America needs a mirror.

A letter I sent to All Things Considered:

"Recently read an article about Americans protesting Germany building  more brothels for an upcoming worldwide sports event.

There is a different attitude toward prostitution in Germany, based on the treatment of German women at the end of World War Two.  With their men dead, no way to feed their children or obtain shelter, and the threat of rape and death from invading troups, the women did what all women have to do in such circumstances; they negotiated sexual favors to live.

To protest German prostitution is to ignore an underlying reality that in Germany "everybody's" great-grandmother had to do it to live, and one's grandparents took the food and shelter it offered.

Neither America nor Russia want to admit that they turned German women into the Americans themselves called "whores" at the end of World War Two.  I don't think I've ever heard or read where an American soldier will admit to his own actions in this situation at the end of the war.  And yet modern American politicians want to point fingers at the Germans.

Could you address this question as an example of American hypocrisy in foreign policy?"

It might help if all Americans were given a hand-mirror at birth.  So whenever they're mouthing off about other people, they could look in their own mirror.  I say "they" because I already possess such a mirror.  I look at my own faults and foibles all the time.

And once I'm done polishing my mirror, then I have a cloth to come after the other dirty surfaces.

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4 thoughts on “America needs a mirror.

  1. My own guess is that the different German attitude toward prostitution goes back further than that. The Germans were never Victorians.

    Wilhelm Stieber, Bismarck’s spymaster, set up a brothel called the “Green House.” It catered to dignitaries and nobles, and while they came to forget themselves, Stieber arranged to help them remember. If one was in a position to provide aid to Stieber, and had disported oneself at the Green House, pictures and recordings were available if necessary. (It sounds perfectly wonderful to me; pity they’d not have let me in the door!)

    I never got what was so BAAD about prostitution, anyway.

  2. They were Wilhelminine. Now… what was the position and the attitude (please no puns!) of the most pertinent people involved? The ladies themselves?

    Prostitution is only bad when a society decides that a woman is only to be paid for sexual favors if she is also producing children — and then the least amount possible. How sordid.

  3. A big part of the abuses that are part of prostitution here-and-now, IMNSHO, come directly from the fact that it is illegal. An abused prostitute has almost no recourse, any more than I do against a defaulting, disappearing tenant.

    In good old Weimar Berlin, all the prostitutes were legal and registered…and if you caught something from one, you could sue her, just as she could sue you if you mistreated her. Of course, that dogwhistle Hitler shut THAT right straight down. He was a Puritan in Mencken’s definition—one who is haunted by the fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy.

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