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Posts Tagged ‘Feminine Pragmatism’

It would have been better to be in prison, at least you can meet with your family there.  –  a former victim of what Prajwala calls “rescue”

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Police have confirmed a female reporter’s claim that she was subjected to surveillance and a hotel room inspection like a “prostitution bust” while she was covering a chemical leak in southeast China…The Quanzhou Public Security Bureau…issued an apology and said four [cops] – three of whom were from an auxiliary unit – had overstepped their jurisdiction and “caused negative social effects”.  A deputy bureau chief had been “punished”, while another local police station chief would “make amends” to the local Communist Party committee…One of the [cops] involved has also been suspended…

Case Study

One day, “businessman rents workspaces to small businesses” will be recognized as the non-news it is:

Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to give back hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to the Conservatives by a property tycoon who owns a London apartment block…[because] more than 100 sex workers have been listed online as working [there]…Chelsea Cloisters…is owned by wealthy property tycoon Christopher Moran…the sex trade is so extensive at the Sloane Avenue building that punters booking prostitutes online refer to it as “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “10 floors of whores”.  Reporters were able to [waste the time of 23 sex workers there with] [f]ake bookings…Some of the woman were found to have come from Romania…

To Molest and Rape

Another example of the McNeill Rule following his bliss:

…Neil Kimball, a…sex crimes investigator, [has been arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl]…and is being held on $2 million bond.  He has [also] been [granted] paid [vacation]…

Against Their Will (#736)

May this be the beginning of the end for the evil, deranged Sunitha Krishnan:

Prajwala…[incarcerates] thousands of women and girls…each year [in India] under a draconian anti-prostitution law.  Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala’s leader, has won numerous international awards…But interviews with sex workers, activists, outreach workers and police paint a picture of life inside Prajwala’s secretive shelters very much at odds with the one Krishnan has presented to the world.  Former [prisoners] describe an atmosphere of fear and despair, where those who rebel against their detention are beaten, and where there is virtually no contact with the outside world.  Self-harm and suicide attempts are common…Krishnan denies the…beatings, but acknowledges that [prisoners are forced into slave labor, claiming they only resist because]…“they are not used to daytime activities”…Krishnan said holding women there against their will is justified because “they are indoctrinated to believe that they have to get out”.  [Prisoners] are denied phone calls if a woman’s family…wants to get their relative released…because [Krishnan fantasizes that]…an “innocent” family would reject a relative involved in sex work…“We do not allow journalists…If people think we are not transparent, so be it”…Prajwala does not distinguish between women who enter sex work voluntarily and genuine trafficking survivors, nor between those who consent to being “rescued” and those who do not…

Broken Record (#848) 

I think this might just be the second stupidest claimed “cause of sex trafficking” of all time, right after “summer”:

…a [Florida prohibitionist fantasizes] this is prime time for sex crimes and there’s a tactic criminals are now using that parents need to know about.  Young faces, including teens, are being used as recruiters…they’ll ask for a cell phone number…“because they can use GPS coordinates to locate the child,” said Lynne Barletta, [DBA] Catch The Wave of Hope.  Barletta is on a mission to [spread hysteria] about sex trafficking…and her message to holiday bargain hunters is don’t leave your daughters on their own…Barletta cites a…[thoroughly debunked] statistic: 300,000 children in America are victims of human trafficking …[her vibrator hums loudly as] she [masturbates to]…the thought that a teenage girl just window shopping at a mall could be lured into that world or shoved into the back of a car…[She also bizarrely claims that] “I saw it happening in our own backyard”…

Feminine Pragmatism (#850)

Why do people have to be branded “victims” and subjected to police theatrics to get help?

Colombian police have rescued 43 Venezuelan women held captive and forced into prostitution after being lured by the promise of a new life.  The women were “recruited” in Cucuta…and taken to Bogota…It was here, police say, where their “nightmare” began…Police said the women were given just 15 minutes of freedom a day and were “constantly threatened and tortured” by thugs in the gang…Police said the rescued women were being treated as victims and were been given food and humanitarian aid…

These women were recruited (why the scare quotes?) in Cucuta because hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia there.  Though the conditions may have been worse than they expected, the idea that they were “slaves” who were lied to about the work is absurd.  Women are not stupid; they knew very well what kind of work they would be doing (see item at subtitle link).  The reason they were able to be exploited isn’t because of “sex trafficking” mumbo-jumbo; it’s because they were desperate and on the wrong side of magic lines drawn on a map by pompous control freaks, and shitty employers have been taking advantage of such desperation since the beginning of civilization.

Uncommon Sense (#869) 

As usual, the mainstream media is a font of disinformation where sex work is concerned.  The New York Times advertised its own prohibitionism in its lede, “Spain’s National Court has outlawed a union of sex workers, saying that recognition of the group amounted to making the exploitation of prostitutes legal“…but as Dr. Laura Agustín explains in her thorough article on the topic, “despite misleading press headlines…the [court] annulled the group’s statutes but hasn’t the power to dissolve the union“…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#875) 

Pigs and prohibitionists say one is “as many as 150”:

As many as 150 teens in Santa Barbara County have been identified as “commercially sexually exploited children”…since the launch of the Human Trafficking Task Force in 2013…a public-forum panel…began with a video of a [single] teen who was rescued from human trafficking, which doesn’t happen often, according to…p[rohibition]ists …”We need more [money],” [a pig oinked]…To…organize…sting operations…

The spectacle of grown adults sitting around telling each other such fantasies will make fascinating material for the appendix of some future ethnography of the strange tribes of the American Decline period.

Watershed (#885)

It’s a rare thing nowadays for an organization to prioritize ethics over the heckler’s veto:

Quebec’s most prominent women’s group continues to lose members after it passed a resolution last month recognizing that women [own their bodies and are not moral imbeciles].  The resolution approved by members of the Federation des femmes du Quebec has split the organization between pro[-violence busybodies] and those who believe [in human rights]…

Kudos to FFQ for standing up for women against the demands of misogynistic control freaks.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#885)

The weird, dangerous belief that masturbation is harmful to men continues to increase in popularity:

…Growing out of…internet message boards…[and] deeply traditional, historically puritanical views, the movement has grown to the tens of thousands, with hundreds posting on the sub-Reddit every single day.  The forum is No Nut November: the internet challenge encouraging men not to ejaculate (or “nut”) for an entire month…NNN came out of the NoFap “movement”, which…has become linked to wider sexism and misogyny, reducing women to sexual objects to be attained or abstained from and shaming sexually active women…the origin point of Not Nut November came from pick-up artist and conspiracy theory sites – ones where the forums’ influential leaders  argued that there was some inherent power in men that could be “focused” by not masturbating…[some even believe] that semen has magical properties, and by storing up as much of it as possible men will become more attractive to women…

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The “first oral sex robot”…[looks less like a] sexy silicone face…and…more like a Wi-Fi router with benefits.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

The [UK] Universal Credit benefits system is forcing some women to turn to sex work, [opponents of the scheme] say…”Julie”, from Merseyside, never thought she would have to turn to sex work.  But an eight-week wait for the single mum’s first payment after transferring from her previous benefits left her “desperate”, so when she was offered £30 for sex she took it…

Counterfeit Comfort

Arizona says anyone even accused of a sex crime is subhuman:

…the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause…this categorical group known as “sex offenders” was so deserving of a life of misery, prohibition and shunning for the putative safety of the community that there was a rational basis for civil rules to make them societal outcasts.  Where they can live, work, exist for decades, if not the rest of their lives, was constrained to the point of impossibility.  And should they mess up compliance with any detail, back they go to prison.  But it’s not criminal.  It’s civil.  For no better reason than legislatures say it’s not punitive, but for the safety of the children, Even though it’s punitive.  Extremely punitive.  Arizona wants to take this further…[by] “rendering a defendant [accused of a sex crime] categorically ineligible for bail“…it categorically prohibits bail without regard for individual circumstances…In order to obtain release, the accused would apparently be compelled to disprove the accusations.  Not at trial, but just to be considered for bail.  It’s not merely a presumption of guilt, with the burden shifted onto the defendant to disprove his guilt, but one that imposes the burden on a singular group, sex offenders, because they are now the most dreaded and hated in society…

Scapegoats 

Safety first:

A [Florida] man has been arrested after several people told deputies they spotted him having sex with a miniature horse…Nicholas Anthony Sardo, 21, admitted to having sex with a miniature male pony named Jackie G…four times during the course of a week.  Sardo told deputies he used a condom each time because he didn’t want to get a disease from the horse…

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

The death of an inmate following an “altercation with correctional staff” at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide…Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma [intentionally inflicted] to the chest and abdomen [by four screws]…The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures…two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages and lacerations…[and a ruptured colon]…four [screws] were [rewarded for the murder with paid vacations]…Willie Hedden…Benjamin Burnett…Blake Haubrich…and…Alex Banta…

“An altercation with correctional staff” means “screws beat him to death”.

To Molest and Rape 

Sometimes they even rape their own:

A [cop] who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for…retaliating against her after she [reported] a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.  Monica Blake[‘s]…lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting [her] rape in 2016…[the rapist] made a plea deal…and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault [and the department is hiding his identity so he can be free to rape other women]…she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like [framing innocent people]…It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board…

Lack of Evidence (#821)

Why do sex workers and others believe in these garbage “immunity” policies?

Sex workers would be [statutorily] immune from criminal prosecution when they report rapes, assaults, robberies and other crimes, under a bill approved by a [Utah] legislative committee…[bill sponsor] Paul Ray…said…”If we put it in statute, [gullible whores]…will [believe they’ll actually] receive immunity and be treated as a victim or witness”…He said serial offenders prey upon sex workers because “they know they can”…

Remember, cops and politicians claim that indefinite detention without charge is a form of “protection”, and courts have on many occasions caged rape or domestic violence victims to compel their testimony.  Laws that claim to grant members of a criminalized group “immunity” for high-sounding reasons are bullshit as long as the group is still criminalized; even if the mark isn’t immediately caged she will be placed on a list, spied on and generally persecuted.

The Notorious Badge (#822) 

An interesting history of Annie Sprinkle’s salon in 1980s New York:

…From 1980-94, the Sprinkle Salon was a spiritual and physical extension of Sprinkle’s identity.  Her radicalism was translated into fetish, tattoo, and body modification parties, while her pledge to sexual positivity emulated in female empowerment sex classes like Sluts and Goddesses…and her role as a leader in the sex industry was equally translated into sex worker rights groups like PONY (Prostitutes Of New York) and porn support groups like Club 90.  Above all, the Sprinkle Salon was a central point for New York’s underground sexual rebellion and a place to push the revolution into the rights of fetishists, porn stars, and sex workers…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848) 

Liz Brown on the “sex robot” fantasy:

…The idea of sex machines as technological comeuppance for women who dared declare their liberation has grown alongside the boom in misogynist online media…But here’s the bad news for the men dreaming of a sexbot…”Harmony”…is as close as we’ve come so far to a consumer sexbot.  And she’s more Tamagotchi than Westworld…there is little to suggest that sexbots will be more than a fascinating “niche”…There will certainly be some of your “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) types, those who see sex robots as a way around the problem of women’s inconvenient humanity.  And there will be fetishists — those for whom the synthetic and robotic elements are the appeal…There are also likely to be novelty users…None of this seems terribly scary, and certainly not the catastrophe some fear…because most people are looking for something much more complicated than a well-engineered masturbatory machine…

Traffic Circle (#880)

A pearl-clutching hack incompetently tries to present the shitty management of a part-time strip club as “evidence” of “sex trafficking” in a rural area during hunting season:

…from September to November…Frank Day’s [bar] opens a short-term strip club, specifically catering to a rush of pheasant hunters who travel [to South Dakota]here from all over the country toting shotguns and cash to burn.  Pheasant hunting season…comes with a dark side: sex trafficking…Pop-up strip clubs…can trap freelance dancers in a web of exorbitant fees…making them vulnerable to being illegally exploited by traffickers…South Dakota is dawning to the realization that human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem.  It’s…modern slavery…as…men [magically] control…women and sell their [soulless] bodies for sex…“People of South Dakota don’t think it’s happening in their backyard, but it is,” [panted prohibitionist] Lisa Heth…

Epilogue:  The idiot who wrote this dreck actually tried to mansplain the stripping business to a well-known stripper who writes about stripping when she called him on his BS on Twitter.

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Women are always in need of things and these nowadays men, they like to get but they don’t like to give.  –  Shauna Chyn

Rough Trade 

He has a sex addiction and has been going through a 12-step program“.  For serial rape.

Thomas Walter Oliver [was] convicted…[for] raping or sexually attacking 11 women and teenage girls over a nine-year span….and…sentenced…to 30 years in prison.  Oliver was acquaintances or friends with many of his victims.  He met one on the dating site Tinder.  Another was a neighbor.  He met another at a music festival.  Three were working in the sex industry.  Six were younger than 18…

Lack of Evidence 

A pretty typical level of “evidence” for allegations of prostitution:

This decision…by the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court starts as so many qualified immunity cases do…”On May 22, 2014, [Brittany] Harris, along with her mother, father and older sister, went out for dinner…their minivan was stopped by [cops using the pretext of]…an obstructed license plate“…Brittany asked to go to the restroom after she and her family had spent more than an hour being detained by six squad cars…She was accompanied by [a sow called] Kimberly Klare, who…”secured Harris’s hands behind her back…placed her hands under Harris’s brassiere and pinched the girl’s breasts, causing bruising…Klare told her that…a previous suspect at that location had ‘stuffed needles in her bra’ and because…'[y]ou have the look of a junkie whore’.  But Klare found no drugs…or other contraband…[cops] also noticed that Harris’s father had…’tools, like screwdrivers and wrenches’…[in the vehicle, and that this somehow constituted ‘evidence’] that Harris’s mother was engaged in drug activity“…

Feminine Pragmatism 

Misogynists and cheapskates hate it when women encourage younger women to know their worth:

Shauna Chyn said she doesn’t understand why people are in their feelings about the content of her new single, “Suicidal”…[in which she]…encourages women to “collect” monetary advances…before getting intimate with a man…Chyn said she is tired of hearing women lament that when relationships end, they are left with nothing but memories.  “As women, we go through a lot with these men, and den nuff time dem just get up and leave. If a man a go leave, yuh must can have something to show for it.  Make dem spoil yuh before you give dem yuh thing,” she added.  She added that she is aware her message will not be met with open arms, but said she could[n’t] care less as her concern is to get women to see their worth and not be fooled…she…then made it clear that she has no issues with prostitutes.  She said as far as she is concerned, they are earning an honest bread.  “Dem nah rob and kill people, dem a hustle dem own just like anybody else…dem have kids and bills to take care of like anybody else”…

Surplus Women 

Yet another rapist/murderer cop.  But go on, tell me how we’re supposed to trust their “help”:

…Juan David Ortiz is a nine-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection…[who is] facing at least four murder convictions after…his fifth would-be victim escaped and [found a state trooper]…all of the women targeted by Ortiz worked as prostitutes [and the fifth woman knew two of the others, which caused her to become suspicious]…After being interrogated, Ortiz confessed to the four-known murders…[plus] aggravated assault and kidnapping…Two of Ortiz’s admitted victims were discovered alongside Interstate 35 in a rural, northwestern patch of Webb County [near Laredo, Texas]…the third and fourth victims were discovered…[last] Saturday…The investigation…began after Melissa Ramirez…was found dead on September 4 near an intersection…[then on September 13th] Claudine Anne Luera was found fatally wounded near that same intersection…

Aggressive Ignorance (#403)

Another “sex trafficking study” reaches the stunning conclusion that hotels tend to cluster along highways:

Sex [workers whom cops prey upon to charge with “trafficking” are most often arrested in]…poor and urban neighborhoods near highways and cheap motels, according to researchers at Texas State University …[prohibitionists] Deborah Mletzko, Lucia Summers and Ashley N. Arnio found Austin, Texas’ “hottest cluster” of sex trafficking [arrests] in the north end of the city, where a major interstate highway intersects two other major roads and is adjacent to a [stroll]…Not clear, however, is the [work’s] connection to poverty…

This one also contains the shocking revelation that poor people tend to rent cheaper hotels, yet the “researchers” can’t understand why poor people work.  I am not making this up; read it yourself.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

Anything a reporter wants to increase hysteria about is perpetually “on the rise”:

The significantly understudied practice of female sex tourism…can be…exploitative [and] abusive…but far too often, it goes unaddressed…Wealthy, predominantly white Western women travel—primarily to once-colonized nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa—to visit male prostitutes, often much younger in age…more than half a million women engaged in sex-based travel between 1980 and 2005…Even without direct cash exchange, varying forms of “payment”—clothing, meals, shelter, gifts—reveal the relationship is a glorified business transaction…

When prudes clutch their pearls over the pragmatic sexual arrangements made by young women, it’s just tiresome.  But when they do it over the same kind of arrangements made by young men, it’s hilarious.

Comfort Zone (#769)

Given the scare quotes, it seems at least some UK reporters are no longer buying the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Ten Romanian women [claimed by police] to have been trafficked for sex work have been “rescued” in raids across Glasgow and Edinburgh…[cops] found no suspects at [another] flat but [arrested] three young women [pretended] to be victims of trafficking…

Whatever They Need To Say (#826)

Gentrification is one of the most common motivations for persecution of all kinds of sex workers:

New York…[dancers are concerned] that the number of strip clubs in town could contract from about 20 to less than eight if the city starts enforcing a ruling made last year…After a years-long court battle, a Manhattan judge ruled last year that strip clubs can no long­er operate under the so-called 60-40 rule, which allowed the[m]…in otherwise restricted zones as long as 60 percent of the club was used for “non-adult” entertainment, such as a restaurant…That has left some clubs scrambling to expand to new locations not [currently] in residential areas [until the city capriciously rezones the new areas as well]…

Normally, my edits are to condense meandering prose or eliminate euphemisms and prevarication; this time they’re mostly to remove puerile tee-hee-hee terms like “jiggle joints”.

Disaster (#844)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

Prostitution is taking-off along Aurora Avenue [in Seattle] again…and [busybodies] are demanding [a final solution] to…the spike in [what they absurdly call] sex trafficking…since online [advertising] services like backpage.com got shut down…Neighbors call it a scourge.  Prostitutes are [working to make a living during normal work hours]…and business owners said they are feeling the brunt…One suggestion was to do more to penalize motel operators who [book rooms to paying customers]…Police said one of the big challenges is building cases against…pimps…who [don’t actually exist]…In July, a diversion program also [claimed] to steer prostitutes off the streets and get them long-term help [yet didn’t offer to pay their bills]…

It’s because stupid people have been taught to believe that productive work is “criminal activity” controlled by shadowy “pimps” which can be magically eradicated by thuggish threats, authoritarian “penalties”, and moralistic “help”, that this happened in the first place; when politicians shut down inexpensive and accessible advertising, only a complete imbecile could fail to understand that the sex workers who used that advertising will now have to advertise in another way, such as by walking the streets.

The Prudish Giant (#853)

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

In June, China banned and excised videos of sound effects while  claiming to cleanse its internet of pornography. YouTube had already demonetized the genre in a sex panic; now PayPal is banning people for life and holding individuals’ funds…ASMR community websites are now warning all creators to avoid PayPal…Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos…ASMR…[is] a genre of videos where the creator makes sound effects in a variety of scenarios that are geared toward evoking a sense-memory of tingling sensations from the back of the head.  If anyone ever played with your hair and you felt a funny but calming shiver, you get the idea.  The performance artists in these videos do things to create sounds like playing with hair, brushing microphones with makeup brushes, chewing ice and lots of other things…It may sound weird, but it’s quite popular — especially with people combating anxiety and insomnia…

False Target (#864)

Austria doubles down on using gay stereotypes to deport refugees:

Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Afghan national who claims to be fleeing persecution for being homosexual after not being able to find any gay pornography on his mobile phone…The…reject[ion]…letter [stated]…“It is extremely unlikely that you are in actual communication with other men with no photos (resulting from chats) on your mobile phone…There should be interest here…in pornographic material of homosexuals, at least from favourited sites on the Internet”…The case comes after two other…asylum seekers were rejected by the BFA, including an Iraqi who was rejected because the agency found him too “girlish” in his behaviour and an 18-year-old Afghan who was rejected for not acting gay enough in his clothing or mannerisms…Austria has…focused on increasing deportations of failed asylum seekers with figures released in June revealing a 36 percent increase in deportations compared to 2017…

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When we come back, we come back stronger.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Surplus Women 

Politicians won’t even wait for a whore’s body to be cold before launching vile attacks on her community:

Just a few hours before the march…in memory of [Eunice, a Nigerian sex worker] who was mortally stabbed on…5 June, the Committee of Brussels’s Alhambra District…speaks…in favor of…prostitution tolerance zones…and of a building complex to shelter…prostitutes’ shop windows…The Alhambra Committee [claims] that it is not against prostitution, but rather against the disturbance it causes in a residential district…“We can accept several independent prostitutes ‘working’ in the neighborhood, but it is difficult not to notice the Rumanian-Bulgarian-Albanian-Hungarian mafia installed on our streets since 2005″…the…Committee…[also stated] that they are favorable to police control of clients…[and] denounces the fact that [activists are against this ghetto because]…prostitutes without official papers could not work there…

Dehumanization, racism, end demand garbage, scare quotes around “working” and a bottleneck to keep “dirty foreigners” out.  They didn’t even include her name, just called her “a prostitute”.  But they’re not against sex work, no sir!

Broken Record 

Hysteria is like a disease; it spreads among friend & foe alike:

Even though prostitution is illegal in Russia, there are around three million regular sex workers in the country, according to activist group Silver Rose.  Until recently, the group says, the police had turned a blind eye to the practice or taken kickbacks.  But with hundreds of thousands of tourists descending on Russia for the World Cup, the authorities are [purging as “authorities” always do before such events]…this means frequent raids on well-known prostitution sites…Despite the authorities’ efforts, though, [prohibitionists fantasize] that the relaxed visa regime introduced to simplify travel to Russia during the tournament is encouraging illegal trafficking of women.  As Yulia Siluyanova of Alternativa, a Moscow-based [prohibitionist] organization, put it, “The World Cup is a gift for traffickers”…

Under Every Bed

Is it just me, or are “sex trafficking is EVERYWHERE!” articles beginning to sound very tired?

Some Central Texans are taking a stand against sex trafficking…the T.S.O.Y., Texas Save Our Youth organization, held a meeting…to [indoctrinate] the public…[in bogus] statistics, [fantasies] of trafficking and warning signs like strategically placed tattoos…The U.S. is the number one producer and consumer of sex trafficking in the world, and Texas is in the top three states in the country.

Bottleneck (#638)

“Licensing” is one of the ways governments try to surreptitiously ban things:

The state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums…to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution.  Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, have reportedly shut down to avoid prosecution.  Reuters reports: Regulations passed in March made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a license.  Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.  Digital activists say the law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech…Government officials [pretend] the new rules are aimed at tackling hate speech and other online crimes, including cyberbullying and pornography

Does that list of “crimes” justifying censorship sound familiar?

Morality Lessons (#689)

In which the FBI running an actual child porn site is called “law enforcement ingenuity”:

…we spearhead and coordinate massive nationwide and international operations to disrupt and destroy child exploitation networks….these…are most successful only when we can rely on our close partnerships with the many federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental partners here today.  Operation Pacifier was a prime example.  In that case, we…[took over] a highly sophisticated, global enterprise on the dark web called “Playpen,” where users exchanged tens of thousands of postings relating to the sexual abuse of children – even, revoltingly, children as young as infants and toddlers.  Operation Pacifier was a model of law enforcement ingenuity.  Agents identified and seized the “Playpen” server, which gave the FBI a very short window of time to [keep running it as normal]…to identify site users…

Your regular reminder that the word for a “partnership” between political and corporate interests is “fascism”.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

Another sighting of the “sex trafficking” fetishist who masturbates to the fantasy that emojis in low-rent escort ads are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

“Human trafficking is a business,” said Jessica Whitney, “where people are treated as inventory”…Whitney [fantasizes] that traffickers use certain language and emojis (symbols) to appeal to certain buyers.  They market the girls — by age, race, skin color, “new in town” (i.e. limited time only) — as a retailer positions its products.  In fact, victims are often forced to write their own customized ads.  The [fantasy] doesn’t relent…

The Course of a Disease (#757)

Israeli prohibitionists ladle FOSTA slop on top of an already-bad anti-whore bill:

The state is petitioning the courts to remove five Israeli prostitution websites from the internet…[clients careless enough to be] caught [in pig stings] within three years of the first offense will pay doubled the original fine, according to the draft legislation…[Injustice Minister Ayelet] Shaked had decided that customers would be pursued through administrative rather than criminal enforcement: the offender would not be considered a criminal with a criminal record…The minister [bloviated] that the draft bill fining customers is…part of a wider plan she intends to bring before government in the months to come…Meanwhile…the Knesset approved a bill banning advertisement of prostitutes…for the first time, the prohibition will apply to the printing shop that printed the ad…offending internet sites and phone numbers involved in promoting prostitution services could be blocked…

Surprised how fast mass censorship is taking hold? We did warn you.

Devil’s Advocate (#761) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The U.S. House approved a ban…on the importation and trafficking of anatomically correct child sex dolls…that [perverts wrongly claim] “normalize sex between adults and minors…These dolls can be programmed to simulate rape. The very thought makes me [excited]” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte…“Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child”…[fantasized bill sponsor] Dan Donovan…The proposal [imagines] the…dolls…“can resemble actual children”…Goodlatte [pretended to be] “distraught” that…child sex dolls even exist…“Customers can order bespoke dolls, providing pictures of specific children they would like the doll to resemble.  They can indicate a preferred facial expression such as sadness or fear”…

Even in the world of anti-sex propaganda, this bill and article are egregious.  They express psychologically-illiterate fantasies and scare-claims in declarative sentences, and make assertions that are not only untrue, but calculated to demonize the buyers of such dolls (eg, the last sentence).  I also remind you of the McNeill Rule.

Feminine Pragmatism (#778) 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

…in Colombia’s border city of Cucuta…Venezuelan sex workers…now [do a fairly ordinary job] to support themselves and their families…About 672,000 Venezuelans have crossed into neighbouring Colombia alone, both legally and illegally, since 2015…The exodus from the oil-rich country is the largest migration of people in South America’s recent history, and it shows little signs of abating.  For some, sex work is [a reasonable, practical] option…

The Widening Gyre (#811)

Lenore Skenazy is doing great work reporting on these absurd “sex trafficking” panics:

Here’s [a] mom’s Facebook post:  “we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break.  Just my daughter and I went inside…some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter…I heard…her say “the little girl” [to another woman]…As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave…I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors.  Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open…I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware…my daughter may have been taken from me“…stranger danger is so rare that even the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…has asked people to stop using the term.  And David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, told me he had heard of no children ever abducted from their parents in public for sex trafficking purposes…A media organization uncritically promoting this hysteria is…reckless journalism…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#834) 

Lewis & her friends are fools; what they want is legalization & protectionism, and they’re not going to like it if they get it:

[A small group of] New Zealand sex workers have written an open letter…asking for the election of a Minister of Prostitution.  The letter also rejects the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) as the representative organisation of sex workers here, and attacks the collective’s support for illegal sex workers.  The letter by Hamilton sex worker Lisa Lewis carries 25 other names…In an unlikely alliance, the letter was written with the help of [conservative Christian group] Family First…Lewis said… “Prostitution needs to be governed in New Zealand.  If there is a legislation, there should be a Minister.”  The letter claimed migrants coming on temporary visas to work as prostitutes were “taking money off legal sex workers, not paying tax and going home with the money …NZPC’s current focus is legalising internationals to be allowed to provide commercial sexual services here in New Zealand and no legal New Zealand sex worker wants this”…Family First is highly critical of the Prostitution Reform Act and is calling for a Nordic model…

I am reminded of the fable, “The Frogs Who Desired a King”.

Choke Point (#839) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because phone and internet sales were gun-related…Some of the payments stopped didn’t even involve firearms, but simply T-shirts and coffee mugs and gun safety classes…As a result, the businesses had to scramble to track down customers to get them pay their bills after Intuit credited back to customers’ accounts the purchases — even if the T-shirt was already shipped or the class already taken…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Disaster (#839)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

After…SESTA-FOSTA…organizing around sex workers has been reinvigorated with a new urgency.  The legislation…cripples sex workers’ ability to work safely online.  It’s merely the latest example in an unbroken history of harmful anti-sex work laws.  But at a time when activism…is all the more crucial…SESTA-FOSTA…[is] silencing and criminalizing the very organizing and advocacy that would help sex workers stay safe and fight persecution, even chilling journalists’ efforts to cover these issues…In one poignant example of how these laws harm advocacy, the Desiree Alliance Conference — the largest U.S. gathering addressing human, labor, and civil rights for workers in the sex industry — announced that it will not take place this year due to fears surrounding SESTA-FOSTA…

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By creating the impression that they are helpless slaves who need rescuing from the hands of criminals, [prohibitionists] propagate a myth that all informal work that helps migrants to survive is illicit and should be prohibited.  –  Mike Dottridge

Feminine Pragmatism 

Ruhama mouthpiece first admits women do sex work for money, then remembers their moronic “demand-driven” model:

Financial pressure will lead more women into prostitution over Christmas…[prohibitionist group Ruhama admitted].  There is expected to be a “surge” in women who will feel compelled to sell sex in the coming weeks to cope with the financial demands of the festive season…The majority of the women are involved in the so-called “indoor sex trade”…while one-third are involved in the on-street sex industry…Ruth Breslin…[of] Ruhama [kept her hand in her underwear while breathlessly panting about “pimps” and fantasizing]…that as it is a demand-driven industry, perhaps more men pay for sex at Christmas…”Most men don’t buy sex but there are some who see it as the same as paying for any other service, they are very much treating the women as products”…

Even ignoring this woman’s disgusting masturbatory fantasies about sex workers that she feels compelled to share in public, there is so much disinformation here it’s almost mind-boggling. Street workers make up only about 10-12% of all sex workers, not a third.  Business isn’t more plentiful at Christmas (as literally any whore could tell you); it’s slower because men are spending their money on gifts and year-end bills such as property taxes, etc. and also have less free time due to family obligations.  Most men have indeed paid for sex, and no they don’t treat women as “products”; in fact they treat us better than they treat amateurs like this silly wanker, which may be the source of her jealousy.  And so on…

Enabling Oppression

A good criticism of “slavery” talk from Mike Dottridge in Laura Agustín’s blog:

…a slave is defined as a person who is the legal property of another or can be treated as such: they can be bought, sold, traded or inherited.  A slave is a personal possession – a chattel…Using the term Modern Slavery precipitates us into name-and-shame mode, pointing the finger at governments and businesses which tolerate it…So, instead of the Development/cooperation paradigm that was dominant in the second half of the 20th century…we revert back to the 19th-century idea that some uncivilised countries require pressure from civilised ones to abandon unacceptable practices…In the minds of people in Western Europe and the Americas, the word slavery refers to the transatlantic slave trade.  Using the term for levels of exploitation which do not meet the legal definition trivialises historical chattel slavery and reduces any sense of responsibility in countries that benefited from it.  This fits neatly into the agenda of white supremacists who dismiss contemporary racism and discrimination against the descendants of slaves…

Moving Pictures 

I wonder how many of these Reefer Madness-style fakumentaries there will be before the hysteria ends?

On the Road explores the lives of the people who live and work alongside the Strada Bonifica, the ironically named “road of love”, on the Adriatic coast of Italy.  The nine-mile (15km) road has historically been a place of sex work and has recently seen a massive increase in the number of Nigerian women working alongside it – some of whom have been trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution.  The film moves between the women’s stories, the [NIMBY] Italians who live and work nearby…and the local NGO that attempts to [exploit] the women…Recruited from Nigeria…the women are tricked into leaving…They are saddled with an unpayable debt and are often terrified into silence by “Juju” voodoo rituals.  The women are beaten by their madams if they refuse to work.  On the Road is the name of a [prohibitionist group] that has been working to [profit from hysteria around] the sex workers for the last 20 years…

Nothing New

I called this one three years ago:

One Born Every Minute (#724) 

This scumbag might never have received his comeuppance but for the diligence of reporter Sydney Brownstone:

Matt Hickey, the former tech journalist who masqueraded as a porn scout to trick women into having sex with him during fake “auditions”…pleaded guilty to three felonies and fourth degree assault after six women came forward to accuse him of rape.  He faces up to 34 months in prison for his most serious conviction of indecent liberties, far fewer than he would face for his original rape charges.  Still, his guilty plea means that he will have to register as a sex offender.  Hickey has been in jail since October of 2016, after he was extradited from Las Vegas while on the run from accusations that dogged him here in Seattle…The Washington State Attorney General sued Hickey over the porn scam, and a judge fined Hickey more than $300,000 in violations of state consumer protection laws…

Cops and Robbers (#764) 

If this BBC reporter wasn’t going to talk to any local sex workers, why even come here? He could’ve copied this prohibitionist propaganda from his fellow parrots without even leaving London:

You can find “her” number within fake messages placed alongside real ads on websites popular with those looking to buy sex…the bot will tell you she is nervous and check that her [supposed under]age [status] is “cool with you”.  If you say yes, that’s when it [starts vomiting disgusting prohibitionist fantasies all over you]…Robert Beiser from Seattle Against Slavery [shares his vile prohibitionist masturbatory fantasy that paying for sexual services is] “buy[ing] another human being”…

The rest of the article is mostly parroting of the usual prohibitionist fantasies and lurid stalking of the sex workers on Aurora Avenue, who aren’t advertising in the venues where these prohibitionists are hiding their wankbot.

Prudesville (#774) 

Everett, WA is trying to defend its sick need to control women’s clothing as “feminism”:

Baristas, whose uniforms consist of bikinis, are heading to federal court…to argue that their First Amendment rights have been violated by…officials in one Washington city who implemented two [censorship] ordinances aimed at [women making money in a way politicians dislike]…“The Constitution doesn’t allow the government to regulate the content of speech because the government disagrees with it,” [said] Derek Newman, an attorney representing one of the baristas..Everett lawmakers have been steamed about the coffee stands for years – arguing everything from obscenity to mob ties – officials are [trying] a new [bullshit] argument…“The male gaze on bikinied women is on the continuum of sexualization of women,” wrote [a prohibitionist hired gun]… “When you make the body a commodity, and sex a product which you sell, one outcome is sexual violence…If you can sell it, you can steal it”…

Yes, that’s the “feminist” version of “women who dress like sluts are asking to be raped”.

To Molest and Rape (#780) 

But bad cops are only a tiny, atypical minority, a “few bad apples”:

A group of NYPD cops showed up at the hospital where an 18-year-old woman was seeking treatment after…being raped by two Brooklyn detectives, in a bid to bully her out of bringing [rape] charges, her lawyer [reported].  “They came with nine cops to intimidate her and her mom”…[said] Michael David…One [pig] in particular…kept saying…”How do you know they were real cops?”…“Didn’t you make complaints about cops before?”…and…“You don’t know what you’re talking about”…The young woman…was raped [both vaginally and orally] by…[rapist cops] Richard Hall and Eddie Martins in the back seat of their police van while she was handcuffed…Hall…and Martins…admitted [raping] her…but [trotted out the typical ludicrous pig fantasy that] it was consensual…

All-Purpose Excuse (#783)

It’s refreshing to see so many questioning the “human trafficking” narrative, albeit cautiously:

…Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has stood by her decision to assign three [cops] to provide traffic control during a federal immigration operation…Kirkpatrick [pretends]…that the early-morning raid on Aug. 16 by…ICE…involved “human trafficking” and was not a deportation case.  However, the raid only resulted in the arrest of one person, Santos de Leon, for being an undocumented immigrant.  And HSI/ICE officials have publicly acknowledged that de Leon was not involved in human trafficking or any other criminal matter and is now facing civil deportation proceedings…ICE and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have never successfully prosecuted a human trafficking case…from Oakland during the past 10 years…As such, there is no reason to believe that the current HSI/ICE investigation will result in…a…conviction…In recent years, [prohibitionists and the government] have expanded the definition of human trafficking to the point that it no longer means what many people think it means.  The term “human trafficking” conjures images of people being transported in shipping containers and forced to do labor or sold as sex slaves…the…expanded meaning of “human trafficking,” in which people who help immigrants get into the country or provide them with a place to work or live are considered “human traffickers”…

Buried Truth (#793) 

Did he really think more than 30 bodies would stay buried?

Disgraced Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman…is being accused…of sexual misconduct…[by] over 30 individuals…many people have long been aware of Goodman’s…behavior that is very different than his…“family man” persona…Goodman has a reputation of reaching out to those involved in politics via Facebook Messenger — but things tend to quickly turn south, as he has been known to flirt with men, solicit sex, and even send pictures of his genitals…The majority of the people he targets are between the ages of 18 and 24 and have had very little interaction with him personally…Goodman apparently offered to be a “mentor” for those looking to get into politics.  Because of the power he had, his victims say they were afraid to report instances of abuse for fear of damaging their own political careers…

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Instead of raising children in an adult world…we prefer to live much of our lives in a make-believe children’s world.  –  Hugh Hefner

R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 

The founder and embodiment of Playboy magazine died a week ago today at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles; he was 91.  Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Hefner and his magazine were among the most important driving forces of the sexual revolution and, to a lesser but still important degree, of the popularization of liberal (in the original sense of the word) political ideas such as LGBT rights; in a world where homosexuality was illegal Hef published Charles Beaumont’s “The Crooked Man“, and years before Roe v Wade he was bankrolling abortion rights activism.  Naturally, he was despised by narrow-minded feminists who think that a woman can be sexy or intellectual but never both (despite his support of female authors and thinkers), and he was even controversial among sex workers (including yours truly) for his rather odd home life with his playmate “girlfriends”, but by most accounts he was an ethical businessman whose legacy of support for both his contributors and for individual rights would have been more universally lauded had his magazine and life not featured sex in such a central role.

An Enormous Big Nothing

More hysterics who can’t tell the difference between adults and children:

The headline reads Spanish brothel’s “back to school” party sparks outrage in Andalusia.  El Bosque is a legal club de alterne where sex workers drink, dance and chat with customers with the option to retire to private rooms for paid sex.  The party-poster was called an incitement to paedophilia…despite the obvious age of women (and their clothing) in the poster.  The club’s owner removed the posters and cancelled the party…

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported…the…CDC’s…annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows that more than 1.6 million of the new cases were from chlamydia, 470,000 were from gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis…While all of these can be cured by antibiotics, many [amateurs] go undiagnosed and untreated…When you include herpes and more of the dozens of diseases which can be transmitted sexually but which are not tracked, the CDC estimates there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year.  At least half occur in young [amateurs] ages 15 to 24…

The Lion and the Ox

Talking is now defined as “sex trafficking”:

Two people were arrested…after using Snapchat to recruit a woman into prostitution…she was contacted in January by [her] friend…Wynter Fowler…[who] told her that she “was pretty and could make a lot of money” if she moved to Las Vegas to work as an exotic dancer and escort…Fowler[‘s]…boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert…persuaded [the complainant] to work as a prostitute for him…she said Gilbert threatened her when she tried to quit in February…he…bragged that he “had already gotten away with murder” before…Gilbert [had been previously] arrested in Texas after an escort was shot and killed, but was later acquitted…Police arrested Gilbert and Fowler on Sept. 12…Both were booked…on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…

I can think of several better, less tyrannical things to charge the thoroughly-nasty Gilbert with than simply talking to someone.

So Close and Yet So Far

A good little article despite a truly stupid statement in the third sentence:

I am not a pimp or a trafficker.  I am neither a rape apologist nor someone who excuses violence against women.  I do not believe men have a right to buy sex, or that anyone, of any gender, should be forced to sell sex.  One might have thought these things go without saying, and yet they are examples of some of the vitriol levied at us – those that advocate for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.  In recent weeks…establishment media has provided…an “everywhere-you-turn” kind of platform…to anti-prostitution feminists.  Julie Bindel does, after all, have a new book to publicise. Underpinning the arguments of many anti-prostitution feminists is the idea that the purchase of sex ought to be criminalised and sex workers [cast] as victims of male violence.  They argue we should be doing more to eradicate the sex industry and rescue the sex workers within it…

Of course men have the right to buy sex from someone offering to sell it, just as women (or men) have the right to sell it.  Any claim to the contrary reflects the irrational and authoritarian mindset of a prohibitionist.

Banishment

Remember:  these people have already served their sentences:

Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick…About 200 [inmates] of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is…forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.  The executive who oversees the center [claims] the water [which he needn’t drink] turns brown…when the pipes are flushed, and…the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm.  But…Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006…a former [treatment] plant operator told health officials in 2015 that the water’s cloudiness readings were being manipulated to make the water look cleaner than it was…The Special Commitment Center [imprisons]…sex offenders…[that] the state convinced a judge…were too dangerous to be released…

The Sky is Falling! (#415)

The Francophone world seems to be in especially deep denial about compensated dating:

Belgian ministers have said they will take legal action in an attempt to force a [sugar dating] website…to remove…adverts near the country’s universities.  Trucks bearing large posters promoting Rich Meet Beautiful…have appeared on the outskirts of campuses in Brussels in recent days…the Norwegian company behind the website says it hopes to recruit 300,000 Belgian registrations by the end of 2018…The site, however, has been accused of encouraging prostitution and playing on the financial insecurity of the young [by offering them an option to get out of financial insecurity.  Two pearl-clutching ministers]…have declared they intend to launch a criminal proceeding against the firm for inciting debauchery and prostitution, and to force the suspension of its campaign on public order grounds…

Feminine Pragmatism (#518) 

This isn’t “remarkable” or even “unusual”; women have done part-time sex work to supplement meager earnings at least since Roman times:

…after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.  She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch…when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction.  “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad”…Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness…

Under Review (#733)

Escort advertising is already illegal in Ireland, which is why Irish sex workers have such limited advertising options:

The government is being urged [by prohibitionists] to ban a website that facilitates the advertising of prostitution services – and invites customers to review the women they hire…Over 7,000 [ignorant busybodies] have now signed a petition urging the Department of Justice to step in and [magically] remove the website [despite its being hosted in Spain] and ban others like it [again, but magically this time so the sex rays can’t cross into Irish cyberspace]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Authoritarian idiots will probably keep re-electing this lunatic no matter how much his antics cost them:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd garnered widespread scorn for blathering and boasting on social media, threatening to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they sought public shelter while Hurricane Irma battered Florida…Now Judd has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly denying entry to a man seeking shelter, saying he had to go through a background check first…Judd [doubled down on his moronic rhetoric, claiming the man] wasn’t denied shelter…[but] offered accommodations in jail…

Wise Investment (#775)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

One year later, cases from the Euro Spa sting of June 2016 are still slowly making their way through Seattle’s Municipal Court.  Some men…have pled guilty to “sexual exploitation,” the city’s recently modified term for the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.  Others have requested trials…But one accused john—we’ll call him John—adopted a different legal strategy…John’s lawyer, Bob Goldsmith, filed a motion in July challenging City Attorney Pete Holmes…[who] directed prosecutors to rule out pre-trial diversion…[and] instead…push for guilty pleas that will result in a criminal record…Holmes…[pretends] the policy…will reduce prostitution overall [and imagines that would be a good thing]…Anita Khandelwal, policy director for the Department of Public Defense, called Holmes’ tactic on sexual exploitation charges “unusual and illegal”.  While johns are often cast as sexual predators by law enforcement and the media, Khandelwal says the clients her office sees are “incredibly poor and marginalized and caught up in police stings.”  She added, “Mr. Holmes’ statement that criminalizing buyers results in changed behavior is not supported by the evidence.  The war on drugs did not reduce drug use but it filled prisons”…

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It’s a wonder they lived to tell the tale.  A car.  A mumbler. More than one person in the parking garage at once.  It is all just overwhelming.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Feminine Pragmatism 

Anyone surprised by this knows nothing about women:

…Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now [work] at his [brothel] for $25 an hour.  “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer…All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.”  And all of them came from Venezuela.  As Venezuela’s economy continues to collapse amid food shortages, hyperinflation and U.S. sanctions, waves of economic refugees have fled the country.  Those with the means have gone to places like Miami, Santiago and Panama.  The less fortunate find themselves walking across the border into Colombia looking for a way, any way, to keep themselves and their families fed…But with jobs scarce, many…women are turning to the world’s oldest profession to make ends meet…

Socialism, the way of the future.

Finding What Isn’t There

As I keep saying over and over and over:

Human trafficking arrests are almost nonexistent in most states, according to the FBI’s newly released U.S. crime statistics for 2016…Florida reported 105 investigations into human-trafficking offenses in 2016 but zero human trafficking arrests…Nevada worked on 140 human-trafficking investigations but made only 40 arrests on trafficking charges.  Louisiana looked into 123 potential cases of human trafficking but only arrested 16 people for it…this report only includes arrests recorded by state and local law enforcement on human trafficking charges, which allows us to look beyond police propaganda about what they’re doing and see what it is they’re actually doing….the data do little to support the idea that the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of labor and sex trafficking or that we are in the midst of some sort of “modern slavery” epidemic.  This is probably why you don’t see UCR trafficking statistics quoted in congressional reports, “awareness” materials, or law enforcement statements to the media on the topic…

Backwards into the Future (#629) 

Zimbabwean sex workers demonstrate their clout:

…sex workers in Chiredzi, a small sugar cane growing town in south-eastern Zimbabwe, have forced the reopening of Chigarapasi beer hall, the country’s largest, after threatening to stage a week-long naked vigil at the entrance in protest over its closure.  The beer hall…was closed early this year [after] the…Chiredzi council…[claimed] the bar was no longer making a profit – much to the surprise of…sex workers whose livelihood depends on [it]…

Public Service Announcement (#669)

If your candidate’s campaign can be derailed by the peccadilloes of a virtual stranger, you have a shitty candidate:

Anthony Weiner is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday in a sexting scandal that some blame for Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss.  The former New York congressman faces up to 27 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor…by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to “sexually perform” for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat…

Also: the word “illicit” makes anyone who uses it sound like a pearl-clutching schoolmarm.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#718) 

Because nothing makes authoritarians lose their shit faster than sex:

…Chinese company Taqu (or “Touch” in English)…launch[ed] their “Shared Girlfriend” app online, which allowed users to rent a silicone sex doll for a daily fee of 298 yuan (US$45.15) or 1,298 yuan per week…news of the service quickly went viral…Two days after its 14 September launch in Beijing, the authorities shut the service down after…a police investigation [called the rental] it to be a “vulgar act that disrupts social order“…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

These “close encounters” with near sex-traffickers are like alien abductions.  They are shared wildly — gleefully — by people seemingly thrilled to know this horrible scourge is out there…This latest story, from Reno, involves a mom and dad who noticed every detail about a night that sounds outrageously ordinary.  They passed by some people they didn’t know!  They went into the parking garage and there was a car — with people in it!  They felt scared for their kids and compelled to write a Facebook post warning people everywhere about this terrible thing that…didn’t happen…I, too, walked outside last night and literally every single person I encountered may have “possibly” been involved in a child sex trafficking ring.  Each and every person I saw might “possibly” have also been a Satanist.  Or the owner of a Segway they’re trying to get rid of.  Or been related to the Royal Family…there’s no way to say they AREN’T sex traffickers.  So it’s best to just assume they are…”Holland…described [one man] as looking disheveled and wearing a bodyguard-type earpiece“…I’m sure that “bodyguard type earpiece” couldn’t possibly be an earbud.  It is so much more likely that the man was being commanded from Sex Trafficking HQ than listening to Beyonce…

Saving Them From Themselves (#735)

Lowered penalties for teen sexting may sound like a step in the right direction, but in actuality they simply encourage prosecutors to file more charges for behavior that isn’t even criminal in the first place:

Ohio state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban sexting between teenagers, potentially turning thousands of ordinary young Ohioans into sex offenders…Legislators could instead amend state statute to exempt teens exchanging pics between themselves, and people a few years over 18 texting with those a few years younger, from laws that treat them as child-porn producers and consumers.  Prosecutors could decline to bring these charges against sexting minors, and schools could decline to hand these cases over to cops.  Instead, this bill would create the new misdemeanor crime of “possession of sexually explicit digital material”…by anyone under age 21…So sexting teenagers might not get labeled child pornographers, but they could still wind up with a criminal record or, at the very least, a lot of court dates and a bullshit DARE-style class on how sexting will ruin their lives.  Worse yet, the legislation doesn’t actually change the state’s child pornography laws.  If it passes, prosecutors can still bring child porn charges against minors…or…use the threat of that charge to coerce kids to consent to searches, take plea deals on the lesser charge, and so on.  The sexting offense would simply be an additional tool at authorities’ disposal…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#759) 

The concept that men can’t tell the difference between a hunk of plastic and a woman insults all humans:

A sex robot with a “resistance setting” that allows men to simulate rape should be banned…[says anti-sex] lawyer…Kate Parker, who…warned the “uniquely sinister” technology normalised sexual assault…

Beware of authoritarians who disguise their deeply pathological need to control others’ sexuality by using words like “normalize” to describe sexual fantasies which are already so normal they’re almost vanilla.  For a deeper analysis of why this woman’s beliefs are deeply offensive, see also “Vile Insinuation“.

The Course of a Disease (#772)

It took a few weeks for Irish prohibitionists to figure out how to celebrate the increase in violence vs sex workers directly resulting from their laws without revealing their sociopathy to everyone:

More sex workers have reported rapes to gardai since new laws on prostitution laws were introduced, a [prohibitionist] group has claimed…Sarah Benson, head of Ruhama, which [persecutes sex workers]…said she is hopeful the laws make a positive difference…

Lower Education (#773)

Go on, keep telling me how the slippery slope is a “fallacy”:

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is poised to sign a worrisome bill that…explicitly applies to children in public kindergarten, elementary and high schools.  So a first grader could face dire consequences if found to have committed an act of “sexual violence,” which is broadly defined to include any “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person” without their consent.  California lawmakers quickly passed the bill last week after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Sept. 7 that she will roll back the [due-process-banning] guidelines set forth by the Obama administration in 2011…[which] have led to bad outcomes…In case after case, young men were expelled on the basis of allegations that they were not allowed to challenge by seeing the evidence against them or cross-examining witnesses…Put aside for a moment whether a 6-year-old is capable of forming the intent to commit a sexual assault when she plants kisses on an unenthusiastic classmate, or whether it makes sense to bring sexual assault charges against an eighth grader who hugs the girl he has a crush on but who does not reciprocate his feelings.  Put aside for a moment whether school administrators should be branding children sexual assailants even if they are 49.99 percent sure the allegations are not true…Heavy-handed disciplinary policies fall disproportionately on students of color.  Because of the stereotypes associated with them, including the noxious but persistent trope that black males are inherently sexually predatory, black kids are presumed guilty…

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