Wafa A AlKhadra replied 12th Jun '13:
Another Form of Women's Abuse
Prostitution is one of many issues that exist within a diversity of contentious feminist debate. To put it within a diametrically opposed and contradictory debate, prostitution, according to its feminist proponents, is an articulation of the freedom of sexual expression and a fight of repressive sexual morality, and for its opponents , it is a process of concretization of the body of women as sex objects and antithetical embodiment of women as moral and mind.
In my view, the body of woman is a text of battlefields between patriarchy and capitalism. Patriarchy has always coerced the body of women through power dynamics of homogenizing and normalizing gender stereotypes of women's subordination and subservience. Prostitution, for example, represents a sexuality in which women are passive and men active and women are desired and men desire. It is a process and an image that dichotomize the good and the bad, the body and the mind, the moral and the immoral, the vehicle and the tenor. Prostitution within patriarchy does contain stereotypes that feminism wishes to challenge such as women as objects, sins, and recipient of act and gaze. “The human body was entering a machinery of power that explores it, breaks it down and rearranges it,” Sara Lee Barkly in “Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power” (6). This means that “The docile body,” as Foucault describes it, is where dynamics and mechanics of male-dominated power and authority regulate the various activities of women’s body and make it operate the way the society wishes it to function. Therefore, women’s body, in prostitution, is used and manipulated to function as a medium of negotiating males’ desires and their sexual needs.
By the same token, capitalism deals with the women body as sexual objectification of women and visual appropriation of men’s hallucination of women’s sexuality. Within capitalism, men sexualize hierarchy on how femininity is constructed through images that tell us what clothes, body shape, movements and sexuality they should have. Capitalism, in other words, turns women’s body into a commodity of consumption and/or stimulant of gaze.
As a feminist and in my on-going fight against hegemony, patriarchy and the commodification and minimization of women’s body by capitalism, I not only actively oppose prostitution but call for its abolition. To me, prostitution or the so called sex working – in addition to being morally and religiously objectionable – is a means to structurally perpetuate the objectification of the body of women as a sex object, a subordinate and an agent. It is a demeaning avenue to trade women’s body with money capital to meet men’s hallucination of women’s body, men’s desires and sexual demand. Prostitution, naturally, influences the consciousness of women and their mindset to perceive themselves as a construct-- mediated by the culture of prostitution-- of agents of sex and sexuality, commodification and subordination.