The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. - James Madison
Ten updates and two meta-updates.
Welcome To Our World (January 20th, 2011)
Who else besides prostitutes and drug users are abducted and caged “for their own good”?
A 17-year-old suspected rape victim is being held in a California juvenile detention facility to ensure that she’ll show up to testify against her attacker…“The last thing we ever want to do is put a victim or a witness in custody, but when you have serious crimes of violence and multiple offenses, you have to balance the protection of the community,” [said the]…assistant district attorney…
Once again: never, ever call the cops for any reason, not even if you think you’re dying. Because once you do, they think you are their personal property to dispose of in any way they wish.
A Manufactured War (January 23rd, 2011)
In the grand tradition of William Randolph Hearst, the New York Times doesn’t just report the news; it exaggerates, distorts and lies in order to make a “good story”. And since it’s been on an anti-whore hobby horse for several years now, that means stuff like this:
…While the rest of Spain’s economy may be struggling, experts say that prostitution — almost all of it involving the ruthless trafficking of foreign women — is booming…powered in large part by the desires of young men…The State Department’s 2010 report on trafficking said that 200,000 to 400,000 women worked in prostitution in Spain…[and] 90 percent were trafficked…
No, “experts” say no such thing; those who promote this kind of garbage are mostly just making it up, either pulling numbers from thin air or using overly-broad definitions (such as defining any hooker who works in an area other than her native soil as “trafficked”) and then embellishing the numbers with unwarranted adjectives like “ruthless” and presenting scare stories as “fact”. For more Times duplicity, see “Feet of Clay” below.
Neither Cold Nor Hot (April 6th, 2011)
Once in a while, Jezebel stands up for sex workers; too bad it isn’t more often:
Sex workers are anti sex-trafficking. It seems obvious…and yet you might not know this because sex workers rights activists have not gotten any air-time from the major anti-trafficking organizations…shutting down advertising sites…means losing the ability to screen clients beforehand…SWOP and other sex worker advocacy groups have ideas around what could actually help trafficking…
Don’t Take My Word For It (September 29th, 2011)
Three German students may have discovered the secret to heterosexual male prostitution: don’t charge anything or expect much business:
…three business students from the University of Mannheim…offer…female students uncomplicated and anonymous one-night stands…posters…promise “Good Grades through Good Sex.” The young men claim that their project is about emancipation…and…should be recognized as more than a mere coital campaign…Female students who spend their evenings drained and fatigued in the library and are in the mood for a little closeness and intimacy are encouraged to send an email. Then one of the three men will meet with them…[they] claim that five one-night-stands have taken place so far…
Scapegoats (January 26th, 2012)
Since this report is several years old and was not available on any mainstream news site, I suspect it’s an urban legend circulated among animal-rights types; supposedly an orangutan named Pony was “rescued” from a rural brothel in Borneo, where she was employed as a prostitute and shaved several times a week to make her more presentable. Unless someone manages to dig up a properly-documented article, I must point out that claiming huge numbers of men would pay for sex with an ape seems closely akin to the notion that similar numbers want sex with traumatized prepubescent girls: both are prohibitionist myths intended to smear men in general and whores’ clients in particular.
The Immunity Syndrome (March 5th, 2012)
Here’s an unsurprising report showing that American states with “abstinence-only” sex education have the highest teen pregnancy rates:
The number of teen births in the U.S. dropped again in 2010…to about 34 per 1,000 girls… Mississippi continues to have the highest teen birth rate, with 55 births per 1,000 girls. New Hampshire has the lowest rate at just under 16 births per 1,000 girls. This is the lowest national rate for teen births since…1940…Researchers…found that teenagers who received…comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. And in 2007, a federal report showed that abstinence-only programs had “no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.” But 37 states require sex education that includes abstinence, 26 of which require that abstinence be stressed as the best method…research shows that [these] deter contraceptive use among teenagers, thus increasing…risk of unintended pregnancy…
Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)
Naomi Wolf’s analysis of the TSA’s true motivation is much like mine:
…this week, the Supreme Court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor…Justice Anthony Kennedy explained that this ruling is necessary because [one of the 9/11 conspirators] could have been stopped for speeding. How would strip searching him have prevented the attack? Did Justice Kennedy imagine that plans to blow up the twin towers had been concealed in a body cavity? In still more bizarre non-logic, his and the other justices’ decision rests on concerns about weapons and contraband in prison systems. But people under arrest – that is, who are not yet convicted – haven’t been introduced into a prison population. Our surveillance state shown considerable determination to intrude on citizens sexually…the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations. The political use of forced nudity by anti-democratic regimes is long established. Forcing people to undress is the first step in breaking down their sense of individuality and dignity and reinforcing their powerlessness…the TSA…genital groping policy…is designed to psychologically habituate US citizens to a condition in which they are demeaned and sexually intruded upon by the state…
Useful Idiots (March 15th, 2012)
More evidence for those who still don’t accept that neofeminist propaganda denying the agency of prostitutes and other non-neofeminist women is inevitably used to classify all women as passive, infantile moral imbeciles:
[Wisconsin governor] Scott Walker…quietly signed three controversial bills on the eve of a holiday weekend…A woman seeking an abortion must [now] undergo an exam and consult with a doctor alone, away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine whether someone is pressuring the woman into the procedure…
Mandatory prosecution laws for domestic violence and Swedish-flavored anti-prostitution laws have established the precedent that women are incompetent to make any decision which involves sex, and that if a woman makes a decision “authorities” don’t like it must be the result of coercion. This merely follows that precedent to its next logical step; look for more like it in upcoming months.
Feet of Clay (April 5th, 2012)
…[Nicholas] Kristof’s own newspaper profits from the sort of advertising for escort services, strip clubs, and other forms of adult entertainment that Kristof has linked to the underworld of child sex trafficking…About.com is “a wholly-owned subsidiary of the New York Times Company”…[which] accounted for 5% of all [company] revenues…in 2011, roughly $100 million…the Times also owns a 49% stake in Metro Boston…[which] also happens to make money from adult advertising…[Kristof’s] salary partly comes from the same ads, and the same allegedly criminal activity, that he tried to pin on Goldman Sachs…Though [it] immediately divested itself of its stake in Backpage.com, that was not enough for Kristof, who told CNBC he would have preferred to see the company apply its investment towards “bringing about change” in the online advertising industry. He added that Goldman Sachs should have sold its 16 percent stake in Village Voice Media to “an anti-trafficking organization.” Will Kristof apply that same standard to the New York Times–and himself? The newspaper and its shareholders must give up over $100 million in annual revenue; are they ready to contribute to the cause? And if not, will Kristof devote his column to campaigning against his employer? Will he appear on CNBC to report “The Times‘ Ties to Sex Trafficking?” If not, why not?
The Notorious Badge (April 9th, 2012)
In the TV movie The Client List Jennifer Love Hewitt played a mother who becomes an erotic masseuse to make ends meet, and the movie proved so popular it is now a series. I have been told the character and her work are portrayed positively, and this interview with the actress leads me to believe that:
Since the movie has come out and with the upcoming show, have you been approached or contacted by any women who work in the sex industry?
No, I haven’t. I mean, I’m sure maybe once the show starts airing a bit, I might be able to meet some of those women or they might feel more comfortable to come up and say hello and have open discussions about those things…I feel like [prejudices come]…from lack of knowledge and fear and maybe not knowing the whole story…the more that you look into those industries, a lot of those women are single moms doing the best that they can or are someone’s daughter who fell on hard times…of course, some of them…just chose it because that’s what they wanted to do…I respect people doing what they have to do in order to try to live and be happy…
I sent a message to Miss Hewitt offering to answer any questions she might have, but haven’t heard back yet. The comment thread is a story in its own right; it’s full of holier-than-thou comments from the pompous windbags who apparently infest the massage profession nowadays, as discussed in “Full of Themselves”.
…Thanks to Weinstein’s “leadership” [AHF has] gone from a sizeable healthcare foundation with a good reputation to…a…joke…
A leading AIDS group is battling with FDA over whether the agency should approve the first drug for preventing HIV infection in gay men, and the fight has gotten nasty…the AIDS Healthcare Foundation called for Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to resign over that and other issues, perhaps including egos…Truvada cut the HIV infection in men who have sex with men by 44 percent compared to a placebo…So far, the drug has not been found to work in women…Weinstein worries that the promise of a “magic pill” could reverse progress the AIDS community has made in encouraging condom use over decades…
Mr. Weinstein is actually the only one who’s been branding Truvada as a magic pill, and he’s been citing half truths [and] his own botched survey…Nobody else…has been calling this anything other than…a drug with a promising potential that needs to be truly and thoroughly studied…Maybe it’s time for the AHF to consider whether or not the $366,046 a year they are paying Weinstein is money well spent. Charles Lyons II at Glaser makes exactly $1023 less than Weinstein for running an organization twice the size and scope. And he’s not wasting his group’s time and efforts trying to derail patient care…
Dr. Laura Agustín published two excellent articles on Gloria Steinem’s recent attempt to appoint herself an expert on “prostitution and sex trafficking” in India; her April 6th column discusses Steinem’s many errors, clichés, distortions, biases and moralistic assumptions, including her bizarre description of sex as “body invasion” (apparently a melodramatic twist on Robin Morgan’s ridiculous definition of rape). And on April 9th, Agustín describes an absurd tabloid-style news article glorifying Steinem and other White Saviors descending upon India to “rescue” sex workers “with money and might”.
One Year Ago Today
“The Pro-Rape Coalition” demonstrates why those who call themselves “anti-porn” are in reality pro-rape.