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Posts Tagged ‘Chauvinism’

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

To Protect and Serve

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

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

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

Droit du Seigneur 

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

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

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

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical 

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

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

Finding What Isn’t There

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

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

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

Chauvinism (#335)

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

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

Allied for Change

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

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

Follow Your Bliss (#698) 

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

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

The Widening Gyre (#825) 

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

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

Banishment (#848) 

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

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

Soap Opera (#853)

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

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

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

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“Show us your humanity!” is more belittling and damaging than “Show us your tits!”  –  Conner Habib

Think of the Children! Rafe Esquith

Because ordinary English words can emit sex rays, too!

After being taken out of his classroom for two months, a famous Los Angeles teacher, Rafe Esquith, is filing a claim against the L.A. Unified School District…Esquith…was removed from the classroom and put on paid leave…while the district investigates him for misconduct…[because] he made a joke to his class that prompted a complaint from another teacher…that if the class couldn’t raise enough money for their Shakespeare play then they might have to perform some of it naked, like the king in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…Superintendent Ramon Cortines [said] that the inquiry includes “serious issues that go beyond the initial investigation”…Esquith is well-known and renowned globally. H e is the recipient of the president’s National Medal of Arts and is the only K-12 teacher to receive that award.  Many of his books, such as Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, are bestsellers…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

You know a jurisdiction is deeply immersed in “end demand” mania when it starts devouring its own and makes grandiose claims:

A former police chief, an attorney and six other area men are facing gross misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution…following a sting…Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted…said the operation…is the first step toward uncovering the major players in sex trafficking in the Brainerd lakes area…

The idea that a Backpage sting could “uncover the major players” in anything is so hilariously stupid it’s almost unbelievable.  But down in Florida, it’s a bit different:

A woman is facing a felony prostitution charge after she was found in a hotel room with a Tallahassee Police Department sergeant…Afton Chewning…was found with 49-year-old TPD Sgt. Brian Davis in a Days Inn motel room…Davis turned himself in…on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation…[and] has filed a plea of not guilty…

Felony for her, misdemeanor (which he’ll certainly escape) for him.  Nice.

Check Your Premises

The fact that one of the “traffickers” really did rape and abuse one woman doesn’t change the incoherence of this first part of the article:

Four sex traffickers who brought more than 50 Hungarian women into the country and sold them as part of their highly lucrative vice empire…in…London are facing years behind bars.  Most of the victims came into the country voluntarily to work in the sex industry, promoted themselves on adult websites and kept half of their earnings…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

This story on another creepy facial-recognition surveillance tool contains the following incredible claim: “In the United States, more than 800,000 children are reported missing every year, and nearly half end up living on the streets. Seventy percent will become sex trafficking victims, most within their first 72 hours of living on the street…

Surplus Women 

Chillicothe, Ohio…has crept…into headlines…[as] the place where women go missing and wash up dead.  In little over a year, at least six women have disappeared from the town of only 21,000.  Four of their bodies have been found, almost all of them dumped in creeks or streams flowing away from the town…Most of them were hooked on drugs, and many moonlighted as prostitutes to fund their addictions…Some of them even knew one another.  The similarities between the victims and the crime scenes have Chillicothe terrified that a serial killer is on the loose…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

In a new book, Sex Addiction: A Critical History, New Zealand academics Barry Reay, Nina Attwood and Claire Gooder claim that porn addiction is mythical; a product of “social opportunism, diagnostic amorphism, therapeutic self-interest and popular cultural endorsement”.  Reay argues that there’s little scientific basis for the classification of porn use as an addiction.  Instead, our sex-negative culture, click-bait media and flourishing therapy industry have combined to create a fanciful and frightening condition…

Above the Law Micah Meurer

An Amarillo [Texas cop] was fired…after investigators determined he had…sexually assaulted her…[the] woman reported…Micah Meurer…had sexually assaulted her in her…home…

Chauvinism

Conner Habib has written year’s best essay about prohibition so far:

I’ll refer to anti-sex-work and anti-porn campaigners here…as “anti-sex bigots”…because sex is what makes sex work so special for them.  Sex makes this line of work a singular profession, mystically distinguished from other jobs.  But…there is no substance to their arguments.  Their tactics are strung together not with understanding or data, but with hate.  Their bigotry is visceral, and their goals are clear:

1. Distort and destroy consent.

2. Create a framework of good vs. evil.

3. Cherry-pick voices.

4. Play the victim while holding the power.

5. Create apocalyptic urgency.

This list might sound like an exaggeration to outsiders.  To sex workers, it’s exhaustingly and overwhelmingly familiar…

Mumbo Jumbo

Apparently it isn’t just whores who have the power to grant demons “permission”:

Pat Robertson…told a woman her son’s “hatred and mental issues” might be brought on by demons, which in turn were brought on because she brought a Ouija board home one time.  “You can open the door to demons…There was one lady I heard about who was demon-possessed [because]…she had gone to an X-rated movie and done all these sex things”…

Challenge (#402) 

Tits and Sass has a pretty good rundown of the key players in the recriminalization of sex work in Rhode Island.  Well worth your time on the principle of “Know thine enemy”.

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

At least Canadian media have the sense to put “rescue” in scare quotes:

Windsor police “rescued” two sex workers from harmful situations as part of a provincewide investigation into the sex trade…On June 17-18, human trafficking and vice units from more than 20 different police services across Ontario investigated whether sex workers were involved in human trafficking or exploitation…This latest investigation was the third phase of Operation Northern Spotlight, which is designed to open up lines of communication between police and sex workers…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#423)

Bindel can’t possibly be as delusional as she pretends to be; her slipshod list of “pimp lobby” members proves that.  So what is she really up to?

Julie Bindel is…now raising money for a book she’s writing, to…“outline the emergence of a powerful lobby — the sex workers’ rights movement — that works in favour of a total decriminalisation of the sex industry”…Bindel’s project is…part of anti-sex-work eradicationists’ ongoing drive to paint all sex workers speaking out for their rights as pimps and punters in disguise.  (A reporter who attended one of Bindel’s talks at a Stop Porn Culture conference last year wrote that her “presentation on ‘the politics of the sex industry’” was “a succession of tabloid-style personal attacks on pro-sex industry activists, academics, escorts, and performers, complete with photos seemingly lifted without permission from their social-media profiles”)…

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The war on sex offenders poses perhaps the greatest political challenge for those seeking to dismantle the carceral state.  –  Marie Gottschalk

Divided We Fall

Gay folk who promote anti-whore crusades are about the sleaziest sleaze there isanti-whore queers

A Kiwi couple needs public help in a quest to take part in a…bootcamp which would help their dream of putting a stop to the forced sex trade industry.  In 2013 Xavier Hartstonge and partner Jesse North created the not-for-profit organisation SweatsHope with the vision of halting the forced sex trade industry in…India…Six people will be selected to receive an all-expenses paid trip to…spend two weeks working with a business coach, life coach and personal trainer…The organisers hope to turn it into a reality TV show.  Hartstonge…says we all know the sex trade is happening, yet we choose to close our eyes…“It’s about empowerment, showing these women they do have the choice and no longer have to do this…It’s modern day slavery and should no longer be tolerated”…

Yes, that’s a gay man demonizing a kind of sex he isn’t interested in.  Breathe deep of the putrid stench of that irony.

The Hooker Vote

The fact that Hof endorsed Ron Paul in ’12 should tell you that this has nothing to do with the candidates’ actual positions.  From a press release that was probably sent to everyone who blogs on sex work:  “Prostitutes at Dennis Hof’s…Moonlite Bunny Ranch…announce their support of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign…” The so-called “Hookers For Hillary” campaign’s embrace of “health care reform” seems primarily an attempt to demonize “illegal” sex workers by casting us as vectors of disease who need to be micromanaged by the benevolent state and licensed pimps like Hof lest we spread plague like a host of scarlet-clad Typhoid Mary Magdalenes.

Shift in the Wind

Is Al Jazeera swinging away from anti-whore hysteria again?

…Because sex work is legal in Ecuador…are, for the most part, allowed to conduct their work openly, without fear of being arrested. In other cities such as Kampala, Uganda; Manila, the Philippines; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Islamabad; Skopje, Macedonia; and Kiev, Ukraine, where it is illegal, sex workers conduct their work in the shadows, which makes it more likely that they will be subject to violence and limits their power to negotiate safe sex…For refugee sex workers in particular, an arrest for prostitution could jeopardize their asylum claim or result in deportation.  The high stakes of getting caught thus force them to take even greater risks, such as working alone or on the least safe stretches of road…refugees, notably those clustered in cities, often engage in sex work.  But international institutions need to do much more than just turn a blind eye to this informal form of employment.  By publicly acknowledging refugee sex workers and establishing support protocols, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations could help them do their work more safely and ensure their rights — to health, information and dignity — are respected…

Worse Than I Thought

Landlords of massage parlors, spa managers and even motel managers who knowingly allow prostitution on their premises could face prison and fines under [new Rhode Island laws]…The pandering law…would be amended to include those who allow prostitution on their premises, because they derive money from the illegal activity.  That includes landlords, managers, owners of spas or businesses, or any other place where commercial sex is practiced or allowed.  Under both bills, the penalties for a first offense would be one to five years in prison, and fines between $2,000 and $5,000…

It’s like they’re competing with each to see who can inflict the most mindlessly-draconian sentences:

People who solicit prostitutes would face increased penalties under a bill that [unanimously] passed the Florida House…The penalty for a first offense would increase from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.  A second offense would be a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a third offense would be a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison…

Amsterdam (#45)

Dutch “authorities” outlaw more aspects of sex work, then feigning surprise when the number of illegal whores increases:

The number of licensed brothels and escort agencies in the Netherlands fell to 674 in 2014, compared with 1,127 in 2006…The figures also show six out of 10 local authorities have no licensed sex business within their boundaries….researchers say the decline may be due to the rise in the online sex industry…Justice minister Ard van der Steur says it is difficult to get a grip on the size of the unlicensed industry but that exploitation, human trafficking and forced prostitution are a serious issue…

Chauvinism

You’ll notice that none of these laws really affect picket-fence queers:

…Gay rights groups have made great strides in repealing anti-sodomy laws on federal and state levels, and these efforts should be commended.  And yet, prosecutions for sex crimes are growing faster than any other type of crime, with an exponentially rising rate of arrests and convictions.  Gay men are arrested in cruising stings, HIV-positive men are sent to prison for merely being sexually active, and sex workers and clients are arrested for victimless crimes.  Much of these prosecutions disproportionately affect queer folk, despite advances in civil rights for LGBT people.  Have the baldly homophobic laws of the 20th century really gone away? Or are they merely being repackaged and rebranded for a more gay-friendly public?…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes

Read this essay by rapid neofeminist Sarah Ditum, keeping in mind that the source of all this bile is that a man went to a strip club:

…Lapdancing is a kind of entertainment that trades on power — men’s power over women, the economic supremacy that gives men the disposable income to buy a woman right out of her clothes, the ritualised submission of the naked women pantomiming sexual frenzy for the men in suits, the little assertions of possession that comes every time a man crosses the line and puts his hand on the skin he’s paying to see. Feminism is the politics of rejecting men’s power over us.  Not eroticising that power, not exploiting it to rinse a little cash benefit out of our own inferiority, but refusing it…Ask…how feminism can tolerate any [sex work]…

First They Came for the Hookers…(#341)

Licensed strip clubs are no longer allowed in Saskatchewan, but the government says it will make an exception for charitable events once a year.  Premier Brad Wall announced…that his government would reverse its decision to allow licensed strip clubs because of concerns about human trafficking and sexual exploitation…

Sex Rays

the Dutch central bank has fired a 46-year-old female employee claimed to have been working after hours as a highly paid prostitute – specialising in sadomasochism.  The woman, who had been with the central bank for eight years…had allegedly been offering her services under the name “Conchita van der Waal”, advertising under the motto: “the kinkier the better”.  Ms van der Waal also offered to engage in sexual role play…one of the roles in which she was photographed online was that of an SS commandant…the…bank’s code of conduct…forbids “indecent behaviour” – and stipulates that no employee should act in a way which could harm the reputation of the bank or lead to negative publicity…

Catastrophic Consequences

Sex workers in Edinburgh are facing increased health risks following the controversial police crackdown on saunas…Fewer women are attending the specialist NHS clinic set up to support them – and…sexually transmitted infections have increased.  Sex workers are also giving up on condoms, with saunas refusing to stock them because police can use possession of them as evidence of selling sex…many women had moved away from saunas and now operated from other venues, like flats or lap-dancing bars…

The Missing Word

The US’s current anti-trafficking policy…produces a tangle of finite good and possibly infinite harmful effects…stories of “sex slaves” produced by some advocates and propagated with alacrity by the media and accepted by…US law makers—has permitted…an incoherent spectrum of immigration and criminal law enforcement operating without much critical oversight, let alone public understanding…the media here [follows a]…template of treating exploited (male) workers as migrant labours while reserving the term “trafficking” for (female) “sex trafficking victims”…

Guinea Pigs Motel 6

Pay attention to this: a motel chain is systematically ratting out guests to cops:

The popular hotel chain, Motel 6, has recently decided to partner with the police to violate the rights of their guests.  Without the consent of the guest, or even informing them whatsoever, Motel 6 employees will now turn over the guest information to the police, who will then run a background check on the subject…I highly doubt that all, or even 10%, of the 1,100 Motel 6’s in North America have a huge sex trafficking problem. I doubt many of them have real “major” crime issues at all. Yet, Motel 6 is allowing the police to run the names of all their guests, regardless of probable cause, incident, or reasoning…

Guest Columnist:  Kaytlin Bailey

There’s the old chestnut that’s supposed to help you relax in front of an audience, “imagine them in their underwear,” and its dark twin — the classic nightmare of being naked in public.  For comedians, the Naked Comedy Showcase provides a chance to experience both scenarios…According to New York host and producer, Kaytlin Bailey, “It’s a rush…there’s something about being in the survival mindset and that amount of adrenaline that really brings the performer in to the room and they’re present from moment to moment and that’s great to watch.”  The brainchild of Boston-based comedian, and nudist Andy Ofiesh, Bailey took over hosting and producing duties in…2014 and has been playing to standing-room-only crowds ever since…

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[Anita Sarkeesian]…has the same paternalistic views that many feminists have regarding sex workers—that they need to be rescued, saved; that they would never actually choose this line of work, but rather, were led or coerced into it by a man.  –  Princess Kora

Imagination Pinned Down

Note that as usual the supposed “sex slavery” was decades in the past, unsupported by anything remotely resembling evidence:

…Niki Cross…was forced into sexual slavery as a teenager.  She’s now sharing her story and…working with other victims.  “I didn’t realize I was being sold.  I just thought I was being raped over and over and over…at least 10 a day.”  Cross…was lured by a man to Akron, Ohio, with promises of a singing career.  Instead, she was chained in an attic, drugged and sold as a sex slave for a year, until she managed to escape one night…and…was taken in by Chrissie Murphy.  The two went their separate ways, until a friend of a friend recently reconnected them nearly 40 years later…

Subtle Pimping (#330)

Sex workers in video games are nothing new, but a game whose developers want to promote empathy for whores rather than just exploiting us as a game mechanic definitely is:  “[In] The Oldest Game, currently in development, [players assume] the identity of a sex worker in one of three Canadian cities…the objective…is to make as much money as possible while staying safe, which creates a difficult, no-win scenario…to show the very real constraints sex workers experience…

Meanwhile Anita Sarkeesian, who has insulted and infantilized sex workers in order to promote her particular brand of pop-neofeminism, is getting a taste of her own medicine from a sex worker:

Princess Kora…[has] found a way to profit from Sarkeesian’s detractors.  Two weeks ago, the 29-year-old PhD student and veteran sex worker launched an adult webcam series called “Boob Frequency,” a parody of [Sarkeesian’s YouTube channel] Feminist Frequency…Kora dresses in Sarkeesian’s typical uniform of hoop earrings and a plaid shirt, only she leaves most of the buttons undone and exposes a generous portion of her substantial cleavage…She also mocks Sarkeesian by “whining about exploitation and oppression”…hordes of Gamergate supporters have come flocking to her webcam channel…and…“Boob Frequency” has garnered several hundred subscribers…

Chauvinism (#335)

Russia has listed [transgender status]…fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism…as “mental disorders” now barring people from driving…because Russia has too many road accidents…Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have condemned the move…Valery Evtushenko at the Russian Psychiatric Association…said some people would avoid seeking psychiatric help, fearing a driving ban…

Under Every Bed (All Traffick, All the Time)

The increasing grandiosity of the Bakken oil field trafficking subsection of “sex trafficking” mythology will probably get an entire chapter to itself in my book.  Here’s an “investigative series” which manages to run for an entire week  without actually investigating the topic, at least not by the usual meaning of that word; it’s just the typical hodgepodge of ridiculous, unsupported claims, wildly exaggerated numbers and cop wanking fantasies without the slightest shred of proof or even a single interview with an actual sex worker.  Truly astonishing, even by the low standards of yellow “sex trafficking” journalism.

A Mound of Filth

Even for Arizona, referring to the same old lies which have been circulating for years as “new statistics” is a pretty bold (not to mention stupid) move; some of the intended audience must recognize the claims as not remotely “new”, and even if they still believe such factors contribute to the erosion of the mythology:

New statistics show how big the problem is in Southern Arizona…A third of runaway girls are approached by a sex trafficker within 48 hours…the average age of victims…is just 13 years old…Human sex trafficking is a $9.8 billion business…During a sporting event like the upcoming Super Bowl…girls can be sold to as many as 45 buyers in a night…

Theatrics (#446) 

The dating app Tinder appears to be the new hub for aggressive moralists seeking to sexually shame others:

A group of young Melburnians say they are exposing paedophiles [sic] grooming underage girls on dating app Tinder by creating a fake profile…of a 15-year-old girl they called “Imogen”.  The group say they secretly filmed her conversations with men online where she tells them her [false] age and then subsequent face-to-face meetings…The creators [are all 21 or older, including the one who]…pretended to be “Imogen”…cyber safety consultant Susan McLean said the experiment [is]…”absolute stupidity.  I can see this ending terribly for everyone involved”…

One can only hope so.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#502)

Another good way to give lies weight in the minds of the Great Unwashed: embed them in an infographic. trafficking bullshit

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The Olympics are always a chance for hosts to do some moral cleansing, and drive away undesirables by brute force.  –  Scott Long

Saeed MalekpourLying Down With Dogs

The lawyer of a man convicted of building and promoting pornographic websites [in Iran] says a death sentence against his client has been converted to life imprisonment…blogger Saeed Malekpour will spend the rest of his life in jail…”  There aren’t too many other countries barbaric enough to sentence a man to life in a cage for “dirty” pictures, but I can think of at least one other.

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

The [Arkansas] Senate passed a bill…that would ban non-traditional…body art procedures, particularly scarification and dermal implants…

Wise Investment

Pay attention, sex worker activists:

The children of three women who were murdered by Robert Pickton have filed lawsuits against the police and the serial killer…They allege the Vancouver police and the RCMP failed to properly investigate reports of missing women and failed to warn women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that a serial killer was likely at work, despite having evidence implicating Pickton in the disappearance of sex workers as early as 1997 and 1998…

Surplus Women

The suspicious deaths of two prostitutes…has sparked a major investigation…The bodies of Jill Lyons and Karen Nabors, who both worked as online escorts, were discovered in an apartment building in Vancouver.  Ms Lyons, 45, was discovered dead in her own apartment on August 12…The body of Ms Nabors was discovered on August 25, also in her own apartment, and police…suggest…the 48-year-old was murdered…

shampoo adGullible’s Travels

Another ludicrous mini-panic from the clowns who brought you idosing, jenkem and vodka-soaked tampons:

“Parents, lock up your shower supplies”…is an actual quote from an announcement made…at a middle school just outside of Richmond, VA…of…a new practice called “shamboiling”…where shampoo is brought to a rapid boil and then the fumes are inhaled for a hallucinogenic effect…one thing is certain…shamboiling is catching on quickly and…is potentially deadly…The Sheriff’s department is  urging parents to check their shampoos for [ammonium lauryl sulfate] and to take the necessary precautions to keep these chemicals away from children…

Here’s the debunking on Snopes.

Universal Criminality

A perfect example of how laws against consensual behavior are used by repressive governments to harass those they dislike:

Police have detained a Chinese-American…on suspicion of visiting a sex worker in Beijing as authorities crack down on bloggers.  Charles Xue [AKA Xue Manzi], who has over 12 million followers on Sina Weibo…regularly reposts reform-minded content…Among those questioning the motive behind the arrest was the editor of the state-run Global Times newspaper.  “Cannot rule out the possibility that authorities are arresting Xue Manzi…to give him a hard time,” Hu Xijin wrote…in a blog posting that later disappeared…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies

Yet another “sex trafficking” opportunist exposed:

The founder of…anti-human trafficking NGO Sisha, Steve Morrish, announced…he was stepping down from his position due to a raft of allegations accusing him of financial impropriety…Sisha’s alleged financial problems were revealed publicly…on August 8 in…the Cambodian blog Penhpal.  The posting alleged that money donated to Sisha…“has instead been siphoned off to pay for the NGO’s operating expenses”…

Moloch

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

A 10-year-old girl…identified as “Ashley,” was charged by police for aggravated sexual assault…[for] playing doctor…a neighbor saw the children and called the mother of a 4-year-old boy…[whom] Ashley was inappropriately touching…Ashley’s mother…was not allowed to sit-in on the 45-minute questioning of her daughter…

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Confined and Controlled

If this were intended to increase sex workers’ range of options, it’s would be fine; however, it’s clearly intended as a confinement system:  “Several communities in Italy have launched a campaign to ban street prostitution and reintroduce brothels, which have been banned since 1958…

Worse Than I Thought

As I predicted last year, the cancer keeps spreading:

…[new] legislation…in North Carolina….increases punishments for sex traffickers, i.e. pimps, as well as for purchasers, i.e. johns.  It also focuses on “treating minors involved in prostitution as the victims they are, instead of criminals,” [the bill’s sponsor] said…”The legislation also offers hope to women who escape a life of prostitution by allowing them…relief to expunge their criminal pasts once they get treatment and help”…[another law] requires pimps to register as sex offenders…

As I’ve explained before, “safe harbor” laws are bullshit that help almost nobody; “treatment” means (usually religious) “re-education”, and a “pimp” means just about anyone prosecutors decide to railroad.

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

Tulsa cops continue to justify persecution of adult women by pretending they’re “trafficked”:  “Human trafficking has developed into a booming enterprise in Oklahoma…on a given night,Melissa Ditmore the Vice Unit may deploy undercover police officers to respond to as many as 40 online advertisements posted by ‘escorts’ in preparation for prostitution stings that sometimes uncover cases of human trafficking…”  Note the misplaced scare quotes, around “escorts” rather than “trafficking”.

The Public Eye

Jessica Land interviews Dr. Melissa Ditmore, a prominent academic ally, on her research, The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work, sex worker projects and organizations, and international issues.

That Old Black Magic

Here’s an interesting article on the connection between harlotry and witchcraft:

…Prostitutes were widely believed to be specialists in erotic magic, especially the use of philtres to sway the feelings of those around them…For example, a woman may resort to a binding spell, to handicap rivals in the trade or lock down a steady client…These women were also sought by those outside the trade for their magical expertise.  Those in troubled marriages might consult a prostitute to concoct a love potion to rekindle the affections of a wayward spouse…

King of the Hill

Most of this CNN story is the usual lurid “sex trafficking” rubbish, but I want to call attention to a fascinating new development:  “king of the hill” stories are now specifically claiming their subjects are the “third-busiest area for sex trafficking in the United States” (see also “Under Every Bed” below) rather than just “one of the busiest” or “in the top ten”.  As usual, the Department of Justice is credited for the “statistic” despite the fact that neither it nor any other agency keeps any kind of state-by-state “trafficking” statistics.  I suspect the “third largest” designation arose through confusion with the claim that “human trafficking is the third-largest criminal enterprise” (though that one’s been upgraded to second), but it will be interesting to see how many claim to be the “third largest” before anyone in the mainstream media starts to awaken.

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (TW3 #135)

A new Irish company named Safe IQ “develops safety products and services for sex workers…and raises awareness of the need for [them] to have the same protections as other workers.”  Here’s its first product:

Ugly Mugs for Android is a [free] mobile phone app that automatically screens incoming and outgoing calls and text messages and alerts the phone user if the…number…is listed in the UglyMugs.ie database…When a sex worker encounters a dangerous person, they [sic] can report the incident to the ugly mug scheme, and a warning will be made available to all sex workers…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)Indonesian protesters tear down insulting sign

Only a hopeless lawhead could imagine that closing red-light districts will make prostitution go away:

Hundreds of sex workers confronted the mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city…angrily denouncing the closure of the Klakah Rejo district…The crowd later tore down a “Prostitution-Free Town” billboard erected by officials…”What’s going on?”…the mayor [said]…”We’re trying to help but they are refusing.”  Surabaya is also home to Dolly, reputedly the largest red-light district in South-East Asia.  The mayor said that one and other red-light districts would be closed as the city aimed to be prostitution-free by 2014.

Under Every Bed

Wisconsin is one of “the top three states” for sex trafficking, according to…Michelle Mayefske… Not all prostitution is trafficking. Some women, referred to as “renegades,” simply decide to sell sex and are not controlled or managed by anyone, but “that is very, very rare,” she said…“Gangs are now turning from drugs to human trafficking…[because] drugs can be sold only once and then they’re gone, whereas…a woman or a child can be sold over and over and over…Georgia, California and Wisconsin have the highest rates of sex trafficking in the United States, so we are in the top three”…

1) This is the second time I’ve heard this “renegade” bullshit; neither I nor anyone I asked knows where it comes from.  2) I think Mayefske is extremely confused about the concept of “sale”.  3) She needs to talk to Florida.

Chauvinism

Veteran human rights activist Scott Long argues that activists who compare Russia’s anti-gay purge to the Nazi campaign against Jews are not only wrongheaded, but missing the most obvious comparison:

If Western gay…activists want to know what Putin’s decree will mean in practice:  ask a sex worker…Before every big sporting event, the same rhetoric reverberates:  Prostitutes are going to take over this town…The predictions are nearly always couched as concern for “trafficked” women, but they…come down to…anxieties over nuisances to “normal” neighbors, and…the reputation of the host city…What major sporting events bring is not an “explosion” in prostitution, but an explosion in repression…not in evil Russia, but in liberal Canada and the UK, countries that value human rights, except for sex workers, who aren’t human…Yet in London, few powerful voices opposed the Olympic rollback of sex workers’ freedom — and certainly few LGBT activists…

Deafening Silence

The treatment of sex workers in Cuba, including confinement for the purpose of ‘re-education’, was raised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women…the…committee said it was “deeply concerned” about Cuba’s reluctance to address the issue of prostitution…” The United States’ confinement and “re-education” of sex workers, however, causes the committee no concern at all.  Funny how that works.

Sold Out

two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the US have stayed quiet about Manning…whose revelations about the US Army’s actions epitomize social justice in action…the [silence of the] Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD…has been deafening… the HRC…[has] the financial backing of…Lockheed Martin…Booz Allen Hamilton…[and] Northrop Grumman…GLAAD has…Goldman Sachs…and Verizon…

Coming and Going (TW3 #331)

Kathryn Griffin finger pointingKate Zen takes a long, thorough look at Texas’ “prostitution diversion” program and its founder, Kathryn Griffin; she examines the program’s lack of any of the normal benefits of such schemes, its close relationship to the rescue industry, its pervasive Christian moralism and its ignoring all of the actual reasons women turn to prostitution in favor of a sin and victimization narrative.

Policing for Profit

Federal and state law-enforcement officers poured into Tukwila [Washington]…seizing three motels whose operators are suspected of participating in illegal drugs and prostitution…U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan…said that the three hotels…have accounted for 17 percent of all calls for police services in the past year…investigators believe the owners actively profited from criminal activity…Durkan said…[her] office will…actively use…seizures to force compliance…

Uncommon Sense (Extra Edition)

Though most English-language media is pretending Zurich’s tippelzone scheme is something new, it is nothing of the kind; this article lists a number of other cities in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands with similar setups.

Zurvivor (Extra Edition)

Donald Hill was acquitted…on a charge of [paying]…Alexis Wright, after a judge ruled prosecutors were not able to prove that money was exchanged.  The ruling could affect any additional charges of individuals alleged to have engaged Wright’s services…

HamletOpting Out

An example of why “porn filters” are a spectacularly bad idea:

A man using the British Library’s wi-fi network was denied access to…Hamlet because the text contained “violent content”…the…library said the fault was caused by a newly installed wi-fi service from a third-party provider.  One security expert said the incident highlighted the “dysfunction” of internet filters…Prof Ross Anderson…[said] internet filters were “pointless” and that it was “completely inappropriate” to have one in the British Library…

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When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.  –  Charles Evans Hughes

black sheepLanguage changes over time; words come and go, and new words are used in place of older ones.  One word which was common in my youth but has since declined sharply in popularity is “chauvinism”, meaning “blind and fanatical devotion to something”.  A chauvinist is one who believes his own group, belief system or whatever is superior to all others and refuses to even consider the possibility that it is not so; usually, he is willing to use state violence to enforce his own views.  So although we’ve devised a plethora of neologisms over the past several decades, usually ending in “-ism” or “-phobia” and often cumbersome, awkward or improperly derived, we actually don’t need any of them because “chauvinism” covers the whole spectrum without having to add yet another term to the ever-growing list.  Furthermore, the word correctly places the stress where it belongs, on the bigot rather than on those toward whom his bigotry is directed, and thereby makes the behavior pattern far more obvious.

When one accepts at face value the excuses by which chauvinists justify their positions, the true connections between those actions may be obscured or even wholly invisible.  But once attention is focused on the chauvinism itself rather than on its targets, the connections suddenly appear.  Take, for example, the current moral panic over “human trafficking”, a term so nebulously defined that it is nearly impossible to make any valid factual statements about it at all. Looking at the various phenomena to which the label is applied – exploitative labor, arranged marriage, unorthodox immigration, usury, surrogate motherhood, sex work, even attempted rape – it’s difficult to understand how they’re connected other than the fact that most of them involve sex, travel or both.  Furthermore, sometimes things which clearly seem to fit the popular definition aren’t called “trafficking” at all, especially when a government or multi-national corporation is the “trafficker”.

But if one stops listening to the claims of those who spread the hysteria, and instead looks for common factors, it soon boils down to chauvinism: every single one of the things called “trafficking” is a transgression against conventional middle-class white Western ideas of morality and propriety.  Nobody is concerned about immigrants doing awful work that middle-class people don’t want, so this is rarely labeled “trafficking” even when it clearly fits the standard definition; but because sex work offends both conservative Christian and radical feminist notions about “proper” female behavior, it is labeled “trafficking” even when it clearly involves neither travel nor coercion.  Once we recognize that Euro-American chauvinism has become widespread enough to maintain a xenophobic panic, one can also predict that other forms of institutionalized bigotry around issues of sex and travel should be popular right now, and indeed that is the case:  In Europe we see persistent attempts to ban pornography and Muslim clothing, and in the US assaults on abortion rights and mass deportations.  Superficially, these things may seem to be unrelated,Kristallnacht but in actuality they are all motivated by exactly the same thing:  the quest to purge from Western society everyone who is different from “us”.  Our persons, practices and ways of life are assumed to be superior to everyone else’s, so obviously every nonconformity is a contaminant to be removed, by violence if necessary.

There is one exception, but it proves the rule.  Gay rights was for a very long time an uphill battle, especially in the pathologically-prudish United States.  Yet in the past few years, opposition to the cause has quickly withered and died with astonishing speed…astonishing, that is, to anyone who fails to take chauvinism into account.  If one insists that the cause of opposition to gay rights is “homophobia”, in other words a particular aversion to homosexuals, the rapid turn of the tide makes no sense whatsoever.  But when one realizes that the same hatred is dispensed to anyone who is outside the norm, the reason for the change becomes clear:  same-sex marriage.  While gay people were chanting “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”, progress was achingly slow.  But once they started to stress how little different they were from heterosexuals – “Look, we even want to get married and form families like you do, see?” – opposition to granting them rights rapidly dissolved.  Once the majority came to see gay people as sufficiently “normal”, their chauvinism was no longer an issue; the same can be said for European Muslims who adopt Western dress.  The problem is not any specific form of bigotry against race, religion, sexuality or anything else; it’s a general bigotry against anyone who is viewed as the “other”.  And that is why the chief purpose of my own blog is to demonstrate how typical sex workers actually are; once the majority realizes that we are not dangerous “outsiders” determined to bring down their culture, they will stop treating us like an infection to be eradicated or quarantined.

(This essay first appeared on Cliterati on April 7th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.)

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