19 July 2009

The caveman who advocates the use of pejorative

I read an irritating note posted on Facebook by my colleague this morning. It's later told that a large part of it was actually an article on The Sun by this caveman Wong.

I believe a lot of our readers (a lot?!) read Chinese. For those who don't, I'll try my best to explain; but if you don't understand, let me know!

The caveman wants the media and government to talk about prostitution with words which he thinks are right. "賣淫" (obscenity soliciting; lame direct translation, just want to show it's a value-laden term) should be used instead of neutral terms like "性工作" (sex trade/work) and "援助交際" (compensated dating).

He thinks that the use of less value-laden terms will make the sex workers feel better and only encourage more young girls to join the profession. He is probably upset about the recent conviction of a 17-year-old girl for compensated dating.

After thinking about the matter for a day, I found it so damn difficult to argue against the caveman, because it's so fucking obvious to me that prostitution is not immoral nor obscene.

Think again, what harm could prostitution bring to the society and its people?

Of course, some pimps who manipulate and control disadvantaged women as cash cow might be shit. But I trust we can always take the business back from the triads. Before 1932, prostitution was actually legal and regulated with registration and regular health examination in Hong Kong.

I consider that the burden of proof is on the caveman's side. I pleaded with you earlier not to be a sexual hypocrite. It's simply a trade for our normal need.

If you're worrying about young girls joining the profession merely for the branded bags, then it's about giving them a true picture of what is at stake and let them make their own free choice.

On what ground could we condemn sex workers by using pejoratives, then?

A moral society is one where everybody is respected for their basic human right, not one which the disadvantaged are labelled with pejoratives and suppressed. That's tyranny.

Zi Teng made a lot of effort teaching us to use the right words like "sex workers". What the caveman advocated is a big step backward.

It's actually the value-laden words which blinded the public into thinking that prostitution is a bad and immoral thing.

Until anybody can convince me with reason that prostitution is immoral or harmful, condemning and hence hurting sex workers with pejoratives stinks.


  1. Interestingly, the word ‘prostitution’ is used in the new book 《賣淫的倫理學探究》by 甯應斌, a leading scholar in gender study in Taiwan. His reason is that prostitution is not a degrading word at all. At the age of 賣X, he can't see how 賣淫 is immoral. In the book's preface, he states that 「本書的論証已經足夠掏空『賣淫』的污名」. Maybe this guy you mentioned is another disciple of radical feminism who insists the legitimacy of both the usage of the word and the act of ‘prostitution’.

  2. I doubt if it is the case, if you will read the article linked up there, you will find that he wanted us to use "賣淫" to make people feel worse about the profession, hence, discourage it.

    It's a big step backward, and I wonder why he has the guts to write that.


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