Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

The criminalization of sex work exposes not only sex workers but all women to more violence.  –  Alison Bass

The Proper Study

Yet another study confirms what we’ve been saying all along:

a recent study in…Las Vegas uncovers what anti-trafficking organizations might not like to hear.  The majority of youth selling sex on the streets have no pimps, or even third party managers, countering one of the key narratives of the sex trafficking movement that all youth involved are victims doing this work against their will…three fourths of the youth interviewed about the sex trade said they were not working with any pimp or other kind of third party manager…24 percent of the study’s participants reported use of a third party to find clients at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent…reported use of one at the time of the study…youth sex workers who do use pimps do so inconsistently and intermittently…[they] are finding their clients independently and negotiating their own prices…

It Looks Good On Paper (#340)

Remember that religious brainwashing program which “partnered with the Sarasota…Police Department…to bring victims into their care?

The conversations happening by phone are ones that the Sarasota Police Street Crime Unit hope will turn into a positive outcome.  “I want you to know you are not in any trouble,” [oinked a pig]…”We are just trying to reach out and let you know there are options”…Sergeant Robert Armstrong and his unit are [harassing and intimidating] women who have active ads online for escort services.  Many are involved in prostitution…The team is focused on connecting women with Selah Freedom…

“Many are involved in prostitution”?  Are these people actually pretending not to know what an escort is?  Look beneath the pious exterior; we don’t actually know what stated or implied threats these cops are using to try to intimidate women into this “program”, which is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it.  If the tactic seems familiar, it’s because it’s much like Canada’s “Operation Northern Spotlight” except that the cops are (for now) merely terrorizing sex workers by phone instead of showing up at their doors.wesley-blackburn

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

A Pennsylvania pastor faces charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship…Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce…church leaders immediately fired Blackburn…and alerted police last week.  He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault…

Rough Trade (#446) 

A setback for women’s rights in India:

The Supreme Court…ruled that a sex worker cannot file a case alleging rape if her customers refused to pay her…The judgment…acquitted three people of rape charges in a case that is close to 20 years old…the Karnataka High Court had convicted them of raping the victim, who used to work as a maid; the victim’s roommate had revealed that she works as a sex-worker at night…the Supreme Court…[claimed] that the woman’s “conduct during the alleged ordeal is unlike a victim of rape and betrays somewhat submissive and consensual disposition”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#502)

In which po-faced twits with tape over their mouths walk down a street holding pre-printed propaganda cards:

A long, single-file line of people donned [sic] in black, some with their mouths taped shut, silently made its way down Stephen Avenue [in Calgary] to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…The [po-faced] group remained speechless, but handed out [propaganda] pamphlets to bystanders…former Manitoba MP Joy Smith [spoke] at the event…part of a global initiative by A21…

The tape is supposed to signify that sex workers are “voiceless”, a convenient lie for those who wish to talk over us.  A21, the NGO which sponsored this charade, is infamous as the source of the high-water mark of the “clients per day” competition of a few years ago: 110.

Eternal Vigilance (#610)

Just a reminder that prohibitionism still exists in decriminalized regimes:

New Zealand celebrities will be donning aprons to serve dinner with a difference at Destiny Rescue’s Dark Secret Pop up Dinner on International Anti-Slavery Day, Tuesday 18 October…Another special menu, thankfully not available in New Zealand, will shine the spotlight on the dark secret of the near two million children trapped in sexual slavery in countries like Thailand, India and the Philippines…

The table-waiting gimmick is appropriate given that Destiny’s idea of “rescue” is to teach brown urchins to sew, wait table and draw with crayons.

Wise Investment (#673)

Picket-fence gay men are such wonderful, dependable sex worker allies:

In his recent attempt to revise the history of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End, Kevin Dale McKeown…erases the West Sex Workers Memorial Committee and our eight-year campaign to secure financial reparations and a formal civic apology from the City of Vancouver.  He instead claims that his recollections are more truthful and authentic than the voices of sex workers…In McKeown’s distorted revision…expelled sex workers become the villains.  However, our archival research found close to 1,000 news articles revealing that power elites in the early 1980s — including Mayor Mike Harcourt, MP Pat Carney, Attorney General Brian Smith, Concerned Residents of the West End (CROWE) and Shame the Johns — forged a “war on hookers” with lethal consequences…Residents like McKeown moved into the West End when it was a thriving [24-hour] entertainment zone…McKeown…frantically disavows his own and other white gay men’s complicity in hooker-bashing tactics…McKeown makes a failed attempt to hide his investment in a “quiet” and “peaceful” gaybourhood cleansed of “noisy” hookers…

Too Close To Home (#677)

These are the people who claim they want to “protect” women, and portray the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:

…after settling a sexual-harassment lawsuit for $1 million in 2013, the King County Sheriff’s Office…is again embroiled in a legal fight over its treatment of female officers.  This time, two…deputies and one sergeant are accusing the county of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual-orientation based harassment, and retaliation…a former head of internal affairs [is] seeking whistleblower protections before he talks.  Central to many of these claims is King County Sheriff John Urquhart…[whose] tenure so far…has been ignominious, involving the two sexual-harassment lawsuits, a cop convicted of pimping his wife and selling his colleagues steroids, a bogus “sex trafficking bust,” a chief-of-staff with polygraph problems, and more…this latest lawsuit…specifically calls out the actions of Sheriff Urquhart, Major Sean Ledford, and Sergeant Dewey Burns…defensive tactics instructor Melissa Deer…claims [Burns] grabbed her crotch during a training exercise…text messages showed the sergeant making racist, anti-gay, and sexually explicit comments to other staffers, including…Deputy Amy Shoblom…who…is one of three plaintiffs in the current suit, along with Diana Neff…and Julie Blessum…[Burns’] antics included texting her half-naked photos of women he was sleeping with, asking during a roll call if she had “hooked up” with a male deputy, and drawing a penis on the hood of her car with hand sanitizer…

There’s a lot more, and it’s by the awesome Liz Brown so you should read it all.

Send In the Clowns dublin-clown

The most disturbing thing about the clown hysteria is the way in which it has so quickly given rise to organized violence and naked authoritarianism.  A “Clown Lives Matter” protest against the panic, to be held in Tucson, was cancelled due to amateur threats of violence, and the professional violence-inflicters are responding by criminally charging people and destroying young childrens’ lives.  The hysteria has also spread to Ireland, and while police in Dublin have responded calmly, those in Belfast have responded with US-style threats of violence and lifelong imprisonment.  Dutch police are moronically calling for a prankster there to turn himself in, and the ever-lunatic British tabloid press have found a way to merge the clown panic into “sex predator” panic:

The basic premise of [this] story is that some men get off on women dressed as creepy clowns, they’re causing a spike in clown-porn searches and clown-fetish requests at escort services, and soon their “sick fetish” may lead them to commit real-world sexual assaults “as the adrenaline junkies seek more ‘extreme thrills'”…what the story lacks in logic it makes up for in references to “sex-mad sickos” and quotes from an anonymous escort-agency head…[it] also quotes a woman who counsels rape victims and worries that the “clown craze” provides cover to predators…Popular millennial women’s website Elite Daily published a clown-sex-panic story…warning readers that “the sexual deviants partaking in the madness are allegedly dressing up as clowns and experimenting with BDSM” and “those who are involved in the aggressive clown porn are potentially dangerous.”

Power Play

Your periodic reminder that Dennis Hof is a revolting excuse for a human being:

Dennis Hof…said that while he supports law enforcement aggressively enforcing laws against underage sex trafficking, he believes that law enforcement in the United States would have an easier time doing its job if adult prostitution were [legalized]…using the [Nevada]…model…Hof said [independent sex workers spread]…sexually transmitted diseases…”My brothel business model [magically] puts the…pimps [who aren’t politically connected] out of business, [magically] stops underage girls from working illegally [?] and [magically] ends sex trafficking [even though 99% of Nevada sex workers prefer to work illegally than to submit to the onerous brothel regime]”…

In the first version of the press release, Hof actually cheered the arrests of the owners & CEO of Backpage; I guess he later realized that was vile even by his standards.

Challenge (#681)

The ACLU has finally done something to act on its theoretical support for decriminalization by filing an amicus brief in the ESPLERP case:

The ACLU brief supports the lawsuit’s contention that California’s penal code violates fundamental constitutional rights to sexual privacy and is enforced in a discriminatory manner…Lawrence v. Texas…recognized that “liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex”…The ACLU brief also argues that the California penal code is unconstitutional because the way it is enforced is discriminatory.  Certain groups, such as transgender women, LGBT youth, and female sex workers are targeted and arrested for prostitution in disproportionately higher numbers than other people…

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Sex workers are getting paid for what we do – you ain’t.  –  Miranda Kane


The older I get, the more deeply weird (and frankly, kind of disgusting) the idea of giving strangers sex for free seems to me.  So I’m fascinated by the looking-glass prohibitionist notion that being paid for sex is somehow degrading, especially when I read stuff like this about what amateur dating (which I’ve never really engaged in per se) is like:

…It is not, in fact, sex-work that puts me off men.  It’s dating them.  When I was a sex worker, when a client came to see me, he knew I was a luxury item.  My Dos and Do Nots were clear from the start, and if he asked me to do something I didn’t want to, I said no and that’s as far as it went…sex workers see the best part of men – they’re polite, friendly…On a date I’m just one click away from rejection…The sex workers of Twitter created the hashtag of #banfreebies, an ironic take on what people expect of us as obviously being so “oppressed and exploited”.  Remember that, won’t you, the next time he rolls over and starts snoring and you have to bring out the Rampant Rabbit…

And since I’m bisexual, I feel it needs to be noted that women aren’t really much better.

Check Your Premises

It’s pretty bad when they can’t even maintain their own paradigm for more than a sentence:

Nine people were arrested in Suisun City [California] in a human trafficking operation…Detectives posed online as would-be ‘johns’ to contact prostitutes [that they pretended to believe to be] underage…Once the…sex workers arrived, they were [arrested] and [cops tried to pressure them into claiming to be]…victims of sex trafficking…Seven women…between the ages of 18 and 28 were arrested…

Uncommon Sense natalie-hot

Is there any other kind of work that is so consistently treated as a subject for abstract “debate” by outsiders?

German porn star Natalie Hot will appear in court…to defend her right to work as a “webcam girl”…from her detached house in Ampfing, Bavaria.  The town is home to 6,000 residents, several of whom have lodged legal complaints over their neighbour’s chosen profession.  Hot is challenging a decision by local authorities that prevented her from undressing on camera, threatening a penalty of €2,000 if she doesn’t adhere to the ban.  Their reasoning is that her house is in a specific land-use area, which does not allow for commercial use…A judge will now rule whether the room Hot uses for her work could be considered a “home office”, a label which would allow her to continue her work…

Finding What Isn’t There

You know how freshwater crabs wave their claws around and foam at the mouth when one throws them in salt water to purge them?  Picture that:

There are no statistics to back up her claims, but the country’s Chief Immigration Officer Annette Mark believes the sex trafficking problem in Antigua & Barbuda is more prevalent than perceived…Mark [fantasizes that] nightclubs and strip clubs…are to be blamed for the [nonexistent epidemic]…She said…“what is unfortunate is that the women who come seem to be willing participants, so it’s difficult to [force them to pretend] that they are victims of trafficking”.  According to Mark, while women [use sex work]…as a means of income, it is part of a slave trade…

Pyrrhic Victory

Not a police state, no sirree:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious plan to [equip]…10 bridges and tunnels leading into the city…with facial recognition and license plate reading technology, giving police a comprehensive record of every car making the crossing…

I Saw My Brain

More terrifying insanity from the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

If you happen to be heading over to Polk County Florida, be sure to check to see if you have anything on or about your person that may have someone’s business name on it…That’s what Tim Troller found out when an ever vigilant deputy saw a Sunshine State Dairy Farms milk crate strapped to his BMX bike.  Polk County takes broken windows policing to the extreme, a milk crate strapped to your bike is a major indicator that you are a career criminal, or as the Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokes-prevaricator Debbie Horstman put it, undoubtedly with a straight face… “Deputies are…looking for people who are doing even the smallest crime, because, what we’ve learned is, those who will go out and steal a milk crate, for example, are the same people who are probably breaking into cars, breaking into your house”…

Frequently Told Lies

Caty Simon on the “sex work leads to drug use” myth:

You’ve heard the story:  A troubled woman prostitutes herself.  To numb the pain of belonging to this sordid underground world, she begins to use drugs…and her life continues to spiral out of control…“Multiple studies repeatedly and consistently … refute this narrative,” [says] Melbourne-based sex worker Fae Adams…In a study conducted in Sydney in the 1990s, for example, a sample group of 120 sex workers were found to be lighter drinkers than a sample group of women health care workers.  They were only 15 percent less likely to abstain from illegal drugs than the control groups of students and health workers.  And a 2002 British study correlated “problematic” drug use among sex workers with teenage drug use pre-dating entry into the industry, as well as homelessness and convictions…Yet the trope about using drugs to make sex work tolerable persists—and many drug-using sex workers find it infuriating because of how it reduces and flattens their lives and strips them of their choices…

Feminine Pragmatism (#553) 

Stupid assumptions about sex work often result in incredibly stupid concepts like the idea that working independently is somehow noteworthy, or that making a law against one aspect of the work is the same as criminalization:

Italy has yet to exit from…the worst [recession] in its postwar history — and the protracted crisis has seen the number of Italian sex workers surge more than 26 percent from 2007 to 2015…The extended downturn also has fueled a proliferation of “good” women generating badly needed income by engaging in prostitution on the side as “house practitioners”…35 percent of the 20,000 prostitutes in Italy, or some 7,000 women, are house practitioners…Michel Venturelli, a criminologist who has researched the issue…[says] “It’s do-it-yourself domestic sex work”…The Italian parliament banned prostitution in 1958, shuttering brothels.  Since then it’s been chaotic in the sex-for-sale industry…

No, the parliament didn’t “ban prostitution”, as the article itself mentions later; it banned brothels, but even while those were legal many if not most sex workers worked outside of them.  The only “chaos” is in the minds of cops, prohibitionists and reporters who listen to them.

Traffic Jam (#619)

Remember what happened the last time Minnesota “authorities” claimed they had busted a “sex trafficking gang”?

About a dozen people were arrested in cities across the U.S…for running what authorities [pretend is] a sophisticated sex trafficking operation in which hundreds of women were brought from Thailand to America under fraudulent visas and forced to work as prostitutes to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in bondage debts.  The women – including one who was forced to have sex with strangers for 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week- were not allowed to move about freely and were “effectively modern day sex slaves”…The arrests, along with the recent arrest of the organization’s boss in Belgium, will effectively dismantle the operation, said Alex Khu, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minneapolis…

You may also recall that “sophisticated operations” is the excuse pigs use to rape sex workers.  And if you haven’t yet read Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s analysis of very similar claims made against Seattle-area Korean sex workers and clients, now would be the time.  See more of Liz’s work below.

To Molest and Rape 

The ever-vigilant Liz Brown looks at several cases of rape & sexual abuse by cops, several of which I haven’t yet covered:

…Allen Large…of the Horry County [South Carolina] Sheriff’s Office…was recently indicted by a grand jury on five counts of…[raping] multiple victims…Large…is also the subject of multiple civil lawsuits accusing him of activity such as sexual assaulting a woman who came to him to report a sexual assault, sexual harassment, and threatening to interfere with a woman’s child-visitation rights if she wouldn’t participate in nude “catfight” videos…Horry County [cop] Luke Green was indicted for [raping a sex worker]…during a prostitution arrest and the same with a confidential police informant…On September 21, New Jersey [cop] Ed Leopardi [committed]…suicide…[because he] was under investigation for [anally raping] a sex worker at a Trenton police K-9 training facility…”then allegedly wiped his penis on the headquarters’ curtains”…

The Prudish Giant (#641) 

It’s impossible to express how much this delights me:

On [October 4th]  Facebook introduced Marketplace, a new section on its mobile app that allowed its users to buy and sell things with their friends and strangers.  By the evening, the social giant was apologizing for an issue with the section, which featured some posts that would not have been out of place on the…Silk Road…Illegal drugs.  Dogs.  Guns.  Sexual services.  Baby hedgehogs…Mary Ku, a director for product management…who had cheerfully introduced the Marketplace app in a blog post earlier in the day, issued a statement saying that a technical issue had prevented Facebook’s reviewing system from identifying posts that violated its commerce policies and community standards…

Now They Notice (#666)

Note that we aren’t hearing a peep out of Gay, Inc about this any more:

The chief executive officer of a once-popular male escort website pleaded guilty…to promoting prostitution in a federal case that prompted accusations of anti-gay bias…Under a plea deal, Hurant agreed not to appeal a sentence of two years or less in prison.  His company also cannot appeal a penalty of $10 million or less…

Send In the Clowns

Watching how the clown panic develops is an example of a moral panic in miniature.  For example, note how the skateboard carried by this hoaxer myseteriously transformed itself into an “ax” for a more imaginative witness.   Everybody wants to get into the act; sales of clown masks have soared by 300% from this month last year, and the website Atlas Obscura has produced this interactive map of sightings which they say will be regularly updated.  They’ll need to expand it, though; the hysteria has spread to Canada and also the UK:

A masked man carrying a knife left a group of children aged 11 and 12 “upset and distressed” when he jumped out on their way to [school in]…County Durham…in Suffolk, a boy “younger than a teenager” was chased by “several people dressed as clowns”…Tom Jackson…a first year student at Leeds Beckett University [said]…he was “very scared” when he saw a man dressed as a clown near an underpass…Northumbria Police issued an appeal and warning after a series of incidents in Newcastle involving people dressed as clowns jumping out and scaring schoolchildren.  A 13-year-old boy was arrested…following [the] reports…In Essex, two…schoolgirls were approached by two people dressed as clowns who asked them if they wanted to attend a birthday party…People on social media have also reported clown sightings in Cheshire, North Wales, Dundee, Norwich, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.  A man dressed as a clown “wearing a hockey mask and a blood-stained poncho” was captured on camera in…Greater Manchester…

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After a thorough investigation I have concluded that there are no creepy killer homicidal clowns in Rolla, Missouri.  I did hear about a mime stuck in a box though that may still need assistance.  –  Adam Meyer

clowns-irresponsibly-tweeted-by-tennessee-copsProving once again that it’s impossible to overestimate the extent to which hysteria will spread, the Great Clown Panic of 2016 absolutely exploded this week.  Less than 24 hours after “Clowning Around” was published, I had so many new clown stories that they would have dominated any single news column, and I was afraid if I divvied them up between news columns I’d soon start to fall behind and end up publishing them weeks late.  So here’s another full column of clown madness, and perhaps now I’ll be able to keep up.  I’m really impressed with the rate this is growing; is it wrong of me to wish that clown hysteria would overtake & replace “sex trafficking” hysteria?

Schools in Reading [Ohio] canceled classes Friday after a woman reported being attacked by a clown overnight…just hours after Colerain Township police arrested a junior high school student on charges related to an online clown-related threat…The woman told police the clown told her: “I should just kill you now” and “students and teachers (will) wish they were never born at the junior and senior high school today”…Reading schools superintendent said the homecoming parade and game will go on Friday as scheduled.  The homecoming dance will still take place on Saturday, and there will be extra police at all events…

Naturally, once clown hysteria started to spread, enterprising young people started using it as a way of getting days off from school.  And just as naturally, moronic adults have responded by utterly losing their shit:

…several [Austin, Texas] schools have investigated social media threats made by people dressed as clowns against the schools or claims of clown sightings on campus….Police Chief Eric Mendez described the kind of threats he’s seeing: “Some of the threats can be ‘we’ll be at your campus on this date or at this time, we’re going to be there to do harm to people, we’re going to be there to kidnap people.’”  Mendez says they can’t [react like rational humans]…and have responded by beefing up security around campus….police are enlisting the help of the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, trained at tracking down terroristic threats…

This being 21st-century America, what used to be called “stupid kids being stupid” is now called “terrorism”.

…a 13-year-old girl in Virginia and a 14-year-old boy in Houston have been charged with crimes related to recent reports of scary clowns…the girl asked a person posing as a clown on social media to kill one of her teachers…[and] has been charged with one count of threatening to kill by electronic message…the boy used the image of a clown to threaten a school. He is charged with making a terroristic threat…

And it’s not only cops, but also people one would think would know better:

Philadelphia police say they have identified a 13-year-old girl who made so-called “clown threats” toward local schools…the girl told them this was a “prank” committed with a friend at her school, and she never had any intent to harm anyone…”She should pay for what she did.  She should be punished,” said [a moral retard apparently interviewed at random by local news media]…Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University, says a new line has been drawn when it comes to what’s considered an innocent prank.  “I don’t think pranks that threaten lives are innocent anymore.  This nation in 9/11 was invaded from the outside, and we’ve had terrorist incidents since then”…

Apparently, Dr. Farley is attempting to establish his expertise in psychopathology by demonstrating that he himself is a sociopath and therefore knows whereof he speaks.  One has to wonder if he’s related to another sociopathic psychologist of the same name.  But this article doesn’t stop with academic police-state apologists; it also reports that cops in New Jersey have blamed the hysteria on a fictional “movie production” which nobody else seems to have heard of.  And naturally, cops in the vicinity of St. Louis, Missouri can’t pass up an opportunity to use their “concerns” as an excuse to threaten more people, especially kids:

In response to clown-related threats…some area school districts are adding to their security presence…Pevely Police Capt. Tony Moutray said…when police responded to one report of a clown sighting, they encountered armed “clown-hunters” who had heard about the sighting on social media…He’s planning to step up police [intimidation tactics] on Halloween…

If there really are idiots setting themselves up as “clown hunters”, there’s good reason for actual clowns to be concerned:

…In Johnstown, Pennsylvania…”members of the Classic Clowns Club have been alarmed by news reports in which police have asked anyone who sees a clown to call 911.  The troupe members often travel in costume, and worry that…someone [will] notice…a van full of clowns and call…the police”…In Oakland, Maryland, the Times-News informs us, members the Ali Ghan Shrine Club’s clown unit are “giv[ing] some thought about laying low for a while.” The Shriner-clowns are still doing daytime events, but they have withdrawn from one nighttime parade and are thinking about dropping out of another.clown-free-zone

But as so often happens, the only truly dangerous clowns are the police:

The scare has reached the point when police agencies—in this case, the Tennessee Highway Patrol—are tweeting things like this: “THP says watch for clowns trying to lure children in to the woods. They are possibly predators. Call 911…“…no one since this scare began has corroborated a single account of a clown trying to lure a kid anywhere…they said they were “promoting awareness”… In Putnam County, Florida, the sheriff’s office [posted the picture at right]…on Facebook…In Paw Paw, West Virginia…Police Chief James F. Cummings posted notices around town [saying]…”If someone sees you dressed like this they have the right to defend themselves…if you run around in a clown suit, you should probably expect for citizens to beat you (for their own protection), then get arrested by police”…

But while most cops in the country are only too happy to use clown hysteria as an excuse to threaten and arrest people or at least swagger around and pretend to be important, one single detective (Adam Meyer of Rolla, Missouri) actually took the time to investigate local reports, and didn’t even feel compelled to inflict violence on the hoaxers or otherwise “send a message” by destroying their lives:

I spoke with a young man…who claimed that he was assaulted by the crazy creepy clowns…he told me that he lied…He quickly admitted that he had not been assaulted, stabbed, threatened, mean mugged or even given a stern talking to by any clown whatsoever.  He had not seen a clown, creepy or not, of any kind…I ended up tracking down the young aspiring cinematographers, who will remain nameless…the person who made the recording…introduced me to the clown who was in the video.  Needless to say, I survived the encounter…They’re both just normal guys who were playing a joke on [some] girls…

Given that I’m writing this on Monday evening and you’re reading it on Friday, don’t be at all surprised if you see more reports under this heading tomorrow, and next Wednesday, and…

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[Sex workers] report…violence more often from law enforcement officials than from any other group.  –  Alexandra Lutnick

Lack of Evidence

As long as these laws exist, all women are vulnerable to persecution by cops:

…a 40-year-old statute in the [New York] penal code…allows the police broad discretion in arresting anyone they deem to be loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution…The law is vague enough to make almost any posture vulnerable to suspicion.  You could be arrested while talking to two men on a corner; while talking to someone through a car window; while walking down the street with a bottle of Korbel; for going to your job selling sofas; if it happens that you have worked as a prostitute before; just for wearing something [a cop] decides is too provocative…the Legal Aid Society of New York has handled so many of these cases of wrongful arrest, particularly among transgender women who are black and Hispanic, that…it filed a federal civil rights suit…on behalf of several plaintiffs…challenging the constitutionality of the law.  Between 2012 and 2015…nearly 1,300 people were arrested in New York City under the loitering law.  More than 600 were convicted, and close to 240 served some time in jail…five precincts…were responsible for more than two-thirds of the arrests, each [ruling over]…neighborhoods that are predominantly black and Hispanic…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

I love it when they feed on each other:  “North Charleston Police arrested Deputy Jason Mitchell at a motel…[after he] contacted [an] undercover cop by phone after seeing a [fake] post on Backpage.com…

Where Are the Victims?

She “thought she was helping her friends” in the same way I “think” I’m Maggie McNeill:

A transgender woman and her partner who helped bring prostitutes to the UK from abroad have been spared jail by a judge, who said the couple believed they were “helping” their friends.  Brazilian former sex worker Angel Gomes and her civil partner Leon Foster ran an organised prostitution ring for four years…they helped to bring in Gomes’ friends from the transgender community in South America, where they were already selling sex…the couple paid for travel expenses and sex aids including condoms.  The business traded under the name “Kelly Shemales”…

In other words, it was an ordinary escort service specializing in transwomen.

Droit du Seigneur violent-pimp-cop-benjamin-walden

Prohibitionists want these guys to “protect” us from pimps:

…Oak Grove [Kentucky] Police Sgt. Benjamin R. Walden [was arrested as a violent pimp after]…the state police…found that three adult women were being held against their will and forced to have sex with men at a…motel…Walden…[also] faces…charges…including first-degree sodomy, first-degree rape…assault…terroristic threatening and intimidating a participant in a legal process…Also arrested in the case were Michael Helton…and Kiersten Napodano…[Dennis] Cunningham, the Oak Grove police chief…described Walden as a “good officer”…

Saving Them From Themselves


An Iowa county attorney has threatened to brand a teen a “sex offender” because she sent a friend photos of herself scantily clad, the girl’s family [reported] in federal court.  The photos…depict a 14-year-old girl, named only as Nancy Doe in the lawsuit, in her underwear. In one photo, she wears a sports bra, and in the other she is topless with her long hair covering her breasts…But the photos emerged again last spring when two male students were caught printing them off using a school printer, along with other photos of nude or partially nude male and female classmates…The school district turned the photographs over to the Knoxville Police Department…the girl’s parents wondered “what the fuss was about,” as the images…”were less ‘racy’ than photographs they see in fashion magazines and on television every day”…To escape…criminal charges, the students [were forced] to participate in a “diversion program” that required them to engage in community service, complete a [brainwashing program] on the [imaginary] dangers…of “sexting,” give up their laptops and cell phones for an unspecified period of time, and submit a written confession about their conduct to juvenile court services…When the Does refused to fill out the questionnaire or to enroll Nancy in the diversion program, [county attorney] Bull continued to threaten her with criminal prosecution…

They Still Don’t Get It

Let’s play “count the idiocies”:

Prosecutors from around the world say the fight against sex trafficking is moving online as traffickers use popular websites to advertise sexual services…an international sex trafficking summit in Waikiki that drew prosecutors from Asia, the US and Canada…victims are often unwilling to cooperate with investigators because they have endured a history of abuse…Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County’s district attorney [bloviated moronically]…“It’s not like in the 80s and 90s where women were on the street.  It’s all done by social media, cellphones, emails, text messages.”  Michael Ramos, president of the National District Attorneys Association, said he plans to push for legislation in the US to make it illegal to use websites to solicit illegal sex and to hold internet companies accountable for sex trafficking on their platforms…“It’s just so easy right now…Instead of having prostitutes out on the corner like they used to in a red light district, now they just go online, they hit a button, and it’s like ordering a pizza”…Sonia Paquet, a Canadian prosecutor…said…“If we go on the internet site, we see the girls naked”…

1) “Sex trafficking” as a dysphemism for “sex work”.  2) Women are too stupid to post our own ads, so male “traffickers” must be doing it.  3) Streetwalkers have always been a minority of sex workers, even in classical times.  The fraction has dropped from about 12-15% in the “80s and 90s” to maybe 8% now, hardly a vast shift.  4) Women who deny cop/prosecutor BDSM wanking fantasies must be “victims” who are “unwilling to cooperate” because of phantom abusers, not because cops & prosecutors are evil fucks out to destroy their lives; 5) It’s already illegal in the US to “solicit” for prostitution, whether online or off.  6) Courts have repeatedly declared that Section 230 protects websites from being “held accountable” (a moralistic euphemism for “scapegoated”) for third-party content.  7) Is anyone actually stupid enough to think he can get an escort just by “hitting a button”?  8) Do these assholes really expect people to believe getting a date with someone like me is easier than driving over to a stroll?  9) Pizza!  10) Ms. Pacquet unwittingly reveals the real issue with all this posturing & mouth-foaming: pictures of naked women, as always.  Ten idiocies in 13 sentences is a pretty high score, even for prosecutors.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

This is actually an excellent analogy:

…As a stripper, the club does not pay you.  There is no hourly wage you earn to stand around waiting for someone to ask you to take your clothes off…people believe strippers are independent contractors because they think that the money they pay for dances is given to the club, which in turn is doled out to the dancer in the form of a stipend or salary…but…it is exactly the opposite…Money paid for dances is paid to the dancer, who pays the club an agreed-upon rate for the privilege of conducting her business there.  In essence, she is paying rent, or leasing space from the club for commerce…This is how many hairdressers operate their businesses…That hairdresser is running their own business out of that chair, which they pay rent on.  Their calendar is their livelihood, and they might even be able to set their own rates based on their level of skill and expertise…they have certain branding to display and house rules they have to play by, and they have to pay rent to their landlord.  But beyond that, they are the owner of a business and have their own customers that will often follow them if they move salons…

Dutch Threat 

Not even close; the majority of sex businesses worldwide are controlled by sex workers.  This level of ignorance is truly astonishing:

A social investment fund has agreed to operate several brothels in Amsterdam’s red light district…The Start Foundation helps vulnerable people find jobs…and…has now agreed to buy four buildings from the city council which had been taken over as part of the city’s [gentrification] efforts for the district…the 14 windows will be rented out to a new foundation called My Red Light…[which] describes itself as “the first sex company in the Netherlands and Europe in which sex workers have control”…Sex worker lobby group Proud has described the project as deceptive.  “Lots of sex workers want to be their own bosses but they never get a permit”, [said] spokeswoman Yvette Luhrs…

If Men Were Angels

Sometimes even a little bit of “authority” is enough:

…Mark Alan Laverdure…[was charged in Oregon with 27] counts of…sexual abuse…[against] 5 [underage] female victims…from March 2003 through June 2014…there [may be] additional victims…Laverdure had once been employed with the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)…

Business As Usual

I find it darkly amusing that amateurs are so shocked by this:

the scandal isn’t just about [Celeste Guap], now known by her [legal] name, Jasmine Abuslin…“If you step back from it, how is it possible that this many [cops] could be engaged in this kind of activity over this period of time and she be the only one?” [Abuslin’s lawyer Pamela] Price t[said]…Former victims say this type of police sexual misconduct is not a one-off…FBI [pig] Marty Parker [defends rapist cops by pretending most are impostors]…

If you want to understand the depth of Parker’s treason vs her own gender, compare the number of real-rapist-cop reports which appear under “To Molest and Rape” and “Above the Law” with the number of fake-rapist-cop reports under “License To Rape“.

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-david-gonzalez

Cops love to claim they’re “helping” and “protecting” women when they molest or rape us:

…Florida…Trooper David Gonzalez was [only] charged with [simple] battery…after…he…pulled [a woman] over…and said, “you really look good tonight,” before directing her to move her car to a side street…he [then]…took her cell phone and added himself to her Snapchap account…[then] took a selfie with the woman, and…sent it to her friends “to see if she thought he was cute”…he…began hugging the woman “because she looked nervous”…then kissed her neck and reached under her shirt to grope her breast…After the woman reported Gonzalez…investigators began monitoring Snapchat communications between the two….[he told her] “I wanted to treat you with respect and do away with you(r) insecurities about yourself”…

Male readers: do you think you’d only be charged with simple battery if you did that to a woman?

Harm Magnification (#668)

The Philippines’ new president is carrying the “War on Drugs” to its logical conclusion:

…President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that he would like to kill millions of drug addicts in the Philippines, defying international criticism of his country’s [more severe version of the same] war on narcotics [they all participate in] and escalating his brutal rhetoric with a reference to the Holocaust.  “Hitler massacred three million Jews…there’s three million drug addicts.  There are.  I’d be happy to slaughter them.”  Killing that number of drug users would “finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said…

Too Close To Home (#672)

Liz Brown takes a scalpel to the King County sheriff’s incompetent response to her article, and man, there is blood everywhere:

…The sheriff of King County, Washington, John Urquhart, said [on a poplar Seattle radio show that] my article was not unfair and even “partially true”.  What he objected to was the supposedly naive and “unicorn-ish” view it took toward prostitution clients; the idea that it was law enforcement, rather than the press, that sensationalized the story; the implication that finding prostitution customers online is safer than out on the streets; and the suggestion that King County could have acted differently considering existing laws…Urquhart [said] “You’re asking me not to enforce state law.”  Nobody is asking that.  But there is a huge amount of prioritization that goes into police work, and solving crimes where there are actual victims and public-safety concerns should take precedence.  Which probably means not concocting elaborate, expensive, and years-long sting operations in order to entrap adults engaging in consensual sexual exchange and then misrepresent this as some sort of major blow against a sinister syndicate of international sex traffickers…

Please, please read the whole thing, unless you’re squeamish at the sight of a metaphorical evisceration.

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I spent my life playing in pee.  –  David Wartinger

I must admit to having a soft spot for trivia geekery such as that displayed in this week’s video, provided by Kevin Wilson.  The links above it were contributed by  Scott Greenfield (“faking”), Tim Cushing (“sorry” and “ever”), Nun Ya (“protect” and “love”), Tushy Galore (“instead”), and Jason Kuznicki (“stones”).

From the Archives

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The police…should…sow trust among the community rather than alienate some…whose actions should not be considered a crime to begin with.  –  Udi Ofer

Saving Them From Themselves

Prosecutors have the magical ability to transform a “child” into an adult, but only for the purpose of wantonly destroying innocent lives:

Austin Yabandith, a 17-year-old from Superior, Wisconsin [was charged with sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation, and possession of child pornography]…after [a school cop found nude] photos of Austin’s 15-year-old girlfriend on his cell phone—as well as a video of the couple having sex…the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18, which means Austin is…under-age, just like the girlfriend he is accused of exploiting.  But Wisconsin’s sex offender laws [allow]…17-year-olds [to] be charged as adults—even though the law considers them to be children and incapable of consenting to sex…In many U.S. jurisdictions, the law permits consensual relationships [between] underage teens if the [elder] is no more than four years older than the [younger]…Wisconsin is one of a handful of states with no Romeo and Juliet exception…even though it’s perfectly normal for teens to form…relationships with other teens, fall in love, and [have] sex…

And how did the cop “discover” the photos?  By intimidating the boy into “allowing” him to search the phone.

Above the Law  rapist-politician-richard-keenan

He once said, “Dedicating my life to Jesus has changed my life.”

…Richard Keenan, who served as mayor of Hubbard [Ohio] in 2010 and 2011, was indicted [for] eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rape and gross sexual imposition…Keenan pleaded not guilty…but prosecutors said he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl over a three-year period, beginning when she was 4 years old…Keenan confessed…to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother- and sister-in-law…[after] the child told Keenan’s wife about the abuse and she confronted him…he blamed the child for initiating the sex acts and described her as a “willing participant”…

The Shape of the Spoon

The reason why people view sex work as an “unacceptable” risk for women, while simultaneously encouraging us to become cops, join the military, etc:

…Ashley Thomas…the lead author of a recently published study…note that legal norms needn’t follow inaccurate beliefs about risks.  “The fact that many people irrationally fear air travel does not result in air travel being criminalized…Parents are not arrested for bringing their children with them on airplanes.  In contrast, parents are arrested and prosecuted for allowing their children to wait in cars, play in parks, or walk through their neighborhoods without an adult”…The researchers…created a series of surveys asking participants to rate the danger to children left alone in…specific circumstances…The reasons for the parent’s absence were varied randomly…“A mother’s unintentional absence was seen as safer for the child than a mother’s intentional absence for any reason, and a mother’s work-related absence was seen as more dangerous than an unintentional absence, but less dangerous than if the mother left to pursue an illicit sexual affair,” they write.  The same was true for fathers, except that respondents rated leaving for work as posing no greater danger than leaving unintentionally.  Moral disapproval informed beliefs about risks…“People…think that leaving children alone is…immoral and therefore dangerous.  That is, people overestimate the actual danger to children who are left alone by their parents, in order to better support or justify their moral condemnation of parents who do so”…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims…The new plan…is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant.  If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1…The government [pretends] it needs this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware…what’s known as a “botnet”.  But the…amendments…are woefully short on protections for the [privacy]…of innocent Americans…


I really hate being right all the fucking time:

Over the last decade, collecting DNA from people who are not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime has become an increasingly routine practice for police in smaller cities…in Florida…Connecticut, Pennsylvania and North Carolina…While the largest cities typically operate public labs and feed DNA samples into the FBI’s national database, [small] cities…have assembled databases of their own…in partnership with private labs that offer such fast, cheap testing that police can afford to amass DNA even to investigate minor crimes…some…have quietly begun [coercing] people to turn over DNA…during traffic stops…or…chance encounters with police…Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania…pays for the testing…with…money [stolen from citizens]…Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in a crime before requiring a search or seizure.  But the notion of collecting DNA [by coerced “consent”] is still so new that the ground rules remain uncertain.  Who can give such consent and what must they be told about what they’re consenting to?  Who decides how long to keep these samples and what can be done with them?…Automated “Rapid DNA” machines allow police to analyze DNA right at the station in a mere 90 minutes…but…police departments’ private databases…are subject to no state or federal regulation or oversight…

Delightful Conversation 

The stupidity defense:

A man who ran an escort agency…was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Prosecutors proved Candy Girls offered sexual services…The…[various defendants all were found] guilty…[except for] Karl Jackson…[who] left school at 15 with no qualifications and always looked up to his older brother, Leon, who [owned the agency]…When interviewed by police in 2014, he said he ran a “companionship service” and never suspected the girls had sex with clients.  When asked what this involved, he said: “A companion who’s going to sit there and do everything your girlfriend did do, just watch telly and maybe clean your house, I don’t know”…

Wise Investment (#428)

A better monument to the victims would be eradicating the horrible laws that made their murders possible:

After years in the making, a sex worker memorial in Vancouver’s West End [was] unveiled…Friday.  The monument will honour the sex workers who once were part of a flourishing community before being expelled from the area…after a July 1984 Supreme Court injunction by Justice Allan McEachern…During the 1970s and ’80s, the West End was home to a tightly knit, diverse community of sex workers, she says, who kept the area pimp-free…The City of Vancouver has put $28,000 into funding the monument — the same amount it raised in fines against sex workers and consumers during enforcement of its 1982 bylaw…The memorial’s location, at Jervis and Pendrell Streets, marks a convergence of the old sex worker strolls.  It also is in front of St Paul’s Anglican Church, which often offered refuge…

Down Under (#518)

In the US, the government would’ve “helped” by prosecuting her:

A [New Zealand] sex worker’s five-year restraining order has been reinstated after years of harassment from a client that was obsessed with her.  After first paying for her services in 2012, the man began a systematic campaign of harassment when his advances were spurned…The man…would wait for her outside work and hired a private detective…to track down her identity…When she filed for a restraining order, the client went out of his way to protract a course of legal action that was used to “play” with the woman…The man, known in court papers as NR or Mr N, and woman, known as MR, have permanent name suppression and were referred to in court documents as R and M respectively.  The recently-released decision stated that M is allowed to file further evidence, seek reinstatement of indemnity costs and her restraining order for a period of five years has been reinstated…R’s appeals…have been dismissed and he must pay M’s costs…

My First Million (#568)

I hit the 5 million pageview mark just a little after 4:00 UTC last Tuesday, September 13th (a little after 9 PM Monday evening here in Seattle).  Thanks to all the readers who made it happen!

What Were You All Waiting For? (#654) 

Let’s hope other ACLU chapters start following New Jersey’s lead:

…The Newark Police Department’s 13 arrests on charges related to prostitution over the weekend raise concerns yet again about Newark’s embrace of failed and destructive “Broken Windows” policing strategies.  Using our criminal justice system to harass, arrest and incarcerate consenting adults who agree to exchange sex for money is a poor use of the NPD’s limited resources.  These arrests harm public health by stigmatizing sex workers and making their lives more difficult and dangerous.  These crackdowns harm public safety by stoking fear of police among sex workers…We urge the City to explore harm reduction…and to reject failed approaches of criminalization…Sex work should not be criminalized…

Of Course It Is

Because obviously, the prosecutor couldn’t simply exercise his discretion and decline to press charges:

[Celeste Guap]…remained jailed in Florida…but was offered a plea deal that could hasten her return to California…the assistant state attorney in Martin County, David Lustgarten, said Monday that he is charging Guap with misdemeanor battery.  “The evidence did not lead me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a felony was committed,” he said.  Lustgarten said he offered a plea bargain to the young woman…

She was allowed to plead “no contest” to the reduced charge, and returned to California on Wednesday while her attorney belched out “sex trafficking” rhetoric.

Mote and the Beam (#672) 

Alas, the victory was short-lived:  “The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to block subpoenas issued to Backpage.com by a Senate committee that is investigating its alleged role in facilitating child sex trafficking…

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Our perception of what makes a service “safer” isn’t always universal.  –  Lux Alptraum

Bad Jobs

Like something Melissa Farley would make up, only true:  “A new survey shows 90% of social care workers [in Ireland] have experienced violence in the workplace…75% experienced physical assaults – some on a daily basis…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever, especially if you’re a whore:

A prostitute was arrested after she told police a clients handcuffed her and robbed her of $2,000 in cash and her belongings…At some point after the man paid her…he pulled out a police [badge], claimed he was a [cop] and handcuffed her with fake cuffs…He took his $190 off the hotel room dresser, swiped $2,000 in cash…and…the woman’s $1,000 iPad Mini, a $40 backpack and a $100 MetroPCS phone…Police arrested the woman and charged her with prostitution…However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case…

Above the Law  creepy-cop-neil-hempsall

There’s nothing here saying he harmed or threatened any of the sex workers he looked up, but of course there’s no way to know that given that he stalked them by looking up their fucking police records:

A disgraced cop who used his force computer to contact sex workers…was allowed to keep his job…[Neil Hempsall] admitted four charges and escaped with a community order…[the prosecutor said] “He…had been using the services of sex workers and accessing their record on the police computer system”…There was…[also] evidence he was tracking down a former lover…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#46)

I can’t help laughing at pathetic losers wanking to their fantasies of superhuman sex robots, but but the ones who suffer reaction formation from such fantasies elicit a mixture of pathos and disgust:

According to a [soi-disant] expert in the field, we’ll need to be careful we don’t get addicted to artificial-intelligence lovemaking.  Joel Snell is an [academic who fantasizes]…there’s a real risk linked to the robots…because they’ll offer great sex at any time of the day and night…it’ll never be able to turn you down.  “People may become obsessed by their ever-faithful, ever-pleasing sex robot lovers,” he warned.  “People will rearrange their lives to accommodate their addictions”…

Bonus stupid anti-sex trope: “sex addiction”.

Lack of Evidence (Extra Edition)

It’s a sign of our culture’s deeply-sick sexual attitudes that people still believe in “virginity tests”:

[Dear Dr. Petra, my boyfriend is] like me…a virgin.  But when he checked my vagina he said he could tell I wasn’t a virgin and he doesn’t feel able to be with me until I can be truthful.  I don’t know how to convince him that I am a virgin and don’t know what signs he can see that tell him I’m not…I’m now worried I might be mistaken about myself…[Dr. Petra Answers:] I’m sure everyone reading this [is]…wondering what the circumstances were that led up to him checking your vagina?…You may have told him to get better educated about virginity and women’s bodies.  You might have told him his actions felt alarming and controlling…You could have said he clearly had no idea what he was talking about.  Any or all of these responses would have been reasonable.  And all of them are a good enough reason…to end the relationship without further discussion…There will be other people who are kinder, more sexually informed, more respectful, better communicators and won’t subject you to virginity checks…

Cardboard Cutouts

Note that 1.5% is my standard estimate of coercion among Western sex workers:

This week new statistics on human trafficking in The Netherlands where presented by the Dutch National Rapporteur Human Trafficking [and]…the city of Amsterdam…the Dutch Rapporteur reported…1,321 possible victims of trafficking…66%…from the sex industry…these are not proven victims, but simply people of whom other people (police, marshals, city officials and social workers) have (slight) suspicions about that perhaps they could be victims…if…there are about 827 possible victims in prostitution, and the total amount of sexworkers in The Netherlands are estimated at around 20.000…it would come down to about 4,1%…only 102 possible victims in prostitution where reported in Amsterdam…[which] would come down to about 1,5% of all the sexworkers in Amsterdam…what’s interesting is to compare the suspected victims with the actual number of victims that annually actually press charges…in 2015…33 victims actually [pressed] charges for human trafficking, which is almost the same as the year before (29 in 2014) and the year before that (32 in 2013).  In short, quite a bit lower than how many people are being reported as “possible” victims…

Feminists and Other Puritans

Once again:  NO, a coalition between two different fundamentalist groups to fight what they perceive as a common enemy is in no way “surprising”:

…the surprising nexus between radical feminists and Christian Right culture warriors has been with us a long time.  In the 1980s, anti-porn feminists like Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin teamed up with anti-porn conservatives like Edwin Meese, leading to the passage of laws censoring sexual speech in the name of protecting women.  In the last decade, anti-prostitution feminists have joined forces with fundamentalist Christians to prosecute sex workers under the aegis of sex trafficking laws.  And now, some essentialist feminists – pejoratively nicknamed TERFs, for “Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists” – have provided the pseudo-philosophical basis for fundamentalist Christians’ anti-transgender laws…[while] TERFs…approvingly cite…anti-trans [Christian]…right-wing scholars and writers…Feminists…and…Conservatives don’t oppose porn because they want to protect women; they oppose porn because they oppose sexual licentiousness and free sexual expression.  Just like they oppose protecting trans people because transgender reality scares them, disgusts them, or offends their outdated theologies.  A similar shell-game has recently arisen in the context of sex trafficking…This was a deliberate deception on the part of anti-sex activists like the anti-prostitution group Demand Abolition.  As exposed by The Washington Post in 2014, that group’s internal document said that “framing the Campaign’s key target as sexual slavery might garner more support and less resistance, while framing the Campaign as combating prostitution may be less likely to mobilize similar levels of support”…

Hey, Jay Michaelson:  I appreciate your mentioning my work, but the standard practice when doing so is to name the author rather than just the publication, and to include a link to the piece cited.

Guest Columnist:  Kaytlin Bailey

My friend Kaytlin Bailey, on coming out to her father:

…I was afraid to tell him about my having been a prostitute because he was a great dad.  I didn’t want him to think one had anything to do with the other.  I didn’t want to burden him with this indulgent, selfish secret because I feared the images that “your daughter was a prostitute” would conjure might break him, even when his various tours of duty didn’t…We talked for hours, never addressing my prostitution directly. We got tipsy, and…he said…that he was proud of me, and that I could always come home.  “No matter what.”  I could see he wasn’t angry.  He was nervous for me the same way he’s always been…

Go read it.  Please. playing-cowboy-in-cartagena

They Never Learn

Since this self-aggrandizing fascist wankfest hasn’t sold as a TV show, they made a pilot movie:

“Just like the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin brought awareness to slavery and helped start a civil war, this movie can instantly turn that dial of public awareness to sex trafficking,” [fantasizes] director Chet Thomas.  Toward the beginning of The Abolitionists, a film with a limited release…the audience is introduced to “Batman”…a flawed hero with a troubled past who now works largely in the dark of night, protecting the vulnerable from unimaginable horrors…Batman…spent 15 years laundering money for drug cartels in Latin America…[until he had] a Christian epiphany…Nowadays, he works undercover, largely with a former Homeland Security officer named Tim Ballard.  The two of them set up sting operations worldwide that result in the capture of those who sell children as sex slaves…The directors of the documentary…also are working on a TV show.  They say they have enough video — taken with cameras disguised as sunglasses, pens and phones — for 25 episodes…Ballard’s organization, Operation Underground Railroad, has rescued 573 children worldwide and put 160 criminals behind bars…

Choke Point (#610)

The government-encouraged gentrification of the internet is tightening the noose on sex workers:

Lately, it seems like every website wants to see my ID.  Facebook was the first…then Airbnb started asking me to submit both a Facebook account and legal identification…And now Twitter’s opened up its verification process to all sorts of users—provided, of course, those users are willing to send the staff a copy of their legal identification…this push towards a verified internet…makes me concerned that the next iteration of the social media sites that have been essential to the destigmatization of sex work…won’t be quite so amenable to sex work…It should be relatively obvious why a tweeting escort would want to avoid providing her legal information…but even practitioners of legal sex work such as porn and stripping might not be too keen on the idea…it’s…possible that the potential chilling effect on sex worker voices is more than just an unintentional side effect…

The End of the Beginning (#668) 

A reminder that in most of the US, the situation is still worsening:

When he was 18, David Clark had sex with a 14-year-old.  In 1982 he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct…and was sentenced to four years of probation.  The following year, the state legislature passed a law that retroactively required Clark to register as a sex offender.  In 2009 he was arrested for failing to register…He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.  Last week a federal appeals court [pretended] there was nothing constitutionally amiss about this series of events, because the law threatening to put Clark behind bars is [supposedly] not punitive…retroactive application…violates the Constitution’s ban on ex post facto laws…[but politicians and courts pretend that] forcing sex offenders to register is not a punishment…

Of Course It Is

It’s nice to know that at least a few reporters get this:

…TV stations plastered [Celeste Guap’s] image on newscasts.  Reporters hounded her for interviews and shared images from her social-media accounts on their websites.  During this time, Guap was [using heroin]…to cope with depression related to her [sexual abuse by cops]…last week…Florida deputies arrested Guap and charged her with felony battery…How did the Bay Area media react to this news?  At least four local outlets — including KTVU, SFist.com, ABC 7 and KRON — published Guap’s true identity and legal name, along with a “mug shot” from Florida jail…some local journalists are arguing that Guap’s case already was widely publicized, so it was OK to disclose her legal name…Bullshit.  The only reason her story is news…is because she was an underage victim of sexual assault [by cops]…And her legal name and identity should be protected as such…and…what the hell was Guap doing [in Florida] in the first place?…She’s a witness to…crimes committed by numerous Bay Area [cops, including]…human trafficking, statutory rape, interfering with a police investigation, illegal use of a police computer system, and pandering…she’s…trapped with a $300,000 bail and detoxing from hard street drugs cold-turkey, and…experiencing [jailhouse] harassment from [jailers]…

It’s What They Do

Thanks, Iain, but we don’t want to be “legalized and regulated”; we just want to be left the Hell alone:

The politician in charge of the Commons committee reviewing the laws on prostitution is caught in a prostitution scandal.  It is right for Labour MP Keith Vaz to resign as chairman of the Commons Home Affairs committee for the time being…But beyond that, Jeremy Corbyn is right about it being “a private matter”…Mr Vaz has done nothing illegal.  Even the “poppers” he was alleged to have taken are a legal stimulant.  But a lot of people seem to believe that Mr Vaz should now stand down as an MP simply because he was unfaithful to his wife…Yet…people have always had affairs…gay men should surely not be forced do disclose their sexuality if they feel uncomfortable about doing so…Some of the criticism has clearly come from supporters of what is called the “Nordic model” who believe that the buying of sex should be illegal.  But this story vividly illustrates the problems associated with changing the law to criminalise men who purchase sex…I can’t really understand why the sale of sexual services should ever be illegal unless it involves trafficking, pimping, compulsion or other forms of coercive behaviour.  The Vaz case – if the allegations are true – demonstrates why prostitution should be legalised and properly regulated.  So long as it is underground, the sex trade will remain in the hands of the criminals and blackmailers…

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