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12-28-06, 03:48 PM #1
New Year's without "Ho-Ho-Ho-ing."
South Korea Encourages Prostitute-Free Holidays
What's New Year's Eve without drunken co-workers and hookers? Well, in South Korea, where office parties often devolve into bachelor parties, it would be like Halloween without the candy (almost).
Nevertheless, in an effort to stomp out Auld Lang Syne debauchery, Seoul's Ministry of Gender Equality is giving away free movie tickets to workers who pledge not to hire prostitutes this December 31st.
There's even a handy online registration (not to be confused with the sex offender registry) and a $1,077 cash prize for the company with the most employees promising "to make it a healthy night out at the end of the year."
Leaving aside whether spending 90 minutes watching a flick is actually healthier than spending 90 minutes with a hooker, they may want to sweeten the pot just a little. After all, how many guys have the money for prostitution but can't afford a ticket to the movies?
Moreover, since these alcohol-drenched affairs are a widely accepted part of Korean corporate culture the ministry might be trying to mop up a typhoon with a hand sponge. While it is encouraging that South Korea is using positive reinforcement, instead of jail time, to curb a generally accepted victim-less crime, perhaps resources could be more effectively spent creating safer conditions for their sex workers rather than trying in vain to take away their livelihoods.
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