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Police, perplexingly, think that [stings are] a trust-building exercise.  –  Alison Clancey

Check Your Premises

Young women are passive, doll-like “children” without will or volition until a prosecutor points his magical finger at them, transforming them instantly into evil adult “pimps”:

Two days after turning eighteen, a California woteen [sic] was sentenced to 13 years in prison for human trafficking of younger girls.  Jelinajane Bedrijo Almario…was tried as an adult…Detective Richard Pontecorvo…[fantasized while masturbating that] “These people are great at locating kids with low self-esteem…these pimps are ruining these kids’ lives at an early age”…

“Woteen”?  I’m guessing he started with “teen” and then meant to change it to “woman” so as to create an apparent age gap & thereby demonize Almario more thoroughly.  Oops!

Broken Record 

Small cities come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

Tourism and hospitality industry leaders will be meeting with the [Grand Rapids, Michigan] chapter of Women at Risk International (WAR)…to [spread propaganda about]…human trafficking…Michigan is one of the leading states for human trafficking…Between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the United States every year…And, when there are…major events like ArtPrize…cases often soar.  The conference will [subject] tourism and hospitality professionals to [propaganda claiming consensual sex]…is bad for business [and encouraging them to rat out their guests to the pigs]…

Paint By Numbers (#551)

Fanatics are running out of stupid “sex trafficking awareness” stunts, so they’re recycling old ones:

A group of three recent University of Texas graduates are…cycling their way from Seattle to San Diego, to raise awareness of the sex trafficking crisis in our own neighborhoods.  Sara Belmer, Savannah Lovelace, and Grace Pfeffer are the…members of Pedal the Pacific.  They refer to themselves as “hilariously un-athletic girls” who are [spreading tired decades-old fantasies]…about the very real [masturbatory fantasy] of human trafficking…

To Molest and Rape 

Some cops prefer to rape by proxy:

…Maria Joseph [reported]…that Ville Platte [Louisiana] Marshall Deputy Arthur Phillips forced her to have sex with another man…Joseph [was asked to go for a ride]…with Phillips [and agreed] because she “assumed it was a date”…Phillips brought Joseph to his apartment, and then “called a couple of friends…‘Chris’ and ‘Ike,’ to come over and visit.”  After asking his friends if they had any money, Phillips then proceeded to “[demand Joseph]…touch Chris”…after “she told the men she didn’t do prostitution,” Phillips “proceeded to physically push Joseph onto Chris…[then] told her to give Chris oral sex and to do it for daddy”…later…he…[forced her] to have sex with [another man named] Joe while [he] watched”…

Do I really need to say “don’t go on a date with a cop, either”?  Why are people so naive?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#646)

It’s fascinating how much energy these fetishists expend on something that doesn’t exist:

…In a report on the growing market in sex robots, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics [fantasized that] rapidly advancing technologies have already led to the creation of “android love dolls” [even though they actually haven’t]…robots raise complex issues that should be considered by policymakers and the public, the report said…including whether use of such devices should be encouraged in sexual therapy clinics, for sex offenders, or for people with disabilities…Noel Sharkey…said it was difficult to predict how far or fast the market would grow…[but pearl-clutchers pretend] that allowing people to live out their darkest fantasies with robots would have a pernicious effect on societal norms…

O, Canada! (#683)

Another chapter in this grotesque campaign to intimidate sex workers:

Sex-worker advocates are calling on police in British Columbia to stop participating in a…[scam] that sees [cops] pose as prospective clients and arrange dates in efforts to [intimidate] sex workers [into leaving the trade]…They…show up at the agreed-upon location…to [try to browbeat] the sex worker [into agreeing with their pretense that] she is working under coercion…advocates…call the operation deceptive, and say it erodes the already precarious relationship between law enforcement and the sex-work community…sex workers who have been targeted in these operations have described the events as frightening and traumatic…

Traffic Circle (#702)

Some cops just can’t stick with the “all whores are victims” program:

Escambia County [Florida pigs] have arrested 17 people in a two-day prostitution sting…Col. Robert Quinata [oinked that] operations such as this don’t stop prostitution in the county, but serve as a reminder to other offenders that police are aware [that human beings have sex]…he said…Escambia County doesn’t have a sex trafficking problem…as they don’t often find prostitutes working against their will…ECSO periodically uses undercover operations to target sex workers…and will continue to do so…to send a message…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing nursing school:

…As president of the Emergency Nurses Association, I am calling for nationally consistent policies and clear protocols for identifying victims of human trafficking, and mandatory training of all emergency department personnel.  Those who work in healthcare, particularly in emergency departments, often encounter human trafficking victims.  Yet [we have no actual proof of that claim]…Florida and Michigan now require human trafficking training as part of their healthcare licensing processes…There are physical clues, like certain scars, markings or tattoos like the barcode I [claim to have seen, yet have no proof of]…their captors exert…[magical mind] control over victims…

Remember, there has only been ONE actual case of a barcode tattoo, in Spain in 2012, and that one was a case of life imitating art. Yet this woman claims to have actually seen one, and produces no proof.  This is exactly as credible as an Elvis sighting.

Full of Themselves (#746)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”, despite not actually working:

A new Indiana law could [magically] bring an end to [sex work]…Massage therapists must now get a license…This October, seven central Indiana businesses were raided after [cops tricked] women [into] performing sexual acts…The Indiana attorney general’s office said the incidence of human trafficking tips quadrupled over the past two years…Not just anyone can get a license — you must be at least 18; go through 500 hours of training from an accredited school and pass a criminal background check, and exam…

The Widening Gyre (#749) 

I am so enjoying watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control of the “authorities”:

The Dubuque [Iowa] Police Department is scrambling to correct a story about an alleged abduction that got warped after it circulated through social media…on Saturday, June 24, a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were at Kennedy Mall when [the woman claims] an unknown female [of indeterminate species] began conversing with the girl, offering to buy her a gift of her choice in the store…The mother [says she] took the girl away from the unknown female and left the area…the…story was posted on social media where it was embellished and widely spread…

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Being lonely is hardly a crime.  –  Jake Adelstein

The Rescuers 

Harassing streetwalkers to scare away their clients has become a popular rescue industry pastime:

Friday afternoon, a group called “Code Red” gathered their efforts to stop prostitution throughout the Bay Area and across the country.  “We love people and we know sometimes you just have to keep working and working because they are going to come,” said Sylvia Vigil, who…spent hours out on the streets of Oakland looking for sex workers.  She says she saw ten girls out there and tried to reach as many of them as she could…The girls were all invited to a special dinner Friday night and from there Operation Code Red will offer them places to stay in recovery homes.

“Love” = “pathologically need to control”.  “Reach” = “steal income from”. “All invited…offer them places” = the girls were all too smart to walk into that trap, so nobody actually showed up.

It Looks Good On Paper

Another story credulously touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws:

Ohio…Senate Bill 4…would allow trafficking victims to apply to have records removed of some guilty convictions, dismissed charges or findings of not guilty…prosecuting attorneys…successfully pushed for changes that require the person seeking expungement of…felonies to [somehow] prove the degree of duress they were under…

Surplus Women 

Cops threaten and harass sex workers, yet believe we’ll come to them when we need help:  “…a prostitute was found stabbed to death in her north London flat…[on] May 29…Detectives have warned other sex workers in the capital to be “extra vigilant” as they hunt the killer…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Quite possibly the most ridiculous excuse any politician has ever used:

On May 22, the Yomiuri Shimbun…alleged that [Japanese politician Kihei] Maekawa frequented a shady dating bar…for a few years until around the end of last year.  The article implied that many of the women who come to the bar…offer sex for money…At a news conference on May 25, Maekawa admitted he used to go to a dating bar but said he went there to talk to the women and learn about poverty in the country…after watching a TV documentary that said many women going to such bars are barely getting by.  “Sometimes I had meals with women and gave them some pocket money,” Maekawa said.  “Talking to them, I have learned that child poverty is connected to the poverty of women”…

Can we please all grow up now and recognize that it’s not merely normal but common for men to pay for sex, and that many women accept money for sex either directly or indirectly?

Welcome To Our World (#15)

Another rape victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

…in June 2015, Angela Cardinal was led into an Edmonton courtroom handcuffed and in leg shackles…She was not the accused, but rather a victim — called to testify at a preliminary hearing after she was savagely attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious sexual predator…Cardinal was forced to spend a total of five nights in [jail]…during her testimony…Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley was appalled when…told…of Cardinal’s treatment…she has…formed a special committee to look at the case to review policies, with an eye to making what she calls “aggressive changes”…

Bottleneck 

No, they aren’t “forced” to work without a license; in every place where sex work is legalized, the vast majority prefer not to be registered by politicians and “supervised” by pigs.  Just look at the headline and tone of this article and you may understand why:

In Singapore, prostitution is legal, but [related activities are not]…The government regulates prostitution…but nevertheless illegal sex workers saturate the industry…There are an estimated 1,000…licensed sex workers in Singapore…Yet thousands more choose – or are forced – to work without a license.  Unable to access the same protection the state offers licensed workers, illegal sex workers will either work from massage or beauty parlours or…set up a profile online…Dr. Thein Than Win explains, “In the licensed brothels, everything is in place: mandatory health screenings, condoms.  But for the illegal sex workers…there are no [compulsory government-ordained restrictions]…As police stepped up their efforts by increasing surveillance…and…lawmakers [banned online advertising]…sex workers used websites hosted outside of Singapore to circumvent it…

Pyrrhic Victory (#139)

Some readers implied I was a crank when I predicted this exact development four years ago:

After the Freddie Gray riots in 2015, Baltimore residents began noticing small planes circling the city.  As reporters later uncovered, Baltimore Police had quietly begun using a “wide-area surveillance” system, which deploys Cessna planes to constantly record the movements of an entire metro area.  Police never bothered to tell the public they were using the invasive technology, which had been developed by the U.S. Air Force…Now Miami-Dade Police are quietly trying to deploy the same system.  In a county document posted online Tuesday, MDPD revealed the force has applied for Department of Justice funds to begin using wide-area surveillance (WAS) tools throughout the county…Civil liberty groups say they have major concerns about police using such a system, especially without telling the public about it…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m surprised this has taken so long to catch on, given the considerable overlap between anti-whore & anti-abortion busybodies:

There are only 13 states in the U.S. where it is possible for a minor to obtain an abortion without either notifying or explicitly receiving permission from either one or both parents.  For those who get pregnant in such states there is the option of continuing the pregnancy, finding a judge…willing to grant a judicial bypass…or [traveling]…to one of the few states that allows minors unrestricted…abortion…In 2006…the Child Custody Protection Act was proposed…[to make] crossing the borders a crime…it…died in committee a few times since then, but now it has once more reared its head…Ohio Senator Rob Portman reintroduced the Child Custody Protection Act in May, putting the restriction back on the table as a means of allegedly combating human sex trafficking.  “Human traffickers and child molesters don’t want parents involved in abortion decisions, so they take underage girls across state lines for abortions to avoid laws in the victim’s home state,” writes the conservative news site OneNewsNow

Are you satisfied, feminists?  Helping the anti-sex loons spread their “sex trafficking” myth sure was a good strategy, wasn’t it?

Soap Opera (#553) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution…gathered a couple of dozen volunteers in Arlington, Virginia…to…deliver…[bars of magic anti-pimp soap] to hotels and motels around the D.C. Metro area…S.O.A.P. Founder Theresa Flores [claims she] recently received a text message from someone…[who was saved by] one of these [soap bars]…The volunteers…also gave…hotels…a list of warning signs for desk clerks to watch out for, and also photos of missing girls…Flores [also claimed she happened to be] around when a photo of a missing girl put in the hands of a desk clerk [happened to be someone in the hotel that specific clerk had checked in]…

Flores’ entire shtick derives from TV cop shows, right down to the convenient coincidences.

What Were You All Waiting For? 

The ACLU still has a long way to go if it wants to help sex workers:

…For sex workers…[prohibitionists’] view of “help” is paternalistic.  Most of us probably don’t think much about sex workers, and when we do, we tend to immediately assume the worst stereotypes…Criminalizing sex work just allows the dark side to flourish.  When sex-work is driven underground, victims of violence and exploitation feel the need to hide…Sex workers facing criminal sanction are less likely to report rape and violence committed by their customers, and they are more likely to take risks like unprotected sex when they operate entirely outside the law.  If we were really concerned with protecting [those]…who engage in sex work, we would set up a legitimate legal framework in which they could operate…

Eli Baumwell clearly needs some education; legalization (which is what he’s advocating here) doesn’t really work because in the same paternalism he himself says doesn’t work, and the chief danger we face isn’t violent customers but violent cops who lose no power over sex workers under the legalization model he’s advocating.  But this very flawed effort is still better than the ACLU’s long silence on sex worker rights.

Full of Themselves (#650)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”; let’s see how that actually works:

Last month, Venice [Florida] police arrested three women for prostitution after raiding three massage parlors…[all three] still have “clear and active” massage therapy licenses issued by the DOH…all three have prior histories of prostitution arrests or convictions…Spotty enforcement and regulation of sex crimes in the massage profession happen all the time…Until 2015, the DOH operated on the honor system by requiring massage therapists to report their own arrests.  Now there is fingerprinting, that in theory, will automatically catch arrests of licensees for prostitution and other crimes…[the DOH] insists the state’s $6.5 million a year massage regulatory program that You Paid For is doing well…

I love it when authoritarian busybodies feed on each other.

Storyville (#697)

Some parts of the American west tolerated prostitution long after it was criminalized in the rest of Puritanland:

…When the discovery of gold and silver turned [Wallace, Idaho]…into the center of the mining universe, men moved [there]…by the thousands…Dr. Heather Branstetter….has literally written the book on the history of the sex trade here…”The madams contributed so much in anonymous ways that people don’t know about,” Dr. Brantsetter explained.  “They would leave money at the grocery store for people who couldn’t afford food.”  Many in Wallace say they don’t remember ever having to do a school fundraiser; what they needed was always provided.  In 1972, the state of Idaho no longer allowed cities to legalize prostitution.  But…in Wallace, it was [tolerated as long as] madams…follow[ed police] regulations, like not hiring local girls and keeping the women off the streets in their off hours.  But, over time, the [mining] industry declined.  By the mid-1980’s, only a few houses were left.  The AIDS epidemic…shut down [the last one]…in 1988…

The Widening Gyre (#738)

Still more infantilization of migrant Nigerian sex workers:

Although no fewer than 1, 594 illegal migrants from Nigeria have so far returned from Libya from January through May this year, many more are still stranded outside the country, having been deceived of a better life by traffickers, so said a representative from International Organisation for Migration (IOM)…Dr. Nahashon Thuo…Mrs. Winnie Aideyan, said…“There is nothing wrong with travelling, but people need to travel the correct way.”  Aideyan called on Nigerian youth to stop illegal migration, stressing, “Women need to be empowered so they will not be tempted by these traffickers”…

Because “empowered” women will obey self-appointed nannies and only travel in the “correct”, government-approved way, sitting with folded hands until they get permission. Naturally.

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Abolitionists have failed to acknowledge the utter mundanity of most sex work.  –  Frankie Mullin

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…upstate New York school…principal Eric Luther sought [underage student Jane] Doe out…and told her to “go for a walk with him”…two members of the New York State Police were stationed outside the…office…[and] the district superintendent, Robert Finster, [was] in the principal’s office, along with Amy Bird, the principal of the middle school.  Upon learning that other students had accused her of possessing drugs, Doe insisted that the allegations were false…Doe offered to let Luther search her backpack in front of her, but…school officials had a more humiliating search in mind.  Doe had to leave her backpack…while Luther and Bird took her to the nurse’s office…With [school nurse Kelly] Avallone and Bird looking on, Doe…[was forced] to disrobe completely…[and] stand exposed for several minutes…while they inspected her shirt, bra, boots, pants and underwear…Then nurse Avallone allegedly offered to perform a rectal exam…Jane [refused, but]…Avallone…[forced]…her…to…bend over [while she]…pried Jane’s buttocks apart with her hand, exposing Jane’s rectal cavity…Avallone [then] pried apart the opening to Jane’s vagina and shined her flashlight inside…there was absolutely nothing concealed…When Luther returned Doe’s backpack…her belongings were rearranged and…Luther admitted to searching the backpack outside of her presence.  All Luther had to say…was “Stop having your name associated with people with drugs”…

The Red Umbrella 

It’s always great to see good December 17th essays from allies:

…No one “dies of prostitution” any more than they do from domestic partnerships.  That women are killed in prostitution, as in relationships – the sphere in which women are most in danger of male violence – is the result of specific conditions:  misogyny, poverty, racism, stigma.  To claim that sex work is intrinsically violent is to let men off the hook…When deaths occur in other industries (there were 27 in agriculture this year, 43 in construction)…the usual response is to ask how working conditions can be made more secure, not whether the industry should be scrapped.  Of course men don’t need to buy sex, but nor does London need more luxury flats.  These arguments should have no impact on the right of workers to be protected…

Maggie in the Media 

Full of Themselves

Of all the semi-whores, none are as pompous as licensed massage practitioners:

…seven…Kitsap County [Washington massage businesses were defamed]…as suspect by cop-turned consultant Lavon Watson, who has made a new career out of investigating the rising tide of what some call “Illicit Massage Businesses,” or IMBs…They are easily identifiable if one knows what to look for, say those [persecuting]…them.  But they are not easy for authorities to shut down…Their proliferation has blurred the lines in the massage industry, with many legitimate massage practitioners reporting advances by their clients.  Their presence also worries those fighting human trafficking…Massage Network Solutions [is] a group of local therapists that met…with Watson, a retired Redmond police officer and massage therapist himself…while police and prosecutors here have [dumped dirty money into persecuting so-called]…pimps involved in human trafficking, storefronts — licensed by state and local governments to operate — might be furthering sex slavery…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you:

[Reporters for WSB in Atlanta dutifully promoted cop propaganda by accompanying pigs]…as they raided three local strip clubs looking for illegal activity.  [Prior to]…the raid [cops spent public money ogling strippers and getting lapdances for]…about a month-and-a-half to two-months…Sandy Springs police issued nine citations at Flashers, mostly for permit violations, and one for a solicitation for an illicit sexual act…At the Dollhouse…police issued 19 citations…[and] arrested [a dancer]…police issued six citations at Mardi Gras [and]…arrested [another dancer]…

Gingerbread House

The rescue industry is big business:

Phoenix will launch a project next year to convert an apartment complex into supportive housing for victims of human trafficking, an effort city officials [pretend] is the first of its kind in the country.  The City Council…unanimously approved plans for Phoenix Starfish Place, which the city expects will serve primarily sex-trafficking victims.  The project includes buying a vacant affordable rental complex, designing trauma-focused services and providing residents with vouchers to subsidize rent…[prominent “sex trafficking” fetishist & profiteer] Dominique [“Body Fluids”] Roe-Sepowitz…is [involved] with the project…

Shifting the Blame (#33)

Called it.  Four and a half years ago.

Suffolk County’s disgraced former Police Chief James Burke, long suspected of keeping the FBI in the dark about the Gilgo Beach murders, faces a new accusation from a sex worker who says there’s a link between him and the killings…The escort, who according to an affidavit has been in the profession for five years, discussed multiple times she said she partied with Burke in 2011 at an unknown Oak Beach home and engaged in “rough sex”.  Numerous people, prostitutes, and drugs, including cocaine, were at the gatherings, she said, adding that she observed former chief Burke use cocaine at the two parties she’d attended with him present…

“People, prostitutes and drugs”.  Because prostitutes aren’t people?  That kind of thinking is why those bodies ended up on the beach & their murders still haven’t been solved.

I Saw My Brain

Another pogrom in the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

More than 100 people, including [a bureaucrat]…were arrested in a six-day [pogrom]…in Polk County…the [persecution] was aimed at people who either advertised sexual services online or responded to prostitution ads online….[lying sows] posted fake online ads, and male [rapist pigs] responded to ads posted online by others…

Choke Point (#610)

It looks like there’s a new payment processor, PervoutPay, which promises to be sex work friendly.  Of course, all their ad copy I’m seeing is about porn, and this testimonial from Lance Hart has a strong whiff of whorearchy:  “We offer a legitimate service that is legal, yet we ask our customers to lie about what they are paying for…That has to make the customers feel at least a little weird(er) about paying us…like this is some kind of back alley deal.  PervOutPay is a big step forward in legitimizing sex work…”  Note the equation of “legal” and “legitimate”, which is bullshit; my business is as “legitimate” as Hart’s despite its illegality.  So what about it, PervoutPay?  Are you going to screw over escorts who try your service, or are you truly interested in “legitimizing sex work”?

To Molest and Rape pervert-cop-jason-miller

Serial sex offender let off easy, later assaults teen boy. Guess his profession:

Jason Miller was a New Jersey cop when he was caught on his dash cam pulling male motorists over to show them his penis, unzipping his pants to give them a close-up view of his genitals before walking back to his car without writing any citations…turning off his dash cam to allow himself to shove his genitals in their faces without it being recorded.  But there were times he forgot to turn the camera off, which led to his arrest after the department received two anonymous tips…He…struck a plea deal to avoid serving jail time or having to register as a sex offender…He was also forced to resign and forbidden to ever work as a New Jersey cop again.  On [December 15th]…he…was arrested again; this time for following a 16-year-old boy into a Burger King bathroom and sexually assaulting him…Miller claims the teen came onto him…

Utter Cluelessness

Just because we can’t find “victims” doesn’t mean the “problem” isn’t “overwhelming”.  Pizza!  Words With Friends!  EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

Aimee Schroeder…starts her day [t]rolling through listings on Backpage.com.  Her task is to pinpoint which Twin Cities ads are selling…children…for sex.  Photographs of girls…with bruised bodies and the track marks of drug use tip her off to possible sex-trafficking crimes…Schroeder keeps an eye out for small hands and children’s clothing…Imran Ali [is] the Washington County assistant attorney who is heading up the county’s year-old effort to [profit from hysteria over]…sex trafficking…because Washington County is a hub for major highway connections, sex work is often headquartered there…Pete Orput [fantasized while secretly touching himself].  “I can order up a human being to come to my house and sell her body to me, and then I can order a pizza — and I’ll bet the gal beats the pizza to my door”…Victims can get sucked into trafficking a number of ways, including through…”Words With Friends”…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#687) 

This is what a moral panic looks like:

Aoshilong, a Chinese clothing manufacturer that sells its line on Amazon, produces leggings for little girls in various prints…According to a December 12 story from WFTX…in Fort Myers, Florida, that was uncritically repeated by many other outlets, “the pants are covered with marijuana leaves”…an…anti-drug activist [vomited out]…”Anything that normalizes marijuana with kids is child abuse”…which is more plausible:  that a Chinese manufacturer of decidedly mainstream clothing made leggings for little girls printed with marijuana leaves…or that a few hyperventilating cannabiphobes mistook Japanese maple leaves for marijuana leaves?…

Opting Out (#694)

For those of you who still insist I’m an alarmist:

Last month, the UK moved forward with the latest version of its ridiculous “Digital Economy Bill” which will put in place mandatory porn filtering at the ISP level — requiring service providers to block access to sites that don’t do an age verification check.  But it was at least somewhat vague as to which “ISPs” this covered.  The bill has moved from the House of Commons over to the House of Lords, and apparently we now have at least something of an answer — and it’s that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook will be covered by this regulation…The debate over regulating Twitter got pretty silly pretty fast.  At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots…

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[Louisiana] has rendered consent…into an utterly meaningless concept.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Remember when busybodies actually had to spy on people in person?

CCTV cameras have been installed to catch kerb crawlers at a notorious prostitution hot spot in Southall…Hounslow Council has teamed up with police to crack down on kerb crawlers…attempting to pay for sex around Hayes Road…Warning letters have been sent to 63 kerb crawlers frequenting Hayes Road, who were identified from their licence plates.  The council [pretends] it is targeting the potential customers as part of efforts to safeguard women involved in prostitution, some of whom are believed to be trafficking victims…

Is there any sane person with a three-digit IQ who actually believes that the best way to “safeguard” someone is to starve her and render her homeless?

The Scarlet Letter

In the US media, “sex trafficking” is now just a dysphemism for “sex work”:

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has a [masturbatory fantasy about] men who buy sex.  “This is a shameful, dirty secret that they hope to keep,” he [salivated], “… resulting in children that are being subjected to sex trafficking, adults being trapped in slavery”…So-called “john-shaming” isn’t a new concept.  Cities have shamed for years, but to varying results.  With the internet, it’s a little easier now to [indulge in due-process free shaming]…Caroline Lasecki…of Outagamie County’s task force…said her views on publicly identifying johns changed after she sat in on multiple stings and saw how frequently the purchasers of commercial sex ended up being men with wives and children…”That’s what made me have a change in heart — thinking of how this would publicly humiliate their spouses or their children,” said Lasecki…”Most communities that have done this keep doing it,” said [Swanee Hunt’s lapdog] Michael Shively, a [data-fabricator] whose [public dole]-funded site, Demand Forum, [disseminates “end demand” propaganda]…

Uncommon Sense

It’s so funny to watch prudes’ heads explode over something so banal:

a Swiss firm…plans to offer oral sex to customers while they wait for their lattes…Bradley Charvet of Facegirl, an escort agency based in Geneva…wants to add something extra to sex trade in Switzerland…Charvet envisages male patrons ordering coffee and sex workers from the menu, with the entire transaction lasting 10 minutes and costing 60 Swiss francs (€55), making the coffee the most expensive in the city.  Representatives of anti-prostitution groups have expressed their concern with the proposed café.  Grégoire Théry, who represents the French organisation “Mouvement du Nid” said that the business, which would see men choosing sex worker from a list on an iPad, effectively decriminalises pimping…

Gingerbread House

Religious fanatics isolate women they hate and denigrate at a remote cabin in order to brainwash them; state and reporters think this is perfectly OK:

Rick and Pat Freeland have [isolated] hundreds of troubled girls and women at their log cabin refuge deep in the Rocky Mountains…they will only take two victims…at a time…[women labeled as] survivors of sex trafficking can be among the most difficult crime victims to [brainwash], often resisting [“help”], refusing to see themselves as victims and returning to their traffickers…they can be smart, manipulative and deceptive…to…anyone who tries to [force them into brainwashing in the guise of] help…The Freelands’ sprawling home could hold more but “as damaged as they are, it just doesn’t work”…The average age of girls drawn into the U.S. commercial sex industry is 12 years, according to the Department of Justice…The couple receive women and girls who have been [remanded] from an array of organizations and agencies…Sex trafficking may include prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, stripping and live sex shows…Pat Freeland described the trafficking victims she has met as chameleons, skilled at acting and saying what is needed to survive….untangling the…tentacles of their traffickers is painstaking work…

What will future historians make of the sick culture that produced this twisted, dehumanizing belief system?

Paint By Numbers 

Just do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, and declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”.  Stupid people will believe you and give you money:

From the time it took you to read this sentence, a young girl vanished from her home…as a slave in the sex trade…there are more human slaves in existence today than at any other point in the history of the world…The A21 campaign…[fantasizes] that only 1-2% of victims will ever be rescued…A Los Angeles-based non-profit has found a unique way to help trafficking victims heal…She Is uses the power of dance and movement as a form of therapy to empower women to know they are loved and valued and deserve to be treated with respect…the organization is set to release a documentary about the work they do…with their dance workshops.  The team have launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign which has a couple of weeks left to raise $35,000 to finish the production…

First They Came for the Hookers…(#421)

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you:

Phoenix police served a search warrant…to a strip club under suspicion for prostitution.  The Sunset Strip…was raided by police around 7 a.m…[damaging] parts of the building and…[shutting] down University Avenue [and other nearby businesses] for some time…at least five people were [detained] and questioned by police.  None of them appeared to be underage, officers said.  No word on how many people were officially arrested or if the owner will face charges.

Cooties

Please reread my teaser from the item above:

For two weeks, Arianna Travaglini…tried to book an Airbnb rental for an upcoming trip to Baltimore…but hosts weren’t responding to her messages.  When she clicked the “Instant Book” button, she kept getting error messages…[then] she received an email notifying her that her account had been disabled…[without] explanation…But Travaglini thinks she knows why she’d been banned: She does sex work under the persona Andre Shakti, and the two names can be easily linked with a quick online search…Travaglini has used Airbnb for over two years, under her legal name, and says she’s only ever gotten positive reviews from her hosts.  “I have always used the website for leisure, vacation-related travel—never worked out of the location, never advertised that my other persona was going to be at the location,” she said.  Travaglini also emphasizes that the sex work she does is strictly legal—she performs in pornography and works as a dominatrix…But again, never at an Airbnb rental…

Guinea Pigs 

Ladies, please stop putting hotel-room selfies in your ads immediately:

Molly Hackett…and…Jane Quinn…worked with a development team involving Washington University to roll out a new free smart phone app called Traffick Cam.  It’s designed to allow the public to help police [arrest sex workers]…The app allows hotel guests to enter information about where they’re staying, including the hotel name and room number.  They can also upload four pictures of their room…Quinn said, “Try to capture the pictures or lamps or other décor items”…[pigs] across the U.S. can then cross-reference with hotel photos [in sex workers’ ads]…to see if there are any similarities using…image analysis…The hope is the app will cut down on the amount of time police need to try and [arrest a sex worker before she leaves the hotel]…To date, the app has more than one million hotel photos…

Most of the “sex trafficking apps” we’ve seen before have been little other than silly wankery or ways to snitch to cops without dialing a phone.  But this one is a means of enlisting useful idiot to build a mass surveillance database, and as such threatens the liberty and privacy of millions who have never sold sex.

Full of Themselves (#535)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

The [Rhode Island] General Assembly has passed legislation…that enables…municipalities to regulate unlicensed massage parlors and services within its borders in response to illegal sex trafficking operations disguised as massage parlors…“Pawtucket cannot be a safe haven for businesses involved in sex-trafficking,” [bloviated]  Representative Tobon…“This legislation will protect the children and families of Pawtucket, it will protect the victims of sex-trafficking trapped in these businesses…I have heard from hundreds of massage therapists who want a clearer distinction between their legitimate massage businesses and…massage parlors who have brought ill-repute to the industry…I am confident that this legislation will [magically] end the…exploitation of women”…

These politicians are so full of hot air, I’d love to see one popped with a pin.

Signs

I often wonder what fraction of people who spout this rubbish are actually stupid enough to believe it:

Many of the 28 hotels in…Jacksonville [North Carolina] are now [collaborating with the pigs]…which caused the number of…arrests to rise…Prostitution and human trafficking go hand-in-hand with many other illegal activities…Sgt. Dale Silance…[oinked that] prostitution…doesn’t always look like it does on television…Mug shots of Jacksonville arrestees were compared with Julia Roberts…It’s a red flag if there are too many people going in and out of one room…A woman…at [one]…hotel…was overly…friendly with the staff and guests…red flag actions included guests who ask to visit room 112 but only know the woman as “Velvet” or “Cupcake,” Silance said to the [apelike hooting] of others in the room…Refusing maid service for days on end could be a clue that something is transpiring that the occupants of that room prefer to keep hidden from hotel view.  “If they don’t want you in their room, normally there’s something going on,” Silance [belched]…

So friendliness and a desire for privacy are now “signs” of “sex trafficking”.

Sexual Predators (#637)

Cops are “excited and jazzed up” to trick people and destroy their lives:

…the Ramsey County [Minnesota] attorney’s office has trained more than 3,000 [cops and bureaucrats]…in [turning consensual sex into] sex-trafficking cases and [sex workers into] victims…“These officers right now, they are really excited and jazzed up about doing john stings and doing everything they can to ensure that they have the [politically correct] mindset in dealing with [sex workers]”…Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said…“This is about [forcibly classifying sex workers as] victims of human trafficking,” said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell…

To Molest and Rape 

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

The Orangeburg County [South Carolina] Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy after…he [orally raped her under threat of arresting her boyfriend]…the woman reported the incident to 911 immediately after it happened on June 12…the deputy was one of two who responded to a domestic violence call…involving the woman and her boyfriend.  As the boyfriend was outside with the other deputy in a patrol car, the accused deputy…forced her into a back bedroom, where he [raped her]…Sheriff Leroy Ravenell…has not…released [the rapist’s name]…

Amazing how hard it is for reporters to use a simple word like “rape”.  And since the sheriff is hiding this rapist’s identity, I’m sure he won’t mind if I post his picture in place of the rapist’s.

Still a Child (#646) 

A “sex trafficking” fetishist told a bunch of Louisiana politicians “that the state’s I-10 and I-20 corridors are pipelines for human trafficking and there is still legislative work to be done in order to diminish this criminal enterprise.”  But rather than take the necessary step of shutting down these dangerous “pipelines” to protect The ChildrenTM, the state decided to create EVEN MORE “children” to “protect”:

…What the new law actually does is declare all 18- to 20-year-old sex workers as de facto trafficking victims, even if they’re working 100 percent willingly and independently…anyone who works with or helps young-adult sex workers—a friend who gives them a ride, escort agency owners, other sex workers, and their clients—[is]…guilty of the crime of human trafficking.  And not knowing the age of the “victim” is no defense.  Those convicted must register as sex offenders and spend a minimum of 15 years in prison.  The law, which takes effect August 1, allows for a maximum sentence of up to 50 years…The law not only declares young people’s agency inauthentic and their consent null, it [also declares] mens rea…utterly meaningless.  It doesn’t matter if you have gotten explicit consent.  It doesn’t matter if the person you’re paying is an adult woman.  The state has decided that you are a human trafficker, and that’s that…

IOW, because I had employees in that age range, my home state has just retroactively declared me a “sex trafficker” worthy of decades in prison and a lifetime of “sex offender” registration.  Is this enough yet?  Can we stop this insanity now?

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Behind the opposition to decriminalise both abortion and sex work lies the belief that…women…are incapable of physical autonomy, that their choices are so socially harmful, so deluded, they must be legislated against.  –  Frankie Mullin

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

If you’re raped by a cop, accuse him of offering to pay you for sex instead; that, they’ll try him for:

…Columbus [cop]…Bobby G. Schoolcraft…is charged with solicitation and engaging in prostitution…[after] the woman reported…that an unknown officer had paid her $20 to $40…Schoolcraft admitted 20 days later that he was the officer involved…The woman has a history of drug and prostitution arrests…

Part of the Picture

Is it just me, or is this hilarious?

…Covenant Eyes was created by evangelical Christians…For $10 a month, you can get an Internet Accountability report sent to your spouse, a friend, or anyone who would understand your struggles with erotic desire. This report is customizable, so you can set it to only report what times you went online, or the most “highly mature” sites you visited…You can also add filtering services to your account.  One person, designated the “Filter Guardian,” chooses an age-appropriate level of internet restriction for family members, and Covenant Eyes blocks domains they deem unacceptable…the app also provides a “Panic Button” you can hit when you’re in crisis and worrying you might give in to temptation.  This effectively shuts down all web access until you call Covenant Eyes personally, and ask them to reinstate your connection—after you confess to them that you wanted to look at porn…Whether it’s possible to be addicted to porn or sex…is still officially up for debate…Jessica McGraa

No, it isn’t.

Surplus Women 

This is about the least-infuriating coverage of this story I could find:

A mother was only uncovered as a sex worker after her dead body was discovered in a flat in Aberdeen.  A 25-year-old man, Bala Wadzani Chinda, has…[been] charged with the murder of the woman…37-year-old Jessica McGraa…She kept the nature of her work private, and her friends and ex-husband were shocked to find out she worked as a prostitute…

As you might expect from the sickeningly-yellow British press, other versions of the story focused on how much she charged and other such salacious details.

Whorearchy

The more sex workers and former sex workers come out, the better:

…there exists what sex workers like to call a whore hierarchy: The closer one gets to full service sex work, the closer one gets to being a whore and the further she is from being seen as a whole, complete woman.  As though the qualities of being a whore negate one’s humanity.  At the bottom of this hierarchy are the full-service sex workers who are most at risk by the stigma and fear mongering…Many women in the stripping community harbor a widespread disgust for escorts who come into clubs with clients, porn workers who occasionally perform at clubs and strippers who offer customers “extras” (i.e. more than just a lapdance).  Some even label fellow strippers who dance more aggressively or work at fully nude clubs as “more whore-ish.”  As if by distancing themselves from those further down the whore hierarchy — in this case, those who show pussy or grind harder — they can save themselves from experiencing whore stigma…

The Widening Gyre

Snopes sez: “this warning makes it sound as though the bad guys are stymied in their search for victims and don’t know where to look for kids to abduct until they see pictures of them on Facebook“:

One day you receive a friend request, as you often do every week or so.  It’s a nice looking man who you don’t seem to recognize…Later that day you decide to post photos of your little 6-year-old girls birthday party, and you tag all of her friends through their parents…You’ve essentially just given a trafficker and his customers multiple pickings not to mention the school they attend and the park which they frequent…stop posting your children’s photos on the internet…All it takes is one account to be hacked and you’ve just offered up your children’s images to all kinds of freaks, molesters, and yes, traffickers…Please share this important warning with all your friends! It can prevent a tragedy…

Under Every Bed

Population 126,326.

Cedar Rapids is a crossroads for human trafficking.  Police say our location between larger mid-west cities makes eastern Iowa a frequent stop for victims and those who control them…”Only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued,” says Teresa Davidson, President of Cedar Rapids Gives…

How do you know this, Theresa? Are you in collusion with the “traffickers” and therefore know how many “victims” they enslave?  And do you possess even the most rudimentary form of common sense?  Meanwhile, in Ohio, cops ominously inform us that “the same Ohio roads that are used legitimately are also used by human traffickers and smugglers to transport their victims and further their operations…” OH MY GOD!  NO!!!! SAY IT ISN’T SO!! THE SAME ROADS???? THE FIENDS!!!!! I’ll bet they even use standard transportation that wouldn’t raise eyebrows.

Paint By Numbers

“Anti-trafficking” stunts grow ever stupider:

Members of a [University of Florida] fraternity used a children’s game to [indoctrinate] students about human trafficking…60 silver and red blocks each had a [propaganda trope] about human trafficking.  A student would read the block he or she picked before placing it back on the stack…Rafael Cruzado…learned human trafficking is a problem in Alachua County because of its proximity to Interstate 75…Jason Feliciano…[said] “People don’t know that it is still happening”…

Seriously, debunking this nonsense isn’t even fun anymore; it’s just too easy.

A Procrustean Bed (#339)

Another jurisdiction officially classifies women as passive objects without agency:

People ensnared in the cycle of prostitution and the criminal lifestyle it engenders now have a lifeline…[Shreveport, Louisiana] District Court…in partnership with faith-based Purchased: Not for Sale…have begun a diversion program called Exit Strategy…[It is] the brainchild of Assistant District Attorney Holly McGinness…[who despite her apparent possession of a law degree, and thus presumably understanding the principle of separation of church and state] said, “The idea behind the name is that no person is for sale, we’ve already been purchased by Jesus”…Most people who engage in prostitution and other “sex industry” crimes, which begin as victimless misdemeanors, cannot engage in other meaningful productive work and often have underlying drug or mental problems that contribute to their cycle of criminal activity…

I wonder what underlying mental problems contribute to an attorney’s flagrant violation of one of the most basic principles of American government?Eliot Spitzer

Droit du Seigneur (#401)

Reminder: Spitzer’s a fan of choking women during sex:

…Eliot Spitzer was [regularly] seeing a…25-year-old blond [escort]…but became enraged when [she]…wanted to move back to her native country…The disgraced former governor is accused of attacking Svetlana Travis…a day before she flew home…Travis…wrote a 2014 article for…Medium that was headlined “Sex Is Sex, But Money Is Money”…after Spitzer…allegedly choked and pushed Travis…she cut herself with a broken glass…In the hours after the alleged scrap, Spitzer was caught on hotel video wearing a wool cap pulled down low over his eyes, sources said. While Travis was in the hospital, a man identifying himself as “George” called twice to ask about seeing her…but was told he could not…Police believe the caller and the visitor were Spitzer because hospital video shows him wearing the same wool cap…

Property of the State 

As with abortion…so with sex work…almost every form of labour reflects and is shaped by social inequality.  Yet there’s no call to ban, for instance, the cleaning industry…No one is claiming that agency always equals feminism.  However, the removal of it, the demand for state intervention in women’s choices, is deeply anti-feminist.  There’s nothing radical about denying us agency over our bodies.  A view of the state as a responsible arbiter of justice, and of the police as a benign force for good, is one that comes from a place of privilege…[prohibitionists often] claim to be protecting the vulnerable – unborn babies, trafficked women – but by allowing the state increased access, the outcome is yet more danger…

Full of Themselves (#553)

Oh, California Massage Therapy Council, please never change:

City Attorney Barry DeWalt will present a report to the Redding City Council…on the connection between illegal massage parlors and sex-trafficking, highlighting the need for an ordinance regulating businesses that could act as a front to human-trafficking…the Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition suggested the Police Department send officers to personally inspect each massage business and issue city permits, with associated fees…DeWalt will recommend massage therapists operating in Redding receive certification by the California Massage Therapy Council, ensuring therapists have at least a minimum number of hours of therapy education.  The report will also suggest hours of operation for the businesses and appropriate dress or conduct for massage therapists…

The Course of a Disease (#606) 

Some [politicians] including…MP Fiona Bruce are calling for buying sex to be criminalised under laws similar to those in Sweden…But the idea has drawn an angry response from Britain’s sex workers, who say they fear it could put them in danger.  Around 96 per cent of those who took part in the survey by National Ugly Mugs…said people should not be criminalised for buying sex from a consenting adult and 82 per cent said they would feel less safe if the law were introduced.  More than 200 sex workers took part in the survey, along with 52 organisations that offer frontline services to between 20 and 2,000 sex workers…

Cooties (#612)

Remember, kids, the Swedish modelTM eliminates prostitution!

…Swedish police reported an increase in human traffickers taking advantage of people renting out their homes through…Airbnb.  This is an obvious nightmare for anyone whose bed has been used to host this kind of sexual exploitation, but an even more nightmarish situtation for people being prostituted, often having to face numerous sex-buyers every day.  The vast majority of people exploited in prostitution are trafficked into it…[“pimps”] are in fact intentionally luring innocent people into contributing to what is best described as transnational organized crime…Sweden’s sex purchase act…has come to be regarded as the archetype for preventing prostitution and trafficking of human beings for sexual purposes…Because of the significant increase in knowledge among hotel staff to be alert to possible prostitution…traffickers now seem in desperate need of new venues to ensure the continuation of their criminal activities without being detected by police…the police badly need more resources.  This has even been pointed out many times by the police themselves…

Wow, what a surprise; the police agree that they need more money and power.

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Any act that would not be illegal if no money changed hands is not a crime just because money changes hands.  –  Mistress Matisse

R.I.P. Grace Bellavue Grace Bellavue

The prominent Australian sex worker and activist, Grace Bellavue, died on Sunday.  I’m told she wrote her own obituary some time ago, and I’ll publish it in its entirety as soon as it can be located; in the meantime, this profile  and this account of how she came out to her family may give you some vague idea of what this extraordinary woman – one of the first in Australia to risk legal and social consequences by showing her face as an activist – was like, and why she will be sorely missed.

Rough Trade 

A King County Superior Court judge sentenced [Christopher Beck] to 33 1/3 years in prison…for raping three women — two of them sex workers — over 15 days in March 2014…should he be released, Beck will be required to register as a sex offender for life…defense attorney Walt Peale said…each victim “contributed significantly to the crime being committed” by engaging in illegal sex work…[in reality] Beck is a serial rapist who terrorized women he specifically targeted because he thought they wouldn’t report the rapes to police and if they did, that no one would believe them…Beck didn’t pay any of the women…

Profit from Panic 

Listed below are job openings in non-profit organizations and for-profit (FP) companies that are fighting human trafficking.”  I’m sure it won’t surprise you to see that most of them are in either PR or finance.

The Public Eye

Here’s a profile of Denver’s Domina Elle:

I like to call myself an adult play facilitator.  The type of work I do is much broader than just BDSM or fetishistic type stuff.  I specialize in helping people to open this part of their sexual selves, and be playful and creative.  That’s one reason I love balloons.  It’s a very friendly catalyst.  It’s erotic and playful, and yet it’s not as scary as some of the other stuff when you start looking at BDSM…

Cuckoo Advertising

Uber-sleaze Dennis Hof is another master of tricking gullible reporters into printing his ads for free as “news items”:

…the owner of Nevada’s Bunny Ranch…announced a new perk for his…employees:  He will match their student loan payments 100% for two months, up to the amount they make as prostitutes at the ranch.  Brothel owner Dennis Hof says he was inspired by the growing number of debt-laden college students he’s seen turning to sex work as a fast way to pay off their loans.  His offer covers payments for education at any two- or four-year university…

The Privilege Paradigm

I’m part of a nascent but growing movement within the left to question the efficacy of current left political and rhetorical tactics, particularly concerning the privilege frame…[it] is a deeply limited way to look at the world, and at times it leads to perverse consequences.  To see the way in which they can really screw up political analysis, check out this Daily Kos piece by Shaun King…The question for people like King…is whether or not they really want to oppose mass incarceration and our current police state.  Because that edifice is so powerful, and so deeply embedded into our system, that it will take a genuinely unified front to oppose it.  That means not siding with the police…What’s the priority?  Scoring the purely rhetorical point of identifying privilege?  Or actually transforming the system that hurts so many poor people and people of color?

Frequently Told Lies

Eithne Crow explains the problems with common responses to prohibitionist propaganda:

When someone is telling you that you don’t know your own life or your own experiences, that you don’t know what you do or don’t consent to, and they’re making no attempt to hide their revulsion – asking invasive questions and telling you that you’re damaged and a liar and a victim – it’s hard to keep it all together.  The implication that we’re dirty, disgusting and desperate draws on a narrative so firmly established, institutionalised and legitimised by nearly everything in our culture that sometimes it’s hard to keep swimming against the tide…I still see these narratives of empowerment versus exploitation being perpetuated all over the place. and I think we need to start saying to each other: “I see you, and I understand that your back’s against the wall and that’s really hard, but when we’re trying to demand rights and you say ‘I like my job’, what does that mean for people who don’t?”…

Another Fine Mess

No, Rhode Island didn’t “accidentally” decriminalize prostitution.  But maybe Georgia did:

In Georgia, it is an absolute defense to a charge of prostitution that the defendant was being sexually trafficked….but the law is so broad that virtually any…prostitute can make a credible claim to being trafficked.  Coercion can mean threats of “bodily harm,” but it can also mean “threatening to expose… information… that if revealed would tend to subject to…. ridicule,” “providing a controlled substance,” or “threatening financial harm.”  So a prostitute who accepts crack cocaine…meets all the elements of the statute…Or let’s say a prostitute…asks the john for $40, and the john declines, saying it will be either $30 or nothing.  Now there’s a threat of financial harm.  Deception is even broader.  It can include promising a benefit…then not delivering.  Or “[c]reating or confirming another’s impression of an existing fact or past event which is false and which the accused knows or believes to be false”…Arguably, [this] might even apply to police officers making undercover busts…

Little Boxes (#504)

It looks like the “cuddlers” are competing with masseuses to see who can come up with the most pompous rationalizations of why they aren’t sex workers:

…To help [pretend that it’s]…an…industry with no connection to prostitution, the therapeutic massage industry emphasizes training and certification.  Most states have massage therapy licensing boards that regulate practitioners. To obtain a license typically takes at least 500 hours of supervised, in-class training…Such requirements help reinforce the [notion] that massage therapy is a skilled discipline practiced by experienced professionals who possess genuine medical knowledge and hard-to-acquire skills…Along with the training costs, some states or municipalities impose additional fees [and legal restrictions] on therapeutic massage businesses…But if professional cuddling attempts to go this route, an obvious issue arises.  “There’s only so much information you can give on teaching cuddling versus massage,” says Evan Carp…

Guinea Pigs Female Head with biometric facial map

Note Facebook’s half-assed “correction” near the bottom of the original:

…New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Facebook engineers will help his office use “innovative data and analytical methods” to combat online child sex operations…Facebook declined to further provide details, but a likely guess is the project will draw on Facebook’s massive database of “faceprints” to identify victims who appear in the sex ads…law enforcement agencies could cross-check images of their faces to discover their identities—and possibly pictures of the people who are controlling them…

What Were You All Waiting For?

Another pro-decrim article, this one quoting Mistress Matisse:

…In August, Amnesty International voted that the best policy to protect sex workers is the full decriminalization of consensual sex work…the recommendation…served as a mainstream wake-up call about the dangers of the current legislation in the U.S…Current laws regarding sex work can be seen as the criminalization of an exchange between consenting adults.  However, Nevada is currently the only state in the U.S. that allows for the legal exchange of sexual service, legalizing prostitution in regulated brothels (as opposed to decriminalization, as argued for by most sex work activists)…

The Face of Trafficking (#567)

This is what really happens when a wannabe “pimp” abducts a girl:

[On October 5th, Alabama] Police received a call from family members of a 14-year-old saying she wasn’t where she was supposed to be and was missing.  Moments later, an anonymous caller told police a girl about that same age was being used as a prostitute inside a residence…“After talking with the parties there, we located the juvenile,” explained Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan…[he] said there were drugs and money exchanged to have sexual contact with the 14-year-old girl in a back bedroom…Rashard Ricks, has been charged with human trafficking…Jerrin Donley is charged with rape…

Broken Record (#575) 

The descent of “sex trafficking” hysteria into self-parody continues unabated:

…The New Colossus is a…group in Sioux Falls that raises awareness about…human trafficking…[they] say here in South Dakota there’s two times a year when there’s a spike in trafficking – during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and the [pheasant] hunting season….[which] brings the problem into rural communities…[Polly] Dean says some of the girls being trafficked…are from reservations in the state, but also from places like Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee.  While people will be keeping an eye out for birds…The New Colossus want everyone to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity as well…Some of the things people should look for are women who appear in multiple locations…

That’s right, women moving around in public (instead of staying in the home, presumably) are inherently suspicious.

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[Tom] Dart says sex workers are victims, but his actions suggest he intends to make sure they’re victims, one way or the other.  –  Noah Berlatsky

Shifting the Blame

Politician blames advertising site for damage caused by criminalization:

[Massachusetts] Attorney General Maura Healey called on Backpage.com to shut down its “adult” section after two men allegedly killed an escort…whom they had met through the website…Epshod Jeune…and Derrell Fisher…carried out a “joint venture to rob escorts at gunpoint’’…[but] Healey [pretended it was somehow the advertisement’s fault]…

The Scarlet Letter

This week in serious civil-liberties violations in the name of stopping sex, the city of Tucson, Arizona, has released information on hundreds of people with “ties” to suspected sex workers.  The move is part of a years-long investigation into a handful of massage parlors that may offer more than just muscle-pain relief.  Obviously, such nefarious criminal activity (hand jobs—for money? the horror!) warrants extreme measures, which is why Tucson cops couldn’t just stop after raiding the six massage parlors in January and seizing the owners’ assets.  Now the department has publicized the names of all the phone contacts stored in 15 cellphones seized during the raids…getting a massage is apparently now grounds for public shaming at the hands of the state…

Feminine Pragmatism 

Dog bites man:

…Nearly a third of Greeks are living below the poverty line, and children and families make up a significant proportion of those most vulnerable as a result of brutal austerity measures.  This is well-known and well-documented.  Yet one fallout of Greece’s mass unemployment is largely concealed – the rising rate of women turning to sex work to make ends meet. There are reportedly around 18,000 sex workers in Greece, up from the estimated 17,000 in 2012…the number of people selling sexual services in Greece has soared by 150% during the crisis – driven by those desperate to put food on the table after the nation’s financial meltdown…

Above the Law 

Brave heroes of the week:

A…[cop named Nakia Johnson] has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing…an 11 year-old girl.  Deputies say he was in the car with the child when he accidentally pocket dialed the girl’s mother…

Meanwhile, in Maryland:

A Maryland state trooper has been charged with forcing a woman to perform a sex act on him at gunpoint…Brian Tucker…and the woman had previously arranged an agreement for a sex act for money, but the woman…was forced to perform an additional sex act at gunpoint…

Full of Themselves (#439)

The luridly-pompous language used in massage parlor hit pieces from California is probably the most unintentionally-hilarious anti-whore pap out there:

…The number of state-certified masseuses has risen 13% since 2014 to 51,885 this year, according to the California Massage Therapy Council…Nationwide, the massage industry is growing as medical establishments increasingly embrace massage’s therapeutic benefits…more than 5,400 massage technicians list home addresses in [the San Gabriel Valley]…10% of the massage technicians in the entire state.  Now that cities have more authority over massage parlors, officials are weighing how to balance the rights of a growing profession of legitimate massage therapists against the responsibility to solve problems caused by the less savory businesses.  An athlete with sore muscles or an office worker with a stiff neck could not browse long online without running into websites offering Yelp-style reviews of sexually oriented massage parlors.  Posters swap information, using abbreviations and acronyms to throw authorities off the trail…A study by the Urban Institute…described a highly organized sex trafficking ring revolving around a chain of massage parlors in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles…

Soap Opera (#509) 

First-magnitude fabulist Theresa Flores’ maudlin comedy act, distributing soap bars to fight “pimps” hiding in hotel lavatories, continues:

As the Major League All-Star Game approaches, local law enforcement officials as well as anti-human trafficking activists are bracing for a spike in sex traffic in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  One of their main weapons to combat such an influx?  Bars of hotel soap…The shower is one place where victims are alone and away from their pimps/controllers.  “We know with any big event or big sports event, there is always an increase in demand for commercial sex (prostitution),” said Erin Meyer, the anti-human trafficking program coordinator for the Cincinnati branch of The Salvation Army and coalition manager for End Slavery Cincinnati.  “And that will no doubt mean an increase in human trafficking.  That data is there“…The effort is part of the national SOAP (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) program started by Theresa Flores, a former victim of sex slavery…

Worse Than I Thought (#530)

It’s like they’re competing with each to see who can inflict the most mindlessly-draconian sentences:

[Florida] lawmakers have increased the penalties for people soliciting prostitutes…The first offense is now punishable by up to $1,000 fine…up from $500.  Second and third offenses become felonies.  First offenders will now serve 100 hours of community service, but a second offense will get you ten days in the county jail…State Representative Jeanette Nunez [belched out] “The wives and spouses…this will certainly be a wake up call for them”…Domestic Violence counselors are especially keen on provisions that require Johns to pay for and attend an education program on prostitution and sex trafficking…

Seizing Power Backpage free

As I explained Friday, Backpage has issued a big “fuck you” to Tom Dart & Swanee Hunt by making adult ads free for the time being; Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes:

…Backpage’s move to make adult ads free is a big screw you to fearmongering, First-Amendment-hating, Internet-freedom-stifling nanny statists who think they can control financial-services firms, foreign-based websites (Backpage.com is owned by a Dutch company), and the way women choose to earn a living…

Meanwhile, over at New Republic, Noah Berlatsky writes:

Dart [pretends that]…sex work is “outrageously dangerous”…and [claims] that life expectancies for sex workers [are] comparable to those in “a Third World nation”—though such statistics are notoriously unreliable.  It’s certainly true that putting up barriers to Backpage makes sex work more difficult.  But that doesn’t seem like it will help sex workers.  Instead, sex workers who use Backpage.com say Dart’s successful campaign will make their jobs more dangerous, not less…the changes to Backpage may mean that [some women]…have to work on the street—or find a manager or pimp who has developed alternate payment methods…

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