Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Essay in English III



Essay written in 2000


Betty Friedan admits that the advance of the male movement, led by Robert Bly, may partly be a reaction to feminism. However, she adds that at the same time, “man's need to break through the heavy burden of the virility myth, to overcome the strain of being macho”. Alfred Gringold reveals something about the source of this heavy strain: “Man's fear of a serious relationship grows with the rising demands of post-feminist women... We must respect the aspirations of the contemporary independent, competent, qualified, and respectable women - especially if we ever want to meet them in bed.” The real fear from sexual-harassment leads to other unsolvable situation. In extremis the sexual-harassment can be practically everything between man and woman if woman find it unpleasant for her. Even joke! Result was truthfully shown in one cartoon of magazine Details; the man who like to deal with nice woman thinking so hard what approach to her can be allowed that finally he find a best solution - escape.


Of course, there are places when you can address a woman without dilemma. But results of an investigation by the Social-Pedagogical Institute in Berlin show that an average of 16 % of the customers of prostitutes rejects the use of a condom, which is a lot, if you consider approximately the 300,000 German prostitutes and their roughly 1.6 million sexual contacts per week... In other hand professional prostitutes can learn that the condoms protected not only customers, but themselves too. The amateur prostitution is worse. Especially when (as in other professions) here the effective age is declining rapidly. In Vancouver, Canada, are 13-14 years old prostitutes on every disposal.


According to the official WHO figures and a very moderate predictions a total of 15 to 20 million HIV positive adults, and out of this number in 5 to 6 million cases of AIDS are expected to develop after the year 2000. It is also true that deaths from AIDS in the United States fell 29 percent in 1996 and 47 percent last year due to new drugs treatments, but the rate of new infections remains steady at about 40,000 cases every year. The dramatic spread of this disease can be practically manifested on prostitution, which as ‘professional adultery’ is linked to promiscuity, and is best documented at the same time all over the world.

The situation is even worse with those who prefer anal sex, which poses the highest risk. Anal sex without a condom was practiced with prostitutes in ten per cent of occurrences; an additional 14 per cent use a condom only occasionally. The ACSF report based on 20,687 questionnaires filled out by French men and women, however indicates that the use of condoms has been increasing in France. On the other hand it also shows that one-third of heterosexual men, half of heterosexual women, and one-quarter of homosexual/ bisexual men never use condoms. Even in orderly Switzerland, only 52 per cent of young men have said they use a condom. In Great Britain, as in 1992 Dr. G. Gardner reported in the British Medical Journal, it was discovered that among married couples where one of the partners is HIV positive, in 17 per cent of the cases the other partner was infected despite the use of condoms.

The rise in worldwide ‘sex tourism’ has aggravated this disaster. The paradox of our time is that for Europeans, there is no great need to travel far for an exotic sex. Among 197 prostitutes in the Graz Municipal Venereal Disease Clinic was in 1992 unintentionally disclosed that only 96 had come from Austria – a central European country. Another 55 prostitutes had come from Santo Domingo, 22 from Thailand, nine from Yugoslavia, and the remaining 15 from other countries. The BBC has reported several times on the ‘sex industry’ in the Philippines and Thailand. The last story was in connection with the estimated 1.5 million HIV positive people in Thailand due to ‘sex tourism’. Some ‘sex tourism’ fans naively believe that sex with children (which is also offered there) will protect them against the HIV virus. However, this is no longer the case with exotic countries only. For example, in the early 90’s, the number of HIV-positive children among 13 to 19 year old in Washington increased by 500 per cent. Within a discussion in the prestigious scientific journal Nature about AIDS Education Policy of the New York City Board of Education, an opinion was presented that “emphasis on the use of condoms in the school-child population will cause more AIDS than it will prevent”. Author of the statement, Dr. E. Stim gives three reasons for his assumption: “First, a contraceptive experience has shown, condoms have at least 2 per cent failure rate (as barrier to semen), because of breakage or slippage. Second, as students of teenage sexuality have shown, the consistent use of condoms with consecutive coituses is extremely low in the teenage population. Third, emphasis on the use of condoms alone ignores the fact that AIDS is a disease spread by all body secretions and excretions, and not just by semen. Condoms do not protect against AIDS risks in open mouth-to-mouth kissing, body biting and much oral sex play”. Well, it seems that the journal Nature is not the President’s favorable reading. As we can learn from the currently hot-selling ‘The Starr Report’ even he is in favor of meeting young people for being informed about normal life, he doesn’t hear them properly. Ms. Lewinsky for example was very concern about ”e-mail describing the effect of chewing Altoid mints before performing oral sex”. But neither the President nor Ms. Lewinsky, it seems, were aware that oral sex with a condom is according the law obligatory even in low quality porn-movies, not to mention professionals performing oral sex. If on the one hand vice-president’s best advice against HIV-infection is no-sex, who else than President should obey at least minimal health-care rules? And if this is not true what we can expect from others?

Dr. E. Stim furthermore warns that even the more responsible adepts of sexual intercourse have no guarantee that they will avoid infection. As Dr. E. Stim later wrote in his book ‘Physician’s Notebook’: “So just because a potential sexual partner shows you his very recent negative HIV test, don't think you can't catch AIDS from him. You might end up the most surprised person in the cemetery!” The explanation is cruelly simple: The AIDS blood test becomes positive from one to three months after acquiring HIV. This means, that “against what you might think, you may run a higher risk by having sex with a high-risk AIDS blood test negative person than with an AIDS blood test positive person...”

Dan Savage, according to his own by-line ‘America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist’, says in The New York Magazine: ”The gay response to AIDS forced everybody to start talking about what they were physically doing in bed. It forced the newspapers to write honestly about sex.” Unfortunately, while almost all newspapers are now writing broadly about sex, that original topic -- AIDS -- is vanishing from the headlines, as if this chapter is over forever. But it is not.

(To be continued)

Translation Peter Duba, edited by Jerry Weir and Tom Reynolds

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