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Diary #463

After a week of events and misadventures, it was good to get back to my normal routine for a few days.   The night I got home I wasted a perfectly good buzz on falling asleep like a log, and for the next few night couldn’t even stay awake through my usual bedtime TV show.  But I caught up on my sleep, had a good week of work, solidified a lot of travel plans and event arrangements, saw The War on Whores become available on Amazon, enjoyed a Doctor Who night with Lorelei and then yesterday got up much too early to do a remote-via-internet Q&A session after a screening of The War on Whores at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Bangkok, Thailand (made possible by your generous support!) So that was my week, and this one looks to be not-dissimilar; I’m enjoying the relative quiet and normality before I have to start traveling again next week!

Meagan works for Prostasia, the organization which sponsored the Bay Area screening of The War on Whores, and I met her in person the day of the screening.  She interviewed me for Prostasia’s podcast (see below), and when Jeremy Malcolm sent me the link to the video he also included this essay Meagan wrote, which I found so sweet and touching I asked for permission to share it.

Why Maggie McNeill is My Hero

There are a lot of good reasons why Maggie McNeill should totally be your hero.  I mean, she’s brilliant, well spoken, sexy as all get out, an outspoken advocate for civil liberties, sex worker rights, sex positivity, child protection, the list goes on.  Basically, Maggie is the feminist we need if not the feminist we deserve.  But that’s not why she’s my hero.

Allow me to tell you a story.  Just to set the scene, it’s a Tuesday in the Bay Area.  My boss and I have had the pleasure of hosting Maggie all afternoon and evening.  She was kind enough to do an interview for Prostasia’s Podcast Sex, Human Rights, and CSA Prevention, then we all shared a lovely dinner and cocktails.  That was followed with the Bay Area premiere of The War on Whores, and we all capped the night off with lovely conversation and pie in a little diner near her hotel where we were dropping her off.  But on the way from screening to pie, there was a spot of bother on the freeway; a large plastic garbage can had wedged itself under the car and for a moment we feared we’d popped a tire.  So we pulled over and got out to investigate.

Now, it’s worth noting that I don’t drive and have a deep mistrust of cars, despite accepting them as a necessary means of transportation.  So I’m standing on the side of the road with my boss and Maggie, and she comes to the conclusion that if she and I stand on the garbage can while he backs the car up slowly, our combined weight will keep the can in place so we can free it from under the car.  I dunno what you always thought a day with a (in)famous sex worker would be like, but friends, this isn’t what I had in mind…Anywho, Maggie, who is super brave, btw, and I stand with a foot each and most of our weight on the can and the car is backed up slowly.  The closer the wheel got to our feet, the more I started to panic; directly to our backs were cars rushing by at freeway speed and directly in front of our toes was a car tire.  So, some part of my brain is aware that in my professional capacity, I should have probably had Maggie stand at the side of the road, away from the scary cars, and done this myself, because good hosting and whatnot.  But I’m apparently a giant baby, so instead of honorably protecting our guest, she casually coached me through this ordeal as I whimpered and had trouble forcing my body to keep my foot in place.  Her plan worked perfectly, but during the last stages she kept her foot on the can and it started dragging her a bit (she’s been in heels and a slinky evening type gown this whole time, btw).  So before I know what I’m doing, I think I wrapped my arms around her to make absolutely sure she didn’t go down as the center of balance changed.  I’m pretty sure she was in no danger of that, and it was a dorky overreaction on my part.  Hi, my name is Meagan and I was a huge dork in front of Maggie McNeill several times in a day and she was nice to me anyway.

The thing is, anyone can cultivate a reputation, and social media makes it easier than ever to build and perpetuate propaganda.  But these silly, random, slightly dangerous moments in life where people have to just be people to get through it, reveal a lot more about a person than their press does.  Like I said, there are a lot of good reasons to be a huge fan of Maggie.  Her social work, her “social” work, her writing, her documentary, her body, her mind, her fantastic makeup and fashion tips, how incredibly down to earth she is when she really doesn’t have to be…but I will always be a big fan of Maggie because of one very random, very silly, very human moment on the side of the road, headed towards San Francisco.

Links #462

I can’t breathe.  –  Derek Williams

I’ve shared a lot of Sesame Street shorts in this space over the years, but for some reason I had completely forgotten about this one, which was one of my favorites as a child.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Zuri Davis, Charles Hill, Eric Sprankle, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

Our government has this idea of “we have to find this common enemy to fight”…right now, sex workers [are] that villain.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

But Georgia’s only too happy to lock up adult sex workers:

…Michael Wysolovski coerced a North Carolina teenager into sex and held her against her will for more than a year inside a dog cage in his Georgia home…he pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children and interstate interference with custody…[and] won’t spend any time in prison…the terms of his plea deal gave him credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting bail. He will spend the remaining nine years on probation and must register as a sex offender…the girl [was discovered] in a state of malnutrition with ringworm and back pain caused by being caged for so long…she reached out to a…person on [an online] forum, who in turn informed the FBI…When they first met, the girl told Wysolovski she was unhappy at home, so he convinced her to come live with him when she turned 16…[they] agreed to a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship…[but Wysolovski eventually disregarded her] boundaries and safe words…because…the relationship…resided in a gray area of consent…a trial by jury might not have yielded a guilty verdict on the rape charge…[so] the victim’s family didn’t want the case to go to trial because they didn’t want her to have her story picked apart on the stand.

Down Under

Prohibitionists keep insisting that decriminalization doesn’t work:

The Sex Worker Advisory Group, or SWAG, is a unique collaboration between the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC), and groups like Rape Crisis to help sex workers better access support services after sexual assault…[though] sexual assault isn’t common in the industry…there is still stigma around sex work in New Zealand.  When many people’s attitude is…“Aren’t you getting sexually assaulted in a daily basis?”, finding non-judgmental support can be incredibly difficult…Both the Prostitution Reform Act and SWAG offer a new paradigm for police-sex worker relations that stands in stark contrast to the hostile relationship seen in the rest of the world.  In the UK, “Police forces are failing sex workers who come to them as victims of crime”. In the United States, sex workers are often the victims of sexual assault by the police.  And in Norway…the police have evicted and deported workers who have reported rape to them.  These patterns repeat themselves in other countries where the sex industry remains fully or partially criminal…

Rooted in Racism

Mistreatment of sex workers is deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

Our conversations about sex work in Australia are deeply racialised, with roots in a number of anti-Asian tropes…cultural stereotypes of Asian women as “passive” has primed white Australia to swallow the portrayal of Asian sex workers as always already exploited.  This generates a default suspicion that has been used to justify intense over-policing of Asian migrant sex workers and their lack of access to safe and legal long-term labour migration pathways, all under the banner of “anti-trafficking”.  It’s also contributed to the construction of the popular image into which a collective xenophobic contempt for for sex work and sex workers is currently distilled: “illegal Asian brothels”.  This image normalises and perpetuates state violence against migrant sex workers…accompanied by grotesque, sensational media reporting, and the resulting deportation of migrant sex workers on minor breaches…

Above the Law

Obviously this fireman has been hanging around too many cops:

A fire captain in Arizona accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl while “extremely intoxicated” claims he mistook the girl’s genitals for the mouth of an adul…Michael William Palmatier…[also blamed his behavior on] a prescription muscle relaxer…Palmatier…[claims to] recall…going into a bedroom during the party…and starting to [perform oral sex on]…the victim…a…colleague then told Palmatier that the victim was 8 years old, prompting him to repeatedly curse before crying and apologizing…but insisted that he thought he was kissing an adult’s mouth rather than the girl’s genitals…

Train Wreck (#544)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is the Orwellian name of a Nigerian vice gang empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

…Activists ha[ve] called on the [government]…to desist from the persistent public humiliation, assault, sexual harassment of women in Abuja in the name of [harassing]…sex workers in the city or face legal action…a statement signed by 36 civil society groups…condemned the recent raids and arrest of over 100 women at a night club in Abuja…on two different occasions within one week – April 17 and 26.  The raids were carried out by…the Joint Task [Gang], which [includes]…the…Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)…many of the arrested women “were severally assaulted and sexually harassed, with some raped, leaving injuries in the vaginas of some of them…many were psychologically traumatised by the experience…[the raids] targeted and violated young women in the club…No attempts were made to question the club proprietors or arrest the male guests…[but] several female guests in or around the nightclub were also arrested and harassed…young women were brutally dragged out by male officers who beat them, and some women were stripped naked”…

Gingerbread House (#693)

It’s satisfying when the mask of concern for “trafficking victims” slips:

…the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is seeking to open a [jail] for teenage…sex…[workers]…but the…plan…is facing opposition on multiple fronts.  Claire’s House, named after [some politician’s] mother…plans to [lock] up…12 teenage sex [worker]…at a [time]…advocates…say the church’s opposition to contraception and abortion could harm [their] victims.  Meanwhile, neighbors of the [jail] worry that traffickers will bring crime, drugs and guns to their community…

Disaster (#879)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…The important thing to remember about this appeal is that the question before the appeals court isn’t really about the constitutionality of FOSTA itself.  What’s being appealed is the case having been dismissed for lack of standing by the plaintiffs.  The district court never directly ruled on the constitutionality of the law; it only ruled that these plaintiffs had no right to complain about it…the…court [claimed] these plaintiffs weren’t being hurt, or likely to be hurt, by FOSTA, and so it dismissed their case…All the DOJ…has to do to defend FOSTA is say…”These people…will not be hurt by FOSTA, so keep this case dismissed”…but that’s exactly what the amicus brief by the twenty-one state attorney generals does not do…their brief instead reads as a bright flashing neon sign warning the court that there is plenty of reason for them to be worried.  Because…[it] reads as a paean to everything FOSTA is going to let the states do, including to people just like the plaintiffs…

A Broker in Pillage (#904)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

The Institute for Justice filed a class-action lawsuit in Illinois state court alleging that Chicago’s impound program violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…A Reason investigation published last year described how Chicago’s punitive impound program soaks people in fines and fees and deprives them indefinitely of their transportation, whether or not they actually committed an offense, in an effort to reduce its massive annual budget deficits.  It also operates independently from the state’s courts, meaning that even in cases where a defendant beats a criminal charge and/or a civil asset forfeiture case, they can still be found liable for thousands of dollars in fines and storage fees, and have their cars held until they pay or relinquish them to the city…

Disaster (#922)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it [intentionally destroyed by ill-considered censorship] in 201[8]…Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed…that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and…“restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content”…Price is referring to…Tumblr[‘s deeply-stupid]…step of banning porn on its platformresult[ing] in harsh criticism…and a steep decline in web traffic…Pornhub [has] sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

How do you think they “stopped” these guys?  By spying on “known prostitutes” and harassing anyone who visited them, just like in Sweden:

Gardaí said that it carried out [harassment] operations in DMR North, DMR East, DMR South Central, Wexford, Louth and Kildare.  A total of 36 individuals were stopped and [interrogated after being seen visiting known sex workers]…A number of files are now being prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions.  The DPP will then decide if any criminal proceedings should be initiated.  Gardaí said that the operation reinforces their “commitment to target [sex workers and harass them to death]”…

Torture Chamber (#928) 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

On March 25, 2019, Christopher Caldwell…[was made] nearly immobile, shackled to a bucket at Limestone [Cage Stack] in Alabama.  His pant legs were taped up, and his belly, feet and hands were shackled.  Caldwell’s handcuffs were shackled to his belly, preventing him from moving his hands above his waist.  Caldwell had just been transferred…from [another prison]…and had already undergone extensive [initiation tortures]:  several body cavity searches, metal detectors and drug dogs…[then screws locked] him in a [cage], shackled and taped him…[and] told [him that] his restraints would not be removed until he “shat six times” in the bucket…he…was bound to the bucket in a [cage] without running water for five days.  His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.  Another confined individual subjected to the “shitting in a bucket” [torture], Daniel Bolden…said that his memories of eating like a dog (due to constrained hands) are etched into his mind.  Unable to shower, he was forced to lie near and in his own feces and urine…a mother whose son is currently confined at [the same prison]…reported…that she’s been extorted by [screws who]…“stabbed my son…then…call[ed me and]…said things would get worse for him if I didn’t send money”…

Broken Record (#932)

You mean they just made it up?  Say it ain’t so!

[For the last decade, pigs, spooks and politicians] have promoted the [myth] that a rise in sex trafficking rates is correlated with large sporting events.  [Despite repeated debunking] this narrative [is intentionally spread by prohibitionists]…every year around the Super Bowl…Yet [people who actually can do math and understand the difference between their anuses and holes in the ground]…say that there is…[absolutely no] evidence to support the idea that events like the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby are correlated with a rise in sex trafficking rates…even…Polaris…the there’s…no…data to suggest [such] spikes…Such [propaganda campaigns]…put sex workers at increased risk of arrest during anti-sex [worker pogroms justified by these myths about]…large sporting events, says Kristen DiAngelo…of SWOP Sacramento…

Loose Cannons

A judge slaps down pigs & prosecutors for a change:

Florida police failed to exhaust [legal] options and to protect the privacy of non-suspects when secretly recording surveillance video inside Martin County massage parlors.  That’s the verdict of Florida Judge Kathleen Roberts…”at no time was any effort made to stop the monitoring or recording at any point to protect the innocent person who happened to enter an area covered by a camera”…Kraft and other men charged with solicitation have been challenging the use of “sneak and peak” warrants…Workers at these businesses are also suing over the surveillance, as are customers of the spas who simply received regular massage services…State prosecutors [predictably] intend to appeal the ruling…

If you’ve been waiting to watch The War on Whores until it was on Amazon, you need wait no longer; it’s there, and even included with your Prime subscription!  As I explained on Monday, Amazon objected to the word “whores” in the title (despite there being lots of titles containing that very-ordinary word all over their site), but customer service told my producer Paul Johnson that they would not object to the title The War on Sex WorkersSo naturally I just rolled my eyes and let them clutch their pearls, especially because the film isn’t changed in any way; when you play it you’ll still see The War on Whores as the title, so only the display title on Amazon will be bowdlerized, presumably to protect Amazon’s delicate algorithms from sex rays which might cause them to malfunction or something.  Still, I’m glad we’re there; Amazon is very good exposure and presumably the title will pop up on my IMDb page soon (it already appears on Amazon searches with my books).  Now let’s see if iTunes gives us similar issues, given Apple’s legendary prudishness (surpassed only by Facebook).  Of course, the best way to see the film is on a big screen followed by a Q&A session with me; we had several of those last week, and as of right now the next scheduled ones will be in Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg Florida (courtesy of SWOP Behind Bars) on the 21st and 22nd of June (I’ll give you more details as I get them).  I’ll also be screening it at the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in Alexandria, Virginia at 6 pm on August 16th, then elsewhere in the DC area in September at an event for Reason Magazine.  Screenings in New Hampshire and Austin, Texas are also in the works, but they are tentative for now.  One more thing:  please consider helping out by donating to my fundraiser!  So far you’ve made two events possible that would not otherwise have been feasible, not to mention getting us on Amazon and starting the DVD burning process.  The same increasing censorship which forced me to hide the real title of the film has also prohibited me from listing the rewards for donations on the fundraiser itself, so here they are again:

$30 or more – Donor
Permanent inclusion in blog-supporter deals (free stories, etc).

$60 or more – Friend
Autographed DVD of The War on Whores (will be sent when DVDs are delivered to us, probably late spring)

$125 or more – Sponsor
Autographed copies both of my books, plus The War on Whores DVD when it comes out.

$250 or more – Patron
When I’m in your city, I’ll have coffee with you and hand-deliver the Sponsor-level gifts plus an autographed poster!

$500 or more – Angel
When I’m in your city, I’ll have a leisurely dinner with you and hand-deliver all the Patron-level gifts!

$1000 or more – Producer
I will make a special trip to the city of your choice and give a full screening of the movie, with Q&A session, to the group of your choice!  If you have no special group, I’ll give you the Angel package without your having to wait until I reach your city!

Wont you join me in my continuing efforts to spread the word about this important film?  Thank you so very much; I couldn’t have made it this far without your help, and I’ll need more of it before we’re done!

 

Bad Advice

I don’t really like to criticize other high-profile sex workers, but Buzzfeed has given the porn performer Stoya an advice column, and bluntly speaking, a lot of her advice is just plain badI criticized one of her responses before, in a column back in February, but the advice she gave that time wasn’t nearly as bad as the advice in this column from April 30th, which if followed is very likely to destroy the questioner’s marriage. Since most porn performers have done at least some escorting, I presume Stoya isn’t completely ignorant of that type of sex work, so I can’t fathom how she completely missed the bus here.  This is an edited version of the reader’s question:

My wife and I stopped having sex regularly after our kids were born.  It dwindled from almost daily sex to maybe once a month…We…tried therapy, but…she would get angry if I suggested sex and would say she found my sexual “neediness” unattractive.  I love my wife and the last thing I wanted to do was push her, so I stopped trying and decided to take care of my needs through masturbation, but she caught me once and said she found it pathetic.  About a year ago…I tried to open up a discussion about our missing sexual life but was quickly shut down.  “That part of my life is over” was my wife’s response.  She’s 41…One day, I went to a massage parlor…there was something so healing about human touch.  Since then, I’ve been to several…and…I’ve found a few regular spots that are friendly and well-run…The women I see are thoughtful, funny, and empathetic about sex and men’s bodies’ needs…While I still desire my wife, I don’t feel the need to press and annoy her, and I understand that part of her life might be over.  (It’s been six years since we even kissed.)  The thing I fear the most is that the image of my wife, of her body, is being replaced by the images of these other women, with these massage ladies fill a gaping hole in my life.  Should I stop?

And here are the parts of Stoya’s answer which caused me to think “What the fuck?”

…to be on the ethical side of things, you would need to at least float the idea of opening things up with your wife.  Ideally your wife would know about and be OK with—or even approve of—your behavior, but her shaming reaction to finding you masturbating leads me to suspect she’d be very upset, so brace yourself for a less-than-enthused response.  Your wife sounds closed off to communication about sex in general, and I agree a life without sex doesn’t sound healthy for you at least, so you’d likely both benefit from a professional third party to help along any future discussion…

No, no, no, FUCK no.  I have no idea what she was smoking when she wrote that, but it’s a recipe for disaster.  This is a woman who shamed and ridiculed her own husband for masturbating after she unceremoniously cut him off; how could anyone who has lived among adult humans for more than a few months believe that asking such a narcissistic, controlling, authoritarian prude for an open arrangement would result in anything but a catastrophe?  Women who are mature enough to accept “open” relationships do not go around calling their husbands “pathetic”, “unattractive” and “needy” for having a sex drive in their forties.  And asking a selfish, judgy, sexually-immature woman for an open relationship is going to be about as productive as throwing a stick of dynamite into a cesspool.  If she doesn’t immediately demand a divorce (which might very well happen), she’s going to A) subject her husband to more ridicule and abuse; and B) become suspicious and start watching his every move to detect “infidelity”.  If this dude had written me I’d ave given him the same advice I give every husband in a similar situation:  find a discreet sex worker you like and trust, keep your damned mouth shut about the subject, and just be satisfied with whatever aspects of your married life have caused you to stay married to someone who, from where I’m sitting, doesn’t seem to give a shit about you.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

In the current environment, we…have no choice but to suspend service.  –  Massage Republic

The Notorious Badge

Whatever one’s opinion of this show, it’s great that the media is listening to sex workers’ opinions of our media depictions:

The Twitter account for Mistress May…primarily tweets links to positive reviews of the Netflix show Bonding…because Mistress May is a fictional Twitter account created by Netflix to promote the show…unlike [real] sex workers on Twitter, Mistress May is verified…on a website that…partakes in discriminatory behavior against…sex workers [many] are outraged that Twitter would provide a platform for a fictional sex worker from a show that they have argued promotes an inaccurate and outright harmful view of their profession…

The Shape of the Spoon

If the mother doesn’t mind, how is it the state’s place to interfere?

…Jerri [Lee’s] son took an interest in drag when he was “around 3 or 4”…Jerri viewed Jacob’s love of drag as no different from her older son’s desire to play football.  It was harmless, and it didn’t hurt anyone.  Although Jacob performed as “Miss Mae Hem” at local Pride events, no one ever made an issue of it until a Facebook page…picked up a video of him performing…in December…the situation immediately began to be twisted into something it wasn’t.  [Trolls] claimed Jacob was “stripping” and giving audience members “lap dances.”  A Facebook user…made a poster saying the event was part of “Lancaster’s Pedophilia Night.”  Other…trolls…found where she lived and published the family’s address online.  They called several local police departments, children’s services, the sheriff’s office, and even the FBI…children’s services found no probable cause to investigate…[but] in early April…[politician] Tim Schaffer…introduced a bill [in the Ohio House]…to ban…adults from putting on any performance…which [perverts claim]…“appeals to prurient interest”…[naturally prohibitionists] claim it’s intended to curb sex trafficking…

What kind of pervert thinks a child playing dress-up is innately sexual, even if the costume is a cross-dressing one?

Watershed

When teen fashion magazines publish articles like this, prohibition’s days are numbered:

…continued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination.  A systematic review and meta-analysis led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), for instance, has found that sex workers who have experienced “repressive policing” (including arrest, extortion, and violence from police) are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence.  But governments often fail to accept the evidence for the economic and social bases for sex work…They also ignore the wishes of sex workers, who want full decriminalization, as supported by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and the Lancet, as well as human rights organizations like Amnesty International…sex worker rights are women’s rights, health rights, labor rights, and the litmus test for intersectional feminism…

Even the hopelessly-whitebread USA Today is getting there:

Decriminalization of sex work is just the first step in creating a more just world.  Even if all sex work were decriminalized tomorrow, large swaths of the sex working population would still face over-policing.  People of color, African-Americans especially, are routinely targeted by law enforcement for harassment and face disproportionate rates of arrest and violence at the hands of police.  Similarly, transgender individuals are regularly profiled as sex workers or other members of the street economy, and thus treated as criminals from the start…We must move beyond this culture of incarceration and policing…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t ever think rapist cops are limited to the US:

A [typical and representative] garda who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman…has lost an [attempt to reduce his already-low]…two year prison sentence.  The [rapist]…pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the woman at a Mayo hotel, in July 2015…the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gotten into the sleeping woman’s bed and was discovered by her husband with his trousers down.  He initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty at a late stage of his trial…

Repeat Offenders (#704)

Even when it isn’t garment-related, “rescuers” invariably want to push sex workers into some kind of traditional feminine menial labor:

Noel Yeatts…of World Help…[describes well-paid sex work as] misery…and [wants to push]…the Gospel [on them while forcing them into]…a new baking school in Pattaya, one of the centres of Thailand’s booming sex industry…[in her looking glass weltanschauung lucrative, flexible] sex [work is]…keeping girls enslaved and…[low-paid] baking [for some cafe owner is]…freedom…

Welcome To Our World (#758)

Rape victims are increasingly treated like criminals:

Victims of crimes, including those alleging rape, are to be asked to hand their phones over to police – or risk prosecutions not going ahead.  Consent forms asking for permission to [root like pigs through private] information including emails, messages and photographs have been rolled out in England and Wales…police and prosecutors say the forms can plug a gap in the law which says complainants and witnesses cannot be forced to [let the pigs dig through their lives looking for information with which to charge the complainants with crimes rather than actually having to investigate the crimes they reported]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#788) 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

A nationally renowned drug rehab program in Texas and Louisiana has sent patients struggling with addiction to work for free for some of the biggest companies in America, likely in violation of federal labor law.  The Cenikor Foundation has dispatched tens of thousands of patients to work without pay at more than 300 for-profit companies over the years.  In the name of rehabilitation, patients have moved boxes in a sweltering warehouse for Walmart, built an oil platform for Shell and worked at an Exxon refinery along the Mississippi River…Cenikor…[pretends]…work helps people recover from addiction…participants have to do is surrender their pay to cover the costs of the two-year program.  But the constant work leaves little time for counseling or treatment, transforming the rehab into little more than a cheap and expendable labor pool…At some job sites, participants lacked proper supervision, safety equipment and training, leading to routine injuries…Labor experts say Cenikor’s entire business model might be illegal under federal labor law…

Disaster (#831)

When even a government propaganda outlet criticizes a law, you know it’s bad:

A popular sex classified website said…that it was shutting down its services in the United States, citing the likelihood that legal challenges would fail to overturn a…federal [censorship] law…passed by Congress a year ago.  The decision by MassageRepublic.com marks the latest indication that…FOSTA-SESTA…has made it difficult for websites selling [classified ads] to survive…

Checklist (#854)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

[Alabama politicians] considered four [anti-sex] bills…Two…would require health care workers and new commercial drivers to go through [anti-whore] training…The third…allow[s pigs] to publish pictures of those [caught in stings]. The goal is to [imitate other states who have similar laws, in “monke see, monkey do” fashion]…The last…increases the penalties for certain buildings that don’t have [magic anti-whore] posters…

Worse Than I Thought (#869)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

McAllen [Texas] police have arrested the manager of a local motel…on a charge of continuous human trafficking…Lucila Saucedo [was arrested]…on a charge of promoting prostitution…[for charging sex workers an hourly room rate]…The human trafficking charge against Saucedo is a first-degree felony and carries a penalty of at least 25 years in prison…

O, Canada! (#918)

Canadian cops continue to try to sell their grotesque sex worker intimidation tactics as “helping” them:

…sex workers across Ontario have described aggressive surveillance and abuse at the hands of [cops, bureaucrats] and [spooks]…massage parlour…work[ers are]…confronted by pervasive surveillance, harassment and abuse from [cops]…under the pretence of “human trafficking” investigations…these unwanted visits are driven by moral panic rather than evidence…Encouraged by the conflation of sex work and human trafficking, [cops] are increasingly invading sex workers’ spaces under the guise of protection and “rescue”.  But their “protection” is unwanted, misdirected and outright harmful…sex workers interviewed [by journalists] universally describe…abuse including assault, intimidation, harassment, threats, retaliation, extortion, unwarranted searches and seizures, and arbitrary or disproportionate application of the law…

Rough Trade (#923)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A man who removed his condom during…sex with a prostitute has been jailed for 12 years for raping her.  Lee Hogben…ignored his…victim’s repeated objections and carried on [raping]…her…Hogben denied the charge of rape but was found guilty following a trial.  After being [sentenced] Hogben threatened to shoot the…judge…Hogben [had also] threatened [the escort] with violence…and…left without paying…her…

Worse Than I Thought (#925)

Florida prohibitionists are doubling down on their awful anti-whore laws:

…[prohibitionists fantasize that] “If human trafficking was to discontinue…motel owners…would be out of business”…[politicians] must also resolve their differences over…a database of people found guilty of  “soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring” another to commit “prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.”  The loose definition [ensures that] sex workers…[will] be [included] in the [registry], but [politician] Fitzenhagen [doesn’t give a shit because]…“I think it’s a disgrace that sex workers are coming before the House and Senate, saying you are going to make me scared of the police, reduce my income and hurt my family if I get arrested,” she said. Well, guess what, prostitution is illegal”…

“I think it’s a disgrace that Negroes are coming before the House and Senate, saying they are scared of the police” –  Heather Fitzenhagen, 1959