A few weeks ago my husband Jay had a conversation with the owner of a hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. The hotel is located in the red light district, and the owner was telling Jay that 1 in 3 of his customers uses prostituted women. The majority of these men range in age between the ages of 50 and 70. When asked about prostitution, this is what he had to say:
- “There are no pimps in Costa Rica. If there are, it would be a maximum of one or two for the whole country.” Considering we already know of one pimp in Costa Rica, it is clear this guy has not done his research.
- “The women are all doing this willingly and get rich doing it. Prostitutes own half the real estate downtown! None are forced into it. They have an easy job, making money on their back.”
- “Men are the real victims, because women are able to exploit them through seduction, persuading them to spend more and more money.”
I don’t know about you, but it disturbs me that some people think men who use prostituted women are victims. Though this was the first person we had met face-to-face who thinks of men as victims, it is a popular mentality and held by many to be true. If a guy ever tried to convince me that he was the victim of seduction by a prostituted woman, I would simply tell him to not wander around in the red light district. Forgive me, but my pity does not extend to such “victims.” Though there are some women who choose to sell their bodies for sex and go out of their way to seduce men for money, the overwhelming majority of prostituted women are victims. Victims due to socioeconomic factors, manipulative relationships, deceit, fear, or in extreme cases kidnapping and forced prostitution.
What it comes down to is this: men have the power to decide whether to pay for sex with a prostituted woman or not. Prostituted women often do not have the power to say no to having sex with a paying customer.
So who is really the victim here?
Trafficked women have been abused enough. If their abusers begin to see themselves as victims, we will have a serious problem on our hands. Your thoughts?