An offence malum prohibitum…is not naturally an evil, but becomes so in consequence of its being forbidden; as playing at games, which being innocent before, have become unlawful in consequence of being forbidden. – Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (1856)
There’s a kind of contagious evil which has spread among Wisconsin politicians for the past few years; it’s a variety of the violent lie that a woman who has sex for the “wrong” reasons is a “criminal”, coupled with the rather pathetic fantasy that political mumbo-jumbo has the power to “do something” to stop a practice that existed for eons before the first politician tried to “regulate” that dangerous new thing called “fire”. This cheesy extortion scheme takes the form of a pretense that consensual sex can be “fought” by requiring escorts to buy licenses; what it actually does is allow sleazy Wisconsin cops to just arrest whatever women they want to target and charge them with not having licenses instead of actually having to, you know, prove they did anything wrong. As is typical in the modern police state, the mere accusation is enough because, as one particularly porcine individual expressed it, “they know deep down what they’re doing is wrong“. Well, that proves it, then!
Naturally, the cities which pass these odious ordinances don’t actually want or expect anyone to buy them, and they make sure nobody will by requiring background checks, fingerprinting and other cop-worship that no sane whore would ever submit to. And the reason they don’t want anyone to buy the licenses is that the fines for not having them are typically in the thousands of dollars. Here’s a recent story about the latest city to subscribe to this loathsome fad; it is, I’m afraid, a typical representation of the laws, the buffoonish rhetoric used to sell them to the public, and the stenographic journalism with which they’re typically reported:
The Eau Claire city council will take up a proposed ordinance…regarding the licensing of escort services…its real goal is to crack down on illegal prostitution…”I think that we know…that a lot of individuals who advertise as escorts are actually using the escort as a cover to engage in prostitution,” [pompous idiot Douglas] Hoffer said…escorts would be required to be licensed and follow within strict guidelines – differentiating their actions from illegal prostitution…
No, you moron; it’s not that “a lot of” escorts use the job as a “cover”; an escort IS a prostitute. Always has been, always will be. Get that through your fat head. There’s no “differentiating” because there’s no difference.
Combating prostitution has become trickier in recent years, in part to advances in social media. “Most prostitutes advertise online, using online platforms…In order to further investigate the conduct, police have to do more intensive investigations, more explicit acts, more explicit language.”
In other words, more explicit rape.
Hoffer says many communities have similar ordinances on the books…But…The Eau Claire version of the ordinance would punish the unlicensed escort, as well as the customers who purchase their services. “It isn’t just focused on supply, but also demand”…Hoffer said…
In other words, they hit upon the doubly-evil stratagem of extorting ransom from TWO victims instead of one, using another popular morally-bankrupt scheme, “end demand”. Predictably, a prohibitionist arsehole is then quoted complaining that only the buyer should be targeted, because certainly that’s the precedent for other license violations. You know, like all the times we hear about the patients being arrested when someone is found practicing medicine without a license. Applying the slightest bit of logic in comparing these “escort license” laws to other licensing laws reveals that they’re nothing more than cynical attempts to cash in on an activity Wisconsin politicians haven’t got the balls to decriminalize and simply tax, but want to profit from nonetheless. But while most yokels no doubt listen to these pronouncements with their flytraps agape, it’s good to see that some journalists (in this case, the redoubtable Elizabeth Nolan Brown) aren’t fooled for a second:
…the Eau Claire City Council is considering an ordinance that would require anyone advertising as an escort to get an occupational license from the government…police can’t just go around arresting anyone who advertises as an escort. Not yet, anyway. Ostensibly, cops must still interact with the individual and get them to agree to some sort of sexual activity for a fee…Now city officials want to change that. Under their proposed legislation, escorts and escort businesses would have to be licensed by the city and subject to extensive regulations. Any escort operating without a license would be subject to a fine of up to $5,000…Anyone attempting to hire an unlicensed escort could also be charged up to $5,000, as well…the city expects to receive “little to no applications” for such licenses. In other Wisconsin cities with similar schemes—including Milwaukee, Gree Bay, and La Crosse—no licenses have ever been granted…Now law enforcement could simply punish anyone who advertises escort services online but is not registered with the city…Eau Claire City Attorney Stephen Nick…bragged…that it would allow the city to bring in more money in fines while using fewer police resources…
In other words, it’s simply another way to accomplish the primary purpose of 21st-century policing, namely looting the citizenry, while simultaneously accomplishing the primary purpose of 20th-century policing, namely terrorizing the populace by brutalizing despised minorities. It’s a win-win for Wisconsin “authorities”, and a straight loss for anyone who believes in silly old-fashioned concepts like “justice”, “evidence”, and “presumption of innocence”.