Rep. Joanne Giannini, the state rep. who is responsible for the new prostitution law, has decided not to run for reelection. On Channel 12 News Makers she says she wants to spend time with her family and focus on other endeavors.
You can see her interview here:
Today is Easter. I was raised Catholic and told that Easter was about forgiveness. Although I would not consider myself a practicing Catholic, I do believe that forgiveness is important part of life, and not just a part of this season.
One part of the prostitution law that passed in November was this allowance of forgiveness. Women who were charged with prostitution would be able to get their first offense expunged. This was a very important part of the law, to me this was the most important part of the law. It would allow for the women to not face life with a burden of a criminal record. It would allow them to not face employment or housing discrimination. This would allow them a second chance, where they would not be destined to be in the lifestyle if they wanted to get out. (This only applied for first time offenders)
Well it seems that a few women decided they wanted to get out. They wanted to change their lives, to be able to apply for jobs without marking down they had a criminal record. We all know that the job search in Rhode Island is abysmal, 3rd highest unemployment in the country, can you imagine if you had the Scarlet letter of a prostitution charge on your file?
One women commented on this blog:
I work for a social service agency that assists ex-offenders. Last month, several of the women we assist applied for expungement of previous prostitution related offenses. ALL met the current criteria (had only one offense), and ALL WERE DENIED in the 6th District by one VERY prejudice and lousy jurist.
It is sad that this law that was changed with the mantra of “Helping the women” has not helped one iota.
Posted in documentary, happy ending, prostitution., providence, sex work
Tagged asian massage parlor, documentary, forgiveness, happy endings, indoor prostitution, legal prostitution, prostitution in rhode island, prostitution., rhode island
Actually I don’t know how many there were to begin with, but I know that many of them are leaving at a record pace. I know they are not all going to Nevada, so I think they are most likely either getting out of the business or going to hawk their wears in other states where it is also illegal (but no media an police pressure on the women).
The Providence Journal reported
Word that Rhode Island’s governor signed legislation Tuesday afternoon to outlaw indoor prostitution traveled quickly through the state’s community of sex workers, leaving many of the women who work at Asian “spas” on edge and their employers angry and without customers.
Neon signs outside some spas went dark; employees at others said they were open, but many of the women, fearing a police crackdown, had refused to come to work.
I guess this is the first impact of the law, the human impact. I am going to pick up the Phoenix tomorrow and see if any of them stopped advertising, the first indicator of the economic impact.
Tomorrow RI Governor Carcieri will sign h5044B into law. As the projo reports:
The governor, who is scheduled to sign the legislation at a ceremony in the State Room, will be joined by State Attorney General Patrick Lynch, State Police Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, and the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Joanne M. Giannini, D-Providence, and Sen. Paul V. Jabour, D-Providence.
I will be at the signing too, as it is a public event. As the Grateful Dead said it best “What a long strange trip it’s been”. I started this project in August of 2005 after leaving my pursuit of a graduate degree in Gender and Ethnic Studies. Now, it is over.
Interestingly enough, I have owned this cd. With the invention of mp3 players, I don’t play cds to often, but how ironic the title is “Skeletons from the Closet”. I wonder how many skeletons will be exposed once this legislation is signed and enforced?
On Sunday, October 25th, over 30 women from spas through out Rhode Island met to discuss the pending legislation on prostitution in Rhode Island. You can read about it in the Projo, and at the Huffington Post. The article on the Huffingston Post was written by Rep. David Segal who was at the meeting.
I was also at the meeting. Rep. Edith Ajello told the women: “This is a huge rock you are looking to push up a very steep hill,” encouraging the women to attend a State House committee hearing Tuesday at 4 p.m. where the prostitution bill could be amended. “I think you should try. The most positive thing would be to put a human face on the issue.”
Some women did try, not by showing up but by the old American way…getting a lawyer. The Providence Journal seems like it is coming around against the legislation. Bob Kerr wrote about the meeting, stating:
One woman talked of how it will interfere with her ability to send her daughter to college. Another suggested that the work she does is better than stealing.
But they will lose their jobs. The Rhode Island legislature will end its slow crawl to the moral high ground this week by eliminating the legal loophole that has allowed indoor prostitution to flourish.
At this time the bill has passed the house, and will shortly be voted on in the Senate. It looks like indoor prostitution will be illegal by this weekend or early next week.
Here is audio from the meeting. Listen to these soon to be “criminals” and ask yourself the question, Are you going to feel safer when these women are in prison?
- Clips from the meeting
- Interview 1 and 2
- Interview 3 and 4
From the Projo…
“The way the bill has been re-tuned and re-drafted is very sensitive to all the groups that have come forward,” the Senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Paul V. Jabour, D-Providence, said Thursday. “Whether or not the bill really gets passed really depends on what happens after everything is heard.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Senate and the House will hold public hearings on a new prostitution bill. This bill is the “new compromised bill” we have all been waiting for. It doesn’t matter what the bill says, I know it will only be enforced against women. In all states where prostitution is illegal, women are arrested at a rate over 90%, where the Johns are 5% and the pimps are 5%. In RI there were 237 women in prison for prostitution (because street solicitation is still illegal) and not one man was in prison for being a john or a pimp. Do we really think that making a new law criminalizing women who work indoors will be fair???
Please write to all the Senators and Representatives to show you are against this bill.
I get a ton of emails. I am on a ton of lists. This one came across my desktop today and I thought it was rather interesting. While I disagree with most of what he says, Sebastian Horsley has an interesting point of view, as a John, Pimp, and Prostitute (male escort). Some could argue that he should have a more valid point-of-view than I would, seeing that I am an outsider. Oh, did I mention his point of view is that prostitution should be illegal?
See the full story here: Why I Slept with 1300 Women.