Generating Discussion: Liberation or Exploitation?

De Ambiente Queer Tourism and the Shifting Boundaries of Mexican Male Sexualities

by Lionel Cantú

In Cantú’s essay, he argues that sexual colonization and liberation are active in gay and lesbian tourism and in Mexican sexualities.He examines development of gay and lesbian tourism in Mexico and those effects on Mexican sexualities. He begins by presenting a a portrait of an exotic Mexico which he draws from a tourist website focusing on Mexico–“a sexy Mexico.” Then he defines terms such as ambiente meaning homosexual subculture. Loosely defined, ambiente is sort of like the environment, the vibe or feeling of a certain place. He defines “gay and lesbian tourism” as “identity-based tourism” and “queer tourism” as “a larger market” that includes heterosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender folks transnationally. He explains that he working toward a transnational framework by recognizing that identities are driven by change across borders.

He frames this essay by acknowledging his subject position (which is very feminist) in comparison the folks he is researching. He identifies as Chicano, and his ancestry is Mexican. He also addresses limitations in his research and explains that he does not want to perpetuate lesbian invisibility by doing his research on primarily Mexican mens who have sex with men. Some of his methods included ethnography, along with being at tourist, which was the basis of his investigation and these interviews demonstrated that he needed to focus on tourism as a form of migration.

He explains a “Mexican phrase”–De los otros–referring to the others or to a different type of folk. He explain that one cannot study sexuality without focusing on culture simultaneously. Later, he goes on to explain sexual borderlands or “tolerance zones” of Mexican male sexualities and relevant to this transformation. He writes about the relevance of cultural-economic relationship between the united States and Mexico and that they co-dependent. Co-dependent in terms of Mexico being the “labor source” for United States’ business in relation to migration. He noticed the common trend among the men he interviewed which was rural to urban migration.

Gay bars in “zonas de tolerancia” in Mexico reflect urbanization and “development.” He explains that these zonas regulated the other or deviant such as homosexuals, someone with sexually transmitted diseases, and prostitution. He presents more information in the way that zonas’ reactions where different depending on location such as border town zones. Lots of “north of the border” people were attracted to the sexual space of “south of the border.” There was this fetishization of “el caballero” or Mexican cowboy.

Late he goes on to explain the attraction of gay and lesbian tourism is either brings feeling of the exotic or of the home-y. He talks about Puerto Vallarta as in Guadalajara as a “San Francisco of Mexico.” Tourism companies who’s audience is the queers focuses on this exotified Mexican San Francisco in contrast to the Mexico (or “foreign land”) that is often presented as homophobic. He has a series of interviews in which Mexican men are explaining their experiences in certain areas of Mexico and the United States in terms of class and sex and tourism. He explains how these zonas can be sexually liberating in terms of coming together and celebrating queer community, but can also be exploitative in terms of the “American” man coming for his sex dream with a Mexican caballero. As he writes, it is a sexual borderland between liberation and exploitation.

Questions:

How does this concept of sexual borderlands and Queer Mexico work within each other and gay and lesbian tourism?

How does global processes work in creating a “space” that is economically political?

What are some differences between gay and lesbian tourism and queer tourism in relation to this essay?

 

Supreme Court DOMA and Prop 8

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I wanted to throw this up here because Im sure most of us will inevitably run across this article  over the next few days–or at the very least be actively paying attention to the development of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.  The author, Bill Mears, does a decent job of substantiating his prediction of what the Supreme Court will decide, and ultimately I feel he’s correct in assuming the court will likely “punt” on both cases.

Mears contends the justices will likely “DIG” it (dismissed as improvidently granted).  In other words, the court will argue that they shouldn’t be making a ruling on the case, and rather the definition of marriage should be left to the states.  What’s remarkable is he quotes an argument offered by our very own Sonia Sotomayor: “If the issue is letting the states experiment and letting the society have more time to figure out its direction, why is taking a case now the answer?”

Personally, Sonia Sotomayor’s quote is what got me all fired up.  I feel it’s the courts duty to ensure that all of its citizens are properly and equally represented.  Every American citizen should be afforded an equal opportunity under the law.  Sonia Sotomayor’s argument is disingenuous in that it implies the rights of the LGBT community are not important enough to require immediate attention.  I think Edie Windsor’s story (84 yr old grannie) highlights the importance of securing the LGBT community’s rights immediately.  The judicial system should be progressive in ensuring the rights of all citizens are equally represented and people are afforded an equal opportunity, regardless of the stage of their life.

I can’t help but draw comparisons with the abolishment of slavery in the South, when our government actually had the cojones to stand up for the rights of all its people. President Lincoln took the country to war to ensure that basic civil liberties and freedom were afforded to African Americans (yes, I know there were many other factors).

Some Q’s

1.  We’ve all been a part of, or at least overheard, conversations involving the “perfect time to get married”; Should the American government have anymore say in this question when it involves a homosexual relationship rather than a heterosexual one?  I guess what I’m getting at (and what Sotomayor backhandedly admits) is eventually prop 8 and DOMA will likely be found unconstitutional and repealed, but what if this isn’t for another 10 years?

2. Should the government (Judicial Branch) be more active in securing the rights of the LGBT community? If so, what are some benefits to having a nationally unified stance on gay marriage?

3. What are your over all thoughts about the article?

Generating Discussion: Continuities and Change

Five Centuries of Prostitution in the Caribbean by Kamala Kempadoo 

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Kempadoo presents the historical practices of prostitution –the exchange of material goods for sex, organized within the tourism industry in the Caribbean.  Her approach towards the subject is a very professional one, as she remains respectful of those individuals that willingly decide to engage in sex work. The female colored body is thought about as sexually promiscuous and immoral due to colonial notions regarding racial hierarchies. White master’s ownership over black slave women gave them access to the latter’s free labor and body. Rape and sexual abuse over time became institutionalized in the Caribbean as prostitution. The discourse around the female colored body persists today and is disguised under new practices and names such as that of “marriage tours”.

Foreign men view women of the mixed race such as the mulatta or mestiza as sexually desirable and exotic. Women of color in the past have served as both mistresses and housekeepers. Despite that colonial rule has ended women of color continue to perform such labor. Marriage tours have become popular in Colombia since agencies advertise the Latina woman as being warm, loving, and beautiful. American men travel thousands of miles in search of “love” and for a new wife –or they say. It seems that the tourism industry has extended prostitution into the official business of promoting Latinas as housekeepers and sex workers. Kempadoo notes that slaveholders “pimped” women’s manual and sexual labor the same way that the tourism sector and its extensions do today.

It is important to note that the women who participate in these marriage tours do so voluntarily and not all of them seek economic benefits. Nonetheless, a majority of them would like to escape the country’s poor economic conditions. Women of color are perhaps using to their advantage the discourse around the sexuality of the colored body the same way that some enslaved women made strategic uses of their sexual labor. Many enslaved black women achieved their freedom and even attained property –Beckles called this “sexual alliances”. Sex labor within such framework can be viewed as a liberation strategy from the control and domination of white men.

State governments have tried to mark the social distinction between sex workers and chaste women through multiple regulations. In the Caribbean, regulations to contain prostitution have varied from the official listing of prostitutes to the creation of prostitution zones. However, such distinctions are blurred with the romanticizing of prostitution practices between tourist and locals. Marriage tours are a good example being that the women involved are not explicitly selling sex labor making it harder to classify them in a particular way. Many of these women often fantasize about the foreign man and want to engage in transnational marriages trying to change their lives positively or at least they think it will.

Prostitution is a complex subject that entails many shades of gray and is not as simple as the imagined exchange of money for sexual pleasure. It is important to remember that women are subordinated within the practices of prostitution. Domestic work and sexual relations with men are an extension of such practices. In the Caribbean sex work has served to produce and reproduce capital. Sexual pleasure along with domestic labor are used to form tourist packages such as that of the marriage tours where you can go on a one week vacation and find “love”.

Questions: 

Should women that participate in marriage tours be considered as voluntary sex workers? If so, why? If not, how can we describe their participation? It is just “dating”?

Do you think that government deregulation of prostitution would help decrease the stigma surrounding sex workers? What about the idea that sex worker are to blame for the spread of venereal diseases?

Prostitution is often viewed as being solely heterosexual, but what about same-sex services? Do you think that the Caribbean’ sex tourism industry includes or excludes these bodies? Why?

Generating Discussion: Continuities and Change

Summary and Reading Connections of “Continuities and Change: Five Centuries of Prostitution in the Caribbean” by Kamala Kempadoo

In this reading by Kamala Kempadoo, she examines the continuities of five centuries of prostitution in the Caribbean. Initially in the 1990’s, prostitution started as a way of entertaining the influx of foreign visitors to the Caribbean. Soon, the Caribbean became notorious for their prostitution and this form of “sex tourism” was sold to foreigners. The author connects the sex trade and prostitution of the Caribbean with Beckles’ article on the fight for power and control over slaves during the period of slavery in the United States. The white slave owners would demand complete access to the black female slaves, including sexual acts, even if the female slave was married. In this way, sex was used by the white plantation owners as a form of control and a way in order to “keep down” the black male slaves. In a similar fashion, the prostitution in the Caribbean is used to manifest control for white men. White men who travel to the Caribbean feel entitled to sex from the black (and dark) women of the Caribbean. Kempadoo describes that the relationship between the white man and the mulatto “came to be represented as erotic and sexually desirable yet was outcast”. This creates an aura of forbidden lust where the white man is free to satisfy his sexual pleasure.

Kempadoo also notes that the sex tourism in the Caribbean focuses its audience to primarily heterosexual males and as a result, a new form of tourism evolved called “romance tourism”. Kempadoo explains that this “romance tourism” seeks to separate itself from prostitution and human sex trafficking as it tends to produce “longer term relationships that are established”.

The author then discusses the racialized and gendered aspects of the sex workers in the Caribbean which leads to the “subordination of women” and to “female sex workers [being] marginalized and disrespected as ‘whores'”. However, for male sex workers, they are not branded with such offensive words such as slut or whore; instead they are referred to as “player, gigalo” and even “hustler”. Thus, their sexuality is not degraded in any way, as they are often seen as “[using] their masculine power to penetrate local economies”. This view depicts male sex workers as hardworking individuals who are using their sexuality in order to move ahead in the specific economic hardships, while female sex workers are seen more predominantly as loose, immoral, and outcast individuals.

Questions:

How has the difference between the portrayal of male and female sex workers in the Caribbean added to the unequal representations of sex tourism? Why are male and female sex workers depicted differently solely based on their gender?

How would sex tourism change if it not only focused on heterosexuality in the Caribbean?

Would government involvement in the regulation of prostitution and sex trafficking complicate or alleviate the anxiety for the sex workers?

Generating Discussion! Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Summary: In this article, Amalia Cabezas presents several problems with the common conceptions of sex work in the Dominican Republic and Cuba. She takes issue with the term ‘sex work’ being used to define any practice of sex for the exchange of money, as its expression is often more varied and complicated than a simple transactional relationship.
Cabezas points to increased tourism as a cause of increased sex work, and “flexible reorganization of the labor process through the creation of seasonal work, the proliferation of informal market arrangements, and the erosion of boundaries between the formal and informal sectors of the economy” in both the Dominican Republic and Cuba (though she notes that historical conditions of poverty are more consistent in the Dominican Republic, due in part to the lack of social services offered in comparison to Cuba). The increased prevalence of sex work in these areas has contributed to a diversification of the types of relationships between tourists and hosts. Cabezas points to the many instances where what is deemed “sex works” goes beyond sexual acts in exchange for cash.

Both countries have terms which illustrate the variety of jobs available to people who cater to tourists. Not all of these positions explicitly cater to sex; for example, sanky pankys in the Dominican Republic are young black men who serve as tour guides for white women, as well as female entertainers who lead men to recreational activities and sightseeing. In both of these cases, it is often found that both parties are looking for something more long-term than transactional sexual acts, and for the “entertainers,” the work provides the opportunity for advancement, travel, and romantic relationships.

However, Cabezas does note that an increased “officialization” of sex work and tourism through companies like hotels has resulted in prioritization of certain bodies (light-skinned, primarily) over others when catering to tourists. The last half of the article discusses the problems with the term ‘sex work’ in its unequal application; it really only applies to certain “types” of people/work, and that influences the way it has been policed, enforced, and the way only some people have been protected. She says, “desire and affection are defined as “lighter”and prostitution as “darker,” effectively racializing the entire process. This binary opposition presumes relations not tainted by economic dependence, speculation, motivation, and interest, which apparently take place between individuals of the same racial, national, and class background.” As a consequence of these attitudes, it is very common to find mass arrests and sexual abuse of dark-skinned women who are accused of being the “bad” type of sex worker. And while there have been rehabilitation centers who are supposed to be of assistance to the women being targeted as undesirable sex workers, they have often fallen back on ideas of these women as greedy and unclean, rather than addressing the structural inequality that the system is set up on. Cabezas point as far as reform is that we need prioritize women’s sexual rights, while acknowledging the prevalence of racism and classism that exists in sex work.

Questions:
-What would be an effective way to address the broadness of sex work/tourism? Are more terms required to encompass the variety of relationships between the travelers and hosts in countries where these relationships are common?
-How do we differentiate between exploitative sex work and one that is mutually beneficial for the participants? And, following that, can those differentiations help us determine a better solution to the problem of exploitative sexual trade?
-What can be done to combat the underlying racism/classism when it comes to the lack of protection for some women and the prioritization of others?

Generating Discussion: Planet-Love.com – Cyberbrides in the Americas and the Transnational Routes of U.S. Masulinity

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Planet-Love.com: Cyberbrides in the Americas and the Transnational Routes of U.S. Masculinity

by Felicity Schaeffer‐Grabiel

Overview

Schaeffer‐Grabiel’s article examines the online dating phenomenon between U.S. males and Latin American woman.  More specifically she seems to be focused on analyzing the benefits American men perceive Latin women have over U.S. women.   She begins with the assertion “that this industry does not merely commodify relationships into binaries of the white male buyer and ethnic female seller, as is often repeated in mail-order bride studies (Villipando 1989; Glodava and Onizuka 1994; Tolentino 1999), but involves a more complex and uneven historical moment of racial formation, nationhood, and understandings of masculinity and subjectivity “(332).  The author looks to substantiate this by arguing that the love and power aspects of the relationship are intertwined “and inseparable form labor relations, race, gender, and the global economy”(332).

Latin Woman’s Perspective: Schaeffer‐Grabiel notes that the woman’s perspective in not their focus but characterizes their attitudes with: “women perceive U.S. men (as opposed to local men) as more equitable companions in marriage, who value women’s contributions to the home and family and who offer women opportunities to enjoy a stable, middle-class lifestyle”(332).  She later on says “Many Latin American women I interviewed were aware that men wanted a woman who was more family oriented than U.S. women supposedly are. In fact, many rejected being labeled a feminist for fear of their association with white women popularly thought to be selfish, sexually loose, or too domineering. This did not mean, however, that women were not strong in their conviction that they wanted a man who respected them and who saw their contributions as carrying equal weight in the family “(341).  However the relationships are ultimately best characterized by one latin woman’s quote: “It’s easier for los gringos to masturbate in front of the computer, where they don’t have to put forth any effort to satisfy anyone. Like many things here (in the US), [U.S. men are] . . . the most individualistic and self-absorbed” (interview, December 10, 2004).

U.S. Male’s Perspective: Schaeffer‐Grabiel’s main focus is on the characterization of the process by white males. The white male views it as a “fresh start” and  better “shopping experience”.   She affirms “many of the men I interviewed repeatedly stated that in Latin America they could date and potentially marry younger and more beautiful women than in the United States “(333).  “They hope for a fresh start in Latin America through their search for better wives and mothers while constructing a heightened moral and class status within the global world order as the “good guys,” heroes, or sensitive “new men” crafted against the macho Latin male stereotype “(333).   Not only do men view their marriage to a Latin as a fresh start culturally, but Schaffer-Gabriel highlights the fresh genetic aspect of the Latin woman.  Many company Web sites and men idealize Latin American women as having better genes than U.S. women or, as Jason described, better “raw materials” (interview, March 2005).  Though ultimately she highlights the demise of these relationships as she notes “while men may enjoy a boost in status in Latin America, they may find this wears off once they return home”(351-52).

No, Schaeffer‐Grabiel thinks it’s much deeper–

“Thus, finding a foreign bride converges with four discourses: colonialism, modern self-help movements, transnational capitalism, and futuristic ideals of flexibility, mobility, and a postracial society. These themes demonstrate the ways technology and ideas about globalization are incorporated into men’s everyday lives as a yearning for a utopian, multiracial, postbody affinity to masculinity and citizenship, regardless of skin color, profession, or class affiliation”(334).

Schaeffer‐Grabiel builds on the theories that “European and Western dominance shaped the formation of a white male national citizenship through the extraction of labor and sexuality from native others”(336).  She states, “I depart from this linear narrative of colonization to globalization by arguing that this new transnational masculinity builds on previous colonialist fantasies and rewrites them by drawing from the discourse of corporate multiculturalism. In other words, masculinity is not associated with colonial constructions of Western whiteness in contrast to racialized, native “others” or with contemporary anti-immigration nativism and white supremacy. Instead, men imagine themselves as the benevolent engineers who racially uplift the moral fabric of the national family by importing a superior breed of women”(337).

Her claim is the white male’s “nationalism is founded on the preservation of an invented traditional past and a future vision of modernity”(338). “Men access a multicultural patriotic manhood through adherence to the ideal American values at the foundation of the immigrant’s assimilation into the nation: hard work, traditional family values and gender roles, and notions of benevolence couched in romantic ethics of chivalry and the saving of women”(338).  The idea is the white male believes these are all modern cultural ideologies, and in adhering to these in helping the Latin woman, he substantiates his masculinity.  He considers himself a modern man.

Final Frontier-

Schaeffer‐Grabiel believes Cornell and Hooper miss-step in saying the U.S. male’s masculinity and dominance is a product of being a “business entrepreneur” in a “global marketplace”. She  has a different view regarding the nature of the white males masculinity.  She first asserts that many of the men expressed feelings of being “alienated in some way from U.S. culture and society”.  She goes on, “he realized he was replaceable in both his professional and intimate life”(338).  The white male claims to be a victim of the feminist movement: his modern wife lacks culture and tradition, with a job she is not dependent on him and therefore he is not necessarily dominate.  He highjacks the feminist movement,  “men imagine Latin American women as the last pure frontier, bodies that promise to rectify a crisis in U.S. masculinity and the breakdown of middle-class family structures. They moralize the need for new genes and bodies and for a postnational family structure that will rejuvenate not only the U.S. domestic sphere but also their own inner journeys to selfhood”(339).  In other words, these men feel emasculated by the feminist model, and seek the “less liberated woman (340)”  Male participants claim to want someone who is less spoiled and materialistic.

“Latin American and other “foreign” women are naturalized as having the right biological makeup and cultural grooming, making them more feminine, traditional, docile, and better mothers of the family. Unlike nineteenth-century constructions of racial mixing as degenerative, in this instance foreign genes are constructed as regenerative. This shift in racial construction connects with individualistic ideals of multiculturalism in the global marketplace. Once again, diversity and race are advertised as products that promise to bring one closer to nature, toward one’s “true self,” and to contribute to the making of “natural” gender and racial hierarchies.”(341).

What I think Schaeffer‐Grabiel is saying is that men seek to obtain their dominant, masculine-self, or “true-self”, in marrying a Latin woman whose culture he believes is conducive to gender and racial hierarchies.  At the same time this evokes feelings of nationalism as the the white male feels he is a “genetic engineer”, bringing in “raw materials” that are less tainted but the U.S. culture, or more specifically, the feminist movement.

Wendy Kline has no sympathy for the emasculated man. She argues David Popenoe sounds just like his father Paul Popenoe who lamented about the decaying of racial hierarchy, the difference is David laments about the decaying of social hierarchy through the feminists movement (342).

Self-help-

“The self-help model of individual transformation hijacks the feminist model of consciousness-raising, evacuating its radical potential through personalizing social transformation, and makes evident self-help’s genealogical roots within Christianity and Western individualism”(352).

“Many men’s groups convey feeling disempowered by feminism and advocate empowerment, coming to self-actualization through the collective sharing of oneself”(347). She goes on, “Divorced from the original goals of consciousness-raising—which were to critique how social structures affect the individual, to make the privileges of race and class visible, and to connect the personal worlds of women with larger structures of power—men focus on the individual and ignore rather than reveal these privileges”(347-48).  I think Schaeffer‐Grabiel’s main point is that men claim to be the victim of feminism and complain of how they are affected individually, rather than highlight how gender hierarchy negatively affects woman collectively.  The fact is gender and class hierarchy is the very driver in his ability to “bride shop” online. He fails to recognize how the feminist movement has contributed to the creation of the self-help ecosystem he enjoys, and later how his Latin wife will react when she assimilates with the feminist model.

She goes on “men blame consumption, materialism, and even greed for high divorce rates, for the fact that women leave them for wealthier and younger men, or that women seek their own empowerment through entering the work- force”(352).  “Through their desire to improve the culture of national family, they are caught in the dilemma of embracing ethnic, gender, religious, and national differences while maintaining global hierarchies”(352).  She argues that inevitably the relationships that are structured on heightening the U.S. males sense of masculinity, fail when the woman assimilates into American society.

Schaeffer‐Grabiel concludes “while many men turn to Latin American women and culture in hopes of living a life outside of the tyranny of capitalism, materialism, and rugged individualism, many simply seek a fantasy-ridden image of women as the object of change they seek to import back home without having to change anything about themselves”(353).

Her point is men seek a relationship that maintain their gendered hierarchy when in reality this is the very aspect of the relationship that is hardest to preserve in along side the feminist model.  The male claims his dilemma arrises when the Latin wife assumes his social class when they marry and later develops her own sense of self through the modern feminist model. In blaming feminism he seeks to directly target it. Rather than address the person change he may have to make to make his relationship work, the white male instead looks to handicap the woman’s ability to be independent from him. Specifically, he seeks a woman that he has ultimate class and gender hierarchy over. – crazy

Questions:

Are U.S. males wrong in assuming Latin woman are culturally more submissive? Or is this simply an assertion that changes as Latin women experience the greater equality of rights they are afforded America?

In what ways is this dating culture reflective of the greater social views held by the American adult male?  How does this play into American policies on immigration?

Generating Discussion: Between Love and Money:Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Sex work in Cuba and the Dominican Republic has become a diluted term used to describe the relationship between citizens and tourists. Amalia Cabezas goes into much detail describing the similarities in both countries, and the misuse of the undefined term, sex work in her article “Between Love and Money: Sex, Tourism, and Citizenship in Cuba and the Dominican Republic”.

In the early 1900’s, the Dominican Republic and Cuba were under the United States’ control. While Cuba was able to successfully separate itself, the Dominican Republic struggled, leaving most of it’s citizens in poverty. Both nations were and still are heavily reliant on tourism, allowing their citizens to work in tourist areas to receive an income to provide for their families. This is where the term sex work came into use. Although many people associate this term with prostitution, these two countries perceive it in a different manner.

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In Cuba the word jineterismo, meaning hustler, is used to label those who work directly with tourists for money, such as selling them small goods, helping them with directions, sightseeing, and occasionally sex. The men are referred to as jineteros, where they assist visitors with restaurants and other tourist attractions. Women, also known as jineteras, are the ones creating sexual relationships with the travelers. In fact, jineteras are seen as dominant sex workers who do this not as a form of work, but for pleasure instead. Pingueros is the term used to describe men who construct sexual relations with tourists. Although most of the pingueros are straight, they mainly had sexual relationships with men rather than women. When several interviews were done with pingueros, the men stated that they did not see the money or clothing given to them as payment for their services, but instead as a gift from a friend. The terms stated above are typically used on darker-skinned Cubans, where lighter-skinned Cubans are exempt.

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Similarly in the Dominican Republic, the phrase sanky panky, also known as “beach boys” or gigolos, is used to describe those who are involved in sex work. These men and women used to cater to both male, female, gay and straight tourists, whereas now it consists mostly of middle-aged women. In the Dominican Republic, the “beach boys” do not seek sex from the visitors, but instead try to build a relationship. The term one-night-stand is viewed as unproductive. Instead, the sanky pankies shower the visiting women with extreme flirtatious behavior, take them sightseeing, out to dinner, dancing, and try to create a friendship, or a romantic relationship to encourage future visits.

In some cases in both Cuba and the Dominican Republic, creating relationships with tourists can be dangerous, especially for darker-skinned women. This is due to the fact that police officers will arrest women leaving discos, or other tourists-filled areas alone at night. In the Dominican Republic, sometimes the arrests will happen with no justification, and other times because they were “bothering” tourists. Women who are arrested are thrown in jail with murderers, and drug dealers, and are harassed and occasionally raped by police officers. They are typically not released until they can pay the fine. In Cuba however, the Federación de Mujeres Cubanas created a rehabilitation program. Women who have been arrested once are let off with a warning, and once they reach three arrests, then they can be sent to the rehabilitation center for up to four years, depending on “the degree of risk to society that the woman represents”. (Cabezas, 1006) The rehab center has not always been successful, but still continues to be used.

In both countries, the creation of a friendship between a citizen and tourist is seen as an overall beneficial relationship between the two. Often times, the tourist will pay for their boyfriend or girlfriend’s flight to visit them, or help provide for their families.

 

Questions:

  • Do you find the relationships or friendships created in Cuba or the Dominican Republic to be sex work?
  • Do you think the rehabilitation center in Cuba is beneficial? If so should the Dominican Republic create a similar program?