I once happened to passed by GB Road, Delhi’s red light area. I saw dozens of cramped houses and small pigeon hole like room with a tiny window from where the girls were waving. All of them in gaudy makeup, open hair, and shiny velvety clothes which had no sleeves but mostly straps. The girls were trying to play seductress and their clientele, given the surroundings, must be, police men, small time shop keepers, transporters, rickshaw pullers, tea stall owners etc. I was wondering how many of these must be HIV, STD carriers. Many of them must be suffering from cervix cancer and they don’t even know about it. These women are socially boycotted; they don’t come under the limits of society. They are forbidden souls, outcasts, dirty. But closing our eyes to their existence would not lead to their disappearance. They have existed from time immemorial and they would continue to do so. Instead of just ignoring their presence why can’t we take them along and bring them into main stream society?
May be legalizing their profession would help. It would be the first step towards acknowledging their presence. It would also help control child trafficking and illegal sex trade. It would create responsibility for the government to think about their health, well being and also will lead to policy making for them. Their rights as humans would not be violated because then they will be able to contest that. In fact I can choose to dedicate the entire post on the benefits of legalizing their profession. But the question here is why we are not in favor of this? I guess the pseudo morality that we teach everyone, comes in our way. What happens in a hush hush matter would happen openly. Men would still continue to visit them but then they would not be called “Gentleman” by their peers. After all, exploitation has been the means throughout ages to exercise power and control and this means would be taken away in case prostitution becomes legal.
In a survey, somewhere I read that 50% of the women in this trade are married and are doing this with their family’s consent. The reason is not poverty for them but to earn extra money. The reason is the same for all those coming from affluent families. Extra money means extra luxury, more things to flaunt and make an impression among your peers. The idea is so powerful that women do not hesitate to shed clothes and sleep with strangers. That is how money manipulates. The rich and powerful would continue to manipulate and there is no stopping to it. At least we can take measures to control it by legalizing their profession.
Many people, who are in favor, stress on the fact that prostitution helps in keeping rape cases low but I don’t think so. Rape is committed by people with demented brain. Rape is going to be a separate topic for me to discuss and I don’t think legalizing prostitution would help controlling it much. I favor, because I stand for their rights as humans. As humans they have all the right to live with dignity and respect. I favor the same for the eunuchs too because they are humans first and sex should not be ever considered as a base to count someone in or out of social limits. I am not a part of such society then which chooses its members based on reproductive organs.