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Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Shouldn’t we help [sex workers] instead of further marginalising them?  –  Christina Cannon

The Red Umbrella 

Because NHI is so feminist:

Last week, we were treated to the release of the trailer for Rough Night, a female-led buddy comedy that sees Scarlett Johannson, Kate McKinnon, Illana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell team up for a wild bachelorette weekend.  The girls drink, go dancing, take photos with selfie sticks, and hire a stripper.  Yay!  And then they accidentally kill him.  Not yay.  And then, for reasons as-yet-unknown to the audience, they arrange his dead body in a sex swing before hanging him out of the sunroof of a Jeep, driving him shirtless through a busy street, and – I can’t believe I’m about to write what I’m about to write – making jokes about his corpse’s erection.  Decidedly not yay…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Politicians hiring male sex workers isn’t much less common than their hiring female ones:

[Oklahoma] State Senator Ralph Shortey…was discovered at a Super 8 in Moore…with an unidentified boy under the age of 18…police have recommended the politician be charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church and transporting someone for prostitution.  The exact age of the boy involved is unclear. Police have said that he is a juvenile, though the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

Attorneys in Denver have filed a national lawsuit against a chain of strip clubs.  The class action suit accuses PT’s Show Club, PT’s All Nude, Diamond Cabaret, La Boheme and The Penthouse Club of exploiting their exotic dancers.  The…suit…involves hundreds of dancers in 20 strip clubs across eight states…Mari Newman, the attorney who filed the suit, said that the company’s lack of fair compensation for the dancers’ work is illegal…

Watershed

Even in Ireland, the truth is dawning on many feminists:

Gillian Wylie…and Eilis Ward…state that they are “weary” after several years of fighting the perceived definition of sex work in Ireland…“We did a piece of research…on the…extent of trafficking for sexual exploitation of women into Ireland”, explains Wylie….the number of people being trafficked in Ireland was being quoted as being in the hundreds.  Wylie and Ward’s “rigorous piece of research” came up with a figure of 76…For both women, a critical turning point in their opinions on sex work came from talking to people involved in the industry.  When met with a roomful of sex workers, Ward listened as they explained that they “didn’t consider themselves to be victims of violence”…and this limiting definition “didn’t capture the reality of their work”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#325)

Ladies, please don’t let people who aren’t doctors inject who-knows-what into your butts:

On the internet, she goes by the name Vanessa Luna, starring in porn videos that highlight her ample rear end…she used her real name, Ruth Planas, to…operat[e]…an unlicensed clinic in a West Miami-Dade strip mall…Cuerpos Health and Aestheticwas shuttered after…Suyima Torres, died following a botched butt lift performed there.  Prosecutors have charged Jose Robusto, a purported medical doctor in Venezuela, who they believe injected Torres with illegal and dangerous liquid silicone at the facility.  But nearly a year after his arrest, authorities have been unable to build a case against clinic owner Planas, who claimed no injections were ever done at the business.  Planas insisted she only used the clinic to sell cosmetic products, pitch Herbalife nutritional supplements and, a couple times a week, perform on live X-rated web videos…witnesses say that Planas arranged and helped carry out illegal cosmetic surgeries there…Robusto…is awaiting trial for manslaughter, one of many high-profile cases involving botched cosmetic surgeries in South Florida — a hub for sham doctors who offer cheap cosmetic procedures performed in homes, warehouses and pseudo clinics.  Just last week, a Miami man was arrested after police said he gave butt injections to a woman who wound up in the hospital because of the procedure…

If Men Were Angels

Is anyone actually still surprised when this happens?

Ottawa police have laid four new charges against a retired Catholic priest in connection with alleged sexual assaults at two local churches in the 1960s.  Rev. Barry McGrory, 82, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male, and two counts of gross indecency…McGrory was first arrested in November in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy in the 1960s…the Archdiocese of Ottawa…settled out of court with two women who said they were abused as adolescents by McGrory in the 1970s…One of the victims was paid $300,000 in one of the largest settlements of its kind in the history of the Ottawa diocese.  In an interview last year, McGrory said he was a sex addict…

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong (#546)

Prohibitionist Scottish politicians exhume the rotting corpse of the “Scottish model” (ie the Swedish model) yet again:

…SNP members [backed] a motion for a Scottish model for [oppressing sex workers]…MSP Ash Denham proposed the motion, based…on the Nordic model of [prohibition]…Denham [drooled]…that “a girl who enters prostitution at 14 will service the sexual demands of more than 4000 men before she’s old enough to drive a car”…Christina Cannon, who is standing to be an SNP councillor…argued against the model, and told delegates to be mindful of the motion in front them…Women in the trade, she argued, were opposed to the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, pointing delegates to a consultation held when Labour’s Rhoda Grant put forward a similar proposal in 2012…

Property of the State (#561) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

…new moms in Alabama…[are subjected to] hospital drug tests [without their permission] after birth and [the results are] passed along to police.  Dozens of women have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child since 2006 for using marijuana during pregnancy…Although Alabama isn’t the only state with laws against drug use during pregnancy, its prosecutors have been the most zealous – bringing charges against hundreds of women, even those with low levels of THC and no criminal history.  State lawmakers [recklessly passed] the chemical endangerment law in 2006 [supposedly] to protect children from exposure to chemicals and fumes from home-based meth-labs…[but] prosecutors immediately began applying it to women who used drugs during pregnancy, a practice that increased after being upheld by the Alabama State Supreme Court in 2013…

Bell, Hook and Kettle (#615)

There’s a word for collaboration between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

…Philadelphia’s Special Victim’s Unit…[has] joined forces with Federal Homeland Security investigations, the FBI, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the District Attorney on a new task force charged with cracking down on sex trafficking, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant…Investigators…[pretend to] work hard to get young women out of the sex trade and on a better path in life.  The Salvation Army plays a vital role in helping women break the vicious cycle of sex trafficking…

Is that anything like “the dangerous cycle of prostitution“?

To Molest and Rape

“Errors”.  You know, like turning a blind eye to cops raping teens:

Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate…the…sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.  Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad…A lawsuit…on behalf of a former scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials.  Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn…

Leaving the Life (#657)

This is a lot better than Vice‘s last article on leaving sex work:

…sex workers are able to…pick up transferable skills that they can use in their future careers.  Few sex workers stay in the industry for their whole working lives, and they leave for diverse reasons—often returning for short or extended stints from time to time…Raven Bowen of the University of York [said]…”If people get pregnant or fall in love, they often leave right away.  Middle-class sex workers might be able to make a plan when they transition out—dabble in some square jobs, then gradually leave.”  Another common motivator is a child approaching their teenage years…Rarest of all are [those]…who…settle down with a client, although Bowen [says] this isn’t unheard of…Many sex workers view the industry as a short-term stepping stone to a…straight…career, and aim to retire from sex work when they’ve amassed enough money to fund tuition or open a small business…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#688) 

This is what robo-fetishists want you to believe will take my job soon:

Sergi Santos…wants to make sure robotic sex dolls…enjoy the sex as much as the humans ― or at least act like they do.  The Barcelona-based engineer has just created a sex doll named “Samantha,” who…responds when the user touches her hands and hips by saying positive statements like “I love this” and “Nice and gentle” in a singsong voice…she is programmed to want romance first, then get comfortable before getting sexual.  “The…final objective of the sexual mode is to give her an orgasm,” said Santos…Santos is now selling Samantha…for around $5,374…

One Born Every Minute (#717) 

I’d be much happier if the money went to Hickey’s victims instead of the State:

Things are not looking good for Matt Hickey.  The former tech journalist, who is currently being held in King County jail on four separate charges of second-degree rape, failed to respond to the Attorney General Office’s lawsuit against his fake porn scam.  As a result…Judge Ken Schubert issue[d] a ruling finding that Hickey did, indeed, scam at least six women by pretending to be a fake female porn recruiter online since 2006; Schubert also ruled that Hickey owes the state $300,000 in penalties that represent 150 violations of state consumer protection laws…[and] must pay $32,201 in court fees…

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We wanted to show the world that we are not the image they have of us.  –  Maria Elena Davila

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Liz Brown tackles the myth that porn has become mostly violent & “misogynistic”:

…the ostensible rise of rough porn is just a symptom of a larger truth: that there’s more porn of all kinds out there.  More female-produced and women-friendly porn.  More lesbian porn aimed at lesbians, not straight men.  More “radical transgender kink.”  More political porn parodies.  More “amateur” porn studios.  More web-camming sites.  More web-savvy women making money on their own websites and social media accounts.  More virtual reality porn and gadgets.  More fetish porn of all sorts.  And so on.  This not only means that there’s more erotic entertainment out there for a diverse range of tastes, it means we see a much more diverse range of people represented in erotic entertainment…

Crying for Nanny

Another attempt to rob a business using “sex trafficking” hysteria as a weapon:

…a…The teen’s lawyers are using Pennsylvania’s human trafficking law to sue the motel where they say their client was sexually exploited, marking the first civil suit under the law since it was enacted in 2014…Lawyers [fantasize] employees at the Roosevelt Inn in northeast Philadelphia knew that a 14-year-old girl was being held against her will for two years.  She was forced to have sex with more than 1,000 men for as little as $50, they said…The lawsuit demands $50,000 in damages…the girl managed to escape and…those responsible…were convicted…[yet] her attorneys…declined to identify her captors, [supposedly] fearing retaliation…prosecutors [fantasize the motel is]…“the epicenter of human trafficking” in the city…“You have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know that 100 men are showing up over a period of a couple days,” says [shyster] Tom Kline…“You have a cleaning crew that comes into the room and oftentimes finds boxes or waste cans full of use condoms…You can’t have a line of johns out the front door and around the room waiting without them knowing,” Kline said…

So 1000 over 2 years (about 1.4/day) comes to “100 men…over…a couple days”, 1 constitutes a “line out the front door”, 2 condoms makes “a waste can full” and and average of $70/day is enough to pay for a hotel room, food & other expenses and still leave enough profit to justify the kind of risk involved in pimping a minor. Gee, math is hard.

The Last Shall Be First 

Badass woman uses her badassery for justice:

Anti-trans activists in Washington State have been trying to tell cisgender women for more than a year that we ought to be afraid of transgender people using the bathroom.  This is the main marketing behind I-1552, a proposed ballot initiative from anti-trans group Just Want Privacy that attempts to repeal state anti-discrimination protections for trans people and mandate that public schools keep trans students out of bathrooms that correspond with their gender.  But it appears that Just Want Privacy’s latest fear-mongering effort has backfired.  Last week, the group tried to use the story of Kelly Herron…who was allegedly attacked by a man in a Golden Gardens bathroom, to promote their anti-trans ballot measure in a fundraising e-mail and on Facebook.  Unfortunately for Just Want Privacy, Herron has now spoken out against their campaign.  “To the people behind I-1552, I say ‘not today, mutherfuckers,'” Herron said in a public statement…”I refuse to allow anyone to use me…to cause harm and discrimination to others”…Herron was attacked in a public…bathroom on March 5 by Gary Steiner, a 40-year-old registered sex offender from Arizona [who as the picture shows is neither trans nor dressed as a woman to get into the bathroom]…

I saw these sleazy fucks trying to trick people into signing their trash several times last year.

Watershed

To the coming generation, bigotry against sex workers will be as vile as bigotry against queer people is to the young people of today and bigotry vs racial minorities was to the previous generation:

…We can’t forget that those who make decisions about female sex workers’ rights are often powerful, privileged men.  They paternalistically presume to know what’s best for women…[they] quip that “women deserve better” while simultaneously being the ones who oppose legislation funding education, job training, welfare and other programs to uplift poor women…the issue is…also that the mainstream media have seized the narrative around sex work from the workers themselves and failed to include their real concerns…those who claim to be feminists…argue that discussions of sex work disempower women.  But frankly, who gets to define empowerment to women without your same economic privilege and access to education, whose sole means of survival are a profession you would rather turn a blind eye to?…

Whimsical Notions

Wait, you mean healthy young men in an ultra-masculine profession can’t merely be ordered to be asexual?  Who’d have thunk it?

The head of the US Marines has vowed to hold service members accountable for sharing nude photos of their female colleagues online.  Gen Robert Neller promised to change the Marine culture while testifying before a Senate committee.  Last week, reports emerged that current and former Marines were sharing [nude] photos [of women] on Facebook and on message boards, triggering a Navy investigation…The [Facebook] group, which included around 30,000 active and retire male marines, has now been closed down…The Marine Corps has the lowest percentage of female members among the five military services.  Women make up about 7 to 8% of all Marines…

An Example to the West (#544)

A new documentary about the Nicaraguan sex workers accredited by the government as “judicial facilitators”:

In most countries around the world, sex workers are criminalized by police…In…Nicaragua, sex workers are replacing police…French filmmaker Florence Jaugey released a documentary about the Sunflowers of Nicaragua, a woman-led sex worker collective serving as community mediators…In 2009, members of the Sunflowers…began organizing against discrimination and violence within their communities…with the intention of gaining…trust…in order to win mass support for their primary demand:  the judicial integration and unionization of sex workers across the country.  Their strategy worked.  In 2015, Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice asked members of the collective if they wanted to work as judicial facilitators in Managua…Now, the sex workers are accredited and have licenses signed by the Supreme Court of Justice to mediate small conflicts in their communities…The Sunflowers…has also been accepted by the socialist government’s Confederation of Self-Employed Workers, granting them legal union status.  The collective, which aims to organize Nicaragua’s estimated 14,000 sex workers, has recruited 2,300 thus far…

Between the Lines

The amazing Liz Brown, queen of sex worker allies, delivers up a long and thorough takedown of the FBI’s annual “Operation Cross-Country” pogroms, backing up what I’ve been saying for years about these skeevy, prurient, horrifyingly-wasteful intimidation theatrics with facts, statistics and detailed analysis:

…sensationalized montages of footage from the stings, which the FBI has been proudly posting to YouTube since Operation Cross Country launched in 2008…show authorities handcuffing young people, mostly women and girls, and parading them down dim hallways, thick gloved hands gripping skinny arms on either side, or pushing them up against cop cars, the camera lingering on cuffed wrists clasped tightly over baggy jeans or long, bare legs.  The latest iteration of the initiative—Operation Cross Country X—took place across 103 U.S. cities from October 13 to 16…it involved the efforts of 74 federally led Human Trafficking Task Forces, comprised of officers from 55 FBI field offices and more than 400 federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies…the operation identified 82 “children” engaged in prostitution, an average of about 0.88 per city, or one for every five agencies participating.  All were teenagers—mostly 16- and 17-year-olds—and a number of cities where they were found made no simultaneous pimping or sex trafficking arrests…only five men stand accused of federal crimes—with only two accused of crimes against actual minors.  None of these suspects was part of anything even remotely resembling an organized criminal enterprise…

The Lesser of Two Evils (#589) 

Presumably, those who are “outraged” would prefer boys be molested instead:

Lurid accusations of priests involved in sex orgies, porn videos and prostitution have emerged from several parishes in Italy recently, sending shock waves all the way to the Vatican…In…Naples…[Rev. Mario D’Orlando] was recently suspended…over claims he held gay orgies and [paid male sex workers]…In…Padua…Rev. Andrea Contin, is facing defrocking…amid accusations he had up to 30 lovers, some of whom he took to a swingers’ resort in France…One woman…claimed the priest carried sex toys and bondage equipment, prostituted his lovers on wife-swapping websites and also invited other priests from the area to sex parties…

New flash: humans have sexual urges.  Deprive them of socially-sanctioned ways to meet their needs, and they’ll find other ways.  It really is that simple.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

If it happened in a Cambodian brothel, the story is never too shocking for Westerners to believe“:

…Don and Bridget are the founders of Agape International Missions, or AIM, a Christian missionary group on the front lines of the war against child sex trafficking in Cambodia…They have made it their life’s work to stop men…from abusing children…Human trafficking was once endemic in Cambodia…Anecdotal…tales of pimps and profiteers openly selling women and children on the streets are commonplace…According to surveys of sex workers…the number of child prostitutes has reportedly been dropping for years.  Survey estimates once reported nearly 35 percent of Cambodian prostitutes…were minors.  Recent estimates pegged that number closer to 1 to 2 percent…But Don Brewster [pretends] the falling estimates are misleading…

To Molest and Rape 

Try to imagine a non-cop getting just three years for this. Go on, try.

An NYPD [cop] who raped and sexually abused a 13-year-old girl scored a soft sentence…of only three years in prison — just a year for each attack.  Vladimir Krull…raped the victim in her home and in his car during two separate incidents…Krull…was also convicted of [orally raping] the victim…in June 2014 after a father-daughter breakfast for her eighth-grade class…

Still a Child (#674) 

Despite the pearl-clutching, I actually agree with this:

For nearly 90 years, an uncelebrated New York State law has largely escaped attention, allowing what would seem to be unfathomable in this day and age…child marriages, by the thousands.  Since 1929, New York has allowed children as young as 14 to marry; 14- and 15-year-olds can do so with judicial and parental approval, and 16- and 17-year-olds can marry with mere parental consent…Most states allow 16- and 17-year-olds to marry, and more than two dozen other states have no statutory minimum age at all…Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 3,900 minors were wed in the state, mostly in marriages arranged by parents whose religious or cultural traditions embrace the practice.  State lawmakers and Governor Cuomo are now trying to put an end to so-called child marriages, and have introduced similar bills to end marriage altogether for 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds, joining a number of states from New Jersey to Missouri that are working to change similar laws…

Once all the sex-magic mumbo-jumbo is stripped away, marriage is simply a contract; no more, no less.  It’s illegal for minors to enter into contracts, therefore it should be illegal for them to marry. Q.E.D.  Furthermore, the State forbids even taking pictures of nude minors, yet it allows them to make binding lifelong contracts for sexual services?  Really?

Between the Ears (#674) 

Have a device that connects to the internet? Assume it can be used to spy on you:

Canadian “smart” sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe recently felt the long, hard, stiff arm of the law when it was fined $4 million CAD (about $3 million USD) after it tracked users’ use without their consent.  The money will go to compensate those who bought the device.  Owners of the We-Vibe 4 Plus who used the app are entitled to claim C$10,000 (about $7,500), while those who just bought the vibrator can claim up to $199, less legal fees…This follows a successful class-action lawsuit that was brought before an Illinois federal court…

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White people saving white people is not as sexy and compelling as white people getting to further exercise their savior complex through the racist stereotype of the submissive, obedient Asian sex slave.  –  Laura LeMoon

Rough Trade 

From Norway, the other feminist paradise:

A 36 year old man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of two rapes.  The punishment would have been harsher if the victims were not prostitutes…the judgment of Stavanger District Court [reads]…”By the rape of a prostitute who has agreed to sell sexual services, but where a situation arises where the offender will not pay, and thus develop into a rape which in this case is the violation of sexual integrity by a somewhat different character”…the verdict has been appealed…

The Daughters of Shamhat

Sex work is not an evil to be tolerated, but a good to be celebrated:

…Over the next year I sought out…sexworkers…every for every time I felt I was losing control…the only thing holding me together was the sexworkers I was seeing every three to four weeks.  They kept my wife safe from my anger…Based on the recommendation of a sexworker I sought help.  I was diagnosed with PTSD…later [my wife] filed for divorce…years [later] I met a young lady…that stole my heart.  After two months of dating…she said she could not have an exclusive physical relationship with me, but if I was willing to have a mentally exclusive and love exclusive relationship, she would be more than happy to join me in such a relationship.  That’s when she explained that she was a sexworker…Today, she and I are married.  We have a loving relationship based on openness and honesty.  She actually encourages me seeing sexworkers…

If Men Were Angels

This is obviously a major ethical violation, but I don’t think letting drug warriors handle the case helped anyone:

[Doctor] Naga Thota…was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for distributing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose, part of…a “quid pro quo situation in which he exchanged drugs, gifts and money for sex.”  A criminal complaint accuses him of having similar arrangements with two other patients — all of them in their 20s and addicted to pain pills…Thota and the women would exchange sexually explicit texts, then Thota would write prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors…he switched them to more powerful painkillers, then increased the dosages — and their dependence on him as a supplier…

Guinea Pigs 

“Protecting women” is nearly always code for either spying on us or controlling us:

…the imagination of safety for women in public spaces always ends up focusing on monitoring their moves – by dotting the cityscape with closed-circuit television cameras.  The Karnataka government responded to the allegations of rape and molestation by announcing the purchase of 550 more CCTVs, never mind that the thousand-odd such devices had failed to stop the assaults in the first place…in spite of having more security cameras than any other country in Europe, only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images in 2015.  Additionally, this bolsters the notion that crimes against women are always inflicted by unknown persons — the ubiquitous stranger rape – and erases that most such violence happens within the home, by family members, where there are no CCTVs…The gentrification – which included CCTV installation — of Kolkata’s biggest lakeside park threw sex workers and transfolk onto the streets and made them far more susceptible to police and stranger violence…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t socialize with the sleazy fuckers, either:

A Minneapolis [cop]…sexually [assaulted] an unconscious woman with whom he was out drinking earlier that night…Thomas Robert Tichich…and the victim were with another woman who invited them to spend the night at her home…to avoid driving drunk…the victim passed out on a large living room couch.  The woman went to sleep in an upstairs bedroom and told Tichich to sleep on a smaller living room couch…[she] woke up later to find Tichich in her bed touching her arm…[so she] told Tichich to leave the room.  A while later, the woman, unable to sleep, went downstairs to find Tichich naked and standing over the victim sleeping on the large couch and attempting a sex act.  She took photographs using her cellphone, then kicked Tichich out of her house and called police…

Still a Child (#677) 

A rare victory against prohibitionists:

[Prohibitionists] were dealt a blow…in a federal court in Louisiana, with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier siding with strippers between the ages of 18 and 20 in their dispute with a recent Louisiana lawthat prohibits anyone age 18 to 20 from dancing nude in Louisiana strip clubs.  The decision deals a major blow to what legislators [pretend is] an effort to shield young women from being exploited by  human traffickers that they [fantasize] recruit young women in clubs…The ruling appears to establish stripping as a constitutional right under the First Amendment, making Barbier not just a hero to strippers, but to Americans in general…

Send In the Clowns 

Back so soon?

Extra police patrolled West Mifflin, Pennsylvania over the weekend after officials received reports of two men with weapons, dressed as clowns, frightening a group of children…The search didn’t turn up any evidence…The children were playing hide-and-go-seek in the woods, when around 4:15 p.m. they [claimed] two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons approached them…

The War Goes On 

The prohibitionist arseholes at the New York Times still refuse to understand how anti-sex crusades harm sex workers:

In the fight against child sex trafficking, shutting down an epicenter like Backpage was a major victory, but one against a relentless foe that quickly unfurled new tentacles…it…illustrated how difficult it is to stamp out the practice of selling children for sex…Eric Quan, a [vice pig]…with the San Jose Police Department, said there had been a conspicuous rise in street prostitution…

It’s interesting how often cops & reporters with “sex trafficking” fantasies are also apparently fans of hentai. Also note that though this reporter keeps drooling about “selling children for sex” the woman he interviewed for this tragedy porn is 18.

Cooties (#711)

Super-ally Frankie Mullin exposes cop bullshit:

“Pop-up brothels” full of trafficked women are sweeping the country, according to a spate of recent reports…The tale – valiant but kindly cops, the suggestion of women chained to radiators – with its trendy packaging in hipster terminology has been guzzled up by the press.  Basic fact-checking…is absent…in the last 12 months recorded, Devon and Cornwall police have made just one referral for sex trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism…and that was for an underage girl from the UK…Insp Dave Meredith…admitted…”We haven’t managed to locate any traffickers as a direct result of visiting pop-up brothels”…when I checked out Meredith’s claim – repeated by every news outlet which covered the story – that “the sex workers are the victims so we try to offer them help and signpost them to various agencies”, I hit a dead end…So…contrary to news reports: no Eastern European trafficking victims have been found, and “signposting to agencies” is, as yet, a hypothetical concept.  If the situation arose, cops would “google it”…

Spotlight (#715) 

It’s so good to see people who had a bad time in sex work attacking self-proclaimed savior Asstoon:

With tears brimming his eyes and a quiver in his voice, Ashton Kutcher testified…how he had recently seen a video of a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia being raped.  Search for his speech online, and shockingly, no one seems to have one word of criticism for the actor-turned-crusader…despite the fact that he…according to his own admission, is somehow getting ahold of and watching what is essentially child snuff porn — and then crying about it to the senate, where he’s praised for his compassion.  Unlike Kutcher, I am a trafficking survivor. I have also come to the sex industry at various points of my own choosing and have worked as an escort, adult film performer and street-based sex worker…What Kutcher represents…is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex…it has become abundantly clear to me that there might be — at most — one other trafficking survivor among potentially hundreds of people at [“anti-trafficking”] events.  This is precisely why Kutcher is problematic…

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WARNING: The video attached to this story contains strong language.

Most of you are probably familiar with how Pandora works; one chooses a song or artist to base a “station” on, and the program plays selections that are like it (based on how other people who like the core artist or song react to those other pieces).  One can fine-tune the station by selecting thumbs up or thumbs down on the selections the program chooses.  Anyhow, regular readers may remember that I have a Tubular Bells station (which I play during incalls) and a Beatles station; I have several others, but the station I play while enjoying cannabis edibles is based on the music of the young woman in the video below (this song is one of my favorites of hers).  The links above it were provided by Jesse WalkerMistress MatisseFranklin HarrisTim CushingMolly CrabappleKevin Wilson, and Walter Olson, in that order.

From the Archives

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Every now and then, a take comes along that’s so scorchingly wrong, so unbelievably erratic in its approach to reality, that it feels a bit like sacrilege to think of it as bad journalism.  –  David Meyer Lindenberg

Think of the Children! 

“Authorities” force victims to mouth official propaganda to escape consequences, just as terrorists force hostages to read denunciations at gunpoint.  Both are equally sincere and truthful.

Resa Woodward, 38, said she participated in the [porn] industry more than a decade ago because she was in an abusive relationship with a controlling man….[who] pressured her into sex slavery…She said he booked her for shoots for a little more than one year.  Woodward has been a teacher for 15 years now…[but school] administrators…when the films…[were reported to the school by] an anonymous [informant]…She’s now requesting the Texas Education Agency reconsider her termination…”Do not penalize me for a dark saga in my youth that was not of my making”…

The More the Better 

The idea that a sleep mask, a feather duster and a scalp tingler constitute “sex toys” that need to be distributed in a box marked “18+” makes me roll my eyes so hard it’s painful, and not in a good way.  But I guess they deserve points for trying, and maybe this is a teeny-tiny baby step on a thousand-mile journey toward Western culture actually growing up:

Burger Kings in Israel are giving grown-up customers extra incentive to visit this Valentine’s Day…an “Adults Meal” that includes…”adult toys” in the tamest [sense] possible—nothing you can comfortably insert or battery-operated—just a satin blindfold, a scalp tingler, and a feather tickler…

The Spiral of Absurdity texas-tribune-tinfoil-hat

Jaded as I am, even I was shocked at the incredible cluelessness & stupidity of this one-page hit piece from the Texas Tribune, whose intent actually seems to be to get as much wrong as possible.  The “mistakes” (lies? intentional libel? attempts at satire?) are so basic and obvious it’s almost impossible to believe that none of the FOUR “journalists” (yes, it took four people to produce this one turd, presumably human-centipede style) knew better or even thought for a second, “Hey, maybe we should call an actual sex worker to fact-check this.”  Dave Meyer Lindenberg of Fault Lines has already done a terrific job of mincing it into pieces so small they can practically be inhaled, so I’m not going to duplicate his efforts (especially since he cites me extensively in the process); I am, however, going to reproduce the original here just in case some Tribune editor wakes up and tries to memory-hole this…thing.  And here are a few choice quotes from Dave’s dissection:

…The…article is a case study in the use of framing and omission to achieve an effect.  You’ll look in vain, for example, for a mention of the fact that Backpage won all its court cases…As call girl and sex-workers‘ rights activist Maggie McNeill has been pointing out for years, what data there are suggest underage prostitutes are a tiny subset of sex workers.  What’s more, only a small percentage are forced into the business…[as for] the meat of the article…What fresh hell is this?  What “phrases and symbols?” Is there any factual basis whatever for this assertion, or is the Texas Tribune receiving instruction from a higher plane?…law enforcement and groups claiming to fight sex trafficking have lists of “tells”…these “checklists” include plenty of things so bland as to apply to nearly everyone…things of which entire age groups are guilty…and outright absurdities…This is a paranoid fabrication, on a par with claiming playing a heavy metal record backwards gets you Satanic messages…

As for the piece’s nadir of idiocy, I’m going to have to go with its claim that a two-girl special means “at least one of the girls is underage, and the other is responsible for making sure she goes through with the sex act.”  Watching these people reveal their BDSM wanking fantasies in print is almost embarrassing.

Cops and Robbers (#435)

Cops are upset that the anti-sex hysteria they helped create has encouraged people to follow their example:

…self-proclaimed pedophile hunters set up fake social media profiles, masquerading as vulnerable teens, to…[shame people they decide are] “creeps”…Hundreds of Canadians…have been put in the spotlight when these groups post videos to sites such as Facebook and YouTube.  A handful of them have faced criminal charges…But…their cameras often don’t tell the whole story.  Cases with truly horrifying chats have been lumped in with chats that show no evidence of any sexual intent…In one case a woman who was targeted committed suicide…some of these Creep Catchers have a long history of criminal convictions, with one doing federal prison time…the evidence collected in stings by the Creep Catchers is rarely usable in court, and…the group has interfered with police operations…

Secret Squirrel (#509)

Politicians are shocked, SHOCKED I say, that software used by the police state they support is also being used by abusive fuckheads who don’t have magic costumes and Important Titles:

In a 2015 Women’s Aid survey of 693 women, 29 per cent said they had spyware or GPS locators installed on their phones or computers by a partner or ex.  In 2014, NPR surveyed 70 women’s shelters, finding 85 per cent were working with victims whose abusers tracked them via GPS, or what’s often referred to as “spouseware”…behind such easy-to-use spyware are opportunistic salesmen who’re peddling not just to jealous spouses and paranoid parents for small fees, but whose powerful spying software is also sold to police and intelligence agencies for hundreds of thousands of dollars…the malware used to snoop on terrorists and pedophiles is much the same as that used to control partners in abusive relationships…lawmakers, lawyers and women’s rights activists…[have absurdly] called on the U.S. government to take action [against its own creation, because making something illegal causes it to vanish]…

Sorry, authoritarian arseholes; y’all should’ve thought of this before letting that djinni out of its bottle.

Coming and Going (#592)

If you actually believe that the “authorities” had “no choice” but to jail an underage sex worker, infantilize her & try to brainwash her, then claim they “didn’t want to do it”, you are part of the problem:

Lena was…a…17-year-old [caged] with two dozen women in a single room….with no privacy…Yet [prohibitionists want you to believe that’s “rescue” from her difficult life as an underage sex worker]…[everyone pretends they didn’t] want…Lena in jail — not the Houston police who arrested her, not the district attorney who pursued the case…Texas has just one [disguised prison for underage]…sex [workers, and as usual only those who can be presented as perfect]…victims…[are] accept[ed there.  So to maintain the pretense that they give a shit]…authorities [pretend that locking up minors for being sexual is]…a gamble they call “arrest and recovery”:  arrest them to get them off the street and drop the charges later.  “What options do we have with these girls?” [pontificated] Ana Martinez, a prosecutor in Harris County…”If I dismiss her case, she’s just [not locked in a cage] that night”…

NB: This steaming turd was passed through three of the human centipede segments responsible for the specimen in “The Spiral of Absurdity” above before being plopped onto the plates of Texas Tribune readers.

The Public Eye (#596)

Another theatrical production by sex workers designed to debunk prohibitionist BS about our lives:

London’s Young Vic…[is featuring] a new play, See Me Now, the cast of which are all current or former sex workers, and whose content is made up entirely of their stories…See Me Now…is…a collaboration between the performers, writer Molly Taylor and director Mimi Poskitt.  It was inspired, in part, by conversations Poskitt had with a friend who volunteered at a sex work support project…Performers were recruited via outreach projects across the capital and come from a range of backgrounds; outdoor, indoor and independent sex work are all represented.  Some have second jobs, others survive solely through sex work.  Performers are male, female and trans.  However certain experiences unite everyone…

Lying Down With Dogs (#625) 

All the most enlightened, free countries have US-style anti-sex worker “crackdowns”:

[Hanoi] is aiming to bust up to 500 cases of illegal sex work in 2017, more than twice the number usually seen in past years…hundreds of hair salons and massage parlors will be inspected regularly.  The goal is to [destroy the lives of] 500 [human beings to “send a message”]…authorities last year identified more than 5,500 businesses offering so-called “sensitive” services.  Most of them are registered as hair salons, bars or massage parlors but also provide illegal sex services.  The city also plans to [force]…sex workers [into menial]…jobs…

Spotlight (#683) asstoon-strikes-again

I wonder if Asstoon will ever get professional help for his delusions of grandeur?

[Last] Wednesday, actor Ashton Kutcher testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on behalf of Thorn, an anti-sex [worker]…organization he co-founded with Demi Moore.  Thorn’s main project is Spotlight, a cloud-based data-collection and analysis tool that purportedly helps police find sex traffickers.  According to Kutcher…the app—funded by the McCain Foundation—has helped save more than 6,000 U.S. sex-trafficking victims, including 2,000 minors, in the past 12 months.  But…in government fiscal-year 2015, the FBI identified around 672 adult and child victims of sex or labor trafficking.  The FBI opened 802 human-trafficking investigations (resulting in 453 convictions) that year, while Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) opened 1,034 sex- or labor-trafficking investigations (and got 51 sex-trafficking convictions).  In addition, Uniform Crime Reporting data from the states indicates that 744 investigations into state-level sex-trafficking offenses were opened in 2015…even if we count all cases separately, we’re looking at a total of 2,580 investigations into sex or labor trafficking—5,725 less cases than Thorn allegedly helped identify in a one-year period…How can Kutcher’s group have helped in dramatically more sex-trafficking investigations than were actually opened across America?…

The Course of a Disease (#686)

Another patient succumbs to the Swedish disease:

[On] February 15th…the Republic of Ireland voted in favour of…the criminalisation of clients as well as [increasing] the penalty for sex workers working together for safety.  The Bill also allows the authorities to [steal] the earnings of sex workers as “proceeds of crime”.  [Though sold to the very stupid]…as a tool to promote gender equality and help rescue sex workers [from their own choices], the Bill…does not include any provision that would offer support to sex workers wanting or forced to stop selling sexual services…

An Example To the West (#710)

In India, mainstream feminists support sex worker rights and prohibitionists are a crank minority who can be individually called out:

In her recent piece, Sex work or slavery?: Why human rights discourse is no longer a tool for liberation, Nandita Haksar bases her entire argument on the faulty premise that “almost all women who have been in prostitution call it slavery”.  Haksar has chosen to…ignore…the National Network of Sex Workers Statement that was signed by more than 2,000 sex workers from seven states in India.  She discounts their agency and contradicts the feminism that supposedly drives her arguments – isn’t a deep respect for the choices and autonomy of all women at the core of what it means to be a feminist?…What Haksar fails to understand is that it is the State that is failing its citizens…The health and safety of sex workers is undermined by the continued criminalisation of sex workers, their clients and the organisation of their work, as well as the repressive use of other kinds of laws…

Business As Usual (#711) 

These rapist pigs are the same ones politicians keep urging sex workers to “trust” because of imaginary “pimps”:

On September 1, 2016, “Sunny” Kimnam gave a massage and a hand-job to an undercover police informant.  Since that day, she has been incarcerated, and faces likely deportation to Korea.  Kimnam’s story is far from unique.  Tucked in tales of “human trafficking investigations” and massage-parlor prostitution busts across the U.S., you’ll find that these efforts are almost always aided or led by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents…[or] ICE…Since January 1…DHS has been involved in at least a dozen massage-parlor raids, arresting at least 26 people.  Twenty-three of these arrests were women, all Asian and mostly in their 50s.  None were found to be involved in human trafficking, but they were arrested on charges such as prostitution, promoting prostitution, and giving an unlicensed massage…Even legal permanent residents—i.e. “green card” holders—can be “removed” if found to be sex workers.  Under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, legal immigrants who have not been naturalized as citizens can become deportable for a variety of reasons, including…crimes of “moral turpitude”—a nebulous concept defined at various points in immigration law as “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals”…

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The bedroom or the dungeon is a place where, with consenting partners, we are allowed to act out power games, even childish ones.
–  Mistress Matisse

Do As I Say, Not As I Do rapey-cop-tyler-valimont

Even cops who pay whores may use threats to obtain compliance:

[Pennsylvania cop] Tyler Valimont…faces five misdemeanor charges…[for meeting a sex worker]…Valimont threatened to arrest her if she didn’t respond to his calls and text messages…during their encounter on November 7, she recognized Valimont as a past customer who paid her…in September…

King of the Hill

Small cities not ambitious enough to claim one of the top spots in the “trafficking hotspot” pissing contest still make ridiculous claims about numbers, “circuits”, highways and the inability of women to drive or make hotel reservations:

Omaha is known as a hot spot for human trafficking.  It is located on the same routes drug dealers have been using for years.  “The traffickers are on a circuit and traveling down I-80 and that’s evidenced by the ads posted in Denver one day, Omaha the next day, then Chicago and to New York City, Washington, D.C. and then on to Philadelphia,” said Anna Brewer…a former FBI agent…”The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative has identified over 2,200 human beings for sale in Omaha”…

Against Their Will (#315)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A 31-year-old Vietnamese woman fell to her death when she was believed to have slipped while trying to leap from one building to the next in a bid to escape from [Malaysian vice cops]…The raiding team…[still had the nerve to refer to three women they] successfully [arrested as] rescued…

Sex Rays

Don’t they know sex ray contamination can last for decades?

For several years there has been a succession of stories suggesting that the imposing Armory building in [San Francisco] was slowly being relinquished by its owner, BDSM porn concern Kink.com…CEO Peter Acworth…says that all film shoots at the Armory will be ending next month as the company diversifies its interests a bit, and moves to reuse the 200,000-square-foot building for other, revenue-generating ends…the business can no longer support the huge facility they purchased a decade ago…because…Kink.com’s subscriber base has shrunk by 40 percent in this age of plentiful free porn…Acworth now says he’s looking to convert the top two floors to leasable office space…but [potential tenants]…have been turned off after seeing the remnants of Kink’s oeuvre around the building…and have backed out…

Broken Record (All Traffick, All the Time)

Poor Tucson; its only big event to claim as a “sex trafficking magnet” is jaw-droppingly absurd:

…the Tucson Police Department and [sex trafficking fetishists]…are coming together to go over their plan to tackle the underground crime before the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins…[they fantasize] sex traffickers cater to the high demand that comes with the event…[bureaucrat Sheila] Pessinguia…[says] “They don’t self-identify and even when we have a real good feeling that they are trafficked they still don’t admit it”…

Because the feelings of pigs & politicians trump reality.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#440) 

These establishments wouldn’t have to “hide” if sex work were decriminalized in Victoria:

Hundreds of illegal brothels, many of which offer unsafe sexual practices and put women’s safety at risk, are operating across Melbourne…police admit the sheer size of the industry makes it difficult to investigate…the majority of illegal brothels operated under the guise of massage shops, with others in homes, beauty salons and karaoke bars…

Original Sin (#449)

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A delegation from the U.S. state of Louisiana was among the special guests meeting with Pope Francis during his general audience on [January 18th].  Led by Governor John Bel Edwards, the delegation asked the Pope to bless the pioneering work that is going on in Louisiana to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims who’ve been trapped in this modern day slavery.  That work includes [lots more money to promote police violence]…

Moving Pictures tricked-fakeumentary-poster

It’s good to see them feeding on each other:

A child sex-trafficking victim who was forced into prostitution by her mother and later identified by a Denver police officer in a [fake]umentary about the sex trade is suing the filmmaker and Netflix for distributing it, according to a federal lawsuit.  Using the pseudonym Jane Roe, the woman said Denver Police Sgt. Daniel Steele identified her by her first name in the 2013 film Tricked and showed a photograph of her during an interview…The film also used her full name in its list of credits…

Paint By Numbers (#620)

The “anti-trafficking hair color” idiots are still at it:

A splash of color in your hair can start a conversation – and with the topic of sex trafficking, that can [magically] make a real difference.  That’s the hope of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, teaming up with a local barber shop for sex trafficking awareness month…

To Molest and Rape

Note how the reporter tries to downplay the cop’s implied threats against the girl:

A Chicago [cop] accused of [pressuring]…an underage girl [for sex] has been charged with felony criminal sexual assault…Eugene Ciardullo…began communicating with the victim and her friends via social media when she was 16…

Worse Than I Thought (#644)

“Sex trafficking” laws keep getting broader and scarier:

Attempting to pay for sex could become a felony offense in Connecticut…Liz Linehan introduced a bill that would take the crime of “patronizing a prostitute” from a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one year in prison, to a Class C felony, which comes with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and a possible 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.  Linehan’s measure would also require anyone convicted of the offense more than once to register as a sex offender…Connecticut is currently in the midst of rolling out another prostitution-related measure…[requiring] all hotel and motel employees…to undergo training on how to spot…”activities related to human trafficking.”  But like so many “human trafficking awareness” shams, the hotel-employee training really only encourages people to report any and all suspected prostitution…

Elephant in the Parlor (#706)  

My friend Mistress Matisse weighs in on the Trump golden shower report:

“When I first saw the document, I was on the fence about it…But then I saw the press conference where Trump denied the story by saying ‘I’m a germaphobe.’  When I saw that, I thought ‘Oh yeah, then you definitely did it.’ Because that’s an irrational fear.  And nothing makes already-taboo things sexier than a tinge of trepidation”…

The War Goes On (#706) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to misogynistic sociopaths like Dart:

The ads for prostitutes and escorts that previously appeared in Backpage’s adult section have simply been redirected to the site’s “dating” section, which has gone from being a platform for finding companionship online to a forum rife with solicitations for sex.  “There’s been this big to-do with Backpage saying they’ve taken down this site,” said Dart, noting he was immediately skeptical of the company’s statements and motives…”they’ve taken down their escorts section but have basically moved all their ads over to another section of the website…We went out and arrested a person off the site…We answered one of their ads and it was no different”…

Yes, he’s actually saying Backpage moved the ads because he can’t comprehend women being intelligent enough to work around the stupid proclamations of he and his fellow control freaks.  Note also that he let his “whores are victims” mask slip by admitting he arrested (not “rescued”) a sex worker.

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When I say by any means necessary that would be up to those in charge.  –  James Tomes

It recently came to my attention that Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been uploading full episodes onto YouTube, so to call attention to that I’m going to feature their treatment of Prince of Space, one of my favorite so-bad-it’s-good movies (though it pales in comparison to the Starman movies).  The links above it are from Radley Balko (“necessary”), Mike Siegel (“sirree”), Jesse Walker  (“gaslight”), and Mark Bennett (“smug”).

From the Archives

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