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Posts Tagged ‘Make Up Your Damned Mind!’

It’s better to be shameless than the victim.  –  Gabriela Leite

Acting and Activism

Whenever Mira Sorvino feels neglected by the media, she vomits out a slew of idiotic fables for credulous reporters:  “…this has grown into a highly profitable international business that rakes in $500 billion a year.”  Yes, that’s a “B”; Mira claims “sex trafficking” brings in 25% more than the entire GDP of Sweden (even UNODC only claims $32 billion).  But to a mathematical retard who believes every single whore makes over $250,000 a year and every pimp about $1.5 million, and that there are millions of “trafficked slaves”, I guess $500 billion seems credible.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

Another runaway clown car of unintentional hilarity:

…prostitution in Richmond [Indiana]…[is like] abandoned and unsafe housing…It’s not clear that stepped-up law enforcement can eliminate the problem…any more than it can stamp out abandoned and hazardous structures.  But what…Richmond Police Department Capt. Bill Shake does so well…is give lie to the notion…that prostitution is a “victimless” crime.  “It is a public safety disorder issue and a quality of life issue…We had three women come to us and complain that they had been approached by men seeking prostitutes.  These are just women…walking to work”…these innocent women…are victimized because their sense of security has been violated.Curly  Local businesses and homeowners…are likewise victims of the sheer brazen starkness of the problem.  But…Shake makes a victimhood case even for the [prostitutes and] Johns…“These ladies need help, and the men need intervention,” he said…

TL;DR version:  “Whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop!  Nyah nyah nyah!”

Where Are the Victims?

This guy sounds like a dangerous criminal:

A brothel manager…tried to help a worker in his massage parlour get the morning-after pill…Staff at the pharmacy called police…[because] the woman…was Romanian…No evidence of trafficking was found, but police [stole] £1,200 cash on the premises, plus another £25,000…at Jones’ home…[his lawyer] said…“The police had visited [the parlour] a number of times…and [said]…as long as there were no drugs or trafficking he would face no action”…

Unfortunately, xenophobia, hysteria and snitching are not crimes.

License To Rape (June Updates)

A woman who…was sexually assaulted by…San Diego Police Officer Anthony Arevalos…settled a lawsuit against the city…for $795,000…Arevalos…was convicted of sexual battery and…in February 2012 was sentenced to almost nine years…the city has paid out $2.3 million in claims [altogether] from Arevalos’ misconduct.  One more case is still pending…[several of the cases alleged] that a culture of covering up officer misconduct permeates the department and allowed Arevalos to harass women for years…

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

The UK's most prohibitionist paper in a rare moment of lucidity

The UK’s most prohibitionist paper in a rare moment of lucidity

Lawheads will be lawheads:

…a 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman [were] arrested for [consensual, noncommercial] sex…Kelcey Nicholas…married [Lataura] Jarrett’s mother…when police [broke into] Nicholas’s house…to bust him on another charge, they…found [him having sex]…with Jarrett.  The two share no genetic…relation, nor did Nicholas ever legally adopt Jarrett.  But…the law in West Virginia defines stepdaughters as daughters…[they were] charged with…incest, a felony…[threatening 15 years in] prison…

Perquisites

Big businesses woo valuable employees with (halfway) whores.  Yawn.

…when college sports programs…need…to convince young…men to choose their school, they…use…“hostesses”—college women with pretty, smiling faces…[to] assist high-caliber potential student-athletes when they visit campus…according to Deadspin, [they] “answer questions, and…provide entertainment.”  College football is big business…but…NCAA [rules state that]…programs cannot give recruits “any financial aid or other benefits,” including cash, clothing, or merchandise.  In place of these…programs use the recruits’ official 48-hour visit to show them a good time, an implicit promise of what their years on campus will be like…Even though [former hostesses insist]…that no one…tells hostesses to “lead on” recruits, programs are well aware of how instrumental these women are in helping them land top athletes…

Because Everyone Knows That Laws Deter Streetwalkers

The power to see abstractions must be useful:

Cleveland City Councilman Eugene Miller… [proposes] to toughen penalties for prostitutes, pimps and johns…[saying] he has grown tired of seeing prostitution in his…neighborhood and believes that more severe punishment is the only way to ameliorate the problem…however…Judge Ronald Adrine said…mandatory jail time would contribute to overcrowding…“Are we looking at…a severe problem…Or is this…a solution…looking for a problem?”  Adrine compared the issue to fighting the so-called “war on drugs” with harsh jail sentences.  “We have not been able to incarcerate ourselves out of that problem,” he said…

Kudos to Judge Adrine for having the balls to talk sense.feminist heretic burning

To Spite Their Faces

Cathy Young’s “Is the Patriarchy Dead?” is well worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a sample:

When writer Hanna Rosin recently published an article on Slate.com stating that “the patriarchy is dead,” much of the feminist response amounted to “burn the heretic!”…Ironically, the feminist tendency to shoot the bringer of good news was the very topic of Rosin’s essay…In its present form—as a secular cult that should call itself the Sisters of Perpetual Grievance—feminism is far more a part of the problem than part of the solution.  It clings to women’s wrongs and turns women’s rights into narcissistic entitlement.  It is far too easily prone to bashing men while painting women as insultingly helpless…

An Angel of Mercy

What real help for streetwalkers looks like:

…Becca Stevens offers [them an]…alternative working for the cosmetic company she started called Thistle Farms.  The women make soaps, oils, and other products to sell nationwide…the program…offers free housing, eliminating the worry about paying rent…75 percent…have stayed off the streets.

No cops.  No cages.  No shaming or brainwashing.  Just a fair offer they can choose to accept, or not.

A Broker in Pillage

[Maryland] and federal agents raided Jade Heart Health…and charged its operators with prostitution and human trafficking…Di Zhang…has…[an extensive] real estate portfolio…and part-ownership of a…company that reports…millions of dollars of business in China…federal authorities have launched a civil-forfeiture case to seize five buildings…[worth] nearly $2 million…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #16)Gabriela Leite

…in Brazil…a bill…called the Gabriela Leite Law (in honor of the prostitute and activist who founded the NGO Davida)…[proposes] to [clarify] sex work [law]…Leite…[says] it is necessary to consider prostitution as a profession and avoid the cliché of the prostitute as a victim…The bill…defines a sex worker as any person who is at least 18 years old and able to voluntarily provide sexual services for remuneration.  It proposes to regulate the houses of prostitution, to prevent exploitation…[to] set…a ceiling [on income taxes for sex workers and to]…establish…a retirement option…

First They Came for the Hookers…

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

…it’s become increasingly difficult for former adult stars to conceal their past from their employers…[but] employee discrimination cases involving sex workers are usually…“very difficult to win,” says adult entertainment lawyer Michael Fattorosi.  Under current discrimination laws, there are no protections for former sex workers, and…an employee who…failed to disclose a porn past…would be compromised even further; the employer could argue that the employee had been hired under false pretenses…

The Schizoid State

I doubt we’ll ever know the truth about the so-called “teen girl pimps”:

The 16-year-old plead [sic] guilty to…three counts of human trafficking, and one count each of robbery, luring, and making child pornography…The 18-year-old…to human trafficking, robbery, uttering threats, and breach of recognizance…the Crown [claims]…the girls, who were 15, 15, and 16 at the time…recruited…teen girls through Facebook…and [forced] them into prostitution…The third accused, the so-called ringleader…is on trial for…making and possessing child pornography, human trafficking, forcible confinement, procuring…criminal harassment, and uttering threats…

The Widening GyreIlluminati

Though the persecution of a Florida family for homeschooling (including arrests and threats to abduct their children) is reprehensible, it’s unfortunately too common to be newsworthy.  What I find interesting is that because the mother is “the founder of a non-profit organization that rescues and restores victims of sexual trafficking”, it didn’t take long for the peanut gallery to ask, “Is it possible that this is…retaliation from those who are involved in sex-trafficking?” because “the human trafficking forces are far more powerful than most of us know and certainly do not want to believe.”  Since it’s the state of Florida itself that is harassing them, the implication is clear; this hysteria is tracking right on the same course as the Satanic Panic, whose adherents also began to imagine their bogeymen as part of the government shortly before the whole thing imploded.

Capricious Lusts (TW3 #37)

I just wish sex worker activists cared more about establishing our social value than about preserving feminist myths:

The head of Bangkok’s Children and Women’s Protection Unit has defended the role of prostitutes in society, saying their work helps reduce the number of sex attacks.  Pol Col Napanwut Liamsanguan said…without sex workers there would be more…rape…“This is not something disgusting; it is basic human nature…we can’t deny that sex workers are part of our society”… Chantawipa Abhisuk…of the Empower Foundation…said there was no correlation between prostitution and rape…and…Surang Janyam…of the Service Workers in Group Foundation…said she was disappointed to hear a police officer offer such an opinion…

Obviously, the opinion that we’re lazy, superfluous criminals is much better.

That Old Black Magic

This reporter’s details are very confused; were these boys or transgirls?  And if they were already prostitutes, how could they be “forced into the sex trade”?

Paris police have reportedly broken up a major transsexual prostitution ring…Andrea Chichi…is suspected of having forced nearly 90 transsexual prostitutes into the sex trade.  It is alleged he also threatened them with black magic if they refused to obey his orders…“He recruited young boys from…Argentina…and suggested they get plastic surgery from an accomplice”…[a police] source said, noting that the threat…was…commonly used by Nigerian pimps…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #42)Graham Ellison

Another good anti-Swedish model essay from Dr. Graham Ellison:

…[the client criminalization bill] is premised on a…narrow abolitionist view of sex work, grossly overestimates the extent of “demand” in Northern Ireland, and is out of line with policy developments occurring elsewhere in the United Kingdom and…continental Europe…In spite of the exaggerated claims…there have been only two prosecutions in the past decade…[and] the degree of coercion…is debatable in at least one of these cases…“trafficking” is [a] slippery concept that has been progressively devalued by exaggerated usage…debates about trafficking…can also be read as proxy debates about immigration and…racist sentiments have been embedded in anti-trafficking discourse…

It Looks Good On Paper (TW3 #311)

The Orwellian language in this article about a “sexual exploitation recovery program” (i.e. scheme to brainwash hookers) is especially chilling:  “Selah Freedom expects the new…program to fill quickly and has partnered with the Sarasota and Bradenton Police Departments to bring victims into their care…”  The casual reader probably wouldn’t even realize “bring into care” means “arrest and cage”.  This story is also notable for its oddly-humble “King of the Hill” entry, which only claims the Tampa Bay area as the third-largest “trafficking hub” in Florida rather than in the whole US.

Dysphemisms Galore

Reporter Maria Arkouli just couldn’t resist turning the rather pedestrian story of a whore arrested for practicing prostitution without a license into “sex trafficking” hentai:  “Famous singers…are consigned to prostitution by a ring in Athens which has spread its tentacles throughout Greece and over the Internet…

The Public Eye (TW3 #324)

The Mote and the Beam (TW3 #332)

When a reporter says something is “surprising”, you can bet it actually isn’t to anyone raised outside of a convent:

Top law enforcement officers…[who] are pushing Congress for greater authority to go after a booming online industry that hosts ads for child sex traffickers…are encountering opposition from an unexpected source — conservative…lawmakers who fear a government clampdown…A coalition of…lawmakers and businesses has drafted a…resolution that…urges Congress to deny state prosecutors the…power they seek…warning that it could discourage investment in new Internet services…

It would do more than that:  it would utterly destroy the internet as we know it, because no website would risk criminal charges for user-generated content like this blog or reader comments on tens of thousands of others.

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Abolitionism does not solve the problem of violence which…stems from the criminalization of sex workers and migrants, and the lack of rights that goes with it.  –  Sonja Dolinsek

Couples

Eve Ray on clients:

…clients of sex workers are regarded in many quarters as the scum of the earth…[so] it is hardly surprising that clients are so reluctant to speak out.  Yet talk to sex workers and they will tell you that their clients come in all shapes and sizes…not all clients are men…for my birthday we decided to…book…a girl from a local escort agency for some three in a bed fun…So I am a sex worker’s client…The girls we saw were bright and attractive and fully aware of what they were doing…Two Women and a Man by Giorgione (1510)We paid them well and they provided us with what we wanted.  It was…a business transaction of benefit to both parties. No coercion, no exploitation, no rape…

Whores and Wives

An Australian woman left her husband upon discovering his affair with a hooker, so she of course blamed our profession and published a stereotype-laden defamation of it.  Here’s an eloquent rebuttal:

…In…Sad Reality Behind Pretty Woman Tale, Louise O’Neale…claims…sex workers are home wreckers, men’s “chattels”, that we’re… “commodified”, “dehumanised”…packages to be bought and sold…She also argues we are sexual deviants…who require professional help.  I think O’Neale has watched too many Hollywood movies…feminists have spent decades…telling [us] how we should feel about our work, or [telling] others on our behalf how we feel about our work…They claim to be experts; they’ve got it dead wrong…

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

Prosecutors must have dropped the claim that the girl was “mentally deficient”:

[Edward Bagley] was sentenced to 20 years…for holding a young woman captive as a sex slave for six years…he…also agreed to pay about $123,000 toward future counseling and medical care…Bradley Cook…received a 20-year sentence and…$123,000 in restitution…[for] sex trafficking…[and Dennis] Henry…was sentenced to 10 years, $123,000 in restitution and lifetime supervision…Marilyn Bagley…is to receive probation and [Michael] Stokes and [James] Noel five years each…

Sweden’s Ultra-progressive Views on Women

A pub in…Sweden has been cleared of discrimination charges after bouncers denied entry to several women of Asian appearance in what owners claimed was an attempt to cut down on prostitution…the court ruled…[the] owners had a “legitimate reason”…

An Educated Idiot

SWOP-NYC and SWANK…have significant questions about the “research” carried out by Sudhir Venkatesh…[and reported] in January 2011…in Wired Magazine…he made many outlandish, salacious, and false claims about…sex workers in NYC…he said he had “followed” 270 sex worker subjects…but none of our membership had ever been contacted by him nor knew of anyone who had been…Claims…regarding the dates, locations and numbers of people…were wildly inconsistent.  His conclusions…were easily shown by other researchers and commentators to be incorrect.  Other conclusions such as the fiction that “there’s usually a 25% surcharge” to have sex without a condom not only bore no relationship to reality but also endangered sex workers…We were so concerned by what we uncovered that in October 2011 we wrote a letter to the Columbia IRB

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

Cops “fight” violence against sex workers by subjecting them to violence:

A [California] task force…arrested or cited 23 people…on charges of prostitution or soliciting a prostitute…police mounted the three-day sting operation [after]…investigation into the rape and robbery of two prostitutes…led police to…the realization that victims rarely report the crimes for fear of being prosecuted…[Sgt. Kurt] Hixenbaugh said he decided to organize the recent crackdown to suppress the illicit market…“If we can make business bad, then we can put a dent in the activity,” he explained…

Hixenbaugh’s moral retardation is exceeded only by his ignorance of economics.

Dr. Schrödinger and His Amazing Pussycat

Weird science, truth vs. fact and all that kind of stuff:

Head Games

Slixa has published a number of excellent articles lately, but last week its management let a real clunker through:  a manipulative hobbyist giving advice on how to haggle.  After an outcry the editors removed the article, apologized and printed this rebuttal from Tizzy Wall:

…Tommy…advocated using review writing and being an active member of the hobbyist community as a bargaining chip to see if prices are negotiable…[but his] tips are less effective (and ethical) than he would like to believe…There is an implicit threat that comes with, “I am a loud, influential voice in a community that can affect your livelihood”…it seems as though he gets a thrill out of violating boundaries and feeling as though he has somehow tricked a provider for his benefit…The underlying message…is that providers aren’t worth what they charge…

Against Their Will (August Updates)

People attempting to leave a country without government permission are now classed as “victims”:

Philippine authorities have intercepted 10…human trafficking victims…who were bound for Russia to illegally work there…The Philippines has been trying to impress the United States with its anti-human trafficking drive in order for Washington to lift the Tier 2 ranking it gave…in its 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report…officer-in-charge Siegfred Mison said the incident should again serve as a warning to…workers against attempting to leave without the required overseas employment permits…

One Born Every Minute

A man…claimed he could use his penis to rid a woman of ghosts that had taken up residence in her vagina…Huang Jianjun was arrested…after he [charged] A Xin [$3000 for removing]…evil spirits…[via] sexual intercourse…Jianjun insists that he never had sex with…Xin and that he can’t get an erection due to diabetes…Meanwhile… “Godman” Asaram Bapu, 73, revered by millions across India for his sermons on “enlightenment”, has been charged with raping a 16-year-old schoolgirl…he…claimed he is physically incapable of rape but…medical tests show him to be in good shape…

Tyranny By Consensus (October Updates)

Here’s a concise explanation from Nina Hartley about why condoms in porn are an incredibly bad idea:

…It takes about two hours to shoot a good hardcore scene. Condoms were never intended for that kind of industrial use…[they] roll down, come off, dry out, split and otherwise fail on sets about 30% of the time…and…no matter how lubricated and how designed, [they] create more internal friction on a woman’s intimate anatomy than human skin, with which it’s evolved to tolerate contact.  All-condom players…tend to turn up at clinics with raw internal tissues and multiple surface infections.  This we call “condom rash” and it’s more than an annoyance…if your insides are compromised by friction burns and low-grade bugs…you’re that much more vulnerable to whatever might be turned loose should a condom fail…

Presents, Presents, Presents!Minneapolis Madams

Ed says hiI’ve received three gifts in the past two weeks: Chester Brown sent me his book Ed the Happy Clown, Korhomme sent The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work and Aspasia sent Minneapolis Madams.  Thank you all so much!

Profit from Panic

Rescue industry schemes aren’t usually this blatant:

If you are interested in creating positive brand awareness…advertising at the Global Online Counter Child Trafficking Conference is the ideal platform…We have various opportunities which will leave a strong impression of your brand in people’s minds and make your company stand out as a leader in supporting organizations…to prevent…child trafficking…Our…sponsorship packages…include a number of marketing opportunities…to…showcase your social responsibility…and…align yourself with the Global Online Counter Child Trafficking Conference brand…

Bullies With Badges

“Human trafficking” is rapidly becoming a catchall excuse for tyranny, like drugs and “terrorism”:

…the Environmental Protection Agency…[conducted] an armed raid of gold mines near Chicken, Alaska…while investigating a supposed violation of…the Clean Water Act…The EPA said…it…sent in armed men because it had been given information by…State Troopers regarding “rampant drug and human trafficking…in the area.”  That explanation was debunked by a spokeswoman for the state troopers, who said they did not advise the EPA to raid the mine and that there was no evidence of drug and human trafficking…

Broken Record

The same lies, repeated over and over and over

MSPs fear that next year’s Commonwealth Games could lead to an influx of victims of human trafficking to Scotland…Myria Vassiliadou…has urged the Scottish Government to make people who procure sex and consumer goods from victims its top anti-trafficking priority.  Studies have shown that authorities must be vigilant to human trafficking during large sporting events…

Studies have, of course, repeatedly shown exactly the opposite.

Worse Than I Thought

The cancer reaches Michigan:

…Glenn Anderson…has introduced five bills…to more heavily punish…human trafficking…“The Polaris Project…was extremely helpful in shaping this legislation” [he said]…Anderson’s bills…Allow for assets…to be forfeited and dispersed to…law enforcement…criminalize the failure to report knowledge of…trafficking…[and] add convicted…traffickers to the Sex Offenders Registry…Overland Park Arboretum statue

See No Evil (TW3 #37)

A fresh effort is underway to bring criminal charges over a bare-breasted statue…The American Family Association…plans…petitions to empanel a grand jury to again investigate whether the sculpture at the Overland Park Arboretum violates state obscenity laws …Phillip Cosby…last year petitioned a grand jury…but failed to secure an indictment…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

a federal judge ruled…that…strippers…deserve…at least the minimum wage…The ruling came in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of current and former dancers at…Rick’s…[in Manhattan]…the…chain…argued that its dancers [are] independent contractors, more akin to stand-up comedians than fry cooks.  But [the] judge…said the list of rules Rick’s laid down could be described as “micromanagement”…

Hollow Claims

The German Prostitution Model: Reducing Violence Against Sex Workers” is a fairly self-explanatory title, but this short, yet thorough essay also sharply criticizes the Swedish model and those (like the European Women’s Lobby) who labor under the idiotic delusion that there could ever be a world “free from prostitution”, and are willing to subject real women to police violence in pursuit of that mad fantasy.

Due Consideration (TW3 #137)

Australia, are you really sure you want to go down the “tyrannical laws named for dead children” path?

…”Zoe’s law”…which could classify a foetus as a person in New South Wales…would allow grievous bodily harm charges to be brought against those who hurt a foetus of more than 20 weeks’ gestation…Melanie Fernandez…of the Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia (WELA)…said…”This…kind of precedent has been used as a…starting point to roll back abortion right in other places, such as states in America”…Portway's cage

Tales from the Dark Side

[When] prosecution for thoughtcrime has become a grim reality, it might be wise to restrict…discussions [of cannibalism fantasies] to fully-anonymized online accounts...”  And, I might add, to avoid actually obtaining the equipment one would need:

Geoffrey Portway’s attorney says the man’s “fantasy world” posed no actual threat of harm to a child.  But the…[Massachusetts] man pleaded guilty…to child pornography charges along with solicitation to commit a crime of violence…and the locked, soundproof basement with a metal cage…bondage equipment and a child-sized coffin serve as evidence…Two other men — one a puppeteer at a Florida church — have also been convicted as a result of the online chat sessions…[about] plans to rape, kill and eat children…

Legitimate Outrage (TW3 #329)

Scott Long on the way politicians like David Vitter and Eliot Spitzer suffer far less than the whores whose names get dragged through the mud along with theirs:

…Spitzer…[made] life miserable for both sex workers and clients.  As…Attorney General, he let…Equality Now goad him into a years-long campaign of harassment against a travel company that marketed sex tours…as Governor, he signed an…“anti-trafficking” law…that massively increased penalties for [buyers]…while maintaining penalties for sex workers…But what folks hate Spitzer for is having bought sex, not the repressive policies he promoted.  Paying women is offensive; persecuting them, fine.  Called out for “immorality”…he actually had the nerve to cite his crackdown on consensual activities in his own defense…In 2008, a jury convicted…Deborah Jeane Palfrey not of prostitution, but of money laundering…and “racketeering”…Palfrey killed herself before sentencing…And [her client David] Vitter stays in the Senate…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #337)

…in connection with the attack on Madaripur brothel on August 28…Borun Begum, a sex worker…filed a case…against 35 identified and 1965 unidentified people…[including] general secretary Milon Bhuyan…women affairs officer Mahmuda Akter and Islahe Qawmi Parishad leader Raju Hujur…She…sought compensation for…valuables worth [$385,000] and…properties worth [$64,000]…Parimal Sarkar…filed a case…against 37 identified and 300 unidentified people…seeking compensation of [$77,000]…for [vandalism of] 30 houses…

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I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.  –  Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

Election Day

At last the madness is over, and the world is relieved of the poison Americans vomit out everywhere in advance of our presidential elections.  The pretense that one fascist is somehow superior to the other is of no concern to this column, but ballot initiatives in Colorado, Washington and California are.  Let’s start with the good news:  possession and use of small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington, and Coloradans are allowed to cultivate up to six plants and give away weed as long as no money is exchanged.  State authorities have been granted plenty of time (8 months in Colorado and 13 in Washington) to draft and adopt regulations for commercial cultivation and sale, and though the federal ban still stands it’s going to be rather difficult for the feds to enforce that, considering that 99% of all marijuana arrests are committed by state and local police (who in those two states will now be forbidden to act).

But while the forces of prohibitionism lost a little power over 12 million people, they gained a great deal over 38 million.  Not only did Michael Weinstein’s crusade to turn porn movies into creepy goggle-and-glove festooned condom commercials succeed, but also the horrific Proposition 35 passed by a landslide due to its dishonest portrayal as an “anti-human trafficking” measure.  The law defines a “‘commercial sex act’ as one that…occurs on account of anything of value being given or received by any person… ‘anything of value’…[could] include…dinner…a movie…a drink…” and defines coercion so broadly that a wide spectrum of previously non-criminal behaviors (including begging or buying a woman a drink) falls under it.  Parents, adult children, roommates, spouses and landlords of prostitutes could all be charged with “pimping”, which along with “coerced commercial sex” is defined as “human trafficking”; million-dollar fines, decades-long prison sentences and lifelong “sex offender” registration are the penalties for the new “crime”.  Furthermore, it demands that those condemned to this registry turn over all internet screen names, passwords and other “identifiers” to the police so they can be continually spied upon, forever (though this one narrow portion of the law has already been challenged by the ACLU and EFF).  Finally (and most incredibly), the registration and its attendant surveillance are retroactive to 1944, so a 90-year-old woman convicted of “pandering” in the last days of World War II for assisting a hooker friend could be forced to register as a “dangerous sex offender” (with all that entails).

The word “Kafkaesque” falls utterly short.

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!

Tomorrow is the 237th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps, and is observed by Marines as the Corps’ “birthday”.  Military men have been among the best clients of whores since men first started going to war, and that will always be so despite the recent efforts of evil-minded prudes to change it.  You can read my personal and professional thoughts on the subject from two years ago at the link above, and from last year also.  And if you know a Marine, he’s sure to appreciate a “Happy Birthday!” tomorrow.

Not an Addiction

“Sex addiction” seems positively reasonable compared to the notion of an escort service that “wasn’t prostitution or anything”:

…Jennifer…was hooked on heroin in her early twenties…but straight after she left rehab, a new problem began to emerge.  “I’m not really sure how it happened, but I started to work for an escort service…It wasn’t prostitution or anything, but what drew me to this particular company was the fact that all I had to do was go on dates with men…lots of men.”  Jennifer says she didn’t sleep with her clients, but that working as an escort made her feel the same “high” that drugs had given her, because of all the attention she received.  At the same time, she also became obsessed with constantly posting provocative pictures of herself on her Facebook page…After a year of this…Jennifer…quit working as an escort and [sought] counseling.  She was told she was “addicted” to male attention…While the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t classify Jennifer’s condition as an addiction, some mental health professionals say they regularly encounter behavior like this in recovering addicts…Cindy Grassin…emphasizes that an obsession with or addiction to male attention is different from a sex addiction…

Actually, they’re exactly the same:  obsessions which quacks mislabel as “addictions” to capitalize on a fad.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

Prostitution stories involving Florida cops would be hilarious if their moronic shenanigans didn’t hurt real women:  “The alleged illicit activities…not far from Walt Disney World…came as a surprise to some central Floridians.  ‘That’s crazy…because people are coming here for fun,’ said…Tamika Stevens.”  If Tamika thinks sex isn’t fun, I suggest she seek a competent therapist.  “‘Every time we’ve been here it’s been as safe as anything,’ said visitor Wayne Aston.  Law enforcement officials said they want to try to keep it safe.  And to help do so, they are cracking down on prostitution.”  Because we’re dangerous criminals!  One never knows when a hooker will burn a kid with a flashbang grenade, or taser a pregnant woman, or machine-gun a bystander in the back…oh, wait, that’s cops.

Across the Pond

Though brothels are illegal in the UK, the city of Edinburgh has long tolerated prostitution in saunas as a way of reducing streetwalking.  But when the licenses of 13 of the 15 saunas came up for renewal recently, protests were filed by busybody prohibitionists spouting idiocy such as “…The buying and selling of vulnerable women…is not a private matter…it harms us all.”  Fortunately, the city council did the right thing and renewed the licenses anyway:

Twelve saunas in Edinburgh were…granted…licences by councillors, despite…one [man’s]…campaign against them.  Michael Anthony, 59…left the City Chambers in protest…He had earlier accused police…of turning a blind eye to criminal activity…[but] police officers at the meeting said they had no grounds to object.  Ten of the licences were granted and two were continued, because of ongoing police investigations, and will be reviewed within six months.  Until then they will continue trading…Scotpep, a campaign group supporting sex workers, welcomed the decision…However, Jenny Kemp, co-ordinator of Zero Tolerance, said:  “We are appalled by this decision.  Sexual exploitation is a huge problem in Edinburgh and saunas are a key place where that…happens.”

Gullible’s Travels

Long gas station lines and empty gas pumps have plagued drivers across New York and New Jersey since  [tropical] storm Sandy slammed into the East Coast last Monday, leaving a gas shortage across the region…now it seems…Men have been taking to the personals on Craigslist, trading gasoline for sex…” To the credulous mind of the modern “reporter”, a few clueless idiots trying to get laid for about $20 of goods is “People trading gas for sex on Craigslist.”

Little Boxes

Behold:  Olympic-level mental gymnastics:

…Jackie Samuel…is a professional cuddler…[who] turned to snuggling with strangers to help pay for her studies and provide for her young son…her college has threatened to expel her – while others have called her a prostitute…She said:  “I think I was born knowing how to snuggle.  Snuggling is healthy, spiritual and fun…Some of my older clients, their wives have passed away, and they just need someone to be with, like someone to experience touch with.  Some of the younger clients are between relationships, some are in problematic relationships, and some people are just really curious and they come to just find out what it’s going to be like”…clients…are banned from touching parts of her body covered by underwear, which she wears under pyjamas.  The business has done so well she has even hired another snuggling professional, Colleen…[who] has joined Jackie on two occasions in what they have termed a “double cuddle”…

The Odor of Socks

Ireland’s Turn Off the Red Light (TORL) campaign…already enjoys having their own letters widely published in…Irish newspapers, whilst sex worker letters are almost always ignored, but they want more…so…the Irish Feminist Network (IFN) reached out in a mailshot…calling for volunteer “letter writers”, only actually they meant shills.  “TORL will provide the letter – all you have to do is put your name and contact details to the end of it”…

Metaupdates

Who Did Your Tits? (TW3 #5)

Just reading this made me incredibly uncomfortable:

…a police officer in Texas burst [Rebecca Van Hooser’s] breast implant by using excessive force when he arrested her during a traffic stop.  Pantego Officer Eric Alvarez  pulled [her] over…for a headlight violation [then] discovered a warrant for her arrest for an unpaid speeding ticket…”She gets out of the car, [Alvarez] grabs her, throws her against the car…kick…spreads her legs and…yanks [her arms] very hard behind her back,” [said] her attorney, Susan Hutchison…Van Hooser is suing the Pantego Police Department for the Oct. 28, 2011, incident, which…caused her right implant to split and leak fluid into her body.  “She’s screaming in pain, and his response is, ‘This isn’t supposed to be comfortable,'” Hutchison added…

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #10)

So, where are the calls to ban “ethical” chicken farming?

…workers at one company that helped to collect ethically raised chickens were apparently themselves victims of human trafficking and beatings…its…license [was] revoked…after allegations that it kept workers in debt bondage,  among a series of other claims…roughly 29 Lithuanian men…said that they had been told that these would be well-paid jobs…but earned…less than $150 a week…

Amsterdam (TW3 #25)

Dutch “authorities” seem determined to destroy their historic tolerance by outlawing more aspects of sex work and then feigning surprise when the number of illegal whores increases (translated with Google’s help):

…police allege…that there is illegal labor and prostitution in many Chinese massage parlors…there were “signs of sexual acts” in two of the four Chinese massage parlors in Amsterdam…Twenty staff were checked by the police.  Two employees were illegally employed, one was illegally residing in the Netherlands and in one case there were “indications of exploitation”…None of the salons proved adequate records of cash transactions.  About 75 of the 300 massage businesses in Amsterdam are believed to be “happy-ending” establishments…and police concentrated on Chinese parlors in particular because of alleged “signs” that forced women are employed in them…

The More the Better (TW3 #42)

After sponsoring a soccer team in Larissa…brothel owner Soula Alevridou is now extending her financial support to a school in Patra…[by donating] 3,000 euros…to purchase a photocopier and a library for the school…

The Last Thirteen for Fourteen (TW3 #44)

Nine (of Feminist Ire) looks at the willful blindness of “Rhoda Grant MSP…the latest public figure to have jumped on the criminalisation bandwagon” by promoting the Swedish Model; Nine writes that “The proposal, based on a lack of understanding of what the sex industry is actually like, has been put together by someone who doesn’t want to learn about it.  The consultation paper draws from unethical research and selectively uses small-scale studies on specific sectors of the sex industry to define sex work as a whole…”  That’s why it’s important for as many sex workers and allies as possible, even those who don’t live in Scotland, to add their voices to the process.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Besides my Marine Corps birthday columns and the two previous Guy Fawkes Day columns I mentioned on Monday, this week saw entries on Biblical queens and drama queens, two psychological aberrations which can affect men’s attitudes toward sex, a shift in the attitudes of reasonable people toward sex workers, the incompatibility of facts with dogma and science with law, and the nonexistence of free lunches.  I also featured reviews of several books and short articles on trafficked wood, the weirdness of legalization, the presumption of guilt and a sociological group’s pro-decriminalization statement.

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Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order. –  John V. Linsday

Another collection of short articles of interest to harlots and those who love us.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

In my column of March 10th I pointed out the absurd contradictions inherent in the conflict of the traditional police rationales for persecuting whores (we’re evil criminals who seduce virtuous men, spread disease and attract crime) and the politically correct “trafficking” view (we’re helpless, innocent and morally incompetent victims of evil men).  But it’s rare to see those contradictions displayed as explicitly as in this article from WINK-TV in Florida, posted on the same day my column appeared:

Deputies arrest a female body builder who goes by the name “Miss Sparkle” during a prostitution sting.  They say it’s part of a continuing effort to crack down on what many don’t realize is a dangerous crime.  Miss Sparkle, otherwise known as Rhonda Lee Quaresma is a bodybuilder from Toronto, and according to her website, a business woman.  Deputies say she’s taken on another role recently in Lee County, as a prostitute.

They say, “Miss Sparkle” was arrested after she offered to perform a sex act on an undercover deputy.  A crime Lt. Chris Reeves with the vice-narcotics unit calls a big problem for many reasons.  Lt. Reeves says, “Bonita Springs is one of the areas we get a lot of calls from, people’s husbands, daughters, wives that are not working the streets that have to walk to get groceries are getting solicited for sex from these Johns that are roaming the area.  So to try to cut down on what Reeves calls dangerous behavior, the sheriff’s office turns both to the streets, massage parlors, and online to websites which feature ads for escorts.

He says, “People think it’s a victimless crime, however when they are taking HIV, hepatitis home to their spouses or their significant others, that’s a big crisis.”  Reeves says some of the prostitutes are victims of human trafficking.  “A lot of them are beaten and abused.  A lot of these are young girls that have gotten hooked on drugs,” A far cry from the glamorous or “sparkly” lifestyle some portray.

I honestly don’t know if I could’ve written a better parody of journalistic credulity and police stupidity and self-contradiction than this incompetently-written mess.  It begins by characterizing escorts as “dangerous criminals” (I’ll bet you didn’t realize we go around shooting into crowds and throwing grenades into kindergartens) without explanation, then quickly switches to the “public nuisance” excuse with a particularly inept and unintentionally hilarious example which is clearly intended to give the impression that an upscale escort was working as a streetwalker. This runaway clown-car then visits the old “diseased whore” myth before doing an abrupt about-face into trafficking fetishism, detouring slightly to the “drug addict” stereotype and then closing with a sentence fragment accusing the real experts of lying.  I almost feel as though I should stand up and clap.

Backlash

South African police have apparently decided to teach prostitutes a lesson for daring to speak up for their rights in several public events held on March 3rd, thus unwittingly proving the veracity of the protesters’ grievances.  This article appeared in Sangonet on March 10th:

A significant police backlash is being felt by sex workers around the country following human rights events for the International Sex Worker Rights Day on March 3rd.

In Johannesburg, Sisonke Sex Worker Movement [SSWM] national coordinator, Kholi Buthelezi, had her hands full with sex workers calling her for help…27…were arrested and released with a [300 rands, about $44 US] fine in Germiston, while in the City sex workers were harassed and one was assaulted.  Buthelezi [also] witnessed a police reservist soliciting a bribe from a sex worker – and took a picture of the culprit with her phone…

In Limpopo…[the SSWM]…and partner organisation, Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme (TVEP) assisted a sex worker who was whipped on the stomach by police officers…she would not go to the hospital… because she was afraid of being deported.  The march in Limpopo [on March 3rd] had to be cancelled because the Musina Local Municipality took away permission…less than 24 hours before the march was expected to start.  No reasons [were given]…and the…police…threatened…[the protesters] with arrest and detention should they deliver the memorandum that sex workers had prepared…[which] demanded that…[police] take complaints from sex workers seriously…

The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) will be following up all cases and working with our legal advice partners in Johannesburg and Limpopo to ensure that the police officers responsible for the incidences will be harshly disciplined. But, says Mickey Meji “Until sex work is decriminalised, we will be dealing with the impunity of the police. The law with regard to sex work must be changed so that sex workers are safe and no aspect of their work should be criminalised.”

I’m sure the police were only beating women up for their own good, to save them from those evil traffickers.  Or are whores still “dangerous criminals” in South Africa as we are in Florida?  It’s hard to keep track these days.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

On a number of occasions we’ve compared decriminalization (the official recognition that women have the natural right to have sex with whomever we wish for whatever reason we wish, even if money is exchanged) with legalization (the subjugation of prostitutes with arbitrary and often contradictory bureaucratic restrictions so as to enable governments to exploit us).  Many well-meaning people think prostitution should be “legalized and heavily regulated”, often under the excuse of “protecting” the women.  One common type of regulation, “living off the avails” laws, make it illegal for any adult other than a prostitute herself to receive a substantial portion of his support from her; such laws are widely touted as measures to “protect” whores from “pimps” (and indeed are sometimes referred to by their supporters as “anti-pimping laws”), but actually make it illegal for her to be married, to hire employees or to support relatives over 18 (such as elderly parents or university-age children).  Here’s a story from the Deccan Herald of March 5th about efforts by Indian prostitutes to overturn this and other “protective” laws:

According to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA), 1960, if anybody above 18 years uses the earnings of a sex-worker, he or she can be prosecuted.  If the children of sex workers use their mothers’ income, long hand of law can catch them.  “How many children start earning at 18?  Why this bias against us when we strive to study and make a living against all social hurdles,” rues Parvati, daughter of a [Calcutta]-based commercial sex worker.

Last week, sex workers aided by young advocates from Lawyers’ Collective met members of Parliament…to build up support…[for] changes in the ITP Act that criminalises sex workers’ earnings on which their children are dependent…According to an estimate made by the Union Health Ministry, there are approximately [1.25 million] self-identified commercial sex workers who were contacted as a part of the HIV prevention programme. “The number can be more as many don’t declare their status upfront,” said Tripti Tandon from Lawyer’s Collective.

Having sex in exchange for money is not an offence in the law.  But everything around this transaction has been criminalised under the ITPA.  Brothels are illegal as is sex work in hotels, rooms, lodges, streets and nearly all other premises.  In the absence of a designated place, sex workers have to solicit business on the streets or gesturing from other conspicuous sites.  But this, too, is punishable with imprisonment for six months and  a penalty.  An NGO, representing sex workers filed a [motion] in…July, challenging five clauses in the ITPA. The case is yet to be heard.  The…clauses they challenged include criminalisation of brothels, criminalising the earnings of sex workers, prostitution around a notified public place, soliciting and the power given to a magistrate to evict sex-workers from their home and forbidding their re-entry.

That’s right, in India the child of a woman pursuing a legal profession can be prosecuted if he doesn’t move away from home and support himself on his 18th birthday, and the prostitute herself can be evicted from her own property for a number of reasons.  You might think about that next time you’re tempted to support “heavy regulation” of prostitution in the United States.

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