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Posts Tagged ‘dehumanization’

Scholars who pathologize sex workers in the classroom grant the state license to mete out gratuitous violence in the streets.  –  Rahsaan Mahadeo

Maggie in the Media

I was recently interviewed on an Australian sex worker radio show named Behind Closed Doors; it was originally supposed to be only one show, but Kitty, Dean & I were enjoying ourselves so much we just kept going and did a two-parter!  Here it is in podcast form (Part One & Part Two); I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed talking!

The Course of a Disease

The Swedish rot has reached Eastern Europe:

Since July 1, in Latvia…[prostitution is technically not] illegal  as politicians have been unable to reach a compromise on this issue…The only [criminalization] proposal has been submitted by the party alliance Attīstībai/Par! (AP!) and its sets forth punishing only the buyer of the prostitution services and not the person providing them.  The proposal is to be reviewed in the Interior Ministry. Following this process, the ministry plans to bring the draft law for discussion in the government…

The Notorious Badge

Critics just can’t resist inserting their own dumb beliefs about whores into even good reviews:

Alice, the feature debut from Australian writer-director Josephine Mackerras, is…a leftfield take on female empowerment…Alice…discovers that her husband has cleaned out their accounts and stopped paying their mortgage; a bit of digging later and she discovers the money has been spent on prostitutes…With the bank threatening to foreclose on her home and a huge sum to pay…Alice agrees to work for the very escort agency her husband favoured; there is quite simply nothing else that will keep the roof over her head…Mackerras’s take on prostitution won’t be for everyone, and it does sugar-coat the profession somewhat, but it’s a sympathetic and often gutsy portrait of a woman doing what she must, and surviving, even thriving…

Acknowledging that selling sex is pragmatic and lucrative is “sugar-coating”.

Feminists and Other Puritans

An excerpt from The Feminist War on Crime by Aya Gruber

…The feminist penal regimes implemented in the 1980s and 1990s are now entrenched institutions overseen by prosecutors…administrators, and for-profit actors with vested interests in their continued survival.  Politicians are certainly not apologizing for VAWA…[and] plenty of feminists…remain committed not just to upholding the existing feminist crime control regimes and closing “loopholes” in them but also to creating new ones—new antitrafficking laws, revenge-porn laws, laws against hosting prostitution ads, [etc]…Campus antirape sentiments have proven a boon to prosecutors eager to implement strict versions of affirmative consent…and expand pro-prosecution trial rules…some of the most ardent prison critics…proceed as if there were a carve-out to the mass incarceration critique for sexual misconduct—including, or perhaps especially, intoxicated sex or sex without affirmative consent—even though there is no such carve-out for aggravated assault, drug dealing, or even murder…

Wise Investment (#1024)

In every country, sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

Liberal scholar [and long-time critic of the Chinese Communist Party] Xu Zhangrun has hired two lawyers to prepare legal action against police who accused him of soliciting prostitution…Xu was dismissed by Tsinghua University in Beijing…after he was taken away by police who [claimed] that the…scholar had solicited prostitutes in the southwestern city of Chengdu last year.  Xu, who had taught at Tsinghua for 20 years, was sacked because of “moral corruption”…The law professor…[hired] lawyers Mo Shaoping and Shang Baojun, and former human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang…to represent him…in an attempt to overturn an administrative ruling b[ased on a]…confession…police [pretend he made but]…Xu [denies]…

The Cop Myth (#1045)

Sociologists may at last be admitting their role in creating the police state:

Now is the time for sociology to reckon with its role…in the production of a criminal legal system subsidized by Black captivity, dispossession, debt and death…Any academic attempt to distinguish between “good policing” and “bad policing” or “overpolicing” and “underpolicing” makes policing itself not just theoretically possible, but legitimate…The University of Minnesota has already committed to cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.  Now it and other sociology programs around the country must take the next step by canceling carceral curricula…According to an American Sociological Association report, “criminology/delinquency” was the highest-ranked specialization sought by employers…in 2019.  Courses like “Deviant Behavior,” “Criminal Behavior and Social Control”…and “Juvenile Delinquency” not only legitimize state violence, but also employ academics…sociologists fail to consider how “deviance,” “delinquency,” “criminal” and “terrorist” still conjure up racialized images that cops…and [spooks]…use…to…justify the killing of people of color…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1060)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

[Pennsylvania politician] Mike Folmer [was convicted on child pornography charges despite]…pleas [that the]…judge [should let him skate because Jesus]…Folmer [was]…sentence[d to 2 years in prison]…8 years on probation…[and] sex offender [registration] for 15 years…[his] defense attorney [also made the bizarre argument that he should be let off easy because he is a career sociopath]…“He had an addiction to pornography,” [attorney Brian] Perry said…Folmer [demonstrated his megalomania]…to the judge…[by comparing himself to] King David…

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Men…want sex. And I want their money.  –  Maggie, a sugar baby

Whimsical Notions

It’s difficult to tease out what actually happened in this incident due to all the dysphemisms, racism, agency denial, “American exceptionalism” propaganda, and pretenses that healthy young men can be ordered to be asexual:  “While the [NCIS] investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions…due to a recurring problem:  the [refusal of] the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases…[to pretend to be] victimized women…

Drawing Lines

Amateurs’ attempts to draw lines between different “types” of pragmatic sexual behavior are even more absurd when the amateur in question has a PhD:

Although sex is indeed common in sugaring, not all sugar daddies seek such intimate relations.  Similarly, although most sugar babies engage in sugaring in order to meet their expenses, some are hoping for a serious relationship…Self-esteem can be a tricky issue for both sugar babies and daddies.  A sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a john and a sugar baby does not want to feel like she is a prostitute.  Accordingly, sugaring aims for mutual respect between the partners.  This is reflected in the sugaring terminology of “partner” rather than “worker” and “client”…while people speak about “ordering,” or “going to,” a prostitute, they speak about “meeting” or “dating” a sugar baby.  Maren Scull (2020) has identified a range of sugaring types: at one end of the continuum there is sugar prostitution, and at the other end there is sugar friendship and sugar love.  Scull further claims that 40% of women who have sugared do not have sex with their benefactors—and that those who do often have genuine connections with the men…

“Ordering”.  Like a pizza, presumably.  The later parts of the article reveal that this dude seems to have derived most of his “information” about sex work from prohibitionist talking points rather than by consulting sex workers.

Bread and Circuses

The owner of CityGuide was a fool for not moving both his websites’ and his own domiciles to somewhere outside of the violently-prohibitionist US:

A Bay Area man is…awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that [describe ordinary escort advertising sites as “]sex trafficking websites on an international scale[” and include federal prosutors’ disgusting wanking fantasies about…“numerous child trafficking victims”…[Wilhan] Martono first purchased a CityXGuide domain in 2004, but in 2018…he…purchased a domain called “New Backpage”…The websites were set up with physical addresses listed in a Hong Kong apartment, and phone numbers that went back to a property management company there…[but the dumbass sent] wire transfers [back to the US, so]…the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to [steal] the contents of 12 bank accounts…[and] an undisclosed amount of silver bullion…

Business As Usual

All sex workers victimized by cops should sue if at all possible, especially now:

SWOP Behind Bars…caught up with Donah Sandford regarding her federal case against Missouri law enforcement, where [rapist cop] Leon Pullen eventually pleaded guilty to robbing and sexually assaulting escorts…Previously interviewed by FOX Files investigator Chris Hayes, Donah…shares the full story…of her 2009 experience with…law enforcement in St. Louis…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

The word for authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”:

…all-expenses paid [junkets] for [boss pigs and bureaucrats] is one of the ways Nextdoor has been looking to promote its network of online communities to government agencies.  It reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts:  that local [cop shops] and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t…align with the public’s…Nextdoor and the [pigs, bureaucrats and politicians] it [colludes] with say that close ties between the social media platform and the government can help them [build a more pervasive surveillance system]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#943)

It’s good to see a lockdown house getting some well-deserved pushback:

…a…lawsuit claims that Sheri’s Ranch misclassified its [legal prostitutes] as independent contractors, and should have instead classified them as employees and paid them in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The [petitioners] claim that Sheri’s Ranch owes unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation to them and…other[s] who join[ed] the case, as well as portions of their tips they were required to give to the Ranch.  Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sheri’s Ranch filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that its business is not covered by the FLSA because it does not operate in interstate commerce.  The Court rejected this argument, finding the allegations in the complaint that Sheri’s Ranch’s annual sales exceed $500,000, and that its sports bar sells food and beverage products produced outside of Nevada, sufficient to bring the Ranch within the coverage of the FLSA…

Lack of Evidence (#991)

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safety shelter” means “deportation prison”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Three addresses in Luton suspected of housing brothels…were [raided] by police…All of the women, who were from Romania, have been [infantilized] as victims of modern slavery and taken to a safety shelter…[pig] Jim Goldsmith, who led the [raid, admitted]: “It can take up to 10 e[pisodes of harassment by] the police…before [women break down and accept the label of] victim…[to make the persecution stop.  Cops] lie to, bully and exploit…sex [workers to destroy their livelihoods], all in the name of [“rescue”]…

You’d be traumatized too, if a gang of rapist thugs invaded your place of business, stole your money, and abducted you.

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Sex isn’t a binary problem, where you can just say “don’t do it”.  –  “Daniel”

Storyville

Kaytlin Bailey presents a “whore’s eye view” of US history:

The Red Umbrella 

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…two women were critically injured…[on the] night [of March 10th] in [Virginia]…[they were hospitalized] with life-threatening injuries consistent with blunt force trauma…

The Course of a Disease (#729)

The “Swedish model” helps women!

In France…anyone selling sex must pay taxes like everyone else. But many…sex workers…are [excluded from] state income support, despite seeing their income disappear as a result of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.  Sex-worker organisations are now calling on the government to create an emergency fund to help the most vulnerable among their number…[but] it is unlikely the state will agree…[because] France has [Swedish criminalization, in which sex workers are infantilized and discriminated against]…Reports have emerged of sex workers being evicted from their homes because they cannot afford rent…France…has agreed to subsidise up to 84% of employees’ wages, and has introduced a €1,500 per month grant for the self-employed…[but] anybody working…in…the “underground” or “shadow” economy, is excluded from workers’ benefits, including income support, despite being required to pay tax…

Welcome To Our World (#938)

The state regularly cages women to force their participation in morality plays:

Arresting [people the state labels] human trafficking [victims to coerce] their testimony in criminal prosecutions [is a typical practice.  Prosecutors do not care that people they cage indefinitely without criminal charges] can lose [their jobs, their homes and even] custody of their children…The U.S. Department of Justice…makes [destroying human lives for points in their sick game] a priority over victims’ needs and wants…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1022) 

It’s good to see the “sex addiction” myth slowly falling apart:

Eight years ago, Daniel became a therapist working to help people try to control their sexual behaviors, resist the urge to masturbate or watch porn, and not cheat on their spouses.  Today, he is still a therapist, but he is also now a porn star and is exploring a new model of sexual acceptance to help his clients in therapy…“At some level, I never really bought 100% into the sex addiction model.  But, I never knew there were other models for helping people who were struggling with sexual behaviors…there were all these people with degrees in divinity, who were saying things like ‘masturbation is always unhealthy,’ or ‘all porn stars are exploited and damaged’”…Daniel…struggled with the blend of sexual ignorance and sexual absolutes that were promoted as therapeutic…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023) 

Notice how fanatics like to focus on demonizing one website at a time?

One of the distinctive traits of the current wave of anti-porn propaganda…is the tendency to focus the attacks and the blame on one particular company as a smokescreen for their actual goals: the abolition or eradication of all sex work, all of adult entertainment or even all sexual expression in public forums…anti-porn activists and politicians in 2020 have a Pornhub fixation.  Pornhub is a popular…tube site that provides (mostly) user-uploaded content…It is not different in design from YouTube and it monetizes…in a way that is similar to Google AdWords…Pornhub is only one of several influential platforms providing free adult video content.  Its main competitor has a global market share that is at least equal, and sometimes bigger, than Pornhub…But you rarely hear anti-porn activists refer to…any other large company in the adult entertainment sector.  It’s as if Mormons decided to wage a war against all caffeinated beverages but exclusively referred to Coca-Cola in their anti-soda campaigns…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Compare to the ugly behavior of France & the US:

A group of 22 prostitutes in Curaçao flew back to the Dominican Republic [on April 11th after]…the island’s only regulated brothel…had to close its doors because of government’s COVID-19 measures.  The women were able to leave after the intervention of the Dominicano Consulate which arranged a charter to pick them up.  Upon arrival in Santo Domingo they [were] quarantined in a special hotel as a precaution…[another] group of prostitutes from Colombia…[was] repatriated [last] week…

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I’ve been following Maya Morena, an undocumented migrant sex worker and tireless activist, since she became more prominent a year or so ago; I’ve wanted to publish a guest column from her for a while now, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to offer her this space to describe yet another effort by prohibitionists to silence us.

On March 10, 2020 I had the pleasure of attending the Sex Workers’ Pop-Up with some friends.  Sex workers and undocumented immigrants are subject to constant epistemic injustice, so something so simple as basic human respect from outsiders is rare.  We were trusted to represent ourselves and not be symbols for someone else’s white savior project.  I was excited by how many people showed up to support, knowing I would be looking at my friends’ faces on the gallery walls, and their artwork and stories would be showcased. The event itself mostly consisted of a panel of sex workers and people who identify as sex trafficking victims (or both). Personally, I didn’t think the event was radical enough and I’m hopeful that new platforms will spring up in the future.  But the hatred and exclusion that we were met with by a highly organized network of organizations was unbelievable, and considering that the exhibit was closed ahead of schedule due to COVID-19, the SWERFs who fought so hard for weeks to get it shut down have gotten their wish in the end.

On March 2, 2020 “New Yorkers for the Equality Model”, a coalition of organizations fighting for Swedish-style criminalization, created a letter with their partners.  I had protested the very formation of that group a few months earlier, and started http://www.equalitymodel.com to educate the public on what they were doing; in response, they filed a bogus DMCA takedown against it (as they have done many times against female content creators) and had a whole section of the site taken down.  I ended up paying $550 trying to file a counterclaim to protect my information from them, but didn’t have funds to keep fighting.  Various SWERFs such as Rachel Moran, and Julie Bindel (who don’t even live in New York) have been demanding that the MTA and Outfront Media take down our (paid-for) posters for the events we were hosting.  This is very on-brand for Bindel, who has argued that giving sex workers hand sanitizers and medical advice on how to reduce potential disease is a “waste of time” since it would “encourage” sex workers to stay working longer (as though people were doing sex work for the sole reason that someone gave them hand sanitizer).  The letter itself – hosted on their website and promoted through mainstream media – claims that there’s an evil conspiracy by George Soros to target children through the ads and get them to become sex slaves.  The letter makes the claim that “The term ‘sex work’ is a euphemism for prostitution, coined in the 1980s by people with financial interests in the sex trade, whose goal was to mainstream and normalize the systems of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation.”  The “people with financial interests” referred to are sex workers, because “sex work” encompasses everything from stripping, to webcamming, to dominatrix work – not only prostitution, and not all illegal; the term was actually coined by Carol Leigh, a sex worker and activist.  The letter goes on to dehumanize sex workers by comparing us to drugs, cigarettes, guns, and organs harvesting, then makes veiled threats against sex workers by stating that we are still criminalized in New York in an attempt to get the ads censored by New York state.  Many of the organizations who penned the letter worked hard to create the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts which still incarcerate and deport sex workers, despite their repeated claims that they wouldn’t.

The organizations who make up “New Yorkers for the Equality Model” are deeply racist, but try to obscure this is by exploiting a few migrants as tokens via the “Trafficking Visa“, which has only been given to 6780 people over the past 11 years despite having an annual cap of 5,000 (it is one of the only visas that never meets its cap).  And even it is very weak help; it only gives an immigrant the right to work in the US for 4 years.  This is best the  US and “anti-trafficking” groups have to give to people they label victims.  The US spends millions every year on “human trafficking”, most of which goes toward police and border control efforts; the prohibitionist organizations are “law and order” types, and only “help” migrants – exploited or otherwise – who are willing to help them put others behind bars.  These tokens are therefore not good representatives of sex workers or marginalized groups.  They represent oppressive institutions that exclude and criminalize undocumented immigrants from services; they are an exceedingly small minority which promotes criminalization of other minorities; and when they work for the state or “anti-trafficking” organizations, they often consider themselves “legal immigrants” and thus superior to sex workers and “illegal” immigrants.  Even the kids who have been separated from their parents, molested by guards at the border, and sold through adoption are not considered worthy of assistance; they are “criminals” just like me, who was a child migrant and a DACA kid.  It does hurt that the people who work hard to erase marginalized people get to claim they’re “saving” us to a gullible public.

But despite the Sex Worker Pop-Up’s short duration, it did give me a glimpse of how many sex workers allies there are, and how much they desire to listen to and support us.  I met more sex workers in that one place then I have anywhere else except for the internet, and was able to connect with radical activists, content creators, professionals, and even male sex workers that our sciety prefers to pretend don’t exist.  We even spoke about creating other, future events to educate the public, even though we know we’ll have to fight those who want to silence and harm us to do so.

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We await a thundering so great
That it shatters stars
That it awakens fate
To save us from a void of eternal scars.
  –  Abdurehim Imin Parach

Not for Everybody (#626)

Women who had a bad time in sex work are exploited by prohibitionists, but some wake up:

…when I came across the “survivor” movement…it was like coming home.  I finally felt able to share my experiences honestly and without feeling judged…I accepted what I was told about the Nordic Model; that it was a framework which supported women and punished the perpetrators.  And all buyers were perpetrators.  I was encouraged to share and re-share and share again my trauma experiences (for no compensation, of course) to the point that I was a quivering wreck, angry at the world and thoroughly believed that women were doomed without the passing of a Sex Buyer Law, and anyone who said otherwise was part of the Big Pimp Conspiracy.  Looking back it felt a little like joining a cult.  I was saved!  And I had a responsibility to save others.  I’m mortified, now, at the way I ignored the efforts of those who patiently tried to show me the documented evidence…

Worse Than I Thought (#711)

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

…senate candidate Bill Hagerty [publicly shared his sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…in Tennessee…[after vomiting up a lot of nonsense about] roadways…and…proximity to Atlanta…[then reciting the shahada and dehumanizing sex workers as a] growing epidemic…[he called for increased censorship of] the internet…and…[claimed] that [sex work]…”is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals”…

Worse Than I Thought (#737)

“Human trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work:

The Odessa City Council will consider…an…ordinance…that is aimed at tightening [the noose] on sex…[workers]…The ordinance will…extend…the distance a sexually oriented business can be from a school or church from 600 feet to 1,500 feet….[and] require those businesses to add [magical anti-pimp]…signs in Spanish…the ordinance [also] includes a rule…[that strippers]…who…have an overdue balance on a utility bill like water or gas [due to lack of work during virus panic] may be denied th[e] permit [the city demands they have in order] to work [and pay the overdue bill]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

I suppose it only makes sense to excuse an imaginary “offense” with an imaginary “disorder”:

A top NHS chest doctor who used a hospital computer to view…pornography [w]as [slapped] with a 12-month suspension [during a respiratory disease epidemic because sex rays.  He might have received an even more ridiculous penalty had he not placated the puritans by]…checking himself into a sex addiction clinic.  Professor Peter Davies…viewed [the porn]…at work [because] his wife put an anti-[porn] filter on his computer at home.  The world-renowned expert on tuberculosis…[claimed] he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 years old [even though there is no such thing as “pornography addiction”]…

Quiet Genocide

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

China’s government considers…the Uighur ethnic minority to be “terrorists” and “separatists.”  It has imprisoned them on a mass scale and has turned Xinjiang into one of the world’s most tightly controlled police states.  As a result, many Uighurs have fled to Turkey, which they have traditionally viewed as a refuge and an advocate for their rights.  Now, many Uighurs in Istanbul…fear China is pressuring Turkey to threaten them.  [Abdurehim Imin] Parach…was targeted after he published [Breathing in Exile,] a book of poetry describing China’s oppression of Uighurs…The book came out in December 2018…and…two months later…Turkish [cops] arrested him…and sent [him] to [a] deportation center…for [three] months [before releasing him without explanation]…One Uighur activist in Turkey…has counted at least 200 such detentions since January 2019, while a lawyer…has assisted more than 400 Uighurs arrested in the past year…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

“Sex trafficking” now means whatever authoritarians want it to mean:

Sen. Ben Sasse…demanded Attorney General William P. Barr investigate adult video giant Pornhub for allegedly facilitating human trafficking [by which he apparently means GirlsDoPorn’s release of material it told performers would not be available online]…in a [written sex fantasy he referred to the women victimized by GirlsDoPorn as]…”exploit[ed] children”…[meanwhile] anti-[sex worker] activist Laila Mickelwait [of the religious pro-censorship group Exodus Cry] launched a petition to [censor] the website and [unconstitutionally persecute] its executives…

An article by Tracy Clark-Flory points out that “The petition itself links to TraffickingHub.com, a site…which prominently quotes Gail Dines…this is not a “nonpartisan” petition, but rather an abolitionist project…

You Were Warned (#1007)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

Imagine an Internet where the law required every message sent to be read by government-approved scanning software.  Companies that handle such messages wouldn’t be allowed to securely encrypt them, or they’d lose legal protections that allow them to operate…The so-called EARN IT bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham…and Richard Blumenthal…will strip Section 230 protections away from any website that doesn’t follow a list of “best practices,” meaning those sites can be sued into bankruptcy.  The “best practices” list will be created by a government commission, headed by Attorney General Barr, who has made it very clear he would like to ban encryption, and guarantee [pigs and spooks]…access…to any digital message…[but] because they didn’t put the word “encryption” in the bill, they…insist it doesn’t affect encryption…the bill…would create a 19-person commission that’s completely controlled by the Attorney General and [pigs, spooks and professional busybodies such as]…NCMEC…[which has already] made it clear…[they] believe…online services should be made to [spy on all communications]…report what they find in the messages to NCMEC; and be held legally responsible for the content of messages sent by others…The Commission won’t be a body that seriously considers policy; it will be a vehicle for creating a law enforcement wish list…

Out of Control (#1021)

Sex workers know how to protect each other, but “authorities” want to keep us from doing it:

…online databases are vital for sex workers’ safety, but they’re moving further and further underground in the wake of the so-called SESTA/FOSTA law…that…criminalizes anything they do, even posting about work online.  The database that figured into [rapist client Dr. Manish] Gupta’s case requires users to pay for membership, is hard to join without an invitation and…now requires lengthy verification.  It’s one of a handful of closed-door screening sites that not only protect sex workers but, as the Gupta case shows, can be crucial for securing arrests.  “People are more hesitant to use them now because they don’t want to be accused of promoting prostitution,” said Phoenix Calida from [SWOP-USA]…“That’s how predators are able to continue for so long.  There were complaints lodged about this person being a bad date a couple of years before the person who went to the police was assaulted”…The investigation ramped up in late 2019 after a sex worker victims’ advocate began collating accounts of women who’d been drugged, raped, and videotaped by Gupta…there were 20 different victims in Gupta’s videos…the FBI’s Cleveland Office said they hope media coverage of Gupta’s arrest will encourage more victims to come forward.  “We want to remind them that they can contact the FBI anonymously,” she said…

DO NOT trust the FBI!  They will collect all of your information to hold for future use.  If you have information about Gupta you wish to share, contact a lawyer to help you negotiate that; do not call or e-mail them directly!

Social Distancing

This is going to hurt a lot of sex workers:

…gentlemen’s club…proprietors [in Jamaica] have been bracing for the hammer to fall soon on their regular…operations, but for now at least, lap dances are still en vogue, despite the spreading threat of the coronavirus…”We hear that they might close us down by Monday…how the girls dem a go mek money if dem caan give lap dances?…When wi close down, all our dancers may just start go do independent sex work, and that is more dangerous for them to be on the streets, so we ah gwaan watch and wait,” stated [on]e club manager…the virus is a serious financial…worry.  Prostitutes, dancers and other categories of sex workers are already feeling the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak directly…

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Fuck the patriarchy — but not for free!  –  protest sign in Berlin

If It Were Legal

Do prosecutors think scoring points trumps five women’s harassment lawsuit?

LA Direct agency owner Derek Hay has made arrangements to travel to Los Angeles to face criminal pandering charges in California, stemming from accusations made during [a] recent…case involv[ing] five of his former models petitioning against him and his agency before the California Labor Commission…Charlotte Cross, Shay Evans, Sofi Ryan, Andi Rye and Hadley Viscara…[are suing] Hay and two other individuals [for sexual assault, but apparently]…California [prosecutors think the fact that he paid]…Viscara…and…Ryan [for sex in]…2017 [is somehow more important]…

Follow the Leader

Costumed hooligans regularly abduct and torture people in ways that would be charged as crimes for anyone else:

PJ Starr’s chilling documentary “No Human Involved” recounts the 2009 [murder] of Marcia Powell by…Arizona [screws]…and condemns the criminalization of prostitution…the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office…[did] not…prosecute [the screws who intentionally and maliciously locked] Powell outside in a human cage for several hours without water as temperatures soared to 107 degrees…[a lying pig] who had already arrested Powell twice before for [prostitution]…entrapp[ed] a…schizophrenic woman…[and terrible laws were used to] turn…what would normally be a…misdemeanor…into a…felony…In the film, retired [Arizona] Deputy Warden Carl Toersbijns reviews Powell’s…file…and observes its tone of “retaliation” and “pettiness” toward the woman.  Powell was written up for things like drinking coffee out of the wrong cup and…shackled…every time she got out of her cell…[the torture escalated until screws respnded to suicidal ideation by locking her in the cage where she was found four hours later, covered in her own shit with a body temperature of 108o]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#724) 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

…a judge at an employment tribunal ruled that dancers in a London strip clubs Browns and Horns have worker status.  Until now, dancers were misclassified as “independent contractors” [despite being treated as employees], which means they had no access to even the most basic rights at work.  The new ruling now opens the door for dancers to claim workers’ rights such as paid annual leave, a guaranteed pay for all hours worked, the right to take maternity or sick leave without the risk of termination, protection against workplace harassment and the right to organise through a trade union…

Full of Themselves (#787)

‘Happy endings’ have apparently become a matter of national security“:

The FBI has launched an investigation into how applicants with phony or questionable credentials were able to get Massachusetts massage therapist licenses…[the FBI is claiming jurisdiction over a minor state regulatory issue using the excuse of] sex trafficking…the state Board…approved the applications of candidates who reported getting their training at Axiom Healthcare Academy in New Jersey, after the school closed in 2014…Axiom’s founder pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges he sold fake transcripts and phony graduation certificates to [sex workers to get around government busybodies]…

The War on Whores

Here’s a nice review of The War on Whores on an Australian radio program; it starts at the 9:00 mark and is about eleven minutes long, and you can also download it as an MP3.  The reviewer called it a “must-watch”, and said some very complimentary things about this blog as well.

Out of Control (#946)

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

An Ohio plastic surgeon used sedatives…to drug and rape multiple women…[since] at least 2013…Manish Raj Gupta…faces [a raft of] federal charges…[including] sex trafficking…The FBI began investigating Gupta…[last year] after a woman who worked as a “high-end escort” reported that Gupta had [raped]…her in September 2016…In the morning, KB drove to the home of a client who is an anesthesiologist, and asked him to administer a drug test…[which] showed she had a tranquilizer in her system…[she wisely] did not report the incident to police…[but] did…[add him to] two [bad date] websites…[several other sex workers had] report[ed him starting in] March 2013…Gupta’s employees at his practice, Artisan Cosmetic Surgery, began to get suspicious of him when [one of his victims]…called the office “stating that Gupta had drugged her, raped her and video-recorded her,” describing him, his phone and his car in accurate detail…

I notice that NBC News felt no compelling need to put “plastic surgeon” or other non-sexwork job titles in scare quotes.

Uncommon Sense (#948)

Because whores are morons whose lives and businesses must be micromanaged by governments:

…the Prostituiertenschutzgesetz…which came into force 1 July 2017…require[s sex workers] to register with a local authority and undergo mandatory [indocrination sessions] and [violations pretended to be for] health…the law does [nothing] to improve working conditions and it fails to integrate sex work into existing labour law…The ProstSchG is…a bureaucratic nightmare for sex workers…if they comply [so most simply do]…not register…the realities of sex workers in [Germany] could s[till] get worse under…Swedish [criminalization], called for by [prohibitionist politicians]

End Demand (#972)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

The Port of Seattle is implementing new [indoctrination]…for its 2,000 employees to [encourage] them [to] sp[y on citizens passing through]…the region’s air and sea…ports…The [propaganda was purchased from]…the [highly]…profit[able] group Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking…The [propaganda]…is specifically designed [to encourage racists and naifs to summon] law enforcement…[to inflict] violence, threats…and other manipulation…[on brown] people…generating [huge] financial sums [for both propagandists and cops themselves, the latter via the procedure called “asset forfeiture”.  The propaganda includes thoroughly-debunked fantasies such as the widely-touted by completely fabricated tale of how]…in 2017, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant…[supposedly] rescue[d] an underage teenager traveling from Seattle to San Francisco who’d become a trafficking victim…

The story was touted in 2017, but supposedly happened in 2011.  And “while the news that year is full of stories about a man arrested at the San Francisco International Airport for wearing baggy pants…none mention a human trafficker apprehended at a Bay Area airport that year…SFPD…web archives turn up similarly scant results…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#1014)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Twenty-four states plus Washington D.C. mandate statewide comprehensive sex ed, but Washington state is not one of them.  In fact…40% of school districts in Washington don’t teach sex ed at all…[but] a…bill [mandating it may]…pass…this year.  Republicans…don’t like the legislation because they don’t want their children to learn about sex and consent…so they tried to kill it by adding an obscene 232 amendments…this display ultimately failed, and…[politicians] ultimately withdrew the most salacious amendments…[including one] which would force teachers to reference the “risk” of pornography in any discussion of [the topic]…[another] would…”exclude…any curricula that directs students to resources that discuss BDSM, bloodplay, inserting vegetables into the anus, or similar sexual behavior”…[another] tr[ies]…to prohibit…[one specific] book…and [still another]…”prohibits a teacher or other instructor from…demonstrating how to apply a condom…using…items such as sex toys, fruits, or vegetables”…

I sometimes wonder why politicians in general are so obsessed with plants, especially fruits and vegetables.  And in this case I’m specifically wondering how many of these proposed amendments are from the preaching pig.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

Wolfcom, a company that makes technology for police, is pitching body cameras with live facial recognition to [cop shops] across the United States…Axon, the largest manufacturer of body cameras in the United States, declared last year that it would not put the invasive technology in its hardware, citing “serious ethical concerns.”  NEC, which sells live facial recognition elsewhere in the world, has also not sold it to U.S. [cops.  But] Wolfcom claims to have sold body cameras to at least 1,500 [cop shops], universities, and [spook] organizations across the country.  It has been developing live facial recognition for the Halo, Wolfcom’s newest body camera model…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Jorge Torres Jr.

This video of a little drama queen kitten went viral last week, but this was the only one I found which could be embedded.  The links above it were provided by Mirriam Seddiq, Mama Tush, Furrygirl, Cop Crisis, Scott Greenfield, Alex Andrews, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime.  –  Tulsi Gabbard

See How Well It Works?

As usual, they’re claiming that the reason the Lost Tribe of Gomorrah failed to materialize was because of the hysteria:

The [FBI and an assortment of other pigs and spooks]…said [only] three [adults and four juveniles] were arrested…[for sex work-related “offenses” in] the [entire] Miami-Dade [area during Super Bowl week despite the massive] police [presence and media circus]…

Oops

I’m sure she really had to “force” him:

A 32-year-old doctor [in Bengaluru, India] who forced her techie-husband to watch porn with her and enact whatever they saw landed in trouble after he saw an online video of her having sex with a…[previous partner] and walked out on her…She’d told him before marriage that she had a relationship with a man in the past but had later separated…[when] he found [the] video online…he confronted her [and] she confessed to having had many relationships before marriage but didn’t know how the video was available online…The man [now claims] his wife was addicted to watching porn…

We of course know that there is no such thing as “porn addiction”; this prudish man is simply trying to punish his wife for being more comfortable with her sexuality than he is.

Pimping the Pimp (#446) 

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Annie Lobert and her outfit “Liars for Jesus”:

A U.S. Justice Department anti-human trafficking grant program is facing internal complaints, after two nonprofits were denied funding in favor of two less established groups…The awarding of more than $1 million total to the two groups, Hookers for Jesus in Nevada and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation in South Carolina, has triggered a whistleblower complaint…[because] two long-established nonprofits – the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix – were…replaced…[because the latter] has opposed…Trump…immigration policies [and] the head of…[the former is an active] Democrat…Hookers for Jesus, which received $530,190 over three years, is run by a born-again Christian [ex-casino prostitute]…who has lobbied against decriminalizing prostitution…[it] operates a [private jail which]…ban[s inmates] reading “secular magazines”…limit[s the organization’s]…victims [phone] call[s and controls their money]…

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists fighting for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative can only help the cause of human rights.

Painfully Clueless

Women don’t work for the same reasons as real people, but because we have “low self-esteem” or daddy issues:

Kim Squires says…sex [workers are]…”vulnerable little girls…that have a lack of love, and attention, and affection…That can really lure them right into the arms of a trafficker…We were actually going into the strip clubs, the brothels, the tracks, the traps, hotels, motels, all the places that you would find human trafficking”…to spread a message of love and tell the girls they meet how valuable they are…

If you want to “tell them how valuable they are”, do it in the only sincere way: give them fucking money.  Your “love” and other Hallmark nonsense won’t pay their bills.

License to Rape (#720)

TSA goons can usually molest citizens without consequence, but this was a bit too blatant:

A [TSA goon named]…Johnathon Lomeli…was [lu]rking at [LAX]…in June when he…[demanded a] woman…[let him] look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, then had her hold her pants away from her waist so he could look inside…He subsequently to[ld] her…he [had to take her to] a private room for more security screening…but once they were alone on an elevator…he told her he could do the screening right there…[demanding] she…lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.”  He also again looked down her pants…He was [recently arrested]…and…[Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “He needs a better] excuse for this kind of…behavior [if he expects us to cover for him]”…

The Widening Gyre (#753)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

…QAnon…centers on the…belief that Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.  What started as an online obsession for the far-right fringe has…been creeping into the mainstream political arena for more than a year.  The trend shows no sign of abating as Trump…has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts.  Followers flock to Trump’s rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans.  At least 23 current or former congressional candidates in the 2020 election cycle have endorsed or promoted QAnon…University of California, Davis history professor Kathryn Olmsted…said…“What’s different now is that there are people in power who are spreading this conspiracy theory…Finally, there is someone saying they’re not crazy”…

Naturally, mainstream outlets won’t say the obvious truth:  the government’s eager promotion of the bizarre “sex trafficking” mythology laid the groundwork for this, just as it was government endorsement of the Satanic Panic (via the daycare prosecutions) which added fuel to that completely deranged belief.  When government officials go around spouting hysterical, evidence-free nonsense about “Satanists”, “sex trafficking rings”, and pedophile cannibal conspiracies, is it any wonder when the weak-minded believe them and combine them?

Safe Position (#922)

Anti-sex feminism’s days are numbered:

Testifying in front of the D.C. City Council, Toni Van Pelt, the 72-year-old [president] of [NOW told a bunch of weird BDSM sex fantasies and]…claimed…she…represent[ed] all the chapters…[but in actuality] the local…chapter…was…working on testimony in support of [decriminalization]…younger members and women of color…are frustrated by the leadership’s refusal to [respect] them…After seeing Van Pelt’s testimony in October, the [DC] board fired off a letter to the national organization, blasting the president’s “misleading and dehumanizing language,” and the “breach of autonomy and assertion that this language represents DC NOW’s views…we ask that that National NOW modify their language to reflect the terms currently accepted…in the sex worker community and by progressive organizations that show respect for all women and their choices”…chapter[s including] Illinois NOW…Montgomery County, Maryland…Madison, Wisconsin…California…NOW…and…Florida…NOW [are]…calling for decriminalization…and…a resolution on decriminalization will be brought at this year’s national conference…it would need only 75 signatures to pass to a floor vote…

The NOW “tore itself apart” over sex work once before in the 1980s, when the anti-sex feminists seized control and discarded the organization’s pro-decriminalization stance.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#983)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Seattle is…a major thoroughfare for child sex trafficking…[“sex trafficking” fantasist] Jim Fuda…said…“India is number one, Brazil is number two, and sadly, the United States is number three”…Fuda [shared some of his favorite sexual fantasies on a radio show, making furtive movements in his pants as he got to the part about how]…a…girl[‘s]…organs were harvested…he…[encourages] people [to spy on their neighbors and]…report…the[m to the pigs.  Meanwhile a group absurdly called]…Informed Parents of Washington is…[trying to advance its anti-sex agenda by pretending that a] bill mandating sexual education in Washington public schools [will cause] sex crimes against minors…[because] grooming…

I thought I had already seen the most idiotic claims for things supposedly causing “sex trafficking”, but “sex education” may be the all-time winner.

I Spy (#1001)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

[ICE] has purchased commercial databases and software that tracks millions of mobile phones and used the information to [arrest] undocumented immigrants in the US…DHS…began purchasing location data back in 2017 from Venntel…the data is gathered through smartphone applications after users grant access to their locations…

Safe Position (#1001)

The first duopoly candidate to actually support decriminalization:

A majority of Americans now favor “removing criminal penalties for adults to sell and pay for consensual sex,” with support particularly high among Democrats and younger voters but also crossing party and age lines.  Yet…only one remaining [Democratic] candidate…Tulsi Gabbard…[of] Hawaii…has publicly expressed support for decriminalizing…”If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said…”All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.”  Gabbard is the only one to get a good grade on a recent report card put out by the group Decriminalize Sex Work (DSW)…[she only got] A-…because she voted for FOSTA, which made hosting content that facilitates prostitution a federal crime

Checklist (#1004)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is inducing psychosis in those who promote it:

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System is [persecut]ing…sex [workers] by beginning a series of [indoctrination] sessions and seminars [to convince] health care professionals [that ordinary whores are part of a ruthless international crimial cartel]…the Forensic Nurse in charge of the…[indocrination is clinacally paranoid,] fear[ing] retribution from [imaginary ninja “pimps”] involved in local sex trafficking…

As the hysteria heads toward implosion, expect to see many more claims of retribution from imaginary bogeymen.  I’m reminded of the New Orleans news reader who, at the height of the Satanic Panic, claimed that thieves who broke into his garage were part of a Satanic conspiracy to “get” him.

Anatomy of a Boondoggle (#1013)

Utah is another state which pays cops to sexually assault sex workers:

[Utah pig bosses admit]…about half of their [entrapment] operations targeting…massage parlors involve the [cop sexually assaulting a] masseuse…before an arrest is made.  It’s necessary, they say…Chris Burbank, a [re]forme[d] Salt Lake City police chief who now works with the Center of Policing Equity…[said] “[the cop] committed [a] crime and then arrested the other person for that crime”…Bountiful [Utah cops sent]…in a [pig with a fake] credit card that would [upload malware to] capture the shop’s credit card records when swiped.  The information [is] later used to [hunt down]…customers who had paid for massages [and threaten them to get them to rat on masseuses]…

I suppose we could’ve predicted fascists would come up with something like the malware-uploading device described here, but that doesn’t make it any less nauseating.

To Molest and Rape (#1013)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A California Highway [pig] has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl…The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office…charged…Brian Watkins, of Fremont, with three counts of unlawful sexual assault against a minor…Fremont police [knew about the rapes since]…July 2019…but [didn’t bother to do anything about it until] recent[ly due to] unspecified developments…

“Unlawful sexual assault,” as opposed to the lawful form of sexual assault called “searching”.

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Judging from the epic case of [“Super Bowl sex trafficking”] mass psychosis…Floridians could easily give the Flat Earth Society a run for its ducats.  –  Stephen Lemons

Not for Everybody

Another ex-sex worker thinks its her job to cheat her sisters out of money:

…dominatrix Francesca Freeman…has become a sex therapist [of the puritanical, exploitative kind and now claims she can]…straighten out men’s kinks…“thank goodness I had this spiritual ­­awakening or I could have ended up in prison.  The things I was doing to these men were becoming increasingly extreme and could’ve easily gone wrong”…[she claims she can “help” men] beat their sex addictions [even though there is no such thing]…“I had an ­incredible lifestyle as a…dominatrix and thought I was really happy.  But after I was dumped [by some dude] I was heartbroken and fell into depression…[she also claims that people are kinky due to] ­traumatic pasts [though there is no evidence for this, and wrongfully called consensual kink] “a cycle of abuse”…“Leaving the industry was an easy decision and I cried with disgust at the end of my last session”…

Sounds like somebody needs therapy, but it ain’t the clients.

Above the Law

If a non-cop had done this, he’d be facing “sex offender” registration:

A [typical and representative] federal [cop] in Arizona was sentenced to probation…after being caught on video smelling a 3-year-old girl’s underwear. The girl’s unnamed father received a motion alert from the nanny cam in his daughter’s room last May…when he checked the video recording he saw Deputy U.S. Marshal David Timothy Moon digging through the laundry hamper in the girl’s room and pulling out a pair of dirty underwear…[and] sniff[ing it] as he brought it to his face. He returned to the child’s room a second time just minutes later…[and] notice[d] the nanny cam.  “Goddamn it,” he can be heard saying while covering his mouth…the U.S. Marshals Service fired him when it heard the allegations…Moon’s girlfriend said “he threw out his computer” [probably to hide evidence of child porn] after learning police were looking for him…[he] was initially charged with two counts of felony trespassing with sexual motivation, but [the judge let him] plead down to misdemeanor trespassing [so he wouldn’t have to endure “sex offender” registration]…Judge Katherine Cooper [also] denied requests from prosecutors that Moon be subject to psychological evaluations and…said [the lenience was specifically because he was a cop]…

Guinea Pigs (#690) 

To flush civil rights, just apply a label like “prostitute” or “gang member”:

The [California] Department of Justice [claims it] has been working to fix CalGang for two years…but…state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra signaled last month that he may backtrack…[cops have repeatedly lied about how] additions [are made on mere] rumor[s and cop guesses] without evidence — until [long-hidden paperwork finally became available to public scrutiny]…CalGang…currently [even] allow[s] inclusion of people such as girlfriends or family members.  Its precursor began in the 1980s…and [cops]…can use anything from a sports jersey to a casual conversation with a [passerby to claim as supposed]…proof that a person belongs on CalGang…Concerns [were first publicly admitted by bureaucrats during]…a scathing 2016 state audit, which found it lacked oversight, and…could not substantiate the claims.  Auditors found records for children as young as 1 year old when their names were uploaded, prompting the Legislature in 2017 to put the database under the purview of the attorney general and demand new rules for its use…[but] thousands more [people] have been added while new rules are debated [by politicians]…

Think of the Children! (#696) 

“Community concerns” is a euphemism for “busybodies”:

Because of community concerns, Cary [North Carolina] police… conducted a [pogrom on two] massage businesses and]…arrested [two migrant women]…Both women are charged with practicing massage without a license…Moana Anderson and her husband brought their four daughters to the indoor playground next door…”That’s kind of scary because we wanted our kids to be safe [from sex rays, except for the sex rays generated by our barebacking often enough for me to pop out four brats]” Anderson [said]…”there’s no place for [safe sex] here in Cary”, said Angel Island Fun Park manager Cecilia Soto.  “Cary is a nice city…[where consensual sex] has no place [unless it results in spawn]…It has to go”…

Morality Lessons (#783)

Another Utah politician thinks he’s discovered a way to circumvent the First Amendment:

Any pornography distributed in Utah must carry a warning label describing [fantasized] negative impacts to youth, under…House Bill 243, sponsored by…Brady Brammer…The warning label would read:  “Exposing minors to pornography is known to the state of Utah to cause negative impacts to brain development, emotional development, and the ability to maintain intimate relationships. Such exposure may lead to harmful and addictive sexual behavior, low self-esteem, and the improper objectification of and sexual violence towards others, among numerous other harms”…the [label is intentionally] similar to California product label requirements…For videos, the [compelled speech] must be up for 15 seconds.  On printed publications, it must be prominently displayed…the Free Speech Coalition…[will] oppose the bill [as]…”compelled speech…unconstitutional on its face”…the bill…[is also unconstitutionally over]broad and could cover “basic nudity” and even “non-explicit sexual situations” such as a Kim Kardashian selfie or the TV show Game of Thrones…”It’s a lawsuit bonanza,” [FSC spokesman Mike] Stabile wrote…

Note that the censors are still pursuing the idea of using “public health” rhetoric, supported by nonsensical Gail Dines propaganda about “health effects” of porn, as a model for trumping free speech.

Traffic Jam (#905)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria is just a new excuse for persecuting the same groups as usual (sex workers, racial minorities, migrants, young people, etc), and as I have explained many times its mythology bears a strong resemblance to that of the Satanic Panic.  So it’s really fascinating to see prohibitionists comparing “sex trafficking survivors” to cult members; that is actually true, but in the opposite way prohibitionists claim.  This group appears to imagine that doing flexible work to earn a living is somehow cultlike, when in actuality it’s the process of stereotypic conformation and “reframing experiences” imposed on “exited” sex workers by prohibitionists which displays cultlike characteristics. Furthermore, take a look at the speaker list:  all cops and “rescue” profiteers, authority figures in the “sex trafficking” cult who can be counted on to belch forth the “correct” dogma and shut down independent thought.  Moral panics become increasingly extreme until implosion, and this one is from way beyond the Looking Glass.

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

For decades, Detroit [cops]…and…prosecutors have systematically abused…drivers by [stealing]…and sell[ing] thousands of cars…from completely innocent owners…the Institute for Justice…has partnered with a group of Detroit drivers to…file a class action lawsuit in federal court seeking to end the cont[emptible] practice once and for all.  Melisa Ingram, [one of the] plaintiff[s, had]…her car [stolen]…by [cops] after she lent it to her then-boyfriend…[and cops claimed he] slow[ed] down in an area known for prostitution…he was never charged with a crime [but] police nevertheless [stole] Melisa’s 2017 Ford Fusion…[when] she explained that the car wasn’t his…the clerk explained that Melisa’s only option was to pay the city $1,800…she did not have…plus the cost of towing and storage…she was forced to give up her car and declare personal bankruptcy…

Prudesville (#954) 

Baristas are again appealing Everett’s legal claim that it has the right to police their clothes because “women who dress like sluts cause rape”:

…Everett’s bikini baristas and their lawyers [have] petition[ed] the Supreme Court…[to resolve the] issue [of] whether serving coffee wearing a bikini…is…free speech…the city of Everett [has been harassing] espresso kiosks staffed by [bikini-clad] women [for the past ten years.  Since November 2017, it has even claimed that the kiosks cause rape to justify]…ordinance[s] impos[ing] a minimum dress code on drive-thru food and drink stands…[and criminalizing the exposure of] specifically-defined parts of the butt or female breast…Two lower courts have…agreed [to pretend that the actual issue is]…the term “bottom one-half of the anal cleft” [rather than women’s ownership of our own bodies]…

Blunt Instrument (#963)

The Unsinkable Liz Brown takes a deep dive into the ongoing racist government campaign against massage parlors:

…law enforcement agencies frequently go on fishing expeditions, searching for needles in a haystack and then arresting anyone in the vicinity of the barn…and…the people most harmed by the attention…are the ones cops…claim they’re out to save…[in this] carceral charade…the twisted “help” offered to “exploited” women includes jail, seized assets, and deportation…Federal law enforcement officials are being enlisted…to [help local cops] round up women for giving unapproved hand jobs or offering ordinary back and foot massages without the right paperwork…these workers—mostly middle-aged Asian immigrant women—are treated as victims long enough to get authorities in the door and then as criminals once law enforcement officials are done playing hero to the press…

Pyrrhic Victory (#984) 

They actually admit that part of the point is to normalize constant surveillance:

A campaign to ban facial recognition on college campuses has just been launched by the non-profit organizations Fight for the Future and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.  Facial recognition technology is already being deployed in some public school systems…[and] Vendors like FaceFirst and Ellucian are already offering biometric surveillance…Raja Saravanan…of…Ellucian…cheerfully [explain]s that facial recognition software can be configured to check class attendance while also monitoring students’ nonverbal reactions in real-time as they listen to lectures…[and] noted…”Beijing Normal University…[uses] facial recognition system to prevent intruders entering student dorms.”  That…is not…reassuring considering that China’s authoritarian government is deploying hundreds of millions of cameras hooked to facial recognition as a mainstay of its social credit surveillance state.  In order to “foster a culture of [false] trust around facial tracking,” Saravanan recommends that campus facial recognition be rolled out incrementally [so the frogs don’t simply leap out of the pot]…

Micromanagement (#999)

They didn’t refuse on principle, but because the warrant was “improperly served”:

Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company in the world, was served a search warrant to [let pigs root in] its database of some 16 million DNA profiles, but the company did not comply.  “Ancestry…challenged the warrant on jurisdictional grounds…[it] was improperly served…and we did not provide any access or customer data”…Ancestry and its main competitor, 23andMe…have publicly vowed to defend their customers’ genetic privacy, and say they will fight efforts to open up their databases to [rooting] by police…Until now, only two [DNA] databases…GEDmatch…now owned by the f[ascist copsucking] company Verogen, and…FamilyTreeDNA — have been open to search requests from police…[but] GEDmatch contains [only] about 1.3 million profiles and Family Tree DNA has around 1.1 million.  So if cops were to gain access to the much larger databases operated by Ancestry or 23andMe, it would make s[urveillance of everyone in the US] much easier…

To Molest and Rape (#1007)

Ever notice what a large fraction of rapist cops’ victims are teenagers?

A Las Vegas [cop] has been arrested [for rape]…Christopher Peto [raped]…two girls between the ages of 13-17…at Laughlin…High School.  Peto was arrested…on charges [rape]…soliciting a child for prostitution, kidnapping…[raping] a minor under 14 and child abuse…Peto has been [rewarded]…with [a paid vacation] pending official charges…

Stupor Bowl (#1011)

The Miami Herald‘s Chicken Licken act is at the center of this debunking:

Doubling and tripling down on the most debunked and disproven zombie lie of all time, politicians, the press, law enforcement and an array of money-grubbing non-profits plunged Miami, and Florida in general, into a bizarre state of paranoia and panic over the myth that the Super Bowl is “the largest human-trafficking event on the planet”…Alex Andrews…of…SWOP Behind Bars…says Miami-Dade County has been awash with legions of “rabid prayer people”…on the lookout for sex trafficked children, talking to the media, passing out promotional stickers, and in a bizarre, puritanical touch, bars of soap… According to the FBI’s own crime statistics, sex trafficking is a relatively rare phenomenon…but you wouldn’t know that to read or watch Florida’s mainstream media, particularly the daily Miami Herald, which has done its best to ramp up the anti-trafficking hysteria by trading in bogus stats and narratives…

Here’s one especially-horrifying example of this freakshow, in which local news station WPEC pretends to be surprised when prohibitionist rent-a-pig John Rode gets a lot of answers when he calls a bunch of mid-range escort ads (in other words, less-established ladies who don’t screen) pretending to be a client; that the women he slanders as “sex trafficking victims” deny to busybody reporters that “they were being forced to sell their bodies“; and that when the reporter tries to embarass the manager by shoving a camera in his face and demanding to know why he isn’t spying on his guests, “he made us leave the property”.

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While scandalized men are given second chances galore, women who society says behaved badly are branded for life.  –  Melissa Petro

Think of the Children! (Bits and Pieces)

Melissa Petro was open about her past when she applied to be a teacher; it wasn’t until she was outed that her “sex rays” suddenly became dangerous to children:

Ten years ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg…personally asked for me to be removed from my job as a public-school teacher and called for the city to take legal action against me…because I admitted that I’d worked in the sex industry before teaching.  “We’re just not going to have this woman in front of a class,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying…he…and I never met.  He never commented further on my situation.  He decided my fate, and that was that…The press…demonized me.  I was dubbed the “hooker teacher” and made into the butt of jokes.  And yet in the intervening years I was able to turn that exposure into a platform for humanizing sex work…

Under Duress 

I wonder if most cops are even capable of telling the truth?

Just…a…week [after]…[Los Angeles cop Angel Reinosa was arrested because he] fabricated [a] story of [being] shot in the shoulder by a sniper as he walked from his patrol car into the station…another cop in Ohio was arrested for doing the exact same thing.  On January 13, approximately 50 [heavily-armed thugs] from ten different [cop shops invaded] a predominantly black neighborhood looking for a non-existent suspect.  This swarm of cops…detain[ed] innocent people…and [terrorized] an entire community…because Warren [Ohio pig] Noah Linnen falsely claimed he’d been involved in a shootout with a [vaguely-described] black man in a black SUV…Due to the massive police presence…the…lying cop’s story [quickly] began to unravel…After…[terrorizing innocent people for a while], police finally looked at the surveillance footage from nearby properties and never saw an SUV fitting Linnen’s description.  So, the lying cop changed his story…[to claim he had somehow mistaken] a bicycle [for a truck]…In total, this lying cop would change his story four times after each lie he made up was shut down…In the final version of the story…he [simply] fired…at a passing vehicle [because it had] bright headlights…

Shifting the Blame (#327)

It’s difficult to tell if the anti-whore bullshit in this review springs from the film or its reviewer:

…In Lost Girlsthe great documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus…enters the realm of drama as if born to it.  The movie, based on a true story that began in 2010 (it’s adapted from Robert Kolker’s 2013 nonfiction bestseller Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery), is about…Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan), who learns that her oldest daughter, Shannan, who’s around 20 and has been a sex worker living in Jersey City, N.J., has gone missing…police find four dismembered bodies off the side of the highway…Lost Girls is built around an aggrieved mother’s obsession to learn, at any cost, what happened to her child, and it may remind you of other mystery dramas rooted in the squalid dangers of the sex industry…we expect the movie to be…some sort of investigative deep dive into the ugly nuts and bolts of…the druggy, unstable, three-rotating-cell-phones life of a sex worker in the Craigslist era…

Reviewer Owen Gleiberman affects an understanding of the demimonde which is undermined by his misuse of terms, such as “in-call” when he means outcall and “john” to mean client (despite his decrying the dehumanization of sex workers a couple of paragraphs later).  Gleiberman seems unsure if he’s an ally, a puritan, or just a working writer employing the pseudo-intellectual cant of the professional fim critic who likes his comfortable paycheck but isn’t sure what his audience wants to hear; as such, it’s difficult to tell how much of this attitude is derived from the book (whose author spoke to me shortly before release), how much from the film, how much from the reviewer, and how much from the anti-sex dogma 21st century US journalists are expected to parrot.

To Molest and Rape

Another brave hero, protecting and serving:

A [typical and representative] Alabama [screw who was a serial rapist]…pleaded guilty…during…his ongoing trial…Matthew Moore…was arrested in 2018 and implicated by DNA in sexual assaults in George, Alabama and Florida…Moore was sentenced to life in prison with 30 years to serve…In June 2010, Moore [brutally raped] an Atlanta [sex worker at gunpoint]…[after he] left…the victim called 911, and [a rape kit was performed]…On November 17, 2015, Moore [brutally and sadistically raped another sex worker in]…Sandy Springs [Georgia]…and…record[ed] the entire [attack on his cell phone]…The victim was eventually able to escape…and ran…[into] the hallway…Moore [threatened bystanders with a gun to escape]…A year and a half later – in 2017 – the se[cond victim’s rape kit]…revealed…[a] DNA…match…[with the 2010] rape…as well as a 2008 [rape] in Homewood, a 2010 [rape] in Cobb County, and a 2010 [rape] in Birmingham…[when] Moore [was caught]…the video…of the 2015 rape…was still on his phone three years later…In addition to the Georgia and Alabama cases, Moore was implicated in a [rape] of a 64-year-old woman in Jupiter, Florida on March 7, 2018…

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook…[recently released] a long-delayed “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker [which]…shows Facebook and sister apps Instagram and Messenger don’t need a microphone to target you with those eerily specific ads and posts — they’re all up in your business countless other ways.  Even with Facebook closed on my phone…It knows when I [use the Peet’s Coffee or Home Depot apps,] read…Pete Buttigieg[‘s website] or…The Atlantic…or…open the Ring app…The “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker will show you 180 days’ worth of the data Facebook collects about you from the many organizations and advertisers in cahoots with it.  This page, buried behind lots of settings menus (here’s a direct link), is the product of a promise…Zuckerberg made during the height of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal to provide ways we can “clear the history” in our accounts…it doesn’t let you reset your entire relationship with Facebook.  But…it does give you a way to unlink some of its surveillance…Even when your phone is entirely off, businesses can upload information about you making an in-store purchase.  One colleague found 974 apps and websites shared his activity…

Business As Usual (#928)

Oh look, a psychopathic rapist-murderer cop has raped before:

In a lawsuit filed…against [typical and representative vice cop Andrew] Mitchell and the City of Columbus, Mitchell is [reported to have] handcuff[ed] an unnamed woman and rap[ed] her…on…[two separate occasions] in 2017 and…2018….[on both occasions] Mitchell [acted out his typical MO with women he knew were sex workers or]…had…warrants out against her [at some point]…Mitchell…[drove] the woman to a…parking lot in Columbus where he [knew he would not be caught, forced her]…into the back seat…handcuffed her to the vehicle and raped her….[both] time[s]…he…drove off [after raping her], leaving the woman without most of her clothing…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

The “sex traffickers” have spread from Target and Ikea to gas station mini-marts:

Burlington [North Carolina] police are [help]ing [to spread hysteria]…about…human trafficking…after a [woman fantasized she was followed]…at [a crowded] Sheetz [gas station]…in the middle of the day…The [wo]man’s [fantasy]…prompted the Burlington Police Department to post a warning on its Facebook page reminding people to [spy on each other] and report [any brown people] to them…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…implicit bias…is ubiquitous in the workplace, and can hurt not just employees, but also a company’s bottom line…Despite the growing adoption of implicit bias training, some in the field of human resources have raised doubts about its effectiveness in improving diversity and inclusion within organizations.  But what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently [made] a female colleague…feel that her perspective wasn’t valued?  This device doesn’t yet exist, but Northeastern associate professors…are preparing to embark on a three-year project that could yield such a gadget…working on…a $1.5 million…grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory…

I’m sure the US Army is funding this because it cares so deeply about “diversity and inclusion”.

Watershed (#978)

We’re way past the watershed now:

For the first time, over half of Americans support the decriminalization of sex work, and two-thirds of voters aged 18 to 44 back the initiative.  The statistic comes from…Decriminalizing Survival: Policy Platform and Polling on the Decriminalization of Sex Work, [which] analyzes a Data for Progress and YouGov Blue survey from late November…author Nina Luo…argues…that public discourse is leading voters to have a better understanding of the arguments surrounding decriminalization beyond fearmongering around sex trafficking…Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to support decriminalization, and younger voters generally show stronger support…than older Americans.  Among respondents aged 18 to 29, 65% support decriminalization, compared to 42% among people aged 65 or older.  Overall, only 36% of American voters oppose decriminalization…

All-Purpose Excuse (#978)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

President Trump…attend[ed] a White House summit organized by his daughter Ivanka on [so-called] human trafficking, an issue he frequently invokes…But some of the country’s most prominent…organizations [which label themselves “anti-trafficking”]…won’t be there.  They have decided to boycott the event.  The group includes Polaris, the…[most influential purveyor of anti-sex work propaganda in the US], and the leader of Freedom Network USA, the…largest…coalition [of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…They say that although the president frequently invokes human trafficking, his administration is actively endangering a significant portion of [people infantilized as “trafficking victims”]:  immigrants…Ivanka Trump…has embraced the eradication of [sex work] as one of her causes [despite her stepmother’s history of sex work]…she…has advocated anti-[sex work] legislation, including [the internet censorship bill FOSTA]…

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

White van hysteria appears to be broadening:

The driver of a white van described [by cops and Facebook hysterics] as possibly being involved in suspicious activity…is a dog-loving business owner and tourist…[named] Chris Fox…who lives in Salt Lake City…Jackson County [South Dakota cops] posted a photo of Fox’s van and wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that it wanted to learn more about the vehicle because [gullible cops imagined it was] “associated with confirmed criminal activity…[and] appears to use the large antenna visible on the roof to intercept WiFi, stealing credit card information”…[cops harassed him by]…track[ing] down his phone number by running his license plate, which [a busybody had] photographed [while he was peacefully going about his business in his van, which] doesn’t have a big antenna…

Stupor Bowl (#1005)

Though the majority of journalists now insert disclaimers when repeating tall tales of “Super Bowl sex trafficking”, the Miami Herald has apparently decided to go in exactly the opposite direction, publishing the lurid sex fantasies of cops, politicians, and other assorted prohibitionist lowlifes as not only news, but breaking news despite the fact that this same masturbatory fantasy has been spread in conjunction with every major sporting event for well over a decade.  And since we’ve all seen this tragedy porn more times than is healthy for any normal brain, I’m just going to excerpt the high points:

…an underground stream of no-name girls…branded with bar-code tattoos on their inner lower lip, dulled by a diet of drugs, painted with makeup to look older, bruised or burned in discreet spots and living in a state of terror…they are an essential element of the Super Bowl…modern-day slave masters…aiming to make upwards of $1,000 per night per woman under their control…40 million victims caught in the $150 billion sex…trafficking industrysecond only to drug trafficking as the world’s largest criminal industryTheresa Flores [shares her fantasy about being “trafficked” by magical ninja pimps]…You can sell a human being over and over again…[bogus statistics from previous years]…Robert Kraft…Florida ranks third…in human trafficking…hub[s]…the average sex trafficking victim may be forced to have sex 20 times a day…Jeffrey Epstein…hiding in plain sight…SOAP…coerced and brainwashed…Traffickers…spend hours mining social media…mafia…a man…buys a girl the same age as his daughter…piece of property…father figure or a job scam…They pay in cash. At hotels, they keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorcontrol of their minds, bodies and soulssophisticateddating sitesThey deny having a pimp

I Spy (#1006)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

Attorney General William Barr [i]s making a bizarre attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…arguing — without evidence — that 230 might be contributing to “unlawful behavior” online…Section 230 explicitly exempts federal criminal charges from what it applies to, meaning that it literally cannot interfere with any DOJ prosecution…But Barr has continued to push forward with this anti-230 kick, and is going to host a “workshop” about [it] in a few weeks…the DOJ claims that this workshop will have that “diversity of viewpoints”…but it is likely to stack the deck against 230…[as it] has done…with regard to…encryption…the DOJ a[ppears to be] playing this anti-230 card simply as a method of punishing the internet industry for opposing his desire to gut encryption…

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