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Posts Tagged ‘pimps’

Making pimps the centre of things justifies more money to catch/punish them & keep the status quo where women are collateral damage in a war.  -  Laura Agustín

Es dimonióI’m sure you saw all the hype and ballyhoo about a “landmark” government study of pimp bragging the sex industry,  and if you’ve read my columns about the relative rarity and non-centrality of pimps, the so-called “facts” this report “found” must strike you as the farthest thing from.  As I wrote in my recent Washington Post article,

The researchers made bold statements about the “U.S. sex economy” based on interviews with law enforcement personnel, 73 men convicted as “pimps,” and only 36 incarcerated street workers.  As the sex worker activist Melissa Gira Grant observed, the average sex worker activist follows more sex workers on Twitter than these researchers managed to find for a supposedly “landmark” study.  Furthermore, the report’s bias is clear from the skewed proportion of its interviewees:  Street workers represent less than 15 percent of the trade, but were 100 percent of the sex workers interviewed for the study.  Moreover, fewer than half of street workers have pimps, and about half of the pimps are actually the employees of the women they manage, not the other way around.  Yet the researchers interviewed twice as many pimps as sex workers, thus inflating their perceived importance remarkably…

Dr. Laura Agustín had much more to say about the report than that, both on Twitter and in her blog.  But I’m not going to write more about how awful this report is; rather, I’m going to discuss the motive behind it.  Agustín’s statement in my epigram sums it up nicely, but more detail will provide a better picture.  The story starts in September of 2008 with the publication of “The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City”, AKA the John Jay study, which was funded by the US Department of Justice:

[Meredith] Dank and [Ric] Curtis…interview[ed]…249 underage prostitutes…and…thoroughly obliterated the long-held core assumptions about underage prostitution:

• Nearly half the kids — about 45 percent — were boys.
• Only 10 percent were involved with a “market facilitator” (e.g., a pimp).
• About 45 percent got into the “business” through friends.
• More than 90 percent were U.S.- born (56 percent were New York City natives).
• On average, they started hooking at age 15…
• Nearly all of the youths — 95 percent — said they exchanged sex for money because it was the surest way to support themselves.

Jenny HaniverIn other words, the typical [underage sex worker]…is not a tween girl, has not been sold into sexual slavery, and is not held captive by a pimp.  Nearly all the boys and girls involved in the city’s sex trade are going it alone.  [Curtis and Dank] were…completely unprepared for the way law-enforcement officials and child-advocacy groups reacted… “I remember going to a meeting in Manhattan where they had a lot of prosecutors there whose job was to prosecute pimps,” Curtis recalls.  ”They were sort of complaining…that their offices were very well staffed but their workload was — not very daunting, let’s say.  They had a couple cases, and at every meeting you go to, they’d pull out the cherry-picked case of this pimp they had busted, and they’d tell the same story at every meeting.  They too were bothered by the fact that they couldn’t find any pimps, any girls.  So I come along and say, ‘I found 300 kids’ — they’re all perky — but then I say, ‘I’m sorry, but only 10 percent had pimps.’  It was like a fart in church.  Because basically I was saying their office was a waste of time and money.”

As Curtis explained, law enforcement “authorities” were very unhappy with the results of his study, which is why they have been buried (you won’t find them on any official website dealing with the subject of prostitution).  As Maier’s Law states, “If the facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of”; the DoJ therefore immediately ditched Curtis in favor of his younger, hungrier and less-principled assistant Dank, who was obviously instructed to do another study which would find what the DoJ wanted found - that pimps run the whole show - so as to shore up “sex trafficking” mythology and justify the vast expenditures and rampant civil liberties violations of the War on Whores.  Since interviewing real sex workers would merely find the truth again, they were largely avoided except for an easily-manipulated handful in prison.  Since the John Jay study couldn’t find any pimps in the actual environment where sex work takes place, Dank instead just interviewed people the “authorities” had already decided were pimps.  And since interviewees might still tell some truth despite incentives to the contrary, the fantasies of cops and prosecutors were included to balance that.

Fiji mermaidTo ensure that the “researchers” stayed on-message, the report’s “recommendations” must have been dictated in advance:  they include “Cross-train drug, sex, and weapons trade investigators to better understand circuits and overlaps” (i.e. more money to cops); “Continue using federal and local partnerships to disrupt travel circuits and identify pimps” (i.e. justify illegal use of federal funds and manpower to enforce local prostitution laws); “Offer law enforcement trainings for both victim and offender interview techniques, including identifying signs of psychological manipulation” (i.e. teach cops to psychologically manipulate arrestees); “Impose more fines for ad host websites” (i.e. pressure the courts into giving politicians the power to censor the internet); and so on.  The result?  A Jenny Haniver, a methodological monstrosity cut and stitched and distorted to provide bogus “evidence” for a creature that exists only in the minds of prohibitionists:  a sex industry dominated by “pimps” and “trafficking gangs”.  When charlatans produce objects they claim to be mummified mermaids, chupacabra carcasses and yeti scalps, it’s the duty of skeptics to expose the scam.  And when the con artist is the government, and the goal destroying people’s lives rather than merely separating them from a few bucks, that duty is even more crucial.

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We don’t know what sex workers themselves think about [the Swedish model] because nobody, it seems, bothered to ask them.  -  Fionola Meredith

R.I.P. Andrew Hunter Andrew Hunter

The president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and founder of the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers died suddenly on Boxing Day at the age of 47.  There is very little information available for a fitting tribute to this amazing and tireless activist, but I am in contact with his partner, Dale, and hope to get a proper full-length obituary ready in the next few days.

Out of Control (The Camel’s Nose)

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a creepy rapist doctor:

An [Ohio] emergency room doctor was sentenced to 35 years…after pleading guilty to raping and killing a pregnant prostitute…Deanna Ballman…died of a fatal overdose of heroin, which Salim [Ali] gave her at his home…Salim acknowledged that…he dumped her body.  However, he only intended to have sex and not harm her or the unborn child…

License to Rape

Another serial rapist cop protected by his department and given a slap on the wrist when caught:

…Michael Vagnini…had a thing he liked to do when he busted someone.  He liked to do it a lot.  “The complaint lays out in graphic detail how…Vagnini…conducted searches of men’s anal and scrotal areas, often inserting his [ungloved] fingers into their rectums”…when the complaints piled up so high that even…Police Chief Edward Flynn couldn’t come up with an excuse for ignoring it, Vagnini’s pleasure at humiliating and physically violating his victims was finally subject to prosecution…Of course, arrest and prosecution for serial anal rape is one thing.  What comes of it is another.  A deal was cut…“that would not require him to become a registered sex offender”…he [only]…got…a sentence of 26 monthsfat Barbie

I first reported this in “Links #119”.

Barbie 

More adults badly in need of lives:  “Plus-Size-Modeling.com is suggesting Mattel create a plus-size Barbie.  While some say more realistic curves would be a better role model for girls, others say an overly large Barbie would be an unhealthy example…

To Protect and Serve

Another casualty of the War on Whores:

A dog owner is demanding a [Florida] police officer’s badge, after that officer shot his dog while…[trying] to serve a woman with a warrant for prostitution charges…the woman doesn’t live there anymore. [Richard] Stotler moved in after her, and said he has no idea who the woman is…[but the cops] didn’t listen…[and trespassed] through the gate around the back of the house, where they found Lady…She’s…[now] on three different pain medications, with part of a bullet still lodged in her ear canal, and other wounds Stotler isn’t sure will heal…police…haven’t released the officer’s name or whether he will face any disciplinary action…

Subtle Pimping

Tragedy pornographer Erin Healy claims to have “investigated sex trafficking” for her latest novel, yet somehow she didn’t find any of the numerous debunkings of the myth which would have invalidated her premise.  To quote this plug piece Fox News published for her, “Go ahead, please cringe with me.”

Why Not Teach Them Critical Thinking Instead?
lurking traffickers

The New Jersey…Attorney General will sponsor assemblies statewide…to warn students about the dangers of human trafficking…surrounding Super Bowl XLVIII…the “Say Something Assembly” program…[says] traffickers may target minors through social media, telephone chat lines and after-school programs, and at shopping malls and bus depots.

Droit du Seigneur

Rebecca Woodard says…in her new tell-all tome that prosecutors forced her to continue to turn tricks after she agreed to wear a wire to help snare…Anna Gristina in 2008…“The [Assistant District Attorney] told me to work…and then turn over to his office the money and any gifts that clients gave me…this ADA was my pimp”…Woodard does not name the ADA…but gave several clues to his identity.  Sources…confirmed…that she is referring to former ADA Mark Crooks…[now working] as an assistant federal prosecutor in Maryland.  Woodard…says she didn’t tell prosecutors about all her gigs.  “Obviously, if I did this with every client I saw, I would have been broke”…prosecutors [threatened to]…arrest her for prostitution if she didn’t [work for them]…

Woodard also claims that while working earlier for Kristin Davis she was hired by Eliot Spitzer, who liked to choke escorts during sex.

The Crumbling Dam

The number of charges for prostitution-related offences in Toronto courts has dropped by 90 per cent over a five-year period, as the constitutional challenge against Canada’s prostitution laws [went on]…Toronto courts received 1,088 charges…in 2006.  In 2011, the number of charges was a tenth of that, just 110…Alan Young, the lawyer who argued the case, said…Prostitution-related offences have been low priority for enforcement…“The government kept asserting that when the laws were invalidated, there would be…chaos…and my position was, we’re charging so little, the community wouldn’t notice much difference”…Cartoon History of the Modern World 2

Presents, Presents, Presents!

The mails were a bit slow during Christmas, so I got a few cards and one present at the end of last week: The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part 2 from Kevin Wilson.  Thank you, Kevin!

Legal Is As Legal Does (TW3 #7)

Prostitutes [in New Zealand] are hitting back at a bill that aims to restrict where they can work, saying it’s unnecessary and could put their safety at risk…The bill…would give police the ability to arrest and fine them and clients if they break the rules…Another…bill [proposes] to recriminalise street prostitution and confine the trade to brothels…

Useful Idiots

“Feminists” never, ever think of the implications of laws they push:

Domestic abuse involving “emotional blackmail” – but no violence – could become a criminal offence carrying a heavy jail term…the…bill…proposes making it illegal to…“intend to control or coerce” their spouse.  Anyone found guilty…would face up to 14 years’ imprisonment…its definition of abuse includes…“[depriving] them of the means needed for independence”…

As Tim Worstall points out, the definitions criminalize the normal behavior of most British wives.

Naked Truth

Melissa Gira Grant presents a long list of her picks for the best sex work writing of the year, including journalism which treats sex work rationally.  Many of these were linked here when they appeared, and you may enjoy reading the others.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #34)

A rare Irish denunciation of the Swedish Model:

…the planned introduction of new laws criminalising the purchase of sex in Ireland, north and south…conflates sex workers and targets of human trafficking, treating them…as…one homogeneous group of oppressed and distressed victims…destroyed by the abhorrent appetites of men…[supporters] are wilfully blind to the consequences of their sanctimonious stance for the very individuals they say they want to rescue and protect:  the sex workers themselves, some of whom, inconveniently enough, refuse to allow themselves to be saved…criminalising clients does not wipe out prostitution, or even substantially reduce demand.  But it does hurt sex workers, placing them at increased risk of violence, exposing them to stress and ill-health, making them feel stigmatised and hunted…Where buying sex is outlawed, it is the people selling it who pay the price…Laura Lee

The Public Eye (TW3 #324)

Douglas Fox is retiring as the editor of Harlot’s Parlour, and handing the reins to our friend Laura Lee:

…I am handing harlots to Laura with the assurance that she will continue to encourage a wide and diverse opinion within sex work to be heard.  There is not, after all, only one message about what or who is a sex worker.  Despite our disagreements what unites us is a desire that our work is recognised and that we are provided the full protection of the law…

Sold Out

This at first seems to be just another of the inane “libertarians are bad because of this strawman I made!” articles we’ve seen so many of this year, but it contains this gem:  “Libertarians…called for the abolishment of ‘victimless crime’, which lumped homosexuality with prostitution, polygamy, recreational drugs, abortion, and gambling…certainly not a ringing endorsement of the LGBTQ community…”  How dare they include wonderful gays with that riff-raff!

Dirty Laundry (TW3 #326)

This is another long, horrifying article on the Magdalene laundries; it covers ground that will be mostly familiar to those who have studied the history of these monstrous slave-labor camps, but includes a fact I did not know before:  “Australia had eight Magdalene laundries – all at Sisters of the Good Shepherd convents – from the 1940s until the ’70s.  There is no firm data on how many girls they held but it’s estimated to be several thousand…[they] were for girls who were wards of the state or deemed delinquents but often were victims themselves who had committed no crimes…

Innocence Never Had

Let's Talk About TouchingImagine that you’re a young sex worker (say, 16-19) who’s just been arrested in a “sting”, manhandled by leering cops and pressured by scary perverts to reveal a “pimp” you don’t have.  Then a creepy middle-class woman comes in to see you in your cage and gives you… crayons and a coloring book:  “The Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches…provides backpacks for immediate needs to those rescued from sex traffickers…items needed are:  travel size toiletries,  toothpaste and tooth brushes, small blankets, flip-flops…notebooks, pencils and cases, erasers, crayons and coloring books…

Bootlickers (TW3 #345)

More totalitarian prudery from Everett, Washington:

Everett police updated the boundaries of zones used to designate high-prostitution areas…The newly zoned areas include some of the bikini barista stands that have made headlines in recent months…and…are used to enforce court orders given to those convicted of prostitution activity, including people who buy sex…Offenders can be arrested on the spot for violating the court order…

Note that many people accused of “prostitution” in Everett are the aforementioned bikini baristas, so these “orders” deprive them of their jobs.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #351)

An excerpt from Mindy Chateauvert’s Sex Workers Unite:

…despite the acceptance of “sluts,” the “prostitute” remains a deeply embedded symbolic marker between decency and disrespect.  The “ethical slut” engages in sex of her or his own “free” will, while the “dirty whore” insists on getting paid…Sex-positive feminists and other “sluts” believe there is nothing morally wrong with consensual sex between two (or more) people…but money changes everything…That cognitive dissonance — the deep chasm filled with stereotypes and prejudices — interferes with the capacity…to hear sex workers speak about their experiences.  Stories that don’t conform to the “superhappyfunsexysexwork!” narrative tend to flummox pro-sex feminists; they can identify with privileged exotic dancers, porn performers and professional dominants…but think “junkie whores” need to be rescued and should be prevented from working in their…neighborhoods…

Opting Out (TW3 #352)

A few more examples of the dirty, nasty porn Cameron’s filters are “protecting” British women and children from:

…One of your ISPs blocked access to the website for Glasgow’s St. Mary’s Cathedral [and] the blog of its provost.  A second ISP blocked access to charity sites including ChildLine, the NSPCC and the Samaritans.  Other websites blocked include the British Library, National Library of Scotland [and] your Parliament…best…of all is the site of Claire Perry, the Member of Parliament who campaigned so prominently for the new law.  How’s it feel, Claire?  Oh, your site is legitimate and shouldn’t be censored?  That’s how the owners of every single other site being blocked feel…

Cops and RobbersPot Noodle

A…police officer refused to deal with a harassment complaint from murdered Bijan Ebrahimi because it would mean his Pot Noodle would get cold…On a separate occasion…Mr Ebrahimi had banged on a police station door to make a complaint but no-one had answered, despite there being staff inside.  A…police spokesman…was unable to comment on the claims…until the conclusion of the [Independent Police Complaints Commission]  investigation…[Lee] James, 24, was jailed for life, with a minimum sentence of 18 years…for beating and stamping …Ebrahimi to death.  Stephen Norley, 25, was jailed for four years after helping James to set Mr Ebrahimi’s body on fire…

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In reality, what’s degrading is not sex work itself, but the language [prohibitionists use] to describe it.  -  Joyce Arthur

The Red Umbrella Red Umbrella

This coming Tuesday is The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, and Siouxsie Q has compiled a list of events (some of which will be held tomorrow).  Take a look, and please consider participating if you live in any of these cities.

Down Under

[A court ruled that] a [New Zealand] man who promised to financially support a prostitute…won’t be able to get back $500,000 he gave her…He…met…[her] at a massage parlour in…late 2007…and suggested…that he would support her financially…[if] she…[gave] up work…[he paid her] $5000 a month and…lavished her with money, travel and various gifts…

Droit du Seigneur

A D.C. police officer is being investigated for allegedly “pimping” teenage girls…Linwood Barnhill, 47, was found with a girl who had been reported missing…Neighbors [said] they would often see young girls going in and out of his apartment…this investigation is not connected to the…arrest of another D.C. police officer on child porn charges.  In that case, officer Marc Washington…went to the home of a 15-year-old girl…ordered her to remove her clothing and took photos of her…

And in Arizona:  “A Maricopa County juvenile probation officer is accused of running an illegal massage business ‘providing acts of prostitution’…apartment resident Ashley Martinez [said] ‘It could be bringing in pedophiles…and my kids could be getting caught into that’…”  The jaw-droppingly stupid quote from the imbecilic neighbor was too good to omit.

Wise Investment

Apparently, American courts hate oil companies more than whores:

BP has…been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses that filed damage claims after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster – even though they weren’t really affected…the court-appointed [supervisor] has confirmed he approved a $173,000 payout to an “adult escort service” that BP said was filed with unsigned and undated financial documents…The company contested the escort service payment…but lost before a court-appointed appeals panel…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (October Updates)

As police go on strike in Argentina’s second largest city…the people have…[looted] every supermarket…the governor of Cordoba…claims that the police strike is a direct result of his decision to close 140 brothels…which had provided a steady income stream to a large number of corrupt officers…

Elytte & Miranda Barbour
Where Are the Protests?

A [newlywed] couple…lured a man to his death with an ad on…Craigslist…because they wanted to kill someone together…Elytte Barbour told officers…that he and his wife, Miranda…[lured] Troy LaFerrara…[with an escort] posting…Elytte [said]…Miranda…regularly…made anywhere from $50 to $850 by meeting with men for such activities as having dinner together or walking around a mall.  The ads she placed…all said upfront that sex was not part of the deal…”She is not a prostitute…she…meets with them and has delightful conversation”…

I’m sure that conversation is wholly delightful.  Somebody want to tell Elytte the Simpleton that the majority of American escort ads say “upfront” that no sex is involved?  NB:  This is the second time we’ve seen a deranged hooker expecting people to believe she truly doesn’t have sex with clients.

A False Dichotomy (TW3 #8)

Panicked policy reactions to human trafficking and an over-emphasis on the issue of sex trafficking can cause more harm than good…trafficking expert…Pardis Mahdavi said…“Policies are made as a knee-jerk reaction based on moral panic…People like to put distance between themselves and the sex industry, whereas…the domestic workers who clean our homes, the nannies who care for our children, the people who pick the tomatoes that we eat, these are often people who are involved in forced labour…over ninety percent of trafficking is not in the sex industry, it’s forced labour…”

Finding What Isn’t There

A peek inside the mind of a bureaucrat:

…Of the 50,000 T-visas that have been offered over the last 10 years, the government has issued only 6,206 of the little-known visas meant to protect victims of human trafficking and their family members…despite the fact that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year…those who apply…have to be willing to testify against the traffickers…and…are not allowed to work while waiting for the visa, which can take a year or more…

Of course the estimate can’t possibly be wrong, and asking people to live without income for a year is perfectly reasonable.  The FBI claims “authorities would assist victims, even if there is not a trafficker who can be prosecuted,” but that’s clearly bullshit; the whole “trafficking” narrative depends on producing “traffickers”.Elizabeth Romero

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314)

Observable fact:  14-year-old girl runs away with her 19-year-old boyfriend.  Conclusion:  a giant worldwide conspiracy selling infants for snuff sex:

The search for Elizabeth Romero and her alleged kidnapper Edwardo Fabian Flores Rosales continues…officials believe that the duo have already crossed the border into Mexico…Some people believe that she is voluntarily…with the 19-year-old man she met on the internet…others believe that…[she] could…be the victim of sex trafficking…Children as young as infants are…wrangled up from every corner of the globe and herded from one master to the next…as sex slaves until they are “used up”…which usually ends in their murders…the scenario of this 14-year-old girl being a willing runaway is far easier to stomach than the idea of her being sold for unimaginable sex acts and then killed…

It’s hard to see how this lurid fantasy can be called “unimaginable” when the author is clearly able to imagine it.

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #315)

Another good article from Joyce Arthur, this on language used by the media.  While I myself use some of the terms she advises against, that’s only in an informal and personal context; I think she is correct in advising use of more neutral terms in mainstream articles.

Monsters

A [New York] attorney…argued that his defendant’s hefty sentence  for murdering a transgender woman should be reserved for someone who kills “certain classes of individuals”…Rasheen Everett was convicted of the 2010 murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a transgender prostitute…but…defense attorney John Scarpa…argued…”Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?…Who is the victim in this case?  Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?”…Justice Richard Buchter…[replied] “This court believes every human life in sacred…It’s not easy living as a transgender, and I commend the family for supporting her”…

Dysphemisms Galore

Still not dark enoughThere’s probably an entire research paper on the Jungian implications of yellow journalists describing anything to do with sex as “dark”:  “Korea has long been criticized for its lax control over its…entertainer visa…exploited by human traffickers to smuggle foreign women into the country to do sex work.  Authorities…promised to strengthen monitoring of the seedy establishments where the women have been forced to sell sex…”  The evidence presented for this supposed epidemic of “trafficking”?  US government propaganda and a supposed phone call from one anonymous informant who claims to have been a “victim”.

An Example to the West (TW3 #324)

The Bolivian Parliament is preparing a new law to regulate and recognize sex work…This is the result of an initiative by Organización de Trabajadoras Nocturnas (OTN)…to prevent “the physical and psychological abuse and discrimination” suffered by sex workers from police and nightclub owners…

Safe Targets (TW3 #332)

That’ll show them dirty photographers!  See the last line for the police motive.

Authorities have shut down Hong Kong’s largest prostitution website…sex141.com…was believed to have been controlled by a criminal syndicate, which police say they have now broken up.  “When they knew there were sex workers coming to Hong Kong, the syndicate would arrange a make-up service and photographers,” a police spokesman [said]…While prostitution is legal in Hong Kong, soliciting and living off the earnings of prostitutes are against the law…114 people have been arrested, which includes 78 prostitutes…arrested on such charges as overstaying or violating the conditions of their visitor visa.  Police also said about HK$15 million ($1.93 million) worth of assets related to the group had been frozen…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #333)

I know real people are endangered by this idiocy, but I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has introduced legislation…to crack down on sex trafficking, which experts fear is on the rise in…North Dakota due to the large influx of men coming to work in the state’s western oil patch…”North Dakota could be ground zero for this type of behavior,” Heitkamp…said…

The only thing that keeps me from adding that claim to “King of the Hill” is that they use qualifiers like “fear” and “could be” rather than stating it as a “fact”.

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #341)

New excuses for another Soho pogrom:

Hundreds of police officers launched a massive Soho swoop on premises allegedly linked to rape, sex trafficking and muggings…22 people were arrested in the raids on…premises suspected of being…fronts for handling stolen goods…a dozen women…were taken to safe locations where they will be questioned.  Police believe that some were trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution…The English Collective of Prostitutes…condemned the raids saying some “immigrant women were taken into custody on the pretext that they may be victims of trafficking, despite their protestations that they were not…police are raiding premises where women are working together safely…with friends…most of the women…have now lost their livelihood”…corrected graffiti

More from the West End Extra:

Nikki Adams from the ECP…[called] it…an “out­rageous fabrication”, adding: “At least two of those women I know well and they’ve been in the UK for years and speak perfect English and come to all our meetings…People fear that the evictions are aimed at making way for large-scale development”…

A press release from Sex Worker Open University added, “The media presence included Sky news, BBC and the Evening Standard.  It would seem that ‘victims’ of sex work need to be publicly humiliated and shamed…in order to be properly saved from their work…”

Little Boxes (TW3 #343)

It’s not a “front for prostitution”, it is prostitution.  However, note the equation of sex with rape; cops and prosecutors imagine everyone to be as twisted and evil as they are:

…For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers…but Madison officials suspect the business is a front for prostitution and…fear snuggling could lead to sexual assault…police have talked…about conducting a sting…and city attorneys are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.  “There’s no way that (sexual assault) will not happen”…city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said.  “No offense…but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle”…

Imaginary Evils (TW3 #348)

More from Frank Furedi on the myth of “modern slavery”:

…promoters of this urban legend about modern-day slavery [argue] that what is really significant about this hitherto unrecognised crime is not what can be seen by the naked eye but rather the often “invisible” problem of mental enslavement.  These are slaves who are not physically chained into a life of servitude, but rather are wrapped up in “emotional chains” by their psychologically manipulative captors.  [A term like] “brainwashed”…can transform even normal features of human life – such as being in an unpleasant relationship or feeling pressured to do something – into something…criminal…Such an exercise in rhetorical acrobatics allows campaigners to expand the number of “invisible slaves”…

And yes, he does mention Kevin Bales’ “30 million slaves”.

Number Puzzle (TW3 #349)

The American media would have you believe Alice Schwarzer’s revolting demand for imposition of the Swedish model on Germany has widespread support, but here’s a more typical German view of her:

Alice Schwarzer is an enemy of freedom.  She is condescending, she’s manipulative, she does not tolerate contradiction and therefore has no sense of what makes people, in all their contradictions, essentially human…She loves to divide the world into good and evil, victim and perpetrator…she has a Manichean world view, especially with regard to human sexuality…this…leads to very unpleasant consequences in the debate about prostitution…in [her mind] there is no room for autonomous, free men and…women…who decide…what they want…

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Prostitutes…will be forced to continue to hide…because even if they are not risking arrest, their clients are.  And their survival depends on their clients.  -  Tim Leicester

The Lesser of Two Evils

A rabbi makes an argument familiar to students of medieval Catholicism:

Britain should…[legalize] brothels and…[implement] basic controls over safety and hygiene…without monitoring activities too closely and thereby discouraging usage of them…It may be more messianic to want to end the sex trade altogether, but perhaps it is more religious to seek to channel it safely.

Feminine Pragmatism

Layal has…turned to sex work in [Beirut] to support her two children…“I don’t have any products to sell…I have myself to sell, and I’d much rather earn my money [like that] than I would begging on the street”…Layal says her Iraqi husband…sends her a monthly allowance from Baghdad, but…it’s not enough to cover her $900 rent…and allow her to send money to her family back in Syria.  He has no idea his wife is supplementing their income with prostitution …“A woman should never depend on anyone else for money, even her husband,” she says defiantly…

A Procrustean Bed

Note the assumption that there is always a “trafficker” hiding somewhere:

[Massachusetts’] new human trafficking law has been on the books since early last year, but Bristol County has not charged anyone and Plymouth County has brought charges against one man…[law sponsor] Mark C.W. Montigny…said the problem of human trafficking exists everywhere…and…the attitude that it doesn’t happen here is part of the problem…Law enforcement should use cases involving johns and prostitutes “to go up the ladder” and identify and prosecute the trafficker, he said…

Marching Up Their Own Arses
Slave Hunter

Remember Chris Baughman, the Las Vegas cop claiming to be an “expert” on “pimps”?  Pay especial note to the “magical pimp” trope:

[MSNBC’s]…new series, Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Human Trafficking…reveals…what happens behind closed doors in the sex trafficking underworld.  The series highlights the…work of human rights advocate, Aaron Cohen and his partner, former Las Vegas vice detective, Chris Baughman…MSNBC’s cameras follow Cohen and Baughman as they…identify trafficked women via on-line ads and then arrange to meet them in New York City hotel rooms with Cohen posing as a potential john.  When the women are open to help, Cohen and Baughman…[help] them to escape their bonds and build a new life…other times, the trafficked women sadly succumb to the powers of their “pimp”…

We can only hope this blows up in NBC’s face the way To Catch a Predator  eventually did.  Hey, guys, do you know the word for men like you who prey on women in order to enrich and aggrandize themselves?  Oops.

An Example to the West

over 1,500 sex workers…[voted in Delhi on] December 4…thanks to an enrollment drive by the state election commission…over 80 per cent [of] sex workers [are now registered]…”We all will vote…for the person who will fulfill our long-pending demands,” Munni Begum…of GB Road Sex Workers Association…said…

And in Mysore:

…Ashodaya Samithi…is…a powerful collective…of 336 members…[and] a network of volunteers operating in six districts of Karnataka.  It reaches out to 8,000 sex workers through its different initiatives…such as providing knowledge of legal and human rights…running drop-in-centres, operation of a crisis management unit, a restaurant…and a training academy predominantly run by members …they also offer HIV and STI testing facilities, counselling and free condoms…90 percent of sex workers in Mysore have been contacted monthly, 70 percent…visit…drop in centres regularly and 65 percent have become consistent condom users.  Ashodaya Samithi has successfully reduced STI prevalence within three years…

The Power of Myth

As I’ve explained before, even cases which could credibly be called “trafficking” rarely fit the myth:

…Since Australia introduced tough laws to crack down on trafficking a decade ago…eight of 15 people…convicted…were…female…migrants, born in the same…country as their victims and typically from similar…socio-economic backgrounds.  Most…involved…[debt-bonded] Thai women…[and] three…had reportedly been victims…themselves…[none] were involved in “high-end organised crime”…

Mythbusters

Eight common migration myths debunked, including “Migration is on the increase”, “Strict border controls reduce irregular migration”, and “Migrants take jobs that would otherwise go to natives.”Thompson & Hurd

The Widening Gyre

The words “sex trafficking” and “pimp” do not appear in this story; however, I think we all know what was going through these cops’ sick minds:

Houston Police have refused to explain why they took a 13-year-old white girl from her two black guardians…and [gave] her [to]…Child Protective Services.  Landry Thompson’s mother had signed notarized papers giving dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd full guardianship over her during a trip from Oklahoma to Houston…Thompson, Hurd and another dance instructor had stopped at a gas station…when they were surrounded by police cars…All three told the police the same story, but…“They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me”…Thompson [said]…At first officials…demanded that the mother fly to Houston to get her daughter, but 11 hours later, the girl was released back into [Hurd’s] custody…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #28)

The French parliament has backed part of a bill that imposes a 1,500 euro (£1,250) fine on anyone paying for sex…Protests…took place outside the National Assembly in Paris as the debate took place…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #47) Sidse Babett Knudsen as fictional Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in Borgen

The Danes weren’t just satisfied with rejecting the tyrannical Swedish model; they also dramatized the events in a political television show:

…in the internet age, it is simply not good enough to pretend to be speaking for a “voiceless” group, as the surprised politicians learned in Borgen…Sadly, the biggest fiction…was the bit when the politician found herself impressed and moved by the voices of sex work activists…frighteningly few people in power have been willing to listen…

First They Came for the Hookers… (TW3 #132)

For those who still pretend government is different from organized crime:

…Houston Mayor Annise Parker…cut a deal with a group of strip clubs allowing them to…operate freely in exchange for an annual tax of $1 MILLION!…According to [a Houston Chronicle] article, “The city…has reached a settlement…that would halt enforcement of the three-foot rule and allow dancers to be fully topless in exchange for an annual $1 million donation to help combat human trafficking”…for those who have not completely removed the wool from their eyes, this is what is known…as a…shakedown.  But wait, only 16 clubs were included…so where does that leave the 50+ other strip clubs that have been purposely excluded from this deal?…I would venture…that…vice raids and harassment at these other clubs…will increase tremendously…the Mayor…herself…all but said that the other clubs will now be more routinely targeted…

Another, more obsequious blog reversed the roles by calling the deal “Houston’s dance with the devil” and breathlessly informed its readers that “Houston…has long been regarded as the nation’s hub of human trafficking”; I’d call that a claim for the #1 spot, wouldn’t you?

Due Consideration

I must admit, this one shocked even me:

…a pregnant Italian mother flew to England for a two-week…training course…she had…a panic attack when she couldn’t find the passports for her two daughters, who were with her mother back in Italy.  She called the police, who arrived…when she was on the phone to her mother…who explained [to cops] that her daughter was probably over-excited because she suffered from a “bipolar” condition and hadn’t been taking her medication…The police…[took] her to…a psychiatric hospital [where]…she was restrained…[and] sectioned under the Mental Health Act…five weeks later she was…strapped down and forcibly sedated, and when she woke up hours later, found she was in a different hospital and that her baby had been removed by caesarean section while she was unconscious and taken…by social workers.  She was…[then deported] to Italy without her baby…[who was] placed for adoption…Polaris King of the Hill

Number Puzzle (TW3 #324) 

Matthias Lehmann debunks more prohibitionist lies:

Re…“Germany is having second thoughts on legalized prostitution”…Alice Schwarzer’s… book and her appeal against prostitution have been widely criticized for using entirely unreliable data.  The counter-appeal…has been signed by numerous experts, including counseling centers for sex workers and victims of human trafficking as well as social scientists, social workers and sex workers themselves…a majority of the German public has consistently shown not to support a move to roll back the…law…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #326)

I don’t think many sex workers are unhappy about this:  “Germany’s biggest political parties have agreed to ban so-called flat-rate sex offered by some brothels…they view as exploitative the special offers…where men can have unlimited sex for 100 euros ($136)…

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

In Sweden, sex workers are considered “unfit parents”; child molesters, on the other hand

A Swedish man convicted for molesting a five-year-old girl…has been [allowed] to adopt a child of his own…the man…has been found guilty of more than 90 crimes, mostly different types of fraud…and was also suspected of raping a…teenage girl…the…social affairs committee…found that his risk of relapse was…low…but…members were not given access to…details about his…sex crime…[and] there were no supporting documents to back up the assessment…

Dutch Threat (TW3 #334)

Utrecht city council has agreed [on] a new location for…prostitutes, five months after the licences for most of the…floating brothels were withdrawn…because of concerns the boat owners were involved in human trafficking…The prostitutes, some of whom had attempted to take over the boats themselves, will be relocated to a new location with 162 workspaces…The city is also introducing a minimum age of 21…and…in order to prevent a monopoly…owners will only be given three-year licences for no more than 20% of the windows.

Under Every Bed (TW3 #335)

I take back anything nice I’ve said about Al-Jazeera and “sex trafficking” mythology; this example of the new “gang” myth-motif (complete with the magic mind-control philter and confusion about the meaning of the verb “to sell”) is as bad as anything in the American media:

Washington DC…gangs are prostituting underage girls…Prosecutors say the pimps gave their victims drugs…to keep them submissive… “[prostitutes] can be considered a ‘reusable resource’…if you’re going to deal marijuana or cocaine; you use it up, you have to find another source or supply”…

The article does admit that “relatively little is known about the overall nature or extent of juvenile prostitution in the United States,” but of course that never stops prohibitionists from making grandiose pronouncements.

A War for Peace (TW3 #336) Femen at Artemis

Oh, the irony:

…Femen staged a topless protest outside one of Germany’s biggest brothels, as part of a campaign promoting [the Swedish model]…The women chanted “Go rape yourselves” and…briefly scuffled with the club staff…before being led away by police…Femen held a similar protest in Amsterdam earlier this month…Femen leader Inna Shevchenko said…”Prostitution is not a women’s industry, it’s a business controlled by men”…

Absolute Corruption (TW3 #336)

Still more victims of the Satanic panic released from prison:

Fran and Dan Keller…[were] released after 21 years in prison…The case…was part of national hysteria over alleged sexual abuse with Satanic overtones…therapists were subsequently criticized for having implanted the bizarre allegations into the minds of children…[Defense attorney Keith] Hampton…has vowed to work to completely exonerate the Kellers…

Whimsical Notions

Think this would’ve happened if legal, professional whores were available to soldiers?  “Female soldiers at Fort Hood [Texas] testified…that they were recruited for a prostitution ring set up by a sergeant involved in the sexual assault and harassment program…

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #345)

This might make sense if selling sex were a bona fide criminal act, AND if nearly all clients only paid once in their lives:

…public defender Edgar Lin [had] filed motions to dismiss the two counts against Alexis L. Smith…99 percent of…arrested [clients]…never faced criminal charges, while 40 percent of the prostitutes were criminally charged…The discrepancy formed the basis of Lin’s argument that his client’s right to equal protection had been violated…But…Judge Mark McGinnis ruled that the patrons and prostitutes are not similarly situated, because the prostitutes…have ongoing criminal activity, while the johns typically only commit a single crime…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #348)

Another lurid, dysphemism-laden article on Brazilian sex work; this one conflates child, underage and adult prostitution, plays a shell game with agency, blames sex workers for the sadistic actions of police and has a faint Swedish odor in places.  All in all, a truly noxious mixture.

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Lawmakers and judges toss years, even decades, around as though the sentences were Frisbees floating on a leisurely summer breeze. - Norm Pattis

Imaginary Victims

Sarah KruzanCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown has decided…not to [deny]…parole to Sara Kruzan…[who] was 17 when she was sentenced to die in prison for the 1994 shooting death of George Gilbert Howard…[who had] sexually abused her and…groomed her since she was 11 to work for him as a child prostitute…”  Long-time readers may remember that prohibitionists have never spoken as much as a word in Kruzan’s behalf, despite their supposed wish to “rescue children” from “pimps”.

Lack of Evidence

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

[A judge ruled] New York City can be sued for false arrest and malicious prosecution…[for] targeting and entrapping gay men at video stores…[Robert] Pinter and an undercover officer agreed to leave a video store and have sex in a nearby car.  On the way out the door, the undercover allegedly added he would perform a sex act for $50.  Pinter…remained silent but continued walking with the undercover until he was arrested…for prostitution.

And in Dallas:

…police opened fire on [David Blair] as he stood in his doorway…after he rebuffed their interrogation efforts during an operation to apprehend call girls and johns…After nearly being shot to death, Blair was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer…[but] released after several hours…“I guess I wasn’t supposed to tell them to get the light out of my face,” Blair said…

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard streetwalkers referred to as “call girls”.

January Q & A

The only thing “sordid” and “seedy” about this is the way cops and the media collaborate to destroy lives, and the only “notable name” is that of Brian Bates, the soi-disant “Video Vigilante”, who is bizarrely referred to as an “anti-prostitution advocate” because the reporter is too ignorant to use the word “advocate” properly.

Secret Squirrel

AT&T…[is introducing] a…GPS-tracking…watch-like thingie…called FiLIP…[which alerts] when your child enters or leaves a designated area…[the ad says] “FiLIP…[helps] kids be kids again”…Right.  And the Invisible Fence collar…let my dog be a dog…I can get an iPhone Spy Stick, to be plugged into a USB port while he sleeps…or…Mobile Spy, software that would let me follow…his online activity and geographical location…[or] an innocent-looking iPhone Dock Camera that…surreptitiously [records audio and] video in his room…[In ZDNet’s survey of]  parental espionage…82 percent…agreed…that …“It is a parent’s right to ‘violate’ their child’s notion of ‘privacy’”…

Imaginary CrisesChristina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers…explains that the study often cited as the origin of the “one in five” factoid is an online survey…[which] employed such a broad definition that…”attempted forced kissing” qualified as sexual assault.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics…tells a different and more plausible story…During…1995-2002…there were six rapes or sexual assaults per thousand per year…about one victim in forty students.  Other DOJ statistics show that the overall rape rate…since 1995…has decreased by about 60 percent…

Follow the Leader

Clark Bianco pointed out this example of the state punishing citizens for following its lead: “a [Connecticut] couple faces charges after a 9-year-old girl in their care was punished with an electric shock collar used to discipline barking dogs”, but “a [South Dakota] police chief…is defending an officer’s [tasing] an 8-year-old girl…

Saving Them From Themselves

San Diego police say criminal charges will be filed in a sexting ring involving dozens of students…there’s no hacking or coercion…The girls sent out the naked pics themselves…

Surplus Women

A U.S. Marine has been referred for trial by court-martial…on charges of killing a visiting Las Vegas prostitute who was last seen alive outside a bar in…Waikiki…Master Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby is charged…in the death of 29-year-old Ivanice “Ivy” Harris…Messiah of Evil

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Thanks very much to Celos for sending me Messiah of Evil, which was our Halloween night movie this year!

Rhinoceros

His motive is obvious, but this is still freakish:

…authorities and human trafficking experts believe dozens of girls and boys are being brought to St. Louis to be offered for sale during the World Series…Michael Ocello owns several [strip] clubs and founded…Club Operators Against Sex Trafficking [COAST].  He has the backing of ICE and Homeland security…[and] has earned credibility with law enforcement…Ocello printed 10,000 baseball cards that will be handed out by his employees this weekend…the back details signs of human trafficking and a number to call…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

“Trafficking” as an excuse for surveillance again:  “…a button inside a police car…[releases] a [GPS tracker bug] that shoots out and sticks to the car in front…They can track and pinpoint [the target] vehicle…‘This is an important tactic for the police…rescuing little girls from human trafficking’…

Above the LawX-Ray of woman's chest

Business as usual in a police state:

…Diana Hardy…and her boyfriend, Mark McKoy, were…pulled over by [New York State] Trooper Robert Baird, who claimed that they were speeding and that the car was reported stolen…After two “sexualized” pat downs, Baird…illegally searched the…van…and…found personal lubricant, a sex toy, condoms and a half-full package of balloons from a child’s birthday party, and immediately accused Hardy of hiding drugs in a body cavity…“He seemed to become enraged and handcuffed [her], demanding to know why she ‘needed lube,’ crudely asking if McKoy was ‘really that big’ and stating that he had a ‘gut feeling’ [she] was smuggling drugs inside her body”…She was hauled to the barracks, shackled to a wall and strip-searched three times…[then] wept through a body-cavity search, but even though a doctor also failed to find proof, [Baird]…demanded an X-ray…[which] showed [she] had no contraband in her body…The couple were finally released after they paid to have their van towed to the police barracks…

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast:

A…[California] police officer is currently under investigation after…raping a trans woman…the cop stopped her while she was walking to a friend’s house…he…groped her and asked if she was a “nasty shemale”…then forced her to perform oral sex and raped her…[she] was able to retrieve and turn in a [used] condom…[for] DNA test…

Much Ado About Nothing

White House official fired for mocking his masters.  Same government official hires whores.  Media pretends this is somehow shocking:  “…well-known National Security Council staffer Jofi Joseph…was the man behind @NatSecWonk…and…follow-up reports claim Joseph may also have been writing as @DCHobbyist…a regular patron of Washington’s sex worker scene…

Above the Law (TW3 #47)

Britain’s most senior police officer has said he cannot be sure that [cops] are not still getting involved in sexual relationships with partners who do not know their real identities.  Eleven women are taking legal action against the Metropolitan police over claims that they were duped into relationships…with undercover officers…ITPA as Mahishasur

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #48)

Indian sex workers protest another attempt to impose the horrible Swedish model:

[In] the Puja [at]…Sonagachi…this year…Mahishasur was depicted as…embodying the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. And Goddess Durga  was shown ripping the demon-legislation apart with her trident…[a new amendment]…criminalises clients visiting brothels…[which] is tantamount to depriving sex workers of their livelihood. “Moreover, it will lead to more and more harassment by the police,” says [Bharati De of DMSC]…

The Camel’s Nose (TW3 #137)

This zombie legislation just won’t stay dead:  “The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which [requires] private companies to share customer information with the NSA and others in the name of cybersecurity, is back on the legislative agenda…

Here We Go Again (Extra Edition)

This academic’s massive blind spot about “sex trafficking” hysteria is fascinating; she walks all around that elephant in the room, yet can’t see it.  Furthermore, the details about how the “white slavery” panic fueled the growth of the FBI are interesting.

Uncommon Sense (Extra Edition)

Zurich…provided…a suite of 30 drive-in wooden booths in a non-residential neighborhood, where surveillance could keep pimps out…[The city thinks] they work…[but] organizations working with prostitutes…say…the…boxes attract new arrivals rather than…street veterans…[who] have…just gone elsewhere…Switzerland’s Salvation Army has recommended that the city allow prostitutes back onto the old red light district…Cornelia Zürrer Ritter…of the SA…[said]…gave…up [the facility] because they “earned less money there and found the working conditions inhumane”…

Imaginary Evils

Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary…[has launched] her attack on “modern day slavery”…a tiresome, over-emotive phrase which functions as political speak for human trafficking…[she] has made much of the need for increasingly harsh sentences for traffickers.  But, as highlighted by Anti-Slavery International, this focus is a red herring.  Its position is that the UK should improve its response to victims, primarily by taking a more robust approach against victim criminalization…

Furthermore, as Tim Worstall explains:

…a new report…shows…that while the problem is real it’s small.  United Kingdom Estimated number enslaved 4,200 – 4,600…But…who can forget Dennis MacShane telling the House of Commons that there are 25,000 slaves just in the sex industry [or]…Julie Bindel and…the Poppy Project insisting that there are vast tribes of women held as sex slaves…

And even that 4200 is hyperinflated.Alicia Beltran

Due Consideration (TW3 #341)

Finally, mainstream coverage of the vile mistreatment of Alicia Beltran:

…[at] 12 weeks pregnant, she [went] to a…clinic…for a…checkup…[she] admitted a past struggle with…Percocet…but [had been self-administering] Suboxone…to treat Percocet dependency…in decreasing doses…[with the] last dose a few days before her…visit…the physician’s assistant recommended she renew…use of Suboxone under a doctor’s supervision.  After Beltran declined…she was asked to take a drug test, which was negative for all…except Suboxone.  Two weeks later, a social worker visited Beltran…and told her that she needed to continue Suboxone treatment…Beltran…again declined.  Two days later, [cops dragged her to]…a…judge [who] ordered her to spend 90 days in a drug treatment center…

Yes, the state chained and caged her because she wouldn’t take drugs.

Torture Chamber

A powerful argument against draconian sentences:

…The dead…are a howling wound deafening those left behind.  Locking a killer away for a lifetime doesn’t silence that howling…it merely creates eddies of despair, whirlpools that swirl and draw down…the spirits of the condemned, their loved ones, and…the rest of us.  Revenge isn’t justice, it is just revenge…locking people up doesn’t bring back the dead, it doesn’t repay money stolen, it doesn’t repair the psyche of all the folks we calls victims.  Prison is a confession of failure, both for society and for the individuals who demand long sentences without end for those who transgress…our love of prisons…[is] a celebration of a moral cancer…

Us and Them (TW3 #342)

For those who think my use of the word “pogrom” is too strong to describe police persecution of whores and clients: “60 people were arrested…as part of ‘Operation Off the Streets 2’, a cleansing initiative…men and women have been busted for everything…from street level prostitution to…Internet and hotel arrangements in Northwest D.C…”  A “cleansing initiative”; like “ethnic cleansing”.

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

APNSW anti-sweatshop logoThe APNSW held a workshop last week, and several media outlets were on hand to interview sex workers and activists (including Melissa Ditmore and Cheryl Overs) about prohibitionist myths, the rescue industry and Equality Now’s attempt to negate the voices of thousands of sex workers. Regular readers won’t find anything surprising here, but it’s important to note the rising number of articles debunking “trafficking” mythology and publicizing both sex workers’ calls for decriminalization and the fact that several UN agencies support that policy.

Buried But Not Dead

More pearl-clutching about young pop-stars from a bunch of middle-aged ones who can’t compete with them any more, and “feminists” who never could.  It’s at least 2000 words too long and rife with inane buzzwords like “pornographic object”, “misogyny” and “sexualization”, but it’s mildly amusing in a train-wreck sort of way.

Across the Pond (TW3 #343)

As expected, six were closed:  “Seven of Edinburgh’s saunas have had their licences renewed…in the face of police objections…items of a sexual nature can be permitted on the premises — rejecting a principal objection by the police…[who later] denied this…meant condoms should be banned from the saunas…

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Most victims don’t know they’re being exploited.  -  many trafficking fanatics, who apparently believe they get to define other people’s experiences for them

“Sex trafficking” hysteria is growing so rapidly now that in any given week one can see almost as many of these as one cares to look for (consider the effect that has on Kevin Bales’ media-report-driven “algorithm”).  Here is a selection of the more interesting ones from the past few weeks, done in TW3 style.

Check Your Premises

Any “method” premised on the twisted belief that heterosexual male desire is “sickening” is doomed to fail:

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said…she wants city officials to come up with better methods for curbing prostitution, beyond arresting sex workers who end up returning to the streets after a brief stint in jail…she is “exasperated by the reality that…it just isn’t working…it’s time for…additional legal tools…targeting the sickening demand for prostitutes”…Martinez is hoping to…go…after those who exploit the prostitutes and engage in human trafficking…Pimps have also adopted new tactics that include shuffling prostitutes through Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle…to make it harder for police to recognize [them]…

I suspect the notion that whores are “trafficked” in a circuit by “pimps” is a warped view of touring.

Backfire
Sex Work 4 U   Recruitment

Critics say a satirical sex-traffic awareness campaign, that issued a fake callout for children to become sex workers, backfired.  But the organization behind the campaign is calling it a success.  Posters by Edmonton’s Chrysalis Human Trafficking Network, read:  “Now recruiting: Child sex workers”…The Twitter feed was ultimately shut down…Jacqueline Linder, executive director of Chrysalis, said…”It looked real and it was meant to look real”…

No, it did not “look real”, as you can see for yourself by clicking on the picture; it looked like ugly prohibitionist bullshit of the sort we’ve seen before.  Jemima has more on the sleazy fanatics at Chrysalis, including a typical bogus “checklist” with items designed to describe just about any young person.

A Fantasy of Hate

Even among “sex trafficking” fetishists, it’s rare to see such raw, unfiltered misandry outside of neofeminist hate sites:

…Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Criminal Justice Training Specialist Krista Hoffman…said…”One of the big problems with sex trafficking is our cultural acceptance of prostitution…[Pimps] don’t mind beating girls up around the face”…One study found that purchasers…actually like the appearance of bruises and cuts.  “When it looks like girls are beaten up a bit it heightens the excitement for them,” Hoffman said…

Only in the twisted fantasy world inhabited by neofeminists could anyone claim that the stigma and criminalization inflicted on whores indicates “cultural acceptance”.  And only an evil fanatic with almost no attachment to reality whatsoever could imagine that the average man wants to have sex with a woman who has obviously been beaten.

Law of the Instrument

Inspector Haynes just can’t understand why sex workers “don’t even realize that they are victims“:

Five women believed to be sex-trafficking victims have been rescued by police during raids on nine suspected brothels in Birmingham.  Police…said they were determined to put a stop to “modern day slavery” in the region…Officers…seized mobile phones, cash, laptops and paraphernalia relating to prostitution…Detective Inspector Darren Haynes said…”Tonight’s action…is about protecting people who more often than not don’t even realise that they are victims”…

Repeat Offenders

The agency-denying, lie-spreading nun-SOAP cabal is at it again:

…Beginning this week, a group of 200 volunteers, including 30 nuns, will be cold-calling or visiting 300 New Jersey hotels to talk about the Super Bowl’s dirty little secret:  prostitution…everybody knows hookers follow the game.  But most…see only a victimless crime, a business arrangement between consenting adults, where the women are willing opportunists and the men just out for a good time.  The nuns don’t see it that way.  They see victims…The volunteers…will be distributing soap…with the coalition’s hotline number on the wrapper, so a girl being forced into prostitution has a lifeline…

Held Together With Lies

Since Kevin Bales’ widely-quoted “estimate” is based on media reports, it was only a matter of time before it grew even more ridiculous:

There are 29.8 million people living as slaves right now, according to a comprehensive new report  issued by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation.  This is not some softened, by-modern-standards definition of slavery.  These 30 million people are…chattel in…absolute ownership…Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe…are blighted particularly by sex trafficking, a practice that bears little resemblance to popular Western conceptions of prostitution.  Women and men are coerced into participating, often starting at a very young age, and are completely reliant on their traffickers…You don’t have to go far to see slavery in America.  Here in Washington, D.C., you can sometimes spot them on certain streets, late at night.  Not all sex workers or “prostitutes” are slaves, of course; plenty have chosen the work voluntarily and can leave it freely.  But, as the 2007 documentary “Very Young Girls” demonstrated, many are coerced into participating at a young age and gradually shifted into a life that very much resembles slavery…

bogus slavery mapOf course, this is absolute poppycock; none of these so-called “slaves” are chattel slaves unless the legal systems of their countries officially recognize slave ownership, and most aren’t even coerced by any legitimate definition of the word.  As regular readers have seen, claims of “sex slavery” in Southeast Asia are  dramatically exaggerated, and the claims about Eastern Europe are both exaggerated and twenty years out of date.  The documentary mentioned is prohibitionist “average entry at 13″ propaganda, and if the reporter wanted to quote old stories from his newspaper he should’ve tried this one.

Pyrrhic Victory

NSA says sex workers & associated parties are valid drone targets, then hides the admission:

There was an odd statement from NSA in the middle of yesterday’s WaPo story  describing how NSA facilitates CIA’s drone mission… “The NSA is ‘focused on discovering and developing intelligence about …foreign intelligence targets, such as terrorists, human traffickers and drug smugglers’,“…I believe this is the first time since the Snowden leak that NSA has suggested its “valid foreign intelligence targets” include “human traffickers and drug smugglers”…the WaPo explained [that it was] “withholding many details about those missions, at the request of U.S. intelligence officials“……and…the reference has now been removed from the story…

O, Canada! (TW3 #31)

Canadian “authorities” are nearly as obsessed with “trafficking” porn as American ones:

Brianne answers the knock, expecting to see the…man with whom she negotiated sex-for-money over email…Instead, two police officers step inside…“We’re not here to arrest you,” the officer says to Brianne.  “We’re here to help you.”  Women who are victims of human trafficking don’t fit the profile you might imagine…these girls could be your daughter, says Det. Mark Benallick…of the Toronto Police…“What begins as a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship progresses to increasing control, until these women are treated as slaves…These pimps have the ability to spot vulnerable girls in a crowd…and instantly know which ones can be manipulated”…

Note the increasing tendency to ascribe magical powers to pimps.

King of the Hill

Not just the US; the entire world!

Two girls excitedly walk off their plane that just landed in Paris…their happiness is snatched from them as they are betrayed, dragged and forced into a hard-to-escape lifestyle…Many are familiar with the depiction from the movie Taken, but many fail to realize the reality that lies behind [it]…the University of West Georgia…is…close to one of the biggest sex trafficking hubs in the world…Atlanta International Airport is…a target for human traffickers…the U.S. is not that different from well-known sex trafficking countries such as Czechoslovakia.  FBI reports that Atlanta is the center for the sex-trafficking of adolescence and around 200 to 300 youth are prostituted in Atlanta a month…

Original SinDignity Gala Invitation

What planet do these people live on, where “sex trafficking” is “unrecognized”?

Although largely unrecognized, sex trafficking in the U.S. is a serious problem, and its victims needs the loving support that the Catholic Church can give…Candace Wheeler, founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Restoration Ministries…[said] “These girls need the body of Christ, and the body of Christ needs them”…According to the Department of Justice…300,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation each year…girls at risk for sex trafficking… “have typically been violated before the age of five”…

How much lower in age can the filthy masturbatory fantasies of “trafficking” fetishists go?

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #317)

Pop stars cause sex trafficking!

On Sept. 20, Rihanna tweeted…about a female performer from an illegal sex show she attended in…Thailand…officials say they used Rihanna’s tweets to help lead them to the arrest of the club’s owner.  Christian Film & Television Commission founder Ted Baehr says…”Most times these female performers are held in captivity against their will, and most are sold into slavery at young ages and don’t live past the age of 20 because of working conditions and highly-addictive drugs used to keep them in slavery”…Baehr says…Rihanna is supporting the international sex trade…

This is the second time we’ve seen the magical slave-philter, but I guarantee it won’t be the last.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #329)

Talking about the prostitutes she met whilst filming Jodie Marsh On The Game, [the model-turned-bodybuilder said]…“Mostly the thing they had in common was they’d all been forced into it by a man.  And their lives were shit…One girl — who had a gang bang in Germany where 15 men had sex with her one after the other — said she loved it…I’ve been celibate for two and a half years but that put me off sex even more…It made me think nobody is coming near my body ever again”…

I’m glad to hear that, Jodie; it’s best for the world that control freaks like you never breed.

Imaginary Evils

Remember, many huge police operations have found virtually no “sex trafficking” in the UK:

…trafficking of foreign women to be sexually exploited in the UK is worth at least £130 million, a Home Office report suggests.  The annual revenue generated by one female sex worker was estimated as £48,000…Organised crime was responsible for all such trafficking…A study…in 2009 identified 2,600 foreign women in England and Wales who were victims of [sex] trafficking…A further 9,200 were identified as vulnerable to being trafficked… Understanding Organised Crime: Estimating the Scale and the Social and Economic Costs, warned that the £130 million figure was likely to be an underestimate.  It estimated the social and economic costs…at £890 million…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #341)

Educated white American feminist goes “undercover” in a Turkish brothel; blah blah blah “piece of meat”, blah blah blah “traffickers and pimps”, blah blah blah “girls sold for sex”.  Because only educated white feminists are sophisticated and brave enough to take risks to make a living (you know, like by going into Turkish brothels), and only educated white feminists are magically protected from the mustache-twirling pimps with their magical pimp vision and mind-control potions; all other women everywhere are asexual simpletons who could NEVER EVER EVER make valid decisions that contradict feminist dogma.

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Fuck you, Gawker and your puritanical bullshit.  -  Lynsie Lee

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

If you think 100,000 “child sex slaves” in the US is ridiculous, how about in a country with ¼ the population?  “There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed…”  This is supposedly an “estimate” of the number of streetwalkers (compare with 70,000 in the US), all of whom are said to be “victims of the ‘prostitution mafia’.”

Elephant in the Parlor

Benny Johnson from BuzzFeed…messaged me, asking…about…an innocent yet charming flirtation I had…with…mayor [Cory Booker] at the beginning of the year… the [resulting]…article…was cute and, to me, satirical…[then] calls and emails start pouring in from reporters.  It was surreal.  How could something so simple be seen as a scandal?  Oh wait, I’m a stripper and nude model (how dare someone flirt with my kind!)…Gawker released a story…[implying] that…anybody I associate with is a bad person, especially men…strippers, or anyone in the adult industry, are real people, with real lives and real human relationships.  What we do for income doesn’t mean we are doing those things 24 hours a day.Doctor Mordrid  Accountants don’t sit at home with calculators at the dinner table, nor do proctologists go around sticking their fingers in people’s butts at the grocery store…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

A reader called Daz sent me a DVD I’ve been curious about for some time: Doctor Mordrid starring Jeffrey Combs, which was originally meant to be an adaptation of Marvel’s supernatural superhero Doctor Strange.  Thank you, Daz!

Change a Few Words

The Silk Road, a Web based black market for…narcotics…and other illicit goods, has been shut down by the FBI, and its alleged mastermind, Ross William Ulbricht, has been arrested…I can’t help but conclude…that the world is actually going to be a more dangerous place in [its] absence…The FBI…[wrote] “the site has sought to make conducting illegal transactions…as easy and frictionless as shopping…at mainstream e-commerce websites”…compared to the epidemic violence that has characterized the drug trade for the entirety of the War on Drugs…that…[seems] like a relative utopia…[and] successor sites…are…already up and running

The Profumo Affair

Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, the friends who became household names when the Profumo affair was exposed in 1963, are no longer even on speaking terms…[and have] not seen [one another] for three decades…Rice-Davies has leant her support to Lloyd Webber in the making of Stephen Ward, a stage show about the society osteopath who also played a pivotal role in the scandal…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Politicians want to protect the “good” women of Saskatoon from sex rays:

A new…proposal would isolate…strip clubs in industrial areas…City administration is recommending a 160-metre separation for adult entertainment venues from residential neighbourhoods, schools, parks, childcare centres, preschools…recreational facilities…[and] other adult entertainment venues…”You don’t [get] more street crime because of strip clubs,” said Mariana Valvarde, a professor of criminology at the University of Toronto…”It’s a myth”…Saskatoon’s proposed bylaw would [also] require [strippers] to be licensed…

But wait, it gets even stupider:

…Saskatchewan…does NOT allow nudity in a business that serves alcohol…[and] this is NOT changing…[the government’s own website states] “full frontal nudity will continue to be prohibited”…[only] wet t-shirt contests and striptease without nudity will be allowed…[but] the public AND the media…are reacting as though the opposite is the case…

Coming Out

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #26)

Another way the Swedish model harms sex workers:

A plan to protect Oslo prostitutes…has been dropped after [officials] ruled it would violate people’s privacy…Bjørg Norli, director of Prosentret, said…”The problem is that buying sex in Norway is illegal.  We would have been keeping a register of criminals, which the police would have been able to demand access to”…

Whatever They Need To Say

It isn’t only in Bangladesh that whores are evicted so fascists can profit:

…Sex workers from three flats in Soho were evicted…after police issued enforcement notices on landlords warning they could be prosecuted if they were found to be allowing “immoral activities”…On [October 9th] sex workers and activists…gathered outside the offices of Soho Estates, one of the main property owners in the area, and called for them to “stand up” to police.  “Soho has always been one of the safest places in the country for women to work”…said Niki Adams from the English Collective of Prostitutes…Members of the local Soho Society said the character of Soho was under threat from developers…Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Notorious Badge (TW3 #32)

I’ve got news for you, Léa

When it awarded the Palme d’Or to Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the Cannes Film Festival jury took the unusual step of sharing the prize between its director Abdellatif Kechiche, and its two principal actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos…but…the actresses were apparently unhappy with the director’s methods…Seydoux [said] “We had fake pussies on…I don’t make love on screen…it was kind of humiliating sometimes, I was feeling like a prostitute”…

Due Consideration

Alicia Beltran found herself handcuffed, shackled…and detained in an inpatient drug treatment facility for being honest about a medical history that included past dependency on prescription painkillers. The State of Wisconsin provided an attorney for her fetus, but not for her.  Without evidence of harm to either herself or the fetus, Alicia was made a ward of the state, all her rights and liberties suspended – including her right to have an abortion if that had been what she wanted…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #311)

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down Virginia’s anti-sodomy law…Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli…responded…[by] alleging that ‘nearly 90 sexual predators’ could be dropped from a registry of sex offenders…”  Too bad it isn’t more.

Dr. Schrödinger and His Amazing Pussycat (TW3 #312)

Jean-Baptiste de LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck was an 18th-century biologist who believed that characteristics acquired within an individual creature’s lifetime could be passed to its descendants; this was among the first steps toward evolutionary theory, but was disproved about a century ago.  However, certain political cults (such as Soviet communism) still clung to it long afterward as a pseudoscientific means of supporting their beliefs, and apparently Swedish state neofeminism is among them:

Around the world, women are on average shorter than men.  Purely biological evidence suggests that it should be the opposite…if women generally were larger risks associated with childbirth would…decrease…New theories suggest that the imbalance of power and discrimination underlie the size differences…we unconsciously give boys more food than girls, making the size difference between the sexes…persist over generations…

If this were true, the size difference would have vanished by the late 20th century in Western countries, where food has not generally been scarce in generations.  But it must please neofeminists tremendously to believe that if not for “Patriarchy”, women would be bigger and stronger than men.

The End of the Beginning

As…governments have imposed…restrictions on where sex offenders can live or even set foot, members of this highly stigmatized group…have formed associations…to [argue]…that indiscriminate laws…are unconstitutional and ineffective…“I find it very offensive that…sex offenders are trying to defeat the measures we have put in place to protect children,” said Nina Salarno Ashford …with Crime Victims United.  “They created their own issues…somebody was assaulted, in many cases a child”…[prosecutor] Susan Kang Schroeder…[said] “The pro-sex-offender lobby likes to bandy about percentages, as if even 1 percent is acceptable”…

The dysphemisms and lies should seem familiar.  Crime Victims United are vengeful badge-lickers who support mass incarceration and the abrogation of rights of the accused; the pretense that public urination, prostitution and sex while teenage are forms of “assault” is typical for them, as is pretending most “victims” are children.  And branding those fighting for human rights “The pro-sex offender lobby” is right out of the prohibitionist playbook.

Above the Law (TW3 #325)

new studies confirm previous findings that most of those who commit sexual abuse in detention are corrections staff, not inmates.  That is true in all types of detention facilities, but especially in juvenile facilities…[where] victims of sexual misconduct by staff members were more likely to report eleven or more instances of abuse than a single, isolated occurrence…

Ad Absurdum

Kaitlyn Hunt…entered no contest pleas to…misdemeanor battery and felony interference with child custody…[she will] remain in jail until December 20, followed by three years of felony supervision…she will not be branded a convicted felon or registered sex offender and can ask for her case to be sealed or expunged…

Matthew Lyons
Be Careful Who You Rape

And if she really had been a hooker, that would have made it OK?

…21-year-old Matthew E. Lyons approached [a] woman…[bird-watching] in a [Florida] gazebo…Lyons repeatedly complimented the woman…[when she said] she was not interested…in…sex…Lyons…threw [her] to the floor…and pulled off her shorts and underwear…[but fled after he] was unable to pull on a condom…Lyons admitted meeting with the woman but said he thought she was a prostitute…

Policing for Profit

Several communities in [Wisconsin want]…to increase the fines for…prostitution…Police are backing an ordinance that would make the fines more than $2600…Police are hopeful increasing the fine by more than 1300% will serve as a deterrent…”  Obviously, they hope nothing of the kind; it would cut into their profits.  Meanwhile, in Florida:

Police in [Sunrise]…have hit upon a surefire way to make millions.  They sell cocaine.  [Cops] and their army of informants lure big-money drug buyers…from [all over the Western Hemisphere]…then bust the buyers and seize their cash and cars…the…money…fuels huge overtime payments for the undercover officers…and cash rewards for the confidential informants…one femme fatale informant  [made] more than $800,000 over the past five years…Last year, the city raked in $2 million…the year before…twice that…

Cuckoo Advertising (Extra Edition)

Credulous reporters keep giving away ad space:

…“The World’s Largest Sugar Daddy Dating Website” says it has recorded a 50 percent jump in average daily sign-ups since the start of the government shutdown…“We usually have a lull in September and October,” Seeking Arrangement’s public relations manager Jennifer Gwynn told NPR…“Half of the new members are single moms, so we’re thinking that it’s tied directly to the government shutdown, since programs like WIC…have been stalled”…

Just Call Me Nobody

Lest you forget:  “pimp” is copese for husband, driver, landlord, roommate, service owner, bodyguard, phone operator, parent…

…Lindsey Roberson, a [North Carolina] assistant district attorney, said…if [whores] complete certain mandated steps, the charges will be dropped…they [must] accept responsibility, go through trauma counseling, a vocational assessment, and – if needed – substance abuse treatment…Thom Goolsby…said [his] new law makes North Carolina the “toughest state in the union on pimps and johns”…

So women are infantilized and brainwashed and men are “hammered”.Cathy Reisenwitz

A Procrustean Bed (TW3 #339)

Cathy Reisenwitz on New York’s “trafficking” court:

…the policy…is a paternalistic perception that strips women of agency in an attempt to protect them from their own choices. “Saving” sex workers, after arresting and arraigning them, will not accomplish the court’s goals…special courts fail to recognize the people who are not hurting themselves or anyone else, but are criminals only by law…sex workers are potentially human trafficking’s most effective foes, as they are ideally situated to identify sex slavery and alert the authorities. Or they would be if they did not risk arrest and prosecution for doing so…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #339)

Another good article about Equality Now from Melissa Gira Grant:

It’s not something you expect to hear from a women’s rights group:  our prostitutes are better than yours.  But that’s the tone struck by Equality Now in their new campaign against United Nations recommendations that sex work be decriminalized. Claiming that the UN “ignores survivors of prostitution,” Equality Now and their allied anti-prostitution organizations have offered their own experts who have worked in the sex trade – who all also happen to agree with them that prostitution must remain illegal…despite evidence that illegality is dangerous, and despite even sex workers’ own demands.  This is why you will find a former prosecutor…now leading this ostensibly human rights campaign…

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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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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  -  John 8:32

I recently realized that because the prohibitionists have a set of stock lies they can repeat in an article or internet comment, someone trying to refute them is forced to link to a number of different sources to debunk those lies.  In order to make things easier, I’ve decided to consolidate responses in one place; in a few days I’ll replicate this column as a static page, to which I can add new lies which may appear and new statistics with which to debunk them.  This column only covers factual claims; emotional arguments of the “no little girl dreams of being a prostitute” variety are covered in “Amazingly Stupid Statements”.

Jodie Foster Taxi DriverLIE:  The average age at which a woman enters prostitution is 13.
TRUTH: If this were true, there would have to be huge numbers of toddler-prostitutes to balance the many, many women who start later in life, such as to support themselves after divorce.  Even underage prostitutes start at an average of 15-16, and only 15% of teen hookers (themselves a small minority of all sex workers) enter at an age below 13.  A conservative estimate for the average age at which women enter the trade is 25.  The “average debut at 13” lie was a purposeful distortion by anti-sex crusader Melissa Farley, who misrepresented the average age of first noncommercial sexual contact (which could include kissing, petting, etc) reported by underage girls in one 1982 study as though it were the age they first reported selling sex; the actual average age at which the girls in that study began prostitution was 16.

LIE:  The average age of death for a prostitute is 34.
TRUTH: That figure was derived from a 2003 study which examined all of the reports of murdered street workers in Colorado Springs from 1967-1999, and discovered that the average age of death of those victims was 34.  In other words, nobody who wasn’t murdered was included in the figure.  It’s like using the average age of dead soldiers in a war to proclaim “the average man who joins the military dies at 21”.

LIE:  The demonstrable problems with legalization schemes in places like Nevada and the Netherlands constitute an argument in favor of criminalization.
TRUTH: The demonstrable problems with those legalization schemes constitute an argument in favor of decriminalization.  No sex worker rights organization in the world favors the Dutch or Nevada models, precisely because they do give rise to a host of problems which are prevented by treating sex work as work.

LIE:  85% of prostitutes report childhood sexual abuse.
TRUTH: The original source for this claim was a 2004 study of incarcerated street workers which actually claimed that 45% reported sexual abuse and 85% physical abuse.  Furthermore, there are serious methodological problems with the study, which is typical when biased researchers use an unrepresentative convenience sample and then extrapolate the results to a much larger population with which it does not correlate to any meaningful extent.

LIE:  “End Demand” tactics are an effective means of reducing prostitution.
TRUTH: Economic analysis demonstrates that “end demand” tactics increase the number of sales of sex, especially at the street level.

LIE:  “Human trafficking” is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise (or the third most, or most recently the most).
TRUTH:  This myth originated in a UNODC meeting where Kevin Bales (see “27 million” below) said, “…it’s impossible to answer that question.  If I had to guess I would say it was third…”  Ann Jordan surmised that the original source of the myth (later revealed as Bales) was probably thinking about smuggling, certainly a more credible candidate for the position.

Who victimizes sex workersLIE:  Most of the violence to which sex workers are subjected is at the hands of clients or pimps.
TRUTH: Most of the violence suffered by sex workers in regimes where the work is fully or partially criminalized is at the hands of police.

LIE:  Most or nearly all prostitutes are controlled by pimps and forced to work.
TRUTH: In nearly every stable modern society, the rate of coercion for adult prostitutes is about 2% or less, and for underage ones about 8-10%; this is roughly the same as the rate of non-sex-working women who report an abusive or controlling boyfriend or husband.

LIE:  Most prostitutes are driven to it by financial need, and 9 out of 10 prostitutes would like to exit prostitution immediately.
TRUTH: These statements are probably true, but if there is any normal job (not an elite career occupied by a tiny fraction of the population) to which they do not apply, I’d like to know what it might be.  What makes this a lie is the pretense that it applies to sex work to a higher degree than to other jobs, which it does not; one Australian study found that half of all prostitutes ranked their work as a “major source of satisfaction” in their lives, and 70% said they would definitely choose prostitution again if they had their lives to live over.

LIE:  Most prostitutes are “recruited” into the work by pimps.
TRUTH: Most adult sex workers start due to pragmatic concerns, and most underage ones either think of it on their own or are recruited by friends.

LIE:  Most prostitutes suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
TRUTH: This is another of Melissa Farley’s pet lies.  She claims to be able to diagnose PTSD with a 15-minute self-administered questionnaire, despite the fact that the National Center for PTSD states that “brief, single-item, closed-ended questions for each PTSD symptom are…no more valid for making a diagnosis than self-report measures…Proper assessment of PTSD is complex…”  In short, she is not qualified to diagnose this condition, and her method would be quackery even if she were.

LIE:  Nearly all men buy sex OR a small, pathological group of men buys sex.
TRUTH: Though a slight majority of men have paid for sex at least once in their lives, about 20% of them do it “occasionally” (several times per year) and 6% “frequently” (several times per month).

LIE:  100,000-300,000 children are “trafficked” every year in the United States.math is hard
TRUTH: That myth is a distortion of an absurd estimate from the Estes & Weiner study of 2001, which estimated that number of “children, adolescents and youth (up to 21) at risk of sexual exploitation”.  “Sex trafficking” was the least prevalent form of “exploitation” in their definition; other things they classed as “exploitation” included stripping, consensual homosexual relations and merely viewing porn.  Two of the so-called “risk factors” were access to a car and proximity to the Canadian or Mexican border.  When interviewed by reporters in 2011, Estes himself estimated the number of legal minors actually abducted into “sex slavery” as “very small…We’re talking about a few hundred people.”

LIE:  Prostitutes only do the work because they have no meaningful choices.
TRUTH: 93% of escorts say they like their work for the money, 72% for the independence and 67% for meeting people.  And a 2011 study demonstrated  that most American escorts are women with “high opportunity cost”, in other words those who have many other meaningful options.

LIE:  Prostitutes spread disease.
TRUTH: Only about 3-5% of all STIs can be attributed to either side of a sex work transaction, and the rates of infection among professionals are much (often dramatically) lower than among promiscuous amateurs.

LIE:  Prostitution destroys the self-esteem of women involved in it.
TRUTH: Though only a small fraction of street workers report an increase in self-esteem after entering harlotry, they represent less than 15% of all prostitutes.  97% of escorts in one study reported an increase in self-esteem, compared with 50% of Nevada brothel workers; another study found that 75% of escorts felt their lives had improved since starting the work, 25% reported no change and 0% said their lives were worse.  Anyone who has ever personally known any sex workers of any kind knows that if anything, their self-esteem is often too high.

LIE:  Prostitution is associated with crime.
TRUTH: Criminalization is associated with crime.  When “authorities” criminalize a consensual activity, they shouldn’t be too surprised when criminals are then attracted to it.  When’s the last time you heard of anyone arrested for bootlegging or rum-running?

LIE:  “Sex trafficking” increases when prostitution is legalized.
TRUTH: This claim is based on the deeply-flawed Neumayer, Cho and Dreher study, which failed to even define the term “trafficking” in any way which would allow statistical comparison.  The lie was further developed by a report in Der Spiegel which used figures for exploitation among illegal prostitutes to argue against legalization.  In any legalization regime, those sex workers who are defined as being outside the legal structure (i.e. still criminal) are always those at greatest risk of violence and exploitation; to the extent that “trafficking” actually exists, it is generally the illegal nature of sex work which supplies the greatest tool for coercion.  In the decriminalized structures of New Zealand and New South Wales, coercion is virtually nonexistent.

LIE:  Sex work causes rape.
TRUTH: The evidence suggests that sex work of all kinds actually decreases the rates of rape, sexual assault, divorce and several other sex-related social ills.

LIE:  The Swedish model has dramatically reduced prostitution and sex trafficking in Sweden.
TRUTH: The Swedish model cannot be shown to have had any effect on rates of prostitution at all, though it has made the lives of sex workers much more difficult and dangerous.  Norwegian studies demonstrate that their version of the law has increased sex trafficking and the number of prostitutes, and also promoted pimping.

LIE: There are 27,000,000 people enslaved in the world today.trafficking estimate comparison
TRUTH: That number was developed by a “trafficking” fanatic named Kevin Bales using media reports multiplied by arbitrary numbers of his own devising; the more the hysteria, the higher the number of articles and thus the higher Bales’ number grows.  “Trafficking” estimates are all over the map; the official UNODC estimate is less than a tenth as much (2.4 million), and even with vague, loose and ever-expanding definitions of “trafficking” the office has evidence for only about 40,000 in the entire world.

LIE:  A very large fraction of sex workers are below 18.
TRUTH: In legal forms of sex work, virtually none are; in illegal forms the fraction is still very small.  Only about 3.5 % of prostitutes in Western countries are under 18.

That’s all I can think of for now; post any others you’ve seen in the comments and I’ll add them to the static page.

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It’s better to be shameless than the victim.  -  Gabriela Leite

Acting and Activism

Whenever Mira Sorvino feels neglected by the media, she vomits out a slew of idiotic fables for credulous reporters:  “…this has grown into a highly profitable international business that rakes in $500 billion a year.”  Yes, that’s a “B”; Mira claims “sex trafficking” brings in 25% more than the entire GDP of Sweden (even UNODC only claims $32 billion).  But to a mathematical retard who believes every single whore makes over $250,000 a year and every pimp about $1.5 million, and that there are millions of “trafficked slaves”, I guess $500 billion seems credible.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

Another runaway clown car of unintentional hilarity:

…prostitution in Richmond [Indiana]…[is like] abandoned and unsafe housing…It’s not clear that stepped-up law enforcement can eliminate the problem…any more than it can stamp out abandoned and hazardous structures.  But what…Richmond Police Department Capt. Bill Shake does so well…is give lie to the notion…that prostitution is a “victimless” crime.  “It is a public safety disorder issue and a quality of life issue…We had three women come to us and complain that they had been approached by men seeking prostitutes.  These are just women…walking to work”…these innocent women…are victimized because their sense of security has been violated.Curly  Local businesses and homeowners…are likewise victims of the sheer brazen starkness of the problem.  But…Shake makes a victimhood case even for the [prostitutes and] Johns…“These ladies need help, and the men need intervention,” he said…

TL;DR version:  “Whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop!  Nyah nyah nyah!”

Where Are the Victims?

This guy sounds like a dangerous criminal:

A brothel manager…tried to help a worker in his massage parlour get the morning-after pill…Staff at the pharmacy called police…[because] the woman…was Romanian…No evidence of trafficking was found, but police [stole] £1,200 cash on the premises, plus another £25,000…at Jones’ home…[his lawyer] said…“The police had visited [the parlour] a number of times…and [said]…as long as there were no drugs or trafficking he would face no action”…

Unfortunately, xenophobia, hysteria and snitching are not crimes.

License To Rape (June Updates)

A woman who…was sexually assaulted by…San Diego Police Officer Anthony Arevalos…settled a lawsuit against the city…for $795,000…Arevalos…was convicted of sexual battery and…in February 2012 was sentenced to almost nine years…the city has paid out $2.3 million in claims [altogether] from Arevalos’ misconduct.  One more case is still pending…[several of the cases alleged] that a culture of covering up officer misconduct permeates the department and allowed Arevalos to harass women for years…

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

The UK's most prohibitionist paper in a rare moment of lucidity

The UK’s most prohibitionist paper in a rare moment of lucidity

Lawheads will be lawheads:

…a 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman [were] arrested for [consensual, noncommercial] sex…Kelcey Nicholas…married [Lataura] Jarrett’s mother…when police [broke into] Nicholas’s house…to bust him on another charge, they…found [him having sex]…with Jarrett.  The two share no genetic…relation, nor did Nicholas ever legally adopt Jarrett.  But…the law in West Virginia defines stepdaughters as daughters…[they were] charged with…incest, a felony…[threatening 15 years in] prison…

Perquisites

Big businesses woo valuable employees with (halfway) whores.  Yawn.

…when college sports programs…need…to convince young…men to choose their school, they…use…“hostesses”—college women with pretty, smiling faces…[to] assist high-caliber potential student-athletes when they visit campus…according to Deadspin, [they] “answer questions, and…provide entertainment.”  College football is big business…but…NCAA [rules state that]…programs cannot give recruits “any financial aid or other benefits,” including cash, clothing, or merchandise.  In place of these…programs use the recruits’ official 48-hour visit to show them a good time, an implicit promise of what their years on campus will be like…Even though [former hostesses insist]…that no one…tells hostesses to “lead on” recruits, programs are well aware of how instrumental these women are in helping them land top athletes…

Because Everyone Knows That Laws Deter Streetwalkers

The power to see abstractions must be useful:

Cleveland City Councilman Eugene Miller… [proposes] to toughen penalties for prostitutes, pimps and johns…[saying] he has grown tired of seeing prostitution in his…neighborhood and believes that more severe punishment is the only way to ameliorate the problem…however…Judge Ronald Adrine said…mandatory jail time would contribute to overcrowding…“Are we looking at…a severe problem…Or is this…a solution…looking for a problem?”  Adrine compared the issue to fighting the so-called “war on drugs” with harsh jail sentences.  “We have not been able to incarcerate ourselves out of that problem,” he said…

Kudos to Judge Adrine for having the balls to talk sense.feminist heretic burning

To Spite Their Faces

Cathy Young’s “Is the Patriarchy Dead?” is well worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a sample:

When writer Hanna Rosin recently published an article on Slate.com stating that “the patriarchy is dead,” much of the feminist response amounted to “burn the heretic!”…Ironically, the feminist tendency to shoot the bringer of good news was the very topic of Rosin’s essay…In its present form—as a secular cult that should call itself the Sisters of Perpetual Grievance—feminism is far more a part of the problem than part of the solution.  It clings to women’s wrongs and turns women’s rights into narcissistic entitlement.  It is far too easily prone to bashing men while painting women as insultingly helpless…

An Angel of Mercy

What real help for streetwalkers looks like:

…Becca Stevens offers [them an]…alternative working for the cosmetic company she started called Thistle Farms.  The women make soaps, oils, and other products to sell nationwide…the program…offers free housing, eliminating the worry about paying rent…75 percent…have stayed off the streets.

No cops.  No cages.  No shaming or brainwashing.  Just a fair offer they can choose to accept, or not.

A Broker in Pillage

[Maryland] and federal agents raided Jade Heart Health…and charged its operators with prostitution and human trafficking…Di Zhang…has…[an extensive] real estate portfolio…and part-ownership of a…company that reports…millions of dollars of business in China…federal authorities have launched a civil-forfeiture case to seize five buildings…[worth] nearly $2 million…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #16)Gabriela Leite

…in Brazil…a bill…called the Gabriela Leite Law (in honor of the prostitute and activist who founded the NGO Davida)…[proposes] to [clarify] sex work [law]…Leite…[says] it is necessary to consider prostitution as a profession and avoid the cliché of the prostitute as a victim…The bill…defines a sex worker as any person who is at least 18 years old and able to voluntarily provide sexual services for remuneration.  It proposes to regulate the houses of prostitution, to prevent exploitation…[to] set…a ceiling [on income taxes for sex workers and to]…establish…a retirement option…

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?

…it’s become increasingly difficult for former adult stars to conceal their past from their employers…[but] employee discrimination cases involving sex workers are usually…“very difficult to win,” says adult entertainment lawyer Michael Fattorosi.  Under current discrimination laws, there are no protections for former sex workers, and…an employee who…failed to disclose a porn past…would be compromised even further; the employer could argue that the employee had been hired under false pretenses…

The Schizoid State

I doubt we’ll ever know the truth about the so-called “teen girl pimps”:

The 16-year-old plead [sic] guilty to…three counts of human trafficking, and one count each of robbery, luring, and making child pornography…The 18-year-old…to human trafficking, robbery, uttering threats, and breach of recognizance…the Crown [claims]…the girls, who were 15, 15, and 16 at the time…recruited…teen girls through Facebook…and [forced] them into prostitution…The third accused, the so-called ringleader…is on trial for…making and possessing child pornography, human trafficking, forcible confinement, procuring…criminal harassment, and uttering threats…

The Widening GyreIlluminati

Though the persecution of a Florida family for homeschooling (including arrests and threats to abduct their children) is reprehensible, it’s unfortunately too common to be newsworthy.  What I find interesting is that because the mother is “the founder of a non-profit organization that rescues and restores victims of sexual trafficking”, it didn’t take long for the peanut gallery to ask, “Is it possible that this is…retaliation from those who are involved in sex-trafficking?” because “the human trafficking forces are far more powerful than most of us know and certainly do not want to believe.”  Since it’s the state of Florida itself that is harassing them, the implication is clear; this hysteria is tracking right on the same course as the Satanic Panic, whose adherents also began to imagine their bogeymen as part of the government shortly before the whole thing imploded.

Capricious Lusts (TW3 #37)

I just wish sex worker activists cared more about establishing our social value than about preserving feminist myths:

The head of Bangkok’s Children and Women’s Protection Unit has defended the role of prostitutes in society, saying their work helps reduce the number of sex attacks.  Pol Col Napanwut Liamsanguan said…without sex workers there would be more…rape…“This is not something disgusting; it is basic human nature…we can’t deny that sex workers are part of our society”… Chantawipa Abhisuk…of the Empower Foundation…said there was no correlation between prostitution and rape…and…Surang Janyam…of the Service Workers in Group Foundation…said she was disappointed to hear a police officer offer such an opinion…

Obviously, the opinion that we’re lazy, superfluous criminals is much better.

That Old Black Magic

This reporter’s details are very confused; were these boys or transgirls?  And if they were already prostitutes, how could they be “forced into the sex trade”?

Paris police have reportedly broken up a major transsexual prostitution ring…Andrea Chichi…is suspected of having forced nearly 90 transsexual prostitutes into the sex trade.  It is alleged he also threatened them with black magic if they refused to obey his orders…“He recruited young boys from…Argentina…and suggested they get plastic surgery from an accomplice”…[a police] source said, noting that the threat…was…commonly used by Nigerian pimps…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #42)Graham Ellison

Another good anti-Swedish model essay from Dr. Graham Ellison:

…[the client criminalization bill] is premised on a…narrow abolitionist view of sex work, grossly overestimates the extent of “demand” in Northern Ireland, and is out of line with policy developments occurring elsewhere in the United Kingdom and…continental Europe…In spite of the exaggerated claims…there have been only two prosecutions in the past decade…[and] the degree of coercion…is debatable in at least one of these cases…“trafficking” is [a] slippery concept that has been progressively devalued by exaggerated usage…debates about trafficking…can also be read as proxy debates about immigration and…racist sentiments have been embedded in anti-trafficking discourse…

It Looks Good On Paper (TW3 #311)

The Orwellian language in this article about a “sexual exploitation recovery program” (i.e. scheme to brainwash hookers) is especially chilling:  “Selah Freedom expects the new…program to fill quickly and has partnered with the Sarasota and Bradenton Police Departments to bring victims into their care…”  The casual reader probably wouldn’t even realize “bring into care” means “arrest and cage”.  This story is also notable for its oddly-humble “King of the Hill” entry, which only claims the Tampa Bay area as the third-largest “trafficking hub” in Florida rather than in the whole US.

Dysphemisms Galore

Reporter Maria Arkouli just couldn’t resist turning the rather pedestrian story of a whore arrested for practicing prostitution without a license into “sex trafficking” hentai:  “Famous singers…are consigned to prostitution by a ring in Athens which has spread its tentacles throughout Greece and over the Internet…

The Public Eye (TW3 #324)

The Mote and the Beam (TW3 #332)

When a reporter says something is “surprising”, you can bet it actually isn’t to anyone raised outside of a convent:

Top law enforcement officers…[who] are pushing Congress for greater authority to go after a booming online industry that hosts ads for child sex traffickers…are encountering opposition from an unexpected source — conservative…lawmakers who fear a government clampdown…A coalition of…lawmakers and businesses has drafted a…resolution that…urges Congress to deny state prosecutors the…power they seek…warning that it could discourage investment in new Internet services…

It would do more than that:  it would utterly destroy the internet as we know it, because no website would risk criminal charges for user-generated content like this blog or reader comments on tens of thousands of others.

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