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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

If they can take care of themselves without Government assistance, great…If not, let them starve and die.  Easy as that.  –  Christopher Barnett

I discovered this song years ago, but every time I rode the underground on my recent trip to the UK it popped irresistibly into my head, so now I’m going to share that experience with y’all.  The links above it were provided by Desiree AllianceEddie J CunninghamMike SiegelNun YaEmma EvansNina Hartley, and Mike Siegel again, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s a privilege that [clients] choose us to share their hopes, fears and dreams with.  –  Rachel Wotton

Lack of Evidence

Discrimination against sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Landlords in Nairobi…are threatening to smoke out single women from their apartments, claiming that their houses have been turned into sex dens.  The[y]…have now resorted to vetting potential tenants and turning away single women…“We have instructed our agents and caretakers to ensure that female tenants provide proof of marriage or that they have serious boyfriends before they are allowed to live in our apartments,” said one of the landlords…most of have been outwitted by shrewd women who [circumvent] the…[discrimination] process by bringing male companions to pose as husbands during their house-hunting missions…

Long-time readers may remember that similar practices in 19th-century Europe led to the appearance of pimps.  I also find it fascinating that so many ignoramuses seem to think marriage is a magical ward against harlotry.

The Public Eye 

The more out sex workers there are, the harder it will be to ignore us:

In 1995 New South Wales  became…the first place…in the world to decriminalise sex work.  Against a backdrop of the AIDS epidemic and a recommendation to fight police corruption from a royal commission into the state’s police service, sex workers succeeded in lobbying the government for change.  The NSW model is often cited as an example of best-practice, evidence-based regulation.  The state has an estimated 10,000 sex workers and many of them are active globally in law reform, human rights and HIV prevention campaigns.  But 23 years since decriminalisation, how much has changed for sex workers and what does the future hold?  The Guardian spoke to six sex workers about their personal experiences and the diverse nature of the work they do…

Most of y’all will probably recognize at least one or two of these names, especially that of Rachel Wotton, whom I deeply admire and got to meet last month.

Catastrophic Consequences

After harassing sex workers for the past five years, Scottish police now pretend they want to be “fair”:

Police Scotland is to review thousands of warnings handed out to sex workers in a bid to ensure prostitutes are not being unfairly criminalised.  Warnings…will also be removed from the internal police system after two years as part of a new policy designed to reduce the risk of discrimination…Under the existing system…A range of warnings are “weeded”…after two years, but there is a higher hurdle for sex workers to overcome.  A single warning for a prostitute will be erased from the system after 24 months, but two or more sanctions for the same individual triggers the so-called “40-20” rule.  This means that a person has to be 40 years old or over, and the information would have had to be on record for at least 20 years, before a weed is carried out…The move comes nearly five years after Police Scotland raids on saunas in Edinburgh effectively ended the regulated brothel system in the city…The action is believed to have damaged police relations with sex workers…

“Is believed to have damaged relations”.  Really?  I can’t imagine why hounding people out of safe working conditions, destroying their livelihoods and saddling them with 20-year criminal records would make them unhappy.

Nice While It Lasted

Remember when a person had to actually be found guilty to get a life sentence?

In New York a defendant can be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life based on accusations a jury rejected.  So the state’s highest court ruled last week in a case that illustrates how fear and loathing of sex offenders  lead to results that would be recognized as unjust and illogical in any other context.  Quinn Britton’s 13-year-old niece, identified in court documents as A.B., accused him of raping her during a Thanksgiving Day visit to her grandmother’s home in Brooklyn…when she was 11.  Britton denied any inappropriate behavior, and his mother said A.B. had spent the whole evening watching TV in the living room with her.  The girl’s older brother said she had described a sexual assault to him, but…A.B. told her brother Britton had tried to engage in vaginal intercourse with her but couldn’t because his penis “wouldn’t fit”.  By contrast, she told police Britton had penetrative sex with her for about 10 minutes.  A detective testi[l]ied that Britton had admitted touching, kissing, and performing oral sex on A.B., but he had no recording or written statement to corroborate the confession, which Britton denied making.  The jurors…found Britton guilty of second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, based on the allegation that he kissed A.B.’s breasts, but not guilty of three felonies…the judge nevertheless assumed that Britton had committed the felonies and therefore assigned him to risk level two…which triggers lifetime registration…

The reason the judge can get away with this abomination is the loathsome pretense that “sex offender” registration is merely a administrative requirement rather than a penalty.

The Missing Word (#735)

Note that state-sanctioned near-slavery isn’t called “trafficking” herein:

Two Bangladeshi men…have been charged at a Dubai court with human trafficking after they allegedly tried to sell an Indonesian absconding maid…via WhatsApp…They are also facing charges…of running a…prostitution den, facilitating prostitution…and sexual exploitation…the victim…[was] subject to a deportation order…[she] said…”I got in contact with a countrywoman and told her I was not happy at work because the sponsor’s wife was very demanding.  That woman introduced me to another compatriot (a wanted runaway) who promised me a part-time job…The runaway woman told me I would work as a prostitute and that I had to accept as I had no other choice”…

The “sponsors” of such migrant workers hold officially-granted power over them, and often abuse and exploit them because they can have them deported at a whim.  Women who flee the exploitation are treated as criminals (note the terms “absconding” and “runaways”); is it any wonder other nasty characters can take advantage of them?  But only the people they flee to are called “traffickers”, never the well-connected abusers they flee from.

The Punitive Mindset (#804) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is quietly rolling out a pair of new policies that could restrict access to books and communications for the system’s nearly 200,000 prisoners.  The first of the new policies bans all books from being sent into federal facilities from outside sources including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  These retailers are usually the only means by which prisoners can receive books because most facilities reject reading material sent from individuals or small bookstores due to [arbitrary bullshit]…Now, prisoners instead will have to submit a request to purchase books — a limit of five per order — through an ordering system in which they must pay exorbitant prices and don’t have the option to buy cheaper used paperbacks.  In addition, prisoners must pay a 30 percent tax plus shipping cost…Under the new protocol, a book purchased from Amazon for as little as $11.76, with shipping included, could cost more than $26.  The new books policy…has been in effect in [two facilities for months]…and…has resulted in a massive price increase for books as well as months of wait time between orders…

Unchristian Nation 

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

Scott Warren was arrested by Border Patrol agents…just north of the Mexican border, in January…he was indicted by a grand jury in February, on two counts of harboring illegal aliens and one count of conspiracy to transport and harbor illegal aliens…Warren is also one of nine volunteers with No More Deaths, an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, to be hit with federal charges in recent months for leaving water in a remote federal wilderness preserve where migrants routinely disappear and die.  His arrest came just hours after No More Deaths published a report that documents evidence of Border Patrol agents destroying jugs of water that the group leaves for migrants in the desert…

This Means War (#831)

It’s good to see they’re going to fight this:

Backpage.com co-founder Michael Lacey offered his first public comments about allegations of running prostitution ads and money laundering.  “Nonsense!” Lacey said before his attorney added that his client had no further comment.  Lacey, and co-founder James Larkin are scheduled to stand trial Jan. 15, 2020…Five site employees will also stand trial.  Attorneys were given enough time to review an estimated 7 million to 9 million pages of documents about the case…CEO Carl Ferrer, has pleaded guilty to a separate federal conspiracy case in Arizona and state money laundering charges in California.  In addition, [Ferrer] pleaded guilty [in the company’s name] to human trafficking in Texas and in a federal money laundering conspiracy case in Arizona.  Ferrer has agreed to testify against others…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#837) 

I should’ve realized a change like that wouldn’t be a merely administrative one:

Experience in the sex…industry will no longer help would-be immigrants move to New Zealand, it seems.  The recently-hyped addition to the employment list, for visa hopefuls, has vanished from the immigration website…While the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website did not issue any official statement on the development, the agency’s area manager Stephanie Greathead told local media that the removal was done to avoid “further confusion”

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Sex trafficking is…the crime du jour.  –  Judge Toni Messina

R.I.P. Christine Keeler 

Christine Keeler, the former model at the centre of the Profumo affairhas died aged 75, her family and a close friend have said.  Keeler, then a teenage model and showgirl, became famous for her role in the 1963 scandal…when she had an affair with the Tory cabinet minister John Profumo and a Russian diplomat at the same time at the height of the cold war…Keeler’s son, Seymour Platt…[said] she died on [December 4th]…She had been ill for several months…from…COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.  Keeler, who had been living under the name of Sloane for many years, was briefly married twice, both marriages ending in divorce.  She had two sons – James from her first marriage, and Seymour from her second – and a granddaughter..

Lack of Evidence

Name one other “crime” that gets this kind of treatment on nothing more than a busybody’s say-so:

Why should cops bother with investigations and due process when they can rely on anonymous tips and social shaming?…Larksville, Pennsylvania…police are bragging to local news that they bullied a woman out of town after a neighbor suggested she might be a sex worker…[because] here were too many cars pulling up to a local apartment building and too many men getting out of them…Based on that one tip, Chief John Edwards went straight to Facebook to post a warning notice…”‘ALLEGED’ prostitution” is taking place “in an apartment in or near the 200 block of Vine Street…I and my officers will provide you with a never-ending stream of police activity.”  He also said the cops would talk to “all the neighbors in the area” and instruct them “use video and photography to document” the comings and goings on the street.  Then Larksville police—still without talking to anyone at the allegedly suspicious apartment or conducting due diligence of their own—went to the street in question, put physical copies of the warning on any vehicles in the area, and handed them out to people door-to-door…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn

The truth about “sex trafficking” dawns in the mind of a judge:

…sex trafficking…laws are so expansively written that even if a woman voluntarily agrees to be photographed in scant attire in response to an escort ad but later changes her mind, the person who took the pictures could be convicted of sex trafficking for threatening to post the ad without her permission…I tried a case recently where the court found that a Backpage ad was enough to convict my client of sex trafficking in New York even though all of the acts relating to the sex trafficking charge occurred in New Jersey…I was told by Bella Robinson, founder of Coyoteri.org…that sex workers are more fearful of police who jail them than Johns.  Cops can arrest them, take their money, threaten to take their kids, and [rape them]…

Rooted in Racism

Deportation is euphemized as “sending migrants home”, ignoring the fact that if they wanted to be there they wouldn’t have endured such terrible hardships to leave in the first damned place:

The United Nations migration agency plans to fly 15,000 more migrants home from detention centres in Libya before year-end in the wake of shocking reports of rampant migrant abuse and squalid and overcrowded conditions at these facilities [in which they are detained after “authorities” stop them from migrating to Europe, where they actually want to go]…Libya in recent weeks has witnessed a drastic increase in the numbers of migrants [imprisoned] in detention centres – from a usual range of 5,000 to 6,000 to over 15,000…IOM is also scaling up its reintegration support for the migrants in countries of origin and will be working on addressing the root causes of migration, as well as increasing our programming to [force them to stay where they came from]…

Imaginary Victims (#344)

Like Sara Kruzan before her, prohibitionists never gave a shit about imprisoned underage sex worker Cyntoia Brown until they realized they could make political coin from her:

Twenty-nine-year-old Cyntoia Brown has been locked up in a Tennessee prison for 13 years, after she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the killing of a man who hired her as a prostitute when she was 16…Brown…was a [cognitively impaired] runaway who was raped, abused and forced into prostitution by a man known as “Kut Throat.”  She will be eligible for parole after she turns 69…Brown’s case re-entered the spotlight this month after a group of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Snoop Dogg posted their support on social media with the hashtag, #FreeCyntoiaBrown.  An online petition urging Tennessee’s governor to consider clemency for Brown has garnered more than 4,000 signatures…Each year, more than 1,000 [legal minors] are arrested for prostitution in the U.S…Advocates say that in many cases those children are the true victims, and argue Brown’s case should be reconsidered under new “safe harbor” laws that [pretend to] protect trafficked minors from criminal charges [but in actuality only help “perfect victims”, not girls like Brown]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#346)

While US politicians are marching along with a witch hunt:

…Senator Millicent Omanga has criticised members of Nairobi County Assembly over plans to pass a motion outlawing commercial sex work.  The senator termed the move impulsive and unfair…[and she] challenged the MCAs to provide alternative sources of livelihood for the commercial sex workers before condemning them…At the same time, atheists have come out in defence of commercial sex workers and…threatened to take action against the MCAs if they do not rescind the motion…Atheists in Kenya say the choice to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money is a private and should not be considered a crime, and that prostitution should be recognised as a form of trade…

The Public Eye (#589)

Despite the glaring absence of any escorts, it’s good to see a sex work-positive article in Glamour:

…The real stories of webcam models, dominatrices, and porn stars are often very different from the tropes we see in flashy (and often irresponsible) headlines about sexdrugs, and crime.  In fact, plenty of sex workers truly love what they do.  Glamour spoke to 15 women who work in different facets of the sex industry—porn performers, dominatrices, and cam models—about their choices to enter the business.  Even beyond the financial freedom and the ability to travel that their career paths afford, many of them emphasized how they use their platforms to draw attention to social causes, highlight the contributions of marginalized communities, and help destigmatize sex…

Served Cold (#737) 

This megalomaniac’s antics are growing so bizarre and disturbing that even prohibitionists are starting to see it:

When Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard looks at the latest artwork by conservative political painter Jon McNaughton, he gets emotional.  Painted into The Underground Railroad are Ballard and his wife, depicted carrying children they helped rescue from sex trafficking…the artwork’s historical figures, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln…are flanked by figures whom the painter refers to as “contemporary abolitionists” or “slave stealers”: Ballard’s friends and supporters, ranging from Tony Robbins and Glenn Beck to Utah Rep. Mia Love.  Art curators and Mormon black activists, though, are offended by the painting…“I would call it the epitome of the white savior complex,” says Mica McGriggs…Anthropologist Bradley H. Kramer…[says it’s] culturally clueless…to not realize depicting “white dudes rescuing black people” — under the title of “The Underground Railroad” — would be offensive…“It’s…like a parody of the white savior narrative…It steals the imagery and the power of the Underground Railroad narrative and transforms it into this Trumpian fantasy of brave, powerful white dudes rescuing black people from their squalor”…

Moving Pictures (#782) 

I’m sorry, but I find this both funny and satisfying:

Ashley Judd led a cast of what would turn out to be dozens of actresses in accusing Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual harassment and abuse…[but] an indie drama she starred in, Trafficked…is itself at the center of its own fierce debate regarding…its casting process….producers quietly removed its director, Will Wallace, from the project during postproduction over a disagreement involving the depiction of rape.  And…one actress, Sanchita Malik…contacted SAG-AFTRA the day after attending [a casting] session…May 20, 2015, to convey her displeasure.  (She subsequently filed a lengthy written grievance with the actors’ union.)  In the statement…Malik [reported]…an extended exercise in which male counterparts…were coached to replicate harassment and assault…the scenario played out with her hair pulled, neck licked, body pushed against a wall and a fellow actor simulating rape…producers Conroy Kanter and Siddharth Kara…insist her characterization of the events involves “a significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of intensity, crudeness and physicality of the casting session”…

A description of a work session involved “significant embellishment and exaggeration of the level of…crudeness”…Really?  Do tell?  Hmm, that somehow sounds familiar…

Cooties (#787) 

It looks like this popular cop masturbatory fantasy has made it across the Channel:

Three men have been arrested in Paris for…their roles in pimping out women for sex work in several apartments…rented out through…Airbnb…The key suspect…has a previous conviction for procurement.  He took 50 percent of the money the women earned…

He “took” 50%; in other words his cut was 50%, same as Nevada brothels.  Try calculating sometime how much of each dollar you earn for your company you get to keep; you’ll find it’s well below 50%.

Too Close To Home (#788) 

Does anyone believe the prosecutor would’ve made the same decision is the accused weren’t a politician?

The Snohomish County Prosecutor…[decided] not to file sexual assault charges against Sheriff John Urquhart…accused by a former deputy of groping him after dining together in 2014 at a Renton restaurant.  The Renton Police Department…recommended…charges of indecent liberties or assault with sexual motivation…The allegations were handled by independent police and prosecutors to [support the pretense of] avoid[ing] conflicts of interest.  Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe…[claimed] that even if the accuser’s accounts were true, the actions alleged did not meet the criteria for indecent liberties…

To Molest and Rape (#795)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their daughter in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?

…[When] a…young woman…[was] found her dead of suicide on Nov. 2, 2015…detectives…found one of their own [ilk] suspiciously close to the death. [Francisco] Olmos…had been outside her house even before she was found dead.  While the girl’s father called 911, Olmos asked to used the girl’s phone..[but actually]…deleted…texts and Snapchats [the girl had exchanged with him]…On [November 30th], police arrested Olmos on charges of obstruction of justice and computer trespass…Olmos knew the young woman through Indianapolis police department’s Explorer program, which trains teenagers for careers in law enforcement…In the hours before the young woman’s death, Olmos tried calling her 16 times.  He left 10 text messages and two Snapchat messages…“Answer me you can’t do this to me AGAIN,” reads one of Olmos’ Snapchat messages shortly after the phone call…The girl didn’t answer.  “How can you ignore me like I’m just one of them,” Olmos messaged four minutes later…Two minutes later:  “You can’t do this to me you can’t.  I’m headed to your house right now”…After several more unanswered messages and several hours, Olmos sent a final missive. “I don’t know what the point of ignoring me is,” he wrote. “You make me feel like this is really all my fault…I need to talk to you it’s urgent”…When detectives tried to access the young woman’s iPhone, they found it password protected, raising the question of how Olmos placed a call from the device.  When an investigator asked the young woman’s parents for the passcode, both insisted that the device had not been password protected…Police sent the device to Cellebrite, a firm notorious for helping law enforcement hack into locked cellphones…They found what looked like a sloppy coverup.  Olmos and the young woman had texted 177 times between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, when she died…

For more on the “police explorer” rape trap for underage girls, see below.

To Molest and Rape (#796) 

It’s good to see this problem finally getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…police frequently target marginalized people with sexual violence.  That includes young women and girls, women of color, transgender women, sex workers, homeless women, women with mental illness, undocumented women, women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, women with disabilities, and low-income women…police presence in schools…allows [cops]…to…abuse searches, harass girls in the hallways, and even sexually assault them…40 percent of police sexual misconduct cases involved teenagers and 34 percent happened during a traffic stop….[cops also] exploit young women…through Police Explorer programs…[and] sexually assault female high school interns in ride-alongs…a case of sexual misconduct by a police officer crop[s] up every five days.  And according to a 2013 study, 41 percent of police sexual violence cases were committed by repeat-offending [cops]…some…move across jurisdictions and keep their certificate despite their history of sexual violence, in what is known as the “officer shuffle”…

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You can’t change your life [after a prostitution arrest], because you got people who just want to ride around and randomly take people to jail for nothing.  –  Erika Elias

Think of the Children! 

“Concerned parents” is a euphemism for “busybodies”:

A [gang] of [busybodies pretend] their quality of life is being affected after [one of them] discovered a business selling adult services was operating in their street…The owner of the house, Nigel Sanders, said…”I have a girlfriend who is a professional dominatrix, she comes to visit me in Exeter and on some occasions she may have found it convenient to see someone for services in…the [house]”…[one of the busybodies] said it made her feel uncomfortable that [people were having consensual sex close to where the products of other consensual sex acts were living]…

Lack of Evidence

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

Erika Elias…was waiting for a ride outside a Columbus, Georgia, trailer-park last month when a local [cop]…spotted her.  Because Elias had been been picked up for prostitution nearby previously, and the neighborhood is one where cops regularly make prostitution arrests…Ryan Vardman…arrested [her] for “loitering for the purposes of prostitution” and [she] now faces nearly two months in county jail…The criteria for this crime is entirely subjective: does a cop think you look like someone selling sex?…sleazebag-cop-michael-e-moore

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

“…Toledo [cop]…Michael E. Moore, Sr…was indicted by a…grand jury on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of compelling prostitution…[after he] paid for sex with a girl, who was at the time between 13 and 14…”

A War for Peace

Femen’s main purpose seems to be the generation of irony from hypocrisy:

The founder of the Canadian chapter of…FEMEN…Kseniya Chernyshova was arrested in midtown Manhattan on Nov. 11…[for] “sexual intercourse in exchange for $300”…The Ukrainian-born Chernyshova…has been trying to [stop other] women [from making money the same way she does]…

Surplus Women 

Why can’t reporters write about the murders of sex workers without lurid bullshit?

It has been 10 years since a suspected serial killer prowling the streets of Atlantic City claimed Molly Dilts, 20, and three other women, Kim Raffo, 35, Barbara Breidor, 42, and Tracy Ann Roberts, 23.  The women, whose lives had unraveled under the weight of drug addiction, worked as prostitutes in the shadow of the resort’s neon-lit casinos.  Over five weeks, the killer took them one by one, dumping their bodies in a brackish, trash-strewn drainage canal…The killings spawned lurid headlines around the nation for months…Before drugs took hold of their lives, the four…were mothers and daughters…

A man who implies that sex workers can’t be “mothers and daughters”, and who apparently views women as only having worth in our relationships to others, has the nerve to call similar reporting on the same subject “lurid”.

The Widening Gyre

It’s fascinating to see fetishists convincing themselves their fantasies are real:

New details are emerging about the kidnapping of Northern California mom Sherri Papini, who was able to provide basic descriptions of the two Spanish-speaking women she says abducted her. Authorities say the motive for the kidnapping is still unknown, but one private investigator says there are signs that sex trafficking could be involved.

Another caption below this piece claims Papini was “branded”, which as longtime readers know is total bullshit.  This smells to me like a troubled woman looking for attention by faking her own “sex trafficking” abduction.  The “Spanish-speaking women” seem kin to the imaginary dark-skinned men usually featured in such hoaxes.

Train Wreck

It looks like Kenyan articles about sex workers can be just as weirdly stupid as Nigerian ones:

The increasing number of commercial sex workers touting for business at the Central Business District in Nakuru during the day is scaring away potential investors and customers…the Nakuru Business Association [pretends]…that the twilight girls some who are under age, strategically position themselves outside business premises disrupting human traffic to shops…The commercial sex workers are now considered as a big hindrance to normal operation of business in the city…

So now “disrupting human traffic” is a bad thing?  Please tell this to the “end demand” people.

Checklist

Fetishist admits her “information” is bullshit, yet teaches it anyway:

Sex trafficking in the United States is a “hidden epidemic”…an [opportunist]…told Longview [Texas patsies]…during a workshop.  “No one is an expert in this yet,” said Traffick911 Director of Programs Lindsey Speed…”as soon as we learn the way pimps do their business, they change it up”…Speed [fantasized about]…sex trafficking and how people can spot signs of potential victims…Speed offered up [nonsense] statistics about the industry…

Traffick911 is a coalition of Christian groups best known for claiming that their imaginary bogeymen can be chased away by saying prayers over highways.

Unintentional Hilarity Pokemon GO squirtle

Quite possibly the stupidest prohibitionist argument of the year:

Pokemon Go is a game in which you capture little monsters inside balls and trade them for candy or use them to fight other Pokemon to gain points…But, as with prostitution, when you look more closely at Pokemon Go, you see a nastier side.  In the game, I lure and drug beautiful little wild animals in their natural environment to calm them for capture, then bombard them with ever stronger Pokeballs in which I eventually confine them…I put Pokemon in my collection, inspect their vital statistics and, if it suits me, sell them to an authority figure (the Professor, a wise old white man) in return for candy.  Or I may keep them, send them to battle others and get them hurt in the process.  Like a pimp lures and (sometimes literally) captures a woman in prostitution and then rents her out to men to control and enjoy…

Yes, she’s actually comparing living adult women to imaginary cartoon monsters and apparently implying that “pimps” have magical entrapment abilities.  Also, some clients refer to seeing sex workers as “The Hobby”, not “The Game”. But prohibitionists never let actual facts contaminate their bizarre, sex-hating beliefs.

Imaginary Evils (#348)

A deep look at the Maoist cult whose members were at first called “slaves” by the media:

When Aravindan Balakrishnan was growing up, in Kerala…his mother often warned him not to curse people when he was angry…she believed that her eldest son possessed occult powers, and nicknamed him Black Tongue; later, as an adult, Balakrishnan would boast that he could set people aflame by looking at them.  He was a good student, and won a British Council scholarship…to study at the London School of Economics…By 1967, Balakrishnan had suspended his studies at the university and joined the Communist Party of England.  He…later…persuaded a small group of people—including Chanda Pattni, a classmate from Tanzania, whom he later married—to follow him.  Together, they founded their own party, the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought…Eventually, they moved in to a communal house in Clapham, South London…Balakrishnan enforced control by encouraging rivalries among the women and keeping them financially dependent.  He warned them that if they strayed, an invisible machine would punish them.  He called it JACKIE, an acronym of Jehovah, Allah, Christ, Krishna, and the Immortal Easwaran—the last of these being a scholar and spiritual teacher from Kerala.  If any of the women tried to flee, Balakrishnan said, JACKIE would zap them with lasers.  If they had disloyal thoughts, JACKIE would make the household appliances go haywire…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#574)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Dozens of teachers gathered in [California]…to learn about how to [indoctrinate]…students in fifth to eleventh grades [in “sex trafficking” propaganda].  Tiffany Lavoie, a [fetishist, lied that]…”The average age of a victim of human trafficking in the United States is eleven to fourteen years old.  Some studies say fifteen…my mom trafficked me from the age of three until I was 13″…Lavoie said her goal is not to scare kids about strangers…

Bullshit; that’s exactly her goal.  And more importantly, to scare their parents & “authorities” so she can keep making money off of this moral panic.

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#693)

Liz Brown has discovered a rather revolting pattern in US vice cops’ recent behavior:

One disturbing new trend I’ve noticed of late is undercover cops posing not just as vanilla sex-buyers or women looking to get cash for sex but as prostitution clients with unusual kinks or women demanding payment in things like cheeseburgers.  Then, after a sex worker or would-be client is arrested by undercover officers, the police—and the media segments that parrot them—are sure to highlight the more…mockable and attention-grabbing…elements of the bust…In [one] case, they set up a sting wherein sex workers advertising online were asked to oblige an undercover cop’s fetish request, which involved gummy worms in some way.  But the gummy-worm fetish part has no bearing on whether the elements of the crime of prostitution are satisfied, so it’s hard to see why [cops] would include it but for their own amusement or to ensure that the sting would be irresistible to the press afterward (or both)…

The Widening Gyre (#694)

I’m glad this happened; it isn’t until moral panics start disrupting the lives of the well-connected that they finally end:

A man who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place fired an [“assault rifle”] inside the Washington, D.C., restaurant on Sunday…Edgar Maddison Welch…was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon…the pizza place has been hammered by thousands of threats and bizarre, unsubstantiated tales about child sex trafficking online for weeks…two women, who declined to give their names, [were found] banging on the patio…in late November.  The women were looking for the alleged tunnels used to traffic children.  “All of this is an underground tunnel that…transport them back and forth so they can can do these rituals,” said one of them. “They are putting a lot of curses and spells over the city”…

The tie-in to the Satanic Panic makes it even better.

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You are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.  –  Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Tony Sellers

Usually, if I miss an item while it’s current and only hear about it months later, I’ll leave it alone.  But since this has been such a banner year for sexual misbehavior by cops, I want to feature every one I can find.  So when Tits & Sass featured this roundup of such items recently, I just couldn’t leave the one item I had missed behind:  “[After being entrapped in a sting Houston cop] Tony James Sellers…was charged with prostitution.  He was [given a paid vacation while officials bloviated about ‘ending demand’ and sex rays]…

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Once again, actual figures disprove the hysteria:

A new Department of Justice study shows that the crime parents obsess about the most—the abduction and murder of a child by stranger—is less likely than ever…in…2011…105…occurred, but only 8% ended in murder.  In 1997, by contrast, 40% did.  Today, children kidnapped by a stranger have a 92% chance of making it home…thanks to cell phones, GPSing and security cameras.  So what of the other big fears of our age, like the fear of children being abducted by strangers they meet on the internet?  The study found only one victim of such a crime.  Okay, well how about all the sex trafficking?  The study found that 16-18 girls were kidnapped for that purpose…Well, are kids at least being stolen by pedophile rings?  The DOJ found zero cases of this happening.  How about stolen by Satanists?  Zero again.  What’s more, the report also found that the victim profile most of us have in our heads—young moppets on their way to school—does not match with reality…The most common victims are girls aged 12 to 17, with sexual assault being the biggest motive…

Saving Them From Themselves

Once in a while an insanely-broad law is defeated:

The Minnesota Court of Appeals just struck down a key part of the state’s law concerning sexual communication with minors…[which]  criminalized conduct that falls far short of solicitation.  For example, the court noted, “a music video producer [who] creates a video with sexually explicit depictions or lyrics” could be found guilty under the law if he or she uploads the video to YouTube and someone under age 16 sees it.  So too could the producer of a film depicting sexual content or the writer of young-adult fiction that includes a sex scene…any communication with a child “relating to or describing sexual conduct,” even without trying to solicit them for real-world activity, is also a felony if it is done with “the intent to arouse”…”distributing any material, language, or communication, including a photographic or video image, that relates to or describes sexual conduct to a child or someone the person reasonably believes is a child” is a felony…

Note that the last provision criminalizes sex education.

The Schizoid State

So he’s a “pimp” because male, but a “child” because 17, and his same-age “victim” is obviously helpless because she’s female and therefore a moral imbecile even though they’re the same age.  Got all that?

A [Las Vegas] High School dropout is now an accused pimp…The 17-year-old is accused of running a prostitution ring…with two accomplices.  The victims — girls ages 15, 16 and 17 — were delivered to houses and hotels to sell sex for $100 or $200…The teen’s identity is not being revealed because his case is currently being handled in juvenile court…[but] Judge Frank Sullivan…[decided]…to charge the teen as an adult…[because] the district attorney’s office [said] the case is as serious as it gets…[despite] the teen’s history of…psychiatric and drug abuse issues…if convicted [he] could face life in prison…

Having sex is “as serious as it gets”.  Much worse than, say, murder, torture or kidnapping.

Standard Operating Procedure

It’s funny to me that most people are so naive they don’t realize this stuff is totally par for the course:

Three high-ranking officers in the NYPD acted as “cops on call” for two deep-pocketed de Blasio donors — as long as their “elves” plied them with gifts and bankrolled a highflying lifestyle that included hookers, free hotels and expensive meals.  Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant and Sgt. David Villanueva were arrested…in a far-reaching bribery scandal that has also snared longtime correction officers union leader Norman Seabrook…the cops acted as a “private police force” in exchange for gifts, bribes and perks worth more than $100,000…

The sex worker connection is described in more detail here:

A high-ranking NYPD official and another cop had sex with a prostitute…dressed as a flight attendant on…[a] 2014 excursion to Las Vegas…on a private plane…paid for by Jona Rechnitz, a real-estate investor being investigated by the FBI for allegedly providing gifts to police in exchange for favors…one of the officers [was] Deputy Inspector James Grant…Michael Milici, the other cop, is on modified duty…

Backwards Into the Future (#137)

These are the people prohibitionists think should be in charge of “protecting” sex workers:

Once, when I was meeting with a sex workers’ group in a brothel in Kenya, the women there got a call that one of their members had been found, dumped near a river with deep cuts on her face, hands, and thighs.  The woman had been [arrested] the night before…Her fellow sex workers had gone to the police station to bail her out but couldn’t find her.  When they picked her up…they learned she had been gang raped by the police, who then left her in the woods where she was accosted by street boys, who raped and beat her again.  The sex workers attempted to report the incident but were threatened with arrests of their own…

Shame, Shame

After a brief lull, politicians are once again trying to impose even more broad and mindlessly-draconian “revenge porn” laws on unsuspecting internet users:

The…ACLU…and [other free speech groups urged]…Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to veto a new measure meant to deal with “revenge porn” and “sextortion”…”unlike the laws of virtually every other state on this subject,” the Rhode Island measure does “not require a photo’s dissemination to cause harm to any person or even be intended to cause harm in order to violate the law”…The new legislation, passed earlier this month, prohibits posting sexually explicit photos without the subject’s [direct] permission…The legislation also bans “sextortion”…Rhode Island already criminalizes extortion.  But…the new “sextortion” charge…could…be added to regular extortion and/or revenge porn charges to give prosecutors an extra carceral edge…

Amazingly, the governor actually vetoed the law for its blatant unconstitutionality.

Blood on the Sand

This looks like another case in which everyone involved is awful:

A woman and her attorneys have been charged with secretly videotaping her having sex with a former CEO of Waffle House, and using the recording to try to extort millions of dollars from him…Mye Brindle, John Butters and David Cohen were indicted…in…Atlanta…Butters and Cohen tried to force [Joe] Rogers to pay millions of dollars to prevent the recording from being released…a…spokesman for Brindle’s attorneys…said the indictment sends a “chilling message” to victims of sexual abuse and those seeking help to attain justice…Brindle filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Rogers in 2012…[accusing] Rogers of forcing her to perform sex acts with him to keep her job despite her protests for nearly 10 years.  Rogers has acknowledged having consensual sexual encounters with Brindle, but has accused her of making false statements against him.  Court findings showed the covertly recorded video didn’t imply that Rogers forced the woman to do anything she didn’t want to…

Nice While It Lasted

The SCOTUS has more or less just demolished what little was left of the Fourth Amendment.  The following is a quote from Justice Sotomayor’s scathing dissent, which would’ve been the quote of the week except for its length:

…Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language:  This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong…If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant…Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more…this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time.  It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights…

Broken Record (#559) 

Irish iterations of the “gypsy whore” myth are the silliest and most hilarious ones:

Irish fans partying in French cities during Euro 2016 have been met by an army of sex workers brought from Eastern Europe and Africa for the month-long football tournament.  Football fans…have reported being propositioned…by women who have been forced to travel to France by criminal gangs determined to cash in on the tournament…Aside from health concerns, fans have also been warned of blackmail attempts by some sex trade workers, who have been ordered by pimps to secretly take photos and videos of their clients…[which are] then sold on to criminal gangs which specialise in blackmail and extortion…

Monsters (#566) 

You may remember that this was the case in which the cops claimed they didn’t know if it was hate-motivated:

A Kansas City man has been charged in the death of a transgender woman he intentionally ran over several times and left to die…Witnesses told the police that…they saw Tamara Dominguez got into a truck with 29-year-old Luis Sanchez.  But she soon exited the vehicle and slammed the door before walking away.  That’s when Sanchez reportedly gunned the engine and repeatedly ran over Dominguez, who died from injuries sustained in the attack…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#584)

San Diego has slowly grown into a major hotbed of “sex trafficking” hysteria, but it’s still surprising that none of these “authorities” is able to recognize this ludicrous masturbatory fantasy for what it is:

A federal report on sex trafficking in San Diego has revealed a vast underground industry worth more than $800m annually…Sex trafficking…involves some 110 gangs just in San Diego County, dubbed one of 13 hot spots for child sex trafficking in the US…“The study will provide a lot of new information to those seeking to end modern slavery,” said John Picarelli…between 3,000 and 8,000 victims enter the clutches of the sex-trafficking industry every year…The average age to begin selling sex is 15, and 50% of women arrested for prostitution have at some point been forced into it, the study found…pimps were typically earning around $670,000 a year…

To Molest and Rape

Sometimes they feed on their own:

A parking enforcement officer has accused three Toronto police officers of raping her vaginally, orally, and possibly anally…Leslie Nyznik…Joshua Cabero…and Sameer Kara…pleaded not guilty to sexual assault…The complainant told police she knew the three officers and was invited out for a “rookie night” by Kara in January 16, 2015…[after drinking a while] they went back to [a] hotel room…[where] she felt very drunk and laid down…she was immobilized and unable to speak.  She…remembers Nyznik inserting his penis into her mouth and that one of the men took her jeans off.  She recalled being penetrated vaginally…and that the two men may have switched places…When she woke up…Kara was asleep beside her and she grabbed her clothes and went home, where she vomited and passed out in her bathroom.  The following day, she had a rape kit examination at Scarborough Grace Hospital, during which a nurse found evidence of anal penetration…she didn’t remember being anally penetrated, but recalled one of the officers asking “should I fuck her in the ass?”…

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Whilst the Government looks to the law as a means to manage commercial sex, violence and abuse will continue for…sex workers.  –  Teela Sanders

Think of the Children! 

“Woman has two jobs” is not news:

Katya Gorlova…was [filmed without her consent] accepting cash from a customer [to do her job]…During conversation she told the man her [other] job involved teaching signing and dancing to young children at a school…She now faces an enquiry…She said her part-time prostitution work did not in any way hinder her job at the school…

The Swedish Pimpocracy

Sweden, the feminist paradise:

A Swedish doctor fed a woman drug-laced strawberries and then repeatedly raped her in a homemade bunker that he planned to use for more victims…the man, who has not been named…was an intellectual who was socially awkward and secretive…He once showed pals the outside of his underground dungeon, which he spent five years building…The doctor allegedly gave the woman…a box of chocolate-covered strawberries spiked with Rohypnol while at her place in Stockholm.  He then drove her to his lair 350 miles away…he…planned to keep the woman locked in the dungeon for years.  But he panicked when she was reported missing and drove her to a nearby police station, and was then arrested.porn categories

The Proper Study

But what does “porn” mean?

…Pornhub…just released its annual review of country-by-country data on porn searches and consumption.  By percentage of traffic, the United States was Pornhub’s biggest 2015 consumer, followed by the U.K., India, Canada, and Germany.  The most-searched term on Pornhub last year was lesbian, followed by teen, step mom, cartoon, and milf.  Pornhub also looked at which searches have gained the most over 2014.  Some of the more safe-for-work words:  giantess (up 1,091 percent), real public sex(up 583 percent), romantic sex (up 267 percent), and lesbian seduces straight (up 244 percent).  For U.S. users only, hardcore lesbian scissoring saw the most gain (up 918 percent), followed by celebrity sex tape (up 553 percent).  Other leaps included extreme gangbang (260 percent), step mom shower (213 percent), and yoga (133 percent)…

Droit du Seigneur 

Given that “ring” is a dysphemism for “suppressed business”, how can one have a “prostitution ring” that caters to government officials and is managed by the cops in a country where prostitution is legal?

Colombia’s national police force is facing allegations that it wiretapped a high-profile journalist…investigations into the allegations…are being hindered by death threats and conflicts of interests…The…scandal broke when prominent radio host and former news anchor Vicky Dávila announced that she, her family, and her reporting team had been trailed and wiretapped by the national police.  Dávila…was investigating allegations that some 300 police cadets were engaged in a prostitution ring catering to top officials…four other prominent journalists investigating the police have also claimed to be victims of wiretapping and harassment…

Above the Law 

These are the people prohibitionists want in charge of sex workers:

[An]…Ohio [cop] has been charged with raping a woman in 2014 and then using the police database to stalk her after she reported the crime….Jeffrey Martin…was arrested last month on charges of rape, stalking and menacing…Martin [also] pretended to be a private investigator so he could stalk his victim onto Ursuline College campus…he had been suspended four times by the Pepper Pike Police Department.  Two of the suspensions were related to inappropriate conduct toward women…

Checklist

Note that most of these revolve around either bogus “signs” or masturbatory “awareness raising”:

After first learning about human trafficking, many people want to help in some way but do not know how.  Here are just a few ideas for your consideration…Learn the red flags that may indicate human trafficking…so that you can help identify a potential trafficking victim…Incorporate human trafficking information into your professional associations’ conferences, trainings, manuals, and other materials…Join or start a grassroots anti-trafficking coalition…Distribute public awareness materials…Host an awareness event to watch and discuss a recent human trafficking documentary.  On a larger scale, host a human trafficking film festival…Set up a Google alert to receive current human trafficking news…Train your staff on how to identify the indicators of human trafficking…Look for signs of human trafficking among your clients…

Dutch Threat 

The slow death of Die Wallen:

…The constant claim people make on us is that they are helping us, but really what they’re doing is just dumping more shit on us.  They don’t really listen, they just talk with you so they can say they talked with you and listened to you.  But…if they really would’ve listened to us, the city government would’ve immediately stopped buying up more windows than the more than 100 workplaces that we’ve already lost. But they don’t…[the] 37 [new] window…[closures mean] work space [for] at least 135 prostitutes…these…on top of the estimated 375 women that [have] already [lost] their workplace, bringing the total to more than 500 women…We can’t work elsewhere, because all over this country they’re closing down legal workplaces for prostitutes.  In fact, between 2006 and 2014 in total 40% of all the legal prostitution businesses closed down.  Between 2000 and now, 729 prostitution windows alone closed down.  That’s more than 1/3 of all the prostitution windows in this country!  And than they’re still surprised that illegal prostitution is a growing problem?…window brothels in 2016

Worse Than I Thought (#322)

In other words, he was a time waster, not a “sex trafficker”:

A Nashville judge has overturned the conviction and 22-year prison sentence for a man whose case was [touted] by prosecutors as the first of its kind in the state…Kohlmeyer testified…that he was lonely and bored during his job as a forklift driver…when he began chatting with a prostitute he found on…Backpage…they talked for more than 90 minutes over two days…[and] Kohlmeyer offered “5000+ for you and someone YOUNG!”  The woman went to police, and Nashville Detective Sheba Cantrell took over, posing as the prostitute.  She…had conversations with Kohlmeyer about what age of girls he was looking for…”Just over 8 not over 16,” Kohlmeyer replied…Cantrell pushed for a meeting…[and] Kohlmeyer…cut off contact…Kohlmeyer never had the money discussed…Public Defender Chaucey Fuller…later filed a motion for acquittal arguing — among other things — that the law requires an actual person being trafficked, and that fictitious girls offered by an undercover detective did not meet that standard…Kohlmeyer is [currently also] facing [child porn] charges…

An Example to the West (#349)

thousands of sex workers in [Bengaluru,] India…want to be part of the mainstream society and enjoy all their rights…till a few years ago most of these women had no access to even a ration card…Today things are different.  Around 5,700 sex workers in the city have recently been benefited from various social security schemes and entitlements, which include, pension schemes, ration cards, Aadhar cards, Voter ID cards, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Jan Dhan Yojana scheme, legal services and loans, to name a few.  All these have been made possible by the Sahaya Single Window project under the aegis of the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), an NGO.  It was first implemented in 2013…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#449)

Fantasy film double feature:

…in northwest Ohio…the…film…Chosen was presented as part of an event highlighting Human Trafficking Awareness Month at Van Wert Cinemas.  The free event attracted over 75 to see the documentary.  A free showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens followed…

The Course of a Disease (#449) 

Swedish model fanatics just won’t stop trying to impose their filth on the UK:

MPs are to launch a major inquiry into how sex workers are treated in UK law…The Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry will examine whether criminal action should still be focused most heavily on those who sell sex, rather than those who buy it…Professor Teela Sanders of the University of Leeds…said shifting criminal action onto those who pay for sex risked driving the activities underground.  She said: “We have had two decades of reviewing, legislating, guidelines…and none of them have prioritised the safety of sex workers and the broader issues around human rights to protection.  There have been various consultations and parliamentary groups in recent years including attempts to make it a crime to pay for sex in 2009 and the more recent 2014 report Shifting the Burden from the All Party Parliamentary Group – none of these had the safety of sex workers at the fore”…

Schadenfreude (#566) 

This is the place sex workers “rescued” by the likes of Somaly Mam are sent:

Police in Phnom Penh arrested at least 274 sex workers…last year before sending them to the notorious Prey Speu social affairs center…The Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), which is run primarily by current and former sex workers, assisted in [their] release…street workers reported being arrested eight to nine times per year, on average.  Eighty percent of those surveyed reported being “violated” by police officers, either physically or sexually…district governor Kouch Chamroeun angrily denied that police…abused sex workers…[but also bloviated that] police had every right to arrest street workers…because sex workers held at Prey Speu have not received due process, nor faced prosecution in court, their detention is unlawful…

Surplus Women (#586) 

Nakuru [Kenya] sex workers say a serial killer is targeting and mutilating them…they protested on Kenyatta Avenue against the rise in murders.  They demanded county police catch the killer.  Four sex workers were found dead under mysterious circumstances between September and October last year.  Two had their skin peeled off and the others’ eyes were gouged out, the sex workers say…[on January 9th] another sex worker, 20-year-old Grace Wangari, was killed…

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Social policies do not have to be so dumb.  –  Laura Agustín

The Scarlet Letter

This article is so stupidly evil it’s almost fascinating:

A plan to publicly shame those who solicit sex with minors moved forward…with a draft ordinance covering Los Angeles County expected next week…Don Knabe has been pushing for a “shame campaign” since late last year…the…ordinance that would provide for the publication of names and booking photos of those convicted of soliciting prostitution or loitering with intent to solicit prostitution…Sheila Kuehl…questioned the practice of arresting people for loitering with intent, saying she thought the allegation amounted to “mind reading”…The Los Angeles Times editorial board, when Knabe first made his proposal, called the plan “anachronistic” and said it amounted to “sensationalism”…

Parable Kesha

Noah Berlatsky with another analogy for the absurdity of prohibition:

Should young women be allowed to enter the music industry?  That seems like a preposterous question.  But consider:  Kesha…filed a lawsuit against her former producer Dr. Luke…alleging that he had sexually, physically, and mentally abused her for a decade…Kesha’s lawsuit also alleges that Sony music refused to take steps to stop the abuse, and even covered up for it…The situation is not rare; producers and managers like Phil Spector and Ike Turner have physically and mentally abused their artists for years…Shouldn’t there be laws in place to prevent women from entering an industry such as this where they can be abused and harmed?  It should be clear why this is a bad idea.  Heavy-handed restrictions on women would hurt women, not protect them.  To make it illegal for women to be musicians and pop stars would be abusive and unfair in itself…And yet, when it comes to sex work, restricting women’s options in the name of “protecting” them is suddenly seen as reasonable, logical, and necessary…

Saving Them From Themselves

How many more kids’ lives have to be destroyed before we stop the cops?

Police in a Pennsylvania school district have charged at least three kids—one of them just 11 years old—with distributing sexually explicit pictures of other minors.  They…face juvenile detention, expulsion, and a variety of other life-altering consequences.  This is somehow in their best interests—and the interests of kids everywhere—authorities claim…The levelling of charges…should not be viewed as some low-cost precondition to keeping kids safe, but a horrible, life-derailing consequence in and of itself…But we live in a country where paranoid delusions about safety provide cover for police to enforce absurd laws that make life miserable for kids…

Surplus Women 

Kenyan police are investigating the murders of 10 women working as prostitutes, a record number of attacks in one month that has led to fears of a serial killer…campaigners have called on the government to legalise prostitution and offer proper protection to vulnerable women.  The police commander in the town of Nakuru, where four bodies were found, said an intense manhunt was under way…Hassan Barua said security had been improved in the area, but would not comment on whether one suspect was wanted for multiple murders…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

Because they are?

When the issue of sex workers in Thailand is brought up, any discussion is usually characterized with words of “exploitation”, “coercion”, and “human trafficking”.  However…Some…girls…[feel] that sex work [is] a means of emancipating themselves economically…A prevailing attitude…[is] that they feel better being paid for the sex they provide, rather than providing sex to a husband in a dead end relationship that they get nothing for.  This was most prevalent in those who had been married before…Some even talk about providing sex as helping clients with a basic need…What was most common with those sex workers who had been prudent financially, was a satisfaction with their career as a sex worker…

The Mother Learns From Her Children

Sex worker rights activists from around the world will join researchers and experts to present evidence to parliament in support of the decriminalisation of sex work.  The day-long symposium, organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes and hosted by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, is an opportunity for parliamentarians and the public to sidestep the charged emotion of international debates on the nature of sex work and hear crime-related, humanitarian, and public health analyses from leading academics and campaigners…The symposium will compare the outcomes of Sweden’s criminalisation of the buying of sex with the full decriminalisation model that has flourished in New Zealand…activists from Thailand, Taiwan, Canada and South Africa will explain how criminalisation, rescue and rehabilitation programs have affected sex workers there.  Rachel West, an American sex worker rights activist, will explore how a recent surge in anti-trafficking policing has disproportionately affected black sex workers and their clients…

The Lion and the Ox

Laura Agustín on the uselessness of the term “human trafficking”:

…There are young people now who have grown up surrounded by campaigning against trafficking, unaware there is conflict about how to define the term.  Some want to dedicate energy to combating what is figured as a modern social evil.  Some compare themselves with 19th-century anti-slavery advocates and feel outraged that anyone would question what they are doing…after…the idea of trafficking began its ascent…we who were interested in migration, sex work and labour policy realised it was useless for gaining equity or rights…the assumption is this human mobility to work is fomented by criminals who use force and coercion against their victims…Behind this over-simplification and over-focus on sex lie real social inequalities and oppressions:  migration policies that favour middle- and upper-class jobs, out-of-date notions of the formal economy and productive labour, young people who want to get away from home, job-seekers willing to take risks to make more money, laws that make commercial sex illegal, laws that make sweatshops illegal and…more.  To lump all this under a single term simply disappears the array of different situations, encourages reductionism and feeds into a moralistic agenda of Good and Evil…

King of the Hill (#421)

“The Harvard of sex trafficking” has now morphed into “The Harvard of pimp school”.  Or was it really the other way around?  Does it really matter, when both phrases are utterly ludicrous?

Milwaukee has become “the Harvard of pimp school” and Wisconsin is a hub of human trafficking, a [self-declared] expert has said in the wake of an FBI sting last month in which nine adolescents were [arrested]…meaning Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third highest number of young people [arrested]…Denver topped the list, with 20…and Detroit was next with 19.  Over the past four years, however, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for [arrests of underage sex workers]…

If Men Were Angels

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

A…Houston mother of two says she was raped in her hospital bed by a doctor…she reported the rape to nurses who responded with cold skepticism.  She had to wait nearly two years for police to collect the alleged attacker’s DNA and make an arrest.  And now…Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh…may get off scot-free in civil court.  And Texas law may entitle her to only modest compensation from Sheikh’s employer at the time of the rape, the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine…Baylor doctors staff Ben Taub, which is a public hospital owned by Harris County.  The doctor isn’t the only one who can deploy the “government unit” shield.  Baylor lawyers have successfully argued that the college itself can be construed as a government entity and is entitled to the same protections a county institution would enjoy…Baylor can argue it is immune to the claim altogether…and…the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that rape in some circumstances is covered by medical malpractice laws…Gillian Anderson looking stupid again

Acting and Activism (Traffic Updates) 

Anderson’s right at home in a movie based on ridiculous, exaggerated conspiracy theories:

Gillian Anderson wasn’t expecting to appear in the movie Sold.  The actress, known for her role on The X-Files, had initially been approached by…director Jeffrey Brown…about just being part of the film’s campaign.  She immediately said yes because she felt passionate about…sex trafficking…”High school students go missing and they are…forced into prostitution where there is violence and they don’t get paid for being a sex slave…And they get brainwashed into being a part of a community and they are terrified for their lives to escape”…

Safe Targets (#452)

Tara Burns, Maxine Doogan and two others on “sex trafficking” in Alaska:

…Last year a woman dialed 911 in Anchorage and reported that she had been a victim of sex trafficking.  When the [cops]…decided to follow up with her they…traveled to where she was working as an independent escort and…posed as a customer to book an appointment with her and meet her in a sexual context.  Then [they] placed her in handcuffs, threatened her with felony charges, and told her nobody would be able to “actually” love her as she was.  In response to a…complaint about this incident, the Department of Public Safety explained that this is a common “strategy of building rapport” with victims…

Vendetta (#518)

Oakland City Council Takes Stand Against Sex Workers“.  Seriously.

On October 20…[Oakland, California] endorsed…The “CEASE Network”…a project of Demand Abolition, a Boston-based program dedicated to “eradicating the illegal commercial sex industry” by going after “demand.”  That means targeting clients…Demand Abolition is a program of Hunt Alternatives, the foundation of Swanee Hunt…the daughter of…oil tycoon H.L. Hunt…The groups fund law enforcement and public media campaigns and advocate for stronger legal penalties…when police agencies and district attorneys broadly target demand, they end up wasting resources on arrests and prosecutions that further criminalize adult sex workers and their clients…the Demand Abolition approach…[threatens] marginalized workers in the sex industry.  That was a concern of government officials in San Francisco, which last year ended a brief partnership with Demand Abolition after facing a backlash from…sex workers…

End Demand (#576)

My friend Savannah Sly is quoted extensively in this article about the fascist BEST program:

…a new public-private coalition that aims to have sites like backpage.com blocked in…workplaces…free speech advocates and…sex workers…are critical of the BEST Employer Alliance’s methods, warning that it errors on the side of censorship and endangers sex workers…If third-party Web hosting were akin to aiding in criminal activity, then Facebook and Twitter would quickly cease to exist…By pressuring credit card companies to divest, and now by pressuring employers to block the site en masse, the anti-Backpage set hopes to slowly choke the site out of its users…Savannah Sly, the director of…SWOP…said…”This painting of all clients as pedophiles reminds me of how we use to paint all homosexual men as pedophiles…If you shut down Backpage adult listings…You’re denying thousands and thousands of workers who need money.  And if you shut down all of Backpage, you’re punishing hundreds of thousands of people who want access to roommate listings, sale items, general classifieds…all for the crimes of a very, very small few”…

In fact, I’m relatively sure she was riding in my car while giving this interview.

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