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Posts Tagged ‘Convenient & Inconvenient Victims’

The actual number of people trafficked is so much less than the targets [governments] are supposed to meet, so they end up running around and accusing people of being victims of traffickers and sticking them in cages to try to satisfy this US hysteria.  –  Liz Hilton, EMPOWER Foundation

Shinzo AbeJapanese Prostitution

The highly dishonorable Prime Liar of Japan is at it again: “…Shinzo Abe…may revise Japan’s 1993 apology  for forcing thousands of women to be sex slaves in the service of Japanese soldiers during World War II…an assertive, unapologetic Japan could antagonize much of Asia, especially South Korea…

In a Similar Vein…

This woman takes the term “cougar” much too literally:

Police in Florida arrested an “extremely intoxicated” woman after she allegedly beat her boyfriend over bad oral sex…Jennie Scott, 50, assaulted her 32-year-old boyfriend, Jilberto Deleon…following a joint-oral sex encounter that ended…after Deleon “finished first and stopped pleasuring her”…In November, Raquel Gonzalez, also of Manatee County, was charged…after beating her boyfriend following a sexual encounter during which he climaxed and she did not…

Convenient and Inconvenient Victims

Another example of how prohibition harms all women: it allows “authorities” to claim prostitutes can’t be raped, then to accuse rape victims of prostitution:  “…Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar came the nearest to calling the Park Street rape victim a sex worker when she described the February 5 incident not as a rape but as a ‘misunderstanding between a lady and her client’…

Against Their Will

Take especial note of the un-ironic use of the word “rescue” in this context:

At least 11 woman inmates…[who] were trafficked to Mumbai…[then] rescued and brought to [a destitute] home [escaped on New Year’s Eve]…West Bengal Minister for Women and Child Development…Sabitri Mitra denied any lapse of security at the home…”Inmates…have a tendency to escape…They have been trying to escape ever since they were brought here…”

We Told You So

As I predicted they would, members of the mainstream media are slowly beginning to wake up:

The situation was dire, police warned.  The City of Atlanta was under siege by human traffickers.  Some 1,000 Asian women and girls ages 13 to 25 were being “forced to prostitute themselves” in the city…To free them, police forged ahead with a $600,000 task force.  Had agency leaders questioned the estimate, they would have found it defied common sense.  If it were true, one in eight of the city’s Asians would have been sex slaves…it’s little wonder that the program had such poor results that it drew scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Justice.  An initial report said Atlanta police had found more than 200 victims, but auditors could only confirm four…

Instead of quoting Polaris Project, Melissa Farley and the other usual suspects, this reporter went to “trafficking” skeptics Ronald Weitzer, Elzbieta Gozdziak, Charles Grassley and Meredith Dank.  And while he still buys into the cops’ convoluted paradigm (for example, “Girls confuse investigators by calling pimps their boyfriends” instead of recognizing that the so-called “pimps” are their boyfriends), he also recognizes that Atlanta is the norm, not an exception: “Los Angeles…identified 49 victims and…Washington, D.C., found 51.  Auditors confirmed none of them…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Flute of SandI received twoCrisis and Leviathan more Christmas presents this week; Krulac sent me Flute of Sand, and another  reader sent me Crisis and Leviathan.  Alas, the seller neglected to include a card or packing slip with the latter, so I have no idea who sent it; if it was anyone reading this, please let me know via email or in the comments.  Thanks very much to both of you!

First They Came for the Hookers…

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?  “Reality star Olivia Black has been fired from the cast of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars after…her…past on the soft-core site SuicideGirls.com was revealed in the National Enquirer

Imagination Pinned Down

In the process of reviewing a new book on hallucinations by the brilliant Dr. Oliver Sacks, Michael Roth shows just how easily false memories are formed:

As a young professor, I traveled to Vienna…and…[visited] Freud’s old apartment and office, which had been converted to a museum.  One rang a doorbell to be admitted, and I was shocked when the museum attendant greeted me by name…in German, calling me “Professor Doktor Roth” — or so I thought.  My wife was right beside me, and she later told me that nothing of the kind had happened.  The museum employee had merely told me the price of admission…I realized that what I’d heard so clearly was probably an auditory hallucination.  I so very much wanted to be recognized in the house of Freud that I’d perceived something that wasn’t there at all…our brains call up simulated realities that are almost indistinguishable from normal perceptions…[and construct] a world that nobody else can see, hear or touch…

Monica Foster has a website dedicated to outing and shaming sex workers, but was recently discovered to have placed this escort ad.  Do as I say, not as I do?

Ex-porn actress Monica Foster outs sex workers on her website, yet she recently placed this escort ad.

Wholesale Hypocrisy (TW3 #25)

Prosecutors never hesitate to appeal when there’s political coin to be made at others’ expense:  “The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to take up [the] case [of] ‘Southwest Companions,’ linked to former University of New Mexico president F. Chris Garcia and retired Fairleigh Dickinson University physics professor David C. Flory…prosecutors [appealed after]…District Judge Stan Whitaker found that an online message board is not a house of prostitution under state law…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #26)

Unsurprisingly, the woman who thinks other women must be “protected” from free will also believes free speech to be “dangerous”:  “France’s women’s rights minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem… [demands] that Twitter help the French government criminalize ideas it dislikes…by [installing] ‘alerts and security measures’ to prevent tweets which French officials deem hateful…

The Widening Gyre

New York’s new video helpfully explains that the law doesn’t say what it says, but does require cabbies to magically divine whether a woman is “helpless”:

…Taxi officials yesterday released an anti-sex-trafficking video — mandatory viewing for all cabbies — that explains when it is and is not OK to transport a working girl.  Picking up street walkers is fine, but driving helpless women around for pimps is not…The nine-minute video was created after the City Council approved an anti-sex-trafficking bill…and…prostitutes worried that the measure meant that cabbies would be too scared to pick them up…“Suspecting or knowing that someone is a prostitute does not give you the right to refuse that person a ride,” the video says…

Red Umbrella FundShift in the Wind

This is incredibly good news:

“Save us from saviours” is the piercing refrain of a growing human rights movement demanding that sex workers be recognised as more than victims to be rescued…”Sex workers are discriminated against and their human rights unrecognised around the world, even where sex work isn’t illegal,” says Nadia van der Linde, co-ordinator of the Red Umbrella Fund, the first global grant-making mechanism set up to give sex workers more control of projects that directly concern them…The fund, which was launched in April 2012…will announce this month who will receive its first grants…Embracing a philosophy of “nothing for us without us”, the innovative fund is governed by sex workers, who sit alongside donor representatives on the committees that oversee and manage its work…

Hooker Humor (TW3 #31)

Miranda Kane, the escort turned stand-up comedienne, has written a new piece on “Selling Comedy vs. Selling Sex” which compares preparation, advertising, reviews and much more:  “I get asked a lot about my security.  In 7 years of escorting, I was never threatened, robbed, or found myself in any danger.  In 7 months of comedy, I had two iphones nicked from my bag when I was on stage, venues and promoters not paying my pitiful fee, and several parking tickets…

That Old Black Magic

Spain’s Interior Ministry says police have arrested 17 people on suspicion of smuggling Nigerian women into Spain and forcing them into prostitution using threats including claims they would cast Voodoo spells on them if they didn’t comply…around 10 women had been brought into the country illegally using a small boat…

Little Boxes (TW3 #40)

Rebecca Bernardo…posted a video on YouTube…[in which]…she…announces…”Hi, my name is Rebecca.  I’m here to auction off my virginity”…she made the offer because she was desperate to help her ailing mother.  She heard about Catarina Migliorini, a Brazilian woman who reportedly sold her virginity for $780,000…Migliorini has reportedly yet to finalize the deal and receive the money…[but] has received widespread publicity and modeling contracts — including a spread in Brazil’s version of Playboy…”I made up my mind right after my 18th birthday…when my mother suffered a stroke”…[which] left her…bed-ridden, unable to feed herself or go to the bathroom alone.  Bernardo said she looked for jobs…but…the pay was minimal…A Brazilian TV network offered to pay for her mother’s medical expenses if Bernardo called off the auction.  While she initially accepted…during a television interview, she later rejected it because the network would not pay for a house in a different town where she could “start a new life”…

CNN doubts the girl because she’d rather do a few hours of work than sign an exclusive (and probably sleazy) agreement with a TV network, which goes to show how perverse and dishonest CNN is on the subject of sex.

With Friends Like These…

Radio Netherlands recently published an article called “China Can’t Duck the Issue of Prostitution” which correctly and concisely demolished every model of prostitution law except decriminalization, including the Dutch model; it even recognizes that a prostitute is no different from an economically dependent wife.  However, the argument then bizarrely self-destructs in the conclusion:

…Free and consensual sexual relationships are obviously the ideal, but in reality there are many paid and involuntary sexual relationships between the sexes…if people choose to have an immoral lifestyle, they should not be punished by the law, regardless of how morally wrong they might be…The only effective means to curb…prostitution is…to make [it] socially unacceptable…

The Public Eye (TW3 #49)

As Kristen di Angelo expressed it, “This is just how it is… but it shouldn’t be”.  One of the women who appeared in the film American Courtesans went to the police after being terrified by an abusive stalker; they told her they could do nothing, but instead subjected her to a sting in which five cops in riot gear trashed her home and robbed her.  Because obviously an escort who primarily works with the disabled is a dangerous criminal, but a possibly-deranged stalker is just a good citizen doing his civic duty.

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #52)

Though the Burmese government’s anti-sex work policies mimic those of Washington, Burmese journalists are not content to parrot those policies as their American counterparts do:

…Over 10,000 prostitutes…work in Rangoon, mainly in informal settings such as karaoke bars, nightclubs and guesthouses…they are among the most vulnerable citizens in Burma, facing widespread discrimination and abuse, often at the hands of authorities…Those who refuse or are unable to bribe the police face arrest and incarceration, sometimes in so-called “rehabilitation centres” intended to reform immoral behaviour…rape and sexual assault are a daily occurrence…police often use condoms as evidence of prostitution, even though the government formally banned the practice in 2011.  Unsurprisingly, Burma has one of the highest HIV rates in Asia, with as many as one in three sex workers infected.  Campaigners on HIV prevention have long called for harm reduction strategies to replace prohibitionist measures…But…some key actors are lagging behind.  The US government, which recently earmarked $170 million in development aid to Burma, continues to enforce its so-called “anti-prostitution” pledge…It means that any organisations that refuse to condemn sex work – even though they often have the best access to vulnerable persons – are systematically excluded…

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The truth is always easy to write.  –  Chi Mgbako

Damned If You Don’t

Because “prostitution” is defined purely by a motive, charges depend solely on the statements of cops and are often directed against any convenient victim:

…Guillermo Cuadra says…an apparent prostitute asked him, “Do you want a fuck?” as he was stopped at a traffic light [in Miami.  He said “no” but she signaled another cop anyway]…and…Cuadra…was…ordered into a motel parking lot where…cops pulled him out of the car, pushed his face into gravel, stepped on him and handcuffed him, then…[broke his] left upper arm, [tore] his shoulder ligament and [caused] nerve damage to his elbow and hand…[when] Cuadra [complained about his arm one of them]…responded, “Fuck you…”  Though he had just $3 in cash on him…the city falsely charged him with “solicitation of prostitution, allegedly offering the undercover police officer $60″…

The charges were later dropped, and Cuadra is suing.  If you’re wondering why the cops were so stupid as to claim he offered $60 when he only had $3, it’s because “police reports” are just boilerplate, with the details written long before the actual “sting”.  See also “Zimbabwe” below.

Updates

An Enormous Big Nothing

Reader Casey Nelson shared this story of his own experience as the target of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

…I’m 50+ years old, white, a businessman and have lived in Cambodia for more than 18 years.  I’m married to an Asian woman…and have two beautiful children – a 9 year old girl and 7 year old boy…though they are not distinctly Asian, they are darker than me and not 100% European in appearance…[one Sunday while on an outing] I noticed a woman…taking photos…She held up her camera, pointed at it and said…“Photo you, internet, you pedo…for police,” in a distinctly Italian accent.  I said something like “These are my children.”  She just shook her head and started to raise her camera again.  I said, “You want police?…I’ll call police”…her mind [was] probably…twisted by the constant stream of sensational, repetitive and often wildly-overstated stories of western pedophiles and abused children in Cambodia.  And not only by the western press but by NGOs that profit from it and feed the beast with exaggerated stats and a constant stream of rehashed horrors stories that keep the funds flowing…I figure that when my photo turns up on some Italian website as another pedophile operating…in Cambodia, it will also include a story of my powerful police connections that were on their way to protect me and how she had to flee for her life…

There’s a lot more; I urge you to read it in its entirety as yet another example of the fallout from moral panics.

Convenient and Inconvenient Victims

An excellent essay on victimhood from law professor Chi Mgbako:

When many people think of typical victims of human rights abuse, they often conjure up stereotypical images of passive and powerless people…waiting to be saved.  The biases underlying these notions can lead some human rights advocates to favor  “perfect victims” in advocacy and publicity campaigns, and…to disregard injustices faced by other marginalized individuals who may inspire more ambivalent and complicated responses from the public.  The privileging of “perfect victimhood” is misguided because all people have human rights regardless of subjective determinations of “worthiness”…the danger of the…construct is illustrated by two examples:  Anti-prostitution advocates who privilege abuses experienced by victims of trafficking over violence faced by those voluntarily involved in adult sex work; and society’s failure to view economically disenfranchised black men as victims of the devastating ‘war on drugs’…

For another excellent essay on human rights being independent of “worthiness”, consult Ken White’s “Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It”.

A Moral Cancer

The adult obsession with adolescent oral sex isn’t at all creepy or perverse:  “The popular notion that teenagers …are experimenting with oral sex en masse is being challenged by new data…[which shows they’re] about as likely to engage in oral sex before intercourse as they are to have intercourse first…

May Q & A

Another view of the issues that can arise when a whore falls in love and tries to give up harlotry in order to be faithful to her man, courtesy of Cathryn Berarovich writing in The Gloss.

Against Their Will

As many as 45 sex workers…[escaped from a social institution in Jakarta and]…are currently being pursued by the police…30 [visitors] …were turned away at the entrance gate by 3 guards because it was not visiting hours yet…[then broke in and] urged the inhabitants to escape with them…one of the [intruders]…who was suspected [of being] the sex workers’ pimp was arrested…those social institution inhabitants would undergo guidance in terms of social, mental, physical, and other skills…

Obviously, they were forced to escape by the “pimp”; clearly they couldn’t have wanted to flee a brainwashing attempt be trafficked away from their rescuers of their own free will.

Blackball

I’ve explained how escort services blackball bad customers, and now the UK is introducing a nationwide plan to do the same. But Douglas Fox of Harlot’s Parlour has some reservations:

…Although in this “article” it is claimed that local sex work projects have operated ugly mug schemes for twenty years, real sex workers…have operated them for as long as there have been sex workers…in theory [the plan] should work nationally…however…[it] relies on local [outreach] projects…who…work only with…street workers…[and] have little or no contact with the vast majority of sex workers…The scheme also relies heavily upon the co operation of the police.  Sex workers do not trust the police, with very good reason…Although the new…scheme promises that sex workers can report crimes anonymously through their local project, the real advancement would be if sex workers were able to report crimes against them…directly, with out fear of arrest or harassment.  One is tempted to suggest that the first ugly mug listed…should be the police themselves…


Presents, Presents, Presents!

Thanks so very much to Chester Brown for sending me a copy of his graphic memoir Paying For It.  And as if the gift itself were not cool enough, he autographed it AND drew a cartoon just for me on the title page!  I’ll tell you about the book in an upcoming column, probably around mid-September.

They Still Don’t Get It

Another stenographer who fancies herself a journalist presents yet another collection of prohibitionist myths vomited out by cops.  This one’s especially fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way:

…21 suspected prostitutes [were] arrested during a two-day sting by the regional Street Enforcement Team…Federal grant money was used [because]…the focus was finding underage prostitutes and their pimps.  None were found…prostitution activity in the community …is a mix of local women desperate for money…and an emerging trend of younger Northern California women who work for pimps and target Reno, especially during special events…“Before, it would be older, local women just trying to get a motel room and a rock to smoke,” said [Sgt. Ron] Chalmers…“Now they are younger, from Sacramento being run by their pimps.  We are trying to help these women, and provide victim services,” he said…

This one has it all:  the “gypsy whores” myth, conflation of escorting and streetwalking, internet demonization, “trafficking” mythology, agency denial, a demonstration of the flaws of legalization (the stings were in Reno, Nevada, not far from legal brothels), illegal diversion of federal funds, whore as addict, victim and nuisance all at once, “rescue” as an excuse for criminalization and even Maslow’s Hammer!

Zimbabwe

Here’s a hint, ladies:  if you want this to stop, you need to campaign for decriminalization because whores look just like other women:

Hundreds of Zimbabwean women are protesting in Harare against a spree of arbitrary arrests by local police…[who] are detaining any women they see out after dark for soliciting…police said they have only been arresting commercial sex workers.  Human rights groups, however, claimed hundreds of women have been arrested every week…Inspector Sabau said the crackdown…would continue as long the constitution prohibits prostitution…

Childish Things

Dr. Paul Maginn of the University of Western Australia says it’s time for people to get over their childish attitudes toward sex work:

…the stereotypical image of a sex worker…is a woman forced to work on darkened streets…to feed her drug habit and pay her pimp…[but] the world of sex work is much more complex…Some work…out of economic necessity.  But don’t we all work to pay the bills?  Some people are coerced or part of forced trafficking.  However…research suggests the proportion of these…is very low…Yet we tend to let our minds be overtaken by…those who seek to initiate moral panics about sex work…and other forms of so-called ‘abnormal’ sexual practices, such as homosexuality …Effective policy is based on hard evidence, not media stereotypes or moralistic posturing by politicians or religious groups…

Metaupdates

A Tale That Grew in the Telling in October Updates (Part Three)

This article on a Brooklyn “john school” is like many others CNN has published since it turned completely yellow, but it’s interesting in three respects:  first, that the title calls it a “trafficking class”; second, that it states ordinary men cannot tell adult women from prepubescent children; and third, that they’ve once again lowered the “average age of entry”:

…Rhonnie Jaus, the chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau, said the class attempts to sensitize and educate the men on the dangers of prostitution to both the John and the prostitute.  “You think you’re having sex with an adult, and it…could be…a trafficked child brought from China…”  [Assistant DA Grace] Brainard emphasized that most girls enter prostitution between the ages of 11 and 14…

If the average prostitute starts at 12.5, that means there are two girls out there who started at age two to balance my entry at 33.  Clearly, basic arithmetic is not a requirement for a government position in Brooklyn.

Shifting the Blame in TW3 (#12)

Has anyone else noticed how the search for the Long Island Killer ground to a halt as soon as they recognized he was probably a cop?

…There are arguably lots of reasons why Suffolk County investigators have had a difficult time tracking down the so-called Long Island Serial Killer (or killers, there is much debate) including the condition and age of the bodies…and the difficulty of getting sex workers and their johns to work with active investigations.  But the Post today argues that at least part of the blame can be placed on the local PD not wanting to give up any PR glory to the Feds:  “Despite repeated signals by the agency that it was ready and eager to deploy units, Suffolk brass have ignored the FBI in an effort to retain control of the high-profile case”…

Chimeric phrase of the week: “sex workers and their johns.”  Kind of like “African-Americans and honkies.”

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea in TW3 (#29)

Indian sex workers again demonstrate their awesomeness:

The Board of All India Network of Sex Workers has taken exception to an affidavit filed by Ministry of Women and Child Development… “Sex workers expressed strong reaction about the affidavit filed by the Ministry of WCD before the Supreme Court that sex workers are devoid of dignity and that all sex workers should be rehabilitated by all means,” AINSW said in a statement…”Human dignity cannot be robbed by the state based on occupation, caste, creed or economics”…

This Week in 2011

“Blackball” (noted above) was followed by an example of prohibitionist cockroaches fleeing from light, a survey of my “Top Ten” columns at that time, a two-part examination of whores who think they aren’t and short articles on anti-streetwalker laws, diseased amateurs, selective partisan blindness, and a small sex worker victory against Google, plus cops harassing strippers while ignoring serial killers, the absence of “trafficking” in New Zealand and ignorant sexologists.

This Week in 2010

My first Friday the 13th, film review and miscellanea columns, escort service callers and client behaviors that drove me up the wall, “The Clipboard Effect” and “The Empress Theodora”.

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Once victim, always victim—that’s the law! –  Thomas Hardy

The concept of a victimless crime is a theoretical absurdity; to be sure there are thousands of such crimes on the law-books of every jurisdiction in the world, but generally governments defeat arguments against such laws by defining the victim as some vague collective entity such as “the crown”, “the state”, “the peace” or my personal favorite, “public decency”.  But since the Cult of Victimhood has become supreme in the United States (and to a lesser extent other Western countries) it has become less popular to define such entities as the victims; more often nowadays they are replaced with less vague (though equally collective) entities such as “children”, “women”, various minorities, etc.  In my column of January 9th we talked about the shift from blaming prostitutes for leading innocent men astray to the Swedish Model’s blaming of men for exploiting poor helpless prostitutes; we pointed out that the two ideas are both equally absurd because both presume one malevolent criminal and one helpless victim when in actuality prostitution is a private arrangement in which no government has any legitimate interest.  The attempt to define any phenomenon in inapplicable terms always creates such absurdities; if a mad dictator established a law that all moving entities on a farm are to be considered animals, how would you define tractors, irrigation booms and hay-balers?  Incorrect assumptions inevitably engender nonsensical classification.

In general, governments love the Cult of Victimhood because it trains the sheeple to think of themselves as faceless members of some docile herd which can expect nothing but slaughter.  This not only makes them more tractable, it also gives individual demagogues ready-made campaign rhetoric.  All a politician need do is find a herd he feels comfortable with (women, homosexuals, ethnic minorities, child cultists, religious fundamentalists, the poor, etc), adopt their rhetoric wholesale, and promise them whatever it is they want to hear.  Once he gets in power he can then push for cosmetic changes which convince his followers he’s on “their side” but actually change nothing, and he’s in business for life.  But sometimes, reality gets in the way and such a politician’s promises of action are revealed as nothing but sand castles.  What happens then?  If you are a politician who has promised something which is literally impossible to deliver due to economics (“a chicken in every pot”), human nature (“an end to all prejudice against gay people”) or the physical laws of the universe (“protection of all citizens from natural disasters”), you might succeed in lying your way through an entire career but then again, you might not.  Sooner or later the pigeons will come home to roost, and if you’re still above ground when they do, how can you keep them from pooping all over your roof?

The answer, of course, is to lie some more.  But when an elephant has made itself at home in one’s parlor, no mere garden-variety lie will do; it’s time for a really BIG lie.  One classic dodge in such circumstances is to blame some unpopular “them” (such as communists, Jews, “illegal aliens”, etc) for the problems and then declare war on that group.  If the opposing political party has recently made some high-profile blunder they are natural scapegoats, but the best choice for this strategy is a group which by its very nature is secret (or better yet, nonexistent) so that one can accuse anyone who opposes the crusade as being a member of it.  The problem with this strategy is that pedophiles and terrorists can only be blamed for so much; not even the stupidest voter is going to believe that Satanists are responsible for every mugging.  So when politicians are confronted with a problem too large to be ignored and too widespread to be blamed on any one group, they resort to the biggest lie of all: redefinition.

In the 1980s the US Congress recognized that there simply wasn’t enough money to support the vast number of mental patients under state care any longer.  So government-employed and government-subsidized psychologists were pressured to invent the new and improved doctrine of “de-institutionalization”; in other words the government paid them to lie and say it was better for mental patients to be let loose on the streets than to be confined in state institutions.  So they were released, and the enormous population of “mental patients” was redefined practically overnight as “homeless people”.  The insoluble federal government problem was thus redefined as a local social problem, and Pilate declared his hands clean.  Similarly, “broken homes” were considered a major problem in the ‘60s and ‘70s, so we just redefined them as “single-parent homes” and declared them to be a good thing.  Presto!  The problem disappears.  Only like a stage magician making some large thing vanish, it’s really still there; you just can’t see it any more.

As I said at the beginning of today’s column, the government sometimes finds it convenient to define people as victims who are not so as to justify the enforcement of laws against consensual crimes.  But sometimes, it does the opposite; when faced with potential embarrassment over the inability to decrease crime rates, a government may define crime victims as not being victims at all.  While some governments and agencies are busy defining voluntary adult prostitutes as a kind of rape victim, other governments and agencies have been equally busy defining rape victims as voluntary participants in sex.  It has become clear that police departments in cities all over the United States, including but by no means limited to Baltimore, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, St. Louis, St. Paul and Virginia Beach, routinely classify rape reports as “unfounded” after cops pressure women to recant via intimidation, accusations of lying and threats to “investigate” every aspect of the victim’s personal lives.  Some of this behavior may be due to misogyny, good ol’ boy attitudes or just plain epidemic laziness, but most of it seems to be motivated by pressure from above to make it seem as though the police are actually doing their jobs (“see, the rape rates have decreased; vote for me!”)

Far be it from a silly whore to tell these heroic crime-fighting professionals how to do their jobs, but I do have one teensy suggestion:  if police departments in all these cities would reassign their vice squads to rape duty, and spend the money they waste on “stings” to investigate rapes instead, they might be able to REALLY reduce the rape rate instead of pretending to.  I realize protecting women probably isn’t as much fun for these big heroes as victimizing them, but maybe it’s time to start requiring cops to produce results for their pay like everybody else.

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