Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reckless Abandon

I am in favor of legalizing prostitution. I think sex workers deserve respect and admiration. No, I am not being arch, ironic or sarcastic. I mean it. I believe women and men should have complete control of the commodity that is their bodies. I have been reminded, in a recent comment to a piece I wrote, that the political candidates are “marketed like perfume.” And lest we forget, it is usually women’s bodies that sell all the products, and it is men who make the big bucks off the product, legal or otherwise. So I’m looking forward to the day when women really do claim the power that is theirs to take.

In the meantime, we live in a country governed by laws and rules. We have agreed to live by these laws until we get to vote again to make the laws conform more to what we believe to be in the nation’s best interest. Until then, men who make the laws, vow to uphold the laws, enforce the laws, and then break those laws, should be held to the same standard that we hold the least lawbreaker among us. I break the law. You break the law. We all break the law now and then. But if you are ambitious enough to become an attorney who becomes a prosecutor and then an attorney general, and then a governor, or even a mayor, and you break the laws you punished in each of those positions after having vowed to uphold the laws, you should lose your office, and go to jail. If you purger yourself in front of a Grand Jury, it isn’t your hypocrisy, it’s your getting caught. It’s your recklessness. It’s a little like have a sibling who is a meth user. As long as she doesn’t steal from you to support her habit, obviously endanger her kids or yours, or get caught and go to jail, you can maintain the illusion that everything is fine in the family. But once her damaged kids are loosed upon you and your husband, and her trial has become a media circus that makes the carefully crafted fiction that is your life unravel before your eyes, well then, maybe you’ll decide it’s time to get real.

I have never known a man who was faithful. I do not claim to be representative of all women. I know my experience with men is not everywoman’s. But I think testosterone drives them to it. Odd that it is men who make the laws that are so intolerant of the very behavior that they are driven to engage in. There is much science to back up the claim that men are literally led around by their gonads. Helpless to the wants of their little-brain’s desires. It certainly was my experience with men. My observation of the husbands of friends and coworkers.

And it is mostly men who control the industries that continue to market women in the advertising and entertainment industries as objects. So completely has internet porn taken over the zeitgeist, that almost every image depicted of “woman,” is of a woman so far removed from the reality of the normal range possible for women, that she is almost a separate species, one we cannot join. And we, the consumers of this icon, are willing to carve ourselves up with the help of our plastic surgeons, so we can bear to even glimpse ourselves in the mirror for more than a second or two without a shudder. Too fat, too old, too ugly to keep your mate. And he is ever driven, and always will be, to mate wherever and whenever he can, even in the anonymous stalls of men’s rooms in airports. Which is fine, I guess, if you don’t take your six year old son into the airport stall with you when Larry Craig, or Pastor Haggard is trolling. So let’s free the men’s rooms and legalize prostitution for both men and women. But, if it wasn’t a crime would it still be as exciting?

So, once again, I come down on the side of having some expectation that if you hold any position that calls for you to take an oath to uphold the law, don’t get caught breaking it. If no one gets injured as you break the law, and you don’t get caught, I say it’s nobody's business but your own. In the meantime I’ll keep voting to change the laws to reflect our realities. And sex workers of both sexes should work in legal, safe, taxed and represented industries that they control. Sex Workers of the World, Unite!

Another Letter to Howard Dean

Dear Howard Dean,

You have sent me an email asking for money for the general election. Until you put a stop to the bloodletting that’s going on in this artificially prolonged primary season, I will continue to give the ten dollars a month I can squeeze out of my disability check to Senator Obama. It is in the interest of the democratic party that this trumped-up horse race—a great boon for the news pundits and the republicans—be brought to an end. Barack Obama has won twice as many states, has the lead in both pledged delegates and the popular vote, and he is gaining on Senator Clinton in the super- delegate support.

You are the party chairman. You are behaving like the democrats we are all so angry with in the Senate—unwilling to take a strong stand and work it like you mean it. I understand that the Clinton brand has cachet. I understand that it won’t make you popular with the Clintons to twist her arm to step aside. But it must be done. Otherwise you risk going into a general election with nothing in the coffers. Granted, I am a small donor, but there are millions like me, giving ten dollars at a time to Senator Obama. It is the reason he has raised so much money online. He has a very strong, grassroots, bottom-up organization. I know—I’m one of the many volunteers who helped him win Utah.

Please do your job, so we might have a chance of uniting the country to win the general election.