Community does not need more sexploitation

As always, thank you for making the effort to publish different points of view about the issues that concern us! In particular, I am thinking of “An anthropological study of bikini baristas” (News-Times, Aug. 28 issue), a guest commentary by Aaron Greer of Pacific University.

This article addresses the sexploitation of teenagers and women in our society who are induced to strip off all or most of their clothing to titillate the men who have come to see girls and women as objects to use rather than as human beings.

Mr. Greer’s rambling rationalizations for this practice carefully ignore the real point: The ancient human societies whose members were not reared to feel embarrassed about their bodies or their basic sexuality also did not exploit it. Those fortunate people had never heard of prostitution, pornography, child pornography, the whole ugly underworld of sexual slavery and exploitation that fuels “bikini” baristas, strip clubs, brothels, streetwalkers, tragically addicted teenagers selling themselves in Portland to finance their drug dependence and online predators who seek to lure our children into the same. Even in this area, teenage gang members have been led into helping lure, capture and sell other kids into the hell of prostitution.

Unlike our ancient ancestors who never had to imagine or live with the tragic consequences of modern sexploitive culture, we do. Those individuals among us who have never seen a family member caught up and crushed in these systems of sexploitation often do not realize how closely they’re all connected. Unfortunately, many of us have been socialized to blame the victims — to cease to even see as human the people who end up forced to sell their bodies, their souls, their self-respect, their sanity in our various systems of prostitution.

I grieve for the ignorance and self-delusion that allows many of us to buy into this vicious victimization of others. We are all victims of this. I now live a few blocks from the site of “Bikini Coffee” and the Cooler Club (which wants to become our next strip joint). Many other families live in this neighborhood, too. As neighbors, as citizens, as human beings, we do not need more of the same misery here.

Chris Spalding


Oregon’s innovative bottle bill has been huge success

As a supporter of Oregon’s first-in-the-nation “Bottle Bill,” enacted in July 1971, my fisherman father left his pole at home. Instead of trout, steelhead or Chinook salmon, he returned from his favorite spots with stuffed gunnysacks of aluminum cans and glass bottles. Though they hadn’t refunds yet, he described his effort as a contribution so Oregonian’s could start anew with the implementation of our Bottle Bill.

As a young courtesy clerk, perhaps my contribution — as well as my first job — was counting thousands of dollars worth of such returnables.

My concern today regards a corporate stance that not only fights the expansion of our innovative bill, but appears to discourage its cycle of implementation. Instinctively noting the refund procedures of various retail outlets, there appears to be a wide discrepancy with regard to courtesy and cleanliness. And while still making the effort to return my cans and bottles, it seems many have come to avoid it. That’s wrong.

If the retail outlet that so efficiently extracted the deposit for your cans and bottles does not provide an equally clean and efficient method of refunding it, you have recourse. Implementation and enforcement of Oregon’s Bottle Bill, including various penalties and sanctions, rest with the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission). And as explained to me, no modern store can survive without the sale of alcohol, so when the OLCC speaks, they listen.

So if you feel the process of returning your cans and bottles is less than pleasant, and are perhaps skipping it altogether, don’t. Search “Oregon’s Bottle Bill-FAQ,” and scroll down to non-compliance, enforcement or complaints. Let’s see that everyone does their part to keep Oregon clean and green!

Viron Fessler


Contract Publishing

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