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Posts Tagged ‘Counterfeit Comfort’

If registries are…about punishment…we need to admit it and deal with the unintended consequences.  –  Michael Seto

Counterfeit Comfort 

Facts have absolutely nothing to do with US sex laws:

In 1994, when Congress passed the first sex offender registration law, the list was reserved for [cops] and only applied to the most serious offenders.  Since then, American lawmakers at every level have relentlessly increased its scope and severity.  The registry now includes more than 900,000 people, a population slightly greater than Vermont’s.  At least 12 states require sex offender registration for public urination; five apply it to people charged with offenses related to sex work; 29 require it for consensual sex between teenagers…people [are] forced to spend decades on the registry for crimes they [were accused of at] as young as 10 years old…More than 30 states now require registrants to live at least 1,000 feet away from schools, churches and other places children congregate — a requirement that renders up to 99% of ho[uses] and apartment buildings off-limits.  Some states require regist[rants] to submit to regular polygraph tests and random police inspections.  Florida adds “sexual predator” to the front of registrants’ driver’s licenses.  Louisiana doesn’t allow [registrants] to evacuate from their own homes before natural disasters…Despite child sexual abuse declining by 60% between 1992 and 2010, states continue to legislate as if lenient sex offender laws are a national emergency…registries are disproportionately black and overwhelmingly poor…registries continue to enjoy enthusiastic bipartisan support and meager media scrutiny despite any evidence that they achieve their stated goals…

Buried Truth

Why do straight vanillas have so much trouble recognizing sexual behavior when they see it?

Multiple victims have come forward to accuse a New Jersey [Presbyterian minister] of sexually assaulting them as part of exorcism rituals…Newsweek reported…[that Rev. Dr. William] Weaver…would…tell the men that he needed to “suck” out demons through their semen, citing Native American rituals and a verse from Ephesians telling Christians to “put on the full armor of God”…Weaver would order [men]…to strip naked and lie down.  Then he would place an “angel coin” on their foreheads and have them balance stones on their hands and ankles…then…perform oral sex on them…An investigation by the Presbytery found credible evidence of “multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct”…[including] gay porn on a church-owned computer in Weaver’s office…

Skin To Skin (#312)

A baby step forward for disabled Australians:

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal recently granted a woman with multiple sclerosis the right to have a sex therapist paid for under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)…This is a significant milestone in the advancement of sexual rights of people with disability…To further recognise this, [they] should also be able to access sex workers under the NDIS…While a sex therapist will offer verbal coaching, a sex worker has a specified role in providing a paid sexual service.  Sexual expression is a fundamental part of being human, and disability does not dampen a person’s sexual desire, nor their need for intimacy…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

[An] Alabama youth pastor has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl…Christopher Cody Stutts pleaded guilty…to abusing a child younger than 12 [in order to escape] four other charges, including rape and sodomy…

A Procrustean Bed (#655) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

Ohio…[politicians] are [now claiming that] victims [are forcibly and magically] hooked on drugs and then forced into a life of prostitution…Judge Renee DiSalvo is beginning [yet another “diversion” brainwashing] program through Youngstown Municipal Court…DiSalvo…[pretends] the women are not able to make clear decisions…the…program…can take up to two years to go through…[during which time] some women may be [locked] in secret [prisons under the pretense of] protect[ing] them from [imaginary ninja pimps]…

Follow Your Bliss (#745) 

Prohibitionists supported at least one delusional cop who was deeply involved in this hoax:

A [man] who lied about being abused by a murderous VIP Westminster paedophile ring is facing a lengthy jail sentence after he was convicted of perverting the course of justice and fraud.  Carl Beech’s malicious, repeated and determined deceit ruined the reputations of those he accused and led the Metropolitan Police to raid the homes of 91-year-old Normandy veteran Field Marshall Lord Bramall, the late Lord Brittan and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor…Their £2 million Operation Midland [probe] into the lurid allegations…ended without making a single arrest…Beech…[himself a paedophile with an interest in pre-teen boys, fantasized] to…detectives…how his late step-father, an Army Major, raped him, then passed him on to generals to be tortured at military bases and sadistically sexually abused by other Establishment figures in the 1970s and 1980s.  He named former prime minister Sir Edward Heath…disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and security chiefs Sir Michael Hanley, the head of MI5, and MI6 boss Sir Maurice Oldfield among the gang…Beech…was due to be tried on indecent images and voyeurism charges last summer but went on the run to Sweden, where he bought two remote properties and tried to evade [the cops] using false identities…

Sharp readers may recognize the resemblance of these accusations to those made by brainwashed children during the daycare prosecutions of the Satanic Panic.

Across the Pond (#862)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

Police are encouraging [busybodies] to use a new real-time phone line to [snitch on women they imagine might be sex workers]…”There have been very few prostitutes on Ilford Lane for the past few weeks,” a…spokes[pig oinked]…”These ladies can sometimes be seen walking through seemingly on their way to work which we believe are in brothels…[disguised pigs] start at 7pm targeting…any person [they don’t like the look of, with no evidence whatsoever.  A busybody group called]…Clean up Ilford Lane is also urging residents to use the line if they see…people [visiting each other or emitting sex rays]…

Remember, indoor sex work is legal in the UK, hence this branding of incalls as “brothels”, which aren’t.

Pyrrhic Victory (#880)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

…an ongoing lawsuit against the…NYPD brought by the Bronx Defenders…[revealed] that the police department has for years illegally used databases of arrests that were supposed to have been dropped, declined by prosecutors, downgraded to citations or infractions, or otherwise thrown out in court…cops…have access—on their smartphones—to reservoirs of records they shouldn’t be able to see, allowing them to continue to stop, search and arrest people…based on “criminal histories” that shouldn’t even exist.  The lawsuit, which in the coming weeks may be ruled a class-action on behalf of potentially tens of thousands of New Yorkers, comes just as a nonprofit research organization releases a 50-state report revealing that in 25 states, police are allowed to access sealed or expunged arrests—and then profile you based on these past allegations that no judge or jury ever found you guilty of…Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, the lead attorney on the Bronx lawsuit…[said] “They’re running their algorithms and their facial-recognition software on arrest records and mugshots that were supposed to have been destroyed”…

Dangerous Speech (#953)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

As proceedings against Backpage.com founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin continue unraveling in California courts, the sentencing of former associate Carl Ferrer, now cooperating with the government as a witness against them, has been delayed until July 2020.  Ferrer, the former CEO of Backpage.com, was due to be sentenced this [month]…Lacey’s attorney, renowned criminal law and First Amendment expert Paul Cambria…[said the] delay is an expected ploy by the prosecution to exert pressure on Ferrer to testify against his client and Larkin…

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I am here of my own free will and no one has threatened me.  –  Irish sex worker to cops, during a raid

Counterfeit Comfort 

Facts have absolutely nothing to do with US sex laws:

…in…2002’s McKune v. Lile…Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a plurality opinion that there was a “frightening and high risk of recidivism” for [sex offenders]…and that “the rate of recidivism of untreated offenders has been estimated to be as high as 80 percent.”  That statement has since been used in numerous legal verdicts as well as to support countless pieces of state and local legislation aimed at curbing the rights of those found guilty of [sex] crimes…[but] the sole piece of evidence that led Justice Kennedy to make such a bold claim came from a 1986 Psychology Today article written by Ronald Longo, a counselor…in an Oregon prison—and there was absolutely no statistical basis for his “80 percent” assertion.  Moreover, Longo himself has since rejected that figure…actual sex-offender recidivism rates are low.  In three-year studies done by Connecticut, Alaska, Nebraska, Maine, New York and California, recidivism figures are generally less than 4 percent—hardly a “frightening and high” figure.  Furthermore, most conclude that there’s no correlation between recidivism rates and geographic proximity, meaning that laws passed to keep registered sex offenders from living close to schools, playgrounds, or other kid-centric areas generally have no impact; if wrongdoers are likely to seek prey nearby, it’s often in their own homes, or in churches or educational settings, where they know their intended targets…

Gingerbread House

Quite possibly the most appalling euphemism for “jail” of the entire moral panic:

Vista Maria plans to break ground this spring on a new human trafficking stabilization center to improve and expand services for young female victims…The new Aaron and Helen L. DeRoy Stabilization Treatment Center will provide residential treatment housing for up to 16 girls, doubling Vista Maria’s current capacity, and a first-of-its-kind emergency intake wing to provide services for up to three rescued adolescent girls…with best practices gleaned from [prohibitionists and cops]…

Whimsical Notions

Based on my experience, this is like demoting a captain for eating at local restaurants:

Capt. Travis Zettel…commander of the USS Bremerton was removed from his post and demoted last summer…the Navy did not elaborate on his dismissal, only saying that there were “questions of inappropriate personal conduct” and that his superior officers had lost confidence in his ability to lead his crew…The Kitsap Sun filed a Freedom of Information request…and discovered that Capt. Travis Zettel was relieved from command because he had hired prostitutes while in the Philippines.  A [snitch] called the inspector general’s office and said that Zettel had requested ten local women to come to his hotel room in Subic Bay…

It’s like watching an entire culture lobotomizing itself.

Where Are the Victims? (#631)

There weren’t any actual victims, but we just have to harass and threaten people, because SEEWEEUSS UFFENSE!

A woman running massage parlours in Dublin who…thought the offering of “manual relief” was legal has received a suspended prison sentence.  Nan Wu…[was] sentenced…to two years imprisonment, but [the judge] suspended the entirety of the sentence…[the cops] admitted…that there was no evidence of coercion and that one of the woman working at the parlour had told gardaí “I am here of my own free will and no one has threatened me”…there was no sexual intercourse taking place at the massage parlours and…Wu had not directed her employees to engage in sex acts…her employees kept the money they earned from [providing a normal, healthy service to clients]…Wu had believed what her employees were doing was legal.  She had once sacked an employee for [intercourse] with a client…The judge said the [only] aggravating factor in the case was the seriousness of the offence…

Traffic Jam (#656)

If you thought “pimp” classification schemes were stupid, how about “human trafficking typologies”?

Human trafficking claims some 25 million victims worldwide, but analysts are hard at work uncovering these illegal operations through state of the art methods and typologies, combining AI with human detective work.  The human trafficking epidemic is so widespread that [cops have been caught raping underage girls]…[invent]ing human trafficking rings is one of the many [profitable] issues [promoted] by UK-based [fascist collaborator] Quantexa…Typologies are compiled by analyzing many factors that make up a profile that is indicative of human trafficking behavior…“we were looking for things like lots of airline purchases to Eastern Europe [because the only] circumstances [when a woman would come from]…over here [to the UK is] to be sex trafficked…we see stuff on things like craigslist and back pages and massage parlors and this kind of stuff”…

Obviously if cops (specifically, UN “peacekeepers” in this case) rape vulnerable young women as cops have always done in every place they’ve existed, it’s part of a “human trafficking epidemic” so we should give these con artists more money.  Because women are mindless cows who only travel if “pimps” herd us, plus “craigslist and back pages and massage parlors and this kind of stuff”.  SO SCIENTIFIC!

Monsters (#730) 

US media condemns violent persecution of one sexual minority, while justifying violent persecution of another:

The Russian republic of Chechnya has launched a new crackdown on gays in which at least two people have died and about 40 people have been detained…media outlets have interviewed some of the victims, who spoke about torture at the hands of Chechen [pigs]…Chechen authorities have denied those accusations, and federal authorities [covered for them, as police states always cover up police brutality]…

Moving Pictures (#835) 

Looks like Theresa Flores has competition for the most ludicrous, exaggerated conglomeration of “sex trafficking” masturbatory fantasies intended to profit from moral panic:

Perhaps the low point of Toni Rivera’s life as a sex slave happened when she was forced to have intercourse with 23 men back-to-back to pay off her pimp’s Super Bowl bet.  Perhaps her breaking point happened when she begged a Miami cop to free her from violent bondage, only to have that police officer say that he’d love to take her home and have sex with her himself.  Or maybe Rivera’s low point came when she became a sex pimp herself and she began recruiting young girls out of churches every week.  Or maybe it was the time when a known national sex trafficker tried to grab Rivera’s 6-year-old daughter off the famously crowded 6 Train in New York City, and no one would step in to help her…Toni Rivera Presents Silent Screams on the Frontlines…is a captivating but heart-wrenching recap of how Rivera went from being a naive, small-town South Carolina teen with big dreams of being a singer who wound up being a piece of property that was bought and sold with impunity on the streets of Atlanta…the critically acclaimed film Traffik…is based partially on Rivera’s tortured existence in the sex trafficking business…

I literally LOLed at “sex pimp”, but there’s SO MUCH hilarity here…23 clients back to back!  The Super Bowl!  Violent bondage!  Hero cops!  “Recruiting” out of churches every week!  A “nationally known sex trafficker”!  And a movie that was supposedly based on this wanking fantasy, despite the filmmaker’s previous claim that it was based on “real life sex trafficking incidents near his home in Northern California“…

Pyrrhic Victory (#851) 

I’m afraid it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…A group of Amazon shareholders are looking to force a vote at the upcoming annual meeting to prevent the company from selling its facial recognition technology to the government until the company’s board of directors has a chance to look at the societal impacts…The resolution was submitted by lead filer Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood and four co-filers:  The Sisters of St. Francis Charitable Trust (Dubuque), Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, Maryknoll Sisters and Azzad Asset Management…one of three things could happen next: Amazon principals could address the shareholders’ concerns, prompting the group to withdraw the resolution; the company could take no action, which would bring the resolution to a vote at the annual meeting; or the company could fight the filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission…

Fair-Weather Friends (#881)

Every sex worker arrested in a “sting” should sue the cops if at all possible:

Stormy Daniels is suing the Columbus Division of Police and several [vice pigs for] her July 2018 arrest…her arrest was planned days before [the] July 11, 2018 performance…as part of an attempt by [cops] to disparage her character and credibility due to her criticism of President Donald Trump.  Prosecutors dropped charges against [her] hours later, saying the law cited in her arrest applied only to those who regularly performed at the club.  The city prosecutor later said the law was “glaringly inequitable” and should no longer be enforced.  The lawsuit seeks more than two million dollars in damages…

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The “first oral sex robot”…[looks less like a] sexy silicone face…and…more like a Wi-Fi router with benefits.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

The [UK] Universal Credit benefits system is forcing some women to turn to sex work, [opponents of the scheme] say…”Julie”, from Merseyside, never thought she would have to turn to sex work.  But an eight-week wait for the single mum’s first payment after transferring from her previous benefits left her “desperate”, so when she was offered £30 for sex she took it…

Counterfeit Comfort

Arizona says anyone even accused of a sex crime is subhuman:

…the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause…this categorical group known as “sex offenders” was so deserving of a life of misery, prohibition and shunning for the putative safety of the community that there was a rational basis for civil rules to make them societal outcasts.  Where they can live, work, exist for decades, if not the rest of their lives, was constrained to the point of impossibility.  And should they mess up compliance with any detail, back they go to prison.  But it’s not criminal.  It’s civil.  For no better reason than legislatures say it’s not punitive, but for the safety of the children, Even though it’s punitive.  Extremely punitive.  Arizona wants to take this further…[by] “rendering a defendant [accused of a sex crime] categorically ineligible for bail“…it categorically prohibits bail without regard for individual circumstances…In order to obtain release, the accused would apparently be compelled to disprove the accusations.  Not at trial, but just to be considered for bail.  It’s not merely a presumption of guilt, with the burden shifted onto the defendant to disprove his guilt, but one that imposes the burden on a singular group, sex offenders, because they are now the most dreaded and hated in society…

Scapegoats 

Safety first:

A [Florida] man has been arrested after several people told deputies they spotted him having sex with a miniature horse…Nicholas Anthony Sardo, 21, admitted to having sex with a miniature male pony named Jackie G…four times during the course of a week.  Sardo told deputies he used a condom each time because he didn’t want to get a disease from the horse…

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

The death of an inmate following an “altercation with correctional staff” at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide…Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma [intentionally inflicted] to the chest and abdomen [by four screws]…The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures…two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages and lacerations…[and a ruptured colon]…four [screws] were [rewarded for the murder with paid vacations]…Willie Hedden…Benjamin Burnett…Blake Haubrich…and…Alex Banta…

“An altercation with correctional staff” means “screws beat him to death”.

To Molest and Rape 

Sometimes they even rape their own:

A [cop] who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for…retaliating against her after she [reported] a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.  Monica Blake[‘s]…lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting [her] rape in 2016…[the rapist] made a plea deal…and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault [and the department is hiding his identity so he can be free to rape other women]…she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like [framing innocent people]…It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board…

Lack of Evidence (#821)

Why do sex workers and others believe in these garbage “immunity” policies?

Sex workers would be [statutorily] immune from criminal prosecution when they report rapes, assaults, robberies and other crimes, under a bill approved by a [Utah] legislative committee…[bill sponsor] Paul Ray…said…”If we put it in statute, [gullible whores]…will [believe they’ll actually] receive immunity and be treated as a victim or witness”…He said serial offenders prey upon sex workers because “they know they can”…

Remember, cops and politicians claim that indefinite detention without charge is a form of “protection”, and courts have on many occasions caged rape or domestic violence victims to compel their testimony.  Laws that claim to grant members of a criminalized group “immunity” for high-sounding reasons are bullshit as long as the group is still criminalized; even if the mark isn’t immediately caged she will be placed on a list, spied on and generally persecuted.

The Notorious Badge (#822) 

An interesting history of Annie Sprinkle’s salon in 1980s New York:

…From 1980-94, the Sprinkle Salon was a spiritual and physical extension of Sprinkle’s identity.  Her radicalism was translated into fetish, tattoo, and body modification parties, while her pledge to sexual positivity emulated in female empowerment sex classes like Sluts and Goddesses…and her role as a leader in the sex industry was equally translated into sex worker rights groups like PONY (Prostitutes Of New York) and porn support groups like Club 90.  Above all, the Sprinkle Salon was a central point for New York’s underground sexual rebellion and a place to push the revolution into the rights of fetishists, porn stars, and sex workers…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848) 

Liz Brown on the “sex robot” fantasy:

…The idea of sex machines as technological comeuppance for women who dared declare their liberation has grown alongside the boom in misogynist online media…But here’s the bad news for the men dreaming of a sexbot…”Harmony”…is as close as we’ve come so far to a consumer sexbot.  And she’s more Tamagotchi than Westworld…there is little to suggest that sexbots will be more than a fascinating “niche”…There will certainly be some of your “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) types, those who see sex robots as a way around the problem of women’s inconvenient humanity.  And there will be fetishists — those for whom the synthetic and robotic elements are the appeal…There are also likely to be novelty users…None of this seems terribly scary, and certainly not the catastrophe some fear…because most people are looking for something much more complicated than a well-engineered masturbatory machine…

Traffic Circle (#880)

A pearl-clutching hack incompetently tries to present the shitty management of a part-time strip club as “evidence” of “sex trafficking” in a rural area during hunting season:

…from September to November…Frank Day’s [bar] opens a short-term strip club, specifically catering to a rush of pheasant hunters who travel [to South Dakota]here from all over the country toting shotguns and cash to burn.  Pheasant hunting season…comes with a dark side: sex trafficking…Pop-up strip clubs…can trap freelance dancers in a web of exorbitant fees…making them vulnerable to being illegally exploited by traffickers…South Dakota is dawning to the realization that human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem.  It’s…modern slavery…as…men [magically] control…women and sell their [soulless] bodies for sex…“People of South Dakota don’t think it’s happening in their backyard, but it is,” [panted prohibitionist] Lisa Heth…

Epilogue:  The idiot who wrote this dreck actually tried to mansplain the stripping business to a well-known stripper who writes about stripping when she called him on his BS on Twitter.

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Vanesa was murdered; the state is complicit.  –  protest chant in Paris

Subtle Pimping

Every damned internet company has profited from sex workers without even giving us credit:

…the porn and adult entertainment industries, and the women whose work built them, were one of the earliest to provide real-time credit card verification, establishing a precedent for models of e-commerce other industries would adopt later on.  Sex workers…essentially created, adopted, and inspired many of the technologies later co-opted by tech corporations and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs long before they reached the mainstream, and continue to do so.  However, [they]…rarely receive proper credit for their contributions…

Finding What Isn’t There

I can tell you why these cases aren’t being pushed, Susan, but it’s going to make you sad:

After [cheerleading for] local [cop] efforts to [persecute people using the excuse of] human trafficking, a [prohibitionist] is questioning why recent prostitution cases are seemingly sitting idle in the district attorney’s office…Susan Peters, executive director of [“rescue” profiteer] UnBound…[says] McLennan County Sheriff’s Office detectives have made about 330…arrests of alleged sex buyers since March 2015, but records show prosecutors have not taken action on [almost] any…many of the recent arrests stem from a December 2017 raid in which sheriff’s deputies [stole] video [from] surveillance systems in two massage parlors that [cops fantasize] women [were] forced to work at…Although it is unclear if video evidence in the massage parlor cases will be admissible in court, a total of 18 men have been arrested on prostitution charges since authorities started trying to identify [them]…

Counterfeit Comfort (#40) 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

Janice M. Bellucci, executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws…plans to file suit against Calimesa, California, challenging its Halloween ordinance  [which]…forbids registrants…from decorating their home with Halloween decorations; mandates they leave all exterior or decorative lighting off from 4 to 11:59 p.m. [on Halloween]; and forbids them from answering the door to trick-or-treaters.  In August, Bellucci sent letters to five California cities, including Calimesa, urging them to repeal their Halloween restrictions by Sept. 28 or face litigation.  So far, Temecula has repealed its ordinance, and Lancaster is taking steps to do the same…The state of Missouri has a rule similar to the one that Bellucci fought in Simi Valley, requiring registrants on Halloween to post a sign at their home stating, “No candy or treats at this residence”…The California…Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, mandates that registrants who are on parole must remain indoors from 5 to 10 p.m. during which time they can open the door only to respond to law enforcement.  They must turn off all exterior lights, and…homeless parolees are required to spend the curfew hours in [jail]…New York…requires that the roughly 3,000 parolees convicted of sex crimes remain indoors at home on Halloween…until 6 the next morning…[and] are not allowed to have…candy in their possession…

Signs (#783) 

California mandates indoctrinating hotel workers into being anti-whore snitches:

Two new California laws will require workers in certain industries to go through [indoctrination in] human trafficking [fantasies]…The laws are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, with training to be complete by 2020 for hotel and motel workers and by 2021 for transit workers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

The next time you drive past one of those road signs with a digital readout showing how fast you’re going…it may…be capturing your license plate data…the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of “multiple” trailer-mounted speed displays “to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms”…the DEA has hired a small machine shop in California, and another in Virginia, to conceal the readers within the signs…primarily along the southwest border region, and the country’s northeast and southeast corridors…

Disaster (#832)

Please, prohibitionists, force more deep-pocketed giants like Facebook to fight your evil:

A Texas woman, claiming that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform…

Texas especially loves the “Facebook pimps” myth.

Torture Chamber (#852)

The “concerns” and crocodile tears of these kids’ jailers remind me of prohibitionists who say they want to “rescue” sex workers by locking us in cages:

In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night…and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new [prison]:  a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas.  Until now, most undocumented children being held by federal immigration authorities had been housed in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room.  They received formal schooling and regular visits with legal representatives assigned to their…cases.  But in the rows of sand-colored tents in Tornillo, Tex., children in groups of 20, separated by gender, sleep lined up in bunks.  There is no school…Access to legal services is limited.  These midnight voyages are playing out across the country, as the federal government struggles to find [cages] for more than 13,000 [imprisoned] migrant children — the largest population ever — whose numbers have increased more than fivefold since last year.  The average length of time…in custody has nearly doubled over the same period, from 34 days to 59…

Prisoners, especially those government wants to dehumanize, are often shipped off in the middle of the night like this to facilities in the middle of deserts, so as to confuse and disorient them and make escape more difficult.

Monsters (#866) 

No, it’s almost wholly to blame. As we warned it would be.

Vanesa Campos…was shot and killed as thieves tried to rob her client, who survived….her…death…is proof of the growing dangers [sex workers] face since [the French] Parliament [imposed the Swedish model]…clients now demand to have sex in out of the way places, where the police are unlikely to be patrolling.  “Girls are now forced to hide and promise their clients that the police won’t find them,” said Giovanna Rincon, a former sex worker and transgender activist who leads the organization Acceptess-Transgenres.  “Today, they work in places where we, the old guard working at the Bois de Boulogne, would never have set foot”…

The Widening Gyre (#874) 

I love that Christian religious nuts, who started the “sex trafficking” hysteria in the first place, are now being accused of being “traffickers” themselves:

Two West Texas girls are [spreading hysteria] after what they described as a scary encounter at a Walmart in San Angelo…The students say they were approached by strangers inside the store late at night and invited to a Bible study…”They asked us if we were Christians and if we read the Bible, things like that…She started telling us Jesus was the sun and Moses was the moon, just things that didn’t sound right to us.”  One of the girls Googled some of the [statements] as the conversation continued, and [naturally] she [believed]…”… the first article that came up [which] said ‘Korean sex trafficking college campuses’.”…The girls say they went and found a store manager to tell them [that people were talking to them]…and a Walmart employee escorted them to their vehicles so they could…leave [without the danger of others talking to them]…There have been cases in other cities where members of the “God the Mother” church have been [fantasized to be] sex traffickers while trying to recruit members…

All-Purpose Excuse (#876)

Whores are not only the new drugs; we’re also the new “terrorism”:

Ann…Wagner’s little-heralded [recycling and expansion of the PATRIOT Act], known as the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act, quietly passed the House [last] Wednesday—sailing through without much attention as the Brett Kavanaugh hearing occupied the media and public [atten]tion.  The bill, HR 6729, passed by a 297-124 vote, with 202 Republicans voting in favor and only 29 against.  Democrats who voted were split equally 95-95…

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Humans have been exchanging sex for money and goods for thousands of years.  No act of government will end the practice.  –  Adam Sullivan

Counterfeit Comfort

How does government fight imaginary high recidivism rates?  By enacting policies designed to dramatically magnify the social isolation that increases recidivism, of course!

An Ohio [man] who spent three years in jail for a sex crime with an 18-year-old [woman] is not allowed to live with or write to his son, 14, because the boy is a minor.  He is also not allowed to talk to him on the phone or even possess a photo of him.  Now the dad has filed a federal lawsuit claiming these parole conditions are unconstitutional …his crime wasn’t with a male or a minor.  And yet, under Ohio’s five year mandatory “post-release control,” he cannot visit his son without [supervision] by a parole officer, whom he must pay. Unemployed, the dad can’t afford a visit.  And the rules say that even during a supervised visit, he would not be allowed to hug his son…”he is forbidden from moving back to the family home or having any contact with his son. He could not send his son a card or call him on his 14th birthday“…

Creating the Crisis

More accurate headline: “How Romania Became a Prohibitionist Bogeyman”:

Berlin…residents [use their magic mind-reading powers to declare that migrant sex workers] from Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine….did not have the German sex industry on their minds when they [supposedly] imagined [childish fantasies about] bright futures for themselves in the EU, just as Romania did not envisage prostitution becoming one of its leading “exports” after it joined the EU in 2007.  But official statistics from Germany and some other EU member states show that Romanian nationals represent a significant portion of sex workers in these countries.  “When talking about sex trafficking, Romania is [fantasized] as one of the trend setters in Europe, next to Albania,” [proclaimed] Silvia Martis Tabusca, an international law professor specializing in migration…

Torture Chamber

What our government calls a “correctional facility”:

…in the El Paso County Jail in Colorado, [sow] Sandra Rincon was celebrated with a tiara, a “princess” plate, and a cake with the number “50” on top.  The number…referred to the number of times she had used force against prisoners, ranging from handcuffing to punching and kicking.  She was the winner of what one of the county [screws] called a “fight club,” crowning whoever used force most often as the champion.  The “fight club” competition was uncovered in the course of a lawsuit filed by civil rights attorney Darold Killmer…[for] excessive force against his client, Philippa McCully…the county settled McCully’s case for $675,000.  The uncovering of the “fight club” did lead to an investigation, but [as always] that investigation  fell far short of being genuine…There were…no demotions, no transfers, [no criminal charges] or dock of pay for anyone involved…[Let’s hope] the county’s dismissal of the “fight club” as simply bad judgment…exacerbates the distrust between the community and [the count’s hired thugs]…[and even] further erode it…

Whither Canada?

Why does this journalist feel compelled to cede ground to prohibitionist lies?

When Canada decided to tackle prostitution by adopting “end demand” laws, it was supposed to make sex work safer and healthier.  But precisely the opposite has happened, according to new research presented at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam…Researchers from both Canada and France found that…the Nordic model, or “end demand” approach – actually made life worse for sex workers by pushing the trade further into the shadows, making it more difficult to negotiate prices and condom use, and making it less likely that workers would access health services…Elena Argento…a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, studied 854…sex workers…Hélène Le Bail, a researcher at Sciences Po CERI in Paris, said the “end demand” approach was supposed to be more progressive but France has seen the same problems as Canada…Her research, which involved 691 sex workers, showed that “end demand” laws have resulted in an “acute increase in socioeconomic vulnerability”…and [contrary to the sale pitch] sex workers are still more likely to be arrested and fined than their clients…

No, Canada’s Swedish model law was not “supposed to make sex work safer and healthier”; like all versions of the Swedish filth, it was specifically intended to make sex work more dangerous:

Full of Themselves (#630)

It’s good to see at least a few masseuses recognizing that they need to stand with sex workers rather than getting in bed with pigs and prohibitionists:

[Politicians] in several Iowa communities are considering moves to [harass]…massage businesses…[that pigs claim] are selling illegal sex services, and some [pompous] massage therapists say they give the industry a bad reputation.  [Prohibitionists pretend] their main concern…is…sex trafficking…However, [prohibitionists intentionally] conflat[e]…human trafficking with…sex work…“We act as though people with vaginas should not be choosing when or why they have sex and who they have it with.  Effectively it’s saying that they couldn’t possibly make decisions about their own bodies,” said Jaime Nevins, an Iowa City licensed massage therapist and an advocate for sex workers’ rights.  Nevins…[told] Iowa City [politicians]…“It’s like you can’t really be against [the proposed regulations] or you’ll be pro-sex trafficking, or perceived as that”…Bans on sex work are…similar to drug and alcohol restrictions.  Prohibition inevitably leads to underground markets..Violence thrives in secrecy…

Rough Trade (#769)

As I’ve mentioned many times, US sex workers are arrested for being raped:

…a 30-year-old woman…was [drugged and] raped and then “dumped out” near a [Nashville gas] station…several calls [reported] a [woman]…walking in the middle of the road crying, and possibly intoxicated…staff at the [gas] station had come to the aid of the woman in distress, [but by contrast]…the…police [protected and served her by arresting]…her…for public intoxication, though they clearly note in documents that she had no smell of alcohol, but was likely under the influence of an unknown drug…[then after] she admitted that…she [is a sex worker]…she was taken directly to booking, without any testing of the drugs in her system, any rape kit done, or even knowing if she was drugged by the man, or took the drugs willingly…then charged…with prostitution…

Paint By Numbers (#784)

WTF, Teen Vogue?  You’ve been doing so well, and now you publish “sex trafficking” nonsense, complete with taped mouths and red Xs?

There are different estimates of the number of victims in the world today, but virtually all [prohibitionists] agree that it’s in the millions…there are many…sources [of propaganda] to help you learn more [nonsense you can use to harm sex workers by]…calling or texting the National Human Trafficking Hotline when you [imagine] signs of human trafficking, or [supporting] anti-[sex] legislation…whatever your background and interests, you can [make up] unique [publicity stunts or just mindlessly participate…in…[deeply stupid herd activities like standing around on lawns, getting dressed or drawing] a red X

Pyrrhic Victory (#785)

Tyranny always starts with despised minorities, but it never stops with them:

[Western journalists visiting] the city of Kashgar in westernmost China…are [harassed by police]…we’re being tailed by some eight people and three cars…The minute we strike up conversation with anyone, officials appear and start interrogating them…Nowhere in the world, not even in North Korea, is the population monitored as strictly as it is in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region…Oppression has…worsened massively in recent months…Beijing has…turned Xinjiang into a security state that is extreme even by China’s standards…With around 500 [government thugs]…for every 100,000 inhabitants, the police presence will soon be almost as tight as it is in neighboring Tibet…cameras illuminat[e] every street all over the region, from the capital Urumqi to the most remote mountain village.  Iris scanners and WiFi sniffers are in use in stations, airports and at the ubiquitous checkpoints…an “integrated joint operations platform”…stores further data on the populace — from consumer habits to banking activity, health status and indeed the DNA profile of every single inhabitant of Xinjiang…The government has built up a grid of hundreds of re-education camps.  Tens of thousands of people have disappeared into them in recent months.  [Expert on China Adrian] Zenz estimates the number to be closer to hundreds of thousands…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#820) 

Porn is abuse of women!

…Patricia Hill, 69, of Jefferson County, Arkansas, has been charged with the capital murder of her husband, 65-year-old Frank Hill..Mrs  Hill…said she confronted her husband in the shed after she “disagreed with her husband’s purchase of video pornography via the television guide, which she cancelled upon discovering the purchase but Mr Hill managed to place a subsequent order”…After her husband refused to leave [his own home as] she [demanded]…Patricia Hill went back inside the home to arm herself with a .22 caliber pistol.  She then returned to the shed and…shot him in the leg and head…Hill confirmed that that there had never been any physical altercations between her and her husband prior to the night of the shooting…

If anything is a “public health crisis”, it’s violent prohibitionism.

This Means War

Though this article about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin has some good information on their long, strange trip from student antiwar activists to props in the government’s manufactured “sex trafficking” hysteria, it buys into that hysteria far too much to be read without an entire carton of salt, especially when it promotes the government-friendly view that the pair were no longer “real” journalists (a claim anyone who’s ever talked to Lacey in particular for more than about half an hour knows is 9944/100% pure bullshit).  Look also for the subtle pearl-clutching, complete with scare quotes around ordinary words, like, “On deadline days for escort ads, the offices of New Times publications filled with young women wearing skimpy outfits and too much perfume…I witnessed firsthand this weekly parade of ‘escorts’ at two papers owned by Lacey and Larkin...”

Rooted in Racism (#846) 

An especially egregious case of deliberate racial profiling by government-approved guidelines:

Three Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants are [bizarrely] being hailed as heroes after they [harassed] a group of [travelers that they had racist sex fantasies about]…Flight attendant Wesley Hirata [claimed] he sensed something wasn’t right [because] an older Asian man [was traveling with two white women and their younger sister] from Los Angeles to Honolulu.  Hirata [conspired with] other flight attendants who [interrogated] the [women] – revealing that one of them was [a legal minor] and all three had the same name [as one would expect of unmarried sisters]…The attendants informed the captain [that there was a family on board] and [somehow decided this was grounds for snitching to the pigs] in Honolulu.  Upon arrival in Hawaii the group was questioned by local police, who referred the case to the FBI…[who] soon established [that the sisters were indeed sisters]…and the man was a…[family friend] travelling…with them [and not a sinister Fu Manchu-like character out of these bigots’ racist sex fantasies]…

Choke Point (#850) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

…Bank of America customer[s] might be getting questions about…citizenship status and even have…accounts frozen with no warning.  KCTV…photographer…Josh Collins…received a mailer claiming to be sent by Bank of America that asked for personal information and citizenship information.  However, he has been a Bank of America customer for 20 years and was born a U.S. citizen, so he figured it could be a scam and that the bank would follow up if it was legitimate.  The next thing he knew, his accounts were frozen without notice…The bank representative told Collins…his…“cards ha[d] been lost or stolen.”  That was not true…They eventually unfroze Collins’ accounts, but not before sending an email notifying him all of his automatic bill payment accounts were wiped out…the bank explained that…they would be asking this of all their customers…Bank of America [blamed]…”law” [for the harassment]…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers, gun owners or migrants, but never stops there.

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What is trafficking, anyway?  –  Kanchan, an Indian sex worker

Against Their Will 

What kind of “rescuers” lock the “victims” they “rescue” in a cage?

Police in Kenya rescued 21 young Nepalese women during a raid on two strip clubs in…Nairobi…”the…girls…had been trafficked to Kenya for exploitation,” [pigs] wrote on…Twitter…Images of the operation…showed three young women dressed in brightly coloured blouses hiding their faces as they were [dragged] away…”We are holding the 21 girls and three other local suspects.  We are probing their links to international human trafficking rings”…

Dirty Amateurs

Another effect of France’s jihad against sex workers: “French health authorities are warning the general public to use protection and get tested after their latest findings suggest chlamydia and gonorrhoea cases in the country tripled between 2012 and 2016…”  Pay close attention to the timing.  When “authorities” increase persecution of sex workers and clients, men are more afraid to buy sex from competent professionals, and instead turn to careless, filthy amateurs; this is the result.

Counterfeit Comfort

We certainly can’t have those dirty pedos helping each other to stay off the “sex offender” registry:

…the online “virtuous pedophile” community…[is] a network of both adults and youth who are attracted to children but are committed to never, ever acting on those attractions.  They are pedophiles, but they aren’t child molesters…there are few outlets for…non-offending pedophiles to find support.  In the U.S., therapists are obligated to [rat out] their clients to authorities if they think there is a chance the client will abuse a child…just disclosing the attraction can be a risk…online [communities are] one of the few places pedophiles can anonymously discuss their problems.  These forums aren’t places to trade kiddie porn or solicit sex (there are strict rules against this); they are places where pedophiles can talk honestly about how to deal with their attractions and exist in a society that views them as subhuman.  But…[their] message boards and forums have been targeted and shut down by hackers, and [last] week, an online community…with over 400 members was shut down by Discord, the company that hosted their server…”for violations of our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines”…

Monsters 

Yellow journalists assist cops to protect and serve crime victims:

A transgender woman was found dead [on July 19th] at an Orlando apartment complex…her body…had signs of trauma…Sasha Garden…was a sex worker…many in the community are worried after Garden’s death and the murders of three transgender woman in Jacksonville this year…[local activist] Montrese Williams says Orange County deputies came to her house around 7:30 a.m. for her help identifying Garden…”As soon as I opened the door, I get, ‘I hear a bunch of transvestites stay here.’ I had to let them know, I’m a transgender woman and I’m the only one that stays here”…Despite Montrese Williams telling deputies that Sasha Garden was a trans woman, in the official report they described her as a 27-year-old man from Jacksonville, who “was wearing a wig and was dressed as a female.”  Naturally…Orlando television stations followed suit with headlines that described her with phrases like a “man in a wig” (WESH) or a “man dressed as a woman” (WFTV)…

Profound Mental Disabilities (#512) 

Another case of the state using sex work as “evidence” of mental disability:

London [Ontario] police [claimed a 20-year-old woman called “C.S.”] was imprisoned by a human trafficker, and forced into selling sex…Amy Dykes…was charged in July 2015…But…Superior Court Justice Alissa Mitchell acquitted the accused woman on all charges.  Her ruling speaks to the [state’s desire to deny the power of]…consent…[to] disabled adults…[and the] danger…[of the] narrative about…rescuing sex workers…The Crown alleged that Dykes forced C.S. into prostitution and controlled her with threats and by taking her disability payments, cell phone and bank card…[cops discovered] C.S. [in an “Operation Northern Spotlight” sting and pretended]…that C.S…was not fully aware of her situation…But [another cop]…had taken a different view of C.S., when he’d met her a month earlier…Although C.S. seemed naive, she showed a level of independence by…using her own debit card in front of him, and spoke well of [Dykes]…Other testimony and evidence showed C.S. could look after herself, bought her children toys and clothes, maintained a bank account, paid her share of the rent, cooked, maintained a cell phone, and kept up with friends on Facebook and texts and in person.  C.S. has…[the] intelligence…of a child aged eight to 11, but is not a child in terms of life experience and accomplishments…“There is no evidence to support a finding that [C.S.] was incapable of providing her voluntary agreement to work as a prostitute…C.S. was adamant (with the [sting pigs]) that she had no interest in being rescued.  Their discussion was lengthy and…C.S. remained steadfast…[until the cops’ continuing pressure caused her to] fear…she might find herself in trouble with the law if she did not agree she was the victim,” Mitchell said…

Rhinoceros (#611)

COAST isn’t mentioned here, but this is the same sort of insulting, patronizing bullshit they peddle, pretending that pigs, bureaucrats and other busybodies know more about our profession than we do:

Shane Harrington…wants his employees to know what to watch for to make sure his clubs aren’t the target of traffickers.  “If there’s an entertainer who’s like [“I have bills”]…that’s a sign,” Stephanie Olson said.  Olson, the CEO of the “Set Me Free” project, is against sex…Her passion drove her to share her [propaganda]…So, she teamed up with Club Omaha to [indoctrinate] employees…Harrington, the nude dance club operator, said his club gets a bad rap and part of this [indoctrin]ation is to [virtue signal]…

Held Together With Lies (#648)

Looks like “Walk Free Foundation” got tired of its old wanking fantasy, so they inflated it:

[Propaganda] on modern slavery around the world [now claims] that the number of slaves in developed nations…is much higher than previously [pretended].  The Global Slavery Index is published annually by the Walk Free Foundation…In its new report, Walk Free Foundation is still using the 40.3 million figure, but says that [inflation of] its [fantasy] mean it [now pretends] country-level figures [are higher] than ever before:  it now [claims] that in the United States 403,000 people — or 1 in every 800 — are living in modern slavery, seven-times higher than it previously believed.  In the UK, it [claims] there are 136,000 slaves, almost 12-times higher than previous figures.  The numbers contrast with UK government’s [already-inflated] estimate that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013.  There is no equivalent government figure for the US…Walk Free Foundation [claims] the reason for the dramatic increases in its slavery estimates for some countries is that the latest report uses far more data sources than previously…

Click on the subtitle link to see how “Walk Free” comes up with these ridiculous “slavery” numbers.

A Broker in Pillage (#791)

The quaint non-“law enforcement” term for this is “blackmail”:

Under Michigan law, Stephen Nichols was supposed to get a “prompt” court hearing to challenge the forfeiture of his car, which police…[stole] in 2015 because he was driving it without valid insurance…Nichols still hasn’t had his day in court…[he] and two other plaintiffs filed a federal class-action lawsuit…[because] Wayne County police and prosecutors seize residents’ property and force them to wait months, sometimes years, for a hearing…the delays violate the 14th Amendment right to due process.  In addition, Wayne County prosecutors offer to settle cases out of court for $900, leaving owners to choose between getting their vehicle back quickly…or shelling out even more money for a lawyer and waiting months to get their means of transportation back…The two other named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Adam and Ryan Chappell, are a father and son…the younger Chappell was borrowing his dad’s car one day in July 2016 when Wayne County sheriff’s deputies saw him pull into a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit.  The cops pulled him over as he left and [stole] the car.  No [legal medical] marijuana was recovered from the car, and no criminal charges were filed in the case…Chappell’s car was one of hundreds [stolen] by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for visiting a [perfectly legal business]…

Between the Ears (#791) 

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

…Lovense [sex] toys can already be controlled remotely using an app, but now Alexa voice commands will activate them too…anyone with a Lovense toy and the Lovense Remote app will be able to simply update the app to use the feature…Asking [Alexa] to make you “smile” will result in a less powerful buzz than asking to “moan,” or even “scream”…Alexa will also be able to sync your toy to a Spotify account, making it buzz along to the music…

Think I’m paranoid? Check the subtitle; Lovense has already been caught doing it.

Rooted in Racism (#797)

“Repatriation” is the fashionable euphemism for “deportation”:

What to do about illegal migration from Africa into Europe?  The EU’s repatriation programme seems at first like a great idea [to racists who don’t want black people in Europe]…we persuade them [at gunpoint] to go back home and help them to remake their lives there.  The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has coughed up £125 million for the scheme and about 25,000 migrants have already taken part, most heading home to west and central Africa…60 per cent of all illegal Nigerian migrants to Europe [travel by way of Benin]…in the 1980s, a group of local women went as guest workers to Italy, and came back to their hometown rich after becoming prostitutes.  Word spread of their success, and so people-smuggling networks were set up that thrive to this day…The city now has a huge red-light district with many families knowingly sending their daughters into prostitution abroad.  Malign local juju cults have been revived by the smuggling gangs, who make their clients undergo secret rituals of obedience.  The most feared deity, a vengeful slave goddess called Ayelala, is now nicknamed “the patron saint of sex traffickers“…For all the opportunities on offer, what the [deported] migrants mostly felt was a sense of failure.  The people smugglers’ ticket had often cost their family its life savings.  Returning meant all that effort and money had been wasted…

Though the reporter clearly understands that these people are migrating of their own free will to make a better life for themselves, he still can’t resist the urge to demonize their religion and infantilize them by pretending they are passive objects to be “trafficked”.  Follow the links for previous examples of the same bigotry.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#846)

Sex worker rights activists are fighting India’s terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill:

A number of social workers, sex workers, lawyers, child rights and trans rights activists have…spoken out against the anti-trafficking bill…drafted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development…if enacted [it] will further marginalise vulnerable communities…activists…met [with the Minister] to discuss a petition…containing comments from 30 civil society organisations and 247 activists and lawyers, and endorsed by over 4,000 sex workers across the country …The bill conforms to a rescue-rehabilitation approach and…adult sex worker…rights would be completely negated if it is enacted…The bill…asserts that “the consent of the victim is immaterial in the determination of the offence of trafficking”…

Under Every Bed (#850)

Notice how tired and perfunctory “sex trafficking is EVERYWHERE!” articles are beginning to sound?

…Central Texas…is a focus for human trafficking because of its proximity to the southern border, Interstate 35 and its strong demand for labor, UnBound Director Susan Peters said.  UnBound…It has recently worked with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office on several trafficking cases, including at local massage parlors where [cops pretend] women were…forced to offer sex acts for money…

Disaster (#850)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

…women and advocates…speaking on Native America Calling, a live call-in program dedicated to issues specific to Native communities, charged that the so-called FOSTA-SESTA legislation has made life more…dangerous…for sex workers—and has left Native American women especially vulnerable…Becki Jones, a sexual health educator for Planned Parenthood…and a member of the Diné tribe…said…FOSTA-SESTA’s restrictions on commercial sex sites effectively removed sex workers ability to “screen for particular clients that might be super violent.”  By shutting down what amounted to protective online resources for sex workers, the measures in effect closed off a source of networking and mutual aid…sex work deserves legal protection and must be de-stigmatized…

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Jeremy Malcolm is the founder and director of the Prostasia Foundation, the first sex-positive and pro-civil rights child protection organization.  He’s an IT and intellectual property lawyer and consultant, and a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum; prior to Prostasia he was Senior Global Policy Analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation. When he asked me to be on Prostasia’s advisory council I gladly accepted, and when it came time to start getting the word out I naturally offered this space.

As a child, I remember how terrified I was by a rerun of the 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which the lead character attempts to sound the alarm about a stealth alien invasion of Earth.  In the final scene of the movie, mounting panic overcomes him as realizes that he is too late, and that the vehicles passing him by on the roadside are already carrying the alien pods that contain the seeds of humanity’s doom.  The movie was widely interpreted as a cold war allegory, because it reflected how the public fear of infiltration of the United States by communists had been worked up into such a frenzy by Senator Joseph McCarthy that it empowered the government (for a while) to get away with taking repressive measures in response—measures that would never otherwise have been considered justified outside of wartime.  Although the red scare has passed, the public feeling of creeping terror about existential threats to our society, and the shrewd and calculating management of that feeling, remains part and parcel of contemporary politics today.  So much so, that international relations scholars have a specific a word used to describe what happens when governments manipulate public fear in this way: it’s called securitization.

When a public policy issue is not merely politicized, but securitized, it is constructed in such a way that authorities assert the right to take extraordinary and otherwise impermissible measures in response.  Whatever the issue happens to be—it might be terrorism, ebola, or migration, for instance—if politicians are able to whip up enough hysteria about the threat that it poses to the integrity and long-term survival of a society, concerns about human rights, public debate, and due process can be hand-waved away.  Too much is at stake—our lives, our liberty!  And very often too: our children.  So it is that we often observe this pattern of rhetoric when child protection laws are put forward.  It is quite right that we should do all that we can constitutionally do to protect children from sexual abuse, and that the political process should be a part of this.  It’s also normal that politicians will selectively use the evidence that supports laws that they favor.  But a healthy political process is one in which that evidence is at least open for debate, and in which the effects of proposed laws on our rights and freedoms as a society are carefully scrutinized.  These democratic safeguards are frequently bypassed when it comes to child protection laws, because of how child sexual abuse is securitized, framed as an existential threat that has to be purged from society at any cost.  This construction of the issue transforms Congress from what should be – a sober, deliberative legislative body (a filter for the views of the people, as Alexander Hamilton would have it) – into a mirror of a society in moral panic, willing to accept with a minimum of scrutiny almost any measure that purports to address the problem.

Proponents of such laws know this full well, which is why they invest heavily in fueling and manipulating the moral panic that gives child protection this privileged status in political discourse.  One way in which they do this is by playing on emotions, rather than evidence—and since child protection involves very strong emotions anyway, all that might be needed to push a law over the line might be the performative retelling of the story of the victim chosen to be the law’s public face (Megan’s Law, the template for America’s ubiqituous, although ineffective, sex offender registration laws, is a good example of this).  It was much the same in the case of FOSTA/SESTA too, for which it was a movie about sex trafficking, along with a series of increasingly fever-pitched (if largely fictitious) stories about the commercial child sex trafficking industry, that made the law unassailable against evidence of its flaws.  In the end, all but two Senators voted for a law that has actually made the fight against sex trafficking harder, while also harming sex educators, putting adult sex workers in physical danger, and seeing a rash of privatized censorship sweeping the Internet.  Even aside from these laws’ harmful side-effects, they aren’t even fit for purpose, because the vast majority of sexual offending isn’t a result of child sex trafficking, nor is it committed by those who are already registered sex offenders.  In fact, notwithstanding popular belief to the contrary, most child sex offending isn’t even committed by pedophiles.  That’s not to say that prevention interventions can’t be aimed at these groups, but if that’s where we stop then we are barely scratching the surface of the problem.  Politicians and the public alike rely a lot on the stereotype of the child sexual abuser as a creepy old man hanging around a schoolyard in a van, or the brazen sidewalk pimp with links to organized crime.  Just as the stereotype of the psycho serial killer represents the much larger problem of violence in America, it can be perversely comforting to be able to focus our attention on these sorts of outlying abusers, as it helps us feel that we have a handle on the problem.

What was scariest about Invasion of the Body Snatchers wasn’t the fear an alien might come and kill you or a loved one.  The most terrifying part of the movie (spoiler alert!) was the revelation that your loved one was already an alien, and you didn’t even know it.  The “red scare” was so scary not because of the reds over the ocean, but because of the reds under the bed.  So too, potential child abusers are in every neighborhood, and in many families; they don’t identify (nor would be clinically diagnosed) as pedophiles, and they certainly aren’t going to be prevented from offending by laws aimed at the sex industry or at those who have offended in the past.  It’s a sobering thought.  But the good news is that the scale of the problem doesn’t have to make us feel paralyzed into inaction.  There are things that we can do—it’s just that politicians aren’t going to do them, or at least not for as long as self-righteous morals campaigners and “tough on crime” ideologues control the child protection agenda.  What’s needed is a broader primary sex-positive prevention approach that respects the civil and human rights of all.  Prostasia Foundation is the first child protection organization to simultaneously champion such an approach, while also criticizing laws and policies that while putatively for child protection, are really nothing more than child protection theater.  Formed following the passage of FOSTA/SESTA by a diverse group including child sexual abuse survivors, civil rights campaigners, medical health professionals, and sex industry experts, we are currently crowdfunding with the aim of a full launch next month, and we could use your support.

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