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Posts Tagged ‘Swedish “Feminism”’

What better way to stop people from trading sex for money than taking all their money away?  –  Jamie Peck

Celebrities

I’m nauseated every time the word “illegal” comes out of Dennis Hof’s mouth:

[Disgraced basketball star] Lamar Odom…was found…face down and alone…after spending four days at the Love Ranch…Odom started “throwing up all kinds of stuff” after a 911 operator told them to turn him on his side, Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof [said]…Odom had “spent time socializing with some of my girls,” but wasn’t seen taking any illegal drugs, Hof said…a brothel employee who called 911 reported Odom did cocaine Saturday and had taken up to 10 tabs of a sexual performance enhancer over the past three days…he was found unresponsive with blood coming from his nose and mouth…

Barbie Jane Goodall doll

More women badly in need of lives:

Wendy Tsao has created a collection of feminist dolls all women will want to play with.  Jane Goodall, J.K. Rowling and Malala Yousafzai stand among the ranks of Tsao’s “Mighty Dolls”, a collection of repurposed Bratz dolls meant to inspire young girls to greatness…Australian native Sonia Singh made waves earlier this year by repurposing used Bratz dolls to look like real girls.  She posted the transformations on her Tumblr page, Tree Change Dolls…[they] fetch anywhere from AU$300 (US $219) to AU$1,600 (US $1178) in auctions on eBay.  Tsao says she plans to list her “Mighty Dolls” on eBay in “a few weeks”…

Check Your Premises

Words can’t express how pleased I am to see so many reporters adopting this tone of late:

The police of Hoover, Alabama, provided a prime example of government hypocrisy recently when they claimed to be helping the “victims” of the sex trade…right after arresting seven women in a prostitution sting and releasing their names and photos to the public…Norman McDuffey conflated consensual sex work with sex trafficking and claimed the women he’d just arrested were victims…of the crime they’d just been arrested for…crimes [that cops pretend]…“go…along with prostitution”…have all been shown to decrease substantially when sex work is decriminalized…To use them as justification for further arrests is like pouring gasoline onto a fire and getting upset when it flares up…and then pouring on some more, because you still don’t get it…

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

Only the willfully ignorant imagine Sweden to be a “feminist” country:

…Undercover footage shot by reporters…showed doctors across the country agreeing to perform illegal tests for religious families to determine whether or not their daughters had had sex…Human rights groups have condemned the practice.  Liesl Gerntholtz, of the Human Rights Watch [said]…”In a country that internationally has played a leading role in protecting women’s human rights, it was almost unthinkable to me that this would be happening in a country like Sweden”…

Droit du Seigneur

Pimping underage girls is another of the crimes (like rape and domestic violence) that cops commit in far greater proportions than members of the general public:

…two [Chicago cops]…are accused of sex-trafficking a 14-year-old girl and there may have been other victims as well…[they] were first caught with child pornography, but as Internal Affairs investigators looked further into the case, they uncovered additional evidence the [pigs] had been using some online web pages to advertise the girl, or girls, for prostitution…

Dirty Amateurs

There should be a law forcing amateurs to get regularly tested for STIs:

…monogamy…isn’t necessarily any better for our health than being consensually nonmonogamous…consider the results of a study I recently published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine…people in consensually nonmonogamous relationships reported more lifetime sex partners than those who were monogamous (6.4 vs. 3.9, respectively)…about three-quarters of people in open relationships said they currently had multiple partners; however, it turned out that nearly one-quarter of monogamous participants did, too…compared to people in open relationships, monogamous people reported using condoms less often with all partners (primary and secondary) and were less likely to have ever been tested for STIs.  In other words, a large number of people in “monogamous” relationships were cheating, they weren’t telling their partners about it, they weren’t using protection reliably, and they weren’t getting tested to see whether they’d picked up any infections along the way…There was actually no difference between monogamous and consensually nonmonogamous participants in reported rates of sexually transmitted infections…

Saving Them From Themselves

A woman dares to challenge the nonsense that young women are asexual “children” without agency:

…I had [a webcam] arrangement with around five or six boys in my year at school when I was 13 years old…They would usually ask me to strip, sometimes half-naked, sometimes completely…After a blissful year of camming, my entire life as I knew it flipped on its head in the space of a day.  One of the boys told his mother, or maybe she found out some other way.  And despite my activities being more or less widely known throughout the male population of my year at school, the fact that it was now known outside of the sanctioned circle turned it unacceptable…Despite my peers and teachers unequivocally agreeing that what I had done was Wrong and Bad, I was never offered any form of comfort, guidance, or support at school.  At home, my diary was taken off me and analyzed for further evidence of sexual misconduct; a strict curfew and constant surveillance of my goings-on was put in place…in…my camming days, I remember being at peace with myself.  I wanted to be sexual.  I chose to engage in sexual activity…The camming never changed anything in me while it was happening; it was the reaction that destroyed my perception of myself and my sexuality…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#331) Playboy brand

“…instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder ‘censorship’, we call it ‘concern for commercial viability’.”  –  David Mamet

Playboy’s recent decision to stop publishing nude photos marks a watershed moment in media, as the porn pioneer buttons up and turns its back on what made it famous.  But the company’s core has had little to do with pornography for a long time…Over the course of a decade, Playboy has steadily transformed itself from a publishing company to a company that sells bunny drawings to T-shirt manufacturers.  Revenues from licensing Playboy merchandise went from $37 million in 2009 to $65 million in 2013…about half the company’s revenues at the time.  Dumping the brand’s association with nudity, however mild compared to online porn standards, gives it a better image in countries where government policies towards pornographers can be highly critical—which just happen to be the two most populous countries in the world…Playboy earns 40% of its revenues from China…“In…Asian markets, Playboy has positioned itself as a lifestyle brand for sophisticated, suave, fashion-conscious consumers by working with strong licensees in premium mass-market apparel, sportswear, eyewear etc,” said Torsten Stocker…at AT Kearney…magazine sales, on the other hand, have been a lost cause for some time…

Broken Record (#419)

Poor North Carolina; the only big event it can pretend to be a magnet for gypsy harlots is ludicrously pathetic:

Beginning Saturday and running through Oct. 22, an estimated 75,000 people will flock to High Point from around the world to buy, sell and market furniture, accessories and design services.  The twice-annual market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world…there’s a dark side to any temporary population boom…“The statistics show that any time there is a large gathering of people…victims of sex trafficking are usually brought in,” Sandra Johnson…of Triad Ladder of Hope [said]…

Gift Horse

Pay attention, sex worker activists; this is NOT a pro-decriminalization article but rather a pro-Swedish model one.  Swedish model proponents fraudulently refer to their evil, misogynistic regime as “decriminalization” in order to fool people into thinking it is supported by groups like Amnesty International, when in actuality it still criminalizes sex workers’ clients, partners, families and associates, infantilizes sex workers themselves and pathologizes our profession.  If the tragedy porn that makes up the bulk of this article and the penultimate line (“We should be focusing on arresting those who sell or buy victims of trafficking“) weren’t already dead giveaways, the source of the propaganda – Washington, DC “rescue” profiteers  FAIR Girls – should certainly have been.

It Looks Good On Paper (#543)

Once again: “safe harbor” laws are nothing but evil bullshit designed to distract the naive from the evils of criminalization:

…On 29 May, President Obama signed the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act, which gives preferential consideration for some federal grants to states that have enacted a “safe harbor” law.  [Such] laws…universally require some form of law enforcement arrest or protective custody…being prosecuted for prostitution as a minor in family court in most states may result in court supervision and institutionalization in a geographically isolated and restrictive “staff secure” facility until the age of majority…In the prosecution of adult offenses, indeterminate commitment is regarded as unconstitutional, and even in juvenile criminal courts, it is generally seen as a drastic and final step.  By contrast, family courts often use indeterminate adjudications, effectively keeping non-criminal youth tied to the judicial system, which is what this new law would now impose on minors who…engaged in survival sex work…

Between the Lines

Most of this story is just the usual cop-fellating coverage of an “Operation Cross Country” pogrom, but I would like to point out that “We have dope guys that have stopped selling drugs and have started selling human beings” is just Copese for “we’re going to keep targeting the same people, but we’re using this new excuse because you’ve stopped swallowing the old one”.

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Project ROSE is a diversion program like a person who pushes ten people onto the train tracks and pulls three off is a hero.  –  Ryan Beck Turner

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

It’s especially satisfying when a vice cop is the victim:

…Denver police detective…Michael Ryan…[is under] investigation [for] solicitation of a prostitute…Ryan works in DPD’s Vice and Narcotics unit and was instrumental in the investigation that led to federal judge Edward Nottingham resigning in the face of accusations he had patronized prostitutes.  Ryan…also served on a human trafficking task force…

A False Dichotomy 

Another good essay from Belle Knox:

…The concept of the desperate exchange permeates discussions about sex work…People assume that my support for sex workers and porn is somehow invalidated because I chose to do porn for the money rather than for love.  They act as though this is some shocking victory for them because being a sex worker wasn’t my dream job…it now somehow reverts to being morally wrong, and I become another pitiable whore to be dismissed at leisure…of course I do porn for money.  It’s a job, not a summer retreat…The majority of people don’t work every day for fun; they do it because they want…something in exchange.  Do you honestly think that the people working at McDonald’s flipping burgers and responding to rude customers on a daily basis would come to work every day if they weren’t getting paid?  Moreover, do you think as a child their dream job was to do this?…

Rooted in Racism

Police in southern France have been accused of racism after asking local hotel owners to report the arrival of Eastern European guests, in a bid to crackdown on certain crimes like pimping…a national police union official [pretended]…”(It) would not violate the values of the Republic by advocating snitching…in the fight against pimping speed is essential”…French authorities have taken a hard line against the presence of Roma people from Romania and Bulgaria, repeatedly bulldozing their unsanctioned settlements and expelling them from France…

For more examples of “sex trafficking” and “the fight against prostitution” as excuses for racism and xenophobia, see here, here, here and here.

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong

It takes a special kind of stupidity for a reporter to call for censorship:

Young girls are being sold online for sex…but not much is being done to stop…the most popular websites…Backpage.com…makes millions of dollars each month from “escort” and “body rub” listings.  Portland police…said it’s frustrating to know Backpage.com makes money off illegal activity, but if it went away, another similar site that is less cooperative with law enforcement would likely pop up…

Divided We Fall

when…Queer Strike “named and shamed” LGBTI organizations who they said were refusing to help decriminalize sex work in the [UK], the picture they gave was misleading…in most cases it simply wasn’t part of those organizations’ remits.  This is a particular issue under British charity law, which means they have to stick to their stated “charitable aims”…

Feet of Clay

I’m really pleased to see Reason doing a lot more on sex worker rights these days, and doubly glad to see “sex trafficking” in scare quotes:

…If you could put a date on when modern-day progressives fully re-inhabited the moral rigidity of their…forebears, it might be September 24, 2012.  That’s when Village Voice Media…split off…Backpage.com after a years-long, progressive-led campaign to shutter the site over claims that it facilitates “sex trafficking”.  “If street pimps go to jail for profiteering on under-age girls, should…Village Voice Media really get a pass?”  New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the country’s most prominent progressive scold, wrote in a March 2012 column that blamed Backpage for the 2003 peddling of a 16-year-old prostitute, even though the site didn’t exist in 2003.  “Paradoxically, Village Voice began as an alternative newspaper to speak truth to power.  So it’s sad to see it accept business from pimps”…Kristof had the paradox almost exactly backward.  It is he and his fellow crusaders, not the buyers and sellers of controversial products and services, who are aggrandizing power at the expense of the little guy and mangling truth in the service of that unseemly goal…

True Colors

This title of this New Yorker article would seem to indicate a general piece about HIV in the American South, but it’s really much more about Deon Haywood, Women With a Vision and the arson which destroyed their offices on May 24th, 2012.  The responsible party was never caught, but here’s a clue:  the fire was started by piling up all the reproductive health models and posters in one room and setting them ablaze.

Think of the Children! (TW3 #23) Christy Mack

Sex rays can apparently enter one Lego construction and be randomly emitted from other Legos elsewhere, presumably via quantum tunneling:

[In January]…Christy Mack…tweeted [“Whoever builds me the best Lego creation to put in my house gets a blow job”]… The response on Twitter was enthusiastic, to say the least…Unfortunately for Mack’s fans, and toy store proprietors nationwide…the Lego challenge drew to an abrupt close…[when] lawyers for the company had contacted her, objecting to her usage of the Lego name…

Broken Record

They won’t stop until they extend the “gypsy whores” myth to every possible event:  “An undercover sting operation targeting prostitution and child sex trafficking netted five arrests in Augusta [Georgia]…because of the Masters Golf Tournament…

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (TW3 #36)

Who cares that a woman was stabbed?  The sadfeelz of naïve prudes are much more newsworthy!

Hookers are using…Airbnb…to turn prime Manhattan apartments into temporary brothels…One apartment…belongs to publicist Jessica Penzari…But when a hooker got slashed by a client in the…apartment over the price…Penzari got a call from cops…Airbnb put her up in the swanky InterContinental hotel in Times Square for two nights…and also paid to change her door locks, clean her apartment and replace her pillows and other belongings…Airbnb said…“we have zero tolerance for this activity”…

According to the Post, having a snack at your desk is “turning prime office space into a temporary restaurant”.

Under Every Bed

The underworld of prostitution and human trafficking is a dark one, often hidden from the public eye, but it exists in [Alabama] a lot more than one may think…”We used to be just a pass through state,” said Pat McCay with the Madison County Human Trafficking Task Force.  “They would come from Atlanta to Memphis…Now they are staying”…

The event which sparked all this portentous talk of vast criminal cartels?  A cop arrested a massage girl.  Of course the reporter has to get the usual self-important bile from a “legitimate” masseuse.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314) 

As the days pass with no sign of [missing 8-year-old] Relisha [Rudd], some…believe she may have been sold into a child sex trafficking operation.  They point to the wads of cash and expensive items Relisha’s mother and boyfriend flaunted on Facebook in the days following the little girl’s disappearance…Andrea Powell…of FAIR Girls…says, “There’s kids as young as 5, 6, 7.”  The average age of entry into this dark and devastating underworld is 13…Relisha RuddIn Washington, D.C. alone, the trafficking of children is a $100-million industry…

Given that the population of the Washington metro area is 5.8 million, that would make the “trafficking of children” worth over $5 billion in the US as a whole.  The level of mathematical illiteracy required to believe such a blatant absurdity constitutes a national crisis vastly greater than “sex trafficking” could ever be.

I Saw My Brain

Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Fla…brought felony charges…in October 2013 against two girls, 12 and 14, after the suicide a month earlier of a third girl, Rebecca Sedwick…[Judd] charged the two girls, Katelyn Roman and Guadalupe Shaw, with aggravated stalking and released their names and mugshots…He made it sound like they posed an urgent risk…A month later, prosecutors dropped the charges after…failing to find evidence of [Judd’s claims]…Judd’s tendency to overdo it isn’t news to the voters who elected him…a…suspect [was shot]…68 times…he boasted of arresting a man for running an Internet pornography site out of his home…[he] took the basketball hoops out of the local jail and stopped supplying inmates with underwear…[he uses] pepper spray on detained juveniles

Micromanagement

Is there anything more worthless than an “authority’s” promise?

French investigators began taking DNA samples…from 527 male students and staff at a high school…as they searched for the assailant who raped a teenage girl on the closed campus…All those who received summonses…were warned that any refusal could land them in police custody…Authorities have promised to discard the DNA collected once a donor is eliminated as a suspect…

One Born Every Minute (TW3 #338)

A French fundamentalist priest repeatedly raped three teachers at the school he ran in…Paris during so-called exorcisms…[he] was indicted this week on charges of rape, cruelty and torture…he had first raped one teacher during an exorcism to purge her of the “evil” from a previous sexual assault…[then] used his “spiritual influence” to convince two [others]…to undergo similar exorcisms…[which included torture with] a broom, a toothbrush and scissors…Police became involved only last year when two of the women reported the rapes to authorities…[but] several years ago the…society of St. Pius X tried him in a religious hearing and sentenced him to two years in a monastery…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #343)

A strong criticism of the ethical bankruptcy of Project ROSE from academics studying “human trafficking”:

This program is ostensibly designed to “rescue” victims…of sexual exploitation, yet there is no form of victim identification at any point in the process.  Rather than attempting to assess whether someone is being coerced…they threaten the arrested person with prosecution…If sex trafficking victims/survivors do not meet the “perfect victim” criteria and are convicted, they will face mandatory minimum sentencing in Arizona’s particularly brutal prison system…It…bears little resemblance to anything that could be considered an anti-sex trafficking program…and…is a tragically absurd version of a “diversion” program.  Instead of keeping people out of the criminal justice system, it sweeps them up and funnels them in…Project ROSE is responsible for at least 100 percent more incarcerations than “diversions”…ASU social workers…are acting like colonial missionaries – they offer to “save” the sex workers they perceive as helpless and damaged, but should [they] not gratefully accept…“help,” then armed…men are at the ready – “for their own good.”

Crumbling House

We are aware of certain allegations that have surfaced…regarding Somaly’s history…We are treating these accusations with the utmost seriousness…the Foundation has recently launched an independent, third party investigation to further examine these claims …

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #349)

According to STRASS, sex workers are increasingly marginalized and insecure since the parliamentary debate on the criminalization of clients…attacks against prostitutes have increased…On the night of March 31…a Chinese prostitute was stabbed to death…“Her assailant was known to be a bad customer so she would have refused him if she had the means.  But she had been unable to work for several days, due to constant police operations targeting Chinese women, and was therefore unable to take the time to choose her customers” said a STRASS statement…The police harassment has been repeatedly denounced by Doctors of the World…

Surplus Women (TW3 #413)

Remember, three weeks ago they were saying there was no serial killer.

Two registered sex offenders have been arrested in connection with killing four women in Orange County…[targeting them] because of their ties to prostitution or escort services, and investigators suspect there are more victims yet to be identified…Franc Cano…and Steven Dean Gordon…were arrested Friday evening…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #415)

the Upper House of the German Parliament, the Bundesrat, passed a resolution calling for an objective debate…amid plans by the ruling coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats to reform the German Prostitution Act of 2002…The Bundesrat found that debates in the public sphere and in the media were still based on prejudices, a lack of knowledge and sensationalism.  The Bundesrat particularly opposed the blanket equation of prostitution and human trafficking…[and] opposed the introduction of mandatory health checks, judging them as unreasonable and hardly expedient…

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The violence of a john does not diminish the role of the state in making a prostitute more vulnerable to that violence.  –  Beverley McLachlin and other justices of the Canadian Supreme Court

R.I.P. Al Goldstein Al Goldstein

Al Goldstein, the gleefully-controversial publisher of Screw magazine, died on December 19th after a long illness and an even longer decline in fortunes; he was 77.  Screw debuted in 1968 as a sort of déclassé foil to Playboy, and Goldstein was arrested many times on obscenity charges; my very first memorable exposure to anti-sex feminism was an episode of the Tomorrow show in which a neofeminist dumped a shredded copy of Screw on his head (I was 12 or 13 at the time).  The New York Times obit is excellent, and worth your time; though his name is less well-known than those of the more successful and mainstream porn magnates, Goldstein was a lot more influential than you may realize and is remembered quite fondly by many in both the sex and publishing industries.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

[A] nude named Juno, painted by baroque artist G E Schröder, had hung in the guest dining room for some 30 years before deputy speaker Susanne Eberstein [ordered it removed]…”It is…a feminist issue.  It’s tiresome (looking at) a bare-breasted woman when I sit at public dinners with foreign guests.  I think it feels a little hard to sit there with men who look at us women”…Eberstein explained.

Secret Squirrel

The DriveSafe device can be inserted into the onboard diagnostics port of any non-hybrid/electric car made after 1996…[and] communicates via Bluetooth with the Esurance smart phone app.  Parents can then fine-tune what their kids’ phones can do.  “Customize block lists so they can’t tweet but can still access navigation apps and receive calls from you,” Esurance suggests.  Or simply disable texting…it also tracks every aspect of a teen’s drive:  how fast they went, how quickly they accelerated, how hard they braked, and where they went…

Against Their Will

Kamalabai Pani…of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP)…in India…[recalled a] raid on…May 20th, 2005…[which] came on the heels of VAMP’s sister organization Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM) turning down funds from USAID [because of the “anti-prostitution pledge”]…“The police…dragged [sex workers] off by the hair…[they] were beaten and dragged to the vans”…The raid was timed during a school holiday.  “It was May and the schools were on vacation, so [girls visiting] their mothers [could be arrested and represented as “trafficking victims”]…a smear campaign [was then] launched against SANGRAM…claiming that USAID had terminated [their] funding…because they were traffickers and had tried to “thwart rescue efforts”…The raid…was initiated by…Restore International, a Christian NGO under the leadership of Greg Malstead…[who later] continued to harass the sex worker community…detail from Juno by G E Schröder

The Crumbling Dam

The City of Vancouver [BC] is looking to repeal an anachronistic 1923 bylaw that requires club managers to…not allow a ‘prostitute or person of evil repute’ to enter…

Follow Your Bliss

American missionary Daniel Johnson…was arrested…in relation to sex crimes committed in the U.S. and…is now accused of raping five boys…between the ages of 11 and 15 at an orphanage in [Phnom Penh]…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #137)

Beijing has heralded this year’s decision to abolish re-education through labour (RTL) camps…But human rights groups say…thousands of people are still…held in a parallel system known as “custody and education”, overseen by public security officials rather than judges.  Unlike prisoners…the detainees [most of them sex workers, are used as slave labor and] must pay living costs and take compulsory tests for sexually transmitted diseases…

Flush Criminalization

Scott Greenfield on the effects Kathleen Rice’s ugly “end demand” campaign:

…our Protestant ethic condemns the sale of sex and vilifies those engaged in it, regardless of whether it fits within the paradigm of loose, evil women or victims of evil sex trafficking…the latter…gave Kathleen Rice the perfect opportunity to…score points…But…as Newsday reports, it wasn’t the johns, but Rice’s prosecutions,  getting flushed…So far, there have been six guilty pleas and five dismissals.  Not a very good average, given that Rice gets to cherry pick her prosecutions.  In fact, it’s a total disaster.  But…these accused johns…[were] publicly humiliated by the arrest, the detention…Rice’s poster, the cost of hiring a lawyer and appearing in court over and over…[at least one’s] wife is divorcing him…Most people, including those who cling dearly to their Puritanism, don’t think breaking up families is an appropriate goal of the legal system…But…as long as there is that lie in small print at the bottom…Rice…gets all the benefits of public adoration with none of the responsibility for destroying the lives of the innocent…

Opting Out

I really wish I didn’t have to say “I told you so” quite so often.

Pornography filters used by major internet service providers are blocking websites offering sex education and advice on sexual health and porn addiction…[while] failing to block hardcore porn-hosting sites…Among the sites…blocked as “pornographic” was BishUK.com, an award-winning…sex education site…Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse CentreSexual Health Scotland,  Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline, and Reducing The Risk, [another]…domestic abuse…site…

Not to mention EFF, Blogspot, Boing Boing and the site you’re reading now.  However, you can get around this:

A Google Chrome…extension…[called] “Go Away Cameron”…will allow UK internet users to visit any site they want, bypassing government restrictions…The creator of the…extension,…@nubela, said that…the add-on simply picks up the government block and bypasses it…

The Punitive Mindset (TW3 #337) Chris Grayling as Scrooge

For the first time this Christmas, people in [UK] prison will not be able to receive parcels from their loved ones under petty and mean new rules introduced by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.  The new rules…forbid prisoners from receiving any items in the post unless there are exceptional circumstances…families are prevented from sending in basic items…such as cards, paper…pens…books…magazines…clothes and underwear…Instead people in prison are now forced to pay for these items out of their meagre prison wages to private companies who make a profit from selling goods to prisoners…

Imaginary Evils

A new article by Dr. Nick Mai on “sex trafficking” in the UK:

The moral panic on the supposed prevalence of trafficking in the global sex industry rests on a lie:  that the majority of sex workers are trafficked.  In fact, the opposite is true.  However, on the basis of this fiction, the dangerous abolitionist campaigns in favour of the criminalisation of clients…are gaining ground in several EU countries  …our research [found] that…only…about 6% of female interviewees …felt that they had been deceived and forced into selling sex…Most …thought their rights could be more asserted and their vulnerability reduced by decriminalising sex work…All…thought that restrictive migration policies and…criminalization…make people more likely to take risks and accept undignified and dangerous working conditions…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #342)

Following a series of articles in…The Guardian, ICRSE and many sex workers organisations, academics and allies have signed a letter demanding…fairer representation [of] the debate on criminalisation of clients.  To this date, the letter [has] not been published…”  The letter corrects both (unintentional?) errors on the part of the Guardian itself and (deliberate) misstatements of fact in Swedish model propaganda, and was signed by many whose names you may recognize.

Crumbling House

Pierre Fallavier, who…advised [Somaly Mam’s organization] Afesip between 1999 and 2007, wrote…that from the beginning of his relationship with the organization, [staff raised] concerns…that [victim narratives]…disseminated by Afesip [were] “exaggerated”…Fallavier said…“[I] find it unfair to point solely at Afesip for fabricating stories…This…is the approach that all major international NGOs use…They take bits and parts of the life stories of different beneficiaries and make up a ‘typical’ sob story…they are unapologetic, and…it is well known to anyone working in that sector…This is marketing…and it is only with extreme stories that they will get people to give the cash they need”…

Perverse Incentives banner

Unbound

The debate on Cato Unbound is drawing to a close; in all, I had four essays (plus an upcoming conclusion which will appear Monday or Tuesday), neofeminist prohibitionist Dianne Post had four, researcher Ronald Weitzer had three and “sex trafficking” NGO rep Steven Wagner had only the one.  If you haven’t read the entire issue yet, why not take advantage of the holiday lull to catch up before my conclusion next week?

Under Every Bed (TW3 #349)

The latest installment in Al Jazeera’s rapid descent into “trafficking” hysteria:

…Most victims of [sex] trafficking…in Spain come from Brazil, China, Nigeria, Paraguay and Romania, according to the police, who estimate the number of victims in the country at 12,000 and the earnings of the sex trafficking rings…at 5mn euros ($6mn) a day…”they don’t tend to recognise that they are victims,” said Paula Mandillo…with Mujer Emancipada…The first European Commission  report on human trafficking in Europe…put the number of victims between 2008 and 2010 at 23,632…Spain had the second-highest number of victims…in the European Union, after Italy…sex trafficking rings often use babies…to coerce [victims] into forced prostitution…[so] authorities…are…carrying out DNA tests on women and children at border posts, to verify that they are related…

If Spain has 12,000 “victims” and it’s second after Italy with 12,001, that gives the two countries together 24,001 of the total 23,632 victims.  Obviously math skills are not a requirement for either police work or reporting.

The Crumbling Dam (TW3 #351)

Look for a full column on the Canadian Supreme Court’s landmark decision week after next; I’m waiting to see if any politicians will open their mouths to insert their feet.  But in the meantime, here are three standout pieces on the subject.  First, one of the lawyers on the case expressed her opinion on one politician’s call for the Swedish model:

Elin Sigurdson…[said] “asymetrical criminalization…isn’t consistent” with the…ruling…”The same issue of danger and jeopardy will persist when one of the parties rather than the other is criminalized…it couldn’t be upheld under this decision…because you’re going to find the exact same problems persisting”…

Then Dr. Brooke Magnanti weighed in:

…Already, the decision is being decried by the losing side with complaints of how dangerous it would be for Canada to become “the next Amsterdam.”  On the one hand this is true:  the Dutch system does not work.  I have a friend who is an escort in the Netherlands and her home is regularly raided by police who accuse her of running an unlicensed brothel, even though she’s an independent escort who works alone…sex workers would prefer to not work in a country like the Netherlands…and certainly not in the dangerous and misguided setup endorsed by Sweden…most sex workers advocate for full decriminalization—as seen in the laws of New Zealand and New South Wales, Australia—as the best way to ensure minimum abuses and maximum access to rights…This is a view also supported by the WHO, UNAIDS, and other international aid agencies…Will Canada’s government craft a model of decriminalization, or something else, in the year until the new ruling takes effect?…

And on that last point, from Australia:Nikki Thomas, Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott

…The Swedish model…works to silence any alternatives to the narrative trope of pitiful victim in need of rescue…[it makes] big claims about ending prostitution…but the research does not back this up…and…sex workers [are] further stigmatized…sex workers…can guide our social policies towards best practice…Can we hear their voices ringing loud and clear?

Catastrophic Consequences

Because “bottleneck effect” is not in the lawhead vocabulary:

Health chiefs in Edinburgh want a network of tightly-regulated brothels to replace…[the] saunas…NHS Lothian revealed the plan during discussions with police and other agencies…Police Scotland are determined to close down Edinburgh’s saunas despite warnings that it will drive the sex trade underground and increase crime and sexually-transmitted diseases…A terse email from an unnamed NHS official said:  “Sauna owners are speaking to us about condoms and they are suggesting Police Scotland are insisting that ‘no items of a sexual nature will be permitted on the premises’…This will cause us big problems in terms of public health.”  Police Scotland replied…[that their] “aim is to stop the saunas being used for criminality – i.e. brothel keeping and other illegal activities”…

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Be the sort of victim people want, swallow the crap about not really choosing sex work, tell a few stories about bad clients and pray with the fervor of a convert at the altar of end demand and all the support you want is there, on their terms.  –  Jemima

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

Petite JasmineA Swedish sex worker rights activist was stabbed to death by her ex-husband on Thursday.  Swedish “feminists” pretend to care so very much for sex workers that they’re willing to destroy our lives to “save” us from imaginary “degradation”; selling sex is not illegal, but if a sex worker dares to speak openly about her choice she will be punished in many ways other than imprisonment, such as by expulsion, eviction, police harassment and more:

Several years ago she lost custody of her children as she was considered to be an unfit parent due to being a sex worker.  The children were placed with their father regardless of him being abusive towards Jasmine.  They told her she didn’t know what was good for her and that she was “romantisizing” prostitution, they said she lacked insight and didn’t realise sex work was a form of self-harm.  He threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions, she was never offered any protection…

Activist Jemima pointed out that “Jasmine could have been listened too, could have had custody of her kids, could have been flying off to international conferences and doing TV shows, instead of being prepared for burial, all she had to do was lie…be good little puppets who trot out the party line like defendants at a Stalin era Russian show trial and then the doors of rape crisis centers, domestic refuges and conferences open wide to you…

Third Party

Another refutation of the myth that the presence of a camera magically protects sex workers from arrest:  “Phoenix police arrested seven people at…a self-serve porn studio allegedly used to front a prostitution business…William James Hartwell…and six women were arrested during a raid on the studio…[after] a six-month investigation…

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

This was a real banner week for Swedish “feminists”; besides enabling the murder of a sex worker, we also got this:

A professor in law at Stockholm University has called for legislation prohibiting parents from drinking alcohol in the company of their children.  “It is a parent’s responsibility to be sober when they are with their children,” said Professor Madeleine Leijonhufvud…She compared the offence to minor assault which…carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment.  While the proposal is aimed at “everyday drunkenness” it in effect suggests that parents would not be able to share a glass of wine at dinner.  “If you have a sick child and need to drive them to hospital then you can’t drink wine”…

Perhaps Sweden should just confiscate all children at birth and raise them in crèches?  But then, of course, people would stop having them.  And the feminists want even criticism of their tyrannical insanity to be criminal: “the Nordic Council of Ministers…[suggested]…the government…take action against…‘anti-feminist attitudes’…expressed in public…Heavy Hand of Justice by Kevin Moore

Saving Them From Themselves

A 15-year-old Florida girl was arrested…for shooting and possessing a photo of another teen girl engaged in oral sex with a teen boy…She was charged with a felony child porn count.  “The two girls were friends, and one of them was dating the guy,” Detective William Lindsey [said]…”Possession of child pornography is [a crime] no matter what age they are… If she had taken a picture of herself in sexual conduct, she could be charged with child pornography”…

Wholesale Hypocrisy (TW3 #25)

The rather dull-witted and credulous Bonnie Erbe seems to genuinely believe in mathematically and sociologically impossible nonsense, but more shocking is her support for censorship despite her pretense of being a journalist:

…The Internet…provides an almost unfettered platform for…pimps to find, track and enslave girls and women in sex trafficking…local and federal authorities seem powerless to ban the sale of commercial sex online.  Nor do they seem able to keep up with and control the horrendous amount of trafficking the Internet generates…experts point mainly to laws that predate the Internet and define places where criminal commercial sex acts take places as “houses of prostitution” or “brothels.”  Today, no such places exist.  Pimps — mainly men — find customers online and direct them to meet prostitutes, who work out of different motels or apartments or sometimes even their own homes…[in] a New Mexico case…two men…were [cleared of] running “an extensive multistate, online prostitution ring”…after a judge ruled that…their website did not constitute a house of prostitution, though it was used to recruit prostitutes and promote prostitution…It would seem easy to amend anti-prostitution laws to include a ban on websites for procuring commercial sex…

Because when governments ban things, they magically vanish!

Shift in the Wind

Those who were surprised at seeing an anti-criminalization article in The National Review must not remember that A) many “conservatives” at least claim to be for smaller government, and B) the magazine’s founder, William F. Buckley, was a vocal opponent of drug criminalization.

…the proscription of prostitution…continues to be a mystery to me.  Sex remains one of the few things that a free person may give away gratis but which he is forbidden from selling.  It is perfectly legal to sleep around in the United States — subsidized and panegyrized, even — and, as the growing parade of octogenarian billionaires’ wives demonstrates, it is both permissible and socially acceptable to sleep with someone in pursuit of regular material comfort…While the laws surrounding the issue remain such a dizzy and irrational mess, drawing a clear moral line through the morass remains nigh on impossible…To broach this topic in polite company is to invite someone…to parrot the banal old line that “nobody grows up wanting to be a prostitute.”  At best, this is a red herring.  Certainly, few people grow up wishing to be prostitutes.  But there are an awful lot of careers that escape the dreams of children…It is no accident that prostitution, which was almost uniformly legal in the United States from the period of colonization up until the start of the 20th century, was banned in almost every state within the same five-year period during which the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union managed to convince the nation that alcohol should be constitutionally outlawed…

Of course the comments are full of Puritans and trafficking fetishists, but there are a surprising number of truth-tellers there as well.Eliot Spitzer

Legitimate Outrage

Eliot Spitzer said he hopes he has changed since he was caught in a prostitution scandal that led to his resignation, as he attempts to revive his political career with a run for New York City comptroller.  “I think the public will have to ask itself the question, ‘can we forgive him?’  I’ve asked for the forgiveness, I hope the public says ‘yes,’ based upon the record I have, based upon qualities I can bring to the office,” Spitzer told reporters…

Politicians are usually forgiven; those whose lives they destroy, not so much.

The Naked Anthropologist

Though New Scientist published only a very small part of what Dr. Laura Agustín says was a much, much longer interview, it’s still good to see mainstream magazines presenting her views and debunking the “sex trafficking” hysteria and anti-whore tyranny.

Unclean Situation

You know how the Magdalene Laundry orders (through their modern front, Ruhama) like to pretend that sex work is “human trafficking”

Despite being funded by the HSE annually, including over €126,000 last year, St Patrick’s Guild informed the Adoption Authority last week that it no longer has the resources to staff the organisation.  The agency, run by the Religious Sisters of Charity, had been accredited by the Adoption Authority to assist adopted people and natural parents through tracing, counselling and mediating…Between 1947 and 1967, St Patrick’s Guild…arranged for the export of 572 “illegitimate” children from Ireland to the US for adoption…Despite the agency’s admitted involvement in facilitating illegal adoptions, the Adoption Authority again reiterated its stance that it will not inspect the files to ascertain the extent of the agency’s involvement in such activity…

In other words, the nuns abducted children from their Irish mothers and sold them to Americans; if that’s not “human trafficking”, I don’t know what is.Laetitia Rebord

Skin To Skin (TW3 #313)

The New York Times seems unable to write about sex work without dysphemisms like “so-called”:

…in France…disabled people struggle to have a sex life.  But their desires are often disregarded, and while prostitution is legal here, soliciting potential clients and serving as an intermediary between prostitutes and clients are not.  The issue of sexual surrogates came up in March, after the National Ethics Committee…issued a report criticizing the practice as the “unethical use of the human body for commercial purposes”…but…some legislators and associations of disabled people are demanding the legalization of sexual surrogates.  “Prostitution is a fake debate; the goals are different,” said Pascale Ribes…[of] the Disabilities and Sexualities Group, an association defending sexual surrogates in France.  “Sexual assistance is about allowing a disabled person who can’t access sexuality in a satisfying way to reconnect with the body”…

Advice to disabilities advocates: foolish reinforcement of whorearchy is not the way to go about winning your right to employ sex workers.

Flush Criminalization

More sophomoric “humor” from New York “authorities” working assiduously to destroy as many people’s lives as possible:

Police shut down…12 massage parlors…for alleged prostitution…arresting owners, managers and workers.  The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is investigating whether workers were “victims of human trafficking, being manipulated or held against their will”…and whether a central organization was controlling…the operations.  According to DA Charles Hynes, all of the women…gave very similar stories about having children in Asia they needed to support.  NYPD Commissioner was typically…tone-deaf in his assessment of the case.  “We know people in Bay Ridge have back pain…but we don’t think that’s enough to sustain 19 massage parlors”…

That the DA seems to perceive the fantasy of a huge “sex trafficking” conspiracy as more credible than the simple fact that most sex workers have children to support, speaks volumes about his warped view of humanity.

Still a Child

This is no more ridiculous than defining a minimum age above that of majority for any other legal activity, such as drinking or sex work:  “Somalia…has set the minimum age at 40 for anyone intending to practice as a journalist in the country…

True Colors (TW3 #327)

Authorities in southern China have left…Ye Haiyan…homeless…Guangdong security agents abandoned her on the side of the road with her boyfriend…and 14-year-old daughter…”Zhongshan does not welcome you; Guangzhou does not welcome you either. I will break your legs if I ever see you again in Zhongshan,” one of the security agents said…

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We should…be open for the possibility that prostitutes are harmed, not because prostitution is harmful, but because society at present seriously wrongs prostitutes.  –  Ole Moen

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín recently uploaded this video of a talk she gave in 2010 which synopsizes in just a few minutes a number of her most important observations on the roots of “sex trafficking” mythology, agency denial, the rescue industry and more.  Her influence on me and many other writers on this subject cannot possibly be overstated, and if you don’t read her blog you really should.

Updates

Madonna and Whore

A new study looked at escort board postings and concludes what I and other escorts have said many times and people like Melissa Farley deny:  that many clients really feel a sense of emotional intimacy with some escorts:

…Christine Milrod and co-author Ronald Weitzer analyzed 2,442 postings on…a sex provider review site…Approximately one-third included a discussion about emotional intimacy between sex workers and their clients…“In recent years, we have come to see a gradual normalization of independent escort prostitution, where sexual encounters have come to resemble quasi-dating relationships,” stated…Milrod.  “Our study shows that regular clients of a particular sex provider often come to experience feelings of deep affection, which can progress into an authentic love story”…The study uncovered feelings ranging from “counterfeit intimacy” to “authentic emotional bonds” between many prostitutes and their respective customers…

Bad Girls

This is one way to deal with an extortionist, though the idiot is lucky he wasn’t arrested as well.  What I’m wondering, though,  is why she stuck around after he called the cops?  “Police in Ann Arbor [Michigan] say they took a call from a man who was upset that the price he agreed to pay for prostitution services had increased…the…19-year-old woman he had contacted online…upped the cost after taking his money…the woman was arrested and the man wasn’t…[after they] gave vastly different accounts of what happened…

Bad Jobs

Here’s a new slideshow of the “most stressful jobs in America”; notice that NO sex work jobs are on the list, despite prohibitionist claims of PTSD and other such nonsense.

Real People

Marc McAndrews…visited the legal brothels in 11 Nevada counties over a period of five years [to create]…the book Nevada Rose, which documents these brothels and their workers, owners and customers.  What he uncovered was a view of prostitution that didn’t adhere to culturally appointed preconceptions:  of sex work as a living as humdrum as any other…”  Unfortunately the article credits the Nevada brothel system, reserving the typical insults and libel for independents.  But you’ve got to start somewhere, and this is a big improvement over the typical New York Times “sex trafficking” lies.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

It’s hilarious to watch Swedes trying to reconcile the “whore as criminal” and “whore as victim” myths:

Prostitutes in Stockholm are using short-term rented apartments to sell sex, which is proving to be a difficult case for police…and a bitter pill…for the holidaying homeowners…who…are completely unaware of what’s going on…One woman…[said] “It felt disgusting. I wanted to just burn the bed and move house…[but] when you get a little perspective on things – I’m not actually the victim here. I think of how the girls have ended up as prostitutes, whether they’ve been exposed to people smuggling and how they live today”…

Against Their Will

It would be difficult to imagine a more bizarre combination of agency denial and plain arse-backwardness than this:

Four sex workers were allegedly abducted by an armed gang from a rehab centre…police have registered a case of kidnapping…the gang members were [allegedly] Mumbai-based pimps, whom the girls telephoned and asked to be “rescue’’ from the rehab centre run by an NGO…they were rescued from the flesh trade by the…police and were accommodated at the rehab centre…six months ago…Other sex workers…said life is hell at the centre.  “A prison would be better than this,” said a 24-year-old inmate.  “Given a chance, we too would like to leave”…

The reversed scare quotes around the two uses of “rescue” are especially striking; their literal rescue by friends or associates is scare-quoted, while the use of the term for abduction and imprisonment is not.

Sex, Lies and Busybodies

Yet another “sex trafficking” liar is exposed:

…William Hillar…was sentenced…to 21 months in prison…for…his scheme to pass himself off as a colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces…Hillar was also ordered to pay restitution of $171,415 and perform 500 community hours at the Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries……the FBI said Hillar fabricated a gruesome tale that his own daughter had been kidnapped, forced into sex slavery, sodomized and tortured before being hacked to death with machetes and thrown into the sea.  He further claimed that this experience and his life story was the basis for the 2008 film “Taken”.  The significant press attention…generated free press for his business.  Hillar admitted…his daughter…was [actually] alive and well…

Knights Erroneous

Speaking of “sex trafficking” liars:  “Ashton Kutcher [in Delhi to film a Steve Jobs biopic]…posted a photo that has him posing with about a dozen…victims of sex trafficking [supplied by rescue industry NGO Apne Aap]…

My Favorite TV Comedies

…the cast of the 1990s Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete was reunited…before a packed and ardent crowd at L.A.’s Orpheum Theater for…a…three-hour celebration of the deepest children’s show — and one of television’s best shows — ever.”  The article includes an interview with the creators, who explain that a great deal of the show’s unique style derived from the fact that their background was in producing advertising spots rather than situation comedies, so they didn’t know what they were “supposed” to do.

Shift in the Wind

As I pointed out, the public health community almost universally backs decriminalization, and apparently that support has reached the bioethics field as well:

…one of the latest…articles in the…Journal of Medical Ethics…bears the provocative title “Is Prostitution Harmful?”  Unsurprisingly, Norwegian academic Ole Martin Moen says No.  “More and more of us…believe that sexual encounters need not be deeply personal and emotional…if casual sex is acceptable, then we have few or no reasons to reject prostitution.”  Dr Moen demolishes…nine objections to legalised prostitution…but perhaps most interesting from a bioethical standpoint are his assumptions…First, that [if] sex…has no special value, it is unlikely that arguments against selling it will stand.  Second, that a utilitarian calculus is the best way to determine the ethics of prostitution…Third, that contemporary attitudes towards homosexuality are appropriate precedents for assessing the moral value of prostitution.  Back in the 20s and 30s, homosexuality was deemed to cause people severe psychological problems.  But we now know that this was due to social stigma.  Homosexuality was also associated with disease, drug use and violence.  But we now know that this was due to social and legal oppression.  Similarly, Dr Moen suggests, if we destigmatise and liberate prostitution, these issues will disappear among prostitutes as well…

Bottleneck

Behold the inevitable result of trying to stop sex work:

Korean communities in Australia are campaigning…for a crackdown on Korean prostitutes who have entered the country on working holiday visas…The association of Korean communities said Korean prostitutes are a national disgrace.  “…Korea’s reputation is being tarnished as they see the country as an exporter of prostitutes,” said an association spokesman…Since the Korean government launched its crackdown…in 2004…many sex workers have moved to Australia, Japan, the United States and other countries…Accordingly, the number of crimes involving Koreans staying on such visas is rising at an alarming rate in Australia and other countries…72…felonies, including murder and rape, committed against or by Korean working visa holders were reported in Australia in 2009, while no such crimes were reported in 2005.

One can’t help wondering if the Korean community’s bigotry is not part of the reason Australian politicians keep claiming that thousands of Asian women are “trafficked”, despite a total lack of evidence .

Metaupdates

Something Rotten in Sweden in November Updates (Part One)

Emi Koyama does it again with this convincing economic analysis demonstrating not only that “end demand” schemes don’t work, they actually increase the amount of prostitution among low-end (street) sex workers:

“End demand” approach to addressing human trafficking continues to gain traction, as law enforcement agencies across the country hold the third “National Day of Johns Arrests”…I have in the past pointed out why “end demand” policies are harmful…and even provided a further  explanation for the economics of “end demand” policies.  But recently I had an…exchange with someone who…helped me explore a possibility…that “end demand” approach to prostitution, which seeks to reduce demand for commercial sex through public education, prosecution, public humiliation, and other means, may increase prostitution, rather than decrease it…

The nutshell version:  As demand drops, so does the price.  But because survival and near-survival sex workers are already making barely enough to live on, they are therefore forced to work longer hours and see more clients in order to make ends meet.  If any of my readers is an economist and can either confirm or find flaws in Koyama’s analysis, please let me know.

The Course of a Disease in TW3 (#28)

This is really good news; intellectuals are respected and influential in France:

Some of France’s leading intellectuals have poured scorn on the government’s goal of eradicating prostitution…a collection of academics, artists and writers suggest efforts to get rid of the world’s oldest profession are bound to fail…Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the minister for women, caused a stir in June when she announced the new government would attempt to end the sale of sex…the intellectuals…argued that talk of “abolishing” prostitution was based on “two debatable assumptions:  that charging for sex is an affront to women’s dignity and that all prostitutes are all victims of their bastard clients…A women who prostitutes herself…is not necessarily a victim of male oppression.  And the clients are not all horrible predators or sexual obsessives who treat the woman as disposable objects.”  Among the signatories to the article were philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, writer Regine Desforges and film-maker Claude Lanzmann…

O, Canada! in TW3 (#31)

Politicians just can’t resist trying to drum up moral panic, even in soil as unfertile as the largely pro-decriminalization British Columbian academic community:

Recruiters could show up at B.C. colleges and universities this year looking for students to work as strippers, says the province’s minister of advanced education, Naomi Yamamoto.  “The [adult entertainment] industry itself has a reputation of exhibiting some risky behaviour, and we don’t want our students exposed to that,” she said, “especially if [it means] aggressively recruiting at our campuses”…She said the issue came to her attention through news stories about the trend in Windsor, [Ontario]…She added that she could not direct institutions to bar adult entertainment companies from job fairs but is “strongly recommending” that they reject any requests for space…A representative of the Camosun College Student Society, Madeline Keller-MacLeod, said she would resist the presence of adult entertainment industry representatives on campus… “Our members are particularly vulnerable to any economic opportunities,” she said…

Ask yourself:  what sort of warped mind could produce the phrase “vulnerable to economic opportunities”?

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Three different columns featuring lyrics and video links for songs about whores; two columns defining various terms used by hookers; a short history of New Orleans’ famed Storyville and a biography of one of its most famous madams; and an analysis of why politicians persecute whores.  We also see that genitals come in “All Shapes and Sizes”, that a picture really can be worth “A Thousand Words”, and that many feminists will cut off their noses “To Spite Their Faces”.  Plus:  my very first update column;  another one featuring items on trafficking myths, an odd breach of confidentiality and prohibitionists using feminist and Marxist rhetoric; and another with items about fornication laws, sex rays, Michael Weinstein and a less-fortunate counterpart of the client from today’s first item.

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Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it.  It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.  –  Nadine Gordimer

Eleven updates and four meta-updates.

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)

Happy 50th birthday, silicone implant!:

…Timmie Jean Lindsey, 80…said she…[went to Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston, who invented the implants in 1962] because she wanted some rose tattoos removed from her chest, and he told her she was the perfect first candidate…“It wasn’t a big deal to me.  I went from a B to a C cup.  But it made men more aware of me.  More men would whistle at me”…She said she feels fortunate she never experienced many of the side effects that plagued other recipients…

The reason she didn’t have any side effects, of course, is because lawyers hadn’t invented them yet.

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)

Remember those cute little Adelie penguins?  Well, it turns out that prostitution isn’t their only “perverted” sexual behavior; George Levick of the ill-fated Scott expedition also observed rape, sexual abuse of chicks, homosexuality and necrophilia.  He was so upset by the whole thing that he recorded his findings in Greek so that they couldn’t accidentally be read by English speakers, and those facts were left out of the official accounts until very recently.  I’m not surprised; any bird which practices “cash and dash” is capable of anything.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (May 30th, 2011)

Did you read the one about the Swedish housewife who set herself up a BDSM dungeon in an abandoned bunker?  It became news when two fishermen discovered it and called the cops.  When Aftonbladet told her that many of her neighbors were scandalized she said, “I think it is because many are afraid.  Sweden is not really such a free country when it comes to sexuality…”  Sex workers and their clients wholly agree.

Surplus Women (September 27th, 2011)

Yet another maniac chooses his victims from among sex workers:

A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast…22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday (June 5th) night and left early Wednesday.  Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis.  Other body parts…were found later…Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel…

The Capri is one of those dirty, scary places where only truly desperate girls live, so I suspect she was murdered by a client who promised her extra money to go off with him.  At least the story seems to make some effort to treat her as a person rather than concentrating on her sex work as so many do.

See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)

Res ipsa loquitur:

…Phillip Cosby…objects to [a] donated statue at the Overland Park Arboretum [in Kansas City], because it portrays a woman…taking a photo of herself while her breasts are exposed…he has started an online petition…to start a grand jury investigation…he objects to the statue’s availability to children and is seeking a charge of promoting obscenity.  Overland Park has posted signs at the park about the statue’s content but says it has no immediate plans to remove the sculpture.

A statue has no “content”; any “obscenity” is projected into it by dirty minds.

Neither Addiction nor Epidemic (December 4th, 2011)

Regular reader Franklin Harris wrote a column on sex in film in which he stated:

Movies and television take a lot of heat for promoting supposedly immoral, promiscuous and irresponsible sexual behavior.  But when it comes to movies that actually make sex their main focus, you may be left wondering why anyone has sex in the first place. Sex in these movies is awful, joyless and nothing good ever comes of it.  On second thought, that does sound like a pretty irresponsible depiction of sex, just not the one we’ve been led to expect…despite depressing movies such as Shame and a few high-profile celebrity cases of suspect credibility, one fact remains: There is no such thing as sex addiction…[it] is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is no scientific evidence it exists…

Harris also has sharp words for The Girlfriend Experience and points out the deep irony implicit in Hollywood’s typical condemnation of any kind of sex for pay.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this sort of column becoming ever more common in mainstream media.

Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)

Another cop using his position for rape:  “A former Hopewell [Virginia] police officer was convicted…of sexually abusing three women…In exchange for his pleas, a fourth charge of forcible sodomy was withdrawn by the prosecution.  Baggett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count…”  Notice that cops in these stories are nearly always described as “former” police officers, subtly implying that they were sacked out for their conduct, when in fact that only happened as a direct result of a probable conviction.  Had the case been less clear, Baggett would still be a cop right now.

An Example to the West (April 3rd, 2012)

Sex workers in Thailand recently sent a letter to their Prime Minister asking him to stop licking Uncle Sam’s boots:

…Empower alleges that successive Thai governments have sacrificed the rule of law, their international human rights obligations and the well-being of migrant sex workers and their families, in an attempt to please the US government and satisfy the American anti trafficking agenda.  We accuse the United States government of using the issue of human trafficking to coerce its allies into tightening border and immigration controls.  The US agenda has also created a climate where women crossing borders are all seen as suspect “victims” of trafficking…Empower sees the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department as subjective and bias [sic] against the Thai Entertainment Industry…

The Naked Emperor (May 15th, 2012)

Though danah boyd (who like e.e. cummings prefers her name uncapitalized) is generally critical of moral panics about kids and the internet, and has said that “the most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic”, she seems to have bought into sex trafficking hysteria…or has she?  This article also seems subtly critical of anti-Backpage crusade; is she, like others, simply afraid to say the emperor is naked?

…when we as a society see technology being used in horrible ways, we want to blame and ban the technology…I know that technology is being used in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.  I also know that many people have responded to the visibility of “child sex trafficking” on commercial websites by wanting to shut down those commercial websites…my goal is to make sure that we understand what we’re doing so that we actually address the core of the problem, not just the most visible symptoms of it.  Unfortunately, we know very little about how children are advertised, bought, sold, and exploited through the use of technology.  There are plenty of anecdotes, but rigorous data is limited…

Read the article and let me know what you think:  more research is good, but only if it’s conducted in an atmosphere of free inquiry; most of the projects she mentions make unwarranted assumptions and seem tailored to produce specific anti-sex work outcomes.

First They Came for the Hookers… (June 5th, 2012)

I really wish politicians would stop proving me right:

…the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all…”The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” [said] Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney…”Now we have the power, which we’ll [soon] begin using…to deny visas to people who we think…might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation”…

Once again, “trafficking” rhetoric is really an excuse for bigotry.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (June 9th, 2012)

Anyone who’s read more than a token amount of Bradbury has noticed the libertarian ideas in his work, and in this extremely interesting essay by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy he demonstrates that Bradbury was not alone: “Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre.  From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field.  Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work…

Metaupdates

Welcome To Our World in February Updates (Part Two) (February 13th, 2011)

A UK organization is fighting for the sexual rights of mentally disabled people:

…Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships…however they choose.  But some people in society, such as people with learning disabilities, aren’t always given the automatic right to have relationships and flourish as sexual beings.  They have to persuade others to “allow” them to do it.  FPA believes passionately that everyone has the right to enjoy sexual health

I applaud FPA’s efforts; whores also know what it’s like to be denied the right to sex on our own terms.

The Scarlet Letter in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Another example of sex workers fighting oppression via civil courts:

…State-sanctioned forced HIV testing of sex workers also occurs [in places other than Greece]…But in Malawi…sex workers are fighting back…in 2009…police…forced [arrested sex workers] to undergo HIV tests…[and those] who tested HIV-positive were charged with  “spreading disease dangerous to life,”…fourteen [of them] decided to sue the government and challenge the constitutionality of forced HIV testing…

Much Ado About Nothing in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Dania Suarez, the escort whose mistreatment kicked off the Secret service scandal, “has announced plans to open a non-profit organization to support women who have been affected by prostitution” just after turning down “a $500,000 pornography contract with Vivid” in favor of a TV documentary on her life.  As long as she only works with women who genuinely want to leave the trade I’m all for it, but if she turns to “rescue” and/or starts mouthing “child sex trafficking” rubbish, she’ll be following Kristin Davis into the Hall of Shame.

Finding What Isn’t There in TW3 (#23) (June 9th, 2012)

Considering that prostitution is not illegal in either part of Ireland and that police found no “traffickers” or “victims” in their highly-publicized joint raid, all of the residences belonged to “innocent people”; I reckon what this article is trying to say is that half didn’t belong to the people named on the warrants:

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is facing a serious legal backlash after it emerged that as many as half the residences it raided as part of its cross-border anti-prostitution operation with gardai belong to innocent people…the PSNI is now facing a highly embarrassing and potentially very expensive legal fall-out from what appear to have been a series of botched raids based on intelligence that, in some cases, was at least a year out of date…

Though I feel bad for those who were raided, high-profile jackboot buffoonery like this only helps our cause in the long run, because it demonstrates the fact-free basis for police actions and results in ever more editorials like this one:

…”Rape for profit,” stormed Philip Marshall of the PSNI…Everyone would agree if he had freed dozens of sex-slaves and charged their traffickers…So far, though, the only people charged were three Polish girls, who…were…working willingly…is it really worth months of police time…to arrest and shame…three young people?…Or should we consider…offering prostitutes the protection of the law when they are abused or coerced?…Prostitution has always been with us…We can’t legislate it out of existence, but we could legislate to reduce its damage to the health and welfare of those involved.

One Year Ago Today

June Miscellanea (Part Two)” reports on yet another censorship law, a decentralized online currency system, New York’s declaration that sexy dancing isn’t dancing and more extra-blog activities by yours truly.

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You can’t protect women without handicapping them in competition with men.  If you demand equality you must accept equality.  Women can’t have it both ways.  –  Mary Bell-Richards

Sweden’s bizarre excuse for its continuing infantilization of women is “feminism”; supposedly, prostitution magically affects the brains of all males in a society, causing them to view women in a way Swedish neofeminists consider unacceptable.  But judging by the way Swedish authorities treat women, that “unacceptable” view must be the idea that women are intelligent adults capable of independent thought and self-determination, because it’s clear that the official position is the opposite.  In my column of December 18th I reported that though the rape rate in Sweden has quadrupled since the mid-‘90s (doubtlessly due, at least in part, to the suppression of prostitution), the conviction rate for rape is much lower than it was in 1965; as Naomi Wolf put it,a woman who has been raped in Sweden is ten times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than she is of getting any  kind of legal proceeding on her behalf undertaken by Swedish prosecutors.”  How can this be reconciled with Sweden’s supposed promotion of feminism?  As I expressed it in the linked column,

…the Swedish government only “promotes” feminism as a domineering pimp “promotes” a whore:  As a commodity to be bought, sold or traded for its own purposes.  Sweden views women as a natural resource to be exploited in much the same way as it exploits timber, hydropower and iron ore, and its leaders only mouth platitudes about “equality” to keep female Swedish voters happy so they can stay in power.  Its dismal record on rape and its tyrannical efforts to reduce whores to slaves of its bloated welfare state demonstrate that Sweden doesn’t actually care about the welfare of individual women, but rather only about the political support of women collectively.

And since it does only care about women collectively, any individual women who step out of line must be dealt with ruthlessly, yet in such a way as to maintain the pretense of “feminism”.  In my column of January 18th we saw that Sweden legally requires men to presume that women are prostitutes on the basis of their manner of dress (are you reading this, SlutWalkers?), and this May 19th story from The Local reveals what happens to Swedish whores who dare to speak about their (supposedly 100% legal) work in public:

A Swedish student who was trying to boost her finances by stripping and selling sexual favours has reported her adult education college for discrimination after being suspended for her “sick” behaviour.  After being forced to find a way of paying her bills, the student started working at a Stockholm strip club and also worked part-time as a prostitute to make ends meet…In February, she found herself called in to a meeting with a teacher and the dean of her college, where she was surprised to find them asking her about her job.  “They said that it goes against the school’s values and that students had been harmed by me being so open about what I do,” she wrote in the report.  The dean and the teacher told her that what she did outside of school hours helped to support the view of women as sexual objects.  “I said I have never felt like an object but rather found the whole experience pleasurable,” the student wrote in her report.  According to the student, the teacher and dean were horrified with this statement and said that she had caused the whole class to go through a crisis by being so open with her choice of career.  “You must have a problem if you think like that,” they said according to the student.  Despite the student’s apologies and a willingness to give up her job to stay on at the college, the dean said that it was obvious she wasn’t feeling well, and that she therefore would not be allowed to continue.  “I said ‘But I feel healthy’ and ‘I am passionate about this course’.  Then the dean said ‘you seem passionate about a lot of things’ and looked me up and down,” the student wrote.  After leaving the school she was told by fellow students that meetings had been taking place about her behind her back, and that the dean said that she had chosen to leave due to not feeling well.  The student was allowed to come back and say goodbye to her friends.  At the meeting she was allegedly told by the principal that she was not to mention anything about her suspension…she…tried to speak to several teachers, but was told by the dean to leave school premises as she wasn’t a student there any more.  Since the suspension the student has given up her stripping job but has decided to report the school to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman…

Sound familiar?  In my column of April 13th  we saw the new prohibitionist tactic of pronouncing prostitutes mentally ill if they fail to see things as the prohibitionists want them to; that is exactly what happened here.  In the Victorian Era, women who failed to behave like good little domestic robots were labeled “hysterical”, and now the Swedish state labels women who fail to behave like good little brainwashed neofeminist robots as “sick”.  The Swedish sales pitch claims its repressive regime has not harmed prostitutes in any way; try telling that to the young woman who was expelled for talking about her supposedly-legal job.  It also claims that the majority of Swedes enthusiastically support the ban, yet articles like this one appear frequently in Swedish publications.  Clearly, Sweden’s official claims about the “success” of its disgusting, tyrannical imposition of radical neofeminism on the Swedish people are no more true than its claim that the reason for the outrage is the promotion of “equality” for women.

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