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Posts Tagged ‘Toys for Tots’

Diary #440

My “Toys for Tots” special started with a bang this year, with $500 in donations in the first couple of days.  The picture below was the result of spending the first $350, and this week I’ll be doing another round; I’ve discovered it’s more fun to take Jae with me on the shopping trips because she gets really excited and it’s good to have another viewpoint on what kids might like.  Last week we even turned it into an outing, with dinner afterward.  I’m also doing some shopping for my own Christmas presents and assisting Santa with stocking stuffers, and working out my schedule for my various commitments for the holiday season.  It’s a lot of work and juggling, but it always feels rewarding.  And come Boxing Day I’ll be able to put up my feet and relax without feeling guilty about it.  Anyhow, the special ends one week from today, so if you’re going to take advantage of it, don’t dawdle!  Remember, you only need to book the appointment and pay the toy portion of the fee by then; we can schedule the appointment for later if you like, and you can relax knowing you’ve helped needy children to have a little joy on Christmas morning.

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It’s getting harder every year to avoid being exposed to premature Christmas decorations and music; this year I saw a few things in late September.   SEPTEMBER.  And I was seeing “Black Friday” garbage in my garbage email long before Halloween (I have a standing filter which automatically trashes any email with “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” in the subject line).  But in the past few years I’ve learned to minimize my non-grocery shopping in October and November so as to avoid being enraged by hasty idiots who don’t understand the concept of timeliness, so it wasn’t intolerable.  Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids. If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special, which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  From now until December 11th, book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys). Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule. If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  If you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal (to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) or Cash app (to $MaggieMcNeill) anyway; make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind).  And if you want to take advantage of the special but don’t have time to actually see me by the 11th, that’s OK too; you can prepay and schedule the appointment for later.  I want to make this as easy as possible for you, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #389

Yesterday I wrapped up my annual Toys for Tots drive, which turned out to be the best one since I arrived in Seattle!  Today I’m taking all of these toys to the collection center, and I want to offer a big thank-you to everyone who donated (and to all those who donated to your own local drive).  Christmas is less than two weeks away now; I’ll be driving up to Sunset a week from Saturday with Jae in tow, and we’re going to spend the holiday with Grace.  But from now until January 6th (discounting the holiday weekend) I’m offering a holiday special for regular readers and subscribers.  Interested?  You’ll need to email me for details!  But I will say it’s available even if I have to travel to you, though the details are a bit different.  As usual, serious inquiries only please!  And if you’re inclined to get me a present, donations of any size are always welcome, and I’m going to try to add more to my Amazon wishlist!

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Diary #388

This year, just about everyone who took advantage of my Toys for Tots special gave me cash, so I’ve made several shopping trips; Jae was a tomboy when she was young, so she came along on the second trip and helped me pick out boys’ toys.  I try to roughly balance boys’ toys, girls’ toys, unisex toys (such as games & puzzles) and small children’s toys, and while I usually make more than one trip to the dropoff location I think I might do it all in one load this time, just because it’s more impressive.  Remember, the last day is Monday the 11th, only six days from today; if you don’t have time to see me before that, you can send the $100 in advance and I’ll honor it for your appointment later.  In case you’ve forgotten the details, here they are again:

book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys).  Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule.  If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, please consider donating via PayPal or Google wallet anyway; use my regular email address (maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) and make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind)…

Whores and children are Saint Nick’s favorites, so it has always seemed appropriate to me that at his special time of year, the former should make a special effort to help the latter.

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Now that Grace is here in Washington, I’ll actually be cooking a whole Thanksgiving dinner by myself for the first time since 2014.  Oh, it probably won’t be as big and elaborate as the ones I used to make in the old days, but it’ll have turkey (no, it’s not dry and nasty when I make it) and dressing and gravy and pumpkin pie and all that.  And I’ll get to spend a couple of days at Sunset, which will be nice for a change.  Then Friday is the start of the Yuletide season; this year I managed to stay away from enough retail stores that I didn’t have to endure much-too-early holiday decorations & music, which is a promising start.  See, I keep the holiday season for loved ones and generosity rather than conspicuous consumption, so it hasn’t been ruined for me.  And that reminds me:  starting Friday, I’m running my annual Toys for Tots special which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  It will run until December 11th, and you don’t even need to be in Seattle to take advantage of it!  If you’re interested, please read Friday’s column for details; if you don’t want to wait until then just email me (serious inquiries only, please).  Here’s to the holiday season; won’t you consider spending a little slice of it with me?

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  –  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Toys for Tots 2003Long-time readers know that I am a firm believer in the Ecclesiastean principle, that there is a proper season for everything and that everything should be in its season.  And because of this, I get very vocal (let’s be honest: bitchy) when I see freaking stores putting out Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving; this year my patience was sorely tested by stores actually putting out Christmas shit BEFORE FUCKING HALLOWEEN.  But because I’ve gone over this so many times before, I’m going to give y’all a break from my anti-gun-jumper, anti-“Black Friday” shrieking; those of you who haven’t read one of my day-after-Thanksgiving rants before (or those who have, but are feeling a tad masochistic today) can click on the links I’ve helpfully provided there for the last four such polemics.  Instead, I’m going to give you three wonderful ways you can help St. Nick’s favorite people, whores and children, this holiday season.

1) SWOP Behind Bars has a new program that will help you bring some cheer to incarcerated sex workers.  Seasonal depression affects many people, but for people locked up in prisons it must be almost unimaginably difficult to bear.  Getting mail is one of the few bright spots in their days, and even if you don’t have the time or dedication for a full-time pen pal, SWOP is making it easy for you to send greeting cards to them:

You provide greeting cards and stamps…
We provide names and mailing addresses of incarcerated sex workers…
…Your guests can send holiday greetings and messages of cheer and goodwill without taking on a full time pen pal!

Just click on this link and write a short email saying how many guests you expect at your party; SWOP “will send you the names of 3 incarcerated sex workers per guest to send a card to!”  Such an easy, inexpensive way to show support, and if you want to do more you can send them books from their wishlists!

2) Every year at this time, I run a “Toys for Tots” special: from today until Friday, December 16th, anyone who books with me for at least an hour at my normal rate and brings new, unwrapped toys will receive an extra 10 minutes per toy (maximum 60 extra minutes for 6 toys).  For just one short trip to a toy store or big-box store and a modest expenditure, you can double your time with me and bring joy to a needy child who might otherwise be cheated of a holiday gift.  If you don’t want a date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, please consider donating a toy or money anyway!

3) The Salvation Army is a horrible, anti-sex organization which uses a large fraction of its income to fund anti-whore and anti-GLBT campaigns; though its bell-ringers are ubiquitous at this time of year, please DO NOT give them any money!  Contribute to either of the worthy causes above, or if you prefer charities which help the homeless there are many more deserving than the Sallies, such as this one headed by my friend, Allena Gabosch.  And if you want to be like a politician and “send a message”, you can print out the protest slip below and shove it into a kettle in lieu of real money.

Do any one, or all three!  Because they’re all a lot more positive and life-affirming than trampling children to get 20% off a new blu-ray player or something.Salvation Army donation

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Rhoda Grant…believes sex workers are imbeciles who should be denied the right to earn a living and subjected to state-sanctioned sexual assault to ensure that they comply with the dictates imposed upon their profession.  –  Kate Gould

New Book Reviews
Xaviera Hollander at 69

An interview with Xaviera Hollander, now a 69-year-old hotelier in Amsterdam.  Here’s my favorite bit:

It’s not as if she became a prostitute through lack of options. She speaks five languages. She was once voted Holland’s best secretary. She reads Philip Roth and Dostoyevsky. She…calls herself “a theatrical entrepreneur.” Yet she has never regretted her main career choice. “To get paid for what you enjoy? Is good, no?”

Think of the Children!

[Carol Ann Eastman,] an English teacher…in North Canton, Ohio…[published] a raunchy erotic novel [entitled Schooled] under the pseudonym Deena Bright…According to The Repository…Eastman’s students are responsible for outing [her]… the novel follows a teacher who has steamy sexual encounters with fellow teachers…[and] former students…to get revenge on her two-timing husband…many local parents feel Eastman shouldn’t teach high school…if she also publishes bawdy fiction…[she] agreed to a five-day suspension without pay for violating the…computer use policy…

License To Rape

It’s a sad statement about our society that this was necessary:

…jurors…won’t hear about [the] prostitution conviction…[of a woman who] says [Denver cop Hector] Paez arrested her…in May 2010, drove her to a secluded spot and coerced her into performing oral sex by threatening to take her to jail.  Paez’s defense…asked to question the woman about…a prostitution charge…[but] Judge John Madden said…”The information is highly unfairly prejudicial and (runs) a significant risk of confusing the issue”…The woman…has told jurors about her history of theft and heroin addiction.  Prosecutor Doug Jackson said it is precisely that troubled past that…made her an appealing target…

Meanwhile, in Ireland: “A [policeman was]…arrested…after a woman alleged he had raped her…he…was among a number of gardaí working on a…brothel…raid…[he later] went to one ofLucius Crawford the properties…and committed the alleged rape…

Shifting the Blame

Lucius Crawford, 60, was arrested for stabbing a woman and has now “confessed to three murders, including the slaying of a Bronx prostitute…Long Island authorities are investigating if he is connected to the mass murder of sex workers in Suffolk County…

Not an Addiction

In a word:  No.

Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes was a murder addict…”Israel Keyes didn’t kidnap and kill people because he was crazy…[or] because his deity told him to or because he had a bad childhood.  Israel Keyes did this because he got an immense amount of enjoyment out of it, much like an addict gets…out of drugs,” said Anchorage, Alaska, police Detective Monique Doll…

Against Their Will

Careful reading finds the most interesting details tucked away in news stories: “Senators [in the Philippines support]…strengthening the law against human trafficking… the bill…[would] ensure added protection for…law enforcers, who have been recipients of harassment suits for ‘lawful acts done in good faith during authorized rescue operations’…”  In other words, it makes cops and bureaucrats immune to lawsuits filed by sex workers who were “rescued”Fuck you, traitor against their will.

My Readers Write

Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon just can’t understand why some women prefer not to identify as feminist, so Aspasia brilliantly explains it to her.  Of course Williams won’t read it and wouldn’t understand if she did, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.

Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through

…[Scott Pipher was] charged with hiring a prostitute…[after] he called police to complain that the woman “shorted him 10 minutes”…[the] investigation…[also] led to the arrests of two alleged prostitutes…Pipher is named on the Web sites National Blacklist and Bad Boy Client List as…being “notorious for booking out-calls and then not answering his door or phone”…

Though the author uses phrases like “so-called escort”, it’s interesting that she thought to consult those sites and didn’t bother to define “out-call” [sic].

Guest Columnist:  Norma Jean Almodovar

On an information page prepared by Norma Jean for the students of Dr. Rhacel Parrenas, I encountered the following chart: examine it and consider the amount of money, manpower and press devoted to “human trafficking” in comparison with the vastly more common (and real) violent crimes.US criminal statistics for 2011

Follow Your Bliss

Moon Tae-Hwa stares at his computer, dizzy and nauseous from the hours of porn he’s viewed…He feels no shame — only a righteous sense of mission…Moon is among the most successful members of the “Nuri Cops”…a squad of nearly 800 volunteers who help…censors by patrolling the Internet for pornography in their spare time…pornography is illegal in South Korea, though…easy…to find…”It’s like shoveling snow in a blizzard,” Moon conceded…

The Nuri Cops:  selflessly devoting their lives to watching porn so others can’t.

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week Korhomme sent me a copy of Sex and Punishment, a history of attempts to regulate sexual activity (see picture below).  Thank you very much!

The Immunity Syndrome

Compare and contrast with similar kerfuffles in the US:

Ganz schön intim (“Really Quite Intimate”) is a 152-page…[sex education] publication…[which] includes detailed…information on masturbation, homosexuality and intersexuality…[conservative and religious groups]…called it “disturbing” and “a discredit to the so-called core family”…[and] called for [it] to be withdrawn…the government in Vienna and the pamphlet’s producers…[are] largely unmoved by the brouhaha…

Above the Law

How police privilege and anti-prostitution laws endanger all women:

…Forest Park [Georgia] police arrested Omar Shannondoah Chester…[after he] forced [a woman] into his apartment…beat her…[and] stated, “I am an FBI agent and you are under arrest for prostitution”…When she said she was not a prostitute, and her children were outside, he…[let her] go…[she] then ran out…and called police…

Sex & Punishment
Small Choice

If this article had been published in the US, you can bet it would be warped to fit the “trafficking” paradigm.  But since it’s from Al Jazeera, the problems are discussed without denying the women’s agency or the advantages of their arrangement:

…commercial brokers fly Korean men into Vietnam to meet women, and many tie the knot within a week.  The South Korean government is concerned these marriages could breed greater social problems. So it is investing to increase these couples’ success rates [via] “orientation” classes [for Vietnamese women]…some marriages crumble [if] Vietnamese women [marry] for money only.  Another factor is the…average 17 years’ difference [between spouses], according to researchers Daniele Belanger and Tran Giang Linh…there have been reports of South Korean men beating and killing their foreign wives…[and] migrant wives committing suicide…International marriages, however, have worked out for many couples in South Korea.  Belanger and Linh have written that “marriage migration” has empowered Vietnamese women.  Girls who once served their families have now become decision-makers thanks to the [economic] leverage granted to them…

Uncharted Seas

Gay activist Alex Andreou on “Why I’m Conflicted About Marriage Equality”:

I…fear that it will create an added pressure to conform.  I recall fighting…in…the late eighties…hand-in-hand with transsexual prostitutes and militant dykes…being chased by police and beaten with clubs.  What we were fighting for was an acceptance of all different ways of expressing love and sexuality; it was a desire for more, not less, sexual liberation…What we have instead is an attempt to absorb that sexual freedom into conformism.  Instead of dragging the world into liberation, we have somehow managed to drag the LGBT community into neo-Puritanism…

Longtime readers will remember I made the same point in “Divided We Fall”.

Metaupdates

Creeping Rot (July Updates, Part Two)

The European Women’s Lobby (a group so detached from reality that it believes a video of a dude performing cunnilingus on a bunch of women will somehow turn men off to paying for sex), claiming to represent over 200 (unnamed) women’s groups, last week “demanded” the European Union impose the Swedish model on member states despite the fact that it does not actually have that power.  The English Collective of Prostitutes responded with a well-linked nine-point refutation of the EWL’s absurd, unsupported claims; guess which one got worldwide media coverage?

Toys for Tots (First Updates of the Year, Part Two)

The Platinum Cabaret…in Fayetteville, Ark…is…offering free lap dances in exchange for donations to Toys for Tots…“As long as it’s done in a legal manner, as long as people are bringing us new, unwrapped toys, we don’t get into how they were gathered and what the process was,” [said] John Staples, coordinator for Toys for Tots…But another Toys for Tots chapter wasn’t quite as forgiving when…Pleasures — an adult toy store in Huntsville [Alabama] –- [offered] any customer who brings in a gift for Toys for Tots their choice of a complimentary sex toy…”Toys for Tots should not be advertised at an adult store,” [said] Ret. Major Brian A. Murray…

Considering how much money US Marines collectively spend on sex workers every year, it’s absurd for some Marines to make nonsensical anti-sex work statements just to please prudes.

Crime Against Society (TW3 #14)

sex offender licenseAs I reported, people who were on Louisiana’s “sex offender” registry due to the overturned “crime against nature by solicitation” law can petition to be removed.  According to Deon Haywood of WWAV, “around 75 people have already had themselves removed from the registry, and around 100 people are waiting for a judge to hear their motions…We haven’t had one person that’s been rejected…

What a Week! (TW3 #22)

I’m sure this had absolutely nothing to do with the owner’s winning a judgment against the city a few months ago:  “State and federal police have raided inner-city Sydney brothel Stiletto, owned by gambling identity Eddie Hayson…A spokeswoman for NSW police said the search warrant was attached to a joint operation codenamed Polaris making investigations ‘into a drug and money laundering syndicate’…”  Unsurprisingly, they found absolutely nothing.

Wise Investment (TW3 #31)

Officials admit that they knew their law to hold websites criminally liable for third-party content was unconstitutional:

The state of Washington has abandoned its defense of legislation…that could have exposed website operators to legal liability…The Internet Archive, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation…worried that [the law] could effectively make its archives of the Web illegal…so it joined a lawsuit by Backpage.com…now Washington state officials have…[agreed] to permanently block the law…[and] will pay $200,000 to defray the plaintiffs’ legal expenses, and Washington state attorney general Rob McKenna will “work with the…legislature to repeal the current unconstitutional version” of the law.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #35)Sunitha Krishnan

You’d think that in the age of ultra-realistic digital effects, people would recognize that just because someone made a movie doesn’t mean the subject is real:  “[Sunitha Krishnan] has rescued thousands of women from prostitution and [has taken]…her advocacy to films, through [Ente,] a depiction of a real life sex-trafficking story…The activist…says she has received death threats and been targeted by acid attacks and even beaten up over a dozen times…”  All the beatings have succeeded, yet not one of the acid attacks or death threats have?  How convenient!

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #49)

Kate Gould is not a sex worker, but she’s done her homework and clearly “gets it”.  Her attack on Rhoda Grant’s Swedish model campaign, “Why I’m Opposed to Criminalising the Purchase of Sex”, is excellent, but the comment thread is suffering from the usual influx of lie-vomiting trafficking fanatics and deserves input from rational sex worker supporters (hint, hint).  Meanwhile, here’s Dr. Brooke Magnanti on how the proposed law as written will actually (like California’s Proposition 35) criminalize many human interactions virtually nobody would call “prostitution”.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

This week I exploded lots of lies, including ones about adolescents, the Super Bowl, decriminalization, STIs in porn, the purpose of a law, prostitution terminology and “sex trafficking”, and Julian Assange.  We also looked at bad jobs and the meaning of “legalization”, and saw a sleighful of short articles on HIV, halfway whores, maid cafes, sex rays, spiders, Rachel Wotton, Jill Brenneman, an important “trafficking” study, pompous masseuses, politician sex crimes, France, a pervert prosecutor, lethal butt injections, “sex school”, schadenfreude, Pedobear and strippers.

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