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April 30, 2007



I find ironic that in the old days to which we now refer to as ‘patriarchal and oppressive’, women who practiced prostitution were usually believed by most to be victims of evil, cruel and manipulative men who must have abused them somehow; women were thought to be too dignified to prostitute themselves willingly. All efforts were made to remove women from the influence of such men, not to give more men access to them...
Now that we are all liberated, women who turn themselves (or have been turned) into sexual merchandizes are no longer victims but are glorified as ‘entrepreneurs’ and men who treat them like expendable pieces of meat are no longer abusers but players...

There is the concept of choice that tends to cloud the whole issue. According to some, if women ‘choose’ to become prostitutes, the rest of us should only applaud... But abuse, degradation and dehumanization are objective evils, and do not disappear simply because somebody ‘chooses’ to be subjected to them... We could conveniently eliminate all concept of abuse that way; anyone who is treated as less than a human being can simply ‘choose it’ then develop ‘a taste for it’, and everyone will have a clear conscience...

To anyone interested in the actual workings of the sex industries (and able to read French as his works are not yet translated), I suggest books by Richard Poulin. He describes the real face of prostitution and the porn industry in excruciating details, and has probably gathered all the data and studies available on the subject. It is a very difficult read but I recommend it to anyone who wants to arm themselves against the current propaganda.


I'm surprised you bothered to go- you knew you'd dislike it, and you went, and you disliked it!

My boyfriend went to Spain, and refused to see the bullfighting while he was there. EVERYONE kept telling him he HAD to go. People were quite shrill about it. But he knew there was no context in which he would relish watching an animal be tortured to death, so why go just 'cuz it was 'the done thing'.


Its a good thing that you didn't try to take any pictures while in the red light district, because if you had, you probably would have lost your camera.

I have always found it supremely ironic that the prostitutes in Amsterdam are organized into a union...that is just hilarious. I'm pretty certain that it is the same way in Berlin.

Meghan Grizzle

Emily, you'll probably find it funny that when I went to Madrid in 8th grade with my mother, we went to a bullfight. I was nearly distraught after one or two rounds of bullfighting. We left early because it was so sad to watch.

Needless to say, I did not go to a bullfight the next time I was in Spain, after my freshman year of college.

I suppose it is just the tourist and traveler in me that caused me to do these activities. I felt like I wouldn't understand the culture if I didn't at least take a peek. Do you think that's wrong? I was wondering myself if me going through the Red Light District could be perceived as an endorsement of it, but in the end, I just wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was about so I could better comprehend it.


Megan, I don't mean to say I think you were wrong to go- it's a free country- and Holland's very free, LOL! I guess I'm just surprised that you'd *want* to, as someone who has written on this blog about her distate for prostitution. And that's not a judgement- I share your distaste. But I guess it WOULD kind of seem like a vague endorsement to countenance turning up for a squiz. I do see your point though, in seeking to understand things we don't agree with. So I guess, good on you for going. I think it would have sent me into a depression for days.

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