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Posts Tagged ‘North Dakota’

People have the right not to be “rescued” by outsiders who neither understand nor respect them.  –  Meena Seshu

The Scarlet Letter

Given that most sex workers aren’t in it for life, it seems fair to assume that a proportion might eventually choose to [leave it]…for many, this will be impossible.  Sex workers [in the UK] are subject to a particular type of non-statutory reprimand: the “prostitutes caution“…it’s not quite the same as the regular kind of caution you might be landed with for shoplifting or being caught with a bit of weed.  Regular cautions require that…there…be evidence of guilt sufficient to give a realistic prospect of conviction…[and] the offender must admit the offence.  In the case of a prostitutes caution, neither of these is required…sex workers suspected of soliciting…can be slapped with a caution, even if there’s not enough evidence to take the matter to court.  Want to call foul?  Tough: there’s no right of appeal…And if a potential employer sees you’ve got cautions, there’s a good chance you won’t get the job…

Blasphemy

Read this and tell me that Marxism & feminism aren’t religions:

Prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism.  Our corporate masters are pimps. We are all being debased and degraded, rendered impoverished and powerless, to service the cruel and lascivious demands of the corporate elite…If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done…we will take one more collective step toward the global plantation being built by the powerful.  The fight against prostitution is the fight against…the subjugation of impoverished girls and women…Those who sell their bodies for sex do so out of desperation…Selling your body for sex is not a choice…Lee Lakeman…[says] it is not…”OK [for]…Asian women [to work] in brothels because they are sending money home to [their] families…The only way to fight capitalism…is to stop men from buying prostitutes…men will have to accept feminist leadership…and…give up the self-indulgence of prostitution”…The legalization of prostitution in Germany and the Netherlands has expanded trafficking and led to an explosion in child prostitution…average age [blah blah blah]…“When some women are bought and sold,” said Hilla Kerner…“all women can be bought and sold.  When some women are objectified, all women are objectified.”

Profound Mental Disabilities

a 2013 study…suggests that BDSM practitioners are generally psychologically healthy and that they tend to prefer roles that fit their personalities…a newer study…examined the personality traits of BDSM practitioners using a somewhat different personality model.  Some of the findings were highly similar…there is no evidence that BDSM practitioners in general suffer from any particular form of psychological disturbance and in fact they seem to be mentally and emotionally well-adjusted…both dominants and submissives…tend…to be higher in openness to experience and conscientiousness compared to…the general population.  Additionally…submissives tend…to be more extroverted than the general population…and [dominants are] less sensitive to rejection…

Soap Opera anti-pimp pads

Just when you thought the “anti-pimp personal hygiene products” trope couldn’t get any stupider:

Pivot provides rescue information to human trafficking victims without detection by their captors.  Ordinary-looking sanitary pads are distributed by activists and healthcare providers to suspected victims. Hidden inside each pad is an insert with rescue information and a trafficking hotline number.  A victims [sic] accesses the insert in the privacy of a restroom, detaches the phone number (disguised as a fortune-cookie tab), and flushes the rest of the insert in the toilet…

Checklist 

The newest “sign” of “sex trafficking”:  going to a beauty parlor:

A new law in Ohio requires licensed cosmetologists to take a course on identifying trafficked women and girls…because of the major highway systems, eight ports on Lake Erie, and proximity to Canada…the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force…identified salons as prime locations to spot victims who may have been brought in by pimps to change their appearance or to win their trust with pampering…

Let Me Help

Meena Seshu, an experienced social worker turned activist for women’s rights in India, [met] a group of sex workers to help them organize.  Seshu thought she knew what to do: “guide them,” as she had been trained to do.  And yet, they rejected her…Seshu…said, “I’m sorry. I know nothing.  Can you teach me?”  Sesha discusses this humility in this amazing talk…

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

Pimps!  Sex slaves!  Benevolent cops!  And other imaginary characters!

Three Sudbury [Ontario] men have been identified as pimps exploiting young women and forcing them in to sex slavery…The same blitz also found six women in the Sudbury who are being forced to work in the sex trade…No charged were laid, but police officers here shared all the information they gathered…[a mouthpiece claimed] “Operations which seek to reach out to trafficked persons give sexually exploited persons the opportunity to report instances of exploitation and allow police to build relationships…”  [The so-called “blitz” was part of] Operation Northern Spotlight…

Under Every Bed (#420) a loon and her lunacy

Still crusading against imaginary “traffickers” in North Dakota:

When she first arrived in town, Windie Lazenko headed to the neon-lit strip clubs and bars catering to lonely oil field workers with extra cash and time on their hands…For nearly two decades, Lazenko was part of that illicit world, starting as a 13-year-old runaway when, she says, she was bought and sold for sex…Lazenko is now one of the most prominent activists in the fight against sex trafficking in the oil patch…

Worse Than I Thought (Traffic Updates)

The connection between abortion prohibition and “sex trafficking” hysteria continues to increase:

Bipartisan legislation to crack down on human trafficking turned unexpectedly controversial…because of a Republican-backed provision relating to abortion that Democrats said they failed to notice…The disputed provision would permanently prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the woman was jeopardized…

Anatomy of a Boondoggle (#439)

A Sydney council has lost a landmark legal battle against a massage parlour it alleged was operating as an illegal brothel, after a court ruled the council failed to prove there was enough sex being provided on the premises.  Hornsby Council paid a private investigator to go undercover inside the parlour and [rape] a prostitute as part of a bitter, year-long legal battle to have the operation closed…[because it is near schools]…evidence of sex being sold on the premises fell short of the NSW’s specific definition of the term “brothel” – which requires more than one prostitute to be providing services onsite…councils…would have to fund multiple trips inside suspect premises to have any chance of a result…

Monsters (#510)

The Louisville…Police Department has been insistent that the victim in a Jan. 9 homicide…was not transgender, the homicide was not a hate crime, and the victim’s gender identity was not a factor…Information…directly contradicts or severely undermines all of those assertions…court records and an interview with [the victim’s friend] Tiffany show the police department had evidence, but did not tell the media, that the victim may have identified as a transgender woman who went by the…name Papi…Surveillance video…shows the victim — identified by police as…Sherman Edwards — presenting as a woman, with long hair and carrying a light brown purse…Prosecutors have arrested and charged…Henry Gleaves…with murder…Tiffany said Edwards…had used female pronouns for several years, but…police [said]…“that was a man that was shot.  It was…obviously a man, right?  He doesn’t have a female name”…Among the records contradicting the Louisville police’s insistence that Edwards identified as male is a videotaped interview conducted by…police…shortly after the shooting with Tiffany…

Policing for Profit (#513) 

People [accused] of soliciting prostitution in certain areas of Spokane, Washington, will have their cars impounded by police.  The city has marked these areas with signs proclaiming them a “Designated Area of High Prostitution Activity…”If you’re soliciting prostitutes, you may think twice if you see a sign that says we’re going to impound your car if we catch you,” said Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart.  That seems plausible, indeed.  What doesn’t seem plausible is “high prostitution activity” not simply shifting to elsewhere once the signs go up.  Why would sex workers or clients continue to frequent areas that the city is announcing as targets of increased police stings and enhanced penalties?…

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surreal train stationI wish I could declare that train travel was absolutely wonderful, but I’m afraid I can’t do that.  Oh, it was dramatically better for me than plane travel, and substantially better than bus travel, but I still found myself wishing I had driven instead.  The problems started even before I woke up last Wednesday; when I arose I found an email from Amtrak telling me the train was two hours late.  Since I was due to arrive in Chicago at 3:15 PM and speak at 7, this eliminated my time for going to the hotel to check in first.  And by the time I arrived at the station it was worse; we departed three and a half hours late.  My resourceful student contact at Loyola was not worried, though; she changed the time of the event on the Facebook page to 7:30 and came out to the station herself to meet me.  By the time the train finally arrived it was four hours late, and we arrived at the lecture room at 7:45; I began to speak even before removing my cloak and sweater, and fortunately nobody seemed to mind having to wait the extra fifteen minutes.  Of course, by the time I got to the hotel at 11 PM I was famished, having had nothing since 6 AM except a handful of Fritos offered to me by a very nice older gentleman on the train who also insisted on helping me with my bags.

My train troubles were just beginning, however.  The next morning I took more trains to meet Aspasia Bonasera for brunch, and if the Amtrak had been as punctual and smooth-riding as those Chicago commuter trains I wouldn’t be writing about this.  Alas, that was not the case; though I did fine the first day and even wrote tomorrow’s fictional interlude, we kept getting delayed by freight trains and by the time I woke up on Friday we were five and a half hours behind schedule.  I’m a very light sleeper, so I was pretty tired, but I had breakfast with some very nice folks and got a lot of writing done while crossing the vast stretches of North Dakota.  By dinnertime, though, I was starting to feel a bit lightheaded, and the meal didn’t help; I went to bed straight after dinner and woke up about 11 PM with the sure and certain knowledge that I was going to be sick.  The only good thing I can say about it is that, since I’m not afraid of trains as I am of airplanes, I didn’t have the usual panic attacks which invariably accompany airsickness; I was just sick, and reacted with annoyance and frustration rather than the usual little-girl crying and lugubrious moaning which characterize the same condition when experienced at great altitude.  I do, however, think that altitude had something to do with my illness; when I got sick we were crossing Montana and climbing toward the Continental Divide (I think), so I’m willing to bet the lower air pressure and oxygen content pushed me over even though I’d made it through Wisconsin and Minnesota without trouble.  Another issue was that some fool turned the heat up, and though the roomettes can be made warmer they can’t be made cooler; warm air aggravates motion sickness, so as soon as I woke up sweating and kicking off the blanket I was sunk.

By morning there was nothing left in my stomach, but that didn’t stop my body from trying to expel it several times; I could do nothing but lie still all day, watching the scenery pass.  Fortunately, it was exceptionally beautiful; Washington state is lovely, and being able to see where I’m going in daylight goes a long way toward controlling vertigo.  When I arrived I was cheered by the lovely sight of my friend Mistress Matisse, there to pick me up; she soon deposited me at the place I’m staying while here, which is mercifully close to the train station.  My wonderful hostess, Jae, immediately packed me into bed and set about preparing some homemade soup, and when I awoke later in the evening I had a bowl and rebuilt my strength.  The very next night I had a presentation at the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, but we’ll save that for next week’s diary entry along with the rest of my adventures in Seattle! Empire Builder

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It’s much harder to usurp someone’s voice when she’s out there saying you’re wrong.  –  Maggie McNeill

Rough Trade Charles Oliver

A [Chicago area] man accused of raping eight [sex workers] was sentenced…to 36 years in prison.  Charles Oliver…forced the women to perform acts to which they had not agreed [and] often videotaped…In one video, Oliver…could be heard saying, “I don’t have to listen to you.  I paid you”…Oliver also stole women’s IDs and threatened to expose them as prostitutes if they reported what he had done…Oliver…[has] herpes and [raped the women without]…condoms…Prosecutors also played recorded jailhouse phone calls where Oliver is heard saying…”I should have killed them it would have been easier”…

Maggie in the Media

Noah Berlatsky quoted me and other activists in his Salon piece about how sex workers are using social media to attract attention to our cause.  As a result of that piece, I was interviewed on the Between the Synapse radio show on Thursday.  I apologize for quoting myself in the epigram, but this quote proved very popular on Twitter.

Surplus Women

Police in Italy believe that a murdered prostitute…could have been the victim of a serial killer…Andrea Cristina Zamfir, was…naked except for her shoes and…bound with tape to an iron bar in a position similar to crucifixion…a year ago [another] prostitute was found in the same place and in a similar state…though…still alive…

Presents, Presents, Presents! The Herring and the Brine

This week I received two music CDs:  The Herring and the Brine from Dave Curran of Inspireland, and Whirlygig from a reader whose screen name I don’t know; please email me so I can thank you properly!

Harm Magnification (The Beat Goes On)

They just can’t let it go:

Montreal…is considered a hub for…human trafficking, with police saying women and teenaged girls are brought into the city and forced into…sexual slavery…Mayor Denis Coderre said he wanted the crack down [sic] on massage parlours…Stella Outreach Worker Robin Maynard…[said] “The negative effects of arresting women in the sex industry have been widely documented”…

Above the Law

Cops don’t only rape adult women:

A…Colville [Washington] Police Officer has been arrested…and charged with Rape of a Child…the…victim…[said] she was “very fearful…since [rapist Scott] Arms was a police officer”…the girl…[finally] came forward…because she found out Arms was quitting his job in Colville and was going to be in [her home town] more often…Arms told  investigators…she…[made] these allegations…”Because she has a crush on me”…

Nor only females:

A [Minnesota] sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for sexually abusing several boys on a fishing trip.  Aaron Heuer…admitted he inappropriately touched four boys, ages 8 to 10, while volunteering as a fishing guide…Heuer threatened to throw the boys into the lake if they told…

Oscillation

First the once-respected Southern Poverty Law Center pronounced pickup artists a “hate group”, then branded everyone (including women) who doesn’t want to be groped by government thugs a “far-right homophobe”.  Then “…the SPLC tried its hand at painting anarcho-capitalists as a rising new threat through a convoluted chain of logic that somehow sought to link voluntaryists to the Patriot movement…now the scaremonger group cautions that some people who oppose Common Core education standards are right-wing extremists…Tasha Yar seduces Data

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Sure, I’d have sex with an android; their money’s as good as anyone else’s:

…nearly one-in-five people [polled] said they were “willing to have sex with an android”…11 percent [said] they want a robot child similar to David in the movie A.I…41 percent said…the concept of sexual intimacy with a robot is “creepy” and an additional 14 percent said they don’t think robots should be used in such a manner.  Nearly one-fifth of pet owners said they would replace a cherished animal with a robot…

First They Came for the Hookers… (TW3 #27)

The Texas Third Court of Appeals has upheld a punitive $5 tax levied on anyone who patronizes a strip club in Texas…ruling that the fee was not an occupation tax, a violation of free speech, or an unfair assault on live nude entertainment…The court went on to explicitly cite the alleged “secondary effects” and “social harms” brought by adult entertainment venues as a justification…Funds extorted from strip clubs and their patrons will go to pay for programs for sexual assault victims, under the nonsensical theory that the mere existence of strip clubs drives up rape…”The primary purpose of the sexually-oriented-business tax is…to discourage this type of business activity altogether…”

Follow Your Bliss (TW3 #44)

A TSA Supervisor was arrested at Kennedy Airport…Vernon Lythcott …[raped] two 15-year-old girls…[in] the Dominican Republic [after luring them]…from the beach into a van [with promises of] money and gifts…Lythcott and two other men [also] forced one of the girls [into] a room where they all sexually assaulted her…

No Other Option (TW3 #132) Scarlet Harem logo

In the US, this business would be violently suppressed and its customers and workers shamed, robbed and caged:  “A brothel is showing other businesses how to…provide disability access on the Sunshine Coast…Scarlet Harem…will receive an award…from the Sunshine Coast Access Advisory Network for going above and beyond in providing accessibility and customer service…

The End of the Beginning

Sharie Keil…is…at the forefront of a growing fight against sex offender registries, a shame-free alliance of offenders and their families, supported by researchers and some advocates who helped pass stringent…laws in the first place.  They…claim…a steady patter of legal and legislative victories…[mostly] limited to…juvenile offenders …but [Keil]…wants to abolish the…registry altogether…

Which I Doubt

On top of the other flaws it’s just a policy, rescindable at a moment’s notice:

The New York Police Department will no longer confiscate…condoms …as evidence of prostitution…[but will] continue to seize condoms…in sex-trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases…Civil rights groups and advocates for sex workers…argue that…police may continue to seize condoms from sex workers and teen runaways under the pretense of investigating pimps and traffickers…

Micromanagement

The free market provides a defense to a particularly nasty tool of the fascist panopticon:

…Erase deletes 99.5% of DNA left behind.  Replace obfuscates the remaining .5%…Don’t let DNA spill your secrets.  Protect your image and be invisible.  Spend the night somewhere you shouldn’t have?  Erase your mistake and be invisible…Exercising your freedom of speech?  Be invisible and never get tracked…

Counterfeit Comfort (TW3 #330)Jeremy & Christine Moody

If you’re a fan of “sex offender” registration, meet your bedfellows:

A couple who…[murdered] a registered sex offender and his wife…were sentenced to life in prison…Initially, Jeremy and Christine Moody apologized…and asked for a 30-year sentence so they could see their children and grow old together.  But after…[the] Judge…handed down the maximum punishment, they…showed how they really felt.  “See you perverts later,” Jeremy Moody shouted at [his victim’s] family…”That’s what child molesters get.”  And…Christine Moody…told reporters: “Killing that pedophile was the best day of my life”…

Cuckoo Advertising

A recent email from a listserv for sex researchers:

In my role as Chief Science Officer for AshleyMadison, I’m looking to pay sexologists…to represent/interpret academic infidelities research — without bias — to the media.  You would be commenting on affairs/cheating research by other academics, or by our own AshleyMadison surveys…You do not have to say that AshleyMadison is paying you.  You simply speak as a sexologist…

I was pleased to see that one of the researchers immediately answered with an email on Ashley Madison’s deceptive practices.

Policing for Profit

400 cops to arrest 19 masseuses.  Need I mention the motive?

Sixteen women and two men accused of running a Bay Area prostitution operation…have been arrested.  One suspect…remains at large…There are 111 counts against the group including pimping, pandering, and tax evasion…The massive sweep involved some 400 law enforcement officers in 6 counties…[who] seized cash, drugs, weapons, cars, assets, and marijuana…

Broken Record (TW3 #338)

With just under three months…until the Glasgow [Commonwealth Games] begins, a strategy designed to tackle sex trafficking and prostitution is being put in place…High-profile sporting events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics, have historically resulted in a spike in sex crimes…and…human trafficking…

No, they haven’t, “historically” or otherwise.

Cops and Robbers Kim Lengle

Another example of Dateline’s revolting practice of luring men to be fodder for their televised Roman circus:

A…TV news producer slapped NBC with a lawsuit…claiming her Dateline boss used her as “sexual bait” to lure targets for a hidden-camera series about drug-related prostitution, sex trafficking & sadomasochism.  Kimberly Lengle…[says] Dan Slepian…criticized [her] for not dressing provocatively enough and even asked why she didn’t have any nude photos…to send to men looking for…sexual playthings…Slepian threatened her job when she didn’t…[post] her photo in response to a Craigslist ad by a sexual deviant looking for a “human punching bag”…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #405)

[German] sex workers…are asking…politicians not to put obstacles in the way of…their profession…[Johanna Weber of the sex workers’ professional association said] “Many politicians…are working on a problem that does not exist as such…so…90 percent of women we represent…are worse off under these changes…in New Zealand…prostitutes have all the rights of workers.  And fears that the country would be a hotbed of international human trafficking did not materialize…a pure policy of prohibition couldn’t win a flower pot in Germany…so [prohibitionists] say they want to do something good for the oh-so-poor prostitutes instead.  I would recommend politicians go to a brothel and ask who would like to be taken out of there…we do not want to be rescued…”

Under Every Bed (TW3 #418)

Remember, the “authorities” even admit there isn’t a shred of proof for any of this; much of it seems to be the product of one woman’s BDSM fantasies:

…where there are men and money, there are prostitutes.  And…some reports estimate that about 70 percent of “prostitutes” are actually human trafficking victims…it’s no secret that human trafficking victims are being bought and sold every day in…the oil-rich Bakken region of North Dakota…Windie Jo Lazenko is…investigating rumors of rampant human trafficking in the state…[including] visits to…hotels where entire floors have been purchased by pimps…state law enforcement officials [say]…the…human trafficking epidemic could be helped by national efforts

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #419)

Lawheads amazed that their barricades did not magically abolish the need to earn money for bills and food:

Residents of [Cincinnati] worry that a recent crackdown on streetwalkers…has rerouted prostitution problems to their [neighborhood].  Cincinnati police recently set up barricades in hopes of cutting back on johns cruising the streets…”Instantly we’ve seen an increase in streetwalker prostitution,” Pete Witte said…

Little Boxes (TW3 #419) Elizabeth Raine

Given that she lies like a rug about her education and weight, the back-out was totally predictable:

…Elizabeth Raine…launched an online auction for her virginity…[which] concluded on May 7…at $801,000.  However, Raine backed out…She claims to have biology and engineering bachelor’s degrees and to be in school to finish a combined Masters and PhD program.  She expressed her concern that the auction might kick her out of college…Raine listed her height as 5’10” and her weight at 130 pounds

Property of the State

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on efforts to control women using pregnancy as an excuse:

…in Utah, a woman was charged with…felony child endangerment after accusations that she used meth while pregnant.  The police  report wrote…”Being that her child was only 39 weeks gestational age, it was surmised that the use of methamphetamine caused [her] to go into labour”…39 weeks is considered full term and a large proportion of women experience the start of labour at that stage…Meanwhile in Alabama, a state Supreme Court decision ruled  that a mother could be convicted of endangerment for testing positive for cocaine use during pregnancy, even though her child was born healthy…a…new law in Tennessee went against the recommendations of many major medical associations…drug tests for some substances are unreliable after a surprisingly short time…so…false accusations of endangerment could easily be made by others, and considering the high rate of miscarriage that occurs naturally, how would police know the difference?…

Of course, the cops don’t care; in fact, the lack of definitive proof is a feature rather than a bug for those who make and enforce these laws.

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The only difference between an escort and, say, your sister is probably that an escort charges money.  –  Felix Clay

Rough Trade

Reporter casts violent rapist as a victim of prostitution:

…The havoc prostitution can wreak on lives played out in a London [Ontario] courtroom…when [Nelson] Martinez…was sentenced for what was described as a “callous and dangerous” attack on a sex worker…Martinez received a sentence of [merely] 38 months…[because] Justice Peter Hockin [was] impressed by Martinez’s promise to take counselling for his anger and sexual problems…[his] marriage was healthy until…Martinez turned away from his wife and children, and to pornography and prostitution…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd EverPeppr

Actually, the author of this particular article isn’t uptight; he seems accepting, though he’s a bit ill-informed about screening and seems to believe streetwalking is the norm:

…the Berlin-based Peppr app uses GPS to connect potential clients with prostitutes in their immediate area…to save prostitutes from having to pound sidewalks for customers.  It was created by…Pia Poppenreiter…after seeing sex workers out of doors on a cold night…To help make sure that its sex workers don’t become part of any human trafficking chain, Peppr interviews its advertisers over the phone before they sign them up…The company will also not work with brothels, only individuals and escort agencies…

Full of Themselves

Megalomaniac speaks for thousands of people, claiming they all want celibacy:

Massage parlors…have multiplied over the past decade, and city leaders don’t believe the boom is based on increased demand for back rubs…South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez said…“That is something I believe is exploitation of women…it’s promoting sex, and that’s not what we want in South Pasadena”…

The rest of the article lays the blame for this terrifying invasion of peaceful businesswomen on the incompetence of the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC), an organization which claims to be such an efficient investigative body that it “did what the FBI couldn’t:  uncover PROOF of a “vast network” of traffickers!”  The law which created the CAMTC contained a “sunset clause” which will expire next year, and many politicians want it to do just that; however, CAMTC director Richard McElroy warns of dire consequences if his crack team of super-massage-cops is dissolved:  “The human trafficking cartel…are [sic] praying we sunset because we are the biggest thorn in their side”…

Don’t Take My Word For It

Men just can’t let go of the pathetic fantasy of the high-income heterosexual male prostitute with gorgeous customers:

…in…Fading Gigolo…John Turturro…plays…a gentle bookstore employee who loses his part-time job…For his first trick – a passionate one-on-one with [Sharon Stone] – Fioravante earns $2,500…A string of satisfied clients follow…and the money rolls in…

Follow Your Bliss

A [Washington state cop]…involved in fighting…sex trafficking was arrested…on child porn charges…Donald Glunt…described himself on his LinkedIn page as being a training coordinator for the church-based group Hope4Justice…officials…discovered images on Glunt’s city-owned cell phone while conducting an internal administrative investigation…

Gullible’s Travels

Just when you thought fake teen drug scares couldn’t get any stupider, Ohio local news brings us beezin, in which kids rub Burt’s Bees lip balm on their eyelids…If I had to guess, I’d say beezin is probably most popular at rainbow parties after drinking hand sanitizer and butt-chugging some vodka…”The peppermint oil in the lip balm is a very strong irritant and can cause inflammation in the eye”…[said] Dr. Brett Cauthen

The scare appears to have been touched off by this parody video:

Three Steps Back

Panhandling…in Louisiana would be banned if a bill the House unanimously [approved] …gets signed into law…[sponsor] Austin Badon…proposed the bill…[in] answer to a call by [cops] to help…break up obvious patterns of prostitution…The legislation would allow for prostitutes to be “hassled by the cops,” he said…it would also apply to hitchhikers…

Above the Law 

Four French police officers are being held in custody on suspicion of raping a 34-year-old Canadian woman at their Paris headquarters…[after she met them] during a night of heavy drinking at a nearby Irish pub…

Scapegoats (TW3 #10)

Given that politicians who obsess about certain kinks are nearly always practitioners of those same kinks, what are we to make of Joe Arpaio’s crusade against zoophiliac women?

Once again, deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have busted someone who went to Craigslist looking for sex with an animal.  This time, a 22-year-old Phoenix man went to…Craigslist seeking a male horse “on which to commit the act of fellatio”…Detectives were able to identify the poster as…Donald Waelde…

It takes a truly sick mind to vomit out the phrase “commit fellatio”, and unless I miss my guess that’s not a man but a transwoman; of course, Arizona’s pretty intolerant of them as well.

Stand-Up Guys sexy clown

Once again, Cracked demonstrates it has the smartest talent pool in journalism today:

…I feel that if an adult woman…wants to charge money for sexual services, it’s not a lot different from anyone else charging for massage services, or to be a clown at your birthday party, except the balloon animals are way more fun.  They have an ability others are interested in that they have monetized.  If that upsets you, it’s probably because you have an issue, not them.  Naturally, I’m opposed to human trafficking, sex slavery, underage prostitution, violence, and substance abuse, but I really believe a person can sell sex and not be involved in any of that, just as you can be a pot smoker and maybe not be involved in Mexican drug cartels, the beheading of civilians, organized crime, robbery, and meth-related buggery…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

At least this particular iteration of “robot hooker” idiocy recognizes the possibility that sex work is here to stay:

John Danaher…published a paper that…lays out two contrasting hypotheses: one in which robots dominate the sex industry; and another in which robot use actually leads to an increase in human sex work…The displacement hypothesis says sex robots will eventually push human sex workers out of a job…The resiliency hypothesis…[argues] that human prostitutes are here to stay…[because] humans will overwhelmingly prefer a human-on-human encounter to one with a robot…and…somewhat humorously suggests that there will be a spike in human prostitution because robots will edge people out of otherwise conventional jobs…

Yes, women turning to sex work because they can’t find any other profitable work is “humorous”.  Naturally, the first hypothesis is “supported” with nonsense about “exploitation”, “sex trafficking” and “diseases”.

Small Choice

“Sex trafficking” is caused by abortion!

The one-child policy in China has resulted in more than just forced abortions and sterilizations — it has led to massive cases of child trafficking as families attempt to buy children.  It’s also leading to international sex slavery rings and selling women as brides…

The Public Eye

SWOP [Chicago held a]…public event…called, “Understanding Sex Work and Allyship”…on…the…social misperceptions surrounding sex work, and the services that SWOP provides…including…the need for decriminalization and basic labor rights as a way of countering isolation and shame…SWOP should be respected as a union organization, and equally as fighting an important civil-rights battle…

Buried Truth Martin Ssempa

“Eat the Poo Poo” sounds like the title of a punk album:

A Ugandan pastor who has spent years calling for a stricter anti-gay law could now be charged under that very same law…Martin Ssempa is notorious for screening gay porn in church and claiming it is common for gay men to “eat the poo-poo”…Paul Kaliisa, from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)…[suggests Ssempa] is almost “obsessed” with [gay porn].  “He moves everywhere with clips of gay men”…

Original Sin

Melissa Gira Grant has a good article about the evangelical Christian basis of “sex trafficking” hysteria, focusing especially on Sold No More (the ones who claimed a mineral show was a hotbed of “trafficking”) and Shared Hope International.  One interesting point:  Sold No More began as a “crisis pregnancy center”, one of those scams that trick women seeking abortions into anti-abortion propaganda sessions.

Dutch Threat

I’m Felicia Anna, a 27 year old prostitute from Romania working in the heart of the Red Light District in Amsterdam.  I’ve been working there now for more than 4 years, unforced, unexploited and completely on my own free will…Before I got in touch with my boyfriend, I had no idea of the stories, witch hunt and simply false facts…about my work place…and prostitution in general…most of the prostitutes don’t speak out…because they’re scarred of a pimp, or because what people are saying is true, but simply because they just don’t know what’s going on…almost nobody does anything to debunk these false stories and bring out the truth, and the people who did hardly got heard…

Race to the Bottom

What the hell is going on in Washington state?  These recent anti-whore editorials read more like something one might expect from a small-town paper in the Bible Belt than from a major newspaper in a supposedly “liberal” state.  This one urges the government to grant itself censorship powers over the internet and includes pearl-clutching sentences like “The Internet empowers pimps to post an endless stream of titillating photos of sex workers, many of whom are forced into the trade as children” (gotta love the juxtaposition of the term “sex worker” with blatant anti-agency propaganda).  Another one infantilizes women even further with prudish arsehole-clenching about “illicit ads that reduce people’s daughters to faceless bodyshots…body measurements…and suggestive pseudonyms.”  Yes, a grown woman with a university education wrote that.  A third one from Olympia quotes the usual idiocy, calls strip clubs “hotbeds of human trafficking” and cheers the enacting of a new law which “makes it a felony to coerce someone into involuntary servitude” (apparently, they’ve never heard of the 13th Amendment up there).  All I can say is, I know a lot of people who will be very disappointed when this moral panic collapses and they need to find a new way to sell papers.

Held Together With Lies (Hysteria on Parade)

This article is an odd hybrid; it admits that the majority of “trafficking” is for manual labor rather than sex, yet inflates the Bales number to 32 million, then claims that exploitative sweatshops aren’t exploitative if they’re owned and operated by “rescue” organizations. 

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #348)

Another mob-with-torches story from Los Angeles, containing this gem:

“We’ve got to swarm these girls with love,” said the Rev. Deborah Manns, who…works with police, probation officers and parents to reclaim runaway girls…”We go to parties, we go to parks, we go to malls…I will chase a girl down the street, grab her, hold her, fight her…whatever it takes to keep her from going back to the track”…where trafficking victims are often forced to sell their bodies…

Ignoring people’s choices, spying on them, tackling them and betraying them to cops is “love”.

Case Study

This Random Brothel Exposé Generator is pure brilliance.    

Worse Than I Thought (TW3 #403)

It’s really good to see Reason expressing such strong opposition to sex work criminalization lately, especially when they quote me in the process; I just wish they wouldn’t give quite so much time to the awful Dennis Hof.

Under Every Bed (All Traffick, All the Time)

The grandiosity of these delusions increases by the day:

Windie Jo Lazenko …went  to [North Dakota]…to fight the sex trafficking…that…is a direct result of the oil boom…she said…she has helped 10 trafficked girls escape the sex trade…“Some…hotels…actually have floors that are bought out by pimps…and it operates pretty much like a brothel”…

Marching Up Their Own Arses (TW3 #414)

You should’ve known that Arizona, which is trying to market itself as whore-hater central, would be the next to jump on the “escort licensing” fad:

Gov. Jan Brewer…signed sweeping legislation that…[forces]  businesses such as massage parlors and escort services that advertise online…to post their license numbers…[and] have written permission of any women they depict and have evidence they are not minors.  Cindy McCain…said the…law will help close off the state to…traffickers…[it] received unanimous support in…the…Legislature…

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I think most of us are shocked to find out that people are actually buying…little girls.  They’re…paying for these girls who are then dressed up…to sell them.  –  Jerry Peyton

Secret Squirrel

Clueless cop claims extending the police state into private homes can “protect” your offspring from “sex trafficking”, when it actuality it creates the sort of oppressive environment teens rebel against or flee from:

[Florida] sheriff Susan Benton is launching a local effort to educate the public…deputies will be making personal visits to local pediatrician offices, hospital emergency rooms, shopping malls and other places frequented by youth, distributing posters and other materials…[about] the ways they may become victims of human trafficking…Some of the tips for parents…include…[knowing] your child’s screen names and passwords…[checking] Internet history and [controlling] sites your children have access to…[and forcing them to sign] a pledge…of their commitment to online safety…

Since when do teens “frequent” hospital ERs and pediatricians’ offices?

Follow Your Bliss

[The] co-founder of a [“sex trafficking” NGO]…is charged with child rape [and] has fled to Nepal…Dhan Pun…is the co-founder, with his wife, of Women’s Prevention and Protection Center Nepal Foundation…[he] is accused of routinely assaulting a teenage relative from 2010 to 2012 while he lived in Seattle…

Finding What Isn’t There

We don’t have any ‘sex trafficking’ cases, but we know they must be around because we have an interstate highway.  End demand!  Children!  Asians!  Backpage!  23 skidoo!”

Even though Batesville is mentioned in the Cincinnati Backpage Report…law enforcement officials say no recent arrests…have been made…The [“trafficking” NGO] director wanted area residents to realize sex trafficking “is a demand-driven situation…[which] only happens because there are customers…who want to pay for commercial sex, sometimes with children”…[a cop] predicted the crime could happen here in the future…“the I-74 corridor creates a lot of our problems”… gem show trafficking foolishness

Broken Record

This may be the most hilariously absurd iteration of the “gypsy whores” myth yet:

A local advocacy group will be using a dramatic display to protest sex trafficking at major Gem, Mineral, and Fossil showcase sites…Jerry Peyton…of Sold No More…said big events like the Gem and Mineral show attracted sex traffickers from around the country into Tucson…To raise awareneness, the group planned to set up a life sized doll box…[containing] a young girl, representing a victim of human trafficking…Beth Jacobs…who was held as a sex slave from age of 16 to 22 said…”pimps” typically took the girls to big events around the country like conventions, and the World series.  Jacobs said events like the Gem and Mineral show brought back some dark memories for her…

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

They admit to having no data at all and can’t be bothered to even define the crime, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to increase the penalties and condemn even more people to the barbaric “sex offender” registry:

…Oklahoma…lawmakers have introduced about a dozen bills that were drafted by the Bureau of Narcotics.  Among other things, they would…increase prison time for human trafficking and require those convicted…to register as sex offenders…Oklahoma’s problem with human trafficking stems partly from its location at the crossing of several major interstates, but…there is little or no data…because it’s not a crime easily tracked and is severely underreported because victims fear retaliation…

Letting cops write the laws; what could possibly go wrong?

Learning Curve

Here’s the meat of a story you may have heard just after the Super Bowl:

…A 10-month investigation that targeted sex trafficking at Super Bowl XLVIII resulted in the rescue of 25 child prostitutes and the arrest of roughly 45 “pimps”…in New Jersey, federal investigators said…investigators did not find any links between the traffickers and organized crime.  Most of the suspects were either members of trafficking rings who traveled to New Jersey…or offenders who normally operate in the area…

Look at it carefully:  this had nothing to do with the Super Bowl or “trafficking”.  It’s just a harvest of local small-time pimps the cops knew about since last April (“travelled to New Jersey” is meaningless in an area where four states are so close together one could drive through all of them in a couple of hours), but saved until game time to shore up a lucrative but crumbling myth.

Texas Tall Tales (TW3 #310)

A megalomaniac imagines that her new social media site will not only wipe out all others, but also create a universal surveillance state in which nobody can ever hide from Big Brother…and that this would be a good thing:

…on…social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Instagram and Twitter…girls are being lured with photos and videos describing a life of luxury and once tempted, threatened into prostitution by gang members…“pimps” or “panderers” use social media sites…to reach out to potential victims…hide behind a false persona…and no one may be the wiser until it is too late…As Flocks.com becomes integrated into school systems nationwide, hiding behind a false profile or impersonating someone else will be a thing of the past…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314) Amy Hamilton trafficking hoax

A poster appealing for help finding “missing” six-year-old girl Amy Hamilton has been shared thousands of times on social media – despite being a racist hoax by…the…group Britons against Left-Wing Extremism (BALE)…the Croydon Advertiser revealed that there was no Amy Hamilton, and that Daily Bale editor Steven Sodholmy believed he was “raising awareness… about the harsh reality of Asian grooming gangs”…

Original Sin (TW3 #321)

Laila Mickelwait…of…Exodus Cry…was the keynote speaker at this year’s Celebrating Life Unity Breakfast…sponsored by the Pro-Family pillar of Patriots United at D’Andrea Banquets in Crystal Lake [Illinois]…“To abolish (trafficking), we have to abolish prostitution and we have to abolish porn,” she said…

Gingerbread House (TW3 #332)

Gee, d’you think?

…One new [Florida] idea is a proposition mandating that rescued victims from sex trafficking be involuntarily admitted to the hospital…Some, however, believe…this…will do more harm than good.  Lawanda Ravoira…of the Weaver Policy Center…said…this…could “have serious unintended consequences”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #336)

Because there aren’t enough real “child sex trafficking victims” to go around, the fetishists often have to make do with “hypothetical” ones:  “14-year-old Jenna was the first to speak…following a presentation of The Making of a Girl, an intimate…video journey of a hypothetical preteen girl as she faces a life of sexual exploitation.  Jenna spoke of a smooth-talking sex trafficker who would lure…children into a life on the street…”  Except that her own story gives the lie to that:  nobody “lured” her away from home, because she admits to running away by her own volition.  And here’s another one entitled “International Boulevard”, which breathlessly informs us that “girls as young as 8 years old and younger are being trafficked into the sex trade industry.  Here in the U.S., between 300,000 and 400,000 children are at risk every day.”  How long before we hear “300,000 8-year-olds a day are trafficked”?  Oh, and Oakland is “ground zero” for “child sex trafficking”; I’ll count that as a “King of the Hill” entry.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #339)

The Daily Fail is trying to close the gap from the now-typical “50 clients per day” to Sunitha Krishnan’s high-lunacy mark of 100:  “…Carmen…was forced into sex slavery at…14…the depraved pimp forced her to have sex with as many as 60 men in one day…

Innocence Never Had

pizza girl

The language would-be “rescuers” use to describe arrested sex workers is very instructive:

Efforts are underway to open [Louisiana’s] first rehabilitation home for underage, female sex trafficking victims…Beth Salcedo, the director of…the future “Free Indeed Home”…said…“We want to be able to…watch them transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly…From a piece of coal…to a diamond”…the Salcedos want to raise awareness of…the fact that children anywhere can be snatched into sex slavery…by meeting strangers…through the Internet.  “You can get a little girl now quicker than you can get a pizza”…

The “pizza” meme may end up being the funniest one of the entire hysteria.

King of the Hill (TW3 #347)

Though the media is still woefully credulous regarding most “sex trafficking” mythology, a few slightly-less-yellow journalists are beginning to question the more obviously-absurd claims:

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn recently…said…”25% of human trafficking victims are located in Texas”…a spokeswoman…told us…that the senator relied on an undated “fact sheet” from the…Concerned Women of America…attributing [the claim]…to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…An…official [from “trafficking” NGO Children At Risk tried to justify the lie with bullshit, while another claimed that] states [other than Texas] are under-estimating trafficking victims…All told, this claim shakes out as incorrect and ridiculous. Pants on Fire!

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #348)

The detachment of these people from reality is truly astonishing:

…as Minnesota is making its own bid for a Super Bowl, Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants the NFL to consider…efforts to thwart the sex trafficking of minors that often accompany such major events…In a recent meeting with senior NFL officials, Klobuchar…was joined by Cindy McCain…who…thinks the NFL should make strong anti-trafficking laws a criterion for any city getting the Super Bowl…The acceptance of prostitution is somewhat ingrained in the United States, said Lauren Martin…[of] the University of Minnesota…“We have hundreds of years of cultural experience that this is a victimless crime between two consenting adults,” Martin said…

Yes, she’s claiming that the only major Western country which directly criminalizes the sale of sex, and probably has the most anti-whore pogroms of any country, has an “ingrained acceptance of prostitution.”

Under Every Bed (TW3 #350)

Nationalized media:  promoting the official narrative, one sensationalized tale at a time:

…the Bakken oil field…workforce is well-paid and…predominantly male.  Ask people who live there, and it doesn’t take long before you start hearing about a rise in prostitution…Scan the North Dakota section of…Backpage.com and you’ll find pages of postings from female escorts…Bryan Lockerby…of…the Montana Department of Justice…says…”Seventy percent of the women that have gotten into prostitution started at the age of 13 to 14, when they were recruited by pimps”…

Because the idea that women can choose to migrate for good money just like men can is abhorrent to weak, insecure men like Lockerby; the “pimp” narrative helps them pretend men are always in control of sex.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #403) Dominique Roe-Sepowitz

There’s some creepy stuff buried in this otherwise-typical “gypsy whores” idiocy:

…the…organized sex trade…can range from a handful of pimps working together to major cartels trafficking women across several states, according to Dominique Roe-Sepowitz…major gangs are known to be deeply involved…keeping the women moving is a common tactic to avoid law enforcement, said Roe-Sepowitz…Super Bowls are an especially lucrative stopping point…Praescient will be using a data analytics platform initially funded by the Central Intelligence Agency…[which] can collate large volumes of data…and identify relationships that a human analyst might miss…

Step 1:  Pretend sex workers are always controlled by “gangs”, “pimps”, etc.  Step 2:  Pretend that touring is “trafficking” and motivated by the desire to “avoid law enforcement” instead of straightforward economic motives.  Step 3:  Find an ethically-bankrupt academic to invent “research” to support it.  Step 4:  Use spook-designed surveillance to round up sex workers for looting and permanent consignment to the growing underclass.  Step 5:  Cash in.

O, Canada! (TW3 #405)

Organizations representing sex workers throughout the country are condemning a recent police operation targeting human trafficking, contending that it will drive the sex trade further underground and away from safety.  On Jan. 22 and Jan. 23…police…across Canada participated in Operation Northern Spotlight…Several sex worker organizations — Big Susie’s, Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), Sex Workers Action Group Kingston, Stepping Stone, Maggie’s:  The Toronto Sex Workers Action Group and Stella, l’amie de Maimie — released a joint statement on Jan. 29 denouncing “police activities that use deception and intimidation”…officers posed as clients to book appointments with indoor sex workers.  Several officers then showed up at the workers’ doors, demanding entry…Once inside, officers “bombard” the workers with personal questions and search the premises…

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The “Super Bowl = prostitutes” story begins to look more and more like a lazy journalistic trope…an urban legend…or…a cheap attempt by some local politician…to score points by standing up to the menace of sex work.  –  Alexander Abad-Santos

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Because male sex workers don’t threaten insecure men’s belief that men are always in control of sex, and don’t interfere with neofeminists’ desire to control all heterosexual activity, they are conspicuously absent from “trafficking” mythology, Swedish-flavored dogma and other anti-whore garbage.  But it’s still pretty galling to see the BBC, which has embraced the catechism that all female sex workers are pathetic victims, publish something like this:

Most people think of male prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work.  But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business…There has been a slow societal shift in the acceptability of sex work, says Del Campbell from the Terence Higgins Trust.  “There is a lot less stigma for men who sell sex,” he says.  “Often, the women are still seen as victims but for some gay men, escorting is now a normal job”…

NY maidsWhen male escorts use online ads, they’re “using the tools of modern business”.  But we women are too stupid to do that, so our ads must all be placed for us by male “pimps”.

Hooters, Japanese Style

In this interview with one of the girls at the first Japanese “maid café” in New York City, she denies that she’s a sex worker four times in only eight short answers.  Who is she trying to convince, us or herself?

Surplus Women

He made sure we’ll never hear her side of the story:

…Tannu Chawla, 27, and his friend, Yogesh, 30…[murdered a sex worker]…in…Delhi [because he was in love with her but she refused]…to marry…him…Chawla said that [he sold his] property and [took] loans to help the woman [pay her heavy debts, and that] her betrayal forced him to commit the murder…”Yogesh…had a loan of Rs.1.5 lakh [$2411] to repay.  He agreed to help Chawla for the same amount,” said [police].

Above the Law

A Payson, Ariz. police officer entered a woman’s house and raped her the day after he got her address from an incident report in which she had been a victim…Emily Morton sued the Town of Payson and Joshua Corey LaManna…[who broke into] her home…and raped her…while he was on duty – then told her it was OK because he loved her…

Somebody’s Daughter

Would you want your daughter working as a stripper/prostitute?”  A common refrain from people who are anti sex work, and who see it as the ultimate argument…Well…my short, rather unpopular answer is:  Yes.  If my daughter is over 18…she is entitled to do whatever she wants with her body…when you have children, you are raising individuals with their own personalities and characters, who will have their own quirks and abilities, and whose choices will differ from your own.  If you don’t like that idea, perhaps having children is not a good idea…

King of the Hill Spanish anti-Swedish model ad

A pair of real howlers introduce North Carolina’s latest bid in the “sex trafficking” race for the bottom; the first claims it’s “in the top eight states” while also admitting that “the true number of sex trafficking victims is unknown,” which would of course preclude any estimate of rank.  This one is a typical paint-by-numbers “trafficking” screed, taking the Profession of Faith as its headline and then quoting all the usual nonsense.  The second story specifically claims that North Carolina “ranks eighth”, but what makes it most interesting (in a horrifying sort of way) is the interview with a sadistic cop who gloats that he “can’t wait to use” the state’s new and draconian “sex trafficking” law to subject his victims to a “lifetime of difficulties” for consensual sex.

Number Puzzle

The indispensable Wendy Lyon does it again:

…what the Swedes say internally about their sex industry is often very different to the impression they give abroad…This is a good…example…only issued in Swedish…police [admit they]… “are not engaged in continuous or structured reconnaissance” [of sex workers]…we normally hear…absolute confidence and certainty that their sex industry has declined since clients were criminalized…if you aren’t monitoring something…you can’t reach a definitive conclusion as to whether or not it has declined…the admission that Sweden remains attractive to “human traffickers and pimps”…is totally contrary to the propaganda we hear about it all. the. Time.  A genuine jaw-dropper follows a few paragraphs later:  “In 2009…there were about 90 Thai massage parlours in Stockholm…at the turn of 2011/2012, the number…was estimated to be about 250”… what kind of “successful ban” leads to an almost threefold increase in one type of provider of the banned thing in less than three years?  If the estimate is accurate, this statistic alone ought to put paid to any claim that the law is an effective deterrent.  An industry that has lost a lot of its customers couldn’t possibly expand at a rate like that…

What a Week! (TW3 #322)

A Baghdad brothel was the scene of a violent attack…as gunmen shot and killed seven women and five men – presumably prostitutes and their clients…By coincidence, (or is it?) a similar attack took place in the same area on May 22 last year, killing the same number of people…

Surplus Women (TW3 #335)

Police have made an arrest in the case of two sex workers who lived in the same building and were found dead two weeks apart – and…say they have linked the accused to the killing of a third person…Sarbjit Bains…is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Karen Nabors and Jill Lyons, and second-degree murder in the death of Amritpal Saran…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #341) Cuccinelli & Garrett, two crimes against nature

A new…bill would bring back much of Virginia’s infamous “Crimes Against Nature” law, months after federal courts struck [it] down  as unconstitutional.  The proposal, which ostensibly would change the law to make clear that “engaging in consensual sodomy is not a crime if all persons participating are adults, are not in a public place, and are not committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, aiding, or abetting any act in furtherance of prostitution,” would restore felony penalties for minors engaging in oral sex and treat public sodomy differently from other public sex acts…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

Truly horrible rescue industry organization Apne Aap is trying to pressure UN groups who support decriminalization to instead support laws which criminalize sex workers’ employees, spouses, dependent family members and co-workers, and to adopt the infantilizing and stigmatizing term “prostituted woman” in place of “sex worker”.  Since it’s extremely unlikely the UN organizations will give this lobbying (supported by a petition signed by prohibitionists and shills) any more attention than it is due, the most interesting part of the article is a new lowering of the “average age of debut” myth to 11 (see also “The Leading Players…” below).

Pyrrhic Victory (Hysteria on Parade)

Demonstrating that Bales is completely bereft of the faculty of introspection:

…Kevin Bales…announced a proposal to use…drones…to identify and film forced labour in remote areas of India and Bangladesh…Local authorities and non-governmental organizations could also use the images…to rescue slaves…But some Indian human rights activists…say it is a misguided publicity stunt that will do little to eradicate the practice…Vrinda Grover [said]…“I thought India was still a sovereign country.  So we now have the Westerners coming into rescue us all over again?”…Bales…hopes this “novel approach” will inject a fresh perspective into the standard slavery narrative that “we’ve been hearing over and over for about 15 years…This has got a little more excitement, movement, exotic locations”…

Traffic Circle

As I predicted, we’re beginning to see more evidence of the impending implosion of “sex trafficking” hysteria; while major media organizations like the AP continue to parrot myths about the “menace” of gypsy whores (complete with moronic assertions like “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks“), smaller organizations are starting to feature articles like this one:

…it’s…time for the annual “here come the prostitutes” story…The premise is…[that] prostitutes…will be shipped into the city…by sex traffickers trying to meet the demand…In 2012, The Houston Press‘s Peter Kotz thoroughly tore apart that story, explaining that law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw increases…despite increased efforts…Further, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)…said in a report that there’s no correlation between sporting events and a rise in prostitution…The history of those events make this year’s claims of trafficking even harder to believe and bring up questions of the gullibility of the media…

Challenge (TW3 #345) Joanne Giannini

One of the anti-sex crusaders behind re-criminalizing prostitution in Rhode Island brags about how she ignored sex worker activists because she is more qualified to make decisions for adult women than they are about their own lives:

…I remember being in an elegant beauty spa one day…when a white stretch limousine pulled up out front and about eight young Asian girls got out.  They were going into the spa for a day of beauty.  They were laughing and giggling and…seemed very excited.  They looked so young and naïve…the saleswoman…told me…these girls were brought…from the massage parlors…the managers paid well and the tips were good…I was accused of wanting to hurt women by stopping them from making a living.  The fact is, I was trying to protect them from sexual predators who had deceived them with promised lives of hope, but gave them short lives filled with pain, sexual abuse, drugs, diseases and deplorable living conditions…

Pain so horrible it made them laugh and giggle, and deplorable conditions like days at a luxury spa.  What I see is a nasty, racist old white woman who didn’t like seeing young Asian women in what she viewed as her domain.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #346)

More of this, please:  “The Oregon Court of Appeals…threw out the conviction of a woman arrested for doing little more than walking down [the] Avenue and glancing over her shoulder…The case drew applause from defense attorneys who say police often overstep their bounds in…their quest to fight prostitution…” The cops claimed that the woman exhibited “tell-tale signs”, like wearing high-heeled boots and talking to a “known prostitute”.

King of the Hill (TW3 #347)

I’m always glad to see the truly ludicrous “sex trafficking” claims repeated, because they hasten the whole myth’s downfall.  Here’s a repetition of the claim that Texas has 25% of all American “sex trafficking victims”; it includes the portentous statement that Houston is a “hub within a hub” (This Means Something!) and claims that “victims” are “as young as 12”, which rather contradicts the idea that the “average” is 13 or 11.

Shame, Shame (TW3 #348)

[Missouri] State Representative Kevin Engler…filed legislation that would criminalize…revenge porn…Engler said he was working with [Mary Anne] Franks in development of the bill…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #350)

yuk yuk yukNorth Dakota “State Sen. Elsie Arntzen…said that human trafficking is not a laughing matter…”  I disagree.  When I see creepy politicians and sleazy cops trying desperately to pretend that businesswomen are actually either “criminals” or “victims” (but can’t seem to decide which), and portentously declaring “sex trafficking” to be a “serious problem” while simultaneously admitting that “no one has yet found any evidence of the existence of a prostitution ring,” that is indeed a laughing matter.  And the joke is on the politicians and cops.

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (TW3 #351)

A…film featuring…Mira Sorvino’s fight against sex slavery in Cambodia made its US debut at Bayside Church in…Sacramento, Calif…Freedom Project: Every day in Cambodia was produced in partnership with CNN…Girls as young as four years old are sold into slavery and the sex trade by their own parents…the church…[donated] $400,000 to raid brothels…

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In reality, what’s degrading is not sex work itself, but the language [prohibitionists use] to describe it.  –  Joyce Arthur

The Red Umbrella Red Umbrella

This coming Tuesday is The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, and Siouxsie Q has compiled a list of events (some of which will be held tomorrow).  Take a look, and please consider participating if you live in any of these cities.

Down Under

[A court ruled that] a [New Zealand] man who promised to financially support a prostitute…won’t be able to get back $500,000 he gave her…He…met…[her] at a massage parlour in…late 2007…and suggested…that he would support her financially…[if] she…[gave] up work…[he paid her] $5000 a month and…lavished her with money, travel and various gifts…

Droit du Seigneur

A D.C. police officer is being investigated for allegedly “pimping” teenage girls…Linwood Barnhill, 47, was found with a girl who had been reported missing…Neighbors [said] they would often see young girls going in and out of his apartment…this investigation is not connected to the…arrest of another D.C. police officer on child porn charges.  In that case, officer Marc Washington…went to the home of a 15-year-old girl…ordered her to remove her clothing and took photos of her…

And in Arizona:  “A Maricopa County juvenile probation officer is accused of running an illegal massage business ‘providing acts of prostitution’…apartment resident Ashley Martinez [said] ‘It could be bringing in pedophiles…and my kids could be getting caught into that’…”  The jaw-droppingly stupid quote from the imbecilic neighbor was too good to omit.

Wise Investment

Apparently, American courts hate oil companies more than whores:

BP has…been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to businesses that filed damage claims after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster – even though they weren’t really affected…the court-appointed [supervisor] has confirmed he approved a $173,000 payout to an “adult escort service” that BP said was filed with unsigned and undated financial documents…The company contested the escort service payment…but lost before a court-appointed appeals panel…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (October Updates)

As police go on strike in Argentina’s second largest city…the people have…[looted] every supermarket…the governor of Cordoba…claims that the police strike is a direct result of his decision to close 140 brothels…which had provided a steady income stream to a large number of corrupt officers…

Elytte & Miranda Barbour
Where Are the Protests?

A [newlywed] couple…lured a man to his death with an ad on…Craigslist…because they wanted to kill someone together…Elytte Barbour told officers…that he and his wife, Miranda…[lured] Troy LaFerrara…[with an escort] posting…Elytte [said]…Miranda…regularly…made anywhere from $50 to $850 by meeting with men for such activities as having dinner together or walking around a mall.  The ads she placed…all said upfront that sex was not part of the deal…”She is not a prostitute…she…meets with them and has delightful conversation”…

I’m sure that conversation is wholly delightful.  Somebody want to tell Elytte the Simpleton that the majority of American escort ads say “upfront” that no sex is involved?  NB:  This is the second time we’ve seen a deranged hooker expecting people to believe she truly doesn’t have sex with clients.

A False Dichotomy (TW3 #8)

Panicked policy reactions to human trafficking and an over-emphasis on the issue of sex trafficking can cause more harm than good…trafficking expert…Pardis Mahdavi said…“Policies are made as a knee-jerk reaction based on moral panic…People like to put distance between themselves and the sex industry, whereas…the domestic workers who clean our homes, the nannies who care for our children, the people who pick the tomatoes that we eat, these are often people who are involved in forced labour…over ninety percent of trafficking is not in the sex industry, it’s forced labour…”

Finding What Isn’t There

A peek inside the mind of a bureaucrat:

…Of the 50,000 T-visas that have been offered over the last 10 years, the government has issued only 6,206 of the little-known visas meant to protect victims of human trafficking and their family members…despite the fact that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. every year…those who apply…have to be willing to testify against the traffickers…and…are not allowed to work while waiting for the visa, which can take a year or more…

Of course the estimate can’t possibly be wrong, and asking people to live without income for a year is perfectly reasonable.  The FBI claims “authorities would assist victims, even if there is not a trafficker who can be prosecuted,” but that’s clearly bullshit; the whole “trafficking” narrative depends on producing “traffickers”.Elizabeth Romero

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314)

Observable fact:  14-year-old girl runs away with her 19-year-old boyfriend.  Conclusion:  a giant worldwide conspiracy selling infants for snuff sex:

The search for Elizabeth Romero and her alleged kidnapper Edwardo Fabian Flores Rosales continues…officials believe that the duo have already crossed the border into Mexico…Some people believe that she is voluntarily…with the 19-year-old man she met on the internet…others believe that…[she] could…be the victim of sex trafficking…Children as young as infants are…wrangled up from every corner of the globe and herded from one master to the next…as sex slaves until they are “used up”…which usually ends in their murders…the scenario of this 14-year-old girl being a willing runaway is far easier to stomach than the idea of her being sold for unimaginable sex acts and then killed…

It’s hard to see how this lurid fantasy can be called “unimaginable” when the author is clearly able to imagine it.

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #315)

Another good article from Joyce Arthur, this on language used by the media.  While I myself use some of the terms she advises against, that’s only in an informal and personal context; I think she is correct in advising use of more neutral terms in mainstream articles.

Monsters

A [New York] attorney…argued that his defendant’s hefty sentence  for murdering a transgender woman should be reserved for someone who kills “certain classes of individuals”…Rasheen Everett was convicted of the 2010 murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a transgender prostitute…but…defense attorney John Scarpa…argued…”Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?…Who is the victim in this case?  Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?”…Justice Richard Buchter…[replied] “This court believes every human life in sacred…It’s not easy living as a transgender, and I commend the family for supporting her”…

Dysphemisms Galore

Still not dark enoughThere’s probably an entire research paper on the Jungian implications of yellow journalists describing anything to do with sex as “dark”:  “Korea has long been criticized for its lax control over its…entertainer visa…exploited by human traffickers to smuggle foreign women into the country to do sex work.  Authorities…promised to strengthen monitoring of the seedy establishments where the women have been forced to sell sex…”  The evidence presented for this supposed epidemic of “trafficking”?  US government propaganda and a supposed phone call from one anonymous informant who claims to have been a “victim”.

An Example to the West (TW3 #324)

The Bolivian Parliament is preparing a new law to regulate and recognize sex work…This is the result of an initiative by Organización de Trabajadoras Nocturnas (OTN)…to prevent “the physical and psychological abuse and discrimination” suffered by sex workers from police and nightclub owners…

Safe Targets (TW3 #332)

That’ll show them dirty photographers!  See the last line for the police motive.

Authorities have shut down Hong Kong’s largest prostitution website…sex141.com…was believed to have been controlled by a criminal syndicate, which police say they have now broken up.  “When they knew there were sex workers coming to Hong Kong, the syndicate would arrange a make-up service and photographers,” a police spokesman [said]…While prostitution is legal in Hong Kong, soliciting and living off the earnings of prostitutes are against the law…114 people have been arrested, which includes 78 prostitutes…arrested on such charges as overstaying or violating the conditions of their visitor visa.  Police also said about HK$15 million ($1.93 million) worth of assets related to the group had been frozen…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #333)

I know real people are endangered by this idiocy, but I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has introduced legislation…to crack down on sex trafficking, which experts fear is on the rise in…North Dakota due to the large influx of men coming to work in the state’s western oil patch…”North Dakota could be ground zero for this type of behavior,” Heitkamp…said…

The only thing that keeps me from adding that claim to “King of the Hill” is that they use qualifiers like “fear” and “could be” rather than stating it as a “fact”.

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #341)

New excuses for another Soho pogrom:

Hundreds of police officers launched a massive Soho swoop on premises allegedly linked to rape, sex trafficking and muggings…22 people were arrested in the raids on…premises suspected of being…fronts for handling stolen goods…a dozen women…were taken to safe locations where they will be questioned.  Police believe that some were trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution…The English Collective of Prostitutes…condemned the raids saying some “immigrant women were taken into custody on the pretext that they may be victims of trafficking, despite their protestations that they were not…police are raiding premises where women are working together safely…with friends…most of the women…have now lost their livelihood”…corrected graffiti

More from the West End Extra:

Nikki Adams from the ECP…[called] it…an “out­rageous fabrication”, adding: “At least two of those women I know well and they’ve been in the UK for years and speak perfect English and come to all our meetings…People fear that the evictions are aimed at making way for large-scale development”…

A press release from Sex Worker Open University added, “The media presence included Sky news, BBC and the Evening Standard.  It would seem that ‘victims’ of sex work need to be publicly humiliated and shamed…in order to be properly saved from their work…”

Little Boxes (TW3 #343)

It’s not a “front for prostitution”, it is prostitution.  However, note the equation of sex with rape; cops and prosecutors imagine everyone to be as twisted and evil as they are:

…For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers…but Madison officials suspect the business is a front for prostitution and…fear snuggling could lead to sexual assault…police have talked…about conducting a sting…and city attorneys are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.  “There’s no way that (sexual assault) will not happen”…city attorney Jennifer Zilavy said.  “No offense…but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle”…

Imaginary Evils (TW3 #348)

More from Frank Furedi on the myth of “modern slavery”:

…promoters of this urban legend about modern-day slavery [argue] that what is really significant about this hitherto unrecognised crime is not what can be seen by the naked eye but rather the often “invisible” problem of mental enslavement.  These are slaves who are not physically chained into a life of servitude, but rather are wrapped up in “emotional chains” by their psychologically manipulative captors.  [A term like] “brainwashed”…can transform even normal features of human life – such as being in an unpleasant relationship or feeling pressured to do something – into something…criminal…Such an exercise in rhetorical acrobatics allows campaigners to expand the number of “invisible slaves”…

And yes, he does mention Kevin Bales’ “30 million slaves”.

Number Puzzle (TW3 #349)

The American media would have you believe Alice Schwarzer’s revolting demand for imposition of the Swedish model on Germany has widespread support, but here’s a more typical German view of her:

Alice Schwarzer is an enemy of freedom.  She is condescending, she’s manipulative, she does not tolerate contradiction and therefore has no sense of what makes people, in all their contradictions, essentially human…She loves to divide the world into good and evil, victim and perpetrator…she has a Manichean world view, especially with regard to human sexuality…this…leads to very unpleasant consequences in the debate about prostitution…in [her mind] there is no room for autonomous, free men and…women…who decide…what they want…

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The quick blow job is for [affluent white women’s] husbands…So in your mind it doesn’t affect you, but the wrong mouth on your husband’s dick could affect you.  –  Deon Haywood

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

He went home; she’s locked in a cage.

An on-duty Oregon State Police detective was caught…with a prostitute in a bush…Richard Narvaez, 50…was placed on suspended leave without pay…cited and released, the…woman…was arrested on probation violation warrants and on suspicion of public indecency and prostitution…

A Working System

Note the bottleneck effect:

Armed robbers posing as clients…have launched a series of raids on brothels [in Sydney], targeting eight premises in the past three weeks…one of the gang enters…to book a…session…then…[is] joined by up to three others armed with guns or knives…Police…believe the number of attacks might be even greater because [unlicensed] brothels were reluctant to report crimes…

Crime Against Society (August Updates)UNeasy Street

Women With A Vision responds to anti-whore propaganda:

The Times-Picayune’s…articles…dubbed “Uneasy Street”, are an…example of…[sensationalism]…that leads to increased criminalization of marginalized communities…The video…claims that once sun sets…“An even darker world emerges”…There is a darker side to Tulane Avenue.  But it’s not the one shown.  It’s the stories of mothers, daughters, friends, and wives struggling to survive in a city that has offered them little resources.  It’s women dealing with substance abuse or addiction.  It’s women who cannot be hired by traditional employers simply because they are transgender.  It’s the women who have been too busy struggling to be able to get a formal education to make them employable.  It’s the stories of human beings, worthy of dignity, respect, and far more than this series of articles has afforded them…

See “The Public Eye” for an interview with WWAV’s director, Deon Haywood.

Oops

 

Tumi Megalane, 32, of Tshwane, South Africa, said she had the shock of her life when she found her boyfriend [Ronny Mokoena], who is a pastor, at a brothel…[then] learned that he was married…the pastor told his wife that Megalane was a prophet, who was helping him with spiritual guidance.

Surplus Women

A…37-year-old [Detroit woman]…is in critical condition after she was discovered beaten…burned and possibly sexually assaulted…less than 24 hours before and…a mile away…a 22-year-old woman was discovered in the same condition…Both women are prostitutes…

A third woman was found in the same condition a few days later, on August 3rd.  Interestingly, Fox News did not feel compelled to identify the victims as sex workers in the headline, and the New York Daily News doesn’t mention the third victim’s profession at all.goofy chick in money

TANSTAAFL

 

a trio of Bay Area teens [Nazario Cruz and Jose Urias, both 19, and an underage girl]…posed as a young woman whose fantasy was to have sex while rolling around in…cash…When the victims would arrive…the suspects…would rob themThree robberies have been confirmed so far…One of the victims allegedly stole $2,000…from his job in order to roll around with the fictitious woman…

The Immunity Syndrome

American hypocrisy says it’s fine to pay people not to have sex:

2010 study in Malawi, supported by the…Gates Foundation, shows…conditional cash transfers successfully reduced sexual activity amongst teenagers…Mississippi…[resembles] Malawi…in its high rate of teenage sex and pregnancy…partly…[because] sex education in Mississippi is oriented around abstinence…Can we pay Mississippi teenagers to stop having sex…And to have safe sex if they do?…

Above the Law

Police forces are being ordered to face up to corruption by officers who commit sexual offences against vulnerable women and young people…169 officers…are under investigation for predatory sexual behaviour…ranging from rape to voyeurism…the former partner of…[one] who was jailed last year…speaks out against his actions

That cops rape women, especially sex workers, isn’t news because it happens constantly; such stories only become newsworthy when the cops are held accountable to some degree, as in this item from Cape Town: “A…police captain will appear in…court…for allegedly raping a prostitute…[she] managed to escape from [his] vehicle and took down the registration number…pseudo sex traffick

The Widening Gyre

Another bizarre “sex trafficking” rumor debunked by Snopes:

In August 2013 [a] warning about sex traffickers with Slavic…accents posing as door-to-door booksellers was spread via social media sites such as Facebook …The story was false.  That there are ”pushy” door-to-door book and magazine sellers about doesn’t mean those vendors are looking for children to abduct…into the sex trade, nor is it suspicious that such salespeople might ask…questions about children in the area.  The latter is simply a…sales technique for locating potential customers for children’s books, and being ”pushy” is hardly an unusual quality for those who engage in…door-to-door sales…

Snopes reports that the story appeared in Gilbert, Arizona, Winona, Minnesota and all over Missouri.  The company running the sales program believes the rumor started in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; since that’s a suburb of Tulsa, this should surprise nobody.

Wise Investment (TW3 #31)

Do politicians really just not get it?

…a federal judge ruled [that a New Jersey law]…conflicts with federal law and likely is unconstitutional as well…[the] law…[would have penalized] anyone who knowingly publishes or disseminates any ad for a commercial sex act that includes the depiction of a minor.  The law was challenged…by Backpage.com…[which] notes that federal courts in Tennessee and Washington have issued permanent injunctions against similar laws in those states…

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)

New evidence [demonstrates]…that Japan’s…army directly managed Asian women for sexual slavery, dealing a fresh blow to Tokyo’s denials of responsibility…a diary that a Korean manager of Japanese brothels wrote…between August 1942 and December 1944…shows that the Japanese army received revenue-related reports from military brothels, examined the bodies of sex slaves and regulated the relocations of sexual entertainment facilities…[Professor] Park Han-yong…[said] “This diary is a historical record that shows the Japanese military…[was] involved in the forced mobilisation of Korean women for sexual slavery”…

Under Every Bed

If real freedoms weren’t being endangered by these yokels, this absurd language and looking-glass logic would be hilarious:

Human flesh is being sold for sex…and it’s happening online…”It was a rarity to see a prostitution case anywhere in North Dakota.  Now, my agents are telling me they’re beginning to see it with some regularity,” says…Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.  There’s no way to tell exactly how many people are involved in human trafficking.  The best estimates say about 100,000 children may be victims in the U.S.  And…there’s no reason to believe it’s not happening here…

Dwayne Jones

Monsters

Dwayne Jones was relentlessly teased in high school for being effeminate until he dropped out.  His father not only kicked him out…at…14 but also helped jeering neighbors push the youngster from the rough Jamaican slum where he grew up.  [On July 22nd Dwayne, now 16]…was…beaten, stabbed, shot and run over by a car when he showed up at a street party dressed as a woman…

The Public Eye (TW3 #318)

Here’s another interview with Carol Leigh, this time in a small but mainstream publication; the more interviews like this Americans see, the harder it will be for the prohibitionists to spread lies about us.  And here’s one in Tits and Sass with Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision, talking about activism, human rights and whorearchy.

Which I Doubt

Remember how I’ve said that prosecutors ignore women’s statements that they don’t have pimps so they can repackage ordinary hooking as “sex trafficking”?

The Brooklyn DA…[told] prosecutors…not to make written records of early interviews with sex-trafficking victims…so the information could be withheld from defense attorneys…“When these girls first come in, they often deny they have been hit or pimped.  We were told not to write down those statements,” a law-enforcement source said…

Israel Opera Traviata

Marie Duplessis

Dr. Laura Agustín on imagery of the “fallen woman” in La Traviata, a topic she has discussed more generally before:  “…Violetta always has a scene on the floor to drive home her moral abjection…People who fall get back up right away; if they can’t, they are too injured.  In Violetta’s case the injury is moral…

Sold Out

A gay therapist explains “Why Queers Should Care About Sex Offenders”:

…sex offenders are referred to as participating in deviant sexual behavior, having deviant sexual fantasies, and being inherently “deviant” themselves…The same methods historically used by the government to imprison and pathologize homosexuality and gender variation are being used today to justify the extreme marginalization, lifetime institutionalization, and oppression of people who have violated sex laws…[including] public nudity, [urination or] masturbation, peeping, photographing or videotaping without consent, consensual sex with a 17-year-old, sexting, and downloading unlawful pornography…At one point, the idea of the predatory, untamable homosexual was…widely held…the very fact that a man…[desired] another man was reason enough to criminalize his existence…While mainstream…perception of queer people is shifting, it affirms monogamous sex between married…gay and lesbian adults.  Gender variation and other forms of sexual desire and behavior…still face condemnation…

To really drive the point home, read the comment thread as well.

Puppet Show (TW3 #329)

Laura Lee explains why Ruhama shill Rachel Moran could never have been a Dublin sex worker:

…Moran and I worked in Dublin at the same time, the early nineties.  I worked in the same brothels, for the same escort agencies and had regular contact…with the same women, she says she stood on street corners with.  One of those…is now a prominent activist…[who swears]…that she has never set eyes on Moran until her book launch…Moran…should know…[the names of brothel owners, but doesn’t; she] says that in seven years of sex work she never met one client who showed her a shred of empathy or kindness.  That’s incredible.  Because in all of my time there, I met some lovely guys…the language employed by Moran…is literally like she is reading from a script…a…co-activist…confirmed that Ruhama…offered her money to “turn” and campaign for their side.  In fact, they offered her a book deal and a tour too, exactly as Moran has now…

The activist Laura speaks of (who prefers to remain anonymous) also told me the same thing over a year ago.

Across the Pond (TW3 #330)

Anyone who actually professes to believe that laws can make a major city “brothel-free” should be disqualified from office on grounds of stupidity:

…officials are putting together “exit” services to help the dozens of sex workers who face having their place of work closed down…Edinburgh’s decades-old policy of licensing saunas…appears to be coming to an end.  A police raid in June led to seven individuals being charged with brothel-keeping and living off immoral earnings…A local newspaper…[quoted] one prostitute…[as] saying:  “I just can’t get my head around why they want to close us.  The police could end up putting women at risk of getting raped, or murdered like in Ipswich”…

Don’t be afraid, unnamed sex worker; Ipswitch claims to have “eradicated” street prostitution!

More than 220 teenagers…at risk of slipping into the dangerous world of the sex trade have had their lives rescued since the launch of Ipswich’s prostitution strategy…street prostitution and kerb crawling has been eradicated from the town…however off-street prostitution and sexual exploitation remains an issue…

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #10In truth, of course, they’ve merely pushed it so far underground that the danger has been increased even more, which is the only thing prohibition ever accomplishes.

Broken Record (TW3 #332)

It’s even worse than I suspected; the victims of the Sturgis “sting” were entrapped by “age-regressed photographs of women who now are adults”.  The state has charged people with imaginary crimes against nonexistent people for years, but this kind of pseudoscientific quackery is a new low.

Mumbo Jumbo

“Trafficking” mythology gets more farfetched all the time; embedded in this mixture of agency denial porn, arse-backward bootlicking and cheerleading for bullshit “safe harbor” laws is the claim that many of the underage sex workers arrested in the vast “Innocence Lost” boondoggle “may also be charged for possessing the cocktail of drugs that traffickers use to create dependency and compliance in the children they sell.”  This is the first I’ve heard of this magical mind-control philter, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.  –  Barry Goldwater

The Auctioneer by Norman Rockwell (1922)I will never cease to be amazed at the inability of statists to recognize that the expansion of government will never stop until it is somehow forced to.  Every year the American governmental machine adds new employees, new “mandates”, hundreds of new laws and thousands of new regulations (all with the force of law and most with criminal penalties).  Government now consumes approximately 40% of the gross domestic product, and given that any decreases have been both minor and short-lived there is little reason to believe it will not exceed half within the lifetimes of most of y’all reading this.  Meanwhile, the scope of government reach has also increased, though at a much higher rate; modern governments interfere in their citizens’ lives to a vastly greater extent than at any time in history, and in some countries (the US especially) this is more or less a one-way ratchet because only a miniscule fraction of laws enacted, no matter how odious or tyrannical, are ever repealed.  Once a legal precedent is established it provides a base for still more laws, and so the mound continues to grow year after year, getting taller and wider until some irresistible force levels it or (more likely) it collapses of its own weight.  Early last month, an article by A. Barton Hinkle described it this way:

…Call it the auctioneer effect.  Having approved a new law or program to address a circumstance in one year, politicians confront a dilemma in subsequent years…the problem does not disappear.  It wouldn’t do to conclude that, since previous laws and programs have failed, perhaps the problem lies beyond government’s ability to solve.  Answer:  Write more laws and fund more programs!  As in a genuine auction, the winner is the pol who can propose the most.  You can see the auctioneer effect all over the place.  You can see it in public education, where ever-increasing expenditures produce flat test scores, which are then met with calls for even more spending.  You can see it in the war on poverty, which now boasts 126 separate means-tested programs at the federal level alone.  You can see it in gun control, where “high-capacity” once referred to 20- or 30-round magazines but now applies…to those holding as few as eight.  And you can really see it in the war on crime, in which politicians seek to out-Roy Bean one another by perpetually ratcheting down thresholds for offenses – and perpetually ratcheting up penalties for same…

melee weaponsOf course, those who believe in the magical power of government to perform virtually any task with meat cleavers, sledgehammers, steamrollers and guns don’t see this as a problem, but they forget that once a tool or weapon is added to the governmental arsenal there is absolutely nothing to stop others from using it for their own purposes:

…Because they cannot ban abortion outright, conservative politicians have tried to discourage it in heavy-handed and sometimes humiliating ways.  Thirty-four states impose regulations specific to abortion providers; 35 require counseling, and 26 impose waiting periods.  Eight…now require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound.  Last year [Virginia] lawmakers…drew national scorn by proposing…an invasive transvaginal ultrasound…then [last month]…the Indiana Senate approved a bill to require…transvaginal ultrasound…[and demand] that establishments dispensing pills such as RU-486 meet the same construction standards as those performing surgical abortions…

Texas saw that and raised the standards to those for an ambulatory surgical center, a move that will close 38 of the 44 clinics in the state.  Then at the end of March, North Dakota raised that still further by requiring an abortionist to be a doctor with hospital admitting privileges; another measure passed at the same time banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected (possibly as early as six weeks, when many women are just beginning to realize that they’re pregnant).  Of course, this is old hat for sex workers; countries where sex work is legal often try to pass so many ridiculous restrictions that it’s very difficult to actually work within the law, and the newest “sex trafficking” laws define “prostitution” and “coercion” so broadly, at least a third of the population could be charged with “trafficking” and threatened with decades in prison and lifelong “sex offender” registration.  This isn’t a joke, y’all; it’s not a “fallacy”, or “alarmism”, or “anti-government propaganda”.  This is real, and happening in every area of government.  When you arm “your” politicians to give you the goodies you want and to oppress your enemies, you inevitably arm “their” politicians to give them the goodies they want and to oppress their enemies…and the only ones who win are the politicians.

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Sex workers have a special place in society that is never rewarded or recognised.  –  Derek Freedman

No Other Option

Vrbas wheelchair basketball clubMy Cliterati article for last Sunday was “Skin To Skin”, a strong criticism of the cruelty of denying commercial sex to men who can’t experience physical intimacy in any other way; the very next day an English council provided a perfect example of that cruelty by announcing an “investigation” of a nursing home which allowed residents to hire sex workers, and I explained what was wrong with that in this week’s essay, “Caring Professionals”.  Then there was this item from Bosnia:

Members of a…wheelchair basketball club are launching a campaign to legalize prostitution…to help disabled people “achieve their right to love.”  Marinko Umicevic, president of the club Vrbas, said Wednesday that Bosnia had to catch up with 21st century Europe, where…some people with disabilities “even get state subsidies to pay for sex.”  Umicevic said some of his players had never had sex and legalizing the sex trade would help people like them achieve their basic rights…

Something Rotten in Sweden

Prostitution stings are disgusting no matter how they’re justified, but there’s something particularly vile about using “sex trafficking” as an excuse and then arresting hookers as well:

A multi-agency prostitution sting conducted earlier this month on behalf of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month has netted the arrests of…46 [people]…most for misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution…[but] five [for] women alleged to have posted sex ads…Sen. Leticia Van de Putte…[says] she intends to propose…a bill that would pave the way for victims of human trafficking to sue websites that make money off prostitution ads…

Senator Van de Putte could save the state of Texas a lot of money by simply researching the fate of similar ideas.

Decentralization

Bitcoin has become so popular, and its value has risen so much against that of national currencies, that Bloomberg is concerned that “virtual money could undermine the role of central banks”, which as Reason explains is exactly the point.  The end of governments’ ability to directly meddle with the world economy can’t possibly come soon enough to suit me.

Dirty Whores

Dr Derek Freedman told the Irish Sun:  “People from all strands of society use prostitutes from time to time.  It ranges from [politicians], the clergy, the judiciary to people who are socially deprived, physically disabled and people who may be regarded as unattractive and may not be able to meet people”…while people often feel anxious about contracting infections after visiting a prostitute, he believes that “you’re probably safer with a professional than with a gifted amateur”…he added:  “What we forget is that often sex workers give great comfort to people who are lonely”…Other Dreams of Freedom

Déjà Vu

When even Christians are starting to see this, “trafficking” hysteria’s days are numbered:

…In her new book Other Dreams of Freedom, Yvonne Zimmerman, a professor of Christian Ethics, argues that the theoretical basis of US government anti-trafficking efforts derives directly from Protestant theology and traditional ideas of what she calls “sexually pure and pious womanhood”.  Zimmerman challenges this basis for anti-trafficking efforts, saying that it ends up limiting the freedom of trafficked people, especially women, by conceiving of their “rescue” as them ending up in traditional, heterosexual marriages – or at least refraining from sexual relations outside of marriage…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (We’re Not Done Yet)

A big improvement on the phone “app” described previously:

…a team [of students]…has invented a mobile panic button for street…sex…workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  A voice or text message is first recorded onto a SIM card, which is inserted into a GPS-enabled device such as a pager…Pressing a button…activates the GPS and sends an emergency message and GPS location to a contact who can get help.  Because the GPS is not activated until the device is activated, the anonymity of the user is preserved…Once prototype devices are ordered, the three students will hold focus groups to determine which type of device is more useful…[then] will launch a six-month pilot project by giving devices to 100 women…The group is currently holding a fundraising initiative online…$8,140 [will] cover…the entire pilot project…

Change a Few Words

Arch-prohibitionist Paul Chabot helpfully explains not only that prohibitionism really works, but that all prohibitions are equally valid:  “When asked…why we keep marijuana illegal, Chabot responded:  “Why do we keep heroin, LSD, prostitution, child pornography illegal?’”  As Matthew Feeney points out, “Comparing marijuana to child pornography is a great way to insult millions of people by comparing them to pedophiles.  Chabot is a free gift to those of us who would like to see drugs legalized.”  And of course, the same goes for prostitution.

The More the Better (TW3 #4)

Sheri's RanchOn Monday I received a press release from Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, a brothel resort on 20 acres (8 hectares) with a swimming pool, spa and tennis court which actively markets itself to couples as well as single men.  It’s now added “Sheri’s Playland”, a group of bungalows fitted out like movie sets so clients can enact any of six different sexual fantasies with working girls.  As I’ve said before, this is a very positive trend; “it was after Vegas casinos started ‘gentrifying’ in the ‘80s that people from other states dropped their prejudices against gambling, and now casinos are everywhere in the US.”

The Course of a Disease

Sex workers fight an attempt to impose the Swedish model on Indonesia:

Prostitutes and activists…are calling on the government not to prosecute men who pay for sex…The chairwoman of Yogyakarta Women’s Sex Workers Association (P3SY)…said…that [client] criminalization…would decrease the bargaining power and income of sex workers…[and] drive prostitution further underground…[hindering] HIV/AIDS education and mitigation programs…arresting customers would lead to the closure of brothels…and force sex workers to seek customers on the streets…Ignatius Praptoharjono of the Atma Jaya Catholic University’s HIV/AIDS Research Center in Jakarta…cited the cases of Sweden, Canada and other Asia-Pacific nations, where a crackdown on [clients] led to the decline of red-light districts and reduced fees…forcing sex workers to charge less and work more.  “Such a regulation will not protect women, but instead expose them to even higher risk,” [he] said…

Bullies With Badges

Heroic cops display their courage and fortitude by saving the helpless citizens of Connecticut from the menace of a 71-year-old whore: “an undercover cop…met her inside a room…[after] Sygun Liebhart placed a backpage.com ad…

Little Boxes (TW3 #25)

Forcing massage parlors to close at 10 PM is the latest anti-whore fad:

…a new [Florida] bill…would ban massage establishments from operating between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m…to crack down on human trafficking and sexual exploitation…[it] also would make it illegal for massage establishments to allow anybody to live on the premises…the Florida State Massage Therapy Association questioned the hours restriction…[because] there are legitimate late-night clients including airline pilots and theatrical performers…[bill sponsor Dave] Kerner, a former…police officer, said…late-night massage establishments are a “hotbed” of illicit sexual activity…

Anyone who actually uses the phrase “illicit sexual activity” with a straight face should be barred from public office as a delusional busybody.

I Swear To God

Here’s another article on the PEPFAR “anti-prostitution pledge”, the efforts to overturn it and the importance of doing so from a health perspective, a human rights perspective and a free speech perspective.  It really is beginning to seem like now that the gay rights culture war has essentially been won, many activists are starting to at last turn their attention toward the persecution of sex workers.

Shift in the Wind

Here’s a cute little promo video made at the Sex Worker Freedom Festival, the parallel AIDS conference held in Kolkata last summer by sex workers who were excluded from the US:

False Target

My fellow hot smart chick Amy Alkon wrote this week about that Jezebel favorite, social constructionist and penis apologist Hugo Schwyzer; his latest absurd claim (one which I called him to task about on Twitter a few months ago) is that older men are only attracted to young women because of “social construction”, and that before the advent of television guys were lining up to date old hags (presumably when they weren’t burning them as witches).  In the process Amy discusses the evolutionary basis of lust, debunks the “rape is asexual” myth and quotes good sense from Dr. Gad Saad.

Bottleneck

The story of New York City’s “cabaret card”, an artificial bottleneck imposed on nightclub performers from 1926-1966, is an excellent example of why prostitution licensing doesn’t work; the corruption such a system engenders and the destructive consequences to individuals are virtually the same.

Dirty Laundry

A divorced couple involved in running a brothel in north Dublin have avoided jail with fines and suspended sentences…Judge Mary Ellen Ring…ordered [Istvan Zeffer] to pay €1,000 to prostitute-support group Ruhama…Bernadette Kiss…is to pay €3,000…”  Ruhama is the new frontTom the Dancing Bug 1-31-13 for the orders of nuns who ran the Magdalene laundries which enslaved whores and many other women; calling them a “prostitute support group” is equivalent to referring to the Nazis as a “Jewish support group”.

King of the Hill

Most of this story is the typical credulous stenography of an evangelical “rescue” organization’s claims, but this passage stood out:  “The United States is the No. 1 destination for human sexual trafficking, with Oklahoma near the top of the most-active state list, the State Department reports…”  As you probably know, the State Department “reports” nothing of the kind.

Change of Heart (TW3 #41)

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills…threw out 46 of the 59 counts against the alleged co-conspirator in the high-profile Kennebunk prostitution case, setting the stage for another appeal to the state’s highest court.  Mills’ decision…dealt prosecutors a…blow hours before opening arguments…were expected to begin…jury selection…[has already taken four days though] Mills said…it has never taken her longer than one day to seat a jury in her 19 years on the Superior Court…[charges were dropped after defense attorney Daniel] Lilley [argued]…that the notion that Maine privacy laws protect individuals engaged in criminal activity is “ludicrous.”  The invasion of privacy charges are tied to the fact that the alleged sexual interactions…were videotaped without the [clients] knowing…the defense…is [also] free to pursue its…argument that Strong was the subject of police retaliation…

We Told You So (TW3 #131)

Slowly but surely, the press is waking up:

The sad tale of a prostitute being held captive in Chattanooga highlights a problem that appears overstated…it is the only one ever reported, according to area police.  Meanwhile, a 2011 report co-produced by Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation estimated there were more than 100 cases of human sex trafficking in Hamilton County.  The study is, apparently, based on erroneous surveys and severely lacking in verifiable facts…

First They Came for the Hookers… (TW3 #132)

More “stripper licensing” idiocy, complete with “sex trafficking” nonsense:

…officials in Moorhead, Minn., are expected to pass an anti-prostitution measure requiring erotic dancers, nude models and adult escorts to obtain licenses and submit to background checks…North Dakota counterparts across the Red River in Fargo and West Fargo are pushing similar ordinances and the regional approach will attempt to stem “a fairly prominent problem here” with prostitution trafficking between their cities and the oil fields…[police hope] the regulations will reduce “a huge problem of runaways and minors trafficked into the sex trade”…adult entertainers would likely have to pay $150 to $250, carry a photo ID and divulge their real names, aliases and criminal histories.  Background checks revealing prostitution or drug convictions would disqualify applicants from receiving permits…

Pompous “authorities” just love creating bottlenecks that turn businesswomen into criminals, don’t they?

Due Consideration

It never takes control freaks very long to prove my points:

A…lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill…that would…require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term…as evidence for a sexual assault trial.  House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown…would charge…[violators]…with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence”…

The bill is unlikely to pass, but only due to partisanism rather than because it’s a total abomination.

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