Weitzer (2007, 453) stated that “some prostitutes make conscious decisions to enter the trade and do not feel that their work is degrading or oppressive” but did not present any indication from where he based such claim. Instead, he stated independent call girls and employees of escort agencies, massage parlors, and brothels as an example of those who make conscious decisions to enter into sex trade. Despite of his justifications that women voluntarily migrate for sex work, he is quick to state that there are some form of coercion and deception from facilitators.
Some women, for example, do not clearly understand the terms of contract or the impact of the debt bondage. Others have little prior awareness of the working conditions or the risk involved in the new locale from which the conditions may far be worse in terms of health, safety, accommodation and the sexual service required of them. As much as Weitzer has criticized moral crusades into making generalizations with unrepresentative samples, he also reported his claims with the use of researches that has limited number of participants. However, Weitzer has made few mistakes in presenting his ideas.
Despite of his goal to present that the social construction of prostitution and sex trafficking as problematic, unsubstantiated and demonstrably false, Weitzer is always quick to point out facts that the anti-prostitution campaign may validly use. While these facts relevant to anti-prostitution, Weitzer finds information that are able to refute anti-prostitution campaigns. Response While it may be true that the facts regarding abuses received by prostitutes are exaggerated by moral crusades to suit their goals, the fact that such abuses exist should be enough to be a concern of the society.
While only estimates exist on the number of victims of abuse in prostitution, these are nevertheless not rare or isolated cases. One should not be too concerned about the statistics of how many women are abused and should focus on how these abuses could be eliminated. Weitzer made a point by citing examples of organizations and legislations that aspire to empower and support sex workers through protection and support instead of condemning prostitution and sex trafficking. However, it is apparent that most, if not all, sex workers enter the trade for economic incentives rather than from the mere pleasure of it.
As much as women are economically motivated in entering into the sex industry voluntarily, the question of whether the women would make the same choice given other opportunities that guarantees the same incentives. Weitzer has specified that some sex workers enter the sex industry out of an obligation to support their families. Furthermore, while “rescued” women may return “as quickly as possible” to their brothels, that these women may have nowhere else to go remains a possibility given the fact that these women are migrants who are most likely not familiar with the new location.
It would all be better if governments introduce other methods such as providing free education and employment that women would no longer need to enter into prostitution. Conclusion While he may have committed a few mistakes, Weitzer presented his claims authoritatively. Weitzer was critical in abolitionist feminist in making generalizations with unrepresentative samples and yet committed the same in presenting some of his facts. However, the facts he presented substantially supports his claims.
Some of the facts were obtained from governments which moral crusaders are said to influence with their exaggerated figures. Furthermore, his facts were based on unbiased researches, with valid methodologies and reliable figures, in contrast with researches commissioned by and undocumented claims by moral crusaders. Reference Weitzer, R. (2007). The social construction of sex trafficking: Ideology and institutionalization of a moral crusade. Politics & Society vol. 35, 447-476.