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Feb 15 2006

Undercover Sex

In Spotsylvania, Virginia — that’s right, I said “Spotsylvania;” it seems fantastic, doesn’t it? — the way you arrest a hooker is to do her. Spotsylvania’s tax dollars are hard at work buying “undercover sex” for its “unmarried police officers” (the married ones, apparently, are nominally constrained by social contract to buy sex only from their wives) in an effort to convict nefarious massage parlor sex workers for the crime of being cunts.

There are feminists for whom the enormity of society’s misogyny is just too horrific to grasp; these are the feminists who have accepted patriarchy’s explanation that women have an innate will (and therefore a right) to sell sex, and so have necessarily deluded themselves that prostitution, as an expression of women’s sexual freedom, is among the highest pinnacles of human achievement.

Prostitution is in fact institutionalized rape.

Sure, sure, some women — about three of them, I think — live the happy-go-lucky whore’s life because they just love fucking fat old assholes and giving their money to some lowlife pimp. But mostly prostitutes are women who are cornered by the opprobrious social dictates and economics of patriarchy. Abused, exploited, forced, addicted, and enslaved, these women are sacrificed to the system by a tacit understanding that fucking is what women are for. They are the representative cunts of all women.

The ironies, hypocrisies, and purely sadistic impulses manifested by Spotsylvania’s marauding troupe of whoring bachelor cops are copious, but a particularly ripe one currently effervescing in my bright young mind is that The State dispatching these uniformed peckerwoods to fuck hookers for the purpose of arresting them for fucking is the same State that has shrewdly engineered the very conditions under which prostitution thrives. I allude to the conditions of systemic devaluation, economic hardship, marginalization, and commodification of women. Nobody seriously considers that there will ever be an end to prostitution. This is because being sexy for men, making cunts available to men, living entirely in terms of men, is the ultimate purpose of all women, and everybody knows it.

The State, I don’t mind telling you, loves prostitution. It loves prostitution as much as it loves fetuses. Whores and fetuses are in fact two sides of the same women-as-meat coin. As long as women are either cunts or incubators, and men can stomp around fucking them and then punish them for it, patriarchy’s beneficiaries can breathe a contented sigh, relax on the couch, and continue looking at internet porn as though no patriarchy-blamers ever existed.

[thanks for the link, Helen]

104 comments

1 ping

  1. darkymac

    Putting my hand up to let you know I’m lurking during the Lower House “debate” in the Australian parliament over whether the Roman Catholic patsy Health Minister gets to continue to withhold registration of RU486 as an abortifacient (amongst a myriad other therapeutic uses – but when foetuses get mentioned these days everything seems to rush out of focus).
    And as one particular whining creep has just finished “deploring” the number of abortions hereabouts – with absolutely no more context than the number – I find comfort and anger in reading from Twisty:

    This is because being sexy for men, making cunts available to men, living entirely in terms of men, is the ultimate purpose of all women, and everybody knows it.

    Thanks chef, one tends to forget that there just isn’t any logic to it all.

  2. Hysterical Woman

    To be fair, the three happy whores in the world probably are really high-class call girls who get to actually keep all the money instead of giving it over to a pimp or brothel owner.

    Which brings me to another thing: the glorification of pimps. Sure they’re basically slave owners, but because the slaves are women, suddenly they’re cool! Vomit.

  3. Becker

    This makes a prostitute’s usual chore–giving free sex to cops to keep OUT of jail–seem like a sweet deal in comparison.

  4. exitr

    I’m trying hard to see how this wouldn’t constitute entrapment. And isn’t paying a prostitute for sex *also* illegal? Wacky!

  5. antelope

    Maybe the reason they’re eager to bust up massage parlors is because when you have a bunch of women working in the same building like that, they’re at least more or less able to look out for one another & can’t be used absolutely any which way the guy feels like.

    Gotta get those whores back into the back streets & private apartments! Not so anybody can actually hurt them, of course, but just because it adds a little thrill to know that the option is there.

    What’s worse, massage parlors are a lot more likely than street operations to be owned & operated by a woman – can’t have that.

  6. B. Dagger Lee

    Oh dear, I must arise from my fainting couch, from an attack of the verklempt vapors—for the patriarchy has invaded my mind! My belief that prostitution should be legalized is part of the cultural apparatus of the patriarchy! The darkness has overcome me.

    No–my uterus, my vagina, my mouth, my body. My kidneys, my eggs, my embryos–to use or sell as I see fit, to throw off a bridge, to sell, to stick toothpicks in and serve as canapés, to drink rat poison. MY BODY, mine, mine mine. To scar, to desecrate, to tattoo, to sell, to give away, to eat to death, to starve to death, to listen to alien voices, to whatever the fuck I take it into my head to do, mine, mine, mine.

    Do I think prostitution is a radical subversive sex-positive act that subverts the patriarchy? Not in a million years.

    Otherwise, my dear Twisty, I agree and blame as usual.

    I remain your B. Dagger

  7. Delphyne

    They get to have sex with a woman and then they get to throw her in jail? That must be the ultimate patriarchal sex fantasy.

    The authorities don’t seem to have noticed that they are also making prositutes of these men by making part of their employment having sex. I guess it doesn’t count if you do it in a uniform.

  8. aram harrow

    Even if you think prostitution is always a bad/forced choice, the case for legalization seems clear: outcomes for the women involved (health, safety, pay, etc.) are improved, while the effect on the patriarchy is small and ambiguous. If more women get pulled into prostitution as a result, I’m sure that it would also be less of a trap.

    And I’d put this story in the “pro-legalization” column.

  9. manxome

    From the linked wnbc site: [Sheriff Howard Smith] said most prostitutes are careful not to say anything incriminating, which makes sexual contact necessary.

    Except, these women barely spoke English. Convenient, huh?

    I’ve been too busy the past few days to even realize that my fuckwit county is at it again. In fact I could see the back of that very strip mall, along the clogged retaii-o-rama that is Route 3, from the front porch where I used to live several years ago.

    The sheriff’s dept. (and dept. of supervisors, for that matter) is a good-ol-boy network with a rural mentality in the fastest growing region of the state, bulging with DC workers salivating over the prospect of mcMansions under 1 mil. Planning sucks, and the last thing you want is these nitwits solving any crimes. They are the same Dept. that royally fucked up the Lisk/Silva murder investigations, the same dept. that had a deputy working a minor accident scene at the very intersection where “DC snipers” Malvo & Muhammad murdered Kenneth Bridges just yards away while later, Geraldo would be signing asses at Hooters between segments and men would be stopped on the interstate with guns shoved in their faces for driving a white vehicle while not being white. The area is chock-full of W stickers, not surprisingly.

    I know none of this has to do with refined patriarchy-blaming. Color me too livid to contain my disdain for the area. I will not miss this shithole when we move.

  10. Galloise Blonde

    Fantastic writing Twisty. I loved this by Joan Smith too: her title, ‘Why British Men Are Rapists’, is Twistyesque in its refusal to mince words. One detail she leaves out that stuck in my mind is that the repugnantly-named ‘Cuddles’ brothel had an electric fence to keep the girls and women from escaping. She does mention that after it was busted, the punters walked free and many of the women were deported. Yep, the State loves prostitution. Loves the perps, hates the victims.

  11. Amber

    Oh, Virginia. You make me so proud. Breaking the law to keep the law? This is just utter bullshit.

  12. sabele

    Twisty – as usual, you hit the nail on the head. In Scotland, our government has recognised that women involved in prostitution – well, street prostitution anyway – are suffering a form of sexual abuse. I’m not so sure though that this positive thinking will find its way into the debate about indoor prostitution/massage parlours etc. Too much Pretty Womanizing methinks!

    Somehow usually sane and sensible people believe that legalising mini-brothel type prostitution will make it all nice and lovely! I’ve taken to pointing out that the physically, mentally, emotionally damaged, drug addicted women currently working on the streets, injecting into their neck, groins etc with infected wound sites, are hardly going to pass any health checks – and of course, there will always be some guy willing to pay an extra £5 for unprotected sex on the streets. (Sorry about the imagery – hope nobody’s eating).

    We’ve got to break the market – zero tolerance of buying sex (except of course from the 3 happy-go-lucky whores!)

    There was a letter in my local newspaper recently from the mother of a 16 yr old boy who, on his way home from his birthday party, ‘accidentally’ found himself in the area where street prostitutes work. He ‘accidentally’ had sex with a prostitute and caught an STD – the mother blamed the local City Council.

    The next day another letter pointed out that he must have also ‘accidentally’ paid the extra £5 for unprotected sex if he had caught an STD – and enquired how you accidentally have sex in the first place.

    Its this sort of attitude (or lack of attitude!) that we need to challenge if we are going to change to ‘oldest profession’ mantra.

  13. Amanda Sullivan

    I, too, love your writing, Twisty. These kinds of things make me want to scream. And the reason those poor girls didn’t speak much English is because they were trafficked as part of the multi-billion dollar global sex trafficking industry. Which has ballooned in recent years. What the fuck is all that about? Why is that, goddammit? Jesus the hypocrisy of those police officers – makes me want to make my way down there and club them all in the balls. Sorry if that’s too much. Just wanted to thank you for the post and blow off some steam. And to tell you that I hope you are feeling ok after your treatment. Just call me Shady.

  14. CafeSiren

    …dispatching these uniformed peckerwoods to fuck hookers for the purpose of arresting them for fucking…

    Yep. That’s the heart of why this is messed up.

    But I did follow the link, and read that one of the cops left a $350 tip (state funds). Now, was that before or after arresting her for fucking him?

    And can we imagine a situation where a cop gets a prostitute to blow him, then tells her he’s a cop, threatens to arrest her, and gets a freebie? Maybe every cop in town starts doing this? Maybe a new benefit for Spotsylvania’s Finest?

  15. the bewilderness

    I think these boys took their training on ‘Grand Theft Auto’ where they pay the street prostitute, fuck the street prostitute, kill the street prostitute, and take their money back. Patriarchy knows they have to keep those hookers spread out and desperate if they want to kill them with impunity. Witnesses, you know. When they have witnesses they can’t just kill them off, they have to arrest them to get their money back.
    I so totally fucking blame the patriarchy.

  16. mali

    Twisty, as usual, has made my fucking day. It is really frustrating to feel strongly about autonomy and about how prostitution is not really autonomy, but to be unable to articulate that very well. Ugh.

    Incidentally, a Swedish friend of mine told me the other week that there, they are dealing with the issue of prostitution by decriminalizing selling but not buying. As in, only johns are arrested. Something to chew on.

    A chick can dream, right?

    (there must be some strong hallucinogens in the water today if I can even dream of that happening in the US..)

  17. NancyMc

    But there is a difference between forced prostitution and willing prostitution. I’m glad you acknowledged it, Twisty, even if you did slightly underestimate the numbers of willing prostitutes.

    I would love to see the end of prostitution. But as long as it’s lucrative to have sex, some people – women AND men – will be willing to do it for money. It’s not pleasant but it’s true.

    Which is not to say that forced prostitution should be allowed to exist. It should be wiped out.

    And this cop fucking can’t possibly be legal.

  18. Piig

    Yes, Manxome, being a citizen of “The Old Dominion” myself, I know only too well how living here can be extremely trying for us patriarchy blamers. The tourism commission should change its tagline to “Virginia Is For Patriarchy Lovers.”

  19. Ancrene Wiseass

    Ahhh, Twisty. That was good. That was very, very, very good.

    The patriarchy surely must be gasping for breath after that one, ’cause you’ve got one hell of a mean left hook.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about the role of prostitution in society as it stands with regard to women. However, there are male prostitutes, too, and I think that complicates the picture a bit, even if there are far fewer of them.

    I feel like a box of Crispix sometimes (you know, “corn on one side, rice on the other”?). In part, I’m an idealist who likes to think that it’s possible for people to render sexual services to other people without being denigrated by that act, and that–thanks to a pathological dirtification of sex and other assorted patriarchal horseshit–we just haven’t achieved the society in which that’s possible yet. Flip me over, and I’m a pragmatist who sees what actually happens in the sex trade as it stands now, who realizes that prostitution ain’t going away any time soon, and who thinks we need to regulate it in some way that would protect sex workers.

    But wait! Maybe I’m not Crispix at all, but rather some weird new triangular ceral with, like, a bran side, too! Because the patriarchy-blamer in me really does not trust the state–the same one that allows bachelor cops to have a good time screwing hookers before they sadistically arrest them–to regulate the sex industry in any way that would actually manage to treat sex workers like human beings. Not at all.

  20. Ms Kate

    Hmmm … and I suppose all these officers are practicing safe sex, no? Or would that mean they would get their covering blown?

    Glad I don’t pay taxes there … I’d hate to have to pay for lifelong disability for officers infected with AIDS in the line of duty, when he thought he was getting a fringe benefit.

  21. Char

    “But there is a difference between forced prostitution and willing prostitution.”

    Really? What’s the difference?

    As far as I can tell, if women aren’t forced into prostitution through the physical and sexual brutality of pimps, johns, and other traffickers in women, they are economically, psychologically, and emotionally forced into it through incest, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, pornography, economic abuse, and all other sorts of abuse.

    If 99% of your choices are taken from you, how can “choosing” the remaining 1% be an exercise of free choice or willingness?

    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/

  22. bitchphd

    Ok. I have been known to entertain the argument that under some conditions and for some women sex work might be compatible with feminism.

    But this story makes me want to throw up.

  23. Sharoni

    Let’s hear it for the Swedes! Make it illegal for people to BUY sex. That means all those godbag christian married men who sneak around the corner to their local pimp a couple times a week would be the ones arrested. Their loving wives would have to stand beside them in court, watching half the family budget go down the tubes (a) on the purchase of sex from some whoring prostitute who asks for it all the time anyway and couldn’t say no if she were taught to spell the word, and (b) on the fine that the judge just gave her gobfearing hubby for using his dick in such an unclean vessel. THEN she’d have to start calculating when was the last time SHE had sex with hubby, and when that mysterious itch started, and oh. my. god. She’d have to end up denying her hubby his patriarchally approved sex benefit! THEN she’d start blaming the patriarchy, you betcha!

  24. mythago

    Which brings me to another thing: the glorification of pimps. Sure they’re basically slave owners, but because the slaves are women, suddenly they’re cool!

    They’re cool because for sexist privileged teenaged males, they’re the ultimate fantasy. There’s that whole faux coolness of being black, plus they sit around and have women make all the money for them. Plus, you can fuck all these women whenever you want and slap them around. For a boy who is a little impatient that the patriarchy hasn’t delivered on its King of the Universe promises yet, it’s made-to-order fantasy material. Why else would the uber-popularity of the pimp be in video games?

  25. CGG

    So if you’re a woman trading sex for money you’re a criminal, but if you’re a man trading sex for money you’re a cop. Yeah, that makes sense.

  26. B

    No matter how “willingly” you are to sell your body what then ensues is still an act of abuse.

    Sex is what you do together, striving for mutual pleasure. What these guys do is using someone elses body as a masturbatory tool.

    Having sex with a partner that doesn’t enjoy it – who in fact has to be paid just to allow you to touch her, is an act of violence. Just the thought of it makes me sick.

    These are the times I wish I were a lesbian.

  27. piehat

    WOW. What an elegant way to make sure that women aren’t dignified in any way by the prevention of prostitution. It’s like these cops are thinking, “We have to enforce these laws which theoretically keep women from being used as sex slaves, but *that’s* no good. How can we keep from making the world any better for women? I KNOW! Screw them, pay them, and *then* throw them in jail. That’ll teach women to think they’re too good to take money for sex.”

    Are they allowing the women to keep the money? I’m not sure which is worse. On the one hand, state tax dollars are paying for illegal and demeaning sex acts. On the other hand, these women are getting screwed twice.

  28. Emma

    Can I just check I have this straight?

    The residents of Spotsylvania’s federal tax dollars are going to fund programmes which insist that *no* birth control is reliable, that pre-marital sex is likely to result in all manner of hideous sexually transmitted diseases, and that ‘purity’ before marriage is pretty much the only way to retain good mental health.

    Their local (state?) tax dollars are going to fund programmes in which officers of the law stake their physical wellbeing on the efficacy of contraceptives, have occupationally-mandated pre-marital ‘sex’, and will be going to their marriage beds with the full set of mental health issues allegedly visited on the sexually ‘impure’.

    Does this make any fucking sense to anyone?

    I’m also really confused as to why officers of the law have such a problem identifying prostituting women. If they are genuinely unsure as to whether sex for money has been offered and/or consented to before they stick their grubby little wieners in some poor woman’s cooter, then how do they know they aren’t rapists?

  29. Les

    “These are the times I wish I were a lesbian.”

    Wish I could say that every lesbian sexual experience ever had by anyone was beautiful and lovely. But sometimes it involves sex that one person is ambivalent about wanting. I’ve even heard that in Berlin, one can call up lesbian call girls. (I haven’t tried this.)

    Women are people and aren’t immune to the patriarchy and sometimes misunderstand each other, alas.

    Of course, nearly every time two women have sex, at least one of them has an orgasm, which is probably better averages than het sex.

  30. RCinProv

    Twisty,

    Idea for future post: the old Hollywood favorite, the prostitute with the heart of gold. Seems Americans can’t get enough of that one.

    Anyway, I hope the chemo didn’t knock you out too bad. I am craving your food pictures!

  31. Violet Socks

    Manxome, how is it I never realized you were a sister Virginian?

    To those who favor legalization schemes: What these fucktards are doing in Spotsylvania County is not much different that what they’d be doing if prostition were legal. When prostitution is legalized, police “protection” usually means the women have to bang the cops. And if the cops beat the shit out of whores as part of the fun, who ya gonna call? (Not to mention that the cops are often in cahoots with the mob or the drug dealers or the traffickers — whoever’s behind the money).

    A few weeks ago when I mentioned legalization(here), I was writing from a fairly naive perspective, wondering whether it could possibly be advantageous. I was rapidly educated by people who knew the subject much better than I. One woman in particular posted some excellent links, including this one ( A Critical Examination of Responses to Prostitution in Four Countries: Victoria, Australia; Ireland; the Netherlands; and Sweden). For those feminists who still think legalizing prostitution is a good idea, I really suggest doing some homework.

  32. Elinor

    However, there are male prostitutes, too, and I think that complicates the picture a bit, even if there are far fewer of them.

    True, but there are very few female tricks, IIRC. And the experience of prostitution isn’t automatically that different for male and female prostitutes.

    My belief that prostitution should be legalized is part of the cultural apparatus of the patriarchy!

    Legalized or decriminalized?

    I don’t think a belief that prostitution should not be a crime necessarily contradicts a belief that it is wrong.

  33. David Bresch

    I was directed to this site by an advanced patriarchy blamer (my wife), so you have to excuse my lack of femnist qualifications. In fact, I usually vote Republican. That said, I realize after a roller coaster of a day with a belated Valentine’s celebration at the end, that my wife is REALLY messed up. Only something truly evil could have made her this way, and I think the patriarchy is as reasonable an explanation as any. So right on!

  34. antelope

    I never had any brothers, but for some reason nearly all of my friends growing up had an older brother, and I noticed a pattern in the way they got along with these brothers.

    The most typical conversation they had went kind’a like this:

    Sister: That’s not fair!!
    Brother: Nope, it isn’t. Too bad. I’m bigger.

    The more time my friends wasted trying to find some kind of logic in his actions before getting around to saying “that’s not fair”, the more he enjoyed it. And the more thoroughly unfair it was, the more he enjoyed it.

    Maybe it’s only because I never had a brother to teach me how the world really works that I STILL want to think up one sort of justification or another when I read stuff like this. But I’ve done time in Virginia too, and the fact is they dream up stuff like this as a celebration of sexual double standards, not because they don’t notice ‘em.

  35. jezebella

    David, you have missed the point entirely of being directed to this website. I assure you that her direction was intended so that you might examine your OWN behavior as a member of the patriarchal privilege class, and your assumptions, not to explain her own “faults”. Go back to the beginning, read the primer, read all of the posts and click on the linkies, and try again. You seem to have a grasp of the English language, so I suspect, that if you try hard enough, you might eventually Get It.

  36. Vic Ferrari

    David, no way do you ever vote Republican, that’s just too Goddamn funny to have come from the mind of even an intermittent Republican voter.

  37. Betsy Wood

    Twisty, I love you. I think you are one of the most brilliant feminists alive. I know this comment probably sounds pathetically sycophantic, but after reading your post today about prostitutes, I just felt like I wanted to give you a standing ovation, a generous tip, a hug, something. Okay, so all you’re getting is a lousy comment, but that doesn’t change my feelings.

    Long live Twisty.

  38. zuzu

    Let’s hear it for the Swedes! Make it illegal for people to BUY sex. That means all those godbag christian married men who sneak around the corner to their local pimp a couple times a week would be the ones arrested.

    Of course, just making it illegal to buy sex doesn’t deal with the pimp problem: punishing the procurers along with the purchasers, rather than the providers. Pimps are quite frankly in a parasitic relationship with prostitutes. You might, but you really couldn’t, compare them to talent agents, because talent agents generally represent someone who has a particular talent or attribute, and there’s no guarantee that will tickle a casting agent’s fancy. Plus, the talent agent generally doesnt’ feel entitled to sample the wares.

    The thing that really gets me about this, being a lawyer and all, is that for gawd-only-knows-how-long, it was considered perfectly sufficient to pick up prostitutes on charges of soliciting, meaning that once the offer of sex for money is made, there is probable cause for arrest. It’s not necessary to actually have sex with the prostitute to bring a charge.

  39. Tyler Durden

    What an unbelievable load of sophomoric crap. Do you actually read your own shit before you post it, or do you just let stuff go straight from your brain stem, which is apparently the only part of the brain you use, onto the Web? What a waste of pixels.

    Women have been using sex as a bargaining chip since before we all climbed down out of the trees. There are entire industries built around it. In every country. In every culture. For millenia. And now, you’re dimwitted enough to reconstruct this most basic of societal facts as some kind of signal of opression. You go girlfriend, you vacuous mutation. Do you really think that something this entrenched and this basic and this lasting was forced on women? In that case, I have a Talking Unicorn From The Land of Pretend I’d like to sell you.

    I don’t give a shit what some cops in Hog Wallow West Virginia think. Or do. If you had the brains that God gave a flatworm, you’d be foursquare behind legalizing prostitution, regulating it, and taxing it.

    A prostitute is selling a service. She can sell it to whoever she wants, for whatever she can get, or not. If she doesn’t like it, she can go work in a factory like everyone else. This is known, dear, as the Free Market. I, as a man, would like to fuck someone. I don’t have the time, or the inclination, to do the whole relationship thing. I am willing to pay for it. Quite a lot, as it happens. A lot more than the Latina behind the counter at McDonald’s is making. A friend of mine is a high-end escort who makes more in a weekend than I make in a month. So who’s screwing who, here? Institutionalized rape, my ass.

    The thing that really freaks people out about whores is that they are the ones, in this world, who see male sexuality as it really is. She knows things that women are not supposed to know about what men are really like. People like this are dangerous, and have to be marginalized, and jailed. If the truth got out, the world would be turned upside down. However, you, and your “Desperate Housewives”-watching sisters are still just servants of the myth that women are some kind of victim, that men are the enemy, and by working that bullshit from different sides of the street, you help insure that the world stays as fucked up as it is forever.

    Good job.

  40. NancyMc

    “But there is a difference between forced prostitution and willing prostitution.”

    Really? What’s the difference?

    As far as I can tell, if women aren’t forced into prostitution through the physical and sexual brutality of pimps, johns, and other traffickers in women, they are economically, psychologically, and emotionally forced into it through incest, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, pornography, economic abuse, and all other sorts of abuse.

    If 99% of your choices are taken from you, how can “choosing” the remaining 1% be an exercise of free choice or willingness?

    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/

    How many people are forced to work? Everybody I know. So if your argument is that being forced to work for a living is prostitution then most of us are prostitutes. The rest just live off the labor of us prostitutes.

    Now if you want to distinguish sex workers from non-sex workers: there are people who do sex work because since they have to work anyway, they want to do something that, in their opinion, makes the most money with the least amount of effort.

    A friend of mine from high school spent a few years earning money for herself and her lover, who was dying of AIDS, as a dominatrix. She didn’t have to have intercourse with her clients, but it is considered prostitution.

    She could have done other work, but it would have earned her less money in the same amount of time. So she chose sex work.

    Are you going to tell me she didn’t choose it? Because she told me she did. Are you saying she’s a liar? Who am I to tell her how to live her life? I was a single mother working two shitty jobs at the time and barely making the rent, so I had no money to help her out.

    It’s all very easy to just say “ALL prostitution is forced and should be ended immmediately.” Making simple black and white declarations is so sweet and easy and makes one feel so virtuous and pure. And it’s not too taxing on the brain either. That’s why motherfucking godbags do it all the time.

    See, it’s nice that Twisty rants on her blog – she is great at it. I’d say she’s a certified genius. I admire her work.

    But even the best rant in the world is not a sound basis for a workable or even fair social policy.

    There ARE plenty of people actually forced into prostitution. And that should end immediately. But the fact that there IS forced prostitution does not eliminate the reality of non-forced prostitution.

    And if you spend your time trying to stamp out ALL prostitution you may waste a chance to stamp out forced prostitution – that is, sex slavery.

    But maybe I’m wasting my time. Maybe people here don’t care about workable social policy. They just like to write some hard-assed righteous outrage shit because it makes them feel good about themselves and helps them relieve their anger at some fucking asshole cops.

    If so, then fine, do that. But then don’t try to engage in an argument about it. Just do your rant and don’t bother responding to my comments.

  41. NancyMc

    Violet Socks,

    That article you cited uses the work of Donna M. Hughes. She also works for right-wing kook David Horowitz:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/authors.asp?ID=2279

    Donna Hughes first came to my attention in an article by Nicholas Kristof of the NYTimes – he needed a “feminist” to bash other feminists to help him make the bullshit point that American evangelicals cared more about international sex slavery than American feminists did.

    Donna Hughes habitually conflates all forms of prostitution with sex slavery. I guess because it’s unpleasant to consider that some women might choose a shitty job like prostitution over other shitty, but less lucrative jobs.

    But when you’re a university professor you only think you understand shitty jobs.

    And as Michaelangelo Signorile noted in 2004:

    Another conservative finger-pointer seemed to get Rush Limbaugh all hot and sweaty during his week-long quest to downplay the images as nothing more than college fratboy games. Donna M. Hughes, on National Review online, asked, “Why are we shocked by these images from Abu Ghraib, but when the victims are women (or gay men) the images are called pornography or ‘adult entertainment’?” Yes, she was attempting to explain and excuse the behavior—and give anti-porn crusader John Ashroft more grist for his twisted mill—by claiming that the reservists might have engaged in these acts of torture because they’d seen them played out in porn films. (Of course, according to that logic we should ban The Passion of the Christ, because if people played out the sadomasochistic scenes in that film, we’d be taking down bloody crosses from every street corner.)

    http://www.nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=10180

    I’d think twice before joining any group that Donna M. Hughes is part of.

  42. Ancrene Wiseass

    Hi, Elinor! I didn’t mean to imply that prostitution would be a radically different (i.e., somehow more positive or less degrading) experience for men than women. I don’t think that at all. I meant that I thought prostitution wasn’t solely about men mistreating women.

  43. Burrow

    Right on Twisty. That’s exactly what I have to say on the matter (or do at this late hour anyway.) I agree wholeheartedly.

    And legalising prostitution, as many have stated, is in fact legalising the abuse of women. Societal fuckedupedness (did I mention it’s late) leads to women making this “choice.” When you got nothing else……How much of a choice is it if your choices are limited because of the patriarchal society?

    (Hint: Not a real choice)

  44. NancyMc

    So to those who say that legalizing prostitution is legalizing the abuse of women – does that mean that you’re OK with legalzing male prostitution, since it has nothing to do with abusing women?

  45. Violet Socks

    Nancy, prostitution is part of the patriarchal paradigm, where some people are the fuckers and some people are the fuckees. The fuckers are overwhelmingly male and the fuckees are overwhelmingly female. The relatively tiny number of male prostitutes doesn’t change the basic setup. Male prostitutes have basically been feminized — in the same way that some male prisoners are feminized — into the role of fuckee.

    If you don’t want to deal with the patriarchal issues and just treat it economically, think of it this way: Buying sex should be illegal the same way it should be illegal to buy the labor of people for 20 cents an hour in your fire-hazard, locked-door sweat shop, guarded by a bouncer who beats up the workers that try to escape. Note that it’s the buyers, not the sellers, who should be criminalized. People who want to talk about how women should be “free” to sell their bodies need to explain why peasants shouldn’t be “free” to work in sweatshops and slave factories.

  46. jc.

    “Lets har it for the swedes…”
    Although we are at least symbolically tackling the crime problem from the correct side, ie. that prurchasing a prostitute is criminal and being a prostitute is not, the reality is, as always, a bit more dismal.
    The amount of prosecutions and convictions for this crime are minimal. The crime is of low priority for our police. Plus the whole patriarchal court system is doing business as usual. One of the “funniest” scandals last year was the court judge convicted for purchasing sex but who was judged still eligible to continue as a practicing member of the court.
    I believe that this multi billion dollar problem industry could be mostly stopped if men, we are the major purchasers of sexual slavery from all sexes (although womens trips to Gambia wouldn´t hold up aginst much of a moral scrutiny), would just say no.
    The majority of prostitutions customers are, as all well know, are so-called “normal” men and although their behaviour can be explained by the patriarchal system and
    economics I believe that much of their behaviour could be more imeddiately changed if it was addressed as a personal moral question, ie. prostitution as slavery. Every dollar spent on prostitution perpetuates human slavery. Sex slaves(of all sexes), in all of the world, are “recruited”, transported, sold and exploited hourly under circumstances which are just as, if not more so, brutal, fatal and totally degrading as the black slave trade from africa to the americas.
    I believe that the purchase of prostitution should be criminalised (I however don`t believe much in the effect of our consumer/patrarchal based police forces on multi billion dollar businesss) but mostly I believe that men must be left no moral hiding grounds as to just exactly what they are purchasing and supporting. How many “normal” men would rush down to Savannah to purchase Kunta Kinte today without some humanistic moral doubts?
    I think all of us men must be left in no doubt that every blow job that we purchase is the result of and perpetuates the continuation of a social destruction similiar to, and more widespread than, africas under the slave trade, that we support a transportation, from country to country and nationwide, as fatal and cruel as the “middle passage” and that we financuially reward psychopathic criminals and methods that would have been out of place even in Auschwitz.
    I do not understand. Come on assholes wake up, grow up and just say NO, you are the criminal comitting crimes against humanity!

  47. Monika

    About Sweden: Pimping has always been illegal, but prostitution and buying sex was legal until a couple of years ago. Buying sex was then made illegal, but not selling because that would prevent prostitutes from seeking help, reporting rapes (not that they often do anyway) etc. A lot of fuss was made over this by Joe Anybody, who said it was “illogical” – but it’s a pragmatic law, made for reality and not an ideal world.
    About the subject of Twisty’s article: there is actually a discussion going on here now if it would be a good idea that police officers could break the law when they are undercover – to make it easier to infiltrate organised crime circles. We’re not “used to” organised crime here, and it’s growing and getting a lot of media attention. It seems very unlikely that it would happen though.

  48. Vanessa Mouse

    If someone has already said this, I apologize. I scanned the comments and didn’t see it anywhere though so:

    If the officers are in fact being paid to have sex with prostitutes, doesn’t that make the officers technically prostitutes? They are being paid to have sex right?

    What would the under cover operation to arrest them look like?
    Ow, my head.

  49. deixis

    I’m just surprised that everyone’s surprised by this story. In Boston, we have cops relegated to dealing with craigslist whores & the police reports are pretty crooked.

    I just wish they’d put police where having police would actually do some good. You know, like preventing real crimes?

  50. Twisty

    NancyMC in 40: “But even the best rant in the world is not a sound basis for a workable or even fair social policy.”

    Thanks for the compliment, I think, but frankly I am wounded to the core that you consider my deeply considered dispositions toward a weltanschauung of liberation to be “rants.” “Ranting” is what people do on Livejournal when their roommate ate the last Pop-Tart and their boss is a turd. I prefer to think of myself as an ideological kibitzer. And ideology actually is the basis for social policy.

    But OK. How’s this for social policy: Give women human status. That’s all any of my “rants” ever say.

    This post is certainly not advocating the criminalization of prostitution. Quite the opposite. My argument is the same here as it ever is: make women human beings, and prostitution disappears all by itself.

    People–even feminists (some of whom are people, I guess)– have such a hard time with that concept. But of course, one of patriarchy’s most awesome superpowers is its ability to convince its abused minions to defend it.

  51. firefly

    One would think that the police in Spotsylvania would have been too busy pursing serial rapist/murders such as Richard Marc Evonitz- who murdered at least three teenage girls in Spotsylvania in the 1990′s before he moved on to North Carolina. But I guess the police in Spotsylvania were just too busy with other more important matters, such as protecting the male citizens of Spotsylvania from the wiles of “evil” prostitutes to focus on protecting the young girls of Spotsylvania from being kidnapped and killed.

  52. hedonisticpleasureseeker

    Gawdess! I heart you Twisty. Right on. In the mean time though, while we wait for Hell to freeze over, what to do?

  53. Emma

    It’s all very easy to just say “ALL prostitution is forced and should be ended immmediately.” Making simple black and white declarations is so sweet and easy and makes one feel so virtuous and pure. And it’s not too taxing on the brain either. That’s why motherfucking godbags do it all the time. [...]

    Maybe people here don’t care about workable social policy. They just like to write some hard-assed righteous outrage shit because it makes them feel good about themselves and helps them relieve their anger at some fucking asshole cops.

    Do you not think awareness-raising about the manifestations of patriarchy (whatever the medium) is key to the development of gender-sensitive social policy?

    It’s a little bit disingenuous to accuse a blogger of not caring about ‘workable social policy’ when to address all of the overlapping policy spheres that relate to prostituting women would take, oh, about a thousand years of one person’s time.

    Just for a kickoff there are:

    criminal justice (criminalisation of prostitution and drugs; responses to violence against women);
    housing (homeless women are at greater risk of prostitution than women in permanent housing);
    the benefits system(s) (are women ‘trapped’ on benefits, or is entry to the non-black and grey labour market barrier free; gendered nature of poverty);
    enterprise (women participating in the labour market – pay gap; flexible working that allows women to balance caring responsibilities with work; gendered nature of poverty; gendered nature of maternity – vs. paternity, smartass – benefits);
    health (drugs, also: provision available for respite care for dependents that would enable women to access the labour market);
    education and skills (stereotyping in education and vocational traning which contributes to women pursuing stereotypically female (and lower paid) occupations; educating young women (and men) about sex and relationships).
    childcare (price and availability).

    Additionally, I’m entirely in agreement with Violet Socks’s point above. We don’t let people ‘choose’ to work for 20 cents an hour, or in workspaces that don’t meet minimum health and safety standards. Why the fuck would we let women ‘choose’ to work in an environment where occupational hazards include rape, murder, and beatings?

  54. Violet Socks

    Violet Socks,

    That article you cited uses the work of Donna M. Hughes. She also works for right-wing kook David Horowitz

    NancyMc, I’m not sure what game you’re playing here, but the article I cited is by Julie Bender, a radical lesbian feminist who has worked in the area of abuse and violence against women for two decades. (See this: http://www.cwasu.org/displayAuthorsPublications.asp?author_key=16). In the bibliography she cited two articles by Donna Hughes, among dozens. You do understand what a bibliography is, yes?

  55. Emma

    And said article was produced for a UK local authority in order to inform their policy development around prostitution, because Bindel is an authority on the subject.

  56. Violet Socks

    Bindel, not Bender. Sorry. Bad typing.

  57. Galloise Blonde

    Julie Bindel is also the founder of Justice for Women, which I linked to back in the ‘European Honkies’ thread, to support women who kill their violent partners and are sentenced with the full wrath of the Patriarchy.

  58. Thomas W. Higginson

    Spotsylvania is famous as the site of a horrific bloodbath during the Civil War.

    Not that that has anything to do with patriarchy, or anything.

  59. Twisty

    I actually read that paper, courtesy of Emma, on the ramifications of lap-dance bars in (if memory serves) Glasgow. It completely sucks all the fun out of the empowered stripper myth.

  60. Emma

    Yep, Glasgow City Council have explictly placed sex work on the continuum of sexual violence against women.

  61. Char

    “How many people are forced to work? Everybody I know. So if your argument is that being forced to work for a living is prostitution then most of us are prostitutes. The rest just live off the labor of us prostitutes.”

    This is a bullshit strawman.

    “there are people who do sex work because since they have to work anyway, they want to do something that, in their opinion, makes the most money with the least amount of effort.”

    Who? Who does this. Oh, your one friend who didn’t have sex for money. Nice sample. One friend who didn’t have sex for money = people who prefer to prostitute themselves because they can make a lot of money at it.

    “Are you going to tell me she didn’t choose it?… Are you saying she’s a liar?”

    Another strawman. Not my argument and I’m not going to respond to it.

    “Making simple black and white declarations is so sweet and easy and makes one feel so virtuous and pure. And it’s not too taxing on the brain either.”

    So is inventing fictional “people” from a sample of one.

    See, the link I provided? It talks about actual prostituted women. It talks about sexual abuse, incest, drug abuse, domestic violence, and so on — all of which makes the choice to do sex work not actually a choice in the sense we’d like to understand free choice. See, the link I provided? It has studies and interviews and people who actually work with and talk to actual prostituted women. 97% of whom want to *leave* prostitution but can’t, for whom it no longer is — if it ever was — a choice. See, the link I provided? It’s about more than one single woman I know who chose not to have sex for money.

    “And if you spend your time trying to stamp out ALL prostitution you may waste a chance to stamp out forced prostitution – that is, sex slavery.”

    Umm, how does that work, exactly? For example, Sweden’s law on prostitution, outlawing johns basically, somehow left sex slavery legally intact? It’s illegal to have sex with a prostituted woman, but not if she’s a sex slave? Is that what the law say? Sorry, don’t think so.

    You’re the one who sounds like the “godbag” — “well, you can’t fix *all* of women’s oppression. Some of it, you know, women choose. Don’t worry about the women who choose to be oppressed.”

    “Maybe people here don’t care about workable social policy. They just like to write some hard-assed righteous outrage shit because it makes them feel good about themselves and helps them relieve their anger at some fucking asshole cops.”

    And in all your love for Twisty — which I share — where’s *Twisty’s* “workable social policy” on prostitution? Hmmm? Hey, Andrea Dworkin said prostitution is oppression of women — even “chosen” prostitution. Dworkin said it, Twisty believes it. So, when does some of this angry bile get spewed back at Twisty? What make Twisty so special? Oh, I get it — I’m not *funny* about women’s oppression.

    In fact, I think laws that 1) decriminalize prostituted women; 2) criminalize johns; 3) criminalize pimps as slaveowner; 4) criminalize international and intrastate sex tourism; and 5) criminalize trafficking in people *are* workable social policy.

    “Just do your rant and don’t bother responding to my comments.”

    *MY* rant? Dude, your the one who called me names. Your the one who called me a “godbag”. The extent of my “rant” is a short paragraph and a link to some actual facts about prostituted women. I think some patriarchy blaming needs to be sent your way. Who else but a woman on her knees to the male sex god would ever say “prostituted women *want* to be prostituted! My friend who didn’t have sex for money proves it!”

  62. Violet Socks

    I was tickled by Twisty’s ticklement at Spotsylvania. Being an Easterner I’m used to counties and states named ColonialGovernor sylvania. It was especially apt for Spotsylvania, which was named after Governer Spotswood. Too perfect!

  63. Nancymc


    Nancy, prostitution is part of the patriarchal paradigm, where some people are the fuckers and some people are the fuckees. The fuckers are overwhelmingly male and the fuckees are overwhelmingly female.

    Define “fucker” and “fuckee.” How is your definition of prostitution different from the definition of ‘sex’?

  64. Nancymc

    Buying sex should be illegal the same way it should be illegal to buy the labor of people for 20 cents an hour in your fire-hazard, locked-door sweat shop, guarded by a bouncer who beats up the workers that try to escape. Note that it’s the buyers, not the sellers, who should be criminalized. People who want to talk about how women should be “free” to sell their bodies need to explain why peasants shouldn’t be “free” to work in sweatshops and slave factories.

    Thanks for making my point. Both male and female workers are exploited, whether it’s through sex work or non-sex work.

    So are you saying that if a woman makes great money doing relatively easy sex-work – say $200 for every hand job, it should be legal?

    Or is there something about sex itself that makes the best paid prostitution worse than the most horrible exploitation in non-sex work?

  65. Nancymc

    Twisty:

    This post is certainly not advocating the criminalization of prostitution. Quite the opposite. My argument is the same here as it ever is: make women human beings, and prostitution disappears all by itself.

    People–even feminists (some of whom are people, I guess)– have such a hard time with that concept. But of course, one of patriarchy’s most awesome superpowers is its ability to convince its abused minions to defend it.

    So does that mean that by your definition a man paying another man for sex is not prostitution? Or do you think that treating women as human beings will cause male prostitution to disappear too? And if so, how does that work exactly?

    If you’re saying that I’m defending the patriarchy by arguing that the issue of prostitution isn’t simple, easily fixed, or even exclusively about the domination of women, then you are wrong my friend. If you want to argue on that point then let’s go.

  66. Nancymc

    Sorry I missed the closing tag on that last quote.

  67. Nancymc

    ancyMc, I’m not sure what game you’re playing here, but the article I cited is by Julie Bender, a radical lesbian feminist who has worked in the area of abuse and violence against women for two decades. (See this: http://www.cwasu.org/displayAuthorsPublications.asp?author_key=16). In the bibliography she cited two articles by Donna Hughes, among dozens. You do understand what a bibliography is, yes?

    In the ARTICLE she cites Hughes, on page 18. Did you read it?


    Legalised brothels encourages sex tourism. Donna Hughes, in her study on pimping on the internet, states:
    The Netherlands is the strongest international proponent for legalised prostitution. Amsterdam is the leading sex tourist centre in Europe. In 1997 the Netherlands legalized brothels. The result has been increased trafficking to Amsterdam from all over the world (Hughes 1998).

    But even if it was just in the bibliography, citing Donna Hughes is bad news and I am prepared to go on at length exactly why that is.

  68. Nancymc

    How many people are forced to work? Everybody I know. So if your argument is that being forced to work for a living is prostitution then most of us are prostitutes. The rest just live off the labor of us prostitutes.”

    This is a bullshit strawman.

    “there are people who do sex work because since they have to work anyway, they want to do something that, in their opinion, makes the most money with the least amount of effort.”

    Who? Who does this. Oh, your one friend who didn’t have sex for money. Nice sample. One friend who didn’t have sex for money = people who prefer to prostitute themselves because they can make a lot of money at it.

    How many people who make the decision to have sex for money do you need before you believe that it’s a phenomenon that exists? Come on, let’s have a number here.


    “Making simple black and white declarations is so sweet and easy and makes one feel so virtuous and pure. And it’s not too taxing on the brain either.”

    Again – how big a sample size do you need?


    See, the link I provided? It talks about actual prostituted women. It talks about sexual abuse, incest, drug abuse, domestic violence, and so on — all of which makes the choice to do sex work not actually a choice in the sense we’d like to understand free choice.

    I went to the link you provided, condescending ass. It conflates all forms of prostitution with forced prostitution. But why should you link to a web site that doesn’t support your own views?


    “And if you spend your time trying to stamp out ALL prostitution you may waste a chance to stamp out forced prostitution – that is, sex slavery.”

    Umm, how does that work, exactly? For example, Sweden’s law on prostitution, outlawing johns basically, somehow left sex slavery legally intact? It’s illegal to have sex with a prostituted woman, but not if she’s a sex slave? Is that what the law say? Sorry, don’t think so.

    So are you saying that by passing that law, Sweden has wiped out all forms of prostitution? Who knew it was so easy to stamp out all prostitution – all you have to do is pass a law.

    So do you really believe that prostitution has disappeared completely from Sweden – any form?


    You’re the one who sounds like the “godbag” — “well, you can’t fix *all* of women’s oppression. Some of it, you know, women choose. Don’t worry about the women who choose to be oppressed.”

    Choose to be oppressed. How does that work, exactly?


    “Just do your rant and don’t bother responding to my comments.”

    *MY* rant? Dude, your the one who called me names. Your the one who called me a “godbag”.

    Where did I call you a godbag? Saying you enjoy the same level of rhetorical nuance as godbags isn’t the same as calling you a godbag.


    The extent of my “rant” is a short paragraph and a link to some actual facts about prostituted women. I think some patriarchy blaming needs to be sent your way. Who else but a woman on her knees to the male sex god would ever say “prostituted women *want* to be prostituted! My friend who didn’t have sex for money proves it!”

    I wasn’t only talking to you. I think that even Twisty, as much as I admire her, indulges in simplistic statements – or at the very least statements that she doesn’t care to elaborate on, and so her rant – and I use that term as a compliment – while it may be stimulating and incredibly well-written, doesn’t necessarily cover some of the stickier issues raised by the rant.

    And Andrea Dworkin isn’t right about everything either.

  69. Nancymc

    And BTW – you can all be mad at Katha Pollitt as well as me. She emailed me in response to the following letter to the NYTimes. Her comment was “congratulations on a great letter in the NYT. best, Katha”

    Stopping Sex Trafficking
    (NYT) 223 words
    Published: February 5, 2005

    To the Editor:
    I’m very glad that Nicholas D. Kristof is working to fight against sex slavery, but is not conflating sex slavery with all forms of prostitution.

    The end of prostitution will come when all people have a way to earn a living that is preferable to having sex for money. And as much as I’d like to live in that kind of world, I doubt anybody ever will. So to spend our time trying to wipe out all forms of voluntary prostitution is a waste of precious time.

    But ending sex slavery is a much more tractable problem, if we stay focused on the real problem — not people having sex for money, but people (not all sex slaves are female, of course) forced to have sex against their will.

    And that’s why feminism is more effective at fighting sex slavery than conservatism — because feminists aim at ending forced sex, while conservatives aim at ending all forms of nonmarital sex, whether it’s forced or not.

    Nancy McClernan
    Jan. 29, 2005

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0815FB3A5F0C768CDDAB0894DD404482

  70. Violet Socks

    Nancy, that was my definition of patriarchy, not prostitution. And I was using “fuck” in the fullest sense. I’m going to assume you just misunderstood me.

    So are you saying that if a woman makes great money doing relatively easy sex-work – say $200 for every hand job, it should be legal?

    Note that this post began with the story of some extremely disadvantaged prostitutes — which most prostitutes are. Note that you reply with anecdotes about high-priced call girls who give $200 hand jobs.

    I bet we could go on and on like this. I bet someone could offer hard statistics about trafficking, abuse, violence, rape, the actual lot in life of most prostitutes — in fact I think someone already has. And I bet you would continue to reply with more anecdotes about Heidi Fleiss and some girl you knew in college.

    I’m pretty sure most feminists aren’t moralistically hung up on sex, and sure as hell aren’t interested in punishing prostitutes for anything. I’m certainly not. But the real world of prostitution is ugly and mean and brutal, and it needs to stop. Talking about those 3 women in the world who enjoy their work is completely dodging the issue. I don’t mean to get too personal, but I almost wonder if you aren’t the one who’s hung up on the sex angle.

  71. Emma

    How many people who make the decision to have sex for money do you need before you believe that it’s a phenomenon that exists? Come on, let’s have a number here.

    I think you’re missing the point, Nancy. Choices are heavily influenced by the context(s) in which they are made. I presumed that you understood this from the point you made about policy solutions to prostitution. Ergo, one of the factors that influenced your friend’s choice to pursue work as a dominatrix was surely the fact that it is very difficult to secure well-paid jobs that offer working patterns sufficiently flexible to enable postholders to care for sick friends. There is also a dearth of health/social services offering respite care of sufficient quality/low cost to enable unpaid carers to work more traditional hours.

    Women don’t leave high-paid, high-status jobs to give mythical $200 hand jobs. Women who have run into the myriad ways patriarchy fucks us over give $20 handjobs, and to write letters to the NY Times valorising their ‘choices ‘ while disparaging any attempt to alleviate their poverty or construct policy solutions to their misery is both silly and wrong.

    But even if it was just in the bibliography, citing Donna Hughes is bad news and I am prepared to go on at length exactly why that is.

    I’m lost as to why it’s contentious to suggest that the Netherlands is one of the most pro-sexwork states. It is.

  72. NancyMc

    Violet Socks on Feb 16th, 2006 at 12:17 pm
    Nancy, that was my definition of patriarchy, not prostitution. And I was using “fuck” in the fullest sense. I’m going to assume you just misunderstood me.

    What you said was:

    olet Socks on Feb 16th, 2006 at 3:50 am
    Nancy, prostitution is part of the patriarchal paradigm, where some people are the fuckers and some people are the fuckees. The fuckers are overwhelmingly male and the fuckees are overwhelmingly female. The relatively tiny number of male prostitutes doesn’t change the basic setup. Male prostitutes have basically been feminized — in the same way that some male prisoners are feminized — into the role of fuckee.

    It is not clear here whether you are using fuck in the sense of sexual relations or fuck in the sense of being fucked over. Which is it?


    So are you saying that if a woman makes great money doing relatively easy sex-work – say $200 for every hand job, it should be legal?

    Note that this post began with the story of some extremely disadvantaged prostitutes — which most prostitutes are. Note that you reply with anecdotes about high-priced call girls who give $200 hand jobs.

    I bet we could go on and on like this. I bet someone could offer hard statistics about trafficking, abuse, violence, rape, the actual lot in life of most prostitutes — in fact I think someone already has. And I bet you would continue to reply with more anecdotes about Heidi Fleiss and some girl you knew in college.

    I’m pretty sure most feminists aren’t moralistically hung up on sex, and sure as hell aren’t interested in punishing prostitutes for anything. I’m certainly not. But the real world of prostitution is ugly and mean and brutal, and it needs to stop.

    But the fact that many, or even most prostitutes work in exploitive conditions was never disputed by me. I initially responded on this thread by nothing that Twisty acknowledged that not all prostitution is forced prostitution.

    And if your argument is that exploitive working conditions are what make prostitution wrong, then if prostitutes are working under good, well paid conditions then it isn’t wrong. No more wrong than any high-paid work.

    Talking about those 3 women in the world who enjoy their work is completely dodging the issue.

    How is that dodging the issue? It’s acknowledging that the issue isn’t as simple as all prostitution is dangerous, ill-paid and forced.

    I don’t mean to get too personal, but I almost wonder if you aren’t the one who’s hung up on the sex angle.

    Well Char has already proclaimed that I’m on my knees to the male sex god, so I’m certainly not surprised by personal insults from anybody on your side of the debate. Clearly an enemy is needed, and since those asshole Spotsylvania cops aren’t here to yell at, I’m the closest thing on this thread. So I pretty much expected this kind of shit.

    But if you’re going to get personal, you better explain on what grounds you’re wondering if I’m “hung up on the sex angle.”

    Because is you don’t have a good explanation then you’re just attempting to smear me.

  73. NancyMc

    Emma on Feb 16th, 2006 at 12:28 pm
    How many people who make the decision to have sex for money do you need before you believe that it’s a phenomenon that exists? Come on, let’s have a number here.

    I think you’re missing the point, Nancy.

    No, you missed the point. MY point is that not all prostitution is ill-paid, dangerous, or forced. To claim otherwise – and that’s what I think is going on here, based on various comments on this thread – is to oversimplify the issue.

    And my point in the Times letter was to point out that for some people prostitution isn’t bad because it’s forced, it’s bad because it’s about sex.

    To get more specific – Donna M. Hughes and people like her focus on prostitution, and ignore the fact that young women are forced into marriage all over the world. I don’t see how being forced into marriage is an improvement over being forced into prostitution. Certainly voluntary prostitution – which DOES exist – is prefereable to forced marriage.

    But conservatives don’t focus on forced marriages because “marriage” makes it all OK.

    To focus on paid sex is to miss what is really wrong in the world – that women and girls are being forced to have sex against their will, whether it’s forced prostitution on forced marriage.


    But even if it was just in the bibliography, citing Donna Hughes is bad news and I am prepared to go on at length exactly why that is.

    I’m lost as to why it’s contentious to suggest that the Netherlands is one of the most pro-sexwork states. It is.

    I wasn’t referring specifically to her claim here – I didn’t examine it closely.

    But she often conflates all prostitution with forced prostitution, and makes flawed, illogical and dishonest arguments. I know this both from her work in FrontPage magazine and email exchanges with her.

    Would you like me to provide examples?

  74. Burrow

    Char is my new hero. (I can never have a reasoned debate with such insanity.)

    All that any of us are saying is that we lilve in an *UNEQUAL* society and that if we lived in an *EQUAL* society then prostitution would disappear. I’ve done sex work (never had sex for money) and I found it to be the most horribly debasing experience of my life, and I hardly know of anyone else who does it who thinks it’s “great” and would freely choose to do it if they could get a well paying job without a college degree, etc. (Key word here is freely, Nancy: you do know what economic coercion is, right?)

  75. Emma

    To claim otherwise – and that’s what I think is going on here, based on various comments on this thread – is to oversimplify the issue.

    So what? So we should do nothing to address gendered poverty, gendered violence, a gender-blind benefits system, labour market inequalities, health provision that is failing women, piss-poor pedagogy and careers counselling, the ludicrous transatlantic ‘war on drugs’, and the dearth of quality/low cost childcare because some infinitestimally small proportion of women get to be ‘call-girls’ at the Waldorf-Astoria rather than spending their nights on their knees is a piss-filled alley?

    And my point in the Times letter was to point out that for some people prostitution isn’t bad because it’s forced, it’s bad because it’s about sex.

    And that’s super, but I’m not going to refuse to ally myself with any cause that godbags feel all antsy about just because they’re godbags. For instance, evangelicals in the UK weighed in behind the freedom-of-speechers on a government bill to outlaw mocking religion (I shit you not).

    My personal feeling is that ‘buying sex’ has about as much to do with ‘sex’ as ‘buying children’ does with ‘children’.

    To focus on paid sex is to miss what is really wrong in the world – that women and girls are being forced to have sex against their will, whether it’s forced prostitution on forced marriage.

    I don’t disagree (and I’m sure no one here does) that forced prostitution and forced marriage are wrong. However, that doesn’t make the experiences of prostituting women one I’m willing to sweep under the rug of personal agency.

    Would you like me to provide examples?

    No, I don’t care to read any more of your personal correspondence that strictly necessary.

    What I would say is that your point seemed to be that Bindel’s article wasn’t credible because of her citation of Hughes. Given that Hughes’s assertion was basically a truism, I can’t see what there is to get worked up about. I think Milton Friedman is an asshat, but that wouldn’t stop me quoting him.

  76. NancyMc

    Burrow on Feb 16th, 2006 at 1:05 pm
    Char is my new hero. (I can never have a reasoned debate with such insanity.)

    So now I’ve been called insane. Well, again, no surprise.


    All that any of us are saying is that we lilve in an *UNEQUAL* society and that if we lived in an *EQUAL* society then prostitution would disappear. I’ve done sex work (never had sex for money) and I found it to be the most horribly debasing experience of my life, and I hardly know of anyone else who does it who thinks it’s “great” and would freely choose to do it if they could get a well paying job without a college degree, etc. (Key word here is freely, Nancy: you do know what economic coercion is, right?)

    Again with the condescension. But if I’m insane then that’s kind of inappropriate, isn’t it? I mean, I can’t help if I’m insane, right?

    Is there anybody here who is saying we live in an *EQUAL* society, or who thinks that prostitution is “great”?

    You put words into my mouth – you even used quotation marks to make it look like I said something I didn’t say – and then argue against what you pretend I said. If there is any more pure illustration of the concept of “straw man” I don’t know what it is.

    Since Char is very sensitive to the creation of straw men, I don’t think your hero is going to be too pleased with your creating one so shamelessly and blatantly.

  77. Violet Socks

    It is not clear here whether you are using fuck in the sense of sexual relations or fuck in the sense of being fucked over. Which is it?

    Fucked over.

    But if you’re going to get personal, you better explain on what grounds you’re wondering if I’m “hung up on the sex angle.”
    Because is you don’t have a good explanation then you’re just attempting to smear me.

    I’m not trying to smear you. I’m simply bewildered by the anger and particular focus of your arguments. We’re talking about abused prostitutes and trafficking; you acknowledge this in passing, and then race on to argue that some women choose sex work and it’s a valid career path. What on earth does that have to do with 98% of the prostitutes in the world? Yet it’s all you want to talk about. You seem fixated on it. As for the assertion that we want to outlaw prostitution because we hate/fear/misunderstand sex (a conviction you share with the noble Tyler Durden), where is that coming from? Perhaps from some ghosts in your past, but not on this thread.

    I just have the overwhelming sensation that you are carrying on a ferocious argument with some phantasms in your head, rather than us.

    And you don’t do yourself any favors when you characterize a serious study by Julie Bindel as “joining the Donna Hughes club” because Bindel cited Hughes for one fucking statement.

    Look, I have no argument with you personally, and I think it’s self-evident that feminists of good will disagree about prostitution.

  78. Twisty

    To Nancy in 65

    Once again–and probably I’d save myself some time if I just put this in the sidebar and shut down the rest of the site– if the dominance/submission paradigm goes vamoose, so goeth all the sordid little cultural institutions that commodify human life.

    I say that anyone defends patriarchy who refuses to acknowledge that within a patriarchy, men who pay women for use of their cunts are commodifying them, regardless of how much they’re paying, or whether the women in question believe they are participating voluntarily. A patriarchy is a caste system, and within the female caste there is no individuality, no autonomy, no liberty. No distinction is made between $200 blowjobs and $20 blowjobs, except in the minds of those who do not grasp that women are either cunts or uteruses, or who do grasp it but don’t care.

    You know why a woman’s right to sell sex (or be a porn star, or shake her junk in a TV commercial for XBox) is always more vigorously defended than her right to not live in poverty, or to not be raped by her boyfriend, or to own her own uterus? It’s because sex is what women are for, and goddammit, no prude-ass government or shrill, simplistic feminist is gonna deny her her feminine destiny.

    And I certainly don’t see what’s so simplistic about the view that women’s liberation from male domination depends on our being accorded human status.

  79. Dim Undercellar

    Nancy said: “How many people who make the decision to have sex for money do you need before you believe that it’s a phenomenon that exists? Come on, let’s have a number here.”

    I’d like to see your number, with regards to how many women you’re willing to sacrifice. How many women is it acceptable to lose to rape, beating, disease, drug addiction, incest, and murder? What, exactly, constitutes Acceptable Losses to you?

    How many women is it ok to sell up the river in order to allow some other number of women to “choose” to do it to themselves?

  80. B. Dagger Lee

    Shoot, I am disappointed.

    I blame the patriarchy for teaching me black and white thinking; I blame the patriarchy for insisting on a right viewpoint and a wrong viewpoint; I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to demonize my opponents in an argument; I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to express contempt for other women, especially if they are self-avowed feminists. I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to vent my anger on other women instead of on the patriarchy. I blame the patriarchy for teaching me a form of argumentation which denies humanity to she with whom I am arguing, I blame the patriarchy for teaching me a form of vicious, cold ratiocination that is about venting anger and winning as opposed to having an enlightening discussion; I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to treat other feminist women who I disagree with like right wing trolls; I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to treat women like zombie abstractions with no autonomy of their own; I blame the patriarchy for dissolving my sense of psychic boundaries so that to disagree with me is to be worthy of destruction; I blame the patriarchy for teaching me to call those I disagree with crazy, colonized hysterical tools of the patriarchy.

    But I am, your very own, B. Dagger Lee

  81. NancyMc

    I just have the overwhelming sensation that you are carrying on a ferocious argument with some phantasms in your head, rather than us.

    I have the overwhelming sensation that because I won’t shut up about the reality of voluntary prostitution, I am considered a danger to the group.

    I had the same feeling when I went up against fans of Kos – back when the controversy about the stupid food fight commercial was raging. I said on the Majikthese site that I thought Kos was an asshole for his “women’s studies” remarks. Well the Kos sycophants came screaming out of the woodwork to tell me that my cunt stank and that I was probably a member of Little Green Footballs.

    And I didn’t even call Twisty an asshole. I admire her. But I don’t think she’s perfect or incapable of oversimplification or error. And in this case I think she’s made a misdiagnosis on the connection between prostitution and partriarchy.

    For Twisty’s sycophants though, it doesn’t matter how carefully I am willing to explain my reasoning, nor does it matter how often I have agreed with so much of what Twisty and others here have said. Even a minor, fine point disagreement is considered unspeakably rude and intolerable.

    Read my first comment on this thread. I don’t think I said anything that remarkable, but the discussion devolved into being told I’m a tool of the patriarchy, that I’m insane, that I have a problem with sex, which you alluded to.

    But it’s Twisty’s blog. If she wants to make declarations that cannot be argued with or questioned, on pain of being declared a patriarchy-lover, that’s her privilege. But if this blog is going to be hostile to even loyal dissent then I won’t hang around. Not that a non-sycophant will be missed.

  82. NancyMc

    It’s because sex is what women are for, and goddammit, no prude-ass government or shrill, simplistic feminist is gonna deny her her feminine destiny.

    And I certainly don’t see what’s so simplistic about the view that women’s liberation from male domination depends on our being accorded human status.

    Yes, we live in a patriarchy and it sucks. But do you think that it’s a sure bet that if patriarchy ceased then prostitution would cease?

    And how does male prostitution – either men paying for sex from other men, or women paying for sex from men – relate to your beliefs about prostitution and the denial of human status to women? Are you defining prostitution as exclusively men paying for sex from women? If so, what do you call that other shit?

    Does the very act of asking these questions make me a defective patriarchy blamer?

  83. Twisty

    Kee-rist, will you guys lighten UP? I believe that patriarchy does away with women’s autonomy, and Nancy doesn’t. Big whoop. B. Dagger,nobody is calling for anybody’s “destruction.” What the fuck?

  84. Emma

    For Twisty’s sycophants though

    Grow up. I’m sure that you’re usually a jolly nice person, but there is no need for the snide insinuation that the feminists who’ve commented on this post have objections to prostitution entirely based on their desire to ass-kiss Twisty.

    I have the overwhelming sensation that because I won’t shut up about the reality of voluntary prostitution, I am considered a danger to the group.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that I think feminists who spend so much effort valorising the ‘choices’ of women to prostitute themselves are undermining our collective challenge to patriarchy (if not ‘the group’).

    To me it seems as ridiculous as Women’s Aid spending time discussing the ‘choices’ of women to stay with abusive partners. Technically, women do have a choice to stay or to go, but reducing the barriers to women leaving their abusive situations is surely the goal above advocating for the rights of women to stay.

    Equally, women have choices to act out ‘forced sex’ fantasies, but Rape Crisis centres don’t spend any of their time lobbying for this supposedly empowering choice of women to be taken seriously and for ‘forced sex’ scenarios to be included in mainstream media.

  85. NancyMc

    Twisty on Feb 16th, 2006 at 5:23 pm
    Kee-rist, will you guys lighten UP? I believe that patriarchy does away with women’s autonomy, and Nancy doesn’t.

    Define “women’s autonomy.” Are you saying we’re a bunch of hopeless patriarchy robots?

  86. NancyMc

    For Twisty’s sycophants though

    Grow up. I’m sure that you’re usually a jolly nice person, but there is no need for the snide insinuation that the feminists who’ve commented on this post have objections to prostitution entirely based on their desire to ass-kiss Twisty.

    I never made that “snide insinuation” you inferred it, incorrectly. Not all feminists are Twisty’s sycophants, nor do I think that anybody who agrees with Twisty is automatically sycophant.

    But Twisty, like other popular bloggers, does have what I would call sycophants. That’s just how it is. Some people like to follow.

  87. B. Dagger Lee

    Dear Twisty:

    No, I think the tone went to hell in an ugly handbasket, and that buried deep in some back and forth bullying and hostility, is what could have been an interesting and enlightening discussion, but that the thread went awry, and there was a lot of disrespect thrown around among women, among feminists, and that it’s disappointing. I doubt anyone’s mind was changed or enlightened. I think people were sloppy with their writing and vented a lot of anger.

    We are not face to face; because we all sit behind anonymous keyboards, behind anonymous personas or handles, there’s a certain freedom to verbally whup-ass someone else in the comments. It’s ugly, it disappoints me, it’s hard for me to lighten up as a witness to it.

    But, I remain, as always, B. Dagger Lee.

  88. Delphyne

    I’m just wondering how Donna Hughes suddenly became the feminist no-one wants to associate with. She makes prettty much the same arguments as Julie Bindel. In fact I just saw Bindel on telly last night talking about how the Angry Feminists which she was a member of burnt down sex shops and put concrete down the toilets in porn cinemas in Leeds back in the day. Bindel is hard core and quoting Hughes doesn’t damage any feminist’s credibility.

  89. B. Dagger Lee

    Lest I seem positionless, I will add that I think NancyMc’s posts have been largely well-behaved and graceful in the face of posts that are contemptous of her position and mischaracterize what she writes. When I read back over the posts, I think she’s being bullied. I don’t like it, I don’t.

    Sadly, I am, B. Dagger Lee

  90. WookieMonster

    Hmmm…what I see is one side arguing that 1% of a huge population choosing to do what they do makes the situation of the 99% of the rest of that population justifiable. I just don’t see how making prostitution from the consumer and supplier angle in general illegal will change at all the situation of the ones who enjoy their chosen prostitution. If they don’t advertise their profession (as they can’t now), and they aren’t reporting their clients for abusing them (which you would have to admit would be an ecelent method of self-defense/protection for even a chosen prostitude). So who exactly is going to report a crime for a willing and well paid prostitutive (is that even a word?) act?

    We need to do something about the 99% who are being abused. Why would you argue that at all? How can you say that you care about women, yet ignore the simple fact that the vast majority of prostitutes don’t chose their profession and shouldn’t have to be in that situation, and the relative few that choose the profession shouldn’t even enter into the equation for fixing the really fucked up situation of the rest.

  91. WookieMonster

    Woops, really should have spell checked that. Sorry.

  92. hedonisticpleasureseeker

    I’ve recently struggled with the (abstract) concept of prostitution, for personal reasons. I’ve never engaged directly in a cash-for-flesh exchange, but I’ve been much spoiled in the past by indulgent men willing to do just about anything to maintain access to what lies between my legs.

    I recently decided to become a Marriage Refuser despite the fact that – - – never mind my career – - – marriage seemed to offer me the best chance of (financial) dignity in old age. That I’m not even remotely interested in being a “wife” again didn’t even register until the opportunity stared me in the face.

    But isn’t marriage paritally a cash-for-flesh exchange? Meaning, we pool our assets, we remain emotionally/sexually available to each other, deal. We DO commodify each other, even in love relationships. Really, all my (non-family) relationships are CONDITIONAL, meaning there is balance; I offer something to the relationship and get something back. If a certain kind of energy balance is achieved, the relationship continues. Money is congealed energy, an abstract construct that plays into the equation. Money is a commodity, sex is “commodified,” but isn’t also affection? Wisdom? Childcare? A helping hand?

    (and I’m fully aware that I’m dealing with spiritual Human Beings here, not objects existing solely to serve my needs)

    I don’t know if commodification would change if Patriarchy were to disappear tomorrow. Twisty says so, and I want to believe her . . . but I just don’t know. And unfortunately, we’re unlikely to find out during our lifetimes. The problem with prostitution today is that it is physical and economic exploitation. Women are being raped on many levels, not only physically but economically. Patriarchy puts women in economically disadvantaged situations, thereby guaranteeing a veritable parade of women desperate enough to barter their sexuality for a handful of bills and/or a sandwich. And regardless of the going “rate,” it is no measure of what their sexuality is really “worth” (one might even call this worth “priceless”).

    That’s why we need to fight the “legalization” of prostitution tooth-and-nail, never mind those 10 women in the world who make $10K per night. And if you doubt women like this exist, go to http://www.jetsetblog.com and prepare to be blown away. I sure was. And then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice, while we feminists fight the Patriarchy (and wait for HELL to freeze over), if the sex-industry were to dry up because all the prostitutes and porn stars were able to “price” themselves out of the market because they had better options?

  93. thebewilderness

    I love Twistys comment threads because they are the only threads in cyberspace where even the trolls are relatively articulate and polite. Seriously, the only ones.
    I blame the patriarchy.

  94. darkymac

    Nancy, Nancy, Nancy

    What are you doing hanging around here so much again?
    I thought you’d promised to fuck off when you last stirred some shit.
    Haven’t you got some self-advertising to do where someone else is paying the bill?

    See, it’s nice that Twisty rants on her blog – she is great at it. I’d say she’s a certified genius. I admire her work.

    But even the best rant in the world is not a sound basis for a workable or even fair social policy.

    Bait and switch.
    Clumsy.
    And pretty laughable for a fellow writer to protest another’s genius in such less than superlative terms as “nice” and “admire”.

    It’s understandable however that you got a few bites: you’ve lain low for a few months and there are enough new readers for you to be able to stir the shit again.

    Put your money where your mouth is and this time keep your promise.

    But if this blog is going to be hostile to even loyal dissent then I won’t hang around.

    Although there was nothing loyal in your attention-seeking in this thread.
    At least not to the host.

    Fair argument has nothing to do with claiming good motives and you’re a schlemeil at the rest of it.
    Piss off.

    Of course I mean nothing nasty by saying that. I admire your writing genius and am only saying all this for your own good.

  95. darkymac

    edit:

    where someone else is paying the bill.

    I regret the misplacement of tags. Especially since I slept on my post and should have taken equal care with the proof-reading.

  96. Luckynkl

    In many counties in Nevada, brothels and prostitution has been legalized. But alas, apparently some of the pimps did not pay their taxes. At least that’s the claim of the feds. Who promptly seized the pimp’s property, which included the prostitutes, and went into the business of prostituting women in order to “recover tax revenue.” That’s right. The U.S. government is a pimp. Which is in the business of prostuting women. Who are still seen as “property” by the state in the year 2006.

    No big surprise there. The church and state have been viewing women as property since patriarchy and worms first started crawling out from under their rocks and legalized the rape, owernership, and prostitution of women. Which we know better as “marriage.”

    The patriarchy is not just made up of men. Tho it was created by men, for men and is maintained by men. However, some of its best supporters and soldiers are women. Who are employed by patriarchs to use as shields to hide behind. Sort of like how a secretary is used by a boss to protect and prevent him from having to deal with the public so he can continue on with his nasty little actions in peace.

    This is not a new tactic used by the patriarchs. Many of the overseers of slaves on plantations were black. Many of the foremen in the Nazi death camps were Jews. Is that an excuse to legitmize slavery and a holocaust? Especially if they’re being “nice” and “polite” about it? Whatever the hell that means. As far as I’m concerned, it makes no difference whether I’m shot in the back by someone that’s smiling and polite, or shot in a frontal confrontation by someone rude. I’m still dead. Do you think it really matters to me how nice and polite the person was?

    IOWs, “niceness” and “politeness” is a lame argument. There is nothing “nice” or “polite” about slavery, holocausts or the prostituting of women. And it’s an even more absurd argument to claim that the supporters of these institutions are being “bullied” when people en masse protest it. Talk about a complete reversal! The bully is being bullied? lol. Which seems to be the going thing these days. What’s amazing to me is how many people actually buy this crap. Oh, it’s not the slaves that are oppressed and bullied, it’s the slave owners! It’s not the Jews that were being oppressed and bullied, it’s the Nazis! It’s not the prostitutes that are being oppressed and bullied, it’s their pimps and supporters! Got any other swampland you’d like to sell us, Nancy and B. Dagger Lee?

    All I can say is, kissing the patriarchy’s ass is not going to save your own. Any more than it did the black overseer or the Jewish foreman. In the end, they were viewed no differently by their oppressors than those they oversaw. At best, all they bought was a little time. Until they were all used up by their oppressors and tossed aside like a pile of garbage. And their fate was one and the same.

  97. Twisty

    I’m going to take this opportunity to remind everybody that patriarchy-blaming is supposed to be fun.

    Meanwhile, I’m sure everyone is aware that when I say “women have no autonomy” I do not mean “women are too dumb to be autonomous,” but in fact “our social order does not allow women the luxury of self-determination.” Everybody is aware of that, so I don’t have to mention it.

    Meanwhile, NancyMc, however gracefully, asserts that some women love prostitution so much they would rather boink for bucks than do anything else, and that their decision to live this idyllic life is derived from an inner strength so awesome that they are able to exist outside the overwhelming forces of patriarchal sexbotism that afflict every other woman on the planet including me. This point, fascinating though it may be, is actually extremely tangential to the original post, which, if you’ll allow me to recap, was about the hypocrisy of the state, taken to its ludicrous Spotsylvanian extreme, in simultaneously promoting and punishing the sort of prostitution where women are essentially sex slaves. Which is essentially all prostitution.

    For the purposes of discussion on this particular post, I submit that happy hookers, should they even exist, cannot much benefit from patriarchy-blaming support since they are clearly well-adjusted and unfettered by the dehumanizing constraints that encumber all other women, and because their chosen profession is in no danger whatsoever of being eradicated.

    The women in far greater need of lip service from ideological kibitzers on lefty blogs are those whose lives have been ruined by their forced membership in the sex caste.

  98. Char

    “It’s understandable however that you got a few bites: you’ve lain low for a few months and there are enough new readers for you to be able to stir the shit again.”

    Well, clearly I fall in this category. I’m never very good at checking for backstory. Sorry for facilitating an shit-stirring.

    Although, I’ll get a last plug in for http://www.prostitutionresearch.com. Well worth looking at for educational and activism purposes.

  99. SisterJ

    FYI: Va. Sheriff stops Sex Stings.

    Earlier this week, Smith told The Washington Post that sexual contact is needed during the investigations because most professionals know not to say anything incriminating. And conversation is difficult, he said, because masseuses at the Asian-run parlors in the northern Virginia county speak little English.

    So if they were British, no sexual contact? What’s it called again when you have a separate system of justice for people of color?

  100. NancyMc


    NancyMc, however gracefully, asserts that some women love prostitution so much they would rather boink for bucks than do anything else, and that their decision to live this idyllic life is derived from an inner strength so awesome that they are able to exist outside the overwhelming forces of patriarchal sexbotism that afflict every other woman on the planet including me.

    So basically we can’t have this discussion, is what you’re saying. Because you refuse to respond to my direct questions.

    It’s much simpler to say prostitution is about enslaving women, and just ignore male prostitution or women who choose sex work. But I think there’s a clear logical contradiction there, and there are finer points of work and class and exploitation that are being oversimplified.

    But because I detect logical problems and because I think that finer points are being ignored doesn’t prove that therefore I don’t understand the prevelance of patriarchy, or don’t care about the evils of sex slavery.

    You’re not interested in getting into the logical contradictions and fine points, and that’s fine. Life is short and your focus is on blaming the patriarchy. But to claim that I think prostitution is an “idyllic life” is a shitty thing to do. Whether you’re deliberately misrepresenting my views or engaging in exuberant literary hyperbole, it’s dishonorable. But maybe it’s not your fault, because, you know, how could you be expected to be honorable when we’re living in a patriarchy?

  101. Twisty

    I’m saying the discussion you want to have is irrelevant to the post. I’m also saying male prostitution is irrelevant to the post. The post is not about happy hookers. You have hijacked the thread. Knock it off.

  102. kathy a

    spotsylvania decided to abandon this law enforcement technique, lest they become the “laughingstock of the nation”:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060218/ap_on_re_us/undercover_sex;_ylt=AoqcclB6KLt6tWUm1HoJE3ZI2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA–

  103. Kate

    Hedon says: “And then I thought, wouldn’t it be nice, while we feminists fight the Patriarchy (and wait for HELL to freeze over), if the sex-industry were to dry up because all the prostitutes and porn stars were able to “price” themselves out of the market because they had better options?”

    Exactly.

  104. B - but not Dagger!

    To me it seems that many posters miss the point. For me the problem with prostitution is that people accept that having sex (though I personally wouldn’t dignify it with calling it sex)with unwilling bodies is ok. It doesn’t matter how much money the prostitute gets. What matters is that our culture has a view of sex as something that doesn’t have to be mutual.

    As an aside – for a woman who isn’t aroused penetration nearly always leads to problems such as vestibulitis or similar diseases. Something completely ignored in a culture where women are expected to “put out”.

    To repeat. The problem is that people (mostly men) think that having sex with someone who isn’t aroused or interested in them is a fun and ok thing to do.

    “Working” conditions, abuse, drug use, level of choice involved are all secondary issues. These issues only exist because of that first sick mindset.

  1. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » Hot New Blog Celebrates Police Abuse of Prostitution

    [...] Hot New Blog Celebrates Police Abuse of Prostitution Although I’m a denizen of Virginia, I hadn’t planned to post on the story about Spotsylvania County police officers having sex with prostitutes in order to get “evidence” for convictions. Twisty covered it perfectly well. [...]

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