Monday, April 4, 2011

Music Monday: Howlin Maggie

Easy to be Stupid

I'm a Slut


I saw Howlin' Maggie back in the day. They put on one amazing show. They recently came back together for a benefit for Andy Davis. They are a local band and I think they made two fantastic records. Above are three of their best known songs. At least, three of my favorites.

 Today's post will likely get a few people worked up. So fair warning, if you do not want to read my frank discussion about sex, violence, capitalism, and the judgmental and I believe stupid and misguided regulation of vice, I humbly suggest you stop reading this now. Right now, move along - nothing for you to see here.

I am going to link to some works written by some folks I respect, who aim their material to those folks who are over 18. There will be a crafty post later and you should really think about coming back for that one. For this reason I am employing the cut. To protect those who choose not to stop reading. You click, you affirmatively have decided to read what I have to say. (For those of you reading on Facebook, you were warned. Stop now if you don't want to read about sex and capitalism.)

Whew - now that the disclaimer portion of the post is complete, let's move on. Let's get the non sexual politics out of the way first. I am a capitalist. No really. I am a free market capitalist. I know - you all had me pegged as a liberal with socialist leanings - but if you have read carefully I tend to be critical of business, because most businesses, in my opinion are lazy, cheating, and frankly they couldn't handle a true free market if we gave it to them. Most CEOs want to personally enrich themselves and give a shit about their shareholders and employees. Greed can be good, being hungry and driven, good - being a dishonorable, cheating, lazy bastard, like many CEOs and Wall Street executives, BAD. Capitalism exploits opportunities in the market place, it does not have to exploit people or resources. That disconnect is the problem, not capitalism.

That said I believe in the capitalist model. I do - it is almost Darwinian. The TIGERS and LIONS are at the top of the food chain. Why do you think we encourage young men and I suppose women, to "go get'm tiger."

That said - I am more entrepreneurial and in favor of small business capitalist endeavors. I think that is capitalism in its purest form. Find a need or desire and fill it. Bill Gates, I think was very smart. He built his empire, I think he saw that the market had changed and he moved onto greener pastures. Microsoft is a mature company, which I predict will go the way of IBM. It will linger, but its time of real cutting edge influence is over. I could be wrong, but that is the life cycle of a company. It is the natural order of things.

Business lesson over.

Let's talk about sex shall we. April is

That we have to in 2011 have a month devoted to this does not speak well of us as a society, in my opinion. That we still think it is ok to blame the victim and re-victimize the victims in the news media and in our private conversation is nauseating. From locker rooms to church pews, as a society, we like to snidely blame the victim. This has to stop. Women and Men, who are the victim of sexual assault - do not ask for it. They-Just-Don't. Let me repeat that... sexual assault is not about sex, it does not happen because a woman is dressed provocatively or is wearing make up. It is not because she is walking to her car after dark. Rape or sexual assault is about power and control. The fault is squarely on the rapist. It JUST IS.

Let me be clearer still, when sexual assault happens in the context of interpersonal relationships and does not involve a stranger, the absence of "NO" is not a "YES" the only word that is "Yes" is "Yes."

Today on Twitter there was some discussion about why we tend to preface conversations about victims of sexual assault with the word "alleged" even if there are clear signs an assault of a sexual nature has occurred. I will tell you why. We live in a sex negative culture. We have sexualized the sale of cars and toothpaste, but we are at the heart of it uncomfortable with our bodies, our fantasies and we really would rather not talk about sex. Ninety percent of popular music is about romance and sex. We are sexual beings. Sex is healthy, but in the zeal to rise above such "base" needs, what should be viewed as good, healthy and natural we have created an environment where being honest about our innate sexuality is taboo. It is dirty and frankly that attitude is bullshit.

That is right - hear me when I say, that attitude is BULLSHIT.

It is because we are so fixated on sex being bad, dirty, and base, that we somehow feel justified in blaming the victim and engaging in "slut-shaming." When the crime of sexual assault and rape are about power and not sex.

We do not call the victim of murder the "alleged victim of murder" yet we as a culture find it perfectly reasonable to in the media and the court system refer to a person who has been the victim of a sexual assault, an "alleged victim." Again, I call bullshit. Absolutely the accused is innocent until proven guilty, in the case of sexual assault - that would make the accused the alleged rapist or assailant. Language has power and we re-victimize the victim every time we question whether or not they were actually violated. We re-victimize every time we, even politely in whispered voices suggest that they "had it coming" or "asked for it."

Victim blaming is unacceptable. So stop it already, really listen to yourselves when you speak about the crime of sexual assault.

While we are talking about victim blaming, let's talk about the Porn WikiLeaks business. Porn is legal in the United States. There are laws governing its production, distribution and so forth - it is a legitimate business. Like it or not, whether you are a consumer of pornography or not, it is legal. Playboy and its Enterprise is a company just like GE. News flash and a reference to my above business lesson, in a capitalist market place, if there is no demand for a good or service, the supply of said good or service ceases to exist. If the American Market had no appetite for porn in all forms, trust me porn would not be made. That my friends is how capitalism works.

We know I am anti-censorship. The government and the general populace has no business make choices about what I can and cannot read. If you don't want to read smut, be my guest, abstain from reading smut. If you do not care to read Hustler, Playboy and other pornographic magazines, be my guest, don't. They are sold in special sections of the book store for a reason. It is not at the check out counter of your local grocery.

I really have no desire to read  religious books or novels with a decidedly fundamentalist slant, so guess what, I don't. I don't read them, HOWEVER I fully support their production, if there is a market for such material, I say publish away.

If you do not want to watch porn, by all means avoid the sites which provide porn on the Internet and don't go to an X rated video store. It is your right. Exercise it. But for goodness sakes stop telling other people, adults what they should do. Mind your own business. Take responsibility for YOUR own actions and stop being a busy body and telling others how to behave.

What happened recently - was someone decided to illegally obtain private medical information from a health clinic established to ensure the sexual health of performers in porn. This clinic was established to provide health services to those performers. This is a good thing. It is responsible sexual behavior. I would argue that these performers are being more responsible with their sexual health and the sexual health of their partners than the average college student. Someone decided to build a site in secret, that's right the site creator doesn't have the balls to sign his/her name to their creation. (Yep - I think that is bullshit too...) In secret this cretin publishes these people's private information, whether they are performers or not, this clinic also provided services to the public.

Then some people in main stream media - have taken it upon themselves to to engage in slut shaming and victim blaming by saying that these performers "had it coming." Really, this is private health information, which was stolen. Information collected and shared within a limited release. That release did not include publication on the internet. When exactly did taking responsibility for ones health become an excuse for someone to steal private information: names, addresses and other private data and post it on the internet.

How would you feel if the results of your company mandated physical were made public for all your neighbors to google. These performers were paid through legitimate channels and pay taxes just like you and me. I think this post sums it up very well.

This post also, I think is spot on. Even if this CNET post was in jest or laced with sacarsm, the writer missed the mark. At its face, it was grounded in the premiss that sex workers, should have expected this or they had it coming.

This post too, in defense of peoples affirmatively life to engage in sex work and protect their families from unwanted harassment.


Professional sex workers, those who choose to work in the sex industry, are making a professional choice. They are not trafficked or forced. They likely work for an agency, which pays taxes or they are working for themselves. Services like the AIM clinic existed to provide a safe way for performers to share their health results. It made the production of professional pornography safe and legal.

This breech could drive more people underground. That is wrong. The threat of slut shaming is what drives many people to want to hide this part of their lives. No wonder people use nicknames. Think about the teacher, who quit her job when it was discovered she had made porn eons ago - legally mind you. That decision a decade ago had no bearing on her ability to teach math.

Don't like porn. Don't watch it.

By all means take responsibility for your children, invest in software to block porn sites, it exists for a reason. Talk to your children about your belief system, share with them why you have made certain choices, be honest and frank. Talk to them about sex and your views on sex, be prepared for them to ask question and challenge your views. Be prepared for them to have different views.

Understand, there is a market for pornography and there are people who are choosing to create a product for the market place, applaud them for being responsible and safe. No one is saying you have to buy it. In a capitalist economy you vote with your pocket book and unlike the farce we have of a Congress, the market will respond. Trust me, no dollars into a given market, means that market goes away.

Don't believe me, have you tried to buy a typewriter lately?

Prohibition of alcohol in the 20s and 30s was a huge failure. Huge. It created a cottage industry and those wanting to consume alcohol did. Prohibition made many Mafia Dons very wealthy indeed - see capitalism folks, it is about filling a need and finding away, it is like ivy... The advantage of a regulated market place, is the government gets their cut. The black market, the unregulated market, the government is cut out, but trust me the market is no less there, just because we say it shouldn't be.

I realize some of you reading will disagree with me, on any or all of what I have written today and I struggled with writing this piece or not. It took me all day to decide to step up and say - the BULLSHIT has to end. I have a daughter and a son and I want them to grow up in a sex positive culture. If I truly believe that - then I must use my voice. I must speak out.

Yes, the crafty, mommy of two, with a nose ring and an MBA is sex positive and wants to see an end to the victim blaming and slut shaming. Enough is Enough. This post is me screaming BULLSHIT from the roof tops.

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