The German government has made a solemn promise to condone only “safe prostitution” during this year's World Cup soccer tournament.
That is the crux of their official response to the United States' criticism of the massive importation of sex industry workers for the international sporting event. Unscrupulous entrepreneurs have built a sprawling web of prostitution facilities to “serve” the estimated two million men who will descend upon the 12 German host cities. In Berlin, for example, a 10,000 square feet mega-brothel has been built next to the main World Cup venue. It is designed to receive as many as 650 customers at a time, with wooden “performance boxes” lined up one after the other to take advantage of every square foot.
Reputable organizations such as the “Coalition against Trafficking in Women” (CATW), predict 40,000 women will be “imported” from Africa, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe to meet the expected “market” demands. While industry players admit they will be hiring loads of “new staff,” the German government insists it is “working closely with regional authorities and non-government organizations to combat trafficking and forced prostitution.”
The hypocrisy is appalling. Because it legalized prostitution in 2002, German officials now find themselves in a quandary. Until now they have been able to hide behind the talking points of sex industry advocates. Dressed in sharp ties and pretty pantsuits, they have learned to say with a straight face that its legalization is good for women as it defends their rights to: 1) the career of their choice, 2) legal recourse in the case of abuse, 3) social services including health benefits, unemployment, and retirement plans, and 4) safety from sexually transmitted diseases.
But as the market adjusts to new demands (the price of sex is less than a ticket to a soccer match), more people see the obvious prostitutes, legal or illegal, are first and foremost a financial commodity in the hands of greedy men, “providers” and “consumers” alike.
Where are the real feminists when we need them?
Germany will continue to hide behind its efforts to stop “trafficking and forced prostitution.” They hope the rhetoric will take attention away from the 400,000 women currently registered by the government as sex industry workers. They fear the world might wonder in unison how many of these “workers” have freely selected prostitution as a career choice, how many of them feel protected by the law, safe from disease, and look forward to a happy retirement after a long and fruitful tenure. Weren't these the talking points?
Or are governments greedy too, even ones led by liberated women like Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel?
Today, I invite you to remember that not everyone will enjoy the World Cup. A new brand of "soccer moms" will be watching from the prisons of the "performance boxes" Germany officials continue to hail as safe and legal.
If that's "safety and legality," you can bet these women would happily trade them in for a bit of real "freedom" any day of the week.
False gods always take victims. Today in Germany, and many parts of the world, the gods of prostitution — money and pleasure — are claiming their corresponding victims: women enslaved by men, and men enslaved by their passions.
God bless, Father Jonathan
P.S. I'm a big soccer fan and you can bet I'll be watching. We can't let the presence of evil stamp out the very good things of life, sports being among them.
Write to Father Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.