"It's dehumanizing, the manner in which people are buying and selling sushi to be eaten off a woman's body. It's dehumanizing to be treated as a plate," said Cherry Cayabyab, president of the local chapter of National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum. ...
"It provides a forum to see a human being as an object -- and when women are viewed as objects, they are more likely to be violated," said Norma Timbang, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Women and Family Safety Center.
On a serious note, aren't the "plates" willingly choosing to do this and aren't they willingly taking any risk associated with this practice? And, perhaps, by banning this practice, aren't we making those who would have chosen to be human dishes worse off?
Let's think about the economics of choice of the potential violator behind this statement: "when women are viewed as objects, they are more likely to be violated." I'm sure that Cayabyab is not referring to actual violations but attempted violations because if a woman is attacked but wards off her attacker, that is still a traumatizing event.
The sort of person Cayabyab is worried about is one who is marginal between violating and not violating a woman. He is also one who, if he goes to a sushi bar and eats off a woman's bare tummy, then he will go out and try to violate some woman afterwards. It need not be the plate who gets attacked, which means there's a potential externality problem here. That this could happen is plausible, but there are two questions that should be asked: 1. how many men are marginal in this sense; 2. what are the probabilities involved? If the numbers are negligible, should we really ban the whole practice and thereby negate the benefits that those who willingly participate in the meal will receive?**** As a rough analogy, if a person drinks, she is more likely to get into an accident. Does it then follow that we should ban drinking?
Lastly, it could be that someone who enjoys eating sushi off of a woman's body
may be more likely to attempt to violate a woman.
**** I did a Google search and a Scholar Google search on various phrases to find estimates of the probabilities and numbers of marginal men but I could find no such estimates.