Rhoda Grant…believes sex workers are imbeciles who should be denied the right to earn a living and subjected to state-sanctioned sexual assault to ensure that they comply with the dictates imposed upon their profession. - Kate Gould
New Book Reviews
An interview with Xaviera Hollander, now a 69-year-old hotelier in Amsterdam. Here’s my favorite bit:
It’s not as if she became a prostitute through lack of options. She speaks five languages. She was once voted Holland’s best secretary. She reads Philip Roth and Dostoyevsky. She…calls herself “a theatrical entrepreneur.” Yet she has never regretted her main career choice. “To get paid for what you enjoy? Is good, no?”
Think of the Children!
[Carol Ann Eastman,] an English teacher…in North Canton, Ohio…[published] a raunchy erotic novel [entitled Schooled] under the pseudonym Deena Bright…According to The Repository…Eastman’s students are responsible for outing [her]… the novel follows a teacher who has steamy sexual encounters with fellow teachers…[and] former students…to get revenge on her two-timing husband…many local parents feel Eastman shouldn’t teach high school…if she also publishes bawdy fiction…[she] agreed to a five-day suspension without pay for violating the…computer use policy…
License To Rape
It’s a sad statement about our society that this was necessary:
…jurors…won’t hear about [the] prostitution conviction…[of a woman who] says [Denver cop Hector] Paez arrested her…in May 2010, drove her to a secluded spot and coerced her into performing oral sex by threatening to take her to jail. Paez’s defense…asked to question the woman about…a prostitution charge…[but] Judge John Madden said…”The information is highly unfairly prejudicial and (runs) a significant risk of confusing the issue”…The woman…has told jurors about her history of theft and heroin addiction. Prosecutor Doug Jackson said it is precisely that troubled past that…made her an appealing target…
Meanwhile, in Ireland: “A [policeman was]…arrested…after a woman alleged he had raped her…he…was among a number of gardaí working on a…brothel…raid…[he later] went to one of the properties…and committed the alleged rape…”
Shifting the Blame
Lucius Crawford, 60, was arrested for stabbing a woman and has now “confessed to three murders, including the slaying of a Bronx prostitute…Long Island authorities are investigating if he is connected to the mass murder of sex workers in Suffolk County…”
Not an Addiction
In a word: No.
Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes was a murder addict…”Israel Keyes didn’t kidnap and kill people because he was crazy…[or] because his deity told him to or because he had a bad childhood. Israel Keyes did this because he got an immense amount of enjoyment out of it, much like an addict gets…out of drugs,” said Anchorage, Alaska, police Detective Monique Doll…
Against Their Will
Careful reading finds the most interesting details tucked away in news stories: “Senators [in the Philippines support]…strengthening the law against human trafficking… the bill…[would] ensure added protection for…law enforcers, who have been recipients of harassment suits for ‘lawful acts done in good faith during authorized rescue operations’…“ In other words, it makes cops and bureaucrats immune to lawsuits filed by sex workers who were “rescued” against their will.
My Readers Write
Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon just can’t understand why some women prefer not to identify as feminist, so Aspasia brilliantly explains it to her. Of course Williams won’t read it and wouldn’t understand if she did, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.
Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through
…[Scott Pipher was] charged with hiring a prostitute…[after] he called police to complain that the woman “shorted him 10 minutes”…[the] investigation…[also] led to the arrests of two alleged prostitutes…Pipher is named on the Web sites National Blacklist and Bad Boy Client List as…being “notorious for booking out-calls and then not answering his door or phone”…
Though the author uses phrases like “so-called escort”, it’s interesting that she thought to consult those sites and didn’t bother to define “out-call” [sic].
Guest Columnist: Norma Jean Almodovar
On an information page prepared by Norma Jean for the students of Dr. Rhacel Parrenas, I encountered the following chart: examine it and consider the amount of money, manpower and press devoted to “human trafficking” in comparison with the vastly more common (and real) violent crimes.
Follow Your Bliss
Moon Tae-Hwa stares at his computer, dizzy and nauseous from the hours of porn he’s viewed…He feels no shame — only a righteous sense of mission…Moon is among the most successful members of the “Nuri Cops”…a squad of nearly 800 volunteers who help…censors by patrolling the Internet for pornography in their spare time…pornography is illegal in South Korea, though…easy…to find…”It’s like shoveling snow in a blizzard,” Moon conceded…
The Nuri Cops: selflessly devoting their lives to watching porn so others can’t.
Presents, Presents, Presents!
This week Korhomme sent me a copy of Sex and Punishment, a history of attempts to regulate sexual activity (see picture below). Thank you very much!
The Immunity Syndrome
Compare and contrast with similar kerfuffles in the US:
…Ganz schön intim (“Really Quite Intimate”) is a 152-page…[sex education] publication…[which] includes detailed…information on masturbation, homosexuality and intersexuality…[conservative and religious groups]…called it “disturbing” and “a discredit to the so-called core family”…[and] called for [it] to be withdrawn…the government in Vienna and the pamphlet’s producers…[are] largely unmoved by the brouhaha…
Above the Law
How police privilege and anti-prostitution laws endanger all women:
…Forest Park [Georgia] police arrested Omar Shannondoah Chester…[after he] forced [a woman] into his apartment…beat her…[and] stated, “I am an FBI agent and you are under arrest for prostitution”…When she said she was not a prostitute, and her children were outside, he…[let her] go…[she] then ran out…and called police…
If this article had been published in the US, you can bet it would be warped to fit the “trafficking” paradigm. But since it’s from Al Jazeera, the problems are discussed without denying the women’s agency or the advantages of their arrangement:
…commercial brokers fly Korean men into Vietnam to meet women, and many tie the knot within a week. The South Korean government is concerned these marriages could breed greater social problems. So it is investing to increase these couples’ success rates [via] “orientation” classes [for Vietnamese women]…some marriages crumble [if] Vietnamese women [marry] for money only. Another factor is the…average 17 years’ difference [between spouses], according to researchers Daniele Belanger and Tran Giang Linh…there have been reports of South Korean men beating and killing their foreign wives…[and] migrant wives committing suicide…International marriages, however, have worked out for many couples in South Korea. Belanger and Linh have written that “marriage migration” has empowered Vietnamese women. Girls who once served their families have now become decision-makers thanks to the [economic] leverage granted to them…
Gay activist Alex Andreou on “Why I’m Conflicted About Marriage Equality”:
I…fear that it will create an added pressure to conform. I recall fighting…in…the late eighties…hand-in-hand with transsexual prostitutes and militant dykes…being chased by police and beaten with clubs. What we were fighting for was an acceptance of all different ways of expressing love and sexuality; it was a desire for more, not less, sexual liberation…What we have instead is an attempt to absorb that sexual freedom into conformism. Instead of dragging the world into liberation, we have somehow managed to drag the LGBT community into neo-Puritanism…
Longtime readers will remember I made the same point in “Divided We Fall”.
Creeping Rot (July Updates, Part Two)
The European Women’s Lobby (a group so detached from reality that it believes a video of a dude performing cunnilingus on a bunch of women will somehow turn men off to paying for sex), claiming to represent over 200 (unnamed) women’s groups, last week “demanded” the European Union impose the Swedish model on member states despite the fact that it does not actually have that power. The English Collective of Prostitutes responded with a well-linked nine-point refutation of the EWL’s absurd, unsupported claims; guess which one got worldwide media coverage?
Toys for Tots (First Updates of the Year, Part Two)
The Platinum Cabaret…in Fayetteville, Ark…is…offering free lap dances in exchange for donations to Toys for Tots…“As long as it’s done in a legal manner, as long as people are bringing us new, unwrapped toys, we don’t get into how they were gathered and what the process was,” [said] John Staples, coordinator for Toys for Tots…But another Toys for Tots chapter wasn’t quite as forgiving when…Pleasures — an adult toy store in Huntsville [Alabama] –- [offered] any customer who brings in a gift for Toys for Tots their choice of a complimentary sex toy…”Toys for Tots should not be advertised at an adult store,” [said] Ret. Major Brian A. Murray…
Considering how much money US Marines collectively spend on sex workers every year, it’s absurd for some Marines to make nonsensical anti-sex work statements just to please prudes.
Crime Against Society (TW3 #14)
As I reported, people who were on Louisiana’s “sex offender” registry due to the overturned “crime against nature by solicitation” law can petition to be removed. According to Deon Haywood of WWAV, “around 75 people have already had themselves removed from the registry, and around 100 people are waiting for a judge to hear their motions…We haven’t had one person that’s been rejected…“
What a Week! (TW3 #22)
I’m sure this had absolutely nothing to do with the owner’s winning a judgment against the city a few months ago: “State and federal police have raided inner-city Sydney brothel Stiletto, owned by gambling identity Eddie Hayson…A spokeswoman for NSW police said the search warrant was attached to a joint operation codenamed Polaris making investigations ‘into a drug and money laundering syndicate’…” Unsurprisingly, they found absolutely nothing.
Wise Investment (TW3 #31)
Officials admit that they knew their law to hold websites criminally liable for third-party content was unconstitutional:
The state of Washington has abandoned its defense of legislation…that could have exposed website operators to legal liability…The Internet Archive, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation…worried that [the law] could effectively make its archives of the Web illegal…so it joined a lawsuit by Backpage.com…now Washington state officials have…[agreed] to permanently block the law…[and] will pay $200,000 to defray the plaintiffs’ legal expenses, and Washington state attorney general Rob McKenna will “work with the…legislature to repeal the current unconstitutional version” of the law.
A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #35)
You’d think that in the age of ultra-realistic digital effects, people would recognize that just because someone made a movie doesn’t mean the subject is real: ”[Sunitha Krishnan] has rescued thousands of women from prostitution and [has taken]…her advocacy to films, through [Ente,] a depiction of a real life sex-trafficking story…The activist…says she has received death threats and been targeted by acid attacks and even beaten up over a dozen times…” All the beatings have succeeded, yet not one of the acid attacks or death threats have? How convenient!
The Course of a Disease (TW3 #49)
Kate Gould is not a sex worker, but she’s done her homework and clearly “gets it”. Her attack on Rhoda Grant’s Swedish model campaign, “Why I’m Opposed to Criminalising the Purchase of Sex”, is excellent, but the comment thread is suffering from the usual influx of lie-vomiting trafficking fanatics and deserves input from rational sex worker supporters (hint, hint). Meanwhile, here’s Dr. Brooke Magnanti on how the proposed law as written will actually (like California’s Proposition 35) criminalize many human interactions virtually nobody would call “prostitution”.
This Week in 2010 and 2011
This week I exploded lots of lies, including ones about adolescents, the Super Bowl, decriminalization, STIs in porn, the purpose of a law, prostitution terminology and “sex trafficking”, and Julian Assange. We also looked at bad jobs and the meaning of “legalization”, and saw a sleighful of short articles on HIV, halfway whores, maid cafes, sex rays, spiders, Rachel Wotton, Jill Brenneman, an important “trafficking” study, pompous masseuses, politician sex crimes, France, a pervert prosecutor, lethal butt injections, “sex school”, schadenfreude, Pedobear and strippers.
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