Could Eve ever have imagined that her kind would pioneer the concept of trading sexual gratification in exchange for money? Postnoon looks into the lives of these women for whom every morning means a new battle!
French poet and novelist, Victor Hugo once said, “We say that slavery has vanished from civilisation, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it only applies to women and its name is prostitution.” This seems to be the truth of the world’s oldest profession. The only change this change has ever seen is probably the variety of garbs. Right from street prostitution to massage parlours, brothels, strip clubs, phone, cyber sex and more!
We have all heard stories of how women have been smuggled, how they have been forced or tricked into rendering sexual favours in exchange of money. But the scary truth is, a lot of women, voluntarily become a part of this ill-fated profession.
You might ask, if these women volunteer to this, the question of ill-fate does not arise — well, the answer is, these women resort to sex work in the hope of getting to live better lives or being able to afford a decent meal a day! However, little do they realise, that their lives will never get better, but will change for the worse.Sex worker K Vijaya says, “When my husband died, the only thing I thought I could do was to cook or clean, but there were no takers in my village.
“Taking to this profession seemed to be the only option left, as it required no skill or qualification. When I started, I used to make `50 a day, but today I make `200 to `300 a day because of my experience.”
She then tells us how it all started, “My induction into this profession was painful. I was beaten up by my customers, I was made to have sex on hard rocky surfaces. One of the most shocking experiences was when a man insisted on urinating on me after the sex was over, and told me that he was pleasured by doing so. He gave me an extra `50 after that!”
Humiliation is a loyal companion of the sex worker. Is this really how they should be treated? While the society labels these women loose and treats them like filth, the question that continues to loom large is who makes them so? Are they not the result of a demand by the very same society?
Another sex worker Adi Lakshmi from Ongole said, “My husband told me he would get me a job and sold me to a brothel. My life has been horrible ever since. I now have a four-year-old daughter, and I am not sure who her father is. This was a result of customers refusing to wear condoms.
Today my daughter and I are suffering for no fault of ours. My daughter was initially refused admission in four schools. Finally one school admitted her, but she is already a victim of ludicrous remarks made by her classmates and some members of the staff. Can you imagine, a four-year-old telling another that her mother is a bad woman?” With tears rolling down her cheeks, she tries hard to continue and says, “Nobody seems to want to understand the difficulties we face.”
This is not just being insensitive — it’s inhuman! It’s easy to read this article or heara news byte and sympathies,but what these people need is to be treated like humans and not like sex trash!
Venkaiah Amma, who was once a sex worker and is now the president of Sex Workers’ Association of Hyderabad says, “We have ‘police protection’ all the time. They ensure that we are never rescued or are able to find alternate means of earning. Some of the women are forced to smoke and drink by the customers, so that they can take advantage of these women when they are not conscious. The sad part is, if a woman is getting `500 from the customer, she pays for the lodge, she pays the broker, bribes the lodge so they allow this activity and all she makes is `100. Which means she has to be able to solicit more than four customers a day to be able to make decent money.”
She continues, “That’s not all, there are a lot of customers who refuse to pay after getting their kicks. Some men, get three or four men and rape sex workers, and obviously don’t even pay for it. There are also times when these men drag women to the outskirts of the city, into train toilets, etc.”While prostitution and other forms of sexual trade is carried out in a clandestine manner, it continues to be the truth and stares at us in the face.
For every woman who takes to this profession, there are nine customers waiting to be serviced!But the questions that need to be answered are; do these women deserve the kind of treatment meted out to them? Do these women only deserve to be ostracised or humiliated? The society can answer these questions for themselves.
About the Author (Author Profile)
I harbour a rebel inside me. A strong urge to make a difference in the society and make my voice heard has driven me to Journalism.
I believe in edu-tainement within ethical boundaries and my work reflects that! A peoples person who loves to have fun, that is Shiba Minai for you!”
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