It is as hard for the good to suspect evil, as it is for the evil to suspect good. - Marcus Tullius Cicero
Four more articles which relate to earlier columns. Male readers who are sensitive should probably skip the third item; you have been warned!
Gorged With Meaning (November 21st, 2011)
In this column I discussed silly British people who, by trying to impress a rigid and incorrect definition of “prostitute” on reality, get all upset upon discovering that young, attractive women are whoring themselves to older, wealthier men as they have since the dawn of civilization. In this December 14th column from the Daily Mail, Dominique Jackson makes essentially the same point:
…The rise in tuition fees, soaring living costs and government cuts to maintenance grants are all reportedly forcing more and more young women to turn to prostitution and other forms of sex work…I am afraid I have to disappoint but these headlines, with their sly mix of prurience and moral outrage, are not in the least bit new. The vast majority of students, those who cannot rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad, have always had to come up with ingenious ways of making ends meet. Intelligent girls…have never been averse to using their patent attractions to part gullible men from their money. It is, of course, the oldest profession in the world…
Doctor Ron Roberts from Kingston University said their own recent studies showed that the number of students who knew someone who has worked in the sex industry to fund their studies had gone up from three per cent to 25 per cent. He also said 11 per cent would consider escort work and called the statistics: ’worrying’. Eleven per cent? Is that all? I am pretty sure that working as an escort…has crossed plenty more bright young female minds. Escort work would seem to be the most palatable end of a spectrum which presumably includes pole or lap dancing, stripping and goes through to full-blown intercourse in exchange for money…There was a strictly enforced ban against taking on jobs during term time when I was a university student in the 1980s. Nevertheless, many of my bolder friends chose to defy the authorities, usually by working a few shifts as a waitress in Brown’s Restaurant, where the only qualification needed was to look good in an absurdly short mini-skirt. Back then, I wasn’t aware of any of my own peers capitalising on their assets in any more direct way. However, scores of cannier girls made sure they bagged a boyfriend who they knew could well afford to take them out for nice dinners and, ideally, had a car to boot. As most women realise, it is more or less the same form of exchange…
I am still in close touch with several dozen young women from my old college…In the best traditions of popular journalism, I carried out a quick straw poll which revealed that the furthest any of these girls had been prepared to go was to stoop to silver service waitressing at the local stately home. Curiously, though, almost all of them had certainly heard of, or even knew of one or even a couple of fellow students who had indeed, worked as an escort, or funded their studies with the occasional pole dance. So nobody owned up to turning to sex work themselves, yet the anecdotal evidence that some students definitely do turns out to be overwhelming. Funny that, isn’t it?
Funny indeed, Dominique; like you, I suspect that many of these ladies took advantage of their natural assets, but simply won’t admit it.
Toys for Tots (November 25th, 2011)
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve donated to Toys for Tots every year since I started sex work in 1997, and I’m not remotely alone; last year I mentioned that a friend of mine was offering extra time in exchange for donated toys. But when the sick, evil minds of cops (and some suburban housewives) see a charity offer like this, they imagine it as the sort of twisted scheme they would come up with to victimize someone, and the piggish, juvenile minds of yellow journalists see only a way to get a story literally at the expense of women and children:
A toy drive during the holidays — but this one unlike any we’ve ever seen before. An ad posted on an adult escort website promises more time with the woman in exchange for donations to Toys for Tots…The person who answered the phone told me that she was, in fact, Robin Jordan — the woman who was arrested earlier this year and convicted last month for operating an Internet-based prostitution operation out of her Fort Bend County home…The site, which shows an undressed woman in provocative poses, wishes you “Happy Holidays” and claims if you pay for one hour of services and bring an unwrapped gift, your second hour will be free. “It’s awful, obviously, especially in a neighborhood like this,” said neighbor Jennifer Vontz…”For them to use that just to lure people in, I think that’s just really sad,” said neighbor Valerie Work…
Jordan would not confirm she placed the ads, but by phone earlier told me she would meet for us to hear her side of the story. Jordan never returned calls when we repeatedly tried to contact her this afternoon, nor did anyone wish to comment at her…home. The Houston Police Department has launched an additional investigation, based on the evidence we have submitted to them. We’ve learned Jordan faces a charge of child endangerment in Fort Bend County. Child Protective Services is also attempting to terminate her parental rights based on this case and the way she allegedly treated her three-year-old daughter.
The fact that it’s “unlike anything he’s seen before” demonstrates the reporter’s colossal ignorance. My opinion of “child protective services” is well known, and as for the Houston police…I wouldn’t waste my water spitting on them. The TV station, neighbors and cops involved in this story are all beneath contempt.
Not To Be Taken Internally (December 11th, 2011)
Feminists who believe that only women have unrealistic body-image issues, please take note of this item from the December 13th Huffington Post:
Authorities say a New Jersey man who died after having his penis injected with silicone was trying to get it enlarged…The Essex County prosecutor’s office says 34-year-old Kasia Rivera gave 22-year-old Justin Street the injection in May. She has pleaded not guilty [to manslaughter] but remains in jail on $75,000 bail…[after] a medical examiner [determined that Street] died of a silicone embolism. Rivera also faces charges [for] the unauthorized practice of medicine out of her…apartment. Authorities say they’re investigating whether she gave other people similar injections.
The Liars’ Club (December 13th, 2011)
Maybe the adult film industry won’t have to fight Michael Weinstein’s asinine “your sex life is our business” ballot initiative after all, because according to this December 9th press release from the Free Speech Coalition, the City of Los Angeles is doing it for them:
A lawsuit was filed yesterday by the City of Los Angeles challenging the constitutionality of AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) ballot initiative…[which] would force local officials to enforce mandatory condom regulations on adult production sets. Named as defendants in the suit are various AHF personnel, including AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Clearly AHF has chosen to squander its donors’ resources by filing frivolous lawsuits and ballot initiatives instead of providing valuable resources toward the prevention and treatment of HIV,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “It is heartening to know that the City of Los Angeles will draw the line on AHF’s political grandstanding when it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars. History has shown us that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults does not work. The best way to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs is by providing quality information and sexual health service, all of which are successfully provided through adult industry protocols and best practices,” Duke added.
The city’s complaint argues that the ballot proposal is preempted by state regulations that require barrier protection on adult sets and that enforcement of those regulations falls under state jurisdiction. There have been two previous rulings in complaints filed by AHF, where the judge decided that L.A. County officials are not compelled to enforce regulations on behalf of state health & safety agency Cal/OSHA. The city also states that the process involved in bringing the ballot measure to the voters would be a “waste” of taxpayer money…[and] that the ballot initiative is potentially unconstitutional; if passed by voters in June, the city raised concerns of more money being spent if the initiative was overturned on constitutional grounds…
I suspect that somebody in LA government woke up and realized how much money the city stands to lose if the adult film industry moves its shoots elsewhere.
One Year Ago Today
“Doublethink” explains the concept from George Orwell’s 1984 and provides real-life examples.