Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Not Your Monkey

behold the fieldI sometimes wonder how narcissists manage to get by in the world unless they’re wealthy or politically influential enough to attract a flock of sycophants eager to tell them that their egocentric weltanschauung is correct.  It must be crushing for them to be reminded on a daily basis that the universe absolutely does not give a shit about them, and that most of their fellow humans care hardly a particle more than that.  Of course, I’m assuming that they aren’t completely delusional; perhaps they go about distorting everything they hear and experience until it supports their own grotesquely-inflated sense of self-importance.  I can’t imagine any other way that some random tweeter with a couple of dozen followers could actually expect a positive response to his demands that I produce citations and links for statements made in 140-character tweets.  Yet I encountered not one but several of these last week; these champions of Not Getting It apparently failed to grasp the difference between a tweet and an academic paper until I none-too-gently reminded them that a tweet looks like this and an academic paper like this.  Narcissists of this sort are neither rare nor focused on me; as I explained in “Spoiled Children“,

Apparently, every last anonymous prohibitionist on the internet believes that I just lie about all day, looking at myself in the mirror and eating bonbons while my staff writes my blog; I therefore surely have unlimited time to refute all of his tinned arguments, look up links for him and restate the content of my entire professional oeuvre in convenient 140-character sound bites.  As I told one such individual recently, I would take as much time with him as necessary if he were a legislator trying to push for decriminalization or a celebrity who planned to advocate it on national TV; I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you that he was offended by the suggestion that he did not have the power to influence millions.  Nor does the relative fame of his target make any difference to such a person; Laura Agustín…wrote a post explaining that no, she couldn’t do students’ research for them, and (despite her stage name being practically a household word) Brooke Magnanti still gets people who are Terribly Offended when she won’t take time out from writing, travelling and public appearances to refute prohibitionist myths for the umpteenth time on Twitter…

But it’s been almost two and a half years since I published that last, so I reckon it’s time for a re-iteration.  This blog is currently composed of almost two thousand posts and almost a hundred pages.  It’s exhaustively indexed and tagged, and can be searched either by WordPress’s own search function or by Google (via the simple expedient of putting “Maggie McNeill” before or behind any topic you wish to look at, like this).  There are also numerous other subtle functionalities designed to tie the blog together, plus a resources page, and the aforementioned Google will bring up beaucoup other sources to support just about anything I assert as fact.  I write this blog in order to advance the cause of individual rights in general and sex workers’ rights in particular, and to have a personal creative outlet.  None of those goals are advanced by wasting even a minute of my increasingly-precious time in spoon-feeding negative, narcissistic nobodies who have neither money nor influence nor anything else to contribute.  So if you’re one of those, please stop expecting me to dance like a monkey at your behest; either take the time to do your research, or else make it worth my while to do it for you.

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Diary #281

The Great UnknownIt’s been over a month since a careless driver wrecked into my car, and the slow wheels of his corporate insurance company have finally almost finished grinding; once the car was in the shop the damage was discovered to be far more extensive than it outwardly appeared, so the company decided to total it.  Luckily, I got a good deal on it, so I should actually be able to replace it with something at least as good; I’m looking at something today, and even if that doesn’t work out the insurance company is covering the rental until Friday.  So I reckon it’s all going to work out, but I’m still very annoyed at the whole affair; I didn’t think I was emotionally attached to the Hyundai, but I guess I was.  It was bought for me by my readers, carried me across the country several times, then dependably took me back to Idaho to tend to Jae and bring her home after her accident.  It served me well, never once stranded me and got excellent fuel mileage; this new car is going to have to go a long way to beat it.  Ah, well, all things must pass.

Today also marks the anniversary of a very memorable dinner party with Jae, Mistress Matisse and Savannah Sly; how much my world has changed since then!  If you had asked me two years ago, I would have predicted that my life would change only slowly and predictably in the future, but the gods delight in proving me wrong; I suppose the only way to stop that is to stop making predictions.  And maybe that’s for the best.

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Sex worker rights are human rights, and there can never be too many voices speaking up for them, nor too many occasions on which to speak.  –  “Never Too Many

many red umbrellasIt’s that day again:  Friday the 13th, the day on which I ask non-sex workers to speak up for us.  As I’ve explained many times before, there is no possible way we can ever hope to win our rights without the help of allies; since only about 0.3% of the female population are whores at any given time (about 1% over their lifetimes), we simply don’t constitute a large enough voting bloc for politicians to give a damn about us, especially at a time when the popular fad is to pretend that we’re passive victims in need of “rescue” from our own choices.  As I explained two years ago,

…the gay rights movement didn’t really take off until the friends and families of gay people got involved, and…we’re going to need [similar] help to make our voices heard.  We need all the sex workers (such as strippers, dominatrices and porn actresses) whose fields aren’t currently criminalized, and the sugar babies and [others] who have informally or indirectly taken money for sex…We need all of the men who hire us at least occasionally…[and] all of the women who recognize that…laws which can be used to arrest us will also work to arrest you.  We need all of those who love porn, polyamory, BDSM or kink, because even though policing of sex usually starts with harlots, it never stops with us.  We need all of the public health and human rights experts who understand the necessity of decriminalization…all of the libertarians who recognize that governmental prohibition of consensual behavior is both indefensible and dangerous to individual liberty, and all of the feminists who recognize that a woman’s right to control her own body and make her own sexual and economic choices is the  primary feminist issue.  And we need all of the decent human beings who don’t fall into any of those categories, but are simply disgusted by the idea of armed thugs arresting, humiliating and ruining people for the “crime” of consensual sex…

Over the past few years, the number of voices supporting us has grown by leaps and bounds; decriminalization is now supported by every major human rights organization (including Amnesty International), every major health organization (including the WHO), several UN organizations (including UNAIDS), and literally hundreds of other groups concerned with law, labor, women’s rights, individual liberty and many other subjects.  Every academic who has made a methodologically sound and ideology-free study of the subject has reached the same or very similar conclusions, and after the ill-considered raid on the gay escort site Rentboy, even most gay rights organizations and activists have come over to the side of individual rights and self-ownership.  But that’s still not enough; stupidity, ignorance, prudishness, statism, control-freakishness and bigotry run deep in human society, and it will take vast resources and millions of voices to beat those back into the outer darkness where they belong.  We need everyone to speak up for us, not just today but every day; however, today is a start.  Please say something in favor of decriminalization today, either in person or online; if it’s online, link it in a comment below and call it to my attention on Twitter so I can signal boost it.  And if you can do a little more than talk, such as by making a donation to my work or that of a local, national or international sex worker rights organization, today would be a great day to do it!  And when the day at last comes that we win our right to live and work free from state violence, you will know that you helped that happen.

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Diary #280

Sunday was the one-year anniversary of the day I arrived in Seattle by train on the visit that was to change my entire life.  I thought it was just going to be an ordinary, albeit extra-nice, tour stop; I had no idea that I would bond so deeply with my friends here, nor that I would develop such deep feelings for Jae so quickly.  By the time I left I knew I would return for at least a visit; within a few weeks I had decided to relocate.  And before 90 days had passed since my departure, I was back.  But that was no mere change of residence, oh no; those who have followed this diary feature over the past year know what a long, strange trip it’s been.  Where will it take me next?  I have absolutely no idea, and I’ve given up on trying to predict; I can barely even keep on schedule with this blog.  But I’m going to keep on working, and keep on writing, and keep on fighting the good fight, and keep on expanding my horizons, and chronicling the whole thing right here.  And maybe one day, I’ll even figure out what it all means.

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Diary #279

1030152107aSlowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things in Seattle.  Last week I attended a lovely party at which I got to meet quite a few inhabitants and habitués of the Seattle demimonde, and to catch up with some friends and fans I hadn’t seen in a while.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for my birthday; in a few days I’m going to be marking the occasion by getting together with a small group of friends, but I still wanted to do something on Halloween and Jae goes to sleep quite early these days.  She doesn’t like horror movies anyway, and since that’s my usual Halloween entertainment I was at a bit of a loss.  But Abby May came through for me by taking me out to Guillermo del Toro’s new release, Crimson Peak; it was a treat to see a Gothic on the big screen again, and since it’s been years since I’ve been to a theater at all that was already a treat in itself.  Late in the (rainy, spooky) afternoon I got a lovely flower arrangement from Grace, along with a card that had me crying like a baby.  And Jae displayed her knack for clever gifts by presenting me with the lady in the picture, who now occupies a place of honor atop my desk; if you don’t understand why this gift is appropriate, I call your attention to my book cover and several stories I published almost a year ago.  And if you know me in person, you might want to pay attention to a certain recurring theme in my wardrobe.

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Diary #278

1027152344So here we are 9 days after Jae was discharged from the hospital, and we still haven’t got everything in place; I’m waiting for appointment-setting callbacks from two different rehab and therapy agencies, and she has a follow-up appointment with her primary doctor in just a few weeks.  On Monday I need to make some necessary changes to her health insurance, and it will still be another two weeks before my car goes in to be fixed by the insurance of the guy who hit me.  My stupid cell phone carrier sent her replacement phone to the wrong address, but it should be here today so she’ll be back to answering her own calls and making her own tweets.  What that means is, this will be the last column dominated by news of her recovery; I think it’s important that she start taking control of her own life again after two and a half months of other people doing that for her.  I’m still going to be managing a lot of the paperwork so as to keep her from getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume and depth of bureaucratic bullshit, but she should be in charge of her own story again; from here on out I’ll only be talking about her as she impacts my life, just as it was prior to the accident.  And that is the way it should be.

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Back Issue: October 2012

Death and I are old dance partners, and he knows I won’t play hard to get when he eventually comes to claim me.  – “Halloween

goth witchOctober is Halloween season for me, and that means I try to work in as many horror-themed columns as I can (I know this year I didn’t manage any, but I think I can be forgiven under the circumstances).  In 2012, I published “That Old Black Magic“, “Red in Tooth and Claw“, “My Favorite Halloween Stuff” and “Eros and Phobos“; the fictional interlude was the three-part special “Pandora“, and even “Dear Parasite” (the sequel to the previous day’s “Parasites“) had a Halloween component.  The month started with another observance, Banned Books Week; my column for it this time was “Thought Control“, and the harlotography was “Thaïs“.  The month also featured several sequel and series columns, namely “More Hooker Humor“,  “Book Reviews (October 2012)“, “The Price is Right” (a songs column), and “Q & A (October 2012)“.  And in a sense, “My First Million” was the start of a series,Cathedral by LilyRose (2012) though the others were simply news-column entries.  Rounding out the month was an essay about the “Pathologization” of normal behavior; my recipe for perfect “Popcorn“; a complaint that the writings of would-be allies are often “So Close and Yet So Far“; the revelation that government actors hiring whores is “Standard Operating Procedure“; an analysis of the “Smoke and Mirrors” that often surround “sex trafficking” stories; and an explanation of why sex for women can be like “Ice Cream in the Hand“.The Monolith Monsters

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