Category Archives: Prostitution

Prostitution Is Temporary Slavery

No shackles, no chains. Still lack of freedom.

 

It sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? I hear the arguments. Prostitution is more like rental or leasing, it’s nowhere near shackles and chains.

So shackles and chains define slavery? In what universe?

People in 1850s Georgia, especially children, would never have been able to pick so much cotton in shackles and chains. Yet they were no less slaves.

Oh, but there was a bill of sale, too. Proof that the owner, well, possessed human beings.

There has to be a bill of sale? Tell that to the millions of slaves in India, many of them children who are given over to slavery because of their parents’ debts. No bill of sale there.

But . . . but . . . it’s not ownership of a female or male prostitute. It’s like a rental car – you take it out for a spin and return it.

Let’s examine that repugnant analogy. First, humans aren’t “taken out for spins”. Second, when you rent a car, you are responsible for its condition when you return it. Crack the windshield, you pay. Tear off a hubcap, you pay.

If a prostitute, female or male, were truly “rented”, the johns who beat them would pay damages at the end of their session. Truth is, they don’t. People who are beaten and assaulted are never recompensed. In fact, they might be beaten again by their pimp.

Not do most prostitutes have much control over the acts they are required to perform or the ways their bodies are penetrated. Especially not if they’ve been trafficked, have been forcibly addicted to drugs, are mentally ill because of the way they’re treated (over 90%) and/or are under 18.

What the johns do is acquire temporary possession over someone else’s body without her/his informed and valid consent. Sometimes they return that body in relatively unchanged condition. Sometimes, they don’t.

You know what that makes them? It makes them possessors – even for a brief interlude – of another human being. It makes them slave-owners.

Despite weird apologists like Cliven Bundy, people in Western nations claim to hate slavery as an human rights offense, so where is the outrage over this? We despise the Shia Islamic notion of temporary marriage, nikah mut’ah, viewing it as just another excuse for abuse of women and girls, so why is the temporary slavery of prostitution okey-dokey?

It’s because few people have made the connection between the two. Just as in pre-Civil War times, most white citizens in the southern US accepted that darker-skinned people had fewer rights. That was regarded as immutable law. Until the truth came crashing in.

Paying for sex ought to be illegal. That’s what the Nordic countries have legislated, and a similar push is on in the UK.

Not because prostitution is unhealthy – though it is – not because it’s demeaning and dangerous, though it’s that, too.

It should be illegal because it turns johns into temporary slave-owners, and slavery is an offense against human rights.

 

 

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Filed under Abuse, Prostitution

The FBI Missed These Clues

The Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan on the right

 

The investigation into the two jihadist bomber brothers whose homemade IEDs killed and maimed at the Boston Marathon is ongoing. As I write this, the US is angry at Russia for not disclosing more about the Tsarnaev brothers, including wiretaps on their mother in the Russian region of Dagestan, when she spoke to her eldest son and apparently conveyed messages to him from more Islamists. By the end of this week, more may be revealed.

 

What we already know is more than enough to convict the younger brother, now resting in a federal medical detention center, his small cell barred with a steel door.

 

We know that the elder brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, became radicalized after his boxing dreams faded. We know he went to Russia and returned more Islamist than ever, creating angry scenes in his mosque. We know he was, as his uncle described, a “loser” who collected welfare after his American-born wife gave birth – she went out to work up to 80-hour weeks, he stayed home and looked after their child.

 

We know that he was abusive to his wife, throwing furniture at her and calling her a “slut” and “prostitute”.

 

Wait a moment. Who in their right mind does that to their wife? No one.

 

That  is the clue that the FBI should have picked up on. Long before the bombs, long before his YouTube postings and mosque rants, Tamerlan was exhibiting behavior characteristic of an aggressive, unrestrained, respect-no-boundaries man. It doesn’t take much to anticipate that his behavior in one sector of his life would be replicated in other sectors. Once repeated in other sectors, it’s only a hop-skip-jump from wife abuse plus angry outbursts in the mosque to attacks on other people.

 

Life is not a waffle, every square separate and walled-off from every other square. Instead, life is linguini. Each strand touches other strands. People who abuse their spouses are likely to be doing other nasty things that require the same arrogance and rules-breaking. They cheat on income tax, perhaps, or force sex on children or trafficked people. They speed through red lights or embezzle from work or drink too much before getting behind the wheel. Or they decide to make homemade bombs and set them off by remote control behind crowds at the Boston Marathon.

 

Where the FBI and police forces need to look is at the strands they do know, in order to get clues as to strands they have not yet seen. Pay attention to behavior that hurts individuals (in this case, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife) in order to stop it and prevent future harm to groups. It’s the difference between a small pain footprint and one that’s huge, smashing scores of people.

 

This is no futuristic, Tom Cruise-ish, “Minority Report” suggestion. This is reliable policing and investigation. It’s paying attention to broken windows in order to prevent bigger crime. Anyone who abuses family members ought to be regarded as a person who might be hiding other crimes and misdemeanors, and is likely to accelerate that behavior much as a runaway car picks up speed downhill.

 

This may be hard for the FBI and police groups to get used to. Officers who abuse their own family members or romantic interests may not want to arrest or investigate someone who “just” hurls insults and furniture, someone who is a domestic terrorist “just” at home. Yet this is exactly what they must do. The same principle governs vaccinations: Impose a little pain now (the MMR jab) in order to prevent more harm later (measles, mumps and rubella, with their host of potential offshoot harms). It’s preventive medicine for the community’s health as well as that of the abused family members and friends.

 

Who in their right mind would insult his wife and throw chairs at her? No one. In their right mind.

 

But a future Boston Marathon bomber did it. Clues, people, clues.

 

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Filed under Abuse, Bomb, Boston, FBI, Islamist, Law, Pain, Pain footprint, Prostitution, Slut, Trafficking, Tsarnaev, Violence

That Fly on the Wall May Save a Child

The current size of micro-drones

 

We’ve all heard of drones. Not the bee kind, but the type that, remotely controlled like your little brother’s plane, flies over long distances and attacks buildings and people.

 

There’s even a line of clothing that claims to disguise the wearer from drones. Stealth wear, it’s called.

 

Drones (and killer robots) are big these days. They’re visible. But drones are getting smaller. And smaller. Soon, very soon, several nations will have micro-drone capabilities, and attacks from the sky will be less obvious. Controlled from hundreds, thousands of miles away, a mass of new drones the size of pigeons will be able to suss out a city or building and sneak up on targets who won’t know what hit them. From the Guardian: “The only thing currently holding this stuff back is battery technology, although they’re reportedly already working on ways to let the flying deathbots leach power from electricity cables to recharge themselves mid-mission.”

 

You don’t think it will stop there, do you?

 

Miniaturization indicates that in a few years, micro-drones will be the size of cockroaches, perhaps flies.

 

At that point, they’ll be used for constant surveillance. For predicting where a suspect is heading, and why, for preventing attacks and crime.

 

Not solely overseas, silly. Here, too.

 

You don’t think so? Why not? Why not use technology to uncover and prevent crime?

 

Convicted sex offenders — who should never have been let out of prison — are currently disarming and removing the tracking devices that were to have prevented them from attacking innocent people. They’re making life hell for their new victims. One may argue whether their crimes deserve lifelong incarceration, but we cannot argue that the system of tracking devices is succeeding. It’s a horrible failure.

 

Suppose, though, that instead of a device attached to the ankle, each released offender knew he would be followed at all times by devices he would not be able to identify? Everywhere he went, every person he called or saw, everything he did would be filmed and taped. If he went to forbidden places, that would be seen, and he would be re-arrested. If he did anything to warrant re-arrest, it would happen. One can even imagine the tiny mechanical spies armed with spray sedatives to spritz in the offender’s face. Instant incapacity, making arrest much easier.

 

Think what this would do to parolees who re-offend. They would be stopped.

 

Parolees who kidnap and terrorize children, who rape and murder? No more.

 

Wait. It could get better.

 

If you’re a teacher, you know quite well that some of the children in your classroom are being abused by parents or other adults. Yet making a case is difficult, especially in areas with poorly trained child protection staff. If you could mention your concern, however, if micro-drones could be sent to the child’s house – they would pick up on abuse, and the child would be rescued from torture. Inflicting pain simply out of cruelty is torture.

 

Police vice squads could assign drones to follow people they suspect are being forced to prostitute themselves, essentially enslaved. Once they see the john or pimp, boom, sedative spray and arrest. Of the men controlling someone else’s body, not the person who has been grossly abused.

 

The anti-crime possibilities of the new technology are legion. People might even purchase them to protect against crime on the street. Rapes would be fewer if men knew they would be watched by drones somewhere near the person they intended to violate.

 

Will there be micro-drone abuse? Of course. The ACLU ought to be ratcheting up right now, insisting that law-abiding citizens be protected from intrusion.

 

Yet many people look law-abiding, who are not. Pillars of the community, supposedly. Quite a bit of crime, of terror, is hidden. Just look at the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal in the UK. Decades of sexual abuse and rape of children, all hidden – except that some people knew, and some suspected, and even more felt a twinge of “ewww” when they were around Savile.

 

How many children could have been saved from Savile and his friends, if only those adults’ crimes had come to general light? If children in pain could back up their stories of sexual abuse? If the police had photographic evidence? How many people with that pain in their past would still be alive, not dead due to suicide?

 

Like television, like the internet, like any new technology (even automobiles, originally considered enablers of sin because they gave courting couples license to stray off the front porch and away from chaperoning eyes), micro-drones may lead to wrongdoing.

 

They could also lead to putting things right, and preventing crime against innocents. They could make it impossible for a jackal to hide himself in sheep’s clothing, to masquerade as pillar of the community or caring parent or ethical human being.

 

Surely those are worthy aims?

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Filed under Abuse, ACLU, Britain, Cruelty, Domestic terrorism, Guardian, Health, Jimmy Savile, Law, Micro-drone, Misogyny, Pain, Prostitution, Rape, Rape is torture, Spycraft, Stealth, Surveillance

Joking About Torture

This man jokes about torture.

 

This morning, “The View’s” Joy Behar repeated a joke performed by Sarah Silverstein: “I was raped by a doctor – which is bittersweet for a Jewish girl”. It got a mild laugh from Behar’s audience.

 

My take is the people who laughed were responding to the alleged predilection of Jewish women for physician spouses. Thus the “sweet”.

 

The rest of the audience, the non-laughers, responded to the bitter. The rape itself.

 

Why did Behar read this particular joke? Because of the recent flurry of condemnation over Daniel Tosh’s remarks to a member of his own stand-up audience at the Laugh Factory.

 

Tosh had remarked that everything, even rape, could be the subject of humor. A woman in the audience objected, saying rape could never be humorous. From the stage, Tosh then reeled off this:

 

“Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her . . ..”

 

Thank goodness a friend of the woman wrote about the exchange, which she had witnessed, on her Tumblr page.

 

What Tosh said and suggested (even tried to incite) was not a “joke”. It was an invitation to criminal assault. Invitations to criminal assault are not funny. They’re cruel and unjust.

 

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Tosh has not experienced rape. If he had, he would likely never, never, joke about it.

 

Those courageous men who testified against Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky (link to today’s damning Freeh Report here – note the phrase “total disregard for victims”) were, as boys, raped. Think they tell jokes about it?

 

The girls and women around the world who are trafficked and sold to pimps, forced to accept the erect penises of up to thirty men a day (which is not consensual intercourse – because they’re threatened with harm by the pimps – and thus is rape each and every time) . . . think they joke about rape?

 

If Tosh knew there was a contract out on him, a contract not for murder but for rape, he wouldn’t “joke” about it. If he knew that sometime, someday soon, five guys were going to corner him, jump him, hold him down . . . he wouldn’t “joke”. If he feared that this bunch of guys wouldn’t beat him, but would instead force him sexually, one after another? He would not “joke”.

 

Message to Daniel Tosh: there are some things only torturers “joke” about.

 

One of them is a bunch of five guys . . . you get the picture, Danny-boy.

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Filed under Daniel Tosh, Joking, Misogyny, Penn State, Prostitution, Rape, Rape is torture, Sandusky, Torture, Trafficking, Violence, War against women

Women’s Lost Libidos

The bonkbuster queen

 

Jilly Cooper was not a name I knew until today. In the UK, she’s a best-selling author. She writes bonkbusters.

 

That, too, was a word I didn’t know.

 

The OED – which added the word in 2002 – defines bonkbuster as “a type of popular novel characterised by frequent sexual encounters between the characters”, a definition that sounds repetitive, but then so is the topic. (The word’s inventor, a novelist named Sue Limb – you there, at the back of the room, no sniggering! – created it in 1988 after a publisher asked her to write a “big thick book with lots of bonking in it”.)

 

In the US, we frequently refer to such books as romance novels, although most of the romance occurs within the reader’s brain.

 

So Cooper can claim some familiarity with the concept of frequent sexual encounters, but what she says in today’s Telegraph is that, friends, it’s just not happening much anymore (not for adult women, anyway – do the research on sexual trafficking) because female libidos have been lost.

 

As in, they’re here somewhere, take a look round, love, maybe we’ll recapture them with this butterfly net.

 

Cooper, whose writing depends on that segment of the female reading public who feel a certain stirring at the sight of Rupert Penry-Jones or Johnny Depp, is understandably concerned.

 

“Doctors’ waiting rooms are absolutely brimming these days with women suffering from low libidos. Ours is now a terribly under-sexed society. I have talked to a lot of young women about this and they just don’t seem to do it any more. Honestly. I suppose it’s because we all have so many other demands on our time now,” she said.

 

Never fear, Jilly!

 

The recent publication of Fifty Shades of Grey (“While I have heard that it is quite poorly written, I am delighted that it’s giving a new lease of life to the genre,” said Cooper) has revved up the strategically located powerhouses of certain women.

 

But if I were Jilly Cooper, who is a marvelous-looking 75-year-old, by the way (check out her photo, above), I would get the Telegraph back on the line to come interview me pronto for the answer to those flitted-off libidos.

 

It’s not the demands on our time. How long does a decent bonk take? Thirty minutes, max? And then there are quickies and lazies and “just one shag before the kids need breakfast”. We spend more time in front of the TV or computer/iPad/Kindle screen.

 

It’s not our husbands, lovers or partners, most of whom would love to get more action. (If yours is not of that mind, quick, get thee to a counselor or divorce lawyer, because the jig really is up.) In any case, there are ED drugs a-plenty.

 

It could be mental or emotional illness, it could be stress. It could be anger.

 

But the most likely culprit? Fat.

 

The UK approaches the US in rates of overweight and obese people. This 2011 chart compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that in the US, the rate of obesity was 33.9%. One in three Americans is clinically obese. In the UK, the rate was 22.7. Both rates are said to be growing, as is the amount of food required to sustain such weights, and the resultant medical costs.

 

One thing about sexual desire, it’s propelled by “male” hormones in both men and women. Men have more testosterone, so they often have more desire. But women, too, need their little bit of male “zoom” in their bloodstreams in order to want a shag.

 

Excess fat doesn’t store sexy, manly testosterone. In fact, it stores its opposite number, the lady with the soft touch: estrogen.

 

Now, estrogen is incredibly useful. We can’t get along without it, none of us. But it’s a nurturing hormone (in fact, it’s infamous for nurturing malignancies, which is why alternative-medicine people put themselves on starvation diets in order to defeat cancer), not a wink-wink, let’s-get-it-on-tiger substance.

 

The more fat, the more estrogen.

 

The more estrogen, the more the natural hormonal balance in the body is disturbed. Raise the level of estrogen, and, male or female, your “male” hormone levels are swamped.

 

That wandering libido in women? (And, let’s add, overweight men.) It hasn’t disappeared. It’s been overwhelmed by a flood. With help from you, it can make its presence known.

 

Forget the butterfly net. Porn. Cyber sex. For increased libido, what you really want is a healthier, fitter body.

 

Weight Watchers, friends’ exercise groups, walking buddies. However you do it – it helps if you work with a friend – shed that excess estrogen. Build up your libido as you increase your strength.

 

Do it. For the sake of Jilly Cooper’s bonkbusters.

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Filed under Bonkbuster, Books, Health, Jilly Cooper, Libido, Love, Nature, Prostitution, Rupert Penry-Jones, Trafficking

Dear Johns

 

In this recent New York Times article is the announcement of a genuine revolution

Using someone for prostitution, pimping her out, screwing her, won’t get her arrested. In the great state of New York, those actions will force the men responsible behind bars . . . for a much longer time than before.

Used to be, women were seen as taking advantage of men. Prostitution was referred to as a “victimless crime”, as it still is in many places in the world. What’s the big deal?, people asked – as, no doubt, they’re still asking in Cartagena with regard to the scuzzy Secret Service agents who removed their wedding rings as soon as their flight’s wheels came up.

It is a big deal, and big business. More often than not, women and girls being prostituted are controlled by pimps who threaten them – or their family member or friends – for non-performance. These men take almost all the earnings, and in Fairfax, Virginia, one group was conveying teenage girls literally door-to-door in apartment complexes, ringing doorbells to ask if male strangers wanted a quickie.

Trafficked women are forced to accept male members multiple times a day.

That’s no “Happy Hooker”. That’s rape.

From the article: “Under the old charges, pimps typically faced up to 15 years in prison for promoting prostitution with an adult. The newer sex trafficking charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Also under the new law, the customers who pay adult prostitutes for sex face up to one year in jail, up from 90 days.

On Monday, 14 men, including a physician, an owner of an online ticket sales company and a concierge for a film-production company, were arraigned on charges of patronizing a prostitute. Most were offered a chance to plead guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation; two accepted the plea offer. Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said his office had embraced the new approach, long advocated by those who see brutal oppression of women as the defining component of the commercial sex trade.

‘They basically live as slaves of the pimps,’ Mr. Vance said. ‘These are sad cases. These are women who need help.’”

As did their predecessors who were living, literally, a fate worse than death (yes it is – forced sexual contact with numerous strangers who often injure or wound these women and girls, over and over and over). It’s taken centuries – millennia! – for prosecutors to begin to see prostitution as the trap and enslavement it is. It’s taken that long, too, for them to see the johns as not just men who want sex, but men who are keeping women in slavery.

“In a stark departure from decades of such prosecutions, the women who were working as prostitutes are not facing criminal charges but are instead being treated as their pimps’ victims, and offered services to help them build new lives.”

That’s an incredible about-face for law enforcement. Highly needed, too.

None of this would have been possible without a 2007 change of law in New York’s legislature. In the past, crossing state lines was the trigger that made pimps face the legal music for trafficking. Now, prosecutors examine the methods used by pimps to control and enslave women and girls in order to make a charge of sexual trafficking. If they’re working entirely in one county, one city, even a single neighborhood, women and girls are still being trafficked – because they’re being forced.

As word gets around New York, men who tell themselves they “need” sex with a total stranger (although species can die out from lack of sex, no person ever did) are going to recognize that using another person’s body, paying hundreds of dollars for a few minutes, carries the risk of jail in addition to shame. No longer are women the ones who are shamed and blamed. These days, they’re getting the help they’ve needed for forever.

Other states must follow New York’s example and pass their own contemporary trafficking laws.

Because such slavery and cruelty in the 21st century is unacceptable.

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Filed under Prostitution, Rape, Rape is torture

The Stupid Service

Cartagena, Colombia

 

A Washington Post article details why US Secret Service agents preparing for a Cartagena, Colombia visit by President Obama were suddenly removed and replaced by other agents. It wasn’t sickness, or the press of duties elsewhere. It was, instead, their usage of prostitutes.

 

These were not the men who guard the President’s life – they were the ones who arrange visits, do the leg-work. The thing is, they’re not supposed to be doing the leg-over work at the same time, and it’s particularly hard to reconcile the requirements of their job (doesn’t it need self-restraint, knowledge and maturity?) with their actions, which were apparently revealed when one woman went to US authorities to complain of non-payment.

 

Since many prostitutes around the world have been trafficked after having been lied to, their passports removed, threatened with harm to self and/or family (including younger siblings), and are being held by men who control them, going to prostitutes almost anywhere involves a degrading usage of women who are basically enslaved — even if you don’t see chains.

 

Secret Service usage of prostitutes can be viewed as displaying a considerable lack of knowledge and responsibility. Just because prostitution is legal in certain areas doesn’t mean you’re not making life worse for a woman — or girl, since many are under-18 — who has no real control over her body, and who is often forced by her pimp/owner to accept penetration by up to 30 men per day. Talk about pain! Basically, these women are being raped, because there is no real consent if you fear retaliation for refusing.

 

Since control + pain = torture, under these circumstances, it’s not consensual sex, it’s torture.

 

The 11 men have been returned to the US, and placed on administrative leave. They now face investigation.

 

One official said, “everything they did was a violation of proper conduct. First of all, to be getting involved with prostitutes in a foreign country can leave yourself vulnerable to blackmail and threats. To be bringing prostitutes or almost anyone into a security zone when you’re supposed to protect the president is totally wrong.”

 

Well, yes. It was unprofessional. But it was also morally wrong (see above: trafficking, control, rape, torture). It was wrong. Not just silly or ill-advised or not up to the strict standards of the Secret Service, but abhorrently wrong.

 

That’s what the Secret Service should address. What is the matter with these men? And given their vile behavior, should they be guarding the POTUS?

Wouldn’t that be rewarding the contemptible?

 

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Filed under Morality, Prostitution, Rape is torture, Secret Service, Trafficking