June 17, 2014

Somaly Mam

Somaly Mam

Blogger Kate McMillan quips that “€œprostitution is to “€˜sex work”€™ what cigarette smoking is to “€˜lung exercise.”€™”€

“€œProgressives”€ don”€™t just redefine (and valorize) deviancy; they insist on renaming it, too. We all hate this, and mock it. We”€™re always right. But they always win. You don”€™t still say “€œNegro,”€ do you? What about “€œforeigner”€?

Now the word has gone forth that even the world’s oldest profession requires a brand-new, politically correct moniker. So you”€™ll wrap your mouth around “€œsex worker”€ too, rube. And swallow.

Even Canada’s red-top populist paper The Sun has shoved “€œsex worker”€ into its style guide. Over the weekend, it reported on a Toronto protest by radical “€œsex-work advocates,”€ during which about 100 women “€œplayed dead on the road.”€ (The symbolism rather eludes me; since when do hookers lay on their backs without being paid?)

Ingeniously, the Left also controls the anti-“€œsex work”€ racket and all its words, works, and pomps. And profits, of course. (Somewhere, Lucky Luciano is kicking himself.)

“€œHow did Somaly Mam fool so many gullible, rich white bleeding hearts for so long? Well, as every hooker learns the hard way, you won”€™t survive long on these mean streets without a man around to protect you (sweetie).”€

One of the last thrills still permitted us normal folks (for now) is getting to watch one of these self-appointed activists and advocates endure an Icarian tumble. Take that recent Newsweek exposé of secular saint and “€œsex work”€ abolitionist Somaly Mam.

No, I”€™d never heard of her before, either. I didn”€™t realize how far removed I was from what the authorities have deemed reality until I read that, among other things, this woman had been feted by the White House and the State Department, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, made the “€œTIME 100″€ list, and declared one of Glamour‘s “€œWomen of the Year.”€ Plus she”€™d been named one of the “€œWomen Who Shake the World”€ by, er, Newsweek.

Cambodian-born Somaly Mam began making claims she”€™d been sold into sexual slavery as a youngster. After a daring escape, she dedicated her life to rescuing other girls from the same fate, leading armed raids on brothels, then providing shelter, education, and vocational training to the former captives”€”with the help of Western donors, many of them celebrities.

Aaaaaaannnnnddddd … ? Oh, come on. Guess.

Simon Marks has been investigating Mam for The Cambodia Daily (“€œAll the News Without Fear or Favor”€) for years. When Newsweek ran his findings in that cover story last month, the rest of the world found out what actual Cambodians and NGO-types have been trying to tell us all this time:

Mam’s “€œorigin story”€ is mostly bollocks on stilts.

Her “€œrescues”€ are more like kidnappings, and her statistics about Cambodia’s trafficking rates, exaggerated. She coached non-ex-prostitutes to tell hair-raising tales of rape, torture, and even eye-gouging when pale-faced documentarians came calling. “€œ[I]nstead of a brothel or a massage parlour,”€ Mam’s “€œrescued slaves”€ ended up “€œworking for poverty-level wages in unsafe and exploitative conditions in sweatshops.”€

Add Somaly Mam’s name to the list of beloved do-gooding impostors, fabulists, and serial exaggerators”€”Michael Moore, Rigoberta Menchu, Ward Churchill, Elizabeth Warren, Greg “€œThree Cups of Tea”€ Mortenson, the “€œgay girl in Damascus“€ who turned out to be a middle-aged straight man in Georgia”€”who”€™ve faked their way through this century alone. Toss in the plagiarists”€”Chris Hedges (“€œPulitzer winner. Lefty hero.“€) is only the latest”€”and you”€™ve got a veritable avalanche of Anastasias.

How did Somaly Mam fool so many gullible, rich white bleeding hearts for so long? Well, as every hooker learns the hard way, you won”€™t survive long on these mean streets without a man around to protect you (sweetie). And in Mam’s case, that man was Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times.

Kristof started writing about the woman he calls his “€œhero”€ in 2008. He made a documentary, Half the Sky, about Mam’s anti-trafficking campaign and wrote the foreword to her autobiography, “€œin which he called her “€˜the Harriet Tubman of Southeast Asia’s brothels.”€™”€


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