Spurning Tricks

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In The New York Times Magazine, Matt Steinglass reports on U.S.A.I.D.'s penchant for forcibly removing Cambodian sex workers from brothels and turning them into tailors:

As for vocational training, [sex worker advocate Rosanna] Barbero says, sex workers "are all pretty damn sick of 'We'll put you in front of sewing machines 14 hours a day and make you a better woman.'"

The article says Barbero got involved because "peacekeepers and aid workers affiliated with the United Nations were fueling a sudden explosion in prostitution."

To recap: The presence of a largely U.S.-funded development community makes prostitution profitable; U.S.-funded NGOs then attempt to reform the fallen.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Deathtrap

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  1. ‘We’ll put you in front of sewing machines 14 hours a day and make you a better woman.’

    You’d think they would learn what does and does not work after hundreds of years. ­čÖé

  2. This reminds me of the week the Promisekeepers were in D.C and all the strip clubs and prostitutes did record business.
    Speaking of going to the third world to save lives and fuck things, is this part of Bush’s promise to end sex tourism?

  3. Am I getting this right?
    Bush’s faith-based disciples want their women at sewing machines all day; their ankles high in the air all night?
    Is that what Jesus would want?

  4. remember that these same USAID folks are the ones who buy the color-coded pro-american “revolutions” in places like kyrgyzstan and ukraine. high moral principles, you know.

  5. wow, gm, i’d love to hear how this story about sex workers has something to do with the Orange Revolution. I’d also like to hear why you’re belittling the Ukranians and other scare-quoted “revolutionaries,” but I have a feeling your answer wouldn’t make a damn bit of sense, except to signal that you think democracy = bad. By the way, ever meet anyone from a formerly authoritarian country? I’m sure they’d love your theories.

  6. Steve,
    gaius marius can surely defend him or herself better than I, but you are jumping to a conclusion independent of his comment.
    Say, do you know Jane, aka Juanita?

  7. No, Ruthless, I’m no troll. gaius’s nonsense amuses me sometimes, other times it bugs me. I don’t think it’s reading too much into his comment — “these same USAID folks are the ones who buy the color-coded pro-american “revolutions” in places like kyrgyzstan and ukraine” — to say that he disapproves of recent events in the Ukraine & Kyrgyzstan.

  8. Steve,
    One can approve of recent events there while disapproving of goofy faith-based US attempts to steer events.

  9. Steve-

    At the risk of playing pessimist, it’s not entirely clear how much substance the revolutions will deliver in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Have things changed for the better? Absolutely.

    But will the change be fundamental rather than marginal? Will the new leaders overhaul deeply embedded corruption? Will they succeed at the heavy lifting of economic, political, and social reforms? Only time will tell.

    It’s one thing to put an honest man in the Presidential Palace. It’s quite another thing to get the precinct cop to stop taking bribes, and persuade the guy who issues permits to do his job on a timely schedule even if the permit recipient isn’t a crony. These things are never easy. An honest President or Prime Minister is a necessary step, but it is not the only step.

    So, while I applaud these revolutions as steps in the right direction, I’m hardly about to get all exultant and declare that tyranny and corruption are forever banished from Ukraine and Kyryzstan.

    To put it in perspective, it’s been 200 years since our Revolution and we still haven’t found a way to stop joe from stealing people’s homes ;->

    (Just kidding, joe, you know we all love you here even if we do love to argue with you!)

  10. Yeah, well, I lack the wit to sufficently roast gaius maruis, so I’m glad biggus dickus has … um, arisen… to do it another thread.

    However, I will say that if you cut and past from the Postmoderism Generator and take out the capital letters, it bears a striking resemblance to our old-fasioned friend.

  11. Steve-

    Be careful what you say about Postmodernism. Gary Gunnels will come along and explain that you don’t know anything about it.

    Just ask Shannon Love.

  12. (Just kidding, joe, you know we all love you here even if we do love to argue with you!)

    Heh. No offense, Thoreau, but speak for yourself.

  13. So the US should stop funding the UN since the UN workers are the root cause of this problem.

    Glad to see the left and the right on agreement about UN funding!

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