Tag Archives: Donna M. Hughes

New Review of a Review!

Many who have read this blog have seen me in the past argue with Donna M. Hughes.  “The Professor” was the leading force behind the re-criminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island.  Hughes hijacked the debate, publishing many misleading and reactionary articles in the Providence Journal editorial pages.   She also published a review of “Happy Endings?” that was misleading (to be polite)

Today, we have a review of that review.  May May has reviewed Donna Hughes’ review.  You can read the full review here.

Dissecting Decontextualization: Donna M. Hughes’ Happy Endings?

This is an incredible read.  I wont even bother doing highlights, as you should read the entire article!

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Pawtucket doesn’t want “Education”

Last night I went to the Zoning Board hearing on the CPSH.  I got there at 6:00, and watched 5 people go before the board for variances.  (One was for Regal Reptile, a cool pet shop that wants to move to Pawtucket.  I have been to their Providence location a bunch of times, and the owner does shows for elementary schools and this past summer gave a demo on a campground that my sister was visiting.  Hopefully they will get approval)

But I was not there for the zoning variances, I was there for the hearing to repeal a zoning decision for CSHP.  Unfortunately  that hearing was moved to last on the docket.  I wanted to testify (since I am a Pawtucket resident I hoped it would help) but I left a little after 10:00 p.m..  I got to watch the beginning of the hearing, and the main argument from the city official was the Grant building was not zoned for education.  The official agreed that there were people in this “multi-use” building that were doing education, like the Chess Club, and said he had fined them.  I had to wonder, as a resident of Pawtucket, why are  we trying to fine and or close down businesses that are keeping the downtown area open?  Downtown has been a ghost town for years, is it really prudent to fine a chess club and not allow the opening of CSPH?  Is Pawtucket that anti-education they can’t even see a commercial or even a taxable value to these businesses?

It was obvious that CSPH was targeted for what they were teaching…Sex.  The zoning official was very upset that he was portrayed as using the zoning codes to keep out a business that he disagrees with.  It was also obvious that the board was using zoning codes to keep out this business out.  Repeatedly the official said this has nothing to do with sex, but I wonder how many businesses that go for a license have the zoning board call the police? (Police were testifying as I left).  This particular zone allows counseling and reproductive centers, but officials say that they will not allow for education.

I wonder, as a tax payer, how much this war on semantics is going to cost me?   Steve Brown of the ACLU was there, and it is obvious that if the board does not allow for this Center to open, a lengthy legal battle will begin.

This whole battle began when Donna Hughes sent an email to the members of Pawtucket’s city council.  Donna Hughes is anti-sex (mostly anti-heterosexual sex, you can draw your own conclusions on that).  It is sad that one woman’s radical agenda is costing the tax payers money to fight this in court, and she doesn’t even live in Pawtucket.  For a brief moment I thought she would show up to the hearing, but she didn’t.  It looks like she might be basking in the glory of passing a prostitution law (albeit so far unenforced prostitution law), and leaving the mess she caused to unfold at it’s own pace and direction.  I guess it doesn’t really matter if she was there or not, I am sure she will have to testify if and when this goes to court.  I wonder if Hughes thinks it was worth it?  I guess this is one of those “cutting off the nose to spite your face” deals.  Who is this really hurting?  I know the publicity that the CSPH has received is probably worth the aggravation.  There were many media outlets there last night; tv, newspapers, magazines, and bloggers, you can’t pay for publicity like that!

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?

Governor Signs law making prostitution illegal in Rhode Island

Governor Donald Carcieri @ Press Conference about to sign prostitution lawToday in the State Room of the Rhode Island State House, a press conference was held before Governor Donald Carcieri signed a bill that closed the nearly 30 year old loophole.  Governor Carcieri, Joanne Giannini, Senator Paul Jabour, Attorney General Patrick Lynch, and RI State Police Col. Brendan Doherty all spoke about how this law will help new law will “end a blemish” on the image that Rhode Island had over the last 29+ years.

After sitting and watching this press conference, I thought to myself, all this fan fair and the governor is just signing one bill.  The governor did not use this photo op to sign the human trafficking bill, and isn’t that what all the citizens of RI were worried about??

It is not difficult to realize that the real target, of the media, politicians, and police will be prostitution.  When the target is prostitution, the target will be the prostitute or sex worker.  The police say they will wait until they get complaints before raiding.

A few years while I was making “Happy Endings?” the police did raid the spas, and arrest the women for “massage with out a license”.

01:00 AM EST on Friday, November 4, 2005

BY ELIZABETH GUDRAIS
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The detective arrived, complaining of pain in his lower back and asking for a massage. He got one — but he also got an offer of sex for $200, the police said.

Detectives arrested two women yesterday at separate businesses  for permitting massages to be given without a license.

The arrested women for giving “permitting massages to be given without a license”.  Does anyone believe they received a complaint about “illegal massages” before the raids??  This was in 2005 when prostitution was legal.  If they were arresting women when they didn’t have a law, how can anyone actually believe that having a law will help these women?

But the police say they will wait until they get complaints.  I am sure some of these “complaints” will come from Donna Hughes.  Although Hughes does not live near any spas, she has registered complaints sent “information” closing another business that didn’t even do massages or employ Asians. At this point I don’t know who Hughes hates more, men or women or just heterosexuals in general.  (Living life with that much hatred can only be described as sad)

The People who Changed the "Loophole"

State Col. Brendan Doherty, Donna Hughes, Rep. JoAnne Gianinni, First Lady Carcieri, Governor Donald Carcieri

What is sad is what I saw in some spas this morning before the press conference.  Most spas have only one women left working besides the Imo who does the cooking and cleaning.  There has been a mass exodus, women are scared.  They are petrified of raids.  They are afraid a cop will be setting them up, and make an example out of them.  I saw one woman crying as I left to go and watch the signing.

Before today, I have never seen any woman in any spa that I thought was a victim of anything.  Today, they all looked liked victims.

 

 


Anti-Sex Crusade

no_sexThere are radicals in every group.  Radical Republicans, Radical Liberals, Radical Feminists.  What is unfortunate is when the media decides to focus on those groups and alludes to  them representing the larger majority.   For some reason these radicals are vocal minorities, sometimes bullying people in their own group who even share some but not 100% of the same views.

Donna Hughes is the perfect example of radicalism, taking over groups and media with scare tactics and propaganda.  As the force behind the “close the prostitution loophole” drive, she bullied women out of Rhode Island Coalition Against Human Trafficking, falsely promoted the idea that the Senate  did not pass an anti prostitution law (and they did as Senator Jabour and Senator McCaffery stated), she has attacked the 50 academics that support keeping indoor prostitution decriminalized, and she even attacked the women in the massage parlors (these are the women she is trying to help).

I understand that prostitution is a heated and controversial issue, but I have always been taught that time is  better spent  promoting your own ideas rather than tearing down the people that may have different ideas, and I find it incredulous that she would spend time attacking women that share some of her ideas but are not in complete lock step with her.

Now, it seems that Hughes has gone and attacked another women, this time not for prostitution or human trafficking, but for wanting to open a Center for Sexual Pleasure and Education.  The Phoenix reports

The trouble started with an e-mail sent a couple of weeks back by University of Rhode Island professor Donna Hughes, best known for her crusade to close the state’s prostitution loophole, to members of the city council. Utilizing the suggestive power of well-placed quotation marks, the missive read, simply: “Hello, A center for ‘sexual rights’ and ‘sexual pleasure’ is opening in Pawtucket,” and included the web site for the center. Deputy City Clerk Michelle Hardy said Hughes’ e-mail was the first time any of the council members had heard of the center.

The Providence Journal reports that

She (Megan) and her husband went to City Hall. They met with Mayor James Doyle and his chief of staff Harvey Goulet. Goulet says they seem like very nice people. He just doesn’t like what they want to do.

“You have elderly living near there,” says Goulet. “And, usually, the elderly are not too much in favor of stuff like that.”

Education?  The elderly are not in favor of education?  Good thing we have Donna Hughes an educator keeping us away from education!!!  How ironic.  Also ironic is the city not supporting a center for education when the state of Rhode Island is #1 in New England for teen birth rate, with Pawtucket being the 3 in the state.  The ironies are piling up when you figure in the fact that businesses are leaving RI at a record pace, one would think a city would welcome a new business.

With this attack on a business that A) is not a brothel B) is not part of human trafficking and C) women owned, I truly believe that Donna Hughes should not be able to cast herself as anything more than an anti-sex zealot.

I am sad as a feminist that this women is able to harm so many.  I will pray for her 😉

(Also for your information all links are included to the articles so you can read user reactions, if you visit the CAT website, you will notice that articles are written anonymously, or if they are newspaper articles they are in pdf form so viewers will not get to see the readers comments, another great way of censoring the public!)

Censorship

CensorshipDonna Hughes doesn’t like some censorship.  She doesn’t like it when she is told not to do or say some things, even if those things are not based in science or fact. ( As Senator Levesque says, Donna M. Hughes has a “slender relationship with truth” and “Professor Hughes has clearly left behind any concept of the academic pursuit of knowledge and is in the employ of propaganda and advocacy.”)

In 2004 the ACLU defended Hughes when the University of Rhode Island made Hughes remove her writings from her website.  These writings were libelous, and prompted a lawsuit for defamation, yet in the vein of free speech and against censorship, the writings were put back up on the website.

One would think that someone who was attacked for their free speech would be less likely to try and censor others.  Well that is not the case here.

Hughes has now began a new attack on Megan Andelloux.  You might remember Hughes’ first attack on Ms. Andelloux for testifying at the Senate hearing.  That attack Ms. Andelloux responded to quite well with her own letter to the editor.  Now Hughes has stepped up her attack, sending letters to Pawtucket City Hall because Megan is planning to open a Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure in Pawtucket.

Just a few things to remember about this.

1.  Donna Hughes does not live in Pawtucket.  Remember Hughes said that the 50 College professors that were advising the General Assembly against passing the prostitution law should not be taken into account because they are not in state.  Hughes should not be taken into consideration because she is not in the city.  (FYI I am a Pawtucket resident)

2.  Donna Hughes complained about Freedom of speech and the free flow of ideas when her writings were taken down from the URI website, now she wants a certified instructor not to be able to open an office that will house a library and workshops?  That seems a little one sided to me.

3.  Hughes claims that her main focus is Human Trafficking.  Does any one with one functioning brain cell actually believe that a Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure  will be trafficking human beings for sex?  This blatant action of aggression shows that Hughes has left the human trafficking realm and gone straight to the hatred of all sex-forced or not.

4.  I still find it amazing that Hughes gets to call herself a feminist when she attacks all these WOMEN!!!  Not to mention that this particular woman is a graduate of University of Rhode Island, the school where Donna Hughes teaches.  I wonder how many women graduates of this University are sending the school money to pay for this professor to attack women?

Current Status on Prostitution in Rhode Island

Rhode Island

Since the end of the legislative session not much has happened.  Reports have said that the State Police and the Governor’s Office have been working on a new prostitution law, but both Representative JoAnne Gianinni and Senator Paul Jabour have said they have not seen the legislation yet.  I personally do not know how far the State Police and the Governor’s office have gotten on the bill, both have more pressing issues to deal with.  The Governor is dealing with his face off with the Unions,debating the fur-low or 1,000 worker layoff.  Now the State Police have to deal with one of its troopers beating up a Providence Cop.  Bad publicity and national headlines for both the Governor and the State Police.

Just a week ago Senator Paul Jabour and Micheal McCaffery wrote an Op Ed in the Providence Journal defending their bill.  In the letter they write:

We must delineate the lines that have been blurred among the problems of indoor prostitution, outdoor prostitution, human sex trafficking, and strip-club dancing by minors. Each of these issues has an appropriate legal and moral response and confusing them will lead to ineffective policies and political responses.

The woman who blurs these lines, Donna Hughes of Citizens Against Trafficking, blasted back at Jabour and McCaffery with her own Op Ed entitled “Senator’s Prostitution Bill is a Sham”

RHODE ISLAND needs a good prostitution law to halt the metastasizing problems of prostitution and sex trafficking. The growing number of spas and clubs are sordid destinations for foreign women and teens from around the Northeast. .. Contrary to the claim made by Senators Paul Jabour (D.-Providence) and Michael McCaffrey (D.-Warwick) in their Aug. 31 Commentary piece, the Senate bill does not “close the loophole.”

In order for a prostitution bill to pass, it must be the same on the House and the Senate side.  If the Governor and Police do actually submit a bill, Senator Jabour will need to sign off on it.  I can’t imagine he really wants to do any favors for Hughes, who has been dragging his name through the mud.  (She has published this op-ed in several local papers)

After all of these back and forth op eds, Senator Levesque jumped into the action and wrote his own titled “Anti-prostitution law means more deaths”  Opening up with the line “We have once again been treated to Donna Hughes slender relationship with truth.”  (Nice way to put it!)

With all this infighting, and the prostitution legislation pretty much grinding to a halt, Providence Mayor David Cicilline decided to get into the fray.  Mayor Cicilline has submitted an ordinance to be considered at Thursdays at the City meeting.  If found guilty, those accused would face, for each offense, a $500 fine and/or imprisonment of up to 30 days, which is the maximum penalty allowable for municipal-level violations (the proposed ordinance would be adjudicated by the Municipal Court, but I wonder where they would house those found guilty, Providence doesn’t have any prisons). I don’t know how legal this ordinance is because it is in the massage ordinance, so essentially they will only be going after the massage parlors and if that isn’t selective enforcement I don’t know what is?!? (Selective enforcement is one of the reasons RI doesn’t have a prostitution law today)

Personally, I think there isn’t much political reason to pass a prostitution law this year.  Next year is an election year, so this year doesn’t count for much.  With the state in such economic shambles, the Governor going to court every other day to fight the state workers, the 60 million budget shortfall, I think the prostitution law will stop being front page news.  Besides, RI doesn’t have the money to implement it. When I was asked back in the beginning of June if a prostitution law was going to pass this year, I though the odds were 80/20 that it was going to pass.  Now I think it is 70/30 that it will not. (Not this year, but when January rolls around I will put the odds back at 80/20)

Also if you follow the links to the articles, be sure to read the comments by local Rhode Islanders.  There is not one that supports changing the law.