If you want to reduce abuse, you need to find a way to hack the system that increases the power of marginalized people, not of the police.
– Noah Berlatsky
For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea
Remember, sex work is legal but “regulated” in India. Here’s what that looks like:
…police abuse and bad laws live on despite decades of evidence of the harm being done to millions of Indian women…[who] are arrested under charges of “possession of condoms”, or even on false charges of “possession of narcotics”…(They) are rounded up at the end of the month when the target for petty/minor offences are not met…Some [cops] are known…to be self-avowed crusaders against “prostitutes”. Instead of protecting these women from…criminal elements, the police adds its own violence and abuse to that of other criminals…whether [under] the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, or the myriad “vagrancy” and “public indecency” acts commonly used against them…[police] “victimise the women,” doubling their “exploitation and extortion”…
It Looks Good On Paper
It’s not “surprising” in the least; as I’ve explained repeatedly, only very rare “perfect victims” are helped by so-called “safe harbor” laws:
…Latesha Clay…was sentenced to prison for up to 20 years…Clay, whose name was inexplicably released by local press despite her status as a minor, had been offered up as bait in a Backpage post advertising sex with the underage girl. When the clients showed up at a Motel 6…they were met by an adult male, Trayvin Donnell Lewis, who used a realistic-looking airsoft gun to drive the clients to an ATM and rob them…However, Clay herself fits every guideline for qualifying as a trafficking victim just by virtue of being underage and [advertising] online for sex. According to the Justice Department’s federal definition of sex trafficking, a person under 18 engaging in prostitution (even the mere “offering” of sex for sale) is automatically considered a trafficking victim regardless of whether a pimp or client used “force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion, or any combination of those means, to cause the minor to engage in a commercial sex act”. When the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) was signed into law in 2015, many advocates [imagined] the federal government [would] increase protections for underage…teens…in the sex industry…That’s why Clay’s prison sentence, rather than the kind of support and treatment outlined by the JVTA, is surprising…
Tyranny By Consensus
Los Angeles County and the porn industry are at “a stalemate” over a mandatory condom requirement, according to criminal and constitutional lawyer Paul Cambria Jr…”Measure B”…was approved by L.A. voters in 2012, and has been embroiled in legal challenges ever since…Both a U.S. district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Vivid’s argument that the condom law violates the First Amendment…But…affirmed the lower court’s decision to enjoin several key provisions…including stipulations that noncompliant production companies could have their permits taken away and a provision related to searches and seizures…The state can still go after filmmakers under California’s occupational safety rules, however…the agency’s heart doesn’t seem to be in enforcement…Karen Fuller Tynan…who specializes in adult-industry cases…helped one client settle with the agency for $685—down from an initial attempt to fine the company more than $20,000 for “lack of barrier protection” in a film scene. She also represented porn company Evil Angel…they went to trial, and half way through the first morning in court the agency dropped all charges related to condoms…
The Public Eye
This interview with retired madam Jami Rodman is overblown & sensationalized, as such interviews tend to be when the interviewed sex worker was connected to some kind of scandal. But the more the public sees us as real people, the harder it will be to keep the “sex trafficking” lie afloat.
“How Laws Regulating Sex Work Ignore Workers Themselves” is another good example of the stupid, evil laws created by amateurs to “regulate” sex workers, justified under the excuse of “protecting” us from our own choices. Click to open the image at right, then click again to enlarge.
Fellow librarians: this is bullshit. It is a serious breach of your professional ethics to support the surveillance state against patrons:
…More than 800 staff members at all of San Diego’s 36 library locations recently received training on how to spot sex trafficking victims, how to start a conversation with them, and ultimately how to steer them to the appropriate resources for help…Local law enforcement statistics show an alarming rise in sex…trafficking cases.* San Diego is one of the top 10 worst cities in America for human trafficking**, and…it is the second most lucrative industry in the region, right behind drug trafficking.^ “It’s a big problem with gangs,” said [library director Misty] Jones. “Gangs are actually trafficking people more so than trafficking drugs now”^^…
* No, they don’t. **No, it isn’t.
^ No, it isn’t. ^^No, they aren’t.
New Zealand bureaucrat imagines he can stop people from seeing online porn he doesn’t like, despite the fact that Australia abandoned a similar censorship scheme as unworkable:
…deputy chief censor Jarred Mullen detailed the harm that [he pretends] increasingly extreme pornography that can cause, and outlined some possible steps towards regulating it. These steps could include an ISP level ban, where pornography viewers have to “opt in” to viewing pornographic content, similar to that of the United Kingdom’s…Current censorship law…already bans certain types of pornography, including [BDSM & scat]…Censors also look at whether the pornography “degrades or dehumanises or demeans any person,” but this does not necessarily result in a ban. The censor’s office reviews every DVD released in New Zealand, as well as anything customs seize at the border, but their control over online market is essentially non-existent…
…in California…an elected official [is] attempting to use the latest law-and-order magic words—”human trafficking“—to push for mandatory decryption on smart phones…Jim Cooper wants to order smartphone manufacturers to be capable of decrypting and providing access to their products on demand…Cooper [bloviated]…”We’re going after…people who are doing bad and evil things. Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it“…
Yet another ridiculous “sex trafficking” fakumentary:
…Filmmaker Gunther Meisse II teamed up with…Mark Lovely to create a…30-minute documentary on human trafficking, “Shadow in the Heartland”…The pair hope to [sell] the documentary…to schools throughout the state so teachers can show it in…schools where it can be seen by young people who are most vulnerable to human trafficking…In 2013, Ohio ranked fifth among all states for calls to the Nation Human Trafficking Hot Line. Each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims…
Stupor Bowl (#601)
This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:
Media briefs screamed into inboxes, blaring in all caps that the Super Bowl is NOT the largest human trafficking event in the world. But…officials from the D.A.’s office and City Hall took the mic at Boeddeker Park to declare human trafficking an invisible scourge that haunts us 365 days a year…It’s hard to say how what began as an urban legend became the animus for ad campaigns and undercover stings involving everyone from local police departments to the FBI to the Department of Homeland Security…The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women reported that in 2008, 2009, and 2011, local law enforcement observed “no increases in sex work-related arrests” during the Super Bowl…judging by statistics, San Francisco is a hub of the global trade in humans. The city has the 13th-highest number of child sex trafficking cases in the country…Many victims are shuttled through brothels, massage parlors, and other underground channels, while some are never counted at all…
But because the rescue industry can see the end of the hysteria is coming, it’s really trying to milk this Super Bowl for everything it can get:
…Traffickers from all over the nation and local traffickers already here are believed to gravitate toward the thousands of fans in town for the game. Lisa Blanchard, executive director of the Grateful Garment Project, believes a sizable number of girls and boys trapped in the sex trade will be arrested or detained, enough to persuade her to organize Sunday’s backpack-stuffing event…”We’re already a hot spot…so when you bring in a big event like the Super Bowl, common sense tells you there will be an increase.” Her…group assembled two dozen or so volunteers…to fill 165 backpacks with several items, including fleece pants and sweatshirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, flashlights and books — memoirs by people who survived the illicit trade. Blanchard said the youths would need the clothing and items because they’re dressed “scarcely, almost naked,” when they’re [arrested]…by police…
The idea that “trafficking” fanatics arrive at their beliefs by anything remotely involving common sense is hilarious, but it may not be as funny as this:
The Archdiocese of New Orleans is calling on all Catholics to take a stand against human trafficking. They want people to fast from social media on February 1…“the…day of Prayer and Awareness coincides well with two major events that cause a spike in human trafficking activity: the Super Bowl (February 7) and, locally, Mardi Gras (February 9),” the Archdiocese said…
The Pygmalion Fallacy (#605)
You almost have to feel sorry for geeks, wanking to their ludicrous fantasies of a day when they only have to pay once for sex instead of every time. But really, the idea that computers or highfalutin’ 3D goggles could ever replace actual women is deeply misogynistic at best, and misanthropic at worst:
…The world’s oldest profession is under attack from the newest…VR displays video through screens that strap to your face and create lifelike scenes…[Nevada brothel] Sheri’s Ranch has taken notice of the changes shaking the porn industry and is worried they could be bad for business…Demand for sex might be a constant, but how people go about getting it done has changed. These days, they’re not paying for it like they used to. In 1948, 69 percent of American men reported having at least one experience with a prostitute, according to a study by The Kinsey Institute. By the 1990s, that fell to as little as 15 percent…
No, it didn’t. Honestly, repeatedly refuting this bullshit gets exhausting.
The Pro-Rape Coalition (#605)
Contrary to a…report by CNBC, picked up by numerous other media outlets, Penthouse is not shutting down its print magazine. According to [managing director] Kelly Holland…the magazine is launching a digital edition, [but] that will be a companion to, not a replacement for, its print publication…
Noah Berlatsky on Swanee Hunt’s HackTrafficking4Good scheme:
…the righteous, adrenalin-fueled approach to battling sex trafficking isn’t likely to help much of anyone. The statistics on the site are grossly exaggerated and confused. The claim that hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of sex trafficking is based on what the Washington Post calls “nonsense facts,” and the 12-14 year age of entry is similarly dubious. In fact, the whole narrative that pimps are systematically kidnapping children and forcing them into sexual slavery doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Most underage people…engage in survival sex because they are fleeing abusive situations at home…not because they are in the thrall of criminal gangs. The vision of noble hackers helping police to swoop in and save exploited women is dear to the hearts of anti-prostitution groups like conference sponsor Demand Abolition. But it’s also fanciful—not least because police are in fact one of the chief dangers faced by sex workers…But the HackTrafficking4Good conference doesn’t see law enforcement as a potential threat. Instead, the conference is focused on helping police with surveillance…
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