TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Recent news about the arrest of local celebrity Vanessa Angel for her alleged involvement in underground online prostitution came under the national spotlight.
However, public judgment mostly corners Vanessa and totally exposes her for being the user of the underground prostitution service, such commentary is also found in a large number of major news reports but many have failed to shed light on the male individual that acts as the consumer of her so-called service.
Ermelina Singereta from the Women’s Rights Defender Alliance (WRDA) argued about the public treatment of the online prostitution case. “Why not [also expose] the men that have used her physical body? What is it with a woman’s body?” wrote Ermelina on her Facebook page.
According to the commission 8 House of Representatives (DPR) public advocacy expert staff, every case involving women will always have an element of gender inequality positioning them in a vulnerable position.
“Especially in the case implicating Vanessa Angel where a woman’s body was used and exploited, even though it was consensual this case seems to draw a picture of the victim that has yet understood her rights to her body,” Ermelina explained.
She explained that prostitution will always place women as victims and that it is not exclusively an issue of class. Ermelina said that lower class prostitutions happen because it is driven by poverty experienced by the victim, or woman. She claims the victim’s inability and helplessness to find a proper and better job forces them to accept working in the prostitution industry.
Meanwhile, women in upper-class prostitution can also be considered as victims of the capitalistic industry that so often uses female body to look impeccably beautiful, glamorous, and many more.
However, it is understandable for the public’s inability to see upper-class female prostitutes as victims because Ermelina argues that women in this social status are considered by most to have the proper awareness of their own body.