Hypocrisy of Law

This is my opinion on the Spizter scandal as it has blossomed so far. I don’t pretend my opinions are shared by everyone on this site. And please understand I’m only referring to cases like Spizter’s, where’s both parties are consenting adults.

Much has been made about his hypocrisy, both in his business dealings and his history with anti-traffickers and shutting down other escort agencies. The hypocrisy of the law is something else.

Again and again, it has been clear that Spitzer won’t be charged with wrongdoing. In fact, one man felt Spitzer’s public humiliation was punishment enough.

Oh really? Is it?

Then let’s round up all the girls who worked for ECVIP, have them come forward, say they were sorry for consensually working for the agency, remove them from any public offices they hold and then let them go home. I’m sure the scarlet letter is punishment enough for them. Why does the law need to get involved?

Or let’s round up the four administrative members of ECVIP who were arrested last week for violating the Mann Act and possible money laundering. Get them in front of a microphone, let them eat humble pie and send them home. No need to get lawyers involved.

How about every sex worker and client who is arrested in sting operations in every city in America? Their names and pictures are often posted online for all to see. Certainly it’s humiliating. So why process the arrest, charge them and force them to do jail time? Is their humiliation somehow less than Spitzer’s?

Some of the people in this situation have committed suicide due to their humiliation. Obviously, humiliation is a terrific deterrent. (Quick! Put a watch on Spizter! He’s being really humilated!)

Okay, I’m sure some reading this probably believe simple public shaming isn’t bad enough. Prostitution is a crime and someone must do time. Fair enough.

Let’s look at Spizter’s case. The four people arrested last week were all arrested on charges of violating the Mann Act (two were also charged with money laundering). Violating the Mann Act means they arranged to transport a sex worker across state lines to profit from prostitution.

Prostitution is a crime that requires two people (or more, if you can afford it). A sex worker can stand on a street corner all night long, but if no one pays her for sex, then she’s not a prostitute, she’s loitering and wasting her time. No crime has been committed.

Likewise, if a man does not pay a woman whom he has sex with, he is not engaging in prostitution of the woman. (I’m going to ignore things like marriages of convenience or sugar-daddies right now.) No crime has been committed.

Spizter paid for a sex worker to be transported to him. If she is a prostitute (and almost all media outlets are referring to her as such), then he is the other half of that equation. And if he arranged and paid for her transport, then he violated the Mann Act.

This is a felony.

So far, everything I’ve read says he won’t be charged. Part of this is tradition – the sex worker pays the legal price of a “crime” that requires two people. The other partner in crime is protected.

Part of this may be his position. No one wants to say he committed a felony.

But if what he did was not a crime, then the four people of ECVIP committed no crime either. They arranged for the transport of their employees, paid for and arranged by their clientele. Spizter, a client, did not commit a crime (apparently). So how on earth could those running ECVIP commit a crime? What loopholes am I missing? I’m not a lawyer, so perhaps there is a difference in paying and arranging transport of a sex worker, and receiving the payment and arranging for transport of a sex worker.

Deborah Palfrey, the DC Madam and genesis of this blog, has had a variety of charges thrown at her – none of which can really stick, IMO. Her named clients committed no crimes (apparently), though a couple of them have enjoyed public humiliation. Vitter was excused from testifying simply because it would be “embarrassing” for him. What concern for someone who should legally be a criminal!

I’m not saying that only clients should be prosecuted like in Sweden. Frankly, I’d like it if no one was prosecuted. But…

If prostitution is a crime, then it’s a crime for both people engaging in it. If transporting sex workers across state lines is a crime, it’s a crime for anyone who is involved in the transport. Period.

The law is never flexible for sex workers, why should it be flexible for the powerful men who very often are sex worker’s clients?

9 Responses

  1. […] Hypocrisy of Law « Bound, Not Gagged “What loopholes am I missing? I’m not a lawyer, so perhaps there is a difference in paying and arranging transport of a sex worker, and receiving the payment and arranging for transport of a sex worker.” (tags: sexwork Spitzer news law hypocrisy) […]

  2. sex workers think we have integrity. we would never out the customer to his wife and family. so we think the customer is our equal and has as much integrity as we do. nope. the customer will throw us down on the ground and walk over us and pretend they never knew us. they will not call and see if we are ok. they don’t respect us. why should they? why should anybody respect us? we give blow jobs and do anal for money. ur fooling yourself if you think you are going to be treated equal.

  3. I was talking about the hypocrisy of the law — read the title. I wasn’t talking about the relations between clients and providers — only how the law relates to them. And if prostitution is a criminal act, then both clients and providers should be treated equally under the law.

    Once again, I’m not writing clearly enough. Need to dumb it down several levels, I think.

    PS: Most sex workers do not do anal. But thank you for fantasizing.

  4. You’re writing perfectly clearly, Amanda.You’re writing more clearly in your sleep-deprived state than I do in a normal state!
    If people don’t want to hear what you’re saying, that’s their problem. If they truly do not understand something you’ve said, they can simply ask for clarification.

    With that said, you should get some sleep… take care of yourself.

  5. I am sorry, do you think I would be more respectful to men if I gave blowjobs and anal (yep, sorry Amanda)for no money? I mean, for me it is all about earning respect of men and had nothing to do with paying my bills.
    Give me a break.
    I can’t say I have ever been thrown down on the ground and walked over any more or less than any other worker from any other industry working in the capitalist system. Figurativley speaking, of course.

  6. Lisa,

    I said MOST, not ALL.

    XX

  7. “I can’t say I have ever been thrown down on the ground and walked over any more or less than any other worker from any other industry working in the capitalist system.”
    No, I take this back. I was able to support myself and my family quite well by my sex work, which most workers are not able to do.

  8. Sorry, Amanda. I was just playing around with you.

  9. Lisa,

    I still XX’ed you🙂

    I only do it if I mean it…

    XX

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