Re: A suggestion to a different crime

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I think we've probably all read enough Swedish crime fiction to know this is all a huge cover-up


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:23 AM
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My only vaguely informed sense is that sex worker advocates in the US do not think highly of the Swedish model. I'm not so sure if that's actually in relation to practical problems with it, or if it's just that it addresses prostitution as something that very few people really do want to do, and so assumes help in getting out of the situation is almost universally going to be welcome. (Which, to be clear, sounds fairly plausible to me, but isn't, I understand, a position held by most US sex-worker advocates.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:34 AM
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There's this, and articles like it, casting doubt on the methodology...

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/swedens-sex-work-laws-too-good-to-be-true-210705.html

And a priori there has to be pretty clear evidence of benefits to justify this kind of thing, given that it involves criminalising behaviour that wasn't criminal before.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:40 AM
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criminalising behaviour that wasn't criminal before.

I think patronizing prostitutes has always been illegal most places in the US, so that's not a problem here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:45 AM
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I think patronizing prostitutes has always been illegal

It's just rude.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:47 AM
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You can only talk down to prostitutes in Nevada outside Clark County.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:47 AM
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D'oh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:48 AM
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"On you, the pleather miniskirt looks good, honestly."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:48 AM
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To which Brad Pitt responds, "Don't patronize me. I'll kill you," thus uniting all the threads.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:52 AM
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The police themselves, it was determined, needed in-depth training and orientation to what the Swedish public and legislature already understood profoundly.

Yes, please impart your wisdom to the police who are interacting with these people every day for years at a time. How is it the cops never noticed what was really going on? Probably just dumb I guess. I propose we further improve society by using certain members of the legislature and press as a clean burning alternative to coal.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:21 AM
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I assumed the cops understood, but not profoundly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:23 AM
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My only vaguely informed sense is that sex worker advocates in the US do not think highly of the Swedish model.

My completely uninformed belief is that this would make sense. Advocates for sex workers, one supposes, would like to see them protected, not put out of business.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:33 AM
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12 was me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:34 AM
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Well, right. If the question is "How should society deal with prostitution?", someone characterizing themselves as a sex worker advocate is probably committed to an answer that includes "In a manner that supports people who choose to work as prostitutes in continuing to do so." Any answers incompatible with that are probably going to be outside what a sex worker advocate is willing to consider.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:46 AM
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4. True enough, but it's not widely enforced, is it? Because patriarchy, I guess.

Some places have experimented with making the names of Johns public, but I get the impression it hasn't been widespread or consistent.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 11:57 AM
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Analogy ban and all that, but this seems an awful lot like legalizing drug dealing while criminalizing the purchase of drugs. And that doesn't seem like it would work well.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:00 PM
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Assisting sex workers out of the business is likely to assist them right back into poverty absent what I assume is Sweden's generous safety net. Everyone I know who does or has done sex work (and I do have several sex worker friends - and not just the "I'm from an upper middle class family and think it's transgressive to do a little light pin-up modeling while I finish my MA" variety about whom one hears so much) chose this particular line of work because the hours are relatively flexible, the pay is good and you just need to be reasonably attractive, reasonably good at helping the partner enjoy [sexual activities], willing to put in the work in terms of waxing/hair dye/etc and fairly tough-minded and street-wise. You don't, for instance, need a college degree or a clean criminal record or the ability to work fifteen hour shifts or a social media profile which suggests that you are a good "fit" for "our team", or to have had the same gender identity your whole life so that all your documents match up, etc.

The sex workers I know have children. Providing for the kids while working comparatively few hours is important to them - in one case because other child care options are basically non-existent. Financially, the two people I know who are currently doing sex work are miles and miles better off and more secure than they were before, and there are no other employment options that are half as good available to them.

It's true that because sex work is illegal and/or stigmatized, it is difficult to get into a different line of business as you get older, but that's not generally one's first consideration when the rent is due.

It seems to me that the complex of events that push women (and some men) into sex work are the results of patriarchy/patriarchal violence but I'm not entirely happy with the idea that doing sex work is itself necessarily for all time the result of patriarchal violence.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:01 PM
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"I'm from an upper middle class family and think it's transgressive to do a little light pin-up modeling while I finish my MA"

Apparently, I knew the wrong people in graduate school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:23 PM
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Didn't we have another thread about this in the last few months? Or maybe I'm starting to mix up things I read at the other place with things I read here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:27 PM
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Not exactly about this, but yeah, I think there was a fairly recent thread on related topics. I'm not remembering specifically enough to pin it down, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:32 PM
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and not just the "I'm from an upper middle class family and think it's transgressive to do a little light pin-up modeling while I finish my MA" variety about whom one hears so much

Is this widely considered to be sex work?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:32 PM
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21: Really I was just thinking about back in the late nineties/early 2000s when you couldn't read Salon, Bust or the Utne Reader without encountering an article about some wealthy young white woman's experience in burlesque, pin-up modeling or phone sex and how this was sex work and sex work was empowerful for women and critics were just anti-sex killjoys, etc etc.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:39 PM
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21: Whatever you did and whatever you want to call it is fine with us.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:40 PM
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Assisting sex workers out of the business is likely to assist them right back into poverty absent what I assume is Sweden's generous safety net.

Well, right -- that seemed to me to be the claim the linked article was making, that social services sufficient to support sex workers in transitioning to doing something else were a necessary part of reducing the amount of sex work. Without that, just changing the law enforcement response, while there might be some sort of harm reduction possibilities, isn't going to do much to reduce the amount of sex work happening.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:50 PM
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Maybe a good first step for the US would be having an SVU that doesn't ignore all reported crimes for three years, say in New Orleans.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:50 PM
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24: I just think it's so vanishingly unlikely that the US would ever provide meaningful work assistance to sex workers that enlightened topless Sweden might as well be enlightened topless Mars. Even if we did have some kind of program, I'm sure it would be all shame-y and about channeling women into horrible, joyless working class jobs.

(Actually, a couple of years ago I read some interviews with either Swedish or Danish former sex workers - I can't google for it at work, obviously - who were doing pretty badly. In one case, it seemed to be because depression and anxiety had led her to be unable to do work other than prostitution in the first place and so now she was just really, really depressed and unemployed; in another, it was because she still faced tremendous stigma in the community and her kid was horrendously picked on at school, plus she had missed the window on a lot of stuff in terms of education and career possibilities. Both the women did have perfectly decent housing, though. The article seemed kind of pessimistic, but that might just be because it was by a Swede. Or a Dane.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 12:59 PM
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Another thought: I feel like a lot of these "help the sex workers out of sex work" programs that I have encountered are super bound up in respectability politics - like, even if the organizers can grasp that people do sex work out of economic necessity, they have trouble understanding that sex work might actually be not just better paid but more pleasant than, say, working as a cleaner at Best Western.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:01 PM
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Well this is the underlying question/issue, isn't it? Absent economic need and patriarchal bullshit*, how much sex work would happen, and how would the workers feel about it? I can imagine a few different outcomes (reduced supply + unchanged demand = high end hookers only (the 1% triumphs again); sex work is heavily destigmatized/reduced in violence, and "working" a bit on the side becomes a common thing), but clearly those first two hurdles is difficult, and there's no real way to figure out in advance what's most likely.

*varying degrees of possibility/plausibility: come the Twistylution, the post-patriarchal landscape is unrecognizable; diminution of old-fashioned patriarchal moralism; widespread adoption of egalitarian feminism. But the point is, under anything like current social conditions wrt gender roles, prostitution will be an ugly business, whether there's an economic safety net or not.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:04 PM
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How much sex would a sex worker work if a sex worker could twerk a meaningful social safety net lift out of poverty? It's a gas to say it fast!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:10 PM
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I expect that sex work will be significantly destigmatized to the "lots of [poor] people "work" a little bit on the side" level, just because workers are losing so much ground right now.

I do not fit in well with my feminist peers because I tend to think sex work is a different and more intrusive kind of work and that the particular set of things that all get commodified together in sex work are what make this so - that is, as much as there's bodily intrusive and gendered and affective-compliance labor everywhere you turn, when you put all that stuff together you get something more intense than other categories and this is not just the result of stigma. I also think that the whole "sex work is pretty much the equivalent of working at McDonald's but so much better paid" line of reasoning is very much the product of the usual neoliberal understanding of the economic individual.

So what I imagine will happen is that as workers lose ground - as work generally becomes more bodily invasive (ever increasing, ever cheaper ways to monitor employee health, for instance) and demanding of affective compliance (given how much surveillance employers and the state are capable of, and how much social media presence can affect employability) sex work is going to look better and better - ie, working class labor is going to become more and more like sex work, except also requiring fifty hour weeks and a clean criminal record, etc. (Consider Washio and all that kind of thing - it's not sex work, but it's intrusive, sexualized and creepy as only a tech bro can make it.)

So sex work will become more attractive, and it will also become more necessary with increasing economic inequality. Because more people will need to do it, stigma will decrease. Then, of course, wages for sex work will also decrease because of increased supply.

Basically, I hate everyone and am just waiting for some kind of Oryx and Crake scenario.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:18 PM
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I just googled Washio, because I hadn't heard of it. A laundry service with pickup and delivery? I'm not getting the creepy factor. I mean, it's very plausible that they're terrible to work for, but what's the specific?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:28 PM
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Did any of y'all read the column in Slate about monopoly in the porn industry? Not sure I can get link on phone while at work. Try this. Local increase in sex worker supply seems to be one result. It is interesting and horrible.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:31 PM
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31: Oh, the creepy factor was that I read some interview with the founder where he was just sort of dribbling creepily about hiring down on their luck models and actresses and how great it would be to have your laundry picked up and delivered by really attractive people. And that strikes me as the mentality of the future: "gee, why shouldn't I use economic inequality to insure that only the hottest poor people get to compete for work scrubbing my toilets?" (Not to mention that this kind of mentality is obviously going to spill over into actual sexual harassment since there's no employer accountability.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:32 PM
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Pret à manger are a great, repellent example of this, check out this: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n01/paul-myerscough/short-cuts

or if the LRB is paywalled, this: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112204/pret-manger-when-corporations-enforce-happiness

"Pret doesn't merely want its employees to lend their minds and bodies; it wants their souls, too. It will not employ anyone who is "here just for the money." Noting that one Pret worker in London got fired soon after he tried to start a union--the company maintained it was for making homophobic comments--Myerscough suggested the worker's true offense was being unhappy enough to want to start a union, since "Pret workers aren't supposed to be unhappy." The sin commenceth with the thought, not the deed."

I think this came up before in the same context actually...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:38 PM
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33: Oh, ick.

But on the broader topic, this: I do not fit in well with my feminist peers because I tend to think sex work is a different and more intrusive kind of work..., and the rest of what you said in that paragraph, is about where I am on the topic, which leaves me completely uncertain about what policies are best from a harm-reduction point of view, and particularly what's practical from a US politics point of view.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:42 PM
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"what I assume is Sweden's generous safety net"

What counts as generous?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:47 PM
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Oh thank God. 5 weeks ago AB had a regular checkup, and for the 2nd consecutive time they found some abnormal cells in her pap smear, and so sent her to have a biopsy done (with a 4 week delay, thanks Obamacare). The cells this year were a bit more abnormal (hope I'm not losing you with the jargon), so it's been a stressful month.

Anyway, good news just arrived, all clear. Phew.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:49 PM
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And now I can use my joke:

If she ends up getting a hysterectomy, I hope we get some sort of refund on the IUD they just put in a few months ago.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:50 PM
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Yay, lack of cervical cancer, and take this as a reminder to get both of your kids the HPV vaccine when the time comes in a few years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:50 PM
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Glad to hear it!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:51 PM
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Not cancer is good. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:54 PM
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Proof of up to date HPV vaccination will be required for employment in the new affective labor economy!

Excellent news re no cancer.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 1:59 PM
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33: What the Hotness of Your Waitress Says About the Economy.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:00 PM
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36 was me.

I don't know a whole lot about this. I've read all kinds of conflicting claims about the law in foreign media. Given that it's basically not enforced and being a john wasn't remotely socially acceptable prior to 99, I have to wonder if it really changed all that much?

Maybe the law has frozen 1999 attitudes to prostitution in place and escorts would have been more of a thing now without it. (Not sure I believe that either.)


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:10 PM
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The affective-labor thing is interesting thinking about the hospital world. As everyone tries to push up their patient experience ratings (partially influencing Medicare payments), there's a lot of focus on the need to get employees more polite, responsive, etc. as a norm. I think to the extent this is affective labor, it's more specifically needed in the hospital world, where the people being served tend to be going through a lot and indifference just heaps onto that. But of course the employees tend to be greatly burdened too, or burned out.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:12 PM
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38: Wait, wait. IUDs are free. THANKS, OBAMACARE.
(I know, I know, they can still charge for the ultrasound, etc.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:13 PM
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Anyway! Hooray for the good news!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:14 PM
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Isn't there a vast difference between politeness, even pleasantness, and forced seductiveness/chumminess? Politeness when functioning as a shared norm preserves both parties' dignity, autonomy and privacy. What PaM and other employers are demanding is something else. Give me formality every time over weird, coerced, fake "enthusiasm". Yuck.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:17 PM
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43: I was quite struck by this quote:

A Soho restaurateur I know recently received applications from "a couple of classic Eastern European fembots. Once upon a time, these ladies must've made $1,500 a night lap dancing. At my place, they're not going to make that in a week."

because that's exactly it - a racialized, geography/history-based hierarchy of desirability which can be calculated, at any given moment, down the the dollar and which speaks but doesn't speak of the historical and political forces which create it. (Ie, the message is that pretty Eastern European women are slutty and stupid, and that's why they are both desirable and sex workers...post-Soviet conditions are understood, so that we know that these pretty Eastern European women don't have a lot of economic options, but that's not politicized in any way. Also, working class people who are successful are despicable - no one is saying "and these two Eastern European women who put a ton of time into going to the gym and doing their hair and body maintenance generally and who therefore build on their natural gifts and earn a lot of money"....that was one thing that really astonished me when I talked to friends about it, the sheer amount of time and money that goes into body maintenance for anything but the most low-paid sex work. It's super intensive - not just being pretty and making sure to wax and wear lipstick.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:19 PM
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46: Oh, that's funny. All I know about it is that they're lucrative as hell for the M/dwife Center. The reimbursement rates are great.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:19 PM
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30, 35: Yes, it is difficult to find a consistent intellectual position that allows one to say, on the one hand, "Women who choose to do sex work should not be shamed for or punished for doing it." but at the same time "Women who need money and have no other means of earning it should not be shamed or punished for not choosing to do sex work."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:20 PM
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"The Madwife Center. We're selling contraception at such low prices, we must be crazy."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:21 PM
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Wait - there are people being shamed for NOT choosing sex work?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:22 PM
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making sure to wax and wear lipstick

Sounds intensive enough right there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:22 PM
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53: Not directly, but if the alternatives are no work or a really crappy and poorly paying job, we certainly shame people in the former and arguably are punishing those in the latter.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:26 PM
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IUDs are free if preventative - if there's some specific indication for it the insurance company may try to assert it's like anything else curative. Not sure which side the law falls on.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:26 PM
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53: Well, there's a consistent position there. (1) If there is honest work available that you're qualified for and can get hired to do, it's shameful not to support yourself, unless you have some particular excuse for not working, combined with (2) sex work is just work, that should not be stigmatized in any way as different from other paying work. At that point, it becomes plausible to look at any reasonably attractive young woman having a hard time finding work, and blame her (as both lazy and bigoted about sex work/sex workers) for not wanting to be a prostitute.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone take this position, but it does seem like a logical consequence of a fully sex-work positive set of assumptions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:30 PM
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Wait - there are people being shamed for NOT choosing sex work?

No, but if you want to take the position that sex work is a job just like any other job, with no added stigma, then doesn't it follow that unemployed people who are receiving public assistance would be asked to consider sex work?

Not saying that that would in any way be a good thing. It's just that the position seems to be that "sex work is a regular job, just like any other job, except when it's not."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:33 PM
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30, etc: This is why I think the people who argue that robots are going to put us all out of work are misdiagnosing the consequences. As wages drop, the demand for pliable servants will prove limitless.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:40 PM
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56: Do you know where to look to find out more? I've been torn between drug-eluting IUD and ablation for ages and haven't done either. If I could get the IUD for free, though, that would be a game-changer, but just a basic wire one wouldn't help for my non-contraceptive purposes. Hmm.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:40 PM
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This is why I think the people who argue that robots are going to put us all out of work are misdiagnosing the consequences.

I, for one, welcome our new robot prostitutes.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:43 PM
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61. It's like you didn't even see the movie about falling in "love" with Siri.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:46 PM
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I didn't, actually. Waiting for it to hit Netflix.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:47 PM
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I just realized, with horror, that Netflix is my new robot prostitute.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:48 PM
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women who put a ton of time into going to the gym and doing their hair and body maintenance generally and who therefore build on their natural gifts and earn a lot of money

Let me recommend (again), American Plastic. It isn't a great book, but I found her discussion of the way in which plastic surgery is sold as an economic investment -- spend $X thousand in order to look younger as a way to help one's career -- very interesting, and not something I'd run into before.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:53 PM
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I had no idea IUDs had non-contraceptive purposes.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:54 PM
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56: Which is funny, because when I first looked into getting one pre-Obamacare, my otherwise very good insurance wouldn't pay unless it was curative.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:55 PM
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60: Free for me, but there was weirdness this time around (post-Obamacare, same big insurer, different state and policy). Before, the IUD was just a thing that was stocked at the office. This time, it worked like a prescription, but I had to fill it with a particular company for insurance to pay. I ended up calling my insurer to get it sorted, and they were helpful. The process was doctor prescription, mail order for the actual product with delivery to the doctor's office, then second appointment. Everything was free.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 2:57 PM
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Oh I get it now, this is theoretical, not actually happening anywhere we know of shaming for refusing sex work.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 3:00 PM
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It was apparently raised as a possibility in Germany a few years back and the story grew in the telling. (Warning: Stupid sound on loading.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 3:09 PM
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Follow up to 68: Section of Mirena website entitled, "Getting Mirena for free."


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 3:14 PM
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Melissa Gira Grant expresses doubts about the effectiveness of the "Nordic model" here. That whole interview is really good and certainly cuts against most of the assumptions in the OP.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 4:47 PM
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Thanks, ydnew!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 5:59 PM
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This was in my FB feed the other day. From one of you people, maybe?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 6:06 PM
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Where is the consideration given to quality of service ? Where is Uber/RooshV to disrupt the pre-coital market ?
Also, the cis-gendered heteronormative presumption in most sexwork discussions disgusts me.


Posted by: Opinionated Bunga Bunga or rent-boi in hiding ? | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 8:25 PM
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38: Under Obamacare the IUD should have been free to you as contraceptive care, no? (It's preventive.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 8:28 PM
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46: My insurance has no co-pay on imaging. Not all ob/gyns do the imaging.

I'm going to have to get a new one or just lose mine, because it's too low in my uterus. Cramping and back ache. So I had the pleasure of getting an ultrasound today.

Get this. When I was in the ER, I didn't feel comfortable leaving right away with just fluids, IV antibiotics, Zofran and a new script for a different antibiotic. Because I still had pain which had worsened and changed while I was waiting to be seen.

So the Resident talked to the Attending, and they did a CT scan. No sign that the UTI had travelled to the kidneys.

OK, it turns out that my IUD is low in my uterus, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN TELL ME THIS WHEN I WAS THERE. The ED did call to follow up, and they said that the CT scan showed that it was low, so I needed to be careful and they would probably do an ultrasound, and maybe my PCP would do it, and I asked whether an OB wasn't the person to do it. And she asked whether they had told me anything in the ER. And the answer was NO. So she said, "well maybe that's because it wasn't what you went in for". Except that I went in for pain--which was apparently due not only to the infection and puking but also to the IUD placement.

Seriously?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 8:39 PM
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57-69: It's worse than shame. In Germany, they can kick you off welfare if you refuse to become a prostitute. (Or maybe not.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:22 PM
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Also if sex work is legal, why can't probuding sexual services be a potential part of any job contract.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:29 PM
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I've been trying to come up with a pot joke based on "probuding" but I haven't come up with anything yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:47 PM
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Providing, auto-correct did not save me


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:56 PM
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It's probably high.

(There we go.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-12-14 10:57 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 13, 2014 - A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills - the ability to mentally manipulate objects - can roam farther and have children with more mates.
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I'm fairly sure that the report on Sweden is like almost all others, bullshit (though the law is as described) but haven't checked it out yet. It's just that all stories involving topless enlightened Sweden as the country where all social problems have been solved by the One Weird Trick which the doctors are trying to suppress fire off my bullshit siren.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 1:56 AM
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Where would we be without Snopes. People believe enough bullshit as it is.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 2:02 AM
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83: essear is going to have so many babies.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 2:04 AM
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Actually, from the description that study seems to be pretty well-done, and the results are interesting. This does give me pause, though:

The study involved members of the Twe (pronounced tway) and Tjimba (pronounced chim-bah) tribes, which live in a mountainous, semiarid desert area. They have some goats and cows, and they collect berries, tubers and honey, and tend gardens with maize and some melons and pumpkin

Because a society that raises goats and cattle and cultivates maize and pumpkins is clearly a close analogue for the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers from which all modern humans descend.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 2:08 AM
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The idea that women, on average, are less good at spatial problem solving than men is very old. It's argued that employers who use standard IQ tests which include them as part of the aptitude testing process actively discriminate against women candidates by doing so. (And not that they actively discriminate against women candidates because they're actively discriminatory, oh dear me no, heaven forfend!) I have no idea if this is a real effect or if it's still an issue, but it was a live one when I was being subjected to these things.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 2:45 AM
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The idea that women, on average, are less good at spatial problem solving than men is very old.

It was my impression that it was actually true as well; that there are, for whatever reason, significant differences in both directions between men and women on things like spatial reasoning, verbal ability etc. But this may now have been disproved?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 3:45 AM
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83: It's just that all stories involving topless enlightened Sweden as the country where all social problems have been solved by the One Weird Trick which the doctors are trying to suppress fire off my bullshit siren.

Yeah, the 'one weird trick' approach to social policy is essentially the modus operandi for the American center and left of center. There's some technique those Finnish elementary teachers have, let's try and learn it, what if we tried V-chips and school uniforms, etc.

Really it's just these countries have done the hard work of becoming an actual society - something America either can't or won't do - and against this backdrop, all these individual social problems are way more tractable.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 4:06 AM
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You'd kind of expect it to be true, even without evolutionary reasoning - boys and girls get such different sets of influences and pressures that it wouldn't be at all surprising if boys grew up better at skills related to playing lots of sports (like hand-eye coordination and spatial reasoning) because they get told to go and play lots of sports.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 4:07 AM
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I think any one weird Scandinavian trick which amounts to poverty reduction is going to work quite well, actually, at assisting whatever cover problem is the focus.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 4:29 AM
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91: Sure, this is a big chunk of what I meant by "the hard work of becoming a society": having a robust welfare state and raising the taxes necessary to fund it.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 4:48 AM
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The Mirena works brilliantly for some women, but not all. I got one a year ago on the enthusiastic recommendation of friends whose periods became lighter or stopped completely when they had it inserted. Unfortunately in a small percentage of women it works the other way, causing irregular bleeding that never settles down. Having a period for at least two weeks out of every four wasn't exactly the contraceptive mechanism I'd envisaged.


Posted by: Nell Gwynne | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:16 AM
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Also if sex work is legal, why can't providing sexual services be a potential part of any job contract.

I am not sure what the fear is here. Are you worried that it will become impossible to get a job as, say, a secretary, because all the job descriptions will be written to read "secretary with benefits"? I don't think that's happened in any country where sex work's been legalised.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:21 AM
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92. Watching the collapse of that process from the inside has a horrible fascination, besides being profoundly depressing.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:23 AM
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You all were so supportive when I was actually sick, but now I'm still freaked out that they missed/ almost didn't tell me something pretty significant, and I get nothing.

And now I'm getting a cold too.

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Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:31 AM
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Also if sex work is legal, why can't providing sexual services be a potential part of any job contract.

A while back, before they moved decisively toward regularizing sex work, Germany had a legal conundrum inasmuch as prostitution was not criminal, but still considered Sittenwidrig (contra bonos mores). A contract to provide sex against payment was therefore unenforceable. Because the industry typically operates on a cash prepayment basis, there wasn't a big practical problem with noncollectable receivables. But the legal glitch did severely complicate efforts to improve working conditions for sex workers, because they could not enjoy the benefits of the otherwise mandatory contract of employment that is the heart of employee protection under German labor law.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:40 AM
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96. I hadn't notice the latest wrinkle in your story because I'm five hours behind you. That totally sucks, but surely you don't need to see a consultant to fix it; a gyne nurse should be capable.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 5:41 AM
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93: For me, the main benefit would be to stop developing uterine polyps which then bleed copiously, so if it made bleeding worse that would be a failure and I guess I'd have to have it removed. I'm looking into it more seriously finally, though.

Bostoniangirl, that's really bizarre. Your whole story about getting various calls about what's been going on that they should have told you already is not how (AFAIK) things work here or should work anywhere. Do you think the overcrowding is impacting care?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 6:08 AM
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Sorry, me again. Apparently my computer plans to forget me every day now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 6:41 AM
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77: That's lousy. I'm sorry it's one thing on top of another. I hope it's easily remedied (or that the position turns out to be basically fine and whoever read the CT second was wrong). Maybe not that it's not emergency care,you'll get more focused attention. Good luck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 7:40 AM
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Thanks ydnew, chris y and Thorn. Sorry to grumble.

99: Probably overcrowding is affecting the care downtown. This is a frickin Harvard Teaching Hospital. I also think that they are under a lot of pressure to get people out quick, so the community hospital/satellite campus I went to was not crazy busy, but they patch up your symptoms and kick you out. At the suburban location, they are always posting their wait times, and I think they are under a ton of pressure to keep those low and make their turnaround times quick.

The benefit of going to the hospital my PCP is affiliated with/ and or the suburban affiliate is that they have access to all of my records, so the attending at the downtown hospital was able to look at my bloodwork from Saturday.

My PCP still hasn't called back but the family planning clinic at the hospital (where they do abortions too) was in touch, and I actually spoke to an NP there this morning. They want to make sure that I don't get pregnant.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 8:09 AM
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101: I saw the sonogram yesterday. It was pretty low, and I need to have it taken out. I should have grabbed an earlier appointment despite a conflict. It's not super comfortable right now, but I have to wait about 10 days.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-13-14 8:11 AM
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