Toast rack

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 June, 2016, 5:26am

'When sports stars and other public figures are caught paying for sex ... they must be called to account and shamed.'

SCMP, September 10

Assuming they are breaking no laws, why must these people be called to account and shamed?

Recently, the South China Morning Post ran in its sports pages an article by the Associated Press critical of Wayne Rooney. The reporter wasn't so much bothered that the Manchester United footballer had been unfaithful to his pregnant wife, but he was incensed Rooney had employed the services of a prostitute, and thus perpetuated 'the noxious notion that women are cheap and disposable commodities'.

Quite apart from the fact the reporter seems unaware there's such a thing as male prostitution, such naivety is surprising. Has he not heard the term 'human resources'? Almost everybody employed is a 'commodity' who benefits others, be they company owners, shareholders or work colleagues - or the recipients of a product or service. Just as most people baulk at selling sex, so others refuse to miss out on family life by working night shifts, for instance, or choose not to rot their eyes by looking at a computer screen all day, every day.

It's safe to say a woman selling herself for HK$15,000 a night to millionaire footballers in Britain is doing it for the riches rather than to keep hunger at bay. And if she's ever given it any thought, 'Juicy Jeni' probably considers herself fortunate compared with the many women - and men, of course - who have lost limbs or lives in factory accidents. In this instance, she even managed to get paid for her work twice - the second time by British tabloids.