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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Readers who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I had very little to say about the news that Notre Dame de Paris was heavily damaged by fire this week.  I equally ignored those lamenting the loss of an architectural masterpiece, those using the tragedy as an excuse to pontificate about the many sins of the Catholic Church, those failing to comprehend why there was no anguish when recent and unsophisticated buildings used as churches burned down, and those complaining that the destruction of other medieval architectural gems not located in the exact center of one of the greatest cities of the West was not publicized by Western media.  In fact, the only comment I made on it was to tweet that this article in The Onion was the only one I had seen that approximated my feelings on the matter.  Though I agree that the building is gorgeous and understand the sense of loss, and I find rejoicing in the destruction of an artwork to be an act of incredibly bad taste, I also understand what many others are choosing to ignore: that no matter what is done to restore the cathedral, it will eventually burn down again or succumb to some other disaster.  And the same is true of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, St. Basil’s and every other building in the world.  Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only one is still standing and it, too, will eventually crumble, as will every building in every city on Earth.  In Oklahoma, my ranch was situated on the top of what was a mountain a hundred million years ago, and the very shape of the continents has changed dramatically in that time.  Similarly, people wring their hands and moan lugubriously about the extinction of animal species, despite the fact that a species is nothing more than a temporary configuration of genes; it is as permanent as a sand dune, albeit on a much longer time scale, and we can no more “save” a species than we could freeze the column of smoke from a burning cathedral into some interesting or beautiful shape.  As I remind my readers every November 1st, all things must pass, and although we may lament those which happen to pass in the flickering moment we exist upon the Earth, they are no more or less mortal than those which have already passed before we were here to see them, or those which will pass in the uncountable eons after we ourselves are gone.

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Who are you to forbid me from doing what I want with my body?  –  Patrice Spinosi

Under Every Bed

Fetishists claim that hysterical idiots seeing bogeymen behind every tree constitutes “under-reporting”:

Washington state is an opportune location to be a human trafficker, [fantasized] Kris Camenzind…of [prohibitionist group] The Human Response Network, and despite its certain presence in Lewis County, it remains an under-reported crime…one of…Camenzind[‘s Mary Sue fantasies]…was [about] a woman in her 60s being forced to appear in pornographic videos…Washington’s border with Canada, many ports, expanses of rural land and need for agricultural workers are all factors making it a hotspot for trafficking…Lewis County almost certainly serves as the scene of its own instances of human trafficking, due its rural expanses and easy access to the freeway…

“Sex trafficking” fetishists love to have it both ways, claiming that areas of large population density and “rural expanses” both increase “sex trafficking”.

Innocence Never Had

Every adult in this story needs their head examined:

District Judge Michael Gibbens sentenced Raymond Soden to five years and 10 months in prison [for paying for sex with underage girls].  That was eight years less than what was called for in Kansas sentencing guidelines.  In doing so, the judge opined that the girls, who were both younger than 15, were partly to blame for what happened and questioned how much they were harmed.  The judge pointed out that the [girls] went to Soden’s house voluntarily and didn’t appear in court when he was sentenced.  “I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct…They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell”…The judge’s comments at Soden’s sentencing drew [complaints] from prosecutors…

Innocence Never Had (#599)

Rescuers are just full of “love” for street workers, as long as it doesn’t require anything more strenuous than handing them bog rolls and writing on bananas:

The Duchess of Sussex has written personal messages of love and empowerment for street sex workers in Bristol to find in food parcels when they access night outreach support.  Meghan spontaneously came up with the idea to inscribe the kind words on bananas with a marker pen during an unannounced visit to the charity One25…The…messages…read, in capital letters and often followed by a heart: “You are strong”, “You are special”, “You are brave” and “You are loved”.  One25 in the St Paul’s area of the city helps sex workers break free from a life of violence, poverty and addiction on the streets…

Sexcrime (#645)

Congratulations to Jackman and Blake on this hard-won victory:

Renowned obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman welcomed new guidelines…that mean pornography between consenting adults depicting legal acts will not be prosecuted under obscenity laws following a review by the Crown Prosecution Service, declaring it as a major victory for free speech, privacy, as well as consent.  Until [Thursday]…individuals could be prosecuted for distributing…pornography [that features] spanking, bondage, female ejaculation and sadomasochism.  Although these acts are legal between consenting adults…they were illegal to depict in photos or video…Jackman…has campaigned for this change for over a decade…Activist and filmmaker Pandora Blake who also campaigned for reform of “nonsensical porn laws” said…“This is a happy day for queer, feminist and fetish porn”…

Fallen Idol (#693)

Color Maggie unsurprised:

John Stagliano, a legendary pornographer and owner of the film studio Evil Angel…barred its directors from working with [James] Deen following [a series of rape] accusations—but now, three years on, Stagliano has decided to lift the ban.  He and Evil Angel are not lifting it quietly, either.  The company is doing it with an explicit porn-slash-documentary film titled Consent.  Later, Stagliano will tell me, “I don’t like to run away from controversial subjects.  I like to run toward them”…

Soap Opera (#853)

“In Our Backyard” is loony even by the low standards of “rescue” profiteers:

Nita Belles of In Our Backyard says…”We have to change what our society thinks about what they call ‘sex work,’ because the majority of what is called sex work is actually human trafficking”…Belles recommends people share [propaganda] and [disinformation]…about sex trafficking.  In Our Backyard also has a “Freedom Sticker” campaign that features the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline [for women too stupid to remember “9-1-1″…She suggests that one area to place a freedom sticker is inside a public restroom stall.  “That’s the only time a victim is alone and able to ask for help…Sex trafficking victims almost always have a phone with them because that’s how the trafficker controls their time and what they do”…


This group also claims that “pimps” go around sneaking into women’s bathrooms to deface their magic anti-pimp stickers.

The Widening Gyre (#872)

“Sex trafficking” scare stories have now spread to texting.  I’m really happy to see this one in particular, given Uber’s eager embrace of the mythology to endear itself to the Deeply Stupid by making it official company policy to train drivers to spy on female passengers and rat them out to the cops if the driver thinks they might be sex workers.

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#880) 

Remember, this isn’t “human trafficking”, but consensual sex is:

The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite…thousands of migrant children who[m it abducted] from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed.  [Toady] Jonathan White [bloviated that] removing children from…homes [of people who bought them from the government]…“would present grave child welfare concerns…It would destabilize [our attempts to make them forget their real parents]”…White said in a court filing…It is unknown how many families were [disrupted] under a longstanding policy that allows [abduc]tion…[but] Ann Maxwell, Health and Human Services’ assistant inspector general for evaluations, said…that the number…was certainly larger than the 2,737 listed by the government in court documents…Maxwell said staff estimated it to be in the thousands…

Signs (#881) 

“Sex trafficking” provides a new excuse for cops to use the same old bogus “evidence” to harass women:

…a program designed by a state trooper in Texas [claims without evidence that]…hundreds of children [were] rescued, and hundreds of pimps…arrested…by [cops] on [pretext] stops, both in Texas and other states where it has been taught.  Now Congress wants to spread that program nationwide…training federal, state, local and tribal [cops] in how to [pretend women they want to arrest are] trafficking victims…The program was created in 2009 by a…Texas [pig named]…Derek Prestridge, who realized there was no [system by which pigs could claim to be]…tracking the number of child rescues made…Prestridge and other [pigs] in…Texas…then built a training course…[out of the typical “signs of trafficking” bullshit]…

Worse Than I Thought (#895)

Looks like we’re about to see a new interstate competition for the most mindlessly-punitive anti-sex law:

Wisconsin [politicians] are bringing back a bill that would impose a new fine on anyone [cops accuse] of soliciting prostitutes.  The bill would impose a $5,000 fine on anyone convicted of [being caught in cop stings] or [having an incall]…The money would [go straight into cops’ pockets]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#904)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet…known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement.  Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas…transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have [already] signed up to glean its insights…Replica…uses real-time mobile location data…the program gathers and de-identifies the location of cellphone users, which it obtains from unspecified third-party vendors.  It then models this anonymized data in simulations — creating a synthetic population that…replicates a city’s real-world patterns but that [allegedly] “obscures the real-world travel habits of individual people”…

Top Cop

Reason is among the chorus of voices reminding people of Harris’ awfulness:

The Course of a Disease (#909)

Given that French politicians ignored facts to pass this law, they were unlikely to be dissuaded from the evil by facts:

French sex workers failed…in their bid to overturn a law that bans paying for sex, as the country’s Constitutional Council [pretended] that it does not breach the constitution…The Swedish-inspired law [is backed by authoritarians who say]…women should [not] be allowed [sexual and economic agency]…sex workers say it has made their jobs more dangerous and deprived them of income.  Nine campaign groups had joined forces with around 30 sex workers to launch [the] constitutional challenge…

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The system isn’t in place to help you. It’s in place to keep you where you are.  –  Sophie

Thought Control (#137)

I’ve written on several occasions about arch-censor Fredric Wertham, a prohibitionist busybody who used Melissa Farley-style tactics to lobotomize the comic book industry in the 1950s; here’s a short video (courtesy of Kevin Wilson) showing him in action.

The Course of a Disease (#729)

There is no “debate”; this terrible law was unilaterally imposed by politicians despite vociferous opposition from everyone who is affected by it:

French sex workers have lodged a constitutional challenge to [the Swedish model]…reopening a debate on whether people should be free to [have consensual sex without government interference]…around 30 sex workers backed by nine associations, including [the prestigious Médecins du Monde], went to the Constitutional Council to argue the law infringed their sexual and commercial freedom and made them more vulnerable to attack…the law…[i]s an infringement of “constitutional rights to personal autonomy and sexual freedom, respect of privacy, freedom of contract and freedom to do business”…

The Course of a Disease (#796)

Prohibitionist scum understand that decriminalization is the only moral framework for sex work; that’s why they keep trying to trick people into thinking the Swedish model is decrim:

Rep Kay Khan of [Massachusetts is at it again with]…two [Swedish model] bills…One…n[orm]alizes [the persecution of] young people involved in sex work by [subjecting them to indefinite detention under the pretense of “protecting” them]…the other [pretends] to decriminalize adult sex workers [in order to confuse people into backing a campaign to choke off their income, get them evicted and persecute their families]…The two bills evolved from an earlier bill, HB 3499, which was submitted to to the Massachusetts House and Senate in early 2017…Any step towards decriminalization [would be] a win for sex workers’ rights.  But unfortunately, these bills [are not such a step and intentionally] leave in place statutes, language, funding, and institutional infrastructure which…[enables cops to] aggressively pursue…sex workers…

The Swedish model is NOT a step toward decriminalization; it infantilizes women, demonizes men, and defines consensual sex as “violence against women”.  That is a giant step away from decriminalization.

Signs (#886)

The public seems to have finally noticed that hotels are training their staff to harass women:

…Marriott International said it has reached a goal of training 500,000 hotel workers to spot and [harass sex workers]…Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson [said] “By…[indoctrinat]ing our global workforce to say something if they see something, we are [licking the boots of our masters and] protecting associates and guests [from dangerous sex rays]”…It collaborated with [prohibitionist] anti-[whore] groups ECPAT-USA and Polaris to create the program, which has been translated into 16 languages as well as English so it can be taught to employees throughout the 130 countries in which Marriott does business…

Legislators Gone Wild (#887) 

Oh, what a surprise:

…an annual Campaign and Expense…report filed by the End Trafficking and Prostitution (ETAP) PAC revealed…what appears to have been an outrageous abuse of power and conflict of interest by an elected government official…In December 2017, Reno lawyer Jason Guinasso  filed a public records request with the Lyon County recorder’s office demanding copies of the work card applications submitted to the Lyon County sheriff’s office by professional sex workers at all four of Lyon County’s legal brothels.  He filed the request on letterhead from the law firm at which he works – Hutchison and Steffen – which happens to be owned by then-Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, a political opponent of then-Assembly candidate Dennis Hof, who happened to own all four of Lyon County’s legal brothels…my guess is he wanted to make the addresses public in an effort to shame the adult women who were engaged in a legal business he has personal objections to…A couple months later Mr. Guinasso registered “End Trafficking and Prostitution” as a PAC with the Nevada Secretary of State…to place initiatives on the November 2018 ballot to shut down the legal brothels in Nye and Lyon counties – the two counties, not coincidentally, where Mr. Hof owned brothels…On June 7, 2018 the Lyon County Commission voted to place an “advisory question” on the ballot despite Mr. Guinasso’s failure to obtain enough signatures from Lyon County voters to do so himself…[this] was ultimately and overwhelmingly rejected in November by 80 percent of voters…

As we’ve seen before, crap like this is one of the primary reasons sex worker licensing schemes have such abysmally low compliance rates (below 1% in Nevada):  very few women are interested in being on a shaming & stalking list.

Why I Wait (#889)

Another dumb article about a phenomenon that probably doesn’t even exist:

…In her December 2018 cover story for The Atlantic warning that Americans—Millennials in particular—are having “so little sex,” senior editor Kate Julian soberly framed the drop as a “sex recession”.  Drawing from a 2017 study…[and methodologically-poor] evidence from the 2016 General Social Survey…sex for all adults dropped from 62 to 54 times a year, on average…mainly among white, middle-aged, married couples…the fear of a “sex recession” is misdirected.  A drop in sexual encounters from 62 to 54 times per year means that the average adult is still having sex more than once a week.  Current research suggests that having sex more than once a week does not have any positive impact on relationship satisfaction

That’s enough to show you the weaknesses in this turd sandwich, which, while skeptical of the worry, is not at all skeptical of the crap evidence itself.  Regular readers may recall that, as I’ve written on multiple occasions, the GSS is conducted face to face and is a terrible source for any sexual data (such as “have you ever paid for sex?“) because people simply lie about sexual questions.  These surveys don’t find anything about what people are actually doing sexually; what they measure is people’s relative comfort with the question, which is a horse of a different color.  The innate moralism of this article is visible in its assumption that the only important factor in talking about sex is “relationship satisfaction” (because obviously everybody has to pair off in vanilla monogamous amateur couples), not to mention the author’s asinine and moralistic statement that “There’s also a bit of a dark side in framing sex as economic given the realities of sex work“; I suspect this dumb bunny wouldn’t know one of the “realities of sex work” if it sashayed up and kissed her on the nose.

Stupor Bowl (#899) 

There’s very little point in bothering to quote this ridiculous mess because it’s the same garbage we’ve seen countless times: Theresa Flores selling her magical anti-pimp soap (designed to “help” women too stupid to remember the numbers “9-1-1”) and retelling her masturbatory fantasy of ninja pimps who managed to sneak her out of her home to “sell her for sex” every single night for two years without any member of her family ever noticing or any of her teachers wondering why she was falling asleep in class.  Politicians posturing so spasmodically one has to wonder how they don’t dislocate something.  Prohibitionists lovingly drooling over fantasies of enslaved thirteen-year-olds.  The magnification of a few prostitution arrests into an army of invisible “traffickers”.  I’m only mentioning it for two reasons: First, note that the opportunists now wait for mere days before the event in the forlorn hope that we won’t have time to debunk them (they used to start crowing about this idiocy as much as a year ahead); and second, that debunking is now so widespread that a refutation of this foofaraw appeared in the very same paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Disaster (#899)

Tumblr made its bed, and now look who’s lying in it with them:

One month ago, Tumblr made the wildly unpopular decision to ban pornography and adult content from its website.  The move was greeted with outrage…and…critics accused the site of attempting to please larger tech corporations…Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio, however, maintained that the changes were made to foster a more “inclusive” community…however…the website is currently littered with pages promoting Nazism, white supremacy, ethno-nationalism, and far-right terrorism.  Despite their often flagrant violation of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines, these pages remain largely active and easy to find…

Well, at least Tumblr users are safe from “female-presenting nipples”.

On Tape

Trump has finally made it acceptable to question “sex trafficking” porn, at least when he spreads it:

…Trump[‘s]…human trafficking hyperbole is barely distinguishable  from the melodramatic “modern slavery” narratives put forth regularly by Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, and others during their tenure in power.  Or the stories stories spun by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during her time as California attorney general.  And none of those stories were any less out of touch with reality…Ye[t]…CNN—which has rarely met a fact-free sex-trafficking melodrama it wouldn’t publish uncritically—ran an article titled “Experts: Trump’s tape-bound women trafficking claim is misleading“…and…at Vox, Dara Lind…reports that a top Border Patrol official emailed agents last week seeking information to back up the president’s claims…Seeking post-hoc justification for wild human trafficking claims is also a bad habit that predates Trump.  For many years, numbers spread by Justice Department and administration officials were more or less made up out of thin air, as The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler has pointed out. (See also: “The War on Sex Trafficking Is the New War on Drugs“)…

Top Cop

Another look at the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

…any Democratic women who reject the feminist label would kill her campaign before it even started.  This may be why it’s especially galling that all four [female] candidates signed a piece of legislation that is making life harder and more dangerous for some of society’s most vulnerable women…SESTA/FOSTA, which was widely advertised by its proponents as a way to fight human trafficking.  What the legislation, which was co-sponsored by Sens. [Kamala] Harris and [Kirsten] Gillibrand, actually did was amend the Communications Decency Act, which, until last year, prohibited websites from being held liable for content posted by the site’s users…prominent sex-work marketplaces either shut down voluntarily, like Craigslist’s Casual Encounters section, or, like Backpage, were seized and shut down by the Feds. This is exactly what Harris intended…“from my earliest days as a prosecutor, I’ve led the fight against Backpage and other sex [work advertising] platforms”…There was one group…that has roundly condemned SESTA/FOSTA, and that’s the group most impacted by it: sex workers…

The article, by Katie Herzog of The Stranger, includes interviews with me, my friend Sophie and other sex workers.

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Ten thousand of us will hand you the wrath of Heaven.  –  “The Wolf Totem”

This week’s video is yet another example of the total awesomeness of “cultural appropriation”, provided by Charles Hill; the links above it were supplied by Election BabeScott GreenfieldFranklin HarrisPhoenix Calida, Scott Greenfield again, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

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Reports’ consistent portrayals of miserable, victimized prostitutes and villainous madams—despite evidence to the contrary—display [prohibitionists’] tireless ideological labors to bring their real-life encounters in line with their…assumptions.  –  Nicolette Severson

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…members of the New York Female Moral Reform Society…visited brothels all over New York City [in 1835-36].  They…[pretended they wanted] to learn…why women [did] sex work and [wanted] to sav[e] them from what they considered a grave sin and social ill…[like modern “sex trafficking” fetishists] members of F.M.R.S…assumed that the women didn’t voluntarily decide to become prostitutes, but that they were seduced and trafficked by men who caused their moral downfall…Those preconceived notions were [and still are] false. Prostitutes…enter…sex work because…[it pays better and is more flexible than the sex workers’ other alternatives], and for many, prostitution [i]s a temporary job.  The reformers were shocked at the high-end brothels they visited.  Fitted with refined furnishings and attractive, accommodating women, these brothels were…similar to the homes middle-class women were expected to keep…No wonder, then, that…the F.M.R.S. reformers used [stereotyped] characters to portray sex workers…[so as] to support their own belief that prostitution meant moral decay and internal misery…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?

The City of Dayton announced a new initiative…aimed at [harming sex workers]…Called Buyer’s Remorse, the campaign will “modernize” the city’s approach to prostitution…It will make the information of anyone [in]…Dayton to [have consensual] sex “very” public [without due process], Mayor Nan Whaley said…Their names and addresses will added to a[n online] map…

I hope the first few men listed on this site have the sense and resources to sue the city and shut the site down.

Feminine Pragmatism 

Lingerie fetishist offers women a pragmatic avenue of harm reduction:

With the shutdown now likely the longest of its kind in US history, furloughed feds are turning to second jobs, side hustles, and Craigslist sales to make an extra buck.  Now one Virginia resident…asks women who “could use several dollars” to send their undergarments—in return for a whopping $120 a pop…

Of course, the amateurs are as gobsmacked as Depression-era rednecks staring up at a skyscraper for the first time.

Under Every Bed

Population 28,486:

…“Humans are the best commodity that there is,” [a prohibitionist salivated]. “Pimps and stuff will tell you that they don’t have to renew their supply, unlike drugs that they have to keep buying more…The average time a person is sold during the year is 1,000 times.”  Sex trafficking is happening throughout the state of West Virginia and in places like Wheeling…Sheriff Tom Howard [fantasized]…“Be very careful with children because it can happen, unfortunately, with the drug epidemic…Any time you see something that looks like a lot of drug activity, there’s probably some kind of human trafficking going on along with it…It happens all throughout the county”…

These people are like living caricatures of self-important hicks.  The “unlike drugs, people can be sold many times” canard is an excuse to keep persecuting members of “gangs”; see “Traffic Jam” below.

The Course of a Disease (#349) 

The Danes just keep emphasizing their disgust with the Swedish model:

Danish Social Minister Mai Mercado…has revealed that the government is looking into improving conditions for sex workers, decrying the dramatic lack of human rights in this field…sex workers don’t enjoy the same rights as those engaged in other vocations, including the right to unemployment insurance payouts and pensions…”Society demands that everyone pay their taxes, including prostitutes, so I think that we are duty-bound to ensure people have basic rights”…Mercado said…Prostitutes are required to register…as their income is taxable, a situation described by Mercado as “taxation without representation”…Citing the experiences of neighbouring countries which…criminalis[e] the procurement of sex, Mai Mercado argued that accepting prostitution instead of trying to ban it is the right approach.  “We have witnessed Sweden’s experiences.  These are really bad.  There is more violence, more insecurity, and it keeps sinking to the underworld.  There is no need for that”, Mercado said…Among other things, [the new approach] will mean that prostitutes will have the right to enroll in an unemployment insurance fund, be entitled to unemployment benefits and be able to earn a pension…

Traffic Jam (#432)

“Sex trafficking” is another excuse to persecute the same groups as always:

…Some [things the government labels] trafficking are prosecuted more heavily than others…Sex trafficking of a minor…carries a statutory minimum of 10 years…[and] maximum…of life in prison.  [Other things labeled] human trafficking…[such as] forcing people to labor for no pay in domestic service, factories, restaurants and so on — have no mandatory minimum…federal prosecutors have behaved accordingly, prosecuting more than twice as many minor sex-trafficking cases as adult sex-trafficking and labor-trafficking cases combined…57 percent of the defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are black — compared with 43 percent in adult sex-trafficking cases and only 18 percent in labor trafficking…The average age of a defendant in a minor sex-trafficking case is 31, while it’s 33 and 40 respectively for adult sex- and labor-trafficking cases…76 percent of defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are male, while that’s true for only 71 percent and 59 percent of adult sex- and labor-trafficking defendants, respectively.  In other words…the [cases labeled as] trafficking…that carr[y] the highest penalties and [are] most likely to be prosecuted — are significantly more likely to be [against defendants who are] young, black and male…

Eternal Vigilance (#682)

Until prohibition is itself outlawed, decriminalization of any consensual activity is at best a temporary respite:

Tight bylaws limiting where brothels can operate in Queenstown and Wanaka have failed to stop the trade, with sex workers instead using “working girl-friendly” hotels and selling sex from homes…prostitution contributes “hugely” to the district’s economy, but those working in the industry continue to be discriminated against, mocked and marginalised.  The Queenstown Lakes District Council…has kept its towns brothel-less through restrictive and “draconian” bylaws since prostitution was decriminalised in 2003…going as far as banning them altogether in a 2008 bylaw.  The council later reviewed the bylaw because it was potentially at odds with the Prostitution Reform Act, but…[it] is still at odds with the Act…[because] brothels are only allowed to operate within a two-block zone in the town centre…They cannot be on ground level or beneath ground level or have signs advertising the business…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Some helpful figures for countering prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…anti-traffickers often [lie] that the majority of those who sell sex in India are forced or begin when they are underage.  The best available research, however, provides a different picture.  A survey of over 6500 female sex workers in South India aged 15 and above found that the mean age of entrance into sex work was 21.7 years.  The most comprehensive  data set included 3000 sex workers from across the nation.  Of these, 81.59% entered sex work when they were 19 years old or above and 14.53% between 15-18 years.  The Pan India Survey found that across all modes and sites of sex work in India, 79.4% of women entered the trade voluntarily, while 7.1% were forced, 2.8% were sold, and 9.2% were cheated…The term “forced” should only be used in reference to work rendered through physical force, threats, beatings, blackmail, cheating and similarly direct forms of compulsion…If financial urgency were defined as “force”, then the vast majority of the world’s workers would have to be defined as “forced labourers”.  Very few individuals are either entirely free to make unfettered decisions about their means of earning money or are entirely freed from the need to do so…

Business As Usual (#877) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

Stormy Daniels’s July 2018 arrest…by…Columbus [vice pigs]…turned out to be…a pre-planned political stunt by vice detectives — one of whom later bragged about it to colleagues.  Daniels and two others later sued for false arrest.  Then, in August, the [gang] was again in the spotlight because a vice detective [murdered] a sex worker…after…she [resisted his attempt to rape her]…in his unmarked car.  In September, another whistleblower familiar with local strip clubs informed city officials of extortion, selective enforcement and entrapment by the vice [gang], bringing a large package of documents to corroborate the allegations…[then] the chief of the CPD asked the FBI to take over the investigation…and…on September 27, [rapist and murderer] Andrew Mitchell…was [given a paid vacation]…On December 13, the CPD put a third vice detective involved in the sting on desk duty…[and] announced that the vice [gang] will resume limited operations with a “select” [herd] of [pigs], although the FBI probe remains ongoing.  The [gang] will [supposedly] be handling liquor and nuisance complaints at after-hours clubs, instead of spending thousands on drinks and lap dances [while molesting and raping women without consequence]…

Also: “hold accountable” is a moralist shibboleth which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”. It has no place in articles about genuine wrongdoers facing the consequences of their actions.

Monsters (#878) 

Prohibitionists know we’re right about the dangers of criminalization; they just don’t care:

…the [trans sex worker community who work in and around the] sprawling Bois de Boulogne public park in western Paris…has felt considerably less safe since the French government introduced [the Swedish model]…in 2016…as p[redict]ed, clients now regularly ask the women for sex in secluded areas to avoid the police.  In a Médecins du Monde survey conducted with nearly 600 sex workers…63 percent said they have seen their working conditions deteriorate, while 42 percent said they have experienced more violence since the law change…The Paris mayor’s office [even] shut[s] off many of the lights in the park in the evenings as a way to [intentionally increase the danger to sex workers] there…Acceptess-T, an association that advocates on behalf of trans and immigrant sex workers [says] “They are more vulnerable than ever”…

Surplus Women (#896) 

Answer: it’s a rationalization of cop behavior.  Which, admittedly, isn’t easy to tell from serial killer behavior:

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty…to capital murder in the deaths of four women [because they were just whores]…Ortiz [was convinced by government anti-sex propaganda that] it was his duty to clean up the streets of Laredo…so he began picking up alleged sex workers, driving them to remote areas, and then shooting them in the head…Ortiz thought [cops] w[ere]n’t doing enough to stop [adults from having consensual sex] in Laredo, so he believed he was “doing a service” by killing the women…prosecutors are seeking the death penalty because Ortiz’s “vigilante mentality” presents a “future danger to [people who aren’t whores]”…

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To attribute [women’s]…prostitution to fear of powerful Nigerian juju is pure hogwash.  –  Leo Igwe

Yellow Fever

Like the BBC, the New York Times has discarded whatever credibility it once enjoyed:

When the New York Times Magazine (10/10/18) looked at Kensington, a neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia, it…saw an opportunity to take readers on a sensational 6,000-word tour of trauma, complete with cringe-worthy language and compassionless photographs.  Reporter Jennifer Percy…doesn’t shy away from…reducing an extremely complicated issue to trauma-porn:  “…women often ended up as prostitutes.  They offered oral sex for $25 so they could buy a few bags“…How many women did Percy interview before determining that all of them offered the same services for the same price?  Could she have crafted a description that was any more victimizing?…Street-based sex work already comes with risks.  Publishing detailed and intimate information about…how they don’t report abuse, could attract predatory individuals…Sex worker advocate groups and researchers have repeatedly said that criminalization forces workers into dangerous situations, and leads to a strained or even abusive relationship between law enforcement and sex workers.  Multiple harm-reduction groups exist in Kensington specifically for sex workers, including SOL CollectiveProject SAFE, and the Philadelphia Red Umbrella Alliance, but Percy didn’t think to include their work in the conversation…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

I hope this doesn’t harm the trend toward increased awareness of rapist cops:

…Bellevue, WA police chief [Steve Mylett] was cleared on charges he raped a woman after it was discovered she created fake emails to prove her accusation…The…woman…claimed he raped her two years ago at his Bothell home during an encounter arranged “through an adult sex website.”  The woman also made accusations against two other Bellevue detectives, which led to domestic violence and witness tampering charges against one of them (those charges were dropped earlier this month).  “Bothell investigators found Mylett’s accuser had gone so far as to create phony, backdated email exchanges that contained the address of a Bothell rental home where Mylett temporarily lived…But lease records…proved Mylett had moved out of that house prior to when the woman claimed the assault occurred, and DNA tests ruled Mylett out as a possible match to genetic evidence gathered from clothing the woman turned over”…The woman [allegedly] had a history of hooking up with men she found on Craigslist and then claiming the consensual encounters as rape…Though she had made two false accusations prior to Mylett, she was not charged because of her mental-health problems.  This time, however, it appears she won’t get away with her false accusations [because they were against cops]…Mylett [said]…“people [who aren’t cops] should be held accountable for their actions [even if they’re mentally ill]”…

This man was one of the gang who took it upon themselves to destroy the lives of men who had consensual sex with adult women in the TRB case.

Banishment

Any elected official who acts in this way should be removed from office:

When Richard Gardner, a convicted child sex offender, was released from prison after serving almost 30 years, he quietly moved into the Washington Park neighborhood in Providence…Because his crimes were committed so long ago, Gardner is not subject to the community notification provisions that apply to more recent offenders…But the police [gave] his address to public officials, and a media circus ensued.  The result has been raucous nightly protests in front of his house by dozens of people calling on him to leave the neighborhood…Mayor Jorge Elorza helped fuel the angry gatherings in front of Gardner’s home by stating at a community meeting immediately preceding the first protest that Gardner “has given up his right to be here in the community.”  Other city officials have also encouraged a mob mentality…

The Enlightenment Police (#427)

The European Court of Human Rights kissed France’s arse, but the UN didn’t:

…the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that a French law banning full-face veils in public violates the religious freedom rights of Muslim women.  It is the first time the UN has ruled on full-face veil bans and could have implications for several other European countries that have implemented similar legislation…the UN body found that France’s ban was “too sweeping” and that French officials hadn’t adequately explained why it was necessary to ban…articles of clothing.  Although the ban is [pre]tended to protect women, the law could have the opposite effect by “confining them to their homes, impeding their access to public services and marginalizing them,” the committee said…

The Prudish Giant (#523)

Facebook claims this picture will sexually arouse its users:

For a few hours after The New York Times published an article about conflict and hunger in Yemen, Facebook temporarily removed posts from readers who had tried to share the report…[because]  the article included several images of emaciated children…Tens of thousands of readers shared the article on Facebook, but some got a message notifying them that the post was not in line with Facebook’s community standards…[because] “On Facebook, we don’t allow…any sexual content involving minors”…

Facebook is the embodiment of D.H. Lawrence’s statement, “Our civilisation cannot afford to let the censor-moron loose.”

Guinea Pigs (#579) 

Welcome to our world, amateurs; I hope y’all enjoy what your bootlicking has created:

…[very few US] police departments…have any rules for [pigs] who [violate Facebook’s terms of service by creating]…fake accounts…to friend people of interest and monitor what they post…the practice is almost wholly unregulated…Facebook policies prohibit the creation of fake accounts by law enforcement, but [pigs] are making them anyway.  Some…[even] boast…about their [deceptions] on social media [and Facebook does nothing to stop it]…

Guinea Pigs (#719) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers, and gave cops a facial recognition database of black and Latino men:

Major technology companies including Palantir, Microsoft and Amazon make millions of dollars annually from their contracts with U.S. immigration enforcement agencies…and have helped expand their capabilities, says [a] paper by Mijente, an advocacy group…Palantir’s ICE case management software, which helps the agency track, surveil and deport immigrants, has led to “dangerous acceleration of surveillance technology at the hands of police and prosecutors to target and build profiles of people”…Amazon’s cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services, [has] become a “key contractor” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s cloud computing system…The report comes amid increased backlash from workers in the tech industry over the contracts with the government that their companies are taking on.  Google said it would end its work with the Pentagon this year after heavy employee backlash…

See also “Pyrrhic Victory” below.

That Old Black Magic (#769)

I’m so glad to see a Nigerian scholar demolish the racist European masturbatory fantasy of childlike Nigerian women enslaved by black magic:

…There have been [many] reports that have associated forced prostitution by Nigerian women with the traditional belief in juju…from my own point of view as a Nigerian, this much-publicized connection [is] baseless, senseless and absurd…Unfortunately, many western individuals and organizations that are working and campaigning to combat…prostitution…seem to be fascinated by the juju scare narrative.  They find it useful not only because it fits into the stereotypic notion of Africans as childish in thinking…[but also because] it gives them a special job of managing this “people”…European anti-human trafficking campaigners…have refused to pay critical attention to the underlying socioeconomic reasons that force Nigerian women to travel thousands of miles to prostitute in Europe…Many Nigerian prostitutes come into Europe as illegal immigrants and they live in constant fear of deportation.  So Nigerian women who fear returning to Nigeria have other reasons than…juju…

Cooties (#786) 

After more than two years of UK cops publicly masturbating to the fantasy of “trafficking gangs enslaving women in pop-up brothels”, they finally found people they could shoehorn into the narrative:

A gang centred on a single family has been jailed for forcing women from Hungary to work as prostitutes.  Police said “pop up” brothels ran in Nottingham and Derby…Csaba Csomor was jailed for 13 years after [pleading guilty to] charges including trafficking and controlling prostitution.  Five other members of Csomor’s family were jailed for a total of 30 years for a series of related offences…Police [claimed] between December 2012 and December 2017 women were duped into coming to the UK, some on the promise of cleaning jobs.  They were then forced to into sex work…Hungarian authorities alerted UK police…Several women have been [deported] to Hungary but detectives said more victims could still be out there [hiding from the cops who claim they want to “rescue” them]…

I’m sure the cops were disappointed that these folks aren’t Romanian, but one can’t have everything.

Hard Numbers (#847)

Another Australian state moves toward decriminalization:

…the Queensland Government…confirmed the possible decriminalisation of sex work was currently under discussion between the Attorney-General and the Police Minister.  This is a turnaround from six months ago when Police Minister Mark Ryan [said]…there were no plans to decriminalise sex work…

The Course of a Disease (#869)

We were warned that Israeli whore-censorship was only “part of a wider plan”:

The Knesset…gave initial approval to a bill allowing heavy fines to be levied on  people caught hiring prostitutes, as the government aims to crack down on sex [workers]…The legislation passed its first reading by 39-0 votes.  It will now face deliberations in the Knesset Committee for the [Suppression] of Women before coming up for final plenary votes…The bill was first proposed as part of a re[striction] package that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said aimed at stamping out [sex workers]…

Droit du Seigneur (#872) 

Sex workers have been saying this for decades:

By their nature, are police vice units inherently at risk for corruption and misconduct?  Consider recent revelations at the NYPD:  On Sept. 13, retired vice Det. Ludwig Paz was charged with running a prostitution and gambling ring.  In November 2017, a sex worker died while attempting to flee [brutalization] by vice [cops] in a raid on a massage parlor.  The Queens district attorney’s report on her death offered no critical introspection on the impact of vice operations, labeling her a “criminal” who “engaged in a degrading and humiliating profession.”  In June 2017…a vice [pig] faced disciplinary hearings after he…[raped sex workers; no known] disciplinary action was taken …vice unit[s]…operate…with impunity…[like all cops] the NYPD targets marginalized communities, fails to improve community relationships, and hides [their crimes]…behind the blue wall of silence…

Pyrrhic Victory (#882) 

While activists and Amazon’s own shareholders & employees were asking for the company not to support fascism, Bezos was doing this:

Amazon over the summer met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to pitch them on buying the tech giant’s controversial facial recognition technology…Alonzo Peña, who served as deputy director of ICE during the George W. Bush administration, [said] that undocumented immigrants could be deterred from seeking  life-sustaining services if they knew immigration officials were using facial recognition software.  Although ICE is technically barred from arresting undocumented people in hospitals and other sensitive locations, Peña says there have been instances of immigration enforcement [ignoring] those rules…

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[Politicians] who insisted they were [censoring escort ads] to save women’s lives…have only served to put more women in potentially mortal danger.  –  Mike Masnick

Bad Girls 

This wasn’t a very wise thing to do, but cops being humiliated is always funny:

To the rest of the world, Ali Sheppard is a [pig], but to prostitute Taquanna Lawton, he was just “a trick”…Lawton…was arraigned for stealing the cop’s Jeep and gun when he ran off to an ATM so he could pay for her services…[she said] she and Sheppard may have done business before…Lawton is charged with grand larceny…Her attorney Paul Giovanniello said Lawton has mental health and substance abuse issues and the full story of what happened between her and Sheppard has not been told…Sheppard has been suspended without pay for 30 days and is facing disciplinary charges

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…Lia Holmgren…[is an] intimacy coach [who]…thinks a little power play can benefit a relationship.  “Once you open your mind to [BDSM], you will open your mind to other things in the relationship”…In her Chelsea office, she charges clients up to $500 for 90-minute intimacy counseling sessions.  There, she helps couples open the lines of communication about having submissive or dominant roles in the bedroom…to improve their sex lives and bring them closer…Before she started counseling couples two years ago…[she] was a professional dominatrix…Her résumé also includes stripping and organizing sex parties, as well as…vanilla…work in real estate…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Several high school girls…claimed a male student sexually assaulted them because they “just don’t like him”…neither [the school nor the state] punished the young women at all.  Now the boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alicia Flood, are suing the parents of the five girls and the Seneca Valley School District in Pennsylvania over their son’s treatment…One of the girls decided…in October 2017 “she would do anything to get [the boy] expelled” so she accused him of sexually assaulting her at the pool [where he worked as a lifeguard the previous summer].  A friend of [hers] who worked at the pool, Megan Villegas, claimed she was present during the assault…the boy was charged with indecent assault and…agreed to a consent decree that allowed him to avoid admitting guilt and required him to stay out of trouble for six months while on probation…in March 2018, a friend of the first accuser, identified only as C.S., claimed the boy entered her house without her permission and sexually assaulted her.  Two more friends, identified as E.S. and H.R., backed up her claim.  In April, the accused student was charged with another indecent assault, criminal trespass, and simple assault.  He was expelled and arrested and identified as a threat to his community. He spent nine days in a juvenile detention center and then placed on house arrest…In May, three of the girls admitted they lied, but it took until August 30 for Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger to dismiss the second accusation, and until September 10 to close the charges related to the first accusation…

The Widening Gyre (#663)

The deeply-racist “Nigerian sex slaves” wanking fantasy has crossed the Alps:

Hundreds of Nigerian women have been trafficked into Paris as sex workers, lured by the promise of a new life only to find themselves in a cycle of abuse and exploitation…The women are physically branded with scars that identify them back in Nigeria as cursed women…there’[s] been a nearly 600-percent increase in potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Europe through Italy since 2014 and 80% of them were Nigerian…police [fantasize] that most of the women who work at the Bois de Vincennes are slaves…[prohibitionists claim] the women who walk these streets are [magically] getting younger and that their apparent freedom is a [magical] illusion…[because] they have [magically] lost their identity…

Given all the childish claims of magic (zombie “sex slaves” who grow ever-younger while cloaked with spells of illusion), this one could’ve just as well been filed under “Mumbo Jumbo“.  These fantasies appear to have been invented to shore up a campaign to deport as many Nigerians as possible using claims of a “prostitution ring”, “money laundering” and the “Nigerian mafia”.

Stalkers in Blue

Interesting buried detail: she’s a cop herself.  Birds of a feather

A former Woodland [police]woman who accused [another cop] of abusing his police power to stalk, threaten and improperly investigate her has settled her lawsuit against him for $275,000…Jody Wattier…lost custody of her children, aged 9 and 10, and had to rebuild her life because officer Brad Gillaspie orchestrated a campaign of intimidation and slander against her while she was divorcing her husband, who was Gillaspie’s friend…Woodland…[Washington]’s insurer will pay the settlement…An investigation…recommended charges of malicious mischief and telephone harassment against Wattier, but the city prosecutor declined to file them…Wattier, who has remarried and lives in Tacoma while working in the state Attorney General’s office, was a [cop] herself in North Plains, Oregon.  She said she resigned from the department in June 2015 after talking to her chief about how the investigations into her had complicated her job…the Woodland police department knew Gillaspie was a problem…[he had] a history of inappropriate…behavior…such as…taking a juvenile female’s phone into his office and viewing her private, sexually explicit photographs.  Afterwards, [other cops] began locking up cell phones so Gillaspie couldn’t access them…

Checklist (#852) 

It looks like that mind-bogglingly absurd claim that 4% of the world’s population per decade magically vanish without anyone noticing wasn’t just a typo or a one-time idiocy.  Liz Brown snapped this pic of an ad from “Airline Ambassadors” in an inflight magazine, and there it is again:  68,000 per day, which comes to the “almost 500,000 per week” claimed in Forbes back in June.  Even for “sex trafficking” profiteers, this claim goes beyond the ridiculous to the completely unhinged; are these people really unable to multiply at a 9-year-old’s level, or do they simply know that the average American is too stupid to perform the calculation and/or too intellectually lazy to bother?  After all, this is the same organization which begs for funds using that dopey “air hostesses vs. pimps” story which the press repeated endlessly without bothering to check the news archives (which show no “sex trafficker” apprehended at SFO in 2011).  Note also that whoever darkened the hand with Photoshop to achieve a subtly racist effect left the thumb white.

Legislators Gone Wild (#868) 

Still believe that Nevada politicians are pro-sex work?

In an article published…[by] Reuters…Lyons County Sheriff Al McNeil charged that Dennis Hof…was implicated in “immigration violations” regarding some of the prostitutes working at Hof’s brothels, and even claimed that an investigation conducted by his office in concert with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) found “indications of possible human trafficking” among the sex workers…There’s just one problem: It’s McNeil and his office whose job it is to vet all of the women wishing to work in brothels, to make sure that they are citizens or lawful permanent residents with green cards, and after doing their due diligence in vetting the women, to issue licenses to them to work in the brothels…

Naturally, the lying douchebags at Morality in Media used this as an excuse to attack decriminalization, moronically claiming that Hof is a proponent of it despite the obvious fact that he absolutely is not, and in fact vomits out “sex trafficking” propaganda at every opportunity so as to argue against decriminalization on the grounds that whores are too stupid and incompetent to be allowed to work outside of brothels.

Disaster (#869)

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

Before FOSTA became law, plenty of experts in the space tried to warn everyone that a bill that was frequently promoted as being necessary to help “save the lives” of vulnerable women…would actually put more lives at risk.  And we’ve already had…evidence to support that this prediction was entirely accurate.  Various law enforcement officials have been complaining that it’s now more difficult to catch sex traffickers.  And, now the Associated Press has a big article looking at the impact of FOSTA and it’s not pretty.  The closing down of various online forums for sex workers has driven more sex workers into the street, where their lives are at significantly higher risk…

Disaster (#876)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…attorneys for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and other Plaintiffs appealed the ruling…dismissing the FOSTA case for lack of standing. Joining in the appeal are The Internet Archive, Human Rights Watch, Jesse Maley, and Eric Koszyk.  The case will now be considered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal…Ricci Levy, President…of…Woodhull [said]…“This law is a clear First Amendment violation…We’re in this for the long haul and you can count on us to continue to fight illogical and unconstitutional laws, like FOSTA, which hamper our mission and restrict free expression.”  The District Court never reached the constitutional issues, instead deciding that the Plaintiffs were not sufficiently impacted by the law in order to justify a legal challenge.  However, each Plaintiff demonstrated how its activities were affected once the law went into effect…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#876) 

Despite the hilarity of the hysteria, at least politicians correctly classified the dolls as “arcade games”:

The Houston City Council voted to change city rules [to] effectively ban the use of sex [dolls] in shops…The owner of Kinky Dolls sex robot shop in Toronto announced weeks ago that he would open a second shop in Houston…[In response, politicians] hastily changed [a] city ordinance [to prohibit] customers…touch[ing] a [doll] inside a store…[the] ordinance deal[s] with “arcade” games, which in this case, the [dolls were] classified as.  The ordinance does not stop the sale of the [dolls], it just stops the use of them for [masturbation] in [retail stores.  Council member Greg Travis lied that]…”We’re not legislating morality”…

The Widening Gyre (#878)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

[Hysteria over] women’s encounters with [people they fantasize are involved in] sex trafficking and kidnapping [has] surged on social media and have left some students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln feeling unsafe…John Backer said the University Police has received multiple calls from people concerned about the [fantasy].  “Sex traffickers gain the trust of their victims, it usually doesn’t happen spontaneously”…Polaris, a [prohibitionist group] that strives to [profit from the moral panic over] human trafficking, [fantasizes] that traffickers often target women by promising a high-paying job, a loving relationship or new and exciting opportunities…

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