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Posts Tagged ‘Amazingly Stupid Statements’

Victimless crime creates the surveillance state.  –  Wendy McElroy

Amazingly Stupid Statements

License to Rape

At least the European media aren’t afraid to apply the word “rape” to the actions of rapist cops:

Hundreds of people took to the streets of a Paris suburb…to denounce police brutality, after a 22-year-old black man was…sodomised with a baton during an arrest last week…One [cop] was charged…with rape, while three others were charged with assault…The man suffered severe anal injuries which required surgery and was also treated for damage to the head and face…The severity of his injuries led a doctor to declare him unfit to work for 60 days…[cops] deny the [obvious evidence] and [pretend] they were targeting lookouts for drug dealers…

Decentralization

Wendy McElroy on bitcoin and consensual crime:

…There are people who use bitcoin to buy “immoral goods” (whatever that means) just as there are people who use cash to do so.  As long as the participants are consenting adults, that’s their business.  Not yours, not mine.  The state is the one who interjects violence and harm when it points a gun at peaceful adults…The attack on bitcoin will be framed…as a way to protect vulnerable and misguided individuals who use their own bodies in “unacceptable” ways.  Or it will unfold as a campaign of resentment against those individuals who do not pay their so-called “fair share” toward maintaining the surveillance state.  A moral attack must be met with moral indignation, not an apology…

Broken Record 

How fetishists are trying to back away from the thoroughly-debunked “Super Bowl sex trafficking” trope without abandoning the larger “gypsy whore” myth:

While there was a considerable increase in the number of [sex work] ads surrounding the Super Bowl, other events like a Memorial Day motorcycle rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and various industry conferences had a bigger impact than expected, suggesting that resources devoted to combating the problem of forced prostitution have been misdirected….[“sex trafficking” fetishists fantasize] that traffickers and pimps use online classified services like Backpage.com to advertise their victim’s sexual services…[pigs bizarrely fantasize that] words like “young” and “no pimps” can be indicators that the person in the photo is a trafficking victim…

Imaginary Evils

Since there are virtually no actual “sex trafficking” cases in the UK despite massive, multi-million-pound crusades to discover them, cops keep themselves busy with fantasies of “pimps” lurking behind every ordinary escort ad:

West Midlands Police has confirmed they now [waste] a substantial part of their [time] in [fantasizing about] sex trafficking victims in the region…[based on propaganda from] The Salvation Army…The content of profiles leads to more suspicion…A lot of the prostitutes also claim to be ‘independent’…But [since we know women are too stupid to plan travel or get pictures taken] their profile pictures…[and] the fact they move around the country would…allude to a larger, more organised, illegal operation…

Cops and Robbers

These are the kind of people who call us “bad” women:

…a group of sex workers…operate from one of three houses [in suburban Johannesburg] which were attacked by [a mob which]…marched to their house on [February 5th] and tossed their belongings outside before torching them.  Beds‚ bedding‚ plasma TV sets‚ music systems‚ clothes and money were some of the things that the girls lost in the [unprovoked attack which] locals [rationalized as taking] a stand against what they say are drug dens and brothels run by Nigerian nationals…

Guinea Pigs (#630) 

Maker of fascist surveillance software uses Backpage as a prop for self-fellation:

Marinus Analytics LLC has joined DeliverFund’s International Human Trafficking Analysis Center (iHTAC), a consortium of organizations who’ve partnered to [come up with more ways to profit from hysteria over]…human trafficking…The combined capabilities of Marinus Analytic’s Traffic Jam and DeliverFund’s uniquely qualified personnel allowed [pigs]…to continue [oppressing people] without disruption during the recent Backpage.com’s closure of its adult ads section…

To Molest and Rape child-molester-cop-chris-wilbanks

Lying, tricking someone into doing something wrong, threatening harm to compel behavior…gee, I wonder where he learned to act this way?

A [South Carolina cop] was arrested after federal investigators say that he coerced an 11-year-old girl into sending him a nude picture, then told her to send more naked photographs or he would show the first one to others…Chris Wilbanks…is charged with production of child pornography…[he] posed as a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “Redneck Rick” on social media and talked to the girl, who said she was 12…the girl sent about a dozen pornographic images to Wilbanks and was crying in many of them…

Challenge (#677)

What could be more Orwellian than referring to groups trying to take away women’s rights as “women’s rights groups”?

Two women’s rights organisations are to feature in a High Court challenge to a new law making it illegal for men to pay for sex in Northern Ireland…Space International, a [prohibitionist] group [backed by the nuns who abused women in the infamous Magdalene laundries], and Equality Now, [a group led by a former prosecutor who resigned in disgrace after railroading two innocent black men for rape,] have been granted intervener status in proceedings brought by sex worker Laura Lee…amendments to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act breach [sex workers’] human rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination.  Northern Ireland is currently the only UK region to make the purchase of sex a criminal offence…

The Naked Anthropologist (#701) 

Noah Berlatsky reviews Laura Agustín’s new book:

Laura Agustín’s novel The Three-Headed Dog…argues that the notion of innocent young girls exploited, waiting to be rescued by daredevil Kristofs, is a pernicious myth.  People who cross borders generally do so to find a better life.  They end up doing sex work because it can sometimes be the best option available, especially given prejudiced restrictions placed on immigrant entry and employment…Immigrants are often victimized, but they aren’t solely victims…The Three-Headed Dog doesn’t have an exciting rescue narrative…[it shows] exploitation [as]…a fact of life, a constant backdrop too ubiquitous to be felled with a single punch or raid…

The War Goes On 

We have so many more vocal allies now than we did when I started blogging seven years ago!

Last month, authoritarians…forced Backpage, the world’s second-biggest classified-ads website, to shut down its adult section.  A motley crew of elected officials at all levels of government…bullied Backpage and its executives into getting rid of it, supposedly because they were concerned about people being “sex trafficked”…Of course, as Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown points out, Backpage was already cooperating with law enforcement…something that won them numerous accolades from state and federal cops.  Purely with respect to fighting crime, the government’s victory was somewhere between empty and actively harmful…What’s more, politicians and law enforcement conflate sex trafficking with voluntary prostitution. As…Maggie McNeill has been arguing for years, there are no good data to suggest anything but a tiny fraction of sex workers are trafficked…a lot of prostitutes…used Backpage’s adult section, and the government’s self-indulgent crackdown put their livelihoods at risk…

I Swear To God (#708)

Michelle Chen on how the US tests oppressive tactics abroad before inflicting them domestically:

One of the first policy measures taken by Donald Trump…was reinstating and expanding a piece of presidential policy known as the “Global Gag Rule.”  The policy bars USAID funding for any organization abroad that provides abortions or even presents abortion as a family planning option…In another global campaign to spread “Christian values,” the US government’s long-standing “anti-prostitution pledge” restricts funding from going to any organizations that promote or support sex work.  The oath forces organizations to choose between providing comprehensive services to their constituencies, or cutting back on certain services in order to get US funding…the worst abuses of Washington’s hegemonic power have always taken place in international arenas before creeping inward.  The use of private detention facilities and military contractors in border enforcement and migration detention have been experimental sites for the most exploitative forms of prison profiteering.  It was, after all, the expansion of immigration detention that helped revive the private prison industry across the country, after the traditional prison industry’s profits plateaued after decades of mining black communities to fill its facilities…

Stupor Bowl (#711)

Liz Brown finds the usual total lack of “sex trafficking” at this year’s Super Bowl:

To hear the hysterics tell it, thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of sex-selling women will flock like cockroaches to cities where sports-fans gather, and only some will be there willingly; the rest, including many children, are trucked in by opportunistic pimps and traffickers.  As ample people have pointed out…there’s not a shred of evidence to support this rumor…examinations of actual arrest data in Super Bowl cities shows no corresponding spike in sex trafficking, compelling prostitution, or any other similar charge—despite the verifiable spike in law-enforcement and media attention to the issue…Between the Saturday before the Super Bowl and the Tuesday morning after, no criminal complaints were filed against anyone [in Houston] for sex trafficking, soliciting a minor, pimping, promoting prostitution, compelling prostitution, etc…[the rumor is] what people today like to refer to as “fake news,” and the people who propagate it year after year—police departments looking to justify vice stings and asset forfeiture, missionary groups looking to fundraise or justify federal anti-trafficking grants, sensationalist media, and state and national politicians with human-trafficking measures to promote—are not…“abolitionists” but propagandists, plain and simple.

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Moralists…always ignore the unpalatable truth that sex work is not oppression…but…opportunity.  –  Douglas Fox

Science!

If drought turns women into whores, what disaster turns them into politicians?

Several [congresscritters claim]…that climate change…could…drive poor women to “transactional sex”…The resolution, from Rep. Barbara Lee…and a dozen other Democrats, says…”[F]ood insecure women with limited socioeconomic resources may be vulnerable to situations such as sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage that put them at risk for HIV, STIs, unplanned pregnancy, and poor reproductive health”…

“Vulnerable to sex work” may be an even more agency-annihilating phrase than “prostituted woman”.

Amazingly Stupid Statements

In another fine example of a pro-sex worker article by a non-sex worker, Clementine Ford debunks five amazingly stupid anti-whore arguments:

…a number of [recent] conversations around sex work, autonomy and feminism…trotted out the tired idea that sex work degrades and harms all women…I have a number of [sex worker] friends and acquaintances…and I’m tired of seeing their lives denigrated because of how they choose to make money…Demonising sex workers under the guise of “helping” them is simply a way of expressing puritanical snobbery…[and] relies more on myths and prejudices than any real knowledge…

This one by Jane Gilmore didn’t get nearly as much press, but it’s also very good.Alannah MacTiernan

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Western Australia’s war on whores continues:  “The City of Vincent is considering a high-tech surveillance system that captures…licence plate information to help track kerb crawlers…mayor Alannah MacTiernan said…statistics proved more needed to be done to stamp out street prostitution and protect residents…she…also wants to name and shame people convicted of soliciting…”  Obviously, there is no actual crime in Vincent.

A False Dichotomy

Douglas Fox of Harlot’s Parlour, on the flexibility of sex work:

…Sex work…is one of the few areas…that allows the worker a wide variety of choices in how…where…and when they work.  It…provides a relatively good [cash]…return…for those…with few choices or…who need to make money quickly and anonymously…This…is…why sex work survives and flourishes no matter how [persecuted it is]…

Law of the Instrument

This article starts by claiming that “Police have a growing fear about the spread of human trafficking” due to “the growth of gambling in Maryland”.  But the text (which reads more like a Salvation Army screed than a news item) is about the cops “rescuing” a hooker by deceiving her, arresting her and abducting her children so she can be “saved from selling her body.”  After reading that, I feel I need to wash my eyeballs.

Moloch

Harsh public registration laws often punish youth sex offenders for life and do little to protect public safety, Human Rights Watch said in…Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US…the laws…[make] them targets for harassment, humiliation, and even violence…[and] severely restrict where, and with whom [they] may live, work, attend school, or even spend time…Human Rights Watch interviewed 281 youth sex offenders, whose median age at offense was 15, across 20 states, as well as hundreds of offenders’ family members, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials, experts on the topic, and victims of child-on-child sexual assault…Numerous studies estimate the recidivism rate among children who commit sexual offenses to be between 4 and 10 percent, compared with a 13 percent rate for adult sex offenders and a national rate of 45 percent for all crimes…

Above the Law

Monica Contreras went to family court with her 2-year-old daughter in August 2011….on a routine divorce case”, but as she was leaving the Las Vegas courtroom Ron Fox, a bailiff-like cop called a “marshal”, ordered her into an anteroom (supposedly for a “drug search”) and groped her.  She went back into the courtroom and complained to the presiding official, Patricia Donninger, who literally ignored her; Fox then had her arrested for “false allegations made against a police officer.”  Nothing was done until the video below was discovered and publicized by KLAS-TV; Fox was fired but is suing to get his job back, and Donninger is being investigated.

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a cop named Aravanh Lakmany was sentenced to only two years in jail after pleading guilty to “extortion by threat and three counts of solicitation of prostitutes,” thus escaping a much longer sentence and sex offender registration for raping three whores.

Traffic Jam

Another fourth-rate playwright capitalizes on human trafficking; this one apparently thinks it’s “edgy” or profound to refer to sex workers as “roadkill”:

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Roadkill, an immersive, theatrical event spotlighting the global issue of sex trafficking. Based on real-life experiences, the American premiere of Cora Bissett’s chilling production…[allows] audience members…to witness firsthand the brutal realities behind the newspaper headlines…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #25)

I’m shocked, SHOCKED I say, to discover that the “Trafficking in Persons Report” is nothing but a political tool:

…the United States may have been giving special treatment to major powers China, Russia, and India…[and] let even Uzbekistan off the hook…because of the repressive nation’s cooperation in getting supplies to American troops in Afghanistan…Iraq and Thailand too have seen their potential ranking downgrades delayed while Vietnam has won a premature ranking boost…due to strategic considerations…legislators and ex-state officials charged at a U.S. congressional hearing…

Broken Record

This story is noteworthy in that the quoted cop, while still buying the “gypsy whores” myth, only exaggerates the coercion rate by a factor of about 5 instead of the typical 45 or 50:

…beneath the pageantry, sport and spectacle, Kentucky Derby time is also the darkest hour for victims of human trafficking.  “We have high rates,” said Gretchen Hunt…[of] the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs…the phenomenon…accompanies other major sporting events in the United States, an influx of men willing to pay for sex.  Sgt. Andre Bottoms, of the Louisville…Police…estimates about ten percent of hundreds of prostitutes in Louisville this week are being forced or coerced…Carol Leigh

The Public Eye

Caty Simon of Tits and Sass continues a string of good interviews, this time with veteran activist Carol Leigh (AKA Scarlot Harlot), originator of the term “sex worker”.  Carol speaks about the growth of activism, trafficking hysteria, neofeminism and whore art.

The Birth of a Movement (TW3 #39)

Remember, prostitution is supposedly legal in France:

For the past five years, Lyon has enforced bylaws prohibiting the parking of prostitutes’ trucks in much of the city, forcing them into the Gerland industrial district.  The city has now issued orders to prohibit this as well, but the girls stayed…Karen, their spokeswoman, reaffirmed that they would not leave despite “unprecedented” police operations:  “We are forced to stay.  There was nowhere to go.  When you try to move to other parts of Greater Lyon…you are immediately driven out by the police.”  Since March 19, the…police have patrolled the area three to four times a week…to enforce the bylaw…and…discourage the clients…the mayor says she is not seeking “the eradication of prostitution” in Gerland…[but claims she has had] a “flood” of complaint letters from local businesses…the police are also continuing to use the offense of passive soliciting to “identify trafficking networks and pimps”…[despite the fact that] the Senate repealed the offense on March 29…

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

This article on Edinburgh’s saunas (tolerated brothels) is fairly respectful; the only people quoted are sex workers (including advocate Laura Lee) and a punter, the dysphemisms are kept to a bare minimum, sex work is recognized as work and the threat posed by Rhoda Grant’s attempt to impose the Swedish model is mentioned.

An Example to the West (TW3 #49)

Sex workers…demanded representation in all policy making bodies…dealing with them.  “People who make laws don’t know anything about our issues, concerns and why we do this work.  So, policy making bodies must have our representatives,” said a participant from Ajmer…[they] also…rooted for self regulatory boards like Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) in Kolkata and Ashodhaya in Mysore to check violence in sex work and trafficking…

Also in India, a government official stated that “There should be no pre-condition that sex workers must give up their profession to get social benefits…

The Immunity Syndrome (TW3 #50)Lars and Lisa

a sex-education book…in Berlin elementary schools has some parents up in armsWo kommst du her? [“Where Do You Come From?”]…is recommended for ages 5 and up [and] shows a couple…in various stages of arousal.  In one illustration, Lisa puts a condom on Lars’ erect penis…The text also veers toward the explicit.  “When it’s so good that it can’t get any better, Lisa and Lars have an orgasm,” it reads. And…”The vagina and penis feel nice and tingly and warm”…Parents began to complain…but the school did nothing…until it was reported in the local press…

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #135)

Local news station “discovers” a practice which has existed for over 15 years; pearl-clutching, dysphemisms and political opportunism ensue:

People like to read reviews online before buying a car or reserving a hotel room.  But one website, http://www.eccie.net…allows users to review the services of local prostitutes…the idea that you can review prostitutes has a lot of people concerned…Jenny Ford…[of] ACH Child and Family Services…says people posting on sites like this often use kinky sex and prostitution as a cover up for sex trafficking…State Senator Leticia Van De Putte…[has] filed…a bill that go [sic] after the people using them…

Awakening

Those of you who followed the #whenantisattack hashtag on Twitter back on March 3rd know the sort of abuse sex workers have to put up with; because of her prominence Dr. Brooke Magnanti gets more (and more severe) than most of us, and after a particularly nasty barrage last Saturday she wrote this essay on why it’s so very important that even angry perverts not be censored by “hate speech” laws.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314)

I wonder how many other cases of “sex trafficking” are exactly the same:

A missing 18-year-old Aurora [Colorado] woman [named Raven Cassidy Furlong]…was found…[after] police received a tip that she was sighted in Venice Beach…at tryouts for American Ninja Warrior…Furlong was taken to the police station [but released] once they ascertained she was in California of her own free will…Her family believes she was coerced into saying she’s OK.  “We know what Raven gave was a canned speech…They’ve been coerced to believe their families are bad, this is common in human trafficking,” [said] Shelley Shaffer, Director of the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation…

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t need to be “coerced” into wanting to escape from parents who infantilized me and were willing to use armed thugs to force me to live with them.Raymond Buys

Monsters

Three “gay and effeminate” teens have died after being starved, tortured and killed at a camp that promised to turn them into “men”…Raymond Buys, 15 [died]…in April 2011…just 10 weeks [after he entered] the Echo Wild Game Rangers training course in South Africa in perfect health…Buys was severely malnourished, dehydrated, his arm was broken in two places and there were burns and wounds all over his body…Alex De Koker, 49, and employee Michael Erasmus, 20, are on trial for charges of murder, child abuse and neglect…[tentmate] Gerhard Oostuizen, 19, claims Buys was chained to his bed every night…refused permission to visit the toilet…forced to eat his own faeces…beaten with planks, hosepipes and sticks…[and tased while] tied…to a chair naked with his head covered in a pillowcase…Eric Calitz, 18, and Nicolaas Van Der Walt, 19, had both died after being enrolled at the…camp four years earlier…Calitz…died of…seizure, dehydration and [cerebral hemorrhage, and] Van Der Walt…appeared to have been choked with a seatbelt.  In 2009, De Koker was handed a suspended sentence over Calitz but escaped charges for…Van Der Walt, and the camp was allowed to continue…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #317)

You know a moral panic is nearing collapse when it becomes a default bogeyman:  “The state representative behind Tennessee’s “ag-gag” bill compared Humane Society…investigations to human trafficking of 17-year-old women

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It’s not about promiscuity, which makes you sound square; it’s not about prostitution, which makes you sound dirty; it’s about sex-trafficking, which makes you sound like you’re on the side of the angels, know-nothing though they might be.  –  Michael Wolff

Amazingly Stupid Statements

Just Don’t Call It Slut-Shaming: A Feminist Guide to Silencing Sex Workers” is a funny and dead-on-target lampoon of neofeminist anti-whore rhetoric in the form of a mock primer.  Definitely a must-read.

Cracks in the Dam

Canadian courts slap down another government attempt to stop sex workers from claiming human rights:

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the right of a non-profit group representing women…in downtown Vancouver’s sex trade to challenge the country’s anti-prostitution laws on constitutional grounds.  The ruling means the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence Society can go back to B.C. Supreme Court to pursue a case it launched five years ago…

The government’s argument against the suit relied on the sophistry that one of the parties in the suit (Sheryl Kiselbach) was no longer affected by the laws due to being retired, and that the other party (the DESWUAVS) could not be affected because it was an organization, therefore neither had the right to sue.  But the judge realized that the government’s claim that streetwalkers had to bring such suits individually was absurd, and ruled in favor of the group.  It’s not only good news for sex workers, but for other marginalized Canadians as well:

…[attorney] Katrina Pacey…explained [that] “This would provide a real opportunity for marginalized people, people with mental health issues, people with HIV, prisoners, refugees, children to form a collective organization whereby they then have the support and capacity to bring these cases forward, as a community”…

Japanese Prostitution

The bad economy and political tensions between their countries have combined to make things increasingly difficult for Chinese whores in Japan, creating a dangerously unbalanced buyer’s market:

…“Rumors have been spreading that Chinese girls have been beaten up by Japanese Johns, and some of them are even begging off on transactions with customers they don’t know out of fears for their safety,” says “pink” journalist Yasuhiro Ebina.  “Many Chinese women tend to be blunt and unsociable, but of late they are forcing themselves to smile, and have been primping themselves to improve their appearance.  Before a deri heru (out-call sex) service might have charged an additional 8,000 yen for honban (the “real thing,” i.e., intercourse), but now they’ve knocked as much as 5,000 yen off the total price”…women from Shanghai tend to be proud and many refuse to dispense oral sex, but over the past week they are now even providing lip service bareback.  And some ladies from Dalian or Harbin are even allowing customers condom-free rides…

Forward and Backward

The stupidity, it burns!  “…[Washington, D.C.] police lieutenant Jeffery Carroll told residents at a neighborhood meeting…that [a perceived] jump in [street] prostitution may be related to the surge in construction activity and increase in construction workers in the neighborhood.  Carroll told residents that prostitution activity typically takes place between midnight and…6:00 a.m. The recent surge has come between 3:30 and 7:30 a.m. or else at around 3:30 p.m….which police say could correlate to changes in construction shifts…

Not To Be Taken Internally

Yet another poor fool has died from allowing a non-doctor to inject filth into her arse in a non-medical setting:

…52-year-old Morris Garner…who has had gender changing procedures and goes by the name Tracey Lynn Garner, is charged with depraved-heart murder in the March death of 37-year-old Karima Gordon, of Atlanta…Gordon became ill within 30 minutes of leaving Garner’s house in Jackson after…injection [of a silicone-like substance into her buttocks] but decided to try to make it home to Georgia before seeking medical treatment…[investigator Lee McDivitt]…said her chance of surviving the injections was small, anyway…”The [medical examiner] told me…[that when he] cut the victim open…this material ran all over the floor, all over their shoes, all over the place”…

What I can’t understand is why so many of these self-proclaimed cosmetic surgeons are transgendered.

Above the Law

Once again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:  “…Pittsburgh Public Schools police officer…Robert Lellock…was arrested…[on] 23 counts of crimes including corruption of minors, child endangerment and sex crimes…”  Lellock allegedly raped several 13-14 year old boys, ensuring their silence by a combination of threats to kill their families and rewards of marijuana and class-skipping privileges.

An Example To the West

You may remember that DMSC had formed its own football (soccer) team for the children of Calcutta sex workers; well, two of the boys were picked for a world championship team:  “Two sons of sex workers from India’s eastern state of West Bengal will play soccer…in the Indian…team for the Homeless World Soccer Cup 2012 in Mexico…’This is a big achievement in integrating children of sex workers with the mainstream sports community,’ said Dr Samarjit Jana of DMSC.”

The Birth of a Movement

This Guardian article is mostly about sex workers’ reaction  to the socialist scheme to inflict the Swedish model on France, but it also contains interesting information on French hookers’ efforts to circumvent busybody laws and the sleazy tricks cops use to harass them.

…The “white van women”…embody the French state’s difficult attitudes to prostitution.  As in the UK, prostitution itself…is not a crime.  But…[a] 2003…law [forbids being]…in a public place known for prostitution dressed in revealing clothes.  To get round this, women started working in private vans.  Selling sex inside a vehicle was not breaking the law.  But police are now using any means to crack down on the growing number of sex-work vans, namely parking tickets and tow-trucks…some…owe thousands of euros in parking tickets and pound-release fines accrued each month…

Shift in the Wind

An excellent op-ed against “end demand” rhetoric appeared last Sunday in, of all the unexpected places, The New York Times; I’ll bet Nick Kristof isn’t happy:

…policy makers have started to push to eradicate all prostitution, not just the trafficking of children into the sex trade.  Under the catchphrase “no demand, no supply,” they advocate increasing criminal penalties against men who buy sex — a move they believe will upend the market that fuels prostitution and sex trafficking…[but] the “end demand” campaign will harm trafficking victims and sex workers more than it helps them…End-demand advocates’ prototypical victim — an abused teenage girl…forced into the sex trade…does exist.  But they disregard the fact that individuals, including boys, men and transgender people, enter the sex trade for a variety of reasons.  The pimped girl who has inflamed the public’s imagination needs government services and protection, not to be made into a symbolic figure in an ideological battle to eradicate the entire sex industry, which, like many other sectors, includes adults laboring in conditions ranging from upscale to exploitative, from freely chosen to forced…despite their righteous anger, the end-demand crowd is quick to dismiss what many sex workers actually have to say.  Some activists have gone so far as to brand those who criticize their campaign as “house slaves” unable to recognize their own oppression…

The writer is being polite; Melissa Farley’s actual term was “house nigger”.  The article goes on to strongly criticize the Swedish model, flatly stating that it has failed to reduce prostitution and explaining how it harms women; it reports that most abuse of sex workers is by police rather than clients or “pimps” as claimed by the prohibitionists; and it discusses real solutions very much like those advocated in this blog.  The article is not long, and well worth your time.

Worse Than I Thought

Proposition 35 is so awful (Chorus:  How awful is it?) that even trafficking victim advocates oppose it:

…The opponents, who range from a South Bay nonprofit to a co-author of California’s current law against trafficking, say that, instead of helping, Proposition 35 will set back their work by years.  Chief among their concerns is the measure’s focus on hefty penalties rather than a collaborative attack on the problem…That approach, they say, ignores the victims…[they] also condemn the discrepancy between penalties for labor and sex trafficking…Most victims don’t end up in the sex trade…yet Proposition 35 provides for lower penalties for labor victims…

The Phoenix Pharisees

The Maricopa County sheriff’s office only “treats prostitutes as trafficking victims” when they find it convenient:  “…Over the course of a month, detectives made 37 arrests on suspicion of prostitution-related crimes…in an unincorporated area of the county tucked between Tempe and Guadalupe…suspects made contact with an undercover deputy, who secured an offer of sex for money and then used a code word as a signal for other deputies to storm the hotel room…”  “Code word?”  “Stormed” the room?  Their pomposity would be hilarious if they weren’t ruining the lives of real women.

Thoughts On My First Conference

I’m the third interviewee in this video.  It’s not very long, but I still figured y’all would want to see it.

Parting of the Ways

This Guardian op-ed presents Michael Wolff’s opinion of the Backpage-Village Voice split; though he has no love for Lacey and Larkin he has even less for Kristof and company, and the article provides the interesting tidbit that some of the anti-Backpage campaign was funded by the Church of Scientology in revenge for the Voice’s relentless attacks on it.

Metaupdates

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality in TW3 (#7)

Cambodian cops are learning to parrot their American masters quite well:

Chan Sreynuch, the owner of Mikasa Coiffure and Beauty…was arrested…on suspicion of human trafficking, according to the national military police spokesman Kheng Tito…According to him, Sreynuch would lead young women — often aspiring singers and students — to her salon, then connect them with wealthy businessmen…Three of her manicured and coiffed callgirls were also detained…[and] sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Hall’s rehabilitation centre for “re-education”…

Coming and Going in TW3 (#12)

Anna Gristina…has pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution…[she] will be sentenced…to time served and probation as part of a plea deal.  The judge warned the Scotland-born woman she could also be deported…

An Example To the West in TW3 (#14)

Workers in the [Korean] sex industry called…for the scrapping or revision of anti-sex trafficking laws…[which limit their] rights to sexual autonomy and their freedom to enjoy a free sex life as adults…another sex worker surnamed Kim submitted a petition…for…judgment on whether the laws are constitutionally acceptable…

Real People in TW3 (#21)

British prohibitionist Julie Bindel interviewed the Fokkens sisters, the elderly Dutch whores about whom a documentary was recently made; unsurprisingly, she only reports the negative parts and dismisses the “rosy picture the twins paint of prostitution” as just a kind of weird twin-thing.  Of course she is pleased to report that the Fokkens say legalization has been bad for Dutch hookers (largely because of the exaggerated tax assessments European officials commonly use to persecute sex workers), but cannot or will not comprehend that no sex worker rights organization in the world supports Dutch-style legalization.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic in TW3 (#29)

If you’re impressed by those brain studies that “prove” porn, sugar, the internet or whatever is “as addictive as cocaine”, you need to consider the study which won this year’s Ig Nobel Prize in neuroscience “for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.”

This Week in 2011

My columns on Mabon and Banned Books Week were followed by others on misuse of the word “vagina”,  the fallacy of “empowerment”, dehumanization of whoresdominatrices in the news and women’s views of male sex workers.

This Week in 2010

My first Mabon column, the problems caused by unsatisfied male sex drives, my sex-related pet peeves, one of my earliest columns on “sex trafficking” hysteria  and an angry reply to it, the growth of opposition toward prohibition and my announcement of the Himel decision.

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It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. –  Mark Twain

Though I suppose I should be used to it after all these years, I am still astonished by the incredibly stupid statements which are habitually made by opponents of prostitution.  Everyone makes stupid statements from time to time (and this writer is by no means an exception), but prohibitionists repeatedly and vociferously repeat the same asinine arguments over and over again, as though they were completely unaware of how ridiculous they sound.  Anyone’s brain can slip out of gear for long enough to make an embarrassing declaration, but the whore-burning crowd’s constant repetition of these same idiotic assertions indicates that they honestly feel them to be both valid and persuasive. Today I’d like to look at a few of them, in no particular order.

The act of exchanging money for sex is inherently degrading.

Why?  What portion of the act generates the degradation?  Is it the act of having sex with men at all?  Because if that’s the case you had best just shut up now before somebody points out that you’re naked.  Or is it the act of having sex with people to whom one is not married, in which case why aren’t you out promoting laws against infidelity, singles bars, gay bars and swinger clubs, or advocating for “abstinence-only” sex education and campaigning against “no-fault” divorce?  Or perhaps you believe that any personal service for pay should be illegal, in which case where’s all your anger and bile against masseuses, hairdressers, manicurists, physical therapists and cosmetologists?  Perhaps you believe that wives need to be protected by prohibiting anyone from providing traditional wifely services for pay; good plan!  So when do you start your campaign to criminalize chefs, tailors, nannies, maids and day care centers?  No?  It must just be that you’re against capitalism, then; good luck selling that one, considering that even the Russians and Chinese have embraced it.

Because you are too romantic, shy, introverted, conventional, prissy, prudish, narcissistic, lazy, fearful or misandrous to sell sexual services, why does that mean I can’t?  I have too much sense to believe I can get all of my moral answers from a 2000+ year old book and too much decency to promote warfare between large groups of society so as to give me a chance to grab power, but you don’t see me trying to prohibit you from doing those things.

Prostitution is unacceptably dangerous to women.

Who determines what level of danger is unacceptable, you?  Who decided that an adult woman who can drive, vote, drink alcohol, own a firearm, see X-rated movies, enter into binding legal contracts and even run for political office is somehow incompetent to determine whom she wants to have sex with and on what terms?  And having decided that I was incompetent, who the hell declared you my legal guardian?  What other activities carry an “unacceptable” level of risk?  How about joining the military?  Construction work?  Driving?  Walking on public streets without a male escort?  Going outside without niqab and chador, thus risking rape due to male lust?  What country are you from again?  And since you’re so concerned about prostitutes’ safety, can you please explain why you think the best way to help us is to make our jobs more dangerous?

No little girl plans to grow up to be a prostitute.

Yes, I’ve actually had morons fling this one at me.  Assuming for a moment that by “little girl” you actually mean one old enough to comprehend what a prostitute does for a living, you’re still wrong; as I discussed in my column of July 30th I had a secret admiration for prostitutes from my early teens and the only reason I didn’t embrace the idea wholeheartedly was due to brainwashing that an intellectual career was somehow “better” than one as an entertainer.  Lots of teenage girls dream of being actresses or singers, who are nothing but glorified whores who make a living with the same body parts as we do; if our trade was not illegal and suppressed who knows how many girls might indeed want to be hookers?

But even that isn’t the point.  No little girl plans to grow up to be a sales clerk, cashier, middle manager, real estate agent or maid either, so should we ban those professions?  And do you honestly imagine little boys dream of growing up to be accountants, insurance salesmen, bus drivers, coal miners and pipefitters?  If everyone grew up to be what he or she wanted to be in childhood we would have a workforce made up almost entirely of firemen, ballerinas, astronauts, teachers, cowboys and nurses.

Nine out of ten prostitutes would leave the trade if they could.

I totally believe this, but so would nine out of ten accountants, lawyers, doctors, secretaries, shopkeepers, clerks, waitresses, construction workers, teachers, farmers, plumbers, cubicle workers, factory workers, etc, etc, etc, etc ad nauseum; in fact, for some of those professions I’m sure it’s more like ninety-nine out of a hundred.  There’s a reason people get paid to do work, you know; it’s an incentive to get them to do something they wouldn’t freaking do if they were independently freaking wealthy!  Those of us who didn’t have the good fortune to inherit large portions of major corporations do indeed have to spend large portions of our time doing things we would rather not do with people we might not otherwise care to be around. But as I said two sections up, if you’re so concerned about the difficulty of our jobs, why are you so dedicated to making them even more difficult?

X% (insert random large number here) of prostitutes are coerced (or abused, or addicted, or “trafficked”, or underage, or whatever).

I’m not even going to comment on the arbitrary nature of these numbers because it should be pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain that it’s impossible to make any reasonable estimate of what percentage of practitioners of a repressed and largely-invisible group are blonde, poor, left-handed, green-eyed, uneducated, diabetic or anything else.  The important thing is that even if some percentage of any given profession is affected by a condition which removes free choice or invalidates judgment, what the hell does that have to do with those who are not so affected?  85% of cops have anger management problems, sadistic impulses or self-esteem issues; 72% of lawyers are addicted to cocaine; 99.7% of politicians are moral retards; 54% of doctors are only in it for the money; 95% of agricultural workers live below the poverty line; 113% of neofeminists are certifiably bat-shit crazy and 62.85% of statistics are made up on the spot, so why don’t you go pick on them for a change and just leave us to the Bible Beaters?

Prostitution is a manifestation of patriarchal dominance over women.

Wow, really?  Then how come we were respected priestesses in the old goddess-centered cultures, and our status slowly declined in the patriarchal ones?  And why is it that (at least until the invention of feminism) the most patriarchal cultures are those in which prostitutes are most brutally repressed?  If the “patriarchy” likes prostitution so damned much, why the hell wasn’t it universally legalized centuries ago?  This argument is as ludicrous as the neofeminist claim that sexy clothes are symptomatic of “sexist oppression” despite the fact that oppressive, rigidly patriarchal cultures invariably force women to cover up more in public.

Prostitutes are anti-feminist because they earn a living by being subservient to men.

Anyone who has ever actually prostituted herself, hired a prostitute or observed the transaction will recognize this as easily the most idiotic statement in this column.  The male client is required to essentially beg and bribe a prostitute for sex by jumping through whatever hoops she declares he must and paying her whatever fee she demands, however absurd and unfair; if he displeases her beyond the point she is willing to tolerate she may simply cut him off and leave, and he has little recourse other than physical violence (to which normal men are not willing to resort).  Prostitution is evidence of one gender’s dominance over the other, all right, but it’s the opposite way around from the sick fantasies of neofeminists; why do you think maladjusted men hate us so consistently?  It’s because our very existence is a constant reminder of the male sexual dependence on women (and our ability to manipulate men to get what we want by means of that dependence) that bitter men are so obsessed with controlling or eradicating us and sociopathic men so often murder us.

Perhaps academic feminists, few of whom have ever had to achieve anything resembling real-world results in order to earn their pay, intentionally confuse “subservience” with the normal necessity of any service provider to please her customer?  If a female barber was rude to her male customers and did a bad job cutting their hair, she wouldn’t last too long in her profession.  Not even neofeminists are not so addle-brained as to pretend that other female service professionals are “anti-feminist” merely because of the way in which they earn their living; that distinction is reserved for whores.  Like every other example on this page, this last stupid statement can more truthfully summed up in one phrase: “It’s different because it involves sex.”

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