Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever. – Nadine Gordimer
Eleven updates and four meta-updates.
Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)
…Timmie Jean Lindsey, 80…said she…[went to Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston, who invented the implants in 1962] because she wanted some rose tattoos removed from her chest, and he told her she was the perfect first candidate…“It wasn’t a big deal to me. I went from a B to a C cup. But it made men more aware of me. More men would whistle at me”…She said she feels fortunate she never experienced many of the side effects that plagued other recipients…
The reason she didn’t have any side effects, of course, is because lawyers hadn’t invented them yet.
An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)
Remember those cute little Adelie penguins? Well, it turns out that prostitution isn’t their only “perverted” sexual behavior; George Levick of the ill-fated Scott expedition also observed rape, sexual abuse of chicks, homosexuality and necrophilia. He was so upset by the whole thing that he recorded his findings in Greek so that they couldn’t accidentally be read by English speakers, and those facts were left out of the official accounts until very recently. I’m not surprised; any bird which practices “cash and dash” is capable of anything.
Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (May 30th, 2011)
Did you read the one about the Swedish housewife who set herself up a BDSM dungeon in an abandoned bunker? It became news when two fishermen discovered it and called the cops. When Aftonbladet told her that many of her neighbors were scandalized she said, “I think it is because many are afraid. Sweden is not really such a free country when it comes to sexuality…” Sex workers and their clients wholly agree.
Surplus Women (September 27th, 2011)
A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast…22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday (June 5th) night and left early Wednesday. Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis. Other body parts…were found later…Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel…
The Capri is one of those dirty, scary places where only truly desperate girls live, so I suspect she was murdered by a client who promised her extra money to go off with him. At least the story seems to make some effort to treat her as a person rather than concentrating on her sex work as so many do.
See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)
…Phillip Cosby…objects to [a] donated statue at the Overland Park Arboretum [in Kansas City], because it portrays a woman…taking a photo of herself while her breasts are exposed…he has started an online petition…to start a grand jury investigation…he objects to the statue’s availability to children and is seeking a charge of promoting obscenity. Overland Park has posted signs at the park about the statue’s content but says it has no immediate plans to remove the sculpture.
A statue has no “content”; any “obscenity” is projected into it by dirty minds.
Neither Addiction nor Epidemic (December 4th, 2011)
Movies and television take a lot of heat for promoting supposedly immoral, promiscuous and irresponsible sexual behavior. But when it comes to movies that actually make sex their main focus, you may be left wondering why anyone has sex in the first place. Sex in these movies is awful, joyless and nothing good ever comes of it. On second thought, that does sound like a pretty irresponsible depiction of sex, just not the one we’ve been led to expect…despite depressing movies such as Shame and a few high-profile celebrity cases of suspect credibility, one fact remains: There is no such thing as sex addiction…[it] is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is no scientific evidence it exists…
Harris also has sharp words for The Girlfriend Experience and points out the deep irony implicit in Hollywood’s typical condemnation of any kind of sex for pay. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this sort of column becoming ever more common in mainstream media.
Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)
Another cop using his position for rape: “A former Hopewell [Virginia] police officer was convicted…of sexually abusing three women…In exchange for his pleas, a fourth charge of forcible sodomy was withdrawn by the prosecution. Baggett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count…” Notice that cops in these stories are nearly always described as “former” police officers, subtly implying that they were sacked out for their conduct, when in fact that only happened as a direct result of a probable conviction. Had the case been less clear, Baggett would still be a cop right now.
An Example to the West (April 3rd, 2012)
Sex workers in Thailand recently sent a letter to their Prime Minister asking him to stop licking Uncle Sam’s boots:
…Empower alleges that successive Thai governments have sacrificed the rule of law, their international human rights obligations and the well-being of migrant sex workers and their families, in an attempt to please the US government and satisfy the American anti trafficking agenda. We accuse the United States government of using the issue of human trafficking to coerce its allies into tightening border and immigration controls. The US agenda has also created a climate where women crossing borders are all seen as suspect “victims” of trafficking…Empower sees the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department as subjective and bias [sic] against the Thai Entertainment Industry…
The Naked Emperor (May 15th, 2012)
Though danah boyd (who like e.e. cummings prefers her name uncapitalized) is generally critical of moral panics about kids and the internet, and has said that “the most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic”, she seems to have bought into sex trafficking hysteria…or has she? This article also seems subtly critical of anti-Backpage crusade; is she, like others, simply afraid to say the emperor is naked?
…when we as a society see technology being used in horrible ways, we want to blame and ban the technology…I know that technology is being used in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. I also know that many people have responded to the visibility of “child sex trafficking” on commercial websites by wanting to shut down those commercial websites…my goal is to make sure that we understand what we’re doing so that we actually address the core of the problem, not just the most visible symptoms of it. Unfortunately, we know very little about how children are advertised, bought, sold, and exploited through the use of technology. There are plenty of anecdotes, but rigorous data is limited…
Read the article and let me know what you think: more research is good, but only if it’s conducted in an atmosphere of free inquiry; most of the projects she mentions make unwarranted assumptions and seem tailored to produce specific anti-sex work outcomes.
First They Came for the Hookers… (June 5th, 2012)
…the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all…”The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” [said] Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney…”Now we have the power, which we’ll [soon] begin using…to deny visas to people who we think…might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation”…
Once again, “trafficking” rhetoric is really an excuse for bigotry.
R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (June 9th, 2012)
Anyone who’s read more than a token amount of Bradbury has noticed the libertarian ideas in his work, and in this extremely interesting essay by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy he demonstrates that Bradbury was not alone: “Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre. From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field. Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work…”
…Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships…however they choose. But some people in society, such as people with learning disabilities, aren’t always given the automatic right to have relationships and flourish as sexual beings. They have to persuade others to “allow” them to do it. FPA believes passionately that everyone has the right to enjoy sexual health…
I applaud FPA’s efforts; whores also know what it’s like to be denied the right to sex on our own terms.
…State-sanctioned forced HIV testing of sex workers also occurs [in places other than Greece]…But in Malawi…sex workers are fighting back…in 2009…police…forced [arrested sex workers] to undergo HIV tests…[and those] who tested HIV-positive were charged with “spreading disease dangerous to life,”…fourteen [of them] decided to sue the government and challenge the constitutionality of forced HIV testing…
Dania Suarez, the escort whose mistreatment kicked off the Secret service scandal, “has announced plans to open a non-profit organization to support women who have been affected by prostitution” just after turning down “a $500,000 pornography contract with Vivid” in favor of a TV documentary on her life. As long as she only works with women who genuinely want to leave the trade I’m all for it, but if she turns to “rescue” and/or starts mouthing “child sex trafficking” rubbish, she’ll be following Kristin Davis into the Hall of Shame.
Considering that prostitution is not illegal in either part of Ireland and that police found no “traffickers” or “victims” in their highly-publicized joint raid, all of the residences belonged to “innocent people”; I reckon what this article is trying to say is that half didn’t belong to the people named on the warrants:
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is facing a serious legal backlash after it emerged that as many as half the residences it raided as part of its cross-border anti-prostitution operation with gardai belong to innocent people…the PSNI is now facing a highly embarrassing and potentially very expensive legal fall-out from what appear to have been a series of botched raids based on intelligence that, in some cases, was at least a year out of date…
Though I feel bad for those who were raided, high-profile jackboot buffoonery like this only helps our cause in the long run, because it demonstrates the fact-free basis for police actions and results in ever more editorials like this one:
…”Rape for profit,” stormed Philip Marshall of the PSNI…Everyone would agree if he had freed dozens of sex-slaves and charged their traffickers…So far, though, the only people charged were three Polish girls, who…were…working willingly…is it really worth months of police time…to arrest and shame…three young people?…Or should we consider…offering prostitutes the protection of the law when they are abused or coerced?…Prostitution has always been with us…We can’t legislate it out of existence, but we could legislate to reduce its damage to the health and welfare of those involved.
One Year Ago Today
“June Miscellanea (Part Two)” reports on yet another censorship law, a decentralized online currency system, New York’s declaration that sexy dancing isn’t dancing and more extra-blog activities by yours truly.