The Prostitution Guideline

At the Women’s and Men’s Leaders’ Workshop, last October, near Washington, D.C., USA, I went to a topic group on the Guideline requiring RC teachers to take a visible stand against prostitution. I thought it was significant that only six people attended, including me (a heterosexual female). Two were the female leaders of the group. There was only one man. It was interesting to learn why and how this proposed Guideline had been created.

Later, at the World Conference, I was scared that the Guideline would not pass because of the collective confusions we have about sex. It was clear to me that adopting it would be a key blow to sexism and racism. Most prostitutes in the world are poor women of the global majority.

It was important to me that we specify in the Guideline that prostitution is sex in exchange for both money and “other forms of compensation.” Women are conditioned to exchange sex for favors; it’s not just about walking the streets. We need to take into account the ideas that women are to be subservient to men and that men are entitled to sex.

When I was a young girl, pornography cemented the above false concepts into my mind. The images, sounds, and words of women being dominated sexually by men, and “enjoying” it, are still etched in my mind fifty years later. I have to always be vigilant about them. They have caused great damage to my relationships with the men that I love.


Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 190, January 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00