The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods. – Hannah Arendt
It’s time for my monthly collection of stories related to sex work, the rights of those who do it and the attempts of sex-haters to repress us out of existence.
Judd Not, Lest Ye Be Judded
In my column of April 2nd I expressed considerable anger toward Ashley Judd’s poisonous lie that normal men “buy children for sex” (i.e. knowingly hire underage prostitutes). But after hearing about this new story I have to wonder whether she isn’t completely delusional. Apparently, she recently released a memoir in which she claims to have been raped and otherwise sexually abused by family members and other parties. But when confronted with the fact that most of the events in her memoir didn’t happen as she claimed they did, Judd said on the Today show that “The book is very honest, it’s not necessarily accurate, because everyone in a family has their own perspective and their own experience. But it’s very true for me.” In other words, Judd thinks it’s OK to libel and slander people and accuse them of crimes they didn’t commit as long as one wants to pretend these things happened in order to blame somebody else for her problems, or to hold a pity party for herself in order to prop up a sagging career. And since she obviously thinks it’s acceptable and even “honest” to defame the characters of her own parents, I guess her accusing the majority of the male population of collusion in child sex slavery isn’t so bad. The Salon reporter who wrote this story from April 6th clearly thinks it’s virtuous to trash other peoples’ reputations in order to make oneself feel better, but the majority of the commenters are far more rational.
Breaking News: President Obama has a Human Friend!
I’m glad this “dog bites man” article wasn’t more publicized than it was. The president has a friend who got caught doing what 70% of men have done at one time or another. From the Huffington Post of April 6th:
One of President Barack Obama’s close friends has been arrested in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. Honolulu police say Robert “Bobby” Titcomb was one of four men arrested in an undercover sting operation late Monday and released on $500 bail. The 49-year-old Titcomb attended Punahou School in Honolulu with Obama. The two often golf, play basketball, go to the beach and dine together when the president returns home to Hawaii for vacation…Titcomb has not publicly responded to the charges, and he wasn’t immediately available for comment.
And just in case you’re still awake, here’s another non-news item:
I Told You So
Same song, 365th verse: the number of men who can make a decent living working as male escorts for female customers is vanishingly small, and I doubt there’s a city on Earth where there are five of them. But TV is not reality and in male fantasyland there are just oodles of women lining up to pay for sex with men. Unfortunately for the Showtime network, in reality women have to be paid to pretend that they’re willing to pay to have sex with men. Yawn.
Also in Jezebel:
Anna North wonders if cops are committing more sex crimes than they used to in a story which compares a firefighting instructor’s use of sexual metaphors with forcible rape. Frankly, Miss North, I doubt they’re committing more rapes these days than ever before; it’s just that because of the internet it’s harder for them to suppress the stories than it used to be.
Video: Sex Workers Refute the Claims of Neofeminist Prohibitionists
Though the sound quality in this video (courtesy of Harlot’s Parlour) leaves much to be desired, the girls in it make many of the same arguments I do about the fact that neofeminist efforts to prohibit sex work actually infantilize women and restrict our rights rather than promoting them as the prohibitionists claim.
Demi Moore and her boy sex slave, unsatisfied with merely insulting people who have forgotten more about sex work and migrant labor than they have ever known, have recruited their equally empty-headed celebrity friends to create a new series of commercials with which to convince people that “real men don’t buy child sex slaves.” Because obviously if there are 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States, then there must also be 300,000 child sex slave owners (who presumably store them in cardboard boxes at the top of the closet when not in use), and a series of dumb commercials will obviously convince them to get rid of those slaves, perhaps by flushing them down the loo like unwanted goldfish. But what Demi and company overlooked is that not everyone is a gullible twit who will believe everything a celebrity tells him, and that there are a number of us getting the word out about the falsity of “trafficking” rhetoric. The result: Widespread derision and ridicule of the campaign all over the internet. Even Jezebel, which is usually pretty credulous about the whole “child sex slave” mythology, was unimpressed.
I’m Not At All Surprised, and That’s Truly Sad
Some of the investigators working on the Long Island Serial Killer case now theorize that the killer may be a cop or ex-cop, as reported in this New York Times story from April 9th:
Whoever killed four prostitutes, and possibly four other people, and then dumped their bodies in heavy underbrush along a beachfront causeway on Long Island appears to have a sophisticated understanding of police investigative techniques…taunting phone calls…to the teenage sister of one of the victims…were made from…some of the most crowded locations in New York City…and…were probably chosen because they allowed the caller to blend into crowds, so that if investigators pinpointed his location from the cellphone’s signal, they would be unable to pick him out of the crowd using any nearby surveillance cameras…This fact, as well as the killer’s use of disposable cellphones to contact the four victims who have been identified…suggested to some investigators that the killer was well versed in criminal investigative techniques…and could even be in law enforcement himself. “He is a guy who is aware of how we utilize technology,” one investigator said. “Frankly, people are thinking maybe he could be a cop” — either one still in law enforcement or one who has moved on…the caller kept each of his…calls to less than three minutes…the brief duration…thwarted efforts by the New York Police Department to use the signal to pinpoint the caller’s location and find him…
As we’ve discussed on several occasions, police violence toward prostitutes is depressingly typical, and sociopaths often target prostitutes because of the widespread attitude that we are disposable. But it’s both sad and disgusting (though not, alas, surprising) when both of those motivations occur in one individual.