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Posts Tagged ‘The Profumo Affair’

Sex trafficking is…the crime du jour.  –  Judge Toni Messina

R.I.P. Christine Keeler 

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affairhas died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.  Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal…when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war…Keeler’s son, Seymour Platt…[said] she died on [December 4th]…She had been ill for several months…from…COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.  Keeler, who had been living under the name of Sloane for many years, was briefly married twice, both marriages ending in divorce.  She had two sons – James from her first marriage, and Seymour from her second – and a granddaughter..

Lack of Evidence

Name one other “crime” that gets this kind of treatment on nothing more than a busybody’s say-so:

Why should cops bother with investigations and due process when they can rely on anonymous tips and social shaming?…Larksville, Pennsylvania…police are bragging to local news that they bullied a woman out of town after a neighbor suggested she might be a sex worker…[because] here were too many cars pulling up to a local apartment building and too many men getting out of them…Based on that one tip, Chief John Edwards went straight to Facebook to post a warning notice…”‘ALLEGED’ prostitution” is taking place “in an apartment in or near the 200 block of Vine Street…I and my officers will provide you with a never-ending stream of police activity.”  He also said the cops would talk to “all the neighbors in the area” and instruct them “use video and photography to document” the comings and goings on the street.  Then Larksville police—still without talking to anyone at the allegedly suspicious apartment or conducting due diligence of their own—went to the street in question, put physical copies of the warning on any vehicles in the area, and handed them out to people door-to-door…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn

The truth about “sex trafficking” dawns in the mind of a judge:

…sex trafficking…laws are so expansively written that even if a woman voluntarily agrees to be photographed in scant attire in response to an escort ad but later changes her mind, the person who took the pictures could be convicted of sex trafficking for threatening to post the ad without her permission…I tried a case recently where the court found that a Backpage ad was enough to convict my client of sex trafficking in New York even though all of the acts relating to the sex trafficking charge occurred in New Jersey…I was told by Bella Robinson, founder of Coyoteri.org…that sex workers are more fearful of police who jail them than Johns.  Cops can arrest them, take their money, threaten to take their kids, and [rape them]…

Rooted in Racism

Deportation is euphemized as “sending migrants home”, ignoring the fact that if they wanted to be there they wouldn’t have endured such terrible hardships to leave in the first damned place:

The United Nations migration agency plans to fly 15,000 more migrants home from detention centres in Libya before year-end in the wake of shocking reports of rampant migrant abuse and squalid and overcrowded conditions at these facilities [in which they are detained after “authorities” stop them from migrating to Europe, where they actually want to go]…Libya in recent weeks has witnessed a drastic increase in the numbers of migrants [imprisoned] in detention centres – from a usual range of 5,000 to 6,000 to over 15,000…IOM is also scaling up its reintegration support for the migrants in countries of origin and will be working on addressing the root causes of migration, as well as increasing our programming to [force them to stay where they came from]…

Imaginary Victims (#344)

Like Sara Kruzan before her, prohibitionists never gave a shit about imprisoned underage sex worker Cyntoia Brown until they realized they could make political coin from her:

Twenty-nine-year-old Cyntoia Brown has been locked up in a Tennessee prison for 13 years, after she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the killing of a man who hired her as a prostitute when she was 16…Brown…was a [cognitively impaired] runaway who was raped, abused and forced into prostitution by a man known as “Kut Throat.”  She will be eligible for parole after she turns 69…Brown’s case re-entered the spotlight this month after a group of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg posted their support on social media with the hashtag, #FreeCyntoiaBrown.  An online petition urging Tennessee’s governor to consider clemency for Brown has garnered more than 4,000 signatures…Each year, more than 1,000 [legal minors] are arrested for prostitution in the U.S…Advocates say that in many cases those children are the true victims, and argue Brown’s case should be reconsidered under new “safe harbor” laws that [pretend to] protect trafficked minors from criminal charges [but in actuality only help “perfect victims”, not girls like Brown]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#346)

While US politicians are marching along with a witch hunt:

…Senator Millicent Omanga has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work.  The senator termed the move impulsive and unfair…[and she] challenged the MCAs to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the commercial sex workers before condemning them…At the same time, atheists have come out in defence of commercial sex workers and…threatened to take action against the MCAs if they do not rescind the motion…Atheists in Kenya say the choice to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money is a private and should not be considered a crime, and that prostitution should be recognised as a form of trade…

The Public Eye (#589)

Despite the glaring absence of any escorts, it’s good to see a sex work-positive article in Glamour:

…The real stories of webcam models, dominatrices, and porn stars are often very different from the tropes we see in flashy (and often irresponsible) headlines about sexdrugs, and crime.  In fact, plenty of sex workers truly love what they do.  Glamour spoke to 15 women who work in different facets of the sex industry—porn performers, dominatrices, and cam models—about their choices to enter the business.  Even beyond the financial freedom and the ability to travel that their career paths afford, many of them emphasized how they use their platforms to draw attention to social causes, highlight the contributions of marginalized communities, and help destigmatize sex…

Served Cold (#737) 

This megalomaniac’s antics are growing so bizarre and disturbing that even prohibitionists are starting to see it:

When Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard looks at the latest artwork by conservative political painter Jon McNaughton, he gets emotional.  Painted into The Underground Railroad are Ballard and his wife, depicted carrying children they helped rescue from sex trafficking…the artwork’s historical figures, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln…are flanked by figures whom the painter refers to as “contemporary abolitionists” or “slave stealers”: Ballard’s friends and supporters, ranging from Tony Robbins and Glenn Beck to Utah Rep. Mia Love.  Art curators and Mormon black activists, though, are offended by the painting…“I would call it the epitome of the white savior complex,” says Mica McGriggs…Anthropologist Bradley H. Kramer…[says it’s] culturally clueless…to not realize depicting “white dudes rescuing black people” — under the title of “The Underground Railroad” — would be offensive…“It’s…like a parody of the white savior narrative…It steals the imagery and the power of the Underground Railroad narrative and transforms it into this Trumpian fantasy of brave, powerful white dudes rescuing black people from their squalor”…

Moving Pictures (#782) 

I’m sorry, but I find this both funny and satisfying:

Ashley Judd led a cast of what would turn out to be dozens of actresses in accusing Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual harassment and abuse…[but] an indie drama she starred in, Trafficked …is itself at the center of its own fierce debate regarding…its casting process….producers quietly removed its director, Will Wallace, from the project during postproduction over a disagreement involving the depiction of rape.  And…one actress, Sanchita Malik…contacted SAG-AFTRA the day after attending [a casting] session…May 20, 2015, to convey her displeasure.  (She subsequently filed a lengthy written grievance with the actors’ union.)  In the statement…Malik [reported]…an extended exercise in which male counterparts…were coached to replicate harassment and assault…the scenario played out with her hair pulled, neck licked, body pushed against a wall and a fellow actor simulating rape…producers Conroy Kanter and Siddharth Kara…insist her characterization of the events involves “a significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of intensity, crudeness and physicality of the casting session”…

A description of a work session involved “significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of…crudeness”…Really?  Do tell?  Hmm, that somehow sounds familiar…

Cooties (#787) 

It looks like this popular cop masturbatory fantasy has made it across the Channel:

Three men have been arrested in Paris for…their roles in pimping out women for sex work in several apartments…rented out through…Airbnb…The key suspect…has a previous conviction for procurement.  He took 50 percent of the money the women earned…

He “took” 50%; in other words his cut was 50%, same as Nevada brothels.  Try calculating sometime how much of each dollar you earn for your company you get to keep; you’ll find it’s well below 50%.

Too Close To Home (#788) 

Does anyone believe the prosecutor would’ve made the same decision is the accused weren’t a politician?

The Snohomish County Prosecutor…[decided] not to file sexual assault charges against Sheriff John Urquhart…accused by a former deputy of groping him after dining together in 2014 at a Renton restaurant.  The Renton Police Department…recommended…charges of indecent liberties or assault with sexual motivation…The allegations were handled by independent police and prosecutors to [support the pretense of] avoid[ing] conflicts of interest.  Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe…[claimed] that even if the accuser’s accounts were true, the actions alleged did not meet the criteria for indecent liberties…

To Molest and Rape (#795)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their daughter in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?

…[When] a…young woman…[was] found her dead of suicide on Nov. 2, 2015…detectives…found one of their own [ilk] suspiciously close to the death. [Francisco] Olmos…had been outside her house even before she was found dead.  While the girl’s father called 911, Olmos asked to used the girl’s phone..[but actually]…deleted…texts and Snapchats [the girl had exchanged with him]…On [November 30th], police arrested Olmos on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass…Olmos knew the young woman through Indianapolis police department’s Explorer program, which trains teenagers for careers in law enforcement…In the hours before the young woman’s death, Olmos tried calling her 16 times.  He left 10 text messages and two Snapchat messages…“Answer me you can’t do this to me AGAIN,” reads one of Olmos’ Snapchat messages shortly after the phone call…The girl didn’t answer.  “How can you ignore me like I’m just one of them,” Olmos messaged four minutes later…Two minutes later:  “You can’t do this to me you can’t.  I’m headed to your house right now”…After several more unanswered messages and several hours, Olmos sent a final missive. “I don’t know what the point of ignoring me is,” he wrote. “You make me feel like this is really all my fault…I need to talk to you it’s urgent”…When detectives tried to access the young woman’s iPhone, they found it password protected, raising the question of how Olmos placed a call from the device.  When an investigator asked the young woman’s parents for the passcode, both insisted that the device had not been password protected…Police sent the device to Cellebrite, a firm notorious for helping law enforcement hack into locked cellphones…They found what looked like a sloppy coverup.  Olmos and the young woman had texted 177 times between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, when she died…

For more on the “police explorer” rape trap for underage girls, see below.

To Molest and Rape (#796) 

It’s good to see this problem finally getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…police frequently target marginalized people with sexual violence.  That includes young women and girls, women of color, transgender women, sex workers, homeless women, women with mental illness, undocumented women, women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, women with disabilities, and low-income women…police presence in schools…allows [cops]…to…abuse searches, harass girls in the hallways, and even sexually assault them…40 percent of police sexual misconduct cases involved teenagers and 34 percent happened during a traffic stop….[cops also] exploit young women…through Police Explorer programs…[and] sexually assault female high school interns in ride-alongs…a case of sexual misconduct by a police officer crop[s] up every five days.  And according to a 2013 study, 41 percent of police sexual violence cases were committed by repeat-offending [cops]…some…move across jurisdictions and keep their certificate despite their history of sexual violence, in what is known as the “officer shuffle”…

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Well he would, wouldn’t he?  –  response when told Lord Astor had denied having her

As I’ve written many times, the maintenance of the Madonna/whore dichotomy demands the erasure of all ambiguity; women must solidly be classified as one or the other, “good” women or “bad”, “empowered” women or “fallen” ones, without a hint that a single woman could play both roles at different parts of her life (much less at the same time).  And so women who succeed in other careers after sex work, especially if they’re popular and well-liked, must never ever ever be described as sex workers; they might be dancers, or perhaps masseuses, or models, or even mistresses, but not what they actually were: prostitutes, no different from me or any inhabitant of any red-light district.  Of course, it helps when the prostitution is genteel and privately arranged and the whores have other “legitimate” jobs as showgirls or hostesses; then they can be described politely as “party girls” and their clients as “lovers”, and the transactional nature of their “affairs” can be glossed over on the BBC or in polite newspapers.

Marilyn Rice-Davies was born in Wales on October 21, 1944 and after a fairly conventional upbringing began modeling at 15.  After playing a window-dressing part in the film Make Mine Mink, she ran away to London at 16 and quickly got a job as a showgirl at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho; there she met and befriended Christine Keeler and the two lived together for a while.  Keeler introduced her to the well-connected osteopath Stephen Ward, who both delighted in and profited by introducing ambitious young women like Keeler and Rice-Davies to his wealthy friends.  Mandy soon became the mistress of slumlord Peter Rachman, who had previously kept Keeler, but the arrangement ended abruptly with Rachman’s death by heart attack on November 29th, 1962.  Rachman was a notorious character who had been under constant police investigation since 1959; he had been prosecuted twice for brothel-keeping and among his expensive gifts to Mandy was a new Jaguar (which was, alas, seized by his widow).  But Mandy later insisted that there was no profit motive involved in her relationship with the short, dumpy Rachman, a statement repeated without question by journalists and others ever since.

It was after Rachman’s death, however, that Rice-Davies’ ship finally came in, via the Profumo Affair and the associated persecution of Stephen Ward.  She had always hoped to achieve stardom, and since coming to London had appeared in several advertisements, but the free publicity afforded her by her appearance as a prosecution witness at Ward’s trial gave her career a mighty boost.  This is not to say that she intentionally capitalized upon Ward’s misfortune; in fact, she only agreed to testify after the cops trumped up charges involving a fake ID (and later, a supposedly stolen television set) so she could be threatened with a long stretch in Holloway if she refused to “cooperate”.  But once the trial started, she clearly both enjoyed and took advantage of the publicity.  The cameras loved her, and her comparing herself to Lady Hamilton (Lord Nelson’s mistress) made her the talk of the papers for a few weeks.  After the trial ended with Ward’s suicide at the end of July, Mandy was offered a job as a cabaret singer in Germany and quickly became involved with another wealthy patron, one Baron Cervello.

For several years she toured the world, taking whatever singing gigs she could find, then in 1966 she moved to Israel; there she met and married nightclub owner Rafael Shaul and converted to Judaism, founding a chain of restaurants and nightclubs called Mandy’s.  The couple amicably divorced in 1971 but remained business partners, and Mandy appeared in a number of Israeli films in the ‘70s, then European ones (and television show episodes) in the ‘80s.  She also published her autobiography, Mandy, in 1980 and a novel, The Scarlet Thread, in 1989.  During this time she had a number of liaisons with ever-wealthier men and an extremely short-lived marriage to the French restaurateur Jean-Charles Lefevre.  But it was her third marriage, to British businessman Ken Foreman, which accelerated what she called her “long descent into respectability”; among Foreman’s friends was Sir Denis Thatcher, and Mandy – now going by Marilyn Foreman – is known to have holidayed with Thatcher and his much more famous wife, Margaret.  She died of cancer just three weeks ago, on December 18th, and was the subject of laudatory obituaries in the Guardian  and Telegraph, among many others.

But despite her respectability and long-maintained insistence that she had never really taken money for sex, Mandy never attempted to distance herself from the Prufumo Affair and the Ward trial; in fact, in 2013 she was consulted by Andrew Lloyd Webber for his short-lived stage musical, Stephen Ward.  At the time, she revealed that she had not spoken to her old flatmate, Christine Keeler, in over three decades; while Rice-Davies had embraced the publicity and used it to advance her own interests, Keeler had been embarrassed by the whole thing and vanished from the limelight for 20 years after it was over.  Their different ways of reacting to the debacle had driven a wedge into what was never a particularly close friendship to start; “I don’t think she liked me,” Mandy said in an October 2013 interview.  And though neither of the two ever (publicly) considered themselves sex workers, their very different post-scandal lives demonstrate an important truth about two kinds of women involved in the work:  those who consider it to have been a humiliation, and those who embrace it as a means of attaining their goals.

(This month’s harlotography first appeared in Cliterati on January 4th; I have modified it slightly for time references and to fit the format of this blog.)

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Fuck you, Gawker and your puritanical bullshit.  –  Lynsie Lee

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

If you think 100,000 “child sex slaves” in the US is ridiculous, how about in a country with ¼ the population?  “There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed…”  This is supposedly an “estimate” of the number of streetwalkers (compare with 70,000 in the US), all of whom are said to be “victims of the ‘prostitution mafia’.”

Elephant in the Parlor

Benny Johnson from BuzzFeed…messaged me, asking…about…an innocent yet charming flirtation I had…with…mayor [Cory Booker] at the beginning of the year… the [resulting]…article…was cute and, to me, satirical…[then] calls and emails start pouring in from reporters.  It was surreal.  How could something so simple be seen as a scandal?  Oh wait, I’m a stripper and nude model (how dare someone flirt with my kind!)…Gawker released a story…[implying] that…anybody I associate with is a bad person, especially men…strippers, or anyone in the adult industry, are real people, with real lives and real human relationships.  What we do for income doesn’t mean we are doing those things 24 hours a day.Doctor Mordrid  Accountants don’t sit at home with calculators at the dinner table, nor do proctologists go around sticking their fingers in people’s butts at the grocery store…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

A reader called Daz sent me a DVD I’ve been curious about for some time: Doctor Mordrid starring Jeffrey Combs, which was originally meant to be an adaptation of Marvel’s supernatural superhero Doctor Strange.  Thank you, Daz!

Change a Few Words

The Silk Road, a Web based black market for…narcotics…and other illicit goods, has been shut down by the FBI, and its alleged mastermind, Ross William Ulbricht, has been arrested…I can’t help but conclude…that the world is actually going to be a more dangerous place in [its] absence…The FBI…[wrote] “the site has sought to make conducting illegal transactions…as easy and frictionless as shopping…at mainstream e-commerce websites”…compared to the epidemic violence that has characterized the drug trade for the entirety of the War on Drugs…that…[seems] like a relative utopia…[and] successor sites…are…already up and running

The Profumo Affair

Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, the friends who became household names when the Profumo affair was exposed in 1963, are no longer even on speaking terms…[and have] not seen [one another] for three decades…Rice-Davies has leant her support to Lloyd Webber in the making of Stephen Ward, a stage show about the society osteopath who also played a pivotal role in the scandal…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Politicians want to protect the “good” women of Saskatoon from sex rays:

A new…proposal would isolate…strip clubs in industrial areas…City administration is recommending a 160-metre separation for adult entertainment venues from residential neighbourhoods, schools, parks, childcare centres, preschools…recreational facilities…[and] other adult entertainment venues…”You don’t [get] more street crime because of strip clubs,” said Mariana Valvarde, a professor of criminology at the University of Toronto…”It’s a myth”…Saskatoon’s proposed bylaw would [also] require [strippers] to be licensed…

But wait, it gets even stupider:

…Saskatchewan…does NOT allow nudity in a business that serves alcohol…[and] this is NOT changing…[the government’s own website states] “full frontal nudity will continue to be prohibited”…[only] wet t-shirt contests and striptease without nudity will be allowed…[but] the public AND the media…are reacting as though the opposite is the case…

Coming Out

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #26)

Another way the Swedish model harms sex workers:

A plan to protect Oslo prostitutes…has been dropped after [officials] ruled it would violate people’s privacy…Bjørg Norli, director of Prosentret, said…”The problem is that buying sex in Norway is illegal.  We would have been keeping a register of criminals, which the police would have been able to demand access to”…

Whatever They Need To Say

It isn’t only in Bangladesh that whores are evicted so fascists can profit:

…Sex workers from three flats in Soho were evicted…after police issued enforcement notices on landlords warning they could be prosecuted if they were found to be allowing “immoral activities”…On [October 9th] sex workers and activists…gathered outside the offices of Soho Estates, one of the main property owners in the area, and called for them to “stand up” to police.  “Soho has always been one of the safest places in the country for women to work”…said Niki Adams from the English Collective of Prostitutes…Members of the local Soho Society said the character of Soho was under threat from developers…Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Notorious Badge (TW3 #32)

I’ve got news for you, Léa

When it awarded the Palme d’Or to Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the Cannes Film Festival jury took the unusual step of sharing the prize between its director Abdellatif Kechiche, and its two principal actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos…but…the actresses were apparently unhappy with the director’s methods…Seydoux [said] “We had fake pussies on…I don’t make love on screen…it was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute”…

Due Consideration

Alicia Beltran found herself handcuffed, shackled…and detained in an inpatient drug treatment facility for being honest about a medical history that included past dependency on prescription painkillers. The State of Wisconsin provided an attorney for her fetus, but not for her.  Without evidence of harm to either herself or the fetus, Alicia was made a ward of the state, all her rights and liberties suspended – including her right to have an abortion if that had been what she wanted…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #311)

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law…Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli…responded…[by] alleging that ‘nearly 90 sexual predators’ could be dropped from a registry of sex offenders…”  Too bad it isn’t more.

Dr. Schrödinger and His Amazing Pussycat (TW3 #312)

Jean-Baptiste de LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck was an 18th-century biologist who believed that characteristics acquired within an individual creature’s lifetime could be passed to its descendants; this was among the first steps toward evolutionary theory, but was disproved about a century ago.  However, certain political cults (such as Soviet communism) still clung to it long afterward as a pseudoscientific means of supporting their beliefs, and apparently Swedish state neofeminism is among them:

Around the world, women are on average shorter than men.  Purely biological evidence suggests that it should be the opposite…if women generally were larger risks associated with childbirth would…decrease…New theories suggest that the imbalance of power and discrimination underlie the size differences…we unconsciously give boys more food than girls, making the size difference between the sexes…persist over generations…

If this were true, the size difference would have vanished by the late 20th century in Western countries, where food has not generally been scarce in generations.  But it must please neofeminists tremendously to believe that if not for “Patriarchy”, women would be bigger and stronger than men.

The End of the Beginning

As…governments have imposed…restrictions on where sex offenders can live or even set foot, members of this highly stigmatized group…have formed associations…to [argue]…that indiscriminate laws…are unconstitutional and ineffective…“I find it very offensive that…sex offenders are trying to defeat the measures we have put in place to protect children,” said Nina Salarno Ashford …with Crime Victims United.  “They created their own issues…somebody was assaulted, in many cases a child”…[prosecutor] Susan Kang Schroeder…[said] “The pro-sex-offender lobby likes to bandy about percentages, as if even 1 percent is acceptable”…

The dysphemisms and lies should seem familiar.  Crime Victims United are vengeful badge-lickers who support mass incarceration and the abrogation of rights of the accused; the pretense that public urination, prostitution and sex while teenage are forms of “assault” is typical for them, as is pretending most “victims” are children.  And branding those fighting for human rights “The pro-sex offender lobby” is right out of the prohibitionist playbook.

Above the Law (TW3 #325)

new studies confirm previous findings that most of those who commit sexual abuse in detention are corrections staff, not inmates.  That is true in all types of detention facilities, but especially in juvenile facilities…[where] victims of sexual misconduct by staff members were more likely to report eleven or more instances of abuse than a single, isolated occurrence…

Ad Absurdum

Kaitlyn Hunt…entered no contest pleas to…misdemeanor battery and felony interference with child custody…[she will] remain in jail until December 20, followed by three years of felony supervision…she will not be branded a convicted felon or registered sex offender and can ask for her case to be sealed or expunged…

Matthew Lyons
Be Careful Who You Rape

And if she really had been a hooker, that would have made it OK?

…21-year-old Matthew E. Lyons approached [a] woman…[bird-watching] in a [Florida] gazebo…Lyons repeatedly complimented the woman…[when she said] she was not interested…in…sex…Lyons…threw [her] to the floor…and pulled off her shorts and underwear…[but fled after he] was unable to pull on a condom…Lyons admitted meeting with the woman but said he thought she was a prostitute…

Policing for Profit

Several communities in [Wisconsin want]…to increase the fines for…prostitution…Police are backing an ordinance that would make the fines more than $2600…Police are hopeful increasing the fine by more than 1300% will serve as a deterrent…”  Obviously, they hope nothing of the kind; it would cut into their profits.  Meanwhile, in Florida:

Police in [Sunrise]…have hit upon a surefire way to make millions.  They sell cocaine.  [Cops] and their army of informants lure big-money drug buyers…from [all over the Western Hemisphere]…then bust the buyers and seize their cash and cars…the…money…fuels huge overtime payments for the undercover officers…and cash rewards for the confidential informants…one femme fatale informant  [made] more than $800,000 over the past five years…Last year, the city raked in $2 million…the year before…twice that…

Cuckoo Advertising (Extra Edition)

Credulous reporters keep giving away ad space:

…“The World’s Largest Sugar Daddy Dating Website” says it has recorded a 50 percent jump in average daily sign-ups since the start of the government shutdown…“We usually have a lull in September and October,” Seeking Arrangement’s public relations manager Jennifer Gwynn told NPR…“Half of the new members are single moms, so we’re thinking that it’s tied directly to the government shutdown, since programs like WIC…have been stalled”…

Just Call Me Nobody

Lest you forget:  “pimp” is copese for husband, driver, landlord, roommate, service owner, bodyguard, phone operator, parent…

…Lindsey Roberson, a [North Carolina] assistant district attorney, said…if [whores] complete certain mandated steps, the charges will be dropped…they [must] accept responsibility, go through trauma counseling, a vocational assessment, and – if needed – substance abuse treatment…Thom Goolsby…said [his] new law makes North Carolina the “toughest state in the union on pimps and johns”…

So women are infantilized and brainwashed and men are “hammered”.Cathy Reisenwitz

A Procrustean Bed (TW3 #339)

Cathy Reisenwitz on New York’s “trafficking” court:

…the policy…is a paternalistic perception that strips women of agency in an attempt to protect them from their own choices. “Saving” sex workers, after arresting and arraigning them, will not accomplish the court’s goals…special courts fail to recognize the people who are not hurting themselves or anyone else, but are criminals only by law…sex workers are potentially human trafficking’s most effective foes, as they are ideally situated to identify sex slavery and alert the authorities. Or they would be if they did not risk arrest and prosecution for doing so…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #339)

Another good article about Equality Now from Melissa Gira Grant:

It’s not something you expect to hear from a women’s rights group:  our prostitutes are better than yours.  But that’s the tone struck by Equality Now in their new campaign against United Nations recommendations that sex work be decriminalized. Claiming that the UN “ignores survivors of prostitution,” Equality Now and their allied anti-prostitution organizations have offered their own experts who have worked in the sex trade – who all also happen to agree with them that prostitution must remain illegal…despite evidence that illegality is dangerous, and despite even sex workers’ own demands.  This is why you will find a former prosecutor…now leading this ostensibly human rights campaign…

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What are whores about?  –  Nigel Birch

Six years ago today Brigadier John Dennis Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo, CBE, died at the age of 91.  To most outside the Commonwealth, his name is probably somewhat obscure; but older British readers and those familiar with the history of the Cold War will remember him as the central figure in the Profumo Affair, a sex scandal which broke 49 years ago this month and played a large part in toppling the government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.  The affair was for over three decades (at least until Monica Lewinsky) practically the definition of a political scandal, and inspired a number of books, plays and movies, most recently the 1989 film Scandal (in which Profumo was portrayed by Ian McKellen).

Despite his Italian name and title, “Jack” Profumo was wholly English (his family immigrated in the mid-19th century and his father was born in London).  He received his commission in July of 1939 and distinguished himself in North Africa, Italy and Normandy, winning an OBE and the American Bronze Star and eventually retiring with the rank of Brigadier.  From 1940-1945 he was also the Tory MP for Kettering, and after the war became active in politics, rising through a number of posts throughout the 1950s to the position of Secretary of State for War in 1960.  He was married (in 1954) to actress Valerie Hobson, who was quite devoted and had even left the stage for him.  To all appearances, he was destined for great things…until he unwisely became involved with a call girl named Christine Keeler.

He met her in July of 1961 at a house party given by Lord Astor; also in attendance were his wife and Dr. Stephen Ward, a prominent osteopath who treated many powerful politicians.  Ward also had a sideline; he was, to put it bluntly, a pimp.  Oh, not the sort who thinks he owns girls and takes their money, but rather the more genteel type who charges otherwise-independent girls “finder’s fees” for arranging dates for them with his wealthy and important clients.  Keeler, needless to say, was one of the girls he worked with, and when he saw how Profumo looked at her he wasted no time in introducing them.  Had Keeler been a true professional we might never have heard more, but she wasn’t; she was really more of a swinging ‘60s party girl who took money to finance her lifestyle, and she had no qualms about getting emotionally involved with her clients and other men.  Her relationship with Profumo soon grew from a professional one into an actual affair, and for the first four months of 1962 she was his mistress; in a ghostwritten 2001 autobiography she claimed to have had an abortion after becoming pregnant by him.  Even that probably wouldn’t have mattered had the attention of MI5 not been attracted by the fact that another of her regular clients was the Soviet naval attaché, Evegeny Ivanov.

Though Profumo was disliked by several highly-placed individuals in the spy organization, it was not in the best interests of national security to reveal anything yet…especially since the Secretary was also a personal friend of the young Queen Elizabeth II.  But the chaos that was Keeler’s life eventually dictated otherwise; in December of 1962, her current boyfriend  (a Jamaican drug dealer named “Lucky” Gordon) got into a knife-fight with her former boyfriend Johnny Edgecombe, and despite the fact that it seems Keeler was the one who drew Edgecombe into the altercation she refused to help him combat an assault charge resulting from his wounding Gordon.  All this drama obviously attracted the attention of the press, and though the rumor of Profumo’s involvement with her quickly spread nobody could yet prove anything.

Meanwhile, John Lewis (the Labour MP for Bolton) suspected that Dr. Ward had seduced his wife, and so had him investigated; he discovered he was wrong on that account, but in the process found out about Profumo’s fling with Keeler.  A few weeks after the press took interest in her sordid affairs, Lewis shared his information with at least two other politicians; by February Bob Kerby (Tory MP for Arundel and Shoreham and a former MI6 man) got ahold of a copy of a letter Profumo had indiscreetly written Keeler a year before, and which she was now trying to sell in Fleet Street to raise money for her legal difficulties.  Kerby passed that letter to veteran journalist Andrew Roth, who published it in his Westminster Confidential newsletter in March of 1963…at which point the crumpet hit the fan.  The Prime Minister demanded Roth be deprived of his press pass, Profumo threatened him with a libel suit and (as Roth put it) a “whitewash concocted overnight” by highly-placed Conservatives was read aloud in the House of Commons.  Profumo famously stated that “There was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler,” prompting outspoken MP Nigel Birch to respond with the question which forms my epigram.

Portrait of Christine Keeler by Lewis Morley, May 1963

The djinni, however, was out of the bottle; controversy raged in the press all through the spring and the Lord Chancellor threatened Profumo with an investigation.  Finally the embattled politician confessed everything to his wife while they were on holiday in Venice, and she immediately affirmed her loyalty to him and insisted they return at once to face the music.  On June 5th Profumo admitted his lies and resigned all his positions; an enraged Macmillan wanted to humiliate and punish him, but Her Majesty intervened and asked he be allowed to resign.  Ward was arrested soon afterward and prosecuted for “living on the avails”, and during the trial received numerous death-threats from powerful men who feared he would expose them.  When he knew he would be convicted he committed suicide via overdose of sleeping pills on July 30th, slipping into a coma and dying on August 3rd, 1963.  The government’s official report on the Profumo Affair was released on September 25th, and Macmillan (who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer) resigned immediately afterward.  A year later, the Tories lost the general election to Labour under Harold Wilson.

Christine Keeler soon vanished into obscurity, emerging almost 20 years later to author a number of accounts of the affair throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, each slightly different from the one before.  Profumo was independently wealthy due to his family’s insurance business, but a few months after his resignation he started volunteering at Toynbee Hall in London’s East End, initially by washing dishes (not cleaning toilets as Wikipedia claims) and later as a fund-raiser.  The support of his wife Valerie never wavered, and eventually he redeemed himself in the eyes of others as well; in 1975 he received a CBE for his decade of unremitting effort on behalf of Toynbee Hall, and in 1982 he became the charity’s chairman (and later its president).  In 1995 he was seated at Her Majesty’s right hand for Margaret Thatcher’s 70th birthday party, signaling that he had at last been wholly absolved of his sins.  Valerie died on November 13th, 1998 and Profumo followed her a little over seven years later, never having truly forgiven himself; as his friend Jim Thomson, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, once said, “No one judges Jack Profumo more harshly than he does himself…he says he has never known a day since it happened when he has not felt real shame”.  But perhaps a more fitting epitaph was once provided by his wife: “It isn’t what happens to a man, it’s what he does with it that matters.”

One Year Ago Today

March Updates” reports on efforts in New York to ban the use of condoms as evidence, Gail Dines’ ludicrous porn alarmism, the expansion of CNN’s war on whores, and Russian news agencies using the claims of trafficking fetishists in anti-US propaganda.

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