Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives

ARTICLE

Pipe Dream for the Ladies: Constructs of Rights of Prostituted Women among Social Actors in the Sex Industry of Olongapo City, Zambales

Author

Jonalyn C. Paz

Abstract

Although recognized as illegal, prostitution in Olongapo is widely practiced, even actively backed by the state. Euphemisms related to sex trade activities and personas such as guest relations officers, entertainers, clients, and managers were employed as cloaks to legitimize its operation. Bars, massage parlors, street solicitations, and private escort services are among the few settings that sustain the sex industry.

The historical, political, and economic dimensions of prostitution have been widely researched; however, there remains a dearth of social inquiry pertaining to the sociocultural dimension of the trade, specifically the social construction of rights afforded to the women by those involved in the industry. Underpinned by constructivism theory, this article explores the constructs of the social actors in the prostitution sector pertaining to the rights of prostituted women. It asserts that reality is consistently being shaped through the making, sharing, and reciprocation of a construct system among the social actors in a series of definitive events. The article juxtaposes these constructs with the policies and laws and examines how these translate to social structures and materialization of rights.

Findings reveal that the laws and policies on prostitution are largely dissociated from the construct system of the prostituted women. The material conditions in Olongapo, combined with the punitive nature of these ordinances, legitimize exclusion, enable sexual predation, sustain sex buying, stifle the materialization of the rights of prostituted women, and deprive them of legal remedies. A comprehensive and extensive evaluation of the said laws based on the construct system of prostituted women and active involvement of prostituted women in crafting new measures are highly recommended.

Keywords

gender development; prostitution; Subic Bay Naval Base; US military in Asia; constructivism; women’s rights

Recommended Citation

Paz, Jonalyn C. 2020. “Pipe Dream for the Ladies: Constructs of Rights of Prostituted Women among Social Actors in the Sex Industry of Olongapo City, Zambales.” Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives (2020): 35–70. https://cids.up.edu.ph/publications/pjpp/pjpp-2020/pjpp202035/.

Paz, J. C. (2020). Pipe dream for the ladies: Constructs of rights of prostituted women among social actors in the sex industry of Olongapo City, Zambales. Philippine Journal of Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Development Perspectives, 2020, 35–70. https://cids.up.edu.ph/publications/pjpp/pjpp-2020/pjpp202035/