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Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

Talk to your neighbors, not the police.

There are certain genres of fiction which I love in principle while hating most examples of; short horror films are one of them, largely because they’re usually predictable and not at all scary.  This one is an exception; while I knew what was coming from the first weird happening, the ending was a mystery rather than the usual dumb “bogeyman jumps out” nonsense.  The links above it were provided by Brooke MagnantiKevin WilsonAmy AlkonRadley BalkoEmma EvansScott Greenfield, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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No one should be comfortable with state-funded employees determining what is or isn’t acceptable for adults to read.  –  Eric Paul Leue

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Are there still people who believe the French are sexually liberal?

“We are not a puritan society,” French President Emmanuel Macron claimed…He then called for the criminalization of wolf-whistling and gender-based insults, and for requiring France’s TV and radio regulators to police video games and web content…[especially] online pornography, which Macron sees (sans evidence) as a prominent cause of violence against girls and women.  Porn is infiltrating French schools, Macron warned, and “we cannot ignore the kind that makes women an object of humiliation”…

What Would Orrin Hatch Do?

I guess six and a half years without a library internet censorship attempt isn’t too bad a run:

[Using the excuse] of out-in-the-open porn viewing, public sex, drug use and theft at [Los Angeles] city libraries, a pair of [politicians] is proposing [censorship software]…David Ryu…[and] Nury Martinez [vomited out several variations of “For the children!”, pretending this constituted an actual argument]…the Free Speech Coalition (FSC)…[correctly] argues that doing so could violate taxpayers’ First Amendment right…FSC executive director Eric Paul Leue said… “Filtering software sounds like an easy solution, but we know that such software often casts an egregiously wide net, blocking not only sexually explicit content but also sexual health information, LGBTQ sites and sites…which…discuss…issues relevant to the adult industry…In the past year alone, we’ve seen magazines like Cosmopolitan  attacked as pornography in conservative districts, just as we’ve seen crackdowns on LGBTQ content and imagery, and mere nudity elsewhere”…

Setting Women’s Rights Back a Century

It’s a little reassuring to see somebody else recognize this:

…while we think we are moving forward, we may be willingly transporting ourselves back to a more sexually restrictive era, one that denied agency to women…sexual laws and regulations have most often been strengthened in the name of protecting children…Sometimes the children are symbolic: anti-gay crusades are almost invariably framed in terms of “saving the children”— not specific children, but just the children who have to share a country with queers.  In the current American conversation, women are increasingly treated as children:  defenseless, incapable of consent, always on the verge of being victimized.  This should give us pause.  Being infantilized has never worked out well for women.

Acting and Activism (#565) 

Good riddance to bad anti-whore rubbish:

Lena Dunham may be the first person to fabricate details of her alleged rape, then proclaim all women’s claims need to be believed, and then publicly accuse a young woman of lying about having been raped.  Finally, the star and creator of Girls has been exposed as the empty vessel she is…Dunham…speaks, usually unbidden, with complete moral and philosophical authority — until she’s called out online, at which point she furiously and pathetically backpedals…She’s a total hypocrite…and…narcissist who possesses no intellectual rigor, no belief system, no relationship with the truth…

The Puritan Recrudescence

The “progressives” have given religious fanatics a powerful censorship tool:  declare anything a “public health crisis” and it can be harassed at will:

Each new revelation since the first reports of the Harvey Weinstein scandal adds to the discussion about how to deal with sexual harassment and sexual violence in American society. And yet nobody is talking about what could be one of the most effective ways to attack the problem: Recognizing that pornography consumption is a public health crisis…the heavy use of pornography skews the users’ perception of what is normal…We have a sexual violence problem because we have a porn problem…the evidence is mounting that porn is addictive…

All of this is pure, undistilled bullshit; as this article explains, the “porn as public health crisis” propaganda is a dodge dreamed up by prohibitionist Gail Dines and used by politicians in socially-conservative states as an excuse for censorship.  In reality (as opposed to prohibitionists’ anti-sex fantasyland) all the evidence points to porn viewing decreasing sexual violence, and regular readers know that the “sex addiction” myth, the big sister of “porn as health crisis”, is not only unsupported by evidence but dying a quick death due to the antics of the same abusive douchebag this prohibitionist tries to hang his pro-censorship screed on.

Against Their Will (#707)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A…sex worker fell to her death in Queens [New York because of] a police raid [last]…Saturday night…[grown men pretending to be big heroes] stormed a massage parlor [as though they were in a war or something]…Police say they were trying to [capture and arrest] the 38-year-old woman when they saw her fall to the sidewalk from a third floor window.  She suffered serious injuries, and died Sunday at the hospital.  The medical examiner will determine the exact cause of death.

Because “falling to her death while fleeing in terror from rapists who want to torture her & lock her in a cage” isn’t exact enough?

Rooted in Racism (#732) 

No, this wasn’t a “mistake”; it was a deliberate action proceeding directly from government-approved profiling guidelines:

A vacation to Cancun…ended in anguish when an Atlanta-area woman…and her friend were mistaken on the flight home for human trafficking victims.  The incident…has put a spotlight on the [harms inflicted on minority women by “sex trafficking” hysteria]…Stephanie Ung…was [interrogated] by U.S. Customs and Border Protection…for more than an hour upon arriving at the airport…”I just kept telling them that I wanted to go home for my family Thanksgiving dinner, and that they were making me late, but they just didn’t care,” Ung said through tears.  “They just laughed”…Ung, who is Asian American, said that she believes her race was a factor in the situation…A Delta spokesperson said that another passenger on the flight [fantasized] someone else was in possession of the women’s passports…and [snitched]…to the crew…

Is anyone so gullible as to believe that their being young Asian women had nothing to do with this?

Against Their Will (#766) 

It’s good to see this getting more attention lately:

In Hyderabad in particular there are some very powerful and very well-funded anti-trafficking organisations that…[pretend] any form of sex work [is] a form of trafficking…NGOs…[are] working in combination with the police…processing women and locking them up in “shelters”….[that] operate as jails…Their phones are taken away.  They’re not allowed to contact their families, they’re not allowed to contact their friends that could help them.  Their money is taken away, sometimes even their jewellery is taken away…They are kept against their will…completely cut off from…their life…there is an actual monetary gain to be had by trafficking these women off the streets and into shelters.  So…it actually meets all of the qualifications set out by the Palermo Protocol.  Women themselves are calling this a form of trafficking and…attempt to…escape…Some women attempt suicide…

Safe Targets (#766) 

Not for ANY reason WHATSOEVER.  No, your reason is not an exception:

A woman who reported being kidnapped and raped over a six month period to the police was arrested as she sought care…The woman, who was five months pregnant…was…taken into custody at an east London police station. She was then interrogated over her immigration status…

The Notorious Badge (#772)

OK, so maybe she was listening after all:

Maggie Gyllenhaal thinks prostitution should be decriminalised.  The…actress plays a sex worker in her new TV show The Deuce and she thinks it would be safer and healthier for everyone involved…if it was no longer a criminal act…

Wise Investment (#779)

Even though we’re going to lose many of these, lawsuits are for the present our best weapon against prohibitionists:

…it looked like City Attorney Pete Holmes’ tactic for leveraging harsh punishments against sex buyers was in trouble.  A filing from a public defender working on behalf of one of the men caught up in the city’s massage parlor stings revealed that the prosecutor had directed his attorneys not to offer pre-trial diversion to men accused of buying sex.  The strategy…contradict[s] the city’s lauded criminal justice reform efforts allowing people accused of other misdemeanor crimes to avoid criminal convictions.  Public defenders also expressed concern that a sting operation that trapped defendants into guilty pleas could have far more serious consequences for undocumented residents…A law firm hired by the city (to the tune of $60,000) argued in King County Superior Court that…the sex buyer in question didn’t have a due process right to pre-trial diversion…attorney Bob Goldsmith…asked King County Superior Court Judge Sean O’Donnell to recuse himself from the case…[because] O’Donnell had participated in the King County Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Task Force, which supported the “end demand” strategy enshrined in the city attorney’s prosecutorial decisions…Judge O’Donnell [naturally] rejected the motion to recuse himself, as well as Goldsmith’s other arguments…


To Molest and Rape (#782)

What kind of sick fuck enrolls their kids in a program specifically intended to groom them into members of a gang of violent thugs?  “A San Leandro [cop] resigned…[after admitting] sexual misconduct with a teenage Police Explorer…Marco Becerra…[molested] a 17-year-old girl…”  I mean, just LOOK at this creepy fuck; would you trust him around your daughter?

Buried Truth (#790) 

Given their propensity for badge-licking, I reckon it’s no surprise social conservatives like sleazy entrapment schemes so much:

A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore…impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets…During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public…When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an Internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.  But on Monday morning, Post reporters saw her walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups.  The organization sets up undercover “stings” that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias…

You may recognize the resemblance to the failed attempt at framing Planned Parenthood in 2011.

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Whenever I use the toilet, all the horses break down my door and rush into my bathroom so they can intently watch me.

In this video, members of the band The Academic take advantage of a flaw in Facebook’s livestreaming software to record a song with their own past selves; it’s really quite interesting.  The video was contributed by Kevin Wilson, as was “horror”; the other links above the video were provided by Radley Balko (“pigs” and “together”), Conner Habib (“promises”), Jesse Walker (“books”), and Clarissa (“surprise”).

From the Archives

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I think that is an interesting attempt to cover their butts.  –  Adam Frank

Here’s another song that I considered my favorite at some point in childhood.  There are several interpretations of the lyrics; any of them present an interesting coincidence, given that I was much too young to have any idea of their meaning (I just liked Freda Payne’s voice and the way the song sounded musically).  The links above the video were provided by Eddie J CunninghamPatrick Nonwhite, ClarissaJesse WalkerMistress MatissePopehat, and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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The government concedes it presented no evidence.  –  9th Circuit Court

We’ve all seen American propaganda cartoons from the Second World War, but here’s an interesting twist: a Japanese propaganda cartoon from 1936 in which the evil Mickey Mouse bombs Japan and is defeated by Japanese cartoon characters.  Like so many interesting videos lately, it was called to my attention by Jesse Walker; the links above it were provided by Rick HorowitzEd KrayewskiJason KuznickiTim CushingEmma EvansKevin WilsonDave Krueger, and Tim Cushing again, in that order.

From the Archives

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SWOP Behind Bars is a new project, which attracted my attention soon after its formation; I think it’s incredibly important so I asked the organizer, Alex, to explain the project herself.  I’ve already donated a copy of my book (and will donate more to other prisons as the project expands), and I’ve given Alex carte blanche to use any of my columns in the newsletter she compiles for our incarcerated sisters.  As a former librarian, I well know the power books have to change lives, yet they’re so inexpensive; please consider donating at least one book to this program, and read on for other ways you can help. 

prison art 955No one really knows how many women who are imprisoned have done some form of sex work, but guesstimates from prison and probation officials run as high as 70%, and it’s difficult to ignore the probability that the criminalization of sex work has a major impact on the prison population.  According to the Florida Department of Corrections almost 6800 women are currently serving a sentence in Florida prisons, and another 38,000 are on state-supervised probation.  Women make up approximately 7% of the Florida prison population, with 144 under the age of 21; black and Hispanic women outnumber white women 3 to 1.  Programs for women behind bars are very limited, inadequately funded and mostly faith based, and re-entry services are pretty much limited to $50 and a bus ticket home, wherever that might be.  While the biggest fear for a sex worker might be arrest, the biggest fear for imprisoned women is what will happen to them when they are released.  These women return to their communities desperate and defined by their experience;  their families are disconnected and they must find their own way to rebuild their lives.  There is virtually no housing for those recently released, and they will be denied almost all public benefits because of their criminal records; they can’t get decent employment and they won’t be able to get a student loan in order to advance their education if they can’t or don’t want to engage in sex work.  When this discrimination is combined with whore stigma and the ever-present shaming of current or former sex workers, those who have been incarcerated have virtually no opportunity to thrive on release.

The SWOP Behind Bars project at Lowell Correctional Institution is working to reach out to sex workers behind bars by donating books to the prison library, sending newsletters to those currently incarcerated and building a nationwide network of sex worker-supported letter writing.  Women in prison who receive regular mail are perceived as “highly valued”, and it is the hope of SWOP Behind Bars to flood our incarcerated sisters with mail.  We are currently working to integrate with other prison book donation organizations to duplicate our efforts nationwide, in the hope that over time we can create a sense of community and support that will help them cope while imprisoned and rebuild their lives once released.

This didn’t happen overnight and it’s not even an original idea.  In the early days of sex work activism, Margo St James sued the state of California to improve programs and services for women in prison.  As the sex worker rights movement grew over the next 20 years and the Amnesty decision support decriminalization thrust sex worker rights into mainstream discourse, we still loudly protested the criminalization of sex work and have worked diligently to minimize the danger of being arrested; however, there are still so many sex workers in prison and they need to know we are here for them.  Many do not identify as sex workers, yet it only takes a cursory investigative search of the Department of Corrections websites to recognize that there is a large incidence of previous convictions for prostitution.  Women in prison do not know about the vibrant sex worker community that is rising up in the US, and we think they should.  Those of us who live in the free world have connected with each other via social media and through the organized efforts of Sex Worker Rights Organizations.  We have shared our experiences and our knowledge with each other on Facebook, Instagram, Tumbr and Twitter.  We have Art Shows and Operas and International Days we recognize together.  We have at last created our own community that – for the most part – has given us all a solidarity that is unprecedented.  We even have our own insignia…the Red Umbrella.  Now we need to get back to our roots and reach out to those behind bars because that is where those who have suffered the most from criminalization reside.

prison art 969Reading books is a popular prison pastime and unless one has somebody sending reading material inside, she is limited to what is in the prison library.  But prison libraries are limited to what was left behind by others, legal books and a flurry of faith based material; our goal is to provide books to improve the lives of prisoners, to provide educational resources, and to help reduce the likelihood of their returning to the prison system.  Our communities fare better when prisoners returning to society have had an opportunity to learn, grow, and mature as individuals, and books can provide inspiration and knowledge for that growth.  We believe that books about sex workers, provided by sex workers, for sex workers, and to sex workers are the greatest way we can invite them to participate in our community and let them tell us how we can improve our efforts to make sure that they have the tools to develop the best version of themselves.  Already the Lowell Correctional Facility for Women has been inundated with books donated by authors and individuals that tell about our history, our stories and our hopes for the future.  The generosity of the sex worker community has been overwhelming.  Each book donated will have a label placed inside that will identify our community and let them know how to reach out to us by phone and by mail.  The SWOP Community Support has been activated with a new flock of enthusiastic volunteers to answer calls.  Our first newsletter will be sent to more than 100 incarcerated recipients in the next few weeks, and we will be asking them to write to us and tell us their stories, and to organize support groups inside.  We will be providing evidence-based material for them to learn more about us and about themselves.  We have been invited to participate in the creation of a program that will launch this summer, in which we’ll have the opportunity to provide trauma informed, sex work positive training to corrections officers and other prison officials in the State of Florida.  We are also working to create re-entry support services that are available to assist those who have recently been released find the resources they need to accomplish the goals they set for themselves.

Our call to the sex worker community is to join us in reaching out to sex workers behind bars.  Here are 10 ways you can help.

  1. If you know someone who is in prison whom we could include in our monthly newsletter, send their mailing information to swopbehindbars@gmail.com.
  2. If you are the AUTHOR or PUBLISHER of a book you would like to donate, instructions are listed here.
  3. If you have your own newsletter or if you want to start writing to sex workers behind bars, we can send you our current list of sex workers.  We are not publishing an online list of incarcerated sex workers until they request us to do so.
  4. If you want to send a book to a specific resident of a jail or prison, you MUST send it using Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. There are no exceptions to this requirement in any US jail or prison.
  5. If you want to submit a story to the monthly newsletter, please send it to us at newsletter@swopbehindbars.org.
  6. If you want to donate NEW BOOKS to the Lowell Corrections Institution Library, we have a wish list on Amazon.com.
  7. If you want to donate USED BOOKS to the prison library, please send an email to swopbehindbars@gmail.com and we will tell you how this works and send you instructions.
  8. If you want to start your own book donation program in your state prison or county jail, let us know and we will be happy to share our tips and tricks.  We want to keep a record of books that are donated and a list of facilities where they are going so we know how to face future challenges with Books Behind Bars projects.
  9. We are building a toolkit for sex workers to use to reach out to recently arrested sex workers, and we will publish that information on the website and on Facebook and Twitter when it is complete.
  10. Finally, if you have ideas or resource material that you think would advance this project or assist in the creation of re-entry resources, please let us know about it.  We are particularly interested in people who are willing to engage directly by phone, mail or email with recently released sex workers who need a sex worker friendly, non-judgmental mentor.

prison art 956
The books most often requested are biographies, short stories and self-help books, particularly those that assist with addiction and trauma related issues.  SWOPUSA will be happy to send you a tax deductible receipt for the published price of the books, the cost of printing newsletters and any shipping or mailing costs you incur.  You do not have to use your own return address for mailing books or newsletters; you may use the SWOP USA return address:

SWOP-USA
340 S LEMON AVE #7566
WALNUT CA 91789

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If you want to reduce abuse, you need to find a way to hack the system that increases the power of marginalized people, not of the police.
–  Noah Berlatsky

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Remember, sex work is legal but “regulated” in India.  Here’s what that looks like:

…police abuse and bad laws live on despite decades of evidence of the harm being done to millions of Indian women…[who] are arrested under charges of “possession of condoms”, or even on false charges of “possession of narcotics”…(They) are rounded up at the end of the month when the target for petty/minor offences are not met…Some [cops] are known…to be self-avowed crusaders against “prostitutes”.  Instead of protecting these women from…criminal elements, the police adds its own violence and abuse to that of other criminals…whether [under] the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, or the myriad “vagrancy” and “public indecency” acts commonly used against them…[police] “victimise the women,” doubling their “exploitation and extortion”…

It Looks Good On Paper

It’s not “surprising” in the least; as I’ve explained repeatedly, only very rare “perfect victims” are helped by so-called “safe harbor” laws:

…Latesha Clay…was sentenced to prison for up to 20 years…Clay, whose name was inexplicably released by local press despite her status as a minor, had been offered up as bait in a Backpage post advertising sex with the underage girl.  When the clients showed up at a Motel 6…they were met by an adult male, Trayvin Donnell Lewis, who used a realistic-looking airsoft gun to drive the clients to an ATM and rob them…However, Clay herself fits every guideline for qualifying as a trafficking victim just by virtue of being underage and [advertising] online for sex.  According to the Justice Department’s federal definition of sex trafficking, a person under 18 engaging in prostitution (even the mere “offering” of sex for sale) is automatically considered a trafficking victim regardless of whether a pimp or client used “force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion, or any combination of those means, to cause the minor to engage in a commercial sex act”.  When the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) was signed into law in 2015, many advocates [imagined] the federal government [would] increase protections for underage…teens…in the sex industry…That’s why Clay’s prison sentence, rather than the kind of support and treatment outlined by the JVTA, is surprising…

Tyranny By Consensus 

Los Angeles County and the porn industry are at “a stalemate” over a mandatory condom requirement, according to criminal and constitutional lawyer Paul Cambria Jr…”Measure B”…was approved by L.A. voters in 2012, and has been embroiled in legal challenges ever since…Both a U.S. district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Vivid’s argument that the condom law violates the First Amendment…But…affirmed the lower court’s decision to enjoin several key provisions…including stipulations that noncompliant production companies could have their permits taken away and a provision related to searches and seizures…The state can still go after filmmakers under California’s occupational safety rules, however…the agency’s heart doesn’t seem to be in enforcement…Karen Fuller Tynan…who specializes in adult-industry cases…helped one client settle with the agency for $685—down from an initial attempt to fine the company more than $20,000 for “lack of barrier protection” in a film scene.  She also represented porn company Evil Angel…they went to trial, and half way through the first morning in court the agency dropped all charges related to condoms…

The Public Eye

This interview with retired madam Jami Rodman is overblown & sensationalized, as such interviews tend to be when the interviewed sex worker was connected to some kind of scandal.  But the more the public sees us as real people, the harder it will be to keep the “sex trafficking” lie afloat.

Bottleneck

How Laws Regulating Sex Work Ignore Workers Themselves” is another good example of the stupid, evil laws created by amateurs to “regulate” sex workers, justified under the excuse of “protecting” us from our own choices.  Click to open the image at right, then click again to enlarge.

Checklist

Fellow librarians: this is bullshit.  It is a serious breach of your professional ethics to support the surveillance state against patrons:

…More than 800 staff members at all of San Diego’s 36 library locations recently received training on how to spot sex trafficking victims, how to start a conversation with them, and ultimately how to steer them to the appropriate resources for help…Local law enforcement statistics show an alarming rise in sex…trafficking cases.*  San Diego is one of the top 10 worst cities in America for human trafficking**, and…it is the second most lucrative industry in the region, right behind drug trafficking.^  “It’s a big problem with gangs,” said [library director Misty] Jones. “Gangs are actually trafficking people more so than trafficking drugs now”^^…

*  No, they don’t.   **No, it isn’t.
^ No, it isn’t.        ^^No, they aren’t.

Opting Out

New Zealand bureaucrat imagines he can stop people from seeing online porn he doesn’t like, despite the fact that Australia abandoned a similar censorship scheme as unworkable:

…deputy chief censor Jarred Mullen detailed the harm that [he pretends] increasingly extreme pornography that can cause, and outlined some possible steps towards regulating it.  These steps could include an ISP level ban, where pornography viewers have to “opt in” to viewing pornographic content, similar to that of the United Kingdom’s…Current censorship law…already bans certain types of pornography, including [BDSM & scat]…Censors also look at whether the pornography “degrades or dehumanises or demeans any person,” but this does not necessarily result in a ban.  The censor’s office reviews every DVD released in New Zealand, as well as anything customs seize at the border, but their control over online market is essentially non-existent…

All-Purpose Excuse

in California…an elected official [is] attempting to use the latest law-and-order magic words—”human trafficking“—to push for mandatory decryption on smart phones…Jim Cooper wants to order smartphone manufacturers to be capable of decrypting and providing access to their products on demand…Cooper [bloviated]…”We’re going after…people who are doing bad and evil things.  Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it“…

Moving Pictures 

Yet another ridiculous “sex trafficking” fakumentary:

…Filmmaker Gunther Meisse II teamed up with…Mark Lovely to create a…30-minute documentary on human trafficking, “Shadow in the Heartland”…The pair hope to [sell] the documentary…to schools throughout the state so teachers can show it in…schools where it can be seen by young people who are most vulnerable to human trafficking…In 2013, Ohio ranked fifth among all states for calls to the Nation Human Trafficking Hot Line.  Each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims…

Stupor Bowl (#601)

This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:

Media briefs screamed into inboxes, blaring in all caps that the Super Bowl is NOT the largest human trafficking event in the world.  But…officials from the D.A.’s office and City Hall took the mic at Boeddeker Park to declare human trafficking an invisible scourge that haunts us 365 days a year…It’s hard to say how what began as an urban legend became the animus for ad campaigns and undercover stings involving everyone from local police departments to the FBI to the Department of Homeland Security…The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women reported that in 2008, 2009, and 2011, local law enforcement observed “no increases in sex work-related arrests” during the Super Bowl…judging by statistics, San Francisco is a hub of the global trade in humans.  The city has the 13th-highest number of child sex trafficking cases in the country…Many victims are shuttled through brothels, massage parlors, and other underground channels, while some are never counted at all…

But because the rescue industry can see the end of the hysteria is coming, it’s really trying to milk this Super Bowl for everything it can get:

…Traffickers from all over the nation and local traffickers already here are believed to gravitate toward the thousands of fans in town for the game.  Lisa Blanchard, executive director of the Grateful Garment Project, believes a sizable number of girls and boys trapped in the sex trade will be arrested or detained, enough to persuade her to organize Sunday’s backpack-stuffing event…”We’re already a hot spot…so when you bring in a big event like the Super Bowl, common sense tells you there will be an increase.”  Her…group assembled two dozen or so volunteers…to fill 165 backpacks with several items, including fleece pants and sweatshirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, flashlights and books — memoirs by people who survived the illicit trade.  Blanchard said the youths would need the clothing and items because they’re dressed “scarcely, almost naked,” when they’re [arrested]…by police…

The idea that “trafficking” fanatics arrive at their beliefs by anything remotely involving common sense is hilarious, but it may not be as funny as this:

The Archdiocese of New Orleans is calling on all Catholics to take a stand against human trafficking.  They want people to fast from social media on February 1…“the…day of Prayer and Awareness coincides well with two major events that cause a spike in human trafficking activity:  the Super Bowl (February 7) and, locally, Mardi Gras (February 9),” the Archdiocese said…Barbarella orgasmatron

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#605) 

You almost have to feel sorry for geeks, wanking to their ludicrous fantasies of a day when they only have to pay once for sex instead of every time.  But really, the idea that computers or highfalutin’ 3D goggles could ever replace actual women is deeply misogynistic at best, and misanthropic at worst:

…The world’s oldest profession is under attack from the newest…VR displays video through screens that strap to your face and create lifelike scenes…[Nevada brothel] Sheri’s Ranch has taken notice of the changes shaking the porn industry and is worried they could be bad for business…Demand for sex might be a constant, but how people go about getting it done has changed.  These days, they’re not paying for it like they used to. In 1948, 69 percent of American men reported having at least one experience with a prostitute, according to a study by The Kinsey Institute.  By the 1990s, that fell to as little as 15 percent…

No, it didn’t.  Honestly, repeatedly refuting this bullshit gets exhausting.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#605)

Contrary to a…report by CNBC, picked up by numerous other media outlets, Penthouse is not shutting down its print magazine.  According to [managing director] Kelly Holland…the magazine is launching a digital edition, [but] that will be a companion to, not a replacement for, its print publication…

Vendetta (#607)

Noah Berlatsky on Swanee Hunt’s HackTrafficking4Good scheme:

…the righteous, adrenalin-fueled approach to battling sex trafficking isn’t likely to help much of anyone.  The statistics on the site are grossly exaggerated and confused.  The claim that hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of sex trafficking is based on what the Washington Post calls “nonsense facts,” and the 12-14 year age of entry is similarly dubious.  In fact, the whole narrative that pimps are systematically kidnapping children and forcing them into sexual slavery doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.  Most underage people…engage in survival sex because they are fleeing abusive situations at home…not because they are in the thrall of criminal gangs.  The vision of noble hackers helping police to swoop in and save exploited women is dear to the hearts of anti-prostitution groups like conference sponsor Demand Abolition.  But it’s also fanciful—not least because police are in fact one of the chief dangers faced by sex workers…But the HackTrafficking4Good conference doesn’t see law enforcement as a potential threat.  Instead, the conference is focused on helping police with surveillance…

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