Tag Archives: prostitution.

Censorship by Apple!

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Censorship sucks! Especially when it is for no reason at all!

This summer, I decided to enter the “new wave” and have “Happy Endings?” enter the Ipad/Iphone application market.  I contacted Stonehenge Productions and developed an app for both devices.

The FREE app included trailers, reviews, an in app purchase of the film, wikipedia links, and information for the viewer to reach out if they needed help if they were victims of human trafficking.  The app was truly a social activism app.

Stonehenge has build many of these apps for independent films, and never has had one denied.  Until now.

Apple has denied publication of the Happy Endings? app, and no reason was given.  I have contacted Apple, and received no response. The following letter was sent:

Dear Mr. Lammerding,

I am contacting you regarding your recent denial for the iphone and ipad app for the film “Happy Endings?” App # 460056533.  

I understand that Apple does not want pornography on the app store, but this film is not a pornographic film.  This is a documentary that covers both prostitution and human trafficking.  Human trafficking is a very important issue, and within this app, people will be able to get help if they are victims.  This app includes “Resources” for those who need help.

This film does not take a position, and is neutral on the subject of prostitution.  I can only assume that Apple does not have a position on prostitution either, seeing that there are two TV shows  available on ipads and iphones that are on the topic of prostitution.  “Hung” is a fiction show, and “Cat House” is a reality show. Both shows are shows based on prostitution and available on HBO Go.

This film has not been controversial, and I do not believe that it will bring controversy to the app store.  The film has been shown at community centers and museums.  I have even been invited and presented this film to college students.  

“Happy Endings?” is also being sold on Amazon.com and been streaming on Video On Demand  for over a year without one complaint. The Video On Demand site even allows the viewer to watch the first few minutes for free before purchasing the film.

 The trailer has over 340,000 hits on youtube.

This app should be approved with a 17+ rating.  

Please let me know why you have denied this application, and if there a possibility I can resubmit the app for approval with changes? 

I look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,

Tara Hurley


P.S. I am a big Apple fan, a user since the 90’s. The first computer I bought with my own money was a Mac. This film and all of the films I have ever made have been made on a Mac 🙂


 

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!

Forgiveness

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.

Raids Started…

The first raids have started in the Providence spas since the law changed in November.  These are not the first arrests with the new prostitution law.  The first arrests involved stings led by the RI State Police where14 clients and customers (most famously was Pat Patriot, the New England Patriot’s Mascot) were set up using craigslist and the Providence Pheonix.  These arrests that occured on Thursday night happened in two Providence spas.  Three women were arrested and one manager.  From the Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence police charged four women on prostitution charges Friday after conducting undercover operations at two spas.
It’s the first raid of an alleged brothel since a change in Rhode Island law last November made indoor prostitution illegal.
No clients were arrested.

For years, police had stopped trying to prosecute “massage parlors” and “spas” which police said were brothels because of a loophole in the law that prevented them from prosecuting prostitution when it occurred indoors. Now, that loophole has been closed.

Last December, state police arrested women at hotels in Providence, Warwick and Johnston. In interviews in mid-December, Rhode Island strip-club owners said business was down in the wake of the new law.

At a District Court arraignment, Judge Robert K. Pirraglia released the suspects in the spa arrests pending a court appearance on March 10.

In the projo report, (and I am not reposting the entire thing because names are used) they say that one woman was arrested for allowing prostitution.  This is a new part of the law “permitting prostitution”, and it will be interesting to see if these charges stick.  When the first rounds of arrests were made there were no managers of the hotels arrested for “permitting prostitution”.  Also, when this law was enacted there was a ton of lip service done to “helping the victims”, yet once again there were no translators available to the women arrested.  How are you helping these “victims” if you are not even talking to them?  It is sad to think that all those people who fought for this law were duped, this law isn’t helping anyone.

Snitch and Snatch

The video above was posted as a response to the Happy Endings? trailer on youtube.

I checked it out and it looks to be all true.  The State Police in Pennsylvania paid for a John to have sex with women in a Allentown Massage Parlor.  The local news channel 7 reported:

 An appeals court has ruled Pennsylvania State Police botched a prostitution investigation in which troopers gave an informant money to pay for sex four times at a massage parlor, along with a total of $180 for the man’s trouble.The Superior Court opinion issued Thursday upheld a Lehigh County judge’s ruling that threw out prostitution charges against (name redacted) in suburban Allentown on the grounds that the government had acted outrageously.

Very interesting!  Not only did the man get money to pay for the sex, he also got paid $180 for his trouble.  I would say it is a waste of taxpayers money, but I don’t need to be redundant.  This is just another example of how prostitution laws are only used to send women to prison.

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?

Sunday’s meeting

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?

  1. Clips from the meeting
  2. Interview 1 and 2
  3. Interview 3 and 4