This month’s issue of Marie Claire, a decidedly secular women’s magazine, contains an article that glamorizes the flexible and benefit-filled profession of none other than prostitution. “Prostitution Gives Me Power” by Jillian Blume tells a variety of stories about women in Holland who are “using their bodies to foster trust, compassion and happiness in the world.”
The glamorous and carefree glimpse into the world of prostitution not only incorrectly portrays reality, it insults the millions of women and children around the world who suffer and sometimes die because of prostitution, human trafficking and forced sexual slavery.
“Prostitution not only degrades women, it debases the people who are lured into believing that humans are just objects to be bought and sold, used and tossed aside for personal pleasure,” said Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America (CWA). “In making sex a product, it cheapens humanity.”
The Marie Claire article contains no statistics or expert opinions and does not attempt to provide a realistic view. Instead, Jacqueline, Roos and Winnifred, three prostitutes, give their personal testimonies. Prostitution is legal in Holland, and this one-sided view idealizes its good pay, flexible hours, feminine empowerment and sexual freedom.
To Jacqueline, “Prostitution is like social work.”
Roos notes: “Prostitution gave me a growing consciousness of my sexuality and a lot of personal strength. But I’ve found that the rest of the world doesn’t think as positively about expressing sexuality.”
Winnifred enjoys her job and being in charge of her life. She is also a wife and mother who says of her husband, “We’ve had some serious discussions about my work, but if he complains, I have my ways of putting him back on the right track!”
This outrageous article strips away any respect or sacredness for sexual activity, the family or a moral society. Instead, it regards sex as another avenue for profit, power and good business. If people do not support or understand these women’s viewpoints, then they do not think as positively about expressing sexuality. Why an American woman’s magazine would promote a practice that objectifies, abuses and degrades women is beyond comprehension.
The Fifth Annual Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, released last June 3, reiterated the great tragedy of prostitution and trafficking around the world. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the press conference, “Whatever cruel form of servitude they may take, trafficking victims live in fear and misery. And wherever the trafficking trade flourishes, the rule of law erodes, corruption thrives, public health suffers and organized crime threatens the security of entire communities.”
A letter to the editor from Amb. John Miller, director of the State Departmentfs Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, expressed his frustration:
Your article irresponsibly ignored the tremendous violence endured by women used in prostitution, instead choosing to glamorize this issue with a few highly atypical examples. Recent academic research in nine countries found that 57 percent of women in prostitution were raped, 73 percent were physically assaulted, and 68 percent met the criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the same range as treatment-seeking combat veterans. And 89 percent of these women used in prostitution said they want to “escape” from what your magazine attempted to portray as a legitimate, even joyous, occupation.
CWA supports the protection of women and children around the world. Marie Claire‘s flippant disregard degrades the family, women and society.
Amelia Wigton, a recent graduate of Liberty University, is a CWA intern.