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Monday, May 05, 2008

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, rest in peace

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

There's a really good article in about the apparent suicide of the "D.C. Madam." I say apparent because ... dear readers, I am 58 years old. As the saying goes "things aren't always what they seem" ... especially if it involves politicians. They get away with murder too much of the time. (To read the article you may need to have a subscription to

The author of the article interviews sex workers about their reaction to the Madam's death.

Here's an excerpt from it ... Melissa Gira is one of the sex workers being interviewed:

Upon hearing of Palfrey's death, Gira felt a jumble of emotions: confusion, anger, sadness. "Her story represented our story," she says.

Gira is angry about the way female sex workers are vilified when stories like these go public, while the men involved "go back to their job or they quietly leave." From among the 15,000 names in Palfrey's potent little black book, only three boldface names surfaced: Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, a married Republican and father of four who apologized for his "very serious sin" and kept his job; U.S. ambassador Randall L. Tobias, who as Bush's "AIDS czar" had publicly denounced prostitution and resigned after his outing; and Harlan K. Ullman, a retired Navy commander known for developing the shock-and-awe doctrine and who told Brian Ross of ABC News that he had gotten only massages from the women involved, not had sex with them, and stated that the experience was "like ordering pizza."

"If I was in her position I would have papered the walls of that shed with the sheets of my client list," says Gira.

Melissa Gira is also a blogger. She and several other sex workers started a blog called Bound, Not Gagged. You can read more about how they feel about Deborah Jeane Palfrey's death and mistreatment before her death. As one of the writers puts it: "We don't put rapists and murderers away for 55 years most of the time ..."

As a lesbian, I have always felt a bond with female sex workers. It's like the bond I feel with witches ... we have all been scorned and hated. And ... even before I read feminist writings ... I had a thought somewhere in my brain that this was all about men fearing and hating women ... especially women who were independent and different and possibly blasé about men.

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At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is always the same: Means, motive, opprotunity. Who had the most to lose?

Just saying...

At 3:18 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Really, kvatch. She ought to have papered the contents of her "customer" list all over the papers and the Internet. Poor thing.


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