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Posts Tagged ‘bogus studies’

[Sex workers] are selling sex by choice…[no matter] what Demand Abolition says.  –  Alison Bass

The Public Eye 

The more sex workers write and speak in public, the harder it will be to ignore us:

The recent book Philosophy, Pussycats and Porn by the pornstar known as “Stoya”…is…a…collection of essays that discusses different topics from technology to religious iconography…a new generation of porn performers taking an intellectual stand on social issues…intellectual porn stars have turned into the avant-garde academics in this field, philosophers of the flesh and some of society’s most serious thinkers on human sexuality…Angela White is known for her advocacy of women’s rights and body positivity…Conner Habib…was a college lecturer of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before he began shooting porn scenes.  Now he’s also known for his writing and his thought-provoking podcast Against Everyone with Conner HabibValentina Nappi in Italy and Amarna Miller of Spain are both porn stars who attended art school and grew up in countries where the Catholic Church held a firm grip on the social and political life.  Yet these women have boldly voiced a feminist and hedonistic worldview, pushing the boundary of public opinion…

Vendetta 

Stephen Lemons speculates on the origin of billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s fanatical hatred of sex workers:

…Hunt also frowns on “the use of pornography to masturbate” and seems to take a dim view of the male sex drive in general.  As for the right of sex workers to make choices for themselves, she opines that “every decision must be weighed in the terms of the overall effect on the [State], even at the cost of the impingement on personal freedom.”  Demand Abolition’s donations to law-enforcement agencies have secured the kind of enforcement against “sex buyers” that Hunt favors.  In a groundbreaking article published in The Intercept, Alison Bass…details how Demand Abolition’s donations to law-enforcement agencies in several cities helped fund local crackdowns…But there may be more at work in Hunt’s worldview than radical feminism.  Her father, H.L. Hunt, was an infamous philanderer who maintained two secret families in addition to the one he shared with his first wife…Swanee is the daughter of the woman who would become Hunt’s second wife, Ruth Ray Hunt, following the death of the first Mrs. Hunt…The billionaire oilman would visit his second family when his first wife was off playing bridge…She describes her mother’s “anguish” at the situation…Swanee…admits to wondering as a kid why she “didn’t have a daddy like the children next door”…Such lachrymose reminiscences may add some context to her anti-prostitution jeremiad.  Take, for instance, this passage from “Deconstructing Demand”:  With most monogamous couples, fidelity includes not only abstaining from sex with another person, but also honesty and transparency.  Buying sex, however, is largely a secret affair that requires a web of deception involving one’s location, time, and money…Children’s lives are strained and they may well become disillusioned with their fathers…

The Forest for the Trees

Sex abuse hysteria, like its twin sister “sex trafficking” hysteria, is the child of the Satanic Panic:

Moral panics…have occurred throughout history.  Two of the most notorious are the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and ’90s.  The panics almost exclusively involve women and children and fears for their safety, especially from sexual abuse.  We are in the midst of another such panic, but despite the similarities to past episodes, we are still unable to recognize it as such.  The current panic has been playing out in the military and on college campuses for nearly a decade, but…the…hysteria is creeping into our regular legal system as well…five of the biggest signs…of mass hysteria [are]…1. Due Process Goes Out The Window…2. “Believe The Victim”…[accusations are all the evidence needed]…3. Misleading And Faulty Statistics4. Evidence, Schmevidence…and…5. Pseudo-Scientific Theories About Memory Reign Supreme

Traffic Jam (#411)

The ethically-bankrupt Dominique Roe-Sepowitz has invented another idiotic “study” designed to find exactly what its funders wanted found:

“I would also like to share on the record that…we [chose] to place our office in formal lockdown, file a police report, and get sheriff escort”  Khara Jabola-Carolus…of the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women [claimed dramatically] following [what she pretended was] a threat of “imminent physical danger” her office received…“This is a big business and no one…wants their money flow interrupted.”  The threat, Jabola-Carolus said, was in response to the organization’s [prohibitionist] stance and publication of a [bogus] study by HSCSW and Arizona State University School of Social Work, titled Sex Trafficking in Hawai‘i Part 1: Exploring Online Sex Buyers, that [pretends] prostitution demand is much higher in Hawai‘i than it is in the rest of the U.S.  The study used the O‘ahu and Big Island “Women Seeking Men” personals section of Backpage…

The nonsense opening this article?  A politician got a flood of organized calls from people opposed to prohibition and chose to frame them as “threats” to cast activists as members of a sinister cabal.  Other interviewees make a number of ridiculous statements, including one favorite claim of the more racist kind of prohibitionist that non-white women are too stupid to be pragmatic on their own, and had to learn pragmatic sexual motives from more-sophisticated-but-evil white people.  In case you’re wondering why this drama is centered around tiny Hawaii, it’s because there is some support for decriminalization in the state legislature and the prohibitionists want that crushed.

Counter-Countermeasure

Since prohibitionists pushing the “pimp” myth have failed miserably to debunk the John Jay study, they’ve decided to attack its primary author instead:

…Four professors at [John Jay] criminal justice college are on paid leave while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and State Inspector General probe allegations they brought the underworld they studied into the hallways of John Jay.  Accusations of rape, sexual harassment, facilitating prostitution, and using and selling drugs first surfaced several weeks ago in the written complaints of two John Jay graduates…Naomi Haber [and Claudia Cojocaru]…Ric Curtis…received a $520,000 grant in 2005 from the US Department of Justice to research child sex workers in New York City.  He also led a study on young people working in the sex trade as part of a $1.3 million federally-funded research project in Atlantic City and other cities across the US.  But the feds halted the Atlantic City study in 2012 after receiving…[complaints that] Curtis handed out cigarettes to underage sex workers.  Investigators eventually found that Curtis offered smokes to people who agreed to connect him with prostitutes to interview, but he did not give them to interview subjects…Curtis later wrote that “the findings from my research in 2008 and 2010 earned me scorn among a number of leading practitioners in the…rescu[e industry]…because it undermined the rationale behind their appeals for funding,” according to an email he sent to one of the alleged victims that was included in her complaint…

Gorged With Meaning (#711)

People who pretend students need to be “groomed” into sex work are living in a dangerous fantasy world:

The University of Brighton has been accused [by prohibitionists] of encouraging prostitution after [the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project Sussex] ran a stall offering help for students at its freshers’ fairs…In a series of tweets it promoted its attendance, it said: “1 in 6 students does sex work or thinks about turning to sex work…If you…want to talk and don’t know where to go… we’re here for you.  We respect your autonomy, privacy and confidentiality.”  [Prohibitionist fanatics] Julie Bindel…and…Sarah Ditum [called the outreach]…”a grooming operation…preying on the naivety of young students”…academics and students jumped to the defence of the group.  Alison Phipps, professor of gender studies at the University of Sussex, thanked them for their “great work” and doctor Gemma Ahearne, a lecturer and sex industry researcher at Liverpool John Moores University, said their work was “amazing”.  Parker Robinson, student union’s vice president of academic experience at Brighton, said it was “great knowing there are services available ready to help students through difficulties they might be experiencing”…

The fact that Bindel, Ditum and company want young women denied support and advice, potentially resulting in their being harmed or even killed, tells you all you need to know about their sociopathy.

Whither Canada? (#808)

Edmonton has a long history of abusing & dehumanizing sex workers:

Last year, Edmonton [Alberta] police charged more people for purchasing sex than anywhere else in the country.  Edmonton accounted for more than 40 per cent of charges nationwide…The…271 charges in Edmonton…[were] more than double the 114 recorded in Winnipeg, which was second on the list…A vast majority of [victims of the law] were [forced in]to a [“johns school” and made to endure propaganda infantilizing sex workers and demonizing clients]…They pay a $750 [fine], increased from $500 earlier this year, which goes toward…[a prohibitionist] group that runs the day-long session…More than half of the arrests…came from online sting operations…[which] have made clients increasingly skeptical of web-based advertising and [screening]…

Uncommon Sense (#855)

How countries with healthy ideas about sex react to moral panic:

More…sex workers in Bern are renting apartments through…sites like Airbnb or using hotel rooms to carry out their business, according to a new report…Bern is currently home to 28 licensed brothels [but] this number is sinking…[because] rules introduced in 2013 requiring brothels to register have made sex work more expensive…prostitutes are required from 100 to 150 Swiss francs a day to rent a room in a legal brothel.  However, there are dozens of apartments listed on Airbnb for less than this amount.  The trend towards the use of private apartments for sex work runs counter to the intention of [the] rule changes…which [were] designed to [infantilize] prostitutes…and exploit…[their work with taxes and fees]…despite this tendency, police are positive about the new rules, arguing…that authorities now have much tighter control.  [Bern cantonal parliamentarian Christa] Ammann, meanwhile, is calling for prostitution to be completely decriminalized…

Compare Swiss police’s collective yawning over sex workers renting AirBnBs to work with UK cops’ lurid masturbatory fantasies about “sex slaves” in “pop-up brothels”.

Business As Usual (#871) 

I love it when rival herds of swine feed on each other:

Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs has formally transferred the investigation into the police vice [gang] to the FBI…as [too much] evidence [to hide] has [been discovered] during an internal investigation…The arrest of adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in July by [disguised] vice [cops] and the August [murder] of 23-year-old Donna Castleberry [during an attempted rape] by…vice [pig] Andrew Mitchell have put a spotlight on the 20-member [gang].  Mitchell, a 30-year veteran of the [gang], was relieved of duty [on September 26th.  Besides the rape and murder]…he had been the subject of a potentially criminal complaint that had been filed about a week before…Todd Lindgren, a spokesman for the FBI…[said] a search…[was] conducted…on…Mitchell[‘s home]…

The Widening Gyre (#872) 

Even celebrities are seeing “sex trafficking” everyplace they go:

Lindsay Lohan wins the most bizarre video of the month…as she accuses parents of trafficking her children and then gets punched in the face.  Lindsay, who was in Moscow, gets out of her car and approaches the family — 2 boys and their parents.  She says they’re Syrian refugees who need help…then…accuses them of trafficking their [own] kids, as she speaks in both English and Arabic…After tailing the family for a bit and trying to [abduct] the children, you see the mother snap and attack Lindsay…

I’m really grateful for moments of comic relief from hysterical young women like Lohan, which at least break the tension of the hysteria being used to destroy lives and abolish civil liberties.

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As most of y’all can probably guess, I have not been watching the Kavanaugh hearings on TV, because even if I did watch other TV news (which I don’t, and haven’t since I first started reading the newspaper around age 12, recognizing even then that it was entertainment and not news) I would certainly not watch this ridiculous circus designed to further the popular “red-blue” myth in the minds of the hoi-polloi.  I also have the word “Kavanaugh” muted on Twitter, but of course that doesn’t block tweets which don’t directly reference him.  So I was able to see and comment on this very interesting observation by Phoenix Calida:

So you know Rachel Mitchell, the woman who is going to question Dr. Christine Ford?  She’s a prosecutor with the special victims unit.  From Maricopa county.  You know, the place where sheriff Joe Arpaio worked?…The one who bragged about running concentration camps where guards tortured inmates?  And then he was held in Contempt of court for racial profiling and pardoned by Trump?…And remember when Sheriff Joe refused to investigate rape cases?  And cases where children were being sexually abused by adults?  All Bc the victims were Latinas?  That’s where this woman earned her credentials as a sex crimes prosecutor.  Rachel Mitchell is about to question Dr. Ford, an alleged rape victim.  And Mitchell earned her “credentials” working with cops who wouldn’t even investigate rape cases in their county.  How do y’all see this really turning out?

Maricopa County is, of course, a cesspool of political corruption, especially where sex work is concerned.  And Arpaio was a big Trump supporter, so one of his gang turning up in Washington to help Trump is not really a surprise.  But Phoenix’s tweets got me thinking, so I wrote this after quoting hers:

You remember Arpaio, right?  The guy who arrested newspapermen Lacey & Larkin for exposing his corruption?  The same Lacey & Larkin who were persecuted as owners of Backpage, partly thanks to the efforts of Cindy McCain, whom they exposed as a drug addict who robbed her own charity?  The same Cindy McCain, widow of John McCain, warmonger politician from AZ (where Maricopa County is) who has relentlessly demonized Backpage (owned by the men who exposed her crimes) for years?  Arizona is also the site of ASU, home of Dominique Roe-Sepowitz (who says sex work is bad because “body fluids” cause brain damage), who is paid big bucks by the McCain Institute and government cronies to do bogus “studies” designed to “prove” that “sex trafficking” was rampant on Backpage?  Funny how all of this shit begins to fit together when you follow the money and the trail of vendettas, alliances & favors, isn’t it?

And in case you hadn’t noticed, while this big show of “us vs them” was going on, Congress almost-unanimously passed the biggest war-advancing military spending bill in history, and the House passed a bill which expands the PATRIOT Act using “sex trafficking” as an excuse with solid support from both of these supposedly-deadly-enemy parties.  But please keep watching the fireworks and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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I pray…that what happened to me…never happens to those who did this to my son.  –  Rosario Rodriguez

Bait and Switch

How convenient:

Cody Wilson…started [by] selling blueprints for 3D printed guns, and [then] launched Hatreon, the now-defunct platform he billed as “the #1 funding platform for the Alt Right”…Wilson…used a sugar daddy dating site to contact [a 16-year-old girl who advertised herself as an adult]…they allegedly started communicating via text message and he identified [himself]…On August 15, Wilson met her in person…and paid her $500 [for sex].  He was charged with a second degree felony count of sexual assault…Wilson’s last known location was Taipei, Taiwan, and [cops are trying to extradite] him to the U.S…police said they believed Wilson skipped a scheduled flight back to the U.S. after receiving a tip that he was under investigation…

I have little sympathy for Wilson, because his funding white supremacists far outweighs the good of circumventing prohibition, which someone else would’ve eventually done.  But I also know a honey pot setup when I see one, and characterizing a sugar relationship with a young woman who lied about her age to get on the platform as “child rape” is demeaning to both young people and sex workers and will only help those who want to censor such platforms.

The Face of Trafficking 

What an actual attempt to force an unwilling Nigerian woman into prostitution looks like:

A Benin based pastor has been arrested for his part in trafficking a 22-year-old [woman]…to Russia…Marvelous Odalo, who is the General Overseer of Mega Charismatic Fire Ministry, reportedly worked with a “madam” in Russia…[the young woman said] she and her sister were deceived and fell for the antics of the pastor and his accomplice… “They told me that I was going to meet a woman who is pregnant in Russian and I will assist her with domestic chores.  They said I will also be working as a stylist in her saloon…When I got there, it was a different ball game.  I was forced to engage in prostitution in Russia which I resisted, I rejected it and told them I will rather go home than sell my body to satisfy one greedy woman”…in the heat of the argument with her madam, she met a Nigerian in Russia, who introduced her to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa, who eventually took the matter up in Nigeria…

For more on the juju aspects of this story, see “That Old Black Magic” below.

Moving Pictures 

Another “sex trafficking” hysteria film for future generations to laugh at:

Love Sonia, a [propaganda] film about sex trafficking, will be showcased at the UN…in New York on October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child.  The screening will be hosted by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime [which is one of the few UN agencies opposed to decriminalization of sex work] and Indian anti-[sex work] organisation, Apne Aap…

In case you have forgotten, Apne Aap is a “rescue” organization which runs a private prison in which sex workers are locked up indefinitely for the enrichment of the organization.

Pimps Ahoy

Pigs and screws team up to help a private prison previously shut down for abusing inmates:

Northern California [screws] are banding together [for] the [fantasy] of ending child sex trafficking…In 2013, Dawn Hershberger, a [screw] at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville, heard Jenny Williamson speak about her nonprofit, Courage Worldwide, which [profits from arrested underage sex workers]…She reached out to the nonprofit to ask how she could assist, and was told they were in need of a way to transport [inmates] to appointments and other…events.  Hershberger partnered with fellow [screw] Joanne Vice and [pig] Randy Hewitt, and the team began organizing a run to raise funds to buy a van…they raised more than $4,000.  Inspired and motivated, they set their sights on a bigger goal, and the Courage Triathlon was born.  Since its inception the triathlon has raised more than $60,000 to [line of pockets] of [Williamson and other profiteers]…

If you don’t remember the ugly story of “Courage House”, click on the subtitle above.

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

Two boys claimed they were chased by a man in a clown costume shouting “run or die” while clutching…something “which looked like a knife”.  After the boy’s parents called the police, a car was sent to the area to investigate…but no person matching the description was seen…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#728) 

Sex workers worried about sex dolls are saying a lot more about themselves than about the dolls:

[Three] legal prostitutes…at Nevada’s…Sheri’s Ranch brothel are [using sex robot hysteria] in hopes of [promoting themselves in the media, since advertising is illegal there]…”It’s dehumanising,” said licensed sex worker Allissa [parroting prohibitionist drivel often used against sex workers]…”Offering sex dolls as a substitute for human sex workers is…[magically] an insult to sex workers…[and] clients [who are not in the room with them]”…”The idea that women should be like dolls – unresponsive and lethargic during sex – is downright dangerous” said Roxanne Price, [despite the fact that nobody selling sex dolls has ever even implied such a thing]…

Sex dolls are a silly fad which will have zero effect on sex workers.  But you know what is dangerous and dehumanizing to whores?  Pompous twits in “regulated” Nevada brothels who regurgitate prohibitionist rhetoric to try to set themselves above other sex workers.

That Old Black Magic (#825) 

Remember, most of what Europeans brand “trafficking” is just migrating to wealthy Europe to work:

…During a ceremony in March, Oba Ewuare II, leader of the historic kingdom of Benin in southern Nigeria, invoked curses on anyone who used witchcraft to aid illegal migration.  Since then, anecdotal evidence suggests the trafficking has slowed although it is too soon for firm data to be collated…Belief in black magic is deep-rooted in Benin, and many fear crossing their traditional leader could incur death, mental breakdown or a myriad of unexplained physical ailments…David Edebiri, the second highest ranking chief in Benin…believes the Oba’s involvement, inspired by repeated bad press in the international media, has reduced trafficking and could help bring more traffickers to justice as many women involved were too afraid of juju rituals before to testify…

Notice the quick elision of the difference between “illegal migration” and “sex trafficking”.

Disaster (#845)

Why is The Hill turning itself into a platform for rabid prohibitionists, censors and anti-human rights cultists? This vile anti-internet, anti-consent, pro-censorship screed, paid for by the veteran Christian fundamentalist anti-porn organization “Morality in Media“, which rebranded a few years ago to the more secular (and authoritative) sounding “National Center on Sexual Exploitation” (by which they actually mean “against sex work“).  It’s pretty poisonous shit, so I’m not going to quote it here, but if you decide to read it note that it represents Melissa Farley’s propaganda as “fact”, puts forth a bizarre interpretation of Section 230, and pretends that sex workers literally being forced into the streets, where they are exposed to violence from cops and other monsters, is a good thing.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#849) 

It’s fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way to watch the lies spiral out of control:

The University of Alabama school of social work department shared some new a[rous]ing [fantasies] on human trafficking in the state this week…In 2017, authorities recovered more than 600 human trafficking victims stuck in the sex industry…more than half of them were minors, and that’s only about 10 percent of the victims actually out there, [sic] Stats show there are thousands more still suffering in Alabama.

If cops had really discovered 300 kids being held hostage in freaking Alabama, this would be international news, not a minor local story.

The Monsters Are Due (#869) 

More on the young man literally burned alive by “human trafficking” hysterics:

Ricardo Flores…21, and his uncle, Alberto Flores Morales, 56, [were lynched by a hysterical mob who] beat…them before dousing them with gasoline and burning them alive on the street…[while] the police [did nothing]…The pair had been [accused of child abduction]…The barbaric episode — reminiscent of mob killings in India fueled by viral messages — illustrates how [moral panic over “human trafficking” spread by politicians, cops and the mainstream media]…can generate hysteria and vigilante justice…Mob attacks are nothing new in Mexico, where cellphone video of townsfolk pummeling cornered suspects accused of robberies and other misdeeds is a regular feature on TV news…In the days before Flores and his uncle were targeted, half a dozen Mexican states issued public warnings refuting incendiary social media tales of kidnapping rings that remove organs from captive children to sell on the black market…

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Women are always in need of things and these nowadays men, they like to get but they don’t like to give.  –  Shauna Chyn

Rough Trade 

He has a sex addiction and has been going through a 12-step program“.  For serial rape.

Thomas Walter Oliver [was] convicted…[for] raping or sexually attacking 11 women and teenage girls over a nine-year span….and…sentenced…to 30 years in prison.  Oliver was acquaintances or friends with many of his victims.  He met one on the dating site Tinder.  Another was a neighbor.  He met another at a music festival.  Three were working in the sex industry.  Six were younger than 18…

Lack of Evidence 

A pretty typical level of “evidence” for allegations of prostitution:

This decision…by the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court starts as so many qualified immunity cases do…”On May 22, 2014, [Brittany] Harris, along with her mother, father and older sister, went out for dinner…their minivan was stopped by [cops using the pretext of]…an obstructed license plate“…Brittany asked to go to the restroom after she and her family had spent more than an hour being detained by six squad cars…She was accompanied by [a sow called] Kimberly Klare, who…”secured Harris’s hands behind her back…placed her hands under Harris’s brassiere and pinched the girl’s breasts, causing bruising…Klare told her that…a previous suspect at that location had ‘stuffed needles in her bra’ and because…'[y]ou have the look of a junkie whore’.  But Klare found no drugs…or other contraband…[cops] also noticed that Harris’s father had…’tools, like screwdrivers and wrenches’…[in the vehicle, and that this somehow constituted ‘evidence’] that Harris’s mother was engaged in drug activity“…

Feminine Pragmatism 

Misogynists and cheapskates hate it when women encourage younger women to know their worth:

Shauna Chyn said she doesn’t understand why people are in their feelings about the content of her new single, “Suicidal”…[in which she]…encourages women to “collect” monetary advances…before getting intimate with a man…Chyn said she is tired of hearing women lament that when relationships end, they are left with nothing but memories.  “As women, we go through a lot with these men, and den nuff time dem just get up and leave. If a man a go leave, yuh must can have something to show for it.  Make dem spoil yuh before you give dem yuh thing,” she added.  She added that she is aware her message will not be met with open arms, but said she could[n’t] care less as her concern is to get women to see their worth and not be fooled…she…then made it clear that she has no issues with prostitutes.  She said as far as she is concerned, they are earning an honest bread.  “Dem nah rob and kill people, dem a hustle dem own just like anybody else…dem have kids and bills to take care of like anybody else”…

Surplus Women 

Yet another rapist/murderer cop.  But go on, tell me how we’re supposed to trust their “help”:

…Juan David Ortiz is a nine-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection…[who is] facing at least four murder convictions after…his fifth would-be victim escaped and [found a state trooper]…all of the women targeted by Ortiz worked as prostitutes [and the fifth woman knew two of the others, which caused her to become suspicious]…After being interrogated, Ortiz confessed to the four-known murders…[plus] aggravated assault and kidnapping…Two of Ortiz’s admitted victims were discovered alongside Interstate 35 in a rural, northwestern patch of Webb County [near Laredo, Texas]…the third and fourth victims were discovered…[last] Saturday…The investigation…began after Melissa Ramirez…was found dead on September 4 near an intersection…[then on September 13th] Claudine Anne Luera was found fatally wounded near that same intersection…

Aggressive Ignorance (#403)

Another “sex trafficking study” reaches the stunning conclusion that hotels tend to cluster along highways:

Sex [workers whom cops prey upon to charge with “trafficking” are most often arrested in]…poor and urban neighborhoods near highways and cheap motels, according to researchers at Texas State University …[prohibitionists] Deborah Mletzko, Lucia Summers and Ashley N. Arnio found Austin, Texas’ “hottest cluster” of sex trafficking [arrests] in the north end of the city, where a major interstate highway intersects two other major roads and is adjacent to a [stroll]…Not clear, however, is the [work’s] connection to poverty…

This one also contains the shocking revelation that poor people tend to rent cheaper hotels, yet the “researchers” can’t understand why poor people work.  I am not making this up; read it yourself.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

Anything a reporter wants to increase hysteria about is perpetually “on the rise”:

The significantly understudied practice of female sex tourism…can be…exploitative [and] abusive…but far too often, it goes unaddressed…Wealthy, predominantly white Western women travel—primarily to once-colonized nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa—to visit male prostitutes, often much younger in age…more than half a million women engaged in sex-based travel between 1980 and 2005…Even without direct cash exchange, varying forms of “payment”—clothing, meals, shelter, gifts—reveal the relationship is a glorified business transaction…

When prudes clutch their pearls over the pragmatic sexual arrangements made by young women, it’s just tiresome.  But when they do it over the same kind of arrangements made by young men, it’s hilarious.

Comfort Zone (#769)

Given the scare quotes, it seems at least some UK reporters are no longer buying the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Ten Romanian women [claimed by police] to have been trafficked for sex work have been “rescued” in raids across Glasgow and Edinburgh…[cops] found no suspects at [another] flat but [arrested] three young women [pretended] to be victims of trafficking…

Whatever They Need To Say (#826)

Gentrification is one of the most common motivations for persecution of all kinds of sex workers:

New York…[dancers are concerned] that the number of strip clubs in town could contract from about 20 to less than eight if the city starts enforcing a ruling made last year…After a years-long court battle, a Manhattan judge ruled last year that strip clubs can no long­er operate under the so-called 60-40 rule, which allowed the[m]…in otherwise restricted zones as long as 60 percent of the club was used for “non-adult” entertainment, such as a restaurant…That has left some clubs scrambling to expand to new locations not [currently] in residential areas [until the city capriciously rezones the new areas as well]…

Normally, my edits are to condense meandering prose or eliminate euphemisms and prevarication; this time they’re mostly to remove puerile tee-hee-hee terms like “jiggle joints”.

Disaster (#844)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

Prostitution is taking-off along Aurora Avenue [in Seattle] again…and [busybodies] are demanding [a final solution] to…the spike in [what they absurdly call] sex trafficking…since online [advertising] services like backpage.com got shut down…Neighbors call it a scourge.  Prostitutes are [working to make a living during normal work hours]…and business owners said they are feeling the brunt…One suggestion was to do more to penalize motel operators who [book rooms to paying customers]…Police said one of the big challenges is building cases against…pimps…who [don’t actually exist]…In July, a diversion program also [claimed] to steer prostitutes off the streets and get them long-term help [yet didn’t offer to pay their bills]…

It’s because stupid people have been taught to believe that productive work is “criminal activity” controlled by shadowy “pimps” which can be magically eradicated by thuggish threats, authoritarian “penalties”, and moralistic “help”, that this happened in the first place; when politicians shut down inexpensive and accessible advertising, only a complete imbecile could fail to understand that the sex workers who used that advertising will now have to advertise in another way, such as by walking the streets.

The Prudish Giant (#853)

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

In June, China banned and excised videos of sound effects while  claiming to cleanse its internet of pornography. YouTube had already demonetized the genre in a sex panic; now PayPal is banning people for life and holding individuals’ funds…ASMR community websites are now warning all creators to avoid PayPal…Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos…ASMR…[is] a genre of videos where the creator makes sound effects in a variety of scenarios that are geared toward evoking a sense-memory of tingling sensations from the back of the head.  If anyone ever played with your hair and you felt a funny but calming shiver, you get the idea.  The performance artists in these videos do things to create sounds like playing with hair, brushing microphones with makeup brushes, chewing ice and lots of other things…It may sound weird, but it’s quite popular — especially with people combating anxiety and insomnia…

False Target (#864)

Austria doubles down on using gay stereotypes to deport refugees:

Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Afghan national who claims to be fleeing persecution for being homosexual after not being able to find any gay pornography on his mobile phone…The…reject[ion]…letter [stated]…“It is extremely unlikely that you are in actual communication with other men with no photos (resulting from chats) on your mobile phone…There should be interest here…in pornographic material of homosexuals, at least from favourited sites on the Internet”…The case comes after two other…asylum seekers were rejected by the BFA, including an Iraqi who was rejected because the agency found him too “girlish” in his behaviour and an 18-year-old Afghan who was rejected for not acting gay enough in his clothing or mannerisms…Austria has…focused on increasing deportations of failed asylum seekers with figures released in June revealing a 36 percent increase in deportations compared to 2017…

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We didn’t think it was good idea to have [rapey cop] conduct aired publicly in a prosecution.  –  Scott Perrilloux

To Protect and Serve

Strip club raids exist only for pigs to get their jollies:

Prosecutors have scuttled a multi-agency investigation into a…strip club in St. Helena Parish [because a disguised pig]…committed a crime – by digitally penetrating a woman during two private dances.  The month-long sting operation included another [cop] asking a dancer at The Mansion to lactate on him “because he was curious”…The [sexual assault] of the dancer was described in a lengthy affidavit…by Scott Jarreau, a Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s…deputy who recounted the…actions in graphic detail [because he idiotically thought it would]…support…a civil asset forfeiture case against the club’s owner that was ultimately dismissed.  The [pigs’ disgusting] conduct was among the reasons prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against 13 people arrested in the raid, including the club’s proprietor…It’s not clear why Shreveport, which is more than four hours away, lent officers to the effort…

It’s “not clear” to people whose heads are so far up their own arseholes they don’t know what pervert cops look like.

Droit du Seigneur 

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

A…Newark [cop] was charged…with…soliciting and accepting cash payments from brothel owners in exchange for protecting the brothels from police action and…failing to report those cash payments on his…income tax returns…Julio Rivera…[extort]ed more than $100,000 in cash payments from three brothel owners [?] in Newark…

I’m guessing that by “brothels” these prosecutors actually mean massage parlors.

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical 

Hysteria over “dangerous teen fads” is much funnier when cops are its primary vectors:

…“Momo”…is the face of a viral Internet game, [fantasized] to be spreading via…WhatsApp and sparking worldwide warnings…by [authoritarians] about its potential to harm young people who may be lured into playing…references to “Momo” also have circulated on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  The…“Momo Challenge”…requires players to complete escalating tasks that are [supposedly] dangerous…But…it’s simply another one of the many hoaxes that breed on the Internet.  Officials in multiple countries [fantasize] Momo’s final challenge is suicide and the game is rumored to be linked to at least three recent cases of minors who killed themselves in Argentina, Colombia and India…None of these circumstantial reports tying the game to suicides have been proved…[people who aren’t cops or hysterics] are calling it an Internet hoax designed to generate paranoia among adults…

Finding What Isn’t There

Trying to manufacture data to “prove” a problem exists when existing data says it doesn’t is not science:

…David Cohen…of Stanford’s…Center for Human Rights…has created a set of resources to help NGOs and government agencies working in the anti-trafficking field gather data [for] policymakers…about the nature and scope of the problem they face.  “Sectors in the anti-trafficking field [do] not always cooperat[e] in a way that…allow[s] us to understand that data”…said senior program manager Jessie Brunner…“After decades of work…there is still no [politically popular] answer to “what is the problem and why is it happening”…That scares me, that after all these efforts and money spent we still aren’t able to figure that out.  And we need a solid answer to that question so that we can actually stop the problem”…Brunner…that the data that exist are often limited…of low quality or outdated…

When an article about the lack of good data about a phenomenon refers to that phenomenon as a “problem” and a “scourge” while admitting that the hysterics don’t even know that there is a problem, it’s a safe bet that any forthcoming data from the announced project will be worthless.

Chauvinism (#335)

Instead of purging sex workers with police violence, Argentina negotiated with them as citizens:

…For two months, transgender sex workers will move from the red light zone in Plaza Florencio Sánchez…in…Palermo…to another space, a few blocks away…The move [was agreed upon in meetings between]…the Argentina LGBT Federation and the Association of Women of Argentina (AMMAR)…sex workers in the area, the Undersecretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of the Buenos Aires Government and the Ombudsman of the City…The reason is that Florencio Sanchez square is being converted to volleyball courts, while the neighboring Lago de Regatas is being conditioned for the Olympic Triathlon swimming competition…[for] the Youth Olympic Games, which will run from October 6 to 18…until October 31, the trans girls will leave their usual area…to…offer their services in…a temporary red light zone…the City Government also agreed to make improvements in working conditions that they had committed to when the red light zone…was created in 2008…

Allied for Change

This announcement is definitely flawed, but I applaud any client who comes out:

Lily Allen has revealed that she slept with female escorts because she felt “lost and lonely” during the tour for her third album Sheezus in 2014…explaining her decision was made after learning that some details of her upcoming book My Thoughts Exactly had been leaked to the Daily Mail.  “I slept with female escorts when I was on tour, cause I was lost and lonely and looking for something.  I’m not proud, but I’m not ashamed…I don’t do it anymore”…

Follow Your Bliss (#698) 

Yet the government still won’t admit that the TSA attracts pedophiles:

A…Transportation Security Administration supervisor has been sentenced for having child pornography at his home.  Devin David Jutilla…resigned from his job at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after his arrest April 25 [and]…pleaded guilty last month to second-degree child pornography possession as part of [a plea bargain] with Pierce County prosecutors…Judge Bryan Chushcoff sentenced Jutilla to six months in jail…

The Widening Gyre (#825) 

Cops are trying to regain control of a runaway moral panic by using their favored tool, violence:

An Ohio mom’s Facebook video about the attempted abduction of her child in a Walmart parking lot was [like] all [sex trafficking scare tales] made up…Chelsie Hendel was arrested…after…Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey…[reviewed] security footage [that]…showed no such incident happened.  Bailey also said Hendel never reported a crime to police.  When police questioned Hendel…she admitted to making the story up and was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of inducing panic.  Her video…has been taken down from Facebook…

Banishment (#848) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

…civil commitment allows a prosecutor to subject those convicted of sexual offenses (and sometimes, those with no conviction at all) to an indefinite period of civil punishment at the end of their criminal sentence.  Civil commitment can mean years of additional detention under the guise of psychiatric treatment meant to reduce a person’s risk of committing another crime, with an often-illusory promise of freedom.  Statutes that [supposedly] constrain the power of authorities to civilly commit people…are  broad and ambiguous…and…rates of reoffending are far lower than would be believed—potentially imperiling the justification for civil commitment itself…In California, there [are] 345 people trapped in…“pretrial” detention for more than three years.  More than a quarter of those have been held without trial since 2006 or earlier.  In Florida…89 of the 489 detainees at their civil commitment center are pretrial.  Fourteen have been held for more than a decade; five for nearly 20 years.  In Washington State, Jesse McReynolds spent nine years civilly detained on McNeil Island without trial before a judge ordered his release…McReynolds’s case was…not an anomaly, and…multiple [Washingtonians] have been civilly detained pending trial, sometimes for decades…

Soap Opera (#853)

They’re “certified” in making up absurd stories and spreading moral panic:

…in Deschutes County, a local response team comprised of 16 experts in their various fields follows up on all human trafficking leads.  The Deschutes County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Response Team then coordinates a continuum of care, helping victims become survivors…

In Bend, Oregon, home of this “team”, this “continuum of care” includes posting magic “sex trafficker” detecting stickers (subtitle link), turning people in to the pigs for being injured, and claiming that eclipses cause “sex trafficking” by magic passes involving poker chips.

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My body is my business – and it is a money maker.  –  Vera Sidika

Worse Than I Thought

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

A trio of bills before the [Frederick] County [Maryland] Council [cl]aim to address human trafficking…[one] would require hotels and motels to conduct human trafficking training for new employees, [the second would] hold landlords and tenants liable for criminal charges for [not evicting sex workers on a cop’s say-so] and [the third would] regulate “bodyworks” establishments, which [prohibitionists pretend] are relatively common locations for human trafficking…The landlord and tenant bill would would make it unlawful for any tenant or landlord or property owner to [lease to anyone a cop decides to call]…a potential problem…Prince George’s County has…implemented this bill and has seen success in [evicting] some [sex workers]…the goal of the bill isn’t to punish the landlords, but to get them to [become fascist tools] by evicting the tenants or reporting [them] to police…

Shame, Shame

Instant karma’s gonna get you…

On [May 16th], Sahar Sarid, Thomas Keesee and Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie—three out of four alleged owners of Mugshots.com—were arrested and charged with extortion, money laundering and identity theft…[for] harvest[ing] people’s mug shots and charg[ing] them exorbitant fees to have the photos removed…$399 and up…many people have filed lawsuits against the site…California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said…“Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others.  This is exploitation, plain and simple”..

And yet I don’t see Becerra pushing for a law to make mugshots not public records.  Is that the stench of hypocrisy I smell?

Uncommon Sense (#404)

Beware of male “feminists” who try to stop women from organizing:

Spain’s fiercely anti-prostitution Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was left red in the face…after it emerged a sex workers union was approved by his own administration.  Sex work is…neither illegal nor regulated [in Spain] but Sanchez came to power in June with a strongly feminist agenda promising to fight…women.  “Prostitution in Spain isn’t legal and this government won’t support any organisation that includes this illicit activity,” he tweeted…

Rescued To Death

“Abatement”.  A term used for things, especially nuisances, here applied to people.  But NHI, right?

…[spokespig] Gaetano Caltagirone…announced the initiation of a “Sex Worker Abatement Unit”…Some 20 [cops] applied [for obvious reasons], but only four were selected…the unit has arrested “Johns” — men soliciting prostitutes — as well as pimps.  Any ensnared sex workers, he said, have been offered [brainwashing sessions or else]…This [paternalistic scheme] was modeled after a pilot program in Seattle…This news was, by and large, well-received by the meeting attendees…[but] Tessa Brown, a Mission resident, pinned the rise of street prostitution on the closures of popular personal websites like Backpage…“I just wanted to push back at the idea that all neighbors agree that we should be arresting all sex workers and more clients of sex workers,” Brown said…Another attendee, Aaron Sunshine, chimed in and suggested the police ease up.  “Let’s just leave the sex workers alone,” Sunshine said…

Slowly but surely, we’re getting through to people who aren’t predisposed to bigotry & bootlicking.

The Face of Trafficking 

What an actual attempt to abduct a woman into forced prostitution looks like:

…her former pimp crept up from behind and dropped her with a roundhouse punch.  Two men heaved her into a car trunk and they were off, forcing the woman to claw for her life in the dark as the vehicle careened along crowded city streets…Soon police were in pursuit across the Bay Bridge.  Minutes later the car would slam into a pole in a fiery, fatal wreck.  But before the deadly crash, the woman in the trunk remembered an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that informed viewers about emergency trunk latches.  In her panic, she found her lifeline and escaped from the vehicle as it headed to the bridge…

The Sky is Falling! (#772)

The BBC clutches its pearls and announces that pragmatic dating is bad because it’s “driven by vanity”:

…the exchange of youth and beauty for long-term financial gain, motivated not by hunger but by aspiration, glamorised by social media stars, and often wrapped in the trappings of a relationship.  Older men have always used gifts, status, and influence to buy access to young women.  The sugar daddy has probably been around, in every society, for as long as the prostitute.  So you might ask: “Why even have a conversation about transactional sex in Africa?”  The answer is that in Kenya, and in some other African countries, “sugar” relationships seem to have become both more common and more visible:  what once was hidden is now out in the open – on campuses, in bars, and all over Instagram…

Lower Education (#773)

Ashe Schow debunks the absurd numbers behind the “campus rape crisis” propaganda:

A potential draft of new federal campus sexual assault policies was leaked this week, so expect a new round of false and misleading statistics to be shared by those who claim due process “protects rapists” and “hurts victims”.  Rape and sexual assault are serious offenses, and shouldn’t be watered down to create a narrative that America is somehow the rape capital of the world, nor should we pretend that non-offenses are offenses…I’ve taken down every one of these statistics before — sometimes many, many times — but it’s time to debunk them all in one place…

Schow debunks the “1 in 4” lie (“numbers thousands of times higher than war-torn Congo”), the “serial predator” bogeyman, the “all rape accusations are true” poison, the “universities which report no rapes are lying” libel, and the “1 in 3 men intend to rape” bullshit.  It’s worth reading in its entirety.

To Molest and Rape (#797)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their daughter in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?

[Cops] in the Louisville Metro Police Department’s youth Explorer program…interrogated…a girl who [was the victim]…of sexual abuse [by one of their cronies], took her cell phone and refused to let her parents be present when she was questioned during an out-of-town trip…the head of the program tried to keep the allegations quiet  through what amounted to a bribe — offering to pay the cost of the trip to Atlanta…Louisville Metro P[ig] Brad Schuhmann…sexually abus[ed] the girl from 2008 to 2009…and sought sexual pictures and acts from her.  The abuse [was perpetrated] in [pigmobiles], at Explorer events and through text messages.  The lawsuit was initially filed under seal in Jefferson Circuit Court in October but was moved to federal court earlier this year.  It is among five other similar suits unsealed [on August 30th]…the teen told her parents, who confronted Schuhmann and met with the program’s leader at the time, Lt. Curtis Flaherty.  Schuhmann is under criminal investigation and [was rewarded for the rapes with a] paid [vacation]…

The Widening Gyre (#822)

In which “sex trafficking” hysteria is employed to mask the stench of xenophobia:

Britain is ramping up efforts to [charge people with] sex trafficking of girls…amid [fantasies] that cases uncovered by police are just “the tip of the iceberg” with modern slavery ever-evolving…Britain this week announced a 2 million pound ($2.6 million) scheme to [divert funds to cronies under the excuse of] help[ing] stop at risk children falling into the grip of traffickers and gangs who rape them and force them to move drugs…from cities to rural areas…Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex trafficking and abuse [s]ca[r]es over the past few years, with hundreds of girls [claimed to be] exploited by large gangs..of mainly Asian men…

The Course of a Disease (#850)

We were warned that Israeli whore-censorship was only “part of a wider plan”:

The State Attorney’s office, along with Israeli police, decided…to take severe measures against the practice of lap dances in strip clubs.  The new enforcement intends to eradicate “the activity that in certain circumstances constitutes prostitution”…The police issued a written notice to owners of strip clubs clarifying the new policies…[Prohibitionist] Nitzan Kahana of the Task Force [for Pearl-Clutching smugly bloviated]…“The treatment to root out prostitution in Israel has begun…Strip clubs are a major part of this industry…lap dances, posing for years as ‘an innocent dance’ when it is apparent to all that they are essentially a sexual act of physical contact intending to please customers”…

OH MY GOD WE CAN’T HAVE CUSTOMERS EXPERIENCING PLEASURE!!!  THE HORROR!!!

Disaster (#865)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

…Coyote…RI…conducted a survey of 262 sex workers between April 14 and May 25, 2018.  Seventy percent…reported that sex work had been their primary source of income before FOSTA and 77 percent…were the sole providers for their families.  Within a week of the laws’ passage, 70 percent noticed a drop in their income, rendering them unable to pay for rent, food, utilities or phone…Sixty percent…now take on less safe clients in order to make ends meet.  Sixty-five percent…reported that someone had tried to threaten, exploit or [rape] them…censorship of sex workers’ content…means that many are turning to street-based sex work…including people who have little to no experience working on the streets…street-based sex work…increases vulnerability to predators, including police…

The Monsters Are Due (#867) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

Some residents of [the] small town [of Acatlan] in central Mexico [abducted] two men accused of trying to kidnap children from police custody and burned them to death…A crowd of about 150 people gathered and stormed the jail…then doused the…[men] with an accelerant and burned them [alive]…

In the comments, a witness wrote, “The two men were innocent.  They were drinking in the street and they got arrested.  A small group of people [then] began gossip[ing] that they were kidnapping children…Everything was broadcasted on Facebook Live and the mother of the younger man was watching the stream of her son getting killed.  There are posts of her begging them to stop…

The Widening Gyre (#868) 

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter. Notice we’re back to Ikea again; apparently “sex traffickers” just can’t resist picking up cheap furniture and enjoying Swedish meatballs while shopping for their “sex slaves”.  I wonder how many abductions it takes to make a furniture store a “hot spot”, and how many women have been abducted from the Covina Ikea in comparison with, say, the Cost Plus in San Dimas or the Ethan Allen in Pasadena?

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It’s kind of like the universe conspired for this to happen.  –  Aidan Hill

License to Rape

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

Tameika Lovell was retrieving luggage at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport when Customs and Border Protection officers detained her for a…search….[after] a short Jamaica vacation.  Lovell, who is black, had been stopped before, but this time a CBP supervisor began asking questions she hadn’t heard previously.  “Don’t you think you’re spending too much money traveling?”…Inside a secure room…a female CBP officer searched Lovell’s belongings, presumably for illegal drugs, and asked if she was using a tampon or sanitary pad…Lovell replied “no” and complied when told to remove her shoes, lift her arms and spread her legs…the officer squeezed Lovell’s breasts, and, “placed her right hand into [Lovell’s] pants ‘forcibly’ inserting four gloved fingers into plaintiff’s vagina” before parting Lovell’s buttocks “for viewing”…Her case is one of at least 11 since 2011 examined by the Center for Public Integrity…The women who’ve brought these lawsuits, including two minor girls, say CBP…subjected them to indignities — such as strip searches while menstruating and prohibited genital probing — despite finding no contraband.  Four women further allege they were handcuffed and transported to hospitals where, against their will, one underwent a pelvic exam and X-rays.  In one of the cases, the woman…was intravenously drugged at the hospital…

Monsters 

The only positive point here is that local politicians condemned the hatred:

A middle school in Achille, Oklahoma is closed following violent threats by parents on social media against Maddie, a 12-year-old transgender [girl] who…used the girls’ bathroom.  Maddie had been using the staff bathroom at her old school but used the girls’ bathroom at the new school because she wasn’t sure where the staff bathroom was.  She was then accused of peeping under a bathroom stall…[and] the threats began on a private parents’ Facebook group for the school.  The parents called Maddie “it” and “thing”, suggested that her genitalia be mutilated to make her female (“a good sharp knife will do the job real quick”).  One said it was “hunting season on them kind” and said there was “no bag limit”…

Deafening Silence (#427)

A fascinating look at male actor/sex workers in 19th century China:

…the theater was a venue of culture but also an erotic space.  Patrons in particular focused their obsessions on the actors – almost always male – who played the dàn, or lead female role in the performance…There existed an implicit understanding of the theater, and its performers, as sex workers.  It was even assumed in [rape] cases…[where] attackers [got lower sentences for raping sex workers]…Following the fall of the Qing Dynasty, modernizers in the government of the new Republic of China and in the city of Beijing began to issue regulations which they hoped would curtail the brothels and theaters…[but] despite…efforts…to destroy the culture of male prostitution in Beijing, the trade continued into the mid-20th century when even more puritanical…politicians in the post-1949 era would employ drastic measures which pushed most prostitution – male and female – deep into the shadows for the next few decades…

The Public Eye (#439) 

Sex workers who are also performing artists are valuable ambassadors for us:

…Kate McGrew hopes her new stage show will make audiences think, by highlighting the dangers of our new prostitution laws.  The reality TV star, who made her name in the RTE show Connected…plans to hammer home the message in…her new production Hookers Do It Standing Up…“It has serious points, but lots of punchlines, humour, and musings on the experiences and struggles of sex workers, and how bad laws and attitudes affect us”…Under her stage name Lady Grew, the singer, actor and dancer is now taking her campaign to the stage in Dublin Fringe Festival…

Little Boxes (#579)

Being forced by a corporation to have undesired sexual contact with strangers is “team building”, but choosing to have sexual contact with strangers who desire it is a “crime”:

We’ve launched the world’s first “Cuddle a Co-worker” event to provide a unique alternative to the standard team building exercises you’ll normally find…the event lasts an entire working day and involves co-workers cuddling in a “relaxation tent” designed to reduce stress and encourage team bonding…skin on skin contact…promotes Oxytocin and Serotonin release.  Oxytocin has physical and psychological effects on the brain, including influencing social behaviour and emotion, whilst Serotonin is the hormone which allows humans to feel happiness…co-workers will be required to cuddle each other in a variety of different positions and will need to switch partners every two hours – so that you have a chance to bond with everyone…there will also be a group cuddling session, as well as a conflict resolution cuddle session…


Real People (#710)

Here’s a look at the stories of three residents of Casa Xochiquetzal, Mexico City’s home for retired sex workers.  The tales are by turns beautiful and sad, and it would do them an injustice to even attempt to synopsize them here; please read them and remember that these are the women prohibitionists want to demonize as criminals or infantilize as permanent victims.

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook…to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so [pigs and spooks can eavesdrop on private]…conversations…resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance…The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but…three [whistleblowers reported] that Facebook is contesting the…demand.  The…government [is trying] to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request…If the government prevails…it could…force companies to rewrite other popular encrypted services such as Signal and Facebook’s billion-user WhatsApp…

The Lion and the Ox (#796)

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

…a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that former film executive Harvey Weinstein can be sued under a federal sex-trafficking law by an actress who claims he coerced her to have sex in exchange for a movie role that never materialized…Police have not charged Harvey Weinstein with sex trafficking.  But the judge’s ruling means that the civil suit, brought by British actress Kadian Noble, can proceed…Weinstein’s lawyers said they would appeal the decision…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

Welfare recipients are another guinea pig for invasive surveillance methods:

Officials with the Department of Human Assistance, or DHA, in Sacramento, California, have been using license plate readers since 2016 to investigate welfare fraud…DHA violated California state laws dictating that any entity using a license plate database must institute a privacy-and-usage policy that includes regular audits and record keeping…The DHA was using a feature of the license plate reader that collects data about every single vehicle in a particular location, regardless of whether the vehicle belonged to a welfare recipient…and…19 agencies that have been sharing such data with the DHA, including police departments in Texas and Iowa…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#825) 

Texas is replacing Washington and Arizona as the most active producer of “sex trafficking” idiocy:

…Houston…is a known hub for sex trafficking…said Dennis Mark…[of] Redeemed Ministries…As efforts to criminalize prostitution in the city increase, the underground industry is spreading to surrounding areas…he said.  Debi Tengler…[of] Arrow Child and Family Ministries, [which runs a private prison] in Spring, [ludicrously bloviated] “The tighter you squeeze the tube, the more toothpaste squeezes out”…Texas…has the second most of any state…“We…hit…the streets and go…after the prostitutes…and…also online tactics,” [oinked a filthy pig]…Police are also cracking down on brothels disguised as businesses…such as massage parlors and hotels…A December 2016 University of Texas [fantasy claimed]…there were…79,000…juvenile sex trafficking victims [in Texas]…

Disaster (#850)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

SESTA-FOSTA…received bipartisan support [like most truly awful police-state expansions]…Since the law was passed, there has been a swell of protests, political actions and new forms of grassroots organizing among the American sex worker rights community…Perhaps the highest profile efforts to repeal SESTA-FOSTA emerged on June 28th, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the federal government…on the grounds of First and Fifth Amendment violations…

There’s more in this article, which also mentions Salazar’s candidacy (see below).

Safe Position (#851)

If the Democratic Party were run by people who care about human rights, this would be its official position:

Julia Salazar, a candidate for the New York state Senate, is doing what [only a minuscule number of] Democratic politicians have done before:  taking sex workers’ rights seriously.  The 27-year-old democratic socialist, who is shaping her policy by consulting the sex work community, is one of the first candidates to…support those workers, including by proposing concrete steps toward decriminalization…Salazar, who is challenging eight-term incumbent Democratic state Sen. Martin Dilan, has centered her campaign around affordable housing and other policy positions championed by the insurgent left.  But her plan to defend sex workers’ rights has energized a community that has been understandably skeptical of electoral politics.  One hundred sex workers and their allies have signed up to attend a canvassing event in the Brooklyn district for Salazar’s campaign on Sunday, ahead of the September 13 primary.  This follows an event earlier this month, when upward of 120 sex workers and activists hosted a pizza party for Salazar…[whose] platform outlines steps toward decriminalization that include an end to raids on massage parlors; working with district attorneys to stop charging sex workers with crimes; and creating a network of optional social services to address workers’ needs, such as housing, child care, syringe access, and…repealing the exemption for sex workers under New York’s rape shield law…

The Widening Gyre (#864) 

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter; this one’s even funnier than usual to me because it’s from Baton Rouge, roughly 50 miles from where I grew up, a city so cheap and dead it wasn’t even worth keeping an escort service ad posted in the phone book there.  And the mentioned towns are the kind of hick places where the opening of a new auto parts store is the highlight of the season’s social calendar.  One wonders if Kylie and her legion of dumbass retweeters think these “perfume samples” are actually phials of the fabled pimp mind-control philter which will enable them to instantly enslave any hapless girl who whiffs them.

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