apathy in the UK (and US)


Where do I start, really?

Should I start with the Craigslist debacle?

Or the fact that the UK just fucking elected not one but two BNP dickwads to seats in the European Parliament?

Nah. I mean, both of those are good issues, and I'll get into them both, but let's start with the fact I've left London and am now back in California. So, to tie this in, I'm leaving an area where I would be pissed off about the BNP and Brits not voting, and am instead in the Land of the Hidden Ho, where people seem to think that prevents girls from advertising on Craigslist will magically lead to a safer situation for them. How, I'm not sure. Pixie dust, I guess.

So neither place is particularly pleasing to me right now, and I've had a headache for almost a week, so I'm cranky anyway. So fine, Internet. Let's do this thing.

First, since it's slightly less close to home but still pisses me off, the BNP. Basically, the racist, homophobic, rape-positive nazis. Oh, wait! Sorry, just got a memo- they're not racist, or sexist, or anything like that! They just support the rights of "Indigenous Caucasians", and think that "Rape is like force-feeding a woman chocolate". Oh, yeah, and "AIDS is “a friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it".

That's all. Friendly sorts. Hell, you can follow them on Twitter. They just want to help out the poor, working class white people who are being pushed aside by those nasty immigrants, stealing their jobs. Sound familiar?

Now, you might ask, especially in a country like Britain, who fought hard against the Nazis and who still bear the scars from their sacrifices, and ESPECIALLY after D-Day, how the fuck the BNP got even one seat in the European Parliment. And here they are with two.

I'm betting you that the same depressing and frustrating thing happened in Britain as happened here, with Bush. Extremists come out to vote, in droves, while those looking for the grey area or the left just shrugged and said "meh, voting doesn't do anything anyway". And thus we shift further, culturally, to the right, often simply because the right can stand together, while the left squabbles over the semantics. Bah.

Then, let's turn attention to Craigslist, who, in a poorly-considered attempt to supposedly make women safer, has decided that Craigslist ispartially (possibly mostly) responsible for the murders of several women who used the site. Never mind that women (and men) have been killed from off the site from multiple areas- casual encounters, for example, or even other services, not just sex work. Nope, sex workers are singled out to be "protected" by forcing these women elsewhere.

Now, I'll tell you a little story. I advertised on Craigslist for a long time, as an erotic masseuse and as a Dominatrix. I advertised on there and met a sugar daddy or two as well. We're talking years, here, people. Never mind the ads for casual play, or for dates, along with various odd jobs. But, for the sake of argument, lets focus on the sex work.

I advertised on Craigslist because it was free, it allowed me to post photos, and it also allowed me to reach a wide audience. Everyone knew of Craigslist as a place to find all sorts of erotic adventures, sex work being one of them. Granted, it was always a challenge- you had to use euphemisms all the time like "hand relief" and "tribute"... I recall "300 roses" being used, for example, to refer to pricing. Not only did you have to worry about being clear enough for your clients, who might think that tribute, say, was optional, but you also had to worry every step of the way that the person you were speaking to was a cop attempting to catch you out. Why didn't I advertise on Eros Guide, or the back of the paper? Well, both of those could increase the risk of getting caught out by the cops, for starters, and also I did this work part time and didn't want to spend $150 a month to advertise (well, ok, $50 if you were "just BDSM", but still).

So who will be affected by this? Students who're trying to make a little money on the side to help pay for school. Single moms. Whores who are one step away from being streetwalkers, who used the web to filter their clients a bit. With having to decide to take the plunge to advertise, which may or may not provide you with work, we have less ability to be picky about the work we do, which ALWAYS puts us in a bad situation. And me, of course. It definitely affects me. I don't work here in the US, because I'm scared to, which means I live on the dole (otherwise, no health care... no other jobs to take anyway), don't pay taxes, and don't put money back into the community. Excellent job, US of A! Thank god you're protecting my safety!

I have a headache. And I want to just shake both the US and the UK and yell "WTF are you THINKING??"

But I'm tired.

And that's exactly the problem.

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