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Posts Tagged ‘Stand-Up Guys’

These days it takes some serious balls for a man to stand up, demand rights for sex workers, and actually sign his real name to the thing. – Maggie McNeill

A year and a half ago I published “Stand-Up Guys”, in which I saluted men outside the sex industry who dared to stand up and speak out for sex worker rights, despite the rising tide of “end demand” and other Swedish-flavored prohibitionism.  Things have grown only worse since then; prohibitionists viciously attack men who support sex worker rights, hinting that they are “pimps” or “sex traffickers” even when they don’t identify as clients.  What’s more, some sex worker activists appear to have imbibed the neofeminist Kool-Aid and foolishly shun the help of clients or other men; some even proclaim themselves misandrists, which looks to me a lot like using one’s own feet for target practice.  And yet despite all that, some men stubbornly fight for our rights anyway; I don’t mind saying that I find that sort of obstinacy rather sexy.Tim Barnett  So today I present another list of male allies; remember, this doesn’t include men who are directly involved in our industry, since it’s as personal for them as it is for us.  It does, however, include clients (and one former sex worker) who have chosen to “out” themselves for the cause.  As before, this is by no means meant to be a complete list; if you have any suggestions who didn’t appear on either list, please mention them in the comments below!
Dave Barry
Tim Barnett  The New Zealand MP who sponsored the Prostitution Reform Act (which decriminalized sex work in 2003) is now his party’s general secretary, and still often speaks in favor of decrim both in New Zealand and in the UK.  Follow him on Twitter: @tim4858

Dave Barry  The famous humorist has libertarian leanings, and has spoken out about the injustice of prostitution stings.  Email him at nolowflow@davebarry.com or follow him on Twitter: @rayadverbChester Brown

Chester Brown  Well-known comic book artist who wrote Paying for It, in which he detailed his experiences as a client of Toronto sex workers; the book’s appendix contains a strong argument for decriminalization.  I’m also proud to say that he’s a regular reader and a friend, and drew the cover art for my upcoming story collection Ladies of the Night.  Chester can be contacted through his publisher, Drawn and Quarterly, at info@drawnandquarterly.com

Graham EllisonGraham Ellison  Professor of Criminology at Queen’s University Belfast, a staunch proponent of decriminalization and outspoken opponent of the Swedish model; I have linked a number of his essays in my TW3 columns.  Email him at g.ellison@qub.ac.uk

Rupert Everett  This British actor came out as having done sex work when he was young and struggling, and is nowRupert Everett supporting an anti-Swedish model campaign by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike.  He can be contacted by mail through his agents.

Zander-Dexter Falcon  A regular client in Saskatoon who recently came out in the process of fighting legislation that endangers sex workers.  Email:  zanderfalcon@sasktel.net  or follow him on Twitter: @furyofpatience

Ally Fogg  Freelance journalist in the UK who generally writes on social justice and gender issues,Ally Fogg including strong support for sex worker rights.  He prefers to be contacted via Twitter: @allyfogg, but his website also has an email contact form.

Chris Hall  Freelance journalist in the US who can be counted on to consistently write about sex workers and our rights in a respectful and eloquent manner.  Follow him on Twitter: @literatepervertMichel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq  French novelist who has repeatedly states that he loves prostitutes, and has often featured us in his books.  You may email him at houelle@magic.fr

Karl Lagerfeld  The famous fashion designer prefers escorts to unpaid companions, and often speaks of his admiration for us; he also helped former underage hooker Zahia Dehar get started as a designer herself.Karl Lagerfeld  He may be written at Karl Lagerfeld Group, 12 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France.

Matthias Lehmann is a German sex work researcher whose articles (especially those debunking prohibitionist lies) I have referenced many times.  Email him here or follow him on Twitter: @photogroffee

Scott Long  Veteran activist for human rights, especially sexual rights, who unlike many in that field does notPaul Maginn seem embarrassed to speak out for the rights of sex workers.  Follow him on Twitter: @scottlong1980

Paul Maginn  Urban planning expert who is especially interested in the sex industry; I have linked his anti-criminalization essays several times.  Email him at paul.maginn@uwa.edu.au or follow him on Twitter: @planographer

Marc Randazza  Prominent First Amendment lawyer who has gone to batMarc Randazza not only for porn, but for the speech rights of hookers as well.  You may email him through this page, or follow him on Twitter: @marcorandazza

Mike Siegel  Astronomer, libertarian/conservative blogger, regular reader and friend who has written on numerous occasions in support of sex worker rights.  Follow him on Twitter: @Hal_RTFLC

Jesse Walker  Though virtually all libertariansJesse Walker are against criminalization, some are more actively vocal about it; this historian, Reason editor & writer of The United States of Paranoia is one of them. Email him at jwalker@reason.com or follow him on Twitter: @notjessewalker

Ken White  Respected First Amendment lawyer, popular blogger, defender of those threatened by censorious twatwaffles, geek extraordinaire and personal friend.  Read his thoughts on sex work, email him at ken@popehat.com or follow him on Twitter: @popehat

Kevin WilsonKen White  Professional research consultant, graduate student in epidemiology and friend who became interested in sex work research through reading this blog.  Email him at Wilson2@dal.ca or follow him on Twitter: @WilsonKM2

Tim Worstall  Economist and journalist who writes often on the absurdity of prostitution law; he also debunks “trafficking” myths.  Email him at timworstall@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @worstall

I apologizeKevin Wilson for anyone I’ve forgotten.  If you’d like to be on the next list of this type, just email me with a link to whatever public statements you’ve made about sex worker rights under your real name, and we’ll see about adding you to the next one (and you needn’t be shy, either; Aphrodite knows I’m certainly nothing of the kind).  If I did forget you, please don’t be offended; most of y’all know how busy I am, and things that shouldn’t often slip through the cracks.  In the meantime,Tim Worstall keep your eyes peeled for “Stand-Up Guys” in my weekly TW3 column, where I’ll mention guys who come to my attention without having to wait another year and a half.

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Every decision I’ve ever made, including the decision to be a prostitute, is linked to a desire to be free.  –  Gabriela Leite

R.I.P. Gabriela Leite

Gabriela LeiteSex worker rights activist Gabriela Leite died of cancer on October 10th at the age of 62.  She organized the first Brazilian whores’ convention in 1987, then in 1992 founded a rights NGO named Davida; in 2010 she ran for the Brazilian congress (as depicted in the documentary A Kiss for Gabriela).  Though she lost the election she won tremendous respect, and a bill to eliminate the contradictory provisions in Brazilian prostitution law was recently named in her honor.  She was one of the greats, and will be sorely missed in the sex worker rights community.

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Police in Florida have begun…recording license plate information from cars that drive through areas frequented by sex workers and sending a letter to that individual’s home…[including] a close-up image of the license plate and…reminders about the potential for sexually transmitted diseases…Authorities speaking to the media seemed to assume that someone’s mere presence near illegal activity presumes their guilt…

An Educated Idiot

Charlotte Shane’s scathing review of Sudhir Venkatesh’s new book Floating City levels many of the same criticisms I and others have already made against the duplicitous sociologist (such as his total ignorance of the history of sex work, his dreadfully-low “estimates” of our income, etc).  But it also contains many telling observations about his character flaws:

…when one of his subjects is assaulted, and her co-worker asks that he not report it:  “I stood there, frustrated…What should I do?  Go along with them or call the damn police like a normal person?  I didn’t want to get sucked into their criminal value structure and end up doing the wrong thing.”  This alarming response encapsulates…[his] problem.  The desire to avoid arrest after suffering a brutal assault is a sensible one…but Venkatesh can’t wrap his head around it…he is “normal” and they are deviants…his responses are the right ones and theirs are not…Venkatesh clings to the notion that sex work is inherently, unavoidably risky, regardless of the legal and cultural circumstances…when the issue of…legalization…is raised, it’s only to dismiss it…

Not An Addiction (May Updates)rat with Oreos

Crypto-moralists are once again trying to pretend that fatty foods are addictive, but as Jacob Sullum points out:

…the study’s findings could just as truthfully be summarized… “Research Shows That Heroin and Cocaine Are No More Addictive Than Oreos.”  Putting it that way would have raised some interesting questions about the purportedly irresistible power of these drugs, which supposedly justifies using force to stop people from consuming them.  But the researchers are not interested in casting doubt on the empirical basis for the War on Drugs…they are trying to build an empirical basis for the War on Fat…if the neurological effects of Oreos make them impossible to resist, how is it that most people manage to resist them, consuming them in moderation or not at all?…

Dirty Amateurs

Whether the infection is biological or technological, it’s always the same:

…Symantec…found…that hackers…target…religious sites at a much higher rate:  “…religious and ideological sites…have triple the average number of threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites.  We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners…have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free – it’s not good for repeat business”…

Dominating the News

Ex-vice madam Natalie Rowe has had her home raided by police days before she will make new claims about her relationship with Chancellor George Osborne…12…officers…with a battering ram burst into her London flat…[at] dawn…claiming they were acting on a tip-off…no drugs were found in the two-hour search…“WHY did one officer involved in the raid ask me whether I was about to publish my memoirs and WHY did a police inspector tell me I’d be opening a ‘whole can of worms’ if I complained?”…

Meanwhile, in Japan, “Yuka Fujisawa was arrested…for…sticking needles in gentlemen’s genitals for money…Fujisawa’s ‘needle play’ was performed on consenting adults, so her arrest is purely for the act of drawing blood without a medical license…

Elephant in the Parlor

Beleaguered former…MLA Mike Allen has received a rare note of support…from the Alberta Sex Workers.  Mr. Allen was one of 13 men caught in a St. Paul, Minnesota-area sting in July…He…could face up to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine.  “Alberta sex workers wish to assure MLA Mike Allen…that his activities…would be lawful, private and welcome in Alberta…sex workers in Mr. Allen’s riding…want him to continue as their MLA.  We feel he made a mistake taking his business out of Alberta to puritan…Minnesota, but sex workers in his constituency are still pleased to have an MLA who values the services they offer”…Christian Adamek

Moloch

How many more kids have to be sacrificed on this loathsome altar?  “A popular 15-year-old student has committed suicide after he reportedly faced expulsion and being placed on the sex offenders’ register simply for streaking at a high school football  game.  Christian Adamek, from Huntsville, Alabama,  hanged himself on October 2, a week after he was arrested…

Full of Themselves (TW3 #4)

I hope this keeps happening, so pole dancers will be forced to stand with sex workers rather than pretending they’re different:  “…Swansea University [banned its]…Pole Fitness Society…[saying] ‘Pole fitness and pole dancing are a direct spin off from lap dancing…Everyone knows where it comes from…and that pole dancing is…specifically designed to sexually excite the watcher’…”  Swansea has a long history of pearl-clutching over sex work.

The Course of a Disease

The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe has come up with a “tool kit” containing “information, ideas and resources…to help sex worker rights…organisations and activists…challenge…[the] Swedish model.”  You can view and download the tool kit and its associated worksheets here, or visit the ICRSE website to download one individual section at a time.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (TW3 #7)

This short interview with Dr. Heidi Hoefinger on her book Sex, Love and Money in Cambodia supports everything I always say about Asian bar girls, but the comments are illustrative of the deep state of denial in which “trafficking” fanatics exist:  among them are the claim that a woman who spent ten years living among her subjects is “naïve” and the astonishing assertion that literally 99.99% of whores are coerced.

Above the Law

A [California] Sheriff’s Department deputy…sexually assaulted a [woman] he…pulled over…[he offered to] let [her] go in exchange for sex…[but when she] declined …he [forced her anyway]…”  The unedited original is almost incomprehensible for all the “alleged” and “unknown male” and passive voice; it even describes forcible rape as “sexual contact occurred”.  And in Kentucky, “A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against…Sheriff Rick Clemons…‘I’m upset.  I’m very offended.  I’m actually shocked’, said Clemons…”  Cry me a fucking river.Rupert Everett

Stand-Up Guys

Rupert Everett is supporting a campaign against proposals…to criminalise sex workers’ clients.  The actor, who participated in sex work as a younger man is making a [TV] programme on the subject.  He has signed an open letter by the English Collective of Prostitutes and Queer Strike…journalist Cary Gee and a whole range of activist groups…have all added their names too…Former New Zealand MP Tim Barnett, who sponsored the…Act which decriminalised prostitution, described the…way…[end demand] laws were used…“Half of those arrested were transgender sex workers who were identified as men”…

Greeks Bearing Gifts

The noisome fruit of the “mandatory prosecution” tree:

…In an incident back in April, Joel Darvell, 36, allegedly choked his wife while drunk, causing his son to tackle him…Darvell allegedly pistol-whipped his son and then fired a .45 caliber round into the wall of their home.  No injuries were sustained.  Darvell was charged with assault…but [his] wife and children…refused to testify…Judge Michael Evans…[had them] dragged away…[to] jail…where they were held in cuffs and shackles…John Hays, who is representing Darvell’s wife…said…“The prosecutor wants to put the defendant in prison for over 20 years, and (his family members) really do not want that”…After 48 hours…the 13-year-old girl…broke…and…agreed to testify against her father.  The son and mother…were made to agree…as well…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #28)

Everyday Whorephobia interviews Morgane Merteuil of STRASS about the especially-revolting French version of the Swedish model:

…The law also proposes to fight…[advertising] websites…all the help…[for exploited migrants] is conditional on stopping sexwork…[and] working with  an “agreed organization”; of course…sexworkers rights [groups] won’t be [among] them…if students do sexwork, it is because they don’t have the consciousness that this is “prostitution”; so the solution is to add lessons about the “objectification of the body” at school…

Schadenfreude (TW3 #43)Meas Ratha

Somaly Mam has been caught in yet another huge lie:

…in January 1998, Ms. Mam was propelled…into the international media spotlight largely owing to the harrowing on-camera testimony of the young Meas Ratha…[who supposedly had] been promised a job as a waitress in Phnom Penh, but wound up a captive in a brothel…Sixteen years [later]…Ms. Ratha—now 32 years old and married—said her testimony…was fabricated and scripted for her by Ms. Mam…Ratha…said that she did not want to cause trouble for Ms. Mam’s NGO, which had provided an education for her, but that she could no longer continue a lie that had followed her for half her life…the fabrication of Ms. Ratha’s sex slave story is only the latest incident of false information to emerge from Ms. Mam and her organizations…

And how exactly does Somaly Mam “help” sex workers?

…Estée Lauder…has opened the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon…providing survivors of sexual slavery and human trafficking with…education and vocational training…in high-touch beauty services in hair care, makeup application and nail treatments…

Well, I guess it’s better than putting them to work in her fashion industry sponsors’ sweatshops.

Us and Them

These abuses always start with stigmatized groups, but never stop there:

[UK] police are to get the power to restrict the freedom of anyone they suspect of being a sex offender, even if the person has never been convicted of a crime…This can include limiting internet use, stopping the person from being alone with a child under 16 and preventing travel abroad.  Anyone breaching the so-called Sexual Risk Order, which lasts for at least two years, could be jailed for up to five years…

Unmentionables

WH Smith shut down its website…after it was revealed that a search for the term “daddy” brought up hardcore pornographic  ebooks featuring bondage and humiliation alongside stories for children.  At least 60 pornographic ebooks…could also be found on Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble…WH Smith apologised to customers and said the “explosion” of self-publishing had left book retailers exposed to pornographic content…

They weren’t “exposed” to shit; they just had a poor website design and are passing the buck.Jerry Brown masturbatory gesture

The Punitive Mindset (TW3 #337)

The governor of California pretends prison inmates don’t have sex with each other:

…Jerry Brown…vetoed a bill a that would have…required…condoms [to be] available in every California prison.  Supporters…argued that [this] would help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among inmates, who have higher rates of HIV/AIDS…Brown…noted that family visitors are already allowed to bring condoms for…overnight visits…

Policing for Profit (TW3 #341)

A money-making venture to lure…drug buyers into Sunrise [Florida] to purchase cocaine from police has been halted…Mayor Michael Ryan…lay blame…on the [newspaper story exposing the racket]…Ryan did not express concerns about…[the busts taking place] in such public locations as parking lots and family restaurants…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #341)

Another UN agency has reaffirmed…support of sex workers in response to Equality Now’s anti-sex worker campaign…This leaves Equality Now starkly on the fringes of the global women’s movement, as organisations as authoritative as UN Women…assert…that sex work is work, not trafficking.  The statement…also…[backs] safe workplaces – which come with decriminalisation – and the right to self-determination, including the right to stay in sex work…[this] precludes…the “Swedish model”…supported by Equality Now…which tries to drive sex workers from sex work (against their consent) through making it intolerably dangerous…

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The Swedish model, in its mission to eradicate sex work, is by definition an unapologetic mission to eradicate sex workers.  –  Nine

A War for PeaceUkraine is Not a Brothel

a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a manUkraine is not a Brothel…by…Kitty Green, has “outed” Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the group.  Mr Syvatski is known as a “consultant” …[but]…“It’s his movement and he hand-picked the…prettiest girls because…[they] get on the front page… that became…the way they sold the brand,” [Green] says… “These girls are weak,” [Syvatski] says in the film…“They show submissiveness, spinelessness…and many other factors which prevent them from becoming political activists”…

Harm Magnification

PEERS Victoria Resource Society quietly closed the doors to its drop-in centre and shut down its most incremental program…PEERS will continue its daytime and nighttime outreach services, but only 10 per cent of its current 515 clientele have been matched with service providers…executive director Marion Little…says the decision …[is] due to the…new [British Columbia] provincial integrated case management system…[which requires] many more administrative steps…clients…would now be required to issue a full name and social insurance number just to access services…“we were losing so much staff time to administrative roles…we could…no longer afford our own services,” said Little…

Elephant in the Parlor

OK, now this politician/hooker story is news:

An investigation into a fire that gutted the home of a former escort…[focused on]…Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams…Sarah Garibay…showed police text messages from Adams saying he was jealous of her other lovers…Yet she said she does not believe Adams set fire to her home…“Someone is trying to smear him and they’re using my name to do it”…

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark

Their next study will attempt to determine if water is really wet:

…married men are more likely than women to have extramarital affairs, as well as to seduce someone else’s partnerNew research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin…suggests men’s ability to resist temptation is no stronger or weaker than that of the ladies.  But it gets overridden more often because of the intensity of men’s desire…

Stand-Up GuysDave Barry

In a column on humorist Dave Barry’s surprising depth and wisdom, Lucy Steigerwald quotes a 1994 interview he gave to Reason magazine:

…I saw one of these real-life cop drama shows…[where] the whole show consisted of this [undercover cop entrapping]…prostitutes…Meanwhile…the other cops, these fat men with walkie-talkies, are laughing…because…they are about to enforce the law and protect society…This poor woman–I don’t know whether she’s feeding her drug habit or feeding her kids or whatever.  And the cops are so proud of themselves…It just made me sick to see this.  To treat these people who are trying to make a living…this way, and to be proud of it…we’re all supposed to watch this and feel good about it.  It’s just disgusting…

Confined and Controlled

St. Louis [Missouri]…Alderman Jeffrey Boyd…posted this tweet…“A constituent suggested legalizing…Brothels What do you think?”  The woman who made that suggestion said she wanted to be taken seriously and offered it as a way to protect women in her community.  “These are human beings, and you can do something to help them,” said Joyce Glaspy…[she] conceded that most folks in St. Louis won’t agree with her, but said a brothel would provide security for these women and get them off the streets…

Whatever They Need To Say

In Bangladesh, as in the Netherlands, “morality” is being used as an excuse to evict sex workers so developers and their government cronies can profit:

…“If anybody thinks that these evictions took place out of some moral issues and that we are doing some criminal activities, then they are wrong…[it was] to grab our land”…[said] Joya Shikder…of the Sex Workers Network…“Usually after evicting, the government hands over Tk10,000 and a sewing machine…in the name of rehabilitation…the department does not even bother to know whether we can sew or not”…

Worse Than I Thought

The cancer keeps spreading:  “[Virginia state] Sen. Mark Obenshain…wants to make human trafficking a standalone felony offense…add offenders engaging in commercial sex with a minor to the sex offender registry and extend asset forfeiture laws to human trafficking…” Saving in the Name of Scrub

Dirty Laundry

This excellent article about Ruhama’s efforts to persecute Irish sex workers was transcribed (in English) from the print edition of Rabble by the Spanish-language blog El Estante de la Citi:

…According to [Ruhama]…it’s “prostituted women” and never “work”…they’re [not] very concerned with trafficking…when it’s young Asian men…[sitting] in weed growhouses…but they’re not having sex so it doesn’t matter right?  They believe all sex workers are abused and…only Ruhama…can represent [them]…Ruhama…[says] prostitution is…violence against women and the Swedish law has been great at reducing prostitution and trafficking…[but] the Swedish government admitted…that they actually hadn’t a clue how much prostitution there was…and the Swedish police have reported that trafficking has grown significantly since that…law was brought in…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #42)

Dr. Graham Ellison continues his fight against the imposition of the Swedish disease on Northern Ireland:

…Dr Graham Ellison…is working on a research project on sex work regulations in Berlin, Manchester, Prague and Belfast…one of his co-researchers is Dr Susan Dodillet…[who says] Sweden’s sex purchase law has made sex workers more vulnerable…like Dr Ellison, she favours…decriminalising prostitution…in 2002 new [German] laws put the sex trade almost on a par with other work.  One exception…is that the unemployed cannot be penalised for refusing [sex] work…However, prostitutes can claim  unemployment  and sickness benefit and brothel owners must provide the same…rights as other employers…Dr Ellision added…”a senior officer in the Berlin Kriminalpolizei who [investigates] organised crime…was emphatic that trafficking for sexual exploitation [is] not a significant problem.  Generally, the more you criminalise something the more you drive it underground and into the hands of gangsters”…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #43)

Laws and interventions aimed at reducing human trafficking by targeting commercial sex workers can…actually endanger their health and result in human rights violations, experts say…Part of the problem…is that anti-trafficking programmes often take the form of “raid and rescue” missions…[which] invade privacy and…scatter…networks of sex workers who, in some cases, had implemented successful sex worker-led health programming…“rescue raids of sex establishments have exacerbated violence against sex workers and compromised their safety,” say the World Health Organization  (WHO) and the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cakemany many rules

Four exotic dancers are suing Fantasy Gentlemen’s Club in Grand Junction, Colo., claiming the club’s owner violated…minimum-wage laws…Fantasy…took such a large cut of…tips that dancers sometimes made less than $7.25 per hour…“The case is fundamentally one of…exploiting workers that are vulnerable because of the stigma that’s attached to what they do,” Mari Newman, the [dancers’] attorney [said]…Kevin Eardly, the owner of the club…characterized the suit as a shakedown by a group of disgruntled strippers…

Absolute Corruption

Fran Keller and her husband Dan…are each serving 48 years on multiple sexual abuse charges…“We were supposed to have buried children…or flown them to Vegas, California and Japan…we had an airstrip in back of the house, dinosaurs and sharks in the pool.  It was just so farfetched that I had no idea anyone could believe such stories.”  The Kellers were caught up in the 1980s-era hysteria surrounding satanic [sic] ritual abuse…popularized on daytime talk shows [and] lurid paperbacks…Nearly two dozen years after their conviction, [they] have filed a Writ of Habeus Corpus that could lead to the end of their prison sentences…

Theatrics

Fraudulent recruitment, debt bondage, abusive conditions, threatening workers with deportation…but it’s never called “trafficking” when politically-connected companies do it:

…twice this summer…more than 150 Jamaican guest workers who clean luxury Florida hotels and condos walked off the job…They…borrowed to pay recruitment fees of $2,000 to $2,500, counting on promises of full-time work and good housing.  But…the cleaning company packed as many as 15 people into unfurnished two-bedroom apartments, for…as much as $5,000 a month.  Charges for rent and required extras like $70 for a T-shirt “uniform” reduced the workers’ net pay to subminimum levels, sometimes even zero, and…paychecks repeatedly bounced…Guest workers…are tied by law to the employer who sponsored their visas, which means that if they are found too “difficult” for any reason — including asking that their rights be respected — the employer can…deport them and blacklist them from receiving future work visas…

MonstersIslan Nettles

Islan Nettles was out…with friends when a group of young men…learned she was a transgender woman and began taunting and maliciously beating her—right in front of a police precinct in Harlem…[the 21-year-old] was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and beaten until she lost consciousness…she…fell into a coma…[and later] died…Nettles’ alleged assailant, Paris Wilson, was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge and freed on $2,000 bail…Nettles’ death was officially ruled a murder…[but] Wilson has not yet been arraigned on any murder charges…

Somewhere in the Middle

The mainstream media touted another bogus client study last week; this one used a single Backpage ad placed twice in each city, and thus (unsurprisingly) generated wildly-varying figures for their “estimate” of the fraction of men who buy sex.  The design presumes that all clients use Backpage and that all men will respond to a generic ad for one particular type worded by ignorant amateurs; it’s like counting the pigeons near one statue at some random time and using it to estimate the number of all birds in the whole city.  The academic behind this is the ethically-retarded Dominique Sepowitz of Arizona State, who has a history of reporting her survey subjects to the cops; her department is also involved in “Project ROSE”, which entraps streetwalkers and then offers them a “choice” of jail or Bible-based brainwashing.  And who funded this bogus “study”?  Try the Phoenix Police Department, Arizona State’s “Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention”, and Asstoon & Dumi’s THORN.  In other words, it’s about as trustworthy and reliable as anything from Melissa Farley or the Schapiro Group.

What a Week! (TW3 #322)

As bad as things are in the US, at least sex workers aren’t executed here:

Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad…Hyon Song-wol…a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for [selling pornographic videos of themselves]…All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch.  The onlookers were then sent to prison camps…

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

Here’s a good introduction to the horrors of the Swedish model by Nine of Feminist Ire, illustrated by the way the policies led to Petite Jasmine’s death:

…Prohibitionist campaigners…portray Sweden’s stance on sex work as progressive, and assert that sex workers themselves are not targeted…They’re painted as victims to be pitied and rescued…[but] as with religion-cloaked homophobia, this distinction makes little difference to those on the receiving end…Police stake out sex workers’ homes and workplaces, clandestinely film them, and subject them to invasive searches.  Sex workers are often forced to testify in court, but have the rights of neither victim nor accused…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (TW3 #329)

imaginary trafficking victimA film by three students in Plymouth is being used nationally to teach people about child sexual exploitation…the film…is the fictional story of…a 13-year-old sex trafficking victim, who is kidnapped and forced into prostitution after being groomed online”…UK authorities have little choice but to use a film about fictional “sex trafficking” victims, because they can’t seem to find any real ones.

Opting Out

Parliamentary servers have registered tens of thousands of attempts to access porn every month with over 100,000 attempts last November alone…A…spokesperson said…the figures may have been enlarged by “automatic links” and “pop up” windows.  “We are not going to restrict Parliamentarians’ ability to carry out research,” they added.

But restricting the citizens’ ability to carry out similar “research” is A-OK.

King of the Hill (TW3 #335)

According to Homeland Security, Texas is the second largest human trafficking state…” Because third place ain’t good enough for Texas!

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I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal.  Selling is legal.  Fucking is legal.  Why isn’t selling fucking legal?  You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away?  –  George Carlin

One year ago today I published “Real Men Support Sex Worker Rights”, whose title is a negation of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s ludicrous assertion that “real men don’t buy girls” (by which they actually meant “pay for sex” rather than “purchase underage female humans as though they were kewpie dolls”).  In it I stated,

Only weak, pathetic little bullies need to try to restrict women’s sexual choices in order to feel like “real men”, but truly real men (the kind without scare quotes) aren’t threatened by sexually aware women; they are secure enough in their masculinity to recognize women have the right to control our own bodies and to decide whom we want to bestow our favors upon and for what reason.  In short, only insecure sissies want to suppress women’s right to sexual self-determination; real men support the right of women to make our own sexual choices, including the decision to engage in sex work if we are so inclined.

In the current climate of misandrist hysteria, every man is considered a potential rapist, child molester or “sex trafficker”, so it’s not surprising when spineless men line up to be counted among the ranks of the politically correct whore-bashers.  It’s one thing for a woman to support sex worker rights because we’re not under a permanent cloud of suspicion, but these days it takes some serious balls for a man to stand up, demand rights for sex workers, and actually sign his real name to the thing.

The rest of that column called attention to a Boston Herald editorial by Daniel Akst, but he isn’t the only guy on the internet committed to standing up for the rights of sex workers, and today I’d like to call attention to a few others.  I’m not going to include male sex workers (because it’s personal for them) or bloggers (unless they blog under their real names); these men are all journalists, academics, entertainers or government figures who have attracted my attention in the past two years.  I’m sure I’m missing a few, so please feel free to add them in the comments (with a link and capsule biography, s’il vous plaît).

Daniel Akst  Journalist, editor at Newsday and author of several books including We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess.  Email him at dan@akst.com  or follow him on Twitter: @danakst

Rob Arthur  A former inner-city teacher and public defender, author of You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos; his cartoons have been featured on Boing Boing.  E-mail him at rob@suburra.com or follow him on Twitter: @robarthur9.

Radley Balko  Award-winning writer and editor (currently for Huffington Post, formerly for Reason, Cato and Fox News and sporadically for many other publications) who has testified before Congress and been cited by the US Supreme Court.  His main areas of interest are civil liberties and criminal justice. Email him at radleybalko1@gmail.com  or follow him on Twitter: @radleybalko

Simon Byrne  Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead for prostitution and sexual exploitation.  He has repeatedly called for reform of prostitution laws, with an eye toward decriminalization and a harm reduction approach.

Philippe Caubère  French actor who openly admits to regularly hiring prostitutes and has spoken out against the imposition of the Swedish Model on France.

Hernando Chaves  Sexologist, sex and marriage therapist, sex advice columnist for AskMen and sex worker supporter.  Email him at editorial@askmen.com or follow him on Twitter: @Hernando_Chaves

Darrell Dawsey  Freelance journalist who has written for publications including the Detroit News, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, TIME, Essence, Vibe and USA Today. He also wrote I Ain’t Scared of You with comedian Bernie Mac.

Mark Draughn  Software developer/consultant and amateur journalist, founder and chief contributor of Windypundit, one of the founders of Nobody’s Business and regular reader of The Honest Courtesan.  Email him at mark@windypundit.com or follow him on Twitter: @windypundit

Fredrick Federley  Moderate Swedish politician who was the only one with balls enough to stand up against the sex purchase ban, against the wishes of his own party.  Here are links to his official website and blog.

Scotty “Deep Geek” Fitzgerald  A podcaster on computer technology who branched out to offer a mix of world and tech news that official sources avoid (including labor issues, sex worker rights, alternative political parties and privacy issues).  Email him at dg@deepgeek.us or follow him on Twitter: @dgtgtm

Michael Goodyear  Founder of the Center for Sex Work Research and Policy, an online resource for academics and academically-inclined activists (like yours truly) to exchange information and discuss research.  Email him at  mgoodyear@dal.ca.

Rick Holmes  Long-time Opinion Editor for the MetroWest Daily News and Milford Daily News in Massachusetts, columnist for the GateHouse Media group and founder of the group news blog Holmes & Co.  Email him at  rholmes@cnc.com or follow him on Twitter: @HolmesAndCo

Dave Krueger  An electrical engineer and lifelong libertarian whose blog Sex Hysteria! specifically addresses humanity’s irrationality toward all things sex related.  Though he stopped actively maintaining it in March of 2011, he still comments on websites and writes the occasional guest blog, and his website remains an excellent reference on the subject.  Email him at dave@sexhysteria.com.

Stephen Paterson  Welsh journalist, founding member of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy UK and author of the largest Downing Street e-petition to date for decriminalization.  He says the best way to get in touch with him is simply to comment on the most recent post on his blog.

Penn and Teller  Magicians, libertarians and skeptics whose long-running Showtime TV series, Penn and Teller’s Bullshit! debunks all the con games, official frauds, popular beliefs and political lies which infest the modern world, including prostitution law.  Follow them on Twitter: @pennjillette and @MrTeller

Thaddeus Russell  Historian who wrote A Renegade History of the United States, which demonstrates how the “bad people” and outcasts (including whores) won virtually all the rights modern Americans take for granted.  Email him at thaddeusrussell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @thaddeusrussell

Jack Shafer  Well-known writer and editor (currently for Reuters, formerly for Slate and before that for Washington City Paper and SF Weekly).  He is an outspoken libertarian and critic of the mainstream media, especially yellow journalism, stenographic journalism and journalistic promulgation of moral panics such as trafficking hysteria.  Email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com  or follow him on Twitter: @jackshafer

Stanley Siegel  Psychotherapist, sex therapist and author of Your Brain On Sex who was sacked as a blogger from Psychology Today for espousing positions the editors found too controversial, such as embracing sex work as a kind of therapy.  He’s currently working to start a new magazine, Psychology Tomorrow.  Email him at stanleysiegel@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @stanleysiegel

John Stossel  This award-winning journalist has been speaking out against tyranny, stupidity and lies since the 1970s and is the only major media figure to consistently and repeatedly attack the concept of consensual crimes, including prostitution, on television and in his writings.  Email him at john.stossel@foxnews.com or follow him on Twitter: @FBNStossel

Jacob Sullum  Nationally syndicated columnist, senior editor at Reason and author of Saying Yes and For Your Own Good.  One of the few major journalists with the balls to point out that the campaign against Backpage, like all criminalization efforts, harms women.  Email him at jsullum@reason.com or follow him on Twitter: @jacobsullum

Ronald Weitzer  Sociologist specializing in criminology who has written extensively on prostitution and supports decriminalizing indoor prostitution.  While his advocacy of the continued criminalization of street prostitution has caused considerable friction with many activists, his research is solid and he is especially critical of sex trafficking hysteria.  Email him at weitzer@gwu.edu

In a world full of men eager to control women’s bodies, to make our sexual decisions for us or to score points with neofeminists by parroting anti-sex worker dogma, I’m glad there are a few who have enough respect for women that they’re willing to speak up for our right to agency and self-determination even at a time when it isn’t politically correct to do so.  That takes guts and character, and I am of the opinion that those traits deserve recognition wherever they occur.

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