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Posts Tagged ‘Jezebel’

The…big problem is dealing with middle class saviours trying to save me from my job.  –  Sarah from Bristol

Advice for Clients

Ignore step two, because you’ll almost certainly be breaking some law. But the rest of this is pretty good:

So you’ve decided to spend time with an escort, but now what?  Your first call can be nerve-wracking, and you don’t want to creep the woman out!  Start with Step 1 below to learn how to make things easier on yourself, and on your potential date…

Hey prohibitionists: we’re winning, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Jezebel 

The owner has since taken down all the pirated porn and apologized:

Bellesa.co is essentially a piracy curator.  This site subsists…off of pirated videos.  Those videos have been uploaded to other piracy-based tube sites, and then a person or persons at Bellesa.co curates them into the single biggest piracy site focused entirely on female-centric videos.  This site is absolutely no more ethical than The Pirate Bay or any number of piracy sites designed to exploit producers and performers for financial gain…it…puts ZERO DOLLARS into the pockets of female producers or performers…

Rooted in Racism

Hmmm, I wonder why they accused this particular restaurateur?

A few weeks ago, RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service)  reported on the Chinese restaurant Sjanghæ in Akureyri, claiming its owner, a Chinese born woman, was suspected of human trafficking…RÚV [accused] the owner…of paying her Chinese staff a monthly salary of 30.000 kr ($285)…[when actually] the staff’s monthly salary was 465 thousand krónas ($4355), which is well over the Icelandic minimum wage of 300 thousand ($2810)…the restaurant has been closed since RÚV’s report, as no customers have wanted to show up…[Jóhannes Sigurðarson, Sjanghæ’s lawyer] believes the restaurant will open again, although it’s unclear when exactly.  He and the owner will be determining shortly whether or not to press charges…

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere!

Prohibitionists are desperate to make New Zealand look bad:

A report, released by University of Auckland researcher Natalie Thorburn, claims child sex trafficking is prevalent in New Zealand and children as young as 12 were being exploited for money and drugs…Counsellor Tania Blomfield [claimed] that she knew of a child as young as nine being forced into the sex trade by her mother…Blomfield [fantasizes] child sex trafficking is “a growth industry, sadly.  I think it’s getting worse and worse because we are not dealing with it”.  However National Coordinator for the Prostitutes’ Collective Catherine Healy says sex trafficking is a catch all phrase that does not fully describe the situation…”Let’s not conflate it with sex work and say ‘oh they’ve been trafficked into sex work’ when actually they’re being abused by family members”…

The Prudish Giant

Though this is about coerced labor, Wal-mart is notoriously anti-sex and IJM is one of the sleaziest of the rescue industry groups; I suspect this will soon turn to whore persecution:

International Justice Mission…announced support from the Walmart Foundation to address human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, in the Thai fishing industry…there has not yet been a comprehensive study documenting the prevalence of forced labor and exploitation of fishermen on Thai fishing vessels.  With funding from the Walmart Foundation, IJM commissioned Issara Institute to conduct groundbreaking research in Thailand documenting the prevalence of forced labor…

Law of the Instrument (#560)

It’s not the number of “human trafficking victims” that’s increased, but the number of “human trafficking” charges:

The numbers of victims of human trafficking in Ireland has almost doubled in four years, with 94 [claimed] to have been children…The majority of…persons [labeled by “authorities” as “trafficked”] between 2012-2016 were women, with most subject to sexual exploitation…The authors of the report, however, [fantasize] that the true scale of trafficking could be much higher…

Remember, Ireland charges people with “human trafficking” for crimes ranging from undocumented immigration to rape.

An Example To the West (#582) 

Not so long ago, most US brothels were owned by sex workers:

…Dennis Hof…is offering the 540 women who work in his brothels the chance to buy shares.  He first wants to see if they would help buy the famous Chicken Ranch, which is for sale in Nye County.  “I want to give the girls the opportunity to not only invest in it and be shareholders but also have input in the management style…we want a $25,000 minimum investment.  The purchase price is $4.5 million”…Barb Brents, a UNLV sociology professor who researches the adult industry in Nevada, said some brothels in other countries share ownership with sex workers.  But to do it in Nevada would be a sweeping change…There are still some hurdles for Hof’s plan.  The biggest might be the background checks for brothel investors…

Check Your Premises (#773) 

Though “debating” prohibitionists is a bad idea, attacking their statements is a good one:

…Sarah…accused [politician] Thangam [Debbonaire] of “prejudice and hatred” towards sex workers and questioned whether the MP had met many…”Client criminalisation leads to sex workers having less time to suss out potential clients…because the client is keen to give the worker less info about himself, and to move the interaction into more private spaces where he is less in danger of being arrested…when the criminalisation of kerb-crawling was introduced in Scotland in 2008…violence against street sex workers went up by 50 per cent in just the first six months…sex workers are arrested all the time for brothel-keeping offences, which can mean sharing a workspace with other sex workers for safety.  Of course, having a criminal record relating to prostitution would make it almost impossible for me to ever leave sex work.  When the police raid premises they take everybody’s money – all the money I had earned that day, and probably my phone too – no receipt, no way of getting it back…

Lower Education (#773)

Anti-sex crusaders love their pseudoscience:

…Journalist Emily Yoffe dove into the “neurobiology of trauma”  nonsense last week as part of her series of articles at The Atlantic on campus rape.  This phrase has appeared in federal legislation, state legislation, Department of Education guidance to colleges, and campus sexual assault proceedings.  It is used to explain why victims of sexual assault might not resist or even say no at all; why their memories of the incident might be spotty; and why changes to their stories over time are normal.  Under this theory, hormones and other neurotransmitters go mad and can cause temporary brain damage; memories of an assault are stored perfectly somewhere in the brain but are “fragmented” at first, so it might take victims time to piece together the true story of what happened…But…these claims…fly in the face of almost all recent research on memory and trauma…We have been here before.  In the 1980s, the idea that childhood sexual abuse caused…repressed memories grew quite popular…

The Mote and the Beam (#774)

Some tech companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

Since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate in August, tech companies and advocacy groups have…called it “disastrous for free speech online,” asking its members to call their representatives in Congress.  Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have emerged from unlikely quarters — including tech giant Oracle and Hollywood studio 21st Century Fox — and are using the legislation as an opportunity to take shots at Google…

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To God, there is no zero.  –  Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man

Richard MathesonR.I.P. Richard Matheson

Another of the greats has passed on.  Though his name is less familiar to the general public than those of many far less talented and far less influential authors, virtually everyone has seen and appreciated screen versions of his work; he wrote almost half of the best Twilight Zone episodes, most of the Vincent Price “Poe” movies of the early ‘60s and many other films you may know (including the thrice-filmed I Am Legend).  And since I can’t possibly do his memory justice in this small space, here’s a proper tribute from regular reader Franklin Harris.

Meretrices and Prostibulae

Archaeologists recently uncovered an ancient brothel attached to a gymnasium and restaurant in northern Greece…It was likely built in the second century BCE, which means it had been a going concern for about 250 years when an earthquake…shut [it] down forever.  Put another way, this brothel operated longer than the United States has so far…

N.B.:  I used this title because Greece was under Roman rule at that time.

License To Rape

Tanzanian police torture, rape and assault sex workers, sexual minorities and drug users, while medical staff deny them healthcare…Human Rights Watch…said in a report…[they] were [also] arrested and detained for days on end…Officers gang raped children as young as 12 years old…One drug user had his eyes burned out with acid…

Jezebel (January Updates)

hotel maidsNordic Choice Hotels…has announced the removal of pornography from its television channels.  ‘We believe it is a natural part of our social responsibility to not support an industry that contributes to…trafficking,’ said [CEO] Torgeir Silseth…”  There was no statement from Nordic Choice about shutting down their whole chain because many so-called “trafficking” victims work in hotels, but I guess one has to have priorities.

Old Men and Young Women

Silvio Berlusconi was given a seven-year prison sentence and banned from holding public office for life…after an Italian court found him guilty of abuse of office and paying for sex with…underage prostitute…Karima El Mahroug…” Berlusconi and the girl both deny having had sex, and even if they had it would’ve been completely legal had no money changed hands because she was 17 at the time.

Neither Cold nor Hot

The Miami New Times does an article on sugar babies; frantic pearl-clutching ensues at Jezebel:

…What really sucks about sugar baby relationships is that most of the arrangements don’t seem like they’re entered into freely; they’re a desperate response to a shitty set of circumstances — a lack of job opportunities, lack of job abilities, and last, but not least, the insanely high cost of college education…the site even targets advertising to women who search “help with college tuition”…

The Author Formerly Known as Morning Gloria has a history of this sort of neofeminist prohibitionism disguised under a thin veneer of sex-positive platitudes, and that’s not even counting her apparent belief that the law of conservation of energy somehow proves that “America is…fucked up.”

May Q & A

Veteran Brazilian activist Gabriela Leite on why she likes the word “whore”:

Bootlickers

How will historians judge a culture that spent many man-months and tens of thousands of dollars on this?

A bikini-barista stand owner who twice before has been accused of lewd conduct recently managed to get a…[cop] to warn her of any undercover surveillance…Carmela A. Panico, and Sgt. Darrell L. O’Neill…were charged with conspiracy to promote prostitution…at seven Java Juggs and Twin Peaks espresso stands…The FBI assisted with the investigation…

Yes, the FBI actually helped bluenoses harass coffee shops because the waitresses wear bikinis.

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Julie Ann Carey, 41, not only was robbed at knife point after providing sex to a customer, police then arrested her for solicitation after she reported the crime…

The Crumbling Dam

Try to imagine an editorial like this in an American newspaper:

…In…[the] Globe & Mail, paid typist and self-confessed plagiarist  Margaret Wente [published]…”Legal Prostitution? Are We Nuts?”, [in which she] brings her swollen puritanism to bear on the current Supreme Court case…Calling prostitution, “the most exploitative, degrading work on Earth” Wente opposes the “feminists and other progressive types”…who are endeavoring to make it less exploitative and degrading…What she doesn’t acknowledge…is that prostitution is already legal in Canada

It’s That Time Again

New Jersey is getting an early start on the annual campaign to look really stupid and transfer a lot of money to cops’ pockets:

New Jersey law enforcement officials expecting a rise in forced prostitution leading up to the 2014 Super Bowl said…efforts to crack down on criminals and help victims will span the entire state…New Jersey is believed to be a major entry point for human trafficking due to its dense and diverse population and convenient access from New York to Philadelphia…Selling Sex

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Joyce Arthur sent me a copy of the new anthology Selling Sex:  Experience, Advocacy and Research on Sex Work in Canada, to which she contributed an essay.  Thank you!

Naked Truth

Laura Lee published “Sex Workers Don’t Deserve to be Stigmatised – and We Don’t Want Your Pity Either” in The Independent:

…I can go out…get hopelessly drunk and jump into bed with Mr. A. Random…the chances are any form of protection will go out the window, as will any form of valid consent.  As a society, we deem that okay, because everyone does it, right?  If I go to a hotel, meet Mr. A. Random in the middle of an afternoon, spend a couple of pleasant protected hours and get paid for it – pearls everywhere are clutched and horror levels soar.  But in my second example, I’m safer.  I know his name, his phone number, where he is staying and I am…surrounded by people…

Bottleneck

The Prague Assembly has approved a bill to regulate prostitution…[both brothels and individual] prostitutes would have to apply for a licence…prostitutes would have to be over 18, without criminal record and…would have to undergo regular medical check-ups…”  The bill’s author claims its intent is “to divide legal prostitution from the illegal.”  It’ll do that, all right, but not in the way he seems to think.

Dirty Laundry

There were a few Magdalene Laundries in the United States as well:

…at…fourteen, Diana [O’Hara] entered the gates of the Good Shepherd Laundry in Buffalo, New York with the label of “incorrigible”…talking was allowed only when the nuns clapped their hands…[a misbehaving girl would be]…locked inside [a] closet…[or] an old [rat-infested] shower room with stone benches [sometimes for days]…followed [by] a severe beating…to “make her strong”…

Gorged With Meaning (TW3 #52)

While jobs are difficult to find and money is tight, should the Welsh Government be helping women find extremely lucrative and flexible work?”  Yes, someone actually asked that.Johnny Depp & Amber Heard

False Target (TW3 #135)

Hugo Schwyzer is still pretending that men’s preference for young women is “socially constructed”; Christopher Ryan corrects him:

In a recent column at The Atlantic…Hugo Schwyzer asks us to consider, “What would happen if men stopped chasing much younger women?”…he’s not talking about pedophiles…[but rather] men like Johnny Depp, who is apparently dating a woman in her late 20s, while he’s just hit the big 5-0…Schwyzer argues…that this isn’t…happening in response to…innate biological desire…despite the overwhelming…evidence…Schwyzer cites [only] a 2007 study done in Sweden…[which] actually says the opposite of what he thinks it does…Schwyzer somehow knows Depp’s…attracted to his 27 year-old girlfriend because…she’s powerless and he’s intimidated by less “malleable” women of his own age….[this] attempt to shame consenting adults out of what he considers to be inappropriate relationships strikes me as quite the opposite of an informed feminist perspective…

The Auctioneer Effect

If you thought ultrasound requirements for abortion were bad…

…a last-minute amendment to Ohio’s budget…requires an ultrasound and 24-hour wait before birth control… “Pregnancy” in the context of the informed-consent requirements now means “any fertilized egg”…so…“the disruption of implantation of a fertilized egg” now counts as an abortion.  Prescribing birth control is, in Ohio, a ticking time-abortion…

Comfort Zone (TW3 #320)

Usually, the equation of migration with “trafficking” as an excuse to restrict it isn’t quite this transparent:

At least 200 Nigerian girls are trafficked every month to Russia…the crime…declined in Western Europe following strict laws on illegal migration…to curb the menace…[so] attention…shifted to Eastern Europe…you will be shocked at the extent of resistance [to being “rescued”] from the girls. We tell them Russia is not a destination for prostitutes yet they still come…the parents of those trafficked encourage…their children…Casey Kids Playhouse

Think of the Children! (TW3 #321)

More hysteria over structural sex ray contamination:

Parents’ outrage at an advertisement for a swingers party at a [Victoria] children’s play centre has forced the local council to close the business…the centre’s owners [had] said they would repeat the event every month at Casey Kids Playhouse once they found six other couples…a local mother…[who] had booked her son’s fourth birthday party there…[said] ”I am disgusted…This is so morally wrong, not to mention unhygienic”…

I just can’t stop laughing at the word “unhygienic” in that context.

Absolute Corruption (TW3 #323)

The inevitable result of allowing “authorities” to “investigate” themselves:

Jesse Friedman…was properly convicted and should not have his status as a sexual predator overturned…[claims] Nassau County district attorney…Kathleen M. Rice…Mr. Friedman’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, and…Andrew Jarecki, [director of Capturing the Friedmans]…[said] the report was a biased whitewash by the office that originally botched the case…“Rice has made a craven, but not surprising, political decision in failing to admit to the wrongdoing of the…D.A.’s office and former sex crimes chief Fran Galasso, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Jesse’s innocence,” Mr. Jarecki said.  Mr. Kuby said that the district attorney’s office had fought Mr. Friedman’s efforts at every turn and that this was just more of the same…“Fortunately, the conclusion of this bogus reinvestigation clears the way for the Friedman team to return to court”…

Rotten to the Core

This is how service disputes are handled when the profession is legal:  “Sunset Thomas…the…onetime cast member of…Cathouse…and [retired] porn star…[who works] at the Chicken Ranch in Pahrump [Nevada, is being sued by regular client Robert Proffitt for]…$2,200 for services he alleges were not rendered…

Which I Doubt

Tracy Quan considers the connection between the recent Supreme Court decision and the New York “condoms as evidence” bill, and discusses the rather unpleasant bedfellows the sex worker rights movement picked up in both cases, quoting yours truly in the process.

Across the Pond (TW3 #324)Jack Vettriano painting

Gee, I can’t imagine why the police took these paintings:

Jack Vettriano paintings worth £500,000 were seized from a former brothel boss in a police crackdown on vice…detectives…smashed into the home of Ian Haig, 70, whose brother Charles, 73, runs a…sauna in Edinburgh.  Vettriano…regularly visited Scorpio sauna…in the 1990s and painted…girls working there.  He gave paintings to Ian Haig as a thank-you before he became one of Britain’s most successful artists…Police [claim the paintings are]…potential evidence…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #324)

Why is it that people just don’t get that sex work follows the same rules of economics as any other business?

The presence of thousands of brothels and hundreds of thousands of prostitutes has heightened competition and pushed prices down steeply in the German sex trade…Prostitution became legal in Germany in 2002, and the open sex trade has taken off in the years since…It’s been estimated that more than 1 million men pay for sex in Germany every day.  One of the classic arguments for legalizing prostitution is that recognizing and regulating the world’s oldest profession would improve the conditions of sex workers.  Instead, recent reports paint legalized prostitution in Germany largely as a failure…Despite the critics’ claims of atrocious conditions brought on by legalized prostitution in Germany, there are many who don’t want to go back to the days when the trade was cordoned off in the black market…

This is a prime example of American criminal ignorance about sex work; consult the title link for a thorough debunking.

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…changes aren’t permanent, but change is. –  Pye Dubois and Neil Peart, “Tom Sawyer”

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st)

As those who remember this column already know, I can deeply sympathize with any woman who gets a boob job, whether for personal reasons or for business reasons.  And though I wouldn’t do it myself, I can even understand why a woman might want more than one boob job so as to be even larger.  But I have a lot of trouble comprehending why anyone would feel the need for SIX boob jobs by the age of 23, nor for that matter why it took her five surgeries to get to the same size I reached in one jump despite the fact that I was pretty flat-chested to start.  And to have the surgery against medical advice in a desperate bid for publicity is just sad.  Requiescat in pace, you poor, misguided little kitten.

Jezebel (November 6th)

I touched on a number of topics in this column, but one of them was self-appointed guardians of the public morality who belong to groups like “Morality in Media”.  Well, the Marriott corporation has apparently decided to kiss up to such groups in an attempt to make itself appear “family friendly”.  This is paraphrased from a story which appeared in USA Today on January 20th:

Marriott International reports that it’s removing access to adult movies from the new hotel rooms it will be opening the next several years.  The decision coincides with a pending shift to new, in-room entertainment technology, and comes after years of discussion on whether the availability of adult entertainment in guest rooms is “appropriate” and whether secure safeguards exist to keep it away from children.  But it’s certainly no coincidence that in-room porn, for years a reliable money-maker for hotels, has been steadily declining in popularity (and thus profitability) as business travelers increasingly turn to cheaper self-provided entertainment (or simply access porn via the hotel’s broadband internet connection).

According to Marriott’s statement, “It is our practice to keep adult content out of the reach of children and unavailable to any adult who chooses not to view it.  We have strong controls in place that allow guests to block these materials. Changing technology and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content.  We are working with in-room entertainment providers and technology vendors to transition to the next generation of in-room entertainment.  This new platform of Internet-based video-on-demand will facilitate our exit from the traditional hotel video systems that included adult content in the menu selection, and will also provide guests greater choice and control over what they watch across our system.  As we transition to this new platform, adult content will be off the menu for virtually all of our newly built hotels.  Over the next few years, this will be the policy across our system.”

When I showed this story to my husband (who frequently travels on business) he pointed out that another reason for the decline is that adult movies are always much more expensive than the other options, which is not only a financial disincentive but causes these selections to stand out on the hotel bill even though the name of the movie does not appear.  Obviously, Marriott’s discontinuing in-room porn is the equivalent of a sneaky Catholic schoolboy trying for an easy Lenten penance by giving up a type of candy he no longer likes.

Welcome To Our World (January 20th)

Just a few days ago I wrote about women in other walks of life being on the receiving end of the same kind of rhetoric whores endure constantly, then yesterday the Guardian was kind enough to provide me with another example I’ve paraphrased here:

Protesters blockaded the main entrance of New Scotland Yard in London in a demonstration against undercover police officers having sex with members of groups they infiltrate.  The protest followed the revelation by former undercover cop Mark Kennedy, reported in the Observer Sunday (January 23rd) that undercover operatives attempting to infiltrate environmental and left-wing activist groups routinely use sex as a tool to blend in and gather intelligence.

Anna Jones, who was among 35 protesters at the headquarters of the Metropolitan police, said: “These women were not able to give informed sexual consent.”  Another demonstrator, Leila Deen, asked a young male staff member:  “Did you know your agents were using sex with women like us to get information?  It is a clear abuse of public office.”

The protesters carried pictures of the undercover police officers identified in reports along with placards with slogans such as “Keep your truncheon in your trousers.”  They demanded that other undercover officers should be identified.  “We want a fully independent judged inquiry into the way undercover policing is being conducted in this country,” said Kate Blagojevic.

The Association of Chief Police Officers claimed last week that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists, but Kennedy denied that and said that senior officers encouraged the behavior; the only stipulation was that falling in love was considered highly unprofessional because it might compromise an investigation.

Hmm, cops having sex with women under false pretenses in order to bust them; now where have I heard about that before?  Welcome to our world, environmental activists!  And BTB, policemen, there’s a word for a man obtaining sex from a woman by force (deception, after all,  is a mild form of force) that she cannot be persuaded to give by other means, especially when his intent is to hurt her by means of that sex.

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The whore is despised by the hypocritical world because she has made a realistic assessment of her assets and does not have to rely on fraud to make a living.  In an area of human relations where fraud is regular practice between the sexes, her honesty is regarded with a mocking wonder. –  Angela Carter

I’ve written a lot lately about a change in the wind regarding public opinion about whoring; the more enlightened members of our society appear to be slowly coming to the realization that the concept of a consensual crime simply has no place in a free society, and that for the state to dictate what a woman can do with her own body is not only barbaric, but also cannot be defined as anything other than slavery.  And that makes neofeminists and “human trafficking” fanatics the worst kind of hypocrites, because they promote the doctrine that all women should be enslaved to the state in order to prevent a few women from being enslaved by individuals!  Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  If I must be chattel, I would rather be owned by an individual man whom I can look in the eye, talk to and attempt to influence with my feminine wiles rather than a vast, faceless, amorphous monstrosity which does not even know I exist and has no human feelings to which I can appeal.

But such changes never come without a backlash from the control freaks who feel the psychotic need to judge and condemn others for being different from themselves.  Though articles like this one are becoming the norm among rational adults, the cases of arrested development are becoming more and more vicious in their spastic attacks on human sexuality, especially as personified in the persons of whores.  Though I have no desire to give a pulpit to these self-appointed guardians of the public morals, some of their behaviors are so revealing of their true motives that calling attention to them actually functions in the same way as turning over a stone reveals the disgusting creatures underneath. Here’s a link to the site of  “Morality in Media”, an anti-porn organization, which is currently promoting its “White Ribbon Against Pornography” week; note that despite their faux (and largely self-authored) “studies”, their rhetoric is actually nothing but good old-fashioned religious fundamentalism straight out of revival tents and Carrie Nation.  Notice also their chilling slogan: “Promoting a Decent Society Through Law.”  Hitler would’ve been proud.

But these people are rank amateurs of hate compared to the lunatic who runs “Whores of Babylon”, a Biblical fundamentalist anti-prostitute hate site which largely consists of gloating over news articles about escorts, strippers and porn stars being murdered or committing suicide interspersed with quotes taken from escort websites and his Biblical “answers” to those quotes, and punctuated with various tirades about sin and damnation.  One of the main tabs is called “Why You Deserve Hell”.  What a pathetic, bitter, unhappy, fearful life his man must lead!  Obviously, it’s never dawned on him that the idea of “Christian hate” is oxymoronic.  Take a look at the site if you like, but I warn you that you may feel as though you need to take a bath and clean your computer’s cache after going there.

Of course, there are fanatics on both sides of sexual issues; though I’m all for safe sex, methinks the folks in the following story (paraphrased from an AP original) went a bit too far in their campaign to promote it.  They honestly strike me as more than a bit Puritanical, and the toothbrushes sort of emphasize that; it’s a bit like giving trick-or-treaters those obnoxious (but unintentionally funny) fundie comics from Chick Publications.

Daniel and Kathleen Harris, of Silverton, Oregon gave trick-or-treating teenagers condoms in their goodie bags instead of candy as part of what the couple calls their “effort to promote health”; younger kids got toothbrushes with their candy bars.  Daniel Cote, the father of one 14-year-old girl who received the condoms, was offended and said it was inappropriate to give them to children without parents’ consent.  Kathleen Harris said giving the condoms to the 14-year-old was a mistake; she says their usual practice is to ask teens if they’re 16 or older and to give them a speech on safe sex.

A safe-sex lecture from complete strangers on Halloween; talk about a trick!

But anyway, if you risked optical contamination by looking at that “Whores of Babylon” site, you probably noticed that the guy is also kind of obsessive about Jezebel, a Phoenician princess of the 9th century BCE who married Ahab, the King of Israel and convinced her husband to allow temples of Phoenician gods to open in Israel.  Though this was her native religion and she forced no Israelites to convert to it, the mere presence of these temples inflamed the anger of the fanatical prophet Elisha, who is also remembered for summoning two she-bears to kill 42 little boys because they mocked his baldness (2 Kings 2:23-24).  Elisha did not dare to move against the throne while the popular Ahab was alive, but after his death the prophet backed a usurper who overthrew the rightful heir and then ordered the palace eunuchs to hurl Queen Jezebel out a window, then commanded her corpse be left in the street to be eaten by dogs.  Jezebel’s last act was to dress in her royal robes, makeup and jewelry so as to die as a queen, but since history is written by the victors this was interpreted as “harlotry”.  Thus, Jezebel’s name has come down as synonymous with “evil woman” or “whore”, while the man who murdered a defenseless middle-aged woman was celebrated as a hero.

You may enjoy this parody of traditional Christian readings of the story of Jezebel; as you can probably guess, feminists tend to take a dim view of the traditional interpretation, and have rightfully pointed out that Jezebel was a strong and assertive woman who merely wished to assure freedom for her religion, and who died proudly and on her feet after her sons were murdered in a coup d’état.  Like Lilith, she has been adopted as a feminist symbol, and indeed there is a semi-third-wave feminist website named Jezebel.com.  The site is pretty uneven, but once in a while they have a good sex worker story, such as this Open Letter from a Stripper; not only does she hit dead on, but a great deal of what she says applies to whores as well.  The comments are also worth reading because they illustrate exactly what I was talking about in my first paragraph; with only a couple of exceptions, they’re all sex-work-positive.  And though I wish the Jezebel site had more anti-prohibitionist stories (and fewer with the faint odor of the “Nordic Model” about them), stripper-positive features and sex-positive commentary are still indicative of the trend.

In the same vein as the “Open Letter” is this cartoon created by an escort; it’s one of those “instant cartoons” I’m seeing more often lately, and it’s absolutely bang on.  It’s very funny, but keep in mind while watching it that all of us occasionally have customers who are exactly like this, though the bad traits usually don’t all appear in one client.  Not usually, anyway.

But going back to Jezebel (the site, not the mach-maligned lady), I read there yesterday that Kristin Davis (whom I mentioned in my Election Day column), didn’t get the 50,000 votes she needed to automatically legitimize her Anti-Prohibition party, but she did get almost halfway there with about 23,000 votes.  I think the governorship was a bit high to aim, but perhaps she might shop around for a district which will put her into the state legislature.  If that many people actually voted for her, there are probably ten times that many who sympathized with her platform but didn’t want to “waste their votes”.  Even a quarter of a million sympathizers in New York State is a start.

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