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Posts Tagged ‘neofeminism’

The investigator cannot just tread through the bloody crime scene in street shoes and pick up the murder weapon with an ungloved hand.  –  Tami Loehrs

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

…Edina [Minnesota] Rotary member Renee Harberts [recited the “sex traffickin” Shahada]…and [then publicly described her disgusting sexual fantasies about]…kids as young as five…[prohibitionists fantasize]…one in seven kids are sexually abused and later in life they’re more likely to fall victim to sex trafficking.  93% of adult sex trafficking victims were sexually abused in their elementary years and never tell anyone about it….Harberts and a few members convinced the rest of the rotary to…raise…$10,000 to [indoctrinate] 3rd graders in Edina schools [in ’80s-era “Stranger Danger” propaganda, updated with a modern version of 19th century “white slavery” propaganda]…The group invited a panel of three experts to [publicly fantasie] about human trafficking…”We know that 0.02% of trafficking victims find freedom,” [moaned] Carla Marroquin of Protect Me Project [with her hand in her pants]…“The recidivism rate is between nine and eleven times that they will go back to the life of human trafficking”…

Bottleneck (#746) 

Yet another example of why sex worker licensing is a terrible idea:

…in Senegal…sex workers must register with police, attend mandatory monthly sexual health screenings, test negative for STIs and carry a valid ID card confirming their health status…But…sex work is still criminalized…for those who are unregistered, which effectively creates a two-tiered system…sex workers face enormous social stigma and discrimination…the…[estimated] level of registration [is extremely high at] 20% [which is twice the highest fraction recorded anywhere else in the world, probably because of the high rate of HIV in Senegalese sex workers]…the registration law was first introduced in 1969 — inherited from French colonial legislation that stuck around even after Senegal declared independence…Women who are registered live in fear that family members will discover their identification cards, or…see their name on a registration database …”When you are registered, you are registered for life,” said [Professor Cheikh Tidiane] Ndour [of the Ministry of Health]…”Even if you stop pursuing this profession, your great-grandchildren can find your name somewhere, and that is a problem”…If registered sex workers miss their monthly appointments they can face up to six months in jail…[and of course] registered sex workers [are] more likely than unregistered…to experience [rape, robbery, extortion and other] violence at the hands of [cops]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a picture of a Nerf gun”?

[Cops] in…Phoenix, Arizona, [interrogated] a teenager and his parents and searched their home and the kid’s school after the teen posted to a group chat a jokey message…[about] going to school the next day posted alongside a photo of a Nerf gun…one of the…chat participants narced on the exchange and set the wheels of officialdom in motion…As red flag laws and other reporting systems proliferate around the country, we’re likely to see even more incidents in which cops…are [summoned] into innocuous situations by people who refuse to ask simple questions or to believe that we’re living in a remarkably safe age…in the Phoenix incident, school officials proactively assured parents that the incident was “not a credible threat”…but…Justine and Nathan Myers were similar victims…after 16-year-old Nathan documented a shooting outing with his mother on Snapchat….somebody contacted Colorado’s Safe2Tell, a[n]…anonymous…[snitch line]…Nathan was banned from school until public outrage forced officials to reverse their decision…

Disaster (#931)

I’m sure you amateurs are happy to be censored “for THE CHILDREN™!”:

…Twitch suspended a streamer named Quqco for wearing a cosplay of Street Fighter heroine Chun-Li on stream, deeming her outfit “sexually suggestive”…[even though it] was not…streamer Bridgett Devoue was given a three-day suspension for [unexplained]…“sexually suggestive content or activities”…Overwatch streamer Fareeha got hit with a warning (and a 90-day probationary period) after wearing a sports bra and baggy shorts at the gym…Saruei [got]…a warning for drawing “nudes,” despite the fact that her characters…are clothed…

Pyrrhic Victory (#937) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco has already banned the use of facial recognition tech by local [cops].  Oakland did the same thing a couple of months later.  Pretty soon, it’s not going to matter where you are in California.  If you’re a law enforcement agency, facial recognition tech is off-limits…for three years…The bill…also targets other biometric surveillance methods…It forbids direct use by California law enforcement agencies, as well as prevents them from asking agencies outside the state (including federal agencies) from deploying this tech on their behalf.  It also blocks state agencies from using cameras (body, dash, stationary) that utilize this tech.  If this bill is signed into law, California will become the first state [with such a] ban…

You may have noticed that laws claiming to restrict government powers never carry a criminal penalty, despite the fact that every law intended to control subjects of the government always do.  Also note that unlike laws intended to control the people, this has a conveniently-short sunset clause so the legislature needn’t do anything to quietly get rid of it once the frogs get used to the new temperature of their water.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

Politicians are gradually coming to realize that their constituency includes sex workers and clients:

A strip club will stay open despite [prohibitionist efforts to put scores of women out of work]…Sheffield council’s licensing committee met for eight hours to discuss whether Spearmint Rhino should have its sexual entertainment licence renewed.  [Industrial spies] employed by [misogynistic censors] had [filmed] dancers [against their consent in an attempt to shame the committee into wrongfully revoking the license, but]…dancers from the club…campaigned to save [it]…

Law of the Instrument (#954)

If his victims hadn’t been sex workers, would “authorities” have let him rack up three before bothering to act?

Ed Buck, who has been subject to protests and calls for prosecution in the overdose deaths of two men at his West Hollywood home, was arrested [last week] in connection with a third overdose…the Los Angeles district attorney’s office [seems to have finally realized]…that Buck is “a violent, dangerous sexual predator”…[who] personally administered “dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims”…Activists have been calling for Buck’s arrest…for the deaths of Gemmel Moore…and Timothy Dean…both black gay men were found in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment less than two years apart…[due to] methamphetamine overdoses…Buck…has now been charged with operating a drug house and providing meth to a…who overdosed last week…but survived…

Business As Usual (#956)

Even by nauseatingly-low local news standards, the sound of bootlicking in this is deafening:

Several months after Columbus police disbanded its vice [gang, badge-lickers] in a south Columbus neighborhood [whine] they feel it every day.  “When you have the prostitutes, it just breeds the drugs, all kinds of stuff. There are children seeing that it’s ok and it’s not ok,” said [pompous busybody Ima Copsucker]…a block watch coordinator [who] spends hours every day [minding other people’s business]…She was hoping…[her beloved pigs] could help [root out] the human trafficking problem in the area…Columbus [pigs oink that what they absurdly call]…the human trafficking problem…has gotten worse since the vice [herd] has been disbanded…

What’s that you say, Ima? “There are all these black people out in public since they ended Jim Crow.  Something needs to be done to keep them in their place, preferably with violence.”  Yep, that’s what I thought you said.

Dangerous Speech (#968)

The government keeps trying to hide information in the Backpage case:

…prosecutors sought to continue stonewalling defense counsel on access to data on more than 100 servers that once kept…Backpage…in operation…But U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich denied the government’s request that she reject a defense motion to examine the material on those servers in the same condition as when the government seized the website on April 6, 2018.  Instead, Brnovich scheduled a day-long evidentiary hearing for October 3, during which [pigs] and expert witnesses are expected to testify…As explained in the defense’s motion to compel evidence, the 106 servers seized by the government contained historical data about Backpage’s ads that can refute the feds’ allegations, show that Backpage’s moderation efforts “blocked or removed approximately one million ads per month,” and reveal extensive cooperation with [cops] and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…In fact…Backpage referred so many ads to NCMEC  that the government-backed non-profit complained about the number of referrals, since [most] of those ads were later found not to involve minors…

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I’ve followed Cathy Reisenwitz‘ work since I started this blog, yet somehow we’ve never had a guest column from her!  So when I saw that she’s started a new newsletter, I jumped at the excuse.

It’s a tragedy of feminism that so many of us are stumped by a very easy question:  Is sex work a choice?  Ask any current sex worker and they’ll tell you:  Sucking dick for money under patriarchal capitalism is as much a choice as cleaning toilets.  But one pays a lot better.  Is being a housewife a choice?  If your view is that society worships motherhood and despises ambitious women, then obviously those forces will influence women’s choices.  But an influenced choice is still a choice, something many radical feminists don’t like to admit.  Radfems like to straw-man arguments for female autonomy as choice feminism.  But when the women in question have power, suddenly the question changes.  While downtrodden and oppressed women aren’t allowed to make their own choices, women in positions of power are afforded unlimited options.  I find a particularly interesting example of this “choice only for the powerful” phenomenon in feminist author Jill Filipovic’s treatment of presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  While Filipovic equivocates about sex work and choice feminism, she asks for nuance when considering Harris’s choice to use her powers as a prosecutor to deprive women of the choice to engage in safe sex work.

Harris’ record as prosecutor reveals a woman who is more than happy to use the criminal justice system to keep other women from engaging in sex work without fear of violence, arrest, or imprisonment.  Harris arrested Backpage.com executives and illegally charged them with pimping and conspiracy, then after a judge threw out the case Harris filed nearly identical charges in another California court; the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association described the maneuvers as “a gross abuse of prosecutorial discretion.”  Harris fought Backpage and continues to support FOSTA in the name of fighting human trafficking, yet everyone from Amnesty International to the World Health Organization says that decriminialization leads to lower rates of sex trafficking.  Despite this, Harris has consisently sided with prostitution prohibitionists and supported police raids of sex workers.  And while San Francisco Bay Area police officers were committing actual sex trafficking, Harris and her office pretended it wasn’t happening.  Jill Filipovic is quite aware of the “Kamala Harris is a cop” meme, but has a more nuanced take.  In a recent op-ed, Filipovic asks readers to consider the competing interests Kamala had to take into account when making choices as a prosecutor (if Harris hadn’t defended the death penalty she risked alienating politically powerful police unions; if she hadn’t fought the California anti-overcrowding court ruling the state would’ve missed out on slave labor, etc).  I’m not sure how to justify her choice to become a prosecutor in the first place; as Joe Biden pointed out in the recent Dem debate, “I was a public defender. I didn’t become a prosecutor.”  Filipovic is able to see Harris’s choices through the lens of a woman navigating a minefield of racism and sexism while also balancing careerism and her own conscience, yet when it comes to sex workers, all that nuance is reduced to “choice feminism.”

In Supporting Sex Workers’ Rights, Opposing the Buying of Sex, Filipovic writes, “[In Utopia], sex would be a fun thing, a collaborative thing, always entered into freely and enthusiastically and without coercion.  Of course women should have the right to do what they want with their own bodies, and of course there are many sex workers who aren’t trafficked or forced into the trade.  But that smacks a bit too much of ‘I choose my choice!’ feminism, which I find to be incredibly intellectually lazy.”  What’s really incredibly intellectually lazy is to spend hundreds of words apologizing for a woman who chose to arrest and incarcerate sex workers and make their jobs less safe to bolster her own career, and then dismiss the fight for sex work decriminalization as “choice feminism.”  Are sex workers not doing the best job they can considering there are negative consequences to every position they could take?

A look at my own experience with sex work may be helpful in illustrating this.  From the time I walked the aisle at a tent revival and confessed my sins and gave my heart to Jesus at five years old, I’ve always been a true believer.  I’m not sure if I ever signed a purity pledge, but I might as well have.  I met my favorite high school boyfriend at a good old-fashioned Southern Baptist abstinence retreat, and I lost my virginity at 22, on my wedding night.  As I pulled away from religion, my husband drew in; by the time I said I wanted a separation four years in, he said he’d only see the pastor and his wife for marriage counseling.  I studied her perfect highlights as they refused to talk about the problems in our marriage until my relationship with Jesus was fully addressed.  Sometime between the divorce and today I got paid for sex for the first time, because once you see that traditional marriage is just one long, nominally exclusive mutually beneficial arrangement you really can’t unsee it; then the question becomes how long, and how exclusive, do you want the arrangement to be?

I was a sex work activist before I was a sex worker, because a feminism that doesn’t include self-ownership is no feminism at all, and women don’t own our bodies if we aren’t allowed to rent them out.  Contrary to the carceral feminists, I don’t believe any kind of consensual sex should involve arrest or imprisonment.  In what universe can a woman consent to cleaning a toilet for money under capitalism, but not to sucking dick?  Such a conception is utterly infantilizing, superstitious, and antifeminist.  It’s not despite my femimism that I support sex work decriminalization; it’s because of it.  Whoring has always been one of the only ways a low-born woman could rise above her station; sex work enables more women (and men) than you’ll ever know who don’t have trust funds to pursue social justice, music, comedy, and acting.  Or writing feminist screeds, in my case.  I’m neither proud nor ashamed of having done sex work.  If I had been a great sex worker I’d be proud, but I wasn’t; I didn’t find most of my clients interesting and I’m bad at pretending.  Yet I found sex work empowering even though I didn’t like doing it; maybe it’s my libertarian showing, but I tend to believe more options are better than fewer.

I’ve been writing about feminism, sex, and capitalism for the past ten years, mostly at Sex and the State; in that time I’ve changed my thinking on everything from abortion and sex work to the social safety net.  My writing is thinking aloud and learning in public.  I’m honored to have learned from women like Maggie, who turns the “prostituted woman” trope on its head; far from being abused or oppressed (except by cops and an overinvolved state), no one could prostitute Maggie except Maggie herself.  I’m still a true believer — evangelical as the day is long — but what I’m preaching has changed quite a bit.  I invite you to join my sex-positive libertarian feminist tent revival, by subscribing to my daily email.

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People whose brains and morals haven’t been totally warped by partisan politics don’t write off…horrors just because The Other Side started them.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it isn’t:

A Chinese madam linked to a[n imaginary] “Snakehead” people smuggling ring, who [provided clients and an incall for migrant sex workers]…in…Scotland…was [sentenced to] 27 months…Yen Huang, 62…was [snitched on by racist busybodies at]…a bank in Dundee [after she went into the bank with] a 48-year-old [migrant] woman…Police…[had branded] the woman…a victim of human trafficking [so they arrested her]…and…she…[is] now [in prison] in England, waiting to be [deported]…Huang…eventually abandoned her claims to have been just a cleaner with “no connection” to…prostitution, and…[instead] claimed she herself was victim of human trafficking…brought to the UK…by “Snakehead” [an imaginary criminal cartel out of racist “Fu Manchu” style fantasies]…

Divided We Fall

Perhaps if Gay, Inc had stood with sex workers to fight these kinds of lies from the beginning, they wouldn’t have grown so popular and bold:

According to Diane Gramley, head of the American Family Association’s (AFA) Pennsylvania chapter, the 1969 Stonewall uprising wasn’t caused by queer people fighting against police harassment, it was caused by police trying to rescue a young transgender boy who was being sexually abused by the bar’s queer patrons.  Gramley [told her fantasy] on a recent broadcast of Stand in the Gap, a radio show produced by the American Pastors Network…Gramley [also] said…“Pride is definitely a menace to children…because they use these Pride events to desensitize us to the dangers of their lifestyle”…By claiming that police were trying to rescue a sexually abused transgender youth, Gramely continues to [advance the myth that cops exist to “help” people and to] repeat the old canard that LGBTQ people are pedophiles who groom and sexually prey on young children, “turning” some of them gay, bi or trans…

A “young transgender boy”?  How interesting, considering that people like Gramley claim that being trans is a “lifestyle” rather than a characteristic, and therefore deny that any young person can actually be trans.

The Widening Gyre (#431)

Prohibitionists just keep trying the same stupid publicity stunts:

[A pig oinked that] it was time to consider stopping drivers using the residential…Rosary Road [in] Norwich…”to prevent kerb crawlers doing laps” [even though cops admit this won’t have any affect on street work]…residents…[say they are] not bothered by kerb crawling traffic [though some virtue-signaled that they have read the propaganda about]…”women who are being exploited in all this”…

Click the subtitle link to see what happened the last time this Stupid Cop Trick was tried.

Japanese Prostitution (#502)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sex work prior to the Olympics are insufficient to please gaijin “sex trafficking” profiteers:

As the next Olympic host, Japan has become the focus of…global [hysteria over] child prostitution…with [profiteers] working to [spread disinformation] on “hidden crimes” they [pretend] have a symbiotic relationship with mega-events.  Major sporting events attract troves [sic] of [rescue industry]…organizations…looking to cash in by exploiting [public ignorance about sex work in order to convince them that sex workers are] vulnerable children…Despite [a total lack of evidence for any issues]…Japan is far from immune, according to It’s a Penalty, a Britain-based [prohibition]ist group.  “It does exist here, it is just that [the evidence says the opposite]” said Sarah de Carvalho, founder and CEO of IAP…

Saving Them From Themselves (#626)

Oink oink, but he was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we HAVE TO destroy his life!  SHAZAM!

As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for “sexual exploitation of a child.”  But that change, which state legislators approved after [considerable pressure from sane, normal people]…came five years too late for “T.B.”, a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls [his own age]…the Colorado Supreme Court upheld [destroying] T.B.’s [life by condemning him to]…sex offender [hell] for at least 20 years.  The majority conceded that its decision “may strike some as [insane but typical police-state violence]”…but T.B. violated the law that applied at the time, the court said, so he is out of luck.  Two dissenting justices argued that their colleagues had misread the statute and that the majority’s interpretation [was completely devoid of anything resembling justice]…

Divination

Yes, people really are stupid enough to believe a dog can smell electronic images:

Louisiana State Police have acquired a new tool to help solve child porn cases:  a dog named Maggie who’s trained to sniff out even the smallest electronic devices that might be used to store images and videos, including memory cards and flash drives.  At a press conference [pigs and politicians bloviated a lot of nonsense about magic pictures and infinitely-growing problems]…

Check Your Premises (#777) 

This is, of course, based on the deeply-flawed premise that “anti-trafficking” politicians actually want to protect sex workers, which they absolutely don’t:

…If you speak out in favour of decriminalisation of sex work as a member of the UK anti-trafficking sector, you risk losing partnerships, allies and funding.  But…unless the sector comes to a united understanding on sex work and the laws surrounding it, we risk trafficking being used as a rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities.  The major divide on this battlefield is between those promoting decriminalisation of sex work and those pushing the “sex buyer law”.  Tackling trafficking for sexual exploitation is often used as the reason to support this law…This approach can feel instinctively right because it punishes the buyers. I don’t know a single sex worker who likes their clients.  I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between…

The author is clearly delusional.  First off, she refuses to recognize that “trafficking” is and always has been specifically a “rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities”, because that’s exactly what it was intended to be; it paints sex workers as “victims” so damaged by the supposed “trauma” of pragmatic sex that we don’t know what is good for us and can therefore be disregarded.  And anyone so out of touch with reality that she imagines the sex workers she “knows” (already an absurd assumption because whores aren’t generally honest with self-appointed saviors) are in any way representative of the great majority who wouldn’t even consent to talk to someone whose avowed purpose is the disruption of their entire profession, is too lost in her own navel to even bother correcting.

Storyville (#807)

It wasn’t just sex workers who thrived in the “Wild West”:

…people who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University and the author of Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past.  While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories concerning people who dressed against their assigned gender…He was shocked at the size of this population, which he’d never before encountered in his time as a queer historian of the American West…Boag expanded his research beyond the Northwest, but limited it to towns west of the Mississippi, and the period of time from the California Gold Rush through statehood for all the Western continental territories.  It wasn’t that this time and place was more open or accepting of trans people, but that it was more diffuse and unruly, which may have enabled more people to live according to their true identities…“My theory is that people who were transgender…saw the West as a place where they could live and get jobs and carry on a life that they couldn’t have in the more congested East”…

Torture Chamber (#878)

Liz Brown delivers a scathing indictment of the government’s horrific child abuse:

For years, U.S. propagandists have spread scare stories about trafficked children being housed in warehouses and forced to sleep on mats or rickety cots, with inadequate nutrition, zero privacy, and a lack of basic sanitation…[but actually] it’s the U.S. government that is doing that…ferreting [abducted] children off to secretive warehouse locations where neon lights shine 24 hours per day.  Kids are crowded into large cages where they sleep on shared mats—or sometimes concrete floors…denied soap, toothbrushes, and medicine, amid outbreaks of lice and flu…Some sociopaths argue that abusing children is necessary to send a message to their parents…but…that innocent children should not suffer for the sins of their parents has long been a principle civil societies agree on…As Ken White writes at The Atlantic“The sheer effrontery of the government’s argument may be explained, but not excused, by its long backstory”…Like civilian criminal counterparts, [Trump and company are] essentially threatening to keep on kidnapping and traumatizing kids until Democrats meet their demands…

Dangerous Speech (#948)

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Those who engage in sex work are our constituents.  –  Brianne Nadeau

Surplus Women

The only way pigs want to “make sure you’re safe” is by locking you in a cell:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said they are looking for a potential serial killer and rapist that is operating on the city’s east side…the investigation…started several months ago…on March 19…Nancy Harrison…was [found naked and cops tried to pass it off as]…a drug overdose…[even though] she [had] suffered blunt force trauma…The body of the second victim, Travesene Ellis, was found on May 24…[then on June 5th] a woman’s decomposed naked body was found inside a vacant [house.  Cops]…believe…the suspect is targeting women in their early 50s and luring them to vacant dwellings…all three victims are believed to be sex workers…Police are asking sex workers to come forward with any information.  “We’re not here to arrest you, we’re going to make sure you’re safe,” he [lied]…

King of the Hill

There is exactly one highway which runs from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the mainland:

[Cops and “rescue” profiteers fantasize that] human traffickers are moving…[passive, doll-like] young girls — from Nova Scotia…to Montreal and Toronto, but it’s difficult to analyze the pattern in those stories as there is no [actual] data…on [the imaginary phenomenon]…the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (CCEHT)…is working on a study of the “high-incident” human trafficking corridor…between Halifax and Toronto…One stop on the road…is the town of Truro, N.S. (population 12,261), where the staff at the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre have started to [brainwash women into thinking they]…have been sexually trafficked…[prohibitionist] Margaret Mauger said…”Truro has become…a hub for human trafficking”…She said most [women] don’t think of [their jobs]…as sexual trafficking, so she tries to [convince them otherwise]…

Buried Truth 

Accurate headline: “Man Loses Job After Refusing to Pay His Tab While Drunk”:

A Catholic school principal from Louisiana has resigned from his job after he was arrested at a Washington D.C. strip club…Michael Comeau…principal at Holy Family School near Baton Rouge, refused to pay his bill at Archibald’s Gentlemen’s Club…[while] blocking a roadway outside and refusing to move.  He was…arrested…[for] public intoxication and possession of an open container…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

When they smash down your door in the middle of the night, murder your dogs, terrorize your family and embroil you in a decade-long court battle which will utterly bankrupt you because some computer decided you look like somebody who supposedly broke some law, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

The FBI cops to the fact that its database of mugshots…has about 36 million entries…But that’s the tip of the iceberg.  Gretta Goodwin…[of] the Government Accountability Office (GAO), told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee…that the FBI can scan about 640 million pictures, including not just mugshots but driver’s licenses and passport photos…the FBI has “strict policies” governing the use of such technology, [claimed] a spokesman for an agency that is exceedingly well-known for what the American Civil Liberties Union calls an “unchecked abuse of authority“…Kimberly Del Greco, a [boss spook]…at the FBI, said…facial recognition…is used only when there is an active FBI investigation or an assessment, which can [basically mean whatever they want it to mean]…

Remember, the FBI classes all sex workers as “criminals” and defines our ads as “probable cause for sex trafficking investigation”.

Out of Control (#767)

When the sexual need to control others is frustrated, some really weird behavior can result:

Boise Police…arrested Jonathan Parker — a lobbyist and former Idaho Republican Party chairman…on a felony first-degree stalking charge…on or between May 16 and May 30, Parker “did knowingly and maliciously engage” in conduct that “seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed (his [estranged] wife) Kelly Parker”…[his] conduct included “repeatedly hiding in bushes, masturbating, disguising himself with a wig” at or near her apartment complex…

An Example to the West (#776) 

The areas Americans dismiss as the “third world” are far ahead of the US in sex worker rights:

Casa Roja…is…the new centre for Ammar – the Argentina’s Women’s Sex Workers’ Union…Dramatic inflation (which reached nearly 50% last year), combined with a reduction in subsidies…have sent the cost of basic foodstuffs, electricity and water spiralling.  A third of the population are living in poverty…almost 50% of women are either unemployed or working informally without labour protection or a security net, and cuts to public sector jobs have been most pernicious in feminised occupations…To try to improve conditions for sex workers, Ammar opened the doors of the Casa Roja on 2 June, International [Whores’] Day.  The centre will offer health and mental health services and a place to drink coffee as winter draws in…“There will also be legal assistance…in the face of increasingly punitive policing in the area…Ammar has been one of the most successful sex workers’ organisations in the world.  Across Argentina it has integrated itself into the mainstream labour movement, decriminalised sex work in some provinces, and provided peer-to-peer support for more than 20 years…[by contrast] feminists in the UK have been slow to embrace sex workers as sisters in the struggle against gender and economic injustice.  A small number of groups have stood shoulder to shoulder with sex workers, but the story has largely been one of violence and exclusion…

Amnesty At Last (#831)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for four years now:

A bill that would decriminalize sex work in Washington D.C. will be reintroduced at the D.C. Council…this time with four councilmembers in support…Councilmembers David Grosso and Robert White…are now joined by…Anita Bonds and…Brianne Nadeau…last term, the original bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee, where it never got a hearing…Grosso modeled the bill after efforts in New Zealand…The legislation comes at a time when sex work-related charges have more than doubled…[from] 228 [in 2017]…to…551 [in 2018]…

Devil’s Advocate (#832) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

Florida has banned childlike sex dolls…[anti-sex politician] Lauren Book, who introduced the bill, [also created a bill to put sex workers and clients on a public registry.  She fantasized that]…“Just as viewing child pornography [magically] lowers the inhibitions of child predators [via invisible sex rays emitted from the images], so do these childlike sex dolls”…opponents of the measure [correctly] argued that the dolls deter pedophilia by preventing child predators from acting out on their impulses with real children…

The worst part of these laws isn’t the ban itself, but rather the institutionalization of the dangerous and unscientific dogma that human beings are tabulae rasae who can be “perverted” by external stimuli and thereby “re-educated” via such brainwashing schemes as “john schools” and “gay conversion therapy”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

{Insert Ben Franklin quote about liberty and safety}:

The…Brazosport [Texas] Independent School District…hired a company called Social Sentinel to monitor public posts from all users, including adults, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.  The company’s algorithms flagged [a woman’s comical] tweet [about her cats] as a potential threat…Among the other “threats” flagged by Social Sentinel [were]…tweets about the movie “Shooter,” the “shooting clinic” put on by…a…university…basketball team, and someone apparently pleased their credit score was “shooting up”…America’s schools…are hastily erecting a massive digital surveillance infrastructure…with [total and intentional dis]regard for either its effectiveness or its impact on civil liberties…Florida offers a glimpse of where it all may head: [politicians] there are pushing for a state database that would [make the childhood nightmare of a “permanent record” reality by] combin[ing] individuals’ educational, criminal justice, and social-service records with their social media data, then [handing] it all [to the pigs]…Gary Margolis, the CEO of Social Sentinel…claims “thousands” of K-12 schools in 30 states are using its [police-state boosting] service…[another company name] Securly…offer[s] “sentiment analysis” of students’ social media posts…[via] an “emotionally intelligent” app [like Facebook censorship algorithms] that sends parents weekly reports and automated push notifications detailing their children’s internet searches and browsing histories…

Censor Chic (#904)

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

Three days before the most sensitive political anniversary on the Chinese calendar, Twitter suspended the accounts of Chinese political commentators in what it [pretended] was an accident…it…affected more than 100 users…[including] human rights lawyers, activists, college students and nationalists, who use workarounds to get access to Twitter, which is banned in China…The accounts began rapidly disappearing just days before the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on a student-led pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square…In a statement, Twitter [claimed] that as a part of its routine efforts to stop spam and inauthentic behavior, it had [conveniently] gone after a number of legitimate Chinese-language accounts [at exactly the best time to demonstrate to the Chinese government that it could be counted on to censor as ordered if it were allowed to operate in the country]…

Safe Position (#928)

Ordinarily, I don’t even bother to call attention to prohibitionist screeds unless there’s something interesting about them; what’s interesting about this one is the absolute reek of desperation wafting from it.  Prohibitionists are terrified at the speed with which decriminalization has become a safe position for politicians to take, especially in New York, but because they’re disgusting authoritarians the best way they can think of to make a lame attempt at forcing back the tide is to get two fucking prosecutors (notice how much prohibitionists love them?) to vomit out all the usual prohibitionist lies.  Blah blah “pimps”, blah blah “violence and exploitation”, blah blah “male power”, blah blah “PTSD”, blah blah “Swedish model” dicksuckery, and of course “we must remember that money cannot buy consent“.  Their stupid lies and bullshit claims about women’s helplessness aren’t working any more, and they know it.  Hey, prohibitionists:  we’re winning.  And if the best you can do is to pull out two police-state operatives, some professional “survivors” and a clutch of old hags mouthing weird fantasies about “orifices”, you’d better get used to the idea.

Top Cop (#938)

Even if you already despise this power-hungry sociopath, Liz Brown’s deep dive will give you more to hate:

Kamala Harris is a cop.  The phrase, which the candidate’s critics use frequently, is meant to conjure more than just Harris’ history as a hard-nosed San Francisco prosecutor.  It’s colloquial.  To label someone a cop in this way…implies the person is a bully, a bootlicker, a professional tattler—the sort of person who shuts down un-authorized lemonade stands run by kids.  A cop, in this context, is someone who will always defer to authority and the status quo, someone who is unaccountable and not to be trusted.  Calling someone a cop invokes the worst sorts of police overreach, a legalistic authoritarianism that exists for its own sake…

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People who define sex work as the selling of a body, or who say sex isn’t work, are telling you a lot about their own sex lives.  I mean, think about it; what does it say to you for a person to claim they believe sex consists of a woman lying passively in bed like a doll while a man “accesses her body cavities”?  What would you conclude about the sexual experiences of a person who claimed to believe that sex required no labor at all from the woman, but was simply done to her, with the man as the only active party in the transaction?  And yet, when I made this simple point last week, I was inundated with angry responses from prohibitionists trying to “explain” that I was wrong (and a misogynist, natch) because sex really does involve a woman lying there like a cadaver, with a man “masturbating into her orifices”.  I got similar responses from almost a score of prohibitionists, who thus boosted my tweets while amply proving my point over and over again (even after I suggested they stop digging).  Too bad the general public is just as ignorant as they are and are therefore unable to see through their embarrassing self-exposure as easily as those of us in the demimonde can. 

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I think most of my readers know that I think the idea that there is only One True Path to Decriminalization is as wrongheaded and destructive as the notion that there is only One True Path to Salvation.  Those who claim that a labor rights approach, or a privacy rights approach, or a social justice approach, or a civil liberties approach, or a medical approach, or a harm reduction approach, or whatever, represent the only way to achieve sex worker rights, have been drinking their own Kool-Aid and need to move on to more potent and adult beverages.  But there is one popular approach that I’m going to ask y’all to reconsider, because I believe it’s doing more harm than good:  Please stop telling authoritarians that their terrible laws are harming sex workers and even getting us killed.  Look, I fully understand why y’all think this will work; it’s because you’re decent human beings who care about others, so naturally you think other decent human beings will also care.  And you’re mostly right, except for one small factor:  politicians, cops and other authoritarians are not decent human beings.  They are sociopaths who think that “law and order” trumps every other concern, and at a minimum accept harm to sex workers as acceptable collateral damage in their war to establish a jackboot Utopia with them at the top; in the worst cases (which means most of them), they are happy when their laws harm sex workers, because that is their specific intent.  In other words, when you tell these moral imbeciles, “Please stop because you’re killing us,” you are not dissuading them from their course of action; you are encouraging it.  Don’t believe me?  Consider that the Skarhed Report, the Swedish government’s own report on their eponymous “model”, stated quite clearly that “negative effects of the [sex purchase] ban…must be viewed as positive from the perspective that the purpose of the law is…to combat prostitution“…in other words, “it’s a good thing that those dirty whores are dying, because omelettes and eggs and all.”  And then there’s this video, which I’ve shared often, that states the prohibitionist attitude so clearly and distinctly you may even be able to see it through rose-colored glasses:

And here’s a selection from a recent article on Florida’s creation of an adjunct “sex offender” registry strictly for clients and sex workers accused of any of the “offenses” that are now fashionable to call “sex trafficking”:

…Savannah Parvu, an anti-sex-[work activist] and [prohibitionist] who advised Rep. Fitzenhagen on the bill…[believes] that that sex workers are…acceptable collateral…“Sex workers…claim they’re doing it willingly, so if a bill that is designed to [empower the police state]…puts sex workers in danger or is bad for…business…then maybe it’s time for a career change”…The bill’s authors are well aware of the criticism—but they don’t…see the issues that activists raise as problems.  “In case it was lost on you, a consensual sex worker, AKA a prostitute, is committing a crime,” Rep. Fitzenhagen said in…March…“It is not my intent to work with them moving forward”…

By all means, keep making this argument to the public, and pointing out the dangers of prohibition to reporters, academics and other potential allies.  But when you tell die-hard prohibitionists their schemes are hurting us, that’s just free intel for them from the front lines of a war against humanity they will do anything to win.

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We don’t know what we’re doing. –  rare true prohibitionist statement

Real People 

Stories like this need to be heard in order to fight the racist “sex trafficking” and “illegal alien” narratives:

…My mother came to Denmark as a marriage migrant.  She received a tourist visa in Thailand, came to Denmark, and put an ad in the local newspaper with the headline “Thai Woman Seeking”.  The man who became my stepfather answered.  They got married, and shortly thereafter I came to Denmark to live with them…People have always looked down on my mom or pitied her.  They have condemned my stepfather.  And they have felt misplaced sympathy for me…If my mother had not migrated from Thailand, I would probably still be in Isaan today.  I would have two or three children and work in my family’s rice paddies, at a factory, or have some other kind of low paying job.  Maybe I would have to migrate to Bangkok to work an unskilled job at a factory, leaving my children in the care of their grandparents in those months where there is no work to be done in the fields.  Maybe I would have to work in the sex industry in Pattaya and send home money to my children and my mother, because sex work is the field where you earn the most as an unskilled female labourer…Why are the women who change their lives by selling sex or by getting married scorned?…Why do we look down on women who simply use the opportunities they have been given?  There is no right or wrong way to migrate.  There are just women trying to create better lives for themselves and their children with whatever cards they have been dealt…

One Size Fits All

Marriage brokering, migrant sex work, forced prostitution and organ harvesting are all the same thing?

Pakistan…arrested eight Chinese nationals [and accused them of] trafficking Pakistani girls to China and forcing them into prostitution…and organ trade…Pakistani…[cops also] raided a wedding ceremony…and arrested the Chinese groom…after…[calling the] marriage [false]…

If this keeps up, soon we’ll just be able to abolish nearly all laws and call everything cops choose to accuse anyone of “human trafficking”.  Think of the time and labor savings!  Threaten everyone with life in prison, let them plead down to one of a few minor and equally-vague offenses like “money laundering”, “conspiracy”, “racketeering” or “hate”, then put them on ankle monitors for a decade or two.  International Utopia!

Cops and Robbers

Another bunch of racist vigilantes playing games with people’s lives:

This is the story of a group of [busybodies] so agitated by news of [women of] other [races running lucrative businesses instead of doing menial labor for whites]…that they launched a vigilante response…[like all busybodies] the women weren’t affected by the massage parlors personally.  They’d been driving right by them for [their whole lives] without noticing them at all…But the spas loomed large for the women after they learned [how much money migrant]…women…from China [could make]…as prostitutes [without having to kowtow to bourgeois white Boston puritans]…“We decided as a group we want to [harass] the women”…

First they tried to spy on them, then sic the pigs on them; when the cops told them luggage and TV sets were not evidence of “sex slavery” they decided to start a new NIMBY club called “Operation Rescue”.  Go ahead and read the whole thing if you want a deep dive into the tiny, ugly, racist minds of women who aren’t satisfied with merely keeping the brown folks in line by occasionally calling the cops on them for existing in public spaces.

Property of the State

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

Juan Leon-Gomez…was arrested…after a mother reported that her daughter was missing…the [now-pregnant] 11-year-old was found in [Leon-Gomez’s] bedroom closet…[he] was already the subject of an ongoing sexual assault investigation involving the girl…Ohio’s new “heartbeat bill”, which is slated to take effect in mid-July, means that the 11-year-old girl could be forced to carry the child to birth, regardless of the fact that she was raped…

Saint Death (#428) 

The…notion [of] ‘narco-saints’ borders on incomprehensible…But give it a cool name…and it suddenly turns religion into proof of guilt“:

“Narco saints,” or patron saints of the drug cartels, are making the criminals even bolder…[according to racist propaganda the] Drug Enforcement Administration…has [been trying to push for over a decade]…with…li[ttle success except among bootlickers and deeply credulous cops]…Atlanta DEA [pig]…Robert Murphy…[imagines] shrines of “narco saints”…are [magically] facilitating the flooding of Georgia streets with illegal drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl…[via their magic powers] to recruit and embolden the…[drug dealers this pig tellingly refers to as] soldiers…[illiterate redneck] District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson says she was so alarmed by the “narco saints”…she [went to church and then] used [stolen] money to bring an expert [propagandist] from Texas to [indoctrinate] local [cops so they’d have another convenient excuse to murder Hispanic men on sight]…“Why it’s so dangerous…is they believe they’re [bulletproof warriors] and they’re not afraid of death,” Lawson said…

Think of the Children! (#565)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” the childen!

Robert Kraft tried to donate $100,000 to a charity that educates children in Haiti—but it rejected the money because of allegations he [had consensual] sexual [contact with an adult woman]…“The last thing I wanted was a donation from Robert Kraft,” [said] Patrick Moynihan of The Haitian Project…“I could not be [sensible]. I had to [be a prudish moron who cares more about virtue signaling than the education of children in poverty]”…

Permanent Record

Sex workers need to bury all prohibitionists of every kind in lawsuits:

Nicole Gililland…had been doing well as a nursing student at Southwestern Oregon Community College…She was making the dean’s list and was about a year away from graduating…when…the college decided to run her out of school after it found out she used to perform in porn.  This February, she filed a federal lawsuit against the school and some of its personnel, charging them with breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and subjecting her to a hostile educational environment.  Experts say this…could be the first time a plaintiff has used Title IX to make an accusation of discrimination based on a person’s status as a current or former sex worker…

Guinea Pigs (#719) 

Just a reminder that one of Palantir’s first contracts was helping cops spy on sex workers:

Palantir, the CIA-funded data analysis company founded by billionaire Trump adviser Peter Thiel, provided software at the center of a 2017 operation targeting unaccompanied children and their families…newly released Homeland Security documents show….[that] Palantir…spokespe[ople were lying when they claimed]…that Palantir software is strictly involved in criminal investigations as opposed to deportations…Far from detached support in “cross-border criminal investigations,” the materials released this week confirm the role Palantir technology played in facilitating hundreds of arrests, only a small fraction of which led to criminal prosecutions…

A Woman’s Point of View (#805) 

The push for decrim in Hawaii isn’t dead yet:

…Harm Reduction Hawaii…sponsor[ed] presentations by Dame Catherine Healy…on May 9 and 10.  She is a former sex worker and advocate for sex worker rights.  In 1986 she was a cofounder of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.  She was made a Dame of the British Empire due to her long time work aimed at…decriminalization of prostitution in 2003.  Recent reports from the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women indicate there is no evidence of sex trafficking there.  This is in a country with four times the population of Hawaii…We believe evidence-based approaches need to supplant the sorts of hysteria that has often taken over the public press in discussions over sex work…

Disaster (#881)

Facebook has the money to protect itself from the monster it helped unleash on the internet:

Under FOSTA/SESTA…Section 230 no longer protects platforms from liability in cases where third-party content is [claimed by a prosecutor or ambulance-chaser to be] somehow connected to sex trafficking…Facebook support[ed this censorship] effort…But now [it] has been forced to send lawyers to defend itself from two lawsuits brought in Houston, Texas, under the same FOSTA/SESTA law that [it] backed…and it…is…argue[ing] that Section 230 of the CDA protects the firm from being held liable for the activities of users, no matter what those activities may be…[even though] thanks to [Facebook’s own support of] FOSTA/SESTA, that protection no longer exists…

A Procrustean Bed (#921)

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

A lawsuit filed by Harris County seeks to [rob and harass] sex workers in the Bissonnet Track, a Houston [stroll]…The lawsuit, which targets 86 “nuisance” individuals, is [intended to bleed marginalized people with] fines in addition to…criminal charges. [SWERFs are angry that] the measure ignores the[ir preferred narrative] that most sex workers are victims [because they want sex workers starved, evicted and enslaved in sweatshops rather than openly criminalized]…

Worse Than I Thought (#925)

Florida prohibitionists are now tripling down on their awful anti-whore laws:

Florida lawmakers just voted to create a public registry of people [accused by cops of] attempting to pay for sex.  After an initial defeat…the registry—arguably the worst part of a new Florida crime bill capitalizing on human-trafficking propaganda—was revived and reinserted before the measure’s passage…The final version…creates a database of [adults caught in cop sting operations]…targets strip clubs, and mandates that a slew of state workers and businesses jump through new hoops to accommodate a few politicians’ latest attempt to get their names in the press…The Soliciting for Prostitution Public Database will list anyone who has been convicted of, or plead guilty, to “soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation” [which of course includes sex workers arranging duos or giving references or other help to other sex workers]…The new measure also classifies strip clubs as “adult theaters”—then makes it a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense for the operator of any adult theater to fail to keep proper records.  The law also creates wide new categories of workers and businesses that are [forced to endure]…anti-prostitution and pro-surveillance propaganda disguised as tips for teaching bystanders how to prevent human trafficking…

Top Cop (#931)

Just in case you needed another reason to be disgusted by this power-mad sociopath:

Kamala Harris is making the potential punishment of social media platforms that don’t censor what she [represents] as hateful speech a focal point of her presidential campaign…[she] wants social media to do more to stop…ideas [she disapproves of, such as sex worker rights] from being expressed and spread online.  It’s not clear what she thinks the companies should specifically do, but she’s definitely laying the blame on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube for the existence and proliferation of angry people online…what she wants with her prosecutor background is to force compliance with whatever rules she puts into place and use the threat of punishment to shut down resistance…just [like] California parents who were threatened with jail time because of her support for criminal truancy laws…or [her repeated and illegal]…attempt[s] to bring pimping charges against the publishers of Backpage…

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