[Marxism] Further comment on the Natasha Trade

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Sun Feb 29 04:10:41 MST 2004

Chris in Moscow commented to me in personal correspondence (published with

Speaking of prostitutes, when I say that thread on Marxmail "The Natasha
Trade: Eastern European Women Abroad to Earn Money for College Become
Trapped into Prostitution," or something to that effect, I had to laugh. It
should be retitled, "Streetsmart Prostitutes Feed Gullible Western Social
Workers Lines of Horseshit." I do not mean to say that such trafficking does
not occur _at all_, but, first, higher education in the former Soviet Union,
assuming your grades are good enough to let you get into an insitution
without paying abribe, is free. Second, almost nobody in Russia, at least,
becomes a prostitute because of grinding poverty. Russia is in an economic
boom period. The street kiosks are always hiring. McDonald's is always
hiring. Any young woman with half a brain can get a job as a street vendor,
secretary or waitress even without an education. It may not be the most
glamorous or best-paying job (waitresses can make damn good money in tips
though), but it will be a job and it will be livable. People who become
prostitutes mainly do so because they are greedy, lazy, or drug addicts. The
same thing goes for mail-order brides, by the way.

I remember when I first came to Russia and was full of pity for the poor,
poor prostitutes who had been forced into degrading themselves. All my
Russian friends laughed at me and asked why I was empathizing with the lazy
good-for-nothing slobs. That was back when I thought official statistics on
Russian income have anything to do with reality. The IMF: "The average
Russian earns $125 a month." Ha, ha.

More information about the Marxism mailing list