[A] silly uberfeminist crusader…once called me a sex addict in a national newspaper…To some…[that] would be the gravest insult; to me it was the intellectual equivalent of claiming I am Father Christmas. – Brooke Magnanti
King of the Hill
The latest entry in the contest to claim bragging rights for “biggest sex trafficking hub in the United States”: “Reports from cities with federal Innocence Lost Task Forces lists Toledo [Ohio] as the third largest city for human trafficking and sex slavery…” Previous claimants include New York, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon and Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Phoenix, Arizona; and the entire state of Tennessee.
A southwest Missouri woman who says she shared her bed for years with her husband and his sex slave has decided she needs help defending herself against five federal charges. Marilyn Bagley… is charged with conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking, document servitude and use of an interstate facility to facilitate unlawful activity. She and her husband, Edward, are scheduled for trial in February.
Note that prohibitionist “feminists” had no comment on this: “Former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith…[who] founded Shared Hope International…said that efforts to stop the sell [sic] and trade of minors in the sex industry should be an extension of the ‘pro-life’ cause.”
“President Obama is not alone in the fight to end sex trafficking. Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino…[is] starring in a new Hollywood film, Trade of Innocents, following a sex trafficking ring in Cambodia.” Thanks, CNN; had you not told me that Obama wasn’t alone in pandering to hysteria, I would never have known.
Even some politicians in Zimbabwe have more respect for human rights than their American counterparts:
Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV and AIDS…wants government to decriminalise commercial sex work…The Director of the Public Personalities against AIDS Trust, Tendai Westerhof, [also] condemned criminalisation of sex workers…“It is disappointing that the country still criminalises sex work…these people suffer a lot as a result of the discriminatory laws…They are raped and cannot report such abuses. As a result, they cannot access health services”…
Meanwhile, in South Africa, sex worker rights group SWEAT recently made a presentation in their parliament.
Though the Australian cops in this story subscribe to fashionable “end demand” malarkey, some of them also admit that client persecution harms streetwalkers:
As a crackdown on kerb crawlers in St Kilda intensifies, street sex workers could be moving…to…Dandenong or Footscray, or [using smartphone] apps to meet clients in unsafe areas. Police tried unsuccessfully for decades to curb the trade by targeting workers…But halfway through the new two-year strategy, they noticed that the switch to targeting clients was having unwanted consequences. ”If we do push them out of the area, they won’t necessarily all leave the industry – and they’ll either adopt online or they’ll go and work in another location”…said [Senior Sergeant Brad Daly]. ”We might be creating things that we haven’t thought of yet”…lawyer Vanda Hamilton works with more than 50 legal and illegal sex workers and said…she feared many were being forced into troubling scenarios. She said the only way to ensure safety was to follow New South Wales’ example by legalising street-sex work…”You’re never going to stop sex work, you’re just going to push it so far underground that you can’t help people”…
Guess what, Brad? Virtually none of them are leaving the industry; they’re just going where you can’t see them.
More of this, please (but where’s the ACLU?)
Less than a month after approving restrictions on Halloween activities by registered sex offenders, the city of Simi Valley has been sued…the…law bans Halloween displays and outside lighting every Oct. 31…[and] requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall: ”No candy or treats at this residence.” Both the prohibition on decorations and the mandatory sign violate free speech rights, according to the lawsuit. A total of 119 registered sex offenders live in Simi Valley…None has been involved in crimes involving children on Halloween, according to police, who say they have no records of any such crime occurring in Simi Valley during Halloween trick-or-treating…
…The Daily Mail…claims [that young men] are addicted…[to] Viagra…[which unlike sex] is a pharmaceutical drug…[which] could [conceivably produce] physical dependency…[their “proof” consists of an]…interview [with] exactly one guy who uses Viagra a lot during sex…and…one…“psychosexual counselor”…who says this is “just a small sample of the problem”…Any studies…Any scientific research in any labs anywhere? Because I…don’t see any. At. All. Reading further down the article I see their real target: porn “addiction”…[and] sexually empowered women…How dare the ladies express interest and enjoyment in sex! Why won’t we just lie back and think of England like we’re supposed to!?…
Mere days after I added it to my Amazon wishlist, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent me a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale, which I somehow never got around to reading before. Thank you so very much!
Hey, kids! Fight “human trafficking” for fun and profit! Implicate your neighbors! Persecute sex workers! Win big prizes! “To raise awareness of human trafficking…the Department of Justice and Equality in Dublin and the Department of Justice in Belfast will launch a photography and video competition for Third Level students…Research human trafficking and present your understanding of the issue through a photograph or short video…Winners of each category will receive…1st prize €1,000…2nd prize €500…3rd prize €250.”
Here’s an interesting article debunking the fallacious notion that some kinds of porn are more “positive” than others, that “erotica” is intrinsically different from porn and that men can be “taught” to reject the kind of porn they prefer in favor of the kind women prefer…argued from a marketing perspective rather than a traditionally psychological one. One important point: “Human minds are not passive and infinitely malleable receptacles prone to any form of socialization and learning. Successful marketers are well aware of this reality. Ideologues, including some academics in the ivory tower, have much to learn!”
Remember when controversy over contraception was only something we read about in history books or in reference to unusually conservative Catholics? I sure do. But over the last two decades that equine carcass has been dragged out of the glue factory and is once again being set upon by sex-hating control freaks trying to call attention away from the uncontrolled tumescence of government, national debt and the police state. The fact that the public obediently paid attention to this distraction has enabled lots of crazy people, including a group of nuns who produced an anti-contraception video chock full of propaganda because they obviously forgot that lying makes Baby Jesus cry:
This week Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn’s book Half The Sky premieres on PBS as a two-part miniseries, providing an opportunity for his audience to step into his well-worn white savior shoes…viewers will survey the lives of young women whom Kristof and WuDunn have chosen as the best ciphers for their agenda…to…“turn oppression into opportunity”…[by] proposing dubious schemes for advancing women’s rights—like arresting sex workers in order to “rescue” them from prostitution, or enthusiastically supporting the creation of “sweatshops” to accommodate sex workers and other women in the global south…
In response, Moore & Grant presented a “collective evaluation” of Nicholas Kristof, in other words excerpts from essays by Laura Agustín, Teju Cole and many others (including yours truly). The article is also mentioned in this Buzzfeed article, which shows the outcry is getting big enough for even the usually-oblivious media to notice.
Catarina Migliorini says that cooking, driving, reading and every other human activity magically become different things if one only does them once:
…A 20-year-old Brazilian woman is auctioning off her virginity for a one-time tryst on an airplane…Catarina Migliorini says she’ll donate some of the money to provide housing for poor families in her native Santa Catarina…the Internet bidding [has already] reached $160,000…[and] ends Oct. 15…Migliorini insisted in a statement to the Sao Paulo daily Folha that…”For me, it’s not prostitution…when someone does something once in his or her life, this is not considered a profession. If you take a picture and it comes out good, you are not a photographer because of it”…The Daily Mail reported that Migliorini is [also]…part of an Australian film project called Virgins Wanted. She’s getting $20,000 and a 90-percent cut of the auction price…
The HuffPo comments are, of course, predictably disgusting. Meanwhile, Slate presents this series of portraits of female Iranian singers, who are legally barred from singing on stage for a general audiences because it is “immodest”. This is not a hypothetical reductio ad absurdum; it is the natural result of busybodies having control over women’s interactions with men and attempting to draw imaginary lines between “good” and “immoral” behavior.
Rachel Aimee, one of the founders of the late $pread magazine, covers one specific aspect of the “sex workers as mothers” topic: deciding if, when and how to tell one’s children that one is a sex worker. She interviews an escort, a stripper, a dominatrix, a nude model and a sex educator, and though as you might expect she doesn’t reach a definitive conclusion, she presents a lot of worthwhile food for thought.
A pornographic website has launched a fundraising effort for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but the nonprofit says it wants nothing to do with the campaign…the…website said it would donate 1 cent for every 30 views of certain videos featuring breasts during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…[but the Komen organization said] “We are not a partner, not accepting donations, and have asked them to stop using our name”…
Obviously, the Komen Foundation has not yet learned that they are supposed to care more about women’s health than about prudishness.
Priya-Alika Elias imagines what it would be like if Homer, Shakespeare, Joyce, Tolkien and others wrote Cosmo sex tips. Alas, she didn’t do Lovecraft, but it’s still pretty damned funny.
The…TSA…didn’t bother to do a background check on a priest who had been defrocked for molesting girls before they gave him a job, which included doing pat downs on children at Philadelphia International Airport. The Philadelphia Inquirer…reported that…65-year-old Thomas Harkins…has since been promoted from the…job that required him to pat down children and now oversees screening operations for checked baggage.
This Week in 2011
I answered questions on NBA policies, Wikipedia, gravatars and epigrams, discussed busybody control freaks who use women’s dignity as an excuse for oppression, introduced you to a young courtesan named Su Xiaoxiao, reported on a complaint to the APA about Melissa Farley’s numerous ethical violations, and shared short items on marital sex issues, Gardasil, a Sydney mega-brothel, a pervert cop, BDSM persecution, Edmonton’s attempt to create a bottleneck, a claim that the average hooker is 13, cops’ armed robbery of a strip club, AHF and an essay by Catherine Hakim.
This Week in 2010
I introduced the concept of “sex rays”, talked about my boob job, explained how criminalization exposes whores to danger from real criminals, discussed the families of sex workers, presented brief biographies of the five victims of Jack the Ripper, looked at the archetypal “hooker with a heart of gold”, and shared short items about Congress’ first attempt to control the internet and two creepy men’s attempts to sexually violate women unnoticed.