Prostitution is not a profession!
VietNamNet Bridge - If seeing it as a profession and licensing the establishment of a “red light district,” it will certainly cause many implications, not only for those who participate in this sector, but also cause negative consequences for society.

Legalizing “red light district,” should or should not?

red light district, prostitute, prostitution, law
The "Red light district" of Patpong in Bangkok (Thailand).
After publishing the article supporting the legalization of the “red light district” by Ha Van Thinh, VietNamNet has received an article from reader Giang Son. We would like to invite our readers to continue contributing your ideas on this issue.

On January 22, the vice chief of the HCM City Department for Anti-social Evils told the press that the city had asked for the government’s permission to gathering prostitutes into one zone for easy management, not to open a "red light district."

Answering the question--should Vietnam have "red light districts" or not, it is quite difficult but if prostitution is considered a profession, perhaps it is one of the few occupations appearing most early in human history.

Despite that fact, not many countries, including the "most open" accept prostitution as a profession. Why? In the view of the author, it is considered to be a profession, no matter what it is? It must benefit the ones who do that job and society, contributing to the development of society, making society better, more beautiful and healthier.

Prostitution could not do that function though it has apparently developed and brought about revenue for a group of people, including tax revenues for some countries. But if you consider it as a profession, and to admit it as a profession, the permission of “red light districts will certainly cause many implications, not only for those who "participate" in this field, but will cause negative consequences for society.

Who sell and who buy?

This question, the author once asked a French professor during his class that the author fortunately attended 30 years ago in magnificent Paris, in the "La France d'aujourd'hui" (France Today). At that time, in northern Vietnam there was almost no concept of "prostitution."

The professor answered and explained as follows: Sex workers are jobless or unemployed who have nothing to sell or have had not anything left to sell. For a living, they have to sell what the God gave. They are pitiful. The society and the government bear some responsibility here. Let’s go to Pigalle Street, you will see them. It's pitiful!

But part of them were those who love to have a lot of money fast. And people who went there to buy? They were mostly foreign tourists who liked “strange things." The French were quite "allergic" to this place.

A few days later, on a Saturday night, I visited this street with some friends. It was precisely as what my teacher said. Looking at the women of all ages, different colors standing on the sidewalk, under the snow, dressing very thin clothes, with heavily makeup faces and an invitation on their mouths: Please come in, guys!

Paris, at that time, was -5 degrees Celsius but they were in revealing outfits, their skin was pale... it was so pitiful! When we said "Nous sommes Français. Nous sommes de Paris" (We are French, Paris people), they went away.

Pigalle is considered the "red light district" of Paris and there are many other "red light districts" in France, but today the French government, the French people still do not recognize prostitution as a profession although they recognize legal prostitution and strictly manage it.

In Vietnam, in the French-ruled period (possibly before that), Hanoi had Kham Thien Street as the “street of songstresses” but this was not a "red light district." Prostitution in Vietnam from ancient times has been still a covert operation. So far, there are probably not many Vietnamese who accept that "job" and even in the existing psychological prejudices, they scorn, contempt it but prostitution still exists to meet the demand.

The Vietnamese society has to accept it as colds and headaches and has tried to reverse it gradually. There was a time when prostitutes were nearly wiped out. But today...

What should be done?

From the current social practices, prohibiting prostitution is impossible. Because if it is banned, how can we explain about the mushrooming development of motels and inns on Nguyen Van Cu Road and some other roads in Hanoi? Where many prostitutes were caught in the act? Local people there used to ask to change the street names to avoid the fame of living in the street of prostitution.

It is needed to confirm that prostitution is bad. We cannot condone this phenomenon because it involves a lot of implications. Therefore we cannot turn on the "green light" to the establishment of the "red light district."

But now, it is difficult to make full statistics of prostitutes and whoremasters. So what should we do?

The author just wants to reiterate what the social evils prevention force has more than once said: strengthening education by a variety of means, in which the media plays a very important role. Most importantly, the State must create jobs for people, especially young people.

Prostitution itself is not a crime, but it is a source creating crime. Therefore, we need more effective administrative measures, which are strong enough to prevent and reverse this operation, especially for whoremasters who have been neglected for a long time. Civil servants and State employees who are detected as whoremasters must be punished more seriously.

Vietnamese habits and customs cannot accept the "red light districts." There is no "red light district" but prostitution has destroyed so many families, "killed" a significant labor force and caused moral corruption.

Now, "gathering all sensitive activities into one area for easing management" as proposed by HCM City is feasible? It is worried that once this proposal is approved, it will be the beginning for the appearance of a "red light district" and the development of prostitution in other areas. At that time, what will the state management agencies do?

The Vietnamese society has its own specific characters and it's hard to apply the "model" of other countries in Vietnam. Prostitution in several neighboring countries is considered as motivation for tourism development but they do not know that the "driving force" has made the image of the countries worse.

Just to easily control prostitution is why we should open a “red like district?”

What should we do with the phenomenon of prostitution? We need a long-term strategy, with the participation of many sectors, agencies rather than just the immediate “doses of medicines” to treat the symptoms.

Giang Son
red light district, prostitute, prostitution, law