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Archive for November, 2013

Slavery works as a public fantasy through which the real problems of the world can be pushed to one side and replaced with…“evil slave-owners” who allegedly lurk behind such phenomena.  –  Frank FurediSWAT thugs

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Many organizations…receive inquiries from potential volunteers whose primary desire is to kick in doors and rescue…victims…once a potential volunteer learns that the organization does not have a covert SWAT team…they seem shocked and in disbelief.  The concept of private entities using…armed…[“rescue”] teams…is fueled by Hollywood and…non-governmental organizations…who play DVDs at anti-human trafficking events indicating their organization uses [such] teams…some even indicate their activities are unhindered by the bureaucracy of governments…

Handy Figures

I find this number very credible, given that 1% of comparatively-prudish Western women have worked as whores, plus an unknown (but certainly larger) number in other kinds of sex work:

…economist Yasuyuki Iida…says that five percent of women in Japan have [done some kind of sex work.  He]…begins by estimating that there are 10,000 clubs, bars and parlors offering sex nationwide… “each employs 30 women on average…That puts the number of women…at 300,000”…Iida settles on 10 years as the average tenure…based on data from the Ministry of Justice…the average woman enters the biz between the age of 25 and 29.  Census data…indicates that a total of 700,000 women fall within…that…group.  If 30,000 women [per year]…enter the fuzoku trade, that would represent…4.29[%] of that total…

The Course of a Disease

The Vietnamese government has just passed a decree under which clients of prostitutes will be punished more severely than the call girls…sex buyers will be fined VND500,000-VND1 million (US$23.7-$47.4)…prostitutes…will be issued a warning…in less severe cases or a monetary fine of VND100,000-VND300,000 (up to $14)…If the prostitutes are foreigners, they can be deported from Vietnam…

Legal Is As Legal Does (TW3 #7)

Another example of the need for eternal vigilance:

A delegation of former prostitutes…[and] advocates have appeared before…Parliament calling for a change to prostitution laws…the organisation Freedom from Sexual Exploitation (FFSE)…says…”the Prostitution Reform Act…not only encouraged more men to buy sex, but transformed prostitution into an acceptable, even attractive job for young, poor woman in New Zealand”…FFSE is asking the government to…[criminalize] the purchase of sexual services…

Above the Law

Three more “isolated incidents”:

Nearly twenty years after two young women were shot and stabbed to death at a Kentucky massage parlor…former [cops]…Edward Carter and Leslie Duncan are among three men charged…Tammy Papler, the woman who once ran the parlor, claimed years ago that she had been bribing police…and that the killings took place after she stopped paying.

Of course, it isn’t only whores they target:

A…San Antonio [cop raped a young woman]…Jackie Len Neal pulled [her] over…[on the pretext] that her car was reported stolen.  Even though [she] produced a sales slip…Neal insisted on patting her down…[then] placed [her] in handcuffs…[in] the back of his patrol car…[and raped her]…video cameras mounted in Neal’s cruiser were not functioning…[but] a GPS tracking system did corroborate that…[it] was parked for 18 minutes…as the woman had claimed…

And an update from the original “Above the Law”:  “A victim of a…Pittsburgh police officer…filed a federal lawsuit…Adam Skweres…failed his psychological examination before [hiring and]…the city [allowed him to keep working]…after it received complaints against him…[for] three years…Frankenstein - angry mob

The Widening Gyre

You know a moral panic is nearing its zenith when you start seeing mobs with torches:

Hundreds of people [gathered]…on Long Beach Boulevard in Compton to march against the sex trafficking of children and teenagers along the notorious strip.  The march…[followed] the route often used by johns and pimps in buying and selling young victims…”We are marching tonight to shine a light in the darkness and let these men know we see them,” [politician Mark] Ridley-Thomas said…”And to let businesses that profit from this vile trade…know that we’re coming for them”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #34)

Don’t believe our data; believe our dogma instead!

In Maine…its hotline netted 19 of what Polaris Project defines as high- or moderate-level indicators of trafficking in the most recent year…Destie Sprague…[of] the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said…Mainers should not reach the conclusion that only 19 people in the state were victims of trafficking in the past year…the number is in reality much higher…

Lower Education

The federal government is backing away from the nationwide “blueprint” for campus speech restrictions issued this May…the new head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR)…said that “the agreement in the Montana case represents the resolution of that particular case and not OCR or DOJ policy”…the Montana agreement included an overly broad definition of punishable sexual harassment: “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “verbal conduct” (i.e., speech)…Serious First Amendment and due process problems remain with…other recent OCR pronouncements…

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #326)

Wouldn’t you love to see articles like this in the US?

Media organizations worldwide have been busy crucifying Rob Ford for his alleged crimes and intoxicated buffoonery…but mainstream outlets in Canada…need to apologize for repeatedly presenting Ford’s crimes in conjunction with allegations of “prostitution”…Having sex for money is not a crime in this country.  Even though many activities associated with it remain illegal, having sex for money…is a job…Every major mainstream media source in the city latched onto the “hanging out with suspected prostitutes” allegations…what makes someone a “suspected prostitute,” anyway?  Fishnets?…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #329)

Though registration is a poor idea because of the inevitable bottleneck, the general tone of this article is far more sensible than anything from the US:

…Swaziland’s sex workers are not a major contributor to the spread of HIV…[it] is spread widely by people in [unpaid] sexual encounters …However…if HIV is to be contained in any country the need to protect sex workers from HIV is a requirement…Identification of sex workers is the first step, allowing a registry of sex workers for contact and communication.  Thus reachable, these individuals can receive advice on health issues, HIV testing…counselling…treatment …and a supply of condoms…public health crises require realism…

Migliorini in PlayboyLittle Boxes (TW3 #332)

A woman who sold her virginity…for $780,000 but was unable to consummate the transaction has decided to put herself back on the market…Catarina Migliorini  was initially promised to a 53-year-old Japanese millionaire, but the deal fell through after Natsu ended up being a 21-year-old who looked nothing like his online profile.  She also had a falling out with the documentary filmmaker who recruited her…

Decentralization (TW3 #334)

Another example of “sex trafficking” as default bogeyman:

…bitcoin…is not backed by any central bank or government and can be transferred “peer to peer” between any two people anywhere…By largely eliminating intermediaries, bitcoin allows individuals to conduct transactions without being subject to anti-money laundering controls, which makes it an attractive currency to criminals — particularly those who prey on the weak.  Sex slavery and human trafficking generate $9.5 billion yearly in the United States alone, with each trafficked child yielding between $150,000 to $200,000 to her pimp, who controls four to six girls on average…

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #334)

The cuckoo clock is striking 13:

Cindy McCain slammed the National Football League…for not being “willing to deal” with the issue of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl…McCain…said the Super Bowl is the “largest human-trafficking venue on the planet,” but she will be working to tackle the issue in [Arizona] in 2015…McCain emphasized the necessity of bringing the issue to…Congress.  “This issue’s not sexy on Capitol Hill yet, but we’re going to make it sexy”…

Given all the one-handed writing politicians do about “child sex slaves”, I’d say they already find it plenty sexy.  But McCain’s comments, however idiotic, are at least coherent, which is more than I can say for those of her sidekick:

…Saada Saar spoke about her involvement in shutting down “adult services” ads on Craigslist in 2010…“I will never forget that morning getting calls from some of the girls who were still out there saying, ‘Oh my God!  The pimp’s [sic] are losing their minds because they can’t put us up for sale.  We are no longer for sale’…”

Imaginary Evils

Slaves found in London 'tip of the iceberg' Daily MailI knew this would turn out to be bogus, but I’m very pleased that it came apart so quickly:

The first stories in the London slavery reports…all gave the same horrifying account:  three women had been rescued by police after thirty years held against their will…But as details emerged, it seemed to be an entirely different affair…after contacting the charity, the women were encouraged to leave the house, which they did…with no dramatic police raid…[they] had joined a radical Marxist collective…which…was like a microcosm of a Soviet state- workers toil unrewarded for the benefit of the leader…”social services, education and housing departments had all had contact with the household” and…both the leaders had been previously arrested.  The presence of these women in the house was not a new discovery by any means…

And in Spiked, Frank Furedi uses the incident as a springboard for a strong criticism of the way the word “slavery” is used to describe phenomena which are absolutely nothing like chattel slavery.

Everything Old is New Again

Here are two more stories in which “sex trafficking” is described using ludicrous Victorian phraseology; this one from Ohio tells us that the mustache-twirling villains behind the “perfidious crime” are not usually stopped by “swift apprehension”, and that arresting sex workers “[fights] the vexing scourge” by “helping to restore a semblance of normalcy to [their] lives”.  The other, from California, gasps in horror at the idea of “children…at risk” from people having sex “in a home right across the street from an elementary school,” opines that “the horror of human trafficking…has destroyed the meaning of what it means to be ‘safe’ in a free world,”  and tells us that “expanding shackles” (presumably, a technology related to “invisible handcuffs”) are “fueled” by “assumptions that these are consensual interactions with women flaunting their sexual desire alongside pimps in outlandish suits with expensive cars.”

Meanwhile, if you click back to the original column by this name you’ll see something about how New Port Richey, Florida has a scheme to allow “authorities” to persecute “known prostitutes” at will.  Well, here’s an open letter to the town from its most famous daughter, Dr. Brooke Magnanti:

…Profiling has a false positive rate greater than zero, and some of those false positives will no doubt lawyer up.  Also, picking up people because you think they might possibly commit a crime in the future is not the same as detecting people who are actually breaking the law.  It is – hm, how you say? – oh yeah, now I remember the word.  “Unconstitutional.”  (My time in Florida’s schools did not go to waste, as you can see)…

Think of the Children! (TW3 #346)

Buried down near the bottom of this farrago of pearl-clutching nonsense about a persecuted Calgary massage parlor:  “Human trafficking is not a widespread problem among sex workers in Calgary massage parlours, police say…Mary Ann Franks threatens to beat up website owners

Shame, Shame

Activists seeking to criminalize “revenge porn” say they are…[preparing] federal legislation that would force Internet companies to take [it] down…law professor Mary Anne Franks…is helping draft the bill…”Going after intermediaries is a really bad idea,” says Matt Zimmerman…[of] the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  “The entire speech ecosystem…[suffers] because those service providers…decide what people can and cannot post”…Internet companies would likely respond to such a law by removing content any time there’s a complaint, to reduce their liability and…save time…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #347)

This ugly exercise in arse-backwardness repeats lurid nonsense about “sex tourism” in Brazil using Justin Bieber clickbait while describing dry stories about sex workers’ language lessons and business improvements as “titillating”; it then dismisses UN recommendations for decriminalization in a flurry of “sex trafficking” hoo-hah (describing the fringe group Equality Now as “many NGOs”), and adds insult to injury by mentioning Gabriela Leite’s Davida without stating that it’s a sex worker rights organization.  Compare it with this one, which despite being fixated on “grittiness” is at least basically honest.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling
You “Be of good cheer”…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s the hap-happiest season of all!
With those holiday greetings
And gay happy meetings
When friends come to call…
It’s the hap- happiest season of all.
  –   Edward Pola and George Wyle

Macy's parade Santa ClausWhen I was a wee lass, and the song which provides today’s title and epigram was a recent holiday hit rather than a hoary standard, today would be the first day in the American calendar year that one might be likely to hear it in a public place.  For most of the 20th century and perhaps earlier, the day after Thanksgiving was the agreed-upon beginning of the Christmas season in the United States; since most people (outside of retail) were off from work that day, it was a convenient opportunity to put up decorations, obtain and trim a tree or even go shopping.  Macy’s department store in New York has reinforced this every year since 1924 (with the exception of 1942-44) by the inclusion of Santa Claus in its popular Thanksgiving Day parade, heralded as the “official” kickoff of Yuletide festivities.

But as the years rolled by, marketing became a science and advertising became ever more aggressive.  Merchants began erecting early Christmas displays even before Thanksgiving, and were it not for Halloween’s growing popularity as an adult drinking holiday they might have broken into October by now.  On November 1st every large retail chain (anxious to sweep away any lingering thoughts of mortality which might have entered less-impenetrable consumer skulls from the rare horror imagery among the sexy Muppets, sexy foodstuffs, sexy police-state functionaries and sexy superhuman serial killers) rips down the Halloween décor, shoves it into closeout bins and plasters the entire premises with red and green, fake snow, creepy Saint Nicholas caricatures, incessant Christmas and winter-themed music (including modern arrangements of the eponymous tune), and unrelenting encouragement to buy, buy, buy!  But the traditional launch date hasn’t been forgotten, oh no!  Now it’s become “Black Friday”, the worldwide festival of conspicuous consumption which started out as an in-joke among Philadelphia retailers in the 1960s.  Thanksgiving has been reduced to a sideshow, one of the less important events of “Black Friday Week” as advertising trash infuriatingly insists on calling it; those unfortunate enough to depend on retail employment for their livelihoodBlack Friday mob are forced to skip the day altogether as their employers shift “Black Friday Sales Events” back further and further into Thursday and demand that the wage-slaves be on hand to deal with hordes of drooling morons who lack the sense to stay home and enjoy the sorts of activities that Christmas songs still pretend characterize the season.

As you can probably tell, I most certainly do not approve.  We’ll be spending the day as we always do:  finding a Christmas tree on our property and decorating it, and having Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner.  Unless there’s some dire emergency, none of our vehicles are going farther than the mailbox, and we aren’t going to do any online shopping either, not today and not on the newest pseudo-event, the even-more-stupidly-named “Cyber Monday” (and no, not on Boxing Day either).  I’ve already bought most of my presents, and will obtain the rest on my trip to New Orleans week-after-next; and though I do love this season for the festivities and the visiting and the gift-giving and the donations to Toys for Tots (my favorite charity), I will be staying as far away from retail establishments as is humanly possible for the next month.  I also won’t be donating to the Salvation Army, who as I’ve explained before were one of the originators of “sex trafficking” hysteria and are still among its most vociferous and dishonest proponents.  By all means, donate to the needy during this season of goodwill, but there are plenty of charities who manage to accomplish that without also funding crusades against human rights. Salvation Army donation

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Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go.  –  Victor Hugo

Harvest GoddessToday in the United States is Thanksgiving Day, a day specifically set aside to be thankful for what one has.  One would hardly know it nowadays; as with nearly every other American holiday, it is thought of more for the way it is celebrated than for the ideas it was established to commemorate.  And so Independence Day has become a day to barbecue, impossible to distinguish from Memorial Day and Labor Day except for the presence of fireworks; New Year’s Day and Halloween are days to get drunk; Christmas is the day one gives gifts for which one has shopped for over a month, and Thanksgiving is merely an excuse for eating like a pig before rushing out the next day (or even that night) to join a mob which will trample children, old people and store employees in an idiotic quest for a few bargains the merchants take a loss on so as to drag the hordes into their facilities.  Even the word is vanishing from the calendar; chain stores put up their Christmas decorations on the Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving week is called “Black Friday Week“, and even the day itself is eclipsed by the traditional entree served at the feast, so the Philistines all go about belching “Happy Turkey Day!” at one another.  Ugh.  Please, American readers, allow me to repeat the advice I’ve given y’all for the past two years:  “celebrate this day…with those you love, giving thanks for what you have rather than just stuffing your face and planning to buy more tomorrow.”  And though my readers outside the US don’t officially celebrate this as a holiday, I wish all of you peace, prosperity and good fortune as well.  Blessed Be!

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I have been seeing professionals for several years, mostly through an Asian escort service.  I really enjoyed some of the girls, but they travel a lot so sometimes none of the girls I like  are available, and it’s always hit or miss with someone new.  Plus, though I love Asian ladies I also like variety, so I decided to try some independent escorts, and boy has it been a flaky and unreliable experience.  I registered with P411, picked only well-reviewed providers, etc, yet nothing has gone right.  The first independent I tried cancelled twice at the last minute for ridiculous reasons, then we finally connected and the service was excellent…but when I tried to reschedule she flaked again.  So I tried another girl; this one didn’t answer when I tried to confirm on the day of the appointment as she had requested.  The next one double-scheduled and called me 15 minutes before the appointment trying to reschedule; a fourth one made an appointment but wouldn’t confirm, then told me to “Fuck off” when I emailed to ask if we were still on for that day.  What am I doing wrong?  I never had this trouble with the agency.

flaky womanIt’s strange that you’ve had so many bad experiences, so I think you need to look at what the unifying factor might be.  Were all of these girls very young?  Because young girls are often quite poor at what hobbyists call “TKB” (taking care of business).  Also, you said they were all well-reviewed; did any of their reviews mention this flakiness?  Because if they didn’t, it may be that you’re somehow doing something to encourage this sort of behavior without realizing it.  I suggest you try looking at ladies who have been around a bit longer; if you still have similar problems with escorts who have been in the business for years, it’s definitely something you’re doing that did not affect you when you were dealing with the agency, but causes problems with independent escorts, such as some sort of screening issue that’s making them nervous.

PostscriptThis reader later wrote back and confirmed that all of the girls were indeed young, and he suspected that his preference for early appointments might be part of the problem if these girls enjoyed staying out late.  He said he would try more mature escorts.

I’ve been seeing an escort I’m extremely attracted to, but all three sessions I’ve had with her were very substandard because she has this rush-rush attitude; by the third time I was so stressed by it I couldn’t even get hard for her.  Yet for some reason, I feel compelled to go to her.  What should I do?

If she’s rushing you and it isn’t working out, you definitely need to see someone else.  I think you’ve inherited a misguided sense of loyalty from your experience with girlfriends, but an escort is not a girlfriend; she is a service provider, and if she’s not making you happy you need to move on, just as you would with a barber who wasn’t doing a good job on your hair.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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How do they know that 99 were pimps?  Were they wearing garish clothes and funny hats?  Or perhaps they had ID cards in their wallets which said “pimp”?  –  “Reading Between the Lines

Death of Jezebel, Gustave DoreThings really began to pick up in November of 2010.  I was getting lots of new readers, and my traffic was increasing dramatically; though each month up to that point had increased by a sizeable fraction over the month before, November’s traffic was more than triple that of October.  Yes, the sum total for that whole month (7893) is less than three average days’ tally now, and in fact my busiest single day so far exceeded that by over a thousand.  But I was beginning to see a lot more incoming links, and I could already tell that the popular columns I mentioned in the September back issue were going to be consistent attractors of attention.  It was one of November’s columns, however, that first “put me on the map”, as it were:  “Hidden Hordes of Hookers”, my very first debunking of the “gypsy whores” myth, drew the attention of several reporters and won me my first mainstream interviews the following January.  That was by no means the only current event column for the month; “Reading Between the Lines” was my first dissection of an FBI “sex trafficking sting” press release, “Unreal Princesses” used the outing ofdrama queen fake escort blogger “Alexa di Carlo” as the hook for a discussion of “cyberdrag”, and “Something Rotten in Sweden” chronicled the beginning of American police departments’ turn toward Swedish-flavored rhetoric, a development I had predicted nine days earlier in “Sea Change” (wherein we saw the beginning of the UN’s move toward decriminalization which finally came to fruition almost exactly two years later).

two-women-and-one-manBesides those full-column news analyses there was also the two-part “November Miscellanea” and “What a Week!”, the first weekly synopsis column. It really isn’t the direct predecessor of today’s TW3 feature, though; if you take a look at it you’ll see that it’s written in a sort of conversational style rather than presented as a series of short items.  I was already trying to move away from the long block quotes which characterized my update and miscellanea columns at that time, but I wasn’t sure how to do it yet and that gossip-column-like format was one of my experiments.  I also used it in “Jezebel” and in December’s “Bits and Pieces”, but only a few times after that.  Another experiment was an early, clearly-divided version of the essay/news hybrid which later became one of my staples; this month’s “Drama Queens” is one of the few examples of this now-extinct transitional form.  Other column types, however, either still exist in the same form (this month’s harlotography was “Mata Hari” and its fictional interlude “Ripper”), or existed thus for quite a while; though I now present both reader questions and book reviews one at a time, I used to post them in batches as seen in “November Book Reviews” and “November Q & A”.  Of course, I still do holiday and special-occasion columns as well, and this month had “Election Day”, “Guy Fawkes Night”, “Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!” and “Thanksgiving”.

chained princessBy November, I was drawing on my own experience for far fewer columns; other than “Pam” (which describes the awful owner of the first escort service I worked for) and “License to Rape” (which in part describes my own assault by cops), the subject matter was becoming a lot more far-ranging than in previous months:  “Amsterdam” is self-explanatory, “Meretrices and Prostibulae” is a glossary of sex work in ancient Rome, “Plaçage” describes a form of concubinage practiced in early New Orleans, “Lying Down With Dogs” looks at the list of other countries beside the US which criminalize prostitution, and “The Lesser of Two Evils” describes the Catholic Church’s historic tolerance of it.  I also wrote on “Wife Swapping”; the psychological defense mechanism called “Reaction Formation”; the deep hypocrisy of feminists who insist on a woman’s right to abortion but deny her right to do sex work (“My Body, My Choice”); and women who want payment for sex, yet insist they aren’t whores (“Halfway Whores”).  And finally, in “As Young As Possible”, I vivisected a bogus “sex trafficking” study, as I would many more times in the years to come.

Full metal jacket whore

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There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.  –  Thomas Wolfe

What's Cooking by Gil Elvgren (1949)I’ve often said that though I’m fairly good at many things, there are only three that I’m really good at.  The first one is the reason so many of y’all think this blog is worth reading; the second is the one that allowed me to make a career out of my primary topic.  And the third is one I have used nearly every day, year in and year out, without fanfare, since my late teens; it’s the only one of the three I’ve never been paid to do, and the only one I wouldn’t even consider a job in because unless one is strikingly proficient at it, nobody’s going to offer enough money.  But that’s probably because unlike the other two, nearly anyone with the desire and the practice can get good at it.  At this time of year I usually do a lot more of it than the second and somewhat more than the first, and so I’ve decided to write about it today.

I am speaking, of course, of cooking.  Unlike many good cooks, I do not embrace pretension; I roll my eyes when a recipe insists that sea salt or vanilla pods will make a major difference in the taste of the finished product, and though I do indeed prepare a lot of dishes with French names I do not believe that the presence of such a name improves it.  Few of the dishes I prepare often use any ingredients unavailable from a typical supermarket, and virtually none use anything more exotic than tahini or fish sauce (i.e. easily obtained at an ethnic market).  And though a number of my family’s favorites do have foreign names (such as kang Musmun, moussaka, gnocchi and enchiladas), few of them would be considered “gourmet” in their countries of origin; they are generally humble dishes with humble ingredients, and require no advanced culinary techniques for their preparation.  A typical week of dinners at my house (starting on Sunday) might be fried chicken, red beans and rice, sandwiches and soup, creamed ground beef on toast, lasagna, fish & chips, burritos (Tuesday is my traditional “night off” from doing a full dinner).  And the dessert is much more likely to be apple pie, bread pudding or cookies than crème brulee or doberge cake…though I can prepare those if requested.

Over the last few years I’ve already shared a number of my favorite recipes, so if you’d like to try chicken and andouille gumbo, turkey soup, potato salad, real (non-microwave) popcorn, chicken paprikash or king cake, I’ve got you covered.  I’ve also shared my recipes for chili and fried chicken via email, and would be happy to publish them if asked.  But today I’m going to share two very simple, homely recipes, the first in response to the season and the second in response to some folks who were concerned about the poisoned Chinese-made pet treats we read about last month:  cornbread stuffing and dog biscuits.

Cornbread Stuffing

This recipe is intentionally small so it’s easy to multiply.  Prepare it as is for very small birds, double it for a 10 to 12-pound one, and quadruple it for a large one (or if your family really likes stuffing).  Just in case you don’t have a recipe for cornbread, I’ve included the one I use at the bottom of the stuffing directions.  Leftover cornbread is actually best, but if you’re making a quadruple batch you’ll need a whole pan.  If you don’t have granulated garlic, use half as much garlic powder or twice as much finely-minced garlic or garlic flakes.  If you’re using this for a goose rather than a turkey or chicken, double the sage and omit the garlic.

2 cups (480 ml) crumbled cornbread
1 cup (240 ml) chicken bouillon or broth
¼ cup (½ stick, 60 ml) butter
¼ teaspoon (app. 1 ml) each pepper, paprika, granulated garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary & tarragon

Heat bouillon, spices and butter over medium heat until boiling.  Remove from heat, add cornbread, stir to moisten, then let sit (covered) for 10 minutes before stuffing bird.  Yes, it’s safe to stuff a bird no matter what the nannies now claim; just make sure it’s completely thawed before cooking and cook it for roughly 3 extra minutes per pound.

Cornbread:  Preheat oven to 425o Fahrenheit.  Combine 1 cup (240 ml) flour, 1 cup (240 ml) cornmeal, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder, and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt.  Beat 2 large eggs; mix in 1 cup (240 ml) milk and ¼ cup (60 ml) cooking oil, then add mixture to dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Pour into greased square pan, bake for 20 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dog Biscuits

2 cups (480 ml) flour
½ cup (120 ml) cornmeal
½ tbsp (7.5 ml) granulated garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) beef bouillon
6 tablespoons (90 ml) oil

If you don’t have granulated garlic, see recipe above.  Though dogs like garlic more than you might think, you can skip it entirely if you like; it helps protect them from fleas but inside dogs need that less.  I use a small cutter, about tea-cookie size, but you can use a larger one or a bone-shaped one if you like. You can substitute beef stock or any other meat-flavored liquid for the bouillon. For the oil, bacon grease or used fryer oil is best, but any cooking oil will do.

To prepare, mix all dry ingredients, then add bouillon & oil and mix well. Dump the dough out onto a clean counter and knead with your hands just until it’s all mixed and even-looking, then roll or pat it out to about ¼ to ½” (about 1 cm) thick and cut with the biscuit cutter. Gather the leftover dough together, roll out and cut again until it’s all used up. Bake the biscuits at 350o Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Store in a sealed container in a cool place; you can refrigerate them or even freeze them for longer storage. I have never met a dog that did not LOVE these, and since there’s nothing weird in them you might even like them yourself (I’ve caught Grace sneaking them on occasion).

That’s all for today, but I’ll keep sharing other recipes from time to time, and if you need a particular one please don’t hesitate to ask.

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When I look at what we are proposing, it is simply good design.
–  Will Johnston

The competition for the top spot was very tight this week:  though Mike Siegel squeaked the others out, Jesse Walker contributed three (“bullshit”, “roots” and “Miami”) and four others two each.  The first video (via Lenore Skenazy) mocks people panicking over incredibly-unlikely events, and the second (via Neil Gaiman) is a performance of a unique musical instrument designed by Leonardo da Vinci but never before built until now.  The links between the videos were provided by Radley Balko (“mutants” & “update”),  Pencil Bloke (“headline”), Popehat (“burrito” & “doorknobs”), Walter Olson  (“Etsy”), Cop Block (“puppycide” & “watering”), Aspasia (“38”), Merkin O’Grady (“Yakety Sax”), Grace (“ticket” & “paraplegic”), and Jason Kuznicki  (“time machine”).

From the Archives

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Denying that sex work is work means…talking over the very people who are most knowledgeable about their industry.  –  Tara Msiska

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Methinks Mr. Hendricks typed this one-handed:

…David Hendricks [said]…”we see…torture that we would see at a POW camp…the tattooing of victims…sends a message to other pimps, ‘This is my property’…”  Hendricks went onto explain that every facet of a…trafficking [victim’s life] is controlled, including if they can eat, when they can return home, and who they can communicate with.  A growing sector of the sex workers in Long Beach—largely affiliated with gangs…are usually in a group of about a half-dozen women under one dominating male, who then requires a set amount of dollars to be made per female, typically in the range of $500 to $700 per day…

A False Dichotomy

Take a look at the claims above, and compare with the reality:  “The 24-year-old Hungarian woman [willingly worked but]…when she told Istvan Toth she wanted to return to Hungary he…threatened her, causing her to fear for her family’s safety.  So she began recording conversations and taking photographs, and…confided in two of her clients,The Weird who offered to pay for her to stay in a hostel…”  So much for barcode tattoos, evil clients and “controlled communication”.

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received Christopher Lee’s Omnibus of Evil as a late birthday present (delayed in customs) from Kevin Wilson, and The Weird as an early Christmas present from Daz.  Thank you both so much!

Because We Say So (TW3 #19)

Remember those low-caste Nepalese women who were criminalized at the urging of prohibitionists in order to “save” them?

…The government-pledged alternative livelihood programme…was never implemented…Badi women continue to work as sex workers.  Many of them go to India…“If the government cannot provide us jobs, education and health services then it could at least lift the ban on prostitution,” said Soni Badi, adding that they would vote [for] the candidate ready to legalise…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #36)

If only American celebrities were so principled:

The singer Antoine brought together over seventy [French] celebrities around a “simple statement to moderate tone…Without condoning or promoting prostitution, we reject the criminalization of…prostitutes and those who use their services, and ask to open a real debate without ideological bias…Why does the Special Committee…include so many abolitionists?  Why do they not consider…prostitutes’ choice?…It is time to give them the same rights as other workers”…

Here’s more criticism of the proposed law from Reason and Al-Jazeera.

Hard Numbers (TW3 #37)

on June 14, 2012, Rio’s…Police…rounded up prostitutes, staff and the owner [of Centaurus, and]…seized $150,000 in cash…police filmed the raid, threatening to leak the footage to the local media thereby exposing the women’s identities unless they handed over more money.  Thaddeus Blanchette, an anthropologist who has documented prostitution in Rio since 2004, is not surprised by this.  “Blackmail accompanying raids is not uncommon,” he reveals.  “It is one of the reasons why I am skeptical of using the police as neutral agents in the combating of trafficking.”  Centaurus was one of over 20 popular sex venues to be shut down in the period surrounding the Rio+20 Conference…Raids continue…as Brazil steps up its image-cleansing campaign ahead of the World Cup…despite the fact that exchanging sex for money is legal in Brazil and prostitution has been recognized as an official occupation…since 2002…

King of the Hill

Texas is so angry at claims it’s behind Georgia, California and New York in “sex trafficking” that it’s unveiled a new strategy to ensure its #1 position: claiming a bogus fraction of all “sex trafficking victims” rather than a mere ranking:

With an estimated 25 percent of the nation’s sex trafficking victims hailing from the Lone Star State, Texas [congressmen] John Cornyn and…Ted Poe led an effort…to punish “Johns” as harshly as “pimps”…proposed legislation…would impose penalties of 15 years to life on convicted customers…of sex slaves younger than 14 years old…Poe…[claimed] 300,000 sex trafficking cases [are] prosecuted each year….the proposal would [net the government] $15 million…a year from convicted traffickers’ seized assets and fines…

gold star for effortThere haven’t even been 300,000 “trafficking” prosecutions in the entire world since the panic started a decade ago; of course the reporter couldn’t be bothered to fact-check that.  An Illinois politician is also on the bandwagon, but all he can say is that his state is “a hub”, which is pretty pathetic if you ask me.  Still, he did inflate 3% to 33% and 14% to 62%, and insert a bogus “safe harbor” provision into the bill, so I suppose we should award him a little gold star for effort.

Misdirection (TW3 #40)

[American] public schools—even ones that teach comprehensive sex education—invite religious abstinence speakers to come in…and…spread [disinformation]…one…said, “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you” and claimed she could tell which teenagers are promiscuous by looking at them…she also asserts that the HPV vaccine “only works on virgins”…[another] said…that if a guy gets sperm anywhere near a girl’s vagina, it will turn into a “little Hoover vacuum” and she will become pregnant…

Parasites

More anti-guest-post-spammer genius from Popehat:

…[Teaching] children…to love and cherish and squeal over ponies…is like teaching [them] that whirling sawblades taste like Strawberry Quik…Children love games, particularly video games with eerie bug-eyed avatars and art styles out of the methadone nightmares of Japanese pornographers, so…in…our proposed dress-up game — tentatively titled PONIES LAUGH WHILE THEY KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE…players could choose amongst different outfits suitable for a post-pony-apocalypse, including gnawed tatters, wretched tear-stained shifts, and gowns slick and dark with the blood of their cherished grandparents…

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #51) Alyssa Brame

no criminal charges [will] be filed in the death of Alyssa Brame, who was arrested…for allegedly offering to perform a sex act…for $40 and died of alcohol poisoning in a jail cell.  The five [Massachusetts cops] who [arrested]…her…claimed she did not appear…overly intoxicated, but by the time she was taken to the police station she couldn’t walk on her own, and cops there debated whether she was too drunk to be accused of offering sex for money…

Little Boxes (TW3 #135)

Another example of the “limited hours for massage parlors” fad:

…”We’ve been able to identify in excess of 200 victims of human trafficking…in the massage parlors”…said Sgt. Curt Chastain…the new ordinance would…[force them] to provide a…license from the California Massage Therapy Council…it would also limit hours of operation from 7am to 9pm, prohibit doors from being locked during business hours and require visibility from the street into the massage parlor…

The City of Fresno claims to have “identified” more “sex trafficking victims” than several huge operations were able to find in the entire United Kingdom.

Science!

Another claim that disasters cause harlotry:

…an aide to…Britain’s international development secretary…said…”After previous emergencies…we have seen an increase in…the trafficking of girls”…after the earthquake in Haiti…sexual abuse and exploitation were widespread…because women and girls could not obtain the goods and services they needed to survive…during the 2011 drought in…Africa, families married off daughters…as young as nine to pay their dowries…before their livestock died…

So we have the conflation of survival sex with rape and child marriage, all boxed up together and tied with a “trafficking” ribbon.

Big Sister (Extra Edition)

The lawyer…for the…champagne club…closed…on suspicion of procurement of prostitution…has accused the Reykjavík police of entrapment…police reportedly spent ISK 800,000…in champagne and time with the women and offered them money and cocaine in return for sex but to no avail…

Remember, taking money for sex isn’t illegal in Iceland, but offering money is.  So the cops broke the law and spent $6,600 (€4,900) trying to entrap women into doing something that isn’t illegal.Daily Mail 11-18-13 (cheering for censorship)

Opting Out

Husbands who like to watch pornography on the internet will have to confess to their wives and ask for permission, David Cameron said today.  Under Tory “moral guidelines”, people who want to view pornography…will need to actively “opt-in” with their internet service providers…It is not just pornography…but also…material related to alcohol, drugs, smoking, and politically extremist material – in what many are describing as the Great Firewall of Britain…politicians and civil servants will decide what is pornography and…what political views are “extremist”…In order to push…censorship, Cameron has continually conflated…child pornography with legal adult material…[despite the fact that child porn is] shared on the “dark web”…and therefore…this erosion of digital freedoms will have no effect on the very problem it is being proposed to solve…

The worst part about loathsome ideas, though, is that politicians learn from one another:  “Joy Smith hopes to emulate…David Cameron’s web censor plan…and…is…suggesting a great Canadian internet filter…

Bad Girls (TW3 #339)

When will guys learn cheating hookers is a really bad idea?  And when will hookers learn to get the money up front?

…a…[Malaga] man…went to a…brothel…[and] decided to engage in an orgy with three prostitutes…[Afterward] the women demanded €70 each…but the man refused to pay one of them…[she then] pulled out a knife and slashed the man’s genitalia…“Everything went well but doctors told me I was very close to dying or being impotent for the rest of my life…”

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #341)

Another example of the real and ugly motive behind the Swedish model’s pretense of “protecting” women:  “The mayor of Oslo has called on the Norway’s new government to look at making prostitution illegal, after women were reported to be selling sex outside the parliament building…

Social Autoimmune Disorder (TW3 #342)

In Sanford, Florida, police are already sending…notices…[to] owners of cars that cops see ‘lingering in areas known for prostitution.’   The goal here isn’t to arrest would-be Johns…[but] to embarrass these guys should their wives open the letters.  That gets a lot easier with license plate scanners…”  And as Radley Balko explains, it gets much worse from there. San Antonio 4

Traffic Jam (TW3 #343)

The San Antonio Four are free at last:

Three women who served more than a decade in prison for allegedly molesting two girls were set…free…after…recent scientific advances undermined medical testimony pivotal to their convictions.  Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Elizabeth Ramirez were…released on bond…pending a decision…on whether to grant them a new trial.  If that happens, the…District Attorney…will decline to prosecute them, and their convictions would be overturned…

The fourth, Anna Vasquez, was already out on parole.

Across the Pond (TW3 #343)

Delusional Scottish officials imagine that raiding saunas will force dirty whores to take menial jobs:  “A job club for sauna workers is being launched – to help women find work…the…proposal…is designed to cater [to] an expected flood of women away from the industry…

Think of the Children! (TW3 #345)

Another criticism of “sex ray” idiocy:

…For every…case…in…the press, there are many [former sex workers] who are fired…without us ever hearing about it…people…have been fired for camming, pro-domming, stripping and] phone sex [work]…people…[don’t list] sex work…on their CVs…because employers…don’t see sex work as work…by firing people for previous or current sex work, employers are making them unemployable, and actually forcing them to return to the very industry they have moral scruples against…

The More the Better (TW3 #345)

This follow-up to Business Insider’s quasi-review of Sheri’s Ranch is about as awful and tone-deaf as it’s possible for an anti-criminalization article to be; it leads off with the usual “heavily regulated” garbageArizona's tenacious laws against sex workers that (as regular readers know) never works as intended, continues with the vile “whores are too stupid and criminal to take care of their own health without being forced to by their betters” trope, and even throws in a “rent out their bodies” for good measure.  But at least they’re trying, and I suppose that’s something.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #346)

By the time last week’s TW3 had posted, Al-Jazeera had censored the article which was harshly critical of Arizona’s horrible treatment of sex workers; it was later replaced with this puff piece dishonestly back-dated to pretend it was the original.  Fortunately, nothing ever completely vanishes from the internet; I found a cached copy of the original and took this screenshot of it for posterity.  I guess it’s one thing to criticize bad data and a wholly different thing to question a police state, unless it’s France.

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on October 13th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile the internet is the greatest mass-communication innovation since the printing press, it has also created a few social problems that did not previously exist.  Unfortunately, the attempts of Luddites and control freaks to deal with these issues resemble, as do so many other governmental attempts to “do something”, an attempt to break an egg with a sledgehammer.  Take “revenge porn”, for example.  For those who are blissfully unaware of this rather nasty little phenomenon, it’s the practice of uploading sexy photos of exes to the internet in order to expose them to public humiliation and even to damage them economically, since many prospective employers, licensors and the like now routinely attempt to dig up all the dirt they can via Google.  Nor is this economic damage merely passive:  about a year ago the twisted minds of those who run these sites recognized that they could charge people hefty fees to take down their pictures.  Technically, this isn’t blackmail, which is defined as demanding payment not to reveal something; these pictures have already been revealed.  Furthermore, the charges are disguised as “service fees”, just as banks claim it really costs them $25 or more to deal with a bounced check.  But because sex is involved, it was a safe bet politicians wouldn’t ignore the issue for long, and because they are politicians, it was a safe bet the response would be neither reasonable nor moderate.  But as Dr. Brooke Magnanti points out, the issue isn’t as simple as they pretend:

…The American Civil Liberties Union opposed the first draft of California’s revenge porn bill on [free speech] grounds.  Florida also rejected a similar bill earlier this year…as long as nude pictures are considered objects of shame, we have a problem…And as ever, laws that monitor anything to do with sex have a nasty habit of being misused by police to bring trumped-up convictions.  While a fine seems eminently reasonable to discourage this undesirable behaviour, jail time does not.  If the victim must show they suffered emotional distress or humiliation, surely this would be better handled in civil rather than criminal law?  And…with California’s already overcrowded penal system suffering the effects of the “war on drugs”, can they really afford a “war on revenge”?

Noted free speech attorney Marc Randazza agrees that civil law is the proper vehicle here, and if California insists on “doing something”, maybe that “something” should be banning discrimination against people for having taken sexy pictures or video in the first place.  But while (as so often happens) California was first out of the gate, it didn’t take long for New York to follow with a “significantly improved” version which would not only increase the penalty to $30,000, but also (as Scott Greenfield explains) extend to people who post their own nude photos:

…California’s law…can only be used to prosecute individuals who personally took naked photos of someone else and then disseminated the images against the subjects’ will, New York’s proposition would…apply to making sexually explicit self-portraits public”…[the bill’s sponsors] have gone so far as to issue a press release about their plan to save people from themselves, explaining how they will make a more perfect world.  “…the majority of its victims are women who don’t know that their images and likenesses has been bartered and sold over the internet…Criminalization is preferable to civil suits…because civil suits do not deter those who upload or disclose new images after a…suit has ended…This bill is narrowly drawn so as not to infringe on First Amendment rights”…So the nice gal who revealed Anthony Weiner’s selfies is a criminal?…

Did you note the “sex trafficking” undertones there (“victims…bartered and sold over the internet”)?  That’s courtesy of one of the bill’s chief architects, a Florida law professor and neofeminist named Mary Anne Franks who interned under Catharine MacKinnon and has written a long string of articles on porn, “sexual harassment” and other favorite neofeminist targets (she has never actually practiced law).  But while Franks and her bluenosed cronies are busy promoting a law which will also criminalize escort advertising and online porn, they have largely ignored a very similar, equally sleazy online racket because it doesn’t involve sex and affects far more men than women:

…a handful of…[mug shot aggregator websites] routinely show up high in Google searches…[their] ostensible point…is to give the public a quick way to glean the unsavory history of a neighbor, a potential date or anyone else…[but they] make money…by charging a fee [of up to $400] to remove the image…To…millions…now captured on one or more of these sites, this sounds like extortion.  Mug shots are merely artifacts of an arrest, not proof of a conviction, and many people whose images are now on display were never found guilty, or the charges against them were dropped.  But these pictures can cause serious reputational damage…

When the New York Times contacted the companies who enable this extortion, an interesting thing happened:

Initially, a Google spokesman…fielded questions…with a statement that amounted to an empathetic shrug…Two days later, he wrote…that the sites…run afoul of a Google guideline…[and] the company …[has introduced an] algorithm change…[to disfavor the sites in image searches]…officials at MasterCard…contacted the merchant bank that handles all of its largest mug-shot site accounts and urged it to drop them as customers…PayPal came back with a similar response…American Express and Discover…both…said they were severing relationships with mug-shot sites.  A representative of Visa wrote to say it was asking merchant banks to investigate business practices of the sites…

In other words, businesses handled the problem far more quickly and effectively than legislators ever could, and without giving cops and prosecutors a new weapon to use against people who never hurt anyone; “revenge porn” could easily be handled in exactly this same way.  But doesn’t this, as some reporters have opined, amount to censorship?  Mike Riggs argues otherwise:

…The case against releasing mugshots was probably made most effectively in 1999 by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, which ruled against releasing the mugshot of Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr…In its ruling, the court…noted that mugshots [are]…”intended for the use of a particular group…of persons”…Like fingerprints, mugshots are used by law enforcement to identify people.  Over time, the press began to treat them as “public documents,” and some courts have agreed.  It’s clearly time to renegotiate that claim.  Two decades ago, unless you were a celebrity or a nobody accused of a particularly heinous crime, your mugshot wasn’t worth much.  Today, it’s worth something to a lot of different parties:  mugshot sites want to bank on prying eyes, neighbors want to know more about their neighbors, etc…Yet people lived without having this information at their fingertips until about 2010, when the first of the mugshot sites began to pop up…Making [mugshots] publicly available turns an investigative tool into a lifelong punishment.

I concur, but I’d like to borrow one further argument from Radley Balko:

…The names of misbehaving prosecutors are rarely if ever included in…court opinions that find misconduct…Some prosecutors argue that they should be protected from false allegations…[but Ken White of Popehat] said…”You’re dealing with a justice system where the defendant never gets that kind of protection of anonymity.  There’s no delay in releasing his name until he’s actually convicted.  Instead, prosecutors put out press releases and make public statements about the accused.  I just don’t think there’s a legitimate argument you can make as to why prosecutors should get more protection…than defendants do”…

Janet ConfortoIf “authorities” want to argue that people’s reputations deserve protection from false accusations, surely equality under the law demands that all citizens deserve that same protection?  And if they think the posting of a mere nude photo, which does not in itself constitute an accusation of wrongdoing, should be a criminal offense, what about all the police and other “official” websites which post far more damaging photographs (which are then scooped up by mugshot sites)?  Surely they should be criminally prosecuted as well?  Of course, this will never happen; government repeatedly grants to even its most minor actors immunity from the edicts by which it establishes universal criminality for the rest of us.  But the only way there will ever be even the slightest chance of change is for people to wake up and recognize the true intent of every law our rulers present as intended to “protect” us.

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This is a kind of hybrid column, half Q&A and half guest post.  A reader sent me the photo below, and wanted to know if I could tell him anything about it (you’ll see why he thought I might in a moment).  Well, everything I know about art wouldn’t even make a whole column, but the essence of librarianship isn’t knowing information directly, but rather knowing where to find it.  So I asked Aspasia Bonasera, who happens to be an art historian in addition to a sex worker, and she provided the analysis below.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

In the early eighties I found this de-framed painting in an antique store in Wisconsin.   An older couple who ran the store said it had come up the river from Storyville to Chicago, where they got it in an estate sale, along with its anecdotal provenance.  Seems it was cut from its frame in great hurry, then later “framed” in something that was at some point painted dark brown…

Storyville painting

This painting was done in oil on canvas.  Primary colors dominate, though the palette is vibrant; the paint quality is average to maybe slightly above average.  The canvas itself looks to be average quality as well (cotton or low-grade linen), so this painting was either done by an artist without a lot of money to spend on finer, linen canvases or someone who paints as a hobby.  This says to me that it probably wasn’t a commission or if it was, it was not commissioned by someone with a lot of money for the project.  Commissions are generally done with the best materials the artist has access to, and it is not unusual for the patron to provide these finer materials.

The painting was originally larger; the female subject’s foot is clearly cut off at the bottom of the canvas where it was cut and re-framed.  There could be any number of reasons for this; for example, if the painting was commissioned for one patron but the deal fell through for reasons unknown to us, another patron may have bought it but asked that it be scaled down to fit on their walls.  More than likely, I think this painting was cut and re-sized by the buyer rather than the artist.  So far as I can tell, there is no signature of the artist on the painting, which tells me it may have been located on the bottom of the painting, which has been removed.  If the artist had re-sized/re-framed the painting in his studio, he would have re-signed his creation.

The painting shows a classic Reclining Venus, which was a popular theme in antiquity and Renaissance paintings.  For example, the Venus of Urbino by Titian is a Reclining Venus.  Naturally, this would have been an appropriate subject for a brothel.  The two young men are almost satyr-like, especially their ears, which are almost pointed and their long, drawn faces.  Satyrs were known for their lust and high libidos and were often depicted with women who were equally lusty and wild, especially Maenads.Diana and Actaeon by Camille Corot (1836)  The presence of the men in a voyeuristic pose may also be influence by the Greek myth of the virgin huntress Diana being surprised at her bath by the hunter Actaeon, whom she punished for spying on her nudity by turning him into the very animal he hunts (see also Titian’s rendering of that story).  Unlike Diana, however, the woman in this painting, as a representation of Venus/Aphrodite quite enjoys being spied on, though she doesn’t make eye contact with the voyeurs but affects an aloofness that probably only intensifies their lust for her.  Appropriate for a sex worker!

The style reminds me the most of French Rococo artists such as Antoine Watteau, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, or François Boucher.  Fragonard and Boucher are known for their erotic arts and voluptuous pastoral scenes.  This painting shows nature as full and sensual and blossoming.  The style, in my opinion, is very strongly influenced by Fragonard, which brings me to a conundrum of my own.  Fragonard was very popular among the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the French Revolution.  When the Revolution occurred, Fragonard fell out of favor (as did Boucher) and his art was forgotten for many years; this included the time period in which Storyville would have existed.  That said, however, Fragonard may have fallen out of favor in mainstream art history, but perhaps he was still remembered among those who were outside of the mainstream, such as those people who still liked the voluptuous and erotic artistic expressions embodied by the Rococo?  Certainly there would have been those among the elite classes of the French Creole in New Orleans who may have had Fragonard paintings (or at least known who he was) and also patronized Storyville.

Obviously without more to go on, this analysis is purely speculative, though based in what I have learned in my course work.  I would love to know more about it, though, as I always love investigating that intersection of sex and art.  If the reader really wants a thorough, in-person investigation, I suggest contacting a gallery that is in New Orleans itself, such as M.S. Rau Antiques; in Chicago, there are a whole bunch of places that could do the job as well.

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