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Posts Tagged ‘Secret Squirrel’

So much of the anti-prostitution laws that are being pushed is a combination of the conservative fetish for going after people for doing “sex stuff”, and the liberal instinct to “help” a group of people that they can’t be bothered to understand.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

Held Together With Lies

John Stossel interviews Liz Brown, Kaytlin Bailey and Maya Morena on “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Yellow Fever

Fox News never had much credibility to begin with, so I guess they felt there was nothing to lose by airing this fantasy:

Every year more than 40 million people are forced into the world of human trafficking across the globe and it’s someone’s son or daughter* that is trapped in this modern-day slavery…everyday Americans…are the most common victims of human trafficking…[it] is…everywhere…dark, insidious criminal world…shocking…[prohibitionist nobody ever heard of claims] “I’ve worked with over a thousand survivors of trafficking”…[professional survivor tells tale about] dark world of sex work…[another professional survivor claims she was] trapped in this dark underworld for nearly four years…FBI…in plain sight [blah blah “if you see something, say something”]…

*As opposed to what, people who appeared by spontaneous generation?  One must also wonder how reporters think “sex trafficking” can be “in plain sight” when they also invariably and repeatedly insist that it’s a “dark underworld”.

Guinea Pigs (#543) 

Don’t be fooled by talk of “criminal marketplaces”, “weapons”, “scams” and the like; what they’re actually targeting are ordinary escort sites:

…From 2014 to 2017, Lincoln Laboratory contributed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Memex program…Today, more than 30 agencies worldwide are using Memex software to conduct [surveillance]…One of the biggest users…is the…Manhattan [vice squad]…With the introduction of Memex, prostitution arrests…increased…Now, Memex tools are enabling [pigs] to quickly enhance [ordinary] cases and build sex trafficking [fantasies] from…little [evidence]…these tools…have been used to…[conjure imaginary] victims from data in a [typical] online prostitution advertisement…

With Friends Like These… (#558)

Please, David Rosen, become a prohibitionist; if your attempts to hurt us are as incompetent as your attempts to “help”, they’ll be great pro-decrim arguments.  Rosen quotes prohibitionist lie-factory Fondation Scelles; calls the Swedish Model “decriminalization”; trots out Pretty Woman; damns us with faint support like “sex work…is not always trafficking“; lauds “safe harbor” laws that allow cops to lock up underage sex workers indefinitely under the guise of “protecting” them; and peppers his essay with totally-wrong, “rescue”-friendly wanking fantasies like “sex work is a story of abuse, underpay and harassment – including rape“, and “while there has been a reported increase in independent or ‘freelance’ sex workers, commercial sex is often mediated by a pimp or a sex gang“.  A “reported increase”?  If you’re fancy yourself an ally, you might want to do some research before putting your hand in your pants while quoting racist propaganda about “pimps” and “gangs”.  And stop putting scare quotes around words like “gentlemen” and “freelance”, which is a trick employed by people like Donna Hughes to cast doubt on what sex workers say about our own lives.  The man is, in short, a dangerous imbecile and needs to be recognized as such.

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

[Cops] in Clarksville [Tennessee] have located a man dressed as a clown who prompted a police alert…[after] children [warped by a steady diet of “stranger danger” scare stories] reportedly thought he was trying to use candy to lure them into a moving vehicle…police said they located the man and he was “an older man who dresses up once a year on his birthday as a clown and hands out candy”…

Nice While It Lasted (#726)

Once due process was abolished for whores and street people, it was easy to extend the precedent to the middle class:

The boss of a popular ice cream firm faces restrictions on his business after a judge [fantasized] that he could commit slavery offences.  Salvatore “Sam” Lopresti…will not be able to employ staff or deal with wages at Lopresti Ice Cream, in Bristol.  The measures are part of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) that was imposed last week…Lopresti, and another family member, Robert Lopresti, had previously been charged with requiring a person to perform forced labour…However, charges against both men were dropped.  Salvatore’s charges were dropped as he was ruled unfit to stand trial due to his dementia…District judge Lynne Matthews…said: “I am [a seer with power to see the future so I am] sure…you will commit a human trafficking or slavery offence…it is necessary for me to make this order because…[what] if you committed that type of offence”…

Welcome To Our World (#758)

Rape victims are increasingly treated like criminals:

Louisiana district attorneys oppose a bill that would prohibit prosecutors from putting sexual assault and domestic violence victims in jail in order to compel them to testify in criminal cases…“This tool is very, very necessary for us to use on rare occasions,” [lied] Charles Ballay…head of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association…[even though] JP Morrell…[of] New Orleans…sponsored the bill…because…New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro was [regularly using this “rare tool”]…

Yeah, it’s “rare”So very rareVanishingly rare.  Basically never happens, except in “isolated incidents“.  Which we know are scarcer than hen’s teeth.  Because prosecutors say so, and they wouldn’t lie.

Full of Themselves (#888) 

As I predicted over a year ago, it looks like Rubmaps is becoming the new prohibitionist bogeyman to replace Backpage:

…more than 30 massage parlors in Colorado Springs are little more than a front for an illegal sex industry…KRDO…found that there are 36 massage parlors in the city that have recent reviews specifically outlining explicit sexual acts that can be purchased inside.  That’s more than there are licensed brothels in the entire state of Nevada…Those reviews are publicly available on seedy websites like RubMaps and CityXGuide.  Those sites — like now-defunct Backpage…offer a way for customers, known as Johns, to find locations where they can purchase sexual acts…”They’re selling sex,” [bloviated vice pig] Mark Comte, who [had his hand in his pants while panting about] “young girls wearing barely anything”…

I wonder if these “reporters” realize how skeevy, racist and pathetic their harassment of Asian women (they actually confronted workers in person, accused them of crimes, and spied on them) sounds to people with moral compasses?  Or how ridiculous their use of words like “seedy” and “illegal” sound?  Or defining “john”, which only cops and reporters use to describe clients, as though it were an industry term?  Or pretending that review sites are a new thing?  Or…

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

A 15-year-old boy in Alaska [says]…his parents set up security cameras in his bedroom and bathroom to make sure he doesn’t masturbate.  The anonymous teen took to Reddit’s legal advice section to ask for help…[writing] “I’m 15 and think I should be allowed to touch my own body.  This is embarrassing and destroys my privacy, please help…My dad barged in without knocking and started screaming at me…He and my mom then sat me down and told me I’m not allowed to touch myself.”  The teen said his parents are against sexual activities before marriage.  He wasn’t even allowed to participate in his school’s sex education classes – leaving him to only learn “some things’ on the internet”…

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

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

Stripping is legal sex work in America, but states and counties [claim] the right to regulate strip clubs…But even as they legislate dancers’ movements and clothing down to fractions of an inch, [politicians] tend to ignore the fact that those same workers’ rights are being roundly disregarded…strippers are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  This means they should be able to come and go as they please, charge whatever they choose to charge and dress as they see fit.  Instead, many dancers describe being assigned shifts, told what to charge and held accountable for keeping certain hours.  Such regulations should qualify them as employees of the club rather than independent contractors paying for the privilege of working there.  But strippers are frequently denied the legal protection afforded W-2 employees, including payroll taxes, health care and workers’ rights protections…

It’s good to see Playboy beginning to recognize its long-ignored duty to support sex workers.

Opting Out (#926) 

Another fashion magazine comes out (mostly) on the side of sex workers:

The new [UK]…porn ban…[won’t only] apply to the major porn providers like YouPorn etc.  It will also affect small scale sex workers, who use specialist sites or their own personal websites to advertise their work…it could impact…escorts, webcam models, fetish models, and dominatrixes…88 percent of whom are women…and…the porn ban isn’t the only obstacle that could jeopardise sex workers’ safety.  MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prostitution…are pushing to criminalise and ban the online advertising of sex work — meaning sites like Adultwork could be blocked completely…

Loose Cannons

An unbelievable number of useful idiots took to Twitter to complain about this:

Robert K. Kraft all but defeated two charges of solicitation of prostitution when a Florida county judge…threw out…evidence [illegally] obtained in [illegal] surveillance videos…Kraft…[sensibly] refused to accept a plea deal…[requiring] a fine and [slave labor] to resolve the two misdemeanor charges because the deal would have required him to [pretend] that the prosecutors [were telling the truth]…Mr. Kraft’s decision to [exercise his constitutional right to a jury trial]…turned what normally would be a routine [railroading for acts that shouldn’t even be illegal] into a highly public [exposure of the sleazy tactics employed by] the police and prosecutors in Palm Beach County…[who used the popular racist fad excuse of] sex trafficking [to raid and pillage] a chain of massage parlors in Florida…Kraft’s lawyer [pointed out, correctly]…that police had [lied to obtain a warrant to] hid[e] surveillance cameras inside the spa…Judge Leonard Hanser…agreed…

As you can see, a number of edits were necessary to correct the New York Times‘ eager copsucking.  And the “woke” twits on Twitter?  Apparently they are happy to let cops use the Constitution as toilet paper, make non-consensual porn videos of migrant workers and hundreds of their customers, then sexually assault those same migrant workers before robbing them, locking them in cages and threatening them with deportation, in order to humiliate one “old white man”.

Top Cop (#936)

Even some mainstream journalists are seeing though this power-hungry sociopath’s lies:

…We were…told last month that Harris “regrets” the truancy laws she helped pass…to criminalize parents if their kids miss school…she [now claims to]…regret…that some parents were arrested under the law, saying this “was not the intention.”  Yet prosecution of parents was the express purpose of these laws.  These arrests were no more an unintended consequence than arrests for breaking laws against burglary or sexual assault…Harris explicitly…lied…in an interview with Jake Tapper…on CNN…[claiming]…”not one parent was sent to jail” because of her initiative…[when] Tapper [correctly stated] “people were thrown into jail under that law”…Harris [replied] “Not by me”…of course they weren’t literally put in jail by Harris, who was attorney general of California…and not an arresting officer…no common understanding of “no one was sent to jail” means People…weren’t personally put [in jail] by the attorney general.  Again, we see Harris trying to rewrite her record and history…

Upon seeing the interview, Donald Trump commented “I never separated a migrant family!”  Barack Obama added, “I never drone-murdered anyone!” and the ghost of Harry Truman materialized and moaned, “I never bombed Hiroshima!”

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Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

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

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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I am more frightened of the police than I am of [a rapist].  –  Sipho

Surplus Women 

Stick to sex worker victims, and you can murder as many women as you like without cops giving a shit (or even noticing):

Convicted killer Samuel Little, 78, could turn out to be among the country’s most prolific serial killers in history, and one that, until now, law enforcement didn’t even realize existed…after being convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for three murders in Southern California between 1986 and 1989, Little recently began confessing to dozens more [as part of a bargain in which he will be moved to a prison in Texas].  In total, Little has confessed to killing 90 women  across more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005…and…the FBI…has been able to link 34 unsolved murders to Little’s confessed crimes…While Little is fuzzy about dates, he has a chillingly detailed memory of…what his victims looked like and how they were killed…Little targeted marginalized women, many of them women of color, and the FBI has admitted that many of the murder cases they’ve linked to Little were not just unsolved, but barely investigated; some of his victims haven’t even been identified.  And although Little, a former competitive boxer, usually beat his victims and then strangled them while masturbating, according to the FBI, “many of these deaths were not classified as homicides [because NHI] but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes”…

Secret Squirrel (#344)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…“We offer a variety of options for parents whether they are simply looking out for their teens overall safety or concerned for the teen that may be sneaking out of the house at night or at risk of running away,” a sales video for Florida’s Tampa Bay Monitoring informs prospective customers…Frank Kopczynski, the owner of Tampa Bay Monitoring…also runs Action Plus Bail Bonds…“We provide a bracelet that is near-impossible to cut off,” Kopczynski [said]…[a microphone allows] staff [to] monitor the teen covertly…A competing teen GPS monitoring service says of their systems, “This device is also great if your juvenile goes on spring break!”…Tampa Bay Monitoring also offers an “optional, hardened steel encased security cuff for high-risk teens”…

Property of the State 

People with children are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

Child Protective Services workers…pressured a Harris County investigator to file charges against the mother whose case prompted a $127,000 sanction against the agency…Dillon and Melissa Bright [sued the state]…after CPS [abducted]…their children…[using invented claims] of child abuse…Following an October court hearing in which a CPS caseworker repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment on the stand [to avoid admitting prior perjury], the family ultimately won back their kids and last month Juvenile Judge Mike Schneider slapped the state with what may be the largest-ever sanction against the agency.  [The pressure to file further spurious charges started soon after]…

Little Boxes (#576)

US media reporting this fail to mention that many US jurisdictions have very similar laws against revealing clothes for women:

An Egyptian actress [was]…charged with public obscenity after she showed up at the closing ceremony of a film festival in Cairo wearing a see-through dress that revealed the entirety of her legs.  Rania Youssef’s trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 12, follows a complaint to the chief prosecutor by a group of [busybody] lawyers…Youssef faces up to five years in prison if convicted…

Sex Work is Work (#603)

Amateurs could learn so much about business from whores:

…Why [do] sex workers show so many more leadership attributes than a business leader?  The answer is straightforward—out of necessity.  A business leader has as many leadership attributes as he needs to have, and…just one or two might suffice…Rarely does he have to be an all-rounder…because he has enough people to cover for him.  The female sex worker does not have this luxury.  Her world is far more complex, much more challenging.  She must deal with emotional, health, and financial crises all the time.  There is the constant threat of violence, and her first mission is really to survive.  She has no power, but still must stay in control.  She has no support system, but she must cope.  She simply cannot win with just one or two shots in her game; she needs a whole repertoire…

The Last Shall Be First (#624)

The only “mistake” here was that the victim wasn’t actually trans:

A woman is suing employees of a Florida jail after they…forced her to spend…[many] hours in a cell surrounded by dozens of men, because they suspected she was transgender…Fior Pichardo de Veloz had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic to witness the birth of her grandchild in 2013, when she was arrested at the airport on an outstanding drug charge…Due to her history of high blood pressure, Pichardo de Veloz was examined by a nurse as a precaution.  The nurse saw she had been taking hormone pills and questioned her about her gender.  Despite Pichardo de Veloz’s denial of being a man, the nurse added a note to her file that read: “Transgender, male parts, female tendencies.”  The nurse notified a doctor, who reclassified Pichardo de Veloz as male without an examination…[she] was transferred to…an all-male jail, and shared a cell with about 40 men, who jeered at her…for 10 hours and said she was terrified to go to the bathroom and “urinated on herself instead”…[when] family members [complained]…she was…given a new examination [while]…several male [cops watched]…laughed at her and…took a photo…

Understand what happened here:  the nurse fully intended to put a transwoman into a situation where she was likely to be raped.  She could easily have determined the woman’s genitalia by examining her, but then she couldn’t have claimed it was a “mistake” to put her with men.

To Molest and Rape 

Can you imagine any non-cop getting only three months for aggravated rape?

A Colorado [pig] who [raped] a handcuffed woman…was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by four years on probation…His victim was left with PTSD…Curtis Lee Arganbright…[was supposed] to take the woman home [after a minor incident at a hospital, for which the hospital declined to press charges]…on the way to her house…he…stopped his…car…and [vaginally raped] her…on the [hood] while she was still cuffed.  He then…oral[ly raped her]…before [threatening her if she told anyone]…She returned the hospital the following day [to report the]…rape…Addressing the incident when it first came to light in August 2017, Westminster Police Chief Tim Carlson [tried to divert attention from the crime by talking about his sadfeelz]…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Toasters have no “virginity” and cannot “consent” to anything:

Sex robots [do not exist] at the moment…but [that doesn’t stop reporters from calling sex doll rental arcades]…“robot brothels”…feel out the market in the US and Canada.  But if a [doll] hasn’t “had sex” yet, does that make it a virgin?  A crowdfunding campaign to open the world’s first consent-focused [sex doll rental arcade]…launched by Abyss Creations employee Unicole Unicron last month would argue that it does indeed…a $155,000 funding target [failed miserably by reaching only $2659 even though]…backers [could] pledge $10,000 to be the first person to [masturbate with] a [doll] at Eve’s Robot Dreams…in California…is putting a price on a robot’s virginity really the best marketing strategy for a [fake] brothel that’s focusing on the idea of [fake] consent?…

I’m sorry, that’s all  can quote; it’s just all too stupid even with my extensive editorialization.

The Rape Question (#806) 

Why do men not get that an informal contract without a lawyer witness would offer no protection?

…women [are] being asked to record “consent videos” before having [amateur] sex with men who fear they will be accused of assault afterwards…this then allows the person who recorded the video to use it as “evidence” that their partner gave consent before having sex…barrister Kate Fortescue [said]…”In this digital age, a jury is nearly always asked to look at material from phones and computers to help them decide the issue of consent.  Evidence of pre-recorded consent is clearly relevant and something a jury could consider.  However, even if consent was freely given, such recordings could never provide a blanket defence”…

Seriously, guys, if you’re really this worried just stick to pros and leave the amateurs alone.

The Prudish Giant (#818) 

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

Curator and art historian Ruben Cordova [foolishly] thought that Facebook was the perfect platform to archive the photographic materials equivalent to almost a decade’s worth of his research.  He created a network of albums, links, commentaries, and comparanda online, sometimes using those resources for his lectures at universities and galleries.  This abundance of scholarship even included materials necessary for Cordova’s forthcoming publication.  But…in the early morning of November 16…Facebook…permanently disabled his account due to an alleged violation of community standards banning sexually explicit content…[because an] algorithm in[correc]tly identified the nude woman in John De Andrea’s hyperrealistic Self-Portrait with Sculpture (1980) as a living human being…the image…was just one of about 240…he uploaded from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s popular Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body exhibition…[and even] included a link to the museum website, which would presumably allow a human moderator to fact-check Cordova’s appeal against his ban…when the art historian did try to appeal Facebook’s decision, he found that none of his messages reached the social media giant through his computer, receiving multiple error messages instead…

Disaster (#829)

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

Tumblr will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th in [celebration of the infliction of violence on sex workers]…The new policy’s announcement comes just days after Tumblr was removed from Apple’s iOS App Store over a child pornography incident, but it extends far beyond that matter alone…Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations…The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted.  Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos…[existing] posts with [censored] content will be set to private, which will prevent them from being reblogged or shared elsewhere…Users who run adult blogs can also export their content before the change takes place in order to save what they have…Since Tumblr was founded in 2007, it has largely turned a blind eye to adult content…[which made it] a safe place [for gender and sexual minorities] to enjoy, share, and discuss…adult content…

Business As Usual (#845)

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

One in three of the 57 sex workers surveyed [in South Africa] reported they had been raped by policemen, and more than half said police officers had demanded bribes from them in exchange for escaping arrest or abuse…From interviews with a further 61 sex workers, the Sonke and Sweat researchers documented horrific examples of police forcing the women to have sex with animals, compelling them to eat used condoms and refusing to assist them after they had reported abuse at the hands of clients…in November 2015, [when] a sex worker…was found dead at “The Bush” [a scrub-covered field where sex workers take clients]…police…refused to take…statements [from her friends]…Instead…the police raided “The Bush” two weeks later, setting fire to their shacks and destroying their personal possessions…

Worse Than I Thought (#852)

While Virginia lags in inventing inflammatory anti-whore rhetoric, it makes up for it by inventing truly awful anti-whore laws:

Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission endorsed a package of anti-sex-[worker] legislation…that would…create “John schools” for people caught [in cop stings] and make it illegal to charge for “masturbatory services”…“Happy endings”…are currently not included in the state’s prostitution statutes, but local governments can individually act to define the transactions as illegal sex acts…[prohibitionists quoted some racist propaganda]…from…Polaris Project [that infantilizes Asian migrant women so as to deny them agency]…Another piece of legislation approved by the commission would create a [new anti-whore bureaucracy]…and…proposed “John schools” [to indoctrinate ordinary men in anti-whore propaganda]…Another…would define [any associate of an underage sex worker] as caretakers…and allow social service agencies to take emergency custody of [those declared] victims, [imprisoning them indefinitely under the guise of “protection”]…

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

Think of the Children! 

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

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

The More the Better 

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

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

The Spiral of Absurdity texas-tribune-tinfoil-hat

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

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

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

Cops and Robbers (#435)

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

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

Secret Squirrel (#509)

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

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

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

Coming and Going (#592)

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

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

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

The Public Eye (#596)

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

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

Lying Down With Dogs (#625) 

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

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

Spotlight (#683) asstoon-strikes-again

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

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

The Course of a Disease (#686)

Another patient succumbs to the Swedish disease:

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

An Example To the West (#710)

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

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

Business As Usual (#711) 

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

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

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This is neanderthal policing based on hysteria and headline-chasing.  –  Alex Feis-Bryce

Real People 

What’s “shocking” is that some people are so ignorant they actually think it’s “shocking” that sex workers are mostly normal people with mostly normal lives:

Jess Lang…talks about her life before becoming an escort — twice divorced, former fundamentalist Christian.  She…admits most people who know her wouldn’t be surprised to learn of her profession.  Jess seems like the furthest thing from a desperate girl selling her body under the coercion of a pimp.  She is…a middle-class escort who loves what she does and makes good money doing it…a growing international alliance of sex workers [is] calling for the rest of society to understand their work, decriminalize it, and give them the same labor rights as people in other jobs…

Bottleneck

The narrower the neck, the more “illegal” sex work there will be:

In the 2015–2016 financial year, five of Queensland’s brothels shut their doors, bringing the number of licensed brothels down to 22.  This is the lowest it’s been in a decade…it’s not just the state of the economy that’s affecting sex workers.  It’s the way Queensland licenses its brothels…Annual license fees…are…about $35,000, and each manager has to be licensed up as well, which costs $1,000 each…brothels can only have a maximum of five rooms and eight workers on shift at any one time.  In comparison, the limit is six rooms in Victoria, but brothels that were established before 1995 are allowed to have more…Not only are Queensland’s brothels paying more, with less staff to make money, but they’re also prohibited from offering…outcall…services, losing a large proportion of business to private sex workers.  Victorian brothels are allowed to offer such services.  So while Queensland’s licensed brothels are closing, more and more workers are turning to private work…

Monkey Business capuchin-monkey-tools

So much for human uniqueness:

Monkeys have been observed producing sharp stone flakes that closely resemble the earliest known tools made by our ancient relatives, proving that this ability is not uniquely human…archaeologists…can no longer assume that stone flakes they discover are linked to the deliberate crafting of tools by early humans…Unlike early humans, the flakes produced by the capuchins were the unintentional byproduct of hammering stones…the monkeys appeared to be seeking out the quartz dust produced by smashing the rocks, possibly because it has a nutritional benefit…monkeys…selected rounded quartz hammer stones …[then] pounded their chosen stone on embedded quartz cobbles and then licked the quartz dust that this produced.  They made no attempts to use the sharp fragments and showed no interest in them…

Blunt Instrument

I wonder how many happy endings these brave heroes got during their “investigation”?

Hollywood [Florida] police arrested 24 women at 20 different locations this week in a prostitution sting targeting massage parlors.  During the five-month investigation called Operation Red Light, undercover detectives said they found evidence that the women were performing sexual acts on customers in exchange for payment.  All of the women face charges of prostitution, practicing without a license and misrepresenting themselves as a licensed massage therapist.  Two of the massage parlor owners, Giselle Guo…and Yan Zheng…also face bribery charges…Hollywood police Chief Tomas Sanchez [vomited onto reporters]…”These massage parlors breed other criminal activities, including human and sex trafficking, drug sales and money laundering”…

The End of the Beginning 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether North Carolina can ban registered sex offenders from using social media websites and other sites that allow minors to have accounts…Lester Packingham…was…found…guilty [of violating the ban] in May 2012…He appealed, and in 2013 the North Carolina Court of Appeals vacated…[the] conviction…finding…the law…unconstitutional…[then] a divided North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the appeals court a year ago…

Secret Squirrel (#421)

Conditioning kids to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…is pushing to develop…biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students [to] identify which classroom moments excite and interest them…Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out…Skeptics…call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged.  Plus, they say it’s absurd to think spikes in teenagers’ emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning…

I don’t usually feature four-year-old items, but I made an exception in this case.

Worse Than I Thought (#597)

Backpage’s loss here may actually be a kind of win, since the court specifically stated that the SAVE Act doesn’t apply to regular escort ads:

A federal judge…threw out Backpage.com’s claim that the U.S. attorney general is enforcing an unconstitutional law against [sex work] advertising…Backpage challenged the constitutionality of the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act…[because] it feared prosecution if it did not comply with the law by removing the “adult” category from its website…U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton…said the company lacks standing.  “Backpage.com has not presented evidence that Congress sought to eliminate all advertisements of a sexual nature…through the adoption of the SAVE Act; rather, the legislation is directed only at those advertisements concerning illegal sex trafficking”…Backpage has said it screens, blocks and removes such content…[so] it cannot allege that it would be burdened by compliance measures in this case.  Backpage attorney Robert Corn-Revere portrayed the ruling as a sort of win for his client.  “We are gratified that the court recognized that prosecution…requires actual knowledge that criminal activity is going on”…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops sue news media for revealing that they’re rapists:

A year after CBC Radio-Canada reported allegations of police sexually and physically abusing Aboriginal women in Val-d’Or, Quebec, the broadcaster is getting sued for $2.3 million…forty [cops] have filed the defamation lawsuit claiming [that the truth]…reporting upset their relationship with the community and tainted the reputation of the [cops] who [didn’t get caught]…The Provincial Police Association of Quebec [is] funding the lawsuit…The report uncovered two decades of…sexual abuse against…women [who]…were beaten and raped by the [cops]…

The Course of a Disease (#663)

Truth from a politician is even rarer than a denunciation of prohibition in Ireland:

A Fine Gael minister has caused outrage by [stating] there is nothing wrong with lonely men finding affection in the arms of a prostitute…And he dismissed Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s plans to criminalise hookers and clients as something that “doesn’t work…We don’t have the resources to police the women and certainly don’t have resources to police the much larger number of men…where you are talking about a lonely chap who wants to go out and spend his money to have a physical relationship because he’s got a need, there’s nothing wrong with that’’…

It’s a measure of the sickness of Western society that such an obviously-true statement could cause “outrage”.

Send In the Clowns 

We’re probably nearing the end of this year’s clown panic, and that’s kind of sad:

On 12 October 2016, the Facebook page “Clown Hunters” published a post warning that clowns may be “planning their own purge the night before Halloween…Stay inside, keep all pets inside and keep all doors and windows locked”…Despite having all the hallmarks of an opportunistic social media hoax predicated on contemporaneous purported clown sightings, close to half a million users directly shared the post within 48 hours of its appearance…Missing from most versions of the rumor were details about how information on the clown purge was obtained, how the clowns might be organizing among themselves, whether the clown purge threat was localized or widespread, or indication that any credible entity believed such a thing was possible or likely.  The rumor was a variation on cyclically viral general “purgerumors spurred on by social media panics in specific areas, often occurring around Halloween…no outbreak of widespread crime has ever followed them…Unlike previous viral purge panics, we haven’t been able to find any indication that police in any jurisdiction have even bothered to address the clown purge rumors…

Whatever They Need To Say (#684)

Frankie Mullin on the recent Soho & Chinatown raids:

…A [cop mouthpiece pretended]…that the operation was “launched specifically in response to concerns raised by sex workers themselves”…[but in reality it was] “concern”…from…[prohibitionist NGOs masquerading as] charities…In 2013, the justification for the raids was, again, trafficking.  But no evidence of trafficking was found.  After a series of court cases and public outcry, 18 of the 20 closed flats were reopened…definitions of trafficking conflict with common sense understandings of the term.  It’s deemed “irrelevant whether the victim consents to the travel”.  No coercion is necessary, meaning any undocumented migrant worker in the UK is fair game to be “rescued” as a trafficking victim…the Met…confiscated £35,000, bagged it up and, in the style of the best teenage Instagram gangsters, released trophy pictures to the press…

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I think I just wasted my time doing all these other jobs before I did sex work.  I should have been doing it a long time before.  –  Mai Jantawhite slave girl

It Looks Good On Paper

Another bullshit story touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws that allow “perfect victims” to expunge their records of prostitution charges after going through the hell that is the US “justice” system:

…states have dramatically changed laws…to distinguish between voluntary prostitution and the trafficking of women and girls…Before the new laws, states primarily dealt with the sex trade by charging sex workers, usually women, with prostitution.  Many of those laws remain on the books, but states are supplementing them with “safe harbor” laws that protect minors—and sometimes adults—who can prove they were coerced into selling sex…

There’s so much wrong in this one short section: the organized crime myth; agency denial; the pretense that only “many” prostitution laws remain (they all do); the pretense that “safe harbor” laws protect anyone; the reversal of the burden of proof…it’s truly staggering that people can’t see this for what it is.

The Punitive Mindset

Authoritarians think people can simply be ordered to be asexual:

…Sexuality in prison is a controversial topic, and the rare studies that explore the subject focus mostly on the impact of conjugal visits or on the same-sex relationships that develop behind bars.  The general consensus, though, is that helping inmates relieve sexual tensions can actually lead to a reduction in violence and prison rape.  Still, many governments around the world have refused to offer prisoners the “privilege” to watch racy content.  French judge Nina Califano, author of Sexualité, Incarcérée (Sexuality, Imprisoned), [says]…”Sexuality is a basic need that doesn’t go away when you are incarcerated”…[she] argues that allowing inmates to cater to their basic sexual needs — through erotic visual stimulation and masturbation — does more than calm inmates who are behind bars; it is also an important part of ensuring [they]…can later be reintegrated into society…

Change a Few Words

All prohibition is the same, so any move away from it affects all types:

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) appeared set to call on governments to end the criminalization of drug use and possession…but in a dramatic turn of events withdrew a briefing paper under pressure from…the U.S. government.  More than 1.5 million drug arrests are made every year in the U.S. – the overwhelming majority for possession only.  Roughly two dozen countries, and dozens of U.S. cities and states, have taken steps toward decriminalization of drug use and possession.  “There is simply no good basis in science, health or ethics for bringing someone into the criminal justice system solely for drug possession,” [said Ethan] Nadelmann [of the Drug Policy Alliance].  “This will hopefully help accelerate the global trend toward ending the criminalization of drugs”…

St. James Infirmary

This fundraiser for the St. James Infirmary met and surpassed its goal in only a few days, but they’re such an important organization that I’m not going to miss giving it a mention and ask that you consider helping out.

Comfort Zone (#320)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

The International Organization for Migration (IOM)…called on governments to more closely monitor sex trafficking and lend specialized assistance to the 1.5 million refugees expected to enter the European Union this year, warning of a surge in sexual assault against women being smuggled across the Mediterranean Sea from West Africa…

Perquisites (#340) 

Dear Dave Zirin: please STFU and stop trying to get free pussy from feminists by parroting their nonsense:

In revelations that the University of Louisville basketball program may have paid a…madam to supply recruits with strippers and sex, the reactions have congregated into two camps: moralizers and cynics.  The moralizers are bleating that this scandal has forever tarnished the innocent joys of amateurism…the cynics…[are] fashionably bored by all of this.  They shrug, saying that these kinds of things happen everywhere…But both of these reactions miss the most urgent issue—the NCAA’s political economy of misogyny…

An Example To the West (#343) Not Drowning - Waving

The writer hasn’t got much of a sense of history; not so long ago, a substantial fraction of the bars in the US were owned by sex workers:

The stereotype of trafficked Asian women exploited by sex tourists means that few people in the west expect Thai sex workers to be at the forefront of a radical push for sex workers’ rights, but…Can Do bar represents just that…it…is the only bar in Thailand, if not the world, that is owned and run by a collective of sex workers, and designed to model exemplary working conditions in the industry…[Liz] Hilton explains.  “One day a group of sex workers here in Chiang Mai said, ‘Actually the government doesn’t get it, nobody understands what we’re talking about, we’re going to have to build it ourselves, we can’t wait anymore.’  And so they pooled their money and raised a million baht [almost $30,000] between them all and created the bar”…

Secret Squirrel (#344)

I’ve written about this issue before, but this is a new low:

Halloween…is a totally subversive day, proving to kids that however much they are supervised the rest of the year, they obviously don’t need it.  They can go out with their friends, roam the neighborhood and have a great time.  So, naturally, this rebellion must be squashed.  Enter…child tracking devices that are pitching parents on the necessity of electronically monitoring their kids’ spoooooooky journey to…the neighbor’s homes. AireLive’s press release promises that its livestreaming capacity will allow “kids to communicate with their parents in real time should any questions arise.  Parents can view the livestream and assess the situation should a teen ever be in need of assistance.”  Nooooooo!  The whole idea is that if “questions” arise, kids should solve them on their own…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#440)

As Leona Hameed once wrote, “Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“.

…The ECP and [MSP Jean] Urquhart are campaigning for decriminalisation.  This is not – as has been suggested in countless media reports – legalisation.  Insisting on clarification isn’t petty quibbling.  The models are so distinct that when York Union…changed the title of its debate to “This House believes the legalisation of prostitution would be a disaster”, both sides thought they were arguing in favour of the motion…The York mix-up wasn’t unique.  Since Amnesty released its draft proposal for the decriminalisation of sex work, countless articles have conflated the terms, inaccurately holding up Germany and the Netherlands as examples of “decriminalisation gone wrong”…under legalisation, sex work is controlled by the government and is legal only under certain state-specified conditions.  Decriminalisation involves the removal of all prostitution-specific laws, although sex workers and sex work businesses must still operate within the laws of the land, as must any businesses…

Surplus Women (#550) 

I’m honestly not sure why the writer chose to link this woman’s death those of a serial killer’s victims merely because they happened in the same town:

The body draped over the fence was so bruised and mangled, passerby thought it was a Halloween decoration…Rebecca Cade, a 31-year-old resident of Chillicothe, Ohio…is the seventh Chillicothe woman found dead or missing in the past 16 months—a staggering number for a town of just 21,000 residents.  Then there’s the media coverage of Cade’s murder.  As news spread of the grisly discovery, websites across the nation used Cade’s own mugshot from a previous arrest to illustrate articles about her death—a confusing and ethically murky editorial decision that strikes at the heart of why women like Cade become victims at all…Donnie Couchenuer Jr., 27, was charged with murder and is currently in jail awaiting trial.  But it was Cade’s mugshot that dotted the digital landscape all week long…

Challenge (#559)

California legislators heard from a diverse range of voices about human trafficking and prostitution in America.  The proceedings before the Assembly Public Safety Committee provided a rare chance for people with divergent viewpoints…to come together and have their say.  And then something even more rare happened: some California politicians even seemed to come away with new perspective…Fox News Sacramento reported on the hearing with the headline “Some Suggest Legalizing Prostitution Would Put an End to Sex Trafficking“, noting the “odd mix of legislators, policy wonks, (and) sex workers” in the room…Actually, sex work and human rights advocates tend to focus on decriminalization, not legalization, of prostitution…Nonetheless, the Fox article presents an atypically nuanced perspective on prostitution…It goes on to note that “many adult sex workers say they won’t be able to protect a child, or show her how to stay safe on the streets, for fear of being arrested as a trafficker”…

Innocence Never Had (#574)

Even when authoritarians do something right, they can’t resist warping it into something wrong:

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced Wednesday that his department will immediately stop arresting children on prostitution charges.  “They are child victims and survivors of rape,” McDonnell wrote in a letter to his employees.  “We must remember that children cannot consent to sex under any circumstance.”

No, no, fucking no.  Young adults are not “children”, and the notion that they “cannot” consent is a legal fiction, not a reality.  The article goes on to delineate that these young people will still be coerced into “help” by cops, such as by confining them in the foster care system many of them fled in the first place.  At the end, the story quotes a prohibitionist named Withelma Pettigrew as saying “Labels are a big deal.” I agree, and labeling young adults as “children” and passive “victims” both demeans and infantilizes them.

Celebrities (#580)

The phrase “sanctimonious bullshit” comes to mind:

Dennis Hof is not paying the 2 hookers who cavorted with Lamar Odom at the Love Ranch brothel, because he now believes they may have had something to do with Lamar doing drugs at the facility…The…deal with Hof was to split the $75k Lamar paid — so they were to get $37,500 which they would equally divide.  But now Hof says…”They will not answer questions about Lamar or possible drug use while he was here.  I’m suspicious”…

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Any politician or law enforcement agent who believes that criminalizing both suppliers and buyers of sex will improve the safety of sex workers and their clients is delusional.  –  Charles Hill

He or She?

A new study scheduled for publication in Psychological Science provides strong evidence that trans children’s understanding of their own gender identities is indistinguishable from that of their…cisgender…peers…running counter to common assumptions that trans kids are “pretending” or “confused” about their gender…the researchers assigned the same set of tasks to 32 trans children, 18 of their siblings, and 32 nontrans children, all aged 5-12…”Across all these tasks, across the more and the less controllable measures of gender development, our transgender participants look just like other kids, but in the direction of their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth”…

In other words, all kids who identified as female performed similarly to each other on the tests whether they were biologically female or not, and all the kids who identified as male performed more like each other than like the girls.

See How Well It Works?Cuckoo Clock McCain

“Cuckoo Clock” McCain ignores the collapse of the “gypsy whores” myth, insisting that the reason the Lost Tribe of Gomorrah failed to materialize in her backyard was because of her own hysteria:

“The Super Bowl, unfortunately, happens to be the largest human trafficking venue on the planet,” said Cindy McCain…”It’s gone on for decades unchecked,” said [FBI] Agent George Steuer…”When Arizona was awarded the Super Bowl, we had no human trafficking legislation on our books”…McCain said.  “Unless we were going to be racked with a dangerous Super Bowl, we had to get to work.”  It has worked, according to authorities…[though] there is no empirical evidence of an increase in trafficking during the Super Bowl, Steuer [pretends without presenting evidence that] his office has seen a “definite uptick in activity”…

Profound Mental Disabilities

Usually, it’s being submissive that they pretend is a mental illness:

…a 17-year-old girl…[was] in a car accident in 2008, [started] working as a dominatrix five years later, and a B.C. Supreme Court judge [decided] that…whipping people for a living…[instead] of “being a filmmaker or actress…showed a lack of ‘correct thinking’ and was proof she’d taken an unnecessary risk due to a loss of cognitive function from a moderate traumatic brain injury”…

Welcome To Our World (The Hits Keep Coming)

It never stops with whores:

Anyone helping homeless people by offering them travel money, shelter or food could face up to a year in prison…in Norway…Vidar Brien-Karlsen, Secretary of State…said it was necessary…as the police needed authority to crack down on those running begging networks as an organised business…

Can you smell the “trafficking” filth?

The Widening Gyre 

The last part of this item degenerates into “Swedish model” cheerleading, believe it or not:  “A [Utah politician] wants to give convicted child sex traffickers the…death penalty…He said he’s been working on bills to target prostitution…for years…”  And this barely-comprehensible muddle is as stupid as anything we’ve ever seen under this heading:

For the past three weeks…an R-storm warning has been in effect.  R-storm is a new multi-jurisdictional prostitution and sex trafficking operation…the women involved are not only at risk legally, they now face new risks on the street as guinea pigs for drugs dealers…”to test their products”…It’s that connection to other crimes…that R-storm is trying to fight…R-storm says…If you see behavior that looks suspicious, call your local police.

Puerile cop nomenclature, agency denial, demonization, the gateway myth, police-state propaganda…all in a few sentences!

Checklist 

The utterly ridiculous idea that a “sex buyer” is a particular kind of man that one can be “trained” to spot derives from the even more ludicrous notion that paying for sex is unusual and pathological:

One of Sweden’s largest hotel chains…has announced additional training for staff as part of a government initiative to counter prostitution in the hospitality industry…including watching an educational video designed to help them better identify clues that suggest plans to buy or sell sex…“It is incredibly important that there won’t be a witch hunt on individual customers”…[a hotel manager lied before advising]…all staff to call police immediately if they suspected prostitution…

Frequently Told Lies

The English Collective of Prostitutes has put out another debunking of prohibitionist myths; the more of these we see, the better.

Traffic Circle

It’s so good to see articles like this appearing in regular newspapers, especially when they quote me:

When media reports use the term “sex slave,” it sensationalizes rape and abduction…campaigns [against]…sex trafficking…end up making life more difficult and dangerous for sex workers…[because they] don’t differentiate between those who chose sex work versus those who are coerced…Take it from Maggie McNeill, a former sex worker who is now an activist and blogger.  She talks about how much of the data about…sex trafficking might be unreliable and how confounding the idea that all sex work is sex trafficking is problematic.  In an interview with Reason.com, McNeill says that until sex work is decriminalized, it’s difficult to have any real idea of how many sex workers are choosing the work versus needing to versus being forced into it.  Not having reliable data hasn’t stopped countless…organizations from bold…unsupported claims…

Property of the State Purvi Patel

Purvi Patel…faces two different, and contradictory, charges after suffering a premature delivery and seeking medical care.  The story…[gives] a frightening look of what’s to come as increasingly draconian abortion restrictions force pregnant people to turn to other, sometimes illegal and often dangerous, means…Patel went to an emergency room in…Indiana…for vaginal bleeding…prosecutors allege…she told staff she believed she was roughly two months pregnant and miscarried the fetus at home…Prosecutors initially charged Patel with felony neglect of a dependent, a class A felony that carries with it a 50-year prison sentence.  But in order to convict Patel with felony neglect, prosecutors must be able to prove the fetus she delivered was born alive…That’s why they have also charged Patel with feticide…

Vendetta (#432)

Swanee Hunt’s private pogrom has been moved up to January so cops can vomit out the lie that it has something to do with the Super Bowl:

A national coalition of local law enforcement agencies conducted a sting operation that led to the arrests of 570 would-be sex buyers…and 23 pimps or traffickers, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced…The ninth “National Day of Johns Arrests” ran for approximately two weeks, from January 15 through February 1…

Who but a government functionary would see nothing wrong with calling a two-week period a “day”?  The article boasts that the program has “grown rapidly”, and here’s why: “$341,330 in minimum fines…221 cars towed/forfeited…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#445)

Professor Hill strikes again:

…The last people that clients and/or sex workers who have been beaten, robbed, threatened, stalked or raped are going to go to are law enforcement agents…because [the latter] are actively seeking to arrest them and (in the case of clients) seize their assets…there is no reliable data to suggest that more than a small minority of sex workers are coerced or “trafficked”.  The often cited “statistics” on trafficking in sex work do not stand up under scrutiny and are systematically misquoted and exaggerated by NGOs and other interested groups in order to elicit funding and political support for…the abolition of all sex work for moral reasons.  One misleading statistic that keeps making the rounds is the claim that there are 300,000 minors being trafficked for sex in the United States…This figure is mathematically implausible since it represents 1 in every 50 girls in the US between the ages of 12 and 18…[such] estimates have been widely criticized as inflated and absurd…

Safe Targets (#452)

Terra [sic] Burns…is…a graduate student who studies the sex industry, and…[an activist] with…Community United for Safety and Protection, which opposes [bad] human trafficking laws…“Most of the people [charged]…have been women who have been working together”…says Burns….[who] thinks the law should be amended so those who work in the sex industry of their own volition are not…entrapped by [cops]…Burns launched a “Tilt” crowdfunding campaign three weeks ago…to raise $1,500 to pay for Burns to live out of a camper in Juneau for a month…[as] a…lobbyist…[a prohibitionist politician lied that an anti-whore law]…“doesn’t touch…voluntary sex workers in any way, shape, or form”…

Secret Squirrel (#509)

Note the starkly different tone when the stalker is a woman:

I can’t remember exactly when I decided to start Geotagging my partner…It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him; I just wanted to build on that trust with cold hard evidence.  Friends who think my behaviour is creepy, controlling or borderline obsessive have pointed out that just because you know where someone is doesn’t mean they are not in that place cheating on you.  That’s true, but this is something which means he’d have a harder time getting away with it…This isn’t…invading his privacy…If he had refused to use it, I would only presume he had something to hide…

The More the Better (#509)

Cracked continues its run of excellent pro-sex worker articles with “5 Ways Being a Legal Prostitute Is Weirder Than You Think“:

We didn’t expect to become the Internet’s primary source for insider perspectives on sex workers, but life is funny that way.  In our quest to understand society’s weird love/hate relationships with prostitutes, we’ve talked to those working outside the law and the few who ply their trade in legal brothels, and the consistent theme seems to be that it can be an awful job, but only because polite society insists on making it awfula…legal brothel worker…walked us through some of the bizarre rules, regulations, and everyday bullshit that pervades every aspect of their lives.  It really made it clearer than ever that the concept of someone accepting money for sex just scares the shit out of people…

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