.

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  60. A very well presented argument that makes perfect sense but unlikely to happen in our nation due to probable objection from so many religious, political groups with a 'high' moral ground.

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  61. I have some reservations for the title of this post other wise it is well organised and thought provoking. It should be given a respectable name like sex service or something like that. Well, you can disagree to it.......

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  62. @Mithlash: the situation cannot change drastically overnight - true.thanks for your comment

    @Rahul: i just followed the link given above & it appears India is already there! thank you for sharing your thoughts

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  63. Hey, found this link through indiblogger. A nice post, well written. However, I differ in perspective.

    Legalising prostitution in a country like India would only spell more trouble. There are no statistics to prove that legalising has reduced trafficking, especially for children. In fact, in more regulated, developed countries - Australia(Victoria State), Netherlands, it has led to an increase. Imagine India. I can visualise tortorous brothers and clandestine lovers forcing now with a certain air of legality on the issue. There would be no more hush-hush talks, throw away stories on it.

    And by legalising - some say we can offer protection, prevent health hazards etc. I wonder, how is it possible to protect someone who can legally be raped more than once in a day? Does it not sound ironic to even regulate?

    For all of you who feel it can be legalised - read here on Sunitha Krishnan, a crusader and a victim of rape, prostitution talk about it.

    http://sunithakrishnan.blogspot.com/2009/12/should-prostitution-be-legalised-should.html

    Cheers,
    Arch

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  64. @Meera: that's perfectly ok - the comment being so long. in fact, i appreciate you taking the time to throw light on the whole issue esp since you've or are working in this field for these women. and i stand corrected about addressing them as sex workers. i agree Meera that systemic issues need to be tackled first & i wish it would happen on a larger scale. otherwise there is no respite for the, & the exploitation will continue unabated. her financial problems - short shelf life,no pensions, abject poverty, dependent family - are all aspects that need to be addressed. thank you Meera for sharing your insight because it threw up a few things for us

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  65. @A Bumpkin: what can i say? thanks for that link! had no idea really that it was already so!

    @Ambadi: i understand your concerns Sir - about trafficking & exploitation.
    who can know about the legal aspects than someone from the field himself as you are. thank you so much for that view-point.
    i only wish we didn't just leave things at the door of the NGOs to do all the work

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  66. @Mad Jammer: that link & the article there moved me to tears! i cant believe the trafficking multiplied by almost 300% in some countries! thanks for sharing the link & giving a whole new perspective to a very debatable issue.
    btw, i just realized an hour back that in India it is already legal! i seriously did not know

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  67. @Amitabh: my apologies Sir. i understand why you feel so

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  68. Can someone please explain the need for the political correctness besought?

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  69. Amazing post! I totally agree with you but couldn't have put my thoughts into words as eloquently as you did. bravo!

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  70. Food for thought..but prostitution should work bith ways, men and women..then it is fair..

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  71. nice post sujatha ... and a very interesting topic too . reminds me of an autobiography of a sex worker by nalini jameela of kerala . It brings into open the many facets of her personality and their problems . Similarly making the oldest profession legal will definitely reduce the harassment of these women ... if a prostitute is raped can she complain...? in the current scenario no .. but if it is legalised if someone rapes her she can definitely complain against him ....also they can access better health services ...

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  72. @Haroon - How do you think one can provide healthcare services to a person who can legally be raped? Complain, in India - is next to impossible. Yes, it does remind of Nalini Jameela. I would say the post is written well, but the solution/perspective is simply not probable in India.

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. @Boobies: thanks :)

    @Ana: thank you. about working both ways - hmmmmm - didnt get u

    @haroon: in India ,it is already legal! learnt this only yesterday

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  75. good post, gives you a lot to think about...Legalising this profession will solve a very big problem of money, that they strive for and still find it hard to meet ends.
    Legalising will give them place in the society, they can apply for Bank loans, their children(which are considered outcasts and no school knowingly gives them admission)can get education and try to come out of this vicious trap, a lot of their financial problems could be solved.
    The continuos pestering by criminals and police alike would be checked..
    Its not like people don't know their dwellings, but the so called pseudo intellectuals try to keep it hush hush...Sliding the issues under the carpet ,this is what we are taught from childhood...
    But you have started a very valid point.good job done...

    I

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  76. I am not sure how much help the men and women involved in this business will get if its legalized. Technically though, I think Prostitution by an individual as a service offered privately, is already legal in India.

    But we all know how much harassment, fraud crime and corruption is happening in other conventional legal business such as Real Estate, Construction etc. I think the underlying reasons behind wide spread illegal/forced prostitution is poverty, lack of education (and not literacy) of the individuals and immediate families involved and unemployment. This kind of illegal prostitution gives birth to other crimes such as drug abuse, human trafficking and causes many more people to suffer from STD.

    Unfortunately our country today faces several problems which were neglected for years in the name of development and so rehabilitation of prostitutes, counseling centers, medical camps etc are not a priority for government and so the public has to come forward, take action and literally force government to take suitable measures.

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  77. Definitely should be made legal,and unionized.Its is not going to solve the problem of prostitution anyways..that will always exist as long as humans populate the planet..

    Though,I respectfully disagree that prostitution is only done for survival reasons,maybe only in poor countries like India.Let me explain...
    Call girls from a certain club in NY City charge at least 3000$ per hour.Eliot spitzer(governor of NY) was charged 4300$ for a sexual encounter for which he was later charged and made the news..Although escort agencies receive half the money,it is not difficult to understand the lure of this quick cash,especially when compared to jobs like waitressing which pay 9$ an hour...The Prada bags and Jimmy choo shoes cost money and many gals find it extremely lucrative.

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  78. @The Fallen Poet: thank you - you highlighted some of the serious problems they face so well. true, sliding the issue under the carpet is helping none

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  79. @Nitin: ya Nitin i just realized that yesterday that technically it is already legal in India.now what we need is a mindset change, awareness & eradication of the core problems of poverty & lack of education as you mentioned. yes govt is least interested in actually addressing these issue & everything ultimately falls at the door of the NGOs. how much can they do & for how long?

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  80. @Arumugam: yes it will exist as long as we exist, whether we are willing to accept it or not

    i wrote this post keeping in mind those who were "victims" of this profession & not the ones who willingly take it up lured by the easy money,& the glamour. i dont know about other cities, but in Bangalore toh i know that this is a fast spreading means to get those Jimmy Choos. the raids that happen & are shown on media are just the tip of the iceberg

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  81. Laws make it difficult to practice certain occupations - like robbery for example. There are always legal ways to make a living even for poor people. In my opinion, except a few cases, many of them do it voluntarily because of the fun and easy money involved in it. How long will it last?

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  82. Legal or Illegal, one things is for sure- It is the need of the society now.
    A lot of young girls studying in colleges and universities of bigger cities have no wa to support their studies and they do not want to be a burden on their already poor families.
    You understand what I mean, right?

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  83. @Arumugam
    Arumugam sir only in poor countries like India you are saying? What sir? Firstly you tell me one big club call girl charging $1000 means you will think off all clubs charge off so much is it? And also if you know that means you should also know that call girls are different from prostitutes, no? And this $3000 call girl must be something special only, no?

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  84. @Intex 4 Person Mariner Inflatable Boat Set Review

    it is a need of very society - rich or poor.

    no this post is not about women who have voluntarily entered the profession to make a fast buck nor about girls who get into it to fund their education. there are very many ways to earn money if it was for education purpose. education maybe an excuse to actually want to enjoy the high life that such easy money gives them

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  85. Anonymous sir,The point made was it was very lucrative for some women,and not for survival reasons per se.In all developed countries,u will be supported with food stamps,unemployment cheques etc if u r unqualified to work.Anyway as the author clarified,this post was more pertaining to India,where exploitation exists,thus making it legal will definitely help.

    A call girl is different from a prostitute in the same way,as a doctor who makes house calls is different from a doctor who sits at a clinic.The profession is the same only,no?

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  86. @Exciting Songs (ES)

    robbery a profession? that's new to me & i must say i am pretty amused!

    what about girls who are sold off by their greedy & evil father/husband ?

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  87. I should very much like to know your views on 'it' as 'a need of the society', mesdames. Calls for a whole new post, perhaps?

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  88. Arumugam sir I am only meaning to say that legalizing means it will mostly be helping for those who are in the public eye only no? Calls girls are publically only in newspaper columns and some flying papers you will find around in the darker alleys of las vegas or new york or atlanta maybe. Legalising or not means it mostly matters to those who work for that minimum wages no? For someone dealing in thousands of dollars means I was thinking it will not really be a big deal. Such things will abound only with or without all these laws and all. Also small small clubs means nearly minimum wages only, plus too much tips. Easy money yes not for versace but college people also do it I heard to eat and live better.

    I am wrong means sorry. But I am saying India is not america no? Rich men and their call girls and escorts and all ok, but poor men go to our very own bombay, calkutta and shoolay circle. What is problem is small kids and all forced into doing all these things. I have read in prajavani and blogs like thes that these kids have no other escape but into same business. All thes girls find easy lucre means who cares, it is problem only when this other poor business lady's are put into problem, no?

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  89. @A Bumpkin: irrespective of whether we accept its existence or not, whether we take a moralistic stand or not, it has been prevalent for as long as we know because it does cater to a section of the populace. there's a huge number relying on it for their livelihood & another huge number for that is their only release. a demand & supply thing perhaps. that's why it exists in every society/country - rich or poor. thats what i meant. i didnt meant to say we need it in the sense you must have taken it

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  90. I apologize, for I now realize my previous post seems open to be misconstrued for having an implicit sarcastic undertone, only belying my true intentions. I did not, I must clarify, intend to question your statement of 'it' as 'a need of the society'; merely wanted to hear your perspective. It was an open request of sorts, to the ladies here, to know of your thoughts about this society, this demand and supply thing - so well put, your biased views on this gender biased occupation (I'm sure you will agree our views are biased indeed) and thence, for these ideas I suppose are of varying scales, did I suggest this be done in a different post altogether.

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  91. yes and no.....

    i agree by making it legal there will be some respite for them from the police and from all those who somehow get a due advantage of being these women into a profession which is not legally allowed, butttttttt will it change the mind frame of majority of people towards these women who somehow got trapped into this trade by making simply it a legal profession, well i doubt.....

    moreover what is needed more is making them fit to do something on their own by providing them proper training as per their field of interest and educational back ground....and once they are able to learn their bread n butter from other jobs they should be given proper security from the administration n NGOs so that no one can harm them only bcoz fo their past profession.....

    bTW you have managed this sensitive issue very well, A well written post Sujatha...!!!

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  92. @Bumpkin: OK.
    another post? no. i am done.
    maybe you should take this forward now.
    would love to read you.

    @Irfan: thank you Irfan.
    btw, Mr. Bumpkin had pointed out & only then did i realize that it is already legal in India

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  93. @Sujatha Sathya
    Thank you, but I must confess I am too pathetic a writer, if it isn't obvious already. All the more why I appreciate you people's blogs, for coming up with content to write.

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  94. Dear guest, host and the readers,
    This indeed is a big problem.
    2 years back, during the HIV-AIDS Awareness week, I had a chance to interact with a group of sex workers. The purpose was to educate them on safe sex and practices. Initially, to build rapport we probed a little into their personal life and then into their social life and let them talk for a while.
    Their problems are complex and knotty.And as u mentioned, once recognized as a sex worker, it is a blind alley. Majority of those who tried to move out, have either come back or are on the streets.
    They are victims of extreme exploitation and lives a life that we can't even imagine.
    Perhaps they are the one group of people who are denied of their basic rights. Majority are scared to claim it and most of the time their demands are ridiculed and denied.
    In abstract, all that you quoted here are 100% true and at times the situation is worse.
    And as you said, prostitution has existed and will continue to exist. So all that we can consider is legalize it and protect their rights.
    And that do not mean we should promote it.

    Here is a translation of the painful words that a lady spoke:
    "....We had our dreams. We played with dolls and dreamed of a home, family, children, wealth, happiness and peace just as you people. Though you and me are sitting together, the distance that separates us is very big. That is the difference between the dreams achieved and shattered....."

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  95. @leopaw: it's heartening to know about your interaction with them & what the lady said is painfully true. what hurts is there really is no way out of this maze. thank you leopaw for sharing your experience & views

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  96. Hi Sahana, Sujatha

    I honestly appreciate you guys' courage and your social will to take up such a sensitive issue. That really needs three cheers!

    I agree that legalization of fresh trade has had a lot to do for woman in that profession and ideally it should it help them up. But I personally can not justify it because I don't think it is not just the lack of a law which is drawing them into ordeals.. but there are so much things beyond that. For example, I personally don't think that a majority of these woman are choosing that career just because they want to make a living or take care of their family or been cheated by bf/hubby. The majority of them have been fell in trap of sex rackets and even though we say 'they make their bread' in fact it's the mafia behind them who actually benefit out of it. A majority of these poor ladies are just puppets hung on the string controlled by these rackets, and these rackets are so strong and even they have a big political influence that the victims dread to speak against them, and have no choice other than simply obey them. I am sure you might have seen this video by Sunita Krishnan -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE1Ia8yG50A - A very few survive and show the courage to speak up because they don't belong to the very poor community, and they have some power to fight against it..

    I personally don't think prostitution and raping are to be considered with different perspective in India, because many of the rape victims eventually turn to prostitution because they have no other way to escape. Our society will not accept them, but put the blame of being raped also on them only. If we really talk to the 'hearts' of the ladies who are in flesh trade, I am sure each one of will not be liking this 'trade', at their heart… they may not be even wanting to make it a trade!

    Adding a law will no more do magic in a country like India, where lower level people are no way able to utilize the laws or laws have not been EXECUTED properly.. If I take an example of the law against dowry and torturing, has it had any positive impact on our community..? From my experiences of growing up in a village and then living in different cities across India, I can say that NEVER! In fact dowry and torturing have been increased like never before.. In the same way.. even if we legalize flesh marketing, it is not gonna benefit the poor woman, but the sex rackets will make best use of it..This is be a great certificate for them to threaten the ladies, sign a paper saying that 'I am prostitute and this was my choice, I have not been raped' even though she has been raped cruelly!

    Unless those woman are able to speak up and fight for their rights, no legalization or law are gonna help them in reality.

    It is so easy for me to sit in an AC room and type all these, but their life is so hard. My heart goes for them!

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  97. @Nishana: thank you so much Nishana. i watched the video & was moved by it. we are all aware of the atrocities meted out to the women/children/girls who are caught in this and like Sunita said we need to open our minds to be able to accept them as human beings & to provide employment opportunities to them.my intent behind the post was the hope that these women could stand up for their rights within the provisions provided by the legal framework.
    it seems prostitution is already legal in india

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  98. Congratulations for analysing the problem and giving the solution.
    I have never thought the way you did...it is great.
    The article makes one realise the grave issue.
    Best wishes for all you do.

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  99. Great post as always Sujatha.. I had the chance to visit the RLD in amsterdam and got to see a very different approach to prostituion there. They are very tolerant and liberal towards prostituion, and treat it like a profession, give a lot of respect to the girls, just like others..! Have written about that experience in my blog..

    PS: You look fab in that photo of yours!!

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