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Posts Tagged ‘Bread and Circuses’

[How] can you treat something that doesn’t exist?  –  Dana Dovey

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

A [Tennessee cop]…has pleaded guilty in a sexual misconduct case…Ralph Cline, Jr…paid to have sex while on duty and inside his unmarked police vehicle…

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

She lost the support of her family at age 16…and…turned to sex work for survival.  But Diane…Rodríguez did not expect to make history years later as the first trans woman elected to Ecuador’s National Assembly.  “Being a public figure comes at a price,” [said] Rodríguez, who is now also a psychologist…she has recently received death threats as a legislator.  “But I see that cost is a sacrifice for younger generations so that they don’t have to suffer the same experiences that I have to suffer through now.”  Her experience of being discriminated against as a trans woman has motivated her on a lifelong journey from activism to politics…

Bread and Circuses 

As of last night, the site is still running normally, so I’m not sure what the feds are up to this time:

Eros-Guide’s call center was raided today in a seizure that’s likely to keep going through the night…the raid at company offices in Youngsville, N.C., was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which executed a warrant on alleged “cross-border illegal activity”…the search warrant is sealed in federal court…[but] no one has been arrested…

It’s possible that this is a way for the Gestapo to get info so they can establish a huge surveillance net on sex workers, or the first step in a pogrom of unprecedented scale, or simply the way to get information they think will help them get Swiss authorities to shut down Eros, which is domiciled & hosted in Switzerland and is therefore not subject to US law.  Only time will tell.

Welcome To Our World (#439)

Wanna ban a consensual activity?  Find a problem case to shill for you so you can pretend problems are common:

Commercial surrogacy…can be messy and complicated.  Backed by the anti-surrogacy group The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, [Jessica Allen]…tells…her extraordinary story…Not only were Mike and Max not identical — they had completely different DNA from one another.  Mike appeared to be an Asian child, and was Liu and her husband’s biological baby.  But Max, half-white and half African-American, belonged to me and my now-husband, Wardell Jasper…in an extremely rare medical incident called superfetation, we had gotten pregnant naturally, despite using condoms, after the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle during which Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s embryo was transferred into my uterus…Not once during the pregnancy did any of the medical staff provided by the agency say that the babies were in separate sacs.  As far as we were concerned, the transferred embryo had split in two and the twins were identical…Omega [the surrogacy agency] contacted me to say the Lius expected between $18,000 and $22,000 as compensation…a caseworker from the agency lined up parents to adopt him and “absorb” the money we owed the Lius…We spent $3,000 on an attorney, and there was a lot of strained negotiation between us, our lawyer and Omega.  It was an uphill battle, but the agency finally reduced the “fee” we owed the Lius to zero…

Stupor Bowl (#511)

“Video Vigilante” Brian Bates is no friend of sex workers, but he’s also hostile to “sex trafficking” mythology:

Once again the annual nationwide publicity stunt orchestrated by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country XI, made its way to Oklahoma…during the four-day sting, 15 female prostitutes and five “sex traffickers” were [arrested]…FBI [claims]…”the primary goal is…the recovery of children”…[but] not a single child was…rescued locally…The FBI also claims their goal is to “take traffickers off the street.”  However, history has proven that virtually all of the “traffickers” that are arrested end up being charged with misdemeanor crimes…The FBI has continuously labeled the women involved in prostitution as “victims”, yet every year they target those same victims…[and] charge…[them] with life altering felonies…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see a rapist cop specifically designated as currently working instead of wrongly called a “former” cop:

A serving police officer has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.  Cheshire constable Ian Naude…was remanded in custody after…an incident reported on 3 November in Crewe…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#715) 

The War on Whores, like the War on Drugs, is as much a jobs program as it is a campaign to extend universal criminality:

Earlier this year, the Tribune’s “Sold Out” series examined how state policies…failed to help child sex-trafficking victims.  Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives — including the state’s first-ever director of human trafficking and child exploitation…Kim Grabert…

You may recall that the “series” mentioned in the text was an exercise in BDSM wanking fantasies, including the claim that all duos include at least one underage girl and the bizarre idea that “pimps” have some kind of legal authority.

The Head of a Pin

Is that the author’s name, or a description of what he’s doing while typing this fantasy one-handed?

Nearly half of the victims of modern slavery in the UK are sex workers.  Ed Cumming hears “Hannah’s” harrowing tale…Hannah doesn’t know how long she was forced to work as a prostitute, being shuttled around the capital to meet men with strange accents…“Victims of this crime are relentlessly abused and repeatedly raped,” [pants politician] Kevin Hyland…With the help of the Salvation Army and Women’s Aid, she is rebuilding her life…

“Strange accents” sums up what this is really about, as does the fact that this story was given to the media by the Salvation Army, which has no compunction against making up lurid fantasies to promote its anti-sex agenda.

Dutch Threat (#763) 

A rare victory for sex workers against “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Window brothel operators almost got completely buried by the new Red Light District rules and regulations implemented by the city of Amsterdam.  “We had to inspect if the ladies were washing their sex-toys with the right disinfectant and if the perishable date of their condoms wasn’t lapsed.  It drove us crazy”.  The entrepreneurs went to court and…three (female) judges [agreed that the rules]…hurt…sex workers…Monique rents out three windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District…[she] wasn’t allowed to leave the neighbourhood if the ladies were working according to the strict regulations.  “I had to be on the scene within 12 minutes…Visiting my old mom in Amsterdam Noord (North) or visiting a physiotherapist in between was out of the question.  Even a quick run to the supermarket for some groceries had me stressing, terrified that I would break the Red Light District rules and lose my permit”…

Signs (#766) 

“Signs of trafficking” idiocy spreads to Dutch pigs:

All community [cops] are to receive training in recognising the signs of human trafficking as part of the new Dutch government’s anti-[sex work] drive…[they] will learn how to look for signs of exploitation when investigating crimes…

The Mote and the Beam (#780) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they do poor and marginalized individuals:

A trade group representing giants of Internet business from Facebook to Microsoft has just endorsed a “compromise” version of…SESTA…The Internet Association doesn’t represent the Internet—it represents the few companies that profit the most off of Internet activity…Amazon and eBay would be able to absorb the increased legal risk under SESTA.  They would likely be able to afford the high-powered lawyers to survive the wave in lawsuits against them.  Small startups, including would-be competitors, would not.  It shouldn’t pass our attention that the Internet giants are now endorsing a bill that will make it much more difficult for newcomers ever to compete with them.  IA also doesn’t represent…the marginalized voices who’ll be silenced as platforms begin to over-rely on automated filters (filters that will doubtless be offered as a licensed service by large Internet companies)…It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking.  It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well…

The Prudish Giant (#783)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.  Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.  Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now.  But most users remain unaware of its reach and power.  Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up…Take a look at all the possible information associated with a contact on your phone.  Then consider the accumulated data your phone is carrying about various people, whether lifelong friends or passing acquaintances…If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#784) 

It’s a shame that this is what it took to bring down the “sex addiction” scam:

This week Kevin Spacey reportedly checked into a sex addiction rehabilitation program in Arizona following a series of accusations that he sexually harassed several men and at least one minor…Spacey is the most recent celebrity to have checked into rehab following reports of sexual misconduct…Sex addiction has been turned down for classification as a mental health condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the official classification of mental health disorders in the US, on several occasions.  In addition, the American Association of Sexual Education Counselors and Therapists also released a statement…that…“sex addiction” or “porn addiction” should not be classified as mental health conditions…“It’s clear at this point that it [sex addiction] does not look like an addiction,” [said] Nicole Prause, a psychologist who studies human sexual behavior…the best predictor of being called a sex addict is either having a conservative religious background or getting caught cheating…

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When we see people jumping from a…window to escape a fire, our response should not be to stop them by boarding up the window!
–  Mark Draughn

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

The schadenfreude is always especially sweet when the cop who gets in trouble works for Montgomery County:

A police sex-sting operation in Northern Virginia…has nabbed a [cop from] Maryland…Christopher Dunkes…[of] the Montgomery County Police Department, answered a Craigslist advertisement posted by an undercover officer who was posing as a 15-year-old girl…Dunkes twice proposed a specific act and suggested that they meet in his car…

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Study shows kids believe stupid shit.  Researchers next plan to study the religious beliefs of popes:

The majority of boys who view online pornography believe it provides a realistic depiction of sex, according to the most extensive survey of British secondary school pupils undertaken…most [students] – 94% – who have seen online pornography have been exposed to it by the age of 14.  But the study also found that almost half of the 1,000 11- to 16-year-olds questioned had never seen internet pornography – findings that are in contrast to many other studies.  It also revealed that [young people] have a [proper] understanding of sexting [unlike] policymakers…sexting [is] the sending of intimate messages, [not necessarily accompanied by] images, and the vast majority…questioned did not report having taken naked images of themselves…53%…said they had viewed online pornography, and while some chose to seek it out, they were as likely to have come across it by accident, often via pop-up ads…Of those who had viewed the material, 53% of boys said they believed it presented a realistic depiction of sex, while 39% of girls thought the images were realistic.  Approximately 41%…felt “curious” the first time they viewed it, which was the most common response.  However, more negative feelings such as being shocked (27%), confused (24%) or disgusted (23%) were also experienced…

My Readers Write Lorelei schools a fanatic

It’s especially pleasing for me when my friends write about each other:

…I’ll leave the validity of the 90% statistic (and the prevalence and causes of PTSD among sex workers) to someone more qualified.  Worrying too much about the details could make us miss a more important point: Why should Lorelei Rivers give a shit what other sex worker want?  There is certainly nothing wrong if Lorelei Rivers wants to know the needs and desires of other sex workers.  Maybe she’s just a good person who has empathy for others.  But…her right to go about her business should not depend on how other people feel about it, and that includes other sex workers.  If 99.9999% of sex workers want to quit and find a different line of work, but Lorelei Rivers prefers to keep doing what she’s doing, what possible justification can there be to stop her?…the desires of the majority are a distraction from the real issue, which is personal choice…we have to make collective decisions…when making different individual choices would cause irreconcilable conflicts — so we depend on majority rule to tell us that…we should drive on the right side of the road.  But…choice of employment, including employment as a sex worker, is a Pepsi or Coke kind of thing.  In a free society, if some women want to be sex workers and others don’t, there’s no reason they can’t both get what they want…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

a 73-year-old man in [Nova Scotia] charged with soliciting…a [cop] pretending to be a prostitute, went before a judge to argue that he had been entrapped.  There’s a lot to be outraged about when it comes to this type of lurid deception but let’s start with the underhanded funding of coercive repressive state interests.  At a starting salary of $75,000 a year (and more than six figures for many more when you factor in overtime), it is unquestionable that female police officers posing as street-based sex workers make more money than many street based sex workers do…they are allowed to approach potential clients.  Our street-based sisters have no such legal right; real street-based sex workers are constrained from making bold sales pitches.  But [cops]…suffer no legal risk…given the allegation inscribed in our current prostitution laws that witnessing sex transactions in public is damaging to communities…how [do cops] posing as sex workers in public rationalize their presence…If they are dressed exactly like sex workers and acting even more obviously “for sale,” wouldn’t their presence engender the same unwholesome effect?…

The Notorious Badge 

At least this is one actress who won’t be vomiting out anti-whore propaganda:

An actress who played a prostitute in Game of Thrones is actually a real-life hooker…Saeeda Vorajee…starred…as a prostitute called Armeca…However she…also…offers her services…under the name of Sahara Knite…Saeeda…admitted she has picked up a lot of fans from Game of Thrones but said she never gets recognised in the street…she…advertises herself as a “porn star, masseuse, mistress and session wrestler”…

Bottleneck

If this dude clutched his pearls any more tightly, he’d strangle himself:

Sections of Springfield [Massachusetts’] decades-old strip club regulations appear to routinely go unenforced, even as Mayor Domenic Sarno has promised a crackdown on clubs he [fantasizes] as a haven for violence and gang activity.  The city’s strip clubs again came under scrutiny last week when police alleged that Showbar…had hired a 17-year-old dancer…[who] left the club after her mother intervened…the girl had used a false ID when applying for work…according to the city’s strip club regulations, last amended in 1992, clubs are required to register the names, ages and addresses of their dancers with City Hall…while the clubs would comply with that regulation if asked to do so, [club lawyer Daniel] Kelly said, the rules as written could endanger the privacy of workers by having their addresses listed for public review…The regulations also describe detailed restrictions on the attire and conduct of strippers, including bans on the simulation of sex acts, the touching of “breasts, buttocks, or genitals” and having employees “mingle” with customers while unclothed.  And another requirement appears to be unenforced: A prohibition on the use of “back rooms”…

King of the Hill

We’ve seen claims of “Top 13” and “Top 20” cities before, but this is the first pretense that there is an “FBI list” of top 15 states:

The online selling of children and teenagers for sex is skyrocketing in communities throughout…Minnesota.  The FBI says Minnesota is one of the top 15 states in which sex trafficking is a major problem…Washington County Attorney Pete Orput [fantasized]…“I could do them all day for the rest of my life and not put a dent in it”…former U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose [argued for internet censorship while describing a masturbatory fantasy involving “Younger and younger victims, which is not surprising given the role of social media and its role in human trafficking”…

Original Sin (#321) Merchant of Souls fakeumentary

Methinks those behind this train wreck need to consult theologian Benjamin Corey:

…The U.S. State Department…reveals 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year…there are 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today…The University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Estes and Neil Weiner conducted a case study revealing the most common age of entry into prostitution…Exodus Cry…created the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls to educate viewers about the evils of the commercial sex industry…Today’s slave trade shares many parallels with the African slave trade in centuries past…Exodus Cry’s intervention team has hit the streets and strip clubs with gift bags or roses and a message of love and hope…pornography feeds the sex trafficking industry—and many Christians are feeding the slavery beast…

Bread and Circuses

Pigs and prosecutors destroy yet another board sex workers use to stay safe, vomiting out “trafficking” lies in the process:

Investigators have dismantled what they described as the first members-only Internet prostitution ring of its kind in San Diego…San Diego police Capt. Brian Ahearn…called the [internet message board a] “sex ring”…the website operator personally vetted every man and woman seeking to become a member in an effort to “wall off” the site from [pigs]…But…[one] member…[was threatened into ratting] to police about a year ago…The case wrapped up with the arrests of Dale Vinzant…and Christian Koalani…[they were] charged with pimping, pandering, soliciting for prostitution and money laundering…Both have pleaded not guilty…

False Witness

No, this decision doesn’t “correct” shit.  An innocent young man sat in a cage for nine years because cops lied and tortured him into a false confession:

A young Detroit man who wrongfully pleaded guilty to killing four people when he was 14 will soon be released from prison…Judge Brian Sullivan…vacated the 2008 conviction of Davontae Sanford who had been serving a 37- to 90-year sentence…Sanford, who is now 23, [was coerced to] confess…[and] plead guilty to four counts of second degree homicide on the advice of an attorney, who is now suspended from the practice of law…[just] two weeks after Sanford’s sentencing, a professional hit man, Vincent Smothers, confessed to the…homicide…and made clear that Sanford was not involved.  But the case languished for years as the boy grew from a teenager to a man while incarcerated…“The court’s decision today corrects a grave injustice,” said Heidi Naasko, Sanford’s attorney…

As if the lies and coercion weren’t bad enough, everybody involved sat on their hands for eight years after they all knew he was innocent.  This is what we call the “justice system”.

They Still Don’t Get It (#616)

Recycling 140-year-old myths to justify the same old violent pogroms against consensual sex doesn’t remotely qualify as a “sea change”:

…The new approach championed by [Nebraska] Attorney General Doug Peterson focuses on helping survivors, stopping traffickers and shrinking the market by going after customers instead of victims who are coerced into working as prostitutes…”We have to let this industry know that to operate in Nebraska, you’re going to place yourself at great risk”…Survivors frequently suffer from mental health and substance abuse problems, as well as developmental disabilities that impair their judgment…”A 16-year-old girl typically doesn’t get into prostitution by herself. Someone is most likely profiting significantly off of her”…Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks…is working with the attorney general’s office on legislation to increase criminal penalties for human traffickers and customers…Pansing Brooks said most prostitutes have been trafficking victims at some point, and the state is only now starting to treat them differently.  “It’s a huge sea change,” she said.

So now we’re not only mentally ill and delusional, but also mentally retarded.

Traffic Circle (#645)

When even USA Today rags are reporting debunkings of “sex trafficking” myths, you know the panic’s days are numbered:

Have you seen the anti-sex trafficking billboards saying 13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade?…one of the most influential anti-trafficking organizations says the statistic is not supported by the data, The Washington Post Fact Checker recently reported…The statistic…makes little sense, Kessler wrote.  If 13 is the average age for entering the sex trade, then there have to be children under age 11 offsetting those becoming sex workers at age 16 or 17…A 2008 study of sexually exploited kids in New York City found the average entry age [for underage workers] is about 15, but the researchers warned that the data is fuzzy…Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller…[pretended] he wants to be as accurate as possible. Even if the average entry age is 15, Zoeller wrote, it underscores the fact that children and teens are targeted…

Of course, the politicians still try to distort the facts to their advantage, pretending that the average age of entry for underage workers is the average for all of us.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#646)

Leave it to moralistic control freaks to clutch their pearls about something that not only doesn’t exist, but never actually will as they envision it:

…Sharkey points out that porn has changed…male expectations, of real-life sexual partners…Is it possible that young women of the near future will feel pressure not just to look like porn stars but also to perform like robots, ever available and always eager to please?…sexual objectification is…an act that reduces a woman to nothing more than a sexual vessel…The problem is not that sex robots are available:  it’s that they are wanted…of the sale of sex robots is to be allowed at all, it must be highly regulated…people who want to buy sex robots need to present the agreement of a couple of doctors, before they are judged emotionally restricted enough to need to retreat to such an inhuman fantasy.  Or maybe, out of respect for women, this technology should just be rejected.

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Vice cops are…clowns…[whose] idea of entertainment is depriving people of their liberty and livelihoods…then inviting people…to watch the show.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Check Your Premises

They’re literally just making this garbage up now:

Janice Figueroa and Nathaniel Lee Thompson are now facing human trafficking and prostitution charges…[for bringing] this 17 year old girl across state lines…”one of the traffickers is a 19 year old girl…she didn’t just one day wake up and decide she wanted to start selling another woman,” [vomited] Melissa Yao…[prohibitionist in a group called] The Samaritan Women…”We’re the fourth destination country in the world.  Meaning we’re the fourth most popular place for people to travel to to participate in sexual exploitation…there is study after study that has shown there is a direct correlation between pornography and sexual exploitation because you start to view another human being as a commodity instead of an actual person…There is an expectation within your first week of working at a strip club that you will participate in some type of prostitution.  Otherwise you cannot work there,” Yao said…

Above the Law  

Because every woman “consensually” gives head to whatever random cop stops her on the highway:

A [Georgia] Sheriff’s deputy has been fired after a Valentine’s Day incident during a traffic stop…[he] pulled over a woman for a speeding violation…[then] again about 4-5 miles down the road.  The deputy turned off his camera and [orally raped the woman]…The woman reported the incident was not consensual.  The deputy says it was consensual…

It can take literally years for these “investigations” to lead to charges:rapist cop Marty Rainey

A rural Missouri sheriff’s deputy was a predator with a badge, sexually abusing four women and luring an underage girl into prostitution…Marty Rainey…resigned under fire from the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 after a mental health counselor claimed Rainey and a buddy had engaged in some suspect sexual relations with one of the counselor’s clients.  He was finally charged in January 2015…after other women came forward with horror stories of coercion, abuse and rape…a woman…described a long-running nightmare in a civil lawsuit filed last year…[she said] Rainey got her phone number and address in 2012 when she contacted the sheriff’s office…Rainey called the woman 87 times and sent her 1,288 text messages, many of which were sexually explicit…he threatened to arrest her husband on bogus charges if she didn’t sleep with him.  Rainey, wearing his deputy uniform, eventually picked her up and took her to a motel, where…he drugged her, laid his pistol on a nightstand with the barrel facing her and…[raped] her…

Stand-Up Guys 

This is a very uneven article marred by false equivalencies, but its central point is true:

Jeremy Corbyn is about to find out what happens when you take a stance on sex work…The response of those who believe in banning prostitution is ferocious and highly personal.  He will be told he has betrayed women, that he supports pimps, that he doesn’t care about trafficking and human slavery.  Labour’s parliamentary meeting tonight is expected to see Harriet Harman, Caroline Flint, Jess Phillips and others attack Corbyn for [saying]…he wants to decriminalise the sex industry…Corbyn…used to support the Nordic model…His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, is a long-time supporter of sex worker rights, and will be urging him to stand firm…The attack started the moment his words were reported…

Broken Record

This is impossible to parody, because the reality is so ludicrous:

As the City of Austin prepares for the thousands of people expected in town for the South by Southwest Interactive, Film and Music Festivals, police are preparing for a spike in crimes.  “You see a lot of these female escorts doing this not of their own volition.  They’re underaged minors, they’ve been put into a position where they have no choice. These guys will take them and literally go from city to city, post ads in the classified, have a hotel room,” [fantasized]…Steve Deaton, head of the Organized Crime Division…

Monkey Business

Occasionally, chimps throw rocks in displays of strength to establish their position in a community.  But what we discovered…was a repeated activity with no clear link to gaining food or status…We…found many more sites where trees had similar markings and in many places piles of rocks had accumulated inside hollow tree trunks…We found the same mysterious behaviour in small pockets of Guinea Bissau, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire but nothing east of this…The behaviour could be part of a male display…If some trees produce an impressive bang, this could accompany or replace feet drumming in a display…On the other hand, it could be more symbolic than that – and more reminiscent of our own past.  Marking pathways and territories with signposts such as piles of rocks is an important step in human history…maybe we found the first evidence of chimpanzees creating a kind of shrine that could indicate sacred trees…

Watershed

More and more women who identify as feminists now support sex workers:

As the signatories of this manifesto, we – women’s rights, feminist, and sex workers’ rights organisations and collectives – express our support for sex workers’ self-determination and the recognition of sex work as work…we ask all feminists to concentrate their resources on including and amplifying sex workers’ voices in the movement and to stop promoting legal frameworks that have been shown to be detrimental to sex workers’ rights.  We call for a feminist movement that…is inclusive of trans people and sex workers.  Our criminal justice systems are oppressive, and therefore we do not see increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the only solution to violence against women…

Under Every Bed

Most of this is just the typical small-city cop “sex trafficking” puffery and “gang” propaganda, but this bit was pretty jaw-dropping: “…the Spokane Police Department created a unit dedicated to fighting human trafficking…and have decided to pull a detective from the Major Crimes Unit to work specifically on these cases…” Because obviously, investigating murder, rape and armed robbery isn’t as fun or profitable as ruining people’s lives for seeking consensual sex.blue hair

Paint By Numbers

Tired of hard stuff like standing, getting dressed & making paper airplanes?  Just sit still instead!

…human trafficking…is getting some support in southern Wisconsin…woman [sic]…are now trying a new do’, blue [hair] extensions, the color for human trafficking awareness…college roommates Camille Guenther and Rachel Eckmann created Beautiful Blue 2016 and have joined forces with Cuttin’ Up salon for the cause…they say spreading the message, right now, is more important than donations…

Innocence Never Had

Laws are more important than people:

In Bloomington, Indiana, a 14-year-old girl was arrested…on prostitution charges after texting older men and offering sex for a fee…Bloomington detectives began looking into the case after a woman reported seeing texts from the girl, who had claimed to be 17, on her husband’s phone…Under federal and some state laws, teens selling sexual services are defined as “sex trafficking victims” whether they’re working for/with anybody or not…law-enforcement agents are more than willing to refer to 17-year-old as “child victims” and charge anyone in their vicinity with human trafficking.  But while it’s refreshing (if surprising) to see police…acknowledge that teen girls do have agency and avoid the typical sex-trafficking scaremongering…Couldn’t cops have simply talked to the girl’s guardians?  How will she possibly be helped by having a criminal record…

Bread and Circuses

The unsinkable Liz Brown does it again:

A Houston-area prostitution sting with the inexplicable name “Operation Traveling Circus” led to more than 400 arrests in the first two months of 2016…Like most vice stings disguised as victim-centered investigations, this “traveling circus” featured the identification of no actual sex-trafficking victims and zero arrests of human traffickers.  But the January 4 through Feburary 26 operation did yield hundreds of men who sought to pay what they thought was a willing, adult sex worker for company.  To spin this as somehow related to sex trafficking, officials trotted out the much-debunked idea that sporting events are catnip to human-traffickers…Making men afraid to pay for prostitution now is simply an effort to deprive these mythical future sex traffickers of their client base, officials explained…Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman [lied that pigs]…had to arrest [sex workers]…so those selling sex on their own could be prosecuted, while victims would have the charges dropped and gain access to some sort of nebulous social services…more than 200 of the 400 people arrested were “johns” who tried to solicit sex from an undercover officer…It’s unclear if the rest of the arrests were of sex workers or not.  These sorts of stings frequently lead to arrests for things like outstanding warrants, drug possession, or unauthorized gun possession, as well…

Above the Law (#591)

A British social justice campaigner has flown from London to Australia to confront a former police spy who deceived her into having a two-year relationship and is now involved in directing police training courses in Australia.  Helen Steel…tracked down John Dines after spending years piecing together clues to uncover his real identity.  It was the first time Steel had contacted the former undercover officer after he disappeared from her life more than two decades ago claiming to be having a mental breakdown…he was resettled in Australia by British police who feared Steel was on the verge of finding him…

Still a Child (#604) 

Giving fanatics what they want only encourages them to want more:

New Orleans…City Council…could move to set a cap on the number of strip clubs allowed to operate in the city.  In the meantime, the Planning Commission is considering the imposition of a soft moratorium on new…clubs on Bourbon Street, the only zoning district where strip clubs…didn’t need special permission from the City Council in order to open…Robert Watters, owner of Rick’s Cabaret…said that, although he’s always nervous about government attempts to legislate morality, he thinks there are enough clubs in the area already…Jim Kelly…of…Covenant House…[fantasizes that] strip clubs…can act as recruiting grounds for pimps…Kelly successfully lobbied the City Council in January to raise the minimum age for dancers to 21…

It’s disgusting how often sex business owners like Watters and Dennis Hof side with prohibitionists in order to more effectively line their own pockets.

Under Review

The British press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews yet:

Call girls and rentboys openly offer themselves for sex online, while customers leave seedy reviews of the services on offer. ..Seedy websites list the services available from vice girls and even give their hourly rate.  The Paisley Daily Express has seen X-rated pages that are filled with pictures of scantily-clad sex workers, with details of how to arrange a meeting.  Local punters even use the Trip Advisor-style portals on the sites…to give star-rated reviews of the men and women they bed…perverts even discuss the parking amenities…

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Can you tell me why I am imprisoned like this if I’m the one who was wronged?  –  Jasmin, Bangladeshi sex worker

Against Their Will

It’s for their own good!

…when I first arrived at one of the most well-known “rescue and rehabilitation” centres for women and girls in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I was immediately struck by the iron bars on all the doors and windows.  A number of female security guards paced up and down the dark hallways.  The atmosphere in the building was a far cry from what the NGO staff at the main office had described as an “oasis of freedom from violence and degradation”…this organisation [was reputed to be]…committed to women’s economic empowerment [and]…was widely acknowledged by national and international funding agencies…In the weeks and months that followed, my conversations with the young women whom the shelter labelled as “trafficking survivors” revealed that…their “rescue” had…led to another series of experiences of coercion and disempowerment, this time perpetrated…by their “rescuers”…

The Last Shall Be First

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians can’t get their minds out of the toilet, given the contents of their heads:

The South Dakota state legislature…passed a bill that would require public school students to use the bathroom, shower and locker room that correspond to their biological sex.  If Gov. Dennis Daugaard…signs the bill, as expected, South Dakota would become the first state to enact such a law.  The bill has provoked outrage from gay and transgender rights activists, who say it discriminates against transgender children.  They say that it could put schools at risk of lawsuits; in 2014, the Education Department issued guidance finding that Title IX…requires that students be permitted to use facilities that match their gender identity.  But the bill’s proponents [pretend]…that the legislation…respects privacy while also meeting the needs of transgender students by requiring [them to be singled out by using] private facilities, such as a teacher’s or nurse’s bathroom…

Pyrrhic Victory

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

School lunch lines in the UK can be fraught: students receiving free lunches may not want their peers to know, lost payment cards mean some go without, and code-based payments leave children at risk of “shoulder surfing”, where others spot their number and use it to buy their own meal.  Fingerprint scanners are being presented as one solution for doing away with this stress…biometrics company BioStore [says] “Biometrics can’t be lost or forgotten, stolen or used by someone else…this improves a school’s safety”…The Department for Education doesn’t track how many schools use biometric systems, but in 2014, campaigning group Big Brother Watch estimated that more than a million secondary schoolchildren had handed over their fingerprints…Add in other new technologies such as wearables, and civil rights campaigners fear the result is that surveillance is quietly being normalised in children from a young age…

King of the Hill

The only thing more ludicrous than big cities competing to be “sex trafficking hubs” in the US is small cities competing to be the top “hubs” in their states:

The Newport News Department of Human Services…held a community [panicmongering session]…about human sex trafficking…Lt. Michael Hudgins…said Hampton Roads ranks number three for hotspots for sex trafficking in Virginia…

Above the Law (#132)

Three years. That’s how long it took them to bring this to trial:

Two [LAPD pigs] have been charged with repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting several women…The men threatened their victims with arrest…and [raped] at least some of the women in the back seat of the unmarked police car they drove together…Luis Valenzuela…and James C. Nichols…face more than a dozen felony charges, each stemming from allegations they preyed together and alone on four women from late 2008 to 2011…They [vaginally raped some and orally raped others]…Valenzuela also is accused of assaulting one woman with a gun.  The charges carry a possible punishment of life in prison…

Under Every Bed

A “sex tourism destination” about an hour’s drive from Chicago.  And they’re serious.  “Prostitution has long been an issue in the City of Rockford.  Academic studies, news reports, and anecdotal evidence show Rockford is a popular sex tourism destination for men all over the stateline…”  The rest is just typical “end demand” filth and gloating about how much money they’re stealing from men.

Stupor Bowl

Even papers skeptical of the “gypsy whores” myth often accept the larger “sex trafficking” mythology:

…much like the myth of a Super Bowl sex trafficking boom, [the FBI’s] “success” isn’t so convincing once you peek behind the numbers.  The FBI arrested 12 pimps, “made contact” with 129 prostitutes, and busted 85 johns…during the two weeks preceding Super Bowl Sunday…Crime statistics can be malleable — and trafficking statistics especially so…not all the victims were trafficked.  [FBI mouthpiece Bertram] Fairries [said]…some of the 129 prostitutes the agency “contacted” were just independent sex workers conducting business as usual.  But much like the SFPD, which counts every sex worker it encounters as trafficked, the FBI considers all prostitutes “victims.”  According to FBI spokeswoman Michele Ernst, the only sex workers arrested were those who directly helped recruit or pimp other victims.  Strangely, the FBI claims it doesn’t know how many that was…

Bread and Circuses 

“Authorities” don’t care how many sex workers are hurt or killed in furtherance of their show:

Law enforcement in the Seattle area seized thereviewboard.net, a website where local sex workers posted advertisements and clients reviewed their services.  In related police raids, people who ran and moderated the site were among those arrested and charged with promoting prostitution, a felony.  That was just the most recent salvo in what human rights advocates call an “ongoing war against sex” under the guise of fighting sex trafficking.  Last August…officials in New York City shut down the gay escort site Rentboy.com and charged seven of its employees with promoting prostitution and laundering money.  Earlier in 2015, the sheriff of Cook County, Ill., pressured MasterCard and Visa to stop processing financial transactions for backpage.com…And in 2014, federal authorities shut down myRedbook.com…These closures represent a crusade to stamp out advertising outlets for sex workers.  But that’s not how law enforcement portrays it.  They [pretend] to be fighting sex trafficking…Shortly after the Seattle raids, for instance, Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett said that his men, working with the King County Sheriff’s office and the FBI, had broken up a “well-organized ring promoting sex slavery.”  Likewise, the Cook County sheriff called backpage.com a haven for pimps and traffickers.  There’s one big problem with that narrative: There’s little evidence that these web sites abet sex trafficking.  But we do know that shutting them down these makes life more dangerous for sex workers…

Challenge (#524)

Court delays favor the rich and powerful, so this is unsurprising:

A sex worker’s legal challenge to a new law criminalizing clients in Northern Ireland was put on hold after a last-minute intervention by Stormont’s First and deputy First Ministers.  Laura Lee issued unprecedented judicial review proceedings in a bid to quash [the] legislation…But the case was adjourned…after a judge was told Attorney General John Larkin QC has been instructed to oppose her challenge on behalf of Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness…Justice Maguire requested full reasons for an intervention made on the eve of the hearing…[saying] “This application…has not been accompanied with any clear or cogent explanation as to the course of events”…

The Hooker Vote (#530) Hookers for Hillary

Actually, “Hookers for Hillary” doesn’t speak for any sex workers, much less “all”; it’s just a Dennis Hof PR scam:

The organization Hookers for Hillary…organized by Dennis Hof…is back in the news…with a major profile in The Guardian…other sex workers were skeptical of their motives…Anna Saini, an advisory board member of Best Practices Policy Project…said that Hookers for Hillary…“sounds like a mouthpiece for the Ranch owner, Dennis Hof…I’m certain Hillary Clinton has driven more people into the sex industry than any pimp or trafficker.  The policies that Clinton proactively supported—pushing people out of public housing, dismantling welfare, discriminating against formerly incarcerated people—have produced economic circumstances that force people into survival sex”…one of Hookers for Hillary’s key points on their website [is]…“Nevada’s mandatory testing of legal prostitutes for sexually transmitted diseases is a successful example of effective government regulation…responsible government oversight is a key to protecting the public’s health from widespread disease.”  Saini called this aspect of their campaign “particularly appalling,” since it’s “an oppressive policy that is universally opposed by sex worker activists”…

Tyranny By Consensus (#568)

Is Michael Weinstein’s bizarre one-man crusade against porn over at last?

Cal/OSHA did not pass proposed regulations for the adult industry…that [would have required] safety goggles, condoms and dental dams in pornographic movies produced in the state.  The decision…brings to an end a years-long debate over instituting stricter workplace regulations around the potential transmission of sexually transmitted infections in the adult industry…AIDS Healthcare, the primary supporter of the proposed rules…[pretended] the amendments [would not] require goggles…[even though] the text of the rules states that “the employer shall provide … appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, condoms, gloves for cleaning, and, if contact of the eyes with [bodily fluids] is reasonably anticipated, eye protection”…

Challenge (#582)

This good article on the challenge to California’s prostitution laws also contains a short profile of escort and activist Kimberlee Cline:

…Mother.  Traveler.  Activist.  And, in the eyes of the law, a career criminal who’s one encounter away from arrest and exposure…she’s represented by interest, if not name, in a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn California’s anti-prostitution law on constitutional grounds…The courtroom drama…pits sex workers and their advocates against more than a century of morality-minded prohibition laws.  An up-or-down ruling has the potential to reverberate throughout the country…

Bell, Hook and Kettle (#609)

There’s a word for collaboration between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

…Budget cuts forced [the Tucson, Arizona Police Department] to disband the vice unit years ago, but more than $700,000 from a three-year federal grant will provide money and resources to once again [harass and persecute sex workers and clients…pigs] have already made more than 100 arrests since the program started seven weeks ago…Only three people have shown an interest in receiving any sort of support services.  [Only] one…actually accepted them, but…she left after a couple weeks…[mystifying people too stupid to understand the concept of “bills”]…That’s where agencies like Gospel Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army come in…Myrna Garcia…said…“This collaboration is awesome”…

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They want to give rapist policemen more power over sex workers.  –  Waiting Girl

The Red Umbrella 

A [man] who robbed a sex worker at knifepoint in her own home has been jailed for eight years.  Richard Ansell, 25, made an appointment to visit the woman at her house…Soon after arriving, he pulled out a 10″ knife from the inside of his jacket and demanded money…

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

It’s amazing how little their arguments have changed in 54 years.

It Looks Good On Paper

Noah Berlatsky on underage sex workers:

…Most domestic minors in the sex industry are not kidnapping victims.  They’re [teenagers] who have fallen out with their parents (often because they are gay or trans)…and…sell sex to survive.  And the biggest danger they face is not from organized rings of predatory criminals, but from the police.  That’s one of the central insights in Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Beyond Victims and Villains, a new book by…Alexandra Lutnick…[who] told me…that…“young people experience violence more often from law enforcement officials than from any other group.”  In the worst cases, this violence takes the form of physical and sexual assault…The legal system itself is abusive…between 2000 and 2009 arrests of minors for prostitution and related vice charges rose by 8.5 percent.  Lutnick found that even in places where minors have technically been decriminalized, young people are arrested for what is essentially a prostitution offense; police find something else to charge them with, like loitering, disturbing the peace, or even lying about their age…Young people are supposedly arrested for their own good, to remove them from the influence of pimps and from their own dangerous choices.  But…arresting young people means that they are less likely to be able to get jobs and education, which means that they have even fewer options other than selling sex…

Above the Law 

This isn’t the only brutality police chiefs ignore, which makes the “misogyny” explanation pure bullshit:

…recent investigations suggest it’s not uncommon for…[cops] to sexually assault, abuse and harass female civilians…While media exposés in recent months have highlighted the pervasiveness of police sexual misconduct, the problem isn’t new — and few departments appear to be doing anything to address it.  In 2011, the International Association of Chiefs of Police…produced a series of recommendations designed to change a culture that the IACP noted may encourage some officers to sexually abuse, harass and assault those they’re sworn to protect.  But…only three departments of 20 surveyed appear to have taken any of the recommended steps for curbing sexual misconduct…departments put themselves at risk of expensive lawsuits by not having policies in place, putting taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in payouts.  And…a broken system of laws and background checks [allows cops]…accused of sexual misconduct to get jobs in departments where new allegations would later surface, including rape…

The real reason isn’t “male-dominated police culture” or any of this crap; it’s that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and cops rarely if ever face any consequences even for murder, much less rape.

Capricious Lusts (#37)

As we’ve seen before, Bollywood is actually pretty sex work-friendly even if the Indian government isn’t:

When a TV journalist asked a popular Bollywood actress whether she was “lowering the level of the fine art of cinema” because she used to act in porn movies, the interview went viral and many Indians jumped to her defense…Sunny Leone, a Canadian-born former porn actress of Indian origin, has been able to build a whole new reputation — and fan base.  After the interview aired over the weekend on a television news channel…the criticism was immediate and widespread.  Leone…has seamlessly journeyed from her porn-star past to a stint on a TV reality show to a successful career in the Indian film industry.  She has acted in a murder thriller, a horror movie and an upcoming sex comedy.  But…Bhupendra Chaubey…peppered her with aggressive questions about her past as “a porn queen”…Leone answered the questions calmly, insisting that she had no regrets and that she did not find anything “vulgar” or “wrong” with her former line of work…she said: “I don’t have any horror stories – I wasn’t abused, I wasn’t beaten, I wasn’t molested”…

Vendetta

Swanee Hunt’s latest campaign to ruin the lives of whores and clients alike is one of her most twisted yet; it tricks young people into aiding the police state by lying to them about imaginary “victims” and “exploiters”:

With the sex-for-hire trade increasingly shifting to the Internet, a Cambridge advocacy group brought together dozens of high-tech volunteers for a series of weekend workshops aimed at giving law enforcement new tools to combat human trafficking.  Tasked with developing software programs and apps for everything from monitoring John chat rooms, compiling Top 100 lists of prostitution customers and promoters and enabling police to record real-time arrest information on their cellphones…as part of an initiative run by…Demand Abolition…

But the prohibitionists no longer control the whole narrative; the media are increasingly listening to sex workers:

Sex workers around the world are expressing outrage about a tech event…called #hacktrafficking4good after its namesake hashtag…it included participants from MIT who came together to develop…surveillance tools that could help [cops]…“identify” and “disrupt” the online market…But sex workers and activists…bashed the project on Twitter, called it patronizing and said the effort made sex workers more vulnerable to abuse…Some, including Boston’s Sex Workers Outreach Project, also accused police of being more dangerous to sex workers than clients.  Data from the National Blacklist site, where sex workers post warnings about clients to avoid, backs up that claim.  It shows that Boston police are one of the local sex workers community’s greatest concerns.  Several local listings warn against [pigs]…asking for unprotected sex and trying to entrap sex workers…hack trafficking protest

Case Study

Dysphemisms and gawking abound in UK articles about sex work:

This mousy-looking Fife housewife helped run a sex-for-sale empire that straddled Scotland.  Ana Calder, 36, built a thriving vice business with her boyfriend, recruiting women from Brazil to sell their bodies in a dozen brothels in eight towns and cities across the country. They took a cut of the women’s earnings and raked in more than £150,000 before they were caught…The couple searched the internet for [Brazilian sex workers]…and encouraged them to come and work in Scotland…Undercover police…saw…condoms and…checked that the women were safe…

Mind Over Matter

Ruchira Gupta wants women like me banned by law from ever having sex:

Ruchira Gupta…[of “rescue” profiteer group Apne Aap repeated a long-debunked prohibitionist lie about Germany]…”a woman who had applied for a job…was [given] a job in a brothel…she…was taken off the social security benefit because she had refused the job that she was given!”…Gupta [bloviated that]…There is a difference between “welcome sex” and “consensual sex”.  I used this term because consent can be obtained under many different circumstances, like marriage, employment and power relations.  But in “welcome sex”, the woman wants the sex which then becomes all about participation and collaboration rather than domination…it becomes about mutual pleasure rather than one person’s pleasure…

Out of Control (#410) 

If he had simply paid to enact this fantasy, he’d still have a career:

A prominent doctor at Mt. Sinai Hospital is accused of heavily sedating a 22-year-old patient with morphine and then ejaculating on her face while she was semi-conscious.  Dr. David H. Newman, who has reportedly given lectures on the importance of improving the patient-doctor bond, has not been arrested or charged…

Prudesville

How much longer can this absurd melodrama continue?

An Olympia man may get a $45,000 check from the city of Everett to settle a case about public records requests for surveillance videos showing bikini baristas engaging in illegal activity…West filed a lawsuit after police denied his request for the…videos in 2014.  As part of the settlement, West offered not to publish any of the videos unless they contain images of public officials engaged in misconduct.  The videos were part of a 2013 investigation into public corruption and prostitution at bikini espresso stands in Everett and other areas of Snohomish and King counties…

Bread and Circuses (#533) 

Translation: “Landlady railroaded for allowing whores to work on her property“:

The madam of a brothel that operated in Houston’s East End for years was sentenced to life in federal prison…for her role as the leader of an international sex-trafficking ring that forced women and girls into prostitution.  Hortencia “Tencha” Medeles, 70, was convicted during a trial last year…Houston is a major hub for sex trafficking due to its size, proximity to the border and large immigrant population.  The ring was built on the backs of women and teenagers who were smuggled into the United States from Mexico and Central American by smooth talking pimps who promised them love and marriage.  When they got to Houston, however, they were beaten, raped and threatened that they as well as their families back home would be killed if they did not perform or tried to escape…

Given her age, it’s likely she’ll die in prison before her conviction is reversed after the end of the moral panic.

Welcome to the Future (#543)

All prohibitionists are liars, but Irish ones may be the most egregious:

…“Women are just like pawns in the whole structure of it,” said Linda Latham of The Women’s Health Project…rape, violence and forced criminality is a common experience…Not all sex workers are duped or coerced into the lifestyle – however evidence suggests the majority are.  Statistics indicate 98%…Denise Charlton…with The Immigrant Council of Ireland stated:  “Almost without exception the women…have been trafficked…We call for much-needed action to stop the pimps and traffickers”…

The most fascinating lie here: 98% is actually the fraction of sex workers who are not coerced.

Above the Law (#591)

An undercover [cop]…proposed to an activist and lived with her for 18 months…The previously unknown case will place fresh pressure on [Scotland Yard], which last year was forced to apologise to seven women who had similar relationships.  The woman…told BBC Newsnight she was a victim of “psychological torture”…[She] was friends with a group of left-wing political activists…who are thought to have been the target for long-term infiltration…the relationship…lasted from 2002 to 2004…

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In…the trafficking framework…sex work becomes a kind of statutory crime, with women as legal children…and questions of consent rendered irrelevant.  –  Lisa Duggan

Coming and Going

Boo fucking hoo:

When Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk was a judge, the cases that upset her the most involved…prostitution.  Hawk said that feeling has carried over into her work as district attorney and her office focuses on “prosecuting…[people and doing anything to] make sure they go to prison”…Last year in Dallas, 62 underage sex trafficking victims were rescued from their pimps, [lied] Deputy Police Chief Vernon Hale.  Dallas County also has several diversion programs to [brainwash sex workers]…One program, dubbed STAR Court, [forces] women [wrongfully persecuted for consensual sex to] go through counseling and drug or alcohol rehabilitation [whether they need it or not].  The goal is to give women an alternative to a criminal lifestyle…The [rescue industry corporation] Mosaic recently released an app…called Operation Compass [which makes it]…convenient…to [rat people out to the pigs]…

In other words, if you have sadfeelz about someone else’s way of making a living you should inform on them so they can be locked up and subjected to psychological torture to “correct” their “criminality”.

Droit du Seigneur 

Peacekeepers“.

The United Nations has been grappling with so many sexual abuse allegations involving its peacekeepers that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called them “a cancer in our system”…Investigators discovered this month that at least four U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic allegedly paid girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex…employees have been accused of 22 other incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual exploitation in the past 14 months.  The most recent accusations come in the wake of Ban’s efforts to implement a “zero tolerance” policy for such offenses.  The United Nations maintains nine peacekeeping operations in Africa, employing more than 100,000 people on the continent, and the abuses threaten to erode the organization’s legitimacy.  Other sex-crime cases have occurred in Mali, South Sudan, Liberia and Congo in recent years…

Counterfeit Comfort

That’ll teach them dirty “sex offenders”!

The government may start stamping “sex offender” on the passports of citizens who were convicted of a sex offense against a minor.  Yes, that would include high school seniors who slept with their freshman girlfriends.  The rationale behind the International Megan’s Law is that these people could be traveling for sex-trafficking purposes…There are almost 850,000 Americans on the Sex Offender Registry, up from 750,000 just a few years ago.  About a quarter of them got on the list when they were juveniles themselves, because young people have sex with other young people…The branding…will affect even Americans whose offenses aren’t crimes in the countries they’re trying to visit:  For instance, I have a friend who had sex, once, with a 14-year-old when he was 19.  If he had done this in Austria, Germany, Portugal or Italy, it wouldn’t have been a criminal act at all. The age of consent there is 14.  But here in America he went to prison — for nine years.  He spent his 20s in a cell for one act of consensual sex between two teens, and now that he’s out, he remains on the Sex Offender Registry for life…if my friend’s passport is stamped with “Sex Offender,” any country he approaches will assume he’s a monster trying to get in.  Oddly enough, that country won’t be alerted if a visitor has served time for, say, mugging old ladies

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

If someone stole $100 from a convenience store, would the Times-Picayune refer to the crime as a “quibble”?

A Birmingham, Ala., woman called police after…a man who paid her $100 for a sexual rendezvous…stole back the cash…But Kenner [Louisiana] police wound up busting both for the illegal hookup…Montez Robinson…told [cops] he reached out to Rachel Burma…through her profile…on Backpage…

Forward and Backward

A pilot scheme in Leeds to allow sex workers to ply their trade on the streets without fear of arrest will continue indefinitely after the council announced it had improved the safety of prostitutes and made it easier for them to report crimes.  The scheme…allows prostitutes to work in a “managed area” between 7pm and 7am…The council says the scheme has improved community relations, the safety of sex workers and allowed prostitutes to report incidents of harassment without facing recrimination.  Police in the area will no longer issue cautions or make arrests for soliciting during the working hours specified…A female police officer has also been specially appointed to handle cases involving sex workers and to ensure their safety…

The Pygmalion Fallacy Gloria & robot

Unless they can bruise, heal, cry and exude a certain rare and as-yet-undiscovered pheromone, I’m not remotely interested:

…It wouldn’t take tech as advanced as Gigolo Joe [from the movie A.I.] to pique women’s interest in sexbots.  For one thing, women already use sex toys…women don’t really care whether the toy they’re using to orgasm even faintly resembles the anatomy of a human man…While toys for men, whether Fleshlights or RealDolls, conjure the appearance of an actual woman, women’s toys don’t…Women’s porn viewing habits…tend to be more varied than those of men…there’s a strong argument to be made that…women…are polymorphously perverse, being sexually aroused by far more configurations of bodies than men…a sexbot for women could be vaguely torso-shaped, equipped with vibrating pads and oscillating nubs, and furnished with outlets that would allow for multiple snap-on tools…Maybe make it’s voice-activated so that you could rotate between modes without the tiresome pressing of a button…No fuss.  No muss…And no uncanny valley…this bot could also sidestep the major controversy of sexbots: that of emotional connection…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Note that the main reason for the strippers’ plight is Washington’s idiotic prudishness:

…The owners of a collection of Washington strip clubs have sued state labor regulators, claiming they’ve been wrongly ordered to pay workers’ compensation to dancers hurt on the job…they claim regulators are trying to “financially break” their businesses.  At issue, in part, is the strippers’ status as club employees.  The women rent space from the clubs, which regard them as independent contractors.  The state Department of Labor & Industries has taken a different view, contending that, at times, dancers are entitled to workers’ comp if they’re injured at the clubs…The economics of Washington state strip clubs are particularly brutal, largely because the alcohol-free clubs draw their income almost exclusively from high-priced soft drinks and the fees paid by dancers.  Strippers pay a large portion of their earnings back to the clubs in a system previously decried by a U.S. attorney for Washington as abusive.  In Seattle, strip clubs have historically been subjected to extreme scrutiny from law enforcement and regulators

Now They Notice

The case against Rentboy isn’t actually any weaker than any other website takedown case; they’re all this weak:

…law-enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors considered this a big, bold police action against a criminal organization.  They threw around phrases like “Internet brothel,” “international online prostitution ring,” and “global criminal enterprise”…This was the beginning of an important and high-profile win for the government in the fight against illegal commercial sex, or so [they]…must have thought.  But things started going badly for the government right away…the raid was vigorously condemned by sexual-freedom and sex-worker advocates…LGBT groups…human-rights and free-speech organizations…and even many media outlets, including The New York Times.  The ACLU and Lambda Legal later initiated a meeting with prosecutors to defend Rentboy’s positive role in the community, which included funding scholarships and other educational projects…After such widespread backlash, the prosecution stalled, so far requesting four delays in the 30-day deadline for indictment.  Though such extended delays are not unusual, as investigators search for further evidence and try to locate cooperating witnesses, no new charges have surfaced in this case…

Bread and Circuses (#573) 

Federal “authorities”, unsatisfied with merely hounding a hardworking woman’s husband to death, humiliate her and lock her in a cage for six months:

A woman who came from a poor family in Thailand became a prostitute in Hawaii through working in the massage industry…Judge Susan Oki Mollway [pretended] she took those circumstances — along with her husband’s suicide — into account when sentencing her to six months in federal prison.  In a deal with prosecutors, [Khemwika] Ernst pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and filing false tax returns…

She only made about $75,000 per year, but prosecutors pretended that’s some huge amount of money so as to paint her as a master criminal.

Still a Child (#574) 

Women are such fragile little flowers that, although men can choose to risk death at 18, it takes us three extra years to mature to the point where we can choose to take off our clothes:  “The New Orleans city council voted unanimously…to ban strip club employees younger than 21 from dancing nude…the new rules do not apply to employees under 21 who are already working as dancers…

Above the Law (#587) 

Why I didn’t report being raped by cops:

For five years, Lindsay F. relived the night she was brutally raped by Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, then a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, over and over again.  She had to recall every detail…whenever investigators asked her to retell her story.  If Lindsay missed a detail or confused the timeline, even after years had passed, they accused her of lying…in her fight for the county to admit liability, Lindsay underwent a humiliating and interminably long process, one that experts in law enforcement misconduct litigation said is commonplace.  Even after Sanchez went to prison — not just for raping Lindsay, but for attempting to coerce another woman into sex under similar circumstances just two days later — the county’s lawyers…spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Lindsay as if she had falsely accused Sanchez…They asked Lindsay about her sexual history:  Had she ever had HPV?  They deposed her friends:  What had Lindsay been wearing the night Sanchez pulled her over?  They even went as far as to hire a gynecology medical expert witness to testify that Lindsay’s vagina had not shown significant signs of trauma

The Widening Gyre (#597)

Another sign of peak panic: mere “sex trafficking” isn’t shocking enough any more, so fetishists are now claiming that “traffickers” are members of some other pariah-group besides being “pimps”:

…Katherine Svoi Symthe said…“All human traffickers are pedophiles, but not all pedophiles are traffickers”…Symthe’s [novel] Unbreakable, The Story of an Unrelenting Spirit, describes in shocking detail her [fantasized] story from the time she was smuggled into the U.S. as an infant to her rescue at age 17…Symthe said many pedophiles also get gratification by torturing their victims…

Too Close To Home

Feminist Whore debunks the King County sheriff’s press conference:

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[As a sex worker] you either have so much agency that you can never be raped or you’re raped, in the abstract, every night.  –  Melissa Petro

Well, At Least They’re Consistent

Any charge, no matter how ridiculous and outmoded, will be pressed into service in the War on Whores:

Two [Wisconsn]…women face criminal charges as part of what Oshkosh police call an online prostitution ring.  Bailey M. Feustel, 20…and…Michelle J. Wescher, 23, [are] charged with prostitution by engaging in non-marital sexual intercourse, which carries a maximum sentence of nine months in prison…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

In January…Joshua Grubbs of Case Western, published…powerful research showing that seeing oneself as a porn addict was predicted not by how much porn one views, but by the degree of religiosity and moral attitudes towards sex….believing oneself is addicted to porn actually causes pain and psychological problems, in contrast to the idea that identifying as a porn addict is a part of a road to recovery…seeing oneself as a porn addict was strongly correlated with depression, anxiety, anger and stress…

The Pygmalion Fallacygynoids

Some people just can’t stand the idea of others having sex on their own terms:

According to a new paper, having intercourse with sex robots — a technology that’s not quite there yet, but easy to imagine in the decades to come — is unethical.  “I started thinking, ‘Oh, no, something needs to be said about this,’” Kathleen Richardson…said of her early research into sex robots that recreated what she called the “prostitute-john” relationship. “This is not right…extending relations of prostitution into machines is neither ethical, nor is it safe…the development of sex robots will further reinforce relations of power that do not recognise both parties as human subjects”…Richardson — with Erik Billing of the University of Skövde in Sweden, the co-creator of the Campaign Against Sex Robots — [pretends] that she is not anti-sex…

First They Came for the Hookers…

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

A high school teacher in Ohio resigned…after her second life as an Internet porn star was exposed…Kristin Sundman worked as an assistant band teacher at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent.  But in her free time, the 31-year-old was better known online as “melodyXXXtune”…

Worse Than I Thought

I just love Elizabeth N. Brown:

Indiana’s attorney general…Greg Zoeller [pretends] that the demand for adult sex workers “fuels” child sexual exploitation somehow.  Nevermind the fact that most people seeking consensual sex with adults wouldn’t dream of raping children; they’re all deviants in Zoeller’s mind…”We need something that sends [a] message”…said Zoeller, who is proposing the creation of a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement for those who attempt to pay for sex in any way…the tougher penalties…may also include…[stealing the accused’s] cars…Expect to see more of this nonsense around the country, soon—the folks at the National Association of Attorneys General have been salivating at the chance to throw more people in our already-overcrowded jails…Florida last year became the first to stipulate a mandatory minimum sentencing requirement for solicitation.  Anyone convicted of a second solicitation offense must be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail and attend classes where they will receive counseling for sex addiction and be reeducated to see the evils of consensual commercial sex.

So Close and Yet So Far

Why must so many otherwise-decent pro-decriminalization essays contain asinine, insulting, female-agency-denying passages like this one?  “Beyond a doubt most women who enter into sex work are driven into it, either by desperation, coercion, or both…”  No, you asshole, that assertion is not “beyond a doubt”, as you’d know if you spent more time talking to sex workers than about us.

Checklist (#345)dumb trafficking app

I can’t help laughing at how seriously people take this drivel:

…The Lifeboat Project in Central Florida designed the ACT (Awareness Combats Trafficking) app.  It’s designed as a fun game directed mainly to 11 to 14 year olds.  But within the very interactive game lies a very serious message.  One part of the app asks the user to go through and identify potentially dangerous people in a mall…“For me as a survivor I was triggered so I had to leave the room while they were presenting it, because the examples were so real life,” said [“rescue” shill Katarina] Rosenblatt…State leaders like the app so much, they want to make it part of the curriculum in Florida schools…“I think it’s an excellent idea that very [sic] child should automatically have built into their phone,” said Rosenblatt…

Devil’s Advocate

It’s rare to see “authorities” admit that no actual crime was committed right in the official accusation: “A [California man] is scheduled to be arraigned today for using social media in pandering and attempted human trafficking and pimping of a fictitious minor girl…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#420) 

Politicians can’t keep their hands off of golden geese:

…Jack Williams of Alabama, where it is technically illegal to sell sex toys except under special circumstances, is trying to do with a bill that would levy a whopping 40 percent tax on “sexually-oriented materials” restricted for sale to adults in the state…Williams [pretends] the legislation…could bring in as much as $20 million…

Bread and Circuses 

“Authorities” literally destroy a man’s life because his wife sent him money she earned via consensual business transactions:

A woman in Hawaii is pleading guilty to sending her husband in New Jersey more than half a million dollars she earned working as a prostitute.  Khemwika Ernst pleaded guilty…to…conspiracy…and filing false tax returns…Ernst and her husband were indicted in March…Michael Ernst shot and killed himself a month later…

False Witness

Whether it’s a witness who wants to be helpful or one who has something to hide, the bottom line is that eyewitness statements are inherently unreliable and erratic.  Sometimes it depends on conditions …Other times, it comes…from police pressure.  We know that witnesses get it wrong, and that it convicts the innocent.  But once they are locked into a statement it’s even more difficult to get them admit any error.  In fact, they become more adamant about what they saw, heard, or said when none of it may be remotely true…while there are studies and experts on these innate problems, many courts won’t allow that testimony…because they have have determined that juries “should know” that eyewitnesses can be untrustworthy…Eyewitness testimony is outrageously inaccurate and biased, even under very controlled circumstances…

The Course of a Disease (#510)

Ireland is set to publish a bill…which will criminalise the purchase of sex, despite the recent vote by Amnesty International that sex work and prostitution should be decriminalised…The new legislation…has been described as a “huge step backwards” and likened to Ireland’s controversial blasphemy laws, which were enacted in 2009…

Rough Trade (#572) 

Melissa Petro on what some vile women refer to as “theft of services”:

…the man paid me what I was owed— $2,500—in bank checks.  I’d never even seen a bank check before.  I was so tired that I didn’t argue…Needless to say, the checks bounced…I felt humiliated that night, that morning—so I kept what had happened to myself…It took me four hours after reading Mitchell’s article to connect the disgust I felt to the fact that I’d experienced what she called “theft of services”…suddenly thinking of some random stranger who had ripped me off nearly a decade ago—someone I felt less strongly towards than I felt towards some random writer named Mary Mitchell, because I have always expected more from women than I have men…

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