Archive for May 16th, 2007

Why the Hell Do People Do This? (put up with the URLage and crap, I’ll make it worth your while)

May 16, 2007

Just now my computer, which is SO polite, sent me a little message:

“Hi. This is the qmail-send program.
I’m afraid I wasn’t able to deliver your message to the following addresses.
This is a permanent error; I’ve given up. Sorry it didn’t work out.”

All computer talk here will be italicized so you can read it. This seems to have been the problem:

:
209.139.193.251 does not like recipient.
Remote host said: 550 : Recipient address rejected: 5.1.1 sorry, no mailbox here by that name (chkuser)
[I think this means "chicken user"]
Giving up on 209.139.193.251.

— Below this line is a copy of the message.

Return-Path:
Received: (qmail 44853 invoked by uid 16947); 15 May 2007 02:47:07 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO [10.0.1.3]) ([71.141.140.105])
(envelope-sender )
by 192.220.66.51 (qmail-ldap-1.03) with SMTP
for ; 15 May 2007 02:47:07 -0000
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v752.3)
In-Reply-To:
Message-Id:
From: Carol Queen
Subject: Re: [Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture] New Comment Posted to ‘Hip-Hip-Hypocrisy! (with a Paean to Prostitutes)’
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 19:47:02 -0700
To: getreal@what.com
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.3)

On May 14, 2007, Carol Queen wrote:
“Hi, Ohplease! Thanks for participating.

How about giving me more info about when and under what circumstances
you worked in the sex industry? You seem to have a strong perspective
about it and I gather you must have experience in the trenches.

Thanks!
CQ”

In response to this blog comment:

On May 4, 2007, at 4:10 PM, getreal@what.com wrote:
IP Address: 70.231.134.124
Name: ohplease
Email Address: getreal@what.com
URL:
Comments:

You are SURPRISED that a pimp would turn on the prostitutes and
johns? Seriously? I don’t know what land of oz you hooked in, but
in the real world, pimps are not people of the highest moral
standards.

The D.C. situation just shows what prostitution is all about. It’s
about men who want to feel powerful and who do it by ordering women
up on the phone like chinese food.

It’s about society keeping the names of those men secret, covering
up for them, letting them abuse women as much as they like even
though they are supposed to be “leaders” and even though
prostitution is illegal.

It’s about women participating in their own downfall by convincing
themselves this is really cool.

How many of those prostitutes are going to want their daughters to
grow up to be prostitutes? How many of them are going to try to
hide this from future boyfriends and husbands and employers.

Prostitution is not a noble profession. It is men using women as
objects to feel more powerful. It leaves damaged women in it’s wake.

The fact that you try to help those men and justify their abuse
makes you an abuser too.

Oh please, “ohplease.” I’d hoped to have a useful little dialogue with you. But, so like the many web-masked commentators who fuel their bad manners with anonymity, not to mention strew apostrophes all over like cat hair on a black sweater, you worked it out so I can’t even communicate back.

That’s so cheesy.

Well, tell you what. I dare you to reply to my question above and give us the skinny on your experience with the sex industry. It may be that you know whereof you speak (though that would be, in my experience, fairly unusual, I’m very willing to entertain the possibility).

Speaking of entertaining, the reason that I feel empowered to speak up about this is that I was a ***gasp!*** prostitute. For about ten years. I worked with madams (not pimps, “ohplease,” those are the ones with the hats). And if YOU worked as one too and had a different experience than I did, I would be thrilled to open the pages of my blog for a little discussion. But not with the “Can’t touch this” communication ethos of somebody whose communication style verges on flamery.

So since you won’t communicate with me, guess I’ll just have to communicate with you. Here goes:

You are SURPRISED that a pimp would turn on the prostitutes and
johns? Seriously? I don’t know what land of oz you hooked in, but
in the real world, pimps are not people of the highest moral
standards.

In the “real world,” pimps are business people, albeit illegal ones, of varying levels of awareness, decency, class background, and other options. But we weren’t talking about pimps in my blog, we were talking about madams, and one in particular. So let me get back to that: No, I’m not in the least surprised that the DC Madam “turned on” her clients; how else is she supposed to play this? But in real life, madams usually protect the black book at all costs, because it’s the foundation of their business. In an ideal world, they’d understand the workers as the foundation of the business, but really, pros come and go while clients are often with the madam for twenty or thirty years. We’re not talking about “moral standards” here; we’re talking about business ethics, and I’ll tell you what, if madams, pimps and ‘hos didn’t have ‘em, you’d know a lot more names of a lot more clients than you do right now.

The D.C. situation just shows what prostitution is all about. It’s
about men who want to feel powerful and who do it by ordering women
up on the phone like chinese food.

The DC situation is about powerful men (i.e., men with disposable income) who want to have sex. It’s about women (of widely varying degrees of power) who provide it. Each has something to bring to the table and exchange, and you can critique it all you want, as long as you’re a Marxist. Everybody else is taking the issues completely out of context. And by the way, “ohplease”? Men like that order a lot more than Chinese food.

Plus which, how come you people pretty much always address prostitutes as women? Didn’t you read my Ted Haggard piece? Why don’t you ever work male prostitutes into your lil’ worldview? Is it because, if you did, about half to three quarters of your rhetoric would start screaming, like the Wicked Witch of the West, “I’mmmmm mellllltinnnnngggggg!”?

It’s about society keeping the names of those men secret, covering
up for them, letting them abuse women as much as they like even
though they are supposed to be “leaders” and even though
prostitution is illegal.

Yup. Couldn’t agree more. That’s actually what my blog post was about, huh? Or did you read it?

It’s about women participating in their own downfall by convincing
themselves this is really cool.

Ummmm…. I’m not sure where you got this. Is this from your own experience? Are you, like, a disappointed call girl? Because the coolness factor, in my experience, isn’t #1 in the minds of most prostitutes: the $$$ factor is, whether they’re libertarian rich-chick wannabes or in survival mode.

How many of those prostitutes are going to want their daughters to
grow up to be prostitutes? How many of them are going to try to
hide this from future boyfriends and husbands and employers.

Dunno, but I can guarantee you that none of them will want to share with YOU about it. I may be the only once or future prostitute who has the time for you.

Prostitution is not a noble profession. It is men using women as
objects to feel more powerful. It leaves damaged women in it’s [sic] wake.

Oh, I see. It’s a 1980s women’s studies thing, maybe.

Listen, “ohplease.” If you’d like to define getting sexual gratification as “making one feel powerful,” you can do that, I suppose, though it would make sense to mix into the definition the power one derives from giving (and/or, in our case, selling) sexual gratification. And getting paid. But can I tell you something? For someone talking about the SEX industry, you haven’t felt very comfortable actually addressing sex. That strikes me as odd, it really does. In fact, nothing at all in your post addresses sexual acts, desire, or gratification. That’s just wild.

About “using people as objects”: An argument can be made that this is what much of the work world in fact consists of, but if you’re goinna do that, you’d better convince me you have more facility in Marxist theory than you do in feminist theory. Because these days, feminist theory worth its salt hesitates to speak FOR women with different experiences, and invites them to speak for themselves. Which, for the record, is why I wrote you the friendly email asking you how you know what the hell you’re talking about.

And about that apostrophe… gosh, this is such a pet peeve of mine. A pet peeve within a pet peeve! It’s, like, pomo!

The fact that you try to help those men and justify their abuse
makes you an abuser too.

Exactly how am I trying to “help these men”? Again, did you read my blog, or just hit “comment”?

I return to my original point: Why the hell do people do this?

But that just brings up a related peeve: the people who ask me to join Facebook or Whatthefuck and only give me their first names. (Or occasionally just initials.) Um, sweetie? I don’t know you. And this makes me hesitate to be your “friend.”

So frustrating. I guess none of y’all are worried about running into Miss Manners out here.

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