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12 hours ago, Meanderingviking said:

 

Ultimately men buying sex without any concern for the women's circumstances perpetuates the problem, made even more heinous by the fact they work for a Christian organisation that is supposed to be providing aid. I am interested to see where Oxfam goes from here as it's reputation will be very severely dented.

So, what if the men buy cheap trinkets from women in the local market, or pay to have their shoes polished?  Do you expect those men to be concerned about the women's circumstances?  If they stopped buying trinkets would that improve the women's circumstances?

The point is that in many parts of the world, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean, an adult woman selling her 'personal services' is not considered to be especially immoral.   Underage is of course an entirely different matter.

However I don't condone what the aid workers are alleged to have been doing - they should apply the same highest moral principles to their own actions as they would be expected to do in their home countries (which would not include frequenting the red light district of Amsterdam). 

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15 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Yes I am sure you are right, you do find other's opinions irrelevant, you will believe what you want to believe regardless of reality.

 

Its not quoting you because you inserted your comments in mine. But I did briefly google Oxfam and found no references to it being a christian organisation. Why do you think it is (ie, cite evidence please, if only for my education)?

 

And I am not lowering the bar, you said it was all about men buying sex from women as if the opposite never happened. It might have been all about men in this specific case, but bringing misandry into it is just a cheap shot.

I have volunteered for Oxfam in the past and worked with them professionally as a partner agency hence knowing they are a Christian organisation.

I have not intentionally been misandristic, if it comes across as so it is not the case, both men and women are capable of behaving badly and I have no axe to grind against either sex.

Referring to my original post the point I am making is that sex for sale covers a whole raft of issues, and representatives of an aid organisation buying sex is not good for that organisations reputation and equally risky for both parties.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Meanderingviking said:

I have volunteered for Oxfam in the past and worked with them professionally as a partner agency hence knowing they are a Christian organisation.

 

 

... founded by Quakers.

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Didnt the Oxfam director involved clarify that the local Haitian lady he was involved with did not prostitute herself with him but that they were in a semipermanent relationship ?

Now we have murdered MP Joe Cox,s charity working husband facing humiliation for sexual harrasment claims. He's stepping down from his laudible functions.

Seems men just best stay home and take hormone reduction therapy.  Leave it to the women, its far less risky.

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2 hours ago, Irob said:

Didnt the Oxfam director involved clarify that the local Haitian lady he was involved with did not prostitute herself with him but that they were in a semipermanent relationship ?

Now we have murdered MP Joe Cox,s charity working husband facing humiliation for sexual harrasment claims. He's stepping down from his laudible functions.

Seems men just best stay home and take hormone reduction therapy.  Leave it to the women, its far less risky.

Let’s hope we start getting a few men complaining of sexual harassment by women. It certainly happens! With a bit of luck, men and women will cease to interact and then the world overpopulation problem will,be fixed.

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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Let’s hope we start getting a few men complaining of sexual harassment by women. It certainly happens! With a bit of luck, men and women will cease to interact and then the world overpopulation problem will,be fixed.

Seems the men and women of Niger in Africa are interacting too well with a birth rate average of 7.6 babes/woman. Wonder what they do in their non interacting time ?

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On 14/02/2018 at 00:17, nicknorman said:

But my point all along has been simply that buying the services of  prostitute in Haiti is not in principle a heinous crime, nor one which the local prostitutes would thank you for trying to terminate.

The point you are missing is that my comments are no reflection on the morality of the Haitians and what they do to survive or make a living prostitutes or not.  My point is about people from charities going to that country from Europe who are taking advantage of the situation for their own gratification.  They can help these people in Haiti by doing their job and keeping their trousers zipped.  I question their morals and intent.

Edited by churchward

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10 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Let’s hope we start getting a few men complaining of sexual harassment by women. It certainly happens! With a bit of luck, men and women will cease to interact and then the world overpopulation problem will,be fixed.

We can agree on something, it does happen but perhaps not so news worthy sadly.  I helped a chap a few years ago who was regularly beaten by his wife and sexually mistreated, quite badly. The trouble is that some people seem to think it funny rather than an issue.

It also happens with same sex harassment. That certainly happened to me many years ago. I had a job in Window displays and design and was 18. I worked in London from time to time and used to pick up and deliver materials from a design/ advertising agency in some offices in Bedford Chambers above Covent Garden.  The owner was a flamboyant homosexual (nought wrong with that) but sadly also a pervert and regardless of their sexual preferences liked to hit on young chaps who came into his office.  I found myself backed into a corner by him ( I shan't describe all) but the only way to get him to back off was to use physical persuasion.

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27 minutes ago, churchward said:

The point you are missing is that my comments are no reflection on the morality of the Haitians and what they do to survive or make a living prostitutes or not.  My point is about people from charities going to that country from Europe who are taking advantage of the situation for their own gratification.  They can help these people in Haiti by doing their job and keeping their trousers zipped.  I question their morals and intent.

And my point is that one should go to a foreign country and try to apply morals and standards of one’s own country. I think the expression is “when in Rome...”. Anyway, there seem to be various versions of the story, one being that the chief protagonist was actually in a normal personal relationship with a local woman. Do you object to that too - should aid workers all be celibate and aloof? Look where that got the Catholic Church!

Edited by nicknorman

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25 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

And my point is that one should go to a foreign country and try to apply morals and standards of one’s own country. I think the expression is “when in Rome...”. Anyway, there seem to be various versions of the story, one being that the chief protagonist was actually in a normal personal relationship with a local woman. Do you object to that too - should aid workers all be celibate and aloof? Look where that got the Catholic Church!

I think quite the opposite you should maintain your own standards.  Assuming I am reading your post correctly and putting in the word you missed out. If one was visiting the country where murder and violence was the highest in the world it would be OK to join in?

Another example there are 74 countries in the world where LGBT relationships are illegal and 12 of them where it can be punished by the death penalty. If I go to one of these countries it will OK to become homophobic? After all when in Rome eh?

So the chief protagonist says but there are plenty of people who say otherwise. As you said we may not know all the truth of the matter but there is enough evidence to say something is wrong.  The problem with going with the most convenient explanation is that people then slip through the net and get away with their abuse. All that people like Jimmy Savile needed to get away with it was folk to assume the best of it and turn the other way. It is easier for people to sweep it away.

Edited by churchward

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53 minutes ago, churchward said:

I think quite the opposite you should maintain your own standards.  Assuming I am reading your post correctly and putting in the word you missed out. If one was visiting the country where murder and violence was the highest in the world it would be OK to join in?

Another example there are 74 countries in the world where LGBT relationships are illegal and 12 of them where it can be punished by the death penalty. If I go to one of these countries it will OK to become homophobic? After all when in Rome eh?

So the chief protagonist says but there are plenty of people who say otherwise. As you said we may not know all the truth of the matter but there is enough evidence to say something is wrong.  The problem with going with the most convenient explanation is that people then slip through the net and get away with their abuse. All that people like Jimmy Savile needed to get away with it was folk to assume the best of it and turn the other way. It is easier for people to sweep it away.

Yes sorry, I missed out “not”. If I go to a foreign country where LG relationships are illegal (which I have done) I would be foolish not to respect local morals and standards, even if I disagree with them. So I wouldn’t snog Jeff in public, for example. I think respect of a different country’s cultural values works both ways.

We British always think we hold the moral high ground, but let’s remember that such things are transient and it was not long ago that we though slavery was absolutely fine.

Edited by nicknorman

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11 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

We British always think we hold the moral high ground, but let’s remember that such things are transient and it was not long ago that we though slavery was absolutely fine.

The then occupants of this country thought it was fine. I gave up eating people some time ago.

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22 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Yes sorry, I missed out “not”. If I go to a foreign country where LG relationships are illegal (which I have done) I would be foolish not to respect local morals and standards, even if I disagree with them. So I wouldn’t snog Jeff in public, for example. I think respect of a different country’s cultural values works both ways.

We British always think we hold the moral high ground, but let’s remember that such things are transient and it was not long ago that we though slavery was absolutely fine.

I asked the question in line with your viewpoint i.e. "when in Rome". So if a country is Homophobic its OK when I go there I become homophobic too?  There is a world of difference between choosing not to do something to fit in and choosing to do something. If not then I am maintaining an external moral viewpoint and not fitting in. 

By the way in Haiti prostitution is illegal but it is NOT about that it is about people behaving how they should do and help the disadvantaged. I agree about respecting other countries values to a point and would not wish to do something to offend or something illegal but NOT going with a prostitute is not going to do that. However, sometimes we must choose and use our own moral compass. It is not about moral high ground as you put it I am not putting my values above another country but I am expecting people from my culture to behave within our moral values and do the job they are there to do. That is significantly different. Yes of course culture and society moves on and what was OK before is not now.  Just because we used to do something like slavery or hang people is not an excuse to do it now.  No moral high ground we have just moved on and things will change in the future but things seldom revert to what it was.

Edited by churchward

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6 minutes ago, churchward said:

I asked the question in line with your viewpoint i.e. "when in Rome". So if a country is Homophobic its OK when I go there I become homophobic too?  There is a world of difference between choosing not to do something to fit in and choosing to do something. If not then I am maintaining an external moral viewpoint and not fitting in. 

By the way in Haiti prostitution is illegal but it is NOT about that it is about people behaving how they should do and help the disadvantaged. I agree about respecting other countries values to a point and would not wish to do something to offend or something illegal but NOT going with a prostitute is not going to do that. However, sometimes we must choose and use our own moral compass. It is not about moral high ground as you put it I am not putting my values above another country but I am expecting people from my culture to behave within our moral values and do the job they are there to do. That is significantly different. Yes of course culture and society moves on and what was OK before is not now.  Just because we used to do something like slavery or hang people is not an excuse to do it now.  No moral high ground we have just moved on and things will change in the future but things seldom revert to what it was.

If you are homophobic then whichever country you visit, won’t affect that. You don’t suddenly “become” homophobic just because you are in a different country, so the premise of your question is irrational.  It will only affect whether you choose to demonstrate your homophobia or not. There are plenty of homophobic people in this country, it’s just that it is becoming less acceptable to demonstrate it. Which in some ways is a shame because views and feelings that remain hidden, cannot be challenged.

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8 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

If you are homophobic then whichever country you visit, won’t affect that. You don’t suddenly “become” homophobic just because you are in a different country, so the premise of your question is irrational.  It will only affect whether you choose to demonstrate your homophobia or not. There are plenty of homophobic people in this country, it’s just that it is becoming less acceptable to demonstrate it. Which in some ways is a shame because views and feelings that remain hidden, cannot be challenged.

I agree it is good for such things to be out in the open because you can see it and challenge it.  But if it is the normal attitude one would be taking an external moral choice by not supporting it. That is the irrational argument I am trying to highlight. 

Since you use Slavery as an example, Mauritania has continued to be unable/difficult  to stop the practice and is common place in that country. If I was there I would not take a slave that is my moral choice but by your logic it would be rude not to, because "when in Rome..." There are millions of people in Slavery around the world and even if it is an accepted practice in a country I am still not going to agree with it. You cannot get away from taking moral choices because you are in a different place and they do thing otherwise there. Otherwise we are just moral chameleons swaying in the breeze.

Edited by churchward

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18 minutes ago, churchward said:

I agree it is good for such things to be out in the open because you can see it and challenge it.  But if it is the normal attitude one would be taking an external moral choice by not supporting it. That is the irrational argument I am trying to highlight. 

Since you use Slavery as an example, Mauritania has continued to be unable/difficult  to stop the practice and is common place in that country. If I was there I would not take a slave that is my moral choice but by your logic it would be rude not to, because "when in Rome..." There are millions of people in Slavery around the world and even if it is an accepted practice in a country I am still not going to agree with it. You cannot get away from taking moral choices because you are in a different place and they do thing otherwise there. Otherwise we are just moral chameleons swaying in the breeze.

When I worked in Borneo for year, my university mate and his wife also moved there (he worked for the same company). It was normal practice for the expats to have an amah - or maid as we might call it. I had one. But my friends resolutely refused to have one as it would be demeaning for some local tribal girl to be doing their washing and housework etc.

i got quite pally with my amah (no, not in that sort of way, obviously) and eventually she asked me why my friends wouldn’t have an amah. I explained, but she was unimpressed saying that they were depriving some local girl of a living, somewhere to stay (the amahs lived in) etc. She thought they were selfish and trying to impose their own western standards on local culture. She was right.

obviously not quite the same thing as a decision whether or not employ the services of a working girl, but the principle is the same.

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21 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

When I worked in Borneo for year, my university mate and his wife also moved there (he worked for the same company). It was normal practice for the expats to have an amah - or maid as we might call it. I had one. But my friends resolutely refused to have one as it would be demeaning for some local tribal girl to be doing their washing and housework etc.

i got quite pally with my amah (no, not in that sort of way, obviously) and eventually she asked me why my friends wouldn’t have an amah. I explained, but she was unimpressed saying that they were depriving some local girl of a living, somewhere to stay (the amahs lived in) etc. She thought they were selfish and trying to impose their own western standards on local culture. She was right.

obviously not quite the same thing as a decision whether or not employ the services of a working girl, but the principle is the same.

But nothing to do with slavery. A maid is not a slave no more than the person who might service my car is. I am not sure of the status right now but well into the 2000s (at least up to 7-10 years ago) in Mauritania a slave was someone who was not allowed to be paid or have any property of their own. A completely different scenario if one is paying a wage to a local person to do some legal work.

I spent some time in Brazil and it was normal to have a maid or cook or both but that was on an employment basis.  I can't say though I was always comfortable with the economics of the situation that allows a moderate income to employ 1 or 2 other people in the home. Especially knowing how and where they lived.

Also revisiting your point of turning Homophobic when in a country where LG relationships are illegal is irrational just in case you missed the point rather than ignoring the truth of it It would indeed be irrational to suddenly become homophobic depending on the country one is currently in.  That being the case what one is doing is holding onto ones moral viewpoint rather than be changed by the majority of view in that country. All of which supports my point and goes against your view of "when in Rome..."

 

Edited by churchward

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A maid is not a slave. But neither is a prostitute. So I don’t get your point.

No your point about homophobia still doesn’t make sense. You view is whatever it is, you can’t change it (well not without some ECT or aversion therapy perhaps!) according to which country you are in even if you wanted to. The chap - if he actually did use a prostitution - presumably felt that using prostitutes was OK and it didn’t matter too much which country he was in. Oldest profession etc. But what we are or were talking about is not his views and attitudes, but the views and attitudes of vociferous middle class nouveau-liberal English people as to whether using a prostitute is Ok or not. They feel Not - despite the fact that it is a normal occupation in Haiti -as it is in the U.K, which they would discover if they ever left their middle class suburban hypocritical bubbles. It is applying their faux bubblish views to an entirely different scenario that I disagree with. 

file

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54 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

A maid is not a slave. But neither is a prostitute. So I don’t get your point.

No your point about homophobia still doesn’t make sense. You view is whatever it is, you can’t change it (well not without some ECT or aversion therapy perhaps!) according to which country you are in even if you wanted to. The chap - if he actually did use a prostitution - presumably felt that using prostitutes was OK and it didn’t matter too much which country he was in. Oldest profession etc. But what we are or were talking about is not his views and attitudes, but the views and attitudes of vociferous middle class nouveau-liberal English people as to whether using a prostitute is Ok or not. They feel Not - despite the fact that it is a normal occupation in Haiti -as it is in the U.K, which they would discover if they ever left their middle class suburban hypocritical bubbles. It is applying their faux bubblish views to an entirely different scenario that I disagree with. 

file

That is the point and against what I think your original point was that we should accept the situation because it is "normal for Haiti" but if the same cannot be said for a country where LGBT relationships are illegal than that is a double standard. . I cannot change my viewpoint but you are asking me to change my viewpoint on if it is moral for charity workers to use prostitutes in a country where it is illegal and those visiting workers are supposed to be helping the scenario not join in. The point is where I go I go with my own outlook even though I like to blend into and experience local culture I am who I am. As for the random shotgun of insults categorising people who take a particular position well it just looks odd and all too easy when you can pigeon whole folk in the nasty pile and not have to think about it too hard.

My moral position I say again is not about the haitians but about the people who are there as charity workers and visiting the country in that capacity. You were the one who brought up slavery and maids etc. We all judge by our own moral compass and what they are accused of doing is abuse of position and should not happen. Just because a person (if they thought about it at all) thought it was OK does not make it so.  I assume most murders who plan the deed have rationalised the process in their head but it is still wrong. In any case the accusations are more than just paying for prostitutes but how old some of the people may be also general abuse in the local charity organisation not just in Haiti but other countries too.

 

Edited by churchward

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17 minutes ago, churchward said:

That is the point. I cannot change my viewpoint but you are asking me to change my viewpoint on if it is moral for charity workers to use prostitutes in a country where it is illegal and those visiting workers are supposed to be helping the scenario not join in. The point is where I go I go with my own outlook even though I like to blend into and experience local culture I am who I am. As for the random shotgun of insults categorising people who take a particular position well it just looks odd and all too easy when you can pigeon whole folk in the nasty pile and not have to think about it too hard.

My moral position I say again is not about the haitians but about the people who are there as charity workers and visiting the country in that capacity. You were the one who brought up slavery and maids etc. We all judge by our own moral compass and what they are accused of doing is abuse of position and should not happen. Just because a person (if they thought about it at all) thought it was OK does not make it so.  I assume most murders who plan the deed have rationalised the process in their head but it is still wrong. In any case the accusations are more than just paying for prostitutes but how old some of the people may be also general abuse in the local charity organisation not just in Haiti but other countries too.

 

 I think we can sum this up by saying that you think you are empowered to judge how other people should behave in other cultures far away. Whereas I think that is a narrow minded way to carry on, and think that the cultures and practises in other countries should be respected and not judged by our own standards. I have my views, I respect that others have different views. Your views seem to be predominantly about judging others, which seems disrespectful.

Buying a service that is for sale to anyone is not an abuse of position, and by suggesting it is, your argument looks ill thought out. I’m sure there are lots of other rumours and accusations floating around, but when you have rich foreign journalists going into poor countries looking for juicy gossip, that is bound to happen whether it is true or not.

Edited by nicknorman

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37 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 I think we can sum this up by saying that you think you are empowered to judge how other people should behave in other cultures far away. Whereas I think that is a narrow minded way to carry on, and think that the cultures and practises in other countries should be respected and not judged by our own standards. I have my views, I respect that others have different views. Your views seem to be predominantly about judging others, which seems disrespectful.

Buying a service that is for sale to anyone is not an abuse of position, and by suggesting it is, your argument looks ill thought out. I’m sure there are lots of other rumours and accusations floating around, but when you have rich foreign journalists going into poor countries looking for juicy gossip, that is bound to happen whether it is true or not.

No WE can't in the least you just wish it to be that way. I also did not make it illegal to be a prostitute in Hiati.  I would agree that on most things it is good to respect the views of others but there are times when it cannot be a black or white choice and their is conflict between an overall principle and specifcs of an actual event. Also respecting a view and agreeing are two very different things. I illustrated this point with the comparison of attitudes and legality of LGBT in some countries but you want to ignore that as it does not fit with your mantra. In Chechnya LGBT folk are rounded up kidnapped and sent to concentration camps. They think it is normal and  (as far as it is accurate just now) that around 100 people are being held in these camps for their sexual orientation. I certainly do not respect those actions. We all make judgements you clearly do too by your random insults and you just sound like an apologist for these people.

I will just say again that I am not commenting on the Haitian people but the people who went there from a similar or same culture as mine (e.g from Europe) and behaved as they did. They are accused of doing more than just buying a service in any case. Saying it is OK because that is what they do there is not reason enough and seems you are just being an apologist for them.

I am if you wish being disrespectful of the people who would do these deeds when they were supposed to be doing something else in the same way I would not be respectful of a viewpoint of someone who commits a crime. That however cannot be extruded to mean that I do not respect the views of the Haitians.  I certainly respect the views of the government there who see the behaviour as an issue.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/17/oxfam-sex-scandal-tip-iceberg-haitian-president-claims/

 

Edited by churchward

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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

When I worked in Borneo for year, my university mate and his wife also moved there (he worked for the same company). It was normal practice for the expats to have an amah - or maid as we might call it. I had one. But my friends resolutely refused to have one as it would be demeaning for some local tribal girl to be doing their washing and housework etc.

i got quite pally with my amah (no, not in that sort of way, obviously) and eventually she asked me why my friends wouldn’t have an amah. I explained, but she was unimpressed saying that they were depriving some local girl of a living, somewhere to stay (the amahs lived in) etc. She thought they were selfish and trying to impose their own western standards on local culture. She was right.

obviously not quite the same thing as a decision whether or not employ the services of a working girl, but the principle is the same.

 

Much the same here. I worked many years in jakarta indonesia, our obligation as expats was to hire local domestics, my company paid for maid, driver, gardener and nightwatchman. My driver in turn had a maid too. We did feel embarrased in some ways but we were creating a livelihood for four families. Then we caused trouble with the richer locals because westerners were accused of overpaying their staff and causing inflation in the domestic employment market.  We see similar but opposite happening here with cheap immigrant labour upsetting local labour rates.

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3 minutes ago, Irob said:

 

Much the same here. I worked many years in jakarta indonesia, our obligation as expats was to hire local domestics, my company paid for maid, driver, gardener and nightwatchman. My driver in turn had a maid too. We did feel embarrased in some ways but we were creating a livelihood for four families. Then we caused trouble with the richer locals because westerners were accused of overpaying their staff and causing inflation in the domestic employment market.  We see similar but opposite happening here with cheap immigrant labour upsetting local labour rates.

Just continueing on this theme. Many single male expats in jakarta eventually married their maids. Here was a woman who cooked and cleaned for them and the relationship blossomed.

Now imagine the state in German cities after WW2 when the rebuilding and security forces of USA, France and Britain were warned against franternisation with local women but many near starving women were forced to make themselves amenable to visiting males and eventually mutually beneficial relationships blossomed.   Prostitution ? 

Maybe this is what happened to the oxfam ceo in Haiti. He might have been a very good Aid organiser doing more good than harm.  Now lost.    Best not to judge without facts.

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