Rich Men’s Currency: Women

        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)

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20 comments
  1. FCM said:

    mistakes were made, men ejaculated into into them…it wont happen again, except that it will. it was all a misunderstanding! except that it wasnt.

    “mistake” has come to mean something completely different than its normal everyday meaning hasnt it? like “sexism” its meant to cover up whats really happening: the absolute willfulness of men bonding with other men over destroying women. and “mistake” implies that it wont happen again, but what they mean is that someone screwed up if they are having to take ANY HEAT for this whatsoever…it kinda interferes with their entitlement to do whatever they want to women behind closed doors. they will surely be more careful (about not getting caught) in the future. which is terrifying.

    thanks lishra!

  2. Stoked said:

    The mistake he’s referring to is, that they were caught.

  3. rmott62 said:

    It is very important to know that rich and powerful men from all backgrounds – whether the arts, from business, men doing humanitarian work etc -all feel entitled to own and normally horrifically abused their prostitutes. It is viewed as their right as they are rich – and most of these men considered they can make their own rules.

    If the world really listen and hear testimonies from exited prostituted women who have survived that “high-class” indoors prostitution – many male heroes and role models would be destroyed. What sickened and terrified me when I was in that world – was how men that brutally tortured me were in their “real” life involved in humanitarian works, were backers of humans rights groups, were firmly Leftists – but made the prostituted sub-humans.
    It is common in high-class prostitution that pop stars and actors will keep prostitutes in “parties” for weeks or even months. This is mostly cover-up it the image of the man is he is well loved or just viewed as a bit of a rascal. The reason Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson were exposed, was because they were already beginning to be disliked. Other stars of films and music are equally brutal – but get away with and are basically rewarded with more work.

    Prostituted women and girls that brutalised know to stay silent – knowing the star is worth more than their life and sanity.

  4. zeph said:

    I am afraid these kinds of events are all too common. Some fathers lay on variations of this theme for their sons birthdays! It was traditional among some Englishmen to take their sons to prostitutes for their thirteenth birthdays.
    Maybe it still is. Men will not change though, this won’t stop until women learn to exercise group power.

  5. A perfect example of why women are not allowed into the upper echelons of business. They might be mistaken for the “help”. Bastards.

  6. yttik said:

    Astounding how they attempted to reduce the whole thing to “sexist wristbands” and tried to imply it was just a “mistake.”

    I remember something similar happening in my neck of the woods, the men were sent to “sensitivity training” as if all they needed was a two hour class on Saturday on how to be more sensitive to “sexism.” It’s kind of like the cop here who violently assaulted an innocent man and used a bunch of racial slurs. They sent him to diversity training. Yeah, that’s his problem, he just didn’t know it wasn’t okay to target minorities and assault them. It’s not his fault, nobody ever told him that. We’ll just issue a memo and make sure everybody gets the update.

  7. And I just witnessed a Facebook thread wherein a bunch of dingalings insisted that most men are noble creatures. It’s like they never met a logical argument they couldn’t ignore. Duh. If MOST men are egalitarian — including their stupid precious Nigel — then that means sexism FLOURISHES in a culture of egalitarianism. Which means sexism is inherent. Which means men are NOT noble creatures.

    Gah, the stupid, it burns. Really, it is painful to consider that THIS PLACE is the ONLY PLACE where stupid does not rear it’s dingaling ugly head.

  8. Okay, I know that was sorta off-topic, but cheesus-onna-cracker, where else can I say that? Where? Really, where? Everywhere else has decided that hating men for the violent sexist never-ending bullshit they pull, is “hating men for no reason”!!

    I can’t take it anymore…

  9. FCM said:

    Bahahaha! Ms.a you can say it at my place if you like. 🙂

  10. sea said:

    I’d like to make some slogan T-Shirts referring to the two most common responses to any criticism of patriarchy:

    1. “If men are just naturally sexual than women, why don’t they go f*ck themselves”
    2. Not all men are bastards. But who cares about the exceptions when what we’re fighting is The Rule?

    Who wants one?

  11. zeph said:

    1. “If men are just naturally sexual than women, why don’t they go f*ck themselves”

    They do that too! If it moves, has body temperature and can’t fight back, its got no chance.

    2. Not all men are bastards. But who cares about the exceptions when what we’re fighting is The Rule?

    Like this one. It would be fun to do some radfem Hub T-Shirts and sell them for Christmas.

  12. Feuerwerferin said:

    Just the thought to do something physical/sexual to someone else who does not sincerely wish for it and wish for those things to be done by me is impossible for me. Or just to enjoy oneself without that the other party does, too. I CAN’T imagine what men must be like to be able to do this. At least not exactly. And even to enjoy themselves while they’re at it. Horrible. Money can’t be an excuse here. If you want to do such things AT ALL, the circumstances can’t be important. This is not only selfish, it is dehumanizing and … I don’t know what. I always knew that prostitution is a crime against women but it is just two years ago that I started to understand what this means that men are to be able to want to do this. Or to go ahead without remorse.
    A friend of mine studied sociology and she seriously thinks that men only do such things because they want to act [!] in a masculine way. A mere performance, an act. She doesn’t get that socialization is deeply rooted in the individual and that it is men’s wish to do what they do. It is not about choices. They WANT it. They ENJOY it. This is true for rape in general. It can’t be changed in a lifetime. Socialization runs very deeply. Desire, hatred, violence and suffering are not a performance. And masculinity is not about wearing blue socks… From the outside it is impossible to tell whether masculinity is innate or socialized. The result is the same.

  13. Thanks for sharing your excellent logic, mAndrea.

    Like I said over on that FB thread: Hating men doesn’t make someone a feminist. It’s realizing that men hate us that makes us (radical) feminists.

  14. Something this contrived, this planned for in detail, this accepted and unchallenged and unquestioned, is not a mistake.

    These bastards do have an obsession with how many times their colour-coded-consumer-products have been utilised, don’t they. Ordinarily, they’d prefer a fresh one, but there’s something about the concept of having all been in the one receptacle that adds to the male bonding jollies – to celebrate togetherness in the office later, and plenty of reminiscences thereafter. Well… lol… just not in front of female staff of course eh, EH?

    We so fucking need GROUP POWER.

  15. Lilith said:

    Oh Goddess I think I’ve just stumbled across long lost kindred spirits! How come I didn’t find this website until now……..?
    “I always knew that prostitution is a crime against women” Yes! Feuerwerferin, thankyou for verbalising this and confirming my own confused feelings.

  16. FCM said:

    Hi lilith

    The hub is about to celebrate its 2-month blogiversary…check out our authors page to see the hub Bloggers personal blogs.

  17. “If the world really listen and hear testimonies from exited prostituted women who have survived that “high-class” indoors prostitution – many male heroes and role models would be destroyed. What sickened and terrified me when I was in that world – was how men that brutally tortured me were in their “real” life involved in humanitarian works, were backers of humans rights groups, were firmly Leftists – but made the prostituted sub-humans.”

    As usual, well said, rebecca. I found out recently the meyer who veteod one of the anti-pornography ordinance’s in the ’80s was very involved with Amnesty International. Of course, AI as an organization apparently only cares about “state-backed” violence against women; I have yet to find any information on their site about stopping the global buying and torturing of women’s bodies.

    It’s ironic that those who want to legalize prostitution seem to think indoor prostitution is safer; I have actually read just the opposite–that those working in “high end” indoor prostitution experience more violence than those women prostituted on the street–not that women prostituted on the street don’t also experience horrendous abuse. But, it’s just not a normal job to go to work and have to have four buttons to press for help in your “workplace.” (This is the case in some legal brothels).

  18. I’m so glad you wrote about this, Lishra. There’s hardly any discussion about it anywhere else that I’ve seen. This reminded me of a story I saw a while back on another feminist blog, where she described a technology conference where male attendees were encouraged to pay to rape (typically called “prostitute”) the women who had been thoughtfully provided to them for that purpose by the conference organizers. When women attending the event called them on their behavior (saying it was “sexist,” no doubt), the men were put out that anyone would make such a “big deal” out it. And when pressed, used the same excuse: that it was all a mistake and they were so terribly sorry [to have gotten caught].

    Men don’t think of it as paying for the opportunity to rape, of course, and theirs is the language that everyone uses. News coverage of this event you have posted about uses phrases like “sex party” and “men were allowed to have sex with them.” “Allowed”? By whom? It’s yet another place where we have to consistently call it what it is: the purchased opportunity to rape.

  19. Ladies, you don’t know the half of it..in the past three years I’ve discovered how far women’s rights have NOT come. Not only do men still look at women as objects to be owned, controlled, degraded etc. but we still don’t have rights to our own body…yeah sure we think we do, but in reality…guess again…try making a decision about having children, you’ll have a hard time finding a doctor that will tie a woman’s tubes, even if she really is committed to NOT having children or try being a single parent, the looks people give a person once it’s known that the woman has a child but no father..I’m sure some of you here have had those looks turned towards you. The double standards for women are still there, just out of sight, to appease people like us who are not satisfied with the standards…

  20. The Masked Lily said:

    “Gah,, the stupid, it burns. Really, it is painful to consider that THIS PLACE is the ONLY PLACE where stupid does not rear it’s dingaling ugly head.”

    so true. that the radfem blogosphere seems like the only refuge from such craziness? makes me sad yet I’m so, so glad we have it, so glad I’ve virtually met you all, and hope that many many more women discover it and agh.. I’m overflowing with love for you all! you’re awesome.

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