Prostitution In The United States Essay Example

Prostitution is a situation whereby a woman decides to practice underproductive sex to be paid in return (Prostitution is not a choice, n.d., para.1). People usually decide to become sexual objects to anyone who can pay them in return. Women are the highest placed victims of prostitution in the world. Some countries legalize prostitution while other countries do not support prostitution. For example, in the United States of America; there is limited legality of prostitution. The most affected are the vulnerable women and young girls. Statistically, it has been proven that there are approximately 100,000 arrests for prostitution annually (Prostitution, n.d., p. 1). Some businesspersons invest in prostitution. Such people practice girl child trafficking and in the end, make them prostitutes.

According to Shyann Child, in his article “Empirically examining prostitution through a feminist perspective,” he reviews the ideology of prostitution by using a feminist perspective. (Article by Shyann Child Retrieved December 5, 2012, at 1 pm from digital commons). Shyann Child explores the ideology of prostitution, by sampling several women who were prostitutes and non-prostitutes. The child identifies the reason why these women chose prostitution (Child, 2009, p. 3). The child uses independent and dependent variables to explain the situation faced by prostitutes. He also shows the different forms of prostitution and their effects on victimized women. Child sampled a group of women from Northeastern U.S.A. and analyzed their life experiences. In addition, he used these data to explain several theories related to prostitution. His main aim was to discover if these women had a role to play in choosing prostitution as part of their life.

Considering the analysis done by Child, he used an inductive approach while doing his research. In order, to formulate his hypothesis, he identified different theories. For example, Child uses criminological theories to explain the fact that women are responsible for the choices they make in life (Child, 2009, p. 6). To identify the hypothesis, the researcher, uses real-life experience to solve issues. It follows the procedure of development theory, generation of hypothesis and finally undertaking observation and collecting data to confirm the assumptions made (DeVault, n.d., para 4).

The hypothesis of this research addresses issues of prostitution based on feminists’ perspective. The researcher assumes that either women’s prostitution is a choice made by the victim or it is a forced deal. The reason determining the nature of prostitution is based on a person’s life experience. For example, someone may enter into prostitution due to prolonged poverty and wants a change. Therefore, this can be described as willingly accepting prostitution to get money. On the other hand, there are situations where young girls are trafficked and confined by greedy business people (100 countries and their prostitution policies n.d., para 5).In the end, they are introduced to drugs and prostitution to make money for their bosses. The latter is described as forced prostitution. While undertaking the research, the researcher, collected information from the field and used other recourses like books to come up with the proper information that addresses the topic of research.

In conclusion, the results implied that women who practiced prostitution were influenced by certain factors. For example, a child who was sexually abused by a close relative or a family member was prone to practicing prostitution in the near future. In addition, economic factors like unemployment among the youth are responsible for perpetuating prostitution in society. Therefore, society has a huge role to play in determining the number of prostitution in existence. Parents are encouraged to speak openly about the negative effects of prostitution for the girls to know how much they endanger their lives. The state should make it a point to help the youth by creating more job opportunities to improve on their standards of living.

References

Child, S. (2009). empirically examining prostitution through a feminist perspective. Web.

DeVault, G. (n.d.). Market research – deductive versus inductive. Web.

Prostitution (n.d.). Web.

Prostitution is not a choice. (n.d.). Web.

100 countries and their prostitution policies. (n.d.). Web.

Deconstruction Of Siegfried As A True Hero

German myths have always been different from the overall European mythology. Aside from the setting, probably the most remarkable distinction is the hero. A shining example is Siegfried, who is a controversial figure in the medieval German narrative. He definitely acts with valor, fights the dragon, and dies at the end, which are all features of a traditional hero. Yet, taking a closer look at his actions, it is possible to dethrone Siegfried as a true hero.

Mythology Retrospection

The first trace of Siegfried in Medieval mythology appears in the thirteenth century. There are different versions of his origin, one of which portrays him as a son of the king of Xanten, while the other makes him a wandering warrior. Regardless of his real birth, Siegfried kills a dragon and baths in its blood, which makes his skin so hard that he becomes practically invulnerable.

Siegfried arrives at the capital of the Burgundian kingdom, aiming to marry princess Kriemhild. He befriends her father, king Gunther and makes a deal with him. The king would allow Kriemhild to marry Siegfried in exchange for his help with winning over the heart of the queen of Iceland, Brünhild. She was known for her fierce nature and for killing any man who fails her physically difficult tests.

The reason why the king chose Siegfried lies in his invulnerability, which will let him accomplish all challenges necessary to court the queen. The initiative is a success, with both men marrying their respective love interests. However, Brünhild physically prevents Gunther from consummating their marriage. Once again, the king turns to Siegfried, who overpowers the queen, appropriates her possessions (belt and ring), and forces her to sleep with Gunther.

This endeavor paves the way for the implication that neither Siegfried nor Gunther had foreseen. Now that both women are part of the royal family, there is debate on which of them is more powerful. Kriemhild accuses Brünhild of giving her virginity to Siegfried by using the belt and ring as proof. In response, Brünhild devises a plot to kill Siegfried, which is possible due to a vulnerable spot on his skin. Kriemhild is tricked into giving away her husband’s weakness. Siegfried is subsequently murdered on a hunt, but he manages to curse the Burgundians before dying.

Characteristics of a Hero

Firstly, it is essential to understand what comprises a hero in the first place. They have to be of noble birth, able to commit unnatural acts, express feelings of patriotism, and be humble. Classen (2003) refers to the definition of a true hero as “an extraordinary individual, the hero, who stands above his contemporaries in physical and moral strength” (p. 299). He proceeds to give examples of ideal mythological heroes who fit these criteria, which include Beowulf and the Campeador El Cid.

It is evident that two constituents are essential for a hero. The first is his physical prowess, which is displayed through extraordinary feats (Raglan, 2003). A hero is definitely a great warrior inspiring others to go into battle. It is customary that a hero would have a specific weapon, which signifies some parts of his identity. Naturally, a hero is a master of combat, able to win fights with insurmountable odds.

The second feature of a hero is his moral superiority. It is a tricky criterion because it depends a great deal on the historic context and contemporary norms. Still, it is possible to pinpoint some traits typical of a hero. They include patriotism, a strong sense of honor, humility, good reasoning, decency, adherence to virtues, and other moral attributes (Raglan, 2003). Ultimately, a hero’s life comes down to selfless sacrifices for the sake of other people.

Many fictional characters fall within the heroic framework. Robin Hood is a good archer with exceptional leadership abilities, which he uses to help the poor. King Arthur protects his land against Saxon invaders and rules honorably. Beowulf valiantly saves his people from dangers over the course of his life. Roland sacrifices himself to let to cover Charlemagne’s army. There is little confusion when it comes to ascertaining what these characters represent.

Germanic Morality

The other problem is that the Germanic view of morality was not the same as classical English understanding. Both cultures had their own unique view of virtues, nobility, and what constitutes heroism. Without a doubt, there are similarities between the characters of myths of different cultures. Still, there are substantial distinctions, which determine the various interpretation of the same actions and behaviors. Moreover, some of those national traditions may be seen as negative from the perspective of another society.

Germanic heroes are first and foremost warriors who live in battle and see it as the meaning of their lives. This commitment to a warlike lifestyle also brings about the view of fearlessness and strength as the essentials of heroism (Van Sweringen, 1915). These traits take precedence to compassion and sacrifice. Germanic heroes are bent on vengeance and taking revenge. It is also seen as a positive and heroic characteristic rather than a sign of immoral conduct.

Germanic myths have an interesting attitude towards death. The general view is that a warrior must die fighting. Yet, it is not an expression of the willingness and readiness to sacrifice. Van Sweringen argues that “the idea of self-sacrifice was foreign to the Germanic mind” (p. 213). This is a stark contrast to the chivalry traditions of Western Europe, which favored those willing to die for others. As a result, it can be argued that many Germanic heroes are not heroic from the classical standpoint.

Analysis of Siegfried’s Status

Siegfried is a complicated figure with various arguments in favor and against him being a hero. Traditionally, he is associated as a hero of Germanic mythology. However, his story was relayed through generations not as clearly as the narratives of other famous heroes. It became customary to attribute heroic qualities to him without actually delving into his actions and analyzing them. Combined with the Germanic medieval morality, it is viable to doubt Siegried as a true hero.

Firstly, Siegfried differs in his origins from the heroic archetype. Classen (2003) writes that “Siegfried hails from a world of quasi-gods and naturally does not fit into the world of the Burgundian” (p. 302). The traditional setting would have a hero be fit his society and represent its best and most valued qualities. In Siegfried’s case, there is little consideration of the Burgundians in his mind. He is driven by selfish goals and does not exhibit any desire to protect the people.

His real motives become apparent at the end of the second chapter, when knights suggest the idea of Siegdried becoming a king himself and protecting the lands. Instead, “the son had no ambition to be crowned” (Ryder, 1962). The next chapter opens with him becoming enamored with Kriemhild and intending to marry her.

Secondly, Siegfried’s behavior can be aggressive and downright arrogant. For instance, Classen (2003) refers to the verse 43 in German as proof that “Siegfried’s goals are to conquer the world, to fight with physical force, and to crush any enemy who might stand in his way” (p. 300). This attitude presents a sharp contrast to the accepted heroic demeanor, which presupposes adherence to peace and the desire to fight out of necessity, but not power. Siegfried is ready to kill for the sake of himself, as he does on numerous occasions, for example, in the fourth adventure, where Siegfried kills thirty knights in cold blood.

Thirdly, some of Siegried’s actions implicate him morally, even according to Germanic traditions. One of the stories deals with him slaying the knights, who asked him to divide the treasure (Raglan, 2003). Whereas a traditional hero would retreat, Siegried proceeded to kill them and have the prize all for himself.

Moreover, Bohning (1943) argues that in one version, Siegfried actually rapes Brunhilde on her wedding night with king Gunther. At a later point, Siedrig’s wife brings it up as a possibility. One of Siegfried’s inspirational cries to his men was: “More’s to be done before the day is through. If I keep my life, we’ll live in care and sorrow many a Saxon wife” (Ryder, 1962, p. 73). All of these actions are abhorrent, regardless of contemporary societal mores.

Conclusion

Altogether, it should be noted that Siegfried is a multi-dimensional character, with both heroic and villainous traits. There are some indications that he can be considered a hero due to the overall narrative of his story. Yet, it is impossible to ignore his actions, which would vilify a character in the classic medieval story. The moral connotation of some of the actions may be explained by the traditions unique to the Germanic people. Nevertheless, Siegfried crosses even this threshold, disavowing himself as a true hero.

References

Bohning, E. E. (1944). Brunhild in medieval tradition. Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, 5(3), 23-36.

Classen, A. (2003). The downfall of a hero: Siegfried’s self-destruction and the end of heroism in the” Nibelungenlied”. German Studies Review, 26(2), 295-314.

Raglan, F. R. S. (2003). The hero: A study in tradition, myth and drama. Courier Corporation.

Ryder, F. G. (1962). The song of the Nibelungs: A verse translation from the Middle High German Nibelungenlied. Frank Glessner Ryder.

Van Sweringen, G. F. (1915). The Main literary types of men in the Germanic Hero-Sagas. The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 14(2), 212-225.

Civil Rights Struggle Of African Americans

Introduction

The civil rights struggle of African Americans began much earlier than it got its name. Despite the negative attitude towards slavery and inequality among many American leaders, the implementation of the principle laid down in the Declaration of Independence, that “all men are born equal,” was postponed several times until Kennedy did not send to Congress the Civil Rights bill in August 1963. [1] This paper aims to analyze three primary sources to reveal in detail the various aspects of the struggle for African Americans’ rights.

Freedpeople and the Movement for Freedom

Abram Colby’s Testimony, 1872

Although the movement for equal rights for African Americans and Whites defended the interests of the black people, this movement reflected the objective processes that took place in society. These processes were due to several reasons – political, economic, cultural, and social. Abram Colby was an African American legislator from Georgia who gave his testimony in 1872 in front of a congressional committee formed to investigate violence against freedpeople in the South.

Unfortunately, the events he described were a widespread practice since members of the Ku Klux Klan movement often beat to death activists who intended to protect the black people’s rights after the abolition of slavery, including voting rights. Members of the Ku Klux Klan, among whom were representatives of the highest circles in the Southern States’ society, advocated preserving the old American society as it existed before the advent of slaves from Africa. The movement was most widespread in Alabama, South, and North Carolina, where African Americans were forced to work on plantations growing cotton.

After they have freed thanks to the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln, the vast majority left the farms in search of relatives from whom the planters had separated them. African Americans were now able to participate in night rallies together with white politicians in defense of voting and civil rights. However, such processions were often attacked by proponents of segregation policies who were not ready to accept African Americans as equals. The segregation policy was essentially a continuation of the inequality policy. It assumed that blacks and whites would study in schools, attend public institutions, and use public transport separately. Although the South’s policies presented segregation as a compromise in favor of equality, as long as ‘equal treatment was ensured,’ in essence, segregation aimed to distinguish African Americans as second sort citizens.

In the submitted document, Abram Colby describes how on October 29, 1869, representatives of the Ku Klux Klan, Klansmen broke into his house, demanding him to refuse to vote for the Radical ticket. Colby described the attackers: “Some are first-class men in our town. One is a lawyer, one a doctor and some are farmers. They had their pistols, and they took me in my nightclothes and carried me from home.”[2] Colby refused to withdraw his voice, for which he was left in the forest and severely beaten.

The day before, the Klansmen tried to bribe him by offering a total of $ 7,500 to join them and allow another person to vote in his place. Colby sustained severe injuries and subsequent threats to kill him. On the eve of the election, the Klansmen attacked Colby’s home again, riddling it with bullets, which he witnessed while returning from a Saturday church service. As he confessed in the testimony, the attack broke his spirit, and he could no longer work with other people. Therefore, the Klansmen managed to punish the representative of African Americans in Congress.

Editorial of Hiram Wesley Evans, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, 1925

Despite the abolition of slavery, from 1869 to 1925, little changed concerning the policy of segregation. African Americans were still forced to attend schools, canteens, and barbershops for blacks and use segregated public transport. The aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, the Great War, and the wave of inventions adopted by monopolists had little impact on Americans’ social and civic life. By the middle of the ‘roaring 20s,’ when feminist movements defended women’s rights, segregation policies were still supported by Southern government members. Therefore, it is not surprising that representatives of such radical and aggressive organizations as the Ku Klux Klan have openly expressed their ideas about preserving America for true Americans.

In his editorial, Hiram Wesley Evans expresses two main ideas of the organization’s members, from which he and his colleagues are not ready to give up under any circumstances. The first idea was that “the pioneers who built America bequeathed to their children a priority right to it, the control of it and its future, and that no one on earth can claim any part of this inheritance.”[3] The second idea implied that “the mission of America under Almighty God is to perpetuate and develop just the kind of nation and just the kind of civilization which our forefathers created.”[4] Therefore, the Klansmen justified their inhuman cruelty with lofty ideals, forgetting that the original goal of creating a new state was to unite representatives of all classes, nationalities, and races as equals in the eyes of God.

The document directly indicates that the Klansmen adhered to the most radical form of racism. Hiram Wesley Evans, who wrote this appeal in hopes of gaining more followers, notes: “We believe that races of men are as distinct as breeds of animals.”[5] He stresses that “any mixture between races of any great divergence is evil; the American stock, which was bred under highly selective surroundings, has proved its value and should not be mongrelized.”[6] Consequently, this man directly considered white supremacy in a newspaper publication. This blatant racism can also be attributed to the state of the press, which was different from modern standards of morality and objectivity. Most newspapers expressed highly polarized opinions and felt no need for self-censorship. Moreover, newspapers were predominantly used as instruments of the struggle for political influence, which may also explain the deliberate dissemination of the ideas of the Ku Klux Klan.

The opinion expressed by Hiram Wesley Evans was deeply subjective and did not reflect the real state of affairs. In particular, the appeal expressed fear that although “all foreigners were admitted with the idea… become a part of us, adopt our ideas and ideals, and help in fulfilling our destiny, but never that they should be permitted to force us to change into anything else.”[7] Such fears were characteristic of that time since, after the Great War, the United States met an influx of immigrants. Due to this, immigrant laws were passed, introducing quotas for the newcomers. However, African Americans settled on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean along with the first settlers. They could hardly change whites into anything else, as they helped them fulfill their destiny by growing rice and cotton on the plantations and serving planters to earn colossal fortunes. Hence, it is evident that Klansmen’s ideas distorted reality and offered to fight phantoms.

Martin Luther King on Vietnam, 1967

The Civil Rights movement was marked by the famous case when Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white gentleman on a white bus. Black women, now also involved in political movements, distributed leaflets that reported Rosa Park’s case and called on all African Americans to participate in the bus boycott in defense of civil rights. African Americans gathered in demonstrations and demanded to end segregation in schools, hospitals, and public institutions.

The rallies sparked an extreme backlash in the Southern States, where pro-segregationists attacked protesters, bombed and killed them. Best known for the number of violent attacks against civil rights activists was Birmingham, Alabama, with the largest number of bombings. John F. Kennedy, who was not a supporter of segregation, could not openly support the movement, as he was indebted to the politicians from the Southern states who supported him in the elections. However, he tried to stop the civil rights rallies and the violence they provoked, urging protesters to focus on reclaiming voting rights.

Representatives of communities such as the NAACP, SCLC, and SNCC campaigned and ensured the registration of black voters who could have been easily refused in the voting right by election officials for fictitious reasons. The most famous demonstration organized by SCLC and Martin Luther King was D-Day when thousands of teenagers marched in Birmingham. Despite their young age and peaceful protest, they were arrested by the local police chief, nicknamed “Bull” Connor, and thrown into prison. [8]

SCLC decided to organize a Double-D Day, but this time the reaction was even more violent – the police beat protesters and onlookers and used electric cattle prods and fire horses. But people were not intimidated, and three months later, in August 1963, a quarter of a million Americans gathered in March on Washington to promote Civil Rights Bill. [9] Martin Luther King gave his first speech to people, which began with the words “I have a dream.” The Civil Rights Bill that Kennedy sent to Congress allowed the federal government to desegregate schools and guarantee the right to vote, but this was not yet a victory.

An unexpected event that brought white and black civil rights fighters together was the Vietnam War. The presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, who sent soldiers to Vietnam, had shallow support from the population, who considered this war unjustified and did not understand its goals. A considerable number of Americans died in Vietnam; others were physically and mentally injured. Therefore, the Vietnam War veterans felt they had a responsibility to educate American citizens about the war’s realities and stop it. They hoped to find support for the Civil Rights movement and African Americans, who, like whites, were recruited and forced to fight against their will.

Therefore, Martin Luther King took this opportunity to create an alliance. In the presented document, he delivers a speech on Vietnam on behalf of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. King notes that the time has come when “silence is betrayal,” acknowledging that “as I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems.”[10] In return, King offered to join his belief that “social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.”[11] He also admitted that “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my government.”[12]

In light of these statements, he urged his listeners not to ignore the existing war and to admit that it poisons society. Later, President Nixon achieved peace with Vietnam and withdrew American troops. Noteworthy, King encouraged his supporters to refrain from violence, as he believed that the path of non-violence is the only way to win. King was assassinated in 1968 by a segregator; however, although he received numerous threats and pressure, this outstanding leader did not abandon his attempts to change the world for the better.

Conclusion

Thus, the three primary sources were analyzed to detail the various aspects of African Americans’ struggle for civil rights. The first source illustrated the Reformation Era’s events when Lincoln hoped to forever free the nation from slavery and inequality but met with strong opposition from the Southern states. This source describes a typical attack by members of the Ku Klux Klan group on a representative from African Americans in Congress during the Radical ticket vote. The second document reflects the situation of the 1920s when the Klansmen could still openly declare their beliefs and demonstrates the deep subjectivity of these beliefs. The third document is an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s speech about the Vietnam War. It proves that by 1967, civil rights activists had achieved parity and sustained support within American society

References

James West Davidson, A Little History of the United States, (Yale University Press, 2015), 276.

HIS220B, Week 1 Document Set 1.

HIS220B, Week 2 Document Set 2.

Davidson, A Little History of the United States, 275.

Davidson, 276.

HIS220B, Week 4 Document Set 1.