Once again the benefits and wonder of the free market have revealed themselves. Is there anything the free market can’t do? Greed IS good. And once again we see why:
After a debt-ceiling deal in which Pell grants remained but the federally subsidized graduate student loan program went under the chopping block, it’s even more sobering to read about the lengths to which college students are resorting to pay off their mountains of debt. According to Amanda Fairbanks of the Huffington Post, a surprising number of young people are turning to a kind of prostitution to pay their student billsOn the website SeekingArrangement.com (which advertises itself as “the elite sugar daddy dating site”), young students in need of funds can advertise themselves to wealthy online suitors. One woman described herself as “a full-time college student studying psychology and looking to meet someone to help pay the bills.” For other 20-somethings who are struggling to find work in a bleak economic climate, these kinds of arrangements may be distasteful, but mutually beneficial.
“Over the past few years, the number of college students using our site has exploded,” said Brandon Wade, founder of Seeking Arrangement. “College students are one of the biggest segments of our sugar babies and the numbers are growing all the time.”
The founder of another “sugar daddy” website also lauded the benefits of the arrangements his site facilitates. It’s perfect, he said, for older men of means, who want “young, vivacious arm candy,” while women “want a guy who can take them out for a Michelin two-star dinner, take them on the trip of their dreams, or who knows, maybe they’ll even find some guy to pay off their debt.”
The problem is, of course, that this is a deeply misogynistic way to see women, and it’s equally problematic for male students. The fact that students are being forced into these power-imbalanced relationships reflects badly on our higher education system, which saddles students with so much debt that in a bad economy, sex work may seem like the only viable way to make money. As Lydia Dallett observes on Equal Writes, “it is clear that many students turn to sugar daddies out of desperation instead of genuine desire.” And she’s right — although for some it may be an empowering opportunity, the fact that women are making themselves available for these kinds of exchanges does not mean that they are making a free choice.
For more links (and they have more info./fucked up stories, especially the fucked up perspectives of the sugar daddies, … and I can only digest so much of this vile excrement in one sitting):
And the star himself: Mr. Brandon Wade, a business man, … kinda (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/08/17/a-qa-with-brandon-wade-mr-sugar-daddy/)