Posts Tagged ‘brothels’

The criminalization of sex work exposes not only sex workers but all women to more violence.  –  Alison Bass

The Proper Study

Yet another study confirms what we’ve been saying all along:

a recent study in…Las Vegas uncovers what anti-trafficking organizations might not like to hear.  The majority of youth selling sex on the streets have no pimps, or even third party managers, countering one of the key narratives of the sex trafficking movement that all youth involved are victims doing this work against their will…three fourths of the youth interviewed about the sex trade said they were not working with any pimp or other kind of third party manager…24 percent of the study’s participants reported use of a third party to find clients at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent…reported use of one at the time of the study…youth sex workers who do use pimps do so inconsistently and intermittently…[they] are finding their clients independently and negotiating their own prices…

It Looks Good On Paper (#340)

Remember that religious brainwashing program which “partnered with the Sarasota…Police Department…to bring victims into their care?

The conversations happening by phone are ones that the Sarasota Police Street Crime Unit hope will turn into a positive outcome.  “I want you to know you are not in any trouble,” [oinked a pig]…”We are just trying to reach out and let you know there are options”…Sergeant Robert Armstrong and his unit are [harassing and intimidating] women who have active ads online for escort services.  Many are involved in prostitution…The team is focused on connecting women with Selah Freedom…

“Many are involved in prostitution”?  Are these people actually pretending not to know what an escort is?  Look beneath the pious exterior; we don’t actually know what stated or implied threats these cops are using to try to intimidate women into this “program”, which is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it.  If the tactic seems familiar, it’s because it’s much like Canada’s “Operation Northern Spotlight” except that the cops are (for now) merely terrorizing sex workers by phone instead of showing up at their doors.wesley-blackburn

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

A Pennsylvania pastor faces charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship…Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce…church leaders immediately fired Blackburn…and alerted police last week.  He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault…

Rough Trade (#446) 

A setback for women’s rights in India:

The Supreme Court…ruled that a sex worker cannot file a case alleging rape if her customers refused to pay her…The judgment…acquitted three people of rape charges in a case that is close to 20 years old…the Karnataka High Court had convicted them of raping the victim, who used to work as a maid; the victim’s roommate had revealed that she works as a sex-worker at night…the Supreme Court…[claimed] that the woman’s “conduct during the alleged ordeal is unlike a victim of rape and betrays somewhat submissive and consensual disposition”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#502)

In which po-faced twits with tape over their mouths walk down a street holding pre-printed propaganda cards:

A long, single-file line of people donned [sic] in black, some with their mouths taped shut, silently made its way down Stephen Avenue [in Calgary] to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…The [po-faced] group remained speechless, but handed out [propaganda] pamphlets to bystanders…former Manitoba MP Joy Smith [spoke] at the event…part of a global initiative by A21…

The tape is supposed to signify that sex workers are “voiceless”, a convenient lie for those who wish to talk over us.  A21, the NGO which sponsored this charade, is infamous as the source of the high-water mark of the “clients per day” competition of a few years ago: 110.

Eternal Vigilance (#610)

Just a reminder that prohibitionism still exists in decriminalized regimes:

New Zealand celebrities will be donning aprons to serve dinner with a difference at Destiny Rescue’s Dark Secret Pop up Dinner on International Anti-Slavery Day, Tuesday 18 October…Another special menu, thankfully not available in New Zealand, will shine the spotlight on the dark secret of the near two million children trapped in sexual slavery in countries like Thailand, India and the Philippines…

The table-waiting gimmick is appropriate given that Destiny’s idea of “rescue” is to teach brown urchins to sew, wait table and draw with crayons.

Wise Investment (#673)

Picket-fence gay men are such wonderful, dependable sex worker allies:

In his recent attempt to revise the history of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End, Kevin Dale McKeown…erases the West Sex Workers Memorial Committee and our eight-year campaign to secure financial reparations and a formal civic apology from the City of Vancouver.  He instead claims that his recollections are more truthful and authentic than the voices of sex workers…In McKeown’s distorted revision…expelled sex workers become the villains.  However, our archival research found close to 1,000 news articles revealing that power elites in the early 1980s — including Mayor Mike Harcourt, MP Pat Carney, Attorney General Brian Smith, Concerned Residents of the West End (CROWE) and Shame the Johns — forged a “war on hookers” with lethal consequences…Residents like McKeown moved into the West End when it was a thriving [24-hour] entertainment zone…McKeown…frantically disavows his own and other white gay men’s complicity in hooker-bashing tactics…McKeown makes a failed attempt to hide his investment in a “quiet” and “peaceful” gaybourhood cleansed of “noisy” hookers…

Too Close To Home (#677)

These are the people who claim they want to “protect” women, and portray the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:

…after settling a sexual-harassment lawsuit for $1 million in 2013, the King County Sheriff’s Office…is again embroiled in a legal fight over its treatment of female officers.  This time, two…deputies and one sergeant are accusing the county of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual-orientation based harassment, and retaliation…a former head of internal affairs [is] seeking whistleblower protections before he talks.  Central to many of these claims is King County Sheriff John Urquhart…[whose] tenure so far…has been ignominious, involving the two sexual-harassment lawsuits, a cop convicted of pimping his wife and selling his colleagues steroids, a bogus “sex trafficking bust,” a chief-of-staff with polygraph problems, and more…this latest lawsuit…specifically calls out the actions of Sheriff Urquhart, Major Sean Ledford, and Sergeant Dewey Burns…defensive tactics instructor Melissa Deer…claims [Burns] grabbed her crotch during a training exercise…text messages showed the sergeant making racist, anti-gay, and sexually explicit comments to other staffers, including…Deputy Amy Shoblom…who…is one of three plaintiffs in the current suit, along with Diana Neff…and Julie Blessum…[Burns’] antics included texting her half-naked photos of women he was sleeping with, asking during a roll call if she had “hooked up” with a male deputy, and drawing a penis on the hood of her car with hand sanitizer…

There’s a lot more, and it’s by the awesome Liz Brown so you should read it all.

Send In the Clowns dublin-clown

The most disturbing thing about the clown hysteria is the way in which it has so quickly given rise to organized violence and naked authoritarianism.  A “Clown Lives Matter” protest against the panic, to be held in Tucson, was cancelled due to amateur threats of violence, and the professional violence-inflicters are responding by criminally charging people and destroying young childrens’ lives.  The hysteria has also spread to Ireland, and while police in Dublin have responded calmly, those in Belfast have responded with US-style threats of violence and lifelong imprisonment.  Dutch police are moronically calling for a prankster there to turn himself in, and the ever-lunatic British tabloid press have found a way to merge the clown panic into “sex predator” panic:

The basic premise of [this] story is that some men get off on women dressed as creepy clowns, they’re causing a spike in clown-porn searches and clown-fetish requests at escort services, and soon their “sick fetish” may lead them to commit real-world sexual assaults “as the adrenaline junkies seek more ‘extreme thrills'”…what the story lacks in logic it makes up for in references to “sex-mad sickos” and quotes from an anonymous escort-agency head…[it] also quotes a woman who counsels rape victims and worries that the “clown craze” provides cover to predators…Popular millennial women’s website Elite Daily published a clown-sex-panic story…warning readers that “the sexual deviants partaking in the madness are allegedly dressing up as clowns and experimenting with BDSM” and “those who are involved in the aggressive clown porn are potentially dangerous.”

Power Play

Your periodic reminder that Dennis Hof is a revolting excuse for a human being:

Dennis Hof…said that while he supports law enforcement aggressively enforcing laws against underage sex trafficking, he believes that law enforcement in the United States would have an easier time doing its job if adult prostitution were [legalized]…using the [Nevada]…model…Hof said [independent sex workers spread]…sexually transmitted diseases…”My brothel business model [magically] puts the…pimps [who aren’t politically connected] out of business, [magically] stops underage girls from working illegally [?] and [magically] ends sex trafficking [even though 99% of Nevada sex workers prefer to work illegally than to submit to the onerous brothel regime]”…

In the first version of the press release, Hof actually cheered the arrests of the owners & CEO of Backpage; I guess he later realized that was vile even by his standards.

Challenge (#681)

The ACLU has finally done something to act on its theoretical support for decriminalization by filing an amicus brief in the ESPLERP case:

The ACLU brief supports the lawsuit’s contention that California’s penal code violates fundamental constitutional rights to sexual privacy and is enforced in a discriminatory manner…Lawrence v. Texas…recognized that “liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex”…The ACLU brief also argues that the California penal code is unconstitutional because the way it is enforced is discriminatory.  Certain groups, such as transgender women, LGBT youth, and female sex workers are targeted and arrested for prostitution in disproportionately higher numbers than other people…

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Sex workers are getting paid for what we do – you ain’t.  –  Miranda Kane


The older I get, the more deeply weird (and frankly, kind of disgusting) the idea of giving strangers sex for free seems to me.  So I’m fascinated by the looking-glass prohibitionist notion that being paid for sex is somehow degrading, especially when I read stuff like this about what amateur dating (which I’ve never really engaged in per se) is like:

…It is not, in fact, sex-work that puts me off men.  It’s dating them.  When I was a sex worker, when a client came to see me, he knew I was a luxury item.  My Dos and Do Nots were clear from the start, and if he asked me to do something I didn’t want to, I said no and that’s as far as it went…sex workers see the best part of men – they’re polite, friendly…On a date I’m just one click away from rejection…The sex workers of Twitter created the hashtag of #banfreebies, an ironic take on what people expect of us as obviously being so “oppressed and exploited”.  Remember that, won’t you, the next time he rolls over and starts snoring and you have to bring out the Rampant Rabbit…

And since I’m bisexual, I feel it needs to be noted that women aren’t really much better.

Check Your Premises

It’s pretty bad when they can’t even maintain their own paradigm for more than a sentence:

Nine people were arrested in Suisun City [California] in a human trafficking operation…Detectives posed online as would-be ‘johns’ to contact prostitutes [that they pretended to believe to be] underage…Once the…sex workers arrived, they were [arrested] and [cops tried to pressure them into claiming to be]…victims of sex trafficking…Seven women…between the ages of 18 and 28 were arrested…

Uncommon Sense natalie-hot

Is there any other kind of work that is so consistently treated as a subject for abstract “debate” by outsiders?

German porn star Natalie Hot will appear in court…to defend her right to work as a “webcam girl”…from her detached house in Ampfing, Bavaria.  The town is home to 6,000 residents, several of whom have lodged legal complaints over their neighbour’s chosen profession.  Hot is challenging a decision by local authorities that prevented her from undressing on camera, threatening a penalty of €2,000 if she doesn’t adhere to the ban.  Their reasoning is that her house is in a specific land-use area, which does not allow for commercial use…A judge will now rule whether the room Hot uses for her work could be considered a “home office”, a label which would allow her to continue her work…

Finding What Isn’t There

You know how freshwater crabs wave their claws around and foam at the mouth when one throws them in salt water to purge them?  Picture that:

There are no statistics to back up her claims, but the country’s Chief Immigration Officer Annette Mark believes the sex trafficking problem in Antigua & Barbuda is more prevalent than perceived…Mark [fantasizes that] nightclubs and strip clubs…are to be blamed for the [nonexistent epidemic]…She said…“what is unfortunate is that the women who come seem to be willing participants, so it’s difficult to [force them to pretend] that they are victims of trafficking”.  According to Mark, while women [use sex work]…as a means of income, it is part of a slave trade…

Pyrrhic Victory

Not a police state, no sirree:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious plan to [equip]…10 bridges and tunnels leading into the city…with facial recognition and license plate reading technology, giving police a comprehensive record of every car making the crossing…

I Saw My Brain

More terrifying insanity from the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

If you happen to be heading over to Polk County Florida, be sure to check to see if you have anything on or about your person that may have someone’s business name on it…That’s what Tim Troller found out when an ever vigilant deputy saw a Sunshine State Dairy Farms milk crate strapped to his BMX bike.  Polk County takes broken windows policing to the extreme, a milk crate strapped to your bike is a major indicator that you are a career criminal, or as the Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokes-prevaricator Debbie Horstman put it, undoubtedly with a straight face… “Deputies are…looking for people who are doing even the smallest crime, because, what we’ve learned is, those who will go out and steal a milk crate, for example, are the same people who are probably breaking into cars, breaking into your house”…

Frequently Told Lies

Caty Simon on the “sex work leads to drug use” myth:

You’ve heard the story:  A troubled woman prostitutes herself.  To numb the pain of belonging to this sordid underground world, she begins to use drugs…and her life continues to spiral out of control…“Multiple studies repeatedly and consistently … refute this narrative,” [says] Melbourne-based sex worker Fae Adams…In a study conducted in Sydney in the 1990s, for example, a sample group of 120 sex workers were found to be lighter drinkers than a sample group of women health care workers.  They were only 15 percent less likely to abstain from illegal drugs than the control groups of students and health workers.  And a 2002 British study correlated “problematic” drug use among sex workers with teenage drug use pre-dating entry into the industry, as well as homelessness and convictions…Yet the trope about using drugs to make sex work tolerable persists—and many drug-using sex workers find it infuriating because of how it reduces and flattens their lives and strips them of their choices…

Feminine Pragmatism (#553) 

Stupid assumptions about sex work often result in incredibly stupid concepts like the idea that working independently is somehow noteworthy, or that making a law against one aspect of the work is the same as criminalization:

Italy has yet to exit from…the worst [recession] in its postwar history — and the protracted crisis has seen the number of Italian sex workers surge more than 26 percent from 2007 to 2015…The extended downturn also has fueled a proliferation of “good” women generating badly needed income by engaging in prostitution on the side as “house practitioners”…35 percent of the 20,000 prostitutes in Italy, or some 7,000 women, are house practitioners…Michel Venturelli, a criminologist who has researched the issue…[says] “It’s do-it-yourself domestic sex work”…The Italian parliament banned prostitution in 1958, shuttering brothels.  Since then it’s been chaotic in the sex-for-sale industry…

No, the parliament didn’t “ban prostitution”, as the article itself mentions later; it banned brothels, but even while those were legal many if not most sex workers worked outside of them.  The only “chaos” is in the minds of cops, prohibitionists and reporters who listen to them.

Traffic Jam (#619)

Remember what happened the last time Minnesota “authorities” claimed they had busted a “sex trafficking gang”?

About a dozen people were arrested in cities across the U.S…for running what authorities [pretend is] a sophisticated sex trafficking operation in which hundreds of women were brought from Thailand to America under fraudulent visas and forced to work as prostitutes to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in bondage debts.  The women – including one who was forced to have sex with strangers for 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week- were not allowed to move about freely and were “effectively modern day sex slaves”…The arrests, along with the recent arrest of the organization’s boss in Belgium, will effectively dismantle the operation, said Alex Khu, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minneapolis…

You may also recall that “sophisticated operations” is the excuse pigs use to rape sex workers.  And if you haven’t yet read Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s analysis of very similar claims made against Seattle-area Korean sex workers and clients, now would be the time.  See more of Liz’s work below.

To Molest and Rape 

The ever-vigilant Liz Brown looks at several cases of rape & sexual abuse by cops, several of which I haven’t yet covered:

…Allen Large…of the Horry County [South Carolina] Sheriff’s Office…was recently indicted by a grand jury on five counts of…[raping] multiple victims…Large…is also the subject of multiple civil lawsuits accusing him of activity such as sexual assaulting a woman who came to him to report a sexual assault, sexual harassment, and threatening to interfere with a woman’s child-visitation rights if she wouldn’t participate in nude “catfight” videos…Horry County [cop] Luke Green was indicted for [raping a sex worker]…during a prostitution arrest and the same with a confidential police informant…On September 21, New Jersey [cop] Ed Leopardi [committed]…suicide…[because he] was under investigation for [anally raping] a sex worker at a Trenton police K-9 training facility…”then allegedly wiped his penis on the headquarters’ curtains”…

The Prudish Giant (#641) 

It’s impossible to express how much this delights me:

On [October 4th]  Facebook introduced Marketplace, a new section on its mobile app that allowed its users to buy and sell things with their friends and strangers.  By the evening, the social giant was apologizing for an issue with the section, which featured some posts that would not have been out of place on the…Silk Road…Illegal drugs.  Dogs.  Guns.  Sexual services.  Baby hedgehogs…Mary Ku, a director for product management…who had cheerfully introduced the Marketplace app in a blog post earlier in the day, issued a statement saying that a technical issue had prevented Facebook’s reviewing system from identifying posts that violated its commerce policies and community standards…

Now They Notice (#666)

Note that we aren’t hearing a peep out of Gay, Inc about this any more:

The chief executive officer of a once-popular male escort website pleaded guilty…to promoting prostitution in a federal case that prompted accusations of anti-gay bias…Under a plea deal, Hurant agreed not to appeal a sentence of two years or less in prison.  His company also cannot appeal a penalty of $10 million or less…

Send In the Clowns

Watching how the clown panic develops is an example of a moral panic in miniature.  For example, note how the skateboard carried by this hoaxer myseteriously transformed itself into an “ax” for a more imaginative witness.   Everybody wants to get into the act; sales of clown masks have soared by 300% from this month last year, and the website Atlas Obscura has produced this interactive map of sightings which they say will be regularly updated.  They’ll need to expand it, though; the hysteria has spread to Canada and also the UK:

A masked man carrying a knife left a group of children aged 11 and 12 “upset and distressed” when he jumped out on their way to [school in]…County Durham…in Suffolk, a boy “younger than a teenager” was chased by “several people dressed as clowns”…Tom Jackson…a first year student at Leeds Beckett University [said]…he was “very scared” when he saw a man dressed as a clown near an underpass…Northumbria Police issued an appeal and warning after a series of incidents in Newcastle involving people dressed as clowns jumping out and scaring schoolchildren.  A 13-year-old boy was arrested…following [the] reports…In Essex, two…schoolgirls were approached by two people dressed as clowns who asked them if they wanted to attend a birthday party…People on social media have also reported clown sightings in Cheshire, North Wales, Dundee, Norwich, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.  A man dressed as a clown “wearing a hockey mask and a blood-stained poncho” was captured on camera in…Greater Manchester…

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Political opponents of [Backpage] like to imagine that without it, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors would simply cease.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Do As I Say, Not As I Do freddie-lorick

Of course they didn’t accuse him of faking:

Ten men, including a South Carolina police chief, have been arrested in an undercover prostitution sting…Chief Freddie Lorick Sr…told officers he needed medical treatment and was taken to a local hospital. It’s unclear whether he has been released…

An Ounce of Prevention

There have been a few close approaches, but this could be the most promising yet:

British man could become the first person in the world to be cured of HIV using a new therapy designed by a team of scientists from five UK universities…presently the virus is completely undetectable in the man’s blood, although that could be a result of regular drugs.  However if the dormant cells are also cleared out it could represent the first complete cure…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

While the feds actively persecute some sex workers

The federal government is again suing a Mississippi strip club, saying its owner still discriminates against black strippers…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…managers require African-American strippers to work exclusively at the neighboring Black Diamonds club or pay extra to work at Danny’s.  The suit alleges patrons at Black Diamonds were allowed to grope strippers in a building where air conditioning sometimes didn’t work…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

This double dose of stupid reminds me of those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials: “Hey! You got your robot whore fantasy in my blow job cafe fantasy!” “No, you got your blow job cafe fantasy in my robot whore fantasy!

An entrepreneur who hopes to open London’s first “fellatio cafe” has revealed his staff will be made up entirely of sex robots…Bradley Charvet…claims the sex-bots will be programmable to a person’s needs and will soon be seen as “totally normal”…

Shift in the Wind (#131)

An interesting article on getting funding for sex worker rights projects:

As human rights and social justice funders, we try to reach those people who are most marginalized and excluded from services and protection.  Those who are least empowered, least resilient, and hardest hit by inequality.  But one group that ticks all those boxes is systematically excluded from funding opportunities:  sex workers.  Why are not more funders stepping into this gap?  What makes even human rights funders so hesitant to take on the human rights of sex workers?…

Lack of Evidence (Extra Edition)

Future generations will marvel at their ancestors’ deeply weird obsession with female virginity:

An Egyptian MP has called for women to be forced to undergo virginity tests before being admitted to university…Elhamy Agina called on the Minister of Higher Education to issue a mandate requiring him or his officials to enforce the virginity tests…Agina reportedly [said]:  “No one should be upset by this decision.  If you’re upset then that means you’re scared that your daughter is in an ‘urfi’ marriage behind your back.”  Urfi marriages can be entered into without the approval of a bride’s guardian and can only require two witnesses, resulting in a cultural perception among some segments of Egyptian society that they are covert or secret marriages…

Fever Dream

We’re not hearing quite as much of this “highway” bullshit as we used to:

…Chattanooga and Tennessee have become a focal point [sic] in the war against sex trafficking.  The effort has involved not only agencies such as the TBI and local law enforcement, it also has…made its way to Congress with the End Modern Slavery Initiative from Bob Corker, the…U.S. senator from Tennessee and former Chattanooga mayor.  As the geographic intersection of Interstates 75, 24 and 59, Chattanooga provides an easy path for pimps to transport their victims around the Southeast…That’s especially true for traffickers from Atlanta which, in 2014, was ranked as the No. 1 city in the country for sex trafficking…

Seizing Power (#593)

A win for Backpage on one front:

The Supreme Court announced…it has declined to hear an appeal from…Chicago…sheriff [Tom Dart] who was ordered to cease threatening credit card companies about doing business with…Backpage.com.  The justices let stand a lower court order that forbids…Dart from contacting Visa and MasterCard in his effort to [censor] sex [workers’ ability to advertise online]…

However, see “Crying For Nanny” below.

Challenge (#628)

ESPLERP vs. Gascon reaches a court which could potentially do something:

…ESPLERP…filed a brief in the United States Federal Ninth Circuit appealing against the Northern California District Court’s judgement dismissing ESPLERP v Gascon…Maxine Doogan [said]…“[The judge] acknowledged that Lawrence v Texas defined a constitutional right to privacy in individuals’ sexual conduct, and also acknowledged that morality was not a basis to deny that right, but then found flimsy legal arguments to deny that right…“Lawrence v Texas made it clear that governments may not intrude into the private lives of consenting adults by criminalizing their sexual behavior” said Mike Chase, longtime human rights activist…Contributions to support the court case can be submitted through…www.litigatetoemancipate.com

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-christopher-odom

A Spring Hill [Tennessee cop] has been charged with rape and sexual battery…Christopher Odom…pulled two women over for traffic stops on two separate occasions, once in June and again in July, [raping] both adult women…

Crying for Nanny (#659)

It’s difficult to overstate what a huge development this is; the allegations constitute a direct attempt to destroy Section 230 and therefore the entire internet, all so a few megalomaniacal politicians can score a few political points:

State agents raided the Dallas headquarters of…Backpage and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer on Thursday following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.  Ferrer…was arrested on a California warrant…[issued by] California Attorney General Kamala Harris…on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping….Harris…is running for the U.S. Senate in next month’s election…

Here’s more from super ally Liz Brown.

Dutch Threat (#678) 

Felicia Anna on the “My Red Light” scam:

…I’ve already talked about this project before…the mayor…proposed…that this brothel would be the first brothel without pimps.  A complete bullshit story, since first of all there are very few girls that actually have a pimp…and since this brothel has just as much chance of renting their windows to a girl with a pimp as any other brothel…there are hardly any abuses to begin with, as the numbers from the city of Amsterdam themselves prove…unlike how people (like the mayor for example) often claim…the mayor [is] trying to frame the current brothel owners as the bad guys…so he can have an excuse to close down the other brothels…only 6 sexworkers showed an interest in working in this brothel at all…

Send In the Clowns

As I expected when I wrote yesterday’s column, the clown panic continues to spin out of control:

A Livonia [New York] man was charged with falsely reporting an incident after he allegedly edited a clown image into a photo of [a local] Park…posted it on his Facebook page and then warned people to keep their children out of the park…Hooper…told his Facebook followers “the clown had then run away when he snapped the picture”…Hooper was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident…the charge is a misdemeanor…

In New York, making up idiotic stories to frighten the stupid is only a misdemeanor, but in Texas it’s a matter of national security:

..a 14-year-old [Houston] student has been charged…[with] making a terroristic threat.  The student is accused of threatening “to shoot up an HISD school with his clown friends” on social media…”We can’t ignore it,” said HISD Spokesman Jason Spencer. “We [completely lack the adult capacity to control our own actions or use any discretion whatsover]…

Just in case you think my editorialization there is a bit extreme:

…”This clown crap is really getting on my nerves,” [suburban Dallas cop] Latrice Pettaway wrote on Facebook Monday night…”Pop a cap in the first clown you see.  Someone needs to just hit one and the rest of these fools will learn”…police spokesman Shane Kizer said….said shooting people dressed like clowns is “absolutely not” how the department wants the public to respond to viral reports of clowns…

And Utah cops agree with Kizer:  “Police in Orem, Utah would like to make it clear that neither they, nor you, can legally shoot random clowns…

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[Sex workers] report…violence more often from law enforcement officials than from any other group.  –  Alexandra Lutnick

Lack of Evidence

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

…a 40-year-old statute in the [New York] penal code…allows the police broad discretion in arresting anyone they deem to be loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution…The law is vague enough to make almost any posture vulnerable to suspicion.  You could be arrested while talking to two men on a corner; while talking to someone through a car window; while walking down the street with a bottle of Korbel; for going to your job selling sofas; if it happens that you have worked as a prostitute before; just for wearing something [a cop] decides is too provocative…the Legal Aid Society of New York has handled so many of these cases of wrongful arrest, particularly among transgender women who are black and Hispanic, that…it filed a federal civil rights suit…on behalf of several plaintiffs…challenging the constitutionality of the law.  Between 2012 and 2015…nearly 1,300 people were arrested in New York City under the loitering law.  More than 600 were convicted, and close to 240 served some time in jail…five precincts…were responsible for more than two-thirds of the arrests, each [ruling over]…neighborhoods that are predominantly black and Hispanic…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

I love it when they feed on each other:  “North Charleston Police arrested Deputy Jason Mitchell at a motel…[after he] contacted [an] undercover cop by phone after seeing a [fake] post on Backpage.com…

Where Are the Victims?

She “thought she was helping her friends” in the same way I “think” I’m Maggie McNeill:

A transgender woman and her partner who helped bring prostitutes to the UK from abroad have been spared jail by a judge, who said the couple believed they were “helping” their friends.  Brazilian former sex worker Angel Gomes and her civil partner Leon Foster ran an organised prostitution ring for four years…they helped to bring in Gomes’ friends from the transgender community in South America, where they were already selling sex…the couple paid for travel expenses and sex aids including condoms.  The business traded under the name “Kelly Shemales”…

In other words, it was an ordinary escort service specializing in transwomen.

Droit du Seigneur violent-pimp-cop-benjamin-walden

Prohibitionists want these guys to “protect” us from pimps:

…Oak Grove [Kentucky] Police Sgt. Benjamin R. Walden [was arrested as a violent pimp after]…the state police…found that three adult women were being held against their will and forced to have sex with men at a…motel…Walden…[also] faces…charges…including first-degree sodomy, first-degree rape…assault…terroristic threatening and intimidating a participant in a legal process…Also arrested in the case were Michael Helton…and Kiersten Napodano…[Dennis] Cunningham, the Oak Grove police chief…described Walden as a “good officer”…

Saving Them From Themselves


An Iowa county attorney has threatened to brand a teen a “sex offender” because she sent a friend photos of herself scantily clad, the girl’s family [reported] in federal court.  The photos…depict a 14-year-old girl, named only as Nancy Doe in the lawsuit, in her underwear. In one photo, she wears a sports bra, and in the other she is topless with her long hair covering her breasts…But the photos emerged again last spring when two male students were caught printing them off using a school printer, along with other photos of nude or partially nude male and female classmates…The school district turned the photographs over to the Knoxville Police Department…the girl’s parents wondered “what the fuss was about,” as the images…”were less ‘racy’ than photographs they see in fashion magazines and on television every day”…To escape…criminal charges, the students [were forced] to participate in a “diversion program” that required them to engage in community service, complete a [brainwashing program] on the [imaginary] dangers…of “sexting,” give up their laptops and cell phones for an unspecified period of time, and submit a written confession about their conduct to juvenile court services…When the Does refused to fill out the questionnaire or to enroll Nancy in the diversion program, [county attorney] Bull continued to threaten her with criminal prosecution…

They Still Don’t Get It

Let’s play “count the idiocies”:

Prosecutors from around the world say the fight against sex trafficking is moving online as traffickers use popular websites to advertise sexual services…an international sex trafficking summit in Waikiki that drew prosecutors from Asia, the US and Canada…victims are often unwilling to cooperate with investigators because they have endured a history of abuse…Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County’s district attorney [bloviated moronically]…“It’s not like in the 80s and 90s where women were on the street.  It’s all done by social media, cellphones, emails, text messages.”  Michael Ramos, president of the National District Attorneys Association, said he plans to push for legislation in the US to make it illegal to use websites to solicit illegal sex and to hold internet companies accountable for sex trafficking on their platforms…“It’s just so easy right now…Instead of having prostitutes out on the corner like they used to in a red light district, now they just go online, they hit a button, and it’s like ordering a pizza”…Sonia Paquet, a Canadian prosecutor…said…“If we go on the internet site, we see the girls naked”…

1) “Sex trafficking” as a dysphemism for “sex work”.  2) Women are too stupid to post our own ads, so male “traffickers” must be doing it.  3) Streetwalkers have always been a minority of sex workers, even in classical times.  The fraction has dropped from about 12-15% in the “80s and 90s” to maybe 8% now, hardly a vast shift.  4) Women who deny cop/prosecutor BDSM wanking fantasies must be “victims” who are “unwilling to cooperate” because of phantom abusers, not because cops & prosecutors are evil fucks out to destroy their lives; 5) It’s already illegal in the US to “solicit” for prostitution, whether online or off.  6) Courts have repeatedly declared that Section 230 protects websites from being “held accountable” (a moralistic euphemism for “scapegoated”) for third-party content.  7) Is anyone actually stupid enough to think he can get an escort just by “hitting a button”?  8) Do these assholes really expect people to believe getting a date with someone like me is easier than driving over to a stroll?  9) Pizza!  10) Ms. Pacquet unwittingly reveals the real issue with all this posturing & mouth-foaming: pictures of naked women, as always.  Ten idiocies in 13 sentences is a pretty high score, even for prosecutors.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

This is actually an excellent analogy:

…As a stripper, the club does not pay you.  There is no hourly wage you earn to stand around waiting for someone to ask you to take your clothes off…people believe strippers are independent contractors because they think that the money they pay for dances is given to the club, which in turn is doled out to the dancer in the form of a stipend or salary…but…it is exactly the opposite…Money paid for dances is paid to the dancer, who pays the club an agreed-upon rate for the privilege of conducting her business there.  In essence, she is paying rent, or leasing space from the club for commerce…This is how many hairdressers operate their businesses…That hairdresser is running their own business out of that chair, which they pay rent on.  Their calendar is their livelihood, and they might even be able to set their own rates based on their level of skill and expertise…they have certain branding to display and house rules they have to play by, and they have to pay rent to their landlord.  But beyond that, they are the owner of a business and have their own customers that will often follow them if they move salons…

Dutch Threat 

Not even close; the majority of sex businesses worldwide are controlled by sex workers.  This level of ignorance is truly astonishing:

A social investment fund has agreed to operate several brothels in Amsterdam’s red light district…The Start Foundation helps vulnerable people find jobs…and…has now agreed to buy four buildings from the city council which had been taken over as part of the city’s [gentrification] efforts for the district…the 14 windows will be rented out to a new foundation called My Red Light…[which] describes itself as “the first sex company in the Netherlands and Europe in which sex workers have control”…Sex worker lobby group Proud has described the project as deceptive.  “Lots of sex workers want to be their own bosses but they never get a permit”, [said] spokeswoman Yvette Luhrs…

If Men Were Angels

Sometimes even a little bit of “authority” is enough:

…Mark Alan Laverdure…[was charged in Oregon with 27] counts of…sexual abuse…[against] 5 [underage] female victims…from March 2003 through June 2014…there [may be] additional victims…Laverdure had once been employed with the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)…

Business As Usual

I find it darkly amusing that amateurs are so shocked by this:

the scandal isn’t just about [Celeste Guap], now known by her [legal] name, Jasmine Abuslin…“If you step back from it, how is it possible that this many [cops] could be engaged in this kind of activity over this period of time and she be the only one?” [Abuslin’s lawyer Pamela] Price t[said]…Former victims say this type of police sexual misconduct is not a one-off…FBI [pig] Marty Parker [defends rapist cops by pretending most are impostors]…

If you want to understand the depth of Parker’s treason vs her own gender, compare the number of real-rapist-cop reports which appear under “To Molest and Rape” and “Above the Law” with the number of fake-rapist-cop reports under “License To Rape“.

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-david-gonzalez

Cops love to claim they’re “helping” and “protecting” women when they molest or rape us:

…Florida…Trooper David Gonzalez was [only] charged with [simple] battery…after…he…pulled [a woman] over…and said, “you really look good tonight,” before directing her to move her car to a side street…he [then]…took her cell phone and added himself to her Snapchap account…[then] took a selfie with the woman, and…sent it to her friends “to see if she thought he was cute”…he…began hugging the woman “because she looked nervous”…then kissed her neck and reached under her shirt to grope her breast…After the woman reported Gonzalez…investigators began monitoring Snapchat communications between the two….[he told her] “I wanted to treat you with respect and do away with you(r) insecurities about yourself”…

Male readers: do you think you’d only be charged with simple battery if you did that to a woman?

Harm Magnification (#668)

The Philippines’ new president is carrying the “War on Drugs” to its logical conclusion:

…President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that he would like to kill millions of drug addicts in the Philippines, defying international criticism of his country’s [more severe version of the same] war on narcotics [they all participate in] and escalating his brutal rhetoric with a reference to the Holocaust.  “Hitler massacred three million Jews…there’s three million drug addicts.  There are.  I’d be happy to slaughter them.”  Killing that number of drug users would “finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said…

Too Close To Home (#672)

Liz Brown takes a scalpel to the King County sheriff’s incompetent response to her article, and man, there is blood everywhere:

…The sheriff of King County, Washington, John Urquhart, said [on a poplar Seattle radio show that] my article was not unfair and even “partially true”.  What he objected to was the supposedly naive and “unicorn-ish” view it took toward prostitution clients; the idea that it was law enforcement, rather than the press, that sensationalized the story; the implication that finding prostitution customers online is safer than out on the streets; and the suggestion that King County could have acted differently considering existing laws…Urquhart [said] “You’re asking me not to enforce state law.”  Nobody is asking that.  But there is a huge amount of prioritization that goes into police work, and solving crimes where there are actual victims and public-safety concerns should take precedence.  Which probably means not concocting elaborate, expensive, and years-long sting operations in order to entrap adults engaging in consensual sexual exchange and then misrepresent this as some sort of major blow against a sinister syndicate of international sex traffickers…

Please, please read the whole thing, unless you’re squeamish at the sight of a metaphorical evisceration.

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Almost none of [the “sex trafficking” narrative] is true—and the little that is technically true is so lacking in context that it’s utterly misleading.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Just another example of “authorities” paying men to rape whores:

Police raided two flats used as brothels…in Nicosia [Cyprus], arresting a woman from China and detaining another female sex worker [pretended] to be a victim of human trafficking.  A civilian associate of the police visited the brothel and used marked bills to buy sexual services…After [raping the women] the man signalled the police by sending them an SMS message…Police located the two marked bills and [stole] 347 condoms, four of which had been used, along with four mobile phones, sex toys, a computer, and the amount of €345 in cash…

Something Rotten in Sweden

It’s good to see that even reporters who credulously parrot cop anti-whore propaganda now feel compelled to at least mention Amnesty’s findings:

…It can be difficult for police to build cases against traffickers when their primary witnesses — victims — are too afraid to talk [and] don’t trust police [who]…still conduct stings against sex workers…To create more trust among potential victims and curb the demand for commercial sex, sting operations should focus more on catching johns and pimps, [fetishist cop Mark Keller] said…He also suggested changing state law to the so-called Nordic model, which makes it legal for people to prostitute themselves but illegal to pimp, traffick or purchase sex…The model could help [cops] gain the trust of sex trafficking victims…Keller said.  However, it was recently scrutinized in a report by…Amnesty International…which found it subjected sex workers to increased police scrutiny, evictions and other penalties…

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

Given that there is no possibility of a child, what exactly is the rationale behind this prosecution, other than “The ‘authorities’ find this skeevy” or “The law is the law”?

A mother and daughter are facing incest charges in…Oklahoma after authorities learned they were legally married earlier this year.  It is unclear what motivated Patricia Ann Spann, 43, and her daughter, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 25, to wed…Investigators also found Patricia Spann married her son in 2008.  He filed for an annulment 15 months later, citing “incest”…Police discovered the marriages late last month during a child welfare check-up.  Patricia Spann told investigators she had lost custody of her biological children as a young mother and only came into contact with her daughter two years ago…the couple believed the union was legal, since she was not listed as the biological mother on her daughter’s birth certificate.  Each woman faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic weiners-weiner

Maybe if we keep repeating this enough, it will eventually sink into the thick public skull:

…Despite popular headlines and self-promoting TV doctors’ proclamations to the contrary, sex addiction isn’t real…There is no doubt that some people have trouble regulating their sexual thoughts, desires, and behaviors.  But addiction has a real meaning and a real clinical definition…When addicts…are shown pictures of their drug of choice there is a clear and uniform response in their P300 brain waves…However, when UCLA researchers studied the response to viewing sexually explicit images in people who self-defined as being unable to regulate their porn viewing, the results showed no similar response…In fact, they found the only thing correlated with brain wave activity was sexual desire such that the higher their self-reported sexual desire, the more brain wave activity they showed.  The authors concluded that there was no evidence to say that even problem sexual regulation fit the definition of addiction as defined by brain response and that these people simply had high sex drives…

Divided We Fall (#13)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

Indonesian police are taking aim at Grindr and other gay social networking apps following the arrest of three men accused of running a “gay prostitution ring” [advertising] underaged boys for sex.  The arrests come amid an unprecedented uproar about homosexuality in the country, where it has never been a major political issue before this year.  Members of the legislature announced…they would…ban “gay propaganda” online.  The country’s Constitutional Court is likewise currently in the middle of hearings on a petition to [criminalize]…all sex outside of marriage…Police have told local media they have identified 148 victims of the network, though only 27 of them are [supposedly younger than 18]…“More than a few gay communities have been growing and targeting kids as victims,” said Asruron Ni’am Sholeh, chair of the Child Protection Commission…

“Targeting kids”…hmm, where have we heard that accusation before?  But back when the moral retards were just warring on female sex workers, the big GLBT organizations couldn’t be bothered to notice.

Finding What Isn’t There

Note how dysphemisms and weasel-words are used to conjure a story out of nothing but rumors, exaggerations and hysteria:

More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States that largely operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, the anti-[sex work] group Polaris [fantasized]…Half of the…cases…arose in Houston, Texas, a city near the Mexican border with a large Latino population…Cantinas…may disguise the cost of commercial sex in very high drink prices, and women are forced to flirt and drink with patrons…hotlines run by Polaris got reports of 201 cases of sex and labor trafficking, involving 1,300 potential victims at cantinas and bars in 20 U.S. states from 2007 to 2016.  More than half the victims were underage…At one illicit cantina in Houston, some victims were forced to have sex as often as 50 times a day, it said.  The cantina owner, convicted of sex trafficking, conspiracy and other charges, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year…Cases can be hard to investigate and prosecute because traffickers and owners may hide their ownership of cantinas or liquor licenses, and because victims are too scared to testify in court, afraid that traffickers will retaliate by hurting their families…

“Apparent” victims, meaning reports from busybodies that added up to nothing.  Reports of “force” that don’t hold up because there isn’t any, which Polaris then insists are real except that the “victims” won’t admit it.  Impossibly-high claims of clients per day such as we haven’t seen in a couple of years now, using a high-profile racism-based railroading case as “evidence”, and moving the entire city of Houston hundreds of miles south to bolster their fantasy.  This is absurd even by Polaris’ standards.

Too Close To Home

Serious question: How do we nominate Liz Brown for a Pulitzer?

…On January 7, Washington officials [claimed]…women [had been] lured from South Korea under false pretenses and “held against their will” at local brothels.  [They crowed about seizing] a website where deviant men promoted and reviewed these enslaved women…King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg [said]…”The systematic importation of vulnerable young women for sexual abuse, exploitation, and criminal profiteering has been going on for years and it came to a stop this week…This is what human trafficking looks like.”  But as more information about the case has become available, Satterberg’s narrative starts to break down.  The reality—as evidenced by police reports, court documents, online records, and statements from those involved—is…a story of immigration, economics, the pull of companionship and connection, the structures and dynamism that drive black markets, and a criminal-justice system all too eager to declare women victims of the choices they make…

The piece is long, thorough and damning. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing, even if you need to do so in three sittings (it’s broken into three parts).  The “sex trafficking” narrative has been slowly crumbling, and in this important article Liz has handily taken a sledgehammer to a very prominent outcropping of it.

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

Another victory against a political witch hunt:

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a congressional subpoena that seeks information on how Backpage.com screens for possible sex trafficking in classifieds advertising.  The order…came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case threatens the First Amendment rights of online publishers…the…stay means that Backpage need not comply…until further action from the Supreme Court…The Senate panel has tried for nearly a year to make Backpage produce certain documents as part of its [persecution of sex work advertisements] over the internet.  After the website refused to comply, the Senate voted 96-0 in March to hold the website in contempt…

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-james-robinson

Go on, keep giving male cops power over women; what could possibly go wrong?

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations arrested Riverdale [cop] James Robinson Jr…[for] raping a woman he was transporting to jail…Robinson stopped the car next to an empty building near a Custom tire shop…as soon as the woman was released from jail she…asked the shop for footage from its security cameras…

One Born Every Minute (#644)

Interesting that this article doesn’t mention the anti-Backpage mob:

In a 2014 opinion in a case involving a woman who was drugged, raped, and filmed by men she met through the website ModelMayhem.com…the Ninth Circuit wrote that the CDA was not “an all purpose get-out-of-jail-free card for businesses that publish user content on the internet.”  The court found that Model Mayhem…could be sued for failure to warn as the site was aware of the model’s rapists because they were the subject of a criminal investigation for doing the same thing to other Model Mayhem users…the court found that Section 230 did not protect the website when it failed to do anything about the rapists it knew were prowling its site…a…Match.com case is very similar.  [Wade] Ridley, the suit claimed, had attacked other women using Match.com and the company had done nothing to warn love-seeking online daters about the possibility of attack.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of some claims, but it found that the logic supporting the court’s Model Mayhem ruling applied here, too…

Of Course It Is

A step in the right direction, at least:

…Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley [announced] criminal charges against seven [cops]…O’Malley [also] said she found evidence of [rapist cops]…in Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties, all outside her jurisdiction.  She said she has  contacted her counterparts there to pursue criminal action…The most serious Alameda County charges — felony oral copulation with a minor — will be filed against Oakland [cop] Giovanni LoVerde and Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputy Ricardo Perez…Oakland [cop] Brian Bunton also faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution.  Three other Oakland [cops] will be charged with crimes…Terryl Smith…LeRoy Johnson…and…Warit Uttapa…Dan C. Black of the Livermore Police Department…faces [four] misdemeanor charges…O’Malley said it’s likely that formal charges against the officers will not be filed until Guap, the case’s primary witness, returns to California…“If the [City of Richmond] does not pay for her to come back, we will pay for her airfare,” O’Malley said…

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How could I be happy in a country that is so…puritanical when it comes to sexuality?  –  Gabriela Leite

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

The defense of choice for non-violent sex offenders, plus “autism”:

A longtime conservative activist will spend up to two years in prison after he admitted to collecting hundreds of sexually explicit images of children — but defense attorneys blamed his autism and depression.  Christian Hine, of Fort Mill, S.C…was arrested…after FBI agents raided his home and seized his electronic devices, where investigators found more than 700 images…[which] had been shared thousands of times for more than a decade.  Hine’s attorneys…said his autism disorder had left him unable to communicate well or socialize normally with others.  They said that caused him to become addicted to pornography, which then led him to search for images of children instead of adults…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now 

that Dallas cops brutalized & caged two old women and stole over half a million dollars from them because they gave “happy ending” massages:

Two North Texas women were arrested…over allegations that they operated a brothel at the Dallas Doll House massage parlor…the North Texas Trafficking Taskforce arrested the women on federal charges…Connie Su Moser, 63…is the owner of the parlor…Kum Shugars, 67, [is] a manager…[cops stole] about $420,000 from Moser’s home, $70,000 in her bank accounts and her 2015 Lexus…

The Public Eye Robert Sepulveda Jr

Another sex worker on a TV reality show:

The formula behind Logo’s Finding Prince Charming certainly seemed stale, until…several LGBTQ news outlets reported that the bachelor at the center of the show’s romantic competition may allegedly have been a sex worker in the past …Unicorn Booty and Next posted pictures of Robert Sepulveda Jr.’s former Rentboy.com profile, along with pictures of his penis…from…Str8UpGayPorn.com.  Next  described Sepulveda’s former work…as a “sordid past”…[then a few paragraphs later piously declared that] “Sex work — porn or prostitution — is nothing to be ashamed of”…

King of the Hill

Mostly just a lot of prohibitionist posturing, but contains Chicago’s first claim to one of the top “sex trafficking hub” spots: “Chicago ranks third in the country for the highest levels of human trafficking

Under Every Bed

Make sure you swallow your drink before reading this:

Sex trafficking is happening in Iowa, and not just in the state’s biggest cities…In any given month, there are nearly 900 sex workers in Iowa…[soi-disant] experts gave the audience…warning signs for people who come into a hospital or other health care facility and may be trafficking victims

Public Service Announcement (#330)

It’s almost like he wants to get caught:

…While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton…disgraced ex-congressman [Anthony Weiner] has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a…crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture…shortly after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2015…the cringe-inducing image…shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket…Moments after forwarding the photo, Weiner freaked out over the possibility he had accidentally posted it publicly — just as he did during the infamous episode that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

…We are excited to offer you a curated selection of vintage wedding gowns…Proceeds from all sales go to support Adorned in Grace’s mission of fighting sex trafficking through awareness, aftercare, and prevention…“I have never stopped being captured by the beautiful idea of taking a wedding dress and turning it into something that incredibly blesses someone who is vulnerable and hurting. Everyone deserves to be held up like a bride, beautiful and valuable. Sex trafficking takes that away and the ability to restore that with dresses is powerful.” – Kate Wilkins, founding volunteer of AIG…

Uncommon Sense (#345)

Kudos to the IWW for supporting sex workers in Iceland:

There is no sex worker-led organisation or service provider for sex workers in Iceland.  Stígamót…is the only organisation that provides services to sex workers.  However, they consider all sex workers as victims of violence.  Loi…contacted IWW- Iceland (Industrial Workers of the World) asking if they would be interested in…organising sex workers in Iceland…On the 30 of July IWW organised a meeting for sex workers, their supporters and decriminalisation activists…

Shame, Shame Amy Sharp

I really admire this lady’s chutzpah:

…Amy Sharp…escaped from [a jail in Sydney]…just after 3pm on [August 26th]…The police statement…was accompanied by [a typical humiliating mugshot which was] shared to Sydney’s 7 News Facebook page.  Almost immediately, Sharp commented on the post from her personal profile with a more flattering image of herself and a simple request.  “can you use this photo, please and thank you 😇  Yours Truly, Amy Sharp xx”…She was later [re-]arrested…[and] despite Sharp’s polite request, 7 News Sydney [proved itself a handmaiden to the police state by using] her mugshots in a follow-up post

Oh, and the “crime” for which she was arrested in the first place?  An “outstanding warrant”.

Hard Numbers (#624)

Signing a pledge that condemns what you do, as a condition for protecting the health of your community, goes against everything we know about H.I.V. prevention and sex work…Any action or policy that reinforces stigma around sex work not only contributes to bad health outcomes, but perpetuates bad laws and stigmas against “bad sex.”  This is consistent with our experiences in Brazil, the experiences of sex workers globally, scientific research and international recommendations.  This is why Davida…fought the anti-prostitution pledge alongside the Brazilian National AIDS Program in partnership with dozens of sex worker rights and AIDS organizations in 2005…the country turned down $40 million for H.I.V. prevention…Sex workers need to be protagonists of these programs, not just receivers of them…

Dysphemisms Galore (#633) 

There’s something especially nasty about reporters gloating over popular stars’ sex worker siblings:

The sister of pop star Mariah Carey has been arrested on prostitution charges in upstate New York…Alison Carey was arrested [in a sting] at a hotel…she identified herself as the performer’s sister when she was arrested and…an Internet search of the two women appeared to confirmed the claim…[they] have been estranged “for years.”  Police described Carey as a transient and said she advertised her services online…

Obviously that wasn’t enough, so the cops insinuated that there were rumors that Carey had some kind of STI.

To Molest and Rape 

Amy Lange thinks a cop groping a woman is “shocking”.  She’s obviously what I’d call “sheltered”:

Shocking allegations against a member of the Dearborn Police Department.  In May it was alleged a [cop] groped a woman during a traffic stop…Justin Smith, 36, was charged with a felony, criminal sexual conduct…The court file is [of course] currently suppressed at the request of the prosecutor…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#667) 

Canada really is trying to be more like the US.  But at least in Canada, the protests are a bit louder:

Experts in privacy and civil rights are raising questions about a police news conference that identified 27 men caught in a Cape Breton prostitution sting, saying the move amounted to unnecessary “public shaming”…provincial court Judge Brian Williston [naturally] rejected a legal challenge from one of the accused…[Abby] Deshman [of the CCLU] said that line of reasoning doesn’t recognize the impact of holding a news conference to draw attention to the accused…”Absent some risk to public safety, just putting people’s names out there who haven’t been convicted of any crime yet really has an enormous impact on these individuals’ lives and livelihood”…Deshman said the damage to reputations can’t be repaired if charges are later withdrawn or not guilty verdicts are recorded…

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glowing nudeSometimes, the most difficult part of doing my news columns is deciding what subtitle to use for a given article.  To be sure, many of them are obvious, but that’s not always the case; sometimes I remember a previous story I want to link back to, but for the life of me can’t remember what heading that one was under.  And even if I can remember a few details of the original to search on, that doesn’t always help; for example, a few months ago I was trying to refer back to an article on strip club restrictions, but searching for “stripper”, “strip club” and even just “strip” wouldn’t find it.  When I finally located it after half an hour of digging, I discovered the reason: the original article had used the phrase “exotic dancers”.  Another thing that can make a heading tough to remember is topical drift; new stories refer back to older stories, then newer stories refer back to the update and so on, and after a while the heading doesn’t actually apply very well to what’s appearing under it.  Sometimes I start using a new title for a certain kind of article, after a new full column on the subject appears (such as the recent shift from filing rapist cops under “Above the Law” to filing them under “To Molest and Rape“), and once in a while I even intentionally change the focus of a heading in order to collect stories on one theme which previously appeared under different headings (as I did two years ago with “Rooted in Racism“).

However, I think this may be the first time that I’ve ever written a new column expressly for the purpose of creating such a new heading.  I’ve recently run into several stories about the effects of sex businesses on neighborhoods, and every fucking time I have forgotten which title the last one ran under.  So then I’ve had to go through the pain of finding the last such article, but can’t remember the phrasing it used so the process takes forever.  Well, no more; from now on such articles will appear under this heading.  Previously, such articles have appeared under the not-terribly-intuitive title “What a Week!“, due to the aforementioned topical drift:  the original of that name was an early news column which featured a story about a mega-brothel being built in Spain, then a couple of later ones referred back to it for a mega-brothel being built in Sydney, then another discussed a study done for the licensing of said brothel which demonstrated that the concept of “negative secondary effects” is essentially bullshit.  And obviously, subsequent stories referred back to that.  “Negative secondary effects” is the term used by prudes and authoritarians to make the concept of “sex rays” seem something other than ludicrous; this disproven dogma claims that the very existence of an adult business magically draws crime, and turns men into drooling sex maniacs who then go forth and rape women (hence the pious charade of directing a portion of “pole taxes” to finance rape and domestic violence charities or anti-whore programs).  As a quick perusal of that last cluster of links will demonstrate, stories about claims of such effects mysteriously and malefically emanating from strip clubs rather than brothels or massage parlors have until now appeared under “First They Came for the Hookers” along with stories about former sex workers being fired from post-sex work jobs for having been sex workers.  From here on out, any articles either claiming the existence of such baleful effects or debunking such claims will appear under this heading, whether that business is a strip club, brothel, adult toy store or whatever.  So maybe now I won’t be quite so frustrated the next time I encounter such a story.

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