Liveblogging Ashley on 20/20: or, Diane Sawyer Is So Pimp

Irreverence, yes, but with how much gravity can we approach yet another tv news feature on prostitution? I did kid when I said we were all in our La Perla. Okay, I am, but also combat boots. And a cocktail.

9:29 PM Lubricating with “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” The hooker memoir nerd in me is remembering way too many scenes in like every Michelle Tea book about incalls blasting trash tv while waiting for clients to show up.

9:41 PM Chatting with Peridot Ash about managing all these different identities we have: workers, bloggers, activists, all that. (Tonight she’s twittering this, too.)

9:56 PM Gina de Vries just arrived. 4 minutes to showtime. Too many laptops. Good times.

10:00 PM “Girl at the Crossroads?” At least they got her a better makeup artist than Deborah Jean. Oh, the montage: she had a cat! Popular girls with Persians can become sex workers, too!

Continue reading

Liveblogging Ashley Alexandra Dupre, tonight at 10

Join us tonight at Bound, not Gagged for a bi-coastal live blogging of 20/20, which returns again to the subject of prostitution in America. The star of their segment is Ashley Alexandra Dupre.

The woman most (unfortunately? wrongly?) often described as “the downfall of former New York state governor Eliot Spitzer” is speaking directly to the press in depth for the first time, including People and tonight, Diane Sawyer, who just can’t get enough of fancy hos.

We’ll be here at 10 o’clock Eastern and Pacific. In La Perla thongs, of course.

Ashley Alexandra Durpre’s Birthday in Page Six

Ms. Dupre celebrated her 23rd birthday at Marquee in Manhattan earlier this month, and Page Six was all over the story.

‘Kristen’ Steps Out at Hot Club

Spitzer call girl sues ‘Girls Gone Wild’ for $10 million

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

MIAMI – The call girl linked to the downfall of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer sued the founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” series on Monday for $10 million, claiming he exploited her image and name to advertise the racy videos

Ashley Alexandra Dupre, 22, contended in the lawsuit that she was only 17 — too young to sign legally binding contracts — and drunk on spring break in 2003 when she agreed to be filmed for “Girls Gone Wild” in Miami Beach.

Dupre “did not understand the magnitude of her actions, nor that her image and likeness would be displayed in videos and DVDs,” says the lawsuit filed by Miami attorney Richard C. Wolfe.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami names as defendants “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis, two of his companies and a man purportedly involved in creation of two Internet sites that the lawsuit contends improperly use Dupre’s image to sell DVDs and other products.

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Live on Blog Talk Radio XBN: Sex Worker Rights Broadcast Network 5PM Eastern Saturday 3.29.08

XBN Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Please join XBN at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Listener Call in number 646.200.3136

Join sex workers and sex worker rights activists in media created and driven by us!

Upcoming Guests

Guest Carol Leigh! Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot Unrepentant Whore published by Last Gasp Carol Leigh,

3/31/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171865]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest to be determined

4/1/2008
8:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest to be determined

4/2/2008
6:00 PM
60 Minutes [171963]

XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network

Guest: Renegade Evolution Profile of a Henchwoman: Often over generalized as a bit of a clockwork apocalypse, heartless capitalist and generally ruthless scum, the terrifying truth is RenEv is a stripper, Internet porn performer, sex workers rights


Everyone 4/3/2008
9:30 PM
60 Minutes [171948]
XBN SWOP East Broadcast Network
Guest: Melissa Gira Bio: http://www.melissagira.com
ht Unpacking the Wired story on tech & sex work: http://www.wired.comht — and adding more on how sex workers internationally use technology in advocacy for human rights. internet, jill brenneman XBN, Melissa Gira, sex work, sex workers, sex workers outreach project, swop, swopeast Politics Progressive
Mature 4/4/2008
3:00 PM
60 Minutes

All previous shows are available for playback or download at www.blogtalkradio.com/swopeast

Previous Guests include:

Veronica Monet

Constance Sisk

Stacey from Desiree Alliance

Maxine Doogan

Amanda Brooks

And a live call in show after a Presentation by Jill Brenneman at William & Mary, this program hosted by Amanda Brooks, features many live calls from the presentation audience from the Brenneman presentation who stayed and joined XBN’s live broadcast which was being simulcast over the auditorium. This presentation was in response to the significant protest and backlash against the organizers and supporters of the Sex Worker’s Art Show Appearance at William & Mary and protests against the Sex Workers Art Show themselves. As the show demonstrates there is a lot of support for the Sex Workers Art Show at William and Mary.

Many outstanding guests are being scheduled, please watch for updates! If you would like to be a guest on this revolutionary project bringing sex workers voices to the media please contact www.swopeast.org

If you are a sex worker or sex worker rights musician and would like to make your music available to XBN, please contact us as we are in need of both theme music and would love to feature and credit sex worker and sex worker rights musicians.

XBN: Sex Worker Voices, Sex Worker Viewpoints, Sex Worker Rights

Many Thanks to The Naked Heroes for letting us use their awesome music on XBN! Please check them out and support them!!! http://www.myspace.com/thenakedheroes

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Kristen’s Mom

kristins-mom.jpg

…she wasn’t worried about her daughter after news erupted that she was the prostitute Spitzer slept with, causing his fall from power. “She is a very bright girl who can handle someone like the governor,” she said.

NY Post 

Has anybody been able to find interviews with Spitzer’s parents?

The Music Biz and The Moral High Ground

Jay Smooth. Intelligent and cute!

“20/20” Report on Prostitution

What are people’s thoughts on the 2 hour report about prostitution that aired on March 21?  I thought Diane Sawyer spent way too much time trying to pathologize sex workers and delving into their personal lives, and not enough time focusing on the rights and well-being of sex workers and the perspectives of sex workers on issues affecting them, such as the criminalization of prostitution and the working conditions they would like.  Though I would had been interested in what the workers thought the legal status of prostitution should be, the only person who spoke about this on the program was a reporter for the New York Times who promoted the Swedish model, even though prostitutes in Sweden have denounced this model.  Of course, their perspectives weren’t represented either.  Please share your thoughts.

Shameless self promotion, Brenneman on Rock 102 WAQY

I confess. It’s shameless self promotion. But we need to be heard.

My interview on Rock 102 Springfield
Category: News and Politics

It’s edited, they misquote my role in SWOP, cut part of the interview out, add pieces to it and move things around, but it compared to other media events, this one they didn’t do a bad job with.. Brenneman on Rock 102 WAQY Springfield

I was able to get out key phrases like sex worker rights, SWOP, what sex worker rights were, how we could be victims of rape and how sex worker rights were part of social change. Bax and O’brien weren’t perfect, they each played their stereotypical roles and I and O’brien don’t know each other as he implies. But……….. Nonetheless I achieved what I felt was important. I never said I was co founder of SWOP. They misunderstood that.

 

Check out Amanda Brooks and Jill Brenneman on KMUD

http://kmud.org/site001/program-schedule/302.html The whole show is archived.

on Wednesday Night Talk. Wednesday 19, March 2008 7PM

The “feminist” caller that was “offended” and her statement about sex worker rights causing women to be viewed as holes…………………… I wish I could have heard her better at the time as there was a lot of distortion and she hung up before I could ask her to repeat the remainder of her question beyond the hole comment.   Fighting oppression by generalizing Amanda and I as causing women to be viewed as “holes”  Nice………….

Kristin’s Friends Support Her

Despite the comments about “everybody makes mistakes” this is a really great interview with friends who’ve done music gigs with Ashley Alexandra Dupre. See sex workers are people with real friends and personal relationships and we’re not all damaged and disfunctional.

Melissa Farley Words v Actions: Ethics or Not?

Melissa Farley has taken a stand opposing Governor Spitzer’s hiring of the escort Kristen. Does she deserve to be congratulated for doing the right thing and criticizing Spitzer’s hypocrisy of spearheading a campaign against prostitution while hiring escorts despite the fact that until his arrest he was advocating similar political strategy as her? Was there any risk in her doing so? Not really. One would have to assume that she like many of her allies in the anti trafficking movement feel betrayed by Spitzer’s. Her other actions contradict her integrity.

There has been a large outcry against the public outing of Kristen by the media. Rightfully so. Her outing was an abysmal example of the lack of integrity of many media outlets. The media’s outing of Kristen is disgusting. Their blatant misuse of the pictures from her myspace page are jaw dropping in their lack of integrity. Especially given many of the media outlets were supposed to be ones that operated at a higher standard. That professed themselves to be above the level of tabloid shit like the National Enquirer.

Those that stand behind Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft need to consider that the actions of these two anti trafficking, abolitionist activists are as an egregious breach of the rights of a sex worker or worse, if the pictures depicted on their websites are as they described, victims of human trafficking and coerced torture as they are presented by Farley and Craft. Both Farley’s Prostitution Research and Education http://www.prostitutionresearch.com “trafficking jamming” blog and Nikki Craft’s ACLU, “Always Causing Legal Unrest” show porn pics of women in bondage. Pictures that it can easily be speculated are without the consent of the women being photographed as neither Farley nor Craft have ever responded to requests to prove consent to use the image or even if the women are of legal age. While lack of response is not inherently guilt, it is hard to fathom a reason why either “anti trafficking activist” would not be outspoken if they had acquired consent of the women depicted. Farley’s is more graphic and after outspoken criticism from sex worker rights activists and from Farley’s statement apparently survivors of rape, she put a disclaimer rather than having any viewer including those under 18 be ambushed by a picture of which any pornography site would be held accountable under law to have warnings about adult content, illegality of underage viewing and full consent of the actresses depicted. Farley’s explanation of placing the disclaimer on what had been a blatant image as soon as one hit the blog page ”

In response to comments by survivors of torture and other sexual abuse, we have placed a warning and additional link to the photograph of kink.com torture. Traffick Jamming visitors can now choose if and when they look at the photographs.

Her disclaimer reads ”

WARNING If you open the red torture photo link directly below this paragraph, you will see two photographs of people being tortured. One is the widely-circulated photograph of a hooded figure with electrical wires of man being tortured at Abu Ghraib. At the same link, you will also see a photograph of a woman being tortured. This photograph of torture is from the website kink.com. The woman’s face is masked and unrecognizable and she has on a thong that covers her genitals. Her breasts are concealed here. She is shackled by the ankles and hung with her arms tied to the wall over her head. The woman is being electrically tortured by someone off-camera with what looks like a cattle prod. All you can see is his arm with the cattle prod. There is also what appears to be an electrical outlet or battery in front of her. Click Here to view photo. I have not enabled the link from here to the pictures. This blog is taking extensive traffic and given these pictures are in very high probability without consent, they are as exploitative as the news media. Showing a naked woman being tortured with captions describing the action without the consent of the woman in the picture…………. Sorry, if you want to find this you can look yourself. My goal is to make a point, not to direct a high traffic load to pictures that I believe are being used in a manner that is a horrendously egregious breach of privacy and law that is being overlooked because it is done by the alleged freedom fighters for trafficking victims as Farley and Craft self portray.

Outspoken self proclaimed radical feminist “Pony” in response to the disclaimer states

Please DO look at the photographs, which are not owned by the people depicted, but by the torturers. As long as the only people who see these and others like them are the torturers and torture and pornography consumers, women haters, abusers and traffickers win, because ordinary people will not see what pornography is really about.

Whether Pony is speaking for herself or on behalf of inside knowledge of Farley apparently not having consent to use the photo of the women being tortured. She advocates that one look at the photos. Pony who in other posts advises that she does not “frequent pro porn blogs” has no problem viewing the kind of porn she condemns if it is on an anti porn site and encourages others to follow despite her opposition to these very types of images. Despite by her belief Farley does not even have consent to use the picture which if this were on a non anti porn website one would very likely see very outspoken criticism from Farley, Craft, Pony.   If the pictures are owned by torturers, not the people depicted, this even by Pony’s admission and her ally Farley is using pics owned by torturers and Pony is advocating one look at these pics.  Hmmmm,  seems like an odd contradiction.  Farley and Pony come from a school of thought which considers giving condoms to working sex workers collaborating with traffickers and pimps.  Thus what does that make a feminist using stolen pictures without the consent of the persons depicted, taken by photographers identified by Farley and Pony as torturers without even a safeguard to protect minors or compliance with 2257 which deems the pictures legally assumed to be without consent and of minors.  That is feminist?  By what standard?

So, back to the hypocrisy issue. Farley jumped on the bandwagon with her betrayed colleagues. Sex worker rights activists have condemned the hypocrisy of a leader in a fight, Spitzer, against sex work by consenting adults with clients hiring escorts while hiring the very people he is persecuting. Sex worker rights activists also oppose human trafficking and coercion. That is not a stance owned by just the “anti trafficking movement”. The suggestion that a sex worker rights movement would be pro trafficking is absurd. The idea behind a movement for the rights of a population is exactly that. Rights. Right to consent among other things.

Including the right to consent to the use of your pictures. Farley in her blog opines about the porn actresses who later wished to have their images removed and had to go to litigation and attempt to force these images to be removed via legal action after various website owners would not grant the wishes of the actresses. As a sex worker rights activist, as Executive Director of SWOP East, I can state firmly that we advocate strongly for the right of consent to the use of images and the right to terminate consent both of which being held by the actress portrayed at all times. If the actress wishes the pictures to be removed they should be removed. An empowered sex worker rights movement would have a much greater chance of having this kind of protection built into contracts with website owners and legal remedy for damages in the event of contractual breach. Farley wants this right except when it applies to websites owned by Farley and Craft. Then she wants what Spitzer wanted. To be above the law.

So my questions are to anti trafficking/radical feminist/abolitionist activists. If you oppose the outing of Kristen and the blatant misuse of her pictures without her consent, one would assume then that you would also want these protections for the actresses in the pictures of websites owned by Farley and Craft. Otherwise, once again we have a hypocrisy issue.

If Farley wants credit for condemning Spitzer perhaps her actions should speak more loudly than her words and the pics should be removed. Not to mention perhaps a mea culpa. If her allies want her condemnation of Spitzer to be more than words perhaps they should consider the step of condemning two of their own engaging in their own ethical transgressions.

Prostitution 2.0

A very interesting article on a techie website describes for laymen how to find an escort online:

A Girlfriend Experience Is Just A Click Away

The controversy surrounding New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has shed light (a red light) on a number of underground activities. Besides government corruption and the sex trade in general, Spitzer’s use of the Internet to connect with prostitutes is exposing a huge industry with which people may not be familiar.

Or even know exists.

The online escort/call girl/”model”/prostitute scene isn’t so hard to find, though. Just use Google. If the organic results don’t fit what you’re looking for, AdWords can help, too.

The truth is, investigating this scene is much like investigating the adult entertainment scene. The breadth, depth, and scope of prostitution available via online booking is staggering, indicating that just like the online porn industry, sex trade is not just a huge industry, but one that employs cutting edge marketing techniques, and one that apparently is thriving.

……………….

An Open Sex Market

It would be impossible to explore every website offering some kind of escort service, and many of them seem to have shut down since the revelation about Governor Eliot, including the Emperor’s Club website he used. But perusing some of them reveals details that would be mundane if talking about any other business.

When people think of prostitution, they generally think of street-walkers with cash-only policies. The 21st Century, though, brings change to the world’s oldest profession, too. Visitations can be booked with cash or credit. There is often a registration process for potential clients, or a requirement that the client participate in a screening process.

…………………

A Virtual Smorgasbord

Call Girls SmorgasbordGovernor Spitzer obviously had a certain taste: prostitutes he could take to Washington on important visits that didn’t look like a prostitute and could provide him confidence that she would exercise her right to remain silent. There are more expensive women than $4,300 for two hours, but he is a government employee at the end of the day.

If money is no object, a fat-walleted client can choose from a menu of women on sites similar to the Emperor’s Club, some with the same diamond-rating system. A seven-diamond lady, if paying by credit card, will run about $3,600 per hour. If paying by cash, a client can get a $600 per hour discount. If he wants to weed out the less expensive, less exclusive women, he can run a more specific search for [high class call girls] or [high class escorts] and Google will bring him back what he is looking for, thanks to some good SEO and SEM.

Interestingly, he notes that many sites have shut down since the scandal broke. I have been hearing through the grapevine that many women have taken their sites down until the dust settles. I tend to think they are wise in doing so, as there has been a veritable media feeding frenzy on working ladies.

I wonder what the projected implications are for the online advertisers?

Even more interesting than the article itself are the comments that follow.

Some choice bits:

From a guest

We use the internet as an alternative to walking the streets or turning over a huge percentage of our earnings to agencies and pimps. For the most part, it is safe. Every once in a while you hear of a girl getting hurt by a john, but not very often. A threat that is much more real is that of a pimp posing as a customer, making an appointment, then coming to rob and rape you. So most of us working girls (the smart ones anyway) refuse to see black guys….. seeing that this is the most reliable way of avoiding pimps. And yes, it works. Maybe we are losing out on the “good” black guys out there, but with such a disproportionate ratio of good vs bad, it’s an acceptable loss.

……………..

No girl grows up thinking she wants to be a prostitute. We end up here because we have no other (viable) way to earn a living. We have no education and no skills…. so what else are we going to do? We use our bodies instead of our minds. We all have secondary reasons as well. Some girls have kids to support, some have drug addictions, some are co-dependant on an abusive boyfriend. But NO girl does this because she likes it.

……………..

There is much much more to say about internet prostitution, but I could go on and on. In closing, I may be a prostitute…. but judge not lest ye be judged. Just as you are more than your job, I too am more than mine.

From the author of the article, Jason Lee Miller:

I saw on Discovery Channel a few years back researchers studying the brain via imaging and via the chemicals that were released. They concluded something kind of astonishing: creativity, sexuality, and spirituality all seemed to come from the same area of the brain…or that while one of these three things were active, the same area of the brain lit up.

……………………

All that, and my conspiratorial side doesn’t buy it that the feds targeted Spitzer by accident. Of all the dirty politicians and all the call-girls around Washington, why Spitzer? Probably b/c he was gumming up the works with all that justice…

But you didn’t hear that from me. 🙂 And I can’t prove a word of it. Just riffing, like I said.

Update 10:17 PM Funny I said that there at the end…read this before something mysterious and tragic happens to this guy:

http://www.gregpalast.com/elliot-spitzer-gets-nailed/  

Maybe there’s more to this than the press is letting us know.

[SWOP-LV’s comment: very interesting article by Greg Palast]

From another guest:

Keep it stigmatized.  Keep it illegal.  The whole mess is degrading to women as well as society as a whole.

$1 Million to Kristen to Pose in Hustler (If she accepts)

I think she should ask for more personally. $1 million seems so 1990’s. Come on Larry, airline tickets are getting pricey with the cost of oil these days. Apparently Penthouse wants her as well. I hope she’s got a reputable and reliable talent agent handling this for her. She deserves way more than they are offering. Kristen- CALL US FIRST! We got your back girl.

She’s not thrilled that her topless photos are being used without her permission. I hope she’s got good lawyers. In general, I just hope that she’s got positive, supportive people around her who are encouraging her to think clearly and make smart decisions right now. There are many people clamoring to use her to their advantage and it’s socially acceptable because she’s just a whore.

Kristen,

I say let your Whore Flag Fly, honey! You have been the most interesting thing that most people in this country have looked at since Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Super Bowl. YOU ARE WORTH WAY MORE THAN $1 MILLION

How much did Jennifer Lopez get for pics of her babies in People? $4-6 million? For BABIES. Has Jennifer Lopez ever been the hottest single topic of discussion in political, social and entertainment circles the way that you have this week? No!

You’re talking about having photos taken so that every guy who’s been jerking off to the teaser photos of you floating around the web this week will run out and buy the magazines.

You are worth big bucks woman! Nothing sells better than sex- nothing. But making them wait for it is definitely smart, and you can probably give some pretty valuable interviews without having to take your clothes off and maximize the total number of media outlets paying for your time.

OWN IT! Be proud. What is there left to lose? There are a great many of us who admire you and sympathize with what you’re going through. We’re concerned that you’re in a vulnerable situation because of the nature of this publicity. But we know that you can come through this ahead and we’re cheering for you!

We know lots of smart and successful women in the adult entertainment industry who can lend advice and support should you need it. BoundNotGagged.com is the way to find us

Warmly,
Karly and All of Us at BnG