As promised last time, I have a couple of guests blogs in the works that will, with a little elbow grease, be published here this week. Also, I would like to thank everyone for not pointing out my terrible and obvious math error in my last post. One person pointed it out to me privately, as to help me save face and not look like a total degenerate idiot. But we all know the truth anyway, right? So I decided not to amend the error, because degeneracy is a warm cocoon of comfort. If you wish, review the blog precedeing this one and then make fun of me in the comment section on this post. That will do just fine. Remember when I was talking about going back to school, and I showed you this artist's rendering of me...
...? Well, I wasn't just whistling Dixie. So there you go.
Now, on to the point here. The subject of this post is, loosely, prostitutes.
This post was sparked by the following event:
A few days back I was at the local market getting some food and nicotine supplies, and as I went to get back into my truck, I noticed a few home-printed pictures laying on the ground next to my driver's door. They were paper clipped together. Here are two of those pictures.
I was curious, but more so, I was kind of grossed out. Now here's the deal: I get tired enough of seeing half naked nineteen year old girls on advertisements for goddamn-near everything in this country. I find all the sexuality degrading to the collective American intellect. But I guess nearly naked nineteen year olds sell peanut butter, so there's probably no stopping that. But the lady in the pictures I found was old enough, as you can see, to be my grandmother, which added an extra degree of ickiness to them. I did find them somewhat humorous, though. Then I turned one of the pictures over and realized that the photos were either a kind of personal ad, or a kind of erotic service ad. The writing was as follows:
When I go out with guys and take off my coat or sweater and they see these big 32DD's, their eyes about fall out. They are so big because I'm so small at 5'0" and 117 lbs. 9 lbs of me is my titts. Lucy.There was no contact information, but I presume contact info and rates may have been on a separate picture that escaped the paperclip. I found highly interesting, for some reason, Lucy's use of a double "t" in the word "tits". I found the photos in general, though, gross and alarming and I immediately thought "my blog readers would like to see this".
Lucy, I'm sorry that your pictures had to end up on the internet. But since they had already ended up in the King Soopers parking lot, I figure you probably don't care much.
Here's my argument.
Craigslist Should Not Be Pressured To Censor Erotic Services Ads
You can read up a little bit on the Craigslist hubbub here at the Gray Lady. The long and short of the situation is that Craigslist used to have an "erotic services" section on their free classified ad web page. At some point, Craigslist bowed to judicial pressure and began to require a credit card number and a small sum of money for a person to post an "erotic services" ad. This was done to help investigators root out illegal behavior. This still gave the police little to work with though, because of a little thing we like to call entrapment. A cop would have to divulge to an erotic service provider, at his or her request, whether or not he or she was indeed a cop, making his feeble attempt to enforce the law a moot point.
The listing of the ads used to look like this:
The ads were always cryptic and never spelled out exactly what the service provided was. Usually it just offered hourly rates. As things moved forward, though, further pressure forced Craigslist to temporarily stop all of the ads. One million perverts lamented on the day they logged onto their beloved Craigslist and saw this:
That's right. A big fat "censored" bar over their gateway to mind bending and, presumably, expensive sexual deviancy.
Craigslist, last week, went even further by totally removing the "erotic services" section, and saying that they would not be bringing it back. Ever. The government morality police won.
I find this to be ludicrous for a lot of reasons. First of all, being the kind of guy I am, I don't cotton well to government defining morality for us in instances where consenting adults are making choices alone or amongst themselves that aren't directly harming anyone else. The very principle of the government telling its constituency what they can or cannot do with their own bodies is vile to me.
I can delve further into the details here, though, and say that it is especially obscene to me that the government has created such laws to the direct detriment of some of the most underprivileged people in existence. Few could argue that the majority of sex workers are inner city African American women who were raised in government subsidized dope/welfare traps. The schools in those areas (as public schools everywhere increasingly do) likely robbed the majority of these women of any semblance education. These are arguably the most vulnerable people in America. And what makes their lives so terrible, more than likely, is not primarily their choice to ingest hard drugs or their choice to have sex for a living. What makes it terrible is that drug law and prostitution law has made a fair market for these people non-existant. The chips are stacked against them in every way. Instances of violence and death among these women are alarmingly high, as the intersection of the drug and sex black markets makes them the ideal target of horrible abuse. Because the government has relegated them into the lowest postion in society, they stand little chance of escaping, or barring that, making a reasonable living of what is commonly known as the "oldest profession".
Craigslist is not the only website on the internet offering such advertisement services for working women (and men). In fact, there are many such websites, and the practice of soliciting Johns on the web will not go away any time soon. Probably never. The fact is, though, that Craigslist was making it safer for some sex workers to do what they do. Rather than rely on a pimp, who is likely abusive, demanding and unfair, a worker could take his or her business into their own hands and keep a greater percent of the money they made (namely, 100%). A worker naming her own terms in regards to "whens," "wheres," and "hows" is much less likely to be beaten or robbed (or worse) than a worker standing on a darkened street corner in one of America's many dope traps. Craigslist was empowering these workers in some instances to avoid (or crawl out of) a situation that could only be living hell.
The Oldest Profession
Look at these monkeys.
They look pretty happy and shit, right? They don't look morally crooked or sexually deviant, do they? Well here's the real story on prostitution. When they call it the "oldest profession", they are not kidding. Check out this article from the New York Times magazine. You may be amazed, as I was, to read about a "behavioral economist", Keith Chen, and the monkeys he was experimenting on.
His experiment was to see if a group of capuchin monkeys could understand the basic principles of economics in regards to currency. Chen taught the monkeys, over time, to "buy" cubes of Jell-O, grapes and apples with the currency he introduced to them. Chen was amazed at how quickly the monkeys caught on to the concept. He was even further amazed when he introduced "market shocks" to the snack array available to the monkeys. When the price of Jell-O went up, the monkeys would stop buying Jell-O with their coins, understanding very well that they were getting more bang for their buck on apples and grapes. The research went on, and the monkeys loved their Jell-O when the price was good.
Then, apparently, a heist of sorts took place, and one of the monkeys distributed a whole load of the coins to the population. Now the monkeys had coins in their own living area, where before the coins had only ever been present in the "snack store area".
A few days later, Chen observed an amazing thing. He watched one of the male monkeys walk up to one of the females and give her some coins. Knowing full well that the male understood the value of his currency, Chen thought at first that he might have witnessed true primate altruism.
But just before he could be sure, Chen saw that the male monkey promptly began to engage in sex with the female monkey. The monkeys were paying for sex. There was no way around the conclusion. This was a genuine monkey sex worker.
That, friends, is what they mean when they say that it is the "oldest profession". We were likely paying for sex the day we learned how to bash each other with old femur bones ala 2001: A Space Odyssey.
So who is the judiciary to tell Craigslist not to allow advertising for such services for a nominal fee? Who is the government to demonize these people and cast them out of society and into a realm where health care and personal security are not even an option? And who is Craigslist, furthermore, to back down from this kind of bullying, instead of standing up for all of our rights to be prostitutes if we are so inclined? If they are concerned about sex slavery, their best bet is to legalize prostitution across the board so that law enforcement officials will be able to zero in on that disgusting activity without having to waste their time with the thousands of false positives found in women and men who legitimately want to work in the sex trade. The government's stance here, like in so many other places, is criminal.
But folks, the number one reason Craigslist should re-open their erotic services section is in the hopes that none of us will ever ever have to see something like this:
... next to our vehicles as we leave a grocery store again. Because, I'll be frank, I was going home to make dinner immediately after that, but after seeing these pictures, I had totally lost my appetite. Sorry Lucy. Keep that shit on the internet where it belongs. Or it might end up here. Hopefully none of your grandkids read my blog.