Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Prostitution, violence and

So a Canadian study has found that “people who buy sex are no more violent than the general population, and any legislation about prostitution should not be based on the incorrect belief that all johns are abusive”, says a Simon Fraser University sociologist researching the subject.

Chris Atchison surveyed more than 1,000 johns between June 2008 and April 2009 for his controversial study, entitled Johns’ Voice.

Based on about 1,000 anonymous online responses and 24 in-depth interviews, Atchison concluded that johns do not appear to be any more aggressive than the rest of the population and should therefore not be painted as uniformly evil.

He said 1.9 per cent reported having hit, pushed or physically attacked a prostitute, one per cent reported having raped or sexually assaulted a prostitute and 1.7 per cent reported having robbed a prostitute.

“The question becomes, ‘How different are sex buyers from any other member of the population?'” said Atchison.

OK, the dankprofessor must have been pretty naïve- I didn’t know that people believed that men who patronized sex workers were more violent than men who did not.  I guess this is on the same level of the idea that pornography causes male viewers to go out and rape. Of course, everyone knows that pornography overwhelmingly causes men to stay home and masturbate.  But then again masturbation is a form of self-abuse.  So I guess one just can’t get away from the idea that sex is harmful to self and if not to self then to others.

But there is more as reported in the Vancouver Sun

The study drew strong criticism from some quarters.

“It’s an outrageous study and it really works towards normalizing sexual assault,” said Aurea Flynn of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

“I’m really angry about the emphasis on the compassion for johns that the study provides and I’m very concerned about its impact on the continued normalization of prostitution in Canada because I believe prostitution is violence against women.”

Flynn was particularly angered by what she called the demonizing of a marginalized population that is often forced into the sex trade due to a lack of options.

Atchison said 79.9 per cent of johns surveyed wanted prostitution legalized for “altruistic reasons,” such as to protect prostitutes with health and safety regulations.

But Flynn said: “I believe that is the johns wanting to protect themselves from contracting diseases, which they are very afraid of.

“If they really wanted to help women, they’d be fighting for better welfare rates, universal child care, universal education and job skills training.”

She believes the legalization of prostitution would increase human trafficking and the exploitation of women.

The Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter — which defines prostitution itself as an act of violence — actively campaigns for its abolition.

And so it goes- prostitution is violence even though it be consensual sex. But what the dankprofessor has learned in this short blog posting is that money is the ultimate arbiter.  Consensual sex turns into violence if you add a financial component. The money does the talking. So the dankprofessor’s advice to men who want to play it safe- empty your pockets before engaging in any kind of sexual fraternization.

OK, one more note- Aurea Flynn of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter says she is really angry regarding the results of the study. She fears that people may become more empathetic toward johns.  As for my empathy, I can feel Ms. Flynn’s anger. I suggest she take her anger home and in the privacy of her home, she relax and try to get some relief.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | consensual relationships, masturbation, prostitution, rape, sex, sex work, sexual politics | 3 Comments

A rape victim on her rape and on Polanski’s “victim”

I encourage any one who wishes to have a fuller understanding of rape and its long term and short term consequences to read Samskara’s presentation and analysis of her rape.  In the context of her rape experience, Samskara explains why the so-called facts presented by Samantha Geimer, the alleged rape victim of Roman Polanski, leads her to conclude that Geimer was not a victim of forcible rape.

This is a must read for anyone seriously interested in the Polanski case and rape in general.  I hope readers circulate this so it might come to the attention of Polanski and/or his legal defenders.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | consensual relationships, rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics | 25 Comments

The mother of Samantha Geimer as suspect

Sometimes comments come into the dankprofessor blog which I feel merit attention as a full fledged post.  Here is a comment from Samskara on Polanski Defenders and Rape Baiting which is now published as a post-

I’ll relate a story I read and heard on Russian actress/model Olga Kurylenko (“Hitman” and “Quantum of Solace”). While in Russia, standing in a food line with her mother, a man noticed her and wanted to photograph her. He said he was an ‘agent’, however, given the Russian underground trade in sex slaves to Thailand and other places, Mrs. Kurylenko (Olga’s mother) refused to believe that this guy was on the up-and-up. So she decided to accompany Olga to this ‘meeting’. It turned out that he was in fact, a bonafide photographer with international connections into the modeling business. Olga, with her mother by her side, signed the contract and lo and behold, she’s a model.

The reason I’m telling this story? Well ever since that day until Olga turned 21, Mrs. Kurylenko accompanied Olga wherever she went, all over the world, no matter where it was. As a Russian scientist, Mrs. Kurylenko knew the money Olga was making was significant and could make a difference as to her daughter’s future. The one thing that Mrs. Kurylenko didn’t do, was allow Olga to go off on her own with anyone until she came of age.

How does this relate to Roman and his story? Plenty. I still say, how much of this whole thing is to be blamed solely on the mother? All of it. What mother allows their young daughter to go off with a man known for his proclivities for liking young-er women? Only a mother who plainly has an ulterior motive. As a woman, I have the right to say this. I have the right to question where Mrs. Gailey’s ethics were. I don’t believe in morals. They’re for those who ascribe to some kind of religious system of believe. I don’t. I’m more in line of a left-of-liberal leaning humanist. While I agree with the fact that as sexual beings we should be able to do whatever we want in terms of our bedrooms, I also believe that there should be an effort to protrect those who may be vulnerable in our culture. But in this case, there was no ‘vulnerable’ little creature to protect. And anyone who doesn’t understand that Geimer was already sexually mature, don’t see the larger picture. And for those who think that it’s ‘okay’ to state things like “if it where your 13 year-old daughter, you’d think differently…” They’re just blowing shit up their own asses. If I had a 13 year-old daughter, I certainly would not be sending her off with someone I didn’t even know that well. Like Olga Kurylenko, I would want to be there to protect my daughter, not send her off to fend for herself.

In a culture that embraces the absurd and the sick, like the American’s do (I’m Canadian), I think it’s ridiculous that most of the condemnation is coming from the US. They’re professing to be this ‘hard-done-by’ nation, yet they love ruling over the world when it comes to global law. And Roman Polanski is not a whipping boy for all that is wrong with the US. Their lawmakers are. And considering that they have worse REAL pedophiles within their own government like those of the C-Street band who believe it’s perectly okay to rape a six year-old and confess it and have it called a ‘power enhancing experience’, but to break with their bretheren is punishable by death, that’s whacked up to me

January 10, 2010 Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Polanski defenders and rape baiting

I am tired of how too many persons end their arguments against freedom for Polanski with comments/questions of the following genre.

‘If you had a 13 year old daughter who was raped, would you just let it go?  Allow the rapist to go free? Rape is rape.’

“Rape is rape” but rape is not rape.  One rape does not equal another rape and one rapist does not equal another rapist, etc., etc. It never has and never will. We are not dealing with robots in the courtroom- one could also say that one judge or lawyer does not equal another judge or lawyer.

But when Polanski is seen as not being treated like another accused criminal, people go wild. A case can be made for Polanski having more lenient treatment than others. Of course, too many readers, not all, see defenders of Polanski as just rape apologists- end of discussion for them.

Or I can say that we are not seeing celebrity justice here but rather celebrity injustice.

Or I can say how about laying off Polanski with all the degrading rhetoric when  you know both his wife was murdered and mutilated by the Manson gang and his mother was murdered by the Nazi gang. Should a person who has survived such atrocities be treated like any other person? Or really getting into the absurd should Polanski be treated like any other person whose wife and mother was murdered?

Bottom line just for Polanski- justice for Polanski is letting him go now. Justice for Ms. Gemier is to let him go now.

Such, of course, has no implications for other so-called similar cases.  And even referring to similar cases here is problematic.

And what I would want as a father of a 13 year old daughter who had sex with Polanski after the daughter’s mother gave permission for her to go off somewhere to be photographed by a celebrity? I can’t answer the question, an inane and irrelevant question.

Enough is enough. Polanski has suffered and suffered and suffered…

January 9, 2010 Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics | 5 Comments

Larry King- Polanski murdered Sharon Tate!

Larry King did a segment on Roman Polanski on January 6.  Following is the transcript of that segment.  King lost his mind when he interviewed Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, and stated to Debra that Roman murdered her sister.  It’s in the transcript, read it!  And there is as whole lot more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roman was already an established film director. Everybody knew him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the Roman Polanski.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The future was hit, he thought. And then everything just collapsed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn’t perceive having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl as against the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact of Polanski leaving the country seems to have eclipsed what happened to the system of justice?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was a clip from the HBO documentary “Roman Polanski, Wanted And Desired.” Polanski, the 76-year-old movie director still a wanted man. He pled guilty in August of 1967 to having unlawful sex with a then 13-year-old girl. He was 43 at the time. Prosecutors in LA dropped the charges in exchange for a guilty plea. He fled the United States before sentencing and is currently in Switzerland under house arrest.

Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, was on the show in 2003, and here is what she had to say then about Polanski and his possible jail time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: In retrospect, would you have been upset at the plea bargain to time served? In other words, Roman Polanski goes free after 45 days?

SAMANTHA GEIMER, SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY POLANSKI: We were — everybody was really comfortable with that.

KING: Your mother was happy with it?

GEIMER: I never even asked him to be put in jail.

KING: Your father was happy with it?

GEIMER: I don’t know about that. I didn’t talk with him about it.

KING: You don’t think he deserved more time in jail.

GEIMER: No, and the publicity was so traumatic and horrible that his punishment was secondary to just getting this whole thing to stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Others will join us later. We begin with Lawrence Silver. Larry is the attorney for Samantha Geimer, Polanski’s rape victim. He and his client want the case against Roman Polanski dismissed. What happened in court today?

LAWRENCE SILVER, ATTORNEY FOR POLANSKI’S VICTIM: What happened today was that Polanski asked that, consistent with what the court of appeal had suggested in their December decision, that he be sentenced in absentia, and that will allow a hearing on the allegations pretty well established by the documentary that there was judicious, as well as prosecutorial impropriety.

KING: So they’re asking — they sentence him to a year, tow years, three years, whatever, while he is not there.

SILVER: To sentence him absentia. One of the arguments, I suspect, is that he’s already been sentenced and that this judge should merely confirm the sentence which was reached.

KING: What did this judge rule today?

SILVER: He ordered briefing on the issue and set a hearing for January 22nd.

KING: What does your client want?

SILVER: My client wants the case over. She has been enduring 32 years of relatively intense press coverage and interference with an effort to put this behind her and get it behind her. After 32 years, I think she is entitled to that.

KING: Since she is the victim, why isn’t she almost automatically acquiesced to? Don’t they listen to her?

SILVER: Apparently not.

KING: Do you make an argument?

SILVER: I have argued before the trial court and the court of appeal that the matter should be dismissed. He was supposed to be sentenced to time served, then the judge changed his mind, frankly, because of concerns of how the press would view him. And then, as a result, Polanski fled. And it’s been just a long period of time for her to endure and her family to endure the pendancy of this case.

Had it been someone else, perhaps, it would have been gone and forgotten, probably except by her, but not because of the great publicity that this case seems to engender.

KING: Legally, Larry, what do you think is going to happen? SILVER: Well, the court of appeals is very strong about the fact that there ought to be a prompt and quick resolution of the matter. And the court of appeals was also strong that there ought to be a full hearing. And this plea or request to be sentenced in absentia should result in a hearing. And then the court can decide what to do as a result of what is clearly judicial impropriety, as well as prosecutorial impropriety.

KING: When come back, Larry Silver will be joined by Debra Tate, Roman Polanski’s former sister in law, the sister of Sharon Tate, brutally murdered that night. Don’t go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining Lawrence Silver with us now is Debra Tate, Roman Polanski’s former sister in law, the sister of the late Sharon Tate. On a persona note, I knew Sharon Tate. I had interviewed her a couple of months before her tragic murder. What do you want to see happen?

DEBRA TATE, FMR. SISTER IN LAW OF ROMAN POLANSKI: I would like to see this whole thing go away. I think that there has been a lot of time that has passed and we need to bring it to an end.

KING: Have you ever talked to Roman Polanski?

TATE: I have.

KING: How can you have a civil conversation with someone who so brutally murdered your sister?

TATE: Roman didn’t murder my sister.

KING: I’m sorry. When the fact that he would have this terrible thing happen to him after the death of your sister, to once again focus you into the public light. That’s what I meant.

TATE: I don’t have any problems with Roman whatsoever. The actions that he took back then has logic that doesn’t necessarily play out by the law, in my opinion. There are extenuating circumstances to this whole thing that have to do with legal improprieties. That is much bigger to me than the original offense.

KING: Did your sister love him?

TATE: Absolutely.

KING: And he loved her.

TATE: Absolutely.

KING: How was he doing when you spoke to him?

TATE: He was very concerned. He was very humble. He — you know, he thinks that this is a tragic situation. Now he sees it a little differently perhaps. And that is purely my take on things. He didn’t say it verbatim, but I could hear it in his voice. KING: Was there an age difference between Sharon and Roman?

TATE: Yes, there was.

KING: How much?

TATE: Ten years.

KING: That’s light by his standards, because he’s been married to his current wife for 21 years. I believe he met her when he was 15.

TATE: Fifteen, 16 Years old.

KING: He had a romantic relationship with Nastassja Kinski when she was 15.

TATE: That’s correct.

KING: You think he has an attraction for younger women?

TATE: I think in France it’s a normal way of life. It’s very well known that it’s a right of passage. Younger women with older men, older women with younger men.

KING: Do you understand why people might not look favorably on it?

TATE: I absolutely do understand. I am a victim’s rights advocate, and I deal with a lot of women that have truly been raped. I do understand it completely.

But this is just slightly different. And it’s not up to me to bring that to public light. But there are circumstances that make it ever so slightly different than a full rape.

KING: Do you know Samantha Geimer, Larry’s client?

TATE: I have never met her. Never.

KING: What do you make of her feelings?

TATE: Her feelings I absolutely understand, 100 percent. She’s a mother. She’s got her own children. This has got to put her, at this point in time, in a very uncomfortable position at best. And I think that it’s very inappropriate on behalf of the LA DA’s office, who I work with often, to pursue this case, especially in this fiscal climate. Perhaps there is an end we can reach without spending two million dollars on a trial, which is what it would usually cost.

KING: Why do you think they are so intent on this, Lawrence?

SILVER: It’s hard to figure. The prior prosecutor in the case certainly, Roger Gunson (ph), a really a wonderful human being, was quite understanding of the desire of my client and her family to end this thing, even back in 1977. And that intelligence hasn’t passed on.

KING: Where were you the night Sharon was killed?

TATE: I was supposed to be at Sharon’s house. But a phone call, circumstances changed, and I stayed at my mother’s home.

KING: You never get over that.

TATE: Never. Actually, I’ve never — I get victimized in way or another over and over and over again.

KING: Did you talk to Roman soon after that?

TATE: Absolutely. Roman and I remained very close for many, many years. We still are. I flew to London and testified in her majesty’s high court against “Conde Nast Magazine.” He won that. I went to Paris and spent some time with them. It’s like time lapsed.

KING: Does she have a happy marriage now?

TATE: He has a wonderful wife, happy marriage. Beautiful, bright, brilliant children.

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Debra Tate, love, rape, Roman Polanski, sex, Sharon Tate | 3 Comments

Korean audience reaction to “Professor and the Female Student”

Korean audiences are having problems handling the theatrical presentation of “The Professor and The Female Student” which is “about a 45-year-old university lecturer discovering his power through sexual intercourse with his female student. The show includes a sex scene, where both actors are naked for about five minutes.”

The lead actress Choi Jae-kyeong

had to be replaced when  she suffered a nervous breakdown after it was discovered that a man had tried to video record images of her nude body with a hidden camera several days earlier.

A month earlier a man in the audience suffered a heart attack which he attributed to being overly excited.   Then a few weeks later a man from the audience tried to grab Choi during the play.

These incidents have been widely reported in the blogosphere and the dankprofessor blog has been visited by many seeking additional info on the play and the audience reaction.

The dankprofessor can offer very little on the subject since there were no students and no professors involved in the reported incidents.  Choi was play acting as a student and the male actor (name not given) was play acting as a professor.  Such is patently obvious.  But somehow some believe that this play and the audience reaction to it provides insight into student professor relationships.  Of course, student professor couples don’t have sex in public in front of an audience.

Only the dimwitted would use these audience reactions to the play as a basis for condemning student professor sexual relationships.  Clearly some Korean theatre goers can’t cope with sex and nudity on stage.  The Korean authorities should take the necessary steps to protect the play’s actors and actresses.  Let the show go on and hopefully Choi will recover and soon return to the stage.

January 4, 2010 Posted by | couples, Korea, nudity, public sex, sex, theatre | 1 Comment

The university attack on love

In recent years there has been a major change in university policies banning student prof sexual relationships.  The change has been the incorporation of “sexual or amorous” relationships.  Almost all new or revised statements incorporate amorous relationships, eg, the new Yale statement incorporates amorous.  And this change has been without critical comment.

The dankprofessor has been delinquent in addressing the incorporation of amorous.  No longer will such be the case.

OK, let’s start out by being quite clear that these policies do not state sexual AND amorous; it is sexual OR amorous.  So said policies definitely cover relationships that may not have a sexual component.  This hugely increases the size of the population covered by the anti-fraternization policies.

We all know that being in love, that falling in love can occur without sex.  And we know that some loving couples do not engage in sex because for one reason or the other they feel the time is not right.  And some loving  couples believe that their relationship should not be consummated until marriage.  The makers of these policies know this, including the erudite members of the Yale Women Faculty Forum who play a critical role in creating Yale policy.

So are we really confronted here not just with a war against student prof sex but also a war against student prof love?  On the surface, the answer is yes, but there is more, much more.

The reality is that if there was just a ban on sex between student and professors, many couples would be untouchable.  They would be untouchable because they could simply deny having sex and there would be no one available who could dispute this.  Faculty and students come under suspicion based on words and deeds, and appearances.  Loving words, walking too close to a student, being seen too often with a student, having dinner with a student, notes of love to a student, loving emails to a student,  a look of love directed toward a student or a look of love directed to the professor, this is what gets people in trouble.  The assumption that underlying all of the foregoing is sex is just that- an assumption.

And, of course, what the amorous clause does is to not make it necessary to prove that sex has occurred.  For the accusers, staying at the amorous level is just fine.  Being found to be amorous with a student makes one a sex code violator.

But there is still more. What the amorous clause does is to make all close relationships with a student suspect.  And therefore to diminish the possibility of becoming suspect many faculty refuse to be close with any particular student.  Or for some profs playing it safe means that all interactions with students occur in a group context, never on a one to one basis.  Sure having lunch with a student is OK as long as there are others who are partaking in said lunch.

 It comes down to professors keeping their distance, and student professor couples becoming more and more closeted.  Such is the nature of contemporary university life.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, love, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, student-prof dating, Uncategorized, Yale University | Leave a comment

A step in the right direction

The dankprofessor has been very critical of university policy statements on consensual relationships regulating student professor sexual relationships. Invariably these policies function to degrade both students and professors and subject professors to disciplinary actions, sometimes actions that include dismissal.

Now the West Hills Community College District has come up with a policy statement that is minimally invasive and punitive and not degrading of student prof couples.  There are still some problems.  So here it is followed by my comments-

Consensual Relationships

Romantic or sexual relationships between supervisors and employees or between administrators, faculty or staff members and students are discouraged. There is an inherent imbalance of power and potential for exploitation in such relationships. A conflict of interest may arise if the administrator, faculty or staff member must evaluate the student’s or employee’s work or make decisions affectingthe employee or student. The relationship may create an appearance of impropriety and lead to charges of favoritism by other students or employees.  A consensual sexual relationship may change, with the result that sexual conduct that was once welcome becomes unwelcome and harassing. In the event that such relationships do occur, the District has the authority to transfer any involved employee to eliminate or attenuate the supervisory authority of one over the other, or of a teacher over a student. Such action by the District is a proactive and preventive measure to avoid possible charges of harassment and does not constitute discipline against any affected employee.

 Note that throughout this statement MAY is used, such as “A conflict of interest may arise…”  There is a POTENTIAL for exploitation.  Of course, all relationships have a MAY; there is nothing intrinsic about relationships that pre-determine a result.  But most policy statements have no may and simply state that there is a conflict of interest, etc.

The major difference in the policy is that there will be no “discipline taken against any affected employee.”  Bravo to West Hills. Of course, never ever should there have been any discipline taken against any party to a consensual relationship at any university.

But there is one caveat regarding the goodness of this policy and that is the statement that “the District has the authority to transfer any involved employee to eliminate or attenuate the supervisory authority of one over the other, or of a teacher over a student.”   OK, most policies state that the university can unilaterally pull out a student from the class.  This policy leaves that out which is good, but pulling out a prof from a class in the middle of a semester functions to disrupt the entire class and may lead to punishing an entire class of students.

The dankprofessor still believes that this policy is a step in the right direction.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, sex, sexual harassment, sexual politics, student professor dating, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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