So, what began as a blog post has expanded into something much more – an impromptu, informal, personal research project. Here are its beginnings, and my beginning thoughts. I will post more formalized and coherent thoughts as I write them.
A friend of mine forwarded a video report from 2004 (2004! Seven years have gone by…) on the sex trade and industry in Calcutta, Bombay, and other eastern cities. I was shocked at the perspective of the brothel owners and clients. No shame, no sign at all that what they are participating in and perpetuating is at all wrong.
“This [prostitution] is the need of the society, the need of the male person. If this need is not fulfilled, I think they will commit some rapes of some good girl…of the good ladies in the society. This the good thing for the society also.” says the local chief of police in Bombay during the above video report.
“As brothel keepers and tavern keepers, widows (and those who passed as such) might earn a better living than seamstresses, domestic servants or field laborers.” quoted here.
The way I wrap my mind around this is to look at our human condition. Humanity is depraved, so we lie, cheat, pay to have sex with girls and women who may have no other options, take bribes, fail to defend the powerless. Humanity is depraved, so we create depraved social systems, such as human trafficking networks, and intentionally obscure and conceal this shameful information from the public. This concealment perpetuates ignorance and apathy. This is why the sex trade is lucrative, why so much of it is kept hidden away, and why it still exists after thousands of years. The public does not know, or it does not care.
I’m sure someone much more intelligent than I has said that we humans, as a species, should be advancing morally as time rolls on. How can this be so, if in Calcutta, India, the Durbar organization reports that all sex workers are over the age of 18, none of them face violence, and none are exploited by their pimps or brothel owners. The UN reports that 30,000 girls are forced into sex slavery through Calcutta every year, in direct contradiction to Durbar’s statements. Outright lies pass for truth.
In your majesty ride out victoriously
for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!
~ Psalm 45:4