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The NY Times almost gets it right on sex-trafficking

Posted by MDViews on January 7, 2009

Nicholas Kristol of the New York Times almost gets it. It’s encouraging, really. I wonder if he is taking grief from hThe NY Times almost gets it right on sex-traffickingis fellow journalists for his post on 21st century slavery–namely, the sex-trafficking of girls in brothels. It must be difficult to tell your co-workers you are joining forces with Christian groups to stop evil if you work at the New York Times.

The situation is this: In countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) legal brothels kidnap, then imprison young girls and force them to be prostitutes. 

Mr. Kristol tells the tragic story of a young girl, 13, prior to her first period, who was kidnapped, tortured and forced into prostitution. She was regularly beaten, given electric shocks and kept with her hands tied behind her back except when with customers. Apparently, sex with a virgin draws a higher fee as she was sold as a virgin 4 times. (They “stitched her up” time and again.) She had two abortions and was in great pain after the 2nd one, begging her female captor for rest. That’s when the woman gouged out her right eye with a piece of metal. Eventually, the poor girl escaped with help.

Mr. Kristol is appalled by all this and has apparently written about it before. After his first article, he heard from skeptical readers doubting conditions could be so bad.

That’s where Mr. Kristol falls off track.

He assures his readers in his current post that prostitutes do work voluntarily in many brothels. (I’m surprised at his language. It is quite politically incorrect to say “prostitute.” The correct word is “commercial sex worker,” as if a different moniker makes the world’s oldest profession more honorable.) By saying that many prostitutes work voluntarily, he must assume they are well treated and probably chose their line of work from an 11th grade job fair at school. He makes it clear they are not the point of his article.

How can he assume the older women are not also imprisoned, tortured and abused?

The Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), a group to which I belong, has been fighting this battle for years. Slavery and sex-trafficking must be stopped. It goes on here as well, dear reader. CMDA has publications to help doctors identify possible victims of this horrible crime.

But Mr. Kristol should go further. He should advocate for closing all those horrible places, arresting the madams and the johns and fighting this activity with all the strength the law can muster.

The Hollywood depiction of prostitution, aka Pretty Woman and other equally ridiculous movies (it seems a Hollywood starlet is not really a star until she plays a prostitute), is just false. I have provided health care for many prostitutes in my 30+ years of OB/GYN. Drugs, alcohol, depression, chaotic life-style, criminal behavior, abandoned children, multiple surgeries for pelvic pain from STD infections, abortions–all that was the norm. If there are prostitutes who are pretty, smart, clean, saving money for college or just down on their luck as Hollywood always shows them to be, I haven’t seen them.

Prostitution is evil, in and of itself. Plenty evil. And worth our best efforts to curtail with the full strength of the law. That girls are pulled in, imprisoned and tortured makes our efforts more urgent and more needed, both here and abroad.

5 Responses to “The NY Times almost gets it right on sex-trafficking”

  1. MDViews said

    I agree, and it is not that nothing is being done. The Christian Medical and Dental Society deeply involved in this and has worked with the Bush administration on legislation. will take you to their web site where you can read about it.

    You are exactly right about the liberals abandoning women on this issue (and abortion, and euthanasia, and strenthening the family–I could go on) which is why I wonder how that poor reporter is being treated at the NY Times. From what I know and have read about and in the NY Times, few crimes at that newspaper are as serious as violating liberal orthodoxy!

  2. Ceecee said

    One more thing. In stamping out prostitution we should give the bulk of the punishment to the pimps, madams, johns, and brothel owners, as well as support workers (kidnappers, recruiters, guards who help prevent girls from escaping, enforcers who beat or punish girls that try to escape or who don’t want to serve customers, etc. These support workers are important to the evil industry.).

    The prostitutes themselves should NOT be punished, but rather viewed as victims and given help to rehabilitate their lives.

  3. Ceecee said

    This is the human rights issue of the 21st century. While the feminists are busy trying to get the world to accept abortion as a “human right,” these girls need help to escape their slave owners. Do the feminists care about this violation of a woman’s human rights? No, they are too busy pushing abortion.

    Do these girls care about abortion? I don’t know. Probably not enough to give up the chance to escape the forced sex trade. If given a choice between escaping their owners and having an abortion, my guess is most of the captive girls would choose to have their babies far away from the slave owners.

    No wonder I have changed my party from Democrat to Republican. I may not agree with everything on the Republican agenda. But the abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide issues pushed me to change.

    I also see in this human trafficking and forced prostitution issue proof that the Democratic party is no longer the one that sticks up for the underdog. The liberals aren’t always living up to their noble past of standing up for the oppressed. They aren’t trying to help these girls escape or to suppress the modern day slave trade. These girls have a legal right not to be treated like this. They have the right not to be forced to the sex trade against their will. But what is society doing to help these girls exercise these rights? Where are the feminists to defend them? If a cause isn’t promoting abortion, the feminists don’t care.

    Modern feminists are a disgrace to the noble feminists of the 19th century. People like Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are probably spinning in their graves to see what the feminist movement has become.

  4. MDViews said

    I really do wonder if that reporter will be taken to the wood shed, so to speak, for using the word “prostitute”. It is well known in liberal publications that the word “prostitute” is viewed as a pejorative. Commercial sex workers fits better with the liberal world view that woman are free to do whatever work they want without shame. Such views are reinforced by Hollywood.

    To give you an idea of how far down the road liberals have gone in accepting prostitution as an honorable form of labor, I’ve copied one of my posts from January of 2005. Hope it sheds some light on liberal thinking.


    The UK Telegraph tells of a woman in Germany who may lose her unemployment benefits for not taking a job as a whore. Uh…Prostitute. Uhhh….commercial sex worker. Whew! It’s so hard to know what we are calling prostitutes these days.

    Apparently, prostitution was legalized in Germany two years ago. As a result, “sex worker” is now a legitimate employment opportunity in the former Weimar Republic. It seems that a woman, unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits, was asked by a brothel to come and “work”. She turned them down.

    Under a law passed last year, she may now have her unemployment benefits cut because she turned down a legitimate work opportunity.

    As if whoring was the moral equivalent of say, welding parts on a BMW.

    Most of you have probably never met a prostitute, so your concept of a prostitute may resemble Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” Well, I have provided medical care for several woman who made their living as strippers and prostitutes. Glamorous is not an adjective I would attach to any of them. The usual “commercial sex worker” that I encountered was monetarily very poor. She usually had poor hygiene (smelled bad), poor dentition (rotting teeth), one or two children, (usually not living with her) and a past history of multiple surgical procedures (cesarean sections, laparoscopies for pelvic pain and others). She was generally quite unattractive and often moderately overweight which apparently did not decrease her appeal to those who craved her service.

    Maybe the prostitutes are different in Hollywood or in major cities from the prostitutes in southeast Iowa and western Illinois, but I really doubt it.

    Prostitution is a crime to my way of thinking. And not a victimless crime, I might add. The poor woman who finds herself in this lifestyle by choice or force has usually been abused by boyfriends and rarely comes from a stable home environment. Most often alcohol or drug abuse are this woman’s companions. Social diseases are common, even for those who use latex protection. Many of these diseases are viruses carried for the rest of her life. Although she bear full responsibility for her actions, these extenuating circumstances and more help explain her behavior.

    She is victimized by the sexual male uninhibited by societal mores or personal morality. With her, he is free to satisfy himself in whatever perverted way he wishes.

    This sex without obligation or consequence encourages males to stay unattached, unmarried sexual predators further weakening the family and denigrating the role of women.

    One commentator I heard defined each society’s primary role as civilizing its male children and preventing them from becoming adult barbarians. That may be true.

    Yet the liberals and feminists argue that prostitution is a victimless crime and not really a crime at all, just a business exchange between adults. As such, it should be regulated, not criminalized. But if it is just business, just a job, legitimate work, then the situation in Germany is the result. So Germany proposes punishment (removing unemployment benefits) for a woman who declines this “employment opportunity.”

    So, this means that the crime of prostitution, with its abuse of women, with its proclivity to disease, with its emotional scars, with its encouragement of the male monster is no longer a crime in Germany. Not only is it no longer a crime, but it is now a legitimate occupation. Not only is it a legitimate occupation, but now a woman must participate in this detestable act or be punished by the state.

    This is the world turned on its head.

    Solomon spoke about people like that, people who love evil and hate justice.

    Proverbs 2:12-14 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose works are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,…

    Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

    I pray for these woman trapped and drawn into this “job” and for the society that allows it.

  5. This is really sick. I agree prostitution should be stamped out. I think law enforcement tolerates it to a great extent.

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