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Archive for January 9th, 2011

Women cannot claim the right to be considered mature and responsible until they decide the course of their lives for themselves and refuse to be a “manipulated group.” –  Mary Barnett Gilson

Last Monday (January 3rd) Brandy Devereaux published a column in which she mentioned this recent article in the Sacramento Bee.  The story is the usual pap in which all prostitution is equated with the lowest segment of streetwalking:  blah blah blah pimps, blah blah blah used condoms, blah blah blah scum, blah blah blah property values.  The only good part about it is that it reports that the city of Sacramento, California no longer has enough money to set up prostitution stings, which means they only arrest those prostitutes on whom they receive complaints; that in turn means escorts and massage parlors are enjoying a brief respite from persecution by armed, violent busybodies.

Of course, that won’t last long if certain people have their way.  Brandy reprinted this “Ask Officer Michelle” column from Monday’s Sacramento Press in which a woman calling herself “Justme” referred to the aforementioned article and bemoaned the fact that the police are too busy with actual criminals to remove all possible opportunities for her husband’s infidelity:

I recently found out my husband visits massage parlors and he finds them on myredbook.com…Is it true that there are this many escorts, providers, massage parlors so easily available in Sacramento and in my own neighborhood?  And no, I don’t live on [a list of skid row locations]…These services are advertising for [a list of suburbs and neighborhoods]…the websites advertise “happy endings” and all of the massage parlors in town.  Today I spotted 12 parlors in just 15 minutes.  How do they get permits and not get caught?  Exchanging money for sex is still illegal right?  Or did I miss something…Sorry for unloading all of this, but I live in Sacramento to get away from this in San Francisco, New York, etc.

Surprise, Justme!  “Officer Michelle” and others like her have been lying to you.  We’re citizens just like you and we live and work in all sorts of neighborhoods, even in Sacramento; we don’t all stand on big-city street corners wearing Hollywood costumes, and most of us even know how to use the internet just like you.  As for “exchanging money for sex”, would it make you happier if he got it for free from some lonely chick in a bar who might then start calling him at home, and who might not be so scrupulous about condom use as a professional would?  Furthermore, I’d watch where you’re pointing that finger because unless you never give your husband sex and he never gives you money that line’s awfully hard to draw.  But perhaps I’m making an unwarranted assumption here; maybe you don’t give your husband sex, in which case it’s pretty obvious why he’s visiting massage parlors.

“Justme” is obviously pretty naïve and badly in need of a wake-up call, but does “Officer Michelle” give her one?  You’re kidding, right?  Notice she doesn’t even answer any of her questions:

I called Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) to see if they had services for women that are in your situation.  They have people that you can talk to about this…They are there for women who are in crisis; not just for women that are going through abuse, but they are there for support including circumstances like what you are experiencing.  I have heard prostitution as been referred to as a “victimless crime.”  After hearing stories such as yours from other women as well, it is apparent that prostitution is not victimless at all.

Read that again.  This policewoman columnist is actually advising a woman who caught her husband going to massage parlors to contact an organization intended to help abused women; despite her prevarication about the group’s mission, I think the words “violent environment” are pretty clear.  I understand that for a naïve wife to discover her husband’s extracurricular activities could be disturbing, but it’s NOT the same as being beaten.  And since “Officer Michelle” opines that prostitution should be a “crime” due to male infidelity, I’ll be waiting for the column in which she endorses laws against adultery and gay bathhouses.  As Brandy said in her column:

Now this poor poor wife is the victim of a sex crime because her husband visited a massage parlor…Her feelings were hurt.  Let’s run around and arrest people for the crime of “hurting someone’s feelings”.  Oh wait a minute, but that would not be the fault of the massage parlor.  They didn’t hurt her little feelers.  The husband, who I am sure willingly walked into the place for a massage…is the one who hurt her feelings.  I’m sure the massage place did not know or even ask if he was married.  No that is his responsibility, not theirs.  Yet we want to persecute the massage parlor…for just being available.

Brandy has, of course, just smacked the proverbial nail dead-on.  A hundred years ago one of the chief propaganda arguments used to convince women to support prohibition of alcohol was that it caused husbands to neglect or abuse their wives and children; modern anti-drug and anti-porn activists use similar rhetoric.  Many women seem to find it much easier to blame the activities dissatisfied husbands replace them with (whether that be ball, booze or broads) than to blame the husbands for neglecting them, and it goes without saying that they find it vastly easier than examining themselves for possible husband-alienating faults or actually working at trying to understand their men and helping them to avoid temptation.  It’s not only scorned women who do this, either; modern culture encourages people of both genders to surrender personal responsibility for their actions.  It’s not the fault of the human for misbehaving; it’s the fault of the drugs/tobacco/video games/porn/guns/gambling/television/movies or whatever.  Even sex is called an “addiction”.

But since prostitution involves two people rather than a person and a thing, modern prohibitionists have turned the blame game into a version of “hot potato”; angry wives and advocates of criminalization like “Officer Michelle” say the prostitute is evil and leads innocent men into wrongdoing, while the “Swedish Model” and trafficking rhetoric blame evil males for exploiting innocent women.  And by this both groups demonstrate the fallacy of criminalization; consensual behaviors have no victim and are therefore not crimes.  The prostitute who offers a service is no more responsible for clients who come to her when they shouldn’t than an auto manufacturer is responsible for someone who is harmed by driving his car off of the highway, and neither can a client be held responsible for the free choice of a whore.  It’s time for people to stop allowing governments to treat them like children, and the way to accomplish this is to stop acting like children by running to Big Brother every time someone hurts our feelings, or expecting Nanny to remedy every consequence resulting from our own ill-considered actions.  It’s time for modern people to leave their state-run, police-guarded nurseries and grow the hell up.

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