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Posts Tagged ‘Life Imitates Artifice’

Anti-prostitution crusaders behave as if we were at war over a symbol rather than discussing possible and partial solutions.  –  Laura Agustín

Check Your Premises 

Yeah, I’m sure they answered the pigs’ fake ads and said, “Hi, I’m interested in buying sex from a potential trafficking victim”.  That sounds totally legit:  “The FBI and police in St. Louis County…[claim] that [14] men contacted undercover officers….[and] were interested in paying for sex from potential trafficking victims…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think owning a “legal” sex work business protects you:

A brother and sister were sentenced…to two years in federal prison for their schemes to promote prostitution at 10 Portland-area strip clubs and adult video stores.  Kandace Desmarias…and her brother, Gilbert “Mace” Desmarais…also were convicted of conspiring to evade paying more than $728,000 in federal income taxes by concealing $2.6 million in income from the clubs’ strip shows and prostitution.  The ringleader of the operation, their stepfather Lawrence G. Owen, 75, was sentenced in April  to two years and six months in prison…

“Ringleader”?  Seriously?  Are owners of non-sex related businesses called “ringleaders” when convicted of tax evasion?

Life Imitates Artifice (#139) 

It took four years, but eventually an Islamic theocracy followed Russia’s lead in using “sex trafficking” hysteria as Anti-American propaganda, exactly as I predicted:

[Bahram Qassemi of the foreign ministry of] Iran said…“The root causes of human trafficking lie in unilateral, interventionist and aggressive policies as well as the wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in which the military and security forces of America and some of its allies are involved…the U.S. government…cannot shirk its responsibility for that by playing blame games and leveling unfounded and false accusations against other countries”…

Business As Usual 

Given that cops raping sex workers is both typical and tolerated by police departments, my guess is that this dude pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

An NYPD cop working undercover prostitution stings in Manhattan…[raped] six women…All of the[m]…illegal immigrants…[Michael] Golden would pay between $40 and $300 for the sex acts, prosecutors said.  Then, a field team made up of fellow officers would burst in and…arrest [his victim]…Under the rules, undercover cops can strip down to their underwear, but they aren’t allowed to engage in any sex acts with the sting targets…

The Hooker Vote (#615) 

Yet another Dennis Hof PR scam, because reporters are stupid enough to keep giving him free publicity:

Licensed prostitutes in Nevada…are organizing against legislation they say will devastate them, other prostitutes across the nation and their families…dubbing itself “Hookers for Health Care,” this group plans to go “on a political offensive…to stop the Republican effort.”  At the helm is Alice Little…who works…at Dennis Hof’s Sagebrush Ranch brothel…About a hundred women working in Hof’s seven brothels have already signed up to be involved with this new movement…

Are these reporters complete dolts? Are they unable to see that a real “movement” would involve prostitutes who didn’t work for Hof as well?  Are they oblivious to Hof’s unimaginative naming convention (cf “Hookers for Hillary”, “Tarts for Trump”, “Pimpin’ for Paul”)?  Why do these imbeciles keep providing free advertising for this dangerously self-centered jackass, who’s happy to get in bed with prohibitionists against sex workers who aren’t forced to give half of their income to him?

To Molest and Rape

“Forced into a sexual relationship” may be the most convoluted way of saying “raped” I’ve yet seen:

…Melissa Granados sued the Otero County [New Mexico] Sheriff’s Department…Joshua R. Sides and others…Granados [reported] that after Sides and four other [cops] entered her home without a warrant and arrested her as she got out of the shower, naked except for a towel, co-defendant sheriff’s Officer John Emory joked with Sides and others that it was “hard to handcuff her … those tits are distracting me”…The five [thugs from] the Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit entered her home “claiming they had an arrest warrant for plaintiff, however never produced any valid warrant to enter her home”…later…Sides told her she had 24 hours to accept his offer to work as an informant.  Granados…refused…[then] Sides [coerced] her…in[to] a sexual relationship…She arrived home one day to find him already inside, though he had no key…he…hit her and knocked her…unconscious…

The Widening Gyre (#692) 

I love watching “authorities” get caught up in their own manufactured moral panic:

A SERIAL conwoman who cost [Ireland] €350,000 in armed garda protection by posing as a child sex trafficking victim is facing up to 10 years in jail after pulling a similar scam in Australia.  Samantha Azzopardi…who is now 28…[is] accused of obtaining €13,500 worth of services from the state and charities by pretending to be a 13-year-old Sydney foster child…named Harper Hart…court documents…cite…her “extensive history of providing false documentation, obtaining passports in false names and assuming identities of other persons” in Queensland, Western Australia, Ireland and Canada…

The Widening Gyre (#697)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

Alex Jones…interviewed Robert David Steele, a man whose Wikipedia page lists him as “an American activist and former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine services case officer.”  Steele laid out a strange theory that suggested NASA not only has secretly sent humans to Mars without anyone knowing about it but that…“There is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space…once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony…Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children…It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them.  It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts”…

Checklist (#713) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

…the House’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill…would require new mandatory training for all “ticket counter agents, gate agents, and other air carrier workers whose jobs require regular interaction with passengers” on “recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims”…federal agents have already been training flight attendants and other airline personnel on how to “detect” human traffickers or trafficking victims on their planes…There is no evidence these efforts have actually yielded any trafficking busts—which shouldn’t surprise anyone not immersed in some Taken-style fantasy…A heightened sensitivity to anything out-of-the-ordinary—which in the United States can still mean interracial families or a child traveling with two fathers—means a propensity to profile passengers based on stereotypes…Airline Ambassadors International, which often works with government officials on sex-trafficking awareness training, suggests that “children and young women traveling alone” should be considered suspect, as should people who say they are adults but have “adolescent features”…

Interview:  Laura Agustín

Another interview with Dr. Agustín about The Three-Headed Dog:

Why should acknowledgement of structural inequalities mean victimising those less equal?  I’ve never understood that.  Unequal in terms of money and power does not mean unequal in agency, connections, street-smarts or guts…The focus on inequality leads logically to self-positioning as a helper – the Rescue Industry.  And if helpers believe everyone must want to be in their original homes, it leads to deportation…

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Society creates a massive demand for sex work, then stigmatizes the people who take jobs in the field.  –  Mark Shrayber

Whore Madonnas Finley Fawn

Another woman’s child abducted by the state because of her work:

Finley Fawn…brought eight character witnesses and a mountain of paperwork to her initial custody hearing to prove [that she is not abusive but] courts have sided with her ex-husband in [claiming] that Fawn has allowed her son too much awareness of her job…Fawn…is…a cam model…Before hearing any witnesses, and with only Fawn’s Twitter introduced into evidence, the woman presiding over the case reportedly said that anything more than her ex’s testimony was superfluous.  Before Fawn even had a chance to speak…the judge…made up her mind…getting her child back on the same terms as before — joint custody — would cost more than $100,000…that Fawn doesn’t have…Fawn isn’t alone…Take the case of Tanaha Koontz, whose children were taken away from her and given to her ex despite numerous instances of domestic violence, two arrests, and a kidnapping…

Tanaha is a friend, and wrote one of my first guest columns on this subject.

All in the Family

Some sex workers’ mothers really do love unconditionally:

…My mother emailed me to say she had discovered that I was doing sex work…she…didn’t yell at me, or talk over me, or dictate to me what I should or shouldn’t be doing.  She listened.  She…never told me to quit.  She never told me I had made a bad decision.  She never asked me how I could be a feminist and a sex worker.  She made space for me and my experiences, and she gave me advice or sympathy when I asked.  So I found myself reaching out to her more often, grateful for her analysis and her wit.  Now, I consider her one of my closest friends…

Life Imitates Artifice

Wannabe “pimp” calls radio show & regurgitates popular “pimp” myths, probably while wanking; ignoramuses swallow every particle of the vomit:

…a former pimp talks about his victims and the sex trade…He doesn’t want to share his name, but he will share his [masturbatory fantasy].  He [fantasizes about being] a former pimp.  A sex trafficker who spent nearly a dozen years convincing young women in Massachusetts to sell their bodies and give him the money…He [imagines finding] victims at tanning salons, gyms, bars, and nightclubs…He [fantasizes] that…he had 16 girls working for him…and they’d turn trick after trick…Now, years later [he masturbates] as he thinks about [it]…Parents, he says, hold the key to protecting young girls from men like him.  “Fathers…have to show their daughters that I’m the man you want to find in life. I’m the man you want to marry.”

As our wanker switches from a pimp fantasy to an incest fantasy, fade to black.

Check Your Premises

Cops are so disconnected from reality that they think stalking, raiding and arresting sex workers and their clients will “build a positive relationship” with us:

…Calgary [cops charged]…27 people…[a spokesman vomited that] the goal was to reduce illegal activity and connect with sex trade workers to “build a positive relationship and provide any resources they may need to assist them in leaving the sex trade”…The charges were related to…communicating with any person for the purpose of obtaining sexual services, along with seven summonses for traffic-related offences.  Nineteen warrants for unrelated criminal code charges were also executed…

The Last Shall Be First 

More of this, please:

Public officials of a conservative enclave in Dallas almost unanimously repudiated an anti-transgender “bathroom” ordinance in a local battle that may help turn the corner on the discussion in Texas…Mayor Jim…Pruitt’s measure would have forced transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate.  Businesses and individuals who didn’t comply faced fines of up to $500.  Pruitt launched the proposal in response to Target’s…policy of allowing people to use the bathroom and changing facilities they believe is appropriate for them.  But he ultimately couldn’t find a single colleague to second his motion for a vote, despite using all the best scare tactics…

An Example To the West

Leaders from sex-work led organizations came together…in Kampala to pave way for a stronger and sustainable network for all Ugandan…sex workers’ organizations.  The sex work fraternity is one of the fast growing civil rights movement in Uganda…many coalitions have come up but breakdown after a short period of action…this time they are ready to disregard  all the past differences and create a solid network to make sure the sex workers voices are heard out there…

Down Under (#40)

This sounds good until one gets down to the “end demand” poison:

Street-based sex work in St Kilda is here to stay, say local police, and heavy-handed enforcement is of no use to anyone.  In 2012, St Kilda’s constabulary boasted of a plan to drive prostitution off the streets within four years, using a policy of banning notices, patrols and undercover stings.  But street-based sex work, which is illegal in Victoria, endures.  And St Kilda police Senior Sergeant Mark Denton said that wasn’t likely to change…So instead of going after the workers, policing is now focused on the client side.  Police have the power to issue banning notices stopping someone from visiting an area for 72 hours if they have a reasonable suspicious that person was attempting to solicit a sex worker…

Dutch Threat 

A prohibitionist’s notion of “helping” sex workers:

PROUD, the [Dutch] association of sex workers…sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Justice and the Mayor of Amsterdam on a serious matter…the family of [a trafficking] victim was informed of her work in prostitution without her knowledge…[after] explicitly [stating] that her family [should under] no circumstances be informed of her career…she worked voluntarily in prostitution, but was exploited by an employer. The victim is currently considering withdrawing her complaint as a result of these events…This case should be a reason to ask serious questions to the responsible people and services on their methods and motives…

An Example to the West (#316) RedTraSex in Honduras

In the US, we’re barely even tolerated, much less listened to:

Honduran sex workers have offered a proposal for reforming the country’s treatment of their profession that they hope will lead to them “being treated as human beings by police officers, health employees and society in general,” [said] Regina Barahona…of…RedTraSex…The text takes a human rights perspective on sex work, focusing on health, security and justice for those who work in the field…Barahona insisted that much of the violence sex workers currently face comes from police officers, not clients…

Broken Record (#318)

Politicians just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Kentucky’s attorney general is warning Derby-goers to be proactive in the fight against human trafficking…Andy Beshear [fantasized that]…individuals use large sporting events, such as the Kentucky Derby, to traffic children and adults for sex…Beshear urged Louisville businesses and derby-goers to [spy on customers]…Beshear said signs of possible signs of human trafficking include [all the usual bullshit]…

Bait and Switch

Why bother looking for actual sex-trafficking victims when cops can just pretend to be them and reap the same rewards?

A new sex-trafficking law in Georgia clarifies that undercover cops totally count as minors for purposes of handing out 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences…House Bill (HB) 770 says that it shall be no defense to charges of sex trafficking of a minor that no such minor actually existed…an undercover cop posing as a pretty 17-year-old girl could friend a young man on Facebook (a tactic cops frequently use in these kind of stings), start chatting with him, and mention that she needs to make money and isn’t averse to porn or prostitution but needs help getting started.  If the mark offers to help in any way, even just offering a ride or an introduction to someone else who could help her, he will be eligible to receive a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to 20 years, plus a $100,000 fine.  Prosecutors can invoke asset forfeiture to take even more from him, and add another “human trafficking” arrest to their press releases…many of the men cops target with these kinds of stings are only in their late teens or early 20s themselves…One 2014 study by the anti-trafficking organization Shared Hope International found that 50-60 percent of police efforts aimed at stopping “child sex trafficking”…involved no actual victims or minors at all…If there are really as many minor sex-trafficking victims out there as advocates, cops, and politicians would have us believe, how can they justify spending half of their time and money pretending to be victims rather than saving them?…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

Politician’s brains are so tiny and narrow, thy can only conceive of humans existing in two states, like light switches:

The California Senate…passed legislation that would remove mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat prostitution offenses.  Under current state law, a second conviction guarantees at least 45 days in jail, which increases to a minimum 90-day sentence for a third offense and beyond.  The court can also restrict an individual’s driving privileges for up to six months if the act occurs within 1,000 feet of a private residence…Bill Monning…said the current “tough-on-crime” approach does not deter prostitution and merely discourages victims of human trafficking and those who engage in sex work as a means of survival from participating in diversion and drug treatment programs…It comes amid a renewed interest in human trafficking this legislative session, as lawmakers debate whether prostitutes are criminals or victims…

Crying for Nanny (#623)

How many more such decisions will it take before judges start fining these lawyers for filing nuisance lawsuits?

In a victory for Backpage, a federal appellate court…rejected [soi-disant] sex-trafficking victims’ request to reconsider a decision dismissing their lawsuit…The move leaves in place an earlier ruling, which said the teens could not proceed with their case due to the federal Communications Decency Act.  That law says that companies offering interactive online platforms are immune from liability for activity by their users…

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Your typical “good feminist” engages in “sex-positive activism” by assuring one another that they are bold “revolutionaries” for watching punk porn or buying buttplugs…mainstream feminists know that you don’t change the world with a Hitachi Magic Wand.  –  Furry Girl

Marguerite Griffin (c 1911)Storyville

Melissa Gira Grant presents an excellent short history of the first 200 years of prostitution in America, “When Prostitution Wasn’t a Crime”; New Orleans is of course prominently featured, but is by no means the only city covered.  Grant looks at how whores were often the first women in colonies, how cops and politicians harassed us before our trade itself was criminalized, and how the social purity movement established criminalization as the American norm.

Grow the Hell Up!

Most California cities can no longer afford to persecute hookers, so San José has had to fall on that reliable fund-raising technique, lying:  “…San Jose Police…acquired a human trafficking grant from the federal government…[which funded] a very successful…sting operation…[arresting] johns and pimps…is extremely important, because they are the ones who…force these women [into] illicit activity…

Sex Workers Against Trafficking

sex workers from Nashik [Maharashtra] saved a 14-year-old girl from being sold by…an acquaintance…Vijay Dive…lured her with a trip…[and] told her that he would buy her new clothes…Dive [instead tried to sell her to]…some brothels…[but] sex workers…[informed] police…

Life Imitates Artifice (March Updates)

It’s good to see Russians using “sex trafficking” hysteria as propaganda; let’s hope the Islamic theocracies follow their lead:

The US Department of Justice reported that every two minutes a child is trafficked for…sexual exploitation in the United States…Parents, stepparents or guardians force their children to perform sex acts in exchange for money or items of value…a sex victim who was abused throughout her childhood [says] “Normally it’s in places where there’s lots of people, anytime when there’s a ball game”…child sex [traffickers] are ordinary people…[but] force their children to take addictive drugs and usually threaten them…In 2011 the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) revealed a study that showed there were more than 100 cases reported of child sex trafficking in Knox County…Tennessee…

A Fantasy of Hate

Night of the DemonsI described reading neofeminist hate-sites as “like opening the viewing window into a padded cell.”  Well, a Tweeter named Caprica collected this group interaction from the recent “RadFem 2013” convention; the specific focus of this malice is transgender people, but there’s plenty for men as well.  Warning: don’t look if you are easily disturbed by vile, psychopathic, literally genocidal hatred.

Imaginary Lines

Interestingly, the phrase “sex trafficking” appears nowhere in this story:

The madam of a nationwide Korean prostitution ring…was sentenced to [two years for] immigration fraud…Miyoung Roberts, 42…arranged illegal immigration for more than 24 Korean women who…[worked] at…nightclubs…[and] counseled…[them] on how to avoid detection by immigration authorities.  She set up apartments…and supervised some of [their] prostitution…Roberts…gained U.S. citizenship through a fake marriage…

Bootlickers

Washington state puritans continue their bizarre persecution of coffee stands:  “…Three bikini baristas have been arrested…in Everett…for allegedly selling strip shows to customers…at two Grab-N-Go stands, which is where several baristas were charged with prostitution…in 2009…The arrests came after a two-month undercover investigation…

Under a Rock

The redoubtable Furry Girl presents a devastating critique of sex-positive feminists’ insistence that theirs is the only true feminism:

…sex-positive, pro-autonomy, anti-victimhood feminists are a small minority compared to all the other feminists they…dismiss as “not real feminists.”  Large national feminist organizations and women’s studies departments are not run on “good feminist” principles, they are run by the oppressive and anti-sexuality feminists who represent mainstream feminist values.  “Good feminists” aren’t the ones being brought in as experts by governments to write new anti-sex worker and anti-porn laws…Feminists who have any shred of influence invariably use it to be “bad feminists,” whether it’s criminalizing indoor prostitution in Rhode Island or holding tenured women’s studies jobs so they can terrorize impressionable young women into feeling victimized by the world around them…

screaming loony
Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

A new study suggests that the possible reason women tend to be more talkative than men (20,000 words per day vs. the male average of 7000) is that our brains tend to “have higher levels of a ‘language protein’ called FOXP2”.  Jezebel, of course, exists in a different reality than the rest of us and so DENIES that women tend to be more talkative than men, going on and on and on about it…

Repeat Offenders

The unholy alliance of nuns and SOAP fanatics continues to harass hoteliers in the American Midwest while spreading its extreme version of the “gypsy whores” myth:

…the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus [Ohio] have joined forces with SOAP…[in claiming that] human traffickers…flock to major sporting and other public events.  Their current focus is the Arnold Sports Festival and Fitness Expo…[they] call and visit hotels to alert them to the potential for prostitution and trafficking…and…distribute bars of soap…with the phone number of a…trafficking hot line…

A Broker in Pillage

What could possibly go wrong?

A new bill…in Hawaii’s state senate would  expand asset forfeiture to include petty misdemeanors…the Hawaii…ACLU posits that [this]…could lead to all sorts of ridiculously-cruel consequences.  Homeless people could lose their property if they camp out in a park after hours.  Protestors could have their signs, petitions and other assets seized—a chilling effect on the First Amendment.  The bill is backed by Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources as a way to protect “natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources”…Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth has lambasted [SB 1342] as “draconian“…state Sen. Russell Ruderman called [it] “outrageous,” [saying] “we should have more safeguards, not less, to protect people from forfeiture abuses.”  The Institute for Justice gave Hawaii a D for its atrocious…forfeiture laws

You’ll be shocked at the identity of one of the biggest supporters of this tyranny:

The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) supports SB1342…[as part of a campaign to] stiffen penalties for patrons of prostitution…This bill…would be very beneficial in ending the demand for prostitution in Hawaii and would provide another deterrent for patrons who buy humans for sex…

An Example to the West

This letter from a group of Indian feminists in response to the incredibly patronizing behavior of Harvard do-gooders is a perfect example of what Southern ladies call “vinegar pie”: a dish so sweet it makes your teeth hurt.  I have read it three times now and enjoy it more each time.

Pyrrhic Victory

The ACLU’s “nightmare scenario” of drone-enabled universal surveillance is about to become a reality:  “ARGUS-IS…is…a super-high, 1.8 gigapixel resolution camera that can be mounted on a drone.  As demonstrated in this clip, the system is capable of high-resolution monitoring and recording of an entire city”:

ARGUS produces a high-resolution video image that covers 15 square miles.  It’s all streamed to the ground and stored, and operators can zoom in upon any small area and watch the footage of that spot…it’s the culmination of the trend towards ever-more-pervasive surveillance cameras in American life.  We’ve been  objecting to that trend for years, and many of our public spaces are now under 24/7 video surveillance—often by cameras owned and operated by the police.  But even in our most pessimistic moments, I don’t think we thought that every street, empty lot, garden, and field would be subject to video monitoring anytime soon.  But that is precisely what this technology could enable.  We’ve speculated  about self-organizing swarms of drones being used to blanket entire cities with surveillance, but this technology makes it clear that nothing that complicated is required…

Legal Is as Legal Does (TW3 #20)

The gradual closure of…state-run brothels is emerging as a controversial tactic in Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s declared war on prostitution.  While Erdoğan’s supporters denounce brothels as a form of “slavery,” sex workers fear the campaign poses risks to their health and safety.  Closing…brothels “will not keep men from visiting prostitutes,” explained 48-year-old Istanbul sex worker Berna, “but it will push even more women into illegality and the back streets, where they will be without protection, and without any rights”…Several state-run brothels around the country reportedly already have been closed down – with official reasons including proximity to a new mosque and the nearby discovery of historical artifacts – and others should soon follow…

The Notorious Badge (TW3 #27)

Johanna in Tits and Sass on “Why Anne Hathaway Should Go-Away”:

In last year’s Les Miserables…Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, a single mother [who]…turns to prostitution…Hathaway…[made] various comments…[about] “the lives of sex slaves”… and her attempts to “honor” the experiences of women who are “forced to sell sex”…Much media attention has also been given to the work on her own body Hathaway did to prepare for the role…[including] hair-cutting and drastic weight loss…What seems strange to me…is that Hathaway and the lady bloggers who love her apparently can’t see any similarities between her use of her body in work…and the experiences of sex workers.  Like sex workers, Hathaway’s physicality is central to her job.  Like sex workers, Hathaway has to make decisions about how to deploy her body…but somehow, when she diets to the point of frailness (her words), we call that work; when women in a film give hand jobs, we call it “the darkest place imaginable.”  Fantine cuts off her hair for money and we cry.  Hathaway cuts off her hair (also for money) and we nod admiringly…

Saudi cashierThe Lion and the Ox

The logical end result of “human trafficking” rhetoric:

Employing females as cashiers is a form of human trafficking like sexual exploitation, forced labor and organ trafficking…Objectifying women comes in different forms, such as exploitation in media, advertising, flight attendants, receptionists, and supermarket clerks or cashiers, argues…a graduate research paper at the Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University…Mohammad al-Bogami…writes that Muslim scholars consider it human trafficking if the goal of hiring women is to use their looks to attract customers…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #43)

The view on the Swedish model from inside Norway, with references to Penny Gelder and the play I linked before:

An increasing number of people in Norway are starting to see through the evil…It is in the nature of a moralist a desire to remove something he or she doesn’t like.  Recently, this moralistic mind game has become more and more unmasked…Did you know that children and young people in Norway grow up in a society in which they learn that consensual sex is prohibited?…More and more people are becoming extremely angry and feel that their private sphere is violated.  It is very easy to explain, in a factual and logical way, why this law is one of the greatest assaults on humanity ever…So, why doesn´t Amnesty International or the United Nations take solid action, demanding the Sex Purchase Law to be removed immediately?…The Sex Purchase Law violates absolutely all citizens in a country where it is in effect.  Not only sex workers, because any kind of sex is in fact a trade or transaction.  Thus, any consensual sex would logically be illegal…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (TW3 #136)

Indian sex workers triumph over an attempt at back-door criminalization:

The government has decided not to treat voluntary sex workers above the age of 18 years as victims of trafficking…Following objections by human rights and women organisations, the government is set to delete the term “prostitution” as one of the forms of exploitation which constitutes the offence of trafficking…which…stated that “…the consent of the victim is immaterial”…Justice JS Verma panel…clarified that amended law ought not to be interpreted to permit law enforcement agencies to harass sex workers…and their clients…

Big Sister

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on the fantasy that porn prohibition via internet censorship will somehow work in Iceland (despite the fact that it can’t even stop physical contraband like drugs), and the even more farfetched fantasy that it could work in the UK (because, like Iceland, it’s a magical island kingdom separated from the evil, evil world by floating rings of fire).

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Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves. –  Eric Hoffer

Another round of short articles which examine topics we’ve raised before; this time, purely by coincidence, they’re all about propaganda (the first good and the rest bad).

Election Day (November 2nd)

In November I told you about a proposed law in the state of New York which would prohibit police and prosecutors from using condoms as “evidence of prostitution”.  Well, apparently the vote on it must be getting close because the Sex Workers Project recently released this public service announcement encouraging people to contact their representatives to urge their support for the measure.  As I wrote in the previous column, this is important even to those of us who don’t live in New York because if it passes there, “health advocacy groups will no doubt try it in other civil-rights-friendly legislatures and even cops in other states may abandon the procedure for fear that prostitutes’ defense attorneys may use the proven legal arguments which established those laws in challenges elsewhere.”

Welcome To Our World (January 20th)

Here’s another example of others (in this case, porn again) having to deal with the same kind of ridiculous attacks, bogus statistics and character assassination as we whores have to; it was published in Huffington Post on February 18th:

No conclusive data exists on the harm pornography does directly to the men (or women) who view it, or to the partners of men (or women) who view it.  It seems unlikely that such data ever will come to be.  It’s been four decades since the…[President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography] found no connection between violent behavior and consumption of pornography, but then-president Richard Nixon — much like today’s radical feminists — summarily rejected that conclusion because it didn’t fit his personal ideology.  After 40 years promoting a movement devoid of scientific evidence, anti-porn activists are becoming increasingly desperate for ways to persuade the unconvinced public that sex on film is our greatest cultural threat.  Consequently, their arguments are increasingly ludicrous.  The most recent example is courtesy of Gail Dines and her horror over young ladies’ pubic grooming habits.

In a piece for The Guardian…Dines…claim[s] that (presumably straight) young women who don’t want to have sex simply don’t shave…know[ing] their porn-accustomed male dates will be so horrified by pubic hair that consenting to get naked…is…out of the question…such a convoluted tale renders college-attending young women into pitiful, self-hating shells unable to defend themselves from the second-hand tyranny of the dominant porn aesthetic…

This is Gail Dines. Any guesses why she hates porn?

…Is this what feminism looks like, the sober assertion that when women old enough to legally marry, drive and vote decide that “saying no is too difficult,” our best response is to outlaw sex on film?…Anti-porn activists do not want a more inclusive, egalitarian, respectful sex industry.  They want no sex industry at all, and they’ll say whatever they think will bring about such an outcome.  To claim that eliminating sexually explicit material makes young women more comfortable with their bodies and more empowered to make decisions about their sexual lives is insultingly facile.  But as sex educators have pointed out, Dines’s goal is…to create moral panic…but in an age when female adult performers have their own Twitter feeds, blogs and memoirs to affirm their lucidity and free will, it’s much harder to press the old “all women in porn are abused victims!” lie that dominated discourse in the 1980s…

…In [Gail Dines’] world, women are not human beings capable of asserting their own preferences or declining to conform to the preferences of others.  They are completely cowed by men and they only derive confidence from conforming to the most stringent of male requirements.  I have a hard time believing many porn films are more misogynistic than that grotesque disavowal of female intelligence, capability and self-respect.  And I have a hard time trusting someone who thinks so little of women with making decisions about what policies are best for furthering women’s development.

Change a few words and names, and it’s about anti-prostitution fanatics; the last paragraph barely needs to be changed at all.

A Manufactured War (January 23rd)

It looks as though CNN is still channeling the spirit of William Randolph Hearst; the only way I can see for them to sink any lower would be to pay for their own Schapiro Group “study” or hire actresses to portray “rescued sex slaves” for the cameras.

Maggie in the Media (February 3rd)

Most of you probably read Pete Kotz’s article about the Super Bowl hooker invasion myth for which Yours Truly was interviewed (and if you haven’t, why not?)  Well, his follow-up appeared Monday night and though I’m not mentioned in it, it’s every bit as entertaining as the first and well worth your time and commentary!

Life Imitates Artifice (February 15th)

In the referenced column I pointed out that, while trafficking hysterics don’t do a damned thing for real sex slaves, their propaganda inspires creeps and criminals.  And as I recently discovered on this Russian news website, it also makes us look pretty bad internationally (especially in countries whose journalists were conditioned for decades not to question their sources).  Good going, trafficking fanatics!  Let’s see how much more damage you can do before you’re swept into the dustbin of history along with all the previous witch hunts.

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Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble. –  Samuel Johnson

On Sunday I wrote a little about this article from The Dallas News of February 7th, and promised to say more about it today.  This time I’ll reproduce it as it appeared (though slightly edited for length) with interpolated comments, saving my main point for the end.

A felon from Austin forced a teenage girl and her adult sister to come work as prostitutes in Dallas because “there was big money to be made during Super Bowl,” according to police documents.  But Dallas police say they busted Anthony Ladell Winn, 35, before the sisters, ages 14 and 20, arranged any weekend dates.  “We’re very proud of the work on this one,” said Sgt. Byron Fassett of the Dallas Police Child Exploitation Squad.  “Any time that we can identify a child victim on the street involved in this, it is exceptional work, quite frankly.  It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”  Winn was arrested early Sunday on felony charges of attempting to compel prostitution by force and trafficking of persons…

You’ve gotta love the way cops like to pretend their own job is harder than it is so they can then pat themselves on the back for doing it.  Cops see a 14-year-old girl streetwalking and get her to cooperate so they can catch her pimp, and then pretend some Holmesian deduction was involved.  This “needle in a haystack” poppycock of course also provides a ready-made excuse for all the imaginary traffickers they didn’t catch on account of their not actually existing.

Area authorities had been bracing for a possible influx of prostitutes and human trafficking victims in the run-up to Super Bowl XLV.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and the FBI pledged additional resources devoted to combating human trafficking last week.  Authorities say it can be extremely difficult to accurately measure whether such crimes spike and why.  However, early indications in Dallas are that there was not an obvious increase in reported prostitution cases, perhaps due in part to the icy and cold conditions, police said.

Yeah, that must be it.  Pimps spent all kind of money to “traffick” thousands of enslaved hookers into Dallas but didn’t bother to send them out on the streets because it was too cold.  “It can be extremely difficult to accurately measure…such crimes,” but that didn’t stop cops and officials from making ludicrous predictions despite the fact that no such spike has ever been recorded around a major sporting event anywhere in the world.

Dallas police reported 23 adult prostitution arrests from Wednesday through Sunday, though they noted they do not know how many were related to the festivities or people surrounding the Super Bowl.  “We didn’t see that as being a drastic increase in our normal enforcement numbers,” said Assistant Chief Tom Lawrence.  “We were trying to focus much more heavily on the locations where we thought there’d be a high level of parties, activities related to the Super Bowl.”

“Areas where there’d be a high level of parties?”  WTF?  I mean seriously, what is that even supposed to mean?  Restaurants?  Bars?  People’s hotel rooms spread all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area?  And what did that “focus” involve, sending out cops to look for women strolling around the stadium in high heels, fishnets and miniskirts in subzero temperatures?  I can tell you how many of those 23 prostitution arrests were “related” to the Super Bowl:  Zero.  They were just plain old streetwalker busts which happened to occur the same week.  The big talkers in Arlington were too embarrassed to admit their prostitution arrest figures until yesterday:  32 total “prostitution-related” arrests (note the attempt to pad the number to 59 by quoting 2½ weeks at one time), which obviously includes clients since only 22 were hookers and 3 “pimps” (possibly drivers or boyfriends).  Only 13 of the 59 were from out of town and NONE were juveniles.  Imagine that.

…For Fassett, whose squad handles sex crimes involving juveniles, the Winn case was the only arrest of its kind thought to be related to the Super Bowl.  “I don’t know that I saw on the street level any more activity than any other normal night that we would have run an operation,” said Fassett.  He acknowledged that “there’s no real statistical data to prove it one way or the other.”

But that didn’t stop us from uttering grandiose prophesies of hordes of hookers descending on the Metroplex like a Biblical plague, of course.  Obviously, Mr. Fassett doesn’t  understand advanced concepts like “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

Investigators believe Winn met the sisters in Austin [and] had been prostituting the older sister for about a year and the younger sister for about a month…a few days ago, Winn and the older sister got into an argument because the woman did not want Winn prostituting her younger sister anymore…Winn punched the 20-year-old woman in the face and bit her twice on the arm, police said.  He then told the women “they were going to Dallas to prostitute for him” during the Super Bowl and that “there were men that would spend a lot,” the documents said.  Winn drove the women to the city Saturday morning, rented a northwest Dallas hotel room and sent them out to engage in prostitution.  He told them all the money they made would go to him, the documents said.  Dallas patrol officers came in contact with the sisters Saturday and investigators ran a sting operation on Winn, police said…

So, what gave this pimp wannabe the idea that “there was big money to be made during Super Bowl,” and “there were men that would spend a lot” on streetwalkers?  Any guesses?  It certainly wasn’t personal experience, nor anything he learned from the “organized crime” with which he obviously was not affiliated.  What gave him these ridiculous ideas was the constant media repetition of them.  In other words the trafficking fanatics, by their constant reiteration of the “Super Bowl as sex trafficking Mecca” mythology, put the notion into this violent loser’s otherwise-empty head.  Congratulations, trafficking fetishists; all the money and effort you expended on spreading your lies actually accomplished something:  You inspired a pimp to traffick an underage girl to the Super Bowl.  The same mechanism was obviously at work in the minds of the fanatics who staged this little escapade, paraphrased from a report in the Washington Times of February 1st:

A Planned Parenthood manager in Perth Amboy, New Jersey was secretly videotaped by an anti-abortion activist posing as a pimp supposedly trying to hide his “underage sex ring”.  A group calling itself “Live Action” was behind the scam, in which the “pimp” was accompanied by a woman who claimed to be a prostitute; the “pimp” claimed to be interested in obtaining abortions for girls around 14 or 15 years old who speak no English.  The clinic manager, identified only as “Ms. Woodruff”, gave advice to the fake “pimp”, saying “so long as they just lie … we just kind of play it stupid,” and explaining that they look past this because these girls still need the help, even if they are underage.

Planned Parenthood employees reported the visit to their higher management as soon as the “pimp” left, and according to a February 1st statement by Phyllis Kinsler, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey, “on that same day, prior to learning that these visits had also occurred in other states, the local Planned Parenthood affiliate notified local law enforcement in New Jersey.”  Upon learning that at least 12 more of its clinics have had instances where men have come in with similar stories involving sex-trafficking, the organization contacted the FBI.

But that didn’t stop “Live Action” from posting the edited video on its website and claiming it was evidence that Planned Parenthood facilitates “sex trafficking”.  Kinsler said that despite the lack of any “cover-up” as alleged by the activists, “the behavior of our employee, as portrayed on the video, if accurate, violates PPCNJ policies, as well as our core values of protecting the welfare of minors and complying with the law, and appropriate action is being taken.”

As it turned out, the audio was doctored and the manager did nothing wrong. Trafficking fetishists aren’t doing anything to help real victims, but their omnipresent mythology is beginning to inspire various unscrupulous creeps to attempt to live out a sexual fantasy of being “pimps” with enslaved “hos”, either in earnest as in the Dallas case or as part of the same kind of bogeyman deception practiced by the “trafficking” fanatics themselves.  I’m sure they must be proud of themselves; on a small scale at least, they’re beginning to make their warped vision of the world a reality.

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