Red Light District: Mystique vs. Oppression

Today The Y Life shines light on how the other half lives. More and more there is a growing fascination with the ideals of dark, smoky rooms where one can taste temptation at every step and yet, simultaneously meet seduction at the crossroads of acceptability.

Yesterday, we took you inside one of the trendiest new lounges on South Beach by 50 Eggs, called PatPong Road after Bangkok’s notorious red light district. You can find bars inspired by this vision all over the country; in fact, during an experience at TAO nightclub in Las Vegas, I encountered: women bathing in Roman tubs, kissing and even touching one another- as the formula for entertainment, strewn throughout the club. Today we question whether all this marketing is simply led by not being exposed to the truth or the world’s reluctance and fear to acknowledge the truth that lies behind the surface.

If we had a YLife Book Club… my first choice read for you would be, one of the most memorable books I read, while studying human rights violations. The book is called Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and it is that of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Kristof and WuDunn will take you on a guided tour through African and Asian Red Light Districts. The journey becomes an awakening to the truth, which lies underneath the mystique that surrounds, ‘dirty’ sexual transgressions. The ideals of what many consider to be the arousing excitement, is simultaneously “one of our era’s most pervasive human rights abuses against women around the globe” explain the authors. This book is an awakening to the torture and oppressive conditions many young women and girls face around the world.

You see, when these girls some of which are merely seven years of age, are faced with the threat of bringing death upon your family by unpaid debt, the option to follow the rotten rules of gangsters is the only scapegoat.

It is estimated that upwards of 100 million women are currently missing around the globe, with at least 2 million more who go missing every year due to gender discrimination. Most of these girls are trafficked into brothels for sex slavery, in the worlds most divergent and hostile Red Light Districts, like in: Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Bangkok; Kabukicho – Tokyo; and Sonagachi in Kolkata, India… to name a few.

Quick Fact:

In the United States we are not immune to Red Light Districts. In fact, in the early 1900s one of the first, most prominent and most notorious Red Light Districts, compared to the likes of those in Paris, was located right here in the Midwest. The District was in Chicago and it bustled with gangsters and some of the most infamous madams of all time, namely the Everleigh sisters.

And today one state in the Union still permits for legal brothels since the 19th Century… Nevada.


If you want to know more about the ‘Half the Sky’ Movement follow the truth:


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