So much has occurred in the world since I first started writing blogs for
Wild River Review. The last few writings gave the appearance of digressing from the beginning
concept of mature dating and issues important to woman as I traipsed through a myriad of seemingly far flung
ideas. I touched on such topics as affluenza, cheerleading, politics, and the the global sex trade that forces women and children into prostitution, among other topics. At
the heart of it, I believe they are all connected. Events that occur locally, nationally
and globally affect women either directly or indirectly. And that’s where I
want to be.
The difficulties of adult dating, no matter what the age
range, has ramifications. I think we all understand what each person must contribute
to making a good relationship. My tools of measuring are the CCC’s - caring, cooperation and consideration to
name just a few. So what happens along the way to joyous coupling?
More times than not, the good stuff is employed at the
beginning of a relationship. Why not for the duration? We have a horrendous
divorce rate. In a good percentage of those who choose to stay in relationships, there appears to be
a good deal of unhappiness. I have to assume that one or both partners perceive
that their expectation they had initially are diminished or dropped. When that occurs resentment
quickly fills the void. So, what are these unmet expectations that often turn into
fuel for misery? Are they, in fact, realistic enough able to be filled?
What is the driving force that quickly strips the dazzle of
a beginning relationship into a hateful situation? For one thing, there are
fantasies that each gender grows up with that can be seriously out-of-touch
Let’s discuss the male fantasy that makes men addicted to unconditional adoration. Ladies, take
heed. If you want a man at any cost you can probably have one at your command by
feeding into this male vulnerability. Just tell them every chance you get that
they are fabulous, brilliant, handsome, a genius, social wizards and the best that humanity has to offer.
I’m sure you can give new and unique compliments whether true or false.
The ticket to getting a man even if he’s married or
especially if he’s married, is to coddle, adore, compliment and fawn over him.
Don’t have needs of your own and be upbeat all the time. Never complain about anything,
especially your ex or kids. The downside is that keeping this up is nearly impossible and
If you present yourself as a person with deep, passionate feelings
and a set of issues about yourself that you verbalize, you may well have killed
the deal. With giving unconditional love, you’ve got a much better chance of
success of landing a guy. Does this hark back to an earlier period
of time that specified the roles of each gender? You bet your sweet ass it
does, although it has been somewhat low-keyed today and the male/female
positions a bit less defined. Today it isn’t cool not to want equality – on the
surface. Underneath, that’s a different story.
One of the classic stories that illustrates this point is something
that occurred with a couple I knew. Both had left relationships to be together.
He said she was the most brilliant woman he’d ever met and she said the same of
him. In my opinion, I thought she was intelligent but not brilliant. Upon
further questioning I was told that, initially in their relationship, they
stayed up most nights and all their spare time talking. A bit more probing revealed
that he did all the talking and she listened – just simply listened. So, I
assume that’s what made her brilliant in his mind.
Let’s say you go to the next step with this concept of -
don’t tell, don’t ask as it concerns your expectations of each other are prior
to commitment. If you marry or live together and the relationship appears to be on more
solid ground, the constant worshiping diminishes or stops. That can put you
smack in the middle of a mine field.
An adoration junkie that you might have enabled during
the courtship can become a discontented person when forced into withdrawal. There’s
always the worry that if the addict’s needs for admiration are so great he might
begin to look elsewhere for another woman to feed his habit. Often, there are
women available who happily comply. Perhaps they might be looking for security and feel the
guy’s wallet is bigger than his penis. When, once again, the pattern continues as it did with the last partner we might be looking at serial marriages. Perhaps a man
might become resigned to the new state of affairs (dashed expectations), he but become cantankerous and miserable. This can be true of women as well, but
it appears to be more of a male issue.
Whether this comes from implied male entitlement,
biologically or familial messages, or all of the above, no
one really knows. What we do know is that it still exists no matter how far we
think we’ve come in the slow march to equality! I call it THEGLASS CEILING IN
What about female fantasies? I’ve found there is a tendency
in women to like good looking, cynical bad boys. There is something inherently about bad boy
that is appealing. Maybe they’re more of a challenge. And women, overall, don’t seem to value nerds. But bad boys can and often do live up to their reputations. Despite that women still look for support and
caring from these types of men who can’t give it. It is not usually in the
nature of these types. I don’t know why but women are often shocked when this
type of man cheats on them or treats them abusively verbally or
For whatever reason these prevailing fantasies exist,
perhaps from movies, advertisements, early childhood toys, societal demands,
implicit rules and the list goes on, and seems stubbornly imbedded. So far, the
push for equality hasn’t pressed hard enough on these problems. Let’s hope that
somewhere down the line it will happen.
From pre-school to middle school, whether public or private,
all the basics of math and reading skills are included. Sometimes creative
writing, computers, and a host of other classes are given. Another strong
aspect of schooling is sports. Oh, we hear the complaints from parents and
teachers – not enough discipline, too much discipline, too much homework, not
enough homework, strict teachers, lax teachers, indifferent teachers, and the
list is endless. But overall the importance of education is a given.
Somehow, many children can get past whatever failings their schools
may have because, overall, education does the job. Many children can even
overcome a mediocre curriculum. Of course, when the quality of education is
poor, many students do not develop the curiosity to seek further learning on
their own. Those are serious issues and we are all aware of them, but need to
be dealt with at a later time. I have something else up my sleeve that needs to
We all attempt to deal with educational difficulties by voting
on budgets, demanding better teachers and enriched curriculums. But we have to
remember that the best time for developing young minds is in the earliest
grades, say pre-school to second/third grade (even earlier). If a child’s imagination is not grabbed
and curiosity for knowledge not instilled in that age range, it becomes
progressively harder for them to capture the love of learning. This is the time
to stimulate little minds with lasting effects.
In these early years I strongly suggest another segment of
education that seems to be universally missing. We need to dismantle the subtle
and not so subtle suggestion that exists in even the most mundane activities. And that is, girls are not equal to boys. Most of us would never verbalize such chauvinist garbage.
But numerous subliminal messages are everywhere.
In the world of sports there is no question as to the
greater amount of money and attention that is paid to the male side. Female
cheerleading suggests a woman on the sidelines, nurturing, but not
participating in an arena that favors men.
Toys for young children are constantly reinforcing those
images. The hero toys are, for the most part, males. Generally, the shallow, wardrobe obsessed toys are dolls for girls. Many times, females are depicted
as helpers. Should I dare liken that to cheerleaders?
There are instances where liberal teachers who are solidly
in favor of equality will, inadvertently, give little boys more leeway.
Sometimes the boys are allowed to be more rowdy, speak out-of-turn while the
same privilege is not given to the little girls. I’m not suggesting that in any
way this is deliberate. It’s that it seems to be built-in to the collective, inbred,
unconsciousness of society. We need to
wake up and become aware.
If we watch our own behavior and words carefully, and then nip
those seemingly inconsequential concepts that tend to demoralize females in the
bud, we can plough forward. It is distressing that most people I’ve talked to
laugh at this notion. That’s how profoundly unconscious these images
are. I just ask that you look at the dire consequences of what so many hardly detectible
messages are communicated to young women and girls. What is suggested is that underneath all the bravado of equality, women are only there to
There are some comic book heroes that are women, but, generally,
they are in skimpy costumes – again, like cheerleaders. Are they merely sex
symbols? Heaven forbid. We need to enlighten the toy industry, educators,
authors and the like to be cognizant of the way that the psychological disparity
between the sexes is maintained. We have to get the kids when they are very,
very young and imbue them with new material. If males came to adulthood
without having been granted entitlement, how glorious the world would
be. And perhaps this might eliminate the need for men to pound their chests in
order to prove some nebulous point. We might even see the need for war
diminishing. (Okay, maybe that is pushing it a bit far)
Amid all the fanfare of electing a new president and the
global financial difficulties, an article appeared in The New York Times on
November 7, 2008 by Danny Hakim and William K. Rashbaum. The title; “No Federal
Prostitution Charges for Spitzer.” In the article it said: “Former Gov. Eliot
Spitzer will not face criminal charges for patronizing a high-priced
prostitution ring, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.
“The announcement, a five-paragraph statement from Michael
J. Garcia, the United States attorney in Manhattan, ended almost eight months
of uncertainty for the disgraced governor, whose lawyers had been quietly
making their case to the country’s most prominent prosecutor’s office that he
ought not be charged. And it ended the possibility that Mr. Spitzer, once an
aggressive prosecutor himself, would have his private life explored in a public
The ex-Governor of New
York was allegedly heard on wiretap setting up an assignation
with a prostitute. Now here’s where I see the tricky part. In this allegation,
Spitzer was said to have made arrangements for the prostitute to travel from New York to Washington
so the meeting could take place in his hotel room.
The woman was sent by a company called, Emperor’s Club
V.I.P., supposedly a prostitution service who charged as much as $5,500 an
hour. Personally, I’d like to be a fly on the wall watching to see what
incredible sex act or acts could be performed in an hour that would be worth
that much money. I must be missing something.
My prurient curiosity aside, there is a law called the Mann
Act. This is quoted from Wikipedia. “…It also banned the interstate transport
of females for “immoral purposes.” Its primary stated intent was to address
prostitution, immorality, and human trafficking. The act is better known as the
Mann Act, after James Robert Mann, an American lawmaker.”
In the same article in The New York Times, Hakim and
Rashbaum continue; “The presentations, they said, focused on the defense team’s
argument that no campaign money or state funds were involved, that Mr. Spitzer
did not illegally structure the transactions to pay the prostitutes, and that
charges were not warranted under the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting
people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.”
Huh? Well, if the Mann Act prohibits transporting people
across state lines for the purpose of prostitution then I’m totally confused as
to the ruling that says charges are not warranted. It’s not that I particularly
want to Spitzer punished, but my interpretation is that he did break the law.
The New York Times article further states, “Michael C.
Farkas, who represents Tania Hollander, who worked part time as a booker for
the Emperor’s Club V.I.P. and pleaded guilty to a federal prostitution
conspiracy charge in August, suggested it was unfair that Mr. Spitzer would
face no charges while his client faced possible jail time. Mr. Farkas said Ms.
Hollander had played the smallest role of the four people charged.”
I, too, have questions about the fairness. In my last blog I
mentioned that Mr. Spitzer pushed for the most far-reaching legislation in the
country which would raise the penalties for the johns who patronize
prostitutes. As I understand it the thinking behind the law emanated from the
rapidly expanding sex trade, and in theory, if the men who patronize are
punished it might help eliminate or diminish the demand. Is it not ironic that
Mr. Spitzer was caught in his own web? Still, he is off-the-hook.
Heidi Fleiss, known as the “Hollywood Madam” seems to have also
charged enormous prices for her call girls — $1500 a pop and that was around the
late 80′s and early 90′s. She was charged with tax evasion and pandering
(charges of pandering later dropped) and served jail time. She was given a 37
month sentence. Now here’s the rub (no pun intended)! Not one of her elite
clientele who were among the rich and famous was punished.
Is there some underlying thread in the unconscious mentality
of society that puts the blame on women? We can go back to biblical Adam and
Eve and how Eve tempted Adam – like Adam wasn’t a full grown man who could make
his own decisions. How about this theory? Adam wanted to eat the apple and made
the clear decision to do so? When the act created havoc, it seemed so much
easier to blame Eve. When a drunk driver has an accident we acknowledge that
he/she is responsible for drinking and driving. Period!
Mind you, I believe prostitution should be legalized and
then the hookers, madams, procurers and whoever else involved in the “business”
endeavor would go on record. The prostitutes would be subjected to periodic
exams and all concerned would be required to PAY TAXES like the rest of us. Also,
the spread of sexually transmitted diseases could more easily be controlled.
In my opinion, there is a more serious issue underlying the
frequent unfairness of how prostitutes are subjected to more penalties than their
male clients. Overall, men are making the laws and enforcing or NOT enforcing
them. I believe that is a reflection of why, in numerous subtle and not so
subtle ways, women are still not treated on a par with men. Not that long ago
domestic abuse by men was considered a family affair and police didn’t want to
interfere. Don’t let me go there or I’ll never stop.
It leads to why women are still floundering for direction on
how to achieve and balance career, wife, motherhood, ambition or choosing to be
a stay-at-home mom. Women often find themselves painfully juggling domestic
responsibilities with career. In job interviews no one seems to worry if a man
is planning to have or has a family. Not so with women.
Shock at learning about this topic encouraged me to write a thriller
that has at the core of the plot the horrors of the sex trade and how much of it
is bankrolled by organized crime. My aim was to write a suspenseful page-turner
with fascinating characters and in the process alert people to the seriousness
of the problem. To that end, I hope I’ve been successful. But it is just a small voice that I hope will contribute to producing a ground-swell to eliminate widespread sex slavery – and soon.
When I first came across the subject few years ago, the
questions I asked were; how could this be such a rampant, unrestrained problem
in the world? Where is the outcry? Why aren’t governments protesting,
instituting laws and enforcing them against this brutal, monstrous enslavement,
especially as it concerns children?
Sadly, one of the most zealous protestors of the sex trade
was Eliot Spitzer. He signed a bill into law that raised the penalties for
patronizing a prostitute, believing that it would diminish the demand. But then
he was accused of patronizing a prostitute. How odd that his bill, one of the
most effective laws in the nation against sex slavery, came back to haunt him.
Still, I am grateful to Mr. Spitzer for hearing the pleas of women fighting for
their freedom. I see forced sex slavery somewhat differently than a call girl
willingly offering her services for big dollars.
I have asked myself questions that have no easy answers such
as, could the relative silence about the problem be due to the reported 35 billion
dollars that this crime against women generates worldwide? Does the huge amount
of money brought into all of these countries dampen enthusiasm for ending it? Is
it because men basically rule the world and, unconsciously, they don’t see
making sex slaves of women and children as a problem? In fact, could having a
sex slave possibly be a common fantasy which, in turn, diminishes the
importance of the issue? Do we have too many pedophiles willing to pay the
price extracted that creates a demand for children? It is not, as it is
generally believed, only a problem of third world countries. All of the
developed countries are involved as well. The US imports up to approximately
17,500 trafficked people a year.
Our financial crisis brought out the US government
in a call to arms as they shoveled enormous amounts of cash into the system along
with sophisticated brain storming from top economists. Some people in high
places even issued apologies (You didn’t know that the industry wouldn’t police
themselves? Give me a break). World leaders joined in the crusade to shore up
failing markets. When the Phillies baseball team recently won the World Series,
they estimated that hundreds of thousands and perhaps upward of 2+ million people
came out to the parade for a celebration.
But when we hear about the sex trade where women and
children are victimized, held captive and forced to perform all kinds of sex
acts for fourteen and even eighteen hours a day with perhaps as many as forty
men, we only hear a few voices in the distance.
Julie Lesser, a Tribune Correspondent for the Jewish
Tribune, March 30, 2006, wrote an article that was published by the same
newspaper shortly after Canadian Journalist and social activist Victor Malarek
addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue. She said: “Promoting a
book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and
Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their
homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel.
Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and
If they don’t submit there is severe punishment – brutal
beatings, rape, torture and threats against their families back home. Even if
they are do submit they may be subject to the same abuses. This is, without a
doubt, a global issue.
Julie Lesser goes on to comment: “As customers’ demands for
slave trade workers who do not have HIV or AIDS increases the age of victims
proportionally decreases. UNICEF has determined that approximately 1.7 billion
children are victimized annually. Ironically, Malarek didn’t realize the
gravity of the situation until he personally witnessed how many young girls
were trafficked into Kosovo to service troops sent by the United Nations.”
If governments made the public aware of this despicable
activity perhaps there might be an outcry. There seem to be more laws and
information given to the public about cruelty to animals. Don’t get me wrong. I
am very much in favor of protecting animals. But isn’t this issue just as
important? How could we have shunted this population of women and children
aside as though they didn’t exist? And I thank you, Daryl Hannah, for going
into brothels around the world to publicize the total demoralization to humans
caught in the web of sex slavery and to help rescue them.