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I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.  -  James Madison

Ben Franklin Day We Fight BackMadison was, of course, exactly correct.  Those sick enough to seek power over others are never satisfied with the amount they have; they are driven to constantly seek more, to gradually push the boundaries of what they are allowed to do like the camel in the proverb.  The United States was founded on libertarian (at the time they were called “liberal”) principles, but in the process of getting the country started far too many exceptions and loopholes were allowed in those principles; the most egregious of these was chattel slavery, an evil whose legacy is still contributing to the decay of liberty a century and a half after it was abolished.  In the name of “safety”, “public order”, the “greater good” and other such vague nonentities, the rights of individuals have been eroded gradually and silently since the latter half of the nineteenth century, until there are precious few left (and those are cracked and pitted almost beyond recognition).  Even the principle of self-ownership, the one upon which all the others (and the very principle of democracy) depend, still exists in name only; armed thugs have been granted the power to inflict violence upon virtually anyone for virtually any reason (or even for no reason), to break into the private homes of peaceful citizens without warning, and to sexually and/or medically violate anyone’s bodily integrity on pretexts that even the Inquisition might have found flimsy.  Throughout all of it the American people, mesmerized by propaganda of imaginary hobgoblins, have allowed encroachment after encroachment, abrogation upon abrogation, while licking the boots of the overlords and thanking them for the privilege.

I want you to stop being afraidBut those overlords forgot one thing:  though Americans have degenerated into a race of spineless weaklings, they are as prudish as they ever were (if not more so).  While they are as willing as ever to celebrate the mistreatment of people they can rationalize as being not like them (racial or sexual minorities, drug users, etc), they don’t like the idea of being seen naked or having their sexual secrets exposed.  So while the news of each new excess of the police state for the past several decades has been greeted by the majority with yawns or even cheers, Edward Snowden’s revelations exposed an aspect of it that offended Americans’ Puritanical sensibilities.  Costumed goons murdering, abducting, destroying and pillaging was of no consequence, but now that they’ve been caught peeking through a hole into the girls’ locker room the peasants are ready to form a lynch mob.  To be sure, the most broken and lost of the mob have aimed their anger at Snowden; they blame him for making it impossible for them to continue on in blissful ignorance.  But a greater number are at last directing that anger where it belongs: at the police state.  Today there’s a protest against mass surveillance going on, and this column is a part of it.  I fear it’s far too little decades too late, and that the majority will go obediently back to sleep as soon as the President assures them that he’s “doing something” about it; however, I will continue to fight for freedom and justice as long as there is breath in my body, and while the masses are aroused I think we need to keep shouting at them in the forlorn hope that they may have finally reached the limit of their tolerance for oppression.

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

Bad Girls Emily Wyatt

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

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

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

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

The Swedish Pimpocracy

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

Bell, Hook and Kettle

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

See also “Dirty Laundry” below.

Not To Be Taken Internally

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

The Course of a Disease

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

Above the Law

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

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

The Widening Gyre

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

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

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

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

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

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

Dirty Laundry

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

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

With Friends Like These…

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

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)

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

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

Tyranny By Consensus (TW3 #138)

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

Profound Ignorance (TW3 #310) prohibition beer raid

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

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

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

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)

Imagine an American politician saying this:

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

Challenge

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

Between the Ears (TW3 #334)

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

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

O, Canada! (Hysteria On Parade) 

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

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

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #345)

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

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #345)

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

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #404)

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

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

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Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.  -  Brooks Atkinson

Frozen in Time by Amanda RyanChange, as I have written many times before, is a good thing.  This is not to say that all changes are good; rather, it means that it’s good for things to be able to change.  A world without death is a world without growth; a world without decay is one without development.  And a world where societies cannot descend into tyranny is one where new and better societies cannot be built.  Far too many Westerners are so afraid of possibility of negative change that they eagerly abase themselves before anyone who (falsely) promises to protect them from it, and are willing to destroy their children’s ability to cope with reality by subjecting them to vain and perverse efforts to permanently lock them into a state of ignorance and immaturity.  As I wrote in “With Folded Hands”:

In the ‘40s, the watchword was “victory”.  In the ’60s, it was “freedom”.  But by the ’90s, it had degenerated into “safety”.  Americans once recognized that there are some things worth dying for; now we encase our children in bubble-wrap and cry like little girls at the slightest risk.  Our great-grandparents dared unknown frontiers, while we sit in our playpens content to watch the world go by on television…People aren’t like this naturally; most of us are born with a yearning to explore the world, a zest for adventure and a thirst for knowledge, but these are ground out of children in factory schools, frightened out of them by “authorities” trying to create a race of docile, frightened sheep and squeezed out of them by overprotective parents who imagine “child traffickers” and “sexual predators” around every corner…

Every new prohibition, every new nanny-state ban, every war on free choice (and in recent years, even free speech) is justified by the same thing:  Safety, the bloated parasite-goddess whom fools continue to worship despite her total inability to deliver on her promises.  In the past, civilizations died in blood and fire; ours is slowly suffocating in billions of tons of cotton wool.  Nor are the overlords satisfied with “protecting” us from real, if exaggerated dangers such as accidents, ill-health and crime; no, they also have to invent mythical dangers like “sex trafficking”, and will continue to do so until every possible human behavior is bound by laws and regulations, watched by the police and centrally-planned by politicians.

stop timeBut the only thing which never changes is the fact that things change.  What police/nanny states seek – total subjugation of all individuality and absolute control over all human activity – is not only undesirable, but impossible; it is no more possible to absolutely control humanity than it is to stop the flow of time itself.  Furthermore, the very attempt must eventually destroy the government which makes it, like a machine pushed far beyond its design parameters.  It’s already happening; growing numbers of young people  reject the idea that “experts” and “authorities” either can or should direct their lives, and recognize both the so-called “left” and the so-called “right” as the statist charlatans they are.  As the old “Baby Boomer” dinosaurs and their wishy-washy “Generation X” followers begin to die off, prohibitionist madness will begin to die with them.  Just as restrictions on same-sex marriage are collapsing and restrictions on marijuana are starting to, so must all other restrictions on private, consensual behavior.  Prior to a few centuries ago, almost nobody questioned that idea that one individual could own another; now that idea is universally rejected.  And prior to a few decades ago, very few questioned that a collective could own an individual; now even the staunchest collectivists try to pretend that state control of individuals isn’t based in such ownership.  The time is fast coming when collective ownership and control of individuals is as universally abhorrent to moral people as individual ownership and control of other individuals is now, and though most reading this are already too old to fully enjoy that world when it arrives, we can take comfort in the fact that our grandchildren are not.

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Slavery works as a public fantasy through which the real problems of the world can be pushed to one side and replaced with…“evil slave-owners” who allegedly lurk behind such phenomena.  -  Frank FurediSWAT thugs

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Many organizations…receive inquiries from potential volunteers whose primary desire is to kick in doors and rescue…victims…once a potential volunteer learns that the organization does not have a covert SWAT team…they seem shocked and in disbelief.  The concept of private entities using…armed…[“rescue”] teams…is fueled by Hollywood and…non-governmental organizations…who play DVDs at anti-human trafficking events indicating their organization uses [such] teams…some even indicate their activities are unhindered by the bureaucracy of governments…

Handy Figures

I find this number very credible, given that 1% of comparatively-prudish Western women have worked as whores, plus an unknown (but certainly larger) number in other kinds of sex work:

…economist Yasuyuki Iida…says that five percent of women in Japan have [done some kind of sex work.  He]…begins by estimating that there are 10,000 clubs, bars and parlors offering sex nationwide… “each employs 30 women on average…That puts the number of women…at 300,000”…Iida settles on 10 years as the average tenure…based on data from the Ministry of Justice…the average woman enters the biz between the age of 25 and 29.  Census data…indicates that a total of 700,000 women fall within…that…group.  If 30,000 women [per year]…enter the fuzoku trade, that would represent…4.29[%] of that total…

The Course of a Disease

The Vietnamese government has just passed a decree under which clients of prostitutes will be punished more severely than the call girls…sex buyers will be fined VND500,000-VND1 million (US$23.7-$47.4)…prostitutes…will be issued a warning…in less severe cases or a monetary fine of VND100,000-VND300,000 (up to $14)…If the prostitutes are foreigners, they can be deported from Vietnam…

Legal Is As Legal Does (TW3 #7)

Another example of the need for eternal vigilance:

A delegation of former prostitutes…[and] advocates have appeared before…Parliament calling for a change to prostitution laws…the organisation Freedom from Sexual Exploitation (FFSE)…says…”the Prostitution Reform Act…not only encouraged more men to buy sex, but transformed prostitution into an acceptable, even attractive job for young, poor woman in New Zealand”…FFSE is asking the government to…[criminalize] the purchase of sexual services…

Above the Law

Three more “isolated incidents”:

Nearly twenty years after two young women were shot and stabbed to death at a Kentucky massage parlor…former [cops]…Edward Carter and Leslie Duncan are among three men charged…Tammy Papler, the woman who once ran the parlor, claimed years ago that she had been bribing police…and that the killings took place after she stopped paying.

Of course, it isn’t only whores they target:

A…San Antonio [cop raped a young woman]…Jackie Len Neal pulled [her] over…[on the pretext] that her car was reported stolen.  Even though [she] produced a sales slip…Neal insisted on patting her down…[then] placed [her] in handcuffs…[in] the back of his patrol car…[and raped her]…video cameras mounted in Neal’s cruiser were not functioning…[but] a GPS tracking system did corroborate that…[it] was parked for 18 minutes…as the woman had claimed…

And an update from the original “Above the Law”:  “A victim of a…Pittsburgh police officer…filed a federal lawsuit…Adam Skweres…failed his psychological examination before [hiring and]…the city [allowed him to keep working]…after it received complaints against him…[for] three years…Frankenstein - angry mob

The Widening Gyre

You know a moral panic is nearing its zenith when you start seeing mobs with torches:

Hundreds of people [gathered]…on Long Beach Boulevard in Compton to march against the sex trafficking of children and teenagers along the notorious strip.  The march…[followed] the route often used by johns and pimps in buying and selling young victims…”We are marching tonight to shine a light in the darkness and let these men know we see them,” [politician Mark] Ridley-Thomas said…”And to let businesses that profit from this vile trade…know that we’re coming for them”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #34)

Don’t believe our data; believe our dogma instead!

In Maine…its hotline netted 19 of what Polaris Project defines as high- or moderate-level indicators of trafficking in the most recent year…Destie Sprague…[of] the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said…Mainers should not reach the conclusion that only 19 people in the state were victims of trafficking in the past year…the number is in reality much higher…

Lower Education

The federal government is backing away from the nationwide “blueprint” for campus speech restrictions issued this May…the new head of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR)…said that “the agreement in the Montana case represents the resolution of that particular case and not OCR or DOJ policy”…the Montana agreement included an overly broad definition of punishable sexual harassment: “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including “verbal conduct” (i.e., speech)…Serious First Amendment and due process problems remain with…other recent OCR pronouncements…

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #326)

Wouldn’t you love to see articles like this in the US?

Media organizations worldwide have been busy crucifying Rob Ford for his alleged crimes and intoxicated buffoonery…but mainstream outlets in Canada…need to apologize for repeatedly presenting Ford’s crimes in conjunction with allegations of “prostitution”…Having sex for money is not a crime in this country.  Even though many activities associated with it remain illegal, having sex for money…is a job…Every major mainstream media source in the city latched onto the “hanging out with suspected prostitutes” allegations…what makes someone a “suspected prostitute,” anyway?  Fishnets?…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #329)

Though registration is a poor idea because of the inevitable bottleneck, the general tone of this article is far more sensible than anything from the US:

…Swaziland’s sex workers are not a major contributor to the spread of HIV…[it] is spread widely by people in [unpaid] sexual encounters …However…if HIV is to be contained in any country the need to protect sex workers from HIV is a requirement…Identification of sex workers is the first step, allowing a registry of sex workers for contact and communication.  Thus reachable, these individuals can receive advice on health issues, HIV testing…counselling…treatment …and a supply of condoms…public health crises require realism…

Migliorini in PlayboyLittle Boxes (TW3 #332)

A woman who sold her virginity…for $780,000 but was unable to consummate the transaction has decided to put herself back on the market…Catarina Migliorini  was initially promised to a 53-year-old Japanese millionaire, but the deal fell through after Natsu ended up being a 21-year-old who looked nothing like his online profile.  She also had a falling out with the documentary filmmaker who recruited her…

Decentralization (TW3 #334)

Another example of “sex trafficking” as default bogeyman:

…bitcoin…is not backed by any central bank or government and can be transferred “peer to peer” between any two people anywhere…By largely eliminating intermediaries, bitcoin allows individuals to conduct transactions without being subject to anti-money laundering controls, which makes it an attractive currency to criminals — particularly those who prey on the weak.  Sex slavery and human trafficking generate $9.5 billion yearly in the United States alone, with each trafficked child yielding between $150,000 to $200,000 to her pimp, who controls four to six girls on average…

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #334)

The cuckoo clock is striking 13:

Cindy McCain slammed the National Football League…for not being “willing to deal” with the issue of sex trafficking at the Super Bowl…McCain…said the Super Bowl is the “largest human-trafficking venue on the planet,” but she will be working to tackle the issue in [Arizona] in 2015…McCain emphasized the necessity of bringing the issue to…Congress.  “This issue’s not sexy on Capitol Hill yet, but we’re going to make it sexy”…

Given all the one-handed writing politicians do about “child sex slaves”, I’d say they already find it plenty sexy.  But McCain’s comments, however idiotic, are at least coherent, which is more than I can say for those of her sidekick:

…Saada Saar spoke about her involvement in shutting down “adult services” ads on Craigslist in 2010…“I will never forget that morning getting calls from some of the girls who were still out there saying, ‘Oh my God!  The pimp’s [sic] are losing their minds because they can’t put us up for sale.  We are no longer for sale’…”

Imaginary Evils

Slaves found in London 'tip of the iceberg' Daily MailI knew this would turn out to be bogus, but I’m very pleased that it came apart so quickly:

The first stories in the London slavery reports…all gave the same horrifying account:  three women had been rescued by police after thirty years held against their will…But as details emerged, it seemed to be an entirely different affair…after contacting the charity, the women were encouraged to leave the house, which they did…with no dramatic police raid…[they] had joined a radical Marxist collective…which…was like a microcosm of a Soviet state- workers toil unrewarded for the benefit of the leader…”social services, education and housing departments had all had contact with the household” and…both the leaders had been previously arrested.  The presence of these women in the house was not a new discovery by any means…

And in Spiked, Frank Furedi uses the incident as a springboard for a strong criticism of the way the word “slavery” is used to describe phenomena which are absolutely nothing like chattel slavery.

Everything Old is New Again

Here are two more stories in which “sex trafficking” is described using ludicrous Victorian phraseology; this one from Ohio tells us that the mustache-twirling villains behind the “perfidious crime” are not usually stopped by “swift apprehension”, and that arresting sex workers “[fights] the vexing scourge” by “helping to restore a semblance of normalcy to [their] lives”.  The other, from California, gasps in horror at the idea of “children…at risk” from people having sex “in a home right across the street from an elementary school,” opines that “the horror of human trafficking…has destroyed the meaning of what it means to be ‘safe’ in a free world,”  and tells us that “expanding shackles” (presumably, a technology related to “invisible handcuffs”) are “fueled” by “assumptions that these are consensual interactions with women flaunting their sexual desire alongside pimps in outlandish suits with expensive cars.”

Meanwhile, if you click back to the original column by this name you’ll see something about how New Port Richey, Florida has a scheme to allow “authorities” to persecute “known prostitutes” at will.  Well, here’s an open letter to the town from its most famous daughter, Dr. Brooke Magnanti:

…Profiling has a false positive rate greater than zero, and some of those false positives will no doubt lawyer up.  Also, picking up people because you think they might possibly commit a crime in the future is not the same as detecting people who are actually breaking the law.  It is – hm, how you say? – oh yeah, now I remember the word.  “Unconstitutional.”  (My time in Florida’s schools did not go to waste, as you can see)…

Think of the Children! (TW3 #346)

Buried down near the bottom of this farrago of pearl-clutching nonsense about a persecuted Calgary massage parlor:  “Human trafficking is not a widespread problem among sex workers in Calgary massage parlours, police say…Mary Ann Franks threatens to beat up website owners

Shame, Shame

Activists seeking to criminalize “revenge porn” say they are…[preparing] federal legislation that would force Internet companies to take [it] down…law professor Mary Anne Franks…is helping draft the bill…”Going after intermediaries is a really bad idea,” says Matt Zimmerman…[of] the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  “The entire speech ecosystem…[suffers] because those service providers…decide what people can and cannot post”…Internet companies would likely respond to such a law by removing content any time there’s a complaint, to reduce their liability and…save time…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #347)

This ugly exercise in arse-backwardness repeats lurid nonsense about “sex tourism” in Brazil using Justin Bieber clickbait while describing dry stories about sex workers’ language lessons and business improvements as “titillating”; it then dismisses UN recommendations for decriminalization in a flurry of “sex trafficking” hoo-hah (describing the fringe group Equality Now as “many NGOs”), and adds insult to injury by mentioning Gabriela Leite’s Davida without stating that it’s a sex worker rights organization.  Compare it with this one, which despite being fixated on “grittiness” is at least basically honest.

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Four things greater than all things are, –
Women and Horses and Power and War.
  -  Rudyard Kipling, “The King’s Jest”

Ninety-five years ago today, at eleven o’clock in the morning, the armistice that ended the First World War went into effect; the anniversary was immediately established as Armistice Day among all the Allied nations.  Though it retains that name in France and Belgium, it was changed after the Second World War to Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the United States, and its function was expanded to memorialize those who died in any war.*  And because ever since men first marched off to war, whores have followed very close behind, it has been my custom every year on this day to commemorate some aspect of that relationship.

WWII nose artIn the last century, however, there has been an unfortunate and growing tendency for officials to pretend that this relationship either does not exist, or that it does exist but is somehow pathological.  The Vietnamese and Ouled-Nail prostitutes who served as nurses during the siege of Dien Bien Phu have almost been erased from history, as have the women of Honolulu’s tolerated brothels who served the same function after Pearl Harbor and entertained the Navy for the rest of the war.  The French like to pretend that women who survived by providing services to the occupying Nazis were somehow different from the others who were forced to deal with them; the Japanese still deny the extent or even the existence of the military brothels in which they enslaved (mostly Korean) women for the “comfort” of their troops.  And the American military establishment continues to demand that its men avoid the company of professionals no matter how much this policy angers the host country or how many sexual assaults result from it, thus prioritizing the wishes of prudish fanatics above the health and happiness of the troops of both sexes.

Of course, this sort of pompous idiocy is only possible between serious wars; while they’re going on, politics takes a back seat to reality and the necessity of dealing with the sexual energy of fighting men can no longer be subordinated to the bluenosed sensibilities of repressed civilians.  The military governor of Hawaii did everything he could to make the hookers of Honolulu happy; Hitler ordered that his troops be issued blow-up sex dolls; the American authorities distributed condoms; and the Japanese resorted to the abominable “comfort women” scheme (which was also used in reverse form, with Japanese whores for American troops, during the first year of the occupation).  Women were also a vital part of the entertainment provided by the American USO; not sexual services, obviously, but even the sight of a Hollywood sex symbol like Rita Hayworth or “All-American girl” like Judy Garland, or the opportunity to talk to or dance with a pretty girl,HMS Jane went a long way for those men starved for female affection and company.  And while those women could not accompany the men into battle, their pictures certainly could: the iconic pinup of Betty Grable  was merely the most famous of the hundreds of photos and illustrations of feminine pulchritude which brightened barracks, bunks, tents and even the noses of bombers.  On British planes, those paintings were often of Jane, a shapely Daily Mirror comic-strip character who would always somehow manage to lose her clothes by the last panel, usually in some incredibly unlikely fashion; Christabel Leighton-Porter, the model upon whom she was based, also posed for nude photos which were literally dropped in bundles to the troops to increase morale.

Obviously, none of this could happen today; Western countries in general (and the US and UK in particular) are paralyzed by a neo-Victorian aversion to sex which preaches the ludicrous catechism that young, healthy men can simply be ordered to be asexual.  Pinups and sexy art are branded “sexual harassment”, and officers are expected to enforce these schoolmarmish decrees.  But all things must pass, the bad as well as the good; these hysterical attitudes will eventually vanish as anti-sex culture fades, and warriors of the future will be shocked to learn that their grandfathers were prohibited from enjoying the simple joy of cheesecake art, and punished for seeking a balm for their stress in the arms of willing professionals.

*Technically, in the US this function is served by Memorial Day (at the end of May), while Veterans Day honors all veterans, living and dead.

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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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We live in a time which has created the art of the absurd.  -  Norman Mailer

Vermeer by numbersSome of my readers say they need to keep a dictionary handy while they read my essays.  That works fine for regular words, but sometimes I use metaphors that may be a bit obscure nowadays.  Do most of y’all remember paint-by-number kits?  Do they still sell those?  For those who have never seen one, a kit consists of a board on which is a line drawing, and each area contains a number corresponding to one of the containers of oil paint that come with the set.  One simply paints each area with the proper color, and if properly done it looks (almost) exactly like the picture on the box; if clumsily done, it at least resembles the picture.  “Sex trafficking” stories are a lot like that; most of them start out with the same basic outline, and then the copyist reporter simply fills in the details by the numbers.  If done properly, it almost looks like something a third-rate journalist might turn out, but if done clumsily …well, it’s easier to show you.

Many Morris County activists are counting the days to…Super Bowl XLVIII…but not for love of football. They’re already working to reduce the human trafficking that inevitably happens when tens of thousands of tourists assemble…

Our would-be artist, Lorraine Ash, must think that little reversal is very clever; unfortunately, the brainpower she devoted to it would have better been spent on a few minutes of research.  Had she done so, she would have discovered things like this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and even this…which prove that the word “inevitable” is about as far from the truth as it’s possible to get.  Oh, dear; I do believe Lorraine mistook the “6” for a “9” and used the wrong color here.  But no matter; let’s see how she does on the next one:

…“There are four times as many people enslaved today than there were in the 1800s,” said Linda Michalski…campus minister at Benedictine Academy…“The value of a slave has actually decreased …Frederick Douglass was sold for $792.  Today, somebody is sold for $70 in our country in the 21st century. How can this be?”

Well, at least here she’s only quoting, so someone else looks like a moron instead of poor Lorraine.  The pretense that “trafficking” (which is highly illegal) can be compared in any valid way with chattel slavery (which can only exist where there are laws and social structures to support it) is a common, if especially idiotic, claim of the “trafficking” fetishists, as is the use of novel definitions for the word “sold” which do not actually involve transfer of property.  But in this case, the apples-and-oranges comparison of the sale price of a chattel slave with some apparently-random sum of money (a streetwalker’s fee, perhaps?) is so deeply stupid it even confuses a high-school religion teacher.  But let’s move on to the next number in the pattern:

…Michalski and…other activists…want people to understand that human trafficking…is real and happens in New Jersey.

A flawless execution of the Profession of Faith!  And then she puts her own artistic touch on the classic “100,000 to 300,000 trafficked children” myth by attributing it to the Department of Homeland Security instead of the usual FBI or Department of Justice.  Estes & Weiner sure do work for a lot of government departments, don’t they?  And what “trafficking” masterpiece could be complete without a “King of the Hill” section?

…New Jersey is a big destination state for traffickers because of its ports and because…trains and buses leave from here and go all over the country.  There are three airports in the area.  Also, because of I-95, it’s very easy to move people through New Jersey and all the way down to Florida…

Trains and buses and airplanes!  And an interstate highway, even!  Why, no other place has those!  What were the madmen who laid out New Jersey thinking to allow so many dangerous things all in one locale?  Well, we know what they weren’t thinking of:  THE CHILDREN!!!!!

But wait, it gets worse:

There is a prevailing notion that human trafficking does not happen in Morris County because of its wealth, according to Maria Vinci-Savettiere…“The demographics don’t matter…Trafficking is happening here.”

One Profession of Faith per story is enough, Lorraine; your attempts to look more-credulous-than-thou are rather transparent.

“Our focus is on radically changing the way we view the issue,” said Beth Hyre, spokeswoman for the League [of Woman Voters]. “According to law enforcement, our children, our grandchildren, the children we teach, and the children we supervise and mentor are prime targets for traffickers.  Our complacency that the issue doesn’t directly affect us enables predators.”

Yes, Lorraine, we’ve got it.  People think that trafficking doesn’t happen in New Jersey, but it does, and every single child in the entire state should be kept away from cars, trains, buses, airplanes and football games.  You can stop repeating the same color now.

The public also is invited to stand for a maximum of nine hours Oct. 27 with Stand Against Human Trafficking, a gathering on the Morristown Green.  Each hour signifies 3 million people enslaved worldwide, according to organizer Yvette Long of the Morris County Human Relations Commission…

Are they going to sway back and forth singing “Kumbaya” as well?  Because I don’t think it’s possible to have a really effective lawn-standing session without singing “Kumbaya”.

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking…is planning a Super Bowl Hotel Outreach in September…“We’re asking hotel management to accept materials…set protocols, and train their staff to spot human trafficking,” said [Melanie] Gorelick, the group’s facilitator…“A lot of times it would be the janitors or the cleaning people who would see a victim…What if a person comes in through a back door? The front desk wouldn’t even see that person”…

bad dogBut wait, what about the bars of soap emblazoned with subtly huge red labels?  WHAT IF THE TRAFFICKERS ARE HIDING IN THE LAVATORY, MELANIE?  Without handy hotline numbers, how can they be stopped then?  Didn’t think of that, didja Miss Smarty-Pants?

Well, I think you get the picture; too bad most of those who read this story without my helpful annotations won’t.  Like most people who attempt painting by numbers without a modicum of skill, some rudimentary sense of proportion and at least a minimal level of judgment, the results are, to the educated viewer, not exactly what their creator intended.

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Oh that I might capture the essence of this deep midwinter night
And fold it softly into the waft of a spring-moon quilt,
Then fondly uncoil it the night my beloved returns.
  -  Hwang Jini

Sex work is so stigmatized, slandered and hidden in modern Western society that it is difficult for most modern Westerners to comprehend just how normal it was in pre-industrial societies, and how woven into the fabric of those societies.  Nowadays we are wont to draw sharp lines between prostitutes, mistresses, girlfriends, actresses, dancers, masseuses and other groups of women, but for most of human history the distinctions between various types of non-wives from whom men could obtain sex were blurry at best.  Consider that courtesans such as the Madame de Pompadour and Jane Shore were still considered harlots despite the fact that all their liaisons were long-term and their total lifetime count of sex partners was lower than most modern women (who would be extremely offended to be called whores) rack up before graduating from university; also remember that working-class women from Roman times until well into the 20th century often supplemented their meager earnings by selling sex on the side, and you’ll begin to understand why the idea of the prostitute as a specific, “fallen” kind of woman only dates to the 19th century (and seems so ridiculous to those who know anything about it).  That’s why modern assertions that certain historical types of women (such as geisha) were “not prostitutes” are so absurd and wrongheaded; even if these women did not openly advertise and sell sex to a large number of clients, there is no doubt that compensated sex was on the menu for at least some clients, and that in Christian Europe they absolutely would have been classified as whores.

kisaeng in Pyongyang (c 1910)The kisaeng of feudal Korea are a case in point.  Though some authorities insist that they were definitely not prostitutes, or that only the lowest of the three classes of kisaeng were, or that only some did that job, the distinction simply isn’t a useful one.  Whether a given woman took money for sex or not was wholly immaterial to her status; that was always cheonmin, the lowest caste of Korean society except for the baekjeong (untouchables). The cheonmin included members of all “unclean” professions including butchers, entertainers, jailers, metalworkers, prostitutes, shamans, shoemakers and sorcerers; they were not all slaves, but slaves were drawn from this caste.  Kisaeng were technically slaves, and after 1650 they were all owned by the government; due to their high degree of training they were treated much better than ordinary slaves, but they were still owned by the state, and the price of freedom was so high it could only be paid by wealthy men (if such a man wanted one as a concubine).

There were three ways a girl could become a kisaeng: she could be born to a kisaeng mother (since caste was hereditary), sold to a kisaeng house by parents who could not afford to raise her, or drop out of the upper classes due to some unforgiveable breach of the complex and rigid Korean social rules.  Training started young (as early as eight) and their careers were extremely short: they usually began active duty about 15, peaked about 17, and retired by age 22.  During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) this was codified into law; they were forced to retire from entertainment duties (including prostitution, singing and such) by 30, though they could continue working at non-entertainment tasks until 50.  Like the geisha of Japan, kisaeng were trained in poetry, music, dance, art, conversation and the like; in fact, one particular poetic form (the sijo) came to be associated with them, and some famous examples are basically advertisements intended to entice gentlemen to buy their sexual services.  But some kisaeng were also trained in needlework and medicine; since Korean doctors were not permitted to see noblewomen naked, their examination and hands-on treatment was the province of medical kisaeng under the direction of a doctor.  The haengsu, highest of the three tiers of kisaeng, were in charge of training after they retired; those of the two lower tiers who were not taken as concubines generally retired by working as seamstresses, food preparers, tavern keepers or the like.  Though some kisaeng became wealthy enough to support themselves, this did not happen nearly as frequently as among European courtesans.

Scenery on Dano Day by Hyewon (c 1800)Korean society was strict and regimented at every level, and the kisaeng were no exception; they were registered and forced to report twice a month to a bureaucrat called the hojang to ensure that they could not flee servitude without soon being missed.  Their day-to-day affairs, however, (including disputes with clients) were supervised by the haengsu.  Prior to the ascent of the Joseon Dynasty this was much looser, but the Joseons were Confucian and thus deeply enamored of hierarchy and regimentation.  For the first two centuries of Joseon rule there were frequent calls for the abolition of the kisaeng, but wiser heads always prevailed because it was understood that without sex workers, officials would be much more likely to satisfy their extramarital urges with other men’s wives.  The subjugation of all kisaeng to strict government control was thus a compromise with those who imagined society could do without whores, just as modern legalization schemes are.  After 1650 some kisaeng were assigned to a specific government office; these were called gwan-gi, and though officeholders were strictly forbidden from having sex with them, in practice they were usually expected and often forced to provide sex to these bureaucrats (because some things never change).  Many kisaeng who were not bound directly to government service had a gibu, or boyfriend; he got sex and companionship in exchange for protection, presents and economic support.  Most gibu were lesser officials, military officers or the like, and though they had no legal status they sometimes became very possessive and pimpish; there were even cases in which they got into fights with their girlfriends’ clients, though obviously this was considered extremely rude and might result in the kisaeng breaking off the relationship.  Over time gibu became more popular, and by the beginning of the 19th century it was rare to find a kisaeng without one.

Throughout the late 19th century, Korea was destabilized by interference from China, Japan, France, the UK and the US.  The Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) resulted in increased Japanese dominance over Korea, and one of the reforms the Japanese encouraged was the abolition of the entire class system, including slavery.  This technically freed the kisaeng, but (as so often happens when slaves are freed en masse by decree), many of them continued in servitude for the rest of their lives, but without the legal protections of their former status.  Some went to work as what Westerners typically think of as prostitutes, and today the term kisaeng is sometimes used to mean a whore who specifically caters to foreigners.  There are a few of the traditional houses still left, but since most of the songs, dances and such were passed down by oral tradition, they have been lost forever.  Idealized kisaeng appear frequently in South Korean historical fiction (much as the geisha do in Japan), but North Korea’s communist government is so hostile to prostitution that it labels all descendents of kisaeng (of whom there are a sizeable number, since Pyongyang was once home to the greatest kisaeng school) as having “tainted blood”.

Unfortunately, courtesan denial is not rare nowadays; those who insist that sex workers of historical times were somehow fundamentally different from their modern descendants reveal not only a pathological aversion to human sexuality and a deep misunderstanding of human nature, but also an appalling ignorance of the truth about selling sex in any era.  Courtesans throughout history would laugh at anyone who claimed that education automatically removed a woman from whoredom; the many who were talented singers, poets and writers would likewise ridicule the notion that artistic training somehow disqualified her from harlotry.  They, the kisaeng, and modern hookers all know what so many pathetic moderns deny:  a person is not what she does to make money, no matter how much repressive governments want to pretend she is.kisaeng school, c. 1910

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The quick blow job is for [affluent white women’s] husbands…So in your mind it doesn’t affect you, but the wrong mouth on your husband’s dick could affect you.  -  Deon Haywood

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

He went home; she’s locked in a cage.

An on-duty Oregon State Police detective was caught…with a prostitute in a bush…Richard Narvaez, 50…was placed on suspended leave without pay…cited and released, the…woman…was arrested on probation violation warrants and on suspicion of public indecency and prostitution…

A Working System

Note the bottleneck effect:

Armed robbers posing as clients…have launched a series of raids on brothels [in Sydney], targeting eight premises in the past three weeks…one of the gang enters…to book a…session…then…[is] joined by up to three others armed with guns or knives…Police…believe the number of attacks might be even greater because [unlicensed] brothels were reluctant to report crimes…

Crime Against Society (August Updates)UNeasy Street

Women With A Vision responds to anti-whore propaganda:

The Times-Picayune’s…articles…dubbed “Uneasy Street”, are an…example of…[sensationalism]…that leads to increased criminalization of marginalized communities…The video…claims that once sun sets…“An even darker world emerges”…There is a darker side to Tulane Avenue.  But it’s not the one shown.  It’s the stories of mothers, daughters, friends, and wives struggling to survive in a city that has offered them little resources.  It’s women dealing with substance abuse or addiction.  It’s women who cannot be hired by traditional employers simply because they are transgender.  It’s the women who have been too busy struggling to be able to get a formal education to make them employable.  It’s the stories of human beings, worthy of dignity, respect, and far more than this series of articles has afforded them…

See “The Public Eye” for an interview with WWAV’s director, Deon Haywood.

Oops

 

Tumi Megalane, 32, of Tshwane, South Africa, said she had the shock of her life when she found her boyfriend [Ronny Mokoena], who is a pastor, at a brothel…[then] learned that he was married…the pastor told his wife that Megalane was a prophet, who was helping him with spiritual guidance.

Surplus Women

A…37-year-old [Detroit woman]…is in critical condition after she was discovered beaten…burned and possibly sexually assaulted…less than 24 hours before and…a mile away…a 22-year-old woman was discovered in the same condition…Both women are prostitutes…

A third woman was found in the same condition a few days later, on August 3rd.  Interestingly, Fox News did not feel compelled to identify the victims as sex workers in the headline, and the New York Daily News doesn’t mention the third victim’s profession at all.goofy chick in money

TANSTAAFL

 

a trio of Bay Area teens [Nazario Cruz and Jose Urias, both 19, and an underage girl]…posed as a young woman whose fantasy was to have sex while rolling around in…cash…When the victims would arrive…the suspects…would rob themThree robberies have been confirmed so far…One of the victims allegedly stole $2,000…from his job in order to roll around with the fictitious woman…

The Immunity Syndrome

American hypocrisy says it’s fine to pay people not to have sex:

2010 study in Malawi, supported by the…Gates Foundation, shows…conditional cash transfers successfully reduced sexual activity amongst teenagers…Mississippi…[resembles] Malawi…in its high rate of teenage sex and pregnancy…partly…[because] sex education in Mississippi is oriented around abstinence…Can we pay Mississippi teenagers to stop having sex…And to have safe sex if they do?…

Above the Law

Police forces are being ordered to face up to corruption by officers who commit sexual offences against vulnerable women and young people…169 officers…are under investigation for predatory sexual behaviour…ranging from rape to voyeurism…the former partner of…[one] who was jailed last year…speaks out against his actions

That cops rape women, especially sex workers, isn’t news because it happens constantly; such stories only become newsworthy when the cops are held accountable to some degree, as in this item from Cape Town: “A…police captain will appear in…court…for allegedly raping a prostitute…[she] managed to escape from [his] vehicle and took down the registration number…pseudo sex traffick

The Widening Gyre

Another bizarre “sex trafficking” rumor debunked by Snopes:

In August 2013 [a] warning about sex traffickers with Slavic…accents posing as door-to-door booksellers was spread via social media sites such as Facebook …The story was false.  That there are ”pushy” door-to-door book and magazine sellers about doesn’t mean those vendors are looking for children to abduct…into the sex trade, nor is it suspicious that such salespeople might ask…questions about children in the area.  The latter is simply a…sales technique for locating potential customers for children’s books, and being ”pushy” is hardly an unusual quality for those who engage in…door-to-door sales…

Snopes reports that the story appeared in Gilbert, Arizona, Winona, Minnesota and all over Missouri.  The company running the sales program believes the rumor started in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; since that’s a suburb of Tulsa, this should surprise nobody.

Wise Investment (TW3 #31)

Do politicians really just not get it?

…a federal judge ruled [that a New Jersey law]…conflicts with federal law and likely is unconstitutional as well…[the] law…[would have penalized] anyone who knowingly publishes or disseminates any ad for a commercial sex act that includes the depiction of a minor.  The law was challenged…by Backpage.com…[which] notes that federal courts in Tennessee and Washington have issued permanent injunctions against similar laws in those states…

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)

New evidence [demonstrates]…that Japan’s…army directly managed Asian women for sexual slavery, dealing a fresh blow to Tokyo’s denials of responsibility…a diary that a Korean manager of Japanese brothels wrote…between August 1942 and December 1944…shows that the Japanese army received revenue-related reports from military brothels, examined the bodies of sex slaves and regulated the relocations of sexual entertainment facilities…[Professor] Park Han-yong…[said] “This diary is a historical record that shows the Japanese military…[was] involved in the forced mobilisation of Korean women for sexual slavery”…

Under Every Bed

If real freedoms weren’t being endangered by these yokels, this absurd language and looking-glass logic would be hilarious:

Human flesh is being sold for sex…and it’s happening online…”It was a rarity to see a prostitution case anywhere in North Dakota.  Now, my agents are telling me they’re beginning to see it with some regularity,” says…Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.  There’s no way to tell exactly how many people are involved in human trafficking.  The best estimates say about 100,000 children may be victims in the U.S.  And…there’s no reason to believe it’s not happening here…

Dwayne Jones

Monsters

Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out.  His father not only kicked him out…at…14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.  [On July 22nd Dwayne, now 16]…was…beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman…

The Public Eye (TW3 #318)

Here’s another interview with Carol Leigh, this time in a small but mainstream publication; the more interviews like this Americans see, the harder it will be for the prohibitionists to spread lies about us.  And here’s one in Tits and Sass with Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision, talking about activism, human rights and whorearchy.

Which I Doubt

Remember how I’ve said that prosecutors ignore women’s statements that they don’t have pimps so they can repackage ordinary hooking as “sex trafficking”?

The Brooklyn DA…[told] prosecutors…not to make written records of early interviews with sex-trafficking victims…so the information could be withheld from defense attorneys…“When these girls first come in, they often deny they have been hit or pimped.  We were told not to write down those statements,” a law-enforcement source said…

Israel Opera Traviata

Marie Duplessis

Dr. Laura Agustín on imagery of the “fallen woman” in La Traviata, a topic she has discussed more generally before:  “…Violetta always has a scene on the floor to drive home her moral abjection…People who fall get back up right away; if they can’t, they are too injured.  In Violetta’s case the injury is moral…

Sold Out

A gay therapist explains “Why Queers Should Care About Sex Offenders”:

…sex offenders are referred to as participating in deviant sexual behavior, having deviant sexual fantasies, and being inherently “deviant” themselves…The same methods historically used by the government to imprison and pathologize homosexuality and gender variation are being used today to justify the extreme marginalization, lifetime institutionalization, and oppression of people who have violated sex laws…[including] public nudity, [urination or] masturbation, peeping, photographing or videotaping without consent, consensual sex with a 17-year-old, sexting, and downloading unlawful pornography…At one point, the idea of the predatory, untamable homosexual was…widely held…the very fact that a man…[desired] another man was reason enough to criminalize his existence…While mainstream…perception of queer people is shifting, it affirms monogamous sex between married…gay and lesbian adults.  Gender variation and other forms of sexual desire and behavior…still face condemnation…

To really drive the point home, read the comment thread as well.

Puppet Show (TW3 #329)

Laura Lee explains why Ruhama shill Rachel Moran could never have been a Dublin sex worker:

…Moran and I worked in Dublin at the same time, the early nineties.  I worked in the same brothels, for the same escort agencies and had regular contact…with the same women, she says she stood on street corners with.  One of those…is now a prominent activist…[who swears]…that she has never set eyes on Moran until her book launch…Moran…should know…[the names of brothel owners, but doesn’t; she] says that in seven years of sex work she never met one client who showed her a shred of empathy or kindness.  That’s incredible.  Because in all of my time there, I met some lovely guys…the language employed by Moran…is literally like she is reading from a script…a…co-activist…confirmed that Ruhama…offered her money to “turn” and campaign for their side.  In fact, they offered her a book deal and a tour too, exactly as Moran has now…

The activist Laura speaks of (who prefers to remain anonymous) also told me the same thing over a year ago.

Across the Pond (TW3 #330)

Anyone who actually professes to believe that laws can make a major city “brothel-free” should be disqualified from office on grounds of stupidity:

…officials are putting together “exit” services to help the dozens of sex workers who face having their place of work closed down…Edinburgh’s decades-old policy of licensing saunas…appears to be coming to an end.  A police raid in June led to seven individuals being charged with brothel-keeping and living off immoral earnings…A local newspaper…[quoted] one prostitute…[as] saying:  “I just can’t get my head around why they want to close us.  The police could end up putting women at risk of getting raped, or murdered like in Ipswich”…

Don’t be afraid, unnamed sex worker; Ipswitch claims to have “eradicated” street prostitution!

More than 220 teenagers…at risk of slipping into the dangerous world of the sex trade have had their lives rescued since the launch of Ipswich’s prostitution strategy…street prostitution and kerb crawling has been eradicated from the town…however off-street prostitution and sexual exploitation remains an issue…

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #10In truth, of course, they’ve merely pushed it so far underground that the danger has been increased even more, which is the only thing prohibition ever accomplishes.

Broken Record (TW3 #332)

It’s even worse than I suspected; the victims of the Sturgis “sting” were entrapped by “age-regressed photographs of women who now are adults”.  The state has charged people with imaginary crimes against nonexistent people for years, but this kind of pseudoscientific quackery is a new low.

Mumbo Jumbo

“Trafficking” mythology gets more farfetched all the time; embedded in this mixture of agency denial porn, arse-backward bootlicking and cheerleading for bullshit “safe harbor” laws is the claim that many of the underage sex workers arrested in the vast “Innocence Lost” boondoggle “may also be charged for possessing the cocktail of drugs that traffickers use to create dependency and compliance in the children they sell.”  This is the first I’ve heard of this magical mind-control philter, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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I’m thankful that the police officer came out quickly, that we live in a city where we can depend on police to react quickly.  -  Chris Reeves

I’m mostly back to my normal schedule now, though only one week ahead so far; by the next Links column I should have a comfortable two-week buffer again.  We’ve got the usual assortment of amusing, interesting and infuriating links this week, but a few words of explanation are in order for the videos.  The first, “I Am Here”, is a project started by two Chilean university students,  Violeta Pinda and Felipe Guzman, to call attention to stray dogs that people usually ignore.  All they did was to attach balloons on which they wrote things like “scratch me”, “play with me” and “don’t leave me” to the dogs…but when creatures who were essentially invisible suddenly become visible, magic happens (and Maggie cries).  The second video is an animation of XKCD’s unique comic strip “Time”, which changed every half hour for the first week and every hour thereafter, from March 25th to the end of July.  Everything down to the first video was provided by Radley Balko, the second video by Mike Siegel  and the links between the two by Jesse Walker (“Sahara Sea”), Popehat (“baby prize”), Luscious Lani (“graffiti”), Kevin Wilson (“weapons”), PWS (“Detroit”),  Lenore Skenazy (“school cops”), Brooke Magnanti  (“whistleblowers”), and Antonio Lorusso (“child porn”).

From the Archives

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