Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shocking Moral Implications Of Neocolonialism

Shocking Moral Implications Of Neocolonialism

YAOUNDE, Jul 20 (IPS) - Business at the numerous money transfer agencies in Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé, is typically a brisk affair. Of the many people who frequent the agencies, one group is of particular interest, however: the husbands of women who have gone abroad to earn money from prostitution. Eavesdrop as the men receive calls from their wives on mobile phones, and you will hear them sound exultant as they get news of how much to expect.

A report form the Inter Press News Service dated July 20, 2005 caught my eye, it was a story about husbands in Cameroon who to earn extra money decided to send their wives overseas (mainly to Europe) to engage in prostitution. The article stated economic hard times hit the West African nation following a collapse in commodity prices in 1986. Given the unbalanced trade and power relations between African nations and the West, you can bet your bottom dollar the collapse was caused in part due to manipulations by the economic arm of the Neoliberal globalist establishment: The World Bank, IMF and US-AID. These entities acting on behalf of Western governments and multinational corporations set the prices, export and import fees, loan and subsidy rates for so called Third World nations. The relationships always favor the West at the expense of the so called developing countries because of the legacy of colonialism in which the imperialist nations of Europe and AmeriKKKa set the policies for single cash crops or commodity markets in the exploited colonies. Farmers in Africa cannot compete globally with their counterparts in AmeriKKKa or Europe who receive government subsidies and whose governments set the prices for crops and commodities the developing nations are powerless to combat.
So when the cocoa and coffee markets collapsed in Cameroon due to these forces, many families felt compelled to use drastic measures to make ends meet. One way which either reflects a bourgeoning collapse in morals or sheer desperation; was for Cameroon men to send their wives to Europe to earn money as prostitutes! The IPS News article, in my view contributes to a long standing stereotyping of Africans as poverty stricken morally loose desperados looking for a quick way to make lots of money. The article with a By Line by Sylvestre Tetchiada states, “ According to information gathered by IPS, women can make up to 20,000 dollars during their stay in Europe. The monthly salary of a mid-level civil servant in Cameroon is just under 200 dollars... The practice of prostituting wives gained popularity after a collapse in commodity prices helped bring about economic decline in Cameroon, from 1986 onwards. ‘Because of this crisis, which has caused moral bankruptcy and a lack of scruples among certain husbands, some men acting as their wives' pimps think that sending them away to be prostitutes in far-off places will earn them lots of cash,’ Colette Djuidjeu, a sociologist who teaches at the University of Yaounde II, explained to IPS. ” The article states the Cameroon men send their wives to Europe during the Summer months and the practice is growing. The article further states, “ Such scenes become ever-more frequent from June: the start of summer in Europe, where Cameroonian women find work as prostitutes (the most sought-after destinations are apparently Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Spain). Departure halls of airports in Yaoundé and the commercial centre of Douala throng with spouses bidding their farewells.”
The long term impact and implications of Cameroon men pimping their wives has yet to be determined. However I can’t imagine this practice helping marital relationships no matter how much money the wife sends back to her husband in Cameroon. A pimp is a pimp, whether he is doing it to buy clothes, jewelry and a fancy car in Detroit Harlem or L.A. or to maintain a better lifestyle in Cameroon. What if the couple has children? Who will care for them while the wife is away, trickin’ to boost the family bank account? There is the issue of safety, sending your wife to reside in Europe alone subjecting herself to degradation and the perverted sexual fantasies of white men is beyond my comprehension. An African woman all alone in a strange European culture internalizing the objectification of herself as a sexual commodity while placing herself at the whim and mercy of white men for a few dollars ,in my view is both sick and dangerous. As tragic as it is, the desperation and depravity of their husbands is merely a secondary consequence of the impotence of Cameroon and many other so called “developing nations” at the hands of a predatory Western neocolonial economic system that put them in that position in the first place.



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