opinion
Text in which the author defends ideas and reaches conclusions based on his / her interpretation of facts and data

"Salauds" indeed

The signatories of this manifesto in favor of prostitution take it for granted that women work in the trade freely, either as a remunerated job like any other, or just for pleasure

"Some of us have gone, go and will go to the whorehouse [...] and aren't ashamed of it." The 343 self-proclaimed salauds (swine) who have signed the manifesto in favor of prostitution lately published in France are unwilling to feel ashamed of purchasing sex, but possibly they ought to feel ashamed of being provocateurs, and of toying so lightly with matters that concern the life, death and liberty of tens of thousands of women throughout the world.

The signatories take it for granted that women who exercise prostitution do so freely, either as a remunerated job like any other, or just for pleasure. But the reality is far different. Given that these men are intellectuals, it would not have been hard for them to find documentation, among the thousands of studies that exist on the trafficking that goes on in Europe concerning women who are objects of brutal sexual exploitation. And given that they are French, they might have paid attention to Victor Hugo, who was one of the first to denounce the slavery that he observed in the treatment of prostitutes, who were transported like cattle from province to province and brothel to brothel. It was Hugo who, more than a century ago, wondered how men who spoke against slavery could be unmoved by the cruel fate of so many women.

"We refuse to let legislators decree norms on our desires and pleasures," the manifesto proclaims. What courage! As if legislators throughout the world had not for centuries been decreeing norms on the desires and pleasures of the average citizen. Do prohibited drugs not give you pleasure? Is the pedophile not expressing his desires?

We refuse to let legislators decree norms on our desires and pleasures"

However amusing the salauds may find their manifesto, the reality of prostitution in France is far from funny. No doubt in France as in other parts, there exist women who work as prostitutes voluntarily. Of course there are cases like Pretty Woman and Belle de Jour. But prostitutes who resemble Julia Roberts and Catherine Deneuve are few in number, and countless studies exist to show that not even 10 percent of the women who exercise prostitution in Europe do so in complete liberty. The immense majority come from Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and are controlled by pimps and mafia networks, in conditions of servitude. Do the salauds have no eyes in their heads, or have they taken no trouble to determine the situation of the women they pay for sex? Or perhaps they only go to upmarket brothels, the kind where the girls have college degrees? When they demand "hands off my whore" are they referring to those unusual women for whom the job is profitable fun, or to those who slake the desires of 20 or 30 men per day, sleep a few hours and start over again?

You don't need to look far to find the real problem with prostitution. In China, 100,000 girls per year are kidnapped or sold for use in brothels. In Spain, some 90 percent of women who exercise prostitution are not Spanish: of the 19,027 recently counted by the Civil Guard in 1,070 motel "clubs" along the highways, only 374 were Spanish. The rest, 18,655, came from Eastern Europe (34 percent) Latin America (58.5 percent) and Africa (seven percent). Practically none of them had a work permit.

Every year, the Spanish police free more than 3,000 captive prostitutes, most of them from Africa and Eastern Europe, controlled by mafia networks - a figure that the police themselves consider minimal in relation to the total volume of victims. Only a few days ago we heard of the suicide of Adriana, a Romanian girl of 24 who jumped off a bridge in Catalonia, unable to bear any longer the exploitation she was being subjected to. Obviously, Spain is not a special case. UN reports confirm that France is another country highly appreciated by the same international mafia networks.

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