Sunday, January 31, 2010


Last night was an all-around fantastic night--I kicked it off by going to a concert performance of The Marriage of Figaro, which I had never seen/heard. A friend of mine was the conductor and he (as well as the cast and orchestra) did an amazing job. I then went to a friend's birthday party, which was also very fun.

At one point though, a few of us got into a debate about pornography and prostitution, and I got very frustrated. I still am when I think about it now. I seemed to be the only one who thought either of those professions was demeaning and/or abusive--at one point I was asked if I had ever enjoyed sex (which of course has nothing to do with anything). I was pretty heartbroken, I'm not going to lie. I hate how I can't seem articulate my feelings and my knowledge. I know there are women who do not go into these professions willingly. I know there is sex trafficking in the United States, as well as many many other countries around the world. I know girls are sold into prostitution as young as 3 in some parts of the world. People have seen it, lived it, they can attest to it. And it hurts me to think that some people believe all women have and make a choice when this happens to them.

And that's not to say it's like that for all women who are prostitutes or in porn. Not at all. I'm sure some of them do it because they believe it is the best way for them. But then again, what does that say about our society that they feel this is going to be the best way for them to spend their lives? There are so many variables in every life that could lead to prostitution or porn. Abuse, neglect, an unloving environment, daily insults about one's lack of self-worth.

I am lucky enough to not have to live through that nightmare, and every single person at that party last night is just as lucky. At least the ones engaged in the discussion. It really pains me to think that people make blanket assumptions about choice, especially today.

I have a friend who worked at an organization two summers ago that helped get girls out of prostitution, fought against sex traffickers. It really disturbed her to do it, but she did it because she knew she had to do what she could to help these girls. I saw her face when she was talking about it, and I dare anyone to say all women have a choice in the matter after watching her.


Molloy said...

On top of being an extremely rude thing to say, the question that was put to you reveals the naïveté of the person. Obviously, sex is only seen in the context of pleasure for this person. You, as well as your friend, know that the world doesn’t work that way. Very frustrating.

Tahleen said...

Thanks Jeff. I appreciate it, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the way I do. Sex should be pleasurable, but there are many violent sexual acts that occur daily.