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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

The notion that traumatic events can be repressed and later recovered is the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry.  –  Richard McNally

Skin To Skin

When it comes to the disabled, prudish paternalism trumps human needs:

A judge has ruled that social services should not facilitate [hiring sex workers] for a man with learning disabilities who…is in his 50s…He is now in supported accommodation and in the care of Lincolnshire county council…The judge [bloviated]…“I consider it would be wholly contrary to public policy for this court and for this local authority, to endorse and sanction [him] having sexual relations with a woman for payment”…

No Friend of Ours

Nevada has become one of the most vile, loathsome fonts of anti-whore vomit in the US:

Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world…Nevada’s attorney general [hosted a meeting so politicians]…prosecutors…[pigs, prohibitionists and other pils of feces wrapped in human skin can come up with lucrative schemes to hurt sex workers and increase their own power]…“We are now using technology to catch [sex workers and their clients]…we are going to get them,” [bloviated] Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford…

Theatrics

Why did sex workers cooperate with a filthy pig’s scheme to draw attention to himself?

A Miami Beach [cop] has been relieved of duty…after appearing in a social media video that…show[s] him faking the arrest of three…women [in lingerie] and marching them to the front door of police headquarters…William Beeker…[was critized by] Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales…[who said] “It is disgusting that a representative of the Miami Beach Police Department…would…participate in [humiliating women for]…his [own reasons instead of humiliating them to spread city-approved propaganda about]…human trafficking and other sexual crimes”…Beeker has been in the news [for humiliating women] before.  On Feb. 7, 2013…two sisters from Toronto [reported] that Beeker and another [pig sexually] assaulted them and insulted them with profane comments while they were being arrested [on bullshit charges]…just before the prior Christmas…

False Witness

Once the Satanic panic returned as “sex trafficking”, I guess the return of “repressed memories” was inevitable:

…not that many years after the repressed memory craze has ended, it’s coming back.  The terms have been updated: Today, “repressed memories” are called “traumatic dissociation,” but the concept is the same, and a new review of the research published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science found that 76 percent of clinical psychologists believe traumatic memories can be blocked for many years and then recalled later on, a rate that has grown since the so-called “Memory Wars” of the 1990s.  They also found high rates of belief among law enforcement personnel, judges, and jurors.  In fact, laypeople were actually less likely to believe in this concept than psychologists and other clinicians.  The group least likely to believe it?  Scientists working in the field of memory…

To Molest and Rape

If only there were a concise word for “sex without consent”:

A [typical and repreentative] Kentucky [cop] has been sentenced to [a mere] five years in prison for [aggravated rape of] 5 women who are [also] suing him…Pablo Cano [naturally was given]…a [plea] deal in which he admitted to having sex without consent [that somehow magically wasn’t rape] between 2015 and 2017…Cano also pleaded guilty…to possessing child porn…

Only when you’re a cop does serial aggravated rape magically shrink to “sexual misconduct”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#746)

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

…St. Louis Aldermen listened to the details of a new way to [suppress the population].  The program involves “eyes in the sky” and is [euphemized as a] Community Support Program.  A representative…told Aldermen they could have three photographic planes covering 95 percent of St Louis…for 40 hours a week.  When a [protest such as those in Ferguson]…happened [or a political opponent needed to be smeared] they could go back to the place on the recording…pick out the [victims]…and follow [their] movements before, during, and after…This is a $7.5 million value.  But it will be provided to St. Louis for free for three years…by a rich [fascist] who [has plans to profit from it and possibly increase his own political power in the bargain]…

Cops and Robbers (#823)

Another sleazy attempt to hurt sex workers’ income bankrolled by billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt:

…online ad[s placed by pigs are easily]…distinguishable from…re[al ones by the fact that real sex workers nearly always have an established online footprint.  Men who ignore this and text pig-placed fake ads may]…receive…[bot-generated oinking]…on the[ir]…cellphone that’s designed to [scare them an thereby harm sex workers by diminishing their income]…“It’s never been harder to buy sex online,” [boasted a badgelicker in the pay of billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt, named Rob] Spectre…[who also fantasizes that] it’s never been more expensive [when adjusted for inflation, a nonsense statement intended to make it look as though “end demand” tactics work to reduce the number of sex workers]…sex workers [ex]plain the inability to “screen” prospective clients online places them at greater risk…[meanwhile fetishists like to fantasize that sex] trafficking generates $150 billion a year in profits worldwide, according to a…[fantasy promoted by notorious opportunist Siddharth Kara]…

Dirty Amateurs (#876) 

As the war on professionals escalates, STIs rise among amateurs. What a koinkydink!

For the fifth consecutive year, combined cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen in the United States…”Combined they total 2.4 million infections that were diagnosed and reported just in last year alone,” said Elizabeth Torrone, a CDC epidemiologist who worked on the new report, adding that the combined number marks “the most cases” ever recorded since monitoring began in the United States…

Buried deep in the article:  the rise is mostly among adolescents and young adults, and is tied at least in part to decreased rates of condom use.  I must also point out that people in this age group are far more likely to have received “abstinence only” miseducation instead of proper sex education.

Surplus Women (#895) 

Stick to sex worker victims, and you can murder as many women as you like without cops giving a shit (or even noticing):

Samuel Little, 79, confessed to strangling 93 victims between 1970 and 2005…triple the number of victims that Ted Bundy confessed to killing.  Now, the FBI is asking the public to help identify more victims of the man they [claim] is America’s most prolific serial killer.  Little targeted women, often of marginalized and vulnerable groups, many [of whom] were [sex workers, so]…their bodies sometimes went unidentified and their deaths uninvestigated…”For many years, Samuel Little [was]…not…caught because…no one [in power gave a damn about] his victims,” said [spokespig] Christie Palazzolo…”Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to [use this as a way]…to close every case possible [so as to maintain the Hollywood myth that we’re defenders of the people rather than the federal cops we actually are].”  That’s where the public comes in.  FBI crime analysts [claim]…all of Little’s 93 confessions are credible, but so far they’ve only been able to verify 50 of them…

The Course of a Disease (#896)

The Swedish rot has now invaded Germany:

Bundestag members of the SPD and CDU [parties] plan to criminalize prostitution…Bundestag member Leni Breymaier (SPD)…[and] other[s]…want to introduce the “Nordic model”…[which] prohibits [both] paying [for] sexual services and…mutual support among sex workers, for example, protective measures….this means discrimination and deprivation of rights. A comprehensive study by the Swedish sex workers’ organization Fuckförbundet proves that this deprivation is a breeding ground for exploitation and exclusion…

Bait and Switch (#977)

Where “wantonly destroying people’s lives for sport” is euphemized as “crossing the line”:

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office…is [making excuses for an]…entrapment [scheme which led to]…the arrest of 23 men…and the suicide of a 62-year-old soon-to-be-grandfather…records…reveal the outrageous lengths the [cops have] been willing to go to try and convince law-abiding men to break the law to boost arrest totals in their “To Catch a Predator”-style undercover stings.  In one example from a 2017 operation, SCSO spent two days trying to seduce a 20-year-old man who showed no interest in having sex with a [legal minor.  Lying pigs]…posted a…[fake] ad for an 18-year-old woman on Tinder…and proceeded to swap “getting-to-know-you” texts for more than an hour; only then did [the wanking pig pretend to be]…a 14-year-old girl…he [repeatedly] rebuffed the attempts, but [was fired by the sheriff’s office where he was a civilian employee for not falling for the trap]…SCSO has also made a habit of destroying records related to the stings before they can be obtained by the public…

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These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuse’s livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hit-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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Diary #483

When I scheduled my flights for my Washington trip a couple of weeks ago, I could see that the trip east would go relatively smoothly, but the trip back would be tighter; accordingly, I packed very light so I didn’t have to bring my roller bag.  That way, if I got wedged into a flight at the last second, I could take my bag with me instead of being forced to gate-check it (because I absolutely despise checking luggage).  The trip out wasn’t bad; everything was on time and I made my connections, and the only problem was that on the scond leg I got put in a middle seat next to a dude who thought it was a wonderful idea to leave the window-shades open the whole time despite my polite warning that it was likely to trigger my vertigo (and of course I was correct, and only my practice of not eating for at least four hours before takeoff prevented me from making a really disgusting display of puking for over an hour instead of just embarrassing myself by retching up bile).  But a two-hour nap on Liz Brown’s couch put me to rights, and we had a lovely evening.  Then the event at the Reason offices on Thursday night went very well, and I got to meet several of the staff whose bylines I recognized, and some noteworthy people whose names you might recognize; I’m kind of hoping I managed to talk them into throwing a similar event at their Los Angeles office sometime soon!

Alas, the journey back did not go smoothly; bad weather in Chicago caused a very large number of cancelled flights which rippled through the system like falling dominoes.  I arrived at Reagan airport at 8 AM Friday, endured no fewer than seven reroutes and a similar number of postponements, and then a little before midnight the flight I was booked on by way of Dallas (which had been postponed half a dozen times since its originally-scheduled time of 4:30) was quietly and inexplicably cancelled without warning (despite the fact that we had repeatedly been assured for hours that the delays were almost over and we would be departing for Dallas at midnight).  The only way the passengers found out was that someone saw “cancelled” on the board next to the flight number, and almost 200 people were forced to line up at the customer service desk to be rerouted.  By the time that was finished it was almost 2 AM, and I saw little point in trying to find a hotel when I had to be back at the airport for 5.  So I wandered around a little, did some tweeting, had a croissant sandwich thing at 3 from Dunkin’ Donuts (literally the only thing open at that time in the main airport for the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth), then was forced to go back through the TSA gropeline at 4 to catch my 7 AM flight, which I had routed through Phoenix in the hopes of avoiding all the displaced Dallas travellers.  Fortunately, the return trip was exactly the opposite:  I was given a very good seat on a not-overcrowded plane and fell asleep during takeoff, then after a brief period of wakefulness around the time we crossed into Arkansas I found a very comfy position and slept like a baby until about 3 minutes before the captain announced we were landing.  After a 90-minute layover the next flight was just as smooth (though I didn’t sleep), and I found myself surprisingly energetic all afternoon and evening until I suddenly crashed just after 10 PM.  I was asleep by 10:30 and slept deeply for eleven and a half hours, then awoke none the worse for wear.  But even if I never have such an airline adventure again, it will still be much too soon.

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Diary #482

Though I have several friends who are unhappy to see summer go, I don’t share their enthusiasm for long, bright, hot days.  And so as the days shorten and cool and the typical Seattle rains return until June, I breathe a sigh of relief at every sunset and I can feel the tension and anxiety slowly leaving my body.  It didn’t hurt that this year I discovered I could offset a lot of the summer anxiety by simply starting my evening edible an hour or two early; dealing with a lot of that on a daily basis prevented it from building up to the point where it took over a month to recover from, and that means I’m already starting to relax even though autumn just arrived with this week.  I’ve turned off the air conditioner and put away the floor fan; my desk lamp is going on earlier and I’m starting my edible a bit later again, and though I had to travel to Washington DC again this week (for my reception for The War on Whores tonight at the Reason magazine offices), I took it in stride and my nerves stayed relatively unfrazzled yesterday.  Let’s hope that all bodes well for the rest of this year, and the next as well.

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Diary #481

September has been party month for the Seattle demimonde; after two I mentioned last week, there were two more this past weekend (both birthday parties because I know lots of Virgo sex workers).  Then of course we’ve got the upcoming reception for The War on Whores on September 26th at the Reason magazine offices in Washington DC, though of course that isn’t a birthday, isn’t a Virgo event, and isn’t in Seattle.  But it’s a party just the same!  And on Thursday, Lorelei and I used the excuse of a rescheduled duo to have a Who night featuring the return of our favorite flavored vodka; it’s no longer available in Washington but Lorelei found a source and made sure we were well restocked.  Add to that a good week for business, the return of cooler weather and shorter days, the arrival of three seasons of Green Acres on DVD thanks to Square Peg, and my discovery of a new and potent edible with no yucchy taste, and it was definitely a recipe for a good week; may Aphrodite grant me plenty more of similar quality over the rest of the year!

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Today is Friday the Thirteenth, which as long-time readers know is the day I ask non-sex workers to stand up for our rights.  This is not the first such occasion since the passage of FOSTA, but it’s the first one in 14 months (though we’ll see another in December, as is the case every time we get one in September), and it’s the first one since the topic became politically “safe” for the cowards who want to be called “leaders” to bring up in public.  The latter point is, I think, extremely important; one of the reasons so many outside the demimonde are afraid to stand up for the obvious fact that the government has no business “regulating” private sexual arrangements is they’re afraid of guilt by association.  And this is by no means a foolish dread, because prohibitionists absolutely will not hesitate to accuse any woman who defends sex worker rights of being a whore herself, and any man who defends them of being a client.  But now that even the hang-to-the-rear political crowd is talking about it, the prohis have only got so many fingers to point; anyone who wants to help but is still shy can share any number of pro-decrim articles in major media outlets.  There are plenty of ideas on how you can help in previous columns for this occasion, and I strongly encourage you to look at those.  But as usual, the best way you can help, better than any other, is money.  As I wrote last year, “donate to SWOP-USA, to SWOP Behind Bars, to the EFF or Woodhull Foundation to support their anti-FOSTA lawsuit, to individual activists (because traveling around the country to do this work is much more expensive than you might think), or to sex workers who have been harmed by increasing censorship of our ads.”  This is especially critical because, as you may have noticed, the orange-utang’s deranged trade war has already caused enough damage to the economy that bookings are falling and sex workers are getting worried.  As I’ve explained before, election years are always bad for business, and any old-timer like me can tell you that election years in a bad economy can be devastating.  Add to that the advertising chaos caused by FOSTA and the wanton destruction of Backpage, and the climate of fear among clients engendered by constant and ever-intensifying pogroms, and we have a recipe for what could possibly be the worst year for sex workers in the 35 that I’ve been paying attention to it.  As I wrote in “Straight Talk“,

I understand you may be nervous about the political situation; well, we are too.  And if you profess to care about us, you need to step up and be generous.  So, book a session with your ATF.  Book one with a lady you know has kids.  Book one with a lady you like, but haven’t seen in a while.  Book with a male escort you’ve been wanting to see.  Book with a domme or FBSM pro you’ve had your eye on.  Book with me or any of the other sex workers you see me interact with online…If you don’t have time to book but still want to help, most sex workers have PayPal or Patreon or some such you can use to give them a monetary token of appreciation.  Because there isn’t a single one of us who won’t be grateful for it right now.

As I’ve often pointed out, we are winning in the court of public opinion.  But that takes time, and we’re now in the “getting worse before it gets better” stage.  So if the sex workers you care about and the activists you admire are going to make it through to the end, we’re going to need your help in every way you can give it.

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Diary #480

Last week was a short but busy one.  It was short because I didn’t come back from Sunset until Tuesday (to avoid the nightmarish traffic from all the squares coming back from the coast on “Labor Day” to be back in their cubicles by Tuesday morning), and it was busy because nearly every night involved a multi-hour engagement of one kind or another.  On Thursday Daedalus took me to a concert by a Beatles cover band to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road; I enjoyed it immensely and it didn’t even make me feel old (not older than I already feel, anyhow).  On Saturday Lorelei held a combination birthday party and long-delayed housewarming, then on Sunday some of us held an end-of-summer barbecue.  As regular readers know, the return of shorter days and cooler weather is definitely a cause for celebration for me; I’m already feeling a lot less anxious, and I’m getting better at using edibles to manage my stress.  So that’s all I have to say right now, except to remind everyone in the Washington DC area that I’ll be back on September 26th for a reception for The War on Whores at the Reason magazine offices!  The event is free but you need to register, and if you’d like to see me professionally while I’m there we can arrange it as long as you let me know by the beginning of that week at the very latest (preferably sooner).

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