It’s…extremely patronizing…to say someone’s conscious choice of work is degrading. - Jon Millward
License To Rape
A [Mt. Pleasant] Texas police officer pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14-years-old…Eric Jason Campbell, 41, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender when he is released…
Saving Them From Themselves
A Massachusetts DA helpfully explains why it’s a good thing his office persecutes teenagers for “sexting”:
…”We do not have any exceptions…for kids who are really in love, for girls who wanted to do it and for guys who promised they wouldn’t share it…” [Robert] Kinzer said. ”A nude photo of [a minor’s] exposed genitalia is child pornography…When they start sharing photos like this, we are going to start charging people with the manufacturing, dissemination and possession of child pornography, and they’re going to…face [prosecution]…You’re going to lose jobs and relationships, and you’ll spend the rest of your life as a registered sex offender”…
Tyranny By Consensus
Since LA County officials have not leaped at the opportunity to waste millions of dollars policing porn shoots to enforce his private condom crusade, Michael Weinstein is now trying to force the city to establish its own redundant health department, which Weinstein presumably believes would be more easily pressured into dancing to his tune:
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced…a new ballot measure …[for] an all-new City of L.A. Public Health Department…AHF has urged Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s Public Health director, to shut down non-condom porn shoots…[but] Fielding…hasn’t…despite AHF-led letter and phone campaigns. And it is well known that officials at the county Public Health Department are opposed to their agency enforcing Measure B…
In this column I wrote, “Prostitution and stripping are already illegal, and it seems that porn will be next, followed by censorship of print media and the internet.” Yes, I do get tired of being right all the time:
The government is considering…internet filters, such as those used to block China off…to stop Icelanders downloading or viewing pornography on the internet…Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland’s interior minister, is drafting legislation to stop the access of online pornographic images and videos…”violent pornography…has…very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime,” he said.
In reality, the evidence suggests exactly the opposite, but since Iceland already has the highest rape rate in Europe I guess they figure a few more raped women are just extra eggs for the totalitarian neofeminist omelette. The story quotes the ubiquitous Gail Dines, who also used the occasion to get her name in print in the UK as well.
Presents, Presents, Presents!
This week I received a copy of Sex at Dawn (which people have been trying to get me to read for years) from Eddie JC. Thank you, Eddie!
That’s the Ticket!
One would think that the Comic Relief organization could tell the difference between actual statistics and the absurd claims of a “pathological liar” comedy routine, but apparently not: “75% of women working in prostitution started before they were 18, and most of them feel trapped and would leave if only they could find a way. The UK is a major destination country for trafficked young people…”
The Course of a Disease
“…Dublin City Council…rejected calls to support the Turn Off The Red-light campaign. Amendments passed removed the proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex, and changed the report on Swedish evidence to hearsay.” The national crusade still rolls on, but this local rejection of the Swedish rot shows that not everyone in Ireland is asleep at the wheel.
…On March 4, a new game on Facebook, inspired by the book Half the Sky…will be introduced, with a focus on raising awareness of issues like female genital mutilation and child prostitution…The central character, an Indian woman named Radhika, faces various challenges with the assistance of players, who can help out with donations of virtual goods, for example. The players can then make equivalent real-world donations to seven nonprofit organizations woven into the game…As her empowerment grows, Radhika moves across the globe to Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan…Players who reach the final level learn about sex trafficking in the United States and can donate to an organization in New York called GEMS…
Because it’s really important to simplify complex issues and make them fun so that wise, benevolent white people will be tempted to manage the lives of helpless, childlike brown ones.
A bill that could send women to prison for going topless in public appears set for approval by the North Carolina legislature…[it] would amend the state’s indecent exposure law to expand the legal definition of “private parts” to…include “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, [of] the female breast.” Depending on whether such exposure is judged to be “for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire,” the woman could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to six months in prison…More mundane exposure would be a misdemeanor, meriting up to 30 days in jail. “Incidental” exposure by breastfeeding mothers would remain exempt…Rayne Brown…[said] her constituents are concerned about topless rallies promoting women’s equality…
Shift in the Wind
Another fun promotional video from the Sex Worker Freedom Festival last July:
Childish Things (TW3 #33)
Dr. Paul Maginn has published another appeal for sanity, stating that “various parts of the world appear to be suffering from a mix of moral panic and ideological myopia” on the issue of sex work. Though brief, the article debunks lies about “sex trafficking”, “dirty whores”, “end demand” and “negative secondary effects”, and includes quotes from Drs. Laura Agustín and Brooke Magnanti.
Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms
Oklahoma “authorities” seem even more enchanted with the notion of “human trafficking” than most Americans:
…Clarence F. Holden, 25, of Fort Smith [Arkansas] faces felony counts of human trafficking and procuring for prostitution…Officers arrested Holden and two other people…after the Vice Unit responded to an Internet post…for “a massage with a ‘happy ending’ ” for $150…Destiny Hope Niles, 24, also of Fort Smith – told police Holden keeps her money, car keys and credit card and threatened her physically…
Consider that even though this sort of petty manipulation is what passes for “trafficking” to American cops, they still can’t come up with anything like the hysterical claims.
The Public Eye
“4 Things You Should Know About Women Who Strip” by Jennifer Ward doesn’t break any new ground for readers of this blog, but as far as I’m concerned we can’t have enough articles explaining that sex workers and our clients are “a lot more diverse than people assume them to be.” In the same vein, three porn actors answered questions at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri: “Lance Hart…Tori Black and James Deen answered questions as a part of a Sex Week panel event…the purpose of the panel was to foster dialogue about aspects of the porn industry that are not typically discussed, such as sexual health…”
Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #44)
Though this article perpetuates the increasingly-common lie that the Swedish model is “decriminalization”, it at least tells the truth about the damage to sex workers caused by “end demand” campaigns:
…the “End Demand Illinois” campaign…asks that johns…become the law’s targets…[and] is working to make johns, pimps and traffickers more accountable, but it’s also sought to…stop treating prostitution as a felony. Right now, if a sex worker is hit with two misdemeanor charges related to prostitution in Illinois, the second charge is upgraded to a felony…Last fall The Chicago Reporter…found that prostitution-related felonies are being levied almost exclusively against sex workers…Rachel Lovell, a researcher at Case Western University…co-authored a paper that criticized End Demand Illinois. It argued that stiffer penalties against johns actually end up hurting female sex workers. “The philosophy and the overarching theme of the End Demand movement is that all women in prostitution are victims,” Lovell said…it’s important to distinguish between the different ways one can be a sex worker…“To say if we increase penalties for men they will just stop buying…[is] too simplistic…”
All the Difference
Indian sex workers have powerfully resisted “sex trafficking” hysteria, and have convinced many “authorities” that they are not passive victims. Unfortunately, the rescue industry will lose money and power if it has nobody to “rescue”, and so has increasingly turned its attentions toward abducting sex workers’ children, defending the practice with propaganda films:
…Not Today…[is] a feature-length film that sheds light on the modern-day sex trafficking industry that consumes the Dalit class in India…”The world needs to understand that slavery still exists, that even today young children are bought and sold like cattle, that little girls are forced into the dark illicit sex trade, that young boys and girls are coerced to beg in the streets and bring their proceeds back to line the pockets of thugs who abuse them at night,” said the film’s executive producer, Matthew Cork…
Drama Queens (TW3 #48)
Though I’d love to see a methodologically-sound study of 10,000 whores, 10,000 porn actors is a good start. Click on the picture (and again to enlarge), then read Jon Millward’s article and Brooke Magnanti’s interview with him.
Get Out of the 19th Century Often? (TW3 #136)
A proposed prostitution ban met with opposition at an Atlanta City Council work session…Community leaders, church pastors and advocates against sex trafficking said the ban was harshly targeting victims of the sex trade…Chad Brock of the ACLU said they might consider challenging the ordinance if it becomes law…”Instead of pairing you up with the social services you need, they’re telling you to go away,” Brock said. “We don’t believe that’s going to help any sex worker rehabilitating themselves”…
As expected, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has issued a less mealy-mouthed follow-up to his previous pseudo-apology to the victims of the Magdalene laundries, but as blogger Bock the Robber asked,
Where is the apology from the nuns who ran these slave labour camps? Where is the apology from the NSPCC (now the ISPCC), employers of the feared and unsupervised cruelty men who consigned so many children and young women to this slavery…Where is the apology from the Legion of Mary, whose members…[facilitated] the incarceration of people they disapproved of? Where is the apology from the Roman Catholic church on behalf of all those parish priests who ripped children from the heart of their families because of some warped and perverted view of sexuality?…What an extraordinary society it was that deputised an assortment of self-serving busybodies…and continues to give…such power to clerics and self-appointed meddlers…
On the same day, the Telegraph carried a moving article by Samantha Long about her birth-mother, who was an inmate of one of the laundries.
Skin To Skin
This article about sex work with the disabled covers some good ground, but unfortunately also gives a platform to those who think real people’s needs should be subordinate to “messages” and sacrificed to the impossible quest for an unreachable Utopia:
…The sexual needs of people with disabilities are under the spotlight like never before after the release of…The Sessions…last month, ex-staff from a care home…[said] they had allowed sex workers into the home at the request of disabled residents…and…Becky Adams…plans to open the first brothel…for disabled clients in the UK…[but others see] the use of sex workers as a potentially harmful development. “It’s like the world telling you that disabled people are so unsexy that the only way they can have sex is to pay for it…What disabled people need is full and equal rights. An inclusive society, which doesn’t create barriers”…
On the same day my column appeared, Robin Hustle published the similarly-themed (though broader) “What Prostitutes, Nurses and Nannies Have in Common”. The Jezebel commentariat is predictably split between the narcissistic, the wholly clueless, and nurses who are Terribly OffendedTM at being compared to whores.
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