Self-defense for prostitutes

CARE urges Bangladeshi hookers to take up karate.

Published May 24, 2000 1:00PM (EDT)

Prostitutes in Bangladesh are having problems
with harassment. According to a survey
conducted by CARE Bangladesh -- an American
nongovernmental organization -- one
hooker can "service" up to three clients per
night, so there's certainly
room for unwarranted maneuvers.

Programs to help improve the lives of hookers
have included a search for real estate where
prostitutes can live and a safe sex promotional
campaign. And now CARE Bangladesh has come
up with a novel idea: training hookers in martial

According to the Manavjamin daily tabloid,
5,000 prostitutes have signed up for classes in
Chinese and Japanese arts of self-defense,
including kung fu and karate. Laugh if you
must at the image of prostitutes lined up on a
lawn, practicing high kicks and hand chops,
grunting with each blow. It might look like a
Bruce Lee movie, but if it works, who's to say?

Next up, perhaps, would be some unscrupulous
entrepreneur offering martial arts classes for
the johns. And then there would have to be a
round robin tournament -- hookers vs.
customers, with music provided by George
Harrison and Ravi Shankar.

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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