Tag Archives: legal prositution

Opinions are like…

Belly ButtonI have an opinion too.  Actually I have 2 opinions. (Well I have a ton of opinions, but 2 as it relates to the situation on the prostitution law in Rhode Island)  While I am against laws that would criminalize sex between consenting adults, I fear that the over abundance of  media is forcing the General Assembly to create a law.  Since a law may be passed, I am  hoping for one that will not imprison the women who I have come to know in the process of making “Happy Endings?”  I guess you can say my second opinion is a compromise, a “plan b” as it were.

My “plan b” was printed in the Boston Globe today.  This “plan b” is known as the Sweden law.  I know that people who are in the sex industry will be upset with me for advocating for this law, but because it looks like a law is going to pass I am going to advocate for the lesser of two evils.

Why complain?

I always do searches of blogs, news, and videos with my keywords so I can see everything related to the topic of this film.  I usually post on those topics.  One of the most popular blogs I ever did  gets hits everyday.  It is very short and even though I don’t want to complain, it annoys me that every day it is the highest on my page views.

The page I am talking about is “Barney Miller and Asian Massage Parlors“.  I guess you never know why people end up on your blog, what brought them here or what they are interested in, but either way I am happy they are reading.  I hope they end up walking away with some tidbit of information that they didn’t have before that might humanize this subject matter.

It was odd yesterday when I came across another woman who had a similar complaint that I had.  This woman runs a Catholic blog, and while I was annoyed that my blog on prostitution gets hits for Barney Miller, she is annoyed her blog on Catholicism gets hits for people looking for a Prostitution Saint.  Here is an excerpt, (I don’t want to link because I can only imagine how upset she would be to think she would be getting clicks from a blog about a documentary on Asian massage parlors in a state where prostitution is legal)

Patron Saint of Prostitutes ~ The posts I wrote on that remain among my most popular. So….there are 2 Patron Saints of Prostitutes: St. Nicholas (yes, “Santa Clause”) Why? Because he saved two girls from being sold into prostitution by their father. This is also among the reason he’s also a Patron Saint of children. The OTHER Patron Saint of Prostitutes is St. Mary of Egypt, because she had been a prostitute, reformed, and, well….achieved the heights of holiness which the Church acknowledged by declaring her a Saint!
And for those who are looking for a Saint that ENDORSES prostitution: there isn’t one. Saints don’t endorse sin, and no, none of us has the authority to decide what is or isn’t a sin. Prostitution is a horrible evil in this fallen world and it CANNOT be justified. I hope that answers your question.
It is funny to think two women on such opposite ends of this issue have the same complaint when it comes to blogging!  You can never control the audience.

Human Trafficking Bill to be heard today

Today the Human Trafficking bill will have a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  I will be going to show my support for the bill.

I am against Human Trafficking, and I think laws are needed to combat this horrible crime.  I hope the bill makes it through the hearing and gets on to the floor for quick passage.  I do wish they would add training for the local police into the bill.  I think that police should be trained on how to help the victims, and if they are going to go after the assets of the traffickers, it would seem to me that training is what those assets should be used for.

The Women who are arrested

Lets take away all the labels.  Lets stop using labels like “victim”, “prostitute”, and “sex worker”.   Lets look at what is really involved here, WOMEN.

We can argue all day about the choices women make,  but let me assert this, I believe it is a woman’s choice. More often than not, it is the circumstances of life that have led the woman to make this difficult decision.  Single mothers who need to support children, daughters who need to help with medical payments for parents, women who want to pay for college education, all different reasons for a woman to choose to sell her body.  I know that a woman would not do this work if it was not financially beneficial.

A man, he is making a pretty easy choice when he chooses to buy sex, yet we basically ignore him.

In RI, with only street prostitution being illegal in 2006 the rate of women to men being arrested was not 10 to 1.  It was not 20 to 1 or even 50 to 1, it was 107 to 2.  We put 107 women in prison and only 2 men.  107 women who made the difficult decision, 2 men that made the easy one.

Now, please, don’t take this out of context.  I actually think the situation in RI where only indoor prostitution is decriminalized is good.  Indoors is safer for the woman, and residents don’t have to deal with the “industry”.    I am just pointing out the irony of the situation.  How can the legislation say they are trying to stop prostitution when only the women are arrested?

I attached a clip I put on youtube about the raids on the spas in Rhode Island.  Also, lets keep in mind these are raids on women who are working indoors where they have the legal right to do what they want to do.  Some people have said that they have to change the prostitution law and make prostitution illegal indoors too.  I disagree with that.  How can we expect anything else but more women to get arrested?  People who say we must change the law say we have to “help” the women.  How are we helping the women by arresting them and putting them in jail?

Oprah talks while I am at the State House

Today I got a call from my mom about Oprah.  I didn’t get to the call because I was in the halls of the State House, waiting to speak to some of the Representatives on the Judicial committee.  Unfortunately I missed the show, but I went to twitter to see what people were saying about what they had seen.  Most people were saying it was wrong for Oprah to promote prostitution.

That is the wall I always have to climb.  Even when I talk to my mother, she says “I don’t condon or support prostitution, so it makes it difficult to talk about.”  Well, I know a bunch of people feel that way, but I know women are the only arrested.  I can’t understand  when two people are committing a “crime”, how is it just that only the women get arrested?  Everyone know the man gets off (twice if you think about it!)

Anyway, I didn’t get to see the show because I was at the State House.  Rumor has it they will be passing the prostitution bill on the house side.  It is weird for me to walk into the state house.  Before I got involved with this film, the only time I had been to the State house was in the 8th grade for Project Insight.  What I remember about that experience was walking the hall, sitting in the seat, and placing fake votes.  At the end they let us talk to the reps and even Governor Sundlun was there.  Back in the early nineties the economy wasn’t good, so I asked the Governor if he was still going to continue to fund Project Insight.  Of course he said yes, and everyone in the room applauded.   That year then ended Project Insight.  We were the last class to get the experience.  My father said it was my fault, I probably gave the Governor the idea of where to make the cuts.

I am hoping my film isn’t what is giving people the idea to change the prostitution law.  I really hope all the represenatives come and see the film before they vote.

Tomorrow the House Judiciary will vote on weather or not to send the bill to the floor.  We will see what happens.

New Posters and Promos

PostersI met with my designer yesterday.  Adele Park is doing all the packaging for the DVD and posters.  It is great to have her creative input on the design, and a little overwhelming.  We met at Juliens in Providence yesterday where she gave me designs for posters and postcards.  I loved them all, there was one that was a simple design with only the title and a barber shop pole.  I liked that one, but I didn’t think people who saw it would understand the connection.  (In Korea, barber poles are the sign that sex workers are inside)  The two that are pictured (with my cell phone, so the picture doesn’t do any justice) are the two I am going with.  The color will be different, but the theme will be the same.

Today I went into the office and finished placing the audio commentary.  I am going to pick out the extended interviews next.  I showed some people the poster prints and asked what one they liked.  I showed my dad and he pointed to the one with the guy with out even looking, saying “That one”.  It annoys me that he has no interest in the film at all.  He hasn’t seen the film, and more likely than not will not even go to any of the showings.  I have put the last four years of my life into this film, and I don’t know if it is the subject matter or he just doesn’t care about what I do.  I know that his lack of interest just drives me to do better, it drives me to succeed.  I saw the same thing when my dad opened up his own business, his father said he would end up in a third floor flat, and my dad opened his business and was successful (with the help of my mom).  I have support from others in my family, my sister helped film, my brother did voice overs, and my mom can’t stop giving me ideas about publicity and promotion.  All that and I have a pretty awesome girl friend that not only helped film, she had to put up with me when I was stuck in neutral with the film and life.  Now I want everyone to enjoy the ride, there is no looking back now.

No money, mo’ problems

Nick doing Audio CommentaryI know the song goes “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” and hopefully I will get to see that side of it someday.  Today I have just been dealing with no money and mo’ problems.  Nick and I have been working on the audio commentary section of the film.  We worked on that all last weekend and it took us about 3 hours to get the work flow even working.  After finally figuring out how we were going to do it (use garage band and import another audio track) we only got to comment on 20 minutes of the film.  We met up again today to try and finish the last hour of our audio commentary, and we walked into disaster.  There must have been a electrical problem in the building because the computer, terastation, and router were all powered off.  It took all morning (including a trip to Radio Shack to buy a new router) before I could get the computer back to running.

It is really scary to not have access to the external  hard drive.  Yes, we do have backups on tape and dvd, but the external hard drive has everything on it.  After finishing the audio commentary (hopefully tomorrow and Monday) I have to go through those clips and pick the extended interviews that are going on the dvd.

I think the audio commentary and extended interviews are the most important part about the dvd.  Many people who have seen the film say to me that they do not see my viewpoint in the film.  I thought the point of documentary films were to document real life and not my personal viewpoints, but ever since doc film directors like Micheal Moore, people want to be told what the filmmakers think.  Sooooooo, we are adding the commentary so people will get insight into the making of the film and our points of view.  The extended interviews are being chosen because you have to cut out so much when covering such a long period of time and such a deep topic.  These clips will give the viewers more insight into the people who are in the film.

Booking a Show

It is time to get the show on the road.  Or not on the road, bring it back home to where it all started, Providence RI.  I am booking a show the first weekend in June.  Friday June 5th and Saturday June 6th at the Columbus Theater.

Columbus TheaterIf you are from Providence, you know the history of the Columbus Theater.   It is a beautiful theater.   It was known for showing “adult films” for a while, then cleaned up and now shows mostly indie films.  I would consider my documentary a mixture of the two, so I think this is a perfect fit.

It preparing for the show I have to revisit a few issues lingering in my head.  One is the people who are in the documentary, should I show them the film before it debuts?  When I started this film I was given advice from John Raben who did another documentary in RI about Federal Hill.  He told me to never show the film to anyone in it.  I have shown the film to one person, “Chris” and after you see the film you will understand why.

I respect everyone in the film.  Everyone had different viewpoints and opinions.  My own opinion is not in the film.  I do not want to be asked to change or edit anything, so I struggle with the decision to show it to the participants.  Just another part of It not being easy!