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April 09, 1978 - Image 17

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-04-09
Note:
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Page 8-Sunday, April 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily
taiwan,

The 1Jlhigan daily- 'SiC

decriminalization

(Continued from Page 7)
da" they'll encounter after leaving the
country. The Taiwanese government
force-feeds literature about the main-
land regime' and about its "propa-
ganda" to all students two weeks before
they depart.
Once the Taiwanese students arrive
at their foreign universities, gover-
nment spies-usually other students
who receive small stipends for their
work-report back any "insurgent" ac-
tivities to the government. At other
American campuses, the Taiwanese
have publicly charged their gover-
nment with intervening in their affairs,
but here at the University such ac-
cusations have never been voiced, at
least not openly.
TUDENTS INSIDE Taiwan are
watched also, but the threat of
communism is not feared as
much as is a native Taiwa-
nese movement to relinquish claims to.
the mainland. One student we met, a
woman who asked to remain
anonymous, told us that the
Presbyterian Church she attends has
come under fire for calling for Taiwan's
"independence" from China. "The
government wants the church out of
politics," she whispered over lunch at
her school cafeteria-only after one of
our student hosts had left the table. Just
two days before the government had
issued ai official warning to the chur-
ch, but the general public was not in-
formed of it because of a government-
imposed news blackout on the incident.
One-third of the student-aged
population opposes the government in
some way, but they have no effective
channel for their opinions, another
native Taiwanese student told us. He
said that the split between Taiwanese
and mainlanders is not so deep among
students, but that their opposition is
more of a generational phenomenon.
"The younger generation has no
chance to play a role in the political

structure of the country," he con-
plained.
However, because he is afraid that if
Taiwan were to liberalize too fast, and
th'e hearsay about a communist
takeover might, become- a reality, he
imposes self-restraint before criticizing
the government.
By the end of the trip, I realized that
aside from these two students, I had
met no Taiwanese who complained
about their government's repressive
tactics and unrepresentative rule. This
is partly because many people have
been manipulated through the govern-
ment's pervasive control of political
literature. When I mentioned com-
munism to one student, for example,
she turned to me and with frightening
intensity barked: "tfie communists are
animals!"
Even children are bombarded by
government propaganda. Two mem-
bers of our group visited an elementary
school where children barely old
enough to dress themselves were busy
cutting pictures of their newly-elected
leader from magazines and pasting
them on construction paper.
And on television, where popular
shows include Starsky and Hutch as
well as Donny and Marie, Chiang's face
appears with monotonous regularity.
Another reason we saw no-opposition
to the government is that our hosts
carefully avoided showing us that side
of their country. I can hardly blame
them, but when we asked to speak to
some real opponents, we were in-
troduced to a political party of oc-
tagenarians who vowed to oppose the
KMT only after the "return to the
mainland."
It was through discussions with
Americans that I learned the real op-
position to the KMT rests in Taiwan's
local governments. Almost one-third of
Taiwan's provincial assembly are non-
KMT, native Taiwanese independents.
Though they are afforded no real
governmental responsibilities, these

This 16-year-old girl rehearses her role
performance later this year.

as mythological warrior for an opera

(Continued from Page 3)
brothels in Nevada. That puts the
women in a very bad position. In
Nevada they have to obey all these har-
sh regulations. They'e not accepted as
members of the community; they're
not allowed to go into the town, for in-
stance, and be in the bars or restauran-
ts with their husbands or lovers. And
the police still remain the enforcing
agency.
Now decriminalization would take all
of the statutes and ordinances
regulating prostitution out of the
criminal arena totally, and then you're
talking about civil regulations. There is
a sort of national push going on, if we
do licensing at all, to do licensing with
individual operators, not businesses.
But we want to try to maximize the
possibility for women to act as in-
dependent contractors.
Daily-You're concerned that house
owners could try to scoop away too
much of the individual prostitutes
profits?
Ernst-Yes. I think it is going to be
necessary, in order to encourage a
decent business situation, to put some
money behind women running their
own businesses, their own
cooperatives. I think that is key to
making decriminalization work. If
these businesses operate with in-
tegrity, the prostitutes, of course, are
going to prefer to work in them because
they get to keep more money and
because they can run them. Those
businesses are going to get a corner on
the market and the rest of the business
in the city will have to come to meet
them. As a'-result other owners will
have to let their workers keep a larger
percentage of their earnings.
Daily-According to you, local police
tend to leave suspected prostitutes
alone, unless there's pressure put on
them by some outside force like the
media. Currently, Detroit officials are
putting on a targeted effort against
prostitution. They have announced
plans to seize the cars of the
customers-though it's not clear how
those customers will be identified. Why
is this happening?
Ernst-Neighborhood groups have
been upset because prostitution is at
such a high level on the street. Women
that just live in certain areas can't walk
the street without getting harassed by
the johns (customers). And sometimes
men are accosted by the prostitutes.
Also, they are concerned with the an-
cilliary crime-mugging, robbing.
They have legitimate concerns.
Daily-Does Alleycat/PEP support
the Detroit plan to seize the customer's
cars then?
Ernst-The city of Detroit is taking a
totally punitive approach. It isn't going
to work and we don't support it at all. I
have no idea how they are going to en-
force it; there are some real questions
about the constitutionality of the
statutes and methods they're going to
be employing. Equal enforcement
measures can have strategic value for
us if it gets influential johns working for
decriminalization. But I think the
Detroit approach is going to affect
mostly suburbanite customers who
drive in. And for many good reasons the
city of Detroit doesn't want to hear
what those suburbanites have to say.
Daily-You concede though, that cer-
tain localities have legitimate concerns
relating to prostitution. How would you
deal with the problems of crime and
harassment that tend to crop up in
large cities, particularly if prostitution
is decriminalized?

Denise-
from pimp
working fo
working fo
stay in it f
nover. On
women tha
go into it w:
Daily-T
Commissi
Committee
nounced pl
of services
for prostiti
the busines
otherwise t
response t
Ernst-'I
are the on]
proach. It'
geared on
"reform"
They're n
programs 1
the busines
Alleycat,
subcommit
doing next
health an
prostitutes
the subcor
programs
otherwise
funding ft
those prog:
Daily-
prostitutes
Ernst-
money co,
lot of itetm
Still, ever
thousand a
she often
show for
That's du
tality. Al
establishe
she's not
and she c
came fro
help her 1
tality into
vestments
financial i
for the pr
munity.
Daily-'
increase c
ther erodi
sex w~ith Jo
Denise-
Sex is alr
cialized,
decrimina
add to th
crime tha
want to h
other pu
women. V
standard,
and the n
service g
like the f<
used to
l market.
businesse
r. outside ai
sive part,
t has to dea
be regulal
t The Ne
t- would o
o prostitutic
ones who
0 on strict
0 missive s
d who crea
r service. A
s drogynou
v men to c
a prostitut
its own.

independents are forcing the KMT to
acknowledge many domestic problems.
Having returned from my junket, it is
clear, that life under the regime was

very different for me than it is for the
Taiwanese. I could ask embarrassing
questions-and get no replies-but I did
not fear reprisals.

prostitute

(Continued from Page 4)
who almost thinks I'm his mistress,
that we're going to run away together,
blah, blah. And he wants to give me the
money in some other way than after the
trick. Oh, you get a lot of these sappy
ones. They get next to the warmth of a
woman that's a nice person, that treats
them nice, they get that close relation-
ship-and that's closer than any other
relationship they've got.
Ernst-I never had much of that kind
of experience.
Daily-Some people would say that
the men in that situation are being ex-
ploited.
Denise-Prostitutes don't say I love
you, they're very up front about what's
going on. If men get the wrong idea it's
not because they're getting exploited,
it's because they feel dependent on get-
ting this piece of ass. But that's their
hangup or society's. We're not getting
men with a fish hook, telling them that
they've got to have it or their balls are
going to fall out.
Daily-Why do your customers think
you're in the job?
Denise-Some of them have weird
ideas, they think you're a nympho. It's
not that they think you like them a lot,
but they think you like sex a lot. And

then there's a lot of them that are
sophisticated and they know exactly
what the deal is, the fact that you're in
it for the money and that's fine with
them, because they're in it to get their

Ernst-Many women frequently, and
I think very successfully, keep the
business life separate from the per-
sonal life.
Denise-A lot of times they'll date

Reprinted from The Politics of Prostitution, by per. of Social Resorch Assoc.
"There will be opposition from pimps (over
decriminalization). The women that started work-
ing for pimps will probably keep working for
them. . . . Once it's decriminalized, the women
that go into the business won't go into it with a
pimp.
Denise, a localprostitute

"Hookers need to feel pride in what they do.
Yet when you're talking about the work of prosti-
tution, suddenly it's not the same anymore. We
don 't have the right, according to feminists, to feel
that we are doing a good job."
Carol Ernst, former prostitute and Prostitution
Education Project Coordinator

as a place where I'm being creative,
where I'm using my talents, except to
the extent that I can make a living. I
have other things-political work,
exercise, having a good time.
Daily-According to prostitution ad-
vocate Margo St. James, about 10 to 20
per cent of the women working as
prostitutes are lesbians. Do you think
it's easier for a lesbian to keep her per-
sonal life and her work life separate?
Denise-Sometimes yes. A
heterosexual woman has her myths.
When she is involved in prostitution
that dispels all the Prince Charming-
Cinderella business about being treated
in a certain way, about being respected.
That's kind of ugly, and some women
have a hard time dealing with it.
Ernst-I think that is a sort of un-
derground myth, that lesbians can deal
with the job better because their
separate life is totally tied up in
women. But a lot of lesbians have more
problems dealing with it than a lot of
heterosexual women. I think it's a very
individual preference, a very individual
capacity. Like any other job. Some
women can hack driving a bus and
some women have no business being
out there on the road.

Ernst-When you start organizing
among prostitutes, you can deal with
problems like the bad manners of the
johns. Prostitutes themselves can
start enforcing certain types of be-
havior; as a group they can refuse to
provide services to men who do not con-
form to their standards. Now that's a
very simple approach and it could
work. All you need is an organization of
prostitutes. That could happen really
quickly if it were endorsed and suppor-
ted by the city, the county, by feminist
organizations. If they would facilitate
the organization by putting a minimal
amount of money into it and getting a
storefront, that could happen in six
months.
Denise-Relating to crime,
decriminalization is good for both sides.
If the hooker should get ripped off or
beaten by her customer, she can go to
the police. And if a customer has

trouble with a hooker, he can go to the
police. This eliminates a lot of the
criminal activity surrounding
prostitution.
Ernst-Also, they're going to have to
take it out of the neighborhoods by set-
ting up some stroll areas in commercia
areas. That's going to have to happen
And in fact, while the city is currently
taking a strict punitive approach to
the problem, we understand that
privately they are considering setting
up a stroll area in one place. But tha
won't work either, you can't concen
trate it all in one district, you have tc
break it up.
Daily-Isn't it a bit idealistic ti
assume that prostitutes are going t4
organize-to take over businesses an
set standards among thei
customers-even if their work i
decriminalized? Won't there by heavi
opposition from pimps who see this as;
threat to their power?

fantasy worked out through you.
Daily-How does your work affect
your private life?
Denise-The times it bothers me are
when I feel they (the customers) are
getting to me in some way or another.
Most of the 'time I feel I'm pretty cold.
Even though I'm pretty honest with
them and relate to them when they're
there, I don't feel emotional, I don't
think about that when I'm in bed at
night.

and marry a customer though. But
yeah, you see so many men, I think
most of the women are used to having a
distinction. They're not getting off that
much with their customers, they'll save
a lot, emotionally and physically, for
their personal life.
For myself, I guess I just don't take;
the work that seriously. Like if I had
some career I was into, that's
something I would be thinking about in
terms of my "art," but I don't see this

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