Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sex for Gas: Selective Perception

Photo by Flickr user safoocat, used under a Creative Commons license.

Salon’s Broadsheet reports:
Now you can tell your grandchildren you lived through a time when oil prices were so high that some women resorted to trading their virtue for gas.

According to the Smoking Gun, a Kentucky woman is currently facing prostitution charges for doing just that, providing sex to a gas station customer in exchange for $100 paid on his Speedway card, or about 25 gallons' worth of gasoline.
Well, okay. I’m not disputing that this actually happened - not at all. But I'm not at all convinced that this story is a real shocker.

In the course of history, women have exchanged sex for just about anything and everything. And while I don’t have proof - statistics on the sex for gas racket are hard to come by - I'm pretty certain this isn't the first time women have swapped favors for gas (or a ride, or a meal, or protection, or jewelry, or ...)

So the only reason the media is even registering this story is selective perception. At the subsistence level of prostitution, there are tens and hundreds of thousands of women who are this desperate every day. Their desperation isn't new.

The only reason this poor woman's arrest made news is that gas is over $4 a gallon. I don't want to be too curmudgeonly, but it seems to me that high gas prices outrank low-paid prostitutes just about any day in America.

No comments: