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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Any invocation of tradition and moral values in support of a law that facially discriminate among classes of people calls for a healthy dose of skepticism on our part.  –  Judge Ilana Rovner

The Swedish Pimpocracy 

Sweden, the feminist Utopia:

Hundreds of allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced in Sweden in recent weeks…In a single day, 4445 women put their names to a petition in Svenska Dagbladet called ‘#medvilkenrätt’ (with what right) which calls for action against harassment and abuse of power within the justice system…One of the women…said that a district prosecutor had harassed her, repeatedly calling and texting her and, when she declined an invitation to dinner, threatening to destroy her career…”In every message, the threats grew more serious, and they began to include threats of assault and violence,” she wrote.  Another woman said that…a retired judge showed her photos of three defendants in a rape case and asked her “which of them I would most like to be raped by”…one woman said a lawyer asked her to collect “all the information on guys, clothes, pictures and so on relating to the plaintiff to show how ‘slutty’ she was”…

The Course of a Disease

Though there’s very little chance of this going anywhere in Latin America, it’s still disturbing to even see this filth appearing there at all:

Three months ago…Columbian legislator…Clara Rojas…began campaigning for new legislation which would fine people who pay for sex with up to $23,000,000 Colombian pesos (around $7,500 US dollars).  This proposal has been strongly condemned by Colombian sex workers, activists and academics…

The Notorious Badge

Just for once, it’d be nice to see a realistic show about sex work instead of these lurid wanking fantasies about teenagers:

Netflix has announced its second Italian original, a scripted series titled Baby, about teen prostitution in Rome.  The eight-episode show is loosely based on a scandal that created a stir in the Italian capital in 2014 when it surfaced that two…high school students…were engaging in part-time prostitution

It’s only “loosely based” because the real story would be much too boring and mundane.

Hall of Shame (#525)

The only person interviewed in this video who comes across as sane and reasonable is my friend Christina.  Bindel ends up sounding like an obsessed lunatic vomiting up moldy propaganda, and Hof’s denials (the author of The Art of the Pimp proclaiming he’s not a pimp despite owning seven brothels) make one wonder whether he’s as stupid as he thinks we are.

And I wish Reason TV would start interviewing more sex worker activists instead of repeatedly returning to Nevada’s deeply-oppressive crony brothel system, which is about as un-libertarian as one can get.

Fallen Idol

This has been an open secret for a while, so I’m unsure why it didn’t break when the James Deen revelations were in the news:

Last June, a woman named Ginger Banks posted a YouTube video that circulated widely among those in the adult entertainment industry…In the 10-minute clip…Banks compiles allegations against Jeremy from all corners of the adult-industry…including stories of everything from indecent exposure, nonconsensual digital penetration and rape…Rolling Stone spoke with more than a dozen women both on and off the record who made such claims against Jeremy, alleging that the famous porn star violated their boundaries, taking advantage of both his status as an industry legend and their status as sex workers as grounds to flout the basic rules of consent…Jennifer Steele…alleges that Jeremy raped her twice, once at a photoshoot and once at his apartment, in December 1997.  “He just kinda keeps going and pretends like you didn’t say anything.”  Jeremy refutes these accusations, claiming that all the interactions he’s had have been consensual.  “These allegations are pure lies or buyers remorse,” Jeremy told Rolling Stone in an emailed statement…

Little Boxes (#748)

Once again, prudishness trumps the Constitution:

To protect public health, safety, and morals, the government has an important interest in preventing women from going topless, a federal appeals court has ruled.  And the importance of keeping lady breasts out of public view overrules any First Amendment or equal protection issues that such a policy raises…Going topless might not be inherently expressive, “but to declare, as a matter of law, that it can never be expressive is the quintessence of throwing out the free-expression baby with the non-expressive-conduct bath water,” Judge Ilana Rovner wrote…The case (Tagami v. City of Chicago) stems from the 2014 ticketing of Sonoko Tagami, who took to the Chicago streets with only opaque body paint over her bare breasts to celebrate “GoTopless Day” that year.  Tagami was issued a $100 citation for violating the city’s ban on public indecency…

The Widening Gyre (#750) 

The “Facebook pimps” myth is one of the silliest of the whole panic:

If there’s new technology that teens are using to communicate, pimps know about it, [fantasizes] special agent Marty Parker, and they’re using it to snare potential victims…”Pretty much every popular social media site out there is being used for recruiting potential victims of sex trafficking”…Where once pimps stalked malls and group homes…now they’re all over the internet.  Social media facilitates ease of communication, for better or for worse, and Parker says it’s made the practice of pimping even easier…

In reality, as regular readers know, social media have made pimps unnecessary to most of the women who formerly employed them.

Lack of Evidence (#763) 

Hey ACLU, if sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has come out against a [politician’s] proposal to outlaw “prostitution-related loitering” in zones to be created [at will] by the Chicago Police Department, saying the plan is vague and could lead to people getting arrested based on how they’re dressed.  Under a plan from…Jason Ervin…the police superintendent could designate zones that are “frequently associated with prostitution-related loitering.”  Police could order people to leave those zones if the [cops fantasize that] they intend to engage in prostitution.  Anyone who returned to the area within eight hours of the police order to leave could be fined up to $500 or sent to prison for up to six months.  ACLU…spokesman Ed Yohnka took a dim view of the proposal, saying in a statement that the language is vague “and seems to encourage police to order people to disperse or even arrest them for what may be innocent and constitutionally protected behavior.”  Yohnka said a similar rule in New York City resulted in police arresting people based on how they were dressed, where they were standing, whether they had money on them or whom they were speaking to…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#789) 

Texas is vying with Washington, Arizona and Florida for the dubious distinction of being the US state which produces the most dangerously delusional “sex trafficking” propaganda:

The Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Division awarded four separate grants totaling $4.4 million to provide better victim services and criminal prosecution in cases of…sex trafficking…”Violent criminals toss victims into the criminal justice system” [Harris County District Attorney Kim] Ogg said…Houston is the No. 1 city for calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline…Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez [vomited out “end demand” fantasies and the tired idiocy about how]…”No child plans to enter the sex industry when they grow up”…

Even for someone as jaded as I am, the sight of a pig (DAs are just highfalutin’ pigs) proclaiming that “violent criminals” are actually the ones responsible for the state’s war on consensual behavior is pretty revolting.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#789) 

It’s rather satisfying watching the “sex addiction” myth implode in real time:

…a closer look at the evidence yields little proof that an unhealthy obsession with sex is comparable to an addiction to drugs or alcohol.  Sex-addiction therapists argue that their patients experience symptoms of withdrawal and risk-taking…much like substance addicts…Yet these reports are largely anecdotal.  Studies have yet to prove that people who feel they have a problem with sex or porn regularly increase the time they spend consuming it, or move on to more “extreme” stuff.  As for withdrawal symptoms, people sometimes feel anxious or distressed when they abstain from this behaviour, but these are not analogous to the symptoms of substance addicts, which are often physiologically profound and medically serious…Keith Humphreys, a Stanford psychiatrist…is sceptical of the idea that you can be addicted to things – like food and sex – that we are hard-wired to consume in order to survive.  “You don’t need to invoke an unusual pathological explanation for why human beings eat and why they have sex, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be here,” says Humphreys.  Substances like heroin, by contrast, not only more dramatically hijack our brain’s pleasure pathways but also inspire behaviour that threatens people’s survival, so an addictive process is necessary to explain our attachment to them…

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It happened again a few days ago:  a local police department (this time in Laredo, Texas) thought it would be cute and heartwarming to pull motorists over, lights flashing, and give them some kind of gift, this time Thanksgiving turkeys.  Other police departments have pulled similar stunts over the past few years, usually but not always at holidays; the gifts have included Christmas presents for their kids, $100 bills, gift cards, ice cream, “good driving” tickets and probably several other things I can’t think of at the moment.  Have you ever watched one of the videos that are almost inevitably released after these stunts?  Despite the carefully cherry-picked and curated results, it’s still possible to notice that some of these people are confused and nervous, and that their laughter is more often the product of released tension or emotional shock than it is healthy joy.  Sometimes the news coverage is honest and reports that some of the victims of these mind games are angry and refuse the “gifts”, but most sources obediently give the cops the publicity they’re looking for by parroting their saccharine statements about how they want to give back to the community, build trust, etc.  But behind the smiles and fake goodwill lies the truth:  that these are nothing but vulgar publicity stunts dreamed up by tone-deaf sociopaths without the slightest clue how upsetting and stressful it is to be pulled over by a pig, or even worse,  by puerile sadists who think it’s funny to pull practical jokes on people who might potentially experience genuine terror from these sophomoric schemes.  If you’re a middle-class white person who’s never had a bad experience with a cop, or known anyone who did, you may be tempted to wonder what the harm is in this; you may figure I’m overreacting (certainly several bootlickers on Twitter did).  But for a lot of people those flashing lights don’t signal a temporary annoyance or slight financial hit; they represent at best the beginning of an ordeal which will inflict serious or even catastrophic financial hardship on them, and could possibly end in prison, the loss of their vehicles and/or jobs and potentially years of legal difficulties.  At worst, a police stop can result in robbery, rape or – if the victim is black – death.  And what do you think would happen if one of these practical jokers smelled weed, or noticed a totally legal firearm, in the car during this “fun” stop?  Life-destroying charges and possibly even being gunned down.  What a clever joke, hardy-har-har.

Others have written about the legal, constitutional and civil-rights issues raised by these sadistic games, but instead I’m going to ask that you try looking at them as what they are:  consent violations, not so very different from the other consent violations powerful men feel entitled to inflict on others.  These cops are using people without their consent as props in a propaganda show, and whatever “compensation” they give is the sucker doctors used to give kids for enduring shots.  If you can’t see this, let me ask you how you’d feel if an armed cop pulled you over and then asked to hug you, or to take you out on a date, or to marry him?  Don’t you feel like the situation is just an itsy-bitsy bit psychologically coercive?  Because I’ve actually been in the second situation, and I’ll tell you this:  when an armed cop pulls you over at 2 AM (albeit alongside a busy interstate highway), tells you how beautiful you are and then asks you for a date, it doesn’t feel like a compliment or a request; it feels like a demand.  And the fact that he’s twice your size and in possession of several deadly weapons and has the ability to destroy your entire life on a whim, turns that demand into a threat.  I honestly don’t recall what I said to get out of the situation, but given that this happened only a few years after I was actually raped by cops, you can probably guess how relieved I was when he took “no” for an answer and let me drive away.  Just like the victims of these “generous cop” scams are.

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[How] can you treat something that doesn’t exist?  –  Dana Dovey

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

A [Tennessee cop]…has pleaded guilty in a sexual misconduct case…Ralph Cline, Jr…paid to have sex while on duty and inside his unmarked police vehicle…

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

She lost the support of her family at age 16…and…turned to sex work for survival.  But Diane…Rodríguez did not expect to make history years later as the first trans woman elected to Ecuador’s National Assembly.  “Being a public figure comes at a price,” [said] Rodríguez, who is now also a psychologist…she has recently received death threats as a legislator.  “But I see that cost is a sacrifice for younger generations so that they don’t have to suffer the same experiences that I have to suffer through now.”  Her experience of being discriminated against as a trans woman has motivated her on a lifelong journey from activism to politics…

Bread and Circuses 

As of last night, the site is still running normally, so I’m not sure what the feds are up to this time:

Eros-Guide’s call center was raided today in a seizure that’s likely to keep going through the night…the raid at company offices in Youngsville, N.C., was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which executed a warrant on alleged “cross-border illegal activity”…the search warrant is sealed in federal court…[but] no one has been arrested…

It’s possible that this is a way for the Gestapo to get info so they can establish a huge surveillance net on sex workers, or the first step in a pogrom of unprecedented scale, or simply the way to get information they think will help them get Swiss authorities to shut down Eros, which is domiciled & hosted in Switzerland and is therefore not subject to US law.  Only time will tell.

Welcome To Our World (#439)

Wanna ban a consensual activity?  Find a problem case to shill for you so you can pretend problems are common:

Commercial surrogacy…can be messy and complicated.  Backed by the anti-surrogacy group The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, [Jessica Allen]…tells…her extraordinary story…Not only were Mike and Max not identical — they had completely different DNA from one another.  Mike appeared to be an Asian child, and was Liu and her husband’s biological baby.  But Max, half-white and half African-American, belonged to me and my now-husband, Wardell Jasper…in an extremely rare medical incident called superfetation, we had gotten pregnant naturally, despite using condoms, after the in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle during which Mr. and Mrs. Liu’s embryo was transferred into my uterus…Not once during the pregnancy did any of the medical staff provided by the agency say that the babies were in separate sacs.  As far as we were concerned, the transferred embryo had split in two and the twins were identical…Omega [the surrogacy agency] contacted me to say the Lius expected between $18,000 and $22,000 as compensation…a caseworker from the agency lined up parents to adopt him and “absorb” the money we owed the Lius…We spent $3,000 on an attorney, and there was a lot of strained negotiation between us, our lawyer and Omega.  It was an uphill battle, but the agency finally reduced the “fee” we owed the Lius to zero…

Stupor Bowl (#511)

“Video Vigilante” Brian Bates is no friend of sex workers, but he’s also hostile to “sex trafficking” mythology:

Once again the annual nationwide publicity stunt orchestrated by the FBI, called Operation Cross Country XI, made its way to Oklahoma…during the four-day sting, 15 female prostitutes and five “sex traffickers” were [arrested]…FBI [claims]…”the primary goal is…the recovery of children”…[but] not a single child was…rescued locally…The FBI also claims their goal is to “take traffickers off the street.”  However, history has proven that virtually all of the “traffickers” that are arrested end up being charged with misdemeanor crimes…The FBI has continuously labeled the women involved in prostitution as “victims”, yet every year they target those same victims…[and] charge…[them] with life altering felonies…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s good to see a rapist cop specifically designated as currently working instead of wrongly called a “former” cop:

A serving police officer has been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.  Cheshire constable Ian Naude…was remanded in custody after…an incident reported on 3 November in Crewe…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#715) 

The War on Whores, like the War on Drugs, is as much a jobs program as it is a campaign to extend universal criminality:

Earlier this year, the Tribune’s “Sold Out” series examined how state policies…failed to help child sex-trafficking victims.  Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives — including the state’s first-ever director of human trafficking and child exploitation…Kim Grabert…

You may recall that the “series” mentioned in the text was an exercise in BDSM wanking fantasies, including the claim that all duos include at least one underage girl and the bizarre idea that “pimps” have some kind of legal authority.

The Head of a Pin

Is that the author’s name, or a description of what he’s doing while typing this fantasy one-handed?

Nearly half of the victims of modern slavery in the UK are sex workers.  Ed Cumming hears “Hannah’s” harrowing tale…Hannah doesn’t know how long she was forced to work as a prostitute, being shuttled around the capital to meet men with strange accents…“Victims of this crime are relentlessly abused and repeatedly raped,” [pants politician] Kevin Hyland…With the help of the Salvation Army and Women’s Aid, she is rebuilding her life…

“Strange accents” sums up what this is really about, as does the fact that this story was given to the media by the Salvation Army, which has no compunction against making up lurid fantasies to promote its anti-sex agenda.

Dutch Threat (#763) 

A rare victory for sex workers against “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Window brothel operators almost got completely buried by the new Red Light District rules and regulations implemented by the city of Amsterdam.  “We had to inspect if the ladies were washing their sex-toys with the right disinfectant and if the perishable date of their condoms wasn’t lapsed.  It drove us crazy”.  The entrepreneurs went to court and…three (female) judges [agreed that the rules]…hurt…sex workers…Monique rents out three windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District…[she] wasn’t allowed to leave the neighbourhood if the ladies were working according to the strict regulations.  “I had to be on the scene within 12 minutes…Visiting my old mom in Amsterdam Noord (North) or visiting a physiotherapist in between was out of the question.  Even a quick run to the supermarket for some groceries had me stressing, terrified that I would break the Red Light District rules and lose my permit”…

Signs (#766) 

“Signs of trafficking” idiocy spreads to Dutch pigs:

All community [cops] are to receive training in recognising the signs of human trafficking as part of the new Dutch government’s anti-[sex work] drive…[they] will learn how to look for signs of exploitation when investigating crimes…

The Mote and the Beam (#780) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they do poor and marginalized individuals:

A trade group representing giants of Internet business from Facebook to Microsoft has just endorsed a “compromise” version of…SESTA…The Internet Association doesn’t represent the Internet—it represents the few companies that profit the most off of Internet activity…Amazon and eBay would be able to absorb the increased legal risk under SESTA.  They would likely be able to afford the high-powered lawyers to survive the wave in lawsuits against them.  Small startups, including would-be competitors, would not.  It shouldn’t pass our attention that the Internet giants are now endorsing a bill that will make it much more difficult for newcomers ever to compete with them.  IA also doesn’t represent…the marginalized voices who’ll be silenced as platforms begin to over-rely on automated filters (filters that will doubtless be offered as a licensed service by large Internet companies)…It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking.  It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well…

The Prudish Giant (#783)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.  Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.  Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now.  But most users remain unaware of its reach and power.  Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up…Take a look at all the possible information associated with a contact on your phone.  Then consider the accumulated data your phone is carrying about various people, whether lifelong friends or passing acquaintances…If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#784) 

It’s a shame that this is what it took to bring down the “sex addiction” scam:

This week Kevin Spacey reportedly checked into a sex addiction rehabilitation program in Arizona following a series of accusations that he sexually harassed several men and at least one minor…Spacey is the most recent celebrity to have checked into rehab following reports of sexual misconduct…Sex addiction has been turned down for classification as a mental health condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the official classification of mental health disorders in the US, on several occasions.  In addition, the American Association of Sexual Education Counselors and Therapists also released a statement…that…“sex addiction” or “porn addiction” should not be classified as mental health conditions…“It’s clear at this point that it [sex addiction] does not look like an addiction,” [said] Nicole Prause, a psychologist who studies human sexual behavior…the best predictor of being called a sex addict is either having a conservative religious background or getting caught cheating…

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Predicating [the] entire argument on [sex workers] being victims…[is] increasing victimization.  –  Kate D’Adamo

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

The claim that “child sex trafficking” makes more money than pharmaceuticals, food, tourism, insurance, electronics & others is so absurd it defies sanity:

Texas has ranked number two in the nation, behind California, in reported trafficking cases…Lisa…with Harvest House [has the fucking nerve to pretend she needs anonymity as sex workers do because of the criminalization she promotes]…Lisa [tells masturbatory fantasies about “pimps” abducting girls off the street] and [fantasizes]…“In seven years…You’re so diseased that they don’t need you anymore.  The life expectancy of a trafficked victim is seven to ten years…Child sex trafficking…is the number two money maker in the entire world”…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

[New York City] bartenders are now competing with the strippers…[by] wearing provocative clothing and doing a little shake…they’re distracting patrons from the actual strippers on stage who are much more athletic, more trained and who are doing the job which they were hired to do.  Furthermore, as people who rely on patrons spending money on them, men giving it to the bartenders, who are already being paid and tipped for their service, is taking money out of their pockets…the bartenders are often lighter skinned women who are either racially ambiguous and not Black.  Colorism has affected virtually every other industry, it only makes sense it would show up in the adult entertainment world as well…

So Close and Yet So Far

If you want to write an article supporting sex workers, is it so hard to fucking talk to one of us first so you don’t write stupid garbage?

Laws that prohibit prostitution should be declared unconstitutional…In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a Texas law that made it a crime for consenting adults to engage in private, consensual…sexual activity…Lawrence recognized the importance of sexual activity as an essential part of liberty and explicitly rejected Texas’ argument that it could make a moral judgment that homosexual activity was wrong…This same reasoning explains why laws that prohibit prostitution are unconstitutional.  They, too, restrict what consenting adults do in their bedrooms…For some people, purchasing sex is their only way to engage in sexual activity…If prostitution were legal, it could be regulated.  There could be required health check-ups, protecting health for sellers and buyers.  Trafficking is an enormous problem…Other countries’ experience shows legalization is preferable…There are mandatory inspections…

If this dimwit had bothered to actually do some research he would’ve learned that NOBODY who has actually studied the issue wants legalization, which is just a form of criminalization that creates a two-tiered system because over 90% of sex workers refuse to be monitored like criminals, subjected to insulting “inspections” while amateurs run around spreading STIs, etc.

Uncharted Seas

Though it’s good to see more talk of legalizing polygamy, it’s sad that people are so conformist they feel they need to justify it with “feminism” instead of simply respecting people’s right to make their own choices:

…I am suggesting that polygyny — when a man has multiple wives — might be the answer as long as we see it through a feminist slant…We’re always hearing about a lack of marriageable men…the lack…isn’t just about well-employed college-educated men; it’s that…there may be fewer [“egalitarian”] men around than there are women wanting those kind of men…There are more than a few upsides to a polygamous arrangement that women enter into freely and willingly because it suits their needs…

Skin To Skin

There can never be too many articles on sex workers for the disabled:

…”people with disabilities…feel…really lonely and alienated, as though their sexuality doesn’t get to exist,” said Heather Jarvis of the Safe Harbour Outreach Project…some sex workers refuse to take clients with disabilities, because they…are afraid they’ll inadvertently hurt the client…[but in general] sex workers…mak[e a big difference] in the lives of clients with disabilities…a lot of it is non-judgmental communication…and…plain old companionship…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma is suing to stop the state’s courts from sending people to “an unpaid labor camp disguised as a rehabilitation center.”  The suit accuses the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program (DARP) of federal labor violations and human trafficking…Participants…were told the program would be focused on counseling and addiction recovery.  “Instead, these plaintiffs were forced into a human trafficking scheme and remained under threat of prison sentences if they did not…provid[e] hundreds or thousands of hours of unpaid labor to…private corporations, doing such work as welding, plastic product manufacturing, and chicken processing”…any pay they earned from the companies went to DARP…they were fed one bologna sandwich and a Little Debbie cake for lunch and were often expected to make do on that for their entire 12-hour shift of manual labor; and that they were forced to sleep in bedbug-invested barracks and fed chicken from the plant that was unfit to sell…

New Excuse

Sometimes the War on Whores is the War on Drugs rather than its successor:

In Louisiana [last] week, the FBI helped arrest—and publicly ridicule—57 men who responded to fake (adult) prostitution ads.  Meanwhile in North Carolina, DHS has pitched in to help round-up people with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine on them.  Local media described the DHS efforts as a “human trafficking case.”  But the only offenses any suspects were arrested for were drug possession, driving with a revoked license, and parole violations—all state-level offenses, and mostly misdemeanors…no human-trafficking arrests, no children were found, and no victims of sex trafficking were rescued…

End Demand (#574)

It’s good to see articles critical of the “john school” scam appearing in trade publications:

…According to [Tennessee Assistant District Attorney Tammy] Meade, sex workers are women who lack control — women who are exploited by men — rather than women who make an informed, conscious choice to engage in the sex industry…John school is painted as a win-win for men and women alike…However…these programs, along with the narratives of victimization they perpetuate…harm women far more than they help.  The premise of john school and cracking down on “demand” is still driven by the idea that sex work needs to be policed in the first place, which creates barriers to safety and exacerbates stigma…and…there is no evidence to suggest that john schools actually decrease trafficking or prostitution.  Meanwhile, the classes fail to provide concrete resources — such as housing or access to childcare — and alternative job opportunities for the women they are [pre]tended to help…

Soap Opera (#628) 

The idea that Fresno, California, which isn’t on the way to anything else, could possibly be a “major hub” for any kind of business is so utterly stupid one wonders how even cops can believe it:

…Women and children are bought and sold every day in Fresno – online, in street corners, while at school.  They are raped, branded and beaten…Human trafficking casts a shadow on the central San Joaquin Valley, with thousands of victims both female and male, young and old, rich and poor, white, black, Hispanic, Asian.  It’s an industry that thrives on targeting your children.  And…it’s getting worse…High poverty and runaway rates contribute to the problem, as does Fresno’s central location between human trafficking hubs in the Bay Area, Southern California and Las Vegas…

Man, I can practically hear this guy’s fapping to his nasty fantasy; it’s really quite disgusting.

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

…RISE Court, which stands for Resiliency Is Strength and Empowerment…participa[nts] are expected to make their first appearances before San Diego Superior Court Judge Carolyn Caietti…“A lot of kids have this horrible, nightmarish existence, and it’s going to take a lot [of punitive state action] to get them back so they’re going to feel [docile & obedient]” said Robert Trentacosta, presiding judge for the Juvenile Court…The special court is the county’s latest weapon against human trafficking…The court is modeled after a mental health court already in operation…as well as got input [sic] from [prohibitionists]…Trentacosta [masturbated furtively while fantasizing that]…“girls…are so fearful of their pimp [we have to brainwash them]”…[imprisonment] doesn’t necessarily [end] once they turn 18 [and could be indefinite]…

Too Close To Home (#701) 

Seattle’s rapist-in-chief has gone from slandering his victims as mentally ill to actually suing them:

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has filed a defamation lawsuit after a former deputy came forward with [a report] that Urquhart sexually assaulted him in 2014 outside of a Renton restaurant.  Brian Barnes…[reported that] Urquhart touched his crotch outside of the Yankee Grill after the two met for dinner…[local media claimed] Barnes [has]…a long history of…filing complaints and grievances against his superiors…Urquhart…[whose job is to terrorize the citizenry, un-ironically bloviated that] “Barnes has been terrorizing people…he doesn’t like for far too long.  It’s time for Barnes to be held responsible for his actions”…

Capricious Lusts (#720)

Another study shows what’s already been shown over & over again:

A new paper in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy by Bisschop, Kastoryano, and van der Klaauw looks at the opening and closing of…tippelzones…in 25 Dutch cities.  “Our empirical results show that opening a tippelzone reduces sexual abuse and rape…by a 30–40 percent reduction in the first two years after opening the tippelzone”…Cunningham and Shah studied decriminalization of indoor prostitution in Rhode Island and found very similar results…In addition a working paper by Riccardo Ciacci and María Micaela Sviatschi studies prostitution in New York and also finds that prostitution significantly reduces sex crimes such as rape…

Between the Lines (#784)

It’s mildly amusing to watch a self-declared “sex trafficking expert” fail to comprehend that the reason the conviction rate for “pimps” is so low is that the FBI & cops are mostly just making up lies about sex workers and our friends, associates and partners:

In the latest nationwide human trafficking sting known as Operation Cross Country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [labeled] 120 [people as] child sex traffickers and [arrested or abducted] 84 [legal minors]…behind the headlines, the reality is much different than what the public is led to believe….[people] arrested [as] human traffickers are rarely convicted for these crimes.  Charges are often dropped [for lack of evidence] or offenders accept plea bargains…one [so-called]…rescue…victim…was placed in a juvenile detention center, where she was sodomized by two inmates with a toothpaste tube.  She was later held in detention as a material witness until she gave her testimony at trial.  Therapy was not provided because “she didn’t avail herself”…Stories of arrests are quickly shared with the media, leading [self-professed “experts”]…to…be[lieve]…in…a…human trafficking scourge…

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SESTA…is an invitation to drive an awful lot of important speech from the Internet.  –  Cathy Gellis

If It Were Legal

The only reason this was necessary was because of idiotic laws against sex businesses:

…Helena Berkyova, 29, pretended customers were paying for gourmet food including king crab soup and soufflé when she charged them for [escort] services.  She set up sham catering firm Fine Dining Catering Services to conceal the illegal operation…Berkyova pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manage or assist in the management of brothels, keeping a brothel for prostitution, and money laundering…Berkyova [was s sex worker]…before moving up to management…She admitted managing the brothels between January 2013 and October 2015, raking in around £350,000 from paying customers…

Only a twit who’s never owned or run a business would think £350,000 (about $460,000) over a three-year period constitutes “raking it in”.

So Close and Yet So Far

When anyone not a sex worker uses the term “decriminalization”, read carefully:

…it is easy [for very stupid people who know nothing about economics and black markets] to assume that decriminalizing prostitution will embolden sex traffickers and increase victimization…Research I conducted for my book…shows that decriminalization of sex work is an evidenced-based approach to combating sex trafficking…Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal; it just empowers victims to come forward…I’ve gone to “the track” in the District, where women are sold for sex on the street…

“Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal” is total bullshit; of course it does, it just doesn’t make it legalized (i.e., subjected to a repressive regulatory regime or bound in so many special laws it might as well still be illegal).  Note also the agency-negating phrase, “women are sold for sex”, which no sex worker advocate would use.  I smell a supporter of the Swedish model, which is often dishonestly represented as decriminalization by its proponents due to the false claim that it “decriminalizes” sex workers (which it actually doesn’t).

Under Every Bed (#350)

I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [vomited out a lot of stupid anti-sex propaganda]…at [a] panel hosted by the University of North Dakota Law School…Thomasine Heitkamp, a social work professor at UND and Sen. Heitkamp’s sister, recently completed a study on domestic, dating and sexual violence in the Bakken oil fields.  She said the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking during the study was stunning…Sen. Heitkamp said legislators need to take on Backpage.com, and other sites [she fantasizes as being] known for sex trafficking and called the Communications Decency Act a “barrier”…

A politician calls a law intended to protect people from government tyranny a “barrier”.  Yes, it is, and we need many more such barriers.  Also, what the fuck does “the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking” actually mean?

If Men Were Angels 

I wonder what fraction of his rhetoric is directed toward “perverts”?

…72-year-old Garry Evans, pastor of Baptist Temple in Rushville [Indiana], is accused of molesting several girls in his congregation…a three-year-old girl reported…that Evans lured her into his office with the promise of candy, then pulled his pants down and made her touch his genitals.  He then told her not to tell anyone what happened.  After the investigation into Evans’ behavior began…another mother brought her five- and seven-year-old daughters to police.  Both girls told investigators that Evans had forced his hands down their pants when they were alone with him in his office…

Harm Magnification (#612)

Naturally, because it’s politicians’ job to cause harm, not reduce it:

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning opted to discontinue its contract with Indiana Recovery Alliance to operate a needle exchange program…the program is free to the county…but…[the county] prosecutor [vomited out evil crap about how] she could not support a program that facilitates…the illegal use of drugs…[two politicians] remained silent…[one of them, Rodney] Fish [suggested drug users]…”pray and…turn from their wicked ways”…[the other evil fuckhead, Dustin] Gabhart [vomited out]…“I don’t like the get-out-of-jail card for paraphernalia.  To me, those…make us a sanctuary…for addicts”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#649)

I always feel dirty when prohibitionists salivate over their masturbatory fantasies in public:

A [rogue’s gallery] of state and local lawmakers in San Diego…[fantasized publicly about] young military men and…sex trafficking in California…[they fantasized that] eight thousand to 11,000 victims are trafficked in San Diego County every year, an $810 million business, according to a [bogus] 2016 study…[politician Juan] Vargas [masturbated openly to the fantasy that] gangs have moved from selling drugs to selling people…[while politician Xavier] Becerra [drooled while saying]…prosecutors must struggle to over[throw] internet privacy laws that make extremely difficult to prosecute [consenting adults for private sexual behavior]…[he also sexually fantasized in public about] girls who are 12 or 13 years old.  Maggy Krell…a…prosecutor…[cackled about] going after…hotels and motels [to enrich the state using the excuse of “sex trafficking”]…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#695)

Pearl-clutching is both funnier and sadder when a young man does it:

If not for its debaucherous reputation, you might not blink an eye passing the Fuji Building.  From the outside, it looks no different to the skyscrapers that surround it…But inside tells a different story:  Eighteen floors of “one woman brothels”…Signs on the doors read “welcome”, or “wait” in various languages… Strange anime cartoons accompany the messages…“The Fuji Building may be full of prostitutes, but so long as each individual flat can be shown to be a separate unit from all the rest — that it has its own water connection, electricity meter and no one else can access it — it is above board”…the scourge of human trafficking [is] “bubbling beneath the surface of the Hong Kong sex scene”…who’s really in charge?…Terrifying stuff.

Buildings are terrifying! Or is it young women? Sex? Anime cartoons?

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

Indonesia is trying to criminalize all sex outside of marriage:

…Indonesia…is in the midst of a two-year crack down on sexuality and gender rights; last week, police arrested 58 people in a raid on a “gay sauna” in Jakarta, some of whom now face 10 years in prison.  Human rights defenders protecting the community have been threatened, attacked, slandered and threatened with death.  Sex worker rights defenders say their night-time profession multiplies the threats they receive as activists…Sex work regulations in Yogyakarta are vague.  “Flattery,” “seduction with words, gestures, signs” or other indications that one plans to “carry out indecent acts” are all criminal.  The regulations say sex work will “reduce a person’s honor” and conflict with Indonesian values…Workers who speak up for one another during the day are often the ones targeted by police at night…

Cooties (#766) 

Despite the popularity of this masturbatory fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

MPs investigating the sex trade…launched [an inquiry] into organised crime gangs using temporary addresses to sexually exploit women…Police issued warnings to holiday let owners…that their properties were at risk of being used as pop-up brothels.  The cross-party group will [attempt to shore up a narrative so cops can harass and persecute]…vulnerable women.  [Politician] Gavin Shuker…said…“It is vital that we uncover how these criminals operate – and how we stop them”…

I know it’s hard to tell through the layers of “sex slave” fantasy and women’s agency negation, but what they’re actually talking about are rentals used by touring escorts and those who don’t want to risk “pimping” charges by splitting the cost of a long-term rental with friends.

The Mote and the Beam (#771)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Harris County has filed a lawsuit against [a] Motel 6 [location, claiming]…the motel is a nuisance and has failed to abate criminal activity…The lawsuit said, “Officers have made numerous arrests for prostitution at this location as well as arrests for possession of illegal drugs, weapons, and violent crime.”  The lawsuit [demands]…Motel 6 maintain surveillance video, install and maintain electronic gates, prohibit cash only customers and hourly rates for stay…

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

Lenore Skenazy compares “sex trafficking” moral panic to an older form of bigotry-spawned hysteria:

…Facebook posts about fiends snatching innocent children are eerily reminiscent of an older, more pernicious scare:  a corrosive lie called the “blood libel,” in which Jews during medieval times were said to be killing Christian children and using their blood to make matzah…medieval scholar Emily Rose…describes the most famous blood libel of all:  the 1475 abduction and murder of a young Italian boy, Simon of Trent.  A Jew was accused of killing him for his blood.  It was not the first such story, but this one spread like wildfire thanks to a brand new social medium: print.  Posters and poems disseminated the allegations…Across the continent, people started claiming that a Christian child had been murdered by a Jew in their town, too.  “Most of these kids didn’t even exist,” Rose says, “and if they did exist, they weren’t killed.”  But that didn’t stop the stories from catching on.  And the people repeating them were no longer just plain peasants in a two-bit town…Today’s panicked moms probably don’t see themselves playing a role that goes back centuries.  But the only thing new is the medium they’re using to spread fear.

The Mote and the Beam (#780)

Just in case you think it’s only sex workers who will be harmed by SESTA:

…”ICE has recently re-defined the crime of human trafficking to include assistance, like housing and employment, that adults provide to juveniles who come to the United States without their parents.  In many cases, the adults being investigated and charged are close relatives of the minors who are supposedly being trafficked“…SESTA is drafted with language that…[allows] the government, both federal and state…to come after the platforms hosting any and all speech related to the assistance of immigrants, if any and all assistance can be considered trafficking.  The scope of what they could target is enormous: tweets warning about plain-clothed ICE agents at courthousessearch engine results for articles indicating whether evacuation centers will be checking immigration status, online ads for DACA enrollment assistance, or even discussion about sanctuary cities…If SESTA passes, platforms will either have to presumptively censor all such online speech, or risk prosecution by any government or state entity…

Between the Lines (#784)

“Operation Cross Country” is well-known for reinforcing the “sex trafficking” narrative by omitting figures for adult sex workers arrested, charging male sex workers as “pimps”, and listing arrested 16- and 17-year-old sex workers as “rescued children”.  But their most vile trick is abducting sex workers’ children, then claiming they were “rescued” or, even worse, “recovered”:  “An 18-month-old child was recovered in Baton Rouge and the child’s mother was arrested amid an FBI-led sex trafficking sweep that recovered 84 children and netted 120 trafficking suspects nationwide“…The word “recovered” refers to someone getting back something that rightfully belongs to them; for cops to use it about someone’s child is a blatant statement that the State views all children as its property.

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Would a husband and wife be kicked out [of a hotel] for having sex?  –  Lisa Lewis

Rough Trade 

Luckily, Leeds is slightly more enlightened about sex work than much of the UK:

A man dragged a sex worker into bushes after she refused his request for business…The…woman broke free and flagged down a vehicle…It is being treated as an attempted serious sex attack, police said.  Patrols have been stepped up in the area…The man is described as white, aged 20 to 25, of skinny build and about 5ft 11in tall.  He had ginger stubble on his face…

Bad Girls 

At least this report doesn’t pretend these robbers were real sex workers:

A gang of six women, accused of luring men online with paid sex and massage services, and later assaulting and robbing them of cash…have each been sentenced to one year in jail.  The [Dubai] Court of First Instance was told that the six women, all Nigerians…would initiate a chat on messaging app Tango while using pictures of beautiful women and then invite the men over for massage or lure them with paid sex.  The court found them guilty of forcible theft charges and ordered them to be deported after serving their jail term…

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality 

Is this reporter really so stupid he can’t understand the difference between consensual BDSM and nonconsensual police violence?

The anarchist John Jay College professor who tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” …[has] a…personal profile on FetLife [that]…proclaims “I need a domme” to choke, waterboard and smother him…Despite his love of being restrained, the 29-year-old adjunct economics professor has consistently expressed his hatred for law enforcement, government and imprisonment…

I also hate cops, government and prisons, and I’m turned on by being restrained.  Big deal.  Playing with dark stuff is a major part of kink.

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A 14-year-old Houston teenager may be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life after he was charged with having sex with his 12-year-old girlfriend.  The seventh grader…has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.  His girlfriend is in the sixth grade…Texas law has the “Romeo and Juliet” exception…But that law only applies if both sexual partners are at least 14…Jackie Stewart Gravois, an attorney with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, [claimed]…judges don’t usually make juveniles register as sex offenders in cases like this…But Ira Ellman, a professor at the UC–Berkeley School of Law…[said] it’s not unusual to see 14-year-olds…[condemned to] life on the sex offender registry…the Bureau of Justice Statistics…found that the age with the highest number of people arrested for a sex offense is 14

Legal Is as Legal Does (#44) 

This is disgusting, but note that bigoted hotel staff in the US could have ratted her out to the pigs:

High-profile escort Lisa Lewis has taken to social media to voice her concerns about being rejected from a Napier [New Zealand] motel because she’s a sex worker…Lewis…was told she wasn’t welcome back at the Quality Inn Napier after spending…a…night there…[but not] working…she phoned the following day to enquire if there were any better rooms for her next stay…”Obviously not everyone admits to it so we can’t just assume but if we do know we don’t take the booking.  It’s hotel policy”…[she was told]…

Follow Your Bliss (#50)

Korean censors are enabled by the Nuri Cops, volunteers who selflessly devote their spare time to watching internet porn so others can’t:

South Korea…is weighing whether to block access to Tumblr if the social media platform doesn’t [censor] sexually explicit content…Tumblr rejected the…request to [censor porn all over the world because it]…is regulated only by U.S. law…The Korea Communications Standards Commission said it sent Tumblr more than 22,000 requests from January to June to delete posts that were linked to “illegal content”…during the same period Twitter received 1,771, Instagram 12 and Facebook 5…

Monsters 

Anti-trans laws, religion and “feminism” are the theory, and this is the practice:

Three suspects have been arrested for the monstrous murder of a transgender teenager.  Ally Steinfeld, 17, became the 21st transgender person to be killed in the US this year.  The body of the teenager, who was from Texas County, Missouri, was found near a mobile home belonging to Briana Calderas, 24.  Calderas has been arrested with Isis Schauer and Andrew Vrba, both 18.  Vrba…told police that he repeatedly stabbed Ally, gouging out her eyes and genitals.  Calderas and Schauer then…helped him to wrap Ally’s body, take it outside and set it on fire…they put the bones in a garbage bag and hid it in a chicken coop near Vrba’s home…

To Molest and Rape 

There’s nothing “stunning” about cops raping women; as regular readers know, it happens dozens of times a year in the US alone:

A Brooklyn teen [reported that] two NYPD detectives raped her after taking her into custody on a drug charge…The 18-year-old victim’s stunning accusations are now the subject of two investigations by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau…No arrests have been made, but the two detectives and their supervisor have been stripped of their guns and shields and forced on desk duty…Edward Martins and Richard Hall…found the woman and two friends, both men, sitting in a car…The [rapists] handcuffed the teen after finding marijuana and the anxiety drug Klonopin in a bag next to her and drove her away…to a secluded spot…where…both cops [orally raped her and] one…raped her [vaginally]…they…then [kicked] her out of the minivan…and drove off…her parents…rushed her to…hospital for an exam.  Doctors there found signs of sexual assault and called police…Martins and Hall [lied] that the sex was consensual…

Because every woman wants to blow & fuck random cops who arrest her.

The End of the Beginning (#703)

Another setback for due process:

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota’s [indefinite imprisonment of]…sex offenders…The Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), which [imprisons] about 720 [people]…has been the target of repeated legal challenges for its practice of confining [people] indefinitely [without any due process] after they have already completed their prison terms…

The Mote and the Beam (#777) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they disproportionately harm poor and marginalized individuals:

…Sen. Richard Blumenthal…one of the loudest champions…of SESTA…thinks of [internet startups] as unimportant outliers and would prefer that the new law put them out of business…Google will survive SESTA…Large Internet companies may have the legal budgets to survive the massive increase in litigation and liability that SESTA would bring.  They probably also have the budgets to implement a mix of automated filters and staff censors to comply with the law.  Small startups are a different story…But ultimately, the biggest casualty of SESTA won’t be Google or startups; it will be the people pushed offline…SESTA’s supporters [pretend]…it would be easy for web platforms of all sizes to implement automated filtering technologies…But it’s impossible to do that with anywhere near 100% accuracy.  Given the extreme penalties for under-filtering, platforms would err in the opposite direction…As EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn put it, “Again and again, when platforms clamp down on their users’ speech, marginalized voices are the first to disappear”…

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I think that is an interesting attempt to cover their butts.  –  Adam Frank

Here’s another song that I considered my favorite at some point in childhood.  There are several interpretations of the lyrics; any of them present an interesting coincidence, given that I was much too young to have any idea of their meaning (I just liked Freda Payne’s voice and the way the song sounded musically).  The links above the video were provided by Eddie J CunninghamPatrick Nonwhite, ClarissaJesse WalkerMistress MatissePopehat, and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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