Ninety hours of sex work would have been more fitting.

A judge in Painesville, Ohio, has sentenced three men to 30 days of standing outside the courthouse in a chicken costume, holding a sign that says “No Chicken Ranch in Painesville.” The men were arrested after they solicited sex from an undercover police officer. “Chicken Ranch” is a reference to a brothel in Nevada, where commercial sex work is legal.

Judge Michael Cicconetti, famous for his unusual sentences, once ordered a man who called a policeman a pig to stand next to a live pig in a pen and hold a sign that read “This Is Not a Police Officer.” A couple who stole a baby Jesus statue from a manger were sentenced to dress as Mary and Joseph and walk with a donkey.

But wearing a chicken costume three hours a day for 30 days doesn’t seem stiff enough a penalty for taking advantage of women who—through no fault of their own—are forced to sell sex. For these men to really understand what it’s like for these women, three hours a day in a chicken suit just won’t do. They should have been ordered to dress in drag and stand on a street corner while sleezy men drove by and offered to pay them for sex.

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a society where women wouldn’t have to choose this demeaning line of work?

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4 thoughts on “Ninety hours of sex work would have been more fitting.

  1. yeah those poor naive girls… because nobody ever hears about prostitution and how badly prostitutes are treaten.
    come on – they just don’t want to starve to death on the streets or are too proud to get help at shelters and such. at least they can have heterosexual connections. if a man living in the streets wants to make money with sex, he has no other option than selling his ass. i bet if there was a need for heterosexual male prostitutes, there would be a pretty balanced amount of female and male ones.
    but either male or female, either homo- or heterosexual, it’s always their choice. everyone can choose a life as bums if they think the life of a prostitute is too demeaning.

    and to punish some john is really typical for the lack of thinking of most people. actions like that will NEVER solve anything because they don’t attack the root of the problem! they should punish the pimp, for christ sakes! and if she’s one of the few where there is no pimp – well damn, i guess then there’s no one to force her to do anything, huh?

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  2. You know, what you said about slavery and prostitution is SOO right-on! A friend of mine (the one who actually sent me the story) heads an anti-trafficking group here in Washington, DC and she once explained the origins of the pimp culture to me.

    Apparently, before slavery was abolished, White slave-owners and presumably other White men in the society had easy and unrestrained access to Black women. After slavery was outlawed, it became harder for them to have their way with Black women but the demand was still there. The pimp figure emerged as a middleman who made Black women available to White men. An entire subculture grew up around the pimp. There’s even a book dating back to the 1800s or early 1900s, I think, that contains rules of the game. For example, a prostitute can never make eye contact with another pimp or she instantly becomes his “property” and her pimp either has to “buy” her back or let the other pimp have her until she “pays off” the penalty. A prostitute has to cross to the other side of the street if a pimp is walking towards her on the same side of the street. And of course there’s all the violence, physical and sexual, that pimps commit towards prostitutes.

    You’re absolutely right!! Pimping and prostitution are linked directly back to slavery. It’s the last vestige of slavery in our society. And you’re right too that it’s not a real choice for the women who find themselves in sex work.

    Thanks for reading my blog and thanks again for the comment.

    Keep coming back to read more.

    Abdul

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  3. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a society where women wouldn’t be imprisoned for being manipulated or forced into this line of work by a pimp?

    Okay, I live in such a society, because I’m from Europe. But I’ve done a lot of research on this subject, and it seems that American pimps have developed a culture which strongly resembles feudalism, with the prostitutes as serfs or slaves. Weak or naive girls are lured into the trade with quite standardized techniques, then they are kept in line by the whip. If they want to leave their pimp, they lose all their possessions, and if they try to escape, they have to fear being tracked down and brought back to their owner. But I have to admit that America’s tactic of fighting slavery by punishing slaves for being slaves at least looks quite inventive.

    Today, prostitutes worldwide are being heckled by two unlikely allies thriving in perfect symbiosis. On the one hand, anti-prostitution activists are using abuse through pimps as an excuse to deny sex workers basic human rights – for their own “protection” of course. On the other hand, the lack of human rights for prostitutes not surprisingly creates a paradise for pimps, who are eager to produce more and more examples of abuse – which, in return, supports anti-prostitution activists. Isn’t it great when people who could barely be more different start working together?

    As for judge Cicconetti – well, at least he’s entertaining. I wonder if his punishments work better than prison terms.

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  4. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a society where women wouldn’t be imprisoned for being manipulated or forced into this line of work by a pimp?

    Okay, I live in such a society, because I’m from Europe. But I’ve done a lot of research on this subject, and it seems that American pimps have developed a culture which strongly resembles feudalism, with the prostitutes as serfs or slaves. Weak or naive girls are lured into the trade with quite standardized techniques, then they are kept in line with the whip. If they want to leave their pimp, they lose all their possessions, and if they try to escape, they have to fear being tracked down and brought back to their owner. But I have to admit that America’s tactic of fighting slavery by punishing slaves for being slaves at least looks quite inventive.

    Today, prostitutes worldwide are being heckled by two unlikely allies thriving in perfect symbiosis. On the one hand, anti-prostitution activists are using abuse through pimps as an excuse to deny sex workers basic human rights – for their own “protection” of course. On the other hand, the lack of human rights for prostitutes not surprisingly creates a paradise for pimps, who are eager to produce more and more examples of abuse – which, in return, supports anti-prostitution activists. Isn’t it great when people who could barely be more different start working together?

    As for judge Cicconetti – well, at least he’s entertaining. I wonder if his punishments work better than prison terms.

    Like

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