Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2016

I’m a 33 year old man who was the victim of more than 20 years of physical, emotional and non-penetrative sexual abuse; as you might imagine this has impacted my sexuality in pretty negative ways.  But thanks to more than a decade of therapy, I believe that I have put the most of the worst behind me and I would like to lose my virginity.  I respect prostitutes a great deal, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want that as my first experience.  I could go out and get a girlfriend (I’m actually quite comfortable with women), or I could attempt to have a one-night stand, though I don’t know the first thing about doing that.  I could go back into more therapy, but at this point I’m leaning towards doing the deed itself being the best form of that.  I would appreciate any assistance you might possibly render with your wisdom and experience in this field.Amateur Night

There’s nothing wrong with taking the slow, socially-approved route of getting a girlfriend and losing your virginity to her, provided you

A) aren’t in a rush;

B) are reasonably sure you won’t have any extreme reactions if she accidentally does something that triggers a traumatic memory; and

C) don’t really care about the quality of the sexual performance itself.

If, however, you feel a sense of urgency about this, like you “need” to lose your virginity right away, it’s probably much better to get a professional.  With a pro you can control the time and pacing; it will happen when YOU are ready, not when an amateur decides she’s ready.  And while navigating the dance of consent and the give-and-take of a romantic relationship is probably something you should learn at some point in the future, learning it right now, at a time when you aren’t yet sure you’re completely over your trauma yet, might be more than you can handle.  Furthermore, I’m a little uncomfortable with the way you say, “go out and get a girlfriend”, like “go and get takeout food”.  It makes it sound like you plan to use her to lose your virginity, and then…what?  What if you have a traumatic reaction, as I touched on above?  What if you get really needily-attached to her, or have a bad experience and reject her?  While those are things an adult woman should be able to handle, it’s just not ethical to dump your garbage in someone else’s yard without her permission, and frankly, most amateurs really have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to dealing with any sexuality more complicated than the typical vanilla “love” or lust-based interaction (which is why their STI rates are so damned high).  To me it’s a lot more honest, ethical and sensible for you to pay a seasoned professional (choose one who has a long internet history and a reputation for patience) for a multi-hour session, take her to dinner, get to feel comfortable and tell her about your issues so she can be ready.  Once you’ve got that troublesome first time out of the way, you can decide how you want to proceed in the future.  But given that most amateurs are barely even competent to give an untraumatized person a decent first time, I think your reticence runs counter to your best interests.  At one time it was quite normal for young men to have their first experiences with a whore; the modern preoccupation with amateur initiations is based in foolish romanticism, not good sense and a sober analysis of what would provide the best results.

(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.)

Read Full Post »

The GSI…is not an index of global slavery, but rather of global hypocrisy.  –  Julia Davidson & Sam Okyere

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

A young U.S. citizen is suing the federal government after she said she was taken in handcuffs by border officers to a Nogales [Arizona] hospital for a body cavity search — which found nothing — and then billed for the procedure.  Ashley Cervantes…crossed into Mexico on foot on a Saturday morning in October 2014 to have breakfast at a restaurant where she often eats.  On returning, she presented border officials with her birth certificate and state identification card…they accused…[her] of possessing drugs…she was handcuffed to a chair, had several dogs sniff her, and eventually taken into a separate room where she was patted down and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.  All…without her consent or a warrant…a request to call her mother was denied…Cervantes was taken in handcuffs to Holy Cross Hospital where the doctor probed her anus and vagina…No drugs ever were found…and…[she] was released after about seven hours…They even billed her parents for the “treatment” for $575…

A seven-hour rape, after which the rapists bill the victim for their “services”.  But this isn’t a police state.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Robert Moore

When will these cops learn?  RAPING a whore is OK; it’s only paying her that’s an issue:

[Prison guard] Robert Moore, who…[was] arrested in December on what was at the time referred to as a “prostitution related crime,” was arrested yet again…for engaging/ soliciting for the purpose of prostitution…Moore…[was] “found…with the prostitute with her clothes partially off and a crack pipe in her pocket.  The woman told police…she and Moore read the Bible and talked about having intercourse…Officers say they found a wrapper and condom; Moore told them he put a condom on, but never intended on having sex“…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Some people think prostitution should be legal but “heavily regulated”; here’s an example of what that looks like in action, from India:

On 13 June, the Department of Telecommunications ordered internet service providers to block nearly 240 websites offering escort services.  The diktat came out of the blue, without any attendant statement from the government…In July last year, the Centre had tried to ban 857 pornographic websites, ostensibly to protect our countrymen (and women) from “immoral” influences on the internet.  That initiative came to nought, and the government backtracked, following a huge public and social media outcry against its attempt to police not just the internet, but also the private lives and sexual habits of citizens…However, the directive to black out…escort services shows that a year down the line, the government is unwavering in its resolve to censor the internet at will…in the interest of upholding its own ideas of public morality…when the state is in no position to ban prostitution – under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, buying and selling of sex is not illegal – why is it trying to take up cudgels against…escort services?…The government’s repeated attempts to police the internet and ferret out and ban its so-called corrupting elements are at once absurd and sinister…

Backwards into the Future

This is a bit of a head-scratcher; I’m not sure how working for free could be considered a “protest”:

Sex Workers in South Africa decided to offer free services as a protest intended to force President Jacob Zuma to address the needs of young people in the Rainbow nation…the special service [ran] for 24 hours across the country [on June 16th] to mark South Africa’s Youth Days…

Pyrrhic Victory

Definitely not a police state, no sirree:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has successfully convinced a federal judge to block the disclosure of where the bureau has attached surveillance cams on Seattle utility poles…this privacy dispute highlights a powerful and clandestine tool the authorities are employing across the country to snoop on the public—sometimes with warrants, sometimes without…The deployment of such video cameras appears to be widespread.  What’s more, the Seattle authorities aren’t saying whether they have obtained court warrants to install the surveillance cams…

What a Week! (#26)

You know that “negative secondary effects” bullshit?

The sex industry…has long been perceived and regulated as a “dirty and disorderly” feature of residential communities.  The stereotypical, and unfair, view of sex workers is that they are vectors of disease and social contagions; it’s a moral hangover from the Victorians…[which] is reflected in the regulation and marginalisation of sex work by…government policies to dark and secluded areas of cities…and police forces periodically engage in “clean-up” campaigns that seek to purge local areas of sex work…[these] strategies tend to be based not on science, but on a small number of complaints from a vocal minority who assert particular moral agendas.  Such raids are generally justified by the media and local authorities on the basis that locals, especially women and children, need to be protected from the harmful effects of “sleaze”…Research by Phil Hubbard and colleagues, Penny Crofts, Sarah Kingston, and Emily Cooper…suggests that sex work contributes to residential communities in much more complex ways than is commonly portrayed in the media…

Gingerbread House

“Residential farm” = “doing menial agricultural labor for their keep”.  But hey, at least they won’t be having dirtydirty sex:

For women escaping the sex trafficking industry, opportunities to start over new are slim, and places they can go to heal fully are even fewer.  Such is the mission of Sacred Roots Farm, which aims to be “a place of holistic healing”…The nonprofit’s eventual aim is to build a residential farm for those women and their children.  Founder Sam Haupt…began researching the issue and learned Atlanta is a known hub of trafficking and sex exploitation

Whatever They Need To Say

Cops openly admit being lazy fascists; the public just stays asleep:

California’s Costa Mesa Police Department arrested more people on prostitution-related charges in the first four months of 2016 than it did in all of the preceding five years…Police say this is thanks to a conscious decision to refocus a special investigations unit away from busting gang leaders, career criminals, and drug dealers and toward people involved in the sex trade…A long-term drug investigation could eat up hours of work from a half-dozen detectives…Arresting sex workers, however, is easy…But there may be an additional motive for the new focus:  the city wants to get rid of several small motels and replace them with condo and apartment buildings.  The hotels attract a lot of vice crimes…and policing them is a drain on public safety resources, city leaders complain.  Rather than reconsidering the need to obsess over these activities in the first place, officials want the hotels to go away to make room for higher-end residential housing…more profitable in terms of taxes to the city…

Profound Ignorance 

The only parts of this that aren’t profoundly ignorant are the ones that are profoundly obvious:

Sex workers aren’t only found on the street corners of big cities…the first-ever…research survey in Ontario…has assessed the social and health needs of rural sex workers…Researcher Stacey Hannem said the…project began in 2014 when she was approached by a group of social and health service providers [whom]…sex workers didn’t feel comfortable [with because]…the…providers would often try to [coerce] sex workers [to] exit the industry, when that wasn’t…what they wanted…”There is less street-based work but more of this kind of mid-range, everyday escorting,” [Hannem] said…rural sex workers usually find their clients through online advertising, and it often involves much more travel than urban work…when the garaphic designer doesn't read the story

I’ve got news for you, Stacey; mid-range everyday escorts who advertise online are the norm everywhere, so there aren’t dramatically more of them in rural areas than in cities.  An added level of stupidity: look at the picture CBC chose to illustrate a story about how there are fewer street workers in country towns.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…Between 2014 and 2015, 45 [Sacramento] businesses were cited for prostitution-related offenses, sexual battery and multiple violations of the county codes that govern massage establishments…Twenty-one…had their licenses revoked in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015—more than five times the previous year’s number…these operations…cause more harm than good.  “I can’t tell you how many of these people may want another job, but taking away their job doesn’t do that,” said Kristen DiAngelo…political and legal responses are often sold as cracking down on exploitation and human trafficking…But, at least locally, authorities say there is no connection between illicit massage parlors and human trafficking….“This does not address abuse,” DiAngelo said. “It’s all a game. And it’s a political game”…

Held Together With Lies (#643)

How “Walk Free Foundation” comes up with those ridiculous “slavery” numbers:

Walk Free has just released its 2016 Global Slavery Index…announcing that there are 45.8 million slaves in the world today…Walk Free doesn’t claim that slavery only exists where people are held in shackles.  Rather, it extends the concept to include people threatened with violence when attempting to leave a given situation or tied by debt to a particular employer.  When it comes to children, Walk Free includes even those who are paid for their labour and who are not necessarily subject to violence or debt, but who are nonetheless counted as “slaves” simply because they are under the age of 18…if Walk Free…is willing to expand the concept of “slavery” in these ways, then why stop here  Take “forced and early marriage”…consensual marriages also become violent and oppressive.  Furthermore, because women often lack legal or financial access to divorce, and/or face stigma and penury as divorced women or single mothers, the many millions who suffer domestic violence are frequently unable to “walk away” from their abusive husbands.  So why don’t these wives also appear as “slaves” in Walk Free’s index?  Equally, we might ask, if it is the absence of consent to a lifelong relationship rather than the actual presence of violence in that relationship that makes “forced and early marriage” a proxy for slavery, then why isn’t the “forced and early motherhood” experienced by women and girls in countries which restrict or deny access to abortion also “modern slavery”?…

Policing for Profit (#645) 

Politicians, being slightly smarter than cops on average, must have realized how obvious this was and are now trying to make themselves look good:

A bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to order a stop to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s use of mobile scanners capable of [stealing] money loaded onto prepaid debit cards…Deployment of the scanners comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture has come under criticism in Oklahoma…

The governor has complied with the request, but only until they can put the public back to sleep:

…She says she wants to suspend use of the devices until a clear policy for using the new technology can be developed by the Department of Public Safety.  She says taking the time will help educate the public and “calm the fears of the motoring public”…

Traffic Circle (#647)

It’s so nice when bogus “sex trafficking” bullshit is called out in the mainstream media:

…The [Indiana] task force…launched its effort with billboards emblazoned with the key statistical warning — “13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade”…But even child advocates say it’s not true.  It’s cooked up data.  In fact, it’s been debunked for several years…The Fact Checker at the Washington Post…gave this “fact” a pants-on-fire special trophy…The statistic was based on “pretty slim research” and makes little sense, [Glenn] Kessler wrote.  If 13 is the average age for entering the sex trade, then there have to be children under age 11 offsetting those becoming sex workers at age 16 or 17.  A 2008 study of sexually exploited kids in New York City found the average entry age is about 15, but the researchers warned that even that data is fuzzy, too…

When I pointed out to Glenn that these people were still misinterpreting the average age of debut for underage workers as the average for all workers, he flew into action and added an extra note to his re-debunking.  Because that’s the kind of thing people who actually care about facts do!

Read Full Post »

Summer Solstice 2016

Mother Isis by Emily Balivet (2012)
The apparent path of the sun reached its northernmost point at 22:34 UTC last night; this is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern. Happy Litha, dear readers, and Blessed Be!

Read Full Post »

Diary #312

whale watching 6-15-16I’m not really very good at self-care; unless it’s something I need to do to maintain my looks for work, or something a loved one agitates me into, I have a tendency to ignore or downplay my own needs.  So it was really lovely to have several days last week in which I was able to relax and take care of Maggie a bit.  It’s absolutely true that all of them were work-related, but if that’s what I need to justify them to my inner nun, I’m not going to complain.  On Tuesday I had a little rejuvenation procedure I’ve been looking forward to for months (and theoretically, for over a year), and I was quite pleased with the results; I’ve got a follow-up the day after Lammas and I’m even more excited about that one.  Then on Wednesday, one of my favorite gentlemen took me to Victoria, BC for a couple of days; even though I had to be ready for pickup at the unholy hour of 6 AM, he didn’t care that I wore no makeup and we had breakfast on the boat.  I eventually woke up completely and stopped griping, and we went whale-watching in the afternoon; it was a lot of fun and we got to see four humpback whales cavorting around at the surface.  They were waving their pectoral fins, diving so we could see their tails and blowing frequently; one of them even breached so far out of the water he looked as though he was standing on his tail for a moment.  Our naturalist said she had never seen them so active; she seemed confused when I said that obviously the mermaids had told them I would be on the boat.  Anyhow, we had dinner at a lovely French restaurant, took it easy Thursday morning and then walked around Butchart Gardens for several hours in the afternoon, before dinner at a pub and the return boat to Seattle at 7.  All in all, it was quite a relaxing couple of days, though as a New Orleanian who lived in Oklahoma for almost a decade, it’s still very strange to me to be wearing a jacket in mid-June.

Read Full Post »

I am willing to wear a wire and set Jesus up.  –  Tito Watts

When animation first became popular in the 1930s, it was not viewed as entertainment for children, but rather for adults.  Walter Olson contributed this 1935 short by German animator Lotte Reiniger; it’s basically a music video for “Papageno” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and I think you’ll be pretty impressed.  The links above it were provided by Brooke MagnantiTim CushingScott GreenfieldTushy GaloreDave KruegerPopehat, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

When we see people jumping from a…window to escape a fire, our response should not be to stop them by boarding up the window!
–  Mark Draughn

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

The schadenfreude is always especially sweet when the cop who gets in trouble works for Montgomery County:

A police sex-sting operation in Northern Virginia…has nabbed a [cop from] Maryland…Christopher Dunkes…[of] the Montgomery County Police Department, answered a Craigslist advertisement posted by an undercover officer who was posing as a 15-year-old girl…Dunkes twice proposed a specific act and suggested that they meet in his car…

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Study shows kids believe stupid shit.  Researchers next plan to study the religious beliefs of popes:

The majority of boys who view online pornography believe it provides a realistic depiction of sex, according to the most extensive survey of British secondary school pupils undertaken…most [students] – 94% – who have seen online pornography have been exposed to it by the age of 14.  But the study also found that almost half of the 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds questioned had never seen internet pornography – findings that are in contrast to many other studies.  It also revealed that [young people] have a [proper] understanding of sexting [unlike] policymakers…sexting [is] the sending of intimate messages, [not necessarily accompanied by] images, and the vast majority…questioned did not report having taken naked images of themselves…53%…said they had viewed online pornography, and while some chose to seek it out, they were as likely to have come across it by accident, often via pop-up ads…Of those who had viewed the material, 53% of boys said they believed it presented a realistic depiction of sex, while 39% of girls thought the images were realistic.  Approximately 41%…felt “curious” the first time they viewed it, which was the most common response.  However, more negative feelings such as being shocked (27%), confused (24%) or disgusted (23%) were also experienced…

My Readers Write Lorelei schools a fanatic

It’s especially pleasing for me when my friends write about each other:

…I’ll leave the validity of the 90% statistic (and the prevalence and causes of PTSD among sex workers) to someone more qualified.  Worrying too much about the details could make us miss a more important point: Why should Lorelei Rivers give a shit what other sex worker want?  There is certainly nothing wrong if Lorelei Rivers wants to know the needs and desires of other sex workers.  Maybe she’s just a good person who has empathy for others.  But…her right to go about her business should not depend on how other people feel about it, and that includes other sex workers.  If 99.9999% of sex workers want to quit and find a different line of work, but Lorelei Rivers prefers to keep doing what she’s doing, what possible justification can there be to stop her?…the desires of the majority are a distraction from the real issue, which is personal choice…we have to make collective decisions…when making different individual choices would cause irreconcilable conflicts — so we depend on majority rule to tell us that…we should drive on the right side of the road.  But…choice of employment, including employment as a sex worker, is a Pepsi or Coke kind of thing.  In a free society, if some women want to be sex workers and others don’t, there’s no reason they can’t both get what they want…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

a 73-year-old man in [Nova Scotia] charged with soliciting…a [cop] pretending to be a prostitute, went before a judge to argue that he had been entrapped.  There’s a lot to be outraged about when it comes to this type of lurid deception but let’s start with the underhanded funding of coercive repressive state interests.  At a starting salary of $75,000 a year (and more than six figures for many more when you factor in overtime), it is unquestionable that female police officers posing as street-based sex workers make more money than many street based sex workers do…they are allowed to approach potential clients.  Our street-based sisters have no such legal right; real street-based sex workers are constrained from making bold sales pitches.  But [cops]…suffer no legal risk…given the allegation inscribed in our current prostitution laws that witnessing sex transactions in public is damaging to communities…how [do cops] posing as sex workers in public rationalize their presence…If they are dressed exactly like sex workers and acting even more obviously “for sale,” wouldn’t their presence engender the same unwholesome effect?…

The Notorious Badge 

At least this is one actress who won’t be vomiting out anti-whore propaganda:

An actress who played a prostitute in Game of Thrones is actually a real-life hooker…Saeeda Vorajee…starred…as a prostitute called Armeca…However she…also…offers her services…under the name of Sahara Knite…Saeeda…admitted she has picked up a lot of fans from Game of Thrones but said she never gets recognised in the street…she…advertises herself as a “porn star, masseuse, mistress and session wrestler”…

Bottleneck

If this dude clutched his pearls any more tightly, he’d strangle himself:

Sections of Springfield [Massachusetts’] decades-old strip club regulations appear to routinely go unenforced, even as Mayor Domenic Sarno has promised a crackdown on clubs he [fantasizes] as a haven for violence and gang activity.  The city’s strip clubs again came under scrutiny last week when police alleged that Showbar…had hired a 17-year-old dancer…[who] left the club after her mother intervened…the girl had used a false ID when applying for work…according to the city’s strip club regulations, last amended in 1992, clubs are required to register the names, ages and addresses of their dancers with City Hall…while the clubs would comply with that regulation if asked to do so, [club lawyer Daniel] Kelly said, the rules as written could endanger the privacy of workers by having their addresses listed for public review…The regulations also describe detailed restrictions on the attire and conduct of strippers, including bans on the simulation of sex acts, the touching of “breasts, buttocks, or genitals” and having employees “mingle” with customers while unclothed.  And another requirement appears to be unenforced: A prohibition on the use of “back rooms”…

King of the Hill

We’ve seen claims of “Top 13” and “Top 20” cities before, but this is the first pretense that there is an “FBI list” of top 15 states:

The online selling of children and teenagers for sex is skyrocketing in communities throughout…Minnesota.  The FBI says Minnesota is one of the top 15 states in which sex trafficking is a major problem…Washington County Attorney Pete Orput [fantasized]…“I could do them all day for the rest of my life and not put a dent in it”…former U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose [argued for internet censorship while describing a masturbatory fantasy involving “Younger and younger victims, which is not surprising given the role of social media and its role in human trafficking”…

Original Sin (#321) Merchant of Souls fakeumentary

Methinks those behind this train wreck need to consult theologian Benjamin Corey:

…The U.S. State Department…reveals 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year…there are 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today…The University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Estes and Neil Weiner conducted a case study revealing the most common age of entry into prostitution…Exodus Cry…created the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls to educate viewers about the evils of the commercial sex industry…Today’s slave trade shares many parallels with the African slave trade in centuries past…Exodus Cry’s intervention team has hit the streets and strip clubs with gift bags or roses and a message of love and hope…pornography feeds the sex trafficking industry—and many Christians are feeding the slavery beast…

Bread and Circuses

Pigs and prosecutors destroy yet another board sex workers use to stay safe, vomiting out “trafficking” lies in the process:

Investigators have dismantled what they described as the first members-only Internet prostitution ring of its kind in San Diego…San Diego police Capt. Brian Ahearn…called the [internet message board a] “sex ring”…the website operator personally vetted every man and woman seeking to become a member in an effort to “wall off” the site from [pigs]…But…[one] member…[was threatened into ratting] to police about a year ago…The case wrapped up with the arrests of Dale Vinzant…and Christian Koalani…[they were] charged with pimping, pandering, soliciting for prostitution and money laundering…Both have pleaded not guilty…

False Witness

No, this decision doesn’t “correct” shit.  An innocent young man sat in a cage for nine years because cops lied and tortured him into a false confession:

A young Detroit man who wrongfully pleaded guilty to killing four people when he was 14 will soon be released from prison…Judge Brian Sullivan…vacated the 2008 conviction of Davontae Sanford who had been serving a 37- to 90-year sentence…Sanford, who is now 23, [was coerced to] confess…[and] plead guilty to four counts of second degree homicide on the advice of an attorney, who is now suspended from the practice of law…[just] two weeks after Sanford’s sentencing, a professional hit man, Vincent Smothers, confessed to the…homicide…and made clear that Sanford was not involved.  But the case languished for years as the boy grew from a teenager to a man while incarcerated…“The court’s decision today corrects a grave injustice,” said Heidi Naasko, Sanford’s attorney…

As if the lies and coercion weren’t bad enough, everybody involved sat on their hands for eight years after they all knew he was innocent.  This is what we call the “justice system”.

They Still Don’t Get It (#616)

Recycling 140-year-old myths to justify the same old violent pogroms against consensual sex doesn’t remotely qualify as a “sea change”:

…The new approach championed by [Nebraska] Attorney General Doug Peterson focuses on helping survivors, stopping traffickers and shrinking the market by going after customers instead of victims who are coerced into working as prostitutes…”We have to let this industry know that to operate in Nebraska, you’re going to place yourself at great risk”…Survivors frequently suffer from mental health and substance abuse problems, as well as developmental disabilities that impair their judgment…”A 16-year-old girl typically doesn’t get into prostitution by herself. Someone is most likely profiting significantly off of her”…Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks…is working with the attorney general’s office on legislation to increase criminal penalties for human traffickers and customers…Pansing Brooks said most prostitutes have been trafficking victims at some point, and the state is only now starting to treat them differently.  “It’s a huge sea change,” she said.

So now we’re not only mentally ill and delusional, but also mentally retarded.

Traffic Circle (#645)

When even USA Today rags are reporting debunkings of “sex trafficking” myths, you know the panic’s days are numbered:

Have you seen the anti-sex trafficking billboards saying 13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade?…one of the most influential anti-trafficking organizations says the statistic is not supported by the data, The Washington Post Fact Checker recently reported…The statistic…makes little sense, Kessler wrote.  If 13 is the average age for entering the sex trade, then there have to be children under age 11 offsetting those becoming sex workers at age 16 or 17…A 2008 study of sexually exploited kids in New York City found the average entry age [for underage workers] is about 15, but the researchers warned that the data is fuzzy…Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller…[pretended] he wants to be as accurate as possible. Even if the average entry age is 15, Zoeller wrote, it underscores the fact that children and teens are targeted…

Of course, the politicians still try to distort the facts to their advantage, pretending that the average age of entry for underage workers is the average for all of us.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#646)

Leave it to moralistic control freaks to clutch their pearls about something that not only doesn’t exist, but never actually will as they envision it:

…Sharkey points out that porn has changed…male expectations, of real-life sexual partners…Is it possible that young women of the near future will feel pressure not just to look like porn stars but also to perform like robots, ever available and always eager to please?…sexual objectification is…an act that reduces a woman to nothing more than a sexual vessel…The problem is not that sex robots are available:  it’s that they are wanted…of the sale of sex robots is to be allowed at all, it must be highly regulated…people who want to buy sex robots need to present the agreement of a couple of doctors, before they are judged emotionally restricted enough to need to retreat to such an inhuman fantasy.  Or maybe, out of respect for women, this technology should just be rejected.

Read Full Post »

None of woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.  –  Homer, Iliad (III, 120-121)

If you’re unfamiliar with Aella, I strongly suggest you read the previous chapters in her story before proceeding with this one; they’re listed & linked in the introduction to last year’s episode.

Since I live alone, it was both startling and disorienting to be roused roughly from sleep by someone shaking me.  But when in response to my groggy queries, I heard a less-than-familiar voice say, “Wake up girl, for I have need of thee,” I sat bolt upright and strained my eyes to make out the figure looming over my bed in the dark.  The meager light filtering in from the front windows glinted upon metal, and I soon realized my nocturnal visitor was clad in ornate armor; she carried a helm under her arm and a sword with jeweled hilt hung at her side.

“Aella?” I asked.

“Show some respect, child,” she said gently.  “Though I am not wont to stand on ceremony, it would behoove thee to address an honored ancestor with something more than her common name.”

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled; “you did wake me up from a rather sound sleep.  Would ‘grandmother’ do?  We’ll be here all night if I have to list all the ‘greats’ which should precede it.”

She laughed, a strong but weary laugh that seemed to come from someplace deep inside her.  “Aye, it will do.  Dost thou always awaken so sluggishly?  What if enemies attacked in the night?”

“It would make little difference; my enemies are cowards who always attack with overwhelming force.  They fear a fair fight.”

She was not impressed.  “Any descendant of mine should be ready to at least give a good account of herself in battle.  Her enemies should long remember how dear a price they paid for their victory over her.”

“I’m sorry, honored grandmother.  Though I am a warrior in my own right, I’m afraid you would not recognize my battlefield as such.”

“So I am told.  Yet thou hast shown tremendous courage.”

“Well, that’s what some people call it.  It’s really just tremendous stubbornness.”

She laughed again.  “Then it is certain thou art of my blood, for my excess of pigheadedness was also lauded as courage both in my day and after it.”

“I’ve wanted to ask you about that for some time, but you’re not exactly easy to reach.  I’m guessing the legends about Amazons and Scythians settling in Galicia have a basis in fact?”

“Aye.  My son and his wife were unable to adapt to Amazon culture, and I was unwilling to let them return to Crete knowing full well I might never see them again.  So I recruited a group of colonists, Amazons and Scythians both, and we sailed toward the setting sun and settled north of Tartessos.”

“I seem to remember that you hated sailing.”

She shrugged.  “One does what one must.”

“Yes.  We all need to do things we hate and fear to accomplish the goals that are important to us.”

“Aye, child, that we do.  But make not the foolish error I did, of thinking that thy destiny is thine to command.  Thou hast a task to perform, and thy course was charted for thee by the blessed goddesses long before thy birth, even as mine was.  We are but the tools by which they accomplish their goals, which are not for the likes of us to divine.”

I replied quietly, “I like to think I have free will.”

She laughed once more, a soft chuckle tinged with pain.  “I, too, enjoyed that belief.”

“And what of Phaedra?” I asked, trying to change the subject.  “Did you ever see her again?”

“Nothing could have stopped me save the goddesses themselves; had I been told she was dead I would have battled my way down to the Styx to find her.  Her ships carried our colonists forth, and kept us supplied until my death.”

“I reckon loyalty runs in our bloodline, too.”  She nodded.  “Honored Grandmother, you said you were here tonight because you had need of me.”mounted Amazon

“Ah, that.  Well, truth be told, child, I’m here because thou hast need of me.”

“Oh.  Will the coming years be that difficult?”

“I am no soothsayer, granddaughter; I know not what lies in store for thee.  I know only that I was sent to remind thee of who and what thou art, to admonish thee not to forget the warrior blood that runs strong in thy veins, and to tell thee that though I lack the wisdom and learning to understand thy struggle, I am filled with pride for thy steadfastness and refusal to surrender. Thou hast done well, and I am certain thou wilt continue to do so.  Because if thou should dishonor my legacy by cowardice, I swear by our common ancestresses that I will return and beat thee to within a hairsbreadth of thy life.”

“Thank you, grandmother.  I think.”  She smiled, and laid her hand upon my shoulder, and then she was gone, leaving behind nothing but the weight of her millennia-long shadow upon me.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »