Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The War on Whores’

Scholars who pathologize sex workers in the classroom grant the state license to mete out gratuitous violence in the streets.  –  Rahsaan Mahadeo

Maggie in the Media

I was recently interviewed on an Australian sex worker radio show named Behind Closed Doors; it was originally supposed to be only one show, but Kitty, Dean & I were enjoying ourselves so much we just kept going and did a two-parter!  Here it is in podcast form (Part One & Part Two); I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed talking!

The Course of a Disease

The Swedish rot has reached Eastern Europe:

Since July 1, in Latvia…[prostitution is technically not] illegal  as politicians have been unable to reach a compromise on this issue…The only [criminalization] proposal has been submitted by the party alliance Attīstībai/Par! (AP!) and its sets forth punishing only the buyer of the prostitution services and not the person providing them.  The proposal is to be reviewed in the Interior Ministry. Following this process, the ministry plans to bring the draft law for discussion in the government…

The Notorious Badge

Critics just can’t resist inserting their own dumb beliefs about whores into even good reviews:

Alice, the feature debut from Australian writer-director Josephine Mackerras, is…a leftfield take on female empowerment…Alice…discovers that her husband has cleaned out their accounts and stopped paying their mortgage; a bit of digging later and she discovers the money has been spent on prostitutes…With the bank threatening to foreclose on her home and a huge sum to pay…Alice agrees to work for the very escort agency her husband favoured; there is quite simply nothing else that will keep the roof over her head…Mackerras’s take on prostitution won’t be for everyone, and it does sugar-coat the profession somewhat, but it’s a sympathetic and often gutsy portrait of a woman doing what she must, and surviving, even thriving…

Acknowledging that selling sex is pragmatic and lucrative is “sugar-coating”.

Feminists and Other Puritans

An excerpt from The Feminist War on Crime by Aya Gruber

…The feminist penal regimes implemented in the 1980s and 1990s are now entrenched institutions overseen by prosecutors…administrators, and for-profit actors with vested interests in their continued survival.  Politicians are certainly not apologizing for VAWA…[and] plenty of feminists…remain committed not just to upholding the existing feminist crime control regimes and closing “loopholes” in them but also to creating new ones—new antitrafficking laws, revenge-porn laws, laws against hosting prostitution ads, [etc]…Campus antirape sentiments have proven a boon to prosecutors eager to implement strict versions of affirmative consent…and expand pro-prosecution trial rules…some of the most ardent prison critics…proceed as if there were a carve-out to the mass incarceration critique for sexual misconduct—including, or perhaps especially, intoxicated sex or sex without affirmative consent—even though there is no such carve-out for aggravated assault, drug dealing, or even murder…

Wise Investment (#1024)

In every country, sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

Liberal scholar [and long-time critic of the Chinese Communist Party] Xu Zhangrun has hired two lawyers to prepare legal action against police who accused him of soliciting prostitution…Xu was dismissed by Tsinghua University in Beijing…after he was taken away by police who [claimed] that the…scholar had solicited prostitutes in the southwestern city of Chengdu last year.  Xu, who had taught at Tsinghua for 20 years, was sacked because of “moral corruption”…The law professor…[hired] lawyers Mo Shaoping and Shang Baojun, and former human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang…to represent him…in an attempt to overturn an administrative ruling b[ased on a]…confession…police [pretend he made but]…Xu [denies]…

The Cop Myth (#1045)

Sociologists may at last be admitting their role in creating the police state:

Now is the time for sociology to reckon with its role…in the production of a criminal legal system subsidized by Black captivity, dispossession, debt and death…Any academic attempt to distinguish between “good policing” and “bad policing” or “overpolicing” and “underpolicing” makes policing itself not just theoretically possible, but legitimate…The University of Minnesota has already committed to cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.  Now it and other sociology programs around the country must take the next step by canceling carceral curricula…According to an American Sociological Association report, “criminology/delinquency” was the highest-ranked specialization sought by employers…in 2019.  Courses like “Deviant Behavior,” “Criminal Behavior and Social Control”…and “Juvenile Delinquency” not only legitimize state violence, but also employ academics…sociologists fail to consider how “deviance,” “delinquency,” “criminal” and “terrorist” still conjure up racialized images that cops…and [spooks]…use…to…justify the killing of people of color…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1060)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

[Pennsylvania politician] Mike Folmer [was convicted on child pornography charges despite]…pleas [that the]…judge [should let him skate because Jesus]…Folmer [was]…sentence[d to 2 years in prison]…8 years on probation…[and] sex offender [registration] for 15 years…[his] defense attorney [also made the bizarre argument that he should be let off easy because he is a career sociopath]…“He had an addiction to pornography,” [attorney Brian] Perry said…Folmer [demonstrated his megalomania]…to the judge…[by comparing himself to] King David…

Read Full Post »

I have no plans to stop fighting this war until there is no breath left in me.  And truth be told, I’m not even sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  –  “Ninth Anniversary

Ten years is a long time for one human to do anything without a break, much less publish a blog post without missing a single day.  But then, I’ve never been one for taking breaks; I’ve always considered them little more than a delay in whatever it is that I’m doing.  And when that “whatever” is fighting a war for self-ownership and human rights…well, as the epigram says, I’m not sure I could stop even if I wanted to.  Certainly, I’ve slowed down; when I first started this blog a decade ago, I used to publish an all-new essay every day, and the essays were much longer on average.  But as I exorcised at least a little of the righteous fury which fuels my activism, and my other activities expanded to take up more of my time, I was forced to fill an increasing number of daily slots with shorter, easier-to-write posts.  Only two days in the average week now see original essays, and I feature a lot more of what most would consider typical blog posts than in the past.  On the other hand, I’ve written lots of non-blog articles for magazines, books, etc, and I’m about to publish my fifth book; I’ve also got a documentary called The War on Whores and I give dozens of interviews for articles, radio, video, and TV every year, plus more public appearances than I can count.  So even though my blog isn’t growing as quickly as it once did (and, thanks to Google’s censorship, is seen by fewer new readers than in times past), my public presence is still growing.  And given that all of that public presence is dedicated toward fighting for my cause, I would consider that a win.

Read Full Post »

This is only the third leap year since I’ve started the blog; since it doesn’t come around often, I don’t really have any set pattern for what it should look like.  But when I looked back at the last one, I found some guidance:

Where will I be on February 29th, 2020?  Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat?  How many new books will I have written?  Will I still be living in Seattle?  What will my income be like?  What new experiences will I have had?  How well-known will I be?  Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day?  Will I even be alive?  There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.

There’s been a lot of change since then, but fortunately not as much as over the four years before (though I’m traveling more than ever).  Obviously I’m still posting every day, but aside from news columns the average length is shorter and Fridays are sometimes quite short. My fourth book will be out soon, and I have plans for two more this year and three next year, including a third collection of short stories; I also have a documentary, The War on Whores, that was still in the talking-about stages last leap day.  I’m still spending most of my time in Seattle, though of course now I have my farm, Sunset; on the last leap day I hadn’t even decided to relocate yet (that didn’t happen until December of that year).  I’m making about the same as I did four years ago, but expending a lot less effort to do so; in fact, I don’t do traditional escort advertising any more except for my personal website and free ad sites, and I plan to mostly stop taking new clients at the end of this year unless they have impeccable references.  I’m still alive, but unfortunately so is “sex trafficking” hysteria; however, it has backfired on its creators and promoters in a way I didn’t quite predict, with over half of Americans now supporting decriminalization (many of them because of the hysteria rather than in spite of it), and strong pro-decriminalization momentum in a number of US states.  And as I head toward the tenth anniversary of this blog, I’m seeing a slow shift in the way I live my life (for the better, I think).  Will I be around to answer these same questions on February 29th, 2024?  Only time will tell.  But as I look at all I’ve done over the past decade, I can say that I’m reasonably satisfied with my life and accomplishments.  And as that’s not something I’ve ever really been able to say at the end of any prior decade, I think it’s enough.

Read Full Post »

Now that I’ve got a number of different products for sale, I had to rearrange my bookshelves in The Den (that’s what I call my city lair) to accomodate them all (and yes, I ordered another box of The Forms of Things Unknown when I realized I was down to one).  I’ve also added The War on Whores DVD to my store, which is the only way you can get a physical DVD (autographed, natch).  Furthermore, I’ve finished the primary edit of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II, and now I’m working on the foreword, front matter, and all that stuff; once I get that uploaded I can get the cover template to my artist Shannon Reeves, and we’ll be on course for publication in April!  That’s good because I’ll be headed to an exclusive event in New Orleans in late May, and I want to have those with me.  I’ve also heard that I may be making a short visit to Austin in March; neither of the things I’m attending are public events, but if you’re in either of those cities and would like to see me while I’m there, please let me know ASAP so we can fit you into my schedules (Austin will probably be tight; New Orleans will be looser because I’ll be visiting friends while I’m down there).  Remember, this is probably my last year of taking new clients without very strong references, so if you want to be in the club it would be better not to wait!

Read Full Post »

Last week was one in which a number of things fell quietly into place.  I was able to get all my courtesy copies (and several autographed sale copies) of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I sent out, and got it added to my store as well; I also got most of the editing done for Volume II, and this week I plan to add The War on Whores DVD to the store.  I made backup plans for Florida should the Tampa event fall through, got out to Sunset to celebrate Imbolc by making a big pot of gumbo, and helped Grace do a lot of the trim for my bookcases.  Also, she had a good discussion last week with a young man who’s going to be doing a lot of the actual crawling-under-the-house part of the floor leveling project, and they’re both ready to start that as soon as the ground is drier (we recently had several weeks of really heavy rain out there).  Readers who’ve been following that saga know it’s been put off several times over the past two years, so it’s nice that it’ll be happening at last.  Then the day before I left for Sunset last week, I received another book in the Shaver Mystery set from a reader whom I believe prefers to remain anonymous.  I was already familiar with a lot of the Amazing Stories Shaver covers because I enjoy that sort of thing, but was rather pleased to see this reproduction of one I’ve never seen before on the back cover (because one can never have too many Snake Mama pictures).  Oh, and I have a new article in the current issue of Reason.  Is that everything worthy of public note?  I think so, but if not I can always mention it next week.

Read Full Post »

I was recently talking to Paul Johnson, director & producer of my documentary The War on Whores, about our next plans for disseminating the movie; one important part of those plans is getting onto platforms like iTunes and Google Play.  Unfortunately, unlike Vimeo and Amazon, the only way to get onto those sites is to be placed there by middlemen called “video aggregators”, who naturally charge for the privilege.  I don’t quite have enough left from the fundraiser to do it, so I asked Paul to explain what we need.

Thanks to your generous support to help market The War on Whores!  This has been nothing short of a great success so far:  we have held screenings from to coast to coast in the U.S., in Canada, Austria and Thailand and more to come.  Video downloads have been purchased by viewers in 19 countries so far,  and this is all thanks to YOUR help.

We have one more ask from you:  we are working to get the film on two new distribution platforms to broaden this movement even further.  We are now trying to raise $1800 to cover the cost of a video aggregator making the film available on itunes and Google Play.  This will allow a whole new universe of viewers to see the film and understand more about the critical fight for decriminalizing Sex Work among consenting adults.

Thanks for your any help you can give to this important project!

Don’t forget the gifts I offered are all still good!  And if you donated already but didn’t receive your gifts, please let me know; my summertime anxiety may have addled my brain enough to overlook you!  Here’s a reminder of them:

$30 or more – Donor
Permanent inclusion in blog-supporter deals (free stories, etc).

$60 or more – Friend
Autographed DVD of The War on Whores

$125 or more – Sponsor
Autographed copies both of my books, plus The War on Whores DVD.

$250 or more – Patron
When I’m in your city, I’ll have coffee with you and hand-deliver the Sponsor-level gifts!

$500 or more – Angel
When I’m in your city, I’ll have a leisurely dinner with you and hand-deliver all the Patron-level gifts!

$1000 or more – Producer
I will make a special trip to the city of your choice and give a full screening of the movie, with Q&A session, to the group of your choice!  If you have no special group, I’ll give you the Angel package without your having to wait until I reach your city!

Read Full Post »

Diary #483

When I scheduled my flights for my Washington trip a couple of weeks ago, I could see that the trip east would go relatively smoothly, but the trip back would be tighter; accordingly, I packed very light so I didn’t have to bring my roller bag.  That way, if I got wedged into a flight at the last second, I could take my bag with me instead of being forced to gate-check it (because I absolutely despise checking luggage).  The trip out wasn’t bad; everything was on time and I made my connections, and the only problem was that on the scond leg I got put in a middle seat next to a dude who thought it was a wonderful idea to leave the window-shades open the whole time despite my polite warning that it was likely to trigger my vertigo (and of course I was correct, and only my practice of not eating for at least four hours before takeoff prevented me from making a really disgusting display of puking for over an hour instead of just embarrassing myself by retching up bile).  But a two-hour nap on Liz Brown’s couch put me to rights, and we had a lovely evening.  Then the event at the Reason offices on Thursday night went very well, and I got to meet several of the staff whose bylines I recognized, and some noteworthy people whose names you might recognize; I’m kind of hoping I managed to talk them into throwing a similar event at their Los Angeles office sometime soon!

Alas, the journey back did not go smoothly; bad weather in Chicago caused a very large number of cancelled flights which rippled through the system like falling dominoes.  I arrived at Reagan airport at 8 AM Friday, endured no fewer than seven reroutes and a similar number of postponements, and then a little before midnight the flight I was booked on by way of Dallas (which had been postponed half a dozen times since its originally-scheduled time of 4:30) was quietly and inexplicably cancelled without warning (despite the fact that we had repeatedly been assured for hours that the delays were almost over and we would be departing for Dallas at midnight).  The only way the passengers found out was that someone saw “cancelled” on the board next to the flight number, and almost 200 people were forced to line up at the customer service desk to be rerouted.  By the time that was finished it was almost 2 AM, and I saw little point in trying to find a hotel when I had to be back at the airport for 5.  So I wandered around a little, did some tweeting, had a croissant sandwich thing at 3 from Dunkin’ Donuts (literally the only thing open at that time in the main airport for the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth), then was forced to go back through the TSA gropeline at 4 to catch my 7 AM flight, which I had routed through Phoenix in the hopes of avoiding all the displaced Dallas travellers.  Fortunately, the return trip was exactly the opposite:  I was given a very good seat on a not-overcrowded plane and fell asleep during takeoff, then after a brief period of wakefulness around the time we crossed into Arkansas I found a very comfy position and slept like a baby until about 3 minutes before the captain announced we were landing.  After a 90-minute layover the next flight was just as smooth (though I didn’t sleep), and I found myself surprisingly energetic all afternoon and evening until I suddenly crashed just after 10 PM.  I was asleep by 10:30 and slept deeply for eleven and a half hours, then awoke none the worse for wear.  But even if I never have such an airline adventure again, it will still be much too soon.

Read Full Post »

Though I have several friends who are unhappy to see summer go, I don’t share their enthusiasm for long, bright, hot days.  And so as the days shorten and cool and the typical Seattle rains return until June, I breathe a sigh of relief at every sunset and I can feel the tension and anxiety slowly leaving my body.  It didn’t hurt that this year I discovered I could offset a lot of the summer anxiety by simply starting my evening edible an hour or two early; dealing with a lot of that on a daily basis prevented it from building up to the point where it took over a month to recover from, and that means I’m already starting to relax even though autumn just arrived with this week.  I’ve turned off the air conditioner and put away the floor fan; my desk lamp is going on earlier and I’m starting my edible a bit later again, and though I had to travel to Washington DC again this week (for my reception for The War on Whores tonight at the Reason magazine offices), I took it in stride and my nerves stayed relatively unfrazzled yesterday.  Let’s hope that all bodes well for the rest of this year, and the next as well.

Read Full Post »

Diary #481

September has been party month for the Seattle demimonde; after two I mentioned last week, there were two more this past weekend (both birthday parties because I know lots of Virgo sex workers).  Then of course we’ve got the upcoming reception for The War on Whores on September 26th at the Reason magazine offices in Washington DC, though of course that isn’t a birthday, isn’t a Virgo event, and isn’t in Seattle.  But it’s a party just the same!  And on Thursday, Lorelei and I used the excuse of a rescheduled duo to have a Who night featuring the return of our favorite flavored vodka; it’s no longer available in Washington but Lorelei found a source and made sure we were well restocked.  Add to that a good week for business, the return of cooler weather and shorter days, the arrival of three seasons of Green Acres on DVD thanks to Square Peg, and my discovery of a new and potent edible with no yucchy taste, and it was definitely a recipe for a good week; may Aphrodite grant me plenty more of similar quality over the rest of the year!

Read Full Post »

Remember the special edition Ladies of the Night with a unique hand-drawn sketch by Chester Brown, signed by both Chester and me?  Well, there’s now only one left!  It’s #6 in the edition, featuring the sketch shown here, and it’s available in my store until it’s sold.  So if you want one, this is your last chance and I wouldn’t wait much longer!  While you’re in the store, you might consider buying an autographed copy of one or both books, assuming you don’t already have one.  I’m also going to start selling The War on Whores DVDs there soon, and if you can help with my fundraiser it might speed up the process of generating more buzz about this important documentary.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »