I have been thinking about religion a lot lately. Yesterday when I went to a spa to drive the women to testify at the senate, one of the women backed out at the last minute. When I was leaving she said to me “God bless you”. Then at the hearing I saw a women testify for the bill to put the women in prison, and she repeated a few times, “I am a Christian woman. I am a good Christian woman.”
I like the majority of people in Rhode Island, was raised Catholic. In Catholicism there are patron saints for everything. If you loose something you pray to Saint Anthony. I was wondering if there was a patron saint for prostitutes?
Well, there is. Santa Claus is the patron saint of prostitutes. In wikipedia there is this description:
In his most famous exploit however, a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man’s plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public, (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man’s house. One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throw the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes “of age”. Invariably, the third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Saint Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone. In another version, Nicholas learns of the poor man’s plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking.
I had no idea that there was even a patron saint for prostitution, but what is even weirder is the fact that all the years I was hanging up stockings on the fireplace I never had any idea about this story. I wonder how many people know that every year parents line up around malls across America to get their children’s picture on the lap of the patron saint of prostitution? I am going to pray to pray to Santa tonight, and ask him to help the people in the RI legislative branch will see the truth and not put women in prison.
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Tagged Catholic, Christian, indoor prostitution, patron saint of prostitution, prostitution., providence, rhode island, Santa Claus, Senate, St. Nicholas, why is prostitution illegal in the us
I always wanted to give the women a chance to answer the questions and allegations that were being asked and reported by the newspapers and the television stations. It is difficult for someone to come forward to speak out, especially in the Asian culture.
This is “Danielle”. Actually “Danielle” is not her real name. Danielle is actually the name of one of my college roommates. (I changed the names of all the women in my film to women who I had as roommates at the ultra-Catholic Providence College, but that is another story) When I was making the film I wanted to give the women a voice while not “outing” them. Many of these women have children.
A few weeks ago the Providence Journal ran a story about a woman who was working through craigslist and was attacked by a customer. The majority of this story reported how she did not want her name published. I will not put a link to the story, because I do not want to spread the woman’s name even more, but here is a link to Waking Vixen a blog by Audacia Ray. In this blog, the article is reprinted and names redacted.
Now the Providence Journal is the biggest and only paper in Rhode Island. They set the agenda for RI. They have obviously taken the position that they want to publish names of women, how can I work with them to get the message out that the women in the spas are not victims while protecting the identity of the women?
Today I met with one of the reporters who has been following the progress of the legislation. I brought “Danielle” who gave an interview with the understanding that her name would not be printed. Before “Danielle” began the interview, she was told that the story would probably not be printed because she did not want to give her name. She was told that the only paper that could do that was the Washington Post or the NY Times, and that was for political insiders. I sat there thinking it was ironic that newspapers could protect the identity of politicians but not prostitutes. “Danielle” gave the interview anyway, and gave an incredible in depth interview on her own life and the workings of the spas. She said she would consider allowing her name to be released, because she hopes that her truth will allow people to reconsider changing the law.
Before the interview I had “Danielle” dictate a letter to me that I can read when I testify at the next hearing on the bill. I hope that her letter will help a human face on the issue. I will post the letter in my next blog.
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Tagged asian massage parlor, asian spa, Catholic, Craigslist, indoor prostitution, providence, Providence College, Providence Journal, rhode island, rhode island prostitution law, waking vixin