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Archive for November 18th, 2010

You can make prostitution illegal, but you can’t make it unpopular. –  Martin Behrman

No, I’m not getting lazy, I promise!  It’s just that as my network of contacts expands I keep finding other essays from brilliant, beautiful sex workers which say things so well that I couldn’t possibly improve on them.  Case in point: today’s first article, cribbed from Brandy Devereaux; I’ve paraphrased the included news article because the current monotonous AP style with its endless repetition of words makes me crazy, but Brandy’s comments are verbatim.

Immoral Purposes

Is The Tyra Banks Show involved in child trafficking?  Seems to me that this is what it boils down to.  Wouldn’t this violate The Mann Act?  The girl was transported across state lines for the purpose of exploitation (not an actual sex act but still…).  From what I can find, here is the current Mann Act [as amended 22 years ago today – Maggie]:

Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any woman or girl  to go from one place to another in interstate or foreign commerce, or in the District of Columbia or in any Territory or Possession of the United States,  for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose, or with the intent and purpose on the part of such person that such woman or girl shall engage in the practice of prostitution or debauchery, or any other  immoral practice, whether with or without her consent, and thereby knowingly causes  such woman or girl to go and to be carried or transported as a passenger upon the line or route of any common carrier or carriers in interstate or foreign commerce, or in the District of Columbia or in any Territory or Possession of the United States, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

A Georgia woman is suing Tyra Banks, Warner Brothers and the producers of The Tyra Banks Show for $3 million after her 15-year-old daughter appeared without her permission on a 2009 episode about teen “sex addicts”.  In a lawsuit filed on October 8th in Atlanta, Beverly McClendon claims the show contacted the teen on her cell phone after she responded to a request on the show’s website seeking “sex addicts.”  The girl was then picked up from her home in a limo and flown to New York, where she was lodged in a hotel, all without her mother’s knowledge.

(“Whoever knowingly persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any woman or girl to go from one place to another in interstate or foreign commerce, or in the District of Columbia or in any Territory or Possession of the United States…” – check)

McClendon filed a missing person report with local police when she realized her daughter was gone.  McClendon says her daughter has never been diagnosed as a “sex addict” and suffered damages because the show “was undoubtedly watched by sexual deviants, perverts and pedophiles.”

(…for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose…)

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and asks for $1 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages, and also asks that the episode be barred from ever being aired again on television or online.  Warner Brothers Television Group spokesman Scott Rowe said Sunday that the company had no comment, and Banks’ publicist, agent and lawyer did not immediately return calls.  The suit also says that the show violated McClendon’s right to privacy by putting her underage daughter on television, and accuses the named parties of negligence because though the teen was paid for her appearance, the show failed to get either parental permission or permission from the labor commissioner to employ a minor to fly to New York, stay in a hotel alone and appear on the show.

(…in interstate or foreign commerce…)

Yes yes I know.  But that’s DIFFERENT you say…she wasn’t man-handled by a bunch of sleazy men you say.  Let’s look at this – she (a MINOR) was transported across state lines for the purpose of sexual exploitation.  She didn’t go on the show to talk about Barbie dolls people, she went on there to discuss SEX.  The show profited off of a minor who was transported across state lines.  Now if the mom was right and there was a bunch of pedophiles and perverts jacking off at home to this little girl discussing sex, then doesn’t that equal debauchery?  (Term “debauchery”…is not limited to being synonym for “seduce,” but includes also exposing of woman to such influences as will naturally and inevitably so corrupt her mind and character  as to lead her to act of sexual immorality, or leading of already sexually corrupt woman to engage or continue more or less habitually in sexually immoral practices.)  By this time, y’all are probably frustrated with my reasoning skills.  That’s ok.  You think it’s just not the same.  Well guess what?  Consenting adult sex work is NOT the same as human trafficking and exploitation either…

[Bravo, Brandy!  Of course there’s no way Time-Warner will ever be prosecuted for violating the Mann Act; the government is too busy suppressing consensual acts by individuals in the name of fighting “child trafficking” to concern itself with ACTUAL child trafficking by a mega-corporation.]

Good Advice

I don’t think much of any cable news network, most especially not “fair and balanced” Fox News.  But if Fox newsreaders are going to start advocating that men hire hookers, I just might be persuaded to change my mind.  The following is paraphrased (to put the emphasis where it belongs) from a story on Huffington Post:

On Friday (November 12th), Fox News anchor Chris Wallace (of Fox News Sunday) advised radio host Mike Gallagher to hire an escort if he was lonely.  After Gallagher said he hoped to have Wallace’s wife as a guest on his radio show when her book was released in the coming year, he added “This woman is a saint for putting up with you…I gotta find out what the secret is.”

“Maybe the secret is I know how to satisfy a woman.  Has that ever occurred to you?” Wallace replied.  He then went on to say, “if I had my own pad and was a bachelor in New York, I wouldn’t be lonely.  It’d be party night.”  A few minutes later, Wallace asked Gallagher why he was so “lonely” in New York, and told him to call one of the “advertisements for, like, gentlemen’s clubs and escort services.”

“I’m not going to a gentleman’s club,” Gallagher said, “Are you crazy?”

“Because you’re not a man,” Wallace said.

Sounds like reasonable advice to me.  On behalf of the escorts and strippers of New York, I say thank you Mr. Wallace!

10 Tips for Dealing With Cops

I saw this slideshow on Huffington Post, intended to advertise a new DVD by the same title.  Though the tips are mostly intended to be of use in routine traffic stops, they are also good advice to escorts (especially the first four and #10).  As I said in the comments for my column of November 14th I myself am terrible at #1, but I repeat #4 like a mantra to naïve whores who believe in magic formulae.  The article and slideshow were written by Neill Franklin, technical advisor to the video and executive director of an organization called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), an activist group made up of cops who support legalization of drugs and an end to the destructive “War On Drugs”.  It’s very heartening to see the good cop minority organizing itself to educate people about their rights and speak out against the insanity of at least one type of consensual crime.  Obviously, advocating for drug legalization has become politically correct whereas advocating for the decriminalization of our trade is not yet, but perhaps sometime in the new decade LEAP or an organization like it will add prostitution to the list of activities it advocates against the prohibition of, and for many of the same reasons.

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