For all the talk about women involved in the sex industry as “victims”, there is no apparent appetite for actually speaking with them in order to assess what the real issues are. - Graham Ellison
Sex Work is Work
“Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa has warned…sex workers that they risk being arrested if they will not stop conducting their business in Central Business District…The mayor urged the sex workers to use their talents in seeking income…” This is, of course, exactly what he is threatening them for doing.
Indiana school officials believe that sex radiation is so dangerous that exposed students must be quarantined in order to contain the contamination:
Some students…in Anderson, Ind. [who] got a peek of their teacher’s bare breasts on a school-issued iPad…have been suspended and threatened with expulsion…Joshua Troutt, 13…and three other students were in their classroom, playing a game on [the] iPad…[and when] one of the students pressed a button…[the] photograph…was revealed. “It’s not our fault that she had the photo on there,” Troutt said. ”We couldn’t do anything not to look at it…She had to have pressed something to make all of her [iPhone] photos synch on there”…
Let that be a lesson to you, kids: never tell any authority figure about anything unusual that happens, ever.
Even though the prosecutor euphemistically refers to armed robbery and grand larceny as “improper use of forfeiture funds”, it’s still a pleasure to see this coming up to trial at last: “Former Romulus [Michigan] Police Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife, and five…detectives pled not guilty…to using asset forfeiture funds…[from] narcotics and prostitution investigations to buy…narcotics and prostitutes… The officers are accused of spending $40,000 in forfeiture funds in one year…[and] St. Andre also used $75,000 from drug forfeiture funds to buy a tanning salon…for his wife.”
Yet again: As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:
A woman in Maryland who was allegedly raped…by a deputy sheriff has filed a $15 million lawsuit against the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office…Lamar McIntyre allegedly…took [the woman, who was awaiting trial] into an isolated holding cell and told her to get naked, [forced her into] oral…and vaginal sex without a condom…”[slapped] her buttocks extremely hard”…[then] took pictures with his camera phone…McIntyre [then] took the woman to the court room “as if nothing ever happened”…McIntyre…admitted to police that he was involved…
Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s Telegraph article on “sex trafficking” hysteria covers familiar ground, but she’s always a pleasure to read. Furthermore, because she was born in Florida but did sex work in the UK, she qualifies as “trafficked” herself under the official criteria. She mentions several useful statistics:
…of the trafficking referrals made to police in the UK, one in four are men, and domestic and agricultural exploitation counts for six of every 10 cases…Liz Kelly and Linda Regan of the University of North London attempted to estimate the number of women brought into the UK for sex in 1998 by surveying [police] reports…they came up with…71…[but this] included…women who willingly arrived…for sex work…In 2007…[Operation] Pentameter Two resulted in five convictions…406 arrests were made…153 of those…were released without charge. Most of the rest were charged with immigration breaches and unrelated offences. Twenty-two were prosecuted for trafficking; 7 of those were acquitted. Ten of the remaining lot turned out not to have coerced the women they brought into the country. This left five actual traffickers…none of [whom] were detected specifically by actions in the Pentameter Two effort…
She also mentions that the “80% of sex workers are coerced” claim promoted by MP Fiona Mactaggart (and repeated ad nauseum by other prohibitionists) originally came from a 1982 survey of San Francisco streetwalkers.
“People want to believe that any behavior they dislike…is either wholly voluntary or the result of ‘socialization’…but…[these are] better explained by evolution and neurology than by ludicrous tabula rasa notions. Why they prefer to believe that people are programmed by “society” or “the Patriarchy” than to acknowledge we are programmed by Nature I cannot say; perhaps they fear that instinct is harder to overcome than learning and therefore choose to deny the terrifying reality…” More on this same line of thought from Dr. Gad Saad:
…“blank slate” explanations are ubiquitous in the social sciences…men stray from their marriages…due to their viewing of pornography …people succumb to juicy burgers…[because of] those alluring advertising jingles…women [suffer]…eating disorders…[due to] media images that attack [their] self-worth…young [men’s]…violent and reckless behaviors…[are caused by] video games…these arguments are pure fiction…rooted in a perfectly erroneous view of human nature. Each of [these] is linked to evolutionary and biological principles that have little to do with…socialization…the blank slate view [is] so pervasive…[because] it caters to…the endless pursuit for hope…[and] provides people with the illusion of control. Alter the supposed culprit environmental cause and the issue will apparently be resolved…
Though this item from the East Bay Express is largely based around the harm Proposition 35 will do if enacted, it is less an analysis of the proposed law and more an honest and accepting profile of a number of sex workers in the San Francisco Bay area, including regular reader Jolene Parton. The more articles like this we see, the harder it will be for prohibitionists to support the lie that well-adjusted sex workers are an unrepresentative minority.
Most of this story about a “huge crackdown on human trafficking” in Scotland is the same old bombastic rhetoric, turgid “estimates” and endless repetition of lurid claims about the escort service owners convicted of “trafficking” last year. But there was an embedded link proclaiming that “Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to ensalve [sic] women in Scotland!” which led to an article I missed in January notable not only for the “magical slave control” pap, but also for being published just before the popular exaggeration increased from “15 men a day” to 50. Stories like this are an excellent development, because they throw a spotlight on the close resemblance between “sex trafficking” hysteria and the Satanic Panic.
Since it’s apparent that prudes prefer their daughters to die than to have sex, this study was necessary no matter how totally obvious its conclusions were from the start:
There did not appear to be any difference in the sexual behaviors of adolescent girls who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and their unvaccinated peers…Among girls ages 11 and 12 enrolled in a large, managed-care organization, there were no between-group differences in the rate of pregnancy…sexually transmitted infection, or receipt of contraceptive counseling…In addition, the average age at the first composite outcome was no different between vaccinated and unvaccinated girls…
That’s especially good now that a new version of the vaccine may help women who are already infected:
…the experimental vaccine…was given to 18 women with cervical dysplasia, a precancerous condition…caused by a chronic HPV infection…after vaccination, the women produced immune cells that were capable of attacking and killing HPV-infected cells…this…could clear chronic HPV infections, and prevent precancerous cells from becoming cancerous…it’s possible a [similar] vaccine…could treat other types of cancer caused by HPV, such as some head and neck cancers…
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is trying to get his “aggravated pimping” charge dismissed; apparently he’s just noticed that Western society, following behind the US like a flock of obedient sheep, is trying to “criminalize lust”:
…That defense and the investigation, which is facing a critical judicial hearing in late November, have offered a keyhole view into a clandestine practice in certain powerful circles of French society: secret soirees with lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians that start with a fine meal and end with naked guests and public sex with multiple partners…the most perplexing question in the Strauss-Kahn affair is how a career politician…was blinded to the possibility that his zest for sex parties could present a liability, or risk blackmail…
It’s only “perplexing” to female American journalists whose dedication to a PC agenda has totally conquered any critical thinking skills they may once have had. Another one who’s just waking up to reality is Hubert Delarue, the lawyer for one of Strauss-Kahn’s co-defendants, who apparently thinks halfway whores are something new: “Prostitution was…for a certain type of population…[but] today…there are occasional prostitutes, and sometimes they’re top models who try to make ends meet. They aren’t miserable women on the sidewalk.”
Vietnam will free about 900 sex workers…from compulsory rehabilitation centres…when a newly amended…law comes into effect…[next] July…Since July [of] this year, sex workers have no longer been sent to…[the] centres…but…fined up to five million dong [$240 US] instead…drug addicts will continue to be sent to detoxification centres…
I really like this trend of brothels funding athletics: “…[Members of] a cash-strapped Greek soccer team…are wearing…practice jerseys emblazoned with the logos of the Villa Erotica and Soula’s House of History, a pair of…bordellos recruited to sponsor the team after drastic government spending cuts left the country’s sports organizations facing ruin. One team took on a deal with a local funeral home and others have wooed kebab shops, a jam factory, and producers of…feta cheese…”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we in America could see articles like this strong criticism of an attempt to impose the Swedish model on Northern Ireland?
…Lord Morrow’s Bill…is ill-thought through, confusing and based on rather dubious evidence. Sex trafficking is conflated solely with prostitution…and…is…accompanied by increasingly fantastical (and unsubstantiated) media claims about the number of “victims”…[yet] there has…been only one prosecution of a “trafficker”…and the women he “trafficked” were two Czech prostitutes that flew of their own volition to Belfast to operate out of [an] apartment that they rented from [him]…
The author, criminologist Graham Ellison, goes on to ridicule the impossible claims made about the Swedish model’s “success” and to correctly present it as the agenda of fundamentalist neofeminists and Christians.
Since the founder of Shared Hope International says that anti-trafficking activism “should be an extension of the ‘pro-life’ cause”, one wonders what her thoughts on this might be:
Argentina’s Supreme Court has ruled that a woman rescued from a prostitution ring must be allowed to have the abortion she wants…Argentina allows legal abortions in rape cases or to protect a woman’s health. But politicians, doctors and judges often continue to block them…and…in this case, a judge intervened…saying there was no proof of rape even though the woman had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution…
This decriminalization video was produced by an organization named “Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights”; when will American human rights organizations take this unambiguous a stand against prostitution law?
This Week in 2010 and 2011
There were two columns on the multiplying cracks in the prohibitionist dam, a juxtaposition of sex work with another form of labor, a look at whether prevailing religious views in a country determine its treatment of whores, a meditation on modern society’s attempts to ignore Nature, and news about HIV prevention. We also delved into the truth about neofeminists, the destruction of civil liberties in the US, the horror of American prisons and the production of prohibitionist propaganda through collusion of cops and the media. Finally, I examined the vital social role played by harlots in controlling male sexuality and ministering to the disabled, and called attention to society’s galling denial of it.