Prostitution is that it is one of the few remaining areas of public legislation which is based almost entirely on private morality. – Ian O’Doherty
The Scarlet Letter
Interesting how these “experts” don’t criticize “john shaming” when cops & politicians do it:
[Ohio busybodies have]…created a website…where residents can share pictures of men who pick up prostitutes in the area…the site’s creator…[hypocritically] wants to remain anonymous. He says they are hoping that by exposing “Johns,” the men, the prostitutes and the drug dealers will stay away from their neighborhoods…Law experts…warn there’s evidence that shaming criminals doesn’t stop them from committing crimes. Instead, they say it often angers them and motivates additional criminal behavior.
A fascinating article on the slow decline of the devadasis in Indian society:
…There was a time when the prostitute was celebrated. The most beautiful woman in the city was not allowed to marry. She became the city-bride (nagar-vadhu). She was allowed to choose a lover, but not restrict herself to one…We hear of…courtesans in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain literature. Known as ganikas, they lived independent lives…In time, these ganikas came to be attached to temples. They became wives of the enshrined deities, who never get widowed, and who loved all men as containers of the divine seed. These were the devadasis. Their images inspired the carvings of beautiful women on temple walls. They challenged the old monastic orders. They were part of temple rituals. But eventually, the priests and the monks stripped the devadasi of her independence and her agency. Slowly, she was answerable to the men in positions of power…If not attached to a temple, the woman who sold pleasure for a fee became part of a king or nawab’s court, or a community to entertainers, the nats…In a feudal society, that looked down on trade and commerce, that created hierarchy based on purity of vocations, and gender, she was clearly at the bottom. What little agency she had was taken away from her, first by colonial administrators and later by puritanical freedom fighters, who modelled themselves on monks of yore…
Saving Them From Themselves
If your reason for warning people against a consensual act is that they could face criminal charges, the problem is with the laws, not the act:
The Mexican government has teamed up with several children’s rights organizations to launch a nationwide campaign against “sexting”…The…campaign…has triggered a debate between government officials and internet rights NGOs on whether the practice leads to so-called “sextortion”…and “revenge porn”…the campaign…[is] overly “paternalistic” while laying out a “prohibitionist” strategy…[officials warn] sexting involving minors may be classified as child pornography and can therefore be punishable with up to 7 to 12 years of jail time…The Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D) have criticized the anti-sexting campaign for supposedly framing the practice as a “moral problem” while reflecting a “reduced vision of sexuality and its free exercise”…
I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now
I’d normally file this one under “Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through“, but this feisty old dude clearly did think it through; he just isn’t afraid of the cops and their stupid shaming tactics:
A 90-year-old man was arrested for allegedly soliciting a prostitute…Nicholas Salerno of Dennis Port [Massachusetts] paid a local woman $100 [for at outcall] in June…[but] noticed a necklace missing after the woman used a bathroom in his home. He reported the theft to police, who informed Salerno that he would be charged with soliciting a prostitute. “I don’t give a [fuck]. I’m 90 years old,” Salerno told officers…The woman, later identified as 48-year-old Karen Proia, was charged with larceny and prostitution…
The Widening Gyre
This unsupported and hysterical assertion reeks of racism:
The trafficking of Nigerian women from Libya to Italy by boat is reaching “crisis” levels, with traffickers using migrant reception centres as holding pens for women who are then collected and forced into prostitution across Europe, the UN’s International Office for Migration (IOM) warns…More than 80% of these women will be trafficked into prostitution…[fantasized] Simona Moscarelli, [prohibitionist propagandist] at the IOM. “Our indicators are the majority of these women are being deliberately brought in for sexual exploitation purposes. There has been a big enhancement of criminal gangs and trafficking networks engaging in the sexual exploitation of younger and younger Nigerian girls”…Nigerian women who are entering Italy among migrants on boats from Libya should be immediately…treated as trafficking victims. Instead of being processed in reception centres, they should be [locked up and brainwashed]…she said…
“Secure unit” = “prison”. Because female sexual “purity” trumps individual rights:
A 16 year old girl who is at high risk of being sexually exploited by men requires to be placed in a secure unit for troubled teenagers, the High Court has heard…the girl had a history of drug and alcohol taking and had been seen in the company of older men as well as getting into cars with different men. Both her father and those [guarding] her [for the state] had reported the teenager at times having been in possession of relatively large amounts of cash, the source of which she would not reveal and which could not be ascertained…the Child and Family Agency had secured a temporary High Court order allowing it to [imprison] the girl…in a secure unit for troubled girls under 18…the girl had a history of absconding, initially from her family home and then from where she had been [confined] by the Agency…She had refused to fully engage with social workers or avail of counselling services…there were serious concerns about being vulnerable to sexual exploitation…
The Course of a Disease (#510)
Ian O’Doherty with another denunciation of prohibition in Ireland:
…The reality, for anyone who has ever bothered to listen to prostitutes rather than merely lecture them on their moral failings, is that they are like everyone else – they want to be left alone to conduct their business in safety but that safety can never be guaranteed when the participants are automatically criminalised. But even taking into account the rights or wrongs of the arguments in favour of legalisation, there is one major point which nobody wants to accept – it’s simply nobody else’s business…Even if you removed all the reasons for objection; even if you stopped all trafficking and ensured that all sex workers loved their job and were friends with the clients, the likes of Ruhama would never support it because of their moral judgment…
“Sex trafficking” may be the first truly global moral panic:
…Not My Life…is [an] Oscar-nominated film [about] the hidden international industry of human slavery…initially commissioned by Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime…How accountable are traffickers in Argentina? According to the US State Department…“Argentina is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Argentine women and children, including many from rural areas or northern provinces, are forced into prostitution within the country”…
Welcome to the Future (#587)
It looks like the cops in Northern Ireland are gaining confidence in the prohibitionists’ ability to stall Laura Lee’s challenge to the Swedish model:
The PSNI has arrested six men suspected of buying sex and passed files on a total of 10 men to the Public Prosecution Service…In November the PSNI said that despite making two arrests it had decided not to seek prosecutions – for an unspecified period – in order to “allow time for understanding and awareness” of the new law…Solicitor Ciarán Moynagh, who is representing sex worker Laura Lee in her legal challenge against the new law, said the 10 referrals to the PPS show that the police had insufficient evidence to achieve an overnight charge or standard 28-day charge to court. “It will be interesting to see whether charges ever arise and if so what type of evidence supports the case,” he added…The PSNI Human Trafficking Unit screened 252 people for trafficking in 2015/16 and recovered 59 potential victims…
“Recovered” is a euphemism for “arrested”.
Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#630)
“Sex addiction” is now being used as a defense even for violent sex offenders:
An Army medic charged in his wife’s death will spend over two years in prison after being court-martialed for possessing child pornography and soliciting payment for sex. Michael Walker pleaded guilty…to solicitation and not guilty to possession of child pornography…Walker said in court that he placed advertisements in September 2014 and was paid for sex multiple times…Defense attorneys argued pornographic images and videos of children found on Walker’s computer were dumped there in a massive file transfer. They say prosecutors did not prove Walker was the person who accessed the files. An attorney pushed for leniency, saying Walker is seeking sex addiction treatment…[he] was indicted in November on charges of aiding and abetting and conspiring to commit first-degree murder. He faces a January trial in civilian court.
One Born Every Minute (#645)
Here’s Sydney Brownstone with an update on a sleazy rapist:
…Matt Hickey, the Seattle-based tech journalist recently accused by multiple women of rape and posing as a female porn recruiter online, put out a call [on FetLife] for “sluts” in Las Vegas who are into “being naked, drinking booze, and having fun”…[Hickey, whose FetLife handle is]…4eyez…[said he’s] “going to be living in Vegas for the next few months doing some research”…Hickey…[confirmed via text] that he is…the 4eyez account…[which has since] been deactivated or removed from the site.
Still a Child (#646)
Louisiana politicians destroy the jobs of scores of women with the stroke of a pen. To “protect” them, of course:
When a state law banning exotic dancers under 21 was passed, many believed some of the ones already performing at strip clubs would be grandfathered into the law…But state police [decided] that will not happen. Dancers under 21 have until Oct. 1 to get offstage. State troopers met with club managers [to threaten them]…If club owners are found with dancers under 21, penalties are strict…[politicians pretend] the move will ultimately reduce human trafficking and drug and alcohol abuse…Police [pretend] an undercover sting is something they want to avoid doing, but would go that route if a club is in violation.
A Procrustean Bed (#661)
Prosecutors claim that sex workers are both victims and criminals simultaneously:
Under California law, anyone under age 18 who is engaged in prostitution is considered a sex-trafficking victim, regardless of whether any force or coercion is involved. Yet teens in the sex trade can also be charged under state law with committing prostitution. California legislators are trying to change this…but the measure has run into opposition from law enforcement officials, who say that arresting victims is integral to saving them…the California District Attorneys Association, which says that without the threat of criminal sanctions, victims won’t have enough incentive to testify against people the state would like to lock-up as pimps…
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