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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

We await a thundering so great
That it shatters stars
That it awakens fate
To save us from a void of eternal scars.
  –  Abdurehim Imin Parach

Not for Everybody (#626)

Women who had a bad time in sex work are exploited by prohibitionists, but some wake up:

…when I came across the “survivor” movement…it was like coming home.  I finally felt able to share my experiences honestly and without feeling judged…I accepted what I was told about the Nordic Model; that it was a framework which supported women and punished the perpetrators.  And all buyers were perpetrators.  I was encouraged to share and re-share and share again my trauma experiences (for no compensation, of course) to the point that I was a quivering wreck, angry at the world and thoroughly believed that women were doomed without the passing of a Sex Buyer Law, and anyone who said otherwise was part of the Big Pimp Conspiracy.  Looking back it felt a little like joining a cult.  I was saved!  And I had a responsibility to save others.  I’m mortified, now, at the way I ignored the efforts of those who patiently tried to show me the documented evidence…

Worse Than I Thought (#711)

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

…senate candidate Bill Hagerty [publicly shared his sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…in Tennessee…[after vomiting up a lot of nonsense about] roadways…and…proximity to Atlanta…[then reciting the shahada and dehumanizing sex workers as a] growing epidemic…[he called for increased censorship of] the internet…and…[claimed] that [sex work]…”is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals”…

Worse Than I Thought (#737)

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

The Odessa City Council will consider…an…ordinance…that is aimed at tightening [the noose] on sex…[workers]…The ordinance will…extend…the distance a sexually oriented business can be from a school or church from 600 feet to 1,500 feet….[and] require those businesses to add [magical anti-pimp]…signs in Spanish…the ordinance [also] includes a rule…[that strippers]…who…have an overdue balance on a utility bill like water or gas [due to lack of work during virus panic] may be denied th[e] permit [the city demands they have in order] to work [and pay the overdue bill]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

I suppose it only makes sense to excuse an imaginary “offense” with an imaginary “disorder”:

A top NHS chest doctor who used a hospital computer to view…pornography [w]as [slapped] with a 12-month suspension [during a respiratory disease epidemic because sex rays.  He might have received an even more ridiculous penalty had he not placated the puritans by]…checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.  Professor Peter Davies…viewed [the porn]…at work [because] his wife put an anti-[porn] filter on his computer at home.  The world-renowned expert on tuberculosis…[claimed] he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 years old [even though there is no such thing as “pornography addiction”]…

Quiet Genocide

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

China’s government considers…the Uighur ethnic minority to be “terrorists” and “separatists.”  It has imprisoned them on a mass scale and has turned Xinjiang into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states.  As a result, many Uighurs have fled to Turkey, which they have traditionally viewed as a refuge and an advocate for their rights.  Now, many Uighurs in Istanbul…fear China is pressuring Turkey to threaten them.  [Abdurehim Imin] Parach…was targeted after he published [Breathing in Exile,] a book of poetry describing China’s oppression of Uighurs…The book came out in December 2018…and…two months later…Turkish [cops] arrested him…and sent [him] to [a] deportation center…for [three] months [before releasing him without explanation]…One Uighur activist in Turkey…has counted at least 200 such detentions since January 2019, while a lawyer…has assisted more than 400 Uighurs arrested in the past year…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

“Sex trafficking” now means whatever authoritarians want it to mean:

Sen. Ben Sasse…demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking [by which he apparently means GirlsDoPorn’s release of material it told performers would not be available online]…in a [written sex fantasy he referred to the women victimized by GirlsDoPorn as]…”exploit[ed] children”…[meanwhile] anti-[sex worker] activist Laila Mickelwait [of the religious pro-censorship group Exodus Cry] launched a petition to [censor] the website and [unconstitutionally persecute] its executives…

An article by Tracy Clark-Flory points out that “The petition itself links to TraffickingHub.com, a site…which prominently quotes Gail Dines…this is not a “nonpartisan” petition, but rather an abolitionist project…

You Were Warned (#1007)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

Imagine an Internet where the law required every message sent to be read by government-approved scanning software.  Companies that handle such messages wouldn’t be allowed to securely encrypt them, or they’d lose legal protections that allow them to operate…The so-called EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham…and Richard Blumenthal…will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of “best practices,” meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy.  The “best practices” list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption, and guarantee [pigs and spooks]…access…to any digital message…[but] because they didn’t put the word “encryption” in the bill, they…insist it doesn’t affect encryption…the bill…would create a 19-person commission that’s completely controlled by the Attorney General and [pigs, spooks and professional busybodies such as]…NCMEC…[which has already] made it clear…[they] believe…online services should be made to [spy on all communications]…report what they find in the messages to NCMEC; and be held legally responsible for the content of messages sent by others…The Commission won’t be a body that seriously considers policy; it will be a vehicle for creating a law enforcement wish list…

Out of Control (#1021)

Sex workers know how to protect each other, but “authorities” want to keep us from doing it:

…online databases are vital for sex workers’ safety, but they’re moving further and further underground in the wake of the so-called SESTA/FOSTA law…that…criminalizes anything they do, even posting about work online.  The database that figured into [rapist client Dr. Manish] Gupta’s case requires users to pay for membership, is hard to join without an invitation and…now requires lengthy verification.  It’s one of a handful of closed-door screening sites that not only protect sex workers but, as the Gupta case shows, can be crucial for securing arrests.  “People are more hesitant to use them now because they don’t want to be accused of promoting prostitution,” said Phoenix Calida from [SWOP-USA]…“That’s how predators are able to continue for so long.  There were complaints lodged about this person being a bad date a couple of years before the person who went to the police was assaulted”…The investigation ramped up in late 2019 after a sex worker victims’ advocate began collating accounts of women who’d been drugged, raped, and videotaped by Gupta…there were 20 different victims in Gupta’s videos…the FBI’s Cleveland Office said they hope media coverage of Gupta’s arrest will encourage more victims to come forward.  “We want to remind them that they can contact the FBI anonymously,” she said…

DO NOT trust the FBI!  They will collect all of your information to hold for future use.  If you have information about Gupta you wish to share, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate that; do not call or e-mail them directly!

Social Distancing

This is going to hurt a lot of sex workers:

…gentlemen’s club…proprietors [in Jamaica] have been bracing for the hammer to fall soon on their regular…operations, but for now at least, lap dances are still en vogue, despite the spreading threat of the coronavirus…”We hear that they might close us down by Monday…how the girls dem a go mek money if dem caan give lap dances?…When wi close down, all our dancers may just start go do independent sex work, and that is more dangerous for them to be on the streets, so we ah gwaan watch and wait,” stated [on]e club manager…the virus is a serious financial…worry.  Prostitutes, dancers and other categories of sex workers are already feeling the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak directly…

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Fuck the patriarchy — but not for free!  –  protest sign in Berlin

If It Were Legal

Do prosecutors think scoring points trumps five women’s harassment lawsuit?

LA Direct agency owner Derek Hay has made arrangements to travel to Los Angeles to face criminal pandering charges in California, stemming from accusations made during [a] recent…case involv[ing] five of his former models petitioning against him and his agency before the California Labor Commission…Charlotte Cross, Shay Evans, Sofi Ryan, Andi Rye and Hadley Viscara…[are suing] Hay and two other individuals [for sexual assault, but apparently]…California [prosecutors think the fact that he paid]…Viscara…and…Ryan [for sex in]…2017 [is somehow more important]…

Follow the Leader

Costumed hooligans regularly abduct and torture people in ways that would be charged as crimes for anyone else:

PJ Starr’s chilling documentary “No Human Involved” recounts the 2009 [murder] of Marcia Powell by…Arizona [screws]…and condemns the criminalization of prostitution…the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office…[did] not…prosecute [the screws who intentionally and maliciously locked] Powell outside in a human cage for several hours without water as temperatures soared to 107 degrees…[a lying pig] who had already arrested Powell twice before for [prostitution]…entrapp[ed] a…schizophrenic woman…[and terrible laws were used to] turn…what would normally be a…misdemeanor…into a…felony…In the film, retired [Arizona] Deputy Warden Carl Toersbijns reviews Powell’s…file…and observes its tone of “retaliation” and “pettiness” toward the woman.  Powell was written up for things like drinking coffee out of the wrong cup and…shackled…every time she got out of her cell…[the torture escalated until screws respnded to suicidal ideation by locking her in the cage where she was found four hours later, covered in her own shit with a body temperature of 108o]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#724) 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

…a judge at an employment tribunal ruled that dancers in a London strip clubs Browns and Horns have worker status.  Until now, dancers were misclassified as “independent contractors” [despite being treated as employees], which means they had no access to even the most basic rights at work.  The new ruling now opens the door for dancers to claim workers’ rights such as paid annual leave, a guaranteed pay for all hours worked, the right to take maternity or sick leave without the risk of termination, protection against workplace harassment and the right to organise through a trade union…

Full of Themselves (#787)

‘Happy endings’ have apparently become a matter of national security“:

The FBI has launched an investigation into how applicants with phony or questionable credentials were able to get Massachusetts massage therapist licenses…[the FBI is claiming jurisdiction over a minor state regulatory issue using the excuse of] sex trafficking…the state Board…approved the applications of candidates who reported getting their training at Axiom Healthcare Academy in New Jersey, after the school closed in 2014…Axiom’s founder pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges he sold fake transcripts and phony graduation certificates to [sex workers to get around government busybodies]…

The War on Whores

Here’s a nice review of The War on Whores on an Australian radio program; it starts at the 9:00 mark and is about eleven minutes long, and you can also download it as an MP3.  The reviewer called it a “must-watch”, and said some very complimentary things about this blog as well.

Out of Control (#946)

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

An Ohio plastic surgeon used sedatives…to drug and rape multiple women…[since] at least 2013…Manish Raj Gupta…faces [a raft of] federal charges…[including] sex trafficking…The FBI began investigating Gupta…[last year] after a woman who worked as a “high-end escort” reported that Gupta had [raped]…her in September 2016…In the morning, KB drove to the home of a client who is an anesthesiologist, and asked him to administer a drug test…[which] showed she had a tranquilizer in her system…[she wisely] did not report the incident to police…[but] did…[add him to] two [bad date] websites…[several other sex workers had] report[ed him starting in] March 2013…Gupta’s employees at his practice, Artisan Cosmetic Surgery, began to get suspicious of him when [one of his victims]…called the office “stating that Gupta had drugged her, raped her and video-recorded her,” describing him, his phone and his car in accurate detail…

I notice that NBC News felt no compelling need to put “plastic surgeon” or other non-sexwork job titles in scare quotes.

Uncommon Sense (#948)

Because whores are morons whose lives and businesses must be micromanaged by governments:

…the Prostituiertenschutzgesetz…which came into force 1 July 2017…require[s sex workers] to register with a local authority and undergo mandatory [indocrination sessions] and [violations pretended to be for] health…the law does [nothing] to improve working conditions and it fails to integrate sex work into existing labour law…The ProstSchG is…a bureaucratic nightmare for sex workers…if they comply [so most simply do]…not register…the realities of sex workers in [Germany] could s[till] get worse under…Swedish [criminalization], called for by [prohibitionist politicians]

End Demand (#972)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

The Port of Seattle is implementing new [indoctrination]…for its 2,000 employees to [encourage] them [to] sp[y on citizens passing through]…the region’s air and sea…ports…The [propaganda was purchased from]…the [highly]…profit[able] group Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking…The [propaganda]…is specifically designed [to encourage racists and naifs to summon] law enforcement…[to inflict] violence, threats…and other manipulation…[on brown] people…generating [huge] financial sums [for both propagandists and cops themselves, the latter via the procedure called “asset forfeiture”.  The propaganda includes thoroughly-debunked fantasies such as the widely-touted by completely fabricated tale of how]…in 2017, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant…[supposedly] rescue[d] an underage teenager traveling from Seattle to San Francisco who’d become a trafficking victim…

The story was touted in 2017, but supposedly happened in 2011.  And “while the news that year is full of stories about a man arrested at the San Francisco International Airport for wearing baggy pants…none mention a human trafficker apprehended at a Bay Area airport that year…SFPD…web archives turn up similarly scant results…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#1014)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Twenty-four states plus Washington D.C. mandate statewide comprehensive sex ed, but Washington state is not one of them.  In fact…40% of school districts in Washington don’t teach sex ed at all…[but] a…bill [mandating it may]…pass…this year.  Republicans…don’t like the legislation because they don’t want their children to learn about sex and consent…so they tried to kill it by adding an obscene 232 amendments…this display ultimately failed, and…[politicians] ultimately withdrew the most salacious amendments…[including one] which would force teachers to reference the “risk” of pornography in any discussion of [the topic]…[another] would…”exclude…any curricula that directs students to resources that discuss BDSM, bloodplay, inserting vegetables into the anus, or similar sexual behavior”…[another] tr[ies]…to prohibit…[one specific] book…and [still another]…”prohibits a teacher or other instructor from…demonstrating how to apply a condom…using…items such as sex toys, fruits, or vegetables”…

I sometimes wonder why politicians in general are so obsessed with plants, especially fruits and vegetables.  And in this case I’m specifically wondering how many of these proposed amendments are from the preaching pig.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

Wolfcom, a company that makes technology for police, is pitching body cameras with live facial recognition to [cop shops] across the United States…Axon, the largest manufacturer of body cameras in the United States, declared last year that it would not put the invasive technology in its hardware, citing “serious ethical concerns.”  NEC, which sells live facial recognition elsewhere in the world, has also not sold it to U.S. [cops.  But] Wolfcom claims to have sold body cameras to at least 1,500 [cop shops], universities, and [spook] organizations across the country.  It has been developing live facial recognition for the Halo, Wolfcom’s newest body camera model…

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It’s only been three months since the last Friday the Thirteenth, so absolutely everything I said in that essay is every bit as true as it was in December (and September, and July of ’18, and…) so you really should go and reread one or all of those if you need a refresher on what this day is about (especially paying attention to the excerpt from “Straight Talk“).  Since the last two were so recent, I don’t think I need to rehash them already; instead, I’d like to share something I wrote on request a few weeks ago about how sex worker rights is not an isolated issue:

Though many people conceive of sex worker rights as a “special case”, in truth it intersects with many other movements.  Because sex workers are of every ethnic and national group, sex worker rights intersects racial justice, migrants’ rights, and even religious freedom (goddess-centric pagan groups are often targeted by US police).  Because the majority of sex workers are female, sex worker rights is a feminist issue, and because male police use deception to gain sexual access to sex workers, that should anger those fighting against rape.  Because many if not most sex workers are LGBT (most male sex workers are gay, many female sex workers are lesbian or bisexual, and roughly 30% of trans women have done sex work), sex worker rights is an LGBT issue.  Because disabled people are often unable to obtain physical intimacy by other means, and because many suffering from chronic illness or mental health issues find sex work a flexible and accessible means of support, sex worker rights intersects with the rights of the disabled.  Because criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of a motive (sex for any reason other than profit is not banned), it should be of great concern to those interested in intellectual freedom issues.  Because “fighting prostitution” has been used an excuse for internet censorship, internet freedom groups should be very worried, and because the same excuse has been used to dramatically expand mass surveillance (facial recognition systems and social media spying software were first tested on sex workers), privacy rights groups should be as well.  Because people are arrested and subjected to penalties for consensual acts, thus feeding more nonviolent people into the carceral system, sex worker rights is of major importance to libertarians, anti-carceral groups, criminal justice reformers, and those fighting police violence.  Because sex work is a form of work and most sex workers are self-employed, both labor rights activists and small business associations need to pay attention.  And even fiscal conservatives should be angry about the incredible waste of tax dollars going to pay police to spy on, brutalize and incarcerate people for nothing more than adult consensual sex.

In short, this isn’t just about us; to paraphrase Donne, the bell of tyranny is tolling for you as well.

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Divided in this way, we all lose.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

R.I.P. Jack Hammer

The adult community lost a unique and intriguing personality this week with the death of veteran performer Jack Hammer XL…Hammer was…a former Marine who pursued his love of bondage and “sexual demolition” on his own website…this physically powerful performer also was a practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai and crossfit…the 53-year-old…died at home unexpectedly of natural causes…The XL in Hammer’s name was not for “extra large”…it was the number 40 in Roman numerals…the year in his life that he started in porn…

Where Are the Victims?

Just imagine how much money was wasted to entrap a woman for the “crime” of introducing people:

A Dallas [escort service] owner was sentenced…to nearly four years in federal prison for agreeing to [provide very ordinary escort services]…to a group of [pigs pretending to be decent human beings looking for company]…Helen Kim…[took a] plea…[to avoid decades in a cage on made-up charges]…a number of foreign-born commercial sex workers [were arrested and deported in a scam involving]…about 50 [perverted pigs]…

Monsters

The Swedish model protects sex workers!

On the night of February 20-21, Jessyca Sarmiento was killed at her workplace in Bois de Boulogne.  She was struck by a car traveling at high speed….[which] did not even stop or slow…down…the attack [appears] deliberate.  Her murder is part of an increasing wave of attacks against the sex workers community in France after the “Swedish model” of clients’ criminalisation took place.  In the last 6 months, at least…10 sex workers were murdered…

All Wet

When a “study” claims only an impossibly-tiny fraction of men pay for sex, you can safely dismiss it as pure garbage:

On[ly one] in 15 men [admit] that they purchase sex occasionally — a 2% drop since [Swedish criminalization was implemented] in Ireland…77% of men [are to frightened to tell the truth even though 50% of men have paid for sex at least once, because]…purchasing sex is now a criminal offence in Ireland…[prohibitionist organization] Ruhama, [run by the same nuns who enslaved women in the horrific Magdalene laundries, was]…behind [the bogus study]…

Worse Than I Thought (#994)

Florida prohibitionists are completely out of control:

Jacksonville [Florida]…Mayor Lenny Curry…sign[ed] into law…a new bill that places tougher regulations on strip clubs [using the fashionable excuse of] sex trafficking…[prohibitionists vomited out “King of the Hill” fantasies about]…the bill [which raises]…the [minimum legal] erotic dance performer age from 18 to 21…increases the license fee for strip clubs…requires that everyone who works in a club…be [indoctrinated i prohibitionist sexual fantasies, and requires]…all clubs…to keep a file of everyone who’s danced there [so cops know which women they can rape with impunity.  The prohibitionists masturbated furiously while gasping that]…Jacksonville is a hub for human trafficking because it’s surrounded by water [and] has an airport and…interstate [highways]…

WATER CAUSES “SEX TRAFFICKING”!!!

The Course of a Disease (#1000)

The reaction of prohibitionists to rejection of Swedish criminalization demonstrates their sociopathic sense of entitlement to control others’ lives:

A group of 40 [prohibitionist] NGOs…hit out at…[plans by the government of] Malta…to decriminalise prostitution [instead of imposing Swedish criminalization]…The [prohibitionists are angry that]…the…government [is following]…science and [facts rather than anti-sex religious beliefs]…”How can…the…government [not] want…to continue facilitating [our control]…and objectification of women’s bodies?” the [prohibitionists whined]…

Safe Position (#1015)

Why we can’t have nice things:

A national organization that advocates for the decriminalization of sex work announced…that it has withdrawn a petition it filed…before the D.C. Board of Elections to place a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the nation’s capital on the D.C. ballot in November.  Decriminalize Sex Work…said strong opposition…by a coalition of local sex worker advocacy groups prompted it to withdraw the proposal…

Tyranny By Consensus (#1017) 

The typical politician’s response to criticism:  doubling down:

[Politician] Cristina Garcia…has no…expertise in sex work issues and…introduced [a sex worker surveillance bill without reading it]…she…[will] not entertain withdrawing [it, instead vomiting out idiocy about]…”basic training to identify human trafficking”…she has sponsored other bills mandating “human trafficking” training for “hotel workers”…”We want to i[ndocrinate]…folks t[o rat people out to the cops],” she added, confirming the suspicions of adult performers that AB2389 is a law enforcement bill disguised as a workers’ safety bill…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1019)

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

Clearview AI…has been testing its facial recognition software on surveillance cameras and augmented reality glasses…under a division called Insight Camera, which has been tested by at least two potential clients…its website…was taken offline after BuzzFeed…was able to link it to [Clearview]…by comparing the code from Insight and Clearview’s respective log-in pages, which both shared numerous references to Clearview…

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Diary #505

I spent most of last week in Orlando, Florida, brainstorming with Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars about a big project we’re cooking up; I can’t give you any details yet, because we’re just in the planning stages.  But I just want to say that Alex is freaking brilliant and can put together stuff that I couldn’t even come up with, much less plan!  Next step: a meeting in a few weeks with someone who may be able to facilitate our scheme.  Of course, the week wasn’t all activism stuff; I planned my travel to stop off and spend the night with one of my favorite gentlemen (because THAT kind of planning I’m fairly good at), and I also had a lovely coffee date with a reader and the best couple session I’ve had in quite some time.  I also learned a valuable lesson:  do not under any circumstances try to fly out of Orlando on a Sunday, because it will not happen.  I watched my position in the standby queue drop from 6th to 22nd to 28th while I searched flights and came to the conclusion that I’d be better off switching to a stupidly-early Monday flight and heading off to a nearby hotel to get as much rest as possible.  But y’all will be glad to know that it barely even annoyed me; I didn’t have anything on the calendar for Monday anyhow, and I landed in Seattle just after 11 AM.  I’m definitely getting better at this “taking things in stride” stuff; I hope it’ll last.

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What we need now more than ever is for those of you who aren’t sex workers to amplify our voices and support our cause.  –  “More Than Ever

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know that in the past two years, the tide of sex worker rights has completely turned.  The government’s violent suppression of sex workers has, instead of winning more support for bigotry, instead turned a majority of Americans against the prohibitionists for the first time since such polls have been a thing; a few politicians (even at the presidential election level) have begun to recognize that sex workers and or clients are voters, and that among younger voters support for sex worker rights is as normal as support for LGBT rights was among that age cohort a generation ago.  Even “sex trafficking” hysteria has begun to backfire; the wildly-exaggerated wanking fantasies spread by cops and “rescue” profiteers are so at odds with common sense and with what people can see of sex workers on social media, that even the believers are beginning to support decriminalization as a way of directing police resources toward the imaginary “trafficking gangs” rather than toward wrecking the lives of consenting adults.  Sex workers of all business models and socioeconomic levels are organizing and speaking out, and most people who aren’t dyed-in-the-wool racists are finally being forced to recognize how much more severely the consequences of criminalization fall upon people of color, trans women, migrants, and other marginalized groups.  Even mainstream feminism, which has been trying to destroy sex workers since the late ’80s, is beginning to fragment as more and more chapters of old-guard feminist organizations forsake the pearl-clutching harridans who pretend to speak for everyone with a vagina. The younger activists, those in their twenties and thirties, have got this, and they are more than capable of carrying it; it’s time for older activists like me to move into a more advisory role, working behind the scenes, writing articles, and going one-on-one with movers and shakers who are closer to us in age and need things expressed to them in terms more intelligible to those of previous generations.  So with that in mind, I’m going to be spending more of my energy in reaching out to those outside the demimonde in order to win their aid and support for our cause, and in trying to help them see that it isn’t just ours after all, but rather a vital part of the rights of all individuals to control their own voices, bodies, and lives without the interference of violent busybodies.

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This is only the third leap year since I’ve started the blog; since it doesn’t come around often, I don’t really have any set pattern for what it should look like.  But when I looked back at the last one, I found some guidance:

Where will I be on February 29th, 2020?  Will I still be posting every day, or will I have wound down somewhat?  How many new books will I have written?  Will I still be living in Seattle?  What will my income be like?  What new experiences will I have had?  How well-known will I be?  Will the “sex trafficking” hysteria be over, as I predicted just before that last Leap Day?  Will I even be alive?  There’s no way to know, or even to guess; the only way to find out is to wait.

There’s been a lot of change since then, but fortunately not as much as over the four years before (though I’m traveling more than ever).  Obviously I’m still posting every day, but aside from news columns the average length is shorter and Fridays are sometimes quite short. My fourth book will be out soon, and I have plans for two more this year and three next year, including a third collection of short stories; I also have a documentary, The War on Whores, that was still in the talking-about stages last leap day.  I’m still spending most of my time in Seattle, though of course now I have my farm, Sunset; on the last leap day I hadn’t even decided to relocate yet (that didn’t happen until December of that year).  I’m making about the same as I did four years ago, but expending a lot less effort to do so; in fact, I don’t do traditional escort advertising any more except for my personal website and free ad sites, and I plan to mostly stop taking new clients at the end of this year unless they have impeccable references.  I’m still alive, but unfortunately so is “sex trafficking” hysteria; however, it has backfired on its creators and promoters in a way I didn’t quite predict, with over half of Americans now supporting decriminalization (many of them because of the hysteria rather than in spite of it), and strong pro-decriminalization momentum in a number of US states.  And as I head toward the tenth anniversary of this blog, I’m seeing a slow shift in the way I live my life (for the better, I think).  Will I be around to answer these same questions on February 29th, 2024?  Only time will tell.  But as I look at all I’ve done over the past decade, I can say that I’m reasonably satisfied with my life and accomplishments.  And as that’s not something I’ve ever really been able to say at the end of any prior decade, I think it’s enough.

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