The Other side of the camera…

The Other Side of the CameraI hate being on the other side of the camera.  It is mostly based on vanity.  I hate seeing myself.  (But I must admit, I love hearing myself! God bless Talk Radio!)  I love being the one making the films, but I hate to be the one in it.  With that said, I put my vanity aside and agreed to be part of 2 new documentaries on the subject of RI’s prostitution law.

Two groups of law students are currently making documentaries on the subject I covered in “Happy Endings?”.  I was interviewed by one of the groups (Suffolk Law Students) yesterday, and I will be interviewed by another group of students today.

Also interviewed yesterday was Mimi Budnick of D.A.R.E. (who also appears in Happy Endings?) and Marc from Citizens Against Criminalization and Matthew from Providence Daily Dose (both of whom I met after finishing the film)

The students were interviewing all the people involved in the recent legislative battle.  During the interview they said they could only find people who were for the law.  They wanted to hear why we were against it.  One thing I realized while being interviewed: Does my opinion even matter?

I don’t think it should matter what I think, just like it really shouldn’t matter what Donna Hughes or Citizens against Prostitution Trafficking think.  I am not a sex worker, as far as I know Donna Hughes is or was not a prostitute, so why does it matter what outsiders think of the industry? (I am talking about prostitution not human trafficking, it is unfortunate I have to keep reenforcing that point)

Why is it when the government debates healthcare the loudest voices are from the insurance company and health care industry.  Yet when the debate on prostitution, we don’t hear the voices of those in the industry?   If they are brave enough to speak, they are often attacked by those who claim to want the law because it “helps women”.

To me, it all goes back to privacy issues.  Why should anyone (including government) have a point of view on what two consenting adults do behind closed doors?   When you strip away all the propaganda, that is what this law is all about.  Actually if you look even closer you see that essentially all the time and energy spent on this is moronic when this is a response on 40 or so Korean women who were giving massages and hand jobs, very few of these places are “full service”. (The new law even has specific language for hand jobs)

I do think it is interesting that so many homosexuals were fighting for this law.  Actually, with the exception of Providence’s openly gay mayor, the majority of this anti-prostitution push comes from lesbians.  Yes, I am a lesbian too, one of the few who fought against it.  Why does it really matter to all these homos?  I would think they would be more focused on legislative efforts for gay marriage in Rhode Island instead of working on a law against commercial heterosexual sex, especially when the law will have disproportionate effect on women.  Where is the sisterhood?

6 responses to “The Other side of the camera…

  1. On the same note…

    Why are legislators, activists, and proponents who preside over districts that never had, and never will have prostitution issues weighing-in on this? As far as I know, Ed Achorn, Donna Hughes, and the vast majority of the legislature all reside in suburban areas, most with -zero- prostitution.

    I’m an urban resident. For me, this isn’t a question of whether or not I want prostitution in my neighborhood, it’s the nature and location of the trade. It’s the difference between a shop with tenants, or another boarded-up window with a ‘for lease’ sign. It’s the difference between a business down the street, or crime -on- my street.

    I was once told that ‘it’s easy to spend other people’s money’ when I had ethical issues with expenditures at a company I worked for. I suppose it’s just as easy to formulate an opinion on prostitution from Tiverton or North Kingstown, where the choice is between ‘none’ and ‘none’. I’m not so lucky in Pawtucket.

    Thanks for interviewing, Tara. I know that the views of CAC members aren’t all the same, but your experience, bravery, and frankness are all crucial and appreciated.

  2. In today’s ProJo Prof. Laura Lederer claims that with the criminalizing of prostitution an important battle has been won.
    When a vulnerable person, male or female, coerced into labor or prostitution, is freed and justice done, then I would agree that a battle has been won.
    Until then, it’s all empty words and self-congratulation.

  3. hello,

    my name is Luca, i m a sexworker, activist and part of a collective that is organising a Sex Worker Film Festival.
    Would you be interested ins ending us your documentary ?
    i like your post, here in the Uk its sthe same thing. On the cover of “protecting ” trafficked women, the “feminists” in power are bringing a law that is endangering all women working in the industry.

    Please email me for more infos on our festival ok?



    our 8mn documentary about the sex worker open university, a week of actions, debates, art etc.. in may 2009

  5. There is NO “human trafficking” problem in RI. That argument was merely an elaborate ruse designed to excuse government intrusion into behavior between consenting adults which should be protected as a sexual privacy right. Whether and for what reasons (i.e. recreation, cash, or marriage) that consenting adults engage in sex – as long as it is CONSENSUAL – should not be a concern of the government. KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR BEDROOMS!!!

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