With loose sex work laws in Spain, the country has a significant number of adult entertainers to escort the country’s top brass. These high-end escorts, although not regulated or organized truly as a union, have recently banded together in order to help incite political reform and social change.
During March 2012, as a result of the Bank of Spain’s tightening guidelines for credit extensions to middle-class and small- and middle-sized businesses, the escorts refused to date bank officials. The boycott began with an individual escort refusing to see a regular customer, who happened to be a bank official, because he had refused a loan to a cash-strapped family she knew. After he finally relented and granted the line of credit, the escort resumed services with the official.
The concept caught on. Other escorts saw how effective one person’s stand can be and saw to it that the entire industry effectively went on strike with all bank officials in Madrid.
Talk about Lysistrata.
With an economy already on the brink of disaster, Spain sought to cut corners even more deeply by tightening up the reins on the bank’s ability to make loans or extend credit. With unemployment at an all-time high in Spain, this was a terrible time to cut credit for the middle- and low-income population of the country. Riots and protests erupted against the bank and the government, however no satisfying results were gained.
With the escort strike, bank officials were becoming desperate for “company” and many attempted to gain access to the escorts by pretending to be someone else. According to many escorts, bank officials sought out new escorts and forged a cover story that they were engineers or architects. But, the escorts quickly saw through their stories and refused to do business with them.
Escorts saw the resolve breaking with many of their banking officials, however the government was still holding things up, attempting to preserve the subtle pyramid-shaped arrangement where the whole nation is a slave to bankers and their representatives.
The important point in all of this is not how the Spanish government will sell its people to the banks, but how strong of an impact the escort industry has on political change in Spain.
The bank officials attempted to break the strike through mediation with the government, seeking help from the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, who said that the government’s involvement would be futile due to no regulation of the escort sector.
The escort industry effectively worked together in an attempt to exert political pressure and change. Their efforts were powerful, effective and drew attention.
While the escort industry must be a bit more reserved in the United States (due to strong legislation against prostitution and the eagerness of the Status Quo to see escorts as prostitutes), it can still have a huge impact on political pressure or change through its extensive network of high-end escorts and clients. Because many powerful executives, celebrities and politicians date escorts regularly, their efforts to exact change could be just as powerful, if the industry of escorts elected to band together for a just cause.