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Posts Tagged ‘Wholesale Hypocrisy’

Be the sort of victim people want, swallow the crap about not really choosing sex work, tell a few stories about bad clients and pray with the fervor of a convert at the altar of end demand and all the support you want is there, on their terms.  -  Jemima

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

Petite JasmineA Swedish sex worker rights activist was stabbed to death by her ex-husband on Thursday.  Swedish “feminists” pretend to care so very much for sex workers that they’re willing to destroy our lives to “save” us from imaginary “degradation”; selling sex is not illegal, but if a sex worker dares to speak openly about her choice she will be punished in many ways other than imprisonment, such as by expulsion, eviction, police harassment and more:

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

Activist Jemima pointed out that “Jasmine could have been listened too, could have had custody of her kids, could have been flying off to international conferences and doing TV shows, instead of being prepared for burial, all she had to do was lie…be good little puppets who trot out the party line like defendants at a Stalin era Russian show trial and then the doors of rape crisis centers, domestic refuges and conferences open wide to you…

Third Party

Another refutation of the myth that the presence of a camera magically protects sex workers from arrest:  “Phoenix police arrested seven people at…a self-serve porn studio allegedly used to front a prostitution business…William James Hartwell…and six women were arrested during a raid on the studio…[after] a six-month investigation…

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

This was a real banner week for Swedish “feminists”; besides enabling the murder of a sex worker, we also got this:

A professor in law at Stockholm University has called for legislation prohibiting parents from drinking alcohol in the company of their children.  “It is a parent’s responsibility to be sober when they are with their children,” said Professor Madeleine Leijonhufvud…She compared the offence to minor assault which…carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment.  While the proposal is aimed at “everyday drunkenness” it in effect suggests that parents would not be able to share a glass of wine at dinner.  “If you have a sick child and need to drive them to hospital then you can’t drink wine”…

Perhaps Sweden should just confiscate all children at birth and raise them in crèches?  But then, of course, people would stop having them.  And the feminists want even criticism of their tyrannical insanity to be criminal: “the Nordic Council of Ministers…[suggested]…the government…take action against…‘anti-feminist attitudes’…expressed in public…Heavy Hand of Justice by Kevin Moore

Saving Them From Themselves

A 15-year-old Florida girl was arrested…for shooting and possessing a photo of another teen girl engaged in oral sex with a teen boy…She was charged with a felony child porn count.  “The two girls were friends, and one of them was dating the guy,” Detective William Lindsey [said]…”Possession of child pornography is [a crime] no matter what age they are… If she had taken a picture of herself in sexual conduct, she could be charged with child pornography”…

Wholesale Hypocrisy (TW3 #25)

The rather dull-witted and credulous Bonnie Erbe seems to genuinely believe in mathematically and sociologically impossible nonsense, but more shocking is her support for censorship despite her pretense of being a journalist:

…The Internet…provides an almost unfettered platform for…pimps to find, track and enslave girls and women in sex trafficking…local and federal authorities seem powerless to ban the sale of commercial sex online.  Nor do they seem able to keep up with and control the horrendous amount of trafficking the Internet generates…experts point mainly to laws that predate the Internet and define places where criminal commercial sex acts take places as “houses of prostitution” or “brothels.”  Today, no such places exist.  Pimps — mainly men — find customers online and direct them to meet prostitutes, who work out of different motels or apartments or sometimes even their own homes…[in] a New Mexico case…two men…were [cleared of] running “an extensive multistate, online prostitution ring”…after a judge ruled that…their website did not constitute a house of prostitution, though it was used to recruit prostitutes and promote prostitution…It would seem easy to amend anti-prostitution laws to include a ban on websites for procuring commercial sex…

Because when governments ban things, they magically vanish!

Shift in the Wind

Those who were surprised at seeing an anti-criminalization article in The National Review must not remember that A) many “conservatives” at least claim to be for smaller government, and B) the magazine’s founder, William F. Buckley, was a vocal opponent of drug criminalization.

…the proscription of prostitution…continues to be a mystery to me.  Sex remains one of the few things that a free person may give away gratis but which he is forbidden from selling.  It is perfectly legal to sleep around in the United States — subsidized and panegyrized, even — and, as the growing parade of octogenarian billionaires’ wives demonstrates, it is both permissible and socially acceptable to sleep with someone in pursuit of regular material comfort…While the laws surrounding the issue remain such a dizzy and irrational mess, drawing a clear moral line through the morass remains nigh on impossible…To broach this topic in polite company is to invite someone…to parrot the banal old line that “nobody grows up wanting to be a prostitute.”  At best, this is a red herring.  Certainly, few people grow up wishing to be prostitutes.  But there are an awful lot of careers that escape the dreams of children…It is no accident that prostitution, which was almost uniformly legal in the United States from the period of colonization up until the start of the 20th century, was banned in almost every state within the same five-year period during which the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union managed to convince the nation that alcohol should be constitutionally outlawed…

Of course the comments are full of Puritans and trafficking fetishists, but there are a surprising number of truth-tellers there as well.Eliot Spitzer

Legitimate Outrage

Eliot Spitzer said he hopes he has changed since he was caught in a prostitution scandal that led to his resignation, as he attempts to revive his political career with a run for New York City comptroller.  “I think the public will have to ask itself the question, ‘can we forgive him?’  I’ve asked for the forgiveness, I hope the public says ‘yes,’ based upon the record I have, based upon qualities I can bring to the office,” Spitzer told reporters…

Politicians are usually forgiven; those whose lives they destroy, not so much.

The Naked Anthropologist

Though New Scientist published only a very small part of what Dr. Laura Agustín says was a much, much longer interview, it’s still good to see mainstream magazines presenting her views and debunking the “sex trafficking” hysteria and anti-whore tyranny.

Unclean Situation

You know how the Magdalene Laundry orders (through their modern front, Ruhama) like to pretend that sex work is “human trafficking”

Despite being funded by the HSE annually, including over €126,000 last year, St Patrick’s Guild informed the Adoption Authority last week that it no longer has the resources to staff the organisation.  The agency, run by the Religious Sisters of Charity, had been accredited by the Adoption Authority to assist adopted people and natural parents through tracing, counselling and mediating…Between 1947 and 1967, St Patrick’s Guild…arranged for the export of 572 “illegitimate” children from Ireland to the US for adoption…Despite the agency’s admitted involvement in facilitating illegal adoptions, the Adoption Authority again reiterated its stance that it will not inspect the files to ascertain the extent of the agency’s involvement in such activity…

In other words, the nuns abducted children from their Irish mothers and sold them to Americans; if that’s not “human trafficking”, I don’t know what is.Laetitia Rebord

Skin To Skin (TW3 #313)

The New York Times seems unable to write about sex work without dysphemisms like “so-called”:

…in France…disabled people struggle to have a sex life.  But their desires are often disregarded, and while prostitution is legal here, soliciting potential clients and serving as an intermediary between prostitutes and clients are not.  The issue of sexual surrogates came up in March, after the National Ethics Committee…issued a report criticizing the practice as the “unethical use of the human body for commercial purposes”…but…some legislators and associations of disabled people are demanding the legalization of sexual surrogates.  “Prostitution is a fake debate; the goals are different,” said Pascale Ribes…[of] the Disabilities and Sexualities Group, an association defending sexual surrogates in France.  “Sexual assistance is about allowing a disabled person who can’t access sexuality in a satisfying way to reconnect with the body”…

Advice to disabilities advocates: foolish reinforcement of whorearchy is not the way to go about winning your right to employ sex workers.

Flush Criminalization

More sophomoric “humor” from New York “authorities” working assiduously to destroy as many people’s lives as possible:

Police shut down…12 massage parlors…for alleged prostitution…arresting owners, managers and workers.  The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is investigating whether workers were “victims of human trafficking, being manipulated or held against their will”…and whether a central organization was controlling…the operations.  According to DA Charles Hynes, all of the women…gave very similar stories about having children in Asia they needed to support.  NYPD Commissioner was typically…tone-deaf in his assessment of the case.  “We know people in Bay Ridge have back pain…but we don’t think that’s enough to sustain 19 massage parlors”…

That the DA seems to perceive the fantasy of a huge “sex trafficking” conspiracy as more credible than the simple fact that most sex workers have children to support, speaks volumes about his warped view of humanity.

Still a Child

This is no more ridiculous than defining a minimum age above that of majority for any other legal activity, such as drinking or sex work:  “Somalia…has set the minimum age at 40 for anyone intending to practice as a journalist in the country…

True Colors (TW3 #327)

Authorities in southern China have left…Ye Haiyan…homeless…Guangdong security agents abandoned her on the side of the road with her boyfriend…and 14-year-old daughter…”Zhongshan does not welcome you; Guangzhou does not welcome you either. I will break your legs if I ever see you again in Zhongshan,” one of the security agents said…

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

Shinzo AbeJapanese Prostitution

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

In a Similar Vein…

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

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

Convenient and Inconvenient Victims

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

Against Their Will

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

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

We Told You So

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

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

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

Presents, Presents, Presents!

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

First They Came for the Hookers…

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

Imagination Pinned Down

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

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

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

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

Wholesale Hypocrisy (TW3 #25)

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

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #26)

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

The Widening Gyre

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

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

Red Umbrella FundShift in the Wind

This is incredibly good news:

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

Hooker Humor (TW3 #31)

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

That Old Black Magic

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

Little Boxes (TW3 #40)

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

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

With Friends Like These…

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

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

The Public Eye (TW3 #49)

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

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #52)

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

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

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Why are feminists so afraid of sex?  -  Gopinath Arunima

Lying Down With Dogs

Take a good, hard look at the prohibitionist company the US prefers to keep:

…fundamentalist Islamists, though…shut out of power in countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco, nonetheless manage to promote their…agendas — often taking the law into their own hands, and in this case threatening…prostitutes and their customers and driving away the only industry in [the town of Ain Leuh].  “The economy is in free fall here,” said Ali Adnane…“The girls rented.  They had cash.  They bought things”…Exactly what happened…is in dispute.  [Campaign leader Mohammed] Aberbach says the Islamists never did anything illegal.  The campaign, he said, largely involved demonstrations in the main square.  No one threatened anybody or used violence or stood at the entrances to the village demanding identification from men who wanted to enter…But others, including Haddou Zaydi, a member of the town council, say all those things, and more, took place.  Sometimes, he said, the Islamists used padlocks to imprison the prostitutes in their houses after a customer had gone in.  Then, they called the police…Mourad Boufala…said he was not in favor of prostitution…but…was offended by the Islamists’ methods.  “The way they did it was really rough,” he said.  “They hit girls…scared them…and…offered them no alternatives”…

Coming and Going

From the big booming metropolis of Muscatine, Iowa:

Sixteen agencies worked together on a human trafficking and prostitution investigation that led to 27 people being arrested…County Attorney Alan Ostergren said…that agencies across Iowa have participated in these stings lately.  He claims that agencies chose Muscatine…because the law enforcement there wanted to investigate the prostitution problem.  Investigators took two months to set up the sting…The prostitution charge is an aggravated misdemeanor…[but] Robert Kennedy, 56, of Peoria, Illinois was charged with felony human trafficking…

Even if you believe that prostitution is a “crime” worth persecuting people for, do you really think tying up 16 different organizations for two months – literally thousands of man-hours and many tens of thousands of dollars – is really worth it for 27 misdemeanor arrests, many of which won’t even bring in a fine?

Dirty Whores

Here’s a short Guardian article on the history of the Contagious Disease Acts, including a rather odd epilogue:  Cambridge University continued its own version of the national laws – complete with arrest powers – for ten years after the latter were repealed!

A Whore in Church

The fact that people think there is something remarkable about this brothel’s location is a sign of the deep Western weirdness about sex:

Two women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution after seven rooms were found in a [Moscow] building close to Sretensky Monastery where sexual services were offered from 1,750 roubles (£35) per hour.  Father Tikhon, the abbot of the monastery, is said to be a religious counsellor to Mr Putin…There were conflicting reports over the ownership of the brothel, found in one of a chain of mini-hotels called Podushkin…

Much Ado About Nothing

Wow, déjà vu!  “Two women from the Dominican Republic [said] that…New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez paid them for sex earlier this year…they claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500…but in the end they each received only $100…”  When will reporters learn?  A government official paying for sex is not even news; the scandal here is that he cheated two women out of money he agreed to pay.

The Last Thirteen for Fourteen

If you’ve been looking for a meaningful opportunity to speak up for sex worker rights, now’s your chance:

Rhoda Grant MSP believes that “prostitution…is a form of sexual violence against women…[which] is inherently harmful and dehumanizing” and that “the majority of those who are involved in prostitution are unwilling participants.”  She is proposing to make it illegal to purchase sex in Scotland…The public consultation on Rhoda Grant’s proposals for a new law to criminalise the purchase of sex is open until 14th December.  This is an open consultation – you do not have to be a resident of Scotland or the UK to respond…

That bears repeating:  YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A RESIDENT OF SCOTLAND to reply; responses from sex workers, clients, allies or just those who care about liberty are all welcome.  You don’t even need to “out” yourself”:

…the consultation document asks specifically for answers to 8 questions – but you can also just write in with your opinion if you prefer.  Your letter will be much more powerful if you can add your own views and experiences, although at Scot-PEP we have prepared some template letters here which you can use as a guideline…or simply print the letters off and sign them.  You don’t need to use your real name, for example you can use your work name or an alias to send in your opinion…email your letter to:  Rhoda.Grant.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

The Public Eye

Yet another generally-balanced profile of several sex workers, including Audacia Ray of the Red Umbrella Project.  Nobody could accuse it of “glamorizing” sex work because it’s a bit too enchanted with the lurid, but it does clearly present the position that “it is patronizing to view all sex workers as victims” and “choosing to become a sex worker is self-determination in its own right.”

Bottleneck

Some politicians just can’t resist cutting off their noses to spite their faces:

…Experts from 11 countries [who] have converged on Sydney…expressed dismay at the NSW government’s proposal to remove decriminalisation of sex work…The Sex Worker Outreach Project (SWOP) has apologised to the international visitors, who have come to Australia looking to pick up tips on best practice…

The Day of the Dead

In Taiwan, traditional funeral processions and festivals for the dead include strippers; this is a short trailer for Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan, a documentary made last year by anthropologist Marc L. Moskowitz.

Metaupdates

The Leading Players in the Field, Not in TW3 (#14)

Indian women’s studies professor Gopinath Arunima responds to Gloria Steinem’s April 2nd lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University:

…witnessing the saviour Gloria [lecturing about]…rescuing hapless victims of ‘prostitution’ trafficked, abject and forever victimized…set me thinking…of what it is about sex work that makes…feminists so deeply uncomfortable…the anti-trafficking lobby maintains that prostitution is violence against women, tantamount to rape and coercion, and requires abolition…in [her] impassioned plea…Ms. Steinem spoke…of her…crusade to rid the world of that heinous crime prostitution, akin to yet far worse than slavery…After all what could be worse than the bodily abuse that is prostitution (“they are inflicted with multiple penetrations, daily”) except possibly only the vicious stranglehold by traffickers…significantly the areas that sex workers identify as most damaging to them like societal opprobrium and police violence did not find any mention in Ms. Steinem’s talk…By compulsorily desexualising the prostitute and rendering her as perpetual victim, the feminist anti-trafficker can then validate her own position as saviour…

Wholesale Hypocrisy in TW3 (#25)

While US courts have repeatedly blocked governmental attempts to interfere with escort advertising, China has no such mechanism in place and Apple was happy to lick its boots for the almighty dollar:

…When a Mandarin speaking Siri first arrived in China this summer, she generally responded to the question “Where can I find hookers” by pointing people to a nearby location — usually a bar or a club…but a customer service rep for the company told China Daily that the company has…cut off Siri’s ability to help people find prostitutes, escorts and brothels…

Legal Is As Legal Does in TW3 (#32)

What’s a politician to do when a court ruling protects the civil rights of someone he’s bigoted against?  Make a new law overruling the decision, of course!

Hotel and motel owners across [Queensland] will have the right to evict guests they believe are sex workers under new legislation put forward today by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie.  The amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act will be debated next year and will likely be passed by the LNP-majority Parliament…Queensland Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Terry O’Gorman slammed the move, saying it…targeted a “particular class of people” and enabled arbitrary discrimination on the grounds of personal prejudice, the likes of which was seen during the 70s when some motel owners refused accommodation to indigenous Australians…

Something Rotten in Sweden in TW3 (#36)

We keep explaining that, despite prohibitionist claims, “end demand” campaigns actually hurt sex workers.  However, it usually isn’t quite this direct:

…Illinois prostitution law…is among the harshest in the country…any repeat prostitution misdemeanor is eligible to be upgraded to a felony—one of two states allowing such upgrade after a single charge.  On paper, sex workers are still not as likely to face felony charges as their patrons, who can be charged with a felony on their first offense…But…analysis of the…data shows that prostitution-related felonies are being levied almost exclusively against sex workers.  During the past four years, they made up 97 percent of the 1,266 prostitution-related felony convictions in Cook County.  And the number is growing:  Felony convictions among sex workers increased by 68 percent between 2008 and 2011…

Follow Your Bliss
in TW3 (#37)

a TSA agent [named Paul Magnuson] has been  arrested for the rape of a boy he was mentoring…the TSA attracts pedophiles.  Several that we’ve documented.  The TSA attracts criminals and those with personality disorders that exaggerate control and sociopathic tendencies…

Little Boxes in TW3 (#40)

The winning bid for Catarina Migliorini’s virginity was $780,000 US, offered by a Japanese man identified only as “Natsu”.  However, busybody control freaks just can’t resist trying to interfere with other people’s mutually-agreeable business deals:

Justin Sisely, the director who helped [Migliorini]…may face sex trafficking charges…Brazil’s attorney general, Joao Pedro de Saboia Bandeira de Mello Filho, ordered an “urgent investigation,” to look into the auction, which he equated to “people trafficking”…He also said Migliorini, who currently lives in Australia, should have her passport revoked and she should be returned to Brazil for “the exercise of prostitution”…

Backwards into the Future in TW3 (#41)

Pakachere Institute of Health and Development Communication (PIHDC) will launch a national wide Alliance of sex workers in Malawi on November 7, 2012…[to provide] a platform [for] sex workers [to] discuss issues affecting their…lives…Executive Director Simon Sikwese said the alliance is targeting all sex workers across the country and that it is one of the forums aimed at ensuring that sex workers rights are protected…

Shift in the Wind in TW3 (#43)

The reaction of the world’s most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, to the UN’s call for decriminalization could be summed up in two words:  “We agree”.

…Law can be used to protect and promote the human rights of sex workers…and…Legal empowerment of sex worker communities has been shown to be an effective approach in HIV prevention.  However, law is often used to criminalise and penalise sex workers, resulting in their exposure to violence and discrimination from society in general, and law enforcement officers and health-care providers in particular.  This situation limits access by sex workers to health and social services they need, and increases the risk of HIV for them and their clients…It is imperative to review and reform the current laws, ensuring that sex workers and sex worker organisations are fully and centrally engaged in improving legal environments to safeguard their human rights.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Besides my two previous Halloween columns, All Hallows weeks have featured columns on both porn and horror movies, the War of the Worlds panic and another H.G. Wells comparison, deadbeats and death goddesses, Amsterdam, Election Day and Roman prostitutes.  They also saw short articles on a Spanish city’s harassment of streetwalkers, Charlie Sheen’s meltdown, the FBI raid on Escorts.com, labioplasty, sexual satisfaction in marriage, a yogurt-tainting creep, “end demand” programs, an app for arrestees, Detroit’s persecution of parties and Florida’s criminalization of questions.

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For all the talk about women involved in the sex industry as “victims”, there is no apparent appetite for actually speaking with them in order to assess what the real issues are.  -  Graham Ellison

Sex Work is Work

Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa has warned…sex workers that they risk being arrested if they will not stop conducting their business in Central Business District…The mayor urged the sex workers to use their talents in seeking income…”  This is, of course, exactly what he is threatening them for doing.

Updates

Think of the Children!

Indiana school officials believe that sex radiation is so dangerous that exposed students must be quarantined in order to contain the contamination:

Some students…in Anderson, Ind. [who] got a peek of their teacher’s bare breasts on a school-issued iPad…have been suspended and threatened with expulsion…Joshua Troutt, 13…and three other students were in their classroom, playing a game on [the] iPad…[and when] one of the students pressed a button…[the] photograph…was revealed.  “It’s not our fault that she had the photo on there,” Troutt said.  “We couldn’t do anything not to look at it…She had to have pressed something to make all of her [iPhone] photos synch on there”…

Let that be a lesson to you, kids:  never tell any authority figure about anything unusual that happens, ever.

Wholesale Hypocrisy

Even though the prosecutor euphemistically refers to armed robbery and grand larceny as “improper use of forfeiture funds”, it’s still a pleasure to see this coming up to trial at last:  “Former Romulus [Michigan] Police Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife, and five…detectives pled not guilty…to using asset forfeiture funds…[from] narcotics and prostitution investigations to buy…narcotics and prostitutes… The officers are accused of spending $40,000 in forfeiture funds in one year…[and] St. Andre also used $75,000 from drug forfeiture funds to buy a tanning salon…for his wife.

Above the Law

Yet again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

A woman in Maryland who was allegedly raped…by a deputy sheriff has filed a $15 million lawsuit against the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office…Lamar McIntyre allegedly…took [the woman, who was awaiting trial] into an isolated holding cell and told her to get naked, [forced her into] oral…and vaginal sex without a condom…”[slapped] her buttocks extremely hard”…[then] took pictures with his camera phone…McIntyre [then] took the woman to the court room “as if nothing ever happened”…McIntyre…admitted to police that he was involved…

Naked Truth

Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s Telegraph article on “sex trafficking” hysteria covers familiar ground, but she’s always a pleasure to read.  Furthermore, because she was born in Florida but did sex work in the UK, she qualifies as “trafficked” herself under the official criteria.  She mentions several useful statistics:

…of the trafficking referrals made to police in the UK, one in four are men, and domestic and agricultural exploitation counts for six of every 10 cases…Liz Kelly and Linda Regan of the University of North London attempted to estimate the number of women brought into the UK for sex in 1998 by surveying [police] reports…they came up with…71…[but this] included…women who willingly arrived…for sex work…In 2007…[Operation] Pentameter Two resulted in five convictions…406 arrests were made…153 of those…were released without charge.  Most of the rest were charged with immigration breaches and unrelated offences.  Twenty-two were prosecuted for trafficking; 7 of those were acquitted.  Ten of the remaining lot turned out not to have coerced the women they brought into the country.  This left five actual traffickers…none of [whom] were detected specifically by actions in the Pentameter Two effort…

She also mentions that the “80% of sex workers are coerced” claim promoted by MP Fiona Mactaggart (and repeated ad nauseum by other prohibitionists) originally came from a 1982 survey of San Francisco streetwalkers.

False Target

People want to believe that any behavior they dislike…is either wholly voluntary or the result of ‘socialization’…but…[these are] better explained by evolution and neurology than by ludicrous tabula rasa notions.  Why they prefer to believe that people are programmed by “society” or “the Patriarchy” than to acknowledge we are programmed by Nature I cannot say; perhaps they fear that instinct is harder to overcome than learning and therefore choose to deny the terrifying reality…”  More on this same line of thought from Dr. Gad Saad:

…“blank slate” explanations are ubiquitous in the social sciences…men stray from their marriages…due to their viewing of pornography …people succumb to juicy burgers…[because of] those alluring advertising jingles…women [suffer]…eating disorders…[due to] media images that attack [their] self-worth…young [men’s]…violent and reckless behaviors…[are caused by] video games…these arguments are pure fiction…rooted in a perfectly erroneous view of human nature.  Each of [these] is linked to evolutionary and biological principles that have little to do with…socialization…the blank slate view [is] so pervasive…[because] it caters to…the endless pursuit for hope…[and] provides people with the illusion of control.  Alter the supposed culprit environmental cause and the issue will apparently be resolved…

The Public Eye

Though this item from the East Bay Express is largely based around the harm Proposition 35 will do if enacted, it is less an analysis of the proposed law and more an honest and accepting profile of a number of sex workers in the San Francisco Bay area, including regular reader Jolene Parton.  The more articles like this we see, the harder it will be for prohibitionists to support the lie that well-adjusted sex workers are an unrepresentative minority.

That Old Black Magic

Most of this story about a “huge crackdown on human trafficking” in Scotland is the same old bombastic rhetoric, turgid “estimates” and endless repetition of lurid claims about the escort service owners convicted of “trafficking” last year.  But there was an embedded link proclaiming that “Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to ensalve [sic] women in Scotland!” which led to an article I missed in January notable not only for the “magical slave control” pap, but also for being published just before the popular exaggeration increased from “15 men a day” to 50.  Stories like this are an excellent development, because they throw a spotlight on the close resemblance between “sex trafficking” hysteria and the Satanic Panic.

Metaupdates

What If They Threw a Party and Nobody Came? in October Updates (Part One)

Since it’s apparent that prudes prefer their daughters to die than to have sex, this study was necessary no matter how totally obvious its conclusions were from the start:

There did not appear to be any difference in the sexual behaviors of adolescent girls who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and their unvaccinated peers…Among girls ages 11 and 12 enrolled in a large, managed-care organization, there were no between-group differences in the rate of pregnancy…sexually transmitted infection, or receipt of contraceptive counseling…In addition, the average age at the first composite outcome was no different between vaccinated and unvaccinated girls…

That’s especially good now that a new version of the vaccine may help women who are already infected:

…the experimental vaccine…was given to 18 women with cervical dysplasia, a precancerous condition…caused by a chronic HPV infection…after vaccination, the women produced immune cells that were capable of attacking and killing HPV-infected cells…this…could clear chronic HPV infections, and prevent precancerous cells from becoming cancerous…it’s possible a [similar] vaccine…could treat other types of cancer caused by HPV, such as some head and neck cancers

J’accuse in TW3 (#13)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is trying to get his “aggravated pimping” charge dismissed; apparently he’s just noticed that Western society, following behind the US like a flock of obedient sheep, is trying to “criminalize lust”:

…That defense and the investigation, which is facing a critical judicial hearing in late November, have offered a keyhole view into a clandestine practice in certain powerful circles of French society:  secret soirees with lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians that start with a fine meal and end with naked guests and public sex with multiple partners…the most perplexing question in the Strauss-Kahn affair is how a career politician…was blinded to the possibility that his zest for sex parties could present a liability, or risk blackmail…

It’s only “perplexing” to female American journalists whose dedication to a PC agenda has totally conquered any critical thinking skills they may once have had.  Another one who’s just waking up to reality is Hubert Delarue, the lawyer for one of Strauss-Kahn’s co-defendants, who apparently thinks halfway whores are something new:  “Prostitution was…for a certain type of population…[but] today…there are occasional prostitutes, and sometimes they’re top models who try to make ends meet. They aren’t miserable women on the sidewalk.”

Backwards into the Future in TW3 (#27)

Baby steps, I guess:

Vietnam will free about 900 sex workers…from compulsory rehabilitation centres…when a newly amended…law comes into effect…[next] July…Since July [of] this year, sex workers have no longer been sent to…[the] centres…but…fined up to five million dong [$240 US] instead…drug addicts will continue to be sent to detoxification centres…

The More the Better in TW3 (#32)

I really like this trend of brothels funding athletics:  “…[Members of] a cash-strapped Greek soccer team…are wearing…practice jerseys emblazoned with the logos of the Villa Erotica and Soula’s House of History, a pair of…bordellos recruited to sponsor the team after drastic government spending cuts left the country’s sports organizations facing ruin.  One team took on a deal with a local funeral home and others have wooed kebab shops, a jam factory, and producers of…feta cheese…

The Course of a Disease in TW3 (#34)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we in America could see articles like this strong criticism of an attempt to impose the Swedish model on Northern Ireland?

…Lord Morrow’s Bill…is ill-thought through, confusing and based on rather dubious evidence.  Sex trafficking is conflated solely with prostitution…and…is…accompanied by increasingly fantastical (and unsubstantiated) media claims about the number of “victims”…[yet] there has…been only one prosecution of a “trafficker”…and the women he “trafficked” were two Czech prostitutes that flew of their own volition to Belfast to operate out of [an] apartment that they rented from [him]…

The author, criminologist Graham Ellison, goes on to ridicule the impossible claims made about the Swedish model’s “success” and to correctly present it as the agenda of fundamentalist neofeminists and Christians.

My Body, My Choice in TW3 (#40)

Since the founder of Shared Hope International says that anti-trafficking activismshould be an extension of the ‘pro-life’ cause”, one wonders what her thoughts on this might be:

Argentina’s Supreme Court has ruled that a woman rescued from a prostitution ring must be allowed to have the abortion she wants…Argentina allows legal abortions in rape cases or to protect a woman’s health.  But politicians, doctors and judges often continue to block them…and…in this case, a judge intervened…saying there was no proof of rape even though the woman had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution…

Backwards into the Future in TW3 (#40)

This decriminalization video was produced by an organization named “Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights”; when will American human rights organizations take this unambiguous a stand against prostitution law?

This Week in 2010 and 2011

There were two columns on the multiplying cracks in the prohibitionist dam,  a juxtaposition of sex work with another form of labor, a look at whether prevailing religious views in a country determine its treatment of whores, a meditation on modern society’s attempts to ignore Nature, and news about HIV prevention.  We also delved into the truth about neofeminists, the destruction of civil liberties in the US, the horror of American prisons and the production of prohibitionist propaganda through collusion of cops and the media.  Finally, I examined the vital social role played by harlots in controlling male sexuality and ministering to the disabled, and called attention to society’s galling denial of it.

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There is nothing so absurd that it cannot be believed as truth if repeated often enough.  -  William James

Sixteen updates and two metaupdates.

Rough Trade (Part One) (July 25th, 2010)

Ah, synchronicity; the same week this early essay was featured on Debatbond to introduce the topic “Can a prostitute be raped?”, two California lawyers presented their own views on the subject in court.  Representing the “no” position:

Prosecutors dropped rape charges…against…Michael Stanford…[Defense attorney Roberto] Dulce said…the alleged victim was a prostitute and…the sexual contact between her and Stanford was consensual…In a dispute over money, the woman accused Stanford of rape…Dulce said he had witnesses who would testify that they, too, had engaged in sex with the woman…

Yet she didn’t accuse the other “witnesses” of rape, probably because they didn’t rape her.  I think we can guess what happened; “dispute over payment” means he cheated her, but since Fresno isn’t Cartagena he got away with it.  The story says the charge was dropped because “the alleged victim could not be found for Stanford’s trial”; she was probably afraid to go into a building full of cops.  It might have been different in Modesto:  “[Judge Linda McFadden]…denied a motion to overturn a grand jury indictment against…police officer…Lee Freddie Gaines…The alleged victim…testified…that she was working as a prostitute…[when Gaines] handcuffed her and demanded oral sex…

Amsterdam (November 1st, 2010)

Despite a total lack of evidence, Dutch police and anti-whore politicians keep beating the “sex trafficking” drum:

…Amsterdam…plans to force brothel owners to submit a business plan to the city describing what measures they are taking to ensure sex workers are healthy and not being exploited…in recent years both the city and national government have become increasingly critical of the industry.  [They claim] many prostitutes are victims of human trafficking or coerced by pimps…

It’s impossible to prove a negative (“whores are not coerced”); that’s why the burden of proof is supposed to be on the accuser.  And greater legal restrictions will only force whores into the shadows, providing greater opportunity for coercion as they always do.

December Q & A (December 28th, 2010)

Not even doctors and scientists are immune to idiotic male-ego-boosting myths:

…A stem cell expert is looking to treat sex workers with their bodies’ own stem cells, so they can have tight, toned vaginal muscles…“The idea…was tried…by a team of scientists in Japan.  They recruited commercial sex workers who wished to give up the trade and get married…” said Dr Himanshu Bansal…The clinical trial involved mostly young women, some of them mothers, who were worried that their vaginal muscles were too lax…

I hate to break this to you, guys, but your penises are not as big as babies.  Not even close.  No amount of sex, commercial or otherwise, can loosen the vaginal muscles; only babies do that.  Notice that “some of them mothers?”  The truth is “most of them.”

I Really Shouldn’t Even LOOK at an Issue of Cosmopolitan (January 18th, 2011)

I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s willing to say out loud that Cosmo’s “sex advice” is ludicrous; Ben Reininga writes “Ridiculous Tips for a Miserable Sex Life”, which this month features his hilarious picks for Cosmo’s 44 most ridiculous tips of all time.  Enjoy.

A Narrow View (April 29th, 2011)

An organization of young Chicago sex workers fights for their rights against a system which treats them as infantilized victims:

When youth who live on the streets and work in the sex trade…are victimized…often the institutions that are supposed to help them…do more harm than good.  [Leaders of]…the Young Women’s Empowerment Project…said, “We don’t dictate a young person’s future and make decisions for them, we support them to make it on their own”…While many organizations dealing with sex workers aim to help them leave sex work, YWEP maintains that it is a valid individual choice and practices a harm reduction philosophy…

Social Construction of Eunuchs (July 18th, 2011)

Apparently forced feminization of little boys isn’t enough for Swedish neofeminists any more:

Vänsterpartiet, [a feminist socialist party,] tabled a motion that would require office washrooms to be genderless with a sit-down-only requirement…Party speakers cited medical research they said shows men empty their bladders more efficiently while seated…[which] reduces the risk for prostate problems…[motion author] Viggo Hansen…[said] the move does not represent an attempt to meddle in the bathroom habits of citizens…

Wholesale Hypocrisy (October 12th, 2011)

It’s always refreshing to see judges slap witch-hunters down:

Instead of presenting prostitution-related charges against former University of New Mexico President F. Chris Garcia and others to a grand jury this week, prosecutors are now discussing the future of the case…[after] Judge Stan Whitaker…ruled that neither a website, an online message board nor a computer amount to a “house of prostitution or a place where prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed”…Garcia’s attorney, Robert Gorence…last month called on District Attorney Kari Brandenburg “to…[exonerate] Dr. Garcia” after owning up to “the mistake she made when she bought in to APD’s flawed investigation and exaggerated charges…[Garcia] never received a penny from any such activities nor did he control or direct the activities of women who advertised as escorts”…

As another legal expert stated, “Connecting people to do whatever they want to do is not illegal, it never has been.”  And as Melissa Gira Grant succinctly put it, “Data is not prostitution.”

Forward and Backward (November 22nd, 2011)

While American prohibitionists continue to demand that whores’ advertising be censored, Spain has moved into the 21st century:  “…the Spanish parliament reversed a 2010 ban on advertising by…prostitutes and brothels…[in order] to stimulate Spain’s poor economy.  The sex industry spent approximately €40 million annually on advertising, according to a 2007 report…”  Perhaps if the economy continues to worsen, American politicians may eventually wake up; this is, after all, the same reason alcohol Prohibition was repealed in 1932.

The More the Better (January 9th, 2012)

This article about University of Wyoming students who work as strippers is not only fairly sensible, but includes these encouraging words from Women’s Studies (!) professor Susan Dewey:

“It is a reality that some women see sex work as a form of liberation…in recent years…trafficking has become conflated with sex work…I have many students who will use [the] terms prostitution and trafficking synonymously, interchangeably.  This is very, very problematic because when you say to someone ‘you do not have the right to do something legally’ that’s one thing…but when you say to a person ‘you think are making a choice but you’re actually not, because no person with self-respect would make that choice,’ that’s a real problem.”

The Course of a Disease (February  16th, 2012)

This week Scottish Labour MP Rhoda Grant was defeated in her attempt to fast-track Swedish Model legislation without allowing opponents to speak:

The proposal…must now go out to consultation, instead of taking a quicker route through the Scottish Parliament.  Ms Grant argued a previous attempt to pass such a law meant the issues had already been aired…A similar proposal in 2010 was opposed by ministers, who feared it would push the sex trade underground.  Critics of such legislation believe that making workers in the sex trade less visible to the authorities would place them in greater danger…

Here’s an example of how different the US and UK can be sometimes:  one of the groups opposed to client criminalization is the Association of Chief Police Officers.  Dr. Brooke Magnanti’s excellent essay on the issue concludes with the eminently-quotable line, “It’s time we started acting like grownups and stopped pretending that making something illegal makes it cease to exist.”

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (March 3rd, 2012)

The new “Trafficking in Persons Report” has been released; Algeria, Central African Republic, Congo, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe are now on Tier 3, “Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so” (those “standards” are defined by the US via methods it neither discusses with anyone else nor even explains).  Several other countries were raised to Tier 2 after they stepped up pogroms against whores (as Malaysia did in 2008), and Israel was promoted to Tier 1 (probably due to its flirtation with the Swedish Model).

The Immunity Syndrome (March 5th, 2012)

Parents in Onalaska, Washington are reportedly “furious” that a school principal honestly answered students’ questions in a sex education class; apparently, the parents expected her to lie, and one of them said that talking about sex in a sex education class is “just the same as raping somebody.”

Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)

The British government has finally admitted that cops are allowed to trick women into having sex while spying on them:  “[Home Office Minister Nick] Herbert said it was important police were allowed to have sex with activists because otherwise it could be used as a way of outing potential undercover officers…” In other words they’re allowed to do whatever they like, including rape, in order to accomplish whatever it is they want to do.

Little Boxes (April 29th, 2012)

The inevitable result of trying to make artificial distinctions between consensual behaviors:

The owner of a [Las Vegas] massage business…says she’s losing crucial business because of a [new] city law requiring her to close at 10 p.m…”If we don’t get an extension, I’ll be closed within a month…The daytime does not pull in what we need to cover.  It is barely paying the rent for that space and utilities.”  Mayor Carolyn Goodman said changing the ordinance for the Johnsons would set a precedent for more than 50 other “massage establishment” licensees…

As I’ve said before, “attempting to define sexuality…as being in the… ‘legal’ category rather than the…‘illegal’ one is a tacit acknowledgement that such lines of demarcation are valid and that government has the right to draw them…even if one wins the battle, the government can simply re-draw the line to include one’s entrenched position.”  The Johnsons are learning that the hard way.

Naked Truth (May 23rd, 2012)

I’m going to use this title for articles written by current or former sex workers in mainstream sites or publications.  This time, two outstanding pieces by Tits and Sass contributors:  “The Ways We Don’t Talk About Wealth” by Charlotte Shane in The New Inquiry, and “Can Sex Workers Transition to a Cashless Economy?” by Susan Shepard (AKA Bubbles Burbujas) in Forbes.

Reframing (June 20th, 2012)

My friend LilyRose sent me a link to this “reframed” trailer, which is exactly the opposite of the Mrs. Doubtfire one and just as clever:

Metaupdates

Law of the Instrument in TW3 (#20) (May 19th, 2012)

Think about these stories next time you hear some “authority” blathering about how “trafficking” has increased.  The first one comes via Wendy Lyon:  “A 30-year-old man…[was] charged with an offence under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act…[after] travelling to Ireland [to meet] a child, having…communicated with that child on two or more previous occasions with the intent of doing an act that would constitute sexual exploitation…” And here’s another one from Minneapolis, Minnesota:

[Mickey Cupkie]…has been charged under Minnesota’s new Sex Trafficking law for having sex with two teen prostitutes, ages 15 and 17…The girls were runaways, says Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder…He says pimps picked the girls up…and then placed an add [sic] on Backpage.com…Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says he hopes the charges send a message to the Johns…

Said message being, “’trafficking’ means whatever we want it to mean, and if girls act alone we’ll just invent pimps and ‘traffickers’ to fit the narrative.”

See No Evil in TW3 (#21) (May 26th, 2012)

Even Sweden gets it right once in a while:  “Swedish news outlet The Local  reports that their Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of manga translator Simon Lundström on child pornography charges…The court’s decision reflects the viewpoint of free speech advocates…that sexually explicit manga images are…not child pornography…

One Year Ago Today

Lola Montez” was one of the most colorful courtesans of the 19th (or any other) century.

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Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit.  It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practised at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.  -  W. Somerset Maugham

Most of you probably heard back in June that F. Chris Garcia, retired president of the University of New Mexico, was arrested in conjunction with the persecution of Southwest Companions; regular readers don’t need me to point out the usual pompous cophistry such as referring to a review board as a “prostitution ring” and calling a website administrator a “recruiter of prostitutes” (a phrase intended to conjure images of a pervert luring doe-eyed innocents into his van with the promise of candy), nor the trumped-up charges such as “conspiracy” (which basically means talking to someone else about something the cops decide to label a “crime”) and “destruction of evidence” (which means there is no evidence and never was).  But you may have missed this item from September 29th:

Bernalillo County’s District Attorney has dropped prostitution charges against former UNM President F. Chris Garcia.  However, the decision doesn’t mean the nationally known political science scholar is out of hot water.  It’s a move that buys the D.A. and the police more time to analyze evidence and the build their case against Garcia and other men busted in what police call a prostitution ring.  “When we have complex, multi-defendant cases that involve a lot of documents that have been seized, computers that have been seized, typically it takes awhile to analyze all of that,” said District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.  The law requires prosecutors to take a case to the grand jury within 60 days of the defendant’s arraignment.  Dropping the charges and re-filing later gives the prosecution extra time – even months…

In other words, the district attorney hasn’t got a case (remember “destruction of evidence”?) so she’s dropped the charges for now in order to have the freedom to harass Dr. Garcia later after she threatens some arrested hooker into making up a bunch of “human trafficking” bullshit.  Or, she just plans to leave it hanging over his head indefinitely, or else the dismissal is part of a behind-the-scenes deal of the type for which Brandenburg is well known (perhaps involving her buddy, escort-raping judge Pat Murdoch).  Since I’m not from Albuquerque I’m not personally familiar with her, but my research indicates she’s the sort of female politician who is bound and determined to prove that she is as sleazy, unprincipled and amoral as any man:  She has been accused of gross misconduct (including reneging on plea bargains and leaking privileged information to the press), has allowed innocent people to sit in jail despite knowing of exculpatory evidence, and has been caught lying and inventing “facts” in interviews on numerous occasions.  But her chief claim to infamy is her widely-criticized tendency to wield prosecutorial discretion like a sledgehammer against ordinary citizens (such as the decorated Marine whom she and Murdoch sent to prison for two years in order to discourage citizens from protecting their property against thieves), but to show no interest in pursuing charges against Murdoch or her other colleagues.  Which of her many faults is in play this time?

As I have pointed out before, cops and state-employed lawyers consider themselves a ruling class to whom the rules simply do not apply; they feel entitled to break laws, inflict violence on the citizenry and otherwise do whatever the hell they want:

Wayne County [Michigan] Prosecutor Kym Worthy…has filed charges against former Romulus Police Chief Michael St. Andre, his wife Sandra Vlaz-St. Andre, and five Romulus detectives…for misconduct, corruption, embezzlement, and witness intimidation…[in connection with] a scheme to improperly use drug forfeiture funds for personal benefit.  Worthy says the allegations include purchasing a Westland tanning salon operated by Vlaz-St. Andre, hiring prostitutes and spending $40,000 on marijuana and alcohol in a one-year period.  Chief St. Andre and his wife are alleged to have had bank account balances in excess of their combined annual income [and] the officers are…accused of “double-dipping” expense reports and making “fictitious payments to confidential sources.”

Their alleged criminal activity, which began in January 2006 and continued up until this month, took place under the guise of a Romulus Police Special Investigation Unit investigation into allegations of Liquor Commission violations, prostitution and narcotics trafficking…this supposed investigation was hidden from the Special Investigations Unit supervisor and supervised only by St. Andre.  No information from this case was ever turned over to prosecutors.  Worthy said the Michigan State Police began investigating allegations of police corruption in January 2009 at the request of someone she termed “a highly-placed Romulus Police official”…

In other words, the excesses were too egregious to ignore, especially since the informant (most likely the unnamed “Special Investigations Unit supervisor”) was both highly-placed and brought in too many others for the affair to be effectively hushed up.  Even so, the prosecutor prefers to hide the bald truth under euphemisms; armed robbery and grand larceny are softened into “improper use of drug forfeiture funds”, in other words dirty cops pocketing money they stole from people at gunpoint after accusing them of the heinous crime of possession of drugs without a badge.  Obviously, Dr. Garcia chose the wrong profession; had he been a cop or a judge instead of a university professor, he could have hired as many hookers as he liked as long as he invited the district attorney and other highly-placed cops to the party.

One Year Ago Today

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought” demonstrates that our trade is very old indeed, predating our species by millions of years.

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