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?