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Posts Tagged ‘Skewed By Taboo’

The harmful idea that women are naturally sexually ignorant…has been the basis for repressive laws throughout history.  –  Hallie Lieberman

The Notorious Badge

It’s good to see more writers criticizing insulting hooker tropes in movies:

Working Girls, which has the more connotative and ironic title Filles de joie in French…is…an honest, if sometimes strident, three-way portrait which gains much from its deft juggling of character arcs…Axelle (Sara Forestier), Conso (Annabelle Lengronne) and Dominique (Noémie Lvovsky)…live in France…but…travel…each day across the border to Belgium to work in a legal brothel…Wisely, Working Girls is markedly more interested in which goes on in the living room than in the bedrooms.  However…it’s a pity that a screenplay which deals with the everyday life of prostitutes struggles to find anything for them to talk about together other than sex…

Skewed By Taboo

The majority of self-reports about sexual accidents are lies:

An Arizona woman [claims]…she was…only using [her ultra-slim Vesper vibrator] on the outside of her body…[when suddenly] “out of nowhere I just felt a really sharp pain”…[and] the vibrator was nowhere to be found…But…she could still feel it…“emergency room staff wasn’t able to find it in the vagina,” said OBGYN Dr. Greg Marchand…he found on the x-ray [that the]…“device [wa]s actually in the bladder”…They had to surgically remove it.  The woman plans on filing a lawsuit against the company for lack of warning on the label that [you might lose it if you shove it up your urethra]…

There are many people who enjoy shoving things into their urethras, but because our puritanical culture would judge it “perverted” and “bad”, she can’t admit what happened, even to the doctor; instead she told this silly story about how the vibrator just leapt out of her hand and went all the way up into her bladder like some kinky guided missile.  If you know any emergency room doctor or nurse, ask them sometime about how many people “accidentally” sit on things while naked and can’t retrieve them from the rectum.

Nothing New

Five years ago I wrote that the ridiculous myth that Victorian doctors invented female masturbation and didn’t know what a female orgasm looked like “is so incredibly recent I never heard of it during any of my extensive sexological reading in my teens and twenties; it seems to date to the nineties at the earliest.”  Well, if sexologist Hallie Lieberman is correct, we’ve now got a date for the birth of this idiocy:  “…The myth can be traced to Rachel Maines’s 1999 book Technology of Orgasm…[which] seemed like a well-researched scholarly book, with 465 citations and a plethora of primary sources, some in Greek and Latin; the problem is that none of them actually supported this story…

Traffic in Nonsense (#917)

The “sex trafficking” propaganda from these fetishists is some of the most blatantly derived from sexual fantasy in the entire rescue industry:

Workers at the UPS Atlanta Regional Hub…[were indoctrinated in how to fantasize that all women they see are] potential cases of sex trafficking…UPS had already [indoctrinated] its freight drivers on how to [imagine everything as] signs of sex trafficking.  Now they’re [indoctrinating] the drivers who actually go into neighborhoods…[with propaganda provided by] the organization Truckers Against Trafficking. [Head propagandist]  Helen Van Dam…[is] counting on the ignorance of the general public [about sex work to infantilize all]…prostitute[s as]…victim[s of]…sex slavery.  Van Dam [shared silly, juvenile sexual fantasies about]…“branding” tattoos on victims

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#919)

In the current anti-whore climate, this was a wholly predictable development:

Soldiers of Pole, a Los Angeles-based group of dancers who are working to unionize their colleagues statewide, [feels]…the reclassification of dancers as employees marks a positive shift in the industry.  As employees, strippers will have the ability to bargain collectively, which they didn’t have as independent contractors.  But it’s also led to pushback from strip club owners.  AM Davies, a board member of the group, said club owners have been “making dancers sign very illegal contracts under duress” and charging exorbitant house fees, which “in and of itself is a union busting tactic.”  Davies cited a strip club in Orange County, the Library Gentleman’s Club, that tripled the amount they charge dancers to work, increasing the fee from $65 to $200 practically overnight…“So…it makes it look like, to the dancers, that being an employee is worse — because the clubs are implementing even more illegal practices”…she said…

Pyrrhic Victory (#939)

All Londoners are now part of a perpetual police lineup:

The Metropolitan Police…announced [that] on Friday, 24 January…it…beg[a]n the operational use of Live Facial Recognition (LFR) technology…This will help [cops harass many more people than before, especially minorities]…The technology…provides [cops] with an additional tool to assist them in doing what [cops] have always done – to try to [root like pigs in things that don’t actually concern them and lock as many human beings as possible in filthy cages]…

To Molest and Rape (#966)

Not much of a sentence for attempted kidnapping & rape:

A[n attempted abduction for the purpose of rape netted a mere] 4 1/2-year prison sentence [for] a [typical and representative] Cleveland [cop] who admitted to urinating on a 12-year-old girl [while filming it with his cell phone] after she refused to [submit to abduction from] a school bus stop.  Solomon Nhiwatiwa [vomited out the usual prescribed platitudes containing the words]…”apologize” [and]…”responsibility”…Nhiwatiwa…[was] disciplined four times in his five years [as a cop and had murdered someone]…in 2012 before he joined the force…

Disaster (#975)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals revived Woodhull‘s challenge to FOSTA.  The court ordered that the constitutional challenge be sent back to the district court for a ruling on the merits…The decision can be found here

In plain English, the district judge dismissed the case under the pretense that FOSTA’s chilling effect was imaginary and the litigants had nothing to fear from malicious prosecution; the circuit court said “bullshit” and ordered the district judge to do his fucking job and actually consider the case.

Fair-Weather Friends (#977)

Imagine keeping your job for 18 months between a blatant offense and actually being fired for it:

Two vice [pigs] were fired on [January 23rd] by the city of Columbus, Ohio, for their role in the wrongful arrest of…Stormy Daniels…in [July] 2018…that a lawyer for Ms. Daniels said was the result of a “conspiracy of dunces”…Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, were found to have…[cost the city] $450,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Ms. Daniels.  It also [reb[r]anded the [corrupt] vice [gang] [to allow cops to continue raping sex workers]…Two other [pigs]…Ronald Kemmerling and…Scott Soha, were [rewarded with paid vacations]…

To Molest and Rape (#978)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is well-known for rapist cops:

A [typical and representative Prince George’s County], Maryland, [cop]…rap[ed] a woman [during] a traffic stop last year…knowing he had HIV…Martique Vanderpool was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts, including first- and second-degree rape …“These are [very typical cop behaviors]”…Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski [would have said if he were honest…

If It Were Legal (#988)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

More than 11,000 identifying documents of…sex workers for the adult website SextPanther were reportedly exposed in a security lapse.  Passports, driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers used to verify models’ ages [to comply with US government requirements] were stored on an Amazon Web Services storage bucket that wasn’t protected by a password…a representative for the company [tweeted]…”at this time there is no evidence of [SextPanther] data being accessed with the exception of the security firm that found the exploit and informed the media.  The vulnerability was fixed within one hour of being notified”…A similar security lapse of sex worker information on adult webcam…site PussyCash was discovered on Jan. 3…In August, adult site Luscious exposed the data of over 1 million users…

Websites ask for all this sensitive information to cover their arses if raided by the pigs; they wouldn’t bother with it if not for increased criminalization and persecution of sex workers.

Dark Corners (#997)

More “truth” from the rag that claimed there were more Vietnamese “trafficking victims” in the UK than there are Vietnamese people of all kinds:

…lack of [fluency in] English…is one of the [so-called] warning flags that…put[s nail salons]…on a list…for possible [immigration raids excused by bogus]…human trafficking charges…[reasonably] price[d] nail bars have become a cornerstone of the high street, flourishing as [overpriced] shops [run by white people] close. In the past 20 years, manicures have gone from being an extravagant luxury mostly enjoyed by a moneyed elite to an affordable treat, easily accessible to everyone [so naturally something must be done to teach the peasants that nice-looking hands are only for the ruling class]…it is very hard to link such an innocuous service with such serious crimes [but UK cops and yellow journalists aren’t going to let that little detail get in the way]…

Keep in mind that despite many huge and expensive raids, the UK has never found more than a single-digit number of cases of genuine exploitation; these are actually just immigration raids cloaked under the pretense of “rescue”.  Also note that despite a failed attempt by the arch-prohibitionist New York Times to establish the racist “nail salon slaves” myth here in the US, it remains a distinctly English classist fantasy, like “pop-up brothels“.

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[When we fail to] require lawyers and courts to base arguments on real evidence…not conjecture or faux science…we give government unlimited power to mandate harmful laws, with no recourse for those whose lives or health are jeopardized.  –  Kathryn Kolbert

Don’t Confuse Us With Facts

Compare the judge’s comments about Rue to those made by Judge Himel about Melissa Farley:

…the U.S. Court of Appeals…heard oral arguments in a Texas case challenging the constitutionality of an abortion law, H.B. 2, that has shuttered half the abortion clinics in the state…Judge Catharina Haynes…questioned whether the law was medically justified…“Are we saying if you can find someone in the world to say we need marble floors in an abortion clinic, then that would be good enough to allow the Texas legislature to pass that?”…in recent abortion cases across the country, that is indeed what state attorneys are doing when they hire Vincent Rue, the pioneering junk scientist  behind “post-abortion syndrome”…Rue, discredited by courts decades ago, has since made a career as a behind-the-scenes litigation consultant…Judge Daniel Huyett found that Rue’s testimony “…is not credible…Moreover, his admitted personal opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, suggests…personal bias”…In…the Texas trial…the state was caught red-handed:  Four of the state’s five expert witnesses were forced to change their testimony on the stand when confronted with emails showing they had lied about who had written their reports…

The More the BetterBetty White nude

Recognize this young lovely?  She’s one of America’s best-loved comic actresses, Betty White, practically a symbol of wholesomeness and niceness.  And she started her career by posing nude in the early ’40s.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to discover this; it’s yet another refutation of the Madonna/whore dichotomy and a demonstration of the ubiquity of sex work and the fact that sex workers aren’t mostly pathetic victims.

A Broker in Pillage

Translation of the last line:  “Let us keep your car or cash and we won’t publish your name and picture.”  The quaint non-“law enforcement” term for this is “blackmail”.

…HB713 would allow [cops] to [steal] a car or other property that was [nearby during] a first-time prostitution…offense.  Right now, property can only be [stolen] for a felony prostitution charge…the Texas Department of Public Safety [pretends] there’s a link between human trafficking and prostitution…Property…could be used as part of a deal in settling a case with the person arrested…

Above the Law 

criminally-charged drug court participants were forced into sexual activity by drug court officer Winfred Eugene Vance Jr. and…Vance’s supervisors did nothing to stop it…Vance blackmailed drug court participants into sexual activity after the participants were threatened with a false failed drug test that could lead to jail time if they did not comply…

Naked Truth

Articles from sex workers, telling the truth about sex work, continue to appear in more mainstream venues.  This one from transgender sex worker Diana Hemingway, entitled “9 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Sex Worker“, does a lot to bust stereotypes and reiterate what I say repeatedly:  sex workers aren’t intrinsically different from others, and sex work is work.

First They Came for the Hookers…

A particularly-blatant example of how sex prohibition never stops with whores:

A couple who lost their teenage daughter to prostitution is now speaking out against a proposed [strip club] in Regina.  Nearly 25 years ago, Ed and Linda Smith’s daughter was killed at age 18…  “We’re opposed to this strip club…not only will it be demeaning to women by treating them as…a commodity, it will also have a huge negative impact on the men who attend”…said Ed Smith…[who is] a regular speaker at “John schools” in Saskatchewan…

The Widening Gyre 

“Sex trafficking” is caused by commercials!

A Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium aimed at keeping young people safe from human trafficking is scheduled…Keynote speaker Nicole Clark will explore media’s negative effects on girls’ self image and self-esteem, from oversexualization to the pressures to be thin and pretty…

Bottleneck (#313)

This licensing law was sold as a way to “protect” women:

Saskatoon has imposed a temporary freeze on issuing adult services licences, something the operator of a local brothel says is a “very big mistake” and will force the city’s sex workers to resort to illegal and “sketchy” ways of making a living…Canada’s new prostitution laws…now make reference to “offering, providing or obtaining sexual services”…no licences will be renewed until the city determines whether it needs to change its bylaw in light of [this]…

Still a Child 

Agency denial, pimp mythologizing, ludicrous numbers and the other typical trappings are used to divert the reader’s attention from the fact that the “sex trafficked child” who is “rescued” by an “FBI Child Exploitation Task Force” in this story is 18, which the last time I checked is still a legal adult in every part of the United States.

Drawing Lines

A particularly loathsome example of a porn performer trying to pretend she isn’t a whore, because whores are degraded and disgusting and she’s pimped by big companies.  Bonus hypocrisy points: it’s well-known that, like many in her profession, she escorts on the side.

Consider this her nomination to the Hall of Shame.

Facts in the Case of Monica Jones

Monica Jones’ conviction was overturned on appeal:

Defendant-Appellant Monica Renee Jones…was convicted in Phoenix Municipal Court of manifesting an intent to commit…prostitution.  Defendant contends as follows: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of her prior conviction; (2) the trial court erred in considering her potential punishment in assessing her credibility; (3) the trial court erred in not holding a jury trial; and (4) the trial court erred in holding the city code constitutional.  For the following reasons, this Court vacates the judgment of guilt…

Skewed By Taboo

Another, very thorough look at how the GSS and similar surveys are absolutely useless on sexual topics:

…One of the many reasons sex is puzzling is that we lack reliable data.  People lie to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys and themselves…[in] the General Social Survey…Heterosexual men 18 and over say that they average 63 sex acts per year, using a condom in 23 percent of them.  This adds up to more than 1.6 billion heterosexual condom uses per year.  Heterosexual women say they average 55 sex acts per year, using a condom in 16 percent of them.  This adds up to about 1.1 billion heterosexual condom uses per year…[but] fewer than 600 million condoms are sold every year…About 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 say they are sexually active, not currently pregnant and not using contraception.  Even with relatively conservative assumptions about how many times they are having sex, we would expect 10 percent to become pregnant every month.  But this would already be more than the total number of pregnancies in the United States…

Traffic in Nonsense

There are actually several of these “anti-trafficking” trucker groups:

…“Truckers Against Trafficking” [are]…teaming up with the Iowa Department of Transportation to educate those who know the roads best…officer Jared Arbegast is reaching out to give more awareness to the…nearly 300,000 young people at risk of being trafficked for sex each year…They say this can happen anywhere there is a large gathering of people, for example major sporting events…TAT recommends that if you do encounter a sex trafficker, do not approach them, instead notify the police…photos of “Victims” and pimp would be great…

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Eroticism differs from animal sexuality in that human sexuality is limited by taboos and the domain of eroticism is that of the transgression of these taboos.  –  Georges Bataille

weird tipAs so often happens these days, reporters looking for clickbait to draw eyeballs to their flashing, jiggling banner ads were recently all a-buzz about a new study which purported to discover which sexual fantasies are “normal” and which are “abnormal”.  Aside from the disturbingly-judgmental bias in what should be an objective study, a lot could be said about the flaws in the experimental design; I asked my go-to methodology guru Kevin Wilson about it, and he said:

…The sample was recruited primarily online and via ads, social contacts, etc; it’s probably best considered to be a convenience sample and is almost certainly not representative of the adult population at large.  As such, it’s hard to trust the prevalence rates generated by the data, or that they generalize to the general population from which the sample was drawn…Originally, each fantasy was presented to participants in the survey along with an eight-point scale measuring intensity of interest in that fantasy (where zero = “not at all [interested]” and seven = “completely [interested]”).  The authors coded responses of three or higher as indicating an interest in a given fantasy; this is arbitrary and no justification appears to be offered…the authors’ definition of unusual (endorsed by 15.9%) and rare (2.3%) sexual fantasies is likewise arbitrary…They could just as easily have said, “less than 1% is rare because… 1% is a small number” and had it been just as valid…

But there’s a bigger problem, which as it turns out I’ve written on before when the titillation du jour was the claim that fewer men were paying for sex:

…the General Social Survey…has one huge, massive flaw that was mentioned by my psychology professors way back in the Dark Ages of the 1980s, yet seems not to trouble those who rely upon it so heavily these days:  it is conducted in person, face to face with the respondents.  And that means that on sensitive topics carrying criminal penalties or heavy social stigma, the results are less than solid; negative opinions of its dependability on such matters range from “unreliable” to “useless”.  The fact of the matter is that human beings want to look good to authority figures (like sociologists in white lab coats) even when they don’t know them from Adam, so they tend to deviate from strict veracity toward whatever answer they think the interviewer wants to hear…

So, what does this study say constitutes an “abnormal” fantasy?

“Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are: they involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction,” Christian Joyal, the lead author of the study, said…The researchers found that only two sexual fantasies were…rare:  Sexual activities with a child or an animal…only nine sexual fantasies were considered unusual…[including] “golden showers,” cross-dressing, [and] sex with a prostitute…

Arpaio on a dateJoyal’s claim that sadistic and rape fantasies are innately “pathological” is both insulting and totally wrong; we “know” no such thing.  And did you think it was a coincidence that pedophilia and bestiality were the only two fantasies to fall into the “rare” category during a time when those are the two most vilified kinks in the catalog, kinks which will result in permanent consignment to pariah status if discovered?  Guess again; as recently as the 1980s it was acceptable to at least talk about both of these, and neither is as rare as this “study” pretends.  But Man is a social animal, and even if someone is absolutely certain of his anonymity (which in the post-Snowden era would be a much rarer thing than either of those fantasies), few are willing to risk the disapproval of a lab-coated authority figure even if he isn’t sitting directly in front of them.  What this study shows is not how common these fantasies actually are, but rather how safe people feel admitting to them.  And while that’s an interesting thing in itself, it isn’t what everyone from researchers to reporters to readers is pretending the study measured.

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