In 2004, police raided an alleged brothel in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, and amidst general mayhem, rounded up all present, men, women and children, and marched them to the police station where nearly forty women and girls were charged with prostitution. A newspaper report of the incident claimed that male sex workers were freed because there was no legal provision enabling their arrest. This elicited a swift response from the National AIDS Council lawyer, to the effect that this was an unfair denial of the constitutional right to equality before the law regardless of sex, and that male sex workers should have been charged as well. This chapter asks whether, in the face of evidence that men were also abused, the violence was gendered and if so, how and why. This requires examination of the development of the gendered view of the prostitute, the continuance of the view that wayward women should be punished by violence of a sexual nature, and the transference of concepts of pollution into the sphere of social panic about the burgeoning HIV epidemic in the country.
|Title of host publication||Engendering Violence in Papua New Guinea|
|Editors||Margaret Jolly, Christine Stewart and Carolyn Brewer|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|