Tag Archives: rhode island

Tomorrow ends 29+ years of decriminalized prostitution in RI

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.

Skeletons from the ClosetInterestingly 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?

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



People Over Politics

PawnsThis morning, 30 women from spas all over Rhode Island met to discuss the upcoming prostitution legislation.  These are the women who will be effected by the change in the law, and their voices must be heard.

Rhode Island Coalition Against Human Trafficking was at the meeting, offering services to the women.  All women were given a card with a number to call if they need help, and some of the women spoke to RICAHT one on one about their personal situations.

Three legislators were also present to ask questions of the women and answer questions about the legislation.  While there will be hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday on this legislation, the new bill has not been made available to the public.

Many of the women voiced concern over how the law will be implemented and what punishments they will face.

(The Providence Journal and WRNI were present and I am sure they will have a report on what they saw.  WRNI recorded audio of the meeting)

The legislators explained to the women that this legislation is a response to the public outcry in the Providence Journal to change the law.  They see this legislation as a response that will put the needs of the community above the safety and needs of the women.

This public outcry has been led by Donna Hughes, and we all know her version of reality is not based in truth.  (A great post on Hughes and Citizens Against Trafficking most recent propaganda riddled with inaccuracies  is shown here).

While there are many reasons not the pass this bill (economic impact, civil rights, and plain old common sense) there is only one reason to pass this bill….Politics.

There is a saying that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and Hughes has been squeaking for the past 4 months.  This squeak will get her oil this week, and the women of the spas are the pawns in this whole game of politics. With a bill that will have a huge economic and human impact, it is time that we put people over politics.

Another Round of Hearings on Prostitution bills

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.

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!)

Breaking the law!

breaking the law!This weekend the Providence Journal released an excellent report RI Police charities solicit from “spas”.  In this report we find out how over the past years many of the spas, believed to be fronts for prostitution, have been donating to the Faternal Order of Police.  One of the spas even had what looks like 30 stickers from all of their donations wallpapered on the door of the spa.  Other spas  advertised in the police booklets.

 “COME TREAT YOUR BODY…” reads an ad for Lily Spa in the most recent 2008 issue of Cranston Police Union’s Public Safety Guide, a booklet of safety tips thick with ads from a variety of businesses….Spa ads also have turned up in The Rhode Island Trooper, the official publication of the non-profit Rhode Island Troopers Association, a membership organization of state troopers “dedicated to the improvement of the law enforcement profession…” The magazine’s spring/summer 2009 edition features articles on topics such as state police promotions, construction of a new state police headquarters and investigating fraud. The back of the magazine contains a directory filled with ads for area businesses. Under “pools & spas” is a thumbprint-sized listing for “Lily’s Spa.”

There are many things that I would like to point out about this article. 

  1. It is illegal for police to use a third party to collect donations.  RIGL 11-18-31 “No professional solicitor shall solicit money from any individual or business in the name of any law enforcement agency or any organization which would reasonably appear to be affiliated in any way with any law enforcement agency or personnel.”   
  2. The article also states “Police questioned three Korean women at the spa and concluded there was no evidence that they were victims of human trafficking and made no arrests.”  I hope people read this sentence and realised that the police have been in many of these spas (not only collecting donations) and have never found evidence human trafficking.  
  3. Spas gave donations and kept the receipts for tax purposes.  This would mean they are legit businesses.  How many criminal entities give to charities?
  4. A reported went in a spoke to women in the spas, she didn’t need to arrest them to get them to talk.  The police have said they need to arrest the women in order to get them to speak.  


Right now Rhode Island is working on a new prostitution law.  There are two bills, but  for a bill to become law there must be one bill that everyone in the House and Senate can agree on.  Because there is a disagreement on the bills, the State Police and the Attorney General have come in to create a compromise bill.  One question I have is how can the State Police be in charge of creating a bill about prostitution when they have been receiving money from the places they have been and will be targeting?  Usually politicians will recuse themselves when a bill comes up and it involves someone they have represented or received money from.  I wonder if the same thing will happen here?


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?