A Washington man placed a call to police Sunday morning after a prostitute he hired refused to leave his home and allegedly prevented him from making it to church.
Duval Cardwell, 53, was outside his Richland residence with a pistol in a hip holster when officers arrived on the scene, local ABC affiliate KVEW reported.
Sgt. Drew Florence of the Richland Police Department told KVEW that Cardwell wanted a woman inside his home to vacate the premises so he could “go to church.”
Jewel Kennedy, 26, the woman in question, was interviewed by officers and revealed that she had been hired by Cardwell to provide sexual favors in exchange for money. She refused to leave after the two had a “disagreement about payment,” Florence said.
Cardwell, who had already been disarmed by police, made a move toward officers after they informed him he was under arrest. Police tasered him and put him in handcuffs.
Authorities booked Cardwell at Benton County jail. He was charged with patronizing a prostitute and resisting arrest.
Kennedy was arrested after police learned she was out on an active warrant.
The prostitute and feminism
It was unclear why Cardwell or Kennedy would bring the police into a situation in which they were both breaking the law. But maybe it has something to do with the moral ambiguity that has accreted around the issue in popular culture.
Writing in The Atlantic in 2016, Sarah Fletcher surfaced the divide between feminists who view prostitution as an exploitative industry versus those who argue that prostitution is an exercise in female agency:
As a lefty, I want to condemn a lot of liberals’ un-nuanced support of prostitution that’s justified by vague notions of “choice” and criticize how many aspects of third wave feminism erase the voices of the most vulnerable in prostitution.
Sex work is not work. This isn’t a fashionable statement these days, especially in those corners of the internet where sex positive feminism collides with confessional journalism, where college students who work as camgirls, sugar babies, or panty sellers can pen think pieces about vague abstract concepts like “empowerment” or “reclamation.” These women—who most of the time are involved in the most privileged type of sex work, sex work in which they can carefully choose their clients, if they interact with their clients in real life at all—often advocate for decriminalisation of prostitution.
But for most of the women in prostitution, “sex work” is not an abstract symbol of empowerment or exercise in intersectional feminism. It’s something they need to do to survive or to support their families.