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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Corners’

The harmful idea that women are naturally sexually ignorant…has been the basis for repressive laws throughout history.  –  Hallie Lieberman

The Notorious Badge

It’s good to see more writers criticizing insulting hooker tropes in movies:

Working Girls, which has the more connotative and ironic title Filles de joie in French…is…an honest, if sometimes strident, three-way portrait which gains much from its deft juggling of character arcs…Axelle (Sara Forestier), Conso (Annabelle Lengronne) and Dominique (Noémie Lvovsky)…live in France…but…travel…each day across the border to Belgium to work in a legal brothel…Wisely, Working Girls is markedly more interested in which goes on in the living room than in the bedrooms.  However…it’s a pity that a screenplay which deals with the everyday life of prostitutes struggles to find anything for them to talk about together other than sex…

Skewed By Taboo

The majority of self-reports about sexual accidents are lies:

An Arizona woman [claims]…she was…only using [her ultra-slim Vesper vibrator] on the outside of her body…[when suddenly] “out of nowhere I just felt a really sharp pain”…[and] the vibrator was nowhere to be found…But…she could still feel it…“emergency room staff wasn’t able to find it in the vagina,” said OBGYN Dr. Greg Marchand…he found on the x-ray [that the]…“device [wa]s actually in the bladder”…They had to surgically remove it.  The woman plans on filing a lawsuit against the company for lack of warning on the label that [you might lose it if you shove it up your urethra]…

There are many people who enjoy shoving things into their urethras, but because our puritanical culture would judge it “perverted” and “bad”, she can’t admit what happened, even to the doctor; instead she told this silly story about how the vibrator just leapt out of her hand and went all the way up into her bladder like some kinky guided missile.  If you know any emergency room doctor or nurse, ask them sometime about how many people “accidentally” sit on things while naked and can’t retrieve them from the rectum.

Nothing New

Five years ago I wrote that the ridiculous myth that Victorian doctors invented female masturbation and didn’t know what a female orgasm looked like “is so incredibly recent I never heard of it during any of my extensive sexological reading in my teens and twenties; it seems to date to the nineties at the earliest.”  Well, if sexologist Hallie Lieberman is correct, we’ve now got a date for the birth of this idiocy:  “…The myth can be traced to Rachel Maines’s 1999 book Technology of Orgasm…[which] seemed like a well-researched scholarly book, with 465 citations and a plethora of primary sources, some in Greek and Latin; the problem is that none of them actually supported this story…

Traffic in Nonsense (#917)

The “sex trafficking” propaganda from these fetishists is some of the most blatantly derived from sexual fantasy in the entire rescue industry:

Workers at the UPS Atlanta Regional Hub…[were indoctrinated in how to fantasize that all women they see are] potential cases of sex trafficking…UPS had already [indoctrinated] its freight drivers on how to [imagine everything as] signs of sex trafficking.  Now they’re [indoctrinating] the drivers who actually go into neighborhoods…[with propaganda provided by] the organization Truckers Against Trafficking. [Head propagandist]  Helen Van Dam…[is] counting on the ignorance of the general public [about sex work to infantilize all]…prostitute[s as]…victim[s of]…sex slavery.  Van Dam [shared silly, juvenile sexual fantasies about]…“branding” tattoos on victims

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#919)

In the current anti-whore climate, this was a wholly predictable development:

Soldiers of Pole, a Los Angeles-based group of dancers who are working to unionize their colleagues statewide, [feels]…the reclassification of dancers as employees marks a positive shift in the industry.  As employees, strippers will have the ability to bargain collectively, which they didn’t have as independent contractors.  But it’s also led to pushback from strip club owners.  AM Davies, a board member of the group, said club owners have been “making dancers sign very illegal contracts under duress” and charging exorbitant house fees, which “in and of itself is a union busting tactic.”  Davies cited a strip club in Orange County, the Library Gentleman’s Club, that tripled the amount they charge dancers to work, increasing the fee from $65 to $200 practically overnight…“So…it makes it look like, to the dancers, that being an employee is worse — because the clubs are implementing even more illegal practices”…she said…

Pyrrhic Victory (#939)

All Londoners are now part of a perpetual police lineup:

The Metropolitan Police…announced [that] on Friday, 24 January…it…beg[a]n the operational use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology…This will help [cops harass many more people than before, especially minorities]…The technology…provides [cops] with an additional tool to assist them in doing what [cops] have always done – to try to [root like pigs in things that don’t actually concern them and lock as many human beings as possible in filthy cages]…

To Molest and Rape (#966)

Not much of a sentence for attempted kidnapping & rape:

A[n attempted abduction for the purpose of rape netted a mere] 4 1/2-year prison sentence [for] a [typical and representative] Cleveland [cop] who admitted to urinating on a 12-year-old girl [while filming it with his cell phone] after she refused to [submit to abduction from] a school bus stop.  Solomon Nhiwatiwa [vomited out the usual prescribed platitudes containing the words]…”apologize” [and]…”responsibility”…Nhiwatiwa…[was] disciplined four times in his five years [as a cop and had murdered someone]…in 2012 before he joined the force…

Disaster (#975)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals revived Woodhull‘s challenge to FOSTA.  The court ordered that the constitutional challenge be sent back to the district court for a ruling on the merits…The decision can be found here

In plain English, the district judge dismissed the case under the pretense that FOSTA’s chilling effect was imaginary and the litigants had nothing to fear from malicious prosecution; the circuit court said “bullshit” and ordered the district judge to do his fucking job and actually consider the case.

Fair-Weather Friends (#977)

Imagine keeping your job for 18 months between a blatant offense and actually being fired for it:

Two vice [pigs] were fired on [January 23rd] by the city of Columbus, Ohio, for their role in the wrongful arrest of…Stormy Daniels…in [July] 2018…that a lawyer for Ms. Daniels said was the result of a “conspiracy of dunces”…Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, were found to have…[cost the city] $450,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Ms. Daniels.  It also [reb[r]anded the [corrupt] vice [gang] [to allow cops to continue raping sex workers]…Two other [pigs]…Ronald Kemmerling and…Scott Soha, were [rewarded with paid vacations]…

To Molest and Rape (#978)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is well-known for rapist cops:

A [typical and representative Prince George’s County], Maryland, [cop]…rap[ed] a woman [during] a traffic stop last year…knowing he had HIV…Martique Vanderpool was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts, including first- and second-degree rape …“These are [very typical cop behaviors]”…Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski [would have said if he were honest…

If It Were Legal (#988)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

More than 11,000 identifying documents of…sex workers for the adult website SextPanther were reportedly exposed in a security lapse.  Passports, driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers used to verify models’ ages [to comply with US government requirements] were stored on an Amazon Web Services storage bucket that wasn’t protected by a password…a representative for the company [tweeted]…”at this time there is no evidence of [SextPanther] data being accessed with the exception of the security firm that found the exploit and informed the media.  The vulnerability was fixed within one hour of being notified”…A similar security lapse of sex worker information on adult webcam…site PussyCash was discovered on Jan. 3…In August, adult site Luscious exposed the data of over 1 million users…

Websites ask for all this sensitive information to cover their arses if raided by the pigs; they wouldn’t bother with it if not for increased criminalization and persecution of sex workers.

Dark Corners (#997)

More “truth” from the rag that claimed there were more Vietnamese “trafficking victims” in the UK than there are Vietnamese people of all kinds:

…lack of [fluency in] English…is one of the [so-called] warning flags that…put[s nail salons]…on a list…for possible [immigration raids excused by bogus]…human trafficking charges…[reasonably] price[d] nail bars have become a cornerstone of the high street, flourishing as [overpriced] shops [run by white people] close. In the past 20 years, manicures have gone from being an extravagant luxury mostly enjoyed by a moneyed elite to an affordable treat, easily accessible to everyone [so naturally something must be done to teach the peasants that nice-looking hands are only for the ruling class]…it is very hard to link such an innocuous service with such serious crimes [but UK cops and yellow journalists aren’t going to let that little detail get in the way]…

Keep in mind that despite many huge and expensive raids, the UK has never found more than a single-digit number of cases of genuine exploitation; these are actually just immigration raids cloaked under the pretense of “rescue”.  Also note that despite a failed attempt by the arch-prohibitionist New York Times to establish the racist “nail salon slaves” myth here in the US, it remains a distinctly English classist fantasy, like “pop-up brothels“.

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If [TV] producers were courageous, they would’ve done a show about undercover vice cops…raping and extorting sex workers.  –  Ron Kim

Elephant in the Parlor

The notion that a politician would be “shocked” by the existence of sex workers is absurd even for the UK press:

[Politician] Dave Craker was approached by [a] sex worker while [politicking]…earlier this year [and used the supposed incident to argue for more harassment of them.  He pretended to be]…shocked [because it was] 10.30am on a Saturday [and he apparently thinks Englishmen shouldn’t have sexual urges at that time]…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

An 8-year-old girl was stripped naked and [molested by Virginia screws using the excuse of a] search…after she was [coerced by being told that] refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father…The girl was accompanied by her father’s girlfriend, who is not her legal guardian.  If they refused to [submit to the pretextual molestation], they could have been banned from the prison…Daniel Macallair…of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice [said]…“this is an act of child abuse”…[a spokespig thinks everthing is excused by claiming] the [screw] who approved the search didn’t have that authority…

To Molest and Rape

It’s good to see the phrase “rapist cop” outside of my oeuvre:

A [cop who] rap[ed] two women and sexually assault[ed] a third…told one of his victims he liked when she fought back…Anthony Westerman…[of] Baltimore…lured one woman to his home after meeting her at a bar by telling her he planned to call her an Uber [because she had passed out drunk]…but instead…he raped [her]…Another…victim…was [foolishly] drinking at Westerman’s home…when she fell asleep in his spare bedroom…Westerman later woke her up and raped her…

Do I really need to say “don’t get drunk with one either”?

Dark Corners (#702)

Funny how nail techs are only “trafficked” in the UK, but not the US:

A police raid on five nail bars in Southwark [arrested] 24 [migrant women, who were labelled] victims of human trafficking and…14 [other] people [who were labelled “traffickers”.  Those who were labeled “victims”]…were taken to a nearby [detainment] centre where they [are being held for deportation, while the others were put in regular jail]…

Keep in mind that despite many huge and expensive raids, the UK has never found more than a single-digit number of cases of genuine exploitation; these are actually just immigration raids cloaked under the pretense of “rescue”.

Shift in the Wind (#764)

Support for decriminalization is becoming the norm among economists:

…When sex work is decriminalized, violence against women declines…pro[hibitionists now tend to support]…the so-called Nordic model [which infantilizes or even institutionalizes]…sex workers…[and] prosecut[es their friends, family members, employees,] managers and customers…[has absolutely no] support from sex workers, who [explain] that it complicates their screening procedures for customers and drives sex work underground.  This jibes with economic theory, which suggests that the costs of any limitation on the market fall on those with the fewest options, whether buyers or sellers…research confirms just how powerful this effect can be.  Economists studied Craigslist…[and found its] expansion…into a market “led to a 10% to 17% reduction in female homicides.”  To be clear, that figure is not homicides among sex workers…but…all women in the area…A 2014 study of…decriminalization of indoor sex work in Rhode Island…found…a 30% drop in rapes.  This isn’t mere correlation:  Both the Rhode Island and Craigslist studies use several methods designed to identify causation…

Against Their Will (#799)

The awful Law & Order: SVU once again uses sex workers to spread copaganda:

It’s been two years since…Yang Song fell four stories to her death from an apartment window [while fleeing] a police raid on [her workplace] in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens…Just before her fatal fall, a [pig] attempted to arrest her [for consensual] sex…Recently, an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit pla[giariz]ed…[the] scen[ario while insulting the victim’s memory to spread]…anti-trafficking rescue [fantasies.  In the Hollywood version]…one woman…attempts to flee by climbing out of a window to a fire escape..and…is saved by [a prosecutor instead of being raped and caged as she wold be in real life]…the show feeds us a white savior fantasy version of the very real [persecution of] Asian-run spas that offer sexual services…across the country.  The same savior narrative fuels the real-life raids and busts, in which Asian migrant massage workers are [pretend]ed to be victims of some massive sex-trafficking ring in need of rescue…

If you’re keeping track, they’ve previously done this to Belle Knox and Suzy Favor Hamilton.

If It Were Legal (#874)

If not for stigma, he could simply have hired a domme:

…Rutledge Deas IV, known as Rory, posted an add on job app UrbanSitter claiming he needed a carer to look after his disabled 18 year-old brother…Cory…But…”Cory” was actually Rory, with the unsuspecting babysitter caring for him 10 times…The carer grew suspicious a[fter] Deas…[became erect when she changed his diaper]…the man who hired her refused to meet, and instead paid her through Apple Pay or…Venmo.  The woman looked up Deas’ publicly-visible payment history on Venmo, and saw a profile with the name Rory Deas featuring a photo of the man she knew as Cory.  She reported the…deception to UrbanSitter, who closed Deas’s account down.  The woman also called police…Deas is believed to have hired at least three other carers…Orleans Parish…charged [Deas] with 10 counts of human trafficking and sexual battery…

“Human trafficking”.  Still wonder why those claimed numbers are so huge?

Torture Chamber (#966) 

Just another state-funded rape camp in Florida; nothing to see here:

For years, male [screws] at…Coleman Federal [cage stack]…sexually harassed and [raped helpless women]…[and] were [intentionally] shielded from any consequences…Fourteen women, ranging in age from 30 to 56…have banded together to sue the United States…over the abuse…seven of the women are still [locked in cages like animals]…women [a]re coerced and threatened…[by screws] to submit [to rape].  The [rapist screws]…would at times display computer screens showing the women the exact location of their families, a pointed [threat] that their relatives could be [raped or murdered] if the women didn’t cooperate.  Some of the women had minor children.  In some cases, [screws thought they could still show up whenever they wanted to rape]…the women after they had [been released from the cages]…[at least] seven [screws belonged to the rapist gang]…some of [whom] had been [supposedly] investigated for sexual abuse in the past, with nothing coming of it…At least one victim…was [forced] to begin birth control to avoid the possibility of becoming pregnant [due to repeated rape]…One reason the women didn’t come forward until now was a prison policy calling for anyone who complained to be sent to the county jail…[under pretense of] maintain[ing] the women’s safety…[but in actuality] as punishment since a county jail is far more restrictive than a federal [rape & torture] camp…

Crying for Nanny (#968)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A western Washington woman who [pretend]s she was forced into a [BDSM fantasy] world of sex trafficking at age 12 is now suing area hotels and Craigslist for being complicit in the crimes.  [She fanasizes] pimps would advertise her on Craigslist under “erotic” or “adult” services categories, drawing in two to 20 men a day to rape her…[blah blah, “signs of trafficking“, blah blah Motel 6, blah blah Mar Brettman snake oil]…

As usual, the claims are sufficiently in the past for all evidence to be gone.  But if this woman had actually done any kind of sex work, she’d know what an absurd claim “20 clients per day” is.

Welcome to the Future (#971)

Do I really need to tell y’all that “don’t talk to cops except to demand your lawyer” also includes written statements?

SCAN (Scientific Content Analysis) is a lie-detecting method invented by Avinoam Sapir, a former Israeli spook turned polygraph examiner that involves picking out small textual details from writing samples to determine when someone is lying…SCAN has no empirical support, and is so outlandish that it has hardly been studied by third parties at all.  However, each time it was studied, it was found to perform no better than chance…Despite this, SCAN is widely deployed in the US and abroad…by police departments and spies…[because it pretends to confirm cops’] “belief…that they can tell when someone is lying to them with a high degree of accuracy”…SCAN has all the hallmarks of a junk-science scam, including claims by the inventor that he has secret and/or nonspecific studies to prove his product’s efficacy, and a website filled with anonymous testimonials…

To Molest and Rape (#987) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

…[Philadelphia pig trainer] Carl Holmes…[groomed] Patricia Diaz…[so when she] confid[ed] her fears [about being sexually harassed by her boss and other swine] Holmes [molested]…and groped her…tell[ing]…her…no one would believe “some little bitch”…In the 15 years [since] Holmes grew more powerful, rising to the rank of chief inspector, while also [sexual]ly assaulting two other female cops…His [blatant] crimes were well known to officials in the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and City Hall…But in October, District Attorney Larry Krasner [finally] charged Holmes with sexual assault and related offenses…Holmes’ conduct…[went previously unstopped due to] systemic [properties] that [intentionally] shielded him and other top police officials…even as Holmes cost taxpayers more than $1.3 million in lawsuit settlements…

The system isn’t “flawed”; it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do: let politicians and their henchmen get away with whatever they want while destroying the lives of those they choose as victims.

Quiet Genocide (#989)

Just in case you doubted this was about total genocide:

…Chinese scientists are trying to find a way to use a DNA sample to create an image of a person’s face…to…build…a tool that could be used [in]…racial profiling and other state discrimination against Uighurs…In the long term…it may even be possible for the…government to feed images produced from a DNA sample into [its] mass surveillance and facial recognition systems…at least two Chinese scientists working…on the technology have received funding from [racist] institutions in Europe.  International scientific journals have published their findings without examining the…ethical questions raised by [forcibly] collecting such samples in Xinjiang…scientists and human rights activists say the Chinese government is exploiting the [naivety] of the international scientific community to harness research into the human genome for [totalitarian] purposes.  Already, China is exploring using facial recognition technology to sort people by ethnicity…[and] how to use DNA to tell if a person is a Uighur…The Chinese government is building… “technologies used for hunting people,” said [Dr] Mark Munsterhjelm…who tracks Chinese interest in the technology…the Chinese police…have already gathered millions of DNA samples in Xinjiang

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

We’re getting very close to implosion:

Nazario Garcia was gunned down…in his white work van…in the parking lot of a…[Memphis, Tennessee] Goodwill store…he…was parked…when Favian and Miguel Effinger showed up…[and murdered] Garcia “without provocation”…He tried to get away but lost control…and crashed into a shopping cart, ending up on the curb.  Before the shooting…the brothers’ mother, Gjuandell Effinger, sent a video on social media — [fantasizing] the occupant of a white van with the same tag number as Garcia had tried to abduct her from the parking lot of a nearby Walmart…Effinger’s Facebook page shows post after post she shared from other users [fantasiz]ing about white vans being used for sex trafficking…[and other fantasies] about abducted children and women…Miguel and Favian are charged with first degree murder.  Their mother is charged with solicitation of first degree murder…

“Shit just got real”, all right.  Of course, it didn’t need to end in murder to be more “real” than these silly BDSM sex fantasies.

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We can’t…afford to waste public safety dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist.  –  Springfeld News-Leader editorial board

Surplus Women 

The two “real” women are named, but sex workers are subhuman so “teen hooker” is good enough:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, is under investigation for the slaying of a teenage Philadelphia hooker whose burned body was left inside an abandoned building in Orange, N.J…Wheeler-Weaver…is already accused of strangling two other women: Joanne Browne…and…Sarah Butler…

Imagination Pinned Down

She has “big chunks of…memory gone”.  So she just filled the spaces with blatant lies:

Ontario’s first director of its anti-human-trafficking office brings to the job…first-hand insight, [claiming to have] lived through the experience herself.  “I was trafficked at 13,” Jennifer Richardson says…“I actually…have pretty big chunks of my memory gone…When you think of kids at 13, that’s the perfect stage to offend against children in this way…when you look at the stats worldwide, that’s one of the … stats that stays the same, no matter what country you look at the literature in: 13 1/2 is the average age of entry in every country”…

Obviously, among the missing “chunks” are basic arithmetic skills & the ability to read studies.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#30) kissenger

Well, at least this new version doesn’t look as ridiculous as the prototype did:

Kissenger is a rubbery-looking dock that humans put their phones in.  It has a tactile surface they depress with their meat.  The movements are then transmitted in realtime over the internet, so that a replica of them may be experienced by another human…There’s an app that goes with it so the humans can interact on a audiovisual-discursive level at the same time…”High precision force sensors are embedded under the silicon lip to measure the dynamic forces at different parts of your lips during a kiss.  The device sends this data to your phone, which transmits it to your partner over the Internet in real time.  Miniature linear actuators are used to reproduce these forces on your partner’s lips, creating a realistic kissing sensation.  Kissenger provides a two-way interaction just like in a real kiss“…

Skin To Skin

There are a large number of valid criticisms of this lawsuit, most especially the fact that it’s pushing for legalization rather than decriminalization.  But every attack on the edifice of criminalization helps to hasten its eventual collapse:

Russell Greer…has Mobius syndrome, which means he can’t move his eyes from side to side or close his lips…He says he suffers from anxiety and depression, and has found intercourse to be healing…His only choice—other than taking Amtrak or a plane to Nevada…is to illegally pay for sex in Salt Lake City…On Oct. 18, 2016, Greer…filed a lawsuit against city, county and state officials…for violating his constitutional rights by upholding laws that make sex work illegal…But in his quest to legalize prostitution in Utah, Greer stumbles into territory regarding sex-worker rights, arguments over decriminalization and language that highlights just how complex, nuanced and fraught the struggle over privacy and sexual rights continues to be, despite recent landmark legal decisions that opened the door to same-sex marriage and polygamy legalization…

Dark Corners

Keep in mind that despite many huge and expensive raids, the UK has never found more than a single-digit number of cases of genuine exploitation; these are actually just immigration raids cloaked under the pretense of “rescue”:

…97 people have been arrested in the U.K. on suspicion of immigration offences after raids on 280 nail bars in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh…the majority of those arrested [are] Vietnamese nationals.  The [pogrom] also [arrested] people of Mongolian, Ghanaian, Chinese, Nigerian, Pakistani and Indian origin….[as] part of a Home Office…campaign named “Operation Magnify”…targeting [migrant-owned businesses] to “root out illegal working”…[using the excuse of so-called] modern slavery…The Home Office stated that victims of trafficking [of which none were found] will be offered support, while “those who have no right to be in the UK will be removed”…

Traffic Circle

Remember how last Monday I predicted public funds for anti-whore hate groups would start to dry up?

State legislators have…started to [fear-monger] about the dangers of human trafficking in Missouri…[but] such cases are incredibly rare in Springfield…We may feel in our gut that there’s more trafficking going on in Springfield than we know about…but we should understand that our instincts don’t equal facts, and…we’re not a community that can afford to waste public safety dollars on a problem that doesn’t exist…

Paint By Numbers (#593)

On the one hand, I’m disappointed that stupid “sex trafficking” stunts are being recycled. On the other hand…well, see for yourself:

Kyle Pipes wore a thin cotton dress with a blue paisley print pattern.  Pipes, a minister at Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius [New York went around in drag]…as part of the national Dressember campaign…[while cross-dressing] Pipes [also fantasizes that] there’s over…30 million people enslaved worldwide…

I guess the dress makes it easier for him to reach under & wank to his “sex slave” fantasy whenever he feels the need.

To Molest and Rape

Once again: If you think it matters whether a cop was wearing his magical clown costume when he raped someone, you are part of the problem:

A Texas [cop] was arrested [for]…repeatedly sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 13-year-old daughter…the mother…discovered that the 13 year old had been texting lewd photos to…Jesus Gonzalez at his request…the girl revealed…that Gonzalez had sex with her more than 20 times between September and mid-December.  Gonzalez told the teen that he wanted to marry her…


“I want to marry you” is an even older line than “I’m going to rescue you”:

A…Vancouver police detective, who in 2015 received a special citation for his work on a sexual exploitation investigation, has been charged with sexual exploitation.  Det. Const. James Fisher was arrested…and faces three counts of sexual exploitation, one count of sexual assault, one count of breach of trust and one count of attempt to obstruct justice…He was the lead investigator in…human trafficking investigation[s]…

It Looks Good On Paper (#677)

This is nothing but a partisan wanking fantasy; what this law actually does is empower the cops to indefinitely detain underage sex workers “for their own protection”:

Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California…teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.  This terribly destructive legislation was written and passed by the progressive Democrats who control California’s state government…Immunity from arrest means law enforcement can’t interfere with minors engaging in prostitution — which translates into bigger and better cash flow for the pimps.  Simply put, more time on the street and less time in jail means more money for pimps, and more victims for them to exploit…

One Born Every Minute (#681)

I hope this rapist scum is both bankrupted and imprisoned:

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office…filed a most unusual consumer protection lawsuit — charging a Seattle man with running a scheme for nearly a decade where he set up a fake talent agency for adult entertainers in order to trick women into posing nude and having sex with him.  Michael-Jon Matthew Hickey is accused of creating a fictitious business and using deceptive ads with bogus employment offers to find his victims…Hickey offered and advertised commercial services solely for his “own personal gain” and to “satisfy his sexual desires” with no intention of following through on the promised services to help these women find jobs.  Hickey…is charged with numerous violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Commercial Electronic Mail Act…In October, Hickey was charged with three counts of rape. He’s currently behind bars in the King County Jail in Seattle…

Checklist (#685)

Ladies, please heed my warning against using Uber unless you actually want to be “rescued” into jail:

A teenage girl is [in jail] after an…Uber driver helped rescue her from a suspected sex trafficking ring.  While he didn’t know it at the time, he was taking a young girl, her pimp and another person to a job.  But when they started openly discussing their plans in the car, the driver knew he had to [rat them out to the pigs]…Kevin Avila…picked up three female passengers…“I saw her legs are really long and she was a really young girl,” he said…The conversation turned to the how-tos of solicitation…Avila dropped off his passengers, then called police…He listened in depth and…even know what room they were going to…

Add to our list of “signs of sex trafficking”:  having long legs.  It’s a wonder I’m not “rescued” every time I leave the house.

An Example to the West (#698) 

Can you imagine American feminists criticizing a cop’s anti-whore fantasies?

Vishwas Nangre-Patil…has always been known for being progressive…Which is why his patriarchal misogyny at a recent press conference…came as a shocker [to people who don’t understand what progressivism actually is].  Announcing a crackdown operation against sex workers he wanted to know why they can’t work hard.  “They should be [forced] to make and sell pickles and papads instead of their bodies,” he [bloviated]…An activist [responded]…“Will he be able to match the corporate markets that sell papads and pickles?  And we are not even talking about matching a sex worker’s daily income here.”  All ears sir for your response.  Hopefully you’ll give the patriarchal conservatism a rest…

Power Play (#701)

The author of this article believes in a lot of the “sex trafficking” mythology, but seems to basically understand that going after websites is asinine:

…California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed new criminal charges against Backpage.com [officials]…after a Sacramento judge tossed out earlier pimping charges…While most advertisements posted in the “Escorts” section on Backpage.com likely come from [sex workers, fetishists pretend many]…sex traffickers…are posting others…If Backpage.com closes, the commercial sex advertisements will most likely be displaced to an alternative online platform…this crusade against Backpage.com is futile and could actually further inhibit America’s anti-trafficking efforts…while the majority of current cases may involve Backpage, this could simply be because the website is the primary [site] being used by [pigs to deceive people]…

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on August 25th; I have modified it slightly for time references and to fit the format of this blog.

Black Mass by Henry de Malvost (1895)The claims made in moral panics are usually so extreme and outrageous that in retrospect they seem wholly absurd.  Few living now could accept the claim that powerful Satanic cults  with connections in every part of society had enslaved hundreds of thousands of teenage girls in order to produce infants for sacrifice as anything other than the plot of an unusually-unrealistic Hollywood horror film, but in the 1980s and early 1990s this fantastical belief spread across the entire United States; journalists treated it as a realistic scenario, and innocent people were railroaded into prison based on utterly ridiculous and totally unsubstantiated testimony elicited from young children who had been tortured by many hours of grueling, coercive interrogation by police and prosecutors.  Viewing the hysteria from a comfortable distance of two decades, one might well wonder how so many people took complete leave of their senses; how could any rational person believe the sort of absolute rubbish that millions accepted, when even the most basic understanding of arithmetic, science or psychology (not to mention simple common sense and ordinary human experience) should have convinced anyone of even average intelligence that the whole thing was quite impossible?

And yet here we are again, in the midst of an equally absurd, equally unsubstantiated moral panic; the “cultists” have now turned into “traffickers” and their motive is said to be profit rather than devil-worship, but otherwise the hysteria is basically the same: incredibly-large numbers of nubile young girls being abducted and confined in a vast yet hidden underworld for nefarious and primarily-sexual purposes.  The fact that there is no actual evidence for any of this, and that the whole thing reads like something a more prudish version of J.K. Rowling might have dreamed up during an acute attack of paranoia, has not stopped it from taking hold of the public imagination even more firmly than the Satanic Panic did (and over a larger fraction of the globe).  Any given “trafficking” scare story falls apart under even the most cursory examination…and yet they persist.  An example from the August 20th Guardian (modified the next morning  after its most extreme claims proved too much for the bulk of the Graun’s readership to swallow) demonstrates just how credulous one has to be to believe the hype:

…a report by the Sunday Times…detailed the growing prevalence of nail salons controlled by human traffickers and staffed by the trafficked, specifically from Vietnam.  Industry insiders estimate that there are 100,000 Vietnamese manicurists working in the UK, despite only 29,000 Vietnamese-born migrants officially being registered in census data.  The workers are often expected to paint nails by day and work in prostitution by night.  Many are children – and even if they’re identified and taken in by social services, 90% will be tracked down by their traffickers and disappear from care…

For comparison, here’s the same paragraph in the modified version:

…A report by the Sunday Times…presented evidence about nail salons staffed by illegal immigrants, specifically from Vietnam.  According to the report, industry insiders estimate that there are 100,000 Vietnamese manicurists working in the UK, despite only 29,000 Vietnamese-born migrants officially being registered in census data…It alleges that some of these illegal migrants are victims of “what appears to be a human-trafficking network” and that they are sometimes forced to work as prostitutes as well as manicurists…

“Growing prevalence” became simple “evidence”; a declaration of “controlled by traffickers” became a mere “allegation”, “often” became “some”…and where did the “trafficked children” go?  Oops.  To the Guardian’s credit, it addressed the numerical claims in a follow-up article:

…the latest ONS data did not include Vietnam in its list of the 60 most common nationalities now resident in the UK.  That list stretched from 545,000 Polish nationals to 13,000 Colombians – so the omission of Vietnam would suggest that the 29,000 figure is incorrect…the Sunday Times article…implies that there are 71,000 hidden Vietnamese nationals in the UK and that every [one]…is a manicurist…between the first quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of this year, 81,886 Vietnamese nationals applied for a UK visa – and almost 73,000 of those visas were subsequently issued…a tiny proportion of those applications are for work permits – just 77 (or 0.6%) of the 13,000 visa applications from Vietnamese nationals in 2012 asked to work in the country.  Can we assume that all the other immigrants lied, and subsequently remained in the country?  Probably not.  Many probably came for tourism or to visit friends and family over here…More problematically, the…article leapt from talking about illegal immigrants to victims of human trafficking and in doing so, seemed to conflate these two, very different groups…the…National Referral Mechanism (NRM)…[identified only] 32 Vietnamese nationals…as potential victims in [the first quarter of this year]…and…a report by the Center for Social Justice…suggested that there were around…25 [trafficked] Vietnamese nationals [in the UK]…

But even those whose math and research skills are both sorely lacking should have been able to see through these claims by simply thinking about their own experiences in nail salons or talking to someone who regularly visits such places.  As it turns out, I am such a person:  I have had my nails done by Vietnamese manicurists every three weeks since December of 1996; that’s almost 300 visits to seven different parlors over the years, and one of those parlors changed ownership twice during the time I regularly went there.  Yes, this is the US and not the UK, but given the similarity of “trafficking” rhetoric in both countries I hardly think that makes a difference.  Here’s what I never saw in all that time:  child manicurists (unless one counts the occasional teenage “polish girl” who is always the salon owner’s Americanized daughter); manicurists who seemed exhausted from double-shifts as hookers; manicurists who seemed frightened or cowed beyond the natural shyness of an Asian lady who doesn’t speak English well; weird vibes from the owners; a parlor with enough room in the back for a brothel.  And here’s what I never heard in years of owning an escort service: word from one single client or escort about a clandestine brothel in a nail parlor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut I must point out that I have an advantage over the authors of both the Times’ scare-story and the Guardian article that credulously parroted it, and over any salon-goers who actually believed the absurd claims:  I actually treat my manicurists like human beings instead of vending machines.  I talk to them, to the extent allowed by the individual’s command of English (in fact, I spent time helping the newly-arrived wife of my current salon-owner to improve hers); I ask about their children and their lives, and share mine with them.  I’ve given advice and rides, brought presents for new babies, received gifts bought on trips back to Vietnam to visit family, gone to eat pho  with them, and brought them eggs when their chickens stopped laying.  I made the effort to familiarize myself with their culture, and to try to understand why they do things the way they do; I’ve seen one of them rise from new immigrant to owner of her own parlor within a few short years, and I’m told that isn’t all that unusual.  Even if the numbers in these articles had not been so ridiculous, I would have recognized them as rubbish for the simple reason that I’ve taken the time to get to know the group about which the claims were made…and as in the case of sex workers and other sexual minorities, that clears out the dark corners where ignorant myths thrive.

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