To those who have exhausted politics, nothing remains but abstract thought. - Honoré De Balzac
A collection of links and comments leftover from the twelve days of Christmas.
Update: Lying Down With Dogs
Remember my column about how the US seems bound and determined to align itself with third-world countries and oppressive regimes? Well, this article is sort of a reverse example, because while in Afghanistan organizations which protect women from abuse are accused by the media of promoting prostitution, in the US prostitutes’ rights organizations are accused by the media of promoting abuse of women. Is one so different from the other?
Am I Missing Something?
In this article from the New York Post, we read that a 24-year-old Manhattan woman named Lily Shang has filed suit against her estranged husband, 26-year-old David Glenn Rucker, after he threatened to post sex videos they took together on the internet (though he plans to edit himself out). Leaving aside for a moment the issue of their ages (which supports my contention that men shouldn’t marry until at least 30 and women until at least 25), what I want to know is how this is even one particle different from this story I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Yes, the stories are by two different writers, and yes, the latter are celebrities while the former aren’t, but otherwise what’s the difference? How is a man using the threat of releasing a sex tape in order to lower his divorce settlement any worse than a woman using the exact same threat to raise hers? In my opinion both threats are equally reprehensible, and if I were the judge I’d throw the book at the one making such a threat, but then I believe in justice. Of course I also believe in Santa Claus, so what do I know?
How Exactly is This is Different From Every Other Year Since the Dawn of Civilization?
Lisa France of CNN says 2010 was “The Year of the Mistress”, and claims celebrity mistresses were a bigger story last year than in other years. No offense, Lisa, but were you educated in a convent? Did you somehow miss the fact that wealthy men have always had mistresses, that it’s always a scandal when others find out, and that such scandals have always been wildly popular with the hoi-polloi at least since the invention of the printing press?
Really Cheap Whores
Former Playmate and Hugh Hefner “girlfriend” Izabella St James reveals in her new book just how cheaply Playmates sell their favors: $1000 a week, and not for easy work either. For comparison purposes, I’ll mention that my fee for an entire week was $8000. True, Hef also gave them plastic surgery and the possibility of a centerfold gig, but considering that none of my plastic surgeries cost over $5000 I hardly think that makes up for their getting paid one-eighth what a New Orleans call girl could command. And that’s even more true when one factors in Hef’s baby oil obsession and preference for anal cowgirl.
Update: My Body, My Choice
In my column of November 19th I pointed out that Roe vs. Wade established that a woman’s right to privacy includes her right to own and control her body, and since the sexes supposedly have equal protection under American law it also establishes that a man has a right to own and control his body. And though many states argue otherwise, it clearly establishes the right to suicide; if it’s legal to end the life of a dependent fetus, how can it not be legal to end one’s own? The contradiction is a logical and legal absurdity. Yet the state of Connecticut argues that it has the right to force-feed a prison inmate named William Coleman who wishes to starve himself to death to protest what he says is his wrongful conviction on a charge of raping his ex-wife…a charge she only made after consulting a divorce lawyer when Coleman sought sole custody of their children. Maybe, as some commenters on the story suggest, it’s a grandstand play, but when the state of Connecticut tried to make the problem go away by offering Coleman parole, he refused on the grounds that to sign the papers would constitute admitting his guilt. Obviously we don’t know what happened, but I think the timing of the events and his refusal to accept parole lend considerable credibility to his story. And it isn’t like he’s asking for a retrial or pardon, though I’m sure he’d accept either; all he’s asking for is the right to end his own life, as established under international law. The state of Connecticut’s case is apparently based on the claim that Coleman’s actions infringe on its right to torture him for as long as it pleases, or perhaps because he has dared to call attention to the fact that courts are not infallible. Many women seem unable to even consider the possibility that any rape accusations might be false, a problem whose implications were discussed by Furry Girl in a recent column, but this isn’t even about that; even if he’s as guilty as a cat with a mouthful of feathers, he still retains the right to end his own life rather than submit to torture. And the state has no right to torture anyone, not even a rapist or someone accused of espionage.
Though this article was published in mid-November, it only came to my attention over the holidays. Maybe the reason Dutch women are so accepting of prostitution is that they realize that for a woman to pursue a male-style career is really kind of stupid unless it’s really, truly what she wants and not just what neofeminist-influenced society has forced her into. One of the reasons many of us take up prostitution is that, like the Dutch women in this article, we recognize that there are a lot more interesting and fulfilling things to do with one’s life than climbing the corporate ladder and sitting in a cubicle all day.
How old are you, and how good is your memory? Can you remember the way male writers of the ‘60s and ‘70s used to ridicule feminist complaints? Admittedly, some of the rhetoric of those early feminists was overblown, histrionic and even a bit silly (e.g. “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”), but most of those women had legitimate grievances that were no less legitimate because they were awkwardly or emotionally expressed. And if those male writers had taken the time to look beneath the surface and to strive to understand why women were acting that way instead of just insulting them and dismissing their feelings, the “gender war” might never have happened and we’d all be a lot better off today. With that in mind, take a look at this Jezebel article and its follow-up. I guess some people will call it “turnabout is fair play”, but IMHO the appropriate aphorism would be “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”