For prostitution, it takes two to tango

TN News

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In the past few weeks scandals involving models and beauty queens selling sex for thousands of dollars have made the front pages of newspapers.

Thanks to over saturated coverage, we know everything about the women involved names, ages, and even family backgrounds.

We know how the authorities are likely to punish them for their illegal acts send them to rehabilitation centers. We also see thousands of comments harshly criticizing them.

But how about their clients? Doesn't it take two to tango?

Nothing is known about them, and their punishments are vague, too possibly on-the-spot fines and "educated" by local authorities as prescribed by the law.

It is thought this is because the prostitutes are celebrities and have earned a fortune by selling sex. In other words it is sleaze, it has news value.

Who else but rich men, or "tycoons" as the local media labels the anonymous clients, can spend thousands of dollars for one night with someone? One would think that wealthy men buying sex from beauty queens for a small fortune has more sleaze value.

Le Duc Hien, deputy director of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs's Anti-Social Crime Department, told Tuoi Tre newspaper: "In our country, we do not put out the names and pictures of the clients (of prostitutes) out of humanitarian consideration.

"That means their actions will be reported only to local authorities and their employers, not necessarily to their families."

This is completely different from the situation in other countries where the media and public grill rich and famous men, including movie stars, politicians, and football players, paying for sex.

So I can't help wondering if there is something wrong with law enforcement in our country since it seems to focus only on the prostitutes in such cases. And what is more, the names of the women are no longer published in acronyms or their photos with pixilation.

It seems that as a result of Vietnam's patriarchal system, men buy sex with impunity and nothing can deter them. In any case, even if they are caught, the women bear the brunt of society's wrath.

No one denies that prostitution is against the law and morality, but justice and morality demand that the clients too be punished and stigmatized.

A female journalist once told me that she does not want to see prostitutes as the focus of news reports anymore; the men who buy sex also have to lower their heads in photos during police raids.

She is not worried that the men's families could break up if their identities are revealed. She will not be worried even if it happens in her family, she said.

What should concern us is how the women are treated as the only guilty party and castigated by society, she said, and how the men's wives have been cheated by them.

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