Today Medical Marijuana centers became one step closer to being available in RI. All that it awaits is the Governor’s signature.
The whole marijuana debate and history of marijuana has fasinated me. Just like the “loophole” in the prostitution law. I think that some of the propaganda used to keep marijuana criminal is similar to what has been used to keep prostitution illegal. We are talking about adults doing what they want to do with their bodies right?
I put in the clip of “Reefer Madness” to show you how people with the best intentions use propaganda to try to move their adgenda forward. We watch “Reefer Madness” now and laugh at how ridiculous it is, I wonder if people will look back at the situation going on with the link between prostitution and human trafficking with the same ridicule?
You can’t read any article in the paper about prostitution in Rhode Island. It is always “Prostitution and Human Trafficking.” It reminds me of how George Bush could not say 9/11 with out saying Iraq in the same sentence. For years we were led to believe there was a connection, and then when none was found, we were told there was no connection. Well, the same situation is going on here in RI. The media and certain groups with agendas have decided to start a war on prostitution. Since most people in the great state of Rhode Island don’t care what people do behind closed doors, going after prostitution would not get much traction. If you talk about human trafficking, well that is a different story. No one would support that.
For those of you who are new to this blog, let me give you a little background. I am a grad school reject. I was going to grad school for Gender and Ethnic studies, took one class before applying and getting denied. I decided to make a film about the prostitution law in my home state of RI because it fascinated me. I wanted to get all sides of the story. When I got rejected from grad school I cried for a few days, but now I actually think it is great that I never got into grad school, if I did I would probably just be another student who recites stats and is beholden to a professors point of view. I am completely independent. All my opinions are my own, and formed over the four years it took to make “Happy Endings?”
There is a big difference between the Ivory Tower and Street Knowledge. Donna Hughes is the “expert” that hails from the Ivory tower. I guess you can say I am the “expert” that hails from the Street.
Today on the Dan Yorke show, Donna Hughes and Melanie Shapiro spoke on a film they have never seen. I have sent over a dozen emails to Melanie trying to set up a showing to her and her Coalition Against Human Trafficking, but they never had time. On the show, Dan said he had infront of him a seven page paper that attacked me in every way possible, “just short of breaking my legs.” I am intrigued and honored that someone would write a paper about me. I would love to see it. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, I know she has to attack the messenger. I remember writing seven page papers in college too, and I wanted to put in those papers anything that would give me a good grade and impress my professor.
What I want to put infront of the people of Rhode Island and anyone that reads this blog is this. Look at the evidence. Here we have two women, myself and Ms. Shapiro. Both of us are very interested in women studies. Ms. Shapiro has a graduate degree, Ms. Hurley does not. Ms. Shapiro is beholden to a professor, Ms. Hurley is beholden to no one. Ms. Shapiro has never talked to any women in any Asian massage parlor in Rhode Island. Ms. Hurley has spoken to numerous, 30 or more. Ms. Shapiro uses terms like “there are indicators” that point to human trafficking”, Ms. Hurley has said there are facts that show the women I have spoken to have entered into this work of their own free will. Ms. Shapiro has watched spas from outside, Ms. Hurley has gone in and spoken to the women.
You can draw your own conclusions, you can point to the Ivory tower and use their propaganda to try and manufacture a link. Or you can use commonsense and see that some people have an agenda. Some people make more money than high priced prostitutes giving “expert” opinion on human trafficking and prostitution. I have never made any money, I actually have spent over $30,000 making this film, bringing translators in to speak to women who were being arrested. Even today on the Dan Yorke show a victim on Human Trafficking called in from California and disagreed with Donna Hughes and her viewpoint on the law.
I guess my point is this: If there is Human Trafficking and all of these women need to be saved, why is there not one woman who has come forward to say she was a victim? I am sure that she would have anonymity. When Jerry Lewis does a telethon he puts his kids out there for all the world to see. It is a great way do a fund raiser and directly show the issue. Jerry Lewis doesn’t go on the radio and say “We have indicators” he shows reality. I wonder if the first thing you learn in grad school is how to skirt the issue with “indicators”? Why have we not seen one victim?
Oh yeah, one more thing. Today it was said that I was starting a Union for Sex Workers in RI. I am a filmmaker. In my opinion I think it would be good to have a union, and if anyone wants to use my film as a rallying tool that is fine with me. When I was growing up, I lived with my va voo (portuguese for grandfather) he told me three things to live by. 1. Always vote Democrat, they have done the most for our people (typical Rhode Islander) 2. Always buy American (I just bought a car and it is a Nissan, but I bought it at an American dealership so I don’t feel so bad) and 3. You gotta have a union. I know unions are important, especially for people who can be exploited. With that being said, I got into this because I wanted to make a film. I still want to make films. Documentaries are my passion. I think bringing up unions is another way to cloud the issue, and what does a union that protects sex workers have to do with human trafficking anyway?