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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Feminists Debate Prostitution

     Feminists across Western Europe are sounding the alarm. Prostitution, they claim, has become today's "white slavery," which ever more women from Bulgaria and Romania, Africa and Asia, being forced, tricked or seduced into selling their bodies.

     But in so doing, these activists are creating a schism in the [feminist] movement, between those who see prostitution as another form of male oppression and those who see it as a possible means of female empowerment.

     Much of the debate is centered in Germany, where prostitution is legal. As a result, the German author Alice Schwarzer said, the country has become…"a paradise for johns from all over the Continent," who come in busloads to frequent the new "mega-brothels" in Cologne, Munich or Berlin.

     And, indeed, prostitution is big business in Germany. In bordellos along the borders with France and Poland, countries where prostitution is illegal, groups of visitors are often offered flat-rate packages. Though exact numbers are rare, experts estimate that there are as many as 400,000 prostitutes in Germany, serving more than a million clients and churning out a hefty revenue of 15 billion euros a year. 
   [In 2020, there were more prostitutes per capita in Germany than any country on the continent. Prostitution was also legal in Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Hungary and Lativa.]

Mirian Lau, The New York Times, December 29, 2013 

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