The idea often expressed was that the sexual revolution would bring the Age of Aquarius and universal, free, love.
The Providence Journal reported recently that the state’s adolescents get more money stripping than they do baby sitting. Rhode Island children are paid to do the bump and grind (“dance”) with their bare breasts exposed for boozed up bar gawkers.
Rhode Island law provides:
Title 11 Criminal Offenses, Chapter 11-9 Children, Section 11-9-1 of Rhode Island Law (c) Every person who shall exhibit, use, employ or shall in any manner or under pretense so exhibit, use, or employ any child under the age of eighteen (18) years to any person for the purpose of prostitution or for any other lewd or indecent act shall be imprisoned not exceeding twenty (20) years, or be fined not exceeding twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or both.
But there seems to be some consensus among state and city law enforcement officials that this law is not to be enforced. Why?
In checking federal law with the Department of Justice’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, lawyer Peggy Zimmer e-mailed the law on 16 year olds stripping at “private clubs” in Rhode Island.
“It may not violate federal law. It would depend upon whether there was a lewd and lascivious display of the teens’ genitals. Courts may conclude that the display of the girls’ breasts alone is insufficient to be considered lewd and lascivious.”
Zimmer opined, however, “It may be a violation of federal law if an adult has sexual contact or intercourse with them and monetary or other types of payment is provided.”
My, my, if it’s not “lewd and lascivious” why not have the children strip for school shows — so long as there is no payment. of course. The Rhode Island legislators said children under age 18 “can’t work with power saws or bang nails up on roofs.” Minors “under 18 can’t buy pornography, and no one may take pictures or film minors in sexually suggestive ways.”
Yet, Rhode Island judges and legislators allow a 16-year-old “to take her top off and dance,” more candidly known as the ‘bump ‘n grind,’ if the children are “off the stripper’s pole by 11:30 on school nights.” (And liberals ridicule little old ladies in tennis shoes as hiding from sexual desire!)
While Rhode Island’s lusty legislators legalized indoor prostitution in the 1970s, minors cannot be prostituted outdoors (no public parks or streets) nor can they appear in a “lewd or indecent act.” The latter can bring from 0 “up to 20 years in prison and $0 up to $20,000 in fines.”
Years ago, the state’s senior assistant city solicitor Kevin McHugh “researched the issue” and decided that “lewd or indecent….is subjective” in the pantheon of pleasure. McHugh sees child stripping as “protected by the First Amendment,” because the Rhode Island protector of public order says his “citizens don’t consider [stripping] lewd.”
One assumes thus that McHugh and his colleagues often jiggle, bump, and grind in black leather tiny tongs through RI streets with stripper poles in hand.
As the Rhode Island age of consent is 16, some police, (not solicitor McHugh), worry that teenyboppers who strip for money in bars may prostitute “indoors” for money. Two bills to ban Rhode Island’s indoor whoring fun houses are “stalled in the General Assembly.”
Ummm. Now where are those Rhode Island state officials before 11:30 p.m.?
Since Rhode Island state and federal child labor laws forbid hazardous jobs to youth (under 16 one can’t work on ladders or pump gas, those age 16 and 17 can’t serve alcohol, work in manufacturing or excavation), solicitor McHugh obviously sees stripping (and indoor prostitution?) as safe for children’s health and welfare.
Once a pimp mentality allowed legislatures to legitimize the sex business, children became natural targets.
In Dallas a 12-year-old girl was dancing nude in a bar until the city council banned minors in sex bars.
In Iowa, a hot-to-trot judge recently ruled minors who strip and simulate lust have a right to artistic First Amendment expression. The Iowa state attorney general’s office wants their Supreme Court to check out the judge — well, no, not the judge, just his revealing ruling.
Nevada forbids minors under 18 to strip, or even to “deliver mail to brothels.” At age 18 of course, girls and boys can both deliver mail — and sell their body parts — to brothels.
Michael J. Healey, an Rhode Island attorney general spokesman had no comment for the Journal article while Constable Weston of the Providence police thought, in an old fashioned common sense way, that stripping was hazardous. He said, gosh, “These are just little girls.”
Some Rhode Island legal history. In 1948, before Kinsey’s sexual revolution, adultery was a crime so RI punished adulterers with a year in prison or $500 fine. Fornicators (that is consensual, unmarried sex) paid a $10 fine. Seduction, promising love and marriage to get a girl’s sexual favors, could also get 5 years in prison. Sodomy (any “orientation”) was a 7-20 year sentence. Tough legislation for the free love crowd.
So reported Morris Ernest and David Loth in their influential book lauding the free love age of Aquarius in American Sexual Behavior and the Kinsey Report. Now, Chlamydia, rare in 1948, is one of roughly 25 new STDs with Rhode Island reporting 3,142 apparently female victims in 2006 and a 52% increase from 1997 to 2006 (pdf).
Aren’t women and children in Rhode Island lucky? All kids need these days is to consent! Adultery, fornication, seduction, sodomy are open to all and part of the growing sex service industry. Free love was never free and sex was always costly.
For additional reading, see the Journal article, ‘Behind closed doors: How R.I. decriminalized prostitution.’