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Links #292

Boom shakalaka goes right there.  And all you fags can go to hell!  –  Reverend David Manning

This week’s video is basically what one would get if a mad librarian got ahold of alphabetization software and turned it loose on…well, see for yourself; it was contributed by Jesse Walker, and the links above it were provided by Elizabeth N. BrownKevin WilsonNun YaTim Cushing, and Emma Evans, in that order.

From the Archives

In the News (#610)

The [only Super Bowl-related] surge was in cops and busybodies looking for something to do.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Safe Targets

In the US, the victim would’ve been arrested as well:

A woman and her two accomplices, who tried to blackmail a sex worker and extort money from her customer, were arrested by [Hyderabad] police…Moina Nayeeda…established a fake NGO…and…went to the house of Sabha, a sex worker…and told her that she was in financial trouble and want to make some money by prostitution.  Then Sabha arranged a customer one Jaheer…Nayeeda came to Sabha’s place along with her brother Sohail and some others…After entering the house, Nayeeda closed the doors with the customer inside and shouted loudly about the illegal acts going on there.  Nayeeda’s brother Sohail and others rushed to the house and threatened the owner of the house and the client saying they were from an NGO and would file a complaint against their illegal activities…

Barbie

This article contains no new info, but it’s of interest for the selection of Lilli cartoons:  “So it turns out Barbie’s original design was based on a German adult gag-gift escort doll named Lilli.  That’s right, she wasn’t a dentist or a surgeon, an Olympian gymnast, a pet stylist or an ambassador for world peace. And she certainly wasn’t a toy for little girls…Lilli cartoons

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

WTF, Vice?  Seriously?  You’re back to spreading “sex trafficking” myths again?  Make up your minds whose side you’re on, you sleazebags:

There are 20-30 million victims of human trafficking living in the world today.  These modern slaves cost an average $90-a-head…human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, generating profits of around $32 billion each year…This January was National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month…we asked three organizations fighting trafficking about how things have progressed over the last few years, as well as what steps we can take to actually eradicate the practice…

This is your periodic reminder that one of the big wheels at Equality Now, one of the orgs included here, is a former prosecutor who resigned in disgrace after she was caught railroading innocent men for rape.

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

I’m not sure who’s stupider:  the idiots who claim that porn will replace whores, or this moron who claims that porn increases our business:

A Utah state senator is taking a stand against pornography, blaming skin flicks for creating a “sexually toxic environment,” increasing the demand for prostitution and ruining families.  Sen. Todd Weiler…is…asking that the state recognize that porn is creating a public health hazard…The politician [fantasized]…that porn was more addictive than powerful drugs, and the public needed to start seeing adult films as a national epidemic.  “I have read books and I have experts tell me pornography is more difficult to overcome than cocaine,” he said…He said he hopes to shift the public opinion on [pictures he doesn’t like] the same way it has on cigarettes…”These are scientific facts, just like global warming”…

A presume he envisions an anti-porn firewall around Salt Lake City, or something.

Surplus Women 

Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) mourns the death and honours the memory of Tammy Le…[who] was found dead early morning on January 23rd at a hotel in Hamilton [Ontario]…Following the murders of Jiali Zhang and Evelyn Bumatay Castillo, she is the third Asian sex worker in Hamilton and Mississauga to be murdered within the past two years.  Violence against Asian sex workers is a direct result of repressive laws and a climate of hatred towards sex workers and sex work…Since December…six sex workers – also members of Butterfly – have been arrested, detained or deported.  Sex workers with legal immigration status have been charged and harassed arbitrarily by city police.  These conditions encourage sex workers to work and live in isolation and to avoid mainstream services and protections.  They encourage a targeting of migrant sex workers and create a climate of impunity for predators who are aware of the vulnerabilities migrant sex workers face because of criminalization and their risk of deportation…

See No Evil 

A slight glimmer of sanity in the totally mad world of “child pornography” prosecution:

Jack Weinstein, a federal judge in New York City who for years has criticized penalties for…child pornography as excessively rigid and harsh, was recently called upon to sentence a man who had pleaded guilty to possessing two dozen photos and videos.  The federal sentencing guidelines recommended a prison term of six-and-a-half to eight years.  Instead Weinstein sentenced the defendant—identified by his initials, R.V.—to time served (five days), a fine, and seven years of supervised release.  “The applicable structure does not adequately balance the need to protect…juveniles…against the need to avoid excessive punishment, with resulting unnecessary cost to defendants’ families and the community, and the needless destruction of defendants’ lives,” Weinstein wrote in a 98-page explanation of his reasons for departing so dramatically from the guidelines…

They Still Don’t Get It

This truly bizarre article uses the arrest of two petty thieves who also did sex work as a springboard to launch into…well, see for yourself:

Chloe Marie Schutz…and Cynthia Leshay Reichow…were arrested Tuesday and charged with burglary.  Reichow was also charged with prostitution…prostitution in Idaho pale in comparison to neighboring states — in 2010, Utah reported 414 arrests for prostitution, Nevada documented 3,738 and Idaho reported 13…In September, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of three girls who sued Backpage.com after they were sold as prostitutes on the site*…More than 70,000 people are arrested for prostitution each year in the U.S., costing taxpayers an estimated $200 million.  Seventy percent are female prostitutes and madams, 20 percent are male prostitutes and pimps, and just 10 percent are johns, or clients.  About 40 percent of prostitutes are former child prostitutes who were illegally forced into the profession through human trafficking**…Sgt. Bryan Lovell…said drug use is common…[and fantasized that]…runaway girls…are pimped out and then dumped off in eastern Idaho…

*No, it didn’t.  **No, they aren’t.

Feeding On Their Own

Much more of this, please:

Migrant children in the government’s care were placed in U.S. homes and left vulnerable to human trafficking due to sometimes nonexistent screening by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a congressional report…HHS failed to run background checks on the adults in the sponsors’ households, failed to visit sponsors’ homes and failed to realize some sponsors were accumulating multiple unrelated children, which can be a sign of human trafficking.  Some lawmakers contend that the government weakened its child-protection policies as it was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of children crossing the border…HHS officials declined to fully answer many of the senators’ questions…saying they did not have the legal authority from Congress to follow up on the children…

Monsters Monica Loera

The nation’s first reported murder of a transgender person in 2016 is…Monica Loera of Austin [Texas]…Loera…was…reportedly involved in sex work…In the wake of her death, Loera was misgendered by both police and the media, referred to by masculine pronouns and her birth name…

Stupor Bowl

I figured I’d wind up this year’s “trafficking bowl” coverage with a couple of debunkings; the first one is from J.D. Tucille & quotes me directly:

…That term–not “prostitution,” but “trafficking”—is a deliberate choice, selected to confuse people…44 percent [of Americans now] favor…legalization of prostitution…That’s up from 38 percent…in 2012…Opponents of commercial sex find themselves on the wrong side of shifting public opinion, so they pull a little rhetorical sleight of hand to get around that inconvenient word “consensual”…”Coercion is much rarer than ‘trafficking’ fetishists pretend it is,” insists Reason contributor and former call girl Maggie McNeill.  “The term ‘trafficking’ is used to describe many different things along a broad spectrum running from absolutely coercive to absolutely not coercive, yet all of them are shoehorned into a lurid, melodramatic and highly-stereotyped narrative.”  Evidence for McNeill’s take is apparent in the difficulty authorities often have in convincing the trafficking “victims” they rescue that they’re in need of heroic intervention into their lives…And government officials and anti-trafficking activists are poised to rescue a wave of such trafficking “victims” when the Super Bowl comes to town.  Once they convince them that they’re victims, that is…

The other, from Dr. Marty Klein, (perhaps unintentionally) paraphrases me without attribution:

…Simple economics would explain why event-specific trafficking rarely happens: it makes no sense for traffickers to spend huge amounts of money dragging victims across the country, housing them, advertising for business, and charging reduced rates to undercut local prostitutes, all for a single weekend of illicit income—in a place crawling with law enforcement…

Check Your Premises (#422)

Under Swedish-flavored criminalization, underage boys are claimed to have more sexual agency than adult women of any age:

Visalia [California] police, working with the FBI…arrested eight suspected female prostitutes, along with their suspected pimp — a 17-year-old Fresno boy.  The women…range in age from 18 to 47…the teenage boy…[was] described as a pimp and “one of the main players in this operation”…some of the women appeared to be victims of human trafficking…they didn’t want to engage in prostitution but “they’re being forced by pimps to go that route”…the women were arrested [anyhow] because…they reportedly broke the law…

Consider that both these cops and the reporter parroting this idiocy are supposedly rational adults.

Eternal Vigilance

Until prohibition is itself outlawed, decriminalization of any consensual activity is at best a temporary respite:

The Labour Party’s “shock, horror” response to the exposure of a growing sex-for-rent trend amongst some landlords and tenants is ironic given Labour was [pivotal in achieving decriminalization in New Zealand]…says [an anti-sex worker] group…Stop Demand Foundation…notes that [politician Ruth] Dyson and her colleagues have been avid supporters of decriminalising and destigmatising the sale and purchase of sexual services…Stop Demand…supports the Nordic model of prostitution…and…notes that if New Zealand had followed the Nordic model…these landlords could be prosecuted [for consensual sexual arrangements]…

Choke Point (#593) 

Lux Alptraum on financial discrimination vs sex businesses:

…frustrated with the high rate of chargebacks related to porn sites (…likely due to shame-induced buyer’s remorse on the part of porn consumers), Visa and MasterCard made the decision to classify adult sites as “high risk,” and require anyone hoping to process payments for adult content to pay an upfront registration fee, plus annual renewal every year after…this might seem like nothing more than an annoying additional expense, one easily borne by any successful business.  But in practice, it provided payment processors with a license to discriminate against anyone working in sex—even in situations that have nothing to do with their work.  Shortly after the Visa/MasterCard announcement, PayPal announced that it would no longer be processing payments for anyone tied to sex…dig into the TOS of virtually any popular digital payment platform, and…you’ll find some sort of ban on adult content and services…There are mainstream payment processors are slightly more adult friendly…but oftentimes these processors are obscure, complicated to use, and much shadier than their competitors.  It can be difficult to get a client to connect their bank account to a payment platform they’ve never heard of, and it’s hard to feel comfortable using a service that could easily shut down overnight, taking whatever money that might be owed to you with them as they cut and run…

Live Free or DieAs I reported on January 13th, a bill to decriminalize prostitution has been introduced in the New Hampshire legislature.  The initial media coverage treated it as little more than a joke, a quixotic effort by a freshman representative which majority leader Dick Hinch (don’t giggle) vowed to kill as quickly as possible because “society is just not ready for that”.  Given that New Zealand and New South Wales both qualify as parts of human (and even English-speaking!) society, I must presume that Hinch is as much an ignoramus as he is a Dick.  Other (unnamed) prohibitionists vomited out the “diseased whore” myth, the “whore as criminal” myth and the “whore as siren to weak-willed male perverts” myth, while Dick vowed to play basketball with the bill and then lock it up in the basement.

But unfortunately for those now cursing the name of Amnesty International and praying for all us loudmouthed whores to choke on a cock or something, the bill was neither a joke nor a one-woman show nor easily swept under the rug:

New Hampshire legislators last week debated the merits of decriminalizing prostitution, in response to a bipartisan bill filed by state Reps. Amanda Bouldin (D-Hillsborough), Carole McGuire (R-Merrimack), and Elizabeth Edwards (D-Hillsborough).  On Thursday, January 28, the New Hampshire Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1614, which removes all criminal penalties for “consensual sex between consenting adults” whether money is exchanged or not while making “any solicitation of sexual contact involving a person under 18 years of age or through the use of force or intimidation a felony.”

Edwards is apparently the main author of the bill, and she dropped a lot of big names in her introductory remarks:

“We put forward this bill in response to Amnesty International’s August 2015 recommendation that governments across the world decriminalize prostitution…Amnesty International studied the issue for two years prior to the their recommendation,” and their view is in line with the World Health Organization, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Foundations, Anti-Slavery International, and other global human-rights groups…

Before long The USPROStitutes Collective asked as many sex workers and allies as possible to support the bill:

We are in touch with one of the sponsors of the Bill.  Please consider writing in or calling them to make your case in support of decriminalization.  Points to make in your letter may include that decriminalization would:

  • Increase safety as sex workers could work together and more easily report violence;
  • Enhance health as sex workers could more easily access services and wouldn’t be deterred from carrying condoms for fear that they will be used as evidence of prostitution;
  • Free up police time to focus on the investigation of violent crimes such as rape and domestic violence rather than the policing of consenting sex (particularly important as the Committee is primarily made up of former and current law enforcement);
  • End criminal records which bar sex workers from getting other jobs. This is crucial for anyone who may want to leave the sex industry and is unable to…

…Please see below the list and emails of committee members to send your letters to or call…

HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us
Arthur Barnes (r) arthur.barnes@leg.state.nh.us, 603-893-4754
Roger Benrube (d) rogerrberube@hotmail.com, 603-692-5653
John Burt (r) john.burt@leg.state.nh.us, 603-624-5084
Ed Corneau (r) ed@edcomeau.org, 603-522-2275
Robert Cushing (d) renny.cushing@leg.state.nh.us, 603-926-2737
Len DiSesa (d) Len.DiSesa@leg.state.nh.us, 603-343-4344
Robert Fesh (r) rmfesh@comcast.net, 603-434-1150
Robert Fisher (r) robert.fisher@leg.state.nh.us, 802-727-0441
Dennis Green (r) Dennis.Green@leg.state.nh.us, 603-234-7776
Geoffrey Hirsch (d) Geoffrey.Hirsch@leg.state.nh.us, 603-938-2833
Latha Manjipudi (d) Latha.Mangipudi@leg.state.nh.us, 603-891-1239
Dick Marston (r) dick.marston.nhstaterep@gmail.com, 603-361-8192
John Martin (r) john.martin@leg.state.nh.us, 603-774-3098
Andrew OHearne (d) Andrew.OHearne@leg.state.nh.us, 603-558-1038
Laura Pantelakos (d) lcpantelakos@comcast.net, 603-436-2148
Harold Parker (r) hbpcd6@gmail.com, 603-491-6807
Timothy Robertson (d) timothyrbrtsn2@gmail.com, 603-352-7006
Shawn Sweeney (r) shawn.sweeney@leg.state.nh.us, 603-265-0319

Bella Robinson of COYOTE-RI also testified before the committee hearings, and Maxine Doogan of ESPLERP also took time out from her work on the decriminalization court case in California to speak in its favor:

Naturally, there was no shortage of pompous windbags making inane non-arguments against human rights, in the name of The Women and (wait for it…) THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!

…Rep. John Martin (R-Merrimack) worried that high-school football players would move from “having a keg party after a victory to having a hooker party after a victory.”  Rep. Edwards responded by pointing out that sex between adults and minors would still be illegal, no matter the gender of the minors.  Rep. Dick Marston (R-Hillsborough) opposes the bill and is surprised by its introduction from female legislators, demanding they answer for the fact that some married men might cheat with sex workers…

Apparently, given that this other Dick isn’t (to my knowledge) sponsoring a bill criminalizing marital infidelity, he isn’t concerned if married men cheat with amateurs; he just doesn’t want those hussies to profit by their naughtiness.  But lest you think he merely wants to save himself and other philanderers some cash, Dick assures us that he’s firmly in touch with his feminine side:  “I just have a problem with this bill from a woman’s point of view.”  That’s this entire issue in miniature right there:  Men (and anti-sex women) ignoring, dismissing, criminalizing and infantilizing women while pretending to understand our point of view and presuming to speak for us is the essence of prohibition in a nutshell.

Not Your Place

I am worried that my ex girlfriend has turned to sex work.  Should I do something about it?  She was once raped by a previous boyfriend, and her flashbacks and panic attacks seemed to be getting worse after she gave up on therapy.  Also while we were dating I cheated on her with several escorts and only told her several months into the relationship.  I am worried that there is a possibility that she may be doing this for the wrong reasons and harming herself.  I care and would like to help, however I feel like it is not my place to do something.

you whoreYou’re right; it’s not your place.  Even if she weren’t your ex-girlfriend, what would you “do about it”?  Turn her in to the cops?  Because certainly, burdening her with a criminal record (and possibly getting her raped again in the process) would be a huge help, I’m sure.  Just curious; would you be this “worried” if she were, say, joining the military or the Peace Corps or something like that?  Given that you didn’t even say what makes you believe she might have taken this particular job (as 1% of Western women do at some point in our lives), I’m inclined to believe that you aren’t worried for her safety or mental health at all, but rather just offended that she might become a dirty whore.  What I see is that you don’t have a problem with my profession, as long as it’s practiced by other, lesser women you can pay; you’re just upset because a woman you clearly still have proprietary feelings about might want to make a career of fucking other men beside you.

Perhaps you think I’m being overly hard on you, and your concern is based in facts you didn’t include in your letter; fair enough.  If you think that’s the case, I call your attention to my answer to a similar question a little over three years ago:

Like practically everything else in the world, escorting is not right for everyone; some women thrive in the trade, and others view it as a job no better and no worse than others, but for some women it is a really bad idea.  Generally, these are women with negative, moralistic or overly-romanticized views of sex, because they feel degraded by the work…[even if] your lady has [none] of those issues…[it doesn’t necessarily mean] she’ll like the work; it’s entirely possible the reality will be nothing like her fantasy and she’ll quit in under a week (a young friend of mine had a similar reaction to the realities of stripping).  But it’s also possible she may find it very satisfying and it may even help her to overcome her [sexual issues].  The only way for her to find out if she likes it or not is to try it, so you’re wise not to obstruct her…it’s normal for a man to feel protective of a woman he loves.  But at the same time, it’s possible you might be infantilizing her a bit.  You say she’s had a troubled past…but that could be said of many people (including me)…The popular wisdom is that damaged people should wallow in their pain forever, but that’s self-destructive nonsense; the only hope of escaping the past is to live in the present and look toward the future.  Even if she’s as fragile as you think, the only way to get stronger is to go out into the world, face its challenges and either overcome them or fail and learn.  The only cure for innocence is experience, and a sheltered child never grows up.  Furthermore, she’s in no more [emotional] danger…as an escort than she is in many another high-paying field that nobody would think twice about her entering (such as modeling or sales); sex work is a lot more mundane than people think, and there really aren’t any mysterious tentacles waiting to drag unwary ingénues down into the abyss…

walking down the railsI’m not saying you shouldn’t say anything; people who care about each other have the right to express their feelings.  But that doesn’t mean she has to listen, and if she doesn’t you need to let her alone.  And if you can’t handle seeing her do something that causes you emotional discomfort, it’s time to wish her the best, steel yourself and walk away from her.  That probably won’t be easy, and this is really a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”; I’ve never been any good at walking away from relationships that have become painful to me, and I probably never will be.  But if she won’t heed your words, and you can’t handle the way she conducts her life, it’s really your only option.  And I pray Aphrodite that unlike me, you can actually do it.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

In the News (#609)

Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  –  Alyssa Ambrosino

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

but damn, has she got chutzpah!

…Alyssa Ambrosino of [Pennsylvania]…posted a listing online Jan. 13 that read in part, “Hey guys it’s Marie or you can call me Lyssa.  I’m working…within the jurisdiction of East Stroud PD.  A police department that couldn’t find their own ass with both hands and a map, so don’t bother even trying to call and set up a date.  Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  For all the REAL men out there I would love to see you”…A [plainclothes pig]…arranged to meet Ambrosino at her hotel room…[but] she [smelled him]…and asked him to leave…[then a plainclothes sow] …went up and knocked on the door…[asking] why her husband was in that hotel room…[the sow then planted] marijuana on the night stand [and arrested] Ambrosino…

If anyone knows how to get in touch with her, please ask her to email me; I may be able to help get her legal defense.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

How many times do we need to say this?

Self-labeled sex addicts often speak about their identities very clinically, as if they’re paralyzed by a scientific condition that functions the same way as drug and alcohol addiction. But sex and porn “addiction” are NOT the same as alcoholism or a cocaine habit. In fact [they]…are not addictions at all…and…don’t constitute what most researchers understand to be addiction…addicts withdraw. When you lock a dope fiend in a room without any dope, the lack of drugs will cause an immediate physiological response — some of which is visible, some of which we can only track from within the body. During withdrawal, the brains of addicts create junctions between nerve cells containing the neurotransmitter GABA. This process more or less inhibits the brain systems usually excited by drug-related cues — something we never see in the brains of so-called sex and porn addicts…porn-addiction [promoters]…are wedded to the idea that porn is an uncontrolled stimulus the brain gets addicted to because of the dopamine release it causes…But there’s a difference between compulsion and addiction…

Bell, Hook and Kettle

There’s a word for “partnering” between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

State police officials are working with the Salvation Army and other organizations to help fight human trafficking in the Detroit area…Michigan has stepped up efforts in recent years to [arrest sex workers]…and [steal their possessions]…Human trafficking is a [sexual fantasy]…through which [police departments and rescue industry companies] profit from the exploitation and control of their victims.  Victims…include [sex workers, their clients, their] children…[their friends, landlords, roommates and partners]…

Legal Is as Legal Does 

Sex workers in Victoria will be able to advertise with full body pictures…under changes to the state’s sex-work regulations.  But…sex-worker organisation Vixen Collective says the government should tackle the real issues facing the industry, including full decriminalisation and an end to mandatory health testing…Advertisements are currently limited to head-and-shoulder shots.  Ads for sex workers will remain banned from radio, TV, film and video recordings but ads on the internet and in print may contain a photograph of the whole person, as long as…[it] does not show naked genitals or breasts, a sex act or a person under the age of 18 years.  Sex workers will now be able to advertise with references to [their] race, colour or ethnic origin…Jane Green…[of] Vixen Collective, said…sex workers have been calling for an end to mandatory testing because of the burden it puts on sex workers and taxpayers…25 years of medical research in Australia have shown that sex workers have lower rates of STI’s and practice safer sex than the general population…

Above the Law 

Even cops whose offenses don’t rise to the level of rape employ disgusting defenses:

[Boston cop] Edwin Guzman is currently facing charges of “annoying and accosting” a person of the opposite sex, as well as disseminating harmful material to a minor…if a classmate had sent a photo of his penis to this 16-year-old girl, he might be facing child pornography charges and a lifetime on the sex offender registry, rather than…a maximum $200 fine and 6 months in jail…what’s more disturbing is his lawyer’s dismissiveness of the teen’s response to the unwanted explicit pictures…”Kenneth Anderson…said…’You can’t tell me someone her age has never seen a picture of a penis on the Internet’…by this rationale, the teen shouldn’t be upset if an older relative, politician, church leader, trusted community figure, random neighbor or anyone else…sent her explicit photos.  After all, spend enough time on the internet and you’re bound to see a penis.  Perhaps Anderson could help her get over her fear of penis pictures by sending a few of his own her way…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

The New York Police Department has gained “chilling” access to a vast array of surveillance via the use of license plate readers (LPR), the American Civil Liberties Union warns…the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) obtained the final version of the nearly $500,000 contract between the NYPD and Vigilant Solutions for access to the billions of records the company has collected nationwide through the use of its LPRs…the new system “contains over 2.2 billion location data points, and it is growing by almost a million data points per day…Surveillance is about power.  Vigilant gives the NYPD power to monitor our whereabouts and, by extension, our affiliations, interests, activities and beliefs,” the civil rights group said in its blog…“Even more worrisome…the data comes from private license plate readers that scan locations that the police are less likely to scan: residential areas, apartment complexes, retail areas and business office complexes with large employee parking areasAnd…there is no limit on how long Vigilant keeps all of this private location data…There is no incentive for Vigilant to delete any data because its business model is to profit off of selling people’s data.”  Despite promises by LPR proponents that such databases would not be abused, they [are almost constantly]

King of the Hill

What century do “sex trafficking” fetishists believe this is?

I was shocked to learn that Michigan is one of the top spots in the United States for human trafficking…Michigan ranks No. 2 in the country…No. 1 is Nevada.  Two of the things that make Michigan a primary spot is our close proximity to Canada and our waterways…

Train Wreck

Translation: They provide forged papers and provide passage for migrants who want to escape Nigeria:

…[A police] raid [resulted] in the arrest of the leaders of a Nigerian-based group running an international sex-trafficking ring in Barcelona.  It’s known as the Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC), or the Air Lords…[cops] first came across the group in 2011 during a forgery investigation, but quickly discovered it was a huge network trafficking…human beings and narcotics (cocaine and marijuana) and [forging] passports.  It has also facilitated the transport of stolen crude oil into Europe…Benin City, Nigeria, is a human-trafficking hub

Sexual Predators

WARNING: The badge-licking in here is so loud and fellatory, it may nauseate you:

The customer has no idea what he is walking into.  He is in his early 30s, dressed kind of schlubby, and wanting to buy some sex on a gorgeous weekday afternoon…There will be no happy ending for him today.  He will be greeted by a [cop]…posing as a prostitute…Elsewhere in the hotel, a 27-year-old woman with heavy eye makeup and a short, short skirt is sitting on a bed looking concerned.  She is a prostitute, who, like the man, was [duped by pigs] on backpage.com, a popular prostitution website.  She had come to this room thinking she was about to have a “date.”  Instead, she is being interviewed by trained advocates from the YWCA who are looking for signs of coercion and fear…

Signs of coercion and fear, when she’s surrounded by armed thugs who’ve just deceived her?  How could that POSSIBLY be? The tone isn’t surprising, though, considering that the LA Times is the only newspaper I know whose reporters are specifically forbidden to call rape, “rape” when the rapist is a cop.

Crime Against Society (#324)

Though they can’t do it as easily as they once could, New Orleans prosecutors still love condemning sex workers to the “sex offender” registry:

…She had spent weeks in Orleans Parish Prison once before, sleeping on a mat, getting in fights.  She was desperate to get out.  Plead guilty to “attempted intentional exposure to AIDS,” an antiquated felony created during the darkest days of 1980s AIDS hysteria, and the prosecutor would agree to 60 days time served, her ticket to immediate release.  She took the deal.  About a week after she got out, the 22-year-old woman received a phone call.  It was her probation officer, threatening to take her back to jail.  Why?  She hadn’t registered as a sex offender…nobody – not her lawyer, not the judge, not the prosecutor – had mentioned anything about adding her name to a list of society’s most reviled outcasts.  Nobody had said anything about the special driver’s license she would have to carry, or the expense of mailing postcards to hundreds of her neighbors.  Aaliyah had condemned herself to 15 years of frustration and humiliation, and there is no record of anybody telling her until it was too late…

The Public Eye (#593)

Laura Lee talks about how she became a sex worker:

…In 2003, I moved to Scotland to take up a position with a financial institution, corporate prostitution at its finest.  Over time, my part time endeavour to top up my miniscule salary became known, and the proverbial hit the fan…In a small highland town, that’s better than a double live episode of Eastenders and various locals couldn’t wait to make their views known.  Some were to my face, but mostly it was done on social media, by members of staff during a “confidential” investigation…I was angry I had to leave the town for my daughter’s sake and start afresh.  I was angry for being judged, by the very people who’d come to me for help in the past.  But mostly, I was angry that many people spouted speeches about the sex industry, when they quite obviously didn’t have a clue…I’ve since learned that some people build entire careers on that…

Too Close To Home pompous press conference

Journalists are starting to listen:

…The women [Seattle cops pretended] they “rescued”…may not actually have been trafficked…King County’s prosecutor did not charge any of the people arrested with trafficking, only with promoting prostitution…The court documents include no affidavits or victim statements from the women themselves…[the] one woman [cops managed to catch]…said her family in South Korea was in debt bondage and that if she didn’t do sex work and pay off their debt, her family might be hurt…I can’t help but wonder about the element of coercion involved in obtaining the statement of an illegal immigrant who knows she may be jailed or deported unless she depicts herself as a trafficking victim…There is also no evidence that these women were being forced to stay in the apartments or forced to sell sex.  Indeed, the instructions on the TRB site says explicitly that “No means NO.  Regardless of your particular expectations, what is offered is completely up to the provider”…

Stupor Bowl (#608)

This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:

On February 7, the Super Bowl will return to the Bay Area…and it’s an oft-repeated chestnut that when sports championships come to town, so too do human traffickers…the link between the Super Bowl and trafficking is, at best, unsubstantiated.  (The maybe-canard even has its own Snopes page).  At worst, it’s an attempt to link trafficking with hyper-masculine sporting events and voluntary sex work…the mayor’s anti-trafficking task force [imagined] the region to be “a hub for human trafficking and a hot spot for child sex trafficking”; the FBI has also [pretended] it to be one of 13 national “high intensity” areas for child sex trafficking crimes…Traffickers often use airplanes to transport victims through networks that span the globe

Imbolc 2016

Imbolc
Sometimes things that seem dead are just waiting for the right conditions to awaken; may all the things that do so in your life be good ones. Blessed Be!

Diary #292

Red SonjaLast week was another busy one, both in sex work and in activism; the interviews I linked appear to have boosted my signal somewhat, as did my picking a fight with a presidential candidate (to which, I’m sorry to say, he failed to respond).  That’s just one example of how I’ve been getting bolder on Twitter lately; between suffering fools less patiently than before, to tweeting more risqué pictures, to more openly tweeting links to my escort website and advertising, to more openly referring to my work in real time (in other words, essentially saying “I just had sex for money” or “I’m about to have sex for money right now“), I’ve pretty much opened the throttle on harlotry.  And it seems to be having the desired effect; at this rate I should break 10,000 followers by the end of the year, and that will expand my social media reach considerably.  When I release my next books (and I’ve been gearing up to work on them again at last) I’ll have a far larger potential audience than I did two years ago, and that means my message that sex workers are complex three-dimensional people (rather than cardboard “victim” cutouts) will be that much louder.  Nor am I the only one; my friends Mistress Matisse, Savannah Sly, Tara Burns, Laura Lee and others are being quoted in the mainstream media so often now, the week doesn’t pass that one can’t see one or the other of us (and often more than one) in a news article.  Our clout has increased so dramatically that at least one news outlet will interview sex workers for any given story involving sex work (a big change from even three years ago), and anyone foolish enough to start an anti-sex worker hashtag on Twitter will soon find us claiming it for ourselves by, as Matisse put it, “pissing all over it“.  Whores aren’t going to stay quiet and roll over for the cops and other busybodies any more; we are coming to claim our rights.  And there’s not a damned thing prohibitionists, with all their ridiculous fantasies of “eradicating” us, can do to stop it.

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