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Posts Tagged ‘neofeminism’

A treatment becomes an industry…when its scope creeps to include anyone who is having the kind of sex that someone…deems to be a problem.  –  Michael Aaron

Welcome To Our World

Profiting from donations gathered to fight an imaginary child-abducting conspiracy…hmm, where have I heard that before?

Three Jerusalem residents who allegedly swindled donors into giving money to combat a nonexistent Christian cult they claimed was kidnapping, sexually abusing and forcibly converting hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jewish children to Christianity have been arrested…investigators launched an investigation into the supposed cult two years ago…the…investigation…soon determined that no such cult ever existed…

Check Your Premises

In the warped minds of US “authorities”, driving a friend to work is “child sex trafficking”:

An Oregon woman has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison in connection to an alleged commercial child sex trafficking operation…Veronica Britt…was identified as the driver for an underage girl who was meeting up with someone at a hotel for sexual purposes…

Surplus Women Jiarui (Jerry) Tang

One of the rare times you’ll ever see me actually assist the cops:

Investigators with the York Regional Police Homicide Unit continue to appeal to the public for assistance in locating Jiarui (Jerry) TANG, wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for Manslaughter in connection with disappearance of 36-year-old Annie LI.  Investigators believe that Mr. TANG has recently attempted to seek the services of women working in the sex trade.  Police believe that he poses a significant threat to these women and we are warning anyone who encounters him in person or online to use caution and contact police immediately.  Ying Chun (Annie) LI was last seen by her family on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the area of Denison Street and Markham Road…police have reason to believe that Annie Li is deceased…Investigators believe that Mr. TANG frequents the Chinatown area of Toronto and he is believed to be still within the area…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

This interesting article traces the origin of the myth of “sex addiction” to another myth beloved by sex-haters: “social construction of gender”:

…David Reimer…committed suicide in 2004, never having recovered from the trauma suffered under the hands of Dr. Money…in…early 1970s Los Angeles…UCLA researchers George Rekers and Ivar Lovaas pioneered an experimental new type of treatment to literally “knock out” the effeminate behavior of young “sissy boys” through the use of severe corporal punishment.  Like Money before them, they triumphantly published their…findings in 1974…under the title “The Behavioral Treatment of a ‘Transsexual’ Preadolescent Boy“…This “successfully” treated boy, now a grown man of 38 named Kirk Murphy, committed suicide in 2003 due to feeling “broken” by his participation in the research.  These are just two examples of the horrors of…social constructionist ideology.  Despite all this, social constructionism is still alive and well, influencing both the social sciences and public policy.  Take a look at this this article for example about an elementary school teacher who pushes her female students to play with Legos, while forbidding her male students to do the same, all in the name of “gender equity”…the rise of the social construction of desire [occurred in] the same 1970s period in which all of these other troubling experiments were conducted…sex addiction [is the] offspring…of the cultural belief that sexuality is a social construct…that can be controlled, modified, and neatly packaged according to the social norms and mores of the time.  Indeed, the very first sex addiction 12-step group, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLA) met in Boston in 1977…[the] sex addiction [model is the attempt]…to fit sexual behavior into a socially constructed paradigm of monogamy, pair bonding, and…even intimacy…

A Broker in Pillage

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

Federal drug agents regularly mine Americans’ travel information to profile people…[as] narcotics traffickers — though they almost never use what they learn to make arrests or build criminal cases.  Instead, that targeting has helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize a small fortune in cash.  DEA agents have profiled passengers on Amtrak trains and nearly every major U.S. airline, drawing on reports from a network of travel-industry informants…Agents…singled out passengers for questioning or searches for reasons as seemingly benign as traveling one-way to California or having paid for a ticket in cash…DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade [by pretending] the money was linked to drug trafficking…most of the money was passed on to local police departments that lend [cops] to [act as DEA goons]…

Monsters

Rae’Lynn Thomas…was shot and then beaten by her mother’s ex-boyfriend in their Columbus [Ohio] home…Thomas is the 19th trans person known to have been murdered in the U.S. this year.  While Thomas’s family was accepting of her…an ex-boyfriend of her mother’s who still lived with the women, James Allen Byrd, made no secret of his transphobic attitudes.  He reportedly often referred to the transgender woman as “the devil”…Renee Thomas…described the attack to police and media. ” He was in the bedroom and he just came around the corner and shot [Rae’Lynn],” she said.  After firing at her twice, Byrd — who was nearly a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than the petite Thomas — proceeded to beat her with any heavy object handy…

Business As Usual

Prohibitionists want everyone to believe that clients inflict the most violence on sex workers, and that the police are welcome “rescuers” from it:

According to surveys conducted periodically by Zi Teng…an organization promoting the rights of sex workers…Hong Kong police sexually abuse workers…in the first four months of 2016 the organization received 206 complaints of violence…Nineteen cases related to abuse by clients while 187 related to the police.  NGOs told Amnesty International that police are legally allowed to [rape]…sex workers…[while pretending] to be clients [in order to arrest]…them…

In case you missed it, that said over 90% of violence against Hong Kong sex workers comes from the police, an number not-dissimilar to figures from other places where cops are allowed to “regulate” us.

Feminists and Other Puritans

Yet “leftists” are still surprised that “feminists” are anti-sex:

[Sex workers] face…a strange alliance of opponents including Labour councillors, feminist activists, trade unionists and…religious groups…their hostility to [sex workers contrasts] oddly with their stated desire to “rescue” them…these activists were armed with feminist battle-cries, and were more likely to be seen reading the liberal Guardian than the right-wing Daily Mail…Object, a “feminist human rights” organisation…[is] part of a far broader alliance of feminist and left groups with a wide range of anti-sex and pro-censorship objectives…similar feminist organisations such as UK Feminista, rolled out a series of anti-sex campaigns…each…loyally supported by the Guardian, by voices from the Labour and Green parties, by trade unionists, and others that I had previously considered part of my progressive tribe…the old anti-prostitution movement was reinvigorated by a flood of new, feminist and left-wing campaigners under the End Demand banner…apparently, the right to middle-class feminist outrage trumped the more fundamental right to work…

Vendetta (#570)

Roughly 0.02% of all US men who purchased sex in that period. Wow, that’s some MIGHTY “suppression” there!

Yet another nationwide “sex trafficking sting” where the main targets of police attention are men who solicit sex from consenting, adult women.  The sting, part of a bi-annual “National Johns Suppression Initiative,” ran from July 1 to August 7 and netted 1,358 arrests for solicitation of prostitution, in 18 states…thirty-eight agencies participated, issuing more than $1 million in fines during the operation and [stealing]…421 vehicles.  New York City and Philadelphia…joined…for the first time…Oakland, California…arrested 42 people…Seattle had the second-highest number of arrests, 204, followed by Columbus, Ohio (167), Harris County, Texas (143), Houston (82), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (74), Portland, Oregon (63), Boston (57), and McLennan County, Texas (55).  Agencies not listed in these top-tier sex thwarters—including those in or around Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, New York City, Las Vegas, Reno, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia—arrested a combined total of around 250 sex solicitors…no word on how many sex workers were arrested, though that’s usually part and parcel for these john stings

Above the Law (#599) rapist cop James Greene

Another blameless hero is given power over vulnerable women:

A Shreveport police detective who was fired after [raping] a woman…is back on the job.  James Greene…was…arrested and charged with abuse of office…he…was [given two weeks of paid vacation, then]…terminated…In January, Greene was found not guilty [after prosecutors stalled and fumbled for almost a year]…a civil suit has been filed against him by his [victim]…

Subtle Pimping (#603)

If there are so many “sex trafficking victims”, why do they need to keep making up stories about it?

Rena Olsen is a licensed therapist in Des Moines who…works with children.  But she hadn’t heard much about human trafficking…until she watched a documentary about it…Olsen [then wrote a novel called]…The Girl Before…She makes it clear that the fictional characters are not based on any story she has heard with clients…In Olsen’s book, a 6-year-old girl is taken from a park and told by her captors that her parents don’t want her anymore.  Through years of “training” for sale to clients who desire young virgins, her past is wiped out…Eventually, she becomes a perpetrator herself, training young girls snatched off the streets…

IOW, an ignoramus representing herself as an “expert” wrote a novel based on her own twisted BDSM fantasies, and morons are pretending this has something to do with reality.

Too Close To Home (#618)

Actually, this isn’t the “Nordic model” at all, and neither King County nor any part of the US has that because sex workers are definitely still criminalized here.  But the yellow little liar Val Richey (who’s afraid to look me in the eye when he’s in the same room as I am) is only too happy to use that known brand to sell his masters’ brand of snake oil:

Skagit County Coalition Against Trafficking…is hosting a…meeting on Aug. 23 to share [propaganda] about a model of addressing human trafficking — going after the traffickers and customers while [infantilizing sex workers and denying their agency]…Val Richey, King County prosecutor, will present the blueprint that is helping King County reduce human trafficking…The Nordic model is a three-pronged program…the Nordic model’s first prong goes after the pimp and treats prostitutes as victims who…need…mental health treatment…the second prong is arresting the buyer and instituting a financial penalty, half going to law enforcement and half to programs that [incarcerate & brainwash] prostitutes.  The third prong is education…[Gayle] Kersten [pretended] the Nordic model has worked in other countries and King County has had great success…

To Molest and Rape 

Just a typical case in a typical American prison:

DeEtta Williams…has filed a federal lawsuit against…Michael Ewell, who has since been fired, and the California department of corrections and rehabilitation.  She wants…the world to know what happens behind bars…there is a pattern of sexual assault at…women’s prison and…officials “know and just don’t bother” to do anything about it…“Ewell had a history of sexually assaulting women, a history well known to CDC,” according to the suit…In September of 2013, Ewell was accused of sexually assaulting “a fellow CDC officer, [and] was inexplicably transferred to a women’s prison.  He was assigned his own unit to supervise, giving him unfettered access and power over the female prisoners in his unit”…Ewell engineered her transfer to a unit where he worked and had her assigned to a job cleaning the guards’ office and small bathroom…He would “pop” her out of her cell at 5.30am, when no other officers were on shift, and have her clean the secluded area…He groped her…forced her to kiss him…slap her, rape her, choke her.  He threatened her children.  He…[orally raped] her…She lost weight.  Her hair fell out.  She tried to kill herself.  And she told warden Kimberly Hughes that she had been raped over and over again…Hughes was sympathetic…And…transferred Williams to a single cell…Two months later…[Ewell] was “terminated”…

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The problem with abusers is that they’re often extremely charming; after all, if they weren’t, who would stick around to be abused?  –  Maggie McNeill

Yesterday, Fault Lines on the Mimesis Law site (which you’ve often visited if you actually click on the links in my Links columns) published an interview with me as part of their “Cross” series.  I don’t often do email interviews any more because they take so much longer than telephone ones, but Scott Greenfield has been an online friend of mine for years and I’ll do things for my friends I won’t do for others.  I honestly think it was a really good interview, and he gave me leave to cut loose, be snarky and swear, so I thought I’d share it with y’all here, too.  Not the whole thing, mind you; I want you to see it as presented.  But here are a few excerpts from my replies; you’ll have to go there to see the questions and the rest:

…I was never exactly conventional, despite the efforts of parents and nuns; I was always a freethinker and never managed to absorb any negative attitudes about sex. I was fascinated by whores from the time I understood what the word meant, and as a young teen I counted several famous courtesans among my heroines. My very first D&D character at the age of 14 was a cleric who was a sacred prostitute, and I took money for sex for the first time just a little over two months after turning 18…

…while I probably made less money than the young girls while on the stage, I absolutely cleaned up in the VIP room. There’s not really a support network for new strippers; in fact, a lot of the girls are very competitive. But though I’ve never done pageants, I’m the type who would’ve often been named “Miss Congeniality” if I had; I make friends easily, and it didn’t take long before the more experienced ladies were showing me the ropes…

…Sex workers’ ads take advantage of the fact that paying for company isn’t illegal, only paying for sex.  Now, you and I both know that the line between those two isn’t remotely a bright, clear one such as the law pretends it is; lots of clients don’t want what most cops would call “sex”, and lots of sex doesn’t involve the body parts prudes code as “sexual.”  And by the letter of the law in most places, it isn’t “prostitution” unless there’s an explicit agreement to trade x sex act for y amount of money, which absolutely no whore in her right mind will ever do.  So in a sting the cops either lie and say that such an agreement was reached, or else rape the sex worker and use that as “evidence of prostitution”…

…I am continually amazed that over a century after the end of the Victorian Era, supposedly educated adults, especially people who call themselves “feminists”, actually believe (and expect others to believe) that all women are passive, childlike creatures with such a naïve, romanticized view of sex that our fluffy, pink little brains couldn’t possibly conceive of doing it for any reason other than loooooooooooooove or animalistic pleasure.  This is especially absurd given that these same “feminists” pretend that it’s better for women to be valued for our intelligence than for our beauty, while at the same time pretending that sexual motives deriving from the hindbrain (love & pleasure) are morally superior to those deriving from the frontal lobes (profit motive).  It’d be quite a fascinating case study in cognitive dissonance if it weren’t for the fact that these Froot Loop notions are used to justify sending armed thugs out to deceive, rape, brutalize, rob & cage people…

…[The Nordic model] stated that a minor boy is morally superior to a woman of any age. This is called “feminism”…

…If nobody actually complains about something, the cops shouldn’t be driving around looking for trouble. Firemen don’t rove around looking for fires, and paramedics don’t rove around looking for injuries, yet we don’t see huge numbers of buildings burning down & accident victims dying because nobody got there in time.  Let the cops stay in their fucking police stations until called out, and they’ll have a lot fewer opportunities to murder black men, execute dogs, rob bodegas and rape women…

…Prohibitionists only accuse me of dishonesty because I won’t support their ridiculous wanking fantasies of international cartels of magical ninja pimps with mind-control powers abducting screaming white girls from shopping malls and bus stops, transporting them around the country in dog crates, and serving them up to hundreds of salivating sex maniacs per week until their genitalia collapse and the diabolical monsters then dispose of them, presumably by flushing them down hotel toilets like unwanted goldfish…

Go read it, and enjoy.

Maggie black couch

 

 

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How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
A complete unknown, like a rolling stone.  –  Bob Dylan

Rolling Stone 6-16-16Rolling Stone magazine was born in the autumn of 1967, and for years was an icon of music and counterculture.  But sometime in the 1980s its reputation began to wane; it was repeatedly criticized as being stuck in the ’70s, and the political views it espoused, which once seemed to speak for so many, faded into irrelevance and self-parody.  In 2014 the sinking of its fortunes was accelerated by the publication of a badly-flawed, libelous piece of yellow journalism about a supposed gang rape that never actually happened, and the tone of anti-sex moral panic set by that fiasco has apparently become one of the dying rag’s editorial lodestars because last week it published a dreary recitation of prohibitionist bullshit from a lawyer for the US Department of “Justice”.  Let that sink in for a moment: the former champion of sex, drugs and rock & roll has been reduced to printing a hysterical anti-sex screed written by a mouthpiece for the US government which not only praises prohibition, defends the police state and attacks the world’s most respected human rights organization (which Rolling Stone has always lionized in the past), but does so via a tissue of lies so dense that I was literally able to find only four basically-truthful sentences in the whole thing (the 1st sentence, the ones starting “Amnesty argues” & “Amnesty also claims” under #2, and the sentence beginning “In discussions with Amnesty” under #5).

It would be pointless to attempt to deconstruct this mess; most of it is such blatantly false, repeatedly-debunked propaganda that nearly any of you could tear it apart as easily as I could, especially if you kept “Frequently Told Lies” open while doing so.  It opens by arguing that dysphemisms describe our profession more accurately than objective terms; quickly progresses to confusing legalization and decriminalization while mis-defining the latter; quotes debunked prohibitionist “research” while arguing that sex work magically violates every known economic principle; argues that the problems with legalization are actually problems with decriminalization; states that women who are poor or who have suffered sexual trauma are forever incapable of giving sexual consent; trots out the “age of entry” myth; descends into asinine navel-gazing about “rape culture” and “objectification” while simultaneously giving credence to the grossly-misogynistic “raping a whore is theft of services” trope; and winds up with a blatant argument that economic freedom is bad and women are moral imbeciles who need a paternalistic government to “regulate” our lives, sexualities and economic activities, concluded with an appeal to the Swedish model and a bunch of meaningless prohibitionist mottoes.  As the young people would say, “Go home, Rolling Stone, you’re drunk.”

If this, along with the trotting out of senile nonagenarian Christian evangelical politicians with white savior complexes, is the best the prohibitionist movement has to offer, its days are numbered.  These arguments are so obviously false and intrinsically unconvincing, even people who have never before heard of the Swedish model are able to immediately recognize them as tripe.  Of course, authoritarians don’t actually care about either truth or public opinion; they’re perfectly happy to demand people comply with their bizarre and evil notions upon pain of violence inflicted by armed thugs.  But the period in which the War on Whores, like its sibling the War on Drugs, could be seen by anyone without an agenda to enforce as anything other than a moral abomination, is rapidly drawing to a close.  It will be interesting to see which cultural institutions see the writing on the wall and take the side of human rights, and which line up with cops, moralists and profiteers on the side of repression.  And though I was never really a fan of Rolling Stone, I must say I’m disappointed (though not actually surprised) that it has chosen the latter.

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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  –  Mahatma Gandhi

NY Times magazine cover 5-8-16One of the points I cover in every basic presentation I give on sex worker rights is that criminalization is a very recent idea.  Invariably, most of the audience is surprised; having been reared in a culture soaked in anti-whore propaganda, they take it for granted that “naturally” we’ve always been persecuted, because victimization and “pimps” and disease and THE CHILDREN!  But of course, this is nonsense; though many cultures have come up with laws intended to restrict or “regulate” whoring, the idea that it was an evil which needed to be eradicated by state violence is a 19th-century one, rooted in racism and “progressive” Victorian thought about “correcting” the human race by using law to enforce a Puritanical agenda.  Prohibition of sex work sprang from the same filthy, poisonous soil as did eugenics, anti-masturbation torture devices and the prohibition of alcohol and drugs.  But while the former two ideas are widely recognized as dangerous nonsense and the latter is slowly dying, the use of armed thugs to commit pogroms against peaceful adults because authoritarians don’t like their reasons for having sex is still going strong.  That, however, cannot endure indefinitely; the internet has made it impossible to silence the voices of sex workers any longer, and study after study has concluded that we are correct when we say that criminalization is an evil which harms not only whores and our clients, but our families, friends and associates.

Furthermore, as we should have learned from the obscenity of alcohol Prohibition, the only way to stop adults from engaging in consensual behavior is to empower the cops to spy on people, violate their civil rights and destroy their lives.  Not that this actually stops the prohibited behaviors, mind you; no campaign of prohibition in history has ever worked.  But prohibitionist laws allow the state to terrorize the population and “send a message” that free thought is forbidden, and that the almighty State is the arbiter of right and wrong.  As should be obvious from the glacially-slow process of stopping the Drug War that every decent person in the world recognizes as an abject failure, modern fascist states like the US are heavily invested in the violent enforcement of arbitrary bans on peaceful, consensual behaviors.  Cronies have become fabulously wealthy via deals with prohibitionist governments, the machinery of the police state needs bodies to be fed into it, and those whose power derives from mindless obedience to nonsensical rules are not about to let go of such power without a fight.

But if history teaches us anything, it’s that respect for individual human rights is increasing; the majority of people no longer feel morally comfortable with the subjugation of minorities and the violent suppression of private behavior.  That’s why over a decade ago prohibitionists changed over to the “sex trafficking” paradigm, and why their rhetoric largely consists of the repetition of tragedy porn and the assertion of the ridiculous idea that every sex worker who speaks in public is lying, and that there is some invisible multitude of “victims” out there who will be magically helped by taking away their income and subjugating them to the control of gangs of violent rapists.  The problem with this sort of strategy is that it can’t be sustained forever; moral panics die, and the scales fall from people’s eyes, and both individuals and institutions wake up to the truth.  A few years ago the wind started to shift in favor of sex workers’ rights again; many more individuals began to question criminalization, and then last year we passed the watershed moment when Amnesty International officially espoused decriminalization as a policy, and the federal government’s ill-considered raid on Rentboy brought Gay, Inc grudgingly over to our side.  Make no mistake, the prohibitionists are terrified; they feel their grip on the narrative slipping, and they know they will lose it just as they lost other fights against the principles of self-ownership and sexual self-determination.  If you read some of the prohibitionist reaction to last week’s New York Times Magazine piece, you can practically smell that fear.  They’re losing, and they know it.  They’re going to double down on their efforts, and the number of pogroms will increase in order to “teach us our place”.  And that just means we need to hold the course all the more.

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Anything with “sex” in the vicinity will gather news crews like pyros to a dumpster fire.  –  Tim Cushing

Puritan shamingIt’s probably almost impossible for anyone under the age of 30 or so to conceive of how different the United States I grew up in was from the US of today.  That’s true in many ways and on many levels, but for right now I just want to look at one of them: the way Americans have lost so many of the gains made in the so-called Sexual Revolution, and returned to a Puritanism more vicious and repressive than we’ve experienced in centuries.  Because while it’s absolutely true that sexual variation is recognized and tolerated to a much greater degree than it has been for most of this country’s history, it is equally true that the moralists and censors now have far more terrifying tools of surveillance and a greater capacity to inflict violence than those possessed by any of their spiritual ancestors since the Dawn of Man.  And while people who were shamed or persecuted for their sexual behavior in the past might be able to pull up stakes and start a new life somewhere else where nobody knew them, in the Information Age every transgression is eternal and indelible;  furthermore, self-appointed guardians of the public morals are always looking for new ways to ensure that absolutely no one can escape their snooping or whatever scarlet letters they’ve been branded with.

Fortunately, a growing number of journalists have begun to awaken to the presence of the black pall that has descended over what was once described as “The Land of the Free”, and while it’s much too late for those who have already joined the obscenely-long roll call of victims of the Anti-Sex police state, recognition of a problem is the first step toward solving it.  The pendulum must eventually swing the other way, and perhaps articles like this one from The Week are among the first signs that we’re reaching the top of the arc:

…It is…remarkable how deranged so many of us seem to become as soon as sex is invoked in a public dispute…moralistic grandstanding drives public argument and policymaking when it comes to sex.  The porn panic...is a prominent example.  But it’s hardly the only one…

We’ll come back to that article presently, but let’s look for a minute at what The Atlantic had to say about the most egregious example of that porn panic, Utah’s recent embrace of Gail Dines’ crypto-moralistic scheme to disguise a Puritanical censorship regime in “public health” rhetoric:

…Gail Dines…wrote a column that spread widely: “Is Porn Immoral? That Doesn’t Matter: It’s a Public-Health Crisis”.  The divisive proclamation was occasioned by a bill passed last month in Utah…[which itself solipsistically] traces back to Dines…In 2013, Dines traveled to Reykjavik, where she met with Iceland’s Ministers of health and welfare amid [the] country’s campaign to ban pornography.  The move would have put the liberal state…in the company of Saudi Arabia and the countries where gender disparities are greatest.  But it made sense to many as a matter of public health…

Regular readers will recognize this sentence as the product of a mind befuddled by the “left-right” fallacy; a totalitarian state is a totalitarian state, and Iceland’s carceral “feminism” is as much a religion as Saudi Arabia’s Islam.  But I digress:

…In 2015, [Dines] returned her focus to the U.S., relaunching an advocacy group based in Boston with the new mission to “eradicate porn’s harms because porn has quickly escalated into an overlooked public health crisis”…at an anti-pornography summit…she reached an unlikely confederate, a Republican state senator from Utah named Todd Weiler…[who’s in league with] a Utah-based group called Fight the New Drug…The group denies a formal affiliation with the Mormon church, though…its founders are all Mormon, and its facts rely on claims from Mormon author Donald Hilton’s He Restoreth My Soul…

Again, there’s absolutely nothing “unlikely” about an alliance between two anti-sex, pro-censorship ideologues who prefer to hide their moralism under bogus studies and cargo-cult “science”; it would be exceedingly unlikely for these two not to team up.  But for some reason many people are wedded to the ahistorical notion that evangelical feminists and evangelical Christians are “opposed” to one another, and they keep professing shock when the world fails to conform to their fantasies.  Anyhow, let’s return to that article from The Week:

…sexual assaults are being handled on college campuses…by  establishing offices to oversee the creation and enforcement of regulations…covering every imaginable form of sexual or quasi-sexual conduct, ensuring that in all cases such conduct conforms to legalistic norms of consent…The result is a supremely creepy combination of liberalism, Puritanism, and the infrastructure of a police state.  In addition to stifling free speech and the free exchange of ideas on campus, such regulations go well beyond punishing bad behavior to require a transformation in the way people relate to one another at an individual level.  Ruling common forms of flirtation and seduction out of bounds, they aim to remake romantic and sexual interactions on the model of contractual negotiations among business partners…

If you think he’s exaggerating there, take a look at this article from Reason:

Colorado State University-Pueblo [expelled] a male athlete…after he was [declared] responsible for sexually assaulting a female trainer…[who] never accused him of wrongdoing, and said repeatedly that their relationship was consensual.  She even stated, unambiguously, “I’m fine and I wasn’t raped”…The athlete’s lawsuit against CSUP…argues that the university not only deprived him of fundamental due process rights, but also denied sexual agency to an adult woman…The student-athlete, Grant Neal, has named the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights as a co-defendant.  OCR’s Title IX guidance…”encourages male gender bias and violation of due process right during sexual misconduct investigations”…Neal’s expulsion…stemmed from his…relationship with a female student and athletic trainer, Jane Doe…Sexual relationships between athletes and trainers are frowned upon…Neal [gave]…Doe a hickey…[which] was…noticed by another trainer, described as the “Complainant” in the lawsuit.  When confronted, Doe confessed to the Complainant that she and Dean had engaged in sex.  According to the lawsuit, the Complainant “presumed” this sex was nonconsensual, and reported it to the director of the athletic training program…Doe told another administrator, “Our stories are the same and he’s a good guy.  He’s not a rapist, he’s not a criminal, it’s not even worth any of this hoopla!”…[but] the predetermined outcome for Neal was a guilty verdict…

As I and other sex worker activists have repeatedly pointed out, a society which does not respect a woman’s “yes” cannot be trusted to respect her no either; the latter is demonstrated about twice a week in this blog, and the former is at the heart of the War on Whores:flush the johns

The criminal justice system theoretically operates on a presumption of innocence.  An arrest booking is hardly an indicator of guilt, but try telling that to millions of people who believe being accused is no different than being found guilty by a jury.  Everyone knows this presumption of guilt exists, despite it being wholly contrary to the basis of our justice system.  Cops know this best.  A high-profile bust is as good as a guilty verdict.  So it’s no surprise that they’ve increasingly turned to the greatest shaming mechanism known to man: the internet.  In a long, detailed and disturbing piece for the New Republic, Suzy Khimm examines law enforcement’s infatuation with harnessing the internet to prey upon the public’s continual presumption of guilt…Prostitution stings are a favorite.  You can easily tell it’s a victimless crime because none of the parties involved receive any privacy protections from law enforcement.  Being swept up in one of these stings means seeing your name and face splashed across a variety of news outlets while the fine print (“all arrestees are innocent until proven guilty”) is relegated to the end of the coverage, if it’s mentioned at all…This country’s Puritanical approach to sex has long been the focus of law enforcement shaming efforts.  It’s not enough to simply arrest and charge customers and sex workers. An effort must be made to uphold the stigma…

In the US, government at all levels has always been at war with human nature, including sex.  But as I said at the beginning, “authorities” now wield weapons beyond the wildest wanking fantasies of their Puritan forebears.  And if they aren’t stopped, those weapons will not be restricted to use against male sexuality of which “feminists” disapprove, nor even to just women who cater to or enjoy that sexuality; they will be turned to use against everyone, and by the time useful idiots like Gail Dines realize that means her as well, it will be much too late.

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Arrest is not a service and it doesn’t help people.  –  Tara Burns

Sales Pitch

The indispensable Wendy Lyon has for several years been looking at Swedish police reports which reveal the truth about the country’s much-ballyhooed “model”; the most recent one contains this bomb:

…On page 43, we find what may be the single most heinous thing I’ve ever read about this law. Discussing penalties (and why the doubling of them doesn’t seem to have worked as well as expected, although of course that’s not stated in so many words) the report says:  “classification of the offence by several severity levels could bring more disadvantages for the fight against [sex work]…Police…fear that graduation would lead to resources being exclusively devoted to crimes considered more reprehensible and that the investigation of the crime of purchase of sexual services would therefore not be prioritised“…One of the arguments that has been made against the introduction of this law in Ireland is that it would divert resources away from serious offences (like actual trafficking and exploitation) because the police would need to use those resources going after just any man who pays for sex.  So, here the Swedish police are confirming that that’s exactly what they want it to do.  As with the increase in stigma against sex workers, the reduced ability of the police to focus on “more reprehensible” crimes against them is a feature, not a bug of the law

Rooted in Racism

Danish prohibitionists claim sex work is “spreading”.  You know, like a disease:

There are now so many foreign women working as prostitutes in Copenhagen that the sex trade has expanded beyond its traditional locales in the city and into more visible and tourist-packed areas, [prohibitionists claim]…“When it spreads this much, there is clearly not enough being done to fight prostitution and to help these women, who are controlled by organizers in their home countries,” [bloviated] Sisse Marie Welling of the Socialist People’s Party…[prohibitionist] Kira West…said that most of the prostitutes…come from either Nigeria or Eastern Europe.  They are often brought to Denmark by financial backers who they then need to pay off…

Profit from Panic 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists’ ignorance is exceeded only by their delusions of grandeur:

…marketing professor Tammy Crutchfield is passionate about fighting sex trafficking in Middle Georgia.  She said parents should be wary of their younger daughters’ older boyfriends…[who will] lure the girls into prostitution…”All you have to do is get on Backpage and see how many young girls are offered,” [salivated] Crutchfield, who teaches a yearlong capstone marketing course based on Traffick Jam, a student organization that [indoctrinates] high school students…[in] sex trafficking [propaganda]…The group…created its own brand to market…T-shirts and jewelry…Their goal is to establish similar Traffick Jam groups on college campuses across the country…

Challenge

How convenient for the State:

A court case that would have tested the right of sex workers to offer services together…to protect themselves has collapsed after a police officer refused to give evidence.  Three women appeared before a crown court after the brothel they had run together in Greater Manchester was raided in July 2011.  Jane Young, Deborah Daniels and Catherine McGarr had all been charged with keeping a brothel and faced up to seven years in jail if they were found guilty…the women were planning to argue that under the Human Rights Act it was against the rights of sex workers not to allow them to work together in safety…[but] DC Philip Anderson, who had brought the case against the women, [claimed he] would not be able to give evidence…due to his “worsening health”…

Mumbo Jumbo Casper the pimp

Oooooh, it’s a SPOOOOOOKY hub!

…human trafficking is what Angels of Hope founder Cristina Scarpellini calls a “ghost crime,” for its hidden nature and the slipperiness of its largely male perpetrators.  “It’s so hard to prosecute, because the girl is your evidence — and try keeping the girl all the way up until trial,” she says…the victims also become ghosts to their family members…disappearing without a trace…”I deal with a lot of young girls who will tell me they’ve been approached to be sold” she says…Sudbury is even “a hub” for human trafficking…trafficked girls and their oppressors will often “ask for a hotel room near an exit, so they can make a quick escape if they have to”…a girl who is naive or needy will simply be swayed by a Svengali…

In case you missed the reference, there’s the “magical pimp mind control” again in the last sentence there.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#342)

Eyes gouged out for insolence, moms selling daughters to pimps, girls showered with maggots — if it happened in a Cambodian brothel, the story is never too shocking for Westerners to believe.  These tales, all propagated by fundraising charities in Cambodia, depict the nation’s sex trade as an otherworldly hellscape…most of these women aren’t so clueless and weak, says…Heidi Hoefinger…an anthropologist and Berkeley College professor who’s spent more than a decade befriending, interviewing and, at times, living with women who work in Cambodia’s hostess bars…Her research has produced a counter-narrative that is strikingly different from the “trauma porn”…churned out by fundraisers…[like the now-disgraced] Somaly Mam…one of the more authoritative studies, published in 2011 by the United Nations’  top human trafficking agency, estimated only 1,058 sex trafficking cases in Cambodia; 127 were underage. (An estimate from Somaly Mam’s foundation? A whopping 40,000 Cambodian “sex slaves”)…

An Example To the West (#343) 

Thai sex worker activists are made of awesome:

Chantawipa Apisuk is tired of hearing…that…”free sex” with [a] lover is morally better than an encounter with a professional sex worker.  But to Apisuk, it’s all just sex, whether money exchanges hands or not…For three decades, Apisuk has challenged conventional beliefs about the sex industry.  Through educational services and international summits, Empower provides support to the 250,000 women estimated to work in Thailand’s…sex trade without pressuring them to leave it.  One day, Apisuk hopes to see sex work treated with the same respect as other professions…Now, she has opened This Is Us, an appointment-only museum that celebrates Thailand’s centuries-old reputation as a hub for brothels.  Housed in an innocuous building on the outskirts of Bangkok, it “brings a different perspective to the issue of sex work”…

Not for Everybody (#411)

Even most women who really were coerced into sex work know criminalization is horrible:

The reason why trafficking works so well is because there are no resources that could exist to help victims out of their situation.  It is majorly fear and conditioning that traps [them]…Telling a sex worker they are naive to their own exploitation feels like another way to assert control over them and dismiss their autonomy.  It can’t help them…Nordic model supporters…think victims of trafficking are silent and that they have a right to be our voice, saying criminalisation is best for us and that it’s what we would want…they really couldn’t be more wrong.  My experiences have been treated with much more sensitivity and respect by sex worker rights activists than those opposing them…I’m pro-legalisation on a political and personal level.  I know that for traffickers, it would be really, really bad for business, and I’d love to see how fast their empire would crumble…

Habitable Room

Molly Smith debunks Swedish model proponents’ claims that their pet tyranny “decriminalizes” sex workers:

…the…Irish…”Swedish Model” Bill omitted to decriminalise soliciting…the most clear and direct form of criminalisation that sex workers in Ireland are subject to.  Then, in January 2016, [Justice Minister Frances] Fitzgerald amended her Bill to increase the penalties for [solicitation, yet]…A press release from CATW…lauded Irish policymakers for…“decriminalizing prostituted individuals”…In Scotland…Trish Godman [used Swedish rhetoric]…while launching a Bill titled Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex [bold mine]…MSP Rhoda Grant attempted…to introduce…a Bill presented as the Nordic Model….[which] did not include repeal of the soliciting law…

Sex Rays (#549) 

Sex Work is Work (#575)

Tara Burns with a guide on reporting about “sex trafficking”:

…Words mean things.  Sex trafficking is a legal term with many different definitions in different states and countries.  The legal term has become confused with the common mainstream usage—which tends to involve people being forced into prostitution—and this has led to a lot of confusion all around.  As journalists, our job is to be precise with language and provide accurate information to the public.  When reporting on sex trafficking, or sex trafficking cases, consider describing what has been alleged or what the statute the person is being charged with actually says—because it rarely refers to people being forced into prostitution…

Too Close To Home

The Seattle Times continues its revolting badge-licking; though this reporter seems to be struggling to be more fair, the story is still full of nauseating cop pontification like this:

“I haven’t seen a lot of people who are not damaged in this life,” [a vice pig vomited out]. “If you’ve got prostitution, you’ve got drug dealing.  And if you’ve got those two things, you’ve definitely got gang activity, and that fuels other crimes.  It’s all connected.”

Because clearly, the first word anyone thinks of when they meet me is “damaged”, and my drug-dealing is well-known.  The most revolting part?  Somebody in this story is part of a violent criminal “gang”, all right, but it ain’t the whores.

Saving Them From Themselves (#613)

A Colorado bill that would reduce the criminal penalties for teenagers who exchange nude images of each other has run into opposition from critics who say it still treats such behavior too harshly.  Under current law, consensual sexting involving anyone younger than 18 qualifies as “sexual exploitation of a child“, a felony that triggers registration as a sex offender and a penalty of up to six years in prison, even for teenagers who take and send pictures of themselves.  H.B. 1058 would make underage sexting a misdemeanor known as “misuse of electronic images by a juvenile,” punishable by three to 12 months in jail, with no registration requirement.  Although that sounds like a big improvement, lighter penalties are apt to encourage prosecution, and it is not clear why this sort of activity should be treated as a crime at all.  In Kansas, where the state Senate last month approved a similar bill, its chief sponsor explicitly argues that it will lead to more prosecution…

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What if a different attitude about pornography were the “alternative to pornography”?  –  Tina Horn

Rough Trade Brandon Cole Reed

I suspect they have the right guy this time:

King County prosecutors have charged a 31-year-old Kent man with three counts of rape, and Seattle police continue to investigate…in connection with five more sexual assaults, all involving women working as prostitutes on Aurora Avenue North.  Brandon Cole Reed was arrested…one day after prosecutors dismissed a second-degree-rape charge against…Andrew Tatum, who was arrested in February…[for] the rapes Reed is now suspected of committing…Reed “picks up prostitutes on Aurora Avenue, drives to a nearby location, and then rapes them, by brandishing a knife, threatening to hurt or kill them, handcuffing them or brandishing mace,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carla Carlstrom wrote…Reed was 11 and his brother was 12 in 1995 when they dragged a 12-year-old girl into their house…and took turns raping her…[they] were found guilty of second-degree rape…and sentenced to 21 to 28 weeks in juvenile detention…Both were required to register as sex offenders for 15 years…Reed was also convicted in 2009 of second-degree malicious mischief for throwing rocks and damaging his ex-girlfriend’s car after she refused to get back together with him…

Lying Down With Dogs

This interactive map characterizes countries according to 11 different legal approaches to laws regarding prostitution, and 9 different legal characteristics, for the most complex and accurate analysis of the subject yet.  Please bookmark!

Check Your Premises 

I realize that idiots don’t actually understand what the word “average” means, but one would think they at least know it doesn’t mean “absolute minimum”:

The Canadian Women’s Foundation says…the average age for new recruits was 13…A 14-year-old at the centre of a human trafficking case is among the youngest girls allegedly forced into prostitution…in decades…Staff Sgt. Darrell Gaudet said…such cases are rare…in…more than 20 years, Gaudet said he has dealt with four cases of 14-year-olds…[and one] 13…

Moloch

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

Police arrested a Longwood, Florida, 12-year-old girl for pinching a male classmate’s butt…Breana Evans has been charged with misdemeanor battery and was temporarily placed in juvenile detention.  Everybody involved…thinks the arrest is an overreaction…except the boy’s mom, who alerted police and demanded that they prosecute…police [pretend] that…they had no choice but to arrest Breana…[who] will have to complete community service, submit to drug tests, and [endure indoctrination sessions].  If she does all those things, the charges will eventually be dismissed…

Pity the poor “authorities”, who had “no choice”.  Because “prosecutorial discretion” is only for cops who rape or murder people, not for kids being kids.

The Last Shall Be First

Potty obsession is rotting politicians’ brains:

Fayetteville [Arkansas] councilman John La Tour is being accused of confronting a woman he assumed was transgender and threatening to wave his penis at her at a crowded restaurant…After the incident, a manager apparently asked La Tour to leave [the] restaurant…According to a Facebook post by…Gavin Smith: “la tour [sic]…[demanded my friend] pick a gender declaiming loudly that he couldn’t tell if she was a man or a woman.  She is not transgendered and does not in any way present any ambiguity about gender in any way.  She’s a woman.  He then explained that he was a man and could prove it by dropping his pants and showing his penis”…La Tour subsequently [pretended] he’d merely asked the woman — who is employed at the restaurant — to dance…

Above the Law  

Probably a longer sentence than he would’ve received in the US:

Derren Tomlinson, 44, with the West Mercia Police department was sentenced to 11 years in prison this week for…raping a girl under 13-years-old, sexual assault on a child, and bestiality.  His offensively short sentence is likely due to the fact that he was a [cop]…The department found out…after looking through his phone which revealed a number of photos showing him raping a child…[and] engaging in sexual intercourse with a dog…

Prudish Pedants

Steinem’s been peddling this malarkey since 1978, and I’ve been mocking it since at least 1984:

…one of the most vocal proponents of [the] damaging dichotomy [between “bad porn” and “good erotica”] is feminist icon Gloria Steinem.  And every time I hear her or someone else trot out this tired trope, I recoil—because it is indicative of our culture’s persistent stigmatization of sex work, classist attitudes about sexual morality, and suppression of healthy sexual expression.  It’s a dichotomy that demands to be not only challenged, but dismantled…Steinem has been repeating some version of this baseless definition game since 1978, when she published the Ms. magazine article, “Erotica and pornography: Do You Know the Difference?”  The answer to this question is:  No, we don’t, Gloria, because neither you nor anyone else has ever managed to provide a useful or convincing distinction…

Gingerbread House

And how does the judge plan to “keep” these “children” in the “safe house” to endure “therapy”?  Oh, yeah:

There are more than 3,000 minors in [Nevada’s] juvenile justice system, and many are victims of human trafficking.  “For…10 years, I’ve been advocating…for a safe house for our sexually exploited youth,” said Judge William Voy…”We have to identify better which kids really need to be locked up…with the kids who don’t”…the state needs a therapeutic…secured facility to keep these children.  He said if the state doesn’t get this kind of facility it risks losing the kids to the streets all over again…

So Close and Yet So Far

This article could’ve been so much better; it quotes a number of sex workers, including my close friend Savannah Sly and my acquaintances Chelsea Lane & Jill Brenneman.  It presents some pretty good arguments, and talks about Amnesty’s research.  But it also quotes prohibitionists, repeats bad data, confuses legalization and decriminalization, does not discuss the failure of the Swedish model, and sets up a false equivalence between those who want to be free to make their own choices and those who want to control others’ choices with state violence (as though they were two equal sides in an academic “debate”).  It’s also mind-numbingly boring; I sincerely doubt anyone will read the whole thing.  I know I couldn’t.

Hard Numbers (#340)

Whores in the so-called “developing world” are so much better at activism than those of us in the US:

…Gabriela Leite and Lourdes Barreto founded the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes (BNP) in the mid 1980s in response to police violence in the red light districts where they worked…The BNP earned seats at the policy-making table and was fundamental in developing peer-led HIV prevention initiatives.  Their partnership with the country’s National AIDS Programme gained international attention in 2005 when Brazil refused more than $40 million in US funds because USAID…demanded that organisations receiving funds condemn prostitution…[Prohibitionism] gained strength in Brazil at the start of the new millennium, fuelled by moral panic and by the growth of carceral feminism…and Christian conservatism…The prostitutes’ movement has responded with a two-prong strategy: on the one hand, it is engaging in street politics, guerrilla theatre, and practical initiatives; on the other, it is entering the forums and institutions that sprung up around human trafficking…

He Said, She Said (#448)

A lot of people are going to be really unhappy about this:

The chorus outside Old City Hall hit its peak once a judge acquitted former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi on all charges of sexual assault and choking, the outraged shouts of “I believe survivors” reverberating off the courthouse steps and in more than 10,000 posts online…Ontario Court of Justice Judge William Horkins said he simply could not trust the three complainants, given their shifting memories and evidence that at times strayed into outright lies…he said the 5,000 messages exchanged between actress Lucy DeCoutere and another complainant sounded like they could be plotting to ruin the former broadcaster… “Ms. DeCoutere and S.D. considered themselves to be a ‘team’ and the goal was to bring down Mr. Ghomeshi”…As Crown prosecutor Michael Callaghan stood in front of a stand of microphones giving reporters his reaction, a topless female protester jumped in front of him, yelling “Ghomeshi guilty!” knocking over the stand.  Police tackled the woman to the ground and took her back inside the courthouse as she struggled and kicked the door.  She was handcuffed by police and led into the back of a police cruiser…

As a woman who’s endured several rapes myself, I understand the anger.  But what do the protesters actually want, for the state to be able to convict people on shoddy evidence?  I simply can’t side with people who believe that locking up as many people as possible to prevent some bad guys getting away with crimes is a good idea.  The carceral state is a far greater threat than any one rapist, or even than all unconvicted rapists put together.

False Witness

Anyone who understands the dynamics of group psychology should already have known this:

You would think securing a conviction against a suspected criminal would have to be helped if all the witnesses…independently identify the same culprit.  But new…research suggests that unanimity of witnesses should trigger a warning that perhaps police have the wrong person…the probability of a large number of people all agreeing in [difficult observation] circumstances [is] small…the error rate among [crime] witnesses…[is] around 47 per cent.  “So if…20 people all agree it is the same guy you should be now more suspicious of their agreement,” [lead researcher Professor Derek Abbott] said.  Their modelling showed even with just a 1 per cent error rate, confidence in a police line-up result would decrease after three unanimous identifications…

If you don’t understand this, please take the time to read my paper, “Mind-witness Testimony“.

Moving Pictures 

You know you’re living in a fascist state when there’s a whole industry glamorizing government actors who use violence to suppress consensual activity:

[US deportation agent] Keith Owens…[was featured in a] television series, Web of Lies…The episode [inanely] titled “Stolen Youth”…aired on March 2…being involved in this documentary is in line with his commitment to combating human trafficking…“This film will definitely wake the public up in regards to human trafficking that should be named modern-day slavery,” Owens said.  “These predators take possession of [their victims], and force and coerce people to do things they don’t want to do”…

You mean, like cops and other government agents do? Or do you mean a different kind of taking possession of people and forcing & coercing them to do things they don’t want to do?

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