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Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

Readers, I recently got this letter from a sex worker I’ve known for years.  Obviously I’m not in a position to know all the ins and outs of the situation, but this lady is very sharp and I talked to her about some of the earlier incidents she refers to as they happened, including the one from three years ago.  I have edited this a bit for conciseness, to remove a few unnecessary personal details and to embed links, but the rest is hers.  The “Gina” she refers to is the owner of Preferred 411 (“P411”), a client verification service to which I’ve referred on multiple occasions.

Dear Maggie,

P411 lilyI am writing this in hopes that you may help me to share this information regarding P411.  I was reluctant to come forward at first, but after the evidence that presented itself today, I can no longer deny the responsibility that I have to my sisters to report that I strongly believe that the security of the site can no longer be trusted.  I was the biggest proponent of P411 for years, but now sadly, I must say that Gina and I exchanged emails today that can leave me with no other impression than that she is working with cops, maybe even the FBI.

Three years ago a man claiming to be “Danny H___”* attempted to schedule appointments with me in Orlando, Florida, using a very memorable email address.  I was provided with screening information that led to a Florida real estate license, so I made the appointment; however, my intuition kept telling me that something was wrong so I ran some checks on the contact form he filled out on my website.  A back door tracker showed it originated at “Orange County Telecommunications”, and following that back took me to the police department website.  I quickly cancelled the appointment, yet had already told him the hotel; he begged me to see him, and when I looked out the window I saw two blacked out undercover Dodge Chargers in the parking lot, parked driver to driver in the style of the police.  So I told him that I found him attractive and would see him for free, and suddenly he lost interest.  Hmm.

Early last week, I was surprised to be contacted by that same memorable email address again!  I had just posted a new ad on Eros for the Tampa area (which includes Orlando).  Because I knew he was a cop from last time, I decided to look at the MBI website and found a message from the Director breaking down their efforts to eliminate escort advertising from Orlando for tourism reasons.  I spent hours reading it, and began tracking all of my communications.  Imagine my further surprise when each of four different client contacts that day all tracked back to the same Orlando IP address as the cop’s email; in fact, each of the four clients forwarded all of my emails to the same four contacts in various locations of the country, all showing “human trafficking” task forces located in those cities.

I went into high alert mode, using P411 as my preferred source of screening, and that day I was contacted by two P411 members.  I agreed to meet one of them, but had to redirect his conversation many times because he kept saying graphic things that would not occur in a tantric session.  I never want to blow a client out of the water by shouting “There is no sex in my sessions”; I let them figure it out on their own and they are usually OK with it.  But this guy wouldn’t let go of the sex talk prior to meeting.  In fact, he got a little upset and said, “This is too much work.  It sounds like you are just an escort, not Tantra with Sex.”  I explained that I had to be careful due to Florida’s efforts to impose moral agendas by persecuting erotic education.  And boy, did that email get a lot of attention; it was forwarded or opened 68 times on 5 different devices in 5 different cities.  In fact, all of the contacts that week circulated my emails to the same network, including some in which the supposed client wanted me to cross a state line to see him (which is fishing for a Mann Act charge).  I have detailed tracking reports on all of these emails, though none got quite as much attention as the one in which I mentioned that I was aware of current police operations.

Once I had verified that all of these suspect mails were coming from the same IP address as the P411 account, I contacted P411 immediately by phone; the operator (with zero sense of urgency) told me to email Gina.  I had to do that twice before she replied, and her replies left me with no doubt that she is working with the cops.  She claims that a P411 client forwarding our emails to known police IP addresses is not an issue because IP addresses are “garbage information”.  I agree that without other information, they mean very little, but when the addresses are clearly part of a network and the same IP comes up again and again, it is undeniable that something in the milk ain’t clean.  When I explained how I knew these addresses were associated with known cops, she categorically stated that the original client from three years ago was “with no doubt, NOT LE”.  Following this oddly-certain declaration I decided to Google that memorable email address, and found multiple blacklist reports which also identified him as LE (in direct contradiction of Gina’s statement).  When I confronted her with this evidence, her reply was, “Some people just live for drama and paranoia.”

This is not the first time I’ve suspected problems with P411.  Prior to the Denver busts using fake P411 accounts last June I had emailed Gina about suspicious activity from a Denver account with zero OKs who forwarded my emails to Colorado State Government computers; this supposed newbie was trying to get me to travel from Florida to Colorado and to “bring a friend to Colorado because I like to watch”.  Pretty odd for a newbie to reach out to Florida for something as easy to find as a duo, unless you’re trying to invent a “human trafficking” scenario.  But this week, when I reminded Gina of that incident, she claimed the username I reported was not the one involved in the busts.  There was one other incident last year:  I checked my P411 account after a long absence and found that my phone number had been changed to someone else’s; searching the new number revealed a duplicate of my ad, complete with my photo and an apparently false review.  Gina’s reaction to that issue was to say that I must have changed the phone number myself.

"I've just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of here forever."

“I’ve just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of here forever.”

I didn’t speak out then because I could not believe that Gina, as well respected as she is, could really be in on this.  I’m also aware that Gina and P411 reside in Canada, but with the current “sex trafficking” hysteria who knows what agreements may have been made between the two countries’ police agencies?  And it’s not like there is no such thing as extradition for “crimes” that are now being represented as something very serious.  Furthermore, I’m not the first provider to accuse Gina of being “dirty”, and several clients I know are concerned that she is preparing to “cash out” due to the fact that she was recently offering lifetime P411 memberships for the cost of two years (citing “bad business decisions” as her reason).  Today I deleted my account.  But I have a responsibility to stand up as an activist and say that these things are undeniable, and I have the evidence to prove it.

 Months before the Denver incident, P411 was also compromised in Wisconsin and Little Rock, Arkansas; there was also evidence of a much more serious problem which I included in TW3 #43, but removed mere hours before publication time because Gina came up with a seemingly-credible explanation for it.  But now, the circumstantial evidence appears to be stacking up; even if this can all be explained, it has not been as yet.  Services like P411 run on trust, and Gina does not appear to be investing enough effort in maintaining that trust; until and unless she does, I would advise all escorts using the service to be wary and to run your own extensive screening on anyone who approaches you via P411.  

*Mr. H____ has emailed me and insists that he had nothing to do with this sting operation; given that the police don’t care whom they hurt  in their crusade against whores, it’s entirely possible they could simply be using his name without his permission.

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I know who held the knife, but they might as well have put it in his hands.  -  the mother of murdered sex worker Petite Jasmine

December 17th posterSeveral days a year sex workers and our allies get together, either in person or in spirit, to observe certain occasions.  On March 3rd, we agitate for our rights and reach out to our comrades in other countries.  On June 2nd, we celebrate our victories and honor those who have gone before us in the struggle.  On Friday the 13th (a celebration of my own devising) we ask allies to join with us in the fight.  And on December 17th, in a ritual perhaps appropriate for the darkest season of the year, we remember our dead.

Their number is not as grossly disproportionate as prohibitionists like to pretend, but it is still much higher than it needs to be…especially since the cause of it is almost entirely governmental attempts to suppress or criminalize consensual adult behavior.  The body count of alcohol Prohibition is legendary, and many hundreds of thousands have died as a direct result of the “War on Drugs”; if we count total casualties rather than just fatalities, the toll is somewhere in the tens of millions.  The eradication of an activity which is totally legal if performed for a different motive is even more impossible, and the futile crusade to do so has been nearly as bloody.  Under any regime where the sale of sex is either partially or fully criminalized, the great majority of violence against sex workers is inflicted by the police; most of the rest that does not result from the sadly-normal violence inherent in human interactions is attributable to either the dangerous conditions under which sex workers must function in order to avoid police violence, or the marginalization which allows the evil and twisted to pretend that we’re acceptable targets for violence because we aren’t “real” human beings anyhow.  Every serial killer who has preyed upon sex workers has voiced some version of this sentiment, and the prohibitionists who support the system which enables the violence either claim that suffering and death of whores are a “price worth paying”, or reveal their sociopathy by declaring that such violence is a good thing.

In places where sex work is decriminalized or nearly so, sex workers are not forced into the shadows.  They need not work alone or in secret, without the support of friends or employees.  They are able to take their time assessing the character of potential clients, and need not rely upon third parties who don’t “look like prostitutes” in the eyes of the police.  Because their clients are also free to transact business, they are able to reject abusive clients and select the good ones who aren’t afraid to approach them.  They need not fear violent “rescuers” who invade their workplaces, abduct them, lock them in cages and subject them to brainwashing.  They are not the victims of government propaganda intended to convince everyone that they are either subhuman criminals or pathetic, childlike victims ripe for the picking.  And when they are victims of violence (as anyone can be in this imperfect world), they have the same legal recourse as anyone else.

Though the past year has seen many examples of the violence engendered by criminalization, one in particular stands out as a perfect illustration, namely the murder of the Swedish activist known as Petite Jasmine:

Several years ago she lost custody of her children as she was considered to be an unfit parent due to being a sex worker.  The children were placed with their father regardless of him being abusive towards Jasmine.  They told her she didn’t know what was good for her and that she was “romantisizing” prostitution, they said she lacked insight and didn’t realise sex work was a form of self-harm.  He threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions, she was never offered any protection…

JasmineThe Swedish government thus forced her to remain in contact with a violent abuser who eventually murdered her, because as a sex worker she was not in their eyes worthy of consideration.  Her death, a direct result of the actions of the Swedish state, triggered off a series of anti-criminalization protests on four continents; these protests, and similar ones for other murdered sex workers, demonstrate the true spirit of December 17th:  we choose to honor our dead not merely by weeping for them, but by fighting for the day when no more of us have to die for a sick and twisted fantasy of governmental control over the private choices of individuals.

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I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and I have found it very educational and refreshing.  However, I have been trying for some time to understand your view on trafficking.  I absolutely understand your disdain for people who assert that no educated person could ever choose the life of a prostitute, and I understand that most people who work for anti-human trafficking orgs assert that every single sex worker needs to be saved from herself, pimps, and the ones who buy her services.  Obviously this isn’t the case; I know that there are plenty of people who enjoy sex work and indeed choose it as a career AND lead happy, healthy lives with fulfilling relationships.  However, I work with underage girls who have been through terrible coercion, often from a very young age; these are the kind of people I wish to help.  Law-enforcement officers do not know how to tell coercive situations from non-coercive ones, and more often than not, they end up harassing and criminalizing both the women who choose the life and those who do not.  I am in a position to educate law-enforcement, firefighters and the like, and would like suggestions on doing this.arrested streetwalker  I need to address the problem, who it affects, how to recognize it, and how to stop it…AND actually address that there are people who choose prostitution – and they are not the ones we are trying to “save.”  Also, what organizations apart from the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) do you know to have honest, fact-based studies on numbers, ages etc…?

If every organization were like GAATW, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.  Unfortunately most are not, and use “trafficking” as a disguise for attacking consensual sex.  Furthermore, governments use it as an excuse to restrict the migration of people from the Global South while pretending not to be racist, which would be reason enough to refuse the narrative even if it weren’t being used as a cloak for prudes.  I’m very much against coercion, but unfortunately the “trafficking” paradigm is fatally flawed; it is far too wrapped up in hysteria and applied to far too many different things to be a useful descriptor.

I think the three best columns which explain my views on the subject are “Rhinoceros”, “The Power of Myth” and “Thought Experiment”, but the one resource you most need to read is Dr. Laura Agustín’s Sex At the Margins.  Dr. Agustín has worked with and studied migrants for twenty years, and her insights are extremely valuable.  One thing she points out repeatedly, and which cannot possibly be stressed enough, is that those who want to help others must pay attention to what those people say about their experiences.  The most damaging narrative which has crept into the “trafficking” paradigm, and which in the opinion of many has rendered it useless, is the idea that outsiders have both the ability and the right to decide for migrants what is best for them.  It’s similar to the “payday loan” controversy in the US; it’s all well and fine for white middle-class people to call those who offer such loans “predatory” and “exploitative”, but unless they’re willing to provide those short-term loans to those who need them at a less-usurious rate of interest, their criticism is just noise.  It’s all well and fine for people in the wealthiest nation on Earth to say, “oh, what awful conditions these migrants endure; clearly they must have been tricked because I would never agree to that.”  No, maybe they wouldn’t, but they weren’t raised in a rat-infested slum with no toilet and no clean water where the best job offers $1 a day.  Migrants are just as rational as educated white folk, and their decisions are just as considered.  Remember all those people who drowned trying to get to Europe last month?  Most of them couldn’t swim, yet they took that chance because they wanted to get the hell out of East Africa.  Those in the Global North often risk their lives just for a thrill, or work grueling hours to win a coveted position; how can they fail to comprehend that others are willing to endure a great deal for a chance at the kind of life we take for granted?

brown victim cat thank-you danceThe idea that migrants are somehow different from Americans who relocate for jobs, and that “debt bondage” is any different from student loans and a mortgage, is at its heart racist and xenophobic.  And the idea that migrants (or anyone who sells sex) are childlike retards who must be “rescued” from their own decisions is as shockingly disrespectful to them as any racial stereotype in an old movie.  It is not possible to “rescue” people from their own decisions; “authorities” who try are often confused and surprised when those they “rescue” use the first available opportunity to escape from the kennels in which their “saviors” have confined them.  Being picked up, caged and done to without permission is for stray dogs and cats, not human beings, yet well-meaning “anti-trafficking” organizations do this sort of thing all the time.

The single most important advice I can give you, and which you can give those you train, is to listen to the people you wish to help.  Don’t say “I will do this for you”; instead ask “What can I do for you?”  And then pay attention to what they say, without talking over them or saying, “Oh, but that can’t be right” or “Here, let’s do this instead.”  If the answer is “Nothing”, then all you can do is walk away and leave them with your phone number.  You can’t force them to want what you want, or to do things your way; all you can do is give them whatever help they actually need enough to ask for.  They are not children or stray animals; they are human beings, and experts in their own lives.  Would-be helpers cannot force anyone to accept their idea of what’s right, nor use “false consciousness” doubletalk or “Stockholm syndrome” psychobabblevoiceless cat to cover up the desire to impose their will on those they perceive as “exploited”.  Just because you wouldn’t do something, doesn’t make it the wrong decision for that person, and vice-versa.  For example, though I’ve supported friends’ decisions to use anti-depressants, I’ve always refused them myself even in very deep depressions; just as nobody has the right to strap me down and forcibly inject me with these drugs “for my own good”, so “anti-trafficking” people have no right to “help” people against their will, no matter how much they might believe it’s the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, there are a number of terrible laws in the US which prevent people who really are being coerced or exploited from doing anything about it; they would rather stay in the US for really bad pay than be deported to their homelands where they make absolutely nothing.  Punitive American policies are another problem:  Americans love blame-assigning and brutal, crushing punishment, so even when migrants get in trouble they often refuse to blame those who helped them cross the border or find work.  Under current policies, these people are shut off from help if their basic human decency stops them from submitting to the ugly demands of “authorities” that they rat others out by turning them over for criminal prosecution and probable deportation.  In the case of sex work, the deck is totally stacked against a reasonable response:  US law insists that all whores are either villains or victims, and some states insist that it’s always the latter.  So when a woman is “rescued” and the cops demand she reveal her “pimp”, there is about a 92% chance she will be unable to comply; some desperate or frightened women invent a “pimp” who doesn’t exist, while others choose a victim to turn over so they themselves are not jailed.  Until these bad laws are changed, there is absolutely nothing would-be “helpers” can do except to make themselves available to those who are so badly mistreated they would rather face prison or deportation than continue in their present condition…and that’s only a minuscule fraction of those who might very well accept help if it were not tied to incarceration, deportation or subjecting others to the tender mercies of the police.

As for solid “trafficking” numbers, there aren’t any.  I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth; as long as any given activity is underground, under the radar or “off the grid”, it is absolutely impossible to produce anything more than (educated or wild) guesses.  I can give you prostitution age and number estimates based on similar countries in which sex work has been decriminalized, and I can tell you that just about every survey of sex workers who are accessible to researchers shows a coercion rate of less than 2%.  But obviously “authorities” cannot accurately measure people who fear them, so every figure such “authorities” produce can only be bogus.  Even government numbers for people who are “rescued” or charged with “trafficking” are worthless for the reasons I’ve detailed above:  they represent the opinion of the police or other government actors, not the opinion of the people classified as “victims” or “perpetrators”.  The only way we will ever know how many people are involved in exploitative labor (whether border-crossing is involved or not) will be to remove all the consequences and perverse incentives for lying about it or misrepresenting it, and to take away from “authorities” the power to brand others with a label they would never apply to themselves. migrants in detention

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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It is small wonder that people find “free choice” a confusing idea: [it] appears to refer to what the person being judged…does, whereas it is actually what the person making the judgment…thinks.  -  Thomas Szasz

I will never understand why people feel compelled to stick their noses into others’ business.  Everyone is different, and has different needs and desires; we also each have different strengths and gifts.  If one person has something another wants, and that other has something the first wants, and they agree to a trade, how is that anyone else’s concern?  If you’ve got money and want food, and a grocer or restaurateur has food and wants money, and the two of you agree to an exchange, that’s business; both parties go away happy.  And if one of you is dissatisfied with the transaction – say you thought the quality of the food was poor or the service was lousy, you simply don’t go back; you instead find another food vendor who will give you what you demand for your money.  That’s competition, and it’s what keeps the free market free.  Some ridiculous people want to claim that it’s somehow exploitative to sell people things they want, and some even more ridiculous people claim it’s exploitative to offer to pay someone for something.  These people are living in a fantasy world; here on the material plane, there is nobody who doesn’t need or want something, and very few who have absolutely nothing to offer in exchange.  As long as the transaction is voluntary, nobody else has the right to say boo.  It’s only when someone is actually coercing the other that there is an issue.

Starbucks vs McDonald's“But Gloria,” you ask, “what if one party’s need for whatever the other one has is so strong it constitutes coercion in and of itself?  What if the customer is addicted to the product, or the seller is so poor he’s desperate for money?”  Well, what of it?  You’re probably addicted to caffeine, so does that mean Starbucks is exploiting you when you walk in for one of their overpriced lattes?  You could just as easily go to McDonald’s.  As long as there’s a free market, you can still choose who’s going to get the money you spend on your caffeine addiction.  The same goes for food, medicine, shelter and everything else.  And yes, even labor; if one company offers poor wages and another fair ones, who is everyone going to apply to?  It’s only when there is no real competition because there’s a monopoly or a cartel, or because a coercive government fixes prices or establishes a restrictive licensing regime or the like, that exploitation arises because the one who needs the artificially-limited thing is at the mercy of whoever can provide it.

And that is the crux of my ethical dilemma.

In my youth I developed a strong sense of morality and fair play, and despite considerable pressure to abandon it I have never compromised.  But now I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having a local monopoly on the service I provide, and I’m extremely concerned that I might begin maltreating my clients because of it.  I’ve even toyed with the idea of initiating another lady so that I’ll have a competitor, but the only problem with that is I couldn’t be sure she would maintain my high ethical standards.  See, the service I sell is…well, kind of addictive I suppose.  Once a man has experienced my…attentions, he tends to want them again and again; the temptation to take advantage is therefore very, very high, and I think it’s very likely that any self-created competition would not be as resolute as I am.  In other words, in trying to avoid exploiting my clients, I would almost certainly expose them to greater exploitation.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m a Lady of the Evening.  Yes, I know that term sounds so old-fashioned nowadays, but “prostitute” is so legalistic, “sex worker” so vague and most of the other choices so vulgar…and I sincerely doubt most Americans would even know what “demimondaine” meant.  And yes, of course there are plenty of others around; there are probably hundreds of women of every type and stratum within an hour’s drive, all easily contacted via email.  But I offer a very unusual service, catering to a kink that used to be relatively rare but is now increasingly popular.  See, in the past I could count on that rarity to keep me honest; so few men were interested in what I was selling that I had to carefully cultivate each one lest I “kill the golden goose” as it were, and be caught with fewer clients than needed to maintain my preferred lifestyle.  But now, I could treat my clients like dirt were I so inclined, drainIt Out of the Gloom by Helga Hertz (2013) each one dry and then discard him, secure in the knowledge that there would be plenty more where he came from.  And that’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous; in my line, one has to avoid attracting undue attention.

Ah, well, I didn’t really expect you to have a solution; I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever been in my position, now is it?  But sometimes, it just helps to talk to somebody, to voice these things out loud instead of merely letting them rattle around in my brain.  Thanks for listening; how much do I owe you?  Maybe we’ll talk more another time; I really must fly now.  I have to meet a gentleman at eleven, and it’s after ten now; I don’t have far to go, but it takes a lot longer to make sure one looks nice when one can’t make use of a mirror.

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What Feministe did is like pissing on your host’s carpet, then storming out indignantly when they point out that you just pissed on the carpet.
-  Chris Hall

Rough TradeAkis Levas

Australia agrees with what I have stated before: cheating a whore is a form of rape:  “Akis Emmanouel Livas…pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent after he left the woman with a white card bearing a printed red rose instead of the agreed $850…

Bad Girls

Ladies, if a client treats you badly, it’s probably best just to add his name to an “ugly mugs” or “bad date” registry and leave it at that:  “Angela Dawn Specker…cut a former john on his forearm when she saw [him] in…a liquor store the [next] day…Specker told the cop…that…he…had been very aggressive…pulling her hair and slapping her…[then throwing] the $100 at her and [leaving]…

A Procrustean Bed

New York officially classes all whores as passive objects without agency:

New York…is creating a statewide system of…criminal courts to handle prostitution cases and provide services to help wrest…sex-trafficking victims from the cycle of exploitation and arrest, the state’s chief judge announced…The new Human Trafficking Intervention Courts will handle all cases involving prostitution-related offenses that continue past arraignment…the court will refer defendants to services like drug treatment, shelter, immigration assistance…health care…education and job training, in an effort to keep them from returning to the sex trade…women typically enter prostitution…between…12 and 14, Judge Lippman said…

As we have often seen, basic mathematical literacy is not a requirement to hold office in New York.

Perquisites

A San Francisco strip club is suing Oracle after one of its employees ran up $33,540 in charges on a company credit card – and Oracle refused to pay the bill…Jose Manuel Gomez Sanchez…[charged] $16,490…at the New Century Theater…[then] returned two nights later and rang up another $17,050…

The Proper StudyUgly Mugs survey cover

For the first time the men and women selling sex indoors in Ireland have been asked about their lives.  The findings harshly contradict the popular media image…The 195 escorts who took part…were from 29 different countries.  Most were…in their 20s or 30s and highly educated…97.3 percent were self-employed independent escorts…there was no evidence of the involvement of any under 16s and only one participant was aged under 18.  Participants reported low alcohol and drug use [and] high condom use…

An Ounce of Prevention

A common drug that dermatologists prescribe to treat nail fungus appears to…completely eradicate infectious HIV from cell cultures…the virus doesn’t bounce back when the drug is withheld…[so] it may not require a lifetime of use to keep HIV at bay…the fact that it’s already deemed safe for one type of human use could make the regulatory process faster than usual…

Saint Death

…A…$3.4 million settlement with the family of Jose Guerena will end a two-year legal battle…Guerena…was [murdered] by SWAT team members…when they raided his house…[a spokesman claimed] the settlement is not an admission of any wrongdoing…”  You may remember that the cops tried to claim that Guerena, a retired Marine, must have been a “drug trafficker” because he had a picture of Jesus Malverde.

Above the Law

I get that there’s not technically a federal rape law, but this seems to seriously downplay what this cop did:  “Jason Glenn Thomas…a…Police sergeant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was sentenced…to…ten years in federal prison…for sexually assaulting a…woman in violation of federal civil rights laws…[after detaining her and transporting her] to a remote area…

Scapegoats (TW3 #10)

In Phoenix, dog porn is a higher law enforcement priority than rape:

A…man accused of burning his initials onto the genitals of at least one woman was arrested again…after…deputies allegedly found pornographic videos featuring a dog at his home.  Christopher Jackson…was arrested on suspicion of bestiality…“If you saw the video, you’d be pretty sick,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said…Police also arrested…Josephine Erikson, who they say is seen in the videos…Arpaio on a date

While Arpaio seems to be motivated by the desire to leer at women in person after watching them in stolen dog videos, over in North Carolina they’re motivated by weird ideas about sexual purity:

A…woman is accused of having sex with dogs while her…husband filmed them [for]…the Internet…Ruben Chance James Fox and his wife, Amber Nicole Fox…face…charges of bestiality, conspiracy…disseminating obscene materials…[and] soliciting a crime against nature.  The Humane Society tipped off the…police…

Change of Heart

Edinburgh sauna chiefs have compiled a “hypocrisy hit list” of senior public figures who paid for sex at their premises in recent years…[it] includes police officers, council officials, lawyers and even two “celebrities”…[and] is due to be unveiled at a civil court case next month…the list…proves double standards among public officials trying to shut the city’s sex industry down…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #43)

Melissa Gira Grant on the increasing desperation of prohibitionists:

I’ve written before about Equality Now (in Jacobin, and in Reason)…[who] deny that anyone involved in the sex trade dissents with their approach.  Lately their op-eds have turned explicitly against sex workers’ rights, which makes sense, as the past two years have seen the mainstream of the global health and human rights  community joining sex workers in calling for an end to…criminalization…Equality Now appear to be losing credibility as human rights advocates…As more and more…advocates…demand…that sex workers be understood as the experts…the anti-sex work campaigners begin to look quite out of step with the…people they claim to protect…

Lauren Hersh, who wrote the op-ed to which Grant refers, was a prosecutor who resigned in disgrace after she was caught railroading two black men on rape charges.  Grant also commented on a Scott Long article which examines Equality Now’s lies and schemes at great length, ending with this bombshell:

…The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy is offering a practicum for students…in a project for Equality Now.  “This project would analyze the legalization of prostitution and formation of sex workers’ rights groups…Equality Now seeks to better understand the movement…in order to refute arguments for legalization and lobby for adoption of the Nordic Model instead”…

In other words, Equality Now is paying a prestigious institution to spy on sex workers so as to help it create fake sex worker rights organizations which will lobby for the Swedish model, thus confusing politicians and others into thinking there is legitimate debate among sex workers about decriminalization being best.  The strategy itself is nothing new; it’s why Swedish model missionaries often deceptively and incorrectly label it “decriminalization”.  But that they are willing to go to this extent demonstrates the depth of their desperation, and the fact that the school took down the page as soon as they realized activists had found it (but not before Melissa got this screenshot) shows that they are fully aware of how incredibly unethical this is.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #50)

Sunitha Krishnan’s lies get more outrageous all the timeSunitha Krishnan says whores get 100 clients a day

Yes, that’s 100 clients a day she’s claiming there.

Book Reviews (TW3 #133)

For over two decades, Chester Brown has been one of Canada’s leading cartoonists, known…internationally for such works as Yummy Fur, Ed the Happy Clown, I Never Liked You, and Paying for It…For this year’s McCready Lecture, Chester Brown will present an illustrated talk…[to complement the] presentation in the Canadian galleries of a selection of the original drawings created for Louis Riel and will launch the new anniversary edition of the book…

Watershed

last week…Feministe made a very embarrassing and controversial post about sex work disappear from their site, along with several hundred comments…they have not posted any explanation, apology, or retraction for the post, apparently hoping that they can just make it vanish down the memory hole…”Dear Feminists” by Sarah Elizabeth Pahman…pretended to be about…impoverished sex workers, [but] it was all about Pahman, and how seeing them for the first time made her feel…[the incident] shows how deeply institutionalized their problems with sex work are…

The Joy of Juxtaposition (TW3 #312)

Georgia appears to be competing with Washington for the state with the most ridiculous and extreme manifestation of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

…a new Georgia law requires certain businesses to post…notices letting sex trafficking victims know who to call for help…The list includes: adult entertainment establishments, bars, airports, train stations, bus stations, truck stops, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, privately operated job recruitment centers, rest stops, hotels, and massage parlors without licensed massage therapists…

What, not ethnic restaurants and nail parlors?Stop the Traffik

Theatrics

Did you see that ridiculous video which claims that most whores in Amsterdam were “trafficked”?  Here’s Dr. Brooke Magnanti on what’s wrong with the entire mindset that produced it:

…[in] Stop the Traffik’s recent “viral”…bystanders who think they’re enjoying a show are suddenly broadsided with a ham-fisted…message…It neatly employs a trick that has been used by what Laura Agustin calls the “Rescue Industry” for some time now: conflate all trafficking with sex trafficking, and all sex work with trafficking…it’s then perfectly acceptable…to mislabel consensual sex work as abuse…and at the same time to ignore the more widespread and less fashionable phenomenon of forced labour happening in domestic and drug sectors…the people who influence public taste and public policy definitely don’t want anyone looking too closely at where their cleaners and their drugs come from, but everyone hates sex work, so attacking that is A-OK.  Raids that rescue exactly zero trafficked individuals and put plenty of willing others behind bars are fine…

Still a Child

The UK is moving toward defining people in their early twenties as “children”:

…Child psychologists are being given a new directive…that the age range they work with is increasing from 0-18 to 0-25…the change follows developments in our understanding of emotional maturity, hormonal development and particularly brain activity…There are three stages of adolescence – early adolescence from 12-14 years, middle adolescence from 15-17 years and late adolescence from 18 years and over.  Neuroscience has shown that a young person’s cognitive development continues into this later stage and that their emotional maturity, self-image and judgement will be affected…

Keep in mind that since “adolescence” is largely an artificial concept, dividing it into periods like this is equally artificial.  But at least someone with sense is quoted in the article:

Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent, says we have infantilised young people…”There is a loss of the aspiration for independence…and…psychology…reinforces that kind of passivity and powerlessness and immaturity and normalises that…we hold our children back from a very early age.  When they’re 11, 12, 13 we don’t let them out on their own.  When they’re 14, 15, we hover all over them and insulate them from real-life experience.  We treat university students the way we used to treat school pupils”…

Another excellent article by evolutionary psychologist Peter Gray explains that one of the biggest culprits is the eradication of unsupervised play:

…around 1960…adults began…reducing children’s freedom to play on their own…Adult-directed sports…began to replace “pickup” games; adult-directed [activities]…began to replace hobbies; and parents’ fears led them…to forbid children from going out to play…away from home, unsupervised…Over the same decades…[there has been] a continuous…increase in anxiety and depression in young people…the suicide rate…has more than doubled, and…[there has been] a decline in empathy and a rise in narcissism…[which is] exactly what we would expect to see in children who have little opportunity to play socially.  Children can’t learn these social skills…in school, [which] is an authoritarian…setting…[where] children…are not free to quit when others fail to respect their needs and wishes…Yet policymakers…are continuing to push us in the opposite direction — toward more schooling…more adult direction…and less opportunity for free play…

Be Careful Who You Rape

The “deals went bad”.  Seven times.

…Van Dralan Dixson, 38, confessed to police that he was responsible for a Sept. 1 rape in which he [attacked] a woman who was leaving work at a fast food restaurant…he told police…that the [only] two incidents that [he was sorry for]…the one…“with the kids and the ‘chicken lady’”…but the rest were prostitute deals gone bad and he had nothing to apologize for…

Imagination Pinned Down (TW3 #334)

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The Olympics are always a chance for hosts to do some moral cleansing, and drive away undesirables by brute force.  -  Scott Long

Saeed MalekpourLying Down With Dogs

The lawyer of a man convicted of building and promoting pornographic websites [in Iran] says a death sentence against his client has been converted to life imprisonment…blogger Saeed Malekpour will spend the rest of his life in jail…”  There aren’t too many other countries barbaric enough to sentence a man to life in a cage for “dirty” pictures, but I can think of at least one other.

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

The [Arkansas] Senate passed a bill…that would ban non-traditional…body art procedures, particularly scarification and dermal implants…

Wise Investment

Pay attention, sex worker activists:

The children of three women who were murdered by Robert Pickton have filed lawsuits against the police and the serial killer…They allege the Vancouver police and the RCMP failed to properly investigate reports of missing women and failed to warn women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that a serial killer was likely at work, despite having evidence implicating Pickton in the disappearance of sex workers as early as 1997 and 1998…

Surplus Women

The suspicious deaths of two prostitutes…has sparked a major investigation…The bodies of Jill Lyons and Karen Nabors, who both worked as online escorts, were discovered in an apartment building in Vancouver.  Ms Lyons, 45, was discovered dead in her own apartment on August 12…The body of Ms Nabors was discovered on August 25, also in her own apartment, and police…suggest…the 48-year-old was murdered…

shampoo adGullible’s Travels

Another ludicrous mini-panic from the clowns who brought you idosing, jenkem and vodka-soaked tampons:

“Parents, lock up your shower supplies”…is an actual quote from an announcement made…at a middle school just outside of Richmond, VA…of…a new practice called “shamboiling”…where shampoo is brought to a rapid boil and then the fumes are inhaled for a hallucinogenic effect…one thing is certain…shamboiling is catching on quickly and…is potentially deadly…The Sheriff’s department is  urging parents to check their shampoos for [ammonium lauryl sulfate] and to take the necessary precautions to keep these chemicals away from children…

Here’s the debunking on Snopes.

Universal Criminality

A perfect example of how laws against consensual behavior are used by repressive governments to harass those they dislike:

Police have detained a Chinese-American…on suspicion of visiting a sex worker in Beijing as authorities crack down on bloggers.  Charles Xue [AKA Xue Manzi], who has over 12 million followers on Sina Weibo…regularly reposts reform-minded content…Among those questioning the motive behind the arrest was the editor of the state-run Global Times newspaper.  “Cannot rule out the possibility that authorities are arresting Xue Manzi…to give him a hard time,” Hu Xijin wrote…in a blog posting that later disappeared…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies

Yet another “sex trafficking” opportunist exposed:

The founder of…anti-human trafficking NGO Sisha, Steve Morrish, announced…he was stepping down from his position due to a raft of allegations accusing him of financial impropriety…Sisha’s alleged financial problems were revealed publicly…on August 8 in…the Cambodian blog Penhpal.  The posting alleged that money donated to Sisha…“has instead been siphoned off to pay for the NGO’s operating expenses”…

Moloch

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

A 10-year-old girl…identified as “Ashley,” was charged by police for aggravated sexual assault…[for] playing doctor…a neighbor saw the children and called the mother of a 4-year-old boy…[whom] Ashley was inappropriately touching…Ashley’s mother…was not allowed to sit-in on the 45-minute questioning of her daughter…

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Confined and Controlled

If this were intended to increase sex workers’ range of options, it’s would be fine; however, it’s clearly intended as a confinement system:  “Several communities in Italy have launched a campaign to ban street prostitution and reintroduce brothels, which have been banned since 1958…

Worse Than I Thought

As I predicted last year, the cancer keeps spreading:

…[new] legislation…in North Carolina….increases punishments for sex traffickers, i.e. pimps, as well as for purchasers, i.e. johns.  It also focuses on “treating minors involved in prostitution as the victims they are, instead of criminals,” [the bill’s sponsor] said…”The legislation also offers hope to women who escape a life of prostitution by allowing them…relief to expunge their criminal pasts once they get treatment and help”…[another law] requires pimps to register as sex offenders…

As I’ve explained before, “safe harbor” laws are bullshit that help almost nobody; “treatment” means (usually religious) “re-education”, and a “pimp” means just about anyone prosecutors decide to railroad.

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

Tulsa cops continue to justify persecution of adult women by pretending they’re “trafficked”:  “Human trafficking has developed into a booming enterprise in Oklahoma…on a given night,Melissa Ditmore the Vice Unit may deploy undercover police officers to respond to as many as 40 online advertisements posted by ‘escorts’ in preparation for prostitution stings that sometimes uncover cases of human trafficking…”  Note the misplaced scare quotes, around “escorts” rather than “trafficking”.

The Public Eye

Jessica Land interviews Dr. Melissa Ditmore, a prominent academic ally, on her research, The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work, sex worker projects and organizations, and international issues.

That Old Black Magic

Here’s an interesting article on the connection between harlotry and witchcraft:

…Prostitutes were widely believed to be specialists in erotic magic, especially the use of philtres to sway the feelings of those around them…For example, a woman may resort to a binding spell, to handicap rivals in the trade or lock down a steady client…These women were also sought by those outside the trade for their magical expertise.  Those in troubled marriages might consult a prostitute to concoct a love potion to rekindle the affections of a wayward spouse…

King of the Hill

Most of this CNN story is the usual lurid “sex trafficking” rubbish, but I want to call attention to a fascinating new development:  “king of the hill” stories are now specifically claiming their subjects are the “third-busiest area for sex trafficking in the United States” (see also “Under Every Bed” below) rather than just “one of the busiest” or “in the top ten”.  As usual, the Department of Justice is credited for the “statistic” despite the fact that neither it nor any other agency keeps any kind of state-by-state “trafficking” statistics.  I suspect the “third largest” designation arose through confusion with the claim that “human trafficking is the third-largest criminal enterprise” (though that one’s been upgraded to second), but it will be interesting to see how many claim to be the “third largest” before anyone in the mainstream media starts to awaken.

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (TW3 #135)

A new Irish company named Safe IQ “develops safety products and services for sex workers…and raises awareness of the need for [them] to have the same protections as other workers.”  Here’s its first product:

Ugly Mugs for Android is a [free] mobile phone app that automatically screens incoming and outgoing calls and text messages and alerts the phone user if the…number…is listed in the UglyMugs.ie database…When a sex worker encounters a dangerous person, they [sic] can report the incident to the ugly mug scheme, and a warning will be made available to all sex workers…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)Indonesian protesters tear down insulting sign

Only a hopeless lawhead could imagine that closing red-light districts will make prostitution go away:

Hundreds of sex workers confronted the mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city…angrily denouncing the closure of the Klakah Rejo district…The crowd later tore down a “Prostitution-Free Town” billboard erected by officials…”What’s going on?”…the mayor [said]…”We’re trying to help but they are refusing.”  Surabaya is also home to Dolly, reputedly the largest red-light district in South-East Asia.  The mayor said that one and other red-light districts would be closed as the city aimed to be prostitution-free by 2014.

Under Every Bed

Wisconsin is one of “the top three states” for sex trafficking, according to…Michelle Mayefske… Not all prostitution is trafficking. Some women, referred to as “renegades,” simply decide to sell sex and are not controlled or managed by anyone, but “that is very, very rare,” she said…“Gangs are now turning from drugs to human trafficking…[because] drugs can be sold only once and then they’re gone, whereas…a woman or a child can be sold over and over and over…Georgia, California and Wisconsin have the highest rates of sex trafficking in the United States, so we are in the top three”…

1) This is the second time I’ve heard this “renegade” bullshit; neither I nor anyone I asked knows where it comes from.  2) I think Mayefske is extremely confused about the concept of “sale”.  3) She needs to talk to Florida.

Chauvinism

Veteran human rights activist Scott Long argues that activists who compare Russia’s anti-gay purge to the Nazi campaign against Jews are not only wrongheaded, but missing the most obvious comparison:

If Western gay…activists want to know what Putin’s decree will mean in practice:  ask a sex worker…Before every big sporting event, the same rhetoric reverberates:  Prostitutes are going to take over this town…The predictions are nearly always couched as concern for “trafficked” women, but they…come down to…anxieties over nuisances to “normal” neighbors, and…the reputation of the host city…What major sporting events bring is not an “explosion” in prostitution, but an explosion in repression…not in evil Russia, but in liberal Canada and the UK, countries that value human rights, except for sex workers, who aren’t human…Yet in London, few powerful voices opposed the Olympic rollback of sex workers’ freedom — and certainly few LGBT activists…

Deafening Silence

The treatment of sex workers in Cuba, including confinement for the purpose of ‘re-education’, was raised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women…the…committee said it was “deeply concerned” about Cuba’s reluctance to address the issue of prostitution…” The United States’ confinement and “re-education” of sex workers, however, causes the committee no concern at all.  Funny how that works.

Sold Out

two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the US have stayed quiet about Manning…whose revelations about the US Army’s actions epitomize social justice in action…the [silence of the] Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD…has been deafening… the HRC…[has] the financial backing of…Lockheed Martin…Booz Allen Hamilton…[and] Northrop Grumman…GLAAD has…Goldman Sachs…and Verizon…

Coming and Going (TW3 #331)

Kathryn Griffin finger pointingKate Zen takes a long, thorough look at Texas’ “prostitution diversion” program and its founder, Kathryn Griffin; she examines the program’s lack of any of the normal benefits of such schemes, its close relationship to the rescue industry, its pervasive Christian moralism and its ignoring all of the actual reasons women turn to prostitution in favor of a sin and victimization narrative.

Policing for Profit

Federal and state law-enforcement officers poured into Tukwila [Washington]…seizing three motels whose operators are suspected of participating in illegal drugs and prostitution…U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan…said that the three hotels…have accounted for 17 percent of all calls for police services in the past year…investigators believe the owners actively profited from criminal activity…Durkan said…[her] office will…actively use…seizures to force compliance…

Uncommon Sense (Extra Edition)

Though most English-language media is pretending Zurich’s tippelzone scheme is something new, it is nothing of the kind; this article lists a number of other cities in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands with similar setups.

Zurvivor (Extra Edition)

Donald Hill was acquitted…on a charge of [paying]…Alexis Wright, after a judge ruled prosecutors were not able to prove that money was exchanged.  The ruling could affect any additional charges of individuals alleged to have engaged Wright’s services…

HamletOpting Out

An example of why “porn filters” are a spectacularly bad idea:

A man using the British Library’s wi-fi network was denied access to…Hamlet because the text contained “violent content”…the…library said the fault was caused by a newly installed wi-fi service from a third-party provider.  One security expert said the incident highlighted the “dysfunction” of internet filters…Prof Ross Anderson…[said] internet filters were “pointless” and that it was “completely inappropriate” to have one in the British Library…

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The quick blow job is for [affluent white women’s] husbands…So in your mind it doesn’t affect you, but the wrong mouth on your husband’s dick could affect you.  -  Deon Haywood

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

He went home; she’s locked in a cage.

An on-duty Oregon State Police detective was caught…with a prostitute in a bush…Richard Narvaez, 50…was placed on suspended leave without pay…cited and released, the…woman…was arrested on probation violation warrants and on suspicion of public indecency and prostitution…

A Working System

Note the bottleneck effect:

Armed robbers posing as clients…have launched a series of raids on brothels [in Sydney], targeting eight premises in the past three weeks…one of the gang enters…to book a…session…then…[is] joined by up to three others armed with guns or knives…Police…believe the number of attacks might be even greater because [unlicensed] brothels were reluctant to report crimes…

Crime Against Society (August Updates)UNeasy Street

Women With A Vision responds to anti-whore propaganda:

The Times-Picayune’s…articles…dubbed “Uneasy Street”, are an…example of…[sensationalism]…that leads to increased criminalization of marginalized communities…The video…claims that once sun sets…“An even darker world emerges”…There is a darker side to Tulane Avenue.  But it’s not the one shown.  It’s the stories of mothers, daughters, friends, and wives struggling to survive in a city that has offered them little resources.  It’s women dealing with substance abuse or addiction.  It’s women who cannot be hired by traditional employers simply because they are transgender.  It’s the women who have been too busy struggling to be able to get a formal education to make them employable.  It’s the stories of human beings, worthy of dignity, respect, and far more than this series of articles has afforded them…

See “The Public Eye” for an interview with WWAV’s director, Deon Haywood.

Oops

Tumi Megalane, 32, of Tshwane, South Africa, said she had the shock of her life when she found her boyfriend [Ronny Mokoena], who is a pastor, at a brothel…[then] learned that he was married…the pastor told his wife that Megalane was a prophet, who was helping him with spiritual guidance.

Surplus Women

A…37-year-old [Detroit woman]…is in critical condition after she was discovered beaten…burned and possibly sexually assaulted…less than 24 hours before and…a mile away…a 22-year-old woman was discovered in the same condition…Both women are prostitutes…

A third woman was found in the same condition a few days later, on August 3rd.  Interestingly, Fox News did not feel compelled to identify the victims as sex workers in the headline, and the New York Daily News doesn’t mention the third victim’s profession at all.goofy chick in money

TANSTAAFL

a trio of Bay Area teens [Nazario Cruz and Jose Urias, both 19, and an underage girl]…posed as a young woman whose fantasy was to have sex while rolling around in…cash…When the victims would arrive…the suspects…would rob themThree robberies have been confirmed so far…One of the victims allegedly stole $2,000…from his job in order to roll around with the fictitious woman…

The Immunity Syndrome

American hypocrisy says it’s fine to pay people not to have sex:

2010 study in Malawi, supported by the…Gates Foundation, shows…conditional cash transfers successfully reduced sexual activity amongst teenagers…Mississippi…[resembles] Malawi…in its high rate of teenage sex and pregnancy…partly…[because] sex education in Mississippi is oriented around abstinence…Can we pay Mississippi teenagers to stop having sex…And to have safe sex if they do?…

Above the Law

Police forces are being ordered to face up to corruption by officers who commit sexual offences against vulnerable women and young people…169 officers…are under investigation for predatory sexual behaviour…ranging from rape to voyeurism…the former partner of…[one] who was jailed last year…speaks out against his actions

That cops rape women, especially sex workers, isn’t news because it happens constantly; such stories only become newsworthy when the cops are held accountable to some degree, as in this item from Cape Town: “A…police captain will appear in…court…for allegedly raping a prostitute…[she] managed to escape from [his] vehicle and took down the registration number…pseudo sex traffick

The Widening Gyre

Another bizarre “sex trafficking” rumor debunked by Snopes:

In August 2013 [a] warning about sex traffickers with Slavic…accents posing as door-to-door booksellers was spread via social media sites such as Facebook …The story was false.  That there are ”pushy” door-to-door book and magazine sellers about doesn’t mean those vendors are looking for children to abduct…into the sex trade, nor is it suspicious that such salespeople might ask…questions about children in the area.  The latter is simply a…sales technique for locating potential customers for children’s books, and being ”pushy” is hardly an unusual quality for those who engage in…door-to-door sales…

Snopes reports that the story appeared in Gilbert, Arizona, Winona, Minnesota and all over Missouri.  The company running the sales program believes the rumor started in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; since that’s a suburb of Tulsa, this should surprise nobody.

Wise Investment (TW3 #31)

Do politicians really just not get it?

…a federal judge ruled [that a New Jersey law]…conflicts with federal law and likely is unconstitutional as well…[the] law…[would have penalized] anyone who knowingly publishes or disseminates any ad for a commercial sex act that includes the depiction of a minor.  The law was challenged…by Backpage.com…[which] notes that federal courts in Tennessee and Washington have issued permanent injunctions against similar laws in those states…

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)

New evidence [demonstrates]…that Japan’s…army directly managed Asian women for sexual slavery, dealing a fresh blow to Tokyo’s denials of responsibility…a diary that a Korean manager of Japanese brothels wrote…between August 1942 and December 1944…shows that the Japanese army received revenue-related reports from military brothels, examined the bodies of sex slaves and regulated the relocations of sexual entertainment facilities…[Professor] Park Han-yong…[said] “This diary is a historical record that shows the Japanese military…[was] involved in the forced mobilisation of Korean women for sexual slavery”…

Under Every Bed

If real freedoms weren’t being endangered by these yokels, this absurd language and looking-glass logic would be hilarious:

Human flesh is being sold for sex…and it’s happening online…”It was a rarity to see a prostitution case anywhere in North Dakota.  Now, my agents are telling me they’re beginning to see it with some regularity,” says…Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.  There’s no way to tell exactly how many people are involved in human trafficking.  The best estimates say about 100,000 children may be victims in the U.S.  And…there’s no reason to believe it’s not happening here…

Dwayne Jones

Monsters

Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out.  His father not only kicked him out…at…14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.  [On July 22nd Dwayne, now 16]…was…beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman…

The Public Eye (TW3 #318)

Here’s another interview with Carol Leigh, this time in a small but mainstream publication; the more interviews like this Americans see, the harder it will be for the prohibitionists to spread lies about us.  And here’s one in Tits and Sass with Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision, talking about activism, human rights and whorearchy.

Which I Doubt

Remember how I’ve said that prosecutors ignore women’s statements that they don’t have pimps so they can repackage ordinary hooking as “sex trafficking”?

The Brooklyn DA…[told] prosecutors…not to make written records of early interviews with sex-trafficking victims…so the information could be withheld from defense attorneys…“When these girls first come in, they often deny they have been hit or pimped.  We were told not to write down those statements,” a law-enforcement source said…

Israel Opera Traviata

Marie Duplessis

Dr. Laura Agustín on imagery of the “fallen woman” in La Traviata, a topic she has discussed more generally before:  “…Violetta always has a scene on the floor to drive home her moral abjection…People who fall get back up right away; if they can’t, they are too injured.  In Violetta’s case the injury is moral…

Sold Out

A gay therapist explains “Why Queers Should Care About Sex Offenders”:

…sex offenders are referred to as participating in deviant sexual behavior, having deviant sexual fantasies, and being inherently “deviant” themselves…The same methods historically used by the government to imprison and pathologize homosexuality and gender variation are being used today to justify the extreme marginalization, lifetime institutionalization, and oppression of people who have violated sex laws…[including] public nudity, [urination or] masturbation, peeping, photographing or videotaping without consent, consensual sex with a 17-year-old, sexting, and downloading unlawful pornography…At one point, the idea of the predatory, untamable homosexual was…widely held…the very fact that a man…[desired] another man was reason enough to criminalize his existence…While mainstream…perception of queer people is shifting, it affirms monogamous sex between married…gay and lesbian adults.  Gender variation and other forms of sexual desire and behavior…still face condemnation…

To really drive the point home, read the comment thread as well.

Puppet Show (TW3 #329)

Laura Lee explains why Ruhama shill Rachel Moran could never have been a Dublin sex worker:

…Moran and I worked in Dublin at the same time, the early nineties.  I worked in the same brothels, for the same escort agencies and had regular contact…with the same women, she says she stood on street corners with.  One of those…is now a prominent activist…[who swears]…that she has never set eyes on Moran until her book launch…Moran…should know…[the names of brothel owners, but doesn’t; she] says that in seven years of sex work she never met one client who showed her a shred of empathy or kindness.  That’s incredible.  Because in all of my time there, I met some lovely guys…the language employed by Moran…is literally like she is reading from a script…a…co-activist…confirmed that Ruhama…offered her money to “turn” and campaign for their side.  In fact, they offered her a book deal and a tour too, exactly as Moran has now…

The activist Laura speaks of (who prefers to remain anonymous) also told me the same thing over a year ago.

Across the Pond (TW3 #330)

Anyone who actually professes to believe that laws can make a major city “brothel-free” should be disqualified from office on grounds of stupidity:

…officials are putting together “exit” services to help the dozens of sex workers who face having their place of work closed down…Edinburgh’s decades-old policy of licensing saunas…appears to be coming to an end.  A police raid in June led to seven individuals being charged with brothel-keeping and living off immoral earnings…A local newspaper…[quoted] one prostitute…[as] saying:  “I just can’t get my head around why they want to close us.  The police could end up putting women at risk of getting raped, or murdered like in Ipswich”…

Don’t be afraid, unnamed sex worker; Ipswitch claims to have “eradicated” street prostitution!

More than 220 teenagers…at risk of slipping into the dangerous world of the sex trade have had their lives rescued since the launch of Ipswich’s prostitution strategy…street prostitution and kerb crawling has been eradicated from the town…however off-street prostitution and sexual exploitation remains an issue…

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #10In truth, of course, they’ve merely pushed it so far underground that the danger has been increased even more, which is the only thing prohibition ever accomplishes.

Broken Record (TW3 #332)

It’s even worse than I suspected; the victims of the Sturgis “sting” were entrapped by “age-regressed photographs of women who now are adults”.  The state has charged people with imaginary crimes against nonexistent people for years, but this kind of pseudoscientific quackery is a new low.

Mumbo Jumbo

“Trafficking” mythology gets more farfetched all the time; embedded in this mixture of agency denial porn, arse-backward bootlicking and cheerleading for bullshit “safe harbor” laws is the claim that many of the underage sex workers arrested in the vast “Innocence Lost” boondoggle “may also be charged for possessing the cocktail of drugs that traffickers use to create dependency and compliance in the children they sell.”  This is the first I’ve heard of this magical mind-control philter, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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To God, there is no zero.  -  Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man

Richard MathesonR.I.P. Richard Matheson

Another of the greats has passed on.  Though his name is less familiar to the general public than those of many far less talented and far less influential authors, virtually everyone has seen and appreciated screen versions of his work; he wrote almost half of the best Twilight Zone episodes, most of the Vincent Price “Poe” movies of the early ‘60s and many other films you may know (including the thrice-filmed I Am Legend).  And since I can’t possibly do his memory justice in this small space, here’s a proper tribute from regular reader Franklin Harris.

Meretrices and Prostibulae

Archaeologists recently uncovered an ancient brothel attached to a gymnasium and restaurant in northern Greece…It was likely built in the second century BCE, which means it had been a going concern for about 250 years when an earthquake…shut [it] down forever.  Put another way, this brothel operated longer than the United States has so far…

N.B.:  I used this title because Greece was under Roman rule at that time.

License To Rape

Tanzanian police torture, rape and assault sex workers, sexual minorities and drug users, while medical staff deny them healthcare…Human Rights Watch…said in a report…[they] were [also] arrested and detained for days on end…Officers gang raped children as young as 12 years old…One drug user had his eyes burned out with acid…

Jezebel (January Updates)

hotel maidsNordic Choice Hotels…has announced the removal of pornography from its television channels.  ‘We believe it is a natural part of our social responsibility to not support an industry that contributes to…trafficking,’ said [CEO] Torgeir Silseth…”  There was no statement from Nordic Choice about shutting down their whole chain because many so-called “trafficking” victims work in hotels, but I guess one has to have priorities.

Old Men and Young Women

Silvio Berlusconi was given a seven-year prison sentence and banned from holding public office for life…after an Italian court found him guilty of abuse of office and paying for sex with…underage prostitute…Karima El Mahroug…” Berlusconi and the girl both deny having had sex, and even if they had it would’ve been completely legal had no money changed hands because she was 17 at the time.

Neither Cold nor Hot

The Miami New Times does an article on sugar babies; frantic pearl-clutching ensues at Jezebel:

…What really sucks about sugar baby relationships is that most of the arrangements don’t seem like they’re entered into freely; they’re a desperate response to a shitty set of circumstances — a lack of job opportunities, lack of job abilities, and last, but not least, the insanely high cost of college education…the site even targets advertising to women who search “help with college tuition”…

The Author Formerly Known as Morning Gloria has a history of this sort of neofeminist prohibitionism disguised under a thin veneer of sex-positive platitudes, and that’s not even counting her apparent belief that the law of conservation of energy somehow proves that “America is…fucked up.”

May Q & A

Veteran Brazilian activist Gabriela Leite on why she likes the word “whore”:

Bootlickers

How will historians judge a culture that spent many man-months and tens of thousands of dollars on this?

A bikini-barista stand owner who twice before has been accused of lewd conduct recently managed to get a…[cop] to warn her of any undercover surveillance…Carmela A. Panico, and Sgt. Darrell L. O’Neill…were charged with conspiracy to promote prostitution…at seven Java Juggs and Twin Peaks espresso stands…The FBI assisted with the investigation…

Yes, the FBI actually helped bluenoses harass coffee shops because the waitresses wear bikinis.

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Julie Ann Carey, 41, not only was robbed at knife point after providing sex to a customer, police then arrested her for solicitation after she reported the crime…

The Crumbling Dam

Try to imagine an editorial like this in an American newspaper:

…In…[the] Globe & Mail, paid typist and self-confessed plagiarist  Margaret Wente [published]…”Legal Prostitution? Are We Nuts?”, [in which she] brings her swollen puritanism to bear on the current Supreme Court case…Calling prostitution, “the most exploitative, degrading work on Earth” Wente opposes the “feminists and other progressive types”…who are endeavoring to make it less exploitative and degrading…What she doesn’t acknowledge…is that prostitution is already legal in Canada

It’s That Time Again

New Jersey is getting an early start on the annual campaign to look really stupid and transfer a lot of money to cops’ pockets:

New Jersey law enforcement officials expecting a rise in forced prostitution leading up to the 2014 Super Bowl said…efforts to crack down on criminals and help victims will span the entire state…New Jersey is believed to be a major entry point for human trafficking due to its dense and diverse population and convenient access from New York to Philadelphia…Selling Sex

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Joyce Arthur sent me a copy of the new anthology Selling Sex:  Experience, Advocacy and Research on Sex Work in Canada, to which she contributed an essay.  Thank you!

Naked Truth

Laura Lee published “Sex Workers Don’t Deserve to be Stigmatised – and We Don’t Want Your Pity Either” in The Independent:

…I can go out…get hopelessly drunk and jump into bed with Mr. A. Random…the chances are any form of protection will go out the window, as will any form of valid consent.  As a society, we deem that okay, because everyone does it, right?  If I go to a hotel, meet Mr. A. Random in the middle of an afternoon, spend a couple of pleasant protected hours and get paid for it – pearls everywhere are clutched and horror levels soar.  But in my second example, I’m safer.  I know his name, his phone number, where he is staying and I am…surrounded by people…

Bottleneck

The Prague Assembly has approved a bill to regulate prostitution…[both brothels and individual] prostitutes would have to apply for a licence…prostitutes would have to be over 18, without criminal record and…would have to undergo regular medical check-ups…”  The bill’s author claims its intent is “to divide legal prostitution from the illegal.”  It’ll do that, all right, but not in the way he seems to think.

Dirty Laundry

There were a few Magdalene Laundries in the United States as well:

…at…fourteen, Diana [O’Hara] entered the gates of the Good Shepherd Laundry in Buffalo, New York with the label of “incorrigible”…talking was allowed only when the nuns clapped their hands…[a misbehaving girl would be]…locked inside [a] closet…[or] an old [rat-infested] shower room with stone benches [sometimes for days]…followed [by] a severe beating…to “make her strong”…

Gorged With Meaning (TW3 #52)

While jobs are difficult to find and money is tight, should the Welsh Government be helping women find extremely lucrative and flexible work?”  Yes, someone actually asked that.Johnny Depp & Amber Heard

False Target (TW3 #135)

Hugo Schwyzer is still pretending that men’s preference for young women is “socially constructed”; Christopher Ryan corrects him:

In a recent column at The Atlantic…Hugo Schwyzer asks us to consider, “What would happen if men stopped chasing much younger women?”…he’s not talking about pedophiles…[but rather] men like Johnny Depp, who is apparently dating a woman in her late 20s, while he’s just hit the big 5-0…Schwyzer argues…that this isn’t…happening in response to…innate biological desire…despite the overwhelming…evidence…Schwyzer cites [only] a 2007 study done in Sweden…[which] actually says the opposite of what he thinks it does…Schwyzer somehow knows Depp’s…attracted to his 27 year-old girlfriend because…she’s powerless and he’s intimidated by less “malleable” women of his own age….[this] attempt to shame consenting adults out of what he considers to be inappropriate relationships strikes me as quite the opposite of an informed feminist perspective…

The Auctioneer Effect

If you thought ultrasound requirements for abortion were bad…

…a last-minute amendment to Ohio’s budget…requires an ultrasound and 24-hour wait before birth control… “Pregnancy” in the context of the informed-consent requirements now means “any fertilized egg”…so…“the disruption of implantation of a fertilized egg” now counts as an abortion.  Prescribing birth control is, in Ohio, a ticking time-abortion…

Comfort Zone (TW3 #320)

Usually, the equation of migration with “trafficking” as an excuse to restrict it isn’t quite this transparent:

At least 200 Nigerian girls are trafficked every month to Russia…the crime…declined in Western Europe following strict laws on illegal migration…to curb the menace…[so] attention…shifted to Eastern Europe…you will be shocked at the extent of resistance [to being “rescued”] from the girls. We tell them Russia is not a destination for prostitutes yet they still come…the parents of those trafficked encourage…their children…Casey Kids Playhouse

Think of the Children! (TW3 #321)

More hysteria over structural sex ray contamination:

Parents’ outrage at an advertisement for a swingers party at a [Victoria] children’s play centre has forced the local council to close the business…the centre’s owners [had] said they would repeat the event every month at Casey Kids Playhouse once they found six other couples…a local mother…[who] had booked her son’s fourth birthday party there…[said] ”I am disgusted…This is so morally wrong, not to mention unhygienic”…

I just can’t stop laughing at the word “unhygienic” in that context.

Absolute Corruption (TW3 #323)

The inevitable result of allowing “authorities” to “investigate” themselves:

Jesse Friedman…was properly convicted and should not have his status as a sexual predator overturned…[claims] Nassau County district attorney…Kathleen M. Rice…Mr. Friedman’s lawyer, Ron Kuby, and…Andrew Jarecki, [director of Capturing the Friedmans]…[said] the report was a biased whitewash by the office that originally botched the case…“Rice has made a craven, but not surprising, political decision in failing to admit to the wrongdoing of the…D.A.’s office and former sex crimes chief Fran Galasso, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Jesse’s innocence,” Mr. Jarecki said.  Mr. Kuby said that the district attorney’s office had fought Mr. Friedman’s efforts at every turn and that this was just more of the same…“Fortunately, the conclusion of this bogus reinvestigation clears the way for the Friedman team to return to court”…

Rotten to the Core

This is how service disputes are handled when the profession is legal:  “Sunset Thomas…the…onetime cast member of…Cathouse…and [retired] porn star…[who works] at the Chicken Ranch in Pahrump [Nevada, is being sued by regular client Robert Proffitt for]…$2,200 for services he alleges were not rendered…

Which I Doubt

Tracy Quan considers the connection between the recent Supreme Court decision and the New York “condoms as evidence” bill, and discusses the rather unpleasant bedfellows the sex worker rights movement picked up in both cases, quoting yours truly in the process.

Across the Pond (TW3 #324)Jack Vettriano painting

Gee, I can’t imagine why the police took these paintings:

Jack Vettriano paintings worth £500,000 were seized from a former brothel boss in a police crackdown on vice…detectives…smashed into the home of Ian Haig, 70, whose brother Charles, 73, runs a…sauna in Edinburgh.  Vettriano…regularly visited Scorpio sauna…in the 1990s and painted…girls working there.  He gave paintings to Ian Haig as a thank-you before he became one of Britain’s most successful artists…Police [claim the paintings are]…potential evidence…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #324)

Why is it that people just don’t get that sex work follows the same rules of economics as any other business?

The presence of thousands of brothels and hundreds of thousands of prostitutes has heightened competition and pushed prices down steeply in the German sex trade…Prostitution became legal in Germany in 2002, and the open sex trade has taken off in the years since…It’s been estimated that more than 1 million men pay for sex in Germany every day.  One of the classic arguments for legalizing prostitution is that recognizing and regulating the world’s oldest profession would improve the conditions of sex workers.  Instead, recent reports paint legalized prostitution in Germany largely as a failure…Despite the critics’ claims of atrocious conditions brought on by legalized prostitution in Germany, there are many who don’t want to go back to the days when the trade was cordoned off in the black market…

This is a prime example of American criminal ignorance about sex work; consult the title link for a thorough debunking.

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Only crime and the criminal…confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.  -  Hannah Arendt

Most of you probably heard about this on Thursday:

A [San Antonio, Texas] jury…acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murder in the death of a 23-year-old Craigslist escort…Lenora Ivie Frago…died about seven months after she was shot in the neck and paralyzed on Christmas Eve 2009.  Gilbert admitted shooting Frago…but said the intent wasn’t to kill.  Gilbert’s actions were justified, [his lawyers] argued, because he was trying to retrieve stolen property:  the $150 he paid Frago.  It became theft when she refused to have sex with him or give the money back…Frago walked around his apartment and after about 20 minutes left, saying she had to give the money to her driver…[who] was [allegedly] Frago’s pimp and her partner in the theft scheme.  The Texas law that allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft was put in place for “law-abiding” citizens, prosecutors…countered.  It’s not intended for someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution…

Ezekiel GilbertThat article, which was reasonably objective by the low standards of modern American journalism, was not the one which was bruited about the most, however; that honor went to Gawker‘s Texas Says It’s OK to Shoot an Escort If She Won’t Have Sex With You”, whose inflammatory headline masked its essentially-similar content.  Jezebel’s take on the matter, “How an Insane Texas Law Made It Legal for a Man to Kill a Prostitute”, carried it another step farther away from the real issue at hand, but Huffington Post won the obfuscation hat trick with “Ezekiel Gilbert Acquitted Of Murdering Woman Who Wouldn’t Have Sex”, a headline which almost completely obscures the real point.  But before we expose the moral putrefaction which made this deplorable outcome possible, let’s dispense with a few other distractions.

One:  This is not about Texas per se, no matter how much regionalists are trying to make it so; nor is it about “American gun culture” or any other such crap.  Pretending it’s about that is an unhelpful distraction from the real issues at hand, and therefore NOT A WELCOME TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION IN THE COMMENT THREAD.  Nearly every place in the world would excuse behavior not materially different from Gilbert’s as long as “authorized” people are shooting at those designated as criminals, and arguing about which specific circumstances justify it is a red herring.

Two:  I don’t really feel comfortable with using a woman who at first glance appears to be either an extortionist or a really inept cash-and-dash artist as a poster child for violence against sex workers.  No, petty theft doesn’t deserve death, but at the same time it’s really stupid, dangerous and unethical to go into a strange place alone with a strange man and attempt to cheat him (if Gilbert is telling the truth, which is by no means certain).  This is not “victim blaming”; it’s insisting that discussions be grounded in reality rather than some imaginary Utopia where life is fair.

Three:  To those who insists that Gilbert was essentially trying to rape Frago, because escorting is a legal business and it says right there in the ad that “money exchanged is for time and companionship only” and “this is not an offer of prostitution”:  Please shut the fuck up.  You are an idiot, you’re not helping, and you need to reread the last line in the item above and then get a life.

Four:  No, it really doesn’t matter that she had a vagina and he had a penis; the advantage of a gun is that it removes physical size and strength from the equation.  The core issues here would be exactly the same if a female drug user had shot a male drug dealer for selling her a bag of cornstarch for $150 instead of the heroin she was promised.

Lenora FragoThat last conveniently introduces the real issue here, the rotten core of this whole rotten situation.  In Texas (as in most of the United States), the exchange of money for sex is illegal in and of itself.  I’ll clarify that for international readers:  in the US, just talking about something or agreeing to do something completely legal suddenly becomes illegal if certain taboo magic words are spoken or even implied.  Let that sink in:  no evidence of any kind is necessary, just the cop’s accusation.  And it swings equally both ways:  a policewoman can accuse a man of soliciting her just as easily as a male cop can accuse a woman, and the chosen victim will be arrested and “named and shamed” with no due process whatsoever, just on a cop’s say-so.  Furthermore, in Texas and ten other states, prostitution can be a felony (i.e. the same class of crime as assault, rape, grand theft, manslaughter, etc); under rapidly-spreading “end demand” and “sex trafficking” laws, hiring a hooker can be as well (with a potential for decades in prison and other serious consequences).  In Craigslist-style hooking, there’s no screening in either direction; both parties know the other could be a cop, and that makes both of them understandably nervous…possibly nervous enough to walk around for twenty minutes and then lose one’s nerve, and possibly nervous enough to get trigger-happy.

And that’s just the beginning of the rot.  Consider that the prohibitionists have been spreading anti-whore lies for a very long time; we’ve been “degenerates” or “monsters” for centuries, “criminals” for one century and the victims of brutal “pimps” (who may also be international gangsters) for over a decade now (there was an alleged “pimp” right outside, remember?)  Which of these overlapping myths did the jurors believe?  The law used by Gilbert’s defense was enacted to allow homeowners to defend themselves against robbery, which Texas law pretends is no worse a crime than compensated sex.  The defense portrayed Gilbert as a man facing a “criminal” defined by Texas law as being at least as anti-social as a burglar, whom neofeminist prohibitionists have painted as being desperate, emotionally crippled and dominated by brutes.  Prosecutors like to select jurors who display strong “law and order” attitudes; it appears to me that this time, they succeeded better than they had hoped because the jurors simply refused to see the “criminal” Frago as a victim.  But before you condemn them as sociopaths, let’s try a thought experiment:  go back to number four above.  Can you imagine a big outcry in that situation?  If both participants in that incident were black, can you even imagine it becoming a national news story, let alone a source of outrage?  And if Gilbert had been wearing a certain blue costume, and his victim had been young and male, and the so-called “crime” had involved buying drugs rather than buying sex, it might never have made it into the San Antonio Express-News as anything other than a line item under the heading “police reports”.

rotten appleThis is the putrid heart of the whole stinking business.  Though we may disagree on the particulars (such as allowed levels of provocation and lethality), most people will agree that individuals have the right to defend themselves against criminals.  But when “authorities” and other dangerous busybodies stretch the definition of “criminal” to include people engaged in voluntary transactions, then spread propaganda in order to convince the populace that individuals so engaged are criminals in a true and meaningful sense rather than a merely arbitrary one, and then pass laws so dangerous and repressive that those individuals fear for their safety and actual criminals are drawn into the resulting black market, is anyone surprised when twelve ignorant people with no personal interest in the matter can be swayed by whichever of two important-looking men makes a more convincing argument?  Because that’s exactly what happened here, folks:  in matters of great complexity, when neither of the sides seems terribly sympathetic, our legal system is on exactly the same moral level as trial by combat; the contest is decided by the relative skill of the opponents rather than the salient facts of the question to be decided.  As long as we allow and even encourage our governments to criminalize private, consensual behaviors with no clear victim and no actual corpus delicti, lots more people are going to be senselessly killed and lots of senseless killers are going to get away with it.  And no hypocrite who supports such a system has any business whatsoever complaining about that inevitable and highly-predictable outcome.

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Porn is not addictive.  Sex is not addictive.  The ideas of porn and sex addiction are pop psychology concepts that…have no legitimate scientific basis.  -  David Ley

Interview: Jill Brenneman

Jill has largely retired from activism, but has written a guest post about the Cleveland kidnap victims on Amanda Brooks’ blog:  “…Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Amanda Berry…likely have many years of very costly medical expenses and the need for equally costly psychological help…Like me, their lives were interrupted at a young age.  Now they have to move on with the physical and emotional issues…and…rebuild their lives…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

Once again, Dr. David Ley tells it like it is:

…when people buy into the belief that porn is addictive, it changes the argument…sex and porn aren’t the problems…one part of this issue is an attack on aspects of male sexuality, including masturbation and use of pornography…which society fears…

Moloch

Though this was first published nearly a year ago, this updated version appeared last week:

…even though experts and studies have denounced the [sex offender registry] as ineffective, the battle cry of its supporters is still, “If it saves one child…!”…There is no evidence that [it] has done that at all.  However, many, many thousands of children have had their lives made a living hell because of it…parents on the registry…are subject to the whims of local and state laws, including severe restrictions on where they may live…Vigilantes have murdered registrants, leaving their children fatherless…and…children [as young as]…nine…have been [registered]…Registered 12-year-olds aren’t even rarities…in Wisconsin…a district attorney did everything he could, and bragged about it, to have a 6-year-old prosecuted and targeted…for “playing doctor.”  Some of these children find escape only in suicide

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Nowhot dog hooker

New Yorkers are so very fortunate to have brave, dedicated professionals protecting them from dangerous criminals:

…Catherina G. Scalia, 47…was arrested after she…gave [an] undercover cop a massage…without a license…She’s also accused of unauthorized practice…[and an] offer for additional services…Scalia disputed the charges at her arraignment…”They keep framing me.  I am broke.  I am jobless.  All these arrests are entrapment”…When CNN…profiled Scalia and her hot dog truck a year ago, Scalia asserted she was a stripper, not a prostitute…

Bullies With Badges

Anael Ibanez…[was arrested] for distributing pornographic material and exploiting prostitution [in] Syracuse [Utah]…the only ones who actually watched the sex show [Ibanez arranged] were a couple of undercover police officers and…[a man they] charged with sexual solicitation.  Four sex show performers also were arrested…and…charged…SWAT team members were dispatched to clear the theater…[they] broke a glass door…to gain entry…Ibanez works for a janitorial company…and had access to the theater after hours…

Yes, they dispatched a SWAT team to bust adults having sex.

Sleazier Than Thou (TW3 #18)

May must be Ashley Madison’s slowest month, because it’s always the one in which owner Noel Biderman makes some claim like this:  “…its membership registration spiked [last] week following Sunday’s…season finale of The Simpsons…[Biderman] said new registrations surged a whopping 230% this week after…a frustrated Marge Simpson stumbled onto…’Sassymadison.com’…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Reema BajajIf prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

In June 2011…Reema Bajaj…was accused of prostitution…in June 2012 [she] pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge…Although she kept her Illinois law license…she…had trouble attracting clients.  Earlier this month, she dissolved her law practice…and…sued three local lawyers: a former prosecutor who worked on her case, Calvin Campbell; one of her own former defense attorneys, Timothy Johnson, who is now law partners with Campbell; and a “John Doe” defendant.  Bajaj alleges that the three lawyers circulated nude photos of her, causing her emotional distress and hurting her ability to generate business…

I hope she wins, restarts her practice and specializes in defending sex workers, since she knows firsthand how difficult it is for us to get justice in America.

Where are the Victims? (TW3 #28)

Because you know, “false consciousness” and all:

To hear the testimony of the women who worked for them, Vincent George Sr. and his son were not the violent and manipulative sex traffickers that prosecutors described, but, rather, the heads of a happy extended family…Bridgette Carr, director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, said it was…“not shocking” that women would assist the defense, and may actually be evidence of how effective the pimps were in manipulating the women…

Worse Than I Thought

The cancer has now spread to Tennessee:

…12 new laws…include harsher criminal penalties on traffickers…and the creation of a state trafficking task force…a statewide study in 2011 documented incidents of sex trafficking… authorities will be able to prosecute those paying for sex – the “johns” – as traffickers…[thus allowing] for…termination of parent rights…

Read that again:  Tennessee is going to call clients “traffickers”, charge them with a felony and steal their children.  In other words, they’re going to punish fake “child trafficking” with the real, state-sanctioned variety.

Creating the Crisis

The largest study on domestic violence ever done demonstrates that the MRAs were much closer to the truth than the feminists:  men and women commit partner abuse at roughly equal rates.  23% of women and 19.3% of men have been physically abused by a partner, while 28.3% of women and 21.6% of men have physically abused one.  Lifetime rates of abuse are higher among women, while past-year rates are higher among men.  41% of women and 43% of men reported emotional abuse.  Motives were similar in both sexes.  Here’s a short summary of the findings; the full report is available at the first link.Liu Xiaozhen

Follow Your Bliss (TW3 #50)

Being an official busybody for an oppressive regime is hard work!

Despite China’s ongoing sexual revolution…  anyone found to be producing and distributing  obscene material can get three years in jail…[this] requires many pornography censors…[like] 70-year-old Liu Xiaozhen…[who said] “You have to watch even if you don’t want to”…

What a Week! (TW3 #52)

As bad as American prohibitionists are, at least most of them aren’t murderous:

Unidentified gunmen have shot dead at least seven women and five men at a [Baghdad] brothel…[near] where alcohol shops were attacked last week…The attackers apparently…[used] silenced weapons, as residents…said they did not see or hear anything out of the ordinary…Zayouna is an upscale…district…where a number of brothels have opened in recent years…

Between the Ears (TW3 #133)

Ethicists and feminists are concerned [about]…a drug that can amp up female sexual longings…Male-sexual-enhancement drugs…are about…improving blood flow to the penis…while research so far suggests that most women need more than mere physical arousal…To stoke female desire with pharmacology, then, you need to get into the brain…some feminists anticipate that the marketing of these drugs will pathologize normal losses of desire…when in fact…[they] may result from stress or relationship problems that should be addressed in other ways…

I agree.  If female desire were mostly about hormones, placebos wouldn’t be as effective as testosterone; in fact, they are often more so.  Nor is this a problem limited to women, as Dr. Marty Klein discusses in the linkback.

Miracle Village aerial viewBanishment

Florida’s “sex offender” residence restrictions are so bad that a small, isolated settlement named “Miracle Village” has become a haven for them.  Meanwhile, David Vitter (who has been the center of several sex scandals) is trying to keep them from getting food stamps:

…This…will…contribute to the continuing cycle of trapping the same individuals in the criminal justice system.  All released felons have difficulty gaining employment…those with sexual offenses face even more impediments due to the public registry and the myriad of restrictions placed upon [them]…Studies…show that, denied benefits, there is a higher rate of return to drug use and crime…anything gained financially from a reduction in the food stamp program will just show up as increased prison costs…

But wait, there’s more!

A network of…internet companies is mining data from sex-offender sites…[for] an extortion racket [which demands] up to $499 for removing names…and other personal data…SORArchives.com, Offendex.com and Onlinedetective.com did not take down individual profiles after payments were made and launched online harassment campaigns against those who balked at financial demands or filed complaints…the websites [also] list individuals…who no longer are required to register and…include names and addresses of people who never have been arrested or convicted of a sex crime.  The…operators ensure that anyone in their databases can be found easily [via] Google…[and] have prominently profiled specific individuals, published their home and e-mail addresses, posted photographs of their relatives and copied their Facebook friends onto the…websites…

Original Sin

Pope Francis…urged mobsters…to abandon their evil ways, particularly…trafficking rackets…”I think of the great pain suffered by men, women and even children, exploited by so many mafias”…He decried the crime syndicates for “making them do work that makes them slaves, prostitution”…Francis…has branded human trafficking as one of the most terrible evils plaguing the world…

Big Sister (TW3 #317)

This pro-censorship Guardian article isn’t nearly as interesting as Jezebel’s response to it, written by revolting neofeminist toady “Lapdoug” Barry:

There’s a campaign afoot in Iceland to seriously restrict underage access to hardcore porn…the argument that porn is a form of free expression smells…a lot like the sort of bullshit the multibillion-dollar porn industry shovels…the porn industry does not have the interests of Icelands [sic] malleable adolescent minds at heart when it argues that limiting access to its productions is tantamount to government censorship…

The biggest lie of several here is that the porn ban is intended to “protect adolescents”, when in fact it was specifically sold (as part of the Swedish model) to “protect” women.  But let’s give Lapdoug’s argument the benefit of the doubt; if he’ll agree to let his writings be censored by a government agency for a trial period (twenty years or so should suffice), I’m sure people who respect human agency far more than he does can be counted on to give a nationwide censorship regime all the consideration it deserves.

James LiptonThe More the Better (TW3 #317)

Are people really so stupid they believe it’s totally different now?

[James Lipton]…of…Inside the Actors Studio used to be a pimp…the youthful 86-year-old admitted…that he had pandered “a whole bordello”…in 1950s Paris…”The French mecs didn’t exploit women.  They represented them, like agents”…Lipton…added that…he was against people paying for sex.  “I think if you can’t earn it on your own, then you don’t deserve it.”

Because obviously celebrities are morally superior beings qualified to judge what others “deserve”.

Objectification Overruled (TW3 #320)

Pathetic middle-class white British feminists are at it again:

The UK’s main supermarkets could be exposed to legal challenges…if they refuse to remove magazines and newspapers with naked women on their covers…In a letter published in the Guardian, 14 equalities lawyers say…retailers are vulnerable…under sexual discrimination law…A campaign launched by UK Feminista and…Object aims to put pressure on Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and WHSmith to remove lads’ mags from their shelves…[they] threaten…a test case and will support employees uncomfortable with images of naked and near-naked women…

This is a load of rubbish and they know it; such a precedent would mean that anyone could bring a case against any product she finds “offensive”, for example Catholics suing to have birth control removed.  But lest you think this idiocy is limited to Britain:

…the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has unanimously passed a proposal…to ban the display of bikini-clad mannequins outside lingerie shops…With Mumbai recording the second highest number of rapes in the country, [law sponsor Ritu] Tawade said the display of inadequately clothed mannequins was indecent and could lead to “wrong acts” by men…corporator Sunil Prabhu backed her…”I agree…that such scantily clad mannequins do invite unwanted attention of men and the resulting surge of sex crimes”…

Schadenfreude (TW3 #320)

Yet another rescue industry “hero” is exposed as a con artist:  “[Andy Conner]…the [Washington state] Sheriff’s Deputy who funded a charity to help young women escape prostitution…is on administrative leave while the King County Sheriff’s Office investigates allegations that thousands of dollars may have gone missing…

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