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Posts Tagged ‘consensual crime’

“Sex addiction”…is a steaming pile of quackery invoked by those unwilling to take responsibility for their actions.  –   Angela Mollard

Friday the Thirteenth 

Deviant Ollam, who designed our “McNeill/Matisse 2020” T-shirts, tells hackers why they should support sex workers:

Sex workers face many of the same stigmas that hackers do.  In addition to being misunderstood by the general public so often that they may choose to not even self-identify publicly unless they are in “safe” environments and surrounded by their own kind, the mainstream portrayal of such groups of people is riddled with the most ostentatious and over-blown stereotypes…If we search for the word “hacker” what are we going to see for the results?…Black hoodies and balaclavas everywhere.  The stock image sites are among the worst offenders, as always.  But that’s what editors (and, by extension, their readership) sees in their mind when they hear the word “hacker.”  By and large, we are seen as scary, malicious, and out to cause mayhem.  Let’s try a google image search for “prostitute” now…Is it much of a surprise to anyone that the trope of the “at-risk street walker” is far-and-away the most returned image?…I put it to you that the “prostitutes” in these photos are no more representative of the sex work population than the “hackers” in the earlier images are of our own community…

Enabling Oppression

I’m glad a few people recognize how loathsome it is to use talk of “slavery” to oppose human rights:

…The click bait power of slavery and human trafficking, often encouraged by sensationalist headlines such as “victims branded like cattle”, operates to obscure real problems.  This is tied up with how we label people.  People entering the UK illegally, for example, are characterised as one of two types: either they are seen as undesirable migrants, or else as victims of slavery.  Our use of such labels – “slave”, “trafficking victim”, “refugee”, “migrant” – highlights our need to distinguish between those who deserve protection and those who don’t…the continued use of the idea of slavery to invoke an emotive response…promotes overly simplistic solutions – such as awareness raising campaigns…

Paint By Numbers

“Dumb ‘awareness-raising’ stunts” is going to be the funniest appendix in my history of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Men, women and children took to the streets of Newcastle to make a stand against human trafficking.  With their mouths taped shut, more than 100 people dressed in black walked in single file through the city centre down to the Quayside on Saturday, stopping briefly to make a silent demonstration at the Monument…One of the Newcastle Walk for Freedom organisers, Rachel Jobes…said: “When we say this is a crime that’s happening under our noses we aren’t exaggerating.  We [fantasize] there have been trafficking victims in nail bars, held as slaves in parts of our city and we [masturbate to thoughts of] people…sexually exploited on the streets where we walked”…

Available Weapon

How can people read this and still think prostitution laws are a good idea?

…in Henrico County, Virginia…the number of female inmates at the county jail has more than doubled in the past year…due to…an intensifying police crackdown on sex workers and on people with drug dependence issues…[prosecutor] Michael Feinmel…claims that…these people are a nuisance to the public…or pose an immediate danger to themselves.  But this isn’t true.  Henrico County vice cops go out of their way to arrest these women…They troll online ads, reach out to sex workers pretending to be customers, and rent rooms at local motels where they can lure these women in order to arrest them…They do this under the guise of fighting “human trafficking,” but it’s just punishing women who sell sex…

Moloch (#572)

State actors keep trying to crucify a young man after their first attempt to destroy him failed:

Zach Anderson, the young man…whose harsh punishment for consensual sex with an underage teenager he wrongly believed was 17 made headlines around the country in 2015, has been arrested for violating his probation…He stopped by for dinner at his parents’ home.  His younger brother was present, and incidentally, so was the brother’s friend.  The brother thought this friend was 19 years old, but he turned out to be just 17.  Anderson, unfortunately, is not allowed to have contact with anybody under the age of 18, except his own siblings.  There was one other thing.  Anderson works on the tech team at his local church.  Recently, a 17-year-old girl joined the church staff as an intern.  While Anderson has never met or spoken with her, the fact that they volunteer on separate teams at the church is a violation of his probation, according to officials who issued a warrant for his arrest last week…Possible outcomes range from dismissing the charges to extending probation, putting Anderson on the sex offender registry, sending him to prison, or any combination thereof…

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

Don’t feel left out, amateurs; they’ll get around to you next:

PornHub…uses a tagging system to categorize all its content…But videos already outpace humans’ ability to keep up and tag everything, and so the site is turning to help from software…using facial ID tech not unlike that which Facebook, Amazon, and other media entities apply…There’s nothing illegal about making…from porn…[but] it’s…not a line of work one really discusses in-depth with the neighbors.  Performers, especially amateurs, may well prefer to keep their public, working persona separated from the name and identity they use in private life…[so] this particular use of facial recognition is a privacy disaster in the making…A video that has been uploaded and tagged on PornHub won’t necessarily stay on the service, but will instead travel the internet — and bring the performer’s auto-tagged name along with it.  There’s also the entire challenge of revenge porn…although the site has tried to make it easier for victims to report content and have it removed, it still exists on the site until or unless someone flags it…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops don’t limit themselves to women:

A…Pennsylvania…[cop] will serve no more than two years — and possibly less than one — for [repeat]edly raping two boys and threatening to kill them.  David Turkos…accepted a plea agreement in June on misdemeanor charges…His two victims came forward as teenagers and told police that Turkos began sexually abusing them in 2001, when they were 6 and 4 years old…Turkos threatened to hurt their mother and pets or take away their toys if they revealed the abuse.  One of the boys told police that Turkos choked him and used zip ties to restrain him during the abuse, and…held a hand over his mouth to muffle his screams.  “I hope you die — you’re a piece of crap,” Turkos told one of the boys…Turkos frequently pointed his gun at the brothers to frighten them…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#645)

Say what you like about Larry Flynt, but he’s a dedicated foe of tyranny:

…Larry Flynt is offering “up to $10 million” to anyone who produces information that leads to President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.  He lays out the offer in a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of The Washington Post

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#671)

I may soon need to come up with a heading for stories that combine “sex addiction” nonsense with “sex robot” nonsense:

…sex experts say vibrators–no matter how technologically advanced they become—will never surpass human intercourse.  What’s more, they say any addiction to automated sex is downright impossible.  “The term addiction is often misused,” Dr. Kat Van Kirk…says…”A true addiction would mean the behavior would negatively affect the person’s day-to-day life…and using it to the exclusion of intimate live partner play.”  She says there’s “absolutely no research” to indicate vibrators’ addictive properties…Nicolette Heidegger…said that her clients often raise the question—a result of our collective 21st century fear that sex dolls…could one day replace actual intimacy…between humans…But “the fact of the matter is that there is no empirical data to support the claim that you can become physiologically or biologically addicted to a sex toy”…

The Maze of Consent

Attempts by “authorities” to negate the consent of adult women via psychobabble won’t stop with sex workers:

Forced into sex with large groups of strangers, stripped of their freedom and ferried from house to house by their controlling pimps, the story of how a group of vulnerable young women were turned into modern day slaves is brutal and uncompromising…thanks to the efforts of Greater Manchester Police officers the women were eventually freed and the gang who had trafficked them jailed…Why had these women – alone, afraid and forced into degrading and unsafe sex…never tried to escape their pimps?…police in Manchester turned to a leading expert in trauma to help them understand.  His report…paints a bleak picture in which the victims of the case were portrayed as being “brainwashed” into “childlike dependency” through controlling behaviour…Dr Michael Korzinski…[fantasized that] “Trafficking robs the victim of the most basic modes of relating to reality”…

Between the Lines (#782)

The Unsinkable Liz Brown looks at this year’s “Operation Cross Country”:

The FBI just wrapped up its 11th annual “Operation Cross Country,” a massive multi-day vice sting conducted under the guise of stopping sexual predators…The media will largely lap up this sensationalist pageantry, as it has in previous years.  And once again, everyone will ignore the real victims of Operation Cross Country: the vulnerable women and girls tricked, frightened, robbed, detained, arrested, incarcerated, and otherwise mistreated by police and federal agents as part of this sick charade that claims to help them…[they] have any money they have on then taken by the cops…may spend days in jail (and away from families or day jobs) before even going to court…have their names and mugshots plastered all over local news and online (sometimes in conjunction with degrading details and comments from cops); and…face court fees, fines, and a criminal record…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#783) 

If you get caught paying for sex, you may be charged with “sex trafficking”.  But cops?

In an Oakland case…most were let off the hook, including three…whose cases were dismissed last week…NYPD [cop]…Raul Olmeda was indicted this week for allegedly paying a teen girl to have sex with him on multiple occasions and filming the sexual activity…Denver Police Department…[cop] Zachery Phillips…was recently given a 15-day suspension without pay after admitting to an encounter with a sex worker…The woman…was…charged with prostitution and possession of a controlled substance…in Cleveland…Mark Reilly is back on the job after spending 10 days in jail for paying for sex…In Vermont, police dispatcher Earl Benway was charged with paying for oral sex and leaking information to the sex worker he paid…And, finally, Abraham Flores Galvan…in Tunnel Hill, Georgia…was caught in his own colleagues’ sting operation [last] Thursday.  Galvan responded to an online ad posted by [wanker cops pretending]…to be a teenager under age 18…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#783) 

Weinstein has inadvertently made it possible to publicly attack “sex addiction” as malarkey:

…I am not a sex addict but my attendance at an SLAA meeting was part of a six-week investigation I undertook into sex addiction for a British newspaper.  Posing as a PR girl who went out several times a week to pick up men, I sought help via a psychotherapist, a phone counsellor and one of the world’s most reputable rehab clinics.  My conclusion?  That “sex addiction” — the malady Harvey Weinstein claims is responsible for his deplorable behaviour — is a steaming pile of quackery invoked by those unwilling to take responsibility for their actions…

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“To Protect and Serve” has got to be one of the most effective propaganda campaigns of all time.  The police as an institution are not, and never have been, intended to “protect” the citizenry, and they certainly don’t “serve” it; the only things they “protect” are the status quo and entrenched interests, and the only people they “serve” besides themselves are politicians.  Note that the generalized term for police isn’t “citizen defense”, “crime prevention” or anything like that; it’s “law enforcement”.  The purpose of the police is to “enforce” laws, no matter how evil, unjust and destructive those laws might be; to “enforce” a law is to coerce people into obeying it via the threat of violence, and to make an example of some citizens by inflicting violence on them before they’ve been proven guilty of anything.  Expressed another way, the police are terrorists; their job is to inspire terror of violating the whims of politicians by inflicting violence on people who are legally innocent of any wrongdoing.  This is clear not only from their demonstrable behavior (including the fact that they are rarely held accountable to the laws themselves), but also (in the United States) from multiple court rulings that the police have no duty to protect citizens.  I’ve argued this many times, so I’m not going to repeat myself; instead, I’m going to quote this essay by Alex Vitale I read yesterday:

…TV shows exaggerate the amount of serious crime and the nature of what most police officers actually do all day.  Crime control is a small part of policing, and it always has been.  Arrests for serious crimes are a rarity for uniformed officers, with most making no more than one a year.  When a patrol officer actually apprehends a violent criminal in the act, it is a major moment in their career.  The bulk of police…take reports, engage in random patrol, address parking and driving violations and noise complaints, issue tickets, and make arrests for drinking in public, possession of small amounts of drugs, or the vague “disorderly conduct”…Even detectives (who make up only about 15 percent of police forces) spend most of their time taking reports of crimes that they will never solve—and in many cases will never even investigate…It is largely a liberal fantasy that the police exist to protect us from the bad guys.  As the veteran police scholar David Bayley argues:  “The police do not prevent crime…Experts know it, the police know it, but the public does not know it.  Yet the police pretend that they are society’s best defence against crime and continually argue that if they are given more resources, especially personnel, they will be able to protect communities against crime.  This is a myth“…Bayley goes on to point out that there is no correlation between the number of police and crime rates…The reality is that the police exist primarily as a system for managing and even producing inequality by suppressing social movements and tightly managing the behaviors of poor and non-white people: those on the losing end of economic and political arrangements…This can be seen in the earliest origins of policing, which were tied to three basic social arrangements of inequality in the eighteenth century: slavery, colonialism, and the control of a new industrial working class.  This created what Allan Silver calls a “policed society”, in which state power was significantly expanded in the face of social upheavals and demands for justice.  As Kristian Williams points out, “The police represent the point of contact between the coercive apparatus of the state and the lives of its citizens”…

As Vitale points out, none of this is obscure or even controversial among historians, criminologists and other scholars; the only reason it seems so is that the Great Unwashed, indoctrinated to obedience in state-run schools, lack both the desire to question authority in the first place and the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze the issue even if they did.  Authoritarian societies rely on the great majority being controlled by fear, pandered to by lies and kept docile with bread and circuses, while the egos of the brighter and better-educated minority are stroked by telling them they’re part of an elite who must have power over the masses for their own good.  

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It’s been a while since I’ve had to say this, but as my readership has grown it’s inevitable that I’ve picked up readers who don’t get it.  Some people who visit here, or read my tweets, seem to think they’re on YouTube, Reddit or some other site dominated by testosterone-addled adolescent trolls and can therefore get away with saying any stupid, rude thing that comes into their minds.  So I’m taking today to correct that misapprehension in those of you who may be suffering from it:  this is my online “house”, and if you’re going to visit here you’ll have to play by my rules (which I helpfully spelled out more than six years ago).  A little over a year after that, I penned a helpful sequel called “How Not To Get Your Comments Posted“, which you should read right now if you’ve been coming here for less than five years.  And yet, the narcissistic ninnies still refuse to get that:

A) throwing garbage out of my own space does not constitute “censorship” in any way because I’m not a government and you’re still free to strew your filth anywhere else on the internet that isn’t mine; and

B) I am not your dancing monkey; I am a professional entertainer, so even though I don’t charge people to read my blog or Twitter, if you want me to entertain you in some way that I am not interested in freely giving (such as by engaging in stupid arguments with you), you’re going to have to pay me for that just as you would have to pay me to play the part of your mother, daughter, sister, teacher, secretary, or whoever else you’d like to fantasize about fucking or being chastised by or whatever.  And it won’t even cost you my full rate; for internet argumentation not involving sexy talk, I only charge $100/hour (minimum 30 minutes).

Every sex worker has hard limits, things she won’t do no matter how highly paid, and I’m no exception; for example, I don’t do scat play and I won’t see anyone before noon except as the tail end of an overnight or part of a multi-day gig.  And in the argument department, you can forget about my “debating” you on the topic of whether or not the State has some imaginary “right” to control adults’ sexual choices, or the “right” to send armed thugs to spy on, harass, threaten, brutalize, rob, rape, cage, humiliate or otherwise harm individuals for any consensual act (including the “possession” of some object or substance the state has decided it doesn’t like).  In fact, I have absolutely zero tolerance for bootlicking, toadying, pig worship, partisan cheerleading, authoritarian apologia or any other sycophantic defense of the police state; I have no stomach for evil or for useful idiots who enable evil via their spineless excuses for it, so if anyone posts comments or tweets at me with such filth I will view it as tantamount to the intellectual equivalent of a monkey flinging poop, and that individual will be muted or banned so quickly he may not even realized what’s happened.  I do the work I do because it’s right, not because I’ve been sentenced to it, and I feel no masochistic need to watch the noblest of animals abase itself by groveling to sociopathic control freaks who think every individual is their personal or collective property.

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The other day, a total twit on Twitter twitted that she’s like to see the US federal government sue Exxon into bankruptcy for global warming.  Let’s put aside for a moment the incredible absurdity of choosing that one particular corporation rather than any other petrochemical firm or coal-mining concern; any auto manufacturer or power company; any government entity which owns industrial facilities; people collectively for driving cars & using electricity; the heirs of Faraday or Edison; China, India, or Brazil; or even cows collectively for belching up so much methane.  Do you really want to government to be able to sue YOU for something they decide to blame you for?  That’s the precedent that would set.  Why are people so damned stupid about how legal precedent works?  Once set, a precedent isn’t only usable vs. people YOU consider bad.

Look, y’all, it’s simple.  Big corporations are dangerous, but they don’t claim the right to inflict violence on me for not using their products.  There are lots of big corporations I won’t give money to, and they don’t send armed thugs to smash down my door, steal everything I own, lock me in a cage and render me forever unemployable (assuming I survive the process) for refusing to deal with them.  Try doing that with government; go on, I dare you.  Refuse to purchase government “services” or follow their “terms of service” (called “laws”), and see if you get away as painlessly as you do when you boycott Wal-mart or choose not to watch Hollywood movies.  The real danger is that corporations and government are increasingly intertwined, and corporations can call on government to inflict violence (such as via “copyright violation investigations”).  But sever the connection and those corporations are toothless.  So if you’re afraid of Monsanto, but not of the government mechanisms it can use to crush you, you’re hopeless and deserve everything you get; alas, you’re dragging me down with you.  Government promotes the myth that it protects people from big corporations, but in reality, they couldn’t have grown so big without the corrupt symbiosis which has been growing ever more extensive, powerful and inescapable since the days of the East India Company.

On a small scale, consider the myriad laws requiring people to buy commercial products (under threat of “punishment” as though we were children), or attempting to prevent people from buying cheaper alternatives from competitors who aren’t in bed with government.  Government “regulations” are always unnecessarily byzantine so that only corporations large enough to keep full-time compliance experts (lawyers, accountants, etc) on the payroll can possibly hope to follow all of them without unknowingly breaking some, and thus bringing down crushing fines (or, increasingly, criminal penalties).  If you’re in favor of government “regulation” of some industry but also claim you’re against big corporations, you’re a hypocrite and a fool because the regulations are always written by operatives of big corporations or professional cartels to favor big corporations and kill small competitors.  Ask yourself who benefits from requiring black women to take thousands of hours of training when all they want to do is braid hair, or who benefits from requiring food trucks to follow arbitrary rules designed to stifle their business and drive up their operating costs, and maybe it’ll begin to dawn on you.  Also note that these two examples force small, usually minority-owned businesses to dance to tunes written by established businesses (which are, of course, mostly owned by white people) and maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin to see a glimmer of what I see.

But even more importantly than all that:  Any individual thuggish cop can do more to destroy the average person’s life in seconds than Microsoft could do in ten years. When Coca-Cola, Disney, IBM, Google, Monsanto, Chase, Wal-mart or Kraft starts sending out gangs of thugs to rape, rob & murder people, then and only then will I be more concerned about them than I am about government.  I notice most people whining about corporations are middle-class whites; oppressed minorities are more concerned about being robbed, locked up, virtually enslaved and even murdered by government actors than they are about “unfairness”.  Yes, huge corporations are dangerous, but governments are much more dangerous because they claim the “right” to do evil to anyone they want, often without the victim having any recourse whatsoever.  No corporation claims that, and if one ever does then it will have crossed over into being a government.

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Usually, when I devote a whole column to picking on a news article, it’s because said article is so hilariously bad or deeply disturbing (or both) that I can’t bear to limit myself to a quick jab of the knife in a news column, and instead prefer to lovingly vivisect it until the entire virtual room is spattered in blood.  But this is, alas, not one of those cases; the article’s author, Sonja Sharp, clearly believes herself an ally of sex workers, or is at least open-minded to the idea that sex workers deserve human rights, yet she can’t quite bring herself to shake off her childlike trust in government and her belief that cops are the “good guys”.  So what we get is an article that is generally supportive of sex worker rights, yet fails to properly place the blame for our oppression on the prohibitionists; instead, it adopts a kind of mealy-mouthed “moderation”, pretending that there is a legitimate “debate” to be had between those who say humans own ourselves and have unalienable rights, and those who pretend that individuals are owned by the State, which has the “right” to use violence to “protect” us from choices with which our owners disapprove.  There’s very little point in quoting the good parts, so I’m just going to concentrate on pointing out the bad ones.

[When] Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray…[announced] the NYPD would bolster the size of its vice squad in order to stamp out sex trafficking…the hope on part of some advocates was that sex workers might see relief from the pressure traditionally brought to bear by police…

I have no idea who these “advocates” Sharp refers to are, but none of them are sex worker rights activists; we know better than to harbor naive beliefs that doubling the size of a police unit could in any way signal “relief” for those the unit is specifically intended to oppress.

…a growing number of law enforcement agencies…are forming their own anti-trafficking units—often using grants from the feds—and deploying similarly gallant rhetoric despite limited evidence their arrests do much to stop exploitation…But alternatives are time-consuming and remain opaque to most law enforcement agencies, which have been deputized to fight human trafficking in part because it’s widely understood to be synonymous with illegal sex work…Modernizing their approach is still a work in progress, to say the least…

Because the writer can’t bring herself to question the institution of policing, she buys into the claim that cops are interested in “stopping exploitation”; she imagines that the idea of just leaving people alone instead of persecuting them for private, consensual activities is “opaque” to cops, rather than recognizing “sex trafficking” as a boondoggle intended to disguise the ugly persecution of sexual behavior under a mask of “helping”.  The idea that cops’ behavior needs to be “modernized” is the most asinine of all; what they’re doing now IS the modern approach, by definition, since it’s less than 20 years old.  What we really need is a return to the approach which predominated throughout most of human history: recognizing that sex work is normal and not a government matter, and leaving it the fuck alone.

…Jean Bruggeman, executive director of the national anti-trafficking organization Freedom Network USA [says] “I think in their zeal to help [cops] are doing some very wrongheaded things,” including mass arrests of sex workers and John stings using fake Backpage ads…

More exoneration of cops, pretending their abusive behavior (including surveillance, rape, robbery, brutality, destruction of homes and lives and even driving people to suicide) is motivated by a “zeal to help”.  You know, like terrorists blow up innocent people in their “zeal to help” them get to Heaven.

…In what appears to be a more concerted approach than that of the NYPD, LA Sheriff’s detectives bring an outreach worker with them whenever they approach sex workers…always offering them diversion first, before an arrest is made…”if they flat-out refuse, we book them, and then they’re sent to the appropriate court,” where they are then [forced into] a system of mandatory services…It seems like progressive approach, one most people—even those who think sex work should be legal—might be able to get behind…

Yeah, it’s “progressive” all right, considering that the Progressive movement spawned the concept of Prohibition in the first place.  To pretend that people who want to suppress consensual sex are actually trying to “help” anyone but themselves is disingenuous in the extreme, yet Sharp just can’t see that attacking peaceful people and then forcing them at gunpoint to accept the government’s idea of “help” is evil even if implemented exactly as planned, both in theory and in practice.

…demand reduction…is hotly contested among advocates and experts.  While less explicitly harmful than arresting sex workers, opponents say it does little to rout traffickers, while those who endorse it argue arresting Johns makes sexual exploitation less attractive as a business…

Aaaaaaaand I’m gonna stop right there before I am seized with the urge to disembowel Sharp along with her crappy article.  No, “end demand” isn’t “hotly contested” among anyone who actually gives a shit about human rights, nor is it less harmful than arresting sex workers (indeed, in the US it always includes arresting sex workers despite the rhetoric).  There is no legitimate “debate” over whether people own their own bodies, nor whether they have the right to consensual sex with other adult partners; pretending that there is such a “debate” is nothing more than catering to evil control freaks and sucking the dick of power.  The pretense that cops are some kind of sweet, well-intentioned social justice squad, and that it isn’t their fault the laws are bad, is so incredibly nauseating it boggles the mind.  Stories like this, written by sheltered little girls barely out of their parents’ houses, are vile apologies for evil policies that enable uniformed rapists and soft-peddle operations intended to destroy lives, enable armed robbery of citizens and increase the real “modern slavery”, mass incarceration.

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Government…persecutions [of sex workers]…are nothing but the temper tantrums of frustrated authoritarians.  –  “Whores’ Day 2016

42 years ago today, French sex workers occupied the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon to protest the depredations inflicted on them by the police; the event garnered worldwide attention and is considered the beginning of the sex worker rights movement.  For a long time, not much changed; the early successes of the movement were suppressed within a decade by the growing anti-sex coalition of fundamentalist Christians & fundamentalist feminists, fueled by the AIDS panic (which also choked the Sexual Revolution).  But slowly, sex workers won rights in many countries, and public opinion slowly turned in our favor; by 2004 the only way prohibitionists could effectively fight us was to intentionally launch a moral panic by recycling the century-old “white slavery” hysteria.  Governments found the myth of sex workers as passive, “voiceless” victims a useful one for expanding their police states and restricting immigration while pretending not to be racist, and so applied themselves to spreading the panic on a scale unprecedented since the witch panics of the 15th to 18th centuries.

But even though governments continue to pour money and manpower into anti-whore propaganda and campaigns intended to terrorize sex workers, our clients and our families, and police abuse of sex workers is at least as bad as it was in 1975, the rise of social media has allowed sex workers to interact with the public on an unprecedented scale.  Every day, sex workers of all backgrounds, all around the world, work to debunk prohibitionist lies and expose the ugly truth about government persecution of individuals for the “crime” of consensual sex.  All reputable human rights and health organizations, and every academic and journalist who has actually taken the time to objectively research the subject, now support sex workers’ demands for decriminalization; the foundation of lies on which prohibition is built is now crumbling, and soon everyone not blinded by their own sick need to control others’ private behavior will see the prohibition of sex work as the destructive evil it is.  This does not mean the War on Whores will end soon; the War on Drugs is now recognized as a tyrannical abomination by the majority of people both in and out of government, and yet its demise will still take years due to the fact that powerful interests profit from it both monetarily and in increased power.  But any cultural change requires a victory in the court of public opinion, and we’re slowly winning that; we’ve already passed the turning point in this war, and all that is required for eventual victory is that we keep relentlessly hammering at the lies, fighting bad laws and policies, and sharing the truth.

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He had had prior run-ins with local authorities.  –  Alexandra Petri

Guitarist J Geils, who founded the band that bore his name, died this week; a lot of sex workers dislike the band’s most famous song, “Centerfold”, for what seems to be acceptance of the Madonna/whore dichotomy.  But the narrative persona in a song does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the songwriter (were the Rolling Stones advocating for war & genocide in “Sympathy for the Devil”?) and in this case, I’ve always felt the last line of the song indicates the writer’s real feelings about people who express the dichotomy.  The links above the video were provided by Rick HorowitzJesse Walker (x2), PopehatMike SiegelRadley Balko, and Mike Chase (in that order).

From the Archives

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