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Posts Tagged ‘contraception’

I have so little respect for Cindy [McCain] and her objectives…that even under the best of circumstances I do not think [her] organization merits existence.  –  Tom Gosinski

Against Their Will 

Brave women overpower their captors to escape a brainwashing prison, yet reporters insist on using the word “rescue” throughout the story:

Twelve women who were rescued from immoral trafficking and were undergoing vocational training at a rescue home ran away after assaulting their trainers and tying them up…Police…have been [dispatched] to [hunt down] the women…

Saving Them From Themselves

Yes, the cops were called in because young people were talking about a subject it’s natural for them to be interested in, and for sharing pictures of what they actually look like.  This is Western society in 2017:

Halton [Ontario] school boards and police are deeply concerned after it was revealed…sexting and sharing nude pictures had become a popular activity among Grade 7 and 8 students…hundreds of mostly 12- and 13-year-old students…were engaged in the [arbitrarily] illegal activity…the number of students discovered to be involved surprised [incredibly clueless] police and educators…[Superintendent Scott] Podrebarac [pretends normal adolescent sexual development]…“is a police matter”…due to the sheer number of kids involved, the boards and police chose instead to…[threaten and brainwash the young people] and parents…possession of [photos of their own bodies]…is a serious offence, and Podrebarac said kids wouldn’t be getting a second warning…Podrebarac [threatened]…[that] parents who pay for the phones…[could] be charged [with possession of “child pornography”]…

Finding What Isn’t There

The mental gymnastics cops employ to explain why they can’t convict people for “crimes” that never happened:

…as…[Maryland] police aggressively [charge people with]…human trafficking with double the amount of investigative resources they had more than two years ago, prosecutors are still struggling to win convictions.  Nearly 75 percent of charges…were dropped over the last seven years…despite ambitious agendas by [“authorities”]…data to [demonstrate there is a]…problem does not…exist…To win convictions for felony human trafficking, prosecutors must prove the pimp used force, fraud or coercion…[but] without the [collusion] of [sex workers branded as] victims [by police & prosecutors]…most charges are dropped…

Property of the State 

US women need to strongly consider permanent sterilization, and remember that it’s both honorable and moral to lie to busybodies:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions…the…aim was to overturn a…[St Louis] ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices…landlords could refuse to offer housing to women…while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them…they could [also legally] ask women [about the subject]…

Instant Criminal

Cops already do this to people:

…the scam starts by an alleged woman contacting a man through an online dating app or website…The texting then turns sexual and includes the exchange of nude photos and plans to meet…the male victim…is then called by a person claiming to be a part of Iowa’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The scammer tells him the woman is underage and there is now child pornography on his phone.  The scammer says child pornography is also on the woman’s father’s phone because she was using it communicate with the male victim.  The scammer then tells the victims he will need to replace the father’s phone or face legal action…The [supposed] father tells the victim to wire several hundred dollars to him to pay for the new phone…Victims are encouraged to [turn themselves in to the pigs & hope to be believed]…

Absolute Corruption (#542) 

Fran & Dan Keller have been exonerated at last:

Twenty-five years after they were convicted of a crime that never happened, Fran and Dan Keller were formally exonerated…in Austin, Texas.  The couple’s prosecution in 1992 was part of…the…Satanic Panic…The Kellers…paid an exceptionally high price for the credulousness of…law enforcement…

Signs

Fetishists now want pigs spying on women in bars: “[Ohio] plans to train 80 undercover agents…to spot the signs…[of] human trafficking victims.  These agents would be on high alert in places like bars where victims may be taken“…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#709)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

Reuben…Coppa’s Rendevu mobile web app is an on-demand platform for adult services that hopes to make the industry safer for both clients and working professionals…Rendevu has secured $700,000 in a recent round of funding which makes it the only funded app in the niche.  The app lets professionals display real time availability, list prices, and display ratings including profile accuracy.  On the client side, the app pre-authorises credit cards to ensure safety and confirm the payment before services are rendered.  The appointment process also involves an ID confirmation by the escorts which adds another layer of security…Rendevu looks like a game changer for an industry sorely in need of disruption.

If these idiots had bothered to consult even one sex worker, they’d know that we have no interest in having our industry “disrupted”.

The Red Umbrella (#724) 

I’m glad to see this piece of shit flop:

…much-hyped comedy Rough Night had a rough showing at the box office during its opening weekend…[it] brought in just $8 million — about half what was expected…A comedy revolving around the death of a sex worker is a hard sell in general, but when the target audience is female, and sex work is overwhelmingly a female profession, it becomes harder for audiences to approach flippantly.  Before the film even came out, the public was expressing horror about the plot on social media…Bloggers in some corners of the internet weren’t particularly thrilled either…Intersectional feminism has been working very hard the last few years to alter how sex workers are viewed by those who don’t work in the industry.  It has been remarkably effective in humanizing one of the most historically judged and marginalized groups in the world…

Fuck you, Rae Alexandra.  It isn’t “feminism”, which has changed the public perception of sex workers; it’s the hard work of sex workers ourselves, and we don’t appreciate fucking amateurs like you trying to steal credit for our achievements as you’ve been doing for the past century and a half.

A Mound of Filth (#749)

As I pointed out last week, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain has a long history of working against human rights:

…Cindy McCain…has a track record of spreading misinformation, promoting policies that make prostitution more dangerous, and partnering with people who use human trafficking as a cover for all sorts of rights-violating behavior…the..McCain [institute] is supported by large donations from entities known for persistent rights violations, including Saudi Arabia, a U.S. defense contractor selling smart bombs to the Saudis, and a Moroccan mining company occupying land in Northwest Africa…McCain’s philanthropic record reveals a long history of personal abuse of nonprofit resources, shady connections, and shoddy work…McCain…didn’t [even] pick up the [“sex trafficking”] issue until 2013, when she suddenly emerged as a fully formed crusader…Most board members have a tenuous connection at best to human rights, but plenty to do with industries McCain oversees in Congress…the McCain Institute does little to directly address the needs of vulnerable people.  Instead, it hosts high-level policy symposiums, puts out white papers, does misinformation-filled “awareness” campaigns, and hosts an annual desert networking weekend for the global elite known as the Sedona Forum…

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Luke is in the desert and whining.  –  Palette-Swap Ninja

I adore double parodies; they take real skill to pull off well, but the results are so often amazing.  Today’s video, the first in a series of 11, is both the funniest Star Wars parody and one of the cleverest Beatles parodies I’ve ever encountered.  It was called to my attention by Mistress Matisse, and the links above it were provided by Tim Cushing (“nope”, “Loki” and “black”), Grace (“amateurs”), Rick Horowitz (“Star Trek”), and Lenore Skenazy (“lockdown”).

From the Archives

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Favor

I’ve been seeing the same sex worker for almost three years now, and I’m in love with her.  She wants us to continue as client and escort, yet she has extended me more trust than seems usual; she told me her real name, has seen me in her own house, and has stopped using protection when we’re together (her idea, not mine).  To me, all this seems to suggest something beyond the client-escort relationship, but I have never seen any other sex workers beside her.  I absolutely respect her decision not to pursue anything more right now, but is it foolish of me to keep hoping?  She is an amazing person and very dear to me.

Before anything else, you ought to read last Thursday’s column, which covers some of the same ground; if you treasure your relationship with this lady, please refrain from indulging yourself in the urge to try to make it something “more” (which in most cases actually means “less”) than it is.  The fact of the matter is that most romantic relationships are of short duration, and only survive by turning into something else.  Relationships in which both people know exactly what to expect from each other, on the other hand, can go on for years.  In your case, it’s pretty clear that you’re a very favored client; it’s not unusual for escorts to see clients in their homes (I do, as do several of my friends), and it’s unusual but by no means unique for favored clients to know a sex worker’s real name (a few of mine do).  However, her eschewing protection with you is highly unusual, and frankly I find it rather alarming; I can’t even imagine what she might be thinking, and she’s putting at least one of you in danger (possibly both).  Beside the danger of STIs (it’s obvious her preventative procedures are less than scrupulous, since she has no idea where you’re sticking your cock when you aren’t with her), there’s the very real danger of pregnancy; how are you going to feel if she tells you that she’s pregnant, doesn’t believe in abortion and you’re on the hook for 18 years or more?  As I said, I can’t imagine what she’s thinking; even if she is “amazing” as you say and harbors no intentional ill-will toward you, that doesn’t mean her judgment isn’t total crap.  To put it in D&D terms, a high charisma is no guarantee of a high wisdom.  Just because she doesn’t mean to harm you or herself, doesn’t mean one or both of you aren’t going to get hurt.  And if you plan to keep barebacking her (which you probably will because you’re male and y’all just can’t seem to grasp how dangerous an activity that is), I’d invest in a vasectomy and at least quarterly STI testing if I were you.

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

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In reports that were written by the deputies who took their gun belts off, took their clothes off and went in the water – those deputies aren’t lying. – Bob Gualtieri, before seeing video showing the deputies were indeed lying

As I said in a recent column, it really is difficult for young people today to comprehend how much more prudish the world has become in the past thirty-odd years.  Case in point: this birth control video, produced by Walt Disney, starring Donald Duck and voiced by my man Paul Frees (and provided by Whores of Yore).  The links above it were supplied by GracePopehatRadley BalkoSkyeEmma Evans, and Grace again, in that order.

From the Archives

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You will hear our voices, because they are becoming louder and louder and you can’t drown us out any longer.  –  Laura Lee

Above the Law 

Well, this is different:

Male strippers stopped by gardai for having no tax disc performed for female officers to get out of a fine…They…entered the Garda station and began their performance.  But one female is understood to have fallen during the incident, injuring her back…an internal investigation is underway…the officer who brokered the “deal” is also being investigated…

The Rape Question rape rate by age

I’ve been saying this for 30 years:

In…1975…Susan Brownmiller…asserted that “rape is about power, not sex.”  Ever since, the conventional wisdom has been that rapists are misogynistic men seeking domination and power over women, not violent men seeking sex…there has been no significant empirical research to support her claim.  Yet, almost everyone repeats it…Social science has demonstrated a strong relationship between age and sexual attractiveness.  Heterosexual men are sexually attracted to young women, while homosexual men are attracted to young men…If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women.  However, if rapists primarily desire sex, then one would expect them to prefer young women and men…The percentage of female victims who are over 50 is close to zero…A 15-year-old male is more likely to be a victim of a sexual assault than a 40-year-old female…An analysis of whether female robbery victims are sexually assaulted during the incident suggests that the sexual attractiveness of young people is an important factor.  Since the robber has already established dominance over a vulnerable victim, the effects of opportunity and vulnerability are removed, and only the effect of the offender’s age preference remains.  In such cases, robbers are much more likely to rape victims between the ages of 15 and 29…The reason most rapists target females is that a larger percentage of males are heterosexuals, not that they hate females…Gay men are just as likely to attack males as straight men are to attack females…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Plus the fact that so-called “virtually reality” doesn’t involve actual touch:

Virtual reality technology is unlikely to kill off real sex work, according to people working in the business, even if the biggest predictions about it come true…Virtual reality allows people to strap on a headset and move around a world as if they are really there, with the image changing as they move their head for an immersive experience. But that experience will never be enough to threaten the business of real sex workers…

Imagination Pinned Down

I’ll just leave this right here:

Stories are so natural that we don’t notice how much they permeate our lives…That’s precisely why they can be such a powerful tool of deception.  When we’re immersed in a story, we let down our guard…[and] may absorb things…that would normally pass us by or put us on high alert…In his book Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, Jerome Bruner…proposes that we can frame experience in two ways:  propositional and narrative.  Propositional thought hinges on logic and formality.  Narrative thought is the reverse.  It’s concrete, imagistic, personally convincing, and emotional.  And it’s strong…What kind of person do you need to be to make up a history of…sex trafficking?  For one thing, you need to have an intimate grasp of the workings of human psychology—you have to understand that this story, above any other, will elude scrutiny even when the facts that justify it are sparse.  Victims, in the right light, stand above reproach.  No one questions an escapee from human trafficking…

The central example of the article is the case of Samantha Azzopardi, but I don’t think you need me to point out dozens of other important examples.

Shift in the Wind (#134)

Mary Emily O’Hara of the Daily Dot published a very decent review of the year’s top sex work stories; however, in the course of preparing the article she used some materials without permission, possibly endangering sex workers.  Though the materials were removed when their original author protested to O’Hara, the incident just goes to show how little even sex-worker-friendly journalists stop to think about the effect of stigma on sex workers’ lives.

Little Boxes (#138)

Anyone who would be “alarmed” at the sight of a nipple needs to just stay home with a coloring book:

A proposed law in New Hampshire would charge women with a misdemeanor for exposing their nipples in public, with an exemption for the act of breastfeeding. Toplessness is currently legal for both women and men under New Hamphire state law, although some local ordinances forbid it…[the] bill would update the state’s indecent exposure and lewdness statute to include “a woman [who] purposely exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act.”

Oscillation (#312)

This is what prohibition looks like when given perspective by time:

Hundreds of letters were received by [Irish] President Patrick Hillery in 1985, urging him not to sign legislation that allowed condoms to be purchased without prescription…In a file…released as part of the 30-year rule, letters warned of the “imminent dangers to which young people will be exposed” and claimed the “lives of decent people” would be “threatened in the streets and even in their homes” if [people could buy condoms]…A woman from Clontarf, Dublin, reminded Hillery that it wasn’t long since the people “voted to protect unborn life” in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.  “This Bill is totally opposed to the whole concept of unborn lifescreaming loony because it closes the door to the right of unborn life to be conceived,” she said…

Under Every Bed

I found out that human trafficking affects every single community.  Places big, small, urban or rural, human trafficking is everywhere.  The realities of human trafficking are disturbing and unsettling.  Experts at a conference I attended in September said the multi-billion dollar industry has now surpassed the drug and arms trades…

Uncommon Sense (#337)

Once again, myths and agency denial convince Switzerland to narrow the bottleneck for legal sex work:

…Switzerland began awarding eight-month permits in 1995 to women from outside the European Union who wanted to come to the country to work as strippers…The programme was meant to protect people who may have otherwise been vulnerable to sex traffickers…But…Swiss authorities…announced that [blah blah blah sex trafficking so]…the programme will formally be cancelled as of the new year…the visas, called “L permits”…gave women a chance to earn significant money in wealthy Switzerland which they could send home to their families…

This will, of course, result in these women working illegally, thus making them vulnerable to persecution by cops.  Progress!

Innocence Never Had

People are so unwilling to let go of the ridiculous “pimps & hos” myth and the “enslaved children” wanking fantasy, that even when they question a few of the elements they can’t let go of the rest:

While headlines tout stories of women and children trafficked from overseas…you need look no further than the streets of Los Angeles to find America’s sexually exploited kids.  Over 90 percent of [young people] under 18 [arrested by LAPD]…have not been kidnapped and stuffed into the back of a van, which is Hollywood’s version of sex trafficking…While “trafficked” implies transportation of victims across borders, anyone…under age 18 performing commercial sex acts is considered a trafficking victim…whether or not there is…force or coercion…When [a vice cop] suspects someone on the street is underage, he approaches her and introduces himself as an officer from the trafficking unit…Then, instead of arresting her, he [arrests her]…But girls like this aren’t usually rejoicing to be “rescued.”  In fact, they are usually afraid of law enforcement and attached to their pimp…

The Public Eye (#407)

Laura Lee published an open letter to prohibitionists:

…You’ve decided I’m the “dirty girl”, the one who ought to be ashamed.  You pour scorn on me when I don’t feel that shame…You tell me I must have been abused as a child, that can be the only explanation.  You tell me I’m irrational, I have PTSD or I simply don’t care about myself.  You tell me I can’t possibly parent, I can’t look after myself, let alone my daughter…You tell me that if I like what I do so much, I should work for free…you even tell me I target vulnerable disabled men, without one thought for their ability to make their own choices.  You lie, you do it all the time.  You tell the public that the country is awash with victims of trafficking when you know that simply isn’t true.  You put your own funding and career above my life…

No Other Option (#420)

In the US, this business would be violently suppressed and its customers and workers shamed, robbed and caged: “A 24-hour brothel in central Bankstown [NSW] will include…seven rooms for clients, including one [specially fitted] for people with a disability…

Checklist (#542)

A ridiculous and insulting new law takes effect in Florida:

Posters are going up in adult businesses, airports and other places where human trafficking victims might see them throughout Florida.  They are aimed at combating sex trafficking.  The FBI says Florida ranks third when it comes to human trafficking.  A new state law goes into effect Jan. 1 requiring adult businesses and other locations to display posters with telephone numbers and other information to assist potential human trafficking victims…

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Taking care of a puppy is a full-time job and if I am not there for every moment in the first year of its life I have failed as a parent.  –  Trish Lemierre

There were lots and lots and LOTS of links this week, but only one video (the first, contributed by Aspasia); so, I decided to let Penn & Teller use doughnuts to illustrate the spectacular failure of the Drug War in only 88 seconds.  Everything above the first video was provided by Radley Balko, and the links between the videos came from Grace (“law” and “badge”), Michael Whiteacre  (“litigious”),  Luscious Lani (“oh-oh”, “potato” and “population”), Dave Krueger  (“police state”), Cop Block (“colors” and “snow beat”), Dan Savage (“taser”),  Lucy Steigerwald (“cigarettes”), Scott Greenfield (“stolen car”), and Wikileaks  (“rude”).

From the Archives

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on April 20th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

One of the tragic flaws of the human race is that the mass of people are wholly unable to see the big picture, which gives a powerful advantage to people and institutions wise enough and patient enough to invest their energies in a long game. While many people can recognize the immediate problems with some new, bad law (which is to say most of them, since virtually all the necessary laws were made long ago), they are completely unable to grasp how it fits in to the big picture. The purpose of government is to concentrate power in the hands of a few, and the purpose of getting involved in government is to be one of that few.The Blob movie poster And while the ways in which different politicians conceive of exercising and expanding that power may vary somewhat by individual and party, together all of these actions add up like countless threads in one vast fabric of tyranny.

Bureaucracy (the form of government firmly established in the US and UK) is essentially government by nobody; no matter who holds power at any given time, the whole amounts to a colossal, blind, amorphous entity whose only purpose is to grow and increase its grip on everything in its reach, especially people. One of its most potent mechanisms to accomplish this is what I call universal criminality, which is the establishment of…

…so many complex, broad, vague, mutually contradictory and intrusive laws that every single person is in violation of at least some of them at any given time. Then when any “authority” from the chief executive down to the lowliest cop wants to teach one of the peons a lesson, all he has to do is find a law to charge him with and the machine then proceeds to grind him up psychologically, financially, politically and often physically.

The machine sometimes even acts (seemingly) by itself due to the processes which were previously established; this can be seen whenever there is some awful prosecution that nobody is willing to take credit for, and officials stand around using words like “unfortunate” and excusing their inaction with tautologies like “the law is the law”. But to a large degree, they really are being honest about their inability to rescue a victim from the gears: it took hordes and generations to build this great Moloch, and it would take the concerted efforts of many thousands to dismantle it. Once a law or policy has been created for use against one group, the precedent it sets is gradually increased to affect others the original instigators never intended or even considered; single-minded fanatics with agendas like “decency” or “women’s empowerment” or “the children” never, ever understand that the weapons they demand for their “champion” today will not disintegrate with his regime, but will be inherited by his successors in years to come, and that the noose which fits the necks of “conservatives” will suit equally well to hang “liberals” (and vice-versa).

Over the last few centuries, would-be rulers slowly came to realize that sex laws were especially useful for establishing absolute control; before that such laws were largely concerned with maintaining public order and the purity of bloodlines. But since virtually everyone has sexual impulses, and many if not most people commit some sort of sexual indiscretion from time to time, sex laws are among the most effective methods of establishing universal criminality (which probably accounts for their increasing popularity over the last few decades). If all men can be vilified as “rapists”, “potential rapists” or supporters of “rape culture”, it’s easy to keep them under control; women, however, are a little more complicated. While underage women are effectively neutralized by classifying them as passive, asexual “children”, and any adult woman with a public or social life is vulnerable to accusations of “prostitution”, adult women with very private, monogamous sex lives are harder to target.

Fortunately for the control freaks, Nature burdened women with a built-in and highly exploitable weakness, namely pregnancy: the typical woman who has any sex at all will eventually end up pregnant, at which point she becomes uniquely vulnerable to state control via the child. While in pre-industrial times dependent children were basically classed as the property of their parents, in the past century they have been increasingly defined as the property of the state; a mother is therefore classified as the custodian of state property, and it’s a small matter to control her by threatening to take that property away. Because this is such a powerful tool of control, the state has worked diligently to maximize its period of absolute ownership by defining all legal minors as “children”, then pushing the upper age limit up and the lower age limit down to the period before birth, an historically-unprecedented power grab made possible by modern technology and expanding legal precedent. And so we get abominations like this:

The Tennessee…legislature gave final approval…to a bill that allows women to be charged with assault if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs…Farah Diaz-Tello…with National Advocates for Pregnant Women [said]…“The law…in no way limits the prosecution to misdemeanor assault, nor does it limit the prosecution to women who are illegally taking narcotics”…In other words, any woman who gives birth to a baby with health problems, or who loses a pregnancy at any stage, could be subject to criminal investigation, “because criminal investigation is the only way to rule out an unlawful act”…The most severe crime a pregnant woman could…be charged with under the new law is aggravated assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison

Women in Mississippi, Indiana, Alabama, Utah, Louisiana, Texas and El Salvador have already been charged under similar laws; women in Wisconsin, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, DCEngland and Brazil have been subjected to shocking human rights abuses using similar logic; and politicians in New South Wales and Queensland have demanded similar control over pregnant women’s lives.  Nor does the nightmare end at birth:

Prosecutors successfully argued that a grieving mother was in fact a killer…[because] prescription painkillers [supposedly] tainted her breast milk and caused her infant’s death. Her sentence for this tragic accident…is 20 years in prison. Stephanie Green…was injured in a debilitating car accident…[and] also suffered from fibromyalgia…[so] she took doctor-prescribed morphine…At six weeks old, her daughter, Alexis…stopped breathing…it was determined that the baby had morphine in her system…there is little scientific evidence that morphine can gather in breast milk to toxic levels…Prosecutors [claimed] she “worked the system” to get her pain pills, did not keep all of her doctors in the loop, and should have known better…

Of course, birth control can prevent a woman’s coming into possession of state property to start with, so naturally many of those in power want to control access to it or at least hide information about it, but really that’s just gilding the lily; the majority of women do eventually want children, bringing them (and the fathers of those children) firmly under state control. Those who don’t want children usually still have sex lives, and everybody has to eat; once politicians realized the public would accept the morally-absurd concept of consensual crime, the achievement of universal criminality was just a matter of time.

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