Letter: Prostitution and polygamy
Wed, Dec 15, 2010
The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Prostitution will never go away as long as there is demand and supply. Even more so in this era where even women willingly "sell" not necessarily out of economic need, and some even buy.

The market is no longer dominated by men as buyers or women as sellers. It seems that regulating the industry would be a sensible thing to do to prevent the spread of diseases, moral or physical. But it also reminds me of the public hypocrisy toward polygamy, another controversial type of man-woman relationship.

Not long ago a popular cleric was publicly crucified for taking a second wife albeit with her consent and the public support from the first. Some wives became overnight feminists denouncing his action.

It's as if people were more willing to forgive men who buy sex than men who take up a second wife. Generally, the two actions are done for the same reason; to fulfill physical urges.

One wonders whether it's the fear of responsibility, smeared reputation (as if being caught with a prostitute is more dignified than having a second wife), or jealousy on the wife's part, that polygamy is treated with such disdain.

But women should realize times are changing and that social networking and excessively open cultures are slowly erasing social and moral boundaries. Men are not getting any more monogamic nor females more chaste.

Supply and demand are high. A few weeks ago The Jakarta Post reported how young girls of affluent families are selling themselves just to keep up with their high spending lifestyles.

Challenges for both married men and women are high: even more so for successful rich famous good looking men and women.

Under the circumstances, if prostitution has to be tolerated, so should be polygamy. If we can't condone it, we should not condemn it either. Both have consequences and both should be treated with thoughtful

-The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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