Prostitution: Taboo

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National Geographic Channel produced a documentary television series called Taboo. The program is an educational look into “taboo” rituals and traditions practiced in some societies, yet forbidden, illegal or, reviled in others but somehow acceptable in some cultures. Taboo generally focuses on the most misunderstood, despised, or disagreed-upon activities, jobs, and roles. Eleven years ago when the first season of Taboo made its way on national television, there has been 9 seasons.

On the 17th day of January 2010, two years after the first season, the program Taboo came into a very specific episode entitled “Prostitution”, thus marking them their first episode of the 6th season. Prostitution is defined as the oldest profession in the world, because it started with the very first civilization and has continued to present day. I believe that prostitution is morally wrong, harmful and very degrading. It is an act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially involving the exchange of money. Prostitution today takes many forms, from dangerous streetwalking to five-star luxury.

In the village of Dauladtia, Bangladesh, which is one of Asia’s poorest and most congested places, prostitution is somehow made legalized. But just off the main street down a narrow alleyway, prostitutes, mostly underage are fiercely competing with one another for customers. Over 2000 women are servicing 3000 men every day. Some of these poor women have usually been kidnapped by gangs, sold by their stepmothers, or lured by their boyfriends with promises of good jobs. I think that’s very sad considering the fact that they have less freedom in their life.

This has been their daily routine, dressing up, putting on heavy makeup and selling their bodies. This is very terrifying since they are vulnerable to diseases that might cost their very life. Brothel is the term used in a place where prostitutes are available. These places are deliberately kept in obscurity and hidden from the eyes of the mainstream society. Madams are those women (a prostitute) who runs a house of prostitution. Maya, a resident of Daulatdia, is one of roughly 2,000 prostitutes in a Bangladeshi sex slum who service passing truckers for around $4 an hour.

What danger awaits her? What does the future hold for her? She became a prostitute at an early age, before she was even 18, the age to become a legal prostitute. Somehow poverty was one of the reason. She was sold at 10 years old by her guardian to a madam. She said that life in Daulatdia is bad, it is not a good place for people who come to do business. She has to be at least 18 years of age to be on her own, but because she was underage she was forced to work and pay the madam to whom she was sold. After paying her madam her debt, she reached the age of 18.

Now she is on her own, and to survive in that type of lifestyle she has no other choice but to sell her body. Having no proper education means she can’t get a decent job, and because of her profession, the society considered her as whores and hookers. In this report, I will conclude that difficulties in life is greatly an issue of prostitution and this revealing issue will push us to our limits as an individual. My intention in this report is to present the experience of a woman named Maya who is beyond the mere fact of suffering.

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