DEAR MERCURY: Your recent issue contained two excellent articles concerning the sex industry and domestic violence and abuse ("Taking Back the Night," "Hello, Anyone There?" May 24). Until the sex industry is safe for all participants, and domestic violence and sexual assault are eliminated through education and respect for others, our shame-centered society will continue to blame individuals and fail to publicly address problems that concern us all. LOTUS (Liberating Ourselves Through Understanding Sexploitation) is a Portland-based non-profit organization that aids individuals in the sex industry, and victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in finding safety, support, and housing. If you are in a situation or business in which you are at risk or in danger of being harmed, and are seeking safe alternatives, please contact LOTUS at 1-866-44-LOTUS or at (503) 282-1082.
LOTUS Administrative Assistant
STOP THE SEX WORKER!
TO THE EDITOR: The underlying message of Monica Drake's article ["Taking Back the Night," May 24] is that prostitution is necessary, normal, and even inevitable. Not once does she question why men should have sexual access to as many women and children as they can buy. Not once does she consider the physical, or even the psychological consequences for the woman and man involved. Not once does she acknowledge the numerous authors, both survivors and non-survivors of prostitution, who have documented and analyzed the sexual, physical, and psychological violence intrinsic to prostitution.
The very language Drake uses in her article, terms like "sex work," and "survival sex workers," cover up the cruelty of prostitution. If prostitution is simply "work," then the men buying teen-aged runaways off the street (or in a strip club) are not sexually assaulting or raping a child; they are merely customers engaging in a business transaction.
Mercury readers interested in other viewpoints on the issue of prostitution should visit the web sites of The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Children (www.catwc. com) and The Center for Prostitution Research (www.prostitutionresearch.com).
Patricia Barrera, MA
Co-Director, The Lola Greene Baldwin Foundation
YAY! RAYMOND LOVES US AGAIN!
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: Here's to the most entertaining tabloid-style newsweekly in Portland! Thank you all for a most wonderful first year.
Your warmest fan,
GODDAMMIT! TINKS IS ALWAYS RIGHT!
TO WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY: As the icing on your proverbial cake, I feel it is my duty to inform you that you are a retard. There is absolutely NO "Pajama Jammy-Jam" in House Party [I Love Television™ listings, May 31]. The "jammy-jam" of which you speak was featured in House Party 2. Coincidentally, yours truly appeared as an extra in House Party 2 (HP2 as we called it on the set). Sadly, my big break was not to be, as the scene I appeared in wound up on the cutting-room floor. One can only hope that some day a director's cut will see the light of day. Then we can all wonder why there's some random 14-year-old white kid in the crowd.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN?
DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: My friend, Tom Kraemer, is in love with an imaginary woman. Back in February, I loaned him my Mac and a copy of the imaging program SuperGoo. With them he made the face of a "woman." That's all well and good, I suppose, but now he says he is in love with the woman he created and wants to find her real-life counterpart.
While I realize this is pretty odd, he is my friend and I do want him to be happy so I have put the picture of Tom's "dream girl" and the entire story on my website, Cranky Media Guy (www.crankymediaguy.com).
I'm hoping that you may be able to print the picture so Tom can find his "dream girl" and have a happy life. Thank you for your assistance.