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Posts Tagged ‘Harm Magnification’

Mike Siegel is a professional astronomer who has been one of my online friends for about six years now; he has helped me analyze bad studies and calculate statistics, given me advice on scientific points in some of my stories, and even been featured here as a fiction writer himself.  I’ve also linked to some of his articles, and right now he has an excellent demolition of FOSTA and the evil mindset which spawned it on the group blog Ordinary Times.  He was kind enough to allow me to publish this excerpt, but you really ought to read the whole thing.

…We are in the midst of War on Sex Work that is largely becoming a replacement for the War on Drugs…A war on sex work would be difficult given that about half of Americans think prostitution should be legal.  And so this war has built on a tissue of falsehoods to claim that it is actually a war on “sex trafficking”.  We are constantly being told — by politicians, by the media and by the entertainment industry — that there is a national crisis of sex trafficking and specifically a crisis of child sex trafficking.  But the evidence to support this claim, when you dig into it even a little bit, turns out to be a ziggurat of garbled statistics, junk social science and outright lies.  My friend Maggie McNeill has devoted an entire page to debunking claims that are so common and oft-repeated, they are taken as gospel: that the average age at which a woman enters sex work is 13 (it’s mid-20’s); that there are 300,000 child sex slaves in the US (there are at most a few hundred), that sex trafficking and consensual sex work are inextricably linked (they aren’t); that the Super Bowl or other big events are magnets for sex traffickers (not at all).  It goes without saying that forced sexual servitude is an abomination…but if that’s what you’re concerned about, it seems like a good first step would be to decriminalize sex work for adults, as organizations like Amnesty International have advocated.  Doing so would free up law enforcement resources to work the real problem rather than being devoted entirely to routine prostitution busts.

Let’s illustrate that with one example: about every year, the federal government runs a program called Operation Cross Country — a vast multi-agency operation to crack down on “sex trafficking”, at the end of which they will claim to have rescued something on the order a hundred underage sex slaves (which alone should tell us that we do not have anywhere close to 300,000 of them).  Elizabeth Nolan Brown has done amazing work sifting through the propaganda and found that these operations typically arrest over a thousand consenting adults.  Mixed in with those adults are usually a few dozen to a hundred underage sex workers, but most of these are doing it not because of enslavement but because they have run away or been thrown out of their homes).  The operations also arrest a couple of hundred “pimps” but these are often people whose pimping consists of driving their girlfriend to an incall or processing credit card payments…

…I have seen how the case for prohibition is supported by lies…[which is] what has drawn me into this debate so keenly.  It offends me as a scientist…FOSTA was ostensibly proposed to allow the federal government to crack down on online sex trafficking.  This promise was predicated, like most of the War on Sex Work, on dubious stats.  Sex workers vehemently opposed it but their voices were drowned out by supporters misrepresenting the law and celebrities making bizarre claims like ordering a sex slave was as easy as ordering a pizza…Sex Worker rights advocates, digital freedom advocates and libertarians made dire predictions about what was going to happen…So what has happened over the last three months?  Exactly what was feared…and as the weeks have rolled on, it has become painfully and immediately obvious that FOSTA has made things far far worse for sex workers…what FOSTA has done…[is] just as bad as the sex worker advocates warned us it would be…

…wars on sin have often engaged in what I call “harm enhancement” (as opposed to “harm reduction”).  During the War on Drugs, we banned the sale of certain chemicals to Colombia that were used to facilitate drug manufacturing; the result was drugs that had carcinogens in them, which politicians hoped would persuade people to stop using them.  A similar controversy erupted over paraquat pot, herbicides sprayed on marijuana that found that their way into people’s lungs.  During prohibition, industrial alcohols were deliberately poisoned in an effort to stop people from drinking them.  And there is little doubt that the War on Sex Work has frequently seen increased danger as a deterrent.  In many states, a woman simply having condoms on her is considered evidence of prostitution.  Sex workers have reported being pulled over by cops and watching them poke holes in condoms.  The closure of MyRedBook and Rentboy and Backpage did little to stop sex work but plenty to prevent sex workers from screening out dangerous clients.  When a movement engages in policy after policy designed to increase the danger, I think it it reasonable to assume that it is deliberate…this even goes beyond sex work, however.  Our political class has long had a hatred for Section 230 of the CDA, which they see as protecting speech they don’t like.  The last year has been filled with attacks on Facebook and other social media for allowing “fake news” to percolate (the effect of which is very unclear).  The effects of this bill go even beyond the impact on sex workers, bad as that has been.  It is the camel’s nose in the tent of undermining Section 230 and turning the internet into a “safe”, controlled, gated, milquetoast community.  And what better way to get the camel’s nose in the tent than through “solving” a vastly exaggerated crisis?…

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SESTA…is an invitation to drive an awful lot of important speech from the Internet.  –  Cathy Gellis

If It Were Legal

The only reason this was necessary was because of idiotic laws against sex businesses:

…Helena Berkyova, 29, pretended customers were paying for gourmet food including king crab soup and soufflé when she charged them for [escort] services.  She set up sham catering firm Fine Dining Catering Services to conceal the illegal operation…Berkyova pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manage or assist in the management of brothels, keeping a brothel for prostitution, and money laundering…Berkyova [was s sex worker]…before moving up to management…She admitted managing the brothels between January 2013 and October 2015, raking in around £350,000 from paying customers…

Only a twit who’s never owned or run a business would think £350,000 (about $460,000) over a three-year period constitutes “raking it in”.

So Close and Yet So Far

When anyone not a sex worker uses the term “decriminalization”, read carefully:

…it is easy [for very stupid people who know nothing about economics and black markets] to assume that decriminalizing prostitution will embolden sex traffickers and increase victimization…Research I conducted for my book…shows that decriminalization of sex work is an evidenced-based approach to combating sex trafficking…Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal; it just empowers victims to come forward…I’ve gone to “the track” in the District, where women are sold for sex on the street…

“Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal” is total bullshit; of course it does, it just doesn’t make it legalized (i.e., subjected to a repressive regulatory regime or bound in so many special laws it might as well still be illegal).  Note also the agency-negating phrase, “women are sold for sex”, which no sex worker advocate would use.  I smell a supporter of the Swedish model, which is often dishonestly represented as decriminalization by its proponents due to the false claim that it “decriminalizes” sex workers (which it actually doesn’t).

Under Every Bed (#350)

I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [vomited out a lot of stupid anti-sex propaganda]…at [a] panel hosted by the University of North Dakota Law School…Thomasine Heitkamp, a social work professor at UND and Sen. Heitkamp’s sister, recently completed a study on domestic, dating and sexual violence in the Bakken oil fields.  She said the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking during the study was stunning…Sen. Heitkamp said legislators need to take on Backpage.com, and other sites [she fantasizes as being] known for sex trafficking and called the Communications Decency Act a “barrier”…

A politician calls a law intended to protect people from government tyranny a “barrier”.  Yes, it is, and we need many more such barriers.  Also, what the fuck does “the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking” actually mean?

If Men Were Angels 

I wonder what fraction of his rhetoric is directed toward “perverts”?

…72-year-old Garry Evans, pastor of Baptist Temple in Rushville [Indiana], is accused of molesting several girls in his congregation…a three-year-old girl reported…that Evans lured her into his office with the promise of candy, then pulled his pants down and made her touch his genitals.  He then told her not to tell anyone what happened.  After the investigation into Evans’ behavior began…another mother brought her five- and seven-year-old daughters to police.  Both girls told investigators that Evans had forced his hands down their pants when they were alone with him in his office…

Harm Magnification (#612)

Naturally, because it’s politicians’ job to cause harm, not reduce it:

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning opted to discontinue its contract with Indiana Recovery Alliance to operate a needle exchange program…the program is free to the county…but…[the county] prosecutor [vomited out evil crap about how] she could not support a program that facilitates…the illegal use of drugs…[two politicians] remained silent…[one of them, Rodney] Fish [suggested drug users]…”pray and…turn from their wicked ways”…[the other evil fuckhead, Dustin] Gabhart [vomited out]…“I don’t like the get-out-of-jail card for paraphernalia.  To me, those…make us a sanctuary…for addicts”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#649)

I always feel dirty when prohibitionists salivate over their masturbatory fantasies in public:

A [rogue’s gallery] of state and local lawmakers in San Diego…[fantasized publicly about] young military men and…sex trafficking in California…[they fantasized that] eight thousand to 11,000 victims are trafficked in San Diego County every year, an $810 million business, according to a [bogus] 2016 study…[politician Juan] Vargas [masturbated openly to the fantasy that] gangs have moved from selling drugs to selling people…[while politician Xavier] Becerra [drooled while saying]…prosecutors must struggle to over[throw] internet privacy laws that make extremely difficult to prosecute [consenting adults for private sexual behavior]…[he also sexually fantasized in public about] girls who are 12 or 13 years old.  Maggy Krell…a…prosecutor…[cackled about] going after…hotels and motels [to enrich the state using the excuse of “sex trafficking”]…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#695)

Pearl-clutching is both funnier and sadder when a young man does it:

If not for its debaucherous reputation, you might not blink an eye passing the Fuji Building.  From the outside, it looks no different to the skyscrapers that surround it…But inside tells a different story:  Eighteen floors of “one woman brothels”…Signs on the doors read “welcome”, or “wait” in various languages… Strange anime cartoons accompany the messages…“The Fuji Building may be full of prostitutes, but so long as each individual flat can be shown to be a separate unit from all the rest — that it has its own water connection, electricity meter and no one else can access it — it is above board”…the scourge of human trafficking [is] “bubbling beneath the surface of the Hong Kong sex scene”…who’s really in charge?…Terrifying stuff.

Buildings are terrifying! Or is it young women? Sex? Anime cartoons?

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

Indonesia is trying to criminalize all sex outside of marriage:

…Indonesia…is in the midst of a two-year crack down on sexuality and gender rights; last week, police arrested 58 people in a raid on a “gay sauna” in Jakarta, some of whom now face 10 years in prison.  Human rights defenders protecting the community have been threatened, attacked, slandered and threatened with death.  Sex worker rights defenders say their night-time profession multiplies the threats they receive as activists…Sex work regulations in Yogyakarta are vague.  “Flattery,” “seduction with words, gestures, signs” or other indications that one plans to “carry out indecent acts” are all criminal.  The regulations say sex work will “reduce a person’s honor” and conflict with Indonesian values…Workers who speak up for one another during the day are often the ones targeted by police at night…

Cooties (#766) 

Despite the popularity of this masturbatory fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

MPs investigating the sex trade…launched [an inquiry] into organised crime gangs using temporary addresses to sexually exploit women…Police issued warnings to holiday let owners…that their properties were at risk of being used as pop-up brothels.  The cross-party group will [attempt to shore up a narrative so cops can harass and persecute]…vulnerable women.  [Politician] Gavin Shuker…said…“It is vital that we uncover how these criminals operate – and how we stop them”…

I know it’s hard to tell through the layers of “sex slave” fantasy and women’s agency negation, but what they’re actually talking about are rentals used by touring escorts and those who don’t want to risk “pimping” charges by splitting the cost of a long-term rental with friends.

The Mote and the Beam (#771)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Harris County has filed a lawsuit against [a] Motel 6 [location, claiming]…the motel is a nuisance and has failed to abate criminal activity…The lawsuit said, “Officers have made numerous arrests for prostitution at this location as well as arrests for possession of illegal drugs, weapons, and violent crime.”  The lawsuit [demands]…Motel 6 maintain surveillance video, install and maintain electronic gates, prohibit cash only customers and hourly rates for stay…

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

Lenore Skenazy compares “sex trafficking” moral panic to an older form of bigotry-spawned hysteria:

…Facebook posts about fiends snatching innocent children are eerily reminiscent of an older, more pernicious scare:  a corrosive lie called the “blood libel,” in which Jews during medieval times were said to be killing Christian children and using their blood to make matzah…medieval scholar Emily Rose…describes the most famous blood libel of all:  the 1475 abduction and murder of a young Italian boy, Simon of Trent.  A Jew was accused of killing him for his blood.  It was not the first such story, but this one spread like wildfire thanks to a brand new social medium: print.  Posters and poems disseminated the allegations…Across the continent, people started claiming that a Christian child had been murdered by a Jew in their town, too.  “Most of these kids didn’t even exist,” Rose says, “and if they did exist, they weren’t killed.”  But that didn’t stop the stories from catching on.  And the people repeating them were no longer just plain peasants in a two-bit town…Today’s panicked moms probably don’t see themselves playing a role that goes back centuries.  But the only thing new is the medium they’re using to spread fear.

The Mote and the Beam (#780)

Just in case you think it’s only sex workers who will be harmed by SESTA:

…”ICE has recently re-defined the crime of human trafficking to include assistance, like housing and employment, that adults provide to juveniles who come to the United States without their parents.  In many cases, the adults being investigated and charged are close relatives of the minors who are supposedly being trafficked“…SESTA is drafted with language that…[allows] the government, both federal and state…to come after the platforms hosting any and all speech related to the assistance of immigrants, if any and all assistance can be considered trafficking.  The scope of what they could target is enormous: tweets warning about plain-clothed ICE agents at courthousessearch engine results for articles indicating whether evacuation centers will be checking immigration status, online ads for DACA enrollment assistance, or even discussion about sanctuary cities…If SESTA passes, platforms will either have to presumptively censor all such online speech, or risk prosecution by any government or state entity…

Between the Lines (#784)

“Operation Cross Country” is well-known for reinforcing the “sex trafficking” narrative by omitting figures for adult sex workers arrested, charging male sex workers as “pimps”, and listing arrested 16- and 17-year-old sex workers as “rescued children”.  But their most vile trick is abducting sex workers’ children, then claiming they were “rescued” or, even worse, “recovered”:  “An 18-month-old child was recovered in Baton Rouge and the child’s mother was arrested amid an FBI-led sex trafficking sweep that recovered 84 children and netted 120 trafficking suspects nationwide“…The word “recovered” refers to someone getting back something that rightfully belongs to them; for cops to use it about someone’s child is a blatant statement that the State views all children as its property.

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

Lack of Evidence

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

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

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

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

Where Are the Victims?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saving Them From Themselves

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

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

They Still Don’t Get It

Let’s play “count the idiocies”:

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

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

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

This is actually an excellent analogy:

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

Dutch Threat 

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

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

If Men Were Angels

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

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

Business As Usual

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

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

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

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-david-gonzalez

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

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

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

Harm Magnification (#668)

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

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

Too Close To Home (#672)

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

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

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

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Pedophiles are not…using the internet like it was an L.L.Bean catalogue to find unknown children.  –  David Finkelhor

The Swedish Pimpocracy

Sweden, the feminist paradise:

A police investigator has dropped a case against an ice hockey player accused of molesting a woman at a night club in northern Sweden – because she had “gigantic breasts”…investigator Mikael Lundberg said…“[the two women] were standing at a bar table and then he comes along drunk and drapes his arms around both of them from behind, and then he happens to touch one of their breasts.  And it should be noted that they had gigantic breasts.  It wasn’t hard to brush up against them”…

Hello, Dolly! Dolly Parton on Tonight Show 8-23-16

Most whores love Dolly as much as she loves us:

…Dolly Parton confirmed that she will play a prostitute in her second made-for-TV biopic, Christmas of Many Colors:  Circle of Love…a sequel to Parton’s 2015 film, Coat of Many Colors.  “When I was little, I patterned my look after the town trollop…I thought she was the most beautiful thing, because she had all this makeup, hair, tight clothes and everything I wanted”…

Harm Magnification

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

Rodrigo Duterte, the new President of the Philippines…promised to cleanse the country of drug users and dealers by extrajudicial means.  Since his inauguration, on June 30th, he has been following through with a vengeance.  In that time, more than eighteen hundred people have been killed—drug dealers, drug users, and in several cases people who happened to be nearby.  The youngest was five years old…Duterte has warned drug peddlers to surrender themselves or face summary execution.  “My order is shoot to kill you,” he said on August 6th.  “I don’t care about human rights, you’d better believe me”…seven hundred and twelve people allegedly involved with drugs have been killed by police, and another thousand and sixty-seven by presumed vigilantes.  Some six hundred thousand…[have] turned themselves in…drug users [are] being dragged out of their homes and shot at close range.  The two-year-old daughter of one suspected user was stripped and subjected to an anal exam to see if she was being used to conceal drugs…

The Enlightenment Police

The latest battle in France’s ongoing war on Muslim women’s personal autonomy:

The French burkini scandal exploded into further controversy…when a young Muslim mother was ordered off the beach at Cannes and fined for simply wearing a headscarf.  Three armed [cops] pointed a pepper spray canister in the 34-year-old’s face and told her she was in breach of a new rule outlawing swimming costumes that cover the entire body…is a former air-hostess from Toulouse whose family members have been French citizens for at least three generations.  “I wasn’t even planning to swim, just to dip my feet”, said Siam, who was wearing leggings, a top, and a headscarf…

And though this isn’t the major issue here, can we please stop referring to any hijab as a “burka”?

The Crumbling Dam

Alas, Seattle “officials” think harm reduction principles only apply to drug use:

Seattle may open America’s first safe heroin injection site…the city’s Heroin Task Force, formed by Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine, endorsed the plan to open a homeless shelter that would offer a safe place to inject heroin.  The proposal comes at a time when Seattle is dealing with a record-breaking overdose rate—in 2014, it was the highest in 20 years—and a 19% increase in homelessness since 2015…Seattle has already adopted a safe-consumption site for alcohol with great success…

Gullible’s Travels

Holy idosing, Batman!

…Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids.  We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices.  Worse, we see children that become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.  But it’s even worse than we think.  We now know that those iPads, smart phones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug.  Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex—which controls executive functioning, including impulse control—in exactly the same way that cocaine does.  Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels—the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic—as much as sex…Dr. Peter Whybrow…at UCLA calls screens “electronic cocaine” and Chinese researchers call them “digital heroin”…

The End of the Beginning Grand Rapids registry exclusion zones

“Punitive and stupid” is a good description of all “sex offender” registration laws:

…a federal appeals court ruled that retroactive application of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) violates the Constitution’s ban on ex post facto laws.  In doing so, the court offered a scathing assessment that suggests such laws make little sense even when they’re constitutional…the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit concludes that the…provisions, although framed as civil regulations, are mainly punitive in their effects.  That distinction between regulation and punishment is crucial because the Supreme Court has long read the Ex Post Facto Clause as applying only to the latter…

Monsters

Though most of the items appearing under this heading describe violence against transwomen, transmen are also the subject of violence and discrimination:

On October 28, 2011, the life that Ky Peterson knew came to an end…[when] he…was [raped] by a man who [had previously] made sexual advances toward him…Ky fought back in self-defense, which ultimately led to his attacker’s death…police arrested [Ky and his brothers], charging them with armed robbery and first-degree murder, and threatened to charge the teens as adults.  When it became apparent that Ky was injured, the police took him to a local medical center where he was tested with a rape kit.  The nurse who performed the examination confirmed that Ky had been brutally raped; yet she felt the need to point out [the obvious fact] that Ky “didn’t act like a woman who had been raped”…[he was eventually forced into] a plea “bargain” of 20 years — a sentence 10 years longer than Georgia law mandates…

Please consider signing the petition against this travesty.

See No Evil (#421)

Because obviously, these “pedophiles” can shoot dangerous “male gaze” radiation through the internet to harm the child:

K. is a cherubic 18-month-old with wispy blonde hair, very pinch-able cheeks, a toothy smile, and delightfully pudgy legs…her Instagram has well over 300,000 followers.  The account, which bears her name and is run by her 24-year-old mom, T., features more than 4,000 photos of the toddler dressed up in fashionable outfits, many of which are provided by sponsors…These images…receive hundreds, even thousands, of comments from people all over the world.  Largely, they consist of strings of emojis…In a number, the toddler is referred to as “sexy”.  This has sparked outrage among many…it reached a fever pitch…after T. posted a series of photos, all of which were [later] removed…showing K. without clothes on the beach…“You are a disgrace…How dare you serve up your child to what is obviously a fanbase of pedophiles?  I seriously hope you get a visit from CPS [Child Protective Services] at any moment and they separate you from that innocent child,” wrote one woman, who suggested that K. was being followed by an “international pedo ring.”  Wrote another, “She’s a child pornography peddler.  She’s not a mother”…

Schadenfreude (#606) 

Just another reminder of what “rescue” actually means:

…Prey Speu [is] the notorious detention centre on the outskirts of Phnom Penh designated for “re-educating” the homeless, the mentally ill and those who sell sex…prisoners [are locked]…in a room with 50 people…[and denied baths]…police often solicit money from sex workers [to not arrest them]…the asking price [varies] from $20 to $200 [Cambodian street workers charge $5 a trick]…“If there’s no money to give to the police, they will send us to the centre,” says…a 36-year-old sex worker…

Rooted in Racism (#635)

Remember, this is pretended to be about sex work:

Sixteen people have been detained in Romania, following a joint agency operation [with UK police]…Thirteen men…and three woman…were detained [and cops stole] cars; more than £9,000 sterling; more than 5500 Euros…The Zephyr operation began in the UK, when investigations were launched into a serious crime group suspected to be involved in…“pop-up” brothels across the south west…DI Tony Hubbard…said: “We hope to dissuade…Romanian [whores from coming to England]…will then seek to [steal] their [assets] through the Proceeds of Crime Act.  We [will also go after] landlords…[if] their accommodation is…being used as a brothel”…

Whatever They Need To Say (#648)

Houston, TX judge orders hotel to pay off cops & discriminate vs sex workers:

Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan…ordered the owners of…the Plainfield Inn…to install surveillance cameras and a security gate, prohibit cash payments without proper identification, eliminate hourly rates for rooms, restrict access only to registered guests and visitors with valid identification and [hire a pig] to provide security…

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This is like consulting the school bully on how to make the schoolyard safer.  –  anonymous Toronto resident, on consulting cops about harm reduction

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

If you’re raped by a cop, accuse him of offering to pay you for sex instead; that, they’ll fire him for:

…Fairview [Tennessee] Police Chief Terry Harris and assistant chief Mark Sutton have both been suspended…after one of their officers, Ronnie Williams, was arrested by…Nashville police in a prostitution sting…Williams was allowed to resign rather than be fired, which would be notated on his post certification possibly preventing him from going to another department…

Harm Magnification

Naturally, because it’s cops’ job to cause harm, not reduce it:

When word got out in mid-December that undercover [cops] had arrested two men accessing Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) needle exchange program…TPH’s own harm reduction workers scrambled to warn the drug user community…harm reduction workers [wondered]…Were plainclothes police riding in…mobile outreach vans?  Were they present during the highly sensitive and confidential process of rapid HIV/AIDS testing?…The Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance says police participation in the program has fractured the trust the harm reduction community has cultivated over decades with street-involved people…Zoe Dodd, a long-time harm reduction worker and community activist [said] “I don’t recall drug users ever saying they wanted -police to be involved.  This really just shows me that these agencies are more committed to their relationship with police than they are to their relationship with drug users”…

Saving Them From Themselves

Apparently, this stupid pig doesn’t think a lifetime on the “sex offender” registry is a “real severe thing”:

A Three Rivers, Michigan, teenager is both the victim and perpetrator of a sex crime.  He might land on the sex offender registry, and face criminal charges, all because he took…a nude photo of himself on a girl’s cell phone.  That girl sent the picture to another girl, who sent it to another.  Preliminary charges are pending for all three—the boy was charged with manufacturing child porn, and the girls with distributing it.  A prosecutor is still weighing whether to pursue the charges.  Police Detective Mike Mohney…[bloviated] that sexting is a serious crime because it leads to “bullying,” and “real severe things like people committing suicide or violent crimes against others because they’re so embarrassed about it”…

Scapegoats

Actually, the truth is worse.  The bill doesn’t add a new sodomy law, because Michigan never repealed its old one.  Politicians are just too spineless to repeal a blatantly-unconstitutional (an therefore unenforceable) law:

The Michigan Senate just passed a bill that makes sodomy a felony, despite the U.S. Supreme Court declaring such a law unconstitutional.  The…law…makes anal sex punishable by up to 15 years in prison…[and] is directly linked to a law against bestiality…saying…it is a felony for anyone to commit “the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal”…Senator Rick Jones says [changing the wording] could put the entire bill, created to protect animals, in jeopardy.  “The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing.  It’ll be done…Nobody wants to touch it.  I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen.  You’d get…a big fight that’s not needed because it’s unconstitutional.”  Jones believes that the sodomy ban can only be repealed if a bill is created to strike all unconstitutional laws from the state’s books, but he is not willing to do it at the expense of his dog bill…

Above the Law 

US cops don’t have a monopoly on raping whores:  “David Gibson…is on trial [in] Liverpool…after [raping]…a…sex worker [under threat of arrest]“…And this other arsehole was a serial offender:

A [rapist cop] has pleaded guilty to voyeurism after secretly filming himself [raping] prostitutes – but he was cleared of stalking them.  Irshad Kamal, 47, made dozens of films between 2010 and 2012 without informing the women involved.  His video library was discovered [after he attacked a sex worker]…by tearing her clothes off and grabbing her by the throat…Kamal was arrested when she posted his details on “Ugly Mugs” – a sex industry site for dangerous punters…

Naturally, neither was charged with rape.

First They Came for the Hookers…

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

When Cheryl’s manager discovered…[she] used to work in the sex trade…he joked that a name plate on her desk read “pubic relations.”  Kayla…was in a new job too when she says a [cop] informed a colleague she had formerly been a “prostitute and a junkie.”  She lost the job and saw no option but returning to the sex industry.  Both women encountered the degrading treatment when they attempted to leave sex work for new occupations, an obstacle that a recently published study calls the “whore stigma”…The women, whose names were changed in the study to protect their identities, reported  challenges from name calling to violence, identifying the stigma they faced as the most challenging barrier to leaving the sex trade…

Checklist

Is there any profession that the fetishists don’t think requires “signs of trafficking” training?

Cosmetologists all over Ohio have begun training to spot signs of human trafficking in their clients.  The new educational push was a requirement passed by the State Cosmetology Board for licensing…Director Christopher Logsdon said when Ohio’s more than 108,000 cosmetologists are trained; they will collectively touch tens-of-thousands of lives.  “Trafficking is a reality in Ohio and Ohio agencies are engaged to train as many as possible on identifying the signs of human trafficking,” Logsdon said. “We hope and pray that one day this Human tragedy will no longer plague our state and the nation”…

Birth of a Movement (#312)

It only starts with us:

Racial profiling, arbitrary house arrests, detentions, and deportation threats—they’re all too common in France these days as part of the “state of emergency” declared to fight terrorists.  But they’ve been familiar to France’s sex workers for quite a while, which is why they have joined those fighting to try to stop an extension of what some people have called the French “Patriot Act,” only worse…Authorities may search homes and place suspects under house arrest without a judicial warrant…and the government can set curfews and forbid large demonstrations…Morgane Merteuil…joined [a protest vs the “emergency” powers] on behalf of STRASS, France’s only sex-worker-led labor union…”The state of emergency doesn’t really change things for sex workers,” [said] Merteuil…”But it’s an extension of police practices that are already in effect for certain segments of the population, including sex workers”…

Available Weapon nuisance abatement map

Weapons forged for use against whores will work on anyone:

…The nuisance abatement law was created in the 1970’s to combat the sex industry in Times Square.  Since then, its use has been vastly expanded, commonly targeting apartments and mom-and-pop bodegas even as the city’s crime rate has reached historic lows.  The NYPD files upward of 1,000 such cases a year, nearly half of them against residences…The process has remarkably few protections for people facing the loss of their homes.  Three-quarters of the cases begin with secret court orders that lock residents out until the case is resolved.  The police need a judge’s signoff, but residents aren’t notified and thus have no chance to tell their side of the story until they’ve already been locked out for days.  And because these are civil actions, residents also have no right to an attorney…residents can be permanently barred from their homes without being convicted or even charged with a crime…

Cooties

Swedes just can’t admit that whores can do things for ourselves:

Police in Stockholm say the rise of Airbnb…has resulted in pimps booking apartments by using fake profiles…growing numbers of prostitutes [use] sublet apartments to charge for sexual services…prostitutes are active at around 200 addresses on a typical day in the city, with hotels no longer their accommodation of choice…pimps [create] fake profiles of respectable couples…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

Apparently, there’s at least one decent judge in Ireland:

A judge has rejected a State application to confiscate the “hard earned” income of two prostitutes which was stolen and later recovered.  Judge Patrick McCartan…praised the courage of the two women in attempting to stop…Mantas Grazevicius…until gardaí arrived…prosecuting counsel Tony McGillicuddy BL [had tried to steal] the € 2,675…for…the state as the proceeds of prostitution…

Fallen Idol

only three months have passed since the horrifying allegations and James Deen appears to have been welcomed back with open arms…Deen walked the red carpets of the XBIZ and AVN Awards, smiling and posing as if it were business as usual…Though Deen received a whopping 33 XBIZ nominations between him and his company, the popular porn star left without a single award.  AVN was a different story.  There, at the “Oscars of Porn,” Deen was awarded two statues as part of ensembles…While prominent companies Evil Angel and Kink were applauded for cutting ties with Deen in the wake of the sexual assault allegations, the scenes he has done for them will continue to be available for purchase…As his work continues to sell, companies will be inclined to hire him.  This is the nature of the business (and reliable male performers are hard to come by)…There is a clear divide within the industry among those who believe the allegations and those who do not, but few on either side…are willing to comment publicly, since he still carries considerable weight within porn…

The Course of a Disease (#606) 

It’s always so great to see academics stand up for us in print:

…MP Fiona Bruce published an article…urging the home affairs select committee…to criminalise the purchase of sex.  Her core argument…[is] fundamentally flawed.  The laws she so vociferously calls for are likely to have disastrous consequences for the safety of sex workers…Fueled by dogmatic radical feminists and ideologues from the religious-right, anti-prostitution sentiment transcends traditional party politics…Bruce’s piece offers an oversimplified and paternalistic argument in favour of the Swedish model.  She argues that prostitution – the sale of sex between two consenting adults – represents “sexual exploitation”.  In so doing, she dismisses a wealth of evidence that many women choose to sell sex and enjoy their sex working.  It is not uncommon for advocates of the Swedish model to argue that sex workers who claim to sell sex of their own volition suffer from “false consciousness” – they hold a distorted image of their own social situation.  They are victims without knowing it…

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For me, “whore” is a synonym for freedom.  –  Angela Villon

Lack of Evidence

As long as cops are given power over private behavior, this will keep happening:

A…Las Vegas [cop] was indicted by a federal grand jury…on felony charges of roughing up a woman he suspected was a prostitute.  Richard Scavone…was charged with violating the civil rights of the woman when he used excessive force while arresting her in January 2015 and falsifying his report of the encounter to obstruct an FBI investigation…Scavone…grabbed the woman around her neck and threw her to the ground, struck her in the forehead with an open palm, slammed her face into the hood of his patrol car two times and slammed her into the door of his car…Scavone was wearing a body camera during the scuffle, but police have [hidden]…the recording…

Rooted in Racism

No, this wasn’t a “mistake”; it was a deliberate action proceeding directly from government-approved profiling guidelines:

When Kathleen Chan and Jay Serrano boarded a flight from Miami to New York City, they didn’t expect to be escorted off the plane by police once it landed…the flight crew had alerted the police that it was a possible case of sex trafficking…the couple was [persecuted because] when Serrano went to the bathroom…because he was sick…Chan walked with him there and waited for him outside the lavatory.  And [later they shared]…a cup of orange juice…Michelle Guelbart, who works with the travel industry for…[rescue industry profiteers] ECPAT USA…[bloviated that] “One of the indicators for sex trafficking is someone who’s not allowed to move freely through the cabin”…

The Last Shall Be First

Pervert politicians want to give pedophile cops the power to inspect children’s genitals before they use the toilet:

A bill filed by a Virginia lawmaker…would require schools to be certain that children are using the restroom corresponding to their “correct anatomical sex”.  The legislation, which would prohibit transgender students from using the bathroom matching their gender, is being sponsored by Republican…Mark Cole.  House Bill 663 defines “anatomical sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s anatomy”…any student who violated the bathroom rules could be fined $50 by [armed government thugs]…Civil rights advocate Tim Peacock noted that “adults would be required to inspect children’s genitals before they use the bathroom” for the legislation to be enforceable…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

It’s kind of fascinating that so much effort is being expended over something that not only doesn’t exist, but will never exist in the form and timetable imagined in these articles:

The sexbots are coming.  Technology is transforming every step of our love lives.  What started as meeting and flirting through screens and progressed to sexy time over Skype is now leading to products that promise happier relationships and more meaningful connections…Experts predict that future generations will get frisky with the help of virtual reality goggles, holograms, stimulating bodysuits and, yes, erotic robots…What is the line between augmenting human connection with technology, and replacing it altogether?  What does it mean for sex as we’ve always known it — eye contact, skin, sweat — if there’s a digital third wheel in the mix?…

The Public Eye

Comfort Zone (#320)

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

Human traffickers are exploiting the U.S. visa system by forcing young women to pose as fiancées or family members of American gang members, who force them into a life of misery once here…Sold by their parents, lured by promises of wealth and fame or kidnapped, young women are being brought to U.S. soil in plain sight, and with federally approved paperwork, said Claude Arnold…of [ICE]…A newly released audit…confirms the U.S. government may have issued hundreds of visas to human traffickers…The report blamed a critical lack of communication between ICE…and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services…

Original Sin (#321)

It was inevitable that some state actors would eventually start mouthing this idiocy, despite the fact that porn is legal:

The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, announced Texas will combat modern-day slavery with a the state’s first human trafficking unit…“Where you find trafficking you find drugs, you find smuggling you find arms, you find violent crime of a whole large variety,” said [prosecutor] Kirsta Leeburg Melton…“There are huge links in the culture between pornography-use and the demand, that creates a demand for prostitution”…

Prudesville (#448)

Can this absurd little drama finally be over now?

…Carmela Panico faced up to a year in jail…but a judge agreed to grant the espresso madam a first-time offender waiver…Panico served two days in jail after her stands were raided in 2013. The former Snohomish woman…was forced to walk away from her lucrative bikini espresso stands in 2014 after pleading guilty to promoting prostitution and money laundering. Prosecutors alleged that the stands were operating as drive-through brothels, raking in millions. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Hendrix [pretended that] Panico engaged in predatory behavior, profiting from women with drug problems and financial troubles…

Feminists and Other Puritans

Suppressing dissident views is a typical behavior of religions:

Katherine Zappone, the [Irish] senator, has been criticised after a sex workers’ rights group claimed it was “uninvited” from her feminist conference because of political differences.  Fempower…had originally granted Ugly Mugs, the sex worker support group, a stand at the event but revoked the pass this week…

Stupor Bowl (#510) 

No facts to support your money-making propaganda?  No worries!  There are morally-retarded academics who’ll happily invent bullshit for you:

For the first time in its efforts to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl, the FBI will try to reach out to women and girls selling sex in the run-up to the game to give them a way out and get them to turn against their traffickers…This year’s event in the San Francisco Bay Area, like past bowls and other large sporting events, is expected to be a magnet for trafficking…according to [opportunistic liars who pretend]…that victims are often too fearful to help prosecute their traffickers…“A lot of times they don’t see themselves as victims,” said Jennifer Madden, a local prosecutor…[profiteers trying to keep the myth alive concede that] there is no evidence that additional women or girls are forced into prostitution to serve the Super Bowl market.  But [they pretend that] those already trafficked may be moved to such events…Dominique Roe-Sepowitz [designed a bullshit “study”] leading up to the 2015 Super Bowl in…Phoenix…They [invented] an uptick in online sex ads…[and pretended that] more than 60 percent of the 1,300 prostitution ads researchers flagged showed significant signs the sex provider was a trafficking victim…

Another Fine Mess (#547)

I’ve often pointed out that ordinary business practices don’t magically become newsworthy when whores use them.  However, I don’t so much mind these articles when their primary goal is demystification rather than gawking:  “…finding clients is just one small part of what technology can do for sex workers.  Equally, if not more, important is the way sex workers use apps and websites—often ordinary, everyday ones used by many outside the sex industry—to mitigate the risk that comes with their working environment…Penthouse September 1969

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#580)

Internet porn just claimed another casualty.  Penthouse has announced that it’s dropping its print magazine after 51 years of publication…the magazine [will] close its New York City offices and move into the Los Angeles location of its parent company, FriendFinder Networks.  FriendFinder isn’t specific about the reasons behind the decision besides a plan to “keep Penthouse competitive.”  However, it doesn’t take much to read between the lines.  Much like Playboy, Penthouse is struggling in an era when it’s trivial to find porn online…It had to either give its print mag a better reason to exist (Playboy‘s strategy) or else cut that overhead completely…

Harm Magnification (#599)

No, it’s not a “complicated issue”; it’s a non-issue complicated by the sociopathic need to control others’ sexual behavior:

London [Ontario’s] street sex workers fear growing isolation and the danger that comes with it…The places they fear most are often the one that many [clients] want to go, a survey of 33 workers found…The women said they would rather not travel to isolated places to perform sex, but the [clients] insist because they fear being caught…[due to] Canada’s new prostitution laws, which make it illegal to buy sex with punishment by fines and imprisonment…Prostitution legislation is a complicated issue with intense debate from all sides…

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[Prostitution law] is not about rationality or science or evidence.  It is just about ideology.  –  John Lowman

License to Rape

Cops don’t like it when non-cops poach on what they consider their territory:

Raul Antonio Ramos…could [be imprisoned]…for 50 years to life if he is convicted of [various rape-related felonies after]…he allegedly contacted [a sex worker]…in Anaheim…once inside [her room] he claimed to be a [cop], showed her his security-guard badge and threatened her with arrest if she did not have sex with him…He went on to forcibly rape the woman, using a GoPro video camera to record the entire incident…When Ramos tried to…orally [rape her]…she grabbed his keys and camera and ran out of the hotel room and down the street to a Joe’s Italian Ice shop to report the rape…Joseph Christoph Moore…of Anaheim, is [also] facing charges of  impersonating a cop and fondling two women in separate late November incidents…Moore approached a woman…whipped out a badge…told her to get against a wall, fondled her breasts and buttocks while “searching” her, pulled a handgun out of his waistband and warned her he would shoot her if she screamed.  In the second incident, he is accused of pressing a badge against a woman’s driver-side window, telling her she had expired tags…ordered her against a wall for a pat down and fondled her buttocks and inner thighs several times…Moore…could get life in prison if he is convicted…

Legal Is as Legal Does

Remember, sex work was re-legalized in Taiwan four years ago after ten years of US-style criminalization imposed due to pressure from Washington; however, it’s only “legal” in certain districts, of which none have been designated.  The result:

Authorities…cracked a prostitution ring operating in the Taipei area…officials probed possible links to international human traffickers in China and East Europe…18 people were arrested, including the two suspected leaders — 78-year-old Cheng Tsung-te (程崇德) and a 55-year-old woman surnamed Ku (顧)…Police officials [fantasized that] Cheng is…the “patriarch” of Taiwan’s underground sex trade with decades of insider experience…officials said that some of the alleged call girls were migrant workers from Southeast Asia who were under contract to work as home caregivers, but had run away…

They fled their “contracts” as caregivers to become sex workers, but it’s the latter which is supposedly “exploitative”.

Above the Law James Greene

A pretty typical case in all points:

…M’Leah…Hassan’s attorney Elton Richey claims former Shreveport [Louisiana cop] James Greene raped Hassan in his office in February after she came to the department to report harassing and threatening phone calls by a former boyfriend…The city of Shreveport and SPD are also accused of being negligent in its hiring, training and supervision of Greene…[who] was arrested and charged with abuse of office Feb. 13 and was fired from SPD Feb. 24…”They didn’t actually charge him with sexual assault,” Richey said. “I can’t…imagine the thinking that’s going on there.”  And now, 10 months later, the Caddo Parish District Attorney hasn’t brought the case to trial.  Richey said court dates are being pushed off and rescheduled…

Above the Law (#334)

You may recall that local “authorities” only wanted to charge the rapists with “accepting bribes”:

Two South Florida strippers claim in court that…Broward County [cops raped]…and threatened them after finishing their shift at a popular gentleman’s club…shortly after 4 a.m. on May 24, 2012…the City knew that [Franklin] Hartley and [Thomas] Merenda posed a threat to women, but still kept them on duty…

Traffic Circle

Pro-decriminalization articles are becoming much more common:

…the “rescue industry”…profits off the stigma of sex workers and…[collaborates with] the police, courts, and elected officials.  An instance of this is the ongoing pursuit of sex workers and clients who utilize…BackPage…By shutting down the websites that allow sex workers to manage their own business with a degree of autonomy, it would close a major revenue stream and give way to a return for those who victimize sex workers, the ranks of which have decreased with the rise of the internet…The [Providence] mayor’s call for more BackPage sting operations is especially disingenuous because, by painting all those who utilize the website as human trafficking victims or human traffickers, it creates no gradation or allowance for variety and exercise of constitutionally-protected rights…This type of state violence towards honest workers would be unacceptable in any other industry yet, because sexuality is involved in the equation, all existing norms of decency and respectability are ejected in the name of sensationalism…prohibition…forces sex workers to support the status quo of dissuading co-workers who want to work by any means necessary…After a sex worker is handed over to the rescue industry, they oftentimes find themselves forced into low-wage menial labor and subjected to puritanical ethics that prevent them from private access to the internet, sexual activity outside of marriage, and contact with former associates…

Harm Magnification (#427)

These articles are even more common in Canada:

Prostitution was dominating the headlines in the late 1970s when John Lowman was working on his PhD thesis.  Police raids of nightclubs in Vancouver and massage parlours in Toronto had pushed prostitutes onto the streets and Lowman thought he could use the crackdown on prostitution in his thesis on the impact of police behaviour on crime patterns…Over the decades…Lowman (now a Simon Fraser University criminologist)…found out what happened to prostitutes on the street and described the dangers they face [in] government reports and academic journals.  And he was flabbergasted by the callous indifference among top policy-makers as the number of deaths began to mount…Lowman is edging into retirement, and is still troubled by the abject failure of public policy to protect street prostitutes.  Policy-makers now have the benefit of more than 30 years of research-based evidence from across the country on violence against prostitutes as well as a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that focused on the barriers to safety that were created by the law.  But the provisions of the Criminal Code still compromise the safety of prostitutes…

Not an Addiction (#443)

an unnamed 28-year-old man from Siberia is suing…because he became “addicted” to Fallout 4…he planned to play the game a few nights each week but ended up on a three-week binge that resulted in the loss of his job.  He claims he was so addicted that he couldn’t even make time to eat or sleep.  Oh, and his wife left him.  Now, he is seeking around $7,000…for emotional distress…[saying] that if he knew the game could become so addictive, he…either wouldn’t have bought it or would have saved it until he was on vacation…the case is largely being viewed as a test in Russia as there haven’t been any like it before…such claims aren’t new.  In 2010, Craig Smallwood from Hawaii sued [the] Lineage II maker…after logging more than 20,000 hours in the game…Amazingly enough, Smallwood won his case…

Subtle Pimping (#503) Assassin's Creed image

Positive portrayals of sex workers are becoming more common in video games:

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s new Jack The Ripper expansion is a compelling if rough-edged remix of the base game that cleverly works in one of history’s most famous killers.  It pulls off another trick, too, going to extraordinary lengths to engender empathy for a group of people who don’t get much of it in video games: prostitutes…

An Example to the West (#544)

In Nicaragua, sex workers have been trained as peer educators in legal matters.  In Mozambique, it’s health matters:

In 2011, [Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)] began distributing condoms and giving lectures about HIV treatment in [Southeast Africa]…So that no person working in the sex industry on the route between Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi has to stop [HIV] treatment when moving to other cities for work, MSF created the Corridor Project, which provides medicine along the way…the project also includes education and awareness training, especially for sex workers…“But we still had a hard time reaching out to sex workers, who were afraid to face our team, due to the severe discrimination that they often suffer here.  We needed someone who was able to create a link between sex workers and Doctors Without Borders [MSF],” says [Humberto] Jassitene [of MSF].  The Peer Educator program…is made up of women who are sex workers at night but double as health workers for MSF during the day…

Checklist (#562)

Everyone’s hurrying to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria before the bubble collapses:

…Apps aimed at fighting human trafficking…are emerging as social entrepreneurs attempt to use technology to battle what they see as the forces of evil.  A group of government agencies and private foundations calling themselves Partnership for Freedom has set up a competition with the not-so-catchy name “Rethink Supply Chains” challenge.  What is grabbing attention is $500,000 in prize money that will be awarded for the best technology solutions to combat the use of slave labor…LaborVoices, a Sunnyvale, California-based venture, is entering the challenge with an app that allows workers to [snitch] simply and anonymously using a voice activated smartphone app…Made in a Free World, for example, created the Slavery Footprint app that generates estimates of an individual’s reliance on slave labor from data on trafficked human…the…challenge will pick as many as five finalists next month and award them $20,000 each to build a prototype.  The winner will be announced in April.

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#563)

So a reporter from Vice contacted a couple of escorts who use the German hooker app, Peppr, and interviewed them.  There are no surprises here, but you may find it interesting.

Seizing Power (#597)

Hey Breitbart:  swallowing the government’s “sex trafficking” propaganda makes you its stooges:

…Dart claimed that his effort was part of a crackdown on criminal sex traffickers who “prey on the weak and vulnerable.”  He argued that the use of credit cards in the “violent” sex industry “implies an undeserved credibility and sense of normalcy” to illegal transactions and increases the demand for “women and girls” who are often supplied through “coercion and violence”.  But the announcement outraged so-called “sex workers” across the globe, who said they were losing a convenient way to get paid…

Yes, they actually said “so-called ‘sex workers'”.

Innocence Never Had (#598)

Do these people really imagine that one basket full of ham and bog rolls will convince women to give up their jobs?

A group of volunteers spent their Saturday morning spreading Christmas cheer in Lake Charles [Louisiana]…”We are going to the areas that there is a lot of sex trafficking,” said Shawn Cardin…Founder of “I Am Loved”…[which harasses]…women in the sex trade industry…”We try to love everybody for Christmas,” said Cardin.  They came armed with food like frozen turkeys or ham and fresh fruits.  They also had house baskets filled with simple toiletries…”But more than anything we encourage and uplift these people”…

Also note that for the most part, “sex trafficking” has become nothing more than an especially-ugly dysphemism for sex work.

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