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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

I think my family is dead.  –  Harper Hansman

I spotted this video on YouTube last week, and it was so silly I had to share it.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, Amy Alkon, Boatfloating, Jesse Walker, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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As I’ve written before many times, nations and empires are as mortal as the humans who build them, if somewhat longer-lived; and despite the childish beliefs of many Americans, the US is not an exception.  It will die as all political entities must, and it has already passed the point at which future historians will draw an imaginary line dividing the “classical” US from the imperialistic police state which succeeded it.  Over the past few years, we’ve seen a succession of events which has dramatically undermined whatever prestige the US enjoyed:  the ascension of a mad emperor who has made himself an international laughingstock, burned nearly every bridge, and weakened the economy with a ridiculous trade war; the exposure before the eyes of the world of the violent, racist, authoritarian rot that permeates the entire fascist sytem; the childish bickering and deranged tyrannies of nearly every member of the US political class, trying to one-up each other instead of fulfilling one of the few legitimate functions of government, disaster management; and said government’s shameless funneling of money into the hands of the well-connected on a scale unseen since the collapse of the Ancien Régime.  But these were just the visible ulcerations of a cancer which existed for decades before (itself developing from the nation’s ugly birth defect, the morally repulsive notion that people do not own themselves, but can be owned by other people, groups or rulers).  As I wrote in 2013,

…the rulers, rather than admitting the systemic problems, prefer to treat government as a colossal game of hot potato, eternally passing the ball forward in the hopes that it will be in someone else’s hands when the music at last stops as it inevitably must.  But as the events of the last few years have amply demonstrated, the piper is growing steadily more exhausted, and will soon demand his due.  Soon we will be forced to change the way we’ve done things for the past century, whether we like it or not, and the actions of the ruling class (especially that of the US and UK) over the past few decades bode ill for that change being a peaceful one.  I think it’s safe to predict that there will be fireworks, and not of the pleasant kind…

The era of US hegemony is over; it looks, may the gods help us, as though the dominant world political power of the twenties is going to be an empire even more outrageously evil and single-mindedly authoritarian than the US ever was.  I suspect it won’t be long before the process of Balkanization which is already underway becomes obvious even to those who are deeply invested in ignoring it, and Washington joins Rome as a relic of crumbling monuments which was once the most powerful city on Earth.

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I don’t pay much attention to where blog traffic comes from any more; Google hides so much now that it’s no longer possible to easily deduce why there might be a sudden spike in traffic on a given day.  But when I saw an unusually-large spike one day last week, my curiosity got the better of me so I decided to search for the source.  As you might expect I found nothing, but in the process I followed a link back to some kind of bulletin-board site on which a newbie client was asking other dudes for advice on what to do on his first professional date.  One of the repliers had linked back to my site (alas, not to this article or this resource); a couple spouted “sex trafficking” nonsense at him; and one was clearly an exploitative hobbyist-type who gave him “advice” that mostly involve looking for the youngest, lowest-priced sex workers available because they have poor boundaries in comparison with older, established escorts.  But I was honestly a little surprised at the number of replies from guys containing various bizarre tales about how most escorts are robbers, a large number have “pimps” literally hiding under our beds or in our closets, etc.  Now, part of this is undoubtedly propaganda (possibly from either prohibitionists or “incels”) which those who shared it don’t actually believe, but use in an attempt to scare the gullible away from pragmatic sexual arrangements.  But the rest seems to me to be a resurgence of the “whore as criminal” myth popular through much of the 20th century, and still secretly popular among cops and other assorted lawheads no matter how much “sex trafficking” garbage they vomit up.  Given that we seem to finally be approaching the end of the “sex trafficking” moral panic (though a few years later than I originally predicted), this may be a bellwether for the direction prohibitionist propaganda will turn next; it certainly fits in well with charging sex workers as “pimps” for helping each other, etc, and follows the pattern we saw in the US following the collapse of the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria about 90 years ago.  But we didn’t have social media then, and this time sex workers need to be ready to jump on these old lies as they’re taken out of mothballs, before they can be fully laundered and trotted out as popular fashions again.

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I can’t breathe.  –  Manuel Ellis

YouTube pushes videos based on some kind of algorithm involving what you’ve watched before, so I reckon it isn’t surprising I was dealt this one.  Like all of these pop-culture docuvideos it’s at least twice as long as it should be, but it’s still interesting.  The links above it were provided by Thaddeus Russell, Mama Tush, Grace, Kevin Wilson, Dave Krueger, and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

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He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing.  –  Odessa Riley

Rube Goldberg machines are even more awesome when constructed in an ordinary yard, as in this video contributed by Phoenix Calida; the links above it were provided by Cathy Reisenwitz, Kevin Wilson, Missy Mariposa (x2), Mark Bennett, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

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Policing prostitution isn’t protection — it’s patriarchy.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

Torture Chamber

From the same monsters who think it’s reasonable to lock people in cages for not “socially distancing”:

A federal appeals court has blocked…a judge’s order forcing Miami-Dade County to give masks, soap and cleaning supplies to [human beings locked in filthy, disease-infested cages by the state]…even though it acknowledges that social distancing is “impossible” [because the state has crammed so many people into its filthy dungeon]…the…ruling…allows litigation…to continue…163 [prisoners]…have tested positive for COVID-19…in the cramped [cages so far]…

Guest Columnist:  Kaytlin Bailey

An interview with Kaytlin on her Whore’s Eye View show:

…I’ve always been interested in sex work, history, and naturally, sex workers in history…Studying history feels like a way of preparing for the future, but it also feels like a way of contextualizing and trying to understand the current moment.  When Maya Angelou — another old pro — told us to “know your history,” I believe she meant it as both a way to affirm your identity and also as a way to recognize our enemies.  Studying things that have already happened is a way to familiarize ourselves with tactics that may be used again.  Those are the themes I’m most interested in exploring with The Oldest Profession…I’m worried for sex workers, but I’m also worried for organizers, journalists, comics, increasingly criminalized abortion providers, and all the people who connect online over kooky or kinky interests they wouldn’t want their employers or anyone in government to know about.  I’m worried about going back to a time when medically accurate information about contraception was legally obscene and criminalized.  I’m worried about returning to a time when suspect women could be rounded up and checked for venereal disease in the name of national security.  I’m worried about bad actors using anti trafficking rhetoric to justify a police state that is just out of control…

A Broker in Pillage (#953)

Judges are finally starting to dismantle this vile practice:

An Indiana man whose brand new Land Rover was [stolen by cops when]…he was arrested for dealing heroin in 2013 may get his vehicle back following seven years of legal wrangling, including a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court…Judge Jeffrey Todd…ordered [bureaucrats] to return Tyson Timbs’ 2013 Land Rover LR2 after Todd concluded the forfeiture of the $41,558 vehicle was grossly disproportionate to the underlying crime, whose maximum possible fine was $10,000…Timbs pleaded guilty to one count of dealing in a controlled substance after he sold a total of 4 grams of heroin for $385 to [pigs role-playing as normal people consenting to the transaction]…

Like Houses (#1029)

This is about SAFETY, not expanding the police state, no sirree!

A [pig]…violent[ly]…arrest[ed a man] in Manhattan…[resulting in the victim being hospitalized with severe injuries.  The video aggravated the]…frustration and anger [citizens feel over the arbitrary and heavy-handed way cops are “enforcing”]…social distancing [diktats]…tensions are especially high in New York City, which accounts for roughly half of the more than 321,000 confirmed cases and over 25,000 deaths statewide.  In the ninth week of the shutdown, New York City officials have repeatedly said there’s no template, let alone hard-and-fast rules, for how police should enforce social distancing orders[, giving the NYPD carte blanche to use its usual violent, racist tactics]…[L]ast weekend…[cops] handed out masks in parks largely packed with white residents but aggressively [brutalized people in]…minority communities…[Costumed thug] Francisco Garcia…[menaced] Donni Wright [with a stun gun and screamed obscenities at him] before forcing him to the ground, [beating] him and kneeling on his neck…

Working From Home (#1030)

Internet companies use sex workers to build themselves, then screw us over:

…as with most online platforms, adult and otherwise, the reality of OnlyFans’ success has always been a result of sex workers’ efforts.  Up until recently, its referral program rewarded users for bringing in new creators throughout the lifetime of the referees’ account.  OnlyFans paid referrers a commission equal to five percent of the new creator’s revenue…out of OnlyFans’ end, meaning the commission didn’t cut into the new creator’s profits…[But] in an email sent to creators last week, OnlyFans announced that starting May 1, referral payouts would be limited to one year after the referee joins, instead of throughout the lifetime of the account.  This, many creators say, is a serious blow to their income…

I Spy (#1035)

Reawakening

It doesn’t surprise me that politicians are starting to turn against one another:

Two county sheriffs in Arizona say they will not be enforcing Gov. Doug Ducey’s…stay-at-home [diktat]…Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster and Pinal County Mark Lamb have both said they will not arrest or hand out fines to those…trying to make a living…after Ducey said…that…if they [try to pay their bills or feed their families]…we will [lock them in filthy cages so they are more likely to get a disease]”…

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Sex isn’t a binary problem, where you can just say “don’t do it”.  –  “Daniel”

Storyville

Kaytlin Bailey presents a “whore’s eye view” of US history:

The Red Umbrella 

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…two women were critically injured…[on the] night [of March 10th] in [Virginia]…[they were hospitalized] with life-threatening injuries consistent with blunt force trauma…

The Course of a Disease (#729)

The “Swedish model” helps women!

In France…anyone selling sex must pay taxes like everyone else. But many…sex workers…are [excluded from] state income support, despite seeing their income disappear as a result of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.  Sex-worker organisations are now calling on the government to create an emergency fund to help the most vulnerable among their number…[but] it is unlikely the state will agree…[because] France has [Swedish criminalization, in which sex workers are infantilized and discriminated against]…Reports have emerged of sex workers being evicted from their homes because they cannot afford rent…France…has agreed to subsidise up to 84% of employees’ wages, and has introduced a €1,500 per month grant for the self-employed…[but] anybody working…in…the “underground” or “shadow” economy, is excluded from workers’ benefits, including income support, despite being required to pay tax…

Welcome To Our World (#938)

The state regularly cages women to force their participation in morality plays:

Arresting [people the state labels] human trafficking [victims to coerce] their testimony in criminal prosecutions [is a typical practice.  Prosecutors do not care that people they cage indefinitely without criminal charges] can lose [their jobs, their homes and even] custody of their children…The U.S. Department of Justice…makes [destroying human lives for points in their sick game] a priority over victims’ needs and wants…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1022) 

It’s good to see the “sex addiction” myth slowly falling apart:

Eight years ago, Daniel became a therapist working to help people try to control their sexual behaviors, resist the urge to masturbate or watch porn, and not cheat on their spouses.  Today, he is still a therapist, but he is also now a porn star and is exploring a new model of sexual acceptance to help his clients in therapy…“At some level, I never really bought 100% into the sex addiction model.  But, I never knew there were other models for helping people who were struggling with sexual behaviors…there were all these people with degrees in divinity, who were saying things like ‘masturbation is always unhealthy,’ or ‘all porn stars are exploited and damaged’”…Daniel…struggled with the blend of sexual ignorance and sexual absolutes that were promoted as therapeutic…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023) 

Notice how fanatics like to focus on demonizing one website at a time?

One of the distinctive traits of the current wave of anti-porn propaganda…is the tendency to focus the attacks and the blame on one particular company as a smokescreen for their actual goals: the abolition or eradication of all sex work, all of adult entertainment or even all sexual expression in public forums…anti-porn activists and politicians in 2020 have a Pornhub fixation.  Pornhub is a popular…tube site that provides (mostly) user-uploaded content…It is not different in design from YouTube and it monetizes…in a way that is similar to Google AdWords…Pornhub is only one of several influential platforms providing free adult video content.  Its main competitor has a global market share that is at least equal, and sometimes bigger, than Pornhub…But you rarely hear anti-porn activists refer to…any other large company in the adult entertainment sector.  It’s as if Mormons decided to wage a war against all caffeinated beverages but exclusively referred to Coca-Cola in their anti-soda campaigns…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Compare to the ugly behavior of France & the US:

A group of 22 prostitutes in Curaçao flew back to the Dominican Republic [on April 11th after]…the island’s only regulated brothel…had to close its doors because of government’s COVID-19 measures.  The women were able to leave after the intervention of the Dominicano Consulate which arranged a charter to pick them up.  Upon arrival in Santo Domingo they [were] quarantined in a special hotel as a precaution…[another] group of prostitutes from Colombia…[was] repatriated [last] week…

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Right now we have a pinpointed risk…called New York City.  –  politician Gina Raimondo

In this very funny Godzilla fan film provided by Franklin Harris, one guy plays all the parts (in the same suit).  The links above it were contributed by Brooke Magnanti, Jesse Walker, Mistress Matisse, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker again, Mama Tush, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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People who haven’t had an online presence aren’t gonna make money right away.  –  Arabelle Raphael

Welcome To Our World

I hope you amateurs enjoy being hunted like animals by armed thugs:

[Cops are gleefully using violence to force peaceful] people [to] comply with the shelter in place orders across North Texas…[Pigs] have [been granted imaginary] authority to [harass] people to make sure they are…workers [the state has declared “essential”] and not [free citizens] out and about…“We did hear some complaints…of people being stopped going to work.  Let me be clear, [fuck you and we’ll keep doing it]” [oinked a pig] of the DeSoto [cop shop.  In addition, cops]…across the region are trying to…fill up the jails with people committing nonviolent or misdemeanor crimes [just as usual.  In fact, prosecutors]…will enhance crimes co[ps accuse people of] during this period [which means]…more jail time and higher fines…

But hey, I’m sure y’all won’t mind because politicians have declared that giving violent thugs permission to harass you just for existing, and robbing you of money you can’t afford to lose, is “for your own good”.

Maggie in the Media

I appeared last week on the All In A Day’s (Sex) Work podcast, speaking on (among other topics) how sex workers have often been blamed for epidemics.  Despite the grim topic, I think you’ll enjoy listening.

Property of the State 

The power to declare something “non-essential” is the power to ban it:

The Texas Attorney General’s office…ordered all clinics that provide abortion to immediately stop providing the procedure in order to comply with the state’s temporary suspension of surgeries that are not deemed “medically necessary” [by politicians]…Those in violation will face “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time”…

The Cult of Coupling

Too much “togetherness”, y’all?

Divorce filings are skyrocketing from quarantine-weary and financially stressed couples…matrimonial attorneys…are experiencing a 50 percent rise in inquiries from potential clients…[some] Manhattan family-law experts…[say] couples forced to spend time together while quarantined…haven’t fared well…[and] dramatic sways in the financial markets will further spur a wave of wealthy divorces, because richer spouses may decide they want out while their net worth dips…

Top Cop (#995)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Joe Biden is in the process of narrowing down his list of potential running mates, and his allies in the business community are weighing in with their favorite choices.  Since Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to pick a woman as his nominee for vice president, leaders of…industries have been reaching out to him and his presidential campaign about whom they think should join him on the ticket…The names being floated and pushed to Biden by this group include Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers take care of our own:

…workers…and…professionals whose livelihoods are tied to in-person meetings…are currently suffering from coronavirus-related job cuts….37 million jobs are vulnerable to layoffs due to social distancing measures…one group facing particularly acute challenges are sex workers, whose work is often illegal…or not covered by unemployment laws…many come from marginalized communities and have trouble accessing other forms of employment…the advocacy organization Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS)…launched a microgrant program that gives out payments of $50–$200 to sex workers in need…Similar efforts are taking place across the country: the Sex Worker Outreach Project…is organizing mutual aid fundraisers for sex workers in places like Los AngelesAustin and New York, and sex workers in Las Vegas have been fundraising via crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe …Taking their work online through photos, videos, phone sex and videoconferencing is one way sex workers have [adapted]…But changing how one does business is not as easy as starting an account…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

Over the past few months, several articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn propaganda slant have been appearing under the banner of The Guardian, the influential transatlantic news organization…These articles look almost exactly like the rest of The Guardian online content, with the same font, design, artwork, layout and out-links to other stories…Recent articles…[gave] a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…the “Exploitation in Focus” series is “supported, in part, through a grant…[from] Humanity United, a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…with [a] very vague name…and mission…[which] respond[s] to a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

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When Lucy Steigerwald tweeted this item about ICE still trying to deport people in the middle of a pandemic, she commented that she didn’t understand how they could sleep at night; I said that “Just doing my job” is even more insidiously evil than “I was only following orders”.  Mike Siegel then replied by calling attention to what Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski said about the interrogator character in the episode “Intersections in Real Time”, a man so harmless-looking he would’ve gone unnoticed in any ordinary office:

…You look at most of the guys who ran Treblinka, or Bergen-Belsen, and they’re largely ordinary looking guys, who could be accountants or repair men or car salesmen…most SF tends to…deal with the big bad guys, the…Darth Vaders and all the other major forces…but all too often the real damage is done not by the single Evil Leader, but by the ten million people who follow him, the bookkeepers who track the bodies and…make the trains run on time, who run the gulags, who build the new state empires that will be built with slave labor, any or all of whom could say, as many have, “I was just doing my job”…To the interrogator, he was simply doing his job, and…then he goes home to his wife and kids, and has dinner, and sits out on the porch trying to forget what he does because he thinks he has to do it…assuming he thinks about it at all…

Look around you, especially in an election season, and see the pure evil a lot of people spout, usually while imagining that the things they’re advocating – up to and including mob violence – are righteous.  And they’re all ordinary folks.  Some of the people I’ve crossed paths with as an activist don’t actually care about anyone’s rights; they’re just amoral Marxists who happened to fall into sex work at some point and have chosen to adopt it as an identity despite Marxist regimes’ long persecution of us.  The majority of cops, bureaucrats and other petty evildoers don’t see themselves as evil; they see themselves as just people doing a job.  And every one of them looks (and in public, acts) just like anyone else.  They shop in the same stores, watch TV, love their dogs, eat next to us in restaurants.

All the cops.

All the screws.

All the functionaries.

All the other quiet sociopaths.

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