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Posts Tagged ‘Drawing Lines’

Allena Gabosch’s new book, Sex Positive Now, is out, and I have an essay in it; so do lots of others whose names you may know, including Veronica Monet, Gloria Brame, Susie Bright, Annie Sprinkle, and many others.  So as is my habit, I’ll just give you a little taste of my contribution; if you want more you’ll just have to buy the book!  And if you do you’ll not only be supporting the work of a lot of sex positive thinkers and writers, but also helping Allena herself, who is battling cancer (please also consider donating to fund her treatment).

…For most of recorded human history, the manifold laws regulating sex work were not intended to preclude pragmatic motivations for sexual behavior, but rather to keep up appearances, guard the purity of bloodlines, and maintain public order.  But as industrialization rapidly changed the face of Europe and the young United States, a new idea began to take hold of people’s minds:  if science could improve Man’s tools and techniques, why couldn’t the same process be applied to Mankind itself?  The immediate result of turning (pseudo-)scientific inquiry upon sex was that taking money for it was no longer considered merely something that “low” or “sinful” women did for a living or extra income; instead, the “prostitute” was defined into existence as a specific type of woman, separate and distinct from other women.  And once the idea of “prostitution” as some uniquely disgraceful activity was invented, and the “prostitute” was defined as the lowest of the low, it was inevitable that women who would previously have been considered more or less the same as whores would attempt to draw lines between themselves and the new pariah class.  Furthermore, once these new ideas inspired Western governments to criminalize prostitution and/or its attendant activities, distinguishing oneself from a “common prostitute” became a matter not only of dignity, but of legal necessity.

The first group to successfully shed the whore stigma was actresses, who had since classical times been considered interchangeable with harlots; dancers whose style could be credibly represented as asexual or highbrow (preferably both) followed them, then masseuses and finally, “emancipated” women who had extramarital sex for non-financial reasons.  In the past several decades, these groups have multiplied to include burlesque and competition pole dancers, glamour and lingerie models, professional “cuddlers”, nude maids, waitresses catering to sexual fantasies and even sugar babies; all of these absolutely insist that they are different from strippers, hookers and fetish workers in some real (and legally defensible) way.  Even people who are directly paid for a hands-on sexual service claim that being “certified” or “spiritual” or whatever makes them distinctly different from other sex workers, and I’ve actually heard women willing to top strangers at kink parties claim that their lack of a pecuniary motivation makes them not only distinct from, but morally or even psychologically superior to, professional dominatrices…

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Mental gymnastics is the best exercise of all!  –  Elana Spivack

Drawing Lines 

In the 21st century, humor sites are more honest and moral than “news” sites:

…30-year-old Penelope Clemm has been pole dancing recreationally for three years now, but has harbored an internalized hatred for sex workers her entire life.  Clemm strikes a delicate balance of acknowledging how much she loves pole dancing, but dismissing every woman who makes money doing the same thing…“It’s definitely made me…feel sexy in a way that I never did before.  And yet, I still cannot conceptualize in the slightest how any self-respecting woman would do this for money”…like many people with deep-seated, internalized biases, Clemm had difficulty articulating why she holds this position. “It’s a matter of principle, and I have principles”…

Imaginary Victims (#904)

Naturally, the prohibitionists who didn’t give a shit until last year are claiming credit for her release:

Cyntoia Brown…whose case drew national attention [over a decade] after being sentenced to life in prison for killing a man [in self-defense] at age 16, was released on parole [last] Wednesday…She will be on parole for 10 years [with] conditions…includ[ing]…that she maintain employment [with a murder conviction on her record] or educational enrollment…that she participate in [approved state] counseling sessions…[and that] she…perform at least 50 hours of community service [while working or going to school], including working with at-risk youth…

Though parole conditions are often designed to make it easy for “authorities” to cage a person again with very little justification, Brown has a better chance than most due to support from allies and public attention to her case.

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Ever wonder why the government pushes “sex trafficking” propaganda so hard?

[Deranged propagandist] Jaco Booyens touted President Trump’s [“historic”] work in fighting sex trafficking and [fetishized] Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “incredible people” who helped keep children safe…His movie 8 Days [is soft BDSM porn about] a 15-year-old girl who’s forced into sex trafficking after attending a party with her friends…[yet claimed] that sex trafficking was rooted in sex addiction fueled by mass media…”It starts with…soft porn [like my movie], it’s the objectification of women”…

Blunt Instrument (#926)

While Asian sex workers are fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative, cops are trying to use that visibility against them:

Emily Zhang Lawrence…[was] charged with a number of criminal counts including human trafficking and prostitution…[after] the Montgomery County…Vice [gang raided her business]…Rose’s Spa…[pigs oinked] that the spa recruited its masseuse’s [sic] — all Chinese immigrants — from Flushing, New York.  The Queens neighborhood is known for being a [sister community to Hong Kong, where many Asian migrants first stay upon arriving in the US.  Racist pigs therefore refer to it as a] hub for…human trafficking…

Backwards into the Future (#927)

The prohibitionists are slowly losing ground to the facts:

South African authorities are compromising the safety and wellbeing of thousands of women…by treating sex work as a crime…We have researched illegal sex work in ChinaTanzaniaCambodiaSouth Africa, and the United States…and…we consistently find police abuse to be one of criminalization’s main cruelties.  Sex workers often face harassment, extortion, and rape, and vulnerability to violence…at the hands of…police…and…because they cannot trust members of law enforcement, they are deterred from reporting attacks by men who pretend to be clients…Fortunately, South Africa and the United States are both sites of growing movements to decriminalize sex work once and for all…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

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

Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.  The…intimidation tactics [demonstrate that] the Chinese government was monitoring the demonstration at the University of Queensland to record who attended…last month’s event [was held] to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and to condemn Beijing’s repression of the Uighur ethnic minority group…within days of the rally the student received a call from his mother in China to say the family had been approached by…authorities [who] issued [threats] about engaging in “anti-China rhetoric” in Brisbane…[Australian politicians claimed to be] alarmed by [China following precedents set by] Australia…

If you like the precedent that a country owns its citizens and has the “right” to punish them for acts which were totally legal in the place they happened, thank the international war on whores.  Australia is especially hypocritical in this respect, given that since 2010, Australians who hire surrogate mothers outside of Australia can be penalized under Australian law.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

It’s great to see sex workers striking back at prohibitionist persecution:

…Not Buying It, a group led by well-known [prohibitionist] Sasha Rakoff has been terrorizing gentlemen’s clubs across England in recent months, by sending in undercover former police detectives to covertly film inside…The resultant tapes have been submitted to local councils in a bid to get the establishments shut down…Now, nine dancers at the Spearmint Rhino in London…have sued Not Buying It for breach of privacy, demanding that all existing tapes be destroyed.  An earlier High Court ruling had already banned Rakoff from further sharing the tapes, so the strippers’ chances of getting their way in the high-profile case, the costs of which are likely to bankrupt the losing side, are more than fair…

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

Amazon[‘s]…Neighbors app…allows people to report suspicious things to…neighbors [and cops, mostly]…the existence of brown people…Government agencies participating in the Ring handouts are given talking points, pre-written press releases, and contractual obligationsAmazon has even crafted scripts for [cops]…to use when questioned…or…to talk people out of their Constitutional rights…”Ring suggests cops post often on Neighbors…interacting with the [peasantry so as to]…increas[e] the opt-in rate”…(There are scripts for that as well)…

Turn of Tide (#961)

The “sex trafficking” narrative has been so successful, prohibitionist rhetoric is now being used to attack the way the state persecutes sex workers:

L.A.’s anti-sex trafficking efforts…ensnare…female sex workers far more often than any traffickers, and the women arrested rarely end…up in programs designed to [brainwash] them out of the sex trade…While black women make up around 9% of the city’s female population, they account for nearly 65% of the LAPD’s female prostitution arrests…It adds up to a high-profile effort to target human traffickers and save victims that’s causing collateral damage…City officials [pre]tend that policing the sex trade is one of the best methods for rescuing trafficking victims…[but those] with a front row seat have a different perspective…Dr. Susie Baldwin, the medical director of L.A. County’s Office of Women’s Health…[said] “All of this money is going to arrest people…leaving them with severe consequences for their lives”…law enforcement…[intentionally] conflate[s] trafficking and prostitution, painting all sex work as exploitative and doubling down on vice arrests under the guise of trafficking enforcement…

The idea that sex workers are “collateral damage” in a well-intentioned war on “sex trafficking” is of course naive nonsense; the entire purpose of the narrative is to harm sex workers and our clients.  But if the gullible are going to use those fantasies to strike back at pigs and prohibitionists, I’m not going to complain.

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Many people have used Craigslist to find a “causal encounter”, and some of them got lured into police sting operations.  I’m trying to determine what fraction of the stuff that used to be posted to that section (before Craigslist closed it a few months ago) was real, and what percentage prostitution (as opposed to a real, no strings attached encounter).

All sexual encounters which actually happen are as “real” as one another; being paid for sex does not magically make the ensuing sex imaginary.  Lots of people used Craigslist to advertise seeking or offering sex, and they had a plethora of different motivations; it’s a prohibitionist mentality to pretend that a pragmatic motivation for sex draws a bright, clear line between that sex and other sex.  You seem to want to exploit that imaginary difference to argue that cops stalking and victimizing people for sex in which no currency is directly exchanged is somehow different and worse than them stalking people who make a clear and honest exchange.  I can’t help you with that, and I wouldn’t if I could; the only assistance I can offer is to tell you that most scams only work on those with “larceny in their hearts”, i.e. those trying to get something for nothing.  Men seeking sex would be wise to stop trolling around trying to get it for “free” (the most expensive kind) or cheap, do their research, and deal only with known providers with established reputations.  Furthermore, the idea that sex work can be dependably differentiated from what you call “real sex” is not only wrong philosophically, but also practically; because sex work is only distinguished by its motivation, any procedure intended to ensnare sex workers and/or clients will also ensnare lots of other people.  The only way to ensure that no amateurs are caught up in prostitution stings is to do away with prostitution stings, and the only way to do that is to completely decriminalize all forms of sex work.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Adapting…to…the new legal environment…will take time…that the most vulnerable sex workers don’t have.  –  Lux Alptraum

Feet of Clay 

Your periodic reminder that Nicholas Kristof is a vile excuse for a human being:

…what better example of our compromised political class is there than Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and professional “humanitarian” whose calls to send in the Marines are always clothed in the raiment of altruism.  It’s people like Kristof that libertarian author Isabel Paterson warned us against when she wrote about the “humanitarian with a guillotine.”  For I can hardly recall a single war of the recent past that Kristof has not wholeheartedly embraced: while he shied away from jumping on the Iraq war bandwagon, he was gung ho for destroying Syria and making it a safe haven for jihadists: he’s never revisited that stance, nor apologized for it in any way.  He’s all for arming the Ukrainian government, which is surely one of the most corrupt in the world, and which has a huge neo-Nazi problem.  To top it off, he’s one of the loudest voices urging the US to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and support a crew of jihadist rebels “formerly” associated with al-Qaeda…

Every single “humanitarian” or “liberal” cause Kristoff embraces is a hypocrisy based in racism, sexism, colonialism or plain old jingoism.  He’s utterly disgusting.

Lower Education

Women are moral imbeciles, so men are always responsible for our choices:

If a man and a woman are both drunk and they have sex, the man is the rapist if the woman decides he is at some point, regardless of how she felt in the moment.  This is what American University taught students in a required sexual consent module last year, according to…screenshots of the training…CampusClarity…[features] invasive questions [and was] pulled from mandatory student training by Clemson University in 2014…the same training is used at public universities including the University of Florida and Kansas State…CampusClarity owner EverFi admitted…in 2014 that some of the statistics in its sexual consent training were questionable…EverFi’s “impact report” for the University of Oregon in 2013-2014 disclosed that it was lumping together “yes” and “not sure” answers to boost the numbers in response to a survey question on whether “someone pressured me into a sexual experience without my explicit consent”…

Choke Point 

New York is every bit as enthusiastic as the feds are at applying fascist pressure to accomplish illegal and unconstitutional agendas:

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recent directive to financial regulators…[urges] them to pressure private companies to break ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA).  The “or else” is just a hair from being overt…The Department of Financial Services, which regulates the banking and insurance industries in New York, followed up with guidance letters to insurance companies and banks…the regulatory body that oversees these industries is warning companies under its power that they may be assuming reputational risk—a regulated area that draws official attention—by doing business with legal organizations including the NRA.  This reputational risk is said to exist because these groups are “gun promotion organizations,” which boils down to nothing more than them taking a public policy positions at odds with those favored by the state’s political leaders…

Not Worth the Paper

Another anti-whore “study” which is not worth the stuff removed by the paper hanging by your toilet:

As Craigslist expanded across the United States, the free classifieds website also bolstered the sex industry, according to a new study…In analyzing data from 1999 to 2008, [Jason] Chan…Anindya Ghose…and Probal Mojumder…found [what they were paid to find, namely that] Craigslist’s arrival in a market also led to…recruitment and coercion of new ones…this led to greater exploitation of vulnerable populations…

Since the “study” used online escort ads as a proxy for the number of sex workers in a market (a moronic assumption even when it isn’t used by prohibitionists), what it actually “found” was that as online advertising became more popular among sex workers, it became more popular among sex workers.  Yes, the “findings” are nothing more than a tautology; the nonsense about “exploitation” is the opinion the authors were paid to promote, and is unsupported by any evidence – even the usual bad evidence – in the paper my consultants were able to find.  Given Chan & Ghose’s history as hired guns producing pro-censorship “studies”, I suspect this paper is part of FOSTA supporters’ campaign to defend the reputation of their malevolent law.

Comfort Zone (#765)

This story does a better-than-usual job of hiding migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative:

A two-year investigation led to the arrest of 22 people involved in a human trafficking network and the [arrest] of 350 men, women and children [cops claim were] forced into slave-like labor and prostitution in Latin America and the Caribbean…the…people were found working in bars, night clubs, gold mines, factories and open-air markets; some of them in remote areas from which they could not escape.  Operation Libertad (freedom) was funded by the Canadian government and required coordinated raids in thirteen countries…What happens to trafficking victims once they are rescued “depends on the particular person’s circumstance… and often on the country’s resources,” [chief pig Tim] Morris said.  They can be [held] in special facilities, released or [deported]…

“Special facilities”, like “safe houses”, means “prisons”.  In poor countries.  I’m sure that’s much better than what they were “rescued” from.

Imaginary Victims (#797)

Prohibitionists never gave a shit about imprisoned underage sex worker Cyntoia Brown until they realized they could use her to advance the “child sex slave” narrative:

Attorneys for a woman who killed a man when she was a 16-year-old prostitute say she was a sex-trafficking victim afraid for her life — but prosecutors say she killed the man to rob him.  Both sides will make oral arguments next month in her appeal of her sentence of life without parole.  The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set a June 14 court date for the case of 29-year-old Cyntoia Brown in…Cincinnati.  Brown has been in prison since 2004…

Gorged With Meaning (#812)

Brandon Wade, who is pissing himself so badly over FOSTA you can smell it through this video, is doubling down on his ludicrous protestations that sugar dating isn’t sex work.  Here he goes full-on fascist pig (complete with “I’m better than you” finger-steepling body language), referring to escorts and clients as “those elements” and urging that those who have drunk the Kool-aid “If you see something, say something” before sex workers who understand their value and clients who prefer not to deceive themselves “contaminate” his site:

Got news for you, Brandon:  we’re already there.  Practically every whore I know has an SA profile, and numerous clients have messaged me through MY profile there.  But then, given your own history with girls who prefer to be paid by the hour, I’m sure you already knew that; you just mistakenly think that if you throw enough of us under the bus, the censors and ambulance-chasers whom FOSTA has enabled will spare your creepy arse.

The Peril (#834)

A decent article on the Mann Act marred by the author’s swallowing the “sex trafficking” myth:

A federal law passed in 1910, first designed to tackle the supposed scourge of “white slavery” that threatened the moral base of a rapidly changing America, is back in the news again…The Mann Act…was crafted as an anti-prostitution…law that made it illegal to cross state lines with women and girls “for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose”…Under the Mann Act’s vague “other immoral purpose” language, prosecutors brought charges against [Boxer Jack] Johnson for taking an unmarried white woman across state lines…the Mann Act also was also used to prosecute silent film star Charlie Chaplin regarding a paternity suit (he was acquitted); singer Chuck Berry for taking an Apache girl across state lines (convicted); and Frank Lloyd Wright for moving his lover and her daughter from Minnesota to Wisconsin (convicted)…The act has been amended since then and now is employed, primarily, as a tool to [harass sex workers]…

Disaster (#836)

Judging by the breadth of responses from all over the political map, FOSTA may have been a serious miscalculation on the part of the government:

…FOSTA has…put sex workers in danger, and many have faced serious real-world consequences in the wake of this digital upheaval.  Although no official reports have been released as of this writing, anecdotal evidence is trickling in.  Johanna Breyer…of the Saint James Infirmary…[said their] mobile van outreach saw a dramatic increase of street-based sex workers in the Mission District.  Breyer estimated that there were about double or triple the usual number of workers…Fancy, a Midwestern sex worker who manages a fund dedicated to providing financial support for sex workers in need, has seen a dramatic uptick in requests for help.  In the wake of the Backpage shutdown, she says she went from receiving occasional requests for help to a dozen or two…daily.  Many messages were from sex workers asking for advice on how to work on the streets safely…

Even sites concerned with mundane matters such as Consumer Affairs get it:

FOSTA…[has] a potential chilling effect on any and all internet speech…Advocates…point out that trafficking…is already a crime in the United States…and…targeting websites…will now only create new crimes.  Whether FOSTA’s sponsors had intended to kick the entire sex trade offline…is unclear…[and politicians won’t answer honestly.  Prohibitionist propaganda director Mary] Mazzio…addressed concerns that sex workers could lose their livelihoods by publishing a list of homeless shelters and other social services…Such an offer — that women who made rent doing sex work online were now free to stay in homeless shelters — was described by those in the sex trade as deeply insulting…Vanessa Carlisle [of SWOP-LA noted that]…“sex workers who seek services are often turned over to police”…By targeting online business…lawmakers are ignoring the role that law enforcement [plays] in abusing sex workers…

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Sex trafficking is…the crime du jour.  –  Judge Toni Messina

R.I.P. Christine Keeler 

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affairhas died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.  Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal…when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war…Keeler’s son, Seymour Platt…[said] she died on [December 4th]…She had been ill for several months…from…COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.  Keeler, who had been living under the name of Sloane for many years, was briefly married twice, both marriages ending in divorce.  She had two sons – James from her first marriage, and Seymour from her second – and a granddaughter..

Lack of Evidence

Name one other “crime” that gets this kind of treatment on nothing more than a busybody’s say-so:

Why should cops bother with investigations and due process when they can rely on anonymous tips and social shaming?…Larksville, Pennsylvania…police are bragging to local news that they bullied a woman out of town after a neighbor suggested she might be a sex worker…[because] here were too many cars pulling up to a local apartment building and too many men getting out of them…Based on that one tip, Chief John Edwards went straight to Facebook to post a warning notice…”‘ALLEGED’ prostitution” is taking place “in an apartment in or near the 200 block of Vine Street…I and my officers will provide you with a never-ending stream of police activity.”  He also said the cops would talk to “all the neighbors in the area” and instruct them “use video and photography to document” the comings and goings on the street.  Then Larksville police—still without talking to anyone at the allegedly suspicious apartment or conducting due diligence of their own—went to the street in question, put physical copies of the warning on any vehicles in the area, and handed them out to people door-to-door…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn

The truth about “sex trafficking” dawns in the mind of a judge:

…sex trafficking…laws are so expansively written that even if a woman voluntarily agrees to be photographed in scant attire in response to an escort ad but later changes her mind, the person who took the pictures could be convicted of sex trafficking for threatening to post the ad without her permission…I tried a case recently where the court found that a Backpage ad was enough to convict my client of sex trafficking in New York even though all of the acts relating to the sex trafficking charge occurred in New Jersey…I was told by Bella Robinson, founder of Coyoteri.org…that sex workers are more fearful of police who jail them than Johns.  Cops can arrest them, take their money, threaten to take their kids, and [rape them]…

Rooted in Racism

Deportation is euphemized as “sending migrants home”, ignoring the fact that if they wanted to be there they wouldn’t have endured such terrible hardships to leave in the first damned place:

The United Nations migration agency plans to fly 15,000 more migrants home from detention centres in Libya before year-end in the wake of shocking reports of rampant migrant abuse and squalid and overcrowded conditions at these facilities [in which they are detained after “authorities” stop them from migrating to Europe, where they actually want to go]…Libya in recent weeks has witnessed a drastic increase in the numbers of migrants [imprisoned] in detention centres – from a usual range of 5,000 to 6,000 to over 15,000…IOM is also scaling up its reintegration support for the migrants in countries of origin and will be working on addressing the root causes of migration, as well as increasing our programming to [force them to stay where they came from]…

Imaginary Victims (#344)

Like Sara Kruzan before her, prohibitionists never gave a shit about imprisoned underage sex worker Cyntoia Brown until they realized they could make political coin from her:

Twenty-nine-year-old Cyntoia Brown has been locked up in a Tennessee prison for 13 years, after she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the killing of a man who hired her as a prostitute when she was 16…Brown…was a [cognitively impaired] runaway who was raped, abused and forced into prostitution by a man known as “Kut Throat.”  She will be eligible for parole after she turns 69…Brown’s case re-entered the spotlight this month after a group of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg posted their support on social media with the hashtag, #FreeCyntoiaBrown.  An online petition urging Tennessee’s governor to consider clemency for Brown has garnered more than 4,000 signatures…Each year, more than 1,000 [legal minors] are arrested for prostitution in the U.S…Advocates say that in many cases those children are the true victims, and argue Brown’s case should be reconsidered under new “safe harbor” laws that [pretend to] protect trafficked minors from criminal charges [but in actuality only help “perfect victims”, not girls like Brown]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#346)

While US politicians are marching along with a witch hunt:

…Senator Millicent Omanga has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work.  The senator termed the move impulsive and unfair…[and she] challenged the MCAs to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the commercial sex workers before condemning them…At the same time, atheists have come out in defence of commercial sex workers and…threatened to take action against the MCAs if they do not rescind the motion…Atheists in Kenya say the choice to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money is a private and should not be considered a crime, and that prostitution should be recognised as a form of trade…

The Public Eye (#589)

Despite the glaring absence of any escorts, it’s good to see a sex work-positive article in Glamour:

…The real stories of webcam models, dominatrices, and porn stars are often very different from the tropes we see in flashy (and often irresponsible) headlines about sexdrugs, and crime.  In fact, plenty of sex workers truly love what they do.  Glamour spoke to 15 women who work in different facets of the sex industry—porn performers, dominatrices, and cam models—about their choices to enter the business.  Even beyond the financial freedom and the ability to travel that their career paths afford, many of them emphasized how they use their platforms to draw attention to social causes, highlight the contributions of marginalized communities, and help destigmatize sex…

Served Cold (#737) 

This megalomaniac’s antics are growing so bizarre and disturbing that even prohibitionists are starting to see it:

When Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard looks at the latest artwork by conservative political painter Jon McNaughton, he gets emotional.  Painted into The Underground Railroad are Ballard and his wife, depicted carrying children they helped rescue from sex trafficking…the artwork’s historical figures, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln…are flanked by figures whom the painter refers to as “contemporary abolitionists” or “slave stealers”: Ballard’s friends and supporters, ranging from Tony Robbins and Glenn Beck to Utah Rep. Mia Love.  Art curators and Mormon black activists, though, are offended by the painting…“I would call it the epitome of the white savior complex,” says Mica McGriggs…Anthropologist Bradley H. Kramer…[says it’s] culturally clueless…to not realize depicting “white dudes rescuing black people” — under the title of “The Underground Railroad” — would be offensive…“It’s…like a parody of the white savior narrative…It steals the imagery and the power of the Underground Railroad narrative and transforms it into this Trumpian fantasy of brave, powerful white dudes rescuing black people from their squalor”…

Moving Pictures (#782) 

I’m sorry, but I find this both funny and satisfying:

Ashley Judd led a cast of what would turn out to be dozens of actresses in accusing Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual harassment and abuse…[but] an indie drama she starred in, Trafficked …is itself at the center of its own fierce debate regarding…its casting process….producers quietly removed its director, Will Wallace, from the project during postproduction over a disagreement involving the depiction of rape.  And…one actress, Sanchita Malik…contacted SAG-AFTRA the day after attending [a casting] session…May 20, 2015, to convey her displeasure.  (She subsequently filed a lengthy written grievance with the actors’ union.)  In the statement…Malik [reported]…an extended exercise in which male counterparts…were coached to replicate harassment and assault…the scenario played out with her hair pulled, neck licked, body pushed against a wall and a fellow actor simulating rape…producers Conroy Kanter and Siddharth Kara…insist her characterization of the events involves “a significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of intensity, crudeness and physicality of the casting session”…

A description of a work session involved “significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of…crudeness”…Really?  Do tell?  Hmm, that somehow sounds familiar…

Cooties (#787) 

It looks like this popular cop masturbatory fantasy has made it across the Channel:

Three men have been arrested in Paris for…their roles in pimping out women for sex work in several apartments…rented out through…Airbnb…The key suspect…has a previous conviction for procurement.  He took 50 percent of the money the women earned…

He “took” 50%; in other words his cut was 50%, same as Nevada brothels.  Try calculating sometime how much of each dollar you earn for your company you get to keep; you’ll find it’s well below 50%.

Too Close To Home (#788) 

Does anyone believe the prosecutor would’ve made the same decision is the accused weren’t a politician?

The Snohomish County Prosecutor…[decided] not to file sexual assault charges against Sheriff John Urquhart…accused by a former deputy of groping him after dining together in 2014 at a Renton restaurant.  The Renton Police Department…recommended…charges of indecent liberties or assault with sexual motivation…The allegations were handled by independent police and prosecutors to [support the pretense of] avoid[ing] conflicts of interest.  Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe…[claimed] that even if the accuser’s accounts were true, the actions alleged did not meet the criteria for indecent liberties…

To Molest and Rape (#795)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their daughter in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?

…[When] a…young woman…[was] found her dead of suicide on Nov. 2, 2015…detectives…found one of their own [ilk] suspiciously close to the death. [Francisco] Olmos…had been outside her house even before she was found dead.  While the girl’s father called 911, Olmos asked to used the girl’s phone..[but actually]…deleted…texts and Snapchats [the girl had exchanged with him]…On [November 30th], police arrested Olmos on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass…Olmos knew the young woman through Indianapolis police department’s Explorer program, which trains teenagers for careers in law enforcement…In the hours before the young woman’s death, Olmos tried calling her 16 times.  He left 10 text messages and two Snapchat messages…“Answer me you can’t do this to me AGAIN,” reads one of Olmos’ Snapchat messages shortly after the phone call…The girl didn’t answer.  “How can you ignore me like I’m just one of them,” Olmos messaged four minutes later…Two minutes later:  “You can’t do this to me you can’t.  I’m headed to your house right now”…After several more unanswered messages and several hours, Olmos sent a final missive. “I don’t know what the point of ignoring me is,” he wrote. “You make me feel like this is really all my fault…I need to talk to you it’s urgent”…When detectives tried to access the young woman’s iPhone, they found it password protected, raising the question of how Olmos placed a call from the device.  When an investigator asked the young woman’s parents for the passcode, both insisted that the device had not been password protected…Police sent the device to Cellebrite, a firm notorious for helping law enforcement hack into locked cellphones…They found what looked like a sloppy coverup.  Olmos and the young woman had texted 177 times between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, when she died…

For more on the “police explorer” rape trap for underage girls, see below.

To Molest and Rape (#796) 

It’s good to see this problem finally getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…police frequently target marginalized people with sexual violence.  That includes young women and girls, women of color, transgender women, sex workers, homeless women, women with mental illness, undocumented women, women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, women with disabilities, and low-income women…police presence in schools…allows [cops]…to…abuse searches, harass girls in the hallways, and even sexually assault them…40 percent of police sexual misconduct cases involved teenagers and 34 percent happened during a traffic stop….[cops also] exploit young women…through Police Explorer programs…[and] sexually assault female high school interns in ride-alongs…a case of sexual misconduct by a police officer crop[s] up every five days.  And according to a 2013 study, 41 percent of police sexual violence cases were committed by repeat-offending [cops]…some…move across jurisdictions and keep their certificate despite their history of sexual violence, in what is known as the “officer shuffle”…

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I thought, how nice for him…to take care of my little girl.  –  Nancy Wells

Bad Girls 

Really, guys, just hire actual pros; it’s much cheaper in the long run:

An FBI counterterrorism supervisor had his gun and pricey watch stolen by an “exotic dancer” after a boozy night at a North Carolina hotel…Robert Manson…awoke the next day to find she’d swiped his Glock .40-caliber handgun, Rolex and about $60 in cash…Last month, a woman stole a $37,000 watch from a man she’d just met at a swanky eatery.  Over the summer, two women stole $80,000 worth of timepieces from several saps who invited them back to their luxury hotel rooms…two women [stole] an elderly…man[‘s]…watch and $3,000 in cash after meeting him at a cigar bar…in August, a Saudi diplomat was robbed of a $30,000 Gerald Genta-designed watch, a $12,000 Rolex and $2,500 in cash after hooking up with a woman he met at celebrity hot spot 1Oak…

The Punitive Mindset 

One would think defense attorneys of all people would have more sense than to imagine the purpose of cops is to “protect” anybody:

A half-dozen employees of the Cook County Public Defender’s office have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, claiming county officials have done nothing to protect them from inmates who masturbate in front of them during visits to the jail and courtroom holding cells…Public Defender Amy Campanelli’s deputy, Lester Finkle, said in a statement that the office had been working with…sheriff [Tom Dart] and judges to come up with a solution for two years…Campanelli has said she wants extra [cops] on hand in courtroom lockups, a solution Dart has said costs him $40,000 per week in overtime.  Dart, also named in the lawsuit, [wants to lock the prisoners up for even longer instead]…

Arch-sleazebag Tom Dart, whom you may remember as Swanee Hunt’s crony, is intentionally perpetuating a situation which will make it harder to people in his filthy cages to get legal representation, while simultaneously calling for worsening the conditions that are causing the problem.  Anybody else smell a rat?

Under Duress

Even on the rare occasion when cops want to tell the truth, their superiors may force them to lie:

Massachusetts State Trooper Ryan Sceviour is suing his superiors…[after] they ordered him to alter a police report involving the daughter of a judge in a DUI and drug incident.  The state police are…arguing the order to change the report was appropriate.  Sceviour arrived at the scene of a crash Oct. 16…Behind the wheel he…found Alli Bibaud, daughter of [drug court judge] Timothy Bibaud…reeking of alcohol with a “heroin kit” in the car…Bibaud told him she had traded sex for drugs and…offered to have sex with Sceviour for more lenient treatment…two days later [Sceviour]…was ordered to alter his police report….[and] reprimanded for including Bibaud’s statements in his report…It’s not hard to imagine how neglecting to report an offer of sex for leniency could backfire [on a cop].  More importantly, the lack of any effort to ensure that “sensationalistic and inflammatory” statements by other suspects don’t appear in police reports suggests the state police was more interested in protecting Bibaud’s father than the privacy of all people arrested by state police…

Buried Truth 

Man who pontificates about “Christian morality” and thinks homosexuality should be a crime has a thing for underage girls.  Gee, what a surprise:

Leigh Corfman…was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala…It was early 1979 and [Roy] Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.  He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing…Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number…days later…he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her.  On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes.  He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear…Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.  Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore…three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s…None of the women say that Moore forced them into any sort of…sexual contact…

Drawing Lines 

Nope, this isn’t sex work, no sirree:

You want your lonely child to, say, have a “father”.  Or maybe you just want to go out on some dates with someone nice, someone safe…you want someone to care, or at least act like they do.  You think it would be easier — cleaner — to pay someone than to…find someone [to perform that emotional labor for free]…So, you go online and hire someone like Ishii Yuichi, owner of Family Romance in Japan, to play that role…The Atlantic interviewed Yuichi who shares what it’s like to be that for-hire “loved one”…

A Moral Cancer (#566)

The crypto-moralists have been relatively quiet for a while:

…the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)…estimat[es] “3.5 percent of all cancer deaths are attributable to drinking alcohol” in the United States…In comparison, smoking tobacco is estimated to cause 32 percent of all cancer deaths…The group treats consuming alcohol as a pure public health problem to which the only solutions are various forms of prohibition.  They recommend regulating alcohol outlet density; increasing alcohol taxes and prices; maintaining limits on days and hours of sale…and resisting further privatization of retail alcohol sales in communities with current government control…

The Public Morals

Though I’m always happy to see cops imprisoned, it’s disturbing that this guy faces a longer sentence for texting than others face for rape, mayhem and murder:

Basil O’Kimosh, a [Menominee Tribal] cop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, faces federal charges for exchanging sexually explicit Snapchat messages with a teenage girl he met on Facebook.  If convicted…he…faces 25 years to life in prison…While it’s refreshing to see a cop get held accountable for a change, calling O’Kimosh a threat to community safety seems a bit melodramatic.  No adult…should be sexting with a teenager…but considering the kinds of things that cops in this country frequently get away with—murder, sexual assault, physical abuse, actual sex with minors—the severe concern in this case rings…a bit hollow.  The feds didn’t step in, for instance, when dozens of cops were under investigation for sexting and having sex with an underage girl in Oakland, California.  Or when a Chicago cop was arrested for trafficking a 14-year-old.  Or in the recent case of a Bronx officer arrested for paying to make sex tapes with a minor…but U.S. prosecutors have been big lately on exercising jurisdiction over both social media and sexting, and…this helps suggest the decision to make this a federal matter is based more on opportunism and political agendas than the severity of O’Kimosh’s crime or his threat to the public…

The Eye of the Beholder (#672)

Given that there is no possibility of a child, what exactly is the rationale behind destroying two lives, other than “The ‘authorities’ find this skeevy” or “The law is the law”?

A[n Oklahoma] woman who married her biological mother last year received a 10-year deferred sentence [plus two years of probation] after pleading guilty…to committing incest…Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 26, was set for a bench trial…but instead pleaded guilty to illegally marrying 44-year-old Patricia Ann Spann, who is identified as Patricia Ann Clayton on their marriage license application…Patricia Span also was once married to her biological son…[she] is also charged with incest [and] is to appear in court in January…

The Sky is Falling! (#779) 

Young women using their natural gifts to graduate without debt is “disgusting”; giving free sex to boorish, penniless young men is “feminism”:

A shameless dating site is encouraging young female students to date older rich “sugar daddies” so they can pay off their student loan…s and earn them some extra pocket money and life experience…A total of five [miniature mobile] billboards are doing a tour of universities in an aim to get 100,000 British students to sign up by the end of the year…A…student, who asked not be named, said: “It’s disgusting. It should be illegal for these perverts to pray [sic] on youngsters like this [because we’re the emotional equivalent of toddlers and have no agency]…me and my friends would never turn to prostitution…it’s exploitative and wrong”…

Soap Opera (#788) 

Reading cops’ masturbatory fantasies of omnipresent “pimps” with magic powers is by turns hilarious and disgusting:

…[Wanking pig Curt Chastain fantasized] “I’ve had (sex trafficking) victims from every high school in Fresno County – and most junior high schools”…Arresting [consenting adults]…is…part of [the fantasy Chastain uses when doing what he calls]…choking…the…snake…“I’d bet every 16-year-old girl in Fresno has received a message that they didn’t know was from a recruiter…They’re recruited while sitting next to their parents in the living room”…As he drives from place to place during the undercover operation, the detective shares his [masturbatory fantasies about] the modern sex trade…

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It is time to declare that sex worker rights are human rights.
–  Camilo Gómez

Shift in the Wind (#328)

George Will, who once had a good mind, is apparently going senile.  But National Review, which hs always been anti-prohibition, should’ve known better than to publish this pap:

It is unclear how many victims of DMST there are because…[most people the law labels] victims [do not consider themselves victims]…They are products of poor or nonexistent parenting…80 percent are addicted…Big sporting events…attract traffickers…[prohibitionist & profiteer Frank] Milstead…says: “Leaving your kid alone at night in his room with [a cell phone]?  You might as well leave him or her in the city park downtown.  Anything is available on a phone”…

Drawing Lines 

The whorearchy here is so thick it can be cut with a knife:

…If you spend enough time in Hollywood, it won’t be long before you start noticing pink and black vans with “TOPLESS MAIDS” painted on the sides wherever you turn.  They’re everywhere…However, unlike [TV show] Famous in Love‘s depiction of topless maids — in which Cassie is a legitimate maid who just so happens to be topless, but otherwise wears normal clothes — real-life topless maids don’t focus so much on actual cleaning.  Instead, topless maids just do a little dusting and “light chores,” which apparently consists of sexy dancing with a Swiffer while dressed in lingerie…One thing Famous in Love does get right is that topless maids are in no way sex workers…

Sorry, Sadie Gennis, but topless maids are indeed sex workers; they make a living by sexual titillation.

Maggie in the Media (#429)

Normally I don’t use this tag in news columns any more, but I wanted to be sure to call attention to the previous interview with Thaddeus Russell, for Reason TV three years ago.  This one’s the second episode of Thad’s new podcast, and it’s generating high praise so I think you’ll enjoy it (and if it inspires you to subscribe to the podcast, so much the better)!

New Excuse

It’s so nice to see others writing about the War on Whores as the new War on Drugs, especially when they cite me:

…both authorities and the public believe sex trafficking is far more common than it is…To inflate the numbers, the American government includes people that know the sex workers personally, or who are just buyers as “pimps,” in the list….decriminalization—that is, to stop regulating sex work among willing adults—is the only tool to fight [exploitation]…Prohibition in one form or another has been used for a long time without good results…by decriminalizing sex work, resources can be devoted to preventing and resolving actual cases of trafficking, not paranoia supported by people with a narrow political agenda…The sex trafficking paranoia is like the new War on Drugs and there is even a bipartisan consensus in opposing sex work.  Conservatives usually oppose legalized sex work on religious, moral, or societal grounds.  Even liberals often oppose it by saying that sex work oppresses women, or assume that all prostitutes are really victims of sex trafficking…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels, this time by referring to men trapped by cop sex work stings as “purchasing prostituted children”.  As I’ve pointed out before, one has to wonder what these supposed traffickers do with these “child sex slaves” they “purchase” when they’re not using them; do they store them in hatboxes in the back of the closet, or perhaps hang them on hooks in the garage?  And when they’re done with them, do they just flush them down the loo like unwanted goldfish?  Do any of the idiots who vomit out nonsense like this even bother to think before speaking?

Under Review

The British press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews yet:

The language of UKPunting is, in some ways, similar to that of other online review sites: contributors will gripe about a disparity between the appearance on the marketing shots and that of the actual product – the woman…Those bad reviews aren’t just mean, they can really affect business…Even positive reviews on the site can have a negative impact…a sex worker or an offended poster could complain, but only in a way that doesn’t challenge the status quo here, which is vehemently pro-“punter”.  Basically, punters can post offensive, libellous content with impunity…

Broken Record (#636)

Prohibitionists just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Kentucky’s attorney general is urging people to pay attention to more than horses and parties during the springtime celebrations leading up to the Kentucky Derby…authorities are asking for the public’s help in cracking down on sex traffickers trying to cash in on the crowds expected for the world’s most famous horse race…

To Molest and Rape (#643)

Other classics from this headline writer: “Is the Pope Catholic?” and “Do Bears Shit in the Woods?”

A common theme emerged at a panel discussion on policing and rights…police officers regularly violate the human rights of marginalised minorities such as sex workers and members of the lesbian‚ gay‚ bi-sexual‚ transgender‚ questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) community.  The dialogue‚ hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission‚ heard from Sonke Gender Justice‚ an advocacy organisation against gender-based violence‚ how a survey conducted on sex workers revealed blatant and regular abuses of human rights by the police…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#647) 

It’s nice to see cops’ evil deceptions ruin the life of one of their own for a change:

A Montgomery County [Maryland cop]…pleaded guilty…to proposing sexual acts with an undercover detective he thought was a 15-year-old girl.  Christopher B. Dunkes…was caught in a child sexting sting in June…

Business As Usual (#719) 

In other words, after a couple of weeks of media attention the cops will just rape us & claim they didn’t, as they do in the other 49 states:

Undercover police officers in Michigan will no longer be able to [legally & openly rape] prostitutes who[m] they’re [trying to entrap], under a new law that was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week.  Senate Bill 275 aims to…make it possible [but not obligatory] for [cops] to be prosecuted for prostitution-related offences, “if the officer engaged in sexual penetration [but not groping or other molestation] while in the course of his or her duties.”  Michigan police currently enjoy immunity from prosecution for [raping] prostitutes on the clock, something that doesn’t sit well with…Judy Emmons, who sponsored the bill…

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