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Posts Tagged ‘Madonna/whore’

In the past few weeks I’ve seen a number of Facebook posts urging people not to wear offensive Halloween costumes, which got me thinking:  Are you offended when “amateurs” wear “hooker” costumes?

I think the problem with the whole “offensive costume” thing is that, like nearly everything nowadays, it’s so incredibly overblown.  I totally understand why people from marginalized groups (including, but not limited to, black people, Amerinds and sex workers) are annoyed and offended when people from majority social groups who have never done anything to help them (and indeed support political policies that hurt them) use caricatures of their identities as costumes; it feels patronizing and kind of dehumanizing.  However, I draw the line at telling anybody else what to do, and I would actively fight any kind of institutional rules telling people what they can and can’t wear.  If some clueless amateur couple wants to dress up as “pimp and ho” caricatures I will mock them, tell them they’re classless imbeciles, and probably even mute them on social media; however, I would not support some puritanical bean-counter telling them that they were not allowed to make asses of themselves thus.  I’m of the “more speech” school; in other words, I think the most effective way of shutting down offensive anti-sex BS is to lob it back harder, as I do when I mock the “dirty whore” myth by featuring articles about sky-high STI rates among amateurs and declaring that they’re a public health menace who should be licensed and regulated.  So if I felt really strongly about some nitwit wearing a “whore” costume, I’d respond by creating an even more over-the-top and offensive “amateur” costume.

The worst excess of the “offensive costume” controversy, though, is people telling little kids that they’re not allowed to dress up as heroes of different races for Halloween.  If a little white girl wants to dress up as Moana, or a little Asian boy as Black Panther, or a little black boy as Batman, no adult has the fucking right to say anything about it…and frankly, I think it’s arse-backward anyway.  If a little kid’s greatest hero is someone of a different race, I consider that a good thing, not something to discourage; it brings us one baby step closer to the day when we start judging people by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skins or the sounds of their surnames.  And if a teenage girl wants to dress up as a famous whore like Calamity Jane or a fictional one like Inara from Firefly, not out of mockery but out of admiration, I have absolutely no problem with that.

(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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The paramilitary, bureaucratic structure [of police] produces a dysfunctional culture.  –  Norm Stamper

It Looks Good On Paper

Another story touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws:

After first being introduced in 2015, the Pennsylvania General Assembly unanimously passed Safe Harbor legislation that protects minors from being prosecuted for sexual exploitation…The bill…provides immunity to all minors for the crimes of prostitution and obstruction of the highway [and] provides alternatives to delinquency for sexually exploited children who could otherwise be charged with prostitution-related offenses… 

Unless this bill is very different from all the others, what it actually does is to give cops the power to indefinitely detain a minor they label as a “victim” while giving “immunity” only to lily-white “perfect victims” with no criminal record who go through a lengthy and complex expungement process.

Uncommon Sense (#528) 

Sex workers in Indonesia form an association to fight together:

…the Yogyakarta Women’s Sex Workers Association (Perhimpunan Perempuan Pekerja Seks Yogyakarta, or P3SY)…was formed in 2010, facilitated by the Indonesian Family Planning Association…in Yogyakarta.  It has other branches in places with small communities of sex workers, which are run by the women themselves…the…union was established to deal with the threat of HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases…the community is working with local public health centres (puskesmas) to provide voluntary blood tests and counselling for the sex workers on a quarterly basis…women who test positive [for HIV] can gain access to free antiretroviral drugs provided by the regional government…P3SY…has persuaded almost all of its members to require their clients to wear protection…P3SY gives the women a platform to engage with and lobby the authorities.  Such advocacy proved useful when, in 2012, the authorities threatened to close down Bong Suwung.  P3SY and the PKBI managed to prevent it from happening by holding discussions with the local government…

To Molest and Rape (#797) 

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

…US [cops] were charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013.  That’s an average of 45 a year.  Forcible fondling was more common, with 636 instances.  Yet experts say those statistics are, by no means, comprehensive.  Data on sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent…”It’s just not available at all,” said Jonathan Blanks, a research associate with the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.  “You can only crowdsource this info”…No one…[can] give an estimate, even ballpark, on how underreported these types of crimes might be…Unions…work hard to protect [cops from the consequences of their crimes]…[as do] some states’ laws…some jurisdictions include nondisclosure agreements in victim settlements.  “The system is rigged to protect [cops] from outside accountability,” Blanks said…for every sexual assault that makes the news, there are almost always more victims — on average, five more.  About half of the victims are [legal minors]…

Standard Operating Procedure (#814)

Remember, what these pearl-clutching loons mean by “predators” is actually “people who bring money into the local economy by hiring local entrepreneurs”:

Time is up for sexual predators in the aid sector, Britain’s development minister said…as she announced new measures to clamp down on sexual abuse and exploitation after a series of scandals…the British government will announce details of a joint initiative with Interpol to stop sexual predators from getting jobs…Revelations earlier this year that Oxfam staff [hired sex workers] in Haiti snowballed into widespread reports of misconduct in the aid sector…

Cooties (#845)

This popular UK cop masturbatory fantasy has crossed the Irish Sea:

Vulnerable women are being exploited and abused in “pop-up brothels” around Dublin…Labour senator…Kevin Humphreys [panted while publicly masturbating]…He ad[mitt]ed that one [so-called “gang” was actually]…two young women [working together for safety as sex workers have explained many times]…

Rooted in Racism (#858)

Note how the myth of Nigerian “sex trafficking” has grown more outlandish as European governments try to keep out black migrants while pretending not to be racist:

A new report by Europol shows that international criminal groups, particularly from Nigeria, are using established trafficking networks and the cover afforded by the migrant crisis to smuggle minors into northern European countries like Ireland for sale into the sex trade and other criminal enterprises…crime networks of “large family clans”…traffic children for the purposes of begging, criminality and sexual exploitation, with those clans operating in multiple countries at any one time and rotating their victims on a regular basis…people engag[e] in the trafficking and exploitation of their own children…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#866) 

Y’all didn’t stand up for professional whores, and now they’re coming for you dabblers:

A Wyoming woman running for city council is defending her panty-selling alter ego, confirming…that she will remain in the race.  Deborah Reno…has sold used panties and “dirty gym shorts” online for the past year.  She’s also seen stripteasing in videos…A handful of [busybodies complained] to other [politicians] following the discovery of what Reno thought was her secret identity.  The candidate said she no longer sells used underwear and has since deleted all her accounts, saying “Mystee is dead.”  Councilwoman Wendy Schuler said…that Reno is probably no longer electable as result…

Disaster (#873)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

If you’re wondering why you see so many prostitutes openly working Seattle streets, cops contend you should blame it on City Attorney Pete Holmes [rather than the government’s destruction of their advertising venues].  Cops complain that his office generally refuses to pursue charges against prostitutes.  Consequently, prostitutes are flocking to Seattle from out of town and [poor little piggies] feel powerless to attack the[m]…Some are there willingly, others are forced to by abusive pimps, who also ravage the neighborhoods with drug dealing and petty theft…But cops want to arrest pimps, as they’re often nearby in [an invisible] car waiting for their prostitutes to drop off cash from a client.  Without being able to use jail time as leverage over the prostitutes to turn on their pimps, it’s a futile effort…It could also explain why some sex workers refuse [fingerpainting classes] offered to them by the city [which take up time they could be earning money]…Even if they decided to [rape a few women] they’ll face scrutiny so unrealistically high, it’s not worth it…their complaints return to the Office of Police Accountability, an independent office within the SPD that cops [whine] is over-zealous…

The saddest thing is that Holmes, and probably most Seattle detectives, know this “pimps and hos” and “cleaning up the streets” malarkey is total bullshit, but they’re locked into it due to years of taking Swanee Hunt’s blood money.  “It’s a futile effort,” all right, but not because they can’t arrest sex workers; it’s because these invisible “pimps” don’t actually exist.  Also note the vile and sinister “we could make these whores go away if we didn’t have to follow all these rules.”  You know, the rules that were imposed by the feds because of all the police brutality.

Topping from the Bottom

Amateurs publish another public bad date list; Katie Herzog uses that as springboard to discuss Stephen Elliott:

…Elliott said that his behavior both in and outside the bedroom can be both atypical and unprofessional…A longtime friend of his told me that Elliot (who, as a child, was a ward of the state and lived in group homes) was “raised by wolves” and has “zero boundaries”.  He’s the kind of guy who will talk about sex in front of your grandma.  It’s easy to see how his behavior could be construed as—or could be—sexual harassment…

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Facebook censorship is just what government censorship looks like in a corporatist system.  –  Caitlin Johnstone

Banishment (#446)

Threatening landlords to get them to evict sex workers is a popular Bay Area pig trick:

More than a hundred massage parlors in San Jose…were…shut…down…by…Vice [pigs]…[after pigs got happy ending massages at] 54 of [them.  Cops then threatened]…landlords [with pimping charges]…which prompted the shutdown of 62 of the parlors…neighboring cities, which [are also run by gangs of simians]…are now asking SJPD for information [so they can “monkey see, monkey do”] its approach…

One jurisdiction in the Washington DC area has done this as well.

To Molest and Rape 

If not for the witness & video, they’d be defending this rapist right now:

…Ryan Macklin…of the Prince George’s County Police Department, was [arrested for raping a woman after he forced her to pull]…over at about 1 a.m. on [October 11th.  He]…order[ed] her to move her car behind a store…[where he] oral[ly raped] her [and attempted to rape her vaginally until] interrupted by a witness whom the woman had called earlier, the [rapist then fled and] the witness later corroborated some of the woman’s account of the assault, which was also backed up by video evidence…Police [claim] they do not know why Macklin…[raped] the [woman]…

Cooties (#786) 

Shuker is a well-known prohibitionist fond of publicly masturbating to “sex slave” fantasies:

…MP Gavin Shuker has started a…[gang] to [at]tack…sex [workers]…called Luton Against Sexual Exploitation (LASE)…He [claims] a police initiative, begun in 2013, [to not persecute sex workers] was viewed as a failure by [prohibitionists who want sex workers persecuted]…Shuker is chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution which [fantasizes that] sexual exploitation of women in pop-up brothels was widespread across the country.  The committee [was organized specifically to] recommend…the government…make paying for sex a crime…

Censor Chic (#830)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action.  What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next:  within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well…Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers [were banned from both] Facebook…and…Twitter [almost simultaneously]…It is now clear that there is either (A) some degree of communication/coordination between Twitter and Facebook about their respective censorship practices, or (B) information being given to both Twitter and Facebook by another party regarding targets for censorship.  Either way, it means that there is now some some mechanism in place linking the censorship of dissident voices across multiple platforms.  We are beginning to see smaller anti-establishment alternative media outlets cut off from their audiences by the same sort of coordinated cross-platform silencing we first witnessed with Alex Jones in August…

Pyrrhic Victory (#849)

You do realize TSA is part of DHS, right? The agency building a giant biometric database?

Customs and Border Protection has been using facial recognition to screen non-US residents on international flights since 2015, a project that was expedited by the Trump administration.  Last year, the US government laid out its plans to start expanding the [surveillance] tools to US citizens, which would require them to undergo facial scans when they leave the country through a system called the Biometric Pathway…TSA will adopt the same technology, partnering with CBP on biometrics for international travelers, expanding security operations to TSA Precheck members, and eventually, using facial recognition to verify domestic travelers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#851) 

Activists, civil rights groups and Amazon’s own shareholders are now joined by its employees:

…Amazon, where I work, is currently allowing police departments around the country to purchase its facial recognition product, Rekognition, and I and other employees demand that we stop immediately.  A couple weeks ago, my co-workers delivered a letter to this effect, signed by over 450 employees, to Jeff Bezos and other executives.  The letter also contained demands to kick Palantir…off Amazon Web Services and to institute employee oversight for ethical decisions…Amazon’s website brags of the system’s ability to store and search tens of millions of faces at a time.  Law enforcement has already started using facial recognition with virtually no public oversight or debate or restrictions on use from Amazon.  Orlando, Florida, is testing Rekognition with live video feeds from surveillance cameras around the city.  A sheriff’s department in Oregon [uses]  Rekognition to let officers in the field compare photos to a database of mugshots.  This is not a hypothetical situation…

One Born Every Minute (#856) 

Another sleazy scam artist raping aspiring sex workers:

…Deana Embry got a Facebook message from a man who said he was an agent for Evil Angel Videos…and urged her to audition…she signed several [fake] contracts, discussed her boundaries, and did everything asked of her in the extensive audition process—including a sex scene…[later] she learned the man was not an agent…but a local business owner and engineering student by the name of Francisco Reveriano…[who] sent similar messages to at least two other women …but…a sting operation…by Embry and a top executive of Evil Angel [with the help of a PI]…succeeded in driving Reveriano underground, even securing a videotaped admission from him.  But despite [raping at least one woman and scheming to rape others] Reveriano currently faces nothing more than a fine [because Texas]…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#867) 

I’ll bet you thought I was kidding when I put that necrophilia item under this heading:

…one of the UK’s first sex doll rental services…offers to make bespoke dolls for those seeking comfort after losing a partner by matching their likeness.  Jade Stanley…says…“We have a lot of people approach us who have dolls made that resemble a partner they have lost”…Bespoke dolls can cost up to $5,200 and can be made to any specification…“I’m hoping to open an office in Atlanta…We are currently in the process of working with some well-known porn stars to get dolls made that look just like them”…

Disaster (#873)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

The government shutdown of Backpage.com this year…has [predictably] prompted an increase in [the number of] sex [workers] on San Francisco streets.  [Arrests]…related to [sex work]…have more than tripled in 2018 — with 67 through August, up from 21 during the same period last year…as much of the activity had been [peacefully and privately conducted] online…Antonio Flores [oinked]…“A few sex workers are [resisting when cops try]…to prey on [them]”…Pike Long…of St. James Infirmary [explained]…“Without being able to advertise online…a huge number of sex workers were forced to go outside, and many have reported that former pimps came out of the woodwork offering to ‘manage’ their business again since they were now rendered unable to find and screen clients online”…

Remember, when cops & reporters say “sex trafficking” they actually mean sex work; in San Francisco, it’s an important way of getting around the “policies” they established to quiet squeaky wheels.

The Widening Gyre (#878)

What the fuck is going on in San Angelo, Texas?

San Angelo Police issued a news release after recieving several calls Monday, Oct. 15…“Police received several inquiring about black-colored zip ties being used to target potential victims of human trafficking…One post was concerning a zip tie that was placed on a…vehicle side mirror.  In another…sex traffickers were placing black zip ties on the lamp posts, houses, apartments, and fences of their intended female targets.”  The department said it’s received no reports of…attempted kidnappings relating to human trafficking…police learned the person who created the original post was not the owner of the pictured vehicle and had copied the claim as a means to [get attention]…

This is the same small city which saw the “Bible study sex traffickers” a few weeks ago.  Naturally, USA Today helpfully responded by posting more “signs of sex trafficking” propaganda so as to help quench the fire with gasoline.

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You can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free.  –  William Ramirez

Rough Trade 

Reporter helps cops add insult to injury by infantilizing a rape victim:

Bellevue police have arrested two men in connection with the rape and robbery of a Chinese woman — believed to be a victim of human trafficking…on July 19…Police say the suspects know these types of incidents aren’t usually reported due to the victim’s fear of being arrested or deported.  These suspects are believed to have committed several similar robberies in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue…

The cops claim they won’t arrest victims who report, but it would be foolish for a sex worker to take the risk.  And even if they don’t arrest her, they’ll deny her agency and use her to advance their anti-whore narrative by calling her a “sex trafficking victim”.

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers and lack of rights for women in general are part of the same ugly scheme:

A friend of mine lived alone in downtown Cairo…One day in 2012, her neighbors saw her heading to the apartment with her boyfriend and two friends, a man and a woman.  Once they were inside, the neighbors started banging on the door, calling her a prostitute and threatening to call the police to arrest them for prostitution…My friend told them that she and her partner were married, through an urfi or unregistered marriage, and the guests were just friends.  Things settled down only after she promised that she would move out of the apartment within days.  Many women have been raised in familial contexts where their mobility and sexuality are restricted…These restrictions have driven many of us to move out of our family homes out of a desire to experience life for ourselves, and enter the expanding ranks of the mustaqellat, or independent women, those who live neither in the home of their families nor husbands.  If we thought that by leaving our family homes we could escape respectability politics, we learn very quickly that this is not the case.  When women live alone, they are perceived as…abnormal subjects, because we are not living with our families, the source of a woman’s identification and social value…a woman trying to live beyond the traditional frameworks of social relationships…is constantly surveilled, and the primary authority over her body moves from the family and its neighborhood to the larger community…

Above the Law  

They always make these cases sound like the bureaucrat was doing his victims a favor:

A…Pennsylvania district attorney who tipped off female drug dealers and gave them lenient treatment in exchange for sex was sentenced to eight years of probation…Bill Higgins…pleaded guilty in May in a deal with prosecutors that guaranteed him no jail time and no additional felony counts.  He was officially disbarred earlier this month…Judge Thomas Ling ordered him to perform over 1,100 hours of community service and pay fines of nearly $10,000…Attorney General Josh Shapiro charged Higgins in April, calling his behavior a betrayal of the community…

Yeah, “The Community” was the victim and not the women he coerced sex from because they were engaged in peaceful, consensual transactions.  It’s enough to make one vomit.

First They Came for the Hookers…

Y’all didn’t stand up for professional whores, and now they’re coming for you dabblers:

A British Airways flight attendant has been suspended after putting a video of herself sniffing her tights and unbuttoning her shirt online…While it is unknown whether the flight attendant sold the tights or shoes, there is a growing trend for cabin crew selling their used garments online…

Monsters 

Another trans sex worker murdered, this time in Paris:

On the night of August 16-17, we received several messages and calls…reporting the murder of Vanessa Campos…[by] 7 to 8 men…This…would probably be a gang of men who regularly assault sex workers and their clients to rob them.  This band phenomenon targeting sex workers is currently developing throughout the Ile de France region.  Those who try to organize for self-defense…are then attacked separately…The murders of trans women sex workers are not rare…we regularly try to alert public opinion and the authorities to this violence.  Unfortunately as always, we find ourselves alone…

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

…about 100 people…poured into an Ocala meeting hall…to…Talk about brutal abuse, corruption and inhumane treatment behind the walls of one of Florida’s most notorious prisons, Lowell Correctional Institution for women.  For the first time, former inmates and their families were given a voice, and many of them had a lot to say to investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice about how rape [and] assault…by [screws] has become routine…The community meeting was set up by DOJ investigators who wanted to [see if there’s a way to cover up]…civil rights abuses and other unlawful conduct at the prison [which]…the…Florida Department of Corrections has ignored, covered up or dismissed…Laura Cowall, an attorney with the Justice Department, emphasized that the inquiry is not a criminal investigation but rather one that may result in a [useless] report…That prompted one family member to question whether the investigation will produce any substantive changes since it will not hold officers and staff responsible for inmates who have been beaten, raped or died…“They are scared to talk. How can you guarantee their safety?”…shouted one family member.  Cowall [vomited up bullshit] that retaliation would not be tolerated by the Department of Justice [because obviously they’ll be there 24 hours a day and can read the minds of screws with their magic federal powers]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The shock of last year’s category five hurricane was just a precursor to the radical overhaul of Puerto Rico’s overburdened prison system…Nestled away in [a] 200-page [austerity plan] was a policy to offshore around a third of Puerto Rico’s prison population – 3,200 inmates – to private facilities thousands of miles away within the US…The government insists it will be voluntary…“This is government sponsored human trafficking”…said William Ramirez, executive director of the Puerto Rico American Civil Liberties Union.  “Even if you say it’s consensual, the reality is that you can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free”…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

Citing more than two years of secret bathroom recordings of juvenile victims, federal prosecutors argue that a former Medford [Oregon] youth pastor should be sentenced as a “repeat and dangerous sex offender”.  Prosecutors are seeking…more than 15 years…for Donald Courtney Biggs…who’s been held in the Jackson County Jail since early 2015…Biggs…groomed victims by giving them gifts…and singled out victims for activities outside of church…Investigators have recovered 166 illicit videos recorded without victims’ knowledge, about 80 more than previously reported.  They had been recorded in secret during overnight youth trips that included summer camps and spring break outings, as well as taken at Biggs’ home and at the church…

Business As Usual

Cop murders sex worker for resisting his attempt to rape her:

[Andrew Mitchell, an Ohio cop with 30 years of complaints and reprimands for excessive force, murdered] 23-year-old [sex worker] Donna Castleberry [by shooting her 8] times [at point-blank range after she]…stabbed [him in the hand.  The plainclothes cop, who had parked his unmarked car so close to the wall that the passenger door could not be opened, had apparently forced the un-handcuffed Castleberry into the front seat of his car]…[Though Mitchell claims he] was investigating complaints related to prostitution in the neighborhood [he was probably specifically looking for Castleberry since a warrant had been issued on her the day before for failing to appear in court on a soliciting charge]…

Thanks to Donna’s mother and best friend for the details pointing to the cop’s motives, which of course the cops di not release to the bootlicking local media.  What actually happened is clear: Mitchell, a cop with a long history of brutality, sought Donna out on purpose to rape her, knowing she had a warrant.  He forced her into the front seat of his car without handcuffing her, and when she tried to stop him from raping her, he emptied nearly the whole clip into her 100-pound body at point-blank range.

If Men Were Angels (#586)

The victim can’t get damages in civil court because her rapist worked for the beneficent government:

A…Houston doctor convicted of sexually assaulting a patient while she was tethered to machines…won’t serve any prison time and will instead serve 10 years’ probation…Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh…acknowledged at trial that he had sexual contact with the woman during the night shift at Ben Taub hospital in 2013 but [like most rapists pretended] it was consensual…[even though] the woman was weak, sore and medicated following several acute asthma episodes.  The victim…tried to summon a nurse with the call button, but witnesses testified it had been unplugged…Sheikh has lost his medical license and must register as a sex offender…

The Widening Gyre (#698)

Hysteria like this is a predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria politicians, cops & media have aggressively promoted for the past 14 years:

Voodoo Doughnut found itself mired in an online conspiracy theory alleging the famous Portland doughnut franchise is involved in child sex trafficking.  It started when a man identified as Michael Whalen appeared on a YouTube show on Aug. 4, claiming he saw signs of child trafficking [like those “authorities” are always telling people to watch for] during a party he attended at Voodoo owner Tres Shannon’s…house…[like those “authorities”] Whalen offered no…evidence to support his claims, but told the show’s host, Nathan Stolpman, that he had spoken to authorities…Portland police…say no such reports exist…While the original interview appears to have been removed from YouTube, Stolpman has since posted several other videos…that appear to add actor Macaulay Culkin and nearby rock club Dante’s to the list of alleged conspirators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#844)

It may already be far too late to put this evil djinni back in its bottle:

Should the government be able to track your every move when you walk down the street, join a protest, or enter your psychiatrist’s building?  Facial recognition technology may make that a reality for Australians.  Parliament should refuse to expand its use until the government can demonstrate it won’t be used to violate human rights or turn us all into criminal suspects.  [A new] bill would create a nationwide database of people’s physical characteristics and identities, linking facial images and data from states and territories and integrating them with a facial recognition system….[which] would initially enable centralised access to passport, visa, citizenship, and driver license images…government agencies and some private companies would then be allowed to submit images to verify someone’s identity….[or] identify an unknown person…the proposal is too broad, enables using facial recognition for purposes far beyond fighting serious crime, and leaves significant details to departmental discretion or future interpretation.  The lack of safeguards combined with the centralisation of a massive amount of information raises the potential for abuse and ever-expanding mission creep…

Damned Lies

Glenn Kessler located the bogus numbers behind this painfully-dumb claim:

In a self-congratulatory video posted on July 20 by the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, Wagner, the key sponsor of FOSTA, made a claim that caught our attention: “We have shut down nearly 90 percent of the online sex trafficking business and ads”…When asked for evidence, Wagner’s office sent a chart that tracked all sex-related advertising, saying that it showed weekly global ad volume dropped 87 percent from January to April.  The chart was generated through a [government surveillance] system called Memex…The biggest drop in ads came after the shutdown of Backpage…a[nother] drop…took place after the laws achieved final passage in Congress on March 21, prompting sex-oriented websites such as CityVibe and the Erotic Review to begin to shut down in the United States…Okay, but what happened after April?  Wagner’s staff refused to share the data, so we asked…[Memex’s managers] Uncharted Software…it turns out that after that initial drop, advertising for the sex trade appears to have rebounded, such as on new websites that mimic Backpage with names like “Bedpage”.  Worldwide ads had a daily average of about 105,000 when FOSTA-SESTA passed on March 21 and had dropped 28 percent by the time Backpage was closed on April 5.  It then plunged another 75 percent and reached a low of 19,456 on April 17, for a total decline of about 82 percent.  But on the day the Judiciary Committee posted the video, sex-trade ads were back at about 50 percent of the daily volume before the law had passed; as of Aug. 11, they were at almost 75 percent…Wagner…celebrated a decline of “sex-trafficking business and ads” but as we noted, the metric she is using is advertising for all sex work.  The actual impact on “sex trafficking” is unknown…

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It never surprises me when some new expression like “big dick energy” surfaces, because men all over the world are obsessed with their penises and wont to ascribe magical powers to them.  And I don’t just mean stupid, brutish men either; even reasonably intelligent, sophisticated men seem to believe deep down that their phalluses are mighty weapons which contain their “manhood” and have the ability to damage women’s bodies and destroy our souls.  And because the great majority of men believe in this idiocy, it’s unsurprising that many women do as well.

Take the myth that a lot of sex causes vaginal looseness, for example; barely a month passes that some lackwit advertises his deep insecurity online with a post or tweet claiming that whores, sluts and other “loose women” (see that word?) eventually develop extra-roomy vaginas due to frequent sex.  Of course, this is completely idiotic; the vaginal walls are made of muscle, and when muscles are exercised they grow stronger, not flabbier.  Furthermore, the dudes who believe in this silly myth seem to imagine that only penetration by different penises can cause this supposed loosening; frequent sex with the same penis causes no such damage, presumably because of some kind of mystical key-like effect.  Well-meaning guys worry that their penises might hurt a woman, and even some MDs who should obviously know better have wasted their valuable time experimenting on sex worker volunteers to develop a therapy to “restore tone” to vaginal muscles.  Well, I hate to break this to y’all, but no matter how big you think your cock is, it’s NOT AS BIG AS A BABY’S HEAD.  It’s not a large amount of sex (with one penis, multiple penises, scads of different penises or even a sex-toy-store’s worth of dildoes) which causes a woman to loosen; it’s complications of childbirth.  And if a woman has never had a baby, the only other thing that can affect tightness of those muscles is learning to relax.  Most virgins aren’t somewhat tighter than experienced women because their muscles aren’t yet “worn out” (which is not a thing); they’re tighter because they’re nervous or scared from all the talk about how much it’s going to hurt, or because they’ve been conditioned that “good girls” don’t do that.  And once they learn to relax they revert to their normal level of tightness.  It’s not due to “stretching” or “overuse”; it’s due to getting over fear of the Dangerous Dick, and if a woman you’re fucking is too loose for you, it’s not because her pussy is too big; it’s because your dick is too small.

If this were the only silly myth about the destructive power of the Almighty Phallus, we could just laugh it off and mock the dudes who absurdly advertise their deep ignorance by attempting to lecture women on Twitter about the havoc wrought on their twats by daring to admit more than one dong in a lifetime.  But there’s a much more dangerous notion, based in the idea that penises ejaculate ectoplasm in addition to semen, and can therefore damage women’s souls:

The dominant cultural narrative is that both men and women can get over just about any personal tragedy – financial ruin, the loss of a limb or a loved one, persecution by governmental authorities, etc – except rape, which if it doesn’t leave a woman a psychological wreck is supposed to at least cast a dark pall over the rest of her life…this [misogynistic] doctrine…portrays the penis as some sort of semi-divine instrument capable of destroying a helpless woman’s entire life at the whim of the man to whom it is attached… this absurd mythology…is so pervasive…that a rape victim who fails to behave according to the approved script may not be believed…

Really, guys; come in out of the Bronze Age.  I understand that y’all get a lot of pleasure from your cocks, and that y’all only have enough blood to run one head at a time.  But the big one gives you the power to understand that however much you may enjoy the little one, it’s just a boneless organ, not a magic sword.

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Many people have used Craigslist to find a “causal encounter”, and some of them got lured into police sting operations.  I’m trying to determine what fraction of the stuff that used to be posted to that section (before Craigslist closed it a few months ago) was real, and what percentage prostitution (as opposed to a real, no strings attached encounter).

All sexual encounters which actually happen are as “real” as one another; being paid for sex does not magically make the ensuing sex imaginary.  Lots of people used Craigslist to advertise seeking or offering sex, and they had a plethora of different motivations; it’s a prohibitionist mentality to pretend that a pragmatic motivation for sex draws a bright, clear line between that sex and other sex.  You seem to want to exploit that imaginary difference to argue that cops stalking and victimizing people for sex in which no currency is directly exchanged is somehow different and worse than them stalking people who make a clear and honest exchange.  I can’t help you with that, and I wouldn’t if I could; the only assistance I can offer is to tell you that most scams only work on those with “larceny in their hearts”, i.e. those trying to get something for nothing.  Men seeking sex would be wise to stop trolling around trying to get it for “free” (the most expensive kind) or cheap, do their research, and deal only with known providers with established reputations.  Furthermore, the idea that sex work can be dependably differentiated from what you call “real sex” is not only wrong philosophically, but also practically; because sex work is only distinguished by its motivation, any procedure intended to ensnare sex workers and/or clients will also ensnare lots of other people.  The only way to ensure that no amateurs are caught up in prostitution stings is to do away with prostitution stings, and the only way to do that is to completely decriminalize all forms of sex work.

(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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I felt that the glitter on the seized cash was compelling evidence.
–  Jude Faccidomo

It Looks Good On Paper

Remember that I’ve been a harsh critic of these do-nothing law for 7 years:

Under Ohio’s safe harbour legislation – and similar laws across all states…[women can] request that criminal charges…accrued while [coerced into prostitution be]…expunged from the public record.  Yet [prohibitionists] across the US are warning that a sudden decision by the Trump administration, effective immediately, to cut all funding for legal representation…means that many other victims will now struggle to get their expungement cases into a courtroom…the American Bar Association, members of Congress, survivors, advocates and law enforcement have called for a reversal of the decision [even though they still support]…deny[ing]…the…legal rights [of sex workers who aren’t poster children for prohibition]…

Far be it from me to say anything good about the orange-utang, but these laws actually help nobody but “perfect victims”; defunding them will change essentially nothing.

With Friends Like These…

If you can’t write a pro-decrim article without saying that you wish whores didn’t exist, don’t write one at all:

…there’s not much that’s more misogynistic than blaming women because they fulfill the needs of men.  It’s all very well to insist that women make this choice because of patriarchy and false consciousness, as some feminists do, and are called “whorephobic” for their pains.  But…feminist theory doesn’t pay the bills.  I’m not pretending that there would be prostitution in my ideal world.  There wouldn’t.  I like neither the idea nor the reality of prostitution.  But I also know that the world isn’t, and can’t be, arranged around what I like…I know as well, or think I know, that “free choice” is merely a concept and that human beings have no more free choice than foxes or dolphins or butterflies.  We have loaded choices, all of them dictated by our upbringing, our finances, our cultural landscape and our genes, in that order…

In my ideal world, hypocritical apologists for feminism like Deborah Orr wouldn’t exist; I like neither the idea nor the reality of them.  But I’m an adult who understands that the concept of an “ideal world” is childish nonsense, and that one whose “ideal world” doesn’t include free choice is a pompous asshat.

See No Evil (#136) 

Seven years in a cage for drawing a fictional character:

Christopher John Czarnik…is serving time on a 2014 plea for the possession and distribution of sexually explicit images of children.  He was then charged again with child porn in prison….[after] guards found a drawing of a young girl engaged in sexual acts with an adult male…Czarnik then showed [screws] more pictures and writings of this own creation.  That was deemed possession and creation of child porn…Czarnik entered a guilty plea with the condition that the legal issue be allowed to be litigated over…”cartoon characters.”  That plea limited the added sentence to seven years…

A Broker in Pillage (#406)

It’s not often a judge rules against cops in favor of a sex worker:

The Miami-Dade Police Department must return nearly $20,000 in cash to a woman after prosecutors admitted that [cops] illegally searched her car and seized several lawfully owned guns…the department will also pay $3,000 in legal fees to Lizmixell Batista, a dancer at the local Cheetah Gentleman’s Club, and her husband, Ras Cates…Batista and Cates were arrested following a traffic stop in May.  [Cops pretended to] smell…marijuana in their car, and a subsequent search turned up six guns, several large bottles of what cops [claimed] to be codeine cough syrup, and nearly $20,000 in cash in Batista’s purse…[cops bragged as though] it [were] a major bust…[but] prosecutors dropped the charges…when body-cam footage showed police didn’t have permission to search the couple’s trunk.  The guns were all legally owned, Cates had a concealed carry license, and no testing had been done on the su[ppos]ed codeine…Batista had explained…why, given her profession, she would be carrying large amounts of cash, but the department initiated a forfeiture case against the money anyway…[pretend]ing it was dope money…

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of “authorities”:

Yan Liu, originally from China and now a resident of New York City, was charged [in Maine] with engaging in prostitution.  No other people were charged in connection with her arrest, including a man and a woman [imagined] by the motel employee as coercing Liu back into the room, or a client [of hers]…Liu, who does not speak English and communicated with police and court officials through an interpreter, posted a $1,000 cash bail and pleaded not guilty to the charge…but she has been unwilling to [tell] her court-appointed attorney, Merritt Heminway [what he wants to hear]…She did, however, tell him she arrived in the United States last September and has applied for asylum…After a June 27 hearing…Liu and the state filed an agreement that if she remains out of trouble for one year, her case will automatically be dismissed.  She was not required to enter a guilty plea…Destie Hohman Sprague…of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, [complained that pigs and politicians did not overrule Liu’s agency]…to protect Lui’s safety…But Liu’s defense attorney criticized the district attorney’s office for prosecuting the case at all, contending Liu is a victim of sex trafficking…He speculated the rational [sic] for applying charges was to convince her to identify leaders of a [fantasized] trafficking ring…[the DA bloviated that] prosecuting such cases is sometimes the only mechanism the court system has of [maintaining surveillance] on people who[se agency it wishes to deny]…The [pompous ignoramus who acts as] prosecutor said nearly all women involved in prostitution have been trafficked at some point in their lives…

Negative Secondary Effects

Welcome to our world, cannabusiness:

Every municipality in San Diego County that limits or bans the sale of marijuana has cited public safety as the justification…[then-police chief] Shelley Zimmerman’s testi[lied] in September 2017…[that] 272 police radio calls for “burglaries, robberies, thefts, assaults and shootings, just to name a few,” at medical marijuana dispensaries over a two-and-a-half-year period [constituted] evidence of the kind of activity such facilities invite on a neighborhood…Zimmerman’s [lies] appeared in a memo written by Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy to the City Council, which decided — against the recommendations of a subcommittee — not to allow retail shops.  Her remarks were also cited by anti-pot activists in Imperial Beach who helped slow down  marijuana regulations there…Diane Goldstein, a retired Redondo Beach police lieutenant, analyzed the records, which were made available on the city’s website in March.  She concluded that the Police Department’s presentation was “sloppy, unprofessional and based on ideology”…The address listed on more than a quarter of those reports were to neighboring business, not a marijuana facility.  Several of the city’s legal dispensaries existed then — as they still do — within shopping malls or office complexes…

To Molest and Rape (#756) 

Rapist cop escapes consequences for his actions by croaking:

Troy Allen Large…died earlier this year…Large, a…sex-crimes investigator, is accused of using his “position of power to [rape]…female victims of violent crime” and then…coercing them into participating in video-recorded, nude catfights…police officials were aware of the accusations…and [did nothing]…

Saving Them From Themselves (#764)

Adult woman magically turns into “child” via the power of a magical camera:

A Cleveland man who testified in defense of his roommate in a child pornography case admitted on the stand to taking sexually explicit pictures of a…girlfriend…Edward Marrero, 27, said…he took the photos in April 2011…[when] she was 17 years old and he was 20…The age of consent in Ohio is 16 years old, but federal law states it is illegal to create, share or possess sexually-explicit images of anyone under the age of 18…He is now charged with producing child pornography.  If convicted, he faces between 15 and 30 years in federal prison…

“Child” pornography.  Of a consenting woman it was legal for him to fuck, who is now 24 years old.  But it’s to “protect the children”!!!!

Checklist (#796)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

Last year, 276 [phone calls were made from Georgia by hysterics]…to the National Human Trafficking Hotline…Georgia law requires airports, train stations and emergency rooms to post [magic anti-pimp signs] in public restrooms…[spokespig Brian] Johnston [oinked that] Savannah’s highways and interstates…mak[e[ it easier to move people quickly to another city or another state…St. Joseph’s/Candler [hospital forces]…staff to [attend indoctrination sessions on]…the [mythical] signs…[social worker and fabulist Jessy] McMullan said she already knows it works from a friend who works as an ER nurse in Atlanta and had similar training.  “Within two weeks of the training, she identified two child victims that came through the emergency room…They were reunited with their families.  It gives you chills”…

Urban legends are always said to have happened to a “friend of a friend” (FoF); in this case it’s the supposed patient of an unnamed friend.  So where are the links to the news stories where the pigs grunt about these “child sex trafficking victims” they “rescued”?  Because you know that if this had actually happened it would’ve been big news.

Rooted in Racism (#797)

More European government humanitarianism to “fight human trafficking”:

Operation Sophia, the EU naval operation in the Mediterranean…is helping the Libyan coastguard return migrants to rape, slavery, torture and murder in local camps…Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders), citing accounts from its staff in Libya, says…when migrants could not pay for their release having been captured by the authorities, some had their genitals cut off…Others said there had been routine rapes at camps to detain migrants.  MSF says that it sends 50 body bags a week to one camp…“Under the pretence of saving lives and disrupting the business model of smugglers and traffickers, the Libyan coastguard are supported and empowered by EU states to intercept people at sea and send them back to the very conditions they were trying to escape”…

Backwards into the Future (#827) 

Another victory for feminism against jobs for women:

The Dutch brewer Heineken is suspending the use of ‘beer girls’ in Mozambique due to allegations of sexual harassment from customers …NRC Handelsblad…published…research by Partner Africa showing that…there were “revealing short skirts” in…Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda.  It has introduced a new code of practice for its third party partners, who employ the women to sell the beer to bars and restaurants in Africa, including safe working practices and “decent uniforms”…NRC [also] claimed…some prostitutes combined beer promotion with their Heineken work, to get more clients for both.  No evidence of links with prostitution was [provided]…But the Amsterdam-based brand was under pressure from other businesses, including the Global Fund international health organisation, which had suspended its partnership with Heineken and urged it to protect women beer promoters from [gainful employment]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Where “cutting-edge” is used to mean “hopelessly inaccurate”:

The head of London’s Metropolitan Police force has defended the organization’s ongoing trials of automated facial recognition systems, despite legal challenges and criticisms that the technology is “almost entirely inaccurate”…Police commissioner Cressida Dick said…the public “expect[s]” law enforcement to test such cutting-edge systems…The London force is one of several in the UK…deploy[ing the surveillance system] at public events like concerts, festivals, and soccer matches.  Mobile CCTV cameras are used to scan crowds, and tries to match images of faces to mugshots of wanted individuals…According to data released under the UK’s Freedom of Information laws, 98 percent of the “matches” made by the Metropolitan’s AFR system are mistakes…The Met [claims]…that no individuals have [yet] been arrested because of a false match…

Legislators Gone Wild (#847) 

Evil douchebags trying to criminalize Nevada brothels fall on their faces:

Opponents of legalized prostitution in Nye County had been trying to put the issue to voters in a referendum in November. But county officials said Monday the effort had failed to turn in the required 1,963 signatures. The deadline was [June 29th].  The only recourse for proponents of the brothel elimination measure is to get county commissioners to agree to put it on the ballot…Nye County spokesman Arnold Knightly said the board’s chairman had already indicated he would not bring the item forward…That leaves [prohibitionists] needing at least two other commissioners to call a special meeting…The group had also targeted Lyon County…But the county’s Board of Commissioners decided in June to take a different approach to the issue by placing an advisory question on the ballot in November…ask[ing] voters whether the board should end legalized prostitution in Lyon County…

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