Sexy politics… (the profession of prostitution)

31 01 2007

When evaluating the ancient business of prostitution, one can only wonder: to ban… or not to ban? This is the topic that The Washington Post has presented, receiving a rather intriguing reply by one who has received the titles of political analyst, journalist, author and teacher; but more importantly, a man who had grown up in a society where the history of its culture as well as its politics has depended on the selling of sex.
Syria is one of the many Arab countries which social values and conduct have been ruled by sexual restrictions and seclusion. This, along with poor education, and a large percentage of people within poverty, are the main reasons why prostitution had played such an important role in their cultures. Although many believe this career to be immoral and only leads to immoral actions as well as breaks within social and family structures, prostitution has revisited countries which have banned it. As people are becoming more politically correct within growing societies, one must question how this profession has become, and still remains,” the oldest surviving profession in the world” (Moubayed). The answer is our dependency on the most taboo subject within the Arab nations; merely, SEX. The animalistic obsession of sex is formed in men especially, when they are deprived from it. In fact, divorce rates are seen by experts as incredibly high, mostly because of different sexual appetites between the couples. The problem is that within
Syria women are seen as only sexual objects, as this is what the men are deprived from the most. When men lack a sexual outlet for their needs, many problems arise. The first being the lack of respect for women. The second is that the lack of this sexual outlet, “actually fuels more dangerous sexual deviations… They can neither work or think properly, affecting overall production in society” (Moubayed). But what does this have to do with Politics (other than men contributing less economically)? Prostitution has been highlighted throughout Syrian history as not only a release of sexual frustration, but also a source of money and military assistance. When prostitution was legalized, the profession was not only taxed, but also considered an official governmental position. Prostitution centers were maintained by the government and watched over by military men. During wars the prostitutes became a tool of diversion for the other country’s soldiers; set up in order to prevent the rapping of Syrian women . Although prostitution may be viewed as wrong by Arabic leaders, as well as people from other nation , in many ways it can be recognized as helpful for the a government, economy, and mental state of men within society. Even if an Arabic country has attempted to eliminate the profession, as seen throughout history, prostitution still exists illegally.The point being made is that prostitution should be made legal throughout Arabic countries, especially
Syria. When reading responses from others such as lawyers, journalists, teachers, and other political enthusiasts, I found some interesting view points which I believe should be brought to light. Firstly, could there be another option, other than prostitution, to help the Arabic views of women and bruised mental state of men, lacking sexual relief? A Mid-Based journalist poses this question with an obvious answer that is easy to miss. When looking at
America today, we see a large percentage of the population of men who do not need prostitution as an outlet. This is probably because of the subjects of sex much less taboo, and chastity less stressed. Males and females are able to exist equally, and frankly. An option other than prostitution can be stressed education on sexuality and its norms as well as less of a barrier between the sexes. An evolution of knowledge is needed in order to gain respect and lessen the possibility of a psychological sexual disorder.

After reading the blog, I agree with Moubayed, that prostitution should be legal in these Arabic countries; most importantly,
Syria. But the question posted asks not if prostitution should be legal in
Syria, but if it should be legal anywhere. At first, when examining my own beliefs on prostitution, I realized that I respect women’s rights to her own body, and what she chooses to do with it. Prostitution is just another profession. Who am I to look down upon a woman who feels that this is her career path? Although we see most of
America content with prostitution being illegal, the profession still exists.  And in
America we see a rise in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. I believe that if prostitution were regulated we could also somewhat minimize the spread from prostitution, as well as create a more “safe and healthy environment” (‘Ahab the ancient Syrian’) for the women who chose this career path. Therefore, my vote is to not ban.

Question: Should prostitution be legal anywhere? 

Blog response by: Sami Moubayed

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/sami_moubayed/2007/01/sexual_repression_in_syria.html

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