To the Chairman of the Sex Workers Organisation

Avec le soutien de

Hunger strikes seem to have become a regular attraction in the Company Gardens, attracting a motley crew of photographers and political odds and sods. Perhaps the MTPA will decide to add it to the list of tourist attractions blossoming around the country. Nevertheless, occupying the Labour Ministry might be more appropriate when employers break the law. Hunger strikes may not be exactly blackmail but they’re pretty close to “the act of getting money from people or forcing them to do something by issuing threats.”

You must find it very irritating to have such sideshows interfering with the Company’s regular business activities. Compétition déloyale and all that. As they’re from the lower levels of society, meaning there’ll be no objections from on high, your members suffer considerable harassment. Unlike Tarolah, they’re not untouchables, but isn’t it time their situation was regularised, perhaps with a statutory minimum wage? Of course there need to be controls, in their own interest, to limit the spread of disease and to kass lédo of the pimps.

Mauritius is famous for having laws that can be broken with impunity, not least by members of the legal profession, whether in or out of prison – or the Assembly. And they’re not the only ones. Indeed, someone looking for a lady of pleasure might have a quiet word in their local police station, whose officers are paid to be on top of everything. By the way, it’s bizarre the Emir hasn’t yet nipped into one – to report the ex-GoD’s recent threats: Mo pou kass lédo séki bizin kasé. Probably les reins as well. Given the way politicos talk, it’s not surprising there’s so much violence in the country.

Some people sell their minds and brains, or at least parts of them, working in offices – in highly sought-after positions if they work for the government. Some are labourers, selling their bodies – their muscles of course rather than their private parts. Not that the gods understand why such organs need any greater privacy than barrel organs. Meanwhile, the most admirable people seem to forget that prostitution can be defined as “the unworthy or corrupt use of one’s talents for personal or financial gain.” Indeed, there are a lot of prostitutes at all levels of society. It certainly encompasses teachers giving private tuition instead of proper classroom lessons and doctors handing out sick notes for cash, not to mention the unmentionables like corrupt politicos and bureaucrats. Mind you, their kind of prostitution, which is genuinely criminal, generally goes unpunished.

The position in Ancient Greece was very different, whether horizontal or otherwise. Today’s moral and religious leaders would have received short shrift from the gods. Back then suffice to say, they would have found current views on sexual morality extremely queer. And imagine how confused we now are by maisons closes, criticised for being open, often day and night, to all-comers.

Some may wonder if you actually exist but don’t be offended. Even I sometimes doubt my own existence but dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum: I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am. A body like yours would make a lot of sense. While I wouldn’t buy secondhand goods myself, especially honey, a little thoughtfulness might come in handy instead of the headin- the-wasteland yoga posture adopted by bigots and governments. A most dangerous posture to adopt considering that rapists are reputed to lurk everywhere in the few still unconcreted spots of land around the country.

Yours sincerely,
Epi PHRON

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