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How can we dial back the obsession with sex trafficking?  –  Lenore Skenazy

Check Your Premises

Step One: Define people who make choices the law refuses to recognize as “victims”.  Step Two: Define the decisions of 21-year-olds as legally invalid. Step Three:

…researchers have found that roughly one-fifth of all homeless youth in the U.S. are victims of human trafficking, often for purposes of sex…Covenant House funded the report…The youths who spoke with researchers were all 21 and under…

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (#351) 

Has this histrionic now made a rotting moral panic her whole career?

The horror the victims suffer is almost too much to contemplate.  And yet, we can’t combat the abomination that is human trafficking unless we first acknowledge that it exists.  That’s why [has-been] actress and [moral panic profiteer] Mira Sorvino came to Bakersfield…According to Sorvino…the trafficking of human beings claims some 40 million victims and generates obscene annual profits, making it one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in history.  One young woman Sorvino interviewed estimated she was raped 43,000 times between the ages of 12 and 16…

Nice While It Lasted

Buried in the usual pap about “signs of trafficking” and masturbatory fantasy about passive, doll-like 12-year-olds being “sold for sex” is this horrific proposal:

…Assemblyman Brian Maienschein held a news conference in San Diego…to push his bill, the Commercial Child Rape Prevention Act, which aims to give governments tools they can use to target sex trafficking in civil court…This would mean that district attorneys, attorney generals, some city attorneys and the victims would be able to sue the perpetrators, hitting them where it might hurt the most — their profits…State Sen. Toni Atkins…has two bills pending…one…would allow prosecutors in criminal trials to introduce evidence of past illegal acts…that would typically be excluded at trial…

In civil court, the burden of proof is reversed; this would allow prosecutors, backed by the vast resources of the state, to levy charges that presumed guilt.  I wonder how much longer before presumption of innocence is nothing more than a mere historical relic?

Traffic in Nonsense (#508)

Despite its name, The Libertarian Republic is Republican, not libertarian; that explains why it’s printing pro-surveillance, anti-body autonomy “sex trafficking” propaganda:

Human trafficking has become…the third largest criminally ran [sic] industry in the entire world, generating estimated revenues of $32 billion a year…the average age a person is abducted/coerced into this horrendous trade is 12-14…resilience against law enforcement…trying to shut down this insidious industry…[snitching on sex workers to the pigs] can help combat human trafficking at the source, on the street level…truckers have found themselves leading the charge against this industry…Commonly known as a lot lizard, prostitutes often wait around truck stops to solicit sex to the drivers who are passing through…truckers are exposed to the largest portion of prostitutes…it is vitally important for news outlets to [uncritically parrot police-state propaganda]…

The idea that truck-stop hookers make up the largest fraction of sex workers is probably the stupidest statement in this reeking pile of stupidity.

Checklist (#523)

Arizona wants hospitals to rat sex workers out to the pigs:

A hospital network with several facilities in Arizona said it was taking steps to counter human trafficking.  Dignity Health said it has trained staff at three hospitals…to look for indicators of possible human trafficking and that it has implemented mandatory screening in emergency rooms and obstetrics departments…so-called “red flags” of trafficking include homelessness, discrepancies between reported and apparent ages, lack of identification and a dominating or controlling companion who refuses to leave the patient alone…

Signs 

How many resources will our society waste in trying to stop an omnipresent voluntary activity older than the human species?

…The Palm Beach County Commission…approved additional training for several groups of its employees to spot signs of [“sex trafficking”], which has been described as modern-day slavery.  Employees who are out in field — code enforcement, youth services and parks and recreation workers, for example — will be among those receiving the training…Among other signs, victims of trafficking may exhibit poor health, show signs of physical abuse or restraint, and lack control over personal documents or the ability to speak for themselves…

Rooted in Racism (#605) 

It’s no longer safe for men to travel with their children:

A dad returning from Mexico with his 3-year-old daughter who has lighter skin than his is suspected of sex trafficking her…despite papa having her passport, his passport, AND a notarized letter from the mom saying that she gave them her permission to travel, the authorities felt compelled to act upon a “tip”…that was nothing more than a passenger’s hunch fueled by the hysteria of the moment:  That 3-year-olds are being trafficked right and left in the USA…

Where are the Victims? (#634)

We’re so lucky to have cops qualified to diagnose us as “victims” no matter what we may think:

Seven men and a woman have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on…prostitution.  Dawn raids were carried out out across Lancashire, Gateshead and Evesham in relation to a…[so-called] “Romanian crime group” centred on Blackburn.  [Cops fantasize] the gang netted up to £1.3million…Eight women, aged between 18 and 26, were found inside the suspected brothels and are [pretended] to have been trafficked to the UK from Romania for the purposes of prostitution.  Police [used euphemisms to cloak the fact that the women were being held without charge pending deportation]…

Peeping Toms (#662)

The larger implications of anti-sex toy laws:

An ordinance of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, prohibits the sale of sex toys.  Businesses and individuals have challenged this statute as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause in controlling their consensual, sexual behavior in the privacy of their homes.  The district court and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the ordinance given the Eleventh Circuit precedent of Williams v. Attorney General (2004), which upheld an Alabama sex-toy-sales ban…Williams…is inconsistent with more recent Supreme Court precedent in United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)…Windsor and Obergefell… raised the protection of rights concerning private sexual intimacy and Obergefell described this right as “fundamental”…Williams also misinterpreted Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which in striking down a ban on homosexual sodomy made clear that it wasn’t merely the right to perform “a particular sexual act” that was in question in these intimacy cases, but the infringement of rights regulating “the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, in the most private of places, the home.”  Lawrence also made clear that state assertion of a “morality” interest isn’t a sufficient justification for limiting the right to adult sexual intimacy…

Eternal Vigilance (#667)

Puritans are still upset about the fact that some women are comfortable paying our rent (and other expenses) with sex:

…despite the fact that [sex for rent] ads have been around for more than a decade and tend to transparently describe the (consensual) relationships they’re after, a gaggle of outraged internet activists are suddenly convinced it’s “abusive” behavior that must be stamped out.  The issue has been getting attention this week because of U.K. columnist Vonny Moyes, who covered it in Scottish newspaper The National…The ads she shared ranged from requests for household labor from a hot girl in exchange for free rent to fetish-related requests…ongoing mistress or “sugar baby” type situations…and people looking for short-term sex-for-housing arrangements…But the Twitter outrage brigade can’t conceive of these varied individual ads as anything but a big patriarchal plot to extort sex from homeless women…

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If living my life on my own terms is being a feminist…then I am a feminist.  –  Vidya Balan

Bad Girls 

Men: pay your whores!  Ladies: get the money up front!

…a 64-year-old man surnamed Lau hired a prostitute surnamed Kong in [Hong Kong]…after having sex…Lau…refused to settle up and, upon hearing Kong threaten to call the police, took her phone and ran out of the room.  Kong chased him, yelling for help along the way, and eventually caught the [rapist]…with the help of passersby…Kong reportedly took off one of her high-heeled shoes and hit the man with it until pulled off him by witnesses.  [Cops] arrived…to arrest the pair for fighting in a public place…

License to Rape 

“Authorities” now claim the right to rape toddlers if shamans declare their parents ritually unclean:

Imagine the Department of Social Services threatens to [abduct] your child from your custody unless you agree to have his urine collected.  Under duress, you consent— only to watch hospital staff pin your three-year-old down and forcibly catheterize him as he screams in pain.  Two days later, he is still in pain.  You take him back to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with a staph infection in his penis…police in Pierre, South Dakota, [raided] a home to arrest a man…because he tested positive for drugs…his girlfriend was told her children would be [abducted by the state] if she did not consent to having their urine tested.  Because of that threat, she agreed to the test, but since her youngest child is not toilet-trained, they forced him to undergo the catheterization…

See No Evil

Once again, a person whose computer contained taboo pictures is condemned to a far worse sentence than if he had actually raped a child:

A 36-year-old [Florida] man…[was sentenced by] Judge Howard Maltz…to 100 years in prison…after a jury found Jesse Graham Berben guilty on 20 counts of possession of child pornography…Berben…denied knowing anything about the files…While he admitted to having a peer-to-peer file-sharing program that he used to download music, he denied using his computer to keep or download child porn…Berben had been offered a plea agreement…that would have netted him a prison sentence of about 5 years, “but he refused…because he said…he wasn’t going to plead guilty to something he didn’t do and become a registered sex offender”…The sentence…was more than four times the “lowest permissible” sentence Maltz could have handed down…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

“Rescuers” swoop in to “regulate” women’s jobs out of existence:

Minneapolis [politicians] are taking steps to crack down on downtown strip clubs after two recent [fishing expeditions manufactured] health and safety risks at…11 venues.  Shortly afterward, a report from the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), commissioned and co-funded by the health department, showed that strip club employees face on-the-job health and safety hazards but have few protections.  Both investigations zeroed in on VIP rooms…the venues where bodily fluids were identified were declared a public health nuisance under state law…

Train Wreck

It looks like articles about sex workers in Ghana can be just as weirdly stupid as Nigerian ones:

Commercial Sex workers at the Uhuru Electoral Area have added robbery to their trade, Ebenezer Cudjoe, [a prohibitionist politician, claimed]…The sex workers, commonly called “Ashawo”…suggest a pub…”While she leads her clients to the suggested pub, the ashawo alerts her male guards, who, then, pounce on the male sex client and rob him of any valuables,” Ebenezer Cudjoe [fantasized]…that a lot of residents feared coming out of their homes in the night.  “A few years ago, I personally reported these ungodly activities of the commercial sex workers to the police, however, the police told me that they could not effect any arrest, unless they caught the ladies in the act,” he said…about three years ago, he tried to woo some of the sex workers to start some vocational training to [do menial jobs at which they couldn’t possibly] earn a decent living [but unsurprisingly, they refused and now he’s making up stories to make life difficult for them]…

Capricious Lusts (#52)

While Hollywood figures are lining up to climb on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon, Bollywood figures support sex worker rights:

…there have been some realistic representations of bar dancers and courtesans, prostitutes…Women are a marginalised section of society even though we are 50% of the society.  Within that, prostitutes are what, a trickle?  But, they are the ones who are standing up on their feet, putting up a fight and saying this is not acceptable to us.  They are staking their claims to their share of the sky, which is incredible.  That’s what I found most powerful, because you don’t expect the so-called weaker sections of society to stand up…

Micromanagement

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

A State panel of scientists is considering a controversial DNA testing policy that would allow police to [harass] the relatives of New Yorkers whose DNA closely matches DNA recovered from a crime scene…police would be able to pull close DNA matches in certain criminal investigations, generating a list of people with prior convictions, including low-level broken windows convictions like [turnstile jumping or loitering]…police would then have leeway to [harass] close relatives of those near matches (son, father, etc.), in hopes of turning up the exact match…In other words, the New York Civil Liberties Union has testified, “criminal suspicion will attach to innocent persons merely because of their biological relation to a person whose DNA is in the state’s databank”…

To Molest and Rape 

Reporters, please stop perpetuating cops’ dehumanizing habit of referring to women as “females”:

…Kenneth Bolton Jr. sexually assaulted two females with a sex toy during an illegal traffic stop in February.  The East Cleveland [cop] was fired by the department last month after he…pulled over the two women, both in their early 20s, about 30 minutes after he heard that they’d been pulled over and cited by another officer.  During the illegal stop, Bolton allegedly found a sex toy in the car and used it to sexually assault both women.  A Cuyahoga County grand jury brought charges of gross sexual imposition, abduction, and civil rights charges…

“He heard they’d been pulled over and cited” means the first pig called him and described their looks to him. “Found a sex toy” means he rooted through other people’s private possessions like the filthy swine he is.

Imaginary Evils (#699)

The UK Home Office is really dedicated to competing with the US in using “sex trafficking” as an excuse to destroy civil liberties:

The Home Secretary has announced…a multi-agency team of analytical experts who will be embedded in the National Crime Agency to help tackle cross-border and domestic slavery…The Home Secretary said “It is exactly this kind of co-operation between the police, Border Force, the National Crime Agency and others that will be our way of getting at the people traffickers.  The Centre will enable us to have a co-ordinated push against the organised crime groups that are at the heart of the trade in human beings and human misery.  Our message to the perpetrators is clear; we are coming after you, and there is nowhere to hide”…

The War Goes On (#711) 

Notice how the narrative is changing; prohibitionists now claim Backpage was “barred” from publishing sex work ads, when in fact it chose to do so to end its persecution by “authorities”:

A…prostitution sting in Delaware County resulted in the arrests of five women in one night.  Deputies found them on a website that’s supposed to be barred from posting sex ads…prostitutes and pimps are finding ways around the rules and posting ads on other parts of the site, through tabs like…”women seeking men”…[pigs oinked that] prostitutes…will travel from anywhere in central Indiana to Muncie to make some money and often times, buy drugs.  “You don’t just get the prostitutes that show up.  You might get pimps.  There might be robberies…” the [pig drooled while masturbating]…

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The “pimp lobby” myth…indicates the extent to which [prohibitionist] views are divorced from reality.  –  Frankie Mullin

Check Your Premises

The real effect of “sex trafficking” laws:

As a teenage runaway being threatened by a violent older pimp, Hope Zeferjohn should have been saved when Topeka police arrested the man for human trafficking.  Instead, she was cast as a conspirator in his schemes and now faces more than a decade in prison.  The situation stems from their 2015 attempt to recruit a 14-year-old girl to live and work with them…the girl told Zeferjohn and Anthony “Angel” Long, then 26, that she wasn’t interested…and then told her parents, who called the police.  The 14-year-old never met Long in person…was never abducted or physically harmed…was never advertised for commercial sex, nor did she ever engage in prostitution.  And…Long, who accepted a plea deal in February, was only convicted of attempted aggravated human trafficking…Yet somehow Zeferjohn…who was unquestionably underage at the time…and is…an abuse and exploitation victim herself—has wound up on the hook for aggravated human trafficking, a felony in the first degree…

Bullies With Badges

“Found in a room with a naked man” = “pigs bashed in a closed door on private property without warning or permission”:

Austin [pigs oinked that they had rooted out] a prostitution ring at a Northwest Austin massage parlor after a waste pipe at the business became clogged and destroyed by hundreds of condoms…One of the tenants of the property was listed as Jade Massage Therapy LLC…several other tenants had [stuck their noses into their neighbor’s business]…On March 22, Austin police executed search warrants at the address and found [owner Juan] Wang in a room with a naked man…

The story tries to make an act of barbaric violence sound like a visit to a thrift store.

Sexual Predators 

Our cop-worshiping culture lauds this sexual predator as a “hero”:

San Bernardino Vice Officer Kim Hernandez helps get girls as young as 13 off the streets, out of prostitution and even into college.  Last year she was responsible…for…making hundreds of arrests for prostitution…Instead of drugs, Hernandez said gangs are now trafficking girls, some as young as nine and ten years old.  “You can only sell a bag of marijuana or bag of meth or gun one time, but a human you can sell over and over,” she said.  It may take several arrests and [jailings] to finally [wear] a girl [down enough emotionally] to [get her to submit to brainwashing]…She said, “It’s that first contact and treating them like a human [by denying their ability to make choices and locking them in cages like animals]”…

If the term “vice officer” doesn’t make your skin crawl, try savoring the mindless parroting of masturbatory fantasies & pro-violence propaganda.

Monsters 

But never mind the concentration camps Russia already had for sex workers, because the US has those, too:

Gay men arrested in a “purge” in the Russian region of Chechnya are being held in concentration camp-style prisons…Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained…Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.  In a chilling response, a Chechen government spokesperson denied that there are any gay people to detain…The Kremlin denied any knowledge of a purge…One man who was released from the camp [said]…he was subjected to violent “interrogations”…to get him to confess the names and locations of more gay men.  The officials also seized his mobile phone, targeting his network of contacts regardless of whether they were gay or not…The detainees face electric shock torture and violent beatings, while some of them have been held to ransom and used to extort their families…

Lower Education

Cishet male privilege!

…A male student who was accused of sexual harassment committed suicide just days after the University of Texas at Arlington ignored its own policies in order to punish him.  The accused student’s father, a lawyer acting as the administrator of his son’s estate, is now suing the school for violating his son’s Title IX rights…Thomas Klocke…was accused by a gay male student of writing anti-gay slurs on his computer during a class.  Klocke vehemently denied the accusation, and administrators who investigated the incident acknowledged there was no evidence to support the accuser’s claims, yet Klocke was still punished…

Traffic Jam (#427) 

I honestly find it difficult to think of anything more pretentious than a faddish opera based on a current moral panic:

Chinese-born composer Du Yun won the Pulitzer Prize for music on Monday for Angel’s Bone, an experimental opera that explores [what she imagines to be] the psychology behind human trafficking.  The one-act opera…takes place in a non-descript American suburb but is filled with spiritual symbolism.  “Mr. and Mrs. X.E.,” riven by marital strife and financial problems, enslave and victimise a pair of angels who stumble upon the property…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#514)

Fortunately, prohibitionists’ attachment to this dumb canard is working against them:

…The pimp lobby – a conspiracy theory in which astroturfing pimps are behind the movement for decriminalisation – erases the reality of sex workers…in the Guardian, Kat Banyard dismisses Amnesty’s two-year research project as a pimp party; see [also] Julie Bindel…and…In 2014…MEP Mary Honeyball…wrote off…450 organisations which opposed [the Swedish model] as “organisations comprised of pimps”…[prohibitionists] don’t believe sex workers could be this organised, don’t believe they could be this united, don’t believe anyone in the industry could be clear-headed enough…To write [sex worker activists] off as pimps…is a vicious, desperate attempt to deny the lived experience of sex workers, even when those sex workers are standing in full sight.

Vendetta (#634)

Another group of technically competent but woefully naive kids is exploited by the police state to attack sex workers:

Hundreds of tech-savvy problem solvers gathered in Downtown Eugene [Oregon]…for the second annual “Hack for a Cause”…Hackers created software including mobile phone apps to combat…sex trafficking…One developer was creating a mobile app to [snitch to the pigs] at a touch of a button…Another community challenge the hackers discussed was how to use technology to encourage donations to [corporations] instead of [homeless people]…

Morality Lessons (#703) 

Moral panic + censorship = profit:

Draft bills in at least 13 state legislatures would require all internet-enabled devices to come installed with an anti-porn filter, which adult consumers could choose to have removed for a fee of $20.  They’re calling it the Human Trafficking Prevention Act.  The Daily Beast does a nice job today of exposing the huckster behind this legislation, a 40-year-old EDM musician and anti-porn crusader named Chris Sevier who tried to marry his computer in protest of same-sex marriage, was released early from an Iraq tour for mental-health issues, sued Apple over the dissolution of his marriage, and has been charged with harassing a teen girl as well as country singer John Rich…the porn-filter bill is explicitly packaged as a response to porn being a “public health hazard” and “cancer on society” that “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment” in America, normalizes violence against women and children, “portrays rape and abuse as if such acts are harmless,” promotes “problematic or harmful sexual behaviors,” and “increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography”…

No Friend of Ours (#725)

A politician is someone who believes one can never have too many laws:

…SB488 by Sen. Pat Spearman…would expand Nevada’s sex trafficking laws to include not just those actually trafficking young people but to what she described as all the participants.  She said that includes [anybody prosecuters can even tangentially connect to] those who [have sex for reasons pompous baboons deem]…illicit and illegal…She presented a [show pony to distract male politicians from facts by telling them wanking fantasies about how]…she was repeatedly sold for sex when she was…11 to multiple men…

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How it is I can give sex away and nobody cares, but as soon as I capitalize on it, it’s a problem?  –  Betty Lynd

Surplus Women 

This is only being investigated because unsolved cases make cops look bad:

With the arrest of a 58-year-old man from Rotterdam the police believe they made their first breakthrough in a cold case investigation into the murders of 85 prostitutes in the 80’s and 90’s…the suspect can definitely be linked to two murders, and possibly to three others as well…The judiciary has evidence against the man for the murders of Berendina Stijger in 1990 and Maria Hofland in 1991.  There are also similarities between these two murders and the murders of Beppie Michels, Mientje Balkom and Jeanet Sip in 1989 and 1999 – four of the five victims’ throats were slit and there were “similar sexual acts”…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

When political activists like Daw Sander Min were imprisoned for their campaigns…they were locked up alongside sex workers criminalised by Myanmar’s harsh laws against prostitution.  Now Sandar Min is an MP and Thuzar Win addresses parliament on behalf of the Sex Workers in Myanmar network, and they’ve joined forces to improve the lives of Burmese people…the women…are adamant that Myanmar’s future wellbeing…depends upon the decriminalisation of prostitution…journalist Thin Lei Win is…finding out how Sandar Min and Thuzar Win are getting on in their bid to amend legislation which dates back 70 years…One young woman, mistaken for a sex worker and imprisoned for six months, says whoever changes the law will get her vote.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#139)

Turkey continues its campaign to close brothels despite their legality:

The registered brothel in Antep [may] be closed due to the reason that it “does not suit Antep”…[politicians] told [the owners of] the brothel that if they “don’t transfer their properties without making any trouble, they would [steal]…the brothel’s land in other ways”…Leyla works and stays at the registered brothel.  She has two children studying in another city.  “How are we going to pay our debts if this place is closed?…They don’t care about us…We are not captives nor slaves here.  We pay our taxes…What are they protecting us from?  If they want to protect, they can buy us a home, grant us early retirement”…some 60 women work at the registered brothel, which…has employees other than sex workers; cafeteria workers, hair cutters, cleaning workers.  So, there are as many as 100 workers in addition to the sex workers…

Torture Chamber

“Having sexual conduct” is an especially clumsy euphemism for “rape”:

A Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested…for reportedly having sexual conduct with an inmate…Deputy Jermaine Minor…was terminated, arrested and charged with four counts…

Whither Canada?

Two years into Canada’s vile experiment with the horrible Swedish model, I’m going back to using this subtitle because “A Year Later” no longer makes sense:

As police in Edmonton, Alberta, clamp down on the demand for paid sex with mass “john stings” in the name of protecting women, sex workers and experts say such efforts are ineffective and have already made conditions more dangerous…So far this year, the Edmonton police have carried out one sting a week on average, resulting in 63 arrests…The force [brags] it’s on track to arrest more than 200 johns in 2017, nearly twice the 104 arrests made last year…[Edmonton pigs] recently changed [the] name [of its] vice unit to the human trafficking and exploitation unit, and conducts most of its john stings online by posting fake ads…the vast majority of men caught in the sting are first-time offenders who typically get diverted into so-called “john schools”…Chris Atchison, a sociologist at the University of Victoria…says…john stings typically don’t end up curbing the demand at all, but send it further underground…he’s seen no evidence that “john school” is effective in changing the desires of clients, and they are primarily run by groups that seek to abolish the sex trade — not make women safer.  “These programs are based on a very particular…moral agenda based on misinformation and fear mongering,” he said…

Edmonton has a long history of abusing & dehumanizing sex workers, literally treating them like wild animals.

The Course of a Disease (#634)

One day I hope to see myself described in print as a “rebellious prostitute”:

…sex workers took to the streets of Paris protesting a lack of clientele and poor working conditions…[due to imposition of the Swedish model on] April 13, 2016…the incomes of [many] prostitutes fell sharply, as they had to significantly lower their prices in an attempt to attract more customers…In some extreme cases, girls committed suicide; some were infected with AIDS because for the sake of earning they were forced to agree to any demands made by men.  Also, there have been cases of women being beaten by aggressive and drunken customers…Since the law [was] implemented more than 800 people have been fined…

To Molest and Rape 

He paid an underage sex worker, then pulled a gun on her to steal the cash back, but he’s been charged with “prostitution” rather than rape:

A Washington, D.C., [cop] has been charged with soliciting sex from a 15-year-old…and then robbing her at gunpoint…Chukwuemeka Ekwonna…[hired the] girl…[but after he raped her] Ekwonna pulled out a handgun…[and] demanded his money back…the girl complied and left…Ekwonna faces a number of charges, including armed robbery, assault, prostitution and two counts of third-degree sex offense…Judge Eileen A. Reilly said…that he could pose a “danger to the community”…Ekwonna…[was previously] accused in a civil lawsuit with beating an inmate…at a Washington, D.C., jail [but] the plaintiff settled the lawsuit…

“A danger to the community” is what you inevitably get when you let armed thugs run around doing whatever they like to people without consequences.

Too Close To Home (#701)

Another of the men who claim they want to “protect” Seattle from consensual sex:

A 46-year-old Kent man sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray…[saying] Murray “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old high-school dropout…“D.H.” [reported that] Murray sexually abused the crack-cocaine addicted teen on numerous occasions for payments of $10 to $20…the man, now sober for a year, said…he was coming forward as part of a “healing process”…Murray, who is running for re-election this year, [naturally] denied the [accusations]…D.H. is not the first to accuse Murray…of sexual abuse that occurred decades ago…Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, said they knew Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children, and later as teenagers.  They accuse Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when he was in his 20s.  Simpson made the [accusation] as a teen in 1984…[yet Murray’s mouthpiece pretends that] “The…accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement [who worked for Murray] authorities and the [lapdog] media”…

Business As Usual (#717) 

Isn’t it weird how defining a non-crime as a “crime” creates all kinds of problems?

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said recently that he is shifting the department’s sex [work persecution] tactics, in an effort to [improve PR]…”Like all crime, we can’t just arrest our way out of this problem,” he said.  O’Neill’s new plan, he explained, is to focus on arresting [his way out of the problem while pretending that sex workers are “victims”]…prostitution arrests continue, and this week, O’Neill [pretended to have]… an “open mind” about moving prostitution from the criminal code to the civil code [while simultaneously representing sex workers as dumb animals that need to be forced to accept “help” at gunpoint].  Mayor de Blasio agreed. “I think that the concern at the jump is that if you only have those civil penalties, that it is harder to [pretend sex work is a]…crime”…”I don’t know what movie the mayor is watching,” said Kate Mogulescu, who heads up the Legal Aid Society’s human trafficking advocacy program.  “Please don’t justify arrests by saying we’re helping people”…Her team has argued that not all prostitution is exploitative, and that focusing the narrative on trafficking—suggesting that police sweep in as saviors—has bolstered criminalization all around…

The Notorious Badge (#726)

Never mind; this tells me all I need to know:

Harlots is a lavish 18th-century period drama about dueling houses of ill repute and the ruthless women who run them.  With all the power, lust, and flashes of humanity that we usually associate with male antiheroes, Margaret Wells (Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (stage and screen legend Lesley Manville) pit their considerable intelligence and stable of girls against each other for control of Georgian-era Soho.  But unlike the fictional liars and feuders currently flooding the Peak TV market, these sex workers aren’t manipulated by men—onscreen or off.  Harlots is the rare show entirely written and directed by women…[the reporter asked] Were you surprised to learn how much power these prostitutes and madams actually had in the 18th century? [And Morton replied]…You know, the sex industry, the sex trade with children, with trafficking—it is a very contemporary, present day issue.  The only difference with this—and this is what made me incredibly sad—is that women seemed to be more in control of the industry back then.  Certainly in Margaret Wells’s house, these women have a choice.  It’s a business…I think that back then women did hold a lot more power in that regard…

Gee, if only there were a way for actresses playing sex workers to talk to real sex workers and find out our reality so they don’t need to make ignorant guesses. You know, maybe a computer-based way for activist sex workers to make themselves publicly available to interact with, like a form of media designed for social interaction…

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The civil rights victory of the near future will be led by heroes with Twitter handles like @mistressmatisse, @SavannahSly, and @Maggie_McNeill.  –  Brendan Trainor

My Body, My Choice

An argument I’ve often made myself:

The belief that you should be able to ingest any substance…because you own your own body is a profoundly libertarian, not progressive, idea…It was the progressives who gave us alcohol prohibition in the first place…Progressivism is the belief that good things come from government—from laws and regulations and central planning and generals and spies and bureaucrats…it is none of the state’s business whether you buy sex with flowers and dinner, or with marriage and mortgage, or with cold hard cash on the dresser…The feminist establishment will soon be forced to accept women’s dominion over body parts besides the womb.

I Swear To God

Remember, the SCOTUS reaffirmed the unconstitutionality of loyalty oaths just a few years ago:

Manchester [New Hampshire] police officials said…they want to see Kate D’Adamo, who has advocated for the [decriminalization] of prostitution, fired from her job overseeing a federally funded task force designed to [suppress sex work] in the state.  Assistant Police Chief Carlo Capano said D’Adamo’s statements last week, in which she reportedly presented arguments in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution, potentially violated the federal grant that pays her salary…“Obviously, we’re a little concerned that Kate’s personal opinions are becoming a distraction to [our trying to destroy the lives of sex workers],” said Maria Gagnon…According to…stipulations of the grant, the Manchester Police Department cannot promote, support or advocate for the legalization of prostitution…

Bottleneck 

There are so many reasons sex worker licensing is a bad idea; here’s another:

In Palm Beach County, Florida, all topless dancers are required to register with county officials and obtain an Adult Entertainment Work Identification Card (AEIC), at the cost of $75 per year…Anita Pedemey… “diverted” at least $28,875 (and possibly an additional $3,305) from county coffers between October 2013 and mid-November 2016…from both adult-entertainer fees—approximately 70 percent of which were paid in cash—and court-ordered payments intended for a crime Victims Services Fund…Because she manipulated reports but left the underlying database unaltered, the county still received records of adult-entertainment ID applications even if accounting never received their payments, which means that at least most applicants whose money was taken were still legitimately registered with the county…

Remember, New South Wales decriminalized sex work specifically because corruption like this (and far worse) was rampant.

Standard Operating Procedure

If only amateurs realized that this is the norm, not a deviation from it:

…a Secret Service agent on Vice President Mike Pence’s detail has been suspended from official duties after meeting a prostitute at a Maryland hotel…police saw him exiting the hotel…[after responding] to a [snitch] from the hotel manager…The agent was arrested and was charged with solicitation.  He then self-reported his arrest to the Secret Service…the agent was off-duty and did not present himself in his official capacity…

Seriously, I have had more G-men between my legs than most amateur women have had of any kind of man.  Show me a G-man who’s never been with a whore & I’ll show you a rookie.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlor pogroms are coming to Canada:

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is asking for the power to crack down on…massage parlours…he wants the city to be able to shut down businesses engaging in such activity by revoking their certificates of occupancy…The director of the Montreal-based sex work organization Chez Stella, Sandra Wesley, says shutting down massage parlours will do more harm than good…”If [Coderre’s] going to go after massage parlours, then he’s going after migrant women,” she…says…closing massage parlours won’t end the sex trade — it will only make it more dangerous for sex workers…[and that] Coderre and others are using sex workers as “pawns in their next re-election campaign”…

The Mote and the Beam (#332)

The censors who want the internet destroyed are at it again:

A…new House measure, sponsored by…Ann Wagner…and dubbed the “No Immunity for Sex Traffickers Online Act,” would carve out an exception to Section 230 for sex-trafficking offenses involving minors.  Supporters portray it as a way to “hold sex traffickers accountable,” but we already have sufficient penalties—at the state and federal level—for people who force, decieve, or coerce others into prostitution…What the change would do is make it possible for states to indict any app, website, or platform that introduces an underage person to a possible sex buyer as a conspirator in sex trafficking.  And it would allow any underage person who was paid for sex to subsequently sue any website or web service remotely involved in the transaction…the change would not merely apply to classified-ad sites like Backpage, or to sites and services specializing in escort advertising…With the proposed change, victims will have the right to sue any third-party web service that enabled their participation or exploitation in the sex trade.  And in this case, victim means anyone under 18 whom someone paid for sex, regardless of whether any force, fraud, coercion, or middlemen and women were involved…It gives victims—most of whom fall prey to petty pimps with few assets, not organized criminals—a civil-suit target with much deeper pockets than the criminals who exploited them, and the same for state prosecutors with asset-forfeiture fever…A huge number of “child sex trafficking stings” in this country involve police posing online as sex workers…and, once a customer is interested, “admitting” that they’re actually underage (usually 16 or 17).  The men who still agree to meet for sex are greeted by police officers and charged with…child sex trafficking.  Their vehicles and sometimes other assets are seized.  Imagine if cops could do this sort of “random virtue testing” (as Ars Technica‘s Nate Anderson aptly described it) but then go after big web publishers and platforms instead of just impounding a few cars…

Bad Girls (#540) 

American “authorities” are dedicated to the philosophy that anyone who ever did anything wrong should keep paying for it, forever:

A prostitute who injected a Google executive with a lethal dose of heroin in 2013 while aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz harbor and spent more than two years in jail was taken into custody by federal immigration agents as soon as she was released…Alix Tichelman — who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes — was released by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office around 5 a.m. on [March 29th]…ICE agents waiting outside the jail in the predawn hours came into the building to detain Tichelman…

Aversions (#642)

Miranda Kane on annoying clients:

The (non) expert…[wants to] get his own rocks off by thinking he’s amazing in bed, when all he’s really done is delivered a few sloppy snogs while rubbing my cunt in a style that makes me think he wants a genie to pop out of my vagina…The bashful one…will…stay silent, move with about as much enthusiasm as a gutted fish, and 55 minutes into an hour appointment he’ll say:  “Umm…this was nice, but really all I wanted was to lick your feet with a dildo up my arse, dance for you wearing women’s stockings while you sang the greatest hits from the popular disco band Boney M”…

Challenge (#677)

Laura Lee on the possible wider effects of her challenge to the Swedish model in Northern Ireland:

Sex worker and law graduate Laura Lee is steeling herself for a battle in Belfast’s high court that she believes could make European legal history…Lee…[is] aiming to establish that the criminalisation of her clients violates her right to work under European human rights law…[this] is only the start of a Europe-wide campaign to overturn the model…Lee’s next target is the Irish Republic, which…has introduced a similar ban aimed at criminalising clients.  “A win for us in Belfast will have a knock-on effect and set a precedent across Europe.  If successful up north there will be a challenge in Dublin and sex workers across Europe can use the precedent to overturn the so-called ‘Nordic model’ in their countries,” she said…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#718) 

“Competition” from fancy fleshlights?  Really, ladies, calm down:

Europe’s first sex robot [arcade] has been forced to move after real-life prostitutes complained sex dolls were stealing their trade.  The original location in Barcelona at 2 Baixada de Sant Miquel had been in the Spanish city’s Gothic quarter, north of the cathedral…[it] has now moved to a mystery new location with a receptionist saying the address would only be given out to paying customers.  Prostitutes who work in the city with Aprosex – the Association of Sex Professionals – objected saying a doll cannot match the services of a real person and denigrates real sex workers to merely being an object…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#720)

More on the oppression of Ukrainian sex workers:

Ukraine used to be depicted as a paradise for sex tourists.  The news that the country would co-host the European Football Championship in 2012 was followed by…moral panic…the city of Kropyvnytsky, in central Ukraine, is…home to Legalife, Ukraine’s leading sex workers’ organisation…Their organisation got its start following an episode of police abuse in 2009, when Isaeva, a former sex worker who conducted outreach work with sex workers, was unlawfully detained by an anti-trafficking police unit.  They threatened to charge her with pimping, and when Isaeva tried to file a complaint the next day, there was no trace of her detention.  She did, however, obtain an apology.  The head of the anti-trafficking unit was transferred and the officers’ bonuses slashed.  This incident prompted the women to stand for sex workers’ rights, attracting the attention of international donors such as Open Society who have funded Legalife ever since…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

Ah, the delicious schadenfreude of prohibitionists’ lies coming back to bite them in the arse:

A viral Facebook entry about child sex trafficking posted by…Diandra Toyos…is a misinformed and ultimately harmful depiction of what this crime is about…There are zero indicators of human trafficking in Toyos’ story…it so misrepresents the dangers, warning signs and risks associated with sex trafficking that its readers and likers may now try to protect kids by watching for the wrong things in the wrong places…I’m a professional in the anti-trafficking field, and…I have never seen, read or heard about a real sex-trafficking situation in which a child was abducted by traffickers in broad daylight at a busy store under a mother’s watchful eye…The most pernicious part of the viral Facebook post is its comments section.  As sex-trafficking survivors and anti-trafficking advocates — myself included — tried to correct the misconceptions in it, and tried to alert the public to the harms caused by misunderstandings and sensationalism, we were met with anger and outrage.  Sound bite quotes and statistics were thrown back at me in an attempt to highlight my “ignorance” on the subject.  “Human trafficking happens everywhere,” I was reminded. “It’s in our own backyards.”  These are the exact phrases my colleagues and the anti-trafficking movement publicized years ago to raise awareness. We never imagined they’d be used to challenge our own expertise and in defense of efforts that threaten victims…

Here’s some free advice, Miss “Trafficking Expert”:  if you don’t want hysteria, don’t promote it yourself.  And if you want people to defer to “experts” on prostitution, you need to set an example by shutting the fuck up, sitting the fuck down and listening to the real experts, sex workers themselves.

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There are about 200 stranger kidnappings in the U.S. every year.  Your kid is more likely to get killed by lightning.  –  Marty Klein

Check Your Premises

A judge lectures young sex workers with myths about the “danger” of sex work while actively working to destroy their lives for the “crime” of agreeing to consensual sex:

Three college students in Florida were [brutalized by pigs after tricking them into meeting]…at a ritzy Miami hotel…Maury Noun, 21, is [accused] of pimping out 19-year-old Samara Charlotin and 23-year-old Acacia Friedman…The detective offered Noun $10,000 to have sex with both Charlotin and Friedman.  Noun [stupidly] consented…telling the cop that he would have to pay extra for unprotected sex.  [Pigs]…arrested them as soon as they arrived…and…arraigned on a slew of prostitution charges…Charlotin was also charged with drug possession…Charlotin told Judge Mindy Glazer that she’s pursuing a degree in biology…”You’re a smart girl, if you want to live to see age 20, you need to find a new line of employment,” Glazer [pompously pontificated]…

I wonder when Miami cops will start arresting college football players so Judge Dipshit can lecture them about finding a different line of work if they want to make it to 20 without brain damage?

Saving Them From Themselves

Poor, helpless little piggies; they HAVE TO stick their snouts into young people’s personal lives and then destroy them.  It’s not their fault, they’re robots without discretion or free will!

The Polk County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Office has had 12 cases in the last year and three months at Polk County Middle School and high school…where students were charged with criminal acts for sharing pictures and videos…Capt. B.J. Bayne said cell phones are the cause of most of the charges and since there’s really not a crime that fits juveniles, the charges have to be related to adult porn charges.  “The goal is to correct the issue, not punish the issue,” Bayne said. “We really have a good team trying to get these kids educated [by traumatizing them & giving them a criminal record]”…

Gorged With Meaning

When sex is involved, a poison pen letter is considered proof:

The Coastal Carolina cheerleading team has been suspended after being accused of engaging in prostitution…[in] an anonymous letter mailed to…University President Dave DeCenzo, alleging that the cheerleaders were engaging in prostitution, buying alcohol for minors and paying others to do their homework…

Scorched Earth 

NCMEC is among the most dangerous of the anti-sex organizations due to its shameless hiding of its agenda behind “protecting children”:

…NCMEC—The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…[has] for decades…told parents to fear “stranger danger,” and instructed them to transmit this fear to their kids…By conflating “missing” and “exploited,” they have panicked Americans into thinking the average child is “at risk” of being kidnapped.  By talking about “children” they conflate the experiences of five-year-olds and 17-year-olds.  According to their own website, over 90% of “missing” teens are not “missing,” they have run away…over 3/4 of…[them] from institutions like foster homes…By expanding the definition of “sex trafficking” to include every sex worker…they have successfully convinced Americans that huge numbers of Americans are sex trafficked.  It’s a lie.  NCMEC can’t document even a half-dozen cases of women forced to act in porn, but they’ve planted the idea that porn actresses are trafficked…NCMEC champions government stings in adult chatrooms where adults roleplay age games, pursuing adults for thought crimes that harm no one…actual child molesters don’t look for kids in adult chatrooms…NCMEC also champions Amber Alert, an enormous waste of money and…resources [whose]…main accomplishment is to terrify…parents.  Similarly, NCMEC favors punitive, counter-productive sex offender laws and registries—which includes putting children on these registries when they mistreat (“molest”) their peers…

See also “Who Watches the Watchmen?” below.

Watershed

Because of the neofeminist lie that having sex for pragmatic reasons magically harms women’s infantile, subhuman brains, it’s especially important that women be making arguments like this:

Economists are obsessed with markets…yet the sex trade has for too long been left to operate with virtually no official support or recognition.  And sex workers have therefore been left vulnerable to exploitation…from the authorities.  The usual justification for brushing the sex trade under the carpet is that the sale of sex is “immoral”…However, there is a logical inconsistency with the way that we think about consensual prostitution – a largely female trade – compared with the male-dominated spheres of soldiering and boxing – all of which come at significant risk to the body and the brain.  As Barbara Einhorn, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Sussex, wrote in a 2016 letter to The Guardian, “prostitution and soldiering are arguably the oldest professions. While doubts about their legitimacy are understandable, both provide a service that society appears to need.  Yet one is heroised, the other vilified.”  As a society, we are also…completely comfortable with people in effect pimping their brains.  If you have high-level numerical or literacy skills, it is fine to work long hours, for example, at a multinational bank or law firm.  But if you’re born with a great body and are able to hone your erotic skills, it is seen as animalistic and shameful to make money from those “assets”…And since women have traditionally been seen as inferior, it has been assumed that making money from the female-associated body is less respectable than making it from the male-associated brain…

Who Watches the Watchmen? (#649)

Once again, actual figures disprove the hysteria:

…American children today are no more likely to be kidnapped than they were decades ago, and much more likely to be returned safely when they are…there were just 105 “stereotypical kidnappings” in America between late 2010 and late 2011, the last period for which we have data.  (For reference, there were about 73.9 million children in America that year.)  Just 65 of these kidnappings were committed by strangers.  Less than half involved the abduction of a child under age 12.  Only 14 percent of cases were still open after one week, and 92 percent of victims were recovered or returned alive…The Department of Justice (DOJ) defines stereotypical kidnappings as those in which 1) the victim is under 18-years-old, 2) the kidnapper is either a stranger or a “slight acquaintance”, 3) the abduction involves moving the victim at least 20 feet or detaining them for at least one hour, and 4) the victim is either held for ransom, transported at least 50 miles, detained overnight, held with an intent to keep permanently, or killed…DOJ defines slight acquaintance as someone the child or their family have known for less than six months, someone they’ve known for longer than six months but see less than once per month, or someone who might be recognizable to a child or their parents but not known by name.  In one…case…a 16-year-old girl ran away to live with an adult boyfriend, who is defined as a “slight acquaintance” because she had only been seeing him a few months.  So the number of stereotypical kidnappings that the general public would consider stereotypical is actually lower than the feds’ estimate…

Dutch Threat (#678)

Even if PROUD supports this, I’m still skeptical of the subtext:

…project My Red Light…enables prostitutes to determine their own work routine…while offering more protection from the pressures and abuses inflicted by intermediaries.  Fourteen windows…in the Red Light District are expected to come into operation in May…If the initiative proves to be a success, the business model may be expanded to other Dutch cities.  Yvette Lurs, president of the Dutch Union for Sexworkers (PROUD), supports the project.  “It would be great if sex workers had more opportunities to open their own brothels,” she says…the spokesman for My Red Light, Richard Bouwman, says that its main goal is to “empower sex workers and, more specifically, to give them the support and the knowledge to run their own business”…

…which most sex workers already do, so why pretend the opposite?

Finding What Isn’t There (#710)

You’d think a business news site could understand that hysterical phone calls don’t correlate meaningfully with actual events.  And you’d be wrong:

Reports of domestic human trafficking continued to increase in 2016, jumping 35 percent over 2015, according to a report released…by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the Polaris Project…Due to the [imaginary] nature of the crime, authorities and academics alike [are free] to [wildly exaggerate] the scope of the problem.  One source of quantifiable information about [the level of] trafficking [hysteria] in the U.S. is a hotline set up in 2007 by Polaris, an anti-[sex work] organization…it’s unclear whether the rise of an online sex market over the last twenty years has increased the sex trade, or just made it more visible.  In previous decades, sex work was [understood by rational people]…to be a “victimless crime”…but that perception has changed, thanks in large part to [propaganda promoted] by [anti-sex] groups, and now a sex worker is more likely to be [fantasized] as a trafficking victim…

Property of the State (#719) 

If I lived in one of these fanatical “all your uteri belong to us” states & my ability to have children wasn’t already decades in the past, I’d get myself sterilized immediately:

An Iowa state representative…[said] women who miscarry after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be forced to carry their dead fetuses [until the mothers die of septicemia]…During a hearing…which would clear the way for a state ban on abortions after the 20-week mark…Shannon Lundgren…[said] “This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman.  It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies”…

Between the Lines (#722)

Moralistic control freak clutches her pearls and screeches that facts are evil once somebody says “THE CHILDREN!!!

…in an article for…Reason magazine, Elizabeth Nolan Brown takes the FBI to task for [its annual pogroms vs consenting adults]…Brown declares the FBI’s yearly Operation Cross Country investigation expensive and ineffective and says they do not rescue a significant enough number of underage victims to justify the cost…Her main complaint, however, is that…the FBI is functioning as a “national vice squad,” arresting more adults on charges stemming from prostitution activities than finding underage trafficking victims…Brown continues by asserting that underage youth who are not being forced by a trafficker into selling sex do not need to be rescued and should not be [locked in cages and brainwashed]…

The rest denies the agency of sex workers, quotes the usual absurd myths and Farley’s made-up BS, etc.

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We have been so brainwashed by talk of trafficking that we imagine we see it everywhere.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Enabling Oppression

It’s hard to get more vile and disgusting than white prohibitionists using the names of dead black icons to support campaigns of oppression that disproportionately affect black people.  Most of this is a typical Julie Bindel smear screed, referring to sex worker rights advocates as “pimps” and “pro-prostitution pressure groups” (Bindel, you may remember, is the one who says Brooke Magnanti and I, along with Amnesty International and a corpse, are the heads of the imaginary “pimp lobby”).  But here’s the money quote, edited for clarity and truth:

…The [prohibitionists fantasize about an imaginary Utopia]…free from prostitution.  Many are keen to campaign for the introduction of a law to criminalise the demand.  “These men [sex buyers] have a comfortable life,” says one of the women, “after they [complete a mundane business transaction] they go back to their homes and their wives.  We want them to be exposed [as people who conduct business transactions]”…”Mandela would understand,” says [one prohibitionist] “I seriously believe that if we had gone to him …he would have [supported police violence against peaceful people having consensual sex]”…

The Notorious Badge

I’d be interested in hearing what actual sex workers think of this show:

Somewhere in the vast terrain between the hooker-as-fairytale-princess fantasy of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and the prim, grim Victorian sociology of Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Woman of the Streets lies Harlots, Hulu’s odd but engrossing new drama about life inside an 18th-century London brothel.  Screenwriter Moira Buffini, one of the five British women who produce, write, and direct Harlots, said in unveiling the project that the goal was “everything from the whore’s-eye view.”  The result is that the women in Harlots are neither glamorous courtesans nor broken flowers, and their depiction is never erotic…

A Narrow View (#25)

Mark Draughn on the hypocrisy of arresting underage sex workers under guise of “helping” them:

Is it really necessary to send cops with guns to forcibly “help” people?  And even if you think it’s necessary to coerce child victims of sex trafficking into accepting social services, can’t you do it without giving them a criminal record?…There are better alternatives. We know this because non-governmental organizations like the Sex Work Outreach Project (SWOP) don’t have arrest powers, and they’ve been doing outreach to sex workers for years…Here in Chicago, the Young Women’s Empowerment Project spent years studying ways to help young women in the sex trade, and they had some useful observations, especially about what they call institutional violence

Profound Ignorance 

This is at least less harmful than the usual ignorance-based sex work “study”, though no less stupid:

To get a feel for what a certain dollar amount can get someone seeking escort services, we averaged 277 images of Las Vegas escorts using face-morphing software and organized them by price point…beauty is not only affected by our personal preferences but is also shaped by our culture…When looking at the women in our composite comparison, the most expensive female escort seems to have more refined features…She also has lighter skin and looks much younger than the woman charging $10 to $99 per hour for her services…

More beautiful escorts are more in demand and can therefore charge more. Gee, who’d have guessed?

Micromanagement

Please, ladies, don’t be so stupid as to give cops evidence they can & will use against you:

Sara Katsanis, a bioethicist at Duke University…was surprised to hear of a program initiated by Dallas [cops] to collect DNA from truck-stop sex workers to solve hypothetical future crimes…Voluntarily give a DNA sample now, the program promised, and if it’s your dead body, at least your family will know.  Can sex workers truly consent when it’s police doing the asking?…The program, which was first proposed in 2007, had done a very small survey and found women universally willing to contribute their DNA with no major concerns.  “So the ethicist [part of me] said, ‘Oh really, no concerns?,’’ recounted Katsanis.  “And who asked?  Oh the police”…So she and a colleague, Jennifer Wagner, went down to Dallas, to talk to the sex workers themselves, without [Porky Pig] in the room…

Case Study

Dysphemisms and gawking abound in UK articles about sex work:

A Fulham brothel operator and head of a London sex empire is facing jail after he admitted a series of crimes including making money from prostitution and human trafficking.  David Archer…pleaded guilty…to running a string of brothels, trafficking women and controlling their profiles on adult websites…Detective Sergeant John Kirby [drooled]…”Archer exploited vulnerable women to build his lucrative empire in the sex industry over a number of years…once he lured the women, they were instructed to pose for explicit photos, and in some cases forced to engage in sexual activity…Neighbours describe seeing women as young as 18 “dancing naked in the garden” before [one] brothel was shut…

Nice While It Lasted

What could possibly go wrong?

Senior council figures have backed plans to give officials the power to dish out £100 [trial-free] fines for drinking, begging and urinating…[the due-process-free penalties are to be euphemistically labeled] Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)…the orders would allow police…and council officers to issue instant £100 fines for anyone [they claim committed] one of several anti-social behaviour offences in the areas…deputy council leader…Clyde Loakes [lied]…“This is not an attack on homeless people…this is not infringing human rights”…A third PSPO, aimed at curbing street prostitution, has also been proposed for the Lea Bridge area of Leyton…

Signs 

This woman calls bruises and rope burns “signs of trafficking”. I call them “signs of a fun evening”:

…the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force recently unveiled two training mannequins that exhibit common physical signs of human trafficking, including bruising, rope burns and possessive tattoos, said Cathy Knauf…She said the tattoos are usually not professionally done and say “Daddy” or are a UPC bar code.  “It shows ownership by the trafficker that this is his property,” she said.  She said the task force started collecting money for Freethem Ink, which will pay to have a survivor’s tattoo changed into something beautiful or removed…

Lies Piled on Lies

Nebraska is vying with Washington, Arizona and Florida to be the state which produces the stupidest “sex trafficking” nonsense:

Seven score and 14 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a different form of slavery lingers in the United States…human trafficking…ensnares children as young as 13 in the sex industry…Glen Parks [a pig mouthpiece, bloviated while secretly masturbating]…“It’s treating someone like you own them, like they’re an object”…The [pig] who pulls over a suspect transporting three inappropriately dressed and unrelated teenage girls, needs [to lock the girls up]…he said…“We can train motel workers to spot the signs of sex trafficking.  These victims get sick more than most, and must be taken to a clinic or a hospital, where if nurses are trained to spot the signs they can [rat them out]”…Connie Lofgreen, a sex addiction [profiteer] in Omaha, [pearl-clutched] that pornography is a “theater” of trafficking…“You don’t know when you look at pornography if that person is participating as a willing participant.  You don’t know that they’re not a minor or that they haven’t been trafficked in from another country.”  Lofgreen said an entire generation of men has developed an addiction to pornography, and that like all addicts they need increasingly stronger doses, a process that sometimes causes them to drift into child pornography…

Under Every Bed (#669)

We’ve heard all these lies before; this is only notable for the sheer density of bullshit, and the fact that it’s claimed to take place in a state with a smaller population than Greater Seattle:

Amber Lawrence…travels…Iowa [for] Teens Against Human Trafficking…trying to protect young people from being “Taken” down a heartbreaking road in which life expectancy is a stark seven years…an educational exhibit…features art of young women in a cage, an empty pair of silver high heels, and an abandoned teddy bear symbolizing loss of innocence…as a college freshman at 19, she had been the target of an attempted human trafficking incident…

An “attempted human trafficking incident”.  You know, like in “The Widening Gyre” below.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

Politicians the world over promise the same evil, impossible things, and stupid people just keep believing them:

With mascots dressed as smiling fish and a police rock band, Thai authorities launched a “Happy Zone”…to [sanitize] the image of a city [known] for sex tourism…the…sex…industry…remains economically vital while being officially excoriated…The latest of many crackdowns in Pattaya happened…last month…A handful of bars were raided.  Bar owners and working women were fined.  Scared to venture out, tourists…stayed in hotels.  Street vendors and shops saw sales tumble.  The money which flows to all levels in the city – including law enforcement agencies – fell off.  The Happy Zone approach is a softer way to try to [pretend] that something is being done…Apichai Krobpetch, chief of Pattaya city police, [said] “We will also stamp out prostitution in the area”…

Guinea Pigs (#723) 

More on the “banks looking for whores to rat out to the pigs” evil from last week:

…banks have become adept at mining data to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations.  Much of that same data can also be used to detect signs of human trafficking…Some financial patterns that could potentially indicate human trafficking include credit card purchases on some classified-ad sites, several individuals with a common address depositing money into the same account, or multiple accounts transferring money to the same beneficiary…analytics tools can also cross-reference customer phone numbers to see if those same numbers appear on classified-ad pages where illegal services might be sold…

“Multiple accounts transferring money to the same beneficiary”.  You know, like when different people pay for purchases from one company.

The Widening Gyre (#723) 

Lenore Skenazy’s take on yet another hysterical “sex trafficking” fantasy:

89,000 shares of this piece from ForEveryMom…”Diandra Toyos is a Southern California mom of three kiddos aged 4, 1.5, and 7 weeks.  Looking for a fun outing, she and her mom decided to take the kids to their local IKEA recently to do some couch shopping…But Toyos never could have imagined that their lighthearted shopping trip was about to take a sinister turn“…This “My kids were about to be trafficked, I just KNOW it” post is so shockingly similar to last week’s “My kids were about to be trafficked, I just KNOW it” post that it feels…creepy.  A lot creepier than being at Ikea where a couple of men glance at my kids…What, two men are going to grab two or three kids, all under age 7, IN PUBLIC, in a camera-filled IKEA, with the MOM and the GRANDMA right there, not to mention a zillion other fans of Swedish furnishings?…You can TELL nothing happened, because the whole thing was described as an “incident”.  And Lenore’s #1 Rule of Reporting is: When something is called an “incident,” it’s because nothing happened…

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