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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

At the beginning of July, Lynne reached out to me via Paul Maginn to ask if I’d host an essay she wanted to write about her late daughter Pippa (October 18th, 1987 – October 12th, 2015), better known to the world at large as Grace Bellavue.  I was deeply touched that Lynne chose me to help her honor the memory of her daughter, one of the first sex workers in the world to use social media in the way so many of us do now, and one of the first to show us that we could show our faces without fear; Grace touched the lives of many thousands of people she never met, and her untimely death (just a few days short of her 28th birthday) robbed the world of a powerful, amazing woman.  I originally wrote “unique” in the previous sentence, but that’s not entirely true; as you will understand after reading this essay, her mother Lynne is in her own way just as amazing, and her desire to continue her daughter’s work is one of the most beautiful examples of maternal love it has ever been my privilege to witness. 

Can death really stymie a spirit that continues to be heard?

I wonder if you have ever set an intention?  Did you ever wonder how you were going to start, especially when you have an emotional investment in what you believe in?  For myself, it started with fear, then I realised that if you have fear, then there is no love.  I was going to be confronted with things I didn’t want to know or feel.  I was going to grieve all over again for my beautiful daughter Pippa O’Sullivan, AKA Grace Bellavue:  Sex worker, Escort Extraordinaire, real life Advocate, Writer, Social Justice Warrior and observer of all things nefarious locally and internationally.  As a wordsmith, her reach was incredible and life-changing to many who loved her.  Most life-stories begin with a beginning, but this one starts with an end:  A life lost tragically to suicide, which I felt could have been prevented.  A tragic loss of SELF!  I’ve often felt being a mother is about learning strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  A numbness of thought told her it couldn’t get any worse, but unfortunately it did for me.  My beautiful, amazing daughter gone.  A person so full of life, yet extinguished so quickly that I hardly had time to grasp her essence as she grew to adulthood.

I do believe in a life where there are no mistakes or coincidences.  All events are blessings given to us to learn from.  My daughter was a blessing from the start: half of me, yet unique.  She stood out amongst her contemporaries as gifted and talented; her wisdom and her deep understanding of the human psyche knew no boundaries. I’ve often thought, “How can someone that had enough inner fire to light a city die so tragically?”  There is no sense or reason to it for us, but Grace had personal reason enough to kill herself, alone with her thoughts and just her cat for company.

While I have no wish to openly talk on her early life just yet, it would be remiss of me not to mention that an escort was what she had always wanted to be.  I realised when she turned 18 that if I didn’t support her I would lose the daughter I loved, so I set about accepting what she did and gained a little insight into the industry.  It wasn’t something I talked about openly with family and friends at the start, but I gained respect for her written word and the real love she had for the working girls.  Grace was a chameleon who lived two lives, one as a sex worker and the other as a daughter who was loved and accepted by her family.  She never crossed that line when she was with us.

Grace was one of the first in the world to use social media as a means to be heard; she lived her life as she saw fit, and said just what she wanted to say without barriers.  Many who lived vicariously through her soaked up her words as water into the sponge of their mundane lives.  Grace had an amazing understanding of the human psyche which she shared with the whole world; her fans often wrote to her when they were depressed, at loggerheads with life and in need of reassurance and comforting words.  I saw many she saved with her written word when she was burnt out and had no energy for anyone, let alone herself.  My daughter was the kindest, most thoughtful, most selfless and empathetic person you could come across; she crossed barriers to help the disabled in her sex work, worked in the assimilation process with new immigrants, and won real love with her honesty and openness.

As a campaigner I’ve found that advocating for the empowerment of women is a passion of mine, and I stand right behind Grace and all the work she did toward decriminalization. I am a firm believer that to be an expert in anything you need to time to understand your subject, but also to passionately understand the heart that goes with it.  My continuation of Pippa’s work began when I spoke in a parliamentary hearing last December with a cohort of other sex workers; she had been dead for over 12 months and I wanted to act on her behalf.  I worked within the social justice framework as a clinical nurse for 40 years, advocating for others that couldn’t have a voice, and I drew on that experience to speak about the fact that the rights and safety of sex workers should be seen as an essential component of community expectations about the status and treatment of women.  South Australia has long denied sex workers their human rights and the protection that should be offered to paid workers anywhere, but our politicians have begun to realize that decriminalisation strengthens the ability of sex workers to report intimidation, extortion and any exploitation that is taking place.  In June of this year, our decriminalisation law for South Australia was passed in the Upper House; we hope that this month the Lower House accepts the bill unopposed and we can see some results that accept accountability and safety for all Sex Workers in this state.

While my daughters life is still fresh in our minds and our hearts, we need to honor her advocacy for the labelled and stigmatised, the people she saved on the streets, her fight for decriminalisation of the sex industry in South Australia, and her reach within the social/interactive media and the sex worker network.  I am looking at it as a capacity building measure, where we build on what is working in the world and embrace a “new voice” here in South Australia and further afield.  I will be collating her life works into a book in the near future, and have a WordPress account called ouramazinggrace.com in which I would like anyone to put their thoughts/words and perhaps the contact they had with Grace/Pippa and how she influenced their lives.

It is with Grace…… that I accept her life and all she contributed, to continue her final work.

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Radfems…use terms like “sell herself” as though, at the end of the transaction, a woman has sold off a body part.  –  Lauren Rosewarne

Saving Them From Themselves

Apparently Dan Rubinstein has never heard of this thing called “pregnancy”:

…Ronald Lee Love faces a felony child sexual-exploitation charge for exchanging explicit text-messages with someone with whom it would have been legal for him to have had sex.  Love, who lives in Mesa County, Colorado, began corresponding last summer when he was 25 with a 15-year-old girl who lives in New England…he explicitly insisted that their relationship remain digital because he believed physical activity was illegal…In Colorado, however, the age of consent is 15, so long as a sexual partner is not 10 or more years older…Yet authorities in this same state have decided someone…Receiving or possessing sexually-oriented images of someone under age 18…is a felony punishable by one to six years per offense…Local authorities defended their position that sexting is worse than actual sex, contending that…while a real-life sexual liaison might be a one-or limited-time thing, the teen sending Love her photo could “potentially come back to haunt this girl 30 years from now,” said Mesa County District Attorney District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.

Because obviously being saddled with a brat at 15 wouldn’t be NEARLY as bad as the kind of nudie pics that every ordinarily-sexual woman in the developed world has floating around.  Do pigs (I count DAs as part of that species) ever sound as stupid as they do when coming up with moronic rationalizations for moronic laws?

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Heroic Irish “authorities” save a man from getting his kidney transplant paid for:

A 73-year-old Brazilian prostitute…working in a brothel in…Kildare…walked free from court because she planned to return home as soon as the…case was over…She…was running the brothel…to pay for her 40-year-old son’s kidney transplant.  She also wanted to return home to her seriously ill 98-year-old mother…gardai…found just €80 in cash at the property…but…Judge Zaidan…[stole it anyway] and [gave it to Ruhama]…

Irish judges have a long an sadistic history of robbing sex workers and giving the money to those who want us imprisoned in workhouses and our families destroyed.

The Notorious Badge

You know peak hysteria has been reached when a moral panic features in afternoon soaps:

Young and the Restless (Y&R) spoilers for the week of August 7 and 14 reveal that Sharon…finds herself in grave danger while investigating a sex ring in Genoa City…Crystal…claims she is being held against her will by a prostitution ring…[and] is trying to escape from her captors who are following her… Zack is involved in the prostitution ring and…his dating app project with Abby Newman is linked with the operations of the criminal ring.  Abby Newman will soon find out that the dating app she is developing with Zack is part of a sex trafficking operation…

End Demand

Authoritarians would be even more dangerous if they could actually get their shit together:

People convicted of buying sex have, since February, been eligible for a program to [indoctrinate] them [in anti-sex propaganda]…But no one has been sentenced to it yet…[because] Bismarck [North Dakota]…City Attorney Jason Hammes…did not know it existed…”It appears the municipal prosecutors and judges may not be aware of it,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem wrote in a letter to city attorneys and municipal judges on July 25…

Watershed

Australia has far more sane feminists than does the US:

While women’s libbers have spent decades fighting to get us dominion over our own bodies, radical feminists have spent almost as long trying to insert caveats.  Apparently there are right and egregiously wrong ways to use our bodies – more specifically our genitals – particularly when dollars are involved…I not only vehemently disagree with the radfem position, but I view it as fundamentally un-feminist…If feminists aren’t fighting for my right to use my body how I choose, then they’ve dramatically detoured from their mission…

Decentralization (#444)

Remember “titcoin”?

“Lust” is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services.  It uses…anonymity features to escrow funding of the parties and keep their identities private, in order to avoid law-enforcement scrutiny and public shaming.  Leaving aside the thorny moral and social questions raised by the currency’s intended use…the “smart contracts” favor one side of the bargain: the “key has to be scanned later if they make an agreement and meet otherwise the contract gets automatically closed in 48 hours, and the client gets his Etherium tokens back in the wallet”…if the “client” has sex with the worker, and then does not scan her (sic) token, the client gets to have sex, and the worker gets nothing.  Despite high-minded talk about preventing violence against sex-workers, the major threat-model addressed by these smart-contracts is men who don’t feel like they got value for money when having sex, not women who perform sex-for-money and don’t get paid for it…

Despite Cory Doctorow’s pompous pearl-clutching (since when is consensual sex a “thorny moral question” to anyone but authoritarians?) he’s right about the way this would work, which means no sane sex worker will ever use it.  Cash up front, guys, or you get nothing.

Shift in the Wind (#510)

The Adam Smith Institute continues its support of decriminalization with a commentary on a new paper by Ron Weitzer:

…sociologist Ronald Weitzer…gives new insight into the sorry state of the academic literature on these topics.  First on his list of grievances is the unreliability of the data that is often used…[but] Flawed data is just the tip of the iceberg…[often] the authors’ approach to study design also leaves a lot to be desired…”The authors use aggregate national trafficking estimates (which combine labor, sex, and other kinds of trafficking) in their attempt to assess whether legal prostitution makes a difference. This means that there is a gross mismatch between the trafficking figures and prostitution law:  In assessing whether prostitution law is related to the incidence of trafficking, figures on sex trafficking alone should be used, not the totals for all types if trafficking“…A subsequent study by Cho (2016) using a different data source contains another howler…”Without citing any source, Cho claims that ‘prostitution is closely linked to human trafficking because sex trafficking for the purpose of prostitution is the most common form of human trafficking and constitutes the largest fraction of trafficking victims’…This claim is contradicted by the International Labour Organization (ILO)…[which states] ‘Forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 11% of all cases’ of forced labor worldwide“…Weitzer’s paper would be an interesting academic exercise in the perils of low-quality data and poor research methodology, except for the fact that policies being enacted on the basis of [these bad] studies are hurting marginalized women…when it comes to scaremongering stories about sex trafficking epidemics and accompanying calls for the “Nordic Model”, extra caution should be exercised.

Cops and Robbers (#629) 

More vigilantes playing with people’s lives and lying to men in an attempt to steal income from sex workers who may need it to pay rent and feed their children:

A new [chat]bot built by Microsoft employees in their spare time…[was] tested recently in Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington…[it] lurks behind fake online ads…posted by [anti-sex worker profiteers]…and responds to text messages sent to the number listed.  The software initially pretends to be the person in the ad, and can converse about its purported age, body, fetish services, and pricing.  But if a would-be buyer signals an intent to purchase sex, the bot pivots sharply into [prohibitionist propaganda]…”Buying sex from anyone is illegal and can cause serious long term harm to the victim, as well as further the cycle of human trafficking…Details of this incident will be reviewed further and you may be contacted by law enforcement for questioning”…Project Intercept’s lead partner, Seattle Against Slavery, is working with counterparts in 21 other U.S. cities, including Boston and Houston, to deploy the bot more widely…Project Intercept was started in 2012 by two Microsoft employees after seeing a [movie] about sex trafficking…

Given the involvement of the vile SAS and the list of cities involved, methinks Swanee Hunt’s foul reek is all over this.

Lack of Evidence (#696)

As long as these laws exist, all women are vulnerable to persecution by cops:

On July 31, an undercover cop in Columbus, Georgia, invited a 51-year-old woman into his car and offered her $5 for oral sex. When she rebuffed his offer and tried to get out, he arrested the woman for loitering for the purpose of prostitution…a controversial charge commonly used by the Columbus Police Department (CPD) to target those such as homeless women, people who’ve previously been arrested on prostitution charges, or people who don’t meet a [cop’s] standard of gender conformity.  On Sunday morning, CPD officers arrested a 24-year-old homeless woman for allegedly waving at two passing cars from the side of the road…Last summer, 24-year-old C. Williams was arrested while sitting at a bus stop because…Williams was carrying condoms and “dressed as a woman”…the city statute…expressly says evidence of an intent to commit prostitution or sodomy includes the person being “a known prostitute, pimp or sodomist”…

The Widening Gyre (#696) 

Given the number of companies profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria, it should come as no surprise when individuals start using it for publicity stunts:

British model Chloe Ayling…claims she was held captive for almost a week after being lured to Milan, Italy, for what she was told was a photo shoot.  Her alleged captor, Lukasz Pawel Herba, [supposedly] drugged her and placed her in a large suitcase in a car boot…Ayling was allegedly held hostage for up to six days as her abductors [supposedly a group called “Black Death” with ties to the Russian mafia] tried to sell her as a sex slave…The gang says its victims can be “transported globally” and advertises its activities, saying: “If you wish, we can kidnap a specific target for your needs…The advert claims the abductors “do not sell girls that are terminally ill, pregnant, have STDs or are young mothers”.  It has been suggested the gang let Ms Ayling go after realising she had a two-year-old son…While [sensible] people have raised doubts about her story, her lawyer, Francesco Pesce, said investigators believed her claims…

That cops, whose credulity on the topic of crime knows no bounds, believe the story is an argument against its being true, not for it.  Another is the notion of a gang which has no problem selling women into slavery, yet revere the sanctity of motherhood, and yet another is the fact that Ayling was seen shopping for shoes with her alleged abductor during the time she was supposedly bound to a chest of drawers (?) at a farmhouse.

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I suggest we listen to the…people we are trying to protect.  –  Kate Lister

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…drug law enforcement is…often accompanied by…sexual shakedowns, in which women…are given the choice between performing sexual acts or facing what could be decades in prison…women…[are] almost three times as likely as men…to be subject to humiliating strip-searches…body cavity searches and monitored bowel movements…roadside cavity search[es] by [cops] who claimed to have smelled marijuana…eventually prompted the Texas Legislature to pass a bill banning cavity searches during traffic stops absent a warrant…Can [pigs] actually get a warrant to search someone’s vagina?  The answer is yes.  One night in 1986 Massachusetts police officers showed up at Shirley Rodriques’s house, forced open her door and, finding her sleeping in bed with her husband, told her that they had a warrant to search her vagina for drugs.  When she refused their order to reach inside herself and take out the “stuff,” police took her to a hospital where…a physician forcefully searched her vagina while a nurse held her down on the table.  No drugs were found.  But when Ms. Rodriques filed a lawsuit…courts found no wrongdoing…It is still possible to get such a warrant today…

Check Your Premises

So having sex with strangers because of animal-brain lust is wonderful and commendable, but having the same kind of sex with the same kind of people for rational, human-brain reasons is a “grey area” that needs to be “monitored” by authoritarian busybodies:

Manchester has seen a huge uptick in the number of men…selling their bodies for money…Fergal McCullough…explains that…the lines between sex and sex work have grown fuzzier…“There are a lot of grey areas…I’ve had people say ‘If I fancy him I won’t charge him’.  That’s the reality for a young, out, gay sex worker”…Unlike female sex workers…a lot of male sex workers advertise their services online…While the exchange of sexual activities for money or other goods is legal in the U.K., police still need to monitor the situation…

Yes, the writer is also claiming that men advertise sex work online more than women do.  Picket-fence gays have become an active threat to sexual freedom.

Subtle Pimping

Another amateur profiting from sex workers while giving us nothing:

The [unprincipled] director Jane Campion has revealed that her research for the new series of Top of the Lake involved sneaking into Sydney brothels in disguise in order to hear the real stories of sex workers in the city…this series will move from wild backdrop of New Zealand to Sydney, delving into the world of [decriminalized sex work].  “Sexual tourism in Sydney…has always really annoyed me because [I’m a busybody who thinks my opinion is more important than those]…of people who…have [actually done sex work.  Like most prudes, I enjoy pretending that]…the legalisation of brothels is not a simple issue at all [and my sexual fantasies involve] the ownership of someone else’s body…”

With Friends Like These…

Why can’t wannabe allies actually be bothered to talk to sex workers before publishing ignorant pro-regulation drivel that assumes we’re childlike morons in need of licensed handlers?

…the issue of legalizing and regulating the sex trade remains conspicuously off limits for our legislators.  Allowing responsibly-operated brothels…has it been legalized in New Zealand, Germany…Eastern Australia…and…Nevada…this policy would help to protect currently-vulnerable sex workers from abuse and disease…there is no popular nationwide movement to stop the ongoing abuse of sex workers by unlicensed, unregulated pimps…

Sexual Predators 

That this creepy entrapment & surveillance game isn’t seen for what it is shows how much American society has degenerated:

Detectives from…Monroe County [Pennsylvania]…conducted a web-based prostitution sting [under cover of the myth of]…human trafficking…the detectives posted decoy ads on backpage.com…Each call was initially fielded by Detective Kim Lippincott, who would engage the man in conversation while Detective Brian Webbe used the number to find his information…so they can address the [victims] by name, mention their address and bring up other relationships…The men that fell into the trap were not arrested…the goal was to [spread propaganda that dehumanizes sex workers and casts them as pathetic victims who deserve to be cheated of a fair income]…

Under Every Bed

No doubt caused by the presence of corn and I-35:

A task force that works to [manufacture] crimes against children is [inventing] an increase in the number of sex trafficking cases in Kansas…Richard Powell of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s office says…”perpetrators are…utilizing a lot of social media to recruit victims.”  Powell says there are more than 8000 registered sex offenders living in Kansas, and about 15 percent are in the greater Wichita…area…

An Angel of Mercy (#320)

No cops.  No cages.  No shaming or brainwashing:

A charity that supports sex workers in Nottingham has secured funding for a new van that will deliver food and hot drinks to them…The Jericho Road Project…was set up 17 years ago and supports approximately 25 women a month…[project manager Julia Terry said] “The aim is to show them love and if they would like help in exiting (the work) then we will support them, but even if they don’t want to exit then we still offer support”…The charity will also support women if they have been attacked, and pass on the details to website Ugly Mugs…

The only sour note in the story is the list of reasons women do sex work which somehow fails to include “earning money”.

First They Came for the Hookers…(#623)

It doesn’t matter what a sex worker does after leaving sex work; to the media, they’ll always be a whore:

A former Russian government official—and business partner of Donald Trump’s—is gaining new notoriety, as the federal investigation into alleged election meddling widens…this Kazakh-born real estate mogul, Tevfik Arif, is doing his best to clean up his past, trying to purge the web of references to his arrest in an underage prostitution bust.  He was later acquitted in the matter…

Opting Out (#700)

Naturally, Cassandra McNeill was saying this years ago:

…the UK government…formally announc[ed] that age verification for all online pornographic content will be mandatory from April 2018…it’s expected that you will need to submit your credit card details to a site before being allowed to access adult content (credit cards can’t be issued to under-18s).  The appointed regulator will almost certainly be the British Board of Film Classification who will have the authority to levy fines of up to £250,000 or shut down sites that do not comply…This act will potentially censor any UK site that carries adult content, which is broadly defined by the BBFC as “that it was produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal”…anyone in the adult industry who markets their business with a website, can all be termed pornographic and forced to buy expensive software to screen their users or risk being shut down or fined…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#719) 

One wonders if this loon thinks it’s a danger to society to force her vaguely-phallic vibrator against her genitalia without asking for its consent:

What does a rape-able robot say about our attitudes to consent, sex, violence and humanism?  Do sex robots…eroticise and normalise male sexual aggression?  Or does allowing men to “act out” these “most private sexual dreams” on inanimate objects actually make real women safer?  The idea that allowing men to “rape” robots could reduce rates of sexual violence is fundamentally flawed.  Sex robot settings that eroticise a woman’s lack of consent, coupled with male aggression, risk normalising rape.  It sends a message to the user that it is sexually fulfilling to violate a woman’s “No”…

For the nth time: a woman-shaped toaster is still a toaster, not a woman. It has no power to consent, and there are no “ethical dilemmas” raised by fucking it, painting it green, sticking it in a closet, dismembering it or modifying it into a woman-shaped drink dispenser. Only childlike primitives believe that the shape of an object imbues it with sympathetic-magical powers over humans.  And finally: anyone who un-ironically uses the phrase “send a message” in a screed urging limitation of others’ individual freedoms is an authoritarian who “makes the world more dangerous for women, not less”.

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The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.  –  Malcolm Turnbull

This video is two years old, but it first came to my attention last week and was too good to pass up!  The links above it were contributed by Marijke Vonk  (“lawheadedness”), Franklin Harris (“eels”), Jesse Walker (“happens”), Kevin Wilson (“never”), Radley Balko (“sitters”), and Tim Cushing (“together”).

From the Archives

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The law shouldn’t stipulate that we’re not allowed to make [personal] choices.  –  Sharon Jennings

Property of the State 

Remember that there have been similar cases in the US, and ever-harsher laws are being passed on the subject:

A woman in El Salvador who became pregnant as a result of rape has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after the death of her stillborn child…Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz became pregnant at the age of 18 but was not aware of it because ”she menstruated regularly”…On 6 April 2016 the teenager felt a severe pain in her stomach and went to the bathroom where she fainted with the pain…The baby…was stillborn but prosecutors argued that it could not be proven the child didn’t die shortly after the birth…

As I’ve pointed out before, this reversal of the burden of proof is becoming more common in sexual matters in the US as well.

Fallen Idol

Not a good move on Deen’s part:

Porn star James Deen has blocked the distribution of a documentary that addresses rape allegations against him, according to a lawsuit filed by the film’s director.  Maria Demopoulos alleges Deen thwarted the film’s distribution…by [stealing] the signed releases from her producer’s office…Demopoulos was hired by Deen’s company, Seven Sins, to direct the documentary in 2015…She was on track to complete a director’s cut…when Deen’s ex-girlfriend, Stoya [and a dozen other women]…accused him of rape…Her producer and a Showtime executive agreed that the film…would have to be re-edited to address the new claims…The producers screened the second version for Deen on July 30, 2016.  He had some requests for changes, but his overall reaction appeared to be positive…However, three months later Deen appeared unannounced at the producer’s…office…and Deen persuaded a production assistant to turn over a binder of signed releases…Deen also asked a post-production staffer for the footage from the film, but the staffer recognized him and refused…Deen then walked out with the binder.  Without the original releases, Demopoulos says the film cannot be shown at film festivals or aired on Showtime…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#599)

In 2011, sex work was re-legalized in Taiwan after ten years of US-style criminalization imposed due to pressure from Washington; however, the pressure has not been relieved, so Taiwanese police still harass sex workers thus:

A total of nine foreign women [whom cops pretend were] forced into prostitution in Taiwan have been [arrested] by Taipei police…during which the alleged mastermind behind the gang was also arrested…The [women] are currently [imprisoned] by…prosecutors…[cops fantasize] the gang…use[d magical] drugs to [mind] control the women, forcing them into prostitution…adding that the [police’s female] victims also included…foreign migrant workers [fleeing from exploitative but legal work contracts]…

Backwards into the Future (#629)

Adult man wearing a costume mansplains professionals’ own job to them:

…Justice Martin Makonese [dismissed a suit by sex worker rights activists in Zimbabwe] which sought an order interdicting police from interfering with [protest] marches…[the judge bizarrely claimed that Zimbabwe is] “an open and democratic society” [while spewing out the following censorious asshattery]…”It is a trade devoid of moral values and is demeaning…if this court allows prostitutes to parade, promote and glorify their trade, other groups…will be encouraged to promote perverse acts…”

The moron then claimed that for sex workers to demand basic human rights further stigmatizes us.

To Molest and Rape 

STOP SAYING “FORMER” COP.  He was not a “former” cop when he committed the rapes:

A…Horry County [South Carolina] police detective [who]…sexually assault[ed] crime victims insists he will reject a plea deal…Allen Large…[raped] multiple women and [sexually assaulted]…the victims of cases he was supposed to be investigating.  Some of those women are rape and domestic violence victims…Large also faces civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.  Two of those cases have been [paid off]…

Hard Numbers (#744)

A promising start:  “A bill to decriminalise sex work in South Australia has passed the Upper House…13-8…The bill will now be debated in the Lower House before a conscience vote by MPs…

Cooties (#747)

Despite the popularity of this fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

Crime busters are bidding to free sex slaves from pop-up brothels springing up in Cambridge…many of which house…victims of human trafficking…against their will…women [are] being used as sex slaves within these brothels, with many suffering abuse in the most inhumane conditions…

Though it’s hard to recognize through the layers of cop masturbatory fantasy, what they’re actually talking about is ordinary sex workers using AirBnB rentals.

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#751)

A politician describes my flexible, lucrative job as “undesirable”.  I hope she can hear me laughing:

…Online platform Rendevu has been downloaded by over 2,000 people since launching in Scotland last month and allows users to [book services from sex workers] at the click of a button.  But…[attention-seeking] politician…Sandra White…[said] “It’s quite worrying; it’s like a takeaway menu.  You just get the app, then phone it up and get to take away an escort.  Depending on what the escort is asked to do, it’s really quite disturbing that anyone can access it.  It makes this ‘undesirable’ type of work so available to anyone”…Australian entrepreneur Reuben Coppa founded Rendevu in 2015 and believes the app is a “game changer” for providing a safe space for sex workers…

I’m not sure whose ignorance is more astonishing, Miss “It’s like pizza!” or Mr. “Sex workers had no ability to advertise before my dumb app!”

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#755)

This is another article on that same ridiculous exercise in “sex robot” navel-gazing that we saw in Wednesday’s news column, but it contains this jaw-droppingly stupid rationalization of why the speaker’s personal discomfort with pedophiles owning child-shaped sex toys should trump the obvious benefits of giving people with such desires a harmless way to satisfy their needs:

“Imagine treating racism by letting a bigot abuse a brown robot.  Would that work? Probably not,” Patrick Lin, director of the ethics and emerging sciences group at California Polytechnic State University, told the Responsible Robotics researchers.  “If expressing racist feelings is a cure for them, then we wouldn’t see much racism in the world.”

Yes, this psychological illiterate is actually espousing the dangerous and discredited belief that sexual desires are learned responses, like bigotry.  Presumably he also believes in gay conversion therapy, “john school” and “just say no”, since those harmful brainwashing programs also rely on the belief that psychosexual needs can be “unlearned” or “gotten over”.  Obviously, expressing queer or kinky feelings isn’t a cure for them either, so we should just ban all non-procreative sex, including sex toys that aren’t shaped like anything identifiable.

The Widening Gyre (#755) 

I am so enjoying watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control of the “authorities”:

The Brown County [Wisconsin] Sheriff’s Office is investigating a sex trafficking complaint after a local woman posted on social media about [her fantasy]…In a Facebook post, a mother [pretends] two men were discussing how much money they could get for one of her daughters while watching the children play at a park…[even most “sex trafficking” profiteers admit] that children are [not] randomly kidnapped from parks or pools or shopping malls…Authorities…urge people to [let them control the narrative]…

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Anti-prostitution crusaders behave as if we were at war over a symbol rather than discussing possible and partial solutions.  –  Laura Agustín

Check Your Premises 

Yeah, I’m sure they answered the pigs’ fake ads and said, “Hi, I’m interested in buying sex from a potential trafficking victim”.  That sounds totally legit:  “The FBI and police in St. Louis County…[claim] that [14] men contacted undercover officers….[and] were interested in paying for sex from potential trafficking victims…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think owning a “legal” sex work business protects you:

A brother and sister were sentenced…to two years in federal prison for their schemes to promote prostitution at 10 Portland-area strip clubs and adult video stores.  Kandace Desmarias…and her brother, Gilbert “Mace” Desmarais…also were convicted of conspiring to evade paying more than $728,000 in federal income taxes by concealing $2.6 million in income from the clubs’ strip shows and prostitution.  The ringleader of the operation, their stepfather Lawrence G. Owen, 75, was sentenced in April  to two years and six months in prison…

“Ringleader”?  Seriously?  Are owners of non-sex related businesses called “ringleaders” when convicted of tax evasion?

Life Imitates Artifice (#139) 

It took four years, but eventually an Islamic theocracy followed Russia’s lead in using “sex trafficking” hysteria as Anti-American propaganda, exactly as I predicted:

[Bahram Qassemi of the foreign ministry of] Iran said…“The root causes of human trafficking lie in unilateral, interventionist and aggressive policies as well as the wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in which the military and security forces of America and some of its allies are involved…the U.S. government…cannot shirk its responsibility for that by playing blame games and leveling unfounded and false accusations against other countries”…

Business As Usual 

Given that cops raping sex workers is both typical and tolerated by police departments, my guess is that this dude pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

An NYPD cop working undercover prostitution stings in Manhattan…[raped] six women…All of the[m]…illegal immigrants…[Michael] Golden would pay between $40 and $300 for the sex acts, prosecutors said.  Then, a field team made up of fellow officers would burst in and…arrest [his victim]…Under the rules, undercover cops can strip down to their underwear, but they aren’t allowed to engage in any sex acts with the sting targets…

The Hooker Vote (#615) 

Yet another Dennis Hof PR scam, because reporters are stupid enough to keep giving him free publicity:

Licensed prostitutes in Nevada…are organizing against legislation they say will devastate them, other prostitutes across the nation and their families…dubbing itself “Hookers for Health Care,” this group plans to go “on a political offensive…to stop the Republican effort.”  At the helm is Alice Little…who works…at Dennis Hof’s Sagebrush Ranch brothel…About a hundred women working in Hof’s seven brothels have already signed up to be involved with this new movement…

Are these reporters complete dolts? Are they unable to see that a real “movement” would involve prostitutes who didn’t work for Hof as well?  Are they oblivious to Hof’s unimaginative naming convention (cf “Hookers for Hillary”, “Tarts for Trump”, “Pimpin’ for Paul”)?  Why do these imbeciles keep providing free advertising for this dangerously self-centered jackass, who’s happy to get in bed with prohibitionists against sex workers who aren’t forced to give half of their income to him?

To Molest and Rape

“Forced into a sexual relationship” may be the most convoluted way of saying “raped” I’ve yet seen:

…Melissa Granados sued the Otero County [New Mexico] Sheriff’s Department…Joshua R. Sides and others…Granados [reported] that after Sides and four other [cops] entered her home without a warrant and arrested her as she got out of the shower, naked except for a towel, co-defendant sheriff’s Officer John Emory joked with Sides and others that it was “hard to handcuff her … those tits are distracting me”…The five [thugs from] the Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit entered her home “claiming they had an arrest warrant for plaintiff, however never produced any valid warrant to enter her home”…later…Sides told her she had 24 hours to accept his offer to work as an informant.  Granados…refused…[then] Sides [coerced] her…in[to] a sexual relationship…She arrived home one day to find him already inside, though he had no key…he…hit her and knocked her…unconscious…

The Widening Gyre (#692) 

I love watching “authorities” get caught up in their own manufactured moral panic:

A SERIAL conwoman who cost [Ireland] €350,000 in armed garda protection by posing as a child sex trafficking victim is facing up to 10 years in jail after pulling a similar scam in Australia.  Samantha Azzopardi…who is now 28…[is] accused of obtaining €13,500 worth of services from the state and charities by pretending to be a 13-year-old Sydney foster child…named Harper Hart…court documents…cite…her “extensive history of providing false documentation, obtaining passports in false names and assuming identities of other persons” in Queensland, Western Australia, Ireland and Canada…

The Widening Gyre (#697)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

Alex Jones…interviewed Robert David Steele, a man whose Wikipedia page lists him as “an American activist and former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine services case officer.”  Steele laid out a strange theory that suggested NASA not only has secretly sent humans to Mars without anyone knowing about it but that…“There is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space…once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony…Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children…It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them.  It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts”…

Checklist (#713) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

…the House’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill…would require new mandatory training for all “ticket counter agents, gate agents, and other air carrier workers whose jobs require regular interaction with passengers” on “recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims”…federal agents have already been training flight attendants and other airline personnel on how to “detect” human traffickers or trafficking victims on their planes…There is no evidence these efforts have actually yielded any trafficking busts—which shouldn’t surprise anyone not immersed in some Taken-style fantasy…A heightened sensitivity to anything out-of-the-ordinary—which in the United States can still mean interracial families or a child traveling with two fathers—means a propensity to profile passengers based on stereotypes…Airline Ambassadors International, which often works with government officials on sex-trafficking awareness training, suggests that “children and young women traveling alone” should be considered suspect, as should people who say they are adults but have “adolescent features”…

Interview:  Laura Agustín

Another interview with Dr. Agustín about The Three-Headed Dog:

Why should acknowledgement of structural inequalities mean victimising those less equal?  I’ve never understood that.  Unequal in terms of money and power does not mean unequal in agency, connections, street-smarts or guts…The focus on inequality leads logically to self-positioning as a helper – the Rescue Industry.  And if helpers believe everyone must want to be in their original homes, it leads to deportation…

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“Sexual exploitation” sounds like you’ve got a woman in a cage in the basement.  –  John Tymczyszyn

A Broker in Pillage

Dear useful idiots:  I did tell you so:

Four U.S. senators have proposed legislation that would significantly expand the power of the federal government to seize citizens’ money when traveling in or out of the United States…The stated goal of the legislation is to make it more difficult for drug dealers, terrorists and other criminals to transport money and other “financial instruments” across the U.S. border, but several troubling provisions in the law could put law-abiding American citizens at risk of losing tens of thousands of dollars for doing nothing more than failing to fill out a government form…The Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act would expand “monetary instruments” covered under current law to include “prepaid access devices, stored value cards, digital currencies, and other similar instruments“…digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, are theoretically always transported by the owner of the digital currency account wherever he or she goes, which means digital currency owners with accounts valued at $10,000 or more must always report their funds or risk having them seized…the law treats all blank checks as though they are financial instruments valued in excess of $10,000 if the checking account contains at least $10,000, which means if a traveler accidentally fails to report a blank check floating around in his or her luggage, the account holder could face stiff penalties — even if there is no suspicion of criminal activity…

Yellow Fever

Reuters was once a respected news organization, but note the complete lack of evidence of any kind for these claims:

Children in the Dominican Republic are preyed upon by foreigners who visit the island to have sex with youngsters…a United Nations [bureaucrat] said.  Maud de Boer-Buquicchio…[used the faddish term] hotspot…[and claims] Poor children can be pushed into the sex trade by their own families and local pimps, taxi and motorbike taxi drivers…”I saw it happen with the taxi drivers [she said, without presenting any actual evidence]…A 2015 report by [religion-based prohibition] group, International Justice Mission…[claimed, again without actual proof] that one in four sex workers in the Dominican Republic…was under 18…

Sex Work is Work

A couple of short interviews with Australian escorts:

Lulu Valentine…was never of the belief that sex work was sex-free…[despite Hollywood] misrepresent[ation]…“when sex work is portrayed in media, it often smooths over the more arbitrary details of the job”…Sex, it seems from [TV shows]…is an optional part of the escort gig…Claudia Cadine…says despite Hollywood notions…she’s never had any misconceptions about the nature of her work – it’s to have sex.  Not fall in love…

Choke Point 

This could also go under “The Prudish Giant”, but I think the financial chokeout is more important:

…the US’s first ever sextech hackathon…had a lot of trouble getting the word out on Facebook…Andriy Yaroshenko, one of the event’s organizers, said he said he tried to submit his advertisement around 100 times and was denied…”I’m doing an educational hackathon.  It’s not porn.  It’s not entertainment,'” said Yaroshenko.  LinkedIn blocked his ads as well…Mal Harrison…of the Center for Erotic Intelligence…said Facebook suspended the [group]’s page a number of times….[others] said [they weren’t]…allowed to use PayPal…for sales…they would have to use their personal email accounts to take credit card payments through PayPal.  And Kickstarter wasn’t available to them either…it’s even difficult for companies in the sex industry to get the business name on checks from a bank…Bryony Cole, host of the Future of Sex podcast…said…it can be difficult to separate out the good from the harmful…

By buying into the false duality of “good” sexual content (education, tech, etc) vs “bad” content (such as porn), these holier-than-thou types assist the very censors they’re whining about. If you don’t want your sexual business censored or choked, you’re going to have to fight for mine as well.

Something Rotten in Sweden (#507)

Seattle politicians engage in a pompous display of virtue signalling directly against the advice of sex workers and allies, then pretend they didn’t know their posturing would destroy people’s lives:

Two years ago the city of Seattle changed the name of the misdemeanor crime of patronizing a prostitute to sexual exploitation…A 24-year-old…man did everything a judge ordered him to do after he took a plea deal last year…[but] criminal-background check erroneously shows he’s been convicted of a sex-related felony, making it virtually impossible for him to get a job…While the elements of the crime — and the punishment — remain the same, the name change is exclusive to the city.  No other jurisdiction in the state, or country, uses the same language…it has resulted in serious errors on criminal-background checks and led to significant fears that a conviction could have immigration consequences for foreign-born men here on visas…[defense attorney John] Tymczyszyn [said]…“They’ve renamed it to something that sounds like a felony…Misdemeanors aren’t supposed to render you unemployable”…Holmes, the [most vocal proponent of the dysphemistic name change], said his office has had discussions with the…Northwest Immigrant Rights Project…about ways to mitigate possible immigration consequences…

I have a simple way to “mitigate the consequences”:  change the fucking name back & stop your fucking anti-sex propaganda machine.  Oh, and don’t forget another example of Seattle’s hypocritical posturing: declaring itself a “sanctuary city” for migrants the feds want to deport.

Broken Record (#539)

Poor Nebraska; all panicked up & no place to go: “The College World Series starts this weekend in Omaha.  Sex traffickers are drawn to the event…But sex trafficking also happens…in small rural towns“…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#556)

Don’t think too hard about why someone would leave a job inflicting violence consensually for one where she can inflict it non-consensually:

A New Jersey sheriff’s [deputy] is undergoing a legal spanking after her bosses found out she once worked as a dominatrix and tried to boot her out of the department.  Kristen Hyman…is facing a disciplinary hearing where she will have to fight for her career against claims that her status as an ex-whip mistress disgraces the organization…

Yes, they’re claiming that being a sex worker disgraces cops, rather than vice-versa.

The Widening Gyre (#589) 

The “Facebook pimps” myth is one of the silliest of the whole panic:

…Jane’s daughter, Mary, was involved in a vehicle collision…and came out of it with a head injury.  For the next couple of years, she stayed home, spending most of her time on…Facebook…“She was targeted by a gang,” Jane says…[for a] year before the gang of pimps actually took Mary, they inundated her with attention through Facebook.  Then one night, she just up and left, getting into their car…“They didn’t physically force her, but they threatened her…She walked out the door under her own steam, but they were in the parking lot and took her”…

This woman actually believes that her inexperienced daughter had so much potential as a sex worker that an entire gang of pimps (who could apparently only afford one car) was willing to invest an entire year ensnaring her.  These people live in a completely different reality from the one actual people live, fuck & do business in.

The Public Morals

Every woman molested or raped by cops should file a federal suit:

Two San Antonio [cops] imprisoned for conning women to have sex with them in a fake undercover investigation face a federal lawsuit for civil rights violations and sexual assault…Emmanuel Galindo and Alejandro Chapa…tricked women into [submitting to rape] under the guise that it was for a secret police department operation…

The only way this will ever stop is for cities’ insurance companies to tell them they’ll no longer pay judgments against these filthy pigs.

To Molest and Rape 

STOP SAYING “FORMER” COP.  He was not a “former” cop when he committed the rape:

Jerry “Jay” Gragg Jr. was arrested…by a Pittsburg County deputy and special agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations at the OSBI McAlester field office.  Gragg is being charged with one count of forcible sodomy, two counts of sexual battery and one count of an officer accepting a bribe…[during] a Jan. 21 traffic stop…Gragg told the female driver she had a suspended license and unless she paid her fine in full he would take her to jail. When she didn’t have enough money, he [orally raped] her…the woman spoke to friends and her pastor, then came forward with the allegations, producing a blouse she was wearing during the traffic stop.  OSBI matched DNA from the woman’s shirt to Gragg…

Saying “former” implies that the department drummed him out before he raped anyone, when in fact it was his status as a cop that allowed him to commit the rape. This is just another way the media conspires with “authorities” to absolve police departments of responsibility for the myriad crimes committed by the thugs in their employ.

Cops and Robbers (#665)

The Swedish model eliminates prostitution!

A [prohibitionist group] has threatened to cause major traffic chaos ahead of next month’s U2 concert over protests against the area being “turned into a red light district”.  [Busybodies] on Dublin’s Dorset Street have repeatedly raised concerns about a number of premises in the area, which they [claim] are being run as brothels…[the malcontents] have threatened to cause severe traffic disruption on one of the city’s busiest streets ahead of next month’s U2 gig if their concerns are not acted upon…

Sex Rays (#707)

Be careful, the sex ray intensity on these items must be well into the danger zone:

BDSM porn establishment Kink.com will soon leave the massive Armory building in San Francisco to move its operations to Las Vegas…they are selling off furniture and props from their adult film sets…The sale started on Thursday, June 14 and resumes again on Saturday, June 17th from 12 PM to 5 PM…

The End of the Beginning (#718) 

More good news about bad laws:

…the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a North Carolina law that bans registered sex offenders from any “commercial social networking Web site” that is open to minors…every justice agreed that the law’s broad scope cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment…

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