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Posts Tagged ‘Saving Them from Themselves’

Forcing us into the closet makes it easier for prohibitionists to make up stories about our lives.  –  Liara Roux

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

A bizarre claim even by the low standards of anti-porn nuts and gun-grabbers:

Rep. Diane Black…who is running for governor of Tennessee…raised the issue of gun violence in schools and why it keeps happening.  “Pornography,” she said.  “It’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store.  Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there’s pornography there…All of this is available without parental guidance.  I think that is a big part of the root cause”…Beyond naughty movies, Black said school shootings are on the rise because of the “deterioration of the family,” mental illness and violent movies…

Like most things claimed to be “on the rise” by hysterics, school shootings aren’t.  But what I want to know is, where are these grocery stores that stock porn on shelves near the front door?  I’m guessing they’re probably located in the same towns where one can “order a child for sex like a pizza“.

Perquisites

Are amateurs really so sheltered that this sort of thing shocks them?

…Alene Anase was asked by her employer Alpha Omega Winery to serve guests as part of a charity cruise on the San Francisco Bay.  But what she expected to be a routine shift serving wine turned into a nightmare…The guests aboard the yacht that night — described in her 2016 lawsuit as 25 of the Napa Valley-based winery’s top investors, all men — were openly using what appeared to be cocaine and “drawing straws” for which sex worker to hire…Anase alleges that on the Aug. 12, 2015 cruise she could hear sexual activity happening in the yacht’s bedrooms and witnessed men “fondling and suckling” sex workers’ breasts — some [of whom Anase fantasized] to be “too young to consent”…

Surplus Women 

Twelve days after the decomposed body of a woman aged around 30 was found packed in a drum in Shivaji Nagar, the police…claimed to have solved the murder case.  A 60-year-old man has been arrested while his wife is wanted in the case…the arrested accused, Babu Bhagwan Patel…has confessed to his role.  The woman, identified only as Meena, was a commercial sex worker from Dadar…

Coming Out

Liara Roux on coming out:

…I almost started crying.  I was so worried I would lose my sister, who I loved so dearly.  I was shocked when she told me:  “I’m glad you’re happy!  I’m glad you found a job that works for you!”…She asked a couple questions about my job…My sister has always been incredibly thoughtful like this.  I remember coming out to her as queer and how excited and happy for me she had been about that too…I told her not to tell Mom…I come from an extremely religious, conservative family—house full of kids and fire and brimstone.  I’ve always lived my life in extreme and unusual ways and it scares her…There’s so much I haven’t told her because whenever I try to, I freeze.  I was worried if I came out to her while living with her that she and my father would have sent me to gay conversion camp or that they would kick me out of the house and I would be homeless, which had happened to some of my friends.  I like to think that she would have accepted me, but I don’t know…

To Molest and Rape 

Would any non-cop have gotten only five months for this?

A[n Oregon cop] was sentenced…to 150 days in jail and five years probation for having sex with an underage girl and soliciting sexual contact from [her] online…Daniel Kerbs…was held…on 13 child sex crimes, including six counts of third-degree sodomy, six counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree online sexual corruption of a child…

Droit du Seigneur (#691) 

Do we really want rapists to eschew condoms so they can avoid federal charges?

…Federal prosecutors said William Whitley’s conduct affected interstate commerce because…the condoms he used [to rape] a 14-year-old girl [were made out of state]…Prosecutors often cite guns made outside a state to support federal charges.  Condom use is [a wholly predictable following of established precedent]…a federal sex trafficking charge has a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, while the minimum at the state level would be six years…

Saving Them From Themselves (#778)

Naturally, politicians had to make this bad law even worse before passing it:

…members of the [Ohio] House Criminal Justice Committee voted unanimously in favor of a bill to ban teen sexting, even for…teenagers who are [18 and therefore] legally adults…Teens found guilty of sexting could be sentenced to [re-education]…but judges would be free to overlook this program, and minors with previous sex-related offenses on their records would not be eligible.  Outside the diversion program, a sexting charge could lead to…eight hours of community service—a light punishment that the bill’s supporters have brandished to make their proposal more palatable.  But…the real harm comes from saddling these kids with criminal records for the rest of their lives…The bill’s sponsors have argued that theirs is a compassionate plan because it gives prosecutors an option to avoid charging teen sexters with more serious child pornography charges.  But there’s nothing requiring the state’s cops to crack down on teen sexting to begin with, and…prosecutors could use their discretion to not bring child porn charges…instead, they’re simply adding on another possible charge for law enforcement to slap onto texting teens…

All-Purpose Excuse (#783)

I feel so much schadenfreude at watching the government’s own moral panic come back to bite it:

…Steven Wagner, the acting assistant secretary of [Health & Human Services] Administration for Children and Families, faced a barrage of questions…over why HHS does not track unaccompanied minors who fail to appear at their immigration court hearings.  The agency has faced increased scrutiny following a scathing 2016 report…that found it failed to protect unaccompanied minors from traffickers and other abuses…In 2014, at least 10 trafficking victims, including eight minors, were discovered during a raid…[according to the movie]  Trafficked in America, HHS had released several minors to the traffickers…Between October and December 2017…the agency was unable to locate almost 1,500 out of the 7,635  minors that it attempted to reach — or about 19 percent.  Over two dozen had run away, according to Wagner, who said the agency did not have the capacity to track them down…

Rooted in Racism (#800) 

Another case of deliberate racial profiling by thanks to government-approved guidelines:

…Lindsay Gottlieb…was flying home [to California] from Denver when a Southwest agent asked her to prove she was the mother of her [biracial] baby.  Gottlieb said she showed her son’s passport, but the agent wasn’t satisfied and demanded a birth certificate [because obviously everyone carries those around with them]…The agent eventually let her family check in, but Gottlieb turned to Twitter to get the airline’s attention.  She tweeted: “I’m appalled that after approximately 50 times flying with my one-year-old son, ticket counter personnel told me I had to ‘prove’ that he was my son, despite having his passport.  She said because we have different last names.  My guess is because he has a diff. skin color”…

Although this coverage doesn’t mention it, I think everyone reading this knows why airline personnel are being trained to racially profile travelers.  Every agent and air hostess wants to be the next big hero for catching a “sex trafficker”.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#823)

The stench of FOSTA is all over India’s terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill:

…there appear to be several issues with overbroad or vague language…that could lead to a deleterious effect on the Freedom of Expression…section 39(2)…mandates punishment even for a vaguely defined action or actions that may not actually be connected to the trafficking of a person.  In other words, the provision doesn’t require any of the actions to be connected to trafficking in their intent or even outcome, but only in potential connection to the outcome…The excessively wide scope of this badly drafted provision leaves it prone to abuse…Even the electronic publicizing of an academic study on trafficking could fall under the provision as it currently reads…Similarly, any of our vast number of self-appointed moral guardians could also pull within this provision any artistic work that they may personally find offensive or ‘obscene’…Section 41…[criminalizes] “Whoever distributes, or sells or stores” [information claimed to leads to “trafficking”]…the infrastructure of the electronic/digital world requires 3rd party intermediaries to handle information…As it is not feasible, desirable or even practically possible for intermediaries to verify the legality of every bit of data that gets transferred or stored by the intermediary, “safe harbours” are provided in law for intermediaries, protecting them from liability of the information being transmitted through them…If intermediaries are not granted this protection, it puts them in the unenviable position of having to monitor un-monitorable amounts of data, and face legal action for the slip-ups that are bound to happen regularly…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#831) 

As long as any part of sex work is criminalized, cops will have power over sex workers:

Some Victorian sex workers say that working under the licensing framework…is even worse than working in places that totally outlaw sex work because of the extreme complexity of the laws.  Jules Kim from…Scarlet Alliance says [that in Queensland and Victoria] sex…workers are subject to unwarranted “surveillance and entrapment”…Examples include police calling workers to request services considered illegal within those states, such as condomless oral or threesomes, and then laying charges if the worker agrees…Such entrapment can disproportionately affect marginalised workers, such as migrant workers with limited English, who may not know what they are agreeing to.  In Western Australia and South Australia, where most forms of sex work are deemed illegal, police may use the fact that someone had condoms as “evidence” that they were working…

Imaginary Evils (#833)

Calling this “sex trafficking” lets the government steal property:

The Justice Department is moving in to target two [houses in Brooklyn]…where sex trafficking and branding allegedly took place.  Court documents filed by the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn are to forfeit and condemn two properties allegedly used by Keith Raniere and his victims…in connection with Raniere’s [NXIVM] cult…

Pyrrhic Victory (#844) 

That didn’t take long, did it?

We’ve heard so many stories lately about the frankly horrifying degree to which facial recognition leads to tracking or privacy invasions.  But a startup specializing in AI is instead leveraging facial recognition technology to [rat sex workers out to the cops]…Marinus Analytics…program called Traffic Jam…builds a database of images, phone numbers, and location data which can help identify [sex workers]…It scrapes the websites every few minutes, meaning even ads which are deleted or changed is [sic] still usable…The company last year added a feature to Traffic Jam called Facesearch, which combs through online photographs and identifies specific [sex workers]…Amazon’s Rekognition software is the technology behind the facial recognition…Rekognition is also being used by law enforcement for other…surveillance purposes.  While that usage has some ethical dilemmas which other experts in the field have pointed out, the usage of the software to find [sex workers]…feels far more noble [to the dangerously ignorant]…

The gullibility of this reporter is nothing short of alarming; notice how eagerly she sucks the dick of “sex trafficking” propagandists even though she clearly understands the danger of mass surveillance, then proceeds to make excuses for the surveillance based in swallowing the propaganda.

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Creating a…registry of strippers is not going to help stop exploitation.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Under Every Bed

The confused babble spouted by “officials” in low-population states is truly stupefying:

Assistant US Attorney General Andy Cogar, co-chair of the West Virginia Human Trafficking Taskforce, said one of the challenges…“is the learning curve we have with law enforcement…because they are on the front lines, but it’s also a cultural learning curve that we have to go through when it comes to sex trafficking…They blur those lines between sex trafficking and prostitution, and so there is a tendency— because…prostitutes are written off as almost subhuman at times. There’s a lack of concern or credibility that’s ascribed to sex trafficking victims because they are written off often times as just lowly prostitutes…We have to break through that and have a much more nuanced understanding of what prostitution is frankly.  But also, and more importantly, the various ways that sex trafficking can manifest itself or that it is manifested”…

This guy actually sounds like he almost gets it, but his brain is too mired in “sex trafficking” propaganda and cop “NHI” doctrine that he can’t quite close the circle.

Saving Them From Themselves (#428) 

Yeah, destroy their lives!  That’ll teach ’em not to have sexual feelings, you betcha!

Police are investigating as many as a dozen teenagers at two separate schools in Falls Church, Virginia, as part of an ever-widening sexting inquiry.  Police seized five cell phones and have recovered multiple “explicit images” that students shared with each other…Virginia police have a history of pursuing teen sexting cases with misguided zealotry…It’s well worth asking, then, whether the police should really be in the business of collecting sexually explicit images of teenagers as part of an effort to hold them criminally accountable…

The Last Shall Be First (#624)

Potty obsession is rotting politicians’ brains:

…Jazmina Saavedra, who is running for a House seat in California, accused a transgender woman of invading her privacy as she live streamed herself challenging the woman in a public restroom in Los Angeles.  “I’m trying to use the ladies’ room and there is a man here claiming that he is a lady,” Saavedra said in the Facebook Live video, filming just outside the bathroom stall in a Denny’s restaurant…

Cops and Robbers (#632) 

The rescue industry provides many opportunities for wealthy white folks to play cowboy:

Christian rock frontman David Zach of the band Remedy Drive recounts some of the chilling experiences he’s had while undercover as a covert operative to help rescue teenage girls trapped in sex trafficking rings in Asia and Latin America.  While serving undercover over the past four years, Zach has spent most of his time undercover in brothels and red light districts searching for evidence of sex trafficking.  Zach teamed up with Matt Parker, founder of the anti-[sex work] organization The Exodus Road…

To Molest and Rape 

Why he wasn’t charged with rape isn’t at all “unclear” to me:

A cop…offered to drive a sexual assault victim home but instead took her to a motel and raped her.  John Nissen…was charged with official misconduct, tampering with a witness and theft by deception over the incident…Why…he…was not charged with rape was unclear…the victim gave an interview at the Hillview, Kentucky, police station about the initial rape.  Nissen agreed to take her home…[but actually] took her to…[a] hotel…[where he] demand[ed] oral sex from the woman and then rap[ed] her…Afterwards…he…[told her] she should move to a different jurisdiction and not pursue her rape case…Nissen’s own department became suspicious of his actions when reading the incident report and handed it over to the Kentucky State Police to investigate…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#662)

Summer Stephan has for years touted her personal animus against whores as “concern”:

Interim [San Diego] DA Summer Stephan, who’s running for election in June, doesn’t see any meaningful difference between sex work, or prostitution, and sex trafficking.  In doing so, she and other prosecutors in California conflate sex trafficking with sex work and are confusing the public in…an attempt to inspire moral outrage…Anti-trafficking laws that conflate sex work with sex trafficking have forced sex workers into “safe houses” and rehabilitation programs against their will…During a two-year study with sex workers, I observed that sex workers felt comfortable working cooperatively with police officers when the police opted not to arrest sex workers and to treat sex work as if it were decriminalized.  Similar findings have been observed in New Zealand…The conflation of sex work and sex trafficking…reduces…women…into a victim status in order to comply with a notion of womanhood tied to sexual purity that is compliant with dominant morality.  A woman who chooses to take an alternative, often difficult path, for her family by becoming a sex worker is dismissed as a victim incapable of the choice…We need a district attorney who would build partnerships with sex workers so they feel comfortable coming forward to the district attorney’s office when they observe genuine human trafficking without fearing more prosecutions, not one who judges their choices…

Bottleneck (#728) 

There are so many reasons sex worker licensing is a bad idea:

…Palm Beach County is the only local government in South Florida to license strippers…[under the pretense of] stop[ping] the exploitation of minors…But…Issuing a government ID creates a…public record.  “They’re creating a registry of strippers” said Elizabeth Nolan Brown… “They’re opening up these dancers to having their information revealed to people”…Stalkers.  Zealots.  Violent ex-partners.  Spouses in a child custody battle.  Potential employers…because of the stigma attached to stripping, there are lots of reasons they may want to keep that information private…

Comfort Zone (#769)

Sometimes they don’t even bother with the “sex trafficking” excuse any more:

Migrant victims of crime are being handed over to [UK] immigration enforcement officials by police when they report crimes…There are fears the disclosure could discourage migrant victims of crime from coming forward, although the Home Office [lied] it would support vulnerable migrants “regardless of their immigration status…Victims of crime must be treated first and foremost as victims,” a spokesperson [lied]…

Uncommon Sense (#774)

The IWW was the first major union to support sex workers rights, but it won’t be the last:

At its 2018 Annual Conference, IWW Branch delegates from across Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England were asked to consider a motion presented by our members to publicly state its commitment to the full decriminalisation of sex work and a full pardon for any sex workers convicted under existing legislation…the motion was passed unanimously…

Out of Control (#782) 

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

A University of Southern California gynecologist was allowed to continue practicing for many years, despite multiple complaints of misconduct…The complaints against George Tyndall date back to the 1990s and include allegations of inappropriately photographing students’ genitals, making sexualized commentary about patients’ bodies, and explicitly referencing sexual intercourse while inserting his fingers into patients’ vaginas.  Some of the most unsettling accusations come from nurses and medical assistants—sometimes known as chaperones—who witnessed his exams firsthand.  Tyndall, who resigned last summer, has denied the accusations and outrageously speculated that…“chaperones reported him because they had trouble reaching orgasm and were jealous of young patients with tighter pelvic muscles.”  Let us pause for a moment to let that shit sink in: This gentleman argues that he is being set up by old ladies who wish they had tighter vaginas…

Elephant in the Parlor (#835)

I absolutely love Stormy Daniels’ honesty about her whoredom:

…Stormy Daniels…has become a political Rorschach test.  Women thank her at the grocery store for inspiring them to speak up, sharing their personal #MeToo stories.  Conspiracy theorists call her the “Deep State’s Plan B” if the multiple Russia investigations fail to bring down Trump…[others] hail…her as a saving grace that might lead to impeachment…The only person who sees Stormy’s story as not political is Stormy herself.  “I’m fine with women coming up to me and saying, ‘You’ve inspired me’.  That’s great.  But I’m quick to point out that’s not my story,” she says.  “I suck dick for a living.  Nobody wants to know what I think about the wall or health care…it’s my job and my service to society to be an entertainer.  Yes, my version of being an entertainer happens to be a porn star, which makes it even more important: I am an escape from reality”…

Disaster (#839)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

Some 60 residents…said over and over that prostitution [in San Francisco’s Mission district] has never been worse, and they made it clear to District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen and Mission Captain Gaetano Caltagirone that their official efforts have been too slow and ineffective…By the end of the night, Ronen and Caltagirone vowed to redouble their efforts to abate the sex work that has long operated on Shotwell Street…They were even receptive to almost unanimous support from the [useful idiots] to [establish a curfew on] certain parts of Shotwell and Capp streets on Friday and Saturday…residents…said the efforts had failed to abate a booming prostitution ring operating outside their doorsteps…

It’s because stupid people have been taught to believe in fantasies like “prostitution rings” that this happened in the first place; when politicians shut down inexpensive and accessible advertising, only a complete imbecile could fail to understand that the sex workers who used that advertising will now have to advertise in another way, such as by walking the streets.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

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

Amazon…has developed a powerful and dangerous new facial recognition system and is actively helping governments deploy it.  Amazon calls the service “Rekognition”…[it] can identify, track, and analyze people in real time and recognize up to 100 people in a single image…[by] scan[ning] information it collects against databases featuring tens of millions of faces…Amazon is [specifically] marketing Rekognition for government surveillance…say[ing] Rekognition can be used to identify “people of interest“, raising the possibility that those labeled suspicious by governments — such as undocumented immigrants or Black activists — will be seen as fair game for Rekognition surveillance…

Because this story is on the ACLU website, naturally it doesn’t mention that the people who will be first spied upon by this software are sex workers.

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Arresting our way out of the problem is not the solution.  –  David Grosso

Who Did Your Tits? 

I’ve been naked with literally thousands of men over the past 18 years, and I’m here to tell you that 99% of men who claim they don’t like implants are full of shit:

…I still reach for the ubiquitous term “fake boobs” even though I don’t consciously think of them as unreal…advertising tends to prefer “breast augmentation”, a term that…avoids the undesirable connotation of falsity in favor of the language of personal improvement.  Doctors increasingly promise natural looks, feels and shapes…the idea of the “natural woman” is a powerful one.  There’s a whole genre of “natural” porn, which typically refers to women with unshaved armpits and no apparent body modifications.  But…is going to the gym unnatural?…Dyeing your hair?…tattoos or piercings?…The existence of “no-makeup makeup” looks — creating the illusion of facial nudity but concealing blemishes, adding glow and so on — should be evidence enough that what we crave isn’t true naturalness, whatever that means, but our idea of what we should look like…We want to be able to congratulate women on looking “so natural” when they’re wearing $200 worth of makeup…

License to Rape

This will continue for as long as prohibition does:

The Georgia sheriff who authorized intrusive pat downs for hundreds of students at Worth County High School earlier this year was indicted for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violating his oath of office.  Authorities will issue a warrant for Jeff Hobby’s arrest later this week…Two deputies were also indicted…they groped male and female students, touching them inappropriately during the completely pointless search.  No drugs were found on any of the 900 boys and girls subjected to the pat downs…

Saving Them From Themselves

How dare they interfere with the pigs’ “right” to destroy their students’ lives?

…Two members of the leadership team at a charter school in [New Orleans] were arrested Tuesday on allegations they failed to [rat out students to the cops] about their discovery of video clips allegedly showing a student being forced to perform oral sex on a group of her peers in a bathroom…New Orleans police booked Nicole Kusmirek…and Shayla Shane…on counts of possessing child pornography as well as [refusing] to [delegate their judgment to the pigs] despite being required to do so…An attorney for both women, Nandi Campbell, said…her clients’ actions…actually prevented children from being able to go on social media and share a video of the incident…”For NOPD to charge these teachers with possession of pornography is the most obscene thing I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this work,” said Campbell…

Moloch 

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

…attorney…Nicole Pittman…has been defending children [from sex-crime accusations]…for 12 years, and says there are…several thousand juveniles on the sex offender registry in the State of Michigan.  Some…[are] on the autism spectrum or struggling with disabilities, but most judges have refused to make exceptions, citing what Pittman describes as a “one size fits all” policy…”Most times with children there is no sexual [motivation]…the moment the touching looks sexual, though, society labels them pedophiles”…Minors are not listed publicly on the sex offender registry, but they’re forbidden from attending school because that’s where children congregate.  Once they turn 18, most states require them to register on the public sex offender list with an identifying photo…”There’s a lot of homelessness and depression [because people can’t get jobs],” Pittman explains. “We have a whole new generation of victims on this law.”  Pittman has interviewed 500 registered kids.  While only some were on the autism spectrum, she says all of them have been victims of abuse…

Amnesty At Last (#564)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for over two years now:

Will Washington, D.C. buck national trends and actually take a stand for sex-worker rights and safety?  It will if politician David Grosso gets his way.  The at-large councilmember has just introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the District…The “Reducing Criminalization to Promote Public Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2017” would amend D.C.’s criminal code to make both the selling and the buying of sex legal.  It’s co-sponsored by At-large Councilmember Robert White.  Unlike moves by Canada and many Western European countries, the D.C. plan would not attempt to regulate sex work by setting up red-light districts, providing for brothel permits, or similar schemes…

What’s In a Name? (#572)

Though I’m not personally bothered by the word “prostitute” (though I do think it’s ugly and legalistic), I understand that many of my sisters feel differently:

…Language is fluid and malleable; it drives social attitudes, rather than simply expressing them.  So what is being reinforced when we use the word “prostitute”, and why is it important?…”Prostitute” first crops up in English in 1530 as a verb meaning to sexually dishonour yourself…And…the word has been linked to a state of dishonour ever since…‘Prostitute’ is not a neutral term and it never has been.  It’s a word burdened with considerable historical and cultural baggage.  Lizzie Smith argued, “the term ‘prostitute’ does not simply mean a person who sells her or his sexual labour, but brings with it layers of ‘knowledge’ about worth, drug status, childhood, integrity, personal hygiene and sexual health”…

Morality Lessons 

We’re lucky to have such outstanding moral exemplars to “protect” and “lead” us:

Four…Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operatives face federal corruption and conspiracy charges after…engaging in all sorts of shady behavior, from selling drugs themselves to lying under oath, falsifying records, falsely identifying drug suspects, accepting bribes, and stealing cash and other property from the people they arrested.  In at least one instance, their behavior led to someone being wrongly imprisoned for more than two years…special agent Chad Scott…and…task force [cops] Rodney Gemar, Karl Newman, and Johnny Domingue—worked with the DEA’s New Orleans Division…

Pyrrhic Victory (#765)

The word for collaboration between government & private industry to control people is “fascism”:

…U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd…Prime Minister Theresa May, and leaders in other countries have been fighting to force…social media platforms, app makers, and other tech companies to make it easier for officials to access private conversations on demand…Rudd said she doesn’t understand how encryption works but knows that it can keep the government from accessing data it wants, so Something Must Be Done…It’s particularly telling that Rudd wants to make this a debate about how she’s being mocked even as she yet again fails to show any actual concern about the security of citizen data.  She’s being mocked for a reason (as is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who responded to the encryption debate by saying the laws of mathematics are subservient to the laws of Australia)…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

Want to know why “sex trafficking” hysteria is so pervasive?  Follow the money:

…a group calling itself the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE)…run[s] the website “End Sexual Exploitation”…[they] are strong supporters of SESTA…the true mission of NCSE isn’t to end sex trafficking… but to rid the world of the “public health crisis of pornography.”  You see, NCSE began its life in 1962 as Morality in Media, and was a reaction to a ridiculous moral panic over “pornographic material” being left outside of a school…The group has insisted that porn is a “public health crisis” and has worked to get states to declare it as such.  It also posts a Dirty Dozen list of organizations that it needs to shame for “perpetuating sexual exploitation“…They include the American Library Association and Amnesty International on this year’s list…They…claim that libraries have been turned into “a XXX space that fosters child sexual abuse.”  It put Amnesty on the list because Amnesty dares to call sex workers “sex workers” rather than prostitutes…

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It’s a wonder they lived to tell the tale.  A car.  A mumbler. More than one person in the parking garage at once.  It is all just overwhelming.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Feminine Pragmatism 

Anyone surprised by this knows nothing about women:

…Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now [work] at his [brothel] for $25 an hour.  “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer…All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.”  And all of them came from Venezuela.  As Venezuela’s economy continues to collapse amid food shortages, hyperinflation and U.S. sanctions, waves of economic refugees have fled the country.  Those with the means have gone to places like Miami, Santiago and Panama.  The less fortunate find themselves walking across the border into Colombia looking for a way, any way, to keep themselves and their families fed…But with jobs scarce, many…women are turning to the world’s oldest profession to make ends meet…

Socialism, the way of the future.

Finding What Isn’t There

As I keep saying over and over and over:

Human trafficking arrests are almost nonexistent in most states, according to the FBI’s newly released U.S. crime statistics for 2016…Florida reported 105 investigations into human-trafficking offenses in 2016 but zero human trafficking arrests…Nevada worked on 140 human-trafficking investigations but made only 40 arrests on trafficking charges.  Louisiana looked into 123 potential cases of human trafficking but only arrested 16 people for it…this report only includes arrests recorded by state and local law enforcement on human trafficking charges, which allows us to look beyond police propaganda about what they’re doing and see what it is they’re actually doing….the data do little to support the idea that the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of labor and sex trafficking or that we are in the midst of some sort of “modern slavery” epidemic.  This is probably why you don’t see UCR trafficking statistics quoted in congressional reports, “awareness” materials, or law enforcement statements to the media on the topic…

Backwards into the Future (#629) 

Zimbabwean sex workers demonstrate their clout:

…sex workers in Chiredzi, a small sugar cane growing town in south-eastern Zimbabwe, have forced the reopening of Chigarapasi beer hall, the country’s largest, after threatening to stage a week-long naked vigil at the entrance in protest over its closure.  The beer hall…was closed early this year [after] the…Chiredzi council…[claimed] the bar was no longer making a profit – much to the surprise of…sex workers whose livelihood depends on [it]…

Public Service Announcement (#669)

If your candidate’s campaign can be derailed by the peccadilloes of a virtual stranger, you have a shitty candidate:

Anthony Weiner is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday in a sexting scandal that some blame for Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss.  The former New York congressman faces up to 27 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor…by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to “sexually perform” for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat…

Also: the word “illicit” makes anyone who uses it sound like a pearl-clutching schoolmarm.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#718) 

Because nothing makes authoritarians lose their shit faster than sex:

…Chinese company Taqu (or “Touch” in English)…launch[ed] their “Shared Girlfriend” app online, which allowed users to rent a silicone sex doll for a daily fee of 298 yuan (US$45.15) or 1,298 yuan per week…news of the service quickly went viral…Two days after its 14 September launch in Beijing, the authorities shut the service down after…a police investigation [called the rental] it to be a “vulgar act that disrupts social order“…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

These “close encounters” with near sex-traffickers are like alien abductions.  They are shared wildly — gleefully — by people seemingly thrilled to know this horrible scourge is out there…This latest story, from Reno, involves a mom and dad who noticed every detail about a night that sounds outrageously ordinary.  They passed by some people they didn’t know!  They went into the parking garage and there was a car — with people in it!  They felt scared for their kids and compelled to write a Facebook post warning people everywhere about this terrible thing that…didn’t happen…I, too, walked outside last night and literally every single person I encountered may have “possibly” been involved in a child sex trafficking ring.  Each and every person I saw might “possibly” have also been a Satanist.  Or the owner of a Segway they’re trying to get rid of.  Or been related to the Royal Family…there’s no way to say they AREN’T sex traffickers.  So it’s best to just assume they are…”Holland…described [one man] as looking disheveled and wearing a bodyguard-type earpiece“…I’m sure that “bodyguard type earpiece” couldn’t possibly be an earbud.  It is so much more likely that the man was being commanded from Sex Trafficking HQ than listening to Beyonce…

Saving Them From Themselves (#735)

Lowered penalties for teen sexting may sound like a step in the right direction, but in actuality they simply encourage prosecutors to file more charges for behavior that isn’t even criminal in the first place:

Ohio state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban sexting between teenagers, potentially turning thousands of ordinary young Ohioans into sex offenders…Legislators could instead amend state statute to exempt teens exchanging pics between themselves, and people a few years over 18 texting with those a few years younger, from laws that treat them as child-porn producers and consumers.  Prosecutors could decline to bring these charges against sexting minors, and schools could decline to hand these cases over to cops.  Instead, this bill would create the new misdemeanor crime of “possession of sexually explicit digital material”…by anyone under age 21…So sexting teenagers might not get labeled child pornographers, but they could still wind up with a criminal record or, at the very least, a lot of court dates and a bullshit DARE-style class on how sexting will ruin their lives.  Worse yet, the legislation doesn’t actually change the state’s child pornography laws.  If it passes, prosecutors can still bring child porn charges against minors…or…use the threat of that charge to coerce kids to consent to searches, take plea deals on the lesser charge, and so on.  The sexting offense would simply be an additional tool at authorities’ disposal…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#759) 

The concept that men can’t tell the difference between a hunk of plastic and a woman insults all humans:

A sex robot with a “resistance setting” that allows men to simulate rape should be banned…[says anti-sex] lawyer…Kate Parker, who…warned the “uniquely sinister” technology normalised sexual assault…

Beware of authoritarians who disguise their deeply pathological need to control others’ sexuality by using words like “normalize” to describe sexual fantasies which are already so normal they’re almost vanilla.  For a deeper analysis of why this woman’s beliefs are deeply offensive, see also “Vile Insinuation“.

The Course of a Disease (#772)

It took a few weeks for Irish prohibitionists to figure out how to celebrate the increase in violence vs sex workers directly resulting from their laws without revealing their sociopathy to everyone:

More sex workers have reported rapes to gardai since new laws on prostitution laws were introduced, a [prohibitionist] group has claimed…Sarah Benson, head of Ruhama, which [persecutes sex workers]…said she is hopeful the laws make a positive difference…

Lower Education (#773)

Go on, keep telling me how the slippery slope is a “fallacy”:

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is poised to sign a worrisome bill that…explicitly applies to children in public kindergarten, elementary and high schools.  So a first grader could face dire consequences if found to have committed an act of “sexual violence,” which is broadly defined to include any “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person” without their consent.  California lawmakers quickly passed the bill last week after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Sept. 7 that she will roll back the [due-process-banning] guidelines set forth by the Obama administration in 2011…[which] have led to bad outcomes…In case after case, young men were expelled on the basis of allegations that they were not allowed to challenge by seeing the evidence against them or cross-examining witnesses…Put aside for a moment whether a 6-year-old is capable of forming the intent to commit a sexual assault when she plants kisses on an unenthusiastic classmate, or whether it makes sense to bring sexual assault charges against an eighth grader who hugs the girl he has a crush on but who does not reciprocate his feelings.  Put aside for a moment whether school administrators should be branding children sexual assailants even if they are 49.99 percent sure the allegations are not true…Heavy-handed disciplinary policies fall disproportionately on students of color.  Because of the stereotypes associated with them, including the noxious but persistent trope that black males are inherently sexually predatory, black kids are presumed guilty…

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[Current law] leaves the door open for prosecutors to go after any teens who sext.  –  Doug Honig

Saving Them From Themselves

“Progressive” Washington state reaffirms its “liberal” views on sex:

…the Washington State Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a 17-year-old who sent a dick pic.  The court found that state law allows him to be convicted for distributing child porn, even when the photo he sent was of himself.  Legal advocates…[warned] that the ruling…make[s] it possible for prosecutors to charge sexting teens with crimes that will follow them for the rest of their lives…In an amicus brief…the ACLU of Washington, Columbia Legal Services, TeamChild, and the Juvenile Law Center argued that upholding the teen’s conviction is a “strained and erroneous interpretation” of child porn laws that “would jeopardize thousands of minors…by criminalizing…common and normative adolescent behavior.”  The groups said the teenager’s conviction runs counter to the [supposed] intent behind the law, which is to [supposedly] protect children from exploitation, not convict them for taking pictures of their own bodies…

The civil rights groups’ statement is highly disingenuous; the intent of such laws isn’t to “protect” anyone, but to punish people for sexual behavior of which “authorities” disapprove.

Surplus Women 

When a sex worker dies, the media treats it as a form of lurid entertainment:

Sarah Woods…of Portsmouth, [Ohio]…[was] found dead [on August 22nd]…Wood’s death was quickly a popular topic on social media…Woods had a long history of drug abuse and prostitution.  She had also lost many of those closest to her to drug abuse…Woods was still actively prostituting and using crack cocaine…[family members] saw Woods leave with an unidentified man that had helped set up clients…for Woods…

Legal Is as Legal Does

The difference between legalization and decriminalization cannot be stated too often:

…campaigners for criminalisation…often use the terms “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” interchangeably as if ignorant of their enormous differences.  Legalisation holds sway in Nevada, Amsterdam and Germany, automatically criminalising any who do not comply with the regulatory regime – this may include those unwilling to register with the state, undergo high cost compulsory frequent medical checks or who wish to work in their own premises rather than large venues controlled by someone else.  Decriminalisation, the removal of laws relating to consensual adult sexual behaviour, has been instituted nationwide only in New Zealand…

Signs (#650)

Beware of hotels eager to suck the cocks of “authorities”:

…two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix [are] routinely sending in leads to…Immigration and Customs Enforcement…”We send a report every morning to ICE—all the names of everybody that comes in,” a front-desk clerk told the [Phoenix] New Times…court documents show that “between February and August, ICE agents made at least 20 arrests at Motel 6s, showing up roughly every two weeks” while there was a distinct lack of “records indicating that ICE conducted arrests at other local motels during this same time period”…Motel 6 has a history of nationwide narc-ery, as documented by the American Civil Liberties Union in a 2015 statement about the chain’s habit of collaboration with local police…

One Born Every Minute (#685) 

It’s always a pleasure to see whore-raping scum thrown in prison:

Mario Ambrose Antoine, a Kansas City-area man who posed as an adult producer and talent agent to [rape] women…and film them, was sentenced…to 10 years in federal prison without parole…Antoine told the women, who signed contracts and modeling release forms…that they would be paid thousands of dollars for their auditioning and modeling activity…when the women complained about not being paid, Antoine forwarded images of their sexual activity to their employers or significant others…

Wise Investment (#717)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

…An arbitrator has awarded $17.5 million to a former Swedish Health neurosurgeon who says he was fired in retaliation for questioning the practices of another top surgeon.  Dr. David Newell lost his job a year ago, and Swedish contends he was fired for failing to notify the organization that he had been arrested and jailed in a Seattle prostitution sting…“For this arbitrator to award Dr. Newell $17.5 million — at a time when…there is a [moral panic about imaginary]…sex trafficking and…[adult] women [are making their own sexual decisions] — is unconscionable and outrageous,” said Swedish’s CEO, Dr. Guy Hudson…Newell contends the prostitution issue was used as cover to get rid of him after he had raised internal concerns about Dr. Johnny Delashaw, a star surgeon who…had his state license suspended

Until the Establishment suffers more from each “sting” than the victims do, such evil scams will never stop.

Too Close To Home (#729)

I hope this rapist spends the rest of his life on the “sex offender” registry:

For five months, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray rejected calls for his resignation [after it became known that]…he sexually abused teens decades before entering politics.  But…he announced his resignation [last] Tuesday…after news emerged that a younger cousin was publicly accusing Murray of molesting him in…the 1970s…Since the [facts] began to emerge in April, Murray has continued to [pretend] he is innocent…

Yes, this is the kind of sociopath who thinks he has the right to persecute adult men for seeking consensual sex.  If there’s any justice in the world John Urquhart, Dan Satterberg and Val Richey will be joining him in the same prison.

To Molest and Rape (#731) 

When the molester is a cop, sexual assault becomes “interfering with civil rights”:

Cleveland [cop] Kenneth Bolton Jr. pleaded guilty to charges including gross sexual imposition as well as misdemeanor interfering with civil rights in a plea deal that allowed a kidnapping charge to be dropped…Bolton pulled over two women…after [being tipped off about their looks by]…another [cop]…Bolton used a sex toy [that he found by illegally searching their car] to rub their genitals over their clothing…he will now have to register as a sex offender.  He will also no longer be able to serve as a [cop in Ohio, though he’ll probably be hired elsewhere]…

At least he’ll be on the “sex offender” registry, which rapist cops usually escape.

A Broker in Pillage (#750)

It looks like Congress is split on whether it’s OK for pigs to rob citizens blind:

…the House of Representatives…approved an amendment to [an]…Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.  Amendment No. 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Rep. Justin Amash…Sessions revived the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, which allowed state and local police agencies to [steal] assets and then give them to the federal government — which would in turn give a chunk back to local police.  This served as a way for these local agencies to [openly violate] state laws designed to limit asset forfeiture…Rep. Don Beyer…[said] “Civil asset forfeiture…creates a perverse incentive to seek profits over justice.”  The amendment passed with a voice vote, meaning it had overwhelming support…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

What might the internet look like if SESTA isn’t stopped?

…With the threat of overwhelming criminal and civil liability hanging over their heads, Internet platforms would likely turn to automated filtering of users’ speech in a big way.  That’s bad news because when platforms rely too heavily on automated filtering, it almost always results in some voices being silenced.  And the most marginalized voices in society can be the first to disappear…The modern Internet is a complex system of online intermediaries…which we use to speak out and communicate with each other.  Those platforms are all enabled by Section 230, a law that protects platforms from some types of liability for their users’ speech.  Without those protections, most online intermediaries would not exist in their current form; the risk of liability would simply be too high…SESTA would…shift…additional liability to intermediaries.  Many online communities would have little choice but to mitigate that risk by investing heavily in policing their members’ speech…

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Our justice system considers a reasonable and compassionate solution sentencing a child under the coercion of a pimp to nearly six years in prison for online chatting.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Saving Them From Themselves

A fairly typical abomination, but with an extra racist component:

…Levar Allen is an award-winning wrestler, football and basketball player [in Bossier City, Louisiana] who has never had problems with police until now.  [17-year-old] Levar exchanged naked pictures with a 16-year-old classmate…she sent Levar a nude video and then he sent her one in return…But Levar is black…she [is] a white girl and they live…in a racist area.  Her parents called the police when they discovered the video.  Naturally, the police arrested Levar and charged him with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and possession of child pornography…

Schadenfreude 

In other news, a bear was discovered shitting in the woods:

A Swedish NGO, Love and Hope (formerly LoveNepal) in Nepal collected donations from Swedish people based on false claims of “saving children from brothels” and posting photographs on social media of three girls they claimed to be sex workers…Håkan Gabrielsson, from the charity organisation Out of Ashes based in Nepal described this post as “purely fantasy”…the photos used…are the same photos he showed…[to] one of the founders of LoveNepal [in 2009]…the pictures have been used nonconsensually, and that the accompanying story has been made up to solicit donations.  Hannah Badi, a Nepalese woman who has spoken out about her experiences with the charity, said the charity often uses fake stories to elicit emotions and money…[she] said Mikael [Alfven of Love and Hope] coached her to lie about her background to make a “better story” to increase donations.  When she shared her story for the first time, she says Mikael told her “this is not enough, this is not a strong story.”  He…encouraged her to talk about sex slavery in brothels and to cry when talking about the Badi people…

US prohibitionists refer to this kind of lying as “reframing experiences”.

Something Rotten in Sweden (#44)

It’s nice to see at least a few reporters waking up:

…local authorities [fantasize about]…Sacramento County’s underground sex economy…39 people were arrested during “Operation: Hot Spots” on August 16…A narrative [was] quickly [concocted] about why the operation took place and what it supposedly accomplished.  “[blah blah blah]…fighting human trafficking by targeting sex buyers”…District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said…“[blah blah blah] send a…message that purchasing sex from trafficking victims will not be tolerated in our community.”  And yet, nearly two weeks later…the…alleged johns aren’t the ones facing criminal charges.  A 20-year-old black woman is…While the horrors of human trafficking draw big talk from elected officials and donation-seeking nonprofits, the ones who most often end up in handcuffs are women…

Uncommon Sense (#345)

Though it genuflects to ugly myths, I think this is a step in the right direction:

The German brothel owners’ association, BSD, has made a bid to introduce “controlled quality, transparency and service” to the country’s sex industry with the launch of a “seal of approval” for brothels…BSD said that the purpose of the seal was to “counter the general vilification and many false conceptions about the structures and working procedures” in brothels…The seal…requires owners to sign a pledge to oppose violence, forced prostitution and crime, and to provide fair, responsible and hygienic working conditions…The owners also have to prove that all the prostitutes are self-employed and working voluntarily, and can decide which customers they want to serve and which services they want to provide…

Halfway Whores (#439)

Though the numbers are of course exaggerated to make it more lurid, the story itself is a huge yawn:

A young model has claimed prostitution is rife within the fashion industry after she was offered cash to sleep with wealthy men…Jazz Egger, who recently turned 20, makes the extraordinary claim that “big agencies” and “established models” are involved in seedy underground dealings, with young women paid up to $2million (£1.54million) to spend the night with male clients.  Shockingly, Jazz claims she was even told that two young supermodels who have become household names have “spent time” with men for money in order to get ahead in their career…

Signs

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

…human traffickers…lurk on places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and SnapChat…”This can happen to any child; it doesn’t matter what family they come from,” said [profiteer] Shea Rhodes…the best way for schools to prevent trafficking is to have experts in the field come in to give presentations to the girls 13 years of age and up, since they are the most vulnerable to trafficking…School personnel should go through a similar training as well to be better prepared to identify trafficking…the…signs being [sic]…Having new clothes and belongings that the student hasn’t always been able to afford…Wearing clothes that are oversexualized…Sleeping in class…Changes in school attendance…Cutting class…An older boyfriend…

Sleeping in class?  Older boyfriend?  Obviously I was “trafficked” even in high school!  Here are previous examples of dopey “sex traffcking education” programs.

The Mote and the Beam (#728) 

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Motel 6 has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the city of Los Angeles alleging that the chain’s management allowed one of its locations to be used as a hub for human trafficking and gang activity…Motel 6 agreed to pay $250,000 to settle the suit…the Los Angeles city attorney [pretends] that the money would be used to [magically] deter human trafficking…The settlement requires the motel to post signs about human trafficking in its lobby, hire security guards and ask guests to show photo identification when checking in.

Check Your Premises (#730)

The real result of “sex trafficking” laws:

A Kansas teen who messaged a friend about getting into prostitution with her was sentenced to 71 months in prison for aggravated human trafficking of a minor—even though the girl herself was a minor at the time and operating under the influence of a coercive and violent older man.  Hope Zeferjohn, now 19…will be subject to lifetime court supervision, registration as a sex offender, and a permanent ban on carrying a firearm…

Full of Themselves (#765)

Indian journalists are even more brainlessly credulous of cop lies than American ones are:

Close to 10 days after a crackdown on an international sex racket involving high-end spas, 34 women from Thailand  who were rescued by…police, said they want to return to their country…[and] did not wish to continue staying at a local rescue home where they were being kept…A petition is likely to be moved soon seeking permission for their return to Thailand.  After this, a local court will take a decision regarding the same…

There’s a word for a place people are kept against their will, and it isn’t “home”.  Nor can the act of confining a person to such a place against her will be considered “rescue” in any but the most warped of minds.

Broken Record (#768) 

Is anyone so stupid they can’t grasp that when the pigs are actively engaged in stings, arrests rise?

Las Vegas police saw a spike in prostitution arrests this past weekend as fight-enthusiasts flocked to the city to watch Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor square off…118 prostitution-related arrests were made between Friday and Sunday…In contrast, the first weekend of August had just 34 of these arrests…

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Radfems…use terms like “sell herself” as though, at the end of the transaction, a woman has sold off a body part.  –  Lauren Rosewarne

Saving Them From Themselves

Apparently Dan Rubinstein has never heard of this thing called “pregnancy”:

…Ronald Lee Love faces a felony child sexual-exploitation charge for exchanging explicit text-messages with someone with whom it would have been legal for him to have had sex.  Love, who lives in Mesa County, Colorado, began corresponding last summer when he was 25 with a 15-year-old girl who lives in New England…he explicitly insisted that their relationship remain digital because he believed physical activity was illegal…In Colorado, however, the age of consent is 15, so long as a sexual partner is not 10 or more years older…Yet authorities in this same state have decided someone…Receiving or possessing sexually-oriented images of someone under age 18…is a felony punishable by one to six years per offense…Local authorities defended their position that sexting is worse than actual sex, contending that…while a real-life sexual liaison might be a one-or limited-time thing, the teen sending Love her photo could “potentially come back to haunt this girl 30 years from now,” said Mesa County District Attorney District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.

Because obviously being saddled with a brat at 15 wouldn’t be NEARLY as bad as the kind of nudie pics that every ordinarily-sexual woman in the developed world has floating around.  Do pigs (I count DAs as part of that species) ever sound as stupid as they do when coming up with moronic rationalizations for moronic laws?

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Heroic Irish “authorities” save a man from getting his kidney transplant paid for:

A 73-year-old Brazilian prostitute…working in a brothel in…Kildare…walked free from court because she planned to return home as soon as the…case was over…She…was running the brothel…to pay for her 40-year-old son’s kidney transplant.  She also wanted to return home to her seriously ill 98-year-old mother…gardai…found just €80 in cash at the property…but…Judge Zaidan…[stole it anyway] and [gave it to Ruhama]…

Irish judges have a long an sadistic history of robbing sex workers and giving the money to those who want us imprisoned in workhouses and our families destroyed.

The Notorious Badge

You know peak hysteria has been reached when a moral panic features in afternoon soaps:

Young and the Restless (Y&R) spoilers for the week of August 7 and 14 reveal that Sharon…finds herself in grave danger while investigating a sex ring in Genoa City…Crystal…claims she is being held against her will by a prostitution ring…[and] is trying to escape from her captors who are following her… Zack is involved in the prostitution ring and…his dating app project with Abby Newman is linked with the operations of the criminal ring.  Abby Newman will soon find out that the dating app she is developing with Zack is part of a sex trafficking operation…

End Demand

Authoritarians would be even more dangerous if they could actually get their shit together:

People convicted of buying sex have, since February, been eligible for a program to [indoctrinate] them [in anti-sex propaganda]…But no one has been sentenced to it yet…[because] Bismarck [North Dakota]…City Attorney Jason Hammes…did not know it existed…”It appears the municipal prosecutors and judges may not be aware of it,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem wrote in a letter to city attorneys and municipal judges on July 25…

Watershed

Australia has far more sane feminists than does the US:

While women’s libbers have spent decades fighting to get us dominion over our own bodies, radical feminists have spent almost as long trying to insert caveats.  Apparently there are right and egregiously  wrong ways to use our bodies – more specifically our genitals – particularly when dollars are involved…I not only vehemently disagree with the radfem position, but I view it as fundamentally un-feminist…If feminists aren’t fighting for my right to use my body how I choose, then they’ve dramatically detoured from their mission…

Decentralization (#444)

Remember “titcoin”?

“Lust” is an initial coin offering based on the Ethereum blockchain platform, designed for prostitutes and their customers to exchange money for sexual services.  It uses…anonymity features to escrow funding of the parties and keep their identities private, in order to avoid law-enforcement scrutiny and public shaming.  Leaving aside the thorny moral and social questions raised by the currency’s intended use…the “smart contracts” favor one side of the bargain: the “key has to be scanned later if they make an agreement and meet otherwise the contract gets automatically closed in 48 hours, and the client gets his Etherium tokens back in the wallet”…if the “client” has sex with the worker, and then does not scan her (sic) token, the client gets to have sex, and the worker gets nothing.  Despite high-minded talk about preventing violence against sex-workers, the major threat-model addressed by these smart-contracts is men who don’t feel like they got value for money when having sex, not women who perform sex-for-money and don’t get paid for it…

Despite Cory Doctorow’s pompous pearl-clutching (since when is consensual sex a “thorny moral question” to anyone but authoritarians?) he’s right about the way this would work, which means no sane sex worker will ever use it.  Cash up front, guys, or you get nothing.

Shift in the Wind (#510)

The Adam Smith Institute continues its support of decriminalization with a commentary on a new paper by Ron Weitzer:

…sociologist Ronald Weitzer…gives new insight into the sorry state of the academic literature on these topics.  First on his list of grievances is the unreliability of the data that is often used…[but] Flawed data is just the tip of the iceberg…[often] the authors’ approach to study design also leaves a lot to be desired…”The authors use aggregate national trafficking estimates (which combine labor, sex, and other kinds of trafficking) in their attempt to assess whether legal prostitution makes a difference. This means that there is a gross mismatch between the trafficking figures and prostitution law:  In assessing whether prostitution law is related to the incidence of trafficking, figures on sex trafficking alone should be used, not the totals for all types if trafficking“…A subsequent study by Cho (2016) using a different data source contains another howler…”Without citing any source, Cho claims that ‘prostitution is closely linked to human trafficking because sex trafficking for the purpose of prostitution is the most common form of human trafficking and constitutes the largest fraction of trafficking victims’…This claim is contradicted by the International Labour Organization (ILO)…[which states] ‘Forced commercial sexual exploitation represents 11% of all cases’ of forced labor worldwide“…Weitzer’s paper would be an interesting academic exercise in the perils of low-quality data and poor research methodology, except for the fact that policies being enacted on the basis of [these bad] studies are hurting marginalized women…when it comes to scaremongering stories about sex trafficking epidemics and accompanying calls for the “Nordic Model”, extra caution should be exercised.

Cops and Robbers (#629) 

More vigilantes playing with people’s lives and lying to men in an attempt to steal income from sex workers who may need it to pay rent and feed their children:

A new [chat]bot built by Microsoft employees in their spare time…[was] tested recently in Seattle, Atlanta, and Washington…[it] lurks behind fake online ads…posted by [anti-sex worker profiteers]…and responds to text messages sent to the number listed.  The software initially pretends to be the person in the ad, and can converse about its purported age, body, fetish services, and pricing.  But if a would-be buyer signals an intent to purchase sex, the bot pivots sharply into [prohibitionist propaganda]…”Buying sex from anyone is illegal and can cause serious long term harm to the victim, as well as further the cycle of human trafficking…Details of this incident will be reviewed further and you may be contacted by law enforcement for questioning”…Project Intercept’s lead partner, Seattle Against Slavery, is working with counterparts in 21 other U.S. cities, including Boston and Houston, to deploy the bot more widely…Project Intercept was started in 2012 by two Microsoft employees after seeing a [movie] about sex trafficking…

Given the involvement of the vile SAS and the list of cities involved, methinks Swanee Hunt’s foul reek is all over this.

Lack of Evidence (#696)

As long as these laws exist, all women are vulnerable to persecution by cops:

On July 31, an undercover cop in Columbus, Georgia, invited a 51-year-old woman into his car and offered her $5 for oral sex. When she rebuffed his offer and tried to get out, he arrested the woman for loitering for the purpose of prostitution…a controversial charge commonly used by the Columbus Police Department (CPD) to target those such as homeless women, people who’ve previously been arrested on prostitution charges, or people who don’t meet a [cop’s] standard of gender conformity.  On Sunday morning, CPD officers arrested a 24-year-old homeless woman for allegedly waving at two passing cars from the side of the road…Last summer, 24-year-old C. Williams was arrested while sitting at a bus stop because…Williams was carrying condoms and “dressed as a woman”…the city statute…expressly says evidence of an intent to commit prostitution or sodomy includes the person being “a known prostitute, pimp or sodomist”…

The Widening Gyre (#696) 

Given the number of companies profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria, it should come as no surprise when individuals start using it for publicity stunts:

British model Chloe Ayling…claims she was held captive for almost a week after being lured to Milan, Italy, for what she was told was a photo shoot.  Her alleged captor, Lukasz Pawel Herba, [supposedly] drugged her and placed her in a large suitcase in a car boot…Ayling was allegedly held hostage for up to six days as her abductors [supposedly a group called “Black Death” with ties to the Russian mafia] tried to sell her as a sex slave…The gang says its victims can be “transported globally” and advertises its activities, saying: “If you wish, we can kidnap a specific target for your needs…The advert claims the abductors “do not sell girls that are terminally ill, pregnant, have STDs or are young mothers”.  It has been suggested the gang let Ms Ayling go after realising she had a two-year-old son…While [sensible] people have raised doubts about her story, her lawyer, Francesco Pesce, said investigators believed her claims…

That cops, whose credulity on the topic of crime knows no bounds, believe the story is an argument against its being true, not for it.  Another is the notion of a gang which has no problem selling women into slavery, yet revere the sanctity of motherhood, and yet another is the fact that Ayling was seen shopping for shoes with her alleged abductor during the time she was supposedly bound to a chest of drawers (?) at a farmhouse.

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