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Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’

Any invocation of tradition and moral values in support of a law that facially discriminate among classes of people calls for a healthy dose of skepticism on our part.  –  Judge Ilana Rovner

The Swedish Pimpocracy 

Sweden, the feminist Utopia:

Hundreds of allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced in Sweden in recent weeks…In a single day, 4445 women put their names to a petition in Svenska Dagbladet called ‘#medvilkenrätt’ (with what right) which calls for action against harassment and abuse of power within the justice system…One of the women…said that a district prosecutor had harassed her, repeatedly calling and texting her and, when she declined an invitation to dinner, threatening to destroy her career…”In every message, the threats grew more serious, and they began to include threats of assault and violence,” she wrote.  Another woman said that…a retired judge showed her photos of three defendants in a rape case and asked her “which of them I would most like to be raped by”…one woman said a lawyer asked her to collect “all the information on guys, clothes, pictures and so on relating to the plaintiff to show how ‘slutty’ she was”…

The Course of a Disease

Though there’s very little chance of this going anywhere in Latin America, it’s still disturbing to even see this filth appearing there at all:

Three months ago…Columbian legislator…Clara Rojas…began campaigning for new legislation which would fine people who pay for sex with up to $23,000,000 Colombian pesos (around $7,500 US dollars).  This proposal has been strongly condemned by Colombian sex workers, activists and academics…

The Notorious Badge

Just for once, it’d be nice to see a realistic show about sex work instead of these lurid wanking fantasies about teenagers:

Netflix has announced its second Italian original, a scripted series titled Baby, about teen prostitution in Rome.  The eight-episode show is loosely based on a scandal that created a stir in the Italian capital in 2014 when it surfaced that two…high school students…were engaging in part-time prostitution

It’s only “loosely based” because the real story would be much too boring and mundane.

Hall of Shame (#525)

The only person interviewed in this video who comes across as sane and reasonable is my friend Christina.  Bindel ends up sounding like an obsessed lunatic vomiting up moldy propaganda, and Hof’s denials (the author of The Art of the Pimp proclaiming he’s not a pimp despite owning seven brothels) make one wonder whether he’s as stupid as he thinks we are.

And I wish Reason TV would start interviewing more sex worker activists instead of repeatedly returning to Nevada’s deeply-oppressive crony brothel system, which is about as un-libertarian as one can get.

Fallen Idol

This has been an open secret for a while, so I’m unsure why it didn’t break when the James Deen revelations were in the news:

Last June, a woman named Ginger Banks posted a YouTube video that circulated widely among those in the adult entertainment industry…In the 10-minute clip…Banks compiles allegations against Jeremy from all corners of the adult-industry…including stories of everything from indecent exposure, nonconsensual digital penetration and rape…Rolling Stone spoke with more than a dozen women both on and off the record who made such claims against Jeremy, alleging that the famous porn star violated their boundaries, taking advantage of both his status as an industry legend and their status as sex workers as grounds to flout the basic rules of consent…Jennifer Steele…alleges that Jeremy raped her twice, once at a photoshoot and once at his apartment, in December 1997.  “He just kinda keeps going and pretends like you didn’t say anything.”  Jeremy refutes these accusations, claiming that all the interactions he’s had have been consensual.  “These allegations are pure lies or buyers remorse,” Jeremy told Rolling Stone in an emailed statement…

Little Boxes (#748)

Once again, prudishness trumps the Constitution:

To protect public health, safety, and morals, the government has an important interest in preventing women from going topless, a federal appeals court has ruled.  And the importance of keeping lady breasts out of public view overrules any First Amendment or equal protection issues that such a policy raises…Going topless might not be inherently expressive, “but to declare, as a matter of law, that it can never be expressive is the quintessence of throwing out the free-expression baby with the non-expressive-conduct bath water,” Judge Ilana Rovner wrote…The case (Tagami v. City of Chicago) stems from the 2014 ticketing of Sonoko Tagami, who took to the Chicago streets with only opaque body paint over her bare breasts to celebrate “GoTopless Day” that year.  Tagami was issued a $100 citation for violating the city’s ban on public indecency…

The Widening Gyre (#750) 

The “Facebook pimps” myth is one of the silliest of the whole panic:

If there’s new technology that teens are using to communicate, pimps know about it, [fantasizes] special agent Marty Parker, and they’re using it to snare potential victims…”Pretty much every popular social media site out there is being used for recruiting potential victims of sex trafficking”…Where once pimps stalked malls and group homes…now they’re all over the internet.  Social media facilitates ease of communication, for better or for worse, and Parker says it’s made the practice of pimping even easier…

In reality, as regular readers know, social media have made pimps unnecessary to most of the women who formerly employed them.

Lack of Evidence (#763) 

Hey ACLU, if sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has come out against a [politician’s] proposal to outlaw “prostitution-related loitering” in zones to be created [at will] by the Chicago Police Department, saying the plan is vague and could lead to people getting arrested based on how they’re dressed.  Under a plan from…Jason Ervin…the police superintendent could designate zones that are “frequently associated with prostitution-related loitering.”  Police could order people to leave those zones if the [cops fantasize that] they intend to engage in prostitution.  Anyone who returned to the area within eight hours of the police order to leave could be fined up to $500 or sent to prison for up to six months.  ACLU…spokesman Ed Yohnka took a dim view of the proposal, saying in a statement that the language is vague “and seems to encourage police to order people to disperse or even arrest them for what may be innocent and constitutionally protected behavior.”  Yohnka said a similar rule in New York City resulted in police arresting people based on how they were dressed, where they were standing, whether they had money on them or whom they were speaking to…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#789) 

Texas is vying with Washington, Arizona and Florida for the dubious distinction of being the US state which produces the most dangerously delusional “sex trafficking” propaganda:

The Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Division awarded four separate grants totaling $4.4 million to provide better victim services and criminal prosecution in cases of…sex trafficking…”Violent criminals toss victims into the criminal justice system” [Harris County District Attorney Kim] Ogg said…Houston is the No. 1 city for calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline…Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez [vomited out “end demand” fantasies and the tired idiocy about how]…”No child plans to enter the sex industry when they grow up”…

Even for someone as jaded as I am, the sight of a pig (DAs are just highfalutin’ pigs) proclaiming that “violent criminals” are actually the ones responsible for the state’s war on consensual behavior is pretty revolting.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#789) 

It’s rather satisfying watching the “sex addiction” myth implode in real time:

…a closer look at the evidence yields little proof that an unhealthy obsession with sex is comparable to an addiction to drugs or alcohol.  Sex-addiction therapists argue that their patients experience symptoms of withdrawal and risk-taking…much like substance addicts…Yet these reports are largely anecdotal.  Studies have yet to prove that people who feel they have a problem with sex or porn regularly increase the time they spend consuming it, or move on to more “extreme” stuff.  As for withdrawal symptoms, people sometimes feel anxious or distressed when they abstain from this behaviour, but these are not analogous to the symptoms of substance addicts, which are often physiologically profound and medically serious…Keith Humphreys, a Stanford psychiatrist…is sceptical of the idea that you can be addicted to things – like food and sex – that we are hard-wired to consume in order to survive.  “You don’t need to invoke an unusual pathological explanation for why human beings eat and why they have sex, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be here,” says Humphreys.  Substances like heroin, by contrast, not only more dramatically hijack our brain’s pleasure pathways but also inspire behaviour that threatens people’s survival, so an addictive process is necessary to explain our attachment to them…

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American police are…obsessed with enforcing exactly which body parts can be massaged and by whom.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Where Are the Victims?

There was no evidence…[of] threat…or any form of…coercion…

Hong Chin, 45, his former partner Li Wei Gao, 44, and lover Ting Li Lu, 47, [brought sex workers] to the UK from China, Hong Kong and Korea…Chin was given a prison term of four years by Judge Philip Katz…[who bloviated a lot of inane nonsense about “bosses” and “conveyor belts” before admitting that] there was no evidence Chin had made women work by threat of forceful use of violence, or any form of physical coercion, but [denied that women are adults capable of choice by adding]: “It seems to me this was a sustained, cynical and organised exploitation of women”…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

A [ratout] call…chronicled blood splatter, vomit, and undeterminable stains on nearly every surface of a downtown strip club.  The dance poles were filthy with bodily fluids, as were the beds in the secluded VIP rooms upstairs.  The women there had caught warts, scabies, and microbugs…Minneapolis inspectors uncovered soiled pillows and comforters…and…A [single] used condom…inspectors…harvested samples of semen stains from 11 out of 17 businesses.  But rather than crack down, they sought to understand what was happening with the city’s flesh merchants…[a bureaucrat] asked…the University of Minnesota to assist…[under] the [false] impression [that the “research” was not disguised] government surveillance [driven by] the moral preoccupation of [prudes]…social workers could be the city’s [spies in] the clubs…

Strip clubs have tons of problems, including (sometimes) floor goo.  But these derive from the shadowy legal zone in which politicians and cops force them to operate, not vice-versa.

To Molest and Rape 

This week’s rapist cop is a good example of the McNeill Rule:

A retired NYPD [cop]…who was part of a sex crimes unit…[was] arraigned…on more than 80 counts of child sexual abuse… Nicholas McAteer…molested two family members who are not his children for nearly a decade…his victims were 12 and 13 when the abuse began…The…assaults…took place in McAteer’s home while his wife was sleeping and in his unmarked NYPD patrol car, while he worked for a sex crimes unit in Manhattan and its…Bureau [to get cops off when they commit crimes]…

Full of Themselves (#650)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

Every week, headlines from across the country announce undercover operations, often months long, dedicated to catching and punishing people for offering erotic massages.  And the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are increasingly involved…”Happy endings” have apparently become a matter of national security…In Suffolk County, New York, police just raided an Asian spa based on the neighbors’ suspicions…Colorado cops spent a year investigating Yoshiko Therapy after seeing an ad for the place on Backpage…Phoenix police spent five months investigating a middle-aged woman under suspicion of offering sensual massages from her home…In…Oswego [Illinois], a “long term investigation” into one local spa led to…[arrest] of two middle-aged Chinese women…In San Francisco, city prosecutors have been suing massage parlors out of business if workers there are arrested on prostitution charges.  Landlords of the buildings where they operate are also be sued and fined…Hemet [California] recently went fishing for evidence of prostitution or human trafficking at the city’s massage parlors.  Finding instead small businesses operating exactly as advertised, code-compliance cops issued 44 violations for things like inadequate signage…Rockford, Illinois, found no evidence of human trafficking or prostitution at two local massage parlors but shuttered them anyway…for operating without a…license…A six-week operation in Fresno, California…targeted [a] strip-mall spa…sending undercover cops there multiple times…

The Prudish Giant (#659)

Once Patreon caved to PayPal the first time, this was  inevitable:

Adult content creators are worried they won’t have a safe, viable income source in Patreon anymore…[after] the site…made its [so-called] community guidelines on adult content more strict…the platform is [now] casting too wide of a net about what’s considered “pornographic”…it’s currently very difficult for adult content creators to get paid online, and Patreon has in recent years emerged as one of the main sources of revenue for many…many of them have spent years building up a fanbase of people who support them financially—if they’re kicked off the platform…their livelihoods will be at risk.  A spokesperson for Patreon [lied]…that porn was never officially allowed on Patreon…

Every online giant builds itself on the backs of sex workers, then throws us under the bus in the name of “respectability” once it gets established.

Pyrrhic Victory (#673)

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

…Section 702 [of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] is set to expire on December 31.  The draft reauthorization…would extend it through 2025…[the] bill…would “allow the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other agencies to search through emails, text messages, and phone calls for information about people in the U.S. without a probable cause warrant from a judge”…in eight…domestic offense categories, including “human trafficking”—a crime U.S. law-enforcement has broadened to include sexual exchange between consenting adults and any aid to undocumented immigrants—and sexting between teens…

Send In the Clowns 

This year’s clown panic was extremely disappointing:

A [South Carolina] man reported seeing a clown with a knife…[on a] road…around 1 a.m….two [cops] responded…[but] were unable to locate anyone dressed as a clown…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#714) 

Say what you like about Playboy; it’s always been in the front on social issues:

Playboy responded to backlash against its first transgender Playmate with a series of tweets comparing recent social media reactions to reader letters about its first black Playmate in 1965…Ines Rau…[became] the first openly transgender person to be named a Playmate.  The move drew criticism from some users on social media…most notably, former porn star and Playboy cover model Jenna Jameson.  “I have a problem with it just like I have a problem with a transgender competing against biological women in sports,”she tweetedPlayboy responded to the backlash with a series of powerful tweets…Caroline Cossey, the first openly transgender woman to appear between the covers of Playboy…[noted] that Hefner’s decision to feature her helped change cultural perceptions of trans people in the 1980s…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#724) 

Once again:  woman-shaped toasters have no “moral code”.  They are objects without minds, rights or feelings:

The sex robot phenomenon looks set to sweep the nation, with prostitutes fearing they will soon be out of work.  Hyper-realistic bots will even be able to fake orgasms and have fully-blown conversations, inventors [fantasize]…Sergi Santos…claims his…[robot] Samantha will be able to tell if [masturbators] are naughty or nice…Santos has claimed that her arousal level will be directly affected by how nice a person is…based on their previous conversations and sessions…

The only prostitutes who “fear they will soon be out of work” from these overgrown Talky Tinas are either very stupid or suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder.

Too Close To Home (#742)

Ugly regurgitated sexual fantasies from a sexual predator with the Washington State Rape Department:

Carlos Rodriguez…pursues [adults for private sexual acts using the excuse of]…juvenile sex trafficking…Since August 2015, Rodriguez and his two detectives have conducted eight undercover sting operations…and [arrested] 22 [underage sex workers they labeled as]…victims…”People order girls like they order pizza,” he [panted while fingering himself furtively]…”it’s everywhere…It could be right next door…Somebody is being abused right now…I can [take] some heroin…Ecstasy or pills, methamphetamine, and…once [the trip is over], it’s gone.  It’s used up.  When [I masturbate to thoughts of] a child, that’s a reusable commodity.  I can [fantasize about] that over and over, and I still have it…So, when [I] think about it [while masturbating, I]…don’t have to worry about [any] other [fantasy material]…”

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

Some companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

…Manus Cooney…Chairman of the Board of NCMEC…basically lists every…big Hollywood/legacy copyright player as a [lobbying] client.  Viacom, Time Warner, the Authors Guild, Comcast (owners of NBC Universal), the Copyright Alliance, the Music First Coalition (an RIAA front group), Random House, Reed Elsevier, SoundExchange (an RIAA spinoff), Songwriters Guild of America, and others…Hollywood really wants SESTA to pass for a variety of reasons, nearly all of them focused on its weird visceral hatred of one company:  Google…the Sony Pictures hack a few years back revealed the existence of Project Goliath — in which the various Hollywood studios colluded to try to support doing anything to harm Google.  The key part of the Project Goliath strategy was to convince…state Attorneys’ General to target Google for basically anything bad found on the internet…including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, sex trafficking and, of course, copyright infringement…That flopped, in large part because of CDA 230, which protects sites from the actions of third parties.  Now, along comes SESTA, whose entire point is to punch a giant hole in CDA 230, such that if a site is used to “facilitate” trafficking, the site suddenly loses its immunity.  Another key point in SESTA: saying that claims brought by states Attorneys General are no longer immune from action under CDA 230. Hmmmmmm…

The Widening Gyre (#785) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

Several posts about a human trafficking ring in Tulsa are making rounds on Facebook, but Tulsa Police say the rumors are untrue.  One of those posts got more than 2,500 shares…One of the posts even says police confirmed it.  Police say this is untrue…Some of the posts also talk about people approaching children, asking them to get into their vehicles.  While this may have happened, Sgt. Todd Evans says it doesn’t amount to child sex trafficking…

Cooties (#786) 

Understand what this actually is:  a cop non-consensually using sex workers as props in a public recitation of his BDSM masturbation fantasy:

Men who [hire] sex workers in pop-brothels operated by [imaginary] crime gangs are committing rape, Cornwall’s most senior police officer has [fantasized]…The [fantasy of a] sex den epidemic in Cornwall first [became popilar among cops]…in July 2016, and…[cops exploit sex workers in theses fantasies by slandering them as] not technically consenting…

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Radfems…use terms like “sell herself” as though, at the end of the transaction, a woman has sold off a body part.  –  Lauren Rosewarne

Saving Them From Themselves

Apparently Dan Rubinstein has never heard of this thing called “pregnancy”:

…Ronald Lee Love faces a felony child sexual-exploitation charge for exchanging explicit text-messages with someone with whom it would have been legal for him to have had sex.  Love, who lives in Mesa County, Colorado, began corresponding last summer when he was 25 with a 15-year-old girl who lives in New England…he explicitly insisted that their relationship remain digital because he believed physical activity was illegal…In Colorado, however, the age of consent is 15, so long as a sexual partner is not 10 or more years older…Yet authorities in this same state have decided someone…Receiving or possessing sexually-oriented images of someone under age 18…is a felony punishable by one to six years per offense…Local authorities defended their position that sexting is worse than actual sex, contending that…while a real-life sexual liaison might be a one-or limited-time thing, the teen sending Love her photo could “potentially come back to haunt this girl 30 years from now,” said Mesa County District Attorney District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.

Because obviously being saddled with a brat at 15 wouldn’t be NEARLY as bad as the kind of nudie pics that every ordinarily-sexual woman in the developed world has floating around.  Do pigs (I count DAs as part of that species) ever sound as stupid as they do when coming up with moronic rationalizations for moronic laws?

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Heroic Irish “authorities” save a man from getting his kidney transplant paid for:

A 73-year-old Brazilian prostitute…working in a brothel in…Kildare…walked free from court because she planned to return home as soon as the…case was over…She…was running the brothel…to pay for her 40-year-old son’s kidney transplant.  She also wanted to return home to her seriously ill 98-year-old mother…gardai…found just €80 in cash at the property…but…Judge Zaidan…[stole it anyway] and [gave it to Ruhama]…

Irish judges have a long an sadistic history of robbing sex workers and giving the money to those who want us imprisoned in workhouses and our families destroyed.

The Notorious Badge

You know peak hysteria has been reached when a moral panic features in afternoon soaps:

Young and the Restless (Y&R) spoilers for the week of August 7 and 14 reveal that Sharon…finds herself in grave danger while investigating a sex ring in Genoa City…Crystal…claims she is being held against her will by a prostitution ring…[and] is trying to escape from her captors who are following her… Zack is involved in the prostitution ring and…his dating app project with Abby Newman is linked with the operations of the criminal ring.  Abby Newman will soon find out that the dating app she is developing with Zack is part of a sex trafficking operation…

End Demand

Authoritarians would be even more dangerous if they could actually get their shit together:

People convicted of buying sex have, since February, been eligible for a program to [indoctrinate] them [in anti-sex propaganda]…But no one has been sentenced to it yet…[because] Bismarck [North Dakota]…City Attorney Jason Hammes…did not know it existed…”It appears the municipal prosecutors and judges may not be aware of it,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem wrote in a letter to city attorneys and municipal judges on July 25…

Watershed

Australia has far more sane feminists than does the US:

While women’s libbers have spent decades fighting to get us dominion over our own bodies, radical feminists have spent almost as long trying to insert caveats.  Apparently there are right and egregiously wrong ways to use our bodies – more specifically our genitals – particularly when dollars are involved…I not only vehemently disagree with the radfem position, but I view it as fundamentally un-feminist…If feminists aren’t fighting for my right to use my body how I choose, then they’ve dramatically detoured from their mission…

Decentralization (#444)

Remember “titcoin”?

“Lust” is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services.  It uses…anonymity features to escrow funding of the parties and keep their identities private, in order to avoid law-enforcement scrutiny and public shaming.  Leaving aside the thorny moral and social questions raised by the currency’s intended use…the “smart contracts” favor one side of the bargain: the “key has to be scanned later if they make an agreement and meet otherwise the contract gets automatically closed in 48 hours, and the client gets his Etherium tokens back in the wallet”…if the “client” has sex with the worker, and then does not scan her (sic) token, the client gets to have sex, and the worker gets nothing.  Despite high-minded talk about preventing violence against sex-workers, the major threat-model addressed by these smart-contracts is men who don’t feel like they got value for money when having sex, not women who perform sex-for-money and don’t get paid for it…

Despite Cory Doctorow’s pompous pearl-clutching (since when is consensual sex a “thorny moral question” to anyone but authoritarians?) he’s right about the way this would work, which means no sane sex worker will ever use it.  Cash up front, guys, or you get nothing.

Shift in the Wind (#510)

The Adam Smith Institute continues its support of decriminalization with a commentary on a new paper by Ron Weitzer:

…sociologist Ronald Weitzer…gives new insight into the sorry state of the academic literature on these topics.  First on his list of grievances is the unreliability of the data that is often used…[but] Flawed data is just the tip of the iceberg…[often] the authors’ approach to study design also leaves a lot to be desired…”The authors use aggregate national trafficking estimates (which combine labor, sex, and other kinds of trafficking) in their attempt to assess whether legal prostitution makes a difference. This means that there is a gross mismatch between the trafficking figures and prostitution law:  In assessing whether prostitution law is related to the incidence of trafficking, figures on sex trafficking alone should be used, not the totals for all types if trafficking“…A subsequent study by Cho (2016) using a different data source contains another howler…”Without citing any source, Cho claims that ‘prostitution is closely linked to human trafficking because sex trafficking for the purpose of prostitution is the most common form of human trafficking and constitutes the largest fraction of trafficking victims’…This claim is contradicted by the International Labour Organization (ILO)…[which states] ‘Forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 11% of all cases’ of forced labor worldwide“…Weitzer’s paper would be an interesting academic exercise in the perils of low-quality data and poor research methodology, except for the fact that policies being enacted on the basis of [these bad] studies are hurting marginalized women…when it comes to scaremongering stories about sex trafficking epidemics and accompanying calls for the “Nordic Model”, extra caution should be exercised.

Cops and Robbers (#629) 

More vigilantes playing with people’s lives and lying to men in an attempt to steal income from sex workers who may need it to pay rent and feed their children:

A new [chat]bot built by Microsoft employees in their spare time…[was] tested recently in Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington…[it] lurks behind fake online ads…posted by [anti-sex worker profiteers]…and responds to text messages sent to the number listed.  The software initially pretends to be the person in the ad, and can converse about its purported age, body, fetish services, and pricing.  But if a would-be buyer signals an intent to purchase sex, the bot pivots sharply into [prohibitionist propaganda]…”Buying sex from anyone is illegal and can cause serious long term harm to the victim, as well as further the cycle of human trafficking…Details of this incident will be reviewed further and you may be contacted by law enforcement for questioning”…Project Intercept’s lead partner, Seattle Against Slavery, is working with counterparts in 21 other U.S. cities, including Boston and Houston, to deploy the bot more widely…Project Intercept was started in 2012 by two Microsoft employees after seeing a [movie] about sex trafficking…

Given the involvement of the vile SAS and the list of cities involved, methinks Swanee Hunt’s foul reek is all over this.

Lack of Evidence (#696)

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

On July 31, an undercover cop in Columbus, Georgia, invited a 51-year-old woman into his car and offered her $5 for oral sex. When she rebuffed his offer and tried to get out, he arrested the woman for loitering for the purpose of prostitution…a controversial charge commonly used by the Columbus Police Department (CPD) to target those such as homeless women, people who’ve previously been arrested on prostitution charges, or people who don’t meet a [cop’s] standard of gender conformity.  On Sunday morning, CPD officers arrested a 24-year-old homeless woman for allegedly waving at two passing cars from the side of the road…Last summer, 24-year-old C. Williams was arrested while sitting at a bus stop because…Williams was carrying condoms and “dressed as a woman”…the city statute…expressly says evidence of an intent to commit prostitution or sodomy includes the person being “a known prostitute, pimp or sodomist”…

The Widening Gyre (#696) 

Given the number of companies profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria, it should come as no surprise when individuals start using it for publicity stunts:

British model Chloe Ayling…claims she was held captive for almost a week after being lured to Milan, Italy, for what she was told was a photo shoot.  Her alleged captor, Lukasz Pawel Herba, [supposedly] drugged her and placed her in a large suitcase in a car boot…Ayling was allegedly held hostage for up to six days as her abductors [supposedly a group called “Black Death” with ties to the Russian mafia] tried to sell her as a sex slave…The gang says its victims can be “transported globally” and advertises its activities, saying: “If you wish, we can kidnap a specific target for your needs…The advert claims the abductors “do not sell girls that are terminally ill, pregnant, have STDs or are young mothers”.  It has been suggested the gang let Ms Ayling go after realising she had a two-year-old son…While [sensible] people have raised doubts about her story, her lawyer, Francesco Pesce, said investigators believed her claims…

That cops, whose credulity on the topic of crime knows no bounds, believe the story is an argument against its being true, not for it.  Another is the notion of a gang which has no problem selling women into slavery, yet revere the sanctity of motherhood, and yet another is the fact that Ayling was seen shopping for shoes with her alleged abductor during the time she was supposedly bound to a chest of drawers (?) at a farmhouse.

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This is the most disgusting way of profiting from sex workers I’ve ever seen.  –  Felicia Anna

Maggie in the Media 

Two years ago, during a weekend I mentioned in a diary column, I gave an interview to Dr. Heather Branstetter for her recently-published book, Selling Sex in the Silver Valley.  Sadly, the interview didn’t make it into the final text (such are the ways of editing!), but Dr. Branstetter recently published a post about the interview in her blog (in which she says some very lovely and flattering things about me).  Do give it a look, and if the subject intrigues you be sure to buy a copy of the book!

The Notorious Badge

Why does everyone involved in any show about sex work feel compelled to vomit out all kinds of neofeminist nonsense?

The Deuce producers and stars want to draw a [whorearchical] line about the series:  It’s about porn, but is not porn itself.  That means that all of the problems associated with porn — the misogyny, the abuse, the objectification – are featured…as part of the exploration of the topic, not for gratuitous storytelling…co-creator David Simon [bloviated]…“It would be a mistake to look at this and think that we are in any way trafficking in misogynistic imagery or objectification”…As an actress playing one of those objectified women, [Maggie] Gyllenhaal also weighed in…“It should make you consider your position in how sex is commodified”…

But it’s OK when it’s “commodified” by actresses with six-or-seven-figure paychecks, isn’t it Maggie?  It’s just not OK for us lowly three-or-four-figure a pop girls.

Subtle Pimping (#330)

Remember that moronic “escape the pimp” video game? Now there’s a live-action version:

…how about visiting the Red Light District Escape Room, where you have to escape from a window brothel before your “pimp” returns, isn’t that a fun idea?!  Yes, this is now possible in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.  A great way to profit over the existence of prostitutes…plus as as a  bonus you get to increase the stigma of sex workers as victims!…Original Tours & Activities Nederland B.V. is now offering…a fun experience, where you get locked up in a fake window brothel, and you have to “escape” by following the clues in the room within 60 minutes, before your “pimp” comes back.  According to the website the hilarious rating is 8/10, with a difficulty degree of 4 stars and an escape ratio of 63%.  The costs?  Only €14,50 per person, or €12,50 with 13 people or more…

Case Study

Another dumb, sensationalized article, now with added whorearchy:

…Peter Dandos…[has been accused] of operating a brothel…a lot…lately:  protests have been held outside his massage parlour for more than six weeks…Dandos is confused by the protests.  “If they really want to stop something, why don’t they start with the escorts?…if they want to stop something they should start there”…

Too Close To Home (#672)

The fanatically-prohibitionist Seattle Times has once again revisited the takedown of The Review Board, vomiting out the same old cop lies and masturbatory fantasies as they have on the subject for the past 19 months.  Compare this exercise in cop fellation and myth-regurgitation with Liz Brown’s thorough & well-researched piece on the subject (linked in the subtitle above), and then understand the the reporter who prepared this new trash read Liz’s one and completely ignored it, except for the lines she plagiarized without attribution.

Send In the Clowns 

Only another month or so before the “creepy clown” hysteria returns!

A man is accused of drunkenly strolling down a Maine road wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and a clown mask and brandishing a machete taped to where his arm had been amputated…Corey Berry…was arrested…and charged with criminal threatening…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing medical school:

As physicians who have treated victims of human trafficking and research this scourge, we believe that this form of severe exploitation is under-recognized in health care settings and live are being lost because of that.  The International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes aim to describe diseases and causes of death and disease.  These codes, which are used for everything from hospital billing to research, establish legitimacy for the conditions that harm and kill people every day.  As the World Health Organization works toward its 11th iteration of these codes, we urge that “victim of human trafficking” be recognized as an official diagnosis…

A medical diagnosis.  Seriously.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#735) 

Even for the prohibitionist New York Times, this is pretty jaw-dropping; somehow this reporter imagines that going from writing an anti-porn rant to producing two anti-porn documentaries somehow constitutes Rashida Jones “changing her mind about porn”.  The stupidity and colossal ignorance on display here are almost unbelievable.

Bogeymen (#754)

Remember this story the next time you hear pigs oinking about how they “busted” some “pimps”:

Ms Norman, the 70-year-old woman who was arrested because she stayed to try to save the life of a man who had collapsed in the brothel where she was working as a cleaner, was…found guilty of assisting in the management of a brothel…This prosecution sends a signal to sex workers everywhere that the police are more concerned with their targets…than with the value of human life…Ms Norman…got paid £6 an hour…We now wait to see if the police and courts further persecute Ms Norman by trying to take her savings and assets under proceeds of crime law…

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I stayed rather busy last week, from walking with SWOP in the Seattle Pride parade on Sunday (because somebody has to speak up for sex workers, since Gay, Inc won’t), to spending an overnight in Portland with one of my favorite gentlemen (whom I’m going to call Ghost Rider, a nickname that he approves of), to going to see Wonder Woman on Thursday night with Jae.  I wasn’t really planning to see it, because as regular readers know I’ve been a major Wonder Woman fan since childhood and DC has been totally fucking up every single superhero film it has made in this century, from a dark, murderous Superman to a clownish Green Lantern, and I just couldn’t bear to see that done to the Amazon princess.  But Jae asked me to take her to the movie and I wasn’t about to disappoint her; as it turns out, I’m really glad she asked because I was extremely pleased with the film, which may well be the best DC superhero flick ever (including the justly-beloved Christopher Reeve Superman).  I’m not saying it was flawless, but I was easily able to overlook the flaws due to the superlative portrayal of Diana’s personality and character and the skill with which the director depicted her growing from a sheltered princess into a heroic, unstoppable champion of righteousness and compassion.  In the sequence where she truly becomes Wonder Woman, a charge across no man’s land (the film takes place in the First World War rather than the Second of the traditional story) to rescue a village whose plight has moved her heart, I literally cried out loud, sobbing at the beauty and power of the scene.  It was quite an experience, and I highly recommend the picture to anyone who enjoys superheroes or strong female characters, and especially to anyone who has an adolescent daughter to share the experience with.

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I have so little respect for Cindy [McCain] and her objectives…that even under the best of circumstances I do not think [her] organization merits existence.  –  Tom Gosinski

Against Their Will 

Brave women overpower their captors to escape a brainwashing prison, yet reporters insist on using the word “rescue” throughout the story:

Twelve women who were rescued from immoral trafficking and were undergoing vocational training at a rescue home ran away after assaulting their trainers and tying them up…Police…have been [dispatched] to [hunt down] the women…

Saving Them From Themselves

Yes, the cops were called in because young people were talking about a subject it’s natural for them to be interested in, and for sharing pictures of what they actually look like.  This is Western society in 2017:

Halton [Ontario] school boards and police are deeply concerned after it was revealed…sexting and sharing nude pictures had become a popular activity among Grade 7 and 8 students…hundreds of mostly 12- and 13-year-old students…were engaged in the [arbitrarily] illegal activity…the number of students discovered to be involved surprised [incredibly clueless] police and educators…[Superintendent Scott] Podrebarac [pretends normal adolescent sexual development]…“is a police matter”…due to the sheer number of kids involved, the boards and police chose instead to…[threaten and brainwash the young people] and parents…possession of [photos of their own bodies]…is a serious offence, and Podrebarac said kids wouldn’t be getting a second warning…Podrebarac [threatened]…[that] parents who pay for the phones…[could] be charged [with possession of “child pornography”]…

Finding What Isn’t There

The mental gymnastics cops employ to explain why they can’t convict people for “crimes” that never happened:

…as…[Maryland] police aggressively [charge people with]…human trafficking with double the amount of investigative resources they had more than two years ago, prosecutors are still struggling to win convictions.  Nearly 75 percent of charges…were dropped over the last seven years…despite ambitious agendas by [“authorities”]…data to [demonstrate there is a]…problem does not…exist…To win convictions for felony human trafficking, prosecutors must prove the pimp used force, fraud or coercion…[but] without the [collusion] of [sex workers branded as] victims [by police & prosecutors]…most charges are dropped…

Property of the State 

US women need to strongly consider permanent sterilization, and remember that it’s both honorable and moral to lie to busybodies:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions…the…aim was to overturn a…[St Louis] ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices…landlords could refuse to offer housing to women…while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them…they could [also legally] ask women [about the subject]…

Instant Criminal

Cops already do this to people:

…the scam starts by an alleged woman contacting a man through an online dating app or website…The texting then turns sexual and includes the exchange of nude photos and plans to meet…the male victim…is then called by a person claiming to be a part of Iowa’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The scammer tells him the woman is underage and there is now child pornography on his phone.  The scammer says child pornography is also on the woman’s father’s phone because she was using it communicate with the male victim.  The scammer then tells the victims he will need to replace the father’s phone or face legal action…The [supposed] father tells the victim to wire several hundred dollars to him to pay for the new phone…Victims are encouraged to [turn themselves in to the pigs & hope to be believed]…

Absolute Corruption (#542) 

Fran & Dan Keller have been exonerated at last:

Twenty-five years after they were convicted of a crime that never happened, Fran and Dan Keller were formally exonerated…in Austin, Texas.  The couple’s prosecution in 1992 was part of…the…Satanic Panic…The Kellers…paid an exceptionally high price for the credulousness of…law enforcement…

Signs

Fetishists now want pigs spying on women in bars: “[Ohio] plans to train 80 undercover agents…to spot the signs…[of] human trafficking victims.  These agents would be on high alert in places like bars where victims may be taken“…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#709)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

Reuben…Coppa’s Rendevu mobile web app is an on-demand platform for adult services that hopes to make the industry safer for both clients and working professionals…Rendevu has secured $700,000 in a recent round of funding which makes it the only funded app in the niche.  The app lets professionals display real time availability, list prices, and display ratings including profile accuracy.  On the client side, the app pre-authorises credit cards to ensure safety and confirm the payment before services are rendered.  The appointment process also involves an ID confirmation by the escorts which adds another layer of security…Rendevu looks like a game changer for an industry sorely in need of disruption.

If these idiots had bothered to consult even one sex worker, they’d know that we have no interest in having our industry “disrupted”.

The Red Umbrella (#724) 

I’m glad to see this piece of shit flop:

…much-hyped comedy Rough Night had a rough showing at the box office during its opening weekend…[it] brought in just $8 million — about half what was expected…A comedy revolving around the death of a sex worker is a hard sell in general, but when the target audience is female, and sex work is overwhelmingly a female profession, it becomes harder for audiences to approach flippantly.  Before the film even came out, the public was expressing horror about the plot on social media…Bloggers in some corners of the internet weren’t particularly thrilled either…Intersectional feminism has been working very hard the last few years to alter how sex workers are viewed by those who don’t work in the industry.  It has been remarkably effective in humanizing one of the most historically judged and marginalized groups in the world…

Fuck you, Rae Alexandra.  It isn’t “feminism”, which has changed the public perception of sex workers; it’s the hard work of sex workers ourselves, and we don’t appreciate fucking amateurs like you trying to steal credit for our achievements as you’ve been doing for the past century and a half.

A Mound of Filth (#749)

As I pointed out last week, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain has a long history of working against human rights:

…Cindy McCain…has a track record of spreading misinformation, promoting policies that make prostitution more dangerous, and partnering with people who use human trafficking as a cover for all sorts of rights-violating behavior…the..McCain [institute] is supported by large donations from entities known for persistent rights violations, including Saudi Arabia, a U.S. defense contractor selling smart bombs to the Saudis, and a Moroccan mining company occupying land in Northwest Africa…McCain’s philanthropic record reveals a long history of personal abuse of nonprofit resources, shady connections, and shoddy work…McCain…didn’t [even] pick up the [“sex trafficking”] issue until 2013, when she suddenly emerged as a fully formed crusader…Most board members have a tenuous connection at best to human rights, but plenty to do with industries McCain oversees in Congress…the McCain Institute does little to directly address the needs of vulnerable people.  Instead, it hosts high-level policy symposiums, puts out white papers, does misinformation-filled “awareness” campaigns, and hosts an annual desert networking weekend for the global elite known as the Sedona Forum…

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“Sexual exploitation” sounds like you’ve got a woman in a cage in the basement.  –  John Tymczyszyn

A Broker in Pillage

Dear useful idiots:  I did tell you so:

Four U.S. senators have proposed legislation that would significantly expand the power of the federal government to seize citizens’ money when traveling in or out of the United States…The stated goal of the legislation is to make it more difficult for drug dealers, terrorists and other criminals to transport money and other “financial instruments” across the U.S. border, but several troubling provisions in the law could put law-abiding American citizens at risk of losing tens of thousands of dollars for doing nothing more than failing to fill out a government form…The Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act would expand “monetary instruments” covered under current law to include “prepaid access devices, stored value cards, digital currencies, and other similar instruments“…digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, are theoretically always transported by the owner of the digital currency account wherever he or she goes, which means digital currency owners with accounts valued at $10,000 or more must always report their funds or risk having them seized…the law treats all blank checks as though they are financial instruments valued in excess of $10,000 if the checking account contains at least $10,000, which means if a traveler accidentally fails to report a blank check floating around in his or her luggage, the account holder could face stiff penalties — even if there is no suspicion of criminal activity…

Yellow Fever

Reuters was once a respected news organization, but note the complete lack of evidence of any kind for these claims:

Children in the Dominican Republic are preyed upon by foreigners who visit the island to have sex with youngsters…a United Nations [bureaucrat] said.  Maud de Boer-Buquicchio…[used the faddish term] hotspot…[and claims] Poor children can be pushed into the sex trade by their own families and local pimps, taxi and motorbike taxi drivers…”I saw it happen with the taxi drivers [she said, without presenting any actual evidence]…A 2015 report by [religion-based prohibition] group, International Justice Mission…[claimed, again without actual proof] that one in four sex workers in the Dominican Republic…was under 18…

Sex Work is Work

A couple of short interviews with Australian escorts:

Lulu Valentine…was never of the belief that sex work was sex-free…[despite Hollywood] misrepresent[ation]…“when sex work is portrayed in media, it often smooths over the more arbitrary details of the job”…Sex, it seems from [TV shows]…is an optional part of the escort gig…Claudia Cadine…says despite Hollywood notions…she’s never had any misconceptions about the nature of her work – it’s to have sex.  Not fall in love…

Choke Point 

This could also go under “The Prudish Giant”, but I think the financial chokeout is more important:

…the US’s first ever sextech hackathon…had a lot of trouble getting the word out on Facebook…Andriy Yaroshenko, one of the event’s organizers, said he said he tried to submit his advertisement around 100 times and was denied…”I’m doing an educational hackathon.  It’s not porn.  It’s not entertainment,'” said Yaroshenko.  LinkedIn blocked his ads as well…Mal Harrison…of the Center for Erotic Intelligence…said Facebook suspended the [group]’s page a number of times….[others] said [they weren’t]…allowed to use PayPal…for sales…they would have to use their personal email accounts to take credit card payments through PayPal.  And Kickstarter wasn’t available to them either…it’s even difficult for companies in the sex industry to get the business name on checks from a bank…Bryony Cole, host of the Future of Sex podcast…said…it can be difficult to separate out the good from the harmful…

By buying into the false duality of “good” sexual content (education, tech, etc) vs “bad” content (such as porn), these holier-than-thou types assist the very censors they’re whining about. If you don’t want your sexual business censored or choked, you’re going to have to fight for mine as well.

Something Rotten in Sweden (#507)

Seattle politicians engage in a pompous display of virtue signalling directly against the advice of sex workers and allies, then pretend they didn’t know their posturing would destroy people’s lives:

Two years ago the city of Seattle changed the name of the misdemeanor crime of patronizing a prostitute to sexual exploitation…A 24-year-old…man did everything a judge ordered him to do after he took a plea deal last year…[but] criminal-background check erroneously shows he’s been convicted of a sex-related felony, making it virtually impossible for him to get a job…While the elements of the crime — and the punishment — remain the same, the name change is exclusive to the city.  No other jurisdiction in the state, or country, uses the same language…it has resulted in serious errors on criminal-background checks and led to significant fears that a conviction could have immigration consequences for foreign-born men here on visas…[defense attorney John] Tymczyszyn [said]…“They’ve renamed it to something that sounds like a felony…Misdemeanors aren’t supposed to render you unemployable”…Holmes, the [most vocal proponent of the dysphemistic name change], said his office has had discussions with the…Northwest Immigrant Rights Project…about ways to mitigate possible immigration consequences…

I have a simple way to “mitigate the consequences”:  change the fucking name back & stop your fucking anti-sex propaganda machine.  Oh, and don’t forget another example of Seattle’s hypocritical posturing: declaring itself a “sanctuary city” for migrants the feds want to deport.

Broken Record (#539)

Poor Nebraska; all panicked up & no place to go: “The College World Series starts this weekend in Omaha.  Sex traffickers are drawn to the event…But sex trafficking also happens…in small rural towns“…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#556)

Don’t think too hard about why someone would leave a job inflicting violence consensually for one where she can inflict it non-consensually:

A New Jersey sheriff’s [deputy] is undergoing a legal spanking after her bosses found out she once worked as a dominatrix and tried to boot her out of the department.  Kristen Hyman…is facing a disciplinary hearing where she will have to fight for her career against claims that her status as an ex-whip mistress disgraces the organization…

Yes, they’re claiming that being a sex worker disgraces cops, rather than vice-versa.

The Widening Gyre (#589) 

The “Facebook pimps” myth is one of the silliest of the whole panic:

…Jane’s daughter, Mary, was involved in a vehicle collision…and came out of it with a head injury.  For the next couple of years, she stayed home, spending most of her time on…Facebook…“She was targeted by a gang,” Jane says…[for a] year before the gang of pimps actually took Mary, they inundated her with attention through Facebook.  Then one night, she just up and left, getting into their car…“They didn’t physically force her, but they threatened her…She walked out the door under her own steam, but they were in the parking lot and took her”…

This woman actually believes that her inexperienced daughter had so much potential as a sex worker that an entire gang of pimps (who could apparently only afford one car) was willing to invest an entire year ensnaring her.  These people live in a completely different reality from the one actual people live, fuck & do business in.

The Public Morals

Every woman molested or raped by cops should file a federal suit:

Two San Antonio [cops] imprisoned for conning women to have sex with them in a fake undercover investigation face a federal lawsuit for civil rights violations and sexual assault…Emmanuel Galindo and Alejandro Chapa…tricked women into [submitting to rape] under the guise that it was for a secret police department operation…

The only way this will ever stop is for cities’ insurance companies to tell them they’ll no longer pay judgments against these filthy pigs.

To Molest and Rape 

STOP SAYING “FORMER” COP.  He was not a “former” cop when he committed the rape:

Jerry “Jay” Gragg Jr. was arrested…by a Pittsburg County deputy and special agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations at the OSBI McAlester field office.  Gragg is being charged with one count of forcible sodomy, two counts of sexual battery and one count of an officer accepting a bribe…[during] a Jan. 21 traffic stop…Gragg told the female driver she had a suspended license and unless she paid her fine in full he would take her to jail. When she didn’t have enough money, he [orally raped] her…the woman spoke to friends and her pastor, then came forward with the allegations, producing a blouse she was wearing during the traffic stop.  OSBI matched DNA from the woman’s shirt to Gragg…

Saying “former” implies that the department drummed him out before he raped anyone, when in fact it was his status as a cop that allowed him to commit the rape. This is just another way the media conspires with “authorities” to absolve police departments of responsibility for the myriad crimes committed by the thugs in their employ.

Cops and Robbers (#665)

The Swedish model eliminates prostitution!

A [prohibitionist group] has threatened to cause major traffic chaos ahead of next month’s U2 concert over protests against the area being “turned into a red light district”.  [Busybodies] on Dublin’s Dorset Street have repeatedly raised concerns about a number of premises in the area, which they [claim] are being run as brothels…[the malcontents] have threatened to cause severe traffic disruption on one of the city’s busiest streets ahead of next month’s U2 gig if their concerns are not acted upon…

Sex Rays (#707)

Be careful, the sex ray intensity on these items must be well into the danger zone:

BDSM porn establishment Kink.com will soon leave the massive Armory building in San Francisco to move its operations to Las Vegas…they are selling off furniture and props from their adult film sets…The sale started on Thursday, June 14 and resumes again on Saturday, June 17th from 12 PM to 5 PM…

The End of the Beginning (#718) 

More good news about bad laws:

…the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a North Carolina law that bans registered sex offenders from any “commercial social networking Web site” that is open to minors…every justice agreed that the law’s broad scope cannot be reconciled with the First Amendment…

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