Again prostitution has been an institution which has made women a commodity throughout the social evolution of humanity around the world. There is ample proof that in the early days of the human civilization the social structures were more balanced with reverence and respect for womanhood and the feminine principle. But from last few thousands of years everything changed for the worse with a heavy emphasis on the masculine domination of the world in every sphere of life. This gave great incentive to the society to use ruthless physical power of masculinity to control and rule the world. It did not matter to anybody that because of this shift of attitude one half of humanity was relegated as second class citizens in the world.
During these dark ages women were only sought after as commodities for physical pleasure of the few or they were only seen as instruments for reproduction and procreation to bring a new generation into the world. The special place that womanhood had in the early years of civilization was completely lost. Whenever women asserted in those dark ages with individuality they were suppressed and persecuted. Branding women as witches and burning them on the pyre was a common method to eliminate bold and individualistic women in the society.
Prostitution was developed as a trade to satisfy the physical lust of a few in the society who yielded power and authority or it was used as a mass opium to satisfy the lust of the society and thereby keep a check on the unrest in the society against the power centers of the day.
Though such overt suppression, manipulation, exploitation and commoditization is not seen in today’s world but the manipulations and exploitations of womanhood and the feminine continues in a covert way in a society which is still patriarchal in nature and which rules through power and control. Today’s manipulations and exploitations are indirect in nature and they are mostly hidden in the form of a glass ceiling for womanhood. Women cannot aspire to equally participate in shaping the economical, social, religious and political progress of humanity. In all these spheres of life there is definite glass ceiling for womanhood which is hidden but which is very powerful and regressive. In these kind of circumstances there is a imbalance of power and control favoring immensely the patriarchal society. Women fall prey and become ready victim to this setup. To remain economically independent, many of them fall for the easy lure of making a fast buck by taking up the profession of prostitution and satisfying the insatiable lust of a patriarchal society. Here the real issue is the conditions and demand created by the structures of the patriarchal society which pushes women into prostitution. This is the fundamental problem that needs to be addressed.
Further when we look prostitution from an individual point of view, we can further visualize the subtle controls and manipulations of a patriarchal society and how it shapes the attitude and decisions of a person thereby making him readily a victim to its controls and manipulations.
Let’s accept the fact that a person who is into prostitution does not have a great sense of purpose emancipating from the soul that he/she tries to fulfill from this occupation. Basically the most immediate cause of a person who practices prostitution is economic in nature. It’s a way to earn some fast money.
Further if you scratch the top and look into the depths of the issue, you will find that people who have fallen into this trap are individuals who had a very difficult childhood either because of lack of love & nurturing from the parents and the social environment, lack of proper education facilities and trauma & abuse of some kind at the physical, mental or emotional levels.
The problem gets compounded as the individual grows up and tries to either rebel out from the society or she is left all alone to fend for herself by the society. This leads to a situation where economics also comes into play and to become economically stable the person tries to find an easy way out. So it can be never said that a person gets into prostitution by choice. In fact it’s the society which most of the times pushes people into this profession.
Use of the body for doing business with sex as the service is very damaging to the physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well being of the person. Sex is that divine aspect of nature which involves the feeling of love and companionship or at least a short-term attraction and bonding.
But prostitution makes sex mechanical for its participants especially for the service provider. The whole process even does not have the involvement of the body let alone the mind, the heart and the soul. This leads to a traumatic experience in the long run with the person loosing the capacity to feel love from the heart and the soul. There is total suppression of the inner voice from the heart and the soul and the person just lives a very mechanical and physical life with a total blockage of his/her emotional well being, mental and intellectual well being and the spiritual well being. Such a person ends up adding more of the negative vices and forces of the materialistic and physical world and she ends up drifting along a life which looses all its purpose. This is a sure way of a wasted life. This is a life which has lost all its meaning in true sense.
Similar is the fate of the person who is the receiver of the service. Such a person actually takes the service of a prostitute to satisfy his physical urge which may have accumulated due to a life style full of stress and materialistic pursuits. A person with a heavy burden on his shoulders because of his life style and a person who has lost touch with his mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well being is the person who gets drawn into this situation of physical gratification.
Coming back to the social structures of the day, it’s very clear that prostitution is fuelled by the patriarchal society that we have. It is a truth that has to be accepted. Where there is demand there is supply.
But the initiative to find a solution to this problem should take place first at the individual level. Individuals should embrace an attitude to live a life which is fuller and which is meaningful and purposeful to him/her as well as the society. The individual should understand that sex is not at all bad per se and he/she should live a active sexual life. It is the choice of the individual to be in love with one person or many but the relationships should be based on truth and should never involve manipulations and exploitations. On the other hand the individual should also understand that purchasing and selling sex is a sure path to a very-very average and troubled life.
The responsibility of the Society lies in taking care of its weaker section that is more susceptible to fall in the trap of prostitution. It has been seen that most of the times the people who fall into the trap of prostitution are the people with a troubled and difficult past or a troubled and difficult present. Society should ponder on what to do with this situation?
This is again a curse which won’t go away from the society immediately. Anybody can fall into this trap anytime in life and the mitigating factors are many. But there are definitely some basic underlying conditions which spurt the growth of this curse. These underlying conditions emerge from the structures of a patriarchal society and they are supported by the patriarchal society.
Therefore the real issue at hand is how to begin work to eliminate the root cause rather than stemming the symptoms of the problems which is seen much latter.
Article by Sanjay Nair
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