The 'White Slavery' Panic

Anti-prostitution activists have been equating sex work with slavery for over a century.

Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul, by Karen Abbott, New York: Random House, 356 pages, $25.95

In 1907 a group of evangelicals visited Chicago’s Everleigh Club brothel, where they handed out leaflets that said, “No ‘white slave’ need remain in slavery in this State of Abraham Lincoln who made the black slaves free.” According to the Illinois poet Edgar Lee Masters, an Everleigh Club regular, “the girls laughed in their faces.” In Sin in the Second City, the Atlanta-based journalist Karen Abbott recounts how Minna Everleigh, one of the club’s proprietors, “explained graciously, patiently, that the Everleigh Club was free from disease, that [a doctor] examined the girls regularly, that neither she nor Ada [Everleigh, her sister and co-proprietor,] would tolerate anything approaching violence, that drugs were forbidden and drinks tossed out, that guests were never robbed nor rolled, and that there was actually a waiting list of girls, spanning the continental United States, eager to join the house. No captives here, Reverends.”

The Everleigh Club was an ornate mansion. Thirty themed boudoirs (“the Japanese Parlor,” “the Moorish Room,” “the Egyptian Room”) included absurd touches of decadence, such as hidden buttons to ring for champagne and a fountain that fired a jet of perfume. The city’s finest chefs prepared the women’s dinners. They read poetry by the fire with guests, who included the writers Theodore Dreiser and Ring Lardner. Sometimes Minna and Ada let swarms of butterflies fly loose throughout the house.

Some anti-prostitution activists nevertheless believed the Everleigh ladies were no different from slaves. Then as now, opponents of prostitution assumed that no woman in her right mind consensually exchanges sex for money. Abbott challenges that view in her account of Chicago’s red light district at the turn of the last century. She interweaves the stories of sex workers and clientele, evangelical activists and conservative bureaucrats, explaining how the term “white slavery” was routinely applied to consenting adults. Reading her historical account, you can hear echoes of that debate in the current crusade against sex trafficking, which similarly blurs the line between coercion and consent.

The Everleigh sisters, Abbott notes, believed a sex worker was “more than an unwitting conduit for virtue. An employee in a business, she was an investment and should be treated as such, receiving nutritious meals, a thorough education, expert medical care, and generous wages. In their house, a courtesan would make a living as viable as—and more lucrative than—those earned by the thousands of young women seeking work in cities as stenographers and sweatshop seamstresses, department store clerks and domestics. The sisters wanted to uplift the profession, remove its stain and stigma, argue that a girl can’t lose her social standing if she stands level with those poised to judge her.”

The attempt to portray prostitutes as professionals never made much headway against the tendency to view them as victims. At the beginning of Sin in the Second City, Abbott describes an event in 1887 that forever changed the American public’s perception of sex workers. Authorities raided a Michigan lumber camp, finding nine women working as prostitutes. Eight accepted their prison sentences, but the ninth woman protested that she was tortured and forced into sex slavery. The lumberyard proprietors claimed the women were well aware of what they were hired to do; “the job description,” Abbott notes, “made no mention of cutting trees.” But the public was so moved by the woman’s story that she was pardoned and released from jail.

It was 20 years before another case of “white slavery” was reported in a Midwestern newspaper. But in the meantime, rumors of girls who were “trafficked” into sex slavery began to circulate. In 1899 the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union missionary Charlton Edholm reported, “There is a slave trade in this country, and it is not black folks at this time, but little white girls —thirteen, fourteen, sixteen, and seventeen years of age—and they are snatched out of our arms, and from our Sabbath schools and from our Communion tables.” Perhaps they found themselves in a “false employment snare,” in which a young rural girl answered a city want ad and found herself locked in a brothel, her clothes held for ransom. Or maybe a gentleman from the big city, after plying her with drinks or drugs, deflowered her and sold her to a pimp.

Around the same time, anti-prostitution evangelical groups revised their platforms. Victorian society previously had reviled prostitutes as lost women who reduced men to animals. The rhetorical shift conveniently removed the prostitute’s responsibility for her actions.

“Reformers across the country repeated and embellished Edholm’s narratives, panders used them as handy instruction manuals, and harlots memorized all the ways they might be tricked or trapped,” Abbott writes. These rumors reinforced rural Midwesterners’ fears of losing their children to the dirty, crime-ridden streets of Chicago. “Never before in civilization,” wrote Hull House founder Jane Addams in 1909, “have such numbers of girls been suddenly released from the protection of the home and permitted to walk unattended upon the city streets and to work under alien roofs.”

In 1907 a girl named Mona Marshall reportedly wrote “I am a white slave” on a scrap of paper and tossed it from her brothel room window to a passer-by. The passer-by alerted the police, who later brought her to the office of Chicago’s state attorney, Clifford Roe. Roe had been following the work of anti–white slavery activists and was eager to find a case like the Michigan lumberyard scandal.

Marshall’s story of inhumane conditions and repeated rapes attracted much press attention, but further inquiries into key details found contradictions and dates that did not match up. Two years later, Roe met another young woman, Ella Gingles, with a story Abbott says “sounded like an osmotic recitation of every white slave case [Roe] ever tried.” She proved even less trustworthy than Marshall. The reported “blood stains” on her gown were later said to be red wine. The country “ran wild with speculation that Gingles was an autohypnotist, a monomaniac…or in a state of perpetual hysteria,” writes Abbott. Unfortunately, she does not try to explain what motivated Gingles to come forward with a false claim. A New York Times article from 1909 suggests Gingles used the excuse to cover up allegations that she stole lace from her employer.

After several attempts, Roe finally found a case that jibed with the public’s dark perception of organized sex work. Seventeen-year-old Sarah Joseph reported that she had moved to Chicago to join her old friend Mollie Hart, who said she had work lined up for her. The job was in a brothel, which became clear to Joseph only after she entered its doors. Abbott does not offer many details about Joseph’s experience, with only a 1909 Chicago Tribune article as a reference. It is unclear how Joseph’s case came to Roe’s notice or why her friend deceived her. In light of the previous chapters describing Roe’s dubious “white slave” cases, the reader might be inclined to doubt Joseph as well. But many historians, including Humbert Nelli, John Koble, and Thomas Reppetto, have suggested that Joseph was indeed held captive. When the Chicago Sun-Times revisited the controversy in 1999, it reported that Joseph’s brothel keeper had indeed acquired some employees “by force.”

The case received national publicity. Inspired by Roe’s efforts, Rep. James R. Mann (R-Ill.) rushed the United States White-Slave Traffic Act (now known as the Mann Act) through Congress. President Taft signed it into law in 1910. The Mann Act forbade the transportation of individuals from one state to another for the purpose of prostitution. It also authorized $50,000 to create the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It appears the FBI never quite reprioritized: In 2001 the bureau was strongly criticized for allocating excessive man-hours to wiretapping the New Orleans brothel madam Jeanette Maier, both before and after the 9/11 attacks.

A century after the Mann Act passed, women are no longer limited to the roles of wife, whore, or some combination of both, but the debate over prostitution is framed using roughly the same language. Today’s “sex trafficking” narratives often sound like embellishments of the rumored “white slaves.”

According to the website of the National Organization for Women, foreigners expecting high-paying work as au pairs or waitresses “often find themselves in a city where they don’t speak the language, where there isn’t a job waiting, and where they are in debt to threatening thugs. Often their passports have been confiscated, limiting their ability to escape. Many of these women and girls are hidden residents of our own communities.” According to numerous reports in major news outlets, other sex trafficking victims are kidnapped and smuggled across borders. “The sheer volume of stories bolstered the notion of a ‘traffic in girls,’ ” Abbott writes about the Midwest in the early 1900s, but she could be talking about Washington today.

This narrative of deceived and kidnapped sex slaves might make for an exciting episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, but the truth is more complex. In 1999 the CIA estimated that 50,000 women in the U.S. are trafficked for sex each year, but that number seems to be wildly inflated. In September The Washington Post reported that, after spending $150 million on task forces and grants since 2000, the federal government had identified only 1,362 victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. The Post also reported that the original CIA estimate was the work of one analyst, who relied mainly on news clippings about overseas trafficking cases, from which she attempted to estimate U.S. victims.

Estimating the actual number of trafficked sex workers is nearly impossible. Many studies do not distinguish between illegal migration and the smuggling of a person against her will. Others fail to acknowledge that some trafficked workers might not have a problem with the prostitution itself but object to human rights violations and other poor conditions in their new homes.

New legislation threatens to further conflate coercive and consensual sex work. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2007 would appropriate $872 million over four years for protecting and assisting the victims of trafficking. The bill would revise the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and would establish a minimum sentence of 20 years for sex traffickers, by removing language requiring proof of fraud, force, or coercion. Currently, when there is no proof of coercion, pimps are prosecuted under the Mann Act, typically receiving a three-to-five-year sentence. Under the new bill, which overwhelmingly passed the House in December but at press time had not been introduced in the Senate, prosecutors could seek the 20-year penalty without presenting victim testimony.

A narrow focus on sex trafficking cases undermines the fight against another appalling (and possibly more frequent) practice: forced manual labor. Domestic and international funds that might be allocated to the protection of forced laborers are instead used to crack down on consensual massage parlors and brothels.

Steven Wagner, former head of the anti-trafficking program within the Department of Health and Human Services, has commented on the millions of dollars “wasted” in grants aimed at combating sex slavery. “Many of the organizations that received grants didn’t really have to do anything,” he told The Washington Post last fall. “They were available to help victims. There weren’t any victims.” Tony Fratto, then deputy White House press secretary, said the issue is “not about the numbers. It’s really about the crime and how horrific it is.” There’s no question the crime is horrific, but the numbers appear to be modest, unless you equate all prostitution with slavery.

Karen Abbott’s book suggests that prostitution was better respected a century ago. While today’s high-profile johns hold press conferences at which they ask the public for forgiveness, Everleigh Club clients boasted of their membership. Perhaps prostitution was considered a necessary evil, keeping husbands from defiling their wives with their prurient fantasies. Or perhaps, as the Chicago Tribune
suggested in a 1936 article about the Everleighs, people believed respectable women “were safer from rapes and other crimes if open prostitution was maintained and ordered as an outlet for the lusts of men.” Patronizing as that viewpoint might be, it is no more insulting than the implication that women never consent to sex work.

Just as feminists today rally around anti–sex trafficking measures, many anti–white slavery activists at the turn of the 20th century were politically progressive and believed in women’s suffrage. “White slavery gave women a chance to insert themselves in political discourse,” Abbott notes. “America’s women would best know how to protect America’s girls.” But such activism infantilizes women instead of promoting gender equality. Women don’t need protection from their own choices.

Joanne McNeil is a writer in Massachusetts. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Times and her photography has appeared in $pread, a sex industry magazine.

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  • ||

    "But such activism infantilizes women instead of promoting gender equality."

    Oh please! The average of entry into the sex trade is 14, and most of these girls are fleeing homes where they have been physically and/or sexually abused. They take up sex work as their only means to survival. Check out the peer-reviewed literature on the modern sex trade before continuing to spread this ideologically driven nonsense.

  • ||

    "The Washington Post reported that, after spending $150 million on task forces and grants since 2000, the federal government had identified only 1,362 victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. The Post also reported that the original"

    First, that is what they found. There is no reason to beleive they found every one of them, so the true number whatever it is has to be higher by some degree. Second, 1,362 people is a lot when you think about it. That is 1,362 women who were basically sold into slavery. That is bloody awful. In a country where an amber alert gets 24/7 coverage, 1362 women ending up in sex slavery, that we know of, is just nothing? I don't think so. Just because they are not pretty rich white girls doesn't mean their lives don't count for anything.

  • javier||

    I think both of you are missing the point. If prostitution was legal most brothels would look like the bunny ranch and not 14 year olds in back rooms.

    I don't think the piece was saying that there is no sex slavery going on today. However it is saying that trying to equate prostitution like the bunny ranch with sex slavery is "ideologically driven nonsense."

  • ||

    Javier,

    You are right, the prevelence of sex slavery is the result of prohibition. It ought to be legal. But, the article seemed to be saying the 1362 confirmed cases was no big deal. That is wrong. It is a big deal.

  • ||

    John: There is no reason to believe they found every one of them, so the true number whatever it is has to be higher by some degree. Second, 1,362 people is a lot when you think about it. That is 1,362 women who were basically sold into slavery.

    92,000 rapes took place in 2006. Not every victim of rape comes forward, so we can assume that that number is low, as well. Also, given the vast resources devoted to finding so few victims, can we not assume that we are pretty effective at finding these people? Probably more effective than we are at identifying rape victims. So, the rape to "white slavery" ratio probably stands at 100:1 or more.

    The point being, we're creating a false epidemic to justify unjust laws.

  • Sarah||

    If prostitution was legal most brothels would look like the bunny ranch and not 14 year olds in back rooms.

    How about we just enforce the law better and arrest the sex criminal "johns" and stop prostitution to better protect womyn. Prostitution is degrading to all womyn.

  • stuartl||

    The average of entry into the sex trade is 14, and most of these girls are fleeing homes where they have been physically and/or sexually abused. They take up sex work as their only means to survival.

    classwarrior, assuming your assertion on age is true, are you saying these kids are making bad choices and ought to stay home and be abused?

  • ||

    http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/03/ive_seen_my_share_of_spitzers.php

    This is a really great article. The kind of thing I wish Reason would write but sadly doesn't.

    Horatio,

    Just because white slavery is not the worst problem in the world doesn't mean that it is not a problem. I am sorry but I find the fact that that many women are smuggled into the country to live their lives in misery to be pretty disturbing.

  • ||

    Sarah: How about we just enforce the law better and arrest the sex criminal "johns" and stop prostitution to better protect womyn. Prostitution is degrading to all womyn.

    I'm guessing you're just being obtuse to get a rise (no pun intended) out of people, but I'll bite (pun intended -- I'm into that).

    Ah, yes. Just enforce the law better. That's the answer to every social ill. We can do this with prostitution, drugs, gambling ... the possibilities are endless. Of course, if we choose to enforce these laws better, we'll need much larger police forces. Having 5% of the population working as police officers will give us the desirable 1 to 20 ratio needed to occupy protect our country. And, of course, even with the larger police state forces, we'll not be able to keep an eye on everybody without placing cameras, wiretaps and microphones all over to make sure that no one is engaging in unsanctioned behavior. That would make me feel better. At least I could go to bed (ha cha cha) knowing that nobody is being happy doing something of which I disapprove.

    Womyn. Yeah. I probably just got trolled. Oh, well.

  • NeonCat||

    @ Sarah

    I'm sorry, but your collectivist "all womyn" is b.s. Some women choose to be prostitutes and seem to make a living at it. Going after johns means you are taking money out of their pockets because it offends YOU.

    Writing women womyn degrades the English language, BTW.

  • ||

    John: Just because white slavery is not the worst problem in the world doesn't mean that it is not a problem. I am sorry but I find the fact that that many women are smuggled into the country to live their lives in misery to be pretty disturbing.

    So, our target should be 0 women forced into sexual slavery? How realistic is that? Fewer crimes is better than more, of course, but we tolerate some amount of crime because the alternative is a police state. If we're already dumping boatloads of money into preventing a very rare crime, we should admit that we've reached the point of diminishing returns. That money could be better spent elsewhere.

  • NeonCat||

    @ Sarah, again

    You also seem to be ignorant that the biggest loss for prostitutes comes from giving freebies to the cops to keep from being arrested. Now THAT is degrading.

  • javier||

    How about we just enforce the law better and arrest the sex criminal "johns" and stop prostitution to better protect womyn. Prostitution is degrading to all womyn.

    first, CONSENSUAL prostitution should not be a crime.

    You are probably pro-choice but as soon as a woman does something with her body you don't approve, your feminist authoritarianism is apparent.

  • Guy Montag||

    So, our target should be 0 women forced into sexual slavery? How realistic is that?

    Great goal, but the real problem is that when the real number approaches zero the definition will be expanded to guarantee an adequate supply of 'victims'.

  • ||

    Check out the peer-reviewed literature on the modern sex trade before continuing to spread this ideologically driven nonsense.

    Classwarrior, you somehow neglected to provide links to the PRL's on this. Show me the studies.

  • ||

    Javier, to say that Sarah is "probably pro-choice" is like saying that Santa is probably diabetic. The satirical flourish at the end -- "womyn" -- was probably supposed to clue us in to the tongue-in-cheek nature of her comments.

    Then again, the "sex criminal 'johns'" part makes me think that maybe she's serious. Something about that seems just angry enough to be a real-deal box-lunch diesel. If it's not, though, that's some grade-A satire. I couldn't have created a more convincing angry feminist if I tried.

  • ||

    "So, our target should be 0 women forced into sexual slavery? How realistic is that?"

    Actually it is fairly realistic if we would just be smart enough to legalize and regulate it. Yes, our target should be zero. That goal does not mean a police state. In fact it can mean the opposite. Stop going after women who freely if mistakenly chose this line of work and instead spend our efforts stopping the worst aspects of it. Ms. McNeil's blyth dismissal that there are only 1367 sex slaves imported into the country every year does the cause of good policy no good.

  • Fitz||

    "classwarrior wrote: Check out the peer-reviewed literature on the modern sex trade before continuing to spread this ideologically driven nonsense."

    Do you think you could provide some citations, such as the one you are drawing your claim of 14 as average age of entry into "the sex trade?" Do these peer-reviewed literature include which countries/cultures this age average is being drawn from?

  • Guy Montag||

    Fitz,

    Perhaps the 14 year old peers of the paper writer have shifted their interst, as many 14 year olds are known to do?

  • ||

    John: Actually it is fairly realistic if we would just be smart enough to legalize and regulate it.

    Natascha Kampusch. Game, set, match.

  • Sarah||

    I'm sorry, but your collectivist "all womyn" is b.s.

    No, anything that offends one wimmin offends all womyn. Any crime any man does against one wimmin is a crime done bay all men and all men can be punished.

    Writing women womyn degrades the English language, BTW.

    No, because the "word" women contains the word men, which means it is a creation of the evil hierarchical patriarchy to oppress womyn.

  • Sarah||

    You are probably pro-choice but as soon as a woman does something with her body you don't approve, your feminist authoritarianism is apparent.

    No wimmin chooses prostitution, or any form of heterosexual sex freely, it is all forced on them by the patriarchy, which brainwashes all womyn to think they need men.

    There is an organized worldwide patriarchy in place to control womyn.

  • ||

    Hm. Is 2nd post Sarah the same person as 1st post Sarah? It lacks the subtlety, but maybe "she" figures her cover is blown, anyway.

  • ||

    I think Sarah is really Sugerfree. He finally read one to many of those feminist blogs and it melted his brain. Come back Sugerfree.

  • javier||

    Ok, sarah is just trolling us.

    john paul jones,

    i believe it has to be satire.

  • ||

    There is an organized worldwide patriarchy in place to control womyn.

    Good work! But you'll never figure out our secret handshake.

  • ||

    "Good work! But you'll never figure out our secret handshake."

    Ahh, but we have figured out your secret handshake. What threw us off at first was that it is not a handshake at all; it's ball scratching.

  • Nephilium - Tool of the Patria||

    Wyll... I think my and all other myn are offyndyd by thy assumption that all things that come of myn or contain myn is bad.

    Nyphilium

  • stuartl||

    There is an organized worldwide patriarchy in place to control womyn.

    Good work! But you'll never figure out our secret handshake.


    I used to hear about Jewish banking conspiracy that controlled the world, but even though I was Jewish nobody would tell me how to join. Now I find that there is a conspiracy to control women, and even though I qualify again ChrisO won't tell me how to join.

    What's a guy gotta do to join these controlling conspiracies?

  • ||

    What's a guy gotta do to join these controlling conspiracies?

    First rule of the Organized Worldwide Patriarchy is: you do not talk about the Organized Worldwide Patriarchy.

  • ||

    No Chris, the first rule is that you always act like you are not a member and sarcasticlly say you wish you could be but you never get invited to the meetings.

  • Sarah||

    As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all womyn. He can beat or kill the wimmin he claims to love; he can rape womyn. He can sexually molest his daughters. THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE.

    All patriarchists exalt the home and family as sacred, demanding it remain inviolate from prying eyes. Men want privacy for their violations of womyn. All womyn learn in childhood that womyn as a sex are men's prey. All men are rapists and that's all they are. We live, I am trying to say, in an epidemic of male violence against womyn. All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a wimmin. I believe that womyn have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He's just incapable of it. The traditional flowers of courtship are the traditional flowers of the grave, delivered to the victim before the kill. The cadaver is dressed up and made up and laid down and ritually violated and consecrated to an eternity of being used.

  • ||

    Sarah, you're sure cute when you're angry.

  • ||

    THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE.

    One question Sarah, do you prefer suspension, girder or truss?

  • ||

    Sarah screeched: All men are rapists and that's all they are.

    Even gay men? Even if you consider us to all be rapists, how does that affect you?

  • stuartl||

    The traditional flowers of courtship are the traditional flowers of the grave, delivered to the victim before the kill. The cadaver is dressed up and made up and laid down and ritually violated and consecrated to an eternity of being used.

    Sarah, I was struck by the beauty of this writing. But it seems you are ripping off Andrea Dworkin. Apparently womyn also abuse other womyn. By your logic clearly all womyn are collectively guilty of stealing from other womyn.

  • ||

    So basically Sarah you are saying all women are morons oppressed by evil men. Why do you hate women so much? Why do you think they are such stupid creatures so easily dominated by men? There are so many layers of self loathing going on in your positions, I don't even know where to begin.

  • ||

    I wonder what else Sarah has in common with Andrea Dworkin.

  • ||

    @John

    You are right, the prevelence of sex slavery is the result of prohibition. It ought to be legal.

    Well, we all know the libertarian solution to that - legalize sex slavery! Then the problem goes away! Let the market sort it out!

    @rana

    Ahh, but we have figured out your secret handshake. What threw us off at first was that it is not a handshake at all; it's ball scratching.

    SPLOORF!!!

    You owe me a new keyboard!

  • ||

    All I know are two things: One, many of the women working, have a history of being sexually or physically abused before getting into the trade. The second is that many women working the strip and the corner need to do drugs to get through their "jobs". So these women seem to be pretty vulnerable to me.

  • ||

    As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not.

    In fallacy land (where communists and feminists frolic), this is called the Fallacy of Guilt By Association.


    The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all womyn.

    In fallacy land, this is called Fallacy of Composition


    He can beat or kill the wimmin he claims to love; he can rape womyn. He can sexually molest his daughters. THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE.

    In FANTASY land, this is called innuendo. And not very smart innuendo, at that.


    All patriarchists exalt the home and family as sacred, demanding it remain inviolate from prying eyes.

    You mean, MATRIARCHISTS do not??

    Men want privacy for their violations of womyn.

    In fallacy land... oh, you get the picture. Anyway, this is called Begging the Question. When you add so many fallacies in one spot, one has to question the rationality of the person that forwards such arguments.

  • M||

    You guys. So sophisticated about so many things, yet so easily trolled. The first post should have been enough, but surely, by the time we hear about

    demanding it remain inviolate



    we know, do we not, that anyone in this millennium capable of using the subjunctive is not diddling the rest of the language ingenuously.

  • ||

    Who wants to bet Sarah wrote this while wearing painter's pants, a flannel shirt, listening to Holly Near while eating a tofu burger? Neander-dykes from 1976 phone home!

  • ||

    There is an organized worldwide conspiracy to enact patriarchy. It is called Islam. Sarah and her sisters have done nothing about it except to roll over and spread their legs for it.

  • megs, or mygs||

    John | March 13, 2008, 12:55pm | #
    http://pajamasmedia.com/2008/03/ive_seen_my_share_of_spitzers.php

    This is a really great article. The kind of thing I wish Reason would write but sadly doesn't.


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it John (or another John?) in the thread on Kerry's opinion piece that kept insisting Kerry herself had to ply the trade in order to hold her opinion - and now he wants more articles written from a behind the scenes perspective of the sex trade?

    So... yes. Uh huh. We get it. The sex trade is sexy to you.


    And Sarah, it's okay. We all sometimes read feministing and Pandagon for kicks, so we know, we know already, and it's much funnier when the person writing it really believes it.

    I say that as a feminist and a Girl Scout! And as someone who attended a woman's college (though I took Evolution for my Woman's Studies requirement, because I am awesome).

  • Guy Montag||

    megs,

    The sex trade is sexy to me and you didn't even notice :(

    Guess it is true what they say, the hot chicks ignore the nice guys.

  • Guy Montag||

    So these women seem to be pretty vulnerable to me.

    I find vulnerable women to be so cute!

    Until they stop being vulnerable, of course, and take out their frustrations on the guy in closest proximity, their teeth become fangs, fingernails become claws and they begin devouring human flesh . . .

  • George Arndt||

    Prostitution cannot be defended on moral grounds. Neither can getting drunk every night, having sex with a new person every week, and other activities which are legal, but might strike many people as immoral and reckless. Some people find guns immoral. Does that mean we should ban all guns? Do the members of PETA have the right to ban eating meat?
    Indeed, its perfectly legal for a person to have unprotected sex with an unlimited number of people. Yet, if so much as a cent exchanges hands, tat person has now committed a crime!
    Outlawing a vice is not the only way to discourage it. Tobacco, for instance, is legal, but we tax and regulate the hell out of it. Legalize prostitution, but get rid of the pimps, ban street walking, tax it a lot, and require prostitutes to get checked for sex diseases every month and educate them in safer sex practices. At the same time, the government could encourage women (and men) to find another line of work.

  • economist||

    Chef's prostitute song
    "A prostitute is like any other woman
    They all trade sex for something
    and they do it well"

  • wicks cherrycoke||

    ALERT: The International Patrimony is having its mid-year meeting in May in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in our secret meeting room next to the Irish Pub. Details to follow in Male Code, so have your Secret Male Decoder Rings ready.

    Topics to be discussed include planning our annual cookie sale.

  • ||

    My wife won't give me sex every day, and I don't blame her -- she doesn't have my testosterone drive, bless her heart.

    My regular whore loves her work, and I enjoy her immensely.

    Deal with it.

  • Mrs. Reader||

    What about people like Brice Taylor, Cathy Obrien, Carol Rutz, Ted Gunderson and Mark Phillips who all say that organized CIA mind control and sex slavery happened to them and their families and that it is still going on strong just kept very quiet? What about them?

  • Fitz||

    Ever talk to or see Taylor, O'Brien, et a.l? Or poor Ted Gunderson for that matter?

    Just because someone claims something or believes that something happened doesn't make it so. It seems far less likely when they spend the majority of their time charging people for performances of their "gripping tales of sexual manipulation" rather then actually looking to file charges against anyone involved.

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    jrte

  • Nike Dunk Low||

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