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What is a Brothel

Since male dominance and patriarchy are widely recognized factors for so many facets of gender discrimination gender violence, the brothel is very much a related phenomenon to unequal gender relation. Because of the state being patriarchal, there is a link between state and brothel. That’s why Khan and Arefeen in their study titled ‘‘State and Brothel: An observation”, discussed brothel from the Feminist perspective” (Khan and Arefeen, 1988: 59-80). In that connection, Khan and Arefeen in their study referred to Varda Burstyn, who from Marxist-feminism view showed that with the end of class society there is no assurance of end of ‘gender-based class’ or in other words the male dominance. Because gender-based class is the result of patriarchal class-society, and that’s why with the end of class-society gender discrimination does not end. So according to the logic of Burstyn, it can be said that, either capitalism or socialism, whatever is the character of state; it is the reflection of patriarchy. As a result, the institution and regulations of these states carry and enhance the ideals of male dominance. Varda Burstyn also gave example from socialist society and addressed these societies as evanescent societies, where there is patriarchy but no class-based society and even in that type of society patriarchy is penetrating in the character of the state. And male dominance is also the ultimate characteristic of that socialist state. Burstyn in that connection said that patriarchy or gender-class is also seen in the Third World countries and as a result the state being patriarchal. From Varda Burstyn’s Marxist-feminist view, the role of state on the institution of brothel in Bangladesh, especially the existence of this institution, protection and practice process can be understood. This theory will help justifying women’s position and respect in society. It is important to remember that the position of both men and women are controlled by state. As Bangladesh is a state based on patriarchal ideals, its values and ideals are such that consider women as a marginalized and sub-ordinate group. By applying Burstyn’s model attempts would be made in this study to identify the problems of floating sex workers in Dhaka City and also the trends of state in controlling women as sub-ordinates and the level of extortion on women.