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Posts Tagged ‘Feet of Clay’

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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When sexual minorities burned, we burned together.  –  Jillian Keenan

Aversions

It’s not just many pros who dislike oral sex; some amateurs don’t either:

…While 91 percent of women perform oral on their male partners, only 79 percent of men perform oral on their female partners.  But…the discrepancy…has a lot to do with the fact that some women just don’t want to receive oral sex…I had orgasms a handful of times while receiving oral sex, but considering how rare it had been over the years…I finally decided to come clean with my partners…

The author lists 11 reasons, of which I’m with her on 2-7 and 11.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

More “questionable” than being a vice cop?

A Seattle [cop] has been placed on paid leave [after]…he…was found, in his off-duty time, to be frequenting the Dancing Bare on Aurora Avenue…which was the target of a vice operation related to alleged prostitution activities…he…was not arrested and has not been accused of a crime.  He is under investigation after he was found to be “hanging around” the club and engaging in questionable conduct…

Cognitive Impairment tasteless Israeli sculpture

“Artists” claim that if a woman puts her phone number on a card, a fragment of her being is transferred to the card, and anything done to it happens to her.  I am not making this up:

…A 10-foot-high vagina sculpture was installed on a Tel Aviv thoroughfare…Artists Sasha Kurbatov and Vanane Borian crafted the giant vulva from cards that advertise sex work services.  A 50-foot trail of the same type of cards leads to the work…Hundreds of brothels operating illegally in Tel Aviv are reportedly responsible for the cards strewn about city sidewalks…“All the fragments of women that are on the floor, people are stepping on them, they see it, and there is no longer any value to it,” [said] Borian…”A woman simply loses all value and becomes an object, not even a complete object”…

But symbolizing the totality of a woman with a grotesque, cartoonish sculpture of a twat isn’t dehumanizing, no sirree.

The Scarlet Letter

A good, thorough article on the use of shaming tactics against sex workers’ clients:

…Tapping into the new power of the internet, along with our very old obsession with transgressive sex…officials hope to wield the fear of public judgment in the name of the public good, arguing that prostitution is linked to far more serious crimes than we ever thought.  But by taking punishment out of the hands of law enforcement and placing it in the hands of the public, whose emotions and reactions lie beyond their control, shaming campaigns can also be messy and unpredictable.  And the resulting stigma can last indefinitely…

The article pays especial attention to the horrendous “Flush the Johns” debacle.

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical 

So very many people completely bereft of the capacity for rational thought:

By buying a plush toy with a heart on it, Tampa mom Nicole O’Kelly unwittingly alerted predators that her little girl “is ready to be traded for sex”…correspondent Melanie Michael told viewers that the toy, a pink stuffed truck recently purchased at a Monster Jam event, “held a sick secret; a disgusting calling card for creeps. The heart on the toy was a symbol for pedophiles”…While presenting  no evidence whatsoever that the toy was made to be, or perceived as, some kind of secret signaling device, the reporter interviewed the toy-buying mom, who seemed as distraught as if her child had narrowly escaped a windowless van…Detective Anthony Bassone…said the hearts are used for girls while a separate symbol with triangles targets boys…

The Widening Gyre

The Facts“.  Seriously.

Just imagine…You’re glad to be home.  You crawl into bed and wrap yourself in your favorite blanket…Suddenly, a rustling in the next room jolts you awake…A bag is thrown over your head.  You’re carried away…No one knows where you are.  You have no hope of rescue.  You’ve vanished…The average age of a modern day slave is 12 years old…

These moronic tripe is full of “facts” like “traffickers profit $150 billion a year” though “the average price of a slave is less than that of a new cell phone”.  Obviously, these “facts” don’t include any math.

Worse Than I Thought

Keep in mind, all this requires is the “testimony” of a lying cop out to score arrests:

People who purchase illicit sex in South Carolina could soon be placed on the sex offender registry and pay stiffer fines…[blah blah “end demand”] the…bill…includes…stiffer consequences…for those soliciting sex from people who are “profoundly mentally disabled”…

This kind of tyranny is contagious; right next door in Georgia:

A bill…would go after the pimps and the people who pay for prostitution…It would…[make] solicitation a felony upon a second conviction…[and] put…twice-convicted customers on the state’s sex offender registry…

Want a good laugh? Look at the masthead of the TV station printing this bootlicking filth.

Checklist

There’s so very much stupidity here, but I guess the main thing is the “signs”:

Victims of human trafficking often can be the children in classrooms who frequently act up, who show abrupt changes in behavior and are picked up from school by a man who isn’t a family member…Rep. Ann Wagner [fantasized] that the victims are “hiding in plain sight”…St. Louis is one of the most active human trafficking locations in the country…schools are increasingly targets for recruitment…Students might wind up at a party with a friend whose boyfriend is a predator, or be enticed with expensive clothes or cellphones…”it could happen overnight,” said [“trafficking” fetishist] Jenee Littrell…It is estimated that at least 100,000 children across the United States are sexually exploited annually…But the real numbers may be significantly higher.  The average age of children who fall victim to human trafficking is 12 to 14 years old

Frequently Told Lies

It’s so good to see debunking spreading to the mainstream press:

…police do…dramatic busts…because of widely believed myths about sex work, which endlessly echo back and forth between policy and pop culture.  The politicians and activists who perpetuate these myths believe they’re saving people, but only through careful examination of the facts can governments begin to reduce the violence and marginalization that sex workers suffer.  Here are three myths in particular that impact legislation and enforcement (and help keep those harmful stereotypes alive in our heads).  Myth 1. The average age of entry into sex work is between 12 and 14…Myth 2….sex trafficking is the most common form of [coerced labor]…Myth 3. “Target the demand” works…

Feet of Clay (#416)extra-stupid kristof

The buffoonish Nick Kristof is up on his anti-Backpage hobby horse again, and as usual he’s not too concerned with the truth:

…we as a society are complicit…by allowing a popular website called Backpage.com to be used to arrange child rape…Backpage…has about 80 percent of the U.S. market for online sex ads in America, mostly for consenting adults but many also for women who are forcibly trafficked or for underage girls…Children in at least 47 states have been sold on Backpage…If there were a major American website openly selling heroin or anthrax, there would be an outcry.  Yet we Americans tolerate a site like Backpage.com that is regularly used to peddle children…

It’s interesting that Kristof mentioned anthrax, given his major role in destroying a man’s career over paranoid delusions about it.

Challenge (#615)

A legal bid to overturn the ban on paying for sex in Northern Ireland is being partly funded by an escort website.  Sex worker Laura Lee is leading the High Court challenge.  She was questioned about her financial support by members of the Home Affairs Committee…Ms Lee…said…”a lot of the sex workers that advertise on [Escort Ireland] put pressure on them to support me and said it was only fair, since they make money from the industry, that they should support my efforts of keeping our industry safe.”

Too Close To Home (#618)

Seattle Times‘ bootlicking editor Thanh Tan is at it again, characterizing my friends and me as heartless liars for countering her nauseating masturbatory fantasies about “sex slave children” with actual facts:

…Though no one knows exactly how much of the local sex trade involves consenting adults or coerced individuals, a 2008 study estimated hundreds of youths are bought and sold every night in the Seattle area.  In recent years, police and sheriff’s deputies…have shifted their focus…to targeting the patrons responsible for rising demand.  A coalition of sex workers and their allies have taken to social media recently to argue vehemently against this approach.  They say criminalization is unfair to them and their clients.  They are proud of what they do and reject a host of studies that have tried to estimate the age range and number of people being trafficked.  Most concerning is the tendency in some of these online tirades to downplay or ignore the widespread harm suffered within the same industry by far less-privileged people.  Disturbingly, there is a lack of compassion for the children getting caught or forced into the trade…

I do like the powerful graphic of a brutal, thuggish-looking cop standing guard over “rescued” sex workers; one can almost see him considering which woman he’s going to rape next.  Good work, Seattle Times!

Peeping Toms (#619)

Jillian Keenan schools ignoramus judges:

According to a new federal district court decision, the Constitution “does not prohibit the regulation of BDSM conduct.” In other words, the precedent implied by bans on anti-sodomy and anti-adultery laws—that adults have a constitutional right to freedom of noncommercial intimate conduct—doesn’t protect us…The court rejected the idea that Lawrence v. Texas might protect other sexual minorities…because “there is no basis to conclude that [BDSM]…is deeply rooted in … history.”  Excuse me?…BDSM, without question, has a “deeply rooted” history…there are references to BDSM throughout historical literature: Robert Dixon, Thomas Middleton, John Fletcher, and William Shakespeare all referred to sadomasochism in their work. A fresco from approximately 490 BC in the aptly-named Etruscan “Tomb of the Whipping” even depicts two men flogging a woman in an erotic context…the court…also argued that…because straights have long despised gay people, they have a special interest in legal protection…All consenting adults have the right to intimate lives that are free from government interference.  It’s a shame that the court refused to recognize that—and a shame that the ruling attempts to draw lines around Lawrence v. Texas to divide “protect[ed]”sexual minorities from unprotected ones.  Such divisions are, to steal the court’s language, not “deeply rooted” in history…

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Project ROSE is a diversion program like a person who pushes ten people onto the train tracks and pulls three off is a hero.  –  Ryan Beck Turner

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

It’s especially satisfying when a vice cop is the victim:

…Denver police detective…Michael Ryan…[is under] investigation [for] solicitation of a prostitute…Ryan works in DPD’s Vice and Narcotics unit and was instrumental in the investigation that led to federal judge Edward Nottingham resigning in the face of accusations he had patronized prostitutes.  Ryan…also served on a human trafficking task force…

A False Dichotomy 

Another good essay from Belle Knox:

…The concept of the desperate exchange permeates discussions about sex work…People assume that my support for sex workers and porn is somehow invalidated because I chose to do porn for the money rather than for love.  They act as though this is some shocking victory for them because being a sex worker wasn’t my dream job…it now somehow reverts to being morally wrong, and I become another pitiable whore to be dismissed at leisure…of course I do porn for money.  It’s a job, not a summer retreat…The majority of people don’t work every day for fun; they do it because they want…something in exchange.  Do you honestly think that the people working at McDonald’s flipping burgers and responding to rude customers on a daily basis would come to work every day if they weren’t getting paid?  Moreover, do you think as a child their dream job was to do this?…

Rooted in Racism

Police in southern France have been accused of racism after asking local hotel owners to report the arrival of Eastern European guests, in a bid to crackdown on certain crimes like pimping…a national police union official [pretended]…”(It) would not violate the values of the Republic by advocating snitching…in the fight against pimping speed is essential”…French authorities have taken a hard line against the presence of Roma people from Romania and Bulgaria, repeatedly bulldozing their unsanctioned settlements and expelling them from France…

For more examples of “sex trafficking” and “the fight against prostitution” as excuses for racism and xenophobia, see here, here, here and here.

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong

It takes a special kind of stupidity for a reporter to call for censorship:

Young girls are being sold online for sex…but not much is being done to stop…the most popular websites…Backpage.com…makes millions of dollars each month from “escort” and “body rub” listings.  Portland police…said it’s frustrating to know Backpage.com makes money off illegal activity, but if it went away, another similar site that is less cooperative with law enforcement would likely pop up…

Divided We Fall

when…Queer Strike “named and shamed” LGBTI organizations who they said were refusing to help decriminalize sex work in the [UK], the picture they gave was misleading…in most cases it simply wasn’t part of those organizations’ remits.  This is a particular issue under British charity law, which means they have to stick to their stated “charitable aims”…

Feet of Clay

I’m really pleased to see Reason doing a lot more on sex worker rights these days, and doubly glad to see “sex trafficking” in scare quotes:

…If you could put a date on when modern-day progressives fully re-inhabited the moral rigidity of their…forebears, it might be September 24, 2012.  That’s when Village Voice Media…split off…Backpage.com after a years-long, progressive-led campaign to shutter the site over claims that it facilitates “sex trafficking”.  “If street pimps go to jail for profiteering on under-age girls, should…Village Voice Media really get a pass?”  New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the country’s most prominent progressive scold, wrote in a March 2012 column that blamed Backpage for the 2003 peddling of a 16-year-old prostitute, even though the site didn’t exist in 2003.  “Paradoxically, Village Voice began as an alternative newspaper to speak truth to power.  So it’s sad to see it accept business from pimps”…Kristof had the paradox almost exactly backward.  It is he and his fellow crusaders, not the buyers and sellers of controversial products and services, who are aggrandizing power at the expense of the little guy and mangling truth in the service of that unseemly goal…

True Colors

This title of this New Yorker article would seem to indicate a general piece about HIV in the American South, but it’s really much more about Deon Haywood, Women With a Vision and the arson which destroyed their offices on May 24th, 2012.  The responsible party was never caught, but here’s a clue:  the fire was started by piling up all the reproductive health models and posters in one room and setting them ablaze.

Think of the Children! (TW3 #23) Christy Mack

Sex rays can apparently enter one Lego construction and be randomly emitted from other Legos elsewhere, presumably via quantum tunneling:

[In January]…Christy Mack…tweeted [“Whoever builds me the best Lego creation to put in my house gets a blow job”]… The response on Twitter was enthusiastic, to say the least…Unfortunately for Mack’s fans, and toy store proprietors nationwide…the Lego challenge drew to an abrupt close…[when] lawyers for the company had contacted her, objecting to her usage of the Lego name…

Broken Record

They won’t stop until they extend the “gypsy whores” myth to every possible event:  “An undercover sting operation targeting prostitution and child sex trafficking netted five arrests in Augusta [Georgia]…because of the Masters Golf Tournament…

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (TW3 #36)

Who cares that a woman was stabbed?  The sadfeelz of naïve prudes are much more newsworthy!

Hookers are using…Airbnb…to turn prime Manhattan apartments into temporary brothels…One apartment…belongs to publicist Jessica Penzari…But when a hooker got slashed by a client in the…apartment over the price…Penzari got a call from cops…Airbnb put her up in the swanky InterContinental hotel in Times Square for two nights…and also paid to change her door locks, clean her apartment and replace her pillows and other belongings…Airbnb said…“we have zero tolerance for this activity”…

According to the Post, having a snack at your desk is “turning prime office space into a temporary restaurant”.

Under Every Bed

The underworld of prostitution and human trafficking is a dark one, often hidden from the public eye, but it exists in [Alabama] a lot more than one may think…”We used to be just a pass through state,” said Pat McCay with the Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force.  “They would come from Atlanta to Memphis…Now they are staying”…

The event which sparked all this portentous talk of vast criminal cartels?  A cop arrested a massage girl.  Of course the reporter has to get the usual self-important bile from a “legitimate” masseuse.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314) 

As the days pass with no sign of [missing 8-year-old] Relisha [Rudd], some…believe she may have been sold into a child sex trafficking operation.  They point to the wads of cash and expensive items Relisha’s mother and boyfriend flaunted on Facebook in the days following the little girl’s disappearance…Andrea Powell…of FAIR Girls…says, “There’s kids as young as 5, 6, 7.”  The average age of entry into this dark and devastating underworld is 13…Relisha RuddIn Washington, D.C. alone, the trafficking of children is a $100-million industry…

Given that the population of the Washington metro area is 5.8 million, that would make the “trafficking of children” worth over $5 billion in the US as a whole.  The level of mathematical illiteracy required to believe such a blatant absurdity constitutes a national crisis vastly greater than “sex trafficking” could ever be.

I Saw My Brain

Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Fla…brought felony charges…in October 2013 against two girls, 12 and 14, after the suicide a month earlier of a third girl, Rebecca Sedwick…[Judd] charged the two girls, Katelyn Roman and Guadalupe Shaw, with aggravated stalking and released their names and mugshots…He made it sound like they posed an urgent risk…A month later, prosecutors dropped the charges after…failing to find evidence of [Judd’s claims]…Judd’s tendency to overdo it isn’t news to the voters who elected him…a…suspect [was shot]…68 times…he boasted of arresting a man for running an Internet pornography site out of his home…[he] took the basketball hoops out of the local jail and stopped supplying inmates with underwear…[he uses] pepper spray on detained juveniles

Micromanagement

Is there anything more worthless than an “authority’s” promise?

French investigators began taking DNA samples…from 527 male students and staff at a high school…as they searched for the assailant who raped a teenage girl on the closed campus…All those who received summonses…were warned that any refusal could land them in police custody…Authorities have promised to discard the DNA collected once a donor is eliminated as a suspect…

One Born Every Minute (TW3 #338)

A French fundamentalist priest repeatedly raped three teachers at the school he ran in…Paris during so-called exorcisms…[he] was indicted this week on charges of rape, cruelty and torture…he had first raped one teacher during an exorcism to purge her of the “evil” from a previous sexual assault…[then] used his “spiritual influence” to convince two [others]…to undergo similar exorcisms…[which included torture with] a broom, a toothbrush and scissors…Police became involved only last year when two of the women reported the rapes to authorities…[but] several years ago the…society of St. Pius X tried him in a religious hearing and sentenced him to two years in a monastery…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #343)

A strong criticism of the ethical bankruptcy of Project ROSE from academics studying “human trafficking”:

This program is ostensibly designed to “rescue” victims…of sexual exploitation, yet there is no form of victim identification at any point in the process.  Rather than attempting to assess whether someone is being coerced…they threaten the arrested person with prosecution…If sex trafficking victims/survivors do not meet the “perfect victim” criteria and are convicted, they will face mandatory minimum sentencing in Arizona’s particularly brutal prison system…It…bears little resemblance to anything that could be considered an anti-sex trafficking program…and…is a tragically absurd version of a “diversion” program.  Instead of keeping people out of the criminal justice system, it sweeps them up and funnels them in…Project ROSE is responsible for at least 100 percent more incarcerations than “diversions”…ASU social workers…are acting like colonial missionaries – they offer to “save” the sex workers they perceive as helpless and damaged, but should [they] not gratefully accept…“help,” then armed…men are at the ready – “for their own good.”

Crumbling House

We are aware of certain allegations that have surfaced…regarding Somaly’s history…We are treating these accusations with the utmost seriousness…the Foundation has recently launched an independent, third party investigation to further examine these claims …

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #349)

According to STRASS, sex workers are increasingly marginalized and insecure since the parliamentary debate on the criminalization of clients…attacks against prostitutes have increased…On the night of March 31…a Chinese prostitute was stabbed to death…“Her assailant was known to be a bad customer so she would have refused him if she had the means.  But she had been unable to work for several days, due to constant police operations targeting Chinese women, and was therefore unable to take the time to choose her customers” said a STRASS statement…The police harassment has been repeatedly denounced by Doctors of the World…

Surplus Women (TW3 #413)

Remember, three weeks ago they were saying there was no serial killer.

Two registered sex offenders have been arrested in connection with killing four women in Orange County…[targeting them] because of their ties to prostitution or escort services, and investigators suspect there are more victims yet to be identified…Franc Cano…and Steven Dean Gordon…were arrested Friday evening…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #415)

the Upper House of the German Parliament, the Bundesrat, passed a resolution calling for an objective debate…amid plans by the ruling coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats to reform the German Prostitution Act of 2002…The Bundesrat found that debates in the public sphere and in the media were still based on prejudices, a lack of knowledge and sensationalism.  The Bundesrat particularly opposed the blanket equation of prostitution and human trafficking…[and] opposed the introduction of mandatory health checks, judging them as unreasonable and hardly expedient…

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I have to laugh when I hear people say: “Oh, I’ve never met a sex-worker before” and I have to say, chances are you have, you just don’t know it.  –  Valerie Scott

Bad Girls Andrea Alvira

Men:  Pay your hookers!  Ladies:  Get the damned money up front!

A 19-year-old…prostitute choked a [Florida] man to death after he tried to stiff her out of money he owed her for sexual services…Andrea Alvira…[chased] Brandon Day, 22…into a yard, where she dropped him by hitting him in the neck. She got on top of Day’s chest and forced her knees into his throat, suffocating him…

Grow the Hell Up!

Politicians, cops and naïve, whiny women are a dangerous combination:

…Rebecca McHood of [Mesa, Arizona] said she belongs to “a community of women who have been affected by pornography and sex addiction of their spouses…”I have five close friends whose husbands or ex-husbands have frequented [massage] parlors…I have seen the effects [sic] this has on their families, including the effects of divorce”…Lynnette Greybull…said she has found a website that lists 36 Mesa sex shops masquerading as massage parlors.  “They have a page…of acronyms…[detailing] what they’re able to do to these women…it’s very disgusting and perverted…These establishments are fake businesses…that…sell women.”

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

You know the oft-repeated lie that a third of teen runaways are approached by a “pimp” within 48 hours (when in reality, 84% of teen sex workers literally never meet a pimp)?  Well, it’s down to 45 minutes now:

Last year, King County’s Committee to End Homelessness issued a fact sheet that [stated]…“76 percent of unaccompanied minors [are] approached by either a known gang member or pimp in less than 45 minutes”…“That study has been altered, revised and bastardized beyond recognition,” says…Captain Eric Sano…“The actual study was from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  They say that one in three teens will be recruited by an exploiter.  In 2009 we…put a very youthful female member of the department [in a park in disguise] and within 45 minutes she was approached by two members of the Westside Street Mobb”…

It’s a good sign when a claim is too ridiculous even for cops and reporters.

Forward and Backward (TW3 #4)

An unusually-sensible attitude for a politician:

…I have decided to implement [activists’] recommendations…by introducing a bill to repeal “prostitution free zones” in D.C…transgender women…[say cops] regularly view and treat them as criminals…The prostitution free zones reinforce this bias…it is also critical that police officers help someone who is assaulted or raped, even if they were involved in sex work.  MPD is responsible for the safety of everyone, including sex workers…

Above the Law  

…Cleveland police officer Gregory Jones [was found] guilty of raping and kidnapping a woman…Prosecutor Jesse Canonico said…’He was a rapist masquerading as a police officer’…”  According to Canonico, cops and rapists are two mutually exclusive things!  Obviously he’s never been to New York:

Yonkers police officer Alex Della Donna…arrested…Sonia L. Gomez…[and] coerced her into having [sex] with him at least a half-dozen times…continually [reminding her] that drug charges…might be reinstated if she didn’t continue…[the rapes] ended only after Gomez’s husband threatened to tell departmental higher-ups…

Or California:  “…West Sacramento Police officer…Sergio Alvarez was convicted of…numerous counts of aggravated assault and rape…and…[given] a 205-years-to-life sentence…he raped women while on the job, sometimes even in his patrol car…”  Or even Utah:

…police officer Jeremy Rose has been charged with 15 offenses in the collection of thousands of photos of a teenage girl in various stages of undress…Rose convinced a then-15-year-old…to pose semi-nude for photos he said he would sell for her on the Internet…he also allegedly hid a camera in the girl’s bedroom to record video of her dressing and undressing…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #21)

Note the moronic “people can be sold repeatedly” canard:

[California] officials say gangs have become more involved in human trafficking because people can be repeatedly sold for profit, unlike drugs and guns…The legislature is considering a…bill…[to classify] human trafficking…as “gang activities”…Sentences for gang-related crimes are usually stiffer…

Feet of Clay (TW3 #22)

Following in the illustrious footsteps of Lauren Hersh:

An assistant district attorney was verbally berated and banished from a Bronx judge’s courtroom after failing to reveal evidence that would have freed a man held at Rikers Island on bogus rape charges…“This is an utter and complete disgrace — not just for you, but for your office in general”…Judge John Wilson told…Megan Teesdale before dismissing the case…The defendant, Segundo Marquez, had been held…for more than eight months awaiting trial…

Above the Law (TW3 #28) Jeffrey Holmes

A…Kansas City police officer who was accused of forcing two women to have sex with him was found guilty of acceding to corruption…and sentenced…to 15 days in jail…” When a non-cop does the same thing it’s called “rape” and gets more than 2 weeks in jail.

The Public Eye

In this interview with Valerie Scott (one of the plaintiffs in Bedford vs. Canada) she touches on the landmark case and the Swedish model; however, the more interesting part for me is her discussion of pre-internet sex work in Canada, sex work ethics, myths about sex work and “pimps” and the absurdity of trying to suppress the trade.

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #48)

The…son of a peasant farmer from…China has been in custody since being found in a…Dublin…grow house with an estimated €1 million worth of cannabis…Fergal Kavanagh…said his client…[was] imprisoned in the grow-house by traffickers…[and] should be released pending a full investigation into his case…

Caring Professionals

Another nursing home ignites controversy by hiring sex workers for residents:

The elderly residents of a Long Island nursing home…[attended a male] striptease in the facility’s rec room, a new lawsuit claims.  The son of one resident, 85-year-old Bernice Youngblood, was shocked when he…found a picture of his mom stuffing dollar bills — which are supposed to be locked away in her commissary account — into a dancer’s briefs…“Plaintiff Bernice Youngblood was placed in apprehension of imminent, offensive, physical harm, as she was confused and bewildered as to why a muscular, almost nude man, was approaching her and placing his body and limbs, over [her],” the suit states…Youngblood’s attorneys argue she “lacks the mental and physical capacity” to protect herself…

Photo4by6.jpgUnless Mrs. Youngblood is unquestionably suffering from dementia, it sounds more to me like her son is just revolted by the idea that his mother might enjoy male strippers and might actually exert a little control over her surroundings instead of existing as a passive, passionless vegetable under others’ “care”.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #321)

Government officials in Phoenix are violating the law by compelling [sex workers]…to participate in a program administered by religious groups, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says…the program, Project ROSE, clearly violates the First Amendment…those arrested…are forcibly taken to Bethany Bible Church…in handcuffs…[and] given the option to avoid criminal prosecution by participating in a sectarian program.  “Phoenix is essentially telling criminal suspects that they can go to church or go to jail,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn…

Shame, Shame (TW3 #348)

[Congresswoman] Jackie Speier…has apparently decided to introduce a federal “revenge porn” bill, which is being drafted, in part, by Prof. Mary Anne Franks, who has flat out admitted that her goal is to undermine Section 230 protections for websites…to make…third parties — like “Google, any website, Verizon… face liability”…[she claims] she’s not seeking to undermine Section 230 in any way…[because it] has never protected sites from liability of federal crimes — just civil infractions and state crimes.  So her goal is to make the amorphous concept of “revenge porn” a “federal crime” thereby suddenly making third-party websites liable…this effort is fraught with dangerous consequences and potential First Amendment problems…

Subtle Pimping (TW3 #403)

You’ve got to love the way she makes it sound as though it were her idea:

University of Colorado sociology professor Patti Adler has axed the prostitution skit…that led administrators to pull her from the classroom last semester…[she] cited difficulty with consent forms and worries among participants after the…skit drew national attention…In the end, Adler canceled the controversial skit and invited local sex workers to her class…Adler interviewed the sex workers…and then allowed the students to ask…questions…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #405)

More on the German politicians who want to make life harder for whores:

…the Union [Party] wants to impose stricter controls on brothels and threaten clients with punishment.  The police and other authorities may also get the power to raid brothels without concrete suspicion, [sponsor] Thomas Strobl…said…clients should not be able to “make excuses” [if police declare that] a…prostitute has “obvious signs of ill-treatment”…the Union also wants [to reward] foreign prostitutes with…residence [if they agree to testify against]… “their tormentors” …presently, foreign forced prostitutes…do not report to the police because they…fear deportation…I Am Jennie

Drawing Lines

Former porn actress Jennifer Ketcham incoherently argues that the best way for porn actors to fight for decriminalization is to draw an artificial line between themselves and other whores.  Or something.

…Porn…advocates…are quick to distinguish between pornography and prostitution, and…it is way more okay to be a porn star than it is to be a prostitute…porn stars…[should] drop the label of “sex worker” and adopt the title of “adult film actor”…[to sever] it from the morally-loaded concept and illegality of prostitution…by drawing imaginary lines between sex work performed on camera and sex work performed behind closed doors, porn (unintentionally) debases the majority of sex workers…

The Sky is Falling! (TW3 #413)

Regarding the last line: what the hell does she think prostitution is?

…Équipe d’Action…has…[filed] legal proceedings against a “sugar daddy” dating site, which they accuse of operating a disguised prostitution racket.  The existence of such sites in France…[was ignored until] the arrival of the US site Seeking Arrangement…If the complaint is upheld in court it could change the definition of prostitution in France…Angela Jacob Bermudo, a spokeswoman for the French Seeking Arrangement site…[said] “Seeking Arrangement is not prostitution…For many girls, this is a viable option to be able to concentrate on their studies without the financial burden”…

Deafening Silence (TW3 #413)

Chinese officials violently suppress a city’s major industry, then wonder why its economy dies:

Prostitution was once rife in Dongguan…Local analysts estimated there were more than 250,000 prostitutes at its peak, and that the business generated about 50 billion yuan (HK$63 billion) a year…But…in February…authorities started a campaign to wipe out prostitution…hotel managers estimate…up to 70 per cent of prostitutes had left the city.  “The crackdown may not kill us, but it will kill [the nearby town of] Changping and then the city itself.  Without our xiaojie [whores], Changping is going to be a ghost town”…Many people working in the city’s retail and service sectors – from taxi drivers to snack sellers, landlords to restaurant bosses – grumble that their business has suffered since the…raids began…At the New South China Mall, the largest shopping centre in the world when it opened in 2005 with more than 2,000 shops, at least half the stores are vacant…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #413) 

In Canada, articles like the ones below and at right appear in the mainstream media:

…more than 300 of our fellow Canadian and international academics and researchers expressed their profound concern that the federal government is blatantly ignoring a large body of scientific evidence…that criminalization of any aspect of sex work, including the purchasing of sex, has overwhelmingly negative [effects]…banning the purchasing of sex is not scientifically grounded and sorely misguided by moral judgment of sex workers as victims.  In fact, evidence strongly suggests that this approach would recreate the same social and health-related harms of current criminalization regime…there is no evidence that criminalizing the purchasing of sex reduces or eliminates prostitution…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #414) 

Boo fucking hoo:

The person who runs Saskatoon’s “john school” is disappointed because he hasn’t had any participants since the start of this year.  Albert Brown…said that since the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s anti-prostitution laws last year, his class has been empty…

Synopsis of the rest of the article: “Dirty, dirty, filthy, diseased whores!”

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How can people reasonably be expected to conform their behavior to the law when it is impossible for them to figure out what actions it proscribes until after they’ve been arrested and prosecuted?  –  Jacob Sullum

mega-brothelWhat a Week!

It looks like prohibitionists are getting more desperate:

A car bomb was defused in…[the] parking lot…[of]  Paradise, one of Spain’s largest legal brothels…masked men sped up to the brothel in two cars.  A man got out of one…and shouted he was leaving behind a car with a bomb in the back…it took a bomb squad several hours to deactivate the device…Town Mayor Sonia Martinez said she would take action to try and close Paradise, because it “seriously damages the image of the town”…

Welcome To Our World

This is exactly why most whores in legalization regimes refuse to register:

…In a piece titled, “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood“, the [New York] Journal News [published] the names and addresses of local residents who are licensed to own handguns…[in] Westchester [and] Rockland…counties…The article includes an interactive map

Nor is this the only lesson the anti-gun crowd could learn from sex work legalization regimes; those who have studied them could explain to Sarah O’Leary that when the police are allowed to “regulate” something, corruption and abuse are the inevitable results:

…It’s unrealistic to think we can get the estimated 300 million guns off the streets…Lawful gun owners…are not the ones who endanger the masses of us.  The ones who use massive amounts of ammo against innocents do…If we used law enforcement venues…to regulate gun owners’ access to ammunition, we would greatly limit the unstable person determined to commit mass murder…Require gun owners to log on to a centralized government website to order their ammo, then pick it up at their local police stations…the only places where anyone can legally buy ammunition. Put limits on how much ammunition can be purchased at any given time, and over any given period…

The density of ignorance in this article is truly mind-boggling.  O’Leary imagines “mass murderers” use more ammo in a spree than target shooters use in an afternoon, that police are incorruptible, that a centralized database is a good thing (see article directly above) and that people can’t make their own ammo; in fact her level of ignorance approaches that of sex work prohibitionists, and that’s staggering indeed.

Backward, Turn Backward

In the profoundly perverse minds of “trafficking” fanatics, teaching someone to keep herself safe or work more efficiently is a “crime”:

…Police say 25-year-old Emilie Cook negotiated a $500 deal for herself and the teen to have sex with…an undercover cop.  “[She]…was instructing a 16-year-old runaway on how to conduct prostitution,” said Trooper Melissa Matey with Louisiana State Police.  “The 16-year-old has been taken into custody, and…[Cook] has been booked in the Orleans Parish Prison for trafficking children for sexual purposes…state police is [sic] anticipating more arrests and this case is ongoing…”

Note the pretense that this simple example of mentoring is part of some larger criminal conspiracy.Potential Prostitutes

The Scarlet Letter

A new and revolting twist on “involuntary porn” extortion sites:

Potential Prostitutes  is only the latest sleazy site to wed personal photos to public humiliation…any woman may be be anonymously tagged as a prostitute…in a browsable “offender” database seeded with mugshots of convicted prostitutes.  Entries may be removed by those listed…[for] a hefty removal fee.  Along with Predators Watch, a nearly-identical sister site…it’s part of a growing fad for shakedowns that exploit public records, police mugshots, compromising Facebook photos and other embarrassing personal information…the sites were registered to a P.O. Box in Stockholm, Sweden, in the last few weeks…Its Twitter feed consists only of a burst of links to prostitution stings and scandals from early November.  Status People reports that only 6 percent of its followers are “good”, the rest being fake or inactive accounts…[Ken White of Popehat] writes that…”Courts are still determining application of Section 230 to extortion sites, [but] even the most generous application…wouldn’t apply if…the purveyors of the site were themselves the ones populating it with pictures under the guise of users doing it…Moreover, Section 230 is not a defense to criminal charges. Extortion is a…federal crime…[and if] the site makes deliberately false statements…to extort money, it…may [constitute] fraud…”

Backwards into the Future

Consider how closely this statement from a third-world militocracy resembles American anti-whore rhetoric:

Burma’s new quasi-civilian government has vowed to improve its record on tackling human trafficking…police chief Yam Len Mun…noted that Burma has already moved from tier three to tier two in the [US Trafficking in Persons] report…he said…the first priority for next year should be to educate workers in every factory in the country about the dangers of human trafficking.  Other…measures…include setting up telephone hotlines in border towns…and…[setting] up rehabilitation camps for trafficked workers who have been rescued…

The Mote and the Beam

The US Senate asking someone else to be a “responsible global citizen” is unbelievable hypocrisy, its ignorance is shocking and its embrace of “sex trafficking” is just sad.  But its sending the demand to the wrong corporation is totally hilarious:

The Senate passed a resolution…that calls on the newspaper Village Voice “to act as a responsible global citizen” by taking down its “adult entertainment” section of its classified advertising website…“The numbers are rising, in part because it has become frighteningly simple to order a child prostitute on the Internet…” Sen. Mark Kirk…said…“Just a few clicks on this site easily enables ‘johns’ to purchase children for sex.  Law enforcement believes that the existence of Backpage encourages the recruitment of victims for sexual exploitation because it allows traffickers to operate out of sight from police patrols”…Kirk said that experts estimate that each year as many as 300,000 children are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States and cited cases where those prosecuted for such crimes have used Backpage.com to advertise…“The profit-first mentality at Village Voice Media, which prioritizes the rights of pimps, not children, must end.”

Size Matters

The Mystic Mother of the Phoenix Goddess Temple was arrested again after investigators said they found her posting ads on backpage.com seeking sex in exchange for cash “donations.”  Tracy Elise, 51, was re-arrested on December 13, fifteen months after her initial arrest for running a suspected brothel.  Elise insists her church was misunderstood because it combines spirituality and sexuality…Prosecutors argue that the Goddess Temple was a ruse for prostitution and even though religion was discussed…that doesn’t change the fact that money was expected after sex…

Posting a new Backpage ad while awaiting trial for prostitution is such an incredibly bad idea, I must assume either the cops are lying or Elise is trying to create a test case.

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Treasury of Great RecipesI receivedjelly babies two extraordinarily generous gifts this week: from Juan Iglesias, a copy of Vincent Price’s highly-regarded 1965 cookbook A Treasury of Great Recipes; and from Dr. Brooke Magnanti,  over a kilogram of jelly babies plus several packets of Parma violets.  Thanks so very much to both of you!
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Change a Few Words

It’s gratifying when others see the resemblance between decriminalization of drugs and prostitution:  “Now that a couple of states have made it clear that pot is legal within their own borders, it looks like the momentum has shifted on drugs…Perhaps now is a good time to start directing some attention to another prohibition, and that is prostitution…”  While the author buys into “sex trafficking” hysteria and the “dirty whore” myth, he nonetheless recognizes that criminalization creates most of the problems, and that is a good sign for the future.

The Course of a Disease

Though England fought off the Labour Party’s last attempt to persecute sex workers and clients by imposing the tyrannical Swedish Model, the misogynistic puritans who run the party are at it again:  “The government is coming under increasing pressure to…follow…Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland…[in imposing] the so-called Nordic model…

Feet of Clay

Kristof’s awfulness is becoming so obvious, even the ignorant (such as someone who writes without a hint of sarcasm, “Paul Krugman is right about everything“) recognize him for what he is:

Nick Kristof travels the globe rescuing sex workers by getting them arrested and then attempting to find them jobs in sweatshops…His writing always features morally unambiguous black-and-white heroes and villains.  The heroes are frequently rescuing helpless maidens.  Kristof declines to see complexity in every great crisis he tackles, and largely refuses to acknowledge that money and American “intervention” are frequentlySanta on the moon, courtesy of C. Andrew…the cause of [them]…Kristof’s reliance on anecdote and personal narratives above all else…lead him to deeply stupid conclusions…

The Young and the Brainless

It’s for their own good!  “[On Christmas Day] police arrested three men, 53 women and 16 transvestites for engaging in prostitution across Bangkok…to suppress human trafficking issues during the New Year holidays.  All suspects will be sent to local police stations for further prosecution.”

Metaupdates

Counterfeit Comfort (TW3 #16)

You may remember that when New York wanted to unconstitutionally punish people who had already served their sentences, it simply applied political pressure to get private corporations to do its dirty work for it:

New York State has teamed up with several major online game services to purge another 2,100 accounts held by registered sex offenders…New York’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) requires convicted sex offenders to register all of their email addresses, screen names and other online identities with the state.  That information is passed along to sites and services so they can show predators to the door…

Obviously, there’s no possible way guys caught pissing in public or having sex with their girlfriends could ever start new anonymous accounts and not tell Big Brother about it.

Capricious Lusts (TW3 #37)

While Hollywood figures are lining up to climb on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon, Bollywood figures are beginning to support decriminalization:

…Legalising prostitution in India would be a step…to bettering…conditions…Prohibiting all activities related to prostitution…does not seem to be curbing the booming sex trade…Prostitution has been in existence since organised society came into being, and…these women provide services to all existing societies even today.thought police poster  Isn’t it time we give…[them] the respect and dignity they deserve?…

See No Evil (TW3 #51)

…a Montreal jury acquitted  special-effects artist Rémy Couture of “corrupting morals” by creating gory photographs and short films…The government said his images were obscene…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #51)

Another judge acquits “trafficking” witch hunt victims due to a total lack of evidence:

A federal judge…overturned the convictions of three men on sex-trafficking charges…based on the government’s failure to prove the men were part of a single, overarching conspiracy…[and] because the government failed to turn over [to the defendants]…documents [which] showed contradictions in the testimony of the government’s principal witness…The [alleged] victim testified…that she was used as a prostitute…starting at age 12.  But…new evidence…suggests…[she] lied about her age…[and was actually] 18 or 19…

Gorged With Meaning (TW3 #51)

I’ll bet those pearl-clutching Welsh academics didn’t expect this:

…Former madam Becky Adams, who is taking part in a Swansea University project examining youngsters in the sex trade, said that the market was almost flooded with people trying to pay their way through university…“The market is almost flooded with them…An hour used to be £150 in the 90s and now you can find an hour for £70 or £80.  That is a result of supply and demand because there are so many more people at it.  And you cannot just blame the Eastern Europeans…”

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Beside the original “Presents” post and my previous columns for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, this week also featured two columns about whore goddesses, a response to criticism from another activist, a biography of the Madame de Pompadour, a deconstruction of the ridiculous claims of “social scientists”, a report on Google’s support of anti-whore activism and my answers to reader questions on vaginal looseness, sluts, P411, anal sex, penis size and talking to children about prostitutes.

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[A] silly uberfeminist crusader…once called me a sex addict in a national newspaper…To some…[that] would be the gravest insult; to me it was the intellectual equivalent of claiming I am Father Christmas.  –  Brooke Magnanti

King of the Hill

The latest entry in the contest to claim bragging rights for “biggest sex trafficking hub in the United States”:  “Reports from cities with federal Innocence Lost Task Forces lists Toledo [Ohio] as the third largest city for human trafficking and sex slavery…”  Previous claimants include New York, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Portland, Oregon and Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Phoenix, Arizona; and the entire state of Tennessee.

Updates

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

A southwest Missouri woman who says she shared her bed for years with her husband and his sex slave has decided she needs help defending herself against five federal charges.  Marilyn Bagley… is charged with conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking, document servitude and use of an interstate facility to facilitate unlawful activity.  She and her husband, Edward, are scheduled for trial in February.

My Body, My Choice

Note that prohibitionist “feminists” had no comment on this:  “Former U.S. Congresswoman Linda Smith…[who] founded Shared Hope International…said that efforts to stop the sell [sic] and trade of minors in the sex industry should be an extension of the ‘pro-life’ cause.”

Acting and Activism

President Obama is not alone in the fight to end sex trafficking.  Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino…[is] starring in a new Hollywood film, Trade of Innocents, following a sex trafficking ring in Cambodia.”  Thanks, CNN; had you not told me that Obama wasn’t alone in pandering to hysteria, I would never have known.

Backwards into the Future

Even some politicians in Zimbabwe have more respect for human rights than their American counterparts:

Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV and AIDS…wants government to decriminalise commercial sex work…The Director of the Public Personalities against AIDS Trust, Tendai Westerhof, [also] condemned criminalisation of sex workers…“It is disappointing that the country still criminalises sex work…these people suffer a lot as a result of the discriminatory laws…They are raped and cannot report such abuses.  As a result, they cannot access health services”…

Meanwhile, in South Africa, sex worker rights group SWEAT recently made a presentation in their parliament.

Down Under

Though the Australian cops in this story subscribe to fashionable “end demand” malarkey, some of them also admit that client persecution harms streetwalkers:

As a crackdown on kerb crawlers in St Kilda intensifies, street sex workers could be moving…to…Dandenong or Footscray, or [using smartphone] apps to meet clients in unsafe areas.  Police tried unsuccessfully for decades to curb the trade by targeting workers…But halfway through the new two-year strategy, they noticed that the switch to targeting clients was having unwanted consequences.  ”If we do push them out of the area, they won’t necessarily all leave the industry – and they’ll either adopt online or they’ll go and work in another location”…said [Senior Sergeant Brad Daly].  ”We might be creating things that we haven’t thought of yet”…lawyer Vanda Hamilton works with more than 50 legal and illegal sex workers and said…she feared many were being forced into troubling scenarios.  She said the only way to ensure safety was to follow New South Wales’ example by legalising street-sex work…”You’re never going to stop sex work, you’re just going to push it so far underground that you can’t help people”…

Guess what, Brad?  Virtually none of them are leaving the industry; they’re just going where you can’t see them.

Counterfeit Comfort

More of this, please (but where’s the ACLU?)

Less than a month after approving restrictions on Halloween activities by registered sex offenders, the city of Simi Valley has been sued…the…law bans Halloween displays and outside lighting every Oct. 31…[and] requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall:  “No candy or treats at this residence.”  Both the prohibition on decorations and the mandatory sign violate free speech rights, according to the lawsuit.  A total of 119 registered sex offenders live in Simi Valley…None has been involved in crimes involving children on Halloween, according to police, who say they have no records of any such crime occurring in Simi Valley during Halloween trick-or-treating…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on the newest, even stupider adjunct to “sex addiction”:

The Daily Mailclaims [that young men] are addicted…[to] Viagra…[which unlike sex] is a pharmaceutical drug…[which] could [conceivably produce] physical dependency…[their “proof” consists of an]…interview [with] exactly one guy who uses Viagra a lot during sex…and…one…“psychosexual counselor”…who says this is “just a small sample of the problem”…Any studies…Any scientific research in any labs anywhere?  Because I…don’t see any.  At.  All.  Reading further down the article I see their real target:  porn “addiction”…[and] sexually empowered women…How dare the ladies express interest and enjoyment in sex!  Why won’t we just lie back and think of England like we’re supposed to!?…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Mere days after I added it to my Amazon wishlist, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent me a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale, which I somehow never got around to reading before.  Thank you so very much!

Profit from Panic

Hey, kids! Fight “human trafficking” for fun and profit! Implicate your neighbors! Persecute sex workers! Win big prizes!  “To raise awareness of human trafficking…the Department of Justice and Equality in Dublin and the Department of Justice in Belfast will launch a photography and video competition for Third Level students…Research human trafficking and present your understanding of the issue through a photograph or short video…Winners of each category will receive…1st prize €1,000…2nd prize €500…3rd prize €250.”

Prudish Pedants

Here’s an interesting article debunking the fallacious notion that some kinds of porn are more “positive” than others, that “erotica” is intrinsically different from porn and that men can be “taught” to reject the kind of porn they prefer in favor of the kind women prefer…argued from a marketing perspective rather than a traditionally psychological one.  One important point:  “Human minds are not passive and infinitely malleable receptacles prone to any form of socialization and learning.  Successful marketers are well aware of this reality.  Ideologues, including some academics in the ivory tower, have much to learn!

Misdirection

Remember when controversy over contraception was only something we read about in history books or in reference to unusually conservative Catholics?  I sure do.  But over the last two decades that equine carcass has been dragged out of the glue factory and is once again being set upon by sex-hating control freaks trying to call attention away from the uncontrolled tumescence of government, national debt and the police state.  The fact that the public obediently paid attention to this distraction has enabled lots of crazy people, including a group of nuns who produced an anti-contraception video chock full of propaganda because they obviously forgot that lying makes Baby Jesus cry:

Feet of Clay

Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Gira Grant write:

This week Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn’s book Half The Sky premieres on PBS as a two-part miniseries, providing an opportunity for his audience to step into his well-worn white savior shoes…viewers will survey the lives of young women whom Kristof and WuDunn have chosen as the best ciphers for their agenda…to…“turn oppression into opportunity”…[by] proposing dubious schemes for advancing women’s rights—like arresting sex workers in order to “rescue” them from prostitution, or enthusiastically supporting the creation of “sweatshops” to accommodate sex workers and other women in the global south…

In response, Moore & Grant presented a “collective evaluation” of Nicholas Kristof, in other words excerpts from essays by Laura Agustín, Teju Cole and many others (including yours truly).  The article is also mentioned in this Buzzfeed article, which shows the outcry is getting big enough for even the usually-oblivious media to notice.

Little Boxes

Catarina Migliorini says that cooking, driving, reading and every other human activity magically become different things if one only does them once:

…A 20-year-old Brazilian woman is auctioning off her virginity for a one-time tryst on an airplane…Catarina Migliorini says she’ll donate some of the money to provide housing for poor families in her native Santa Catarina…the Internet bidding [has already] reached  $160,000…[and] ends Oct. 15…Migliorini insisted in a statement to the Sao Paulo daily Folha that…”For me, it’s not prostitution…when someone does something once in his or her life, this is not considered a profession.  If you take a picture and it comes out good, you are not a photographer because of it”…The Daily Mail reported that Migliorini is [also]…part of an Australian film project called Virgins Wanted.  She’s getting $20,000 and a 90-percent cut of the auction price…

The HuffPo comments are, of course, predictably disgusting.  Meanwhile, Slate presents this series of portraits of female Iranian singers, who are legally barred from singing on stage for a general audiences because it is “immodest”.  This is not a hypothetical reductio ad absurdum; it is the natural result of busybodies having control over women’s interactions with men and attempting to draw imaginary lines between “good” and “immoral” behavior.

The Public Eye

Rachel Aimee, one of the founders of the late $pread magazine, covers one specific aspect of the “sex workers as mothers” topic:  deciding if, when and how to tell one’s children that one is a sex worker.  She interviews an escort, a stripper, a dominatrix, a nude model and a sex educator, and though as you might expect she doesn’t reach a definitive conclusion, she presents a lot of worthwhile food for thought.

Metaupdates

Think of the Children! in TW3 (#11)

Another good, clean organization refuses charity from nasty, dirty whores:

A pornographic website has launched a fundraising effort for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but the nonprofit says it wants nothing to do with the campaign…the…website said it would donate 1 cent for every 30 views of certain videos featuring breasts during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…[but the Komen organization said] “We are not a partner, not accepting donations, and have asked them to stop using our name”…

Obviously, the Komen Foundation has not yet learned that they are supposed to care more about women’s health than about prudishness.

I Really Shouldn’t Even LOOK at an Issue of Cosmopolitan in TW3 (#25)

Priya-Alika Elias imagines what it would be like if Homer, Shakespeare, Joyce, Tolkien and others wrote Cosmo sex tips.  Alas, she didn’t do Lovecraft, but it’s still pretty damned funny.

Follow Your Bliss in TW3 (#37)

The…TSA…didn’t bother to do a background check on a priest who had been defrocked for molesting girls before they gave him a job, which included doing pat downs on children at Philadelphia International Airport.  The Philadelphia Inquirerreported that…65-year-old Thomas Harkins…has since been promoted from the…job that required him to pat down children and now oversees screening operations for checked baggage.

This Week in 2011

I answered questions on NBA policies, Wikipedia, gravatars and epigrams, discussed busybody control freaks who use women’s dignity as an excuse for oppression, introduced you to a young courtesan named Su Xiaoxiao, reported on a complaint to the APA about Melissa Farley’s numerous ethical violations, and shared short items on marital sex issues, Gardasil, a Sydney mega-brothel, a pervert cop, BDSM persecution, Edmonton’s attempt to create a bottleneck, a claim that the average hooker is 13, cops’ armed robbery of a strip club, AHF and an essay by Catherine Hakim.

This Week in 2010

I introduced the concept of “sex rays”, talked about my boob job, explained how criminalization exposes whores to danger from real criminals, discussed the families of sex workers, presented brief biographies of the five victims of Jack the Ripper, looked at the archetypal “hooker with a heart of gold”, and shared short items about Congress’ first attempt to control the internet and two creepy men’s attempts to sexually violate women unnoticed.

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Do we really need to create a black market for burgers and fries?  –  Jeff Stier

Coming and Going

Texas is finally beginning to realize that it has better ways to spend millions per year than locking up whores:

…a 2001 Texas law…allowed prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony…after three misdemeanor prostitution convictions…but now, with more than 350 prostitutes…occupying bunks in the state prison system, and dozens more serving time for drug and theft charges…questions are being raised about…the…waste of money.  For about one-fourth the cost, such nonviolent, low-level criminals could be rehabilitated in community-based programs aimed at curing their addictions to alcohol and drugs…

The tone of the article can be judged by the fact that it describes Melissa Farley as “a recognized national expert on prostitution.”  This Agitator guest post on the subject by Eric Sterling of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is far more satisfying:

…Consider the utterly unseemly entrapment of women by members of a vice squad.  Think of the state of mind of the undercover police officer doing this work.  Actually don’t think on this too long, it is disgusting…Assume that many prostitutes don’t like the work.  So what?  I know lots of lawyers who don’t like the work, too — renting their mind for thousands of hours a year for clients they find disgusting…Why do we judge this work to be illegal, other than on the basis of legal tradition?  How are these women…[their] families…[or] society benefited by sending prostitutes to prison?  How are their…employment prospects improved by arresting them?…

Thinking With the Wrong Head

Actually, I do believe they’re telling the truth; pathetic attempts to get it for free aren’t Vitter’s style:

Sen. David Vitter’s spokesman…denied the Louisiana Republican was responsible for sending and quickly deleting a message from the senator’s official Twitter account to a young woman…Joel DiGrado [said]…Vitter “never personally tweets — in fact, he doesn’t even have the Twitter account set up on his Blackberry…The only explanation would seem to be an inadvertent staff button hit, perhaps related to the fact that, at various times the senator’s account has automatically followed whoever follows his account”…

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Second sign that a human behavior is natural rather than cultural:  it’s observed in other primate species:

When offered the choice of playing with either a doll or a toy truck, girls will typically pick the doll and boys will opt for the truck.  This isn’t just because society encourages girls to be nurturing and boys to be active, as people once thought.  In experiments, male adolescent monkeys also prefer to play with wheeled vehicles while the females prefer dolls — and their societies say nothing on the matter.  The monkey research, conducted with two different species in 2002 and 2008, strongly suggested a biological explanation for children’s toy preferences…

The article goes on to discuss other studies which demonstrate that infant testosterone levels correlate with the amount of time they spend looking at balls or trucks vs. dolls, and even baby girls exposed to abnormally-high androgen levels in utero (a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia) prefer the “male-typical” toys.

Thou Shalt Not

Clearly, prohibitionism is a kind of mental illness:

…Deborah Cohen…suggests that some of the policies we use to control alcohol consumption could help beat back obesity.  “People realized…that alcohol was a problem…so they developed all kinds of regulations to make it less convenient…Perhaps now it’s time to rein in our easy access to food,” Cohen said…[measures] could include warning labels for foods high in fat and sugar, or maybe restrictions on where in the grocery store foods are displayed to curb impulse buying…Cohen [also] likes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of large-sized sugary drinks…

Lysistrata

There’s nothing wrong with this in theory, but it will take much more than a week to have any effect:

The female wing of a civil rights group is urging women in Togo to stage a week-long sex strike to demand the resignation of the country’s president…Isabelle Ameganvi, leader of the women’s wing of the group Let’s Save Togo…said…her group is following the example of Liberia’s women, who used a sex strike in 2003 to campaign for peace…

The Rape Question

A Swedish booklet from 2007 (described in Oscar Swartz’  A Brief History of Swedish Sex) helpfully explains that begging equals rape:

…The…144 page booklet…gave a message that could not be misunderstood:  Girls should always and only think of themselves…[and] boys…should only think of the girl and her emotions and wishes and never of themselves.  Girls are encouraged to put on provocative clothing, drink, flirt, fool around, join boys from the pub, lie down in their bed, excite them – but at the last second say no.  She must never question whether…[it is OK] to act in such ways, since it is her legal right…If something did not feel good, girls are reassured that they must report their boyfriends, dates or lovers to the police…“If sex is achieved through begging and pleading…then it is rape”, says…psycho-therapist Monica Mardell…

In other words, if a Swedish man does anything other than mutely and passively submit to a woman’s sexual advances, he is a rapist.

Feet of Clay

Welcome to our world, chemists:

Last May, Deborah Blum…published a column pleading with…Nick Kristof to stop writing about chemical risk…[now] Kristof is at it again, [claiming]…“Big Chem” is preventing the Federal Government from protecting Americans from dangerous, endocrine disrupting chemicals…it appears that [Kristof] only reads [research] produced by a very, very small group of scientists – all on the farthest reaches of the environmental left.  He applies no statistical or experimental criticism to these studies:  they always “really” find what they claim to have found; and he seems unaware of the many non-industry funded studies or regulatory agency assessments that contradict them…

Naked Truth

If you’re anything like me, one Kristof-bashing session is never enough; so, here’s Melissa Gira Grant in Jacobin:

…“True, many of the prostitution ads on Backpage are placed by adult women acting on their own without coercion,” writesprofessional prostitute savior Nicholas Kristof.  But, he continues…“they’re not my concern.”  He would like us to join him in separating women into those who chose prostitution and those who were forced into it; those who view it as business and those who view it as exploitation; those who are workers and those who are victims; those who are irremediable and those who can be saved.  These categories…fail to explain the reality of one woman’s work, let alone a class of women’s labor…But happy hookers, says Kristof, don’t despair, this isn’t about women like you – we don’t really mean to put you out of work.  Never mind that shutting down the businesses people in the sex trade depend on for safety and survival only exposes all of them to danger and poverty, no matter how much choice they have…

Metaupdates

A Tale That Grew in the Telling in October Updates (Part Three)

The claims of “sex trafficking” fanatics get more outlandish all the time:

The Internet has created the golden age of the sex industry.  It’s an $87 million a day business and it’s growing…Working in the commercial sex industry is the most dangerous job in the world.  Most of us think we understand the business of sex:  what it is and what (if anything) should be done to control it.  But the reality is complex and sinister.  Caught up in it are young men and women who are trafficked…Some opt in by choice.  But most don’t.  Unsuspecting victims fall prey to the elaborate schemes of predatory pimps who…know that a girl can generate upwards of $300,000 a year…

For perspective:  I used to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and I owned an escort service in addition to my own work, yet I still never made $300,000 in one year.  In fact, I think that all the living whores who can reliably exceed that every year could comfortably fit in my house.  But I guess for a mind stupid enough to believe that a hooker can see 50 men a night, $300,000 a year is quite reasonable.

The Crumbling Dam in TW3 (#20)

All over Canada, support for decriminalization continues to grow:

Giving the children of Vancouver’s missing women financial compensation and decriminalizing sex work, heroin and cocaine are just some of 37 recommendations set out by a new Missing Women inquiry report…the Independent Counsel recommendations detail a comprehensive list aimed at stopping another serial killer from preying on marginalized sex workers…“At the core of the difficulty is a set of police attitudes that are influenced by the unlawful status of sex work and drug use,” said the report’s author, lawyer Jason Gratl…“Sex workers and drug users are afraid to approach police because they fear persecution and arrest, even if they’re victims of serious physical or sexual crimes.”  When investigating the missing women, police rarely interviewed victims’ friends or family because…[they believed] the sex workers didn’t have friends or neighbours…

Reading Between the Lines in TW3 (#26)

Oklahoma City police joined with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the FBI to arrest 44 people in a prostitution and human trafficking sting.  The arrests include people accused of prostituting themselves, aiding a prostitute and soliciting the services of a prostitute. This is part of an ongoing nationwide investigation into human trafficking called Operation Cross Country…”  Total number of minors or “trafficked persons” arrested:  zero.

The Pro-Rape Coalition in TW3 (#30)

This was already a done deal, but now it’s official:

A Monday press release from faith-based advocacy group Morality in Media celebrates the Republican Party’s platform as now targeting all…pornography, not just illegal child pornography…“Distribution of obscene or hardcore pornography on the Internet is a violation of current federal law,” explained MIM’s President Patrick A. Trueman.  “Yet, most children in America have free access to obscene pornography as soon as they learn how to use a computer.  The average age of first exposure to obscene Internet pornography is now eleven.”  Trueman also suggested that…the federal government should police “obscenity,” not only…on the Internet, but also on hotel…TVs, cable or satellite television, and in retail shops…

Eleven as the average age of first exposure to the sex industry…now, where have I heard that before?

The Course of a Disease in TW3 (#31)

Apparently, prohibitionists have a very weird idea of what words like “support” and “help” mean, and have learned absolutely nothing from the catastrophic failure of the “War on Drugs”:

A new poll…has indicated that only 20 percent of the Danish population supports the government’s proposal to outlaw sex purchases, while a full 67 percent…are against it…But despite [this] politicians like Rasmus Horn Langhoff…contend that it must be done in order to support the women in the sex industry.  “…We must send a clear message that it is not okay to buy sex because of how negative it is for the women,” Langhoff [said]…“If we target the customers then we help the prostitutes who don’t need to go underground”…But…law group Gadejuristen (the Street Lawyer)…painted a…different picture.  “It’s completely wrong if you think that you can solve serious social issues by criminalising them.  Doing this will only worsen the situation,” [said] Nanna Gottfredsen…“You push the sex workers further into a grey zone.  They will hide themselves and their activities and social workers will no longer be able to contact those in need of help.”

This Week in 2011

Maslow’s Hammer; the inevitability of Nature getting her way; the counterfeit comfort of “sex offender” registries; how reality can only be fit into simplistic belief systems by ignoring most of it; questions on polyamory, penis size and racial preferenceslanguage patterns of New Orleans; and Michael Weinstein’s campaign to turn porn movies into commercials for his product.

This Week in 2010

Several of my most unusual calls and my favorite New Orleans eateries; three columns about very special girls who touched my heart; the original “sex trafficking” hysteria of a century ago; and my first column on the “condoms in porn” controversy.

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