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Posts Tagged ‘prohibitionist myths’

Our government has this idea of “we have to find this common enemy to fight”…right now, sex workers [are] that villain.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

But Georgia’s only too happy to lock up adult sex workers:

…Michael Wysolovski coerced a North Carolina teenager into sex and held her against her will for more than a year inside a dog cage in his Georgia home…he pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children and interstate interference with custody…[and] won’t spend any time in prison…the terms of his plea deal gave him credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting bail. He will spend the remaining nine years on probation and must register as a sex offender…the girl [was discovered] in a state of malnutrition with ringworm and back pain caused by being caged for so long…she reached out to a…person on [an online] forum, who in turn informed the FBI…When they first met, the girl told Wysolovski she was unhappy at home, so he convinced her to come live with him when she turned 16…[they] agreed to a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship…[but Wysolovski eventually disregarded her] boundaries and safe words…because…the relationship…resided in a gray area of consent…a trial by jury might not have yielded a guilty verdict on the rape charge…[so] the victim’s family didn’t want the case to go to trial because they didn’t want her to have her story picked apart on the stand.

Down Under

Prohibitionists keep insisting that decriminalization doesn’t work:

The Sex Worker Advisory Group, or SWAG, is a unique collaboration between the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC), and groups like Rape Crisis to help sex workers better access support services after sexual assault…[though] sexual assault isn’t common in the industry…there is still stigma around sex work in New Zealand.  When many people’s attitude is…“Aren’t you getting sexually assaulted in a daily basis?”, finding non-judgmental support can be incredibly difficult…Both the Prostitution Reform Act and SWAG offer a new paradigm for police-sex worker relations that stands in stark contrast to the hostile relationship seen in the rest of the world.  In the UK, “Police forces are failing sex workers who come to them as victims of crime”. In the United States, sex workers are often the victims of sexual assault by the police.  And in Norway…the police have evicted and deported workers who have reported rape to them.  These patterns repeat themselves in other countries where the sex industry remains fully or partially criminal…

Rooted in Racism

Mistreatment of sex workers is deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

Our conversations about sex work in Australia are deeply racialised, with roots in a number of anti-Asian tropes…cultural stereotypes of Asian women as “passive” has primed white Australia to swallow the portrayal of Asian sex workers as always already exploited.  This generates a default suspicion that has been used to justify intense over-policing of Asian migrant sex workers and their lack of access to safe and legal long-term labour migration pathways, all under the banner of “anti-trafficking”.  It’s also contributed to the construction of the popular image into which a collective xenophobic contempt for for sex work and sex workers is currently distilled: “illegal Asian brothels”.  This image normalises and perpetuates state violence against migrant sex workers…accompanied by grotesque, sensational media reporting, and the resulting deportation of migrant sex workers on minor breaches…

Above the Law

Obviously this fireman has been hanging around too many cops:

A fire captain in Arizona accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl while “extremely intoxicated” claims he mistook the girl’s genitals for the mouth of an adul…Michael William Palmatier…[also blamed his behavior on] a prescription muscle relaxer…Palmatier…[claims to] recall…going into a bedroom during the party…and starting to [perform oral sex on]…the victim…a…colleague then told Palmatier that the victim was 8 years old, prompting him to repeatedly curse before crying and apologizing…but insisted that he thought he was kissing an adult’s mouth rather than the girl’s genitals…

Train Wreck (#544)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is the Orwellian name of a Nigerian vice gang empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

…Activists ha[ve] called on the [government]…to desist from the persistent public humiliation, assault, sexual harassment of women in Abuja in the name of [harassing]…sex workers in the city or face legal action…a statement signed by 36 civil society groups…condemned the recent raids and arrest of over 100 women at a night club in Abuja…on two different occasions within one week – April 17 and 26.  The raids were carried out by…the Joint Task [Gang], which [includes]…the…Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)…many of the arrested women “were severally assaulted and sexually harassed, with some raped, leaving injuries in the vaginas of some of them…many were psychologically traumatised by the experience…[the raids] targeted and violated young women in the club…No attempts were made to question the club proprietors or arrest the male guests…[but] several female guests in or around the nightclub were also arrested and harassed…young women were brutally dragged out by male officers who beat them, and some women were stripped naked”…

Gingerbread House (#693)

It’s satisfying when the mask of concern for “trafficking victims” slips:

…the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is seeking to open a [jail] for teenage…sex…[workers]…but the…plan…is facing opposition on multiple fronts.  Claire’s House, named after [some politician’s] mother…plans to [lock] up…12 teenage sex [worker]…at a [time]…advocates…say the church’s opposition to contraception and abortion could harm [their] victims.  Meanwhile, neighbors of the [jail] worry that traffickers will bring crime, drugs and guns to their community…

Disaster (#879)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…The important thing to remember about this appeal is that the question before the appeals court isn’t really about the constitutionality of FOSTA itself.  What’s being appealed is the case having been dismissed for lack of standing by the plaintiffs.  The district court never directly ruled on the constitutionality of the law; it only ruled that these plaintiffs had no right to complain about it…the…court [claimed] these plaintiffs weren’t being hurt, or likely to be hurt, by FOSTA, and so it dismissed their case…All the DOJ…has to do to defend FOSTA is say…”These people…will not be hurt by FOSTA, so keep this case dismissed”…but that’s exactly what the amicus brief by the twenty-one state attorney generals does not do…their brief instead reads as a bright flashing neon sign warning the court that there is plenty of reason for them to be worried.  Because…[it] reads as a paean to everything FOSTA is going to let the states do, including to people just like the plaintiffs…

A Broker in Pillage (#904)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

The Institute for Justice filed a class-action lawsuit in Illinois state court alleging that Chicago’s impound program violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…A Reason investigation published last year described how Chicago’s punitive impound program soaks people in fines and fees and deprives them indefinitely of their transportation, whether or not they actually committed an offense, in an effort to reduce its massive annual budget deficits.  It also operates independently from the state’s courts, meaning that even in cases where a defendant beats a criminal charge and/or a civil asset forfeiture case, they can still be found liable for thousands of dollars in fines and storage fees, and have their cars held until they pay or relinquish them to the city…

Disaster (#922)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it [intentionally destroyed by ill-considered censorship] in 201[8]…Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed…that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and…“restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content”…Price is referring to…Tumblr[‘s deeply-stupid]…step of banning porn on its platformresult[ing] in harsh criticism…and a steep decline in web traffic…Pornhub [has] sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

How do you think they “stopped” these guys?  By spying on “known prostitutes” and harassing anyone who visited them, just like in Sweden:

Gardaí said that it carried out [harassment] operations in DMR North, DMR East, DMR South Central, Wexford, Louth and Kildare.  A total of 36 individuals were stopped and [interrogated after being seen visiting known sex workers]…A number of files are now being prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions.  The DPP will then decide if any criminal proceedings should be initiated.  Gardaí said that the operation reinforces their “commitment to target [sex workers and harass them to death]”…

Torture Chamber (#928) 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

On March 25, 2019, Christopher Caldwell…[was made] nearly immobile, shackled to a bucket at Limestone [Cage Stack] in Alabama.  His pant legs were taped up, and his belly, feet and hands were shackled.  Caldwell’s handcuffs were shackled to his belly, preventing him from moving his hands above his waist.  Caldwell had just been transferred…from [another prison]…and had already undergone extensive [initiation tortures]:  several body cavity searches, metal detectors and drug dogs…[then screws locked] him in a [cage], shackled and taped him…[and] told [him that] his restraints would not be removed until he “shat six times” in the bucket…he…was bound to the bucket in a [cage] without running water for five days.  His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.  Another confined individual subjected to the “shitting in a bucket” [torture], Daniel Bolden…said that his memories of eating like a dog (due to constrained hands) are etched into his mind.  Unable to shower, he was forced to lie near and in his own feces and urine…a mother whose son is currently confined at [the same prison]…reported…that she’s been extorted by [screws who]…“stabbed my son…then…call[ed me and]…said things would get worse for him if I didn’t send money”…

Broken Record (#932)

You mean they just made it up?  Say it ain’t so!

[For the last decade, pigs, spooks and politicians] have promoted the [myth] that a rise in sex trafficking rates is correlated with large sporting events.  [Despite repeated debunking] this narrative [is intentionally spread by prohibitionists]…every year around the Super Bowl…Yet [people who actually can do math and understand the difference between their anuses and holes in the ground]…say that there is…[absolutely no] evidence to support the idea that events like the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby are correlated with a rise in sex trafficking rates…even…Polaris…the there’s…no…data to suggest [such] spikes…Such [propaganda campaigns]…put sex workers at increased risk of arrest during anti-sex [worker pogroms justified by these myths about]…large sporting events, says Kristen DiAngelo…of SWOP Sacramento…

Loose Cannons

A judge slaps down pigs & prosecutors for a change:

Florida police failed to exhaust [legal] options and to protect the privacy of non-suspects when secretly recording surveillance video inside Martin County massage parlors.  That’s the verdict of Florida Judge Kathleen Roberts…”at no time was any effort made to stop the monitoring or recording at any point to protect the innocent person who happened to enter an area covered by a camera”…Kraft and other men charged with solicitation have been challenging the use of “sneak and peak” warrants…Workers at these businesses are also suing over the surveillance, as are customers of the spas who simply received regular massage services…State prosecutors [predictably] intend to appeal the ruling…

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This is not about resolving sex trafficking; this is about a moral crusade to appease local NIBMYs who can’t stand the idea of whores operating in their neighborhoods.  –  Savannah Sly

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

“Amelia” is a 50-year-old woman from China who has worked in massage parlors off and on for the last three years…“Most of the owners, they don’t have the budget to offer you a dormitory somewhere nearby.…  It’s the same thing for a restaurant.  When people work in a restaurant, you can’t give everybody a place to sleep somewhere nearby.  This is an additional cost.  And if you want to work longer hours, it is a good choice to just stay there.  I don’t think massage parlors are some kind of an underground corner in this society.  This is right there in the neighborhood; it’s in the plaza, it’s in the mall…what kind of a secret business is it if you walk in? You can walk into a barbershop, you can walk into a nail salon, you can walk into a massage parlor…The authorities [claim] you’re being trafficked…but when you go to a Manhattan restaurant, that’s the same workers behind the kitchen”…

To Molest and Rape

There’s no way this thug is going to be able to claim it was “consensual”:

A former [Georgia screw]…was arrested [Friday, March 8th] on rape charges…Kirk Taylor Martin…is accused of sexually assaulting a woman from Thursday afternoon until Friday morning…He faces charges of rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated assault…attempt[ed anal rape]…false imprisonment and hindering an emergency call…Martin…was fired [from his job as a screw] in April 2018…after multiple violations of jail policy…the scratches across Martin’s chest and neck, which are visible in his booking photo, are from the victim fighting back.  Both of his eyes are also swollen from the…struggle…

So Close and Yet So Far (#767)

It’s sad that even people who support decriminalization feel the need to promote myths, lies & insulting tropes:

…more than 1 million people engage in sex work in the United States…The vast majority of sex workers (80%) are female, and 90% of them depend on a pimp.  If sex work were decriminalized, prostitutes wouldn’t need pimps, who often steal their money and physically abuse them…government bans on prostitution and alcohol consumption have not eradicated these behaviors…proponents of legalizing prostitution include the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch…decriminaliz[ing] sex work…will…curb human trafficking by violent cartels…Prostitutes are far less likely to get tested for sexually transmitted infections because they’re afraid to tell healthcare workers what they do for a living…No one is arguing that prostitution is an ideal job that anyone would ever aspire to…

WHAT. THE. FUCK?  “90% depend on a pimp“?  “Violent cartels“?  “Far less likely to get tested for STIs“?  “No one would aspire to [sex work]“?  Using “legalization” and “decriminalization” interchangeably?  Please, Samantha Chang, either talk to actual sex workers before you write on this topic again, or just shut the fuck up, because you’re an ignoramus.

If Men Were Angels (#786) 

Churchy child molesters often seem to seek younger victims than other molesters:

[Jacop Hazlett,] a volunteer at the NewSpring Church campus in North Charleston, South Carolina faces charges for sexually abusing more than a dozen young boys in his care last year…volunteer [Leo LaSalle Comissiong]…was charged in 2016 for kissing and fondling a teenage boy at the NewSpring church campus [in Florence]…In Anderson…volunteer [Chaz Mckinsey Wood]…faced charges in 2016 after police say he fondled a 10-year-old boy…In early 2018, police arrested…youth pastor [Caleb Lide Jordan]…for sexual exploitation and solicitation of a minor…The Anderson…based megachurch NewSpring has 14 campuses around the state…Each time NewSpring reckoned with the fallout from these allegations, the church…offered nearly identical explanations…The accused individuals had been removed from their posts.  Evil was to blame…In the most recent case…Hazlett was caring for 3- and 4-year-old boys at the church when he was accused of performing oral sex on one of the boys in a bathroom…When a parent complained, church officials reviewed 90 days of video from the daycare room and found more than a dozen incidents with Hazlett assaulting the preschoolers…

Cops and Robbers (#794) 

Prohibitionist creeps move from stalking & harassing streetwalkers to stalking & harassing escorts:

The grim reality is that if I pulled out my phone right now, day or night, I could have a woman or even a child at my home or office within thirty minutes.  And there would be a strong possibility that, however willing she might seem, she would not be there by choice…our Reach Out Campaign in Tampa Bay, Florida…developed in partnership with Seattle Against Slavery, uses web scraping technology to obtain phone numbers off [escort ad] sites…and…mass texting blocks of these numbers with a phone number and a [prohibitionist propaganda] website…The 13 percent percent response rate we have received in only a matter of weeks, with just a small block of texts, has been extremely encouraging.  Seattle Against Slavery has been running Reach Out Campaigns in Chicago and cities throughout Washington State with similar response rates…Many…are victims of Stockholm Syndrome, held captive by a trauma bond with their trafficker…we [also]…target [men with]…fake [escort] ads…and then [threatens him with the pigs]…Many of these men suffer from sex addictions that can be treated…

Can’t you just hear the fapping?  I wish the moronic fantasy that a man can have an escort in 30 minutes was limited to prohibitionist wankers, but unfortunately it’s common among inexperienced clients as well.  Even in my agency days, it was rare that a girl could make it that fast, and nowadays it’s virtually impossible even for semi-pros who don’t screen.  As for the rest, these misogynistic idiots are spamming every escort they can find online; I even had one of them text me last month.  My guess is that their 13% “response rate” includes people replying with “Who is this?” or telling them off as I did, just as their “hotlines” count every single phone call as a “sex trafficking case”.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#795)

The BBC produces evidence–free anti-sex propaganda, complete with “addiction” nonsense:

…six young Brits…travelled to Spain to explore the booming sex industry for BBC3 documentary Porn Laid Bare…Their journey takes them into the dark underbelly of the scene, where they hear tales of human trafficking, forced drug taking and violence…the group meet former porn addict Jesús Gomis…As a member of [the misogynistic anti-masturbation group] NoFap…Jesús now helps others to overcome their addiction…Jesús…recommends [one of the group] detox, including from porn stars he follows on social media…1 in 5 18-25 year olds think they might be addicted to porn…In Barcelona, they meet Ismael López Fauste, a porn magazine journalist turned [prohibitionist and] police informant [who claims] he…witness[ed] “human trafficking, drugs, lots of violence and a lot of prostitution”…[an anonymous] woman…[claimed] over the phone [to be] a former porn actress [and said] “In some scenes I was made to take drugs and if I didn’t I would be sent home without the money”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#804)

Notice that there aren’t any men protesting or obsessing about this?

…The dildo has a butt.  And feet.  And huge hands, I guess so he can hold onto the ENORMOUS DICK that’s growing out of his torso?  Is this the natural progression of our old friend the Battery-Operated Boyfriend?  Has he grown into a… manchild?  Most arousingly of all, the dildo has a human face.  A custom, hyper-realistic, hand-sculpted bobblehead that will no doubt end up nodding at you condescendingly mid-thrust.  Customers are asked to first upload photos of various angles of somebody’s head, selecting hair color, eye color, and skin color…and the company then brings it to life, apparently checking in to get your approval throughout the process…the idea of having my boyfriend’s noggin on a dildo, grinning at me like that, and the notion that I would want such a thing…it all feels like a fucking zero on the Kinsey scale to me.  So heterosexual I can barely comprehend it..

Fallen Idol (#821)

I’d be much more sympathetic had these performers not tried to boost their claims with ugly whorearchy:

One of the porn industry’s top agents has been accused by women whom he represents of fraud, sexual abuse and links to an illegal escort business — accusations including coercing performers to pay off “unconscionable” fees and penalties either in cash or by performing sexual acts on him.  Derek Hay, the owner of LA Direct Models in Los Angeles…”coerces some of his performers into ‘escorting’ and then, should they seek to terminate their (illegal) contracts, threatens to ‘out’ them for performing illegal sex work,” says the complaint.  If they do not comply, Hay destroys their careers by refusing to book them for work, even if they have been requested specifically, it says…

Any sex worker who uses the word “illegal” pejoratively, as in this lawsuit, instantly loses my support.  There are living porn veterans who can tell you that not so long ago, their business was “illegal” too.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#897)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

…with the help of Working Washington, a grassroots bill…to improve the working conditions of exotic dancers has made its way successfully through the House…[the bill would] implement mandatory trainings for exotic dancers meant to educate them about their rights as workers and how they should be treated…The bill will establish an adult entertainer advisory committee with the Department of Labor and Standards.  Half of that committee will be made up of dancers…The bill also seeks to create…a list of [bad clients] and ban them from the club for three years…These safety problems are indicative of a strained and restricted industry in Washington state…[because] Seattle…is highly puritanical about sex and nudity…a 15-year ban on creating new strip clubs that started in 1988…created a virtual monopoly in the strip club business, something that’s shaped how the industry operates in Seattle to this day…Deja Vu has very little competition in the city and it’s been the dominant player since that morality crackdown in the ’80s.  That makes it so dancers have to accept the conditions in the workplace or face not being able to work…

Disaster (#909)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Tumblr’s ban on adult content  has cost the sharing platform  over one-fifth of its users in its first month of being instituted…Visits to…Tumblr…fell from 521 million in December to 437 million in January…In defending the [censorship] Tumblr [absurdly claimed] it still wanted to still be a platform for LGBT conversations…“Tumblr has always been home to marginalized communities and always will be,” Tumblr wrote…

Click on the title link to see which “marginalized communities” the site is now “home” to.

Pyrrhic Victory (#916)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

Police [and other government busybodies] in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of…people…with little oversight and…without [the subjects’] consent…at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives…[this] is part of a [fascist] approach to policing called the Hub model that…[lets] cops [conspire with other busybodies to surveil and control people.  Those pretended]…to be “at risk” of becoming criminals or victims of harm is shared between…agencies [without their consent] and [allows] police…[to] evaluate…[subjects]…for a rapid intervention…[which] can range from a[n attempt to intimidate their way into homes without a warrant]…to forced [institution]alization or arrest…officials [pretend the] data…is “de-identified” by removing details such as people’s names and birthdates, [but]…scrubbing data so it may never be used to identify an individual is…impossible [and would invalidate the whole point of the surveillance system]…

Safe Position (#919)

At long last, anti-sex “feminists” are being revealed as the bigots they are:

…Members of the National Organization [Against] Women, the Coalition Against…Women and other anti-[sex worker] organizations teamed up to oppose [a] bill, slated to be introduced in the New York State Senate this session, which would remove all criminal penalties for the consensual sale of sex between adults.  The participants [vomited out nonsense about “]pimps and johns[“]…But…[were] interrupted by two current sex workers who shouted, “Listen to sex workers!”…NOW New York President Sonia Ossorio [pompously mansplained]…that [sex workers know less about our own lives than she does and]…“haven’t thought [our desire to not be raped by cops and starved via persecution of or clients] through”…Rally participants…included [a prohibitionist politician and] members of OBJECT, a U.K.-based [anti-sex worker] organization that [also blovi]ates against…“transgenderism”…Both NOW and [the politician tried to distance themselves from]…OBJECT…on Twitter…[even] though they were prominently featured in the crowd of supporters behind the podium…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#921)

While the Seattle Times obediently parrots porcine propaganda, The Stranger gives us this instead:

…the five people arrested in these raids aren’t actually charged with human trafficking or any other human rights violations; they’re being charged with money laundering and promoting prostitution.  Why?  Maybe it’s because there’s no evidence that trafficking was actually taking place…In Florida, police took six months to shut down these massage parlors, and this was after multiple undercover visits from detectives working the case (and, yes, they did engage in sex acts with the “victims” they later “rescued” themselves).  In Seattle, the sting took three and a half years.  The SPD [claims] that their officers didn’t engage in sex acts during the investigation and made up an excuse to leave when it came time to drop their pants…but…if they actually were being held and forced to perform sex acts against their will, why in the world would the police wait three years to rescue them?…According to Butterfly, an organization that is run by and works to support migrant sex workers in Canada, “Asian migrant sex workers are perceived to be at risk of abuse from their ‘traffickers,’ who are often in fact their colleagues, partners, or friends.  In fact, Asian migrant sex workers who are being targeted through these policies are rarely (and based on current data, never) trafficking victims, and become at risk through these anti-trafficking policies which allow them to be exploited, locked up, abused, and violated by law enforcement officers”…Savannah Sly told me in an email. “The narrative that all Asian women working in massage parlors [are trafficked] is racist, infantilizing, and lacks any realistic understanding of how the sex trade actually works”…

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If it really were as easy to get a sex slave as it is to order a pizza, then every cop, every FBI agent, every ICE agent, every law enforcement officer at every level needs to be fired immediately. –  Mike Siegel

To Molest and Rape (#729)

This is rape and armed robbery, not “sex trafficking”; see how the stats get padded?

A [typical and representative] Washington D.C. [cop] pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor…Chukwuemeka Ekwonna…faces up to 20 years in prison…and will be required to register as a sex offender…Ekwonna was charged in April 2017 with [raping] a 15-year-old girl in Glen Burnie and then robbing her at gunpoint…Ekwonna [offered] the girl…money…[so she submitted to the rape, but] as she tried to leave, Ekwonna pulled out a…gun and demanded his money back…Ekwonna also paid for sex with a 14-year-old girl numerous times…[getting her to agree by threatening her with his status]…as a [cop]…Ekwonna and his father…were [previously] accused in a federal lawsuit of beating an inmate…while the two were [screws] at a Washington D.C. jail…

Checklist (#859)

The rescue industry is trying to expand its surveillance net:

The New York City-based NoVo Foundation has announced a three-year, $10 million commitment in support of [anti-sex, anti-migration] programs in the United States…The new  program will focus on those who are disproportionately [involved in]…sex…[work] but are [not harrased by cops often enough for prohibitionists’ liking]…including…girls and women of color, immigrants, and trans women…With the goal of…closing “on-ramps” to [economic freedom]…the program will support [surveillance by]…teachers, social workers, bus drivers, [cops], emergency room doctors, and [ICE thugs]…

Safe Position (#865)

Coming from politicians, this is very big:

We must end the criminalization of sex work now…most people trade sex out of economic need: to pay bills, make rent, and put food on the table…LGBTQ, black and brown, immigrant and disabled communities engage in sex work at higher rates because they are locked out of jobs in the formal economy.  Criminalization encourages rampant abuses by law enforcementNine out of ten people arrested in sex-work-related massage parlor raids are immigrants, most of them undocumented Asians…People arrested for prostitution are then diverted to the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs), which conflate all sex work with sex trafficking and claim to treat sex workers as “victims” while essentially treating them as “criminals”.  ICE uses these courts to stalk and deport immigrant sex workers…we, along with Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, are working with Decrim NY to introduce a bill to rewrite the state’s penal code to decriminalize the sex trades in New York State…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#870) 

What this article omits is that until recently, cops were the primary vectors of this hysteria:

The “Momo challenge” is a recurring viral hoax that has been perpetuated by [irresponsible] news stations and s[tupi]d parents around the world.  This entire cycle of shock, terror, and outrage about Momo even took place before, less than a year ago:  Last summer, local news outlets across the country reported that the Momo challenge was spreading among teens via WhatsApp…The Momo challenge wasn’t real then, and it isn’t real now.  YouTube confirmed that, contrary to press reports, it hasn’t seen any evidence of videos showing or promoting the “Momo challenge” on its platform.  If the videos did exist, a spokesperson for YouTube said, they would be removed instantly for violating the platform’s policies.  Additionally, there have been zero corroborated reports of any child ever taking his or her own life after participating in this phony challenge…”A lot of this relies on people believing their local school or police force knows what they’re talking about when it comes to the internet.  Unfortunately most don’t have a clue and are sending letters to parents warning of non-existent issues like YouTube videos being ‘hacked’”…“Momo” itself is an innocuous sculpture created by the artist Keisuke Aisawa for the Japanese special-effects company Link Factory.  The real title of the artwork is Mother Bird, and it was on display at Tokyo’s horror-art Vanilla Gallery back in 2016.  After some Instagram photos of the exhibit were posted to the subreddit Creepy, it spread, and the “Momo challenge” urban legend was born…

O, Canada! (#885)

Canadian cops continue to try to sell their grotesque sex worker intimidation tactics as “helping” them:

Some of the work done by human trafficking detectives is proactive…about four or five times a month they set up “dates” where they book a time with a sex worker, but when she gets to the hotel room, she finds a cop who asks about her safety and gives her resources…[they] looks for keywords in listings — such as young, new to the area or no restrictions — as possible flags for human trafficking…

In other words, they waste a sex worker’s time (she may have turned down actual work because she thought this busybody thug was a real client) and travel expenses in order to browbeat and intimidate her; in incall situations their visit also sends the message “we know where you live”.  They specifically pick on inexperienced sex workers who may be easier to fool and frighten, and their so-called “resources” usually consist the phone number of the welfare office and some cheap, insulting garbage like flip-flops, toilet paper & religious tracts.

A Broker in Pillage (#896)

Perhaps Michigan will shut down its marauding cops before SCOTUS is forced to:

The Michigan Senate passed a civil asset forfeiture reform bill…that would require police to obtain a criminal conviction to seize assets valued under $50,000…police, particularly in Wayne County, Michigan, seized thousands of cars in 2017 under the auspices of marijuana enforcement…by…surveill[ing]…medical marijuana dispensaries…Wayne County’s asset forfeiture program is now the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a woman whose car was seized after Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies found $10 worth of [legal medical] marijuana in it…[cops are of course] pushing back against the reform efforts…

Top Cop

Another police-state advancing lie from Copmala Harris:  “Harris says she is open to seeing sex work decriminalized. For those who have criticized her support of SESTA…and FOSTA…her willingness to explore decriminalization may be welcome news—or not“…Let’s go with “not”.  What Harris actually supports is the Swedish model, whose supporters often try to sell as “decriminalization” of sex workers: “I was advocating…that we have to stop arresting these prostitutes and start going after the johns and the pimps…Backpage was providing advertisements for the sale of children…And so I called for them to be shut down.  And I have no regrets about that“…As regular readers know, it’s very easy for cops to charge sex workers with “pimping”, and even when they don’t the Swedish model is pure awful.

Legislators Gone Wild (#909) 

All prohibitionists have emotional problems, but Guinasso seems to be an unhinged obsessive:

A woman who [pretends] she was sex trafficked through a Nevada brothel filed a federal lawsuit…that seeks to overturn the state’s legalized prostitution…Rebekah Charleston, who was born in Texas, [claims] in the lawsuit that a man she initially considered her boyfriend trafficked her…[through] the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Northern Nevada [at a time she claims she is unable to remember, but sometime during the period when the brothel was featured in the reality show Cathouse.  Neither brothel records nor the sheriff’s office has any record of Charleston under that name or any of her aliases.  She is represented by prohibitionist]…attorney Jason Guinasso, who [has previously backed both legal initiatives and propaganda campaigns against]…Nevada’s legal brothels and [has also tried to get prostitutes’ personal information so he can out them]…

The War on Whores

From The Stranger:

Maggie McNeill…has been a sex worker, writer, and advocate for more than three decades, and her new documentary, The War on Whores, which was produced by Paul Johnson…[was] screened at the Rendezvous on March 2, during the Seattle Annual Sex Work Symposium (SASS).  In addition to covering the King County prosecutor’s shady dealings with an anti-sex-work group that paid the office more than $140,000 to arrest and prosecute a bunch of grown-ass men who were having consensual sex with adult sex workers, the film details just how politicians, law enforcement, and activists drummed up a panic against sex trafficking that…has expanded government powers from internet surveillance to asset forfeiture.  It’s a film that should be seen by everyone with an interest in civil liberties, but the people who really need this film are those who’ve never heard sex workers talk about their work and their lives for themselves…

Stupor Bowl (#914)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

For Miami-area officials preparing to host the 2020 Super Bowl, the high-profile bust of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft…served as a poignant [sic] reminder of the [prohibitionist fantasy that there are] connections between big sporting events and sex trafficking.  Sex traffickers often converge on big-ticket events like the Super Bowl…[Prohibitionists are trying to salvage this moribund myth by now claiming without any supporting evidence] that sporting events like the Super Bowl don’t increase trafficking per se…the events can increase concentration of trafficked sex workers in the host city in the days surrounding the event…

An Avalanche of Bullshit

This tissue of lies is unraveling in record time:

From the very beginning, people who write about sex work were skeptical of these claims.  We were skeptical because the cops took six months to rescue these women from supposed sexual slavery.  We were skeptical because these narratives are often spun around racial minorities doing sex work (particularly those of Asian descent).  We were skeptical because the prosecutors and police started to quickly distance themselves from the narrative.  We were skeptical because the rhetoric — particularly the eight men a day thing — sounded like the same old hysterical narrative that has been building over the last decade…every time the media hypes “sex trafficking ring broken”, the merest due diligence shows that no trafficking charges are brought; only prostitution charges…if it really were as easy to get a sex slave as it is to order a pizza, then every cop, every FBI agent, every ICE agent, every law enforcement officer at every level needs to be fired immediately.  It’s a scandal that only a quarter of the murders in Chicago are cleared.  But it’s not a scandal that only one in a thousand purported sex slaves are found?…

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Perhaps being a victim of privacy invasion will help Jeff Bezos realize the evils of what his company is enabling.  –  Glenn Greenwald

Rough Trade 

Despite this being an insultingly-low sentence, it’s doubtful he’d be convicted at all in the US:

A man has been sentenced to a suspended jail term after he raped a Canberra sex worker during an appointment…Aaron John Miller…and the woman agreed…[on a 2-hour] session…[with] various extra services…The woman explicitly said she would not permit a particular activity.  However, during the appointment Miller went outside the bounds of their agreement…Police identified him through his credit card and when interviewed he said he had engaged in the offensive conduct because he got carried away [while drunk]…

Theatrics (#765) 

Fake “sex trafficking” ads dreamed up by prohibitionists demonstrate the depravity of their lurid masturbatory fantasies about our lives and work.  Here’s one a reader recently captured in Atlanta airport.  Note that the white girl in the fake “ad” appears to be about 11, and that the hand of the “client” is dark-skinned.  “Sex trafficking” mythology is rooted in racism, and racism still permeates the sick minds of those obsessed with it.

Little Boxes (#792)

Court rules that a law which allows cops to arrest women but not men “does not discriminate based on gender”:

…the New Hampshire Supreme Court…upheld the convictions of three women who were arrested for going topless on a beach in 2016.  In the 3-to-2 ruling, the court decided that a city ordinance in Laconia, N.H., that bars women [but not men] from exposing their nipples did not discriminate based on gender…

The Course of a Disease (#799)

While the US medical establishment obediently parrots “sex trafficking” hysteria, European medical groups are increasingly following the lead of Médecins du Monde, The Lancet and UNAIDS:

[UK] nurses are calling for prostitution to be decriminalised.  They argue sex workers are more likely to access health care such as regular STI checks.  And they would be able to report violent clients to police without fear of arrest…Bristol nurse Lou Cahill has ensured it will be debated at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in May.  Her motion seeks to decriminalise the trade…[and] the union will demand a law change if the motion is passed…

Worse Than I Thought (#819)

You just can’t keep an out-of-control prohibitionist down:

…Lauren Book’s human trafficking bill had [an idiotic] idea: allow [opportunists] to sue [whichever] hotels [had the deepest pockets by claiming they once had sex there]…[Obviously] the powerful hotel lobby [had no choice but] to kill [something that would’ve allowed unscrupulous lawyers to treat them as ATMs, but]…Book…is back with a new version of the bill…[which] does not include allowing [opportunistic nuisance lawsuits]…but…does require hotels [to indocrinate] their employees [in misogynistic surveillance techniques]…and…Creates a registry of [people who have consensual sex or are related in any way to sex workers]…

The War Goes On (#867) 

I hope you amateurs are enjoying the changes to the internet your silence helped to create:

…As the use of online dating sites continues to increase, so will opportunities for unsuspecting people to be tricked into dangerous situations by human traffickers.  But the companies that own and operate these sites can do something about it.  We are gathering signatures to petition the Match Group, owners of the popular dating sites, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, and more, to implement [surveillance] features to help keep [magical ninja pimps] off of their platform…sex traffickers have long learned it’s [sic] benefits for tricking young people into sexual exploitation…

Yes, Polaris (with pigs in tow, as usual) is now coming after your dating apps and websites.  Because though it usually starts with us, it never stops with us.

Vendetta (#868)

Another pogrom to enable a sociopathic billionaire’s twisted psychodrama:

A nationwide [entrapment pogrom] intended to curb [consensual] sex…by targeting [peaceful] people trying to [arrange consensual] sex netted more than 390 arrests since last month, 38 of them in Cook County.  The [bizarrely-named] National Johns Suppression Initiative, the 17th [pogrom] of its kind since 2011, spanned 14 states and ran from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3…[pigs] placed [fake] ads on “more than a dozen…websites [people use to arrange consensual sex with other adults]”…and…led to at least 372 [peaceful men] arrested nationwide, including 21 charged with soliciting a [cop pretending to be an adult woman engaged in ageplay]…another 23 people arrested during the sting are also facing human trafficking charges [for being associates of sex workers.  At least] thirty-five [sex workers] were [also arrested]…

Elephant in the Parlor (#872) 

As long as transactional sex is criminalized and stigmatized, it will be used as a weapon against women:

Since August 17, [Maria] Butina has been [cag]ed at the Alexandria Detention Center…she spent her 30th birthday in solitary confinement, in…a seven-by-ten-foot room with a steel door, cement bed, and two narrow windows, each three inches wide.  She has been allowed outside for a total of 45 minutes.  On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation.  She faces a possible five-year sentence in federal prison…But…The government’s case against Butina is extremely flimsy and appears to have been driven largely by a desire for publicity.  In fact, federal prosecutors were forced to retract the most attention-grabbing allegation in the case—that Butina used sex to gain access and influence…Despite the lack of evidence…prosecutors—abetted by an uncritical media willing to buy into the idea of a Russian agent infiltrating conservative political circles—were intent on getting a win…

If Men Were Angels (#897) 

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s teaching kids to blindly submit to authority:

Debbie Vasquez…was 14…when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger [Texas]…It was the first of many assaults that…destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant…In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers…Southern Baptist leaders rejected nearly every proposed reform.  The abusers haven’t stopped.  They’ve hurt hundreds more…In the decade since Vasquez’s appeal…more than 250 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes…since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct…They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches…Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.  About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending…More than 100 are registered sex offenders.  Some still work in Southern Baptist churches today…

Pyrrhic Victory (#903) 

While Amazon keeps supporting the fascist surveillance state, Bezos demands his privacy be exempt:

…Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos…published emails in which the [National] Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress…unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.  In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults that is the business of nobody other than those involved and their spouses.  But that’s not the world in which we live…The prospect of naked selfies of Bezos would obviously generate intense media coverage and all sorts of adolescent giggling and sanctimonious judgments…The…Enquirer  was…actively devoted to Donald Trump’s election…while Bezos, as the owner of the steadfastly anti-Trump Washington Post, is viewed by Trump as a political enemy…the NSA, FBI [and] other agencies…have a long…history of [such spying], which is why…Democratic adoration for those agencies, and the recent bipartisan further empowerment of them, was so disturbing…one of the stories we were able to report using the Snowden documents…is an active NSA program to collect…browsing records of porn site and sex chats, of people regarded by the U.S. Government as radical…in order to use their online sex habits to destroy their reputations.  This is what and who the NSA, CIA and FBI are…[which is] deeply ironic…because Amazon…is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive…surveillance state.  Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons…

Top Cop

Kamala Harris is now telling her brainwashed fans that she was a “progressive” prosecutor:

The 1990s were among the most punishing decades in the recent  history of American justice.  Zealous prosecutors competed to put the most people behind bars, and politicians were eager to pass new laws to extend sentences.  In San Francisco, Terence Hallinan was one of the only prosecutors in America bucking the trend.  A legendary civil rights activist, defense attorney…and…outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization, Hallinan rode a wave of discontent…to become San Francisco district attorney in 1995.  He swiftly fired senior prosecutors…and called drug use a victimless crime…Yet Hallinan…was expelled in 2003 after just two terms in office, despite San Francisco’s notorious liberal bent.  An up-and-coming young career prosecutor named Kamala Harris…carefully cultivated a base of support among [cops]…wealthy donors, and [other authoritarians]…Far from the “smart on crime” mantra she touted in her successful bid to become California’s attorney general…Harris’s first campaign reflected familiar tactics in an era of booming mass incarceration…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

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

San Francisco’s government does not own an all-seeing network of surveillance cameras that watch people as they go about their daily business.  However…if officialdom wants to find out what people have been up to, it has access to thousands upon thousands of surveillance cameras that record exactly that.  In many cases, private residents and businesses installed these cameras themselves and offered access to [the pigs]…the modern surveillance state…is largely driven by good intentions, private fears, and innovative entrepreneurs vying for government contracts.  A map and dataset of 2,753 cameras owned by private and public operators in San Francisco was published last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)….”The District Attorney refused to reveal the locations of an additional 510 cameras,” notes EFF…A small number…are official government surveillance cameras…a few are [repurposed] red-light cameras…Two hundred and forty-nine of the cameras are maintained by the Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID)…But the vast majority—2,406 never-blinking lenses—[we]re…installed by private businesses, individuals, and associations…

Stupor Bowl (#912)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

…[prohibitionist propaganda claimed] Atlanta was supposed to be a bastion of sex during Super Bowl week, with both…sex work…and sex trafficking…on the rise.  Yet sex workers say that [as is typical for sex mega sports events] neither seemed to be occurring at higher levels than usual in Atlanta.  The lack of sex trafficking wasn’t surprising:  The claim that sex trafficking increases during the Super Bowl is a manytimesbusted myth.  But I wondered why sex workers weren’t raking in the cash.  According to them, the sex trafficking stings, particularly an FBI anti-trafficking operation in beginning on Jan. 23, were partly to blame…

Only partly; I can assure younger sex workers that the Super Bowl and similar events have never been good for business, for reasons that should be obvious.

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The rescue industry is a deeply misogynistic enterprise which…polices the behaviour of women under the guise of saving us.  –  Eleanor Janega

Real People 

The more sex workers come out like this, the better for everyone:

The people that make the porn that a lot of us watch are sick of you pretending that you’re better than them.  Michele James especially is sick of it.  “We are cast out into the shadows…if I could bring a person who didn’t do sex work on set for a day, for them to see what we actually go through, they would realize it’s a job too and we deserve respect, the same as CEOs, and everybody else who goes to work 9-5.”  James…sees part of her responsibility to the industry she loves is helping to destigmatize the performers who make it…she is passionate about her industry; and she gives exactly zero fucks what you think about that…

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A…High School student in the Florida Keys is facing 15 years in prison and life as a registered sex offender for continuing to date his 15-year-old girlfriend after he turned 18 in December…numerous people, including the girl’s parents, his parents and two sheriff’s office deputies, [warned] Tucker [that the shamans of the booga-booga gods would be angry he was violating the Shazam magic, but] the two continued to see each other…[and] the girl’s mother [decided to destroy her] relationship [with her daughter by ratting them out to] the…school [pig]…cops [then eavesdropped on a private conversation and congratulated themselves for destroying a young man’s life]…

The Crumbling Dam (#739) 

Seattle’s vocal harm magnification community is still going strong:

[Shilo] Jama has spent his career advocating for drug users.  With his work at the [People’s Harm Reduction Alliance], he runs syringe distribution sites, including a drop-in site in the U District…They have a nurse practitioner on site who prescribes medications like Suboxone, which helps with withdrawal symptoms…Over the years, Jama has helped countless people who use drugs, but his efforts aren’t exactly appreciated by everyone.  In December, flyers featuring a photograph of his face started popping up in the University District and elsewhere in North Seattle…The flyer accuses Jama (who legally changed his last name from Murphy a few years ago to honor the family that raised him) of “enabling and encouraging harmful behavior that has caused many deaths”…The flyer claims that Jama, his organization, and the U District needle distribution site are a danger to the public, but according to public health experts, harm reduction projects like Jama’s do reduce overdose deaths and other public health issues…The flyer also says that the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle City Council are “almost powerless” to prosecute Jama and lists a phone number for the FBI’s Seattle office, encouraging people to call and report him…Jama…suspects [the source] was members of Safe Seattle, an organization that, among other issues, advocates against safe injection sites…

The Notorious Badge (#760)

This does a good job of synopsizing my discomfort with The Deuce:

The Deuce uses its promise to reveal the behind-closed-doors happenings of sex work to argue relentlessly for the regulation and oversight of the industry…it is nervous about the way it represents sex work, anxious to inform but not to titillate.  In pinpointing…sex-work…as a “secret,” however, and then exposing it through a surveillance-cum-safety structure, the show satisfies an intellectual craving for knowledge that echoes the pleasures of pornography…[it] takes care to pat viewers on the back, framing their pleasure as different from that of the porn viewer.  Through gridline-marked shots of pornography in the making, for example, The Deuce allows viewers to indulge in pornographic voyeurism under the guise of cautionary surveillance.  At the same time, it frames their viewing position as a sanctimonious one…

“Regulation and oversight” = “legalization”, which only politicians and cops want.  Sex workers, human rights groups, medical groups and academics who have studied our work all recognize decriminalization, not “regulation” by outsiders, as the best model for everyone.

Checklist (#811)

Despite some pandering to “sex trafficking” beliefs, this isn’t a bad article about “signs of sex trafficking” indocrination:

…every year…ahead of the Super Bowl…anti-prostitution [crusaders]…campaign [to indocrinate]…everyone from hospitality employees to Uber drivers…in…anti-[sex worker propaganda such as the claim that]…as many as 40.3 million people were “in modern slavery in 2016”, up more than 5 million compared to five years ago.  And in 2014, the 35.8 figure rose by 6 million people in just a year…the…figures are so alluringly extreme [because profiteers]…are often under pressure from poli[tician]s into producing overestimated figures…crusades of this nature are not…concerned with accuracy, as appearing to be leading the charge against [consensual sex]…hotel chains like Marriott have been reported as looking out for women travelling alone and sexually provocative clothing as signs of…sex…[work, which makes it clear that] consenting adult sex workers [are]…being targeted…

Unfortunately, Lyft may not be a safe alternative to Uber for much longer:

…we are working to help raise awareness and taking action to prevent human trafficking.  Through partnerships with [prohibitionist] organizations like…Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), we are [indoctrinating] drivers…on how to spot [escorts] and [rat them out to the pigs]…

Original Sin (#824) 

A new statement from a man who says men who seek consensual sex with women are “criminals with a sick mentality”:

Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves…his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.  It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.  He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”…

Rooted in Racism (#854)

More European government humanitarianism to “fight human trafficking”:

…[it has been] two years since Italy, backed by the EU, did a deal to spend tens of millions of euros funding the Libyan coastguard, which intercepts boats heading for Italy and returns refugees and migrants to a war zone…detainees in nine different detention centres…use hidden phones to reveal what’s going on at huge risk to themselves.  EU [politicians] continue to promote the idea that arrivals in Europe  and deaths at sea are dropping.  But…thousands of men, women, and children…speak of going days without food and of drinking toilet water to survive.  Some have stopped speaking, forgotten their families, sit crouched in a corner and wet themselves from trauma…Couples are separated – some of the roughly 640 detained children are held with their mothers, though those over 14 are kept in adult cells…infected detainees are locked with others in a dark room and have been repeatedly left without tuberculosis medication…In October, a 28-year-old Somali set himself on fire…after saying he saw no other way out.  In early January dozens of refugees and migrants, brought by the coastguard to the Libyan port city of Khoms, were forced back to smugglers by Libyan [cops]…[and] now risk torture if they can’t raise an the $5,000 ransom that has already been demanded…

Feminine Pragmatism (#891) 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

Increasing numbers of public sector workers are [making the pragmatic decision] to [do] sex work due to austerity measures and welfare cuts…a leading campaigning group…says more women in public sector roles are doing sex work to top up their income due to employers making no allowances for the fact they have children…the organisation, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), [has] release[d] a new report comparing sex work with other jobs commonly done by women.  The report found sex workers earn significantly more per hour than women working in the other jobs – including those in public sector positions such as nurses and midwives.  Women cited higher wages as their primary reason for entering the sex industry…

Case Study (#892) 

One day, reporters will get that “people sublet flats” is not news:

A special constable and his Hungarian wife have been jailed for [rent]ing [flats to] women from Hungary [in] a Chelsea apartment block [nicknam]ed “10 Floors of Whores”.  Karl Ring and Ivett Szuda…[arranged sex workers’ travel on] the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air to fly women into London from Budapest as they made more than £600,000 [over several years] from [subletting flats]…Szuda…[will be locked in a cage] for six and a half years, while Ring…[will be] locked up for four years…the couple [charged sex workers 50% of their fees, a fairly typical rate for brothels]…Judge Robin Johnson [bloviated a lot of pompous, moralistic nonsense about “exploitation”, ignoring the fact that] the sex workers were happy with the arrangement…

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

The villains here aren’t imaginary “trafficking rings”; they’re the fucking politicians who force desperate people to deal with criminals to have a chance to escape hell:

Traffickers are targeting desperate young women in Venezuela by flying them to the Costas to [do lucrative, flexible work]…at least 208,000 have fled the crisis-hit country in the hope of a better life in Spain.  Nearly all of those have travelled on official three month tourists visas which are readily available as Venezuela was once a Spanish colony.  However, a flight costs £1,000 which is a fortune in a land where a cup of coffee costs a month’s wages thanks to hyperinflation of 80,000 per cent…This is when the heartless trafficking gangs of Caracas are stepping in and [giving people a chance to escape despite politicians’ efforts to keep them trapped in Venezuela]…SICAR Cat, a religious organisation that pro[fits from hysteria over]…sex trafficking, [pretends these women are ignorant children who don’t know what sex work is, and calls their jobs]…modern day slavery…Venezuela’s economic mix of unemployment, poverty and inflation has created the perfect conditions for [mass emigration] to flourish…

These stories sure sound stupid when the hype is replaced by objective language, don’t they?

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#905)

Indian sex workers are chipping away at the prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…four organisations…have released a report which states that close to 77% women voluntarily return to sex work after their rescue into shelter homes…the National Network for Sex Workers Association (NNSWA) and UMKO, Saheli – HIV/RAIDS Karyakarta Sangh, SANGRAM and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), have released a report “Raided – How Anti-Trafficking Strategies Increase Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to Exploitative Practices”…79% of the women documented in the study returned to sex work – “escaping” their rescue from shelter homes, while almost 11% of the women continued to live in these homes…Kusum, President [of the] All India Network of Sex Workers explained the “horrific” condition of shelter homes and why women want to escape it…“There is no food to eat, and when there is food it is insect infested which makes people sick.  No health care to take care of inhabitants…and even if that was provided the stigma that exists towards HIV persons within these homes is bad enough to kill someone well before their time”…the report contests the…present understanding that most women in the flesh trade are trafficked women ‘pushed into prostitution’…These homes manifest an environment of isolation and deprive the women of identity and income…

The Indian media is so thoroughly brainwashed by prohibitionists that even in an article citing statistics debunking prohibitionist mythology, the reporter feels compelled to put the word “escape” (from a literal prison) in scare quotes, and also scare-quotes the word “horrific” (used to describe conditions any decent person would agree are horrific), while omitting scare quotes from the word “rescue” when used to mean “arrest”.  He also uses “live in” to mean “remain imprisoned in”, and “present understanding” to mean “popular myth”.  It’s going to be a long, uphill battle.

Pyrrhic Victory (#906) 

Please, masters, don’t use this tool we made you in exactly the way it was designed to be used“:

Amazon unveiled new proposed guidelines…for any national legislation regulating facial recognition technology…civil rights groups and privacy advocates…criticized Amazon’s Rekognition contracts with law enforcement agencies, [absurdly concentrating on the] point…that the technology has misidentified people of color [rather than recognizing that high accuracy is even worse for privacy]…Amazon…responded [with the lie that]…”In the two-plus years we’ve been offering Amazon Rekognition, we have not received a single report of misuse by law enforcement”…The proposals from Amazon focus mainly on ensuring that law enforcement uses the technology [to surveil citizens more] effectively and without [being less able to identify] minorities.  “New technology should not be banned or condemned because of its potential misuse,” Amazon said in [typical tech-geek morally imbecilic fashion]…”Instead, the…[overlords] should be [free to do whatever they like]…and…that the[ir ability to oppress the citizens with the] technology…is continuously enhanced.”  Amazon said any national legislation should ensure facial recognition technology [is profitable for]…Amazon…and…governments [alike]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#912) 

Kaytlin Bailey responds to drama some want to whip up against “Decriminalize Sex Work”:

We are disappointed in [Emily Shugerman’s] editorial choice to focus on Rob Kampia in your February 3rd, 2019 [Daily Beast] article titled, “Rob Kampia Weed Activist With #MeToo Past, Is Now Pushing Sex Work Reform”.  By focusing on Rob’s past instead of our efforts to decriminalize sex work, you reduced a rich and vibrant movement to one man’s conduct.  You have also diminished the contributions of the women on our team, who have devoted decades to this cause in order to center the only man among our directors.  You minimized our accomplishments and our mission by publishing a piece that misrepresents not only our organization but the entire sex worker rights movement…whose voices are historically absent from all media reporting.  Yet, you wrote about Rob…To call our life’s work a “vanity project”…is an insult and a willful misrepresentation of who we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what we’re trying to do.  To suggest that allowing Rob Kampia to use his extensive network of donors and political resources to further our work is a betrayal of the sex worker rights movement is to minimize the diversity and breadth of this work, and to minimize the need for change.  We can focus on Rob, or we can talk about the immense harms of criminalization…

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Hey, “sex trafficking” fetishists, can we talk for a minute?  I’m really sympathetic to having weird sexual fantasies that make you uncomfortable and are stigmatized by others; I’ve suffered from that issue since early childhood, so I get it.  However, the way to deal with such fantasies is to pay a professional to explore them with you safely; or to write porn about them; or even to seek out a consenting amateur partner whom you can negotiate a kinky scene with.  You cannot exorcise these thoughts which haunt you by repeating them endlessly in public as though they were real, demanding that others join you in these fantasies against their consent, and providing the police state with new excuses to oppress people based on your sexual fantasies.  These approaches, besides being terribly wrong and destructive to the fabric of society, will do nothing to help you cope with and accept your kinky sexual fantasies; it will just make them worse.  Nick Kristof, Cindy McCain, Donald Trump and many others provide instructive examples of how ugly things can get when you fight against your kinks by forcing them on others in a gigantic attempt at psychodrama; Swanee Hunt is probably the apotheosis of this, as she has spent millions paying off cops & DAs to enact her fantasies on non-consenting participants, destroying thousands of lives for her sick sexual gratification.  And she has also made herself sicker in the process as her hate continues to build due to her obsession with others’ sex lives.  If nothing else works, at least see a qualified sex therapist, and leave other (non-consenting) people out of your kinky shit.

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Hotel…staff are being told to imagine that sex slavers lurk behind every pair of big sunglasses.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Wise Investment 

Even though we’re going to lose many of these, lawsuits are for the present our best weapon against prohibitionists:

A Colorado industrial hemp company filed a federal lawsuit…against the Idaho State Police after its 6,701 pound shipment was seized during a stop in Boise…The company’s driver was…arrested for…trafficking marijuana from a farm in Oregon to a distribution center in Colorado…the seizure and arrest were both unlawful due to the 2018 federal farm bill and that the goods being transported were hemp and not marijuana…Both plants fall under the cannabis family, though Congress approved the industrial use of hemp last year in products such as clothing, biofuel, building materials and paper…a…spokes[pig bloviated that]…Idaho law recognizes both hemp and marijuana as illegal…[but] “The 2018 Farm Bill prohibits states from blocking the transportation of industrial hemp in interstate commerce…states cannot prohibit the shipment of a legal good through interstate commerce”…

The More the Better 

Every debunking of anti-whore BS helps:

Misha Mayfair, a former cam girl turned porn performer…struggles with the discord between what she sees in the media, and what she experiences on a day-to-day basis.  “People really have this strange, falsified fantasy world that they think porn exists in,” she tells me. “They think it operates in this world where Taken has happened: they imagine that it’s all blonde girls who have been dumped into car boots and stolen by local Albanian men… It’s like: do I live in the same reality as everyone?”  Mayfair debunks some of the most frustrating myths she’s come across so far…

The Missing Word 

That word appears only in a tag hidden way down at the bottom:

The Telegraph talked to 22 Nepali and Bangladeshi employees of Karex’s condom and catheter factories…Despite the products they produce being supplied to some of the world’s biggest and most “ethically conscious” brands, all told similar stories…workers were living in cramped and undignified conditions, housed up to 12 in a room in damp and unhygienic dormitories.  For £9 a month deducted from their wages, workers in Pontian received half of a steel bunkbed – but no mattress – a piece of string on the grimy wall for a wardrobe, access to a filthy, broken toilet, and a kitchen consisting of two gas burners…In Port Klang, a dormitory of 12 workers seen by the Telegraph was more hygienic, but still devoid of basic facilities.  In one corner stood a makeshift dining table crafted out of scrap plywood, with upturned buckets as chairs…Karex produces five billion condoms a year, accounting for roughly 15 per cent of the world market.  It has a turnover of nearly £70 million and it’s senior director, Goh Siang, is listed as one Malaysia’s richest men…On the company website, a corporate video claims the firm is “helping humanity one condom at a time”.  It describes itself as a “champion social responsibility and sustainability”…

Schadenfreude (#766)

“Elijah Rising” profits from anti-sex hysteria by taking busloads of yokels around Houston to gawk at street workers and the outsides of strip clubs:

…Elijah Rising…lead[s an] hours-long [expedition to annoy sex workers]…once-a-month…[one of them fantasized] “A lot of these women here are being trafficked…They came over (from Asia) and they were expecting a job…But now because of the papers they have, the person who brought them here is kind of in control of that whole situation.”  Vanessa Forbes, inter[ference] coordinator at Elijah Rising, said…”Everyone goes out of their way to find the missing 17-year-old suburban white girl, but let’s talk about the women who are here in the middle of our neighborhoods who [do really mundane work]…They are hidden in plain sight.  They are [not] overlooked [by cops looking for low-hanging fruit].”  While efforts by community groups to bring [foment hysteria around imaginary] human trafficking…have been successful…not all law enforcement believe the [propaganda they’re continually fed]…

Most of the story is just pigs oinking about their fascist collaborations with private companies and other pig gangs.

Disaster (#844)

I love seeing tyrants hoist by their own petard.  Due to the omniprevalence of the “sex trafficking” paradigm, cops are forced to call ordinary street work “sex trafficking” and thereby admit the dismal failure of prohibition:

Violent crime is way down in San Francisco…But…police recorded a 170 percent jump in reports of human trafficking in 2018.  The huge spike appears to be connected to the federal shutdown of sex-for-sale websites…But [using prohibitionist lies that] Backpage was linked to sex trafficking of underage girls, [politicians] in Washington voted almost unanimously to [give themselves the long-desired power to censor the internet]…“It has suddenly re-empowered this whole underclass of pimps and exploiters,” said Pike Long, deputy director of St. James Infirmary…Long estimates the number of street-based sex workers has tripled…

The article also features a spokespig making the outrageous lie that “abatement” means helping the thing that is supposed to be “abated”.

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#867)

Yet another “Uber for escorts” app; I’ve never heard a single good thing about any of these:

Escort booking app Smooci is finally coming to the UK…London will be the seventh city in which it operates…[starting] on 14 February.  Other cities…include Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Manilla.  Currently the only European city covered is Berlin (and there are only three escorts registered there so far) but Amsterdam will also follow suit with its own launch in February.  The app promises to make escorting safer for both parties, using a two-way rating system…Buyers can see when escorts are available, check their ratings, chat to them and negotiate service requirements…Smooci does not take a cut from the transactions.  Instead it’s primarily by a premium membership tier, functioning in a similar way to many dating apps…

Micromanagement (#881)

Any new technology which can be used to spy on you, will be:

Family Tree DNA, one of the largest private genetic testing companies whose home-testing kits enable people to trace their ancestry and locate relatives, is working with the FBI and allowing agents to search its vast genealogy database…Federal and local [cops]…have used public genealogy databases for more than two years to solve cold cases, including the landmark capture of the [cop who was the] Golden State Killer, but the cooperation with Family Tree DNA and the FBI marks the first time a private firm has agreed to voluntarily allow [pigs to root through] its database…

Hard Numbers (#884)

Another Australian state moves toward decriminalization:

July 3 this year will be the 30th anniversary of the release of the final report from the Fitzgerald Inquiry, a judicial inquiry that found systemic corruption among Queensland Police in relation to organised sex work…The now infamous report concluded that arguments by police for special powers and a sex work-related police squad were unjustified.  Yet, 30 years later, Queensland Police…still ha[ve]…extreme powers in relation to sex work…Imagine running an independent business where it’s illegal to contact a colleague to let them know a client has arrived or left.  It’s also illegal to work with another colleague, employ a receptionist to manage your calls, use a driver that a colleague recommends, or describe the services you provide in your advertising…Every day we choose between working  safely or legally…Police look through sex worker advertising…searching for an incorrect word or banned acronym.  Finding such a breach triggers their ability to gain a warrant, set up a stingpose as a client, make a booking, turn up at a sex workers’ workplace,  pressure sex workers to agree to sex without condoms or other protection, and seek evidence for further charges.  The evidence they are looking for includes: text messages to other workers about clients or bookings, proof of assisting colleagues with advertising, evidence of a receptionist, or the sharing of phones or accommodation…

Pyrrhic Victory (#885) 

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

Municipal [politicians] in San Francisco unveiled an ordinance proposal…that, if passed, would make the city the first in the country  to completely ban government use of facial recognition systems.  The bill would also establish an audit system for agencies acquiring any surveillance technologies.  “The propensity for facial recognition technology to endanger civil rights and civil liberties substantially outweighs its purported benefits, and the technology will exacerbate racial injustice and threaten our ability to live free of continuous government monitoring,” the proposed legislation reads…

A Mound of Filth (#907) 

“Cuckoo Clock” McCain’s creepy, racist BDSM fantasies are getting out of control:

Cindy McCain was heard in a radio interview…claiming she stopped a human trafficking incident at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, but Phoenix police has debunked that claim…“I spotted…a woman of a different ethnicity than the child…[so] I went over to the police and told them what I saw, and they went over and questioned her, and, by God, she was trafficking that kid.”  McCain [also fantasized] that she discovered the woman was waiting for the man who bought the child to arrive from his flight…Phoenix police said…that while [cops] did respond to the Jan. 30 call…they were able to determine “there was no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment”…

In McCain’s world, mixed-race families deserve to be harassed by cops for making racists uncomfortable.

Signs (#909) 

The unsinkable Liz Brown with a deep dive into hotel “sex trafficking” surveillance:

…the surveillance tactics that have been adopted by hotel chains are part of a disturbing partnership between hospitality businesses, federal law enforcement, and rent-seeking nonprofits that increasingly seeks to track the movements and whereabouts of people, especially women, all over the country.  Under pressure from the federal government and driven by persistent myths about the nature and prevalence of sex trafficking, hotel chains like Marriott have become the new frontiers of the surveillance state.  Like the indiscriminate spying campaigns that grew out of the 9/11 attacks, it’s an effort based on panic, profiling, and stereotypes, and it is nearly certain to ensnare more innocents than it helps…these efforts have largely wound up as law-enforcement-driven attacks on sex workers and their clients, on immigrants, and on other members of marginalized communities…Many of these efforts fall under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Blue Campaign,” which has been in place since 2010…as an update to the war-on-terror surveillance systems developed under the George W. Bush administration.  It relies on tactics adapted from “If You See Something, Say Something“…

Stupor Bowl (#909)

As the myth implodes, you’ll see ever more rats deserting this sinking ship:

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said that…claims of multiple sex trafficking arrests in the city of Atlanta during that period were not…true…the Department of Homeland Security announced that 33 people had been arrested for sex trafficking in the Atlanta area.  When asked about those arrests…Shields was far more particular with her wording. She pointed out that the APD works with the FBI on the Match Task Force to arrest sex [workers]…on a year-round basis…”it was not sex trafficking victims in Metro Atlanta, because I think that label is unfairly applied to this city”…

A Woman’s Point of View (#910) 

More on the new organization “Decriminalize Sex Work”:

In response to the new federal law that resulted in widespread censorship of websites…a new national organization has formed to repeal this law and decriminalize sex work nationwide.  The mission of Decriminalize Sex Work – a new national organization with offices in AustinNew York City, and  Washington DC – is “to end the prohibition of prostitution in the United States.”  The…national strategy is to inform the public about the harms caused by prohibition, with a focus on lobbying state governments to remove penalties for adult prostitution and all other forms of consensual sex work if conducted in private… “Dozens of allied organizations are already doing great work advocating for decriminalization,” said Kaytlin Bailey, communications director for Decriminalize Sex Work. “What makes our organization different is that Donald Trump’s new law inspired a California philanthropist to donate sufficient seed money to pay for a full-time staff and lobbying firms”…

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