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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

I’m going to assume most of you, even those with English degrees, are unfamiliar with the term “counter word”.  It’s a linguistic term; a counter word is a word or phrase with no current intrinsic meaning, which is used to signal one’s membership in the in-group who use that word.  “Counter” in this sense means a counter used in a game, such as a poker chip; it has no actual value outside of the game, but it is used to participate in the game.  Two examples from my younger days both came from television commercials for hamburger chains; one was from this 1992 commercial for Rally’s:

The ad was so popular that soon everyone (at least on the Gulf Coast) was running around yelling “Cha-ching!” at every available opportunity.  At first it was mostly used appropriately, as a way of saying something was expensive (“I paid $100 for these sneakers.” “Whoa, cha-ching!”) but it soon turned into an exclamation of victory or appreciation for an insult (something like the way people use “Oh, snap!” now), and within months, due to somehow becoming associated with the New Orleans Saints football team, it meant nothing at all; it was just something people would randomly exclaim to show that they were “cool” and in on the joke.  At the nadir of this absurdity, a local used car dealer actually exclaimed “Cha-ching!” at the end of one of his television commercials, apparently unaware that to anyone who remembered the original ad he was implying that his autos were badly overpriced!  The other example, which perhaps more of you may recognize, was from a 1984 Wendy’s ad:

As with “cha-ching!” it didn’t take “Where’s the beef?” long to go from an expression people used to mean something like, “What’s going on?” or “Are you kidding me?” to signifying nothing more than, “Hey, I’ve heard other people saying this, aren’t I cool?”  This isn’t a phenomenon of my lifetime; soon after the turn of the 20th century the phrase “23 skidoo!” went from meaning something like “let’s make tracks” or “scram!” to meaning, as in the other examples, essentially nothing; it was printed on buttons and pennants and people would shout it at each other in greeting as they did with “Cha-ching” over 80 years later.

If you’re wondering why I’m bringing this up now, it’s because the phrase “human trafficking” has become nothing more than a political counter word.  In the ’90s, it was generally used to mean the smuggling of people across borders in defiance of immigration restrictions, but by the turn of the century governments and anti-immigration groups had subtly twisted it to mean only exploitative smuggling practices (which they of course represented as all of them), and it didn’t take long for the exploitative labor situations migrants often ended up in to be rolled into the term.  Prohibitionists started representing all migrant sex work as a form of “human trafficking”, and the US government soon obligingly negated the agency of all underage sex workers by defining them as “human trafficking victims” whether they actually migrated, were coerced or were treated in any way which could even tangentially intersect the previously-understood meaning of the term “trafficking”.  Certainly, the shift in meaning of the term “drug trafficking” from meaning “drug smuggling” to mere “drug selling” is parallel and probably intertwined with this broadening and thinning of the meaning of “human trafficking”, but the latter became far more nebulous than the former ever did; by 2012 I had identified 23 different meanings of the phrase “human trafficking”, 11 of the phrase “trafficking victim” and 12 of the slur “human trafficker”.  In the past five years those related phrases have become broader and far more vague, and are applied willy-nilly to anyone and anything “authorities” or prohibitionists want to restrict, censor, spy on, interfere in, attempt to ban, or inflict violence upon.

“Human trafficking” (and especially “sex trafficking”) have become nothing but authoritarian counter words; they have lost their original meanings as surely as “23 skidoo” and “Where’s the beef?” did.  I therefore call upon all activists, allies, and well-meaning people in the so-called “anti-trafficking” movement (and yes, there are some, such as GAATW) to stop using the term unless there is no other alternative.  If you mean “exploitative labor conditions”, say that.  If you mean “forced prostitution”, say that.  If you mean “underage survival sex”, say that.  If you mean “smuggling undocumented migrants”, say that.  A phrase used to mean everything means nothing at all, and a phrase that means nothing isn’t a useful term for serious adults; it’s a fad for the immature and silly.

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We cannot…be blind to the very real harms posed by exposing all sorts of innocent people to unnecessary scrutiny from…authorities.  –  Liz Brown

Advice for Clients

It’s always good to see different sex workers’ perspectives on this topic:

With the exception of the occasional inconsiderate asshole, most people know how to behave at the shops, the hairdressers, or when they’re catching an Uber.  They know not to skip the line, to tip, and not to barf all over the backseat.  But a lot of people don’t know how you’re supposed to behave when you visit a sex worker…it’s only fair that you try and be polite and considerate.  But what are the dos and don’ts?  Can you ask a sex worker to lower the going rate for a blowjob because you’re such a loyal customer?  And exactly how handsy can you get when you have a half-naked stripper grinding on your lap?…

No Other Option

An important observation from Mark Draughn:

…one item on [COSWAC’s] Myths vs. Facts page caught my attention…MYTH: Clients are pathetic losers who can’t get dates or sustain meaningful relationships…someone needs to address the motives of the people promoting this myth.  People who say things like this aren’t just making an academic observation; they’re arguing that sex work should be (or remain) outlawed because of these kinds of clients.  And that’s an ugly argument…Why should it matter that some clients are “pathetic losers who can’t get dates or sustain meaningful relationships”?  Does that mean they should never have sex?  That they should never experience pleasurable physical intimacy, never touch a woman, because they lack the confidence or charisma to charm a woman into bed?  Keeping them from hiring sex workers isn’t protecting women from predators.  It’s just sentencing people with personality disorders to a life without intimacy…

Real People 

Though this article is padded with the usual ignorant bloviation from moralists who have never done or even studied sex work, it starts with the stories of several sex workers from Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan:

Despite the traditional mentality prevalent in the Caucasus, sex work is not uncommon, especially for women who find themselves in dead end situations.  Although well known, the rights of sex workers and their issues are rarely discussed in any of the three countries in the South Caucasus…journalists…decided to gain a better understanding of the topic by directly asking sex workers questions related to their lives.  What forces women into sex work?  What are the risks?  How does society perceive them?  What are their rights?  The following interviews are the result of their inquiries…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do murderous-sociopath-cop-frankie-bybee

A cop is a cop, even when he’s a sex worker.  But this one is unusually sociopathic even for a cop:

…Sarasota County deputy Frankie Bybee…received more than $100,000 over the years from a woman named Elinor Jarvis in exchange for…sex…Jarvis contacted investigators after learning [Bybee] had been arrested for attempting to kill a 79-year-old woman by entering her home, mounting her and shoving prescription pills down her throat before leaving her car running in her garage with the door open in the hope she would die of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Bybee was trying to make it look like a suicide.  But Marcia Sohl survived the encounter…Bybee met Sohl in October when she called the…Sheriff’s Office for help, transporting her to the hospital and praying with her to gain her trust and confidence.  He also agreed to care for her Yorkshire in exchange for $1,000, even texting her a photo of himself with the dog to show that it was safe.  But then he sold the dog on Craig’s List [sic]…he wrote checks from the woman’s account to himself and children for $65,000…On December 28, he sent an email to the woman’s doctor from her email address, pretending that she had “suicidal implications,” which led to the woman being involuntary committed for evaluation in a treatment facility…the IP address originated from his home…Nevertheless, a judge…reduced his bail from $900,000 to $250,000…And Sohl’s dog has since been returned.

They Still Don’t Get It

This is a mass of stupidity even by “sex trafficking” standards, but this paragraph is representative:

…“Maryland is a hot spot of trafficking. It’s that simple,” says Maryland [spokesow]…Deborah Flory…“That’s because of I-95, I-70, and BWI Airport, and the mix of wealth and poverty, which is one of the things that makes young women vulnerable.”  Traffickers, aka pimps, are familiar with the laws in each state and know there are weaker penalties in Maryland than elsewhere, including the possibility of a misdemeanor charge for trafficking someone age 18 or older, Flory says…“They can make more money than dealing drugs—$200,000 a year off of one girl—and it’s easier because they don’t have to re-up with cocaine or heroin.  They sell the same ‘product’ over and over again”…

The number of myths, tropes & lies in just that short passage is impressive.

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

Pet clothing company Lulu & Robbie is showing its support for the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking.  One of Lulu & Robbie’s four new styles…features the campaign’s official…“Blueheart tartan, whose colours and lines symbolise the collective heartbeat of victims of human trafficking”…

I write fantasy, and yet I couldn’t make up anything so totally ridiculous.

Devil’s Advocate

This dude has very poor judgment and might even be a rapist.  But this sets a really dangerous precedent:

…Cody Herrera…19…pleaded guilty to statutory rape with a 14-year-old girl…prosecutors said that he could face additional charges for allegedly videotaping sexual acts with a 17-year-old…Herrera received probation and the judge prohibited him from having “sexual relations” outside of marriage as a probation condition…Banning “sexual relations” without defining the term does not…tell a person what conduct violates the condition…“sexual relations” can mean anything from phone sex to intercourse…Rather than wondering if a kiss is a violation, probation officers should be able to devote themselves to better things like helping a defendant get a job…or mental health treatment…suppose kissing isn’t a violation, but intercourse is.  Should an unmarried probationer who has consensual intercourse be imprisoned?  The costs are enormous. It’s not just $20,000 to $30,000 in annual expenses.  If the probationer is employed, he gets removed from the work force – and it is plenty hard for convicts to get jobs…

Original Sin (#449) st-josephine-bakhita

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

As human trafficking continues to be a supremely important issue during Pope Francis’ pontificate…St. Josephine Bakhita, enslaved during her own childhood, has emerged as a patron not only for her home country of Sudan, but for all victims of trafficking.  St. Josephine was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the age of 7, undergoing immense suffering throughout her adolescence before discovering the faith in her early 20s…Feb. 8, St. Josephine’s feast day, marks the third international day of prayer and reflection against human trafficking…

Down Under (#567)

Even Kiwis who are prudish & judgy about sex work have to admit decriminalization is a success:

Prostitution was made legal in New Zealand 14 years ago, a move which some hoped, or feared, would remove the stigma from those who buy or sell sex.  That has not happened…it…is…safer for the community because safe sex practices could more easily be promoted to an industry that would otherwise continue to operate outside the law.  To that extent the legislation is said to have made a difference but it has not removed the stigma.  Not many prostitutes want their occupation generally known.  Few if any parents would want their daughter or son to grow up to be a sex worker…Selling sex, or buying it, need not be illegal for society to register its contempt for the commodification of the human body…legalisation has not done the harm its opponents feared.  It has simply made a sad industry safer.

Challenge (#679)

Let’s hope more legal sex work businesses come on board:

Fetish site RetailClips.com has pledged a percentage of profits from its site to help the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research (ESPLER) Project’s court case that seeks to legalize prostitution in California.  Maxine Doogan…said she hopes that RetailClip’s promise to share in profits will “inspire others in the larger erotic industry to recognize our common ground and join the fight…In the current climate, where government is coming after a whole range of adult industry players, we really need to support each other — to not only protect but also to expand sexual privacy and sexual freedoms for everyone,” Doogan said.  Donald Kaiser, founder of Black Murk Entertainment, the operator of the newly launched RetailClips, said that ESPLER Project’s court case is crucial for the adult entertainment biz as a whole…

Stupor Bowl (#704)

It’s almost sad to see these losers trying to cash in with debunked bullshit a year ahead of time:

Hennepin County…is expected later this month to approve hiring specialized staff members in the county attorney’s and sheriff’s offices to address a growing number of sex trafficking cases, especially before next year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis…Metro area prosecutors and police agencies anticipate that hundreds of women and girls will be sold on the sex market during Super Bowl 2018

Crying for Nanny (#705)

Just in case you thought we’d seen the last of futile attempts to wring a profit from anti-Backpage propaganda:

A new federal lawsuit in Orlando is the latest legal effort to shut down [the already-censored] social media website Backpage.com [over fantasies] that it encourages and profits from sex trafficking.  A…[prohibitionist] organization, Florida Abolitionist, is behind the suit….it…is one of several groups in the area that are working to [profit from] sex trafficking [hysteria]…

Checklist (#711) 

You know that absurd “air hostesses vs pimps” bullshit that was making the rounds last week?

…There was no follow-up on where the alleged trafficker had come from, what happened to him after the flight—arrest? prosecution? prison?…Fedrick’s 2011 experience didn’t just happen into the 2017 media by accident.  Her story is part of a campaign from Airline Ambassadors International, who…used the myth of a sports-related sex trafficking boom to permeate the Super Bowl news-cycle.  AAI was founded in the 1990s by Nancy Rivard, and the bulk of its efforts long revolved around providing adult escorts to children traveling for medical procedures.  But beginning in 2009, the agency began a serious shift toward human-trafficking [profiteering]…the…alleged…incident received little public attention in 2011.  While the news that year is full of stories about a man arrested at the San Francisco International Airport for wearing baggy pants, plus stories about local efforts to stop sex trafficking, none mention a human trafficker apprehended at a Bay Area airport that year.  The San Francisco Police Department’s (SFPD) web archives turn up similarly scant results.  And nothing fitting the description is mentioned in a statewide 2012 report about successful anti-trafficking efforts in the previous year.  When the Super Bowl was held in San Francisco, in 2016, the airport teamed up with Airport Ambassadors International and others…None of the materials…mention any previous trafficking busts at the airport based on flight-attendant tips…

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So what if…women…are doing this…of their own free will? – Rachel Moran

The Immunity Syndrome pornhub-sexual-wellness-center

Porn isn’t sex education, but Pornhub supports it:

Porn is often blamed for miseducating people about sex…[and] members of the adult industry often counter that porn is simply entertainment and shouldn’t be expected to teach the public about the birds and the bees — but now Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular tube sites, has decided to get in the game of sex education.  On Wednesday, the site launched its new Sexual Wellness Center, an online sex-ed hub run by Dr. Laurie Betito…It has information about everything from the female reproductive system to sexually transmitted infections to testicular cancer. Betito will answer reader questions about love and romance…“[W]e wanted to provide our fans with a trusted educational platform they can utilize as their go-to resource for information and advice when it comes to sex,” said Corey Price, Pornhub’s vice president…

Shift in the Wind

While the prohibitionists continue to scream their filthy fantasies at the top of their lungs, thoughtful people are quietly coming to realize how truly awful anti-sex laws actually are:

To better control their working conditions, sex workers need the removal of punitive sex work laws, rights to security, and to be regarded as authorities in what does and does not improve their lives…Even though sex work was legalized in Hungary in 1999, sex workers continue to face mistreatment by police and other authorities…sex workers are routinely and arbitrarily fined, arrested, and detained under vague laws.  Sex workers are also regularly targeted for administrative fines on unsubstantiated grounds, such as littering or violating pedestrian or traffic regulations, in order to meet police quotas…As a result of regulations that are impossible to comply with for the majority of sex workers…a significant proportion of sex work continues to takes place illegally, even though sex work is officially legal…In a 2011 survey…more than 10 percent of the 246 respondents had been [raped] by…police…and 43.4 percent…had experienced verbal or physical assault by authorities…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

Marcel RaAnthony Richard…is charged with human trafficking and compelling prostitution.  If convicted, he faces up to life in prison…The teen, who is not being named because she is the victim of an alleged sex crime, has a history of using suggestive screen names and chatting online about sex with older men…The teen’s testimony…was peppered with “I do not recall” and “I do not know.”  She was often unclear about dates, times and events…She testified Richard had posted classified ads on Backpages.com [sic].  The ads…included…photos of a woman that was clearly not the teen…she [also] testified that she was high when she first talked with police and…[some things she said then weren’t] true…police were unable to find any specific locations [she described] nor could they locate any of the other people that the teen said she came in contact with [while supposedly being pimped by Richard]…

Checklist

Huge sums of money given to cops to inflict violence on adults for consensual sex is, alas, not news these days.  But the NYPD is being given a new list of “sex trafficking signs” that describe a very large segment of the population:

New York City…[is creating] a dedicated hotline that will allow [people to rat sex workers out to the cops]…the Vice Unit has been restructured, including the addition of 25 more detectives who will [actively hunt sex workers full-time and]…placing a greater emphasis on pimps and johns…Some of the warning signs people may exhibit are:

  • Signs of physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Lack of memory of recent events
  • Limited freedom of movement
  • Being unpaid or paid very little
  • Having limited access to medical care
  • Seeming to be in debt to someone
  • Working excessively long or unusual hours
  • Having high security measures in the work and/or living locations
  • Showing signs of fear, anxiety, depression, tension, or paranoia
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Having a strong fear of authorities
  • Appearing malnourished or showing signs of repeated chemical exposure
  • Having numerous inconsistencies in his/her story…

Most of the US population is “in debt to someone”, and most women, minorities & young people will show signs of “strong fear” of pigs who are harassing & questioning them about personal matters, including so-called “inconsistencies” due to the disorienting tactics cops intentionally use during interrogation.

Real People (#422) 

A profile of the woman who set up a home for retired sex workers in Mexico City:

After years of working the streets of Mexico City, Carmen Munoz wondered what happened to sex workers like her when they got old – so…for the next 13 years she lobbied the city authorities to provide a retirement home for elderly and homeless sex workers.  With the support of several well-known artists, neighbours from the Merced and fellow sex workers, she finally persuaded them.  The city gave them a large 18th Century building, just a few blocks from Plaza Loreto…It took a lot of work to clean up the building, a former boxing museum, but in 2006 the first women moved in.  They named the shelter Casa Xochiquetzal, after the Aztec goddess of women’s beauty and sexual power…

To Molest and Rape 

Stop faking!

A federal lawsuit brought by a Cincinnati woman against several guards and medical staff from the Warren County Jail [states that she]…was held at the jail in May 2013, after turning herself in on a four-year-old warrant for deception to obtain drugs…the jail’s nurses refused to give the woman her prescribed medicine for her epilepsy, causing her to experience seizures and withdrawal, leaving her debilitated in her jail cell…her jailers [then] Tased her, [stripped] her…turned off her running water and forced her to drink out of the toilet…[they then] held…[her] facedown…[and] at least two [pigs]…climbed on her and raped her…and…orthopedic surgeon said bone shattered on her shoulder was caused by blunt-force trauma consistent with sexual assault and would later have to be surgically treated…six days into her sentence, the woman was sent to the hospital by her tormentors, where doctors found sperm in her urine…one of the defendant nurses, Krys Lambert…said that the inmate was “playing” them, and even refused to give her medications after the jail doctor prescribed them…the guards covered the windows with black garbage bags to conceal the assault…

The Public Eye (#639) jacqthestripper-not-like-other-guys

Sex workers reaching out to the public via art:

Sex workers…are celebrated in We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work, a stellar exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center [in San Francisco], on view through Feb. 25…Comprising pieces created by artists who, in one fashion or another, identify as sex workers, We’re Still Working presents an array of experiences in an industry condemned by the majority of Americans as immoral and threatening to public health and safety.  To counter assumptions and harmful stereotypes about who sex workers are personally and professionally, co-curators Maxine Holloway and Javier Luis Hurtado selected the work of artists who deploy a heady mix of humor, anger and sarcasm in their respective practices, all in defiance of society’s judgement…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#662)

San Diego ramps up its anti-whore pogroms:

More than 400 people were arrested in a three-day statewide sweep aimed at [harassing & impoverishing sex workers]…”Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” also resulted in the [arrest] of 28 [underage sex workers] and 27 women…142 male suspects were arrested on suspicion of solicitation, 238 suspects on suspicion of prostitution and 36 male suspects on suspicion of pimping…”This operation sends a clear message to those who would pay for sex in San Diego County,” [vomited out] Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan…

Finding What Isn’t There (#672)

Are people really so stupid they can’t understand that calls to a hotline represent only the prevalence of beliefs, suspicions and paranoia, not actual crimes?

Reports of domestic human trafficking continued to increase in 2016…according to…the Polaris Project…Almost three-quarters of the calls were made in regards to [fantasized] sex trafficking [despite the fact that it’s only a small fraction of] labor trafficking…

The Mote and the Beam (#701)

More on the useful idiots who are trying to destroy the internet:

Lawsuits in New York and California are attacking an important tool protecting online free speech by alleging the interactive computer services…promote terrorism…Without Section 230 protections, innovators would not create online public forums for fear they would be held liable for terrorist attacks or every comment made on their websites…courts have repeatedly dismissed the actions citing Section 230, and rejecting allegations that social media companies provide material support.  At least one of the cases filed against Twitter has been dismissed twice.  The others are similarly unlikely to succeed…

The War Goes On 

We’re seeing more editorials critical of the War on Whores:

Whenever a liberal feminist politician talks to a socially conservative politician, no doubt they’re conspiring to harass sex work.  This truism revealed itself again as Sen. Dianne Feinstein…told…Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing that “human sex trafficking was the second largest criminal activity in the United States.”  Human trafficking costs are estimated at $9 billion a year…Since the drug trade is worth $100 billion, and Medicare fraud is estimated at $60 billion, Feinstein’s estimate was not in the same league, never mind ballpark.  She also repeated the debunked untruth that the “average age” of trafficking victims was 12-14 years.  How many six-year-olds do you see strutting on Fourth Street?  A Department of Justice study released in June 2016 concluded there could be as few as 4,500 underage youth in the sex trade, and only 15 percent had pimps.  Feinstein’s fake statistics fuel the growth of sex trafficking laws that punish actual adult working women and their clients to satisfy politicians’ lust for power…

An Example To the West (#708)

As glad as I am to see this story getting wider press, the use of minimizers like “some” or “not all” to mean “the vast majority” really grates on my nerves, as does the ignorant assertion that sex work is illegal in most countries (totally false, though most do have laws which allow cops to persecute us).  Bonus:  white women like Rachel Moran and Ashley Judd coming to India to negate the voices of tens of thousands of women as “a tiny minority”.  Note Judd’s incompetent parroting of Gloria Steinem’s moronic comments about “body invasion”, which makes it sound as though she shares arch-lunatic Sheila Jeffreys’ belief that intercourse is “unnatural”.

That Old Black Magic (#708)

It’s good to see at least a few judges recognizing these fantasies as such:

A mother accused of trafficking a Nigerian woman into the country and forcing her into prostitution has been acquitted after several inconsistencies emerged in the alleged victim’s evidence.  The complainant had previously told a jury she underwent a “voodoo process” in her home country during which she swore she would not report the alleged trafficker, Joy Imasogie…the alleged victim told the jury that she had stopped working as a prostitute in 2008…However…evidence…showed that the woman continued to work as a prostitute after this date…The woman told [bureaucrats] she was still working as a prostitute and that she advertised her services on the internet.  She also said she didn’t want help to leave that way of life.  The judge also noted that the alleged victim was found in the same house as the accused’s husband and €14,000 in cash on a date after she said she fell out with Ms Imasogie…

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Hi there, boys and girls!  It’s time for another anti-whore article so thoroughly and pervasively offensive that I couldn’t bear to just print a short quote and be done.  Today’s example is from the prohibitionist, cop-worshipping Los Angeles Times, and was written by one James Queally (Hi James!  I hope you enjoy all the tweets and emails I’m asking everyone who reads this to beseige you with, so you learn to consult sex workers next time you’re assigned to do a hit piece on us).  But without further ado, let’s look at this slab of rancid tripe:

Night after night, a small group of students and professors from California State University Northridge traveled to Van Nuys last year for an unorthodox mission.  In packs of two or four, they searched for young women standing on dark street corners along Sepulveda Boulevard, then waited for the men who would inevitably come calling on them.  For eight months, the students and instructors followed the johns and the women they sought sex from along a stretch of the boulevard that officials consider one of the busiest prostitution strolls in Los Angeles.

“Packs” is the right word; these so-called academics actually stalked and spied on other citizens, attempting to catch them in the “crime” of having consensual sex.  This could only be more dehumanizing if they shot them with tranquilizer darts and attached radio tags to their ears.  If their victims were anyone other than sex workers and clients, these Stasi wannabes could be arrested and charged under stalking laws.

The Cal State group documented the places they met and where they had sex in an attempt to help police and city officials stamp out a decades-old problem…

prohibitionism-by-arborismWere Cal State a private entity, this would be an example of fascism, the marriage of corporate, political & paramilitary (such as police) power.  But the fact that Cal State is a public university renders this merely creepy and unethical rather than fascistic; I’m not sure what ethical constraints “urban studies” professors operate under, but if it’s typical of social sciences this is an egregious violation of the consent of the experimental subjects.

…Based on the academic research, Councilwoman Nury Martinez said…she has launched a $780,000 program aimed at eliminating locations where johns and young women, many of whom she [fantasizes] are forced into prostitution under threat of violence…The…study identified up to 40 locations used for illegal sex that could be safeguarded by the addition of street lamps or the trimming of nearby trees…“It has to do with line of sight,” [oinked] Chief [pig] Bob Green…“When people feel like they can hide in the shadows to commit prostitution or take something from your car or steal your car, they’re gonna do it”…

I love the juxtaposition of rhetoric here; these lying sacks of shit will say whatever they think will play best with the audience, but didn’t bother to coordinate their stories.  On the one hand, the politician is trying to sell this police-state BS with the typical masturbatory fantasy of teen sex slaves, while the pig prefers the old “whore as criminal” trope and equates a peaceful, consensual transaction with theft (even to the point of vomiting out the moronic phrase “commit prostitution”, which I suggest you compare with “commit teaching”, “commit accounting” or “commit policing”).  Neither the reporter nor his editor seemed to be uncomfortable with the horrific phrase “illegal sex”, which only 14 years ago would have included a lot of homosexual activity and within my lifetime included interracial sex.  The lack of self-awareness is almost mind-boggling.

…The project is the latest step in a years-long initiative to curb human trafficking and prostitution along Sepulveda Boulevard, Martinez said.  The [politician and the pig] came together to spearhead the creation of an anti-trafficking task force in the San Fernando Valley in 2015, a unit that arrested nearly 400 johns last year…Prostitution has been a problem in the area for decades…the sight of women waiting on street corners along Sepulveda was common as far back as the 1980s.  But in recent years, Martinez said she has noticed a troubling trend.  The corners are now populated by girls, rather than women.  “The last couple of years, the age of the women who they traffic on this corridor has gotten younger and younger and younger” she said…The victims, she said, are trafficked to Los Angeles from other major cities, including Las Vegas and Seattle…

Note the conflation of sex work with coercion, an equation only possible in the prudish & misogynistic minds of sex prohibitionists like Martinez, who wants us to believe that she actually pays such close attention to streetwalkers and has such superhuman memory and mathematical skills that she can catalog the apparent ages of women she has seen in a certain area over a stretch of three decades, average them, then plot those averages on a mental graph to note that they are growing younger.  Clearly, her superior mutant mind is wasted in politics; imagine what she could’ve accomplished as a physicist or meteorologist.  Alternate theory suggested by application of Occam’s Razor:  Of course they look younger to the old bat than they used to; twenty-something women seemed old to her when she was a schoolgirl, and now they seem like kids.  But in either case, she has to represent the sex workers as passive, doll-like victims, “trafficked” (in dog crates loaded on pallets in tractor-trailers, no doubt) by ninja “pimps” with mind-control powers.  Methinks she’s been living too close to Hollywood for too long.

…Henrik Minassians, an associate professor of urban studies and planning at CSUN who led the study, said anyone trying to have sex with an underage girl would have little trouble doing so along the Van Nuys stretch…[his “evidence” is that he claims one of the women he was stalking said to him] “She can bring you underage girls”…before pointing to another woman.  At least 10 trafficking victims have been rescued from the area, according to LAPD records. Five of them were just 15 years old, said Lt. Marc Evans, who [presented no evidence for the claim]…

This is what passes for “evidence” in this voyeuristic safari masquerading as science:  the claim of one woman against another (who was apparently not interviewed), which could have been motivated by anything from the hope she’d be rewarded for telling these asses what they wanted to hear, to the hope of getting an enemy arrested for pimping.  That, and the sexual fantasies of a pig who claims to have found five 15-year-olds but no girls of 14, 16 or 17.  The McNeill Rule  points toward what “Lieutenant” Evans’ favorite fetish is.

…Martinez hopes the changes will…discourage pimps who are trafficking young women in her district…Minassians said the purpose of the study was to eradicate conditions favorable to…pimps and johns…The use of environmental manipulation to disrupt illicit activity has worked well for other police agencies.  When trying to find a way to combat lewd conduct and public sex in recent years, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began using similar tactics, namely trimming trees and improving lighting, to [attempt to create a panopticon]…

panopticonLet’s conclude with the rotten heart of this loathsome screed:  the treatment of sex work as a disease to be eliminated.  I mean, look at the language; it sounds like they’re talking about draining a bog to get rid of mosquitoes.  This is what “government” and “policing” actually mean in this country: treating human beings as animals to be managed, corralled, studied, punished and harvested (for taxes and fines), instead of citizens who have just as much right to be in public places as anyone else.  The idea that it doesn’t actually hurt anyone for others to have sex in a dark place outdoors never even occurs to these Puritans; the idea that someone might be doing something where they can’t watch offends them and, apparently, frustrates their voyeuristic impulses.

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The only thing [cops]…do is…sweep everyone up in antiprostitution policing, and then somehow assert that this is being done in the name of combating human trafficking.  –  Kate Mogulescu

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

How long can this scam go on?

A married doctor who romped with an escort in hospital can treat patients again – after claiming cycling has helped him quit his sex addiction.  Father-of-two Dr Rupert Pemsel…had sex with the prostitute…But when she blackmailed him for £10,000 he came clean to the General Medical Council (GMC) and last March was suspended for “deplorable and morally reprehensible” misconduct.  Now he has been given the green light by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to retrain as a family GP after claiming he has turned his life around…

ozzy-gives-the-birdThe UK media has a bizarre fondness for kindergarten words like “romp” and for obsessing about whether someone in a news story has spawned or not.  But the idea that doctors fucking whores is even remotely out of the ordinary is hilarious; when I was working in New Orleans, probably 20% of my income came from MDs.  Still, the main story here is the way privileged men use “sex addiction” as an excuse when they get caught, a fact not lost on the Ozzman:

Ozzy Osbourne has backtracked on claims he was suffering from sex addiction, which he made in the aftermath of an affair last year…“I’m in a fucking rock band, aren’t I?…There have always been groupies.  I just got caught, didn’t I?…I don’t think I’m a fucking sex addict”…

You’re absolutely right, Ozzy, because there is no such fucking thing as a sex addict.  As my friend Brooke Magnanti once put it, he might as well have claimed he was Father Christmas.

Monsters 

Australian police practice “NHI” as well:

…During the 1980s and 1990s, the Australian authorities now say, gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off the cliffs to their deaths.  But the police, many of whom had a reputation for hostility toward gay men, often carried out perfunctory investigations that overlooked the possibility of homicide…Now the police in New South Wales…are reviewing the deaths of 88 men between 1976 and 2000 to determine whether they should be classified as anti-gay hate crimes…

Imagine the Sky

Here’s an interesting article on regulated brothels in 19th-century St. Petersburg.  As in France and Italy, sex workers were confined to specific brothels in an attempt to control them, and as in the US the writer clings doggedly to the myth that laws and cops were in place to “help” us, and just can’t imagine why so many women refused to submit to this “protection”.

Stupor Bowl

Have you noticed we’ve heard almost nothing about “Super Bowl sex trafficking” this year?  Even Sports Illustrated, not exactly known for hard-hitting investigatie journalism, is calling it a debunked myth and quoting those who oppose it (though, alas, no sex workers):

…The Global Alliance Against Traffic In Women makes the case that by focusing on the sex trade, authorities are taking resources that could be used to investigate [actual crimes]…there are signs that the Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Myth might be splintering.  Minal Davis, the special adviser to the [Houston] mayor on human trafficking, believes that the “sensationalistic” approach at previous Super Bowls “hurts the messaging” and minimizes the severity…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised the “forced sex trafficking abortions” trope didn’t catch on:

Any woman seeking an abortion in South Dakota would have to be given the name and telephone number of an [anti-sex worker] organization…under a measure introduced…[by] Dan Kaiser…[who pretends] the idea is…an educational measure that might help get women out of dangerous and violent situations…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#563)

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:

A new app…aims to make it easier and safer for sex workers to meet their clients…While sex work is legal in some Australian states, there are a number of risks for both parties.  Rendevu hopes to solve that problem.  Developer Reuben Coppa said sex workers could list themselves on the application list, show when they were working, what type of appointments they were taking and their price points…Both clients and escorts can write and read reviews about their experience.  The app also tracks location and requires credit card details…[to] guarantee the amount of the booking…So far, traffic on the app has been high but the number of bookings has been fewer than expected — there have been about 100 since the launch…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

…in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area…girls are recruited at school by young males and taken to local motels or condominiums, where they engage in sex work.  Most continue to live at home…[prohibitionist] Katarina MacLeod [parrots,] “You have these guys making regular girls feel special, buying them things and taking them shopping…[The men] know exactly how to build dependence…Girls as young as 13 are getting recruited in”…

The More the Better (#667) 

The law is an ass, and so is this judge:

Claims that First Lady Melania Trump worked as a high-end…escort before she married businessman, billionaire and now President Donald Trump will be argued over in a Maryland court…[after] a Montgomery County judge ruled that Melania Trump’s $150 million defamation lawsuit against a Clarksburg blogger will continue to trial, saying the blog posts implied she acted as a prostitute…”The court believes most people, when they hear the words ‘high-end escort’ that describes a prostitute.  There could be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute”…

Fuck you. Judge Sharon Burrell; there are far worse things a woman can be than a prostitute, such as a hypocritical and prudish politician.

The Crumbling Dam (#668)

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

Officials in Seattle…approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year.  The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe.  Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y.  While [prohibitionists] say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment…

The War Goes On 

Here’s a constantly-updated spreadsheet of sex worker advertising sites; I can’t speak for its contents, but the more resources for sex workers impacted by the censorship of Backpage, the better.

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[Jessica] McGraa’s death has prompted many to ask how we have created a climate in which sex workers call anyone but the police.  –  Frankie Mullin

Lying Down With Dogs

Melissa Ditmore on Russia’s terrible anti-whore policies:

Russian President Vladimir Putin…half [joked]…that…Russian sex workers are “of course the best in the world”…but…Russia’s regressive policies on sex work, LGBTQ people, and sex education are counter to good health.  LGBTQ people are stigmatized and discriminated against and face grave violence, sex work is prohibited, the most effective HIV prevention strategies for people who use drugs are against the law, and comprehensive sexuality education is not offered in schools…

The Mote and the Beam

Liz Brown was the only non-prohibitionist invited to appear on this Al Jazeera show; in this article she discusses the incredible ignorance of the other panelists, who call for more laws without even knowing what the current ones say.

An Example To the West

Two thousand signatures:

The National Network of Sex Workers has released a statement challenging the conference being organised by the “The Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution International”…The statement has been signed by over 2000 sex workers in India who reject the conflation of trafficking with sex work, and the conflation of sex work with violence.  It calls for…an end to the use of morality to stigmatise and discriminate against sex workers…

Broken Record 

The broadest “gypsy whore” claim ever:

a new report from 2016 [redefines criteria to claim that] the number of human trafficking cases in [Florida] doubled in the last year…Florida’s reputation as a tourist destination means traffickers respond to the demand for sex tourism by trafficking victims to the state during tourist season…[prohibitionist] Bethany Gilot [publicly fantasized about]…the prevalence of sex tourism in the region…

I Swear To God

And yet “feminists” were perfectly happy when it was sex workers’ rights which were the forbidden topic:

Donald Trump signed [an] executive order…reinstating a ban on international aid…to nonprofits that provide abortions or promote information on them, regardless of what other services they offer…A…group of more than 100 public health, women’s issues, and civil liberties organizations have already issued a statement opposing the return of…”the global gag rule”…[the policy is very much like] the anti-prostitution pledge…[which] stipulated that no grant money could be used…to “provide assistance to any group or organization that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution”…

That Old Black Magic

I’m not sure which aspect of this is the stupidest:

A woman accused of trafficking a Nigerian woman into the country and forcing her to work as a prostitute has claimed that the alleged victim was having an affair with her husband…The complainant previously told a jury that she underwent a “voodoo process” in Nigeria during which she swore she would not report the alleged trafficker, Joy Imasogie…once in Ireland she had to have sex with up to 10 men a day to pay off a €50,000 “debt”…arising from her being brought to Ireland…Imasogie said sometimes the woman would come to her house to do her hair in exchange for food but denied making her work as a prostitute…she…also claimed the mother of the alleged victim was using voodoo to take her husband away from her but “did not succeed”…

Monsters 

A 26-year-old Detroit man…[shot] a transgender woman in the face after paying her for sex.  Jason Lamar Hogan was charged…with [attempted murder]…She escaped and got treatment at Grace Hospital…

Paint By Numbers

“Dumb ‘awareness-raising’ stunts” is going to be the funniest appendix in my history of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is urging you to drop an F-bomb.  No, not the swear word.  In this case, F stands for Friend…They’re using memes with a very serious message.  It’s something we don’t like to think is happening in our community: kids forced to be sex slaves.  But Florida is one of the top three states for human trafficking…Ken Gibson from the Crisis Center…says…“It’s little kids…who are being targeted by pimps”…

Checklist (#542)

Can this reporter actually be so credulous as to believe it takes 20 cops to check to see if a strip club is displaying the magical scrolls demanded by Florida politicians?

There was no dancing when deputies and code enforcement officers were at a strip joint called Icon.  Except for the 20 or so officials, the club was nearly vacant…But the deputies didn’t mind the empty stage, as they were there to ensure that the club was in compliance with a new county ordinance requiring anti-human trafficking signs in adult entertainment establishments…

The nauseating sound of bootlicking is deafening.

Perquisites (#582) 

Yawning.

…University of Louisville…director of basketball operations Andre McGee hired strippers and prostitutes as a way of gaining favor with high school recruits from 2010 to 2014.  The scandal broke wide open in 2015, when Katina Powell, who was in charge of organizing the women to bring to campus, published a book detailing the racket, titled Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen…

Surplus Women (#614) 

It will never be completely safe for any sex worker, or really any woman, to call the cops.  But we need to give the cops far fewer excuses to force interaction with sex workers:

Jessica…McGraa’s death sent waves of horror through the sex work community across the UK.  As an independent worker, advertising online, she was part of one of the fastest-growing sectors of the industry.  Her story was close to home for thousands of people working in similar circumstances.  How many of them would have called the police?…

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-evan-cramer

Once again: if you think it matters whether a rapist cop was “on duty” at the time of the rape, you are part of the problem:

Evan Cramer…pulled [a woman] over…for a minor traffic violation…[he said] she had multiple warrants out for her arrest and said she could avoid jail time if she [submitted to rape]…Cramer…then…[forced] the [woman] into his cruiser and [drove] her to a vacant lot where…he [raped her]…The woman then went to the hospital and reported the [rape]…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#705) 

Though this is mostly just the usual idiocy, note that “children” is defined as “people under 26”.

There are likely more than 313,000 victims of labor and sex trafficking in Texas, and roughly a fourth of them are children and people under the age of 26 who have been forced into prostitution…[fetishists] from…University of Texas…[pretend these wild exagerrations represent] “a conservative understatement of the prevalence of human trafficking in Texas”…

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The bedroom or the dungeon is a place where, with consenting partners, we are allowed to act out power games, even childish ones.
–  Mistress Matisse

Do As I Say, Not As I Do rapey-cop-tyler-valimont

Even cops who pay whores may use threats to obtain compliance:

[Pennsylvania cop] Tyler Valimont…faces five misdemeanor charges…[for meeting a sex worker]…Valimont threatened to arrest her if she didn’t respond to his calls and text messages…during their encounter on November 7, she recognized Valimont as a past customer who paid her…in September…

King of the Hill

Small cities not ambitious enough to claim one of the top spots in the “trafficking hotspot” pissing contest still make ridiculous claims about numbers, “circuits”, highways and the inability of women to drive or make hotel reservations:

Omaha is known as a hot spot for human trafficking.  It is located on the same routes drug dealers have been using for years.  “The traffickers are on a circuit and traveling down I-80 and that’s evidenced by the ads posted in Denver one day, Omaha the next day, then Chicago and to New York City, Washington, D.C. and then on to Philadelphia,” said Anna Brewer…a former FBI agent…”The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative has identified over 2,200 human beings for sale in Omaha”…

Against Their Will (#315)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A 31-year-old Vietnamese woman fell to her death when she was believed to have slipped while trying to leap from one building to the next in a bid to escape from [Malaysian vice cops]…The raiding team…[still had the nerve to refer to three women they] successfully [arrested as] rescued…

Sex Rays

Don’t they know sex ray contamination can last for decades?

For several years there has been a succession of stories suggesting that the imposing Armory building in [San Francisco] was slowly being relinquished by its owner, BDSM porn concern Kink.com…CEO Peter Acworth…says that all film shoots at the Armory will be ending next month as the company diversifies its interests a bit, and moves to reuse the 200,000-square-foot building for other, revenue-generating ends…the business can no longer support the huge facility they purchased a decade ago…because…Kink.com’s subscriber base has shrunk by 40 percent in this age of plentiful free porn…Acworth now says he’s looking to convert the top two floors to leasable office space…but [potential tenants]…have been turned off after seeing the remnants of Kink’s oeuvre around the building…and have backed out…

Broken Record (All Traffick, All the Time)

Poor Tucson; its only big event to claim as a “sex trafficking magnet” is jaw-droppingly absurd:

…the Tucson Police Department and [sex trafficking fetishists]…are coming together to go over their plan to tackle the underground crime before the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins…[they fantasize] sex traffickers cater to the high demand that comes with the event…[bureaucrat Sheila] Pessinguia…[says] “They don’t self-identify and even when we have a real good feeling that they are trafficked they still don’t admit it”…

Because the feelings of pigs & politicians trump reality.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#440) 

These establishments wouldn’t have to “hide” if sex work were decriminalized in Victoria:

Hundreds of illegal brothels, many of which offer unsafe sexual practices and put women’s safety at risk, are operating across Melbourne…police admit the sheer size of the industry makes it difficult to investigate…the majority of illegal brothels operated under the guise of massage shops, with others in homes, beauty salons and karaoke bars…

Original Sin (#449)

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A delegation from the U.S. state of Louisiana was among the special guests meeting with Pope Francis during his general audience on [January 18th].  Led by Governor John Bel Edwards, the delegation asked the Pope to bless the pioneering work that is going on in Louisiana to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims who’ve been trapped in this modern day slavery.  That work includes [lots more money to promote police violence]…

Moving Pictures tricked-fakeumentary-poster

It’s good to see them feeding on each other:

A child sex-trafficking victim who was forced into prostitution by her mother and later identified by a Denver police officer in a [fake]umentary about the sex trade is suing the filmmaker and Netflix for distributing it, according to a federal lawsuit.  Using the pseudonym Jane Roe, the woman said Denver Police Sgt. Daniel Steele identified her by her first name in the 2013 film Tricked and showed a photograph of her during an interview…The film also used her full name in its list of credits…

Paint By Numbers (#620)

The “anti-trafficking hair color” idiots are still at it:

A splash of color in your hair can start a conversation – and with the topic of sex trafficking, that can [magically] make a real difference.  That’s the hope of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, teaming up with a local barber shop for sex trafficking awareness month…

To Molest and Rape

Note how the reporter tries to downplay the cop’s implied threats against the girl:

A Chicago [cop] accused of [pressuring]…an underage girl [for sex] has been charged with felony criminal sexual assault…Eugene Ciardullo…began communicating with the victim and her friends via social media when she was 16…

Worse Than I Thought (#644)

“Sex trafficking” laws keep getting broader and scarier:

Attempting to pay for sex could become a felony offense in Connecticut…Liz Linehan introduced a bill that would take the crime of “patronizing a prostitute” from a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one year in prison, to a Class C felony, which comes with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and a possible 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.  Linehan’s measure would also require anyone convicted of the offense more than once to register as a sex offender…Connecticut is currently in the midst of rolling out another prostitution-related measure…[requiring] all hotel and motel employees…to undergo training on how to spot…”activities related to human trafficking.”  But like so many “human trafficking awareness” shams, the hotel-employee training really only encourages people to report any and all suspected prostitution…

Elephant in the Parlor (#706)  

My friend Mistress Matisse weighs in on the Trump golden shower report:

“When I first saw the document, I was on the fence about it…But then I saw the press conference where Trump denied the story by saying ‘I’m a germaphobe.’  When I saw that, I thought ‘Oh yeah, then you definitely did it.’ Because that’s an irrational fear.  And nothing makes already-taboo things sexier than a tinge of trepidation”…

The War Goes On (#706) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to misogynistic sociopaths like Dart:

The ads for prostitutes and escorts that previously appeared in Backpage’s adult section have simply been redirected to the site’s “dating” section, which has gone from being a platform for finding companionship online to a forum rife with solicitations for sex.  “There’s been this big to-do with Backpage saying they’ve taken down this site,” said Dart, noting he was immediately skeptical of the company’s statements and motives…”they’ve taken down their escorts section but have basically moved all their ads over to another section of the website…We went out and arrested a person off the site…We answered one of their ads and it was no different”…

Yes, he’s actually saying Backpage moved the ads because he can’t comprehend women being intelligent enough to work around the stupid proclamations of he and his fellow control freaks.  Note also that he let his “whores are victims” mask slip by admitting he arrested (not “rescued”) a sex worker.

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