Saturday, August 01, 2009


"Mom leaves two kids alone while she works at strip club"
(Orlando Sentinel)

Ok what is the first thought that came into your mind? 'Horrible' I would assume? You can be forgiven for that really.

"A 26-year-old mother of two is accused of leaving her young daughters home alone while she worked at a Brevard County strip club. Fiordaliza Collado-Ramirez of Palm Bay is facing charges of child neglect, according to police. Police went to an apartment in the 300 block of Mercury Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday after a neighbor called and said one child -- a 5-year-old girl -- was on a balcony. The other child, a 4-year-old girl, was ill and lying on a couch, police said.

I do not know what the laws are for child neglect in US. I even do not know what were the intentions of that woman but I am dead sure majority of people wold have called her a whore. I am not an angel as well. Instead, I was thinking of something else. What if she 'had' to go to strip club so that she could earn for her children? Had she not, she would have lost perhaps even this opportunity to earn for her children?

I can relate this story to another form of employment as well, its called Prostitution. Everybody it seems hates the word and the profession - still its a thriving business. Prostitution in Pakistan is a taboo word. You can 'avail' the services but make sure yo do not talk about it because its the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Sssh. Things like this do not happen here.

Prostitution is the most abusive form of employment - especially in Pakistan. Poverty really is a curse. Most of the women that end up in this hole are from impoverished environments. Poor girls are told there is work opportunity is big cities so they can support their families. Others have children to feed and no source of income. Usually their husbands are abusive or drug addicts. Majority of them are themselves drug addicts and thus end up being abused. Their 'benefactors' take all the benefits and leave them to do the labour.

Then there is a group who 'analyzes' the prostitutes and prostitution business - like what I am doing right now. We are the true definition of vultures. At one side of the divide, there is the conservative camp who in totality want this practice to be abolished in Pakistan and not a word to be uttered. On the other hand we have the liberal who say that since prostitution can not ever be eradicated therefore it should be legalized so that 'worker abuse' is minimized and better health care provisions be administered.

My issue with the Right camp is that 'total abolition' of it is almost impossible as 'demand' side is the thing that will never cease. I also have issues with liberals who basically want institutionalization of an exploitation. Yes I agree that regulations are required in this area because employer abuse with regards to employee is rampant and a huge area of health hazards is totally unheeded.

What is missing is the 'alternatives' for women in this profession. No one discusses options to 'lure' them somehow from it, perhaps vocational training, social loans so that they can start some business, state or NGO protection where they can lead some normal life at least. Yes I know Prostitution can never be eliminated, there are people in it who earn a hell load of money and it IS lucrative business and that men will never run out of sex appetite. But at least one should do something for the 'majority' of women who do not want to be part of it and want a normal decent life.

Kudos to them. Or is it Adios from our side?


a fan said...

Not sure about Pakistan, but i think there are quite a few NGOs in India for rehabilitation of human trafficking victims.Here is one example. I heard about this NGO through a program in CNBC 4 years ago and the Chief Functionary (Sunitha) was a rape victim.

Still, human trafficking has never been/ will never be eliminated. Because i think the demand outstrips the protection efforts.

This is exactly the reason why i fall on the Liberal side of legalizing it. (although i haven't analyzed it from a 360 degree perspective)
Atleast in that way, there is an exact count of prostitutes in a country and the NGOs can directly participate with them for rehabilitation efforts. Also, it would drastically reduce the human trafficking misery.

btw, for a change, i didn't think Horrible on reading the line about the working Mom. As a professional, while a lot of people sell their brains, some do their body :)
And she is better than a few South Asian moms who dump their unwanted kids.

The Chef said...

Agree with Fan on the last part especially if you consider that it can practised like that in places like Holland/Sweden. I saw a documentary about this on one of the channels about such mothers in Las vegas strip area. Apart from their professional status, they are perfectly normal and most of them lock their children in the home for the night as they can't afford and won't get any babysitters.
However i think in a place like Vegas it could also be a profession of choice (even if last resort) however in SouthAsia it would mostly be a consequence of human trafficking, abandoned girl child and social abuse etc.