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Posts Tagged ‘scams’

In the current environment, we…have no choice but to suspend service.  –  Massage Republic

The Notorious Badge

Whatever one’s opinion of this show, it’s great that the media is listening to sex workers’ opinions of our media depictions:

The Twitter account for Mistress May…primarily tweets links to positive reviews of the Netflix show Bonding…because Mistress May is a fictional Twitter account created by Netflix to promote the show…unlike [real] sex workers on Twitter, Mistress May is verified…on a website that…partakes in discriminatory behavior against…sex workers [many] are outraged that Twitter would provide a platform for a fictional sex worker from a show that they have argued promotes an inaccurate and outright harmful view of their profession…

The Shape of the Spoon

If the mother doesn’t mind, how is it the state’s place to interfere?

…Jerri [Lee’s] son took an interest in drag when he was “around 3 or 4”…Jerri viewed Jacob’s love of drag as no different from her older son’s desire to play football.  It was harmless, and it didn’t hurt anyone.  Although Jacob performed as “Miss Mae Hem” at local Pride events, no one ever made an issue of it until a Facebook page…picked up a video of him performing…in December…the situation immediately began to be twisted into something it wasn’t.  [Trolls] claimed Jacob was “stripping” and giving audience members “lap dances.”  A Facebook user…made a poster saying the event was part of “Lancaster’s Pedophilia Night.”  Other…trolls…found where she lived and published the family’s address online.  They called several local police departments, children’s services, the sheriff’s office, and even the FBI…children’s services found no probable cause to investigate…[but] in early April…[politician] Tim Schaffer…introduced a bill [in the Ohio House]…to ban…adults from putting on any performance…which [perverts claim]…“appeals to prurient interest”…[naturally prohibitionists] claim it’s intended to curb sex trafficking…

What kind of pervert thinks a child playing dress-up is innately sexual, even if the costume is a cross-dressing one?

Watershed

When teen fashion magazines publish articles like this, prohibition’s days are numbered:

…continued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination.  A systematic review and meta-analysis led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), for instance, has found that sex workers who have experienced “repressive policing” (including arrest, extortion, and violence from police) are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence.  But governments often fail to accept the evidence for the economic and social bases for sex work…They also ignore the wishes of sex workers, who want full decriminalization, as supported by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and the Lancet, as well as human rights organizations like Amnesty International…sex worker rights are women’s rights, health rights, labor rights, and the litmus test for intersectional feminism…

Even the hopelessly-whitebread USA Today is getting there:

Decriminalization of sex work is just the first step in creating a more just world.  Even if all sex work were decriminalized tomorrow, large swaths of the sex working population would still face over-policing.  People of color, African-Americans especially, are routinely targeted by law enforcement for harassment and face disproportionate rates of arrest and violence at the hands of police.  Similarly, transgender individuals are regularly profiled as sex workers or other members of the street economy, and thus treated as criminals from the start…We must move beyond this culture of incarceration and policing…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t ever think rapist cops are limited to the US:

A [typical and representative] garda who sexually assaulted a sleeping woman…has lost an [attempt to reduce his already-low]…two year prison sentence.  The [rapist]…pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the woman at a Mayo hotel, in July 2015…the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gotten into the sleeping woman’s bed and was discovered by her husband with his trousers down.  He initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea to guilty at a late stage of his trial…

Repeat Offenders (#704)

Even when it isn’t garment-related, “rescuers” invariably want to push sex workers into some kind of traditional feminine menial labor:

Noel Yeatts…of World Help…[describes well-paid sex work as] misery…and [wants to push]…the Gospel [on them while forcing them into]…a new baking school in Pattaya, one of the centres of Thailand’s booming sex industry…[in her looking glass weltanschauung lucrative, flexible] sex [work is]…keeping girls enslaved and…[low-paid] baking [for some cafe owner is]…freedom…

Welcome To Our World (#758)

Rape victims are increasingly treated like criminals:

Victims of crimes, including those alleging rape, are to be asked to hand their phones over to police – or risk prosecutions not going ahead.  Consent forms asking for permission to [root like pigs through private] information including emails, messages and photographs have been rolled out in England and Wales…police and prosecutors say the forms can plug a gap in the law which says complainants and witnesses cannot be forced to [let the pigs dig through their lives looking for information with which to charge the complainants with crimes rather than actually having to investigate the crimes they reported]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#788) 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

A nationally renowned drug rehab program in Texas and Louisiana has sent patients struggling with addiction to work for free for some of the biggest companies in America, likely in violation of federal labor law.  The Cenikor Foundation has dispatched tens of thousands of patients to work without pay at more than 300 for-profit companies over the years.  In the name of rehabilitation, patients have moved boxes in a sweltering warehouse for Walmart, built an oil platform for Shell and worked at an Exxon refinery along the Mississippi River…Cenikor…[pretends]…work helps people recover from addiction…participants have to do is surrender their pay to cover the costs of the two-year program.  But the constant work leaves little time for counseling or treatment, transforming the rehab into little more than a cheap and expendable labor pool…At some job sites, participants lacked proper supervision, safety equipment and training, leading to routine injuries…Labor experts say Cenikor’s entire business model might be illegal under federal labor law…

Disaster (#831)

When even a government propaganda outlet criticizes a law, you know it’s bad:

A popular sex classified website said…that it was shutting down its services in the United States, citing the likelihood that legal challenges would fail to overturn a…federal [censorship] law…passed by Congress a year ago.  The decision by MassageRepublic.com marks the latest indication that…FOSTA-SESTA…has made it difficult for websites selling [classified ads] to survive…

Checklist (#854)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

[Alabama politicians] considered four [anti-sex] bills…Two…would require health care workers and new commercial drivers to go through [anti-whore] training…The third…allow[s pigs] to publish pictures of those [caught in stings]. The goal is to [imitate other states who have similar laws, in “monke see, monkey do” fashion]…The last…increases the penalties for certain buildings that don’t have [magic anti-whore] posters…

Worse Than I Thought (#869)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

McAllen [Texas] police have arrested the manager of a local motel…on a charge of continuous human trafficking…Lucila Saucedo [was arrested]…on a charge of promoting prostitution…[for charging sex workers an hourly room rate]…The human trafficking charge against Saucedo is a first-degree felony and carries a penalty of at least 25 years in prison…

O, Canada! (#918)

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

…sex workers across Ontario have described aggressive surveillance and abuse at the hands of [cops, bureaucrats] and [spooks]…massage parlour…work[ers are]…confronted by pervasive surveillance, harassment and abuse from [cops]…under the pretence of “human trafficking” investigations…these unwanted visits are driven by moral panic rather than evidence…Encouraged by the conflation of sex work and human trafficking, [cops] are increasingly invading sex workers’ spaces under the guise of protection and “rescue”.  But their “protection” is unwanted, misdirected and outright harmful…sex workers interviewed [by journalists] universally describe…abuse including assault, intimidation, harassment, threats, retaliation, extortion, unwarranted searches and seizures, and arbitrary or disproportionate application of the law…

Rough Trade (#923)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A man who removed his condom during…sex with a prostitute has been jailed for 12 years for raping her.  Lee Hogben…ignored his…victim’s repeated objections and carried on [raping]…her…Hogben denied the charge of rape but was found guilty following a trial.  After being [sentenced] Hogben threatened to shoot the…judge…Hogben [had also] threatened [the escort] with violence…and…left without paying…her…

Worse Than I Thought (#925)

Florida prohibitionists are doubling down on their awful anti-whore laws:

…[prohibitionists fantasize that] “If human trafficking was to discontinue…motel owners…would be out of business”…[politicians] must also resolve their differences over…a database of people found guilty of  “soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring” another to commit “prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.”  The loose definition [ensures that] sex workers…[will] be [included] in the [registry], but [politician] Fitzenhagen [doesn’t give a shit because]…“I think it’s a disgrace that sex workers are coming before the House and Senate, saying you are going to make me scared of the police, reduce my income and hurt my family if I get arrested,” she said. Well, guess what, prostitution is illegal”…

“I think it’s a disgrace that Negroes are coming before the House and Senate, saying they are scared of the police” –  Heather Fitzenhagen, 1959

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“Sex trafficking” [is] being used as a catch-all criminal charge against anyone accused of any sort of bad sexual behavior. – Elizabeth N. Brown

License to Rape

Cops raping whores is so ubiquitous, others pose as cops to facilitate rape:

Urlin Lloyd Clark was arrested April 6 by [Las Vegas cops]…after…he [raped and robbed a sex worker by pretending to be a cop himself]…During the [rape]…which…occurred just outside [his vehicle]…the woman…focused on the license plate…[and] memorized the plate number…the man [also stole] $100 from her and photographed her driver’s license…

Comfort Zone (#422) 

Because they care so very much about “trafficking victims”:

I was invited to speak to the Peace & Social Action Committee…about sex work and human trafficking.  It was meant to be a roundtable discussion with a diverse group of people so that the members could better access how they could best help the community…People in my community often hide underground because it’s safer than being found from our oppressors who call themselves liberators…and…desperately want the state to find us and confine us into prisons, deportations, orphanages, small and private “rehabilitation programs”, or temporary basic services they create, profit from, and build careers around…It wasn’t long [before] I…[received] an email that various antis were pulling out of the event…because I was undocumented.  They [claimed]…that being at an event with me would associate them with “illegal activity”…The truth is these organizations and women came together and planned out how they would collectively pull out this event…

Change a Few Words (#535)

All prohibitionism is the same:

…the idea that deadly amounts of fentanyl are tainting…marijuana…is being [intentionally] spread by officials at the White House and the National Institute on Drug Abuse…Although that is true for heroin, and in some cases cocaine and methamphetamine, fentanyl-laced marijuana is not a real risk, according to experts who are concerned about…[politicians] repeating an urban legend [as they so often do]…epidemiologist Dan Ciccarone [said]…“It shows that concerns about fentanyl have reached the level of moral panic.  Fear outweighs rational evidence”…

An Example to the West (#629)

Indian sex workers are tired of politicians’ bullshit:

“Who cares about us anyway, all parties are the same.”  The frustration and discontent among sex workers in and around Sonagachi, Asia’s biggest red-light area, is palpable weeks before the area votes…Their rose-tinted visions about elections, stemming from the hope that elected representatives would take up their cause and work for their rights, have faded.  Most of these sex workers now seem inclined to press on the [None Of The Above] button…For decades workers like her have been campaigning to get their trade [decriminalized]…“They all make the same promises, but once voted to power never think about us, or talk about us in Parliament.  Why should we think about them when they so conveniently ignore us?” asks Kajol Bose, secretary of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC)…

To Molest and Rape

A court restores a rapist cop’s power to rape:

A Pasco [Washington rapist cop] who had been on [paid vacation] for two years is back on the [prowl] after criminal charges were dropped because of [a successful cover-up]…Anthony J. Haworth recently saw the final two counts…dismissed with prejudice.  That means the case is permanently done and cannot be brought back to court, even if new evidence or witnesses come to light…Haworth…had been on paid [vacation] since the spring of 2017…[when] he was charged…with…rape, indecent liberties and voyeurism…prosecutors [intentionally played around and eventually claimed]…the evidence was not there to prosecute Haworth…[even though he raped] a teen girl several times between 2008 and 2013 [after getting her drunk]…several nude photographs of the teen…were found on Haworth’s electronic devices…

Out of Control (#704)

Far beyond mere spooge-throwing:

Jared Walter, a…man convicted, implicated and charged in dozens of instances of cutting, masturbating into or gluing women’s hair on public transit during the past decade, was banned from [public transit] for life…Walter is in jail and charged with two more cases of sexual abuse on TriMet light rail trains, stemming from a March 20 incident…Walter’s history of attacking women on buses and trains dates to 2009…He was placed on probation for five years in March 2018 as part of his conviction for a May 2017 incident, where he cut a woman’s hair while riding a bus…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#792) 

At long last, the psychiatric community takes aim at “porn addiction” myth:

…Pornography addiction actually has been rejected as a codified diagnosis by every major diagnostic body…but misinformation online is rampant.  In the last five years, anti-pornography groups have spent millions of dollars marketing fake science to consumers, then profit by selling untested therapies, anti-pornography apps, and books.  This stops now.  Scientists and therapists who are experts in human sexuality have come together to provide accurate information to the public in realyourbrainonporn.com…These experts include the principal investigator for the first research-based porn literacy curriculum for youth, the first person to coin the expression “sex positive”, the first neuroscience lab to test the addiction model of pornography, and the lab that demonstrated porn did not impact partner satisfaction…Experts’ background includes terminal degrees in addictions, communications and media, sociology, psychology, neuroscience, and physiology, among others…Connect with us on the website, Twitter…Facebook, YouTube, or Tumblr, with more resources being added as we expand our library…

Broken Record (#836)

Prohibitionists just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Ahead of the 145th Kentucky Derby, state prosecutors and [other prohibitionists]…are calling on the public to [spy on other people] and [snitch on them to the pigs]…”The grim fact is that [even though] large sporting events like the Derby [have been proven again and again to have no effect on crime, both cops and politicians like me love masturbating to fantasies of]…enslaved children”…said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear…[who also] asked the public to be on the lookout for people with identical tattoos…or people who [tell busybodies to mind their own business]…

The Lion and the Ox (#865)

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

…a federal judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit accusing [Harvey] Weinstein of sex trafficking may proceed.  The…judge…dismissed all but one of the claims in the 18-count lawsuit, including all claims against defendants other than Weinstein…[whom] defendants say…promised them film opportunities or career advancement if they engaged in sex…with him…Sexual assault and rape are bad enough on their own…So why the need to force these cases into a framework that doesn’t fit?  Because the sex trafficking framework allows for a lot more prosecutorial possibilities.  Anyone who is even remotely aware of potential trafficking can be wrapped into racketeering, money laundering, and conspiracy counts, which isn’t the case with sexual assault or rape charges.  A rape case against Weinstein couldn’t have snared Disney, too.  Nor could Allison Mack and others be indicted if [NXIVM cult leader Keith] Raniere was simply accused of assault.  “Sex traffickers” can be sued in federal court, while cases against rapists must go to state court.  Sex trafficking convictions bring an array of mandatory fees and fines for both the government and victims; sexual assault charges do not…Plus, sex trafficking is such a buzzword that cases employing it are guaranteed to get more attention…

Pyrrhic Victory (#882)

“A brief period of time”, when DHS is building a giant biometric database:

…US Customs and Border Protection…expects to be able to scan [the faces of] 97% of commercial passengers within the next four years…If a picture matches information on file, the system creates an exit record.  If it doesn’t, CBP officials look into it…The system [has already]…identified 7,000 travelers who overstayed visas…[people who aren’t stupid] say this CBP use of artificial intelligence is an invasion [of] privacy…CBP [pretends] the images are encrypted and that it only keeps them for a brief period of time…

Blunt Instrument (#903)

Due to their visibility, massage parlors take the brunt of the “sex trafficking” hysteria in low-population areas:

A…bill aimed at [harassing]…sex [workers]…in Montana…provides $519,815 in funding for two [pigs]…to [harass sex workers]…full-time…The [pigs] will work with local [pigs] to [deceive consenting adults, harass motorists]…on the highway to [rob them]…and [spy on people]…The bill also…allow[s pigs] to [barge into massage] business[es] at any time [without warning, even to the point of]…interrupt[ing] a treatment session…[of] two hours or more…The measure was [specifically] crafted to…[harass Asian] massage businesses…[bill sponsors] are careful to [pretend] that the women working in…[Asian] massage businesses are being exploited…“These are trafficking victims”…

Top Cop (#918)

As I said the moment this sociopath first vomited the word “decriminalization” out of her filthy hole:

Kamala Harris…on CNN…cleared up…any notion that she actually supports decriminalization of prostitution.  Harris still thinks paying for sex should be a crime, she just wants to classify all female sex workers as victims so as to avoid [their being able to claim civil rights such as a lawyer when] arrest[ed]…the…Nordic/Swedish model…[is] roundly panned by human rights agencies…migrant groups, doctors, criminal justice researchers, and sex workers themselves worldwide, for creating the same harms of full criminalization while letting police and politicians pretend to be taking a liberal and feminist tack…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

Remember that Irish prohibitionists celebrated this increase in violence vs sex workers:

Campaigners have called for Scotland’s [politicians] to reject [the Swedish model, which has been proposed again]…after recent statistics showed that violent crime against sex workers almost doubled after it was introduced in Ireland.  Sex workers in Ireland have reported a 92 percent increase in violent crime since the “Nordic Model” came into place in March 2017…[experts] said the stats were “sadly not surprising” and added to evidence that the law hinders the ability of people “to report violent crimes, exploitation and abuse”…the Nordic Model [is] an “ill-thought-out policy” that puts [sex workers] at risk from “criminals and violent clients” by pushing the practice further underground…

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Registries deter the good guys without having much effect on the bad ones.  –  Alexandra Levy

We Told You So

Oh, what a surprise:

A…couple’s agency obtained a $1.5 million federal grant to [harass sex workers]…in Toronto…[but] the…project appears to be a sham…[La Passerelle I.D.E. used the names] of 26 Toronto women…[who] work in marketing, public relations, consulting and government…[as supposed sex workers]…in danger…La Passerelle is [also]…in hot water over misusing thousands of dollars of sports and concert tickets…The lawyer for La Passerelle, Peter Downard, [claims] the anti-prostitution program…will help young, immigrant francophone women escape from “informal prostitution,” which he describes as [actually getting something of value for their time instead of giving it to useless men for free]…

Ad Absurdum

Age of consent laws were always intended to criminalize teen sex:

The age…[of] consent…is set at the state level in the US…In states such as Montana, and Kansas, anyone over the age of 16 can engage in sex with whomever they choose…while…a 16-year-old high-school junior who has sex with someone in the year below them is…committing statutory rape…in states such as MassachusettsIllinois and California, two minors who engage in sex…might land one of them on the sex offenders’ registry for life…statutory-rape law can be a powerful tool in the hands of parents who want to prevent their teenagers from dating people they don’t like or from dating at all…this means the law disproportionally affects queer and interracial couples…Age-of-consent law as we know it today is a late 19th-century invention…In 1981…the…Supreme Court…held that “because their chastity was considered particularly precious, young women were felt to be uniquely in need of the state’s protection”.  Then the 1990s brought a push to shore up age-of-consent law in order to prevent teen pregnancy…age-of-consent law has always been…primarily focused on preventing consensual teenage sex…

AoC laws became popular as a way for parents to have revenge on young men who got their daughters pregnant, thus ruining their chances for an advantageous marriage.  All that modern crap about “child protection” is just rationalization to cover up the ugly, dehumanizing truth that despite the phrase “statutory rape”, AoC laws are more closely related to vandalism laws than they are to rape laws.

Cardboard Cutouts

Dutch sex workers are being threatened by Swedish plague carriers:

A [prohibitionist] petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding [the Swedish model]…”I am [worth]less” is the name of the social media-led campaign…[based in] Christian and feminist [dogma]…the group have posted Instagram photos showing [idiots with printed signs]…bearing [inane mottoes like]…I’m [worth]less…[and] “what if it was your sister?”…

A Load of Farley (#571)

Farley’s evil bigotry is finally coming back to bite her:

Florida lawmakers are rapidly advancing a bill they say will tackle human trafficking that would [condemn]…sex worker…[clients] to…a public registry.  But…the measure…relies on the work of [Melissa Farley] an…anti-sex work clinical psychologist who has referred to women sex workers as “house n****rs” [sic] and ”receptacles” and equates consensual sex with a sex worker with “rape”…other psychologists have described her work as “questionable”, “unqualified”, “inflammatory” and “demeaning propaganda”.  In 2010, Farley appeared as a key witness in a prostitution hearing in Ontario. The judge, Justice Susan Himel, dismissed Farley’s testimony [as]…”problematic”…[and] “inflammatory”…Several academics, writers and organizers wrote a scathing commentary on one of Farley’s reports in 2008, citing its biases and ignorance “of even the most basic legal principles”….Farley…initially denied using the racist slur, but when HuffPost sent her the archived link to the 2009 article, Farley said she was comparing “the structural similarities between prostitution and slavery”…

To Molest and Rape

This week’s typical and representative cop:

A Dartmouth [Massachusetts cop]..is facing…charges…[after raping] two children…Shawn Souza was arrested by state police…following a report from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and an investigation by the DA’s special victims unit…

Stalkers in Blue

She was “found dead” after a cop stalked her. Just a koinkydink:

A Denver [cop] will [get] a 10-day [vacat]ion and a fine for leaving work early to go to a strip club and then using a police database to look up a dancer, who was later found dead.  It is the second time in less than a year that…Shederick Dobbin has [received a light slap on the wrist] for abusing his access to the database…Dobbin was not a suspect in the [stripper’s death even though]…he [stalked]…her…and…two of [her] friends…Dobbin…previously [was rewarded with a] four day…[vacation] for [stalk]ing…the girlfriend of a man [accused] of assaulting a city employee…Denver [cops stalking women via computer]…became a focal point for the city’s Office of the Independent Monitor in 2016…

Imaginary Evils (#833)

It’s almost like feds use high-stigma accusations to force guilty pleas to lesser charges:

Allison Mack…pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of racketeering conspiracy, for threatening to release secret photos of two women if they didn’t engage in “acts of love” with [cult leader Keith] Raniere.  Mack was…arrested along with NXIVM co-founder Raniere in what federal authorities widely described as a sex trafficking case…another example of the FBI using its new favorite buzzword (and desperately trying to rack up actual prosecutions for the same) even when the charges were a huge stretch…There a lot to criticize NXIVM for…and evidence that Raniere is guilty of a host of ethical and legal transgressions…Just not for sex trafficking

Original Sin (#913) 

Nobody wants to admit that forced celibacy exacerbates these issues:

Indian authorities…charged a bishop with repeatedly raping a nun in…Kerala, the first case of its kind in the country and a development that comes just weeks after Pope Francis acknowledged a continuing problem with sexual abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church…Bishop Franco Mulakkal had been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period starting in 2014…The charge sheet includes statements from 83 witnesses, including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns…Nuns have tried for years to call attention to sexual exploitation in the Catholic Church.  They have recently stepped forward to accuse clerics of abuse in India and Italy, as well as in African and Latin American countries.  But they have also struggled to move the conversation forward among church leaders…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#926)

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are desperately trying to turn the recent racist Florida pogroms into a huge international conspiracy:

…Yujing Zhang…was charged with illegally “entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds” and with lying to a federal agent…But as of now, any links between Zhang and Li “Cindy” Yang are…circumstantial at best…Despite dramatic insinuations, there’s been no evidence that Yang was actually “selling access” to the president (or other political figures) in any meaningful way…Her consulting company, GY US Investments, arranged tours, visits, and attendance at an array of political offices, business conferences, and political, networking, and cultural events for Chinese and Chinese-American entrepreneurs…Until recently, she ran a chain of massage businesses…one of those businesses she closed in 2013.  It was opened under a new name by a woman with no apparent ties to Yang and, earlier this year, the site of a Homeland Security–assisted prostitution sting that netted…Trump supporter…Robert Kraft on misdemeanor solicitation charges…And yet some people are quickly weaving a new narrative of shady “influence” with her as some sort of centerpiece…congressional Democrats called on the FBI to investigate Yang, even though no one has produced any evidence she’s doing anything illegal…

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I’m not sure what’s scarier, the idea of putting people permanently on a public list, or aggressively incentivizing hotels to pry into the sex lives of their guests.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

The More the Better

It’s so very important for celebrities to be “out” if they did sex work in their youth:

Janet Mock, the writer, television presenter, and activist, grew up in Honolulu…she fell into the protective company of a glamorous cadre of transgender friends and mentors; her seventh-grade hula teacher was a māhū, a native Hawaiian term, Mock explains, for people who live outside of the gender binary…”Merchant Street…was…where the girls worked…I first went there when I was, like, fifteen, when I was able to go out at nighttime.  At first I came with…all these puritanical views…about what it meant to use your body, your only asset, in a world that’s not taking care of you…And so I knew that, by doing this sixty-dollar hand job, I would be able to have two months of hormones.  And so I remember making the decision to get in that car and, at fifteen years old, to do this, and to continue to do this…for, like, the next two years of my life.  And that was my way into sex work…

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Sex work is legal[ized] in the Dominican Republic.  But despite this, sex workers are still vulnerable to abuse—particularly at the hands of [cops], who know they can torture…sex work[ers] with impunity…A new report…by Amnesty International…“If They Can Have Her, Why Can’t We?” features interviews from 46 trans and cisgender women sex workers, all of whom report suffering horrific violence at the hands of [cops]…“At least 10 out of the 24 cisgender women interviewed for this research described having been raped by police officials, often at gunpoint…Most of the transgender women had been subjected to…violent actions by the police that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment, typically focused on their gender-identity or expression”…

Now They Notice

It’s about goddamned time:

…LGBTI activists worldwide resolved to address the stigmatisation of sex workers, including in the LGBTI movement…and [to] oppose…all forms of criminalisation and legal oppression of sex workers – an historic first for…the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.  “By approving this resolution, our global LGBTI family is saying…that addressing violence, criminalisation and human rights violations against LGBTI and all sex workers must be a priority for our movement”, said outgoing ILGA co-Secretaries General Ruth Baldacchino and Helen Kennedy…this global LGBTI network representing more than 1,500 organisations from each region of the world join a growing number of human rights, health and anti-trafficking organisations demanding governments recognise sex work as work, and protect sex workers’ labour and human rights…

A False Dichotomy (#652)

Even in Australia, spineless “journalists” prefer to print prohibitionist pap than to consult experts:

Air Asia…decided to use “Get off in Thailand” as a campaign slogan, but considering the abundance of sexual tourism in the country, you’d think the…airline might have put a bit more thought into the reaction such a tagline would attract [from puritans].  Posted around the city of Brisbane, Australia the “Get off in Thailand” campaign promoting the airline’s direct route to Bangkok has not gone over well [with puritans].  Collective Shout, a [prohibitionist organization best known for its] campaign…against [pictures of]…women, [screeched] that the campaign was promoting sex tourism in Thailand…

“Collective Shout” has a long and infamous history of campaigning against lucrative jobs for women, including such tame & innocuous forms of sex work as bikini modeling.

The Course of a Disease (#778)

Remember that Irish prohibitionists celebrated this increase in violence vs sex workers:

Crime against sex workers has almost doubled in the two years since…Ireland adopted the “Nordic Model” on March 27 2017…[despite the warnings of] sex worker organisations [that exactly this would happen]…Statistics from UglyMugs.ie…[demon]st[r]ate that since the law came into force, the number of incidents of abuse and crime…has greatly increased…The number of sex workers using UglyMugs.ie has remained steady at between 6,000 and 7,000 per year.  The number of incidents reported from 2015-2017 was 4,278.  Since the law change, from 2017-2019, incidents rose to 10,076…crime has increased 90% whereas violent crime specifically has increased 92%…

Disaster (#885)

We did warn you dilettantes that this wouldn’t stop with actual sex workers:

Targeted online advertising by the Hump! Film Festival has been kneecapped by FOSTA/SESTA, according to festival founder Dan Savage…“Hump is largely dependent on targeted Facebook ads for ticket sales, and thanks to Facebook’s overreaction to…SESTA/FOSTA …it will not accept ads for the festival any longer, despite the fact that the ads themselves are G-rated and are only targeted at adults”…Savage notes that “Facebook no longer allows ads for, quote-unquote, adult content…as a result…we can no longer advertise on Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook also owns”…the festival’s Facebook business account was [also] “shuttered”…Savage urged listeners to follow Hump! on their social media channels and to subscribe to the festival’s official newsletter to stay up-to-date…

Elephant in the Parlor (#894)

I’ve been saying I distrusted Avenatti since the beginning:

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged with federal wire fraud and bank fraud in California as well as four counts of extortion in New York…Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike…[and] embezzled a client’s money to, in part, pay off expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores…Avenatti purchased the coffee stores in 2013 with actor Patrick Dempsey, who sued Avenatti that same year to break their business partnership…prosecutors in California also accused the lawyer of defrauding a bank with phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans…

The Course of a Disease (#896)

Looks like the Spanish case of the Swedish rot may be especially virulent:

Finnish websites used by sex workers to advertise and share information with each other have been closed down following a judicial warrant by Spanish police…Sihteeriopisto (Secretary College) and the international counterpart, sexworknet, were launched in Finland but…maintenance was moved overseas when the sale of sexual services was outlawed in Finland in 2003…A sex worker in Spain said:  “The…website had [a] forum, where sex workers were sharing warnings about bad clients, robbery…There are of course other websites, but none of them has a forum.  We lost the platform…where we could communicate and support each other”…These closures follow closures of similar websites in other countries, including in the USA following FOSTA-SESTA…

You may have noticed that the cops always go for the best boards, noted for civility and sex worker forums.  This is not accidental.

Lack of Evidence (#900)

All prostitution “stings” are entrapment; that’s the whole point of them:

Dee Curry…an outspoken advocate for transgender rights in the District of Columbia for many years…said she…was arrested on Feb. 8…as part of a D.C. police “sting” operation…she considers the police tactics used to arrest her as a form of entrapment…and…a misuse of police resources…her arrest involved a…[vice pig] who posed as an Uber driver and…[offered] her…a ride…then…said…[he] wanted a blowjob for $30 and [specifically wanted to] park [next to]…a school …“I said no you’re not, not with me…And that’s when the police came”…Curry [is a former]…sex work[er who retired] after a previous arrest in 2011 in which she said she was similarly entrapped…[but] found not guilty…when the [lying pig] gave the signal, three or four police cars with flashing lights and sirens rushed to the scene, with at least two [pigs] in each of the [swinemobiles]…to arrest her…[instead of dealing with actual] crime…

Yes, cops are actually trying to press prostitution charges against a 64-year-old woman for walking down the street.  I’m sure you feel safer now.

Worse Than I Thought (#914)

A rare victory for sex workers against the state:

Florida [politicians] have for now ditched plans to create a registry of prostitution clients…after sex workers and activists showed up at the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to protest and give testimony…A version of the legislation passed the committee without the solicitation registry included…It [still] requires that cleaning and reception-desk staff at hotels and motels be trained on spotting the “signs” of trafficking—a list of absurd and ordinary behavior that includes not wanting cleaning service—and creates new regulatory liabilities on hospitality businesses…Heather Fitzenhagen…author of the failed solicitation registry idea [was unhappy, and vomited out some lawheaded bigotry]…”a prostitute…is committing a crime…It is not my intent to work with them going forward”…

An Avalanche of Bullshit

This could potentially be very good for us:

Lawyers for…Robert Kraft…want the 77-year-old’s solicitation of prostitution case to be tried by a jury instead of a judge…Kraft…was charged [after a massive massage-parlor pogrom] along with…about 300 men…in total…Kraft rejected a plea deal in which…he…and his fellow defendants [would be forced to pretend]…they would be found guilty if their case went to trial, [pay] a $5,000 fine, [perform] 100 hours of community service…attend…a [brainwashing] class [much like the dangerous “gay conversion therapy” which has been banned in a number of states]…and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases…

A jury trial will allow the lawyers to present expert witnesses and debunking of the “sex trafficking” hysteria which drove the raids; it will allow them to dig into the money trail and present that in open court; it will provide ammunition for the lawyers of the other victims of this raid, and other raids like it; and it may inspire other men to fight.  As I’ve been saying for the past decade, if everyone charged in a “prostitution sting” would fight the charges by demanding a trial, the machine would grind to a halt and the carceral system would be forced to change its tactics.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#922)

Even “legal” sex workers were harmed by FOSTA:

…HB 1756…strives to improve working conditions for strippers in Washington by implementing mandatory trainings, establishing an adult entertainer advisory committee, putting panic buttons in VIP rooms, and making a blacklist for abusive patrons…Savannah Sly, a sex worker and community organizer with Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Seattle, believes the organizing started after FOSTA/SESTA…[and the government destruction of]…Backpage…sent shockwaves throughout the sex worker community…”There are displaced sex workers and clients who are looking for a place to connect,” Sly told the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee…[w]hen…internet spaces for sex work…disappeared…it forced [many] sex work[ers] offline and back onto the streets…former [escort] clients, without the spaces they used to frequent, are making their way into strip clubs…

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This kind of abuse happens all the time, we just happen to have footage in this case.  –  Maryanne Kaishian

Here’s another Rube Goldberg machine, brought to my attention by reader Dave Crisp.  The links above the video were provided by Radley Balko, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Desiree Alliance, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

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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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Speaking for myself and my…Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from [Kamala’s] travesty.  –  Donald Harris

Rough Trade 

Cops wait a year to arrest a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

…a 31-year-old [Dublin] tradesman…imprisoned, stripped, beat…and [raped a sex worker], who escaped out a window and ran naked onto a main road, where she flagged down a taxi…he al[so] pulled clumps of hair out of a second prostitute’s head and raped her, as well as robbing both women.  Judge Bryan Smyth [gave him]…bail [anyhow.  The first attack took place]…in June, 2016…and…the second…in [sic] February 4, 2018…

Amsterdam

Note that this positive article appeared on CNN, one of the major pushers of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Amsterdam…isn’t as liberal for sex workers as many believe.  Sex work has been legal in some form in the Netherlands since 1830, but it was recognized as a legal profession in 1988.  In 2000, a law made the job subject to municipal regulation, requiring a license to operate and following certain rules set by a municipality…so each can differ.  For example, they can decide how many licenses to give out…The only places that have decriminalized sex work are New Zealand and the state of New South Wales in Australia.  In both places, sex work is not penalized through punitive laws, and regulation are premised on worker health and safety, as with any other profession…The reform in New Zealand…reduced violence against sex workers, increased their comfort in reporting abuse to the police and improved police attitudes toward sex workers, according to the country’s Ministry of Justice.  Research also showed that decriminalization in New Zealand resulted in sex workers being better able to refuse clients and insist on condom use. One study showed that decriminalization has the potential to reduce discrimination as well as denials of justice…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s rare and surprising to see the acts of a rapist cop actually called “rape”:

A…Wilmington [Delaware cop]…was charged with second-degree rape at the conclusion of a four-month [attempt at a cover-up]…Thomas R. Oliver Jr…on October 16, 2018…pulled up alongside a woman and told her to get into the front seat of the vehicle.  Oliver exposed himself to the woman, and told her she had active warrants for her arrest, but he would allow her to leave if she [sucked his disgusting pig dick]…Oliver grabbed the victim by the head and [orally raped her]…

The End of the Beginning (#772) 

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

“Sex offenders are not second-class citizens,” writes U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins in a recent decision overturning two provisions of the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act (ASORCNA)…The lead plaintiff…pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure in the early 1990s, when he was living in Wisconsin.  He received a six-month suspended sentence for each charge and was not required to register as a sex offender, even after moving to Alabama in 1994.  But 14 years later, Alabama expanded its registry, forcing Doe to comply with ASORCNA’s numerous demands and restrictions under threat of imprisonment.  Among other things, that meant his driver’s license was marked with the phrase “CRIMINAL SEX OFFENDER” in bold red letters…Judge Watkins ruled that Alabama’s branding of registered sex offenders’ identification cards is a form of compelled speech prohibited by the First Amendment…Another aspect of Alabama’s “debilitating sex-offender scheme” is a requirement that people in the registry report “email addresses or instant message addresses or identifiers used”…”An offender must report to the police every time he connects to a Wi-Fi spot at a new McDonald’s, every time he uses a new computer terminal at a public library…Every time he walks into a new coffee shop, he must determine whether opening his laptop is worth the hassle of reporting”…the demand for information about online activity applied to…the…plaintiffs even though their offenses had nothing to do with the internet or children…

Lack of Evidence (#805)

All cops or prosecutors will need to do to get around this law is say the magic words “sex trafficking”:

San Francisco’s [largely-cosmetic] policy protecting sex workers is now being pitched on the state level.  California Sen. Scott Wiener…introduce[d] legislation Monday that would prevent law enforcement from arresting and charging sex workers who come forward as victims or witnesses to serious crimes [unless they decide to charge the sex workers with “trafficking” instead].  The proposed law, SB233, would also prevent [cops] from using condoms as probable cause to arrest a sex worker…Wiener said…“We want to [fool]…sex workers [in]to feel[ing] safe in reporting crimes”…

San Francisco, which as the article states first enacted this “policy”, took only two months to get around it by declaring a “sex trafficking” exception and forming a vice squad specifically intended to “abate” sex workers.  You know, like a disease.

Overdue

Another example of our culture’s obsession with form over substance:

They used chopped-up chalk as fake crack cocaine and cloaked their white skin in blackface makeup.  Then the two [pigs] hit the streets of Baton Rouge, hoping to fool interested drug buyers in the predominantly black neighborhood into believing they were dealers.  “Not only do they not know we’re cops — they don’t even know we’re white!” then-Detective Frankie Caruso told the Advocate newspaper in 1993, the year the undercover blackface operation took place.  Now, 26 years later, the Baton Rouge Police Department is apologizing for the tactics after a police yearbook photo of the two disguised cops surfaced, marking the latest blackface scandal to ensnare authority figures and the first this year involving undercover police…

They’re not apologizing for intentionally destroying lives, or for specifically targeting black people for something that shouldn’t even be illegal; nope, they’re just apologizing because they did so inappropriately.

Safe Position

Though these legislative “studies” are useless, perhaps they’ll normalize the topic:

Bella Robinson…and her organization, COYOTE – RI, are working with Brown University and advocating for a new bill…sponsored by Rep. Anastasia Williams [which] proposes a commission to study the health and safety impact of sex work laws.  “Crackdowns against sex workers…[are because] we prioritize [religious] morals over the safety of people involved in the sex industry,” said Meghan Peterson, a Brown University researcher…one prominent opponent…is Donna Hughes, [architect of the]…[re-]criminalization [of sex work] in 2009…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#868) 

At least they’re not calling this an “escort service”:

…the advertising for Doll Next Door brings a host of questions about how this latest trend in sexual services will be regulated in Edmonton, if at all…the service offers customers the choice of a two-hour booking or overnight rental with one of five doll models…the doll is then sent in discreet packaging to the customer’s home or a specified hotel…Kelly Jenny, a sex therapist at Insight Psychological, said she can see the benefits associated with sex dolls, but says they can also be used [as magical transformation devices] to objectify women

Pyrrhic Victory (#894) 

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

…Amazon…Ring products come with access to a social app called Neighbors that allows customers to not just to keep tabs on their own property, but also to share [accusations]…with the rest of the block…Forming decentralized 19th-century vigilance committees with 21st-century technology has been a toxic move, as shown by apps like…Nextdoor, which tends to foster lively discussions about nonwhite people strolling through various suburbs.  But Ring stands alone as…an avowed attempt to merge 24/7 video, ubiquitous computer sensors, and facial recognition, and deliver it to local police on a platter.  It’s no surprise then that police departments from Bradenton, Florida, to Los Angeles have leapt to “partner” with Ring…

Just a reminder that the word for such authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”.

The Prudish Giant (#895)

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

For years, King Cake Snob…has used visitor feedback to choose the best king cakes in various categories in the lead up to Mardi Gras.  So…the site decided to build some interest with a sponsored Facebook post…featuring ten tiny plastic king cake babies — all of which were, as usual, in the buff.  However, though the image remains up, Facebook decided to flag it as ineligible for a paid “sponsored” post…“This ad isn’t running because it includes an image or video depicting excessive skin or nudity…This kind of material is sensitive in nature”…

Top Cop

Copmala tried to sell her dad’s heritage for political coin, and he’s not happy:

United States (US) presidential hopeful Kamala Harris faced scathing criticisms from her father for attributing her support for the legalisation of marijuana to her…heritage.  “Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?” Kamala Harris responded when asked if she smoked marijuana during an interview…Donald Harris has “categorically” disassociated himself and his family from “this travesty” and slammed his daughter for stereo-typing her heritage for political gain.  “My dear departed grandmothers as well as my deceased parents must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected…with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker…in the pursuit of identity politics”…Harris [said]…

Legislators Gone Wild (#909) 

This story just keeps getting uglier and filthier:

Former Lyon County Sheriff Al McNeil was the largest campaign contributor to the End Trafficking and Prostitution political action committee before the 2018 election, campaign finance records show.  McNeil made contributions totaling $1,499.  Each of McNeil’s two contributions were under $1,000, which avoided mandatory reporting before the election under state campaign finance law…

Worse Than I Thought (#914)

Condemning consenting adults to the “sex offender” registry is the latest “monkey see, monkey do” fad:

Pennsylvania…[politician] Kim Ward wants…a change to state law that would require those convicted of [any sex work related “crime”]…to the…sex offender…[registry]…

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