Hooker raped and robbed – by justice system?

by Jill Porter

A DEFENDANT accused of forcing a prostitute at gunpoint to have sex with him and three other men got lucky, so to speak, last week.

A Philadelphia judge dropped all sex and assault charges at his preliminary hearing.

Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni instead held the defendant on the bizarre charge of armed robbery for – get this – “theft of services.”

Unbelievable.

Deni told me she based her decision on the fact that the prostitute consented to have sex with the defendant.

“She consented and she didn’t get paid . . . I thought it was a robbery.”

The prostitute, a 20-year-old single mother, agreed to $150 for an hour of oral and vaginal sex on Sept. 20, according to assistant district attorney Rich DeSipio. The arrangements were made through her posting on Craigslist.

She met the defendant, Dominique Gindrw, 19, at what she thought was his house, but which turned out to be an abandoned property in North Philadelphia.

He asked if she’d have sex with his friend, too, and she agreed for another $100.

The friend showed up without money, the gun was pulled and more men arrived.

When a fifth man arrived and was invited to join, DeSipio said, he asked why the girl was crying – and declined. He helped her get dressed so she could leave.

It’s true the prostitute negotiated sex with the defendant – but not unprotected gang sex at gunpoint.

“The Legislature has defined sex by force as rape,” said DeSipio, accusing the judge of “rewriting her own laws.”

DeSipio said Judge Deni’s ruling was based, not on the law, but on moral contempt.

“Certainly if a jury wants to make that judgment, they’re entitled to. But for a judge to make a judgment on a human being – I’ve never seen that before.”

Deni did seem contemptuous of the victim:

“Did she tell you she had another client before she went to report it?” Deni asked me yesterday when we met at a coffee shop.

“I thought rape was a terrible trauma.”

A case like this, she said – to my astonishment – “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

The defendant was charged in an identical incident involving a 23-year-old woman four days later, DeSipio said.

Neither woman knew the other and both told identical stories. The other men involved in the attack couldn’t be identified.

DeSipio was so stunned by Deni’s ruling in the first case that he refused to present the second one.

“I wouldn’t demean her that way,” he said of the second victim, calling the proceedings “a farce.”

Judge Deni then threw out the second case for failure to prosecute.

Police Detective Jack Ryan, who investigated the incidents, said the victims in the two cases “were in fear for their lives. Since they saw one of the doers really well, it crossed both of their minds that they’d be killed.”

Deni’s decision to drop the sex charges is ” frankly, appalling,” he said.

Deni acknowledged that her ruling and remarks would be controversial.

“I know I’m going to get killed on this.”

But she said she has to “sleep at night with what I decide.”

And on the night of Oct. 4, when she ruled in the preliminary hearing of this case?

“I slept well.”

Certainly the victims don’t inspire much sympathy.

Why waste taxpayers’ money for what some people consider an occupational hazard?

There are enough sympathetic victims without wasting time on prostitutes who ask for trouble, right?

But crimes are prosecuted not out of sympathy for victims, but to maintain the rule of law in a civilized society, to punish a criminal and prevent further crime.

I like Deni, but reducing rape to theft of services?

It’s an insult. And it’s more evidence of the skepticism and contempt most rape victims – prostitutes or not – confront when they seek justice in court.

DeSipio said he’ll file to reinstate the charges in both cases right away – before a different judge, of course.

Hopefully, the next judge will be better able to differentiate between a violated business agreement and a violent attack. *

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/jill_porter/20071012_Jill_Porter___Hooker_raped_and_robbed_-_by_justice_system_.html

E-mail porterj@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5850. For recent columns:

http://go.philly.com/porter

78 Responses

  1. okay, that is just vile.

  2. […] story in Philly Daily News site, hat tips to Feministe, Bound, Not Gagged and Ren: Hooker raped and robbed — by justice […]

  3. Oh god… that poor woman.

  4. Vile is a perfect word for this.

    I’m still in a bit of disbelief that a judge would treat a rape case this way. The more I tihnk about it, the more unsafe I feel.

  5. We need to write to NOW about this. Vile is, indeed, a perfect word.

  6. […] Hat tip to Renegade Evolution and the ladies of Bound, not Gagged. […]

  7. When the need for sex worker rights is questioned. This woman’s suffering is an answer.

  8. Wow. Just wow.

  9. way OT but thought y’all might find it interesting:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/oukoe_uk_bolivia_prostitutes

    Prostitutes sew lips together in Bolivia protest

    2 hours, 36 minutes ago

    LA PAZ (Reuters) – Prostitutes in the Bolivian city of El Alto sewed their lips together on Wednesday as part of a hunger strike to demand that the mayor reopen brothels and bars ordered closed after violent protests by residents last week.

    I blogged about it, thought y’all would have something interesting to say about it.

  10. To: porterj@phillynews.com, DA.WEBMAIL@phila.gov
    10/21/07
    Re: Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni changes charges from rape to theft because the victim was assaulted while working as a prostitute.
    Attention Jill Porter and Lynn Abraham,
    This ruling is extremely unfortunate for us, the actual worker. Those in authority, like this judge, who takes such license to decide what injustice has occurred verses the voice of the worker, being championed by the same person who in a different set of circumstance would have charged the worker with the crime of her occupation, adds to the indignity.
    Take a heart from the an Alameda County Prosecutor in California who successfully litigated against a son of a local politician for similar acts of brutality perpetrated against streetbased workers whom he sexually assaulted on their jobs.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/03/BAGCCPKLC223.DTL

    What if the woman assaulted had been working as a carpenter or postal worker? Would this judge say those occupations held the same on the job hazards thereby enabling these robbers of sense and sexuality from being held fully responsible? If prostitution were not a crime would such heinous acts still be couched as theft? I think not. Under the criminalization of prostitution, prostitutes don’t have the right to say yes or the right to say no. That is the right to negotiate for our labor and work conditions. Having gun held to your head while you performed any job would constitute a violent act. Rapist and thieves target our class because they count on us being too afraid to report the crimes and law enforcement not taking us seriously when we do.
    We stand by the fellow sister worker who made brave and stood up for herself and reported the crimes these odds.
    This judge ought to be removed from the bench for her poor judgment which is really an excuse to mitt out her brand of punishment against the worker for her occupation’s criminalized status. This act of discrimination by the judge demonstrates her incompetents to serve in such capacity and the women in law enforcement and organized labor ought to make sure this injustice is corrected on all accounts. An injury to one is an injury to all.
    Decriminalization of prostitution now and bring protection to all who labor erotically.

    Maxine Doogan
    Erotic Service Providers Union
    C/O San Francisco Labor Council
    1188 Franklin # 203
    San Francisco, Ca 94109
    http://www.espu-ca.org

    Coalition of Labor Union Women
    San Francisco Chapter

    cc
    council@philaflcio.org

  11. […] together in protest of losing their livelihoods. (Please see story with links below.) Antiprincess posted a note about this on the thread on the rape/robery case. […]

  12. Here is another blog with a lengthy discussion about this case. Within the comments NOW’s letter to the PA Bar Association was posted, I’m pasting it below.

    http://youngphillypolitics.com/topics/teresa_carr_deni

    Ken Shear
    Executive Director
    Philadelphia Bar Association

    Dear Mr. Shear:

    The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women calls on you to rescind your recommendation that Teresa Carr Deni be retained as Municipal Court judge.

    According to thus far uncontested reports, Judge Deni dismissed charges of rape and assault against a male defendant who lured a prostitute to an abandoned property and forced her at gunpoint to have sexual relations with him and three other men. The victim had agreed to a few hours of paid sex with the defendant and one other man. She had not consented, however, to sex with the other two, nor had she consented to unprotected sex in an abandoned building. There can be little question as to her lack of consent—those who engage in consensual sex do not have to be held at gunpoint.

    Whether the defendant in this case is in fact guilty of rape may well depend upon specific facts as yet unknown. Finding such facts is the function of juries. Judge Deni’s premature dismissal of the case, if allowed to stand, will forever prevent relevant facts from being discovered, and may well result in a criminal’s remaining unpunished.

    Judging from her comments as published, Judge Deni’s decision to dismiss the charges of rape and assault seems to be based on her abhorrence of prostitution and her contempt, even disgust, for those who practice it. A judge is not free, however, to ignore a crime because she disapproves of the victim. Judge Deni’s willingness to ignore the law and sound judicial practice renders her unfit for retention. We hope that you rescind your recommendation to retain her.

    Yours respectfully,

    Karen Bojar
    President
    Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women

  13. Feministe has a thorough convo going as well as links for contacting the PA Bar Assoc. and for filing a complaint with the PA Judicial Conduct Board:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/10/16/when-is-rape-at-gunpoint-not-rape-when-its-theft-of-services/

  14. (PLEASE NOTE: If you live in PA, you can help! Click here: http://www.pacleansweep.com/cgi-bin/judges.cgi )

  15. I think it’s great how so many people and groups have come together on this issue, especially women’s groups. They’re supporting a sex worker.

    Is there a way we can tap into this? Obviously they identify with her as a woman, not a sex worker.

    XX

  16. Sex workers have been calling the PA Bar Association and here is the treatment they get from Kenneth Shear, President of the Board:

    I called him AND HE ANSWERED! When I told him I was a sex worker who advocates the health and safety of sex workers and was looking for his contact information to circulate among groups of sex workers and sex worker advocates, he said: “Your a what?” and I said “sex worker”

    HE HUNG UP ON ME!!!!

    Call him, would you ?😉

    Kenneth Shear: 215-238-6338

  17. […] 5th, 2007 at 7:17 pm (injustice, prostitution, rape) This made the news a couple of weeks ago. A 20-year old prostitute was raped multiple times at gunpoint. She did negotiate to have sex for […]

  18. Hmm.

    On one level, the absolute f**king pits.

    On another, this is where the ‘buying’ biz of sex – a standard defence trope by sex-work apologists – gets hoist by its own petard.

    The judge is taking the prostitution biz at its own ‘face value’ – a transaction was not honoured, therefore the crime was ‘theft of services.’

    So, no, she wasn’t wrong in legal terms.

    She was on moral terms.

    Trouble is, the legal system doesn’t ‘do’ morality.

  19. @FreedFromIdeology:

    If you agree to perform a service- say gardening- for one man’s garden, and the person who agreed to pay you for that service not only did not pay you, but beat you with a garden hoe you as you worked and made you garden four of his friends’ yards, would you then be satisfied with a ruling of “theft of services”? After all, you *were* gardening.

    The men raped her. She did not agree to sex with all the others, only the man she originally intended to meet, and his friend. So yes, she was absolutely raped. The men should have been charged as such. Not to mention assault and battery AND theft of services on top of it all.

    If she had agreed to have sex with all the men, and she agreed to be brutalized by them in the process, your point might be debatable. As it happened, however, it is not. Nice try, though!

  20. The man changed the terms of the agreement in mid contract and used violence to do it.
    You can’t in good faith change an agreement at any point in the contract without the agreements of the other party. That’s called negotiating in back faith and when you change the terms and conditions without permission and when it involves sex, for pay or for free,
    its called rape.

  21. ‘If she had agreed to have sex with all the men, and she agreed to be brutalized by them in the process, your point might be debatable. As it happened, however, it is not. Nice try, though!’

    Strange rebuttal. Are you saying that sex-work could include agreement to be brutalized? That’s pretty appalling.

    It’s especially appalling because it’s true – definitely the case in the S & M area.

    All these guys had to do was claim that she was a willing participant in a paid-for gang rape fantasy. And, as a customer, he could easily claim that he didn’t get ‘value for money’, and was entitled to withhold or claim a refund!

    Maxine Doogan:

    ‘The man changed the terms of the agreement in mid contract and used violence to do it.’

    Her word against his. Sex-work doesn’t exclude sexual violence – quite apart from the argument that it is essentially that.

    The evidence of injury or trauma would be immaterial – the customer would be ‘entitled’ to his ‘service.’

    Any judge could give this ruling.

    Like I said, the system doesn’t do morality.

  22. Swoply:

    I could also add that your gardening analogy just doesn’t work,

    There is nothing in the job-description of gardening that involves consent to beating – sex-work does.

    Again, the customer could claim the transaction involved a f**k and a trashing, and claim ‘poor service’ i.e didn’t really get his rocks off trashing a ‘ho’ within an inch of her life. He could even sue the ‘ho’ for this failure!

    All johns are basically facists – it’s just a question of a greater or lesser degree.

  23. There is nothing in the job description of sex-work that involves consent to beating either, Ideology.

    You know, you can come to this website and spew forth your sophistry and semantics all you want, but the rock bottom truth of the matter is that what is best for the safety and security of the sex-worker is the complete and total decriminalization of sex work, both for the worker and his or her clients.

    Why is that? Because in the case where a person is truly coerced into sex work, often the only contact with the outside world she would have would be with a client, and a client is far more likely to help her out of her situation if his activity of soliciting sex work is NOT criminalized.

    You don’t believe me that a john can help someone out of trafficking? Do a Google search on it.

  24. We’ve had the bodily integrity discussion before and the problem with the haters position is that it doesn’t have any room to say yes. It’s only a no position. No means little when one doesn’t have the ability to say yes.
    Taking the position that no is the only right answer gives limited meaning to bodily freedom. And limiting freedom of choice is the goal and the result of the haters and that is unacceptable because it’s the position of the slave owners.

  25. Maxine Doogan;

    I’m taking the postion of ‘slave-owners’ because I …..object to coercion?

    Was that English? Ya coulda fooled me. Where do the traffickers/pimps/madams/brothel owners fit into this bizarre little universe of yours? Because the default of your ‘argument” is that they’re the liberators!

    I’ve news for you: the sun rises in the East and sets in the West – not the other way round.

  26. ‘There is nothing in the job description of sex-work that involves consent to beating either, Ideology.’

    ‘Sex-work’ is whatever the customer wants petal. If that means getting his rocks of trashing a ‘ho’, that’s what the market will provide – as any good little libertarian will tell you.

    I take it you’ve never worked in an S&M brothel? Being trashed (at the pleasure of the punter) is very much part of the ‘job description.’

    I also have to wonder if you’ve seen any porn lately….

  27. ‘You don’t believe me that a john can help someone out of trafficking? Do a Google search on it.’

    As an isolated incident? Yep. As a matter of course? Absolutely not.

    In the UK, the johns are not criminalised. But that didn’t stop one from murdering five hookers.

    Should I take him as representative too?

  28. FreedFromIdeaology wrote:
    “In the UK, the johns are not criminalised. But that didn’t stop one from murdering five hookers. ‘
    It’s horrible that any murders occur, yet 5 murders is far less than the 48 murders (or perhaps more) that Gary Ridgeway commited in Seattle, where prostitution is illegal. Also, a report by John Lowman found that the murder rate against street based sex workers increased in British Columbia after they passed anti-prostitution legislation in 1985.

  29. But prostitution IS illegal in the UK. There are a raft of laws which can be used to prosecute – advertising, solicting, kerb-crawling etc. It’s just that you can’t prosecute someone for paying for sex (because you can’t prove it) and prostitutes themselves are legal because they are seen as harmful only to themselves, not others. It’s pretty much the same as it is re drugs – dealers get prosecuted, posession etc., but junkies are seen as a health, not a criminal issue.

    The murder-rate could have gone up for any number of reasons – particularly the increased incidence of junkies becoming involved in prostitution. The overall risk of murder (not to mention rape, assualt) due to prostitution EVERYWHERE does not distinuish between legal/illegal.

    And how does any of this address my first two points anyway?

    Does legalising sexual violence (e.g. S&M) make it somehow ok?

  30. Does legalising sexual violence (e.g. S&M) make it somehow ok?

    Well, since ALL sex-for-pay is violence according to your definition, the question is moot.

  31. ‘Well, since ALL sex-for-pay is violence according to your definition, the question is moot.’

    That wasn’t MY definition – it’s a commonly held ‘trope.’

    Please answer – does paid-for sexual violence (i.e. buying the ‘right’ to inflict pain, to beat, whip etc.) result in a different bodily experience for the prostitute?

    Does the money result in some mysterious alchemy which prevents her (it’s usually a she) from feeling pain, terror, revulstion, fear?

    (P.S. S&M brothels are big in Oz where prostitution has been legalised. There were hardly any at first.

    Wonder why that is?

  32. I’ve been reluctantly following this back and forth since it began. FFI, I have a huge, huge problem with your characterization of the work of S&M workers, such as professional submissives. S&M is not “violence” as you are broadly defining it. S&M is a form of sexual expression that ranges from very light erotic play to yes, hard corporal play. But there is a world of difference between violence perpetrated against sex workers and S&M.

    Discuss your thoughts about decriminalizing prostitution all you want, but please keep your misclassifications of S&M out of it.

  33. “‘Sex-work’ is whatever the customer wants petal.”

    I have been an independent escort for close to 3 years now, and worked at a massage parlor before for about a year.

    Every single woman I’ve met in person and corresponded with online, as well as my own experience has been that sex work is what *I* consent to. And no means no – always. If your organization and safety procedures are properly set up, a customer who disrespects it will be kicked out.

    I have not worked at a S&M brothel but I would be interested. I am submissive. I am curious about the touch of whip on my skin. I enjoy spanking and the mix of pain and pleasure that comes with it. I’ve allowed select clients to bind and spank me – but guess what? – I had absolute confidence that like in all BDSM, my limits and safe words will be respected.
    And I strongly suspect that professional S&M follows the universal S&M adage of “safe, sane & consensual”: and it is the submissive who sets the rule.

  34. typo: and it is the submissive who sets the *rules*

  35. And the last thought on professional S&M… It appears that demand for Dommes is huge. Huge! So I would strongly suspect that there are a lot more clients who want to be dominated, humiliated and hurt to their pleasure at an S&M brothel than the other way around.

  36. ‘ I would strongly suspect that there are a lot more clients who want to be dominated, humiliated and hurt to their pleasure at an S&M brothel than the other way around.’

    ‘Suspect’ away. The reality of business is that hirelings obey their employers. Any thing is available for a price.

    A dsyfunctional,damaged individual seeking pain and degradation as some sort of self-‘shrinking’ is one thing: some people ‘self-medicate’ by cutting themselves (I’ve see some serious shit in psychiatric wards.)

    Hiring another human being FOR NO OTHER REASON than to hurt, humiliate and degrade them is totally nazi. I mean, totally. I’ve seen serious bruising, and absolute misery in the women that come go to the outreachers for help. Most are living their worst nightmare, day in, day out. Most do drugs.

    No woman in her right mind, with any real choice is going to endure this treatment day in, day out just to pay the rent. The majority of them are foreign contract workers who have to endure the worst of the biz.

    THe fact that this is legal is a human rights issue.

    I want it stopped.

  37. FreedFromIdeology,

    In what countries is this happening? What evidence is there?

    What you are describing is horrible but it is NOT BDSM. It is abuse.

  38. Thais;

    What part of my post did you not understand?

    A ‘job’ in which somone is paid (and what money could ever be enough?) to be degraded, humiliated, beaten, whipped etc. is NAZI – period. Sadism is sadism. It should NEVER become acceptable to treat someone abusively for money. NEVER.

    And in an S&M brothel, that is exactly what is happening.

    If some people are so desensitized (why? drugs?) they are actually prepared to part with good money for someone to make them feel something, anything, even pain, that’s one thing.

    Throwing a buck at someone for the ‘pleasure’ of hurting and humiliating is quite another.

    It is appalling.

  39. >>”It is appalling.”>>

    That’s your opinion, and we don’t care.

  40. FreedFromIdeology,

    If you do not understand a simple request to present evidence for your words – that go against everything I have seen in my 3-4 years as a prostitute with an Eastern European background (although I have received a college degree in North America) and interest in BDSM – we have nothing to talk about.

  41. Susan:

    I said:

    ‘A ‘job’ in which somone is paid (and what money could ever be enough?) to be degraded, humiliated, beaten, whipped etc. is NAZI – period. Sadism is sadism. It should NEVER become acceptable to treat someone abusively for money. NEVER.

    It is appalling.’

    And you answered:

    ‘That’s your opinion, and we don’t care.’

    No, it’s not my ‘opinion’ – that is the nature of ‘sex-work’ in this area.

    The very idea that a ‘legitimate’ job would consist of nothing more than enduring phsyical, mental and psychological abuse day in, day out is utterly facist. Just as is the idea that any human being shoud be owned by another. Such ‘views’ are based on the principle of human rights – rights you supposedly endorse.

    The fact that you claim ‘concern’ for the health, safety and well-being of prostitutes, while endorsing the ‘rights’ of sadists to abuse someone for money, day in, day out is either a breathtaking hypocrisy, or an irony beyond articulation….

    ‘S & M macht frie’, eh?

  42. P.S.

    Thais;

    My Mom had cancer. The experience was definitely an ‘education’ – but it didn’t make her an oncologist.

    Try this for a thought experiement:

    Go read the blog on Nevada’s legal prostituton ‘nirvana.’ Sound good, does it?

    Now imagine someone’s ‘sex-work’ compounded by not just non-legit, but legitimised violence. What protection do the hurt and/or harmed have? After all, you’ve ‘agreed’ – or rather, your employer has.

    You’re either a pretty damaged individual if you think this ok, or someone who’s sufficiently resourced ot refuse.

    If the latter, you are not a typical prostitute.

  43. Thais:

    Here’s some info from Oz, which gives some indication of the a) the sly circumvention of ‘safety protocols’ through loophooles and b) the mentality it effectively socially endorses :

    This is a burgeoning area of the prostitution industry presently for two reasons. One is that SM has become a hugely profitable market sector with clubs, equipment, porn and brothels all its own. Another is that SM offers in Australia a way of setting up illegal brothels. SM brothels frequently do not apply for brothel licenses on the grounds that ‘sex’ does not take place. They represent themselves as therapy, and as offering fantasies. In fact my local council is currently seeking to prove that ‘sex’ is taking place in the sm brothels but having great difficulty in doing so. In SM brothels the majority of women used are ‘sex slaves’ who receive the violence of whips, canes, and torture.

    Training men in sexual violence:

    Prostitution and rape go together. Quite reasonably some prostitution survivors, such as Eveline Giobbe in the US, call prostitution commercial sexual violence or bought rape. In prostitution men pay to watch (as in pornography) or carry out upon women’s bodies a range of practices that, in their non-commercial form, are precisely the practices of male sexual violence that women are concerned to get out of their bedrooms, their streets, their childhoods, their workplaces. I do not suggest that prostitution is the only reason that sexual violence exists because it exists in many cultures which do not have prostitution and needs to be understood in terms of male dominance. However the sex industry trains men in these practices. The main practice is unwanted sexual intercourse. In this practice the woman dissociates to survive whilst the man penetrates her with no concern for her personhood. He will then expect his female partner to do the same. In sex phone lines women have to dissociate to survive men’s abuse that they have paid to speak. In obscene phone calls men, sometimes the same ones, intrude upon and threaten women in their homes. In prostitution men speak foul and degrading words to women and sexually harass them, touching parts of their bodies they want to protect and demanding practices women do not want to allow. In streets and workplaces men do exactly the same except that they do not pay. The pleasure can be more acute when women’s consent is clearly absent. In prostitution women are whipped, or have to dress up as babies or young girls. All of this trains and encourages men in brutality and child sex abuse. Many women in prostitution seek to graduate to be mistresses because this is less directly violating. But in sm brothels there are ‘slaves’ who still service the men, indeed mistresses can direct men to do things to the ‘slaves’.

  44. Here’s another snippet that illuminates this murky aria:

    Bondage and Beyond” seminar scheduled Feb. 9-10 at the Southfield Ramada Inn & Convention Center in suburban Detroit.

    Hotel officials canceled the event, which had been advertised on the website of its sponsoring organization, Michigan Rope, as featuring “male and female nudity, intentional infliction of pain, cutting of the skin with bleeding” plus demonstrations of vaginal “fisting” (insertion of the entire hand and arm) and “erotic body harnesses that involve the genitals, both male and female.”

    Note the ref to fisting. This is especially serious, as it can result in permanent injury. Imagine having to endure it on a daily basis…..

  45. ‘Aria.’

    I meant ‘area’, natch.

  46. FFI, you clearly, clearly, do not understand the difference between BDSM and violence. At all. When performed safely by a professional or someone trained by a professional, BDSM does not result in permanent injury.

    The paid aspects of BDSM completely aside, a lot of people really enjoy BDSM as a facet of a healthy, well-rounded sexuality. I’m so glad you’re absolutely horrified by the idea of consenting to being whipped, cut, or fisted, but if it’s not your bag, it’s not your bag. Don’t conflate these practices with violence.

  47. […] on others’ blogs, but in this case, I want to bring up an issue that deeply frustrates me. This post has me banging my hand against a wall, and not in the fun hurts-so-good kind of […]

  48. >>Prostitution and rape go together. Quite reasonably some prostitution survivors, such as Eveline Giobbe in the US, call prostitution commercial sexual violence or bought rape.>>

    Ah yes, rad fem Saint Evelina Giobbe,,,,, What gets forgotten by rad fems in the Evelina Giobbe story is why her program WHISPER, Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaging in Revolt folded.

    Evelina’s radical feminist beliefs didn’t stop her from sexually assaulting Kelly Holsopple or others yet radical feminists typically don’t want to deal with their own movements predators. Evelina is no hero. She is a sexual predator that used feminism like some corrupt backwater tv evangelist to troll and get victims.

    Once again. Why did I leave radical feminism. Ethical breaches by radical feminist leadership types and so much of the movement that is so willing to cover up the violence and abuse when perpetrated by radical feminists.

    Freed perhaps you aren’t aware of the Evelina Giobbe truism in Ireland. Your heroine is sexual predator. So I’m curious now. Since most of your rad fem colleagues cover up for the abuses of Giobbe or Nikki Craft or others and try very hard to spin doctor attention away from them when confronted. Are you opposed to all sexual predators including radical feminists?

    PUBLICDOMAIN

    http://www.citypages.com/1997-07-02/news/anatomy-of-a-sellout
    Kelly Holsopple, Plaintiff, vs. WHISPER, Inc.,

    Evelina Giobbe, and Mary Madden, Defendants; complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court June 26, 1997. Plaintiff states and alleges as follows:

    […] Defendant WHISPER [Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt] provides community education on prostitution as a form of systematic violence against women and children, and assists women in escaping systems of prostitution by providing social services to them.

    […] Plaintiff Kelly Holsopple is a former prostitute and stripper. She first became a client of WHISPER when she attended a Radical Education and Support Group facilitated by Evelina Giobbe in the fall of 1992.

    […] Plaintiff quit stripping on Sept. 21, 1994. Her motivation to quit included her admiration of Defendant Giobbe’s work for prostitutes, her desire to do similar work, and Defendant Giobbe’s promise to be a mentor and teacher to her.

    […] Exploiting Plaintiff’s admiration and affection, as well as her vulnerability and trust in WHISPER, Defendant Giobbe engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with Plaintiff while she was a client and former client of WHISPER, as well as an employee. Among other actions, Defendant Giobbe: Invited her to an intimate party at her apartment; told Plaintiff she loved her; told her she was bisexual; drank and danced with her at bars and clubs; asked her to stay overnight at her apartment; partially and fully disrobed in her presence; told Plaintiff she was sexually attracted to her; commented seductively on her physical beauty and energy; slept with Plaintiff; and physically touched and assaulted her including hugging, kissing, putting her head in Plaintiff’s lap, circling Plaintiff’s arms around her, and touching and biting her breasts…
    1 2 Next Page »

  49. Freed, when your side’s activism’s house is in order and the glass is clear and clean, then you get to come challenge other activist movements and can assume a response is due. When you strut around all pretentious and arrogant trying to cover the holes with command of syntax and vocabulary in between some narrow minded belief that your way is the only way, you better make damn sure you have your ducks in a row before you vociferously posture others are ethically challenged, not in the real world and hiding from your intellect. You may want to consider doing some homework prior to presenting your witnesses or challenging others.

    I tend to put sexual assault above consenting BDSM between adults on the scale of social ills.

  50. ‘I’m so glad you’re absolutely horrified by the idea of consenting to being whipped, cut, or fisted, but if it’s not your bag, it’s not your bag. Don’t conflate these practices with violence.’

    So if I, let’s say, skewer someone’s eyeball, as long as they consent it’s NOT violent?

    If I rip someone’s arms with a razor, it morphs – magically – into non-violence if they (assuming ‘mens sana’ – a big assumption) consent?

    Okaaaaay.

    When some john has left you battered and bleeding, you’ll have to prove you didn’t ‘consent.

    Good luck. You need it. Really need it.

  51. Jill brenneman:

    I’ve never heard of the woman. I’m not in any movement.. I’ve never been abducted by alien rad fems and ‘re-educated.’ In fact, I ‘ve never studied feminism at all.

    My views are entirely my own, as is my argument.

    As for this as a descriptor of sexual violence:

    ‘[…] Exploiting Plaintiff’s admiration and affection, as well as her vulnerability and trust in WHISPER, Defendant Giobbe engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with Plaintiff while she was a client and former client of WHISPER, as well as an employee. Among other actions, Defendant Giobbe: Invited her to an intimate party at her apartment; told Plaintiff she loved her; told her she was bisexual; drank and danced with her at bars and clubs; asked her to stay overnight at her apartment; partially and fully disrobed in her presence; told Plaintiff she was sexually attracted to her; commented seductively on her physical beauty and energy; slept with Plaintiff; and physically touched and assaulted her including hugging, kissing, putting her head in Plaintiff’s lap, circling Plaintiff’s arms around her, and touching and biting her breasts…’

    I can only ask: what do you call sodomy, rape, gang-rape, beating etc.? Affection?

  52. Freed, I notice you didn’t respond to your heroine Evelina being a sexual predator. I guess it’s ok depending on who the perp is.

    Now, since we are talking about realities. Let me clue you in on my past. http://www.ex-oriente-lux.org/acc_usa_01.html

    I’m Jill Leighton. So before you come in here lecturing on what violence in prostitution is and before you arrogantly explain what BDSM is, there is some reality and truism for you to look at.

    I have been left battered and bleeding plenty of times by johns. And had no recourse against them. And what was the prime weapon of the johns and the pimp to enforce this shit? Criminalization. They should have been criminals for kidnapping, rape, assault among other things. Instead we all were. Don’t tell me criminalization stops it nor does it make cops rescuers. More than once cops, lawyers and judges were the perpetrators.

    You want to argue that we shouldn’t make any effort to get a bathroom break in 16 hours. Bullshit. You haven’t been in the position to need one then. My needs were immediate during the above referenced experiences. I wasn’t the slightest bit able to conceptualize global freedom or even my own when living minute to minute was a painful and often in question reality. One which more than once I would have taken the end of life over the situation. Abstract concepts that have zero chance of success like ending prostitution are for those with full stomachs. The rape and torture victims you talk about as an expert on often have very much more pragmatic needs from moment to moment than someone opposing the most basic rights for them to save the resources for the global war to end prostitution. If you are an aid worker with this fucked up a sense of priorities you seriously need to be selling insurance or being a physical education teacher or something that has time and latitude for global macros. You have zero comprehension of micro level reality and micro level reality is usually where those in need of crisis aid are at.

    The woman who is getting raped or getting the shit beaten out of her every day tends to be apt to be concerned with stopping those or at least minimizing them far more than ” choosing instead to end exploitation” on a macro level. If your years of experience as an aid worker haven’t taught you this then check your arrogance at the desk and learn something before you do more harm.

  53. Not that you particularly responded in any manner of opposing the violence of someone of your own ideological leaning but I will state for clarity that at least you posted on the Evelina thread while I was posting my response. I guess for you that is as close to coming to responding to crimes committed by your ideological heroines.

    >>I can only ask: what do you call sodomy, rape, gang-rape, beating etc.? Affection?>>

    That kind of statement is abysmally ignorant. You don’t even know me and are veiling shit throwing under the pretext of a question.

    Perhaps I have been gang rape, sodomized and beaten a few too many times to be cavalier in throwing the terms at others.

    As for your views not being influenced by ideology. Great. There is a message in that. Your views are your own. They work for you and for some. Not at all for others. Perhaps your ego runneth over?

  54. Thanks for proving my point. Do yourself a favor and read up on what BDSM actually is.

  55. Jill Brenneman:

    To clarify (again):

    ‘You have zero comprehension of micro level reality and micro level reality is usually where those in need of crisis aid are at. ‘

    Decriminalistion – enshrining social policy in law – is NOT a micro, but macro-level solution. Again, you fail to state who or what you want decriminalised, or how crisis aid is affected by the current system.

    ‘Not that you particularly responded in any manner of opposing the violence of someone of your own ideological leaning but I will state for clarity that at least you posted on the Evelina thread while I was posting my response.’

    1. I suspect there are serial killers who have voted Democrat too – I don’t think that makes me more likely to follow suit. The woman you refer to is not my heroine.

    2. I have zero patience with legalistic rhetoric.
    In legal terms, a shove or push is classified as assault. So is battering someones head in with a crow-bar. Do you seriously think because the legal classification is the same they are equivalent in harm?

    I repeat: the crimes you describe would be experienced by anyone as harrassment. Putting such unsavoury behaviour in the same bracket as rape, gang-rapes, anal rapes and other acts of ACTUAL violence demeans the experience of its victims.

    Lest there be any doubt still – a stubbed toe is not terminal cancer.

  56. Who do I want decriminalized?

    http://www.swopeast.org/?q=node/10

    How is crisis aid effected by the current system?

    http://sexworkerspresent.blip.tv/file/181155/

    Who are you responding to in paragraph 2?

  57. And, finally:

    ‘You want to argue that we shouldn’t make any effort to get a bathroom break in 16 hours. Bullshit. You haven’t been in the position to need one then. My needs were immediate during the above referenced experiences.’

    I was being sarcastic. A sweatshop is a sweatshop (I wasn’t talking about brothels.) If conditions were normal, it wouldn’t BE one – it would be a regular production unit.

    ‘Improvement’ is meaningless.

  58. How is independent sex work remotely analogous to a sweatshop? I’m not sure if you are thinking I am a proponent of Nevada brothels or that whole setup but if so then you misunderstand my position.

    What are you referring to in saying improvement is meaningless?

  59. Oh gads Jill…

    Who IS this person? I mean, by her standards about sex and pain and whatever, I’m the sickest fuck on the planet…

    yet, I would never come on to a sex worker blog and trivialize the gang rape at gun point of a woman…

    Lemmie guess, F…she deserved it? Oh, or wait, sooner or later, all of us will get it? Oh, or wait…if people like BDSM, there is something very very wrong with them and they are just doing the whole sex thing wrong? Or, wait, YOU have the TRUTH…

    We’ve heard it before…

  60. oh yeah..

    AND WHAT’S THE PLAN????

  61. Ren

    Good question. Seems we’ve asked this before too. FFI, what is the plan?

    I don’t know who she is. Someone from Ireland?

  62. Renegade;

    ‘yet, I would never come on to a sex worker blog and trivialize the gang rape at gun point of a woman…’

    Whooooooooooosh! Did you actually read the post?
    The post that DISTINGUISHED between TYPES and DEGREES of sexual abuse in order to confront the very equivocation you accuse me of?

    You’re either not the sharpest knife in the drawer, or thicker than molasses.

    Jill Brenneman:

    Thanks for your answers. (I read ‘Jill Leighton’ at your request on MySpace. Whether or not ‘she’ exists, its still a pretty horrific tale, and one I believe is far from rare.) I will read the links.

    P.S. Paragraph two was for the sake of clarity. It referred to conflating the crime of sexual HARRASSMENT (as per my (alleged) ‘ideological heroine’) and real sexual VIOLENCE. Renegade missed the point by a mile (too much head-banging perhaps?) but I thought you’d ‘got it.’

    As per your second post, I was making the point that ‘improvement’ in terms of sweat-shops is meaningless, since conditions are so bad (I’ve seen a few) they can only still remain sweatshops.

    Wherever you have decent pay and conditions (increasingly rarer) you have regular production units, not sweatshops. All clear now?

    Ireland? Yes, that’s where I live now.

  63. Oh, and Renengade;

    If you think its ok to hire a human being to degrade, humiliate, inflict pain, or in any way treat them worse than animals you may not be ‘the sickest fuck on the planet’ – there are many out there ‘deserving’ of that ‘accolade’ but you are certainly one of them.

    Reni’s judgement was a warning: that hair-splitting ‘definitions’ which hinge all behavior, irrespective of its violence, on ‘consent’ may have serious repercussions for those who hope to obtain justice. Just as the most horrically violent porn has been allowed to flourish on the basis of paid-for ‘consent’, so it will in direct prostitution. Treating sadism – the desire to inflict pain, even harm – as a ‘kink’ to serviced, instead of a pathology to be treated leaves already vulnerable people – prostitutes (especially the young) with even less recourse to justice.

    The libertarian would reduce every human dynamic to transaction. That is the essence of the sociopath.

    Capisce?

  64. Sorry, I mean’t ‘Deni’ not Reni.

  65. I’m sharp enough to see this

    “Hmm.

    On one level, the absolute f**king pits.

    On another, this is where the ‘buying’ biz of sex – a standard defence trope by sex-work apologists – gets hoist by its own petard.

    The judge is taking the prostitution biz at its own ‘face value’ – a transaction was not honoured, therefore the crime was ‘theft of services.’

    So, no, she wasn’t wrong in legal terms.

    She was on moral terms.

    Trouble is, the legal system doesn’t ‘do’ morality.”

    As trivializing. And if the legal system doesn’t ‘do’ morality, why is prostitution illegal in the first place? If the legal system doesn’t ‘do’ morality, why so much debate over abortion? If the legal system does not ‘do’ morality, why in divorce cases is cheating (real or alleged) such a big deal…the legal system absolutely ‘does’ morality. “One Nation Under God” is in almost every US court room for a reason. We swear on a bible to tell the truth over here anyway…’moral’ influences legal in many, many ways here at least, and I doubt it’s not so different elsewhere.

    The most “horrifically violent porn” has been made illegal to own and purchase in the UK, and is under fire via obscenity law in the US…hardly indication of “flourishing” …and people are getting dragged into court for it, even if they have consented. Which, you know, can be done.

    Oh shit…and I’m a libertarian! Human dynamics often are transactions, yet, humans are still humans, and deserve to be treated as such…including in matters of consent and freedom from armchair bullshit “pathology” . And that theory isn’t all that sociopathic.

    BTW..What’s The Plan? If you’re that intelligent and able to judge me as not sharp, or thick, or whatever else, surely in all your great wisdom you can lay that out for me.

  66. Freed writes “P.S. Paragraph two was for the sake of clarity. It referred to conflating the crime of sexual HARRASSMENT (as per my (alleged) ‘ideological heroine’) and real sexual VIOLENCE. Renegade missed the point by a mile (too much head-banging perhaps?) but I thought you’d ‘got it.’

    Freed, please explain how you constitute the below as not being real sexual violence? Other than the obvious that the perpetrator is of your ideological position.

    http://www.citypages.com/1997-07-02/news/anatomy-of-a-sellout

    In April of 1996, Defendant Giobbe sexually assaulted Plaintiff. She partially disrobed Plaintiff in her car, bit her breast, kissed and slapped her, asking, “Whose pussy is this?” Defendant Giobbe had previously told Plaintiff that her pimp had used that question and had demanded that she respond with his name. The only way that Plaintiff could get Giobbe to stop slapping her was by saying “It’s Evelina’s pussy.”

  67. Hey Ren,

    Amazing how these self proclaimed experts such as Freed never have an answer to the question about “the plan” despite constantly advocating just ending exploitation rather than harm reduction and labor rights. Astonishing that the only answer I have ever seen given to the question was here at BnG when someone, I forget who, perhaps Nikki, said the plan was so secret only a few knew it to thwart infiltrators from the pro prostitution movement.

    I never thought that answer would be a high water mark in responses yet here we are.

    Also amazing is for women who posture so much about ending violence and wishing to pass judgment on others, Freed and many ideologically similar to her have no problem doing something very patriarchal and dismissing the life experiences of those who suffered trauma but are viewed as less than valid because of supposed heresy.

    According to Freed, Kelly Holsopple didn’t suffer real sexual assault. WHISPER folded, the court called it sexual assault. But because the perpetrator happened to be rad fem, well her actions get minimized and the victim’s experiences get woefully diminished.

    I love the cliche attitude of Freed wondering if Jill Leighton exists and talking in third person after it being expressed that she and I were the same person. Amazing again how this same ideological believer can always find room to discuss the horrors in the sex industry and talk of survivors unless that survivor happens to be different in viewpoint. Then the above referenced survivor must be fabricating or at least be put in the category of disbelieved.

    Freed questions your intelligence and others integrity and postures about her vast understanding as an aid worker. Wow……….. That is yet another example of radical feminist type savior of which can have the left lane. How many like her have we seen?

  68. Once again, there is a huge difference between BDSM and the violence you are describing. Even the DSM-IV has the foresight to make this distinction.

  69. Jill, seriously, same shit, different log in name.

    Yawn. I mean, yeah, her high and mighty bullshit and 5 bucks will get ya some coffee at Starbucks.

  70. >>”Reni’s judgement was a warning: that hair-splitting ‘definitions’ which hinge all behavior, irrespective of its violence, on ‘consent’ may have serious repercussions for those who hope to obtain justice. Just as the most horrically violent porn has been allowed to flourish on the basis of paid-for ‘consent’, so it will in direct prostitution. Treating sadism – the desire to inflict pain, even harm – as a ‘kink’ to serviced, instead of a pathology to be treated leaves already vulnerable people – prostitutes (especially the young) with even less recourse to justice.”>>

    Oh, Ideology, I would just LOVE to taste your WHIP!!!

    Give it to me, baby!

    Yes. Oh yes. Let it all out, Ideology. You KNOW you want to!

    AH. AH. AH. That’s it, baby. Let it out. See how much better you feel?

    OH GOD! YES! YES! AH! AH! Crack that whip, BABY!!

    AHHHHHHH …….OHHHHHHHH ……….AHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Damn! You’re good at that! You should become a professional!

  71. Jane,

    It seems Freed feels she has the matrix to determine what is abuse, what is assault, whether someone is in the real world, someone’s IQ even what experiences people have or haven’t had in their lives, All of these plus she is an expert on BDSM.
    Freed should be on Fox News. Rupert Murdoch seems to hire people of Freed’s skillset often.

  72. OMFG Ren, you aren’t kidding. Same shit different screen name.

    Analysis based on incorrect assumptions. The world is black and white and they have the master plan for salvation. The sky is falling on certain women and girls and the trigger for the apocalypse is sex workers and sex worker rights activists. Ignore ethical breaches of their own ideological colleagues worse cover them up, minimize them or what is total shit and a total contradiction of their touchy feely we love survivors and hate perps gig which is to invalidate the survivors that they perceive as heretics for political gain. Theatrical rants about just end exploitation….. Haughty arrogance and a zealous belief their way is the only way.

  73. >>”I’ve never heard of the woman. I’m not in any movement.. I’ve never been abducted by alien rad fems and ‘re-educated.’ In fact, I‘ve never studied feminism at all.”>>

    I never studied this,

    I never studied that,

    Don’t know much,

    About Geology

    ‘Cuz I’m Ideology!

    Don’t know much

    About the BD

    Or about the SM,

    Never heard of Giobbe,

    I’m Ideology!

    Them poor hookers.

    They get hurt.

    Come to me,

    And I’ll bitch-slap ya.

    Love and Kisses,

    Ideology.

  74. Susan- that was awesome.

  75. Well, Renegade, I felt that our guest is over-staying her welcome, and that I needed to sum up my feelings on the matter.

    I’m glad you liked it.

  76. Arresting women in order to rescue them is the worst of kind of liberal bullshit.

    What is startling to me is the night i spent at a fundraiser for Prop K, talking to young workers. You know, they are all independent now and of course they are because all the houses have been closed down due to owning and operating a house is a felony. Everyone I ever worked for has gotten busted (accept for one and that has probably changed since the four years since I retired) They would rather work for (felony) or with (also felony-conspiracy to commit prostitution) other women but are forced into isolation because of the contribution of the college educated and yes so called radical feminist such as Melissa.

    Advocating the arrest of women working out of poverty is not radical.

    There are over two and a half million people in jail and prison now-poor people.

    There are over seven million in the system-poor people.

    There are thousands being deported-all poor people.

    You want to jail or imprison real rapists and murderers, I have absolutely no problem with that. But frankly, under this system, that aint’t who mostly gets jailed or imprisoned or deported.

  77. God that’s horrible.
    I’ll bookmark this and show it to anyone thinking of getting into the industry.

  78. […] the other hand, when Judge Deni dismissed a rape of a prostitute because it was theft of services I was outraged. So how is it services in the case above and not in the rape case? See, this is why […]

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