Which One Is The Prostitute?

To the left is a picture of two women – the one on the left is named “Vivian Ward.” The one on the right is named “Ashley Alexandra Dupre.”

Quick quiz: which one of the two is the prostitute?

Of you chose the woman on the left, you’d be wrong. “Vivian Ward” is the name of the character played by Julia Roberts in the movie “Pretty Woman.”

So if you guessed the woman on the right, Ashley Alexandra Dupre, you were right. Ms. Dupre was one of the high priced call girls involved in the prostitution scandal that forced the resignation of former New York governor Elliot Spitzer.

We usually don’t play the game of “who’s the prostitute” here on Raised on Hoecakes, but we asked to illustrate a point.

The City of New York has just passed a law holding cab drivers responsible if they take a prostitute somewhere in their cab.

Under the legislation, city taxi and livery drivers would face up to a $10,000 fine and lose their New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission licenses if convicted of a felony related to sex trafficking.

Drivers will be required to take a course that will aid them in spotting what a hooker looks like.

The problems with this are many. First, it requires cab drivers to identify a prostitute based on their appearance. This effectively means a cabbie can refuse service to someone because of the way they are dressed. Given the fines and consequences if they are wrong, drivers are going to be refusing a lot of women – innocent women who have nothing to do with the world’s oldest profession – are going to be left standing on the sidewalk looking for transportation.

Women’s groups are understandably upset about this. Why should a woman be judged based on her looks? If, for example, a woman was attacked, would anyone applaud the decision of a cabbie to drive by them because of the state of their torn clothes? After all, revealing clothes are the sign of a prostitute, right? Given the large diversity or the population and cultures in New York, how does the city expect to overcome those cultural differences in what is appropriate for women to wear?

This is another case where the government is requiring someone to be criminally responsible for the conduct of another. It is not the fault nor the responsibility of a cabbie if a prostitute uses a cab. Ultimately, it is the actions of the prostitute and her “Johns” that make their acts illegal – not the way the woman looks and dresses.

Given the push for a ban on large soft drinks in New York, one must wonder what punishment will await a cab driver who transports a prostitute while drinking a 32 ounce Big Gulp.

2 Responses to “Which One Is The Prostitute?”

  1. karen says:

    I think the cabbies should just ignore it. If they get caught, they can prolly get their own talkshow, just like good ol’ Gov. Eliot Spencer.

    • AAfterwit says:


      Nice seeing you here again!

      I would agree with you but the next move of the City Council would be to go after the cab “medallions.” Those things are worth anywhere from $750,000 to $1,000,000 dollars.

      The medallions are another story of government robbery and market control, but that is a story for another day.

      Thanks for commenting!