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Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category

Legalized Prostitution

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Amsterdam To Close Many Of Its Brothels, Marijuana Cafes, Sex Shops.

I’m so torn about this because prostitution is a good way for a woman with no skill to earn a living, but the problem that I see that is most prevalent is that prostitution equates women to objects that can be bought and this mindset can trickle over to women who are not prostitutes. It’s a way of perpetuating patriarchy and I really don’t find it in the least empowering. Most importantly, it also causes problems like enslavement and trafficking of women and children.

It’s great that they’re giving women a legal, semi-protected way of practicing their trade, but how protected is it really? In countries as rich as, say, the United States, women and children are being enslaved for the purposes of sexual services, and yet here’s Amsterdam trying to promote prostitution in a safe, legal environment. How many of those women in the red light district are there because they’re forced? I think that if they were to implement other social programs that would help them out of their situation and get them into a job where they don’t have to sell themselves, that this would be money better spent.

The city is targeting businesses that “generate criminality,” including gambling parlors, and the so-called “coffee shops” where marijuana is sold openly. Also targeted are peep shows, massage parlors and souvenir shops used by drug dealers for money-laundering.

“It’ll be a place with 200 windows (for prostitutes) and 30 coffee shops, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world _ very exciting, but also with cultural attractions,” he said. “And you won’t have to be embarrassed to say you came.”

So basically, they’re going to target businesses that “generate criminality” and will define where you can sell yourself and your body in a way that won’t embarass the “Johns”, continuing to perpetuate crime because of the demand that is then created, whether it is on their land or someone else’s.

I could be totally off here, but sex tourism is a big problem in a lot of countries, and in many of those countries, those who are in the business of sex are enslaved, they’re children who don’t have any other choice or don’t have a say in the matter.  There’s a lot of problems with this, and simply because it works in one country, as far as keeping a close eye on crime, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in other countries, and by legalizing prostitution you are creating the demand for sex that trickles over to other countries where it’s not legalized and becomes a big problem.

These are just my random thoughts on the situation, and I’m sorry if they’re a bit scattered, but I would love to hear input from others or be given points of view that I may not have considered.

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Written by Lissette

December 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Strong Women Strong Girls!

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I’m super excited because there is so much going on! The semester is over for me Wednesday. After Wednesday any studying I do is studying I want to do not have to do, like the research I would like to continue performing on sexual exploitation (more on that at a later date). But, most importantly, with the spring semester coming, I will be a part of a fabulous mentoring program called Strong Women Strong Girls. This program was started by a Miami native. She went to high school here, was accepted to Harvard and really made an impact with this program in the Boston area and is now looking to bring it to Miami. This is a mentoring program for at-risk girls in grades 3-5 where college women go to their schools and teach them various things to empower them for the future. Me and 14 other fabulous women will be the first mentors for the Florida chapter of Strong Women Strong Girls at Florida International University.

This program means a lot to me because I didn’t really have a mentor growing up and had to learn my lessons the hard way. If I could impact the life of one girl in a way that she is led down the right path and learns her self-worth, then it’ll most definitely be worth it. I wish I had someone as a kid to teach me that I was worth more than I thought I was. I wish there was someone (other than my mom of course, because who truly listens to their mom’s to begin with?!)  that would have taught me that there was more to life than finding my prince charming and living happily ever after and to be able to teach me what is wrong with this way of thinking. As a kid, I was planning my future around the mystery man I would marry and I learned the hard way after a divorce at 28, that this was the wrong way to look at my future. I also learned what this way of thinking does to a woman’s self-esteem when things don’t go as planned.  I have to give my mom credit though, she did teach me independence, although according to her I was always a pretty independent child and she also taught me that I would be the only one who I could truly depend on.  I’m teaching this to my stepson now, and will teach it to my daughter if I ever have one, because it truly is invaluable advice.

I want girls to know that they can be whatever they want, and they can do whatever they want. If they want to grow up and be President of the United States, that’s possible. Whatever it is that they want to achieve, they can, and I would to inspire the next batch of women leaders.

Written by Lissette

December 5, 2008 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Empowerment

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