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November 21, 2006
Will Iranian Prostitution Spell The End Of The Mullahcracy?

An article in the Asia Times makes the rather unusual argument that the West has already won the clash of civilizations with Iran and the radical Islamists -- because they have begun selling their women. Spengler argues that nations signal their collapse when they turn their females into sexual commodities (via Instapundit):

Wars are won by destroying the enemy's will to fight. A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women.

The French sold their women to the German occupiers in 1940, and the Germans and Japanese sold their women to the Americans after World War II. The women of the former Soviet Union are still selling themselves in huge numbers. Hundreds of thousands of female Ukrainian "tourists" entered Germany after the then-foreign minister Joschka Fischer loosened visa standards in 1999. That helps explain why Ukraine has the world's fastest rate of population decline. On a smaller scale, trafficking in Iranian women explains Iran's predicament. ...

What is it that persuades women to employ their bodies as an instrument of commerce, rather than as a way of achieving motherhood? It is not just poverty, for poor women bear children everywhere. In the case of Iran, deracination and cultural despair impel millions of individual women to eschew motherhood. Prostitution is a form of psychic suicide; writ large, it is a manifestation of the national death-wish, the hideous recognition that the world no longer requires Ukrainians or Moldovans.

It's certainly a provocative argument, but a rather silly one. I'm sure Iranians have a prostitution industry, even if it's one that exists mostly underground, but to hold that out as a contrast to Western nations is just a little disingenuous. Spengler notes that estimates of prostitution have over 300,000 women in Teheran plying their trade. In a nation of 70 million and a metropolitan population of over 12 million, that is a significant number. However, it's a figure that has little context; is this a vast increase, or is this business as usual? Spengler says it's rising, but gives no figures for it.

The United States, using the same criterion, might also be described as a collapsing civilization. Prostitution has continued unabated in the US, and estimates fifteen years ago had 1 million American women working as prostitutes. On top of that, estimates of child prostitution ranged from 500,000 to 1.2 million victims of this exploitation. Over 100,000 women get arrested for prostitution each year as of 1991; it dropped to 65,000 by 2004, but whether this indicates a drop in the incidents of prostitution is another question.

In Europe, where people see sexual policies as more enlightened, prostiution has been legalized for decades and has become a significant industry. ICASA estimated that the Netherlands realizes over $1 billion from prostitution, and Thailand gets 14% of its overall GDP from the sex industry. Western European brothels get staffed primarily by Eastern European women. Iranian women do not appear to be much of a factor.

We can hope that the Iranian mullahcracy will collapse of its own internal rot. Pointing out their prostitution problem seems a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, however.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 21, 2006 9:46 AM

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» Allies, Interference... Impasse? from Mensa Barbie Welcomes You
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Tracked on November 21, 2006 1:26 PM

» Fatimas Love For Sale from The Jawa Report
Interesting article, my opinion is that a culture that treats women as property of men encourages pimping and prostitution. Also the failure or Irans government to properly address economic issues also contributes.Asia Times: Wars are won by destroyin... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2006 2:07 PM

» Fatimas Love For Sale from The Jawa Report
Interesting article, my opinion is that a culture that treats women as property of men encourages pimping and prostitution. Also the failure or Irans government to properly address economic issues also contributes.Asia Times: Wars are won by destroyin... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2006 2:10 PM

» Fatimas Love For Sale from The Jawa Report
Interesting article, my opinion is that a culture that treats women as property of men encourages pimping and prostitution. Also the failure or Irans government to properly address economic issues also contributes.Asia Times: Wars are won by destroyin... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2006 2:54 PM

» Fatimas Love For Sale from The Jawa Report
Interesting article, my opinion is that a culture that treats women as property of men encourages pimping and prostitution. Also the failure or Irans government to properly address economic issues also contributes.Asia Times: Wars are won by destroyin... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2006 3:41 PM

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