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Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

I was wondering if it might be to big a jump for Americans to go from fearing sex to seeing it as a normal human activity; might not the Swedish model be a shorter step?  Decriminalization is best of course, but is it to much of a shift from criminalization to make all at once?

false-compromiseProponents of the Swedish model want you to see it as a sort of compromise position; that’s how it was sold in Canada, where the Middle of the Road is practically the national symbol.  But it’s actually nothing of the kind.  First of all, the Swedish model has never been adopted any place where sex work was already criminalized; it always results in the criminalization of behavior that was not previously criminalized.  Even if it were to be adopted in some US jurisdiction, the oft-heard claim that the model “decriminalizes the seller” is a blatant lie.  Because prostitution is a misdemeanor, arrested sex workers are usually charged with whatever the cops and DAs can think of to get a more serious crime, such as “promotion of prostitution” (ie pimping) or even “sex trafficking” if the cops’ victim was working with another whore; these laws are still in place under the Swedish model (described therein as “going after the pimps and traffickers”), and because there is no lesser prostitution charge the impetus for cops to level such serious charges against ordinary sex workers is actually increased.  But there’s another, more insidious and dangerous effect of the model: it establishes the legal precedent that adult women who behave in a way of which the state disapproves are not merely criminal, but incompetent.  As I explained in my essay, “Treating Sex Work as Work”:

[The Swedish model] is solidly rooted in an archaic and sexist view of women as particularly fragile and vulnerable, and…posits that paying for sex is a form of male violence against women.  This is why only the act of payment is de jure prohibited: the woman is legally defined as being unable to give valid consent, just as an adolescent girl is in the crime of statutory rape.  The man is thus defined as morally superior to the woman; he is criminally culpable for his decisions, but she is not…the law has been demonstrated to increase both violence and stigma against sex workers, to make it more difficult for public health workers to contact them, to subject them to increased police harassment and surveillance, to shut them out of the country’s much-vaunted social welfare system, and to dramatically decrease the number of clients willing to report suspected exploitation to the police (due to informants’ justified fear of prosecution).  Furthermore, these laws don’t even do what they were supposed to do; neither the incidence of sex work (voluntary or coerced) nor the attitude of the public toward it has changed measurably in any country (Sweden, Norway and Iceland) where they have been enacted…a Norwegian study found that banning the purchase of sex had actually resulted in an increase in coercion)…and…despite the hype, the truth is that even operations framed as “john stings” or “child sex slave rescues” end up with the arrest and conviction of huge numbers of women; for example, 97% of prostitution-related felony convictions in Chicago are of women, and 93% of women arrested in the FBI’s “Innocence Lost” initiatives are consensual adult sex workers rather than the coerced underage ones the program pretends to target…

And we haven’t even touched on things like Norway’s “Operation Homeless” (in which the cops sent letters to sex workers’ landlords, telling them they could be prosecuted as “pimps”, so as to get the women evicted); the forcible collection of “evidence” from the “crime scene” (i.e. sex workers’ vaginas); and the expulsion of student sex workers who refuse to pretend that they’re “victims”.

Tl;dr version of the preceding: “No”.

(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.)

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Our perception of what makes a service “safer” isn’t always universal.  –  Lux Alptraum

Bad Jobs

Like something Melissa Farley would make up, only true:  “A new survey shows 90% of social care workers [in Ireland] have experienced violence in the workplace…75% experienced physical assaults – some on a daily basis…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever, especially if you’re a whore:

A prostitute was arrested after she told police a clients handcuffed her and robbed her of $2,000 in cash and her belongings…At some point after the man paid her…he pulled out a police [badge], claimed he was a [cop] and handcuffed her with fake cuffs…He took his $190 off the hotel room dresser, swiped $2,000 in cash…and…the woman’s $1,000 iPad Mini, a $40 backpack and a $100 MetroPCS phone…Police arrested the woman and charged her with prostitution…However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case…

Above the Law  creepy-cop-neil-hempsall

There’s nothing here saying he harmed or threatened any of the sex workers he looked up, but of course there’s no way to know that given that he stalked them by looking up their fucking police records:

A disgraced cop who used his force computer to contact sex workers…was allowed to keep his job…[Neil Hempsall] admitted four charges and escaped with a community order…[the prosecutor said] “He…had been using the services of sex workers and accessing their record on the police computer system”…There was…[also] evidence he was tracking down a former lover…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#46)

I can’t help laughing at pathetic losers wanking to their fantasies of superhuman sex robots, but but the ones who suffer reaction formation from such fantasies elicit a mixture of pathos and disgust:

According to a [soi-disant] expert in the field, we’ll need to be careful we don’t get addicted to artificial-intelligence lovemaking.  Joel Snell is an [academic who fantasizes]…there’s a real risk linked to the robots…because they’ll offer great sex at any time of the day and night…it’ll never be able to turn you down.  “People may become obsessed by their ever-faithful, ever-pleasing sex robot lovers,” he warned.  “People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions”…

Bonus stupid anti-sex trope: “sex addiction”.

Lack of Evidence (Extra Edition)

It’s a sign of our culture’s deeply-sick sexual attitudes that people still believe in “virginity tests”:

[Dear Dr. Petra, my boyfriend is] like me…a virgin.  But when he checked my vagina he said he could tell I wasn’t a virgin and he doesn’t feel able to be with me until I can be truthful.  I don’t know how to convince him that I am a virgin and don’t know what signs he can see that tell him I’m not…I’m now worried I might be mistaken about myself…[Dr. Petra Answers:] I’m sure everyone reading this [is]…wondering what the circumstances were that led up to him checking your vagina?…You may have told him to get better educated about virginity and women’s bodies.  You might have told him his actions felt alarming and controlling…You could have said he clearly had no idea what he was talking about.  Any or all of these responses would have been reasonable.  And all of them are a good enough reason…to end the relationship without further discussion…There will be other people who are kinder, more sexually informed, more respectful, better communicators and won’t subject you to virginity checks…

Cardboard Cutouts

Note that 1.5% is my standard estimate of coercion among Western sex workers:

This week new statistics on human trafficking in The Netherlands where presented by the Dutch National Rapporteur Human Trafficking [and]…the city of Amsterdam…the Dutch Rapporteur reported…1,321 possible victims of trafficking…66%…from the sex industry…these are not proven victims, but simply people of whom other people (police, marshals, city officials and social workers) have (slight) suspicions about that perhaps they could be victims…if…there are about 827 possible victims in prostitution, and the total amount of sexworkers in The Netherlands are estimated at around 20.000…it would come down to about 4,1%…only 102 possible victims in prostitution where reported in Amsterdam…[which] would come down to about 1,5% of all the sexworkers in Amsterdam…what’s interesting is to compare the suspected victims with the actual number of victims that annually actually press charges…in 2015…33 victims actually [pressed] charges for human trafficking, which is almost the same as the year before (29 in 2014) and the year before that (32 in 2013).  In short, quite a bit lower than how many people are being reported as “possible” victims…

Feminists and Other Puritans

Once again:  NO, a coalition between two different fundamentalist groups to fight what they perceive as a common enemy is in no way “surprising”:

…the surprising nexus between radical feminists and Christian Right culture warriors has been with us a long time.  In the 1980s, anti-porn feminists like Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin teamed up with anti-porn conservatives like Edwin Meese, leading to the passage of laws censoring sexual speech in the name of protecting women.  In the last decade, anti-prostitution feminists have joined forces with fundamentalist Christians to prosecute sex workers under the aegis of sex trafficking laws.  And now, some essentialist feminists – pejoratively nicknamed TERFs, for “Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists” – have provided the pseudo-philosophical basis for fundamentalist Christians’ anti-transgender laws…[while] TERFs…approvingly cite…anti-trans [Christian]…right-wing scholars and writers…Feminists…and…Conservatives don’t oppose porn because they want to protect women; they oppose porn because they oppose sexual licentiousness and free sexual expression.  Just like they oppose protecting trans people because transgender reality scares them, disgusts them, or offends their outdated theologies.  A similar shell-game has recently arisen in the context of sex trafficking…This was a deliberate deception on the part of anti-sex activists like the anti-prostitution group Demand Abolition.  As exposed by The Washington Post in 2014, that group’s internal document said that “framing the Campaign’s key target as sexual slavery might garner more support and less resistance, while framing the Campaign as combating prostitution may be less likely to mobilize similar levels of support”…

Hey, Jay Michaelson:  I appreciate your mentioning my work, but the standard practice when doing so is to name the author rather than just the publication, and to include a link to the piece cited.

Guest Columnist:  Kaytlin Bailey

My friend Kaytlin Bailey, on coming out to her father:

…I was afraid to tell him about my having been a prostitute because he was a great dad.  I didn’t want him to think one had anything to do with the other.  I didn’t want to burden him with this indulgent, selfish secret because I feared the images that “your daughter was a prostitute” would conjure might break him, even when his various tours of duty didn’t…We talked for hours, never addressing my prostitution directly. We got tipsy, and…he said…that he was proud of me, and that I could always come home.  “No matter what.”  I could see he wasn’t angry.  He was nervous for me the same way he’s always been…

Go read it.  Please. playing-cowboy-in-cartagena

They Never Learn

Since this self-aggrandizing fascist wankfest hasn’t sold as a TV show, they made a pilot movie:

“Just like the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought awareness to slavery and helped start a civil war, this movie can instantly turn that dial of public awareness to sex trafficking,” [fantasizes] director Chet Thomas.  Toward the beginning of The Abolitionists, a film with a limited release…the audience is introduced to “Batman”…a flawed hero with a troubled past who now works largely in the dark of night, protecting the vulnerable from unimaginable horrors…Batman…spent 15 years laundering money for drug cartels in Latin America…[until he had] a Christian epiphany…Nowadays, he works undercover, largely with a former Homeland Security officer named Tim Ballard.  The two of them set up sting operations worldwide that result in the capture of those who sell children as sex slaves…The directors of the documentary…also are working on a TV show.  They say they have enough video — taken with cameras disguised as sunglasses, pens and phones — for 25 episodes…Ballard’s organization, Operation Underground Railroad, has rescued 573 children worldwide and put 160 criminals behind bars…

Choke Point (#610)

The government-encouraged gentrification of the internet is tightening the noose on sex workers:

Lately, it seems like every website wants to see my ID.  Facebook was the first…then Airbnb started asking me to submit both a Facebook account and legal identification…And now Twitter’s opened up its verification process to all sorts of users—provided, of course, those users are willing to send the staff a copy of their legal identification…this push towards a verified internet…makes me concerned that the next iteration of the social media sites that have been essential to the destigmatization of sex work…won’t be quite so amenable to sex work…It should be relatively obvious why a tweeting escort would want to avoid providing her legal information…but even practitioners of legal sex work such as porn and stripping might not be too keen on the idea…it’s…possible that the potential chilling effect on sex worker voices is more than just an unintentional side effect…

The End of the Beginning (#668) 

A reminder that in most of the US, the situation is still worsening:

When he was 18, David Clark had sex with a 14-year-old.  In 1982 he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct…and was sentenced to four years of probation.  The following year, the state legislature passed a law that retroactively required Clark to register as a sex offender.  In 2009 he was arrested for failing to register…He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.  Last week a federal appeals court [pretended] there was nothing constitutionally amiss about this series of events, because the law threatening to put Clark behind bars is [supposedly] not punitive…retroactive application…violates the Constitution’s ban on ex post facto laws…[but politicians and courts pretend that] forcing sex offenders to register is not a punishment…

Of Course It Is

It’s nice to know that at least a few reporters get this:

…TV stations plastered [Celeste Guap’s] image on newscasts.  Reporters hounded her for interviews and shared images from her social-media accounts on their websites.  During this time, Guap was [using heroin]…to cope with depression related to her [sexual abuse by cops]…last week…Florida deputies arrested Guap and charged her with felony battery…How did the Bay Area media react to this news?  At least four local outlets — including KTVU, SFist.com, ABC 7 and KRON — published Guap’s true identity and legal name, along with a “mug shot” from Florida jail…some local journalists are arguing that Guap’s case already was widely publicized, so it was OK to disclose her legal name…Bullshit.  The only reason her story is news…is because she was an underage victim of sexual assault [by cops]…And her legal name and identity should be protected as such…and…what the hell was Guap doing [in Florida] in the first place?…She’s a witness to…crimes committed by numerous Bay Area [cops, including]…human trafficking, statutory rape, interfering with a police investigation, illegal use of a police computer system, and pandering…she’s…trapped with a $300,000 bail and detoxing from hard street drugs cold-turkey, and…experiencing [jailhouse] harassment from [jailers]…

It’s What They Do

Thanks, Iain, but we don’t want to be “legalized and regulated”; we just want to be left the Hell alone:

The politician in charge of the Commons committee reviewing the laws on prostitution is caught in a prostitution scandal.  It is right for Labour MP Keith Vaz to resign as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee for the time being…But beyond that, Jeremy Corbyn is right about it being “a private matter”…Mr Vaz has done nothing illegal.  Even the “poppers” he was alleged to have taken are a legal stimulant.  But a lot of people seem to believe that Mr Vaz should now stand down as an MP simply because he was unfaithful to his wife…Yet…people have always had affairs…gay men should surely not be forced do disclose their sexuality if they feel uncomfortable about doing so…Some of the criticism has clearly come from supporters of what is called the “Nordic model” who believe that the buying of sex should be illegal.  But this story vividly illustrates the problems associated with changing the law to criminalise men who purchase sex…I can’t really understand why the sale of sexual services should ever be illegal unless it involves trafficking, pimping, compulsion or other forms of coercive behaviour.  The Vaz case – if the allegations are true – demonstrates why prostitution should be legalised and properly regulated.  So long as it is underground, the sex trade will remain in the hands of the criminals and blackmailers…

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This victim seems like a conniving little whore.  –  Baltimore prosecutor, name withheld by “authorities”

brutal thugs of BaltimoreSo the US Department of “Justice” has released its long-awaited report on the Baltimore police department, the product of an investigation which was begun after public outcry over the murder by torture of a young black man named Freddie Gray.  Gray was arrested under the pretext that he possessed an “illegal” weapon (a switchblade, like the one I carried in my purse in high school); like all prohibitionist laws, those against “weapon possession” (including the “gun control” laws so beloved by modern “progressives” and racist conservatives of the ’60s) are disproportionately enforced against minorities, and used as excuses for the overpolicing which has decimated black communities (New York’s much-hated “stop and frisk” policy was a gun control measure).  But middle-class Americans in general (and white middle-class Americans in particular) have developed an ingenious defense against recognizing the ubiquitous rot in our society:  they hyperfocus on one particularly blatant example, demand that “something be done” about it, and then smugly congratulate themselves on their enlightenment while ignoring the myriad other examples of exactly the same species of rot that surround them on every side.  The media attention to the Baltimore investigation is a perfect example of the syndrome:  it all tacitly assumes that the Baltimore police department is some kind of unique blot on the otherwise-spotless escutcheon of American policing, when in fact it is an extremely typical exemplar of the authoritarian cancer which utterly permeates the US body politic.

Take this Vox article about the report, for example; it speaks of “revelations” and “damning findings” as though it were about to unveil some shocking secrets, but absolutely nothing it mentions is outside the business as usual of US police departments.  It quotes the report as saying, “This conduct is not only criminal, it is an abuse of power.”  That’s true, but it’s a ubiquitous abuse of power which is so inherent in the machinery of prohibition that New South Wales decriminalized prostitution for the express purpose of eliminating that particular avenue of police corruption.  Barely the week passes that I don’t feature at least one or two examples of rapist cops (as of this writing, over 100 of them so far this year in the US alone), and in the past few years there have been several examples of the systemic pervasiveness of cops raping sex workers that were so egregious that even the badge-licking US media couldn’t ignore them (such as the recent scandal in Oakland).  As the above-linked Vox article notes,

According to the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, sexual misconduct is the second most common form of police misconduct after excessive force.  An investigation by the Associated Press last year showed that from 2008 to 2014, around 1,000 officers lost their badges for sexual misconduct:  550 officers were decertified for sexual assault, including [rape]…440 other officers lost their certification for other sex offenses, including child pornography, sexting juveniles, or having sex while on duty…

And it goes without saying that these are only the ones who were caught and punished, however lightly; the vast majority never face any consequences whatsoever, because they specifically target women the state has branded “criminals” for completely consensual activities over which it has no legitimate jurisdiction.  This isn’t going to stop because the State makes a big show of prosecuting a few Daniel Holtzclaws or spotlighting a few Oaklands and Baltimores; as I wrote previously, the abuses “will continue to be business as usual until [the] public stops pretending otherwise and demands the abolition of prohibition”.

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Adults with critical thinking abilities realize they aren’t entitled to treat other people like characters in a dream sequence.  –  Anonymous

Deadbeats

I can’t emphasize this enough: Don’t try to get freebies from sex workers.  Seriously.

If you’re trying to date or hook up with someone you know from their work in escorting or porn, without paying them, your chances of success are close to zero…It may come as a shock to hear this.  You may feel like sexual attraction is only part of the connection you have with this worker, and that paying would deny the authenticity of that.  Or maybe you think that you are a really good (looking) person and only creepy or unattractive people pay.  Maybe both you and the sex worker are queer and/or have similar politics.  You know sex workers and are down with decriminalization.  There are many reasons you may feel you are exceptional.  You are operating under a basic misunderstanding of who we are and what we are doing…

Lack of Evidence

In which China aspires to be more like the US:

…Condoms have come to play a central role in police activity around sex work. …[cops] stop sex workers on the street, open their bags, and search for condoms; they burst into rooms to look for condoms in wastebaskets, beds, and quilts; and they even remove the trousers of clients in order to find condoms.  Police raid rooms rented by sex workers, as well as bars and massage parlors…Unsurprisingly, the danger of detention for carrying condoms discourages sex workers from using them…

Moloch

Don’t say I didn’t tell you before:

My piece in today’s New York Post will probably surprise folks who think the sex offender registry is filled with middle-aged men arrested for luring kids into white vans with the promise of puppies…But in fact, the most common age that people are charged with a sex offense is 14…because people tend to have sex with people around their own age…And much under-age sex is illegal…Of course, recognizing that young people experiment would require politicians and law enforcement to also recognize that people can do dumb things, even sexual things, and not be irredeemable monsters. Right now, that’s not a big political talking point.  So instead, over one fourth of the people we label “sex offenders” get that name when they themselves are juveniles.  Considering the registry has over 800,000 people on it, we’re talking about more than 200,000 people who get put on the list while they are in middle school or high school…

Above the Law  

Judge orders jury to find an “authority” not guilty of rape.  What a surprise!

…Judge Keenan Johnson directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of coercion after ruling that the prosecution had not established that complainant had been intimidated.  He stressed that he was making no determination on the truthfulness of either the accused, Andrew Gilmartin…or the complainant Martha Rooney…[who] alleged that the defendant [demanded] oral sex in return for her not being prosecuted for fraud…Gilmartin…was charged with intimidating Ms Rooney with a view to compelling her to do an act which she had a lawful right to abstain from doing…

Broken Record boat race

The “big events” that supposedly attract “sex trafficking” grow ever sillier:

As revelers gather for the Tri-City Water Follies this week…A church-based nonprofit is teaming with Tri-City hoteliers to train staff to recognize and report human trafficking rings that bring minors to town…during special events.  The Stop Under Age Domestic Sex Trafficking Project or SUDS is a five-year effort by Mirror Ministries… “Boat race weekend is our largest weekend. Every hotel is packed,” said Tricia MacFarlan, executive director…

Gingerbread House

Remember, “safe house” is a euphemism for “prison”.  These girls are not allowed to “transition” out until their keepers declare they are:

Freedom Place…[confines] minor girls who had been [arrested for doing sex work]…With Texas reporting the second highest sex trafficking rate in the United States and Houston considered one of its largest hubs…According to [prohibitionist propaganda] nearly all prostitution is involuntary and, legally in Texas, is considered to be the result of coercion for minors…

Calling a prison “Freedom Place” is about as Orwellian a touch as one could imagine.

Dirty Laundry

People need to be frequently reminded of what Ruhama actually is:

The Magdalene Laundries might have closed, but sex workers are not safe from Irish Sisters at all.  The nuns simply regrouped, renamed themselves and are still harming prostitutes…Ruhama does not offer any actual help to sex workers who need help.  Rescue organisations and anti-prostitution NGO’s rarely do,they mostly make money by “raising awareness”, abusing prostitutes, receiving money from governments and providing “education” to health professionals and policy makers.  But it seems they haven’t killed any babies.  Yet.  So, you know, that’s something…

The Prudish Giant (#414)

Note that this was accomplished via the usual whorearchical line-drawing:

…Patreon has been hard at work on behalf of its adult content creators, trying to win back what they lost.  And on July 12, Patreon sent an email to users announcing a PayPal about-face: “We were able to convince PayPal, or more specifically their subsidiary Braintree, that Adult Content creators on Patreon are not a serious risk.  Our content policy, and the nature of subscription payments, means that Adult Content creators on Patreon are less risky than most creators making adult content.”  Patreon’s adult creators, both PayPal and Patreon believe, will generate few chargebacks or fraud allegations, making the financial hazards to the payment processor negligible…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised this has taken so long to catch on.  Note how closely it resembles “sex trafficking” propaganda tactics:

A Texas GOP lawmaker has teamed up with an anti-choice organization to raise awareness about the supposed prevalence of forced or coerced abortion, which critics say is “wildly divorced from reality”…Molly White…[wants cops to intervene]…when [someone claims] a pregnant person is being forced to terminate a pregnancy…Allan Parker, the president of The Justice Foundation, a “Christian faith-based organization” that represents clients in lawsuits related to conservative political causes…alleges that the majority of those who have abortions may be forced or coerced…“I would would say coerced or forced abortion range from 25 percent to 60 percent”…This statistic is found in a 2004 study about abortion and traumatic stress that was co-authored by David Reardon, Vincent Rue, and Priscilla Coleman, all of whom are among the handful of doctors and scientists whose research is often promoted by anti-choice activists…Other research suggests far fewer pregnant people are coerced into having an abortion.  Less than 2 percent of women surveyed in 1987 and 2004 reported that a partner or parent wanting them to abort was the most important reason they sought the abortion, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute

Full of Themselves (#533) 

I wonder if any of them recognize how pathetic their denials sound to us?

…KT Coates, president of the International Pole Sports Federation…wants to see pole sport included in the Olympics, although she admits that is probably a long way off.  It isn’t yet recognised by SportAccord, the umbrella body for sports federations, but Coates says that is “only around the corner”…There are rules aimed at moving pole sport away from its strip-club shadows – costumes can’t be too skimpy, and there are no sexualised moves (no gyrating, hair flicking or grinding).  “If someone got on stage and did that, the whole crowd would be in shock,” says Coates.  “We’re not embarrassed of our history, it’s just that [pole sport] is a polar opposite.”  Are there competitors here who work in strip clubs?  “No. I don’t know a single one.  These are athletes.  You are not going to get someone who does exotic dance doing the world sports championships – it just does not overlap.  We have the same apparatus, but it’s not the same thing”…

Crying for Nanny (#570)

Pro-censorship morons are still trying to destroy the entire internet:

In the last year, Backpage won two significant victories in battles stemming from adult ads on its online classifieds service.  Now, the losing parties both hope the Supreme Court will review the decisions.  In one case, lawyers for a group of [soi-disant] teen sex-trafficking victims recently took the first step toward asking the Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit accusing Backpage of facilitating crime through the design of its online classifieds site…A second battle involving Backpage that could reach the Supreme Court involves Sheriff Thomas Dart of Cook County, Illinois. Last November, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order prohibiting him from attempting to influence credit card companies to stop working with Backpage…

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

The answer to the titular question: “Because it doesn’t actually exist as such”.

…a cancer…is metastasizing across the country:  Violent pimps and sex traffickers use online services like Backpage to exploit and profit off of unwilling victims.  To avoid detection, those creating the listings often use code words or phrases.  “New to town,” for example, is typically code for listing a teenager.  According to a recent U.S. Senate subcommittee report, Backpage enables this sort of behavior rather than preventing it.  While Backpage’s terms of of use and guidelines claim that they do not allow for bartering of sex or sexual services, let alone those of children, the committee charges that Backpage does little to prevent it…the subcommittee has subpoenaed the head of the website, Carl Ferrer.  Ferrer has refused to submit to the subpoena, arguing that Backpage is protected under the First Amendment…

This is plenty enough to give you the tone of this exercise in virulent anti-whore yellow journalism.

An Example To the West (#626) 

More on EMPOWER’s sex work museum:

…This Is Us tells the history and lives of sex workers in Thailand.  Inside the museum, which displays in one room, visitors can find a dance platform with a metal pole, a minibar, a karaoke machine, a bath tub, condoms, sex toys, a boxing ring and more — all with the stories of how the prostitution industry in Thailand has evolved over the years.  From brothels out of the Ayutthaya period to go-go bars, coyote bars, aab ob nuad (bath houses) and more, this museum collects and displays ideas rather than merely “old stuff”, as the foundation’s director puts it…

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The problem with abusers is that they’re often extremely charming; after all, if they weren’t, who would stick around to be abused?  –  Maggie McNeill

Yesterday, Fault Lines on the Mimesis Law site (which you’ve often visited if you actually click on the links in my Links columns) published an interview with me as part of their “Cross” series.  I don’t often do email interviews any more because they take so much longer than telephone ones, but Scott Greenfield has been an online friend of mine for years and I’ll do things for my friends I won’t do for others.  I honestly think it was a really good interview, and he gave me leave to cut loose, be snarky and swear, so I thought I’d share it with y’all here, too.  Not the whole thing, mind you; I want you to see it as presented.  But here are a few excerpts from my replies; you’ll have to go there to see the questions and the rest:

…I was never exactly conventional, despite the efforts of parents and nuns; I was always a freethinker and never managed to absorb any negative attitudes about sex. I was fascinated by whores from the time I understood what the word meant, and as a young teen I counted several famous courtesans among my heroines. My very first D&D character at the age of 14 was a cleric who was a sacred prostitute, and I took money for sex for the first time just a little over two months after turning 18…

…while I probably made less money than the young girls while on the stage, I absolutely cleaned up in the VIP room. There’s not really a support network for new strippers; in fact, a lot of the girls are very competitive. But though I’ve never done pageants, I’m the type who would’ve often been named “Miss Congeniality” if I had; I make friends easily, and it didn’t take long before the more experienced ladies were showing me the ropes…

…Sex workers’ ads take advantage of the fact that paying for company isn’t illegal, only paying for sex.  Now, you and I both know that the line between those two isn’t remotely a bright, clear one such as the law pretends it is; lots of clients don’t want what most cops would call “sex”, and lots of sex doesn’t involve the body parts prudes code as “sexual.”  And by the letter of the law in most places, it isn’t “prostitution” unless there’s an explicit agreement to trade x sex act for y amount of money, which absolutely no whore in her right mind will ever do.  So in a sting the cops either lie and say that such an agreement was reached, or else rape the sex worker and use that as “evidence of prostitution”…

…I am continually amazed that over a century after the end of the Victorian Era, supposedly educated adults, especially people who call themselves “feminists”, actually believe (and expect others to believe) that all women are passive, childlike creatures with such a naïve, romanticized view of sex that our fluffy, pink little brains couldn’t possibly conceive of doing it for any reason other than loooooooooooooove or animalistic pleasure.  This is especially absurd given that these same “feminists” pretend that it’s better for women to be valued for our intelligence than for our beauty, while at the same time pretending that sexual motives deriving from the hindbrain (love & pleasure) are morally superior to those deriving from the frontal lobes (profit motive).  It’d be quite a fascinating case study in cognitive dissonance if it weren’t for the fact that these Froot Loop notions are used to justify sending armed thugs out to deceive, rape, brutalize, rob & cage people…

…[The Nordic model] stated that a minor boy is morally superior to a woman of any age. This is called “feminism”…

…If nobody actually complains about something, the cops shouldn’t be driving around looking for trouble. Firemen don’t rove around looking for fires, and paramedics don’t rove around looking for injuries, yet we don’t see huge numbers of buildings burning down & accident victims dying because nobody got there in time.  Let the cops stay in their fucking police stations until called out, and they’ll have a lot fewer opportunities to murder black men, execute dogs, rob bodegas and rape women…

…Prohibitionists only accuse me of dishonesty because I won’t support their ridiculous wanking fantasies of international cartels of magical ninja pimps with mind-control powers abducting screaming white girls from shopping malls and bus stops, transporting them around the country in dog crates, and serving them up to hundreds of salivating sex maniacs per week until their genitalia collapse and the diabolical monsters then dispose of them, presumably by flushing them down hotel toilets like unwanted goldfish…

Go read it, and enjoy.

Maggie black couch

 

 

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The people we empower to sanction sexual deviance and protect others from sexual abuse are some of the worst perpetrators of sexual violence and exploitation.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The rapist cop reports just keep increasing; as I wrote in the original “To Molest and Rape” only a month ago,

…in the past [few] months there has been such an explosion of rapist cop reports I’ve been forced to feature them in separate columns because there isn’t enough room in the news columns.  “Morality Lessons” contained several reports of cops raping people or otherwise victimizing them via sex; “The Public Morals” contained five more.  And this week there were so many that they literally would’ve filled half of a news column had I published them as separate items.  Does this mean cops are raping more often, that they’re being reported more often, or that the media used to bury such stories but are  publishing them more often now?  There’s no way to tell; perhaps it’s all three…

The horrifying trend has shown no sign of abating yet.  A week ago today, Elizabeth Nolan Brown included TEN separate incidents, all from the week before, in this article in Reason.  I’ve covered two of them already,  Scottsdale, Arizona’s “courteous” rapist cop Jay Wu, and the Oakland, California cop sex ring exploiting underage sex worker Celeste Guap (which is also the subject of this pro-decriminalization article by Alison Bass).  Liz also featured two items I discovered independently; the first one is from Montgomery, Alabama and demonstrates that men aren’t safe from rapist cops, either:  “…Deonte Lashawn Hamner…is charged with first-degree sodomy…[which] occurred when…he…[stopped] the victim’s vehicle [under the pretext of] a noise complaint on June 14…”  The second one doesn’t involve a rape:

A [Broward County] Florida deputy is facing 29 child sex-related charges, including sexual assault and using a computer in an attempt to lure a child for sex…Kreg Costa…was arrested [June 9th] and was being held without bail…staff at Costa’s office noticed he was staying in his office during the night shift with the lights off and his service belt removed.  A check into Costa’s computer showed he was viewing websites dedicated to hardcore pornography…while at work…[he] also exchanged sexually explicit emails and videos with a 16-year-old girl…

I assume he was later allowed to bail out, because he shot himself dead on the 15th.  Here are the others Liz reported:

A…Helena, Montana, [cop] faces a civil lawsuit brought by a woman who had been working as a confidential informant for a local drug task force….Lloyd Thompson initially threatened her with criminal charges and to have her children taken away if she did not have sex with him, and things eventually escalated to physical violence as well…Thompson also sexually abused four other female confidential informants…and that he drank alcohol and used meth while on duty…

From Hawaii, a cop’s idea of “friendship”:

Honolulu [cop] Jessie Laconsay was indicted by a grand jury…on four counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.  He’s accused [of] raping a friend’s 14-year-old daughter on multiple occasions…

Oops, looks like somebody forgot about Miranda:

… a judge rejected a motion to suppress statements made by…Northern Illinois University (NIU) [cop] Andrew Rifkin, allowing the case to proceed to trial.  He’s accused of sexually assaulting an NIU freshmen in 2011.  The case was complicated by a previous court finding that the NIU Police Department had botched evidence in the case, a ruling that led to the firing of NIU Police Chief Donald Grady.

It’s not only regular cops who rape:

William Averill, a probation officer with the Dorchester [Massachusetts] Municipal Court, was arraigned…for rape, indecent assault and battery, and assault with intent to rape.  Averill is accused of sexually assaulting a young woman whom he was supervising during her one-year probation sentence…

No collection of rapist cops would be complete without one from Texas:

…Killeen [cop] Christopher R. Morris was indicted by a grand jury on charges of sexual assault and official oppression, after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in December…

I wonder if juries are getting less worshipful of cops?  Morris was indicted by a grand jury, and “…Muscatane [Iowa cop] Tom Tovar was convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting a woman whose boyfriend he arrested for drunk driving…”  And here’s one more from Louisiana that escaped Liz’s dragnet:

[An] Ascension Parish deputy is under arrest for malfeasance in office and first-degree rape…William Lanoux of Prairieville allegedly had sex with a [14-year-old runaway]…Lanoux said he believed he was meeting an 18-year-old girl…

Of course, it’s not only American cops who rape; UK cops are trying to keep up with them:

A [cop] who repeatedly raping a woman during a nine-month campaign of abuse was dubbed a “monster” as he was jailed for 16 years…Mike Graham…tied up the woman, choked her until she struggled to breath, and brutally attacked her at least a dozen times, ignoring her cries for help and pleas for him to stop…Graham claimed the sex was consensual, but some of the attacks were recorded on the woman’s iPhone on an app designed to capture sleep-talking or snoring.  The phone, which was sat on the bedside, was automatically activated by her cries for help and kept a recording of what happened…the woman broke down in tears as she told Graham the impact of his abuse.  “You told me as a police officer you could do as you liked, that no one would believe me and you would tell your colleagues I was mental…You threatened to kill me and dispose of the evidence”…The woman also told the court she lived in fear that Graham would come after her even after his arrest, and said she can no longer listen to music or watch television “in case I can’t hear you breaking in to kill me”…

Some of them prefer to rape by proxy:

…a…murder squad detective hid a secret life as a paedophile who trawled the internet looking for images of young girls…Kenneth Dymond…confessed to being sexually attracted to teenage girls and [claimed to be] addicted to pornography.  Dymond…also made contact with a 15-year-old girl over the internet causing such concern that her brother threatened to report him as a paedophile…police raided Dymond’s home…in August 2015 and seized two lap tops and two mobile phones.  Analysis…revealed 544 indecent images of children including 172 which were of the most serious level…The images included film footage of a baby girl aged just 18 months being raped by an adult man…Dymond…was jailed for eight months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years…

“Porn addiction”.  Naturally.  Nigerian cops make no such excuses for their rapes, though the media there are just as “addicted” to employing convoluted phrases to avoid the word “rape”:

A community based organization of sex workers…has called for help over the…ill treatment its members receive from policemen…who harass and rape them without protection.  “…the Policemen break our doors to start packing us like goats to the station.  If you don’t have money to bail yourself, they will say they want to sleep with you unprotected which is very bad…in the brothel, we protect ourselves, we use condoms, but with the Policemen, you don’t have a say”…

Well, that’s all of the “few bad apples” for now, but don’t be surprised if you see another one in tomorrow’s news column.  And I’m really wondering if I’m going to need to turn this into a separate feature.

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Do you still feel Gina and P411 are dangerous?  I disabled my p411 account because I am still worried, but I do not really know how to screen clients so I am wondering how I should go about it.  I live in a city where the cops target escorts frequently, and though I have never been arrested for prostitution, I have been in trouble for other things and cannot have any legal issues from this.

lady scientistI don’t think you need to disable your account; however, I wouldn’t assume any guy from P411 is automatically good, either.  I’ve written about screening a number of times; my personal favorite method is asking for references.  If you don’t trust references, there are other means of screening including  Date-Check, a helpful whitelist with a better track record than P411.  I’ve also written about several other methods, and here’s a good resource list compiled by a provider in New Orleans.  You should also look at the posts in my mentoring tag; some of them may make you nervous, but it’s better to be prepared.  And one final thing: if at all possible, get in touch with your local SWOP chapter.  This can be a very isolating business, and connecting with other local sex workers will not only help you to stay safe, but may also help you to find peace of mind and emotional support.

(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.)

 

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