Posts tagged ‘konsumerisme’

January 27, 2011

The Evolution of Prostitution

Prostitution is, as they say, “one of the oldest profession in existence”. In older times (think B.C.), prostitution  was a rational way to make a living; leasing genitalia, in a more contemporary time: fulfillment of basic economic needs (paying rent, taxes, food, supporting children, etc.). More recently — about the the time of the rise of the digital age until now — prostitution is motivated by more shallow needs. A recent news on the television reports that a 12 year old went into prostitution for a Blackberrr… something… Smartphone. She was promoted online, from a village, without her mother knowing, and blah blah blah the usual stuff you would see on TV.


Actually the act of prostitution itself doesn’t surprise me at all. But really, time really has changed significantly. People acting slutty for a mobile phone or drinks are socially acceptable, but actually being a prostitute with an actual online pimp? And for a mobile phone? And at a very young age? Well considering the fact that pop culture consumerism has settled to a very high standard it shouldn’t be much of a surprise but still its kind of disturbing.

Well not “kind of”, kind of is somewhat an understatement, but in a modern society it seems very possible to pass this one as “kind of”. A social phenomena in Indonesia now is the “Mall Suicide Club” which are people who preforms acts of suicide but in public  and specifically in a mall. From 2009-2010 there are a total of 3-5 mall suicides all in Jakarta. So I guess “kind of” is — in this modern (or is it post-modern already?) society — passable and certainly should be socially accepted.

Back to prostitution, as I had pointed out, sexual commercialization is nothing new. What is new is the motivation behind it. The shift from basic needs fulfillment to very low priority needs like a mobile phone is, for me, the main problem here. Because here we see genital leasing being preformed not for biological survival, but for leisure and less important consumption. At least before people actually used prostitution to really make a living.

You may protest: Wait! What about underage prostitution? She’s only 12!!?? What about online sex predators? they are out there!!?? The internet is unsafe!!

Well, first of all, history dictates that the age of consent over 16 or 18  is a very recent concept, in older cultures people wed as early as nine — and don’t say its barbaric because that would just be bigotry (I believe in cultural relativity although i don’t practice it that much either). Secondly, even without the internet, sexual predators had always and always will be there, take away the internet and they just find every other medium to fulfill their needs. Here said, I still stand by the argument that the main problem is the motivation paradigm shift to starting prostitution. The concept is still financial gain, but the emergence tertiary needs fulfillment means a widening employment pool of  prostitution. More simply: there are more chances for a wider range of people to consider prostitution as a way to make money. It could be, in the near future maybe, the most practical part-time job ever.

Here, the internet poses as a very supporting technology for mediation, pimps don’t have to leave the house, maintaining anonymity. Prostitutes can easily pick from the vast potential users who they want to provide service, consumer filtration and target markets are more easily definable and categorized.

But in the end, this is just another discourse, there is nothing I intend or have the capability to do anything about. But still, it is a very interesting point to ponder, prostitution is only a fraction of day-to-day eventualities in the society, what’s next for societal evolution?