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Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Confuse Us With Facts’

[When we fail to] require lawyers and courts to base arguments on real evidence…not conjecture or faux science…we give government unlimited power to mandate harmful laws, with no recourse for those whose lives or health are jeopardized.  –  Kathryn Kolbert

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Compare the judge’s comments about Rue to those made by Judge Himel about Melissa Farley:

…the U.S. Court of Appeals…heard oral arguments in a Texas case challenging the constitutionality of an abortion law, H.B. 2, that has shuttered half the abortion clinics in the state…Judge Catharina Haynes…questioned whether the law was medically justified…“Are we saying if you can find someone in the world to say we need marble floors in an abortion clinic, then that would be good enough to allow the Texas legislature to pass that?”…in recent abortion cases across the country, that is indeed what state attorneys are doing when they hire Vincent Rue, the pioneering junk scientist  behind “post-abortion syndrome”…Rue, discredited by courts decades ago, has since made a career as a behind-the-scenes litigation consultant…Judge Daniel Huyett found that Rue’s testimony “…is not credible…Moreover, his admitted personal opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, suggests…personal bias”…In…the Texas trial…the state was caught red-handed:  Four of the state’s five expert witnesses were forced to change their testimony on the stand when confronted with emails showing they had lied about who had written their reports…

The More the BetterBetty White nude

Recognize this young lovely?  She’s one of America’s best-loved comic actresses, Betty White, practically a symbol of wholesomeness and niceness.  And she started her career by posing nude in the early ’40s.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to discover this; it’s yet another refutation of the Madonna/whore dichotomy and a demonstration of the ubiquity of sex work and the fact that sex workers aren’t mostly pathetic victims.

A Broker in Pillage

Translation of the last line:  “Let us keep your car or cash and we won’t publish your name and picture.”  The quaint non-“law enforcement” term for this is “blackmail”.

…HB713 would allow [cops] to [steal] a car or other property that was [nearby during] a first-time prostitution…offense.  Right now, property can only be [stolen] for a felony prostitution charge…the Texas Department of Public Safety [pretends] there’s a link between human trafficking and prostitution…Property…could be used as part of a deal in settling a case with the person arrested…

Above the Law 

criminally-charged drug court participants were forced into sexual activity by drug court officer Winfred Eugene Vance Jr. and…Vance’s supervisors did nothing to stop it…Vance blackmailed drug court participants into sexual activity after the participants were threatened with a false failed drug test that could lead to jail time if they did not comply…

Naked Truth

Articles from sex workers, telling the truth about sex work, continue to appear in more mainstream venues.  This one from transgender sex worker Diana Hemingway, entitled “9 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Sex Worker“, does a lot to bust stereotypes and reiterate what I say repeatedly:  sex workers aren’t intrinsically different from others, and sex work is work.

First They Came for the Hookers…

A particularly-blatant example of how sex prohibition never stops with whores:

A couple who lost their teenage daughter to prostitution is now speaking out against a proposed [strip club] in Regina.  Nearly 25 years ago, Ed and Linda Smith’s daughter was killed at age 18…  “We’re opposed to this strip club…not only will it be demeaning to women by treating them as…a commodity, it will also have a huge negative impact on the men who attend”…said Ed Smith…[who is] a regular speaker at “John schools” in Saskatchewan…

The Widening Gyre 

“Sex trafficking” is caused by commercials!

A Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium aimed at keeping young people safe from human trafficking is scheduled…Keynote speaker Nicole Clark will explore media’s negative effects on girls’ self image and self-esteem, from oversexualization to the pressures to be thin and pretty…

Bottleneck (#313)

This licensing law was sold as a way to “protect” women:

Saskatoon has imposed a temporary freeze on issuing adult services licences, something the operator of a local brothel says is a “very big mistake” and will force the city’s sex workers to resort to illegal and “sketchy” ways of making a living…Canada’s new prostitution laws…now make reference to “offering, providing or obtaining sexual services”…no licences will be renewed until the city determines whether it needs to change its bylaw in light of [this]…

Still a Child 

Agency denial, pimp mythologizing, ludicrous numbers and the other typical trappings are used to divert the reader’s attention from the fact that the “sex trafficked child” who is “rescued” by an “FBI Child Exploitation Task Force” in this story is 18, which the last time I checked is still a legal adult in every part of the United States.

Drawing Lines

A particularly loathsome example of a porn performer trying to pretend she isn’t a whore, because whores are degraded and disgusting and she’s pimped by big companies.  Bonus hypocrisy points: it’s well-known that, like many in her profession, she escorts on the side.

Consider this her nomination to the Hall of Shame.

Facts in the Case of Monica Jones

Monica Jones’ conviction was overturned on appeal:

Defendant-Appellant Monica Renee Jones…was convicted in Phoenix Municipal Court of manifesting an intent to commit…prostitution.  Defendant contends as follows: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of her prior conviction; (2) the trial court erred in considering her potential punishment in assessing her credibility; (3) the trial court erred in not holding a jury trial; and (4) the trial court erred in holding the city code constitutional.  For the following reasons, this Court vacates the judgment of guilt…

Skewed By Taboo

Another, very thorough look at how the GSS and similar surveys are absolutely useless on sexual topics:

…One of the many reasons sex is puzzling is that we lack reliable data.  People lie to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys and themselves…[in] the General Social Survey…Heterosexual men 18 and over say that they average 63 sex acts per year, using a condom in 23 percent of them.  This adds up to more than 1.6 billion heterosexual condom uses per year.  Heterosexual women say they average 55 sex acts per year, using a condom in 16 percent of them.  This adds up to about 1.1 billion heterosexual condom uses per year…[but] fewer than 600 million condoms are sold every year…About 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 say they are sexually active, not currently pregnant and not using contraception.  Even with relatively conservative assumptions about how many times they are having sex, we would expect 10 percent to become pregnant every month.  But this would already be more than the total number of pregnancies in the United States…

Traffic in Nonsense

There are actually several of these “anti-trafficking” trucker groups:

…“Truckers Against Trafficking” [are]…teaming up with the Iowa Department of Transportation to educate those who know the roads best…officer Jared Arbegast is reaching out to give more awareness to the…nearly 300,000 young people at risk of being trafficked for sex each year…They say this can happen anywhere there is a large gathering of people, for example major sporting events…TAT recommends that if you do encounter a sex trafficker, do not approach them, instead notify the police…photos of “Victims” and pimp would be great…

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I escorted briefly after college…[as did] several friends…None of us felt exploited; we were self-employed men and women, working where and when we wanted.  –  Matthew Lawrence

Rough Trade

Pennsylvania activists…campaign…against…Judge Teresa Carr Deni in…next week’s…election…six years ago…[Deni] reduced charges of a…gang rape of a sex worker to theft of services…

Celebrities

Justin Bieber…was caught trying to sneak out of popular Brazilian brothel Centaurus with the help of his burly minders who covered him in a white sheet…[he] then jumped into the back of a waiting car and was joined by two females from the club…” I presume it was two female humans, but the report didn’t specify.

Storyville

In the Baton Rouge Advocate, an interesting article on the three Storyville buildings which are still standing.  One small quibble:  the statement “Mayor Martin Behrman shut down the district…under pressure from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy” is like a bully forcing a child’s hand into his face while shouting “Stop hitting yourself!”  When Secretary Daniels’ pressure on Behrman failed, he got President Wilson to issue the executive order which shuttered the district over Behrman’s strenuous objections.Christy Deweese

Think of the Children!

Well, this is different:

…[People think] if you were once…in the sex industry you…are never qualified to do any [other] work…Over and over again…a…teacher discovered to have…posed nude is not only fired, but propped up for public scorn.  Cristy Nicole Deweese…in Dallas, Texas, is the most recent…after it was revealed that she had posed for Playboy in 2011… What about posing nude makes her unfit to teach children?…is [she] going to be more sexualized by her…male students, who would have never discovered her pictures if they had not been searching for pornography anyway?…

Unfortunately, the author degenerates into idiocy about sex work “exploiting and harming women”, but it’s a start.

An Enormous Big Nothing

Another life destroyed by powerful, sadistic fanatics unclear on the meaning of the word “child”:

A man whose life was ruined when he was charged with child sex offences…has accused the police and Crown Prosecution Service of a “homophobic witch-hunt”…The CPS…offered no evidence…His lawyers…gave…conclusive documentary evidence…that all models…were of legal age…his…nightmare began during a business trip in September 2011 when he viewed images on a website specialising in “twink” pornography…gay slang for young-looking men who are aged 18 or over.  When a female guest who [later] stayed in the same room…saw the computer’s browsing history she complained…and staff called the police…

Of course, the ignorant busybody who went digging into a stranger’s business will suffer no consequences.

The Swedish Pimpocracy

…a 17-year-old [Swedish] girl…reported [her foster father] for rape.  Police found traces of the man’s sperm…in her vagina…The man explained…he had been “erection training” in the bathroom and had left a piece of paper with his sperm on it…The district court ruled that [this] was feasible and he was acquitted…the girl…claimed…that the man had offered her 20,000 kronor…if she declined to report [him]…

She should’ve reported him for offering payment for sex; that they would’ve convicted him on.

Bootlickersdedicated cops investigate

The latest episode in Everett, Washington’s freakish war on coffee stands:  “Three scantily dressed baristas were arrested…at an espresso stand…after public complaints about inappropriate conduct…”  For those unfamiliar with copese, “public complaints” means “cop accusations”.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (October Updates)

Mathematical illiterates in California want young girls to fear boys:

Human trafficking is an underreported problem…in…Orange County…[District Attorney] Tony Rackauckas said…the average sex slave is 12 years old…“In the schools, create awareness,” [Rep Ed] Royce said.  “So that 12-year-old, 13-year-old girls understand that…when these Romeos approach them…they have some inkling of what could be down the road”…

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Fanatics want to destroy 1000 people for trying to talk dirty to a robot:

A Dutch…group said…it had identified over 1,000 paedophiles…by offering online sex with a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl called Sweetie.  Terre des Hommes Netherlands has now handed over to police the identities of…[those] who were willing to pay children in developing countries for online sex…The group said it wanted to raise the alarm about a largely unknown but quickly spreading new form of child exploitation that has tens of thousands of victims in the Philippines alone…webcam child sex tourism…

Ever notice that every single new hysteria is always “secret” or “unknown” despite being “on the rise” and having “tens of thousands of victims”?The Egyptian

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received The Egyptian (a favorite from my teen years), but I’m unsure of the giver’s screen name; please identify yourself so I can thank you properly!

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Dr Victor Strasburger of…the American Academy of Pediatrics  claimed that all 14-year-old boys with an internet connection in their bedroom would be looking at pornography online…”  Dr. Strasburger further went on to explain that water is wet, the sky is blue and the Pope is Catholic.

Above the Law

Have you noticed the number and frequency of these is increasing?

An Alabama jail guard raped an inmate repeatedly, and the…warden told her there was nothing she could do about it…Olivia Osborne…sued her…rapist, Vincent Cheatham, [and] warden Shirley Smith…in Federal Court…Cheatham began [by] watching her shower…[then] escalated to [sexual] assault…and…when she filed a report…prison officials changed it to say that Cheatham only tried to kiss her…Cheatham…[later] brutally [raped her vaginally and anally]…Smith ordered [Osborne] placed on birth control…to prevent…pregnancy…

And in Arkansas:  “A…cop…chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts…Ashlea Bennett sued the City of Haskell…and…Officer Brandon Carter, in Federal Court…before this Dec. 13, 2011 incident, Carter had made ‘inappropriate sexual comments’ to her on multiple occasions…

An Example to the West

Citing increasing instances of violence and harassment, a sex workers’ collective has…[asked] the state government to designate an area for them in…Chennai…the only city…besides Bangalore…that doesn’t have a…red-light area…sex workers said having [this] would ensure more effective policing and minimise abuse.  “We will be able to prevent children from entering the trade…[and] protect [workers] from clients who misbehave”…it could also help in improving [STI] awareness programmes…

Welcome To Our World (TW3 #28)William Marotta

A Kansas…court heard arguments…in the case of a man who is being sued for…child support by the state after donating his sperm…through a Craigslist ad.  William Marotta…drew up a contract with the two female partners without a physician’s supervision.  The agreement…said that Marotta would not assume parental obligations…attorney Benoit Swinnen said…the state was persecuting Marotta to send a message about…family values…

This case was previously noted in “Links #130”.

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #38)

Johanna Weber has founded Germany’s first professional association for sex workers…Weber [said]…“Anyone working in the sex industry can [join, including]…brothel owners…[if] they themselves…have worked as a prostitute…There is currently the public perception that thousands of women…are being forced into prostitution…it’s simply not true…most of the women do these jobs independently and voluntarily…[feminist] human trafficking [campaigns have]…nothing to do with reality…we want to make politicians aware of our interests”…

King of the Hill

“Sex trafficking home” is my new favorite “trafficking” idiocy:

Florida has more people forced into human trafficking than just about any state in the country…Detectives…received a tip about a sex trafficking home…“Within an hour you would see…ten to 15 different men walking in and out”…Deputies put everyone in handcuffs…

10 to 15 men an hour!  Good thing the number of clients is decreasing.

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #44)

Compare and contrast with Swedish rhetoric:

Ninety-nine percent of the men arrested in [Wisconsin] for patronizing a prostitute will never face criminal charges, but…nearly 40 percent of [prostitutes] are charged…Edgar Lin…argues that since a john and a prostitute must agree to exchange money for sexual contact, both are equally responsible…Prosecutors justify the discrepancy…by saying patronizing a prostitute and providing the service are on different levels of criminality…Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maier…likened the situation to a drug deal, where prosecutors…go after the dealer…as opposed to a consumer…

The More the Better (TW3 #135)

A review (of sorts) of Sheri’s Ranch, in Business Insider.  The writer makes a few errors and missteps, but all in all it’s positive; now we just need to start getting write-ups like this for escorts.rat app

Checklist

What could be worse than one of those awful “checklists” which pretend to diagnose all sex workers (and many other women) as “sex trafficking victims”?  How about an “app” which allows busybodies to report their “suspicions” to the cops?

After [two Seattle cops]…gave a 20-minute presentation on sex trafficking to a…Kiwanis Club luncheon…Amin Haq…decided to…[start] a…project…called Redlight Traffic…[which is] launching a [phone] app…that will funnel citizens’ anonymous tips on suspected prostitution activities to law enforcement…The idea…is to…teach citizens how to identify signs of sex-trafficking and give them an easy way to do something about it…citizens will be able to report their suspicions, upload photos and GPS locations, and provide information on…a suspected prostitute, pimp or buyer…

Short version: after a 20-minute propaganda session, self-appointed savior creates a way for prudes to subject anyone they dislike to cop harassment.

Under Every Bed

Sex slaves!  40 clients a day!  Ice cream!

There is a multi-million-dollar sex slave trade taking place [in Trinidad and Tobago]…there were [also] cases of Trinidadians being forced to work in ice cream companies for low wages…Venezuelans [are] brought to this country under false pretences and…forced into prostitution…“These girls are locked in basements…and transported at gunpoint to brothels where they are forced to have sex with 30 to 40 men a day”…

Challenge

For 29 years, indoor prostitution was legal in Rhode Island.  Streetwalking, pimping and underage prostitution were illegal, but that was the extent of the legislation on the matter.  Unfortunately, Coyote vs. Rhode Island was resolved by a deal rather than a judicial decision, so there was nothing to stop an unholy cabal of cops, neofeminists and “trafficking” fetishists from getting it re-criminalized on November 3rd, 2009.  This article by a former Rhode Island male escort talks about how it happened, and how the only real effect of re-criminalization was – as any sane person could have predicted – to make sex work more dangerous.

Somewhere in the Middle

You know that study that claims fewer men are paying for sex?  Read the truth about it in this essay I wrote for Slixa.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #321)

In May 2013…transgender rights activist Monica Jones was falsely arrested for “manifestation of prostitution”…The police claim that they don’t arrest anyone during Project ROSE, that all they are doing is offering people a ride in a police car in handcuffs.  So, people transported to a participating church are prevented from accessing legal counsel…Monica…is pleading NOT GUILTY and taking this to trial…If [she] wins…this will be a significant victory for all people targeted by anti-prostitution and related laws in Arizona…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #329)Gamera

If something’s in a movie, it must be true!  So let’s summon Gamera, friend of all children, to rescue all of the “child sex slaves”!

Edmonton’s dirty little secret is that sex trafficking and sexual exploitation are…worse…than in other Canadian cities…[and have] permeated into all fabrics of Edmonton society, with children…between the ages of 12 and 14, states the film entitled “Dirty Little Secret”…most sex workers were forced into the trade and that 75 per cent of them were forced into it as children…

Dysphemisms Galore (TW3 #340)

More “sex trafficking” hentai!  A Virginia cop absurdly styled a “colonel” calls women “commodities” and says traffickers have “large tentacles”.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #342)

A group of French clients wrote a manifesto opposing the criminalization of clients, patterned on a 1971 abortion rights manifesto.  Predictably, neofeminists refused to see the parallel between sex worker rights and abortion, while some sex worker activists objected to people speaking out on a law which will criminalize them on the grounds that activists hadn’t given them permission, and others quibbled over the possessive pronoun “my” in the phrase “my whore”…you know, that same one widely used in such popular phrases as “my doctor”, “my representative” and even “my client”.  One would think sex workers would understand the idea of “strange bedfellows”.

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I am a sex worker and I make my money from clients seeing me. Some clients just happen to have a disability.  –  Rachel Wotton

When Someone You Love is A Sex Worker

Do you have a sex worker in your family, or are you in a relationship with one?  If so, Stacey Swimme of SWOP would like to talk to you.  She’s writing a book called When Someone You Love is A Sex Worker, which is intended to support family members and partners, and she recently sent out an email to ask for input:

…I am inviting family members, partners, lovers and friends of sex workers to be interviewed for my book.  I’m looking for examples of challenges as well as successes.  I want to hear about your fears, disagreements and compromises with the sex worker(s) in your life.  It would be a privilege to include your perspective if you have time to do a short interview (about 15-30 minutes) on one of the four dates below.  You do not have to provide any identifying information.  You’re welcome to provide a fake name…

The four dates are Wednesday November 14th (at 11AM, 11:40AM, 12:30PM and 1:15PM), Wednesday November 21st (same time slots), Monday November 26th (at 9AM, 9:40AM, 10:30AM and 11:15AM) and Tuesday November 27th (same time slots).  If you’re interested please email StaceySwimme@gmail.com  with your preferred name, age, city and times from the list that work for you.

Updates

Bad Girls

farmers are losing thousands of shillings to prostitutes in [Kenya]… social services chairperson Elizabeth Kibii…said the department has received many complaints from farmers who have been robbed… “They either lace the drink with drugs that will make you unconscious or they send one of their own to the room early and hide under the bed.  And when he and her partner are busy, the one under the bed walks away secretly with the money”…

All in the Family

Australian whore and activist Grace Bellavue uses the intense story of how she came out to her parents as a springboard for a discussion of whore stigma, in which she convincingly argues that those who oppose prostitution should actually be fighting that stigma rather than perpetuating it.  It’s powerful and well worth a read, but skip the comment thread.

Reaction Formation

This sort of story is only “shocking” to the psychologically and sexually illiterate:

An ordained counselor dedicated to “freeing” people from homosexuality has been arrested on charges of molesting…young men…Rev. Ryan J. Muelhauser …was connected with OutPost Ministry…[and] allegedly fondled two young men  who were seeking to “cure” themselves of homosexuality, as well as asking them to masturbate for him…

Furthermore, “leading a crusade” against any form of sexual behavior should be considered probable cause for suspicion of practicing that behavior:

A former top [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] official who helped lead the [South Florida] crusade against child sexual exploitation was sentenced…on a child pornography charge.  Anthony V. Mangione…possessed up to 150 images of child pornography, some depicting the “extreme abuse of children”…

Crying Wolf

Neofeminist fanatics who foam at the mouth about “rape culture”, insist that normal economic needs constitute “coercion” and pretend that compliments are a form of “violence against women” need to have stories like this one drilled into their brains:

Mah Gul, 20, was beheaded after her mother-in-law attempted to make her sleep with a man in her house in [Afghanistan]…Gul was married to her husband four months ago and her mother-in-law had tried to force her into prostitution several times in the past…The suspect, Najibullah…said the mother-in-law lured him into killing Gul by telling him that she was a prostitute…

That is what sexual coercion, forced prostitution and violence against women actually look like.

My Readers Write

Aspasia writes in her own blog on would-be allies and “concerned parties” who expect sex worker activists to spoon-feed them the way prohibitionists do, and why it’s a bad idea to cater to their demands.

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Dean Boland, the lawyer who was fined $300,000 for demonstrating the absurdity of America’s draconian “child pornography” laws, has lost his appeal; the judges ruled that there really is such a thing as sympathetic magic, so that altering the images of children actually and literally harmed them in some tangible way.  So much for science, logic or common sense.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Another “dog bites man” study:

…a group of boys ages 8 to 11 whose fetal testosterone had been measured from amniotic fluid when their mothers were 13-20 weeks pregnant…were shown pictures of negative (fearful), positive (happy), neutral, or scrambled faces while a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine tracked changes in their brain activity.  In the boys who had higher levels of fetal testosterone, the brain’s reward system was more responsive to positive…facial cues…[suggesting] those boys have a greater proclivity for “approach-related behaviors,” such as fun-seeking and impulsivity…

Useful Idiots

The US government’s scheme to collect and indefinitely retain DNA from virtually anyone has been challenged a number of times since it was first slipped into the Trojan Horse Act of 2005, and the Supreme Court has finally deigned to rule on it:  “…at least 21 states and the federal government have regulations requiring suspects to give a DNA sample upon arrest…[which is then] cataloged in state and federal crime-fighting databases…the justices opted to take on an April decision…from Maryland’s top court, which said it was a breach of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure to take, without warrants, DNA samples from suspects who have not been convicted…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

The “sex robot” morons are at it again:

Could sex with robots help extend human life spans?  Some futurists seem to think so. A Nov. 7 article on the futurist website Transhumanity argues that robot lovers could help extend life spans by giving users mind-blowing “longevity orgasms” far superior in quality to those from human…partners…”[Sexbots will] be more desirable, patient, eager, and altruistic than their meat-bag competition, plus they’ll be uploaded with supreme sex-skills from millennia of erotic manuals, archives and academic experiments, and their anatomy will feature sexplosive devices…They’ll offer us quadruple-tongued cunnilingus, open-throat silky fellatio, deliriously gentle kissing, transcendent nipple tweaking, g-spot massage & prostate milking dexterity, plus 2,000 varieties of coital rhythm with scented lubes“…

Is it just me, or does this one-handed typist sound badly in need of a girlfriend?

Confined and Controlled

The inevitable result of busybody laws which treat women as helpless victims of male sexuality:

[Toronto] City council…adopted…changes to…regulations…Now…strippers can’t sit on patrons’ laps or make contact with breasts, buttocks or pubic areas.  And rooms, booths or cubicles for private dances have to be transparent on one side…As the Licensing and Standards Committee was formulating the amendments…its staff consulted with us…but…management at the club I worked in…[collected the surveys] and [filled] them out on our behalf.  The manager told me…“This has nothing to do with what you think they want…They want the girls to see all these stupid questions so they can answer, ‘Oh, people touching me…Oh, I don’t like the dark.’  Then they come in the court and say, ‘Look, the girls don’t like the business’”…The city’s data shows that 98 per cent of respondents in the surveys submitted by the [club owner’s association] denied ever being sexually assaulted or touched without their consent, while 67 per cent of strippers who submitted surveys themselves said they had been…

If governments didn’t persecute adult businesses, managers would have no cause to worry and standards could be determined by the sex workers’ needs rather than those of the managers or prohibitionists, who both use the women as pawns in their power game.

Imagination Pinned Down

Quote from the snake catcher himself on a snake expert’s message board:  “Sorry but this is ridiculous, I was the one who caught this snake, never did I say anything like that, in fact I stressed to her that it was incredibly unusual for that to happen and quietly doubted it even occurred as she told it.”

The Public Eye

Burlesque as a hobby is less stigmatized than professional stripping, Portland, Maine is unusually tolerant, and a seat on the school board isn’t exactly high office, but it’s still amazing this happened at all:  “Holly Seeliger, a 26-year-old teacher and burlesque dancer, won the District 2 seat on the Portland Board of Public Education, getting 59 percent of the vote…

Metaupdates

No Other Option (Updates Galore, Part One)

Rachel Wotton’s wonderful charity “Touching Base”, which connects disabled people with sex workers who specialize in helping them, has experienced an upsurge of publicity due in part to the documentary Scarlet Road and in part to the movie The Sessions, which I’ll be discussing in a column two weeks from now.  I hope this sympathetic and respectful article in The Age calls even more attention to it, and that one day the US may grow up enough for a branch of the organization to operate here.

Blackball (TW3 #33)

Douglas Fox of Harlot’s Parlour shared an essay written by a male escort named Steve, which demonstrates  how governments can ruin a simple idea used effectively by individuals and peer groups for decades:

There’s been a lot of hype about the Nationwide Ugly Mugs Scheme [but it’s useless to most sex workers]…Take…[this] recent…complaint [from] a male sex worker who didn’t get paid by a client who was drunk and told him he kept a knife [nearby]…Extracts from the warning read:  “business was agreed to take place at the man’s home which was a flat in a communal block in Basildon…He is described as; 45-49, White, 5ft 9, stocky, shaven grey/white hair, blue eyes and pale complexion, with a local accent and scars to his torso”…No address, no phone number, nothing.  Sex workers…need to access real information if we are to protect ourselves.  Phone numbers…that look like…“0*********1″ do nothing to help…there are probably about 200 similar blocks of flats in Basildon…[and] the description sounds like every other client who has walked through my door in the last two weeks…

The organization which administers the NUM project made this (typically political) response.

Down Under (TW3 #43)

The Australian government has axed its “Cleanfeed” porn-filtering plan that’s been shrouded in a campaign to fight spam and malware.  Backers…pushed the idea for the last five years claiming that the Cleanfeed filter would protect children from predators…The filter even passed a government trial and was expected to be adopted… [but a backlash started] when a secret…Communications and Media Authority blacklist of targeted websites…was outed by Wikileaks…Cleanfeed was opposed by online consumers, lobby groups, ISPs, network administrators, some children’s welfare groups, Google, the U.S. Ambassador to Australia, and a number of government officials.  Opponents…feared the filtering would foster Internet censorship and new online restrictions…

The More the Better (TW3 #45)

Apparently some Greek officials believe in “sex rays”, even if the people don’t:

…local officials insisted that a primary school return [brothel owner Soula Alevridou’s] donation…[of] €3,000 to cover the costs of [a] photocopier and a small library…the school was grateful…[but officials were embarrassed by] a brothel madam stepping into a gap created by fiscal recklessness and state profligacy…”We must protect our children,” [said provincial director of education Giorgos Panayiotopoulos]…

This Week in 2010 and 2011

I presented biographies of Mata Hari and Veronica Franco, looked at whore-hatred in World War II France, contemporary Iceland and a fictional future, and examined the truth about federal “sex trafficking” stings, the use of “Swedish model” rhetoric in American police departments, the campaign against Backpage and a fake escort blogger.  I also discussed cops who rape, the increasing number of academics telling the truth about sex work, the reason sex worker rights have languished while gay rights thrived, and the difference in sex work news stories between Europe and the US, and featured short items on internet censorship, the government’s intentional hiding of information on “missing children”, the underuse of HPV vaccines, weird search terms, a murderous proposal and “don’t panic” plans.

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Nothing is more damaging to a state than that cunning men pass for wise.  –  Francis Bacon

The advocate system which underlies the Western machinery of “justice” is, in a way, the exact opposite of science, though they both claim to have the same goal:  discovering the truth.  But while everyone in science is presumed to be on the same side, and an ethical scientist who has made a discovery wants others to share his information and to test his hypotheses by trying to prove them wrong, lawyers do things the other way around.  Those who represent the accusatory side (the state or plaintiff) do everything in their power to find the defendant/respondent guilty of whatever it is he’s accused of, even if they know he isn’t, and those on the defense will similarly attempt to exonerate their client even if they know he’s guilty.  Furthermore, either side is allowed to hide critical information from the other; it’s considered the responsibility of each side to demand that the other side turn over its information (a process called “discovery”), and if it fails to do so in exactly the right way the other side is allowed to hide that information, even if it results in an innocent man being imprisoned or executed.  Furthermore, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled (in a case involving former New Orleans district attorney Harry Connick) that even if a prosecutor maliciously hides exculpatory evidence, and even if this monstrous act sends an innocent man to prison for 18 years (14 of them on death row), that said prosecutor hasn’t done anything wrong and is immune to lawsuits filed by his victim.

In short, the two systems are incompatible, and when they clash it is science which must lose because the scientist practices full disclosure, while the lawyer tells only those facts which are to his advantage.  The result is that most of what passes for “science” in courtrooms is junk science at best, when it isn’t outright lying by hired guns posing as scientists to advance an agenda or simply to earn a paycheck.  A large proportion of forensic “science” has long been attacked by legitimate scientists as undependable or totally bogus, but prosecutors like it because splatter or bite-mark analysis, dog behavior, and other highly subjective, error-prone “techniques” can be used to “prove” whatever the prosecutor wants proven; this may be acceptable to the moral cripples whose job is to cage as many humans as possible for as long as possible, but it isn’t “science” by any stretch of the imagination.  In science, every possibility must be considered; in prosecution, the only one which is presented to a jury for consideration is the one which tends to make the defendant look guilty, whether it’s “shaken baby syndrome” or the mysterious “diseases” supposedly caused by silicone in the chest wall but not anywhere else in the body, or in any woman who isn’t American.

And despite what you may have seen on television, judges are downright hostile to science in the courtroom when it calls established procedures or the basis of laws into question:

[Dean] Boland, a Lakewood, Ohio, lawyer who specializes in technology cases, was ordered by a federal judge to pay [$300,000] to two unidentified minors whose stock photos Boland used to create…[artificial] images of children engaged in sexual conduct…[in order] to aid his testimony as an expert witness in courts in Ohio and Oklahoma.  “The court concludes that a constitutionally effective defense to a child pornography charge does not include the right to victimize additional minors by creating new child pornography in the course of preparing and presenting a defense,” U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland said in an opinion, rejecting Boland’s claim that his use of the images was constitutionally protected.  Boland used the morphed images to show how difficult it is for people possessing child pornography to determine whether the images depict real children or were created artificially…Boland said he plans to appeal the judgment.  “This ruling has the potential to affect the ability of people to get fair trials across the country,” [he] said…

…Boland used the images to aid his expert testimony in three criminal prosecutions for possession of child pornography.  In one hearing, prosecutors questioned whether Boland’s use of the images violated the law against possession of child pornography.  In 2007, Boland entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors in Cleveland, avoiding a criminal conviction.  As part of the agreement, Boland apologized in a local legal publication and admitted the images violated federal law, according to an appeals court decision.  That same year, the guardians of the children whose photographs were used sued Boland for digitally altering the stock shots.  Polster [originally] dismissed the claims, calling it a “difficult and troubling case.”  That decision was reversed on appeal and the case was returned to Polster, who granted summary judgment for the two children…awarding $150,000 to each.

Note the sleaziness of the prosecutors’ circumvention of Boland’s defense tactic by attempting to charge him with a felony, despite the fact that they knew with certainty that the child porn was artificial.  Personally, I think he was most unwise in creating artificial child porn images; his point could have been made by “morphing” adult photographs in the same way.  But the fact remains that the prosecutors’ desire to “win” inspired them to call attention away from Boland’s undoubtedly effective defense tactic with the legal equivalent of an ad hominem attack.  “Difficult and troubling” indeed; the message being sent here is that a mere image can be illegal even if its creation hurt nobody, but that creating artificial child porn is apparently acceptable to the court as long as the models are paid outrageous sums.  Judges and prosecutors don’t want to be confused with facts that point out the absurdity of the laws; to them, facts are only acceptable when they can be bent to fit their own legalistic purposes, and lies dressed up as science will do just as well.

One Year Ago Today

Drama Queens” refutes the neofeminist claims that prostitution is “humiliating” by pointing out that if anything, many whores’ self-esteem is too high, and that there are far more prima donnas among us than beaten-down victims.  The column also contains a couple of news items and a humorous criticism of clients from a rather bitter escort.

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