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Posts Tagged ‘Spotlight’

White people saving white people is not as sexy and compelling as white people getting to further exercise their savior complex through the racist stereotype of the submissive, obedient Asian sex slave.  –  Laura LeMoon

Rough Trade 

From Norway, the other feminist paradise:

A 36 year old man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of two rapes.  The punishment would have been harsher if the victims were not prostitutes…the judgment of Stavanger District Court [reads]…”By the rape of a prostitute who has agreed to sell sexual services, but where a situation arises where the offender will not pay, and thus develop into a rape which in this case is the violation of sexual integrity by a somewhat different character”…the verdict has been appealed…

The Daughters of Shamhat

Sex work is not an evil to be tolerated, but a good to be celebrated:

…Over the next year I sought out…sexworkers…every for every time I felt I was losing control…the only thing holding me together was the sexworkers I was seeing every three to four weeks.  They kept my wife safe from my anger…Based on the recommendation of a sexworker I sought help.  I was diagnosed with PTSD…later [my wife] filed for divorce…years [later] I met a young lady…that stole my heart.  After two months of dating…she said she could not have an exclusive physical relationship with me, but if I was willing to have a mentally exclusive and love exclusive relationship, she would be more than happy to join me in such a relationship.  That’s when she explained that she was a sexworker…Today, she and I are married.  We have a loving relationship based on openness and honesty.  She actually encourages me seeing sexworkers…

If Men Were Angels

This is obviously a major ethical violation, but I don’t think letting drug warriors handle the case helped anyone:

[Doctor] Naga Thota…was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for distributing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose, part of…a “quid pro quo situation in which he exchanged drugs, gifts and money for sex.”  A criminal complaint accuses him of having similar arrangements with two other patients — all of them in their 20s and addicted to pain pills…Thota and the women would exchange sexually explicit texts, then Thota would write prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors…he switched them to more powerful painkillers, then increased the dosages — and their dependence on him as a supplier…

Guinea Pigs 

“Protecting women” is nearly always code for either spying on us or controlling us:

…the imagination of safety for women in public spaces always ends up focusing on monitoring their moves – by dotting the cityscape with closed-circuit television cameras.  The Karnataka government responded to the allegations of rape and molestation by announcing the purchase of 550 more CCTVs, never mind that the thousand-odd such devices had failed to stop the assaults in the first place…in spite of having more security cameras than any other country in Europe, only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images in 2015.  Additionally, this bolsters the notion that crimes against women are always inflicted by unknown persons — the ubiquitous stranger rape – and erases that most such violence happens within the home, by family members, where there are no CCTVs…The gentrification – which included CCTV installation — of Kolkata’s biggest lakeside park threw sex workers and transfolk onto the streets and made them far more susceptible to police and stranger violence…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t socialize with the sleazy fuckers, either:

A Minneapolis [cop]…sexually [assaulted] an unconscious woman with whom he was out drinking earlier that night…Thomas Robert Tichich…and the victim were with another woman who invited them to spend the night at her home…to avoid driving drunk…the victim passed out on a large living room couch.  The woman went to sleep in an upstairs bedroom and told Tichich to sleep on a smaller living room couch…[she] woke up later to find Tichich in her bed touching her arm…[so she] told Tichich to leave the room.  A while later, the woman, unable to sleep, went downstairs to find Tichich naked and standing over the victim sleeping on the large couch and attempting a sex act.  She took photographs using her cellphone, then kicked Tichich out of her house and called police…

Still a Child (#677) 

A rare victory against prohibitionists:

[Prohibitionists] were dealt a blow…in a federal court in Louisiana, with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier siding with strippers between the ages of 18 and 20 in their dispute with a recent Louisiana lawthat prohibits anyone age 18 to 20 from dancing nude in Louisiana strip clubs.  The decision deals a major blow to what legislators [pretend is] an effort to shield young women from being exploited by  human traffickers that they [fantasize] recruit young women in clubs…The ruling appears to establish stripping as a constitutional right under the First Amendment, making Barbier not just a hero to strippers, but to Americans in general…

Send In the Clowns 

Back so soon?

Extra police patrolled West Mifflin, Pennsylvania over the weekend after officials received reports of two men with weapons, dressed as clowns, frightening a group of children…The search didn’t turn up any evidence…The children were playing hide-and-go-seek in the woods, when around 4:15 p.m. they [claimed] two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons approached them…

The War Goes On 

The prohibitionist arseholes at the New York Times still refuse to understand how anti-sex crusades harm sex workers:

In the fight against child sex trafficking, shutting down an epicenter like Backpage was a major victory, but one against a relentless foe that quickly unfurled new tentacles…it…illustrated how difficult it is to stamp out the practice of selling children for sex…Eric Quan, a [vice pig]…with the San Jose Police Department, said there had been a conspicuous rise in street prostitution…

It’s interesting how often cops & reporters with “sex trafficking” fantasies are also apparently fans of hentai. Also note that though this reporter keeps drooling about “selling children for sex” the woman he interviewed for this tragedy porn is 18.

Cooties (#711)

Super-ally Frankie Mullin exposes cop bullshit:

“Pop-up brothels” full of trafficked women are sweeping the country, according to a spate of recent reports…The tale – valiant but kindly cops, the suggestion of women chained to radiators – with its trendy packaging in hipster terminology has been guzzled up by the press.  Basic fact-checking…is absent…in the last 12 months recorded, Devon and Cornwall police have made just one referral for sex trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism…and that was for an underage girl from the UK…Insp Dave Meredith…admitted…”We haven’t managed to locate any traffickers as a direct result of visiting pop-up brothels”…when I checked out Meredith’s claim – repeated by every news outlet which covered the story – that “the sex workers are the victims so we try to offer them help and signpost them to various agencies”, I hit a dead end…So…contrary to news reports: no Eastern European trafficking victims have been found, and “signposting to agencies” is, as yet, a hypothetical concept.  If the situation arose, cops would “google it”…

Spotlight (#715) 

It’s so good to see people who had a bad time in sex work attacking self-proclaimed savior Asstoon:

With tears brimming his eyes and a quiver in his voice, Ashton Kutcher testified…how he had recently seen a video of a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia being raped.  Search for his speech online, and shockingly, no one seems to have one word of criticism for the actor-turned-crusader…despite the fact that he…according to his own admission, is somehow getting ahold of and watching what is essentially child snuff porn — and then crying about it to the senate, where he’s praised for his compassion.  Unlike Kutcher, I am a trafficking survivor. I have also come to the sex industry at various points of my own choosing and have worked as an escort, adult film performer and street-based sex worker…What Kutcher represents…is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex…it has become abundantly clear to me that there might be — at most — one other trafficking survivor among potentially hundreds of people at [“anti-trafficking”] events.  This is precisely why Kutcher is problematic…

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

Think of the Children! 

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

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

The More the Better 

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

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

The Spiral of Absurdity texas-tribune-tinfoil-hat

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

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

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

Cops and Robbers (#435)

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

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

Secret Squirrel (#509)

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

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

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

Coming and Going (#592)

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

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

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

The Public Eye (#596)

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

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

Lying Down With Dogs (#625) 

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

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

Spotlight (#683) asstoon-strikes-again

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

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

The Course of a Disease (#686)

Another patient succumbs to the Swedish disease:

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

An Example To the West (#710)

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

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

Business As Usual (#711) 

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

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

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All that criminalization of prostitution does is make people afraid.
–  Tara Burns

Droit du Seigneur 

Though pimps are pretty rare, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:  “[An] Oklahoma City [cop]…was arrested…on multiple complaints, including aiding in prostitution.  Lt. Alex Edwards…was [also charged with a bunch of vague ‘crimes’ used by prosecutors to stack penalties]…

Pyrrhic Victory

When they smash down your door in the middle of the night, murder your dogs, terrorize your family and embroil you in a decade-long court battle which will utterly bankrupt you because some computer decided you look like somebody who supposedly broke some law, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study…”The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use…is virtually unregulated…Alvaro Bedoya…co-author of the study [said] “By [scanning]…the faces on 26 states’ driver’s license and ID photos, police and the FBI have basically enrolled half of all adults in a massive virtual line-up.  This has never been done for fingerprints or DNA”…researchers obtained documents stating that at least five “major police departments,” including those in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles, “either claimed to run real-time face recognition off of street cameras, bought technology that can do so, or expressed an interest in buying it”…

Spotlight (#47) Asstoon

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

Ashton Kutcher [made grandiose and unsubstantiated claims]…about how Thorn, an organization founded by himself and ex-wife Demi Moore, has been working to combat human trafficking…Kutcher [fantasized] that his organization had saved more than 6,000 victims from human trafficking in 2016, identifying more 2,000 trafficker in the process…An additional online menace that Thorn intends to combat…was online pornography…“I’m going to eliminate child pornography from the internet.”

Imagine a reporter neither expressing skepticism of nor demanding proof from a person who claimed to have saved 6000 rape victims and vowed that his next super-deed would be to eliminate every opium poppy in Asia.

Pearls Firmly Clutched 

Using Suzy Favor Hamilton’s story without her input is pretty sleazy even for an anti-whore sleazefest like Law and Order:

…an…episode on Law & Order SVU…revolved around a female Olympic Pole Vaulter who had been sexually assaulted while secretly escorting…They flash in the intro, “The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person, entity or event.”  Well that’s kinda laughable because with the exception of the sexual assault and a couple minor modifications, it’s pretty much me out there.  Olympian?  Check.  Track & Field athlete?  Check.  Married?  Check.  Mom?  Check.  Secretly escorting?  Check.  Bipolar?  Check…It’s strange to me that a show like this…can rip off a story so blatantly.  I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how all this works, but what I do know it that as I watched, it felt a little icky and sneaky.  Like someone had broken into my life uninvited…

Torture Chamber

Americans keep pretending to be shocked by this, then support sending more people to prison:

A former inmate of a Louisiana private prison is suing the company that runs the prison after two guards [orally raped] him [on several occasions]…Aaron Franklin…was abused by Derrick Deshotel and Tyler Strothers…at the Allen Correctional Center…An investigation by the prison substantiated his allegations…The guards were fired…and criminally charged…[but] received only probation…

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

Canadian cops are trying to intimidate sex workers again:

Holed up in a hotel room close to Calgary’s airport, a handful of [pigs]…dig through piles of online escort ads as they prep for Day Two of Operation Northern Spotlight…they make calls to unsuspecting sex workers and [lie to them to] set up “dates”…they hope to [intimidate them] to leave the world’s oldest profession…The women all react differently to the initial contact with the detective.  Some are hostile, as they realize the [cops have robbed them of hundreds of dollars of their time]…

Between the Lines

Sex workers, our clients, our associates and our families were once again subjected to the FBI’s periodic anti-sex worker pogrom, “Operation Cross-Country”:

This year’s Operation Cross Country—the largest to date—involved 55 FBI field offices and 74 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces throughout the country composed of more than 400 law enforcement agencies.  Hundreds of law enforcement officials took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and their customers…

The FBI learned years ago not to give any clear figures on the number of peaceful adults whose lives are destroyed in these fanatical jihads, preferring instead to represent any underage sex workers they arrest as “rescued victims” and pretty much any male unlucky enough to fall into their hands as a “pimp” (though the conviction rate is only 4%).  So it may take a week or two to get a picture of the extent of the carnage; right now the coverage is dominated by nauseating fluff like this in which cops and politicians engage in a vast circle-jerk to fantasies of enslaved teen girls:

Calling child sex trafficking a “scourge,” FBI Director James Comey announced Monday that 82 minors had been rescued…through an international effort held this month to locate victims and arrest the perpetrators…”These children trapped in this hell need a hero,” he said. “And the men and women who work for us, federal agents, state agents, local police officers and partners around the world are those heroes.”  Comey’s comments came during the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in San Diego…

But the tide has turned, and this time the usual cacophony of cop-fellation which accompanies these pogroms is interrupted by a few voices speaking the truth:

…sex-worker advocates [explain that]…better results could be achieved by decriminalizing prostitution.  They argue that eliminating the fear of arrest would sharply increase the reporting of abuse and exploitation from both sex workers and their customers.  Tara Burns…said people involved in the sex trade can’t rely on the hope that [a cop]…they encounter will use their arrest discretion to zero in on abuses, and could just as easily wield it to commit them, as seen in the ongoing East Bay police sex scandal…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s unusual for reporters to actually use the word “rape” in reference to rapist cops:  “A Festus [Missouri cop] charged with rape and domestic assault…has been [given a desk job]…Andrew J. Hirth…was charged Sept. 15…

No Moss

Let’s hope Rolling Stone‘s fortunes follow its credibility down the anti-sex toilet:

[Nicole Eramo] the University of Virginia dean [of students is] suing Rolling Stone for defamation over how she was portrayed in an article about a campus rape report…Sabrina Rubin Erdely [falsely] described a woman named “Jackie” being gang-raped by seven men…and portrayed the administration as not doing enough to help…“I don’t think anyone at Rolling Stone thought of me as a real person,” Eramo said…“You can’t just do drive-by journalism”…Rolling Stone made her “look like the devil”…[even though]…Jackie [had written]…”Dean Eramo has truly saved my life….[she] was helpful and understanding and, above all, compassionate”…Eramo disputed that she ever said any of the [quotes attributed to her in the article and]…no one at Rolling Stone contacted…[her] during the fact-checking process…Jackie forwarded an email to the reporter showing that the dean had set up two meetings with police so Jackie could report the alleged rape to authorities.  A reference to these meetings…was included in a draft of the article but was later edited out…

In other words, Erdely & Rolling Stone knew that the dean had supported “Jackie” in her claim, but willfully chose to depict her as a villain to make it a better story.

Send In the Clowns ooh-so-scary

As clown hysteria continues to mount, institutional responses to it grow increasingly more stupid:

The Russian government warned citizens traveling to Britain to beware of clowns…San Francisco schools went into lockdown during a clown fear wave, and have now claimed the FBI is looking into things…in Concord…a mother [claimed] a “creepy clown” tried to kidnap her 1-year-old child…The woman [supposedly] kicked the clown in the shin and the person fled…Sonoma State University has responded to clown sightings as well as an unrelated person in a gorilla suit…That’s the second…clown-gorilla connection

Meanwhile, elsewhere in California:

Police arrested a juvenile Tuesday following a social media post that suggested “armed” clowns would visit three Hanford schools…police began receiving calls about the post…from [idiots] fearing for their own safety or for the safety of their children…Capt. Karl Anderson attributed the fast resolution to citizens who [snitched]…The Spooky Halloween Super Store…and…Halloween City…said the recent clown scares around the country haven’t hurt sales of creepy clown masks, costumes and decorations…

But while these entrepreneurs are sensibly making money from people’s herd behavior, Target decided to “send a message” that it’s part of the Establishment:  “Halloween costume shoppers won’t be finding any ‘creepy clown’ masks on Target store shelves or online.  The decision was made late last week to pull all clown masks from stores…”  And Snopes is fielding some manifestations of the hysteria:

On 17 October 2016, the Empire Herald web site published a gruesome article about the arrest of a clown after police found eleven human bodies stuffed in a freezer at his Memphis residence…this story…was…a…fabrication intended to exploit…clown hysteria…The Empire Herald is a fake news site that does not publish any factual stories…

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The industry is so much more about providing care and human nurturing than anything else.  –  Lance Gilman

Spotlight

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher…announce[d] their decision to continue the…DNA Foundation, [which] will [now] be called “THORN: Digital Defenders of Children”…the foundation will focus on battling digital crimes, especially…[child] sexual exploitation.  “For the past three years we have focused our work broadly on combating child sex trafficking…technology plays an increasingly large role in this crime and in the sexual exploitation of children overall…We believe that the technology-driven aspect of these crimes demands its own attention and investment”…

In other words, one of their advisors realizes that “sex trafficking” hysteria is on the way out, and suggested they shift the foundation’s efforts toward a crusade with a longer shelf life.

Tyranny By Consensus

As in the case of Proposition 35, Californians who voted for Measure B really had no idea what they were supporting:

In an article published today…CalOSHA made it clear that when Measure B’s text refers to “condoms,” it is actually referring to the full roster of “barrier protections” set forth in California Code of Regulations…the section labeled “Personal Protective Equipment”…reads, “Where occupational exposure remains after institution of engineering and work practice controls, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, gloves, gowns, laboratory coats, face shields or masks and eye protection“…CalOSHA admits that now that…enforcement will not be just about condoms, but will require that no person’s bodily fluids or “possibly contaminated” areas of skin will be allowed to touch the “skin, eyes, mouth or other mucous membranes” of another person—and what that quite obviously boils down to is, there’ll be no sex in sex movies after Measure B is put into force…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Krulac meant to send me a copy of The Night Walker soundtrack for my birthday, but a mixup in the order meant it didn’t arrive until Monday.  That doesn’t matter to me one bit; I’ve wanted this disc for a very long time, and for me horror isn’t limited to Halloween.  Thank you so very much, Krulac!

Welcome To Our World Again

Uganda will pass a new law against homosexuality by the end of 2012 as a “Christmas gift” to its advocates…Rebecca Kadaga [claimed] that Ugandans were “demanding” the law.  Homosexual acts are already illegal…but the bill…proposes jail terms…including a life sentence in certain circumstances.  It prohibits the “promotion” of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.  But a clause which calls for the death penalty against people found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – is to be dropped…The bill was strongly condemned last year by Western leaders…[and] international donors have threatened to cut off aid to Uganda if the country does not do more to protect the rights of gay people…

Though Kadega claims the law was “demanded” by Ugandans, in reality it has been pushed since 2009 by Christian fundamentalists from the US who have bought Ugandan politicians to advance their agenda of hate.

One Year Later

It’s good to see yet another evil “controlling prostitution” charge defeated:  “Marie McKinlay, 40, was said to have employed dozens of high-class escort girls…that made her more than £350,000 between 2008 and 2011…But…was cleared of controlling prostitution for gain over two and a half years after insisting she had been no more than an agent…”  Remember, in the UK escort prostitution is legal; only working together for safety or working from a specific place are illegal.  However, police often accuse women of “controlling prostitution” so as to have an excuse to rob them under the “Proceeds of Crime Act”.

Above the Law

The British cops who created fake identities, seduced women into thinking they were having real relationships, got them pregnant and then vanished without any concern about child support are now being sued by their victims, and Scotland Yard is trying to force the trials into a star chamber:  “the Metropolitan Police…[argue] that some cases should be hard by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal…in secret…

Broken Record

It takes a kind of perverse talent to fit so many myths into such a small space:

The Florida Classic weekend draws football fans from across the state…but…is also known for attracting another type of tourist: prostitutes…Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation…Director Larry Zwieg [said] his agency launched an undercover operation…to catch the women who are in town to find illegal work — and the men seeking their services.  “We’ve noticed a pattern” among the prostitutes, Zwieg said.  “They go from city to city, where ever there is a particular event going on”…Authorities say it’s a familiar story whenever there’s a large event…Sometimes, the prostitutes…are…victims of child-sex trafficking…Child-welfare experts say many teens who are trafficked don’t see themselves as victims and won’t cooperate with authorities.  The girls are often fearful of their pimp or his associates.  The FBI estimates 293,000 children are at risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation in America…

Let’s see:  we’ve got the “gypsy whores” and the cop insistence that they’ve “noticed” something which doesn’t exist; then agency denial, the pretense that all underage hookers are “trafficked”, and the dogma that the reason whores won’t confirm police masturbatory fantasies is due to fear of nonexistent pimps.  Then top it all off with a misattribution of Estes & Weiner’s magic number to the FBI instead.  Remarkable.

Too Young To Know

Cambridge historian Mary Beard on the arbitrariness of law, the Shazam! fallacy, and what the age of consent in Great Britain has to do with “white slavery”, “child” prostitution and William Stead, the Victorian version of Nicholas Kristof.  Stead arranged to “buy” a girl from her destitute alcoholic mother by telling her that he wanted the girl as a servant for a wealthy family, but then claimed in his series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, that the mother had knowingly sold the girl into “white slavery”.  Beard points out that the articles were “probably as inaccurate and exaggerated as some more recent newspaper campaigns have been in the area of child sex.  But the articles kick-started pressure…so the age of consent was raised, while, with a certain illogicality, the minimum age of marriage for girls remained 12 until 1929.”

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

The truth of this is buried under such a heap of dysphemisms it’s very tough to sort out what’s really going on here.  As I’ve explained before, “money laundering” is a bogus charge used to persecute and loot suppressed businesses; you’ll notice all the other “crimes” they’re charged with are either consensual activities or else vague administrative infractions.  Note the anti-Village Voice propaganda and the way these “officials” reduce women to infantilized, passive objects:

Taking action to break up a tri-state, prostitution-based money laundering operation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the unsealing of a 180-count indictment charging 19 individuals and one corporation with enterprise corruption and a variety of underlying crimes, including money laundering, falsifying business records, narcotics sales and prostitution…investigators found two women who were the victims of human trafficking…and…brought them to a safe haven…Somad Enterprises…created, monitored, facilitated and employed online (on Backpage.com, for example) and print (in the Village Voice, for example) advertisements and cable television commercials to knowingly and systematically promote prostitution for its clients’ large- and small-scale prostitution businesses – or pimps for which Somad and its employees, as well as the prostitution business clients, profited handsomely…Commissioner Kelly said, “All anyone has to do is open a copy of the Village Voice to get a good sense of how classified advertising and prostitution go hand in hand, particularly in the prostituting of Asian women.  Our focus remains the profiteers and johns engaged in promoting prostitution – not the women exploited by them”…

The Public Eye

No matter how this turns out, it’s part of the picture which will eventually force people to realize that sex workers are no different from anyone else:

…Mark Suben, the DA in Cortland County [New York]…since 2008…[said] he had lied about his past…”[Reports]…have…[alleged] that I was involved in the adult film industry about 40 years ago…Those allegations are true…I was an actor in adult films for a short period in the early 70s.  I was also an actor in…soap operas and commercial advertisements.”  He apologized for his actions and said he used “bad judgment” by acting in porn and by lying about it.  He…will not resign…IMDB…says Suben…[under the name] Gus Thomas appears in films such as Lecher and The Love Witch

And though Suben hid his sex-industry past from the voters, Mustang Ranch brothel owner Lance Gilman did not; last week he was “elected…Storey County commissioner by a wide margin…[he] is the first such owner to win election to public office in Nevada since prostitution was legalized…in 1971”.  And though he obviously supports legalization over decriminalization because the former benefits him (no surprise), he did make the positive statement which forms today’s epigram.

Pathologization

Not content with the pathologization of maleness and adolescence, quacks have now proposed that throwing tantrums be considered a mental disorder:

…”Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)” [is] a controversial new child psychiatric disorder proposed for inclusion in…DSM-5…kids will be deemed DMDD if they show “severe recurrent temper outbursts that are grossly out of proportion in intensity or duration to the situation”…Pittsburg psychiatrists David Axelson and colleagues have just shown that the…concept is deeply flawed…[the committee introduced DMDD as a replacement for the recent fad diagnosis] “child bipolar disorder”  – a disease considered extremely rare everywhere else…

Metaupdates

Think of the Children! (April Updates)

Anyone who really believes that teenage boys are “children” who can somehow be harmed by seeing naked women should seek professional help immediately:

…Parents of a child who was turning 16 apparently hired two strippers…and invited the boy’s friends…the mother of a 15-year-old…[said] she was shocked when her son told her about the lap dances given to teens…Jim Murphy, Saratoga County District Attorney…[said] “a parent…could be charged with endangering the welfare of a child”…the party was in a private room at the bowling alley…[which] could be in trouble with the State Liquor Authority…[and] the D.A. says the strippers could face charges for having sexual contact with minors…

In other words, Murphy sees nothing wrong with trying to destroy the lives of at least five people (possibly more) over something he would’ve given his eyeteeth to experience when he was 16.

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #35)

The government of Denmark has rejected the Swedish model, rightfully recognizing that the scheme harms prostitutes, is largely unenforceable and wastes resources.  Though prohibitionists were “disappointed”, human rights advocates and the two-thirds of the Danish population who are opposed to the Swedish evil will no doubt be pleased.

Blackball (TW3 #46)

Emi Koyama’s slide presentation at a recent harm reduction conference described how Portland, Oregon’s bad date line, which was started by a sex worker peer organization, changed when it was taken over by social service agencies.  Hint:  not only didn’t it improve…

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Beside my two previous Thanksgiving columns, two looks at halfway whores, and two indictments of neofeminist “choice” hypocrisy, this week saw essays on wife swapping and French colonial concubines, my very first column on the “gypsy whores” myth and its sequel, and the tale of an angry love goddess.  I also compared US treatment of sex workers with that in the UK and a number of repressive regimes, and featured short articles on a TV show’s involvement in “child sex trafficking”, good advice from a newsreader, tips for dealing with cops, Sasha Grey, Escorts.com, the growth of a rumor and a mobile sex worker rights billboard.

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Metaphors are much more tenacious than facts.  –  Paul Deman

Advocates for the decriminalization of prostitution repeatedly point out that when any activity is criminalized, it is pushed into the shadows and thereby attracts the kind of vermin who thrive in the darkness.  Those who prey on others and scavenge profits from their misfortunes cannot stand long exposure to the light of truth, and must either wither or go scurrying back into the woodwork whence they came.  The cockroaches who populate the rescue industry are like this, enriching themselves at the expense of prostitutes and those who do business with us under cover of the thick, greasy smoke of disinformation spread by neofeminists and trafficking fetishists.  But when light is cast onto their activities, they must retreat in order to survive.

Roaches don’t care where their food comes from, and neither do Trevor and Maggie Neilson of Global Philanthropy Group, the “celebrity charity consultants” who make a fine living from Hollywood types who want to look good for the public by giving money to “worthy causes”.  The Neilsons were the ones who suggested Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore dump their excess cash into the “DNA Foundation”, pumping them up with ridiculous stories of 300,000 child sex slaves; this is not to say that the Kutchers are not equally culpable, since any reasonable person should have checked his facts rather than mindlessly parroting nonsense to everyone who would listen.  But the Neilsons might have continued to enjoy their ill-gotten profits (made at the expense of further persecution of voluntary adult whores) had Village Voice Media not decided to shine a light on them; as I reported in my column of July 1st, Maggie Neilson told reporters she didn’t care whether her facts were accurate or not: “I don’t frankly care if the number is 200,000, 500,000, or a million, or 100,000…the people who want to spend all day bitching about the methodologies used I’m not very interested in.”

Within a few days of the Village Voice article, however, Neilson and her husband realized that daylight had intruded into their cozy little crevice.  Though most of the public was still buying the “for the children!” excuse, many others were starting to wake up and the Neilson’s poster boy was having a very public meltdown on Twitter which, though it won a few supporters like American Airlines and Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, actually resulted in even more unwelcome attention.  Maggie Neilson attempted damage control with a July 6th Huffington Post article which trotted out further misinformation wrapped up in logical fallacies and appeals to emotion; that same day, Village Voice property Seattle Weekly published an article which refuted just about every claim the Neilsons and Kutchers had made about Backpage and displayed the erroneous statements as part of a larger pattern of ignorance and disinformation distributed by both couples.  Undeterred, Trevor Neilson followed his wife’s example by writing a July 13th Huffington Post article in which he accused Village Voice Media of doing exactly what he and his wife were trying so desperately to do:  protect their income by lying and otherwise distracting people from looking too closely at the facts.  He even called the company’s exposure of his ignorance “a series of wild columns” in an article which referred to adult escort ads as “children being sold for sex” and pretended that “300,000” is a reasonable approximation for “4”.

Apparently, Neilson woke up soon after writing this silly screed and realized that sooner or later his attack, based as it was on incredible exaggeration and blatant misrepresentation, would collapse under the weight of its own absurdity and might even take his company with it if the far larger Village Voice organization decided to pursue the legal remedies available to the targets of libel campaigns.  Sometime in the last couple of weeks it obviously dawned on him that spreading demonstrably false claims in an attempt to undermine a company’s business constitutes criminal defamation and a “reckless disregard for the truth”, and so he decided to backpedal on his previous position (as reported in the July 25th Seattle Weekly):

Global Philanthropy Group president Trevor Neilson, who on July 14 e-mailed a letter to Seattle Weekly advertisers urging them to withdraw their advertising from the publication on account of ads allegedly involving underage sex trafficking on parent company Village Voice Media’s adult classifieds service, Backpage, today e-mailed a second letter to those same advertisers, stating that he is “no longer calling on advertisers to withdraw their ads from the Village Voice, the Seattle Weekly, or any of their related publications.”

“Over the course of the last week I have had numerous discussions with Village Voice, and have come to believe that they are serious about working diligently to prevent their digital classifieds website from being used by those seeking to exploit children or others,” writes Neilson, who’s been associated with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore and their DNA Foundation on the topic of sexual exploitation of minors.  Shortly after Seattle Weekly and its VVM sister papers ran a cover story which was critical of DNA’s interpretation of numbers surrounding underage prostitution, Neilson brought the issue to the attention of Seattle mayor Mike McGinn, who ultimately responded by pulling city advertising from the pages of Seattle Weekly.  (Unlike the web-based Backpage, which relies on credit card and ISP information to track its users, Seattle Weekly checks the ID of all individuals appearing in the adult classifieds section of its print edition.)  Since Neilson reached out to McGinn, Backpage representatives have met with the mayor and City Councilmember Tim Burgess, as well as the DNA Foundation, to explore security enhancements associated with the site.  Following is the full text of Neilson’s July 25 letter to select Seattle Weekly and Village Voice Media advertisers:

Dear [advertiser]:

I wanted to update you on the situation with Seattle Weekly and Village Voice Media that I emailed you about on July 14.  Over the course of the last week I have had numerous discussions with Village Voice, and have come to believe that they are serious about working diligently to prevent their digital classifieds website from being used by those seeking to exploit children or others.  Currently, I am informed they are looking at ways that new technology can be used to verify the ages of those whose photos appear on their websites.  It is a task that hasn’t been perfected on the web yet but I am assured by Village Voice and Seattle Weekly that the resources, manpower and effort are being marshaled by them in consultation with IT and safety professionals to address the issue.  I am encouraged by their actions in the last week, and believe they have demonstrated a serious commitment to stopping online predators who traffic in underage children or other victims.  Based on these discussions, and what Village Voice and Seattle Weekly have demonstrated, I wanted you to know that I am hopeful that Village Voice Media’s efforts will be successful, and I will do what I can to be helpful in the process.  In light of these efforts and commitments, I am no longer calling on advertisers to withdraw their ads from the Village Voice, the Seattle Weekly, or any of their related publications.

Sincerely,

Trevor Neilson, President
Global Philanthropy Group

As a popular comedian of the late ’60s used to say, “Verrrrry interesting.”  Of course we’ll never know what was really said at those meetings, but any reduction in “child sex trafficking” rhetoric is a welcome change.  And what of Demi and Ashton?  If a recent DNA “tweet” calling attention to this news story is any indication, they may now be attempting to steer their loose cannon toward “end demand” nonsense; in any case, it’s obvious their private war on whores is far from over.

One Year Ago Today

In “Friday the Thirteenth” I examined the possible origins of the popular superstition about the day, and proposed it as an occasion for speaking up for the rights of sex workers.

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