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Posts Tagged ‘A Moral Cancer’

I thought, how nice for him…to take care of my little girl.  –  Nancy Wells

Bad Girls 

Really, guys, just hire actual pros; it’s much cheaper in the long run:

An FBI counterterrorism supervisor had his gun and pricey watch stolen by an “exotic dancer” after a boozy night at a North Carolina hotel…Robert Manson…awoke the next day to find she’d swiped his Glock .40-caliber handgun, Rolex and about $60 in cash…Last month, a woman stole a $37,000 watch from a man she’d just met at a swanky eatery.  Over the summer, two women stole $80,000 worth of timepieces from several saps who invited them back to their luxury hotel rooms…two women [stole] an elderly…man[‘s]…watch and $3,000 in cash after meeting him at a cigar bar…in August, a Saudi diplomat was robbed of a $30,000 Gerald Genta-designed watch, a $12,000 Rolex and $2,500 in cash after hooking up with a woman he met at celebrity hot spot 1Oak…

The Punitive Mindset 

One would think defense attorneys of all people would have more sense than to imagine the purpose of cops is to “protect” anybody:

A half-dozen employees of the Cook County Public Defender’s office have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, claiming county officials have done nothing to protect them from inmates who masturbate in front of them during visits to the jail and courtroom holding cells…Public Defender Amy Campanelli’s deputy, Lester Finkle, said in a statement that the office had been working with…sheriff [Tom Dart] and judges to come up with a solution for two years…Campanelli has said she wants extra [cops] on hand in courtroom lockups, a solution Dart has said costs him $40,000 per week in overtime.  Dart, also named in the lawsuit, [wants to lock the prisoners up for even longer instead]…

Arch-sleazebag Tom Dart, whom you may remember as Swanee Hunt’s crony, is intentionally perpetuating a situation which will make it harder to people in his filthy cages to get legal representation, while simultaneously calling for worsening the conditions that are causing the problem.  Anybody else smell a rat?

Under Duress

Even on the rare occasion when cops want to tell the truth, their superiors may force them to lie:

Massachusetts State Trooper Ryan Sceviour is suing his superiors…[after] they ordered him to alter a police report involving the daughter of a judge in a DUI and drug incident.  The state police are…arguing the order to change the report was appropriate.  Sceviour arrived at the scene of a crash Oct. 16…Behind the wheel he…found Alli Bibaud, daughter of [drug court judge] Timothy Bibaud…reeking of alcohol with a “heroin kit” in the car…Bibaud told him she had traded sex for drugs and…offered to have sex with Sceviour for more lenient treatment…two days later [Sceviour]…was ordered to alter his police report….[and] reprimanded for including Bibaud’s statements in his report…It’s not hard to imagine how neglecting to report an offer of sex for leniency could backfire [on a cop].  More importantly, the lack of any effort to ensure that “sensationalistic and inflammatory” statements by other suspects don’t appear in police reports suggests the state police was more interested in protecting Bibaud’s father than the privacy of all people arrested by state police…

Buried Truth 

Man who pontificates about “Christian morality” and thinks homosexuality should be a crime has a thing for underage girls.  Gee, what a surprise:

Leigh Corfman…was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala…It was early 1979 and [Roy] Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.  He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing…Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number…days later…he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her.  On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes.  He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear…Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.  Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore…three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s…None of the women say that Moore forced them into any sort of…sexual contact…

Drawing Lines 

Nope, this isn’t sex work, no sirree:

You want your lonely child to, say, have a “father”.  Or maybe you just want to go out on some dates with someone nice, someone safe…you want someone to care, or at least act like they do.  You think it would be easier — cleaner — to pay someone than to…find someone [to perform that emotional labor for free]…So, you go online and hire someone like Ishii Yuichi, owner of Family Romance in Japan, to play that role…The Atlantic interviewed Yuichi who shares what it’s like to be that for-hire “loved one”…

A Moral Cancer (#566)

The crypto-moralists have been relatively quiet for a while:

…the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)…estimat[es] “3.5 percent of all cancer deaths are attributable to drinking alcohol” in the United States…In comparison, smoking tobacco is estimated to cause 32 percent of all cancer deaths…The group treats consuming alcohol as a pure public health problem to which the only solutions are various forms of prohibition.  They recommend regulating alcohol outlet density; increasing alcohol taxes and prices; maintaining limits on days and hours of sale…and resisting further privatization of retail alcohol sales in communities with current government control…

The Public Morals

Though I’m always happy to see cops imprisoned, it’s disturbing that this guy faces a longer sentence for texting than others face for rape, mayhem and murder:

Basil O’Kimosh, a [Menominee Tribal] cop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, faces federal charges for exchanging sexually explicit Snapchat messages with a teenage girl he met on Facebook.  If convicted…he…faces 25 years to life in prison…While it’s refreshing to see a cop get held accountable for a change, calling O’Kimosh a threat to community safety seems a bit melodramatic.  No adult…should be sexting with a teenager…but considering the kinds of things that cops in this country frequently get away with—murder, sexual assault, physical abuse, actual sex with minors—the severe concern in this case rings…a bit hollow.  The feds didn’t step in, for instance, when dozens of cops were under investigation for sexting and having sex with an underage girl in Oakland, California.  Or when a Chicago cop was arrested for trafficking a 14-year-old.  Or in the recent case of a Bronx officer arrested for paying to make sex tapes with a minor…but U.S. prosecutors have been big lately on exercising jurisdiction over both social media and sexting, and…this helps suggest the decision to make this a federal matter is based more on opportunism and political agendas than the severity of O’Kimosh’s crime or his threat to the public…

The Eye of the Beholder (#672)

Given that there is no possibility of a child, what exactly is the rationale behind destroying two lives, other than “The ‘authorities’ find this skeevy” or “The law is the law”?

A[n Oklahoma] woman who married her biological mother last year received a 10-year deferred sentence [plus two years of probation] after pleading guilty…to committing incest…Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 26, was set for a bench trial…but instead pleaded guilty to illegally marrying 44-year-old Patricia Ann Spann, who is identified as Patricia Ann Clayton on their marriage license application…Patricia Span also was once married to her biological son…[she] is also charged with incest [and] is to appear in court in January…

The Sky is Falling! (#779) 

Young women using their natural gifts to graduate without debt is “disgusting”; giving free sex to boorish, penniless young men is “feminism”:

A shameless dating site is encouraging young female students to date older rich “sugar daddies” so they can pay off their student loan…s and earn them some extra pocket money and life experience…A total of five [miniature mobile] billboards are doing a tour of universities in an aim to get 100,000 British students to sign up by the end of the year…A…student, who asked not be named, said: “It’s disgusting. It should be illegal for these perverts to pray [sic] on youngsters like this [because we’re the emotional equivalent of toddlers and have no agency]…me and my friends would never turn to prostitution…it’s exploitative and wrong”…

Soap Opera (#788) 

Reading cops’ masturbatory fantasies of omnipresent “pimps” with magic powers is by turns hilarious and disgusting:

…[Wanking pig Curt Chastain fantasized] “I’ve had (sex trafficking) victims from every high school in Fresno County – and most junior high schools”…Arresting [consenting adults]…is…part of [the fantasy Chastain uses when doing what he calls]…choking…the…snake…“I’d bet every 16-year-old girl in Fresno has received a message that they didn’t know was from a recruiter…They’re recruited while sitting next to their parents in the living room”…As he drives from place to place during the undercover operation, the detective shares his [masturbatory fantasies about] the modern sex trade…

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It’s the oldest profession in the world for a reason.  –  Jami Rodman

A Moral Cancer smoking ban cartoon

As a lass, I never imagined there was a Western culture more puritanical than the US:

Sweden needs to limit the number of public spaces where people are allowed to smoke, according to a lengthy review of tobacco laws… “One should not be exposed to the temptation to smoke,” concluded the report’s author Göran Lundahl…It suggests that legislation should be extended to include “certain public places outdoors, such as café and restaurant terraces, entrances to establishments and other spaces to which the public has access”…The review also argues that e-cigarettes, herbal cigarettes and other products which simulate tobacco smoking should be banned…

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

I don’t think I need to tell you that there’s absolutely no evidence for these claims, even if they constituted a valid argument for censorship (which they don’t):

Children as young as five are sexually abusing their peers after being exposed to pornography, a Senate inquiry has been told.  In chilling evidence that would shock parents, a [former] child development expert has outlined a [parade] of cases where primary school aged children were coercing classmates into performing sex acts including intercourse.  University of South Australia Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs…cited her own work that found fathers were watching online porn with their young sons for “fun” because “that’s what guys do”.  The prevalence of internet pornography — especially how children can stumble on it while innocently doing homework — has alarmed…[the] inquiry [on] the harm it is causing children, including sexualising them at a young age…Senator Back said he was keen to explore what could be done to protect children, including seeing whether technological advances had made internet-wide filtering possible…

Note that Australia dumped a countrywide censorship plan as unworkable four years ago.

A Whore in Church 

Sex worker tells preacher exactly why she does sex work; preacher ignores her and blathers about imaginary “pimps” instead:

New Day Ministry Pastor Helen Wolfe…[pretends that] prostitutes proposition her church members before and after church services.  “These ladies are literally chasing them to the front door,” she said…[this wonderful Christian threatened] one of them, “Somebody is going to cut you up, somebody is going to kill you…Tell the pimps I’m coming after them.”  One of the ladies agreed to come inside the sanctuary and share her story…”I had a good job, a nice home, car, everything, and I got really badly hurt and got on pain pills.”  She…[is] no longer be addicted to drugs but continues to work as a prostitute because she can’t find another job…”The pimps are now getting into my pocket,” Helen said. “Now the daycare is decreasing because…they say they get chased down by the prostitutes.  I’m going to flip this and get in the pimp’s pocket.”  Pastor Helen plans to start taking pictures of people involved in criminal activity outside her church, including the men who pick up the prostitutes, and sending them to the police…

Enabling Oppression

What could be more outrageous and tone-deaf than prohibitionists trying to link their campaign to increase state control over individuals with the drive to end slavery?  How about linking support for an increasingly-violent and all-pervasive police state with a famous victim of such a state?

[Rescue industry-supporting BDSM fantasist “One-Hand”] Kristof and [violent prohibitionist “Cuckoo Clock”] McCain were presented with the 2015 Anne Frank Award and the Anne Frank Special Recognition Award, respectively, for their work fighting [advertising websites and consensual sex between adults]…The award ceremony took place February 25 in the Members Room of the Library of Congress…

Dysphemisms Galore 

Accurate headline: “Life Continues As Usual When Foreign Politicians Visit City

As politicians grappled with Britain’s EU future at a crunch summit, other more sordid deals were being thrashed out nearby.  David Cameron was locked in talks at the European Parliament as the Brussels’ sex trade was ­thriving from an influx of well-off EU politicans and officials…­hundreds of prostitutes from Romania, Albania and Bulgaria were plying their trade.  Flooding in to meet ­increased ­demand ­at the time of top EU ­meetings, they blew kisses to ­smart-suited men trawling the ­fleshpots of Rue d’Aerschot.  Some offered “40 euros for one sex position or 50 for several”…

Catastrophic Consequences

Much more of this, please:

The Crown Office has dropped the cases against eleven people charged with brothel offences, prompting criticism of Police Scotland for its high profile raids on Edinburgh’s saunas.  Six men and five women were set for a court hearing in November, but prosecutors backed off and have now abandoned the proceedings.  Many of Edinburgh’s saunas have effectively operated as brothels since the mid-1980s.  The approach had the tacit support of the former Lothian and Borders police force and the council in Edinburgh, which provided saunas with public entertainment licenses…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#431)

Indonesian officials decide to prevent a repeat of the Dolly fiasco by means of extreme violence:

One of Indonesia’s oldest red-light districts was demolished in an operation overseen by hundreds of police and troops…Dozens of illegal bars and brothels along a…strip in north Jakarta…known…as Kalijodo…were reduced to rubble by excavators….leaving behind nothing but splintered wood, brick and old mattresses…North Jakarta Mayor Rustam Effendi…said…the demolition would make way for a public park.  “There was open prostitution there and all kinds of other things as a result, like liquor,” he [said]…During the eviction of residents over the past week, police seized and destroyed large quantities of alcohol…The government last week instructed local authorities to shut down an estimated 100 red-light districts across the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country…

Shift in the Wind (#451)

Fraught With Complications

Here’s a good, thorough article on what to do if you fall in love with a whore:

So you met a hooker and at first you were cool with it.  You didn’t freak out when they first told you about their job and you didn’t freak them out with your response.  You started seeing each other and maybe you had some reservations but figured you would…talk them into your way of thinking…Or you figured whatever you had with them wasn’t so serious so it didn’t need to be a big deal…But…Over time and as your feelings for them have grown, you’ve found your acceptance for their job has diminished…So now what?…

Welcome To Our World (#588)

Maybe the Times thinks if it backs away slowly enough, nobody will notice:

When New York Times editors were defending the paper’s two-part series on alleged labor abuses in nail salons last year, they repeatedly pointed to the high rate of violations uncovered by a state inspection task force…A spokesperson for the paper later used the same defense when responding to my own critical appraisal of the nail salon series.  After Bernstein and I demonstrated that the original articles…by…Sarah Maslin Nir…were filled with blatant mischaracterizations and misquotes from key sources…theeditors clung to the notion that the state’s findings demonstrated that Nir basically got the story right.  Now the Times has taken a close look at those labor inspections and discovered that they “reveal another reality” that doesn’t match up with Nir’s findings.  As reporters Russ Buettner and Kim Barker explain, immigrant nail salon owners were often tripped up by the technicalities of New York State wage and hour regulations…”In two dozen cases, for instance, owners paid employees an equivalent of at least the state minimum wage and overtime for the hours they worked, but because they did not correctly account for the overtime hours, they were still cited for underpayment…”  If you exclude those two dozen cases, Buettner and Barker report that 67 nail salons, or a little more than one quarter of those investigated by the state, paid less than the minimum wage.  And of those 67, 25 missed the mark by less than $50.  In other words, the original Times story argued that three-quarter of nail salons in New York paid less than the minimum wage, but the state inspections have found roughly the opposite to be true…

Too Close To Home

Once again, the Seattle Times demonstrated its deep prohibitionism and disgusting obsequiousness by publishing this asinine regurgitation of prohibitionist feces its editors eagerly lapped off the boots of King County cops and prosecutors.  And when Mistress Matisse called those editors out via Twitter for publishing lies that five minutes of high-school-level Googling would have disproven, they either ignored her or doubled down defending this dumpster fire of an editorial.  Fortunately, not every reporter in Seattle feels that “journalism” is a synonym for “fellating authority”; Sydney Brownstone of The Stranger responded thus:

…it’s clear that the Ed Board…has not interrogated the sex work “research” cited by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg very deeply…The “age of entry” myth—a common one—has been challenged by sex work advocates and research from anti-trafficking group Polaris…the “local” research being cited by Satterberg’s office….[is] a collection of studies that drew flawed, biased conclusions about sex work and trafficking based on small sample sizes of populations that already skewed heavily toward victims of abuse or street workers…when I asked legislators to send me research about the claim that sex workers often come from a background of abuse, I was forwarded a letter from local anthropologist-activist Debra Boyer that incorrectly cited…a famed book on trauma research…[which] had used clinical vignettes from sex workers already in trauma treatment to illustrate the idea that survivors of child abuse are vulnerable to revictimization…[it] did not claim that a majority or plurality of sex workers came from backgrounds of abuse…Even if sex workers did have histories of sexual abuse or assault—histories that many women share, regardless of their occupations—does that mean they’re incapable of making decisions in their own best interest?…

The Public Eye (#608)

Another shrug-inducing interview with Jami Rodman.  At the risk of sounding conceited, I have to tell you there’s nothing here I haven’t covered before (and in greater detail, and far more eloquently); however, I’m still glad to see the facts of our lives getting out there from as many sources as possible, and her conclusion was strong.

Book Reviews (#616)

Some people are just so hateful:

…On the 18th of February, my follower count was 34,872.  It started going up sharply, by about 500 a day…I remembered seeing a tweet from @Popehat from a few years ago.  Someone had maliciously bought the account thousands of followers; this is something people do so they can report the account for the fakes, and try to get them kicked off Twitter.  I DM’d a couple of people with experience of both being the target of online harassment and of communicating with Twitter.  The response was unanimous: someone is trying to get you banned. Lock your account and start deleting the fake followers…Publishers increasingly expect authors to use social media presence to publicise their work to readers.  My publisher likes that social media is embedded in my writing and that I engage with a lot of people online – without the Internet, I would never have become a writer at all…By Friday night the Twitter follower count was touching 40k with no sign of slowing.  I didn’t have much choice anymore.  I locked the account and started blocking the bots and declining the hundreds of follow requests from fakes coming in.  This is an ongoing effort. If you have recently followed me and find yourself blocked, I apologise — there are going to be some false positives in this process…

I wish my friend the best, and I encourage all of you to support her writing in the most pragmatic fashion possible.

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Once you’ve been arrested for prostitution…that is a stigma that will stick to you for the rest of your life.  –  Norma Jean Almodovar

All in the Family

I sometimes wonder how my life would’ve been different had I had the sense to lie:

What lies do people tell if they work in the sex industry?  For starters, it depends on exactly what they do…An escort named Jane (I’ve changed the names of everyone in this story) tells everyone she’s a real estate agent.  It fits all the data, and also explains why her income is variable…Agency escorts have a different set of challenges, mostly surrounding the “call on” system.  When an escort calls on at an agency, it means that they are dressed and ready to work; if they get a booking, they pledge to arrive to the call within an agreed-upon amount of time…Strippers have a different set of challenges…Jill works in a dominatrix parlor, and her hours are ten to six, Monday through Friday. Equipment is stored at the Midtown studio…Her babysitter thinks she works in HR…

Follow Your Bliss Nathaniel Schlueter

A man involved with helping sex trafficking victims was arrested…during an undercover prostitution sting…Nathaniel Schlueter was arrested by an undercover officer…[whom he] offered $30 in exchange for sexual favors….Schlueter served on the board of directors for The Refuge Ranch, which helps teenage women who have rescued from sex trafficking…

A Moral Cancer (Metaupdates)

Why do people still listen to “nutritionists”?

Bacon, sausage and other processed meats are now ranked alongside cigarettes and asbestos as known carcinogens, the World Health Organization announced…a…scientific panel examined more than 800 epidemiological studies…to…[classify] “consumption of processed meat as ‘carcinogenic to humans’ on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer”…Red meat carries a slightly lower risk…but is still “probably carcinogenic to humans.”  Aside from the “strong mechanistic evidence” related to colorectal cancer, the “consumption of red meat was also positively associated with pancreatic and with prostate cancer.  As a main line of evidence, the group cites one study from 2011…

For the source of that 2011 study, click on the subtitle.

BDSM (#30)

A “cult”.  Because mentioning their sex practices wasn’t quite lurid enough.

Three members of a reported “master-slave” sex cult were convicted…of murdering [Brittany Killgore]…Marine Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 49, Dorothy Grace Maraglino, 40, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 28, were convicted of torturing and murdering…Killgore “for their own sadistic pleasure,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Espinoza [claimed]…Killgore was not a part of the cult, which enjoyed bondage, whipping, spanking, cutting, sadism and masochism…Without knowing the three had a “sex dungeon” in their rented home, Killgore had agreed to go on a dinner cruise with Perez in exchange for his helping her move…

Image Enhancement

That the Nevada brothel segment of the sex industry is in decline is not news:

…The Love Ranch epitomizes the sorry state of the industry….there are currently just 17 brothels employing around 300 prostitutes in the state. That’s down from 30 brothels in 2009…“These brothels are really a relic of the past,” a state senator told the LA Times. “The urban areas have an appetite to abolish them.  And given the state’s rapid urbanization, there’s really little popular support left for these businesses”…

That senator is full of shit; 66% of Nevada voters believe they should be legal everywhere in the state.  But just in case you think this is really a serious economic issue, consider that those 300 licensed prostitutes represent less than 1% of Nevada’s estimated whore population.

Paint By Numbers

Why ride a bike or stand around on lawns or off-ramps when you can just sit?

The CNN Freedom Project has been shining a spotlight on the horrors of modern slavery, but now we need your help.  We want you to join our #FlyToFreedom campaign to help fight slavery.  The Freedom Project’s symbol is a paper plane…so we’re asking you to:

1) Make a paper plane.
2) Write a pledge on the plane — something you’re going to do to help fight modern slavery.
3) Show us your plane and pledge on social media using the hashtag #FlyToFreedom.
4) Nominate two friends to do the same by tagging them in your social media post.

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

Women continue to have bills despite cops’ intimidation attempt:

Twelve Nova Scotia sex-trade workers were [targeted by] a national RCMP [intimidation campaign]…Operation Northern Spotlight [tricked]…11 women and one man in Nova Scotia…[a pig mouthpiece had the audacity to describe the intimidation attempt as] “a fostering and nurturing conversation”…[but fortunately] “they chose to continue their [work]”…

If Men Were Angels

An Idaho college’s former financial aid director has been sentenced to 107 days in jail for charges related to offering students financial aid in exchange for sex…Joseph Bekken…[also got] three years of probation and a $10,000 fine…Bekken advertised on Craigslist for several semesters while working for Northern Idaho College, saying he would provide scholarship money in exchange for sex…

Business As Usual

Though some people refuse to accept this, every sex worker knows it:

…the majority of National Blacklist posts address other issues entirely—things like time-wasters, stalkers and thieves.  But it’s remarkable that  sex workers using a resource describing itself as the “world’s largest bad client database and escort safety tool” seem more concerned about warning each other about police officers than the dangers from which law enforcement is ostensibly meant to protect them…A 2002  study in Chicago found that 24 percent of street-based female sex workers who said they were raped identified a police officer as the perpetrator, and one-fifth of other forms of sexual violence against these women were attributed to police.  A study by the Sex Worker’s Project of the Urban Justice Center found that 16 percent of indoor sex workers surveyed reported having been “involved in sexual situations with the police,” and 14 percent reported experiencing police violence…

Profit from Panic (#448) Scrap Force

How transparent does this have to be before people see it?

Kids are the heroes in a new mobile game [from] Naked Sky Entertainment…and their virtual adventures will provide funds to help children around the world escape from the horrors of human trafficking.  Love146…will receive 14.6 percent of the profits that come out of the new mobile game “Scrap Force”…

The Course of a Disease (#449) 

Cop says it’s “wrong” that he isn’t allowed to arrest people who aren’t doing anything illegal:

…Sgt Neil Radford, the head of Nottingham’s prostitution task force, said:  “On the street, the law allows you to deal with people who are purchasing sex.  But there is no equivalent legislation for off-street work.  If somebody goes into a brothel to purchase sex…he isn’t committing any offence at all.  That’s wrong and we have to be able to do something about it”…

Naked Truth (#544) 

An Egyptian actress…has ignited a nationwide controversy for suggesting that Egyptian men would benefit from watching more pornography.  In fact, she’s facing jail time. Entissar…told a TV audience…that “These films are useful for men, especially those who have no pre-marriage sex experience.”  But beyond what men might be able to learn about sex from such films, Entissar thinks that, “Everyone should be free in watching porn films if they want”…”This is a call for debauchery and depravity,” according to one unhappy cleric quoted in the press…A group called “Who Loves Egypt?” was unhappy enough…to take her court for “inciting debauchery.”  The charge carries a one-year prison term…

Against the Tide

It’s kind of sad to watch Kristoff pathetically flailing about against the inexorable departure of the sea that nourishes him:

…Plenty of well-meaning people back Amnesty International’s proposal for full decriminalization of the sex trade…Yet in practice, approaches similar to Amnesty’s have ended up simply empowering pimps.  And while under these proposals human trafficking would remain illegal, the police would no longer have a reason to raid brothels…

For comparison: “Plenty of well-meaning people back the 21st amendment, yet in practice similar approaches have ended up simply empowering bootleggers.  And while under these proposals poisoned liquor would remain illegal, the police would no longer have a reason to raid speakeasies…”

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The forms of “rescue” and “victim rehabilitation” promoted by…NGOs often contradict their benevolent positions, because the labour requirements of such minimum wage work perpetuate the…restriction and coercion that they associate…with sex work.  –  Elena Shih

Think of the Children! 

The City of West Linn [Oregon] has ordered a local man to stop operating a bondage and discipline-sadomasochism room out of his home…Mead Hall Dungeon is advertised as a private play space available for rental.  David Levine said he hosts parties at the space twice a month…after a neighbor complained about several cars parking along West A Street…police determined no criminal activity was taking place, but the city then issued a cease and desist letter when they learned Levine did not have a business permit…The dungeon is in a soundproofed, converted garage that sits off a long driveway…[a pearl-clutching busybody] said she was shocked when she found out about Mead Hall, especially because it’s located a few blocks down from West Linn High School.  “I just find it just totally inappropriate…in a neighborhood”…

For Their Own Safety

Prostitutes in Italy will now be forced to replace their miniskirts and revealing tops for a reflective jacket and trousers worn by road workers…sex workers gathering on a main road into Milan…face a 500 euro fine if they refuse to wear the unappealing high-visibility attire.  Authorities…[pretend] the prostitutes caused a road-safety problem…and should be treated as construction workers…

A Moral Cancer

The crypto-moralists have been relatively quiet for a while:

People with a family history of cancer should seriously consider stopping drinking alcohol altogether experts have warned…The study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) concludes that drinking just a small amounts of alcohol increases the risk of cancer in women and men who smoke…After allowing for other risk factors…they found that light to moderate drinking – less than two drinks a day for women, and three to four drinks daily for men – is linked to…a 13 percent increased risk of cancer regardless…no association was found in men who had never smoked…

13%!  Why, that’s a virtual CERTAINTY!!!!!!

Against Their Will

In India, the…[law] equates prostitution with commercial sexual exploitation.  [Arrested adult] women…ostensibly…victims, are then placed in institutions from which they are forbidden to leave until released by a court.  The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) of 1956 prescribes state…custody for them until the suitability of their families or guardians to “take charge of them” is verified…activists have long questioned the constitutionality of this provision vis-a-vis the fundamental rights to life and liberty…After verification, courts can either order their release to a suitable guardian’s custody, or commit them to be detained in the protective home for one to three years for “care and protection”.  To appeal against detention orders, women must approach an appellate court, for which they seldom have the resources…Rainbow Love

Size Matters

The Seattle prosecutor claims that whores “have nothing to fear from us”:

Rainbow Love…dodged jail time in 2010 when she was caught running “temples” in Seattle and the suburbs.  Now, though, the Marysville woman could see prison as King County prosecutors accuse her of operating a string of brothels out of apartments in and around Seattle…Love is alleged to have admitted…to taking thousands of dollars in prostitution earnings from women she managed…Love has now been charged with three counts of second-degree promoting prostitution related to a sting operation conducted in May 2014…Last prosecuted five years ago, Love had been caught in mid-2008 running a chain of “goddess temples” deemed to be brothels by investigators…Prosecutors claim Love was again operating brothels presented as religious spaces…

I’ve never met Rainbow, but some of my friends have (some have even worked for her). The idea that she’s some sort of criminal, and that her beliefs are insincere, is evil coppery of the highest magnitude; note the dysphemistic phraseology here such as “taking thousands of dollars” (in other words, receiving thousands in fees like any agent would).  This is the “new and improved” regime of sex work policing we aren’t supposed to fear.

Schadenfreude 

The only “training” women receive at Prey Speu is in how to be beaten, robbed, gang-raped and starved:

Authorities in the capital’s Daun Penh district rounded up dozens of sex workers…before sending them..for “re-education” at the notorious Prey Speu detention centre…43 sex workers and 10 homeless people were arrested…as part of ongoing efforts to rid Phnom Penh of its so-called “undesirables”…Since it opened in 2004, Prey Speu has been plagued with allegations of abuse.  Staff and former detainees have [reported] that it is ill-equipped to offer any of the advertised training…

The Public Eye

This story on Seattle sex workers’ reactions to the pompous posturing of prohibitionist politicians quotes three friends of mine:  Maggie McMuffin, Vignette Velo & Savannah Sly; the show mentioned in the text was this one, and in the recording you can hear a tiny bit of my attempt at emceeing at the very end.  Unfortunately, the ignoramuses get to vomit out their lies and agency-negating myths in the story, too.

Skin To Skin

Deliciously Disabled held its first official event…at Toronto’s Oasis Aqualounge…it was not an “orgy” like so many media outlets had purported it to be…the event was there to allow people with disabilities of all forms to interact with each other in a space where they felt both comfortable enough to express themselves and safe enough to retract and just watch the show….[it] was designed to be fully accessible, with gadgets like hydraulic lifts and harnesses being set up to allow participants to explore each other sexually and, if they want to, even get some good ol’ banging going on.  There was also booze—lots of booze—along with various forms of entertainment, from DJs to burlesque dancers, all for the reasonable price of $20…

Little Boxes (#138)

It amazes me how worked up some people can get about tits:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising to take action against women who pose nearly naked for photos in Times Square in exchange for cash.  The practice seems to be on the rise…many…wear only body paint and a thong.  They charge a few dollars to pose for photos with tourists.  Police say they can do little to stop it, and some local politicians and newspaper editorials are calling for a ban of the practice.  De Blasio says…he believes the practice is “wrong”…

Tamara Dominguez
Ever notice that consensual transactions prudes want to ban are always claimed to be “on the rise”?

Monsters 

Gee, I can’t imagine why they think this was done hatefully: “Kansas City police say they still cannot say if the murder of a transgender woman was a hate crime.  Tamara Dominguez, 36, was hit by a truck early Saturday morning, then driven over by that truck again and again…

Business As Usual

What makes this newsworthy is that the cases were actually thrown out:

Three prostitution cases have been thrown out this month by…judges and the Minneapolis city attorney, who said Minneapolis undercover police investigators went too far.  The officers’ [rape of sex workers] also drew a sharp denunciation from the county’s chief public defender, Mary Moriarty…two of the cases were dismissed…in rulings that found the officers’ actions constituted “outrageous government conduct”…Minneapolis police said the department has discontinued such undercover investigations pending a full review of its policies…[but] none of the three officers involved in the cases is [being charged]…

Unfortunately, Moriarty then rudely follows up her denunciation of the cops by vomiting prohibitionist filth all over the reporter.

Schadenfreude (#434) 

anti-trafficking NGOs have created a cottage industry of “victim repair” through vocational training…Numerous faith-based and secular NGOs…focus on selling wares made by the women they employ…Jewellery, tote bags, blankets, and placemats are among the many products sold online and at anti-trafficking conferences and fairs..for most of the women [their wages] represents only one-third to one-fifth of their previous monthly earnings as sex workers…NGOs rely heavily on moral rehabilitation to “repair the victim”.  The NGO employing [one Chinese intervewee] requires workers to contractually agree to neither sell sex nor patronise their former entertainment establishments in the future.  They are also required to live in mandatory shelter housing, have a nightly curfew, and are forbidden from receiving male visitors during the weekdays.  There is also optional daily Bible study, but if they choose not to attend, they must work through the hour making jewelry…

Worse Than I Thought (#532)

Under the new Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA)…anyone who solicits or engages in prostitution with a person under age 18 is subject to federal sex-trafficking charges…So why wasn’t former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle booked on federal sex trafficking charges?  In addition to Fogle’s alleged child-porn collection, he is accused of traveling to New York City on two occassions to pay for sex with 16- and 17-year-old girls.  Whether these girls were forced into the sexual activity is irrelevant as far as federal law is concerned; the JVTA makes very clear that anyone paying for sex with a teen is…guilty of the crime of human trafficking…But the feds didn’t even attempt to book Fogle on sex trafficking charges, instead charging him with “traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor”…not even the media have been throwing around the words “sex trafficking” in conjunction to Jared, though they seldom miss an opportunity to work the phrase into coverage of consensual sex work of any kind…

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Trafficking has become one of the new “it” words in the bankrupt moral vernacular, craftily used by puritans, property developers and rogue feminists to combat the sex trade in general.  –  Rupert Everett

Think of the Children! Noel

The minute a fragile “child” turns 18, he can turn into a dangerous source of dreaded “sex ray” emissions:

…high school senior…“Noel” has allegedly been suspended and will not graduate this year after several of his [gay porn] flicks found their way onto the principal’s desk…[he was] suspended…for 10 days for “causing a campus disturbance” [which]…will allegedly lead to “an automatic failure from absences,” and he will not be able to graduate come June…

Of course, teachers are still the primary danger:

Edgar Ortiz, a 65-year-old educator…was not fired for sleeping with a sex worker…But…was fined $7,500 by the Department of Education…He’s suing [New York] city to fight the punishment.  “Teachers are not indentured servants subject to school direction and control 24 hours a day”…he argues…A…judge…ordered the city to answer his petition…after it “failed to offer any legal basis for penalizing a teacher for illegal conduct that has little or no apparent connection with his teaching duties”…

License to Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A young woman in Milwaukee called the cops when someone threw a brick through her window…and…began kicking in her front door…two police officers responded.  One took her 15-year-old brother outside to speak to him.   The other…Ladmarald Cates…asked to see the broken window and [when] she led him…to a bathroom in the back…he…[grabbed] her…by her hair…then [sodomized and] raped her…The cop’s partner had become concerned…and called for back-up.  Other cops began arriving and saw a woman screaming incoherently about being raped.  Cates appeared…handcuffed [her and] charged [her] with assaulting a police officer…She was…held for four days before being released without actually being charged…

A Moral Cancer

A severely repressed individual penned a misogynistic screed called “9 Reasons Why a Man Should Never Go Down on a Woman”, and it’s as ridiculous as you’d expect.  Note that the first four (arguably five) “reasons” are actually one reason, and it is why the article appears under this heading.

Schadenfreude

A new moneymaker for the rescue industry: “sex trafficking” tours!

…New Friends New Life…toured parts of [Dallas]…with [cops], a Homeland Security agent and an assistant city attorney, who talked about…the exploitation of women and young girls…While vice officers…go after the men who pay for sex, they are focused on…[shutting] down complex regional or even international prostitution rings…The bus of [tourists]…gaped at [a poor neighborhood], whispering to one another in disbelief…Shawn McGraw…[of] Homeland Security…[said] “This isn’t a woman’s childhood dream.  She’s doing it to survive.”

Don’t worry if you can’t take a bus tour; they’ll bring one to you!

…Putting on headphones at “SOLD: The Human Trafficking Experience” will teleport you to the life of one of nine victims of sex slavery and trafficking…The exhibit is a multi-sensory, multimedia experience that lasts 40 minutes in nine different rooms…People who attend are encouraged to tweet, video blog and share pictures…The “SOLD” bus [travels around Washington and is based in] Seattle…

Not To Be Taken Internally Elizabeth Starr

Elizabeth Starr fears her banned boob job will kill her after her breasts ballooned to a whopping O cup.  The adult film star had now-illegal “string” breast implants 15 years ago to boost her career – but says her life has been ruined…Doctors have recommended Elizabeth face a double mastectomy…she…was already a 32F when she opted…in 1999…[for a] procedure [which] involved inserting synthetic string into the breasts to stimulate fluid production and growth.  But [after] just a few days…she began suffering complications…[she] had the string implant removed from her right breast, however, the left one was already too imbedded to be taken out…Over the next 14 years Elizabeth spent a staggering £200,000 on [63] reconstructive operations…

Gullible’s Travels

Portsmouth Middle School [in Rhode Island sent parents a letter] warning them that students may be snorting and smoking ground-up Smarties candies.  The letter warns of risks of cuts, lung infections, nasal passage scarring, nose-wedged maggots (!), and future cigarette and drug use…School [official] Dave Croston…[said] “this behavior raises troubling issue of modeling”…

As a supplement, Radley Balko prepared a short summary of other mind-numbingly stupid pseudo-drug scares of recent years.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

University of Michigan Economics Professor Raj Arunachalam…hired sex workers in Ecuador and Mexico to interview other sex workers…Arunachalam found that beautiful sex workers…earned approximately 15% more than average and unattractive prostitutes…”  Dr. Arunachalam’s next study will demonstrate that people prefer to eat good-tasting food and to listen to music instead of recordings of traffic sounds.

The Mother Learns From Her Children

two of Britain’s most senior police chiefs…have…[denounced] the police approach to prostitution as a mess…saying that [harassment] operations…are “counterproductive” and…put…women at risk…they call for…[allowing] a group of women to work together.  Chris Armitt [said]…”We are not going to enforce our way out of…prostitution.  It goes…on in every country in the world”…Martin Hewitt…said…”On the one hand we sit down with sex workers asking them to trust us and give us information.  On the other hand we are doing enforcement actions”…Hewitt…also condemned…brothel raids as superficial and offering little value other than as a media stunt…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies (TW3 #3) Say NO to the Nordic Model in Canada

a boom in X-rated production in [Las Vegas was] sparked by a Los Angeles law requiring…condoms…The number of permits…to make porn films in Los Angeles…has declined by…95 percent since the law took effect…from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013…While Los Angeles charges hundreds of dollars for location permits…Las Vegas…gives [them] for a nominal fee and does not require health permits.  The warehouses are cheaper, and it’s also more affordable to rent out mansions and put actors up in hotels…

The Course of a Disease

The European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee has voted through [Mary Honeyball’s] report that recommends the adoption of the “Nordic Model” of prostitution laws…The report [now goes] to the full European Parliament…

As I’ve explained before, the European Parliament’s resolutions are not laws, but they’re a good indicator of the growth of totalitarianism on the continent.

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #22)

Africa produces the most ridiculous anti-whore rhetoric outside of the US:

…at alluvial gold mining sites [in Liberia]…women [are] roaming from one…mine to another…rooting and indulging into “sex trade”…in return for gold or money.  What is most appalling…is the luring of some of these women into the practice by their peers…”any man who…refuses to settle us financially, will pay the price,” a lady [said]… Several men who stubbornly refused to comply…were taken to the…police…

First They Came for the Hookers… Club Madonna

Florida wants to prove it can harass strip clubs as much as Texas does:

The…Miami Beach strip club where police say a 13-year-old girl danced…has had its business license pulled for six months…Richard Wolfe, an attorney for Club Madonna…and…club owner Leroy Griffith…said they had no knowledge that the girl performed at Madonna…Wolfe…suggested that the city’s actions were retaliatory…[because] Griffith has been locked in a decade-long battle with City Hall to overturn a ban on alcohol in fully nude clubs…

Drama Queens (TW3 #48)

Emil Kirkegaard has translated a recent Danish study comparing the health of sex workers to that of amateurs:

…The percentage with bad mental health and…who often…feel nervous or stressed is smaller among prostitutes…there is no difference between prostitutes and [other] women’s rate of illness…prostitutes have a markedly lower consumption [of medicine]…the prostitutes have more…smoking, alcohol…and use of other drugs…there is a larger percentage [of prostitutes] who are underweight, and a smaller…who are overweight…prostitutes have the same frequency of contact to family and friends…Light violence against prostitutes is more common…[but] other indicators of violence and sexual abuse [are not different]…Prostitutes…often work in bended or crooked positions [and make] repeated and monotonous movements…[but] they [need not carry] heavy objects and [are not] exposed to…noise, cold…and draft.  With respect to psychological working environment, the prostitutes come out ahead as well…

Banishment

The Midtown Ponce Security  Alliance (MPSA)…is approaching  [Georgia] legislators…[with] a law it has dubbed “aggravated prostitution”…“This form of prostitution would be defined along the lines of prostitution in a residential area (we will suggest “within 500 feet of a window or door of any dwelling”), and work to have that designated a felony punishable up to five years incarceration”…

Original Sin

Though there’s plenty of “Super Bowl sex trafficking” nonsense in this story, we’ve seen that so many times before it really isn’t worth noting any more.  What’s more interesting to me is the bizarre soup of Christian, neofeminist and police state dogma which produced the “facts” which are tacked on at the end; bogus “statistics” are arranged beside neofeminist “end demand” cant and Christian dogma about sin, including the relatively-new claim that “pornography is the dominant driver for sex trafficking”.

The More the Better (TW3 #325) Franck-Ribery and Karim-Benzema

In the modern US, prosecutors rule the injustice system; obviously that’s less so in France:

Two French international footballers who are charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute appeared in court…Franck Ribery and…Karim Benzema both deny the allegations and the young woman involved, Zahia Dehar, testified that neither player knew she was under 18 at the time…Ms Dehar…has since launched her own luxury lingerie line and is reportedly the muse of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfield…prosecutors had sought an acquittal…but investigating judge Andre Dando argued they must have been aware of her real age.

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #328)

First National Review, and now Foreign Policy:

…[Prohibitionists] say they want to protect human rights, but their efforts often undermine those rights:  Campaigns and programs to end prostitution in fact lead to violence, stigmatization, and other problems for the exact people they claim to be helping…there is no convincing evidence that punishing “johns” decreases the incidence of commercial sex…Sweden’s sex workers report that criminalization has simply driven [them] underground, with dangerous consequences…and…evidence shows…that criminalization of sale or purchase…makes sex workers…more vulnerable to violence…committed by law enforcement…the World Health Organization (WHO) wrote in a bulletin that…”sex workers who are rounded up during police raids are beaten” and “coerced into having sex by corrupt police officials in exchange for their release”…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #345)

Prostitutes [in] Ibiza have formed a sex workers’ cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits…Eleven women registered with local authorities as…members of the Sealeer Cooperative…their spokeswoman, Maria Jose Lopez…[said] “We are the first cooperative in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls”…The group is applying to register 40 more women…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

Sex worker ally Rupert Everett published a long, thorough denunciation of December’s pogrom in Soho:

There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality…200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20…flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings…They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting…criminal records…and served…eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal.  All this in the name of human trafficking…while even the police say that more than 90% of prostitutes work of their own accord…

Everett goes into great detail about the hearings which followed, and the IPC collected these statements from the victims of the raid.  Keep in mind when reading them that as bad as they are, the experiences of police victims under fully criminalized regimes like the US are worse.

Little Boxes (TW3 #350)

Devil’s Advocate

A paedophile ring that streamed live child abuse from the Philippines…has been broken up after an operation by UK police and their counterparts in Australia and the US.  The National Crime Agency says…it is an “emerging threat”…in developing countries…

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Whorephobia…can manifest in various forms, including…rejection of a fellow…human being…projection of one’s own life experiences onto another…and in severe cases, frothing at the mouth…and feverishly campaigning for extreme punishment and prohibition of Whores and Whore-adjacent peoples, places, and objects.  –  Aspasia Bonasera

No Other Option

Another good article about sex work with disabled clients, this one a first-person account from reader Laura Lee.  Due to the movie The Sessions this has become a very “hot” topic, which is good because it deals a strong blow to the “victimized prostitute” narrative.  For more on the subject, here’s Becky Adams:

Japanese Prostitution

Customers…now have another option…at [Tokyo]…cuddle club Soineya…For $11 per minute, patrons…can ask for the oshiri makura (butt pillow) service and rest their heads on the behinds of its female staff…Customers must first pay an admission fee — starting at 3,000 yen (around $34) — and then have the option to purchase premium services, such as foot massages…[or] laying in a female employee’s lap

Don’t Buy It

Interestingly, “sex trafficking” fetishists waited until Super Bowl Sunday to trot out their claims this year, probably to avoid the high-profile debunking which will soon be inevitable; the story was updated less than 38 hours after its initial appearance to include a reference to an article for which I was consulted last year and the opinion of Rachel Lloyd, a “sex trafficking” promoter who has criticized the rampant exaggerations and the “gypsy whores” myth.  The main attraction is yet another soi-disant “survivor” spouting the typical tinned narrative (brutal pimp, 50 clients a day, etc), and there’s a bonus appearance by SOAP.  The most interesting bit is this snapshot of “Chinese Whispers” in action:  the story claims that “133 underage arrests for prostitution were made in Dallas during the 2011 Super Bowl,” when in actuality a very-typical 133 adult arrests of all types (not prostitution alone) were made in the 2½ weeks before the Super Bowl.  The number of actual “pimps” arrested?  One, an idiot who got the idea from the hype.

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

Atlanta’s police chief…George Turner has asked city council to approve a…banishment law…the first conviction would result in the accused prostitute being ordered not to return to the area they were arrested…upon second conviction, the accused prostitute would be banished from city limits forever…Larry Miller…said he supports anything that would put a dent in the prostitution plague…

Human beings are now a “plague” to be “banished” from an autocrat’s realm.

Hollywood pimpChupacabra

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on the “pimp” myth:

…I have never met a person even remotely like the stereotypical pimp, and yet I “know” they exist, largely because I have been told so over and over again.  I’ve met streetwalkers, both drug-addicted and not; escorts and call girls, same; not one ever had what popular imagination would classify as a “pimp,” but then I keep getting told I’m not representative, so maybe the literally hundreds of…sex workers I’ve met are just “not representative” too?…Independent sex workers who organise their own affairs…Roommates who share a flat…escort agencies with a dozen or so girls…Massage parlour owners.  Women whose house is used by other sex workers…People who set up message boards and internet forums…All of these are…called “pimps” by the anti-sex lobby.  A guy in a crushed velvet suit on a street corner, keeping his girls high and working the neighbourhood?  Not so many of those…

A Working System

Look past the fashionable “sex slave” rhetoric to what’s actually going on here:

…Chee Mei Wong…[allegedly] ran the Diamonds brothel in …Sydney…between…2008 and 2010…[and] employed six women…who…were told they would have to work until they paid off the cost of their airfare, visa and course fees [around $5000]…Despite…having paid off their debt after a “short period of time” it is alleged Ms Wong threatened she would have their visas revoked if they left.  But Ms Wong’s barrister Bruce Quinn said she…only worked at the brothel as…receptionist…[and] the matter was simply an “industrial dispute” and a “sham” created so the women could stay in Australia…

These sorts of conflicting claims are not unusual in contract disputes, and unfortunately many people are quick to accuse others of wrongdoing in order to divert government attention from themselves.  The important thing is that nobody here was criminalized for her profession, and the same situation could have arisen in any industry employing migrants.

My Readers Write

Aspasia published a bang-on and hilarious parody of medicalized pop-psychology entitled “Join Me in the Fight Against Whorephobia” which you simply MUST read in its entirety to appreciate.  I also recommend this thoughtful essay in which Obsidian proposes that the same shortage of eligible women which is at the root of so much violence in the Middle East may also influence the differences between homicide rates in American cities:

the Big Apple saw a 50-year record low of just over 400 murders in a city of over 8 million; while for Chicago, the murder rate topped 500, with a population of roughly 2.5 million.  Much has been said about the differences…in…their approaches toward fighting crime…Chicago has a proportionately larger police force than does NYC…[but] there are more Women to Men in NYC, than in Chicago…it’s been long known that whenever there are more males to females anywhere, trouble ensues.  Indeed, we are beginning to see this manifest itself in earnest in places like China and India, where the male to female sex ratio is so off the chain that extreme exhibitions of behavior are being seen on the part of the males

See No Evil

Peanuts pornU.S. District Judge Dean Whipple sentenced Christjan Bee of Monett, Missouri, to three years in prison for “possessing an obscene image of the sexual abuse of children…[namely] a collection of electronic comics, entitled ‘incest comics,’…[containing] multiple images of minors engaging in graphic sexual intercourse with adults and other minors”…In other words, he is going to prison for drawings; no actual children were involved at any point.

A Moral Cancer (Metaupdates)

You may have seen the latest “meat kills!” pseudo-study; of course, the media didn’t bother to report that the “researchers” and sponsors were all vegetarians who didn’t bother to control for little things like diabetes and age.

Above the Law

Well, this is different:

[Vincent Burroughs of] Oregon…has filed a lawsuit against an IRS agent…claiming he was coerced into [a sexual] relationship…Dora…Abrahamson contacted Burroughs about an audit…flirted with [him] over the telephone…offered him massages and sent him a photo of herself in her underwear…”She said that she could impose no penalty, or a 40 percent penalty, and that if he would give her what she wanted, she would give him what he needed”…

Traffic Jam

Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring…The “Defensores de Cristo”…allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ…Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution…prosecutors were still trying to work out which of the detainees may be considered victims, and which were abusers…

Cult messiahs invariably have sex with female followers, and how is contributing sexual labor any different from contributing money or other labor as members of established religions do?  But due to “trafficking” hysteria, it becomes “sex slavery” even though the “authorities” themselves admit that any assignment of “victim” and “abuser” status will be arbitrary.Maria Zulfiqar Khan

Yellow Fever

The high standards of American journalism have reached Pakistan:

Meet Doctor Maria Zulfiqar Khan…In her recent programme, she conducted a self-styled raid on a massage center in Lahore…and harassed the women…police [accompanied] her, but she played being in charge…we see women helplessly trying to hide their faces…[and Khan]…going through handbag of a lady…picking up a condom…and shouting…”what is this? what is this?”…Khan also plays being an interrogator…and…at one point, not agreeing to the answers…says sarcastically, “yeah right, tell that to the cops when they take you”…At the end of the programme…she visits [the] house of one of the girls…and…tells her audience “this man made [his] daughter a prostitute, what an animal he is”…

Under Duress

For those who suspect I’m biased, here’s legal scholar Michelle Alexander:

…police have a special inclination toward confabulation…[and] an incentive to lie…[they] shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so…Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner…[decried] a police culture that treats lying as the norm…Gustin L. Reichbach of the [New York] Supreme Court…condemned a widespread culture of lying…in…drug enforcement units…the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were…arrested for trespassing at…housing projects…Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs…have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (TW3 #34)

The Indian Supreme Court’s waffling on decriminalization has emboldened prohibitionist legislators, who tried to quietly criminalize prostitution by defining all sex work as “exploitation” and therefore illegal under existing law.  The National Network of Sex Workers has appealed to the President of India to veto this sleazy back-door scheme, but if he does not you can bet a court challenge will not be long in coming since Indian sex workers, unlike most in the United States, are unified to fight for their rights.

Monkey Business

A minor war has broken out…in the village of Kiad [Saudi Arabia,] where large groups of hungry baboons from nearby valleys are attacking residences in search of food and drink…Adel Medini [said]…“The baboons are targeting empty houses and are well aware of what they are doing…They proceed according to studied plans. That’s why their attacks do not fail…a resident…[returns] to find his home in disarray.  Some people…thought that thieves had…ransacked their houses…”

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (TW3 #39)

Remember the scientists who proved one could find neural activity in a dead fish?  Well, here’s a video of a thought forming in the brain of a larval zebrafish:

So Close and Yet So Far

I really wish people who support legal prostitution would talk to actual sex workers or even just do a little research before writing articles which perpetuate ugly myths such as “It’s no longer just a drug-addled woman forced onto lonely street corners” (it never was), and “sex workers are likely reticent to draw attention to their illicit life by divulging STDs and surely no one checks customers for STDs”.  The latter is an especially damaging myth because you can guess his proposed “solution” to this nonexistent problem: compulsory disease checks for registered whores (but not amateurs, who are free to spread disease at will).

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

The Kansas…Supreme Court ruled that exotic dancers are employees of the club where they work, not independent entertainment contractors…[at] Club Orleans [in] Topeka…dancers were required to pay non-negotiable “rent” for use of the stage and dressing rooms, as well as extra fees for the disc jockeys and bouncers…House rules governed what the dancers could do in their shows and the prices they had to charge for specific types of dances…The women were required to sign in with the bouncer at the beginning of a shift and weren’t allowed to leave…until the end of the shift…

The Devil’s Toys

In this book review, Harvey Silverglate made the same point I did yesterday:

In Unlearning Liberty, [Greg] Lukianoff…[presents many] examples of campus censorship …65% of liberal arts campuses have speech codes that violate…free speech norms…Lukianoff…persuasively argues that…contemporary campuses can be seen essentially as incubators for a future society governed by censorship of iconoclastic ideas and kangaroo courts that enforce those prohibitions…some…now sitting on the federal bench do not blanch when innocent citizens are convicted of violating statutes and regulations that no normal person could possibly understand [because] students…get accustomed to the administrative tyranny…and…don’t have much adjusting to do when they gain, and abuse, real power of their own…

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The truth is always easy to write.  –  Chi Mgbako

Damned If You Don’t

Because “prostitution” is defined purely by a motive, charges depend solely on the statements of cops and are often directed against any convenient victim:

…Guillermo Cuadra says…an apparent prostitute asked him, “Do you want a fuck?” as he was stopped at a traffic light [in Miami.  He said “no” but she signaled another cop anyway]…and…Cuadra…was…ordered into a motel parking lot where…cops pulled him out of the car, pushed his face into gravel, stepped on him and handcuffed him, then…[broke his] left upper arm, [tore] his shoulder ligament and [caused] nerve damage to his elbow and hand…[when] Cuadra [complained about his arm one of them]…responded, “Fuck you…”  Though he had just $3 in cash on him…the city falsely charged him with “solicitation of prostitution, allegedly offering the undercover police officer $60″…

The charges were later dropped, and Cuadra is suing.  If you’re wondering why the cops were so stupid as to claim he offered $60 when he only had $3, it’s because “police reports” are just boilerplate, with the details written long before the actual “sting”.  See also “Zimbabwe” below.

Updates

An Enormous Big Nothing

Reader Casey Nelson shared this story of his own experience as the target of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

…I’m 50+ years old, white, a businessman and have lived in Cambodia for more than 18 years.  I’m married to an Asian woman…and have two beautiful children – a 9 year old girl and 7 year old boy…though they are not distinctly Asian, they are darker than me and not 100% European in appearance…[one Sunday while on an outing] I noticed a woman…taking photos…She held up her camera, pointed at it and said…“Photo you, internet, you pedo…for police,” in a distinctly Italian accent.  I said something like “These are my children.”  She just shook her head and started to raise her camera again.  I said, “You want police?…I’ll call police”…her mind [was] probably…twisted by the constant stream of sensational, repetitive and often wildly-overstated stories of western pedophiles and abused children in Cambodia.  And not only by the western press but by NGOs that profit from it and feed the beast with exaggerated stats and a constant stream of rehashed horrors stories that keep the funds flowing…I figure that when my photo turns up on some Italian website as another pedophile operating…in Cambodia, it will also include a story of my powerful police connections that were on their way to protect me and how she had to flee for her life…

There’s a lot more; I urge you to read it in its entirety as yet another example of the fallout from moral panics.

Convenient and Inconvenient Victims

An excellent essay on victimhood from law professor Chi Mgbako:

When many people think of typical victims of human rights abuse, they often conjure up stereotypical images of passive and powerless people…waiting to be saved.  The biases underlying these notions can lead some human rights advocates to favor  “perfect victims” in advocacy and publicity campaigns, and…to disregard injustices faced by other marginalized individuals who may inspire more ambivalent and complicated responses from the public.  The privileging of “perfect victimhood” is misguided because all people have human rights regardless of subjective determinations of “worthiness”…the danger of the…construct is illustrated by two examples:  Anti-prostitution advocates who privilege abuses experienced by victims of trafficking over violence faced by those voluntarily involved in adult sex work; and society’s failure to view economically disenfranchised black men as victims of the devastating ‘war on drugs’…

For another excellent essay on human rights being independent of “worthiness”, consult Ken White’s “Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It”.

A Moral Cancer

The adult obsession with adolescent oral sex isn’t at all creepy or perverse:  “The popular notion that teenagers …are experimenting with oral sex en masse is being challenged by new data…[which shows they’re] about as likely to engage in oral sex before intercourse as they are to have intercourse first…

May Q & A

Another view of the issues that can arise when a whore falls in love and tries to give up harlotry in order to be faithful to her man, courtesy of Cathryn Berarovich writing in The Gloss.

Against Their Will

As many as 45 sex workers…[escaped from a social institution in Jakarta and]…are currently being pursued by the police…30 [visitors] …were turned away at the entrance gate by 3 guards because it was not visiting hours yet…[then broke in and] urged the inhabitants to escape with them…one of the [intruders]…who was suspected [of being] the sex workers’ pimp was arrested…those social institution inhabitants would undergo guidance in terms of social, mental, physical, and other skills…

Obviously, they were forced to escape by the “pimp”; clearly they couldn’t have wanted to flee a brainwashing attempt be trafficked away from their rescuers of their own free will.

Blackball

I’ve explained how escort services blackball bad customers, and now the UK is introducing a nationwide plan to do the same. But Douglas Fox of Harlot’s Parlour has some reservations:

…Although in this “article” it is claimed that local sex work projects have operated ugly mug schemes for twenty years, real sex workers…have operated them for as long as there have been sex workers…in theory [the plan] should work nationally…however…[it] relies on local [outreach] projects…who…work only with…street workers…[and] have little or no contact with the vast majority of sex workers…The scheme also relies heavily upon the co operation of the police.  Sex workers do not trust the police, with very good reason…Although the new…scheme promises that sex workers can report crimes anonymously through their local project, the real advancement would be if sex workers were able to report crimes against them…directly, with out fear of arrest or harassment.  One is tempted to suggest that the first ugly mug listed…should be the police themselves…


Presents, Presents, Presents!

Thanks so very much to Chester Brown for sending me a copy of his graphic memoir Paying For It.  And as if the gift itself were not cool enough, he autographed it AND drew a cartoon just for me on the title page!  I’ll tell you about the book in an upcoming column, probably around mid-September.

They Still Don’t Get It

Another stenographer who fancies herself a journalist presents yet another collection of prohibitionist myths vomited out by cops.  This one’s especially fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way:

…21 suspected prostitutes [were] arrested during a two-day sting by the regional Street Enforcement Team…Federal grant money was used [because]…the focus was finding underage prostitutes and their pimps.  None were found…prostitution activity in the community …is a mix of local women desperate for money…and an emerging trend of younger Northern California women who work for pimps and target Reno, especially during special events…“Before, it would be older, local women just trying to get a motel room and a rock to smoke,” said [Sgt. Ron] Chalmers…“Now they are younger, from Sacramento being run by their pimps.  We are trying to help these women, and provide victim services,” he said…

This one has it all:  the “gypsy whores” myth, conflation of escorting and streetwalking, internet demonization, “trafficking” mythology, agency denial, a demonstration of the flaws of legalization (the stings were in Reno, Nevada, not far from legal brothels), illegal diversion of federal funds, whore as addict, victim and nuisance all at once, “rescue” as an excuse for criminalization and even Maslow’s Hammer!

Zimbabwe

Here’s a hint, ladies:  if you want this to stop, you need to campaign for decriminalization because whores look just like other women:

Hundreds of Zimbabwean women are protesting in Harare against a spree of arbitrary arrests by local police…[who] are detaining any women they see out after dark for soliciting…police said they have only been arresting commercial sex workers.  Human rights groups, however, claimed hundreds of women have been arrested every week…Inspector Sabau said the crackdown…would continue as long the constitution prohibits prostitution…

Childish Things

Dr. Paul Maginn of the University of Western Australia says it’s time for people to get over their childish attitudes toward sex work:

…the stereotypical image of a sex worker…is a woman forced to work on darkened streets…to feed her drug habit and pay her pimp…[but] the world of sex work is much more complex…Some work…out of economic necessity.  But don’t we all work to pay the bills?  Some people are coerced or part of forced trafficking.  However…research suggests the proportion of these…is very low…Yet we tend to let our minds be overtaken by…those who seek to initiate moral panics about sex work…and other forms of so-called ‘abnormal’ sexual practices, such as homosexuality …Effective policy is based on hard evidence, not media stereotypes or moralistic posturing by politicians or religious groups…

Metaupdates

A Tale That Grew in the Telling in October Updates (Part Three)

This article on a Brooklyn “john school” is like many others CNN has published since it turned completely yellow, but it’s interesting in three respects:  first, that the title calls it a “trafficking class”; second, that it states ordinary men cannot tell adult women from prepubescent children; and third, that they’ve once again lowered the “average age of entry”:

…Rhonnie Jaus, the chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau, said the class attempts to sensitize and educate the men on the dangers of prostitution to both the John and the prostitute.  “You think you’re having sex with an adult, and it…could be…a trafficked child brought from China…”  [Assistant DA Grace] Brainard emphasized that most girls enter prostitution between the ages of 11 and 14…

If the average prostitute starts at 12.5, that means there are two girls out there who started at age two to balance my entry at 33.  Clearly, basic arithmetic is not a requirement for a government position in Brooklyn.

Shifting the Blame in TW3 (#12)

Has anyone else noticed how the search for the Long Island Killer ground to a halt as soon as they recognized he was probably a cop?

…There are arguably lots of reasons why Suffolk County investigators have had a difficult time tracking down the so-called Long Island Serial Killer (or killers, there is much debate) including the condition and age of the bodies…and the difficulty of getting sex workers and their johns to work with active investigations.  But the Post today argues that at least part of the blame can be placed on the local PD not wanting to give up any PR glory to the Feds:  “Despite repeated signals by the agency that it was ready and eager to deploy units, Suffolk brass have ignored the FBI in an effort to retain control of the high-profile case”…

Chimeric phrase of the week: “sex workers and their johns.”  Kind of like “African-Americans and honkies.”

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea in TW3 (#29)

Indian sex workers again demonstrate their awesomeness:

The Board of All India Network of Sex Workers has taken exception to an affidavit filed by Ministry of Women and Child Development… “Sex workers expressed strong reaction about the affidavit filed by the Ministry of WCD before the Supreme Court that sex workers are devoid of dignity and that all sex workers should be rehabilitated by all means,” AINSW said in a statement…”Human dignity cannot be robbed by the state based on occupation, caste, creed or economics”…

This Week in 2011

“Blackball” (noted above) was followed by an example of prohibitionist cockroaches fleeing from light, a survey of my “Top Ten” columns at that time, a two-part examination of whores who think they aren’t and short articles on anti-streetwalker laws, diseased amateurs, selective partisan blindness, and a small sex worker victory against Google, plus cops harassing strippers while ignoring serial killers, the absence of “trafficking” in New Zealand and ignorant sexologists.

This Week in 2010

My first Friday the 13th, film review and miscellanea columns, escort service callers and client behaviors that drove me up the wall, “The Clipboard Effect” and “The Empress Theodora”.

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