Friday, December 05, 2008

World's Oldest Profession

Over the summer in California, one of the lawyers told me about a good chicken take-out place called Chicken Ranch. When I googled it, I discovered that Chicken Ranch is also the name of the one of the largest legal brothels in Nevada. I read in amazement the wikipedia page about it; I always knew prostitution was legal in Nevada but had no clue that there were these huge organized brothels. Little did I know then that Santa Barbara had its own brothel, actually not far from where I was working.

Today when I was looking at the Santa Barbara local news, I read that a Madam pled guilty to running an illegal brothel in downtown. Although she pled guilty, it was pretty clear that she did not feel what she did was wrong. She was quoted as saying:
"And I really believe that future generations are going to put my crimes up on the shelf with a lot of other women’s crimes from history . . . Crimes of the Salem witches, inquisitions in Europe, crimes of gentile women having sex with Jewish men in Nazi Germany, the crime of a woman marrying a Chinese man here in California in the early 20th century, and the crime of black-white sex, the crimes of fornication, premarital sex . . . . And, I take full responsibility and pride in being in the same league as all of the women that have suffered for sexual crimes throughout history.”
Although I have heard the "feminist arugment" for prostitution and explored the ethical issues of it in college, I still have a hard time buying that it is a form of female empowerment. Especially, this brothel, where the prostitutes were teenage girls.

And although Heidi Fleiss, Elliot Spitzer, and the DC Madam have taught us that there is a large market for high-end prostitute, I am still shocked that it is so prevalent in the well-to-do Santa Barbara (aka, Paradise to my friend Faithsalutes). When I told Alex, who grew up in the area, about the brothel he was not surprised at all and actually said that there were a few well-known ones. No I am really starting to wonder about that Asian massage place I walked by every single day on my way to work . . .

No comments: