The criminalization of sex work exposes not only sex workers but all women to more violence. – Alison Bass
The Proper Study
Yet another study confirms what we’ve been saying all along:
…a recent study in…Las Vegas uncovers what anti-trafficking organizations might not like to hear. The majority of youth selling sex on the streets have no pimps, or even third party managers, countering one of the key narratives of the sex trafficking movement that all youth involved are victims doing this work against their will…three fourths of the youth interviewed about the sex trade said they were not working with any pimp or other kind of third party manager…24 percent of the study’s participants reported use of a third party to find clients at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent…reported use of one at the time of the study…youth sex workers who do use pimps do so inconsistently and intermittently…[they] are finding their clients independently and negotiating their own prices…
It Looks Good On Paper (#340)
Remember that religious brainwashing program which “partnered with the Sarasota…Police Department…to bring victims into their care”?
The conversations happening by phone are ones that the Sarasota Police Street Crime Unit hope will turn into a positive outcome. “I want you to know you are not in any trouble,” [oinked a pig]…”We are just trying to reach out and let you know there are options”…Sergeant Robert Armstrong and his unit are [harassing and intimidating] women who have active ads online for escort services. Many are involved in prostitution…The team is focused on connecting women with Selah Freedom…
“Many are involved in prostitution”? Are these people actually pretending not to know what an escort is? Look beneath the pious exterior; we don’t actually know what stated or implied threats these cops are using to try to intimidate women into this “program”, which is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it. If the tactic seems familiar, it’s because it’s much like Canada’s “Operation Northern Spotlight” except that the cops are (for now) merely terrorizing sex workers by phone instead of showing up at their doors.
If Men Were Angels
“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:
A Pennsylvania pastor faces charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship…Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce…church leaders immediately fired Blackburn…and alerted police last week. He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault…
Rough Trade (#446)
A setback for women’s rights in India:
The Supreme Court…ruled that a sex worker cannot file a case alleging rape if her customers refused to pay her…The judgment…acquitted three people of rape charges in a case that is close to 20 years old…the Karnataka High Court had convicted them of raping the victim, who used to work as a maid; the victim’s roommate had revealed that she works as a sex-worker at night…the Supreme Court…[claimed] that the woman’s “conduct during the alleged ordeal is unlike a victim of rape and betrays somewhat submissive and consensual disposition”…
A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#502)
In which po-faced twits with tape over their mouths walk down a street holding pre-printed propaganda cards:
A long, single-file line of people donned [sic] in black, some with their mouths taped shut, silently made its way down Stephen Avenue [in Calgary] to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…The [po-faced] group remained speechless, but handed out [propaganda] pamphlets to bystanders…former Manitoba MP Joy Smith [spoke] at the event…part of a global initiative by A21…
The tape is supposed to signify that sex workers are “voiceless”, a convenient lie for those who wish to talk over us. A21, the NGO which sponsored this charade, is infamous as the source of the high-water mark of the “clients per day” competition of a few years ago: 110.
Eternal Vigilance (#610)
Just a reminder that prohibitionism still exists in decriminalized regimes:
New Zealand celebrities will be donning aprons to serve dinner with a difference at Destiny Rescue’s Dark Secret Pop up Dinner on International Anti-Slavery Day, Tuesday 18 October…Another special menu, thankfully not available in New Zealand, will shine the spotlight on the dark secret of the near two million children trapped in sexual slavery in countries like Thailand, India and the Philippines…
The table-waiting gimmick is appropriate given that Destiny’s idea of “rescue” is to teach brown urchins to sew, wait table and draw with crayons.
Wise Investment (#673)
Picket-fence gay men are such wonderful, dependable sex worker allies:
In his recent attempt to revise the history of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End, Kevin Dale McKeown…erases the West Sex Workers Memorial Committee and our eight-year campaign to secure financial reparations and a formal civic apology from the City of Vancouver. He instead claims that his recollections are more truthful and authentic than the voices of sex workers…In McKeown’s distorted revision…expelled sex workers become the villains. However, our archival research found close to 1,000 news articles revealing that power elites in the early 1980s — including Mayor Mike Harcourt, MP Pat Carney, Attorney General Brian Smith, Concerned Residents of the West End (CROWE) and Shame the Johns — forged a “war on hookers” with lethal consequences…Residents like McKeown moved into the West End when it was a thriving [24-hour] entertainment zone…McKeown…frantically disavows his own and other white gay men’s complicity in hooker-bashing tactics…McKeown makes a failed attempt to hide his investment in a “quiet” and “peaceful” gaybourhood cleansed of “noisy” hookers…
Too Close To Home (#677)
These are the people who claim they want to “protect” women, and portray the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:
…after settling a sexual-harassment lawsuit for $1 million in 2013, the King County Sheriff’s Office…is again embroiled in a legal fight over its treatment of female officers. This time, two…deputies and one sergeant are accusing the county of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual-orientation based harassment, and retaliation…a former head of internal affairs [is] seeking whistleblower protections before he talks. Central to many of these claims is King County Sheriff John Urquhart…[whose] tenure so far…has been ignominious, involving the two sexual-harassment lawsuits, a cop convicted of pimping his wife and selling his colleagues steroids, a bogus “sex trafficking bust,” a chief-of-staff with polygraph problems, and more…this latest lawsuit…specifically calls out the actions of Sheriff Urquhart, Major Sean Ledford, and Sergeant Dewey Burns…defensive tactics instructor Melissa Deer…claims [Burns] grabbed her crotch during a training exercise…text messages showed the sergeant making racist, anti-gay, and sexually explicit comments to other staffers, including…Deputy Amy Shoblom…who…is one of three plaintiffs in the current suit, along with Diana Neff…and Julie Blessum…[Burns’] antics included texting her half-naked photos of women he was sleeping with, asking during a roll call if she had “hooked up” with a male deputy, and drawing a penis on the hood of her car with hand sanitizer…
There’s a lot more, and it’s by the awesome Liz Brown so you should read it all.
Send In the Clowns
The most disturbing thing about the clown hysteria is the way in which it has so quickly given rise to organized violence and naked authoritarianism. A “Clown Lives Matter” protest against the panic, to be held in Tucson, was cancelled due to amateur threats of violence, and the professional violence-inflicters are responding by criminally charging people and destroying young childrens’ lives. The hysteria has also spread to Ireland, and while police in Dublin have responded calmly, those in Belfast have responded with US-style threats of violence and lifelong imprisonment. Dutch police are moronically calling for a prankster there to turn himself in, and the ever-lunatic British tabloid press have found a way to merge the clown panic into “sex predator” panic:
…The basic premise of [this] story is that some men get off on women dressed as creepy clowns, they’re causing a spike in clown-porn searches and clown-fetish requests at escort services, and soon their “sick fetish” may lead them to commit real-world sexual assaults “as the adrenaline junkies seek more ‘extreme thrills'”…what the story lacks in logic it makes up for in references to “sex-mad sickos” and quotes from an anonymous escort-agency head…[it] also quotes a woman who counsels rape victims and worries that the “clown craze” provides cover to predators…Popular millennial women’s website Elite Daily published a clown-sex-panic story…warning readers that “the sexual deviants partaking in the madness are allegedly dressing up as clowns and experimenting with BDSM” and “those who are involved in the aggressive clown porn are potentially dangerous.”
Your periodic reminder that Dennis Hof is a revolting excuse for a human being:
Dennis Hof…said that while he supports law enforcement aggressively enforcing laws against underage sex trafficking, he believes that law enforcement in the United States would have an easier time doing its job if adult prostitution were [legalized]…using the [Nevada]…model…Hof said [independent sex workers spread]…sexually transmitted diseases…”My brothel business model [magically] puts the…pimps [who aren’t politically connected] out of business, [magically] stops underage girls from working illegally [?] and [magically] ends sex trafficking [even though 99% of Nevada sex workers prefer to work illegally than to submit to the onerous brothel regime]”…
In the first version of the press release, Hof actually cheered the arrests of the owners & CEO of Backpage; I guess he later realized that was vile even by his standards.
The ACLU has finally done something to act on its theoretical support for decriminalization by filing an amicus brief in the ESPLERP case:
…The ACLU brief supports the lawsuit’s contention that California’s penal code violates fundamental constitutional rights to sexual privacy and is enforced in a discriminatory manner…Lawrence v. Texas…recognized that “liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex”…The ACLU brief also argues that the California penal code is unconstitutional because the way it is enforced is discriminatory. Certain groups, such as transgender women, LGBT youth, and female sex workers are targeted and arrested for prostitution in disproportionately higher numbers than other people…
Read Full Post »