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Posts Tagged ‘Portugal’

If someone wants to protect me they need to ask what helps me.
–  Gali, a stripper in Tel Aviv

Rooted in Racism

Sometimes “trafficking” just means “bringing in brown people”:

Adil Muhammad…was…ordered to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of a four-year prison sentence for his role in providing fake passports to six…Afghani Sikhs…Judge Martin Nolan [declared the humanitarian assistance]…a human trafficking scheme…but [admitted]…he had become involved after a family friend contacted him and asked him to do so.  “His motivation was some misplaced loyalty”…the six individuals were all from one family and had [paid facilitators the State defines as] a criminal group in order to traffick them…to Europe…

To authoritarians, loyalty to friends and family over the diktats of megalomaniacal racist sociopaths is “misplaced”.

Follow Your Bliss

The naive believe the government propaganda that “child predators” are creepy dudes who hang out at playgrounds; in reality, they are largely people in positions of authority over their preferred targets:

A juvenile probation officer…was caught with hundreds of images of child pornography.  John Russell Cahill, Jr…was viewing child porn [on his wife’s computer] in San Angelo [Texas on April 15th, 2019 when]…a Facebook marketing company [spying] on…[the] computer…using remote desktop software [saw him and] contacted [NCMEC, which on May 14th reported him to the cops, who then waited until] June 20th…to search his computer…Cahill admitted [guilt but wasn’t arrested until February 10th]…

Under Every Bed 

Population 136,885:

Human and labor trafficking are growing problems in Florence County, according to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson…“human trafficking is happening within five minutes of your house as we speak,” said Wilson [while masturbating a pig called] Michael Nunn [who belched out that the reason was] “I-95 and I-20″…Nunn [in turn wanked]…Wilson [who panted that] a lot of victims of human trafficking don’t even realize they’re victims…

I’m getting pretty bored with quoting the same old authoritarian fantasies about highways, “criminals”, passive vegetable-like women, etc.  Does it show?

Science!

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the claim that disasters cause “sex trafficking”:

Employees of the Louisiana Department of Family and Children’s Services received [indoctrination] on how to [label people as] victims of human trafficking…[prohibitionists pretend] human trafficking can happen after a natural disaster.  “Traffickers take advantage of that,” [moaned bureaucrat] Leanne McCallum [with her hand in her pants]…

Rotting Fruit (#622)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

Ten women filed a civil class-action lawsuit…accusing one of Canada’s wealthiest businessmen…Peter Nygard, of raping them at his…mansion in the Bahamas and operating…a “sex trafficking ring”…Three of the women were 14 years old at the time of the alleged rapes.  Three others were 15.  The alleged rapes took place between 2008 and 2015…There are no criminal charges associated with any of the allegations…The lawsuit goes on to accuse Nygard of drugging women…[bribing] Baham[ian cops and politicians]…and…paying police to threaten to arrest them…[Nygard’s lawyer] said the lawsuit is the latest in a decade-long attempt to destroy his reputation by his former neighbour in the Bahamas, U.S. billionaire and former hedge fund owner Louis Bacon…[which] began as a noise complaint and has evolved into multiple lawsuits in multiple countries…

Even if the lawyer is telling the truth, Nygard foolishly opened himself up to it by skeevy behavior.

The End of the Beginning (#697) 

Maybe we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

A federal judge struck a major blow…to a Michigan sex-offender registration law, declaring large portions of the law unconstitutional and that the law cannot apply at all to offenders whose last offense was before 2011…The lawsuit was brought in 2016 by a group of John Doe sex offenders, all of whose offenses occurred before the act underwent amendments in 2006 and 2011.  The first of those made it illegal for offenders to live, work or loiter within 1,000 feet of a school, and the second required them to immediately report any new email or instant message accounts, phone numbers and vehicle license plates to police.  Those provisions, U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland…ruled, are too vague.  The reporting rules…are also unconstitutional…[and] since the amendments are not severable from the law itself…pre-2011 offenders are free from the law and its registration requirements in their entirety…

Cops and Robbers (#813)

Since billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s loathsome “bots” aren’t scaring clients away, prohibitionists are now making up bogus stats to pretend otherwise:

Sex [work] in a US city was [not] significantly disrupted by a [rescue industry] group that deployed decoy chatbots [to trick] tens of thousands of men.  During a two-year period, Seattle Against Slavery posted fake online adverts that connected people with chatbots that [bad]ly posed as sex workers, before [non-consensually] delivering [lurid BDSM text porn]…The campaign, which also involved placing more than 2m Google adverts [try]ing [to scare] people [out]…of buying sex…led to a 50% decline in [people interacting with the bots in the future]…Robert Beiser…[of] Seattle Against Slavery…present[ed] the [claim]s at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Seattle…[lying that] “In a fairly short length of time…we were able to impact the marketplace pretty dramatically…it would possibly be easier to order a sex-trafficking victim online than to order a pizza”…

I worked in Seattle in 2015-16, as did most of my friends.  No, there was no “significant impact” on our business; hilariously, what these wankers appear to have done was taught a few thousand guys how to search for escorts more effectively so as to avoid unwanted pornbots.

Under Every Bed (#874)

Nebraska’s claims to be a “sex trafficking hub” are probably the most pathetic:

Former FBI [fantasist] Anna Brewer visited First United Methodist Church in Springfield…to [share her sexual fantasies]…about human trafficking…an estimated 900 individuals are sold each month for sex in Nebraska, with 70 to 75% showing signs of being trafficked… “People that look like me sell their children, people that look like me are sold for sex, so [distrust everyone you see and call the cops on anyone you don’t kn]ow…Drug traffickers are realizing that there is less risk and greater reward in selling a person than there is in selling narcotics”…She [moronically parroted that] the average lifespan of a trafficked human is around seven years from his or her first commercial sex act

The Course of a Disease (#927)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

Dozens of demonstrators…took to the streets in Tel Aviv to protest…Police shut[ting] down three strip clubs…after an administrative order was issued by the state prosecutor.  [A spokespig oinked that] the decision [w]as a protective measure for women…[because] lap dances could [possibly] be deemed illegal [by powerful busybodies]…women…decried the closures, saying the move…jeopardizes their livelihood…

Safe Position (#988)

Why we can’t have nice things:

A grass-roots effort to decriminalize D.C. sex work [stalled] last fall, when the city council declined to vote on a bill…Now a national group wants to help take the issue directly to voters, offering deep-pocketed donors and veteran strategists to build support for a ballot measure.  But…local sex-worker activists who were pushing for the bill…want nothing to do with the group because one of its founders was accused of sexual misconduct during his time as a marijuana advocate…The D.C.-based Sex Worker Advocates Coalition released a statement…saying it would refuse to work with the Campaign to Decriminalize Sex Work, in part because it does not want to associate with Rob Kampia, the campaign’s political director…Melissa Sontag Broudo, the campaign’s general counsel, said the focus on Kampia loses sight of the women at the forefront of the organization.  She also said Kampia’s fundraising savvy and relationships with donors are crucial for an underfunded movement…“We need to put personal infighting aside for the larger goal, which is to not have people arrested for prostitution”…

For the record, I’d suck freaking Donald Trump’s dick if I thought it would achieve decriminalization.  And I don’t give a good goddamn who gets the credit in the history books, because what I care about is ending the ability of the police state to brutalize people for thoughtcrime.  I’m sorry so many others feel differently.

Harm Reduction (#989)

Alas, politicians, being exceptionally stupid creatures, cannot understand that the same principles hold true for all prohibition:

In November, Portugal will celebrate the 20th anniversary of…[drug] decriminali[zation]…Portugal made possession of small amounts of narcotics an administrative rather than a criminal offence, like the small fine one might receive for failing to put on a seat belt…Those caught with less than 10 doses of any drug…are seen by a psychologist, a social worker and a lawyer, and advised about treatment, harm reduction and support services…“We had freedom to do anything within the United Nations statutes on drugs, which means do anything except legalising drugs,” [Portugal’s drugs tsar Dr. João] Goulão says.  “In the end, we went as far as we could”…The results have dispelled the doubts of the doomsayers, who claimed that Portugal would turn into a “paradise for drug tourists” and give the young easy access to narcotics.  Between 1995 and 2019, the estimated number of addicts fell from 100,000 to 50,000, of whom 30,000 are receiving treatment…

To Molest and Rape (#989)

Louisiana hides another molester cop from possible lynching:

A [typical and representative cop] who was once named Louisiana State Trooper of the Year [for exemplifying exactly what cops are]…was arrested…[for] producing child pornography.  Jason Boyet…was [first] booked into the Tangipahoa Parish jail…[but] has since been moved to another location…State Police…[hid the] details…

I Spy (#1006)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

U.S. officials have been insisting to tech platforms that…encryption is a threat to public safety and that “back doors” must be provided for [pigs and spooks] to bypass security, all in the name of fighting crime.  Meanwhile, U.S. officials have also been claiming that China-based tech company Huawei can use secret security bypasses that are intended for [American pigs and spooks to] use…in order to access data…[for] Chinese [pigs and spooks]…The same U.S. government that wants tech companies and telecoms to create secret software doors that would allow it to snoop on our private communications and data is also worried that other governments will be able to use those same back doors to do the same thing…Any back door that allows [pigs and spooks] to circumvent user privacy protections will ultimately be used by [other governments] with [equally] bad intentions…U.S. officials are insistent that Huawei has maintained secret access to these taps since at least 2009…

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The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling…is to refrain from traveling.  –  US DHS

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

A North Carolina [pig molested a young woman using the pretext of]…a body search…K.E Van Althius [groped]…the unidentified woman’s breasts [and vulva]…“[any] normal person, especially a woman, would not want to be touched [that way] by a man,” [said] the woman’s lawyer, Karen Griffin…

They Still Don’t Get It

It’s fascinating to watch fanatics parroting nonsense they clearly neither understand nor believe:

In the shadow of [Kansas] city, there lies a seedy underbelly [of cops predating on people suffering from] addiction [or] mental illness [or using bizarre and meaningless phrases like] moral degradation [to justify police violence, public shaming and even rape]…For the past 18 years [the same sociopath]…has been the top cop of the group.  During that time, he [has been responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives by scheming to victimize them]…with…fierce [perverts]…target[ing human beings, in recent years using the excuse of] human trafficking [hysteria.  Sows get off on roleplaying porcine fantasies of sex workers, arresting any man who gets near or even]…just driv[es by]…The Vice [gang] also targets [women for the “crime” of trying to make a living.  Sometimes for a change of pace they]…raid…adult book store and pornographic movie theater[s and accuse men of having sexual urges]…which is against the law…[the pigs also vomited up a lot of “broken windows” propaganda, which the reporters got on their knees and eagerly lapped up]…

The Missing Word

Only ten years for this horror, while people renting rooms to sex workers get life sentences:

A South Carolina restauranteur was sentenced to [a short term in] prison after admitting he used violence, threats, and intimidation to force a black man to work more than 100 hours a week with no pay…Judge R. Bryan Harwell sentenced…Bobby Paul Edwards to [a mere] 10 years in federal prison after he…[admitted to enslaving] Chris Smith, an intellectually disabled black man…In 1996, when Smith was only 12 years old, he accepted a job at J&J Cafeteria…Six years later, Edwards took over as manager and stopped paying Smith.  Over the next 17 years, Edwards would torture, imprison and withhold pay from Smith, claiming that his pay was kept in an “account” that was inaccessible to Smith…[who was forced to] work…18 hours a day, six days a week.  On Sundays, he only had to work 11 hours…he never had a work break or a day off [and was] forced to live in a “cockroach-infested” apartment behind the business, Smith [said] that Edwards’ family never tried to intervene…When Smith’s family would try to check on him, Edwards would lock Smith in the kitchen or even in the freezer.  On the rare occasion that Smith indicated displeasure or tried to escape, he was [verbaly abused,] hit in the head with a frying pan, burned with hot tongs, [and] beaten with belt-buckles…Customers reported that they sometimes heard Smith being beaten and screaming for his life [but none of them could be bothered to do anything until]…Geneane Caines, who was friends with the Edwards family, was [told by]…her daughter, who worked at the eatery…how Edwards abused Smith…Edwards was sentenced to 10 years…[and] ordered to pay [a mere] $272,952.96 in restitution [for 17 years of slavery]…

The judge actually believes $3.08/hour, no overtime or punitive damages, was sufficient compensation to Edwards’ victim.  Smith should fucking own that place.

Property of the State 

Pregnant women are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

A 25-year-old woman named Chelsea Cheyenne Becker was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Hanford, California, after delivering a stillborn baby in September.  [Prosecutors claim] the stillborn had toxic levels of methamphetamine in its body…cases like this are part of a burgeoning, disturbing pattern, in which the rights of pregnant women are directly pitted against those of the “unborn child,” a term that encompasses fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses.  It’s a direct result of the so-called “fetal personhood” movement, which seeks to legally redefine a fetus as a person as a means of overturning Roe v. Wade…there have been cases, already, of women being charged for taking prescription medication while pregnant — one woman was reportedly charged for taking a Valium

Harm Reduction (#627)

Alas, politicians, being exceptionally stupid creatures, cannot understand that the same principles hold true for all prohibition:

With more than 5,500 people dying as a result of drug use across the United Kingdom last year…activists, health professionals and law enforcement agencies agree that change…in the nation’s drugs policies [is vital]…a…cross-party group of MPs want the possession of drugs for personal use to be decriminalised across the whole of the UK to tackle the drug-death crisis.  They are also calling on Westminster to support safe consumption rooms in Scotland…the committee’s…report highlights the example of Portugal, where decriminalisation was introduced in 2001…[and] death rates and HIV incidences have…plummeted…

Stalkers in Blue

Another sexual predator selects a traumatized woman as his prey:

A Calgary [cop] has been fired after he tried to start an unwanted and “predatory” relationship with a young woman who had just tried to kill herself, sending her up to a hundred text messages in four days while she lay recovering in hospital and dropping by her home uninvited…Dave Pizzolato…is only the third [cop] in more than two decades to be terminated from CPS…”Ms. M”…is [emotionally immature]…and was victimized for most of her childhood…she…showed [Pizzolato’s texts] to hospital staff who were so concerned that they contacted the police…Yet, Pizzolato continued to message…and then…turned up at her home…on the day she was released from hospital…she later told investigators she felt pressured…and “scared about what he might do to her” if she [refused his advances]…Pizzolato [had a history of doing] the same thing with other women…and [had been warned to stop] just two weeks earlier…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#824) 

SAVE THE TOASTERS!!!!

…[James Issac Short] claimed he was trying to prevent sex trafficking when he tried to “rescue” mannequins in the window of an adult store [in Lake Ozark, Missouri].  “He said that the mannequins were telling him that they needed to be let out or something,” explains Mont Hardcastle…manager of [a bar]…across the street…Mi Dream Angels…has several displays in its windows, including mannequins wearing different styles of lingerie.  Hardcastle says he watched Short try the door several times before Short jumped onto a bench and kicked the glass window until it shattered…Hardcastle says Short was halfway into the store when he pulled him out…Two women then came over and sat on Short’s legs until police arrived…Short caused well over $1,000 in damage, destroying a window, lighting, and a security camera…

The Prudish Giant (#896) 

Siouxsie Q on Facebook, censorship and new sex-worker-friendly social media:

Facebook has gone so far as to explicitly outline its supremely staunch position on the use of “suggestive emojis” to solicit sexual communication…cartoon eggplants and peaches…are [now banned when]…“used alongside an implicit or indirect ask for nude imagery, sex or sexual partners, or sex chat conversations”…[for] sex workers…remaining visible has been a challenge due to a massive chilling of online speech related to all forms of sex, sexuality, and sexual health…In response, the adult industry has focused on creating and investing in its own platforms that allow users to share content and build community.  Adult Video News…recently launched a social network that has similar functionality to Twitter, but also provides a way for performers to charge money for access to their explicit content.  Similar sites like FanCentro and OnlyFans are thriving, and even the tube site monolith, PornHub, is now primarily a social interface…We may be entering an era where the Internet is no longer an interconnected web of information, but rather a landscape of private fiefdoms empowered to exclude those they deem unworthy, or worse, a law enforcement mechanism used to deter and punish — definitely not the 1996-vision of the internet’s potential…

It’s good to at least some mainstream publications buying articles from sex workers.

Pyrrhic Victory (#897)

While naive civil libertarians celebrate toothless local laws, DHS is building a giant biometric database:

The US Department of Homeland Security…expects to have face, fingerprint, and iris scans of at least 259 million people in its biometrics database by 2022, according to a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations…The agency is transitioning from a legacy system called IDENT to a cloud-based system (hosted by Amazon Web Services) known as Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology, or HART.  The biometrics collection maintained by DHS is the world’s second-largest, behind only India’s…data kept by DHS is shared with other US agencies, state and local law enforcement, as well as foreign governments…Biometrics “make it possible to confirm the identity of travelers at any point in their travel,” Kevin McAleenan, US president Donald Trump’s recently-departed acting DHS secretary, told congress last year.  The criteria used by US Customs and Border Protection…to screen out specific travelers as suspicious…was determined in conjunction with Palantir…and…could be tracking travelers “from the moment they begin their internet travel research”…

Stupor Bowl (#940)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians…and, apparently, the Associated Press:

Major events…such as the Super Bowl have become hubs for sex trafficking [in the sexual fantasies of] Miami officials…[blah blah] children as young as 12 [blah blah]…”sexual exploitation of our children”…[blah blah] a “creepy guy” poster bearing the words: “Buy Sex. Be Exposed”…[blah blah] phone number…[blah blah] Florida…ranks third in the nation.  About 40% of victims are children and most of the rest are young adults between 18 and 23 years old…[blah blah] sold for sex up to 20 times a day.  A trafficker can make between $150,000 and $200,000 a year for each person they sell for sex…

One would think they’d be tired of wanking to this same fantasy for over a decade, but I guess child rape on an impossible scale is a deep-rooted fetish for busybodies.

Quiet Genocide

Just in case you doubted this was about total genocide:

The Chinese government assigns [male Communist Party members] men as “relatives” to monitor the families of [caged] Muslim Uighur men…in order to “promote ethnic unity”…the [program, sold with the Orwellian slogan] “Pair up and Become Family”…involves Uighurs [being forced to quarter] Communist officials, who [subject the family to weeks of propaganda and force the wives]…to [submit to rape by] their paired male “relatives”…Roughly one million Uighurs are [caged] in [concentration] camps that the government calls “free hospital treatment for the masses with sick thinking,” from which accounts of…political indoctrination and torture have emerged…[while the] U.S. [fascist establishment has] been mostly silent…

Little Boxes (#979)

The puritans are learning that they are indeed subject to federal courts:

A Colorado woman was awarded a $50,000 settlement after she was [illegally] charged with indecent exposure for playing frisbee topless.  Efrosini “Effie” Krokos [was victimized by a neighborhood busybody who called the pigs]…on September 26…[fortunately for them, Krokos and her fiance are white, so] Greg Harris of the Loveland Police Department [did not murder or tase either of them, but he is so stupid and poorly-trained he imagined]…Loveland [was not subject to federal courts]…Attorney David Lane…wrote a letter to the city…proposing a settlement instead of…a federal lawsuit.  The city [wisely] agreed and paid Krokos…making it the first damages claim to a woman wrongfully charged for being topless in the country…

To Molest and Rape (#985)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

…police moved [child-raping cop] Dennis Perkins to a state prison [to protect him from being lynched after bureaucrats]…informed parents…[that his accomplice wife, who is an elementary school teacher, may have intentionally fed] more than 50 children…small cakes that possibly contained [Perkins’] semen…he…has been tested and showed no signs of having any STDs…someone getting an STD in this manner would be rare, but not impossible…Perkins…was booked with [69 crimes ranging from rape to child porn]…

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You’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.  –  Jim Killock

Above the Law 

If only there were a concise word for “sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman”:

Rep. Brian Ellis has resigned, effective immediately…Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Commitee chairmanship in January after allegations that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman…[who] was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home…more than three years ago…

I’m gratified to see that nearly every commenter is as disgusted as I am with KDKA’s avoidance of the word “rape”.  But Ellis isn’t our only rapist government actor this week:

…Wisconsin probation-parole agent [Reynaldo Rosalez, who]…sexually assault[ed] a…10 year…old [girl]…pleaded no contest…to…sexual assault of a child…on July 12, 2018…the victim…said “she was scared to tell him to stop because she has heard people who drink alcohol can become violent,” and he had been drinking…after the…assault, she “hid in the bathroom,” before Rosalez sexually assaulted her a second time…the next day, she told her mother what happened “because if she didn’t tell the truth, this could keep happening and nobody would know”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

[Pigs raided] Ace Spa, Golden Spa and Sun Spa…[and] the Prosecuting Attorney’s office [claimed without the slightet scrap of evidence that it was about]…sex trafficking…in…Honolulu.  Two women were [molested and caged]…But, less than 24 hours…[later] all three businesses had their open sign lit up and front doors wide open [because they are businesses with bills to that don’t go away when pigs attack while prohibitionists wank]…Kathryn Xian, the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery [vomited out a lot of disgusting, racist filth which reporters eagerly lapped up as though they were dogs]…

Bad Girls (#540) 

Caty Simon on overlapping prohibitions:

…Street-based sex workers, in particular, are commonly viewed as one-stop vice shops by their clients…we’re pressured to not only procure drugs for our clients, but also to babysit drug culture naive middle-class men on their benders…in 2015, sex worker Alix Tichelman was arrested and convicted for manslaughter for the overdose death of her sugar daddy, Google exec Forrest Hayes…The way in which this young sex worker was portrayed as a heartless killer is an example of how drug-induced homicide laws perpetuate the madonna/whore complex…drug-using women…are either innocent white damsels led astray and murdered by the shadowy men who initiate us into drug use, or conversely…we are the amoral, seductive temptresses who lead upstanding men to their deaths…Global trends in laws around sex work…keep us isolated and working alone…Similarly, drug-induced homicide laws which promise a murder charge if you happen to hand your friend a bag they then OD on also encourage drug users to use alone, even though doing so is itself the most dangerous risk factor for overdose.  These legal frameworks…encourage drug users, sex workers, and. most relevantly, drug-using sex workers, to die alone rather than form communities in which we protect each other…

Between the Ears (#719) 

Why do men want to put stupid gadgets on their dicks?

…the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz…[is] “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160…the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format.  It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery…there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner…the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video…Julz [claims] your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone…[however] the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming…

Yes, ladies, soon we may not just have to endure static dick pics, but also unwelcome wanking videos.

The Widening Gyre (#800)

Fact:  3-year-old suspiciously vanishes. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

It’s been almost 12 years since [3-year-old] Madeleine McCann…vanished from her British family’s vacation villa in…Portugal…Gerry and Kate McCann…faced suspicion and intense media scrutiny after their daughter first went missing in May 2007…The couple later won a libel suit against a Portuguese detective who wrote a book claiming the McCanns were involved…A new 8-part Netflix docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann…advances the [fantas]y that Madeleine was abducted and…sold into a trafficking ring…[because] Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere…

Abducted?  Sure.  But when a three-year-old is abducted from a fancy resort, the most likely motive is ransom, not “sex slavery”.  A far more likely possibility is that something went wrong and the child was killed.

Elephant in the Parlor (#831)

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

…prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.  Imane Fadil…died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning”…Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman…[but] was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015…Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence…by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether.  Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized…

All-Purpose Excuse (#857)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

To justify his border wall, Mr. Trump is fond is [repeating] the [common prohibitonist trope] of sex trafficking victims brought over the southern border.  “Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces,” he said — a garish but apparently imaginary scenario that people who [profit from] trafficking [hysteria invented and frequently use in their propaganda]…“The administration appears to view trafficking as a convenient tool to justify its border policies, rather than as a [convenient tool to expand the police state and enrich NGOs like ours]” said [fetishist] Martina Vandenberg…Beginning late last year, applicants for visas were put on notice that they may be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court if their bids for humanitarian visas are denied.  That was a shift from earlier practice under which applicants were exempt from summons to immigration court, a policy designed to incentivize [people to declare themselves] victims [so as] to [inflate the “victim” numbers]…In [furtherance] of [increased violence against sex workers]…Mr. Trump sheds crocodile tears…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians want to overrule the people:

[Politician] Joe Hardy said he plans to introduce a bill that would ban licensed brothels in Nevada…Hardy said [a lot of misogynistic, infantilizing nonsense claiming that brothel workers]…“are…being abused.  In some cases, raped”…[he also bizarrely referred to attempting to police individuals’ sex lives as being] “…grown up”…“The bill is based on falsehoods,” former sex worker [and brothel researcher] Christina Parreira said…

Given that fewer than 1% of Nevada sex workers operate from the brothels, this is absolutely nothing more than political showboating.

Opting Out (#893) 

The UK’s long-deferred surveillance/censorship scheme is finally about to begin:

The government will next week confirm the launch date for…UK-wide [censorship of]…online [content] as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.  The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by [the problems intrinsic to all censorship schemes]…is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content [politicians dislike]…although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.  The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults…Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said he remained concerned about the [inevitability] of a major data leak as a result of people handing over their personal identification…[about] sexual preference[s]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…through its Vigilant Solutions contract…ICE has access not only to 5 billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states…these…arrangements may violate ICE [claimed] privacy policies and state and local data-sharing laws—particularly in cases where the data originates from sanctuary cities…Automated license plate readers…are…mounted on overpasses, bridges, road signs, public vehicles, or on private property such as malls or parking lots.  They can record thousands of license plates per minute and capture the location coordinates, date, and time along with each photo for long-term aggregation and storage.  The data they accumulate can be used to create a detailed picture of where a car has been over time…

Backwards into the Future (#902) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

When Chinese legislators recommended the abolition of “education” detention centres where prostitutes and clients can be held without charge for two years, activists hoped the facilities’ days were numbered.  They will have to wait longer…police have unilateral power to detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years in “shelter and education” centres…[which] have little to do with education…testimonies of ex-detainees collected by [human rights group] Asia Catalyst…revealed the harsh…conditions in the centres…includ[ing]…forced labour…and the obligation to pay for subsistence and forced medical examinations at prohibitive prices…“it is just a way of extorting money on behalf of the state and the police,” one of the women told the group…

So, basically the same as the US.

The Course of a Disease (#911)

Like anti-vaxxers who not only neglect their own health, but actively spread contagion:

France and Sweden have launched a new common strategy for combatting…[consensual] sex…which specifically calls on other countries to [infanti]lise the [sellers] of sex…The strategy is a response to [women’s economic freedom and increasing recognition of individual rights]…that every [police state] has a duty to combat…

Rough Trade (#914) 

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A sex worker…yelled, pushed and stabbed a client with her thumbs after he ignored her attempts to withdraw consent…Norman Ariate Alonzo denies being told to stop, [claiming the idiotic “she wanted to be barebacked by a stranger” defense]…Alonzo​…faces a charge of rape…[because] the woman noticed the condom had fallen off and she asked Alonzo to stop so she could retrieve another.  Instead, he continued to [rape her until she]…jabbed her thumbs into Alonzo’s throat and hit him across the face.  She ran out of the room, told her manager and waited in the bathroom until police arrived…

Condoms don’t “fall off” during active penetration unless they break or the man goes soft (unless he has a micropenis); they can, however, be stealthily pulled off by the kind of guy who thinks “she wanted it” is a believable defense for rape.

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Punishing women who voluntarily sell sex for a living is human rights violation threatening their survival and another violence by the state.  –  Judge Cho Yong-ho

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Another fact-free anti-porn polemic, quoting a bogus “study” created by prohibitionists:

Watching natural-looking people engaging in sex that is consensual, pleasurable and realistic may not be harmful…but that is generally not what the $97 billion global porn industry is shilling.  Its producers have one goal: to get men off hard and fast for profit.  That means eroticizing the degradation of women.  In a study of behaviors in popular porn, nearly 90% of 304 random scenes contained physical aggression toward women, who nearly always responded neutrally or with pleasure.  More insidiously, women would sometimes beg their partners to stop, then acquiesce and begin to enjoy the activity, regardless of how painful or debasing…

Harm Reduction (May Updates)

Alas, politicians, being exceptionally stupid creatures, cannot understand that the same principles hold true for all prohibition:

…Hawaii…lawmakers…are proposing to commission a study looking at the merits of decriminalizing all drugs…The study would look to Portugal…[which] decriminalized all drugs in 2001…[leading] to a drastic reduction in drug use, overdoses and crime…The U.S. Surgeon General…announced in January, “It’s time for us to have a conversation in this country that’s based on facts; A conversation that’s based on medicine and science”…

Saving Them From Themselves

Cops continue their quest to destroy people’s lives for the “crime” of being human:

Redding, Connecticut, cops arrested a 14-year-old boy and charged him with possession of child pornography, harassment, and obscenity…This news story makes it impossible to determine the exact nature of his crime, but…I would say that he likely shared an illicit photo of a similarly-aged female—perhaps his girlfriend—with some of his friends…This is simply not a matter for the police…It’s not wrong for 14-year-olds to express sexual interest in each other…the cops investigated this teen for three months….How many police resources were tied up…figuring out why two teens were sexting each other?…

Above the Law  

“Rape”, reporters.  The word you’re looking for is “rape”:

A Wichita [Kansas] woman says a…[cop raped] her multiple times over a two year period…Richard Bachman…used his power as a cop to [rape her from 2010 to 2012]…This is the second suit against the [rapist] cop…[who]  threatened to plant drugs on the woman, and…handcuffed her while [raping] her.  “I don’t want him to ever be in a position where he has the authority over anyone again,” she said…Bachman’s attorney [vomited out the legalese equivalent of, “She asked for it”]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

The only people who “endangered children” here are the brutal thugs who invaded the child’s house, abducted her mother and have probably destroyed the mother’s ability to provide for her in the future:

A…[deceitful pig] contacted Alysia Mericle…[pretending to be an honest client, then called more thugs] to arrest her…Mericle locked the door with the [lying pig] still inside…[so his pig friends] used a battering ram [to destroy her] front door…[they then searched]…her place [without a proper warrant] and…found Focalin and Vyvanse, which are used to treated ADHD.  [Rooting pigs] also discovered [her business] ledger…Mericle was charged with promoting prostitution, possession of controlled substances, endangering children, drug paraphernalia and soliciting prostitution. She was [caged]…and a judge set her bond at $75,000.  The child was placed in the custody of her grandmother.

Mentoring

Anybody want to try these out and see how well they compare to the tried-and-true makeup sponge method?

…The Flex Company wants to replace outdated pads and tampons with a sleek, disc-shaped blood blocker.  Flex can be worn during sex to prevent making a mess.  The Flex discs are disposable, can be worn for up to 12 hours and even come in a stylish little packet.  They’re doctor-approved to be hypoallergenic, BPA-free and they won’t cause toxic shock syndrome…Flex will have to compete with SoftCups, a well-distributed brand with a similar product, though one that doesn’t focus on portability or sex…

One lady on Twitter reported her partner could feel it, which would obviously not be good.

An Example To the West (#133)

Human rights suffer a predictable, but crushing defeat in South Korea:

The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the country’s antiprostitution law Thursday, dismissing “voluntary sex trade” unconstitutional.  In a 6-to-3 ruling, the court confirmed the legality of the antisex trade act punishing both those who voluntarily sell and buy sex, citing the need to repress demand for prostitution.  The verdict came three years after the top court began to review the act to rule whether it violates voluntary sex workers’ freedom to choose their job and what to do with their own bodies…Kang Hyun-joon, head of sex workers’ rights group Hanteo National Union, called the decision “unacceptable”…He also vowed to submit a petition to the United Nations‘ Human Rights Council…[which has] suggested [decriminalizing] prostitution as a way to create safer conditions for sex workers and to combat human trafficking as well as sex-related diseases like HIV…

Only one of the dissenting judges understands the moral issues here; the other two argued for the hypocritical and misogynistic Swedish model.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#318)

It’s so good to see more widespread recognition of this:

…social scientist Dr Kamala Kempadoo…argued that legitimizing the world’s oldest profession would reduce human trafficking and bring security and respectability to women in the profession…She called on [Caribbean] governments to…recognize that prostitution ought not automatically be construed as violence to women…she…was dismissive of the United States State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) reports, contending that they were politically motivated and did not recognize Caribbean practices or cultural norms…in responding to the pressure exerted on regional countries that receive bad marks in the TIP reports, Caribbean governments [have] created a regime to counter what [the US represents] as human trafficking.  However, she said that regime had itself become an industry…

Frequently Told Lies

Here’s a nice little collection of debunking resources (including some of mine) from Sex, Lies & Duct Tape.  Many things to bookmark here!

If You Want Something Done Right…

In which Brooke Magnanti considers the implications of Mistress Matisse’s piece from yesterday:

…When does reporting become rubbernecking?  When does wanting to help someone become wanting to control them?  These are topics that need exploring, both in public and in our own hearts and minds. Especially for people who, like me and…Melissa Gira Grant, are former sex workers who are now full-time writers…Some former sex workers elect to not discuss their personal experiences, and I respect that…But if you don’t write about yourself who do you write about?…What do we really take away from the piece apart from the feeling that everyone who got involved in Heather’s cause had bad intentions apart from (miraculously) Gira Grant herself?  With the subject of the story not supportive of its publication, and considering the fact that it gives a significant national platform to people who may have abused Heather — is this where the ally ends, and the hard-headed journo chasing after a byline begins?…As Gira Grant spent the days after the Buzzfeed piece appeared refusing to answer requests to clarify what happened, it did unfortunately start to seem like she could ignore criticism precisely because those making the criticism were sex workers…

Above the Law (#595)

Whoopsie!  Now where did we put that serial rapist?  He was here a few months ago…

Oklahoma prison authorities are working with attorneys for a [mass serial rapist]…to serve a civil rights lawsuit filed by some of his victims…prison officials revealed…that Daniel Holtzclaw…had been moved from a state prison but would not disclose where he was being housed…Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison…and…seven women involved in the criminal case filed a federal lawsuit against Holtzclaw and city officials [because] the city and its police force [gave him free reign to rape at will]…efforts to serve Holtzclaw with the lawsuit have been unsuccessful because he can’t be located within the state prison system…

License to Rape (#601)

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

…According to a federal lawsuit filed by attorney Robert Phillipswhite police officers in Aiken, S.C…[pulled over] Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon…in Hicks’s car…[using the illegal pretext that] it still had [current] temporary tags…[cop Chris] Medlin [ordered] Pontoon out of the vehicle and [handcuffed] him…Medlin then [told] Pontoon, “Because of your history, I’ve got a dog coming in here.  Gonna walk a dog around the car.”  About 30 seconds later, he [added], “You gonna pay for this one, boy”…four [cops spent]…15 minutes conducting a thorough search of the car…After the search of the car [came] up empty, Medlin [told] the female officer to “search her real good,” referring to Hicks…this was all done in direct view of the three male officers.  That search, too, produced no contraband.  The officers then [anally probed] Pontoon…[repeatedly] grabbing his hemorrhoids…for another three minutes…[finding] no contraband…Medlin [then told] Pontoon…that [this was due to his supposedly recognizing] him from when he worked narcotics…

Bad Girls (#625) 

about 20 sex workers and…allies took to Daley Plaza [in Chicago] to show solidarity with Alisha Walker, a 23-year-old woman sentenced to 15 years in prison after fatally stabbing a client…”We could all be Alisha,” [said] Cathryn Berarovich…”Because our work is criminalized, there is no recourse for when bad things happen to us.  We’re standing up for someone who did what she had to do to survive, then was punished for surviving”…[they also called] out the Sun-Times report on Walker’s sentencing…for its…language…the paper described Walker with terms like “the prostitute” and “hooker”…[but] to Filan…as a “wonderful father”…in spite of the fact that…Filan was the aggressor in their confrontation, threatening her with a kitchen knife because she and the other woman declined to have unprotected sex with him.  Filan had also…been drinking…

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Sex…is the only area where amateurs are respected more than professionals.  –  Anna Leventhal

The Red Umbrella 

Client gets angry when he recognizes that his whore is a whore:

A businessman…shot a sex worker when she ended their relationship…Jonathan Kovacik, 58, gave Rosalynde Pitcher £6,000 in cash towards [breast enlargement] cosmetic surgery…He also offered her £50,000 to “give up drugs, alcohol and the work” and marry him…However, armed with a Walther CP88 competition air pistol, Kovacik is alleged to have flown into a fit of rage when he suspected the 21-year-old was “stringing him along” for his money…Miss Pitcher was working…[as a cam girl] for the website adultwork.com…Kovacik, who has a property portfolio and owns a car garage, frequently “lavished” Miss Pitcher with a car and other expensive gifts…

A Procrustean Bed

The law is definitely unconstitutionally vague, but that would be a politically unpopular finding right now:

The constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that targets sex trafficking was upheld…by the state’s highest court, which rejected claims by two men that the statute was vague and its scope too broad…the two men…are…the first people convicted under the statute…lawyers for Tyshaun McGhee and Sidney McGee claimed the statute’s language, particularly the phrase “commercial sexual activity,” was unconstitutionally vague.  They said the law also lacked the elements of use of force and coercion that a federal sex trafficking statute requires to establish the crime…

The Proper Study

We’re seeing this sort of thing more and more:

When I first began looking into the research on decriminalizing prostitution, I didn’t know where the evidence would take me. I was familiar with the arguments on both sides of the debate, but I had little idea what the empirical literature said.  But after reviewing dozens of studies, papers, and articles and talking to researchers, the issue is much clearer to me:  Sex work should be fully decriminalized and regulated, similar to other businesses…prohibition doesn’t appear to have any good empirical evidence behind it…

One Size Fits All

Is there any behavior in Ireland that isn’t “trafficking”?

…the Office of the Registrar General has been given more extensive powers to prevent the institution of marriage being abused for immigration purposes…An unexpectedly high occurrence rate of marriages between women from Eastern Europe and Portugal, and men from the Indian subcontinent has been noted…The Registrar will now have…the right to refuse a marriage registration form if they feel that a marriage is not legitimate…The Minister…[is] concerned that sham marriages [are] leading to a proliferation of women being trafficked into Ireland for this purpose…

Above the Law Bryan Lee

An Ohio State Trooper has been sentenced to five years in prison after using his authority to force women into sexual acts, using Facebook to send his victims vague threats, and using Craigslist to advertise for “traffic stop sex.”  The investigation into Trooper Bryan Lee, 31, began in October of 2013 and he was allowed to resign prior to being terminated and prosecuted…

Dysphemisms Galore (Traffic Updates)

Tara Burns turns in a top-notch piece of long-form investigative journalism on the case of her friend, Amber Batts, who was this week sentenced for “sex trafficking” in Alaska.  I’m not even going to attempt to excerpt it; the piece needs to be read in its entirety so you can get the full picture of the sort of people the State destroys in order to support its lurid and melodramatic “sex trafficking” narrative, and the way that neither facts nor evidence has the slightest power to halt or even slow the machinery of injustice once cops and prosecutors have thrown someone into it.

Shift in the Wind (#433)

There’s nothing unusual in this article from The Economist explaining why decriminalization is a good idea; however, I’m very pleased to see that the paper hasn’t made its pro-decrim stance a one-time thing.  I hope it continues to debunk prohibitionist nonsense on a regular basis, even though the writer in this case subscribes to the dumb canard that Rhode Island “accidentally” decriminalized in 2003 (when in fact it purposefully did so in 1980).

Think of the Children! (#445)

Since no outside charity will take money contaminated by “sex rays”, Rentboy decided to create its own charity:

Rentboy.com has created a “Cash4Class” scholarship fund designed to help escorts who advertise on their site to afford school.  To win the $1500 fund, the boys can either submit a 500-1000 word essay or a 1-5 minute video that answers the following question: “Why is going to school part of achieving your dream?”… adult film star Colby Keller will be the official judge of the entries…deadline [is] September 15th, and [the contest is] open to current Rentboy.com advertisers who have proof of enrollment in…classes…

Seizing Power

For those who forgot why Backage started taking payment in the first place:

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal…was leading the charge to force all social networks to police adult content and establish age and identity verification tools…As part of that agreement, Craigslist began charging for ads in its erotic services section at the end of 2008.  “Requiring phone numbers, credit cards and identifying details will provide a roadmap to prostitutes and sex traffickers — so we can track them down and lock them up,” Blumenthal said in a statement…he…[called] the erotic services section an “online brothel” and “hooker haven,” and asserting there was a link between adult entertainment and “human trafficking, drug activity and child exploitation”…

An Example To the West (#554)

Journalists like to pretend the bad consequences of US “anti-trafficking” policy are unintentional; they most certainly are not.  American “anti-trafficking” policy has not “failed” in Southeast Asia; it is doing exactly what it is intended to do:

…the U.S.-led anti-trafficking agenda…has failed or even hurt migrants and refugees.  It has fed a chaotic global obsession with policing and prosecutions, but resulted in few concrete policies to address the underlying causes of trafficking or to assist its victims.  This has been acutely felt in Thailand, a politically volatile country seesawing between military coups and failed democratic governments.  In recent months the ruling junta has led an aggressive anti-trafficking campaign to satisfy its Western critics.  But instead of reducing trafficking and forced labor, these efforts appear to have marginalized human rights and trampled on the most vulnerable…

Not Good Enough (#555) flibanserin

The dangerous psychotropic drug flibanserin, which poorly treats a normal variation in female sex drive which is being defined as a “disorder” by an industry hungry to cash in by selling people drugs they don’t need, has now been approved:

…critics said the campaign behind Addyi had made a mockery of the system that regulates pharmaceuticals and had co-opted the women’s movement to pressure the F.D.A. into approving a drug that was at best minimally effective and could cause side effects like low blood pressure, fainting, nausea, dizziness and sleepiness…Addyi’s label has a boxed warning — the strongest kind — saying the drug should not be used by those who drink alcohol, since that can increase the risk of severely low blood pressure and fainting…Leonore Tiefer, a sex therapist…and critic of the drug, predicted the restrictions on use would keep Addyi from becoming popular.  “It’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth,” she said…Addyi is thought to work by changing the balance of certain brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin…women who took the drug had an average of 4.4 “satisfying sexual experiences” a month, compared with 3.7 for women getting a placebo and 2.7 before the study began.  The drug did not increase desire more than a placebo when measured by a daily diary…

Acting and Activism (#559) 

I’m really pleased to see just how hard Hollywood’s prohibitionism is backfiring on it lately:

Dunham & Co. structured their opposition to the draft policy on the flawed assumption that decriminalization a) encourages non-consensual sex work…and b) promotes men’s dominance over women, in a grand philosophical sense.  This is akin to saying that because women and children are often exploited in the garment industry, we should outlaw garment manufacturing and make sure conditions are really unsafe for anyone who wants to make clothes…

Here’s another example:

Lena Dunham, a woman who by most accounts has never had to worry a day in her life about paying rent and putting food on the table, put her name on a petition aimed at stopping women around the world from doing what she does on television in front of millions of people on a regular basis: acting like she’s enjoying sex for money…You can imagine how confusing Dunham’s position is to those of us who actually do sex work for a living.  She doesn’t see that she’s contributing to our distress by openly calling for the end of our freedom to do sexual work…

Amnesty At Last (#564)

Though the Washington Post has published many pieces attacking “sex trafficking” hysteria, its editorial board is apparently still dominated by prohibitionist fossils who prefer lies and pearl-clutching to facts and self-ownership:

…Supporters of the resolution assume that sex work can be a profession like any other and that sex transactions can be consensual.  This is…not true for the vast majority, who resort to selling their bodies because they feel they have no other option.  Decriminalizing prostitution…would allow pimps to operate with impunity, using the money and status that comes with their newfound legitimacy to scale up trafficking operations that hurt the most vulnerable…The evidence seems to bear that out in Germany and the Netherlands, where [sex work is not decriminalized]…

“Decriminalizing the sale of liquor…would allow bootleggers to operate with impunity, using the money and status that comes with their newfound legitimacy to scale up trafficking operations that hurt the most vulnerable…The evidence seems to bear that out in the United States, where liquor was legalized in 1932″…

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Who needs misogynists when you describe women engaged in sex work as “objects” whose humanity “can be forgotten”?  –  Maddie Collier

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen

The greatest special-effects artist of all time has passed away at the age of 92.  His movies are among my all-time favorites, and no digital creature has ever entertained me as much as Ray’s masterful puppetry still does.  And even though he’s been retired for 32 years, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that the world will be just a little less magical without him.

Bad Girls

[An] unnamed 14-year-old used his iPad to find…Dareka R. Brooks through a website used for sexual hookups…believing [her] to be a sex worker, [he] invited her to his…home, [where she]…pepper-sprayed the boy and made off with his piggy bank and the…iPadBrooks was tracked down a short time later…and arrested after she used the iPad…Brooks was charged with armed robbery…[but] the…boy will not face charges for solicitation.

I suspect the cops’ “kindness” means the boy’s family is well-connected.

Halfway Whores

Dr. Laura Agustín on “Good-time girls and other non-professionals taking money for sex“:

Formalised money-sex exchanges get the attention and conflict…lots of other exchanges are ignored, a line is drawn between commercial and non-commercial sex.  But that line is imaginary.  Many people who expect to be compensated for their company will never call themselves sex workers or escorts…

Lack of Evidence

A Colorado woman was convicted of prostitution for answering a personal ad; after trying to talk her into having sex in a parking lot, a disguised cop “shoved a fistful of cash in front of her face and issued a command: ‘TAKE IT!’…Moments later, the car was surrounded [by] ‘Guns and guys in black with masks on’…the prosecution focused on the word ‘roses’ in the Craigslist ad…”  Maybe if this sort of thing starts to happen more often, amateurs will start to wake up to the fact that anti-whore laws harm everyone.

William ColemanMy Body, My Choice (Holiday Leftovers)

[For] five years…[William Coleman has been] force-fed…Starving himself…is the only way he has to…protest his conviction.  Not eating is his only available free speech act…He and his lawyer have gone to court to stop the force-feedings, but a judge ruled against him in March…Coleman is…[not at] Guantánamo…where a mass hunger strike of 100 prisoners has brought…force-feeding to American newspapers, if not American consciences…but…in Connecticut…Guantánamo is not an anomaly.  Prisoners…are routinely and systematically force-fed every day…force-feedings…are considered torture by most of the world’s medical and governing bodies…yet most media outlets continue to portray feeding tube use as a “complex ethical debate.”  It’s not.  Competent prisoners go on hunger strike because they have something to say and no other way to say it.  Prison officials choose not to hear — and silence them with tubes…

Check Your Premises

A Hialeah [Florida] police sergeant…Tomas Muñoz…has been suspended with pay after being…charged with cocaine possession and carrying drug paraphernalia…he told reporters…“I met a girl — she happens to have a pimp, and we fell in love…And he doesn’t let her be free.  This came about because he set the whole thing up.”

He “doesn’t let her be free”, except to fuck cops.  For free.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

American’s mathematical illiteracy goes clear up to the White House, whose spokesman recently claimed that almost 4% of school-age American girls have become “child sex slaves” since the beginning of the panic a decade ago.  Also of note:  since the government was unable to shut down Backpage via unconstitutional censorship demands, it is now claiming that it intentionally gave up trying.

The Proper Study

Another step in the right direction:

Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) have announced…a new journal devoted to the study of pornography.  Porn Studies, to be edited by Professor Feona Attwood of Middlesex University and Dr Clarissa Smith of the University of Sunderland, will be the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic and their cultural, economic, historical, institutional, legal and social contextsSaradha

One Born Every Minute

Thousands of sex workers in Sonagachi have lost their lifelong savings…in Ponzi schemes…”about [30 million rupees] has been lost”…[said] Bharati [of Durbar Mahila Samanaya Committee]…Till 2004-05…sex workers [only] deposited their earnings and took loans…[at] Usha Bank…but…7-8 agents [who] were sacked by [the] Bank…continued to operate in the red light area.  “Sex workers were easily trapped because the agents were well known to them or were their relatives…” [said a bank officer]…Bharati says, “We…repeatedly issued warnings…But you can’t stop anyone…hell bent to invest her hard earned money in schemes promising much higher returns.”  The Durbar has recently launched a massive awareness programme…

Workers’ Paradise vs. Gold Diggers

 …Dongguan…has a population of about 7 million and a reputation as the Chinese capital of sex…Between 500,000 and 800,000 people – some 10 per cent of Dongguan’s migrant population – are in some way employed in the world’s oldest profession…[including] 300,000 sex workers…[but] authorities are now…trying to push prostitution off Dongguan’s streets with a crackdown…

Where Are the Protests?

Note that the word “trafficking” is entirely absent:

A company within Sweden’s home care services…mistreated migrant workers by making false promises about work conditions…Hassan…said that his official job offer stated that he would be employed full-time by…TPS Vårdteam…with a monthly wage of 26,500 kronor ($4,000)…”In the beginning I didn’t get any work at all…Then I had to work seven days a week….[for] only…8,000 kronor per month”…the company had not paid in any taxes at all for Hassan…

End demand for home health care!

Obfuscation via Dysphemisms

Tulsa, Oklahoma’s sleazy war on whores reaches a new level of evil:

Tulsa police have…charged 23 individuals under a state law that permits a felony to be filed when a person suspected of prostitution is arrested within 1,000 feet of a church or school.  “It’s just a nightmare,” said defense attorney, Charles Kania…a “scarlet letter on their foreheads that follows them forever”…The felony charges are part of a stepped-up effort by police to get tough on prostitution…Sgt. Todd Evans said…”Most of Tulsa is within a thousand feet of a church or school”…[and] police have sometimes opted to book individuals under another statute that makes it a felony to utilize a computer to violate any state law…

Active Blessing
All the Difference

Active Blessing Uganda…[promised that children] would get an education and live a better life…instead [they were] denied basic rights and exploited…76 children, aged between four and 16 years, have been rescued from the alleged human traffickers…the children are malnourished…do domestic work…in return for food and when they fall sick…are not cared for…the parents [were]…always prevented…from visiting…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (TW3 #49)

On May 22, the American Psychiatric Association will release the…DSM-5…[practicing psychotherapist] Gary Greenberg, one of the book’s biggest critics, claims these disorders aren’t real — they’re invented…The Book of Woe: The Making of the DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry is his exposé of the business behind the creation of the new manual…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (TW3 #137)

A powerful statement from Filipino sex workers:

…Being poor in the Philippines…means…no matter how much you believe things to be wrong you must believe it to be right when the rich, your master (amo)…[says] so…That…[is] why it was not difficult for the feminist (abolitionists) to appropriate our voices and to start…speaking for themselves in our name…For years, we could only stand , mouths gagged, as we watched our new “amos” build their careers speaking for other underprivileged and “mindless” women in their list who they claim do not have the ability to speak for themselves…We…do not understand the arrogance by which they have anointed themselves our saviors…what we want is save ourselves from them instead…we really do not care about  “patriarchy”, “commodification” and other words they spew.  Those matters don’t bring food on our table nor pay for our rent.  All we are interested in is to work undisturbed…It is time to tell the world that only sex workers [can] speak for sex workers…

Held Together With Lies (TW3 #316)Eurotrafficking

Wendy Lyon does her usual thorough job ripping apart a bogus study:

Last month saw the publication of the EU’s first Trafficking in Human Beings report, which…is (properly) littered with disclaimers…Unfortunately…the press release…[went] for the handy soundbite…so we’ve been deluged with headlines like “Human trafficking increased by 18%” when…the report doesn’t show it did any such thing…if all the statistics were accepted as readily as the “18% increase” has been, it would be a little bit inconvenient for some…Contrary to what we’re constantly told by the anti-trafficking movement, the most recent figures make it hard to discern any link between trafficking and the legal status of sex work.  The Dutch rate is very high, but the Cyprus rate is higher – and Cyprus has much stricter laws than the Netherlands…Romania, where sex work itself is illegal, is nearly as high.  Hungary (legal), Portugal (legal) and Lithuania (illegal) are tied for last.  Austria and Germany are also relatively low – in fact, Germany and Sweden are tied, at 0.8 per 100,000.  And the German rate has remained more or less constant over the three years surveyed, while Sweden’s has quadrupled…But sex workers’ rights advocates shouldn’t leap on those figures, either, because truthfully the whole report is pretty hopelessly undermined by its methodological weaknesses…

Monsters

Sometime…[in] April, an Ohio transgender woman was…stabbed repeatedly and then tied to a concrete block and cast into a pond.  She was left with no clothes below the waist, perhaps to shame her…But…insensitive stories by the local press…[wrote] about [her] as if she were a bizarre spectacle, not a victimized human being…the Cleveland Plain Dealer…used a mugshot of [Cemia] Acoff instead of the other readily available photos…the [headline which now reads]…“Oddly dressed body found in Olmsted Township identified,” originally said “oddly dressed man,” (you can see it in the url; it was changed after readers and activists protested)…the story [also] refers to her as Carl Acoff (her birth name) and uses a male pronoun...[a follow-up] story…details what she was wearing…lists old petty “crimes”…[and refers to the] hormones [she was carrying as] “dangerous drugs”…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #317)

Maddie Collier’s response to Rakhi “pop stars cause sex trafficking” Kumar is well worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a sample:

…The anti-sex trafficking cause is already thick with moral panic, misinformation, and ill-informed, PR-boosting celebrity activists, and you’re cluttering the already-diminished discourse with further nonsense….[which spawns] attitudes and policies that actively harm sex workers.  You are ignoring the freely-available  perspectives and requests of real-life sex workers because they interfere with your romantic notion of the Prostituted Woman as a forlorn, passive victim who needs to be saved.  If you engage with sex workers before you form a view on what’s oppressing them, you might find that criminalisation and stigma are higher-priority concerns than mythical drug-dealing pimps wielding persuasive charm and Beyoncé’s hotpants…

Anatomy of a Boondoggle (TW3 #317)

The newest excuse for police rape of sex workers is that Asian massage parlors are “sophisticated”:

…an undercover police officer…[repeatedly paid for sex] over five months…in a fight against prostitution and human trafficking.  Officers say such methods led to…[their raiding] two businesses [and] arresting…four alleged prostitutes and two alleged pimps.  But the methods…were criticized…by legal…experts and women’s advocates as excessive, unnecessary and misapplied…prostitutes can be arrested and charged in Indiana as soon as an agreement to pay for a sex act is made…Plus…if the women indeed had been…working…against their will, the sex acts they performed on the officer only contributed to their humiliation, exploitation and degradation…Aaron Dietz, head of the…Task Force…which conducted the nine-month sting, said…the sophisticated nature of the prostitution ring required officers to take more extreme measures…Dietz and others wanted to emphasize that it was not a pleasurable experience for the officer, but entirely necessary.  “No one…really wants to go into these…It’s something that’s ethically and morally very trying, so I’d do anything to keep guys out of there.”

You’d do anything?  Then how about advocating for decriminalization, you fucking filthy liar?

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People aren’t angels woven of light, but neither are they beasts to be driven into stalls.  –  Vladimir Korolenko

One year ago today I published “November Miscellanea (Part One)”, which reported on an attempt by the U.S. Congress to censor the internet; the fact that the U.S. government hides the proof that 95% of “missing children” are simply living with the parent they prefer rather than the one to which clueless judges assigned custody; the widespread resistance to the HPV vaccine; weird search terms; a Los Angeles man who reacted violently to a proposal rejection; and prostitute “Don’t Panic” plans.  These stories were all U.S. based, but today we’ll look at several stories from the “other side of the pond”.  The first two are from the U.K. and demonstrate once again why legalization (rather than decriminalization) does no good for sex workers; this one’s from the October 6th Lancashire Evening Post:

A man who ran a brothel masquerading as a ‘gentleman’s club’ has been told to pay back almost £750,000 of his ill-gotten gains – or face prison.  John Williams Burrows, 63, funded a “lavish lifestyle” from the proceeds of the business…he pleaded guilty…to managing the brothel…and…was given a 10-month prison term suspended for 18 months.  But now, a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Manchester’s Minishull Street Crown Court has ordered him to pay back £742,759.83.  He must pay in six months or face four years in jail, after which he would still owe the money…He could now be forced to sell his assets and hand over his savings to meet the POCA ruling.

Other residents in the remote Hough Clough Lane area said they were shocked by the news…[a spokesman for the police] said:  “Brothels are a blight on our communities and we fully understand the concerns of residents who live in or near areas affected by the illegal sex industry.  Burrows enjoyed a lavish lifestyle from the exploitation of young women.  He has a property portfolio that will now have to be sold to fund this repayment”…[another] said:  “This shows that anyone who profits from criminal acts will be pursued through the courts and we will do everything in our power to seize their assets.”

infantalized prostitutes adAs you can see, the fact that prostitution is legalized in the UK doesn’t stop the persecution of sex businesses, the overblown dysphemisms, the governmental propaganda against sex work and the use of excuses to justify blatant money-grabbing (how can one “pay back” money to the government that didn’t come from the government in the first place?)  Change the “£” to “$” and the names of places and institutions, and this is indistinguishable from an American news story.  The same could be said of the following “sex trafficking” story from the October 4th Northumberland Journal:

A sex trafficker has been jailed for three years and four months for controlling prostitutes in Newcastle and elsewhere around the UK.  Stephen Craig, 34, was jailed for arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for 14 women.  His co-accused, Sarah Beukan, 22, was jailed for a year and a half for her part in the human trafficking network operated by Craig.  They admitted at an earlier hearing to moving 14 people to various addresses…to work as prostitutes…they also provided accommodation for the women to work out of, put out advertisements for their services in newspapers and online, and took a cut from their wages…there is no evidence to suggest Craig and Beukan were trafficking people from overseas into UK…there was “never any pressure, force, threat or compulsion of any kind directed at the women involved”…Detective Inspector Stephen Grant, from Strathclyde Police major investigation teams, said Craig and Beukan were “despicable individuals”.

In other words, Craig and Beukan ran a business.  Period.  They hired people to do legal work as independent contractors and charged a management fee; part of that covered travel, advertisement and accommodations.  And this makes them “despicable individuals”…how?  Is Detective Inspector Marx simply opposed to capitalism?  Or, as is more likely, is he simply a prancing savage who imagines that sex is magically different from all other human activity unless a shaman shakes his sacred rattles over the couple first?  Just as in the United States, prostitutes are imagined to be infantile lackwits who can be “controlled” by anyone male, yet this outrageous sexism is cheered by neofeminists as supportive of “equality”.

I’m not suggesting that legalization is inherently bad for whores; it’s certainly possible to imagine a legalization structure in which we are treated fairly.  But as we can see in the U.K. and Canada, most legalization schemes aren’t much better than criminalization and all of them open the door to police and governmental abuse of prostitutes nearly as widely as criminalization does.  The previous examples came to my attention through Harlot’s Parlour, but the following example from a different regime (published October 19th on IPS) was sent to me by regular reader Bandoblue:

The severe financial and economic problems in Portugal are driving many women to desperation and pushing them into prostitution as a last resort to support their families.  The decision to sell one’s body cannot be taken lightly.  But for many mothers the alternative is to condemn their children to hunger, which is why “increasing numbers of women in their thirties, who are victims of the crisis, are resorting to prostitution,” said Inês Fontinha, head of the Associação O Ninho (Nest Association).  Fontinha…said that…[in addition to] the fear that is natural in novices to the game, many of…these inexperienced women are also afraid…of falling victim to human trafficking networks, often controlled by the so-called “Eastern mafias”, in comparison with which the local pimps seem almost harmless…

Alexandra Oliveira…a researcher at the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Oporto…[said] “Prostitution should be legalised to make it socially acceptable”…adding that it is still “highly stigmatised”…Her findings indicate that most sex workers, especially streetwalkers, come from the lower socioeconomic strata, have little formal education or professional training, and are from poor backgrounds…

What causes a woman to become a sex worker?  IPS asked two women who took up the life because of the crisis.  Pamela and Xana (their working names) said they are only in it for the money…”Lots of people mistakenly say that women who prostitute themselves do it for sexual pleasure, but they have no idea why we do what we do,” said Xana, a 29-year-old divorcée from Lisbon with two children she has to “feed, clothe and educate.”  Pamela and her partner also split up.  “From one day to the next he left home, and when a woman is left on her own with two children and the bills mounting up every day, life becomes pretty grim,” said Pamela, who worked in the textile industry up to a year ago…Both Xana’s and Pamela’s families are unaware of their activities.  Most sex workers lead a double life that their relatives do not know about…As for the sex itself, both women stated that they themselves set the rules, defining very clearly what was acceptable and what they were not prepared to do.  “We always insist on condoms.  It doesn’t matter if a client offers more money to have unprotected sex, we won’t agree,” said Pamela.  Can one be happy in such a life? was IPS’ final question.  Xana answered for both of them, with Pamela nodding agreement.  “When you are constantly judged and condemned, naturally you don’t feel very good…If our line of work was regarded in the same way as any other profession, I think we would feel better about what we do.”

Though the reporter is no less ignorant and the story details are no less lurid and sensationalized than one would find in the U.S. (including the typical emphasis on streetwalkers and pimps), the women are not portrayed as criminals, idiots or wantons, and it is notable that the Myth of the Wanton is specifically refuted by one of the interviewees.  Furthermore, though “human trafficking” mythology is unquestioned, the solution proposed by the quoted experts is neither the universal police-state crackdown to which American “authorities” masturbate nor the “end demand” dogma of fanatical neofeminists, but the simple and obvious solution proposed by sex workers the world over:  decriminalization, which is mistakenly referred to as “legalization” in the story (prostitution is already legal in Portugal).  Considering the success of drug decriminalization in Portugal and the generally more sensible attitude toward sex prevalent in Mediterranean Europe, this is not at all unlikely; there is even hope for a more rational policy in the UK and Canada.  Within the next few years it’s entirely possible that the only countries which completely deny women control over our own sex lives will be the U.S., its financially-dependent satellites in East Asia, and other oppressive Asian and African regimes.

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