Oh, and Tony Perkins? He lies. A lot. For money.

David Waters has a good rundown and smackdown of religious right opposition to the expansion of hate-crime law to include violence intended to intimidate lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

The bottom line is that these supposed people of faith are arguing in bad faith. They know this legislation won't affect their religious freedom in any way, but its enactment will force them to find a new lucrative bogeyman for future fundraising letters.

That was fairly straightforward, but let me put it more bluntly: The leaders of the religious right opposed to this bill are liars. They are liars motivated by greed.

Please don't clutch your pearls and get the vapors that such an impolite thing is stated so honestly. That Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council lies a lot in order to scare people into sending him money is not surprising, or new, or unusual or controversial. Tony Perkins lies for money. Giraffes have long necks. Water is wet.

The problem is that these charlatans and fearmongers have muddied the conversation to the extent that others — people who, unlike the Liar Tony Perkins, are trying to argue in good faith — are confused about the what and how and why of hate-crimes legislation. So let's quickly review and clarify a few points.

1. This is not about "thought crime"

The Liar Tony Perkins et. al. have exploited potential confusion arising from the name "hate crime" and stirred it into actual confusion about this. But no, these laws do not actually prohibit hatred. Hate crimes do not threaten the livelihood of those who, like the Liar Tony Perkins, feed and feed on hatred of The Other. Nor does it threaten the existence of bigotry that stops short of expressing itself through actual, tangible violence. Bigotry in all forms — racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism — is still perfectly legal. So too are all the things that cause this bigotry — inarticulate fear, the insecurity that arises from deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, the recognition that unmerited privilege at others' expense is ultimately unsustainable, etc.

Hate-crimes legislation is actually bigotry-neutral. If you're a bigot, you have nothing to fear from such laws. (Of course, if you're a bigot, then you're probably not too concerned with whether or not your fears are ever founded or rational.)

The only extent to which hate-crime protections pertain to "thought" is in the way that all criminal law does, which is to say that motive matters. If you truly believe that the law should make no distinction between accidental manslaughter and premeditated first-degree homicide, because you truly believe that any such distinction constitutes the establishment of "thought crime," then I will accept that you are making this "thought-crime" objection to hate-crime legislation in good faith. (I'll think you're kind of an idiot, but at least a sincere idiot.) But you can't accept that distinction and still argue in good faith that hate crimes are "thought crimes."

2. This is not about limiting free speech in any way

Hate-crimes involve explicit and actual violence. It's not enough that someone makes a fist or shakes a fist — they have to hit somebody with it. Unless someone gets hit or shot or stabbed or set on fire or has their property destroyed, then there can be no hate crime. No harm, no foul, as we say on the playground.

And the First Amendment right to free speech — like the First Amendment right to free exercise — has never been interpreted to allow any of us the freedom to hit, shoot, stab or torch anybody else.

Free speech is not inhibited by hate-crime legislation. Hate speech isn't even inhibited by hate-crime legislation. Consider again the living, breathing embodiment of the proof of that: the Rev. Fred Phelps.

The only place hate-crime laws touch on speech is when that speech explicitly incites violence. That means speech directly linked to a discreet act of violence actually carried out. Speech like, for example, "Pull the trigger! Shoot him!" or the sort of "Go kill them all now" message broadcast by Hutu Radio. The sort of hate speech regularly practiced by the Rev. Fred Phelps does not rise/sink to the level of such incitement.

The Liar Tony Perkins and his buddies on the religious right have spent years telling evangelical ministers that they will be prosecuted for hate-crimes for sermons that mention homosexuality. The Liar Tony Perkins is lying about this. Those sermons could be as spitefully vitriolic and nasty as the stuff Fred Phelps says without any need to worry about prosecution. Evangelical pastors telling their congregation that it is their sacred duty to go forth and beat to death any homosexuals they encounter would be in legal jeopardy, so if that's you, be warned.

Short of that, though, you're safe, even if you sound exactly like Perkins or Phelps. (Legally safe, that is. If you sound like Perkins or Phelps then, well, your soul is in mortal peril. You can't hate your brother and not become the enemy of God. The Bible tells me so.)

3. This is about terrorism

A hate crime is simply an act of terrorism. Nothing more, nothing less.

(Does this mean that the Liar Tony Perkins and his fellow opponents of hate-crime legislation are defenders of terrorism? Yes, actually, it does. But to be fair, the Liar Tony Perkins doesn't defend terrorism out of any particular love for terrorism — he's just doing it for the money.)

Terrorism is violence with an agenda and an audience. Terrorism is violence that intends to send a message.

The content of that message doesn't matter. As we discussed above, laws against terrorism are not "thought-crime" statutes. It doesn't matter if the terrorists' message is "Death to America" or if it's "This is what we'll do to you, too, if you whistle at a white girl in this town." The content of the message isn't what makes it terrorism, the problem is the medium of the message — violence and intimidation.

If Bob assaults Jim, that's a crime. Bob is the perpetrator and Jim is the victim. Simple.

But if Bob assaults Jim in order to send a message to everybody like Jim that the same thing will happen to them if they don't do whatever it is Bob says, then that's also a hate crime, which is to say it's terrorism. Bob is the perpetrator and Jim is a victim, but Jim isn't the only victim. All those other people who are like Jim are victims of this crime as well.

That's what makes terrorism — hate crimes — worse than just the acts of violence at their center. The seriousness of the crime being perpetrated against those additional victims should not be dismissed or belittled. Their trauma is real and it counts. Just think of all those people in every red state who can tell you exactly where they were on Sept. 11, 2001.

4. Tony Perkins lies a lot for money.

It's who he is. It's what he does.

  • Jessica

    I guess I was looking for some basis to show people like the Browns that they’re being not just disingenuous but also paranoid about their fatherless-family doomsday scenario.
    Well, there’s no quiverful families in the gay community, if that helps. ;)
    Honestly, the whole two parents of the same sex being bad for the kids thing has pretty much been disproven from what I understand. I think it’s disingenuous for the Browns to continue on about it when their model for the family is based on an interpretation of the Bible that not even all Christians agree with.
    I’m not sure if the paranoia is even worth addressing. The continued harping on old tired arguments is enough.
    And with that, I’m off to have dinner.

  • Bugmaster

    But the examples you give above are about the accuracy of labels, not about their completeness

    Well, perhaps, but they are also examples of labels that many people feel very strongly about. In case of kashrut, most Jews assume that any food not labeled as kosher, is not; and they feel very strongly about non-kosher food (i.e., DO NOT WANT). And yet, when you look at it from a strictly chemical perspective, kosher food is basically just food.
    I would argue that a sex worker who is advertising herself as female can reasonably expect her customers to assume that she is morphologically, and perhaps even genetically, female — that being the common case. Yes, she is not obligated to disclose her specific morphology and/or genetics, but not doing so sounds dishonest to me, since her customers are likely to feel very strongly about it. Note that this applies even if the trans-gender worker is functionally equivalent to the average cis-gender worker, since we’re talking about people’s preferences here, not objective metrics (by analogy with kosher vs. non-kosher foods).

  • Bugmaster

    But the examples you give above are about the accuracy of labels, not about their completeness

    Well, perhaps, but they are also examples of labels that many people feel very strongly about. In case of kashrut, most Jews assume that any food not labeled as kosher, is not; and they feel very strongly about non-kosher food (i.e., DO NOT WANT). And yet, when you look at it from a strictly chemical perspective, kosher food is basically just food.
    I would argue that a sex worker who is advertising herself as female can reasonably expect her customers to assume that she is morphologically, and perhaps even genetically, female — that being the common case. Yes, she is not obligated to disclose her specific morphology and/or genetics, but not doing so sounds dishonest to me, since her customers are likely to feel very strongly about it. Note that this applies even if the trans-gender worker is functionally equivalent to the average cis-gender worker, since we’re talking about people’s preferences here, not objective metrics (by analogy with kosher vs. non-kosher foods).

  • Caravelle

    CaryB :

    You wouldn’t call someone “Bob” who’d indicated that they prefered to be called Robert, not without being a major, public, dick.

    I had a guy recently who not only called me “Bob” (which actually doesn’t bother me at all, I even find it charming if I like the person or the nickname), but introduced me as such to a class of children I’d be teaching. Not only that, he didn’t understand why I saw something wrong with that and refused to stop doing it. WTF ?
    So anyway, I wouldn’t be so sure that someone who’s offended at the offense for “tranny” wouldn’t call someone “Bob” when they preferred Robert.

  • Caravelle

    CaryB :

    You wouldn’t call someone “Bob” who’d indicated that they prefered to be called Robert, not without being a major, public, dick.

    I had a guy recently who not only called me “Bob” (which actually doesn’t bother me at all, I even find it charming if I like the person or the nickname), but introduced me as such to a class of children I’d be teaching. Not only that, he didn’t understand why I saw something wrong with that and refused to stop doing it. WTF ?
    So anyway, I wouldn’t be so sure that someone who’s offended at the offense for “tranny” wouldn’t call someone “Bob” when they preferred Robert.

  • Anton Mates

    Jeff, sorry, I missed this post earlier:

    You do agree that a pre-op transexual is committing fraud, right?

    No. Not unless they explicitly claim not to be one when asked, and then receive compensation under that assumption. Otherwise, I don’t care if the worker turns out to be a 200-year-old male Sasquatch with three artificial limbs–if you didn’t ask, you get what you get.
    Think about all the instances of advertising that are not fraud. I can market an “herbal cancer remedy,” or a “natural male enhancement product.” I can tell you that God will grant you prosperity if you give me a “seed offering.” I can invite you to my casino, where the jackpots are huge and the slots are the loosest in the county. I can tell you that my fast food chain serves the most delicious, succulent hamburger on earth–and it’s healthy and environmentally conscious, too!
    In all these cases, some customers will find that my product/service is nowhere near what they hoped for. But none of them are, legally, fraud. And I see no reason why a dick-phobic john deserves more legal handholding than an old lady who hopes Oral Roberts will get Jesus to pay off her medical bills.

    I’ve thought on it some more, and since a condom would be required, I don’t think there’s a material difference between a post-op transexual and a cisgendered woman, so I’m willing to retract that.

    It really, really isn’t about whether there’s a material difference. There’s a material difference between a fat person and a skinny person too, and I know a ton of bi people who find factors like weight and age much more important to their attraction than whether you’re biologically male or female. Is it fraud if you discover that the sex worker’s wearing a girdle and control underwear, or a padded bra and a pillow?

    So, too, picking someone who is not transgender might be more than being picky. If you go to a bar and order a screwdriver, you wouldn’t want the bartender to serve you a martini. Did you go to the bar to get a drink, full stop?

    If I didn’t, I’ll say, “Sorry, I asked for a screwdriver. Can I get that instead?” And if the bartender insists on serving me a martini for some reason, I’ll take my business elsewhere…no big deal. What I won’t do is sue him for trying to deceive me into drinking the wrong cocktail.
    You know that sex workers are not usually paid in advance with no refunds, right? It’s not like the instant she takes her pants off you realize that you’ve made a HORRIBLE MISTAKE and then she rapes you and takes your cash and films the whole thing and shows it to your friends.

  • Anton Mates

    Jeff, sorry, I missed this post earlier:

    You do agree that a pre-op transexual is committing fraud, right?

    No. Not unless they explicitly claim not to be one when asked, and then receive compensation under that assumption. Otherwise, I don’t care if the worker turns out to be a 200-year-old male Sasquatch with three artificial limbs–if you didn’t ask, you get what you get.
    Think about all the instances of advertising that are not fraud. I can market an “herbal cancer remedy,” or a “natural male enhancement product.” I can tell you that God will grant you prosperity if you give me a “seed offering.” I can invite you to my casino, where the jackpots are huge and the slots are the loosest in the county. I can tell you that my fast food chain serves the most delicious, succulent hamburger on earth–and it’s healthy and environmentally conscious, too!
    In all these cases, some customers will find that my product/service is nowhere near what they hoped for. But none of them are, legally, fraud. And I see no reason why a dick-phobic john deserves more legal handholding than an old lady who hopes Oral Roberts will get Jesus to pay off her medical bills.

    I’ve thought on it some more, and since a condom would be required, I don’t think there’s a material difference between a post-op transexual and a cisgendered woman, so I’m willing to retract that.

    It really, really isn’t about whether there’s a material difference. There’s a material difference between a fat person and a skinny person too, and I know a ton of bi people who find factors like weight and age much more important to their attraction than whether you’re biologically male or female. Is it fraud if you discover that the sex worker’s wearing a girdle and control underwear, or a padded bra and a pillow?

    So, too, picking someone who is not transgender might be more than being picky. If you go to a bar and order a screwdriver, you wouldn’t want the bartender to serve you a martini. Did you go to the bar to get a drink, full stop?

    If I didn’t, I’ll say, “Sorry, I asked for a screwdriver. Can I get that instead?” And if the bartender insists on serving me a martini for some reason, I’ll take my business elsewhere…no big deal. What I won’t do is sue him for trying to deceive me into drinking the wrong cocktail.
    You know that sex workers are not usually paid in advance with no refunds, right? It’s not like the instant she takes her pants off you realize that you’ve made a HORRIBLE MISTAKE and then she rapes you and takes your cash and films the whole thing and shows it to your friends.

  • Tonio

    I think it’s disingenuous for the Browns to continue on about it when their model for the family is based on an interpretation of the Bible that not even all Christians agree with.
    Do you mean that the model originated in a reading of scripture and the Browns inherited it from the culture, or that the Browns are getting their model directly from scripture as believers?

  • Tonio

    I think it’s disingenuous for the Browns to continue on about it when their model for the family is based on an interpretation of the Bible that not even all Christians agree with.
    Do you mean that the model originated in a reading of scripture and the Browns inherited it from the culture, or that the Browns are getting their model directly from scripture as believers?

  • Jeff

    [[Honestly, Jeff, while I don't know how you actually feel about it, your continued hammering on this totally icky topic is giving me the very strong impression that you, personally, are icked out and terrified by the idea of women having penises.]]
    I can assure you that I am 100% absolutely not. Some of them are absolute beautiful — one local paper has ads for “escorts” and “massage”, and some of the transgender women who advertise are better-looking than their cis- counterparts. As with gay adverts / porn, I just flip to the next one — it doesn’t squick, it just doesn’t appeal sexually.
    =====================
    [[You know that sex workers are not usually paid in advance with no refunds, right?]]
    Prostitutes absolutely are paid in advance. And there usually aren’t refunds. (There may be other “sex workers” who aren’t paid in advance, but that wasn’t what I was talking about.
    ===================
    I see that this is getting others very upset, and while I recognized the potential for that from the outset, it’s not my desire to cause anyone undue stress. Anton has given me nre perspectives, and while I don’t totally agree with him, I respect his thinking. So consider this dropped.

  • Jeff

    [[Honestly, Jeff, while I don't know how you actually feel about it, your continued hammering on this totally icky topic is giving me the very strong impression that you, personally, are icked out and terrified by the idea of women having penises.]]
    I can assure you that I am 100% absolutely not. Some of them are absolute beautiful — one local paper has ads for “escorts” and “massage”, and some of the transgender women who advertise are better-looking than their cis- counterparts. As with gay adverts / porn, I just flip to the next one — it doesn’t squick, it just doesn’t appeal sexually.
    =====================
    [[You know that sex workers are not usually paid in advance with no refunds, right?]]
    Prostitutes absolutely are paid in advance. And there usually aren’t refunds. (There may be other “sex workers” who aren’t paid in advance, but that wasn’t what I was talking about.
    ===================
    I see that this is getting others very upset, and while I recognized the potential for that from the outset, it’s not my desire to cause anyone undue stress. Anton has given me nre perspectives, and while I don’t totally agree with him, I respect his thinking. So consider this dropped.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Those of y’all arguing the point (with which I wholeheartedly agree!) that transgender sex-workers are not guilty of fraud, and that customers are responsible for handling their own squick like grown-ups:
    The comparisons to unethical but technically legal business practices isn’t exactly good for your argument.
    I’d like to argue that not only are transgender sex-workers not doing anything fraudulent, but that they aren’t doing anything unethical, either. So comparing them to Oral Roberts advertising that a donation will save you from hell, or a quack doctor selling an herbal cancer remedy, is… distasteful, at best.
    Perhaps a better argument is: It’s like if I get hired as some guy’s secretary or receptionist, and they get all upset when it turns out I’m not a supermodel and I won’t give them blow-jobs when business is slow. See, while it’s not entirely unreasonable for them to have gotten the impression that such things are in the job description, given some of the business practices in certain stratospheric areas (and earlier eras), it’s not my fault they got that impression, and it’s not my responsibility to live up (down?) to it.
    Similarly, given the sexist, gender-binary misconceptions rampant in our society, it’s not unreasonable for a man to get the impression that anyone wearing those clothe and advertising those sexual services must have a born-female body with the vag and the XX chromosomes–but it’s still a faulty impression, and it’s not the sex-worker’s job to conform to it. It is only the sex-worker’s job to provide the advertised sexual services.
    (And no, “being a female-presenting street-walker” does not constitute “clearly advertising the service of penis-in-vagina.” It is important to draw a distinction between what she advertises and what he assumes.)

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Those of y’all arguing the point (with which I wholeheartedly agree!) that transgender sex-workers are not guilty of fraud, and that customers are responsible for handling their own squick like grown-ups:
    The comparisons to unethical but technically legal business practices isn’t exactly good for your argument.
    I’d like to argue that not only are transgender sex-workers not doing anything fraudulent, but that they aren’t doing anything unethical, either. So comparing them to Oral Roberts advertising that a donation will save you from hell, or a quack doctor selling an herbal cancer remedy, is… distasteful, at best.
    Perhaps a better argument is: It’s like if I get hired as some guy’s secretary or receptionist, and they get all upset when it turns out I’m not a supermodel and I won’t give them blow-jobs when business is slow. See, while it’s not entirely unreasonable for them to have gotten the impression that such things are in the job description, given some of the business practices in certain stratospheric areas (and earlier eras), it’s not my fault they got that impression, and it’s not my responsibility to live up (down?) to it.
    Similarly, given the sexist, gender-binary misconceptions rampant in our society, it’s not unreasonable for a man to get the impression that anyone wearing those clothe and advertising those sexual services must have a born-female body with the vag and the XX chromosomes–but it’s still a faulty impression, and it’s not the sex-worker’s job to conform to it. It is only the sex-worker’s job to provide the advertised sexual services.
    (And no, “being a female-presenting street-walker” does not constitute “clearly advertising the service of penis-in-vagina.” It is important to draw a distinction between what she advertises and what he assumes.)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a6452705970c Ruby

    Jeff: Prostitutes absolutely are paid in advance. And there usually aren’t refunds. (There may be other “sex workers” who aren’t paid in advance, but that wasn’t what I was talking about.
    I don’t think that’s an absolute. I saw a show about legal prostitution in Nevada, and I seem to remember that prostitute and client do everything they want to do, then settle on the bill.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a6452705970c Ruby

    Jeff: Prostitutes absolutely are paid in advance. And there usually aren’t refunds. (There may be other “sex workers” who aren’t paid in advance, but that wasn’t what I was talking about.
    I don’t think that’s an absolute. I saw a show about legal prostitution in Nevada, and I seem to remember that prostitute and client do everything they want to do, then settle on the bill.

  • Neohippie

    Personally—and obviously definitions vary, as we can see from this thread, but— I’d classify hate crimes as a subset of terrorism, where the target is a social group. This does seem like a distinction worth making, if only for intellectual interest and the practicalities of legal prevention, because the impact on the target group might well vary depending on whether it’s socially or non-socially defined. (I’m not sure that means the legal penalties should differ at all, though.)
    So I think the murder you’re talking about is definitely an act of terrorism, but it may not be a hate crime. Doesn’t make it any better or worse, though.

    I’m ok with calling it “terrorism”. Maybe the problem with “hate crime” really is a matter of semantics. We might need a better word for that, to make it seem less like they’re some sort of “thought crimes”. Like I said, I am uncomfortable with the concept of “hate crime”, but I think the intent is good.
    Basically, I do think that some sort of distinction should be made between violent crimes committed to send a message to a group of people, and other murders, because the former has a bunch of indirect victims who may not have even known that person, but they’re still additional victims just for belonging to that group. They shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Neohippie

    Personally—and obviously definitions vary, as we can see from this thread, but— I’d classify hate crimes as a subset of terrorism, where the target is a social group. This does seem like a distinction worth making, if only for intellectual interest and the practicalities of legal prevention, because the impact on the target group might well vary depending on whether it’s socially or non-socially defined. (I’m not sure that means the legal penalties should differ at all, though.)
    So I think the murder you’re talking about is definitely an act of terrorism, but it may not be a hate crime. Doesn’t make it any better or worse, though.

    I’m ok with calling it “terrorism”. Maybe the problem with “hate crime” really is a matter of semantics. We might need a better word for that, to make it seem less like they’re some sort of “thought crimes”. Like I said, I am uncomfortable with the concept of “hate crime”, but I think the intent is good.
    Basically, I do think that some sort of distinction should be made between violent crimes committed to send a message to a group of people, and other murders, because the former has a bunch of indirect victims who may not have even known that person, but they’re still additional victims just for belonging to that group. They shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Jessica

    Tonio–
    Do you mean that the model originated in a reading of scripture and the Browns inherited it from the culture, or that the Browns are getting their model directly from scripture as believers?
    I’m think it’s a little of both, maybe a 70/30 or 80/20 split in favor of getting it from the culture. I was reading the No Longer Quivering blog, and it sounds like there’s a mix of getting it from others (the culture, as you put it) and picking it out of the Bible. Vyckie, the author of the blog, talks about books she read that instructed her how to be a ‘biblical woman and wife’ but it also sounds like she went back to the Bible to look for further insight.
    Now, don’t misunderstand me. As a Christian, I think the Bible is VERY important, but I also think that there ARE actual real limitations to reading a book whose most recent entry is almost 2000 years old. I don’t think that the family model that worked several thousand years ago for what was an agrarian/animal husbandry-type society is really all that great for a modern society with big cities, expensive rent and no jobs, where people don’t grow or keep any of their own food (except for what fits in their fridge).

  • Jessica

    Tonio–
    Do you mean that the model originated in a reading of scripture and the Browns inherited it from the culture, or that the Browns are getting their model directly from scripture as believers?
    I’m think it’s a little of both, maybe a 70/30 or 80/20 split in favor of getting it from the culture. I was reading the No Longer Quivering blog, and it sounds like there’s a mix of getting it from others (the culture, as you put it) and picking it out of the Bible. Vyckie, the author of the blog, talks about books she read that instructed her how to be a ‘biblical woman and wife’ but it also sounds like she went back to the Bible to look for further insight.
    Now, don’t misunderstand me. As a Christian, I think the Bible is VERY important, but I also think that there ARE actual real limitations to reading a book whose most recent entry is almost 2000 years old. I don’t think that the family model that worked several thousand years ago for what was an agrarian/animal husbandry-type society is really all that great for a modern society with big cities, expensive rent and no jobs, where people don’t grow or keep any of their own food (except for what fits in their fridge).

  • Fitcher’s Bird

    Thanks for the advice, Jessica. As someone who finds confrontations rather difficult, having useful arguments laid out ready to become a sort of mental script should be very helpful.

  • Fitcher’s Bird

    Thanks for the advice, Jessica. As someone who finds confrontations rather difficult, having useful arguments laid out ready to become a sort of mental script should be very helpful.

  • Anton Mates

    Ruby,

    I don’t think that’s an absolute. I saw a show about legal prostitution in Nevada, and I seem to remember that prostitute and client do everything they want to do, then settle on the bill.

    I’ve seen a couple of Nevada brothel descriptions where money is paid in advance, but in that setup the client’s expected to take a while beforehand (fifteen minutes, say) to talk to the prostitute and negotiate exactly what they’re going to do, so they have plenty of time to discuss physical preferences and such.
    In the case of freelance escorting, both the escort bloggers I’ve read and the escorts I’ve personally known (not too many, but I know a lot of college students, so) generally say that they get paid afterwards–either straight from the client’s wallet, or from cash that was placed “in escrow” (e.g. on the dresser or the table) beforehand. Which of course makes it easier for the client to try to get out of paying at the end.
    Dunno that much about street prostitution–I imagine it depends on where they’re going to have sex–but if it’s a motel room assignation or something, the johns I’ve read about it say that it’s usually a money-on-the-dresser deal.
    Nicole,

    I’d like to argue that not only are transgender sex-workers not doing anything fraudulent, but that they aren’t doing anything unethical, either. So comparing them to Oral Roberts advertising that a donation will save you from hell, or a quack doctor selling an herbal cancer remedy, is… distasteful, at best.

    You’re right–my apologies. I certainly don’t think those are remotely morally equivalent. I raised the advertising examples only to show that you can get much closer to intentionally deceiving the customer and it’s still not legal fraud, nor worthy of a legal “registry” to enforce disclosure. But yes, I agree that a transgender sex worker isn’t doing anything illegal or unethical by failing to trumpet their anatomical and chromosomal status to the four winds.

    (And no, “being a female-presenting street-walker” does not constitute “clearly advertising the service of penis-in-vagina.” It is important to draw a distinction between what she advertises and what he assumes.)

    Exactly.

  • Anton Mates

    Ruby,

    I don’t think that’s an absolute. I saw a show about legal prostitution in Nevada, and I seem to remember that prostitute and client do everything they want to do, then settle on the bill.

    I’ve seen a couple of Nevada brothel descriptions where money is paid in advance, but in that setup the client’s expected to take a while beforehand (fifteen minutes, say) to talk to the prostitute and negotiate exactly what they’re going to do, so they have plenty of time to discuss physical preferences and such.
    In the case of freelance escorting, both the escort bloggers I’ve read and the escorts I’ve personally known (not too many, but I know a lot of college students, so) generally say that they get paid afterwards–either straight from the client’s wallet, or from cash that was placed “in escrow” (e.g. on the dresser or the table) beforehand. Which of course makes it easier for the client to try to get out of paying at the end.
    Dunno that much about street prostitution–I imagine it depends on where they’re going to have sex–but if it’s a motel room assignation or something, the johns I’ve read about it say that it’s usually a money-on-the-dresser deal.
    Nicole,

    I’d like to argue that not only are transgender sex-workers not doing anything fraudulent, but that they aren’t doing anything unethical, either. So comparing them to Oral Roberts advertising that a donation will save you from hell, or a quack doctor selling an herbal cancer remedy, is… distasteful, at best.

    You’re right–my apologies. I certainly don’t think those are remotely morally equivalent. I raised the advertising examples only to show that you can get much closer to intentionally deceiving the customer and it’s still not legal fraud, nor worthy of a legal “registry” to enforce disclosure. But yes, I agree that a transgender sex worker isn’t doing anything illegal or unethical by failing to trumpet their anatomical and chromosomal status to the four winds.

    (And no, “being a female-presenting street-walker” does not constitute “clearly advertising the service of penis-in-vagina.” It is important to draw a distinction between what she advertises and what he assumes.)

    Exactly.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rajexplorer Raj

    A late voice to the chorus (I’m very far behind):
    Hieronymus BrainsOfAtree, it’s hate-filled people like who perpetuate the kinds of hate-related problems that have been discussed on this and many other Slacktivist threads. Also, *YAWN* no one here is impressed by your “I’m a tough, gritty, world-weary NY cabbie who has seen the festering underbelly of society” schtick.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rajexplorer Raj

    A late voice to the chorus (I’m very far behind):
    Hieronymus BrainsOfAtree, it’s hate-filled people like who perpetuate the kinds of hate-related problems that have been discussed on this and many other Slacktivist threads. Also, *YAWN* no one here is impressed by your “I’m a tough, gritty, world-weary NY cabbie who has seen the festering underbelly of society” schtick.

  • Joe

    You make a compelling but flawed argument. Hate crime legislation adds harsher penalties for crime purely for what the prep was thinking at the time. That IS thought crime, no doubt about it. While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.
    Colin pretty much got the gist of things correctly.

  • Joe

    You make a compelling but flawed argument. Hate crime legislation adds harsher penalties for crime purely for what the prep was thinking at the time. That IS thought crime, no doubt about it. While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.
    Colin pretty much got the gist of things correctly.

  • Rebecca

    Is anyone else annoyed that Orwell’s concept of thoughtcrime has been so corrupted that it now “means” murder and terrorism?

  • Rebecca

    Is anyone else annoyed that Orwell’s concept of thoughtcrime has been so corrupted that it now “means” murder and terrorism?

  • chris the cynic

    You make a compelling but flawed argument. Hate crime legislation adds harsher penalties for crime purely for what the prep was thinking at the time. That IS thought crime, no doubt about it. While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.
    No. No, no, no. No.
    We always punish people for what they were thinking. That is what we do.
    If you kill me you might be thrown in jail for life or you might not be punished at all depending entirely on what it is you were thinking at the time.
    If you shoot and kill me because you want me dead that’s murder, if you shoot and kill me because you mistakenly thought I was going to kill you that’s a terrible mistake for which you might not be punished at all. In both cases what you did is exactly the same, the only difference is what you thought.
    For that matter, if we’re just talking about what someone did then it doesn’t matter if you thought the gun was empty and no one would be hurt because that’s just what you’re thinking. The action would be exactly the same as murder.
    Again: We already punish people based on what they were thinking when they committed a crime. That is how our system of justice works. For that matter, it is what separates justice from mindless vengeance.

  • chris the cynic

    You make a compelling but flawed argument. Hate crime legislation adds harsher penalties for crime purely for what the prep was thinking at the time. That IS thought crime, no doubt about it. While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.
    No. No, no, no. No.
    We always punish people for what they were thinking. That is what we do.
    If you kill me you might be thrown in jail for life or you might not be punished at all depending entirely on what it is you were thinking at the time.
    If you shoot and kill me because you want me dead that’s murder, if you shoot and kill me because you mistakenly thought I was going to kill you that’s a terrible mistake for which you might not be punished at all. In both cases what you did is exactly the same, the only difference is what you thought.
    For that matter, if we’re just talking about what someone did then it doesn’t matter if you thought the gun was empty and no one would be hurt because that’s just what you’re thinking. The action would be exactly the same as murder.
    Again: We already punish people based on what they were thinking when they committed a crime. That is how our system of justice works. For that matter, it is what separates justice from mindless vengeance.

  • Anton Mates

    While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.

    Seeing as you tend to be punished more if you’re found guilty than if you’re found innocent, this is rather self-contradictory.

  • Anton Mates

    While thoughts may go to motivation in general motivation only goes to guilt or innocence and not towards the level of punishment.

    Seeing as you tend to be punished more if you’re found guilty than if you’re found innocent, this is rather self-contradictory.

  • Davide Marney

    It is impossible to prove what someone is thinking. Go on and try. Prove that I disagree with you. Prove that I agree with you. No matter what you say, no matter what evidence you give of what other people heard, or what you think you’ve read, I have one, universal answer:
    “Well, you’re wrong.”
    Who are you to know what’s inside my head? I’m the only one who really knows that. All those other things you heard me say? I was just fooling with you. They weren’t what I was _really_ thinking, just what I said at the time.
    Oh, you don’t believe me? OK, prove _that_. Same answer. What, I contradict myself in my beliefs? Big deal. I’m not some kind of machine. People are walking contradictions.
    The whole premise is ridiculous.

  • Davide Marney

    It is impossible to prove what someone is thinking. Go on and try. Prove that I disagree with you. Prove that I agree with you. No matter what you say, no matter what evidence you give of what other people heard, or what you think you’ve read, I have one, universal answer:
    “Well, you’re wrong.”
    Who are you to know what’s inside my head? I’m the only one who really knows that. All those other things you heard me say? I was just fooling with you. They weren’t what I was _really_ thinking, just what I said at the time.
    Oh, you don’t believe me? OK, prove _that_. Same answer. What, I contradict myself in my beliefs? Big deal. I’m not some kind of machine. People are walking contradictions.
    The whole premise is ridiculous.

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    Health is the best treasure (which) a man can possess. Money can do many things, but it cannot buy happiness. However, so long as man has good health, he can enjoy the pleasures of human life.

  • http://www.coach4sale.com/coach-purses-18/ coach purses

    Health is the best treasure (which) a man can possess. Money can do many things, but it cannot buy happiness. However, so long as man has good health, he can enjoy the pleasures of human life.


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