Friday, 9 October 2009

My personal views on sex tourism

Ever since I set out to make this film, I've struggled to define my own position on sex tourism. Surely, as the director I had to take sides on the issue, no?

No. The issue is far too complicated, and I have many conflicting views on the subject (Hey, I'm a Gemini!). This led to a key creative decision: the film would not have a narrator. Instead, it would be pieced together with what the interviewees said. That way, all opinions expressed in the film would be fact, at least for the characters presenting them. (Flip side: some things I knew about and wanted desperately to include in the film had to be left out. If nobody talked about it, I had no way of introducing the point.)

But since I raised the subject, here are some of my views on sex tourism:
  1. I have no moral objections to sex tourism and prostitution, long as nobody's forced into the trade.
  2. But aren't most sex providers forced into it by poverty? Yes, certainly in the developing world they are. While I'm against stuff like poor villagers selling their daughters to pimp, I respect men and women who willingly enter the trade to make a living.
  3. I morally, ethically and violently object to pedophilia. Sadly, pedophiles are sex tourists too.
  4. I loathe anyone who mistreats sex workers, or feels superior to them because they are poor or non-White. You see a lot of that around.
  5. There are socio-economic consequences to sex tourism that I'm uncomfortable with, but it's not my place to preach about them. That would be arrogant. It's also the reason why Cowboys is not a didactic film.
  6. There are always more reasons to visit a foreign country than cheap, readily-available sex. 


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