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Posts Tagged ‘Gateway’

Once [the cops] put you in that [sex worker] box…they don’t care.  –  unnamed victim of Oluwatobi Boyede

Bad Girls 

I don’t know who this chick is, and none of the Seattle whores I’ve talked to do either.  But we all know the “oral sex” thing is bullshit:

An escort was arrested on accusations she shot a Washington state man in the head because she thought he was bad at oral sex – and she wasn’t sure how to tell him.  Marissa Wallen, 21, allegedly admitted to shooting her 36-year-old client at his North Everett home last month…she then stole the victim’s wallet, left him for dead and went on a $12,000 shopping spree…Wallen told a detective that the man was “performing oral sex wrong and she did not know how to tell him that” so she grabbed a gun and shot him…He was found alive but unresponsive on Oct. 24, three days after he was shot, when his employer asked police to perform a welfare check…

In recent years, cops have developed a nasty game of tricking sex workers into saying or doing weird things so the story is more sensational.

Gateway

Leave it to the authoritarian mentality to imagine a link between sex work and barroom brawls:

…the Arctic Ranger…pub was at the centre of an investigation into claims a group of Hungarian women were being forced to work as prostitutes inside the bar…no one was prosecuted [but]…the claims [were used as grounds]…for closing the pub in June 2013 [anyway].  A licensing committee hearing was told the pub had become almost lawless after a spate of violent attacks…problems included…a victim suffering injuries to his eye and nose…[and] a fractured jaw…a [cop] suffering leg injuries after being struck by a thrown glass…a woman being assaulted…A fight involving 20 people…a man having his head stamped on…

Surplus Women 

Cops threaten and harass sex workers, and disbelieve us when we try to give them information, then they disclaim responsibility when this happens:

A London [Ontario] sex worker says she warned police someone could die after she was choked, sexually assaulted and held against her will in the home of [Oluwatobi Boyede, who is] now accused of murder.  But police didn’t believe her…and as a result…a second woman was assaulted and a third is dead.  “I told them everything.  They did nothing,” she said…“The cops treated me like I brought it on myself…They didn’t charge him.  They treated me like a piece of shit…They did not want to hear what I was saying.  What happened to the second girl and (homicide victim) Josie Glenn didn’t have to happen.”  Her story may be the most damning indictment of police as questions grow about how…they approach violence against women, especially sex workers…

The Sky is Falling!

I find it difficult to believe that so many women made it through university without knowing anyone who did some kind of sex work:

The student debt crisis in the US has gotten so bad, there’s a growing group of young women…who are taking an unconventional approach to paying for college.  Through…websites like SeekingArrangement, Sugar Babies…partner up with wealthy, often older, men who want to spend money on them.  Some 2.5 million Sugar Babies identified as students in 2016 on SeekingArrangement.com…Sugar Babies go to dinners, attend events, or accompany their Sugar Daddy, or daddies, on trips.  In some cases, they provide companionship or foster a mentor-mentee relationship.  In other situations, the terms of the agreement include physical intimacy…

“Unconventional”?  Really?  Young women having sex with older men in exchange for support is practically the definition of “conventional”.  If anything, it’s the pretense that this is something new and unusual that is “unconventional”.

A Broker in Pillage (#508)

The quaint non-“law enforcement” term for this is “blackmail”:

Denver cab driver Semere Fremichael got caught up in an undercover prostitution sting.  He was innocent—he thought she wanted a ride, not sex for pay—and was acquitted by a judge.  His taxi, however, got taken for a rough ride.  Denver’s Fox affiliate has an excellent two-part investigation showing how the city attorney’s office is using civil asset forfeiture to cash in by snatching vehicles…for…low-level crimes…even when their owners aren’t convicted.  In 2016, Denver made more than $2.4 million, seizing more than 1,800 vehicles…Denver put the screws to Fremichael…offering him a civil version of a plea deal:  He could get the car back in 30 days if he gave them $1,000.  Or he could demand a civil hearing.  If he lost, it would cost him $6,000 and he could lose the car for a year.  He took the deal, and says he probably lost an additional $2,500 because he couldn’t use his cab for a month, even though he committed no crime…

Subtle Pimping (#587)

When it comes to profiting from sex workers’ images while giving us nothing, fashion designers are among the worst offenders:

…The very prevalence of [stereotyped sex worker] images, overworked as they may be, is a testament to their durability…the clothes we wear, or might like to wear, owe a very real debt to the world’s most ancient profession.  “Fashion…is influenced by hookers,” said Anna Terrazas, costume designer of The Deuce.  “It’s not the other way around”…“There is an untold history of the relationship between sex workers and fashion,” said Rebecca Arnold, a fashion historian…working women routinely took up what their respectable contemporaries shunned as too showy, tasteless or new…

The Prudish Giant (#703) 

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

Facebook has blocked the sale of a pack of Christmas cards featuring a robin redbreast because of its “sexual” and “adult” nature.  The artist, Jackie Charley, said she “could not stop laughing” when she discovered the reason the social media company would not approve the product…The bird…was one of three designs painted by Charley of animals in the snow…The others were a stag and a squirrel…Charley said she was sent the message: “It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services”…Charley said…“There’s obviously nothing in the images themselves which is inappropriate.  Similarly, there were no ‘trigger’ words used in the cards’ descriptions that I’m aware of.  For instance, the robin card was simply called ‘Robin’, not ‘Robin Redbreast’ as some people have wondered”…she [has] not had any direct response from Facebook, but the interest generated from the gaffe had led to a lifting of the initial ban…

A Woman’s Point of View (#706) 

Don’t get too excited that the New Hampshire legislature is “Establishing a committee to study decriminalizing sex work“; one of the sponsors has made comments in which the unmistakable stench of the Swedish rot is clearly present.  But we’ll see.

Between the Ears (#722) 

Have a device that connects to the internet? Assume it can be used to spy on you:

…a Reddit user pointed out that Hong Kong-based sex toy company Lovense’s remote control vibrator app…recorded a use session without their knowledge.  An audio file lasting six minutes was stored in the app’s local folder.  The user says he or she gave the app access to the mic and camera but only to use with the in-app chat function and to send voice clips on command — not constant recording when in use.  Other users confirmed this app behavior, too.  A user claiming to represent Lovense responded and called this recording a “minor bug” that only affects Android users.  Lovense also says no information or data was sent to the company’s servers, and that this audio file exists only temporarily.  An update issued [last week] should fix the bug…

The Mote and the Beam (#789)

Another probable casualty of the War on Whores:

…The Wikipedia we know today simply would not exist without Section 230.  User-driven projects could not thrive if websites were subject to greater liability for user content, and certainly could not be supported by a small nonprofit organization like the Wikimedia Foundation.  For that reason, we have…serious concerns about…SESTA and other amendments to Section 230.  That’s why our Executive Director emphasized Section 230’s importance for Wikipedia’s hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors in a recent campaign by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and why we submitted a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee expressing the importance of Section 230 for the Wikimedia projects.  The current bill does not reflect the careful balance that preserves small, nonprofit community projects like Wikipedia…

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frontier-daysEven after all these years reporting on the moronic garbage vomited forth by cops, politicians, “rescue” profiteers and other prohibitionists, I’m sometimes still flabbergasted by the incredible density with which these idiocies can be packed into one story.  Here’s a recent example from Cheyenne, Wyoming  (population approximately 60,000), which like so many small US cities is desperate to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria, with unintentionally-hilarious results.  Instead of breaking up the article with my comments as I usually do, I’m just going to post a version edited down to highlight the stupidest parts, with footnotes below.

The market for paid sex acts here isn’t just during Cheyenne Frontier Days1…prostitution is an ongoing issue in Cheyenne, and it appears to have gone unaddressed for decades2…“One of the things we wanted to show during Frontier Days was whether or not it was associated with the Frontier Days traffic”…District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg said… “all of the johns were local; most of the girls were local…We didn’t have anybody that appeared to be coming in associated with Frontier Days”3…he came away [from a sting] shocked by what he saw4…“the amount of criminal activity going on just a few blocks from this courthouse on an otherwise bright, sunny evening with a lot of people around”5…Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak said…“We…need…to try to rescue women or adolescents and juveniles (from the sex trade)6…when you pull up Cheyenne (on sex trade websites), you can just see there is definitely a problem here that we need to address”7…Kozak said local hotel operators approached him, concerned about the crime prostitution was bringing into the community8, and he also learned from the FBI and Denver law enforcement that with intensified enforcement down there, pimps have been moving their sex workers into other areas9, 10…with less enforcement…“Our police officers here in the Cheyenne Police Department have had more training in human trafficking than the FBI agents have had,” he said11…The chief said… “it’s kind of relaxed, because we don’t want to place any trauma on the potential victim”12…John A. Cruz Jr., 23…[was accused] of offering to pay an undercover agent $150 to have sex with a fictitious 12-year-old boy described in an online advertisement as “young and eager”13…Even though no children have been rescued from sex trafficking in Cheyenne, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening here14…“Definitely you could tell from the traffic online that there is some desire here to have sex with a minor, which is disgusting and definitely something we want to intervene in,” Kozak said15…it’s extremely difficult to get prostitutes to disclose whether they’re involved in sex trafficking, but most are and are just too fearful of their pimps to speak up16…Sandburg said… “once you build that rapport with them, they’re more likely to…open up to you about the fact that they are part of sex trafficking”17…Sandburg said the image of the “happy hooker,” or someone like the character portrayed by Julie [sic] Roberts in Pretty Woman, is much rarer now than people might think or realize18…Most times, a woman’s pimp has something they’re holding over the woman’s head…“The mother has no idea where her child is, and she is told by the pimp that she has to go do these sex acts for money, and if she doesn’t cooperate, she doesn’t get to see her kid”19…women might get to a point where they appear to be independent, willing operators…but there’s likely a pimp somewhere taking his cut20…“So it’s important for the public to realize that even though she might appear to be the ‘happy hooker,’ as it were, there’s very likely a pimp someplace, and he’s got a lot of control over her,” he said21…the Zonta Club of Cheyenne posted flyers in restrooms with contact information for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center22…Misti Fisher…said…“We live off of two highways”23…Fisher said she’s not convinced the women arrested in Cheyenne’s stings are, in fact, willing operators.  “How do we really know that?” she asked24…Zonta currently is accepting entries for its third annual art contest to raise awareness of human trafficking25…Another group trying to raise awareness of human trafficking in Wyoming…is…called Gifts of Grace.  The group has put together a special screening of a documentary…“The Abolitionists” follows a group of former CIA agents as they rescue children trapped within child sex slavery26…CEO Tyler Schwab…[said] “Wyoming should care about child sex trafficking because it is modern-day slavery, and it is happening closer than you think”27

27 items is quite a tally for a long-but-not-unusually-so specimen of modern yellow journalism.  Not all of the items are idiocies; some are flat-out abominations, but in the interest of clarity I’ll count them together.

1) Gypsy whores!

2) Have these people never heard the phrase “the world’s oldest profession”?

3) The capacity of politicians to pretend that being proven wrong actually means they were right is a kind of nauseating marvel.

4) An adult man “shocked” by the existence of streetwalkers needs to be confined in a rest home for his own good.

5) Only a few blocks from the courthouse! OMG, SEX RAYS!!!  EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!!

6) Where “rescue” = “arrest”.

7) When one defines ordinary activity as “crime”, it magically becomes a “problem”.

8) Because whores carry criminals in our trunks & leave them behind when we go.

9) Adult women are far too stupid to drive the 100 miles from Denver to Cheyenne on our own.

10) Am I the only one who finds the juxtaposition of dysphemisms like “pimps” and “johns” with polite terms like “sex workers” hilarious, especially in an article which repeatedly denies that sex work is work?cheyenne-cattle-drive

11) If country-boy coppers in a cowtown like Cheyenne really have more hours of training than FBI agents, that sounds suspiciously like a boondoggle to me.

12) Because tricking, brutalizing, threatening & caging people for their work isn’t traumatizing.

13) For the truth about how these “fictitious minor” stings actually work, please see “Bait and Switch“.  Note the age of the cops’ victim, a young gay man who was probably seeking the company of a peer.

14) “Even though no aliens have been seen landing in Cheyenne, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening here.”

15) Where “intervene in” actually means “invent”; see #13 above.

16) This is a popular, self-reinforcing, misogynistic lie; whatever a woman says is declared to be a falsehood inspired by fear of a nonexistent “pimp” who is never found.  Because we’ve been known since Biblical times as timid, delicate creatures, you know.

17) Cops and prosecutors are so delusional that they actually believe they can “build rapport” with sex workers by spying on us, deceiving us, wasting our time, terrorizing us, driving our clients away, and generally disrupting our income.  And that once they do so, we’ll confirm their wanking fantasies of “pimps” and “sex slaves”.

18) Admit it; you knew Pretty Woman was going to be mentioned in here.  But we got a bonus; they refer to The Happy Hooker as well!

19) Some cops aren’t satisfied with the existing myths, and invent some of their own as they go along.  This is the first time I’ve heard this one, but I bet it won’t be the last because others will parrot it.

20) The “invisible pimp” trope is one of the most insidiously insulting and misogynistic, because A) it’s impossible to prove a negative, and B) it wouldn’t matter if such a person existed in the first place.

21) This is Shitbag Sandburg’s attempt to negate the testimony of countless sex workers by convincing the Incredibly Stupid that every last one of us, including me, have a “pimp” hidden away somewhere “controlling” our actions while Sandburg masturbates furiously thinking about it.

22) Another iteration of the “magical bathroom sanctuary” trope.

23) Highways cause sex trafficking!  End demand for them!

24) Fisher is clearly unacquainted with the concept “burden of proof“.

25) But of course it is.

26) That would be this one about a really scary paramilitary organization with CIA connections.

27) No sermon in the “sex trafficking” cult is complete without a recitation of the Profession of Faith.

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Having your mugshot plastered to Facebook is not the best advertisement for employability.  –  Tana Ganeva

Gateway Corn on the Cop still

It’s always especially ludicrous when small-town police chiefs try to justify prostitution stings:

The city police department…is publicizing 14 arrests made in a recent prostitution sting to discourage the sex trade within Lebanon [New Hampshire]…“We hope this…sends a message,” Chief Richard Mello [oinked]…“When we post an ad, we are inundated with messages, to the point of it being ridiculous”…Deputy Chief Phil Roberts…[said] in June 2014 that prostitution hasn’t been a “significant” problem in the city…[but] Mello…[pretends] residents are negatively impacted by other behavior associated with prostitution…“It is not just about ‘Leave these adults alone’…there is a direct impact to our community.  Some people don’t understand that.”  Prostitution also is frequently linked to drug activity, he [grunted]…

I agree, Chief Porky; your cartoon police-state tactics are indeed ridiculous.

Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through

Dude, seriously? $60 would’ve been a cheap price to pay for a lesson:

A man who was robbed at gunpoint in Greendale [Indiana] is being charged with Patronizing a Prostitute.  David Wayne Allen…told [cops] that he had met with Kyle W. Bernett…with the intent of paying Bernett for sex.  Allen called police after Bernett robbed him of $60…

Profit from Panic (#40)

Hey, kids! Fight “human trafficking” for fun and profit! Implicate your neighbors! Persecute sex workers! Win big prizes!

Concerned about the atrocities of human trafficking, a small group of Nevada County [California] women founded…“Good Women International” in 2013…Due to its proximity to Canada and Mexico, California is among the top five trafficking states in the country…Good Women International is launching a human trafficking prevention poster campaign…In 2012, the state of California passed a civil code requiring certain businesses to display a [propaganda] poster…When enforced, this law has proven to raise awareness and help law enforcement save enslaved individuals, [claimed] Joanna Britt [without any evidence whatsoever]…All posters will be displayed during a public reception…on Sept. 19, when prizes will be awarded for the top three posters chosen…“We do plan to follow up, to see if businesses are posting the information,” said Britt. “And we will report businesses not in compliance”…

“Due to its proximity to Canada and Mexico” has got to be the best “King of the Hill” excuse yet.  See also the next item below.

Under Every Bed

Marin County isn’t as small as most of the places I feature under this heading, but this is still patently absurd:

Authorities need to work together to crack down on a human sex trafficking problem in Marin that goes mostly unrecognized and underreported, according to [a bunch of self-important ignoramuses]…In a new report — “Marin’s Hidden Sex Trafficking Challenge: It’s Happening In Our Backyard” — the panel [claimed] that sex trafficking…is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world…at least 100,000 child victims…A pimp can earn $150,000 to $200,000 per child annually, exploiting an average of four to six girls per year…the sex-trafficking circuit has come to include Marin because of its proximity to San Francisco, which is one of the nation’s known hubs for the crime…Some Marin gangs have also incorporated sex trafficking into their repertoire because it is lucrative and there is a high demand…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#316)

Given that this campaign previously appeared with exactly the same propaganda & graphics in Chicago, and that both cities are part of the “CEASE Network“, a front for Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition”, this has Hunt’s foul stench all over it:

…officials…launched a new [propaganda campaign] aimed at…shining a light on the realities of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in San Diego County…“The Ugly Truth” campaign grew out of a simple belief:  That…the public [will believe anything it sees on billboards, no matter how ridiculous]…According to a recent study…the average age for entry into sex trafficking is 16 years old….and about 85 percent of sex trafficking is controlled by gangs…The scale of the illicit sex economy is $810 million a year with each trafficker controlling about four victims and making an average of $670,625 per year…

It’s a rare whore who makes $167,000 a year, much less an “average” one.

Comfort Zone (#320)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

…Carrying out orders…to combat human trafficking…the first raiding team…roped in 20 Myanmar construction workers…the migrants were all charged with entering and staying in [Thailand] illegally.  A second team…raided a Korean barbeque buffet (moo kata) restaurant…where they arrested five more Mynamar nationals accused of working in the kitchen…[and] a Chinese shop nearby [where they] arrested a Chinese [shopkeeper and her] “assistant”, in addition to a Vietnamese woman found tending to a fruit stall in front of the shop.  All eight aliens were charged with doing forbidden work without permit.  The Vietnamese national was also charged with entering and staying in the kingdom illegally…

Gingerbread House (#332)

This is what “rescue” looks like:

Underage human trafficking victims are sometimes housed in juvenile detention centers because…Contra Costa County [California lacks]…victim housing, a county civil grand jury found…”Such bookings allow authorities to keep (sex trafficking victims) under protective custody, away from their exploiters,” the report says. “It also provides probation and [a religious NGO]…time to assess the situation and to [force] these youth [into] therapy and social services…Once in juvenile hall, most victims…are uncooperative and ultimately released back to their next of kin, where they will likely walk back to their exploiters”…

No, once they’re released they’re walking away from their exploiters.

Not What They Expected

Cops are so used to the media mindlessly parroting their “sex trafficking” propaganda, that the widespread negative reaction to this pogrom must’ve been very surprising to them:

Texas law enforcement officers have heroically “saved” dozens of “sex trafficking victims” by putting them in jail and plastering their mugshots on Facebook…the McLennan police department carried out a sting operation…netting 56 arrests (and 61 arrest warrants overall).  They pitched the sting as a way to bust sex traffickers and help their victims.  But as Reason points out…the majority of arrests were of adult women and a handful of men alleged to be their pimps, not underage victims or women pressed into sex work against their will…it’s not clear how throwing [women] in jail will help [them] “escape” sex work if they want to.  US jails are not exactly an efficient route to professional advancement….Sheriff Parnell McNamara [bragged]…“Putting criminals in jail is our favorite pastime.”  Police also availed themselves of [$4500 in] cash and [some quantity of] drugs during this selfless endeavor…

And here’s The Young Turks on the story:

Traffic in Nonsense (#508)

There aren’t many genuine cases of coercion like this, so naturally opportunists are going to exploit it to sell their brand:

On January 16, 2016, a trucker noticed something odd…while at a…truck stop outside of Richmond, Virginia…Kevin Kimmel…called the police…Aldair Hodza…and Laura Sorensen…have been charged with human trafficking.  The victim was found starved, disheveled and had  evidence of extreme physical abuse, sexual abuse — and torture……Truckers Against Trafficking…trains truck drivers to recognize signs…of…sex trafficking…right in front of us at truck stops, massage parlors, hotels, salons…There are an estimated 20.9 million victims of human slavery…An estimated $150 billion is made by human traffickers…[fetishist] Tony Talbott…[repeated the common shibboleth] “You can sell a kilo of Heroin once; You can sell a 13-year-old girl 20 times a night, 365 days a year”…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

Sex workers are fighting to do away with parts of a California bill that…would give…[cops power] over whether sex workers are either arrested or referred to social services, and could put sex workers at risk of [even more] police exploitation.  Rachel West with US PROStitutes Collective said, “The Oakland police scandal…has exposed just how problematic this is.”  The bill…would establish Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, pilot programs in California…[sponsors pretend] the bill would allow [cops] to direct people with low-level offenses to treatment programs in lieu of arrest.  But sex workers and their allies, who aim to one day have prostitution decriminalized altogether, are rejecting the bill’s language and say they want legislators to remove any mention of sex workers from the bill.  “It treats sex work not as a job but as a disease and sex workers not as workers but as offenders in need of treatment and rehabilitation,” West said.  The Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA…argues that the bill invites [cops] to take on the role of social worker…and…could harm sex workers if transparent police misconduct mechanisms are not in place…

Still a Child (#620) 

It’s really gratifying to see sex workers rebelling against paternalistic bullshit:

Dozens of New Orleans strip-club dancers descended on City Hall…June 28…to reclaim their voices.  City planners…had set about crafting rules that could put hundreds of people out of work without seeking out the opinions from those who stand to lose their livelihoods…Contrary to what some would have the commission believe, “we can think and make decisions for ourselves,” said Stephanie Montgomery, a 10-year veteran of the industry…The City Planning Commission…recently…[opined] that the city should reduce the number of clubs…and limit them to the commercial stretch of Bourbon Street between Iberville and St. Ann streets…The city could further limit the numbers by allowing only one club per block in the district.  That would cap the number of possible clubs at seven, less than a third the number in operation today.  Dozens of dancers spoke for more than two hours in defense of their industry.  When they were finished, at least one commissioner was ready to reject the staff report out of hand.  Commissioner Nolan Marshal III, who is set to take over the chairman’s seat, said the staff had not done enough to consult with the women who work in the industry. “The study was clearly shaped by people who don’t understand the industry”, he said…

To Molest and Rape

In what other profession would raping a woman result in a “sentence” of nine YEARS of paid vacation?

…Manuel Avila, a Paterson, New Jersey, cop…[orally raped a prisoner] in 2007…A few days [after]…a city psychiatrist had ruled [him]…unfit [for duty] and recommended that he retire.  Instead, police officials decided to reassign him for six months to a duty that didn’t involve carrying a weapon, at which point he would reach 20 years of service…Avila was acquitted of criminal charges…in 2010.  The city settled a civil lawsuit with his [victim] in 2011, agreeing to pay her $710,000.  But somehow, the police department’s internal investigation persisted through early 2016…Avila had collected about $900,000 in income for doing nothing.  With Avila’s pay, the settlement with his accuser, and legal fees, the city has spent about $1.9 million on this case…Avila will retire, receive around $85,000 in “accrued money owed” for things like vacation and sick days, and may be eligible for lifetime medical benefits and pension payments.

To Molest and Rape (#646)

The Oakland affair just keeps getting worse:

The young woman at the center of a scandal shaking multiple California police departments has revealed new and damning facts about the situation.  Celeste Guap…claims to have had sex with more than 30 Bay Area police officers in exchange for cash, tips about upcoming prostitution stings, and protection from prosecution.  Things allegedly started when she was still a minor and met Oakland [cop] Brendan O’Brien in the course of fleeing an abusive pimp…she celebrated her 18th birthday by traveling to Puerto Rico, where she found herself alone in a “rough area” and called O’Brien for help.  He didn’t pick up.  She threatened to expose him for sleeping with her when she was still 17 and, when he still didn’t respond, she did it, sending a text to a commanding officer at OPD detailing her relationship with O’Brien and several other OPD officers.  She then sent a screenshot of the text to O’Brien.  A few hours later, [he] committed suicide…if my colleague had killed himself after being threatened with exposure by a teen sex worker, my impulse would be, at least, to avoid her.  OPD officers, however, thought otherwise.  Not only did those alerted to O’Brien and Guap’s relationship not report it, they began allegedly contacting Guap—the daughter of an OPD dispatcher—for sex themselves.  Guap…turned over an array of cell phone records to various departments to corroborate her claims…While all of this was happening…the Oakland and Alameda County police departments were very public crusaders against prostitution

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Essentially it boils down to the idea that if the percent of people harmed is low enough, then we don’t have to care. –  Francis Walker

Gateway

Whores are bad, because drugs!  And “trafficking”!  And disease!  And vehicles!

It’s gone from the back alleys to websites like Backpage.com.  Some women are no longer working the streets, but rather the keyboard…Huntington [West Virginia] Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli said…it’s really all…to fuel the woman’s drug habit.  “While almost universally, the women involved are addicted or drug users…this plague of drug addiction knows no bounds.  Somebody who might be your next door neighbor yesterday could be unfortunately a prostitute tomorrow”…most of the ads on…Backpage.com…are trapped in sex trafficking rings…Police say it’s a dangerous situation…for the paying customers, as well.  “Certainly, the customers always run the risk of being robbed, or having their vehicles being stolen…communicable diseases that are spread by IV drug users in sexual situations is astronomical.”  So what’s being done to stop this?  Several local police agencies, including the Charleston Police Department, now run online sting operations… “We’re well aware of what’s going on.  Anybody who thinks they can evade us by using some sort of anonymity online is sadly mistaken”…


If this pompous, doughnut-addicted ignoramus knows as little about internet security as he does about sex work, even the most elementary precautions would be more than enough to evade him.

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

This is all pure nonsense, of course, and dozens of studies (including two US government ones) have found the exact opposite.  But look at the cast of characters:

…Patrick Trueman…of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE)…said Congress passes appropriations to fight sex trafficking, child pornography and sexual violence against women, but fails to address the root causes of those crimes.  To change that, the NCSE is holding a symposium next week intended to educate lawmakers and congressional staffers about the effects of pornography on society and criminal activity…NCSE said pornography shapes the sexual templates of children and contributes to the rise in sexual dysfunction now experienced by young men…“You have to address what attracts a man to enslave a woman or…have sex with an enslaved woman, and that’s pornography,” Trueman said.  Speakers…include…Ernie Allen…and Melissa Farley

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

More of this, please:

A clinical psychologist has ruled out “sex addiction” as the motive for a 22-year-old’s manipulation and threats that led to charges of blackmail and fraud…James Charles White…admitted charges of blackmailing one gay sexual partner, and obtaining sexual services from another young and vulnerable victim…by offering large amounts of money which were never paid…White had said he had a sex addiction and was getting help.  But defence counsel Phillip Allan said the clinical psychologist’s view was that there was no such thing as sex addiction…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

This listicle debunking myths about strippers would be better without the gratuitous whorearchy:  “The lie: You can always pay more for “extras”.  The truth: There’s no price for that.  Nope. Just nope.”  Except that some (certainly not all) girls do indeed sell “extras”, and Elle Stranger knows it as well as I do.

Above the Law 

Yeah, I’m sure this sex was 100% consensual; we always give it up for free to cops who arrest us because they’re just so damned sexy:

…a young Eastern European sex worker [was arrested] after her apartment was raided because it was being used as a “brothel”…after she and another sex worker…were…questioned [and released, one of]…the [gardai] later returned alone to the apartment and raped her.  The garda denied this and said they had “consensual” sex and that he was off-duty at the time…The second woman…gave evidence that she had witnessed the rape…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Strippers and other adult entertainers may soon find themselves having to register with the Monroe County [Florida] government as a way to deter sex trafficking…The Monroe County Commission could opt for a less drastic measure and have adult entertainment clubs “post human trafficking awareness signs printed in both English and in Spanish in conspicuous locations clearly visible to the public and employees”…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

A statistician vivisects the ridiculous notion that false accusations of rape are so rare they can be ignored:

…Even if false reporting of rape is low, rape as percentage of total sex is even lower and very few people would argue that we don’t really need to care about rape.  About the only argument you can make here with any validity would be that rape affects more people than false accusations of rape.  But that isn’t a particularly great argument either…On a percentage basis, there aren’t many Jews in the US, nor are there many homosexuals.  The percentage of trans-gendered individuals is even smaller.  What rights would society be rightfully allowed to deprive those populations of simply because they are in the minority?…If You Experience a Tiny Bump in Libido Lasting More Than Four H

Not Good Enough (#545)

More than two hundred scientists are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to reject the so-called “female Viagra” pill…experts in disciplines ranging from bioethics to sexology say that flibanserin is “minimally effective”…only 9 to 15 percent more effective than a placebo in increasing desire.  They also highlight its…side-effects, including hypotension and sudden unconsciousness, and its negative interactions with several drugs, including…alcohol and birth control pills…Flibanserin was rejected by the administration twice before, but an FDA panel recently…recommended it for approval [after]…an effective public relations campaign…blamed…previous rejections on sexism on the part of the FDA.  “Approving flibanserin will not only unleash an unsafe drug onto the U.S. market…but will send a message to industry that pressuring the FDA through public relations campaigns can get a drug approved.”

Seizing Power

They’re not even trying to be credible any more:

…According to Shared Hope International, 495 victims of child sex trafficking in 46 states and D.C. have been linked to Backpage.com.  A study by YouthSpark in Atlanta, Georgia, found 53% of children receiving care from service providers across the country were bought and sold for sex on Backpage.com.  With the recent decision of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, many are wondering what’s next for Backpage.com and its impact on the future of the child sex trafficking industry…

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Anti-prostitution activists need to get up off the ignorance couch and look at science.  –  Dinsa Sachan

R.I.P. Blaze Starr Famous pin-up Blaze Starr (real name Fannie Belle Fleming) in 1950

Blaze Starr, the voluptuous stripper who was billed as the Queen of Burlesque and whose affair with…Louisiana governor [Earl K. Long] was the basis of a 1989 movie, died on Monday…[at the age of] 83…the Ron Shelton film Blaze, starring Lolita Davidovich in the title role alongside Paul Newman as the governor…drew on her memoir, Blaze Starr: My Life as Told to Huey Perry, published in 1974.  Ms. Starr said that she and Mr. Long were engaged to be married when he died in 1960, two months before his divorce was to become final.  She continued to wear a five-carat diamond ring that she said he had given her…

Safe Targets

An article about women who sell panties on Reddit ends with the following paragraph:

…While sex work is still criminalized, its sellers are relegated to the dark outposts of the digital universe, where unsavory clients moderate the forums and self-employed workers walk on eggshells just to keep their business afloat…Until the laws surrounding sex work change, communities like Sex Sells are the last bastion of defense against the Internet’s faceless antagonists.

Harm Reduction

From the “no shit” department:

Sexual relationships that involve the exchange of money cannot be considered adultery, according to a Tokyo District Court ruling involving a couple and a bar hostess…No damages were rewarded to the plaintiff – the wife of a man who was allegedly sleeping with a hostess for more than seven years…she had sought more than $32,000 in compensation.  Judge Masamitsu Shiseki of the Tokyo District Court ruled…the sex between the plaintiff’s husband and the hostess was strictly business, and therefore did not harm the marriage…”such conduct does not damage peaceful marital life,” Shiseki…said.  “Even if the wife is disgusted by the act, it does not constitute a legal offense”…

Check Your Premises

Here’s another case exposing who really gets targeted under U.S. sex trafficking statutes.  Far from the cartoonishly evil kingpins or sociopathic perverts of political lore, it’s people like Oregon resident Julie Haner, who as a 19-year-old drove her 17-year-old friend across state lines so they could both make money via sex work.  Haner and the girl has previously attended high-school together and been on the same cheerleading squad…

Gateway

The sheriff of Charlotte County, Florida is adamant that sex work brings evil in its wake:  “There are obvious health risks, not only to the defendants, but also to their innocent family members, because of this type of activity…”  Obviously the sheriff must also believe that people who eat too much fatty food or work long hours should be arrested due to the “obvious health risks”.  But the head of vice for Charleston, West Virginia, isn’t so sure:

To people who say prostitution is a victimless crime and a waste of police resources, Young said the department is urged to make the arrests by members of the community…He conceded that the crime tends to have a “revolving door” of new offenders…officers don’t have reason to believe the women were trafficked or otherwise forced into the work…Young advocates for incarceration for the crimes so that arrests will be more of a deterrent…the women just make more deals to be able to pay the fines, he said…

Subtle Pimping

Looking for new vices to tax, Nevada lawmakers have turned their sights on escort services and massive music-and-light festivals in the desert.  Lawmakers…eliminated loopholes in Nevada’s live-entertainment tax, a lounge-lizard levy that had covered cabaret performances and burlesque dancing.  It now includes a 9 percent charge on tickets for events such as Burning Man…The tax…also would apply to “pickup fees” for escort services, but not prostitutes at Nevada’s 24 legal brothels…

Gorged With Meaning

Leave it to the Daily Fail to reverse the “sugar babies are exploited” narrative:  “Students lure online sugar daddies into paying their tuition fees: How young women are using the internet to find rich men who will give them cash in exchange for relationships” San Francisco Chronicle 1-20-1917

Hooker Humor (#31)

Miranda Kane uses her good reviews to catch reporters’ attention:

…her frank and funny one-woman show, The Coin Operated Girl, has won rave reviews…billed as “the cheapest hour you’ll ever spend with a prostitute”, it has drawn comparisons with the tell-all blog Belle de Jour…“There are a lot of people saying we should ban the buying of sex because all these women are being forced into it, but the only reason they are being forced into it are things like the Government cutting benefits and that there aren’t enough facilities out there to help with drug and mental health problems…we need to look at the base reasons why they are doing it”…

Watershed

After being drawn to the dynamic and outspoken prostitutes…at [a] conference…I met Ishtar Lakhani…who has been advocating for the decriminalization of prostitution in [South Africa]…“(Steinem’s) argument is that we live in a patriarchy.  All women are oppressed; all women are victims…a woman…[should] decide what [she wants] to choose…If you want to do sex work, it is your choice and should be respected”…The Nordic model is often touted as the solution to the prostitution problem.  However…the Nordic model has not helped women or reduced women in sex work or increased women’s safety…the model [also] affects the women’s ability to make money because of reduced number of clients…It is time for feminist activists and governments around the globe to recognize that New Zealand’s decriminalization model works.  Anti-prostitution activists argue that decriminalization expands the industry, but New Zealand’s government has found that not to be the case…

Full of Themselves (#418)

One can always tell a story influenced by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC):

…Unlike street walkers who ply their trade in motel rooms, those selling their bodies are doing so by intermingling with a legitimate business…Those using massage therapy as a front operate out of clean buildings indistinguishable from legitimate massage parlors…Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion…[lied] that [sex work] doesn’t qualify as a victimless crime…[because of] human trafficking…[even though his cops have never] found [any women who] said they were being forced into prostitution…[he pretends that] Human trafficking…is a growing problem in…Manteca [anyway and his DA crony] Tori Verber Salazar [tells old men lurid wanking fantasies of]…victims as young as 11 years old that are forced to do tricks…

Held Together With Lies (#542)

Remember that ridiculous probitionist “study” that pretended sex work “costs” France €1.6 billion a year?  Well, Mark Draughn took the time to work out the economic actualities, and it’s very interesting reading (and, as you might expect, completely different from what the prohibitionists pretend).  Like Gaul it’s divided into three parts, but it’s well worth your time.

Traffic Circle (#546)

Glenn Kessler isn’t the only one at the Washington Post who’s attacking “sex trafficking” mythology:

…At times, various government agencies have estimated that there were as many as 50,000 victims a year in this country.  Then, in 2004, another estimate came in at about 14,500 to 17,500, and then lowered it to 1,362, our colleague Jerry Markon wrote in a lengthy article in 2007…The FBI on April 6 put out its first report on human trafficking…The numbers were from just 13 states reporting…Even so, the total number of human trafficking offenses reported for either “commercial sex acts” or “involuntary servitude” in those 13 states was 14.  There were a total of four arrests…

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From a financial perspective, the American rescue industry may be the third most popular sports franchise in the world.  –  Anne Elizabeth Moore

The Slave-Whore Fantasy 

Yet another example of what real sex slavery looks like:

Peter Hamilton…[was walking his dog when] he heard a woman’s voice coming from across the street…The woman was lying on the porch floor, her hands and feet bound by cloth restraints, duct tape, and handcuffs.  Her pants and underpants were pulled down around her ankles, tangled up in her leg restraints.  She was shaking quite a bit, and had bruises on her arms and legs.  “She said, ‘Help me, I’ve been kidnapped and held hostage for five days.”  She told him that her captor was still in the house — she had managed to wriggle down the stairs while he slept — and that he had a gun and a knife…he began trying to free her from her restraints, using the only tool in his pocket, a nail clipper, to snip away at the duct tape on her hands to get it to tear…That’s when her captor emerged from the doorway…leapt over the woman, and ran past…Later…police would arrest Rejean Perron, and charge him with repeatedly sexually assaulting the woman…between March 31 and April 5…the accused picked up the 27-year-old woman, a sex worker…when she tried to leave, he allegedly threatened her, bound her, and held her captive…

Gateway

Using one consensual “crime” as an excuse to persecute another is like building a house of cards:

The prostitution sting last week…marked at least the third organized crackdown this year by [New Hampshire] police departments in response to complaints about ongoing prostitution in their communities…it was part of a weeks-long enforcement campaign prompted by reports of salacious behavior in an area frequented by young children on their way to school…it points to a trend that has at least remained constant as the state continues to buckle from opiate addiction.  “We’ve been getting a lot more street complaints than before, and we relate that directly to heroin,” said Nick Willard, assistant chief of police in Manchester…

Tyranny By Consensus

One of the nation’s largest suppliers of HIV and AIDS medical care is accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid in an elaborate $20 million dollar scam that spanned 12 states, according to a lawsuit filed in South Florida federal court.  Three former managers of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a suit…alleging the company paid employees and patients kickbacks for patient referrals in an effort to boost funding from federal health programs…The referrals were key to the company’s business model and touted by AHF President Michael Weinstein at a 2013 leadership summit…

An Example To the West (#133)

Some 900 [Korean] sex workers…submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court to repeal the prostitution law, which they say infringes on their rights…In December of 2012, the Seoul Northern District Court asked the Constitutional Court for a constitutional review of the law after a prostitute who was charged made the request.  The crux of the issue is whether prostitution is a profession and cracking down on it violates sex workers’ rights or whether the practice is a public hazard and exposes minors to danger…Chung Kwan-young, a lawyer representing prostitutes, said the law goes against the “principle of minimal intervention” as it punishes a voluntary choice made by adults.  Critics of the law also point out that crackdowns have failed to eradicate prostitution.  Kim Kang-ja, a former chief at the Jongam Police Station who spearheaded crackdowns in the 2000s, said her operations only exacerbated the situation of sex workers…stop closing our windows

Dutch Threat

Hundreds of Amsterdam’s window prostitutes took to the streets yesterday in protest against the city authorities’ attempts to clean up the red light district.  Sex workers say they have been targeted over the years as local politicians try to reinvigorate the area, under the guise of stopping human trafficking.  Some 250 prostitutes and their supporters marched against the latest proposals to shut down more of the city’s brothels.  Since 2008 115 of the 500 windows…have been closed…

Confined and Controlled (#335)

Italian law allows [Rome] to issue an ordinance banning the solicitation of sex on certain streets…Rome City Hall has agreed to…a pilot program that would include greater police surveillance and fines of up to $500…for men caught with a sex worker on a prostitution-free street…the idea is vehemently opposed by Catholic organizations that say it legitimizes the exploitation of women.  Father Aldo Buonaiuto [wants imposition of the Swedish model]…

Uncommon Sense (#404)

The Assembly of Sex Work Pro-rights Activists of Catalonia, is made up of sex workers and allies…“We are the most stigmatised and criminalised group of women in society,” said Montse Neira, one of the group’s founders…“From now on, nobody else is going to speak for us”…Paula Vip from…Asociación de Profesionales del Sexo (Aprosex) [said] “The violence we face doesn’t come from our clients, but from the institutions that govern based on the interest of a moral minority.  From now on, we prostitutes will be organised, convinced, ready to fight and ready for war”…

Prudesville

Yes, these are actual adults panicking over coffee stands:

…From the way…bikini baristas have been in the firing line of [Washington state] officials, you’d think this was the first time anyone combined nearly nude women and food.  But practically the same controversy continues to pop up in headlines across America:  Girls want to serve coffee mostly naked, people want to buy it, someone wants to stop it…Buxom girls and fast food have been lumped together since topless servers started waiting on San Franciscans in the 60s…and Hooters…has been around since 1983…To Mike Fagan, a Spokane city councilman who just saw a voter-led initiative to restrict bikini baristas flop…[the] model is too risqué not to regulate.  But he says he’s taken heat for trying to impose a moral code on local businesses…If they’re not offensive, he wonders, why then are school-buses being rerouted so kids won’t see the coffee stands?…“I think bikini baristas are sex workers, because their work involves using sexual appeal,” says…Savannah Sly…“Because they may be stigmatized or their place of employment scrutinized due to the erotic nature of the work, I deem it worthy of the label of sex work.”  Sly says some might argue that bikini baristas aren’t sex workers because they don’t strip, touch customers, or explicitly talk about sex.  But…“a lot of people who do phone sex and cam work…also don’t do sexual stuff for a lot of their clients”…

We Told You So (#509)

Another great article from Anne Elizabeth Moore:

The images are compelling:  young, White women, bound and bedraggled, alone and vulnerable.  The first-person tales are equally attention-grabbing:  rape, emotional abuse, graft, torture…Yet what we can definitively state about [the rescue industry]…makes for a much less satisfying narrative…the 50 most prominent anti-trafficking organizations in the United States…command over half a billion dollars every year, and focus primarily on sex trafficking, as opposed to the far more pressing global concern of labor trafficking.  Fundraising pitches for these groups rest largely on the recitation of widely disputed statistics, many of which have been entirely disproven…The claims are ludicrous.  Even if the number of rescues was believable, it represents approximately a quarter of all the cases of sex trafficking worldwide reported to the US Department of State…This would make the United States the global hotbed of sex slavery…

Broken Record (#519)

sex workers’ safety could be at risk if police launch sweeps to clean up city streets heading into this summer’s Pan Am Games…fears over potential trafficking during sports competitions are typically overblown and sometimes serve as excuses to round up local and foreign sex workers…a stronger police presence could have a “harsh impact” on street-based sex workers, who would be forced to work in more isolated — and potentially unsafe — conditions…a study examining the impact of the Vancouver Olympics suggests there was no significant influx of sex workers or reports of a spike in trafficking there.  The survey of sex workers found there was less demand for their services, possibly due to the difficulty in meeting clients…

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[To politicians] a stripper is a sex-trafficker is a source of state revenue.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Bad Girls 

A Nevada brothel worker and an armored truck employee conspired to take at least $100,000 from the former’s workplace over several months…Shiva Zamiri and Jessie Aulelava were arrested…Zamiri started working as the brothel’s bookkeeper last September, and that money was stolen within weeks of her being on the job.  A person close to Zamiri identified the unnamed brothel as Sheri’s Ranch…

Out of Control (The Camel’s Nose) another spooge sneaker

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a spooge sneaker:

A man has admitted to ejaculating into a female colleague’s coffee several times  – but says he fancied her and hoped it would make her notice him.  Robert John Lind, of Blaine, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to ejaculating into his colleague’s coffee and over her desk on a number of occasions last year.  The woman said she had an ongoing issue with her coffee tasting foul before she caught Lind with his hands near his genitals and a “deer in the headlights” expression near her desk.  The victim then noticed, “a large amount of clear liquid on…her desk”…

Gateway

Cops blatantly lie to justify persecuting peaceful, consensual behavior:

Six men were caught up in a prostitution sting over the weekend by vice and narcotics agents of the Clarksville [Tennessee] Police Department…The ongoing effort is designed not only to reduce this type of activity but also to prevent assaults and robberies against the solicitors.  This has become commonplace with online prostitution as the men become easy targets when they are directed to [incalls, a cop mouthpiece lied]…

A Modest Proposal

An hour with London escort Kamillah is $450. But for $100 more, she’ll enter into a nikah mut’ah—a temporary marriage that some Shia say makes sex outside of marriage permissible…Among [her] reviews…[one] satisfied customer concludes: “Allahu Akbar! Had the best mutah experience everr [sic]”…

Saving Them From Themselves

Because “sending a message” is more important than human life:

Four Chicago-area teenagers faces felony child-pornography charges after uploading a video of themselves having sex to Twitter…Both the sex and the posting of the video were consensual—this is not a rape or “revenge porn” scenario.  But…minors who post sexually-oriented images of themselves online or even share them privately with one another can be charged as child pornographers…Who benefits from branding these teens sex predators for life because they dared to explore their sexuality?…

The Biggest Whores (#134)

Alternative fee arrangements are all the rage.  But beware in Indiana, because the courts have drawn the line at seeking “sex or fellatio in exchange for providing legal services,” suspending a lawyer for a year, without automatic reinstatement, for propositioning an arrested prostitute in exchange for representation…Christopher A. Hollander, worked as a public defender and used the access provided by his position to score the phone number of an unnamed sex worker that he’d previously admired in the classified section…he called her up and offered his services…intending to barter.  The exchange never happened because when Hollander met with the prostitute, it turned out to be an undercover cop…Hollander got pinched by a bunch of overzealous cops who seemingly substituted “shits and giggles” for “probable cause” or “reasonable suspicion”…[the cops had stolen the woman’s phone and intercepted his texts]…All they know is that a lawyer claimed to have learned of an accused woman’s plight from a friend of hers and offered representation.  There’s absolutely nothing shady about this text…With absolutely no reason to suspect anything but the exercise of someone’s constitutional right to counsel, the cops decided to impersonate the alleged prostitute to set up a meeting with the lawyer.  You know, because defending accused criminals is suspicious activity…

The Auctioneer Effect

Grandstanding female politician in Nevada introduces yet another ludicrous “sex trafficking commode sign” bill.  Another grandstanding female politician tries to one-up her by demanding castration as the penalty for “sex trafficking” so as to discourage “these pimps”.  Sponsoring politician then huffs that her bill is VEWWY SEEWIUSS and berates second politician for her ball-cutting fantasy.  Second politician then doubles down…

The Mote and the Beam (#419)

Remember, sex work was recriminalized in Rhode Island less than six years ago, largely due to the efforts of cops who wanted in on the “sex trafficking” gravy train:

…police set up [fake]…escort ads…and [entrapped] nearly two dozen men…Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr…[bloviated] “Many of these girls are being used, they are being forced into it because of addictions, forced into it by boyfriends and pimps”…Mayor Jorge Elorza…[pretended that] he’s reviewing possible legal action that could be taken against Backpage.com…”It’s dangerous,” Clements said. “We want to send a message to these girls, do not use this page to make money.  They could be victims”…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#420)

The Georgia House of Representatives just approved a constitutional amendment to make strip clubs pay for the state’s fight against child sex-trafficking…The amendment’s proponents have barely even bothered to justify why strip club owners should be liable for footing this particular bill.  Imagine the outrage if lawmakers were trying similar shenanigans on any other category of business—soliciting an annual fee from gas stations to fight rape, say, or forcing podiatrists to subsidize drunk-driving checkpoints…all adult-entertainment businesses would have to pay $5,000 per year or 1 percent of their revenue, whichever is greater, into a state fund…The bill’s text suggests that consuming alcohol and looking at naked women may entice strip club customers to go forth and sexually exploit children and hence the fee is “necessary” and “reasonable.”  It also suggests that strip clubs are a popular venue for shopping for child sex slaves.

Another Fine Mess

Once again:  ordinary business practices don’t magically become newsworthy when hookers use them:

Zimbabwean sex workers…are now embracing mobile payment service…in a bid to safeguard their payments…from…clients [who]… violently demand their money back…The sex workers are also able to send pictures and videos of cases of abuse or violence to rights campaigners using social media and other instant messaging platforms…

Property of the State (#512) Purvi Patel

The first woman to be sentenced for killing a foetus has been handed a 20-year prison term for feticide and neglect of a dependent, despite claiming she gave birth to a stillborn baby.  Purvi Patel was bleeding heavily when she entered a hospital emergency room in Indiana in 2013 after giving birth unexpectedly in her bathroom…The prosecution also claimed that Patel had ordered drugs to induce an abortion on the internet [sic].  However, a toxicology report did not find any evidence of the drugs in her system.  Patel is the second woman to be charged with feticide in the US, but the first to receive a prison sentence.  She was prosecuted under state laws that are [supposedly] intended at targeting illegal abortion providers and prosecuting crimes against pregnant women…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#523)

It’s good to see the mainstream media publishing truth about at least one form of sex work:

…Porn is condemned regularly for a rise in labioplasty procedures, a cosmetic surgery that anti-porn activists would have audiences believe is sweeping the globe.  The organization Fight the New Drug is entirely devoted “to raising awareness on [porn’s] harmful effects using science, facts, and personal accounts” and almost-charming attempts at youth lingo.  They even tell readers that they’re going to “drop some truth bombs” in a listicle called “Ten Porn Stats That Will Blow Your Mind.”  Because if there is one thing the young folks can’t get enough of (besides porn) it is a mind-blowing listicle using ancient studies that weren’t peer reviewed.  But recent studies looking at porn consumption and depictions of sex in porn actually reveal that it is hardly the life-ruining, woman-hating, healthy-sex-murdering specter we’ve been warned about for so long…

Guinea Pigs

New forms of tyranny are often tested on sex workers first:

…Oregon entrepreneur Lawrence George Owen…owned one restaurant, eight strip clubs, and two adult-video stores in the Portland area…Owen installed ATM machines…and sometimes, customers used the cash to privately pay some strippers for sex.  Now Owen faces federal charges for “conspiring to use interstate commerce” in promotion of prostitution…[as] the result…of a nine year joint-effort by Portland’s vice squad and the FBI…Promoting prostitution is only a federal crime under certain circumstances, such as when the perpetrator transports or coerces an individual across state lines for prostitution purposes.  Using mail, telephone calls, or other “facilities of interstate commerce” in service of prostitution will also do the trick.  But the FBI has no evidence that Owen enticed or transported strip-club employees from outside Oregon, nor that he used mail or telephone calls to help facilitate their prostitution efforts.  When the FBI wants to make a case against someone, however, they’ll find a way. In this case, the FBI decided that ATM machines count as “facilities of interstate commerce”…

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It is time for democracies to…take [sex workers] seriously – not just because democratic values mandate it, but because sex workers are the experts on the matter.  –  Sonja Dolinsek

License to Rape 

Predators posing as gardai [Irish police] are preying on sex workers…demanding sex and robbing them…Uglymugs…has appealed to new Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan to direct officers to engage “more sympathetically” with sex workers…organiser…Lucy Smith, said…”many escorts are uncertain if these men are gardai or not…in some cases, these are corrupt gardai”…Kendra Wilkinson

Really Cheap Whores

The phrase “incredibly unprofessional” comes to mind:

Kendra Wilkinson hated having sex with Hugh Hefner so much that she turned to drugs and booze…she [also claimed]…that [she] was unaware sex was required of her when she moved into the Playboy mansion as one of Hefner’s girlfriends in 2003.  At the time she was 18 and he was 78…

Welcome To Our World (February Updates)

Busybodies and the State conspire to punish old people for being sexual:

…Donna Lou Young and Henry V. Rayhons…[were] both in their 70s [when they married]…Today, he’s awaiting trial on a felony charge that he raped Donna at a nursing home where she was living…Iowa [prosecutors claim] Rayhons had intercourse with his wife when she lacked the mental capacity to consent because she had Alzheimer’s.  She died on Aug. 8…One week later…Rayhons…was arrested…Experts in geriatrics say that intimacy…can make dementia sufferers feel less lonely and even prolong their lives…Henry and Donna…were deeply in love…[there is] no evidence…that the couple’s love faded, that Donna failed to recognize her husband or that she asked that he not touch her…prosecutors are likely to portray Rayhons as a sex-hungry man who took advantage of a sweet, confused woman…

The main culprits:  her daughters and prudish nursing home staff.

Gateway

Sometimes the flailing attempts at self-justification are a marvel to behold:

Six women were arrested…in a…[sting] in Birmingham [Alabama]…One…was charged with physical harassment after trying to grope an undercover officer…Lt. Ron Sellers [pretends cops had] complaints about prostitution…and [bloviated]…”It could be they are forced in to it, or they are supporting a drug habit.  [They sell] themselves for money…chasing sporting events and conventions.  A lot of them will be gravitating toward Atlanta for the SEC Championship this weekend…There are a lot of other crimes associated with escorts…They deal in cash.  They don’t trust police”…

Yes, he actually defined dealing in cash and not trusting pigs as “crimes”.Booby Trap

Business Opportunity

It’s not like it’s their money, after all:

A night spot with a…rather “voluptuous” architectural design…could be torn down in a matter of months.  The building…has seen several strip clubs over the span of 40 years.  It’s best known to residents as its original name, The Booby Trap, which also described its domed design…the building’s owner has…[offered] to sell the structure and the land [at more than the market value] to the city of Winter Park, which in turn plans to demolish the building and re-sell it.  No adult-oriented business will be allowed to open at the location…

Forward and Backward

Hull City Council won a landmark ruling to create Britain’s first “prostitution-free zone”…any sex workers or curb crawlers caught around the…Hessle Road area…can be arrested and [dragged to]…court.  City Councillor Daren Hale said…the zone was created was to give “a positive view of Hull”…the moves will simply create a red light district in another area…[politicians pretend that] a…harm reduction approach…will [somehow] run alongside the injunction…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

Paging Dr. David Ley:

A sex addict [was] caught taking photos up women’s skirts…Peter Hooton…served a prison term when convicted of like crimes in the past [but New Zealand] Judge Grant Fraser said the best hope of protecting the community…was to keep him out of jail this time…Hooton’s…attending…twice a week with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous…

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark snakeskin pumps

Yet another study proving that the sky is blue:

Scientists from the Universite de Bretagne-Sud conducted experiments that showed that men behave very differently toward high-heeled women…if a woman drops a glove on the street while wearing heels, she’s almost 50 per cent more likely to have a man fetch it for her than if she’s wearing flats…a high-heeled woman in a bar waits half the time to get picked up by a man, compared to when her heel is nearer to the ground…

Against Their Will (TW3 #3)

I’m really not sure which to believe, the copy which claims that sex workers in Mumbai welcome and trust Priti Patkar, who apparently runs a kind of daycare center for them; or the headline which trumpets “She works for the welfare of sex workers by first taking the children away from them“.  I also see too many phrases like “rescued from brothels” and suspicious protests-too-much statements about how much the kids “love” her and her cronies.

The Widening Gyre 

And it all happened without anyone noticing!

…it is suspected that dozens of schoolgirls at Minzu Middle School were drugged and forced into prostitution.  An insider [claimed]…the students were given to government leaders outside of the county as gifts for their use…the…girls…were coerced by a female…surnamed Xu [who]…has done this multiple times…Xu…first bribes several students while the rest who do not obey her are beaten…One government employee insisting on anonymity [said]…the story of over 80 schoolgirls being forcibly taken to a hotel for prostitution is very common, with some versions of the story saying it involves over 80 and others saying over 40…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

It only took the Washington Post two years to catch up with me:

…The graphic showed a rape reporting rate of 10 percent, but…2013 criminal victimization rates…estimated 35 percent…are reported…the survey’s definitions of rape or “sexual attack” is inconsistent with states’ legal definitions or with standard methodology… “Prosecution” and “arrested” are not terms that can be wrapped under “faced trial”…the rate of incarceration among people convicted of rate is much higher than one-third…46 percent of felony rape convictions resulted in guilty pleas…

Skin To Skin

Checklist

This rather odd story engages in the usual “trafficking” tale tactic by offering a lurid story without names or evidence, but is mainly about how cops are given a checklist of “signs” they can pretend to have observed so as to transform a boring old prostitution case into a sexy “trafficking” one.  The low point: “A majority of women experience [sex work] as paid rape.”  The high point:  “We don’t have a plague of human trafficking”.

Banishment

Residents of…[a] Pretoria [neighborhood] have made it clear they won’t tolerate prostitution openly taking place near their homes.  At the weekend they burnt makeshift beds allegedly used by prostitutes…and forced women they accuse…to walk down the street carrying banners…Resident Paul Masina said they were tired of police [requiring]…evidence to support their complaints…“It’s disgusting and filthy here because of them so we’re destroying their businesses so they won’t come back again”…

Hollow Claims (TW3 #338)

Despite its recent support for “sex trafficking” hysteria, Al Jazeera published an editorial from our strong ally Sonja Dolinsek arguing against imposition of the Swedish model in various countries.  One must wonder if, like the UK’s Guardian or the US’s Washington Post, the network isn’t straddling the fence until it figures out which way the wind is blowing.Elvgren His Life and Art

Remembrance 

Gil Elvgren was the greatest [pinup artist].  The massive book, Elvgren: His Life & Art, has the artist’s best paintings…His work was familiar to millions of Americans in the mid-20th Century, thanks to calendar publishers who printed his cheesecake paintings for decades…[they] were [often] copied onto fighter planes by paintbrush-wielding World War II soldiers…

Marching Up Their Own Arses (TW3 #349)

About as revolting an idea as I’ve ever heard of:

A&E has greenlit a…new reality series in which a man tries to convince prostitutes to quit their jobs…the network has ordered eight episodes of 8 Minutes (working title), a series featuring cop-turned-pastor Kevin Brown surprising escorts in hotel rooms and offering to rescue them…Brown has eight minutes to make his case…the show was inspired by a 2013 LA Times article about Brown…[who pretends] he can [magically] decode an ad…on the Internet…[to] notice…that this is obviously someone being held against their will…

Despite his Super Savior powers, he claims only a 50% success rate (probably about 10x his true rate) and sets an 8-minute limit because that’s how long it takes demonic pimps to materialize in the room and murder him in front of a whole TV crew.  I am not making this up.  Please sign this petition for A&E to rethink this abomination; Brown will no doubt continue his nonconsensual kinky roleplay anyway, but it doesn’t have to be televised.

Legal Is As Legal Does (TW3 #401)

A law that would have allowed Auckland local bodies to ban prostitution in specified places has been scrapped by a parliamentary select committee…councils have been urged to look at other ways to control street prostitutes…”Many complaints…relate to noise, littering, slow-moving motor vehicles (kerb-crawling) and disorderly behaviour.  These kinds of behaviour can be dealt with by bylaws already in existence”…

Gorged With Meaning (TW3 #422) Laura Pahomova

I am not a vindictive sort, but this man had better hope I never catch him alone anywhere:

A model jumped seven floors to her death…after a spurned lover told her family about her…life as an escort.  Laura Pahomova, 23, scrawled notes in lipstick and eyeliner over the walls, mirrors and furniture of a…13th floor apartment…claiming former client Martin Riley had driven her to suicide…Laura, who described Mr Riley as a “stalker”, had threatened suicide if her family found out what she was doing but…Riley [pretends that] he informed her loved ones to help her…Riley had a previous conviction for the harassment of another escort…In that case…he threatened to tell her family about her work and she threatened to harm herself if he did…

The Law of Averages (Traffic Updates) 

Another example of That Age as cultic totem:

A Horsham charity, which helps women out of escorting and prostitution, has secured funding to produce an education pack for schoolchildren…the Averageage12 [sic] pack [is so] named… “because 12 is average age of trafficked victims…and entry into prostitution…we want to get [this propaganda] into the hands of every 12 year old…to help protect them and their friends from potentially being trafficked or groomed into the sex industry”…

I Saw My Brain (TW3 #433)

They’re “helping” them into cells and coercive “therapy”:

Grady Judd, sheriff of Polk County, announced the arrests of 61 people…to help women who are victims of being exploited as sex workers…they are offering counseling to help the women…

The Public Eye (TW3 #439) face sitting

Around 500 people [descended] on Westminster and [pretended] to have sex…in a…protest against…censorship…#PornProtest plans to…attempt to break the Guinness World Record for…face-sitting…over new restrictions on what pornography can be made and sold in the UK…Charlotte Rose…the woman behind the protest…first became involved in the adult industry as a bondage model…and now works as a sex therapist…she is also a seasoned political campaigner…and was an independent candidate in the recent…by-election…

Think of the Children! (TW3 #445) 

El Paso Children’s Hospital is backing away from its participation in a local fundraiser after learning…that…special guest DJ [Jessie Andrews]…also happens to be an adult film star…One hundred percent of the ticket proceeds were to go to the Children’s Hospital, along with toys collected at the event…

Prudesville (TW3 #448)

This is so over-the-top absurd, I’m beginning to suspect it’s some incredibly elaborate hoax:

…The city of Everett tore down the pink and purple walls of two brothel-esque coffee stands, known notoriously as Java Juggs and Twin Peaks, after its former owner, Carmela Panico, pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution and money laundering.  Construction crews [hauled] out junk from the “dilapidated and disgusting” stands into a nearby dump truck…the city [stole] the rundown stands and decided to destroy them as a message that illegal activity would not be tolerated…

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This is not just about sex trade workers…The government’s coming in through the back door…to tell you what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your home with another consenting adult.  –  Terri-Jean Bedford

Gateway

Ignorant reporter apparently believes “explain” is a synonym for “rationalize”:

…The purpose of the sting operation was to discourage sex providers and customers from engaging in the illegal transaction, which often is linked to child sex abuse, robbery, assault and drug use, Lt. Det. Cord Wood of the Corvallis [Oregon] Police Department said…“To gauge the number of thefts, assaults and robberies (associated with prostitution) is difficult because I really believe those are under-reported”…

Because obviously someone named for 128 cubic feet of chopped fibrous cellulose must be an expert in a trade he’s never practiced.

The Camel’s Nose (June Updates, Part One)

Just another reminder that though Al Franken claims to be an advocate of liberty, he’s actually a devoted supporter of the police state:  “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people…I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us…There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know.”  Because tyranny isn’t “bad” as long as you wave a flag while stomping on people’s faces.

The Crumbling Dam

Sex workers and their supporters marched and rallied in several Canadian cities…days before a Supreme Court hearing on whether laws restricting the sale of sex should be tossed out”, and prohibitionists fantasize about replacing criminalization of workers with that of clients.  Fortunately this view is unpopular in Canada, and editorials like this one from Catherine Healy and Sandra Ka Hon Chu are not uncommon:

The Supreme Court of Canada’s looming consideration…has led to vigorous debate about the merits of the “Swedish model”…[which] perpetuates…stigma, discrimination and violence…and institutionalizes an adversarial relationship between sex workers and the police.  Less discussed is the model of sex work employed in New Zealand….[where] sex workers are covered by legislation that protects them from exploitation while accessing labour laws to promote their welfare and occupational health and safety…The Art of Not Being GovernedThere is no substantiated evidence of trafficking despite repeated efforts by the immigration department…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received a copy of The Art of Not Being Governed from SA.  Thank you so much!

The Sky is Falling!

Dating and highways cause sex trafficking!

Birmingham [Alabama] residents have voiced concerns over a billboard that suggests young women date a sugar daddy if they’re in search of a summer job.  Alexa James…[said] she wants the arrangements.com billboard taken down…”I-20 has now become the superhighway of human trafficking…Make a stand, call the mayor’s office, call your state representative.”  The service is an online dating site that facilitates mutually beneficial arrangements…and…has no plans to remove the billboard.

Above the Law

Yet again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

…two [Georgia] sheriff’s deputies…pleaded guilty…for their part in a scheme to send an innocent woman to prison…Judge Bryant Cochran solicited sex from [Angela Garmley] in return for legal favors.  Shortly after Garmley filed her complaint, she was arrested…and charged with possession of methamphetamines…Since this scandal broke, three women who worked in Cochran’s court have filed a separate lawsuit…claiming Cochran sexually harassed them…

And keep happening:

…a…19-year-old Omaha woman…[said] Deputy Cory Cooper made her perform oral sex after pulling over a vehicle containing her and her boyfriend on a marijuana violation…Cooper told the boyfriend to walk to the lake to dispose of the marijuana…then turned his attention to the woman…she said she felt like she had no choice…

Held Together With Lies

Ronald Weitzer speaks on the mythology of “sex trafficking” at Queens University, Belfast; unfortunately, this is audio only.

Crime Against Society (TW3 #14)

The ordeal of those victimized by New Orleans’ sadistic game is over at last:

…a settlement…will remove from the sex offender registry approximately 700 individuals who had been required to register solely because of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) conviction…“The lingering injustice, resulting from over 20 years of discriminatory enforcement of this law at police and prosecutors’ whims, will now finally come to an end,” said Andrea Ritchie, co-counsel to [the Center for Constitutional Rights] in Doe v. Jindal and Doe v. Caldwell

The Naked Emperor (TW3 #24)

Though danah boyd’s last article on “sex trafficking” annoyed a number of activists with its ambiguity, this one is much more firmly anti-hysteria:

When most people think of sex trafficking…they immediately think of stereotypical images.  Like that of a vulnerable girl exploited by a pimp…But…[it] is more often about young people who are homeless, yet turned away from crowded shelters.  About teens exploited by family members (or kicked out of the house for being gay or transgender)…In other words:  systemic factors that have little to do with the actions of predators…one group of advocates long clamored for classified-ad sites, like Craigslist or Backpage, to be abolished — holding on to false hopes that eliminating these platforms would eliminate exploitation…the data I’ve seen suggests that this approach is neither effective nor productive…

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #29)

Cop threats to persecute travelling whores aren’t confined to the US:

…commissioner…Charity Katanga has warned that police will arrest…sex workers who have…started migrating from Kitwe to Livingstone ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August…Mrs Katanga said the laws of Zambia…are clear…“If we do not find appropriate charges to slap on them, we will throw them in jail.  If they are migrating to Livingstone, we will also ‘migrate’ so that we can deal with them ruthlessly”…Laura Lee

The Public Eye

A profile of activist Laura Lee:

Growing up in a strict Irish Catholic family, Laura Lee was lined up for a respectable career as a lawyer.  But after watching a film…she wanted to become a call girl.  Aged 19…[she] took on a Saturday job at a massage parlour.  Now 35 and mum to a 12-year-old daughter, Laura campaigns for sex workers’ rights…

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

A year and a half ago sex worker activists wondered if the creation of a single police force for Scotland would be a good or a bad thing.  Now the news is in:  it’s extremely bad:

Brothels were targeted by…police…who accompanied social workers to help potential victims…Customers and employees were taken onto the street and questioned at seven saunas…officers are pursuing inquiries relating to several serious sexual offences…police said:  “Three people…have been charged with drugs offences…and it is estimated that assets worth in excess of £500,000 have been seized”…Since the country’s eight forces came under the single Police Scotland umbrella, regional variations in policy have surfaced…Edinburgh’s apparent sanctioning of prostitution had created a climate whereby city officials had to defend perceived leniency on the practice…

That £500,000 theft gives away the motive, and this demonstrates what I said Thursday about policies vs. laws.

Number Puzzle

Feminist Ire continues its robust tradition of debunking prohibitionist lies, this time in a guest post by Matthias Lehmann and Sonja Dolinsek:

Der Spiegel published a…deeply flawed report…about…[sex] trafficking…Prostitution…has been legal in Germany since 1927…the new prostitution law of 2002 changed some aspects pertaining to the legal relationship between sex workers and clients and some criminal law provisions.  It recognized the contract between sex workers and clients as legal and introduced the rights of sex workers to sue clients unwilling to pay for sexual services already provided.  In addition, sex workers received the right to health insurance and social security…What is misleadingly called the ”legalization“ of prostitution is actually the recognition of sex work as labor.  However…some states actually never implemented the new law…Most states…declare…[so many restrictions] prostitution [is] de facto illegal…sex work is not allowed for non-EU nationals…who…are thus…excluded from the law [and] therefore [cannot be protected by it]…

Big Sister (TW3 #139)

The UK emulates China and the Muslim theocracies:

Internet and telecom companies will be ordered by the Government to block “harmful” content…Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, has summoned the bosses of companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to a summit…at which she will demand…industry-wide co-operation to prevent the…sharing of  harmful material…[including] illegal porn, images of child abuse, material that could incite religious or racial hatred and so-called “suicide websites”…Possible new measures include greater use of online filters; making public Wi-Fi more “family friendly” so children cannot access harmful material…ensuring all companies sign up to industry guidelines and setting up permanent bodies to monitor content…

Because obviously, government is best-equipped to judge what’s “harmful”, and if the filters just happen to block educational and political content, too…well, omelettes and eggs and all.

Oscillation (TW3 #312)

A rare defeat for control freaks:

The federal government…told a judge it will…comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.  The decision ends a years-long fight between…Obama’s administration, which had argued that age limits for the morning-after pill are common sense, and women’s rights groups, which insisted the drug should be made…freely available…

jury nullificationAnti-sex groups claim the decision “takes away the rights of girls’ parents”…to ruin their daughters’ entire lives for one mistake.

The Story Behind the Story

Rob Arthur alerted me to the fact that Ricardo Cortés has written and illustrated a short, FREE primer on jury nullification entitled “Jury Independence Illustrated”.  Please read it, download it and disseminate it as widely as possible; it’s time people were reminded of their power to overrule the rulers.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #315)

Drowning was the cause of death for Terrilynn Monette, the missing…teacher whose body was discovered in Bayou St. John…more than three months after…[disappearing] early on March 2…she…had been drinking, and…told friends…that she planned to sleep in her car for a while before driving to her apartment…

I lived near that bayou for years; there is nothing to stop a tipsy, exhausted woman from driving off the street and into it, without any help from Russian Mafia sex traffickers.

An Example to the West (TW3 #316)

One of Bolivia’s sex workers organizations, Organización de Trabajadoras Nocturnas (OTN), has called for the legalization of sex work in Bolivia and for sex workers to be granted retirement benefits and health insurance…The OTN has 50,000 affiliates, 80 percent of whom work in nightclubs…ONAEM (Organización Nacional de Activistas por la Emancipación de la Mujer), a major national women’s emancipation organization…supports [their] demands…

Bottleneck (TW3 #317)

Scarlet Alliance…is urging the Federal Government to expand [a] controversial visa to cover foreign escorts…Jules Kim…said sex workers were just as skilled as other workers allowed to fly into Australia on the four-year work visas…The Immigration Department…said sex workers were not considered “skilled” because the job did not require a degree or diploma…but Scarlet Alliance…said overseas sex workers would be vulnerable to…exploitation unless they could apply for a long-term work visa…

Deafening Silence

In an incident that underlined the harsh treatment often meted out to Chinese sex workers, a…female police officer was “punched in the face” and “dragged” from a hotel room during a botched anti-vice operation…Ms Wang…had been visiting her daughter in…Zhengzhou…when police unexpectedly appeared at the door…she told the men she was also a member of the police…but her pleas fell on deaf ears…

Guest Columnist:  Sarah Woolley

Amnesty International logoAs Sarah explained, the Paisley branch of respected human rights group Amnesty International made the bizarre decision to endorse Scotland’s attempt to impose the Swedish model despite clear proof that it harms sex workers.  When Wendy Lyon informed Amnesty of this, the organization immediately demanded the branch revoke its endorsement and, as Melissa Gira Grant explains, has now issued (for the first time) a clear pro-decriminalization statement:  “What…Paisley Branch have done – perhaps entirely despite themselves – is to push Amnesty International to state their opposition to the criminalisation of sex workers and of adult consensual sex more clearly….sex workers in Scotland and around the world…can now claim Amnesty International in their corner.”

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Sex is the gateway to life. –  Frank Harris

It’s easy to tell when a lawhead can see no valid reason for a law restricting some consensual activity:  he declares that it tends to lead to some other activity which is unambiguously bad.  For those who haven’t encountered the word in my writings before, “lawhead” is my term for those strange (but alas, all too common) individuals who believe that legal declarations have existence in objective fact; to a lawhead someone 17 years and 364 days old is a bona fide child, just as much as a toddler is, because the law declares it so. And if a law declares something wrong it MUST be wrong for some reason, even if the lawhead cannot himself discern that reason.  For example, lawheads counter scientific and anecdotal evidence that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol by declaring it a “gateway drug” which inevitably leads to more serious, harmful drugs like heroin.  The lawhead cannot accept that marijuana prohibition could possibly be wrong, so he must invent a lie to justify that prohibition:  “It may be that marijuana is harmless,” he thinks, “but since it leads to things that aren’t the State is justified in banning it.”

The “gateway” argument is also commonly used to justify the prohibition of prostitution, as in this February 23rd article from WMC-TV in Southaven, Mississippi (thanks, Joyce!):

An undercover prostitution sting operation in Southaven, Mississippi busted five suspected prostitutes and six men.  Police Chief Tom Long hopes to send the message that Southaven will not tolerate prostitution.  “We are going to make these arrests,” said Long.  “We’re not going to write them a citation and cut them loose.  We’re going to arrest them, book them, and process them and put them through our court.”

Over the weekend undercover police officers used classified ads posted on backpage.com to invite suspected prostitutes and customers into Southaven…Long said the prostitution sting is an effort to scare the illegal activity out of Southaven.  “We have no street walking [sic] section,” said Long.  “We don’t have people walking up and down the streets and its [sic] never been a problem for us.”

And Long hopes to keep it that way.  “Anywhere you have prostitution you have drugs, you have theft, you have other crimes constantly being committed,” said Long.  A proactive approach, according to the chief, keeps the trouble elsewhere…

It should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that this is a bogus argument; how could escorts coming into town for one hour and then leaving again somehow magically lead to drug dealing and theft?  Perhaps he believes that those invisible “sex rays” which destroy the “innocence” of children have a similar effect on adults?  Is Chief Long trying to convince people that the “sex rays” from a hooker’s body radiate out through the windows of her car, causing moral degeneracy in everyone they strike? Or maybe he believes that we “traffick” in drug dealers and thieves and then leave them behind when we go like irresponsible urbanites abandoning unwanted dogs in rural areas? And then there’s the obvious contradiction inherent in his talk about streetwalkers even though his sting was directed toward escorts, and the fact that if he actually believes any of the filth he’s spouting then he is guilty of inviting crime into Southaven himself by luring hookers from outside to enter the city!

However, I don’t believe for one second that Chief Long, or the majority of the thousands of other cops who mouth this same nonsense all over the United States on a daily basis, actually believe a word of it deep down.  Those promoting these ridiculous arguments are either lawheads themselves or they’re trying to justify their tyranny to lawheads.  Because it’s pretty obvious to sensible people (i.e. those whose brains haven’t rotted from long immersion in fundamentalism or neofeminism) that prostitution is a victimless crime, a justification is needed for the laws prohibiting it or the lawhead’s entire world view is in jeopardy; so, otherwise-harmless prostitution is painted as the “gateway” to theft and other real crimes, thus inventing a reason for prohibiting it and circumventing the obvious fact that such laws are an egregious violation of women’s rights.

The “prostitution attracts crime” myth is a pretty old one; nowadays it’s largely been replaced outside of the minds of small-town cops by the “all prostitution is coerced” mythology and by fanciful claims that our private activities somehow magically “demean” all other women even if they don’t know we exist.  But in the final analysis, those aren’t very different from it, are they?  Both of those beliefs (and others like them) really proceed from the same need to recast the innocuous as harmful, not for itself but for its fancied consequences.

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