What I think about the DC Madam

What do I think about the DC Madam?

The Marvel Madam is *way* cooler.

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Now that I’ve got that out of my system. I am missing a fun meetup with Sexerati blogger Melissa Gira & others. On deepthroated.wordpress.com, they’ll be blogging the 20/20 interview with Jeane Palfrey. I figured I’d get on chat with them and blog it too, reading the transcript of the interview.

So I’ll starting reading it and dump any thoughts below. So far, I know almost nothing, except that there is a big List and for some reason abc news has it and there is controversy and the list names, among others, some big shot hypocrite in the Bush admin who is super anti-sex ed and anti-sex work and who had something to do with the US writing laws or policies that it won’t fun overseas agencies unless they do abstinence education only. ie talking about aids prevention or sex work or doing things like free condoms or needle exchanges mean you will not get any US funding. Kneejerkily I consider this policy to be quite evil and one of the things I am absolutely against. Another layer of controversy to talk about here – the ethics of revealing the client list. Oh – and the last detail I heard by word of mouth or maybe blog, was that he said it was “like ordering a pizza”. That is my general level of knowledge in all its glory. To the transcript!

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Oh the transcript is fascinating. Palfrey says with a straight face that she expects there was no illegal sex/prostitution. Come on now! I believe that’s true *sometimes* and some guys might just want an escort or someone to hang with they don’t have to date. However I would not believe that more than a little. Were the guys having sex for $275 for an hour and a half? You bet some kind of activity occurred. What I would believe, easily, is that it kept to technical legality like, the guys jack off with the high class escort watching and talking. That would make sense, and that’s what I would have insisted on, were I a high class escort who could be in an Ann Taylor catalog. That branding made me laugh hysterically… I bet J. Crew is eating its heart out that its “look” lost out for high class respectability.

Okay the super cool part is where it is clear that what Palfrey was supposed to do is to go to jail for a few months or years, rather than expose any clients who might be especially embarrassed because they are high powered important rich men. And she described it that very clearly. In my eyes this particular aspect is very heroic.

I sure as heck am not going to be going to federal prison for one day, let alone, you know, four to eight years here, because I’m shy about bringing in the deputy secretary of whatever. Not for a second. I’ll bring every last one of them in if necessary.

Right on, stick it to the man!

A note. I see someone on the deepthroating blog talking about her level of privilege. Of course as she says that she must know her level of privilege is not going to help her all that much if she gets raped, accused of a crime (any crime!) or busted for prostitution. I think there have been high class whores throughout history. Who are respected to some level and have some legal protections. But once you are up against the wall it isn’t going to help. You’re a whore and it’s open season. I respect sex workers and have been one myself and I share something of the feelings of sex-positivity, sacred-temple-whoreness, make the implicit relationship explicit, all that. As well as being aware that there are not great options for many women and here is one. I have also written and still stand by it, that heterosexual marriage is a form of prostitution. Married women have more protection than most whores. There are just deep problems with hetero sex and its power dynamics under patriarchy, and it’s complicated. In any sort of legal situation the merest suggestion of being a prostitute throws your veracity into question and that deep wrongness shows no signs of being fixed just because a few women have relative privilege. The ways that prostitution is exploitation is not really fixable by sex positivity and personal empowerment. It is comparable to other forms of labor and exploitation. But not the same…. and we could talk about why, all day. In any case I support political actions to decriminalize prostitution. And sex worker unions! But not because I think that fixes the underlying fuckedupness that makes women and young boys/men exploitable and that makes being able to exploit them a guiltless mark of personal choice and power and entitlement… Well anyway, complicated and I have complicated mixed feelings about it.

Back to the transcript. I wish there was more of it.

Quite frankly, but for the few exceptions, most of the men on this list just aren’t newsworthy, not even as customers of the D.C. Madam’s escort service.

Oh really? Not newsworthy? When the exposure of any random woman who is a prostitute is newsworthy enough to hound her and destroy her life? That it isn’t considered important … well for one thing that’s just not fucking true. But even when it is newsworthy the media is all too ready to be like “oh heh heh boys will be boys” while not very subtly nudge nudge wink winking. Not newsworthy? WTF.

Melissa Farley was quoted saying

The women are arrested; the women are incarcerated; the women are taken out in handcuffs, and the men who buy and use women in prostitution slowly and quietly slink off, and they’re pretty much socially and legally invisible.

This is like whore politics 101 here. Not news to anyone who has thought about it for even a second. It is considered mean and unfair to call the men to account for breaking the law. While criminalizing the prostitutes!

How can anyone not notice this and call it as being fucked up? Would anyone like to explain why we have to be all like “But what about the men?” Oh, my god, won’t someone care about the men?

There is not enough sarcasm in the whole universe, even the DC universe, for me to properly infuse that with sarcasm!

Why is prostitution a crime?

Why is the criminal the prostitute? In effect and practice if not in law?

How many men do you think will lose their jobs over this? A few. But more to the point … do you think ANY of the professional women will *keep* their jobs? Do you think any of the men will?

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