August 25th, 2003


Heidi Fleiss talks about legalizing prostitution.

I made sure never to send a prostitute into an unsafe situation or one where she felt humiliated or degraded. I was always conscious of how prostitution could lower a woman's self-esteem and I didn't want anyone who worked for me to feel that way. My clients were some of the richest men in the world. They wanted to look the best and live the longest. They were at the doctors regularly. I never had one girl come down with an STD, not even crabs. But I told my girls that if they ever felt uncomfortable with a client, they should call me and I would get them out of there—no matter where they were. I made my first million after only four months in the business.

I wouldn't recommend prostitution as a career because it doesn't have great long-term prospects. Still, a woman should have the right to do what she wants with her body. She might have a fantasy about becoming a prostitute; why shouldn't she act on it? Or she might need to do it for a month or two because she has no family, no money, nothing. The money could help her to do something positive with her life, like start a business or go to college. I remember a girl who came to me with choke marks around her neck. She was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend and wanted me to help her get out of it. I recommended that she work at a restaurant for six months, but eventually I let her work for me. She made a quarter of a million her first time. She turned one more trick and then retired from the business to get a master's degree at UCLA.

Prostitution should be legalized throughout the United States. The laws are currently written by and for men. I've been out of the business for 10 years, but I still hear stories of men who hit women, walk out without paying, or write checks to hookers and then stop payment. It's outrageous. Here's a woman who has performed a service to the best of her abilities and to her client's satisfaction. But nothing will happen to that client because he knows he won't be prosecuted for refusing to pay for sex. They go after the women in those cases, not the men.

To me this is essentially a freedom issue, much like the right of people to commit suicide and the right of people to take drugs - though both only so long as they are not harming anyone else when doing so. It's your body, and you should be allowed to do what you want with it. Period.

I still think streetwalking should be illegal though. Or else, streetwalkers should be required to carry a loaded firearm with them and know how to use it. Streetwalking is the most dangerous kind of prostitution, for obvious reasons - you're hanging out late at night in bad parts of town. Brothels are where it's at. Safe havens, with guards to throw out violent customers, and bill collectors to make life hard on those who won't pay.

Legalized prostitution would apply to men too, of course. Actually I rather expect gay prostution would end up being a highly profitable business, despite the relativly smaller number of potential clients.

Like Fleiss, I don't think prostitution is a great career choice. And no, I don't think I'd want my daughter or little sister to do it. But then, I'm not sure I like the idea of my little sister becoming a lawyer, either. But she is, because that's her choice and I have no right to tell her what to do with her life. It would be stupid and morally wrong for me to outlaw women becoming lawyers just because I'm not sure I agree with her choices.

Arm the women!!

Are you tired of my loony libertarian rantings yet? YOU WILL BE, FANBOY!!! ;]

It is a glorious fall afternoon, and the members of the "Second Amendment Sisters" at Mount Holyoke College are in high spirits, because they are going shooting.

As it is the last day of a long weekend break, only a handful of the 70 club supporters are on campus to enjoy the excursion to the local firing range, just a few miles away.

"It's good to go out - go to the range with some friends and have some fun. We can talk about our day, what's going on in classes and focus a bit. We can get some stress out," says the chapter vice-chairman, April Sparks.

Mount Holyoke's modern-day Annie Oakleys are nothing of what you'd expect because they are, in fact, everything you'd expect. Among the cross section gathered in this room, some don conservative plaid and long tresses, while others wear such liberal props as pierced noses and punkish haircuts. They're hardly the militant leftist "feminazis" derided by Rush Limbaugh any more than they are the bloodthirsty, rightist rednecks cooked up by some gun control advocates. The group's politics run the gamut — mostly liberals, a few Republicans, at least one Green, and a smattering of Libertarians.

"I've been shocked by who's joined us," says Caywood, curled up on the floor. "Most people think you need to be politically conservative to want to shoot, but our diversity is all over the place." The reason, say members, is largely the school's climate of tolerance. "We're into increasing viewpoints," pipes up 20-year-old April Sparks, a Middle Eastern studies major who has been target shooting since 2001. She jumps in and out of the conversation between glances at a laptop, the back of which sports a sticker in block lettering: "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History." "The point is to be educational, so people can learn about the issue," Sparks says.

In response to the angry letters and editorials that surfaced in the Mount Holyoke News, the student newspaper, the school quelled further controversy with a forum that was attended by a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union. "Most students and faculty here are pro-gun control," says Kevin McCaffrey, the college's spokesman. "But there's also a community here that's willing to engage in a discussion. Even when there's opposition, it's been a healthy debate." McCaffrey, too, chalks that up to a bubble of tolerance around the campus. "There's a commitment here to free speech and to different viewpoints. Most people don't agree with [Second Amendment Sisters], but they realize they have a right to exist."

And last but not least, let's throw in this rather amusing Satireville article.