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Posts Tagged ‘Counterfeit Comfort’

It’s a privilege that [clients] choose us to share their hopes, fears and dreams with.  –  Rachel Wotton

Lack of Evidence

Discrimination against sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Landlords in Nairobi…are threatening to smoke out single women from their apartments, claiming that their houses have been turned into sex dens.  The[y]…have now resorted to vetting potential tenants and turning away single women…“We have instructed our agents and caretakers to ensure that female tenants provide proof of marriage or that they have serious boyfriends before they are allowed to live in our apartments,” said one of the landlords…most of have been outwitted by shrewd women who [circumvent] the…[discrimination] process by bringing male companions to pose as husbands during their house-hunting missions…

Long-time readers may remember that similar practices in 19th-century Europe led to the appearance of pimps.  I also find it fascinating that so many ignoramuses seem to think marriage is a magical ward against harlotry.

The Public Eye 

The more out sex workers there are, the harder it will be to ignore us:

In 1995 New South Wales  became…the first place…in the world to decriminalise sex work.  Against a backdrop of the AIDS epidemic and a recommendation to fight police corruption from a royal commission into the state’s police service, sex workers succeeded in lobbying the government for change.  The NSW model is often cited as an example of best-practice, evidence-based regulation.  The state has an estimated 10,000 sex workers and many of them are active globally in law reform, human rights and HIV prevention campaigns.  But 23 years since decriminalisation, how much has changed for sex workers and what does the future hold?  The Guardian spoke to six sex workers about their personal experiences and the diverse nature of the work they do…

Most of y’all will probably recognize at least one or two of these names, especially that of Rachel Wotton, whom I deeply admire and got to meet last month.

Catastrophic Consequences

After harassing sex workers for the past five years, Scottish police now pretend they want to be “fair”:

Police Scotland is to review thousands of warnings handed out to sex workers in a bid to ensure prostitutes are not being unfairly criminalised.  Warnings…will also be removed from the internal police system after two years as part of a new policy designed to reduce the risk of discrimination…Under the existing system…A range of warnings are “weeded”…after two years, but there is a higher hurdle for sex workers to overcome.  A single warning for a prostitute will be erased from the system after 24 months, but two or more sanctions for the same individual triggers the so-called “40-20” rule.  This means that a person has to be 40 years old or over, and the information would have had to be on record for at least 20 years, before a weed is carried out…The move comes nearly five years after Police Scotland raids on saunas in Edinburgh effectively ended the regulated brothel system in the city…The action is believed to have damaged police relations with sex workers…

“Is believed to have damaged relations”.  Really?  I can’t imagine why hounding people out of safe working conditions, destroying their livelihoods and saddling them with 20-year criminal records would make them unhappy.

Nice While It Lasted

Remember when a person had to actually be found guilty to get a life sentence?

In New York a defendant can be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life based on accusations a jury rejected.  So the state’s highest court ruled last week in a case that illustrates how fear and loathing of sex offenders  lead to results that would be recognized as unjust and illogical in any other context.  Quinn Britton’s 13-year-old niece, identified in court documents as A.B., accused him of raping her during a Thanksgiving Day visit to her grandmother’s home in Brooklyn…when she was 11.  Britton denied any inappropriate behavior, and his mother said A.B. had spent the whole evening watching TV in the living room with her.  The girl’s older brother said she had described a sexual assault to him, but…A.B. told her brother Britton had tried to engage in vaginal intercourse with her but couldn’t because his penis “wouldn’t fit”.  By contrast, she told police Britton had penetrative sex with her for about 10 minutes.  A detective testi[l]ied that Britton had admitted touching, kissing, and performing oral sex on A.B., but he had no recording or written statement to corroborate the confession, which Britton denied making.  The jurors…found Britton guilty of second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, based on the allegation that he kissed A.B.’s breasts, but not guilty of three felonies…the judge nevertheless assumed that Britton had committed the felonies and therefore assigned him to risk level two…which triggers lifetime registration…

The reason the judge can get away with this abomination is the loathsome pretense that “sex offender” registration is merely a administrative requirement rather than a penalty.

The Missing Word (#735)

Note that state-sanctioned near-slavery isn’t called “trafficking” herein:

Two Bangladeshi men…have been charged at a Dubai court with human trafficking after they allegedly tried to sell an Indonesian absconding maid…via WhatsApp…They are also facing charges…of running a…prostitution den, facilitating prostitution…and sexual exploitation…the victim…[was] subject to a deportation order…[she] said…”I got in contact with a countrywoman and told her I was not happy at work because the sponsor’s wife was very demanding.  That woman introduced me to another compatriot (a wanted runaway) who promised me a part-time job…The runaway woman told me I would work as a prostitute and that I had to accept as I had no other choice”…

The “sponsors” of such migrant workers hold officially-granted power over them, and often abuse and exploit them because they can have them deported at a whim.  Women who flee the exploitation are treated as criminals (note the terms “absconding” and “runaways”); is it any wonder other nasty characters can take advantage of them?  But only the people they flee to are called “traffickers”, never the well-connected abusers they flee from.

The Punitive Mindset (#804) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is quietly rolling out a pair of new policies that could restrict access to books and communications for the system’s nearly 200,000 prisoners.  The first of the new policies bans all books from being sent into federal facilities from outside sources including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  These retailers are usually the only means by which prisoners can receive books because most facilities reject reading material sent from individuals or small bookstores due to [arbitrary bullshit]…Now, prisoners instead will have to submit a request to purchase books — a limit of five per order — through an ordering system in which they must pay exorbitant prices and don’t have the option to buy cheaper used paperbacks.  In addition, prisoners must pay a 30 percent tax plus shipping cost…Under the new protocol, a book purchased from Amazon for as little as $11.76, with shipping included, could cost more than $26.  The new books policy…has been in effect in [two facilities for months]…and…has resulted in a massive price increase for books as well as months of wait time between orders…

Unchristian Nation 

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

Scott Warren was arrested by Border Patrol agents…just north of the Mexican border, in January…he was indicted by a grand jury in February, on two counts of harboring illegal aliens and one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens…Warren is also one of nine volunteers with No More Deaths, an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, to be hit with federal charges in recent months for leaving water in a remote federal wilderness preserve where migrants routinely disappear and die.  His arrest came just hours after No More Deaths published a report that documents evidence of Border Patrol agents destroying jugs of water that the group leaves for migrants in the desert…

This Means War (#831)

It’s good to see they’re going to fight this:

Backpage.com co-founder Michael Lacey offered his first public comments about allegations of running prostitution ads and money laundering.  “Nonsense!” Lacey said before his attorney added that his client had no further comment.  Lacey, and co-founder James Larkin are scheduled to stand trial Jan. 15, 2020…Five site employees will also stand trial.  Attorneys were given enough time to review an estimated 7 million to 9 million pages of documents about the case…CEO Carl Ferrer, has pleaded guilty to a separate federal conspiracy case in Arizona and state money laundering charges in California.  In addition, [Ferrer] pleaded guilty [in the company’s name] to human trafficking in Texas and in a federal money laundering conspiracy case in Arizona.  Ferrer has agreed to testify against others…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#837) 

I should’ve realized a change like that wouldn’t be a merely administrative one:

Experience in the sex…industry will no longer help would-be immigrants move to New Zealand, it seems.  The recently-hyped addition to the employment list, for visa hopefuls, has vanished from the immigration website…While the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website did not issue any official statement on the development, the agency’s area manager Stephanie Greathead told local media that the removal was done to avoid “further confusion”

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The work you do does not give you dignity; the dignity comes from you.  –  Elena Reynaga

Counterfeit Comfort

The Notorious Badge

An unusual portrayal of sex work in cinema:

…the 1918 silent film The Yellow Ticket…follows Lea, a young Jewish woman who lives in the Warsaw Ghetto.  Hoping to study medicine at a university in St. Petersburg, Lea is forced to register as a sex worker, receiving a “yellow ticket” as proof of her status as a prostitute, or else she will go to prison for being Jewish.  Posing as the deceased Christian sister of her former tutor, Lea reluctantly lives these dual lives until a classmate discovers her at the brothel and she tries to commit suicide…

Broken Record 

Low-population areas come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

Fargo [North Dakota] police arrested two men as part of a two-day sting…[during] the annual Big Iron Farm Show…[spokesow Junell] Krabbenhoft [oinked that]…“Any major event, anything that’s going to draw people to the area,” could attract potential buyers…

An Example to the West (#316) 

The areas Americans dismiss as the “third world” are far ahead of the US in sex worker rights:

…sex workers [are] campaign[ing] for an International Labour Organization (ILO) resolution establishing the right to self-employed sex work, with a view to it being included in the individual legislations of Latin American countries, given that, although sex work is not explicitly penalised in many countries of the region, it is criminalised in many ways…they managed, after five years of failed attempts, to secure a thematic hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  The demands presented included the recognition of sex work, that the relevant authorities in each state intervene to end the impunity surrounding crimes against sex workers, and measures to tackle the institutional violence they suffer…The IACHR…“urged member states to design public policies and regulations that protect the human rights of sex workers…and…put an end to the stigmatisation and discrimination to which they are subjected”…

Traffic Circle (#431)

It’s so nice to see an article in which migrant African sex workers are treated as adults with agency rather than passive, childlike “victims”:

Bar girls and sex workers have a visible presence in Pattaya [Thailand].  Women and girls from neighbouring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar have made up a large slice of the sex worker demographic for as long as people can recall…Among the most recent round of newcomers are some women from Africa…Last week Pattaya City police arrested 12 women from Uganda…A Cambodian sex worker…[said] she came to the city to earn a living five years ago.  Pattaya improved her life, she says, and she wants to remain there for as long as possible…”Back at home, I can’t even earn 10% of what I am earning here.  I notice a lot more black girls these days but none of us get intimidated by this.  After all, we also came here to find an opportunity to make a better living”…

SWOP Behind Bars

A good article with a horrible headline: sex work is work, not an “offense”:

SWOP Behind Bars…provides a community and concrete aid [to incarcerated sex workers] when they’re released, from clothing and shoes to stamped envelopes, notebooks and hygiene products.  In a new program, the women also get cellphones…Connecting women to resources quickly after leaving prison is crucial.  “When you’re in prison and you get out and you don’t have any money, you’re almost forced back into sex work.  Which may not be where these women want to be, because it does put them at risk for rearrest,” [SBB founder Alex] Andrews said.  She calls this “state-sponsored trafficking”.  Women are cut off from their families and released without resources for finding jobs, getting an education or pursuing a GED.  Sex work is effectively the only way many of them have to make money…Finding cheap, reliable phone service nationwide has been tricky, Andrews says.  Many services aren’t set up to allow people to purchase phones for others, and she’d like to buy 90 days of service at a time, rather than the usual 30-day package.  Most women coming out of prison aren’t in a position to start paying for their own phone after only a month on the outside.  For the moment, Andrews has settled on Straight Talk, a program that’s offered through Wal-Mart and gets good service even in rural areas.  SWOP can send out refurbished iPhone 5S with 30 days of service for around $100 each.  The organization is accepting donations of used smart phones to help expand the program and lower costs…

To Molest and Rape 

“Former prison transport officer” = “pig who was actively employed when he raped women at gunpoint”:

A federal grand jury…returned a two-count indictment against Eric Scott Kindley…for crimes related to his sexual assault of a woman in his custody, and using his firearm in furtherance of the assault…Kindley was indicted on June 29, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona, for committing similar offenses related to sexual assaults he committed on a different woman in his custody…These indictments stem from Kindley’s arrest in Stockton, California, on June 1, 2017…Kindley operated Group 6, LLC doing business as Special Operations Group, a company that local jails throughout the country hire to transport individuals who have been arrested on out-of-state warrants…In each instance, the victim was handcuffed and restrained, and taken to secluded locations where Kindley [raped] her…Kindley threatened each victim with his firearm and warned her that…no one will believe her…

Send In the Clowns 

This year’s “creepy clown” panic is off to a good start:

An Ohio man who tried to discipline his 6-year-old daughter by chasing her around in a clown mask has been charged after she ran screaming to a stranger’s apartment…Vernon Barrett Jr. donned a clown mask and began chasing his young daughter outside their apartment…the frightened child ran to a female stranger’s car nearby, jumped inside and said she was being chased by a clown…That woman later told police that the man wearing the clown mask pulled the child out of her car.  Unsure of what was happening, the woman called 911…the child [then] ran into the adjacent apartment of…Dion Santiago…[who] grabbed his firearm and fired a shot out of his window…

The Mote and the Beam (#748)

Liz Brown exposes more horrific laws that destroy civil rights under the pretext of “fighting sex trafficking”:

…two significant expansions of federal power…passed the Senate unanimously…Under these new measures, the FBI and immigration agents as well as state and local police can secretly wiretap suspected sex workers, or those who associate with them.  The wiretapping authority…includ[es] consenting adults on any side of a commercial sexual exchange.  The bills call for a new national strategy to reduce “demand” for prostitution, order all U.S. attorneys offices be trained on treating the sex trade as “a form of gender-based violence”…[ban] federal funds [from] any nonprofit that helps people who profit off sex and…broaden…the term “criminal street gang” [to] capture any five or more sex workers traveling together…[the bills provide] a pretext for ICE and Homeland Security Investigations to join in small-town prostitution stings and massage-parlor raids across America…[another] bill (S.1312) gives the attorney general power to file a civil suit against anyone suspected of…planning to commit “any action that constitutes or will constitute” a violation of various federal statutes…This…could allow the feds to preemptively shut down websites, search engines, social apps, browsers, encryption services, or brick-and-mortar businesses because criminals (broadly defined) might communicate there…The new TVPA will also make fighting…”sextortion”…an invitation for the federal government to get involved in teen sexting cases…

The Widening Gyre (#763) 

I am so enjoying watching “authorities” forced to deny the “sex trafficking” propaganda they helped spread:

Looks like the Roseville, California, police department got a little fed up with social media posts going on about local “sex trafficking kidnappers” and “suspicious people.”  And so it came out with this amazing document on its Facebook page…”kidnapping by strangers is a rare crime in the United States.  Stranger abductions of children are so frightening and so unusual that when they do happen, they make national news…children taken by strangers or slight acquaintances represent only one-hundredth of 1 percent (.01%) of all missing children…The Roseville Police Department has never taken a report of anyone being kidnapped by a stranger and forced into the sex trade…We…found no evidence that human traffickers were [at shopping malls] recruiting strangers“…

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Increasingly…governments have criminalized more and more behaviors that are part of everyday life, adding harsh fines and possible jail time to misdemeanors and crimes that weren’t punished so harshly or even at all before.  –  German Lopez

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

…Orange County [Florida] Sheriff Deputy [Mike Asbury] quit while he was under investigation for allegedly paying a prostitute for sex…the woman’s house was…under surveillance…after [nosy] neighbors complained of too many people going in and out…and…took pictures of men going inside the home…Investigators checked the license plate of Asbury’s car and it linked back to the Sheriff’s Office…

Peeping Toms

Trying to turn Lawrence into a “monogamous vanilla gay amateurs only” club:

In Sandy Springs, Georgia…“[a]ny device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs is obscene material…”  A marital aid shop…[argued] all the way to the 11th Circuit that a ban on sex toys interfered with the right to “[p]rivate, consensual intimacy” provided under the 14th Amendment…Flanigan’s…[tagged] out for a more sympathetic plaintiff mid-way through the process:  “Davenport suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses sexual devices with her husband to facilitate intimacy“…Another plaintiff claimed that he wanted to use sex toys in his artwork…Unfortunately for non-artsy couples and frisky singles in the Sandy Spring area, who doubtless strictly observe the prohibition, the 11th Circuit found that, per its previous opinion, there is no right to buy or sell…In fact, per its 2004 opinion, there is no right to sexual privacy…This is a surprising outlier opinion in a country where even Ted Cruz couldn’t persuade the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep a sex toy ban…the 5th Circuit didn’t hesitate to note that Lawrence v. Texas was pretty explicit about letting people be explicit, especially when the law banning “immoral” conduct was only sporadically enforced, suggesting that it was more about making a moral statement than actually fixing any sort of problem…

Droit du Seigneur Richard Silverthorne

Most politicians are a bit more careful when indulging in drugs with hookers:

The mayor of the City of Fairfax [Virginia] was arrested…for distribution of methamphetamine in an uncover sting…Richard “Scott” Silverthorne…was allegedly distributing meth…through a website used to arrange for casual sexual encounters between men…an undercover detective made contact with the…mayor after creating a [fake] profile… “Undercover detectives agreed to meet the suspect for a group sexual encounter in exchange for methamphetamine”…[a news] release said…

It Looks Good On Paper

This is, as we’ve seen before, pure bullshit; only a few sex workers even qualify to be considered for the “safe harbor”, and it’s usually contingent upon her producing a “pimp” to sate the bloodlust of cops and prosecutors…even though, as we well know, very few whores have anyone who could be thrown under the bus even if they wanted to do that.  The so-called “services” these big talkers claim to be able to “connect” people with are just ordinary welfare services anyone could apply for, and the so-called “connection” is rarely more than giving them a phone number.  What I find interesting, though, is the apparent move away from “end demand” tactics, possibly due to low conviction rates but possibly due to something more important such as legal liability from lawsuits from sting victims.  I can’t think of another reason a cop would say something as moronic as “The johns are very reluctant to respond to ads” while simultaneously claiming that “the situation has gotten worse”.

Universal Criminality

This is what happens when cops are allowed to “enforce” laws against acts that hurt nobody:

…low-level offenses can trap someone for life — and even to death — in the criminal justice system…It begins with one ticket or a traffic stop.  But if someone can’t afford to pay that fine, police might try to stop or arrest him or her again to get the person to pay up.  This can lead to someone getting fined again for not paying up the first time.  And again.  And again.  One ticket leads to a vicious cycle that can sink someone for life.  With each of these encounters, someone’s record piles up — giving [cops] more reason, in their view, to stop him or her, because they recognize the person, or perhaps see the person’s record when running a license plate…And with each of these stops, people are exposed to more instances in which a police encounter could go tragically wrong.  And it happens disproportionately to poor people of color.  As those who are already heavily policed, they are the ones who are more likely to catch a cop’s eye if they run a stop sign, fail to signal on a turn, have a broken taillight, or sell untaxed cigarettes…

Scapegoats

Pig invents new excuse for criminalization of sex with goats:

A Georgia man…was arrested and charged with bestiality…for engaging in inappropriate relations with a goat…neighbors of Freddie Wadsworth [ratted him out]…Bestiality “is the single greatest predictor of people who will molest children,” Detective Jeremy Hoffman, of the Fairfax County, Va., Sheriff’s Office [oinked, presenting no evidence whatsoever in support of this fantasy]…

Standard Operating Procedure

{Yawn}.  See me yawning there? Lots of other whores reading this are, too:

Malia Litman of Dallas TX describes herself as a stay-at-home mom…[who] has spent $100,000 suing the U.S. government to turn over 3,900 pages of secret records about widespread sexual abuse and misbehavior by the U.S. Secret Service.  “A culture of ‘wheels up; rings off’ meant even married agents could party on foreign trips…A [sic] agent who missed his flight later showed up drunk with two prostitutes.  He was not disciplined…Agents “engaged” with prostitutes in Amsterdam’s red-light district during an advance team trip…A supervisor took a subordinate to a sex show while on duty…A male agent’s gun was stolen by a male prostitute he solicited online.  The gun was never recovered“…Litman has had to pay $100,000 for the records out of her own pocket because [she is a dingbat]…

Amateurs who read this, be honest with me…does this kind of stuff actually shock y’all?  Seriously?  None of this is even good enough to share in shop-talking sessions.  Except for the stolen gun, this is all pretty typical.

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) Pokemon GO squirtle

New York is obsessed with the fantasy that people condemned to the “sex offender” registry use video games to abduct children:

New York state officials think Pokemon Go might be a great tool for sex offenders to kidnap children—gotta catch ’em all!—and now the governor himself, Andrew Cuomo, is calling for legislation…[which] would prevent sex offenders on parole from playing the game in which animated creatures—from Nintendo’s Pokemon universe—appear on your phone screen while you walk around.  The legislation…also calls upon the game’s creators to eliminate any Pokemon within 100 feet of a registered sex offender’s home…

Stupor Bowl

Yes, August is indeed “before the Super Bowl”.  It’s also before the year 2100, the collapse of human civilization and the heat death of the universe, and this sting is linked about as closely to those events as it is to “sex trafficking” or football:

A prostitution sting at a high-end Houston area hotel has resulted in ten arrests…Constable Alan Rosen…[lied that] the goal was not to make arrests, but rather to highlight the problem of human trafficking and see if his team of [sadistic perverts] could [get publicity]…It’s a huge issue as we get closer to the Super Bowl next year in Houston. That game is one of the busiest days for human trafficking all year, according to [thoroughly debunked prohibitionist propaganda]…Rosen knows he’s not going to rid the world of prostitution…To him, this effort is about [getting himself re-elected by ignorant morons]…

Hard Numbers (#426) 

Exactly like the World Cup two years ago.  Why can’t people learn?

…the expectation of earning more money during the Olympics has been frustrated in Brazil…Prostitution Observatory of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, working with hundreds of prostitutes, estimates that, broadly speaking, the scenario that happened in the World Cup in Brazil 2014 will be repeated…The movement of customers fell by around 15% during the World Cup…and now, many of the local “fast and cheap” brothels are closing their doors during the Games.  According to anthropologist Thaddeus Blanchette…some of the local sex workers are even thinking of going on vacation during the Games…In [Blanchette’s] opinion, there are many prostitutes who end up believing the “expectations inflated by the media” and put much hope that the Olympic Games are a good deal but then find that this is “a myth”…it is also not expected that a large flood of prostitutes from other parts of Brazil will move to Rio, which researchers Prostitution Observatory say is another myth…

Bait and Switch

Whenever you see claims that a sting “caught pedophiles” or is “fighting the demand for child sex trafficking”, refer back to the original article in this heading:

As part of “Operation Someone Like Me” undercover agents posted ads on…Backpage.com, to find people [they could frame for seeking] sex with juveniles, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said…They got 485 responses [yet somehow only arrested…41 [victims]…18 [were] men [the cops successfully tricked]…Also arrested were six women and a juvenile…[the other 16 were]…charged with either patronizing prostitution [or] prostitution…One of the women was [jailed]…

The Course of a Disease (#510)

Because naturally a politician can’t recognize that a consensual activity should just be let alone by the government; that boot has to be on somebody’s neck:

Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan…said he strongly disagreed with criminalisation calls, saying that sex workers should be regulated and subject to regular health checks…“Why would we want to fine somebody or make it a criminal offence for two consenting adults to have sex?…would there not be lonely men out there?  Would there not be men who have a disfigurement or who are disabled?…So, there’s an opportunity for them maybe to pay for it and we’re saying ‘no’!  That’s cruel”…the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland said it was happy that a Government Minister was questioning the “dangerous proposals” contained in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2014…but [does] not support the type of “overly regulated” legalised sex industry which exists in Germany and the Netherlands…[where] “only the very privileged few workers who can jump through all the hoops and work independently”…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#651)

Slowly but surely, we’re forcing them to listen, and prohibitionists’ responses are showing them for the authoritarians they are:

…messages [from sex workers] came in response to a June article [about an anti-sex work propaganda campaign]…that featured billboards, radio spots, posters and videos aimed at [indoctrinating the public in] sex trafficking [mythology]…The…readers who contacted me about the story told me they were bothered because it was missing voices from sex workers.  Because prostitution is illegal in…California, I didn’t think the…article needed to explore that particular issue.  But the criticism was not lost on me, and the points [Norma Jean Almodovar & Maxine Doogan] raised struck me as worthy of further consideration…Summer Stephan, a chief deputy district attorney, said she has heard the criticism, but she remains proud of the San Diego campaign, which aims to “inform (human trafficking) victims that they are victims”…

Cut. Print.

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In…the trafficking framework…sex work becomes a kind of statutory crime, with women as legal children…and questions of consent rendered irrelevant.  –  Lisa Duggan

Coming and Going

Boo fucking hoo:

When Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk was a judge, the cases that upset her the most involved…prostitution.  Hawk said that feeling has carried over into her work as district attorney and her office focuses on “prosecuting…[people and doing anything to] make sure they go to prison”…Last year in Dallas, 62 underage sex trafficking victims were rescued from their pimps, [lied] Deputy Police Chief Vernon Hale.  Dallas County also has several diversion programs to [brainwash sex workers]…One program, dubbed STAR Court, [forces] women [wrongfully persecuted for consensual sex to] go through counseling and drug or alcohol rehabilitation [whether they need it or not].  The goal is to give women an alternative to a criminal lifestyle…The [rescue industry corporation] Mosaic recently released an app…called Operation Compass [which makes it]…convenient…to [rat people out to the pigs]…

In other words, if you have sadfeelz about someone else’s way of making a living you should inform on them so they can be locked up and subjected to psychological torture to “correct” their “criminality”.

Droit du Seigneur 

Peacekeepers“.

The United Nations has been grappling with so many sexual abuse allegations involving its peacekeepers that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called them “a cancer in our system”…Investigators discovered this month that at least four U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic allegedly paid girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex…employees have been accused of 22 other incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual exploitation in the past 14 months.  The most recent accusations come in the wake of Ban’s efforts to implement a “zero tolerance” policy for such offenses.  The United Nations maintains nine peacekeeping operations in Africa, employing more than 100,000 people on the continent, and the abuses threaten to erode the organization’s legitimacy.  Other sex-crime cases have occurred in Mali, South Sudan, Liberia and Congo in recent years…

Counterfeit Comfort

That’ll teach them dirty “sex offenders”!

The government may start stamping “sex offender” on the passports of citizens who were convicted of a sex offense against a minor.  Yes, that would include high school seniors who slept with their freshman girlfriends.  The rationale behind the International Megan’s Law is that these people could be traveling for sex-trafficking purposes…There are almost 850,000 Americans on the Sex Offender Registry, up from 750,000 just a few years ago.  About a quarter of them got on the list when they were juveniles themselves, because young people have sex with other young people…The branding…will affect even Americans whose offenses aren’t crimes in the countries they’re trying to visit:  For instance, I have a friend who had sex, once, with a 14-year-old when he was 19.  If he had done this in Austria, Germany, Portugal or Italy, it wouldn’t have been a criminal act at all. The age of consent there is 14.  But here in America he went to prison — for nine years.  He spent his 20s in a cell for one act of consensual sex between two teens, and now that he’s out, he remains on the Sex Offender Registry for life…if my friend’s passport is stamped with “Sex Offender,” any country he approaches will assume he’s a monster trying to get in.  Oddly enough, that country won’t be alerted if a visitor has served time for, say, mugging old ladies

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

If someone stole $100 from a convenience store, would the Times-Picayune refer to the crime as a “quibble”?

A Birmingham, Ala., woman called police after…a man who paid her $100 for a sexual rendezvous…stole back the cash…But Kenner [Louisiana] police wound up busting both for the illegal hookup…Montez Robinson…told [cops] he reached out to Rachel Burma…through her profile…on Backpage…

Forward and Backward

A pilot scheme in Leeds to allow sex workers to ply their trade on the streets without fear of arrest will continue indefinitely after the council announced it had improved the safety of prostitutes and made it easier for them to report crimes.  The scheme…allows prostitutes to work in a “managed area” between 7pm and 7am…The council says the scheme has improved community relations, the safety of sex workers and allowed prostitutes to report incidents of harassment without facing recrimination.  Police in the area will no longer issue cautions or make arrests for soliciting during the working hours specified…A female police officer has also been specially appointed to handle cases involving sex workers and to ensure their safety…

The Pygmalion Fallacy Gloria & robot

Unless they can bruise, heal, cry and exude a certain rare and as-yet-undiscovered pheromone, I’m not remotely interested:

…It wouldn’t take tech as advanced as Gigolo Joe [from the movie A.I.] to pique women’s interest in sexbots.  For one thing, women already use sex toys…women don’t really care whether the toy they’re using to orgasm even faintly resembles the anatomy of a human man…While toys for men, whether Fleshlights or RealDolls, conjure the appearance of an actual woman, women’s toys don’t…Women’s porn viewing habits…tend to be more varied than those of men…there’s a strong argument to be made that…women…are polymorphously perverse, being sexually aroused by far more configurations of bodies than men…a sexbot for women could be vaguely torso-shaped, equipped with vibrating pads and oscillating nubs, and furnished with outlets that would allow for multiple snap-on tools…Maybe make it’s voice-activated so that you could rotate between modes without the tiresome pressing of a button…No fuss.  No muss…And no uncanny valley…this bot could also sidestep the major controversy of sexbots: that of emotional connection…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Note that the main reason for the strippers’ plight is Washington’s idiotic prudishness:

…The owners of a collection of Washington strip clubs have sued state labor regulators, claiming they’ve been wrongly ordered to pay workers’ compensation to dancers hurt on the job…they claim regulators are trying to “financially break” their businesses.  At issue, in part, is the strippers’ status as club employees.  The women rent space from the clubs, which regard them as independent contractors.  The state Department of Labor & Industries has taken a different view, contending that, at times, dancers are entitled to workers’ comp if they’re injured at the clubs…The economics of Washington state strip clubs are particularly brutal, largely because the alcohol-free clubs draw their income almost exclusively from high-priced soft drinks and the fees paid by dancers.  Strippers pay a large portion of their earnings back to the clubs in a system previously decried by a U.S. attorney for Washington as abusive.  In Seattle, strip clubs have historically been subjected to extreme scrutiny from law enforcement and regulators

Now They Notice

The case against Rentboy isn’t actually any weaker than any other website takedown case; they’re all this weak:

…law-enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors considered this a big, bold police action against a criminal organization.  They threw around phrases like “Internet brothel,” “international online prostitution ring,” and “global criminal enterprise”…This was the beginning of an important and high-profile win for the government in the fight against illegal commercial sex, or so [they]…must have thought.  But things started going badly for the government right away…the raid was vigorously condemned by sexual-freedom and sex-worker advocates…LGBT groups…human-rights and free-speech organizations…and even many media outlets, including The New York Times.  The ACLU and Lambda Legal later initiated a meeting with prosecutors to defend Rentboy’s positive role in the community, which included funding scholarships and other educational projects…After such widespread backlash, the prosecution stalled, so far requesting four delays in the 30-day deadline for indictment.  Though such extended delays are not unusual, as investigators search for further evidence and try to locate cooperating witnesses, no new charges have surfaced in this case…

Bread and Circuses (#573) 

Federal “authorities”, unsatisfied with merely hounding a hardworking woman’s husband to death, humiliate her and lock her in a cage for six months:

A woman who came from a poor family in Thailand became a prostitute in Hawaii through working in the massage industry…Judge Susan Oki Mollway [pretended] she took those circumstances — along with her husband’s suicide — into account when sentencing her to six months in federal prison.  In a deal with prosecutors, [Khemwika] Ernst pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and filing false tax returns…

She only made about $75,000 per year, but prosecutors pretended that’s some huge amount of money so as to paint her as a master criminal.

Still a Child (#574) 

Women are such fragile little flowers that, although men can choose to risk death at 18, it takes us three extra years to mature to the point where we can choose to take off our clothes:  “The New Orleans city council voted unanimously…to ban strip club employees younger than 21 from dancing nude…the new rules do not apply to employees under 21 who are already working as dancers…

Above the Law (#587) 

Why I didn’t report being raped by cops:

For five years, Lindsay F. relived the night she was brutally raped by Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, then a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, over and over again.  She had to recall every detail…whenever investigators asked her to retell her story.  If Lindsay missed a detail or confused the timeline, even after years had passed, they accused her of lying…in her fight for the county to admit liability, Lindsay underwent a humiliating and interminably long process, one that experts in law enforcement misconduct litigation said is commonplace.  Even after Sanchez went to prison — not just for raping Lindsay, but for attempting to coerce another woman into sex under similar circumstances just two days later — the county’s lawyers…spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Lindsay as if she had falsely accused Sanchez…They asked Lindsay about her sexual history:  Had she ever had HPV?  They deposed her friends:  What had Lindsay been wearing the night Sanchez pulled her over?  They even went as far as to hire a gynecology medical expert witness to testify that Lindsay’s vagina had not shown significant signs of trauma

The Widening Gyre (#597)

Another sign of peak panic: mere “sex trafficking” isn’t shocking enough any more, so fetishists are now claiming that “traffickers” are members of some other pariah-group besides being “pimps”:

…Katherine Svoi Symthe said…“All human traffickers are pedophiles, but not all pedophiles are traffickers”…Symthe’s [novel] Unbreakable, The Story of an Unrelenting Spirit, describes in shocking detail her [fantasized] story from the time she was smuggled into the U.S. as an infant to her rescue at age 17…Symthe said many pedophiles also get gratification by torturing their victims…

Too Close To Home

Feminist Whore debunks the King County sheriff’s press conference:

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It’s much harder to usurp someone’s voice when she’s out there saying you’re wrong.  –  Maggie McNeill

Rough Trade Charles Oliver

A [Chicago area] man accused of raping eight [sex workers] was sentenced…to 36 years in prison.  Charles Oliver…forced the women to perform acts to which they had not agreed [and] often videotaped…In one video, Oliver…could be heard saying, “I don’t have to listen to you.  I paid you”…Oliver also stole women’s IDs and threatened to expose them as prostitutes if they reported what he had done…Oliver…[has] herpes and [raped the women without]…condoms…Prosecutors also played recorded jailhouse phone calls where Oliver is heard saying…”I should have killed them it would have been easier”…

Maggie in the Media

Noah Berlatsky quoted me and other activists in his Salon piece about how sex workers are using social media to attract attention to our cause.  As a result of that piece, I was interviewed on the Between the Synapse radio show on Thursday.  I apologize for quoting myself in the epigram, but this quote proved very popular on Twitter.

Surplus Women

Police in Italy believe that a murdered prostitute…could have been the victim of a serial killer…Andrea Cristina Zamfir, was…naked except for her shoes and…bound with tape to an iron bar in a position similar to crucifixion…a year ago [another] prostitute was found in the same place and in a similar state…though…still alive…

Presents, Presents, Presents! The Herring and the Brine

This week I received two music CDs:  The Herring and the Brine from Dave Curran of Inspireland, and Whirlygig from a reader whose screen name I don’t know; please email me so I can thank you properly!

Harm Magnification (The Beat Goes On)

They just can’t let it go:

Montreal…is considered a hub for…human trafficking, with police saying women and teenaged girls are brought into the city and forced into…sexual slavery…Mayor Denis Coderre said he wanted the crack down [sic] on massage parlours…Stella Outreach Worker Robin Maynard…[said] “The negative effects of arresting women in the sex industry have been widely documented”…

Above the Law

Cops don’t only rape adult women:

A…Colville [Washington] Police Officer has been arrested…and charged with Rape of a Child…the…victim…[said] she was “very fearful…since [rapist Scott] Arms was a police officer”…the girl…[finally] came forward…because she found out Arms was quitting his job in Colville and was going to be in [her home town] more often…Arms told  investigators…she…[made] these allegations…”Because she has a crush on me”…

Nor only females:

A [Minnesota] sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for sexually abusing several boys on a fishing trip.  Aaron Heuer…admitted he inappropriately touched four boys, ages 8 to 10, while volunteering as a fishing guide…Heuer threatened to throw the boys into the lake if they told…

Oscillation

First the once-respected Southern Poverty Law Center pronounced pickup artists a “hate group”, then branded everyone (including women) who doesn’t want to be groped by government thugs a “far-right homophobe”.  Then “…the SPLC tried its hand at painting anarcho-capitalists as a rising new threat through a convoluted chain of logic that somehow sought to link voluntaryists to the Patriot movement…now the scaremonger group cautions that some people who oppose Common Core education standards are right-wing extremists…Tasha Yar seduces Data

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Sure, I’d have sex with an android; their money’s as good as anyone else’s:

…nearly one-in-five people [polled] said they were “willing to have sex with an android”…11 percent [said] they want a robot child similar to David in the movie A.I…41 percent said…the concept of sexual intimacy with a robot is “creepy” and an additional 14 percent said they don’t think robots should be used in such a manner.  Nearly one-fifth of pet owners said they would replace a cherished animal with a robot…

First They Came for the Hookers… (TW3 #27)

The Texas Third Court of Appeals has upheld a punitive $5 tax levied on anyone who patronizes a strip club in Texas…ruling that the fee was not an occupation tax, a violation of free speech, or an unfair assault on live nude entertainment…The court went on to explicitly cite the alleged “secondary effects” and “social harms” brought by adult entertainment venues as a justification…Funds extorted from strip clubs and their patrons will go to pay for programs for sexual assault victims, under the nonsensical theory that the mere existence of strip clubs drives up rape…”The primary purpose of the sexually-oriented-business tax is…to discourage this type of business activity altogether…”

Follow Your Bliss (TW3 #44)

A TSA Supervisor was arrested at Kennedy Airport…Vernon Lythcott …[raped] two 15-year-old girls…[in] the Dominican Republic [after luring them]…from the beach into a van [with promises of] money and gifts…Lythcott and two other men [also] forced one of the girls [into] a room where they all sexually assaulted her…

No Other Option (TW3 #132) Scarlet Harem logo

In the US, this business would be violently suppressed and its customers and workers shamed, robbed and caged:  “A brothel is showing other businesses how to…provide disability access on the Sunshine Coast…Scarlet Harem…will receive an award…from the Sunshine Coast Access Advisory Network for going above and beyond in providing accessibility and customer service…

The End of the Beginning

Sharie Keil…is…at the forefront of a growing fight against sex offender registries, a shame-free alliance of offenders and their families, supported by researchers and some advocates who helped pass stringent…laws in the first place.  They…claim…a steady patter of legal and legislative victories…[mostly] limited to…juvenile offenders …but [Keil]…wants to abolish the…registry altogether…

Which I Doubt

On top of the other flaws it’s just a policy, rescindable at a moment’s notice:

The New York Police Department will no longer confiscate…condoms …as evidence of prostitution…[but will] continue to seize condoms…in sex-trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases…Civil rights groups and advocates for sex workers…argue that…police may continue to seize condoms from sex workers and teen runaways under the pretense of investigating pimps and traffickers…

Micromanagement

The free market provides a defense to a particularly nasty tool of the fascist panopticon:

…Erase deletes 99.5% of DNA left behind.  Replace obfuscates the remaining .5%…Don’t let DNA spill your secrets.  Protect your image and be invisible.  Spend the night somewhere you shouldn’t have?  Erase your mistake and be invisible…Exercising your freedom of speech?  Be invisible and never get tracked…

Counterfeit Comfort (TW3 #330)Jeremy & Christine Moody

If you’re a fan of “sex offender” registration, meet your bedfellows:

A couple who…[murdered] a registered sex offender and his wife…were sentenced to life in prison…Initially, Jeremy and Christine Moody apologized…and asked for a 30-year sentence so they could see their children and grow old together.  But after…[the] Judge…handed down the maximum punishment, they…showed how they really felt.  “See you perverts later,” Jeremy Moody shouted at [his victim’s] family…”That’s what child molesters get.”  And…Christine Moody…told reporters: “Killing that pedophile was the best day of my life”…

Cuckoo Advertising

A recent email from a listserv for sex researchers:

In my role as Chief Science Officer for AshleyMadison, I’m looking to pay sexologists…to represent/interpret academic infidelities research — without bias — to the media.  You would be commenting on affairs/cheating research by other academics, or by our own AshleyMadison surveys…You do not have to say that AshleyMadison is paying you.  You simply speak as a sexologist…

I was pleased to see that one of the researchers immediately answered with an email on Ashley Madison’s deceptive practices.

Policing for Profit

400 cops to arrest 19 masseuses.  Need I mention the motive?

Sixteen women and two men accused of running a Bay Area prostitution operation…have been arrested.  One suspect…remains at large…There are 111 counts against the group including pimping, pandering, and tax evasion…The massive sweep involved some 400 law enforcement officers in 6 counties…[who] seized cash, drugs, weapons, cars, assets, and marijuana…

Broken Record (TW3 #338)

With just under three months…until the Glasgow [Commonwealth Games] begins, a strategy designed to tackle sex trafficking and prostitution is being put in place…High-profile sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, have historically resulted in a spike in sex crimes…and…human trafficking…

No, they haven’t, “historically” or otherwise.

Cops and Robbers Kim Lengle

Another example of Dateline’s revolting practice of luring men to be fodder for their televised Roman circus:

A…TV news producer slapped NBC with a lawsuit…claiming her Dateline boss used her as “sexual bait” to lure targets for a hidden-camera series about drug-related prostitution, sex trafficking & sadomasochism.  Kimberly Lengle…[says] Dan Slepian…criticized [her] for not dressing provocatively enough and even asked why she didn’t have any nude photos…to send to men looking for…sexual playthings…Slepian threatened her job when she didn’t…[post] her photo in response to a Craigslist ad by a sexual deviant looking for a “human punching bag”…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #405)

[German] sex workers…are asking…politicians not to put obstacles in the way of…their profession…[Johanna Weber of the sex workers’ professional association said] “Many politicians…are working on a problem that does not exist as such…so…90 percent of women we represent…are worse off under these changes…in New Zealand…prostitutes have all the rights of workers.  And fears that the country would be a hotbed of international human trafficking did not materialize…a pure policy of prohibition couldn’t win a flower pot in Germany…so [prohibitionists] say they want to do something good for the oh-so-poor prostitutes instead.  I would recommend politicians go to a brothel and ask who would like to be taken out of there…we do not want to be rescued…”

Under Every Bed (TW3 #418)

Remember, the “authorities” even admit there isn’t a shred of proof for any of this; much of it seems to be the product of one woman’s BDSM fantasies:

…where there are men and money, there are prostitutes.  And…some reports estimate that about 70 percent of “prostitutes” are actually human trafficking victims…it’s no secret that human trafficking victims are being bought and sold every day in…the oil-rich Bakken region of North Dakota…Windie Jo Lazenko is…investigating rumors of rampant human trafficking in the state…[including] visits to…hotels where entire floors have been purchased by pimps…state law enforcement officials [say]…the…human trafficking epidemic could be helped by national efforts

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #419)

Lawheads amazed that their barricades did not magically abolish the need to earn money for bills and food:

Residents of [Cincinnati] worry that a recent crackdown on streetwalkers…has rerouted prostitution problems to their [neighborhood].  Cincinnati police recently set up barricades in hopes of cutting back on johns cruising the streets…”Instantly we’ve seen an increase in streetwalker prostitution,” Pete Witte said…

Little Boxes (TW3 #419) Elizabeth Raine

Given that she lies like a rug about her education and weight, the back-out was totally predictable:

…Elizabeth Raine…launched an online auction for her virginity…[which] concluded on May 7…at $801,000.  However, Raine backed out…She claims to have biology and engineering bachelor’s degrees and to be in school to finish a combined Masters and PhD program.  She expressed her concern that the auction might kick her out of college…Raine listed her height as 5’10” and her weight at 130 pounds

Property of the State

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on efforts to control women using pregnancy as an excuse:

…in Utah, a woman was charged with…felony child endangerment after accusations that she used meth while pregnant.  The police  report wrote…”Being that her child was only 39 weeks gestational age, it was surmised that the use of methamphetamine caused [her] to go into labour”…39 weeks is considered full term and a large proportion of women experience the start of labour at that stage…Meanwhile in Alabama, a state Supreme Court decision ruled  that a mother could be convicted of endangerment for testing positive for cocaine use during pregnancy, even though her child was born healthy…a…new law in Tennessee went against the recommendations of many major medical associations…drug tests for some substances are unreliable after a surprisingly short time…so…false accusations of endangerment could easily be made by others, and considering the high rate of miscarriage that occurs naturally, how would police know the difference?…

Of course, the cops don’t care; in fact, the lack of definitive proof is a feature rather than a bug for those who make and enforce these laws.

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Sex workers consider the promotion of the Swedish model and other forms of criminalization not just part of an ongoing “debate” on sex work, but a matter of life and death.  –  Melissa Gira Grant

John Wesley HawkinsLicense To Rape

A West Virginia sheriff raped a teenager and sodomized her with a cucumber, threatened to kill her if she told, and subjected at least five other women to forced sex, at least once in a courthouse…Brittany Mae Keene sued Barbour County Sheriff John Wesley Hawkins and the Barbour County Commission…[who] essentially let Hawkins conduct a reign of sexual terror against women in his custody…”  Hawkins’ victims ranged in age from 16 to 19.

Cops and Condoms (February Updates)

A [Polish] prostitute with HIV has been arrested for…having unprotected sex with clients [although]…she knew she was HIV positive…Fellow sex workers tipped off cops about the woman over fears that her actions would give prostitutes a bad [name].  But officers only arrested her after two of her clients came forward and admitted they had tested positive for HIV…

Election Day (February Updates)

Kristin Davis is running for office again, this time for New York City comptroller against her old client Eliot Spitzer.  She was interviewed in The National Review  by Charles Cooke (himself an advocate of legalization), and though she claims to be a libertarian she also seems to be advocating the sort of avails and bawdy house laws which may soon be struck down in Canada because they endanger sex workers.  Every time she opens her mouth, she reaffirms her membership in my Hall of Shame.

Subtle Pimping

LupaThe law doesn’t care if you profit from sex workers, as long as you don’t have any direct contact or actually help us in any way.  In a new French video game players manipulate a cartoonish, stereotyped streetwalker who must make $150,000 to “escape her pimp” by performing fake orgasm sounds into a microphone and avoiding hazards like cops and STDs (no skill involved in the latter because whores are just stupid victims of fate).  The writer of the linked review also profits by using various prohibitionist tropes to save himself the effort of original thought.

Public Service Announcement

Anthony Weiner found himself caught in another sexting scandal…like the one that destroyed his congressional career, but…won’t drop out of the race for mayor of New York…Weiner admitted sending a woman sexually explicit photos and messages…more than a year after he resigned from the House in disgrace for the same sort of behavior…

Social Autoimmune Disorder (July Updates)

Another example of cops’ filthy efforts to subvert the means by which sex workers attract business and keep ourselves safe:  “…a Long Island couple [was arrested for]…running an international escort service called Aphrodite Companions…Vincent and Melissa Lombardo…are currently being held without bond…the only basis…was…postings on…The Erotic Review…Jeremy Moody

Counterfeit Comfort

A South Carolina man targeted a sex offender at random, killed him and his wife and later told deputies he planned to kill others on the state’s sex registry…Jeremy Moody and his wife, Christine, were arrested and charged with murder…Moody only knew 59-year-old Charles Parker in passing, but came to the mechanic’s…home…with plans to kill him…Surveillance cameras outside Parker’s home showed Moody and his wife driving up…and popping the hood on their car as if it wasn’t working…Gretchen Parker wasn’t specifically targeted, but was killed because she was in the house…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

UCLA researchers say sex addiction does not appear to be a disorder…Nicole Prause and her colleagues monitored…volunteers’ brains while showing them erotic images.  “If they indeed suffer from hypersexuality…their brain response to visual sexual stimuli could be expected to be higher, in much the same way that the brains of cocaine addicts have been shown to react to images of the drug”…Prause…thinks that so-called sex rehabs should be examined…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Unlearning LibertyTwo readers sent presents for my thirdAbsolutely Mad anniversary (they arrived while I was in Las Vegas, so I didn’t know about them until after I got home last Sunday):  Kevin Wilson sent Unlearning Liberty, and Krulac sent Absolutely Mad and Blak and Blu.  Thanks so very much to both of you!

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A Broker in Pillage

Make a note of this one, because you won’t often see a judge side with a sex worker against cops:

A federal judge has ruled that Nebraska cops must return over $1 million confiscated at a traffic stop from a woman who saved the money $1 at a time during her 15 year career as an exotic dancer…Tara Mishra, 33…began putting aside her earnings when she started dancing at age 18…to start her business and get out of…stripping…State troopers confiscated the money in March 2012 when they pulled over Rajesh and Marina Dheri…[who] had been given the cash so they could buy a nightclub in New Jersey.  Mishra would own half of the business and the Dheris would own the other half…police did not find any evidence of drug activity…and…analysis found only trace elements of illegal drugs on the cash…[the judge] ordered that Mishra receive cash or a check in the value of $1,074,000 with interest.

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #15)

Another supposed “victim” is caged to force her cooperation in the state’s ugly little morality play:  “[An Illinois] woman who claims she was forced to work as a prostitute for her boyfriend remains held…without…bail because she is considered a flight risk and might not return to testify in her boyfriend’s trial…

End Demand

Though the story is somewhat amusing, note that “end demand” policies turn innocent whores into unwilling Judas goats:  “A man caught with a prostitute in his car told police she was there to show him where to buy tomatoes…officers found the [known sex worker] sitting inside Muhammad Ikhlaq’s car while he withdrew £20 from a cash machine, which he said was to pay for tomatoes…

Unclean Situation

The Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, and Good Shepherd Sisters will not apologise to survivors of the Magdalene laundries…Neither will [they] make a financial contribution to the Government’s reparations scheme…Co-operation voluntarily given does not compel the nuns in any legal sense.  Their negative response invalidates the Government’s assertion that survivors are being afforded restorative justice.  There is no justice without the nuns’ apologyPrint and/or financial reparation…the orders expect an amnesty for gross human rights violations…

Lest you forget, these same orders still receive tremendous amounts of aid and political support from the Irish government for their anti-whore scheme Ruhama.

No Friend of Ours

Just in case you think it’s only Las Vegas “authorities” who hate whores so much they’re willing to make themselves look like idiots by parroting ludicrous prohibitionist drivel, here’s an unusually-ridiculous example from Reno:

An increasing number of the young women…began working as prostitutes while in their teens.  They are manipulated by men who control every aspect of their lives…Some girls are branded – or tattooed – with their pimp’s name…others are forced to perform while their children are held ransom, usually at gunpoint…Girls as young as 11 are being exploited…the average age…is 14…Since 2002, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies have rescued about 100 children identified as possible victims of juvenile sex trafficking…That number does not include the adult women being trafficked, which experts say would be impossible to produce because many women don’t acknowledge that they are under the control of a pimp…[Ron] Chalmers heads the…[police division] that focuses on these types of crimes…about 10 years ago, the women arrested…were generally in their 30s to 40s [and] were drug addicts, he said.  But today, the prostitution demographics are completely different…They’re much younger than they used to be, he said…”A significant number of what we see, 80 to 90%, are being exploited – forced into the lifestyle”…

You may remember that the claims made in the “Satanic Panic” similarly became much more extreme, bizarre and demonstrably false as the hysteria drew closer to the point of implosion.  That last bit is more than just Maslow’s Hammer at work; it’s an example of the incredible mathematical and sociological illiteracy of hysterics.  Whenever a person tells you there’s been a major demographic shift in any human behavior in only one decade – from nearly nothing to “80 or 90%” –  it’s a safe bet the speaker is an imbecile who is incapable of considering even rudimentary thought experiments like “where did all the old ones go?”  We see the same principle at work under the Swedish model, which claims to have dramatically decreased the number of men who have ever paid for sex.

Banishment

The sex workers in the Solutions Not Punishment Coalition (SNapCO), the Atlanta group which defeated the proposal to banish arrested sex workers from the city, need to get control of their “allies”; not only is the group supporting involuntary diversion programs, its spokeswoman Misty Novitch is belching up the “average debut at thirteen” myth for the media.

It Looks Good On Paper (TW3 #311)

Yet another religiously-based “diversion program” chock full of prohibitionist rhetoric which claims to “help” streetwalkers while refusing to question the justice of the laws by which cops repeatedly victimize them:  “Prostituted women” were all sexually abused as children, pimps give us drugs to control us, blah blah blah blah blah…sauna raid

Across the Pond (TW3 #324)

Council bosses have [suspended] half a dozen [Edinburgh sauna] licences following a string of police raids…[in] a radical shift from the typically pragmatic approach to prostitution which…[kept] sex workers safer and off the streets…Peter Donoghue, 69, a former sauna operator…said:  “It was a lot of nonsense. Some girls have worked at the saunas for ten or 12 years. They’ll simply work for escort agencies instead. We’re going to appeal, but I don’t believe we have a chance”…

Hussies

Save the children and the poor, innocent men from evil harlots!

[Kenyan] women…accused commercial sex workers of invading the town and “stealing” their men…[they] are planning to drive the twilight girls out claiming they are spreading sexually transmitted diseases.  The women said the sex workers have taken their men and they are left cold and lonely on their marital beds…sex workers who dress scantily have created a brothel…where secondary school and university students go for cheap sex instead of concentrating on their studies…even primary school children have fallen into the traps…

Rubbing Elbows

A 17-year-old journalism intern’s impressions of the Desiree Conference:

I was a bit timid about the idea of going into a conference that was specifically about sex, but my passion against human trafficking led me to go…with…my mom…When I entered…I was…greeted by a woman with such a cheerful presence and smile, that it put me off guard.  In fact, this was the common air of everyone there:  happiness.  Everywhere I looked I found people wearing bright colors, hugging, laughing, and enjoying themselves.  I initially thought that at a Sex Worker’s Conference that it was going to be the exact opposite.  I was expecting victims — people just out of the Taken film, tears that warned of a gruesome past, and consoling. There was none of that in sight.  The media and society has always presented the sex industry as this taboo area…where [the] only people who were in this profession were forced to be…

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine (TW3 #329)

Caty Simon of Tits and Sass interviewed Kemal Ayrikotu of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association on the cultural background to the murder of Dora Oezer; Ayrikotu discusses the lack of rights for both sex workers and transgenders, and criticizes LGBT activists who wish to stress that Dora was a transwoman while ignoring that she was a whore (despite the two being nearly synonymous in Turkey).  Meanwhile, Melissa Gira Grant wrote on the protests for both Dora and Jasmine:  “If you passed by the Turkish or Swedish consulates in New York on [July 19th], you may have seen…sex workers and their supporters holding red umbrellas…the…action accompanied rallies in 36 cities and on four continents…demanding an end to the stigma and violence against sex workers’ communities…

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There are people who believe that migrant women who sell sex need to be saved; that they must want to go home; that they must want another job and they have 200-year-old ideas about what those jobs should be.  –
Laura Agustín

Carmine InfantinoR.I.P. Carmine Infantino

My favorite comic book artist of all time has passed away at the age of 87.  It’s impossible to overstate his influence on the industry, nor how iconic his style was for those of us who grew up with Silver Age comics.  If you’re unfamiliar with his work, take a moment to look at this portrait of one of my favorite heroines and this 8-page story (written by Gardner Fox).

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

Cops do this all the time, but Pittsburgh-area cops are especially shameless:

Homestead Officer Ronald DePellegrin, 48, admits that he allowed Diana Gross, 26, to give him oral sex before he informed her that he was actually a cop…attorney…Michael Waltman…says DePellegrin’s conduct is unacceptable…”The police…are engaging in the exact type of…activity that they’re…[allegedly] trying to protect the community from”…

Lack of Evidence

You know how I keep pointing out that prostitution laws harm all women?

What do you do when you’re detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary “evidence” is held against you, and you’re treated like a moral deviant?…It happened three times in two weeks — being detained by U.S. border officials…my…“sexy underwear” were mentioned…[and my] condoms…were looked upon scathingly…[one official told me] that adultery was a crime in America — a crime that he could deny me entry for…I was detained, yelled at, patted down, fingerprinted, interrogated, searched, moved from room to room…without food, water or being told what was going on…

The Pro-Rape Coalition

Furry Girl explains how laws supposedly intended to “protect children” were really intended to harass the porn industry:

…”2257″ is shorthand for the…irritatingly-named Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act…when you appear in adult productions in the US, you as the performer/model must give the production company/photographer two forms of identification and sign…paperwork promising that you are over 18…fake IDs [exist]…and any contract a minor signs is void anyway [so this]…doesn’t do a thing to guarantee age…Any random person can search for companies reselling and licensing adult content, and with a purchase, buy performer’s legal names, social security numbers, and addresses…a determined stalker can comb through enough adult content resellers and have a good shot at finding their target…Independent pornographers…have to choose between a fear of federal prosecutions and prison time…and a fear of…stalkers coming to our homes to rape or assault us…

Subnormality #138 (Possible Future Salvage)Where Are the Victims?

A man convicted of crimes related to promoting prostitution was sentenced…to…eight years in prison.  Kevin J. Barker…had about 35 women working for him…Barker would get $80 and women would get $80 per call and…anything after that was negotiable…

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere!

One of the few concessions New Zealand has made to “sex trafficking” hysteria (and one of the few things that keep it from absolute decriminalization) is its ban on international students in sex work.  Of course this creates a bottleneck which leads, predictably, to the very type of exploitation the law is supposedly intended to prevent.  The New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective of course understands this and is calling on the government to end the restriction; Catherine Healy explains:

Just recently I was dealing with a case of a young woman who…had gone into this agreement with a brothel operator who said…I’ll look after your money until you need it to pay for your student fees, and of course when that time arrived, the money wasn’t handed over…She couldn’t stomp off to the police, she couldn’t talk to…the university, so really…the law…contributed to her exploitation…back in 2003…the then minister of immigration had hatched this dopey clause in the 11th hour, and we said look, this will have the opposite effect of what you’re intending…

None So Blind

Funny how religious fanatics are always ready to make convenient exceptions:

A Kuwaiti woman who once ran for parliament  has called for sex slavery to be legalized – and suggested that non-Muslim  prisoners from war-torn countries would make suitable concubines.  Salwa al Mutairi argued buying a sex-slave would protect decent, devout and “virile” Kuwaiti men from adultery because  buying an imported sex partner would be tantamount to marriage…[she] even suggested that it would be…better…for women in warring countries as they might die of starvation…offices could be opened to run the sex trade in the same way that recruitment agencies provide  housemaids…

To sum up:  prostitution under individual control = sin.  Compulsory prostitution under government control = good.

Counterfeit Comfort

…If Governor Bryant [of Mississippi] signs “Lenora’s Law,” sex offenders who violate the state’s registry system will wear a GPS tracking device…[the law] also [extends] the residence buffer for sex offenders to 3,000 feet from a school…”These are people who have proven they won’t obey the law,” said [bill sponsor Will] Longwitz.  “Now…we will know where sex offenders are at all times, and can prevent them from striking again”…

No, these are usually people who can’t obey the law because its requirements have become increasingly-difficult to comply with:

Michael Byars’ effort to modify [Iowa] sex offender laws was a case study for effective citizen activism…until…he was arrested and fired from his job…[because] he didn’t update the state sex offender registry to reflect his voluntary, unpaid and, so far, largely successful attempt to persuade lawmakers to change the law…Byars…was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child…[for] a short, consensual relationship with a 13-year-old high school freshman while he was an 18-year-old high school senior.  The conviction…saddled him with a lifetime…sentence that requires him to check in regularly with a parole officer and stringently limits his interaction with children, including his own son…

24-year-old Byars was such an amazingly successful lobbyist that an opponent called the cops, claiming that his advocacy is a “job” and demanding he be arrested for failing to register it (despite the fact that when he tried to do so he was told it was unnecessary).  The cops were of course happy to comply, because we can’t have those dirty girlfriend-daters demanding their rights.

Naked Truth

Via Reason TV, Tracy Quan speaks with Shereen El Feki in “Sex and the Citadel: Does the Arab Spring need a Summer of Love?

The Widening Gyre

Observable fact:  16-year-old leaves home.  Conclusion: sex trafficking!

…Vancouver police are investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Isabella Castillo, and her family…thinks she’s caught up in sex trafficking because one of her friends told them they’d seen her around with another girl who is known in the local sex-trafficking world.  That girl is used by sex traffickers to recruit other girls by befriending them.  She then lures them in, grooms them and gets them to run away.  The girls are never heard from again…

“The local sex trafficking world?”  Was it really necessary for cops and fanatics to fill the family’s head full of this kind of nonsense?  Young women don’t leave home because they’re induced to run away by “traffickers”; they leave because home has become intolerable for some reason, often sexual abuse.  And if they enter the sex trade it’s because the laws have made that their only means of support, not because they’re “trafficked”.

Zimbabwe

I wish I had all the magical powers Zimbabwean harlots do:

A prostitute in Bulowayo, Zimbabwe…[apparently] died during an encounter with a customer…[but] came back to life just as officials placed her in a metal coffin…she suddenly woke up in a panic screaming, “You want to kill me!” at the officers…Seeing a woman presumed to be dead spring back to life shocked onlookers, many of whom ran away in fear…

The More the Better (TW3 #32)

Apparently the word “legal” is not part of this reporter’s vocabulary: “Vicksburg [Mississippi] mayoral candidate Linda Fondren and her husband once owned a [brothel] in Nevada…it’s not clear…if the Fondrens are still involved…[and] Linda…denies she ever was…”  After the actual evidence, the fact that Mr. Fondren once publicly defended adults’ right to have consensual sex with other people is presented (presumably on the “only a witch…” principle).

Monkey Business

…chimpanzees…have the ability to “think about thinking”…according to new research…researchers…required them to…name what food was hidden in a location…chimpanzees named items immediately and directly when they knew what was there, but…Laura Agustinsought out more information before naming when they did not already know…

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín is currently in Ireland (speaking at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair today), and gave this short interview about “trafficking” hysteria and related prohibitionist schemes.

Change of Heart (TW3 #41)

Alexis Wright…has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the Kennebunk prostitution case…[agreeing] to plead guilty to theft, tax evasion and prostitution…clients…who have been charged so far include a former mayor, a…hockey coach, a minister, a lawyer and a firefighter…

No Other Option (TW3 #132)

Another interview (this one in Reveal) with Becky Adams about her plans for a brothel for the disabled:  “More than 700 people have already agreed to work for a reduced price…’We’re expecting the local council to object, but we are prepared to take the argument all the way to the European Court of Human Rights‘”…

Dutch Threat

A similar prohibitionist deception from a decade ago:

[In November 2000]…a Swedish radical feminist named Alexa Wolf…showed her “documentary”…Shocking Truth…[which]…shows what seems to be a rape scene…Wolf…[slowed] down the film making it appear as the woman was helpless and drugged…[thus creating] a moral panic…The pay per view-channels promised that there would be no “violent porn”…Video stores removed porn from the shelves.  57% of the Swedish population wanted to ban ALL porn…in conservative Norway we had more or less the same reaction…The woman seen “drugged and raped” in the film…is…award winning porn actress…Mila Shegol [who stated in an interview that] she was not on drugs, she was not raped, it was all acting, she actually took part in directing the scenes…she was not a suffering, oppressed or exploited woman, and she had no idea there had been made a documentary about her alleged rape…

A Broker in Pillage (TW3 #312)

Here’s that weird “pay back” euphemism again:  “A…brothel owner who made thousands exploiting vulnerable women was…ordered to pay back…£75,000 of his sordid gains within six months [or] he [will] be locked up for…two years…”  Because money gained via business is “sordid”, but that gained via extortion is “just”.

Birth of a Movement (TW3 #312)

Muslimah PrideThe French senate has voted to repeal a law banning ‘passive’ soliciting for sex… opponents said it put sex workers in a precarious situation…and…[led] to police abuse…

A War for Peace (TW3 #313)

Muslim women have launched a campaign to send a message to “sextremist” collective Femen.  “Muslimah Pride Day” was organised in response to Femen’s self-declared “Topless Jihad Day”, a day of topless protests around the world to support Tunisian Femen activist Amina Tyler

Under Every Bed

Montana lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent and punish human trafficking in response to reports of increased prostitution [among]…people who have come to find work in the Bakken oil boom…there is no actual proof that trafficking is a problem in Montana, said…Rep. Sarah Laszloffy…But without the language on the books…authorities [lack] the tools needed to track it…

And more importantly, the way to clean up on “trafficking” grants!  Already, selfless volunteers are working to make sure “authorities” have sufficient disinformation to block out real facts:

…Melissa Woodward…helps train law enforcement about how to spot a child that may have been sold into prostitution…”Does she have physical markings on her?  Tattoos that are often visible…things like wearing very provocative clothes…”

You heard it here first, kids!  Tattoos, sexy clothes and looking for work are all signs of “sex trafficking”!  If you see a woman with any of those telltale signs, call the cops immediately so she can be “rescued” into the nearest jail!

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