1) The Jian Ghomeshi hot mess was first brought to my attention by a friend who’s overly mixed up with neofeminist dogma. This same friend once told me that I probably wouldn’t have anything good to say about prostitution if I had “a female perspective,” somehow losing sight of the objective and nearly universally understood truth that most prostitutes are too female to have a male perspective. This is like my saying that because I can’t imagine ever working as a prizefighter myself, it’s completely impossible to imagine how any other man could possibly want to take part in MMA beatdowns on live television because OMG it’s so degrading to men and how can you, as a woman, be so misandrist as to watch that garbage. Some of those guys are seriously fucked up, and they certainly show a different sort of masculinity than I’ve ever felt, but it’s not like I’m completely baffled by what’s gotten into their heads to make them take on such a gratuitously violent line of work. It’s easy enough to understand. Bruisers gonna bruise. Likewise, hos gonna ho.
You don’t have to wholeheartedly agree with their life decisions to allow them to make their own decisions like any other adult who has not been adjudicated incompetent, even if they’re Jesse Ventura. Do you want some asshole getting up in your business about how you’re wasting your life by trying to make a living as a writer? Probably not. Do I want some asshole getting up in my business and telling me that I’m wasting my life by doing farm work instead of something prestigious, like management-track work at a high-end hotel chain? Hell no.
Sometimes feminism, especially neofeminism, looks like a coarse bitchfest, a catfight dressed up as a righteous war on men when it’s really a war on nonconforming women. Here’s what I mean. The essay in that link is badly written, badly reasoned, shrill, and argued with a hodgepodge of tautologies, but it’s worth a glance. There are people who think like that, and more amazingly, they have a disproportionate influence on law and policy in a number of Western countries. This woman claims that Ghomeshi has “fled to the US” (a country that may be known to Canadians for sharing a land border and an extradition treaty with Canada) and wonders “if he’ll run away back to his birth country of Iran.” (Yes, London has always been one of the great Persian cities, never more than it is today under the rule of its New York-born Petty Ayatollah Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.) This is because it’s all the fault of male men and patriarchal capitalism and fuck you CBC!!!!111! and hand me another bottle of Chianti I can’t take much more of this nonsense.
The author is, not surprisingly, apparently a spinster. Yes, I said it. Sue me for C$50 million if I triggered your fee-fees by obliquely suggesting that women are suited to motherhood or that you’ve missed the husbandry boat or some shit. Speaking just for myself, remembering that I’m 32 and stably single often triggers my realization that maybe I ought to do something to land a wife or a baby mama, so sauce for the gander and all that. Also not surprisingly, the author (or, as she archaically calls herself, “authoress”) is a Jew. Or, if you wish, a Jewess. (I’ve only once heard the latter term uttered in real time by another person. It came from an elderly Catholic priest, one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known, who was the farthest thing imaginable from an antisemite or an anti-anything bigot, in reference to an old friend of his from another town. This was the same priest who spoke of the awful destruction from the recent “tusami” in Indonesia and told us that “our parishioners would love to have you for dinner.” I’m pretty sure that the last comment was not a cryptic Twilight Zone reference or anything of the sort; he had a good sense of humor, but not like that, and he sounded in earnest when he encouraged us to let the parishioners thus serve us on Easter Sunday.) To get an idea of this Canadian Jew(ess)’s worldview, consider an Andrea Dworkin excerpt that she recently published on Twitter:
….This is not to say that “men” and “women” should not fuck. Any sexual coming together which is genuinely pansexual and role-free, even if between men and women as we generally think of them….
Fucking is the traditional and natural way to make babies, an insight that I’m sure some of you will want me to share with Mr. Wonka. Andrea Dworkin’s very eccentric thinking is only possible in an advanced, prosperous society in which other men are already doing the hard (heh) work of naturally inseminating other women to continue the journey of life as we know it. Dworkin is allegedly an important scholar and definitely an influential one, so a sensible person has to wonder what the bloody hell is wrong with feminism for encouraging such bizarre lines of thought. Just imagine a normal, sexually healthy married woman being lectured by Dworkin: “As long as it’s pansexual and role-free, even if between men and women as we generally think of them–” “Are you seriously saying that the problem with my husband screwing me is that he’s a man who acts like a man? Are you fucking kidding me?” If you’re wondering how ordinary women could come to view feminism as the nonsensical, resentful dogma of a sexually disordered fringe, that’s how.
But no, women are totally all lovey-dovey with each other:
Quite frankly, the only way these kinds of institutional patriarchal crimes continue to take place is because we don’t have female majorities in key places of power. All businesses should have an over-representation of females making all the decisions. If the CBC was a female majority the first complaint against Ghomeshi would’ve resulted in a swift kick out the door.
Gunilla Eckberg knows this too. She talked about how important it was that 45% of Swedish Parliament was made up of women when developing the Nordic Model to deal with the abolition of prostitution. She said that ‘once you get Parliament 45% women the conversation immediately becomes about male violence.’
It’s the biggest elephant in the room that will not get addressed until women have the real decision making and it’s no good just having a few females in power because they’ll run up against men who will shut them down. Females must be in a majority to ever deal with this problem.
I imagine that first female CBC employee or intern walking into the office of an executive woman and telling her about Jian Ghomeshi’s battering and abusive behaviour. The executive calls in her board which is over 50% women, Ghomeshi gets fired, and a criminal record. He’s not left to continue to do this.
Shit, sister. The sad truth is that women whose friends (not workplace subordinates, friends) get raped by strangers at parties routinely either do nothing or, worse, beseech their friends not to try to hold their rapists accountable because doing so would stir up too much trouble for other women who would like to maintain access to the sexy bad boys whose buddies happen to be rapists. This happened by omission in Steubenville and by commission at the University of Virginia, where the victim’s friends didn’t want to be banned from fraternity parties because one of their number was a snitchy bitch. Conversely, in some cultures, the most reliable recourse that women have against their rapists is vigilante action by male friends or relatives. Given slightly different circumstances, either the Steubenville or UVA rapes might have been quickly resolved by someone, almost certainly a man, putting the suspects in intensive care with abdominal bleeding and rib fractures, and the victims of this inexplicable assault inexplicably declining to identify their assailants or press charges, the point being that word gets around about these things and maybe it isn’t such a good idea after all to rape a woman who might know all the wrong mafiosi or freelance cracker bruisers.
To be clear, I’m not crazy about old-line vigilantes. They can go wildly overboard, and in the best of circumstances they’re a piss-poor alternative to properly functioning police and courts of law. But patriarchy cuts both ways, so a rape victim might as well use it to cut the thug who violated her and tried to intimidate everyone after the fact. In a culture as systemically corrupt as “roll, Red, roll” Steubenville or the frat scene at UVA, there may not be any viable alternatives to vigilante action, including serious violence. In any event, you can bet the family college fund that the men resorting to this violence aren’t doing so because they’re misogynists who hate the women they’re avenging.
The comments about the Swedish Model have some disturbing psychosexual implications of their own. Gunnila Eckberg’s avowed goal, we’re told, was to use a near-majority of women in parliament to finally force an end to prostitution. We’re told that this is motivated by a desire to protect women from violence. Of course, violence against prostitutes is already against the law, and in decriminalized regimes like Colombia prostitutes are rarely afraid to go to the police the moment they feel endangered by bad clients; the reason prostitutes don’t get the cops involved in abolitionist regimes (and some legalized regimes) amounts to blackmail, often by the police themselves. No hooker wants officious asshats hounding her clients and prospective clients on the basis that they’re evil patriarchal men who objectify women with their sex drives. The Swedish Model is equivalent to insisting that because criminals sometimes rob 7-Eleven stores, all of 7-Eleven’s customers and prospective customers be arrested for criminal trespass immediately upon entry onto any 7-Eleven property rather than allowing clerks to call the police to report robberies if they happen.
Propose such a psychotic policy in any context other than sex work, and there would be an overwhelming, unabashed consensus that it’s an absolutely meritless, batshit crazy proposal that ought to be buried and forgotten. Bring whores into the fray, and suddenly it has traction. It has nothing to do with actually protecting prostitutes; a look over what hookers themselves say they want done for their own protection turns up overwhelming calls for decriminalization so that the police can be reformed and forced to fulfill their proper role of protecting prostitutes from genuine crimes just like they’re expected to protect anyone else. The neofeminists behind the Swedish Model are wantonly concern-trolling hookers, and the hookers know it; quite a few of them are apoplectic about it.
What’s eerier about these dynamics is that they may be exacerbated by heavily female leadership. At least that’s what Gunnila Eckberg seems to be arguing. Of course suppressing prostitution has fuck-all to do with protecting prostitutes from violence; if that were the goal, the Swedish government would have listened to working girls like a number of other governments do and decriminalized prostitution. Whores often have to deal with real male violence, disproportionately from the police. What shrill feminists in government mean by “male violence” is a solipsistic freakout about some vague combination of male leering, disagreement, general peevishness, and any number of other things that their feminist adversaries don’t enjoy. “Male violence” here is a convenient rubric for anything one dislikes that happens to have been done by a man. It includes things done to other women who didn’t ask for any third-party input, like prostitutes who don’t have a problem with men fucking them after paying their fee. They don’t consider sex with strange men violent; as disgusting as their most disgusting clients, probably, but they’re paid well for their trouble, and many of them have much worse things to say about straight jobs that they’ve held.
If more of the women in public office were unabashed whores, this bitchfest would be less destructive. No disordered bloc of feminists would be allowed to unilaterally impose policy on behalf of all women as a collective entity; there would be too much pushback from specific women articulating the specific harm that they or their colleagues would suffer from harebrained policy. How a whore could get elected without flying under the radar is an important question. “As a twenty-year veteran escort, I know how hard it is to run a small business. Advertising, 1099 forms, hiring and paying support staff, accounts receivable–well, at least that’s one thing that we handle up front in this industry….” Maybe, possibly it might work somewhere; the United States has, after all, elected Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzenegger to statewide office; but it would take steel balls, and it would run up against a wall of hysterical opposition from scorned wives, prospectively scorned wives, prospectively scorned prospective wives still waiting on Dr. McDreamy to shack up with them in their mid-forties, and the like, a chorus of oh my god you slept with my husband/boyfriend/corrupted that guy who otherwise totally would have [never] married me, you family-wrecking skank.
Of course the Lean In/female quota crowd doesn’t want hookers killing their you-go-girl vibe. Tina Fey, for example, has a not entirely explainable antipathy to sex workers, insisting on making coarse dead stripper jokes and the like in spite of her having an unusually keen and wide-ranging sense of humor and being an unusually versatile performer. Scratch the surface and things get pretty disturbing. Many female power players are known to rely on poorly paid, and sometimes poorly treated, female domestic help; maybe the most amazing example of this hypocrisy is the Indian diplomat, women’s rights activist, and noted wage thief Devyani Khobragade. Women’s rights is often used as a red herring for bourgeois supremacist conformism; no one gives a damn about the poors, and no one gives a damn about the whores. Actually, these women care entirely too much about the whores, and for all the wrong reasons. Their concern-trolling of sex workers is largely a roundabout regulatory capture scheme to crack down on genuinely independent women who are at cross-purposes to their high bougie program.
A sidebar on Mancheeze mentions “Hashtag #C36 on Twitter jumping with misogynist johns and MRA’s calling all women whores.” In point of fact, it is not just “misogynist johns and MRA’s” making this claim; Maggie McNeill has said the same thing, if with more refined language. And it’s farfetched to claim that johns are just a bunch of misogynists; some are, and it’s easy to find sex workers griping about their cringe-inducing behavior online, but many clients are extremely grateful to be able to find sexual companionship for a price, and their providers often write about them as well. The prevalence of unadulterated, honest-to-God misogyny (or misandry) is hugely overstated. Most of it is ultimately just some kind of projection or gust of hot air. Guys often show up to bookings talking about all kinds of weird, degrading shit that they want to do to their dates, but it’s often just sexual frustration talking; most of them calm down once they’ve gotten laid because what they really wanted was a good roll in the hay and some female companionship.
Are all women really whores? No, NAWALT, you broad-brush toolbox. Winston Churchill, of course, begged to differ: “Oh, no, madam, we know what you are; all we’re doing now is determining a price.” But of course amateur women engage in a huge amount of transactional sex, and the less honest among them will go to great lengths to obscure this truth. Housewives sexing their husbands in exchange for provisioning and protection, women sexing their dates in exchange for dinner. skanks sexing dirtbags in exchange for drinks at a club, and the like may get prickly when it’s suggested that their behavior is whorish. Maybe the solution is for serious hookers to tell them, bitch please, y’all don’t have what it takes to hack it with us in the business.
It occurs to me that sex worker activists have a natural, ongoing opportunity to win over MRA’s by presenting recourse to prostitution as a men’s right. It’s a women’s right, too, of course, and a human right. Men and women generally have different reasons for wanting recourse to prostitution, but both have compelling arguments to get all the moral busybodies out of their way. I doubt that very many MRA’s, even the ones who sound hardcore, are misogynists at heart. They’ve been screwed over by certain women and by social structures that are ostensibly maintained for the benefit of women as a collective, but they’d probably mellow the hell out if they were getting laid regularly and interacting with women sympathetic to their plight rather than hardhearted, crazy bitches who blame all their problems on men.
2) There’s this bizarre case in Manitoba (h/t Maggie McNeill and David Ley) about a high court judge getting caught up in a pornography/cuckold fetish/legal ethics scandal (more from an earlier eruption of this scandal here). According to Wikipedia, “Madam Justice A. Lori Douglas is the Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba and a member of the Canadian Judicial Council.” The problem is that her extracurricular interests include being fucked by strange men in her husband’s presence, especially black men. The bigger problem is that her husband, Jack King (I’m not making this up), procured one of these adulterers from his client pool and then tried to shut him up with a $25,000 settlement.
Put yourself in the shoes of this client, Alexander Chapman: you’re going through a divorce, and you hired an attorney who is now bugging you to fuck his wife on camera, and it’s creeping you out but you also want to maintain continuity of counsel for pragmatic legal reasons, and then your weird motherfucker of a lawyer offers you $25,000, not a huge pile of money in the context of a divorce case, to forget about all this really weird and disturbing shit that he did to you in a professional capacity. Would you countersue him for $67m? I wouldn’t, since that’s crasser than my style, but Chapman had a decent equity argument. Why shouldn’t his attorney, the attorney’s law firm, and any other parties to the case come to grief for such atrociously bad ethics and judgment?
Some observers are trying to turn this case into a discussion of revenge porn and misogyny, but it’s really about the shitty professional ethics of one or two lawyers, with an unfortunate racial gloss because the put-upon client with the divorce case is black and the lawyers who took him to bed are white. Given the circumstances, would you want to be the one to get Jack King off? Or Jack King’s wife off? Or to jack King’s wife off? I wouldn’t. They deserve a vigorous defense like any other defendant, but I guess that’s why I’m a humble field hand, not a lawyer.
3) Things have gotten so disturbing here that they can only be improved with a discussion of the Northwestern tradition of strippers posing as baristas and using drive-up espresso stands as a front for prostitution. Don’t worry, though, the Problem Solvers (TM) at KOMO are on it. Yes, do tell Mr. Wonka about how women who serve coffee in bikinis around Puget Sound all winter long are actually tarts. “At two of the three stands, we found that without asking for anything but simply handing over a $20 tip, baristas began exposing their breasts and their genitals and encouraged our producer to return for more.” Yes, Mr. Wonka will share your sense of shock and scandal at this discovery.
These “coffee” stands supposedly have something to do with OMG organized crime!!!!!111! and shit, meaning that the state gets to take all their money. Really, it’s just a case of extortionists and thieves stealing shit from honest, if sleazy and suspiciously Italian, citizens, although the particulars of the thieves being in the government complicate things for their victims. KOMO was able to turn up some concern-trolling neighbors, too, including one Glenn Wallace: “I think it’s a tragedy that our young women are doing this and I personally think it needs to end.” Wow Such tragic Very cry Where kleenex. These women are making good money in their twenties, or maybe their thirties, to pretend to be baristas when they’re really incall hookers, and this is a tragedy. Bougie please. The real tragedy is that the citizens are allowing the government to selectively harass and rob them practicing a profession much older than that of keeping a coffeehouse.
In Switzerland or Germany a case like this would probably be treated as a code enforcement nuisance for the health department to investigate, mainly on account of the coffee, not the tarts. The coffee whores could probably avoid trouble with the Man in any event by including the coffee in the price so that the barista thing isn’t subject to business regulations. This is all assuming that any hooker in Continental Europe would think of such a business model in the first place. It probably takes a crazed regime to produce such a crazy business model.
This is American exceptionalism, my countrymen. Happy Thanksgiving to all on both sides of Avenue 0.