Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current, March 11, 1982, Page 2, Image 2

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    Page 2 Portland Observer, March 11, 1982
Prostitution: Oldest profession
by H arris Levon McRae
As much as prostitution is in the
news these days, it is not a problem
unique to our tim e. The selling o f
se*. has shown a remarkable persist­
ence in different times and cultures.
Before we can come to terms with
prostitution and before we can de­
cide what we want to do about it as
a society and a community, we have
to look at the many factors that re­
late to it. These factors include cul­
tu ra l, sociological, and economic
ones. W hen we have done this, it
w ill be shown that there is no one
answer to the social questions posed
by prostitution.
“ I t ’ s just a fact o f life — some
people prefer to pay or have to pay
for sex. and if there are people will­
ing to pay, there will be people like
me w illin g to s e ll,” says M a ry , a
woman 1 talked to on Union Avenue
who accepts money for sex.
“ Everybody has to make a living
somehow. I do whatever 1 have to
do to survive,’ ’ Peaches Johnson
told me.
O fficials have wrestled w ith the
problem o f how to handle prostitu­
tion for a long tim e. Consistently,
across the nation, street prostitutes
are hassled and fined but never to
the point o f eliminating them from
the streets. P o rtlan d Police C h ie f
Ron Still blames Portland prostitu­
tion on “ lack o f ja il space. These
women know that i f they are
arrested they will be back out on the
streets in no tim e.”
One p ro stitu te who declined to
give me her name told me that, “ As
long as there is a demand for sex by
people that are willing to pay, there
w ill be no big interference w ith
those who supply it. When cops has­
sle us it’s a way o f showing the com­
munity that they are trying to keep
up it’s moral standards.”
Prostitution promotes the cultur­
al value that men should have sexual
services provided to them on any
terms they choose as long as they
pay for it. It is very relateed to tradi­
tional dominance o f men over wom­
en in our society, expressed in va­
rious ways including: the feeling o f
some men that women are property,
the double standard fo r men and
w om en, and the b e lie f that the
sexual needs o f women d o n ’ t de­
serve any serious consideration by
A look at the laws governing
prostitution and the enforcement o f
these laws shows how the double
standard o f male morality is carried
out. In a system where women are
criminals, protection and justice are
seldom in their favor. The social sta­
tus o f “ crim in al” further exploits
prostitutes and many times prevents
them from giving it up.
"The only people I associate with
are hos [whores]— they are the only
ones that can understand where I ’m
com ing f r o m ,” Peaches Johnson
There are many d ifferent voices
crying out for many d ifferent rea­
sons for the removal o f prostitutes
from the streets. M any people are
concerned citizens who see prostitu­
tion as contributing to the downfall
o f th e ir c om m u nity. O thers have
different reasons. Visible prostitu­
tio n is u n co m fo rta b le to the men
who need to have social distance
and separation between prostitutes
and wives. Also it makes police o ffi­
cers who must uphold morality look
bad because they allow prostitution
to exist. Many people crying out for
the removal o f prostitutes from the
streets never stop to think that it ex­
poses the double standard o f our
white-male dominated society which
accepts prostitution as a needed out­
let for men while condemning it as
immoral. I f prostitution took place
only in motels, “ w hore-houses,"
etc. then the double standards that
pro m o te and protect it w ould be
hidden away.
There is a set o f beliefs about
prostitution that are far from being
fact. Many people believe that only
poor and minority women are pros­
titutes despite the fact that m any
white females are visible “ hooking”
on the streets, and despite the fact
that pimps many times recruit girls
who are run-aw ays fro m m iddle
class homes. (Ever check out the bus
stations?) There are many people
who believe that all pimps are Black
and fro m the ghetto. N ot tru e.
Pimps are represented by every
m inority and ethnic group you can
think of. Also traditionally prostitu­
tion has been defined in terms o f fe­
males, but there are a large number
o f male prostitutes on the streets as
As 1 mentioned before we can de­
cide what to do as a society or a
com m unity about p ro stitu tion we
have to look at the many factors
that relate to it. Today’s piece is the
first o f a series o f articles relating to
prostitution. I f you have any sug­
gestions or comments, please write
me c /o the Observer
Street Beat
O u r Street Beat question this
week is, " H o w would you react if
Oregon were to in s titu te a sales
M ich ael Roberts, c le rk — " I ’ m
against a sales tax. The items that
are taxed w o n ’ t bring in enough^
Geneva Adam s, housewife— “ I
’t like it. It makes the cost o f
too high.”
Nuclear strategy impossible
by Paul Mag neha
Pacific News Service
The current drive to greatly ex­
pand and m odernize the n atio n 's
nuclear arsenal is the operational
aspect o f a fun d am en tal shift in
nuclear strategy toward a posture of
fighting and winning a controlled,
lim ited nuclear w ar. But while
current plans call fo r producing
some 17,000 new nuclear weapons
over the next decade, at a cost o f
about 5300 billion, little concrete at­
tention is being paid to the one asp­
ect o f strategy which is absolutely
essential for lim itin g nuclear con­
flic ts — the com m and and control
Needless to say, a controlled con­
flict requires an effective command
and con tro l structure. Pentagon
planners periodically point to the
need to improve and “ secure” this
v ital com ponent. But despite the
warnings, little has been done and
many military experts agree that, in
its present form, the complex web o f
com m and, com m unications and
control (C -3 ) can not survive a
nuclear attack. Experts estim ate
that 50-75 Soviet nuclear warheads,
out o f the 7,000 they now possess on
strategic delivery systems, could ef­
fectively destroy or paralyze U .S .
decision-m aking a b ility w ith in
This is how the system is sup­
posed to w o rk, and how it would
probably disintegrate in a nuclear
•C o m m a n d : Provisions have
been made to evacuate the President
and the Secretary o f Defense, the
two individuals prim arily respon­
sible for decisions related to nuclear
weapons, from the Washington area
in lim es o f acute crises. Since no
ground command center is deemed
sufficiently secure, the evacuation
requires that they board at Andrews
A ir Force Base the N atio n al
Em ergency A irb o rn e Com m and
A t the most optim istic, the time
needed to move from Washington
to the air base is a bit more than ten
minutes. The flight time o f a sub­
marine-launched Soviet missile, the
anticipated mode of a sudden Soviet
a tta c k , is between five and ten
minutes. The likelihood, therefore,
that these key figures would survive
an in itia l nuclear strike against
Washington is very uncertain. What
is certain, however, is the loss o f the
remaining political/m ilitary leader­
•Com m unications: Presumably
com m unications w ith Moscow
would have to be maintained even
during a nuclear attack if the intent
were to “ lim it” the nuclear ex­
change in some controlled fashion.
A aron P ru itt, unemployed— “ It
will happen anyway and we should
get it over with. I ’m against it but I
have no choice but to pay it.”
Ernie Wavaman, cook— " \ think
it stinks. I've lived in California and
it's a big hassle because it’s hard to
price an item . But I know that it
might help property taxes."
money. The people who are having
it hard now, their situation will be
Mitch Phillips, unemployed— " I f
a sales tax was instituted there
H ild a King, housew ife— “ It de­ would be a cut elsewhere. Il w ill
pends on what the tax is for. I f the help the people o f Oregon, so I ’ m
money is used to train for better for it."
jobs and to help people than I'm for
it. But people are hurting and all it
would do is raise the cost o f living.”
Start with Breakfast
reace maren in Europe
W ith o u t some form o f ongoing
dialogue, there simply would be no
way o f “ m anaging" the con flict.
The sole com m unication link bet­
ween W ashington and Moscow
remains the Hot Line. It is located
in the Pentagon, w ith exposed
satellite dishes placed in the
surrounding countryside. No special
measures have been taken to shield
this system from a nuclear blast.
Thus, any attack against the
W ashington area would probably
cut com m unications between the
two adversaries.
•C o n tro l: A t the heart o f the
command structure, and situated in
the Pentagon, is the N atio n al
M ilita r y C om m and C enter (N M -
C C ). Because the N M C C is u n ­
protected against nuclear ex­
plosions, secondary command posts
have been established nearby. One is
at Fort Richie, M aryland , and the
other in M ount W eather, Virginia.
A ltho u g h both are underground,
neither could survive a direct
nuclear attack.
Since all ground stations are con­
sidered vulnerable, the U.S. has air­
borne command posts. While sever­
al command planes are always a ir­
borne, and thus rather invulnerable
to a surprise attack, their ability to
function is lim ited by human and
technical factors within the aircraft.
W ith o u t access to land fac ilitie s,
these planes can operate indepen­
dently for only 10 to 50 hours.
Just how effectively these planes,
or fo r that m atter any rem aining
ground station, could communicate
under a nuclear attack is sim ply
unknown. Nuclear explosions, par­
tic u la rly those occurring at high
altitu d es, give o f f enormous
am ounts o f ra d iatio n which not
only interfere with radio and radar,
but also can perm anently damage
electronic circuitry. Electromagnetic
pulses emanating from a handful o f
relatively large airbursts could cut
com m unications throu g h o u t the
U .S. officials conceded in a series
o f interviews that the Soviets could
destroy the com m and structure.
They say it is “ fra g ile ,” “ very
w eak,” and “ it will be terribly d if­
fic u lt to gel the President out o f
W ashington.” They also conceded
that even if Washington were not at­
tacked and some o f the back-up
systems survived, there is simply no
certainty that the remaining portion
o f the com m and structure could
function effectively.
Indeed, the only argument made
on behalf o f “ survivability” is that
the Soviets w o n ’ t attack the com
mand structure. Perhaps, but i t ’ s
questionable whether any use o f nu­
clear weapons would leave the com­
mand structure unscathed, regard­
less o f where the warheads fe ll.
Further, this argument merely com­
pounds the problem, for it intensi­
fies the u n certain ty fa c to r. H o w
much confidence will we have in our
capacity to respond when our ability
to exercise command responsibilities
depends on M o s c o w ’ s b ehavior.
This situation would place incred­
ible strains on the U .S . decision­
making process.
Given the emotional and physical
impact o f only a few Soviet missiles
striking the U .S ., combined with the
known fragility and vulnerability o f
the com m and
sturcture, the
pressures to make decisions rapidly
and “ c o m p le te ly " w ould weigh
down with inconceivable force on
key officials. “ Respond while you
c a n " would likely be the order o f
the moment. The idea o f "C o n tro l”
would quickly lose any meaning.
T h e re fo re , regardless o f how
much effort contemporary strategic
thinkers put into the idea o f “ con­
trolled escalation,” the consequence
o f this com m and v u ln e ra b ility is
likely to be a very rapid escalation
o f any U S /U S S R nuclear exchange
into total, all-out nuclear holocaust.
at Rustler’s
We agree that your day starts bet-
ter with breakfast. Why? While we sleep our
bodies break from food and activities. So. we awaken
hungry and sluggish. Eating breakfast changes this; i,
breaks the fast-as a result, we feel
much stronger and more alert. So start your
day with breakfast at RUSTLER'S You’ll find g o o d
food and friendly country service all at a reasonable price.
Now Serving Breakfasts
Mon -Fn. 6 am to 11 am • Sat.-Sun. 7 am to noon
425 Northeast Oregon Street
(Between Unton and Grand)