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Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

If there was a real problem we would know.  –  Maxime Maes

Japanese Prostitution (#410)

The Japanese get very touchy when anyone memorializes their victims:

Because of the “considerable strain on German-Japanese relations”, the Department of Roads and Green Space Management in…Berlin demanded the removal of a sculpture called “Peace Statue” by October 14th.  The bronze statue, which symbolizes a Korean [“comfort woman”] in World War II, was erected on September 28 by [a private] organization [named] Korea Verband…on a street corner in the Moabit district…

The Lesser of Two Evils (#722) 

Maybe the Church should delineate acceptable ways for priests to meet their sexual needs:

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has removed and burned the altar…of Sts. Peter and Paul church in Pearl River after a priest was caught filming sex acts on the altar with two women.  Archbishop Gregory Aymond…called Rev. Travis Clark’s acts “demonic…I am infuriated by his actions…and…will consecrate a new altar”…Clark was arrested for obscenity, along with the two women involved, because their sex acts were…visible [to a trespassing parishioner who peered into the window]

Men’s fantasies get more extreme when they’re deprived of sex.  It really is that simple, but people prefer to imagine otherwise.

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…Clear’s vision for its fingerprint, iris-scanning, and facial recognition business goes beyond kiosks in airports or sports areas — it wants to be a holistic identity verification platform, covering more intimate moments in our everyday lives.  The company has already amassed troves of personal data on its customers, especially for Clear customers who use the service to buy concessions and enter sports stadiums…in return for cutting to the front of the line unimpeded, customers handing over vast swaths of biometric and travel data…When the company verifies a person’s identity, whether that be to enter an airport, a stadium, or buy a beer at a concession stand, Clear is affirming that they are who they say they are.  Right now, this verification process means priority access to an airport or stadium security [theater] line as a trusted Clear member.  But in the future…Clear plans to be the company that verifies your identity every time you would have swiped a credit card, shown your ID at a door, or handed over a health insurance card…

Guinea Pigs (#968) 

In case you had forgotten that banks are actively looking for whores to rat out to the pigs:

…a study of hundreds of professionals working in anti-money laundering, risk and fraud roles across financial, business, banking and insurance industries reveals shocking gaps in their capabilities.  More than 80 per cent [fantasize] that money laundering is currently happening in their customers’ transactions but two in five aren’t confident they can [tell dirty whore money from righteous people’s money]…more than one in 10 financial institutions still don’t have an a[pproved set of tricks for stealing clients’ money under color of law]…despite it being a legal requirement.  Even if they do, just one in five in-house experts are confident they can [detect the sex rays from whore money]…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#982)

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugged candy in his trick-or-treat bag:

A man was arrested…after police [stopped his car on an invented pretext, got permission from a dog to rip his car apart, then] found hundreds of pounds of THC-infused candy during [their rooting]…

It’s interesting that neither cop nor yellow journalist tried to use this as an excuse to spread Halloween hysteria; maybe they’re waking up to the fact that nobody is going to give expensive cannabis edibles (which can cost $2 to $3 or more per piece) to strangers’ brats for free.

To Molest and Rape (#1066)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

…on September 3, 2019…a 14-year-old girl was visiting [Missouri cop Joshua] Skaggs and his wife…[when] she was awoken around 5 a.m. by Skaggs touching her bare chest…her shirt had been pulled over her bra, and the light from Skagg’s cell phone had been turned on…possibl[y to]…take…a photo of her…[in another assault, a]…13-year-old was visiting Skaggs’ home in July of 2019…she woke up…[to find him] lifting the waistband to her pants in an attempt to get inside them.  Both girls…were terrified of telling anyone because Skaggs was a cop and he would try to hurt them…Skaggs denied one incident and [claimed] the [other was somehow] an accident…he…should have done a minimum of 5 years for each of the charges…[but the judge gave him a mere] 60 days in jail…

Social Distancing (#1080)

Once in a while, whores win a small victory:

The Council of State has overturned a ban on street prostitution [imposed o]n Brussels-City…by mayor Philippe Close…[because] a municipality does not have the authority to order such a ban, which can only be done by a regional or federal authority.  The Council of State is the legal body which deals with cases questioning the legality of the decisions of all levels of government.  Normally, governments also submit their legislative proposals for scrutiny before they become law…[but] Close [rushed the proclamation through using the excuse]…of…coronavirus…

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There is no provision under [Indian] law which makes prostitution per se a criminal offence.  –  Justice Prithviraj Chavan

Elephant in the Parlor

Americans keep pretending “politician hires whores” is something other than a yawn:

Hunter Biden allegedly sent “thousands of dollars” to people who appear to be involved in the sex industry, according to…a…report released by Senate Republicans.  The report claims unspecified records show that Biden “has [paid] non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine…some of these transactions are linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring’”…Last year…[it was] revealed that a woman who was suing Biden for paternity in Arkansas was a former stripper at a Washington, DC, club that he frequented…

The attempt to make this VEWWY IMPOWTINT by alluding to “sex trafficking” and RUSSIA!!!! just come across as pathetic.  As for the phrase “prostitution or human trafficking ring”, that “or” is doing some mighty heavy lifting; the phrase “Biden is either a human being or a tentacled monster from Tau Ceti” would be equally accurate.

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

…the Ring Always Home Cam, set to be available sometime next year…is…a drone that flies autonomously throughout your home, to provide [anyone with access to your Ring account] the view [they] want of whatever room [they] want, without having to have video cameras installed in multiple locations throughout your house.  The Always Home Cam…can be scheduled to fly preset paths…and it begins recording only once its in flight (the camera lens is actually physically blocked while it’s docked) — both features the company [pretends] will help ensure it operates strictly with privacy in mind.  Always Home Cam is also designed intentionally to produce an audible hum while in use, to alert anyone present that it’s actually moving around and recording [unless it’s used when no human is home]…

Sure, give hackers and cops access to a device that can be activated when you aren’t home to fly around and snoop into your private business.  What could possibly go wrong?

Social Distancing (#1031)

Can you imagine this happening in the puritanical US?

A woman running a[n escort service]…sued the Japanese government [for]…its blanket exclusion of the sex industry from a cash handout programme to support small companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic[, which constitutes] discrimination banned under the country’s constitution…the woman…demanded the payment of the benefits as well as consolation money for having been discriminated against “without reasonable grounds”…When she and other sex business operators met with an official at the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency in June to ask for their companies to be included in the handout programme, the official rejected their request, saying such businesses “have previously been excluded from public support, such as ones following natural disasters”, and that the agency merely “followed the past responses” made by the state…

Against Their Will (#1056) 

The Indian high court’s ruling in action:

Observing that prostitution is no offence under the law, the Bombay high court…set free three sex workers, who were detained [against their will] at a [so-called] hostel in Uttar Pradesh.  The court said an adult woman has the right to choose her vocation and cannot be detained without her consent, and set young women, aged 20, 22 and 23 free.  Justice Prithviraj Chavan said the purpose and the object of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (PITA), 1956 is not to abolish prostitution…

The Last Shall Be First (#1059)

Politicians’ potty obsession has gone federal:

[Politician] Kelly Loeffler [has] introduced a bill…threatening federal funding to schools that support transgender students…The bill…explicitly state[s] that allowing transgender girls…to compete with [cis]gender [girls] in school sports violates Title IX’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sex in schools…Loeffler’s bill, which says nothing about transgender boys competing in boys’…sports, says that “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth”…Similar legislation passed in Idaho earlier this year, and it was criticized because it allowed anyone to challenge a student athlete’s gender, which would force [her] to undergo DNA tests and “genital exams”…With the bill’s wording vague and federal funding on the line, schools could opt to require genital exams for all female athletes to prove they aren’t transgender…

The Widening Gyre (#1074)

It’s good to see psychologists finally telling the truth about hysteria over “pedophilia”:

Around two years ago…Twitter amended its terms of service to make an explicit allowance for the discussion of sexual attractions towards children, provided that such discussion does not…encourage people to commit sexual offenses against children…I was a signatory of a letter, initiated by the child protection organization Prostasia Foundation, alongside other experts on the prevention of child sexual abuse…who called for such a change…as the current best thinking in the field is that having a place online to connect to other MAPs reduces…social isolation, and therefore reduces the temptation to use the internet to act out on such sexual attractions…The phrase “minor-attracted person” (or “MAP”)…[is intended to cover the full] range of attraction targets…[rather than labeling everything] “pedophilia” [a term which actually only refers to attraction to prepubescent children]…

The Widening Gyre (#1075)

Here’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown on the Blocked and Reported podcast, discussing “the online outrage surrounding the French film Cuties…[and] the broader American sex-trafficking panic that seems to partly explain the reaction…

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Sex workers tend to find [“feminist”] attitudes offensive, paternalistic and…detrimental to their rights.  –  Gabriele Koch

Japanese Prostitution

If Koch was really “surprised” by any of this, she isn’t much of an anthropologist:

Gabriele Koch’s new book Healing Labor: Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy…is…a menagerie of “sex for sale” stories from one of the largest markets in the world.  An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Koch spent almost two years on ethnographic fieldwork, exploring how Japanese sex work is woven into a culture and economy that frequently puts women at a disadvantage.  Along the way, Koch says, she had to be open to surprises.  “I soon realized that the kinds of [unscientific fantasies and bigoted misconceptions] I had as an American about what sex work is, who’s involved and how (the women) think about their work didn’t really fit what I was hearing or seeing,…One surprise was how the sex industry is more or less accepted as socially necessary in Japan…But despite this…sex workers still face a lot of stigma.  Both in Japan and in the United States, people often think of the sex industry as somehow different from the rest of society.  But it’s an ordinary industry made up of ordinary people”…

Warning: the (male) reviewer insists on editorializing about how sex work is “sexist”, “problematic” and accompanied by “attendant ills”, despite Koch’s apparent rejection of these bigoted tropes.

Rotting Fruit

I wonder how long it’ll be before she conveniently “commits suicide”?

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, is facing charges in the US…includ[ing] enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury.  She was…arrested in New Hampshire and…has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct…

Moving Pictures

Apparently “sex trafficking” fetishists think all films about coercive sexual interactions must promote their specific fantasy narrative:

Netflix said…it will continue to stream the Polish film 365 Days [despite demands it be censored]…including by [a] British [pop star who apparently thinks it will undermine the sales of her own book about being raped]…the film…based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipinska…follows a woman…who is imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss…who gives his hostage a year to fall in love with him…

Stalkers in Blue

Hey female cops, how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

[Cop] Heather McWilliam was sexually harassed for years by her supervisors, including a sexual assault…part of a culture of sexual harassment that exists throughout the Toronto Police…However, the…[judge merely]…ordered…$85,000 as compensation…and…yearly…training…[on] dealing with sexual harassment…

Ordering cops receive more “training” is a popular way for judges to pretend they’re doing something while preserving the status quo.

Topping from the Bottom

Every amateur “sex scandal” makes me even more glad I’m a professional:

A case against the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list can move forward, per a federal judge’s ruling…in a lawsuit brought by…writer and director Stephen Elliott, best known [to sex workers for being a creep]…The issue at stake this round was whether Elliott is a public figure.  If so, the standard for proving defamation is higher, and the chances for [list creator Moira] Donegan’s motion to dismiss would have been much greater.  [The judge] ruled that Elliott is not a public figure for purposes of this case…Next up: figuring out what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has to say about all this…Donegan argues that Section 230 applies here because she, as the creator of the list, is the provider of an “interactive computer service” and should not be held legally liable for potentially defamatory shitty-men allegations made by others…

Social Distancing (#1025)

So many “enlightened” countries still believe that disease is caused by “sin”:

Several dozen prostitutes…staged a protest in Berlin…against…restrictions…[that] are preventing them from making a living…sex work has been banned since mid-March [using the excuse]…of the coronavirus…[despite the fact that] “Hairdressers, massage parlours, beauty salons… fitness studios, tattoo shops, saunas, restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen”…[in Germany and] brothels have been allowed to reopen in neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands…

Social Distancing (#1050)

Compare with Germany’s disdain for sex workers’ livelihoods:

With performers wearing facemasks as well as bikinis, Bangkok’s red-light districts reopened on [July 1st]…after more than three months of shutdown…Bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours were in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen…It meant a return to work for some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have been struggling to survive…But Thailand’s economy is forecast to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% this year…

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Sex workers are not a thought experiment.  –  Kai Cheng

Monsters

Violence against trans people is getting mainstream attention:

The NYPD drone circling over the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum [on June 14th] must have only picked up a sea of white.  That’s the color protestors were asked to wear to rally and march silently in the wake of the deaths of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah MiltonTony McDade, and countless other Black trans victims of police brutality and civilian violence.  The event featured speakers from the Okra Project, the Marsha P. Johnson InstituteFor the GworlsGLITS, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, as well as the family and loved ones of Layleen Polanco…Many of the people gathered had their own stories of police brutality to tell, but that didn’t stop them from showing up for the Black trans community…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

More queer sex workers are remembering that Pride commemorates a riot:

Sex work gave me a livelihood and autonomy…and…sex workers taught me resilience and self-worth.  Queer “community,” with its endless callouts and purity politics, has never come close to doing that…Maybe you came here expecting a congenial, well-reasoned article patiently defending the virtues of sex work as a profession and politely asking for solidarity.  This isn’t that article.  That article has already been written, several times, by several different authors.  That article should have changed all of your minds already about the fact that sex workers are human beings who deserve basic human rights, but apparently it didn’t, so here we are.  Still criminalized, still stigmatized, still by and large ignored by mainstream “LGBT community,” despite the fact that transfeminine sex workers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the reason that we have Pride in the first place.  People love the idea that sex workers need saving.  A lot of money, power, and attention goes into that idea – not to sex workers, but to our would-be saviors…In order to [really help], though, anti-sex work activists and police would have to actually care about sex workers’ actual lives, as opposed to their self-image as Real Life Heroes™ rescuing us from evil human traffickers…

Do Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Government as domestic abuser is a very useful metaphor:

For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful — issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics…The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is.  They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people…But…[now] people aren’t just out protesting racism, they’re calling for the complete dismantling of the entire police state…And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage…Liberal narrative managers manipulated the people into understanding that they are only allowed to care about issues like sexism, LGBT rights, and racism.  The people responded by saying “Okay, well then we demand that you dismantle the entire police state because it is racist.”  Through all the confusion and fog of a lifetime of ingesting establishment propaganda, the people have still managed to find one solid strand of “no” that they know the nice guy abuser can’t actually forbid them from holding onto…

Quiet Genocide

Mainstream Western media are still largely ignoring China’s atrocities in Xinjiang:

…Formally an autonomous region of China, [Xinjiang] is today practically the largest internment camp in the world…Xi [Jinping] instructed the cadres of the Communist Party of China to “show absolutely no mercy” to its Uighur Muslim population.  The regime that now decries any allusion to the genesis of the coronavirus as bigoted then proceeded to describe Islam as a “virus”.  And its prescription for the eradication of this pathogen…was the swift “hospitalisation” of Muslims in indoctrination camps…up to 20 prisoners are packed into every cell.  Heads shaved, hands and feet bound at all times, they are permanently watched by cameras.  Their day begins at 6am and ends after midnight.  Their meals consist of gruel — except on Friday, the holiest day of the week for Muslims, when they are served pork, forbidden by Islam — and they are granted two minutes a day to relieve themselves in a communal bucket.  The remaining hours are devoted to the performance of rituals intended to purge them of their religious and ethnic identity.  They must master Mandarin, the language of their overlords; soak themselves in party propaganda; atone for who they are by confessing to their existence as a crime; and endlessly chant slogans pledging subservience to Han supremacy: I love China! Thank you, Communist Party! I love Xi Jinping!…Inmates are made to sit on chairs embedded with metal spikes, starved, and suspended from ceilings and flogged with electric truncheons; their fingernails are prised with pliers, their skin is pierced with needles, and their bodies are pumped with mysterious medicine.  “Good” behaviour cannot bring relief from this ordeal because it is impossible for the captives to know what defines “good” behaviour…All that stands between the inmates and the torture chamber is the mood of the prison guards…There is no emancipation even in death from the humiliations…in addition to destroying and disfiguring Muslim places of worship, [China] also razes their graves

Silver Lining

My answer to the titular question: “I certainly hope not”:

…the anti-trafficking community has been largely silent on the blossoming conversation on police brutality…While some organizations have put out blanket statements about Black Lives Matter and racism, these…have not addressed the field’s entrenchment with law enforcement, or the use of anti-trafficking to re-brand abusive police forces/tactics and expand the police statecan a field that relies on carceral penalties and approaches even be saved from its pro-police roots?  The history of the anti-trafficking field has revolved around the decision to take social justice problems and apply a criminal justice answer…This decision to…center…law enforcement and criminal justice-based interventions was concretized through legislation which incentivized joint approaches between service providers and law enforcement and primarily defined success as convictions…

Social Distancing (#1031)

The Japanese are much more sensible about sex than Americans:

…nightclubs across Japan are trying to come to terms with in the age of COVID-19, as they roll out a raft of anti-infection measures to shed their newfound notoriety as hotbeds for virus clusters.  The industry [was ready]…for the full lifting [last] Friday of Tokyo’s business closure requests, which…pave[d] the way for host clubs and hostess bars…to officially reopen for the first time in months.  In reality, a number of nightclubs had already resumed business to protect the livelihoods of employees.  But…many parlors [are now] taking a stab at the new safety guidelines issued by the government on how to coexist with the pandemic…

The Cop Myth (#1049)

A Reason interview with Reason alumnus Radley Balko:

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Government demands for new…surveillance powers are all too familiar.  –  Adam Schwartz

Feminine Pragmatism 

I’m sure a “pimp” must be forcing her to do this:

…The sudden disappearance of paychecks, combined with a wide array of monthly debt payments and the declines in any investments, is forcing some millennials to take desperate measures…Jayci Cumberledge…in Amherst, Ohio…spent her last $80 in savings to make her monthly car payment shortly after the gastro pub where she worked closed in mid-March…She has since made some money by selling pictures of her feet to people with fetishes who found her online after she put a joking post on Twitter…

Dangerous Speech (#954)

The government’s case against the former owners of Backpage is totally unraveling:

…On March 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt federal prosecutors yet another setback in the government’s two-year-long quest to [steal] millions of dollars in publishing assets belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the 17-paper Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies and co-founders of the now-defunct…Backpage…Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kucera had sought to block a First Amendment challenge by Lacey and Larkin to the seizures, lamely arguing — much as he had a year ago…that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.  But a two-judge panel of the Ninth rejected Kucera’s motion to dismiss…the same judges [also] granted Lacey and Larkin’s request to expedite their appeal, warning the government that no requests for extensions of time would be approved “absent extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”  With an April 28 deadline set for the government’s response, and an optional reply from the appellants due 21 days thereafter, oral arguments concerning the civil asset seizures could be scheduled as early as June…

Working From Home

The hypocrisy of the prohibitionist New York Times is appalling:

As 16 million people in the United States have applied for unemployment benefits in the last [few] weeks, a rush of people…have sought new work performing in sexually explicit live broadcasts.  And, as nearly half the world is under some form of stay-at-home orders, people who do this work are also seeing a large growth in customers…The performers work for tips, to [circumvent] laws that [criminalize] sex work…CamSoda…said there had been a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups this March…ManyVids…[saw] a 69 percent increase…But this growth isn’t always translating into more money for the models…[who report that] new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they typically would…

You Were Warned (#1023)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…the EARN IT Act…[is designed to destroy] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and…possibly encrypted communication writ large, under the guise of (what else?) protecting children…Signal developer Joshua Lund said in a blog post…that Signal would face insurmountable financial burdens as a result of the law and would therefore be forced to leave the US market rather than undermine its encryption to stay.  Given that Signal is recommended and used across the Department of Defense, Congress, and other parts of the US government, this would be a seemingly problematic outcome for everyone…

Like Houses (#1027)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

From cellphone tracking to drone eyes in the sky, perused health records, and GPS ankle bracelets, an epidemic of surveillance-state measures is spreading across the world…in the name of battling the spread of COVID-19…since every crisis is used to justify incursions into our liberty.  But long after the virus has done its worst and moved on, we’re likely to be stuck with these invasions of our privacy—unless we push back, hard…China…force[d] people to install cellphone apps that assigned them a code according to (allegedly) their perceived risk of spreading contagion.  Permission to travel or enter public spaces depended on that code even as the software also tracked their whereabouts and [handed] data on users’ phones [to] the authorities…South Korea…tracked people’s cellphones and credit card usage…Spanish authorities turned to aerial drones to detect unauthorized gatherings of people—already a cringe-worthy concept for those of us disinclined to ask permission to meet with friends.  Loudspeakers on the drones then ordered violators to return home…in the U.S., government officials joined with tech companies to paw through the location data that most of us share with cellphone apps…Privacy [laws] have also been [violated] to allow [government officials to root through] patients’ medical records

Social Distancing (#1028)

Amber DiPietra on the US disaster compensation check:

There is NO QUESTION on the 1040 form that asks what you do for employment or who you work for.  The only questions regarding employment is “occupation” and you can state that you are self-employed…Everything you have read…about our community members not being eligible for the stimulus check is NOT TRUE…there is no indication that independent workers or “gig” workers will not get a stimulus check.  Adult oriented BUSINESSES like Porn companies and Cam Platforms, will not be eligible for the BUSINESS stimulus LOAN…EVERYONE who files a 2019 tax return will get a stimulus check.  If you DON’T file a 2019 return, you will definitely NOT get a stimulus check…People who are on social security or disability WILL receive a stimulus check AUTOMATICALLY…

Social Distancing (#1029)

The government of Japan seems more susceptible to shaming than that of the US:

Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan’s legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance…the…original…plan…was widely criticized for being discriminatory…It is unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated…

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Governmental mechanisms to frame policy based on lies are not uncommon.  –  Laura Agustín

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín on “sex trafficking” snake oil:

Swindle, chicanery, skullduggery, con.  There’s no one perfect word to describe how trafficking came to be hailed as one of the great problems of our time.  Excess in rhetoric has known no bounds, with campaigners saying theirs is the new civil-rights movement and claiming there are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history, amongst other hyperbole.  And there was me thinking it was about folks wanting to leave home to see if things might be better elsewhere…I was asking reasonable questions about a social phenomenon and refused to be fobbed off with explanations that made no sense.  My trajectory as a thinker happened to coincide with a piece of governmental legerdemain that switched the topic of conversation from human mobility and migration to organized crime, like peas in a shell game…

Shame, Shame (#649)

Gee, who could’ve anticipated draconian “revenge porn” laws would be used this way (except all the free speech activists who have opposed them for years)?

Bethany Austin did nothing society would reasonably call wrong.  She received, without asking, sexually explicit images that her fiancé’s paramour sent to a shared cloud account.  She quietly called off the engagement…[and] her former fiancé [responded by] spread[ing] a hurtful and untrue rumor that he had ended the relationship because Ms. Austin was crazy and refused to cook and clean for him.  To clear her good name, Ms. Austin wrote a letter to her friends and family explaining what really happened.  She attached some of the images as proof.  Now the ex‐​fiancé and his paramour are using Illinois’s “revenge porn” law to punish her for speaking, and the state is happily obliging…The trial court found the law unconstitutional, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed.  Cato, joined by DKT Liberty Project, has filed an amicus brief supporting Ms. Austin’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court…

I Spy (#1001)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google will use its mammoth collection of mobile location data to [spy on] people across the globe [to see whether they are obeying] government [orders] to remain at home [until politicians deign to let them out again]…or are venturing out to [live their lives]…Google will provide county-level percentages that are updated every few days, but summarized in a way that the company [claims] will not reveal any individual’s travels [until politicians demand such information…

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

With the economy tanking and families locked together because of stay-at-home orders…domestic violence rates appear to be soaring.  This requires an urgent response:  States should immediately order the closures of liquor stores.  They can reopen when [politicians declare that] home isolation is no longer needed…

Like Houses (#1025)

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that [the] right [to self-defense]…is…”nonessential”…a…decision…which allowed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to unilaterally ban the sale of firearms and ammunition…Villanueva…[was forced to] rescind…his ban…[in the face of a lawsuit and]…new federal guidelines.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy…[and] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf [made similar defeated attempts]…their reluctance to respect [Constitutional rights does]…not bode well for civil liberties at a time when many people seem to think that fighting the pandemic trumps all other concerns…Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argued…Congress should suspend the writ of habeas corpus…[so] people [can be indefinitely] detained by the government…[and a recent poll showed] sizable majorities of [useful idiots]…favored confining people to their homes, [caging] sick people…government takeovers of businesses, [enslavement] of health care workers…and even criminalizing [speech that the government disapproves of]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Oh Maggie, you’re paranoid; this is about keeping people SAFE!

Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas…residents…face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth [until politicians declare] the coronavirus outbreak [over]…all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas…residents will also be required to adhere to a daily curfew or possibly face a fine or jail time…the curfew…lasts from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m…and may only leave for…work…[if they have a permission slip] from their employer…

It’s not about expanding the police state at all!

…New York [cops] arrested three people in Brooklyn…after they allegedly “failed to maintain social distancing”…despite [politicians] promising that those disregarding the lockdown would face fines at most…the individuals [were]…charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct…one…woman…[was mobbed by pigs] wearing no masks…[who] pepper-sprayed [her and her boyfriend]…she…was…then [locked in a filthy cage]…with two dozen other women for the next 36 hours.  Only women who already had masks when they were arrested were allowed to keep them…The woman was…[fired] because [her employer]…fears she was exposed to the virus while in [the disgusting, unsanitary cage]…

Government officials can be trusted not to take it too far!

Louisville residents [accused of]…contact with coronavirus patients [whom cops also accuse of] refus[ing] to isolate themselves are being [forced] to wear ankle [monitor] bracelets…there are [four] known cases so far…

Social Distancing (#1028)

American anti-sex work attitudes have slowly caught on in Japan:

Advocates for bar hostesses and [other] sex workers have urged the government to reconsider its exclusion of them from compensation for parents unable to work because of school closures, noting they are among the most vulnerable members of society.  A support group for such workers submitted…a letter asking the government not to discriminate by occupation and to protect the lives of all families as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Japanese economy…

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Right now we have a pinpointed risk…called New York City.  –  politician Gina Raimondo

In this very funny Godzilla fan film provided by Franklin Harris, one guy plays all the parts (in the same suit).  The links above it were contributed by Brooke Magnanti, Jesse Walker, Mistress Matisse, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker again, Mama Tush, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuses’ livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hot-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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People whose brains and morals haven’t been totally warped by partisan politics don’t write off…horrors just because The Other Side started them.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it isn’t:

A Chinese madam linked to a[n imaginary] “Snakehead” people smuggling ring, who [provided clients and an incall for migrant sex workers]…in…Scotland…was [sentenced to] 27 months…Yen Huang, 62…was [snitched on by racist busybodies at]…a bank in Dundee [after she went into the bank with] a 48-year-old [migrant] woman…Police…[had branded] the woman…a victim of human trafficking [so they arrested her]…and…she…[is] now [in prison] in England, waiting to be [deported]…Huang…eventually abandoned her claims to have been just a cleaner with “no connection” to…prostitution, and…[instead] claimed she herself was victim of human trafficking…brought to the UK…by “Snakehead” [an imaginary criminal cartel out of racist “Fu Manchu” style fantasies]…

Divided We Fall

Perhaps if Gay, Inc had stood with sex workers to fight these kinds of lies from the beginning, they wouldn’t have grown so popular and bold:

According to Diane Gramley, head of the American Family Association’s (AFA) Pennsylvania chapter, the 1969 Stonewall uprising wasn’t caused by queer people fighting against police harassment, it was caused by police trying to rescue a young transgender boy who was being sexually abused by the bar’s queer patrons.  Gramley [told her fantasy] on a recent broadcast of Stand in the Gap, a radio show produced by the American Pastors Network…Gramley [also] said…“Pride is definitely a menace to children…because they use these Pride events to desensitize us to the dangers of their lifestyle”…By claiming that police were trying to rescue a sexually abused transgender youth, Gramely continues to [advance the myth that cops exist to “help” people and to] repeat the old canard that LGBTQ people are pedophiles who groom and sexually prey on young children, “turning” some of them gay, bi or trans…

A “young transgender boy”?  How interesting, considering that people like Gramley claim that being trans is a “lifestyle” rather than a characteristic, and therefore deny that any young person can actually be trans.

The Widening Gyre (#431)

Prohibitionists just keep trying the same stupid publicity stunts:

[A pig oinked that] it was time to consider stopping drivers using the residential…Rosary Road [in] Norwich…”to prevent kerb crawlers doing laps” [even though cops admit this won’t have any affect on street work]…residents…[say they are] not bothered by kerb crawling traffic [though some virtue-signaled that they have read the propaganda about]…”women who are being exploited in all this”…

Click the subtitle link to see what happened the last time this Stupid Cop Trick was tried.

Japanese Prostitution (#502)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sex work prior to the Olympics are insufficient to please gaijin “sex trafficking” profiteers:

As the next Olympic host, Japan has become the focus of…global [hysteria over] child prostitution…with [profiteers] working to [spread disinformation] on “hidden crimes” they [pretend] have a symbiotic relationship with mega-events.  Major sporting events attract troves [sic] of [rescue industry]…organizations…looking to cash in by exploiting [public ignorance about sex work in order to convince them that sex workers are] vulnerable children…Despite [a total lack of evidence for any issues]…Japan is far from immune, according to It’s a Penalty, a Britain-based [prohibition]ist group.  “It does exist here, it is just that [the evidence says the opposite]” said Sarah de Carvalho, founder and CEO of IAP…

Saving Them From Themselves (#626)

Oink oink, but he was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we HAVE TO destroy his life!  SHAZAM!

As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for “sexual exploitation of a child.”  But that change, which state legislators approved after [considerable pressure from sane, normal people]…came five years too late for “T.B.”, a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls [his own age]…the Colorado Supreme Court upheld [destroying] T.B.’s [life by condemning him to]…sex offender [hell] for at least 20 years.  The majority conceded that its decision “may strike some as [insane but typical police-state violence]”…but T.B. violated the law that applied at the time, the court said, so he is out of luck.  Two dissenting justices argued that their colleagues had misread the statute and that the majority’s interpretation [was completely devoid of anything resembling justice]…

Divination

Yes, people really are stupid enough to believe a dog can smell electronic images:

Louisiana State Police have acquired a new tool to help solve child porn cases:  a dog named Maggie who’s trained to sniff out even the smallest electronic devices that might be used to store images and videos, including memory cards and flash drives.  At a press conference [pigs and politicians bloviated a lot of nonsense about magic pictures and infinitely-growing problems]…

Check Your Premises (#777) 

This is, of course, based on the deeply-flawed premise that “anti-trafficking” politicians actually want to protect sex workers, which they absolutely don’t:

…If you speak out in favour of decriminalisation of sex work as a member of the UK anti-trafficking sector, you risk losing partnerships, allies and funding.  But…unless the sector comes to a united understanding on sex work and the laws surrounding it, we risk trafficking being used as a rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities.  The major divide on this battlefield is between those promoting decriminalisation of sex work and those pushing the “sex buyer law”.  Tackling trafficking for sexual exploitation is often used as the reason to support this law…This approach can feel instinctively right because it punishes the buyers. I don’t know a single sex worker who likes their clients.  I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between…

The author is clearly delusional.  First off, she refuses to recognize that “trafficking” is and always has been specifically a “rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities”, because that’s exactly what it was intended to be; it paints sex workers as “victims” so damaged by the supposed “trauma” of pragmatic sex that we don’t know what is good for us and can therefore be disregarded.  And anyone so out of touch with reality that she imagines the sex workers she “knows” (already an absurd assumption because whores aren’t generally honest with self-appointed saviors) are in any way representative of the great majority who wouldn’t even consent to talk to someone whose avowed purpose is the disruption of their entire profession, is too lost in her own navel to even bother correcting.

Storyville (#807)

It wasn’t just sex workers who thrived in the “Wild West”:

…people who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University and the author of Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past.  While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories concerning people who dressed against their assigned gender…He was shocked at the size of this population, which he’d never before encountered in his time as a queer historian of the American West…Boag expanded his research beyond the Northwest, but limited it to towns west of the Mississippi, and the period of time from the California Gold Rush through statehood for all the Western continental territories.  It wasn’t that this time and place was more open or accepting of trans people, but that it was more diffuse and unruly, which may have enabled more people to live according to their true identities…“My theory is that people who were transgender…saw the West as a place where they could live and get jobs and carry on a life that they couldn’t have in the more congested East”…

Torture Chamber (#878)

Liz Brown delivers a scathing indictment of the government’s horrific child abuse:

For years, U.S. propagandists have spread scare stories about trafficked children being housed in warehouses and forced to sleep on mats or rickety cots, with inadequate nutrition, zero privacy, and a lack of basic sanitation…[but actually] it’s the U.S. government that is doing that…ferreting [abducted] children off to secretive warehouse locations where neon lights shine 24 hours per day.  Kids are crowded into large cages where they sleep on shared mats—or sometimes concrete floors…denied soap, toothbrushes, and medicine, amid outbreaks of lice and flu…Some sociopaths argue that abusing children is necessary to send a message to their parents…but…that innocent children should not suffer for the sins of their parents has long been a principle civil societies agree on…As Ken White writes at The Atlantic“The sheer effrontery of the government’s argument may be explained, but not excused, by its long backstory”…Like civilian criminal counterparts, [Trump and company are] essentially threatening to keep on kidnapping and traumatizing kids until Democrats meet their demands…

Dangerous Speech (#948)

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The war on guns, like the war on drugs, is primarily waged on poor people.  –  Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

Doris Day, who passed away this week at the ripe old age of 97, was probably my mother’s favorite singer; I remember her singing “Que Sera, Sera” so often when I was a child that I knew the lyrics by heart before I started school (and it’s one of the few popular songs entirely within my rather-limited vocal range).  So it only seems appropriate to feature a recording of that song as this week’s video; the link above it were provided by SWOP Behind Bars, Tim Cushing, C.J. Ciaramella, Elizabeth N. Brown, Radley Balko, and Tim Cushing again (in that order).

From the Archives

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