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Posts Tagged ‘abortion’

We don’t know what we’re doing. –  rare true prohibitionist statement

Real People 

Stories like this need to be heard in order to fight the racist “sex trafficking” and “illegal alien” narratives:

…My mother came to Denmark as a marriage migrant.  She received a tourist visa in Thailand, came to Denmark, and put an ad in the local newspaper with the headline “Thai Woman Seeking”.  The man who became my stepfather answered.  They got married, and shortly thereafter I came to Denmark to live with them…People have always looked down on my mom or pitied her.  They have condemned my stepfather.  And they have felt misplaced sympathy for me…If my mother had not migrated from Thailand, I would probably still be in Isaan today.  I would have two or three children and work in my family’s rice paddies, at a factory, or have some other kind of low paying job.  Maybe I would have to migrate to Bangkok to work an unskilled job at a factory, leaving my children in the care of their grandparents in those months where there is no work to be done in the fields.  Maybe I would have to work in the sex industry in Pattaya and send home money to my children and my mother, because sex work is the field where you earn the most as an unskilled female labourer…Why are the women who change their lives by selling sex or by getting married scorned?…Why do we look down on women who simply use the opportunities they have been given?  There is no right or wrong way to migrate.  There are just women trying to create better lives for themselves and their children with whatever cards they have been dealt…

One Size Fits All

Marriage brokering, migrant sex work, forced prostitution and organ harvesting are all the same thing?

Pakistan…arrested eight Chinese nationals [and accused them of] trafficking Pakistani girls to China and forcing them into prostitution…and organ trade…Pakistani…[cops also] raided a wedding ceremony…and arrested the Chinese groom…after…[calling the] marriage [false]…

If this keeps up, soon we’ll just be able to abolish nearly all laws and call everything cops choose to accuse anyone of “human trafficking”.  Think of the time and labor savings!  Threaten everyone with life in prison, let them plead down to one of a few minor and equally-vague offenses like “money laundering”, “conspiracy”, “racketeering” or “hate”, then put them on ankle monitors for a decade or two.  International Utopia!

Cops and Robbers

Another bunch of racist vigilantes playing games with people’s lives:

This is the story of a group of [busybodies] so agitated by news of [women of] other [races running lucrative businesses instead of doing menial labor for whites]…that they launched a vigilante response…[like all busybodies] the women weren’t affected by the massage parlors personally.  They’d been driving right by them for [their whole lives] without noticing them at all…But the spas loomed large for the women after they learned [how much money migrant]…women…from China [could make]…as prostitutes [without having to kowtow to bourgeois white Boston puritans]…“We decided as a group we want to [harass] the women”…

First they tried to spy on them, then sic the pigs on them; when the cops told them luggage and TV sets were not evidence of “sex slavery” they decided to start a new NIMBY club called “Operation Rescue”.  Go ahead and read the whole thing if you want a deep dive into the tiny, ugly, racist minds of women who aren’t satisfied with merely keeping the brown folks in line by occasionally calling the cops on them for existing in public spaces.

Property of the State

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

Juan Leon-Gomez…was arrested…after a mother reported that her daughter was missing…the [now-pregnant] 11-year-old was found in [Leon-Gomez’s] bedroom closet…[he] was already the subject of an ongoing sexual assault investigation involving the girl…Ohio’s new “heartbeat bill”, which is slated to take effect in mid-July, means that the 11-year-old girl could be forced to carry the child to birth, regardless of the fact that she was raped…

Saint Death (#428) 

The…notion [of] ‘narco-saints’ borders on incomprehensible…But give it a cool name…and it suddenly turns religion into proof of guilt“:

“Narco saints,” or patron saints of the drug cartels, are making the criminals even bolder…[according to racist propaganda the] Drug Enforcement Administration…has [been trying to push for over a decade]…with…li[ttle success except among bootlickers and deeply credulous cops]…Atlanta DEA [pig]…Robert Murphy…[imagines] shrines of “narco saints”…are [magically] facilitating the flooding of Georgia streets with illegal drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl…[via their magic powers] to recruit and embolden the…[drug dealers this pig tellingly refers to as] soldiers…[illiterate redneck] District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson says she was so alarmed by the “narco saints”…she [went to church and then] used [stolen] money to bring an expert [propagandist] from Texas to [indoctrinate] local [cops so they’d have another convenient excuse to murder Hispanic men on sight]…“Why it’s so dangerous…is they believe they’re [bulletproof warriors] and they’re not afraid of death,” Lawson said…

Think of the Children! (#565)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” the childen!

Robert Kraft tried to donate $100,000 to a charity that educates children in Haiti—but it rejected the money because of allegations he [had consensual] sexual [contact with an adult woman]…“The last thing I wanted was a donation from Robert Kraft,” [said] Patrick Moynihan of The Haitian Project…“I could not be [sensible]. I had to [be a prudish moron who cares more about virtue signaling than the education of children in poverty]”…

Permanent Record

Sex workers need to bury all prohibitionists of every kind in lawsuits:

Nicole Gililland…had been doing well as a nursing student at Southwestern Oregon Community College…She was making the dean’s list and was about a year away from graduating…when…the college decided to run her out of school after it found out she used to perform in porn.  This February, she filed a federal lawsuit against the school and some of its personnel, charging them with breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and subjecting her to a hostile educational environment.  Experts say this…could be the first time a plaintiff has used Title IX to make an accusation of discrimination based on a person’s status as a current or former sex worker…

Guinea Pigs (#719) 

Just a reminder that one of Palantir’s first contracts was helping cops spy on sex workers:

Palantir, the CIA-funded data analysis company founded by billionaire Trump adviser Peter Thiel, provided software at the center of a 2017 operation targeting unaccompanied children and their families…newly released Homeland Security documents show….[that] Palantir…spokespe[ople were lying when they claimed]…that Palantir software is strictly involved in criminal investigations as opposed to deportations…Far from detached support in “cross-border criminal investigations,” the materials released this week confirm the role Palantir technology played in facilitating hundreds of arrests, only a small fraction of which led to criminal prosecutions…

A Woman’s Point of View (#805) 

The push for decrim in Hawaii isn’t dead yet:

…Harm Reduction Hawaii…sponsor[ed] presentations by Dame Catherine Healy…on May 9 and 10.  She is a former sex worker and advocate for sex worker rights.  In 1986 she was a cofounder of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.  She was made a Dame of the British Empire due to her long time work aimed at…decriminalization of prostitution in 2003.  Recent reports from the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women indicate there is no evidence of sex trafficking there.  This is in a country with four times the population of Hawaii…We believe evidence-based approaches need to supplant the sorts of hysteria that has often taken over the public press in discussions over sex work…

Disaster (#881)

Facebook has the money to protect itself from the monster it helped unleash on the internet:

Under FOSTA/SESTA…Section 230 no longer protects platforms from liability in cases where third-party content is [claimed by a prosecutor or ambulance-chaser to be] somehow connected to sex trafficking…Facebook support[ed this censorship] effort…But now [it] has been forced to send lawyers to defend itself from two lawsuits brought in Houston, Texas, under the same FOSTA/SESTA law that [it] backed…and it…is…argue[ing] that Section 230 of the CDA protects the firm from being held liable for the activities of users, no matter what those activities may be…[even though] thanks to [Facebook’s own support of] FOSTA/SESTA, that protection no longer exists…

A Procrustean Bed (#921)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of “authorities”:

A lawsuit filed by Harris County seeks to [rob and harass] sex workers in the Bissonnet Track, a Houston [stroll]…The lawsuit, which targets 86 “nuisance” individuals, is [intended to bleed marginalized people with] fines in addition to…criminal charges. [SWERFs are angry that] the measure ignores the[ir preferred narrative] that most sex workers are victims [because they want sex workers starved, evicted and enslaved in sweatshops rather than openly criminalized]…

Worse Than I Thought (#925)

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

Florida lawmakers just voted to create a public registry of people [accused by cops of] attempting to pay for sex.  After an initial defeat…the registry—arguably the worst part of a new Florida crime bill capitalizing on human-trafficking propaganda—was revived and reinserted before the measure’s passage…The final version…creates a database of [adults caught in cop sting operations]…targets strip clubs, and mandates that a slew of state workers and businesses jump through new hoops to accommodate a few politicians’ latest attempt to get their names in the press…The Soliciting for Prostitution Public Database will list anyone who has been convicted of, or plead guilty, to “soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation” [which of course includes sex workers arranging duos or giving references or other help to other sex workers]…The new measure also classifies strip clubs as “adult theaters”—then makes it a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense for the operator of any adult theater to fail to keep proper records.  The law also creates wide new categories of workers and businesses that are [forced to endure]…anti-prostitution and pro-surveillance propaganda disguised as tips for teaching bystanders how to prevent human trafficking…

Top Cop (#931)

Just in case you needed another reason to be disgusted by this power-mad sociopath:

Kamala Harris is making the potential punishment of social media platforms that don’t censor what she [represents] as hateful speech a focal point of her presidential campaign…[she] wants social media to do more to stop…ideas [she disapproves of, such as sex worker rights] from being expressed and spread online.  It’s not clear what she thinks the companies should specifically do, but she’s definitely laying the blame on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube for the existence and proliferation of angry people online…what she wants with her prosecutor background is to force compliance with whatever rules she puts into place and use the threat of punishment to shut down resistance…just [like] California parents who were threatened with jail time because of her support for criminal truancy laws…or [her repeated and illegal]…attempt[s] to bring pimping charges against the publishers of Backpage…

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If you aren’t already familiar with “Ode to Billie Joe”, the song I featured in yesterday’s column, do yourself a favor and listen to it before continuing to read this one.  For over fifty years, listeners have speculated just what it was that the narrator and Billie Joe threw off of the Tallahatchie Bridge, and Bobbie Gentry – a woman almost as enigmatic as the song that made her famous, who abruptly stopped performing at the height of her fame forty years ago and has barely been heard of since – has steadfastly refused to explain it, or even to comment on the disappointing “solution” used by screenwriter Herman Raucher in the 1976 movie inspired by the song.  Given that she is approaching 80 and is more reclusive than ever, it seems likely she will take the secret to her grave, just as her character in the song apparently did; rather than share her grief with others, the narrator “spen[t] a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge/And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”  As a young teen, the general consensus among the girls in my circle was that the object thrown into the water was a self-aborted fetus which had resulted from the narrator’s relationship with Billie Joe, and that the overly-sensitive boy had killed himself in a fit of inappropriate guilt, possibly due to being seen by the “nice young preacher, Brother Taylor”.  And while a number of other possibilities have been proposed, and good arguments could be made for some of them, it’s the one from my adolescence that inspired this essay upon my re-listening to the song last week.

Not everyone wants to “shout her abortion” as the activists urge; some prefer not to talk about it, and some may feel shame, sorrow or some more complex mix of emotions and prefer not to discuss the subject at all.  Similarly, while sex workers like me are almost belligerently open about it and others are only out with close friends, still others prefer not to admit their history of sex work to anyone.  Some LGBT people are “out and proud”, some more quietly queer, and some still deeply closeted.  The same range of coping strategies (if that’s even the right phrase) can be seen in relation to kinks or fetishes; mental health issues; a history of rape or sexual abuse; drug use; a criminal record; family issues; and nearly anything else for which guilt or shame, appropriate or not, can be heaped upon an individual by society, family members, or even one’s own psyche.  And while it’s certainly true that repressed shame can lead to all sorts of harmful outcomes (like jumping off of bridges or letting one’s life be consumed by bottled-up grief or anger), and that talking about taboo subjects certainly helps to normalize them, not everyone has the psychological mechanisms or social tools required to “shout” her abortion, discuss her whoredom on television, march in pride parades or display family skeletons in the front yard.  Some people have the psychic anatomy necessary to be honest about subjects that were or still are considered shameful, and some don’t; some may feel comfortable displaying some skeletons and not others (for example, being open about queerness but not about sex work).  And the only person who is qualified to make decisions about which laundry to air and which to pack away in the cedar chest is its owner.  While I would like it if more sex workers were “out”, I have no right to pass judgment on anyone who isn’t; their lives are theirs to live, not mine, and they are the ones who will reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their decisions.  And the exact same thing is true of every other such secret.  To drag someone’s secrets into the open against their will is an act of psychic violence which could potentially trigger physical violence in some circumstances, which is why outing, “doxxing”, and tattling are condemned by all ethical adults.  Minding one’s own business is a virtue, locked closets should be respected, and sometimes silence really is golden.

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Coincidentally, this article about “financial abortion” came to my attention just the day before yesterday’s reader question did, but they both touch on the same subject:  the oppressive “family court” and mandated-child support system.  The article points out that while a pregnant woman has the right to “opt out” of the burden of unwanted motherhood by choosing abortion, the man who got her pregnant has no similar right; if she chooses to have the baby he’s on the hook financially for over two decades, even if she told him she was using contraception and he strenuously objects to fatherhood.  Some MRAs, anti-abortion nuts and politicians have proposed that a man should have veto power over a woman he has impregnated, but this is obviously an abomination; every person owns their own body, and absolutely nobody else (and certainly not the state) has the right to control what that person does with their body.  At the same time, it seems reasonable for a man to have some recourse against consent violation, so some have proposed that a man could legally sever all ties during the pregnancy, dodging his financial responsibilities by voluntarily surrendering his parental rights.

I’m not going to waste my time or energy in a fruitless Mars/Venus emotional discussion about men’s inability to keep their dicks in their pants, the responsibility for contraception, the “unfairness” of Nature, “But the children!” or any other insoluble malarkey.  Nor do I believe for one second that a government which claims every citizen as property of the state and uses violent threats in an insane attempt to micromanage every aspect of its citizens’ lives, to the point where it is willing to lock people in cages to keep them from experiencing pleasure in a way it doesn’t approve of, or literally force unwilling women to endure the dangers and burdens of pregnancy and childbirth against their wills, would ever agree to let men out of a convenient noose and women out of a trap where they’re forced to rely on Big Brother and be tied to a useless man for two decades.  Puritanical US “authorities” want sex to be as dangerous and consequence-laden as they can make it, which is why prostitution is criminalized, abortions & birth control are the subjects of so many ban attempts, and “family court” is a nightmare for everyone but the lawyers and bean-counters.  The only thing I want to do here is to propose (not debate, sorry) a framework which a hypothetical free society (in which the rights to contraception and abortion were unquestioned) might use to resolve this dilemma.

The principle of self-ownership demands that the government stay completely out of the lives of individuals who have not committed violence against others, and that includes their reproductive lives.  Therefore, the only just and ethical way of dealing with the situation is to simply recognize reality: the child is the chattel, sole responsibility and sole right of the mother.  Up until the advent of DNA testing just a few years ago, there was no sure way to determine the male parent of a child anyway, so the whole concept of “legitimate fatherhood” hasn’t any more tangible connection to reality than angels dancing on pinheads (as any loving adoptive father or stepfather will tell you).  Fatherhood in the social sense has absolutely nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with emotional and economic investment in the child, and the idea that someone can be compelled to love by court order is as vile as it is absurd.  If the biological parents of a child want DNA tests, in other words if biological parentage matters to them, well and fine and may Hera bless them.  But the outcome of such a test should have absolutely no legal weight; it should confer neither paternal rights nor paternal obligations.  If a man wants the former, he can offer the mother the latter; if a mother wants the latter, she can offer any man (not necessarily the biological father) the former.  If they both agree on the terms, a lawyer makes a contract and they’re done; disputes are settled in ordinary civil courts under ordinary contract law, with no special “family” mumbo-jumbo involved.  No more custody battles; no more bureaucrats making intimate decisions for mothers.  Just the recognition of biological reality and the removal of one of government’s most effective means of controlling the individual.

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Fucking over sex workers is a way [Democrats] can be bipartisan.
– Sean McElwee

Life Imitates Artifice

Prohibitionist tactics remain the same no matter what they’re trying to prohibit:

Members of Congress…held a press conference…to announce a letter signed by 56 GOP lawmakers calling for investigations into a report from discredited anti-choice group Live Action Network accusing Planned Parenthood of covering up child sexual abuse…[this] follows a familiar game plan, including coordination between an anti-choice activist group and Republican lawmakers.  This round of attacks come as the Trump administration looks to reinstate a…restriction blocking federal family planning funds from organizations that provide abortion services in the same location as Title X-funded services…The Live Action report…includes discredited and extensively edited “sting” footage originally reported in 2008 and 2011…

This laudatory article from Christian Post has a bit more meat:

Laura J. Lederer, president of Global Centurion…[fantasized] that abortions and the sex trade are “inextricably linked.”   She recently conducted a study…in which the findings revealed that approximately 30 percent the trafficking victims surveyed reported multiple abortions.  Traffickers would routinely threaten their lives and beat them if they became pregnant, Lederer said.  One survivor whose abuse was especially brutal at the hands of her trafficker “said that she had 17 abortions over the time she was trafficked, all of them at the same clinic”…

I’m honestly surprised that the “forced sex trafficking abortions” myth didn’t become more popular, given the considerable overlap between anti-whore and anti-abortion activism.

Moloch 

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

…18-year-old Mariea Starr…[of] Waynesboro, Pennsylvania…was caught by another student allegedly performing oral sex on a boy in a school stairwell…Because Starr had turned 18 two months before the incident and the boy she allegedly engaged in oral sex with…was [16, school pig Matthew Gordon]…charged [Starr] with…felony unlawful contact with minors which carries a Tier II sex offender designation…for 25 years, including being photographed by Pennsylvania State Police twice a year…Gordon brought the case without oversight from the district attorney’s office or school district administration because in Pennsylvania [pigs have absolute power to inflict charges on students]…Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal…reduced the charges against Starr to open lewdness.  She was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and will not be placed on the registry.  Nonetheless, Starr will graduate from high school with a criminal record, which will significantly affect her educational and job opportunities…Starr is far from the only student that Gordon…has [fed] into the criminal justice system…

Dirty Laundry

And yet the Times supports the evil of Ruhama, the Magdalene orders’ rebranding:

…220 survivors of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries convened for a state-sponsored meeting in Dublin…The laundries were filled not only with “fallen women” — prostitutes, women who became pregnant out of marriage or as a result of sexual abuse and those who simply failed to conform — but also orphans and deserted or abused children…The Magdalene Laundries were part of an interlocking system of orphanages, industrial schools, “mother and baby homes” for unwed mothers and church-run institutions in which Ireland…confined…At least 10,000 women and girls…between independence from Britain in 1922 and the closing of the last one in 1996…

The Spiral of Absurdity 

Why do reporters repeat this egregious nonsense without fact-checking?

A sting on the sex-trafficking trade in metro Atlanta netted dozens of arrests and the rescue of dozens of children forced into sexual servitude, the FBI announced…Operation Safe Summer was a collaborative effort between the FBI’s Atlanta field office and 38 law enforcement agencies…The sting ended with nearly 160 children rescued, including one as young as 3 years old, and nearly 150 arrests, convictions or sentences…

Really?  If cops had really discovered 160 kids being held hostage, this would be international news, not a minor local story.  Looks to me like some mouthpiece repeated the number of arrests as the number of “rescued children”.

Between the Ears (#407)

Velvet Swing is the first female sex aid that actually works:

…it’s not exactly surprising that [Mistress Matisse] ended up in the cannabis industry…It’s even less surprising that her first product is a weed lube, called Velvet Swing.  While weed lube—rightly touted as the first truly effective female sex aid—is nothing new, Velvet Swing is the first water-soluble version.  Which kind of means it’s the first one that really qualifies for the term weed lube.  Oil-based lubricants are…not condom safe, meaning that products like Foria or Bond Sensual Oil are effectively restricted to people in monogamous partnerships…

And naturally, Matisse uses the interview to wake up pot-business folks to sex worker rights.

Bait and Switch

Entrapment so blatant even a judge couldn’t swallow it:

…In 2014…Skagit County [Washington] detective Theresa Luvera…posted a sex solicitation on Craigslist’s casual encounters…Craigslist’s rules required all participants to be 18+. something that has undermined sex stings in the past…After some online exchanges between the detective and the defendant, the detective claimed she is underage (“almost 15 but waaay advanced”).  Even further in…the detective brought up money-for-sex.  At every step along the way but the end, the defendant seemingly made it clear he was seeking free sex with a female adult.  Eventually the defendant shows up at the designated rendezvous point baitwith the requested items…The trial court dismissed the prosecution because the “State engaged in outrageous misconduct in violation of a defendant’s due process right to fundamental fairness”…Now that Craigslist has shut down its personals section, I’m not clear where law enforcement will conduct its online sex stings…

The Crumbling Dam (#709)

Alas, Seattle “officials” think harm reduction principles only apply to drug use:

Seattle’s efforts to find a location for its…supervised injection site has turned up nothing, and now the mayor’s office is looking to go mobile.  Jeff Sakuma…point person in finding a site…[said] there are no city or county-owned buildings that meet the criteria…the $2 million the council had set aside is to low to purchase an existing building or buy land and build…a private party that could partner with the city to allow the use of their property as an injection site, “could be subject to seizure by the federal government”…As an alternative…Seattle & King County would purchase a recreation[al] vehicle and remodel it…The mobile [unit] would park either on the street or in a parking lot near a facility that would provide space for a reception area, a waiting area, restroom storage and utility space…

Worse Than I Thought (#745)

Another shitty law specifically designed to harm sex workers:

Phoenix is ramping up the penalties for [adult consensual sex] as part of the city’s ongoing effort to curb [adult consensual sex].  The City Council voted…to fine individuals convicted of soliciting sex workers $2,000 for a second offense, $2,250 for a third offense and $2,500 for each additional conviction. The mandatory fines will be in addition to jail sentences of 15-180 days.  “If we catch you … we’re going to make it as unpleasant for you as we possibly can and I don’t feel bad about that at all,” said Councilman Jim Waring, chair of the Phoenix [anti-consensual sex] Task Force…

The Widening Gyre (#764) 

Yeahno.  This still smells like a publicity stunt gone wrong:

British model Chloe Ayling has thanked those who “believed in me from the beginning” after a Polish man was jailed for kidnapping her.  Lukasz Herba held Chloe Ayling captive for six days in a farmhouse near Turin in Italy, after abducting her during what she thought would be a photo shoot last July.  He was arrested after releasing her at the British consulate, and has now been sentenced to 16 years and nine months in jail…Ayling…has always insisted she has told the truth about her captivity.  She told police she never tried to escape because she was terrified and believed Herba’s threats that he was part of a bigger criminal gang that was watching her constantly…

Pyrrhic Victory (#836)

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data…in the United States. The agency’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometrics—from face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people.  It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments…HART will chill and deter people from exercising their First Amendment protected rights to speak, assemble, and associate…face recognition makes it possible to identify and track people in real time, including at lawful political protests and other gatherings.  Other data DHS is planning to collect—including information about people’s “relationship patterns” and from officer “encounters” with the public—can be used to identify political affiliations, religious activities, and familial and friendly relationships.  These data points are also frequently colored by conjecture and bias…

Blunt Instrument (#841)

With the demise of Backpage, anti-whore pogroms turn back to low-hanging fruit:

Three indictments were unsealed…alleging massage parlors in Topeka and Lawrence were fronts for prostitution…Five people were charged in federal grand jury indictments alleging prostitution businesses generated millions of dollars in revenue.  Charges included conspiracy, interstate racketeering, bank fraud and money laundering…

Note the way pigs try to make this seem like a big-time cartel by throwing around terms like “millions”; any business that doesn’t gross at least $1 million over a five-year period is probably failing.

Safe Position

If the Democrats were smart, they’d adopt this as their official platform:

…when it comes to the rights of…sex workers…elected Democrats still overwhelmingly side with the religious right and consistently fail to consult the people most affected by their policies…Now, however, a small but growing group of…candidates are heeding the outrage of their constituents and have turned against laws that make it harder for sex workers to safely practice.  At least three Democrats running in competitive House primaries are currently campaigning on their opposition to SESTA/FOSTA, legislation that passed in April and holds websites criminally liable for any [claims of] sex trafficking that occurred on their pages…the bill effectively shut down the websites that were the safest venues for sex workers to ply their trade.  Following its passage, Backpage.com and the personals section of Craigslist immediately folded.  Their collapse has already prompted many sex workers to return to the streets, where conditions are much more dangerous…

Lack of Evidence (#848)

The recrudescence of a public health nightmare:

…If you believe that all prostitutes are forced into it against their will…then prostitutes are victims.  If you believe it’s possible that it’s just a transaction between consenting adults, then it shouldn’t be a crime at all.  If you’re just a prude determined to tell other people how to conduct their sex lives in accordance with your sniffling sensibilities, then it doesn’t matter…As advocates like Maggie McNeill have made clear, there are women who choose prostitution as their occupation without shame or excuse.  This is what they choose to do, and they don’t give a damn about your Victorian mores.  You don’t have to like it, but…the demand exists and always has, and despite your sniffling, it’s not going away.  But is the answer to force prostitutes, and their customers, to risk the choice between contracting a loathsome, if not deadly, disease or enhance their time in jail?  That’s what Allegheny County is trying to do…the possession of condoms means the difference between a summons and a custodial arrest…

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[Cops are] notorious for using data out of context or drawing grand conclusions that data ultimately do not support.  –  John Hudak

The Enlightenment Police 

Australia appears much more committed to human rights than Europe:

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has triggered a firestorm around religious freedoms, after wearing a burqa into [the Australian] Parliament, a stunt that has united all sides of politics in condemnation…As senators could be heard groaning and gasping at her entrance, Senate President Stephen Parry confirmed it was Senator Hanson beneath the face covering, while seeming unsure of how to officially respond to the performance…Attorney-General George Brandis showed no hesitation.  When Senator Hanson whipped off the garment with a dramatic flourish…and asked Senator Brandis if the government would join her in banning the burqa, he did not hold back.  “Senator Hanson, no, we will not be banning the burqa,” he said, visibly angry, and looking at one point like he was close to tears… “we all know that you are not an adherent of the Islamic faith…be very, very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians.  We have about 500,000 Australians in this country of the Islamic faith and the vast majority of them are law-abiding good Australians…to ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do”…

Change a Few Words

All prohibitionism is the same:

Government-rooted misinformation has long been central to the very existence of War on Drugs…the Drug War has always been fueled by alleged facts that have no basis in reality…As most state and federal research documenting the impact of legalized marijuana show encouraging results reflecting responsible regulation, one federally funded agency is still producing reports that paint a very different reality.  Reports from High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas [figure heavily in]…anti-legalization campaign[s]…[but] the reports are “garbage”, according to John Hudak, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institute who studies (maintaining a neutral position) marijuana legalization…

The Last Shall Be First (#38)

Pakistan surpasses the US in at least one area of civil rights:

Pakistan’s Parliament is poised to pass the nation’s first law recognizing transgender people as equal citizens and laying out penalties for discrimination and violence against them…The  Transgender Persons Protection of Rights bill…has the support of all the major political parties [and] is expected to pass easily in Parliament in the coming weeks…The draft law gives…anyone whose gender identity or expression “differs from the social norms and cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at the time of their birth” the right to identify as a transgender person and enjoy the same rights as other men and women in Pakistan…

Skin To Skin (#313)

This seems to be the same case as in the earlier news item, but it’s worth revisiting:

At 93, Roger’s libido is far from fading.  He might have dementia and live in a nursing home but he has an active sex life, thanks to the care and support of his children, his nursing home professionals and a woman called Emma…who…visits Roger monthly…They laugh together, talk about things that were once important in Roger’s life, they touch each other and they have sex…Emma said the nursing home staff understood the important role sex workers played in the lives of people with dementia.  “They roll out the red carpet for me, because they know the profound nature of this service and what it really means for this client,” she said…

Monsters 

When “diversion” programs are subject to prosecutorial discretion:

In December 2015…a video was posted online featuring a Black woman on the New York City subway arguing with a man and a woman…then lunging at them with an object in her hand.  Days later, Merci Chrisette turned herself in.  There was no record of what sparked the apparent outburst…For the tabloids, it was all a juicy story—and one they were quick to frame about Chrisette’s transgender identity…Nobody…even required medical care as a result of the incident…[but] Chrisette is set to go to trial later this fall for a host of charges related to the incident…Because she has a conviction for a previous felony assault…Chrisette…could face as many as seven years behind bars…Since 2002, people with serious mental illnesses…have been potential candidates for Brooklyn’s Mental Health Court…Chrisette, who has previously been diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia with panic disorder…has not yet been allowed to plead into the court—a reality she and her supporters worry may be influenced by how she’s perceived as a trans woman of color…

Traffic Circle

Criticism of “anti-trafficking” propaganda from inside the “anti-trafficking” ranks:

…progress against human exploitation has been painfully slow, despite the vast investment of political capital, resources and expertise…Few public figures speaking on this issue have resisted the temptation to cite trafficking statistics that are at best unverifiable and at worst demonstrably false.  The anti-trafficking community as a whole has been unconscionably silent about the shoddy research methodologies that regularly produce the wildly varying numbers on which it so heavily relies…Presenting our data as better than it really is smacks of hubris and overreach.  It also risks validating interventions that can only pretend to be evidence-based…

Property of the State (#436)

Texas comes up with some of the sleaziest, most underhanded anti-abortion tricks of any state:

On Tuesday, August 15, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 214…[which] mandates abortion coverage be removed from all private, state-offered, and Affordable Care Act insurance plans and sold as a separate — and unprecedentedly specific — policy.  What this means in theory is that people who want to be covered in the event that they need an abortion will have to purchase extra insurance for it.  In practice, it means insurance companies may simply stop covering the procedure altogether, the profitability of an “abortion-only” add-on being questionable at best.  As with many such laws, the…stated purpose is to “prevent those with moral, religious and philosophical objections from having to pay for the procedure”…Governor Abbott…did not say what Texans who want to subsidize abortions via group health plans are supposed to do, or what religious groups with objections to other legal medical procedures should do to avoid funding them…

Broken Record (#534) 

They’re literally recycling “gypsy whore” tall tales now:

…hoards [sic] of people will be in [Las Vegas] for the much anticipated Mayweather- McGreggor bout at the MGM Grand.  Police will also be looking for illegal activity, including prostitution…One person who [prrtends to] know…first hand [sic] is former sex worker Annie Lobert.  She now runs…[Liars] for Jesus and Destiny House, a [rescue industry scam]…How big is the take on fight weekend?  Lobert said, “I would normally make $5 thousand a night, Fight Night $15 thousand, $10 thousand, $20 thousand”.  But what isn’t talked about she says, are the victims; girls and boys sometimes trafficked here from other countries, many lured from Clark County schools, and quite a few underage.  The only event bigger than Fight Night may be The Super Bowl…

The subject of a 14-year-old moral panic in full swing “isn’t talked about”.

Tyranny By Consensus (#608) 

Looks like LA still isn’t done beating this very dead horse:

We are deeply troubled by the vote today by the Board of Supervisors to approve a Measure B permit structure drafted by those without any knowledge of the adult industry, and over the objections of the performers it [claims] to protect…Anyone filming adult content in Los Angeles is now required to pay a $1671 health permit fee, undergo sexual health training, and mandate that performers wear condoms.  Anyone who fails to comply with those strictures faces $1000 fine, and up to six months in jail.  Despite having five years to formulate a plan and work with stakeholders, the Department of Public Health submitted the proposal to the Board of Supervisors just over a month ago, without consulting performers or alerting the industry to the opportunity to provide public comment.  This is not surprising — Dr. Ferrer, the new head of the Department of Public Health, sat after the proceedings with AHF, the controversial organization that put Measure B on the ballot…Dr. Ferrer ignored performers when they attempted to make public comment, and performers were heckled and shouted at by members of the AHF contingent.  One performer was called a whore.  Make no mistake: like Measure B, this vote was done based on bias and ignorance, an attempt by moralists to punish an already stigmatized minority…

Of Course It Is (#674)

I hope she gets every damned penny:

[Celeste Guap]…has filed a lawsuit against one of the [police departments whose cops exploited her]…She…had sexual encounters with four Richmond [cops] in exchange for protection from arrest and tipoffs to prostitution operations…a fifth [cop] fondled her.  Several…face criminal charges…

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I have so little respect for Cindy [McCain] and her objectives…that even under the best of circumstances I do not think [her] organization merits existence.  –  Tom Gosinski

Against Their Will 

Brave women overpower their captors to escape a brainwashing prison, yet reporters insist on using the word “rescue” throughout the story:

Twelve women who were rescued from immoral trafficking and were undergoing vocational training at a rescue home ran away after assaulting their trainers and tying them up…Police…have been [dispatched] to [hunt down] the women…

Saving Them From Themselves

Yes, the cops were called in because young people were talking about a subject it’s natural for them to be interested in, and for sharing pictures of what they actually look like.  This is Western society in 2017:

Halton [Ontario] school boards and police are deeply concerned after it was revealed…sexting and sharing nude pictures had become a popular activity among Grade 7 and 8 students…hundreds of mostly 12- and 13-year-old students…were engaged in the [arbitrarily] illegal activity…the number of students discovered to be involved surprised [incredibly clueless] police and educators…[Superintendent Scott] Podrebarac [pretends normal adolescent sexual development]…“is a police matter”…due to the sheer number of kids involved, the boards and police chose instead to…[threaten and brainwash the young people] and parents…possession of [photos of their own bodies]…is a serious offence, and Podrebarac said kids wouldn’t be getting a second warning…Podrebarac [threatened]…[that] parents who pay for the phones…[could] be charged [with possession of “child pornography”]…

Finding What Isn’t There

The mental gymnastics cops employ to explain why they can’t convict people for “crimes” that never happened:

…as…[Maryland] police aggressively [charge people with]…human trafficking with double the amount of investigative resources they had more than two years ago, prosecutors are still struggling to win convictions.  Nearly 75 percent of charges…were dropped over the last seven years…despite ambitious agendas by [“authorities”]…data to [demonstrate there is a]…problem does not…exist…To win convictions for felony human trafficking, prosecutors must prove the pimp used force, fraud or coercion…[but] without the [collusion] of [sex workers branded as] victims [by police & prosecutors]…most charges are dropped…

Property of the State 

US women need to strongly consider permanent sterilization, and remember that it’s both honorable and moral to lie to busybodies:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions…the…aim was to overturn a…[St Louis] ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices…landlords could refuse to offer housing to women…while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them…they could [also legally] ask women [about the subject]…

Instant Criminal

Cops already do this to people:

…the scam starts by an alleged woman contacting a man through an online dating app or website…The texting then turns sexual and includes the exchange of nude photos and plans to meet…the male victim…is then called by a person claiming to be a part of Iowa’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The scammer tells him the woman is underage and there is now child pornography on his phone.  The scammer says child pornography is also on the woman’s father’s phone because she was using it communicate with the male victim.  The scammer then tells the victims he will need to replace the father’s phone or face legal action…The [supposed] father tells the victim to wire several hundred dollars to him to pay for the new phone…Victims are encouraged to [turn themselves in to the pigs & hope to be believed]…

Absolute Corruption (#542) 

Fran & Dan Keller have been exonerated at last:

Twenty-five years after they were convicted of a crime that never happened, Fran and Dan Keller were formally exonerated…in Austin, Texas.  The couple’s prosecution in 1992 was part of…the…Satanic Panic…The Kellers…paid an exceptionally high price for the credulousness of…law enforcement…

Signs

Fetishists now want pigs spying on women in bars: “[Ohio] plans to train 80 undercover agents…to spot the signs…[of] human trafficking victims.  These agents would be on high alert in places like bars where victims may be taken“…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#709)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

Reuben…Coppa’s Rendevu mobile web app is an on-demand platform for adult services that hopes to make the industry safer for both clients and working professionals…Rendevu has secured $700,000 in a recent round of funding which makes it the only funded app in the niche.  The app lets professionals display real time availability, list prices, and display ratings including profile accuracy.  On the client side, the app pre-authorises credit cards to ensure safety and confirm the payment before services are rendered.  The appointment process also involves an ID confirmation by the escorts which adds another layer of security…Rendevu looks like a game changer for an industry sorely in need of disruption.

If these idiots had bothered to consult even one sex worker, they’d know that we have no interest in having our industry “disrupted”.

The Red Umbrella (#724) 

I’m glad to see this piece of shit flop:

…much-hyped comedy Rough Night had a rough showing at the box office during its opening weekend…[it] brought in just $8 million — about half what was expected…A comedy revolving around the death of a sex worker is a hard sell in general, but when the target audience is female, and sex work is overwhelmingly a female profession, it becomes harder for audiences to approach flippantly.  Before the film even came out, the public was expressing horror about the plot on social media…Bloggers in some corners of the internet weren’t particularly thrilled either…Intersectional feminism has been working very hard the last few years to alter how sex workers are viewed by those who don’t work in the industry.  It has been remarkably effective in humanizing one of the most historically judged and marginalized groups in the world…

Fuck you, Rae Alexandra.  It isn’t “feminism”, which has changed the public perception of sex workers; it’s the hard work of sex workers ourselves, and we don’t appreciate fucking amateurs like you trying to steal credit for our achievements as you’ve been doing for the past century and a half.

A Mound of Filth (#749)

As I pointed out last week, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain has a long history of working against human rights:

…Cindy McCain…has a track record of spreading misinformation, promoting policies that make prostitution more dangerous, and partnering with people who use human trafficking as a cover for all sorts of rights-violating behavior…the..McCain [institute] is supported by large donations from entities known for persistent rights violations, including Saudi Arabia, a U.S. defense contractor selling smart bombs to the Saudis, and a Moroccan mining company occupying land in Northwest Africa…McCain’s philanthropic record reveals a long history of personal abuse of nonprofit resources, shady connections, and shoddy work…McCain…didn’t [even] pick up the [“sex trafficking”] issue until 2013, when she suddenly emerged as a fully formed crusader…Most board members have a tenuous connection at best to human rights, but plenty to do with industries McCain oversees in Congress…the McCain Institute does little to directly address the needs of vulnerable people.  Instead, it hosts high-level policy symposiums, puts out white papers, does misinformation-filled “awareness” campaigns, and hosts an annual desert networking weekend for the global elite known as the Sedona Forum…

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Being lonely is hardly a crime.  –  Jake Adelstein

The Rescuers 

Harassing streetwalkers to scare away their clients has become a popular rescue industry pastime:

Friday afternoon, a group called “Code Red” gathered their efforts to stop prostitution throughout the Bay Area and across the country.  “We love people and we know sometimes you just have to keep working and working because they are going to come,” said Sylvia Vigil, who…spent hours out on the streets of Oakland looking for sex workers.  She says she saw ten girls out there and tried to reach as many of them as she could…The girls were all invited to a special dinner Friday night and from there Operation Code Red will offer them places to stay in recovery homes.

“Love” = “pathologically need to control”.  “Reach” = “steal income from”. “All invited…offer them places” = the girls were all too smart to walk into that trap, so nobody actually showed up.

It Looks Good On Paper

Another story credulously touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws:

Ohio…Senate Bill 4…would allow trafficking victims to apply to have records removed of some guilty convictions, dismissed charges or findings of not guilty…prosecuting attorneys…successfully pushed for changes that require the person seeking expungement of…felonies to [somehow] prove the degree of duress they were under…

Surplus Women 

Cops threaten and harass sex workers, yet believe we’ll come to them when we need help:  “…a prostitute was found stabbed to death in her north London flat…[on] May 29…Detectives have warned other sex workers in the capital to be “extra vigilant” as they hunt the killer…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Quite possibly the most ridiculous excuse any politician has ever used:

On May 22, the Yomiuri Shimbun…alleged that [Japanese politician Kihei] Maekawa frequented a shady dating bar…for a few years until around the end of last year.  The article implied that many of the women who come to the bar…offer sex for money…At a news conference on May 25, Maekawa admitted he used to go to a dating bar but said he went there to talk to the women and learn about poverty in the country…after watching a TV documentary that said many women going to such bars are barely getting by.  “Sometimes I had meals with women and gave them some pocket money,” Maekawa said.  “Talking to them, I have learned that child poverty is connected to the poverty of women”…

Can we please all grow up now and recognize that it’s not merely normal but common for men to pay for sex, and that many women accept money for sex either directly or indirectly?

Welcome To Our World (#15)

Another rape victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

…in June 2015, Angela Cardinal was led into an Edmonton courtroom handcuffed and in leg shackles…She was not the accused, but rather a victim — called to testify at a preliminary hearing after she was savagely attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious sexual predator…Cardinal was forced to spend a total of five nights in [jail]…during her testimony…Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley was appalled when…told…of Cardinal’s treatment…she has…formed a special committee to look at the case to review policies, with an eye to making what she calls “aggressive changes”…

Bottleneck 

No, they aren’t “forced” to work without a license; in every place where sex work is legalized, the vast majority prefer not to be registered by politicians and “supervised” by pigs.  Just look at the headline and tone of this article and you may understand why:

In Singapore, prostitution is legal, but [related activities are not]…The government regulates prostitution…but nevertheless illegal sex workers saturate the industry…There are an estimated 1,000…licensed sex workers in Singapore…Yet thousands more choose – or are forced – to work without a license.  Unable to access the same protection the state offers licensed workers, illegal sex workers will either work from massage or beauty parlours or…set up a profile online…Dr. Thein Than Win explains, “In the licensed brothels, everything is in place: mandatory health screenings, condoms.  But for the illegal sex workers…there are no [compulsory government-ordained restrictions]…As police stepped up their efforts by increasing surveillance…and…lawmakers [banned online advertising]…sex workers used websites hosted outside of Singapore to circumvent it…

Pyrrhic Victory (#139)

Some readers implied I was a crank when I predicted this exact development four years ago:

After the Freddie Gray riots in 2015, Baltimore residents began noticing small planes circling the city.  As reporters later uncovered, Baltimore Police had quietly begun using a “wide-area surveillance” system, which deploys Cessna planes to constantly record the movements of an entire metro area.  Police never bothered to tell the public they were using the invasive technology, which had been developed by the U.S. Air Force…Now Miami-Dade Police are quietly trying to deploy the same system.  In a county document posted online Tuesday, MDPD revealed the force has applied for Department of Justice funds to begin using wide-area surveillance (WAS) tools throughout the county…Civil liberty groups say they have major concerns about police using such a system, especially without telling the public about it…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m surprised this has taken so long to catch on, given the considerable overlap between anti-whore & anti-abortion busybodies:

There are only 13 states in the U.S. where it is possible for a minor to obtain an abortion without either notifying or explicitly receiving permission from either one or both parents.  For those who get pregnant in such states there is the option of continuing the pregnancy, finding a judge…willing to grant a judicial bypass…or [traveling]…to one of the few states that allows minors unrestricted…abortion…In 2006…the Child Custody Protection Act was proposed…[to make] crossing the borders a crime…it…died in committee a few times since then, but now it has once more reared its head…Ohio Senator Rob Portman reintroduced the Child Custody Protection Act in May, putting the restriction back on the table as a means of allegedly combating human sex trafficking.  “Human traffickers and child molesters don’t want parents involved in abortion decisions, so they take underage girls across state lines for abortions to avoid laws in the victim’s home state,” writes the conservative news site OneNewsNow

Are you satisfied, feminists?  Helping the anti-sex loons spread their “sex trafficking” myth sure was a good strategy, wasn’t it?

Soap Opera (#553) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution…gathered a couple of dozen volunteers in Arlington, Virginia…to…deliver…[bars of magic anti-pimp soap] to hotels and motels around the D.C. Metro area…S.O.A.P. Founder Theresa Flores [claims she] recently received a text message from someone…[who was saved by] one of these [soap bars]…The volunteers…also gave…hotels…a list of warning signs for desk clerks to watch out for, and also photos of missing girls…Flores [also claimed she happened to be] around when a photo of a missing girl put in the hands of a desk clerk [happened to be someone in the hotel that specific clerk had checked in]…

Flores’ entire shtick derives from TV cop shows, right down to the convenient coincidences.

What Were You All Waiting For? 

The ACLU still has a long way to go if it wants to help sex workers:

…For sex workers…[prohibitionists’] view of “help” is paternalistic.  Most of us probably don’t think much about sex workers, and when we do, we tend to immediately assume the worst stereotypes…Criminalizing sex work just allows the dark side to flourish.  When sex-work is driven underground, victims of violence and exploitation feel the need to hide…Sex workers facing criminal sanction are less likely to report rape and violence committed by their customers, and they are more likely to take risks like unprotected sex when they operate entirely outside the law.  If we were really concerned with protecting [those]…who engage in sex work, we would set up a legitimate legal framework in which they could operate…

Eli Baumwell clearly needs some education; legalization (which is what he’s advocating here) doesn’t really work because in the same paternalism he himself says doesn’t work, and the chief danger we face isn’t violent customers but violent cops who lose no power over sex workers under the legalization model he’s advocating.  But this very flawed effort is still better than the ACLU’s long silence on sex worker rights.

Full of Themselves (#650)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”; let’s see how that actually works:

Last month, Venice [Florida] police arrested three women for prostitution after raiding three massage parlors…[all three] still have “clear and active” massage therapy licenses issued by the DOH…all three have prior histories of prostitution arrests or convictions…Spotty enforcement and regulation of sex crimes in the massage profession happen all the time…Until 2015, the DOH operated on the honor system by requiring massage therapists to report their own arrests.  Now there is fingerprinting, that in theory, will automatically catch arrests of licensees for prostitution and other crimes…[the DOH] insists the state’s $6.5 million a year massage regulatory program that You Paid For is doing well…

I love it when authoritarian busybodies feed on each other.

Storyville (#697)

Some parts of the American west tolerated prostitution long after it was criminalized in the rest of Puritanland:

…When the discovery of gold and silver turned [Wallace, Idaho]…into the center of the mining universe, men moved [there]…by the thousands…Dr. Heather Branstetter….has literally written the book on the history of the sex trade here…”The madams contributed so much in anonymous ways that people don’t know about,” Dr. Brantsetter explained.  “They would leave money at the grocery store for people who couldn’t afford food.”  Many in Wallace say they don’t remember ever having to do a school fundraiser; what they needed was always provided.  In 1972, the state of Idaho no longer allowed cities to legalize prostitution.  But…in Wallace, it was [tolerated as long as] madams…follow[ed police] regulations, like not hiring local girls and keeping the women off the streets in their off hours.  But, over time, the [mining] industry declined.  By the mid-1980’s, only a few houses were left.  The AIDS epidemic…shut down [the last one]…in 1988…

The Widening Gyre (#738)

Still more infantilization of migrant Nigerian sex workers:

Although no fewer than 1, 594 illegal migrants from Nigeria have so far returned from Libya from January through May this year, many more are still stranded outside the country, having been deceived of a better life by traffickers, so said a representative from International Organisation for Migration (IOM)…Dr. Nahashon Thuo…Mrs. Winnie Aideyan, said…“There is nothing wrong with travelling, but people need to travel the correct way.”  Aideyan called on Nigerian youth to stop illegal migration, stressing, “Women need to be empowered so they will not be tempted by these traffickers”…

Because “empowered” women will obey self-appointed nannies and only travel in the “correct”, government-approved way, sitting with folded hands until they get permission. Naturally.

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