Elizabeth's picture

Kristof calls prostitution as dangerous as...

...working for minimum wage? (And other problems of logic and evidence)


So according to Nicholas Kristof's op-ed today, Eliot Spitzer recently encouraged him to write a book about Spitzer's anti-sex-trafficking work. Perhaps he will. He certainly seems to buy the assumption that tightening penalties for johns will somehow help women who are victimized while working as prostitutes. Actually just the opposite is likely.

Chris's picture

Eliot Spitzer Caught in Prostitution Ring

There are some news ledes that you never expect to read. Case in point:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.

Generically, it's not that surprising to find a politician hiring call girls. But Spitzer always seemed to be a genuine straight arrow, or at least smart enough to not get caught up in a sordid scandal du jour. In a way, despite all the mistakes that Spitzer's made since he went from being Attorney General to Governor, it's a little disappointing to see him get caught in something so common

Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring

Spitzer may be charged under the Mann Act, because he arranged for the prostitute to travel from NY to DC. This makes me sad. I hate the public outcry and tearful apologies for wrongdoing these sex scandals garner, and I supported Spitzer's ill-starred plan to give all NY residents driver's licenses. If only this were happening to John McCain.,2933,336493,00.html

Amber Rhea's picture

Would sex work be so profitable if it weren't stigmatized or criminalized?

This is a question that's been bouncing around in my mind for a few days:

"Would sex work be so profitable if it weren't stigmatized or criminalized?"


Sex work is often an attractive option for single mothers, because they can earn more money and (sometimes) work fewer hours than they would at a retail or other service industry job, thereby allowing them greater economic stability and more time with their children. But to what extent is this attributable to the stigmatized – and, with prostitution specifically, criminalized – nature of sex work?

Amber Rhea's picture

Take Action Today! PEPFAR Reauthorization- End the Pledge!

I'm reposting this important alert from Bound, Not Gagged. I promise I'll have my own real, original post up here soon!

We need your help again! Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) will gather this Wednesday, February 27, to make amendments (”known as markup”) to the PEPFAR reauthorization draft bill prepared by Congressman Berman, Acting Chairman. We must urge committee members who support the Chairman’s bill to attend the entire markup and keep the pressure on all HCFA members to support the bill. Please call members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs TODAY.As you know, the Chairman’s draft bill makes several critical improvements to U.S.-funded HIV prevention policy in order to better address the real-life needs of women and girls. It strikes the ideologically-driven requirement that 33% of prevention funds be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs, removes the anti-prostitution pledge, and emphasizes the integration of HIV and AIDS programs with family planning programs. However, these hard-fought, life-saving provisions are in jeopardy. A small yet vocal opposition is ready to make amendments during markup that would roll back the advancements in the Chairman’s bill. Your phone calls will help ensure that these vital improvements to prevention policy remain in the bill during committee markup.

Take action NOW!

Chris's picture

Working Outside the Home

If you are *ahem* “of a certain age,” like me, one of your early musical experiences involved being assaulted by the seemingly endless airplay of a song by Rupert Holmes, called “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)“, a treacly romantic ballad in which a man, bored with his marriage, reads a personal ad by a woman who lays out her requirements for an adventurous, passionate lover:

If you like Piña Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you’d like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape.

He goes to meet the woman in a seedy bar, and discovers her to be his wife; he’d never dreamed that she liked any of that stuff, and the passion in their marriage is reignited as they discover each other all over again.

Elizabeth's picture

Quickies: Violent video games for church youth groups, Criminalization for prostitutes in Bulgaria

The New York Times today offers more evidence that when we complain about sex and violence in the media we are really just upset about the sex. The evidence? Christian churches using the violent video game Halo as a way to draw teens into church. One youth director explains: “We have to find something that these kids are interested in doing that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol or premarital sex.” It is interesting to note that the violence in Halo gets it a "M" rating (for "mature" audiences only) which means that for the most part the young people playing the game in their church basements wouldn't be able to buy it legally on their own. Does this make youth pastors pushers of "adult material"?

Elizabeth's picture

Early notes from the Blog-In at Bound, Not Gagged

Bound, Not Gagged screenshot Some quick early excerpts from the ongoing blog-in at Bound, Not Gagged , where sex workers and allies are challenging the mainstream media's distorted representation of sex workers.

From Karly Kirchner's "An Open Letter to Melissa Farley"

Sex workers are allies in the struggle to prevent and resist sexual assault and forced prostitution.

Elizabeth's picture

Sex Ed(itorials) II

This morning's New York Times has another editorial supporting sex-related legislation that might help young people. Specifically, it deals with legislation making its way through the New York State Senate and Assembly that would mandate safe houses and treatment instead of juvenile detention or jail for teens caught engaged in prostitution.

"Sexually exploited children can be helped by the law or victimized by it, depending on where they are from. An Eastern European child smuggled into this country as a sex slave is offered protection under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. An American child who flees abusive parents and ends up selling her body on the streets is labeled a criminal and sent to the juvenile equivalent of prison.

That, thankfully, would change under a new law being considered by the New York State Legislature that would reform the juvenile justice system so it protects rather than punishes exploited children." (Read more)

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