I’ll tell ya what good I see out of the last few days – it cut through a lot of the stuff otherwise I would have had to try to point out. But now it’s there for everyone to see – Mary Daly,”radical feminism”, Janice Raymond, CATW, Sheila Jeffreys, Prostitution, Control through silencing – it’s all been nicely laid out over the last few days all over the place.
And now I can say that what I worry about, frankly – besides my own self – is the women of immigration, not just to the US, and how if you control the women, and where they go – you control the children, and you control the men too.
Check this out, I found it on Democracy Now the other day, it’s about a year old. This, I think, is good ammunition to use against those who push the “Swedish Model” for ending demand of “commercial sex”. People who aren’t really informed about the “swedish model” probably don’t realize that the Sweden today isn’t the same swingin’ cool Sweden we saw depicted in late 70′s softcore porn. It’s the Sweden that loves Bush and Rove. I mean I’ve got a category called “the ASTM and the NeoCons” because if anyone bothers to look it’s sort of obvious – but this little interview from democracy now really sums it up better than my long rambling posts do: (and oh yeah, I made a blog thing on salon, and posted about this interview and some other general sex workers’ rights vs. moralizing prick type stuff if you want to check it out, i just figured that maybe some people would see it there and start noticing the swedish model problem) (– also, yeah, some stuff in this interview might be of interest to non-prostitutes’-rights-obsessed people too) and there is video of the interview thru the headline link:
Over on Concerned Women for America I came across audio of Martha Kleder interviewing Dr. Janice Crouse about the Center for Sex and Culture’s “Strategic Plan to Promote a Sexualized Culture” (audio pop up here or download here – note: made my browser lock up, fine once I closed the player) – The bolded bit is from me in order to point out the slanderous lies:
MK: “Dr. Crouse, it sounds almost ridiculous – a “strategic plan” for promoting I guess a positive view of sex – but there really is one [a strategic plan].”
DrC: “Well, it’s not very positive Martha. (laughs) The Center for Sex and Culture is a San Francisco, California group - no surprise there, right – but their recent four year plan, a strategic plan has just come to light, and it’s alarming. Their goal is to change the way Americans think about sex and obviously it’s an effort to desensitize Americans so that aberrant sexual practices will be considered mainstream. It’s astounding because the document is a well thought out strategic plan, they want to acclimatize the public to everything from sadomasochism to consensual sexual practices that are far outside the mainstream. They want to change the way that Americans think about sex, so that there’s a wider range of acceptability in sexual practices and that people will not react negatively to homosexuality and to some of the non-mainstream sexualities that they would like to see promoted.”
MK: “Well obviously it’s a San Francisco group trying to eliminate the ‘ewww’ factor from the topic of homosexual sex, what are some of their strategies?”
(In part 1 I looked at Polaris Project CEO Mark Lagon’s career history) Here I am talking about a recent post by Lagon on the Polaris Project blog that shows how he shamelessly panders to feminists:
Sigh. just sigh…. been another heartbreaking day over this way. Been reading and reading and reading.
You know the Polaris Project? They are an anti-trafficking powerhouse. The current Director is a neo-conservative who believes in:
the use of the various instruments of power in service of national interests and purposes — based on knowledge and appreciation of the American political economy and the Western moral tradition.
Let’s take a look at some of CEO Mark Lagon’s Polaris Project bio -
On cue, six officers in tactical gear swarm the bedroom, and the juvenile prostitute is caught. The “john” was actually an undercover officer.
This sting was just one of several made by Vancouver police officers and Clark County sheriff’s deputies Oct. 22 as part of a nationwide mission aimed at rescuing child prostitutes.
Spearheaded by the FBI, Operation Cross Country IV took place in 36 cities throughout the country Oct. 22 and the following weekend.
This was the first sting of its type in Vancouver, officials said.
The local operation netted the rescue of two underage prostitutes and the arrests of seven adult prostitutes and three alleged pimps, a signal that a problem once believed to be a Portland-only phenomenon or an underground Vancouver secret should now be treated as a salient issue, said Vancouver police Lt. John Chapman.
Chapman and police highlighted the operation’s results during a day-long training forum for local law enforcement officials Thursday at the Vancouver First Church of God in Hazel Dell.
The event was sponsored by Shared Hope International, a Vancouver organization that targets global sex slavery.
The first question that comes to mind is: what happens to the “rescued” juvenile prostitute? If you know, tell me in the comments please. : ) The second thing is: jesus, really? The cops are holding forums in churches? Yuck. Isn’t that some sort of violation of church and state?
(btw – the youngest was 16)
I submitted this post to Feministing.com’s community page, it was not approved.
I’ve decided to join the efforts to expose the motivations of the “anti-sex trafficking” movement which uses an “end the demand” approach to the sex-work industry. They say that as long as prostitution is seen as “acceptable” there will be women and children victimized by it. Because it’s too difficult (they say) to combat the actual abuses that may happen in a decriminalized or regulated industry, it’s more sensible to “end the demand” (which we all know has worked wonders for the Drug War). The practice of “ending demand” means shaming and imprisoning those who do not conform.
Today I’m writing about Linda Smith, former Republican Congresswoman, a social conservative who founded Shared Hope International, an “anti-sex trafficking” organization that now makes policy recommendations on how governments should legislate the sexuality of women. A couple weeks ago Ms. Smith spoke in front of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs pushing her “women are natural victims” and “nobody normal chooses to be a dirty whore” and “dirty women make men want to fuck kids” bullshit. The text of what she said is linked further down, but first you should read the bold parts of this excerpted description of her time in congress:
When I started this blog and said “it won’t have a constant stream of sex worker’s rights stuff”, apparently I lied. Sorry ’bout that.
To tell you the truth, I don’t even really think of it as sex-worker’s rights stuff, I think of it as general human rights stuff. It’s similar to when I would rail against the drug war; that wasn’t because I wanted to do drugs, it was because I’d seen so many people’s lives ruined by the attempted legislation of morality and I wanted it to stop. It wasn’t about the dope smokers and line snorters who got thrown in jail either, it was mostly about mandatory minimums being applied to drug offenses, which resulted in violent criminals being released, and the forfieture laws that violate the right to presumption of innocence and cost truly innocent people their homes, land and savings. I had been sentenced under mandatory minimum guidelines, and not too long after I’d been released a cop was shot and killed by a violent repeat offender named Robert “Mudman” Simon who’d been granted early parole:
In May 1995, Robert “Mudman” Simon, a motorcycle gang member, shot and killed a New Jersey police officer during a routine traffic stop. 4 Mudman had been paroled from a Pennsylvania prison only months before the attack. (source)
between 1970 and 1982, “Mudman” Simon was convicted nine times for crimes that included things such as murder; robbery, rape, weapons charges, receiving stolen property, larceny, issuing worthless checks, forgery, and many other things. [...]Even though he was at one time charged with murdering an inmate, on February 18, 1995, he was released from the State Correctional Institute at Graterford, and on May 6, 1995, just several months later, he shot a policeofficer on a routine traffic stop. (source p264)
When the Mudman story broke I felt compelled to write my first-ever letter to the editor of my local paper. I ranted about the mandadory minimums on drug offenses that had sent prison population skyrocketing up to 130%~ capacity and resulted in violent offenders - who were not covered under mandatory minimum laws – being released far, far too soon and with horrific results. They printed it, I was happy, and I still have a copy of it stashed away somewhere on a shelf in a box of memories.
Tom Ridge was the Governor of Pennsylvania at the time: ”He was elected in 1993 on a campaign stressing fighting crime. He sought and won new anti-crime laws early on, though some were ruled unconstitutional. During his two terms, Ridge pursued a get-tough agenda using all the police-related branches of state government. He’s had little patience for critics, from death penalty opponents to civil libertarians.” Of course, mandatory minimums are a federal sentencing guideline, so the governor had no power to override them, Ridge served as Pa.’s tough on crime governor right up until Bush appointed him director of Homeland Security - and we all know how well that worked out.
Now, when I read about the anti-trafficking organizations targeting the commercial sex industry I have the same worries; that a lot of truly innocent people are being put in far worse situations than they need to be. It seems so simple that decriminalization, or legalization and regulation of sex work is the only way to truly help the people who have been trafficked against their will. It’s the illicite nature of the sex industry as it is now that makes autonomous sex-workers as well as those who have been forced into servitude extremely vulnerable.
Sometimes I am plagued by self-doubt and get worried that I am too harsh or angry or quick to judge. Recently I was complaining about the anti sex-trafficking organizations and how so many of them are ignorant do-gooders who are actively doing-bad and I started to feel like a big ol’ jerk, and I was just about to write a post about how I shouldn’t be so angry about it and how they all just wanna do good and don’t know how – but then I came across this petition to force erotic services ads off of craigslist again and it reminded me of how my anger usually turns out to be well founded.
Sigh. Anyone who wants the erotic services section of craigslist shut down is someone who wants women to be killed.
This was originally a reply on this post about Emma Thompson signing the Polanski protest paper while also acting as an advocate on behalf of women forced into sexual servitude. Since I can’t control my urge to link and quote reams of stuff I’ve put the longer version here:
Well. Doesn’t seem all that hypocritical to me.
It’s my belief that what makes a person like Emma Thompson fail to comprehend the Polanski situation is the very same thing that makes her fail to comprehend that victims of trafficking are being used as scapegoats to enable governments to implement unwanted and unwarrented tracking of “free” human movement while strict border control policies are put in place.
Apparently the UK is embroiled in a massive sex worker battle of some sort. Yes, I admit I’m a US centric asshole, so I don’t know all of the details, but it seems that in at least some areas across the pond prostitution is ok in certain situations and under certain regulations. Currently there seems to be a lot of effort to start restricting the types of prostitution allowed. So, I’m assuming this is why the Guardian has had so many prostitution articles lately. Or maybe they have always had that many. The one I’m talking about today was published on the 28th and it irritated me.
So, the Headline reads:
A former prostitute is challenging the idea that only some sex workers are forced into the industry
That seems like an interesting use of words. I get the idea though: All sex workers are forced. This is supposed to counter the myth that some aren’t forced. I wonder though, exactly how prevalent is this alleged “idea” that it requires “challenges” at all? Maybe it’s the cultural divide, but my perception has always been that the general public already assumes that all prostitutes are forced. Either way, what the fuck sort of shady sentence construction is that?
I click over and read the first bit of text:
By the age of six, Beverly Carter was being sexually abused by immediate members of her family, who then used her to provide paid-for sex to outsiders – leading to a 30-year stretch of prostitution. Despite eventually reporting the abuse to doctors, she says she wasn’t helped and began to use alcohol and drugs – including slimming pills, cannabis and crack cocaine – to fill the painful void.
Oh great. What sort of evil bitch would criticize this? Me apparently, and I’m pretty pissed off about it. First of all – I personally, and a couple of people I know, were used in a series of articles similar to this one. What we said was taken out of context and it was blatantly misused to advance an agenda with which we didn’t agree. Because of that experience I can’t assume that this article truthfully represents what the subject believes or advocates. So I leave open the possibility that Ms. Carter was not accurately represented in this article, as well as the possibility that she was. I do not doubt her story, I do not doubt her motivation is born of personal experience, her own perceptions, self-reflection, and faith that she is doing the right thing – what I do question is the way in which this article uses her story and personal activism to argue the needs for stricter prostitution laws. Read more…