Monday, June 20, 2011

How the Media Has Been Unfair to Ginger Lee

The media has been trying to figure out who Ginger Lee is? The Daily Beast ran the story "Weiner Porn Star’s Mystery Past." People in the porn industry tended not to remember Lee. Her former manager, who goes by the moniker Bad Ass Frank declined to be interviewed. Lee's former agency Adult Talent Managers would not grant an interview. Another former female adult actress who worked with Lee defended Lee keeping the adult film industry at arm's length.

One former performer, whose credits indicate that she appeared with Lee in a 2007 film, explained: “I no longer want people to know the name of that porn star. I am sure [Lee] felt the same way.” Yet she did not remember meeting Lee either.

Another performer that worked with Lee said, "“I never saw her hanging out or at industry parties." The gossipy porn industry loves talking trash about their former talent. Porn entertainers crave attention and usually do not hesitate to dish dirt to the media. It seems that the few people that remember Lee are extremely loyal to her. That is unheard of in the porn industry. No one is looking to catch their 15 minutes of fame from Lee and Weinergate.

Lee was born Candice Raines on November 25th 1983 in Macon, Georgia. Raines briefly went to college to train as a nurse. Raines also briefly worked as a real estate agent before becoming a stripper in Nashville, Tennessee. Her mother is a doctor. Raines got into stripping for financial reasons.

I was married to a person in the Marine Corps at the time that I started dancing and we were broke as all hell, so I needed a job that brought in actual cash more than once every 2 weeks. The town we lived in didn’t have many job opportunities worth a damn for women that didn’t want to work in call centers or be waitresses.

I’d never even been in a strip club until the day I started working in one.

Raines then became a feature dancer. The strip club laws in Tennessee were restrictive. Raines decided to tour the strip circuit. The best way to become a name as a feature dancer is to make porn movies. By industry standards, Raines wasn't in many porn movies. It was enough to give her feature dancing career a boost.

Raines on getting into adult movies.

No classifieds in the paper or anything like that. I was actually a dancer first. Nashville changed all the strip club laws, (yay for crazy religious nuts making sure strippers couldn’t make money!) and when they did that it pretty much killed all the money being made in Nashville. It was all part of an effort to ‘save’ girls from stripping, by regulating us until we were so miserable we quit. Little did they realize, more than half the girls just left town, a quarter of them started escorting after work to make up for the lost income, and the final quarter stuck around and got a little bit more bitter and a lot more poor as the months passed. I didn’t want to quit dancing. I knew if I did some magazines, movies, and stuff like that I could be a feature dancer and get paid to travel and dance all over the country, so I got my butt on a plane and went to LA to work so I’d have enough ‘cred’ to be a feature dancer full time.

Long story short, crazy Christians trying to ‘save’ me and other Nashville dancers from stripping helped me onto the path to other adult work. <—-I didn’t burst into flame typing that.

Raines has been candid about her medical problems. Her former manager, Bad Ass Frank, interviewed Raines for his podcast show. They discussed Raines having to deal with being a paranoid schizophrenic.

Raines: I hear and see things that aren't there and believe strange things.

Frank explained in the podcast that Raines saw an imaginary killer bunny in Frank's grandmother's painting. Raines takes medication to deal with her schizophrenia. Raines also suffers from Lupus.

SLE (lupus) is an autoimmune disease. This means there is a problem with the body's normal immune system response.

Normally, the immune system helps protect the body from harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disease, the immune system cannot tell the difference between harmful substances and healthy ones. The result is an overactive immune response that attacks otherwise healthy cells and tissue. This leads to long-term (chronic) inflammation.

The underlying cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully known.

SLE may be mild or severe enough to cause death.

Raines has detailed her fight with lupus on her Tumbler blog. Raines risked her feature dancing career by coming out with having lupus. At the time Raines came down with lupus, she had to deal with the terrifying situation of a real life stalker.

Last year when I basically disappeared from the face of the earth, odd rumors and stuff started popping up about me. People were questioning my behavior & all the sudden trip cancellations, but at the time I was too sick and too scared because of the stalking situation to say anything to anybody other than a very close group of friends. I lost a fuckton of work. I’ve lost more bookings than I can count over the past year and a half/two years. From having to cancel trips at the very last minute for safety reasons, to being too sick to get out of bed when I was on a road trip, to having certain people/places not want me around because of the whole stalker thing, it was too much to handle. I lost a lot of people in my life, both personally and professionally.

Last fall I got pissed. I was tired of having to live my life as a giant facade and having people talk about how weird and erratic I’d become. I started this blog because I basically said ‘fuck it’. I decided that if I was gonna go down in flames for people thinking I’d lost my mind, I would at least show a few people why I suddenly changed so much.

I’m still happy and fun at work. I smile 99% of the time and keep on keepin’ on. I don’t like, wear a sign saying ‘I’m sick/tired/whatever’, but if people ask me about certain things I won’t waste my energy on coming up with some kind of bullshit story. I don’t want people to pity me or any of that shit…I want them to see that I’m not giving up.

Did I kill some people’s fantasies & lose work from ‘coming out’ about stuff? Probably, but I’m ok with it. People can take me or leave me as I am, and if they don’t want to hire me/book me/be in my life/be around me, so be it. I’m not living to keep their fantasies going, I’m living the best/safest way I can considering the hell I’ve gone through in the past 2 years.

Raines is a very tough and resilient young woman. She is a fascinating set of contradictions. Raines often disparages the small town life and the politics of the South. Yet Raines continues to live in Nashville. Most adult entertainers are extremely guarded about their personal life. Raines has been open about her medical problems for years. Raines maybe the only adult entertainer that is also a progressive activist. Raines attended several rallies in support of the opening of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Raines maintains that a woman can be an exotic dancer and a feminist.

Everybody has a different story, but I have met tons of feminist dancers that love the fact that it’s an option for them. It gives them (and me) a feeling a power, not a feeling of objectification. If a patron decides to objectify a dancer or model, that’s their fault, not mine. I’m a human being regardless of my job.

It’s not always about the money, it’s about having the freedom to own our sexuality and the things associated with it in a way that can’t always be achieved at a ‘normal’ job. Is it for everybody, hell no, but for the people that it works for, I don’t think others should look down on them. As long as a woman is going in because it is an *option*, not a last resort, if she enjoys it and is not being harmed mentally, physically, or emotionally, she should have the right to do so.

Raines's outspokenness about her political views has caused a backlash. There are misogynist men who want a porn Barbie and attack Raines for political opinions. The blockquote below is to an adult link. You can text search it on Google, if you are that curious.

Ginger Lee Real Name Candice Sparkman (born on 25 November, 1983) is a pornographic whore, pseudo-intellectual, condescending bitch, politician fucker, neo-feminist and hooker. Find out more about this person's life before porn by looking at the porn star's real name page Candice Sparkman.

The anonymous poster gets Raines real name wrong. The link that the poster provides as proof that Raines has worked as an escort has people saying Raines hasn't escorted. Again, there are people willing to defend Raines. That level of loyalty is unheard of in adult entertainment.

A person on Yahoo Answers posted this fictional story of an encounter with Raines.

I visited a strip club where Ginger worked at and ordered a lap dance. After sitting on my lap, she began a slow seductive dance to which I responded by shoving $20 bills down her under garments. All of a sudden she stopped and began rambling about politics, telling me her opinions on gun control, abortion, medical marijuana, gay marriage, and foreign policy. Needless to say I was shocked and deeply disgusted! I expressed my dismay and informed her that I would notify her management of this offense immediately, for this was not what I had paid for. Seriously, a man does not go to a gentlemen's club expecting intellectual conversation with a 'stripper' of all people. No, a man expects a hardy lap-dance, a few beers, and some time in the VIP booth...that's it

Expressing politically progressive views on Tumbler and Twitter isn't something that Raines did because she thought it would make her money.

If a patron decides to objectify a dancer or model," Raines wrote on her blog. "That’s their fault, not mine. I’m a human being regardless of my job." Raines is beyond the point of caring what strip club patrons think of her.

Raines is an intelligent woman. I wondered how she got tangled up with Anthony Weiner. The reason is Raines has a history of getting into troublesome relationships with older men, in positions of authority.

Raines graduated early from high school and was training to be a nurse. Raines lost her virginity, at 17, to her 44 year-old boss.

GINGER: Seventeen. It was with my boss at the Health Department! [Laughs] I started sleeping with him. He was 44. We started dating secretly. Obviously I wasn’t supposed to be doing that and neither was he. I was a dumbass and thought that when I graduated high school, he would be with me. So I just screwed him for quite some time. It was really good sex, actually!

RAY: I bet. Especially for him… Was he married with kids?

GINGER: He actually had a kid older than me. We would screw at work, we would screw after work… We’d screw anywhere & everywhere. A couple people found out, but we tried to deny it. Eventually, everyone found out.

At 22 years-old, Raines got caught again having a relationship with her boss at a Nashville strip club.

The wildest thing I’ve done in real life is to have sex with this guy who ran a strip club. We had sex in the office. It was totally found-out by everyone. There was a camera in the office and it was being recorded, but we honestly didn’t think anybody was gonna run through the tape. We were wrong! It got around Nashville real quick.

The video below is fascinating for the Ginger Lee persona giving way to Candice Raines. Raines was interviewed before a porn shoot in 2006. Raines talks humorously about her high school dates that involve learning to drive 4 wheel drive trucks and rifle shooting. It is easy to tell that Raines did not find this activities intellectually stimulating.

Raines comments on men she is looking for are noteworthy. Raines is upfront about her interest in older men.

RAINES: Guys that I find attractive? They have to be older than me. That's like the prerequisite. They have to be normally at least 30, unless you got something magical going on and I'm like "wow."

Raines also made her infamous "trifecta" comment in the video.

RAINES: I’m normally, like, drawn to their personality before I’m drawn to their looks because normally the really cute ones turn out to be assholes. So, I go for the really sweet ones before I go for the really cute ones. I’m still looking for the cute and sweet and awesome combo. I need the trifecta, damn it.

Raines described as her "trifecta" was Anthony Weiner.

You know it’s a good day when you wake up to a DM from @RepWeiner. (I’m a fangirl, y’all, he’s my trifecta of win.

Raines deleted several Weiner posts from her Tumbler and Twitter accounts. This post about Weiner can still be found on Google cache.

Oh my god. Yes. He can get buck wild anytime I’m around. Did I just type that out? I think that was supposed to stay inside my head. Oh well, fuck it.

Raines said that her father does mind her career as an adult entertainer. Either her father is very understanding or just doesn't care. I don't know any Southern dads that would be thrilled about their daughter making such a career choice. I'm not judging Raines. I have had famale friends that stripped. Raines relationship with her father may explain why she actively seeks out relationships with older, immature men.

Porn stars that are in relationships with celebrities tend to milk it for 15 minutes of fame. Raines went into hiding until Nancy Pelosi announced that they would be a House ethics investigation. Raines did the press conference with publicity seeking attorney Glorida Allred. Raines said she would assist with with the ethics investigation. It was either that or explain her Justin Bieber-like crush on Weiner under oath and the FBI wasting tax dollars by confiscating Raines' laptop as evidence.

Megan Broussard's instinct was to go to Andrew Breitbart and be a every news show. Raines' first instinct was to e-mail Weiner and ask what should she do.

In one email to Weiner, sent on Jan. 2, Ginger says. "Just tell me what to do or say, this stuff is so far out of my league I can't even pretend to know what to do."

Weiner responded, "I want you to make decisions that help you be healthy and sane. We need to be zen about this."

He continued, "I'm going to stop talking about this. No new oxygen."

Raines originally offered the comment that she was just a supporter of Weiner. Raines was suppose to show up in a studio to do a radio interview to promote her Atlanta strip club appearance. Raines ended up not showing up for the interview. Raines called the studio, instead. Raines has blogged about how she has issues about people violating her space. A media onslaught is the last thing Raines desires. Raines is sincere about wanting to get on with her life.

Making bad choices about relationships isn't worthy of an ethics investigation. Raines was smitten that a Congressman showed interest in her. Many other people would send silly online messages if a celebrity showed interest. Making bad relationship choices just means Raines is like many other women and men in America that get involved with the wrong people.

Raines threw Weiner under the bus. She really didn't have a choice. If Weiner didn't resign the day after the press conference members of Congress, in both parties, would have had a field day belittling Raines and her career. The truth is Raines is much more honest about what she does for a living than the majority of Congress.

The media can quickly judge and crush people. Monica Lewinsky moved to Europe to try to have a normal life. Raines has been honest about her medical problems and career. Raines has supported progressive causes and educated people about lupus. Ginger Lee is a fantasy. Candice Raines is a lovely, intelligent and complicated woman that is much more interesting than the false narrative the media has painted for her. I hope Raines is able to get her life back to normal and is successful with her with against lupus.

Labels: , , ,


At June 21, 2011 5:42 PM , Blogger litbrit said...

Good for you, Michael, for looking beyond the superficial headline-grabbing crap and shining a light on a young woman who does indeed seem to care about more than being a porn star or starf*cker.

It's all too easy for people to pigeonhole women, especially attractive women. Your post reminds us that all of us are distinct as human beings, worthy of respect, worthy of the benefit of the doubt, worthy of compassion.


At June 21, 2011 5:53 PM , Blogger Michael Hussey said...

I don't claim to have Miss Raines figured out. What struck me was how she carried herself better during her press conference than Weiner did.

At June 24, 2011 12:47 PM , Anonymous Anna in PDX said...

What an interesting article. She seems like a smart woman in a strange career. I hope she finds happiness and health, she has obviously been through quite a lot.

At June 25, 2011 5:54 PM , Blogger tas said...

So Congress and the FBI considered the matter of Raines getting sexted by Weiner of so much Earth shattering importance that they were willing to seize investigate her. In the meantime, Raines said the only jobs available to women in Nashville are answering telephones and waiting tables.

Shouldn't Congress have their attention focused on the employment situation in Nashville, which is mirrored in countless cities around this country? And shouldn't the media hold our government to account for taking actions to alleviate this situation when they are so focused on exploring somebody's sex life?

It's like what Jon Stewart said to Chris Wallace last week: the MSM bias isn't liberal, it's focusing on needless bullshit to the detriment of investigating actual news. It's leaving a Pelosi news conference when the minority leader says she won't discuss Rep. Weiner at that gathering. Calling this behavior "shameless" isn't just cliche, it's inaccurate because it assumes that the media's job is to act as the public's check against bureaucracy run amok -- when, obviously, the media no longer regard themselves as playing such a role in the democratic process.

The only thing I see now when the media covers people's personal sex lives is irony -- who are the real whores in this scenario?

At April 14, 2015 12:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

she goes off the rails i=on the stupid Islamic Center. She cant be a stripper, feminist and an apologist for the Whabbi sect of Islam. The Islamic Center in Murfreesboro is a palace. Where did the money come form to build it? Saudi Arabia


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home