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The Sex Trade Does Not Exist

Let me reiterate, the sex trade does not exist.  I was talking with a friend yesterday, and this subject came up.  When I told her that the sex trade does not exist, it took her aback a little.  Sex can only be sex if it is between two consensual people.  Only.  No exceptions.  They need to be two consenting adults.  And these adults need to able to consent.  Mackenzie Phillips in her interview with Oprah has done enough recovery to know this.  For those of you who don’t know, she was incested by her famous father John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas.  She as been criticized because the incest continued past age 18.  She was not an adult who was able to consent.  She was too damaged.  I have her book High on Arrival and have yet to read it.  Her interview with Oprah can be seen on the Oprah website.

Anyway, all that to say again that sex can only be sex between to consensual adults who are fully aware of what they are doing.  By our continuing to call the Rape Trade the Sex Trade we are guilty.  We are colluding with a huge cultural language problem of not calling the kettle black when it is.  People, male and female, children male and female, are lured and abducted into the Rape Trade.  The Vagina Monologues have done a great job of exposing one form of the Rape Trade that was used in Japan during World War Two.  Women were abducted from Japan’s enemies and used (‘used-up’ might be a better term) in what was called Comfort Houses.  They were forced to ‘service’ soldiers.  Some of these girls were as young as 17.  They were raped repeatedly all day long, every day.  Sometimes they were gang raped.  I believe the average length of repeated raping was about two years (the required time of these women to be repeatedly raped day in and day out).  I am reading some more on that now.  The survivors have found a collective voice together today and have sued the Japanese government.  Though guilt has been admitted, that has been as far as it has gone.  And don’t make the mistake of thinking America was not complicit.  We were. (Are?) I will write more on that as I learn more.  These women have been ostracized by their families when it was found out that they had been used in the Comfort Houses.  They have been harshly judged and treated by their societies.  Children have cut them off.  The rape survivors are blamed and shame rules.

What might have been different if these houses had been called what they were.  The were Rape Houses.  They were houses of many types of rape.  All this one done to keep the military happy.  Do happy soldiers kill better? Were they acctually promoting much lie based thinking in men, such as “I have to have this, I deserve this, I can’t control myself, etc.?  All such beliefs are damaging to men, women, and ultimatly families.  Did these men really feel good about themsleves inside afterwards?

Rape and all other forms of sexual violence must never, never be confused with sex.  We are doing this in the way the ways we think and speak.  Oprah even did it, though I realize she was unaware of it.  To the extent we are doing this we are helping to promote a sexually violent culture, that desperately needs its thinking and language challenged on this subject.


  1. Dr. Ronna Phifer-Ritchie says

    Excellent point. I think we should also start using the phrase “rape industry,” since that’s what it is. Language is so important – it can wake us up or help put us back to sleep in our relationship with reality; or, to say it differently, in our relationship with God.

  2. Wow! Thanks Dr. Ronna. I heartily agree. We can do this ourselvs on an individual basis when the opportunity arises. We can write articles about it too. It is the Rape Industry. Just like it is the Pornography Industry, which happens to be the most profitable industry in the world. Let us work together to to use language to help face reality.

  3. Peter Cathcart says

    This is powerful, as it brought the harsher and more real side to whole issue of sex (rape!) trade. It makes a lot of sense because of the entrapment a woman is in: there is no at will employment in the so-called oldest profession.

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