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Posts Tagged ‘Sexcrime’

Who are you to forbid me from doing what I want with my body?  –  Patrice Spinosi

Under Every Bed

Fetishists claim that hysterical idiots seeing bogeymen behind every tree constitutes “under-reporting”:

Washington state is an opportune location to be a human trafficker, [fantasized] Kris Camenzind…of [prohibitionist group] The Human Response Network, and despite its certain presence in Lewis County, it remains an under-reported crime…one of…Camenzind[‘s Mary Sue fantasies]…was [about] a woman in her 60s being forced to appear in pornographic videos…Washington’s border with Canada, many ports, expanses of rural land and need for agricultural workers are all factors making it a hotspot for trafficking…Lewis County almost certainly serves as the scene of its own instances of human trafficking, due its rural expanses and easy access to the freeway…

“Sex trafficking” fetishists love to have it both ways, claiming that areas of large population density and “rural expanses” both increase “sex trafficking”.

Innocence Never Had

Every adult in this story needs their head examined:

District Judge Michael Gibbens sentenced Raymond Soden to five years and 10 months in prison [for paying for sex with underage girls].  That was eight years less than what was called for in Kansas sentencing guidelines.  In doing so, the judge opined that the girls, who were both younger than 15, were partly to blame for what happened and questioned how much they were harmed.  The judge pointed out that the [girls] went to Soden’s house voluntarily and didn’t appear in court when he was sentenced.  “I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct…They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell”…The judge’s comments at Soden’s sentencing drew [complaints] from prosecutors…

Innocence Never Had (#599)

Rescuers are just full of “love” for street workers, as long as it doesn’t require anything more strenuous than handing them bog rolls and writing on bananas:

The Duchess of Sussex has written personal messages of love and empowerment for street sex workers in Bristol to find in food parcels when they access night outreach support.  Meghan spontaneously came up with the idea to inscribe the kind words on bananas with a marker pen during an unannounced visit to the charity One25…The…messages…read, in capital letters and often followed by a heart: “You are strong”, “You are special”, “You are brave” and “You are loved”.  One25 in the St Paul’s area of the city helps sex workers break free from a life of violence, poverty and addiction on the streets…

Sexcrime (#645)

Congratulations to Jackman and Blake on this hard-won victory:

Renowned obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman welcomed new guidelines…that mean pornography between consenting adults depicting legal acts will not be prosecuted under obscenity laws following a review by the Crown Prosecution Service, declaring it as a major victory for free speech, privacy, as well as consent.  Until [Thursday]…individuals could be prosecuted for distributing…pornography [that features] spanking, bondage, female ejaculation and sadomasochism.  Although these acts are legal between consenting adults…they were illegal to depict in photos or video…Jackman…has campaigned for this change for over a decade…Activist and filmmaker Pandora Blake who also campaigned for reform of “nonsensical porn laws” said…“This is a happy day for queer, feminist and fetish porn”…

Fallen Idol (#693)

Color Maggie unsurprised:

John Stagliano, a legendary pornographer and owner of the film studio Evil Angel…barred its directors from working with [James] Deen following [a series of rape] accusations—but now, three years on, Stagliano has decided to lift the ban.  He and Evil Angel are not lifting it quietly, either.  The company is doing it with an explicit porn-slash-documentary film titled Consent.  Later, Stagliano will tell me, “I don’t like to run away from controversial subjects.  I like to run toward them”…

Soap Opera (#853)

“In Our Backyard” is loony even by the low standards of “rescue” profiteers:

Nita Belles of In Our Backyard says…”We have to change what our society thinks about what they call ‘sex work,’ because the majority of what is called sex work is actually human trafficking”…Belles recommends people share [propaganda] and [disinformation]…about sex trafficking.  In Our Backyard also has a “Freedom Sticker” campaign that features the phone number for the National Human Trafficking Hotline [for women too stupid to remember “9-1-1″…She suggests that one area to place a freedom sticker is inside a public restroom stall.  “That’s the only time a victim is alone and able to ask for help…Sex trafficking victims almost always have a phone with them because that’s how the trafficker controls their time and what they do”…


This group also claims that “pimps” go around sneaking into women’s bathrooms to deface their magic anti-pimp stickers.

The Widening Gyre (#872)

“Sex trafficking” scare stories have now spread to texting.  I’m really happy to see this one in particular, given Uber’s eager embrace of the mythology to endear itself to the Deeply Stupid by making it official company policy to train drivers to spy on female passengers and rat them out to the cops if the driver thinks they might be sex workers.

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#880) 

Remember, this isn’t “human trafficking”, but consensual sex is:

The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite…thousands of migrant children who[m it abducted] from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed.  [Toady] Jonathan White [bloviated that] removing children from…homes [of people who bought them from the government]…“would present grave child welfare concerns…It would destabilize [our attempts to make them forget their real parents]”…White said in a court filing…It is unknown how many families were [disrupted] under a longstanding policy that allows [abduc]tion…[but] Ann Maxwell, Health and Human Services’ assistant inspector general for evaluations, said…that the number…was certainly larger than the 2,737 listed by the government in court documents…Maxwell said staff estimated it to be in the thousands…

Signs (#881) 

“Sex trafficking” provides a new excuse for cops to use the same old bogus “evidence” to harass women:

…a program designed by a state trooper in Texas [claims without evidence that]…hundreds of children [were] rescued, and hundreds of pimps…arrested…by [cops] on [pretext] stops, both in Texas and other states where it has been taught.  Now Congress wants to spread that program nationwide…training federal, state, local and tribal [cops] in how to [pretend women they want to arrest are] trafficking victims…The program was created in 2009 by a…Texas [pig named]…Derek Prestridge, who realized there was no [system by which pigs could claim to be]…tracking the number of child rescues made…Prestridge and other [pigs] in…Texas…then built a training course…[out of the typical “signs of trafficking” bullshit]…

Worse Than I Thought (#895)

Looks like we’re about to see a new interstate competition for the most mindlessly-punitive anti-sex law:

Wisconsin [politicians] are bringing back a bill that would impose a new fine on anyone [cops accuse] of soliciting prostitutes.  The bill would impose a $5,000 fine on anyone convicted of [being caught in cop stings] or [having an incall]…The money would [go straight into cops’ pockets]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#904)

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

…A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet…known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement.  Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas…transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have [already] signed up to glean its insights…Replica…uses real-time mobile location data…the program gathers and de-identifies the location of cellphone users, which it obtains from unspecified third-party vendors.  It then models this anonymized data in simulations — creating a synthetic population that…replicates a city’s real-world patterns but that [allegedly] “obscures the real-world travel habits of individual people”…

Top Cop

Reason is among the chorus of voices reminding people of Harris’ awfulness:

The Course of a Disease (#909)

Given that French politicians ignored facts to pass this law, they were unlikely to be dissuaded from the evil by facts:

French sex workers failed…in their bid to overturn a law that bans paying for sex, as the country’s Constitutional Council [pretended] that it does not breach the constitution…The Swedish-inspired law [is backed by authoritarians who say]…women should [not] be allowed [sexual and economic agency]…sex workers say it has made their jobs more dangerous and deprived them of income.  Nine campaign groups had joined forces with around 30 sex workers to launch [the] constitutional challenge…

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Instead of Scheherazade telling a sociopathic Persian king a thousand stories to save herself and her sisters, McNeill taps away at a laptop with posts that reach sex workers across the world.  –   Sydney Brownstone

Think of the Children! 

DON’T THEY KNOW SEX RAYS CAN PENETRATE WALLS, LOCKED DOORS & PRIVACY PANELS?

A new business, a baby store for adults, is sparking outrage in suburban Mt. Prospect, Illinois…Dozens of residents showed up at village hall…calling for the business to be shut down or moved.  However, officials said they had no legal basis to bar the business, Tykables, which includes features such as a seven-foot crib, an over-sized high chair and adult-sized playpen…the primary focus of the business is selling adult diapers for medical needs and for “ABDL” or “Adult Baby Diaper Lovers”…Residents…said…the store has no place near schools and homes.  “It’s hard for us to swallow in this community,” one concerned resident said…”we’re supposed to sit back and watch,” another…complained.  The doors are locked…and customers can only enter by appointment.  White panels cover the windows, for privacy…The village is investigating whether the store owner lied on the business application.  However, the village attorney said civil rights laws may protect against any action against the business.

The jokes write themselves.

Lack of Evidence

Because anything can be “evidence of prostitution”, even if you’re 12:

[A Zimbabwe] regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga has lashed out at a Grade Seven pupil for alleging that she was raped and infected with a sexually transmitted infection, only for medical results to reveal that her alleged rapist never had an STI.  The…suspect…has been found not guilty…Magistrate Malunga then…lashed out at the…girl [claiming she] “has experience in having sex with different men and would charge them for her services”…

Check Your Premises

Does this writer actually understand the meanings of these words?

The Telangana Government…has been organising campaigns to drive [sex workers] out of the town.  The victims who have been depending on this profession for generations, though ready to comply with the government’s move, demand rehabilitation for themselves and quality education for their children.  The government has vowed to end the flesh trade…Most of them are either forced into this or enter it on their own to meet their family’s needs…

One Born Every Minute 

Another sleaze tricks young would-be sex workers in order to rape them:

According to her Facebook profile, she was “Deja Stwalley,” and her photo showed a youngish blonde woman in a blue romper.  Stwalley claimed she was a recruiter for indie porn studios…Stwalley’s webcam was always broken, and she could never speak by phone.  But she could always type.  If the person Stwalley was chatting with seemed skeptical of the porn recruiter’s legitimacy, Stwalley added that she got into this business to protect women from getting lured into sketchy situations…Liz Shearer was 20 years old when she met Stwalley online…Stwalley told her that she could audition with her ex-boyfriend, a photographer named Matt.  Stwalley told Shearer that she would also have to have sex with Matt.  “To prove to production companies that having sex with someone I didn’t know was something that I could handle”…Allysia Bishop…and Shearer are two of at least six women who…met online after one woman’s account of her experience with Stwalley went viral on Facebook.  Now, after sharing their stories with one another, they believe that the Deja Stwalley profile was fake…the two e-mail addresses—Stwalley’s e-mail that had supposedly been sent from Las Vegas and Matt’s e-mail sent from Seattle…used the same IP address near the University District…Matt…is local freelance tech journalist Matt Hickey…who…did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the specific allegations…Scammers…target sex workers…so often…that Seattle-based sex worker, writer, and activist Maggie McNeill has a regular feature on her website documenting these sorts of scams…

Pyrrhic Victory

“Authorities” want you to panic about young women’s “sex trafficking” tattoos while they secretly analyze yours:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling for an end to government research that could be used to map connections or make inferences about people based on their tattoos.  The National Institute for Standards and Technology began its initiative to refine automated tattoo recognition technology for the FBI in 2014…[it] collected 15,000 images of tattoos from arrestees and inmates and distributed the images to third parties…to test tattoo recognition algorithms…Now the institute is prepared to begin a new, larger experiment using 100,000 tattoo images that will sort people and their tattoos based on images…the institute…says tattoos can suggest affiliation to gangs, subcultures, religious or ritualistic beliefs or political ideology…EFF says…“This type of tattoo matching could sweep up fans of the same bands or members of the same labor union or military unit.  This application has a high likelihood of generating false positives—matching someone whose tattoo may be visually similar, but not actually symbolically similar.  That could result in people being improperly associated with groups, such as gangs, with which they have no actual affiliation”…

Policing for Profit 

Cops seem to be moving toward discarding even the pretense that this is about anything other than pillage:

Oklahoma police agencies are being equipped with devices that allow officers to scan prepaid debit cards and [steal] funds linked to them…The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machines for installation in Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma City police cruisers…The device [allows pigs to root in] the balance of prepaid debit cards and gift cards, and allows them to [steal] the money if they [pretend] it’s suspicious.  ERAD readers also can provide limited information about pretty much any card with a magnetic strip, including bank debit cards and credit cards.  Oklahoma has become a battleground in the debate over civil asset forfeiture reform in recent years, prompted by high-profile cases of cops using the practice to [steal] cash and property from innocent people…Each ERAD reader is costing the state about $5,000, plus…7.7 percent of all funds [stolen] with the readers…

Sexcrime

A feminist pornographer has won the right to re-launch her fetish website…Pandora Blake, who runs DreamsofSpanking.com, was among UK pornographers forced to close their websites after a 2014 law brought porn made in the UK in line with rules binding DVDs sold [in] shops.  The Audio Visual Media Services regulations (AVMS) banned sex acts that were deemed morally damaging or life-threatening, including strangulation, face-sitting and fisting.  Spanking beyond what was deemed to be a gentle level, humiliation, full bondage and restraint…female ejaculation, and depictions of non-consensual sex were also forbidden…Blake is believed to be the first pornographer to be granted the right to re-open her website in the wake of the law, and is one of only two UK producers who can legally publish videos of face-sitting, female ejaculation and spanking which leaves a mark…she…now plans to continue campaigning and  fundraising to see the anti-porn regulations scrapped entirely, alongside obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman who helped her with her case…

Traffic Circle (#546)

It’s pretty pathetic that prohibitionists cling so tenaciously to their lies, Glenn Kessler has had to debunk this one twice:

Regular readers know that last year the The Fact Checker exposed a series of false statistics associated with sex trafficking of children.  All too often, we found, politicians and organizations credulously accepted flimsy or poorly researched statistics…advocates only harm their cause when they tout statistics that are so easily disproved.  Our fact checks led many politicians and organizations to be more careful in their use of statistics concerning sex trafficking, but problems continue to surface.  Case in point: a billboard campaign launched by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, tied to the recent Indy 500…One of the billboards offered a statistic we had thoroughly debunked last year — that 13 is the average age for children to get involved in the sex trade…

The Notorious Badge (#630) 

Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision on The Girlfriend Experience:

…Most sex workers operate in the shadows…[they are criminalized] for the simple act of surviving.  Decriminalizing this work is the way toward providing health, safety and true economic opportunity for marginalized women.  As it stands, sex work is wrapped up into the language of anti-trafficking, the new war on drugs.  And like that war, it fuels the incarceration of mostly poor black and brown people just as the misbegotten drug war has done for 40 years…the so-called war on trafficking has been a vehicle for expanding criminalization because incarceration—including for a woman’s “own good”—is touted as the chief tool of justice…About 55,000 prostitution arrests occur in the U.S. annually, and more than two-thirds are women…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Say what you like about Larry Flynt, but he’s a dedicated foe of censorship:

Every member of the Utah State Legislature is getting a free copy of Hustler…as part of a protest of the state’s declaration that pornography is a “public health crisis”.  The magazines began arriving in the mailboxes of lawmakers on Monday…publisher Larry Flynt…has famously sent members of Congress subscriptions to Hustler since 1998…Jim Dabakis…the only openly gay member of the…Legislature, joked that the magazine was “wasted on me”…[but] many lawmakers [used the arrival as an opportunity for moral signaling since they]…recently passed a law that allows [them] to throw away publications they get in the mail…

Out of the Dark

Practically a definition of “wrongheaded”: A popular porn site is shaming its customers for enjoying one popular type of porn:

In response to media coverage of the recent, high-profile Stanford University sexual assault case, porn giant xHamster is taking on rape fantasies.  When a user searches for the term “rape” on the site, they are greeted with a pop-up window reading, “If you are searching for this category, probably it’s time you consulted with a professional psychologist.”  It then links to a free online therapy website…David Ley…says it’s…“a gross exaggeration to suggest that all people who have a fantasy regarding rape or forced sexual behavior are…psychologically ill”…more than half of women have fantasies of being “overpowered” by a man…Dan Savage…agrees.  “I get letters constantly from women who feel deeply conflicted about having rape fantasies while viewing themselves as feminists, progressive and opponents of rape culture—and to shame people, I don’t see that as helpful”…

To Molest and Rape

A cop’s idea of “courtesy”:

Scottsdale [Arizona] police arrested…[rapist cop] Jay Hun Wu…[molesting] a woman in his custody…On March 29, Wu gave the woman a courtesy ride to her home…she asked…Wu to let her out at her residence but…he pulled over…next to a residential wall…and said he needed to pat the woman down before he [groped] her under her clothing.  He then gave her his business card and told her to call if she ever needed anything.  The victim immediately told her family and Scottsdale police about the encounter…She recalls “nightmares and a lot of crying,” saying the incident has “really impacted me emotionally…to have trust in a law officer an then feel violated”…Sgt. Ben Hoster [lied]…”when police find a bad apple among their ranks, they’re quick to remove them”…

Cops are such clueless narcissists, they just can’t resist any excuse to belch out pathetic, self-congratulatory lies.  And prosecutors use any excuse to reduce their penalties:

A [cop] charged with sexual assault has taken a plea deal.  Troy Estree pleaded no contest to assault by strangulation…In return, prosecutors agreed to drop one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct…Estree was [previously charged with and acquitted of] sexually assaulting a teen relative

The Prudish Giant (#641) horse fucking man

In which Facebook demonstrates the dirty-mindedness of its censors:

…this actually is…an attempt…to show how similar the bone structure of human beings and horses are by aligning their respective physiology in this way.  A rep from the publisher told BuzzFeed:  “Obviously, we never wanted to shock our readers with that drawing…our goal was to make the child visually comprehend that the bone structure of the horse and the human being are similar…Putting them in the same position makes the likening more understandable and concrete”…BuzzFeed wrote a post on the image, only to find that — you guessed it — Facebook had begun flagging the article as it was being shared on the site….And this is why Facebook should get out of the morality business to every last degree possible…

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There are no reliable statistics on which Sheriff Dart could base a judgment that sex trafficking has been increasing in the United States.  –  Richard Posner

Surplus Women 

Why do reporters either focus on or try to entirely avoid saying a crime victim was a sex worker?

A Missouri man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a woman he allegedly met on Facebook…Stassie Greer also faces charges of first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action in the death of 25-year-old Sharae Bradford…she was shot in the head.  Money and a cellphone were taken.  Court documents say Greer arranged through social media to meet Bradford at the apartment to have sex in exchange for money…video surveillance helped lead police to Greer, and Bradford’s phone was found at his home.  Bradford was a single mother with a 6-year-old daughter.

Small Choice

Imagine the headline “Many NK defectors resort to better-paying jobs in South“:

A considerable number of female defectors from North Korea have become sex workers here after experiencing difficulties adjusting to life in the South…KBS…aired a program…about the plight of some 40 to 50 female defectors who work at…coffee shops that illegally sell sex…The women said that they used to work at normal companies or work as waitresses in restaurants after they defected, but their monthly salaries of some 1.3 to 1.7 million won was not enough to maintain their livelihood and support their family members left behind in the North.  “It is much better to earn some 3 to 4 million won here,” a woman told the program…

Checklist

Proving that stupidity & gullibility are no barriers to becoming a physician, two gynecologists wrote an exceedingly dumb and inflammatory article about – you guessed it – “signs” of “sex trafficking”, in which they suggest their fellows should waste their valuable time asking patients about their tattoos and prying into their privacy instead of actually treating their gynecological complaints.  Among the “signs” they list: “Often, there may not be a concrete sign at all – just the counter-transference of a feeling…of…sadness throughout your conversation“…Yes, “sadness” is now considered evidence of “sex trafficking”.

Leviathan

Any government so big, sluggish and cumbersome that it does this, is too big to be allowed to exist:

A militant who fought for the Taliban in Afghanistan and has been held without charge at Guantanamo Bay for 13 years was largely the victim of mistaken identity, according to U.S. defense officials.  Mustafa Abd-al-Qawi Abd-al-Aziz al-Shamiri was captured in 2002 and believed to be an al Qaeda facilitator or courier, and trainer…”We now judge that these activities were carried out by other known extremists” with similar names or aliases, the profile of the Yemeni detainee dated Sept. 25 added…

I Spy

Cathy Reisenwitz interviewed sex workers for their tips on maintaining privacy:

There are lots of reasons a sex worker might need to keep their sex worker identity separate from the rest of their lives.  Society is still extremely anti-sex-worker…in a custody dispute an allegation that a mother is engaging in sex work will prejudice a judge against her and may result in her losing even unsupervised visitation rights.  Even without a custody fight, Child Protective Services can take your children because you engage in sex work…And forget some forms of future employment if you’re out as a sex worker.  You will never, ever be allowed to work with children if you’ve ever engaged in any sex work.  And, last but not least, there’s always the remote threat of criminal prosecution…no matter what you do, there is a point at which enough skill, money, and time will reveal everything you want to keep secret.  So your only hope is to make it more difficult to hack you than it is rewarding.  These tips will keep your difficulty level higher than default…

Paint By Numbers

Why bother doing anything extraordinary to “fight sex trafficking”, when you can just get dressed in the morning?

…This month isn’t just December, for some, it’s Dressember…a call, not only to wear a dress for 31 days in a row, but to give attention and funds to [rescue industry group] the International Justice Mission…Participants in Dressember are looking for sponsors who will donate funds…Wearing dresses is a tribute to the dignity of women…There will also be a 24 hour Stand for Freedom at Fountain Mall…

Choke Point 

Here’s Violet Blue on the federal campaign to suppress sex businesses by pressuring financial institutions to choke off our air:

For nearly a decade, PayPal, JPMorgan Chase, Visa/MasterCard, and now Square, have systematically denied or closed accounts of small businesses, artists and independent contractors whose business happens to be about sex.  These payment processing authorities have also coerced websites to cease featuring sexual content under threat of service withdrawal, all while blaming ambiguous rules or pressure from one another…a federal appeals court ruled that pressuring credit card companies…to stop doing business with speech-protected websites violates their First Amendment rights…and in June, the FDIC clarified that it’s against the rules for businesses like PayPal, Chase and Square to refuse business or close accounts based on “high risk” assessments related to human sexuality.  But it may not be enough to stop what’s become an entrenched pattern of systematic discrimination by payment processors…Redlining, outlawed in 1968, is the practice of refusing to do business with…applicants from “high risk” neighborhoods who are otherwise completely qualified.  Since the 1930s, actual maps with red lines were used by banks to demarcate black and hispanic neighborhoods…To redline a community was to cut it off from equal financial access, rights and opportunities….there are no literal lines on a map here, but it appears there are virtual ones around an entire section of the internet.  So let’s call this “weblining”…

Welcome to the Future radicalization leaflet

The party will be very displeased if your children question diktats, comrade:

Child protection officials [in the UK] been criticised after warning parents that young people who take issue with government policy or question what they are told in the media may have been radicalised by extremists.  A leaflet drawn up by a…child safeguarding board warns that “appearing angry about government policies, especially foreign policies” is a sign “specific to radicalisation…showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and a belief in conspiracy theories” could be a sign that children are being groomed by extremists…

Sexcrime

[Last December the UK’s new] Audio Visual Media Services regulations (AVMS) banned sex acts that were deemed morally damaging or life-threatening, including strangulation, face-sitting and fisting.   Spanking beyond what was deemed to be a gentle level, humiliation, full bondage and restraint…female ejaculation, and depictions of non-consensual sex were also forbidden…Campaigners slammed the rules as subjective, and said they unfairly targeted women…Myles Jackman, a UK-based obscenity lawyer, warned that the ban would pose an unnecessary trade barrier to beleaguered UK pornography producers.  It is now clear their fears were founded…customers with “tastes that are not mainstream enough to fit with the draconian limits of the new regulations” have simply taken their business to overseas websites and producers…

The Public Eye (#532)

A short profile of Laura Lee:

…When she is not working as a dominatrix, she offers her services as a “standard” sex worker to the terminally ill and physically disabled…Lee is also working to change society’s “polarised” perception of sex workers.  While there are glamorous escorts who jet around the world and curb-crawling girls battling addiction, she says the truth is far more boring. “Seventy per cent of sex workers right now are mothers working from flats quite discreetly…You could be standing in a queue…next to a sex worker and you wouldn’t know it”…

Checklist (#542)

Strip clubs and massage parlors in Orange County [Florida] will be required next year to post…signs displaying the hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center…Florida ranks behind only California and Texas in the number of reported human-trafficking cases in the U.S., a [myth] cited by state legislators who passed a law requiring warnings signs in rest areas, truck stops, airports and emergency rooms…Adult entertainment clubs and massage parlors are [fantasized to be] venues that tend to serve as recruitment centers for human traffickers…

Stupor Bowl (#581)

It’s really kind of pathetic to watch the crippled remains of the “gypsy whores” myth gasping for air:

Santa Clara County officials launched a campaign…calling on the public to be on the lookout for human trafficking victims…The campaign will feature ads on…Valley Transportation Agency buses, bus shelters and light-rail vehicles with images provided through the National Human Trafficking Resource Center…The campaign comes ahead of Super Bowl 50…on Feb. 7…“These large events have a tragic consequence of attracting and increasing human trafficking,” VTA general manager Nuria Fernandez said…“I’m really confident that with the county working together, we’re going to find more victims in our area”…Supervisor Cindy Chavez said…

Cindy sounds almost ecstatic about the fantasy of tens of thousands of sexually enslaved children.

Seizing Power (#589)

Cathy Reisenwitz on Backpage’s win against Swanee Hunt crony Tom Dart:

…the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals told…Dart…that his misplaced fear of sex work doesn’t trump…free speech…The lawsuit describes a man obsessed with censoring adult-oriented ads.  Dart spent six years harassing Visa and Mastercard with threatening letters demanding they stop doing business with Backpage…Judge Posner…wrote…“A public official who tries to shut down an avenue of expression of ideas and opinions through ‘actual or threatened imposition of government power or sanction’ is violating the First Amendment…Actually, as explained in an amicus curiae brief filed by the Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and DKT Liberty Project, citing voluminous governmental and academic studies, there are no reliable statistics on which Sheriff Dart could base a judgment that sex trafficking has been increasing in the United States”…

Yes, an important federal judge just officially declared that “sex trafficking” hysteria is bullshit.  And here’s Glenn Greenwald on some of the larger implications of the case:

…Beyond the positive outcome in this specific case — What kind of person would become sheriff of Chicago and then choose to spend his time worrying about adult sex ads? — the…ruling is crucial for protecting free speech rights generally.  That’s because corrupt public officials have realized that they can abuse their power to pressure corporations to “suffocate” private actors whom they dislike but who are breaking no laws.  The most notorious, most dangerous case was in late 2010, when Joe Lieberman blatantly abused his power as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to implicitly threaten and coerce companies like Amazon to terminate website hosting and payment processing services to WikiLeaks…That quickly led other companies, including Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America and PayPal, to terminate credit card processing for the group, driving them close to bankruptcy.  In other words, Joe Lieberman almost completely destroyed a media and political organization group he disliked not through prosecution but with nothing more than thuggish threats to the companies that serviced it…This new ruling…highlights how dangerous such extra-judicial pressure campaigns can be, and makes them much more difficult by clearly ruling them to be unconstitutional…

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[Prohibitionists] aren’t really interested in rescuing or protecting anyone.  They are profiting…off our deep social ambivalence with the realities of sex.  –  Remittance Girl

Rough Trade Xmas rapist

Judge issues advice to rapists: choose your victim & the time of year carefully, and you’ll get away with it:

A father of three has been given a suspended sentence for attempting to rob and threatening to rape an escort at gunpoint because he needed money for Christmas.  Liam McGran (49) later told gardaí he decided to rob the woman as he had been with her before and he knew she was small.  He demanded money and threatened to rape the woman in her home as he pointed an imitation pistol at her.  However the victim, who had a firearms licence and was knowledgeable about guns, recognised it as a fake and fought McGran off before he fled the apartment…The woman sustained scratches and bruises…He also pulled out some of her hair…

Welcome To Our World

As a regular customer of nail salons for almost 19 years, I can attest that Nir is nothing more than a concern troll:

…the nail-salon industry in…America [is]…an avenue of opportunity for immigrant workers with low skills and little English.  As Asian nail salons have proliferated—often offering manicures, pedicures, and acrylics at a fraction of the cost of high-end salons—immigrant women have trained and employed one another, providing new arrivals with a means of making a living, a way help out families back home, and a community.  They have also helped drastically grow the manicure market, making what used to be only a luxury for the rich an affordable and accessible habit for middle-income Americans…But The New York Times this week presents a very different narrative of the nail industry.  In a multi-part series by reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, the Times suggests that the real “price of nice nails” is an underclass of immigrant women subject to high rates of exploitation, abuse, fertility issues, and other health problems…In the apprenticeship system for that’s sprung up in nail salons, she sees only exploitation…But in the formal economy, cosmetologists of all sorts must pay to attend schools and certification programs, pay the government for a licence, and take internships or training programs before salons let them do hair/nails/makeup on their own.  Is the apprenticeship system really so different?  At least salon workers can still make tips while they train…One of the major impediments to doing so…is workers’ immigration status.  They have trouble participating in the formal economy…because they are in America illegally…Nir fails to indict U.S. immigration policies for their poor conditions.  Instead, she would actually [like to] see more government agents visiting the nail salons…

The Punitive Mindset

Stop faking!

A…woman arrested in a Daytona Beach [prostitution] sting…died in her jail cell…because she did not get the care she needed as a known addict…April Brogan…complained of being “dope sick” when she was brought to the jail April 29…Two days later…[she] started vomiting and foaming at the mouth…Volusia County spokesman Dave Byron said…there was no breach of protocol…

Broken Record 

This is turning into a full-blown black comedy:

Houston police and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up with [prohibitionists]…Prostitution is such a big problem during the annual oil and drilling convention…that police are stepping in to do something about it…the thousands of men in town for the convention…raises the demand for sex trafficking.  So police went out…with [prohibitionists]…to walk around the Astros and Dynamo games…giving out [propaganda] flyers…”We do not tolerate anyone that is trying to buy a human being,” said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia…

Traffic Circle

Articles recognizing “sex trafficking” as overblown hysteria are becoming far more common, and can be found in sources ranging from blogs:

…sex-trafficking – i.e. people who are kidnapped, enslaved and forced into sexwork against their will –  isn’t quite the massive global problem campaigners want you to believe it is…anti-trafficking campaigners aren’t seeking to pressure law enforcement to enforce existing laws more forcefully (kidnapping and rape are already prosecutable crimes).  They are blurring the lines between forced and voluntary sexwork, and it seems, when you examine their agenda critically, that their real desire is simply to criminalize all sexwork and label all sexworkers as exploited victims…

…to the Huffington Post:

…anti-trafficking groups have deliberately conflated trafficking with prostitution by…choice…anti-trafficking groups like the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women (CATW) not only spew wildly inflated statistics about the number of women and children being trafficked in the United States; they also argue that the vast majority of sex workers in this country are trafficking victims.  And that’s simply not true.  Studies show that most sex workers in the developed world are in the profession by choice, not because they are trafficked.  Yet even federal and state agencies do not distinguish between consensual prostitution and actual trafficking cases…Indeed, anti-trafficking groups acknowledge that they now use the term, trafficking, for what used to be called pimping…

Bottleneck (#440) invoice

Under the banner “Sex trade is work,” Argentine prostitutes handed out symbolic invoices with prices for their sexual services in front of the Buenos Aires City Legislature, in an unusual campaign for a law to recognize their rights as workers.  Health care, access to education, the right to freely practice their trade, trade union organization and the possibility of retirement benefits, basic rights that any other work would provide, are a dream for these women.  Argentina does not regard prostitution as a legal activity, but does not ban it either, which is why around 80,000 prostitutes remain marginalized by public policy and face risks including fear of losing their homes, extortion and police persecution…The police, if not extorting bribes, harass them and occasionally launch violent operations to shut down brothels…A bill to regularize prostitution rests with the Argentine Senate, but may not be considered this year…

The Course of a Disease (#444)

Given that the BBC has until now belched up “sex trafficking” propaganda as though it were factual, it’s a slight improvement for it to pretend that the subject of client criminalization is one which can be “debated” by two opposing sides (neither one an actual sex worker).  However, neither side does anything but spout talking points; the whole article is about as phoned-in a piece of tripe as ever got past a bored, hung-over editor.

A Year Later

Four months after the…government brought into force new laws aimed at ending prostitution…the vast grey market for sexual services in Canada remains, unsurprisingly, intact.  From Halifax to Victoria and everywhere in between, sex is still being bought and sold in Canada, according to sex workers, police departments, researchers, and common sense.  But that doesn’t mean the industry…hasn’t shifted in response to the laws…sex workers in five cities…said uncertainty over the new regulations has pushed some clients away and made business harder for them…Chris Atchison, a research associate at the University of Victoria, doesn’t expect it to last.  Atchison, who has spent almost 20 years studying men who buy sex, says what we’re seeing now is basically what happens anytime there’s any change to the laws around sex work…but the market doesn’t go away in the long run…the worry is that, as the industry recalibrates, it will reform in ways that are less open and thus less safe for sex workers and clients alike…

Sexcrime

Two dominatrix pornographers have become the first adult filmmakers to fall foul of strict new regulations governing online pornography…a ruling from the television on demand regulator has found that videos from professional dominatrix Megara Furie and a Welsh dominatrix operating under the name Mistress R’eal were in breach of the new guidelines…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#527)

A lawyer representing adult entertainment venues says his clients will sue Georgia over the state’s new anti-trafficking law, which…is financed in part through a new tax on [strip clubs]…Alan Begner, whose practice represents nearly two-thirds of strip clubs in the capital city, said…“Nude dancing is protected under the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions, and speech cannot be taxed”…

Worse Than I Thought (#532)

Why do people think “bipartisanship” is so wonderful? Anything politicians can agree on is almost invariably horrible for the citizenry:

The anti-human trafficking bill whose unanimous passage in the Senate last month was widely hailed as a triumph of bipartisanship includes language that could send publishers of…adult advertisements to prison, civil liberties advocates have warned…prosecutors don’t even need to prove prior knowledge, just that “the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the person”…the preponderance of language in the bill would quietly advance a “tough on crime” agenda just as many Americans are clamoring for broad-based criminal justice reform and a softening of state attitudes toward non-violent behaviors…

Bread and Circuses (#533)

The “sex trafficking” circus needs victims to die for the crowd’s satisfaction, and if a big, juicy one can’t be found, little scrawny ones will have to do:

Two women have been sentenced to federal prison terms in Massachusetts for their role in a sex trafficking ring that transported other women across state lines to engage in prostitution…Vanessa Grandoit…was sentenced…to one year in prison and five years of probation…Kairis “Lola” Sanchez…to 18 months in prison and five years of probation…The women acted mainly as drivers.

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This essay first appeared in Cliterati on December 7th; I have modified it slightly for time references and to fit the format of this blog.

British readers, enjoy this website while you can.

Queen VictoriaIn the year 2015, less than half a human generation past the end of a century which saw advances in sexual freedom (both practical and legal) unprecedented in human history, we are now well into an attempt by the powerful to roll it all back to the Victorian Era.  But while the Victorians were largely concerned about appearances and tolerated considerable debauchery in the back-streets, neo-Victorians pretend that “sin” should be eradicated everywhere for everyone, and modern surveillance methods (not to mention the erosion of the presumption of innocence) have made it easy for police and prosecutors to destroy anyone’s life with an accusation of sexcrime, even if they have to manufacture it.  For years, we’ve seen the recrudescence of the absurd but dangerous Victorian dogmas of the “innocence” of “children” and the fragile asexuality of women; these have been used to justify scorched-earth policies on adolescent sexuality and the re-establishment of the misogynistic doctrine that rape is a “fate worse than death”. More recently, however, the UK government has dramatically ramped up its censorship efforts, and this time even adult men will be included (though still mostly in the name of “protecting women and children”).  In 2013, internet “filters” (i.e. censorship programs) were mandated, first to block adult content and later to stop anything else the government decides it doesn’t want the peasantry to see.  Then last autumn, we discovered that the government is willing to cage people for years for looking at drawings of taboo subjects, and now it comes to this:

…from now on, VoD porn – online porn you still pay for, essentially – must fall in line with what’s available on DVD.  That means that British pornography producers will no longer be able to offer content online that couldn’t be bought in a sex shop.  Acts that are no longer acceptable include:  spanking, caning and whipping beyond a gentle level; penetration by any object “associated with violence”; activities that can be classed as “life-endangering”, such as strangulation and facesitting; fisting, if all knuckles are inserted; physical or verbal abuse, even if consensual; the portrayal of non-consensual sex; urination in various sexual contexts; and female ejaculation.  It’s quite a list, but one mostly made up of stuff that seems to have been picked out pretty arbitrarily (women orgasming, exactly which items can or can’t be inserted into a consenting adult’s body)…

The list also includes bondage, humiliation and “role-playing as non-adults”.  As in the above-referenced manga case, even pretended depictions of taboo acts are taboo, despite the fact that pretended depictions of far more serious acts (like murder or mayhem) are allowed on ordinary television.  For now, the Vice article assures us, “the new law only covers content produced in the UK, meaning that viewers…can still…view as much [international] fisting, strangulation and urination as they like…”  However, given the expansion of the internet “filtering” parameters, do you honestly believe it will stay that way for long?  Erotic Review certainly doesn’t:

…British authorities are gearing up for an all-out war with online porn.  Sources tell me plans are afoot to start blocking British access to foreign so-called tube sites, which host porn videos, regardless of where they are based or whether the scenes they show are legal.  The attack on TV-like services is just the latest stage in a war which could severely restrict people’s access to porn…

One detail of the new censorship regime which is being treated almost as a joke provides another clue to where this is actually headed:  “the publicly funded regulator, the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD), will have to pay someone to watch porn and enforce the new regulations…at a cost of £36,000 [per year]…”  You know who else pays censors to watch porn so the people can’t?  China.  The Great Firewall of Britain is well on the way, and once it’s discovered that merely blocking adult content fails to achieve the desired effect, the next level of tyranny is criminal charges accompanied by “sex offender” registration (a combination already used for the most-vilified forms of porn).  As I pointed out in “Welcome To the Future”, the dystopia is already here; all that remains to be seen is how heavy a yoke the subjects will accept before they finally attempt to throw it off.

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