Lord, Protect Us From the People Supposed to Be Protecting Us

I can’t say with any certainty that I’m the first blogger to ever quote both Radley Balko and David Neiwert in the same post, but I bet I’m one of only a few.

So, here we go.

From Balko, we learn that, in Chicago, cops more often fuck prostitutes in exchange for not arresting them than they do arresting prostitutes.  So, in effect, police in Chicago have a vested interest in keeping prostitution illegal because, if it’s legal, they lose a large pool of women they can coerce into having sex with them.  Remind me again how this is better than just regulating the industry?

It seems to me that there’s no question that the only feminist response to the way the world is right now is to advocate for the legalization of prostitution.  We can argue all day about how, in a perfect world, women should have other choices as to whether to sell their bodies for money.  We can argue all day about whether or not it’s moral.  But, in the meantime, bullshit like this is going on and these women have no recourse.

Make it legal, get it regulated, and then we can worry over the morality of it and the proper feminist position to have on it*. 

From Neiwert, we learn (and you all may, if you haven’t already seen this, have to sit down.  Remember when I theorized that Nate, the Pan-Galactic Blogger Blaster had to be working for the FBI because his persona was just too good?  This tidbit is like if that turned out to be true, but moreso.) that Hal Turner may be an FBI informant.

Yes, let me say that again: HAL TURNER may be working for the FBI.

If this is true, it is the equivalent of the FBI hiring a bombmaker to make bombs, to hand said bombs to mad bombers, and then to turn around and tell the FBI which bombers he gave bombs to.  Because, of course, he’s proved himself to be such an upstanding citizen in the first place.

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*My opinion remains that a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body, whether or not I approve of it and that, if prostitutes were able to have a public voice–which they’d have if prostitution were legal–they could spearhead for themselves the reforms they need.

4 thoughts on “Lord, Protect Us From the People Supposed to Be Protecting Us

  1. B., I think the first part of your post illustrates one of the central problems we face with policing in this country. If we want our police forces to be less corrupt, then we have to stop asking them to do the impossible. They aren’t superhuman, and expecting them to control or eradicate legally prohibited and socially stigmatized (but biologically understandable) behaviors is just inviting corruption. If we want less corruption in our police forces, then we’ll have to follow your advice and drop the childish Puritanism from our laws.

    As far as the FBI is concerned, many volumes have been written about its inherent corruption and incompetence. Here’s one that I’ve read:
    Tainting Evidence

    Anyway, three things are important to remember about the FBI: 1) it began by contracting out to the hired thugs of the Pinkerton detective agency; 2) for half a century it was the personal fiefdom of psychotic authoritarian and major league asshole J. Edgar Hoover, and its headquarters are still named after him; and 3) COINTELPRO.

  2. “It seems to me that there’s no question that the only feminist response to the way the world is right now is to advocate for the legalization of prostitution.”

    I’m with you there. My preference is to make taking money for one’s own sex acts legal, but paying for the sex acts of another or taking money for the sex acts of another illegal. However, I get the regular impression that’s too fine a distinction for most people at this point, so I’d settle for “prostitution legal”.

  3. I’m with you there. My preference is to make taking money for one’s own sex acts legal, but paying for the sex acts of another or taking money for the sex acts of another illegal. However, I get the regular impression that’s too fine a distinction for most people at this point, so I’d settle for “prostitution legal”.

    I’d set the distinction a bit differently, myself – allowing one to pay money for another person’s sex acts (within certain constraints, such as the sex acts under consideration being part of a specific transaction, rather than something that could be introduced in other types of negotiations, such as meals and hiring decisions), but not allowing one to take money for the sex acts of another person. (I’d probably allow exceptions for the facilitation of certain kinds of services, because a clean and well-regulated brothel would probably need a secretary and a janitor, and wording the ban imprecisely would mean that sort of labor would be under some unfortunate restrictions.)

    But yeah, I’d settle for ‘legal and regulated,’ with emphasis on the regulation. Age restrictions and legal protections, at the very least.

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