That was the week that was (#25)

doorBionda Merckens

That was the week that was (#25)

Maggie Mcneill zet alle berichtgeving over vrouwen en vrouwenrechten van de afgelopen periode op een rij. Waarom is de aanpak van Amsterdam om mensensmokkel aan te pakken problematisch? Wat hebben manga tekeningen te maken met porno? En waarom mogen Britse politieagenten sex hebben met de vrouwen die ze bespioneren?

There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed as truth if repeated often enough.  –  William James

Sixteen updates and two metaupdates.

Rough Trade (Part One) (July 25th, 2010)

Ah, synchronicity; the same week this early essay was featured on Debatbond to introduce the topic “Can a prostitute be raped?”, two California lawyers presented their own views on the subject in court.  Representing the “no” position:

Prosecutors dropped rape charges…against…Michael Stanford…[Defense attorney Roberto] Dulce said…the alleged victim was a prostitute and…the sexual contact between her and Stanford was consensual…In a dispute over money, the woman accused Stanford of rape…Dulce said he had witnesses who would testify that they, too, had engaged in sex with the woman…

Yet she didn’t accuse the other “witnesses” of rape, probably because they didn’t rape her.  I think we can guess what happened; “dispute over payment” means he cheated her, but since Fresno isn’t Cartagena he got away with it.  The story says the charge was dropped because “the alleged victim could not be found for Stanford’s trial”; she was probably afraid to go into a building full of cops.  It might have been different in Modesto:  “[Judge Linda McFadden]…denied a motion to overturn a grand jury indictment against…police officer…Lee Freddie Gaines…The alleged victim…testified…that she was working as a prostitute…[when Gaines] handcuffed her and demanded oral sex…

Amsterdam (November 1st, 2010)

Despite a total lack of evidence, Dutch police and anti-whore politicians keep beating the “sex trafficking” drum:

…Amsterdam…plans to force brothel owners to submit a business plan to the city describing what measures they are taking to ensure sex workers are healthy and not being exploited…in recent years both the city and national government have become increasingly critical of the industry.  [They claim] many prostitutes are victims of human trafficking or coerced by pimps…

It’s impossible to prove a negative (“whores are not coerced”); that’s why the burden of proof is supposed to be on the accuser.  And greater legal restrictions will only force whores into the shadows, providing greater opportunity for coercion as they always do.

December Q & A (December 28th, 2010)

Not even doctors and scientists are immune to idiotic male-ego-boosting myths:

…A stem cell expert is looking to treat sex workers with their bodies’ own stem cells, so they can have tight, toned vaginal muscles…“The idea…was tried…by a team of scientists in Japan.  They recruited commercial sex workers who wished to give up the trade and get married…” said Dr Himanshu Bansal…The clinical trial involved mostly young women, some of them mothers, who were worried that their vaginal muscles were too lax…

I hate to break this to you, guys, but your penises are not as big as babies.  Not even close.  No amount of sex, commercial or otherwise, can loosen the vaginal muscles; only babies do that.  Notice that “some of them mothers?”  The truth is “most of them.”

I Really Shouldn’t Even LOOK at an Issue of Cosmopolitan (January 18th, 2011)

I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s willing to say out loud that Cosmo’s “sex advice” is ludicrous; Ben Reininga writes “Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life”, which this month features his hilarious picks for Cosmo’s 44 most ridiculous tips of all time.  Enjoy.

A Narrow View (April 29th, 2011)

An organization of young Chicago sex workers fights for their rights against a system which treats them as infantilized victims:

When youth who live on the streets and work in the sex trade…are victimized…often the institutions that are supposed to help them…do more harm than good.  [Leaders of]…the Young Women’s Empowerment Project…said, “We don’t dictate a young person’s future and make decisions for them, we support them to make it on their own”…While many organizations dealing with sex workers aim to help them leave sex work, YWEP maintains that it is a valid individual choice and practices a harm reduction philosophy…

Social Construction of Eunuchs (July 18th, 2011)

Apparently forced feminization of little boys isn’t enough for Swedish neofeminists any more:

Vänsterpartiet, [a feminist socialist party,] tabled a motion that would require office washrooms to be genderless with a sit-down-only requirement…Party speakers cited medical research they said shows men empty their bladders more efficiently while seated…[which] reduces the risk for prostate problems…[motion author] Viggo Hansen…[said] the move does not represent an attempt to meddle in the bathroom habits of citizens…

Read the rest of this article here.

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