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Author Topic: New Jack the Ripper?
Dara bhur gCara
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Dara - As I stated, I used it as an example that women can exploit men. There are also escort agencies that can name their own prices for women who will pass as "partners" at functions and who will then have sex (the sex being a separately negotiable non-taxed "extra" thereby keeping the escort agency on the right side of the law). Since "classy" (attractive, well spoken, well educated) escorts are a limited supply, these can exploit men financially. Those men are not going to pick up a drug-addicted streetwalker and take her to a dinner party before going home. Some men will even pay over the odds so they can have the same escort for each occasion because they feel they have some sort of "relationships". Who is exploiting whom?



Well, I'm not sure that anyone's exploiting anyone in those circumstances. People are entering into a transaction that they're both reasonably happy to enter into. Once again, nobody is or has said that all prostitution is about exploitation.

But, as you yourself argue, this kind of transaction is very rare, and is unrepresentative of prostitution as a whole. I personally would be wary of using it as my model for the industry.

quote:
The whole debate was headed down the route of men always exploiting women. That is its relevance to the debate - (s)exploitation is not always of women but men. I have previously explained that and if you choose to ignore it that's up to you.

I'm waiting for the "all sex is prostitution" argument to appear in the same way that it did on the Guardian's CiF page.

Well, it has now. By you, just there. Similarly, the debate only headed down the route of men always exploiting women when you created the strawman that people were saying so in order to debunk it. It. Just. Wasn't. That's the point I've been trying to make throughout our whole argument here.

This is where you start on this school of thought:

quote:
One of the things that really irks me is the constant talk (media, forums) of cutting off the supply of prostitutes. As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. The supply exists to serve (or in this case, to service) the demand. There will always be men who cannot form relationships or who do not want relationships. I've worked with such guys and they aren't scum. They could stay at home and masturbate, but they also have the biological urge to have sex with a partner (whether same or other sex). The demand isn't going to go away.

It's not just a case of men exploiting vulnerable women who desperately need money. Women are equally capable of exploiting the male sex drive for financial gain.

You're referring to other fora here, not anyone on this board. Nonetheless, hitherto to this point, no-one has either said that prostitution is always and invariably about the exploitation of vulnerable women, or that people who use prostitutes are scum. For the purposes of the debate we're having here, it's entirely your conceit.

Then Ryda responded with This post which concedes your point that men who use prostitutes are not always and invariably scum, and uses a BDSM analogy to show how sex work could be more equitably organised.

She went on to disagree with your assertion (not yet explained in terms of "gold-digging") that women are as capable of exploiting men, which she, and I, took to mean that the women engaged in prostitution are in some way exploiting their clientele, and which she took some exception to. Possibly a little unnecessarily snarkily, and possibly not as politely as any of us would like, but there you go.

The point being, though, that nobody in this thread except you has introduced either the notion that all men who use prostitutes are scum or the notion that prostitution is invariably about the exploitation of women; and you've only introduced the notion in order to critique it.

At the risk of Wintermuting, can you show me where anyone has said "all prostitution is exploitation" or "all men who use prostitutes are scum?" It's beyond strawmanning, to be honest. You're tilting at windmills mistaking them for giants.

That's why I'm saying that the person who is trotting the debate down tired old gender stereotypes is you, in your eagerness to debunk them.

If anyone here was saying that prostitution was invariably and always about the exploitation of women by men, then I'd be just as quick to shoot them down as you have. But no-one has done. You've just pretended they have, in order to slam them.

I still don't understand the relevance of 'gold-digging' to prostitution, incidentally. You just seem to be reiterating your initial argument, rather than elaborating at all. I wish you'd just reconsider it, it seems rather an unwise comparison.

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Richard W
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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
I still don't understand the relevance of 'gold-digging' to prostitution, incidentally. You just seem to be reiterating your initial argument, rather than elaborating at all. I wish you'd just reconsider it, it seems rather an unwise comparison.

Possibly she's saying that women use sex to get the material things that they want even within the context of a relationship, and so in a sense all sex is prostitution, and ... oh, hang on.
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GenYus
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Why do I have sudden flashbacks to the last few threads about where a woman is domestically abused by a boyfriend or husband?

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Dara - As I stated, I used it as an example that women can exploit men. There are also escort agencies that can name their own prices for women who will pass as "partners" at functions and who will then have sex (the sex being a separately negotiable non-taxed "extra" thereby keeping the escort agency on the right side of the law). Since "classy" (attractive, well spoken, well educated) escorts are a limited supply, these can exploit men financially.

In that case? No one is being expoloited. The client wants a companion for whatever reason (status, to fit in, social moreys, or just so that they aren't standing by the wall, alone, looking dumb), they can't or don't wish to form any sort of a relationship with a person whom they can take, so they opt for an easy way out.

I'm not sure, though, why you think that someone who is unable to gain even a friend deserves or requires a companion to an event. If you're that much of a sadsack or a dick, perhaps you need to look within yourself and change a bit. Ya know, grow up, instead of acting entitled. But, hey. that's just me....Expecting people to act like adults instead of spoiled brats.


Although, really, I don't know how escort agencies work in the UK, but, here, the escort very, very rarely goes anywhere but to a hotel room. My friend that is an escort goes to the room, talks to the client, dances, MIGHT consider contracting for a handjob (but most usually lets them just take care of themselves), collects her pay, and leaves. If they try to push for anything more "intimate," she lets them know in no uncertain terms that she will call the police and report them.

However, since the agency has recieved and logged the call, complete with room number, time of arrival, etc., and the client knows this, they don't try to (for the most part) push her around or harm her.

This agency dosen't use a driver (which makes me a bit concerned), but she tells them she does.

So, in this situation, the sex worker does have some power and recourse. This is augmented by the fact that my buddy is as tough as nails, and would rather fight to the death than let anyone cross her boundries.

Not all sex workers, however, have that protection or strength. And, even as strong as my friend is, she's faced several clients who refuse to respect her, whom she has had to report.

Now, is she exploited? Yes and no. She chooses to allow herself to be exploited in order to meet her lifegoals, which she couldn't do otherwise (i.e. complete her degree). She would certainly prefer to do otherwise, but she sees no other decent choice.

Oh, and Llewtrah, if anyone is depending on gender sterotypes, it is you. They are the crux of your entire argument. To argue that you mean otherwise is disingenuious and patently false.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
This Stephens fella reminds me of someone like that JonBenet Ramsay suspect arrested in Thailand, who turns out to have nothing to do with it and was just a strange Walter Mitty character.

Dear goddess, not John Mark Karr again. I never, ever, ever, ever want to hear that name again as long as I live.

However, he might have done himself (and others) some good in that. If Karr had not yet committed a crime, all signs point to the fact that he was going to. Perhaps, in some remaining decent corner of his mind, he understood just how far he'd gone, and was seeking help.

That might be an overly generous reading, but it does seem to me that he was of the opinion and mindset that, even if he didn't physically injure JonBenet Ramsey, he had done it mentally, and was, therefore guilty. And, in a philosophical sense, he was correct.


Personally, despite my annoyance at having my life turned topsy-turvy for a month or so, I'm glad D.A. Lacey brought him in. He was a dangerous creature.

Now, perhaps, this person will also recieve assistance for his issues. One can still hope.

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Dara bhur gCara
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
I still don't understand the relevance of 'gold-digging' to prostitution, incidentally. You just seem to be reiterating your initial argument, rather than elaborating at all. I wish you'd just reconsider it, it seems rather an unwise comparison.

Possibly she's saying that women use sex to get the material things that they want even within the context of a relationship, and so in a sense all sex is prostitution, and ... oh, hang on.
Housewife Charged In Sex-For-Security Scam.

quote:
AKRON, OH—Area resident Helen Crandall, 44, was arrested by Akron police Sunday, charged with conducting an elaborate "sex for security" scam in which she allegedly defrauded husband Russell Crandall out of nearly $230,000 in cash, food, clothing and housing over the past 19 years using periodic offers of sexual intercourse.

"It's the biggest scam of its kind I've ever seen," Akron police chief Thomas Agee said. "We're talking coats, dishwashers, jewelry, sewing machines, bathroom cleansers—you name it."

According to Agee, undercover agents spotted Crandall's husband handing her $50 in cash at approximately 4 p.m., just 30 minutes after the two had sex. Crandall then drove off in her car, returning home two hours later with five bags of groceries.



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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Mistletoey Chloe
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My favorite Onion piece! I often print it out and give it to students when we talk about the Wife of Bath.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Llewtrah
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/6192085.stm

quote:
A second man has been arrested ... He was named locally as Stephen Wright, 48, and is suspected of killing Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell.


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Richard W
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Hmm, that's the first time I've seen him named. The police haven't identified him (or Tom Stephens) yet and have sent this letter to editors:

Media warned over Suffolk coverage

quote:
Suffolk Constabulary has written to editors asking them not to identify any individuals involved in its investigation into the murder of five women in Ipswich, despite nearly every major news outlet naming the first arrested man.

...

"I put you on notice that Suffolk Constabulary will take all necessary legal steps to ensure the integrity of all future legal proceedings.

"We strongly advise you to take legal advice before naming any individual or individuals."

The BBC seem to be pushing it more than most...
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Llewtrah
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Maybe the "named locally" is a get-out? The BBC are saying that others are giving that name (i.e. they are reporting what others are saying). A weak argument admittedly.

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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Well, if he's been arrested, he'll either be charged or released. If he's charged, then it becomes a matter of public record, if he's released, well no harm no foul and the trial is not prejudiced. Simply naming him should be okay.

It's when they start running interviews with him that the person only gave for background, or printing pictures from his myspace that they're on a stickier wicket.

I'm just glad this man isn't a BMW-driving Polish farm-worker either, though. Well, I assume not, at least.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Maybe the "named locally" is a get-out? The BBC are saying that others are giving that name and they are reporting what others are saying. A weak argument admittedly.

No doubt. And, to be quite frank, with the industry the way it is now, accuracy and tact, not to mention the case itself, are often coming second to whom can get their website updated first. As long as they can make an excuse, they'll take it.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Richard W
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Not sure where he was "named locally" - I bought an Evening Star at lunchtime, that reports the second arrest, and there's no name in that. Perhaps it's the other local paper, or a new edition.
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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo.:
quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Maybe the "named locally" is a get-out? The BBC are saying that others are giving that name and they are reporting what others are saying. A weak argument admittedly.

No doubt. And, to be quite frank, with the industry the way it is now, accuracy and tact, not to mention the case itself, are often coming second to whom can get their website updated first. As long as they can make an excuse, they'll take it.
Yeah, but the BBC has to be more wary than most. While Sky News, for example, can take chances with news stories because they're not publicly accountable, and are often first to the story as a result, the BBC, due largely to "the unique way it's funded blah blah blah" has a greater responsibility in terms of accuracy and decency.

You see, I know that you don't understand this sort of thing, coming as you do from the benighted former colonies, but the BBC is a shining beacon of fundamental decency, which is an example to us all.

Well, except for Jeremy Clarkson. He's a wanker.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
Not sure where he was "named locally" - I bought an Evening Star at lunchtime, that reports the second arrest, and there's no name in that. Perhaps it's the other local paper, or a new edition.

Step 1: Knock on the door next door to where the police are searching.
Step 2: "Who lives in there?"
Step 3: "The suspect was named locally as Stephen Wright."

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Llewtrah
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I read the name and went cold. I went to school with a Stephen Wright. Luckily the one I knew is 10 years younger. Admittedly it's a fairly common name combination.

link

quote:
The media named the second man as Stephen Wright but detectives have declined to confirm his details.

Officers sealed off the street where he lived and detectives wearing special forensic uniforms scoured his home and garden where a tent had also been erected.

Detectives also took away his car for tests.

This is all far more intensive than the questioning of the other guy, but let's face it once he'd been named as a suspect in a Sunday paper, the police probably felt they had a duty to question him (if only to rule him out).

link

Reuters don't name the 2nd guy, but they do say this

quote:
Police have refused to name the man arrested on Monday but media said it was supermarket worker Tom Stephens who was arrested at his home in the village of Trimley St. Martin, near Felixstowe.
Again "media said". Tom Stephens' name was already public prior to his arrest.

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trollface
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It's not more intensive. It's exactly the same as the other guy. His street was cordoned off, they had the tent in the garden, a whole slew of forensics officers going through the house, ect. They've also searched his mother's house.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
It's not more intensive. It's exactly the same as the other guy. His street was cordoned off, they had the tent in the garden, a whole slew of forensics officers going through the house, ect. They've also searched his mother's house.

Aah, this time they seem to be reporting it more intensively then. I know they searched the first suspect's house and his mother's house and took his computer and other objects, but just flicking through BBC 24 they were on about "scaffolding being erected" and forensics taking bagged items. They just seemed to be making more of a song and dance about it than they did about Tom Stephens. Perhaps they feel that this one has to be reported with more excitement than the previous one? Grief, murder and arrest and entertainment rather than news [Frown]

This second guy lives close to the red light district. Maybe he wanted to keep girls off the street in "his" area. Pure speculation, admittedly.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo.:
Oh, and Llewtrah, if anyone is depending on gender sterotypes, it is you. They are the crux of your entire argument. To argue that you mean otherwise is disingenuious and patently false.

Just because I don't conform to your way of thinking does not make me reliant on stereotypes. As a female in engineering I'm a pretty long way from the stereotype and for that reason I object to the stereotyping of others.

A person with no friends is a sadsack? That really is stereotyping. How about that person being an Asperger - a type I encounter a lot in engineering (2 of whom fall into the "no friends beyond their own family" category due to their lack of social skils) or having some other deficit related to a neurological condition? Are you calling a person with a disability a sadsack?

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Well, except for Jeremy Clarkson. He's a wanker.

Cite please.

Dara, if you are going to assert that someone is a masturbator, please provide evidence. A link to a published report will do. I don't need a video of the act posted on YouTube.

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Just because I don't conform to your way of thinking does not make me reliant on stereotypes. As a female in engineering I'm a pretty long way from the stereotype and for that reason I object to the stereotyping of others.



Well, no. No-one's saying your argument is reliant on stereotyping just because you don't conform to their way of thinking. It's because, in this thread, you've said:


quote:
And the equation is, for the main part male=buyer, female=seller (there are relatively few males selling sex to women). Like it or not, that's how it works and it is linked to human sexual nature.
quote:
Sorry, but your dream world of equitable sex work isn't going to happen in the wider world - not so long as guys have dicks and women have holes to put them in.
quote:
Come into the business world and look at the number of broken families caused by gold-digging. Forget the high profile cases, it goes on all around us. Money is a powerful aphrodisiac and there have been plenty of bosses who thought they were having a discreet affair with their assistant, only to end up paying her more and more.
quote:
You may not think it's the women to blame, but maybe you've not seen a woman go all out to seduce a guy, to the point of laying false evidence so his wife suspected him of an affair when there was no affair. Not nice.
These are all to some extent gender stereotypes, Llewtrah, and it would be foolish to argue otherwise.

quote:

A person with no friends is a sadsack? That really is stereotyping. How about that person being an Asperger - a type I encounter a lot in engineering (2 of whom fall into the "no friends beyond their own family" category due to their lack of social skils) or having some other deficit related to a neurological condition? Are you calling a person with a disability a sadsack?

You're reaching a bit there. She's making a judgement on someone based on their activities, to wit the hiring of sex workers, rather than their disability. Just because she's profoundly unsympathetic to someone who uses prostitutes doesn't mean she's unsympathetic to people with Asperger's syndrome. I think you're muddying the waters here a little. It may not have been very nice, but it's on the basis of the behaviour described by you, not on the basis of any illness or disability.

In short, Llewtrah, I think you should step back from this debate, and look at how it's going. You seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing, and getting increasingly riled.

More to the point, I'm confused as to what your argument is, exactly. Like I say, you just seem to be responding to provocation with counter-provocation, which doesn't really aid the debate, and does nothing but provoke further acrimony. It certainly doesn't further your argument; I don't know what you think should be done about the social problems caused by prostitution, for example, or how to address the problems of substance abuse among sex workers. I know a lot about what you oppose, (seemingly any stigmatisation of either sex workers or customers,) but I don't really understand what you propose in its stead.

Maybe you should take a deep breath, and look at what people are actually saying, and why they are disagreeing with you. Work from there.

Ryda, this goes for you too. If I see you responding to Llewtrah's admittedly inflammatory post with an equally inflammatory response, I'll not be happy and there'll be tears before bedtime.

My old headmaster Father Dempsey used to always get cross with me when I'd deliberately foul people playing for the School Gaelic Football team, and he'd make me write "Play the ball, not the man" five hundred times after school if I got sent off for violence. I don't want to have to do something similar with the pair of you.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Well, except for Jeremy Clarkson. He's a wanker.

Cite please.

Dara, if you are going to assert that someone is a masturbator, please provide evidence. A link to a published report will do. I don't need a video of the act posted on YouTube.

Well, it stands to reason doesn't it?

I'm just glad I didn't go with my first choice of words. Which was of course "c***."

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Well, except for Jeremy Clarkson. He's a wanker.

Cite please.

Dara, if you are going to assert that someone is a masturbator, please provide evidence. A link to a published report will do. I don't need a video of the act posted on YouTube.

Ewwwwwww!

That is an image I didn't need. Lucky it isn't on Youtube. (No, I haven't looked)

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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waffles

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Actually Dara, having seen, met and even worked with the many exceptions to the media stereotypes of both clients and sex workers I oppose generalisations and the taking for granted of stereotypes. I neither condemn nor commend clients or sex workers.

For my part, I accept that both exist and that their reasons for doing what they do are many, varied and complex and not the simplistic reasons cited by many media sources. Hence my opposition to the description of clients of escort agencies as sadsacks who need to look within themselves (since I personally know some of those clients of sex workers and I know of their underlying conditions that make them unable to form conventional sexual relationships and, frankly, I object to seeing such people dismissed as some sort of sad loser).

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Llewtrah:

O.K. I really, really think you need to go back and look at how much your arguments are wavering.


First, you said that escorts exploit men:
There are also escort agencies that can name their own prices for women who will pass as "partners" at functions and who will then have sex (the sex being a separately negotiable non-taxed "extra" thereby keeping the escort agency on the right side of the law). Since "classy" (attractive, well spoken, well educated) escorts are a limited supply, these can exploit men financially.

Now, you say that the men who use escorts are incapable of any other interaction, due to underlying conditions, and, therefore must use escorts.

Which would mean that the escorts are providing a service much like, say, a nursemaid or babysitter, not that they are taking advantage of those poor, poor men.

Which one is it? Are the escorts fleecing guys, or do guys actually require their services?

Now, if indeed, the people with Asberger's or like conditions are incapable of changing their disordered behavior, and they can find a person willing to fulfill social and sexual desires for a price...fine. Whatever. Same thing with disabled folk who can't find a partner. Totally valid thing, so long as complete consent is given and the client respects both the provider and the provider's bountries.


However, I doubt the majority of men who hire escorts/prostitutes are incapable of learning or changing their behaviors. They, therefore, get no sort of a pass, whatsoever.


What I am seeing from you, Llewtrah, is a very mysoginistic perspective based on essentialist beliefs, and it's a perspective which you aren't even bothering to back up.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
Actually Dara, having seen, met and even worked with the many exceptions to the media stereotypes of both clients and sex workers I oppose generalisations and the taking for granted of stereotypes. I neither condemn nor commend clients or sex workers.



Quite right, but don't you see how that argument is weakened by your own use of gender stereotypes to advance it? It's somewhat contradictory to use stereotyping to illustrate your objection to stereotyping, don't you think?

Moreover, why are you objecting to the condemnation of clients by the likes of Ryda when you so clearly condemn "gold-diggers?" Either people are entitled to condemn the behaviour of others or they're not.

quote:
For my part, I accept that both exist and that their reasons for doing what they do are many, varied and complex and not the simplistic reasons cited by many media sources. Hence my opposition to the description of clients of escort agencies as sadsacks who need to look within themselves (since I personally know some of those clients of sex workers and I know of their underlying conditions that make them unable to form conventional sexual relationships and, frankly, I object to seeing such people dismissed as some sort of sad loser).
One of the phrases in common currency on this board, and one which has become something of a truism or cliche is "the plural of anecdote is not data." But, you know, like many cliches, it's become a cliche because it's true.

How do you know that the people that you know aren't the only regular users of sex workers that aren't sad losers, for example? If that's the case, then are they statistically significant when we look at how many people use sex workers on a regular or occasional basis?

Similarly, while I'm sure, as I've said, some sex workers have made an informed and empowered decision to go into the trade because of the hours or money or they just like the sex, they are far outweighed by the desperate and the marginalised or the slaves. Like I said earlier, who tells their careers adviser they want to sell themselves?

In your estimation, what percentage of the approximately 80,000 women involved in prostitution in the UK have made an empowered and informed decision to enter the industry? How many of them are addicted to drugs? How many of them are the victims of trafficking? How many of them are survivors of rape or childhood sexual abuse? How many of them are dependent in some way on violent pimps? How many of them are in hock to what are euphemistically called 'doorstep lenders?'

For all that prostitution has existed in many forms for about as long as history has, does that mean we should turn a blind eye to the horrendous abuses associated with it? Or that we shouldn't harshly judge those men whose use of prostitutes cause the cycle of abuse and violence to continue?

Do we think that prostitution is a desirable phenomenon, or an obstacle to gender equality? Do we even care?

I don't pretend to have all the answers to these questions. But I acknowledge that they exist. You seem to discount them utterly.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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Dara, I nominate you for super-hero status, if you don't have it already.

Are you sure that you aren't Thermoman? I mean, really, you two look and sound the same. Well, most of the time.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Do we think that prostitution is a desirable phenomenon, or an obstacle to gender equality? Do we even care?


I suppose the starting point is to decide whether prostitution is bad in itself, like theft, or is simply an unattractive but morally neutral occupation, like being a sewage worker.

If the former, then it is logical and moral to punish everyone involved with it.

If the latter, then it seems illogical and wrong to punish the providers or consumers of the service, but perfectly logical and right to ensure that the dangers and any associated criminal behaviours, are minimized or even eliminated. For example, the provision of "protection" at a level where it amounts to extortion.

The obvious next question is, how do we determine whether prostitution is a priori evil, and to be banned? This may depend on one's own moral standpoint, and belief structure. It seems that English law has shied away from banning it entirely, perhaps on moral grounds, perhaps on the equally valid grounds that given the impossibility of actually eliminating it, to attempt legislate to do so would amount to bad law.

Let us assume that we accept this approach, and that we do not think that the world as it now is, or our sense of moral justice, allow or require us to ban prostitution as such, but we all agree that it is not something which many people do out of choice, and that those who are forced into it (whether physically, or through societal issues which normally manifest as drug adiction) should be given help to choose some other path.

As Llewtrah has observed, this does take it as axiomatic that we want to reduce supply. I don't think that is unreasonable in itself; it also has the advantage of altering the supply/demand curve in favour of the suppliers, which would presumably lead to a less unbalanced (exloitative) economic relationship between prostitute and customer. Though it does perhaps mean that the most economically excluded males will be denied access to prostitutes, as to many other activities. For so long as resources remain finite, I can offer no solution to this (except for social security hooker vouchers, which just seems plain wrong to me).

In any case, it seems that the tragedy of the women who have been murdered in Suffolk, and of those in the same business across the UK and elsewhere, seems tied in with drug addiction. So the real debate must be about how to combat the problem of drug addiction, and drug-related crime.

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
[QUOTE]In any case, it seems that the tragedy of the women who have been murdered in Suffolk, and of those in the same business across the UK and elsewhere, seems tied in with drug addiction. So the real debate must be about how to combat the problem of drug addiction, and drug-related crime.

And how to do that is probably as difficult as "sorting out" prostitution.

--------------------
I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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If indeed it can be "sorted out" at all, Tarquin. Perhaps some problems are insoluble. It seems a shame to give up trying, though.
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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
Do we think that prostitution is a desirable phenomenon, or an obstacle to gender equality? Do we even care?


I suppose the starting point is to decide whether prostitution is bad in itself, like theft, or is simply an unattractive but morally neutral occupation, like being a sewage worker.

If the former, then it is logical and moral to punish everyone involved with it.



Not necessarily, actually. There is also the 'Swedish model,' which decriminalises the seller of sex but criminalises the buyer. If one begins from the standpoint that all prostitution is violence against the prostitute, which although a flawed assumption, is not entirely without merit, then it is perfectly logical and moral to regard the sex worker as a victim and the client as a perpetrator.

What is illogical and immoral, however, is the system we have now, which criminalises the buyer but not the seller. Either total decriminalisation or the adoption of the Swedish model is preferable to the current model we have, which is, after all, still based on the 1751 Disorderly Houses Act. Moreover, it is wholly impractical and counter-productive as a tool to reduce street working: (What is the penalty for soliciting? Generally a fine. How do these women earn the money to pay a fine? By working on the streets. Universally, 'zero tolerance' sex worker crackdowns have led to an increase, not a decrease in street working) On the other hand, prosecuting and fining the clients of prostitutes could be something of a disincentive for using their services.

However, the Swedish model is not without its negative outcomes either. This report examines both the positive and negative outcomes of the 1999 legislation. While street work has diminished quite dramatically, and it has led to the decline in the use of prostitutes in Swedish society, it has had the effect of moving prostitution into indoor illegal brothels, where they are more likely to be at the mercy of pimps, and while it has deterred many of the 'respectable' client-base from using street prostitutes, the client-base that remains are the people less likely to be deterred by police attention or social stigma, which in turn makes them more likely to be violent. While the actual level of violence against sex workers has diminished, because there are less sex workers and less clients, the likelihood of a sex worker being the victim of violence has in some cities increased. However, many of these problems can be attributed to less than vigorous prosecution of people who commit violence against sex workers. In recent years, with a more intolerant approach, that has declined.

Certainly, however, the Dutch or Nevadan model is not the way to go. This report conducted by the Scottish Parliament, who were considering legalisation of prostitution, investigated the effects of legalisation and regulation of the sex industry in the Netherlands and in Victoria, Australia. Their conclusions (my summary) were that legalisation led to:

A dramatic increase in all facets of the sex industry;
A dramatic increase in the involvement of organized crime in the sex industry;
A dramatic increase in child prostitution;
An explosion in the number of foreign women and girls trafficked into the region, and;
Indications of an increase in violence against women.

Moreover, it did nothing whatsoever to address the issues of social stigma or marginalisation of sex workers, and indeed, because they lost their anonymity, often increased it. The only positive communal benefit was in terms of revenue, since the legal work could now be taxed. Though that is not an irrelevant issue, the societal costs of prostitution have not been addressed by legalisation or regulation.

quote:

As Llewtrah has observed, this does take it as axiomatic that we want to reduce supply. I don't think that is unreasonable in itself; it also has the advantage of altering the supply/demand curve in favour of the suppliers, which would presumably lead to a less unbalanced (exloitative) economic relationship between prostitute and customer.



There is, at present, no real disincentive for clients who use prostitutes. If you are visiting a brothel which gets raided, you will not face any sanction whatsoever, whereas the sex worker you are frequenting can face prosecution, even imprisonment or deportation. There is no logical or moral argument for the equation to be balanced so far in favour of the service user, whereas I think I have shown that there is a logical and moral argument (perhaps not a convincing one, but an argument nonetheless) for the balance of criminality to be reversed.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz, my old nemesisIn any case, it seems that the tragedy of the women who have been murdered in Suffolk, and of those in the same business across the UK and elsewhere, seems tied in with drug addiction. So the real debate must be about how to combat the problem of drug addiction, and drug-related crime.
I think this deserves a post of its own, so I'm going to respond to it separately. Drug abuse is seen in this country as bad in and of itself. There does need to be a debate on the issue, and it needs to be one that moves along from the "drugs are bad m'kay" arguments which often prevail in these sort of discussions. We need to take the argument back to first principles. For the purposes of this debate, I'm talking about heroin addiction. Crack cocaine is a much thornier issue; since demand for crack cocaine is essentially vertical, no maintenance treatment exists.

Why is heroin use bad?

Heroin is bad because it is addictive and health-damaging. The effects of serious chaotic drug use can cause marginalisation in society, (ie it's more difficult for a chaotic drug user to get a job, few chaotic drug users socialise or sustain relationships with non-addicts,) and the power of serious drug-addiction can lead to crime and anti-social behaviour. Because chaotic drug users tend to be poor tenants, serious abuse of drugs can lead to associated problems such as homelessness and, of course, prostitution. There is no question but that the abuse of drugs is bad.

What do we do about it?

Well, it depends on what our goals are.

Okay, then, smartarse, what are our goals?

Well, our goals should be as follows. Firstly, to minimise the effects of chaotic drug use on the community, secondly to offer assistance in coming off drugs to anyone who wants it, and thirdly, to reduce the criminality involved in the use of drugs, either by aggressive targeting of large-scale traffickers or, perhaps more wisely, by legitimising the industry. To be honest, as far as the second option goes, the UK is better than many countries in the world. If a long-term addict wants to stop using, they will be quickly put onto either a maintenance methadone programme (which, though flawed, does have real benefits in harm reduction) or, less often, a residential rehabilitation centre, (many of whom have up to 65% permanent rehabilitation success rate.) Long term, the strategy to reduce drug addiction should entail a residential programme for the user.

But what about the chaotic drug users who don't want to stop using drugs?

Or, indeed, more charitably, those people who find the addiction too strong to combat immediately?

Yes.

Well, steps should be taken to minimise the harm their addiction does to society. We should investigate the introduction of supervised injection centres, which could minimise the risks of Hepatitis B or C or HIV associated with intravenous drugs use. Moreover, we should investigate the possibility of supply of injectable heroin to recidivist addicts, while emphasising rehabilitation first and foremost. One of the reasons that crime and heroin abuse go together is that it's expensive, and you can only buy it from criminals. Heroin as a product in and of itself is not expensive, it's merely the fact that it needs to be smuggled in, and profit margins need to be high in order to encourage people to take the associated risks with the trade.

I have in the past argued for total legalisation. While I still think there are some advantages (regulation of impurities, removal of gangsters from the equation, tax revenue) there is some evidence to show that in the immediate aftermath of legalisation, there will be a dramatic spike in the level of new users, before returning to the same level as before. However, since we are talking about highly addictive substances, the spike may have more serious consequences than similar spikes associated with the end of Prohibition in the US, or with the decriminalisation of cannabis in the Netherlands or Germany. It's not an argument ruling legalisation out, but it's a potential consequence to be aware of.

This is, however, perhaps outweighed by the fact that legalising the trade, while showing that it is dangerous and unhealthy, will free up a lot of revenue for the treatment of drug users, rather than concentrating it entirely on enforcement of existing and unenforceable law.

Crack cocaine is a rather thornier issue, however. Crack cocaine demand is essentially vertical (the more you have, the more you want) so maintenance doses are not practical, nor is there any satisfactory methadone-style programme which has been shown to effect any harm reduction of the damage done to society and the user. The only effective treatment programme for crack cocaine is residential rehabilitation, effectively the sectioning of crack addicts until they've gone cold turkey. Laudanum or Novocaine can ease withdrawal, but not terribly. The problem with that is that residential rehabilitation is very expensive, and it remains to be seen if we have the will for that sort of expenditure. Moreover, if the UK launch such a scheme, and other countries in Europe don't follow suit, we run the risk of 'Rehab Tourism;' already the UK is picking up the slack from the Republic of Ireland's laughably poor rehabilitation programme.

But, of course, none of this can happen without a general recognition that the War on Drugs is over, and Drugs won it. Which is political suicide in the UK, I would imagine.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The Swedish model seems to come perilously close to the assumptions regarding exploitation which Llewtrah was warning against, Dara, and I infer from your own admission of its flaws that you would not defend it as a logical or moral basis for law reform in England.

It also seems to be addressing symptoms, rather than causes.

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
I think this deserves a post of its own, so I'm going to respond to it separately.

[snip]

But, of course, none of this can happen without a general recognition that the War on Drugs is over, and Drugs won it. Which is political suicide in the UK, I would imagine.

Thank you for a very thought-provoking and, if it isn't patronising of me to say so, well put, post.

I recall us debating drugs in the context of Pete Docherty not long ago, and I think we discussed the issues around total liberalisation of the drugs market. In short, I expressed concerns that this would lead to fundamental shifts towards drug-taking which I fear would prove to be of incalculable harm to society.

The more nuanced approach which you discuss here sounds like a reversion in principle to the enlighted system used in the UK until the late sixties. I understand that it was abandoned at the time because users were selling their prescription drugs to people who then became addicts themselves, although I have also heard it said that US political pressure was brought to bear. The re-sale problem could, perhaps, be controlled by a more regimented approach to distribution of prescription narcotics. The foreign political issue, if real, might be thornier.

I am not sure that these days, it would be political suicide for any party in the UK to call for, say, a Royal Commission to look into your proposals. You can sometimes be surprisingly conservative in your outlook, you know.

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