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Posts Tagged ‘Madonna/whore’

I was a sex worker in the 1980s.  My abusive ex-husband used this against me to legally kidnap my two daughters, and of course poisoned them against me.  Well, my now-middle-aged daughter contacted me recently after many years; she is angry at me for “bringing disgusting men into our apartment” and wants to know how I could “do such a thing”.  At the same time, she expressed concern and compassion and practically apologized for hurting me.  I know this comes from my ex and the cultural stigma around sex work, but I don’t know what to say to her.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This is a very tough situation, and I’m sorry you are having to go through this for a chance at healing the rift with your daughter.  I think the best way to start a dialogue with her would be to write her a letter or email, briefly explaining that because of stigma a lot of lies are told about our work, and it’s actually not the horrible thing she imagines.  You can then include some links to a few good resources, so if she really wants to understand she can read or watch those resources in her own time and without all the emotion that would certainly result if you tried to explain it yourself, especially since she does not trust you.  Tell her that you have never stopped loving her and would like a relationship with her, and that you think this is the best way to help her understand.  If you try to explain it yourself, she’ll just keep interrupting and you will get upset, and nothing will be accomplished.  But if she is at least introduced to the idea that sex work is not what she thinks it is, I think you’ll have a lot better chance of getting her to listen to you.  The initial message has to come from someone she doesn’t know, who has no motivation to lie.  My blog is one resource, but I’m sure you can find others (videos and such) which will help.  If you need, I can suggest resources that specifically focus on the issue of courts abducting sex workers’ kids.  Also:  this has got to be stressful for you; do you have any friends who know your past, who can support you through this?  You need to have someone you can trust close by.

Good luck, and please let me if I can help in any other way.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Perhaps being a victim of privacy invasion will help Jeff Bezos realize the evils of what his company is enabling.  –  Glenn Greenwald

Rough Trade 

Despite this being an insultingly-low sentence, it’s doubtful he’d be convicted at all in the US:

A man has been sentenced to a suspended jail term after he raped a Canberra sex worker during an appointment…Aaron John Miller…and the woman agreed…[on a 2-hour] session…[with] various extra services…The woman explicitly said she would not permit a particular activity.  However, during the appointment Miller went outside the bounds of their agreement…Police identified him through his credit card and when interviewed he said he had engaged in the offensive conduct because he got carried away [while drunk]…

Theatrics (#765) 

Fake “sex trafficking” ads dreamed up by prohibitionists demonstrate the depravity of their lurid masturbatory fantasies about our lives and work.  Here’s one a reader recently captured in Atlanta airport.  Note that the white girl in the fake “ad” appears to be about 11, and that the hand of the “client” is dark-skinned.  “Sex trafficking” mythology is rooted in racism, and racism still permeates the sick minds of those obsessed with it.

Little Boxes (#792)

Court rules that a law which allows cops to arrest women but not men “does not discriminate based on gender”:

…the New Hampshire Supreme Court…upheld the convictions of three women who were arrested for going topless on a beach in 2016.  In the 3-to-2 ruling, the court decided that a city ordinance in Laconia, N.H., that bars women [but not men] from exposing their nipples did not discriminate based on gender…

The Course of a Disease (#799)

While the US medical establishment obediently parrots “sex trafficking” hysteria, European medical groups are increasingly following the lead of Médecins du Monde, The Lancet and UNAIDS:

[UK] nurses are calling for prostitution to be decriminalised.  They argue sex workers are more likely to access health care such as regular STI checks.  And they would be able to report violent clients to police without fear of arrest…Bristol nurse Lou Cahill has ensured it will be debated at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in May.  Her motion seeks to decriminalise the trade…[and] the union will demand a law change if the motion is passed…

Worse Than I Thought (#819)

You just can’t keep an out-of-control prohibitionist down:

…Lauren Book’s human trafficking bill had [an idiotic] idea: allow [opportunists] to sue [whichever] hotels [had the deepest pockets by claiming they once had sex there]…[Obviously] the powerful hotel lobby [had no choice but] to kill [something that would’ve allowed unscrupulous lawyers to treat them as ATMs, but]…Book…is back with a new version of the bill…[which] does not include allowing [opportunistic nuisance lawsuits]…but…does require hotels [to indocrinate] their employees [in misogynistic surveillance techniques]…and…Creates a registry of [people who have consensual sex or are related in any way to sex workers]…

The War Goes On (#867) 

I hope you amateurs are enjoying the changes to the internet your silence helped to create:

…As the use of online dating sites continues to increase, so will opportunities for unsuspecting people to be tricked into dangerous situations by human traffickers.  But the companies that own and operate these sites can do something about it.  We are gathering signatures to petition the Match Group, owners of the popular dating sites, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, and more, to implement [surveillance] features to help keep [magical ninja pimps] off of their platform…sex traffickers have long learned it’s [sic] benefits for tricking young people into sexual exploitation…

Yes, Polaris (with pigs in tow, as usual) is now coming after your dating apps and websites.  Because though it usually starts with us, it never stops with us.

Vendetta (#868)

Another pogrom to enable a sociopathic billionaire’s twisted psychodrama:

A nationwide [entrapment pogrom] intended to curb [consensual] sex…by targeting [peaceful] people trying to [arrange consensual] sex netted more than 390 arrests since last month, 38 of them in Cook County.  The [bizarrely-named] National Johns Suppression Initiative, the 17th [pogrom] of its kind since 2011, spanned 14 states and ran from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3…[pigs] placed [fake] ads on “more than a dozen…websites [people use to arrange consensual sex with other adults]”…and…led to at least 372 [peaceful men] arrested nationwide, including 21 charged with soliciting a [cop pretending to be an adult woman engaged in ageplay]…another 23 people arrested during the sting are also facing human trafficking charges [for being associates of sex workers.  At least] thirty-five [sex workers] were [also arrested]…

Elephant in the Parlor (#872) 

As long as transactional sex is criminalized and stigmatized, it will be used as a weapon against women:

Since August 17, [Maria] Butina has been [cag]ed at the Alexandria Detention Center…she spent her 30th birthday in solitary confinement, in…a seven-by-ten-foot room with a steel door, cement bed, and two narrow windows, each three inches wide.  She has been allowed outside for a total of 45 minutes.  On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation.  She faces a possible five-year sentence in federal prison…But…The government’s case against Butina is extremely flimsy and appears to have been driven largely by a desire for publicity.  In fact, federal prosecutors were forced to retract the most attention-grabbing allegation in the case—that Butina used sex to gain access and influence…Despite the lack of evidence…prosecutors—abetted by an uncritical media willing to buy into the idea of a Russian agent infiltrating conservative political circles—were intent on getting a win…

If Men Were Angels (#897) 

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s teaching kids to blindly submit to authority:

Debbie Vasquez…was 14…when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger [Texas]…It was the first of many assaults that…destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant…In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers…Southern Baptist leaders rejected nearly every proposed reform.  The abusers haven’t stopped.  They’ve hurt hundreds more…In the decade since Vasquez’s appeal…more than 250 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes…since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct…They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches…Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.  About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending…More than 100 are registered sex offenders.  Some still work in Southern Baptist churches today…

Pyrrhic Victory (#903) 

While Amazon keeps supporting the fascist surveillance state, Bezos demands his privacy be exempt:

…Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos…published emails in which the [National] Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress…unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.  In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults that is the business of nobody other than those involved and their spouses.  But that’s not the world in which we live…The prospect of naked selfies of Bezos would obviously generate intense media coverage and all sorts of adolescent giggling and sanctimonious judgments…The…Enquirer  was…actively devoted to Donald Trump’s election…while Bezos, as the owner of the steadfastly anti-Trump Washington Post, is viewed by Trump as a political enemy…the NSA, FBI [and] other agencies…have a long…history of [such spying], which is why…Democratic adoration for those agencies, and the recent bipartisan further empowerment of them, was so disturbing…one of the stories we were able to report using the Snowden documents…is an active NSA program to collect…browsing records of porn site and sex chats, of people regarded by the U.S. Government as radical…in order to use their online sex habits to destroy their reputations.  This is what and who the NSA, CIA and FBI are…[which is] deeply ironic…because Amazon…is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive…surveillance state.  Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons…

Top Cop

Kamala Harris is now telling her brainwashed fans that she was a “progressive” prosecutor:

The 1990s were among the most punishing decades in the recent  history of American justice.  Zealous prosecutors competed to put the most people behind bars, and politicians were eager to pass new laws to extend sentences.  In San Francisco, Terence Hallinan was one of the only prosecutors in America bucking the trend.  A legendary civil rights activist, defense attorney…and…outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization, Hallinan rode a wave of discontent…to become San Francisco district attorney in 1995.  He swiftly fired senior prosecutors…and called drug use a victimless crime…Yet Hallinan…was expelled in 2003 after just two terms in office, despite San Francisco’s notorious liberal bent.  An up-and-coming young career prosecutor named Kamala Harris…carefully cultivated a base of support among [cops]…wealthy donors, and [other authoritarians]…Far from the “smart on crime” mantra she touted in her successful bid to become California’s attorney general…Harris’s first campaign reflected familiar tactics in an era of booming mass incarceration…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

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

San Francisco’s government does not own an all-seeing network of surveillance cameras that watch people as they go about their daily business.  However…if officialdom wants to find out what people have been up to, it has access to thousands upon thousands of surveillance cameras that record exactly that.  In many cases, private residents and businesses installed these cameras themselves and offered access to [the pigs]…the modern surveillance state…is largely driven by good intentions, private fears, and innovative entrepreneurs vying for government contracts.  A map and dataset of 2,753 cameras owned by private and public operators in San Francisco was published last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)….”The District Attorney refused to reveal the locations of an additional 510 cameras,” notes EFF…A small number…are official government surveillance cameras…a few are [repurposed] red-light cameras…Two hundred and forty-nine of the cameras are maintained by the Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID)…But the vast majority—2,406 never-blinking lenses—[we]re…installed by private businesses, individuals, and associations…

Stupor Bowl (#912)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

…[prohibitionist propaganda claimed] Atlanta was supposed to be a bastion of sex during Super Bowl week, with both…sex work…and sex trafficking…on the rise.  Yet sex workers say that [as is typical for sex mega sports events] neither seemed to be occurring at higher levels than usual in Atlanta.  The lack of sex trafficking wasn’t surprising:  The claim that sex trafficking increases during the Super Bowl is a manytimesbusted myth.  But I wondered why sex workers weren’t raking in the cash.  According to them, the sex trafficking stings, particularly an FBI anti-trafficking operation in beginning on Jan. 23, were partly to blame…

Only partly; I can assure younger sex workers that the Super Bowl and similar events have never been good for business, for reasons that should be obvious.

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The rescue industry is a deeply misogynistic enterprise which…polices the behaviour of women under the guise of saving us.  –  Eleanor Janega

Real People 

The more sex workers come out like this, the better for everyone:

The people that make the porn that a lot of us watch are sick of you pretending that you’re better than them.  Michele James especially is sick of it.  “We are cast out into the shadows…if I could bring a person who didn’t do sex work on set for a day, for them to see what we actually go through, they would realize it’s a job too and we deserve respect, the same as CEOs, and everybody else who goes to work 9-5.”  James…sees part of her responsibility to the industry she loves is helping to destigmatize the performers who make it…she is passionate about her industry; and she gives exactly zero fucks what you think about that…

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A…High School student in the Florida Keys is facing 15 years in prison and life as a registered sex offender for continuing to date his 15-year-old girlfriend after he turned 18 in December…numerous people, including the girl’s parents, his parents and two sheriff’s office deputies, [warned] Tucker [that the shamans of the booga-booga gods would be angry he was violating the Shazam magic, but] the two continued to see each other…[and] the girl’s mother [decided to destroy her] relationship [with her daughter by ratting them out to] the…school [pig]…cops [then eavesdropped on a private conversation and congratulated themselves for destroying a young man’s life]…

The Crumbling Dam (#739) 

Seattle’s vocal harm magnification community is still going strong:

[Shilo] Jama has spent his career advocating for drug users.  With his work at the [People’s Harm Reduction Alliance], he runs syringe distribution sites, including a drop-in site in the U District…They have a nurse practitioner on site who prescribes medications like Suboxone, which helps with withdrawal symptoms…Over the years, Jama has helped countless people who use drugs, but his efforts aren’t exactly appreciated by everyone.  In December, flyers featuring a photograph of his face started popping up in the University District and elsewhere in North Seattle…The flyer accuses Jama (who legally changed his last name from Murphy a few years ago to honor the family that raised him) of “enabling and encouraging harmful behavior that has caused many deaths”…The flyer claims that Jama, his organization, and the U District needle distribution site are a danger to the public, but according to public health experts, harm reduction projects like Jama’s do reduce overdose deaths and other public health issues…The flyer also says that the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle City Council are “almost powerless” to prosecute Jama and lists a phone number for the FBI’s Seattle office, encouraging people to call and report him…Jama…suspects [the source] was members of Safe Seattle, an organization that, among other issues, advocates against safe injection sites…

The Notorious Badge (#760)

This does a good job of synopsizing my discomfort with The Deuce:

The Deuce uses its promise to reveal the behind-closed-doors happenings of sex work to argue relentlessly for the regulation and oversight of the industry…it is nervous about the way it represents sex work, anxious to inform but not to titillate.  In pinpointing…sex-work…as a “secret,” however, and then exposing it through a surveillance-cum-safety structure, the show satisfies an intellectual craving for knowledge that echoes the pleasures of pornography…[it] takes care to pat viewers on the back, framing their pleasure as different from that of the porn viewer.  Through gridline-marked shots of pornography in the making, for example, The Deuce allows viewers to indulge in pornographic voyeurism under the guise of cautionary surveillance.  At the same time, it frames their viewing position as a sanctimonious one…

“Regulation and oversight” = “legalization”, which only politicians and cops want.  Sex workers, human rights groups, medical groups and academics who have studied our work all recognize decriminalization, not “regulation” by outsiders, as the best model for everyone.

Checklist (#811)

Despite some pandering to “sex trafficking” beliefs, this isn’t a bad article about “signs of sex trafficking” indocrination:

…every year…ahead of the Super Bowl…anti-prostitution [crusaders]…campaign [to indocrinate]…everyone from hospitality employees to Uber drivers…in…anti-[sex worker propaganda such as the claim that]…as many as 40.3 million people were “in modern slavery in 2016”, up more than 5 million compared to five years ago.  And in 2014, the 35.8 figure rose by 6 million people in just a year…the…figures are so alluringly extreme [because profiteers]…are often under pressure from poli[tician]s into producing overestimated figures…crusades of this nature are not…concerned with accuracy, as appearing to be leading the charge against [consensual sex]…hotel chains like Marriott have been reported as looking out for women travelling alone and sexually provocative clothing as signs of…sex…[work, which makes it clear that] consenting adult sex workers [are]…being targeted…

Unfortunately, Lyft may not be a safe alternative to Uber for much longer:

…we are working to help raise awareness and taking action to prevent human trafficking.  Through partnerships with [prohibitionist] organizations like…Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), we are [indoctrinating] drivers…on how to spot [escorts] and [rat them out to the pigs]…

Original Sin (#824) 

A new statement from a man who says men who seek consensual sex with women are “criminals with a sick mentality”:

Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves…his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.  It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.  He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”…

Rooted in Racism (#854)

More European government humanitarianism to “fight human trafficking”:

…[it has been] two years since Italy, backed by the EU, did a deal to spend tens of millions of euros funding the Libyan coastguard, which intercepts boats heading for Italy and returns refugees and migrants to a war zone…detainees in nine different detention centres…use hidden phones to reveal what’s going on at huge risk to themselves.  EU [politicians] continue to promote the idea that arrivals in Europe  and deaths at sea are dropping.  But…thousands of men, women, and children…speak of going days without food and of drinking toilet water to survive.  Some have stopped speaking, forgotten their families, sit crouched in a corner and wet themselves from trauma…Couples are separated – some of the roughly 640 detained children are held with their mothers, though those over 14 are kept in adult cells…infected detainees are locked with others in a dark room and have been repeatedly left without tuberculosis medication…In October, a 28-year-old Somali set himself on fire…after saying he saw no other way out.  In early January dozens of refugees and migrants, brought by the coastguard to the Libyan port city of Khoms, were forced back to smugglers by Libyan [cops]…[and] now risk torture if they can’t raise an the $5,000 ransom that has already been demanded…

Feminine Pragmatism (#891) 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

Increasing numbers of public sector workers are [making the pragmatic decision] to [do] sex work due to austerity measures and welfare cuts…a leading campaigning group…says more women in public sector roles are doing sex work to top up their income due to employers making no allowances for the fact they have children…the organisation, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), [has] release[d] a new report comparing sex work with other jobs commonly done by women.  The report found sex workers earn significantly more per hour than women working in the other jobs – including those in public sector positions such as nurses and midwives.  Women cited higher wages as their primary reason for entering the sex industry…

Case Study (#892) 

One day, reporters will get that “people sublet flats” is not news:

A special constable and his Hungarian wife have been jailed for [rent]ing [flats to] women from Hungary [in] a Chelsea apartment block [nicknam]ed “10 Floors of Whores”.  Karl Ring and Ivett Szuda…[arranged sex workers’ travel on] the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air to fly women into London from Budapest as they made more than £600,000 [over several years] from [subletting flats]…Szuda…[will be locked in a cage] for six and a half years, while Ring…[will be] locked up for four years…the couple [charged sex workers 50% of their fees, a fairly typical rate for brothels]…Judge Robin Johnson [bloviated a lot of pompous, moralistic nonsense about “exploitation”, ignoring the fact that] the sex workers were happy with the arrangement…

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

The villains here aren’t imaginary “trafficking rings”; they’re the fucking politicians who force desperate people to deal with criminals to have a chance to escape hell:

Traffickers are targeting desperate young women in Venezuela by flying them to the Costas to [do lucrative, flexible work]…at least 208,000 have fled the crisis-hit country in the hope of a better life in Spain.  Nearly all of those have travelled on official three month tourists visas which are readily available as Venezuela was once a Spanish colony.  However, a flight costs £1,000 which is a fortune in a land where a cup of coffee costs a month’s wages thanks to hyperinflation of 80,000 per cent…This is when the heartless trafficking gangs of Caracas are stepping in and [giving people a chance to escape despite politicians’ efforts to keep them trapped in Venezuela]…SICAR Cat, a religious organisation that pro[fits from hysteria over]…sex trafficking, [pretends these women are ignorant children who don’t know what sex work is, and calls their jobs]…modern day slavery…Venezuela’s economic mix of unemployment, poverty and inflation has created the perfect conditions for [mass emigration] to flourish…

These stories sure sound stupid when the hype is replaced by objective language, don’t they?

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#905)

Indian sex workers are chipping away at the prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…four organisations…have released a report which states that close to 77% women voluntarily return to sex work after their rescue into shelter homes…the National Network for Sex Workers Association (NNSWA) and UMKO, Saheli – HIV/RAIDS Karyakarta Sangh, SANGRAM and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), have released a report “Raided – How Anti-Trafficking Strategies Increase Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to Exploitative Practices”…79% of the women documented in the study returned to sex work – “escaping” their rescue from shelter homes, while almost 11% of the women continued to live in these homes…Kusum, President [of the] All India Network of Sex Workers explained the “horrific” condition of shelter homes and why women want to escape it…“There is no food to eat, and when there is food it is insect infested which makes people sick.  No health care to take care of inhabitants…and even if that was provided the stigma that exists towards HIV persons within these homes is bad enough to kill someone well before their time”…the report contests the…present understanding that most women in the flesh trade are trafficked women ‘pushed into prostitution’…These homes manifest an environment of isolation and deprive the women of identity and income…

The Indian media is so thoroughly brainwashed by prohibitionists that even in an article citing statistics debunking prohibitionist mythology, the reporter feels compelled to put the word “escape” (from a literal prison) in scare quotes, and also scare-quotes the word “horrific” (used to describe conditions any decent person would agree are horrific), while omitting scare quotes from the word “rescue” when used to mean “arrest”.  He also uses “live in” to mean “remain imprisoned in”, and “present understanding” to mean “popular myth”.  It’s going to be a long, uphill battle.

Pyrrhic Victory (#906) 

Please, masters, don’t use this tool we made you in exactly the way it was designed to be used“:

Amazon unveiled new proposed guidelines…for any national legislation regulating facial recognition technology…civil rights groups and privacy advocates…criticized Amazon’s Rekognition contracts with law enforcement agencies, [absurdly concentrating on the] point…that the technology has misidentified people of color [rather than recognizing that high accuracy is even worse for privacy]…Amazon…responded [with the lie that]…”In the two-plus years we’ve been offering Amazon Rekognition, we have not received a single report of misuse by law enforcement”…The proposals from Amazon focus mainly on ensuring that law enforcement uses the technology [to surveil citizens more] effectively and without [being less able to identify] minorities.  “New technology should not be banned or condemned because of its potential misuse,” Amazon said in [typical tech-geek morally imbecilic fashion]…”Instead, the…[overlords] should be [free to do whatever they like]…and…that the[ir ability to oppress the citizens with the] technology…is continuously enhanced.”  Amazon said any national legislation should ensure facial recognition technology [is profitable for]…Amazon…and…governments [alike]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#912) 

Kaytlin Bailey responds to drama some want to whip up against “Decriminalize Sex Work”:

We are disappointed in [Emily Shugerman’s] editorial choice to focus on Rob Kampia in your February 3rd, 2019 [Daily Beast] article titled, “Rob Kampia Weed Activist With #MeToo Past, Is Now Pushing Sex Work Reform”.  By focusing on Rob’s past instead of our efforts to decriminalize sex work, you reduced a rich and vibrant movement to one man’s conduct.  You have also diminished the contributions of the women on our team, who have devoted decades to this cause in order to center the only man among our directors.  You minimized our accomplishments and our mission by publishing a piece that misrepresents not only our organization but the entire sex worker rights movement…whose voices are historically absent from all media reporting.  Yet, you wrote about Rob…To call our life’s work a “vanity project”…is an insult and a willful misrepresentation of who we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what we’re trying to do.  To suggest that allowing Rob Kampia to use his extensive network of donors and political resources to further our work is a betrayal of the sex worker rights movement is to minimize the diversity and breadth of this work, and to minimize the need for change.  We can focus on Rob, or we can talk about the immense harms of criminalization…

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If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?  –  Catherine Gaffney

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

An upscale New York City eatery has been accused of discriminating against women by a branding executive who wrote a personal essay…saying she was banned from eating at the restaurant’s bar.  Clementine Crawford…didn’t name the establishment in her essay for Drugstore Culture, but later confirmed…that the restaurant is Nello…she…was…informed…that [women are] “no longer permitted to eat” at the bar and “must now sit down at a table”…[because] the “owner had ordered a crackdown on hookers” who he believed preyed on clients at the bar…

A Mound of Filth 

With her husband decomposing, “Cuckoo Clock” McCain is doubling down on her creepy BDSM fantasies:

…the Phoenix Dream Center [makes] a…profit…[from] sex-trafficking [hysteria]…Cindy McCain…[claims] Arizona is a major hub for human trafficking around the world…[and] less than 2 percent of human trafficking victims are ever identified…McCain said her [fantasies of] human traffic started years ago, when she shopped for sari fabric for her daughter in Kolkata, India.  She heard clattering from beneath…She looked down, peering through the floorboards.  “I saw 100 sets of eyes – and they were little girls”…[she] went back to her nice home and…later [added] the [creepy fantasy of 100 prepubescent girls crammed into a basement]…to [her spank bank]…

Broken Record (#506)

The once-thriving competition for silliest “sex trafficking magnet” tall tale has been reduced mostly to pathetic reruns of years-old fantasies:

The North American International Auto Show brings a lot of people to Detroit.  But that’s not the only thing that comes to the city during the annual event.  “During that timeframe, we’re known to have a 280 to 330 percent increase in the number of sex trafficking workers that are in the area,” said Michael Glennon, with the FBI in Detroit …”We’re likely going to have approximately 30 to 40 children that are going to be trafficked just within the greater Detroit area,” he said…

We of course “know” exactly the opposite of this, and the approximate number of “sex trafficked children” in Detroit is much closer to zero than 30.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#795)

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

A group of Arizona [politicians] have filed a resolution denouncing pornography as a “public health crisis”…[which]…is responsible for a variety of deleterious effects on society and the individual…”and…perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society”…

Amusingly, the lone Democratic sponsor of the bill now claims that…

…he accidentally put his name on the resolution when it was among a stack of other bills…”I’m almost embarrassed to say I inadvertently signed that bill,” [Reginald] Bolding said.  He has been working with the bill’s primary sponsor, Representative Michelle Udall, on several other items of legislation, which is how the pornography resolution ended up on his desk.  After Bolding [was exposed] on social media…as a co-sponsor, he had his name removed from the bill…”I’m not even sure about the origins of the bill,” Bolding said…

I can help you with that last one, Mr. Bolding; 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.

Unchristian Nation

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

A federal judge…found four women guilty of misdemeanors after they [violated political diktats and] entered a national wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border to leave water and food for migrants…the…women were aid volunteers for No More Deaths, an advocacy group dedicated to ending the deaths of migrants crossing desert regions near the southern border…Natalie Hoffman…was found guilty of…operating a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, entering a federally protected wilderness area without a [magical] permit and leaving behind gallons of water and bean cans…[i]n August 2017…Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick …were also charged…Each of the women face up to six months in prison…and a $500 fine…

O, Canada! (#813)

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

Human sex trafficking is the fastest-growing crime in Canada, and North Bay women are being enticed to give it a try.  Girls as young as 13 are being promised cash, pampering in hair and nail salons, as well as health and dental care, but it all comes at a cost – a steep one….“Women forced to service their customers 10 times a day. Women are being threatened, beaten, brainwashed and housed in horrible conditions. They’re poorly fed and drugged,” [moaned fetishist] Carolyn Couchie, [with her hand in her pants]…Couchie [fantasized that one] was housed in a basement with no windows for 10 days, only given water to drink, yet forced to perform for her male clients…Couchie said the girls are seen as a lucrative commodity, earning on average $280,000 annually for their handlers…Couchie and [a sow]…offered [their fantasies about] the world of human sex trafficking…[and cops imagining themselves as spies] who infiltrated the game…[in reality] programs like Northern Spotlight [harass and intimidate] sex worker[s by tricking them], and once they gain entry they [infantilize] women [by giving them] a tote bag with [stuff they can easily buy for themselves]…

Elephant in the Parlor (#831) 

“Prostitution” charges are such useful weapons against uppity women:

A Belarusian model who claimed last year that she had evidence of Russian interference in the election of Donald Trump has been arrested upon her arrival in Moscow following deportation from Thailand…Anastasia Vashukevich was detained…on charges of inducement to prostitution along with three people deported alongside her.  Vashukevich, who has been in a Thai prison since February last year, was given a suspended sentence on [January 15th] and ordered to be deported after she pleaded guilty to soliciting and conspiracy along with several co-defendants in a case related to holding a “sex training” seminar…

Spin Doctor

The word for “partnerships” between government and big corporations is “fascism”:

King County Council launched a campaign with several partners to [disseminate propaganda about sex work]…the council…plans to partner with the Port of Seattle, City of Seattle, Sound Transit, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines for the campaign. [Shahada, King of the Hill]…Washington ranked 13th in the U.S. for most active cases handling human trafficking…Vice-chairman of the council Reagan Dunn…[said] the campaign’s biggest goal was to…drive calls to the national human trafficking hotline…

Naturally that’s the aim, since calls to the “hotline” are the claimed “evidence” to pretend that “sex trafficking” is epidemic.  The more “awareness”, the more calls; fetishists then claim the calls represent “cases”, and feature the numbers in propaganda which increases hysteria & generates more calls. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Changing the Rules

Looks like at least a couple of people at The Hill aren’t asleep at the wheel:

[Politicians]…in the new Congress seem eager to continue a campaign against…the internet…[which] came about in large part because we correctly viewed online intermediaries more like distributors (think bookstores and libraries) than traditional publishers.  But as the Internet evolved, [busybodies] increasingly [resented] this protection …in 2018, Section 230 went from an internet protection law to congressional leverage against “Big Tech” companies.  In a series of hearings last year with various technology executives, Section 230 was blamed for everything from suppression of conservative viewpoints to sex trafficking to the opioid epidemic…these arguments illustrate that many in Congress do not appear to understand how Section 230 works, what it protects, or the potential damage that carving out too many exemptions could do to innovation and free expression online…In the months since SESTA became law, it has become increasingly clear that such carve-outs cannot be contained merely to bad actors.  They have chilling, silencing effects on legitimate and valuable speech…

In case you don’t remember, a previous “opinion contributor” in The Hill (anti-porn group Morality in Media, which recently rebranded to the more authoritative-sounding “National Center on Sexual Exploitation”) put forth the exact bizarre interpretation condemned in this new article as part of an anti-internet, anti-consent, anti-sex, pro-censorship screed.

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

More infantilization of women doing what they must to survive:

…in Guyana…Fiona Hopkinson pleaded not guilty to…charges…that…she trafficked four Venezuelan women for sexual exploitation at the  Diamond Hotel and Night Club…the women, while being questioned by the police, confessed that they were in need of work and Hopkinson had transported them from Venezuela to work as prostitutes…

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Reports’ consistent portrayals of miserable, victimized prostitutes and villainous madams—despite evidence to the contrary—display [prohibitionists’] tireless ideological labors to bring their real-life encounters in line with their…assumptions.  –  Nicolette Severson

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…members of the New York Female Moral Reform Society…visited brothels all over New York City [in 1835-36].  They…[pretended they wanted] to learn…why women [did] sex work and [wanted] to sav[e] them from what they considered a grave sin and social ill…[like modern “sex trafficking” fetishists] members of F.M.R.S…assumed that the women didn’t voluntarily decide to become prostitutes, but that they were seduced and trafficked by men who caused their moral downfall…Those preconceived notions were [and still are] false. Prostitutes…enter…sex work because…[it pays better and is more flexible than the sex workers’ other alternatives], and for many, prostitution [i]s a temporary job.  The reformers were shocked at the high-end brothels they visited.  Fitted with refined furnishings and attractive, accommodating women, these brothels were…similar to the homes middle-class women were expected to keep…No wonder, then, that…the F.M.R.S. reformers used [stereotyped] characters to portray sex workers…[so as] to support their own belief that prostitution meant moral decay and internal misery…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?

The City of Dayton announced a new initiative…aimed at [harming sex workers]…Called Buyer’s Remorse, the campaign will “modernize” the city’s approach to prostitution…It will make the information of anyone [in]…Dayton to [have consensual] sex “very” public [without due process], Mayor Nan Whaley said…Their names and addresses will added to a[n online] map…

I hope the first few men listed on this site have the sense and resources to sue the city and shut the site down.

Feminine Pragmatism 

Lingerie fetishist offers women a pragmatic avenue of harm reduction:

With the shutdown now likely the longest of its kind in US history, furloughed feds are turning to second jobs, side hustles, and Craigslist sales to make an extra buck.  Now one Virginia resident…asks women who “could use several dollars” to send their undergarments—in return for a whopping $120 a pop…

Of course, the amateurs are as gobsmacked as Depression-era rednecks staring up at a skyscraper for the first time.

Under Every Bed

Population 28,486:

…“Humans are the best commodity that there is,” [a prohibitionist salivated]. “Pimps and stuff will tell you that they don’t have to renew their supply, unlike drugs that they have to keep buying more…The average time a person is sold during the year is 1,000 times.”  Sex trafficking is happening throughout the state of West Virginia and in places like Wheeling…Sheriff Tom Howard [fantasized]…“Be very careful with children because it can happen, unfortunately, with the drug epidemic…Any time you see something that looks like a lot of drug activity, there’s probably some kind of human trafficking going on along with it…It happens all throughout the county”…

These people are like living caricatures of self-important hicks.  The “unlike drugs, people can be sold many times” canard is an excuse to keep persecuting members of “gangs”; see “Traffic Jam” below.

The Course of a Disease (#349) 

The Danes just keep emphasizing their disgust with the Swedish model:

Danish Social Minister Mai Mercado…has revealed that the government is looking into improving conditions for sex workers, decrying the dramatic lack of human rights in this field…sex workers don’t enjoy the same rights as those engaged in other vocations, including the right to unemployment insurance payouts and pensions…”Society demands that everyone pay their taxes, including prostitutes, so I think that we are duty-bound to ensure people have basic rights”…Mercado said…Prostitutes are required to register…as their income is taxable, a situation described by Mercado as “taxation without representation”…Citing the experiences of neighbouring countries which…criminalis[e] the procurement of sex, Mai Mercado argued that accepting prostitution instead of trying to ban it is the right approach.  “We have witnessed Sweden’s experiences.  These are really bad.  There is more violence, more insecurity, and it keeps sinking to the underworld.  There is no need for that”, Mercado said…Among other things, [the new approach] will mean that prostitutes will have the right to enroll in an unemployment insurance fund, be entitled to unemployment benefits and be able to earn a pension…

Traffic Jam (#432)

“Sex trafficking” is another excuse to persecute the same groups as always:

…Some [things the government labels] trafficking are prosecuted more heavily than others…Sex trafficking of a minor…carries a statutory minimum of 10 years…[and] maximum…of life in prison.  [Other things labeled] human trafficking…[such as] forcing people to labor for no pay in domestic service, factories, restaurants and so on — have no mandatory minimum…federal prosecutors have behaved accordingly, prosecuting more than twice as many minor sex-trafficking cases as adult sex-trafficking and labor-trafficking cases combined…57 percent of the defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are black — compared with 43 percent in adult sex-trafficking cases and only 18 percent in labor trafficking…The average age of a defendant in a minor sex-trafficking case is 31, while it’s 33 and 40 respectively for adult sex- and labor-trafficking cases…76 percent of defendants in minor sex-trafficking cases are male, while that’s true for only 71 percent and 59 percent of adult sex- and labor-trafficking defendants, respectively.  In other words…the [cases labeled as] trafficking…that carr[y] the highest penalties and [are] most likely to be prosecuted — are significantly more likely to be [against defendants who are] young, black and male…

Eternal Vigilance (#682)

Until prohibition is itself outlawed, decriminalization of any consensual activity is at best a temporary respite:

Tight bylaws limiting where brothels can operate in Queenstown and Wanaka have failed to stop the trade, with sex workers instead using “working girl-friendly” hotels and selling sex from homes…prostitution contributes “hugely” to the district’s economy, but those working in the industry continue to be discriminated against, mocked and marginalised.  The Queenstown Lakes District Council…has kept its towns brothel-less through restrictive and “draconian” bylaws since prostitution was decriminalised in 2003…going as far as banning them altogether in a 2008 bylaw.  The council later reviewed the bylaw because it was potentially at odds with the Prostitution Reform Act, but…[it] is still at odds with the Act…[because] brothels are only allowed to operate within a two-block zone in the town centre…They cannot be on ground level or beneath ground level or have signs advertising the business…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Some helpful figures for countering prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…anti-traffickers often [lie] that the majority of those who sell sex in India are forced or begin when they are underage.  The best available research, however, provides a different picture.  A survey of over 6500 female sex workers in South India aged 15 and above found that the mean age of entrance into sex work was 21.7 years.  The most comprehensive  data set included 3000 sex workers from across the nation.  Of these, 81.59% entered sex work when they were 19 years old or above and 14.53% between 15-18 years.  The Pan India Survey found that across all modes and sites of sex work in India, 79.4% of women entered the trade voluntarily, while 7.1% were forced, 2.8% were sold, and 9.2% were cheated…The term “forced” should only be used in reference to work rendered through physical force, threats, beatings, blackmail, cheating and similarly direct forms of compulsion…If financial urgency were defined as “force”, then the vast majority of the world’s workers would have to be defined as “forced labourers”.  Very few individuals are either entirely free to make unfettered decisions about their means of earning money or are entirely freed from the need to do so…

Business As Usual (#877) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

Stormy Daniels’s July 2018 arrest…by…Columbus [vice pigs]…turned out to be…a pre-planned political stunt by vice detectives — one of whom later bragged about it to colleagues.  Daniels and two others later sued for false arrest.  Then, in August, the [gang] was again in the spotlight because a vice detective [murdered] a sex worker…after…she [resisted his attempt to rape her]…in his unmarked car.  In September, another whistleblower familiar with local strip clubs informed city officials of extortion, selective enforcement and entrapment by the vice [gang], bringing a large package of documents to corroborate the allegations…[then] the chief of the CPD asked the FBI to take over the investigation…and…on September 27, [rapist and murderer] Andrew Mitchell…was [given a paid vacation]…On December 13, the CPD put a third vice detective involved in the sting on desk duty…[and] announced that the vice [gang] will resume limited operations with a “select” [herd] of [pigs], although the FBI probe remains ongoing.  The [gang] will [supposedly] be handling liquor and nuisance complaints at after-hours clubs, instead of spending thousands on drinks and lap dances [while molesting and raping women without consequence]…

Also: “hold accountable” is a moralist shibboleth which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”. It has no place in articles about genuine wrongdoers facing the consequences of their actions.

Monsters (#878) 

Prohibitionists know we’re right about the dangers of criminalization; they just don’t care:

…the [trans sex worker community who work in and around the] sprawling Bois de Boulogne public park in western Paris…has felt considerably less safe since the French government introduced [the Swedish model]…in 2016…as p[redict]ed, clients now regularly ask the women for sex in secluded areas to avoid the police.  In a Médecins du Monde survey conducted with nearly 600 sex workers…63 percent said they have seen their working conditions deteriorate, while 42 percent said they have experienced more violence since the law change…The Paris mayor’s office [even] shut[s] off many of the lights in the park in the evenings as a way to [intentionally increase the danger to sex workers] there…Acceptess-T, an association that advocates on behalf of trans and immigrant sex workers [says] “They are more vulnerable than ever”…

Surplus Women (#896) 

Answer: it’s a rationalization of cop behavior.  Which, admittedly, isn’t easy to tell from serial killer behavior:

Juan David Ortiz, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, pleaded not guilty…to capital murder in the deaths of four women [because they were just whores]…Ortiz [was convinced by government anti-sex propaganda that] it was his duty to clean up the streets of Laredo…so he began picking up alleged sex workers, driving them to remote areas, and then shooting them in the head…Ortiz thought [cops] w[ere]n’t doing enough to stop [adults from having consensual sex] in Laredo, so he believed he was “doing a service” by killing the women…prosecutors are seeking the death penalty because Ortiz’s “vigilante mentality” presents a “future danger to [people who aren’t whores]”…

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Efforts to abolish sex work…since the 1860s have one thing in common—failure!  –  Paul J. Maginn, Raven Bowen, and Maggie O’Neill

Not So Different

If amateur women weren’t so busy trying to ruin sex workers’ lives, they could learn a lot from us:

…Why don’t more people outside the sex industry organize against the dangers of sexual or intimate abuse in the way that sex workers do?  It’s not because sex workers have more resources or support.  In part, it’s because so many women outside the sex industry still believe that [women] are responsible for the abuses committed against them because they stepped outside of respectable behavior and “should have known better”.  Sex-work communities are often more resilient against these messages…Sex-worker feminism shows us that our safety and freedom should never be conditional, and that we have to come together—on the corner, online, at marches, and beyond—to prevent sexual abuse and resist its insidious effects on us…

Scapegoats 

Why doesn’t this say what kind of animal? A goat? A bitch? A hen? An iguana? A carp? A sea urchin? A cockroach?

A Bossier City [cop]…has been arrested for filming himself having sex with an animal…Terry…Yetman’s residence [was searched for undisclosed reasons, possibly involving domestic violence and]…detectives found pornography involving sexual acts with an animal…The investigation is still open and may result in additional charges [if the cops can figure out what kind of animal is involved]…

Fever Dream (#679)

We’re not hearing quite as much of this “highway” bullshit as we used to:

The newly opened Together Cafe…in Chattanooga…is…dedicated to [harassing sex workers]…Every dollar [of profit after the considerable overhead of cafes]…will go toward [creating prohibitionist propaganda]…Chattanooga has become a focal point…for…sex trafficking because of its geographic intersection of Interstates 75, 24 and 59, which provides an easy path for pimps to transport their victims around the Southeast…the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation [repeats the impossible masturbatory fantasy that] that one in four children who run away will be propositioned by a sex trafficker within 48 hours of leaving home and every year 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked for sex…the average age of a child sold for six is 13 years

This is not the first coffee shop “rescue” scam we’ve heard of.  Note that the language about Chattanooga, interstate highways and “pimps” is plagiarized verbatim from pig propaganda at least two years old.

The Crumbling Dam (#849)

I’ll be rather pleased if Philadelphia beats the pompous, priggish politicians of Seattle to the punch:

The international law firm DLA Piper has signed on to represent Safehouse — the nonprofit organization attempting to launch a supervised-injection site in Philadelphia — pro bono…the move gives Safehouse some added clout in the legal fight [against federal prohibitionists]…Although Philadelphia’s mayor and district attorney support the opening of a privately funded supervised-injection site, federal authorities have threatened legal action…DLA Piper’s decision to represent Safehouse “demonstrates there’s an ever-increasing group of lawyers who respectfully disagree with the U.S. Attorney’s position,” said Ronda Goldfein…director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania…DLA Piper, which has offices in 40 countries, is also representing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma…[against a nuisance lawsuit] brought by New Jersey’s attorney general over its marketing of…Oxycontin…

The Widening Gyre (#851)

This article by three academic allies covers a lot of ground, but starts here:

In 2015 British journalist Suzanne Moore wrote a piece lavishing praise on US hip-hop star Nicki Minaj…the…piece…celebrated Minaj’s agency and hypersexuality…[yet] Moore…shudders at the idea that women—especially middle-class women—would engage in real forms of sex work…she…seems to be[lieve] that sex workers come from lower-class backgrounds and lack agency, business acumen and even intellectuality…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…Days after it passed in the lower house of India’s Parliament in July, two United Nations experts said the bill leans too heavily on the criminal justice system.  Without more of a “human-rights based and victim-centred approach,” the UN special rapporteurs on human trafficking and modern slavery warned, India “risks further harming already vulnerable individuals”…In major Indian cities like Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Sangli, sex workers are well organised and politically engaged.  Yet no sex worker groups were consulted during the drafting of the legislation…[which like all “sex trafficking” laws] promotes a dangerous idea that everyone in the sex trade is either a victim or a criminal…

The Widening Gyre (#874) 

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

Posts on Facebook are spreading quickly, claiming women are attempting to lure other people into sex trafficking at stores in the Mid-South…Memphis [Tennessee] and Southaven [Mississippi] police…said no one has made any official reports…One woman [claimed] she was shopping at…Walmart…when she was approached by two women inside the store…[who] the[n]…followed her back home…[yet]…she didn’t call police…[an]other post…shows a picture of two women…[and] claims they were trying to lure women into sex trafficking [by] taking pictures [of women, like the poster did]…

The Course of a Disease (#884)

Everyone knows prohibitionists are mathematically illiterate, but I figured they could at least count to ten:

The Knesset is set to pass a landmark law against prostitut[es]  making hiring sex workers a crime…The new law will make Israel the 10th country to institute what is called the “Nordic Model” of [persecuting sex workers]…the law…offers the Justice Ministry the option of instituting other punishments, such as “John Schools,” meant to [indoctri]ate [people in anti-sex propaganda]…The law…[also] budgets NIS 90 million over the next three years for the [brainwashing] of [captured sex workers]…the “Nordic Model” [was] first adopted in Sweden in 1999.  In recent years, others passed similar laws, including Ireland, France, Canada, Norway and some states in the US…

So far, only Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the two Irelands, France and Canada have adopted the Swedish model; that’s seven, plus one is eight.  And no US states have adopted it, though of course that’s among the smaller lies in this authoritarian screed (another claims the average sex worker dies at 46).

The Red Umbrella (#885) 

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

Alexander Popenkov, who is trained as an MMA fighter, and his wife, Maryana Kayumova, both 25, trolled online sex [worker] ads for victims [to] set…up phony appointments…on victims they [knew would]…be easy targets and vulnerable…Popenkov and Kayumova savagely beat and robbed at least eight women [in Manhattan], most of whom are Russian immigrants…[They] were arrested on charges including burglary and robbery and released on $35,000 bond each.  [Prosecutor] Danbee [Kim] asked [Judge Maxwell] Wiley to hike the defendants’ bail to $500,000, arguing that they had threatened numerous victims to discourage them from coming forward…[but] Wiley [refused because their victims were just whores]…

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The carpet was just pulled out underneath us.  –  Tammy Marie Kruwell

Oops

300 texts does not equate to 300 men, since many guys send a barrage:

A Michigan woman says hundreds of men solicited her for sex within just a couple days…because her number ended up on an escort [advertising] website…Her phone holds nearly 300 texts and some voicemails from men looking for attention.  Susan said she didn’t even know most of the sexual lingo in the texts…one of the texts referenced a website called “Skip the Games”…the family emailed the site administrator numerous times and asked them to take the number down.  They had no success [until they copied a TV station in]…on an email…

First They Came for the Hookers… 

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

The Providence [Rhode Island] Board of Licenses revoked the [Foxy Lady] strip club’s licenses [less than a week before Christmas because] Providence Police arrested three dancers at the club last week [for refusing to give pigs sex]…at least 200…employees are suddenly out of work…Mayor Jorge Elorza [slandered] the club [claiming it was] running a “full-on prostitution ring”.  The attorney for the club, Fausto Anguilla, has [pointed out that] police…never proved that sex was occurring inside the club’s private rooms.  Several dancers…[told reporters] management at the club is strict with its no-prostitution rules, and cut ties with dancers who were caught having sex in the private rooms…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [privately-owned prison for] juvenile [prisoners]…in northern Minnesota is accused of failing to stop the sexual abuse of minors in its care, according to two federal lawsuits…[which] detail two separate [coercive] sexual relationships between teenage girls and employees dating back to 2014, both resulting in criminal convictions…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#412) 

New items of this type appear under the heading “Permanent Record”:

“LEGAL ‘NYMPH’,” blared the front page of [the December 13thToronto Sun. “Law student faces good character hearing over double life as an escort.”  Except — as the story about prospective lawyer Nadia Guo made clear near its top — what the headline described was not the case at all…No one complained about her escort job.  Instead, the complaints made to the Law Society of Ontario concerned Guo’s conduct as an articling student in the latter half of 2015…the piece by courts reporter Sam Pazzano…[also revealed her stage name], “Dawn Lee”…the Sun ran a correction to its front-page headline [the next day]…But Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno ran her own piece …that led with Guo’s sex work, printed her work name in its first sentence, and expressed apparent surprise and disappointment that the Law Society chose not to [persecute] her…for [doing work to pay for school]…

Traffic Jam (#680)

Looks like Minnesota’s second attempt to imprison a bunch of migrants as “sex traffickers” fared better than its first:

A federal jury in St. Paul has convicted all five people charged with conspiring to traffic hundreds of Thai women for sex…nearly three dozen other [people were charged]…all but five [made] plea…[bargains]…Prosecutors said victims, some of whom testified during the trial, were misled as to how much they truly owed and were threatened if they tried to leave the business…U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald described the case as one of the largest trafficking networks ever dismantled…

I’d be a lot more inclined to believe there was serious exploitation here if we hadn’t heard all this before, especially the practically-impossible claims of client numbers.  Remember, migrant sex workers are far less likely to be deported if the agree to sing the state’s song, so there’s no real way to know how much of this is true and how much hype.

The Mote and the Beam (#776)

Just in case you though FOSTA was as bad as it would get:

…Congress…authorized a [bipartisan] national [crusade to] arrest…sex [workers’ clients] and approved the use of secret wiretaps in misdemeanor prostitution cases…as part of the massive “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act“…through a secret vote of the sort civil libertarians have long opposed…based on the false idea that customers of…adult sex workers [magically] drive demand for minors.  All state and local cops, prosecutors, and judges are to be [encouraged]…to [steal the] asset[s of sex workers and clients]…In addition, Congress “clarif[ies] that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence,” whatever that means…The House…passed the bill via “voice vote,” a process under which there’s neither a record of how members voted, whether they were present for a vote, nor how many total members actually voted…One provision essentially creates a new federal crime initiative by directing resources and money to fight “sextortion”…

Lack of Evidence (#859) 

If sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

Jessica, a 23-year-old transgender woman living in Queens…[was arrested on] July 8…and charged…with “loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution act”…[the “evidence” cops listed was that she] was wearing “a mini skirt and a blouse which showed cleavage”…Loitering arrests increased more than 180 percent between January and October…last year…More than half of the…arrests occurred in Queens, where attorneys say they’re concentrated in…immigrant-heavy neighborhoods…This increase in loitering arrests follows a class action lawsuit backed by the Legal Aid Society of New York that challenges the constitutionality of New York’s law on loitering for the purposes of prostitution…recent loitering complaints noted that defendants were wearing “black cowboy boots” and “light blue short [sic], a red tank top and tan sandals”…

See also “Business As Usual” below.

Rescued To Death (#869)

“Abatement”.  A term used for inhuman things, especially nuisances:

A new unit that San Francisco police created to [harass sex workers]…is facing opposition from advocates…the Sex Workers Abatement Unit…has resulted in an uptick in the number of sex workers who have been arrested in the Mission…[and reinforces] a hostile environment where “women are forced into more isolated, unfamiliar areas where attacks are more likely…sex workers who are victims of violence are intimidated and running from police,” [Rachel] West [of US PROS] said.  West argued that the unit undermines a police policy from last December that [supposedly] prevents sex workers who are the victims of certain crimes from being arrested for performing sex work.  The policy [gives lip service to the fact] that “the criminalization of sex work is one of the primary barriers to reporting violence to law enforcement”…

I’ve spoken out against these hollow “policies” before; they are not binding and can be reversed as easily as they were granted.  They’re not a serious effort to respond to sex workers’ concerns; they’re just meant to shut us up.

Business As Usual (#895)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Mariatu was 15 years old when her widowed mother died and she ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Freetown where she fell into commercial sex work.  Not long after, she was arrested for “loitering” and, unable to pay a police bribe, spent six months in an adult jail.  Now 22, she is desperate to escape a life marked by suffering, violence and exploitation and is appealing to the state to provide more support to Sierra Leone’s sex workers who are stigmatised by society and suffer unfair treatment at the hands of the legal system.  She spoke to the Guardian before the online launch of a documentary to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers which…examines their treatment by [cops]…who…exploit…them for sex and money…

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