Who’s worth that much?

The press has been full of the $5500/hour price tag (actually more like $5500/night) for time with Kristen. The question of “who’s worth that much?” comes up frequently.

I think a comparison’s is in order for a little perspective. Those of you who frequent eBay have no doubt recently noticed a rather obnoxious banner ad on display, “Meet Scarlett Johansson”. It links to this page, which just auctioned off the chance to “meet and greet” Scarlett Johansson at the premiere of her latest movie, the proceeds going entirely to Oxfam. Final bidding price for this once-in-a-lifetime experience was $40100. I’m not sure if “meeting and greeting” could take up more than 20 minutes.

OK, maybe the bidder in question just wanted to make a big charity donation. Or maybe he really think 40K really was worth it to briefly converse with Ms. Johansson. But it puts 5.5K for several hours and sex with a not-so-famous beauty in perspective. The virtues of giving to charity notwithstanding, I think the latter sounds like a better deal.

Former Governor of MN, Jesse Ventura and Prostitution

I’m not a fan of legalizing prostitution.  I advocate decrim.  But I was a resident of Minnesota during the Ventura years as Governor.  While Governor Ventura advocated legalization, and I am a decrim advocate, I respect that he unlike Spitzer and so many of the politicos had the courage to be straight about his feelings about sex work.

Ventura statements on prostitution

In one of his books, Ventura mentions a visit to a prostitute near Reno, Nevada and he admitted to visiting brothels in the Philippines while serving in the military. Ventura has publicly stated that prostitution should be legal, since it will exist in any case, and legal controls protecting the health of clients and workers are needed.[16] He said “I voted in hopes to make prostitution legal once, and I’d do it again in a second”.[17] He admitted to trading a belt made of gun cartridge cases in exchange for 10 dollars plus the services of a prostitute in Nevada during his younger days.

I also appreciated his views on opposing fundamentalists

Ventura states “But I do have a problem with the people who think they have some right to try to impose their beliefs on others. I hate what the fundamentalist fanatics are doing to our country. It seems as though, if everybody doesn’t accept their version of reality, that somehow invalidates it for them. Everybody must believe the same things they do. That’s what I find weak and destructive.”[22]Ventura endorsed equal rights for religious minorities, as well as people who don’t believe in God, by declaring July 4, 2002, “Indivisible Day” through this proclamation:

“WHEREAS: The unique feature of this nation at its founding was its establishment of a secular Constitution that separated government from religion – something never done before; and WHEREAS: Our secular Constitution has enabled people of all worldviews to coexist in harmony, undivided by sectarian strife; and WHEREAS: President James Madison made clear the importance of maintaining this harmony when he said, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the endless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries”; and WHEREAS: The diversity of our people requires mutual respect and equal protection for all our citizens, including minority groups, if we are to remain “One nation, indivisible”; and WHEREAS: It is the unfettered diversity of ideas and worldviews that have made our nation the strongest and most productive in the world; and WHEREAS: Eternal vigilance must be maintained to guard against those who seek to stifle ideas, establish a narrow orthodoxy, and divide our nation along arbitrary lines of race, ethnicity, and religious belief or nonbelief. NOW, THEREFORE, I, JESSE VENTURA, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim that Thursday, July 4, 2002 shall be observed as: INDIVISIBLE DAY In the State Of Minnesota.”
 
And the Iraq war.
 

Ventura is serving as an advisory board member for a new group called Operation Truth, a non-profit organization set up “to give voice to troops who served in Iraq.” “The current use of the National Guard is wrong….These are men who did not sign up to go occupy foreign nations”.[27]

He had his gaffes, wasn’t always PC, had some rough moments.  But he was straight forward and wasn’t a farce faux crusader like Spitzer, Tobias and their ilk.

They Found Kristen

It looks like the NY Times found Kristen and her MySpace page. They very helpfully give her full real name.

And the circus is renewed…

Random Thoughts on the Spitzer Scandal

One thing I found fascinating about all this is the media’s use of the word “prostitute” and references to how exploited the girls are, then printing every screenshot of the ECVIP Web site they can find – especially if it has sexy girl pictures.

It’s sort of nice that the scandal involved a high-end escort, for once, but even if he’d been caught with a low-rate escort the reaction would still be the same, minus the “wasting money” and “no one is worth that much” comments; but adding more of the “what was he thinking” stuff and “diseased whore” crap.

I used to be a fan of Spitzer’s back when he was going after big business and the brokers/traders. He was doing some good and I had high hopes for him. Sigh. I need a hero. Male politicians don’t seem to be able to fill that role.

A pen-pal wrote me: “They keep saying things along the lines of “He wasn’t a guy who had issues with women”, as if any man who spends time with a call-girl (which seems to be the preferred word on NPR) must.” I hope NPR got a hold of some sex workers who could tell them that just because a man sees a female sex worker does not mean he has “women issues.” In fact, it takes a measure of self-honesty to respect a woman enough to pay her for her time/services, instead of assuming it’s her God-ordained female role to do it all for free.

I heartily dislike the use of the phrase “prostitution ring.” It was an agency and a very well-managed one at that. No “ring” about it. It was a business, people. Kind of like saying Congress is a “governmental ring” or police stations are “authoritarian rings.”

Continue reading

Melissa Farley Get a Life!

I mostly don’t care what Melissa Farley thinks, I know that her position is weak and illogical. But her opinion piece opens with a question that I’d very much like to address:

WHAT do we know about the woman Gov. Eliot Spitzer allegedly hired as a prostitute? She was the one person he ignored in his apology. What is she going through now? Is she in danger from organized crime because of what she knows? Is anyone offering her legal counsel or alternatives to prostitution?

What we know about Kristen is that she was able to walk into a room with a man, take over 4K from him and STILL INSIST ON SAFE SEX. Hmmm, Kristen must be a very confident, intelligent woman who respects herself. Kristen is a hero. She understands that the quality of an intimate sexual experience does not have to be compromised by safe sex. KRISTEN could probably give young women some good ideas about setting sexual boundaries and communicating about them.

She doesn’t need an apology from him- not in the sense that Farley is suggesting. He needs to have some balls and say that he made a decision to employ the services of a woman with whom he enjoys spending time and he’s sorry for all involved that they’re in the public eye. He ought to thank, not apologize to her.

Her purpose, as a man who knew patiently explained, is “renting” out an organ for 10 minutes.

How does she justify objectifying language like this? We are not fractured and damaged beings as she repeatedly claims. Since when is ‘a man who knew’ a legitimate source of information?

Whose theory is it that prostitution is victimless? It’s the men who buy prostitutes who spew the myths that women choose prostitution, that they get rich, that it’s glamorous and that it turns women on.

Um, to many of the women who do it, that’s not just a theory. Do their voices matter at all? Unlike you, Ms. Farley, we actually have some experience to base our perspective on and we understand the realities of the sex industry better than you ever will because your perspective is limited to theory- ours is reality.

Do you actually believe that women are so incapable and ignorant that men have programmed us into announcing to the world that we like what we do and we don’t want jail and we don’t want diversion programs. We do want access to health and education resources so that all sex workers have the agency to make informed decisions without risk of economic coercion. Yeah, the men brainwashed that into us.

But most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show. Incest sets young women up for prostitution — by letting them know what they’re worth and what’s expected of them. Other forces that channel women into escort prostitution are economic hardship and racism.

I would really be thrilled to read any of your research or research supporting your argument that has been peer-reviewed and has sound investigation methods. Still waiting…

Economic and race issues are always relevant when discussing the sex industry. The Eliot Spitzer story does not play into the traditional stereotypes. Which is good in most ways and has some major downsides…. exclusion and a glossing over of the issues involved with the practical enforcement of prostitution laws, etc. This case did not surface because of a traditional prostitution bust. This was about him specifically. Keeping prostitution illegal will always create a tool for political maneuvering. However, this has given the public an opportunity to look at a new angle of the industry that it was pretty much completely ignored before. And if all of us, in all levels of the industry, don’t start saying something, the media and Farley will continue to speak for us. So perhaps this is a critical point for the industry, can this be a situation that sparks new alliances and awareness among a more economically diverse group of sex workers?

The Emperor’s Club often required that the women provide sex twice an hour. One woman who was wiretapped indicated that she couldn’t handle that pressure.

As often noted by sex workers, myself included, this work isn’t for everybody. Some women enjoy stripping but would never do prostitution, some women enjoy prostitution but are too shy to get on stage in dance clubs. The point is- we need to be free to select the situations that we choose to work in, to have a legal environment that does not criminalize our right to COMMUNICATE (because, after all, that IS the only difference between the pro’s- pre-nups included- and non-pro’s) about those boundaries. If you can’t do it twice in an hour, that isn’t the right agency for you- find another one. Or better yet- work for yourself.

Telephone operators at the Emperor’s Club criticized one of the women for cutting sessions with buyers short so that she could pick up her children at school. “As a general rule,” one said, “girls with children tend to have a little more baggage going on.”

Again, this is an issue of choice. A professional is responsible for her schedule. If the schedule is not flexible enough for her, she needs to be able to work elsewhere (or for herself!)- not get out of prostitution. Sex work enables many mothers to afford their monthly expenses while still spending as much time as possible with their children. She needs to have choices within sex work. Limiting the public perspective on sex work to these extremes- either the rarest high-end situation or the saddest of poverty-stricken situations- prevents people from understanding the true nature of the work and associated circumstances that can limit one’s ability to choose.

Whether the woman is in a hotel room or on a side street in someone’s car, whether she’s trafficked from New York to Washington or from Mexico to Florida or from the city to the suburbs, the experience of being prostituted causes her immense psychological and physical harm. And it all starts with the buyer.

*Yawn* Okay, yeah, it’s all because of the natural biological human sex drive which women are expected to suppress and men are supposed to lie about. It makes perfect sense, it’s like how breathing creates air pollution.

Tracy Quan on Spitzer

Tracy Quan discusses Spizter’s use of an escort service in the NY Times. Though she’s not at all fond of the Internet, agencies are much riskier than an indie — Internet or not.

Sextortions: Washington Terrorist Pimps

I’m posting this on behalf of Robin Head, with permission.

Robin Head, Former Texas Madam, Sent to Prison for 10 Years for Refusing to SEXTORT clients for FBI/CIA agents – PIMPS.

Sex Slavery, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, extortion, blackmail―of the most egregious kind―of U.S. Citizens by the U.S. Government Brothel of Bureaucrats

My name is Robin Head, previous owner of Playboy Escorts in Houston, Texas. I was approached by various law enforcement agency’s, FBI, ATF, etc… who wanted me to abet them in entrapping “State and political officials” having sex so they could extort, control and blackmail them, not to charge them with misdemeanor prostitution. At the same time, women at my service were being tricked and trafficked overseas to Bangkok and called me collect from a jail in Vienna.

A madam from Alabama was found hanging in a federal jail cell in nearby Brazoria County. When I refused to abet in the extortion, I was thrown in jail, no bond, a ‘Life’ sentence filed on me, and then my son and family were harassed and attacked endlessly in some kind of gang like Mafia style.

I went to the FBI, but it was like reporting the devil to the witch, they said they would help me but only if I would help them, again, to set up officials. They had no interest in the corruption aspect. Some very high profile names were involved, people seen on TV news commentary.
Who are these agents with this monstrous agenda and what do they want? This is not a left/right wing thing it is a most vicious entity in this country.

This country has become as fearful as any other 3rd world country when it comes to reporting crime to officials just exactly like in Russia, Iraq, Africa, Mexico, etc… where it is the officials that are the perpetrators of the crimes, kidnapping, ransom, drugs, and it is dangerous to report to them.

More information and links available at: http://fbicorruption.250free.com