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Posts Tagged ‘avails laws’

The[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  –  John Wesley Hall

Where Are the Victims?

In which renting rooms to people in a legal trade is pretended to be a “crime”:

Angus Binnie took out…leases o[n] flats in Dundee…then advertised them for short term rental on various websites – and charged itinerant prostitutes massive fees of up to £600 a week…He said he took no part in the administration of the sex workers and therefore had no control over them or their finances…

While that’s a high rate, the women weren’t forced to take it.  Most decent hotels charge more than £600 a week, ask lots of nosy questions and spy on guests; are they to be criminally charged and slurred by the media as “raking it in” as well?  And naturally the reporter couldn’t be bothered to interview any sex workers, who would’ve pointed out that it’s the government’s own busybody “regulations” that enable such jacked-up rates by making “legitimate” landlords afraid to rent to sex workers.

So Close and Yet So Far

The New York Times has been prohibitionist for so long, it can’t write an article about decriminalization without filling it with errors, lies and stupid anti-sex tropes.  While the article starts with some solid facts and good quotes from activists like my friend Kaytlin Bailey and a pro-decrim politician, it then goes on to equate decriminalization with legalization and the Swedish model (as prohibitionists so often do); prominently quotes prohibitionist propaganda under the pretense that supporters of a powerful, violent police state deserve “equal time” with supporters of human rights; and repeats outright lies about sex work, decriminalization and the Swedish model.  In Professor McNeill’s journalism class, this might squeak by with a D minus.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

Given the success of strippers’ lawsuits against clubs, this was inevitable:

Two former sex workers filed a class-action lawsuit…against Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump, claiming that the brothel should have treated them and other women as employees instead of independent contractors…The plaintiffs…also claim that Sheri’s Ranch is violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by taking 50 percent of the workers’ tips…[they are also charged for] expenses, including the cost of meals, daily rent at the houses and the cost of a mandatory weekly medical exam, among other things…Many former brothel workers…complain that deducting the cost of rent and meals from their pay causes them to quickly end up in debt…As evidence of the brothel’s control over sex workers [one of the federal tests for whether a worker is an employee] the lawsuit cites a requirement by Sheri’s Ranch that the women remain locked down on the property for one to three weeks at a time, unable to leave the premises…

Sheri’s is also notorious for taking away women’s laptop computers and personal medications, dispensing the meds at dose times as though it were a hospital.

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

Don’t feel left out, amateurs; they’ll get around to you next:

…a Chinese programmer based in Germany [claims to have] created an elaborate facial recognition system to identify performers in adult films…he claims…the system…can now successfully recognize the faces of nearly 100,000 adult performers…[by] cross-check[ing] porn performers’ images…with those of women on…social media platforms…the system was developed specifically so [loser dudes] could identify whether their female partners were performing in these films…

The anonymous busybody soon recanted:

An anonymous programmer based in Germany…says he’s…deleted the project and all its data, but that’s not an act of altruism.  Such a project would have violated European…GDPR privacy law [which] prevents this kind of situation…just collecting the data is illegal if the women didn’t consent…Women in the US have some protections too…California has strong privacy legislation that would block this type of data collection…

Is Angela Chen honestly so hopelessly naive that she believes these laws magically “protect” anyone?  People who invest hundreds of hours in inventing systems to doxx sex workers don’t give a shit what the “law” says; furthermore, in the US, it’s the government which has built gigantic databases of sex workers’ private information (yes, even in that magic wonderland of “privacy protection” which Google and Facebook call home).

An Example to the West (#699)

More than five years after filing suit against this bad law, Mexico City’s whores may finally win:

…Mexico City…[politicians]…voted 38-0, with eight abstentions, in favor of a bill to remove a line in the civic culture law which said prostitutes and their clients can be fined or arrested if neighbors complained…the new law recognize[s] that people had the right to engage in sex work…exploitation and trafficking by crime gangs…subjected to sex trafficking…Trafficking in Persons Report [blah blah blah]…

I’m sure the prohibitionists are not going to be happy that their artificial moral panic is starting to be used to justify the exact opposite of what they intended it to accomplish, further criminalization and persecution of sex workers.

Soap Opera (#746) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Bars of [magical anti-pimp] soap with red stickers that list information and the national human trafficking hotline phone number…aimed at [imaginary] adolescents [too stupid to remember the numbers 9-1-1], will be distributed to every hotel and motel in New Jersey on June 15.  The Church and Community Abolition Network has joined the SOAP Project, or Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, and together are working to get information to the [imaginary] teens enslaved as sex workers.  They have chosen to target hotels because [that gives them the best publicity]…One of the sessions will be held in Wayne, where SOAP was launched 10 years ago by [fabulist and opportunistic profiteer] Theresa Flores…

Amsterdam (#812)

I’ve been trying to figure out why the Dutch government has been pretending it wants to protect sex workers from gawking tourists:

Walking tours of the Red Light District in Amsterdam are set to cease come January 1, 2020.  According to the translated official statement from the Dutch government, “Tours along the prostitution windows cause a lot of bustle in the Red Light District and are not respectful towards sex workers”…The Prostitution Information Center (PIC) doesn’t agree and hopes to stave off the attempt to shut down their community-led walking tours…Founded in 1994 by Mariska Majoor, a former sex worker, the organization’s mission is to inform the public about the realities of the industry and the concerns of its workers…For over a decade, the PIC has organized educational walking tours in which former sex workers lead small groups around the Red Light District.  They once hosted around 22,000 visitors annually but attendance has reduced in recent years due to steep competition from commercial tour companies.  Unlike other tours of the Red Light District, the PIC experience is an informative and heartfelt tour rooted in respect for sex workers and the community…

European governments love silencing sex workers by pretending to be “concerned” for our welfare.

Spotlight (#847)

Violet Blue on the real purpose of Asstoon’s fascist organ, Thorn:

Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex [work] — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps [cops] profile and track sex workers without their consent…Thorn (“digital defenders of children”)…[uses] dubious [methods]…Of Thorn’s 31…partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking…Thorn’s…product…Spotlight scrapes [escort ad] websites and forums [and hands all the data it collects to the pigs]…Spotlight is terrifying and practically purpose-made for abuse.  And Thorn supported FOSTA…Thorn and its partners like Polaris Project are working closely with companies like Palantir to nonconsensually track sex workers and everyone they come in contact with…”Civil liberties lawyers are seeking a case to challenge the constitutionality of Palantir’s use,” Bloomberg wrote, “but prosecutors and immigration agents have been careful not to cite the software in evidentiary documents.”  Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project told Bloomberg, “Palantir lives on that secrecy.”  And so, by extension, do Thorn and Polaris Project…

The article also discusses the increasing damage from FOSTA and also Prostasia’s plans to act as a watchdog of Thorn, Polaris and others of their ilk.  It’s well worth reading in its entirety.

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Keep licking those boots, local media; legal expert analysis is downplayed as “critics say”:

…[clear] misuse of a “sneak-and-peek” arrest warrant may end up clearing [Robert] Kraft…of two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.  The warrants have been around since the 1970s but became an increasingly popular [end-run around the 4th amendment due to courts completely abdicating their duty to protect civil rights] following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  They allow [cops] to do [unconstitutional] searches without notifying the occupant of a home, business or other private space [while courts pretend not to see]…“It’s completely uncalled for,” said John Wesley Hall, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers…”the[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  They have no justification…This was an abuse of prosecutorial power and an abuse of police power.”  At least two Palm Beach County judges have concurred…

O, Canada! (#934)

Canadian cops now want to get the public to help them spy on sex workers, as US cops do:

A new national…toll-free phone line, launched…by [a prohibitionist group calling itself] the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, [claims to] offers support to…victims…[but in reality] the information collected through the hotline w[ill] be shared [with cops] and used…for raids that may lead to arrests and possible deportations…“We are concerned the hotline will become a tip line for law enforcement,” said Elene Lam of Toronto-based Butterfly…Jenny Duffy of Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project said human trafficking and sex work have been so widely conflated that sex workers and racialized groups are already targeted by law enforcement agencies under the guise of anti-trafficking initiatives.  “This hotline encourages the public to now surveil the movements of this group and report them…putting them in further harm, and further hindering workers from accessing key public services”…

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Even though I’ve been talking about the subject on my blog for nine years, and have discussed it in countless interviews, lectures, articles and Twitter threads, some people still don’t seem to grasp why sex workers oppose criminalization of “pimps”, and why puffed-up oinking about “going after pimps” is so destructive.  So once again I’m going to spell it out succinctly.  Most sex workers are independents who have no management, but because the “degraded whore” narrative claims we’re all dominated by “pimps”, cops and prosecutors who want to look like big heroes go sniffing around for anyone they can pin the “pimp” label onto, so as to slam them into a cell.  Genuine management (“pimps” if you must, though I must point out we don’t make up special pejorative terms for managers in most businesses) charge a fee for finding clients, just as any entertainers’ agent does; some provide a premises (which the law is pleased to call a “brothel” or more absurdly, a “bawdy house” or “house of ill fame”) from which to work.  So when cops and prosecutors want to destroy someone by calling them a “pimp” and prosecuting them for “trafficking”, what do they look for?  People who receive money from sex workers and/or provide an apartment that they work from.  Who falls into the first category?  Drivers, maids, receptionists, secretaries, roommates, other sex workers who share an incall, partners, adult offspring, and even elderly or disabled dependent parents.  Who falls into both categories?  Landlords.  If you were a landlord and you discovered you were renting to a sex worker, and recognized you might be charged with “pimping” because of it, what would you do?  Evict her, of course.  Norway has the Swedish model, which is what the awful Kamala Harris supports despite her recent lie that she favors decriminalization.  Well, a few years ago Norwegian cops had a scheme called “Operation Homeless“, in which they sent letters to sex workers’ landlords threatening them with pimping charges if they didn’t evict the sex worker.  This is what Harris and other lying monsters like her mean when they say they want to “go after the pimps”: they want to persecute sex workers’ friends, family members, associates, employees and landlords so as to drive us into the streets and thereby make us vulnerable not only to rape and murder, but also to disguised criminalization charges such as “loitering”, “trespassing”, etc.  Swedish model proponents call this persecution “decriminalizing the seller”, despite the fact that sex workers are still subject to cop surveillance, expulsion from university, being forced into “re-education” systems, and even having their children abducted by the state on the grounds that they are “unfit parents”…and all this on top of the proven harms of the model itself.  So next time someone tells you how “johns and pimps” are the “real problem”, and cops merely want to “help” sex workers by persecuting them, you’ll understand a bit better what that actually means.

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A federal war on porn would be just as winnable as the federal wars on drugs and alcohol—in other words, not winnable at all.  –  Peter Suderman

The Punitive Mindset 

Only in the US could a fucking screw expect sympathy for having to endure the aberrant behavior of human beings she helped keep locked up in cages:

I…don’t watch porn because I’ve seen more men masturbate than I can count.  One of my first jobs out of college was working as a [fucking screw] at a county jail in the South.  Even after getting an Ivy League degree at the University of Pennsylvania, I had to take the work I could find that was related to my field: criminology.  And only one facility called me back…it got so bad that I whenever I saw an inmate masturbating, I would look away or pretend not to see it so I didn’t have to do all the paperwork.  Besides, I soon realized that for…men [locked up in cages and deprived of all normal human contact]…the punishment they would get…was no deterrent…Four years ago, I left the jail to go to grad school.  But this stays with me: I was a female [screw]…who had to figure out how to do my job while inmates masturbated to my presence, my voice, even my scent…And there is nothing at all that will help me forget it…

Waah, waah, waah.  People who make their living off of human misery deserve everything they get.  I’m glad she’ll never forget it; maybe she’ll think twice before taking another job keeping human beings in conditions that wouldn’t even be humane for chickens.

Elephant in the Parlor 

I can’t even begin to guess how much taxpayer money ended up in my bank account:

A Utah lawmaker who voted for tougher penalties for prostitution has resigned amid allegations that he used taxpayer dough to pay for hotel rooms to hook up with an online escort…Brie Taylor [said]…Jon Stanard paid her $250 for sex twice at the Fairfield Inn in Salt Lake City…Stanard…was reimbursed for two hotel stays while he was attending legislative meetings at the state capital…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

“Sex addiction” is still being used to excuse bad behavior:

Mesa police have arrested a 50-year-old man accused of exposing himself on at least three occasions, dating back to February of 2017.  Erik Gerard Becker…allegedly exposed himself and [masturbated]…at least three times…to a 12-year-old girl in one of the instances…Becker is the Chief Financial Officer for Catholic Charities in Arizona…[and] has a history of public sexual indecency and indecent exposure charges…all the way back to 2012…Becker told police he had a lifetime problem with sex addiction and advised he was still in therapy…

Standard Operating Procedure

One day, amateurs will realize that “visitors to a country do business with locals” is neither “misconduct” nor even news:

Oxfam, one of Britain’s largest charities, acknowledged…that staff members committed “sexual misconduct” in Haiti in 2011, after a news report revealed that senior officials there had hired prostitutes, including for sex parties.  Oxfam fired four people and allowed three others to resign after an investigation, which also found that drivers were sometimes ordered to pick up prostitutes and that orgies were held at houses near Port-au-Prince that were used by the organization’s staff…

The Notorious Badge (#513) 

50 shades of clusterfuck:

Fifty Shades Freed is about as arousing as staring at a mildewed patch of wallpaper.  This is the third film to be adapted from EL James’ trilogy of zillion-selling “mommy porn” S&M bonkbusters, and its protagonists are two attractive young lovers who can’t keep their hands off each other, so it should be a turn-on, if nothing else.  And yet Fifty Shades Freed is so unarousing that it could be used as therapy in a sex addiction clinic…

The Puritan Recrudescence

On the absurdity of currently-fashionable calls to ban porn:

Imagine…what it would take to successfully ban pornography in the United States…you would need to stop the production of porn by business enterprises…Next, you would need to find a way to stop a slew of high profile, incredibly lucrative websites from posting, hosting, or otherwise distributing explicit material.  After you cracked down on the pros, you would need to go after amateurs by finding some way to stop tens of millions of iPhone-wielding Americans from making home movies…and distributing them anonymously online…you would also need to enforce criminal penalties against former professionals who continued to produce porn for the black market.  And you’d need to penalize thrill-seeking amateurs as well, which would mean going after, and perhaps locking up, a wide array of sympathetic and otherwise law-abiding individuals from all walks of life whose only crime was to record and distribute consensual sexual activity.  You’d also need to punish illicit viewers, whose numbers could easily reach into the tens of millions…Many of the most popular domestic hubs for porn would probably move to protected locations overseas…

The End of the Beginning (#703)

Another step toward eliminating arbitrary state oppression of “sex offenders”:

California must consider earlier parole for potentially thousands of sex offenders, maybe even those convicted of pimping children…Judge Allen Sumner…ordered prison officials to rewrite part of the regulations for Proposition 57.  The 2016 ballot measure allows consideration of earlier parole for most state prison inmates, but Gov. Jerry Brown promised voters all sex offenders would be excluded.  That goes too far, Sumner said…”If the voters had intended to exclude all registered sex offenders from early parole consideration…they presumably would have said so”…He said the scope of exclusions should be narrowed to only those now serving time for a violent sex offense…those who already served their time for a sex crime…and now are imprisoned for a different crime should be eligible for early release…Janice Bellucci…argued the measure requires earlier parole consideration for any sex crime not on the state’s narrow list of 23 violent felonies, which includes murder, kidnapping and forcible rape…

Reminder: “pimping children” usually means something like “a teen sex worker talking to her slightly younger friend.”

Stalkers in Blue 

When cops want to make life miserable for someone, it’s easy to do so without even assaulting them:

Ashley Diamond…sued the Georgia Department of Corrections in 2015 after suffering repeated sexual assaults in prison…After [filing the suit, she]…was routinely targeted by police officers in Rome, the Georgia town to which she would be confined as a condition of her parole…[she was] subject[ed]…to frequent random stops—as many as four times in a single day…Rhys Harper…an activist and filmmaker…[was] interviewing Diamond during the time of the…harassment…Nearly every time the two met to record a segment for his documentary, Diamond would get pulled over.  He says he “lost count” of how many times it happened….she was stopped 19 times in a single year…At the same time…a local Ku Klux Klan chapter…launched a full-fledged campaign targeting Diamond…When [she] didn’t come home to a torrent of white one-sheets in her yard, she would find feces smeared on her door or a noose hung in the entryway…Diamond requested her parole be moved to Atlanta…But her parole officer…wouldn’t allow the transfer…[even though its a common practice]…

Lest you think of this as two separate things, remember that in some rural areas the membership rolls of the police department and KKK are virtually identical.

Pyrrhic Victory (#805)

Expect this to spread to the US within just a few years:

Police in China have started wearing sunglasses outfitted with facial recognition technology to spot suspected criminals.  The sunglasses, which were designed to spot people in large crowds, are connected to a handheld device that scans an internal database…seven suspects — wanted for crimes ranging from hit-and-runs to sex trafficking — have already been arrested using the new technology.  Police have also caught 26 people with fake IDs…all…at the train stain in Zhengzhou…

To Molest and Rape (#806) 

It’s good to see this not only getting attention, but being called what is is:

Vaguely written statutes in many states…permit [cops] to escape sexual assault charges by claiming that the victims consented…The New York State Assembly last week passed legislation to close that odious loophole — and the State Senate, which is considering the same bill, needs to swiftly follow suit.  States across the country that [are] letting [cops] get away with rape need to revisit their statutes as well…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#811)

It’s good to see that somebody gets it:

While prostitution is a legal grey area in Hong Kong and has long been a distinctive part of the city’s nightlife, the laws…[make] them more vulnerable to abuse, sexual violence and robbery…“Since the current law prohibits them from hiring a bodyguard or someone like a helper or cleaner, they must face any dangerous situations alone,” said Cherry Chui of Action for Reach Out (AFRO), the first non-profit organisation established locally in support of sex workers’ rights…The restrictions effectively leave sex workers forced to work alone in one-woman brothels more powerless and vulnerable, especially those who are migrants and do not possess a Hong Kong identity card…

Checklist (#812) 

I’m not sure what, if anything, to make of this:

…the Junior League of Salt Lake City…is working hard to [harass sex workers and migrants using the excuse of]…human trafficking…They approached the airport about buying ad space to show travelers how to [spy on others looking for bogus] signs that someone may be being trafficked like refusing to make eye contact [or] looking disheveled…the airport told them…advertising space is reserved exclusively for people looking to sell a product.  They don’t allow [propaganda] campaigns…[because] airport…policy is to avoid controversy and err on the side of not offending anybody…the airport has decided it will run its own [propaganda] campaign…

Whither Canada? (#813)

Good news for the defendants, but the actual challenge to the law is just starting:

Human trafficking charges were dropped [last] Wednesday against the owners of a London [Ontario] escort agency whose case is testing the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws.  Hamad Anwar and Tiffany Harvey were charged in November 2015 with more than two dozen charges each after their business, Fantasy World Escorts, was shut down by…police…[state] lawyers agreed to withdraw most of those charges, leaving only the ones that deal with procuring, advertising and materially benefiting from someone else’s sexual services…Those three offences are relatively new, brought in under Canada’s 2014 prostitution law, Bill C-36, which criminalize the buying of sex…Led by Toronto lawyer James Lockyer, the defence has put forward a motion to argue the constitutionality of those charges, saying it violates sex workers’ right to the security of person…

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American police are…obsessed with enforcing exactly which body parts can be massaged and by whom.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Where Are the Victims?

There was no evidence…[of] threat…or any form of…coercion…

Hong Chin, 45, his former partner Li Wei Gao, 44, and lover Ting Li Lu, 47, [brought sex workers] to the UK from China, Hong Kong and Korea…Chin was given a prison term of four years by Judge Philip Katz…[who bloviated a lot of inane nonsense about “bosses” and “conveyor belts” before admitting that] there was no evidence Chin had made women work by threat of forceful use of violence, or any form of physical coercion, but [denied that women are adults capable of choice by adding]: “It seems to me this was a sustained, cynical and organised exploitation of women”…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

A [ratout] call…chronicled blood splatter, vomit, and undeterminable stains on nearly every surface of a downtown strip club.  The dance poles were filthy with bodily fluids, as were the beds in the secluded VIP rooms upstairs.  The women there had caught warts, scabies, and microbugs…Minneapolis inspectors uncovered soiled pillows and comforters…and…A [single] used condom…inspectors…harvested samples of semen stains from 11 out of 17 businesses.  But rather than crack down, they sought to understand what was happening with the city’s flesh merchants…[a bureaucrat] asked…the University of Minnesota to assist…[under] the [false] impression [that the “research” was not disguised] government surveillance [driven by] the moral preoccupation of [prudes]…social workers could be the city’s [spies in] the clubs…

Strip clubs have tons of problems, including (sometimes) floor goo.  But these derive from the shadowy legal zone in which politicians and cops force them to operate, not vice-versa.

To Molest and Rape 

This week’s rapist cop is a good example of the McNeill Rule:

A retired NYPD [cop]…who was part of a sex crimes unit…[was] arraigned…on more than 80 counts of child sexual abuse… Nicholas McAteer…molested two family members who are not his children for nearly a decade…his victims were 12 and 13 when the abuse began…The…assaults…took place in McAteer’s home while his wife was sleeping and in his unmarked NYPD patrol car, while he worked for a sex crimes unit in Manhattan and its…Bureau [to get cops off when they commit crimes]…

Full of Themselves (#650)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

Every week, headlines from across the country announce undercover operations, often months long, dedicated to catching and punishing people for offering erotic massages.  And the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are increasingly involved…”Happy endings” have apparently become a matter of national security…In Suffolk County, New York, police just raided an Asian spa based on the neighbors’ suspicions…Colorado cops spent a year investigating Yoshiko Therapy after seeing an ad for the place on Backpage…Phoenix police spent five months investigating a middle-aged woman under suspicion of offering sensual massages from her home…In…Oswego [Illinois], a “long term investigation” into one local spa led to…[arrest] of two middle-aged Chinese women…In San Francisco, city prosecutors have been suing massage parlors out of business if workers there are arrested on prostitution charges.  Landlords of the buildings where they operate are also be sued and fined…Hemet [California] recently went fishing for evidence of prostitution or human trafficking at the city’s massage parlors.  Finding instead small businesses operating exactly as advertised, code-compliance cops issued 44 violations for things like inadequate signage…Rockford, Illinois, found no evidence of human trafficking or prostitution at two local massage parlors but shuttered them anyway…for operating without a…license…A six-week operation in Fresno, California…targeted [a] strip-mall spa…sending undercover cops there multiple times…

The Prudish Giant (#659)

Once Patreon caved to PayPal the first time, this was  inevitable:

Adult content creators are worried they won’t have a safe, viable income source in Patreon anymore…[after] the site…made its [so-called] community guidelines on adult content more strict…the platform is [now] casting too wide of a net about what’s considered “pornographic”…it’s currently very difficult for adult content creators to get paid online, and Patreon has in recent years emerged as one of the main sources of revenue for many…many of them have spent years building up a fanbase of people who support them financially—if they’re kicked off the platform…their livelihoods will be at risk.  A spokesperson for Patreon [lied]…that porn was never officially allowed on Patreon…

Every online giant builds itself on the backs of sex workers, then throws us under the bus in the name of “respectability” once it gets established.

Pyrrhic Victory (#673)

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

…Section 702 [of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] is set to expire on December 31.  The draft reauthorization…would extend it through 2025…[the] bill…would “allow the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other agencies to search through emails, text messages, and phone calls for information about people in the U.S. without a probable cause warrant from a judge”…in eight…domestic offense categories, including “human trafficking”—a crime U.S. law-enforcement has broadened to include sexual exchange between consenting adults and any aid to undocumented immigrants—and sexting between teens…

Send In the Clowns 

This year’s clown panic was extremely disappointing:

A [South Carolina] man reported seeing a clown with a knife…[on a] road…around 1 a.m….two [cops] responded…[but] were unable to locate anyone dressed as a clown…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#714) 

Say what you like about Playboy; it’s always been in the front on social issues:

Playboy responded to backlash against its first transgender Playmate with a series of tweets comparing recent social media reactions to reader letters about its first black Playmate in 1965…Ines Rau…[became] the first openly transgender person to be named a Playmate.  The move drew criticism from some users on social media…most notably, former porn star and Playboy cover model Jenna Jameson.  “I have a problem with it just like I have a problem with a transgender competing against biological women in sports,”she tweetedPlayboy responded to the backlash with a series of powerful tweets…Caroline Cossey, the first openly transgender woman to appear between the covers of Playboy…[noted] that Hefner’s decision to feature her helped change cultural perceptions of trans people in the 1980s…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#724) 

Once again:  woman-shaped toasters have no “moral code”.  They are objects without minds, rights or feelings:

The sex robot phenomenon looks set to sweep the nation, with prostitutes fearing they will soon be out of work.  Hyper-realistic bots will even be able to fake orgasms and have fully-blown conversations, inventors [fantasize]…Sergi Santos…claims his…[robot] Samantha will be able to tell if [masturbators] are naughty or nice…Santos has claimed that her arousal level will be directly affected by how nice a person is…based on their previous conversations and sessions…

The only prostitutes who “fear they will soon be out of work” from these overgrown Talky Tinas are either very stupid or suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder.

Too Close To Home (#742)

Ugly regurgitated sexual fantasies from a sexual predator with the Washington State Rape Department:

Carlos Rodriguez…pursues [adults for private sexual acts using the excuse of]…juvenile sex trafficking…Since August 2015, Rodriguez and his two detectives have conducted eight undercover sting operations…and [arrested] 22 [underage sex workers they labeled as]…victims…”People order girls like they order pizza,” he [panted while fingering himself furtively]…”it’s everywhere…It could be right next door…Somebody is being abused right now…I can [take] some heroin…Ecstasy or pills, methamphetamine, and…once [the trip is over], it’s gone.  It’s used up.  When [I masturbate to thoughts of] a child, that’s a reusable commodity.  I can [fantasize about] that over and over, and I still have it…So, when [I] think about it [while masturbating, I]…don’t have to worry about [any] other [fantasy material]…”

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

Some companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

…Manus Cooney…Chairman of the Board of NCMEC…basically lists every…big Hollywood/legacy copyright player as a [lobbying] client.  Viacom, Time Warner, the Authors Guild, Comcast (owners of NBC Universal), the Copyright Alliance, the Music First Coalition (an RIAA front group), Random House, Reed Elsevier, SoundExchange (an RIAA spinoff), Songwriters Guild of America, and others…Hollywood really wants SESTA to pass for a variety of reasons, nearly all of them focused on its weird visceral hatred of one company:  Google…the Sony Pictures hack a few years back revealed the existence of Project Goliath — in which the various Hollywood studios colluded to try to support doing anything to harm Google.  The key part of the Project Goliath strategy was to convince…state Attorneys’ General to target Google for basically anything bad found on the internet…including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, sex trafficking and, of course, copyright infringement…That flopped, in large part because of CDA 230, which protects sites from the actions of third parties.  Now, along comes SESTA, whose entire point is to punch a giant hole in CDA 230, such that if a site is used to “facilitate” trafficking, the site suddenly loses its immunity.  Another key point in SESTA: saying that claims brought by states Attorneys General are no longer immune from action under CDA 230. Hmmmmmm…

The Widening Gyre (#785) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

Several posts about a human trafficking ring in Tulsa are making rounds on Facebook, but Tulsa Police say the rumors are untrue.  One of those posts got more than 2,500 shares…One of the posts even says police confirmed it.  Police say this is untrue…Some of the posts also talk about people approaching children, asking them to get into their vehicles.  While this may have happened, Sgt. Todd Evans says it doesn’t amount to child sex trafficking…

Cooties (#786) 

Understand what this actually is:  a cop non-consensually using sex workers as props in a public recitation of his BDSM masturbation fantasy:

Men who [hire] sex workers in pop-brothels operated by [imaginary] crime gangs are committing rape, Cornwall’s most senior police officer has [fantasized]…The [fantasy of a] sex den epidemic in Cornwall first [became popilar among cops]…in July 2016, and…[cops exploit sex workers in theses fantasies by slandering them as] not technically consenting…

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In the rush to “save” people, little attention is paid to sex workers swept into…prison and a lifetime of punishment.  –  Victoria Law

Lack of Evidence

Hey amateurs, you want to avoid being profiled as sex workers?  Fight for decrim so persecution of this sort is illegal:

…There just seems to be something about a woman that takes care of her appearance being by herself in certain locations that rubs people up the wrong way.  As though it is completely out of the question that she could be in a luxury hotel by herself as a result of her own  successes…As though a woman wearing makeup couldn’t possibly have an interest in history, culture, and world issues…I have received plenty of lecherous looks from males thinking that I was on sale, and disapproving looks from females about my lack of self-respect.  To feel eyes burning into you, silently judging you because of this untrue and ignorant assumption is probably one of the most humiliating feelings in the world…and almost makes you feel ashamed as if you were actually there soliciting…

But no, it’s much better to draw pathetic lines between yourself and sex workers, and to bloviate about how insulting it is to be mistaken for one of us.

Much Ado About Nothing

Reporter makes poor attempt to hide his envy under a veneer of pearl-clutching:

A firm offering X-rated holidays has brazenly advertised packages featuring orgies with prostitutes on a ‘”drug friendly” Colombian island.  Two videos advertising the resort show men arriving for unlimited sex, drugs and alcohol…On the second day of the four-day sex fest clients will have half an hour with 16 women at once – and organisers say customers will be able to find their “true self”…

Celebrities (#31) 

Breaking news!  Las Vegas shooter ate food the day of his crime!

A US official has said investigators believe the Las Vegas shooter may have hired a prostitute in the days before the shooting, and they are interviewing other call girls as they look for clues into his motive…The official said a note containing a series of numbers was found on a nightstand in Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay hotel after the shooting…

Mass shooters are always men.  20% of men hire sex workers at least occasionally. So why is this news?

Bogeymen (#317)

Why you should be wary of talk about “going after pimps”:

The Netherlands…new prostitution policy will include a pimp ban, criminalizing any pimp without a license…Some news…are reporting that…”illegal pimps” will not just be fined, but even will get jail time…the list of people that could be considered “people who financially profit from prostitutes without a license” is very long.  For example, my bookkeeper financially profits from prostitutes, and he doesn’t have a prostitution license.  Or for example my mother, whom I frequently send money to, to support her…chauffeurs who drive around escort girls…security guys, who protect prostitutes from harm, they also don’t have a prostitution license…there are a lot of people who profit from prostitutes financially without a license.  But that doesn’t make them bad people.  In fact, many of these people help us.  But that just might be exactly the plan…to make our work much more difficult…

Sex Rays

Because sex rays can piggyback on radio waves, obviously!  “Seattle radio host Mitch Levy put out a statement…about leaving his job with KJR Radio…[after being] arrested in a prostitution sting in September…”  If every man who ever paid for sex were forced to quit his job, the entire economy would collapse.

Out of Control (#410) 

What is wrong with doctors who do this shit?  It’s not like they can’t afford escorts:

Already in jail on 11 criminal sex charges, a New Mexico psychiatrist and the medical center where he worked face a civil lawsuit from 12 women who say he forced them to discuss their sex lives and perform sex acts on him under the guise of therapy…Dr. Alan Emamdee…was charged with six counts of criminal sexual penetration, five counts of criminal sexual contact, and denied bond…Plaintiff T.T.B. says that Emamdee told her he could help her regain custody of her children if she would give him oral sex, which she did.  “He told T.T.B. that he would withhold medications and would negatively impact her custody proceedings if she did not continue to comply with his demands”…After she refused his request to meet him at a hotel for sexual intercourse…Emamdee “wrote a note indicating T.T.B. had reverted to…dissociative identity disorder, negatively impacting her custody proceedings.”  Some of his requests were bizarre…

Moving Pictures (#564) 

One day, “sex trafficking” propaganda flicks may be cult favorites like Reefer Madness:

The movie Trafficked follows the [fictional] story of three young girls from India, Nigeria, and American who are trafficked and try to escape…[has-been] actress Anne Archer…spoke at this year’s Human Trafficking Summit as a…[propaganda mouthpiece]…“It’s written by [“sex trafficking” profiteer]…Siddharth Kara…who [fantasizes]…that there are…46 million slaves in the world today, generating profits that exceed $150 billion per year for their exploiters…That’s more than Nike, Google, and Starbucks combined”…

To Molest and Rape 

Never let them anywhere near your kids, either:

…cops Brandon Wood and Kenneth Betts…are charged with felony sex offenses for allegedly abusing Scouts in a program for youths interested in law enforcement …a…mother’s statement…support[s] allegations in a lawsuit filed by another former Explorer that the police department tried to cover up sexual misconduct in the program…Curtis Flaherty…[who] was commander of both the Explorer program and the Public Integrity Unit, which [works to cover up police misconduct, called the mother and told her to keep quiet after]…Betts…sent inappropriate text messages to her daughter and attached “half-dressed” and sexually suggestive pictures of himself…

Between the Lines (#741)

It’s fitting that the first we hear of this year’s “Operation Cross-Country” is from economically-depressed West Virginia, where pervert cops and FBI thugs ganged up to ruin the lives of women for trying to survive:

Five women were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges [on October 5th and 6th] in Harrison County as part of an annual nationwide FBI initiative…Operation Cross Country [is a nationwide anti-consensual sex pogrom held] each autumn [under the pretense of “rescuing”] underage victims of prostitution…

Check Your Premises (#771)

The real result of “sex trafficking” laws:

…after more than seven years behind bars, 32-year-old LeeAnn walked out of federal prison.  But she’s not a free woman — she will spend the rest of her life on the sex offender registry.  Her crime?  Letting a girl shower in her mother’s apartment, giving her a clean change of clothes and holding the girl’s $40 while she had sex with a man in another room.  These are normal actions in the daily life of sex workers trying to keep themselves and each other safe.  But the girl turned out to be 14 and, in the eyes of the federal government, these acts constitute sex trafficking of a minor.  It didn’t matter that the girl had told LeeAnn that she was 17.  It also didn’t matter that LeeAnn, who was addicted to various drugs and also engaged in sex work, never made money from the girl’s actions…19-year-old Hope Joy Mae Zeferjohn…was sentenced to 71 months in prison for aggravated human trafficking of a minor…[because] she introduced the 14 year old to 26-year-old Anthony Long…It…didn’t matter that the younger teen had never actually met Long and that no commercial sex had taken place.  Zeferjohn was charged with nine felonies…

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The whole idea of shelter homes is steeped in morality, not rights.  –  Satyawati from Bhumika

Legal Is as Legal Does

What “legalized and heavily regulated” actually looks like in practice:

According to the Greek sex work legislation adopted in 1999, sex work is legal but heavily regulated.  Only sex work that occurs in state-licensed brothels is legal.  Street-based sex work and sex work that occurs in hotels is illegal. Municipalities are allowed to determine the number of licensed brothels.  Brothels are not allowed within 200 meters of public buildings, i.e. schools, churches, kindergartens, playgrounds, health clinics, hospitals, sport centers, libraries, squares and nursing homes.  This means it is impossible to have a state-licensed brothel in any Greek city…sex workers are not allowed to be married.  They…are only allowed to work for 3 years and require a number of legal and medical documents to work legally…[including] a chest X-Ray…mandatory medical testing for STIs every 15 days…prohibits sex workers from working together.  The use of an apartment…requires the consent of all the residents and the owners of the rest of the apartments…[and] the assistant staff of brothels should be older than 50 and should have mandatory medical testing…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville…Lori Jespersen [reports that a screw] locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates…The lawsuit describes a number of incidents…includ[ing]…[screws] prevented transgender inmates from attending a therapy group and insulted them…[screws] compelled transgender inmates to strip in the open and denied them privacy screens…[screws] “outted” a transgender inmate by disclosing personal information about her on Facebook…In both cases [where she was locked in with violent criminals] she was “unsupervised, alone and without access to a safety alarm”…

Traffic Circle

Criticism of “anti-trafficking” propaganda from inside the “anti-trafficking” ranks:

At all levels of anti-trafficking work, the collection and analysis of data…continues to be underemphasised…in comparison to the use of emotionally-charged rhetoric and hyperbole…A substantial and ever growing body of research has convincingly demonstrated that the evidence base is lacking…Interventions continue to be designed and funded largely based upon donor policy agendas—and the outsized supply of anti-trafficking organisations that are ready to pursue them—rather than results-based decision-making on what works…the same strategies will be continued indefinitely regardless of the outcomes produced…Evaluators and the organisations who hire them are participants in what can be described as an economy of bad faith.  There’s an unspoken agreement that no serious concerns will be raised about the interventions examined, and in return, the evaluator will be kept on the roster for future assignments…What is particularly disturbing is the efforts made to cover up the knowledge gap by vastly overstating what has actually been achieved…with organisations even claiming that their beneficiaries have been “liberated from slavery”…

License to Rape (#562) 

“Charges dropped” is about as close as the state will come to admitting cops have license to rape anyone they please:

Charnesia Corley was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when two cops from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stopped her in June 2015 for running a red light…[cops] threw her to the ground, pushed her partially underneath her own car, and yanked Corley’s pants down to her ankles.  For the next 11 minutes, dash cam video of the incident shows, she was held down…while…[cops] repeatedly probed her vagina [with their fingers]…No drugs were found…Sam Cammack, an attorney representing Corley in a multi-million-dollar civil rights lawsuit against the county, [recognizes that] the search [constituted] “rape by cop…they sexually assaulted her…You can’t pull someone over, think you might find something, and do that to them.”  The full dash-cam video…confirm[s] Corley’s [account.  Cops] William Strong and Ronaldine Pierre…were indicted in June 2016 by a Harris County grand jury on charges of official oppression, but those charges were dropped last week…Cammack…hopes…to force the county to reopen the case with a new prosecutor…he does not believe that a second grand jury has the authority to overrule a grand jury that lawfully charged the two [rapists, who]…are still employed by the department…

Permanent Record

If you think they’ll keep this limited to sex crimes, you’re a fool:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes…That will allow for the prosecution of those crimes [long after evidence or witnesses who might exonerate the accused are gone]…

Schadenfreude (#725)

There’s now more than one outfit cashing in on “sex trafficking” tours in Houston:

Elijah Rising, a [profiteer group] dedicated to [cashing in on]sex trafficking [hysteria] in Houston, is [spreading ridiculous propaganda about] the sex trade with its Awareness Van Tours…During the tour, a volunteer for the group points out all the places where sex trafficking happens in Houston, including strip clubs, massage parlors and nondescript apartments…Houston is a massive hub for the North American sex trade, with more than 300,000 Texas victims alone – 80,000 of those being underage…one of the main reasons…is…I-10, which spans the entire United States and frequently serves as a pipeline for smugglers in the illegal sex trade…

From grotesque mathematical illiteracy to sociological absurdity, this story packs a lot into a few lines.

Signs (#734) 

“Linked with trafficking”.  Pigs just love to make their fantasies sound “scientific”:

The Modesto [California] Police Department…joined with…[a prohibitionist profiteer group called] Without Permission to produce a video that [claims a nonexistent] rise in high school-age victims and…goes over some…red flags…They have an older boyfriend…bruises or other injuries…Tattoos or branding…linked with trafficking are bar codes, dollar signs, horseshoes and the word “Daddy”.  A change in wardrobe toward sensual, seductive clothing also is worth noting, the [perverts fantasized]…In the video, [a pig oinks] about the importance of parents [spying on]…their children’s social media accounts and Internet history…

Against Their Will (#751) 

How different the same story sounds when stripped of euphemisms:

Twelve sex workers escaped from Ujjwala House in Hyderabad India, where they had been detained for months following a raid on their workplaces…It is not the first time this has happened, with local residents reporting a few women detained in the shelter fled several years ago.  There are widespread, longstanding reports of abuses and complaints relating to the shelter and many like it in Hyderabad.  Amongst the myriad of concerns is the way in which the “shelters” are described as a service to support individuals.  However, those kept in the facilitates are referred to as “inmates” and detained against their will…

Cooties (#756) 

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

Prostitutes working in [Jersey] are turning short-term accommodation lets into “pop up brothels”…organised-crime gangs, book the accommodation for short periods to avoid detection.  Border authorities have witnessed women they [fantasize] are involved in the sex trade travelling into the Island with [fantasized] “male chaperones, pimps or alpha females (female pimps)”, [cops fantasize].  Detective Chief Inspector Lee Turner…[fantasized] that…a ‘significant proportion’ were being forced into the sex trade by mainly eastern European organised-crime gangs working out of the UK…

“Pop-up brothel” is UK copese for “AirBnB incall”.  But “alpha female” is just the latest in absurd terms made up by prohibitionists to sound sinister; presumably “alpha females” go hand-in-hand with “gorilla pimps“.

Safe Targets (#763) 

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

…a…Brazilian woman…was robbed at knifepoint by five men…in Enfield in the early hours of June 24th.  When the victim called the police, she said their focus seemed to be more on her activities as a sex worker than the attack itself.  After returning from a recent trip to Spain, she was detained at Gatwick airport for several hours and later given a letter…demanding that she leave the UK…Campaigners for sex workers’ rights say that by focusing on the prosecution and deportation of the worker rather than the attack against her, police were discouraging other women from coming to them for help…

In the US, roughly 60% of sex worker arrests result from some crime being committed against the sex worker, attracting the attention of the cops.

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This is the most disgusting way of profiting from sex workers I’ve ever seen.  –  Felicia Anna

Maggie in the Media 

Two years ago, during a weekend I mentioned in a diary column, I gave an interview to Dr. Heather Branstetter for her recently-published book, Selling Sex in the Silver Valley.  Sadly, the interview didn’t make it into the final text (such are the ways of editing!), but Dr. Branstetter recently published a post about the interview in her blog (in which she says some very lovely and flattering things about me).  Do give it a look, and if the subject intrigues you be sure to buy a copy of the book!

The Notorious Badge

Why does everyone involved in any show about sex work feel compelled to vomit out all kinds of neofeminist nonsense?

The Deuce producers and stars want to draw a [whorearchical] line about the series:  It’s about porn, but is not porn itself.  That means that all of the problems associated with porn — the misogyny, the abuse, the objectification – are featured…as part of the exploration of the topic, not for gratuitous storytelling…co-creator David Simon [bloviated]…“It would be a mistake to look at this and think that we are in any way trafficking in misogynistic imagery or objectification”…As an actress playing one of those objectified women, [Maggie] Gyllenhaal also weighed in…“It should make you consider your position in how sex is commodified”…

But it’s OK when it’s “commodified” by actresses with six-or-seven-figure paychecks, isn’t it Maggie?  It’s just not OK for us lowly three-or-four-figure a pop girls.

Subtle Pimping (#330)

Remember that moronic “escape the pimp” video game? Now there’s a live-action version:

…how about visiting the Red Light District Escape Room, where you have to escape from a window brothel before your “pimp” returns, isn’t that a fun idea?!  Yes, this is now possible in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.  A great way to profit over the existence of prostitutes…plus as as a  bonus you get to increase the stigma of sex workers as victims!…Original Tours & Activities Nederland B.V. is now offering…a fun experience, where you get locked up in a fake window brothel, and you have to “escape” by following the clues in the room within 60 minutes, before your “pimp” comes back.  According to the website the hilarious rating is 8/10, with a difficulty degree of 4 stars and an escape ratio of 63%.  The costs?  Only €14,50 per person, or €12,50 with 13 people or more…

Case Study

Another dumb, sensationalized article, now with added whorearchy:

…Peter Dandos…[has been accused] of operating a brothel…a lot…lately:  protests have been held outside his massage parlour for more than six weeks…Dandos is confused by the protests.  “If they really want to stop something, why don’t they start with the escorts?…if they want to stop something they should start there”…

Too Close To Home (#672)

The fanatically-prohibitionist Seattle Times has once again revisited the takedown of The Review Board, vomiting out the same old cop lies and masturbatory fantasies as they have on the subject for the past 19 months.  Compare this exercise in cop fellation and myth-regurgitation with Liz Brown’s thorough & well-researched piece on the subject (linked in the subtitle above), and then understand the the reporter who prepared this new trash read Liz’s one and completely ignored it, except for the lines she plagiarized without attribution.

Send In the Clowns 

Only another month or so before the “creepy clown” hysteria returns!

A man is accused of drunkenly strolling down a Maine road wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and a clown mask and brandishing a machete taped to where his arm had been amputated…Corey Berry…was arrested…and charged with criminal threatening…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing medical school:

As physicians who have treated victims of human trafficking and research this scourge, we believe that this form of severe exploitation is under-recognized in health care settings and live are being lost because of that.  The International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes aim to describe diseases and causes of death and disease.  These codes, which are used for everything from hospital billing to research, establish legitimacy for the conditions that harm and kill people every day.  As the World Health Organization works toward its 11th iteration of these codes, we urge that “victim of human trafficking” be recognized as an official diagnosis…

A medical diagnosis.  Seriously.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#735) 

Even for the prohibitionist New York Times, this is pretty jaw-dropping; somehow this reporter imagines that going from writing an anti-porn rant to producing two anti-porn documentaries somehow constitutes Rashida Jones “changing her mind about porn”.  The stupidity and colossal ignorance on display here are almost unbelievable.

Bogeymen (#754)

Remember this story the next time you hear pigs oinking about how they “busted” some “pimps”:

Ms Norman, the 70-year-old woman who was arrested because she stayed to try to save the life of a man who had collapsed in the brothel where she was working as a cleaner, was…found guilty of assisting in the management of a brothel…This prosecution sends a signal to sex workers everywhere that the police are more concerned with their targets…than with the value of human life…Ms Norman…got paid £6 an hour…We now wait to see if the police and courts further persecute Ms Norman by trying to take her savings and assets under proceeds of crime law…

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