I don’t want to teach ESL. I don’t want to work in food service. I would rather sell sex. – Melissa Petro
A woman…coerced into oral sex by [a] Beaverton [Oregon] police officer in 2010 accepted a settlement in her lawsuit…[Joshua] Jensen pleaded guilty to…official misconduct and coercion charges…[stemming] from two incidents…in which [he] arranged to meet a prostitute…and…[showed] up in uniform, in a marked police car. Both women [said] he ordered them behind a garbage container. The woman who sued him said he grabbed her head, forced it down and demanded that she perform oral sex…Jensen was not charged with a sex crime and did not have to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison…[but] completed his sentence in November 2011 through an Alternative Incarceration Program.
Other rapists get lifetime sentences on the “sex offender” registry; Jensen got a slap on the wrist.
A Chinese court sentenced [Li Hao, 35] to death for holding six women as sex slaves…and killing two of them…the former local government employee kidnapped six nightclub and karaoke bar workers and repeatedly raped them in a self-built dungeon. Two of the six were found dead when a 23-year-old woman escaped and led police to the basement. Li forced them all into prostitution and filmed them in pornographic videos he put on the internet…He then instructed three women to kill two of the other captives. The three women were found guilty of murder but were given lenient sentences. One was jailed for three years and two were put on probation…
…Sudhir Venkatesh…is a celebrity…through his research on gang life and prostitutes…but…some of his peers say that…he takes liberties not appropriate for a scholar: sensationalizing his experiences, exaggerating the reliability of his memory and, in one case, physically assaulting someone…and…he was the subject last year of a grueling investigation into [$241,364.83] of spending that Columbia auditors said was insufficiently documented, misappropriated or outright fabricated…auditors said that Professor Venkatesh directed $52,328 to someone without any “documented evidence of work performed”…He charged Columbia for town cars to take him around, to take his fiancée home from work…[and] to take someone…from [his] address to a building that houses a nail salon and a psychic…
Flexibeast presents a clever satire making the same comparison I did, namely sex and food:
I’d like to discuss…the commodification of food, and the scourge that is the food industry. Food…is an essential human need. When people buy and sell food, the act of preparing and eating food becomes mere support for, and reinforcement of, the notion that it’s acceptable to transform relations between humans into relations between a human and an unimportant unfeeling object. We must reject all buying and selling of food…
After you enjoy this very funny parody, try this Onion article on “abstinence-only school lunch programs” linked by one of Flexibeast’s commenters.
This may have something to do with the good example of Fiji’s closest large neighbors, Australia and New Zealand: “Health authorities want sex work legalised to remove discrimination…the Ministry of Health’s acting permanent secretary, Dr Josefa Koroivueta…said Fiji was working towards a human rights-based approach and discrimination of sex workers was against human rights…the new legislation should be ready by next year.”
One can never have too many scathing critiques of Melissa Farley, so I present this very effective one from Glasgow Sex Worker, which criticizes both her horrible personality and her awful “research methodology”, with lots of pertinent links.
Hanukkah starts at sundown today; Khag Urim Sameakh to all my Jewish readers!
It’s nice to know that at least one European government is so free from economic concerns that it has time to deal with the little things:
…The German parliament…is considering making it an offence not only to hurt an animal but also to force it into unnatural sex…Germany legalised bestiality…in 1969, except when the animal suffered “significant harm”. But animal rights groups have campaigned for a change in the law…a fine of up to 25,000 euros…is proposed if someone forces an animal to commit “actions alien to the species”…Bestiality is banned in…the Netherlands, France and Switzerland…in the UK…the maximum sentence [was reduced in 2003] from life imprisonment to two years…[it is legal] in Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, though Stockholm is considering a change…
It’s also nice to know that under current Swedish law, animals can consent to sex while women can’t.
…[Maharashtra] state minister for women and child Varsha Gaikwad told [the Times of India], “The state women’s policy aims to recognize the concerns of [marginalized] communities…[so] the expert committee reviewing the policy will have…three representatives from the transgenders and the sex workers in order to ensure that their concerns get reflected in the policy document”…
Harvey Silverglate reminds us that some of the victims of the Satanic Panic are still rotting away in prison for “crimes” that never happened:
…Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Anna Vasquez and Cassandra Rivera…[were] accused in 1994 of repeatedly raping Ramirez’s two nieces, then 7 and 9 years old…Mayhugh, Vasquez and Rivera are twelve years into a 15-year sentence. Ramirez was accused of being the ringleader, so she received 37½ years. All four of the women refused pretrial plea deals…and three have refused parole offers conditioned on an admission of guilt and completion of a “rehabilitation” course for sex offenders…In September, one of the accusers recanted, saying she now seems to recall a quiet, even boring, weekend with her aunt, her sister and her aunt’s friends. She has vowed to do everything in her power to help exonerate the four women still imprisoned as a result of her earlier false accusations…
As in other “Satanic Panic” cases and most “sex trafficking” cases, the total lack of concrete evidence, the fact that the accusers’ stories changed frequently and their history of false rape accusations (instigated by their sociopathic father) made absolutely no difference to prosecutors, jury or judge, who wanted to “send a message” that “alternative lifestyles” (the women are lesbians) would not be tolerated.
Melissa Petro is broke, and therefore thinking “a lot” about going back into hooking even though she has often said she didn’t like it. That’s why her voice is valuable; as I said before, “I think it’s extremely important for women who don’t love the work to come out, because I honestly believe they’re the majority. Everybody hears from the ‘happy hookers’ and the ‘survivors’, but…for most of the women I’ve known it was a job like any other, with its own advantages and disadvantages…”
Funny how “sex trafficking victims” magically get their agency back when they’re Mexicans the “authorities” prefer to deport: “Three people pleaded guilty…to bringing illegal immigrant women to [South Carolina] to work as prostitutes whose clientele were migrant farm workers…The prostitutes were illegal immigrants but none were being held against their will, [the US attorney] said…” Apparently, the immigration stooge interviewed for the story got a different memo; he opined that “the women…have been rescued from lives of misery as a result of this investigation.”
Jessie Nicole reviews American Courtesans, a new documentary about the lives of eleven high-end escorts:
Each of the eleven women had profoundly different experiences…[proving] that there is no single narrative of the sex industries. Though each one seemed happy and relatively stable at the time of the interviews, many had experienced violence, arrest, and economic desperation…there was no sugarcoating or romanticization …the film also includes testimony from clients and family members…American Courtesans was a good step in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing further…[with] more and better media projects…
James Cameron, the federal drug prosecutor who fled Maine after his child porn conviction was upheld three weeks ago, was arrested Sunday morning at a used-media store in Albuquerque, New Mexico. US marshals theorize he was headed for Mexico.
Undergraduates have traditionally pulled pints or waited tables to pay their way through university, but…a significant number are now turning to sex work to make ends meet. The rise in fees which will see some students graduate with projected debts of up to £53,000 …is being blamed for persuading young women and men to take up pole dancing, escort work or even prostitution. Experts say that university welfare officers are largely ignorant of the growing phenomenon and poorly equipped to deal with issues arising from young people’s involvement. Research by Dr Ron Roberts…published in 2010 suggested that one in four students know someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies – up from three per cent in 1990. Dr Roberts found 16 per cent would consider working in the industry while more than one in 10 were open to the idea of being an escort. Research by Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy, of the University of Leeds, found that a quarter of lap dancers had a degree whilst a third of the women they interviewed were using the job to fund new forms of training…
Coed sex workers have never been rare; they’re just more apt to admit it these days, which is good for everybody. The funniest part of the article is that its clueless author appears to believe the claims of the con-man behind “Sponsor A Scholar”.
Prohibitionists are furious that the Israeli legislature allowed the wildly-unpopular (opposed by 59% of Israelis) Swedish model to die in committee, but what makes this prohibitionist op-ed entitled “Prostitution in Israel: Myth vs Reality” so interesting (if nauseating) is that it completely inverts the two, labeling myths as “facts” and vice-versa. One wonders how people manage to make it through life in such a deeply-delusional state.
Despite a few good advance hints, the news about DSM-V is mostly bad:
…The [APA] has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound…Fortunately, some of its most…unsupportable proposals were eventually dropped under great external pressure (most notably…internet and sex addiction…) But…DSM 5 will start a half or dozen or more new fads which will be detrimental to the misdiagnosed individuals and costly to our society…
Dr. Frances’ list of the ten worst changes includes DMDD; the redefinition of normal grief into “Major Depressive Disorder”, the normal forgetfulness of old age into “Minor Neurocognitive Disorder”, and gluttony into “Binge Eating Disorder”; and (most dangerously) the introduction of “use disorders”, essentially “Behavioral Addictions that…can…make a mental disorder of everything we like to do a lot.”
The man uncovered as running a “sex for tuition fees” website…[was] secretly filmed…[and identified as] Mark Lancaster, but when contacted by a television programme refused to speak about the Sponsor a Scholar scheme…
Dr. Brooke Magnanti vs. Rhoda Grant on this week’s Sunday Politics Scotland.
This Week in 2010 and 2011
Beside a two-part column on the myth that most whores are enslaved by pimps, this week also featured posts on Barbie, Saint Nicholas, toys, the Salvation Army, my favorite bands and albums, “sex addiction”, sugar daddy sites and the bizarre pretense that historical courtesans were not prostitutes. We also saw articles on the anti-whore hostility of Canadian “authorities”, the lack of outrage when criminals use Craigslist to commit non-sex related crimes, and why ignorance really is bliss for some people, and I gave advice to a young man who wanted to “rescue” a hooker.