Tuesday, 15 July 2014

They shoot hookers, don't they ?

Guest post on the recent shootings of sex workers in Baghdad.

They certainly do in Baghdad.

But where is the outrage from the Fem Nazis? Where is the team of ‘British specialists’ sent out to Baghdad to investigate by our Prime Minister David Cameron? Where is Michelle Obama gormlessly holding up a #BringBackOurGirls sign? Where is the hysterical Twitter campaign?

Perhaps if we were to relabel those women as ‘vulnerable victims of evil sex traffickers’ their death might attract more sympathy? As independent women, standing tall amidst the chaos of Baghdad, supporting themselves, not relying on some well funded NGO organisation to ‘rescue’ them, or a politically correct British barrister to demand the removal of their ‘demeaning’ burka, they were, as with the proverbial British Rail ‘wrong kind of snow on the line’ – simply the ‘wrong kind of women’ to be deserving of the ritual hand wringing on the six o’clock news.

A year and a day after the infamous ‘Swedish model‘ killed Petite Jasmine, on 12 July 2014 Iraqi abolitionists gunned down 29 sex workers in an apartment building in Baghdad.

That is exactly what happened, in simple words.

An abolitionist is an abolitionist, and an extremist is an extremist whether Radfem or Muslim. It is a little bit moot whether you kill someone with a bullet or by making their lives impossible while cranking up the stigmas with hate speech (the preferred method in Europe and America).

You are still just as dead, and in my honest opinion the bullet is quicker and cleaner.

This is not hyperbole either, on 8 July the French Senate voted to remove the clauses penalising sex buyers from proposed legislation, leaving behind only decriminalisation and provision of exit resources. Their argument was that, properly examined, it is clear that ‘Swedish model’ legislation does not work in terms of reducing the sex industry, but has a significant negative impact on sex workers and places their safety at considerable risk – just common sense really.

The remaining argument to be made against that by abolitionists involves attacking sex workers head on, much as beauty queens were once attacked, as complicit enemies of gender equality. A few days ago that seemed a good thing that would show the true viciousness and callous indifference of the abolitionist movement for what it is. Today I am not so sure.

“The apartment complex is known for prostitution and in the past prostitutes have been the targets of extrajudicial killings there by Muslim extremists. It was not clear if that was what happened this time. However, if the targets were prostitutes, it is unlikely that would cause the kind of backlash that a large-scale sectarian killing would.“

People know very little about Iraq. It has often been presented in the media as a primitive country not unlike the Yemen. In the real world, Iraq, land of the Tigris and Euphrates, was the cradle of civilisation, and its indigenous people and culture are more closely related to the Jews than the Bedouins, while being unique and very different to both.

Iraq was a sophisticated country before the Ottoman Empire, let alone before the first Gulf war. In truth Iraq was a pretty sophisticated country before Abraham. Sadly, like any old and sophisticated culture Iraq tends to fast breed political intrigue, much of it toxic, hence the apparently endless trouble.

Regardless, you can forget any image of Iraqi sex workers as illiterate peasant girls. It doesn’t work that way in Iraq.

Salon.com Joshua E. S. Phillips 25 June 2005 – Unveiling Iraq’s teenage prostitutes

Cnn.com Arwa Damon August 16 2007 – Iraqi women: Prostituting ourselves to feed our children

Al Monitor July 9 2009 – Iraq’s Prostitutes Inhabit a Dark, Dangerous World

Wikipedia: Prostitution in Iraq

Blip.TV (video) – Alive in Baghdad Iraqi Refugees Forced Into Prostitution

CNN (video) November 2009 – Prostitution in Iraq

Some of it is exaggerated, most of it is spun to agenda, except for the noticeable absence of anyone with the raw cheek to suggest that ‘ending the demand’ would be in any way helpful.

(Listen to their stories, where on earth would any ‘Swedish model’ fit in constructively?)

What I want you to take in is the element of ‘same old…same old’ particularly in the videos.

The women who were gunned down by people who wanted to abolish them are just like any other sex workers in the media, they are just like you, and they are just like me.

They were my sisters and they were yours, just as much as Jasmine, and they are just as violently dead. I cannot help wondering about the coincidence. The first anniversary of Jasmine’s death fell on a Friday, the Muslim holy day, and I am not sure how that works. It may have the same weight as the Jewish Sabbath with some Muslims.

If ever there were a clearer message that *STIGMA KILLS* I have not seen it.

…and the Western Press brushes it under the carpet. So far the UK and Irish press are mostly ignoring it apart from a brief piece in the Telegraph. The Irish Times makes reference to the death of ’29 women in an apartment block’ but no mention that they were sex workers, despite the fact that ‘punished for prostitution’ was written on the door of the building like an edict.

The BBC went with ‘At least 20 of those killed were said to be women’ - ‘said to be women‘? Obviously not the ‘right kind of women’ for anyone to be sure! ‘The motive for the killings is not clear‘ continues the BBC copy – despite then quoting:

Writing left on the door of one of the buildings read: “This is the fate of any prostitution,” AFP news agency reports.

Locals in Zayouna have accused Shia militias of killing women thought to be prostitutes, Reuters news agency reported. The neighbourhood is a mixed district of Sunni and Shia Muslims.

A brothel in Zayouna was attacked in May 2013, with seven women and five men shot dead.

Only for the BBC is the motive ‘unclear’…

Of course there is a punchline that changes everything. I have done a lot of research no journalist seems to have bothered with today.

Several European services regularly book tours for ‘Escorts’ – another euphemism – in Iraq, there is also some evidence of British sex workers operating in Iraq.

Stand by for the hysteria when it is discovered that one of those murdered women was a British passport holder, a ‘child’ no less, enslaved by evil jihadists…until then…

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Every. Fecking. Time.

"The Good Lord only gives you that which he thinks you can bear; no more, no less. Further, every trial and tribulation is sent to teach you a lesson about yourself - resilience, strength, patience, tolerance, or in your case how feckin' dim you've been to get yourself into that situation in the first place."

Those wise words of my Nan still make me smile and have never been more apt than the last six months, which have been a test of gigantic proportions. So much so that I've developed a theory. In the same way that psychopaths lack empathy, I believe that my psyche is lacking that element which says, "That's it, I'm off."

Let's start with the appearance I did at the Northern Irish Assembly in which I was told that I'm financed by pimps and target vulnerable disabled men for my own benefit. Further, I was told that a Justice Committee "do not need evidence." Lovely. That didn't actually get to me until I boarded the boat home that evening and it began to sink in. That any human being in a position of trust and responsibility could be so unprofessional and downright rude, all whilst maintaining an air of sanctimonious righteousness is astounding. What was even more perplexing was when my complaint about that behaviour was cast to one side.

I was home a matter of weeks when having had my real name revealed to the abolitionists present on the day of my NIA appearance, COMPLETELY by coincidence, I had a letter from HMRC to say they had singled me out for a tax inspection. (This is the price you pay as an activist, it's seen as just punishment for daring to question the lies and seemingly unquestionable bottomless funding that the abolitionist NGO's enjoy.) I have nothing to hide, and have years of accountant prepared reports, but even so, spending my evenings going back over every strawberry flavoured condom purchased is something I could have done without.

Finally, and after many months of arguing, I satisfied the requirements of HMRC and was given the all clear. Next up, exams. I became feral for several weeks, and surviving on a diet of Diet Coke and crunchy nut cornflakes I locked myself in to my office and crammed. I'm really not sure how I did, nowhere near as good as if I had really studied to the best of my ability but then when you're holding off HMRC and abolitionists, there's only so much you can do. Finally through the exams and back on the road to enjoy a summer of freedom from any major stresses, I landed back in Belfast.

Day one was grand, enjoyable appointments and good craic. Day two started off like any other working day, sprinting down the stairs at the very last minute for breakfast before hitting the shower in preparation for a busy day. Having carefully laid out my towel, coconut body butter, razor and shower gel, I stepped in to the shower. I'm not sure if you've ever seen those injuries sustained by footballers where their knee goes in completely the wrong direction, but in a nutshell, I did that in conjunction with the splits. Feel free to wince, it goes one eighth of the way towards the guttural screams which emanated from my hotel room.

It's funny what goes through your mind when you've had a bad shock. I was naked, wet and in a crumpled heap at the bottom of a shower cubicle and I knew that my right leg was badly injured and wouldn't take my weight. So I crawled, out of the bathroom and pulled myself up on to the bed where I dried off and got some clothes on. What next ? "Well", I reasoned, "I'm going to be in feckin' A & E all day so I might as well have a ciggy". Yes, that's right, with a leg which was starting to resemble that of an elephant and turning fantastic colours, I hopped over to the other side of the room and hung out the window. By now the shock was beginning to wear off and pain was setting in so I called for help, and David (one of my lovely guys from Belfast), came to my rescue. He picked me up and brought me to A & E and waited with me all day while they did tests, x-rays, and that loud hissing noise through the teeth, usually reserved for mechanics about to hand you a monster bill. End tally = ankle broken in two places, dislocated knee and assorted torn tendons. Full house.

Aside from the fact that I was now facing six weeks off work with no income and probably lots of pain, I was also wondering how the hell I was going to get to Glastonbury. Y'see, I'd been asked if I could go quite some time previously, so what followed was a very animated "discussion" with the hospital consultant. Really, I could have saved us both a lot of time by introducing him to anyone who knows me well, I was going and that was final. Go I did, and it was fantastic, until my motability scooter got bogged down in the mud and I had to be towed out by four burly security men. (In fairness, I've been ably assisted by security men towards the exit in the past, but this wasn't my fault and was particularly mortifying.)

A product of 1950's Catholic Ireland, my Dad doesn't do "I love you". He did say it once but that was after sustained familial pressure when I was emigrating to the US. (I was back ten days later, but that's a story for a whole other time.) No, the best you get from Dad is as follows -

"I'll give you one thing. Life knocks you back but by God, you get up. Every. Fecking. Time."

LL xx

P.S : I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me when I've been unable to work, including Jewel of Edinburgh, Lucy Smith of Ugly Mugs, David (as mentioned above) and the very many others. It means more to me than you'll ever know. Three more weeks and I'm back on my feet.