Crowding what I do into the larger umbrella of “sex work,” without its own name, makes it seem as if I’m supposed to experience what I do as shameful. – Charlotte Shane
What’s In a Name?
I agree with Charlotte Shane on words like “prostitute”:
I’ve called myself a prostitute for about as long as I’ve been one…it felt like the most accurate term given the service I provide, and I like the solidarity of it, the refusal to kowtow to class-related stigma or what is sometimes called the “whorearchy”…I believe the difference between “escort” and “prostitute” is that one term relies on euphemistic window dressing while the other is unapologetic and unashamed…I’m at odds with the party line in this stance, though…Increasingly, prostitute is…regarded as a slur…Taking euphemisms on permanently and in a political context, outside of marketing material or work-related correspondence, feels to me like ceding way too much power. The state forces me to use certain language to protect myself in some contexts; I don’t want to willingly employ that language in all others…
One rather nasty side-effect of prohibition is that it gives moral retards like Mary Mitchell leave to vomit their odious bigotry all over the pages of major newspapers:
Authorities say Roy Akins went to Backpage.com and agreed to pay a prostitute $180 for sex. When the unidentified woman showed up at his…home…Akins…pulled a gun. I imagine most prostitutes in this situation would have run straight to a pimp. But after leaving Akins’ home…the…woman called the police…I’m grateful [Akins] isn’t being accused of snatching an innocent woman off the street…the way this case is being handled makes it look like sex trafficking is a legitimate business…because this incident is being charged as a criminal sexual assault — when it’s actually more like theft of services — it minimizes the act of rape…For law enforcement to put what happened to a Backpage.com prostitute on a par with [real] rape victims…is an insult.
A few observations:
- “I imagine most prostitutes…would have run straight to a pimp.” I’ll leave you to imagine what she’s doing while she “imagines” this.
- Note the conflation of sex work and sex trafficking, and the badge-licking idolization of the clownish tyrant Tom Dart.
- For another example of a woman using the “theft of services” slur, see the original of this title.
- Given that last line, would Mitchell be more sympathetic toward the rape of a prostitute like me, who advertises somewhere other than Backpage?
Lack of Evidence
It’s rare to see someone attempt this defense with a straight face:
Lisa Marie Carroll, 34, was charged with one misdemeanor count of prostitution…Police [pretend] that she offered to perform various sex acts…for [specific] pricing…”I did not agree to have sex with that cop…I’m an escort companion and go on dates and sometimes clients make a donation and that doesn’t have to do with sex”…[a sleazebag cop accompanied her] to her room where…they both undressed and laid in bed. The [cop then tried to get her to coomit to specific prices for specific acts] “And I said, ‘No, honey. This is not how this works'”…A little while later, [the cops invaded] her house…
She’s lucky; many Pennsylvania cops rape women in order to arrest them.
Kerry Porth discusses the Harper government’s campaign to harm as many people as possible via increased prohibition:
…After winning a majority government in 2011, the Harper government quickly…introduced mandatory minimum sentencing for drug possession…despite warnings from current and former law enforcement from the United States…and respected Canadian drug policy experts…the Harper government has waged a costly war against Insite…[and] established 26 new requirements…that are costly, onerous and designed to prevent future sites from opening. Then…the…government…reintroduced the old laws [that the Supreme Court had struck down] and introduced a prohibition on the purchase of sex and the explicit advertising of sexual services for the first time in Canadian history. Despite a great deal of florid rhetoric about the government’s desire to ensure the safety of sex workers, the real intent behind the new laws was memorably stated by Senator Donald Plett: “Of course we don’t want to make life safe for prostitutes; we want to do away with prostitution. That’s the intent of the bill”…
The Proper Study
…a…new Canadian study…concludes the average porn user holds, if anything, more egalitarian views regarding women than non-users. Many pornography aficionados might even be “useful allies” in women’s struggles for equality in work, income and public office, the researchers…argue…Taylor Kohut…and his colleagues analyzed data from 35 years of the General Social Surve…the 23 per cent who reported having watched an “X-rated” movie in the previous year were no more or less likely than porn abstainers to identify as feminists, or voice support for the traditional family. And the blue-movie watchers expressed on average more positive attitudes toward women in positions of power, and less negative attitudes toward abortion and women in the workforce than those who refrained from pornography…
Divided We Fall
Unfortunately, this revolting attitude is not unusual among picket-fence queers:
…had there been a sequel to [Pretty Woman], it would have been salacious. We would watch Richard Gere struggle with the fact that his girlfriend was a confirmed whore and had been with hundreds, maybe even thousands of men…There would be a scene at a dinner party when other women were whispering about Julia Roberts, all of them knowing that she could be found at one time on Hollywood Boulevard spreading her legs for any man with $200 in his pocket…I have been poor…and never once was selling my ass an option…When you make a choice to work in the sex industry…you are immediately shrinking your dating pool…I would never subject myself to a How-was-your-day,-honey? conversation with a partner who took anonymous loads for a living…
The robed simian who presided over this case planned to use this young man to “send a message” about having sex without a state license to do so; he should be caged for several years and then put on the “sex offender” registry for life.
A young man from Indiana who had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl who told him she was  has been removed from Michigan’s sex offender registry pending his resentencing. Zach Anderson [who was 19 at the time]…spent 75 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. He was given a five-year probation that banned him from using computers or the Internet and also had faced 25 years on Michigan’s sex-offender registry. But…Anderson’s lawyer successfully argued prosecutors failed to remain neutral on a key part of the plea deal, which would have erased Anderson’s record if he stayed out of trouble…Anderson’s resentencing will be Oct. 21…
What “crime”? He had consensual sex with a physically-adult woman he believed to be a peer. The concept of strict liability is an abomination in any civilized society.
They Still Don’t Get It
The jaw-dropping stupidity of this article takes precedence over the FBI money grab it talks about:
At the click of a mouse, almost anyone can buy a girl online, anytime…ads with identical phone numbers can be traced to other cities…a sign, police say, that the women are on the move with their traffickers. Some ads even state “only in town for three days, special.” That’s the pattern of traffickers, always on the move, according to…Charlie Benton, who is known locally as the foremost law enforcement expert on sex trafficking. The ads give no clue, though, which women are being forced to sell themselves or are under 18. And the men who often answer the phone aren’t about to volunteer that information…
Yes, that’s what touring looks like to the warped mind of a pig obsessed with BDSM masturbatory fantasies involving adolescents. Guys, have you EVER called an independent escort’s ad and had a man answer? Ever? It’s almost idiotic enough to distract the reader from the FBI agent asking for more money to fulfill his sick dream of attempting to entrap and cage literally every single escort on Backpage.
So Close and Yet So Far
Why do so many would-be allies insist on including vile, insulting garbage like this in otherwise-supportive essays?
…You may not approve of prostitution, and many quite reasonably do not. It raises serious, ethical questions. Having sex with people for money is degrading. It transforms an intimate and private act into a commercial transaction. It can pose a threat to those involved, especially women…
This is what our society refers to as “correction”:
…Gesnerson Louisius…was slammed in the back of his head with a bar of soap stuffed inside a sock. Six inmates pinned him down, and one grabbed him by his throat, as two others dragged him across the carpeted floor by his ankles…The young prisoners, between the ages of 18 and 20, kept demanding that he pay them money to stop the beating, but Louisius refused…The extortion ritual is so common and well known by both inmates and corrections officers that it has a name. It’s called a “test of heart”…Hakiem Blount, 18, grabbed a broom and began pushing it into Louisius rectum…as far up as he could push it…there were no video cameras in the room, and the one corrections officer assigned to the dorm that afternoon was inexplicably nowhere to be found…Louisius…lost a lot of blood. His rectum was ruptured and he underwent an emergency colostomy…he…served out the rest of his three-year prison term while wearing a colostomy bag, and had five or six surgeries in prison that likely cost Florida taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars…
Uncommon Sense (#557)
The Professional Association Erotic and Sexual Services [of Germany] (BesD) criticises the draft bill by the Ministry for Family Affairs for a “Prostitutes Protection Law” in the strongest terms…the BesD concludes, “A law that pretends to aim at strengthening the right to self-determination of a group of people but then denies them the maturity to make their own decisions, attempts to paternalistically ‘protect’ them from those decision, needlessly interferes with their basic rights, and that, quasi in passing, also creates regulations to save society from this group of people, allegedly in need of protection, via arbitrarily expandable ordinances…should be rejected in its entirety.” Instead, the association calls for a complete decriminalisation of sex work…
R.I.P. Candida Royalle
Elizabeth N. Brown on Candida’s legacy:
Candida Royalle is the kind of sex positive, free-speech-friendly artist and advocate that…is…relatively rare in feminist circles…[she] founded the (now defunct) nonprofit Feminists for Free Expression (FFE), which described its mission as “working to preserve the individual’s right to read, hear, view and produce materials of her choice without the intervention of the state ‘for her own good'”…The group opposed speech-censoring legislation; defended free speech in court cases, on college campuses, and in the media; and opposed the book, movie, and music banning efforts that were popular at the time. Royalle and FFE’s other leaders believed that “freedom of expression is especially important for women’s rights” and that the suppression of sexist messages “will neither reduce harm to women nor further women’s goals”…
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