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Two weeks ago today I published a guest post by Madison Graham; if you haven’t read it yet, you should do so before proceeding with this one.  I’ve never published a rebuttal to a guest column before, because no one has ever asked me to; however, since the writer of this one, Christina Parreira, is a previous guest columnist herself who is knowledgeable on this subject, I saw no reason to decline her request.  In the future, I will entertain submissions for rebuttals or responses as long as  A) I have reason to believe the respondent knows what she’s talking about; B) the response stays cordial and mostly factual, without opinions clearly expressed as such; and C) the response is submitted in a timely manner, so that I can publish it in the same month as the original if possible.

Since I’m writing this in response to Madison’s article, I think it is important for readers to know how I came to know of Madison, aka DeAnne Holiday (this is not an outing- she uses both names on her Twitter handle).  Approximately 8 months ago, she angrily messaged me on Twitter over something I had tweeted.  I asked management who she was; I was told that she was a former working girl but was not able to book clients, so they gave her a job as publicist so that she could earn a living.  Hence, her Twitter handle of “Angry Publicist”, and she is certainly angry; I do not claim to know why she was let go from the ranch, but I do know that her Twitter feed is a constant and vitriolic campaign against Hof and his working girls.  She is constantly making fun of girls who work for Hof (including jabs at their appearance and disparaging comments about “illegal” work).  She has made remarks about my own life ending soon, even going so far as to claim that I deserve to be strangled.  She accuses Hof of being a rapist and pedophile.  She calls one of the women at Sagebrush a “stupid lazy bitch.”  These are not opinions of mine, but mere facts that can be confirmed by reading her page. (Note from Maggie: her Twitter account was suspended sometime between writing & publication of this column.)

Now, onto her article about Hof and the Odom incident.  It rests on the premise that Hof was the one who called TMZ- this is in the absence of proof.  Nobody actually knows who called TMZ, period.  Also, I’m skeptical of the notion that a man is afforded secrecy when he himself has brought illicit drugs into a legal place of business, and then gets rolled out in an ambulance!  What is a business owner supposed to say when this happens?  Nothing?  Madison states that Lamar will never again get an endorsement deal; this is simply mere speculation.  She also slams Hof for “taking advantage” of the publicity, but it sought him.  Odom almost died at his brothel; that was not a story Hof needed to call the press over!  They were knocking down his door.

Next, she addresses drugs in the brothels, saying she has she’s never seen so many addicts since working in legal brothels, and claiming that women are allowed to continue working with drugs in the house.  I myself have seen drugs in the house; it happens, though not as often as Madison would have you believe (although this is just from my own personal experience).  I have also seen those same girls get fired once it was confirmed that they were using.  She claims they are told to pack up and go to rehab.  In reality, many are fired and never heard of again, while others (my guess is those that have been around a long time and are part of the family, so to speak) have been sent to rehab by Hof himself.  He has told me stories of paying for rehab in hopes that some of these women would stop using.  I think that’s very kind, but let’s not stray too much into opinion-land; let us get back to my observations.  As far as girls too drunk to work, I have never personally seen this, but I imagine it does happen.  What I have seen is girls get cut off before they begin to overdo it, and I remember one woman in particular who had an alcohol problem and was not served alcohol; she was not allowed to drink in the brothel or bring liquor in.  This may seem punitive to some, but it is a place of businesses and she would become unmanageable drunk (from what I heard).  I never saw her drunk behavior, but I did work with her during her drinking ban.

Love RanchMost of the article is Madison giving her opinions, “he has no empathy,” etc.  This is simply straying from facts; did he in fact call TMZ?  The legitimacy of the piece rests on the notion that he did, but that is something we will never know.  What I do know is that Odom brought the drugs himself, and that Nye county is not pressing charges.  By the way, did you know that money from the brothel licenses of Hof’s houses in Nye county go towards maintaining the EMS services which showed up to help Odom?  But what about publicity stunts like Hookers for Hillary?  I agree that was clearly a PR stunt for attention, but remember that Nevada brothels aren’t allowed to advertise by traditional means.  As Hof said to Bill Higgins in the book Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel, “I’m over the top, I’m a media whore.  What else can you do when your business can’t advertise?”

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All too often [statements about the sex trade are] based on flimsy or out-of-date data, leading to estimates that strain…credulity.  –  Glenn Kessler

The Red Umbrella AIDS conference protest

Rose Moabelo. Shemise Gordon. Sasha Lee Gordon. Thilivhani Mudau. Desiree Murugan. Sinia Pietersen. Anisa Adams. Kleintjie. Thulukanyao.  These are the names of local sex workers who have been murdered‚ without their killers ever being found.  SWEAT‚ an advocacy group‚ wants you to #saytheirnames.  As many of the 18‚000 accredited delegates arrived for their first meeting at the 21st International Aids Conference in Durban…sex workers held placards detailing the stories of murdered colleagues.  [They] wanted to highlight what has changed for sex workers since the last international Aids conference was held in Durban in 2000. “Nothing‚” according to Sally Shackelton‚ director of SWEAT…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

A Topeka woman…Shannon Nelson…pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy…[for a] prostitution business.  At times, as many as 20 females were working as prostitutes for the organization.  The leader of the organization rented houses where some of the prostitutes were allowed to live.  The organization used Web sites, social media and cell phones to advertise sexual services and to keep track of prostitutes.  Nelson…posted advertisements for herself and other women on a Web site offering sexual services.  She used cell phones to communicate with Boswell and others in the course of operating the prostitution business…

Leaving the Life

Even when Vice isn’t being directly prohibitionist, it’s no ally; just the very fact that this writer refers to sex work as a “game” (read: “scam”, “dodge”, “hobby”) instead of work says a great deal.  Yes, I know that’s a street term; using it to apply to all sex workers is even more ignorant, not less.  NB: the Gaye Dalton interviewed here is the woman who exposed Rachel Moran’s lies.

Welcome To Our World (#15)

Another rape victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

A Harris County [Texas] rape victim who was [arrested and jailed]…after she melted down on the witness stand, is suing the prosecutor and the sheriff’s department…Identified as only “Jenny,” the 20-year-old –who has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder — was a key witness in the trial of Keith Hendricks who was eventually given two life terms for rape.  However, on Dec. 8, 2015, she was unable to continue her testimony after breaking down on the stand and running from the courtroom.  Prosecutor Nicholas Socias then [threw a tantrum and had her]…locked up for fear that she wouldn’t return to court at a later date to continue…Jenny was held for a close to month, after being placed with the general population where she was assaulted.  The suit also contends that jail personnel treated her as if she was a convicted criminal instead of a victim…

Shift in the Wind

You know things have changed since the last AIDS conference when this can appear in the Voice of America:

Prostitution…continues to be regarded as immoral [and/or] illegal in most countries.  This has prompted sex workers, activists and lobbyists around the world to intensify their demand for an end to criminalization of their field.  Many of them are attending this year’s International AIDS Conference in Durban, where they argue that continued criminalization of sex work could be worsening the spread of HIV…

That Old Black Magic

I don’t approve of referring to young women as “children”, and I recognize that every culture is different.  And I still find this pretty appalling, especially given the disease factor:

In some remote southern regions of Malawi, it’s traditional for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a “hyena” once they reach puberty.  The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but as a form of ritual “cleansing”…If a man dies, for example, his wife is required by tradition to sleep with [a hyena like Eric] Aniva before she can bury him.  If a woman has an abortion, again sexual cleansing is required…teenage girls, after their first menstruation, are made to have sex over a three-day period, to mark their passage from childhood to womanhood.  If the girls refuse, it’s believed, disease or some fatal misfortune could befall their families or the village as a whole…several girls I meet…express aversion to the ordeal…According to custom, sex with the hyena must never be protected with the use of condoms.  But they say a hyena is hand-picked for his good morals, and therefore cannot be infected with HIV/Aids…The UN estimates that one in 10 of all Malawians carry the virus, so I ask Aniva if he is HIV-positive.  He astounds me by saying that he is – and that he doesn’t mention this to a girl’s parents when they hire him…All of those involved in these rituals are aware that these customs are condemned by outsiders – not just by the church, but by NGOs and the government as well, which has launched a campaign against so-called “harmful cultural practices”.  “We are not going to condemn these people,” says Dr May Shaba, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Gender and Welfare. “But we are going to give them information that they need to change their rituals”…Deeniquia Dodds

Monsters

How about “calling on police” to stop arresting sex workers, period?  “The fatal shooting on July 4 of D.C. transgender woman Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds…has prompted a local LGBT-supportive advocacy group to call on police to end their longstanding practice of arresting trans sex workers…”  Cops shouldn’t be in the business of assessing people’s gender any more than they should be assessing our motives for consensual acts.

Paint By Numbers

“Anti-trafficking” publicity stunts are growing ever more bizarre:

“Today we’re out here putting the red sand out,” said Jana Grabenstein…who spearheaded the…movement…to bring awareness to human trafficking in Grand Island [Nebraska]…”It’s here.  We need to protect our kids, our families, our friends.  Anyone can fall victim to it and you know we just need to stop it,” she said.  More than 100 bags of red sand were spread around G.I…”When we saw it, the first thing I said was, ‘This has to be something the Salvation Army heavily gets involved in,’” said Deny Cacy…

Another Fine Mess

Why idiocies like “mid-range prostitution is new” and “it used to be hard for whores to find clients” infuriate me so much:  they keep getting repeated over and over and over by reporters who can’t be bothered to do proper research:

…Mid-range prostitution is a relatively new market, enabled by technology.  Before the internet, it was hard for escorts to find customers: They had to either walk the streets searching for customers (the lower end of the market), rely on word-of-mouth, or work with agencies…“Before the internet, agencies provided the steady flow of clients and screening, but their capacity was capped,” Baylor University economist Scott Cunningham said.  Soon after Craigslist launched in 1995, US escorts quickly started marketing directly to customers online.  This newfound ability to advertise on the internet grew the market…because more women and men could work independently…

Because obviously, all those ads in the BACK PAGES (see what I did there?) of alternative newspapers didn’t exist.  And brothels?  Hotel & casino girls?  Nope!  They didn’t exist at all!

Traffic Circle (#569)

Glenn Kessler does it again:

…a new study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice…concluded that the total number of juveniles in the sex trade in the United States was about 9,000 to 10,000.  To be cautious, given the limitations in the data, the study said that range could be as low as 4,500 or as high as 21,000.  The study also found that about 15 percent of the children relied on a pimp and that the average age of entry into the sex trade was 15.8 years.  Both figures are in line with other careful studies…

Regular readers may recall that my estimate of the number of underage US sex workers was 16,000, with 10% involved with a pimp; these new figures are not far from those at all.

All-Purpose Excuse (#608)

“Sex trafficking” is a convenient excuse for any tyranny:

Senator John McCain…equated encryption to child pornography and human trafficking…[and] threatened Apple CEO Tim Cook…McCain…stated that if Congress doesn’t mandate law enforcement access to encrypted communications, lawmakers were “de facto” helping child pornographers and human traffickers…Encryption has been the Senator’s pet obsession for quite some time.  Last November, he expressed that he wanted to outlaw any kind of encryption technology that the US government can’t crack…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#616)

Seoul is adopting ever-sleazier tactics to please its masters in Washington:

Police…in Korea…have…started targeting landlords…[by charging them with] aiding prostitution.  Since last year, police have been making landlords responsible for prostitution venues that operate on their property…Due to this shift in police policy, landlords have been [evicting sex workers from] their buildings…

To Molest and Rape (#643)

A fine example of how the criminalization supported by feminists “protects” sex workers:

There’s a [cop] in Cape Town notorious among the city’s sex workers…he devotes most of his time to making their lives a living hell.  Two weeks ago…he and his police pals rounded up a group of eight sex workers and put them in the back of a van.  They drove to the city’s main river and…gave them three options: either we throw you in the river, you suck our dicks or we’ll arrest you and bang you up…one of the women pushed into the river made a phone call…to the only people she trusted to get her justice: a team of five former sex workers trained as paralegals…The paralegal team…is lodging a formal complaint about the river incident with the deputy minister of police and the independent police investigation unit.  They are pushing for the dismissal of the officer in question, who has a toxic track record of bullying and violence against sex workers going back to 2012, including allegations of rape and attempted murder…

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When something goes wrong, we never call [the cops]…we know they will arrest us.  –  Maria, a Romanian sex worker in London

Check Your Premises

Florida cops claim to be “helping” marginalized women by brutalizing them and giving them criminal records which will make them forever ineligible for on-the-books jobs:

Seven women have been arrested in a prostitution operation along US 19 in Pasco County…Many of the women have been arrested before for the same crime…Captain Chris Beaman…said prostitutes lead dangerous lives, sometimes targeted by serial killers or human traffickers…Beaman said business owners are afraid of becoming victims of crimes themselves…

The article goes on to say that some business owners are “elated” at the pogrom, which is exactly why we now live in a police state.

Across the Pond

Is anyone really surprised by the fact that young migrant women bear the brunt of police harassment under a system which declares them infantile “victims”?

…Between 2010 and 2014, the number of young women [18 to 25] the police arrested in London for prostitution-related crime nearly trebled…The increase contrasts with steep falls in the number of arrests of men and across all the other ages for crimes related to prostitution…Laura Watson, from the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), calls the rise in arrests of young women “horrifying…The police use public concern for young people’s wellbeing to justify targeting and ‘saving’ young people from working as sex workers by arresting them…No alternatives are given, just criminalization”…treating young prostitutes as victims does more harm than good…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

When will lawheads learn that whores cannot be made to vanish by proclamation?

Thailand’s…sex industry is under fire, with the tourism minister [fantasizing she can] rid the country of its ubiquitous brothels and a spate of police raids in recent weeks…Those who work in the industry say curbs on commercial sex services would hurt a flagging economy…Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul played down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors…”We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone,” she said…

Would somebody from Las Vegas care to school the minister on the likely outcome of her Disneyfication fantasy?

If It Were Legal (#27)

Let’s hope this myth is dead, or at least nearly so, by the next election:

As thousands prepare to descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, a coalition is helping spread the word about a crime that often accompanies large gatherings…Experts say trafficking tends to spike around large-scale events…”It’s definitely a concern,” Hugh OrganMoe the bartender, associate executive director at Covenant House PA, said…”But it’s not anything like the Super Bowl.”  The Super Bowl is the top human trafficking event in the United States, Organ said…

Of course, other people whose names don’t sound like something Bart Simpson would ask Moe the Bartender to page are saying similar things about Republicans:

…The top strip clubs in Cleveland, Ohio, are all preparing for the inevitable influx of horny, cash-flinging Republican out-of-towners who will drop by during next week’s GOP convention…A huge gathering of drunk, lustful Republicans—much like drunk, lustful Democrats, or drunk, lustful registered independents, or drunk, lustful Green Party members—is sure to be great for business…Jeff Kallam, general manager at the Crazy Horse Cleveland strip club…insists…“Republicans love strippers, so we’re just hoping to make some money”…

Traffic Jam (#29)

“Pimp” classification schemes are some of the most painfully stupid tropes of this whole panic:

…The Empower Youth Program…[has] identified five “disguises” that a person looking to exploit someone may take on to gain trust.
1 – Pretender — Someone who pretends to be something s/he is not, such as a boyfriend, a big sister, a father, etc.
2 – Provider — Someone who offers to take care of an individual’s needs, such as for clothes, food, a place to live, etc or their wants, like cool cell phones, purses, parties, etc.
3 – Promiser — Someone who promises access to great things, like an amazing job, a glamorous lifestyle, travel, etc.
4 – Protector — Someone who uses physical power or intimidation to protect (but also control) an individual.
5 – Punisher — Someone who uses violence and threats to control an individual. When the previous disguises have been exhausted, an exploitative person often becomes a Punisher to maintain control…

King of the Hill

If interstate highways are so dangerous, why aren’t prohibitionists calling for them to be banned?

The internet makes commercial sex largely invisible, but northeast Wisconsinites need only pull up a map and draw a line down Interstate 41 to see where much of it happens.  The corridor of cities along I-41 — Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay — is not only convenient for those working the sex trade, but is another form of control for a pimp, since women and girls who don’t feel familiar with their surroundings are less likely to flee.  “It’s a major thoroughfare,” said Carl Waterstreet, a [moron with a penchant for stating the obvious]…

Torture Chamber

Calling a prison an “immigration centre” doesn’t make it any less of a prison:

The Home Office is refusing to reveal if any female detainees have been sexually assaulted or raped inside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre…A member of staff reportedly told a newspaper that “disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests” of people involved with Yarl’s Wood such as Serco, the private company that runs the facility…

Schadenfreude (#434) 

Super-ally Anne Elizabeth Moore has published a new book, collecting her comic-strip-format exposes of the deep connection between the rescue and garment industries:

…The through line of Threadbare is that, due to a combination of US trade policies with developing nations…and cultural restrictions on women working outside the home, the garment industry is the only legal job available to the majority of women in the world.  But…when there are no other legal job opportunities…women will do what they can to get by…So, where the garment trade exists, there is generally a healthy sex trade as well, and it’s often tolerated or legal until the US steps in and criminalizes it, often as a rider in trade deals.  These are presented as “anti-trafficking” measures…the garment industry supports the arrests of, and finances the supposed rehabilitation of, women who leave the garment trade, forcing them to return to these low-paying, high-risk jobs that more often than not include a likelihood of sexual exploitation…

Little Boxes (#504) whore in denial

Sex workers who pretend they aren’t are almost as bad as prohibitionists:

There’s been plenty written about the Power of Human Touch…That’s the concept of the professional cuddling company Snuggle Buddies…Professional cuddling is not meant to be sexual.  It’s a point [Lisa] VanArsdale can’t emphasize enough, though she seems aware of the fact that clients may not fully understand, even when respecting the rules…The Snuggle Buddies website addresses these rules plainly in the contract its clients must agree to electronically.  Clothes are required, sexual requests are forbidden, and anyone who doesn’t abide by the cuddling contract—even with rogue questions asked via email—is blacklisted…Strip clubs and prostitutes offer the fulfillment of more promiscuous desires, anyway…

Every sex worker has some kinds of physical contact she won’t allow; having an especially long and/or strict list doesn’t magically make you into a non-whore.

What a Week! (#648)

It’s a “shock”, except to people who habitually go through life with their heads outside of their own rectal cavities:

Dr Emily Cooper…carried out dozens of interviews…which she said “smashed” her preconceived ideas about massage parlours…and how they affect people’s lives…“They evoke feelings of safety and security via their often 24-hour presence, they are distractions from the mundane hours of work, they contribute economically via the use of taxi services and other amenities for clients and sex workers, and finally, a role that is never reported, the sex workers are also neighbours and friends who ‘put the bins out like everybody else’”…

Guinea Pigs (#650) 

If you think that American whores don’t have to worry about prohibitionist nuns as our Irish sisters have to, think again:

Through a $100,000 matching grant the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has helped the Exchange Initiative and two developers create TraffickCam, an app that helps [cops hunt down sex workers like animals]…TraffickCam allows anyone with a smartphone to help [expand universal surveillance] by uploading photos of hotel rooms when they travel…Sex [workers sometimes] post photos of [themselves] in hotel rooms in their online advertisements.  [Cops] can use these…to find [sex workers to arrest]…

Traffic in Nonsense (#651)

NPR is a hotbed of empty-headed prohibitionism, so it was only a matter of time before they lauded “Truckers Against Trafficking”:

…”Trafficking happens everywhere,” [Kylla] Lanier says. “It’s happening in homes, in conference centers, at schools, casinos, truck stops, hotels, motels, everywhere.  You know, it’s an everywhere problem, but truckers happen to be everywhere.”  And these days TAT stickers, wallet cards and posters — showing a phone number for a sex trafficking hotline — are becoming ubiquitous in the trucking industry.  TAT [indoctrinates] drivers to try to spot sullen, hopeless-looking children, teens and young adults.  Perhaps they’re wearing revealing clothing, or maybe have tattoos like bar codes or men’s names that might indicate ownership…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#653) 

Pro-censorship loon wants parents to panic about “artificial necrophilia”. I am not making this up:

…Internet pornography is a real problem for the 66 million American parents with children under 18.  Parents don’t have to believe that such material is a direct cause of sexual violence to be driven a little crazy by it.  It’s bad enough that it’s giving our sons and daughters some very creepy ideas about how they’re supposed to look and act…Two bills passed by Congress to restrict minors’ access to pornography over the past two decades were struck down by the Supreme Court because they infringed on adults’ First Amendment rights…In addition to making pornography hard to contain, the internet is making it weirder and weirder…The fetish that’s trending right now…is necrophilia — “artificial snuff films”…I…don’t want my preteens watching actors having sex with corpses, even fake corpses, before they’ve begun to date…

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This is ridiculous; this cost a lot of money and is tomfoolery.  –  Don O’Neill

pig trickery signOnce again, so-called “liberal” Seattle has demonstrated its deep conservatism, prudishness, hypocrisy and dishonesty by setting up an elaborate entrapment scheme intended to humiliate the clients of sex workers, deprive us of income and produce a severe chilling effect on the market.  Sara Jean Green, who should know better than to believe the anti-whore garbage vomited out by cops, told it this way [with a few corrections from me] in the deeply-prohibitionist Seattle Times:

…members of the Seattle Police Department’s Vice…Unit arrested 204 men during the 10-day operation that began July 5, netting more than $22,000 in cash…“We never anticipated this volume,” [lied] Sgt. Tom Umporowicz [about]…the police-operated Euro Spa, the first sting operation of its kind in the city.  He estimated court fines from the operation — $2,733 for a first-time offender, with repeat offenders paying more — will total at least $550,000.  Formerly known as Bamboo Spa, the business was shut down in May by Umporowicz and his squad…Umporowicz’s [scam artists] posted ads for Euro Spa on backpage.com…For the “average john,” hiring an escort “is a crapshoot … because you don’t know who is going to show up at the door,” Umporowicz said.  Picking up a woman on Aurora Avenue North is also risky since “you could easily get … ripped off and you’re more visible to law enforcement…Most of these guys going to massage parlors think they’re fairly safe”…In many of the vice unit’s earlier stings, men were arrested then released, later receiving summonses in the mail.  But [politicians declared]…that…there should be mandatory jail bookings for men arrested for sexual exploitation.  It’s the relatively new name adopted by the City Attorney’s Office for the misdemeanor crime of what used to be known as patronizing a prostitute.  The hope is that the experience of changing into orange jail garb, being photographed and fingerprinted, and undergoing the jail’s process of verifying names, addresses and phone numbers will serve as a future deterrent…[one] veteran [sleazy sow is referred to]…as “the vice queen.”  Dressed in a tight tank top, a short skirt and four-inch heels, the [sociopath is expert]…in making men comfortable [in order] to [destroy their lives]…“Some guys won’t even hand me the money — they throw it on the bed or they throw it on the floor,” she said.  “It’s degrading…They would never treat their wives or girlfriends or someone they were trying to pick up in a bar like that.”

As usual, the pigs grunt and oink a lot of filthy lies in order to rationalize that their robbery scam is somehow justifiable, and that it serves some constructive purpose other than pleasing busybodies, getting votes for amoral politicians and letting pervert cops (like the sociopathic policewoman described at the end) get their jollies in a massive nonconsensual public humiliation scene.  The lies are so thick and obvious here I’m sure most of y’all can spot them; for example, the pretense that the average client doesn’t “know who is going to show up at the door”, when in fact most modern escorts have websites, reviews and an established online presence.  And the pretense that not directly handing the sex worker the money is “degrading”, when in fact most don’t want the money directly handed to them (in the mistaken belief that this will protect them), is especially vile considering that the police and the prohibitionist laws they enforce are the direct cause of this so-called “degradation”.  Sorry, amateurs; the truth is our clients generally treat us better than they treat women silly enough to give it to them for free, no matter what sickos who get off on pretending to be whores tell you.

But while the cops boast about their contribution to destroying the fabric of society and fascist media companies obediently parrot the propaganda, the faltering “sin and degradation” narrative has lost considerable popularity and stings like this are recognized for what they are by many other journalists:

…KIRO Radio’s Don O’Neill…noted that the [Seattle police department] is understaffed by more than 340 officers and they are currently being paid tons of overtime to deal with the recent protests related to shootings around the country…That’s why, to him, the sting was a “colossal waste of time…You pick up the phone and call the police and they’re not coming…because we’re using our man- and women-power to do stuff like this.”  O’Neill said…it’s…an attack on the lives of tech workers and lonely Seattle residents…“there will be divorces over this, families will be embarrassed and they may end up losing their jobs”…

And Tana Ganeva of The Influence wrote:

…Female officers were tarted up in tight clothes and high heels and offered men sexual acts for cash…The sting caught 204 so-called “johns” and netted the department $22,000 in cash.  But that’s only the beginning of the city’s  profiteering…all the court fines…could total $550,000.  And who were these monsters?  They ranged from surgeons to a nurse to bus drivers to a journalist…The operation, of course, is presented as a means to protect exploited women…But…there wasn’t even the pretext of trying to catch johns who were looking to hook up with under-aged or trafficked women…in what business on earth does it benefit workers to have their customers arrested?  As many sex worker activists have pointed out, depleting the customer pool of men who have the most the lose if they get caught makes sex workers’ lives harder and more dangerous…

pigs torturing innocent menAnd there, as the Bard put it, is the rub; well-established escorts with large client bases aren’t going to be affected by this beyond the usual two- or three-week lull that results every time the cops stage one of their high-profile pogroms.  Nor will celebrity whores like me, whom potential clients can verify with a quick Google search.  No, it’s going to be the immigrant women and other marginalized sex workers, those who work in massage parlors, on Backpage or on the street, who will suffer the most from this evil game.  Sex work isn’t going anywhere, no matter what cops, prosecutors and morally-retarded billionaires want you to believe; it fulfills a very real and important social function and new sex workers and clients enter the demimonde every day.  These crusades do nothing but hurt the most vulnerable individuals on both sides of the transaction, just as all prohibition disproportionately harms the most marginalized.  One might think that at a time when the public is beginning to awaken to the realities of overpolicing, public officials would have more sense than to approve of these sadistic spectacles; however, that would assume that said officials aren’t echo-chamber-dwelling narcissists.  The only way to stop this will be for those who approve of it to suffer actual consequences, and that isn’t going to happen until all of you clients out there get off of your duffs and fight.  Regular clients outnumber full-time whores by at least 60 to 1; gentlemen, I suggest you had better rethink your current silence, unless you want to be the next one with your name and picture splashed across newspapers, TV screens and websites.

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Madison Graham is the pseudonym of a sex worker who was working for one of Dennis Hof’s brothels in Nevada; she recently contacted me because of her deep distress over an immense ethical violation Hof committed in the full view of the entire world last autumn.  Here in her own words (edited only for style and brevity) is what she told me.

Dennis Hof, self-promoting buffoonDennis Hof courts the media and has specialized in hijacking news; he takes current relevant stories that have nothing to do with him and finds a way to insert himself into the story.  For example, when Hillary Clinton announced she was running for president, suddenly the Bunny Ranch issued a press release about their working ladies forming a “Hookers 4 Hillary” campaign, a maneuver I am certain did not impress Mrs. Clinton.  When hackers released the names of millions of Ashley Madison members, Hof boasted, “Ashley Madison hacking victims’ privacy would’ve been safe with my prostitutes.”  Hof then launched a media tour to every Morning Zoo style radio show that would have him, focusing on how Ashley Madison should have taken the BunnyRanch’s approach to client privacy and not stored anyone’s information.  He often bragged that “If those guys who are about to have their lives ruined had been meeting beautiful women on BunnyRanch.com instead, their identities would’ve remained completely anonymous…”

No one had reason to question the BunnyRanch’s privacy policy until basketball player Lamar Odom was picked up by an ambulance from Hof’s southern Nevada brothel, Love Ranch Vegas, after being found unconscious in the VIP suite where he’d been staying.  Within minutes, TMZ had the scoop on their website, utterly destroying Lamar’s career; he will never receive another endorsement deal again, and the various children’s charities he has been involved with will distance themselves.  But Hof fed off of Odom’s crisis and milked it as hard as he could, so that he could get his face on TV as much as possible to say “LoveRanch” in front of millions of viewers.  Hof displayed absolutely no empathy, no awareness and certainly no consistency; he contradicted himself in just about every media op he got.  First Lamar didn’t have drugs when he came in, then Hof fired the two girls who were with Lamar because he feared they gave him drugs, then a 180 degree turn to claiming there were no drugs at the Love Ranch.  Well, the truth is I have never seen so many drugs and drug-addicts in my life until I started working in legal brothels; hardly a week goes by without an incident of a lady getting too drunk to work, or the management discovering drug paraphernalia in a lady’s room.  If the lady makes good money, her problem is largely ignored; once she becomes too impaired to make money, she is quickly packed out and told to get herself into a treatment program.  One top earner at the Bunny Ranch was caught over and over with drugs in her room and giving drugs to other girls; eventually cops pulled her over and found drugs in her car and now she is in prison, but when she is released I guarantee she will be returning to the ranch:  She makes a lot of money and America’s Biggest Pimp wants his 50%.

The careless way Lamar’s personal information got out is disturbing because it reaches far beyond surface titillation.  Lamar Odom will never get another endorsement deal ever again – a multi-million dollar loss.  The revelation was a violation of the Hooker Code that is understood by most sex workers:  loose lips sink ships, so you keep your mouth closed.  That is the real reason we make so much money:  it’s for remaining quiet.  But Emperor Hof just couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and now he’s in denial about the severity of repercussions he and his empire are about to incur.  Hof is a defense lawyer’s worst nightmare; he appears to think he is in one big never-ending infomercial for his corporate brothels.  For example, once the Odom news veered away from the brothel and began to focus on the human-interest element, Hof blurted out that if Odom’s wife, Khloe Kardashian, contests the credit card charge, he will sue her because she “has the money”.  What kind of human-being would make such a statement to a grieving wife?  Whether you like her or not, she is clearly suffering and being as supportive as possible to her husband, but all Hof can think about is $ signs and publicity.  Hof is like that semi-lucid grandfather who blurts out the most ridiculous and offensive rubbish and you just sit there in shock, mute with embarrassment for him.

After this, I can’t imagine anyone with real money would walk into one of his establishments; they know they can’t trust Hof’s nonexistent discretion.  And what if Odom, Kardashian or whoever sues the brothel over this?  The suits and reputational damage could destroy all that Hof has created, and this is a shame because whether you may think of Hof’s character, he knows how to run his brothels.  He knows how to train his girls to make money, and to provide a level of service that keeps the clients coming back; the working conditions in his brothels are also better than those in any of his competitors’.  The biggest threat to Hof’s brothels comes from Hof himself, the self-proclaimed “Pimpmaster General”.  Rather than recognizing the danger posed by the Odom situation, Hof truly believes this is the best thing ever to happen to the Love Ranch Vegas (in spite of the onslaught of death threats the employees receive on the phone daily); he thinks this will triple his business.  But the locals are getting restless.  You can sit at a restaurant or saloon and hear the people saying things like “When are they going to close Hof down?”  Public officials are elected and if they don’t give the locals what they want, they won’t be re-elected.  Lamar Odom’s overdose at the Love Ranch Vegas could result in the closure of one or more of Hof’s brothels, and trouble for the entire industry.

Love Ranch signBrothels are an ideal place for men who have been going through a divorce, or breakup, who need to have their ego-stroked a little, feel desirable again.  I consider myself a sexual healer offering a public service.  If a man has a need for sexual intimacy, and he isn’t able to get that from his wife, he has this safe, legal outlet for his needs and when he leaves, nothing follows him home.  He is truly anonymous and there will be no negative consequences from his visit.  A big part of my sales pitch to potential customers during the negotiation was about how his family and friends won’t ever find out…but how can I possibly offer that guarantee now, after Hof blasted one of his guests’ name and secrets all over the media?  I have always said that I wouldn’t work for any other brothel owner, and I still feel that way; as bad as Hof is, he is much better to his employees than the other owners are.  However, I don’t think I can remain working for a man who would do the things he has done.  I may take my chances and go back to working independently and screening out the cops and the creeps.  Or I may return to the work I did before I became an escort, which I left because I burned out.  But that’s fine for me; what about the people who can’t just move over to escorting, such as the cashiers, bartenders and housekeepers?  What about the money Hof’s businesses bring in to an area that isn’t exactly overflowing with other industries?  If Hof continues to destroy the reputation of his businesses in his constant pursuit of publicity and self-aggrandizement, he’s going to hurt a lot of people beside himself and those whose secrets he betrayed.

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[Louisiana] has rendered consent…into an utterly meaningless concept.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Remember when busybodies actually had to spy on people in person?

CCTV cameras have been installed to catch kerb crawlers at a notorious prostitution hot spot in Southall…Hounslow Council has teamed up with police to crack down on kerb crawlers…attempting to pay for sex around Hayes Road…Warning letters have been sent to 63 kerb crawlers frequenting Hayes Road, who were identified from their licence plates.  The council [pretends] it is targeting the potential customers as part of efforts to safeguard women involved in prostitution, some of whom are believed to be trafficking victims…

Is there any sane person with a three-digit IQ who actually believes that the best way to “safeguard” someone is to starve her and render her homeless?

The Scarlet Letter

In the US media, “sex trafficking” is now just a dysphemism for “sex work”:

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has a [masturbatory fantasy about] men who buy sex.  “This is a shameful, dirty secret that they hope to keep,” he [salivated], “… resulting in children that are being subjected to sex trafficking, adults being trapped in slavery”…So-called “john-shaming” isn’t a new concept.  Cities have shamed for years, but to varying results.  With the internet, it’s a little easier now to [indulge in due-process free shaming]…Caroline Lasecki…of Outagamie County’s task force…said her views on publicly identifying johns changed after she sat in on multiple stings and saw how frequently the purchasers of commercial sex ended up being men with wives and children…”That’s what made me have a change in heart — thinking of how this would publicly humiliate their spouses or their children,” said Lasecki…”Most communities that have done this keep doing it,” said [Swanee Hunt’s lapdog] Michael Shively, a [data-fabricator] whose [public dole]-funded site, Demand Forum, [disseminates “end demand” propaganda]…

Uncommon Sense

It’s so funny to watch prudes’ heads explode over something so banal:

a Swiss firm…plans to offer oral sex to customers while they wait for their lattes…Bradley Charvet of Facegirl, an escort agency based in Geneva…wants to add something extra to sex trade in Switzerland…Charvet envisages male patrons ordering coffee and sex workers from the menu, with the entire transaction lasting 10 minutes and costing 60 Swiss francs (€55), making the coffee the most expensive in the city.  Representatives of anti-prostitution groups have expressed their concern with the proposed café.  Grégoire Théry, who represents the French organisation “Mouvement du Nid” said that the business, which would see men choosing sex worker from a list on an iPad, effectively decriminalises pimping…

Gingerbread House

Religious fanatics isolate women they hate and denigrate at a remote cabin in order to brainwash them; state and reporters think this is perfectly OK:

Rick and Pat Freeland have [isolated] hundreds of troubled girls and women at their log cabin refuge deep in the Rocky Mountains…they will only take two victims…at a time…[women labeled as] survivors of sex trafficking can be among the most difficult crime victims to [brainwash], often resisting [“help”], refusing to see themselves as victims and returning to their traffickers…they can be smart, manipulative and deceptive…to…anyone who tries to [force them into brainwashing in the guise of] help…The Freelands’ sprawling home could hold more but “as damaged as they are, it just doesn’t work”…The average age of girls drawn into the U.S. commercial sex industry is 12 years, according to the Department of Justice…The couple receive women and girls who have been [remanded] from an array of organizations and agencies…Sex trafficking may include prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, stripping and live sex shows…Pat Freeland described the trafficking victims she has met as chameleons, skilled at acting and saying what is needed to survive….untangling the…tentacles of their traffickers is painstaking work…

What will future historians make of the sick culture that produced this twisted, dehumanizing belief system?

Paint By Numbers 

Just do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, and declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”.  Stupid people will believe you and give you money:

From the time it took you to read this sentence, a young girl vanished from her home…as a slave in the sex trade…there are more human slaves in existence today than at any other point in the history of the world…The A21 campaign…[fantasizes] that only 1-2% of victims will ever be rescued…A Los Angeles-based non-profit has found a unique way to help trafficking victims heal…She Is uses the power of dance and movement as a form of therapy to empower women to know they are loved and valued and deserve to be treated with respect…the organization is set to release a documentary about the work they do…with their dance workshops.  The team have launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign which has a couple of weeks left to raise $35,000 to finish the production…

First They Came for the Hookers…(#421)

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you:

Phoenix police served a search warrant…to a strip club under suspicion for prostitution.  The Sunset Strip…was raided by police around 7 a.m…[damaging] parts of the building and…[shutting] down University Avenue [and other nearby businesses] for some time…at least five people were [detained] and questioned by police.  None of them appeared to be underage, officers said.  No word on how many people were officially arrested or if the owner will face charges.

Cooties

Please reread my teaser from the item above:

For two weeks, Arianna Travaglini…tried to book an Airbnb rental for an upcoming trip to Baltimore…but hosts weren’t responding to her messages.  When she clicked the “Instant Book” button, she kept getting error messages…[then] she received an email notifying her that her account had been disabled…[without] explanation…But Travaglini thinks she knows why she’d been banned: She does sex work under the persona Andre Shakti, and the two names can be easily linked with a quick online search…Travaglini has used Airbnb for over two years, under her legal name, and says she’s only ever gotten positive reviews from her hosts.  “I have always used the website for leisure, vacation-related travel—never worked out of the location, never advertised that my other persona was going to be at the location,” she said.  Travaglini also emphasizes that the sex work she does is strictly legal—she performs in pornography and works as a dominatrix…But again, never at an Airbnb rental…

Guinea Pigs 

Ladies, please stop putting hotel-room selfies in your ads immediately:

Molly Hackett…and…Jane Quinn…worked with a development team involving Washington University to roll out a new free smart phone app called Traffick Cam.  It’s designed to allow the public to help police [arrest sex workers]…The app allows hotel guests to enter information about where they’re staying, including the hotel name and room number.  They can also upload four pictures of their room…Quinn said, “Try to capture the pictures or lamps or other décor items”…[pigs] across the U.S. can then cross-reference with hotel photos [in sex workers’ ads]…to see if there are any similarities using…image analysis…The hope is the app will cut down on the amount of time police need to try and [arrest a sex worker before she leaves the hotel]…To date, the app has more than one million hotel photos…

Most of the “sex trafficking apps” we’ve seen before have been little other than silly wankery or ways to snitch to cops without dialing a phone.  But this one is a means of enlisting useful idiot to build a mass surveillance database, and as such threatens the liberty and privacy of millions who have never sold sex.

Full of Themselves (#535)

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

The [Rhode Island] General Assembly has passed legislation…that enables…municipalities to regulate unlicensed massage parlors and services within its borders in response to illegal sex trafficking operations disguised as massage parlors…“Pawtucket cannot be a safe haven for businesses involved in sex-trafficking,” [bloviated]  Representative Tobon…“This legislation will protect the children and families of Pawtucket, it will protect the victims of sex-trafficking trapped in these businesses…I have heard from hundreds of massage therapists who want a clearer distinction between their legitimate massage businesses and…massage parlors who have brought ill-repute to the industry…I am confident that this legislation will [magically] end the…exploitation of women”…

These politicians are so full of hot air, I’d love to see one popped with a pin.

Signs

I often wonder what fraction of people who spout this rubbish are actually stupid enough to believe it:

Many of the 28 hotels in…Jacksonville [North Carolina] are now [collaborating with the pigs]…which caused the number of…arrests to rise…Prostitution and human trafficking go hand-in-hand with many other illegal activities…Sgt. Dale Silance…[oinked that] prostitution…doesn’t always look like it does on television…Mug shots of Jacksonville arrestees were compared with Julia Roberts…It’s a red flag if there are too many people going in and out of one room…A woman…at [one]…hotel…was overly…friendly with the staff and guests…red flag actions included guests who ask to visit room 112 but only know the woman as “Velvet” or “Cupcake,” Silance said to the [apelike hooting] of others in the room…Refusing maid service for days on end could be a clue that something is transpiring that the occupants of that room prefer to keep hidden from hotel view.  “If they don’t want you in their room, normally there’s something going on,” Silance [belched]…

So friendliness and a desire for privacy are now “signs” of “sex trafficking”.

Sexual Predators (#637)

Cops are “excited and jazzed up” to trick people and destroy their lives:

…the Ramsey County [Minnesota] attorney’s office has trained more than 3,000 [cops and bureaucrats]…in [turning consensual sex into] sex-trafficking cases and [sex workers into] victims…“These officers right now, they are really excited and jazzed up about doing john stings and doing everything they can to ensure that they have the [politically correct] mindset in dealing with [sex workers]”…Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said…“This is about [forcibly classifying sex workers as] victims of human trafficking,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell…

To Molest and Rape 

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

The Orangeburg County [South Carolina] Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy after…he [orally raped her under threat of arresting her boyfriend]…the woman reported the incident to 911 immediately after it happened on June 12…the deputy was one of two who responded to a domestic violence call…involving the woman and her boyfriend.  As the boyfriend was outside with the other deputy in a patrol car, the accused deputy…forced her into a back bedroom, where he [raped her]…Sheriff Leroy Ravenell…has not…released [the rapist’s name]…

Amazing how hard it is for reporters to use a simple word like “rape”.  And since the sheriff is hiding this rapist’s identity, I’m sure he won’t mind if I post his picture in place of the rapist’s.

Still a Child (#646) 

A “sex trafficking” fetishist told a bunch of Louisiana politicians “that the state’s I-10 and I-20 corridors are pipelines for human trafficking and there is still legislative work to be done in order to diminish this criminal enterprise.”  But rather than take the necessary step of shutting down these dangerous “pipelines” to protect The ChildrenTM, the state decided to create EVEN MORE “children” to “protect”:

…What the new law actually does is declare all 18- to 20-year-old sex workers as de facto trafficking victims, even if they’re working 100 percent willingly and independently…anyone who works with or helps young-adult sex workers—a friend who gives them a ride, escort agency owners, other sex workers, and their clients—[is]…guilty of the crime of human trafficking.  And not knowing the age of the “victim” is no defense.  Those convicted must register as sex offenders and spend a minimum of 15 years in prison.  The law, which takes effect August 1, allows for a maximum sentence of up to 50 years…The law not only declares young people’s agency inauthentic and their consent null, it [also declares] mens rea…utterly meaningless.  It doesn’t matter if you have gotten explicit consent.  It doesn’t matter if the person you’re paying is an adult woman.  The state has decided that you are a human trafficker, and that’s that…

IOW, because I had employees in that age range, my home state has just retroactively declared me a “sex trafficker” worthy of decades in prison and a lifetime of “sex offender” registration.  Is this enough yet?  Can we stop this insanity now?

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The GSI…is not an index of global slavery, but rather of global hypocrisy.  –  Julia Davidson & Sam Okyere

License to Rape

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

A young U.S. citizen is suing the federal government after she said she was taken in handcuffs by border officers to a Nogales [Arizona] hospital for a body cavity search — which found nothing — and then billed for the procedure.  Ashley Cervantes…crossed into Mexico on foot on a Saturday morning in October 2014 to have breakfast at a restaurant where she often eats.  On returning, she presented border officials with her birth certificate and state identification card…they accused…[her] of possessing drugs…she was handcuffed to a chair, had several dogs sniff her, and eventually taken into a separate room where she was patted down and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.  All…without her consent or a warrant…a request to call her mother was denied…Cervantes was taken in handcuffs to Holy Cross Hospital where the doctor probed her anus and vagina…No drugs ever were found…and…[she] was released after about seven hours…They even billed her parents for the “treatment” for $575…

A seven-hour rape, after which the rapists bill the victim for their “services”.  But this isn’t a police state.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Robert Moore

When will these cops learn?  RAPING a whore is OK; it’s only paying her that’s an issue:

[Prison guard] Robert Moore, who…[was] arrested in December on what was at the time referred to as a “prostitution related crime,” was arrested yet again…for engaging/ soliciting for the purpose of prostitution…Moore…[was] “found…with the prostitute with her clothes partially off and a crack pipe in her pocket.  The woman told police…she and Moore read the Bible and talked about having intercourse…Officers say they found a wrapper and condom; Moore told them he put a condom on, but never intended on having sex“…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Some people think prostitution should be legal but “heavily regulated”; here’s an example of what that looks like in action, from India:

On 13 June, the Department of Telecommunications ordered internet service providers to block nearly 240 websites offering escort services.  The diktat came out of the blue, without any attendant statement from the government…In July last year, the Centre had tried to ban 857 pornographic websites, ostensibly to protect our countrymen (and women) from “immoral” influences on the internet.  That initiative came to nought, and the government backtracked, following a huge public and social media outcry against its attempt to police not just the internet, but also the private lives and sexual habits of citizens…However, the directive to black out…escort services shows that a year down the line, the government is unwavering in its resolve to censor the internet at will…in the interest of upholding its own ideas of public morality…when the state is in no position to ban prostitution – under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, buying and selling of sex is not illegal – why is it trying to take up cudgels against…escort services?…The government’s repeated attempts to police the internet and ferret out and ban its so-called corrupting elements are at once absurd and sinister…

Backwards into the Future

This is a bit of a head-scratcher; I’m not sure how working for free could be considered a “protest”:

Sex Workers in South Africa decided to offer free services as a protest intended to force President Jacob Zuma to address the needs of young people in the Rainbow nation…the special service [ran] for 24 hours across the country [on June 16th] to mark South Africa’s Youth Days…

Pyrrhic Victory

Definitely not a police state, no sirree:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has successfully convinced a federal judge to block the disclosure of where the bureau has attached surveillance cams on Seattle utility poles…this privacy dispute highlights a powerful and clandestine tool the authorities are employing across the country to snoop on the public—sometimes with warrants, sometimes without…The deployment of such video cameras appears to be widespread.  What’s more, the Seattle authorities aren’t saying whether they have obtained court warrants to install the surveillance cams…

What a Week! (#26)

You know that “negative secondary effects” bullshit?

The sex industry…has long been perceived and regulated as a “dirty and disorderly” feature of residential communities.  The stereotypical, and unfair, view of sex workers is that they are vectors of disease and social contagions; it’s a moral hangover from the Victorians…[which] is reflected in the regulation and marginalisation of sex work by…government policies to dark and secluded areas of cities…and police forces periodically engage in “clean-up” campaigns that seek to purge local areas of sex work…[these] strategies tend to be based not on science, but on a small number of complaints from a vocal minority who assert particular moral agendas.  Such raids are generally justified by the media and local authorities on the basis that locals, especially women and children, need to be protected from the harmful effects of “sleaze”…Research by Phil Hubbard and colleagues, Penny Crofts, Sarah Kingston, and Emily Cooper…suggests that sex work contributes to residential communities in much more complex ways than is commonly portrayed in the media…

Gingerbread House

“Residential farm” = “doing menial agricultural labor for their keep”.  But hey, at least they won’t be having dirtydirty sex:

For women escaping the sex trafficking industry, opportunities to start over new are slim, and places they can go to heal fully are even fewer.  Such is the mission of Sacred Roots Farm, which aims to be “a place of holistic healing”…The nonprofit’s eventual aim is to build a residential farm for those women and their children.  Founder Sam Haupt…began researching the issue and learned Atlanta is a known hub of trafficking and sex exploitation

Whatever They Need To Say

Cops openly admit being lazy fascists; the public just stays asleep:

California’s Costa Mesa Police Department arrested more people on prostitution-related charges in the first four months of 2016 than it did in all of the preceding five years…Police say this is thanks to a conscious decision to refocus a special investigations unit away from busting gang leaders, career criminals, and drug dealers and toward people involved in the sex trade…A long-term drug investigation could eat up hours of work from a half-dozen detectives…Arresting sex workers, however, is easy…But there may be an additional motive for the new focus:  the city wants to get rid of several small motels and replace them with condo and apartment buildings.  The hotels attract a lot of vice crimes…and policing them is a drain on public safety resources, city leaders complain.  Rather than reconsidering the need to obsess over these activities in the first place, officials want the hotels to go away to make room for higher-end residential housing…more profitable in terms of taxes to the city…

Profound Ignorance 

The only parts of this that aren’t profoundly ignorant are the ones that are profoundly obvious:

Sex workers aren’t only found on the street corners of big cities…the first-ever…research survey in Ontario…has assessed the social and health needs of rural sex workers…Researcher Stacey Hannem said the…project began in 2014 when she was approached by a group of social and health service providers [whom]…sex workers didn’t feel comfortable [with because]…the…providers would often try to [coerce] sex workers [to] exit the industry, when that wasn’t…what they wanted…”There is less street-based work but more of this kind of mid-range, everyday escorting,” [Hannem] said…rural sex workers usually find their clients through online advertising, and it often involves much more travel than urban work…when the garaphic designer doesn't read the story

I’ve got news for you, Stacey; mid-range everyday escorts who advertise online are the norm everywhere, so there aren’t dramatically more of them in rural areas than in cities.  An added level of stupidity: look at the picture CBC chose to illustrate a story about how there are fewer street workers in country towns.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…Between 2014 and 2015, 45 [Sacramento] businesses were cited for prostitution-related offenses, sexual battery and multiple violations of the county codes that govern massage establishments…Twenty-one…had their licenses revoked in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015—more than five times the previous year’s number…these operations…cause more harm than good.  “I can’t tell you how many of these people may want another job, but taking away their job doesn’t do that,” said Kristen DiAngelo…political and legal responses are often sold as cracking down on exploitation and human trafficking…But, at least locally, authorities say there is no connection between illicit massage parlors and human trafficking….“This does not address abuse,” DiAngelo said. “It’s all a game. And it’s a political game”…

Held Together With Lies (#643)

How “Walk Free Foundation” comes up with those ridiculous “slavery” numbers:

Walk Free has just released its 2016 Global Slavery Index…announcing that there are 45.8 million slaves in the world today…Walk Free doesn’t claim that slavery only exists where people are held in shackles.  Rather, it extends the concept to include people threatened with violence when attempting to leave a given situation or tied by debt to a particular employer.  When it comes to children, Walk Free includes even those who are paid for their labour and who are not necessarily subject to violence or debt, but who are nonetheless counted as “slaves” simply because they are under the age of 18…if Walk Free…is willing to expand the concept of “slavery” in these ways, then why stop here  Take “forced and early marriage”…consensual marriages also become violent and oppressive.  Furthermore, because women often lack legal or financial access to divorce, and/or face stigma and penury as divorced women or single mothers, the many millions who suffer domestic violence are frequently unable to “walk away” from their abusive husbands.  So why don’t these wives also appear as “slaves” in Walk Free’s index?  Equally, we might ask, if it is the absence of consent to a lifelong relationship rather than the actual presence of violence in that relationship that makes “forced and early marriage” a proxy for slavery, then why isn’t the “forced and early motherhood” experienced by women and girls in countries which restrict or deny access to abortion also “modern slavery”?…

Policing for Profit (#645) 

Politicians, being slightly smarter than cops on average, must have realized how obvious this was and are now trying to make themselves look good:

A bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to order a stop to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s use of mobile scanners capable of [stealing] money loaded onto prepaid debit cards…Deployment of the scanners comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture has come under criticism in Oklahoma…

The governor has complied with the request, but only until they can put the public back to sleep:

…She says she wants to suspend use of the devices until a clear policy for using the new technology can be developed by the Department of Public Safety.  She says taking the time will help educate the public and “calm the fears of the motoring public”…

Traffic Circle (#647)

It’s so nice when bogus “sex trafficking” bullshit is called out in the mainstream media:

…The [Indiana] task force…launched its effort with billboards emblazoned with the key statistical warning — “13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade”…But even child advocates say it’s not true.  It’s cooked up data.  In fact, it’s been debunked for several years…The Fact Checker at the Washington Post…gave this “fact” a pants-on-fire special trophy…The statistic was based on “pretty slim research” and makes little sense, [Glenn] 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 is about 15, but the researchers warned that even that data is fuzzy, too…

When I pointed out to Glenn that these people were still misinterpreting the average age of debut for underage workers as the average for all workers, he flew into action and added an extra note to his re-debunking.  Because that’s the kind of thing people who actually care about facts do!

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