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Archive for December 28th, 2011

O, it is excellent to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.  –  William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (II, ii)

Though all internet-based sex workers (like all internet businesses) rely on Google, the search-and-content giant has never been a friend to us.  In the past, they were subtle about it; I’ve heard stories of escorts’ gmail and Google Voice accounts closed without warning for unspecified “terms of use violations”, and anecdotal evidence of porn sites which curiously fail to show up where they should.  Back in May Google unceremoniously cancelled an ad paid for by “Turn Off the Blue Light”, an Irish organization fighting those who want the Swedish Model imposed on Ireland; the ad was only restored after considerable bad press and a protest by the group outside Google’s Dublin headquarters.  But on December 14th, it made its efforts more overt by donating over $11 million to anti-prostitute groups:

Tech giant Google announced Wednesday it is donating $11.5 million to several coalitions fighting to end the modern-day slavery of some 27 million people around the world…”Many people are surprised to learn there are more people trapped in slavery today than any time in history,” said Jacquelline Fuller, director of charitable giving and advocacy for Google.  “The good news is that there are solutions.”  The Washington-based International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works globally to rescue victims of slavery and sexual exploitation, was chosen by Google to lead the efforts.  It will partner with Polaris Project and Slavery Footprint and a handful of smaller organizations for the multi-year effort to rescue the enslaved, push for better infrastructure and resources for anti-slavery enforcement agencies overseas, as well as raise awareness here in the United States and help countries draft anti-slavery legislation.

…Gary A. Haugen, president of the International Justice Mission, said the coalition would focus on three initiatives:  A $3.5 million intervention project to fight forced labor in India; a $4.5 million advocacy campaign in India to educate and protect the vulnerable; and a $1.8 million plan to mobilize Americans on behalf of the millions currently at risk of slavery or waiting for rescue around the world.  The remaining $1.7 million will go to several smaller organizations working to combat slavery.  “It’s hard for most Americans to believe that slavery and human trafficking are still massive problems in our world,” said Haugen.  “Google’s support now makes it possible for IJM to join forces with two other leading organizations so we can bring to bear our unique strengths in a united front.”

Those leading the U.S. efforts will meet in Washington on Wednesday to kick off the joint initiative.  The project will focus on improved legislation to protect vulnerable children and adults in the United States, as well as a push for more accountability and transparency in the U.S. supply chain by retailers and manufacturers to make sure their products are “slave-free.”  The trafficking of women for the sex trade is common in big American cities.  Some illegal immigrants find themselves forced to work in sweatshops, in private homes as domestic servants or on farms without pay under the threat of deportation.  The new effort will launch new initiatives that ordinary Americans can take to help abolish modern-day slavery, such as understanding how their own clothing or smartphones might contain fabrics or components manufactured by forced labor…

There’s that “27 million” number again; it seems to be turning into the most common propaganda figure among NGOs and popular faddists, though most government figures are lower.  As we know, “The trafficking of women for the sex trade” is absolutely NOT“common in big American cities” unless you’ve got a really weird definition of “common”; only about 1.5% of all prostitutes are coerced, and most of those are controlled by men they’re involved with rather than “trafficked” in any meaningful sense of the term.  And as Laura Agustín repeatedly points out, most so-called “trafficked” women all over the world are simply crossing international borders to work the way white middle-class Western men do all the time; it only becomes “trafficking” in the racist minds of trafficking fanatics when those people are brown-skinned women from the “third world”.

There are plenty of worthy charities Google could have endowed with this money, but the evangelical Christian “International Justice Mission”, a “rescue” group well-known for encouraging violent brothel raids and streetwalker sweeps whose victims are then beaten, robbed, gang-raped and starved, is not one of them; nor is the pathologically dishonest Polaris Project, which intentionally confuses stripping and escorting with child slavery and violent pimps even when it isn’t directly lying.  Furry Girl reprinted Google’s own list and pointed out that it also contains Not For Sale, a group which “Gets their information on sex work from Donna Hughes [and] advocates that adult sex work criminalization will somehow stop child sex slavery.”  The others on the list are ActionAid India, Aide et Action, BBC World Service Trust, GoodWeave, La Strada International and Slavery Footprint; I haven’t heard anything bad about any of these, but any group in bed with IJM and Polaris is carrying the same plague fleas.  I know it has to get worse before it gets better, but I hope it doesn’t have to get much worse.

One Year Ago Today

December Q&A” answers questions on how to explain prostitutes to young children, the causes of vaginal looseness, the definition of “slut”, the right way to try anal sex and whether size really matters.

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