If the market wants young, petite, fresh Asian women for sexual use then that’s what it’ll get
Pimps won’t be surprised that bidding has reached $15,000 for a 19-year-old ‘virgin’ Chinese woman currently up for auction for four days of sex.
Pimps know what men will pay for, and they know the business of prostitution. Everyone in the sex industry knows punters will pay good money for women who are young, petite, ‘fresh’, and available for booking on a ‘no restrictions’ outcall basis, preferably away from their minders. The Australian escort agency manager who put the Chinese woman up for sale exercised good business logic in recruiting her. Her vulnerability just makes it easier. On her own, most likely with little support, in a foreign country, learning a new language, struggling with debt…And after those four days with the stranger who has purchased her, how likely is it she will speak out about her treatment?
There’s hardly any limit on the money that can be made from selling other people for sex in Australia. In most states, prostitution is a business endorsed by government just like car yards and real estate agents. Brothels and escort agencies can legally operate as legitimate businesses. Pimps might have to pay licensing fees to government, but that’s about it. Like any other business owners, they are free to go ahead and run their affairs in any way they choose. The government can’t stop pimps selling women who are on student or working holiday visas, and no-one checks to see whether their recruits speak English, or how they came to end up on the books of a brothel.
Running the business of the sex industry is left largely in the hands of pimps who do the same things other businessmen do—market research, promotions and publicity, and staff recruitment. We expect car yard salesmen to do their market research, and stock vehicles that earn them the most profit at the lowest input cost. We expect them to respond to the market and offer cars that consumers want, and will pay top dollar for. Why would we expect legal pimps to act any differently? Why wouldn’t pimps sell women that fetch a high price on the market? This is how good businesses are run. The more that pimps, like other entrepreneurs, do their homework, the more money they make.
The sex industry does its market research by keeping an eye on pornography sales. The titles that are selling well tell them the types of women, and the types of sex acts, that are likely to also sell well out of the brothel. Five minutes research on Adult Video News tells us that anal penetration of young and petite women is a consumer favourite at the moment. Another five minutes on consumer review sites for Australian brothels tells us that Asian women are hot property in the local sex trade.
We only have to think like pimps to understand why there is currently a young Chinese student up for sexual sale in Australia. Why wouldn’t she be? We’ve got a large and legal sex industry operating in the country, and plenty of men who want to spend money on it. We’ve got Sexpo, the industry’s trade expo, touring the country again this month. The Western Australian government is just about to legalise prostitution in that state now, so they can start having women up on the auction block, too.
Australia is going to have four states with legalised prostitution giving traffickers a nice open market.
We’ve almost reached national consensus among Australian governments that prostitution is a welcome business in our society. We’ve had legalised prostitution for more than twenty years now, so policymakers can’t claim ignorance of the business practices of the industry.
The industry has already given us a clear picture of how it rolls: underage girls in legal brothels, violence against women in brothels, murders of prostituted women by pimps and punters, trafficking into legal brothels, suicides of prostituted women, and a girl who died of a drug overdose in a legal brothel.
Policymakers can’t feign ignorance about all these industry conventions – they’ve been going on for a long time now.
No government official in Australia should dare express any shock that we’ve now got a Chinese woman up for sexual sale. This is exactly what they condoned when they permitted the sex industry to operate legally in this country. There are not two different sex industries—one that we might encourage as nice and respectable, and one that we might shun. There’s only one type of pimp. Like any other entrepreneur, he runs his business according to the cold, hard logic of the market. If the market wants young, petite, Asian women available for sexual use for days on end, then that’s what it’ll get.
The governments of Victoria, NSW, the ACT, and Queensland may live to regret the day they allowed an industry to develop on the basis of capital raised from the sexual trading of women and children. There are large numbers of women from South Korea and China in the Australian sex industry now, their treatment can be seen as Australian government sponsored human rights violations against women from these and other countries.
Australia has a lot to say about human rights violations in China, but while we’ve got one of their nationals up for sexual sale, are we in any position to take the moral high ground?