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Posts Tagged ‘Mother Learns From Her Children’

Thanks for your concern but we’d rather have your respect and the right to work how we choose.  –  Thai sex worker

R.I.P. Carol Doda Carol Doda

Carol Doda, who…gained worldwide fame as a topless dancer in the 1960s and ’70s, died Monday of complications related to kidney failure.  She was 78…Doda was…a waitress who go-go danced on top of a piano at the Condor 51 years ago when the club’s publicist, Davey Rosenberg, handed her a Rudi Gernreich topless swimsuit…It was a sensation — the first topless dancing act of widespread note in America.  So many customers packed the club that Ms. Doda spent $1,500 to boost her bust size from 34B to 44DD through silicone injection, which was then a new technique…At the height of her fame, Ms. Doda’s breasts were dubbed “the New Twin Peaks of San Francisco.”  At one point they were insured for $1.5 million with Lloyd’s of London…Doda’s only arrest in the profession came in 1965, when police raided the Condor on indecency charges. She was found not guilty and continued to dance until 1985, when she quit, saying she was never paid enough…

Subtle Pimping

Another example of profiting from sex workers’ images while giving us nothing:

…If you follow independent and/or luxury lingerie brands, chances are you’ve seen an ad showing a woman decadently sprawled in strappy black lingerie…body bathed in red light from an out of frame bulb.  She may be seated in a high-end hotel room, looking wry but effortlessly detached, while a man in a suit stands nearby, frozen in the act of either removing his coat or undoing his tie…these images are all enticing and racy, but it may not have occurred to you that they intentionally allude to the models being sex workers.  Escorts.  Peepshow girls.  Pro-Dommes.  The industry not only benefits from sex workers’ money, it also uses their imagery to peddle product.  This wouldn’t matter if not for the fact that these same brands never want to admit these ties for the sake of appealing to a civilian…public.  Yet, every season, it seems like they push the envelope by co-opting sex work more and more…

Saving Them From Themselves

Go ahead, Colorado; prosecute all of them.  Put an entire generation on the “sex offender” registry.  Surely that’ll teach ’em to not be sexual:

Authorities in Colorado are investigating widespread sharing of hundreds of nude pictures at a high school…Officials in Cañon City say an unspecified “number of students” — both boys and girls — exchanged nude photos of themselves…The district said it received anonymous tips about the alleged sexting…and that it has turned the investigation over to the Cañon City Police Department.  Police are looking at whether adults were involved, or if any of the photos were coerced…officials are warning parents that students apparently used apps to hide the photos on their phones.  District Attorney Dan May [bloviated] that having nude pictures of minors could be considered child pornography — regardless of whether the picture is of oneself or someone else.  He said teens caught could also be put through a diversion program instead…

Change a Few Words

Another move away from prohibitionism:

Mexico’s Supreme Court…ruled that individuals should have the right to grow, possess, and consume marijuana…the court…concluded that the right to “free development of the personality” includes the freedom to engage in recreational activities, subject to restrictions “necessary to protect health and public order.”  In the court’s view, the damage caused by consumption and noncommercial production of marijuana is not “of such gravity as to warrant an absolute ban.”  The court was responding to a lawsuit brought by activists who asked COFEPRIS, the national agency in charge of regulating drugs, for permission to use marijuana.  When COFEPRIS said no, the applicants challenged the its decision in the courts.  According to The New York Times, the Supreme Court’s ruling applies only to the cannabis consumers who brought the case.  “For legal marijuana to become the law of the land…the justices…will have to rule the same way five times, or eight of the 11 members of the full court will have to vote in favor”…

Above the Law 

This week’s rapist cop cost Los Angeles taxpayers $6.15 million:

…the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to a payment of $6.15 million to a woman who was raped by an on-duty sheriff’s deputy…The rapist is Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, who was sentenced to nine years in prison last year.  He admitted to the rape as well as another instance of offering a bribe of sexual activity to a different woman.  He is also to register as a sex offender.  The incident took place…on September 22, 2010…Lindsay F…was stopped by Sanchez who [claimed]…she was driving under the influence of alcohol and had a suspended license…Sanchez offered not to arrest her in return for sexual favors, but she refused…so he drove her down a distant dirt road…and…forced her to have oral, vaginal and anal sex with him against the hood of his patrol car.  Then he…asked Lindsay to give him her phone number in case he wanted to “mess around” again…

Red in Tooth and Claw

Just a reminder of how nasty Mother Nature really is:

…some male spiders lop off parts of females’ genitalia to prevent [them] from mating again, a new study says.  The behavior, which guarantees that the male will father all of her offspring, is the first to suggest that males evolve behaviors to maim external parts of the female genitalia…A male spider delivers its sperm via pedipalps, a pair of leg-like appendages near its mouth that latch onto the female’s scapus from above and below…the L. jeskovi pedipalp grasps and twists the scapus as the male dismounts, snipping it off as if with scissors.  Without this crucial handle, other males can’t grasp the female at all, preventing her from having another sexual partner.  It’s a twist on the typical arachnid battle of the sexes.  Many female spiders have sex with multiple males but fertilize their eggs with only one suitor’s sperm.  This competition has prompted some species’ males to take drastic action, such as castrating themselves to plug the females’ reproductive tract.  In this case, however, “males have found a very clever means to prevent females from remating without mutilating themselves…Female spiders can store viable sperm for years, so having only one sexual partner might not hamper their fertility…

Stupor Bowl

Stories like this are much more common now:

The Winnipeg Working Group for Sex Workers’ Rights is speaking out against claims that a major sporting event will increase “sex trafficking” in their city.  In the lead up to the Grey Cup…government officials have set up over $45,000 CAD worth of funds to combat “human trafficking” in Winnipeg.  The funds will be used to set up a phone hotline and an awareness campaign called Buying Sex is Not a Sport…the Winnipeg Working Group has organised to counter these claims. “Despite media hype and police enthusiasm, there was no evidence that large sporting events increase trafficking for prostitution,” they wrote in their press release on October 29, 2015…

If Men Were Angels

The inevitable result of people being given power over others:

Settlement talks are set to begin in the Baltimore City public housing sex for repairs scandal.  So far, 11 women have joined the federal lawsuit…in which housing maintenance employees are accused of demanding sex before repairing deplorable, even life-threatening, conditions inside public housing apartments.  Eleven women say they were forced to live with dangerous mold, no heat and rodent infestations, all because they rejected maintenance men’s advances.  “We uncovered a union investigation, which found many, many more victims,” said attorney Cary Hansel…[who] says some housing officials were aware of the allegations and did nothing…

Welcome to the Future (#543)

“Swedish model” propaganda pretends that women are “decriminalized” under the law; look at the proportion of arrests here:

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested the first person under the new laws that [claim to] target the buyers of sex.  During a [raid on] a brothel…police arrested [one] man for paying for sexual services…and…three females…for keeping a brothel…The new legislation…aims to mirror the so-called Swedish model…

Naked Truth (#544) Loubna Abidar

Whore stigma affects amateur women, too:

The star of a film on sex work in Morocco…was savagely beaten in Casablanca last week, sparking an outcry on social media over social taboos that activists say can be enforced by violence.  Loubna Abidar, who portrays a Marrakech sex worker in Much Loved…said police and hospital workers refused to help her.  Instead they humiliated her, she said…

Uncharted Seas (#552)

It’s only a matter of time now:

…in Brazil…three women have defied deeply conservative trends…and wider traditional mores by celebrating a polyamorous civil union.  The happy trio, who reportedly have shared a bed for years and say they want to raise a child, took an oath of love…in the presence of…notary public Fernanda de Freitas Leitao.  “This union is not just symbolic,” because it defines “how they intend to have children,” attorney Leitao said…The union is not a formal marriage, because under Brazilian law that would be bigamy.  Neither are they automatically allowed to declare joint income or join a healthcare plan for spouses.  But the civil union is still a big step…”If they seek these rights before a court, they could obtain them — and I think they will,” Leitao said…

Eternal Vigilance (#563)

Twenty years of successful decriminalization in New South Wales is threatened by politicians:

A new police unit should be established to stamp out organised crime and exploitation in the NSW sex industry, a parliamentary inquiry…[recommended]…the…committee…[proposed] the biggest overhaul of the NSW sex industry in more than two decades with police receiving “greater powers” to enter premises and monitor illegal activity.  Police background checks will also form part of a revised license approval process…The reforms are…criticised by sex [workers] who [point out that] police were stripped of such powers, and the industry decriminalised, in the mid-’90s because of corruption…

The Mother Learns From Her Children (#586)

After years of moralistic ideology prevailing over evidence, and policy being formed about, but not with, sex workers…the English Collective of Prostitutes’ (ECP) event in the House of Commons…saw sex workers and their allies, including politicians from all of the main parties, presenting compelling evidence in favour of decriminalising sex work.  Also this week, the Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) are holding four days of conferences, workshops, parties and even a sex worker film festival.  Next week MSP Jean Urquhart’s Bill to decriminalise sex work in Scotland will be launched in the Scottish Parliament…Until recently…sex workers and allies were forced to focus their energies on constantly putting out the fires instigated by those driven by radical feminist or fundamentalist Christian ideology.  Just a year ago MPs were voting on an attempt by…Fiona McTaggart to shoehorn the criminalisation of the purchase of sex into a bill about something entirely different…[backed by] the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade…They still manage to waste Parliamentary time pushing their ideology…but…the mood has changed so significantly that they are no longer seen as a substantial threat, just a strange club where self-described radical feminists and evangelical Christians come together to dream about creating a moral utopia at whatever cost…

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Social policies do not have to be so dumb.  –  Laura Agustín

The Scarlet Letter

This article is so stupidly evil it’s almost fascinating:

A plan to publicly shame those who solicit sex with minors moved forward…with a draft ordinance covering Los Angeles County expected next week…Don Knabe has been pushing for a “shame campaign” since late last year…the…ordinance that would provide for the publication of names and booking photos of those convicted of soliciting prostitution or loitering with intent to solicit prostitution…Sheila Kuehl…questioned the practice of arresting people for loitering with intent, saying she thought the allegation amounted to “mind reading”…The Los Angeles Times editorial board, when Knabe first made his proposal, called the plan “anachronistic” and said it amounted to “sensationalism”…

Parable Kesha

Noah Berlatsky with another analogy for the absurdity of prohibition:

Should young women be allowed to enter the music industry?  That seems like a preposterous question.  But consider:  Kesha…filed a lawsuit against her former producer Dr. Luke…alleging that he had sexually, physically, and mentally abused her for a decade…Kesha’s lawsuit also alleges that Sony music refused to take steps to stop the abuse, and even covered up for it…The situation is not rare; producers and managers like Phil Spector and Ike Turner have physically and mentally abused their artists for years…Shouldn’t there be laws in place to prevent women from entering an industry such as this where they can be abused and harmed?  It should be clear why this is a bad idea.  Heavy-handed restrictions on women would hurt women, not protect them.  To make it illegal for women to be musicians and pop stars would be abusive and unfair in itself…And yet, when it comes to sex work, restricting women’s options in the name of “protecting” them is suddenly seen as reasonable, logical, and necessary…

Saving Them From Themselves

How many more kids’ lives have to be destroyed before we stop the cops?

Police in a Pennsylvania school district have charged at least three kids—one of them just 11 years old—with distributing sexually explicit pictures of other minors.  They…face juvenile detention, expulsion, and a variety of other life-altering consequences.  This is somehow in their best interests—and the interests of kids everywhere—authorities claim…The levelling of charges…should not be viewed as some low-cost precondition to keeping kids safe, but a horrible, life-derailing consequence in and of itself…But we live in a country where paranoid delusions about safety provide cover for police to enforce absurd laws that make life miserable for kids…

Surplus Women 

Kenyan police are investigating the murders of 10 women working as prostitutes, a record number of attacks in one month that has led to fears of a serial killer…campaigners have called on the government to legalise prostitution and offer proper protection to vulnerable women.  The police commander in the town of Nakuru, where four bodies were found, said an intense manhunt was under way…Hassan Barua said security had been improved in the area, but would not comment on whether one suspect was wanted for multiple murders…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

Because they are?

When the issue of sex workers in Thailand is brought up, any discussion is usually characterized with words of “exploitation”, “coercion”, and “human trafficking”.  However…Some…girls…[feel] that sex work [is] a means of emancipating themselves economically…A prevailing attitude…[is] that they feel better being paid for the sex they provide, rather than providing sex to a husband in a dead end relationship that they get nothing for.  This was most prevalent in those who had been married before…Some even talk about providing sex as helping clients with a basic need…What was most common with those sex workers who had been prudent financially, was a satisfaction with their career as a sex worker…

The Mother Learns From Her Children

Sex worker rights activists from around the world will join researchers and experts to present evidence to parliament in support of the decriminalisation of sex work.  The day-long symposium, organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes and hosted by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, is an opportunity for parliamentarians and the public to sidestep the charged emotion of international debates on the nature of sex work and hear crime-related, humanitarian, and public health analyses from leading academics and campaigners…The symposium will compare the outcomes of Sweden’s criminalisation of the buying of sex with the full decriminalisation model that has flourished in New Zealand…activists from Thailand, Taiwan, Canada and South Africa will explain how criminalisation, rescue and rehabilitation programs have affected sex workers there.  Rachel West, an American sex worker rights activist, will explore how a recent surge in anti-trafficking policing has disproportionately affected black sex workers and their clients…

The Lion and the Ox

Laura Agustín on the uselessness of the term “human trafficking”:

…There are young people now who have grown up surrounded by campaigning against trafficking, unaware there is conflict about how to define the term.  Some want to dedicate energy to combating what is figured as a modern social evil.  Some compare themselves with 19th-century anti-slavery advocates and feel outraged that anyone would question what they are doing…after…the idea of trafficking began its ascent…we who were interested in migration, sex work and labour policy realised it was useless for gaining equity or rights…the assumption is this human mobility to work is fomented by criminals who use force and coercion against their victims…Behind this over-simplification and over-focus on sex lie real social inequalities and oppressions:  migration policies that favour middle- and upper-class jobs, out-of-date notions of the formal economy and productive labour, young people who want to get away from home, job-seekers willing to take risks to make more money, laws that make commercial sex illegal, laws that make sweatshops illegal and…more.  To lump all this under a single term simply disappears the array of different situations, encourages reductionism and feeds into a moralistic agenda of Good and Evil…

King of the Hill (#421)

“The Harvard of sex trafficking” has now morphed into “The Harvard of pimp school”.  Or was it really the other way around?  Does it really matter, when both phrases are utterly ludicrous?

Milwaukee has become “the Harvard of pimp school” and Wisconsin is a hub of human trafficking, a [self-declared] expert has said in the wake of an FBI sting last month in which nine adolescents were [arrested]…meaning Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third highest number of young people [arrested]…Denver topped the list, with 20…and Detroit was next with 19.  Over the past four years, however, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for [arrests of underage sex workers]…

If Men Were Angels

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

A…Houston mother of two says she was raped in her hospital bed by a doctor…she reported the rape to nurses who responded with cold skepticism.  She had to wait nearly two years for police to collect the alleged attacker’s DNA and make an arrest.  And now…Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh…may get off scot-free in civil court.  And Texas law may entitle her to only modest compensation from Sheikh’s employer at the time of the rape, the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine…Baylor doctors staff Ben Taub, which is a public hospital owned by Harris County.  The doctor isn’t the only one who can deploy the “government unit” shield.  Baylor lawyers have successfully argued that the college itself can be construed as a government entity and is entitled to the same protections a county institution would enjoy…Baylor can argue it is immune to the claim altogether…and…the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that rape in some circumstances is covered by medical malpractice laws…Gillian Anderson looking stupid again

Acting and Activism (Traffic Updates) 

Anderson’s right at home in a movie based on ridiculous, exaggerated conspiracy theories:

Gillian Anderson wasn’t expecting to appear in the movie Sold.  The actress, known for her role on The X-Files, had initially been approached by…director Jeffrey Brown…about just being part of the film’s campaign.  She immediately said yes because she felt passionate about…sex trafficking…”High school students go missing and they are…forced into prostitution where there is violence and they don’t get paid for being a sex slave…And they get brainwashed into being a part of a community and they are terrified for their lives to escape”…

Safe Targets (#452)

Tara Burns, Maxine Doogan and two others on “sex trafficking” in Alaska:

…Last year a woman dialed 911 in Anchorage and reported that she had been a victim of sex trafficking.  When the [cops]…decided to follow up with her they…traveled to where she was working as an independent escort and…posed as a customer to book an appointment with her and meet her in a sexual context.  Then [they] placed her in handcuffs, threatened her with felony charges, and told her nobody would be able to “actually” love her as she was.  In response to a…complaint about this incident, the Department of Public Safety explained that this is a common “strategy of building rapport” with victims…

Vendetta (#518)

Oakland City Council Takes Stand Against Sex Workers“.  Seriously.

On October 20…[Oakland, California] endorsed…The “CEASE Network”…a project of Demand Abolition, a Boston-based program dedicated to “eradicating the illegal commercial sex industry” by going after “demand.”  That means targeting clients…Demand Abolition is a program of Hunt Alternatives, the foundation of Swanee Hunt…the daughter of…oil tycoon H.L. Hunt…The groups fund law enforcement and public media campaigns and advocate for stronger legal penalties…when police agencies and district attorneys broadly target demand, they end up wasting resources on arrests and prosecutions that further criminalize adult sex workers and their clients…the Demand Abolition approach…[threatens] marginalized workers in the sex industry.  That was a concern of government officials in San Francisco, which last year ended a brief partnership with Demand Abolition after facing a backlash from…sex workers…

End Demand (#576)

My friend Savannah Sly is quoted extensively in this article about the fascist BEST program:

…a new public-private coalition that aims to have sites like backpage.com blocked in…workplaces…free speech advocates and…sex workers…are critical of the BEST Employer Alliance’s methods, warning that it errors on the side of censorship and endangers sex workers…If third-party Web hosting were akin to aiding in criminal activity, then Facebook and Twitter would quickly cease to exist…By pressuring credit card companies to divest, and now by pressuring employers to block the site en masse, the anti-Backpage set hopes to slowly choke the site out of its users…Savannah Sly, the director of…SWOP…said…”This painting of all clients as pedophiles reminds me of how we use to paint all homosexual men as pedophiles…If you shut down Backpage adult listings…You’re denying thousands and thousands of workers who need money.  And if you shut down all of Backpage, you’re punishing hundreds of thousands of people who want access to roommate listings, sale items, general classifieds…all for the crimes of a very, very small few”…

In fact, I’m relatively sure she was riding in my car while giving this interview.

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Trafficking has become one of the new “it” words in the bankrupt moral vernacular, craftily used by puritans, property developers and rogue feminists to combat the sex trade in general.  –  Rupert Everett

Think of the Children! Noel

The minute a fragile “child” turns 18, he can turn into a dangerous source of dreaded “sex ray” emissions:

…high school senior…“Noel” has allegedly been suspended and will not graduate this year after several of his [gay porn] flicks found their way onto the principal’s desk…[he was] suspended…for 10 days for “causing a campus disturbance” [which]…will allegedly lead to “an automatic failure from absences,” and he will not be able to graduate come June…

Of course, teachers are still the primary danger:

Edgar Ortiz, a 65-year-old educator…was not fired for sleeping with a sex worker…But…was fined $7,500 by the Department of Education…He’s suing [New York] city to fight the punishment.  “Teachers are not indentured servants subject to school direction and control 24 hours a day”…he argues…A…judge…ordered the city to answer his petition…after it “failed to offer any legal basis for penalizing a teacher for illegal conduct that has little or no apparent connection with his teaching duties”…

License to Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A young woman in Milwaukee called the cops when someone threw a brick through her window…and…began kicking in her front door…two police officers responded.  One took her 15-year-old brother outside to speak to him.   The other…Ladmarald Cates…asked to see the broken window and [when] she led him…to a bathroom in the back…he…[grabbed] her…by her hair…then [sodomized and] raped her…The cop’s partner had become concerned…and called for back-up.  Other cops began arriving and saw a woman screaming incoherently about being raped.  Cates appeared…handcuffed [her and] charged [her] with assaulting a police officer…She was…held for four days before being released without actually being charged…

A Moral Cancer

A severely repressed individual penned a misogynistic screed called “9 Reasons Why a Man Should Never Go Down on a Woman”, and it’s as ridiculous as you’d expect.  Note that the first four (arguably five) “reasons” are actually one reason, and it is why the article appears under this heading.

Schadenfreude

A new moneymaker for the rescue industry: “sex trafficking” tours!

…New Friends New Life…toured parts of [Dallas]…with [cops], a Homeland Security agent and an assistant city attorney, who talked about…the exploitation of women and young girls…While vice officers…go after the men who pay for sex, they are focused on…[shutting] down complex regional or even international prostitution rings…The bus of [tourists]…gaped at [a poor neighborhood], whispering to one another in disbelief…Shawn McGraw…[of] Homeland Security…[said] “This isn’t a woman’s childhood dream.  She’s doing it to survive.”

Don’t worry if you can’t take a bus tour; they’ll bring one to you!

…Putting on headphones at “SOLD: The Human Trafficking Experience” will teleport you to the life of one of nine victims of sex slavery and trafficking…The exhibit is a multi-sensory, multimedia experience that lasts 40 minutes in nine different rooms…People who attend are encouraged to tweet, video blog and share pictures…The “SOLD” bus [travels around Washington and is based in] Seattle…

Not To Be Taken Internally Elizabeth Starr

Elizabeth Starr fears her banned boob job will kill her after her breasts ballooned to a whopping O cup.  The adult film star had now-illegal “string” breast implants 15 years ago to boost her career – but says her life has been ruined…Doctors have recommended Elizabeth face a double mastectomy…she…was already a 32F when she opted…in 1999…[for a] procedure [which] involved inserting synthetic string into the breasts to stimulate fluid production and growth.  But [after] just a few days…she began suffering complications…[she] had the string implant removed from her right breast, however, the left one was already too imbedded to be taken out…Over the next 14 years Elizabeth spent a staggering £200,000 on [63] reconstructive operations…

Gullible’s Travels

Portsmouth Middle School [in Rhode Island sent parents a letter] warning them that students may be snorting and smoking ground-up Smarties candies.  The letter warns of risks of cuts, lung infections, nasal passage scarring, nose-wedged maggots (!), and future cigarette and drug use…School [official] Dave Croston…[said] “this behavior raises troubling issue of modeling”…

As a supplement, Radley Balko prepared a short summary of other mind-numbingly stupid pseudo-drug scares of recent years.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

University of Michigan Economics Professor Raj Arunachalam…hired sex workers in Ecuador and Mexico to interview other sex workers…Arunachalam found that beautiful sex workers…earned approximately 15% more than average and unattractive prostitutes…”  Dr. Arunachalam’s next study will demonstrate that people prefer to eat good-tasting food and to listen to music instead of recordings of traffic sounds.

The Mother Learns From Her Children

two of Britain’s most senior police chiefs…have…[denounced] the police approach to prostitution as a mess…saying that [harassment] operations…are “counterproductive” and…put…women at risk…they call for…[allowing] a group of women to work together.  Chris Armitt [said]…”We are not going to enforce our way out of…prostitution.  It goes…on in every country in the world”…Martin Hewitt…said…”On the one hand we sit down with sex workers asking them to trust us and give us information.  On the other hand we are doing enforcement actions”…Hewitt…also condemned…brothel raids as superficial and offering little value other than as a media stunt…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies (TW3 #3) Say NO to the Nordic Model in Canada

a boom in X-rated production in [Las Vegas was] sparked by a Los Angeles law requiring…condoms…The number of permits…to make porn films in Los Angeles…has declined by…95 percent since the law took effect…from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013…While Los Angeles charges hundreds of dollars for location permits…Las Vegas…gives [them] for a nominal fee and does not require health permits.  The warehouses are cheaper, and it’s also more affordable to rent out mansions and put actors up in hotels…

The Course of a Disease

The European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee has voted through [Mary Honeyball’s] report that recommends the adoption of the “Nordic Model” of prostitution laws…The report [now goes] to the full European Parliament…

As I’ve explained before, the European Parliament’s resolutions are not laws, but they’re a good indicator of the growth of totalitarianism on the continent.

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #22)

Africa produces the most ridiculous anti-whore rhetoric outside of the US:

…at alluvial gold mining sites [in Liberia]…women [are] roaming from one…mine to another…rooting and indulging into “sex trade”…in return for gold or money.  What is most appalling…is the luring of some of these women into the practice by their peers…”any man who…refuses to settle us financially, will pay the price,” a lady [said]… Several men who stubbornly refused to comply…were taken to the…police…

First They Came for the Hookers… Club Madonna

Florida wants to prove it can harass strip clubs as much as Texas does:

The…Miami Beach strip club where police say a 13-year-old girl danced…has had its business license pulled for six months…Richard Wolfe, an attorney for Club Madonna…and…club owner Leroy Griffith…said they had no knowledge that the girl performed at Madonna…Wolfe…suggested that the city’s actions were retaliatory…[because] Griffith has been locked in a decade-long battle with City Hall to overturn a ban on alcohol in fully nude clubs…

Drama Queens (TW3 #48)

Emil Kirkegaard has translated a recent Danish study comparing the health of sex workers to that of amateurs:

…The percentage with bad mental health and…who often…feel nervous or stressed is smaller among prostitutes…there is no difference between prostitutes and [other] women’s rate of illness…prostitutes have a markedly lower consumption [of medicine]…the prostitutes have more…smoking, alcohol…and use of other drugs…there is a larger percentage [of prostitutes] who are underweight, and a smaller…who are overweight…prostitutes have the same frequency of contact to family and friends…Light violence against prostitutes is more common…[but] other indicators of violence and sexual abuse [are not different]…Prostitutes…often work in bended or crooked positions [and make] repeated and monotonous movements…[but] they [need not carry] heavy objects and [are not] exposed to…noise, cold…and draft.  With respect to psychological working environment, the prostitutes come out ahead as well…

Banishment

The Midtown Ponce Security  Alliance (MPSA)…is approaching  [Georgia] legislators…[with] a law it has dubbed “aggravated prostitution”…“This form of prostitution would be defined along the lines of prostitution in a residential area (we will suggest “within 500 feet of a window or door of any dwelling”), and work to have that designated a felony punishable up to five years incarceration”…

Original Sin

Though there’s plenty of “Super Bowl sex trafficking” nonsense in this story, we’ve seen that so many times before it really isn’t worth noting any more.  What’s more interesting to me is the bizarre soup of Christian, neofeminist and police state dogma which produced the “facts” which are tacked on at the end; bogus “statistics” are arranged beside neofeminist “end demand” cant and Christian dogma about sin, including the relatively-new claim that “pornography is the dominant driver for sex trafficking”.

The More the Better (TW3 #325) Franck-Ribery and Karim-Benzema

In the modern US, prosecutors rule the injustice system; obviously that’s less so in France:

Two French international footballers who are charged with paying for sex with an underage prostitute appeared in court…Franck Ribery and…Karim Benzema both deny the allegations and the young woman involved, Zahia Dehar, testified that neither player knew she was under 18 at the time…Ms Dehar…has since launched her own luxury lingerie line and is reportedly the muse of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfield…prosecutors had sought an acquittal…but investigating judge Andre Dando argued they must have been aware of her real age.

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #328)

First National Review, and now Foreign Policy:

…[Prohibitionists] say they want to protect human rights, but their efforts often undermine those rights:  Campaigns and programs to end prostitution in fact lead to violence, stigmatization, and other problems for the exact people they claim to be helping…there is no convincing evidence that punishing “johns” decreases the incidence of commercial sex…Sweden’s sex workers report that criminalization has simply driven [them] underground, with dangerous consequences…and…evidence shows…that criminalization of sale or purchase…makes sex workers…more vulnerable to violence…committed by law enforcement…the World Health Organization (WHO) wrote in a bulletin that…”sex workers who are rounded up during police raids are beaten” and “coerced into having sex by corrupt police officials in exchange for their release”…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #345)

Prostitutes [in] Ibiza have formed a sex workers’ cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits…Eleven women registered with local authorities as…members of the Sealeer Cooperative…their spokeswoman, Maria Jose Lopez…[said] “We are the first cooperative in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls”…The group is applying to register 40 more women…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

Sex worker ally Rupert Everett published a long, thorough denunciation of December’s pogrom in Soho:

There is a land grab going on in Soho under the banner of morality…200 of our boys in blue raided more than 20…flats, arresting 30 girls and confiscating their earnings…They broke down doors, intimidated girls into accepting…criminal records…and served…eviction papers that, unless you were a lawyer, you would not know had hidden in their depths (20-odd pages) the time and date you were to appear in court if you wanted to appeal.  All this in the name of human trafficking…while even the police say that more than 90% of prostitutes work of their own accord…

Everett goes into great detail about the hearings which followed, and the IPC collected these statements from the victims of the raid.  Keep in mind when reading them that as bad as they are, the experiences of police victims under fully criminalized regimes like the US are worse.

Little Boxes (TW3 #350)

Devil’s Advocate

A paedophile ring that streamed live child abuse from the Philippines…has been broken up after an operation by UK police and their counterparts in Australia and the US.  The National Crime Agency says…it is an “emerging threat”…in developing countries…

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That is not a just government where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations.  –  James Madison

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been publishing quite a few miscellanea and update columns; since last May, I’ve had about 4-6 columns of that sort every month.  Besides getting more reader submissions than I used to, I’ve also become better at finding articles myself.  So rather than concentrating them together, I’ve decided to spread them out throughout the month.  This will therefore be my last monthly miscellanea column; starting tomorrow I’ll present “That Was the Week That Was” every Saturday, except when it’s bumped to Friday or Sunday by some special circumstance.

Out of the Bedroom

Civil libertarians often say we want government out of our bedrooms, but here’s a politician who wants people out of their bedroom clothes:

…Michael Williams (of Shreveport, Louisiana) doesn’t care to see people in their PJs, at least not at a shopping center, restaurant or anywhere else in public…after seeing a group of young men at a local Walmart wearing pajama pants that revealed one young man’s private parts, he decided to push for an ordinance that would prohibit wearing pajama pants in public.  “Pajamas are designed to be worn in the bedroom at night,” Williams said.  “If you can’t (wear pajamas) at the Boardwalk or courthouse, why are you going to do it in a restaurant or in public?  Today it’s pajamas,” Williams said.  “Tomorrow it’s underwear.  Where does it stop?”

…One problem with a possible ordinance is what constitutes pajamas.  Williams said it could be defined as a garment sold in the sleepwear section of department stores, and violators should not go to jail but perform community service…The city of Shreveport [already] has a no-sagging law.  In 2011, Shreveport police reported 31 incidents involving “wearing of pants below the waist in public.”  Most of those were unattached to other more serious crimes, and the offenders were issued misdemeanor summons…

Unsurprisingly, Williams can’t see the irony in his own words:  if we let politicians control the clothes we wear, “Today it’s pajamas…Tomorrow it’s underwear. Where does it stop?”  I personally think pajamas in public are extremely déclassé, but so are sweat pants and nobody’s trying to make laws against them.  Perhaps Williams would be happier in France, where lots of politicians think they have the right to tell people what not to wear.

The Hooker Vote

One day, politicians may actually concern themselves with winning the support of sex workers, but for the present the easiest way to get the hooker vote without losing that of the moralists is to point at that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate private behavior:

…Ron Paul can count on support from some members of the world’s oldest profession as he campaigns for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.  Prostitutes at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch…have launched a “Pimping for Paul” campaign for the Texas libertarian, who backs their right to earn a living as working girls…The Bunny Ranch ladies are asking johns to donate money to Paul’s campaign as they leave the brothel, which also backed Paul’s presidential bid four years ago.  Though Paul hasn’t commented on the brothel’s latest drive, his spokesman told the Associated Press in 2007 that “while Paul does not personally condone prostitution, the candidate does not think it’s the role of the federal government to regulate such activity.”  During a 2012 GOP candidates debate in May, Paul said that states should be free to legalize prostitution, gay marriage and marijuana if they choose to do so…U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada’s senior senator, told the state’s legislature last February “the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution,” which Reid said discourages businesses from moving to the state…

While I don’t vote and I’m not going to endorse any political candidate, the civil and sexual rights of American citizens will probably be less endangered under a Paul presidency than under a regime headed by of the other current candidates, especially Obama, Romney, Santorum or Gingrich.

The Mother Learns From Her Children

It’s beginning to seem as though the United Kingdom might be starting to learn something about sex worker rights from two of her former colonies.  Like New Zealand, she may be moving in the direction of decriminalization.  And as in Canada, the reason for the shift is the realization that the laws endanger the safety of sex workers.  This article appeared in The Guardian on January 16th, and came to my attention via Harlot’s Parlour:

A series of gang attacks on brothels in east London has triggered calls for changes to the prostitution laws after victims who reported …robberies said they ended up being threatened with prosecution.  A police investigation has been launched as senior Labour and Conservative members of the London assembly and the English Collective of Prostitutes allege that violent crime is being given a lower priority than less serious sex offences.  The attacks highlight the growing debate over calls for New Zealand’s pioneering decriminalisation of sex work to be considered – an approach recently supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

…a spate of robberies…coincides with an increase in police raids…The first…was in Barking, east London, on 6 December.  A video showing five men…breaking into another house in the area being used by sex workers is also being studied by officers.  The women who made the first complaint allege they recognise some of the gang members from the YouTube clip.  In a third attack, at a different address, a woman who worked as a maid at a brothel is alleged to have been raped by the gang.  None of the victims there reported the offence for fear of being charged…with living off the proceeds of prostitution…The ECP said changes to the law, in response to fears over the forcible trafficking of foreign sex workers into Britain, have made it more difficult for women to work together…for safety.

A letter of complaint sent…[to the police by ECP activist] Niki Adams…[said] “We are receiving reports of incidents where women have been attacked and their attackers have told them brazenly that they know women won’t dare go to the police.”  Adams believes there may have been as many as 20 attacks in the area over the past two years…Last November Simon Byrne, Acpo’s lead officer on prostitution and sexual exploitation, suggested there was a need for a fresh look at the legal balance…”There is a great amount of academic research available, much of which supports the view that an alternative approach is needed,” he wrote on his official Acpo blog.  “An example would be the decriminalisation and regulation of brothels in Australia and New Zealand, not an answer to all of the related issues but certainly a solution to some.  More of those involved in sex work in Australia and New Zealand can now access health services with ease, whilst maintaining more personal security in an emotive area for policing.”

Another proponent of reform is Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London assembly.  “The law is framed so as to put women [sex workers] into the most vulnerable position,” he said.  “The changes brought in by the last government seemed to [be derived from] the view that every single worker in the sex trade was trafficked.  People are not willing to come forward over these attacks.  When they report them, the women themselves have had action taken against them…”  Len Duvall, the leader of the Labour group at the London assembly, said:  “We need to examine in greater detail information and case studies from those countries that have sought to legalise prostitution, including the model put forward by New Zealand, especially if it provides a degree of protection for sex workers and reduces crimes associated with prostitution…There is also evidence that crimes against sex workers are being ignored”…Tim Barnett, the British-born former New Zealand MP who pushed through his adopted country’s decriminalisation legislation in 2003, was in London before Christmas where he briefed Boff and Duvall…

There’s definitely cause for hope here.  American politicians can ignore New Zealand as an antipodean anomaly, but if Canada and the UK also decriminalize it’s going to be a lot harder for American prohibitionists to convince everyone that theirs is the “normal” view.

One Year Ago Today

Maggie in the Media” is a description of all the interviews I gave last January, mostly on the subject of nonexistent Super Bowl prostitution booms.

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