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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Did you see the way its collar flew up into the air when I blew its head off?  It was awesome!  -  Brice Woolly

Another rather quiet week, which is still good because I was even busier than I was last week!  The epigram, the first video and the two links above it were all provided by Radley Balko; the second video by Michael Whiteacre; and the links between the two by Nun Ya (“megalomania” & “machete”), Clarissa (“obese”), Mancrack (“Mr. Rogers”), and Popehat (“together”).

From the Archives

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It’s a little known fact that as Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the King’s horse during the 1913 Derby her last words were, “I hope that sometime in the next 100 years, someone introduces a product that makes a woman’s labia pinker.  That’s really what I’m doing all this for.”  -  Jake

If you live in the United States and noticed that you got the notification for this post an hour later than usual, it’s because starting today by government decree your clocks will lie to you about the time until early November.  Everyone else in the world should continue getting the notice at the same time until your clocks either start or stop lying to you (depending on what hemisphere you’re in) sometime in the next few weeks.  If you’re outside the US and the time was wrong anyhow, it undoubtedly has something to do with however WordPress has the change set up.  Got it?  I honestly wish we’d dispense with the unholy mess, which costs the US roughly $2 billion per year (and even more since Congress extended it in 2007, putting us out of synch with Europe and Asia).  Nor does that count the cost in lives and property damage from the increased number of accidents on the Monday following the change, especially in the spring.  Anyhow, in keeping with the theme of this rant I present “Destino”, a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali which was mostly done in 1946, then shelved and never finished until 2003.  It’s very strange and very beautiful, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  The second video is the first American television commercial for cannabis, but almost certainly not the last; it was contributed by Rick Horowitz.  The links down to the first video are a mixed bag; Lenore Skenazy gave us “never call”, “rules” and “kangaroo”; Michael Whiteacre gave us “birthday party”, Radley Balko contributed “mother”, and I found “kayaking” and “masochism” myself.  Those between the videos were provided by Radley, my cat, ManCrack, ClarissaKate Zen, Dean Clark, Kevin Wilson, and EconJeff (in that order).

From the Archives

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Heavens to Murgatroyd, the sounds, like trumpets calling the demons back to Hell…the stench, like 1000 rotten corpses vomited.  -  C. Torok

Another good week for links, and as all too often happens far too many of them are various excesses of the police state; one wonders how far this will have to go before the jellyfish who make up the majority of Americans and Europeans will wake up and put a halt to it.  Much, much farther, I’d imagine, well into roving death-squad territory.  This week’s top contributor was Radley Balko  (now ensconced at the Washington Post) with everything down to the first video, which was suggested by my cat.  The second video is something quite unusual, an unreleased 1984 movie by Tom Schiller (of Saturday Night Live fame) starring a number of big Hollywood names (including SNL alumni Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd).  It comes to us courtesy of Jesse Walker, who describes it as “a dreamlike tale set in a world where the Port Authority has seized dictatorial powers in Manhattan, a benevolent conspiracy of tramps guides people’s destinies from a hidden base beneath New York, and the U.S. government first went to the moon in 1953…it seems to take place in the entire 20th century at once.”  Jesse also contributed “comics” and “nose”, and the rest of the links were provided by  Kevin Wilson (“bears” and “license”), Mistress Matisse (“proles”), Jack Shafer  (“gothic”), RMV (“castration”), Jason Kuznicki (“NSA” and “hysteria”), Nun Ya  (“jaywalking”), Scott Greenfield (“Amazon”), Cop Block (“cigarette”), Walter Olson (“subscriber”), and Grace (“murders”).

From the Archives

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You should view each interaction with the cops with an extreme caution bordering on paranoia, as you would handle a dangerous wild animal.
-  Ken White

Lots and lots of links this week, but a very small average per contributor; even the leader, Radley Balko, had only three (counting the first video, which is extremely funny and well worth ten minutes of your time).  The second video was mentioned by Cliterati back before Christmas, but if North America gets another severe cold snap maybe this will help.  The links between the two videos were provided by Jemima (“Beowulf”), Clarkhat (“four”), Cthulhuchick  (“tased”), Jesse Walker (“journalism”), Walter Olson (“chefs”), Aspasia  (“atheists”), Nun Ya (“headline”), Laura Lee (“lede”), Grace (“child support”),  Mike Siegel (“Hell” & “Barbie”), Mistress Matisse (“link”), Popehat (“texting”),  Jason Kuznicki (“prohibitionists”), Lucy Steigerwald (“cage”), Korhomme (“never call cops”), and Jasper Gregory (“Nazi”).

From the Archives

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One of my boyfriends once said something like, “If you’re going to shoot a man, you at least ought to have the decency to look him in the eye when you do it.”  This essay is presented in that spirit; anyone who supports inflicting harm on someone should at least have the guts to look upon the effects of his handiwork.

solitary confinementI am a registered sex offender.  I’ve been so for over 10 years, the result of a conviction for possession of child pornography; I served a prison term and have been out for a number of years now.  I’ve been friends with Maggie for nearly 2 years now and she has been very supportive; I wish there were more people like her in this world but, alas, such a Utopia is impossible.  I’d like to thank her for giving me a chance to talk about my life; I’m not here to defend my actions or say that my punishment was undeserved.  I accept responsibility for what I did and will live with the consequences for the rest of my life, as the state will never let me forget.  I’m just here to tell in plain words what my life has been like since it ended.

Originally I had a short prison sentence followed by a lengthy probationary period, but when I was out about a month when I got busted for solicitation for prostitution.  I was feeling despondent and wanted some companionship (from a GROWN WOMAN mind you), but the state needed to prove it was tough by getting lonely men off the street.  So I went back to prison, but when I was released the second time I only had the “regular” RSO restrictions.  Upon release, I went first to a halfway house where I stayed in a garage room with 3 other guys; that sounds bad, but there was a worse one across the street with 15 guys living in one tiny house.  Even so, I couldn’t stand it for long, so I packed up my crap and moved back in with my mother and her alcoholic husband, who has abused us both for the last 15 years (mostly emotionally but sometimes physically).

Eventually I met a wonderful girl whom I fell in love with; I’ll call her “Annie”.  I disclosed my toxic past to her and she managed to look past it to give me a fair chance.  But her landlord was not so understanding; though it was perfectly legal for me to live there, within a week she got a notice saying they would start eviction proceedings if I didn’t move out (despite the fact that they rented to gang members and drug dealers).  So once again, I was forced to move back home.  When Annie’s lease was up she moved into my mother’s house to be with me, but that didn’t last long because my stepfather is a poison pill.  So we moved again, this time into a friend’s apartment where she and I shared a tiny bedroom with our two dogs.  Thankfully, we soon found a condo that was owned by a private individual rather than a corporation, and she didn’t mind renting to me.  That was probably the best 2 years of my life since getting out, but even that had to end as I cannot hold onto anything concrete.

For one thing, I’ve not held a steady job for over 10 years.  At first I did some temp work, but that dried up after they ran a background check on me for a specific job; after that I couldn’t find work anywhere.  I tried to go to work doing landscaping, but I’ve had knee problems for almost my entire life and the pain at the end of the day was so great I couldn’t even walk.  My mother couldn’t help, and my father won’t even return my calls or emails.  So I was being supported by my girlfriend, who in turn was being supported by her parents; unfortunately, her father became chronically ill so she returned to her home state to take care of him, and I had to move back in with my mother.  I’m still good friends with her but I miss her, our condo and our pets dreadfully.

That was nearly three years ago, and since then I’ve become increasingly isolated from society for obvious reasons.  For example, once Annie and I made friends with another couple; we had them over for dinner and a small Christmas party, and all seemed to be going well until the wife decided to see if she knew any sex offenders.  Instead of talking with me about this, they and everyone they knew decided to blackball me.  I’ve not made new friends since, save for Maggie and a few other open minded folks that nevertheless live thousands of miles away.  My relationship with my mother is tenuous at best and she, well, she’s still married to a drunk.

police lights at houseOne time a 4 year old autistic boy went missing in our neighborhood, and the sheriff’s office went all in on the search.  When I heard a reporter ask them on TV, “Is it possible the child was abducted?” I knew shit was coming my way; sure enough, a few hours later there’s a knock at the door.  Two deputies wanted to search the place without a warrant; I knew damn well that if I held out for one I could expect all sorts of fun visits in the future, so I let them in.  It turned out that the boy had drowned in a retention pool, but of course they didn’t think of something like that until after they harassed me.  I have nightmares about my incarceration, about my childhood home turning into a prison.  I’ve tried to commit suicide, but I’m bad at anatomy; all I have as a result of that are scars around the major veins.  And deep down I know it would crush my mother if I died that way, even after everything that’s happened.  I do secretly wish for my stepfather to die, as he too is unemployed and is much more of a financial and emotional drain on my mother than I am.

I have a daughter whom I’ve never met, from a failed relationship that ended before my initial arrest, and though I’d like a family of my own I know it’s quite impossible.  Aside from the economic realities, children of RSOs are often teased mercilessly by their peers and, as a result, develop depression and anxiety.  The state does nothing to protect the children of RSOs, and in some cases puts them in harm’s way; how could I willingly inflict that kind of life on a child?  People imagine that all RSOs are a danger to kids, but I’ve never abused any kid nor do I have any sort of predilection to do so.  I find child abuse abhorrent; while some may think that statement is at odds with my conviction, it happens to be the truth.  I’ve met several RSOs whose “victims” are now their wives and they have kids together; why should the state keep tabs on them and want to harass their wives and children?  I know there are some pretty bad guys out there and I don’t think there are any easy answers as to what to do with them, but I do know that bloating the registry with people who aren’t dangerous to anyone is probably a bad idea.  So there you have it; that’s my story, at least so far.  I don’t know it will end, or how much time I have left on this earth.  And I don’t know if I’ll ever get out of this torture alive, or if I’ll be gunned down by some psycho who thinks he’s serving some greater good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Every decision I’ve ever made, including the decision to be a prostitute, is linked to a desire to be free.  -  Gabriela Leite

R.I.P. Gabriela Leite

Gabriela LeiteSex worker rights activist Gabriela Leite died of cancer on October 10th at the age of 62.  She organized the first Brazilian whores’ convention in 1987, then in 1992 founded a rights NGO named Davida; in 2010 she ran for the Brazilian congress (as depicted in the documentary A Kiss for Gabriela).  Though she lost the election she won tremendous respect, and a bill to eliminate the contradictory provisions in Brazilian prostitution law was recently named in her honor.  She was one of the greats, and will be sorely missed in the sex worker rights community.

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Police in Florida have begun…recording license plate information from cars that drive through areas frequented by sex workers and sending a letter to that individual’s home…[including] a close-up image of the license plate and…reminders about the potential for sexually transmitted diseases…Authorities speaking to the media seemed to assume that someone’s mere presence near illegal activity presumes their guilt…

An Educated Idiot

Charlotte Shane’s scathing review of Sudhir Venkatesh’s new book Floating City levels many of the same criticisms I and others have already made against the duplicitous sociologist (such as his total ignorance of the history of sex work, his dreadfully-low “estimates” of our income, etc).  But it also contains many telling observations about his character flaws:

…when one of his subjects is assaulted, and her co-worker asks that he not report it:  “I stood there, frustrated…What should I do?  Go along with them or call the damn police like a normal person?  I didn’t want to get sucked into their criminal value structure and end up doing the wrong thing.”  This alarming response encapsulates…[his] problem.  The desire to avoid arrest after suffering a brutal assault is a sensible one…but Venkatesh can’t wrap his head around it…he is “normal” and they are deviants…his responses are the right ones and theirs are not…Venkatesh clings to the notion that sex work is inherently, unavoidably risky, regardless of the legal and cultural circumstances…when the issue of…legalization…is raised, it’s only to dismiss it…

Not An Addiction (May Updates)rat with Oreos

Crypto-moralists are once again trying to pretend that fatty foods are addictive, but as Jacob Sullum points out:

…the study’s findings could just as truthfully be summarized… “Research Shows That Heroin and Cocaine Are No More Addictive Than Oreos.”  Putting it that way would have raised some interesting questions about the purportedly irresistible power of these drugs, which supposedly justifies using force to stop people from consuming them.  But the researchers are not interested in casting doubt on the empirical basis for the War on Drugs…they are trying to build an empirical basis for the War on Fat…if the neurological effects of Oreos make them impossible to resist, how is it that most people manage to resist them, consuming them in moderation or not at all?…

Dirty Amateurs

Whether the infection is biological or technological, it’s always the same:

…Symantec…found…that hackers…target…religious sites at a much higher rate:  “…religious and ideological sites…have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites.  We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners…have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business”…

Dominating the News

Ex-vice madam Natalie Rowe has had her home raided by police days before she will make new claims about her relationship with Chancellor George Osborne…12…officers…with a battering ram burst into her London flat…[at] dawn…claiming they were acting on a tip-off…no drugs were found in the two-hour search…“WHY did one officer involved in the raid ask me whether I was about to publish my memoirs and WHY did a police inspector tell me I’d be opening a ‘whole can of worms’ if I complained?”…

Meanwhile, in Japan, “Yuka Fujisawa was arrested…for…sticking needles in gentlemen’s genitals for money…Fujisawa’s ‘needle play’ was performed on consenting adults, so her arrest is purely for the act of drawing blood without a medical license…

Elephant in the Parlor

Beleaguered former…MLA Mike Allen has received a rare note of support…from the Alberta Sex Workers.  Mr. Allen was one of 13 men caught in a St. Paul, Minnesota-area sting in July…He…could face up to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine.  “Alberta sex workers wish to assure MLA Mike Allen…that his activities…would be lawful, private and welcome in Alberta…sex workers in Mr. Allen’s riding…want him to continue as their MLA.  We feel he made a mistake taking his business out of Alberta to puritan…Minnesota, but sex workers in his constituency are still pleased to have an MLA who values the services they offer”…Christian Adamek

Moloch

How many more kids have to be sacrificed on this loathsome altar?  “A popular 15-year-old student has committed suicide after he reportedly faced expulsion and being placed on the sex offenders’ register simply for streaking at a high school football  game.  Christian Adamek, from Huntsville, Alabama,  hanged himself on October 2, a week after he was arrested…

Full of Themselves (TW3 #4)

I hope this keeps happening, so pole dancers will be forced to stand with sex workers rather than pretending they’re different:  “…Swansea University [banned its]…Pole Fitness Society…[saying] ‘Pole fitness and pole dancing are a direct spin off from lap dancing…Everyone knows where it comes from…and that pole dancing is…specifically designed to sexually excite the watcher’…”  Swansea has a long history of pearl-clutching over sex work.

The Course of a Disease

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe has come up with a “tool kit” containing “information, ideas and resources…to help sex worker rights…organisations and activists…challenge…[the] Swedish model.”  You can view and download the tool kit and its associated worksheets here, or visit the ICRSE website to download one individual section at a time.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (TW3 #7)

This short interview with Dr. Heidi Hoefinger on her book Sex, Love and Money in Cambodia supports everything I always say about Asian bar girls, but the comments are illustrative of the deep state of denial in which “trafficking” fanatics exist:  among them are the claim that a woman who spent ten years living among her subjects is “naïve” and the astonishing assertion that literally 99.99% of whores are coerced.

Above the Law

A [California] Sheriff’s Department deputy…sexually assaulted a [woman] he…pulled over…[he offered to] let [her] go in exchange for sex…[but when she] declined …he [forced her anyway]…”  The unedited original is almost incomprehensible for all the “alleged” and “unknown male” and passive voice; it even describes forcible rape as “sexual contact occurred”.  And in Kentucky, “A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against…Sheriff Rick Clemons…‘I’m upset.  I’m very offended.  I’m actually shocked’, said Clemons…”  Cry me a fucking river.Rupert Everett

Stand-Up Guys

Rupert Everett is supporting a campaign against proposals…to criminalise sex workers’ clients.  The actor, who participated in sex work as a younger man is making a [TV] programme on the subject.  He has signed an open letter by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike…journalist Cary Gee and a whole range of activist groups…have all added their names too…Former New Zealand MP Tim Barnett, who sponsored the…Act which decriminalised prostitution, described the…way…[end demand] laws were used…“Half of those arrested were transgender sex workers who were identified as men”…

Greeks Bearing Gifts

The noisome fruit of the “mandatory prosecution” tree:

…In an incident back in April, Joel Darvell, 36, allegedly choked his wife while drunk, causing his son to tackle him…Darvell allegedly pistol-whipped his son and then fired a .45 caliber round into the wall of their home.  No injuries were sustained.  Darvell was charged with assault…but [his] wife and children…refused to testify…Judge Michael Evans…[had them] dragged away…[to] jail…where they were held in cuffs and shackles…John Hays, who is representing Darvell’s wife…said…“The prosecutor wants to put the defendant in prison for over 20 years, and (his family members) really do not want that”…After 48 hours…the 13-year-old girl…broke…and…agreed to testify against her father.  The son and mother…were made to agree…as well…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #28)

Everyday Whorephobia interviews Morgane Merteuil of STRASS about the especially-revolting French version of the Swedish model:

…The law also proposes to fight…[advertising] websites…all the help…[for exploited migrants] is conditional on stopping sexwork…[and] working with  an “agreed organization”; of course…sexworkers rights [groups] won’t be [among] them…if students do sexwork, it is because they don’t have the consciousness that this is “prostitution”; so the solution is to add lessons about the “objectification of the body” at school…

Schadenfreude (TW3 #43)Meas Ratha

Somaly Mam has been caught in yet another huge lie:

…in January 1998, Ms. Mam was propelled…into the international media spotlight largely owing to the harrowing on-camera testimony of the young Meas Ratha…[who supposedly had] been promised a job as a waitress in Phnom Penh, but wound up a captive in a brothel…Sixteen years [later]…Ms. Ratha—now 32 years old and married—said her testimony…was fabricated and scripted for her by Ms. Mam…Ratha…said that she did not want to cause trouble for Ms. Mam’s NGO, which had provided an education for her, but that she could no longer continue a lie that had followed her for half her life…the fabrication of Ms. Ratha’s sex slave story is only the latest incident of false information to emerge from Ms. Mam and her organizations…

And how exactly does Somaly Mam “help” sex workers?

…Estée Lauder…has opened the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon…providing survivors of sexual slavery and human trafficking with…education and vocational training…in high-touch beauty services in hair care, makeup application and nail treatments…

Well, I guess it’s better than putting them to work in her fashion industry sponsors’ sweatshops.

Us and Them

These abuses always start with stigmatized groups, but never stop there:

[UK] police are to get the power to restrict the freedom of anyone they suspect of being a sex offender, even if the person has never been convicted of a crime…This can include limiting internet use, stopping the person from being alone with a child under 16 and preventing travel abroad.  Anyone breaching the so-called Sexual Risk Order, which lasts for at least two years, could be jailed for up to five years…

Unmentionables

WH Smith shut down its website…after it was revealed that a search for the term “daddy” brought up hardcore pornographic ebooks featuring bondage and humiliation alongside stories for children.  At least 60 pornographic ebooks…could also be found on Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble…WH Smith apologised to customers and said the “explosion” of self-publishing had left book retailers exposed to pornographic content…

They weren’t “exposed” to shit; they just had a poor website design and are passing the buck.Jerry Brown masturbatory gesture

The Punitive Mindset (TW3 #337)

The governor of California pretends prison inmates don’t have sex with each other:

…Jerry Brown…vetoed a bill a that would have…required…condoms [to be] available in every California prison.  Supporters…argued that [this] would help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among inmates, who have higher rates of HIV/AIDS…Brown…noted that family visitors are already allowed to bring condoms for…overnight visits…

Policing for Profit (TW3 #341)

A money-making venture to lure…drug buyers into Sunrise [Florida] to purchase cocaine from police has been halted…Mayor Michael Ryan…lay blame…on the [newspaper story exposing the racket]…Ryan did not express concerns about…[the busts taking place] in such public locations as parking lots and family restaurants…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #341)

Another UN agency has reaffirmed…support of sex workers in response to Equality Now’s anti-sex worker campaign…This leaves Equality Now starkly on the fringes of the global women’s movement, as organisations as authoritative as UN Women…assert…that sex work is work, not trafficking.  The statement…also…[backs] safe workplaces – which come with decriminalisation – and the right to self-determination, including the right to stay in sex work…[this] precludes…the “Swedish model”…supported by Equality Now…which tries to drive sex workers from sex work (against their consent) through making it intolerably dangerous…

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I killed those men, robbed them as cold as ice.  And I’d do it again, too…I have hate crawling through my system…I am so sick of hearing this “she’s crazy” stuff…I’m trying to tell the truth.  I’m one who seriously hates human life and would kill again.  -  Aileen Wuornos

In my harlotographies, I’ve tried to cover as broad a range as possible: from the ancient to the recently-deceased, from streetwalkers to courtesans, from the noble to the self-centered, from the wise to the deranged and from the famous to the infamous.  Three years ago this month I presented short biographies of the victims of the first known serial killer, and today the first woman to be herself so labeled:  Aileen Carol Wuornos.

Aileen Wuornos as a childShe was born in Rochester, Michigan on February 29th, 1956 to 17-year-old Diane Wuornos, who had married Aileen’s father, Leo Pittman, less than two years before.  Aileen never met him; he was in prison when she was born, and her mother had already filed for divorce.  Pittman was a schizophrenic with a long history of violent behavior, and hanged himself in prison in 1969 while serving another sentence, this time for child molestation.  In January of 1960, Diane abandoned Aileen and her older brother Keith, leaving them with her parents Lauri and Britta Wuornos; they immediately adopted the children and for many years allowed them to believe they were their parents.  Unfortunately, they were just as bad as the real parents; Lauri sexually abused his granddaughter, and Britta was both physically abusive and an alcoholic.  Like many incest victims, Aileen became sexually precocious; she had sexual contact with boys at school in exchange for drugs, cigarettes and other things she wanted, and when she turned up pregnant at 14 she named Keith as the father.  As was typical in 1970 she was sent to a home for unwed mothers, and the baby was given up for adoption.  A few months later Britta died of alcohol-induced liver failure, and Lauri threw his granddaughter out soon afterward.  Though she and her brother were placed in foster homes, Aileen ran away almost immediately and lived in a patch of woods near her old neighborhood, supporting herself via prostitution.

But she did not stay there for long; by 16 she started hitchhiking around the Midwest, working mostly at truck stops, and was arrested for drunk driving in Colorado in May of 1974.  By the beginning of 1976 she had made it to Florida, where she was picked up while hitchhiking by Lewis Fell, the wealthy 69-year-old president of a yacht club.  He immediately fell in love with her and soon proposed; she accepted, and their marriage announcement even appeared on the local paper’s society page in May of 1976.  There the story might have ended had Aileen been merely the victim of a difficult life; as should be clear, however, mental and emotional instability ran deep on both sides of her family, and she was completely incapable of settling down to the comfortable situation of a trophy wife.  Instead, she insisted on drinking at bars and getting into fights; when she was jailed for attacking a bartender while on a trip home to Michigan (after her grandfather’s suicide), Fell came to his senses and had the marriage annulled.  She was arrested July 14th; her brother died of throat cancer three days later, and the annulment went through on the 21st.

Aileen blew through her brother’s $10,000 insurance policy in only a few months and returned to truck-stop prostitution, working her way back down to Florida.  But while she had been quite pretty in her teens, hard living and her volatile temper had faded that luster; it thus became increasingly difficult for her to make a living as a whore.  She was arrested for robbing a convenience store in May of 1981, and again for passing forged checks in May of 1984.  By 1986 she had just about hit bottom: she was arrested for car theft in January, then for attempted armed robbery of a client in June.  Soon after that, however, she met a hotel maid named Tyria Moore at a lesbian bar in Daytona Beach, and they moved in together; for a while Wuornos seems to have been happy in her way, and her earnings picked up enough for Moore to quit her job and let Wuornos support both of them.  But slowly, over the next several years, the chaos which followed Wuornos like a cloud returned and worsened.  In July of 1987, she got in a fight at a bar, then in March of 1988 with a bus driver.  And by the end of the following year, she had returned to where she was when she met Moore, and started robbing her clients…this time, killing them in the process.

Aileen WuornosThe particulars of the case are discussed in exhaustive detail all over the internet if you’re interested, so there’s no need to repeat them here.  Suffice to say that between December 1st, 1989 and November 19th, 1990, Aileen Wuornos murdered seven men – Richard Mallory, David Spears, Charles Carskaddon, Peter Siems, Troy Burress, Charles Humphreys and Walter Antonio, all with the same delicate little .22 caliber purse gun.  Moore was still with her at least until the fourth murder, but sometime after that they broke up and Moore went home to Pennsylvania.  She later admitted to knowing about the first murder, but claimed to have deliberately avoided asking about the others because she didn’t want to know.  Wuornos was a terribly sloppy criminal; she left a string of witnesses, fingerprints and pawned loot across Florida, and had the police been competent she would have been caught much earlier.  Wuornos was finally arrested on January 9th, 1991, and Moore the next day; she agreed to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and even talked Wuornos into confessing on the phone.  In that confession, Wuornos claimed that every single one of the men had tried to rape her, and that she had killed them all in self-defense.

Predictably, credulous feminists swallowed every word and touted her as some kind of heroine; remember, this was the height of child sexual abuse hysteria.  But she was neither a heroine nor the “man-hating lesbian” some pundits claimed; she was merely an unstable sociopath whose restless, violent life had exacerbated her existing problems.  At first, she seemed to enjoy the publicity and continually retold her story to recast herself more and more as the victim, ignoring her public defenders’ entreaties that she remain silent and insisting she be allowed to tell her story in court.  When the jury at her first trial (for Mallory’s murder) compared her absurdly-embellished version with the original videotaped confession, any credibility she may have had disintegrated; it took less than two hours for them to convict her of first-degree murder, and she responded by screaming “I hope you get raped!” at them.  She was sentenced to death.  Before her next trial could start, she decided to “get right with God” by pleading no contest to the murders of Humphreys, Burress and Spears, claiming in her statement that though Mallory (who had a previous conviction for the crime) did indeed rape her, she had only feared the others would and killed them before they could do so.  She was given three more death sentences.

Wuornos spent the next decade on death row, her mental health deteriorating the entire time.  In 2001 she fired her legal counsel and stated that she was giving up appeals, but then insisted that the prison staff were torturing her by contaminating and even poisoning her food so as to drive her to suicide before her execution; she also claimed that they intended to rape her before she died.  During the last few years of her life she gave a a series of interviews to Nick Broomfield, who had already made a documentary about her in 1993 (Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer) and was in the process of making another (released in 2003 as Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer); the video below is the last such interview, made the night before her death.

She was executed by lethal injection on October 9th, 2002 after declining a last meal (she wanted only a cup of black coffee).  Her last words were, “I’d just like to say I’m sailing with the rock, and I’ll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6th.  Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I’ll be back.”

There are some women I’m proud to share a profession with, and others I’m not; women like Theodora and Skittles show whores at our best, while women like Aileen Wuornos show us at our worst.  But I think her story is an important part of the picture, because it demonstrates once again that there is no one type of woman who sells sex, nor any consistent pattern to our lives and fates.

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Perfect numbers, like perfect men, are very rare. -  Rene Descartes

Yesterday’s “Frequently Told Lies” inspired me to look back at “Handy Figures“, a compilation of numbers and figures which previously appeared in other columns; I had originally intended to keep updating it, but it somehow seemed wrong to make major alterations to an old column so I lapsed.  Since then, I came up with the idea of duplicating these retrospective-type columns into static pages, and that’s worked out so well I figured it was time to do the same with this useful reference tool.  Much of it is the same as the old column, but there are additional figures and better links, and I’ve rounded my estimates off in response to the justified criticism that very specific numbers don’t look like estimates, but rather exact counts.

huge crowd$32 billion:  Current claim of the total annual income of the “sex trafficking” industry; this was actually the ILO’s 2005 estimate of the value of all forced labor, not forced prostitution.

42 million:  Fondation Scelles’ estimate of the total world whore population; it’s not really bad, but see 19 below.

27 million:  According to a December 2010 “estimate” by “Free the Slaves”, the total number of people “trapped in modern-day slavery”  (see also 2.4 million and 800,000 below).

$22.6 million:  Total estimated annual amount the State of Texas spends on imprisoning prostitutes.

2.4 million:  UNODC estimate of the number of “trafficking” victims worldwide (see also 27 million above; 800,000 and 40,000 below).

800,000:  According to the U.S. State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” report for 2004, the total number of “human trafficking victims” worldwide (see also 27 million and 2.4 million above; 80,000, 14,500 and >10% below).

450,000:  Estimated number of active, professional prostitutes in the US.

$300,000:  Prohibitionist claim of a typical hooker’s annual income.

100,000-300,000:  According to trafficking fanatics, the number of “trafficked child prostitutes” in the US (see also 16,000, 14,500 and 2500 below).

100,000:  According to one “estimate”, the number of “trafficked” Vietnamese manicurist/whores hidden in nail salons in the UK.

80,000:  The number of Filipino women who lost good jobs in Japan due to U.S. State Department meddling (see also 800,000 above and >10% below).

70,000:  Estimated number of street prostitutes in the US  (see also 450,000 above).

30,000-45,000:  Total number of whores supposedly “trafficked” into Israel from 1991-2006, who magically vanished after a law was passed.

40,000:  The number of “trafficking victims” for which UNODC claims to have actual evidence (see also 2.4 million above and 1362 below).London Olympics logo

10,000-40,000:  Typical “estimates” of the number of whores claimed to flock to mega sport events such as the Super Bowl or Olympics (see also 1 below).

14,500-17,500:  2008 federal estimate of all “trafficked persons” of all ages and employment types (sex, agriculture, etc) in the US.

16,000:  Estimated number of all American prostitutes under 18.

2500: Estimated number of coerced prostitutes under 18 in the US.

1362:  The total number of “human trafficking victims” (all types, not just sex) identified as such in the US from 2000-2007 (see also 14,500 above).

600:  Estimated number of “pimped” underage prostitutes in the entire US who advertise online.

160x:  High-end estimate of the factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in the escort population  (see also 3-5%, 2x and 0.4% below).

133:  The total number of arrests made in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area during the 2.5 weeks before the 2011 Super Bowl, which is now represented by “trafficking” fetishists as the number of “trafficking” arrests (see also 1 below).

97%:  Percentage of escorts who report an increase in self-esteem after they entered the trade (see also 72% and 60% below).

97%:  Fraction of Turkish harlots who prefer to work illegally rather than be registered and subjugated in brothels.

95%:  Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who say they sell sex because it is the most dependable way to support themselves.

90%:  Fraction of sex workers in Queensland who prefer to work illegally (see also 97% above).

85%:  Fraction of sexually-active Bahamian teens who are involved in some kind of transactional sex.

84%:  Fraction of underage prostitutes in New York City who have never even met a pimp.

81%:  Fraction of Swedes who report being “angry” about client criminalization (contrast with the Swedish government claim that 76% support the law).

80%:  According to the UNDOC, the fraction of “human trafficking” cases involving forced prostitution (see also 20% below).Brothel Prostitute and Client

78%:  Fraction of Dutch citizens who feel prostitution is a job like any other.

77%:  Fraction of escorts who feel their clients respect them.

77%:  Fraction of Canadians who support decriminalization.

75%:  Fraction of escorts who feel the job improved their lives.

72%:  Fraction of all prostitutes who report that their work has increased their self-esteem  (see also 97% above).

70%:  Fraction of Australian whores who said they would choose the same trade if they had their lives to live over again.

70%:  Fraction of Dutch sex workers who aren’t Dutch by birth.

69%:  According to Kinsey (1948), the fraction of men who have paid for sex at least once in their lives; it is probably somewhat lower now due to the increased availability of “free” sex.

60%:  Fraction of American prostitutes who are escorts (either independent or agency).

54%:  Fraction of escorts who consider the transaction as equal.

>50%:  Of streetwalkers with pimps (see below), the fraction who control their pimps rather than vice-versa.

<50%:  Fraction of streetwalkers who work with pimps at least part of the time.

50:  As of June 2012, the high-water mark in ridiculous claims of the number of clients per night hookers supposedly see.

48%:  The amount by which sexual coercion has decreased in Germany since prostitution laws were liberalized in 2002.

45%:  Fraction of underage New York City street prostitutes who are male.

34:  Though often presented as the average life expectancy of sex workers, this is actually the average age of murdered streetwalkers from one study.

33%:  Sweden’s official estimate of the fraction of all Swedish prostitutes who are streetwalkers; note that it is more than twice as high as the standard estimate for Western countries (see 15% below).

28%:  The factor by which the number of prostitutes rose in Norway after client criminalization.

Prostitute and Her Client by Georges Bottini (1904)26%:  Fraction of escorts who feel they have power over their clients.

25%:  Estimated decrease in the American rape rate if prostitution were legal.

25%:  Fraction of Queensland prostitutes with a university degree.

25:  The average age at which American prostitutes enter the trade.

20%:  Fraction of men who see prostitutes at least occasionally.

20%:  More realistic estimate (heard at Albany Law Symposium) of fraction of all “human trafficking” which is for sexual purposes (see also 80% above).

19:  Prohibitionist group Fondation Scelles’ claim of the average age of all whores worldwide (see 25 above).

16:  The average age at which underage prostitutes enter the trade (see also 13-14 below).

15%:  Estimated fraction of all Western prostitutes who worked on the street prior to the advent of the internet.

13:  According to prohibitionist propaganda, the average age at which prostitutes enter the trade; this is derived from a purposeful distortion by Melissa Farley of the age at which underage streetwalkers in one study reported they had their first noncommercial sexual contact of any kind.

12.5%:  According to a 2005 “estimate” by Atlanta police, the fraction of the city’s Asian population who are “sex slaves” (see also 3% below).

11%:  In a 1910 study, the fraction of New York prostitutes who reported that they were coerced into the trade (from Renegade History of the United States; see also 8% below).

11:  The number of US states which allow prostitutes to be sentenced to prison.

10.5%:  Fraction of Chicagoans charged with buying sex who are actually transgender prostitutes.

>10%:  According to the U.S. State Department’s TIP report for 2004, the fraction of all “human trafficking victims” in the entire world who were “enslaved” in Japanese hostess clubs (see also 800,000 and 80,000 above).

10%:  Fraction of Dutch prostitutes who are genetically male; half are male prostitutes (many of them cross-dressers) and the other half transgender.

10%:  Fraction of Swedish girls who admit to having accepted money for sex.

10%:  Estimated fraction of streetwalkers in Western countries who are controlled or dominated by pimps  (see also 1.5% below).  It is also the fraction of underage streetwalkers who have pimps at all.

<10%:  Fraction of all women accused of being underage hookers who are actually under 18.

5-10%:  Historically, the fraction of women who prostituted themselves at least part-time, varying by time and place (from Whores in History).

8%:  High-end estimate for the fraction of female inhabitants of 1840s London who worked as prostitutes  (from Whores in History).

8%:  Fraction of underage New York prostitutes who say they were forced into prostitution.

7%:  Approximate fraction of sex workers arrested in FBI “Innocence Lost” operations who are actually under 18.

6%:  Fraction of men who see prostitutes frequently.

5.5%:  Typical fraction of women in a 19th-century European or American city employed as prostitutes at any given time (from Whores in History).

3-5%:  Fraction of STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by prostitutes;  93% of these are associated with streetwalkers (see also 160x above and 2x and 0.4% below).

4%:  Approximate fraction of school-age girls in the US who would now be “sex slaves” if the “estimates” of hysterics were true.

4%:  Approximate conviction rate for “trafficking” arrests made in the FBI’s “Operation Innocence Lost”.

3.5%:  Estimated fraction of Western prostitutes who are under 18.

3%:  According to “trafficking” hysterics, the fraction of all underage hookers in the entire US who work in Atlanta (see also 12.5% and 16,000 above).

2.3%:  Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely controlling”.

2 hours:  Typical average cost of the least expensive hookers’ services in comparison with the average working man’s pay in most cultures.

2x:  Factor by which the rate of sexually transmitted infections in the promiscuous segment of the general public exceeds that in streetwalkers  (see also 160x and 3-5% above, and 0.4% below).

<2%:  Fraction of Cambodian prostitutes who say they were coerced into the trade (see also 1.5% below).La Bella by Titian (1536)

1.5%:  Overall estimated fraction of adult prostitutes in Western nations who are controlled by abusive pimps.

1.2%:  Fraction of women in the general population who report their husbands or boyfriends are “extremely violent”.

1%:  Fraction of modern American women who admit to having worked as whores at some point in their lives (from Sex Work).

<1%:  The fraction of “brothel” raids in which UK police found someone they could accuse of being “trafficked”; also the fraction of “trafficked” Greek whores.

1:  The number of arrests for “human trafficking” during Super Bowl week in both Miami (2010) and Dallas (2011) (see also 40,000 and 133 above).

0.4%:  The estimated fraction of all STD cases in the United States which are either suffered or transmitted by escorts or brothel workers (see also 160x, 3-5% and 2x above).

0.3%:  Fraction of women in modern Western cultures who work as prostitutes at any given time.

0.014%:  Fraction of missing “children” (most of whom are actually adolescents) who are abducted by strangers for any reason.

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They want to save us, but they punish us until we are willing to be saved.  -  Pye  Jakobsson

The First Time

Because obviously, a random amateur will give him a better experience than a skilled professional.

Looking to send her nerdy son off to Harvard in style, this helicopter parent to end all helicopter parents has taken to Craigslist’s “casual encounters” section to seek a young woman who can help claim the “socially awkward” boy’s virginity, and turn him into a “cool college kid.”  The plan is simple: You, a 19 to 20-something seductress, pick up a pair of complimentary tickets to “some great concert,” where your target, a handsome 18-year-old varsity cross country team member with “almost zero body fat” will be waiting unsuspectingly…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemicthink different

A lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee filed a lawsuit against Apple, Inc. that blames the company for the dissolution of his marriage  and the collapse of his mental health…because Apple devices do not have a filter that keeps them from playing pornography.  The devices purportedly failed to protect Sevier from his porn addiction, so the attorney is suing the company in an effort to have all of its devices equipped with a filter that blocks sexually-themed content…

An Example to the West (TW3 #20)

Anu Mokal wasn’t breaking the law when she was out walking…when a police officer viciously attacked her…beating her severely…SANGRAM and…Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP)…demanded that Maharashtra politicians investigate the beating and institute…a grievance commission to address abuses of sex workers’ human rights…the attack echoed a deeper culture of oppression that sex workers face around the world at all levels of society…funded in large part by the foreign aid that pours into the Global South from Washington’s coffers…the Supreme Court recently dealt a potentially lethal blow to the so-called “anti-prostitution loyalty oath”…[for] U.S.-based groups…[but it] still looms large over the Global South…SANGRAM…has proudly defied PEPFAR…but…faces a political climate suffused with the pernicious pressures of America’s “soft power.”  When aid comes with political strings attached, poor governments are pressured to mirror Washington’s culture wars…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #40)

Sex workers have been fighting to enjoy their right to dignity.  For this to happen, they say, prostitution has to be decriminalised…Ntokozo Yingwana, of the Sex Workers Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)…[argues] that it is not sex-work but the stigma and discrimination that sex workers have to endure that strips them of their dignity…Marlise Richter, a public health researcher with the International Centre for Reproductive Health, said:  “[The] evidence shows that the decriminalisation of sex work would serve public health and individual sex worker health best.  Criminalisation of any aspect of sex work, including [the Swedish model]…means that the sex industry is driven underground and sex workers and their clients away from health, social and legal services”…The World Health Organisations (WHO) recommends that all states decriminalise sex work.  It then becomes easier to take action to protect sex workers from HIV and sexually transmitted diseases…

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

Once again:  the existence of a movie featuring “lurid tall tales” about sex work  does no more to prove them than the existence of The Wizard of Oz proves the existence of flying monkeys and talking scarecrows:

…Alexander Perlman…logged thousands of miles and hundreds of hours to make [Lot Lizard, his new documentary about truck stop prostitution]…braving roach motels, crack highs, and homicidal pimps…None of the women…profiled had pimps…and…one of the concerns [Perlman] had…[was] that selecting them downplays the prevalence of pimps and trafficking in the industry.  There’s an amazing organization called Truckers Against Trafficking that addresses the issue…

Justine Reilly
In other words, they couldn’t find any “trafficking” but it must exist because an NGO says so.

Puppet Show

This Swedish model advert from Justine Reilly and her fellow shill Rachel Moran is not unusual except for its naked admission that prohibitionists want sex workers hounded into desperation:  “Justine said…that without clients, women…would be thrown out on the streets where they could get support…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)

A plan by the Social Affairs Ministry to close down 50 red-light districts across Indonesia has caused nervousness among inhabitants of…Sunan Kuning…one of the ministry’s five main targets in a crackdown on prostitution…Ari Istiyadi, field coordinator of NGO Griya Asa PKBI Semarang… expressed his fear that the closure of the prostitution center would create new problems in the social and health fields…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314)

A teenage girl from Georgia disappeared Monday after arranging a meeting with a boy she met on Instagram…Beverly Knepper, 14…had an argument with her parents about seeing a 14-year-old boy named Jahlil…”  Predictably, this not-vanishingly-unusual teen behavior triggered a huge panic which was starting to involve “sex trafficking” rhetoric when she was located soon afterward.

I Saw My Brain

…Polk County, Florida [is] unique in the nation for its unadulterated hostility to legal pornography and the people who make it…[its main city is] Lakeland…[whose] police department…is at the center of a sex scandal…[involving] a…crime analyst, Sue Eberle, who was apparently having sex with nearly a dozen of her co-workers…Coercing people into having sex is something sex traffickers do, but in Lakeland it was apparently the pastime for the police…the person asked by legislators to help get Lakeland PD “on track” is none other than…Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd…

One Born Every Minute (TW3 #315)Mark Lancaster

…a…computer consultant was jailed for 16 months in connection with a “pitiless deception” in which he sought to con hard up students into having sex with him in return for falsely offering to pay their university fees.  Mark Lancaster…was exposed following an undercover investigation by The Independent into the website and fictitious business Sponsorascholar.co.uk.  The pornography-addicted father-of-two admitted a charge of voyeurism and another of trafficking…

Bottleneck (TW3 #317)

It’s difficult to judge the legitimacy of these claims when none of the alleged victims were interviewed:

Three people who allegedly sourced more than 100 sex workers for Melbourne brothels would be likely to continue operating their lucrative syndicate…a magistrate…said [so]  Mae Ja Kim, Moon Ja Kim and Huan Wen Ye were denied bail…Investigations are continuing into possible human trafficking and sex slavery…workers were allegedly transported to Australia, given accommodation, and driven between there and the brothels by about 10 “overseers”…The worker was paid $75 for each appointment, with the syndicate paid at least 50 per cent of the rest…

Legitimate Outrage (TW3 #328)

Spitzer’s return to politics has accomplished at least one good:  it has emboldened journalists to speak out against criminalization.  Here’s Michael Smerconish of MSNBC:

…we should have an adult conversation about the laws [Spitzer] violated…it’s time to bring the world’s oldest profession aboveboard in communities willing to allow it…let government share in the revenue, but otherwise stay out of the private affairs of consenting adults.  Beyond the role of the taxman, prostitution doesn’t warrant the involvement of federal authorities…[to catch him] “they used 5,000 wiretaps.  They intercepted 6,000 e-mails.  Every hour spent on going after prostitution is an hour that could have been spent on going after…people who victimize”…another argument in support of legalizing…[is that] some among us are never going to find companionship for a variety of reasons…it can’t be healthy for some people to feel the amassed pressure of [sexual] images, and have their personal expectations go unfulfilled…

Keli Goff of the Washington Post called on Tracy Quan for assistance:

…Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner and disgraced former governor Eliot Spitzer have come back…would the same kind of comeback be possible for the women on the other side of their scandals…could a former prostitute ever run for office and have a real shot, the way that Spitzer, former patron of prostitutes, now does?…Kristin Davis is also running for comptroller…she previously ran…the escort service that Spitzer once used…[but] her bids for office…are seen as little more than publicity stunts…Linda Fondren  was a candidate for mayor in Vicksburg, Miss., when it was revealed that she worked as a prostitute decades ago…she broke no laws…was a nationally recognized leader in the field of public health…[and is] intelligent, articulate, telegenic and able to inspire people…[but] lost the primary…Tracy Quan…said…that even for legal sex work, such as exotic dancing, there is a double standard when it comes to stigmatization…a woman who works her way through law school as a stripper would have a tough time being elected to the…Senate but a man who visited strip clubs while in law school would not find that to be an obstacle to the White House…feminists share as much of the blame for this double standard as misogynists…[because they] are dismissive and suspicious of other women who have used their bodies and their beauty to succeed in a professional capacity…

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

Dora OezerCaty Simon of Tits and Sass  interviewed Pye Jakobsson of Rose Alliance  about Jasmine’s death and the horrible Swedish model which created the climate that enabled it.  Nor was she the only sex worker whose recent stigma-provoked murder has angered sex workers around the world:  “A 24-year-old trans woman was stabbed to death in her own home in Turkey…[on] 9 July…Dora Oezer…was found dead by her housemate…sex work is not illegal in Turkey but [because] they are not allowed to work in regulated brothels, trans woman are often left in vulnerable and dangerous positions…”  Activists used social media to coordinate “Justice for Jasmine and Dora” protests in many cities yesterday, such as this one in London.

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