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Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

You’re gonna get tased, get on the ground now.  –  murderer Joshua Wang

I’ve been thinking about the Southern Gothic aesthetic a great deal lately (probably because my thoughts often turn to New Orleans in Mardi Gras week), and I realized that though I’ve mentioned this song before, I’ve never featured the video.  It’s probably one of the saddest and most enigmatic of all American popular songs, by one of the most brilliant singer-songwriters the country ever produced.  The links above the video were provided by Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker, Emma Evans, Scott Greenfield, and Phoenix Calida (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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If two people choose to engage in carnal activities, the terms of the encounter should be up to them, not the government.  –  Steve Chapman

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…KTRK [reporters were]…with [lying pigs]…as they [sexually assaulted Houston women in order to destroy their lives]…The…[cops’ victims] were [then] arrested for prostitution [while reporters gawked & added images of scantily-clothed women to their spank banks.  One of the pigs oinked]…”Most massage parlors we go into are fronts for prostitution and human trafficking [so we really enjoy raping them while fantasizing they’re victims of others besides us]”…”I’m very passionate about [masturbating while thinking of] this”…said Ann Johnson, a [prohibitionist masquerading as a] defense attorney…

Confined and Controlled (#335)

This isn’t intended to increase sex workers’ range of options, but to control us a la Nevada:

Italian…League party leader Matteo Salvini’ [said]…“I would back reopening the ‘closed houses’…taking [sex workers]…off the streets is the right thing to do”…Efforts by previous governments to [criminalize sex work]…or [impose humiliating and unnecessary government]…health [inspections] have failed…

Shift in the Wind (#762)

Pro-decriminalization essays in newspapers are no longer a rarity:

The trafficking victims were mostly underage, held in harsh servitude and forced to spend long hours satisfying the needs of paying customers.  Prostitutes at a massage parlor in Jupiter, Fla.?  No.  An egg farm in Ohio where, federal authorities reported, kids as young as 14 were put to work cutting beaks off chickens and shoveling chicken excrement…in the St. Louis area, “agriculture, landscaping, construction and domestic servitude represented the top industries for forced labor.”  Is a homeowner whose lawn is done by a landscaping crew a monster because some of the workers were trafficked? How would the homeowner know? How would Kraft have known?  But commercial sex carries a stigma that lawn mowing doesn’t.  Anti-prostitution alarmists insist that…only criminal coercion, unconscionable manipulation or poverty could induce anyone to endure such shame.  Plenty of sex workers…disagree.  One of them is Maggie McNeill, whose new documentary is called The War on Whores.  She says, “We all have to make a living. There’s no rational reason for anyone to say that my choices are less valid merely because they involve sex”…

Guinea Pigs (#881) 

First it was supposedly about “terrorists”, then “sex trafficking”, and your business or home is next:

A central component of the recent…massage-parlor [pogroms] was the secret installation of hidden cameras at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.  Now defense attorneys are challenging the legality of this…such surveillance stems from a provision of the PATRIOT Act that was passed [under the pretense that]…the power [would only be used] against possible terrorists.  “But the tactic has spilled over to…other [so-called] crimes”…notes Lisa J. Hurriash at the South Florida Sun Sentinel…Police were able to secretly install the surveillance cameras thanks to a sneak-and-peek warrant…[which] in practice [ha]ve mainly been used in [surveillance] of drug [users]…”sneak and peek warrants are not just being used in exceptional circumstances…but as an everyday investigative tool,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned five years ago…just as…cops and fed[s]…have used anti-terrorism tools to prosecute potheads, they’ve been keen on attacking all prostitution…as “human trafficking,” a federal crime.  Police in Palm Beach and Jupiter counties have been trotting out that claim this time too, although no sex trafficking or forced labor charges have been filed

Damned Lies (#886)

I guess it’s a good thing that Politifact once again debunked the “whores only live 7 years” lie, quoting veteran activist Bella Robinson in the process (its first debunking of the same lie was in May 2015, and quoted yours truly).  I just wish they weren’t so ridiculously timid about it, and that these debunkings were actually reprinted by other sources so we wouldn’t have to hear the same completely-ridiculous claims again and again and again, especially by politicians as support for expanding the police state.

To Molest and Rape (#887) 

In which rape of minors is described as “caregiving”:

Thousands of migrant children…suffered sexual abuse…[at the hands of] U.S. government [actors] over the past four years…over a thousand allegations of sexual abuse against unaccompanied minors [locked in cages by the government]…were reported to federal authorities each fiscal year since 2015.  In total, between October 2014 and July 2018, 4,556 sexual abuse complaints were reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)…[which will] not reveal specific information about the [rapists except]…in 178 cases [where]…the Justice Department [reported] adult caregivers at U.S. facilities were reported to have sexually abused migrant minors…California Rep. Lou Correa…accused the Trump administration of a “systematic cover up” [but had nothing to say about the over 2000 rapes that occured during the Obama administration]…Most of the accused [rapist screws, pigs, spooks and paper-pushers mentioned by the DoJ] were immediately removed from duty and some cases were referred to [other pigs]…Some…were terminated, but others were reinstated…

Because abducting, caging & raping kids isn’t “sex trafficking” when the government does it.

Divided We Fall (#902)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

…in the six months following Southern Decadence, several citations have been issued by the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control Office (ATC) to multiple LGBTQ+ bars and spaces across New Orleans in an operation that appears similar to [the raids on strip clubs] in 2016 [and early 2018].  The ATC [pretend]s that they are not targeting the LGBTQ+ community, but simply investigating and responding to complaints that have been called into their office [by cops]…at least one Bourbon Street strip club had its license suspended…[plus] two others…in New Orleans East…Michael Musa…[of] the Rawhide Lounge [said]…they received “numerous fines, citations, and imposed regulations on how to operate.”  The Rawhide chose to fight the ATC…whichattempted to persuade The Rawhide into dropping the case or accepting a settlement on the issue…Rawhide declined several settlement offers in the interest of protecting their community…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#903) 

If you think about it, this was a wholly predictable development:

Some adult dancers in Los Angeles say they aren’t getting a fair shake at…strip clubs…The group calls themselves “Soldiers of Pole” and they…want, among other things, fair wages after…a state court ruling changed their status from independent contractors to actual employees.  Now clubs have to pay them an hourly wage but…management is keeping a bigger chunk of their tips, and charging them new fees.  “We no longer should have to pay to work.  We shouldn’t have to pay house fees.  We shouldn’t have to give any sort of percentage of our tips to management or any other employees”…

On Tape

Prohibitionists: “Where on Earth did Trump get the idea that ‘sex trafficking’ victims are transported in trucks with their mouths taped?

Jordan Giddens [fantasizes] he was drugged, assaulted and nearly became a victim of human trafficking back in 2015…Giddens [claims] someone drugged his drink at a Birmingham bar while he was in the restroom…“We pulled up behind a U-Haul…which literally had people with duct taped mouths and their hands behind their back.  And at that point I really started to freak out and realize, okay something is wrong.” Giddens managed to escape [with his super kung-fu powers], but not all are as fortunate.  [His wanking fantasy is promoted by] Sunny Slaughter…a [self-proclaimed] anti-human trafficking expert [who] has [told this and similar tall tales] in several current human trafficking courses for [cops] in Alabama…

Signs (#912)

Dallas Morning News “sex trafficking” propaganda is deeply stupid even by the low standards of US “journalism”:

Pretty Woman…reveals the longstanding complicity of the hospitality industry in the trafficking of sex.  Early in the film, the hotel manager takes Vivian aside and says he is “willing to overlook” the trafficking of sex for “special guests” of the hotel, as long as she dresses “more appropriately”…hotels and motels too often turn a blind eye to sex trafficking.  Sadly, many businesses choose profit over freedom for the thousands of young women and girls…It’s also owners, managers and workers in the transportation industry, including airlines, rental car, limousine and taxi companies and other ride-sharing services…

Don’t be misled by the incredible idiocy of using a Disney adaptation of “Cinderella” as “proof” of anything, nor by the blatant equation of sex work with “slavery”:  this article is paid propaganda for Polaris’ new drive to cajole, trick, shame & manipulate every public-facing industry into acting as a fascist surveillance network intended to curtail the freedom of all women by summoning the pigs to harass us if we dare move about the world as men do.

Safe Position (#918)

A positive article on Decrim NY in Jezebel, which has never been very good on sex work:

…members of Decrim NY hope to leverage a reactive political climate to make New York the first state in the country to successfully enact this kind of reform…Unlike the so-called “Nordic model”…the group is hoping to…decriminaliz[e] the practice entirely…Though even Amnesty International voted to endorse full decriminalization three years ago, reform in America has been [nonexistent]…Anti-[sex worker] organizations invoke ghoulish scenarios and claim decriminalization will make women unsafe…Decrim NY responded to [Kamala] Harris, saying her call for a model that criminalized people who buy sex, particularly following her previous positions…[is] “about political opportunism while still getting to do the dangerous moralizing on sex work that, quite literally, kills people in our country”…There is overwhelming research supporting the idea that police and state interaction with sex workers makes an already vulnerable population even more unsafe, and that laws as they’re currently written, in addition to being absurd and ripe for abuse, facilitate deeply biased practices…

See the next item for more on Harris’ opportunistic lies.

Top Cop (#918)

The hopelessly-square Advocate tries to neuter an excellent anti-Copmala op-ed by slapping a weaselly headline on it:

…headlines [claiming that Kamala Harris supports decriminalizing sex work] are irresponsible and false…Harris has a career-long history of anti-sex worker efforts.  In 2008, Harris advocated against a ballot initiative that would decriminalize sex work in San Francisco, saying, “I think it’s completely ridiculous”…Harris did more than “support” FOSTA/SESTA — she was integral to their passage…and released a statement of victory when they passed…Harris clarifies her stance on prostitution…as…the Nordic model…she sees the act of buying sex as…crime…[on the topic of] Backpage.com…she dramatically repeats the phrase, “They were selling children”…Gay men, in particular, should bristle at th[is] decades-old…argument, which has been used by politicians for decades to strip us of employment and attack our rights.  For Harris, “selling children” is a scare tactic, a buzzword for people who don’t understand much about…sex work…

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The government has…tried to financially strangle these defendants at every turn.  –  Ariel Neuman

Droit du Seigneur

Hey, King County; maybe you should consult Matthew 7:3 for your “sex trafficking” policy:

Mark L. Norton, the superintendent of transit security…for King County Metro, was arrested…for allegedly “coercing a female to engage in commercial sex acts in King and Snohomish Counties.”  Norton…allegedly “groomed” the victim for five years while [she] was a babysitter for Norton’s children, using “emotional and psychological coercion [to] convince [her] to participate in prostitution for his benefit…the suspect operated as a pimp and pressured the victim to engage in prostitution on numerous occasions…and kept [her fees]”…ironically, King County Metro’s buses were recently covered with anti-trafficking signs as part of a [propaganda] campaign…by the…County…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#335)

Destroying sex workers’ safety net, one internet “improvement” at a time:

…Google could be putting [Irish sex workers] at risk by blocking key functions on an app used to warn of dangerous clients.  The tech giant decided…to include limits on call logs and SMS permission access on apps in the Google Play store…[this could cripple] an Android app called Ugly Mugs, which…has been using advanced access features since 2013…[to] screen…incoming calls and text messages to sex workers and alert…them if [the initiating] number…is in the app’s database…

He Said, She Said (#624)

A psychiatrist who has sex with patients is a fool.  A male psychiatrist who draws vulnerable female patients into kink relationships is a dangerous fool:

…psychiatrist…Keith Ablow…[is facing malpractice lawsuits from three female patients who say he] abused his position while treating them for acute depression…the…therapist…encouraged women to trust and rely on him, then coaxed them into [BDSM] sexual activities, often during treatment sessions for which they were charged…three women who worked for Ablow [also] agreed to file affidavits, included in the lawsuits…that Ablow sexually harassed them, too.  One former staffer, Amy Dixon, said she had sex with Ablow during which he would regularly hit her and that he told her he wanted a “master/slave relationship”…In all three cases, the women…relocated from other states, at Ablow’s request, to be closer to his Newburyport [Massachusetts] office where he…treat[ed them] for depression…[with] Ketamine…in conjunction with talk therapy…

Ablow, who was a consultant for Fox News for years, has been mentioned in this blog before.

To Molest and Rape

When a cop rapes kids, there’s usually at least some chance of a conviction: “…[cops from] the Cascade County [Montana] Sheriff’s Office and agents from Homeland Security [quietly] arrested [rapist pig] Virgil Wolfe on 80 counts of sexual abuse of children…

False Target (#873)

Using “gayness tests” to deport refugees spreads to the UK:

A [67-year-old] man faces deportation to Malaysia, where homosexuality is illegal, after the Home Office [claimed] it did not believe he was gay – suggesting it was suspicious that [a 67-year-old migrant] did not have a boyfriend.  Yew Fook Sam…will be persecuted and imprisoned for his sexuality if he is deported to Malaysia, where homosexual acts are punishable under federal and sometimes sharia law.  He fears he will be forced to undergo gay conversion therapy should he be returned to the country, where the opposition leader last year blamed gay people for causing earthquakes and a lesbian couple were caned publicly for having sex in a car…

Dangerous Speech (#880)

The government keeps making up new rules in its war on thought:

…federal prosecutors are arguing that they’re entitled to all money made by Backpage, even proceeds derived from unquestionably legal ads, and that decades worth of earnings made by former Backpage leaders before the website even existed are also tainted…their lawyers [state in a recent filng that] “Virtually all of the Defendants’ assets have been seized, virtually all of the money in their attorneys’ trust accounts designated to fund the defense has been been seized or is effectively frozen,” and defense lawyers “may expose themselves to criminal liability if they use those funds to pay fees” from the case…the Cato Institute, DKT Liberty Project, and the Reason Foundation…filed a brief in support of the defendants on this matter…”The government has shut down a major internet site and confiscated millions of dollars of assets and proceeds not only from that site, but also from defendants’ numerous other publishing venues—ventures completely unrelated to the alleged criminality of the site and indisputably protected by the First Amendment…The history of government efforts to suppress and censor disfavored speakers, particularly speakers who offer sexually explicit materials, is long [and has]…involved tactics…designed to bankrupt speakers by forcing them to litigate on multiple fronts to prove that their speech is protected by the First Amendment”…

Dutch Threat (#885) 

Dutch authorities are now pretending their attempts to Disnify De Wallen are really intended to help sex workers:

…the De Wallen neighborhood…could soon face [forcible gentific]ation as local government officials strive to implement a new policy, set to increase the number of sex-work permits beyond De Wallen in an attempt to p[ush] sex workers…elsewhere…the Netherlands has been increasingly [aggressive] in [selling its Disnification efforts as] combating human trafficking…the…government…shut down many coffee shops and 112 sex-worker windows…pushing many sex workers towards illegal work or abroad to Brussels…[due to increased harassment] it’s often no longer in the interest of many independent workers to be registered under Amsterdam’s Municipal Ordinance…because sex workers [are rightly concerned] that their…work might be [criminalized or they might be branded “victims” against their will]…sex workers are increasingly demanding…the ability to book clients online and work [legally]  from home…

Traffic in Nonsense (#896)

The “sex trafficking” propaganda from these fetishists is some of the most blatantly derived from sexual fantasy in the entire rescue industry:

A national group is trying to get people not to…[listen to] sex workers, but to [instead label] them as…victims of human trafficking [no matter what they say about their own lives].  The group Truckers Against Trafficking [indoctrinates] truck drivers–and others–[in] how to [project their fantasies about] modern day slavery [on other people without their consent]…Ohio has been [trying to convince people that it’s] a hotbed of human trafficking in recent years…

A Broker in Pillage (#896)

SCOTUS demolishes a major pillar of government extortion schemes:

States are bound by the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive fines and fees when they seek to [steal]…assets from individuals charged or convicted of a crime, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously…It’s a decision that hands a major victory to critics of civil asset forfeiture, and it opens another avenue to legal challenges against that widely…abused…practice by which states and local governments can seize carscashhomes, and pretty much anything else…[under the pretense that it was] used to commit a crime…Timbs v. Indiana, involved the seizure of a $42,000 Land Rover…from Tyson Timbs…During oral arguments in November, Indiana’s solicitor general got boxed into a corner by Justice Stephen Breyer, who managed to twist the government’s lawyer into arguing that Indiana should be allowed to seize vehicles for as small an offense as driving 5 mph over the speed limit, which literally elicited laughter in the courtroom…

The Crumbling Dam (#901)

The law is the law and if more people die, tough shit“:

…The U.S. Department of Justice took aim…at the movement to open a supervised consumption site in Philadelphia…[with] a civil lawsuit…against Philadelphia-based nonprofit Safehouse, asking the the U.S. District Court to rule that safe injection sites violate federal law…Ronda B. Goldfein, vice president of Safehouse…said the federal government is using the “crack house” statute in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986…[which] was [supposedly] intended to prevent businesses from profiting off drug consumption…

The Widening Gyre (#911)

I’m really happy to see Uber hoist on its own “sex trafficking” petard:

On February 19 2019, a woman shared a [fantasy of the type common in moral panics]…that a phony Uber driver in Tampa had nearly successfully abducted her for the purposes of sex trafficking…Within 48 hours, the post had been shared more than half a million times…[because of] its similarities to long-circulating urban legends involving nearly identical scenarios at locations [such] as Target, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart…police were able to verify that she did indeed get in the wrong car, but [pretended] they were perplexed as to how Hurley concluded that the mix-up was due to “sex trafficking” [despite the fact that they have themselves been spreading scare stories about “sex trafficking” for a decade now]…the car entered by Hurley was in fact a legitimate Uber driver, not an Uber impersonator.  The [hysteric] called for an Uber at the airport and appeared to have entered one of the several other Ubers not there for her…[her claim that] she “later found out” that the Uber driver was “a sex traffic worker”…[even though] police said [no]thing like that at all [is typical of the way “sex trafficking” propaganda tales are boosted by false claims of official verification]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#913) 

The fascists don’t want their surveillance powers limited by mere civil rights:

Microsoft is pushing back on a bill sponsored by a…group of Washington state [politicians] that would ban local and state governments from using facial recognition until certain conditions are met…Microsoft has endorsed a [much weaker]…bill…[with largely cosmetic] facial-recognition rules…Shankar Narayan, director of the technology and liberty project of the ACLU’s Washington chapter, says requiring public notice of face recognition won’t check its use, and he warns that authorities [will] use the “emergency” exception as a loophole. “Microsoft’s bill has us heading to a world where face surveillance is ubiquitous and the norm,” Narayan says…

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Last week, one of my Twitter readers mentioned that as foster parents, he and his wife were obliged to take a “sex trafficking” indoctrination intended to convince them that “pimps” were lying in wait for every foster kid, and the only solution was intense helicopter parenting.  Since he reads my writing, naturally he was skeptical and asked if I knew the truth about the prevalence of “sex trafficking” among foster kids; I explained that the problem is that under federal law, any sex work by a legal minor is considered “sex trafficking”, even when (as in 90% of the cases) there is no “trafficker”.  The great majority of underage sex workers do it as a survival tool to make it on the street, because the great majority are homeless runaways or throwaways.  Most of these kids would be happy to leave sex work if their needs were taken care of by supportive foster parents; unfortunately, the foster care system is by and large a shitshow, and foster parents who are both financially and emotionally supportive are a small minority.  The “authorities” know how bad the system is, but their jobs depend on hiding & denying it.  So when a foster kid who’s being maltreated, used as a servant, repressed by Christian “spare the rod” fetishists, or even sexually abused says, “fuck this, I know how to make it on the street” and runs back to that rather than endure the abuse, both the state and the abusive foster parents are highly motivated to blame imaginary “pimps” for abducting the kid again, when in reality she’s doing what she needs to survive in the way she learned after running away from her birth parents.  Lists of “signs of sex trafficking” are especially vile because they encourage foster parents to engage in exactly the kind of snooping, repression and social control that is most likely to drive an independent teenager back to the street.  My advice to foster parents who really, truly want to help is to ignore this BS.  Respect this young person you’ve volunteered to help; remember that they’re a young adult, not a “child”, and has probably lived on their own for at least some period of time.  You can’t put them back in the nursery, or monitor their every move, or “cure” their queerness (the majority of underage sex workers are LGBT), or spout this “tough love” BS, or they will bolt.  Support them, talk to them, trust them to the extent possible and practical, let them know they can be honest with you, and be there for them.  And then hope for the best.

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Camming gave me money, and money changed my life.  –  Cortana Blue

The Public Eye 

Another sex worker turned performing artist:

Laika, 27, is an up-and-coming pop artist from Toronto…Though she’s new to the world of pop music, she’s entered it with somewhat of a celebrity status…because, up until recently, she’s been known by another alias: Cortana Blue…one of the most popular camgirls on the planet…Her premium Snapchat…currently has 2,500 followers, and would be much higher, had it not been previously [censored]…Her Twitter and Instagram both exceed the 100K follower mark, the latter having been [censored] on more than one occasion as well…A “past life” as a sex worker can be a source of stigma and shame for some public figures, but shifts in how sex workers interact with audiences on social media have helped artists like Cardi B…thrive in the mainstream in part because of—not in spite of—a career in sex work…[but] Cardi…left sex work before monetizing her other interests in a new career.  Laika, on the other hand, doesn’t see sex work as a means to an end. Instead, she sees it as a tool that can be flipped and utilized to fight stigma, all while setting her apart in the music world…

Divided We Fall (#511) 

“Promoting debauchery” is illegal in Egypt.  You know, like “promoting prostitution” in the US:

An Egyptian TV host was sentenced to one year of hard labor for interviewing a gay sex worker…Mohamed El-Gheity, a well-known journalist in Egypt who has spoken out against homosexuality, is accused of promoting debauchery…The hosting channel, LTC, was taken off air for two weeks immediately after the episode aired for violating a decree…that bans the appearance of gay people on media outlets…While homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Egypt, members of the LGBT community are often persecuted under an anti-prostitution law…

To Molest and Rape 

When you’re a cop, rape is minimized to “sexual misconduct”:

…[a rapist] Tucson [cop was] accused of sexual misconduct [instead of rape after he raped] a woman he was [persecuting]…[rapist] Richard Daniel told the woman he wouldn’t take her to jail if she would [let him orally rape her]…The woman’s husband was the one who called police to report the [rape]…Daniel was arrested Sunday, Jan. 20 on charges of unlawful sexual conduct by a police officer and tampering with evidence [but not rape]…

Under Review (#733)

The UK press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of online escort ads yet:

Hundreds of men and women are openly advertising their services as sex workers on…controversial website Adultwork.  Last year, a government report [fantas]ised…that [escort advertising] websites were “the most significant enabler of sex-trafficking in the UK”.  The report f[antasise]d that the sites were being used by traffickers to control the profiles of sex workers…allowing women to be trafficked around the country for sex by criminal gangs

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves.  Also, escort ad sites are only “controversial” among authoritarians.

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#736) 

Cops never miss a chance to humiliate marginalized people:

…Cops from the Jacksonville [Florida] Sheriff’s Office found [a woman] at about 10:30 [PM on January 21st] night with a gunshot wound to her shoulder…[cops claim] she agreed to perform a sexual act with a man in exchange for Pringles potato chips and $5…[then] he [demanded] his $5 back and shot the woman…

Of course, the reporter didn’t bother to interview the woman, so there’s a strong possibility cops just made up the cheap price & chips.  Cops in several places, especially Florida, now think it’s funny to humiliate marginalized women by offering them some low amount of money and fast food, then arresting them and telling the story to reporters, hardy-har-har.

Morality Lessons (#826) 

Leave it to authoritarians to make an unconstitutional censorship scheme even worse:

An Arizona state [politician named Gail Griffin] has [introduced a new version of anti-porn crackpot Chris Sevier’s bill to]…require makers and distributors of Internet-connected devices to ship such devices with blocking software “that renders a website that displays obscene material inaccessible by default”…any Internet user who wants to deactivate the blocking software would have to pay “a onetime deactivation fee of at least $20 to the Arizona Commerce Authority”…[in this version] the money would be used to establish what the bill calls the “John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Fund”…[to] “provide grants to government agencies and private entities that work to [promote censorship, prohibition and racism]”…the bill provides a list of 10 types of projects that could be funded by the porn fee.  First on the list is “build a border wall between Mexico and this state”…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#867)

The public will believe anything it sees on billboards, no matter how ridiculous:

For the sixth straight year, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley rolled out a line of billboards and bus shelter posters to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…This year’s bright yellow signage includes the [slogan], “He made me feel special, then he made me sell my body,” followed by, “He’s not a real boyfriend. This is human trafficking!”…four weeks of [the] ads [costs] about $133,000 [that could have been used for shelters for actual homeless teens]…“The Bay Area is still a hot spot for human trafficking,” O’Malley [fantasized]…

Surplus Women (#898) 

It’s rare to see a sympathetic article in the UK press:

…a [London] sex worker…[named] Anna…[said] her most traumatic experience remains the death of friend Destiny Lauren, murdered by a client in 2009…”When he didn’t have enough money to pay her he strangled her and left her half-naked in the bed, he tied her arms behind her back with stockings. Her brother found her like that.”  A decade later, shocking parallels can be drawn between Destiny’s murder and that of escort Christina Abbotts last year as figures reveal a rise in violence against sex workers…Christina and Destiny are two of around 180 sex workers in the UK who were murdered between 1990 and 2015…In the year Destiny died, changes in legislation further penalised kerb-crawling as well as selling sex.  The laws also made it easier for police to close premises where women were working together collectively [for safety]…

Traffic Jam (#900)

Another anti-migrant pogrom using the excuse of “sex trafficking”:

A federal grand jury in Oregon has returned two indictments charging six people with running sex trafficking organizations operating in the U.S., Canada and Australia…The FBI…coordinate[d pogroms] targeting [Asian massage parlors and advertising sites, to which they applied the dysphemism]…Asian sex trafficking networks.  As part of the [pogrom], the FBI seized…about 500 [websites]…[and] a[rre]sted five [sex workers they labeled] victims in Oregon…

Top Cop 

This article dramatically understates her awfulness, but it’s still not bad:

Harris’s [pretense to be] a progressive figure while simultaneously taking a “tough on crime” stance as a prosecutor has been a common thread throughout her career, way before Backpage and FOSTA…New York Times op-ed published last week outlines several instances when, as California’s top prosecutor, she fought to keep people in jail…In her running announcement, Harris [uttered the tone-deaf statement], “I think it is a false choice to suggest that communities do not want law enforcement.  Most communities do”…But [marginalized] people…would disagree with wanting more law enforcement presence in their communities, especially when it comes to sex work…

Lack of Evidence (#907) 

It’s fascinating to watch imbecile “journalists” tangled up in their own stupid assumptions:

Why are single women still mistaken for prostitutes?  Especially, you would think, if that restaurant is in the middle of New York, one of the most progressive cities on the planet….when Clementine Crawford was reportedly told she could no longer sit at the bar of her favourite Manhattan restaurant, she was confused…”All these years we have been battling for a room of one’s own,” she wrote. “Little did we know it, but we are still fighting for a seat at the table (or bar, to be strictly accurate)”…eating alone as a single woman is – for many – a daunting process.  The protective barrier of a book or, more recently, a phone, makes it easier.  Somehow you feel less exposed, less vulnerable…

Yes, this idiot is actually obsessing about the fact that this happened at a restaurant, as though somehow women eating alone were the issue, when in actuality the problem is “progressive” laws that allow cops to police female sexuality based on their whims and supported by “progressive” assumptions that how a woman chooses to make money is any of “society’s” business.  The stupid question in the headline is immediately answered in the story:  New York is indeed a “progressive” city, one that thinks it has the right to interfere in people’s private business with violence.  THAT is the issue, not fake “feminism” which divides women into “good” and “bad” and pretends that privileged white women being caught up in the authoritarian laws they support is somehow about inappropriate quoting of Virginia Woolf.

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I am here of my own free will and no one has threatened me.  –  Irish sex worker to cops, during a raid

Counterfeit Comfort 

Facts have absolutely nothing to do with US sex laws:

…in…2002’s McKune v. Lile…Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a plurality opinion that there was a “frightening and high risk of recidivism” for [sex offenders]…and that “the rate of recidivism of untreated offenders has been estimated to be as high as 80 percent.”  That statement has since been used in numerous legal verdicts as well as to support countless pieces of state and local legislation aimed at curbing the rights of those found guilty of [sex] crimes…[but] the sole piece of evidence that led Justice Kennedy to make such a bold claim came from a 1986 Psychology Today article written by Ronald Longo, a counselor…in an Oregon prison—and there was absolutely no statistical basis for his “80 percent” assertion.  Moreover, Longo himself has since rejected that figure…actual sex-offender recidivism rates are low.  In three-year studies done by Connecticut, Alaska, Nebraska, Maine, New York and California, recidivism figures are generally less than 4 percent—hardly a “frightening and high” figure.  Furthermore, most conclude that there’s no correlation between recidivism rates and geographic proximity, meaning that laws passed to keep registered sex offenders from living close to schools, playgrounds, or other kid-centric areas generally have no impact; if wrongdoers are likely to seek prey nearby, it’s often in their own homes, or in churches or educational settings, where they know their intended targets…

Gingerbread House

Quite possibly the most appalling euphemism for “jail” of the entire moral panic:

Vista Maria plans to break ground this spring on a new human trafficking stabilization center to improve and expand services for young female victims…The new Aaron and Helen L. DeRoy Stabilization Treatment Center will provide residential treatment housing for up to 16 girls, doubling Vista Maria’s current capacity, and a first-of-its-kind emergency intake wing to provide services for up to three rescued adolescent girls…with best practices gleaned from [prohibitionists and cops]…

Whimsical Notions

Based on my experience, this is like demoting a captain for eating at local restaurants:

Capt. Travis Zettel…commander of the USS Bremerton was removed from his post and demoted last summer…the Navy did not elaborate on his dismissal, only saying that there were “questions of inappropriate personal conduct” and that his superior officers had lost confidence in his ability to lead his crew…The Kitsap Sun filed a Freedom of Information request…and discovered that Capt. Travis Zettel was relieved from command because he had hired prostitutes while in the Philippines.  A [snitch] called the inspector general’s office and said that Zettel had requested ten local women to come to his hotel room in Subic Bay…

It’s like watching an entire culture lobotomizing itself.

Where Are the Victims? (#631)

There weren’t any actual victims, but we just have to harass and threaten people, because SEEWEEUSS UFFENSE!

A woman running massage parlours in Dublin who…thought the offering of “manual relief” was legal has received a suspended prison sentence.  Nan Wu…[was] sentenced…to two years imprisonment, but [the judge] suspended the entirety of the sentence…[the cops] admitted…that there was no evidence of coercion and that one of the woman working at the parlour had told gardaí “I am here of my own free will and no one has threatened me”…there was no sexual intercourse taking place at the massage parlours and…Wu had not directed her employees to engage in sex acts…her employees kept the money they earned from [providing a normal, healthy service to clients]…Wu had believed what her employees were doing was legal.  She had once sacked an employee for [intercourse] with a client…The judge said the [only] aggravating factor in the case was the seriousness of the offence…

Traffic Jam (#656)

If you thought “pimp” classification schemes were stupid, how about “human trafficking typologies”?

Human trafficking claims some 25 million victims worldwide, but analysts are hard at work uncovering these illegal operations through state of the art methods and typologies, combining AI with human detective work.  The human trafficking epidemic is so widespread that [cops have been caught raping underage girls]…[invent]ing human trafficking rings is one of the many [profitable] issues [promoted] by UK-based [fascist collaborator] Quantexa…Typologies are compiled by analyzing many factors that make up a profile that is indicative of human trafficking behavior…“we were looking for things like lots of airline purchases to Eastern Europe [because the only] circumstances [when a woman would come from]…over here [to the UK is] to be sex trafficked…we see stuff on things like craigslist and back pages and massage parlors and this kind of stuff”…

Obviously if cops (specifically, UN “peacekeepers” in this case) rape vulnerable young women as cops have always done in every place they’ve existed, it’s part of a “human trafficking epidemic” so we should give these con artists more money.  Because women are mindless cows who only travel if “pimps” herd us, plus “craigslist and back pages and massage parlors and this kind of stuff”.  SO SCIENTIFIC!

Monsters (#730) 

US media condemns violent persecution of one sexual minority, while justifying violent persecution of another:

The Russian republic of Chechnya has launched a new crackdown on gays in which at least two people have died and about 40 people have been detained…media outlets have interviewed some of the victims, who spoke about torture at the hands of Chechen [pigs]…Chechen authorities have denied those accusations, and federal authorities [covered for them, as police states always cover up police brutality]…

Moving Pictures (#835) 

Looks like Theresa Flores has competition for the most ludicrous, exaggerated conglomeration of “sex trafficking” masturbatory fantasies intended to profit from moral panic:

Perhaps the low point of Toni Rivera’s life as a sex slave happened when she was forced to have intercourse with 23 men back-to-back to pay off her pimp’s Super Bowl bet.  Perhaps her breaking point happened when she begged a Miami cop to free her from violent bondage, only to have that police officer say that he’d love to take her home and have sex with her himself.  Or maybe Rivera’s low point came when she became a sex pimp herself and she began recruiting young girls out of churches every week.  Or maybe it was the time when a known national sex trafficker tried to grab Rivera’s 6-year-old daughter off the famously crowded 6 Train in New York City, and no one would step in to help her…Toni Rivera Presents Silent Screams on the Frontlines…is a captivating but heart-wrenching recap of how Rivera went from being a naive, small-town South Carolina teen with big dreams of being a singer who wound up being a piece of property that was bought and sold with impunity on the streets of Atlanta…the critically acclaimed film Traffik…is based partially on Rivera’s tortured existence in the sex trafficking business…

I literally LOLed at “sex pimp”, but there’s SO MUCH hilarity here…23 clients back to back!  The Super Bowl!  Violent bondage!  Hero cops!  “Recruiting” out of churches every week!  A “nationally known sex trafficker”!  And a movie that was supposedly based on this wanking fantasy, despite the filmmaker’s previous claim that it was based on “real life sex trafficking incidents near his home in Northern California“…

Pyrrhic Victory (#851) 

I’m afraid it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…A group of Amazon shareholders are looking to force a vote at the upcoming annual meeting to prevent the company from selling its facial recognition technology to the government until the company’s board of directors has a chance to look at the societal impacts…The resolution was submitted by lead filer Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood and four co-filers:  The Sisters of St. Francis Charitable Trust (Dubuque), Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, Maryknoll Sisters and Azzad Asset Management…one of three things could happen next: Amazon principals could address the shareholders’ concerns, prompting the group to withdraw the resolution; the company could take no action, which would bring the resolution to a vote at the annual meeting; or the company could fight the filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission…

Fair-Weather Friends (#881)

Every sex worker arrested in a “sting” should sue the cops if at all possible:

Stormy Daniels is suing the Columbus Division of Police and several [vice pigs for] her July 2018 arrest…her arrest was planned days before [the] July 11, 2018 performance…as part of an attempt by [cops] to disparage her character and credibility due to her criticism of President Donald Trump.  Prosecutors dropped charges against [her] hours later, saying the law cited in her arrest applied only to those who regularly performed at the club.  The city prosecutor later said the law was “glaringly inequitable” and should no longer be enforced.  The lawsuit seeks more than two million dollars in damages…

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All the excitement and hand wringing about [sex robots] was…pointless because [they] just don’t exist.  –  Mark Hay

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

The head pastor of a Methodist congregation in Orange County [California]…was charged…with two counts of molesting a girl under 14 years old…John Rodgers McFarland…was arrested…Dec. 18…San Diego County prosecutors filed two counts of lewd acts on a child…stem[ming] from incidents in 2012 and 2013…Police in Fountain Valley, where McFarland worked as a pastor at a Methodist church for 26 years, said there is “evidence that McFarland abused other victims during his time as a pastor in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach”…He was the head pastor from 1988 to 2014 at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church, and a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014…McFarland was also the youth pastor at San Dieguito United Methodist Church in Encinitas from 1978 to 1981…

Backwards into the Future (#425) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

China looks set to abolish a controversial system that lets police arbitrarily detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years without trial for “compulsory education”.  The “detention and re-education for those involved in prostitution” program, which has existed for 27 years, was recommended for abolition…by the Legislative Affairs Commission…scholars, legal practitioners and members of the public…have long lobbied for the change on the grounds such administrative detention is unjust, extrajudicial and particularly punitive.  Sex work will remain punishable …by a penalty of up to 15 days’ detention.  The parallel custody and education system [h]as…[since] 1991…authorized police to force sex workers into various forms of long-term “education” which included morality lessons, written confessions, forced labor and other humiliating activities designed to “remove evil habits”…

Shift in the Wind (#530)

More and more, the media in many countries are siding with sex workers:

On December 17th, sex workers…and…activists from Macedonia held the 11th annual “Red Umbrella March” in Skopje…The Macedonian march was organized by STAR-STAR, the first sex workers collective in the Balkans…participants demand changes to in the Criminal Code which has remained unchanged for three decades since the fall of Communism…with exception to increasing penalties for sex workers…

Divided We Fall (#672)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

…a darkening wave of internet censorship…started when Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) in March…Long before these laws were passed though, sex workers and advocates spoke out against them, [explaining] that their terms were vague and overreaching and would…decimate the digital platforms that have specifically provided a space for workers to meet, vet clients, and engage in consensual business in an online environment far safer than working on the street…The sex workers’ fears did materialize. Craigslist immediately deleted its Personals section…and Backpage…was seized by the FBI.  Multiple sex work forums disappeared immediately…harming and isolating queer people…Over the past few months alone Recon, a fetish dating site for gay men, saw their Youtube temporarily suspended…Naked Boys Reading saw their Facebook page temporarily banned…In October, Facebook was revealed to be blocking many LGBTQ+ ads as part of its new advertising policy…Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also appeared to be censoring the queer community with algorithms that, intentionally or otherwise, flag queer content at a higher rate than non-queer content…

The Mote and the Beam (#701)

I wish writers would stop these pandering claims that censorship attempts are “well-intentioned”:

…a string of civil lawsuits [has] intended to pin liability on online platforms for allegedly providing material support to terrorists.  Several federal trial courts dismissed such suits [last] year, but some of these cases are on appeal and plaintiffs have filed several new ones.  If these suits are successful…platforms would have little choice to become much more restrictive in what sorts of speech they allow…these cases…threaten the availability of open online forums and Internet users’ ability to access information.  That’s why EFF filed legal briefs in 2018 asking two different federal appellate courts to dismiss material support cases against social media platforms…So far, courts have been quick to toss out these material support lawsuits…As well-intentioned as these cases are, they pose a threat to…online communities…[they] threaten Internet users’ and the platforms’ First Amendment rights…[and] jeopardize one of the Internet’s most important laws, Section 230…

Censorship and prohibition are not, and by their very nature cannot be, “well-intentioned”.  They are attempts to control other people’s minds, bodies and lives and are thus intrinsically evil no matter how they’re excused by authoritarians.

Disaster 

It’s good to see so many journalists recognizing how dangerous the War on Whores has become.  This Forbes article on “The 9 Most Important Sex Trends Of 2018” includes the following:

…FOSTA-SESTA…opens internet platforms to liability for…user-generated content, creating a major legal risk for sites used to facilitate sex work…[and] adds to the popular, yet false, conflation of sex work with sex trafficking…The law has led to the shutdown of a number sites, groups, and forums sex workers used to facilitate their operations…[and] share safety information…and…has also…accelerated a wave of sexual censorship online…FOSTA-SESTA “is causing major havoc,” argues [sexologist Jill] McDevitt, for “anyone who uses the internet to read, research, or express themselves sexually in any way”…[experts] are worried that Twitter, the last major bastion of sexual speech online, may fall to this wave of censorship in the new year…

Imaginary Victims (#864) 

As I’ve pointed out many times, “safe harbor” laws only protect “perfect victims”, not real ones:

The Summit County Juvenile Court in Ohio didn’t follow the law when it allowed a 15-year-old girl who was a human trafficking victim to be tried as an adult in the robbery and murder of the man who trafficked her, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled…The high court, however, upheld the girl’s conviction and sentence to prison for the rest of her life…[claiming] Alexis Martin couldn’t prove that the judge’s decision to bind her over to adult court would have changed if the juvenile court had [actually followed the “safe harbor” law as it was required to do]…

Gorged With Meaning (#877)

Ignoring student sex workers would be fine; the problem is that universities are actively harming them:

Universities must stop ignoring the plight of a growing number of students turning to sex work and should start offering non-judgemental support, campaigners demand.  Students and experts have accused institutions of “simply burying their heads in the sand” over the issue…many universities are…actively blocking groups trying to support students involved in sex work.  In one case a student…sex work[er] was evicted from her home and threatened with expulsion by her university…The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP)…have fought a number of cases recently where universities have threatened to throw out students if they do not stop doing sex work…

The Course of a Disease (#884)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

The Knesset approved the first reading of a bill limiting the Israeli access to…sites presenting adult-related materials…the bill demands web-service providers to send a message to house-holds with internet access asking if they wish to have such sites blocked or not…Should they decline the offer they will be asked to provide personal information [which will then be shared with the government] proving that they are adults and are the ones paying for the service…The Knesset also approved adopting the Nordic Model…which…is…a state intervention on people’s right’s and bodies as well as a criminaliz[ation of] human activity that will be very hard to prevent…

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