A truly happy meal (?)

For any who may be offended by the idea of oral sex, I truly apologize for any discomfort the following may cause...in fact, I encourage you to retreat from your attempt to "check-up" on me and come back next week...

Now, the rest of you perverts sitting there anxiously awaiting to read what I could possibly have to say about oral sex, brace yourselves for what you are about to read...I was truly amazed...

You thought that McDonald´s and Burger King were the only one´s who could produce a good happy meal, didn´t you? I did too, I admit. And then of course Burger King (I believe) took it one more step: they created the big kid meal, with more mature, age-appropriate toys...but now, here in La Plata, I have found the Big Boy meal...and its utter existence truly amazes and disgusts me. It is called a churipete (pronounced churie-pet-ey), and it involves the eating of a sausage (CHURIpan) and fellatio (pete)...for a minimal price of 10 pesos (just over $3USD)...and last week, as I accompanied my colleague and two sex workers who are health promoters to places of prostitution to promote sexual safety (condom use, HIV testing, STI signs and symptoms, etc) among sex workers, I encountered this asenine creation.

Prostitution is one thing, but I am left to wonder where we went wrong with this churipete phenomenon...when did it become acceptable to mix meals and acts of sexual exploitation, of course, but more...I´m left to ponder the (lack of) significance which has been placed on these acts, both by the client and the worker. Certainly there are inumerable contexts which lead a young girl to sex work, but over the past week, I have been stumped by the contexts which could lead a young girl to one of these establishments; for this appears to be a restaurant, and these girls waitresses. It does not appear anyway that these girls are being held against their will or exploited by a pimp of sorts. Did they end up in these "restaurants" because they just have to perform oral sex on customers (albeit while they´re eating...or just after)...or if they at least feel lucky to be there instead of other "houses" for similar reasons. How degraded they must feel to serve as the man´s "toy" in his happy meal. And so I sit, considering the heirarchy of sexual degredation...just which end of this scale of exploitation is "better"? And somewhere along the path of social development, I suppose it became acceptable...maybe more acceptable than visiting a brothel...for a man to visit these places for "dinner" and order such a "simple" act for dessert. Have we really begun to order sex off of a menu?

Before arriving at the churipete establishments along "the route," we visited several other places of prostitution and spoke with the dueños, and in some cases the girls themselves, about the sexual risks to which they were all obviously vulnerable. In the first place (and my first ever), which was only a few streets away from my hous, I was overcome with emotions-- confusion--frustration, sadness, fear, anger (and the list goes on)-- as we entered the dark, dingy waiting room...eluminated by faint red lights and furnished with leather chairs. The place was dirty, literally and figuratively...and the dueño was not much better. In the midst of explaining the importance of getting "his girls" tested for HIV regularly (which he would only submit to if he was given their results) there was an outcry from behind the door which seperated us from the girls...apparently they had begun fighting...and one openned the door crying. So many tears must lie deep within her eyes, I thought...how I would love to sit down for an hour and just talk to each one of the girls and learn more about their personal histories...girls like those I saw should be in high school...they should be learning about themselves and going on dates, not sleeping with older men for money (little of which they surely are able to keep). We invited the girls to come and speak with us, and I saw there scared eyes peer through the crack in the door...were they fearful that I was their next customer, their next violator, their next meal...or were they embarrassed to discuss such issues? Certainly those who provide sexual services for a living couldn´t be embarrassed to discuss sexual acts...or could they? Perhaps, if they have not chosen this life for themselves, they could be, I thought...and I wonder, how many of those eyes which I stared back into through the crack in the door were there against their will...how many young girls had been ripped from their childhood and trafficked like cattle to this place of business?

Unfortunately for many, this is their livelihood, whether self-elected or forced...this is their reality.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for these young girls. I am proud of you for what
you are doing. God be with you and stay safe.