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Author Topic: Superfreakonomics: How is a Street Prostitute Like a Department-Store Santa?  (Read 345 times)

Offline punther

This was a great read so thought I would share. Chapter 1 is the relevant chapter to you guys

Link to the whole ebook is here: http://www.newsmth.net/bbsanc.php?path=/groups/social.faq/EconForum/book/fandu/M.1263483071.G0&ap=790
The beginning of chapter 1 is below:


Chapter 1: How is a Street Prostitute Like a Department-Store Santa?

One afternoon not long ago, on a welcoming cool day toward the end of summer, a twenty-nine-year-old woman named LaSheena sat on the hood of an SUV outside the Dearborn Homes, a housing project on the South Side of Chicago. She had a beaten-down look in her eyes but otherwise seemed youthful, her pretty face framed by straightened hair. She was dressed in a baggy black-and-red tracksuit, the kind she’d worn since she was a kid. Her parents rarely had money for new clothes, so she used to get her male cousins’ hand-me-downs, and the habit stuck.

LaSheena was talking about how she earns her living. She described four main streams of income: “boosting,” “roosting,” cutting hair, and turning tricks.
“Boosting,” she explained, is shoplifting and selling the swag. “Roosting” means serving as a lookout for the local street gang that sells drugs. She gets $8 for a boy’s haircut and $12 for a man’s.
Which job is the worst of the four?
“Turning tricks,” she says, with no hesitation.
“’Cause I don’t really like men. I guess it bothers me mentally.”
And what if prostitution paid twice as much?
“Would I do it more?” she asks. “Yeah!”

Throughout history, it has invariably been easier to be male than female. Yes, this is an overgeneralization and yes, there are exceptions, but by any important measure, women have had it rougher than men. Even though men handled most of the warfare, hunting, and brute-force labor, women had a shorter life expectancy. Some deaths were more senseless than others. Between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries, as many as 1 million European women, most of them poor and many of them widowed, were executed for witchcraft, taking the blame for bad weather that killed crops.

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