It’s easy to see sex traffickers everywhere when you define all sex workers as victims. – Elizabeth Nolan Brown
Check Your Premises
Once again, Liz Brown exposes the tyranny of “fighting sex trafficking”:
Here’s a good example out of El Paso about the way America’s fight against “child sex trafficking” works in practice…two girls—one 15 and one 17—had sex with clients for money, and the boy, who is 18, rented the hotel room in his name and acted as security. Now he’s locked up on child sex-trafficking charges…Edeme Missiadan…and the two girls…”Lexi” and “Natalia,” are from Phoenix. One of the girls was dating Missiadan’s brother…and…planned to come to El Paso by herself to work, but Missiadan didn’t want her to go “without protection”…literally anything that makes sex workers safer is considered to be sex trafficking. Bring along a bodyguard? He’s a sex trafficker. Have a friend drive you to a client and wait outside? She’s a sex trafficker. Use a booker or escort agency to screen clients? They’re sex traffickers! Search for clients via online ads instead of on the streets? The Internet is a sex trafficker!…People hate the idea that innocent young things might actually choose to sell sex on their own accord. But some do. And…treating anyone who assists them in any way—including other teenagers—like a serious criminal doesn’t help anyone…
Public Service Announcement
Are politicians actually stupider than other people, or does it just seem that way?
Amid allegations that he shared sexually explicit video of himself via his state computer, [Nebraska state] Sen. Bill Kintner appears to have been snagged by a well-documented internet scam. Since at least 2013, international media outlets and government agencies have warned people against engaging in nude or sexual live video chats with online strangers who could later use them for blackmail…
Shift in the Wind
Another health organization issues a pro-decrim report:
A report by the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (Change) explores the many barriers to health and rights that female sex workers face. The report highlights evidence that laws criminalising sex work put female sex workers at disproportionately high risk of harassment and violence by police, clients and intimate partners. Criminalisation also encourages female sex workers to move their work “underground” where they have less control of their working conditions, including condom use and client screening, and are less able to access essential health services…Based on Change’s examination of peer-reviewed articles and extensive interviews with practitioners and advocates, the report concludes that decriminalisation of sex work is necessary for female sex workers to fully realise their rights and is necessary for an effective global HIV response…
So Close and Yet So Far
You’re supposed to be a libertarian, Gary; this ain’t rocket science:
In a CNN town hall…Anderson Cooper asked Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson whether he supported the decriminalization of prostitution. In a somewhat muddled answer, Johnson said he would leave it up to individual states and applauded the system in…Nevada…There are so many easy libertarian answers on this one—that there’s no place for the state in consenting sexual relationships between adults; that prostitution prohibition creates many of the same harms we saw with alcohol and drug prohibition…it was disappointing that Johnson appeared to be caught off-guard by the question and seemed visibly uncomfortable with the topic. But his answer, while not perfect, may have been forgivable had Cooper not pressed him: “Is prostitution a victimless crime?” Johnson responded that currently, “the victims are the prostitutes”…here I thought totally denying women’s agency was the purview of Democrats and Republicans…I reached out to the Johnson campaign for clarification, and received an answer from its communication director, Joe Hunter…All he would say about what Johnson meant last night was this: “In an illegal environment, prostitutes are at risk.” It’s not much, but it suggests that Johnson believes the victimhood he attributed to sex workers stems from the illegal nature of prostitution, not that he thinks anyone selling sexual services must be doing so unwillingly.
Smoke and Mirrors
Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:
A missing 12-year-old San Antonio girl has been found alive…On June 20, she was outside her home listening to music when she disappeared…no one knew her whereabouts until two weeks ago when she texted her family…Authorities tracked the girl down to a hotel near Nashville. She was with 36-year-old Tavarie Anthony Williams…[who] has since been arrested, accused of pimping her out and holding her against her will…Williams…[supposedly] offered her a ride home, but drove her to Tennessee instead…“Her mother may have had a role in all this, but it’s still too soon to say,” [cop] spokesman James Keith said…It could be many weeks before the girl returns to San Antonio. She’s with a foster family, in therapy, but in constant communication with the grandfather…
Williams “offered her a ride home” from her own front yard, where she was listening to music? And if she had a cell phone, why wait two weeks to text? This story stinks on ice.
Under Every Bed
Just imagine how far $100,000 could’ve gone toward providing services; instead, it’s used to spread lies:
WEST NC, a new, two-year project to end sex trafficking in five mountain counties, aims to educate the public and service providers…A $100,000 grant from the Women for Women giving circle is funding WEST NC through Our VOICE…Angelica Wind…says the big “goal is to end human trafficking in this area…people are really surprised that human trafficking happens in Asheville”…trafficking often occurs in wealthy or relatively wealthy areas where there’s demand, along with access to major highways and an airport…“Where there are sex workers, there’s also human trafficking”…Nearby major metro areas — Atlanta and Charlotte — have seen significant increases in human trafficking in recent years…
The End of the Beginning
Nearly all “sex offender” laws are this unconstitutionally overbroad:
Sex offenders in Illinois are challenging the state law that bans them from entering parks, schools, places providing services for kids, and even “holiday events involving children”…the rules are so vague that they can’t always tell if or when they are breaking the law. For instance, if a sex offender plays a round of golf on a municipal course—a solitary, adult activity—is that legal (because kids aren’t around) or illegal (because it’s on parks department land, and therefore a park)?…one of the plaintiffs…would like to visit his granddaughter, but she lives within 500 feet of her subdivision’s playground. Is it legal for him to see her at her home? “State police told him he was allowed to visit as long as he walked straight from his car and back — but the local cops said he wasn’t allowed to be there at all“…
Not a bad introduction to the concept of whorearchy:
…many sex workers look…down on others with “lesser” jobs. This hierarchy [isn’t] based on money. If anything, the highest earners [are] often looked down upon…many individuals choose to work as pro-dominatrixes or dancers “because they don’t have sex, give blowjobs, or exchange body fluids. They feel superior to those who do. They use contact as a meter”…A few strippers told me they didn’t think stripping was sex work at all, since they didn’t have to touch any of their clients…This is underscored by the legal boundaries, which are more permissive toward no-contact activities (like stripping) than high-contact activities (like prostitution)…Other sex workers [are] less judgmental about physical contact and instead prioritise…enjoyment of their work…A porn producer, cam girl, and stripper…each told me that the people they admire most in their industry are those who “really love what they do” or are sex workers because “it’s something they’ve always wanted to do”…
The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#526)
Despite its appearance in a rag like Rolling Stone, this is an excellent article:
…a Wisconsin appeals court upheld a decision to try…as adults…two girls [who] admitted as 12-year-olds in 2014 to having stabbed their friend in order to please “Slender Man,” an Internet horror meme. (The victim luckily crawled to safety and survived.) The decision to try two children as adults – two children immature and mentally ill enough to believe in the literal existence of a fictional character – may seem inappropriate, to put it mildly. But legally it’s a viable one – thanks to a terrible Wisconsin law with analogues in many other states…Morgan Geyser, who wielded the knife, has since been diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia…Anissa Weier [was diagnosed] with a delusional disorder and schizotypy…after the two stabbed their friend, they set off to find Slender Man in a forest 300 miles away – on foot. Mental health professionals testified that Geyser still believes Slender Man is real…The Wisconsin code…is designed to keep cases where the alleged offense is particularly heinous in adult court – which doesn’t make much sense. The egregiousness of a crime is not evidence of some maturity or self-control that could justify treating a child like an adult. It’s irrational to say children don’t really choose to commit bad acts except when those acts are really shocking…
More and more groups are speaking up in favor of sex work decriminalization:
It’s a big day for the new civil rights movement known as Black Lives Matter. Up until now, the movement had famously opted to forgo hierarchies in favor of a diffuse coalition that more resembled Occupy Wall Street than, say, the ‘60s-era Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. The movement’s decentralized approach has been criticized in the past, and its activists have butted heads with both civil rights leaders and the Obama administration. But on [August 1st] Black Lives Matter made a decision to be a movement with a plan, a platform, and concrete demands. In a statement released by more than 30 organizations (and endorsed by an additional 50), BLM released six platform demands and “key solutions”—a list of more than 40 policy recommendations, including…an immediate and retroactive decriminalization of drug and sex-work offenses…
Uncommon Sense (#650)
How does this dude think he’ll get around UK brothel & avails laws?
A company plans to set up a “fellatio café” in central London where customers receive oral sex while having a cappuccino. Bradley Charvet…is already planning a branch in Geneva to open this December…the business would be like a “normal café” where up to 100 customers can sit and drink a coffee – but also be given oral sex by an escort. Modelled on similar businesses in Thailand, the idea has already sparked uproar in Switzerland…Westminster City Council has indicated to the Standard that such a venue would not be able to get a licence and it has also been slammed by a leading womens’ rights group. It could also fall foul of the law as, in Great Britain, prostitution is not illegal but running or owning a brothel or pimping are considered crimes…
A bit of hair-splitting: a sex worker who sells blow jobs but doesn’t otherwise interact with her client isn’t an escort.
Being a “legal” sex worker doesn’t protect you, so stop your bootlicking & join your sisters in the fight:
…The work [Arianna] Travaglini does is legal, and she…didn’t work out of the Airbnbs she rented. She claims she “never had a single problem” with Airbnb until she realized she was banned while trying to book a trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C, where she would teach sex-ed workshops…The email she received…is a form letter, basically identical to one Airbnb sent professional dominatrix and porn performer Julie Simone in March. Simone faced almost the same problem with Airbnb, receiving a swift ban without explanation shortly after signing up…Asked…whether Airbnb has a policy on sex work, legal or otherwise, a spokesman for Airbnb didn’t elaborate much. “Prostitution is not allowed and we are constantly reviewing the platform to be sure any activity in the listing is in line with what hosts would be ok with in their home,” a spokesperson explained…the reality is that people are going to have sex in Airbnbs, especially if you’re renting to a couple. It’s even possible that, *gasp,* some will bring a new friend back to an Airbnb for sex…
A Procrustean Bed (#651)
The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:
…More than 30 bills this legislative session alone have attempted to combat a multibillion-dollar industry that now operates as much online, if not more, as it does on the streets. But much of the legislation, still pending as lawmakers return to Sacramento for their final month of deliberations, varies in its approach to the problem…The proposals run the gamut, from providing protections for human trafficking victims in court to enhancing penalties for sex buyers…one…bill…would allow the seizure and impoundment of a vehicle used in the solicitation of prostitution…opponents are concerned some of the laws could lead to unconstitutional seizures and violations of defendants’ rights…[pigs lust for] the authority to arrest minors to hold them in secure facilities, where they can be [forced to accept “services”]…
A lot of bullshit numbers are repeated, and one prohibitionist in the story says, “I don’t think this is the end of the road, but we are in a precipice of sea change with how we deal with human trafficking…” Holy mixed metaphors, Batman!
Read Full Post »