Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sham Wow Won't Clean Up EVERY Mess

TRIGGER WARNING - So the Sham Wow Guy (SWG), real name Vince Shlomi (can't tell which moniker is worse), violently beat up a sex worker last month after she bit his tongue while kissing. This is 100% awful and the extent of the violence is shocking, as the Smoking Gun reports that she sustained facial fractures and lacerations all over her face. And here's a dose of quease-inducing coincidence, the attack happened on February 7th, one day before Chris Brown brutally attacked his girlfriend Rhianna.

Somehow, though, SWG beating up a sex worker didn't make the news in the same way, only trickling out this weekend as a novelty story. All posts about it have so far seemed to be more about Sham Wow and less about how this is a serious violent crime against a woman. Why haven't we heard about this until now? Probably because common views of sex workers are that they as disposable and deserving of the violence that plagues them. Lest we forget the words of serial prostitute killer, Gary Ridgeway, "I picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught."

Severe? Sure, but reflections of this way of thinking can be seen in something as ubiquitous as the Grand Theft Auto series, during which your male character can rape and kill prostitutes. Do we all actively want or support violence against this population? Of course not, but there is a bigger question here. When it comes to sex workers, do we notice or care when these violent acts happen?

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