Legalizing “red light district,” should or should not?
VietNamNet Bridge - Recently, the Department of Anti-social Evils of Ho Chi Minh City has proposed to open the "red light district" - to turn the phenomenon which is regarded as social evils into a stable "job," which is management and taxed in order to restrict other consequences affecting the security and social order. However, this opinion is so new to our society.

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The HCM City Department of Anti-social Evils has just proposed the plan to open the "red light district." In everyday language, this is the first "green light" of a turning point, a surge in awareness of the management body and the society for prostitution. Unfortunately, the proposal has been immediately withdrawn.

It is difficult to imagine how intense and stressful the "fight" between the two "sides" of supporters and opponents will be. But, it is for sure that we should discuss this proposal by a truism: It's not just close my eyes and the fact no longer exists....

In other countries

red light district, prostitution, prostitute, vietnam
Holland is famous for tulips and... the red light district

Several years ago I went to Shanghai and I was very surprised because on the crowded and bustling streets, why tens of bras of all colors were "exposed" in the front door of some houses?

It turned out that the local government does not want to advertise prostitution noisily to make harmful impacts on the youth, but it cannot prevent legitimate businesses from advertising their "product." So, the "icon" language was born, though it slightly disturbs but everyone could understand, except… me.

Prostitution is "older than the sea," like the words of the song Love Story: "The sweet love story that is older than the sea." It has at least 2,000 years of history and the clearest evidence is from the Bible:

When the crowd demanded stoning to death a hussy, infamous woman, who committed sexual promiscuity with many different men, the Lord asked that, if anyone of you who has never committed crime, please step up and throw stones! The crowd was silent and left out (John 7:53 -8:11).

The wisdom to understand life, to simply teach people in the Bible reflects a truth, it sounds that prostitution appeared even before the existence of Jesuse Christos.

In Luke 7:4.47, describing that God forgave all the sins of the bad woman, we should agree that when discussing the "bad streak" of a woman, it refers to the default.

The principle of this reasoning is simple: Most of all short, concise and convincing stories in the Bible are common things, at least in the ancient empire of Roma. If we further reason, we know that Jesuse did not say anything about the ban or not but accepted “sexual promiscuity” as a fact that cannot be denied.

The "lesson" of the problem is even simpler than life: Why do we to resolutely reject an obvious fact that has existed for thousands of years and probably will exist for hundreds of years?

Holland is famous for tulips and... the red-light district. Almost everyone knows that the Netherlands is one of the world's top five countries in living standards, with the best standard of living (after Norway, Sweden, Australia and Canada) and is also considered one of the most liberal and democratic countries. It is not accidental that the International Court chose the Netherlands to base in.

When the "red light district" was formed, the reaction of the people and the world opinion was extremely intense. Yet, only a few decades later, the red light district of the Netherlands has become a popular tourist destination. It is difficult to find a tour to the Netherlands that does not have the red light district as a part. In other words, naturally, it has become a part of life...

Analyzing the sensitive thing...

The people (a lot) who said that the "red light district" is unacceptable, have a series of walls to protect their prejudice: to protect the habits and customs, the red light district is an expression of the cultural degeneration, it is defamation of and lowering the dignity of women, it indirectly makes negative impacts on the education of the young generation etc.

Let’s analyze that argument.

First, all the alleged "customs, tradition" does not have, even if only a few percent, of persuasion. In fact, it is just another way of support from the burden of Confucianism.

There are evidences from ancient books showing that prostitutes appeared in China from the fifth or sixth centuries. In Vietnam, everyone knows Kieu, a prostitute in The Tales of Kieu by great poet Nguyen Du. In the eyes of Vietnamese people, Kieu is a good girl.

Second, from the evidence about Kieu, we postulated that young people are familiar with the image of prostitutes. And, the image which is both beautiful and poignant has followed us a lifetime. So, do not assume that opens the "red light district" is corrupting the young, because they know it... a long time ago. The media also talk about prostitution, crime, gambling everyday.

It is time to accept that reality as an integral part of life. Why is there no possible way to live with it? At least we can make 'it' less bad, less harmful to life?

Third, tens of thousands of prostitutes are an obvious fact. It is not the problem in Vietnam but an undeniable fact of each country. If it is not managed in terms of administration, health, society, that social evil and its consequences will be more serious.

Diseases, accompanied evils, the mess, the disguise make the society more tired with prostitution. Why don’t we “collect” or “gather” prostitutes into one “dim” zone to make the remaining 99% of the city be brighter?

Society will be less contempt for prostitutes if we see it as a “job” or at least a “work” that can be accepted? Once they are less contemned, then the girls would be better or worse?
Imposing very heavy fines will force all the disorder and chaos into control. And, every man wants to visit that place would have to look ahead, look after and their womanizing character - will definitely reduced because if they go to that place, they accept to be “considered” by society.

Fourth, Vietnam’s neighboring country – Thailand, which has had the “red light district” for a long time, in 2012 attracted 22 million foreign tourists. My grandmother (85 years old) recently traveled Singapore and Malaysia; when I asked her was there any place that I’ve never known, she said she was taken to a "red light district."

At this point, we must ask the question--why in Buddhism in Thailand and Confucianism in Singapore, why not loosen the "red light district" which has been there for a dozen years?

Fifth, in life, there are questions that the answer is often neglected but it must be answered. For example, you want a "red light district" to know where to avoid, rather than carrying your 10-year-old girl around the city to see..."red light" everywhere?

Ha Van Thinh
red light district, prostitution, prostitute, vietnam