Savage Love Aug 30, 2016 at 4:00 am

Client Tell

Joe Newton


So Dan is aware that forced feminization is a real kink, and the guy wanting to adopt boys and force them, or rather, "encourage" them to wear girl's clothes, is just laying out one of his masturbatory fantasies, right?
DAFT made me shudder, as well. If people are confusing homosexuality with paedophilia, it's because of guys like DAFT. DAFT, step awaaaaay from the early school-age boys. Now.
@ 1 - He could also mistakenly but earnestly believe that, since he was prevented from exploring his feminine side by wearing girl's clothes as a child, he'd be doing these boys a favour by liberating them from the heteronormative oppression he suffered from (or something similar). He doesn't seem to realize that in order for him to actually help someone, that person must first need help.

DAFT: not every male, gay or straight, needs to express his feminine side by wearing women's clothes (not every male has enough of a feminine side to want to express it at all, for that matter). Children are not Ken dolls for you to dress up. To do children a favour, we must let them discover and be who they are at their own pace. Yours is not an example for the whole human race to follow, and wanting to impose it to children is just as bad as any other sort of psychological abuse. You would be the worst possible sort of parent: abusive, yet convinced of his own righteousness.
I am on the fence about legalizing prostitution, despite years of in depth reading of books, articles, and arguments on both sides. I've been a sex worker (a stripper, no touching - call it Sex work lite), and more recently I've worked closely with dozens of trafficked women who have horrifying stories to tell. What bothers me about the legalization folks is that they - including Dan - have very little to say about sex trafficking, except usually to deny it exists or to minimize the extent of it. I don't deny that there are plenty of fully voluntary, empowered sex workers out there, and I respect their needs and rights in any conversation on the subject. So why can't the full-legalization folks address the very real issue of sex slavery and tell me how they propose to protect vulnerable women and children in the context of legalization?
@4 Legal prostitution and sex trafficking are two completely different issues.

You can be for legal sex work and against trafficking.

In fact, I'll posit that by having legal sex work with appropriate laws around it, it would both reduce demand for any trafficked sex workers *and* make it easier to find and release them from whatever situation they are in.

I want to adopt early school-age boys and teach them that they can explore their feminine side by wearing female clothes.

Nooooooooooooooooope. This screams "teach" as a euphemism for sexualized paternalism. Nope nope nope.

It's okay to model that it's fine for men to wear women-gendered clothes by doing so yourself in daily life, and it's okay to support a child if ze comes to decide for zirself that ze is into cross-dressing or other genderqueer self-expression, but this screams coercion. Please do not inflict yourself on any children.

@gueralinda #4: I don't believe you; I think you're either lying about having read a lot from pro-legalization activists or you're lying about not hearing anything about trafficking. I suspect this because one of the big arguments in favor of legalization is that it can help combat trafficking by moving what is a black/grey market trade into the legal market so it can be better regulated, so that sex workers are free to go to law enforcement without risking prosecution, so that legal and non-exploitative sex work can be more easily differentiated from trafficking becasue trafficking will still be illegal. Indeed, all of the major human rights organizations Dan cites in the article make some or all of these arguments in favor of legalization.

If you're not lying, there are a number of other possibilities. Legalization proponents might not think to address trafficking in conversations with you, personally, because you both agree it's bad, so the points of contention and thus discussion are other issues. They may not think to bring it up because it's already illegal and would still be illegal, so the only way that trafficking gets injected into conversations around legalizing sex work is when people like you try to use it as a way to argue against legalization (you're doing the equivalent of going into a space where workers are advocating for a $15 minimum wage and demanding that they focus on how that will help end the still-existing slave labor systems). They might not bring it up becasue they don't know what else to do about it beyond what we're already doing. They might not bring it up because they view it as a separate issue; they're advocating for the rights of sex workers in a given context, not focused on attacking human trafficking and helping sex slaves at that particular moment. The better question is why you think not supporting the legalization of sex work somehow helps end trafficking when you're simultaneously arguing that it remains a serious problem in a context where sex work is illegal.
LW2's obsessive harping on female clothes makes me wonder what he's imposing on BF.
John, I'm not a liar. I'm also not an expert, I'm just a layperson who is interested in the topic and has done a lot of reading. I also happen to have a fair amount of personal experience, because my job intersects with them sometimes, with women who have been trafficked and/or coerced into prostitution. That may color my position, how could it not? Believe me if you had to listen to these stories and see the pain, it would affect you too. I don't normally engage directly in conversations about sex work, partly because I know the kind of vitriol I would be exposing myself to. Your politely calling me a liar is the least of it. You attempt to separate the issues of sex work and sex slavery, but in the very next sentence you say legalization would diminish the problem of trafficking - which certainly shows you know they are linked in some ways. I don't believe we can have an honest conversation about legalization while pretending that commercialIzed sex abuse doesn't exist, or that it is completely divorced from the sex industry. That is what I often see on the pro-legalization side - an insistence that we need not talk about coerced prostitution because it just isn't relevant. I call bullshit on that. I don't pretend to have answers - I don't even have a firm position! I just want people to have as much concern for the vulnerable unwilling prostitutes as they do for the willing, empowered ones.
Oops sorry I see I conflated two comments - it was the commenter before John who said legalization would reduce trafficking.
Going public as someone who visits sex workers? Yeah, no. Not going to happen. I don't want to be considered a rapist, a despicable creep or a sad loser (or all of the above) by everyone I know for the rest of my life. Hell, even most sex workers consider their clients sad losers.

(Sex work is legal where I live, by the way, though the "Nordic model" is being advocated more and more lately.)
Oh, and also? Trafficking is still a problem here with sex work itself being legal.
I'm sorry, I see I conflated the two comments before mine; it was the commenter above John who said that legalization would reduce trafficking.
Dammit! Sorry for repeating myself- something weird about my connection I guess. Registered European - good point about a legal market not eliminating an illegal one. I think we have examples of that in just about every industry. Pirated movies? Under the table workers?
Dan was reading books during his vacation? THERE GOES 3 WEEKS OF FANTASY OUT THE WINDOW! - Thanks, Dan!! (Hope you're well rested...)

And @ "4" - You're not a sex worker, you're an entertainer, (unless your audience are whackin' the dolphin right there in front of you...)
@14 - that's exactly right, they were :)
I think we should make a drinking game out of LW2's letter... how many effing times did someone in that letter want to "explore his feminine side by wearing female clothes"?
The second letter is obviously fake. No one actually writes like that...

It was me you were responding to. Of course, there is a relation between sex work and trafficking, I never said otherwise. There's a relationship between cars and car crashes. I can be for cars and against car crashes just like I can be for sex workers rights and against trafficking.

My point is that by legalizing sex work, the consensual workers would no longer be at risk of prosecution. There would be more resources to go after traffickers without those resources being spent on the men and women doing this as their chosen career.

Secondly, by having laws that require some conditions to be a sex worker (testing, licensing, something) there then becomes the opportunity to identify and help trafficking victims when they "employer" is busted for not following these standards or by having trained personnel identify at risk people when they go in for their testing/licensing/whatever.

This isn't an easy problem and pretending that keeping it illegal is some way beneficial to victims of trafficking is disingenuous at best.
"when their employer"... Proofreading for the lose. *sigh*
A couple of times when I bought tickets to the HUMP! tour film festival I suggested that a portion of the proceeds to go my *local* city's sex worker support project. It was ignored.

I'm hoping Stranger Staff read this and convince Dan and the producers of HUMP! to make this a regular part of the festival tour every year -- give a cut from ticket sales to the sex workers' rights group from that city.

And at each venue / city, prominently mention the name of the sex worker's rights group getting the donations in all the local HUMP! publicity info, posters, press releases, and interviews...

Most cities have just one organization of sex workers and it's seriously underfunded and rarely reported on in the local press. Visibility and money is needed most as these movements start at the grass roots, city and state level.

This will really help.

In NYC, the Red Umbrella Project does great work, and even though people think NYC and NY are sex positive they have really repressive policing policies against sex workers just like Seattle does.
That's entirely possible, Monkey, but has it actually played out that way in any instances of legalization in other countries? If legalization has ever resulted in a lasting, significant decline in coerced/underage/trafficked psrotitition, I'm unaware of it. But I hold out hope we could design a system that does what you say. I certainly don't think it's impossible, and I would support legalization if it were tied to meaningful actions to eliminate coercion in the trade. I don't have a philosophical problem with prostitution per se, I just really have a problem with ignoring some of the uglier realities. Legalizing prpstitution without addressing trafficking and coercion is like legalizing all drugs without addressing addiction. Mandatory disclaimer - that's an analogy; it's not meant to say that sex work and the drug trade are equivalent, or that people who patronize sex workers are addicts. Should be obvious, but you have to say it.
There are hundreds of worthy sex+ causes a portion of HUMP! ticket sales *could* go to, but none is more stigmatized in the USA, more criminalized, and less well funded with less mainstream visibility than the legalization of sex work (or more accurately, decriminalization).
@2 BiDanFan: You beat me to it again. Brrrrrr- about DAFT. Ig.

Right on, NAJ! Dan's right--there should be more out there like you, keeping up the fight to protect sex workers.

Thank you, Orlando Dan, London Dan, and Brooklyn Dan--and Dan the Man Savage for a continually kickass column!
Griz is again off topic, and my sincerest apologies to Dan and everybody in advance (those who want to skip to the next comment, feel free to do so).
Is there a way we can not just deport, but actually hurtle Donald Trump and his rightwingnut henchpig, Pence, ad nauseum one way into outer space while there is still time to save this dying planet? I have had to scroll down on Yahoo news, and tear off the front page of today's newspaper after the latest Heil Hatred Rally.
Military service connected PTSD issues aside, the political atmosphere is depressing as fuck.
DAFT - I'm sorry, but you are clueless, and pissing me off. Warning - tl:dr.

About parenting: raising biological children is hard work. Raising adopted children is often harder. Being adopted past the age of 3 is typically so challenging that kids who are adopted from foster care at that age - or older - are automatically considered to be at-risk by the state, and are eligible for various forms of support through DSHS to try to counteract the damage they have suffered. These kids usually have issues that make your boyfriend waffling over being out about wearing female clothes look like a stroll in the park by comparison.

Oh, and by the way, in spite of what you may see at Walmart, children are not glorified dolls for you to dress according to your whim; nor are they tools to use for proselytizing the insensitive masses.

About adoption: no one is going to waltz up to you and say "Here, have my 8 year old, and teach him to wear female clothes without shame." Regardless of whether you pursue international or domestic adoption, and if domestic, whether you pursue private or foster-adoption, the process takes at least a year, and usually more. It is full of opportunities for someone with power over you to say "Heck, no - you are not the least bit ready to be a parent." Based on your letter, I think you'd be likely to hear that pretty early in the process - probably at the first informational meeting.

About providing opportunities for the youth: if you feel strongly about it, craft a presentation and shop it around to faculty advisors of GSA's (Gay Straight Alliance) at local high schools. Some of the more "liberal" churches might have a youth program you could tap into. The local Universalist Unitariah church is worth a try.
Ricardo@3 & Still Thinking@26...Well said! DAFT, please seek out counseling, you have some seriously misguided ideas about treating living, breathing children like dolls. I had to take a shower after reading your letter to get the "ick" off.

As for legalizing sex work, that still wouldn't make trafficking legal, and it could be prosecuted at any time. Theoretically, it might even make prosecution more likely, as it would free up resources otherwise devoted to policing and prosecuting consenting adults who just want to get their freak on.
@2 I think the 'confusion' you describe might more accurately be described as 'malicious conflation' and I don't think anyone is to blame for it other than the malicious assholes that engage in it.
@4 “Those poor women are being abused! Let’s throw them in jail, that’ll teach them!”

Seriously, how is persecuting sex workers supposed to help sex workers? If you don’t mind people being sex workers willingly and you want to save those that are forced into it, then why is your go to solution to just punish the lot of them?

And no, legalizing sex work will of course not get rid of all human trafficking. The majority of human trafficking isn’t even about sex work but about cheap labour in general. Because even though you can legally hire household aids, farm hands and factory workers there are still people who go for slavery because it’s cheap (and there’s just as much abuse and torture going on, as well as sexual violence). And yet nobody demands that we ban all labour until we can be sure that nobody is forced to work against their will and/or under bad conditions.

Note also that while slavery is illegal, being a slave is not, i.e. a slave doesn’t get arrested for being a slave. Maybe we should change that? Clearly slavery is only an issue because it’s way too safe. Once we start punishing the slaves, slave labour will end and human trafficking will be gone forever! It’s a perfect plan!
@4, @8, @22 gueralinda - you say you've read many books on full legalization and have never heard pro-legalization talk about sex trafficking. Are you reading impaired?

In @22 you use the analogy of legalizing drugs without addressing addiction. Glad you raised drugs because the comparison is very apt.

This is exactly the argument otherwise progressive people use to keep drugs illegal -- oh, but they will still addict people. Well, duh. Sex trafficking and drug addiction are HAPPENING NOW in areas where sex work and drug buying are illegal. They will STILL BE HAPPENING after legalization. Unfortunate, sad, but reality sucks. The question is, which results in the LOWER levels of harm? Legalization!

We've tried (we = all countries in the world) criminalizing drugs. And criminalizing sex work. It just makes for big profits for dealers and shattered lives. This experiment has been run.

Sure, in European areas with legalized sex work there is still trafficking. But not more trafficking. Especially if you substract out the sex tourism effect due to "islands" of legalization. If you've read books on this, you'll know that pro-legalization advocates carefully address these issues.

Legalization of sex and drugs (and sex workers and drug selling) is not a panacea, but it will permit lower levels of human harm. And in the case of sex work, harmless sex work in most cases: a legal market destigmatizes sex work and greatly decreases the "illegal" market profit, increases the supply of voluntary sex work. Police resources that formerly were directed against customers and workers can be exclusively directed against the few remaining traffickers.
DAFT, just so you know how any adoption agency will view you, your enjoyment of wearing women's clothes, and your thoughts about encouraging your young school age boys to express their feminine side by wearing women's clothes, watch this (skip to the 2:50 mark)…
@ 34 - Though it is probably true that you'll find a disproportionate number of gay men in such fields (in comparison with straight men), they still represent a rather small percentage of all gay men. So no, it's not that common.

There's also a sizeable gay trucker subculture, you know?
I will catch flak for this but I will admit to employing sex workers. I have known several women who do this work and they do not consider their clients to be "sad losers". They do understand men however.
I have had discussions with them over who their customers are, what their hobbies are, and so forth. One point I took was that their busiest day was Monday. Many of their clients are either married or in long-term relationships. I gather that If these men's "date night" doesn't work out they have the option to call upon their S.W. and this may then temper some of their disappointment over the weekend's entertainments.
@34 Ricardo The note on a gay subculture in over-the-road trucking is surprising. I would never have guessed that. I guess my worldview needs to be expanded.
Welcome back (the real) Dan!
Prostitution is legal in New Zealand, where I'm from. Catherine Healey, national co-ordinator for the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective has said New Zealand is the best place on Earth to be a prostitute. "I remember a time when a client didn’t pay and police arrived and escorted him to the ATM to withdraw the money." Says it all, really.
That last letter writer seems to be getting paid every time he writes variants of "explor[e] [one's] feminine side by wearing female clothes."
The 2nd LW seems like they would be unfit to be a parent.

@ 36 - I suppose you didn't do much hitchhiking in your youth.

But my point is precisely that which your comment highlights: most heterosexuals know the gay stereotypes of hairdressers, male nurses, broadway dancers, airline attendants and interior decorators (and maybe a couple more), so when they meet members of those professions that don't look particularly macho, they see it as proof of the validity of those stereotypes, they're happy to have their worldview confirmed, and they think no further.

They fail to take into consideration the possibility that not all gays are effeminate, not all gays are creative types, not all gays like women's clothes, not all gays like to drive electric cars, not all gays [insert your favorite stereotype here], so the whole gay trucker culture - among many other such subgroups - goes totally unnoticed.

Can anyone explain Joe's cartoon this week? It kills me that I'm unable to figure out the joke.
Does anyone have a link to the Honest Courtesan blog post Dan refers to repeatedly and urges people to read? He seems to have skipped that bit, and her archives aren't especially user friendly. Thanks!
@13, the vast majority of lesbian women (both cis and trans) I've met are highly interested in female clothing.

Especially shoes.
Also, @Hunter78:

"Gays are disproportionately represented in fields such as women's hair dressing, beauty salons, and fashions."

So, hair dressing, florists, fashion shops, interior designers. What do all of these have in common, economically?

They're all the kind of business where a person can be an independent operator/consultant/business owner and make a reliable living out of it. If you are the kind of person where you are at risk of being fired or never hired because of who you are, you find yourself a job where you can make a living and be your own boss. If you can't be your own boss, like a male nurse, you make sure you are in a profession where you are in high enough demand that if you have a license and you're not a total waste of oxygen, somebody will hire you and pay you a living wage. (I know age 70+ retired nurses who let their licenses lapse who get calls from recruiters offering to pay for the continuing ed courses they need to be relicensed, nurses are in that much demand.)

Because it wasn't that long ago that the only gay men who were out were the gay men who were/are so gay they couldn't be *in.* The ones who were sissy boys, or the ones who were flaming queens, or the ones who were Tom of Finland over-the-top-butch gay. They still had to live and they still had to eat, so they picked careers where they could do that. The ones who could hide in the closet and not arouse suspicion stayed in the closet, sometimes for decades, because they could stay in the closet and work as a teacher/engineer/lawyer/civil servant/whatever and live indoors and eat hot food.
If I click my heels three times while saying "I think it's fake, I think it's fake, I think it's fake" will DAFT's letter disappear? Because that is one creepy fucker.
While I join the growing number of people who question DAFT’s adoptability I’m also a jujube-wannabe this week.
The question looks like a right-wing set-up for original Dan and written by someone who doesn’t know much about real gay life, hence the constant mentioning of gay men dressing up as woman. Then comes the “inquiring” as how to implement this “lifestyle” to adopted young boys.

We’ve had too many of those outrageous questions lately and I wonder if original Dan can add a warning label, something like PFBHIIA- Probably Fake But Here It Is Anyway- at the beginning.
Slinky @46, well said! (I liked your comment @45, too.)
CMD, I heartily second your suggestion! I especially like it because it looks like it would be pronounced "Phibia"...sort of like a phobia about fibbers. And yeah, I think DAFT is either a pedophilic wolf in ewe's clothing, or a giant fibbing fibber and gay/trans baiter. I'd greatly prefer for him to be the latter, since the former is downright scary to think about.
The only way to stop this [is for] all of you clients out there get off of your duffs and fight.


Het male clients have zero credibility or power on this issue, and no one save for sex workers gives a shit what they have to say about it. If a man speaks out, he'll be dismissed as a rapist, cheater, pervert, loser, creep, misogynist, etc., who is simply fighting for his right to "exploit" women. And any male politician who takes a pro-sex work stand would be run out of office.

This is a battle between liberal feminists against the familiar alliance of regressive feminists and puritans, with men sitting on the sidelines (or in Nordic jail) hoping the former side can pull off an upset.
A guy (or woman) who pays for sex work yet doesn't speak up for decriminalization or women's welfare (or men's welfare in some cases too) is the same type of person who always stiffs because "the tipping system is unfair to employees". A different type of stiff to deal with... still a predator exploiting the system.

We'll all be cold stiffs underground someday. But how you treat your fellow humans will affect your time walking around on this earth.
I do agree with Gueralinda that women will only vote to decriminalize prostitution when forced/coerced sex work is addressed too. Like pot, it will be regulated, and we need to make sure that we are not punishing victims when we punish unregistered sex workers. A path to citizenship for sex-trafficked illegal immigrants would be a good first step. Along with counseling options and halfway houses.

Also. Sex work was criminalized by men. If they changed their minds, it would be decriminalized. But they haven't.
Article with some statistics about decriminalized sex work in new Zealand…
Mr Hunter - Theatre is not a question of beautiful presentation. We're just - through more constant practice - better actors, and the skill drives the interest.

In your gay-coded professions, there are two things at work. For one, a bit of swish, shall we say, was seen as a desirable asset by the target clientele even if they preferred to pretend they were being tended to by an amiable eunuch. (I am reminded of It's in the Water and the town matriarch complaining to her hairdresser about her daughter's coming out.) For another, straight men drove other straight men out of certain professions. Recall Peter Champion in Putting on the Ritz and his finding it preferable that the male half of the songwriting team working up Elsa's night club act should be gay, "...seeing how much time you'll be spending with my wife!"
Hunter @30: It's jane. And it's September, so you can quit your gender-reversal calisthenics now. It makes me sad that a man can believe no man could possibly be concerned for women.

Capricornius @41: Hmm. The cat (pussy) on top is the sex worker, who is being given a boost by her client to fight the oppression represented by... I can't tell what animal that's supposed to be on the left. That's my guess.
Hunter @55: "Ummm. When did the nurse become a boss?"
That was clunkily written but so obvious in its meaning, had you bothered to read the entire sentence before commenting on it.
Hunter @59: Ah, indeed, the column was dated to fall within HA -- and NAJ makes specific reference to female clients while, as you state, referring to himself as a guy. So we already have the homo content we need without jumping into conjecture we already know is inaccurate.
Ethical Johns and Janes?
part 1
Prostitution has been with us since the age of time, and most if not all attempts to stop it have failed.
While clients are by far mostly men attitudes are shifting, and the whole subject of legalization is not entirely men vs. women as portrayed by some here.

In the cases I know/heard of participants on both sides were screened by the other, and proposed action/s discussed in advance.
It should be also noted that some who look for a professional may be doing so in order to figure out things for themselves- sexuality, gender, certain acts, etc.- with the intention of possibly implementing them in their “regular” lives.

Legalized framework will take time to figure out and implement, and I suspect most pro-leg of any genitalia would like it to address issues like trafficking and forced/coerced sex.


Slinky is absolutely right that florists, hairdressers, etc. became known as "gay professions" because they were independent contractors where, because you were self-employed, you couldn't be fired if you were gay.

Plenty of closeted gay men who could pass went into other professions -- teaching, corporate jobs, everything else. Those who were naturally too effeminate to pass wouldn't get hired in those jobs and needed other alternatives. Now, why not become an independent, self-employed accountant or attorney or auto mechanic? Because the other flip side of not being fireable is also needing clientele. And the people willing to hire someone who was more flamboyant were typically women. Back in the 50s, women did the hiring for florists, hairstylists, and interior decorating. If a family needed to hire an accountant or an attorney or auto mechanic, usually it was the male head of the household who made that decision, and he'd be less likely to hire a poofter.

This isn't to say that these things never happened. But stereotypes are born from what was more likely to happen and what was more noticeable. Gays who could pass weren't noticed, and did all sorts of things. Gays who were flamboyant and effeminate couldn't pass, and ended up locked in self-employed professions with mostly female clientele. And because they were more noticeable, that's where the stereotypes were born.
When the economy is good and you have free access to its benefits, sports and the performing arts are not high on the list of high-ROI careers. When you aren’t that lucky they become reasonable career choices. Hence all the musicians coming out of Newfoundland and african-american communities (and in previous decades, Liverpool and irish and jewish communities). Rich people will pay to watch poor people fight eachother; poor people pay to watch cockfighting. Rich people pay to watch poor people clown for them; poor people pay to watch poor people assert their humanity.

Beauty parlor stuff, hospitality and the sex trade have low financial barriers to entry. You can do them without a lot of expensive equipment and tools. These days in North America we see lots of non-english-speaking asian ladies doing nails, for instance.

The sexual and ethnic composition of people in these careers says something about peoples’ options.
One of the problems of legalization that hasn't been addressed: Current purveyors of the legal businesses 'on the edge' of sex work (adult cabarets, massage parlors, etc.) benefit from its current illegal status and the laws structured to eliminate the trade as a means of controlling their employees.

Back when I was a more active customer of lap dances, I had a discussion with a few of the dancers about the licensing laws surrounding their profession. The laws (at that time, and maybe still today) placed the performers under the exclusive control of their employer. In fact, one woman suspected that Seattle's laws were probably written under the direction of Colacurcio himself, to keep them under his thumb.

In Amsterdam, where sex work is legal, some years ago there was a push to close down the little window shops and move the trade to bigger houses, under the control of central management. Some scholars had actually written what appeared to be well reasoned articles supporting this position. On the other hand, all of the sole proprietor shop window workers I talked to said that they were out of their minds. This turned out to be prescient when it was found that many of the houses were run by organized crime, including the Hell's Angels.

The status quo is supported at least as much by criminal organizations as it is by the SJWs that seek to stamp out human trafficking and are probably just naive about where their behind the scenes political support actually comes from.
Kevin @62: Thanks for that excellent explanation. To extrapolate on why women were happy to hire obviously gay men, I think it's a combination of the patriarchal assumptions that a man will be better than a woman for any given job (that doesn't involve working with children) and that a gay man is not a threat when he's alone with a woman in her home.
Hunter @66
While there are certainly different traits that make one interested or more suitable for one job or another, history and social economics often outweigh them.
Europeans Jews for example did not become bankers, doctors, or industrialists in order to control the world. Much of it derived from the fact that they were not allowed to own the most valuable property of the time, a piece of land to cultivate, and were forced into white collar jobs or whatever was newly available. Early age religious study may have helped with some basic knowledge and learning discipline, but IQ levels aren’t necessarily different than the rest of society.
As it often happens children are inspired/directed to follow their parents.

Immigrants forced to adopt further more.
The fact that first generation Vietnamese own most of the nail salons in Savageville nowadays is not because their fingers are shaped in a certain way which allows them to do the job better than others, but mostly because this is a trade that does not require one to be fluent in English yet allows you to own a business. They have seen their friends and cousins do so successfully and want the same for themselves.
Same goes for Greek taxi drivers in NYC during the 1980’s.
And while I have no information regarding NYC Greek taxi drivers off springs, local teachers tell me Vietnamese kids often excel in school.

Back to prostitution- unfortunately in many places around the world girls born to prostitutes are expected to continue the trade, often starting their professional careers in an alarmingly early age.
Ms Fan - I'll say it's as much women's in-group competitiveness as patriarchy. If I made you a ball gown, you wouldn't have to worry that I'd show up at the ball wearing a better one.
Philophile: Sex work was criminalized by men. If they changed their minds, it would be decriminalized. But they haven't.

This statement is rife with sexist falsehoods.

First, when we compare your knee-jerk man-bashing to the actual data, we see that most men favor legalization of sex work, whereas most women do not.

Second, you are perpetuating the myth (convenient for those like you who enjoy blaming men for everything) that women have no political power in this country. If that were true, the surveys show pretty clearly that sex work would be legal. But alas, it's women more than men who are responsible for the continued persecution of sex workers and their clients, and it's women more than men who's minds require changing.
Ms Fan should still be worried as to what I'll be wearing.
Venn @68: At first I didn't think your theory made any sense, because surely the designer/hairdresser/interior decorator has more than one client? If he's not going to show up in a better dress or with a better haircut, ostensibly one of his other clients might do? So how would "female competitiveness" fit into the scenario? Possibly because if my hairdresser is a gay man, I don't have to worry that he secretly doesn't want me to look better than he does, and will therefore hold back on doing his best work.

Really glad I'm missing out on the "female competitiveness" gene. Must be on the same chromosome that prompts breast growth.
@71 - Uh, no. I've got a hefty set, and I can't recall ever competing against a female for anything. Except for maybe elbowing someone out of the way to grab the last box of tampons... So either it's connected with a different genetic component, or I'm just an outlier?
Sanguisuga @72: Or gender stereotypes are often completely inaccurate? Nah.
BDF @57, thanks for the interpretation key! I went back and looked at the cartoon again using your assumptions as a guide, and unfortunately I think the nasty-looking authority figure on the left may be...a pig. No curlicue tale, though, so maybe it is supposed to be a pit bull.

The only thing I can add to the career-vs.-sexuality debate is that there are plenty of hetero male florists, hairdressers, designers, actors, and nurses out there. But men have long been able to be openly gay and still achieve success and mainstream acceptance within the arts community and entrepreneurial businesses, so their participation rates appear even higher to the general public than the actual statistics would reveal. Conversely, in fields where men have historically had to hide or deny their sexual identities - corporate, education, religion, sport - the actual numbers of gay men are probably vastly underestimated by the heteronormative public. That's starting to change now, finally, which is a good thing - but the stereotypes remain firmly fixed.
Happy Labor Day holiday to everybody celebrating it.
The return of cooler weather and rain has griz back to
her composing, computer entries, and music playing.
September is to be a month of soul searching, continued
therapy, and peace for griz, her beloved and quirky family.
Ms Fan - Good for you for not having been submitted to Pageant Culture as a child, which would have marred you for life.

But even if he has more than one client, each thinks she's his favourite. And a gay man will never prove her wrong, whereas an OS man might.

I might have sort-of-agreed had your reason been given for the selection of a plumber, but I've seen too many women's completely healthy belief in Female Capacity to accept that many women would think that men in general would outperform women in a field in which women had equal interest. I'm not sure if the theory that there are more men at the extremes of the distribution of talent carries over into artistic business fields or not, nor do I have any idea whether there's really anything in it. I'll agree with Miss Brodie that Art comes first, and then Science.
I have discovered that, unlike a female bestie, a gay male friend WILL tell you that your ass looks fat in that.
Woof - Sexist falsehoods? Knee-jerk man-bashing? Perpetuating the myth (convenient for those like you who enjoy blaming men for everything) that women have no political power in this country?

Someone's too defensive to construct logical arguments. Ironic since your opening position was 'Men can't do anything. We can pay prostitutes yet refuse to advocate for their rights (or grant them basic human respect). Only women can influence prostitution laws'. You are claiming men are helpless to influence prostitution beyond creating (most of) the demand for prostitution.

Women didn't participate in legislature when prostitution was criminalized. Men criminalized prostitution. But you claim it's a woman's work to change our laws to criminalize only the harmful (forced/coerced) type of prostitution.

Hun - I don't believe that anyone claimed that jailing pros helped them. It's a supply/demand argument. Legalization=less stigma, more demand=more traffickers/coercion. I don't believe either men or women really want to trade sex favors for anything less than equal sex favors. Who wants bad sex? But the desperate or appropriately kinky will accept money in return for sex favors. The demand already exceeds the supply of women freely choosing the work. I've run into 'recruiters' myself. They make me feel awful.
We already have legal prostitution in Nevada. Yet if you want to work at the Bunny Ranch, you have to accept comp cards, and have sex with the guy the manager gave the card to, if he picks you. The only job I'm aware of that you can legally get terminated for refusing to have sex.

Legalization needs more work to earn women's support. I wish the existing politicians would work on it.
Hunter @78: Presumably that her ass looks phat in that.
Hunter @83: By "refuses sex," I presume you mean refuses a client?
Self-employed people can refuse clients for any reason they like. Why would sex workers be different? A human being is not a restaurant you can just walk into whenever you like.
And when you've inadvertently offended someone, an apology is generally the way to go.
Expanding on CMDwannabe's reference (at #67) as to why so many nail technicians are Vietnamese, I was recently surprised and fascinated to learn that iconic Hollywood actress Tippi Hedron was instrumental in the spread of this development. Over 40 years ago, she was involved with the Vietnamese refugee community, trying to help the women find jobs, and searching for trades that could employ them. She hit upon the idea of having them give manicures, which at the time were an expensive luxury, not in the budget of most women. She arranged for the training of some refugee women, and this idea was so successful it led to more and more Vietnamese women taking up this trade. The fact that these women offered this at a much more affordable price than was previously available led to more women (and presumably some men) getting manicures and pedicures, increasing demand for this service. I think it's really interesting to learn about why particular groups are heavily represented in various fields. Here's an article that gives more information about how Ms. Hedron became involved:…
@87, some people just have "interesting" lives lol. I got more caught up in the story of "Roar."

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