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Posts Tagged ‘Get Out of the 19th Century Often?’

Government officials…think it’s not easy enough to steal people’s things.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

License to Rape

Why is it so hard for US journalists to use the word “rape” when whores are the victims?

…a South Florida man told a prostitute that he was a police officer and that he would arrest her if she refused to have sex without a condom…22-year-old Mark William Rose was arrested…and charged with impersonating a police officer in the commission of a felony and false imprisonment…Rose told arresting deputies he had previously used the…bluff about a dozen times, with three women conceding to sex…

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

News reports about prostitution stings in southern states are usually shockingly stupid, and often have not one word about “sex trafficking”:

Over two dozen men were arrested [after falling for]…a cop [decoy].  “We dirtied her up. We told her, you know, you gotta, you can’t be, this is not Pretty Woman,” [pig mouthpiece Joey] Davis [oinked]…Davis explains prostitution is a day job…”a little kid, they don’t need to see that stuff going on”…Some of the women get paid in heroin further spreading disease.  Unknowing wives may become victims.  “Was it worth it?  They didn’t ask for that.  And you don’t know, you might be signing your own death warrant”…

That’s right, kiddies; heroin causes disease!

Tyranny By Consensus

I wonder how much Michael Weinstein has cost the state of California so far?

Adult performers are speaking out against a ballot initiative that mandates condoms in porn throughout the state of California…The measure empowers everyday citizens to sue adult film producers for creating condomless porn—and offers a financial incentive for doing so. Several industry insiders…[say] they worry this would expose them to harassment from stalkers, trolls, disapproving family members and anti-porn activists…

Neither Addiction Nor EpidemicJosh Duggar

Josh Duggar…has “checked himself into a long-term treatment center,” according to a statement  issued…by the Duggar family.  Several media outlets reported that “Josh Duggar is going to rehab for porn addiction“, as if a “porn addiction” were a demonstrably real thing instead of a concept that should be relegated to the scariest of scare quotes.  Duggar’s problems are many but porn addiction is a psychological fiction propped up by the same moralism that Duggar has espoused for years.  By crying “addiction” and going to rehab, Duggar…gets to appear penitent while implicitly sending the pious message that pornography is an evil from which one must be saved…

Above the Law 

Although the term “gay” has now come to include women, I’m honestly not sure what it’s doing in the victim’s description here:

A gay transgender inmate transitioning into a woman was repeatedly raped by a Rikers Island [guard] and jail officials did nothing to stop it, a new suit charges.  The inmate, identified in court papers only as M.T., was assaulted on Dec. 2, 2012 by…L. Galan after months of harassment…Galan gave M.T. gifts like an iPod Touch, headphones, a charger, a case and $20 in cash to not report the abuse…

Bottleneck

commercial sex wasn’t “illegal” in Germany prior to 2002…ProstG removed morality language…”pimping” [laws]…limited legal recognition for contracts…and…ensuring sex worker access to employment benefits…What the 2002 Act failed to do was create federal mandates on zoning, registration, health and safety, and police power.  This left substantial jurisdiction to German states…an estimated 98% of Germany geographically, and over 90% of German towns and cities are restricted areas, and over two-thirds of German residents live in a city where commercial sex is prohibited…Berlin is one of only three german cities without restricted areas.  In other cities, street-based sex work is limited to a few blocks…if not completely forbidden…In Munich, which only allows commercial sex in 3% of the city, sex workers say police regularly stage sting operations to lure sex workers into prohibited zones.  Also unchanged by ProstG…are state police laws, which–even in liberal cities like Berlin–give police the free reign to enter wherever they suspect commercial sex is taking place…including a sex worker’s home…

Uncharted Seas

The title says it all: “All the Bad Arguments Against Polygamy, Debunked“:

Since the marriage equality movement’s recent triumph in the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision, national attention has settled on the status of polygamy, or the legal recognition of marriage between more than two partners.  Several national publications have printed arguments both for and against polygamy rights…Both right and left have taken turns making the case for polygamous marriage, and both right and left have taken turns criticizing the idea…but it’s remarkable just how many bad, sloppy, unconvincing arguments have been marshalled.  Let’s go through and refute them one by one…

My First Million (#437)

I hit the 4 million pageview mark at about 19:30 UTC last Sunday, August 30th.  Thanks to all the readers who made it happen!

4000000

Vendetta (#518)

Let’s hope the moralists all start devouring one another:

A billboard along an exit from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport could give visitors the wrong impression, according to some…travelers.  The billboard…urges men not to buy sex from prostitutes.  “Buy sex [,] lose everything” is the billboard’s message…”We need to remove it, take it down,” said John Rejebian…”I think the public needs to be spared these things”…A logo for CEASE Network is in the lower-right corner of the billboard…

New Excuse (#544)

Elizabeth N. Brown examines the profit motive behind the War on Whores:

…the government’s interest in stopping commercial gay sex is surely more motivated by the commercial aspect here than the man-on-man component.  We’re riding high on a wave of state successes in shutting down prostitution-related businesses…[under] the guise of stopping “human trafficking,” and aided by massive amounts of federal funding plus newly granted wiretapping, asset forfeiture, and other law enforcement powers.  As Scott Shackford pointed out, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) didn’t go after Rentboy.com out of a conviction that gay sex workers pose a threat to national safety but because they could seize $1.4 million from employee bank accounts, along with their homes and other assets.  This is not so much a moral crusade—not for police, prosecutors, or federal agencies anyway—as a money-grubbing one…

Ashley Madison (#557) 

Computer security expert John McAfee on the Ashley Madison “hack”:

Ashley Madison was not hacked – the data was stolen by a woman operating on her own who worked for Avid Life Media…A hacker is someone who uses a combination of high-tech cybertools and social engineering to gain illicit access to someone else’s data.  But this job was done by someone who already had the keys to the Kingdom.  It was an inside job…In my first IBTimes UK article about Act One of the Ashley Madison Affair, I alleged that the group of hackers claiming responsibility for the “hack” simply did not exist.  I gleaned this information from reliable sources within the Dark Web – which have yet to fail me.  I also claimed that it was the act of a single person.  Any adept social engineer would have easily seen this from the wording in the first manifesto published by the alleged hacking group…

I have to wonder if this employee wasn’t the anonymous tipster who provided the material for “Show and Tell“.  I also found this tidbit rather amusing:

The chief executive of…Ashley Madison is resigning…following a hack that revealed millions of user names meant to be kept secret.  Noel Biderman founded the site in 2002 to make it easier for married people to find other married people to have affairs with…Biderman…has sworn that he would never cheat or use the site.  But the hack…uncovered emails suggesting that he was conducting multiple affairs…

What Were You All Waiting For?

The Amnesty International statement is such a big deal, even the 38 “anti-trafficking” groups that make up the “Freedom Network” came out in support of it.  This is not the first time people who adhere to a version of the “trafficking” paradigm have come out for decriminalization; the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women is the most important one, and Kate D’Adamo (first listed author of the statement) is well-known as an opponent of criminalization.  But the fact that a number of organizations who fly the “trafficking” flag are willing to break ranks with the others is a powerful sign of the beginning of the end of the hysteria.

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I’m sorry, barista. I need to give this latte back. I didn’t see any joy from you while making it.  —  Cathy Reisenwitz

Book Reviews

Thaddeus Russell reviews a book on sex work during the Alaska gold rush:

…From Saloons, Prostitutes, and Temperance in Alaska Territory, the independent historian Catherine Holder Spude’s book on the rise and fall of gold-rush Skagway, we learn that women…used the proceeds from selling sex to open brothels and purchase substantial tracts of land as well as hotels, saloons, and numerous houses…historians have found that in the late 19th century the average brothel worker received from one to five dollars for every “trick” they turned, earning in one evening what women who worked as maids, department store clerks, or teachers made in a week.  In 1916 the U.S. Department of Labor, concerned by reports that respectable women were being lured into “the Social Evil” by high wages, surveyed a broad sample of prostitutes and found that they earned an average of $40 per week, which was roughly double what white, male, unionized construction workers were making…most madams not only paid their employees far higher wages than they would find in any other employment, but also provided clothing, birth control, health care, legal assistance, housing, and meals.  Few American workers of either sex have ever enjoyed such benefits…

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

Men who think they can “abolish prostitution” by such ham-handed tactics are delusional:

On 28 May, 2015, the Nepalese Army imposed a strict 8pm curfew on entering and exiting the central Kathmandu, Tundikhel field where over…1000 people are currently residing in tents following the 25 April 8.1 magnitude earthquake, which killed over 8000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people displaced…Citing concerns that the field would be patronised by “prostitutes and thieves”, the army erected razor wire fencing across the field’s only public access point, causing distress to many residents of the field…Commander Bishun also said that the army was concerned that “prostitutes may enter the field and attempt to ply their trade to family men during the night”…Bishun agreed to allow access to the camp if all the male residents attempting to enter agreed to undergo a test for drunkenness, provide army guards with a copy of their identification and/or their names and contact details…and could explain the relationship they had with all women accompanying them…

Uncommon Sense

The Swiss government says it is against outlawing prostitution or the buying of sexual services, but has proposed measures to better protect sex workers and to fight against human trafficking…Experience from abroad shows that a ban on prostitution is not the solution, the government said.  Studies from other countries have shown that this usually leads to the criminalisation of prostitutes or prostitution going underground. Complementary measures usually produce more success…The situation in Sweden and the United States, both of which have partially banned prostitution, remains difficult…

Finding What Isn’t There

You know why?  Because there is almost never any evidence.  You know why?  Because the people accused of “trafficking” are almost never actually criminals:

Baltimore has become a hub for human trafficking because of its interstate highways and proximity to major airports, city and state officials say.  But few human traffickers are arrested, and even fewer are convicted…police have made approximately 800 prostitution arrests a year on average…but…charged only 10 suspects with sex trafficking since January 2013…and prosecutors dropped all charges in eight of the cases.  The only conviction was on a separate charge…

Is there a large US city that doesn’t have an airport and interstate highways?

The Widening Gyre 

Ninja pimps with mind-control powers don’t appear as often in the Canadian folklore as in the American:

…one year after [London, Ontario] police said a recruiter was working high school hallways — parents are reaching out for help like never before.  An agency that helps women trafficked for sex in London says requests for help…are off the charts…police…work…to identify and build relationships with…“potential victims,” who include women and girls that officers believe are being forced to sell their bodies, though they may insist they’re doing so by their own choice.  Last year officers identified three times the number of victims they did the year before…Const. Jim Pottruff…said…“I don’t have any evidence…but I’ve been hearing about it and I believe it’s true”…

Between the Ears (#334) lovely stupid sex toy

the Lovely [is] a sex toy that’s been touted as “the fitbit, but for your penis”…[it’s] a stretchy silicone ring, which attaches around the base of your penis.  It also has a vibrator tucked inside…The product can apparently collect all kinds of data about your lovemaking skills – after you’ve finished, the Lovely app connects to your smartphone and provides you with a report, containing information on how many calories you’ve burned, your top and average speed, and even the g-forces you’ve exerted on each other’s respective pelvises…

Not Good Enough

The pill pushers just won’t stop until they can sell an ineffictive “cure” for something that isn’t actually a dysfunction:

The drug industry’s decade-spanning search for a female equivalent to Viagra took a major step forward…as government experts recommended approval for a pill [claimed] to boost sexual desire in women…side effects [include] fatigue, low blood pressure and fainting…the…”female Viagra”…has been plagued for years by concerns of lackluster effectiveness and safety issues.  The FDA has rejected the drug twice since 2010…FDA’s experts acknowledged that flibanserin’s effect is not very strong…women taking [it] reported between 0.5 and 1 more sexually satisfying event per month, compared with women taking a placebo…

The expense and trouble of a daily pill that can cause fatigue & fainting for half an extra orgasm per month, and these bozos actually think that’s worth it? I wonder how much payola that took?  Meanwhile, Tracy Clark-Flory writes about responsive desire (like mine) and how Flibanserin fits into conversation about it.

Bootlickers (#414) 

Now he asks:

Law enforcement spent countless hours working to shut down coffee stands in Snohomish County where employees were engaging in prostitution, and to make a case against…Sheriff’s sergeant Darrell O’Neill, who is accused of providing information to bikini baristas about police stings in exchange for sexual favors…But was all the effort put in to take down one corrupt sheriff’s sergeant worth the effort?…

A Mound of Filth

Most of this is about the mound of money being shoveled down the “sex trafficking” toilet, but this particular passage’s brazen assertion that the “Dream Project” is intended to brainwash women is quietly horrifying: “Kathleen Winn, executive director of the newly formed Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network, said…the first step…is…getting the women to see themselves as victims, rather than women who willingly sold sex.  ‘They don’t self-identify as victims’, Winn said. ‘It really is an education (for the women)’…”  Winn has previously been quoted as saying that phones and computers are a “curse” because they hinder parents from totally controlling adolescent’s lives:  “We even try to break up Internet businesses…We are looking for ways…[to destroy] Backpage.com…

Making It Up As They Go

What coffee stands are to Everett, massage parlors are to Bellevue:

Two Bellevue spas are the target of a new city ordinance designed to get unsavory or problem businesses closed or cleaned up…Jolee Spa and Factoria’s Sunnyday Spa both were deemed “chronic nuisances” by the Bellevue police, opening both up for future fines and potential prosecution.  The “chronic nuisance” law went into effect in April as a tool to clean up prostitution and drug activity…”Prostitution in our city is not going to be tolerated,” said Bellevue Police Deputy Chief Mike Johnson. “We understand there’s quite a bit going on, so we’re doing our best to combat that”…

Allowing the police to designate any business a “nuisance”; what could possibly go wrong?

Bait and Switch

Try not to get sick when you read the vile propaganda vomited up all over these reporters by Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida, and his accomplice Gary Borders of Lake County; remember, these are nearly all young men who were tricked into talking to cops pretending to be women just a few years younger than they are.  Despite the slander and character assassination, these men are not criminals of any kind and certainly not “child predators”, not even in Judd’s warped mind.

The Widening Gyre (#534) 

GOOD:  Snopes debunks the “teen job sex trafficking scam” rumor.  BAD:  In the process they quote the Polaris project, whose “sex trafficking” propaganda is every bit as absurd:

Are human trafficking rings using job interviews to lure college student through invitations to interviews for a summer job?  Almost certainly, no.  While human trafficking is a real (and serious) problem, its facilitators deliberately target populations of people whose absence is likely to go unnoticed for a time.  We could find no incidents wherein job interviewees were drugged, kidnapped, and forced into sex work.  Criminals tend to target people they believe won’t immediately be marked as missing…Jill Bauer, Rashida Jones, Ronna Gradus - Edited

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#543)

Here’s another article on the prohibitionist documentary Hot Girls Wanted, featuring quotes from my friends Endza and Mistress Matisse:

The documentary Hot Girls Wanted, an expose of the world of amateur porn produced by Parks and Recreation star Rashida Jones, has rattled some sex workers…who feel the film is a negative and inaccurate portrayal of the industry…”Hot Girls Wanted was…very obviously planned to fulfill an agenda…to make the sex industry look bad,” said writer and activist Mistress Matisse…Jones has been criticized further for comments she made while promoting the film…referring to porn as a negative experience for actresses that “aren’t getting any joy from it”…”What I and other sex workers would like is realistic coverage of our industry,” said Endza, a college student and actress in BDSM porn films…

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It’s…extremely patronizing…to say someone’s conscious choice of work is degrading.  –  Jon Millward

Eric Jason CampbellLicense To Rape

A [Mt. Pleasant] Texas police officer pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14-years-old…Eric Jason Campbell, 41, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender when he is released…

Saving Them From Themselves

A Massachusetts DA helpfully explains why it’s a good thing his office persecutes teenagers for “sexting”:

…”We do not have any exceptions…for kids who are really in love, for girls who wanted to do it and for guys who promised they wouldn’t share it…” [Robert] Kinzer said.  “A nude photo of [a minor’s] exposed genitalia is child pornography…When they start sharing photos like this, we are going to start charging people with the manufacturing, dissemination and possession of child pornography, and they’re going to…face [prosecution]…You’re going to lose jobs and relationships, and you’ll spend the rest of your life as a registered sex offender”…

Tyranny By Consensus

Since LA County officials have not leaped at the opportunity to waste millions of dollars policing porn shoots to enforce his private condom crusade, Michael Weinstein is now trying to force the city to establish its own redundant health department, which Weinstein presumably believes would be more easily pressured into dancing to his tune:

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced…a new ballot measure …[for] an all-new City of L.A. Public Health Department…AHF has urged Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County’s Public Health director, to shut down non-condom porn shoots…[but] Fielding…hasn’t…despite AHF-led letter and phone campaigns.  And it is well known that officials at the county Public Health Department are opposed to their agency enforcing Measure B…

Big Sister

In this column I wrote, “Prostitution and stripping are already illegal, and it seems that porn will be next, followed by censorship of print media and the internet.”  Yes, I do get tired of being right all the time:

The government is considering…internet filters, such as those used to block China off…to stop Icelanders downloading or viewing pornography on the internet…Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland’s interior minister, is drafting legislation to stop the access of online pornographic images and videos…”violent pornography…has…very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime,” he said.

In reality, the evidence suggests exactly the opposite, but since Iceland already has the highest rape rate in Europe I guess they figure a few more raped women are just extra eggs for the totalitarian neofeminist omelette.Sex at Dawn  The story quotes the ubiquitous Gail Dines, who also used the occasion to get her name in print in the UK as well.

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received a copy of Sex at Dawn  (which people have been trying to get me to read for years) from Eddie JC.  Thank you, Eddie!

That’s the Ticket!

One would think that the Comic Relief organization could tell the difference between actual statistics and the absurd claims of a “pathological liar” comedy routine, but apparently not:  “75% of women working in prostitution started before they were 18, and most of them feel trapped and would leave if only they could find a way.  The UK is a major destination country for trafficked young people…

The Course of a Disease

…Dublin City Council…rejected calls to support the Turn Off The Red-light campaign.  Amendments passed removed the proposal to criminalise the purchase of sex, and changed the report on Swedish evidence to hearsay.”  The national crusade still rolls on, but this local rejection of the Swedish rot shows that not everyone in Ireland is asleep at the wheel.

FarmVille

On March 4, a new game on Facebook, inspired by the book Half the Sky…will be introduced, with a focus on raising awareness of issues like female genital mutilation and child prostitution…The central character, an Indian woman named Radhika, faces various challenges with the assistance of players, who can help out with donations of virtual goods, for example.  The players can then make equivalent real-world donations to seven nonprofit organizations woven into the game…As her empowerment grows, Radhika moves across the globe to Kenya, Vietnam and Afghanistan…Players who reach the final level learn about sex trafficking in the United States and can donate to an organization in New York called GEMS

Because it’s really important to simplify complex issues and make them fun so that wise, benevolent white people will be tempted to manage the lives of helpless, childlike brown ones.

Little Boxes

A bill that could send women to prison for going topless in public appears set for approval by the North Carolina legislature…[it] would amend the state’s indecent exposure law to expand the legal definition of “private parts” to…include “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, [of] the female breast.”  Depending on whether such exposure is judged to be “for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire,” the woman could be charged with a felony, punishable by up to six months in prison…More mundane exposure would be a misdemeanor, meriting up to 30 days in jail.  “Incidental” exposure by breastfeeding mothers would remain exempt…Rayne Brown…[said] her constituents are concerned about topless rallies promoting women’s equality…

Shift in the Wind

Another fun promotional video from the Sex Worker Freedom Festival last July:

Childish Things (TW3 #33)

Dr. Paul Maginn has published another appeal for sanity, stating that “various parts of the world appear to be suffering from a mix of moral panic and ideological myopia” on the issue of sex work.  Though brief, the article debunks lies about “sex trafficking”, “dirty whores”, “end demand” and “negative secondary effects”, and includes quotes from Drs. Laura Agustín and Brooke Magnanti.

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

Oklahoma “authorities” seem even more enchanted with the notion of “human trafficking” than most Americans:

…Clarence F. Holden, 25, of Fort Smith [Arkansas] faces felony counts of human trafficking and procuring for prostitution…Officers arrested Holden and two other people…after the Vice Unit responded to an Internet post…for “a massage with a ‘happy ending’ ” for $150…Destiny Hope Niles, 24, also of Fort Smith – told police Holden keeps her money, car keys and credit card and threatened her physically…

Consider that even though this sort of petty manipulation is what passes for “trafficking” to American cops, they still can’t come up with anything like the hysterical claims.

The Public Eye

just like Mommy4 Things You Should Know About Women Who Strip” by Jennifer Ward doesn’t break any new ground for readers of this blog, but as far as I’m concerned we can’t have enough articles explaining that sex workers and our clients are “a lot more diverse than people assume them to be.”  In the same vein, three porn actors answered questions at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri:  “Lance Hart…Tori Black and James Deen answered questions as a part of a Sex Week panel event…the purpose of the panel was to foster dialogue about aspects of the porn industry that are not typically discussed, such as sexual health…

Something Rotten in Sweden (TW3 #44)

Though this article perpetuates the increasingly-common lie that the Swedish model is “decriminalization”, it at least tells the truth about the damage to sex workers caused by “end demand” campaigns:

…the “End Demand Illinois” campaign…asks that johns…become the law’s targets…[and] is working to make johns, pimps and traffickers more accountable, but it’s also sought to…stop treating prostitution as a felony.  Right now, if a sex worker is hit with two misdemeanor charges related to prostitution in Illinois, the second charge is upgraded to a felony…Last fall The Chicago Reporterfound that prostitution-related felonies are being levied almost exclusively against sex workers…Rachel Lovell, a researcher at Case Western University…co-authored a paper that criticized End Demand Illinois.  It argued that stiffer penalties against johns actually end up hurting female sex workers.  “The philosophy and the overarching theme of the End Demand movement is that all women in prostitution are victims,” Lovell said…it’s important to distinguish between the different ways one can be a sex worker…“To say if we increase penalties for men they will just stop buying…[is] too simplistic…”

All the Difference

Indian sex workers have powerfully resisted “sex trafficking” hysteria, and have convinced many “authorities” that they are not passive victims.  Unfortunately, the rescue industry will lose money and power if it has nobody to “rescue”, and so has increasingly turned its attentions toward abducting sex workers’ children, defending the practice with propaganda films:

Not Today…[is] a feature-length film that sheds light on the modern-day sex trafficking industry that consumes the Dalit class in India…”The world needs to understand that slavery still exists, that even today young children are bought and sold like cattle, that little girls are forced into the dark illicit sex trade, that young boys and girls are coerced to beg in the streets and bring their proceeds back to line the pockets of thugs who abuse them at night,” said the film’s executive producer, Matthew Cork…

Deep Inside infographicDrama Queens (TW3 #48)

Though I’d love to see a methodologically-sound study of 10,000 whores, 10,000 porn actors is a good start.  Click on the picture (and again to enlarge), then read Jon Millward’s article and Brooke Magnanti’s interview with him.

Get Out of the 19th Century Often? (TW3 #136)

A proposed prostitution ban met with opposition at an Atlanta City Council work session…Community leaders, church pastors and advocates against sex trafficking said the ban was harshly targeting victims of the sex trade…Chad Brock of the ACLU said they might consider challenging the ordinance if it becomes law…”Instead of pairing you up with the social services you need, they’re telling you to go away,” Brock said. “We don’t believe that’s going to help any sex worker rehabilitating themselves”…

Unclean Situation

As expected, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has issued a less mealy-mouthed follow-up to his previous pseudo-apology to the victims of the Magdalene laundries, but as blogger Bock the Robber asked,

Where is the apology from the nuns who ran these slave labour camps?  Where is the apology from the NSPCC (now the ISPCC), employers of the feared and unsupervised cruelty men who consigned so many children and young women to this slavery…Where is the apology from the Legion of Mary, whose members…[facilitated] the incarceration of people they disapproved of?  Where is the apology from the Roman Catholic church on behalf of all those parish priests who ripped children from the heart of their families because of some warped and perverted view of sexuality?…What an extraordinary society it was that deputised an assortment of self-serving busybodies…and continues to give…such power to clerics and self-appointed meddlers…

On the same day, the Telegraph carried a moving article by Samantha Long about her birth-mother, who was an inmate of one of the laundries.

Skin To Skin

This article about sex work with the disabled covers some good ground, but unfortunately also gives a platform to those who think real people’s needs should be subordinate to “messages” and sacrificed to the impossible quest for an unreachable Utopia:

…The sexual needs of people with disabilities are under the spotlight like never before after the release of…The Sessions…last month, ex-staff from a care home…[said] they had allowed sex workers into the home at the request of disabled residents…and…Becky Adams…plans to open the first brothel…for disabled clients in the UK…[but others see] the use of sex workers as a potentially harmful development.  “It’s like the world telling you that disabled people are so unsexy that the only way they can have sex is to pay for it…What disabled people need is full and equal rights. An inclusive society, which doesn’t create barriers”…

Caring Professionals

On the same day my column appeared, Robin Hustle published the similarly-themed (though broader) “What Prostitutes, Nurses and Nannies Have in Common”.  The Jezebel commentariat is predictably split between the narcissistic, the wholly clueless, and nurses who are Terribly OffendedTM at being compared to whores.

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Whorephobia…can manifest in various forms, including…rejection of a fellow…human being…projection of one’s own life experiences onto another…and in severe cases, frothing at the mouth…and feverishly campaigning for extreme punishment and prohibition of Whores and Whore-adjacent peoples, places, and objects.  –  Aspasia Bonasera

No Other Option

Another good article about sex work with disabled clients, this one a first-person account from reader Laura Lee.  Due to the movie The Sessions this has become a very “hot” topic, which is good because it deals a strong blow to the “victimized prostitute” narrative.  For more on the subject, here’s Becky Adams:

Japanese Prostitution

Customers…now have another option…at [Tokyo]…cuddle club Soineya…For $11 per minute, patrons…can ask for the oshiri makura (butt pillow) service and rest their heads on the behinds of its female staff…Customers must first pay an admission fee — starting at 3,000 yen (around $34) — and then have the option to purchase premium services, such as foot massages…[or] laying in a female employee’s lap

Don’t Buy It

Interestingly, “sex trafficking” fetishists waited until Super Bowl Sunday to trot out their claims this year, probably to avoid the high-profile debunking which will soon be inevitable; the story was updated less than 38 hours after its initial appearance to include a reference to an article for which I was consulted last year and the opinion of Rachel Lloyd, a “sex trafficking” promoter who has criticized the rampant exaggerations and the “gypsy whores” myth.  The main attraction is yet another soi-disant “survivor” spouting the typical tinned narrative (brutal pimp, 50 clients a day, etc), and there’s a bonus appearance by SOAP.  The most interesting bit is this snapshot of “Chinese Whispers” in action:  the story claims that “133 underage arrests for prostitution were made in Dallas during the 2011 Super Bowl,” when in actuality a very-typical 133 adult arrests of all types (not prostitution alone) were made in the 2½ weeks before the Super Bowl.  The number of actual “pimps” arrested?  One, an idiot who got the idea from the hype.

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

Atlanta’s police chief…George Turner has asked city council to approve a…banishment law…the first conviction would result in the accused prostitute being ordered not to return to the area they were arrested…upon second conviction, the accused prostitute would be banished from city limits forever…Larry Miller…said he supports anything that would put a dent in the prostitution plague…

Human beings are now a “plague” to be “banished” from an autocrat’s realm.

Hollywood pimpChupacabra

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on the “pimp” myth:

…I have never met a person even remotely like the stereotypical pimp, and yet I “know” they exist, largely because I have been told so over and over again.  I’ve met streetwalkers, both drug-addicted and not; escorts and call girls, same; not one ever had what popular imagination would classify as a “pimp,” but then I keep getting told I’m not representative, so maybe the literally hundreds of…sex workers I’ve met are just “not representative” too?…Independent sex workers who organise their own affairs…Roommates who share a flat…escort agencies with a dozen or so girls…Massage parlour owners.  Women whose house is used by other sex workers…People who set up message boards and internet forums…All of these are…called “pimps” by the anti-sex lobby.  A guy in a crushed velvet suit on a street corner, keeping his girls high and working the neighbourhood?  Not so many of those…

A Working System

Look past the fashionable “sex slave” rhetoric to what’s actually going on here:

…Chee Mei Wong…[allegedly] ran the Diamonds brothel in …Sydney…between…2008 and 2010…[and] employed six women…who…were told they would have to work until they paid off the cost of their airfare, visa and course fees [around $5000]…Despite…having paid off their debt after a “short period of time” it is alleged Ms Wong threatened she would have their visas revoked if they left.  But Ms Wong’s barrister Bruce Quinn said she…only worked at the brothel as…receptionist…[and] the matter was simply an “industrial dispute” and a “sham” created so the women could stay in Australia…

These sorts of conflicting claims are not unusual in contract disputes, and unfortunately many people are quick to accuse others of wrongdoing in order to divert government attention from themselves.  The important thing is that nobody here was criminalized for her profession, and the same situation could have arisen in any industry employing migrants.

My Readers Write

Aspasia published a bang-on and hilarious parody of medicalized pop-psychology entitled “Join Me in the Fight Against Whorephobia” which you simply MUST read in its entirety to appreciate.  I also recommend this thoughtful essay in which Obsidian proposes that the same shortage of eligible women which is at the root of so much violence in the Middle East may also influence the differences between homicide rates in American cities:

the Big Apple saw a 50-year record low of just over 400 murders in a city of over 8 million; while for Chicago, the murder rate topped 500, with a population of roughly 2.5 million.  Much has been said about the differences…in…their approaches toward fighting crime…Chicago has a proportionately larger police force than does NYC…[but] there are more Women to Men in NYC, than in Chicago…it’s been long known that whenever there are more males to females anywhere, trouble ensues.  Indeed, we are beginning to see this manifest itself in earnest in places like China and India, where the male to female sex ratio is so off the chain that extreme exhibitions of behavior are being seen on the part of the males

See No Evil

Peanuts pornU.S. District Judge Dean Whipple sentenced Christjan Bee of Monett, Missouri, to three years in prison for “possessing an obscene image of the sexual abuse of children…[namely] a collection of electronic comics, entitled ‘incest comics,’…[containing] multiple images of minors engaging in graphic sexual intercourse with adults and other minors”…In other words, he is going to prison for drawings; no actual children were involved at any point.

A Moral Cancer (Metaupdates)

You may have seen the latest “meat kills!” pseudo-study; of course, the media didn’t bother to report that the “researchers” and sponsors were all vegetarians who didn’t bother to control for little things like diabetes and age.

Above the Law

Well, this is different:

[Vincent Burroughs of] Oregon…has filed a lawsuit against an IRS agent…claiming he was coerced into [a sexual] relationship…Dora…Abrahamson contacted Burroughs about an audit…flirted with [him] over the telephone…offered him massages and sent him a photo of herself in her underwear…”She said that she could impose no penalty, or a 40 percent penalty, and that if he would give her what she wanted, she would give him what he needed”…

Traffic Jam

Mexican officials broke up a bizarre cult that allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring…The “Defensores de Cristo”…allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ…Followers were subjected to forced labor or sexual services, including prostitution…prosecutors were still trying to work out which of the detainees may be considered victims, and which were abusers…

Cult messiahs invariably have sex with female followers, and how is contributing sexual labor any different from contributing money or other labor as members of established religions do?  But due to “trafficking” hysteria, it becomes “sex slavery” even though the “authorities” themselves admit that any assignment of “victim” and “abuser” status will be arbitrary.Maria Zulfiqar Khan

Yellow Fever

The high standards of American journalism have reached Pakistan:

Meet Doctor Maria Zulfiqar Khan…In her recent programme, she conducted a self-styled raid on a massage center in Lahore…and harassed the women…police [accompanied] her, but she played being in charge…we see women helplessly trying to hide their faces…[and Khan]…going through handbag of a lady…picking up a condom…and shouting…”what is this? what is this?”…Khan also plays being an interrogator…and…at one point, not agreeing to the answers…says sarcastically, “yeah right, tell that to the cops when they take you”…At the end of the programme…she visits [the] house of one of the girls…and…tells her audience “this man made [his] daughter a prostitute, what an animal he is”…

Under Duress

For those who suspect I’m biased, here’s legal scholar Michelle Alexander:

…police have a special inclination toward confabulation…[and] an incentive to lie…[they] shouldn’t be trusted any more than any other witness, perhaps less so…Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner…[decried] a police culture that treats lying as the norm…Gustin L. Reichbach of the [New York] Supreme Court…condemned a widespread culture of lying…in…drug enforcement units…the Bronx district attorney’s office was so alarmed by police lying that it decided to stop prosecuting people who were…arrested for trespassing at…housing projects…Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs…have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (TW3 #34)

The Indian Supreme Court’s waffling on decriminalization has emboldened prohibitionist legislators, who tried to quietly criminalize prostitution by defining all sex work as “exploitation” and therefore illegal under existing law.  The National Network of Sex Workers has appealed to the President of India to veto this sleazy back-door scheme, but if he does not you can bet a court challenge will not be long in coming since Indian sex workers, unlike most in the United States, are unified to fight for their rights.

Monkey Business

A minor war has broken out…in the village of Kiad [Saudi Arabia,] where large groups of hungry baboons from nearby valleys are attacking residences in search of food and drink…Adel Medini [said]…“The baboons are targeting empty houses and are well aware of what they are doing…They proceed according to studied plans. That’s why their attacks do not fail…a resident…[returns] to find his home in disarray.  Some people…thought that thieves had…ransacked their houses…”

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (TW3 #39)

Remember the scientists who proved one could find neural activity in a dead fish?  Well, here’s a video of a thought forming in the brain of a larval zebrafish:

So Close and Yet So Far

I really wish people who support legal prostitution would talk to actual sex workers or even just do a little research before writing articles which perpetuate ugly myths such as “It’s no longer just a drug-addled woman forced onto lonely street corners” (it never was), and “sex workers are likely reticent to draw attention to their illicit life by divulging STDs and surely no one checks customers for STDs”.  The latter is an especially damaging myth because you can guess his proposed “solution” to this nonexistent problem: compulsory disease checks for registered whores (but not amateurs, who are free to spread disease at will).

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

The Kansas…Supreme Court ruled that exotic dancers are employees of the club where they work, not independent entertainment contractors…[at] Club Orleans [in] Topeka…dancers were required to pay non-negotiable “rent” for use of the stage and dressing rooms, as well as extra fees for the disc jockeys and bouncers…House rules governed what the dancers could do in their shows and the prices they had to charge for specific types of dances…The women were required to sign in with the bouncer at the beginning of a shift and weren’t allowed to leave…until the end of the shift…

The Devil’s Toys

In this book review, Harvey Silverglate made the same point I did yesterday:

In Unlearning Liberty, [Greg] Lukianoff…[presents many] examples of campus censorship …65% of liberal arts campuses have speech codes that violate…free speech norms…Lukianoff…persuasively argues that…contemporary campuses can be seen essentially as incubators for a future society governed by censorship of iconoclastic ideas and kangaroo courts that enforce those prohibitions…some…now sitting on the federal bench do not blanch when innocent citizens are convicted of violating statutes and regulations that no normal person could possibly understand [because] students…get accustomed to the administrative tyranny…and…don’t have much adjusting to do when they gain, and abuse, real power of their own…

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Overload the police with victimless crimes and other minutiae and eventually only creeps and bullies remain cops. –  Rick Gaber

Four short articles about whores and cops drawn from friends’ blogs and correspondent tips.

Get Out of the 19th Century Often?

In Brandy Devereaux’s column of February 10th she called attention to this story from WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi in which the reporters interviewed “Major” Nick Clark of the Hinds County sheriff’s office (I guess a captain isn’t good enough to handle all the crime in the big booming metropolis of Jackson, population 175,000).  Apparently, Colonel Clark is jealous of the big cities’ claims of being major hubs of “human trafficking”, but since neither the Super Bowl nor the Olympics are scheduled to come to Jackson any time soon he has to content himself with the Dixie National Rodeo.  He can’t use the internet too well, though, or he might’ve discovered that claims of prostitution booms at sporting events have been repeatedly debunked.  But his computer illiteracy is unsurprising given his 19th-century views:

“Yeah, unfortunately, they follow the internet, too, and they realize, they’ve got a lot of extra people in town and being the bloodsuckers that they are, they prey on innocent, unsuspecting people and try to find a way to ply their wares,” Clark said.

Apparently, the old Victorian “whore as monster” rhetoric is alive and well in Mississippi, at least in the brain of Brigadier Clark, who obviously hasn’t read the memo that we’re all trafficked victims now.  I guess Field Marshall Clark believes that all the poor, innocent, unsuspecting Christian men of Jackson would never have cheated on their wives if those wanton vampire hussies hadn’t bewitched them.  Hmm, on second thought maybe Grand High Warlord Clark is stuck in the 17th century rather than the 19th.

A Fate Worse Than Death

Apparently February 10th was the day to report on Neo-Victorian attitudes in the American South; Dave’s Sex Hysteria blog for that day featured the news that Georgia apparently believes that prostitution is a fate worse than death, because a proposed law makes patronizing a prostitute below the age of 18 a crime worse than murder.  And what makes this even more bizarre is that the age of consent in Georgia is 16; maybe this legislator’s been reading too much Schapiro Group propaganda.  But wait, there’s more!  Apparently, the people behind this bill have either been talking to Operation Broken Silence or the Surrey Police, because the bill grants the state the power to loot the property of “traffickers”…which are defined so loosely and vaguely that even a whore’s husband could be prosecuted for it.  This of course creates a tremendous financial incentive for anyone and everyone associated with a hooker to be charged with “trafficking” so the government can rob them.  Thus, as usual, voluntary adult prostitutes are persecuted and the real bad guys driven further underground to thrive in the dark.

Big Deal

I’m always fascinated at how big a brouhaha amateurs raise when they “discover” some aspect of harlotry which has existed for years.  Brandy called my attention to this one as well, in her column of February 11th; apparently, some naïve French people are up in arms about a new escort service called Loue Une Petite Amie (literally “Rent a Girlfriend”).  The author of this article excitedly expostulates, “Loue Une Petite Amie…actually allows guys to rent female companions, legally!  The French website assures its clients they have nothing to fear from the law, because this isn’t actually prostitution, but a simple case of renting a person…which apparently isn’t illegal in France.”  It ain’t illegal in the United States either, Bubba; that’s what an escort service is, and you’ll see the phone books are full of them.  It only becomes that bugaboo “prostitution” if the escort offers her client sex for money (or accepts his offer of money for sex), and since smart escorts never do that the police just lie about it.   But in France, prostitution isn’t even illegal, though “living off the avails” is so escort services have to dodge the busybody law by playing dumb just like they do in the States.  In other words, there’s no story here, folks; calm down and go back to your regularly-scheduled moral panic.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Members of the ruling class believe they have the right to all the pleasures forbidden to the citizenry; laws are for the “little people”, and cops may violate them at will.  Oh, sure, those who get caught on camera beating the living hell out of reporters, motorists and women sometimes lose their jobs, but anything less than murder is generally covered up and vice laws are flaunted as a matter of course.  But once in a while somebody in internal affairs gets a bit out of line and forgets he’s supposed to cover up for his “brother officers”; when that happens the responsibility for excuse-making and hand-slapping passes on to higher levels, sometimes all the way to city hall.  That’s what’s going on right now in Raleigh, North Carolina, in this story reported in Sex Hysteria on the 10th; a bunch of cops had sex with a streetwalker and were caught by a hidden camera, triggering internal affairs to act and thereby necessitating a cover-up involving police brass, the district attorney and even the mayor’s office.  How much you want to bet the internal affairs officers end up being punished more severely (after an appropriate excuse is invented, of course) than the cops they caught?  After all, screwing whores is the privilege of cops, but embarrassing politicians is a capital offense.

And lest you think it’s limited to the East Coast, here’s a report of a similar incident from Bakersfield, California thanks to regular reader Joyce.  This cop was a solo sleazebag who according to the police chief “…became interested in prostitution enforcement and has a record of conducting enforcement on prostitutes.”  Any normal person could guess that a male cop who is “interested in prostitution enforcement” either has ulterior motives or serious issues, and should therefore be kept as far from hookers as possible.  Unfortunately, police departments aren’t staffed with normal people and therefore he was given exactly what he wanted, a chance to rape streetwalkers by threatening to run them in.  This has been going on since August, until one of the women he threatened  decided to take her chances by reporting him.  It’s unlikely any of his victims will come forward, but maybe they’ll decide to make an example of him and charge him with “human trafficking” instead of just “disorderly conduct”.

And in New Orleans, a cop was just convicted on Tuesday of kidnapping and attempting to rape a prostitute; she testified that he actually did rape her, but since the defense was allowed to repeatedly refer to her as a whore and as “trash” in addition to badgering her into confused testimony the jury was too unsure to hand down a life sentence.  Well, at least he’ll get a total of 15-90 years, and it’s poetic justice that one of the tactics the prosecutor used to establish him as a sexual deviate was that he had condoms in the trunk of his police car.  I’ll bet that shoe is rather tight on your big foot, isn’t it “officer”?

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