Speaking of which, you may have missed this last week:
So the money came rolling in, and that made everything okay?
LONDON – The path to the Olympics is not cheap, something a New Zealander named Logan Campbell discovered upon returning home from his taekwondo loss four years ago in Beijing. He faced a mountain of bills from travel, equipment, and training, almost $120,000 worth in American currency, and he couldn't keep asking his parents to pay it.
London was going to cost him another $200,000. He needed money. He needed it fast.
So he opened a brothel.
Not surprisingly, the brothel, and the publicity it stirred in Auckland when he announced his intentions in 2009, did not impress his country's sports federation. The people in charge of protecting the nation's sporting image did not see an athlete talking openly about the selling of flesh to fund his trip to the next Olympics as a reflection of their values. The fact brothels are legal in New Zealand, as long as a list of guidelines is met, didn't much impress the country's sports ministers.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee sent him a letter telling him to stop linking prostitution to funding an Olympics journey or they would sue.
But something remarkable happened. Money came for taekwondo. More money than the country's taekwondo team had ever received. No longer desperate for funds, Campbell sold the brothel in 2011. This spring, New Zealand put him on its London team.
It gets worse, though:
Yet as he said this, there also seemed a perception he wanted to eliminate. He senses that people think he was a sleazy pimp selling women on the street corner. This, he said, was not true.
"It's a legal business in New Zealand," Campbell said. "It's completely different from other countries in the world. There was no – I don't know – no one was forced into the industry, and they're not doing it because they are in poverty because we have a really good welfare system."
He stopped for a moment.
"It's more of like a higher-class thing than you see around the world. I think a lot of people don't understand that. As compared … to places like Thailand [where] I know what it's like in the poorer countries, where people don't have a choice to get into that sort of industry. But in New Zealand it's completely different, so it's fine."
Think about that. Women in New Zealand aren't being sold on the street corner--so it's fine. Women in New Zealand have the legal right to sell themselves in order to pleasure men--and they get good benefits, so it's fine. Brothels in New Zealand are really high class, and the women who are being used as living sex toys have a choice about doing that sort of work, so it's fine. It's so fine, in fact, that an Olympic athlete can open a brothel and sell women to support his dream of a taekwondo medal, and nobody should object, because enabling johns to perform meaningless sex acts on women who get paid for that sort of thing (so long as she had other job options, and gets good benefits, and it's legal) is the sort of business venture we associate with good sportsmanship, athleticism, and the aura of a champion.
Prostitution is not fine, any more than torture is. Both reduce a human being to an object to be used instead of a child made in God's image and likeness to be loved, treated with honor, and respected. If this athlete thinks that people are judging him for doing something shameful, perhaps he ought to ask himself if maybe they are right, instead of defending his act of selling women to support his sport. We have the right to find disgusting things disgusting, so it's fine to judge this sort of vile "business" for the soul-crushing, body-destroying, human-wrecking sort of thing it really is.