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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

I can’t breathe.  –  Justin Thomson

I don’t know why this video of a brick in a washing machine on a trampoline is so funny, but it is.  The video was provided by Mike Siegel, who also provided “does”; the other links above the video are from Popehat (“hate”, “cancer” & “monsters”),  Emma Evans (“state”), and Tim Cushing (“tone”).

From the Archives

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It happened again this week:  somebody emailed me a question that I could answer, but won’t.

When I first started this blog seven years ago, I was just a little past 40 and still a little bit naive about the capacity of humans to handle unpleasant truths.  Of course I recognized that most people prefer to live in blissful ignorance than to have their comfortable delusions challenged, but I foolishly believed that the sort of person who would read a blog specifically offering “frank commentary” from a hooker would be different.  And you know what?  I was wrong.  Just because someone’s against the establishment and wants to change the status quo doesn’t make them open-minded; very often, it just means they want to establish their own censorious, oppressive status quo.  So during the first year I was writing The Honest Courtesan, I often stepped on the toes of people who weren’t actually my enemies, and against whom I meant no disrespect or offense.  Sometimes it was because I was wrong; sometimes it was because I was basically right, but expressed myself in a clumsy or offensive way; and sometimes it was because I was completely right, but the objectors simply didn’t like what I was saying so they mischaracterized it as something else or simply denied that I was qualified to opine on the subject at all.  The majority of the times the latter happened, it was because I’m not a member of whatever group the question involved; on a few occasions, people who wanted to be offended have actually claimed I wasn’t a member of some group that I actually am a member of, so as to have an excuse to attack me.  I’ve had women claim I was never raped because they were angry that I challenge neofeminist bullshit about rape; before I went back to work prohibitionists would often claim I had never been a whore (it’s kinda hard to do that now that my escort ads are easily found on Google by typing in “Maggie McNeill Seattle escort”); and before I was showing my face in copious selfies and freaking TELEVISION APPEARANCES, some idiots who thought themselves clever tried to claim I was a man (specifically a client) because they didn’t want to believe that a woman might not think like them.

At first, this didn’t really bother me, but now I’m over 50 and operating in a chronic state of emotional exhaustion, and people with axes to grind are just looking for excuses to undermine my work by making asinine accusations against me; some of these are even sex workers for whom ideological purity trumps actually unifying to fight for decriminalization.  So I’m sorry, but I will no longer answer controversial questions about groups that I’m not a member of.  If your question is about women in general, or sex workers, or bisexual women, or kinky people, or any other group I’m part of, fire away and it can be as controversial as you like.  And if your question involves some group of which I’m not a member such as nonwhite people, trans people, heterosexual people or whatever and it isn’t controversial, fire away and I’ll answer as best I can.  But if you have some question which arouses considerable acrimony and involves a group I’m not part of?  Forget it.  I’ve been directly told, for example, that I’m not allowed to have an opinion on circumcision because I don’t have a penis, even if that opinion is based in data from published studies.  And while I think that’s nonsense, I’m too tired to fight it any more; you’ll need to address such questions to a member of whatever group is allowed to have opinions on the subject.  Sorry about that; I’m not masochistic enough to enjoy beating my head against a brick wall.

The one exception is questions about those in power, of course; I’ve never held political power, but I’ll opine on those sociopaths all day long.  Fuck them.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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The producers [of an anti-porn video] lied.  Flat out.  –  Tyler Knight

Cops and Condoms

Amateur women: take a hint from whores, and assume any strange man you allow to fuck you is going to try to remove the condom:

Alexandra Brodsky…spoke with a number of people, mostly women, who have experienced nonconsensual condom removal…two common themes…appeared in her conversations:  “The first is that, unsurprisingly, survivors fear unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections…The second is that…survivors experienced nonconsensual condom removal as a clear violation of their bodily autonomy and the trust they had mistakenly placed in their sexual partner”…she…came across the term “stealthing” and discovered narratives from actual perpetrators teaching others how to exercise their “natural male right”…One…article…penned by…the username onesickmind…documented “a comprehensive guide” to stealth sex on the website Experience Project, including suggestions on how to get away with condom removal…

No, this isn’t “rape-adjacent”; it’s rape, pure and simple.  It’s a violation of the conditions of consent, which is rape.  And no, this isn’t a “movement” and it isn’t “growing”.  A certain percentage of men have always been this entitled, stupid & self-destructive.

Worse Than I Thought

Politicians are fond of saying their laws “send a message”.  The message sent by this one is, “women are moral imbeciles whose consent is immaterial, like young children”:

The PA Human Trafficking Statute provides a very specific and comprehensive list of 14 factual scenarios that cannot be relied upon as a defense to a civil action brought pursuant to the statute.  This list of “nondefenses” is as follows…The victim of the sex trade and the defendant had a consensual sexual relationship…The victim of the sex trade was paid or otherwise compensated for sex trade activity…The victim of the sex trade made no attempt to escape, flee or otherwise terminate the contact with the defendant…The victim of the sex trade consented to engage in sex trade activity…

Back and Forth 

Despite all the Dutch anti-whore campaigns, it’s nice to see this:

Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Center (PIC) and PROUD, the Dutch union for sex workers…received [a] knighthood for her contribution to sex workers rights in The Netherlands…for more than 20 years.  Mariska dedicated the honorable award to all sex workers…

The Missing Word

So having control of another person working at low wages & poor conditions as a nanny isn’t immoral, but working for oneself at a more lucrative job is.  Got that?

Dubai: A babysitter has been accused of working as prostitute during a random inspection visit by a municipality inspector, who found her rendering sexual services at a massage spa.  The 27-year-old Bangladeshi woman…was said to have absconded from sponsor’s house…in April 2016…the inspector found her involved in immoral practices…

The Widening Gyre (#441)

They finally realized they could expand the panic by adding male “sex slaves”:

D.C. police report there are almost as many missing young men as there are missing young women.  As of April 20 there have been reports of 550 missing young women and 534 missing young men this year…Runaways can also be victims of sex trafficking, but officials said gender can be a barrier in identifying victims…

In actuality, 92% of runaways return home, 86% within a week.

Soap Opera (#441)

A high-tech version of the “barcode tattoo” myth:

At the Second Annual Southern Indiana Human Trafficking Awareness Conference…the keynote speaker told the audience…”Tracking chips are becoming more popular in sex trafficking victims, as well.  They’re often found on victims’ hands between the forefinger and the thumb, as well as underneath their arms and on their necks“…So I asked David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, if trafficking victims were actually being chipped. His reply:  “No.”  And while I had his attention, I also asked: “Have you heard of any children under age 10 kidnapped by strangers for sex trafficking in the U.S.?”  His answer?  “No”…

The Widening Gyre (#597)

“Sex trafficking terrorists”.  Because one moral panic at a time isn’t enough any more:

In 2015, the Europol European Police Office warned of the ever closer links between terrorist groups and criminal organizations….when it comes to money laundering, trafficking or falsification of passports.  [New propaganda]…adds…trafficking in human beings, and thus prostitution…jihadists…[are] sending young Iraqi and Syrian women to Turkey to resell 20,000 dollars per head to local criminal networks…

Saving Them From Themselves (#626)

Lowered penalties for teen sexting may sound like a step in the right direction, but in actuality they simply encourage prosecutors to file more charges for behavior that isn’t even criminal in the first place:

A new bill proposed this week in Massachusetts aims to stop treating teen sexters like child pornographers.  Instead, the law would allow [but not require] the alternative of an educational diversion program — like traffic school, only for underage naked selfies…The bill directs courts to send sexting teens directly into an educational program instead of going through the juvenile justice system, unless the district attorney objects [emphasis mine].  When prosecution is considered [fun and profitable by the DA], the bill classifies the offense of “engaging in peer to peer dissemination of explicit visual material” as a misdemeanor and specifically states that it “shall not be deemed a ‘sex offense.’” It also directs schools to…“provide [anti-sex mumbo-jumbo propaganda to traumatize teens for the ‘crime’ of being sexual beings]”…

The Mote and the Beam (#728)

ESPLERP has started a petition to fight politicians who want to destroy the internet:

…the No Immunity for Sex Traffickers Online Act…would change Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act so that companies like Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat could be held liable if [someone claims] a minor is trafficked on their sites…Maxine Doogan, president of [ESPLERP], accused [bill sponsor Ann] Wagner of exploiting concerns about sex trafficking to undercut internet freedoms…The…petition [against this new censorship law] has accrued 19,000 signatures already…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#734) 

The offenses committed by Rashida Jones & company are even worse than we thought:

In the past few days alone, a host of porn performers and producers have come forward with allegations of unethical practices, from using sex workers’ images in the series without their consent to lying to them about the nature of the series and Jones’ involvement in it.  Several adult-film workers…were mislead about who was behind the project.  The original movie’s moralizing, breathless, and often biased take on the porn industry made it anathema among adult entertainers, and these workers say they would not have participated in the series had they known it was from Rashida Jones or other producers of the original…porn performer Tyler Knight wrote…”I asked members [of] the production several times.  The producers lied.  Flat out…it was under this false pretense that they sought access to people and productions…who would otherwise have declined had they been informed”…producer and performer Jay Taylor concurred with Knight. “They lied about the nature of the project to get us to sign releases…We ASKED if it was HGW, and they swore up and down it wasn’t”…

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I am an engineer.  –  Mats Järlström

I find Soviet cartoons fascinating.  This one, “Cat Concert”, is from 1986 and was provided by Violet Blue.  The links above it were contributed by Rick Horowitz  (“speech”), Radley Balko (“happens”, “talk” & “Progressivism”), Mistress Matisse  (“state”), Scott Greenfield (“prosecutors”), and Franklin Harris (“algorithm”).

From the Archives

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Please don’t touch me.  –  John Benji Haygood

Like nearly everything these days, this parody of the “your brain on drugs” video (provided by Lucy Steigerwald) is overdone and unnecessarily verbose.  But it features the same woman who did the original, and that makes it worth a watch.  The links above it are from Radley Balko (“fascism” and “together”), Glenn Kessler (“boxes”), Jesse Walker (“pinball”), Jillian Keenan (“autistic”), and Mistress Matisse (“prohibition”).

From the Archives

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How can we dial back the obsession with sex trafficking?  –  Lenore Skenazy

Check Your Premises

Step One: Define people who make choices the law refuses to recognize as “victims”.  Step Two: Define the decisions of 21-year-olds as legally invalid. Step Three:

…researchers have found that roughly one-fifth of all homeless youth in the U.S. are victims of human trafficking, often for purposes of sex…Covenant House funded the report…The youths who spoke with researchers were all 21 and under…

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (#351) 

Has this histrionic now made a rotting moral panic her whole career?

The horror the victims suffer is almost too much to contemplate.  And yet, we can’t combat the abomination that is human trafficking unless we first acknowledge that it exists.  That’s why [has-been] actress and [moral panic profiteer] Mira Sorvino came to Bakersfield…According to Sorvino…the trafficking of human beings claims some 40 million victims and generates obscene annual profits, making it one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in history.  One young woman Sorvino interviewed estimated she was raped 43,000 times between the ages of 12 and 16…

Nice While It Lasted

Buried in the usual pap about “signs of trafficking” and masturbatory fantasy about passive, doll-like 12-year-olds being “sold for sex” is this horrific proposal:

…Assemblyman Brian Maienschein held a news conference in San Diego…to push his bill, the Commercial Child Rape Prevention Act, which aims to give governments tools they can use to target sex trafficking in civil court…This would mean that district attorneys, attorney generals, some city attorneys and the victims would be able to sue the perpetrators, hitting them where it might hurt the most — their profits…State Sen. Toni Atkins…has two bills pending…one…would allow prosecutors in criminal trials to introduce evidence of past illegal acts…that would typically be excluded at trial…

In civil court, the burden of proof is reversed; this would allow prosecutors, backed by the vast resources of the state, to levy charges that presumed guilt.  I wonder how much longer before presumption of innocence is nothing more than a mere historical relic?

Traffic in Nonsense (#508)

Despite its name, The Libertarian Republic is Republican, not libertarian; that explains why it’s printing pro-surveillance, anti-body autonomy “sex trafficking” propaganda:

Human trafficking has become…the third largest criminally ran [sic] industry in the entire world, generating estimated revenues of $32 billion a year…the average age a person is abducted/coerced into this horrendous trade is 12-14…resilience against law enforcement…trying to shut down this insidious industry…[snitching on sex workers to the pigs] can help combat human trafficking at the source, on the street level…truckers have found themselves leading the charge against this industry…Commonly known as a lot lizard, prostitutes often wait around truck stops to solicit sex to the drivers who are passing through…truckers are exposed to the largest portion of prostitutes…it is vitally important for news outlets to [uncritically parrot police-state propaganda]…

The idea that truck-stop hookers make up the largest fraction of sex workers is probably the stupidest statement in this reeking pile of stupidity.

Checklist (#523)

Arizona wants hospitals to rat sex workers out to the pigs:

A hospital network with several facilities in Arizona said it was taking steps to counter human trafficking.  Dignity Health said it has trained staff at three hospitals…to look for indicators of possible human trafficking and that it has implemented mandatory screening in emergency rooms and obstetrics departments…so-called “red flags” of trafficking include homelessness, discrepancies between reported and apparent ages, lack of identification and a dominating or controlling companion who refuses to leave the patient alone…

Signs 

How many resources will our society waste in trying to stop an omnipresent voluntary activity older than the human species?

…The Palm Beach County Commission…approved additional training for several groups of its employees to spot signs of [“sex trafficking”], which has been described as modern-day slavery.  Employees who are out in field — code enforcement, youth services and parks and recreation workers, for example — will be among those receiving the training…Among other signs, victims of trafficking may exhibit poor health, show signs of physical abuse or restraint, and lack control over personal documents or the ability to speak for themselves…

Rooted in Racism (#605) 

It’s no longer safe for men to travel with their children:

A dad returning from Mexico with his 3-year-old daughter who has lighter skin than his is suspected of sex trafficking her…despite papa having her passport, his passport, AND a notarized letter from the mom saying that she gave them her permission to travel, the authorities felt compelled to act upon a “tip”…that was nothing more than a passenger’s hunch fueled by the hysteria of the moment:  That 3-year-olds are being trafficked right and left in the USA…

Where are the Victims? (#634)

We’re so lucky to have cops qualified to diagnose us as “victims” no matter what we may think:

Seven men and a woman have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on…prostitution.  Dawn raids were carried out out across Lancashire, Gateshead and Evesham in relation to a…[so-called] “Romanian crime group” centred on Blackburn.  [Cops fantasize] the gang netted up to £1.3million…Eight women, aged between 18 and 26, were found inside the suspected brothels and are [pretended] to have been trafficked to the UK from Romania for the purposes of prostitution.  Police [used euphemisms to cloak the fact that the women were being held without charge pending deportation]…

Peeping Toms (#662)

The larger implications of anti-sex toy laws:

An ordinance of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, prohibits the sale of sex toys.  Businesses and individuals have challenged this statute as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause in controlling their consensual, sexual behavior in the privacy of their homes.  The district court and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the ordinance given the Eleventh Circuit precedent of Williams v. Attorney General (2004), which upheld an Alabama sex-toy-sales ban…Williams…is inconsistent with more recent Supreme Court precedent in United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)…Windsor and Obergefell… raised the protection of rights concerning private sexual intimacy and Obergefell described this right as “fundamental”…Williams also misinterpreted Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which in striking down a ban on homosexual sodomy made clear that it wasn’t merely the right to perform “a particular sexual act” that was in question in these intimacy cases, but the infringement of rights regulating “the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, in the most private of places, the home.”  Lawrence also made clear that state assertion of a “morality” interest isn’t a sufficient justification for limiting the right to adult sexual intimacy…

Eternal Vigilance (#667)

Puritans are still upset about the fact that some women are comfortable paying our rent (and other expenses) with sex:

…despite the fact that [sex for rent] ads have been around for more than a decade and tend to transparently describe the (consensual) relationships they’re after, a gaggle of outraged internet activists are suddenly convinced it’s “abusive” behavior that must be stamped out.  The issue has been getting attention this week because of U.K. columnist Vonny Moyes, who covered it in Scottish newspaper The National…The ads she shared ranged from requests for household labor from a hot girl in exchange for free rent to fetish-related requests…ongoing mistress or “sugar baby” type situations…and people looking for short-term sex-for-housing arrangements…But the Twitter outrage brigade can’t conceive of these varied individual ads as anything but a big patriarchal plot to extort sex from homeless women…

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The “pimp lobby” myth…indicates the extent to which [prohibitionist] views are divorced from reality.  –  Frankie Mullin

Check Your Premises

The real effect of “sex trafficking” laws:

As a teenage runaway being threatened by a violent older pimp, Hope Zeferjohn should have been saved when Topeka police arrested the man for human trafficking.  Instead, she was cast as a conspirator in his schemes and now faces more than a decade in prison.  The situation stems from their 2015 attempt to recruit a 14-year-old girl to live and work with them…the girl told Zeferjohn and Anthony “Angel” Long, then 26, that she wasn’t interested…and then told her parents, who called the police.  The 14-year-old never met Long in person…was never abducted or physically harmed…was never advertised for commercial sex, nor did she ever engage in prostitution.  And…Long, who accepted a plea deal in February, was only convicted of attempted aggravated human trafficking…Yet somehow Zeferjohn…who was unquestionably underage at the time…and is…an abuse and exploitation victim herself—has wound up on the hook for aggravated human trafficking, a felony in the first degree…

Bullies With Badges

“Found in a room with a naked man” = “pigs bashed in a closed door on private property without warning or permission”:

Austin [pigs oinked that they had rooted out] a prostitution ring at a Northwest Austin massage parlor after a waste pipe at the business became clogged and destroyed by hundreds of condoms…One of the tenants of the property was listed as Jade Massage Therapy LLC…several other tenants had [stuck their noses into their neighbor’s business]…On March 22, Austin police executed search warrants at the address and found [owner Juan] Wang in a room with a naked man…

The story tries to make an act of barbaric violence sound like a visit to a thrift store.

Sexual Predators 

Our cop-worshiping culture lauds this sexual predator as a “hero”:

San Bernardino Vice Officer Kim Hernandez helps get girls as young as 13 off the streets, out of prostitution and even into college.  Last year she was responsible…for…making hundreds of arrests for prostitution…Instead of drugs, Hernandez said gangs are now trafficking girls, some as young as nine and ten years old.  “You can only sell a bag of marijuana or bag of meth or gun one time, but a human you can sell over and over,” she said.  It may take several arrests and [jailings] to finally [wear] a girl [down enough emotionally] to [get her to submit to brainwashing]…She said, “It’s that first contact and treating them like a human [by denying their ability to make choices and locking them in cages like animals]”…

If the term “vice officer” doesn’t make your skin crawl, try savoring the mindless parroting of masturbatory fantasies & pro-violence propaganda.

Monsters 

But never mind the concentration camps Russia already had for sex workers, because the US has those, too:

Gay men arrested in a “purge” in the Russian region of Chechnya are being held in concentration camp-style prisons…Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained…Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.  In a chilling response, a Chechen government spokesperson denied that there are any gay people to detain…The Kremlin denied any knowledge of a purge…One man who was released from the camp [said]…he was subjected to violent “interrogations”…to get him to confess the names and locations of more gay men.  The officials also seized his mobile phone, targeting his network of contacts regardless of whether they were gay or not…The detainees face electric shock torture and violent beatings, while some of them have been held to ransom and used to extort their families…

Lower Education

Cishet male privilege!

…A male student who was accused of sexual harassment committed suicide just days after the University of Texas at Arlington ignored its own policies in order to punish him.  The accused student’s father, a lawyer acting as the administrator of his son’s estate, is now suing the school for violating his son’s Title IX rights…Thomas Klocke…was accused by a gay male student of writing anti-gay slurs on his computer during a class.  Klocke vehemently denied the accusation, and administrators who investigated the incident acknowledged there was no evidence to support the accuser’s claims, yet Klocke was still punished…

Traffic Jam (#427) 

I honestly find it difficult to think of anything more pretentious than a faddish opera based on a current moral panic:

Chinese-born composer Du Yun won the Pulitzer Prize for music on Monday for Angel’s Bone, an experimental opera that explores [what she imagines to be] the psychology behind human trafficking.  The one-act opera…takes place in a non-descript American suburb but is filled with spiritual symbolism.  “Mr. and Mrs. X.E.,” riven by marital strife and financial problems, enslave and victimise a pair of angels who stumble upon the property…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#514)

Fortunately, prohibitionists’ attachment to this dumb canard is working against them:

…The pimp lobby – a conspiracy theory in which astroturfing pimps are behind the movement for decriminalisation – erases the reality of sex workers…in the Guardian, Kat Banyard dismisses Amnesty’s two-year research project as a pimp party; see [also] Julie Bindel…and…In 2014…MEP Mary Honeyball…wrote off…450 organisations which opposed [the Swedish model] as “organisations comprised of pimps”…[prohibitionists] don’t believe sex workers could be this organised, don’t believe they could be this united, don’t believe anyone in the industry could be clear-headed enough…To write [sex worker activists] off as pimps…is a vicious, desperate attempt to deny the lived experience of sex workers, even when those sex workers are standing in full sight.

Vendetta (#634)

Another group of technically competent but woefully naive kids is exploited by the police state to attack sex workers:

Hundreds of tech-savvy problem solvers gathered in Downtown Eugene [Oregon]…for the second annual “Hack for a Cause”…Hackers created software including mobile phone apps to combat…sex trafficking…One developer was creating a mobile app to [snitch to the pigs] at a touch of a button…Another community challenge the hackers discussed was how to use technology to encourage donations to [corporations] instead of [homeless people]…

Morality Lessons (#703) 

Moral panic + censorship = profit:

Draft bills in at least 13 state legislatures would require all internet-enabled devices to come installed with an anti-porn filter, which adult consumers could choose to have removed for a fee of $20.  They’re calling it the Human Trafficking Prevention Act.  The Daily Beast does a nice job today of exposing the huckster behind this legislation, a 40-year-old EDM musician and anti-porn crusader named Chris Sevier who tried to marry his computer in protest of same-sex marriage, was released early from an Iraq tour for mental-health issues, sued Apple over the dissolution of his marriage, and has been charged with harassing a teen girl as well as country singer John Rich…the porn-filter bill is explicitly packaged as a response to porn being a “public health hazard” and “cancer on society” that “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment” in America, normalizes violence against women and children, “portrays rape and abuse as if such acts are harmless,” promotes “problematic or harmful sexual behaviors,” and “increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography”…

No Friend of Ours (#725)

A politician is someone who believes one can never have too many laws:

…SB488 by Sen. Pat Spearman…would expand Nevada’s sex trafficking laws to include not just those actually trafficking young people but to what she described as all the participants.  She said that includes [anybody prosecuters can even tangentially connect to] those who [have sex for reasons pompous baboons deem]…illicit and illegal…She presented a [show pony to distract male politicians from facts by telling them wanking fantasies about how]…she was repeatedly sold for sex when she was…11 to multiple men…

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