- A major German insurance firm was recently revealed to have paid for an “incentive trip” for its best businessmen. Forget generous cash bonuses. As their reward, the 100 men were simply given free sexual reign over 20 women who were hired as prostitutes for the weekend.
For wealthy men such as these, using women as part of a trade-reward system among themselves is hardly surprising. A man with money is like male entitlement on steroids. While lack of money certainly does not prevent a man from demanding sexual access to women (prostituted or otherwise), the kind of access wealthy men have is of a much greater scale. Also, because a woman’s value — figuratively and literally — is determined by males, the “high end escorts” that these men can afford is considered quite the patriarchal prize for themselves.
In this case, we see an especially brazen example of (de)valuing women. The BBC refers to a German newspaper, Handelsblatt, which quotes a “participant” of the events:
The women wore red and yellow wrist bands. One lot were hostesses, the others would fulfill your every wish. There were also women with white wrist bands. They were reserved for board members and the very best sales reps.
The wrist bands created a hierarchy among the women based on what their value was to the men they would “service” and, among the men, it was based on seniority. Thank goodness for the handy color-coding of power dynamics. . . how embarrassing it would be to accidentally proposition a waitress rather than another woman who has been contracted to do whatever you tell her to do sexually!
The anonymous source also told the paper that, “After each such encounter the women were stamped on the lower arm in order to keep track of how often each woman was frequented.” If you ever forget how little women’s lives are worth, just remember how there were once some men who found it appropriate to treat women like buy-9-get-one-free punch cards from a coffee shop.
A female brothel owner in Berlin, Felicitas Schirow, has commented that these kind of ‘parties’ are entirely common.
And she explained the reason for the sex parties. Corporate parties are largely about motivation, she said, and that if a firm can’t send its workers on a trip, then they’ll shell out the money for a brothel or nightclub instead.
Motivation. . . because there’s nothing that makes a man feel more empowered than fucking a bunch of indentured women with his buddies. Again, it is not that having money alone gives you sexual access to women. Rich, poor, or in-between, patriarchy guarantees men’s “right” to abuse women. The above quote explains how this scenario works for companies. Can’t afford the $113,784 weekend trip for your most profitable men? How about a simple trip to a strip club? No worries: exploitation operates on a sliding scale.
Schirow noted that “The wristbands are totally sexist,” apparently unaware of the incongruous nature of such a statement when we’re talking about prostitution in the first place. And in an object lesson of NoAnodyne’s post on how the word ‘sexist’ is used to mask the truth of male violence, Schirow “adds that she can imagine that the organizers wanted to provide additional incentives for their staff, and that they didn’t intend to denigrate women.” It’s ‘sexist’, but they didn’t mean any harm by it.
Last week the company published a full-page ad in several national newspapers with an apology, unsurprisingly in the spirit of blaming the trip on a few ‘bad apples’.
We are taking far-reaching measures to make sure that mistakes like this don’t happen again.
It is not an accident or an oversight when men purchase women’s bodies for their use, especially en masse like in this scenario. Hopefully by “far-reaching measures” they mean that they will fight towards eliminating the global system of male violence. You wouldn’t want a mistake like oppression of females to happen again on your watch, after all.
(Image from RescueHer.org)