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Posts Tagged ‘brothels’

It [is] very easy for government ministers…to talk around “we will stop trafficking”, as a code for “we will stop immigration and protect your white land”.  -  Belinda Brooks-Gordon

Bad Girls Emily Wyatt

Men:  Pay your hookers!  Ladies:  Get the damned money up front!

A prostitute and heroin addict desperate for money has been jailed for…stealing from her clients.  Emily Ruth Tequilla Wyatt…conned one…into leaving his flat…so she could break in and steal a…television…Just days before, she had stole [sic] £40 and a CD off another customer who had refused to pay her…

But Emily’s amateurish efforts aren’t remotely in the same class as these:

…Subhanna Beyah, AKA Crystal…was arrested and charged with ripping off 13 men and making off with $1,281,769 in jewelry, guns, cash, and property including a Cadillac Escalade.  Two other women — 25-year-old Johninna Miller and 27-year-old Keshia Clark — were arrested…and have subsequently bonded out.  Ryan Elkins, the daughter of a police chief…is on the lam…

The Swedish Pimpocracy

A man on trial in…Sweden for allegedly raping a woman…has been freed because he “wasn’t aware” she was drunk…The…woman [said] the last thing she remembers…is falling asleep in the man’s apartment with her clothes on before waking up the following afternoon…locked in a room…Tests later revealed the woman’s blood alcohol-level was…more than ten times the legal limit in Sweden…Prosecutor Stefan Lind plans to appeal the verdict…

Bell, Hook and Kettle

Young boys were locked in a cage for days on end…at [Australian] Salvation Army homes in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s…and the…leadership…failed to discipline or remove the perpetrators…a Royal Commission…will focus on the alleged abuse inflicted by…Lawrence Wilson, Russell Walker, Victor Bennett, John McIver and Donald Schultz on boys aged from about six to about 17…”The boys were frequently punched…thrown on the ground with force, hit with straps until they developed welts or bled,” [Commission member Simeon] Beckett said.  They were repeatedly anally raped and forced to undertake oral sex on their house parents.  They were also abused by other boys…[those] who complained were often disbelieved and severely punished…

See also “Dirty Laundry” below.

Not To Be Taken Internally

Tits and Sass discusses a Vice documentary on “butt shots” from non-doctors, and interviews two medical professionals about them.  There’s a link to the 17-minute documentary there if you’re interested.

The Course of a Disease

An interview with Dr. Jay Levy on his research demonstrating the violence caused by the Swedish model:

Above the Law

This week’s first rapist cop hails from Dallas:  “…La’Cori Johnson was on duty when he stopped a woman and…told [her] she had a warrant out for her arrest…he…then drove his patrol car to a dead end…[forced] the woman…to perform oral sex on him [then raped] her…the woman said she [complied]…because she was afraid of going to jail….”  And the second from the Orlando, Florida area:

A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after a woman alleged that he groped her…[her] boyfriend flagged the deputy, Matthew Donnelly, down when he noticed that [she] had passed out [from drinking]…Donnelly placed the boyfriend into the back of his squad car and then went to [assault] the victim…[saying he] would let the…boyfriend go so long as she didn’t tell anyone about the groping…The victim’s DNA was found [in the car]…even though there is no evidence that [she] was ever in [it]…Donnelly’s dashboard camera was turned off for 22 minutes during the encounter…

The Widening Gyre

In my mind, the “King of the Hill” rhetoric here is secondary to the hilarious image of truckers moving pallets full of passive, immobile “women and children” (confined in dog crates, perhaps?) via forklift in busy, crowded truck stops without anyone noticing.  Anyone who’s ever placed an ad on Eros will also find this description of it extremely funny:

…Law enforcement across the country have pinpointed the internet as the number one ruler for the buying and selling of children and women…Sex trafficking is…thriving on websites such as backpage.com, eros.com and myred.com [sic], where they hide under disguises such as massage…anyone can post an advertisement, making it extremely easy to sell underage girls…Central Missouri is a major hub for truck stops, which makes it easy for sex traffickers to buy and sell women and children.  Truck stops are close to main interstates,  making it a dream scenario…traffickers can load their trucks with women and children without their feet ever touching the ground…The Department of Justice has identified St. Louis as one of the top 20 human trafficking jurisdictions in the country…

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

Tulsa, OK cops just love “sex trafficking” rhetoric, because it allows them to pretend to be heroes while destroying real people’s lives:

…an increasing number of suspected sex traffickers have found themselves…hauled into Tulsa federal court.  Prosecuting such crimes “is a big priority in our district,” said Danny Williams Sr., U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma. “We’re really being aggressive about it”…

Blah blah pimps, blah blah Super Bowl, blah blah “drugs can only be sold once”.

Dirty Laundry

Nuns’ treatment of children at a residential care home was “bordering on the psychotic”, Northern Ireland’s Historical Abuse Inquiry has been told.  Sisters of Nazareth nuns thumped and kicked children…[a] former resident described the home as a “hell-hole” and likened it to a concentration camp…[another] told the inquiry that…children who wet the bed were forced to…have a bath in Jeyes Fluid…Jeyes Fluid

Other forms of abuse included “Separation of brothers and sisters, not even telling them if they were in the same home…Locking in cupboards…Humiliating children for bed wetting, forcing them to stand with the sheets on their heads…Forced farm labouring or working in the laundry instead of going to school…Removal of Christmas presents and other personal items…Calling children by numbers rather than names…[forcing sick children] to eat their own vomit…and lack of medical attention…

With Friends Like These…

Another article about the institutionalized insanity of encouraging cops to use condoms as “evidence of prostitution”; unfortunately, it’s liberally sprinkled with prohibitionist vomit like this:  “The New York City sex industry isn’t glamorous.  It’s dark, seedy, lurid, and the sex work that the women and, to a lesser degree, men engage in carries the risk of danger, disease, sexual violence, and abduction…the average age of a prostitute in the United States [is] between the ages of 12-14 years old” Not the average debut; the average age at present.

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)

The new chairman of Japan’s national broadcaster is facing calls for his resignation after defending Japan’s use of wartime sex slaves…Katsuto Momii…said brothels were “common” in all countries involved in the war, and described as “puzzling” criticism of Japan’s enslavement of up to 200,000 mainly Korean, Chinese and Filipino women…”Can we say there were none in Germany or France?  It was everywhere in Europe…it was a reality of those times…”

Sure, we’ve all heard of those French brothels with thousands of Belgian slaves, and British brothels with Irish slaves.  It was everywhere!

Tyranny By Consensus (TW3 #138)

A judge has struck down a ballot measure that would [have forced] the city of Los Angeles to launch its own health department separate from the county’s…[ruling] that the measure…would conflict with state law…and would “impermissibly interfere with essential government functions.”  The measure was spearheaded by the…AIDS Healthcare Foundation…

Profound Ignorance (TW3 #310) prohibition beer raid

Another pompous ignoramus uses a thoroughly-debunked study to pretend that sex work magically ignores all economic laws:

…experts with knowledge of prostitution…say a loosening of legislation could have the effect of enabling sex traffickers, while also increasing demand for paid sex…criminologist Michael Down…pointed to…[the Neumayer, Cho & Dreher study]…Down…said…relaxation of prostitution laws could [give]…criminal elements…a “very strong incentive” to increase recruitment and coercion of young women…

Try this instead: “Down said repeal of Prohibition could give criminal elements a ‘very strong incentive’ to increase bootlegging and rum-running…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)

Imagine an American politician saying this:

Prostitutes are heroines to their families because they can feed their families on their own; therefore, it would be inhumane to close down brothels…Widya Kandi Susanti, the regent of Kendal, Central Java, said…Widya said that prostitutes in Kendal were regularly offered sewing courses…but after a few months they decided to return to the business of selling sex…

Challenge

A sex-worker rights group…is teaming up with a high-profile First Amendment lawyer…to launch a legal strategy aimed at overthrowing the laws against prostitution.  It’s a bold and unprecedented effort to get the federal courts to agree that sex work is protected by the Constitutional right to privacy – but…H. Louis Sirkin…who helped overturn a Texas law banning the sale of sex toys and defended the rights of a Cincinnati museum to display the works of Robert Mapplethorpe, [said] both society and the courts are moving in the direction of protecting sexual privacy – and that consensual, commercial sex between adults falls into that…

Between the Ears (TW3 #334)

I predict many dudes who use this will later find their glasses mysteriously broken or lost:

It was only a matter of time before the voyeuristic world of Google Glass collided with sex. “Sex with Google Glass”…lets you watch — and record — yourself having sex from all angles and even “see what your partner can see”…it…can be synced up to a…device…to control lighting, music and even lessons from the Kama Sutra…In case you are particularly proud of your performance, the app can also record a video… Sunday Life 1-26-14

O, Canada! (Hysteria On Parade) 

Police say they’re posing as johns and visiting sex workers in a bid to find the hidden victims of human trafficking — especially underage girls.  But one Ottawa escort and a local advocate for sex-trade workers say they’re making the women suspicious and scared not safer…when the woman opens the door to [the lying cop], she finds several more…on her doorstep…they are also visiting spas and massage parlours…[outing the workers] to bystanders and…[asking] for personal information…Inspector Paul Johnston said that…police…just want to ask if they’re OK and let them know help is available…

No, they “just” want to send the message to sex workers, “We know who and where you are and we can bust you for brothelkeeping any time we like.”

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #345)

If this woman has any decency, she’ll mail every check back to him and inform the prosecutor of that fact via email each time:  “…A judge ruled that [sperm donor] William Marotta must pay child support, even though he…signed documents waiving his parental rights…[because] Kansas law [demands]…a licensed physician must be involved in an artificial insemination process…Marotta…[plans] to appeal…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #345)

Germany’s ladies of the night are refusing to be pushed into the shadows in the national sex debate…One of the ruling parties is now trying to pour cold water on the trade…And the prostitutes…are not happy…they…are determined to be a part of the national conversation, instead of watching others have the debate for them…The message coming out of [their] new union…is that preconceived notions and stereotypes that make up the public discourse on prostitution are wrong…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #404)

ICRSE condemns…the European Parliament Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on their decision to support the criminalisation of clients”; the letter is available for download as a template.  Meanwhile

An expert on prostitution laws…has said the “Nordic Model”…is “extremely dangerous”.  Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon…said…”There is no reason to criminalise prostitution clients when you cannot show demonstrable harm.  In fact all the evidence is in the other direction”…She said criminalising the purchase of sex…makes both clients and sex workers less likely to report violence and that it leads to other levels of underground criminality…there is no evidence supporting the Swedish model and…”Norway only introduced it because they were terrified people would come over the border…So they did it as a prophylactic measure…and then actually found it to be unworkable and a nightmare”…In New Zealand, research showed that decriminalisation (not legalisation), which allowed women to work together in small groups, helped improve trust in police and decrease violence…

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Trafficking has become one of the new “it” words in the bankrupt moral vernacular, craftily used by puritans, property developers and rogue feminists to combat the sex trade in general.  -  Rupert Everett

Think of the Children! Noel

The minute a fragile “child” turns 18, he can turn into a dangerous source of dreaded “sex ray” emissions:

…high school senior…“Noel” has allegedly been suspended and will not graduate this year after several of his [gay porn] flicks found their way onto the principal’s desk…[he was] suspended…for 10 days for “causing a campus disturbance” [which]…will allegedly lead to “an automatic failure from absences,” and he will not be able to graduate come June…

Of course, teachers are still the primary danger:

Edgar Ortiz, a 65-year-old educator…was not fired for sleeping with a sex worker…But…was fined $7,500 by the Department of Education…He’s suing [New York] city to fight the punishment.  “Teachers are not indentured servants subject to school direction and control 24 hours a day”…he argues…A…judge…ordered the city to answer his petition…after it “failed to offer any legal basis for penalizing a teacher for illegal conduct that has little or no apparent connection with his teaching duties”…

License to Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A young woman in Milwaukee called the cops when someone threw a brick through her window…and…began kicking in her front door…two police officers responded.  One took her 15-year-old brother outside to speak to him.   The other…Ladmarald Cates…asked to see the broken window and [when] she led him…to a bathroom in the back…he…[grabbed] her…by her hair…then [sodomized and] raped her…The cop’s partner had become concerned…and called for back-up.  Other cops began arriving and saw a woman screaming incoherently about being raped.  Cates appeared…handcuffed [her and] charged [her] with assaulting a police officer…She was…held for four days before being released without actually being charged…

A Moral Cancer

A severely repressed individual penned a misogynistic screed called “9 Reasons Why a Man Should Never Go Down on a Woman”, and it’s as ridiculous as you’d expect.  Note that the first four (arguably five) “reasons” are actually one reason, and it is why the article appears under this heading.

Schadenfreude

A new moneymaker for the rescue industry: “sex trafficking” tours!

…New Friends New Life…toured parts of [Dallas]…with [cops], a Homeland Security agent and an assistant city attorney, who talked about…the exploitation of women and young girls…While vice officers…go after the men who pay for sex, they are focused on…[shutting] down complex regional or even international prostitution rings…The bus of [tourists]…gaped at [a poor neighborhood], whispering to one another in disbelief…Shawn McGraw…[of] Homeland Security…[said] “This isn’t a woman’s childhood dream.  She’s doing it to survive.”

Don’t worry if you can’t take a bus tour; they’ll bring one to you!

…Putting on headphones at “SOLD: The Human Trafficking Experience” will teleport you to the life of one of nine victims of sex slavery and trafficking…The exhibit is a multi-sensory, multimedia experience that lasts 40 minutes in nine different rooms…People who attend are encouraged to tweet, video blog and share pictures…The “SOLD” bus [travels around Washington and is based in] Seattle…

Not To Be Taken Internally Elizabeth Starr

Elizabeth Starr fears her banned boob job will kill her after her breasts ballooned to a whopping O cup.  The adult film star had now-illegal “string” breast implants 15 years ago to boost her career – but says her life has been ruined…Doctors have recommended Elizabeth face a double mastectomy…she…was already a 32F when she opted…in 1999…[for a] procedure [which] involved inserting synthetic string into the breasts to stimulate fluid production and growth.  But [after] just a few days…she began suffering complications…[she] had the string implant removed from her right breast, however, the left one was already too imbedded to be taken out…Over the next 14 years Elizabeth spent a staggering £200,000 on [63] reconstructive operations…

Gullible’s Travels

Portsmouth Middle School [in Rhode Island sent parents a letter] warning them that students may be snorting and smoking ground-up Smarties candies.  The letter warns of risks of cuts, lung infections, nasal passage scarring, nose-wedged maggots (!), and future cigarette and drug use…School [official] Dave Croston…[said] “this behavior raises troubling issue of modeling”…

As a supplement, Radley Balko prepared a short summary of other mind-numbingly stupid pseudo-drug scares of recent years.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

University of Michigan Economics Professor Raj Arunachalam…hired sex workers in Ecuador and Mexico to interview other sex workers…Arunachalam found that beautiful sex workers…earned approximately 15% more than average and unattractive prostitutes…”  Dr. Arunachalam’s next study will demonstrate that people prefer to eat good-tasting food and to listen to music instead of recordings of traffic sounds.

The Mother Learns From Her Children

two of Britain’s most senior police chiefs…have…[denounced] the police approach to prostitution as a mess…saying that [harassment] operations…are “counterproductive” and…put…women at risk…they call for…[allowing] a group of women to work together.  Chris Armitt [said]…”We are not going to enforce our way out of…prostitution.  It goes…on in every country in the world”…Martin Hewitt…said…”On the one hand we sit down with sex workers asking them to trust us and give us information.  On the other hand we are doing enforcement actions”…Hewitt…also condemned…brothel raids as superficial and offering little value other than as a media stunt…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies (TW3 #3) Say NO to the Nordic Model in Canada

a boom in X-rated production in [Las Vegas was] sparked by a Los Angeles law requiring…condoms…The number of permits…to make porn films in Los Angeles…has declined by…95 percent since the law took effect…from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013…While Los Angeles charges hundreds of dollars for location permits…Las Vegas…gives [them] for a nominal fee and does not require health permits.  The warehouses are cheaper, and it’s also more affordable to rent out mansions and put actors up in hotels…

The Course of a Disease

The European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee has voted through [Mary Honeyball’s] report that recommends the adoption of the “Nordic Model” of prostitution laws…The report [now goes] to the full European Parliament…

As I’ve explained before, the European Parliament’s resolutions are not laws, but they’re a good indicator of the growth of totalitarianism on the continent.

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #22)

Africa produces the most ridiculous anti-whore rhetoric outside of the US:

…at alluvial gold mining sites [in Liberia]…women [are] roaming from one…mine to another…rooting and indulging into “sex trade”…in return for gold or money.  What is most appalling…is the luring of some of these women into the practice by their peers…”any man who…refuses to settle us financially, will pay the price,” a lady [said]… Several men who stubbornly refused to comply…were taken to the…police…

First They Came for the Hookers… Club Madonna

Florida wants to prove it can harass strip clubs as much as Texas does:

The…Miami Beach strip club where police say a 13-year-old girl danced…has had its business license pulled for six months…Richard Wolfe, an attorney for Club Madonna…and…club owner Leroy Griffith…said they had no knowledge that the girl performed at Madonna…Wolfe…suggested that the city’s actions were retaliatory…[because] Griffith has been locked in a decade-long battle with City Hall to overturn a ban on alcohol in fully nude clubs…

Drama Queens (TW3 #48)

Emil Kirkegaard has translated a recent Danish study comparing the health of sex workers to that of amateurs:

…The percentage with bad mental health and…who often…feel nervous or stressed is smaller among prostitutes…there is no difference between prostitutes and [other] women’s rate of illness…prostitutes have a markedly lower consumption [of medicine]…the prostitutes have more…smoking, alcohol…and use of other drugs…there is a larger percentage [of prostitutes] who are underweight, and a smaller…who are overweight…prostitutes have the same frequency of contact to family and friends…Light violence against prostitutes is more common…[but] other indicators of violence and sexual abuse [are not different]…Prostitutes…often work in bended or crooked positions [and make] repeated and monotonous movements…[but] they [need not carry] heavy objects and [are not] exposed to…noise, cold…and draft.  With respect to psychological working environment, the prostitutes come out ahead as well…

Banishment

The Midtown Ponce Security  Alliance (MPSA)…is approaching  [Georgia] legislators…[with] a law it has dubbed “aggravated prostitution”…“This form of prostitution would be defined along the lines of prostitution in a residential area (we will suggest “within 500 feet of a window or door of any dwelling”), and work to have that designated a felony punishable up to five years incarceration”…

Original Sin

Though there’s plenty of “Super Bowl sex trafficking” nonsense in this story, we’ve seen that so many times before it really isn’t worth noting any more.  What’s more interesting to me is the bizarre soup of Christian, neofeminist and police state dogma which produced the “facts” which are tacked on at the end; bogus “statistics” are arranged beside neofeminist “end demand” cant and Christian dogma about sin, including the relatively-new claim that “pornography is the dominant driver for sex trafficking”.

The More the Better (TW3 #325) Franck-Ribery and Karim-Benzema

In the modern US, prosecutors rule the injustice system; obviously that’s less so in France:

Two French international footballers who are charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute appeared in court…Franck Ribery and…Karim Benzema both deny the allegations and the young woman involved, Zahia Dehar, testified that neither player knew she was under 18 at the time…Ms Dehar…has since launched her own luxury lingerie line and is reportedly the muse of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfield…prosecutors had sought an acquittal…but investigating judge Andre Dando argued they must have been aware of her real age.

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #328)

First National Review, and now Foreign Policy:

…[Prohibitionists] say they want to protect human rights, but their efforts often undermine those rights:  Campaigns and programs to end prostitution in fact lead to violence, stigmatization, and other problems for the exact people they claim to be helping…there is no convincing evidence that punishing “johns” decreases the incidence of commercial sex…Sweden’s sex workers report that criminalization has simply driven [them] underground, with dangerous consequences…and…evidence shows…that criminalization of sale or purchase…makes sex workers…more vulnerable to violence…committed by law enforcement…the World Health Organization (WHO) wrote in a bulletin that…”sex workers who are rounded up during police raids are beaten” and “coerced into having sex by corrupt police officials in exchange for their release”…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #345)

Prostitutes [in] Ibiza have formed a sex workers’ cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits…Eleven women registered with local authorities as…members of the Sealeer Cooperative…their spokeswoman, Maria Jose Lopez…[said] “We are the first cooperative in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls”…The group is applying to register 40 more women…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

Sex worker ally Rupert Everett published a long, thorough denunciation of December’s pogrom in Soho:

There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality…200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20…flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings…They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting…criminal records…and served…eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal.  All this in the name of human trafficking…while even the police say that more than 90% of prostitutes work of their own accord…

Everett goes into great detail about the hearings which followed, and the IPC collected these statements from the victims of the raid.  Keep in mind when reading them that as bad as they are, the experiences of police victims under fully criminalized regimes like the US are worse.

Little Boxes (TW3 #350)

Devil’s Advocate

A paedophile ring that streamed live child abuse from the Philippines…has been broken up after an operation by UK police and their counterparts in Australia and the US.  The National Crime Agency says…it is an “emerging threat”…in developing countries…

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Slavery is so intolerable a condition that the slave can hardly escape deluding himself into thinking that he is choosing to obey his master’s commands when, in fact, he is obliged to.  -  W.H. Auden

OBEY eye posterI have come to the conclusion that statism rots the brain.  In order for a free mind to accept the delusion that someone else as human as himself has the right to tell him what to do, he has to inflict damage on his own psychic organs of self-determination; in order to accept the patent absurdity that such superiority can be conferred by merely putting on a special costume, carrying a little tin amulet or giving oneself an interesting title, that damage has to be severe indeed.  And if the subject is to believe that this right of state functionaries to control him extends even to what he does with his own body, the damage has to be both irreversible and so dramatic that it renders the statist incapable of recognizing the truth about nearly anything in which the state is involved.  The individual so afflicted not only identifies with the overlords, rationalizing that because they have the divine right to rule him they legitimately represent his interests (“Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together”); he will also obediently line up in front of the slaughterhouse and praise the wisdom and goodness of the butcher (for example, in the recent cacophony of bootlicking which began with and included a federal judge’s declaration that the NSA’s blatantly-unconstitutional universal surveillance is in fact constitutional).

In really advanced cases, the victim’s mind is so warped that he cannot imagine things another way from the status quo; if something is currently illegal, it must have always been that way, and when faced with evidence to the contrary he will misinterpret it to support his lawheaded perception.  If he sees an example of government coercion inflicted upon something which was previously free of it, that simply will not compute because holy governmental control is, was and ever will be, forever and ever amen.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Let’s take a look at how historian William Moss Wilson recently described the imposition of a licensing regime on Nashville whores during the occupation of the city by Union forces in the early 1860s.  Remember, prostitution was not illegal in and of itself anywhere in the US prior to 1910; it was often regulated, or restricted to certain areas, or banned from certain areas, and streetwalkers were often harassed by cops using laws against vagrancy and the like.  But since a lawhead cannot imagine that something now regarded as “criminal” could ever have been seen otherwise, we get nonsense like this:

…By June 1863, the large numbers of soldiers hospitalized in Nashville for venereal diseases led surgeons and regimental commanders to…[attempt to] rid the city of its prostitutes.  Deportation would prove no easy task; nearly every structure along…“Smokey Row”…was a house of prostitution, and other brothels were scattered about town…several hundred women were dragged onto requisitioned steamboats…but [other cities refused them]…and…black prostitutes…filled the void left by their white colleagues…Once deportation proved a failure, [officials instead] released orders that required all of Nashville’s prostitutes to register with the military government, which would in turn issue each woman a license to practice her trade…for a weekly fee of 50 cents…these women would receive a regular medical checkup, and if healthy, issued a certificate.  Infected prostitutes would be hospitalized and treated at no additional charge.  Failure to register would be penalized with a 30-day sentence in a workhouse…

Wilson’s brain is so warped by statism that he cannot see the imposition of licensing, mandatory health checks and pimping fees for what they are, the intrusion of government into a field with which it had previously been uninvolved; the very idea of an unregulated profession is anathema to him.  Accordingly, he misnames the regime “legalization”, ignoring the fact that prostitution wasn’t illegal to begin with and therefore could not be “legalized”.  The attempt at deportation was not, as he himself explains, the normal status quo in Nashville, but rather an act of martial law by the military governor of an occupied city.  He is “shocked” by the fact that the press and city government viciously attacked the deportation plan but accepted the licensing scheme, and he willfully misinterprets the whores’ acceptance of the regime as a desire to be “protected by regulation” rather than as a welcome respite from the harassment which had preceded it.

government outlays to GDPThis is not an isolated incident; for example, articles about Storyville usually describe it as a “legalized red-light district” when in actuality its establishment represented the restriction to a small area of a business which had previously been allowed everywhere in the city.  I’ll bet that before most of y’all started reading this blog, you believed that prostitution had always been illegal in most of the US; most people are surprised to learn that criminalization was a 20th-century notion, enacted in the same general time period as Prohibition and enforced by large, standing municipal police departments which had only existed for a generation.  The fact of the matter is that prior to 1913, the US federal government was tiny and the state governments not much bigger; however, the busybody laws which began in the “Progressive Era” gave the swelling numbers of government officials many new excuses to meddle in people’s lives, and the new permanent income tax provided the funds with which to do it.  Government began to grow at a pathological rate and has not stopped since, and the minds of most who were born, raised and conditioned to it can no more imagine another way than the members of a lost underground civilization could imagine the sky.

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What would it mean to think of sex workers not as traitors to feminism but as feminist forebears?  -  Mattilda Sycamore

The Swedish Pimpocracy

A…man facing rape charges is free after…claiming in a [Swedish] court…that the woman’s screams of protest were simply part of a violent sex game.  “I recognized [from other girls] the way she said no as a part of the sex”…[he] said…the two met…through a common acquaintance and he invited her back for a drink…”I expressed very clearly that I didn’t want to, so there was no way he could misunderstand me,” the woman told investigators…however…the man became more aggressive as her protests increased…he covered her nose and mouth so she couldn’t breathe and slapped her in the face…[she fled] under the pretense of taking a shower following the incident…Witnesses…encountered her lightly clothed and sobbing…

Meanwhile, a retired Swedish prosecutor explains why the Julian Assange situation should never have occurred, and says “the prosecutor-general should…rescind the decision to reopen the investigation, rescind the arraignment ruling, and rescind the arrest warrant.

Aggressive Ignorance

While bogus “trafficking” studies by hired researchers are misleading and dangerous, those performed by “trafficking” fetishists themselves are just plain hilarious.  This one from the Imagine Foundation studied online sex work ads for three months in order to reach the exciting and important conclusion that hotels tend to be clustered along busy highways.In Bed with Susie Bright   I’ll bet you’d never have guessed.

Maggie in the Media

Last Wednesday afternoon I spoke to Susie Bright for her podcast In Bed With Susie Bright, and the show is now available; individual episodes cost $5.95, but are free with a subscription.

A Procrustean Bed

A [Louisiana] panel vowed…to pursue the johns…and…create courts dedicated to human trafficking …“We want to make Louisiana the gold standard in protecting our children (by) dealing with this scourge that can easily destroy a society,” said…Gerald Long…Valarie Hodges…said officials need to dispel the notion that prostitution is a victimless crime.  For every act of prostitution, she said, there is a victim…

The idea that prostitution can “easily destroy a society” is beyond hilarious.

The Enlightenment Police

A French court…convicted a young woman for wearing a full-face Islamic veil in public and threw out her bid to have the…ban  declared unconstitutional.  Cassandra Belin, 20, was also convicted of insulting and threatening three police officers at the time of her arrest, which sparked two days of rioting…in July, 2013.  She was given a one-month suspended prison sentence for the clash with the police and a 150-euro ($200) fine for wearing the veil…

I’ve often pointed out that controlling what Muslimahs do with their bodies is exactly the same as controlling what whores do with ours, and Julie Billaud & Julie Castro agree with me:  “The interest of studying veiled women and prostitutes together lies primarily in the fact that their bodies…have been identified by the state as problematic and, therefore, as requiring political intervention…” Willie Greer

Above the Law

One rapist cop from Tennessee:

A…deputy has been terminated after handcuffing a woman and forcing her to perform oral sex on him…Willie Marshay Greer…was…charged with aggravated rape and official misconduct.  Greer reportedly stopped [the] woman for speeding…[and used the threat of] arrest [to extort sex]…

And another from California:

A woman who was shown on camera tumbling out of a moving LAPD squad car last year said she fell out…to avoid being sexually assaulted by her arresting officer…Kim Nguyen, a 27-year-old pharmacist, says she was handcuffed…when [he]…began opening her legs.  [After the fall] Nguyen…spent two weeks in the hospital [with] her jaw…wired shut [and] lost all of her teeth…

An Example To the West (TW3 #14)

In 2011, the Hyundai Research Institute published the findings of a survey commissioned by the Hanteo National Union of Sex Workers.  It examined “the changes in public opinions…after the enactment of the Anti-Trade Sex Law” in South Korea based on [telephone] interviews with 1,000 adults from different age groups and all walks of life…The report…has now been translated into English

Stand-Up Guys

Here are two audio files featuring male allies; in the first Christopher Ryan (Sex At Dawn) interviews Thaddeus Russell (A Renegade History of the US), and in the second Zander-Dexter Falcon debates a prohibitionist on Canadian radio.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #29)

Thanks to “gang” rhetoric, “sex trafficking” is becoming a new excuse for locking up young black men:

Twenty-four street-gang members…have been indicted on charges of conspiring to run an interstate prostitution ring…in San Diego, Arizona and New Jersey…At a national “Players Ball,” one of the defendants received an award as pimp of the year.  Pimps…have a liking for chalices and scepters, known as Pimp Cups and Pimp Sticks…[and] “often” have removable dental “grills” made of gold and costing thousands of dollars…the U.S. attorney is seeking forfeiture of such trophies…Of the 60 sex-trafficking victims [arrested], 11 were minors…Some…were “branded” with tattoos of gang monikers, bar codes or the name of their pimp…[they were recruited with] rap videos on YouTube…

Worse Than I Thought

Kudos to Reason TV for doing a short documentary on how horrible California’s “anti-trafficking” CASE Act is, and for interviewing sex workers about how criminalization increases exploitation.  Unfortunately, they also interviewed the superlatively awful Dennis Hof, who as usual used the opportunity to spread lies about independent sex workers (in this case, that we’re diseased) in order to argue for imposition of the Nevada system which enriches and empowers people like him.  I’ve spoken to video producer Zach Weissmueller, though, and asked for his help in getting Reason more on board with (libertarian) decriminalization rather than (crony-capitalist) Nevada-style legalization. Proposition 35 ad

King of the Hill

It’s always deeply satisfying to catch a “trafficking” lie in the process of expanding; in September we were told that Tampa ranked third in Florida for “sex trafficking”, but now they’re claiming it’s third in the whole country.  I suggest they discuss this with Miami and Toledo.

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #131)

Despite a decreasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS among…sex workers [in Myanmar], health workers say the stigma…and…harsh laws…are undermining sex workers’ access to HIV-related services…Even possessing a condom could be used as circumstantial evidence of prostitution until 2011…most of the public are unaware of the directive…[banning the practice, and fear] carrying…condoms because they could be targeted as sex workers…karaoke bars and massage parlours…frequently change locations due to harassment by police…[and] managers…deny health workers access…for fear of prosecution…

Checklist

These self-appointed “trafficking experts” claim they can identify “sex traffickers” (in South Dakota.  Seriously.)  But after all the “abduction” and “Stockholm syndrome” mythology, it still comes down to harassing women: “it may be easier to determine whether someone is a trafficking victim, than it is to figure out a trafficker.”  The “signs” include staying out late and having a generous boyfriend.

Pimping the Pimp Annie Lobert

Community leaders and law enforcement…presented a…documentary [on]…sex trafficking in Nevada… Trafficked No More…[compiles] true…sex trafficking cases and their impact on…prostitution of children…One person who knows firsthand the damage the underground sex industry can do is Annie Lobert…of…Hookers for Jesus…

Long-time readers will remember we’ve seen Liars for Jesus before.

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #324)

More clueless anti-whore pomposity from Zambia:

…a plan of reforming sex workers…is something that [they] should have…embraced…However, the…sex workers…refused to relocate to their respective villages where financial help…could have been accorded to them.  Some of [them] even attended meetings that were organised to help them reform only to demand money instead of assistance in form of material and equipment…sex workers…should have taken advantage of this noble gesture…the sex workers were not looking beyond their noses.  To them it was about here and now…

Bad Girls (TW3 #331)

A club boss has told a court of the moment he was kidnapped by three lapdancers and their manager – with the women wearing ”miniskirts, stilettos and Daisy Duke shorts”.  Curtis Woodman was outside his work premises…when the women and two men drove up in two BMWs…the group ”surrounded him” before bundling him into one of the vehicles and driving off.  It is alleged that Mr Woodman…was…robbed of £60 cash and his £4,650 Brietling watch…[and] forced to transfer £4,800 into the bank account of the lapdancers’ manager, Charlotte Devaney…The women believed he owed them more than £42,000 for work they carried out at his pop-up nightclub during the Cheltenham Festival in March 2012…he had received calls demanding the money…for months…

The Public Eye (TW3 #340)

Laura Lee’s ill-treatment while giving testimony to a parliamentary committee in Northern Ireland:

Traffic Jam (TW3 #343)

the Best Practices Policy Project worked with SWOP-PHX to send a report to the Human Rights Committee for consideration during the review of how the United States has fared in meeting its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights…The submission describes…mass police “sweeps,” arresting scores of…people the police profile as sex workers.  Arrestees are handcuffed and transported…to the Project ROSE center, where they…have no opportunity to speak to a defense attorney…even if they request one…

Rhinoceros (TW3 #344)

There are a lot of sleazy strip club owners, but licking badges and using “sex trafficking” hysteria to sic the pigs on rival strip clubs and massage parlors is a new low.  I first introduced COAST in the titular item, but this article tells you more about them than you really want to know.  Caution: You’ll probably feel like you need to need to shower after reading this.

Shame, Shame

The author of this internet article, Iman Idiot, thinks internet censorship and expanding the “sex offender” registry are good things:

…Now, Israel has become the first country in the world to make revenge porn illegal…anyone found guilty of uploading sexually explicit content…without the consent…of the person being portrayed can expect to be designated as a sex offender, and may be punished up to five years in jail…Brazil introduced a bill in October to ban [it but]…only two [American] states have passed legislation…to stop it:  New Jersey and California…Project ROSE warning

Traffic Jam (TW3 #347) 

Remember how that article about Project ROSE was censored by Al Jazeera?  Here’s an interview with reporter Jordan Flaherty about both the censorship and the unethical practices of the project itself.

Subtle Pimping (TW3 #351)

Patricia Adler, the University of Colorado…professor…who was  forced to retire over a controversial prostitution lecture, has decided to return to the campus…[after] an executive committee …allowed [her] to resume teaching the course…provided [she] gets consent from all the students to go ahead with the [whore stereotype] skit…

I have been informed that SWOP Denver has contacted Adler to offer real information in place of the nonsense she’s been teaching; we’ll see how that turns out.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #351)

A new review of Sex Workers Unite says that it…

…jettisons the tired generalizations about erotic labor (and laborers), and instead places sex workers at the center of recent movements for social justice.  Author Melinda Chateauvert  reminds us that those who rioted against police violence and control…in the late ’60s (marking the beginning of the gay liberation movement) were…”sex workers, transgender people, hustlers, tricks, drug users, and drug sellers”…Similarly, [she] points out that sex workers were routinely engaging in conversations about the messy intersections of sex, desire, intimacy, love and (im)propriety long before feminism…

Cops and Robbers

Peru sex worker attackAfter a graphic video showing a vigilante group meting out violent punishment to sex workers in Cajamarca [Peru] made international headlines, authorities…told press that the violent raids conducted by the so-called Cajamarca Committee for Urban Patrols represented a serious infringement on the rights of the women they attacked…”  Unfortunately, the statement soon degenerates into “sex trafficking” nonsense, ignoring the fact that violent “rescue” raids by “authorities” are even worse.

Bootlickers (TW3 #401)

Since the cops are just inventing these “charges” anyway, it’s up to them whether they “cease”:

…Everett [Washington]…officials…deemed the Hillbilly Hotties coffee stand…a chronic-nuisance property…and…[demanded] that alleged prostitution, indecent exposure and violations of city adult-entertainment codes…cease…the stand owner won’t hire baristas who have criminal history and that employees who break the rules will be fired…

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on December 8th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

stack of newspapersIn the process of writing my blog, I read and scan a tremendous number of news stories every week, from websites based all over the world.  I get many of them from links on Twitter, and my readers send many others; some of them I stumble onto by chance while looking at other things.  The majority of sex work-related items end up in my weekly “That Was the Week That Was” news summary, which normally appears on Saturday; other interesting stories appear in my weekly “Links” column, which normally appears on Sunday.  Some are worth quoting in a longer discussion, and others aren’t noteworthy enough to get any coverage in my work at all.  But every once in awhile a story comes along which is so interesting, funny, horrible, odd or whatever, that I like to analyze it at length.  Today I present such a story; it appeared in the Edinburgh News on October 30th,  but the date hardly matters because it’s illustrative of so much of what’s wrong with the way the news media report on sex work.

Two prostitutes are plying their trade just yards from a bustling police station amid warnings that private flats are increasingly being used for business by sex workers.  The cheeky sex workers are operating from a plush £700-a-week mews house in Dewar Place Lane to the rear of the busy West End police base in Torphichen Place.  Their decision to “set up shop” in the shadow of the key station follows an unprecedented period of focus on the Capital’s sauna trade…

One distinguishing characteristic of the truly awful sex work story is its use of inane, annoying and dysphemistic language to pretend that sex work is “dirty”, “seedy”, titillating, lurid or otherwise fundamentally different from other kind of work.  The language in many such articles is positively Victorian, but even when it isn’t, it’s still of a type only found in reference to sex work.  It starts in the very first sentence: can you imagine caterers, carpenters, cartographers or cab drivers being described in an early-21st century article as “plying their trade”?  Or that a reporter would find it noteworthy that a pub, pawnbroker, photographer or piano-tuner had set up shop near a police station (or to enclose that phrase in scare quotes)?  The UK is not the US; prostitution is not illegal in Scotland, no matter how much the leadership of Police Scotland might wish otherwise.  While I agree that it is a bit “cheeky” to do business so close to the hideout of a gang with a long history of violence against sex workers, that’s not the “spin” this reporter appears to be trying to put on it.  Finally, there’s the mention of the rent…which would certainly not appear were the story about a medical practice or a law firm.

…one…Police Scotland insider said…“We’re going to see a lot more sex sold from private flats like this…with all the unique problems that can bring with it.”  Sex industry insiders say more prostitutes are now operating from flats.  And today Independent Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald warned it would lead to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases and attacks on prostitutes…

Edinburgh saunaSex has been sold from private residences for as long as private residences have existed; this is neither new nor “uniquely problematic”.  Stories about sex work often present minor shifts in the number of women working in one type of venue or another as some sort of mass migration; in the US, it is commonly claimed that indoor sex work was practically nonexistent before the advent of the internet, when in reality the change was from about 15% of all sex workers on the street to perhaps 10% or a bit less…hardly a seismic shift.  The same can be said about brothel workers starting to go independent in Edinburgh.  And though I’m sure MSP MacDonald means well, if she’s concerned about STIs she should turn her attention to the amateurs; we professionals have far lower rates than they do, even without government nannies looking over our shoulders to be sure we wash properly.

…Our investigation was sparked by members of the public concerned at the comings and goings in the well-heeled cobbled street.  The attractive pair – who aren’t linked to the saunas – are only believed to have arrived in the city a week ago.  Their arrival, however, has merely swelled the ranks of a burgeoning scene which leaves prostitutes vulnerable to the whims of…violent pimps…

Can you imagine two new members of any other profession being described as “swelling the ranks” when there are already about 700?*  As for “public concern”, that’s utter nonsense; escorts know how not to attract attention, and in the next section the reporter admits to making an appointment through a website.  Without the directions provided by the sex workers, neither he nor the supposedly “concerned public” would have known where they were.  But the worst part of this short paragraph is the insulting pretense, so beloved by prohibitionists, that whores are largely at the mercy of “pimps”, when actually nothing could be farther from the truth.

…Incredibly, officers pass the flat, as they use the lane for access, unaware of the seedy activities inside…a girlish voice called out to come up the spiral staircase to…a large and immaculate living room with…two empty wine glasses…on a low table alongside untouched finger food…Wearing heavy eye make-up and scantily dressed in a see-through negligee, black underwear and red high heels, she welcomed our reporter…

Every sentence has words intended to evoke a lurid atmosphere.  A legal business is “seedy”, the sex worker is “girlish” (implying “underage”), the cleanliness of a business-place is somehow considered remarkable (would a hotel lobby be similarly described?), the empty glasses hint at a recently-departed client, and the descriptions of the sex worker’s makeup and attire would be more at home in a cheap novel than a serious news story.

…Asked whether she knew about the nearby police station she rolled her eyes, smiled and said: “I know, I know.  I don’t mind.  I’m doing nothing wrong.  I don’t sell drugs, I pay my taxes.  I’m quite happy about it”…She claimed to be working alone from the house, but the Evening News has learned that she is one of two prostitutes based there…The offence of brothel-keeping is only committed when two or more women work from the same home…Police officers have been informed by the News of [the] brothel…

In revealing that the women work from the same place, the reporter has guaranteed that the police will subject them to mindless violence in the name of upholding an asinine law, especially since he helpfully provided them the address in violation of every principle of journalistic ethics.  This wicked game of outing sex workers is woefully common in UK journalism of the sleazier sort…which is to say, most of it.

But the worst part about the entire article is that the reporter seems to imagine himself to be genuinely concerned about sex workers’ safety, or is at least trying to convince the reader that he is.  A reporter chooses whom to interview, which quotes to feature, how to parse them and how much weight to give each interviewee, so two different people with opposite agendas could produce two extremely different articles from the exact same set of interviews; this story comes back over and over again to the harm Police Scotland’s new harassment policy will inflict upon sex workers.  Yet at the same time, it wallows in the lurid, is peppered liberally with dysphemisms and tortured phrases, presents sex workers as weak, dirty victims and even goes so far as to directly betray two of them to the tender mercies of the police, hinting that they have a lot of money so as to make them a more attractive target for a profit-motivated raid.  If this is what passes for “sympathy” in British journalism, I’d hate to see what hostility looks like.

*This number comes from Scot-Pep, and though it seems a bit low to me we’ll go with it.

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The “Super Bowl = prostitutes” story begins to look more and more like a lazy journalistic trope…an urban legend…or…a cheap attempt by some local politician…to score points by standing up to the menace of sex work.  –  Alexander Abad-Santos

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Because male sex workers don’t threaten insecure men’s belief that men are always in control of sex, and don’t interfere with neofeminists’ desire to control all heterosexual activity, they are conspicuously absent from “trafficking” mythology, Swedish-flavored dogma and other anti-whore garbage.  But it’s still pretty galling to see the BBC, which has embraced the catechism that all female sex workers are pathetic victims, publish something like this:

Most people think of male prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work.  But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business…There has been a slow societal shift in the acceptability of sex work, says Del Campbell from the Terence Higgins Trust.  “There is a lot less stigma for men who sell sex,” he says.  “Often, the women are still seen as victims but for some gay men, escorting is now a normal job”…

NY maidsWhen male escorts use online ads, they’re “using the tools of modern business”.  But we women are too stupid to do that, so our ads must all be placed for us by male “pimps”.

Hooters, Japanese Style

In this interview with one of the girls at the first Japanese “maid café” in New York City, she denies that she’s a sex worker four times in only eight short answers.  Who is she trying to convince, us or herself?

Surplus Women

He made sure we’ll never hear her side of the story:

…Tannu Chawla, 27, and his friend, Yogesh, 30…[murdered a sex worker]…in…Delhi [because he was in love with her but she refused]…to marry…him…Chawla said that [he sold his] property and [took] loans to help the woman [pay her heavy debts, and that] her betrayal forced him to commit the murder…”Yogesh…had a loan of Rs.1.5 lakh [$2411] to repay.  He agreed to help Chawla for the same amount,” said [police].

Above the Law

A Payson, Ariz. police officer entered a woman’s house and raped her the day after he got her address from an incident report in which she had been a victim…Emily Morton sued the Town of Payson and Joshua Corey LaManna…[who broke into] her home…and raped her…while he was on duty – then told her it was OK because he loved her…

Somebody’s Daughter

Would you want your daughter working as a stripper/prostitute?”  A common refrain from people who are anti sex work, and who see it as the ultimate argument…Well…my short, rather unpopular answer is:  Yes.  If my daughter is over 18…she is entitled to do whatever she wants with her body…when you have children, you are raising individuals with their own personalities and characters, who will have their own quirks and abilities, and whose choices will differ from your own.  If you don’t like that idea, perhaps having children is not a good idea…

King of the Hill Spanish anti-Swedish model ad

A pair of real howlers introduce North Carolina’s latest bid in the “sex trafficking” race for the bottom; the first claims it’s “in the top eight states” while also admitting that “the true number of sex trafficking victims is unknown,” which would of course preclude any estimate of rank.  This one is a typical paint-by-numbers “trafficking” screed, taking the Profession of Faith as its headline and then quoting all the usual nonsense.  The second story specifically claims that North Carolina “ranks eighth”, but what makes it most interesting (in a horrifying sort of way) is the interview with a sadistic cop who gloats that he “can’t wait to use” the state’s new and draconian “sex trafficking” law to subject his victims to a “lifetime of difficulties” for consensual sex.

Number Puzzle

The indispensable Wendy Lyon does it again:

…what the Swedes say internally about their sex industry is often very different to the impression they give abroad…This is a good…example…only issued in Swedish…police [admit they]… “are not engaged in continuous or structured reconnaissance” [of sex workers]…we normally hear…absolute confidence and certainty that their sex industry has declined since clients were criminalized…if you aren’t monitoring something…you can’t reach a definitive conclusion as to whether or not it has declined…the admission that Sweden remains attractive to “human traffickers and pimps”…is totally contrary to the propaganda we hear about it all. the. Time.  A genuine jaw-dropper follows a few paragraphs later:  “In 2009…there were about 90 Thai massage parlours in Stockholm…at the turn of 2011/2012, the number…was estimated to be about 250”… what kind of “successful ban” leads to an almost threefold increase in one type of provider of the banned thing in less than three years?  If the estimate is accurate, this statistic alone ought to put paid to any claim that the law is an effective deterrent.  An industry that has lost a lot of its customers couldn’t possibly expand at a rate like that…

What a Week! (TW3 #322)

A Baghdad brothel was the scene of a violent attack…as gunmen shot and killed seven women and five men – presumably prostitutes and their clients…By coincidence, (or is it?) a similar attack took place in the same area on May 22 last year, killing the same number of people…

Surplus Women (TW3 #335)

Police have made an arrest in the case of two sex workers who lived in the same building and were found dead two weeks apart – and…say they have linked the accused to the killing of a third person…Sarbjit Bains…is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Karen Nabors and Jill Lyons, and second-degree murder in the death of Amritpal Saran…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #341) Cuccinelli & Garrett, two crimes against nature

A new…bill would bring back much of Virginia’s infamous “Crimes Against Nature” law, months after federal courts struck [it] down  as unconstitutional.  The proposal, which ostensibly would change the law to make clear that “engaging in consensual sodomy is not a crime if all persons participating are adults, are not in a public place, and are not committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, aiding, or abetting any act in furtherance of prostitution,” would restore felony penalties for minors engaging in oral sex and treat public sodomy differently from other public sex acts…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

Truly horrible rescue industry organization Apne Aap is trying to pressure UN groups who support decriminalization to instead support laws which criminalize sex workers’ employees, spouses, dependent family members and co-workers, and to adopt the infantilizing and stigmatizing term “prostituted woman” in place of “sex worker”.  Since it’s extremely unlikely the UN organizations will give this lobbying (supported by a petition signed by prohibitionists and shills) any more attention than it is due, the most interesting part of the article is a new lowering of the “average age of debut” myth to 11 (see also “The Leading Players…” below).

Pyrrhic Victory (Hysteria on Parade)

Demonstrating that Bales is completely bereft of the faculty of introspection:

…Kevin Bales…announced a proposal to use…drones…to identify and film forced labour in remote areas of India and Bangladesh…Local authorities and non-governmental organizations could also use the images…to rescue slaves…But some Indian human rights activists…say it is a misguided publicity stunt that will do little to eradicate the practice…Vrinda Grover [said]…“I thought India was still a sovereign country.  So we now have the Westerners coming into rescue us all over again?”…Bales…hopes this “novel approach” will inject a fresh perspective into the standard slavery narrative that “we’ve been hearing over and over for about 15 years…This has got a little more excitement, movement, exotic locations”…

Traffic Circle

As I predicted, we’re beginning to see more evidence of the impending implosion of “sex trafficking” hysteria; while major media organizations like the AP continue to parrot myths about the “menace” of gypsy whores (complete with moronic assertions like “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks“), smaller organizations are starting to feature articles like this one:

…it’s…time for the annual “here come the prostitutes” story…The premise is…[that] prostitutes…will be shipped into the city…by sex traffickers trying to meet the demand…In 2012, The Houston Press‘s Peter Kotz thoroughly tore apart that story, explaining that law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw increases…despite increased efforts…Further, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)…said in a report that there’s no correlation between sporting events and a rise in prostitution…The history of those events make this year’s claims of trafficking even harder to believe and bring up questions of the gullibility of the media…

Challenge (TW3 #345) Joanne Giannini

One of the anti-sex crusaders behind re-criminalizing prostitution in Rhode Island brags about how she ignored sex worker activists because she is more qualified to make decisions for adult women than they are about their own lives:

…I remember being in an elegant beauty spa one day…when a white stretch limousine pulled up out front and about eight young Asian girls got out.  They were going into the spa for a day of beauty.  They were laughing and giggling and…seemed very excited.  They looked so young and naïve…the saleswoman…told me…these girls were brought…from the massage parlors…the managers paid well and the tips were good…I was accused of wanting to hurt women by stopping them from making a living.  The fact is, I was trying to protect them from sexual predators who had deceived them with promised lives of hope, but gave them short lives filled with pain, sexual abuse, drugs, diseases and deplorable living conditions…

Pain so horrible it made them laugh and giggle, and deplorable conditions like days at a luxury spa.  What I see is a nasty, racist old white woman who didn’t like seeing young Asian women in what she viewed as her domain.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #346)

More of this, please:  “The Oregon Court of Appeals…threw out the conviction of a woman arrested for doing little more than walking down [the] Avenue and glancing over her shoulder…The case drew applause from defense attorneys who say police often overstep their bounds in…their quest to fight prostitution…” The cops claimed that the woman exhibited “tell-tale signs”, like wearing high-heeled boots and talking to a “known prostitute”.

King of the Hill (TW3 #347)

I’m always glad to see the truly ludicrous “sex trafficking” claims repeated, because they hasten the whole myth’s downfall.  Here’s a repetition of the claim that Texas has 25% of all American “sex trafficking victims”; it includes the portentous statement that Houston is a “hub within a hub” (This Means Something!) and claims that “victims” are “as young as 12”, which rather contradicts the idea that the “average” is 13 or 11.

Shame, Shame (TW3 #348)

[Missouri] State Representative Kevin Engler…filed legislation that would criminalize…revenge porn…Engler said he was working with [Mary Anne] Franks in development of the bill…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #350)

yuk yuk yukNorth Dakota “State Sen. Elsie Arntzen…said that human trafficking is not a laughing matter…”  I disagree.  When I see creepy politicians and sleazy cops trying desperately to pretend that businesswomen are actually either “criminals” or “victims” (but can’t seem to decide which), and portentously declaring “sex trafficking” to be a “serious problem” while simultaneously admitting that “no one has yet found any evidence of the existence of a prostitution ring,” that is indeed a laughing matter.  And the joke is on the politicians and cops.

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (TW3 #351)

A…film featuring…Mira Sorvino’s fight against sex slavery in Cambodia made its US debut at Bayside Church in…Sacramento, Calif…Freedom Project: Every day in Cambodia was produced in partnership with CNN…Girls as young as four years old are sold into slavery and the sex trade by their own parents…the church…[donated] $400,000 to raid brothels…

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If people point to some prostitutes as victims they should realize, as the judges did, that the very laws in place were much of the cause of that.  -  Terri-Jean Bedford

Merry Christmas from the SCCOn December 20th, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled on the government’s attempt to block the Himel decision (which struck down Canada’s prostitution laws on September 28th, 2010).  The one-line version:  “The prohibitions at issue…prevent people engaged in a risky – but legal – activity from taking steps to protect themselves from the risk.” If you want more detail, here’s the 705-word version, and here’s the whole thing (almost 20,000 words).  The good news is, the court agreed with sex worker rights activists that the chief danger of sex work is not intrinsic to it, but rather results from the laws imposed upon it.  The bad news is, the court suspended its decision for a year to give the government time to write new laws, and there is nothing in it to prevent the imposition of American-style criminalization:

…the Supreme Court’s decision doesn’t touch on the principle of sexual autonomy.  Rather, it cleaves to a tighter, narrower logic…The central metaphor in Bedford is, perhaps oddly, bicycling.  It would be wrong for Canada to allow citizens to ride bicycles, but forbid them to wear helmets.  If a law makes a legal activity more dangerous, it is suspect…sex work is a legal activity, but related prohibitions made it less safe, so the Supreme Court struck down those prohibitions…[but] said nothing about whether sex work itself should be legal…if Parliament introduces new laws that directly criminalize sex work…the logic of Bedford will have very little to add to the next legal fight about prostitution…

Were this the United States, you can bet the legislature’s immediate response would be criminalization.  However, it’s a little different in Canada; though some politicians have been huffing and puffing about the decision every sane person knew was coming for months now, Canada has since the late 1960s maintained a strong tradition (well, much stronger than that of the US, anyhow) that “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.”  In 1988, the historic Morgentaler decision included the statement “[T]he basic theory underlying the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms is] that the state will respect choices made by individuals and, to the greatest extent possible, will avoid subordinating those choices to any one conception of the good life.”  That would seem a strong argument against criminalization, but

…as with Morgentaler, as with the Chaoulli medicare case in 2005, the court has not presumed to judge the purposes the legislature had in mind.  Whether the state may restrict abortion, or establish a public health-care monopoly, or regulate prostitution are all subjects on which the court has expressly declined to intervene.  All it has insisted in each case is that, in the pursuit of these objectives, the state may not actually kill people, or put their safety at risk…

On the other hand, the government has heavily invested its prohibitionist case in neofeminist rhetoric, and recently adopted the Swedish model as its official position; several MPs have released long-winded “explanations” of the “fact” that women are permanent victims who shouldn’t be allowed to choose sex work.  There is little likelihood that a system proven to increase violence and stigmatization of sex workers would pass muster under Bedford, yet at the same time it would be rather embarrassing for the government to push for the direct criminalization of sex workers after proclaiming us too weak to avoid being controlled by morally-superior clients and “pimps”.

Nikki Thomas, Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie ScottSo at this point, it’s difficult to predict what might happen next.  Reactions are all over the map; while sex worker activists hail the decision as a victory and prohibitionists either moan that it’s a disaster or bizarrely misinterpret the decision as reinforcement of their catechism, the media is generally being cautious:  The Ottawa Citizen went so far as to print both Jimmy Carter’s (yes, THAT Jimmy Carter) clueless and ignorant plea for the Swedish model, then a debunking of both the plea and the model three days later.  And while it isn’t at all surprising to see pro-decrim articles in Reason or Reality Check, it’s definitely not the usual fare at the Washington Post:

…In the mainstream media, prostitution is almost always conflated with sex trafficking.  One only has to look at Nicholas Kristof’s pieces in The New York Times, for example…But…the…focus on trafficking has not led to policies that keep sex workers safe and healthy.  Especially in the United States, the equation…has led to more spending on law enforcement…If policymakers want to make sex workers’ lives safer, there are many organizations they can learn from.  Sex workers advocate for their rights through groups like the Global Network of Sex Work Projects…the St. James InfirmaryStella in Montreal, the PACE Society in Vancouver, and Maggie’s in Toronto.  These organizations are effective because they view sex work as work…Every year on Dec. 17, sex worker rights advocates worldwide host events to…underscore the harm of anti-prostitution policies…the Canadian Supreme Court has taken an important step towards abolishing the legal conditions that create this violence.  We should not roll back the clock.

Given that the WaPo recently hired libertarian journalist Radley Balko and several years ago published the first major (though sadly isolated) American debunking of “sex trafficking” mythology, perhaps the wind is shifting away from prohibition there as it is at the UN and the vast majority of human rights organizations.  But just as is the case in Canada, only time will tell.

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The violence of a john does not diminish the role of the state in making a prostitute more vulnerable to that violence.  –  Beverley McLachlin and other justices of the Canadian Supreme Court

R.I.P. Al Goldstein Al Goldstein

Al Goldstein, the gleefully-controversial publisher of Screw magazine, died on December 19th after a long illness and an even longer decline in fortunes; he was 77.  Screw debuted in 1968 as a sort of déclassé foil to Playboy, and Goldstein was arrested many times on obscenity charges; my very first memorable exposure to anti-sex feminism was an episode of the Tomorrow show in which a neofeminist dumped a shredded copy of Screw on his head (I was 12 or 13 at the time).  The New York Times obit is excellent, and worth your time; though his name is less well-known than those of the more successful and mainstream porn magnates, Goldstein was a lot more influential than you may realize and is remembered quite fondly by many in both the sex and publishing industries.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

[A] nude named Juno, painted by baroque artist G E Schröder, had hung in the guest dining room for some 30 years before deputy speaker Susanne Eberstein [ordered it removed]…”It is…a feminist issue.  It’s tiresome (looking at) a bare-breasted woman when I sit at public dinners with foreign guests.  I think it feels a little hard to sit there with men who look at us women”…Eberstein explained.

Secret Squirrel

The DriveSafe device can be inserted into the onboard diagnostics port of any non-hybrid/electric car made after 1996…[and] communicates via Bluetooth with the Esurance smart phone app.  Parents can then fine-tune what their kids’ phones can do.  “Customize block lists so they can’t tweet but can still access navigation apps and receive calls from you,” Esurance suggests.  Or simply disable texting…it also tracks every aspect of a teen’s drive:  how fast they went, how quickly they accelerated, how hard they braked, and where they went…

Against Their Will

Kamalabai Pani…of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP)…in India…[recalled a] raid on…May 20th, 2005…[which] came on the heels of VAMP’s sister organization Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM) turning down funds from USAID [because of the “anti-prostitution pledge”]…“The police…dragged [sex workers] off by the hair…[they] were beaten and dragged to the vans”…The raid was timed during a school holiday.  “It was May and the schools were on vacation, so [girls visiting] their mothers [could be arrested and represented as “trafficking victims”]…a smear campaign [was then] launched against SANGRAM…claiming that USAID had terminated [their] funding…because they were traffickers and had tried to “thwart rescue efforts”…The raid…was initiated by…Restore International, a Christian NGO under the leadership of Greg Malstead…[who later] continued to harass the sex worker community…detail from Juno by G E Schröder

The Crumbling Dam

The City of Vancouver [BC] is looking to repeal an anachronistic 1923 bylaw that requires club managers to…not allow a ‘prostitute or person of evil repute’ to enter…

Follow Your Bliss

American missionary Daniel Johnson…was arrested…in relation to sex crimes committed in the U.S. and…is now accused of raping five boys…between the ages of 11 and 15 at an orphanage in [Phnom Penh]…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #137)

Beijing has heralded this year’s decision to abolish re-education through labour (RTL) camps…But human rights groups say…thousands of people are still…held in a parallel system known as “custody and education”, overseen by public security officials rather than judges.  Unlike prisoners…the detainees [most of them sex workers, are used as slave labor and] must pay living costs and take compulsory tests for sexually transmitted diseases…

Flush Criminalization

Scott Greenfield on the effects Kathleen Rice’s ugly “end demand” campaign:

…our Protestant ethic condemns the sale of sex and vilifies those engaged in it, regardless of whether it fits within the paradigm of loose, evil women or victims of evil sex trafficking…the latter…gave Kathleen Rice the perfect opportunity to…score points…But…as Newsday reports, it wasn’t the johns, but Rice’s prosecutions,  getting flushed…So far, there have been six guilty pleas and five dismissals.  Not a very good average, given that Rice gets to cherry pick her prosecutions.  In fact, it’s a total disaster.  But…these accused johns…[were] publicly humiliated by the arrest, the detention…Rice’s poster, the cost of hiring a lawyer and appearing in court over and over…[at least one’s] wife is divorcing him…Most people, including those who cling dearly to their Puritanism, don’t think breaking up families is an appropriate goal of the legal system…But…as long as there is that lie in small print at the bottom…Rice…gets all the benefits of public adoration with none of the responsibility for destroying the lives of the innocent…

Opting Out

I really wish I didn’t have to say “I told you so” quite so often.

Pornography filters used by major internet service providers are blocking websites offering sex education and advice on sexual health and porn addiction…[while] failing to block hardcore porn-hosting sites…Among the sites…blocked as “pornographic” was BishUK.com, an award-winning…sex education site…Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse CentreSexual Health Scotland,  Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline, and Reducing The Risk, [another]…domestic abuse…site…

Not to mention EFF, Blogspot, Boing Boing and the site you’re reading now.  However, you can get around this:

A Google Chrome…extension…[called] “Go Away Cameron”…will allow UK internet users to visit any site they want, bypassing government restrictions…The creator of the…extension,…@nubela, said that…the add-on simply picks up the government block and bypasses it…

The Punitive Mindset (TW3 #337) Chris Grayling as Scrooge

For the first time this Christmas, people in [UK] prison will not be able to receive parcels from their loved ones under petty and mean new rules introduced by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.  The new rules…forbid prisoners from receiving any items in the post unless there are exceptional circumstances…families are prevented from sending in basic items…such as cards, paper…pens…books…magazines…clothes and underwear…Instead people in prison are now forced to pay for these items out of their meagre prison wages to private companies who make a profit from selling goods to prisoners…

Imaginary Evils

A new article by Dr. Nick Mai on “sex trafficking” in the UK:

The moral panic on the supposed prevalence of trafficking in the global sex industry rests on a lie:  that the majority of sex workers are trafficked.  In fact, the opposite is true.  However, on the basis of this fiction, the dangerous abolitionist campaigns in favour of the criminalisation of clients…are gaining ground in several EU countries  …our research [found] that…only…about 6% of female interviewees …felt that they had been deceived and forced into selling sex…Most …thought their rights could be more asserted and their vulnerability reduced by decriminalising sex work…All…thought that restrictive migration policies and…criminalization…make people more likely to take risks and accept undignified and dangerous working conditions…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #342)

Following a series of articles in…The Guardian, ICRSE and many sex workers organisations, academics and allies have signed a letter demanding…fairer representation [of] the debate on criminalisation of clients.  To this date, the letter [has] not been published…”  The letter corrects both (unintentional?) errors on the part of the Guardian itself and (deliberate) misstatements of fact in Swedish model propaganda, and was signed by many whose names you may recognize.

Crumbling House

Pierre Fallavier, who…advised [Somaly Mam’s organization] Afesip between 1999 and 2007, wrote…that from the beginning of his relationship with the organization, [staff raised] concerns…that [victim narratives]…disseminated by Afesip [were] “exaggerated”…Fallavier said…“[I] find it unfair to point solely at Afesip for fabricating stories…This…is the approach that all major international NGOs use…They take bits and parts of the life stories of different beneficiaries and make up a ‘typical’ sob story…they are unapologetic, and…it is well known to anyone working in that sector…This is marketing…and it is only with extreme stories that they will get people to give the cash they need”…

Perverse Incentives banner

Unbound

The debate on Cato Unbound is drawing to a close; in all, I had four essays (plus an upcoming conclusion which will appear Monday or Tuesday), neofeminist prohibitionist Dianne Post had four, researcher Ronald Weitzer had three and “sex trafficking” NGO rep Steven Wagner had only the one.  If you haven’t read the entire issue yet, why not take advantage of the holiday lull to catch up before my conclusion next week?

Under Every Bed (TW3 #349)

The latest installment in Al Jazeera’s rapid descent into “trafficking” hysteria:

…Most victims of [sex] trafficking…in Spain come from Brazil, China, Nigeria, Paraguay and Romania, according to the police, who estimate the number of victims in the country at 12,000 and the earnings of the sex trafficking rings…at 5mn euros ($6mn) a day…”they don’t tend to recognise that they are victims,” said Paula Mandillo…with Mujer Emancipada…The first European Commission  report on human trafficking in Europe…put the number of victims between 2008 and 2010 at 23,632…Spain had the second-highest number of victims…in the European Union, after Italy…sex trafficking rings often use babies…to coerce [victims] into forced prostitution…[so] authorities…are…carrying out DNA tests on women and children at border posts, to verify that they are related…

If Spain has 12,000 “victims” and it’s second after Italy with 12,001, that gives the two countries together 24,001 of the total 23,632 victims.  Obviously math skills are not a requirement for either police work or reporting.

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #351)

Look for a full column on the Canadian Supreme Court’s landmark decision week after next; I’m waiting to see if any politicians will open their mouths to insert their feet.  But in the meantime, here are three standout pieces on the subject.  First, one of the lawyers on the case expressed her opinion on one politician’s call for the Swedish model:

Elin Sigurdson…[said] “asymetrical criminalization…isn’t consistent” with the…ruling…”The same issue of danger and jeopardy will persist when one of the parties rather than the other is criminalized…it couldn’t be upheld under this decision…because you’re going to find the exact same problems persisting”…

Then Dr. Brooke Magnanti weighed in:

…Already, the decision is being decried by the losing side with complaints of how dangerous it would be for Canada to become “the next Amsterdam.”  On the one hand this is true:  the Dutch system does not work.  I have a friend who is an escort in the Netherlands and her home is regularly raided by police who accuse her of running an unlicensed brothel, even though she’s an independent escort who works alone…sex workers would prefer to not work in a country like the Netherlands…and certainly not in the dangerous and misguided setup endorsed by Sweden…most sex workers advocate for full decriminalization—as seen in the laws of New Zealand and New South Wales, Australia—as the best way to ensure minimum abuses and maximum access to rights…This is a view also supported by the WHO, UNAIDS, and other international aid agencies…Will Canada’s government craft a model of decriminalization, or something else, in the year until the new ruling takes effect?…

And on that last point, from Australia:Nikki Thomas, Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott

…The Swedish model…works to silence any alternatives to the narrative trope of pitiful victim in need of rescue…[it makes] big claims about ending prostitution…but the research does not back this up…and…sex workers [are] further stigmatized…sex workers…can guide our social policies towards best practice…Can we hear their voices ringing loud and clear?

Catastrophic Consequences

Because “bottleneck effect” is not in the lawhead vocabulary:

Health chiefs in Edinburgh want a network of tightly-regulated brothels to replace…[the] saunas…NHS Lothian revealed the plan during discussions with police and other agencies…Police Scotland are determined to close down Edinburgh’s saunas despite warnings that it will drive the sex trade underground and increase crime and sexually-transmitted diseases…A terse email from an unnamed NHS official said:  “Sauna owners are speaking to us about condoms and they are suggesting Police Scotland are insisting that ‘no items of a sexual nature will be permitted on the premises’…This will cause us big problems in terms of public health.”  Police Scotland replied…[that their] “aim is to stop the saunas being used for criminality – i.e. brothel keeping and other illegal activities”…

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on October 27th; I have modified it slightly for time references and to fit the format of this blog.

Nearly three years ago I wrote an essay entitled “Social Autoimmune Disorder”, in which I compared modern society’s persecution of sex workers to a disease “in which the body’s protective systems turn from attacking pathogens and other invaders to attack some portion of its own tissues instead”:

The bodies of societies sometimes also develop such syndromes; the systems which were meant to protect society from invaders or other troublesome organisms are instead turned against some of its own systems, sometimes even vital systems.  And just as in biological autoimmune disorders, those who are affected most are usually women…one…[example] is the continuing persecution of prostitutes in England and the United States, despite the obvious social function we serve…

macrophages killing cancer cellIn the past few decades police, especially in the United States and countries over which it has a powerful influence, have gone from primarily fighting those who harm the body of society (violent criminals) to primarily attacking the body itself (ordinary citizens accused of violating any of the countless laws against nonviolent, consensual behavior).  And when these infected police departments attack the mechanisms society has evolved to channel its libido, the metaphor folds back upon itself:  the figurative disease may result in the spread of literal disease.

Many of the persistent myths about sex work are exactly the opposite of the truth.  For example, prohibitionists often claim that pornography and stripping increase “violence against women”, when in fact the prevalence of rape, child molestation, domestic violence and other social ills decreases with the increased availability of, and decreased stigma against, porn and other forms of sex work.  Another looking-glass claim is that whores spread disease; in fact, the incidence of every kind of sexually-transmitted infection in developed nations is much higher in the sexually-active portion of the general population than it is among prostitutes, and only 3-5% of all STIs can be traced to either side of a paid sex transaction…which is to say that over 95% of them come from unpaid sex.  The reasons for this should be obvious: sex workers have a vested interest in keeping ourselves clean and we enter into relations calculatedly rather than in the heat of passion or as the result of inebriation, so we scrupulously use condoms while a great many amateurs (especially those under 25 and above 50) do not.

In a sanely-run world, sex workers would be held up as examples of how to have an active sex life while protecting oneself from the potential dangers thereof…but no part of this world is sanely-run.  Instead, sex workers are widely stigmatized where we aren’t outright criminalized, and the tools we use to protect ourselves are labeled “prostitution paraphernalia” in the diseased minds of the police.  In many places (including most of the United States), cops steal sex workers’ condoms and represent them as “evidence of prostitution”; the obvious effect of this is to discourage the use of condoms among everyone likely to be harassed by police, professional or not, thus resulting in a public health nightmare.  Unfortunately, the concept of harm reduction is completely alien to those who are obsessed with conformity, “law and order”, arbitrary rules and “sending messages”; they are wholly unable to recognize that their precious laws pose a clear and present danger to society, and therefore endeavor to enforce compliance even when the facts are directly before them.

sauna raidNor is this self-destructive behavior limited to countries where it is well-established by precedent; even in places where officials have by some miracle been made to see the wisdom of harm reduction policies, the police can be counted on to act in ways which endanger everyone unless they are forcibly restrained from doing so.  Scotland provides a perfect example: until recently, the country had eight different police forces; but when they were all brought under one umbrella, prohibitionist fanatics from Glasgow got in control,  and in only a few short months have done their level best to wreck the system of tolerated brothels which has kept Edinburgh sex workers safe for decades.  But in late October, they unveiled their crowning idiocy:

…Police chiefs [sent]…a letter…[asking] the city council to add new conditions to licences, including that “no items of a sexual nature will be permitted on the premises”…[HIV group the Terrence Higgins Trust and sex worker organisation Scot-Pep savaged the proposal, which they said would ruin decades of sexual health education]…A recent report by the World Health Organisation…read: “Condoms should never be considered to be evidence of sex work, either in official laws or through unofficial law-enforcement practices, and condoms should never be confiscated from sex workers”…[and] MSP Margo MacDonald said…“this…makes the police look…rather amateurish”…

The police, who were obviously unprepared for such strong resistance, backpedaled furiously:  “Police Scotland does not advocate the banning of condoms…at no point do the recommendations make reference to the banning of condoms…”  Pull the other one, gents; only the hopelessly gullible could believe that you didn’t intend the purposefully-vague “items of a sexual nature” to include condoms.  Fortunately, the council proved somewhat less credulous than they might have been, only allowing themselves to be bullied out of cancelling the licenses of six out of the thirteen saunas; the other seven were renewed without the foolish and dangerous restrictions demanded by the police.  It seems unlikely that this will deter their attempts to harass sex workers into hiding for very long, however; remember that the violent raids to which the saunas were subjected in recent months came despite the fact that their licenses were duly renewed last year.  Unless the burgeoning power of police to victimize peaceful people is radically amputated, it must eventually result in catastrophic consequences for any society so afflicted…and as I have warned many times before, though such consequences always start with sex workers or other marginalized groups, they never end with us.

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I am writing this on my phone, for the living and the dead.  -  Jemima

Rough Trade Daniel-Nicolae Ilie

A man who raped a prostitute…has been jailed for [forty] months.  Daniel-Nicolae Ilie…paid £20 for sex…[but] when she refused his demands for further sexual acts, he attacked her…Judge Horton said…”A sex worker, like any other woman in this country, is entitled to her consent”…

The Red Umbrella

As usual, there were a number of articles for the December 17th observance, but for me four really stood out.  In the first, Siouxsie Q interviewed Dr. Annie Sprinkle, who first conceived of the idea; then UK politician James Shaddock published “As Liberals, We Must Stand Up for Sex Workers”; Jemima wrote a powerful poem called “For the Living and the Dead”; and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects released its new consensus statement, “On Sex Work, Human Rights and the Law”.

Ashley Madison

A [North Carolina] man blames the breakup of his marriage not only on the other guy, but also on the online infidelity service that he says made it happen…Robert Schindler…is suing her alleged partner…along with Ashley Madison…alienation of affection…laws have survived numerous efforts…to repeal them, and in recent years they have led to million-dollar judgments for wronged spouses…

Subtle Pimping

Another person who profited from whore stereotypes without consulting us or giving us any support in return:

Patricia Adler…[announced] that she would be leaving her tenured position teaching sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder…[after] officials told her that one of the highlights of [her] course…had to go.  That is an annual lecture on prostitution…to illustrate that status stratification occurs in various groups considered deviant by society.  She seeks volunteers from among…teaching assistants…to dress up as various kinds of prostitutes — she named as categories “slave whores, crack whores, bar whores, streetwalkers, brothel workers and escort services.”  They work with Adler on scripts in which they describe their lives as these types of prostitutes…

The Leading Players in the Field, Not

Mira Sorvino is VEWWY SEWIOUSWhen CNN wants a “human trafficking expert”, you can be sure they won’t call on anyone who’s actually studied migration or sex work or anything; no, it’s always a has-been actress trying to reinvent herself as a “human rights champion”, accompanied by (usually religious) rescue industry types.  You may also be sure nobody’s going to even acknowledge the existence of any local activists, because otherwise we’d be cheated of a white savior’s journey into the Heart of Darkness, complete with serious-faced selfie.

Peeping Toms

A federal judge…in Utah ruled portions of the state’s anti-polygamy law unconstitutional…polygamists in Utah can’t apply for multiple marriage licenses, but neither can they be prohibited from living together as…husband and wives…The case was brought to court by Kody Brown…whose family is featured in TLC’s Sister Wives

Setting Women’s Rights Back a Century

Cathy Young published an excellent article on “How the government encourages kangaroo courts for sex crimes on campus”; it covers not only material from the above-linked column, but also topics explored in “Lower Education”, “False Target” and several other essays.  Definitely worth reading in its entirety.

The Crumbling Dam

The Canadian Supreme Court will announce its final decision in Bedford vs. Canada today; some have speculated that the timing may indicate that it will not be to the government’s liking.  Here’s law professor Kyle Kirkup:

…In 1967, the Supreme Court upheld a decision placing a man in indefinite detention after he was convicted of sodomy and deemed to be an “incurable homosexual.”  In 1969, largely in response to the decision, the federal government…decriminalized sodomy…Forty-six years after the decision, it is safe to say that the…Court…was on the wrong side of history.  Last week, the Supreme Court of India was widely criticized for upholding a similar law criminalizing gay sex…history will not be kind to the decision…the Supreme Court of Canada…has the opportunity to focus its analysis on the harms caused by…criminalization…instead of sending messages about good sex and bad sex.  What side of history will the Court be on?…

UPDATE:  The court was on the right side of history.  Unfortunately Parliament may not want to be this time…

The Law of Averages

A whole convention full of trafficking loonies in the formerly somewhat-sane Rhode Island gathered to swap disinformation, including ridiculous nonsense about pimped streetwalkers working out of strip clubs.  The writer pretends to have done research by explaining that “the average age of a child forced into prostitution is 12,  according to the U.S. Department of Justice…other studies place the age range at 12-15 years old.”  Of course, no study says anything of the kind, and the official DoJ study on the subjectThe Ladies of Trade Town put the average underage sex worker’s debut at roughly the same age found by every other study – about 16.

Presents, Presents, Presents!

I’ve received a number of presents in the past two weeks.  Sasha Castel sent me Strapless, a lovely scarf, some perfume and an Australian chocolate bar; Sailor Barsoom sent The Ladies of Trade Town; Eddie JC1 sent The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 1 and The Lurker in the Lobby, and Krulac sent Family Christmas.  Thank you all so very much!

Gingerbread House

The Alameda County [California] Juvenile Hall is…creating a girl’s camp for victims of sexual exploitation…Esa Ehmen-Krause, the deputy chief probation officer…says the plan is to convert some vacant detention units into a safe harbor…[by retrofitting] the space to make it feel comfortable…But [advocate Venus] Rodriguez…[asks] if the goal is to teach girls about healthy relationships and how to live independently…“How does that work in a lock up facility?”…

Unclean Situation

More on Ireland’s inbred prohibitionist cabal:

The Turn Off The Red Light (TORL) political campaign…is led by the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), who are funded by Atlantic Philanthropies.  ICI have received $5,903,868…so far.  13 other TORL organisations have…received a whopping $40,710,493…in total…the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) which have provided TORL with extensive pro bono legal advice…have had $10,419,298…Ireland’s human rights organisations have fallen silent on the issue of further criminalisation of sex work…It turns out they are all funded by Atlantic Philanthropies also…a total of $17,762,683 between them…In Harm's Way cover

Long Spoon

The long-awaited call for decriminalization by Human Rights Watch has arrived, in a report on rampant human rights abuses committed by Louisiana “authorities”:

Louisiana state laws and practices that prohibit access to sterile syringes and criminalize sex work contribute to an uncontrolled HIV epidemic and an extremely high AIDS death rate, Human Rights Watch said…New Orleans police regularly interfere with sex workers who carry condoms, putting them and their clients at risk of HIV…“In Harm’s Way:  State Response to Sex Workers, Drug Users, and HIV in New Orleans” documents government…abuses of at-risk populations in New Orleans.  It calls for changes in state and local laws and policies that stigmatize, discriminate against, and facilitate police abuse of sex workers and drug users, and interfere with health services…

Rough Trade (TW3 #337)

California officials voted…to overturn a discriminatory rule that prevented sex workers who are physically or sexually assaulted from receiving money from a special victim compensation fund intended to help the victims of violent crimes…sex workers will now be eligible for state assistance to pay for medical and related expenses they incur as a result of the assault.  Members of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board said they were compelled to change the “repugnant” rule after hearing the testimony of sex workers who have been assaulted and left without recourse or support following the crime…

Sex Rays

It isn’t only children who are harmed by sex rays; infantilized women are too!

Lap dancing club plans for Doncaster…have been rejected following serious concerns about the possible effect on the sensitive work carried out at a neighbouring women’s centre…[“authorities”] said the venue would…alter the perception of vulnerable women, significantly harming the service the centre provides…

Here’s a previously unknown property of sex rays; they “alter perception”, presumably like LSD.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #349)

Melissa Gira Grant on a pro-Swedish model New York Times editorial:

…The alternative the Times offers?  Sex workers should instead be treated as “victims,” which the editorial claims can be accomplished by increasing criminal penalties against their customers.  But there’s no evidence, in the editorial or elsewhere, to support that assertion …[and] leading global health and human rights organizations have …condemned that approach, as have sex workers themselves.  Passing stronger laws against buying sex and treating sex workers as victims does nothing to actually protect [their] health, safety, or rights…and only perpetuates a system in which sex workers are endangered by the police.  The proposed French law introduces new penalties for activities related to buying and selling sex, only one of which is the highly publicized “fines for johns.”  The law is quite broad, and targets many more people who are involved in the sex trade than customers…Sex Workers Unite

Dr. Melinda Chateauvert also comments on both the New York Times article and the French law in this interview introducing her new book, Sex Workers Unite.  Meanwhile, the pending law has emboldened anti-whore fanatics:  “Forty people rallied…on the road between Beziers and [Nissan-lez-Ensérune]…to drive prostitutes out of their sight…they chased prostitutes until dusk…[in order to] prevent them from working…

Dutch Threat (TW3 #349)

A company set up to run brothels in Utrecht has applied…to set up a pension fund…The company, named Freya, says footballers and prostitutes both do heavy work and so should be treated equally in terms of pensions.  Footballers can save up to €5,000 tax free a month to put into a pension fund for when they are no longer physically able to play.  Prostitutes should be given the same rights to do this, [said] board member and lawyer Wil Post…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #349)

All you need to know about this Australian example of yellow journalism is its overlong title:  “Girls kidnapped by drug gangs and sold as sex slaves to cash in on the 2014 FIFA World Cup”.  Here’s the truth, courtesy of Dr. Thaddeus Blanchette’s commentary on a nearly-identical Time article:

…Fortaleza, one of the host cities of the World Cup, currently has open twenty cases of underaged prostitution (six of which involve foreigners) and TWO THOUSAND cases of sexual exploitation of children that have nothing to do with prostitution or tourism…in ten years of work researching Rio de Janeiro’s brothels…I have not encountered a single child prostitute.  Frequent police raids on these establishments also generally come up a cropper.  There are a few cases, of course, but I can count them on the fingers of one hand, from over a ten year period.  Where, then, are these legions of child prostitutes?  If the police and I and my co-researcher, Dra. Ana Paula da Silva, can’t find more than a handful in all the hundreds of commercial sex venues in Rio de Janeiro…where are these kids?…apocalyptic claims that the invasion of legions of sports fans would lead to an increase in prostitution…have NEVER been substantiated:  in fact, they’ve been consistently debunked…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

Sex workers in London’s Soho had their doors kicked in by riot police…[who] brought along journalists to photograph cowering women who were desperately trying to cover their faces…Working flats have been closed, throwing women out on to the street…migrant workers…were taken away…for compulsory “counselling”…and…removal from the UK, despite protesting that they were not trafficked victims…Kay Thi Win, a sex worker in Burma, has said:  “We live in daily fear of being ‘rescued’…[by] police, who break into our workplaces and beat us, rape us and kidnap our children in order to save us”…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #350) the alert Mary Honeyball

Tim Worstall replies to European politician Mary Honeyball’s claims of “growing disillusionment in places where [prostitution] has been legalized”:  “No, there is not growing support for such a framework.  You’re lying…[prohibitionists] are…wildly lying…There simply isn’t any evidence that ‘sex slavery’ is anything other than an appalling and vile and very rare indeed crime…

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