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Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Leone’

The justification that [cops need to be allowed to rape sex workers because] “it’s hard to prosecute otherwise” is like the justification that waterboarding is necessary to obtain confessions.  –  Tom Kelley

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

As I’ve told you for a decade, cops raping sex workers is so accepted in Pennsylvania the state actively defends cops who do it:

…A [recent] investigation into…prostitution [entrapment] stings in south-central Pennsylvania has found several recent cases that raise questions about whether [cops] needed to go as far as they did to make an arrest and successfully prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt…On several occasions, [pigs] took off all, or most, of their clothes.  In one case, a woman masturbated a [lying pig] for “several minutes” before [the rest of the herd busted in to terrorize her]…Prostitution is one of the lowest-level offenses in the crimes code.  Several of these cases ended with someone being sentenced to probation or ordered to pay fines and court costs…The Pennsylvania Superior Court [declared that] someone [did not] need…to actually have sex to be found guilty of prostitution in 1980…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?  This article on Alabama’s new bill to legalize client shaming interviews a soi-disant “trafficking expert” who salivates and makes furtive movements in his pants pockets while vomiting out nonsense about how the sex trade magically disobes every known law of economics and sociology, how one of the most powerful human motivators is somehow “skyrocketing”, how he should be the person who defines what constitutes “free speech”, and how 1/12 of the US population now consists of “sex slaves”.  Pay especial note to his fascination with the claim that over a third of those “sex slaves” are boys.

Storyville (#51)

Just as Louis XV supplied New Orleans with women by deporting whores, so George III did for Australia:

When the Lady Juliana arrived in Sydney in the winter of 1790, it was 11 months since the ship departed England.  Hundreds of colonists gathered to greet the ship they believed was bringing them desperately needed supplies for the near-starving colony…But…instead of food and livestock, the ship had carried more than 200 women…While the arrival of the Lady Juliana did little to alleviate the starvation crisis in the colony, the ship did bring long-awaited letters from loved ones and news from England…Every man on-board…indulged in a sexual relationship with a convict woman, so — not surprisingly — most of the women either arrived in Sydney pregnant or gave birth at sea…

To Molest and Rape 

The government calls this “border protection”:

A Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of aggravated assault…Steven Charles Holmes [raped a woman]…he [stalked via] a dating app…After checking into Holmes’ past, the Tucson Police Department said, “The investigation uncovered multiple victims with similar reports occurring from Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2019″…

Watershed (#836)

When the stuffy Boston Globe publishes an article like this, you know things are changing:

Prostitution in America has been thoroughly and purposefully conflated with trafficking, leading to a prohibition of many kinds of sex work in most parts of the country.  These laws are based on a false morality which claims that all sex work is, by definition, coerced, and that no…woman…can consent to sell sex for money…There’s a solution to this…backed by scientific research and data, and one that’s already in place in other countries.  The best way to fight human trafficking is to decriminalize all sex work.  [The claim that] all sex work is trafficking…became popular in the late 19th century…and…began as a racist backlash against nonwhites and immigrants, marked by campaigns against “white slavery”…Politicians still use trafficking to score cheap points with both liberal voters — who see sex work as misogynist, coercive, and oppressive — and conservative voters — who see it as sinful…

The Widening Gyre (#869)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But get a load of the number of number of retweets and faves, for a tweet from an account with 343 followers who apparently dabbles in sex work.

Disaster (#925)

Given that lingerie companies have always profited from sex workers while refusing to stand with us, I’m sure you can understand why I’m gloating over this:

A number of swimwear and lingerie brands have spoken out against a new policy on Instagram which is causing them to have lower engagement and, consequently, to lose money…Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) [announced]…that they would be working to reduce “the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s community guidelines”.  It went on to explain that “sexually suggestive posts” would be limited in the explore and hashtag sections of the app, but that it would still appear in your feed if you follow the account.  This means that accounts which post images deemed “sexually suggestive” will be less visible to accounts that don’t follow them – and they are therefore less likely to be discovered by new customers, which is how a lot of smaller swimwear and lingerie brands grow their audience and sales…

Rooted in Racism (#931)

White people’s latest racist trick: trying to scare African people out of migrating:

Forty-one [cops]…in Sierra Leone have received [indoctrination] on how to [label ordinary behavior]…human trafficking.  The [propaganda claims that]…thousands of young girls and boys are trafficked into sexual slavery or forced labor in Sierra Leone…[even though] there has been no conviction of trafficking in persons in the country.  This is in part because officials [were]…not [yet] sufficiently trained in [how to call just about any behavior] human trafficking [for purposes of]…prosecut[ion]…The [indoctrination] is…funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Note that buried lede way down in the last sentence.  Talk about following the money…

Yellow Fever (#937)

Spain’s new prohibitionist government, like its cronies, just makes shit up as it goes:

[Spanish anti-migrant spooks] have arrested 12 people [using the excuse of]…human trafficking…[they also arrested eight sex workers.  Pigs then oinked a lot of moralistic pap about]…illegal sexual activities, [negating the sex workers’ agency and misgendering transwomen]…All of them were advertised…in…a…thousand advertisements…ringleaders…deceived with the promise of a job…

Reporters using words like “ringleaders” and “illicit” or “illegal” sex always reminds me of this.

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The carpet was just pulled out underneath us.  –  Tammy Marie Kruwell

Oops

300 texts does not equate to 300 men, since many guys send a barrage:

A Michigan woman says hundreds of men solicited her for sex within just a couple days…because her number ended up on an escort [advertising] website…Her phone holds nearly 300 texts and some voicemails from men looking for attention.  Susan said she didn’t even know most of the sexual lingo in the texts…one of the texts referenced a website called “Skip the Games”…the family emailed the site administrator numerous times and asked them to take the number down.  They had no success [until they copied a TV station in]…on an email…

First They Came for the Hookers… 

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

The Providence [Rhode Island] Board of Licenses revoked the [Foxy Lady] strip club’s licenses [less than a week before Christmas because] Providence Police arrested three dancers at the club last week [for refusing to give pigs sex]…at least 200…employees are suddenly out of work…Mayor Jorge Elorza [slandered] the club [claiming it was] running a “full-on prostitution ring”.  The attorney for the club, Fausto Anguilla, has [pointed out that] police…never proved that sex was occurring inside the club’s private rooms.  Several dancers…[told reporters] management at the club is strict with its no-prostitution rules, and cut ties with dancers who were caught having sex in the private rooms…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [privately-owned prison for] juvenile [prisoners]…in northern Minnesota is accused of failing to stop the sexual abuse of minors in its care, according to two federal lawsuits…[which] detail two separate [coercive] sexual relationships between teenage girls and employees dating back to 2014, both resulting in criminal convictions…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#412) 

New items of this type appear under the heading “Permanent Record”:

“LEGAL ‘NYMPH’,” blared the front page of [the December 13thToronto Sun. “Law student faces good character hearing over double life as an escort.”  Except — as the story about prospective lawyer Nadia Guo made clear near its top — what the headline described was not the case at all…No one complained about her escort job.  Instead, the complaints made to the Law Society of Ontario concerned Guo’s conduct as an articling student in the latter half of 2015…the piece by courts reporter Sam Pazzano…[also revealed her stage name], “Dawn Lee”…the Sun ran a correction to its front-page headline [the next day]…But Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno ran her own piece …that led with Guo’s sex work, printed her work name in its first sentence, and expressed apparent surprise and disappointment that the Law Society chose not to [persecute] her…for [doing work to pay for school]…

Traffic Jam (#680)

Looks like Minnesota’s second attempt to imprison a bunch of migrants as “sex traffickers” fared better than its first:

A federal jury in St. Paul has convicted all five people charged with conspiring to traffic hundreds of Thai women for sex…nearly three dozen other [people were charged]…all but five [made] plea…[bargains]…Prosecutors said victims, some of whom testified during the trial, were misled as to how much they truly owed and were threatened if they tried to leave the business…U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald described the case as one of the largest trafficking networks ever dismantled…

I’d be a lot more inclined to believe there was serious exploitation here if we hadn’t heard all this before, especially the practically-impossible claims of client numbers.  Remember, migrant sex workers are far less likely to be deported if the agree to sing the state’s song, so there’s no real way to know how much of this is true and how much hype.

The Mote and the Beam (#776)

Just in case you though FOSTA was as bad as it would get:

…Congress…authorized a [bipartisan] national [crusade to] arrest…sex [workers’ clients] and approved the use of secret wiretaps in misdemeanor prostitution cases…as part of the massive “Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act“…through a secret vote of the sort civil libertarians have long opposed…based on the false idea that customers of…adult sex workers [magically] drive demand for minors.  All state and local cops, prosecutors, and judges are to be [encouraged]…to [steal the] asset[s of sex workers and clients]…In addition, Congress “clarif[ies] that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence,” whatever that means…The House…passed the bill via “voice vote,” a process under which there’s neither a record of how members voted, whether they were present for a vote, nor how many total members actually voted…One provision essentially creates a new federal crime initiative by directing resources and money to fight “sextortion”…

Lack of Evidence (#859) 

If sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

Jessica, a 23-year-old transgender woman living in Queens…[was arrested on] July 8…and charged…with “loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution act”…[the “evidence” cops listed was that she] was wearing “a mini skirt and a blouse which showed cleavage”…Loitering arrests increased more than 180 percent between January and October…last year…More than half of the…arrests occurred in Queens, where attorneys say they’re concentrated in…immigrant-heavy neighborhoods…This increase in loitering arrests follows a class action lawsuit backed by the Legal Aid Society of New York that challenges the constitutionality of New York’s law on loitering for the purposes of prostitution…recent loitering complaints noted that defendants were wearing “black cowboy boots” and “light blue short [sic], a red tank top and tan sandals”…

See also “Business As Usual” below.

Rescued To Death (#869)

“Abatement”.  A term used for inhuman things, especially nuisances:

A new unit that San Francisco police created to [harass sex workers]…is facing opposition from advocates…the Sex Workers Abatement Unit…has resulted in an uptick in the number of sex workers who have been arrested in the Mission…[and reinforces] a hostile environment where “women are forced into more isolated, unfamiliar areas where attacks are more likely…sex workers who are victims of violence are intimidated and running from police,” [Rachel] West [of US PROS] said.  West argued that the unit undermines a police policy from last December that [supposedly] prevents sex workers who are the victims of certain crimes from being arrested for performing sex work.  The policy [gives lip service to the fact] that “the criminalization of sex work is one of the primary barriers to reporting violence to law enforcement”…

I’ve spoken out against these hollow “policies” before; they are not binding and can be reversed as easily as they were granted.  They’re not a serious effort to respond to sex workers’ concerns; they’re just meant to shut us up.

Business As Usual (#895)

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

Mariatu was 15 years old when her widowed mother died and she ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Freetown where she fell into commercial sex work.  Not long after, she was arrested for “loitering” and, unable to pay a police bribe, spent six months in an adult jail.  Now 22, she is desperate to escape a life marked by suffering, violence and exploitation and is appealing to the state to provide more support to Sierra Leone’s sex workers who are stigmatised by society and suffer unfair treatment at the hands of the legal system.  She spoke to the Guardian before the online launch of a documentary to mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers which…examines their treatment by [cops]…who…exploit…them for sex and money…

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