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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you’ve missed some of my musings on the pandemic, the panic surrounding it, and the police state expansion it’s being used an excuse for. Here are a few choice examples:

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Whores are pretty relatable when it comes down to it.  –  Andrea Werhun

Here We Go Again

Some things never change:

…in 1913…the San Francisco Bulletin began publishing a series of remarkable essays from a woman using the pen name Alice Smith.  Not yet 30, she’d been working in brothels since she was a teenager, and her first-person account of sex work in California sent shockwaves through the state.  By the time her “A Voice from the Underworld” series ended, the Bulletin had received over 4,000 letters to the editor, many from women in similar situations…[before she started sex work] Alice…worked from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m…Her first [client] paid her $10; she had been making $6 per week as a washerwoman…The Bulletin [later] admitted that it wrote the stories using a ghostwriter, understandable given Alice’s supposed lack of education…[at best] “Alice” was…an amalgamation of stories from several women…[at worst] the Bulletin made the whole thing up, not uncommon for tabloids…

Guest Columnist:  Andrea Werhun

Another peek at Andrea and her book, Modern Whore:

…The overall mission of Modern Whore is to de-stigmatize sex work and make it relatable to civilians.  It’s also to give sex workers visibility and representation, to make sex workers feel a little less alone, a little less isolated and a little less ashamed.  There’s nothing wrong with pleasuring people for money.  It’s a pretty good gig when everyone’s happy and safe and everything is consensual…Hollywood depictions of sex workers enforce stereotypes.  When sex workers are not consulted in the development of those characters, when it’s men creating a fantasy world of how they think sex workers talk to each other, they’re not doing anyone a service.  They’re feeding their own fantasies…

Legislators Gone Wild (#930) 

Nevada politicians accomplish by royal decree what they couldn’t accomplish legally:

Unable to apply for federal loans or state unemployment, Nevada’s sex workers are unemployed with no financial recourse after brothels and strip clubs [were forcibly] shut down [by royal decree] to…clos[e]…all [businesses politicians deem] non-essential…including bars…strip clubs, and…brothels.  The move leaves thousands of workers without any source of income [in hopes of forcing them into poverty and later wage-slavery]…there [a]re 12,000 registered strippers in [Las Vegas] alone…

Unfortunately, Nevada’s “legal” prostitutes have their government names on an official dirty whore list, so they can’t simply lie to get relief as “illgal” sex workers can.

Dutch Threat (#981)

Another painfully-stupid Dutch sex work law:

Dutch sex workers will be…required to stop working and take a break every four hours, even in the middle of a job…[under] new rules following a hard rise in repetitive injury complaints…[due to] Amsterdam and other cities…reduc[ing] their numbers of window brothels…[so] women…[need to] work…extra shifts to meet demand…There are…questions about how the new regulations should be policed.  A recent “mystery shopper” scheme for brothels had no shortage of volunteers but was scrapped after undercover officials were exposed…

Only Dutch bureaucrats could figure out a way to make a good idea like paid breaks for brothel workers into an idiotic exercise in clock-watching monitored by cops.

Fair-Weather Friends (#1009)

The only atypical thing about this is that they’ve been charged:

Yet more Columbus, Ohio, vice cops have been arrested on federal criminal charges…Steven G. Rosser and Whitney R. Lancaster have been charged with conspiring to violate others’ civil rights and conspiring to commit wire fraud…both officers were involved in [the bullshit arrest]…of…Stormy Daniels…in July 2018…That incident is not part of the new federal indictment.  But the duo’s current troubles also stem, in part, from strip club antics and…wrongful arrest…Rosser got in a fight with a patron at Nick’s Cabaret in 2015…had the man “seized and searched without probable cause…and [locked his victim in a cage]…for…five days before the charges against him were ultimately dismissed”…In another incident, this one in April 2018, Rosser, Lancaster, and some of their [accomplices]…stopped and searched the owner of the Dollhouse strip club without probable cause…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Even in a crisis, politicians have to advertise their hate for sex workers:

The federal application for COVID-19-related disaster relief for small businesses…explicitly disqualifies any sex worker or sex oriented business who may derive income from “presenting live performances of a prurient sexual nature” or “through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature”…the USSBA asks potential applicants for economic relief to first check if they do not belong to one of the disqualifying categories, which include “engaging in any illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines),” being a deadbeat parent with delinquent child support obligations, legal gambling, lobbying or having a conflict of interest by being a member of Congress or a government entity.  The longest exclusion…[is] deliberately worded to target the largest segment of sex workers and sex-related businesses possible…

If your stage name isn’t clearly tied to your government name and your taxes are filed as a “consultant” or other neutral term, I advise you to lie.  You need this as much as anyone else, and your taxes are paying for it.  Unfortunately, my company is “Maggie McNeill, LLC”, which is pretty obvious to any government stooge with access to Google, but that may not be true for other sex workers reading this.  Fuck these sociopaths for trying to exclude us; take what you need.

Property of the State (#1026) 

This is what happens when you give politicians power to close down businesses:

As more states move to temporarily ban surgical abortions using COVID-19 as an excuse, federal judges have begun to block them.  In three separate rulings [last week], federal judges told state leaders that categorizing abortion as a non-essential medical procedure…was not OK.  The rulings came in response to lawsuits filed after [politicians] in Ohio, Texas, and [Alabama] started declaring that temporary surgical abortion bans were necessary…Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have seen similar orders…Groups are already suing over the bans in Oklahoma and Iowa

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As promised, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II is here!  Now that I’ve figured out how to fit working on the books into my schedule, I should be able to keep up the pace and put one out every three months for about another year.  My next project, Ask Maggie, Volume I, will contain about 80 of my answers to reader questions; I’ve already made the selections and plan to start editing them as soon as I go back to Seattle after Easter.  So barring unforseen developments, it will be out in July.  If necessary, I could do most of the work here, but it’s harder to write here because I don’t have the quiet and privacy my brain needs for focus (not to mention distractions like building bookshelves).  Anyhow, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they should be available in my bookstore in the next day or two.  Thank you for reading!

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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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Crises lead to a permanently bigger state with many more powers and responsibilities and the taxes to pay for them.

The Maze of Consent

Consent is neither as simple nor as static as puritans pretend:

The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo represents one key node in a global network of adult-oriented entertainment expos that attract fans and industry personnel…Every January the…largely LA-based adult entertainment industry relocates to Las Vegas for about a week, bringing with it performers, producers, directors and videographers.  The porn community is in town for business-to-business events, to shoot porn, celebrate industry achievements at the AVN Awards…A “mix of physical, social and institutional boundaries and formal and informal rules of engagement” prevails within…Attendees…must sign a “code of conduct”.  Signage…reminds patrons of the AVN’s policy of zero tolerance of anyone found and/or reported to have engaged in assault, non-consensual physical contact, violations of privacy, and verbal or physical harassment.  While this code isn’t perfect, our research found it…help[s] keep non-consensual contact to a minimum and empower the performers to negotiate their own boundaries…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

A [cop shop] has had a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for “going out for a second run”.  Government lockdown rules allow [subjects] to leave their [cells] to take one form of exercise a day…In the coming days, police will be given the powers to fine anyone [accused of controlling their own lives.  One pig oinked]…”We are getting calls from [bootlicking snitches] who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’…We have had dozens and dozens of these calls”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#865) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

…the 79,000 victims in Texas born and raised in America are not protected against COVID-19, nor are their clients…spread of the virus will be curbed by prosecution of sex traffickers…[who] snag some 200,000 young people born and raised in the U.S…Traffickers lure vulnerable youth at bus stops, outside schoolyards…and even within foster homes…

The Dallas Morning News is so filled with scribbling from these compulsive masturbators, it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas.

O, Canada! (#943)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

On March 6, the Ontario government announced an investment of $307 million over five years in an alleged strategy to “combat human trafficking and end sexual exploitation”…The unprecedented scale of the financial investment…coincides with some of the most comprehensive budget cuts and privatization of services in Ontario…To receive funding, approved agencies must maintain practice and policy that aligns with the Ford government’s blatant anti-sex work position, which is based on biased and false information about sex workers and their trade…such as the rampant and false claims that 13 is the average age of entry into sex work, or that the majority of sex workers do not “choose” to participate in sex work.  These myths not only promote disempowering stereotypes…but [also] embolden police and other institutions to criminalize sex workers and…contribute to moral panic…

Panopticon (#1010)

Fascists scheme to make the horrifying UK surveillance network even worse:

Police are creating the UK’s first database of homes with doorbell cameras and CCTVs to help [increase the surveillance network]…Wiltshire Police are asking residents with the devices to register them with police so that they can be [accessed even if owners deny permission]…The scheme is backed by [politicians] in Swindon where it is being initially launched.  “This isn’t about surveillance”…[lied politician] Rahul Tarar…

Watershed (#1011)

We’re likely to start seeing more articles like this as “sex trafficking” hysteria dies:

When consensual sex work is considered a form of violence, it’s hard to look ahead at the possibilities of decriminalization…when most of the space is used wrangling an ideological debate about whether sex work is inherently demeaning, any discussion of how decrim would take shape gets lost in the crossfire.  But as Vermont recently followed New York and became the second state…to introduce legislation to remove criminal penalties, the reality of a decriminalized future is inching closer…more than half of the population supports decrim…[but] what would [that]…look like in the United States?…

Like Houses (#1025)

Once the state takes a power for itself, it never surrenders that power voluntarily:

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies.  States have [forcibly] shut down businesses and sealed people indoors.  They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support.  If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside.  It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.  One taboo after another has been broken.  Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy…history suggests that after crises the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Today that has implications not just for the economy, but also for the surveillance of individuals…

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As you may have noticed (and I mentioned in “Silver Lining“), it’s become difficult to fill my news columns due to the pandemic; nobody’s talking about anything else (even though there are definitely other things to talk about), so there just aren’t enough stories to feature (because I have even less interest in writing a column about stupid epidemic memes than you have in reading one).  So for the time being, I’m rationing news items to seven per news column (instead of the usual nine to thirteen) until I start noticing the number of fresh items has increased again.  This also means I have fewer things to write full columns about, so you’ve probably noticed that most of them touch on the pandemic as well.  Since I’m not going to let some stupid collection of RNA that isn’t even actually alive (and its attendant hysteria) break a decade-long perfect record, you can be sure I’ll keep posting something every day (and look for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II on Monday).  But until things get back to relatively normal, a lot of them may be meager pickings like this one.

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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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