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Posts Tagged ‘An Enormous Big Nothing’

Instead of raising children in an adult world…we prefer to live much of our lives in a make-believe children’s world.  –  Hugh Hefner

R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 

The founder and embodiment of Playboy magazine died a week ago today at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles; he was 91.  Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Hefner and his magazine were among the most important driving forces of the sexual revolution and, to a lesser but still important degree, of the popularization of liberal (in the original sense of the word) political ideas such as LGBT rights; in a world where homosexuality was illegal Hef published Charles Beaumont’s “The Crooked Man“, and years before Roe v Wade he was bankrolling abortion rights activism.  Naturally, he was despised by narrow-minded feminists who think that a woman can be sexy or intellectual but never both (despite his support of female authors and thinkers), and he was even controversial among sex workers (including yours truly) for his rather odd home life with his playmate “girlfriends”, but by most accounts he was an ethical businessman whose legacy of support for both his contributors and for individual rights would have been more universally lauded had his magazine and life not featured sex in such a central role.

An Enormous Big Nothing

More hysterics who can’t tell the difference between adults and children:

The headline reads Spanish brothel’s “back to school” party sparks outrage in Andalusia.  El Bosque is a legal club de alterne where sex workers drink, dance and chat with customers with the option to retire to private rooms for paid sex.  The party-poster was called an incitement to paedophilia…despite the obvious age of women (and their clothing) in the poster.  The club’s owner removed the posters and cancelled the party…

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported…the…CDC’s…annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows that more than 1.6 million of the new cases were from chlamydia, 470,000 were from gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis…While all of these can be cured by antibiotics, many [amateurs] go undiagnosed and untreated…When you include herpes and more of the dozens of diseases which can be transmitted sexually but which are not tracked, the CDC estimates there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year.  At least half occur in young [amateurs] ages 15 to 24…

The Lion and the Ox

Talking is now defined as “sex trafficking”:

Two people were arrested…after using Snapchat to recruit a woman into prostitution…she was contacted in January by [her] friend…Wynter Fowler…[who] told her that she “was pretty and could make a lot of money” if she moved to Las Vegas to work as an exotic dancer and escort…Fowler[‘s]…boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert…persuaded [the complainant] to work as a prostitute for him…she said Gilbert threatened her when she tried to quit in February…he…bragged that he “had already gotten away with murder” before…Gilbert [had been previously] arrested in Texas after an escort was shot and killed, but was later acquitted…Police arrested Gilbert and Fowler on Sept. 12…Both were booked…on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…

I can think of several better, less tyrannical things to charge the thoroughly-nasty Gilbert with than simply talking to someone.

So Close and Yet So Far

A good little article despite a truly stupid statement in the third sentence:

I am not a pimp or a trafficker.  I am neither a rape apologist nor someone who excuses violence against women.  I do not believe men have a right to buy sex, or that anyone, of any gender, should be forced to sell sex.  One might have thought these things go without saying, and yet they are examples of some of the vitriol levied at us – those that advocate for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.  In recent weeks…establishment media has provided…an “everywhere-you-turn” kind of platform…to anti-prostitution feminists.  Julie Bindel does, after all, have a new book to publicise. Underpinning the arguments of many anti-prostitution feminists is the idea that the purchase of sex ought to be criminalised and sex workers [cast] as victims of male violence.  They argue we should be doing more to eradicate the sex industry and rescue the sex workers within it…

Of course men have the right to buy sex from someone offering to sell it, just as women (or men) have the right to sell it.  Any claim to the contrary reflects the irrational and authoritarian mindset of a prohibitionist.

Banishment

Remember:  these people have already served their sentences:

Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick…About 200 [inmates] of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is…forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.  The executive who oversees the center [claims] the water [which he needn’t drink] turns brown…when the pipes are flushed, and…the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm.  But…Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006…a former [treatment] plant operator told health officials in 2015 that the water’s cloudiness readings were being manipulated to make the water look cleaner than it was…The Special Commitment Center [imprisons]…sex offenders…[that] the state convinced a judge…were too dangerous to be released…

The Sky is Falling! (#415)

The Francophone world seems to be in especially deep denial about compensated dating:

Belgian ministers have said they will take legal action in an attempt to force a [sugar dating] website…to remove…adverts near the country’s universities.  Trucks bearing large posters promoting Rich Meet Beautiful…have appeared on the outskirts of campuses in Brussels in recent days…the Norwegian company behind the website says it hopes to recruit 300,000 Belgian registrations by the end of 2018…The site, however, has been accused of encouraging prostitution and playing on the financial insecurity of the young [by offering them an option to get out of financial insecurity.  Two pearl-clutching ministers]…have declared they intend to launch a criminal proceeding against the firm for inciting debauchery and prostitution, and to force the suspension of its campaign on public order grounds…

Feminine Pragmatism (#518) 

This isn’t “remarkable” or even “unusual”; women have done part-time sex work to supplement meager earnings at least since Roman times:

…after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.  She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch…when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction.  “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad”…Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness…

Under Review (#733)

Escort advertising is already illegal in Ireland, which is why Irish sex workers have such limited advertising options:

The government is being urged [by prohibitionists] to ban a website that facilitates the advertising of prostitution services – and invites customers to review the women they hire…Over 7,000 [ignorant busybodies] have now signed a petition urging the Department of Justice to step in and [magically] remove the website [despite its being hosted in Spain] and ban others like it [again, but magically this time so the sex rays can’t cross into Irish cyberspace]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Authoritarian idiots will probably keep re-electing this lunatic no matter how much his antics cost them:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd garnered widespread scorn for blathering and boasting on social media, threatening to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they sought public shelter while Hurricane Irma battered Florida…Now Judd has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly denying entry to a man seeking shelter, saying he had to go through a background check first…Judd [doubled down on his moronic rhetoric, claiming the man] wasn’t denied shelter…[but] offered accommodations in jail…

Wise Investment (#775)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

One year later, cases from the Euro Spa sting of June 2016 are still slowly making their way through Seattle’s Municipal Court.  Some men…have pled guilty to “sexual exploitation,” the city’s recently modified term for the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.  Others have requested trials…But one accused john—we’ll call him John—adopted a different legal strategy…John’s lawyer, Bob Goldsmith, filed a motion in July challenging City Attorney Pete Holmes…[who] directed prosecutors to rule out pre-trial diversion…[and] instead…push for guilty pleas that will result in a criminal record…Holmes…[pretends] the policy…will reduce prostitution overall [and imagines that would be a good thing]…Anita Khandelwal, policy director for the Department of Public Defense, called Holmes’ tactic on sexual exploitation charges “unusual and illegal”.  While johns are often cast as sexual predators by law enforcement and the media, Khandelwal says the clients her office sees are “incredibly poor and marginalized and caught up in police stings.”  She added, “Mr. Holmes’ statement that criminalizing buyers results in changed behavior is not supported by the evidence.  The war on drugs did not reduce drug use but it filled prisons”…

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You would think they’d want an actual sex worker…but somehow that’s not important because we’re seen as victims; voiceless and having no agency.  –  Jules Kim

License to Rape

Cops raping sex workers is so ubiquitous, non-cop rapists often pose as cops to facilitate the crime:

…Desiree Patton said that her assailant, Guy Dietz, found her through online advertisements placed by the exotic dancing agency she works for…when she arrived at Dietz’s…California home, he informed her that he was a police officer, placed her under “arrest,” and handcuffed her hands behind her back…Patton claimed that Dietz said…he [could] arrest her and trump up charges…

Check Your Premises

Nick Olivas became a father at 14, a fact he wouldn’t learn for eight years.  While in high school, Olivas had sex with a 20-year-old woman…State law says a child younger than 15 cannot consent with an adult under any circumstance, making Olivas a rape victim…Then two years ago, the state served him with papers demanding child support.  That’s how he found out he had a then-6-year-old daughter…he now owes about $15,000 in back child support and medical bills going back to the child’s birth, plus 10 percent interest.  The state seized money from his bank account and is now garnisheeing his wages at $380 a month…

Follow Your Bliss

…Florida youth pastor [Lucas Dillon Brandenburg] was arrested…after investigators said that they found a computer at his home “sharing” images of child pornography…

Legal Is as Legal Does

Yet another example of why legalization is almost as bad as full criminalization:

Taiwanese authorities said…they busted a prostitution ring exploiting young Chinese women…Prostitution [was criminalized in 2001 due to American pressure] but the parliament in 2011 passed a controversial bill to allow red-light districts…no such district has been set up yet…

Above the Law 

The report calls it a “romantic encounter” but I suspect otherwise:

…an Atlanta police officer killed a woman that he met online, then set her body on fire to cover his tracks.  Tahreem Zeus Rana was arrested…[while] trying to board a flight to Mexico…Vernicia Woodward…was linked to Rana through her phone records...The two appear to have met on Backpage.com…

And in The Nation, others appear to finally be noticing what I’ve been screaming about for twenty years:

…sexual assault is a significant issue in police forces, as The American Prospect and Truthout have reported.  According to the Cato Institute, more than 9 percent of reports of police misconduct in 2010 involved sexual abuse, making it the second-most reported form…Comparing that data to FBI crime statistics indicates that “sexual assault rates are significantly higher for police when compared to the general population”…Jen Marsh of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network…said…“[cops are] targeting victims seen as vulnerable or ‘less credible,’ whether they’re engaged in sex work or are committing a crime”…

The Widening Gyre

Instead of commenting on this ridiculous nonsense:

Denver has evolved into a breeding ground…for sex-traffickers who lure young runaways, often in exchange for drugs…Tom Ravenelle with the FBI said he’s seeing more print and online advertisements — chock-full of keywords like “4-20 friendly” — that attract young girls.  “We’re dealing with people who are pimping these girls who are sometimes gang-related.  These are people with low morals”…

I’m going to let somebody else do it this time.

An Enormous Big Nothing (TW3 #33) Gates daughters on ferry

Another predictable result of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

After my family arrives on the Cape May ferry for our annual vacation to the Jersey Shore, I take pictures of our two daughters…as we leave the harbor.  I’ve been doing this since they were 3 and 4 years old.  They are now 16 and 17…Getting just the right exposure and interaction between the two has never been easy…But this year…a man came up beside me and said to my daughters:  “I would be remiss if I didn’t ask if you were okay.”  At first none of us understood what he was talking about…then it hit me:  He thought I might be exploiting the girls…I told the man I was their father.  He quickly apologized and turned away.  But…the more I thought about [it]…the more upset I became.  My wife and I, both white, adopted our two daughters in China when they were infants…we have often gotten strange looks and intrusive questions from strangers, but nothing like this…I walked outside to where he was standing and calmly said:  “Excuse me, sir, but you just embarrassed me in front of my children and strangers.  And what you said was racist”…He replied:  “I work for the Department of Homeland Security.  And let me give you some advice:  You were standing there taking photos of them hugging for 15 minutes”…

The Public Eye

Sydney Journalist and mother-of-two Amanda Goff has revealed her secret double life as…Samantha X…who started working as a sex worker two-and-a-half years ago…[in] a tell-all book about her experience.  After working in British tabloids including The Mirror and Sunday People, Miss Goff came to Australia and worked as the health and beauty editor for Prevention Magazine and at New Idea…[then]  became a TV spokesperson for health and beauty…she believes she can help save marriages…”I hear a lot about marriage from the man’s point of view.  They say they are not listened to, they aren’t heard.  I give them intimacy, it’s not necessarily about sex”…

Down Under (TW3 #49)

Sex workers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are hopeful that…the…Health Minister…Michael Malaba…will keep his public commitment to introduce legislation that decriminalises sex work and same sex relationships…Malaba stated that he recognised that the decriminalisation of sex work was a key reform essential to tackling HIV/AIDS and that he was committed to reforming PNG’s “colonial era laws”…

Absolute Corruption

[On September 2nd] Bernard Baran died suddenly at his home while talking with his partner, David, and his niece, Crystal”  The autopsy results are not yet in, but a heart attack or stroke (resulting at least in part from more than two decades of gross maltreatment by the state) seems likely.  Perhaps now the utterly loathsome Martha Coakley will consent to allowing his record to be expunged.

Original Sin (TW3 #321)

Video games and “sexting” cause “sex trafficking”!

Real Battle Ministries is partnering to attack the rampant sex trafficking in our local communities!  Drug cartels and gangs have nearly controlled the prostitution market, planting “bottom ho’s” in our local schools, and utilizing social media & online games to “befriend” our kids for the sole purpose of entrapping them into slavery!…Porn addicted adults produces “Johns”…exposure to porn during childhood produces promiscuous children and kids who post sexually suggestive photos on social media.  Pimps and…enslaved kids…target our kids, befriend them on social media and play online games with them, eventually luring them away for abduction into sex slavery…one pimp with 5 girls generate nearly $1 million in revenue annually.  No wonder organized crime has focused on abducting one million kids yearly!!!!

These are the most insanely-exaggerated claims I’ve seen yet.  Fight “sex trafficking” with exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!City of Lies

A War for Peace (TW3 #323)

City of Lies features eight tales…all names have been changed, as have certain details…Each focuses on an individual, but [author Ramita] Navai uses these personal stories to observe how people live, love and survive in a society ruled by fundamentalists.  Iranian youth read “Harry Potter,” watch Hollywood films…smoke joints and listen to Metallica and Radiohead — all the while knowing that one misstep can ruin their reputations and lives…For women, sex outside marriage could mean “up to 100 lashes.”  If convicted of adultery, a woman could be executed…

Imaginary Evils

Remember, huge police operations have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases in the UK:

…Greater Manchester’s police chief [imagines that]…predators have changed their tactics and are now targeting Eastern European teens and trafficking them into the region for sex…some 180 men are currently under suspicion of child sexual exploitation…of 17 and 18-year-old girls – notably above the age of consent…

Yes, they’re claiming the “child sex trafficking” of girls over the AOC.

Everything Old is New Again

Just in case you were unsure about “sex trafficking” mythology’s origin in racism and xenophobia, take a look at the kind of sites that gleefully quote the propaganda to promote their own agendas.

What Next? 

Clueless, ignorant old American continues to demand that other countries increase violence against sex workers in the name of “rescuing” them:  “Former US president Jimmy Carter has written to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other members of the Oireachtas urging them to adopt a recommendation to criminalise the buyers of sex

Property of the State

Delusional authoritarian thugs presume that women have absolute control over our bodies:

…police reportedly “swarmed” a Texas high school because…a school custodian notified the principal…after finding a “possible fetus” in one of the bathroom stalls…The principal contacted police…Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Unit detectives were investigating to find out who may have abandoned the fetus.  The person involved was being considered a “suspect”…Alan Elliott of Baby Moses Dallas explained…that the mother could have avoided any criminal charges if she had taken advantage of Baby Moses laws by carrying the child to term, and then dropping it off at a safe baby site like a fire station…

“Abandoned”.  Seriously.  By that standard, some 10% of the women reading this are “criminals”.cops harass Java Juggs

Prudesville

The headline The Blaze put on this is infuriating; moronic cop masturbatory fantasies are cast as “knowledge”:

The owner of controversial bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts, [cops imagined]…Carmela Panico…was charged with promoting prostitution and money laundering by Snohomish County prosecutors, who allege she was the madam of drive-thru brothels…[where] baristas would expose their breasts and genitals and charge for sex acts…In a raid last year, investigators [stole] $250,000 [from] Panico’s home.  Her profit margin at times was twice that of well-run, established coffee stands…One barista [was bribed via a plea deal to tell] investigators she earned half a million dollars working at Panico’s stands…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #432)

This scare story starts with the arse-backward claim that “sex trafficking” causes youth homelessness and then goes all over the map:

…those who study the issue believe any steps to address sex trafficking in Utah also will help solve the problem of youth homelessness…Tammie Garcia Atkin…of the…Office of Victim Services…said girls often are introduced into prostitution by men who they believe are their boyfriends…“It’s all sweetness and likes [sic] and then it turns into this violent relationship”…[fireman] Fernando Rivero…said…he was able to recognize a sex trafficking business once when he visited an area doing a building inspection…Rivero is hoping to eventually steer Utah’s thinking more toward a victim mentality as seen in other states…Kevin Donegan…at Janus Youth Programs in Portland…sends out a strict warning to parents who think their children are hanging out at the mall, because they could be…recruited into sex trafficking…Peter Thorpe…of the Oak Ridge shelter in Vancouver [Washington], said…the average age for a girl to enter prostitution…“just keeps going down and down…it is a renewable resource…you can sell a girl over and over again”…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #433)

Three Sydney sex workers have staged a protest at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas over the representation of their profession in a panel discussion on the global sex industry called “Women For Sale”…they handed out pamphlets to festival goers and posed with a…sign that read:  “I am a sex worker.  I am not for sale”…Jules Kim…the acting chief executive of…Scarlet Alliance, applied to festival organisers…to be included on the panel…but had her request denied.  However…the…journalist Elizabeth Pisani invited Kim to replace her on stage and she was allowed to take part…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #433)

There’s a word for people who try to control and profit from whores but disregard their welfare:

…It has…come to light that local Conservative politicians and elected representatives from the Christian Social Union (CSU) are…involved in…construction [of an FKK-Club in East Dachau]:  developer…Wolfgang Moll; electrician…Helmut Erhorn; and architect…Heidi Lewald…it remains unclear why the…politicians didn’t make their stakes in the project known earlier…

 

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I escorted briefly after college…[as did] several friends…None of us felt exploited; we were self-employed men and women, working where and when we wanted.  –  Matthew Lawrence

Rough Trade

Pennsylvania activists…campaign…against…Judge Teresa Carr Deni in…next week’s…election…six years ago…[Deni] reduced charges of a…gang rape of a sex worker to theft of services…

Celebrities

Justin Bieber…was caught trying to sneak out of popular Brazilian brothel Centaurus with the help of his burly minders who covered him in a white sheet…[he] then jumped into the back of a waiting car and was joined by two females from the club…” I presume it was two female humans, but the report didn’t specify.

Storyville

In the Baton Rouge Advocate, an interesting article on the three Storyville buildings which are still standing.  One small quibble:  the statement “Mayor Martin Behrman shut down the district…under pressure from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy” is like a bully forcing a child’s hand into his face while shouting “Stop hitting yourself!”  When Secretary Daniels’ pressure on Behrman failed, he got President Wilson to issue the executive order which shuttered the district over Behrman’s strenuous objections.Christy Deweese

Think of the Children!

Well, this is different:

…[People think] if you were once…in the sex industry you…are never qualified to do any [other] work…Over and over again…a…teacher discovered to have…posed nude is not only fired, but propped up for public scorn.  Cristy Nicole Deweese…in Dallas, Texas, is the most recent…after it was revealed that she had posed for Playboy in 2011… What about posing nude makes her unfit to teach children?…is [she] going to be more sexualized by her…male students, who would have never discovered her pictures if they had not been searching for pornography anyway?…

Unfortunately, the author degenerates into idiocy about sex work “exploiting and harming women”, but it’s a start.

An Enormous Big Nothing

Another life destroyed by powerful, sadistic fanatics unclear on the meaning of the word “child”:

A man whose life was ruined when he was charged with child sex offences…has accused the police and Crown Prosecution Service of a “homophobic witch-hunt”…The CPS…offered no evidence…His lawyers…gave…conclusive documentary evidence…that all models…were of legal age…his…nightmare began during a business trip in September 2011 when he viewed images on a website specialising in “twink” pornography…gay slang for young-looking men who are aged 18 or over.  When a female guest who [later] stayed in the same room…saw the computer’s browsing history she complained…and staff called the police…

Of course, the ignorant busybody who went digging into a stranger’s business will suffer no consequences.

The Swedish Pimpocracy

…a 17-year-old [Swedish] girl…reported [her foster father] for rape.  Police found traces of the man’s sperm…in her vagina…The man explained…he had been “erection training” in the bathroom and had left a piece of paper with his sperm on it…The district court ruled that [this] was feasible and he was acquitted…the girl…claimed…that the man had offered her 20,000 kronor…if she declined to report [him]…

She should’ve reported him for offering payment for sex; that they would’ve convicted him on.

Bootlickersdedicated cops investigate

The latest episode in Everett, Washington’s freakish war on coffee stands:  “Three scantily dressed baristas were arrested…at an espresso stand…after public complaints about inappropriate conduct…”  For those unfamiliar with copese, “public complaints” means “cop accusations”.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (October Updates)

Mathematical illiterates in California want young girls to fear boys:

Human trafficking is an underreported problem…in…Orange County…[District Attorney] Tony Rackauckas said…the average sex slave is 12 years old…“In the schools, create awareness,” [Rep Ed] Royce said.  “So that 12-year-old, 13-year-old girls understand that…when these Romeos approach them…they have some inkling of what could be down the road”…

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Fanatics want to destroy 1000 people for trying to talk dirty to a robot:

A Dutch…group said…it had identified over 1,000 paedophiles…by offering online sex with a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl called Sweetie.  Terre des Hommes Netherlands has now handed over to police the identities of…[those] who were willing to pay children in developing countries for online sex…The group said it wanted to raise the alarm about a largely unknown but quickly spreading new form of child exploitation that has tens of thousands of victims in the Philippines alone…webcam child sex tourism…

Ever notice that every single new hysteria is always “secret” or “unknown” despite being “on the rise” and having “tens of thousands of victims”?The Egyptian

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received The Egyptian (a favorite from my teen years), but I’m unsure of the giver’s screen name; please identify yourself so I can thank you properly!

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Dr Victor Strasburger of…the American Academy of Pediatrics  claimed that all 14-year-old boys with an internet connection in their bedroom would be looking at pornography online…”  Dr. Strasburger further went on to explain that water is wet, the sky is blue and the Pope is Catholic.

Above the Law

Have you noticed the number and frequency of these is increasing?

An Alabama jail guard raped an inmate repeatedly, and the…warden told her there was nothing she could do about it…Olivia Osborne…sued her…rapist, Vincent Cheatham, [and] warden Shirley Smith…in Federal Court…Cheatham began [by] watching her shower…[then] escalated to [sexual] assault…and…when she filed a report…prison officials changed it to say that Cheatham only tried to kiss her…Cheatham…[later] brutally [raped her vaginally and anally]…Smith ordered [Osborne] placed on birth control…to prevent…pregnancy…

And in Arkansas:  “A…cop…chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts…Ashlea Bennett sued the City of Haskell…and…Officer Brandon Carter, in Federal Court…before this Dec. 13, 2011 incident, Carter had made ‘inappropriate sexual comments’ to her on multiple occasions…

An Example to the West

Citing increasing instances of violence and harassment, a sex workers’ collective has…[asked] the state government to designate an area for them in…Chennai…the only city…besides Bangalore…that doesn’t have a…red-light area…sex workers said having [this] would ensure more effective policing and minimise abuse.  “We will be able to prevent children from entering the trade…[and] protect [workers] from clients who misbehave”…it could also help in improving [STI] awareness programmes…

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #28)William Marotta

A Kansas…court heard arguments…in the case of a man who is being sued for…child support by the state after donating his sperm…through a Craigslist ad.  William Marotta…drew up a contract with the two female partners without a physician’s supervision.  The agreement…said that Marotta would not assume parental obligations…attorney Benoit Swinnen said…the state was persecuting Marotta to send a message about…family values…

This case was previously noted in “Links #130”.

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #38)

Johanna Weber has founded Germany’s first professional association for sex workers…Weber [said]…“Anyone working in the sex industry can [join, including]…brothel owners…[if] they themselves…have worked as a prostitute…There is currently the public perception that thousands of women…are being forced into prostitution…it’s simply not true…most of the women do these jobs independently and voluntarily…[feminist] human trafficking [campaigns have]…nothing to do with reality…we want to make politicians aware of our interests”…

King of the Hill

“Sex trafficking home” is my new favorite “trafficking” idiocy:

Florida has more people forced into human trafficking than just about any state in the country…Detectives…received a tip about a sex trafficking home…“Within an hour you would see…ten to 15 different men walking in and out”…Deputies put everyone in handcuffs…

10 to 15 men an hour!  Good thing the number of clients is decreasing.

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #44)

Compare and contrast with Swedish rhetoric:

Ninety-nine percent of the men arrested in [Wisconsin] for patronizing a prostitute will never face criminal charges, but…nearly 40 percent of [prostitutes] are charged…Edgar Lin…argues that since a john and a prostitute must agree to exchange money for sexual contact, both are equally responsible…Prosecutors justify the discrepancy…by saying patronizing a prostitute and providing the service are on different levels of criminality…Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maier…likened the situation to a drug deal, where prosecutors…go after the dealer…as opposed to a consumer…

The More the Better (TW3 #135)

A review (of sorts) of Sheri’s Ranch, in Business Insider.  The writer makes a few errors and missteps, but all in all it’s positive; now we just need to start getting write-ups like this for escorts.rat app

Checklist

What could be worse than one of those awful “checklists” which pretend to diagnose all sex workers (and many other women) as “sex trafficking victims”?  How about an “app” which allows busybodies to report their “suspicions” to the cops?

After [two Seattle cops]…gave a 20-minute presentation on sex trafficking to a…Kiwanis Club luncheon…Amin Haq…decided to…[start] a…project…called Redlight Traffic…[which is] launching a [phone] app…that will funnel citizens’ anonymous tips on suspected prostitution activities to law enforcement…The idea…is to…teach citizens how to identify signs of sex-trafficking and give them an easy way to do something about it…citizens will be able to report their suspicions, upload photos and GPS locations, and provide information on…a suspected prostitute, pimp or buyer…

Short version: after a 20-minute propaganda session, self-appointed savior creates a way for prudes to subject anyone they dislike to cop harassment.

Under Every Bed

Sex slaves!  40 clients a day!  Ice cream!

There is a multi-million-dollar sex slave trade taking place [in Trinidad and Tobago]…there were [also] cases of Trinidadians being forced to work in ice cream companies for low wages…Venezuelans [are] brought to this country under false pretences and…forced into prostitution…“These girls are locked in basements…and transported at gunpoint to brothels where they are forced to have sex with 30 to 40 men a day”…

Challenge

For 29 years, indoor prostitution was legal in Rhode Island.  Streetwalking, pimping and underage prostitution were illegal, but that was the extent of the legislation on the matter.  Unfortunately, Coyote vs. Rhode Island was resolved by a deal rather than a judicial decision, so there was nothing to stop an unholy cabal of cops, neofeminists and “trafficking” fetishists from getting it re-criminalized on November 3rd, 2009.  This article by a former Rhode Island male escort talks about how it happened, and how the only real effect of re-criminalization was – as any sane person could have predicted – to make sex work more dangerous.

Somewhere in the Middle

You know that study that claims fewer men are paying for sex?  Read the truth about it in this essay I wrote for Slixa.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #321)

In May 2013…transgender rights activist Monica Jones was falsely arrested for “manifestation of prostitution”…The police claim that they don’t arrest anyone during Project ROSE, that all they are doing is offering people a ride in a police car in handcuffs.  So, people transported to a participating church are prevented from accessing legal counsel…Monica…is pleading NOT GUILTY and taking this to trial…If [she] wins…this will be a significant victory for all people targeted by anti-prostitution and related laws in Arizona…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #329)Gamera

If something’s in a movie, it must be true!  So let’s summon Gamera, friend of all children, to rescue all of the “child sex slaves”!

Edmonton’s dirty little secret is that sex trafficking and sexual exploitation are…worse…than in other Canadian cities…[and have] permeated into all fabrics of Edmonton society, with children…between the ages of 12 and 14, states the film entitled “Dirty Little Secret”…most sex workers were forced into the trade and that 75 per cent of them were forced into it as children…

Dysphemisms Galore (TW3 #340)

More “sex trafficking” hentai!  A Virginia cop absurdly styled a “colonel” calls women “commodities” and says traffickers have “large tentacles”.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #342)

A group of French clients wrote a manifesto opposing the criminalization of clients, patterned on a 1971 abortion rights manifesto.  Predictably, neofeminists refused to see the parallel between sex worker rights and abortion, while some sex worker activists objected to people speaking out on a law which will criminalize them on the grounds that activists hadn’t given them permission, and others quibbled over the possessive pronoun “my” in the phrase “my whore”…you know, that same one widely used in such popular phrases as “my doctor”, “my representative” and even “my client”.  One would think sex workers would understand the idea of “strange bedfellows”.

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The truth is always easy to write.  –  Chi Mgbako

Damned If You Don’t

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

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

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

Updates

An Enormous Big Nothing

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

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

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

Convenient and Inconvenient Victims

An excellent essay on victimhood from law professor Chi Mgbako:

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

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

A Moral Cancer

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

May Q & A

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

Against Their Will

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

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

Blackball

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

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


Presents, Presents, Presents!

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

They Still Don’t Get It

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

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

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

Zimbabwe

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

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

Childish Things

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

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

Metaupdates

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

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

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

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

Shifting the Blame in TW3 (#12)

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

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

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

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

Indian sex workers again demonstrate their awesomeness:

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

This Week in 2011

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

This Week in 2010

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

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“It had the biggest head you ever saw, Christopher Robin. A great enormous thing, like — like nothing.  A huge big — well, like a — I don’t know — like an enormous big nothing.” –  A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Poor Piglet had of course never seen a heffalump, in fact had never even heard of a heffalump until Pooh started to talk about catching one.  And since Piglet was a rather timid and easily frightened creature, it should come as no surprise to anyone that after staying up half the night thinking about heffalumps and worrying about whether they might be fierce, that he should conclude that the first unidentified thing he saw the next morning was a heffalump and react with predictable hysteria.

We have become a nation of Piglets obsessing over a heffalump named “pedophilia”.  Pedophilia is defined as sexual attraction to prepubescent children, but since the Cult of the Child insists on willfully confusing the legal concept of a “minor” with the biological concept of a “child”, many modern Piglets have concluded that sexual attraction to fully-developed women who happen to be under the age of legal majority is somehow “pedophilia”.  And since they know absolutely no real facts about this heffalump, it should come as no surprise that after worrying about it for two decades they tend to conclude that anything which bears even a passing resemblance to attraction to a person under 18 must be real, dyed-in-the-wool pedophilia, and they react with predictable hysteria.

Here’s the most recent example, paraphrased from an AP story:

Two of the good-looking young actresses who star in the popular television show Glee inadvertently provoked controversy this week by appearing in a suggestive photo spread in the November issue of GQ.  Though the actresses are in their twenties and the magazine is intended for adult men, some critics and fans of the show are upset because many children watch the show and the actresses portray high-school students in it; furthermore, the photos show them in a high-school locker room setting and one shows the actress licking a lollipop. Glee stars Lea Michele (who plays “Rachel” on the show) and Dianna Agron (who plays a cheerleader named “Quinn”) appeared clad only in skimpy panties, and though Cory Monteith (the quarterback “Finn”) appears as well he remains fully clothed.

“I just wasn’t impressed at all,” said a disapproving Emily Martin, a mother in Ontario, Canada.  “I guess I just don’t understand why they chose to even pose for these photos in the first place,” Martin wrote in an e-mail message. “I don’t get what they hope to gain by putting themselves out there like that.”

Her feelings were echoed by commentators as prominent as Katie Couric, who devoted an opinion segment on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News to the controversy.  “I’m a Gleek,” she began, saying that she and her 14-year-old daughter watch the show every week. But she decried the photos, particularly Michele’s spread-eagle one, as “raunchy” and “un-Glee-like,” and concluded: “I’m disappointed.”

“Utterly tone-deaf,” chimed in Salon.com. “An explosion of cliched fetishism not seen outside the cheap Halloween costume aisles,” wrote EW.com. Unsurprisingly, the harshest commentary came from the Parents Television Council:  “It borders on pedophilia,” said its president, Tim Winter.  He called the spread a “near-pornographic display” — especially the “full-frontal crotch shot.”

Though GQ will obviously profit from the publicity, editor in chief Jim Nelson took issue with the pedophilia reference, pointing out that Agron and Michele are 24, and Monteith is 28; “I think they’re old enough to do what they want,” he said.  In an e-mail to The Associated Press, he elaborated: “I don’t think it will surprise anyone that we knew what we were doing,” he wrote. “I think most people will take the pictures with the wink and spirit of fun in which they were made…What we wanted to celebrate in the shoot and the story is (the show’s) playfulness, its wicked sense of fun, the clever way it plays with its self-awareness.  And it doesn’t hide from its sexual suggestiveness.”

Nelson is unquestionably correct; Glee, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on the Fox network, frequently deals with mature themes such as teen pregnancy, homosexuality and the loss of virginity. Nor is it any stranger to controversy; some parents took issue last season at a scene in which Monteith’s character Finn ejaculated in a hot tub, and this season there was a lesbian love scene between two cheerleader characters in which one of them referred specifically to a more intimate sex act.

Yet, inattentive parents allow children as young as 8 or 9 to watch the show; kids are apparently drawn in by its energetic musical numbers.  If one had any doubt as to the youthfulness of the fan base, he need only have witnessed the legions of squealing “tweens” at last spring’s Glee concert tour.  The show’s creators didn’t quite expect that at first; “We didn’t know 9-year-olds would like it so much,” co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk told the AP in May.  “We didn’t know the geriatric set would like it so much, either.  I wish we knew how we did it.”

It wasn’t clear how the show’s producers felt about the GQ photos:  Fox denied the AP’s request for comment.  Jim Nelson said that Fox knew about the shoot, but didn’t get involved; “It was up to the individual actors and the reps for the actors to approve the concept,” he said.  A publicist for Michele did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the actress, who is the breakout star of Glee and the subject of the raciest GQ photos — the one with spread legs, and the lollipop-licking photo.  Nor did a representative for Monteith.

A publicist for Agron would only confirm the authenticity of a posting by the actress on tumblr.com:  The photos, she said, “do not represent who I am…They asked us to play very heightened versions of our school characters,” wrote Agron, whose poses weren’t nearly as explicit as Michele’s, but still had her in tiny schoolgirl skirts intentionally raised up. “At the time, it wasn’t my favorite idea, but I did not walk away…If you are hurt or these photos make you uncomfortable, it was never our intention,” she said. “And if your 8-year-old has a copy of our GQ cover in hand, again I am sorry.  But I would have to ask, how on earth did it get there?”

At least one parent interviewed for this article agreed with Agron that it was the parent’s responsibility to control what children see.  “Parents need to filter what comes into their house,” said Vivian Manning-Schaffel, a 42-year-old mother of two in New York City and a frequent blogger on parenting issues. “It’s up to parents to be clear about what is what.”  About the GQ photos, she added: “I don’t understand what all the hoopla is about.  If I were those actresses, I’d be out there posing in those outfits myself!  They’re both gorgeous.”

Celebrity editor Bonnie Fuller also came to the actresses’ defense.  “They are entitled to promote their careers as they see fit,” Fuller wrote on her website, Hollywood Life.  “Whether you like it or not, posing in sexually suggestive photographs has become a staple for actresses and actors to self-promote,” she wrote. “They almost all do it.”

I think it’s obvious that actresses aren’t responsible for lazy parents letting their kids watch inappropriate shows, and that 9-year-olds don’t read GQ; once again we’re faced with the bizarre catechism of the Cult of the Child, which holds that since these actresses did something “dirty” their mere images will somehow destroy the “innocence” of children who watch their show.  But it even goes beyond that to something even more mind-bogglingly stupid:  “It borders on pedophilia,” said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council.  What???? How in Aphrodite’s name does a photo shoot featuring two ADULT actresses portraying biologically adult characters “border” on pedophilia?  So if one of them put on a necktie and a man’s hat, would Mr. Winter claim it “bordered on homosexuality?”  If they dressed as Playboy bunnies, would he claim it “bordered on bestiality?”  Perhaps one of them could slip in a pair of cheesy plastic vampire fangs so Mr. Winter and his fellow cultists could proclaim it “bordered on necrophilia!”

This is utterly insane; these people have now fetishized children to the point where even semi-nude pictures of adults playing legal minors constitutes “pedophilia”?  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering that nude drawings of children, sexual descriptions of fictional children and even depictions of cartoon characters having sex have resulted in their possessors being jailed for “child pornography” or “obscenity”.  And if adult prostitutes can somehow be defined as “trafficked children”, then certainly adult actresses can be defined as “children” too.  How much longer must we endure this evil nonsense before it finally burns itself out and reveals this dire threat to civilization as nothing but an empty jar?

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