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Posts Tagged ‘China’

The best way I can think of to honor veterans is to stop making so goddamned many of them.  –  Maggie McNeill

99 years ago today, the armistice which ended the First World War – optimistically referred to by many at the time as “The War to End All Wars” – went into effect, and the occasion was thereafter celebrated as Armistice Day.  But because the idea of commemorating the end of a war doesn’t sit well with warmongering politicians in the world’s only remaining empire, it was eventually changed to “Veterans Day”.  However, as I wrote last year,

…designating the day as “Veterans Day” is, frankly, somewhat jingoistic and uncomfortably fascist.  As longtime readers know, I have nothing against military men; if anything, I have kind of a thing for them.  But respecting individuals isn’t at all the same as participating in the creepy mandatory obeisance we’ve seen growing over the past few decades, and dedicating a day to the end of a war is a far different thing from using it to glorify the machinery of war…Every year on this day, I’ve paid homage to the ancient and powerful relationship between warriors and whores, and I invite you to click on that link; the essay you’ll find contains more links to the earlier columns.  But given that after the end of the Cold War, the US government decided to instead devote itself to endless and mindless warfare against both its own people and those of foreign lands, I decided this year to make note of another bond between whores and military men:  our own government’s mad and evil campaign to destroy as many of our lives as possible for no reason whatsoever except the enrichment of the military/police-industrial complex and the self-aggrandizement of the evil sociopaths who declare themselves our rulers and believe they have the right to dispose of us as they will.

Though hipster progressives now like to refer to themselves as “The Resistance”, the truth is that they’re only upset because the orange-utang beat the animatronic harpy in the high-school popularity contest; they were perfectly content when “their” guy Obama was empire-building, setting new records for mass deportation, murdering children with flying war robots and using strips of the shredded Constitution to wipe his arse with.  And they’d have been ecstatic had Clinton been able to continue that, even had she done exactly what Trump is now doing (though in the “right” political way) because obviously murdered kids are happier when taking the last ferry ride if they were shipped down to the Styx by order of a woman; this is what extremely stupid people call “feminism”.  But in reality, it’s whores who are the real feminists and the real Resistance.  All authoritarians hate us, and all who hate us are authoritarians no matter what they want you to believe; there is no other valid term for someone who actually believes that government has both the power and the right to control women’s bodies, right down to criminalizing motives for sex that the Establishment disapproves of.  Well, I do not consent, and neither do other sex workers; we dare to continue to work and make our living in the face of disapproval from both religions and pearl-clutching housewives, and we defy the State which sends thugs to literally rape us in order to “teach us our place”.  Authoritarian regimes have always hated whores, and the US is no exception.  Hitler sent us to concentration camps; Mussolini confined us in psychiatric hospitals; Mao tried to brainwash us out of our harlotry; “Swedish model” regimes define women as moral imbeciles literally unable to resist the sight of money; and US politicians justify sending thug cops to “rescue” us (by raping, arresting and caging us) by public recitation of wild, disgusting wanking fantasies in which we’re all “children” or near-vegetables chained to beds by “pimps” with actual magic powers for repeated rape by every single adult male in the US every week.

And yet we resist, and carry on, and live and love and prosper.  And we and our trade will still be here long after both prohibitionism and authoritarianism exist only in history books, alongside wars fought for the aggrandizement and profit of “leaders” slavishly worshiped by people more concerned about their tribal affiliations than about the health, happiness and liberty of actual human beings.

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SESTA…is an invitation to drive an awful lot of important speech from the Internet.  –  Cathy Gellis

If It Were Legal

The only reason this was necessary was because of idiotic laws against sex businesses:

…Helena Berkyova, 29, pretended customers were paying for gourmet food including king crab soup and soufflé when she charged them for [escort] services.  She set up sham catering firm Fine Dining Catering Services to conceal the illegal operation…Berkyova pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manage or assist in the management of brothels, keeping a brothel for prostitution, and money laundering…Berkyova [was s sex worker]…before moving up to management…She admitted managing the brothels between January 2013 and October 2015, raking in around £350,000 from paying customers…

Only a twit who’s never owned or run a business would think £350,000 (about $460,000) over a three-year period constitutes “raking it in”.

So Close and Yet So Far

When anyone not a sex worker uses the term “decriminalization”, read carefully:

…it is easy [for very stupid people who know nothing about economics and black markets] to assume that decriminalizing prostitution will embolden sex traffickers and increase victimization…Research I conducted for my book…shows that decriminalization of sex work is an evidenced-based approach to combating sex trafficking…Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal; it just empowers victims to come forward…I’ve gone to “the track” in the District, where women are sold for sex on the street…

“Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal” is total bullshit; of course it does, it just doesn’t make it legalized (i.e., subjected to a repressive regulatory regime or bound in so many special laws it might as well still be illegal).  Note also the agency-negating phrase, “women are sold for sex”, which no sex worker advocate would use.  I smell a supporter of the Swedish model, which is often dishonestly represented as decriminalization by its proponents due to the false claim that it “decriminalizes” sex workers (which it actually doesn’t).

Under Every Bed (#350)

I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [vomited out a lot of stupid anti-sex propaganda]…at [a] panel hosted by the University of North Dakota Law School…Thomasine Heitkamp, a social work professor at UND and Sen. Heitkamp’s sister, recently completed a study on domestic, dating and sexual violence in the Bakken oil fields.  She said the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking during the study was stunning…Sen. Heitkamp said legislators need to take on Backpage.com, and other sites [she fantasizes as being] known for sex trafficking and called the Communications Decency Act a “barrier”…

A politician calls a law intended to protect people from government tyranny a “barrier”.  Yes, it is, and we need many more such barriers.  Also, what the fuck does “the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking” actually mean?

If Men Were Angels 

I wonder what fraction of his rhetoric is directed toward “perverts”?

…72-year-old Garry Evans, pastor of Baptist Temple in Rushville [Indiana], is accused of molesting several girls in his congregation…a three-year-old girl reported…that Evans lured her into his office with the promise of candy, then pulled his pants down and made her touch his genitals.  He then told her not to tell anyone what happened.  After the investigation into Evans’ behavior began…another mother brought her five- and seven-year-old daughters to police.  Both girls told investigators that Evans had forced his hands down their pants when they were alone with him in his office…

Harm Magnification (#612)

Naturally, because it’s politicians’ job to cause harm, not reduce it:

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning opted to discontinue its contract with Indiana Recovery Alliance to operate a needle exchange program…the program is free to the county…but…[the county] prosecutor [vomited out evil crap about how] she could not support a program that facilitates…the illegal use of drugs…[two politicians] remained silent…[one of them, Rodney] Fish [suggested drug users]…”pray and…turn from their wicked ways”…[the other evil fuckhead, Dustin] Gabhart [vomited out]…“I don’t like the get-out-of-jail card for paraphernalia.  To me, those…make us a sanctuary…for addicts”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#649)

I always feel dirty when prohibitionists salivate over their masturbatory fantasies in public:

A [rogue’s gallery] of state and local lawmakers in San Diego…[fantasized publicly about] young military men and…sex trafficking in California…[they fantasized that] eight thousand to 11,000 victims are trafficked in San Diego County every year, an $810 million business, according to a [bogus] 2016 study…[politician Juan] Vargas [masturbated openly to the fantasy that] gangs have moved from selling drugs to selling people…[while politician Xavier] Becerra [drooled while saying]…prosecutors must struggle to over[throw] internet privacy laws that make extremely difficult to prosecute [consenting adults for private sexual behavior]…[he also sexually fantasized in public about] girls who are 12 or 13 years old.  Maggy Krell…a…prosecutor…[cackled about] going after…hotels and motels [to enrich the state using the excuse of “sex trafficking”]…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#695)

Pearl-clutching is both funnier and sadder when a young man does it:

If not for its debaucherous reputation, you might not blink an eye passing the Fuji Building.  From the outside, it looks no different to the skyscrapers that surround it…But inside tells a different story:  Eighteen floors of “one woman brothels”…Signs on the doors read “welcome”, or “wait” in various languages… Strange anime cartoons accompany the messages…“The Fuji Building may be full of prostitutes, but so long as each individual flat can be shown to be a separate unit from all the rest — that it has its own water connection, electricity meter and no one else can access it — it is above board”…the scourge of human trafficking [is] “bubbling beneath the surface of the Hong Kong sex scene”…who’s really in charge?…Terrifying stuff.

Buildings are terrifying! Or is it young women? Sex? Anime cartoons?

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

Indonesia is trying to criminalize all sex outside of marriage:

…Indonesia…is in the midst of a two-year crack down on sexuality and gender rights; last week, police arrested 58 people in a raid on a “gay sauna” in Jakarta, some of whom now face 10 years in prison.  Human rights defenders protecting the community have been threatened, attacked, slandered and threatened with death.  Sex worker rights defenders say their night-time profession multiplies the threats they receive as activists…Sex work regulations in Yogyakarta are vague.  “Flattery,” “seduction with words, gestures, signs” or other indications that one plans to “carry out indecent acts” are all criminal.  The regulations say sex work will “reduce a person’s honor” and conflict with Indonesian values…Workers who speak up for one another during the day are often the ones targeted by police at night…

Cooties (#766) 

Despite the popularity of this masturbatory fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

MPs investigating the sex trade…launched [an inquiry] into organised crime gangs using temporary addresses to sexually exploit women…Police issued warnings to holiday let owners…that their properties were at risk of being used as pop-up brothels.  The cross-party group will [attempt to shore up a narrative so cops can harass and persecute]…vulnerable women.  [Politician] Gavin Shuker…said…“It is vital that we uncover how these criminals operate – and how we stop them”…

I know it’s hard to tell through the layers of “sex slave” fantasy and women’s agency negation, but what they’re actually talking about are rentals used by touring escorts and those who don’t want to risk “pimping” charges by splitting the cost of a long-term rental with friends.

The Mote and the Beam (#771)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Harris County has filed a lawsuit against [a] Motel 6 [location, claiming]…the motel is a nuisance and has failed to abate criminal activity…The lawsuit said, “Officers have made numerous arrests for prostitution at this location as well as arrests for possession of illegal drugs, weapons, and violent crime.”  The lawsuit [demands]…Motel 6 maintain surveillance video, install and maintain electronic gates, prohibit cash only customers and hourly rates for stay…

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

Lenore Skenazy compares “sex trafficking” moral panic to an older form of bigotry-spawned hysteria:

…Facebook posts about fiends snatching innocent children are eerily reminiscent of an older, more pernicious scare:  a corrosive lie called the “blood libel,” in which Jews during medieval times were said to be killing Christian children and using their blood to make matzah…medieval scholar Emily Rose…describes the most famous blood libel of all:  the 1475 abduction and murder of a young Italian boy, Simon of Trent.  A Jew was accused of killing him for his blood.  It was not the first such story, but this one spread like wildfire thanks to a brand new social medium: print.  Posters and poems disseminated the allegations…Across the continent, people started claiming that a Christian child had been murdered by a Jew in their town, too.  “Most of these kids didn’t even exist,” Rose says, “and if they did exist, they weren’t killed.”  But that didn’t stop the stories from catching on.  And the people repeating them were no longer just plain peasants in a two-bit town…Today’s panicked moms probably don’t see themselves playing a role that goes back centuries.  But the only thing new is the medium they’re using to spread fear.

The Mote and the Beam (#780)

Just in case you think it’s only sex workers who will be harmed by SESTA:

…”ICE has recently re-defined the crime of human trafficking to include assistance, like housing and employment, that adults provide to juveniles who come to the United States without their parents.  In many cases, the adults being investigated and charged are close relatives of the minors who are supposedly being trafficked“…SESTA is drafted with language that…[allows] the government, both federal and state…to come after the platforms hosting any and all speech related to the assistance of immigrants, if any and all assistance can be considered trafficking.  The scope of what they could target is enormous: tweets warning about plain-clothed ICE agents at courthousessearch engine results for articles indicating whether evacuation centers will be checking immigration status, online ads for DACA enrollment assistance, or even discussion about sanctuary cities…If SESTA passes, platforms will either have to presumptively censor all such online speech, or risk prosecution by any government or state entity…

Between the Lines (#784)

“Operation Cross Country” is well-known for reinforcing the “sex trafficking” narrative by omitting figures for adult sex workers arrested, charging male sex workers as “pimps”, and listing arrested 16- and 17-year-old sex workers as “rescued children”.  But their most vile trick is abducting sex workers’ children, then claiming they were “rescued” or, even worse, “recovered”:  “An 18-month-old child was recovered in Baton Rouge and the child’s mother was arrested amid an FBI-led sex trafficking sweep that recovered 84 children and netted 120 trafficking suspects nationwide“…The word “recovered” refers to someone getting back something that rightfully belongs to them; for cops to use it about someone’s child is a blatant statement that the State views all children as its property.

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Why should it be illegal to sell something that you can give away for free?  –  Judge Consuelo Callahan

Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through 

The idea that this constitutes “slavery” is almost as stupid as calling the cops was:

Kansas police arrested a man…and charged him with human trafficking, among other crimes…Joseph Stevenson Glenn…allegedly offered young homeless women a place to stay, then plied them with drugs until he received sexual favors, thus creating a cycle of sexual servitude…Glenn [precipitated] his own arrest by calling police and telling them that an unwanted guest was banging on his door…[cops] discovered drugs in plain view, along with two young girls who later were found to be homeless…[cops] allegedly found an assortment of illegal drugs, including cocaine, marijuana and meth….[plus] paraphernalia and scales to weigh the drugs…

The Enlightenment Police

This was inevitable; politicians everywhere are obsessed with regulating women’s bodies:

This week, Quebec banned people working in public service or using public services from wearing veils or any sort of facial covering, the first such ban in North America, one echoing “burqa ban” policies  passed across Europe.  Ushered in by Quebec’s Liberal Party as a way to “foster social cohesion” and “religious neutrality”…the law largely takes aim at Muslim women who veil their faces in public….women  can apply for exemptions—essentially a special license to wear a burqa or niqab that they would have to display to public officials…Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, called it “an unnecessary law with a made-up solution to an invented problem.  We don’t have hordes of women in niqabs trying to access or work in public services”…

Pyrrhic Victory

When an Eastern totalitarian state isn’t much more repressive than the “free” ones of the West, the world is in trouble:

[In] Kashgar…growing a beard can get you reported to the police.  So can inviting too many people to your wedding, or naming your child  Muhammad or Medina.  Driving or taking a bus to a neighboring town, you’d hit checkpoints where armed police officers might search your phone for banned apps like Facebook or Twitter, and scroll through your text messages to see if you had used any religious language.  You would be particularly worried about making phone calls to friends and family abroad.  Hours later, you might find police…knocking at your door and asking questions that make you suspect they were listening in the whole time…China, which has already deployed the world’s most sophisticated internet censorship system, is building a surveillance state in Xinjiang…that uses both the newest technology and human policing to keep tabs on every aspect of citizens’ daily lives.  The region is home to a Muslim ethnic minority called the Uighurs, who China has blamed for forming separatist groups and fueling terrorism.  Since this spring, thousands of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities have disappeared into so-called political education centers…

First They Came for the Hookers…

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

Bourbon Street has become an epicenter of the New Orleans sex trade, according to a yearlong investigation by…The Times-Picayune.  [Pig] records…and interviews with dozens of officials, club representatives, human trafficking experts and trafficking victims reveal how a patchwork of strip clubs featuring private rooms have continued to be plagued by prostitution and drug use…Bourbon Street has become a playground for pimps – the kingpins of a brutal and sadistic underworld that hides in plain sight…Even when authorities have compiled evidence that pimps on Bourbon are exploiting women, recruiting new sex trafficking victims and more recently using the women to rob customers, the sex trade has continued to fester…Covenant House [claims]…dozens of women – some younger than 18 – have reported falling victim to trafficking and sexual exploitation in clubs…there has been no evidence that clubs knowingly employed dancers who were victims of human trafficking [but prohibitionists fantasize]…the trafficking opportunity arises from a constant presence of pimps…

I don’t think I have to tell you just how much reeking bullshit this is. Yes, things have changed since Katrina, but not this much.  When I remind you that Covenant House was also behind the defeated law to ban women under 21 from working as strippers, and tell you that a number of New Orleans “officials” harbor really stupid fantasies of making Bourbon Street “family friendly”, does the picture become more clear?

If Men Were Angels 

A few more cases like this may spell the beginning of the end for the “sex addiction” scam:

A therapist accused of sexually assaulting a former juvenile patient numerous times at a youth treatment center told the girl that “he was a sex addict”…Jason Scott Calder…[manipulated the girl] from March until June…During one therapy session, Calder had the girl take off her clothes, but told her he couldn’t touch her…”Things progressed rather quickly and the therapist suggested they go for a walk up in the mountains alone for their next therapy session…the therapist would have special therapy sessions with her late into the night.  He would call her at the treatment facility to discuss, ‘keeping their story straight, when he was off shift'”…Other staff members noticed the late therapy sessions and mountain walks, which he did not do with any other female patient, and he was soon fired…

The Last Shall Be First (#625) 

The politicians knew this would happen; they don’t care because the law was nothing more than political theater intended to win votes:

Transgender people would be allowed to use public restrooms in North Carolina that match their gender identity under a settlement agreement filed [last] Wednesday that aims to resolve the federal lawsuit over the state’s widely criticized bathroom law…North Carolina has been mired in litigation about transgender rights since Republican lawmakers enacted a law in 2016 that restricted bathroom choice in state-run buildings to the sex on people’s birth certificates rather than their gender identity.  A measure passed in March rescinded the so-called bathroom bill…but activists said transgender people still faced discrimination under the new law, which left state lawmakers in control of bathroom policies…

To Molest and Rape 

Sex workers know this is cops’ idea of “community support”:

A police community support officer raped and sexually assaulted women he met while investigating crimes…Orhan Yigit…paraded naked in front of a victim of domestic violence, asked her for sexual favours in return for help to escape her marriage and [then raped] her…another [woman] who [foolishly] answered the door to him dressed in a nightie was “cuddled”, kissed on the shoulder and inappropriately touched…[he repeatedly raped] a third woman [and gained her silence by threatening her with information]…he discovered…by doing illegal checks on the police computer…

The Widening Gyre (#699)

Moral panics never end until they start harming middle-class white women:

Alex McDaniel, a writer for the blog Magnolia State Live, tweets a lot…usually it’s for laughs…a couple weeks ago, after tweeting about her son using the potty and the funny things he said, she added: “3-year-old for sale. $12 or best offer.”  Which kicked off a human trafficking investigation…”They told me an anonymous male tipster called Mississippi’s child abuse hotline days earlier to report me for attempting to sell my 3-year-old son, citing a history of mental illness that probably drove me to do it…The most hellish week of my life [followed]…All because enough people believed I was actually trying to sell my son on Twitter for $12″…with the help of an attorney, McDaniel got the charges dropped within days.  Not everyone is as lucky.

I Saw My Brain (#725)

Yet another pogrom in the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office [victimized] 277 [people] in a weeklong undercover sting [using] human trafficking [as a pretext for harassing people involved in]…online prostitution, which the agency is calling “Operation No Tricks, No Treats.”…51 were arrested on charges of advertising as prostitutes online, 209 under suspicion of soliciting undercover detectives posing as prostitutes and 17 under suspicion of deriving proceeds from prostitution…

O, Canada! (#755)

The outcry against the grotesque “Operation Northern Spotlight” is growing:

Newfoundland and Labrador groups are adding their voice to a national chorus calling for an end to a sting operation targeting sex [workers]…Heather Jarvis, project coordinator of the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (S.H.O.P.) [spoke against]…Operation Northern Spotlight…which…involves [cops] posing as potential clients…”These women are being lied to by police,” she said.  “They come to a hotel room expecting to meet a client and expecting to gain income…and instead are met with a team of [cops] who [interrogate] them.  They feel very condescended to, they feel incredibly frightened”…Sex worker advocacy groups in British Columbia and Ontario have also asked for the operation to end…

Challenge (#769)

During oral arguments before Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges…ESPLERP attorney Louis Sirkin stressed that the case “is not about sex trafficking, it’s not about the abuse of women, and it’s not about the abuse of minors.  It is about consenting adults that voluntary want to work in the sex for hire industry.”  Dozens of civil rights, public health, and LGBTQ groups have filed briefs in support of ESPLERP’s challenge, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern and Northern California, the California Women’s Law Center, the anti–sex trafficking group Children of the Night, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and Lambda Legal…Judge Carlos Bea suggested that the state’s arguments for why it could ban prostitution also would allow California to ban one-night stands…The U.S. District Court that heard ESPLERP’s challenge last year [pre]tended that only “intimate personal relationships,” not purely sexual ones, were protected from state interference per the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence [but] Sirkin pointed out…that, in fact, the men who had been arrested in Lawrence were not in an ongoing relationship.  He said that the fundamental right implicated here, as in Lawrence, concerns sexual privacy…

The Widening Gyre (#774)

Once they expanded the panic by adding male “sex slaves”, it was inevitable they’d get to transwomen:

Spanish police said…that they had broken up a ring that was forcing young transvestites and transsexuals into prostitution, including at least one minor.  Police [claimed]…a man and a woman [were]…forcing the youths into selling their bodies at a Madrid flat where they were kept against their will.  “They were controlled 24 hours a day, lived jammed into small rooms and their exploiters forced them to pay abusive prices for any food, drink or product which they consumed,” police [claimed]…they…did not say how many prostitutes had been freed…saying only that one of them was just 17 years old…

One man and one woman guarded multiple captives in a single flat 24 hours a day? Really?

The Widening Gyre (#783) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

Despite a Canton man’s claims that his wife and daughter were nearly abducted from a Michigan…Target store for human trafficking purposes last month, township police say his story doesn’t appear credible.  The man made the claim in a Facebook live video over the weekend…in [which] he said he was trying to bring awareness about human trafficking…he said.  “This is a real, real thing going on in Michigan.  We are the No. 2 state for human trafficking and it’s happening all over”…

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It’s a wonder they lived to tell the tale.  A car.  A mumbler. More than one person in the parking garage at once.  It is all just overwhelming.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Feminine Pragmatism 

Anyone surprised by this knows nothing about women:

…Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now [work] at his [brothel] for $25 an hour.  “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer…All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.”  And all of them came from Venezuela.  As Venezuela’s economy continues to collapse amid food shortages, hyperinflation and U.S. sanctions, waves of economic refugees have fled the country.  Those with the means have gone to places like Miami, Santiago and Panama.  The less fortunate find themselves walking across the border into Colombia looking for a way, any way, to keep themselves and their families fed…But with jobs scarce, many…women are turning to the world’s oldest profession to make ends meet…

Socialism, the way of the future.

Finding What Isn’t There

As I keep saying over and over and over:

Human trafficking arrests are almost nonexistent in most states, according to the FBI’s newly released U.S. crime statistics for 2016…Florida reported 105 investigations into human-trafficking offenses in 2016 but zero human trafficking arrests…Nevada worked on 140 human-trafficking investigations but made only 40 arrests on trafficking charges.  Louisiana looked into 123 potential cases of human trafficking but only arrested 16 people for it…this report only includes arrests recorded by state and local law enforcement on human trafficking charges, which allows us to look beyond police propaganda about what they’re doing and see what it is they’re actually doing….the data do little to support the idea that the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of labor and sex trafficking or that we are in the midst of some sort of “modern slavery” epidemic.  This is probably why you don’t see UCR trafficking statistics quoted in congressional reports, “awareness” materials, or law enforcement statements to the media on the topic…

Backwards into the Future (#629) 

Zimbabwean sex workers demonstrate their clout:

…sex workers in Chiredzi, a small sugar cane growing town in south-eastern Zimbabwe, have forced the reopening of Chigarapasi beer hall, the country’s largest, after threatening to stage a week-long naked vigil at the entrance in protest over its closure.  The beer hall…was closed early this year [after] the…Chiredzi council…[claimed] the bar was no longer making a profit – much to the surprise of…sex workers whose livelihood depends on [it]…

Public Service Announcement (#669)

If your candidate’s campaign can be derailed by the peccadilloes of a virtual stranger, you have a shitty candidate:

Anthony Weiner is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday in a sexting scandal that some blame for Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss.  The former New York congressman faces up to 27 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor…by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to “sexually perform” for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat…

Also: the word “illicit” makes anyone who uses it sound like a pearl-clutching schoolmarm.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#718) 

Because nothing makes authoritarians lose their shit faster than sex:

…Chinese company Taqu (or “Touch” in English)…launch[ed] their “Shared Girlfriend” app online, which allowed users to rent a silicone sex doll for a daily fee of 298 yuan (US$45.15) or 1,298 yuan per week…news of the service quickly went viral…Two days after its 14 September launch in Beijing, the authorities shut the service down after…a police investigation [called the rental] it to be a “vulgar act that disrupts social order“…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

These “close encounters” with near sex-traffickers are like alien abductions.  They are shared wildly — gleefully — by people seemingly thrilled to know this horrible scourge is out there…This latest story, from Reno, involves a mom and dad who noticed every detail about a night that sounds outrageously ordinary.  They passed by some people they didn’t know!  They went into the parking garage and there was a car — with people in it!  They felt scared for their kids and compelled to write a Facebook post warning people everywhere about this terrible thing that…didn’t happen…I, too, walked outside last night and literally every single person I encountered may have “possibly” been involved in a child sex trafficking ring.  Each and every person I saw might “possibly” have also been a Satanist.  Or the owner of a Segway they’re trying to get rid of.  Or been related to the Royal Family…there’s no way to say they AREN’T sex traffickers.  So it’s best to just assume they are…”Holland…described [one man] as looking disheveled and wearing a bodyguard-type earpiece“…I’m sure that “bodyguard type earpiece” couldn’t possibly be an earbud.  It is so much more likely that the man was being commanded from Sex Trafficking HQ than listening to Beyonce…

Saving Them From Themselves (#735)

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:

Ohio state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban sexting between teenagers, potentially turning thousands of ordinary young Ohioans into sex offenders…Legislators could instead amend state statute to exempt teens exchanging pics between themselves, and people a few years over 18 texting with those a few years younger, from laws that treat them as child-porn producers and consumers.  Prosecutors could decline to bring these charges against sexting minors, and schools could decline to hand these cases over to cops.  Instead, this bill would create the new misdemeanor crime of “possession of sexually explicit digital material”…by anyone under age 21…So sexting teenagers might not get labeled child pornographers, but they could still wind up with a criminal record or, at the very least, a lot of court dates and a bullshit DARE-style class on how sexting will ruin their lives.  Worse yet, the legislation doesn’t actually change the state’s child pornography laws.  If it passes, prosecutors can still bring child porn charges against minors…or…use the threat of that charge to coerce kids to consent to searches, take plea deals on the lesser charge, and so on.  The sexting offense would simply be an additional tool at authorities’ disposal…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#759) 

The concept that men can’t tell the difference between a hunk of plastic and a woman insults all humans:

A sex robot with a “resistance setting” that allows men to simulate rape should be banned…[says anti-sex] lawyer…Kate Parker, who…warned the “uniquely sinister” technology normalised sexual assault…

Beware of authoritarians who disguise their deeply pathological need to control others’ sexuality by using words like “normalize” to describe sexual fantasies which are already so normal they’re almost vanilla.  For a deeper analysis of why this woman’s beliefs are deeply offensive, see also “Vile Insinuation“.

The Course of a Disease (#772)

It took a few weeks for Irish prohibitionists to figure out how to celebrate the increase in violence vs sex workers directly resulting from their laws without revealing their sociopathy to everyone:

More sex workers have reported rapes to gardai since new laws on prostitution laws were introduced, a [prohibitionist] group has claimed…Sarah Benson, head of Ruhama, which [persecutes sex workers]…said she is hopeful the laws make a positive difference…

Lower Education (#773)

Go on, keep telling me how the slippery slope is a “fallacy”:

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is poised to sign a worrisome bill that…explicitly applies to children in public kindergarten, elementary and high schools.  So a first grader could face dire consequences if found to have committed an act of “sexual violence,” which is broadly defined to include any “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person” without their consent.  California lawmakers quickly passed the bill last week after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Sept. 7 that she will roll back the [due-process-banning] guidelines set forth by the Obama administration in 2011…[which] have led to bad outcomes…In case after case, young men were expelled on the basis of allegations that they were not allowed to challenge by seeing the evidence against them or cross-examining witnesses…Put aside for a moment whether a 6-year-old is capable of forming the intent to commit a sexual assault when she plants kisses on an unenthusiastic classmate, or whether it makes sense to bring sexual assault charges against an eighth grader who hugs the girl he has a crush on but who does not reciprocate his feelings.  Put aside for a moment whether school administrators should be branding children sexual assailants even if they are 49.99 percent sure the allegations are not true…Heavy-handed disciplinary policies fall disproportionately on students of color.  Because of the stereotypes associated with them, including the noxious but persistent trope that black males are inherently sexually predatory, black kids are presumed guilty…

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Do you know what I’m going to do to you?  –  “Officer” O’Keefe Thompson

I’m rather hoping to find a good scary, spooky or creepy-fun video for every week in October this year, but here’s one just a little bit early (courtesy of Eddie J Cunningham).  The links above it were provided by Elizabeth N. BrownFranklin HarrisPatrick NonwhiteJesse WalkerBrooke MagnantiMark Draughn, and Walter Olson, in that order.

From the Archives

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[It’s traumatic for escorts to end up] face to face with a [cop] who wants to know your name and question you and detain you until he can establish that you’re not a victim of whatever exploitation that he’s imagining you’re a victim of.  –  Sandra Wesley

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

…a recent study on unprotected sex…had some sobering results: Of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 65.5 percent said they had unprotected sex—and 29.1 percent of those people said they had unprotected sex every single time…68.4 percent never ask their partners if they’ve been tested before [barebacking] with them…many [supposed adults]…said they were daunted by the idea of asking a partner to fetch one in the heat of the moment…One friend told me she was too insecure to ask for anything when she first started having sex…”I couldn’t imagine messing it up by asking them to wear a condom because then they might not think I was sexy or cool anymore”…

To me, the first part – in which the author actually admits she planned to have sex with a penniless liar she didn’t know who didn’t even have a bed of his own, much less any cash to give her – reads like a dispatch from an alien world.

Whorearchy

Though this article is mostly about the word “hooker” itself, it contains this choice example of whorearchy from an empty-headed little twit in Nevada:

“I call myself a legal courtesan,” says Allissa…She works at Sheri’s Ranch…in Pahrump, Nevada…A “hooker,” she says, is “someone that’s being managed by a pimp [just like Allissa is], is on the street, is making money any way they can.”  By contrast, she says, she’s a [pimped] professional.  “Everything we do is legal…Condoms are mandatory [and pimp-enforced].  We have strict rules [set by pimps] to abide by.  And we also pay taxes”…

So in Allissa’s tiny mind, a “courtesan” is a hooker whose pimp has a LICENSE, so it’s different.  One wonders what she thinks (and I use the term loosely) about independents like me.  Another highlights of the article: vile excuse for a human being Dennis Hof, who claims to be a libertarian, praising Donald Trump.

Skin To Skin

Not a bad article on the benefits of sex work for the disabled:

People with disabilities still face social stigma and isolation when it comes to intimacy…EASE Canada founder Dave Symington [said] “It’s the hidden disabilities that seem to be more troubling in society…People…really struggle with mental health issues”…Symington has heard again and again how interacting with a sex worker…completely changes their capability for creating and maintaining intimate relationships…Some countries have already taken the step toward covering sex work for those with disabilities.  People in the Netherlands…can use their disability benefits however they like, including purchasing sex…

Policing for Profit

Cops have almost completely abandoned the pretense that this is about anything other than profit:

…South Carolina police agencies raked in $4.3 million through federal forfeitures in the 2015 budget year, and slightly more the year before that.  Every year in Spartanburg County, the Sheriff’s Office organizes a week-long [shakedown racket] on Interstates 26 and 85 involving multiple local and federal agencies.  They call it “Rolling Thunder”…[this year the thugs] pulled over 1,110 motorists — the majority of whom were black or Hispanic — mostly for infractions such as making improper lane changes or following too closely…[and] searched 158 vehicles, including large tour buses…[they stole over] $139,320 in cash…State laws typically set a higher burden than the federal government for seizing assets…But police can still tap into the federal forfeiture rules…Less than 4 miles of I-95 runs through the small…town [of Ridgeland, but]…that little stretch of interstate has been a [porcine] cash machine.  Ridgeland’s population is only about 5,000, “if you count the prison”…but police there have [stolen] more than $6 million…since 2002…

Whither Canada?

Articles like this are much more common in the Canadian press:

…For 13 years, we at SWAN…have been supporting migrant and immigrant women who do sex work in Metro Vancouver…Despite the preponderance of ads advertising sexual services of 20-somethings, the average age of the women we support is 40.  Over the past few years, there has been a war against online classified-ad websites such as Backpage that carry sex workers’ ads.  While this war started in the United States, it has crept across the border to Canada…But one perspective is consistently missing: that of the sex worker exercising agency and using the Internet as a safety tool…The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act introduced in 2014 criminalized third-party advertisers like Backpage, although few charges have been laid to date.  Shortly after the law came into force, many websites imposed stricter posting criteria for adult-oriented ads, banning the use of sexual terminology.  This prevents sex workers from clearly communicating in their ads what services they provide…The ban on advertising violates sex workers’ rights to personal security and freedom of expression.  Canada does not need legislation that inhibits communication between sex workers and their clients and impedes sex workers from working independently indoors…

New Excuse

Even mainstream websites are beginning to recognize that the War on Whores is the new War on Drugs:

…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a gathering of more than 1,500 federal, state, and local [pigs]…that he was…”mak[ing] the fight against child exploitation and human trafficking a top priority”…Sessions warned of the dangers of…encrypted-communication platforms, social-networking sites, and “the so-called Darknet.”  These, he declared, are the tools of such “depraved people” as “child pornographers, sextortionists, and human traffickers”…Even the aggressively neutral Politico couldn’t avoid making drug war comparisons, describing the video as “hearkening back to the D.A.R.E era” with its “hyperbolic language”…The idea that every American child is just one smartphone app away from being snatched into sex slavery is absurd…But it does make a nice narrative if you want to wage war on pesky encrypted technologies that thwart [cops]…or to get everyone from flight attendants to truck drivers telling federal agents about anyone “suspicious”…

The Mote and the Beam (#510)

It just keeps getting worse:

So far this year, federal lawmakers have introduced more than 30 bills related to “sex trafficking,” which many in government now define to mean all prostitution…following the familiar pattern of the drug war, these measures mostly focus on giving federal law enforcement more “tools” to find, prosecute, and punish people for [consensual] actions…One…would expand state and local government authority “to seek wiretap warrants in sexual exploitation and prostitution cases” (emphasis mine) and mandate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Justice conduct a “study on the long-term physical and psychological effects of the commercial sex trade”…law enforcement across the land…[would be required to] target prostitution customers [under the pretense that purchasing sex]…”is a form of gender-based violence,” opening the way for possible hate-crime enhancements for anyone who tries to pay for sex…

Little Boxes (#576)

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt saying “there is no constitutional right to” whatever you’re trying to ban in the text of a law banning it actually carries any legal weight:

[The] Ocean City…[Maryland] Town Council…prohibited women appearing topless on the beach during an emergency session…The newly refined ordinance states “there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public…in a state of nudity”.  The…unanimously passed…ordinance took effect immediately, clarifying that anyone showing “the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering,” would be…subject to a fine of up to $1,000.  Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said the emergency ordinance was a response to “hundreds of calls and emails from residents and visitors, expressing their concerns over this issue…Each year, thousands of families visit our beach to relax in an atmosphere free of this type of activity”…A town spokesperson [imagined] that the ordinance would have no bearing on breastfeeding…

I’m not sure what’s stupider, the idea that there could ever be such a thing as a visible-tit emergency, or the one that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family.  See also clauses purporting to prevent a law from ever being amended, repealed or judicially reviewed; politicians are totally losing their minds over sex.

Teacher’s Pet

Remember how I said that, for a celebrity sex worker like me, mentoring young sex worker groupies was much too dangerous because it could open me up to “sex trafficking” charges?

Schwesta Ewa, a Polish-born musician whose [legal] name is Ewa Müller, allegedly “compelled” four fans, aged 17 to 19, to [do sex work]…between November 2015 and September 2016…Prosecutors [claim] Müller did not tell tax authorities about profits she made from the fans, and that she forced them into the work through violence.  Müller…worked as a prostitute before she was famous.  Her lyrics often tell stories about life in the sex trade, including being attacked by clients…Müller opened a bar in Frankfurt, but complained in January 2016 that police had raided it…

Pimps Ahoy 

Another rescue industry character claiming to have been a “sex trafficker”.  It’s an exhaustingly-long masturbatory fantasy for the “sex trafficking” set, full of “pimps”, misstated laws, “gangs”, 30 inhuman clients a night, Pretty Woman idiocy, etc, etc, leading up to this: “Mary knew that deep inside she and her girls were suffering and lost.  Amid the stream of [extremely high income]…the women battled drug addictions, alcoholism and ever-creeping levels of self-loathing and emptiness“…until a new friend “offered to study the Bible with Mary” and Jesus saved her.  Does anyone who isn’t already a Christian actually believe this pap?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#692)

Anybody who thinks this machine “moves like a real human” really needs to hire a pro immediately:

…The Service Droid (now a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo) started life as a personal project by Arlan Robotics…the company claim to have created…an incredibly realistic droid that when assembled looks, smells, feels and moves like a real human…

Lying Down With Dogs (#708)

More on the maltreatment of sex workers in another large police state:

During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg in May 2003, the police raided brothels…[and] booked fake appointments with sex workers…They…drove the street-based sex workers 200 km away from the center and left them there….[as] part of…operations to “clean” the city for the celebration.  Raids against sex workers are carried out on a daily basis in Russia.  On the eve of some important events…the police intensify raids…The Russian ‘foreign agent’ law, introduced in 2012, puts [the sex worker rights group] Silver Rose under the constant threat of prohibition.  The law authorises the Ministry of Justice to register independent groups as “foreign agents” without their consent…if the ministry regards the organisations as engaged in “political activity”…NGOs [so designated] are sometimes raided by state officials…

Broken Record (#742) 

Prohibitionists’ lies are never more blatant than when they claim to be quoting sex workers, but say the exact opposite of the truth:

There seems to be no hard evidence that Montreal’s Grand Prix is more of a prostitution-and-human-trafficking hotbed than other big events…an anti-prostitution group [claims] anecdotal evidence indicates demand for paid sex soars with the influx of Formula One fans…[prohibitionist] Diane Matte [lies]…“We also know from women we meet…that during…any…big sports event…women are solicited more, they are told [by imaginary pimps] to work longer hours to answer the needs of men who buy sex”…[but] Chez Stella, which runs a drop-in centre and medical clinic for sex workers, has launched a social-media campaign to denounce Grand Prix “disinformation campaigns” by governments and prostitution [prohib]itionists…Police…place fake ads on online classified sites…That makes clients reluctant to negotiate details before meeting…Afraid of police, some workers don’t provide services during the Grand Prix, “so they’re desperate for money the rest of the month and may take on clients they wouldn’t otherwise take on; they might deviate from normal safety measures and face more violence”…[Sandra] Wesley [of Chez Stella] said…“those men are at the race track during the day.  At night, they’re at parties with lots of women willing to have sex for free.  So where would they be seeing all these sex workers?”…

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If living my life on my own terms is being a feminist…then I am a feminist.  –  Vidya Balan

Bad Girls 

Men: pay your whores!  Ladies: get the money up front!

…a 64-year-old man surnamed Lau hired a prostitute surnamed Kong in [Hong Kong]…after having sex…Lau…refused to settle up and, upon hearing Kong threaten to call the police, took her phone and ran out of the room.  Kong chased him, yelling for help along the way, and eventually caught the [rapist]…with the help of passersby…Kong reportedly took off one of her high-heeled shoes and hit the man with it until pulled off him by witnesses.  [Cops] arrived…to arrest the pair for fighting in a public place…

License to Rape 

“Authorities” now claim the right to rape toddlers if shamans declare their parents ritually unclean:

Imagine the Department of Social Services threatens to [abduct] your child from your custody unless you agree to have his urine collected.  Under duress, you consent— only to watch hospital staff pin your three-year-old down and forcibly catheterize him as he screams in pain.  Two days later, he is still in pain.  You take him back to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with a staph infection in his penis…police in Pierre, South Dakota, [raided] a home to arrest a man…because he tested positive for drugs…his girlfriend was told her children would be [abducted by the state] if she did not consent to having their urine tested.  Because of that threat, she agreed to the test, but since her youngest child is not toilet-trained, they forced him to undergo the catheterization…

See No Evil

Once again, a person whose computer contained taboo pictures is condemned to a far worse sentence than if he had actually raped a child:

A 36-year-old [Florida] man…[was sentenced by] Judge Howard Maltz…to 100 years in prison…after a jury found Jesse Graham Berben guilty on 20 counts of possession of child pornography…Berben…denied knowing anything about the files…While he admitted to having a peer-to-peer file-sharing program that he used to download music, he denied using his computer to keep or download child porn…Berben had been offered a plea agreement…that would have netted him a prison sentence of about 5 years, “but he refused…because he said…he wasn’t going to plead guilty to something he didn’t do and become a registered sex offender”…The sentence…was more than four times the “lowest permissible” sentence Maltz could have handed down…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

“Rescuers” swoop in to “regulate” women’s jobs out of existence:

Minneapolis [politicians] are taking steps to crack down on downtown strip clubs after two recent [fishing expeditions manufactured] health and safety risks at…11 venues.  Shortly afterward, a report from the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), commissioned and co-funded by the health department, showed that strip club employees face on-the-job health and safety hazards but have few protections.  Both investigations zeroed in on VIP rooms…the venues where bodily fluids were identified were declared a public health nuisance under state law…

Train Wreck

It looks like articles about sex workers in Ghana can be just as weirdly stupid as Nigerian ones:

Commercial Sex workers at the Uhuru Electoral Area have added robbery to their trade, Ebenezer Cudjoe, [a prohibitionist politician, claimed]…The sex workers, commonly called “Ashawo”…suggest a pub…”While she leads her clients to the suggested pub, the ashawo alerts her male guards, who, then, pounce on the male sex client and rob him of any valuables,” Ebenezer Cudjoe [fantasized]…that a lot of residents feared coming out of their homes in the night.  “A few years ago, I personally reported these ungodly activities of the commercial sex workers to the police, however, the police told me that they could not effect any arrest, unless they caught the ladies in the act,” he said…about three years ago, he tried to woo some of the sex workers to start some vocational training to [do menial jobs at which they couldn’t possibly] earn a decent living [but unsurprisingly, they refused and now he’s making up stories to make life difficult for them]…

Capricious Lusts (#52)

While Hollywood figures are lining up to climb on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon, Bollywood figures support sex worker rights:

…there have been some realistic representations of bar dancers and courtesans, prostitutes…Women are a marginalised section of society even though we are 50% of the society.  Within that, prostitutes are what, a trickle?  But, they are the ones who are standing up on their feet, putting up a fight and saying this is not acceptable to us.  They are staking their claims to their share of the sky, which is incredible.  That’s what I found most powerful, because you don’t expect the so-called weaker sections of society to stand up…

Micromanagement

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

A State panel of scientists is considering a controversial DNA testing policy that would allow police to [harass] the relatives of New Yorkers whose DNA closely matches DNA recovered from a crime scene…police would be able to pull close DNA matches in certain criminal investigations, generating a list of people with prior convictions, including low-level broken windows convictions like [turnstile jumping or loitering]…police would then have leeway to [harass] close relatives of those near matches (son, father, etc.), in hopes of turning up the exact match…In other words, the New York Civil Liberties Union has testified, “criminal suspicion will attach to innocent persons merely because of their biological relation to a person whose DNA is in the state’s databank”…

To Molest and Rape 

Reporters, please stop perpetuating cops’ dehumanizing habit of referring to women as “females”:

…Kenneth Bolton Jr. sexually assaulted two females with a sex toy during an illegal traffic stop in February.  The East Cleveland [cop] was fired by the department last month after he…pulled over the two women, both in their early 20s, about 30 minutes after he heard that they’d been pulled over and cited by another officer.  During the illegal stop, Bolton allegedly found a sex toy in the car and used it to sexually assault both women.  A Cuyahoga County grand jury brought charges of gross sexual imposition, abduction, and civil rights charges…

“He heard they’d been pulled over and cited” means the first pig called him and described their looks to him. “Found a sex toy” means he rooted through other people’s private possessions like the filthy swine he is.

Imaginary Evils (#699)

The UK Home Office is really dedicated to competing with the US in using “sex trafficking” as an excuse to destroy civil liberties:

The Home Secretary has announced…a multi-agency team of analytical experts who will be embedded in the National Crime Agency to help tackle cross-border and domestic slavery…The Home Secretary said “It is exactly this kind of co-operation between the police, Border Force, the National Crime Agency and others that will be our way of getting at the people traffickers.  The Centre will enable us to have a co-ordinated push against the organised crime groups that are at the heart of the trade in human beings and human misery.  Our message to the perpetrators is clear; we are coming after you, and there is nowhere to hide”…

The War Goes On (#711) 

Notice how the narrative is changing; prohibitionists now claim Backpage was “barred” from publishing sex work ads, when in fact it chose to do so to end its persecution by “authorities”:

A…prostitution sting in Delaware County resulted in the arrests of five women in one night.  Deputies found them on a website that’s supposed to be barred from posting sex ads…prostitutes and pimps are finding ways around the rules and posting ads on other parts of the site, through tabs like…”women seeking men”…[pigs oinked that] prostitutes…will travel from anywhere in central Indiana to Muncie to make some money and often times, buy drugs.  “You don’t just get the prostitutes that show up.  You might get pimps.  There might be robberies…” the [pig drooled while masturbating]…

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