Your Revenge (2)  

Posted by H in , ,

I already shared in the previous post's comments the reply I sent him, and his answer. But here's to elaborate a little...

Y's reaction is understandable, as I said before, because he obviously got hurt pretty badly by the outing of his significant other. He was apparently humiliated because of what she did, and because of the impact on his personal life. And we all know we make radical decisions when we're angry or hurt.

Yet I cannot help but to disagree with his reaction, both on a personal and on a social level. First of all, it seems obvious to me that his girlfriend was hurt in the process too, and possibly more than him. If they were a couple for such a long time, she obviously had feelings for him and felt incomfortable at times for hiding the truth from him. Also, the outing has a stronger and direct impact on her personal life than the indirect one it probably had on Y (this is of course only speculation. For all I know, Y could have been runner up for some big position somewhere, thus getting hurt really bad in the process). And even though Y tells me she did it for the money because she liked this lifestyle and enjoyed it and lied to him, I still always fall back to this same pattern, this same, powerful and irresistible addictions, and I think she's more to pity than Y. But again, this is mostly speculation, maybe she was an horrible monster, and she used him. Some are of this kind, unfortunately, and I wouldn't be as dumb as to blindly defend all escorts on earh for being saints in devil's diguise.

But I think letting some time go, keeping things as quiet as possible, possibly breaking up and then helping her might in the long run have more impact than the vigilante's approach.

I do not believe one bit in the effect of this kind of assaults on prostitution networks. They mostly bring shame to the girls with no real damage being done to the networks and to the social roots of the prostitution business. Of course, you'd tell me that in time of war, killing the soldier on the other side of te front-line won't ideologically change a thing to the moral grounds of the war, but that if you manage to have the enemy run out of troops, you'll eventually conquer. And be a mass-murderer, whether you did it for a "right" reason or not. Trying to take down prostitution networks, whether they are the ones based on sex-slave trafficking or more polished higher-level escorting agencies, by arresting all the girls and boys out there won't change much to the situation.

There a social stigmas to address first. There's first of all a gender inequality we have to fix, which is the root of all evil here. But can it even be addressed? After all, men and women are utterly different, though both humans. They have different chemical reactions and different hormones ruling their bodies, different chemical markers, different physiologies. And... that's pretty much it. I believe everything else is just the pure fruit on education and social contexts. So longing for complete equity might be wishful thinking, but a social common denominator doesn't seem that impossible to me. Yes there are difficult issues to address, for instance in the professional level (pregnancy and maternity leaves always come to mind). But overall, I think the current status of prostitution (and the one it had for centuries, for that matter), comes down to the vision we have of women. Not that women don't have a similar vision of men. But they don't have the social leverage to impose it, so they're the one struggling under the hammer.

Of course fixing gender equality mentalities won't be done in a snap of fingers. There are strongholds that need to be attacked first. For starters, the judicial system, which sometimes gives precedence to women (think divorces and shared custody cases), but mostly gives precedence to men (think everything else: male prostitutes, pimps and male customers all have less issues than their female counterparts). If we could only fix one thing, that would be the one to start with. Because then, if we cannot rule out prostitution (and should that even be done? Couldn't prostitution be performed on legally and morally, gender-agnostic grounds?), at least we could start controlling it, fixing it from the inside, rather than by firing at the dummies on the outside, while the patriarches and matriarches get away with a slap on the wrist. Improve legal and social cover for sex-workers. De-criminalize prostitution, make it a legal institution, with its laws and regulations, protecting the workers, the employers, and the customers.

The swedish approach is interesting too: you decriminalize the prostitution providing services, while you still penalize the ones acting on it, buying it. It seems sort of illogical at first, but somehow better than a complete dumb blockade. Providers are (mostly) doing this job out of necessity. Whether it's legal or not won't change a thing. Don't come telling me customers buy the services out of "necessity"! Or maybe if we would stop all prostitution networks overnight, we would see a giant spike in stress-rates of the (generally male) population, but maybe there's something else at the system a fault for this. Maybe we're just too much a bunch of tight-asses to accept that this stress is here and we have to deal with it, and that it comes from our social boundaries, our etiquettes and law-less regulations. Following this approach, you prevent people from buying it, making them realize that the ultimate source of this depravation (geez, it could sound like I'm turning right-wing / republican... sorry about that), it's above all them, who generate it.

Y's approach also strucks me on a personal chord, as he seeks revenge in strangers' despair. He helps to take down girls who he never knew beforehand, after having fucked them, and apparently taking pleasure in their demise. And that's just wrong. There's a reason why we have judges, advocates and jurys. It's because the victim cannot be a reliable, impartial judge. A victim is blinded by anger, by pain, by sorrow. That's why modern (well, not that modern, but whatever, you get the idea) judicial systems aim at providing courts with the decisional power, and to force the mass of the people to have faith in their judgment for the community. Here, Y was a collateral victim, and then becomes a judge, with his full power.

You could also criticize the way there arrests are made: by ways of prostitution themselves. That's just completely unethical, if you ask me. Kantian philosophers would prefer to take their eyes out than to see this. Utilitarians can smirk in the background, thinking it pays in the long run, though as discussed above, I don't think it will. This is just a complete mess, the destruction of another handful of lives, for no real achievement, and with the perverse effect of reinforcing some people ideas that they've been unfairly hurt and deserve revenge over a general evil, which they embody in anyone parttaking to a similar activity, though without direct connivence.

It is. just. wrong.

Now it seems Y is more or less at peace now, because of this. Or is it because of the years that have passed? And what piece did it bring to him to know that he was engaging in sexual relationships with girls who were possibly also dating other men. That he became part of the machinery, in a perversely double-axed way? Did it satisfy him to mock these girls and make them infuriate by diminishing them, their services, their lives, and their lives to be? Apparently it did. And if you ask me, *that* is where society fails. In educating masses to accept pitfalls, and not act on them by seeking revenge, without fighting evil with another evil; in teaching masses not to take personal pleasure out of pain, to erase its own scars; in preventing masses from becoming its own dismise, its own cancer.

Some will say that's overly harsh. It sure is. I consider prostitution as part of this global "cancer". But it's there anyway, and there are *reasons* for it, *issues* that need to be addressed, quests that need to be fought.

I'm a conscience objector when it comes to these things. I just can't see how a wrong thing done for the right reason can be anything else than just wrong. Yes I also sometimes abide with utilitarian approaches, and think of a greater picture, but I can't accept to let anyone down, especially if it doesn't really save anyone on the way.

Still, I'd like to thank Y for contacting me and sharing this with us, as I definitely is an interesting topic and dead-on when it comes to the matter of relationships with sex-workers, and how it affects one's ego. I would really be curious to read other testimonies from other sources, and encourage everybody to come forward with their stories. But also, I encourage you to let your ego at the door and meditate on what really hurt you, if you were hurt at all, because I think humiliation is more a stigma imposed by your peers because of their narrow-mindedness than an absolute rule. And in that case, humiliation is not justified, and you should seek other peers, with decent moral values.


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