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Posts Tagged ‘A Load of Farley’

Sensationalist buzzwords…put women’s lives at risk.  –  Dulcie Lee

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

In 1917, as World War I raged across the Atlantic, American government officials launched a program aimed at protecting newly-arrived army recruits from acquiring sexually-transmitted infections…police and health officers gained the power to arrest and perform crude physical examinations on anyone (though the people they arrested were almost always women) they “reasonably suspected” of carrying an STI…if a woman was found to be sick, she was sent to a “detention hospital” (or to jail) until she was deemed cured or “reformed”.  Some of those who tested negative for disease were incarcerated anyway, because their alleged promiscuity was deemed a threat to soldiers’ moral hygiene…Sex workers were the prime targets, but so was any woman deemed “suspicious”—which at that time could mean anything from being seen in the company of a soldier to eating alone in a restaurant…Any woman, at any time, could legally be arrested, sexually assaulted, and hauled off to jail with no trial, no lawyer, and no idea when she’d be released.  Those who were imprisoned in detention hospitals were subjected to involuntary medical examinations, inhumane living conditions, and…continuous doses of mercury and arsenic, toxic chemicals which poisoned these women’s bodies while doing absolutely nothing to cure their ills…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

Nearly 300,000 youth in the U.S. are at risk of being sexually exploited…“Human trafficking is an issue anywhere with a freeway and motels,” said Santa Maria Police Lt. Paul Van Meel…“sex trafficking is second only to gun trafficking and drug trafficking, but guns and drugs are one-time sales.  A woman can be sold over and over again. There are young girls having to service 30 or 35 men a day. It’s just horrific,” said Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino.  California is one of the top four human trafficking destinations in the country…the Central Coast has been identified as a natural transit corridor for trafficking activity between Los Angeles and San Francisco…Yleana Velasco, victim advocate with the County of Santa Barbara…[said] “Within 48 hours of a youth running away, a trafficker will approach them”…then romance them into the trafficking lifestyle…There is apparently no lower age limit for child sexual exploitation. Van Meel said…he’s seen children as young as 8…

LOL at “trafficking lifestyle”, another silly construction like “sex trafficking world” or “sex trafficking trade”.  Have these people been hiding under rocks?  I haven’t seen some of these claims in years; maybe they didn’t get their copy of the updated 2018 propaganda manual?

Counterfeit Comfort

Another fruit of the poisonous lie that “sex offender” registration isn’t punishment:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously ruled that defendants need not be informed that pleading guilty to certain sex crimes will subject them to lifetime GPS monitoring because that requirement is not a punishment.  In reaching that conclusion, the court relied on a widely cited but fictitious recidivism estimate as well as the familiar but dubious assumption that a state’s asserted interest in promoting public safety justifies the burdens and restrictions it imposes on sex offenders long after they have completed their sentences.  Under  Wisconsin law, people convicted of serious sex offenses involving minors are required to wear GPS transmitters on their ankles for the rest of their lives unless they leave the state, become permanently incapacitated, or successfully petition a court for relief after 20 years. The Department of Corrections reviews tracking data every night and receives alerts whenever an offender leaves an “inclusion area,” enters an “exclusion area,” or tampers with his GPS device. Malfunctions and signal loss that cause erroneous alerts can lead to arrest, jail, and loss of employment…GPS tracking conspicuously marks anyone who wears it as someone to be shunned, feared, despised, and perhaps worse…

Broken Record 

Low-population areas come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

…the…South Carolina…rape crisis center says the target age for sex trafficking is 12 to 14 years old…[fantasist] Ashely Hoshihara Cruz [claims]…according to a study done by Carnegie Mellon University [with its crystal ball], the problem will spike during Memorial Day weekend.  “The super bowl used to be the single most sporting even that had the most sex trafficking, but Myrtle Beach bike week has far surpassed that.  How many kids sneak out during these events trying…to see the bikes and hang out and party they’re easy targets”…

Stand back, World Cup!  Step aside, Super Bowl!  Make way, Olympics!  The new “sex trafficking” Mecca is Myrtle Beach Bike Week!

Dirty Laundry

The “Good Shepherd Sisters” were one of the two orders behind Ireland’s horrific Magdalene laundries, now doing business as the anti-sex work gang Ruhama:

Good Shepherd Sister Winifred Doherty, who is her religious congregation’s representative to the United Nations, observed that sex trafficking, “a debasement of the human person,” is “rooted in the structure of society, and more so today.”  The “social acceptance of the prostitution of women and girls” includes the benign label of sex worker.  “Prostitution is neither sex nor work,” Sister Doherty told the inaugural Shine the Light conference at the U.S. Capitol May 15…

A woman who has never had sex and never had to support herself with work has the nerve to lecture others about what sex and work are.  Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

A Load of Farley (#570)

Farley’s going to keep hawking this same snake oil until she croaks:

Prostitution is harmful to the women in Nevada’s legal brothels.  It is also harmful to Nevada’s communities.  It’s time to end legal prostitution in Nevada…In order to better [bullshit people about] the impact of Nevada legal prostitution on college-aged men and on the community, University of Nevada, Reno Professor Mary Stewart, Kyle Smith and I did some research on UNR students’ attitudes toward prostitution, women and rape.  We asked students at other U.S. universities the same questions and then compared them.  We found out that more often than other U.S. students, the Reno students were active sex trade consumers.  They went to strip clubs more often, and they went to both legal and illegal brothels more often…In contrast to students from other parts of the United States where prostitution is illegal, the UNR students were more accepting of sexual violence against not just women in prostitution but against non-prostituting women as well…

Yes, Farley says cops raping whores is OK because criminalization “sends a message” that sex is bad.

The Course of a Disease (#637) 

Swedish model fanatics just won’t stop trying to impose their filth on the UK:

…a self-appointed group of MPs, that got together for the sole purpose of lobbying for the criminalisation of sex workers’ clients, conduct Inquiry and recommend the criminalisation of clients!  No surprise there then…In Ireland, reported incidences of violent crime against sex workers have risen by almost 50%…In France, a two-year evaluation of the law…found 42% of sex workers are more exposed to violence and 38% have found it increasingly hard to demand use of condom.  In Norway…despite claims that sex workers have been decriminalised, forced evictions, prosecutions and increased stigma are prevalent with migrant workers particularly targeted…As for Sweden, the poster child for laws criminalising clients: 63% of sex workers said the law has created more prejudice…plus, there is “no convincing empirical evidence that the law has resulted in a decline in sex work in Sweden, which was the law’s principal ambition”…

To Molest and Rape 

What kind of “friend” rapes your daughter while staying at your house?  Oh, right, cop “friends”:

A Los Angeles [cop] was charged…with sexually assaulting a teen girl while he was staying at her parents’ house in Torrance…Kenneth Collard, 51, faces three counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of sexual penetration by foreign object…Collard is friends with the 13-year-old girl’s parents…the victim is the daughter of another LAPD [cop]…Collard wound up staying with his coworker after friends told him not to drive back to his home in Riverside at the end of an evening of [getting drunk]…He then…entered the victim’s bedroom in the middle of the night that night…and sexually assaulted her…

Cooties (#811)

It looks like at least some UK reporters are realizing that so-called “pop-up brothels” are just ordinary, mundane escort touring incalls rather than the tools of “sex trafficking” from cop wanking fantasies:

Hundreds of pop-up brothels are springing up across the country…Crimestoppers have launched a campaign to try and stem their supposedly indomitable rise…Local papers are running stories on how to tell if a pop-up brothel has been set up on your street.  The rate at which this latest buzzword has taken over discussions of the sex industry has left little time to dissect what it actually means.  In reality, the phrase is useless at best, and dangerous at worst.  A brothel is any premises that is used by more than one person for the purposes of prostitution…Pop up, it turns out, is just another word for temporary…So pop-up brothels are literally just temporary brothels.  And as the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) admitted last year, there is desperately little data on the phenomenon, so generalisations about the nature of pop-up brothels and the people who work in them are mere speculation…

Business As Usual (#824)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

…a third of…sex workers who say they have been raped or sexually assaulted by police, according to a new report by Sonke Gender Justice and Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce  (SWEAT).  Sex workers also frequently reported that they experienced other forms of violence and even torture at the hands of police including being beaten with sjamboks or the butts of guns as well as being tasered…Almost six out of every 10 surveyed workers had been arrested an average of four times, most of whom paid a fine before being released.  But many workers allege their arrests were unlawful or occurred while they were off duty, for instance while out shopping, visiting friends or sitting by the side of the road…

Spotlight (#828) 

Like a who’s who of delusional busybodies:

In 2009, Ashton Kutcher co-founded what would later become Thorn, a non-profit dedicated to [exploiting a moral panic]…to [win publicity for a has-been actor]…Cindy McCain, a leading voice in the [anti-human rights movement]…speaks with Kutcher about Thorn’s progress and what remains to be done to [suppress consensual sex]…The discussion is introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota

Disaster (#832)

If this is the best the prohibitionists can do, FOSTA won’t last very long:

a condescending and infuriating essay on The Hill…attacked the work of those on the ground scrambling for survival in the wake of this disastrous legislation, questioned opponents’ status as survivors and attempted to muddy the waters around our on the ground impact research and reporting…”rather than trying to meaningfully understand the legal impact of SESTA/FOSTA, self-proclaimed ‘sex worker advocates’ have used the flurry of misinformation to their advantage, perpetuating a false narrative about the law’s supposed effects…”  Why is sex worker advocates in quotes?  Why mention they’re “self-proclaimed”…Instead of addressing the actual impact they say we’re not “meaningfully understanding”…they just condescendingly paste the text of the bill…[which] is not really about sex trafficking…this bill doesn’t say anything about [force or coercion]…It just says “promote or facilitate [prostitution]”.  What does that mean?  No one knows!  Which is why sites that deal with sexual education and even personal non-commercial dating have been hit…

Bottleneck (#844) 

I’m pretty damned sick of politicians representing their schemes to ruin sex workers’ lives as attempts to “help” us:

[Michigan] State Rep. Leslie Love…[is] the lead sponsor of a package of bills that would license and regulate adult entertainment businesses and their employees and dancers…The bills would establish licenses, fees and regulations for strip clubs, managers, employees and dancers; set guidelines for design requirements in the clubs…set the age limit for dancers at 21 and older, and require that posters [misrepresenting sex work as] human trafficking are placed in the locker rooms of the businesses…

Regular readers are already aware of what a terrible idea stripper licensing is, and this adds several paternalistic “regulations” on top of that.

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Registration is a pretext to persecution.  –  Matthias Lehmann

Check Your Premises

Res ipsa loquitur:  “Police officers in central Florida say they’ve rescued eight women from a prostitution trafficking ring…the eight women were charged with various sex crimes…

Legal Is as Legal Does

As is typical for outsiders, this reporter just doesn’t get it:

In Hong Kong, as in England and Wales, the buying and selling of sex is not illegal, but brothel keeping, organising prostitution, living off the earnings of prostitution and soliciting in a public place all are…The police have certainly focused more on human trafficking and the evils of the sex trade…sex workers from elsewhere…must expect strict enforcement action, there will often be cases when they can be given an immunity from prosecution in return for testifying against their pimps and traffickers, who, after all, are the real villains…By and large, Hong Kong’s approach to sex work is aligned with Amnesty International’s policy…

His “realistic” legalization in Hong Kong is not “aligned” in any way with decriminalization, and still allows cops to harass sex workers at will.Vanity Fair February 1994

The More the Better

Here’s an interesting listicle of 7 famous people who did sex work in their youths; it includes Maya Angelou, Roseanne Barr, Rupert Everett, Kathleen Hanna, Amanda Palmer, Dee Dee Ramone and Malcolm X.  Hanna & Palmer were strippers, but the other five were all prostitutes; it’s a damned shame that Barr has turned prohibitionist in the last few years, but Everett did exactly the opposite.

A Whore in Church 

The internet allows extreme specialization:

…Sprinkling one’s erotica with its fair share of Yiddish and Hebrew takes a fair bit of ingenuity and chutzpah—especially when the person behind the sexy prose is not only an Orthodox Jewish woman but one committed to following halacha, a collection of Jewish religious laws…But Shosha Pearl (not her real name) has been writing specifically frum (a term to describe religiously observant Jews) erotica since 2012—and has never found it in conflict with being an Orthodox Jew…

Broken Record 

Much of the “sex trafficking” hysteria has descended into self-parody:

Not everything is fun and games with the start of the Kern County Fair.  Advocates against human trafficking say, during this time there an increase in prostitution and soliciting…the big annual event draws in traffickers and customers…

King of the Hill

Every so often, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain skitters out of her nest in Arizona to vomit poison on some other state:

This scourge is especially evident in Ohio…one of the worst regions in the U.S. for sex trafficking…1,000 juveniles are forced into the sex trade each year in Ohio…There is no such thing as a child prostitute.  We must call child sex trafficking what it really is: rape…The charges for the buyers of child sex should be statutory rape, child endangerment, or sexual assault of a minor – charges that “johns” are now rarely arrested for…

And you know why?  Because “child” prostitution is actually quite rare.  Only about 3.5% of sex workers are under 18, and the great majority of that already-small segment are either 16 or 17.

An Example To the West (#133)

But not, unfortunately, despite the orders of Seoul’s masters in Washington:

…A…rally and march, marking the 11th anniversary of Korea’s anti-prostitution statute, was organized by the Hanteo National Union, which represents some 15,000 sex workers and business people in red-light districts.  Sehee Jang…said that her group…“focuses on abolishing the prostitution ban”…When South Korea made prostitution a punishable offense in 2004, the decision reversed many decades of de facto (if unreliable) decriminalization…Now, according to Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, “prevention, protection and prosecution” are the correct approach to prostitution, despite contrary recommendations from public health experts and human rights groups…

Traffic Jam (#318)

How many moronic prohibitionist plays can the market bear?

…Part social commentary, part experiment, The Game will enlist the help of five male volunteers for each night of its run.  The men in question have no idea what they will be asked to do by the play’s cast members…what the volunteers can expect is to re-enact scenarios that have come directly from the experiences of Irish sex workers.  [Grace] Dyas’s objective, she says, is to give the audience pause to consider their own views on sex work in Ireland, for better or worse…”The men are here to redress misogyny and give a voice to these women’s stories”…Dyas and her cast have spent weeks immersed in both sides of the story…she says…“Maybe you have to legislate to protect the most vulnerable people, and maybe the right to sell sex is trumped, ultimately, by the right not to sell sex”…

The phrase “both sides” is prohibitionist code for “Swedish model”.

A Procrustean Bed (#339)

Another jurisdiction officially classifies women as passive objects without agency:

Indianapolis…plans to create a prostitution court…police will still arrest the men and women who engage in prostitution…[bureaucrat] Julie Fidler [said]…”They need mental health counseling…if we are ever to get them out of the life”…”People think it’s just about punishment,” said Sgt. John Daggy…Experts say more than 70 percent of women who engage in prostitution have been sexually molested as children…

Every time his name comes up, I remind readers that one of Daggy’s jobs is to make excuses for cops who rape sex workers.

A Procrustean Bed (#502)

Michelle Chen takes another look at the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

Jenna Torres was about to start college on the day she was arrested for prostitution.  Then she became a criminal…a lawyer…urged her to plead guilty and participate in the city’s Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC) system…“I never agreed to the things they charged me of, but they arrested me anyway.”  And she agreed to cop a plea and attend court-mandated “treatment” sessions in exchange for having the charges dismissed.  But the criminal procedure cost her more than she imagined.  After cycling through holdings, which left her hospitalized with a urinary-tract infection that Torres attributes to the unsanitary facilities, she wended her way through a few weeks of mandatory counseling sessions…[classes were]…made nearly impossible by her court intervention.  She scrambled between court dates and counseling sessions…By the time she “graduated” from the program, she had dropped school…the city’s scheme to divert sex workers from the criminal-justice system has often further criminalized them, by treating all people arrested for prostitution as one-dimensional victims—presuming that they are undeserving or incapable of asserting power or self-determination over their labor or their bodies…red umbrella ball

Sex Work is Work (#507)

It looks like Huffington Post is slowly turning away from prohibitionism as the wind changes direction; here’s a recent article by Katherine Koster of SWOP offering “a few tips to the media about how to ethically report on sex work“.  The list includes “Stop publishing the mugshots, full names and addresses of people arrested for prostitution”, “Check your source’s stats and research”, “Ask questions, especially about race, class and collateral damage”, “Use multiple sources, and don’t omit relevant information and/or counterpoints”, “Quote people involved in the sex trade, and publish letters and op-eds by current and former sex workers”, and “Stop mis-gendering sex workers, and stop relying on racist and sexist stereotypes”.

Marching Up Their Own Arses (#537)

Three of the five sex workers who publicly alleged that A&E reality series 8 Minutes lied to them filed a lawsuit against the network and Relativity Media…The show purported to help sex workers leave “the life,” but…the show never delivered on its promises, which they said included assistance with employment, housing, and medical needs…Kamylla, Gina, and Jazzy claim breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  In addition, Gina and Jazzy claim invasion of privacy; although she was filmed for the series, no episode with Kamylla was ever broadcast…

A Load of Farley (#570)

Mark Draughn wonders what it would matter if Farley’s latest nonsense claims were true:

…The moral and ethical aspects of specific actions should not be confused with the general moral and ethical tendencies of the individuals who perform them…A bad person doing good things doesn’t make the good things bad…asking whether clients of prostitutes have good attitudes toward women is missing the point.  Prostitution is labor if the women get paid and choose to do it of their own free will, it’s abuse if the women get abused, and if the women are forced into it, it’s rape and human trafficking.  We don’t need to do social surveys to get this right. What we need to do is make sure that sex workers are free to choose, and then we need to trust that they will make the best choices about who they accept as clients.

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I have never met anybody who says there will be a day when no one is selling sexual services for money. You will never stop it.  –  Jean Urquhart

Think of the Children! 

No doubt the child was contaminated with sex rays!

A Scottsdale, Arizona private school kicked out a five-year-old boy the day before starting kindergarten…because his dad once worked in porn.  Jay Grdina is now a millionaire CEO of Dolce Bevuto…But before moving into the “lifestyle beverage” industry, Grdina ran the website ClubJenna.com with ex-wife Jenna Jameson…Grdina no longer works in the adult industry, and he also remarried (model Erin Naas) and had two children. Grdina told TMZ that the family enrolled their son Jayden at Scottsdale Christian Academy (SCA) in May after a six-month process of applications and interviews…

Enabling Oppression

I’m glad more people are seeing how loathsome it is for prohibitionists to link sex work to historical American black slavery:

For anti-prostitution campaigns pushing for the criminalization of the sex industry, “slavery” has been decontextualized from Black struggle and repurposed to describe [sex work]…Mobilizing slavery in this way has always seemed a deeply disrespectful appropriation of Black suffering, disrespectful both to our deceased ancestors and to our still-endangered lives as Black folks.  But by hijacking the terminology of slavery, even widely referring to themselves as “abolitionists”, anti-sex work campaigners have not only (successfully) campaigned for funding and legal reform; but they do so without any tangible connections to historical or current Black political movements against state violence.  Indeed in pushing for criminalization, they are often undermining those most harmed by the legacy of slavery…

End Demand

I’m rather glad to see the return of “criminal whore” rhetoric:

…Fall River…stings were sporadic and usually only targeted the would-be customers.  “That’s the wrong approach,” Fall River Police Chief Daniel S. Racine said…undercover [pigs] are now frequently, almost on a weekly basis, driving unmarked vehicles while patrolling areas known for prostitution activity…looking for both the street prostitutes and the johns, and arresting them.  “We’re looking to deter prostitution on both ends, the supply and the demand,” said Racine, who acknowledged that the police department will not completely eliminate what is often called the world’s oldest profession…[a clueless business owner] said…“A lot of the customers are from out of town, and I don’t want to give them that image of Fall River, as if that’s the type of neighborhoods we have, because it’s not”…

In other words, he wants “that type” of neighborhood “cleaned up” so as to prove it never existed.

Pearls Firmly Clutched Fast Girl

Her escorting was “caused” by being bipolar?  Really, Suzy?

…Suzy Favor Hamilton…was a three-time track and field Olympian who had been featured in magazines and who also had a loving family – so fans were shocked in 2012 when she was outed as a high-end escort in Las Vegas.  In her new memoir, Fast Girl, Hamilton says that her bipolar disorder, which had not yet been diagnosed, caused her shocking behavior.  “My bipolar was driven toward sex.  It could have been driven towards drugs and alcohol, or gambling.  I found sex was the biggest high to fuel my mania, which is common with bipolar people,” Hamilton tells People

Catastrophic Consequences (#407)

Jean Urquhart, MSP moves beyond merely “calling for debate”:

Sex workers and charities across Scotland are rallying behind an MSP’s proposal to decriminalise prostitution in the country…HIV Scotland and NUS Scotland have championed the MSP’s consultation, as has Scot-Pep, the sex worker-led charity that advocates for the safety, rights and health of people who sell sex in Scotland…The proposed bill would permit sex workers to work in groups of up to four…laws against soliciting and kerb-crawling would be scrapped…Sex workers would also be permitted to have joint finances with family members or flatmates…

Above the Law (#418)

The French just love these massive DNA fishing expeditions:

…as part of a probe into the rape of a Canadian tourist at police headquarters in Paris…all 120 police officers and civilian staff who were present in the building on the night the rape took place…are being tested over three days…Investigators are trying to find a match for a so far unidentified DNA sample taken from sperm found during the victim’s medical examination…

Last time it was even worse.

Now They Notice

The [Rentboy] crackdown may have felt unprecedented to some, but it’s the public’s response that’s new.  When law enforcement targets sex workers and the websites they use, mainstream outlets and organizations tend to give them a pass.  But with Rentboy, that script has flipped…media and advocacy groups who don’t typically bring a political analysis to sex work responded to the raid primarily as an anti-gay attack, while also calling for an end to the policing of sex workers.  Some American LGBTQ organizations in particular have rallied around the political nature of the raid—in a way women’s rights groups in the United States, when women sex workers are targeted in similar raids, have not.  In fact, it might be the relative silence of women’s rights groups on the Rentboy raid that has provided space for sex workers’ rights to become the main focus of the story…

Ashley Madison (#567) Asley Madison bot tool

It seems I wasn’t the only one who had Ashley Madison pegged as a scam years ago:

…Ashley Madison created tens of thousands of fembots to lure men into paying for credits…To the Ashley Madison “guest,” or non-paying member, it would appear that he was being personally contacted by eager women.  But if he wanted to read or respond to them, he would have to shell out for a package of Ashley Madison credits, which range in price from $60 to $290.  Each subsequent message and chat cost the man credits.  As documents from company e-mails now reveal, 80 percent of first purchases on Ashley Madison were a result of a man trying to contact a bot, or reading a message from one…company executives were in a constant battle to hide the truth.  In emails to disgruntled members of the site, and even the California attorney general, they shaded the truth about how the bots fit into their business plan…

Now They Notice (#567)

Why the fuck are some gay dudes so totally fucking clueless, and announce their ignorance so loudly?

The Rentboy raid sparked a conversation among LGBT organizations who noted that similar, heterosexual-geared sites advertising escort services did not meet similar fates…Sasanka Jinadasa…[of] HIPS, Inc…[says] “Targeting sex work is an indirect way of targeting the LGBT community without calling it outright discrimination”…Becky believes regulating the sex industry…would provide more protection…[Nick] Kinkand…[bloviated] “A lot of people’s biggest complaint about sex work is the fact that there are these women or children that are being trafficked into the country to do this…If it were to become legal, it would reduce that, because…instead of going to…the street corner where these people…have diseases or something, I can go to a reputable place and see a reputable person”…

The most astonishingly-stupid statement in all that astonishing stupidity is the idea that straight escort sites aren’t targeted by cops.

A Load of Farley (#570)

Hilary Hanson of Huffington Post is beginning to distinguish herself as an ally:

Men who pay for sex may be more inclined to sexual violence and have less empathy for women, according a study that made headlines last week.  But…the study’s lead researcher was Melissa Farley, founder and director of…a nonprofit with the stated goal of abolishing prostitution.  The research was funded by a grant from Hunt Alternatives, a private organization with the stated goal of “combating the demand for purchased sex”…

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It’s basically a vice-squad operation writ large over the entire nation and imbued with overstated moral urgency.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

R.I.P. Candida Royalle Candida Royalle

Former porn star Candida Royalle, regarded as a pioneer for her work in front of and behind the camera, has died after battling ovarian cancer.  She was 64.  The actress — whose [legal] name [was] Candice Vadala — performed in more than two dozen adult films, but was best known for her work as a director… “Everyone assumes I was probably given a hard time by the adult film biz but they always treated me fairly, even if they at first doubted me,” she explained on her website.  “They’ve come to respect that I was the first one with vision and recognition of what would become the ‘couples’ market”…

A Load of Farley

Farley’s going to keep hawking this same snake oil until she croaks:

Last week, research making the media rounds declared that men who pay for sex are more sexually aggressive, pathologically masculine, and likely to commit sexual assault than other men…this study—led by noted anti-sex work activist Melissa Farley and funded by a group which aims to “eliminate” prostitution—comes with a host of important caveats before taking too seriously its purported conclusions…all participants live in Boston…The kind of people likely to be trolling newspapers and Craigslist for gigs and to be enticed to talk about their sex lives for cash may also differ in significant ways from the general male population…The claim that men who pay for sex are more likely to commit sexual violence is based not on their criminal pasts but on their answers to a number of personality questions and hypotheticals…on a 34-item questionnaire…it’s a stretch to say they’re “more likely to commit rape” and not at all the same as saying they have “a dark history of violence against women”…Farley has a long history of publishing research that casts prostitution in a negative light, frequently speaks about prostitution’s perceived ills, and has run an anti-prostitution advocacy group…for the better part of the past two decades. Its goal is “to abolish the institution of prostitution.”  The research was funded by a group with a mission to eliminate “men’s assumption of the right to prostitution” [and]…study authors thanked famous anti-pornography activist Catherine MacKinnon for her “invaluable” and “critical feedback regarding the summary and interpretation of these findings.”  In promoting this study, Farley casually calls strip clubs hubs of child sex trafficking and says things like, “We hope this research will lead to a rejection of the myth that sex buyers are simply sexually frustrated nice guys”…

Monkey Business

They’re on their way

In April, a chimp in The Netherlands took down a drone being used to film the Burgers’ Zoo…researchers now say the video shows that the chimp planned out its actions in advance.  The drone had already flown by in a practice run, at which time it caught the attention of several chimps in the enclosure…And when it came back, they were ready:  Two females sat where the drone was going to hover, holding long twigs…their faces show exertion, but not fear — indicating that they were acting deliberately, and not flailing around in terror at the foreign object…

Sold Out 

The modern LGBT rights movement has been veering toward conservatism for some time, evidenced by its primary and overarching mission to finally achieve Marriage Equality…a civil rights movement which once championed our right to sexual liberation and a declaration of our right to be “different”…essentially withered into a call for assimilation…Promiscuity, probably the most common of vilified behaviors, is regularly regarded not as an individual’s command of their own sexual agency but instead an expression of their lack of self respect or sense of self worth, as something pitiable and damning.  Likewise sex work…is a shameful and exploitative act…blanket generalizations of “right” and “wrong” rule the discourse…

The Missing Word

I know I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find it:

A Pennsylvania judge convicted of sending young kids to juvenile detention centers in return for cash has been sentenced to 28 years in prison…Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking up to $1 million in bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers in…Pennsylvania.  The disgraced judge became known for doling out harsh sentences for small, petty crimes in order to receive payment for each kid sent…

Crying for Nanny (#539)

“Induce sex trafficking”? That’s some serious bullshit there:

…Washington’s Supreme Court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against [Backpage] by three minors who say they were raped by adults who responded to ads on the site.  The ruling is at odds with other decisions that have held Backpage, Craigslist and other sites are immune from civil lawsuits based on crimes by users…Backpage asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed at an early stage, arguing that the federal Communications Decency Act immunizes Web services companies from liability for acts by users.  But the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act doesn’t protect Web sites that “develop” objectionable content, as opposed to sites that merely “host” the content…”It is important to ascertain whether in fact Backpage designed its posting rules to induce sex trafficking,” Judge Steven Charles Gonzalez wrote for the majority…

Shifting the Blame (#553)

Nobody ever sold sex before Backpage!

…Backpage.com…now turns up in countless police reports…sex workers and those who exploit them for profit increasingly turn to the Internet to facilitate their activity…Research suggests many sex workers enter the trade as teenagers…and more than one third have had abusive or violent clients…The danger inherent in the trade was highlighted on July 2 when…34-year-old…Sanisha Johnson was…robbed and murdered by two Massachusetts men who arranged to meet her on Backpage…

Ashley Madison (#557) escorts-ca

Surprising no one:

Avid Life Media, the…parent company of…Ashley Madison, secretly operated an online escort service, recently leaked documents reveal.  The company was allegedly actively recruiting escorts for a separate “dating” website that was aimed at “sugar daddies”…escorts.ca…is similar to other online directories for escort services which have triggered anti-prostitution raids by US law enforcement authorities.  The website was reportedly leased though a shell company called Pernimus Limited…

Amnesty At Last

Kari Lerum on the Amnesty declaration:

…While celebrities typically capture more attention than scientists, Amnesty listened to the latter.  After two years of consulting with global health and human rights researchers as well as sex workers and victims of human trafficking, the largest and arguably most respected human rights organization in the world made its game-changing declaration.  Amnesty International will now develop policy on nation-states’ ethical obligation to decriminalize sex work…Immediately following the vote, CATW issued a press release declaring that Amnesty International…“deliberately excluded the voices and expertise of survivor-leaders and women’s rights organizations”…given the rigorous and prestigious research cited by Amnesty, in combination with a dearth of medical and academic researchers affiliated with either CATW’s board of directors or petition, this particular accusation may ring hollow…

Vendetta (#569)

The differences between the way this is covered by badge-lickers:

A coalition of dozens of law enforcement agencies arrested more than 1,000 pimps and sex buyers in a summer-long series of prostitution stings…known as the National Johns Suppression Initiative…A total of 39 law enforcement agencies across 18 states arrested 961 men trying to buy sex and 71 pimps or traffickers…Sheriff [Tom] Dart [said]…“These women and girls have been brutalized and exploited – and the most effective way to deter these heinous crimes is to target the demand.”  The Cook County Sheriff’s office has repeatedly attacked Backpage.com as a haven for pimps and traffickers…occasionally, officers encountered children while carrying out the stings…

…and the way it’s covered by rational people is both striking and instructive:

Every summer, police and prosecutors from around the country come together…to saddle men with criminal records for attempted sex…the months-long effort…turned up fewer than 75 individuals suspected of anything tangentially related to sex trafficking (including “pimping”, pandering or “promoting prostitution”).  But police were able to arrest nearly 1,000 men who indicated they might like to pay adult women for sex, along with an untold number of sex workers themselves…This summer’s Johns Initiative will net law enforcement a minimum of $189,170 in fines for the solicitation arrests alone…Dart claims they uncovered 308 sex-trafficking victims, including 258 adults and 50 minors.  But it’s hard to say what this really means, since all minors engaged in sex work are labeled de facto victims by police…and many police departments have started classifying sex workers of any age as trafficking victims—at least for public-relations purposes.  After the press releases come out, however, these adult and teen sex workers are all-too-often arrested if they refuse to cooperate with cops, and sometimes even if they do.  Pittsburgh’s Detective Ryczaj said arresting sex workers is “the kindest thing you can do for them,” because he thinks they’re mostly homeless, drug addicts, or mentally ill…

Little Boxes (#569)

A 46-year-old…from Charleston, South Carolina was arrested…after allegedly assaulting two women who pose painted and topless for tips in Times Square…Mark Walters took a picture with…20-year-old [Lourdes Carrasquillo]…then “became irate,” and “dragged” the woman to the ground by her hair. When…32-year-old [Maria Ruiz] attempted to break up the “fight,” Walters allegedly hit her in the right ear…Walters accused Carrasquillo of stealing his wallet before assaulting her, although cops have found no evidence to support this claim…in an unrelated incident, undercover officers arrested a desnuda [named Destiny Romero] after she allegedly agreed to perform oral sex on an undercover officer for money…

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I don’t want to teach ESL.  I don’t want to work in food service.  I would rather sell sex.  –  Melissa Petro

Joshua JensenLicense To Rape

A woman…coerced into oral sex by [a] Beaverton [Oregon] police officer in 2010 accepted a settlement in her lawsuit…[Joshua] Jensen pleaded guilty to…official misconduct and coercion charges…[stemming] from two incidents…in which [he] arranged to meet a prostitute…and…[showed] up in uniform, in a marked police car.  Both women [said] he ordered them behind a garbage container.  The woman who sued him said he grabbed her head, forced it down and demanded that she perform oral sex…Jensen was not charged with a sex crime and did not have to register as a sex offender.  He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison…[but] completed his sentence in November 2011 through an Alternative Incarceration Program.

Other rapists get lifetime sentences on the “sex offender” registry; Jensen got a slap on the wrist.

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Another example of what real sex slavery looks like:

A Chinese court sentenced [Li Hao, 35] to death for holding six women as sex slaves…and killing two of them…the former local government employee kidnapped six nightclub and karaoke bar workers and repeatedly raped them in a self-built dungeon.  Two of the six were found dead when a 23-year-old woman escaped and led police to the basement.  Li forced them all into prostitution and filmed them in pornographic videos he put on the internet…He then instructed three women to kill two of the other captives.  The three women were found guilty of murder but were given lenient sentences.  One was jailed for three years and two were put on probation…

An Educated Idiot

It seems credulity and sloppy scholarship aren’t Sudhir Venkatesh’s only flaws:

…Sudhir Venkatesh…is a celebrity…through his research on gang life and prostitutes…but…some of his peers say that…he takes liberties not appropriate for a scholar:  sensationalizing his experiences, exaggerating the reliability of his memory and, in one case, physically assaulting someone…and…he was the subject last year of a grueling investigation into [$241,364.83] of spending that Columbia auditors said was insufficiently documented, misappropriated or outright fabricated…auditors said that Professor Venkatesh directed $52,328 to someone without any “documented evidence of work performed”…He charged Columbia for town cars to take him around, to take his fiancée home from work…[and] to take someone…from [his] address to a building that houses a nail salon and a psychic…

Parable

Flexibeast presents a clever satire making the same comparison I did, namely sex and food:

I’d like to discuss…the commodification of food, and the scourge that is the food industry.  Food…is an essential human need.  When people buy and sell food, the act of preparing and eating food becomes mere support for, and reinforcement of, the notion that it’s acceptable to transform relations between humans into relations between a human and an unimportant unfeeling object.  We must reject all buying and selling of food…

After you enjoy this very funny parody, try this Onion article on “abstinence-only school lunch programs” linked by one of Flexibeast’s commenters.

Down Under

This may have something to do with the good example of Fiji’s closest large neighbors, Australia and New Zealand:  “Health authorities want sex work legalised to remove discrimination…the Ministry of Health’s acting permanent secretary, Dr Josefa Koroivueta…said Fiji was working towards a human rights-based approach and discrimination of sex workers was against human rights…the new legislation should be ready by next year.”

A Load of Farley

chanukah menorahOne can never have too many scathing critiques of Melissa Farley, so I present this very effective one from Glasgow Sex Worker, which criticizes both her horrible personality and her awful “research methodology”, with lots of pertinent links.

Hanukkah

Hanukkah starts at sundown today; Khag Urim Sameakh to all my Jewish readers!

Scapegoats

It’s nice to know that at least one European government is so free from economic concerns that it has time to deal with the little things:

…The German parliament…is considering making it an offence not only to hurt an animal but also to force it into unnatural sex…Germany legalised bestiality…in 1969, except when the animal suffered “significant harm”.  But animal rights groups have campaigned for a change in the law…a fine of up to 25,000 euros…is proposed if someone forces an animal to commit “actions alien to the species”…Bestiality is banned in…the Netherlands, France and Switzerland…in the UK…the maximum sentence [was reduced in 2003] from life imprisonment to two years…[it is legal] in Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, though Stockholm is considering a change…

It’s also nice to know that under current Swedish law, animals can consent to sex while women can’t.

An Example to the West

…[Maharashtra] state minister for women and child Varsha Gaikwad told [the Times of India], “The state women’s policy aims to recognize the concerns of [marginalized] communities…[so] the expert committee reviewing the policy will have…three representatives from the transgenders and the sex workers in order to ensure that their concerns get reflected in the policy document”…San Antonio 4

Traffic Jam

Harvey Silverglate reminds us that some of the victims of the Satanic Panic are still rotting away in prison for “crimes” that never happened:

…Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Anna Vasquez and Cassandra Rivera…[were] accused in 1994 of repeatedly raping Ramirez’s two nieces, then 7 and 9 years old…Mayhugh, Vasquez and Rivera are twelve years into a 15-year sentence.  Ramirez was accused of being the ringleader, so she received 37½ years.  All four of the women refused pretrial plea deals…and three have refused parole offers conditioned on an admission of guilt and completion of a “rehabilitation” course for sex offenders…In September, one of the accusers recanted, saying she now seems to recall a quiet, even boring, weekend with her aunt, her sister and her aunt’s friends.  She has vowed to do everything in her power to help exonerate the four women still imprisoned as a result of her earlier false accusations…

As in other “Satanic Panic” cases and most “sex trafficking” cases, the total lack of concrete evidence, the fact that the accusers’ stories changed frequently and their history of false rape accusations (instigated by their sociopathic father) made absolutely no difference to prosecutors, jury or judge, who wanted to “send a message” that “alternative lifestyles” (the women are lesbians) would not be tolerated.

Coming Out

Melissa Petro is broke, and therefore thinking “a lot” about going back into hooking even though she has often said she didn’t like it.  That’s why her voice is valuable; as I said before, “I think it’s extremely important for women who don’t love the work to come out, because I honestly believe they’re the majority.  Everybody hears from the ‘happy hookers’ and the ‘survivors’, but…for most of the women I’ve known it was a job like any other, with its own advantages and disadvantages…

South of the Border

Funny how “sex trafficking victims” magically get their agency back when they’re Mexicans the “authorities” prefer to deport:  “Three people pleaded guilty…to bringing illegal immigrant women to [South Carolina] to work as prostitutes whose clientele were migrant farm workers…The prostitutes were illegal immigrants but none were being held against their will, [the US attorney] said…”  Apparently, the immigration stooge interviewed for the story got a different memo; he opined that “the women…have been rescued from lives of misery as a result of this investigation.”American Courtesans

The Public Eye

Jessie Nicole reviews American Courtesans, a new documentary about the lives of eleven high-end escorts:

Each of the eleven women had profoundly different experiences…[proving] that there is no single narrative of the sex industries.  Though each one seemed happy and relatively stable at the time of the interviews, many had experienced violence, arrest, and economic desperation…there was no sugarcoating or romanticization …the film also includes testimony from clients and family members…American Courtesans was a good step in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing further…[with] more and better media projects…

Buried Truth

James Cameron, the federal drug prosecutor who fled Maine after his child porn conviction was upheld three weeks ago, was arrested Sunday morning at a used-media store in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  US marshals theorize he was headed for Mexico.

Metaupdates

Gorged With Meaning (First Updates of the Year, Part Two)

Pearl-clutching Brits just can’t let this two-year-old study go:

Undergraduates have traditionally pulled pints or waited tables to pay their way through university, but…a significant number are now turning to sex work to make ends meet.  The rise in fees which will see some students graduate with projected debts of up to £53,000 …is being blamed for persuading young women and men to take up pole dancing, escort work or even prostitution.  Experts say that university welfare officers are largely ignorant of the growing phenomenon and poorly equipped to deal with issues arising from young people’s involvement.  Research by Dr Ron Roberts…published in 2010 suggested that one in four students know someone who had worked in the sex industry to fund their studies – up from three per cent in 1990.  Dr Roberts found 16 per cent would consider working in the industry while more than one in 10 were open to the idea of being an escort.  Research by Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy, of the University of Leeds, found that a quarter of lap dancers had a degree whilst a third of the women they interviewed were using the job to fund new forms of training…

This poster won the Irish "sex trafficking" contest described in TW3 #40; all pictures are stolen.

This poster won the Irish “sex trafficking” contest described in TW3 #40; all pictures are stolen.

Coed sex workers have never been rare; they’re just more apt to admit it these days, which is good for everybody.  The funniest part of the article is that its clueless author appears to believe the claims of the con-man behind “Sponsor A Scholar”.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #8)

Prohibitionists are furious that the Israeli legislature allowed the wildly-unpopular (opposed by 59% of Israelis) Swedish model to die in committee, but what makes this prohibitionist op-ed entitled “Prostitution in Israel: Myth vs Reality” so interesting (if nauseating) is that it completely inverts the two, labeling myths as “facts” and vice-versa.  One wonders how people manage to make it through life in such a deeply-delusional state.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (TW3 #20)

Despite a few good advance hints, the news about DSM-V is mostly bad:

…The [APA] has given its final approval to a deeply flawed DSM 5 containing many changes that seem clearly unsafe and scientifically unsound…Fortunately, some of its most…unsupportable proposals were eventually dropped under great external pressure (most notably…internet and sex addiction…)  But…DSM 5 will start a half or dozen or more new fads which will be detrimental to the misdiagnosed individuals and costly to our society…

Dr. Frances’ list of the ten worst changes includes DMDD; the redefinition of normal grief into “Major Depressive Disorder”, the normal forgetfulness of old age into “Minor Neurocognitive Disorder”, and gluttony into “Binge Eating Disorder”; and (most dangerously) the introduction of “use disorders”, essentially “Behavioral Addictions that…can…make a mental disorder of everything we like to do a lot.”

One Born Every Minute (TW3 #48)

The man uncovered as running a “sex for tuition fees” website…[was] secretly filmed…[and identified as] Mark Lancaster, but when contacted by a television programme refused to speak about the Sponsor a Scholar scheme…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #48)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti vs. Rhoda Grant on this week’s Sunday Politics Scotland.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Beside a two-part column on the myth that most whores are enslaved by pimps, this week also featured posts on Barbie, Saint Nicholas, toys, the Salvation Army, my favorite bands and albums, “sex addiction”, sugar daddy sites and the bizarre pretense that historical courtesans were not prostitutes.  We also saw articles on the anti-whore hostility of Canadian “authorities”, the lack of outrage when criminals use Craigslist to commit non-sex related crimes, and why ignorance really is bliss for some people, and I gave advice to a young man who wanted to “rescue” a hooker.

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Even while lying, you’ll be believed if you speak with authority.  –  Anton Chekhov

By now many if not most of you have probably read (or at least heard about) the latest Melissa Farley product, a bogus study for Newsweek (published on July 17th) which purports to “prove” that virtually all men hate women.  Blinded by her own unreasoning hatred of men and sex, Farley has at last exposed herself to widespread scrutiny; normally her mad lies are only directed against sex workers (I use the broad term because her hatred isn’t limited to prostitutes), and since these are a minority among women it’s easy for the ignorant to accept her statements as factual.  But this time her hubris has resulted in an attack on literally half of the human race, and that’s not such an easy sell.  Lest you think I exaggerate, consider the statement:  “…buying sex is so pervasive that Farley’s team had a shockingly difficult time locating men who really don’t do it…The use of pornography, phone sex, lap dances, and other services has become so widespread that the researchers were forced to loosen their definition in order to assemble a 100-person control group,” taken together with this one:  “the attitudes and habits of sex buyers reveal them as men who dehumanize and commodify women, view them with anger and contempt, lack empathy for their suffering, and relish their own ability to inflict pain and degradation.”  If “virtually all men buy sex” and “all sex buyers hate and dehumanize women”, then “virtually all men hate and dehumanize women,” Q.E.D.  That kind of sophistry may impress sheltered, middle-class white girls in “Womyn’s Studies” programs, but in the real world it’s about as appropriate as a cow pie on the dining room table and three times as rude.  Take a look down the comment thread of that article; with a couple of castrated exceptions every male who replied is pretty damned angry, and rightfully so.

I’ve discussed Farley’s laughable methods before; she begins with a farfetched premise, selects a group that she thinks will prove her “theory”, uses leading questions to garner the desired responses, discards whatever data fails to fit the model, rejects noncomforming answers as evidence of “denial” and then conjures numbers out of qualitative answers without bothering to explain how she did so.  Her reports then juxtapose these “findings” with unrepresentative but lurid quotations and her own hateful, unsupported rhetoric; they contain no proper explanation of methodology, are not published in professional journals and are never subjected to peer review or examined by ethics committees.  Don’t take my word for it; read her new “study”, then this short but ruthless critique of another Farley client “study” from 2008.  Virtually every point the 18 authors make about the earlier paper is true of the new one as well.  Nor are psychologists and social scientists the only ones who recognize her as a charlatan; when she appeared as an “expert witness” for the state in the hearings which eventually resulted in prostitution laws being struck down in Ontario last September, Justice Susan Himel found her testimony highly questionable:

I found the evidence of Dr. Melissa Farley to be problematic…her advocacy appears to have permeated her opinions.  For example, Dr. Farley’s unqualified assertion…that prostitution is inherently violent appears to contradict her own findings that prostitutes who work from indoor locations generally experience less violence.  Furthermore…she failed to qualify her opinion…that [post-traumatic stress disorder] could be caused by events unrelated to prostitution.  Dr. Farley’s choice of language is at times inflammatory and detracts from her conclusions.  For example, comments such as, “prostitution is to the community what incest is to the family,” and “just as pedophiles justify sexual assault of children….men who use prostitutes develop elaborate cognitive schemes to justify purchase and use of women” make her opinions less persuasive.  Dr. Farley stated during cross-examination that some of her opinions on prostitution were formed prior to her research, including, “that prostitution is a terrible harm to women, that prostitution is abusive in its very nature, and that prostitution amounts to men paying a woman for the right to rape her.”  Accordingly…I assign less weight to Dr. Farley’s evidence.

This study actually uses a control group, a first for Farley despite being the norm in ethical research.  Of course, Farley’s idea of a control leaves much to be desired; she provides essentially no significant information on the group other than that it had 100 members.  And Newsweek didn’t even deign to reveal the report at all, obviously because somebody over there was smart enough to recognize it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and they didn’t want to make it available for refutation (my link to it was located by Brandy Devereaux).  Instead, they just printed a few choice quotes and a “trafficked children” narrative, added a lot of rhetoric from prohibitionists and the obligatory scare quotes around words like “choose”, and crowned the steaming pile with a selection of outright lies such as the debunked claim that the Swedish Model “dramatically reduced trafficking” and the outrageous libel that decriminalization and legalization in most countries has created an “explosive growth in demand that generated an increase in trafficking and other crimes”, though mysteriously never in the countries which supposedly caused the problem.

Swanee Hunt

By refusing to publish in any relevant peer-reviewed journal, or indeed to expose herself to meaningful criticism of any kind, Farley seals herself into an echo chamber populated only by academic feminists, credulous reporters and politicians who need the filth she peddles to justify further suppression of sex work.  Unlike true academics, she avoids the pressure to publish in journals by pandering to government entities and NGOs with an anti-sex agenda; the current specimen was sponsored by the Hunt Alternatives Fund, the entity behind the anti-male, anti-sex-worker group “Demand Abolition”.  This results in her completely losing touch with reality and thereby becoming totally unable to recognize either the hateful bigotry of her rhetoric (she has referred to the vast majority of prostitutes as “house niggers“) or the transparency of her misrepresentations.  Take, for example, the statement “Prostitution has always been risky for women; the average age of death is 34, and the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that prostitutes suffer a ‘workplace homicide rate’ 51 times higher than that of the next most dangerous occupation, working in a liquor store.”  The flaws with the statement become instantly obvious to anyone who reads the report in question; it is, of course, a study of arrested streetwalkers, and therefore bases its conclusions on the most unfortunate third of the most dangerous segment of prostitution, which is a bit like calculating the mortality rate for soldiers at the front lines of a regional war and then extrapolating that figure to all members of the armed services of every country in the world.  Furthermore, the claim that “the average age of death is 34” is badly misstated from the actual finding that the average murdered streetwalker is 34; continuing our analogy, this is exactly the same as concluding “the average soldier dies at 21” by the simple expedient of excluding from the “average” all those who survived!  The figure thus produced is as spurious as the ubiquitous “average age at entry is 13” which I have previously debunked.  Now imagine that someone used such distorted figures to advocate for more wars in order to “end soldiering”, and you’ll have a picture of the rat’s nest Farley uses for a brain.

Incidentally, that American Journal of Epidemiology article was unearthed and forwarded to me by regular reader Jason Congdon (who also helpfully pointed out several flaws in the article); the Newsweek reporter didn’t want people to see it and so linked the Journal’s website instead.  Nor are Jason and I the only ones who felt moved to shred this third-rate propaganda; Tracy Clark-Flory critiqued it in Salon, Charlotte Shane skewered it in Tits and Sass, and Laura Agustín connected it to the bigger picture of U.S. government-sponsored “end demand” anti-sex work schemes in Good Vibrations.  Marty Klein of Psychology Today called it “disgusting, dishonest and damaging”.  Even Debra Dickerson of Slate, who believes that “…Farley is at least partially right about the potentially dangerous effects of… phone sex and Internet porn,” called the study an insult to readers’ intelligence full of “overblown rhetoric and outlandish conclusions,” and wrote that “an undergrad would earn an easy A pointing out the flaws in…methodology and analysis.”  Will any of this sway the opinions of those who already embrace prohibitionist fanaticism?  Of course not, but neither did Farley’s piece sway anyone who knows the truth about sex work, and it may have alienated a large number of male fence-sitters and the women who love them.

One Year Ago Today

Playing the Part” is an answer to the reader question, “How easy is it for a prostitute to play her part if the man concerned is personally unattractive to her?”  I think you’ll find it quite interesting.

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