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Posts Tagged ‘The Camel’s Nose’

A prison might be defined as any place you’ve been put into against your will and can’t get out of, and where you are entirely at the mercy of the authorities, whoever they may be.  –  Margaret Atwood

Bad Jobs

You’ll notice that sex workers are immune to most of these factors:

People often like to groan about how their job is “killing” them.  Tragically, for some groups of people in the U.S., that statement appears to be true.  A new study by researchers at Harvard and Stanford has quantified just how much a stressful workplace may be shaving off of Americans’ life spans.  It suggests that the amount of life lost to stress varies significantly for people of different races, educational levels and genders, and ranges up to nearly three years of life lost for some groups…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

There are about 40,000 girls aged 13-17 in San Diego; this “study” claims that 30% of them become “victims of sex trafficking” every year:

A new study released by the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University revealed that the dark and secret world of sex trafficking in San Diego is the second largest underground economy locally after drugs…sex trafficking is an estimated $810 million-a-year industry and it is run mostly by gangs.  The study revealed that as many as 11,773 become victims to human trafficking in San Diego alone on a yearly basis…Victims are primarily underage…The study was funded by the Department of Justice, and found that more than 100 gangs are involved in the local sex trafficking operations…next to schools, other recruitment hot spots include:  trolley and bus stops, house parties, social media, tattoo parlors, churches, malls…about 1,776 victims/survivors come in contact with law enforcement…

That last is larger than the total number of “sex trafficking victims” that have ever been identified as such in the entire US.

With Folded Hands

Margaret Atwood on the asininity of giving away freedom for “security”:

…Governments know our desire for safety all too well, and like to play on our fears.  How often have we been told that this or that new rule or law or snooping activity on the part of officialdom is to keep us “safe”?  We aren’t safe, anyway:  many of us die in weather events – tornados, floods, blizzards – but governments, in those cases, limit their roles to finger-pointing, blame-dodging, expressions of sympathy or a dribble of emergency aid.  Many more of us die in car accidents or from slipping in the bathtub than are likely to be done in by enemy agents, but those kinds of deaths are not easy to leverage into panic…

Above the Law Patrick Quinn coercive cop

Sometimes sexually-exploitative cops stop short of rape:

In August Patrick Quinn, a 27-year-old…Texas [cop]…pulled over a driver and [claimed he] spotted marijuana paraphernalia in her car.  He told her he would not arrest her if she would let him lick her feet or give him her underwear.  He…was [fired and] sentenced to a year in jail…

Parting of the Ways

Peter Barbey is wasting no time as the new owner of the Village Voice.  Per an interview with [the] Wall Street Journal…he’s nixed the thought of changing the print edition size, pitched to staff the concept of special themed inserts and decided it’s time for a major ad dollar shift:  “Barbey plans to get rid of escort ads, a racy fixture of many an alt-weekly.  ‘Adult women can be escorts, that’s fine with me’, Mr. Barbey said, ‘but it’s not the kind of advertising that fits where we want go’.

Monsters 

Beyoncé Karungi, a 35-year-old campaigner…is in hospital following [a] horrific attack.  The activist had recently penned an article on surviving in Uganda as a trans sex worker, an occupation that can be dangerous and occasionally deadly.  After recieving several hate threats, she went into hiding.  When she emerged, she was attacked by a group of five unknown men.  She sustained several serious facial and bodily injuries…This is not the first time Beyoncé has been attacked…one time police undressed her, took her bag, money and phone and then cut her hair to make her “masculine”…

Frequently Told Lies

The title is “Feminism’s Sex Work Problem“, but this thorough article contains a large section debunking the usual lies prohibitionists employ:

I’m not going to make the pro-decriminalization case here.  Others have made it far more eloquently than I could…However, there are some elephants in the room that simply have to be addressed before a real conversation can occur.  These are mistruths that seem to have become cemented as fact through sheer force of mindless repetition, and unfortunately they severely derail any objective discussion of sex work…

Wise Investment (#440)

Much more of this, please:

Las Vegas police will pay more than $80,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who said officers detained her for two hours in The Cosmopolitan after falsely accusing her of being a prostitute.  A federal judge wrote that the case showed…prostitution sweeps in casinos were overly broad and threatened people’s constitutional rights.  Chentile Goodman was released without charge after the 2011 incident and filed a lawsuit later that year…

The Camel’s Nose (#504)

Meet CISA, formerly known as CISPA, AKA SOPA, alias PIPA, née COICA:

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passed the Senate today by a vote of 74 to 21.  A different version passed the House earlier in the year, so they’re going to have to conference to hammer out differences.  Retail business interests supported the legislation.  Major Internet and tech firms like Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Twitter…opposed it…”CISA…allows companies to monitor users and share their information with the government without a warrant, while offering a backdoor that circumvents any laws that might protect users’ privacy“…Attempts to add amendments to narrow the bill’s focus all failed…The Sunlight Foundation…notes that CISA creates a new exemption from the Freedom of Information Act…”That means if they overstep and share the wrong information — as this bill seems to intend — the public won’t know, and even if it did, it would have no legal recourse…CISA guarantees the public will have no ability to see what information is going from companies to the government“…

What Were You All Waiting For? Richard Branson

I’m glad Richard Branson is speaking out against criminalization, but I wish he’d talk to sex workers so as to avoid gaffes like this:

…There are good Catholic countries like Chile that have legalised prostitution.  And I know its very controversial.  Most people would put their arms up in horror.  But by legalising it, they got rid of the pimps.  The girls are monitored properly to make sure that they are healthy, to make sure they can come forward if they’ve got a problem.  And they believe a lot of the illegal trafficking of young girls has gone away…

Now They Notice

One of the more loathsome uses of asset seizure:  stealing all of the victim’s bank accounts so he can’t pay for a legal defense.

Things aren’t looking good for rentboy.com…The company’s bank accounts containing millions of dollars were frozen and its website was seized by Homeland Security…Now, the company is selling its office supplies and furniture on Craigslist in an effort to raise money to pay for its mounting legal fees…Some of these “goodies” include glass desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and video monitors.  Other items for sale include cables, software, books, magazines, artwork, lamps, a copy machine, and “a lot of special, one of a kind rentboy.com ephemera”…

Seizing Power (#574)

The Cato institute supports sex workers’ right to advertise:

Prior restraints—legal prohibitions on disseminating information before publication—are an odious burden on the freedom of expression and come with a “heavy presumption” against their constitutionality.  Indeed, they are so disfavored in the law as to be virtually impossible to obtain outside of wartime.  Informal prior restraints—government pressure without formal sanction—are even more unconstitutional than formal ones, as the Supreme Court noted in Bantam Books v. Sullivan (1963)…But that strong precedent didn’t stop…Thomas Dart and his crusade against Backpage…As Cato, Reason Foundation, and DKT Liberty Project point out in our amicus brief before that court, Dart’s claimed “epidemic” of sex trafficking has evaded any sort of empirical verification for over two decades.  Indeed, State Department data indicate that the opposite may be true.  Nevertheless, Sheriff Dart, along with a new-age Baptist-and-bootleggers coalition matching the religious right and radical feminists, have raised the human-trafficking bugaboo to rally against prostitution—mimicking the drug war and all of its worst legal mechanisms…

Welcome To Our World (#578)

Here’s the first part of an in-depth look at how the New York Times callously maligned an entire industry – one that, like sex work, provides income for undocumented migrants with little money to squander on bureaucratically-imposed startup costs:

Sarah Maslin…Nir’s coverage broadly [mischaracterized] the nail salon industry, [and] several of the men and women she spoke with say she misquoted or misrepresented them.  In some cases, she interviewed sources without translators despite their poor English skills.  When her sources’ testimonies ran counter to her narrative, she omitted them altogether.  The second article lent the Times’ imprimatur to unproven theories, while committing science journalism’s cardinal sin of highlighting alarmist anecdotes that aren’t representative of systematic research.  If it hadn’t had real-world consequences, the series—and subsequent attempt by Nir and her editors to parry criticism—wouldn’t be worth such intense scrutiny.  But the day after the first article appeared in the print edition of the Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo…announced a new multi-agency task force to inspect nail salons…The rush to legislate based solely on the Times’ shoddy reporting has hurt the industry.  New nail salons, “which used to open every week in New York,” have stopped appearing…Salons once provided a steady source of jobs for undocumented immigrants; now many owners say they’ll hire only legal workers who’ve completed an occupational licensing program because they’re afraid of getting in trouble…

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The pain [US sex policing] produces in the lives of sex workers…is nothing short of depraved and barbaric.  –  David Masciotra

Rough Trade 

A middle-aged Dublin criminal who is classified as one of Ireland’s most dangerous sex offenders has been arrested in Spain…after fleeing Ireland more than 18 months ago…At least four prostitutes…were raped and robbed by the man between 2010 and 2012…They…were [drugged] and then…sexually assaulted…

Don’t Take My Word For It

Here’s an article on a San Francisco service called ManServants, which has polite guys that women can hire to do romantic but not-directly-sexual stuff for them, like conversation, wine-pouring and hand massage:

For men, hiring a stripper has always been about performing a certain type of masculinity as much as it is about enjoying an attractive woman’s body.  In much the same way, ManServants is a performance. Even among sexually adventurous urban-dwellers, it’s déclassé to post photos of your friend receiving a lapdance from a male stripper.  But a handsome man in a tux refilling her cocktail?  Instagram gold.  According to the women behind ManServants, women want to be adored…They want a touch of theatricality, and to feel the thrill of male attention without worrying about whether they are sending the wrong signals or will have to shoo him away at the end of the night…

Heads in the Sand

We like to think that education changes people for the better, helping them critically analyze information and providing a certain immunity from disinformation.  But if that were really true, then you wouldn’t have low vaccination rates clustering in areas where parents are, on average, highly educated…researchers decided to look at a number of issues that have become politicized, such as the Iraq War, evolution, and climate change. They find that, for these issues, education actually makes it harder for people to accept reality, an effect they ascribe to the fact that “highly educated partisans would be better equipped to challenge information inconsistent with predispositions”…

Scapegoats Lucky the pit bull

I’m sure you feel safer now that these dangerous criminals have been arrested:

A married couple from Indiana were charged with bestiality after police say they made a video showing the wife performing sex acts on their dog…[which was] discovered by a police detective in Fairfax County, Virginia, on the website Beastforum.  The [cop]…was able to determine that the posts came from Anderson, Indiana, and then forwarded the information to local police…Their pit bull, Lucky, [was abducted by cops]…If convicted, the Johnsons could face…two and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine…

So What Else Is New?

gynecologist Samuel Salama and his colleagues…have some evidence supporting the reality of female ejaculation.  Salama and his team have carried out the first ever ultrasound scans on women who express large amounts of liquid at orgasm. The results…have been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine…the research showed that there are two forms of female ejaculation.  In the first form, a small amount of milky white fluid is expressed…by the Skene glands which drain into the urethra.  But other women [were observed] “squirting” a much larger amount of fluid…from the bladder…for two participants, there was no chemical difference between the urine and the squirted fluid.  But…samples of the other five women contained prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) which was not present in their first urine samples…

Dutch Threat

the biggest mistake Jojanneke [van den Berge] made was to think that sex workers would keep silence, she seems genuinely surprised to be hearing from them and has not managed to keep her composure.  It used to be you could just make up stuff…Sex workers who didn’t fit into the role of passive victim were simply ignored.  But with twitter and other forms of social media, sex workers have a place to get their voices heard and they are noisy indeed!  Jojanneke has attempted to fight back against those unruly whores and tried to silence them, but mainstream media is picking up on this story…Jojanneke claims she has never talked to a happy hooker while in a conversation with a happy hooker.  I know at least four genuinely happy, well-educated women who decided to get into sex work out of their own free will who have talked to Jojanneke, but [she] continues to lie she’s never spoken to them…

An Example To the West (#343)

In February 2008, Thailand passed the Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act.  Two months later…Fifty-four migrants from Myanmar suffocated and died while being transported…inside a cold-storage delivery truck…increased punishments, penalties and stricter border controls associated with combating human trafficking saw a change from open transportation to closed; and longer journeys resulted in diversions from normal smuggling routes to avoid checkpoints…The media portrays human trafficking in a one-dimensional way.  We see police carrying out raids and apprehending…women [who] are…stood over and herded like inanimate objects…countries such as New Zealand have reduced corruption and almost eliminated exploitation…by replacing prostitution under criminal law with labour and civil laws…

The Camel’s Nose (#344)

Dutch Ruppersberger, the NSA’s personal Rep in Congress…has announced that he’s bringing back CISPA, the cybersecurity bill designed to make it easier for the NSA to access data from tech companies…he’s using the Sony Hack as [an excuse even though]…it wouldn’t have helped…Even if Sony had opened up its system to the government, it seems unlikely that the NSA would have magically spotted this hack and done anything about it…

Here We Go Again (#344)

Though she doesn’t mention it in the video interview I posted before, and it’s pretty far down in this Alternet article, apparently Jessica Pliley does mention the connection of “white slavery” hysteria to the modern “sex trafficking” hysteria in her book Policing Sexuality: The Mann Act and The Making of the FBI.  This review makes it sound very worthwhile, so I’m adding it to my wishlist.

Little Boxes (#350)

I’m not sure which is more ludicrous, the cops’ insistence that this is prostitution, or the cuddlers’ insistence that it isn’t:

Two professional cuddling services, one from Vancouver and one from Montreal, are snuggling up to Toronto…cuddling services have popped up throughout North America in recent years…[but]  controversy…has often followed, amid concerns these businesses lead to illicit activity…The Cuddlery and CuddleMe.ca both [pretend] their services aren’t sexual in nature…But [ex-cop] Dave Perry…said there are risks of sexual assault for both clients and employees with kind of service…

Ad Absurdum (#441)

“Victim”.  Can these people even hear themselves?

A 23-year-old high school teacher was arrested in Tuscaloosa [Alabama]…after police investigated an on-going relationship with one of her students…Jessica Bonnett Acker…was charged with engaging in a sex act or deviant sexual intercourse with a student under the age of 19…the victim was an 18-year-old male student…

The Notorious Badge (#452)

Is this dude for real?

…Jamie Dornan [said] …“I fear I’ll get murdered, like John Lennon, by one of those mad fans at the premiere…I’m a father now, and a husband.  I don’t want to die yet”…

He keeps waving his wife and child around as though he thinks they’ll ward him from contamination by those dirty sex rays.

Subtle Pimping (#503)

I’m not going to quote any of it because it’s vile even by her incredibly low standards, but here’s neofeminist lunatic Meghan Murphy on the subject of the pro-sex worker video game currently being developed in Canada.  A warning for those unfamiliar with her:  nearly everything the evil MM writes is the prose equivalent of a parody of The Exorcist, wherein MM’s head spins wildly about at dozens of RPMs, spewing horrifying volumes of noxious green vomit on everything within range.  It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or those with weak stomachs.

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The history of America’s first sex panic should give us pause before we latch onto a new cause whose benefits are likely to be minimal at best but will almost certainly put more women in jail and more cops in our lives.  –  Thaddeus Russell

R.I.P. Michael Glawogger Michael Glawogger

Acclaimed Austrian director Michael Glawogger, famed for his…documentaries on the lives of the…poor, has died while on a shoot in…Liberia after contracting malaria…Whore’s Glory (2011) examined the world’s oldest profession with portraits of working girls in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico…

Celebrities

one of the drivers from…Ice Road Truckers…Tim Zickuhr has been charged with…kidnapping, extortion, and coercion…[he hired a] prostitute…who goes by Snow White…[and] gave her his ATM card to withdraw her payment, but…later accused her of taking too much…[he] arranged a meeting…the next day to settle their money dispute — and he attacked, punching her in the face, and threatening to kill her if she didn’t get him the money…[he] tied her up…beat her, and…poured cold water on her…then locked her in his closet and demanded a phone number for someone who could get him the money…she gave Tim the phone number of a police officer she knew…and…he…called it, claiming he’d kill Snow White if $1,000 wasn’t delivered to him…[he then] forced [her] out his second story window…the cop met Tim and immediately arrested him…

Here We Go Again

Historian Thaddeus Russell:

…the movement against “white slavery” helped create, expand, and strengthen the police powers of an array of government agencies…[which] have imprisoned and sterilized hundreds of thousands of…prostitutes, taken their children from them, forced them onto the streets and into dependent relationships with male criminals, and made their jobs among the most dangerous in the world.  Those same government agencies also prosecuted [non-white] men for simply having intimate relations with white women; tightened restrictions on immigration; established precedents for some of the worst government violations of privacy and civil liberties in American history; and formed the basis of the modern surveillance state.  The contemporary movement against “human trafficking”…is strikingly similar…both in rhetoric and in implications for individual freedom and state power…

Well worth reading in its entirety.

The Camel’s Nose

In case you thought the government had given up on censoring the internet:

state attorney generals [sic] [are] pressuring Google to obscure sites that promote illegal activities…The gang…[want] Google to enhance content screening…and place increased “human scrutiny” on content uploaded to YouTube and Google Drive; to delist sites that sell…any…illegal materials…and to provide “swift responses” to law enforcement officials…Google, to its credit, wanted no part of the AGs’ evil schemes…and…patiently explained…it does not own or run everything on the Internet nor have a desire to be censor in chief…The…AGs aren’t satisfied, of course…they’ve threatened to pursue legal action…

Pay close attention, ladies; you know what “promote illegal activities” includes.

Maggie in the Media

Here’s a student article which quotes Ronald Weitzer, Barb Brents, Norma Jean Almodovar, SWOP Chicago and myself, but also cops and prohibitionists; it’s pretty uneven and has inaccurate graphics, but considering that the writer seemed pretty prohibitionist when she started the story it’s actually pretty even-handed.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

A…King County [Washington] sheriff’s deputy is under criminal investigation over an allegation that he helped his wife work as a prostitute…[by] using the county’s computer system to check the backgrounds of her clients…”  The investigation was apparently triggered when the moron thought he’d gain advantage in their divorce by outing her.

Old Men and Young Women

The grand-daughter of…Benito Mussolini has become caught up in [an]…underage prostitution scandal, after…her husband [was]…accused of paying for sex with teenage schoolgirls…

Rooted in Racism

The Swedish model is GOOD for women!

…three mothers [who were] stabbed and beaten…[were deported by] the police…[soon after a] similar case [in which]…nine Nigerian women…were thrown out of [their] apartment…after reporting rapes…when foreign prostitutes report violence or abuse…police investigate them and try to find reasons why they must leave Norway, said Bjorg Norli of Pro Sentret…The women…had permanent residence in Italy, and can therefore travel freely into Norway…The women thought they would get help from the police….instead, they were imprisoned…and [put] on a plane…[before finishing] treatment of [their] injuries…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

…a woman called to report that a man she was paid to have sex with robbed her…sheriff’s deputies…[arrested] Imani K. Williams…[for] prostitution [instead]…

Uncommon Sense

In Switzerland, an oral agreement is…recognized as a binding contract…Every time a sex worker agrees with a client on the price, time, and…other terms of their exchange, a contract is made…[but] a contract…can be declared null and void is if a court decides it is immoral…[which] the country’s highest court…did around 30 years ago with prostitution.  So…even though prostitution is legal, sex workers cannot rely on the courts to uphold their legitimate employment complaints…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (We’re Not Done Yet)

Here’s a new service called “Kitestring”.  Is it too much to ask for amateurs to at least be grateful to whores for thinking of these things?

Profit from Panic

The White House wants to blatantly expand fascism by courting an “elite group” of young billionaires:

…Patrick Gage, a 19-year-old heir to the multibillion-dollar Carlson hotel and hospitality fortune…is an industry leader in enforcing measures to combat trafficking and involuntary prostitution…Gage was among the presenters at a breakout session, titled “Combating Human Trafficking,” that attracted a notable group of his peers.  “The person two seats away from me was a Marriott,“ he said.  “And when I told her about trafficking, right away she was like, ‘Uh, yeah, I want to do that’”…

In other words, those who will never have to work a day in their lives want to ensure that the rest of us have as few options as possible besides working for their clique. Nathan Bantick

Above the Law 

A Royal Marine commando …[attacked] two…sex workers and another customer because he was unhappy with the service he received.  Nathan Bantick…was caught on a massage parlour’s CCTV…He was sentenced to 12 months after admitting assault, actual bodily harm and criminal damage, and faces being discharged from the Marines…[Bantick insisted] he hadn’t received his full 30 minutes and…threatened to hit two masseuses if they didn’t give his money back…he took out his military ID saying: “Who do you think the police are going to…believe, you or me?”…

The Birth of a Movement

As I’ve pointed out many times, the myth of French sexual tolerance is repudiated by the fact that France was the first European country to subject whores to the police, starting around the middle of the 16th century.  Here’s a long and interesting article on a police operation to spy on Parisian courtesans which ran from 1747 to 1771; the author subscribes to a couple of minor fallacies and hits a few sour notes, but it otherwise does a good job of analyzing how the demimonde appeared through the myopic spectacles of a narrow “law and order” police mentality.

Presumed Pimps

airport workers…are uniquely positioned to help rescue victims of child sex trafficking…Oakland…Airport employees…were taught how to recognize potential victims and their abusers, who take advantage of the fact that minors can fly without identification…a former sex trafficking victim…warned that abused children may deny being mistreated and are psychologically unable to escape their predators’ clutches…She told the airport workers to close their eyes and picture their own children being forced to engage in sex acts…a trafficked child might have a bar code tattoo on her neck, signaling she is owned…

With Friends Like These…

I’m sure Gena Korn really thinks she’s speaking up for sex workers by decrying due-process-free shaming tactics (and to some extent criminalization in general), but in the fifth sentence she launches into Swedish-style “what about the johns and pimps?”; she soon moves on to a false “villain or victim” dichotomy, followed immediately by “no little girl dreams of being a hooker”, “abducted into sex slavery”, childhood trauma and “selling themselves”, before concluding with praise for New York’s “diversion” program which defines all sex workers as damaged children in need of nanny-state “help”.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #314)

Observation:  rapist subdues his victim with pepper spray.  Conclusion: sex trafficking!

…a teenage girl found naked and pepper sprayed…may have been the result of sex trafficking, police say.  The 16-year-old girl is still in the hospital after neighbors found her…she told police she had been raped…”The pepper spray looks to me, sounds to me like a buyer that has decided he’s going to take advantage of a minor he’s found,” [said] Vanessa Scott…of Love Never Fails…

“A minor that he’s found,” as though she were an inanimate object lying on the side of the road.  How can anyone take these warped perverts seriously?useful idiot Farley

Under Every Bed (TW3 #314)

This incredibly-bad article on “sex trafficking” in Montana reaches a whole new level of idiocy:

Melissa Farley…said…“Money entices, persuades and coerces a person to perform sex.  The payment does not erase the sexual violence, verbal sadism, domestic violence and rape”…Farley [pretended that only]…2 percent of female prostitutes [are escorts.  She fantasized that]…97 percent…are in the trade without a choice…performing…sex [acts] for a cheeseburger or a tank of gas…She also [imagined that] where men congregate in large numbers…human trafficking is likely present…

I was wondering when Farley would attach her medicine show to the “gypsy whores” carnival.

Sex Rays

When “Red” was a student…she worked as an exotic dancer…”I later told a history professor…I was asking for a recommendation and he asked me what I did, I thought he was a great guy…after that my grades immediately went down”…

January Q & A (TW3 #344)

Apparently this self-important little weasel realized that “anti-prostitution advocate” doesn’t quite have the cachet he craves:  “Anti-Human Trafficking Advocate Brian Bates…was outraged when he learned [an Oklahoma] prostitution bust had only resulted in traffic tickets.  ‘[If] the media doesn’t know about [these cases] they figure I’m not going to know’…says Bates…[who] is…cross referencing and checking names…

Something in the MilkP411 lily

A client post from the ECCIE board for Tennessee, dated April 16th [all sic]:  “P411 Client flips 5 High Dollar providers in Knoxville on Monday…Someone should have been screaming this on line since monday night.  Whats going on—nobody knew???  P411 Client Handle “Justin Credible”…Apparently he got caught in a sting so he helped LE catch 5 providers and an unknown number of Clients…”  The next day an escort added, “We had the same thing happen in Nashville on Monday…same account was used in both cities…

Train Wreck (TW3 #407)

Renewed Initiative Against Diseases and Poverty (RENAGAIDS), has challenged the recent raids, arrests and detention of sex workers in…Abuja…police…[were] assisted…by another NGO, the Society Against Prostitution and Child Labour in Nigeria…The executive director of RENAGAIDS, Mr. Alban Anonyuo…[said members of  the “task force”] raid sex workers to steal their phones, jewelry, money and other personal effects and most times rape them…

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #411)

Small-scale, short-lived gang sex attacks = “not credible”.  Immense ongoing global conspiracy involving millions = totally believable.

A rumour of a gang initiation in Winnipeg targeting nurses isn’t credible, police said…“Head’s [sic] up Nurses.  We just got a call from the hospital and police due to gang initiation’s [sic] this weekend looking to rape or stab nurses.  Especially ER staff”… Robert Ihme wrote in a [Facebook post] that has since been shared more than 300 times…

Rough Trade (TW3 #414) 

I’m not sure what the word “jilted” is supposed to mean in this context:

…Danford Grant…now claims the [women]…he’s accused of attacking are jilted prostitutes…Grant…attacked a massage parlor receptionist as she walked to her car…[after identifying] himself as a police officer, [he] drove her to a secluded area and raped her…he…went to a…masseuse’s home…forced his way in…and raped her.  Nine days later, Grant…grabbed [another masseuse], told her he wanted to marry her and recited her home address…[and] husband’s name…[he then] drew a folding knife and threatened to cut [her] face if she fought with him…he [then]…raped her…

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Lawmakers and judges toss years, even decades, around as though the sentences were Frisbees floating on a leisurely summer breeze. – Norm Pattis

Imaginary Victims

Sarah KruzanCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown has decided…not to [deny]…parole to Sara Kruzan…[who] was 17 when she was sentenced to die in prison for the 1994 shooting death of George Gilbert Howard…[who had] sexually abused her and…groomed her since she was 11 to work for him as a child prostitute…”  Long-time readers may remember that prohibitionists have never spoken as much as a word in Kruzan’s behalf, despite their supposed wish to “rescue children” from “pimps”.

Lack of Evidence

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

[A judge ruled] New York City can be sued for false arrest and malicious prosecution…[for] targeting and entrapping gay men at video stores…[Robert] Pinter and an undercover officer agreed to leave a video store and have sex in a nearby car.  On the way out the door, the undercover allegedly added he would perform a sex act for $50.  Pinter…remained silent but continued walking with the undercover until he was arrested…for prostitution.

And in Dallas:

…police opened fire on [David Blair] as he stood in his doorway…after he rebuffed their interrogation efforts during an operation to apprehend call girls and johns…After nearly being shot to death, Blair was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer…[but] released after several hours…“I guess I wasn’t supposed to tell them to get the light out of my face,” Blair said…

That’s the first time I’ve ever heard streetwalkers referred to as “call girls”.

January Q & A

The only thing “sordid” and “seedy” about this is the way cops and the media collaborate to destroy lives, and the only “notable name” is that of Brian Bates, the soi-disant “Video Vigilante”, who is bizarrely referred to as an “anti-prostitution advocate” because the reporter is too ignorant to use the word “advocate” properly.

Secret Squirrel

AT&T…[is introducing] a…GPS-tracking…watch-like thingie…called FiLIP…[which alerts] when your child enters or leaves a designated area…[the ad says] “FiLIP…[helps] kids be kids again”…Right.  And the Invisible Fence collar…let my dog be a dog…I can get an iPhone Spy Stick, to be plugged into a USB port while he sleeps…or…Mobile Spy, software that would let me follow…his online activity and geographical location…[or] an innocent-looking iPhone Dock Camera that…surreptitiously [records audio and] video in his room…[In ZDNet’s survey of]  parental espionage…82 percent…agreed…that …“It is a parent’s right to ‘violate’ their child’s notion of ‘privacy’”…

Imaginary CrisesChristina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers…explains that the study often cited as the origin of the “one in five” factoid is an online survey…[which] employed such a broad definition that…”attempted forced kissing” qualified as sexual assault.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics…tells a different and more plausible story…During…1995-2002…there were six rapes or sexual assaults per thousand per year…about one victim in forty students.  Other DOJ statistics show that the overall rape rate…since 1995…has decreased by about 60 percent…

Follow the Leader

Clark Bianco pointed out this example of the state punishing citizens for following its lead: “a [Connecticut] couple faces charges after a 9-year-old girl in their care was punished with an electric shock collar used to discipline barking dogs”, but “a [South Dakota] police chief…is defending an officer’s [tasing] an 8-year-old girl…

Saving Them From Themselves

San Diego police say criminal charges will be filed in a sexting ring involving dozens of students…there’s no hacking or coercion…The girls sent out the naked pics themselves…

Surplus Women

A U.S. Marine has been referred for trial by court-martial…on charges of killing a visiting Las Vegas prostitute who was last seen alive outside a bar in…Waikiki…Master Sergeant Nathaniel Cosby is charged…in the death of 29-year-old Ivanice “Ivy” Harris…Messiah of Evil

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Thanks very much to Celos for sending me Messiah of Evil, which was our Halloween night movie this year!

Rhinoceros

His motive is obvious, but this is still freakish:

…authorities and human trafficking experts believe dozens of girls and boys are being brought to St. Louis to be offered for sale during the World Series…Michael Ocello owns several [strip] clubs and founded…Club Operators Against Sex Trafficking [COAST].  He has the backing of ICE and Homeland security…[and] has earned credibility with law enforcement…Ocello printed 10,000 baseball cards that will be handed out by his employees this weekend…the back details signs of human trafficking and a number to call…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

“Trafficking” as an excuse for surveillance again:  “…a button inside a police car…[releases] a [GPS tracker bug] that shoots out and sticks to the car in front…They can track and pinpoint [the target] vehicle…‘This is an important tactic for the police…rescuing little girls from human trafficking’…

Above the LawX-Ray of woman's chest

Business as usual in a police state:

…Diana Hardy…and her boyfriend, Mark McKoy, were…pulled over by [New York State] Trooper Robert Baird, who claimed that they were speeding and that the car was reported stolen…After two “sexualized” pat downs, Baird…illegally searched the…van…and…found personal lubricant, a sex toy, condoms and a half-full package of balloons from a child’s birthday party, and immediately accused Hardy of hiding drugs in a body cavity…“He seemed to become enraged and handcuffed [her], demanding to know why she ‘needed lube,’ crudely asking if McKoy was ‘really that big’ and stating that he had a ‘gut feeling’ [she] was smuggling drugs inside her body”…She was hauled to the barracks, shackled to a wall and strip-searched three times…[then] wept through a body-cavity search, but even though a doctor also failed to find proof, [Baird]…demanded an X-ray…[which] showed [she] had no contraband in her body…The couple were finally released after they paid to have their van towed to the police barracks…

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast:

A…[California] police officer is currently under investigation after…raping a trans woman…the cop stopped her while she was walking to a friend’s house…he…groped her and asked if she was a “nasty shemale”…then forced her to perform oral sex and raped her…[she] was able to retrieve and turn in a [used] condom…[for] DNA test…

Much Ado About Nothing

White House official fired for mocking his masters.  Same government official hires whores.  Media pretends this is somehow shocking:  “…well-known National Security Council staffer Jofi Joseph…was the man behind @NatSecWonk…and…follow-up reports claim Joseph may also have been writing as @DCHobbyist…a regular patron of Washington’s sex worker scene…

Above the Law (TW3 #47)

Britain’s most senior police officer has said he cannot be sure that [cops] are not still getting involved in sexual relationships with partners who do not know their real identities.  Eleven women are taking legal action against the Metropolitan police over claims that they were duped into relationships…with undercover officers…ITPA as Mahishasur

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #48)

Indian sex workers protest another attempt to impose the horrible Swedish model:

[In] the Puja [at]…Sonagachi…this year…Mahishasur was depicted as…embodying the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. And Goddess Durga  was shown ripping the demon-legislation apart with her trident…[a new amendment]…criminalises clients visiting brothels…[which] is tantamount to depriving sex workers of their livelihood. “Moreover, it will lead to more and more harassment by the police,” says [Bharati De of DMSC]…

The Camel’s Nose (TW3 #137)

This zombie legislation just won’t stay dead:  “The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which [requires] private companies to share customer information with the NSA and others in the name of cybersecurity, is back on the legislative agenda…

Here We Go Again (Extra Edition)

This academic’s massive blind spot about “sex trafficking” hysteria is fascinating; she walks all around that elephant in the room, yet can’t see it.  Furthermore, the details about how the “white slavery” panic fueled the growth of the FBI are interesting.

Uncommon Sense (Extra Edition)

Zurich…provided…a suite of 30 drive-in wooden booths in a non-residential neighborhood, where surveillance could keep pimps out…[The city thinks] they work…[but] organizations working with prostitutes…say…the…boxes attract new arrivals rather than…street veterans…[who] have…just gone elsewhere…Switzerland’s Salvation Army has recommended that the city allow prostitutes back onto the old red light district…Cornelia Zürrer Ritter…of the SA…[said]…gave…up [the facility] because they “earned less money there and found the working conditions inhumane”…

Imaginary Evils

Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary…[has launched] her attack on “modern day slavery”…a tiresome, over-emotive phrase which functions as political speak for human trafficking…[she] has made much of the need for increasingly harsh sentences for traffickers.  But, as highlighted by Anti-Slavery International, this focus is a red herring.  Its position is that the UK should improve its response to victims, primarily by taking a more robust approach against victim criminalization…

Furthermore, as Tim Worstall explains:

…a new report…shows…that while the problem is real it’s small.  United Kingdom Estimated number enslaved 4,200 – 4,600…But…who can forget Dennis MacShane telling the House of Commons that there are 25,000 slaves just in the sex industry [or]…Julie Bindel and…the Poppy Project insisting that there are vast tribes of women held as sex slaves…

And even that 4200 is hyperinflated.Alicia Beltran

Due Consideration (TW3 #341)

Finally, mainstream coverage of the vile mistreatment of Alicia Beltran:

…[at] 12 weeks pregnant, she [went] to a…clinic…for a…checkup…[she] admitted a past struggle with…Percocet…but [had been self-administering] Suboxone…to treat Percocet dependency…in decreasing doses…[with the] last dose a few days before her…visit…the physician’s assistant recommended she renew…use of Suboxone under a doctor’s supervision.  After Beltran declined…she was asked to take a drug test, which was negative for all…except Suboxone.  Two weeks later, a social worker visited Beltran…and told her that she needed to continue Suboxone treatment…Beltran…again declined.  Two days later, [cops dragged her to]…a…judge [who] ordered her to spend 90 days in a drug treatment center…

Yes, the state chained and caged her because she wouldn’t take drugs.

Torture Chamber

A powerful argument against draconian sentences:

…The dead…are a howling wound deafening those left behind.  Locking a killer away for a lifetime doesn’t silence that howling…it merely creates eddies of despair, whirlpools that swirl and draw down…the spirits of the condemned, their loved ones, and…the rest of us.  Revenge isn’t justice, it is just revenge…locking people up doesn’t bring back the dead, it doesn’t repay money stolen, it doesn’t repair the psyche of all the folks we calls victims.  Prison is a confession of failure, both for society and for the individuals who demand long sentences without end for those who transgress…our love of prisons…[is] a celebration of a moral cancer…

Us and Them (TW3 #342)

For those who think my use of the word “pogrom” is too strong to describe police persecution of whores and clients: “60 people were arrested…as part of ‘Operation Off the Streets 2’, a cleansing initiative…men and women have been busted for everything…from street level prostitution to…Internet and hotel arrangements in Northwest D.C…”  A “cleansing initiative”; like “ethnic cleansing”.

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

APNSW anti-sweatshop logoThe APNSW held a workshop last week, and several media outlets were on hand to interview sex workers and activists (including Melissa Ditmore and Cheryl Overs) about prohibitionist myths, the rescue industry and Equality Now’s attempt to negate the voices of thousands of sex workers. Regular readers won’t find anything surprising here, but it’s important to note the rising number of articles debunking “trafficking” mythology and publicizing both sex workers’ calls for decriminalization and the fact that several UN agencies support that policy.

Buried But Not Dead

More pearl-clutching about young pop-stars from a bunch of middle-aged ones who can’t compete with them any more, and “feminists” who never could.  It’s at least 2000 words too long and rife with inane buzzwords like “pornographic object”, “misogyny” and “sexualization”, but it’s mildly amusing in a train-wreck sort of way.

Across the Pond (TW3 #343)

As expected, six were closed:  “Seven of Edinburgh’s saunas have had their licences renewed…in the face of police objections…items of a sexual nature can be permitted on the premises — rejecting a principal objection by the police…[who later] denied this…meant condoms should be banned from the saunas…

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This is not just about sex trade workers…The government’s coming in through the back door…to tell you what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your home with another consenting adult.  –  Terri-Jean Bedford

Gateway

Ignorant reporter apparently believes “explain” is a synonym for “rationalize”:

…The purpose of the sting operation was to discourage sex providers and customers from engaging in the illegal transaction, which often is linked to child sex abuse, robbery, assault and drug use, Lt. Det. Cord Wood of the Corvallis [Oregon] Police Department said…“To gauge the number of thefts, assaults and robberies (associated with prostitution) is difficult because I really believe those are under-reported”…

Because obviously someone named for 128 cubic feet of chopped fibrous cellulose must be an expert in a trade he’s never practiced.

The Camel’s Nose (June Updates, Part One)

Just another reminder that though Al Franken claims to be an advocate of liberty, he’s actually a devoted supporter of the police state:  “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people…I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us…There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know.”  Because tyranny isn’t “bad” as long as you wave a flag while stomping on people’s faces.

The Crumbling Dam

Sex workers and their supporters marched and rallied in several Canadian cities…days before a Supreme Court hearing on whether laws restricting the sale of sex should be tossed out”, and prohibitionists fantasize about replacing criminalization of workers with that of clients.  Fortunately this view is unpopular in Canada, and editorials like this one from Catherine Healy and Sandra Ka Hon Chu are not uncommon:

The Supreme Court of Canada’s looming consideration…has led to vigorous debate about the merits of the “Swedish model”…[which] perpetuates…stigma, discrimination and violence…and institutionalizes an adversarial relationship between sex workers and the police.  Less discussed is the model of sex work employed in New Zealand….[where] sex workers are covered by legislation that protects them from exploitation while accessing labour laws to promote their welfare and occupational health and safety…The Art of Not Being GovernedThere is no substantiated evidence of trafficking despite repeated efforts by the immigration department…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received a copy of The Art of Not Being Governed from SA.  Thank you so much!

The Sky is Falling!

Dating and highways cause sex trafficking!

Birmingham [Alabama] residents have voiced concerns over a billboard that suggests young women date a sugar daddy if they’re in search of a summer job.  Alexa James…[said] she wants the arrangements.com billboard taken down…”I-20 has now become the superhighway of human trafficking…Make a stand, call the mayor’s office, call your state representative.”  The service is an online dating site that facilitates mutually beneficial arrangements…and…has no plans to remove the billboard.

Above the Law

Yet again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

…two [Georgia] sheriff’s deputies…pleaded guilty…for their part in a scheme to send an innocent woman to prison…Judge Bryant Cochran solicited sex from [Angela Garmley] in return for legal favors.  Shortly after Garmley filed her complaint, she was arrested…and charged with possession of methamphetamines…Since this scandal broke, three women who worked in Cochran’s court have filed a separate lawsuit…claiming Cochran sexually harassed them…

And keep happening:

…a…19-year-old Omaha woman…[said] Deputy Cory Cooper made her perform oral sex after pulling over a vehicle containing her and her boyfriend on a marijuana violation…Cooper told the boyfriend to walk to the lake to dispose of the marijuana…then turned his attention to the woman…she said she felt like she had no choice…

Held Together With Lies

Ronald Weitzer speaks on the mythology of “sex trafficking” at Queens University, Belfast; unfortunately, this is audio only.

Crime Against Society (TW3 #14)

The ordeal of those victimized by New Orleans’ sadistic game is over at last:

…a settlement…will remove from the sex offender registry approximately 700 individuals who had been required to register solely because of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) conviction…“The lingering injustice, resulting from over 20 years of discriminatory enforcement of this law at police and prosecutors’ whims, will now finally come to an end,” said Andrea Ritchie, co-counsel to [the Center for Constitutional Rights] in Doe v. Jindal and Doe v. Caldwell

The Naked Emperor (TW3 #24)

Though danah boyd’s last article on “sex trafficking” annoyed a number of activists with its ambiguity, this one is much more firmly anti-hysteria:

When most people think of sex trafficking…they immediately think of stereotypical images.  Like that of a vulnerable girl exploited by a pimp…But…[it] is more often about young people who are homeless, yet turned away from crowded shelters.  About teens exploited by family members (or kicked out of the house for being gay or transgender)…In other words:  systemic factors that have little to do with the actions of predators…one group of advocates long clamored for classified-ad sites, like Craigslist or Backpage, to be abolished — holding on to false hopes that eliminating these platforms would eliminate exploitation…the data I’ve seen suggests that this approach is neither effective nor productive…

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #29)

Cop threats to persecute travelling whores aren’t confined to the US:

…commissioner…Charity Katanga has warned that police will arrest…sex workers who have…started migrating from Kitwe to Livingstone ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August…Mrs Katanga said the laws of Zambia…are clear…“If we do not find appropriate charges to slap on them, we will throw them in jail.  If they are migrating to Livingstone, we will also ‘migrate’ so that we can deal with them ruthlessly”…Laura Lee

The Public Eye

A profile of activist Laura Lee:

Growing up in a strict Irish Catholic family, Laura Lee was lined up for a respectable career as a lawyer.  But after watching a film…she wanted to become a call girl.  Aged 19…[she] took on a Saturday job at a massage parlour.  Now 35 and mum to a 12-year-old daughter, Laura campaigns for sex workers’ rights…

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

A year and a half ago sex worker activists wondered if the creation of a single police force for Scotland would be a good or a bad thing.  Now the news is in:  it’s extremely bad:

Brothels were targeted by…police…who accompanied social workers to help potential victims…Customers and employees were taken onto the street and questioned at seven saunas…officers are pursuing inquiries relating to several serious sexual offences…police said:  “Three people…have been charged with drugs offences…and it is estimated that assets worth in excess of £500,000 have been seized”…Since the country’s eight forces came under the single Police Scotland umbrella, regional variations in policy have surfaced…Edinburgh’s apparent sanctioning of prostitution had created a climate whereby city officials had to defend perceived leniency on the practice…

That £500,000 theft gives away the motive, and this demonstrates what I said Thursday about policies vs. laws.

Number Puzzle

Feminist Ire continues its robust tradition of debunking prohibitionist lies, this time in a guest post by Matthias Lehmann and Sonja Dolinsek:

Der Spiegel published a…deeply flawed report…about…[sex] trafficking…Prostitution…has been legal in Germany since 1927…the new prostitution law of 2002 changed some aspects pertaining to the legal relationship between sex workers and clients and some criminal law provisions.  It recognized the contract between sex workers and clients as legal and introduced the rights of sex workers to sue clients unwilling to pay for sexual services already provided.  In addition, sex workers received the right to health insurance and social security…What is misleadingly called the ”legalization“ of prostitution is actually the recognition of sex work as labor.  However…some states actually never implemented the new law…Most states…declare…[so many restrictions] prostitution [is] de facto illegal…sex work is not allowed for non-EU nationals…who…are thus…excluded from the law [and] therefore [cannot be protected by it]…

Big Sister (TW3 #139)

The UK emulates China and the Muslim theocracies:

Internet and telecom companies will be ordered by the Government to block “harmful” content…Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, has summoned the bosses of companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to a summit…at which she will demand…industry-wide co-operation to prevent the…sharing of  harmful material…[including] illegal porn, images of child abuse, material that could incite religious or racial hatred and so-called “suicide websites”…Possible new measures include greater use of online filters; making public Wi-Fi more “family friendly” so children cannot access harmful material…ensuring all companies sign up to industry guidelines and setting up permanent bodies to monitor content…

Because obviously, government is best-equipped to judge what’s “harmful”, and if the filters just happen to block educational and political content, too…well, omelettes and eggs and all.

Oscillation (TW3 #312)

A rare defeat for control freaks:

The federal government…told a judge it will…comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.  The decision ends a years-long fight between…Obama’s administration, which had argued that age limits for the morning-after pill are common sense, and women’s rights groups, which insisted the drug should be made…freely available…

jury nullificationAnti-sex groups claim the decision “takes away the rights of girls’ parents”…to ruin their daughters’ entire lives for one mistake.

The Story Behind the Story

Rob Arthur alerted me to the fact that Ricardo Cortés has written and illustrated a short, FREE primer on jury nullification entitled “Jury Independence Illustrated”.  Please read it, download it and disseminate it as widely as possible; it’s time people were reminded of their power to overrule the rulers.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #315)

Drowning was the cause of death for Terrilynn Monette, the missing…teacher whose body was discovered in Bayou St. John…more than three months after…[disappearing] early on March 2…she…had been drinking, and…told friends…that she planned to sleep in her car for a while before driving to her apartment…

I lived near that bayou for years; there is nothing to stop a tipsy, exhausted woman from driving off the street and into it, without any help from Russian Mafia sex traffickers.

An Example to the West (TW3 #316)

One of Bolivia’s sex workers organizations, Organización de Trabajadoras Nocturnas (OTN), has called for the legalization of sex work in Bolivia and for sex workers to be granted retirement benefits and health insurance…The OTN has 50,000 affiliates, 80 percent of whom work in nightclubs…ONAEM (Organización Nacional de Activistas por la Emancipación de la Mujer), a major national women’s emancipation organization…supports [their] demands…

Bottleneck (TW3 #317)

Scarlet Alliance…is urging the Federal Government to expand [a] controversial visa to cover foreign escorts…Jules Kim…said sex workers were just as skilled as other workers allowed to fly into Australia on the four-year work visas…The Immigration Department…said sex workers were not considered “skilled” because the job did not require a degree or diploma…but Scarlet Alliance…said overseas sex workers would be vulnerable to…exploitation unless they could apply for a long-term work visa…

Deafening Silence

In an incident that underlined the harsh treatment often meted out to Chinese sex workers, a…female police officer was “punched in the face” and “dragged” from a hotel room during a botched anti-vice operation…Ms Wang…had been visiting her daughter in…Zhengzhou…when police unexpectedly appeared at the door…she told the men she was also a member of the police…but her pleas fell on deaf ears…

Guest Columnist:  Sarah Woolley

Amnesty International logoAs Sarah explained, the Paisley branch of respected human rights group Amnesty International made the bizarre decision to endorse Scotland’s attempt to impose the Swedish model despite clear proof that it harms sex workers.  When Wendy Lyon informed Amnesty of this, the organization immediately demanded the branch revoke its endorsement and, as Melissa Gira Grant explains, has now issued (for the first time) a clear pro-decriminalization statement:  “What…Paisley Branch have done – perhaps entirely despite themselves – is to push Amnesty International to state their opposition to the criminalisation of sex workers and of adult consensual sex more clearly….sex workers in Scotland and around the world…can now claim Amnesty International in their corner.”

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I was not the only one who left crying after being pressed to talk in detail about our…sexual experiences and desires…some of the audio we provided could have sounded like it belonged in a porn, rather than in a critique of it.  –  Beth Brigham

Pennsylvania Gypsy Camp in Oley Township by Mary Leisz (1927)Don’t Buy It

Melissa Gira Grant on how the “gypsy whores” myth directly harms sex workers:

…the modern sex worker is believed to follow a…migratory path…the World Cup, the Grand Prix, the  Super Bowl – all supposedly draw thousands of women offering paid sex.  It’s…the kind of thing you could imagine in a dusty smut book, or serving as winky fodder for escort agencies and strip clubs in their seasonal marketing….we were told that during the 2012 Olympics, London was to be “flooded” with prostitutes, and that for the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, the city would host a “dark underworld” of illicit sex-for-sale. Like all fantasies, the “roving sporting sex workers” trope [is] mostly harmless…until seized upon by those who find it…politically useful…in London…police raided brothels, arrested sex workers, and threatened them with further arrest if they returned to their neighborhoods…A similar pattern…played out in New Orleans in the days before the Super Bowl…Fox News had a camera crew follow a team of volunteers as they attempted to rescue “sex slaves” from streets and strip clubs…With nearly any woman…a potential target…it may be a minor miracle that the New Orleans police department has reported only eight arrests…

Backward, Turn Backward

I can’t even imagine living in the looking-glass world prohibitionists inhabit:

…a survey by the Immigrant Council of Ireland has found…that by far the biggest fear about paying for sex was not that they would be caught but that they would have a bad experience or contract a disease…Of the 58 punters [who answered]…16 (27.5%) said they had [at some point changed their minds after meeting the prostitute]…“six stated…the person appeared controlled, five…because the person appeared unhappy, four…because the person appeared too young, two…because the person appeared unwilling, while two…because the person appeared intimidated, ‘hurt or injured’,”…Denise Charlton…said…“We have now heard from the buyers themselves that such laws would be a deterrent…We know too that the image of the happy, independent hooker which is being portrayed by those opposed to new laws is not the reality; 24% of buyers reconsidered a transaction because they believed the women and girls involved were controlled, unhappy, too young, unwilling, or intimidated.”

Beside the fact that 58 self-selected people is too small a sample to “conclude” anything, the figures suggest exactly the opposite of what Charlton claims.  Only 27% have ever in their lives encountered such a girl (not 27% of all encounters); furthermore, their refusal testifies against the myth that men will eagerly hire coerced women, and finally the option of reporting those situations to the police would be closed by client criminalization, which is precisely the opposite of the stated goal of “protecting” sex workers.

Blasphemy

This must-read profile of neofeminist anti-porn crusader Gail Dines by her ex-disciple Beth Brigham paints a chilling portrait of the brainwashing that goes on in “women’s studies” programs; the similarity to narratives from survivors of other cults is unmistakable, and Brigham’s observation that much of the prohibitionist myth of pimp “recruitment” and “exploitation” of girls more accurately resembles their own behavior is spot on.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

Tracy Clark-Flory can always be counted on to debunk sex hysteria; here’s a short but sweet entry on “sex addiction”:

…“Inventing Sex: The Short History of Sex Addiction”…published in the March issue of the journal Sexuality & Culture, isn’t an objective scientific study.  It’s a paper by cultural historians at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, that attempts to document the growth of the concept of sex addiction…the paper’s pull-no-punches thesis [is]:  “We argue that this strange, short history of social opportunism, diagnostic amorphism, therapeutic self-interest, and popular cultural endorsement is marked by an essential social conservatism–sex addiction has become a convenient term to describe disapproved sex.Soiled Doves  Many of these points should be familiar, especially if you read my piece on sex addiction’s critics…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received a copy of Soiled Doves, a short history of prostitution in the American West, from Elisabeth Whispers.  Thank you, Elisabeth!

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #6)

The Push to Decriminalise Sex Work in Kenya” is a discussion paper from an African think tank which “explores the dangers associated with sex work, the protest movement in Kenya to decriminalise it, and the potential benefits of decriminalisation.”  I’m sure you can guess what conclusion it reaches.

Useful Idiots

Wisconsin expands its police state:

Efforts to collect DNA samples would expand to include any adult or juvenile arrested on a felony charge — and anyone convicted of a crime — under a budget proposal Gov. Scott Walker announced…Walker also announced plans…to allow GPS monitoring of certain people receiving first-time restraining orders who are found to be at higher-risk to cause serious harm…and…[an] increase for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to add five employees to investigate child sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children…Walker’s plans to expand DNA collection…raised the ire of civil liberties advocates…

CISPAIf politicians had any sense, they would wait for the outcome of trials involving similar laws before wasting millions on a program that might be recognized as illegal.

The Camel’s Nose (TW3 #16)

CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act…would have effectively [required]…private-sector businesses to hand ordinary citizen data…to the U.S. government in order to thwart primarily cyber…[or] terrorist attacks.  This, as you might expect, caused an uproar among the online community…the White House…threatened to veto the bill…But now…two separate reports…suggest CISPA could be heading back to the Congressional table…[and] President Obama…[has also issued] his own executive order

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Upcoming erotic game Custom Maid 3D will be bundled with a very special controller…Ju-C Air…is a wireless masturbation toy that will respond and react in real time to your stroke speed and depth, making this motion control of a very particular sort.  Those motions will also cause the in-game characters to react accordingly, too, with different characters reacting, um, differently…Ju-C Air…also has an analog stick and an action button as well as a right and a left click…[so]Ju-C Air players don’t even have to take their hands off their penis while playing…

Pyrrhic Victory

Wendy McElroy on “Is America a Police State Yet?”:

If you need to ask the question, then the answer is “yes”. But that is a glib response and I do not feel glib about America’s slide through the nine rings of political hell.  A police state is generally defined as a totalitarian government that exerts extreme and pervasive social, political and economic control over peaceful citizens…[it] maintains…control through the pervasive surveillance of peaceful citizenry, through a vast number of laws with draconian enforcement, and by converting rights into privileges that can be withheld…This describes America.  Surveillance of daily life has soared; even the Supreme Court has consistently expanded the “right” of police to perform warrantless searches.  A vast array of laws now dictate the minutia of life, from what you may not eat to the light bulbs you may not use as well products you must buy…A special police force called the Department of Homeland Security…functions without transparency or accountability.  Travel, formerly a right, is now a privilege granted by government agents at their whim…The difference between America and a communist regime lay in its institutional protection of the individual against the state.  That difference no longer exists.

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #27)

A southern Chinese province has stopped sending prisoners to labor camps, becoming the first in the country to take steps to phase out the much-criticized system…Yunnan’s top law enforcement official Meng Sutie announced…that the province will no longer send people to labor camps on the grounds of threatening national security, petitioning by causing unrest and smearing the image of officials…and…is suspending…sentences for people charged with other offenses, such as drug use and prostitution…

Worse Than I Thought

As I’ve previously explained, any totalitarian law which passes nowadays will invariably be used as the model for similar laws in other jurisdictions:

…Nevada Sex Trafficking Bill AB67 [redefines]…Pandering…and…Living from earnings of prostitute…as “sex trafficking,” thus carrying harsher penalties and requiring registration as a sex offender…Does [this] include…family members supported by…a woman working legally in a Nevada brothel?  Pages 27-28 redefine terms so broadly as to apply to most consensual adult relationships, including marriage…“‘Prostitution’ means engaging in, agreeing to or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration or other thing of value…‘Sexual conduct’ means…any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or any object manipulated or inserted by a person into the genital or anal openings of the body of a person…”  Is a medical doctor a prostitute for accepting money for a gynecological exam?  Is the husband who drove his pregnant wife to the doctor a sex trafficker?…

Grafton Street, Dublin c. 1900Dirty Laundry

This article is two years old, but it’s an interesting short history:

Monto, in the heart of Dublin…was once the biggest…red-light district in Europe.  Celebrated in song and story, it was where Leopold Bloom went for sexual humiliation and where a young Edward VII was said to have gone for some high-end thrills…At its height…1,600 women worked in Monto…but…within only a few years of the foundation of the State and the accession to power of the Roman Catholic church…War was declared on Monto.  The new Catholic state stormed into action and a force of gardai…raided Monto at midnight on March 12, 1925, and literally threw the women working there out on to the street and into the Church-run slave-labour laundries…

Thought Control

New findings on Fredric Wertham, the fanatic who whipped up a moral panic over comic books and almost destroyed the industry in the early ‘50s:

…Wertham’s personal archives…show that the doctor revised children’s ages, distorted their quotes, omitted other causal factors and in general “played fast and loose with the data he gathered on comics,” according to an article by Carol Tilley, published in a recent issue of Information and Culture: A Journal of History.  “Lots of people have suspected for years that Wertham fudged his so-called clinical evidence…but there’s been no proof,” Tilley said. “My research is the first definitive indication that he misrepresented and altered children’s own words about comics.”  Wertham died in 1981 [but] his archives…weren’t made widely available to researchers until the spring of 2010…

This sort of prohibitionist behavior is already very familiar to regular readers.

That Old Black Magic

The “Juju sex slaves” myth just keeps on going like a zombie; the most telling aspect of the narrative is the way it clearly links “sex trafficking” hysteria to the Satanic Panic, much as the Swedish Könskriget cult does.

Presents, Presents, Presents! (TW3 #50)

Eric Berkowitz , author of Sex and Punishment, on Reason TV:

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (TW3 #134)

Filipino sex worker rights advocates call for true decriminalization rather than the legalization erroneously labeled as such by politicians:

…An NGO called “Women Hookers Organizing For Their Rights and Empowerment (WHORE) is treading the thorny path toward government recognition of this history-old job…[an advocate called] Tex said…there are about 500,000 sex workers in the country…“But we are not going for decriminalizing sex workers while criminalizing clients like the Swedish model…It didn’t even work there”…

The article is much better than the propaganda pushed by American journalists; it shows that opponents support criminalization of women and mentions UN support for decriminalization.

Due Consideration

Looks like the US isn’t the only regime using this concept:

The Queensland police union is calling for tougher laws to send risk-taking pregnant women into safe houses in an effort to monitor their behaviour…[saying] the rights of an unborn child should be considered ahead of the mother…Union president Ian Leavers says the state should be able to intervene in cases where children are at risk of foetal alcohol syndrome and drug addictions…

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Those who would criminalise prostitutes seem oddly keen to eliminate true voices of experience from the discussion.  –  Brooke Magnanti

All Shapes and Sizes

Res ipsa loquitur:

…Jonah Falcon was stopped…by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport…because of a bulging package hidden in his pants…the world’s largest recorded penis…[which is] 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect…”[A] guard…asked me if I had some sort of growth…I said, ‘It’s my dick’…He gave me a pat down but made sure to go around [my penis] with his hands.  They even put some powder on my pants, probably a test for explosives”…

The Camel’s Nose

Congress’ new strategy is to enact SOPA piece by piece so it doesn’t attract so much attention; though the Intellectual Property Attaché Act is mostly cultural imperialism like the “Trafficking in Persons Report”, it also creates yet another unelected “czar” with dictatorial powers.  Luckily, a group called the Internet Defense League (whose members include Public Knowledge, Reddit, Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) was launched on July 19th; its purpose is to monitor threats to internet freedom and then spread the word and organize mass resistance (like the protests that stopped SOPA) whenever necessary.

Lying Down With Dogs

It’s always interesting to see how closely American anti-whore rhetoric resembles that of nations which are not exactly advanced or Western:

Lusaka Province Minister Gerry Chanda [rejected] calls by some members of the public to legalise prostitution…[because it] is illegal…cannot be tolerated…[and] is alien to Zambia…Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani described sex workers as a “public nuisance” and warned them with arrest if found loitering on the streets…

Bone of Contention

So, aren’t vandalism and indecent exposure already illegal for everyone without a special law just for whores?

More than 40 [street sign] poles have been bent, buckled or broken in the past 18 months in one area of south Auckland, New Zealand… “Prostitutes use these street sign poles as dancing poles,” said [a member of the city council.  The claim appears in a pamphlet]…detailing frustrations of residents and businesses struggling to cope with [streetwalkers and calling]…on parliament…to give Auckland Council powers to ban sex workers from certain areas…other…incidents [include]…a transvestite [ramming] a supermarket trolley into a woman’s car before lying across the bonnet, and a school-bus full of children observing a transvestite changing her dress…

Sisters in Arms

Considering America’s grotesque inflation of penalties for every conceivable “crime”, what will happen if abortion is eventually recriminalized?

38 states have passed laws that create a crime for causing the death of a fetus…23 of which apply at the earliest stages of pregnancy.  What we have now is a what Professor Angela Davis calls a “prison industrial complex”:  a system of for-profit prisons so hungry for more inmates that it drives immigration policy, and pays off judges to fill jail cells with children…[and] so bloated that rural economies have become dependent upon the influx of inmates…since the 1970s, the rate of incarceration for women has increased over 700%.  We have lawmakers admit that they believe that women should face “serious” criminal penalties for having abortions.  We have so dismantled the right to privacy that state-mandated technological surveillance can literally invade women’s bodies.  We have Kafkaesque bedside interrogations and arrests of women who fall down stairs when they admit ambivalence about…single motherhood…two women…are [now] facing murder trials for losing pregnancies…Bei Bei Shuai…[and] Rennie Gibbs

Against Their Will

A new report by two Indian authors has poked holes into the “raid, rescue, and rehabilitation” schemes…targeting sex workers.  The report, titled We Have the Right Not To Be “Rescued”…says, “Contrary to the purported goal of assisting women, the anti-trafficking projects…often undermine HIV projects…causing harm to women and girls.”  The report alleges that [police raids on] brothels…are often violent.  Cases of sexual assault and rape and sodomy have also been reported during such actions…Research from Indonesia and India has indicated that sex workers who are rounded up during police raids are beaten, coerced into having sex [and]…placed in institutions where they are sexually exploited or physically abused.  The raids also drive sex workers onto the streets, where they are more vulnerable to violence…

An Ounce of Prevention

It looks as though an AIDS vaccine is finally within reach:

…a 2009 clinical trial in Thailand…tested Sanofi’s ALVAC, a weakened canary pox virus used to sneak three HIV genes into the body, and AIDSVAX, a vaccine originally made by Roche Holding’s Genentech that carried an HIV surface protein.  Both vaccines had poor showings in individual trials…[but] the…combination cut HIV infections by 31.2 per cent…Preparations are under way for a follow-up trial testing beefed-up versions of the vaccines among heterosexuals in South Africa and [homosexual] men…in Thailand…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

Dr. Marty Klein not only explodes the myth of “sex addiction”, but also explains why it’s such a destructive paradigm:

…“Sex addiction” is a special weapon now used…to ignore science…ignite fear [and]…legitimize anti-sex moralism and bigotry.  And psychologists, judges, legislators, and the media are buying it…the sex addiction movement…did not arise from…sex therapy or any other sexuality-related field.  Rather, it was started in 1983 by Patrick Carnes, who…claims no training in human sexuality.  “Sex addiction” has been adopted enthusiastically by the addiction community, and to a lesser extent by the marriage and family profession—the latter historically undertrained and uncomfortable with sexuality…Of course, the media loves it, decency groups love it, and those who identify as some other kind of addict…love it, especially if they’re fans of the Twelve Steps…

If you still think some people are really “addicted” to sex, Dr. Klein suggests you take the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST).  You may be surprised how high you score, but you shouldn’t be; “sex addiction” rhetoric pathologizes normal sexual feelings and behaviors.  As Dr. Klein points out, what the test really measures is whether you grew up in a sex-negative culture.  The article is well worth reading in its entirety, especially for its debunking of inane claims about “brain areas” and “erototoxins”.

Much Ado About Nothing

I guess the media must be bored with hooker “scandals”, because this report of T-men paying for women with government funds didn’t make the news; we’re told they won’t even lose their  jobs because the activity “didn’t include underage prostitutes or human trafficking.”  You know, just like 96.5% of the sex work persecuted in this country doesn’t.

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Here’s a trailer for a new documentary named The Mechanical Bride, narrated by the legendary Julie Newmar.

The Birth of a Movement

In the process of critiquing a French miniseries about the maisons closes, Dr. Brooke Magnanti has some illuminating comments about the historical reality ignored by the creators of the melodrama:

…Prostitutes moved between brothels and changed names often to avoid detection…the notion that girls…could not, and did not, shop around for management is absurd…the drama is an uncomfortable union of modern agendas superimposed on a historical setting.  Since it’s in the past, there are no inconvenient contemporary sex workers to show the complex reality of prostitution and spoil the abolitionist fantasy…

First They Came for the Hookers…

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

…Harmony Rose…has been featured in more than 200 pornographic videos…[but] has…left the adult entertainment industry…and [is] training as a volunteer EMT…in Roanoke, VA…Fire Chief Rich Burch learned about Rose’s previous career…[and] contacted the…County Attorney…[who] noted, “Anything that results in public ridicule of the volunteer squads…must be avoided”…[and] that Burch “supports the decision of the volunteer chief if she decides to terminate the membership of [Rose].”  The community, however, seems to be on Rose’s side.  Of the over 500 comments that appear under the story on WDBJ’s Facebook page, nearly all support Rose’s continued work with the rescue squad…

Metaupdates

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea in August Updates

As in Canada, Indian politicians feel compelled to defend tyranny by opposing court orders to decriminalize prostitution:

The Supreme Court…agreed to examine [the federal government’s] plea that sex workers should not be allowed to operate…”with dignity” as suggested by a panel…[the] solicitor general [argued]…that any such endorsement…would go contrary to the…Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act which bans prostitution in toto…He also wanted the bench to remove…Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee from the panel…[the defense argued] that the Act only prohibited brothel activities and…pimps…[and that] if a sex worker carries out the activities on her own volition, [they are] not…illegal…

Traffic Jam in TW3 (#21)

Emi Koyama examines the increasing redefinition of “sex trafficking” into a “gang-related” activity, including this ridiculous “pimp classification” system dreamed up by cops and prohibitionists.  She persuasively argues that “What is ignored in all of these discussions of the (racially coded) evils of ‘gangs’ is that many young men…become gang members and engage in its criminal activities for many of the same reasons many young women…[enter] the sex trade: poverty, failure of social and child welfare systems and public education, lack of viable economic opportunities…what is the moral difference between a young woman who is told to go out and sell sex, and a young man who is told to go out and sell drugs? And yet, the mainstream anti-trafficking discourse would have us believe that the young woman is an innocent victim but the young man is an evil criminal…

Feminine Pragmatism in TW3 (#23)

It’s like watching someone repeatedly hitting her own fingers with a hammer:

Nadya Suleman…allegedly signed a contract…[with] T’s Lounge…in West Palm Beach, Fla…But after some teasing by a T’s staffer on TV, Suleman bailed on the deal, and now plans to make her…debut at a rival strip club instead.  That’s grounds for a lawsuit…[because] the…contract…barred Suleman from being booked at any other strip club within 50 miles, 90 days before or after her gigs at T’s…Suleman’s manager maintains the contract was not valid, because T’s never forked over…[the] deposit fee…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs in TW3 (#27)

First Guyana, now Singapore; let’s hope this list gets much longer:  “The Singapore government has lashed out at the United States over its human trafficking report…[due to] a number of ‘inaccuracies and misrepresentations’…

The Course of a Disease in TW3 (#28)

Sex workers aren’t the only ones angry over the French women’s minister’s prohibitionist crusade:

…How disappointing…that Vallaud-Belkacem’s most publicised policy announcement to date has been a pledge to “see prostitution disappear”…cynics would consider Vallaud-Belkacem’s grand plan a naive one, and typical of those that give radical governments a bad name.  Working girls in Paris…accused her of trying to drive a relatively well regulated industry underground…[and] Muslims…[hoped for repeal of] the crassly tagged “burqa ban”…Rather than presiding over job losses for…women, Vallaud-Belkacem should be…working to try to improve the lot of all women…

This Week in 2011

Head Games” describes the ways some clients try to control calls, and “July Miscellanea” featured items on a snooping gadget, another politician’s underwear photos, a woman getting plastic surgery to look like a drag queen & the suspension of the “anti-prostitution pledge” for domestic organizations.  “A Girl Who Can’t Say No” explains why I invest so much time in my work; “Social Construction of Eunuchs” examines people willing to sacrifice their childrens’ happiness to “social construction of gender”; “Concubine”  is a fictional interlude that you may find a bit disquieting; “Bootlickers” uses a campaign against bikini baristas to illustrate public collaboration with tyranny, and “J’accuse” was my first column on Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

This Week in 2010

What’s In a Name?” explains the many reasons whores use stage names; it was followed by “Couples” (a two-part column about couple calls), then “Modern Marriage”, which examines the reason for the high divorce rate.  “The Trick” was my very first fictional interlude, “The Myth of the Wanton” discusses the belief that women are more lustful than men, and “Just Drawn That Way”  looks at the complex motivations behind female sexuality.

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What most men desire is a virgin who is a whore.  –  Edward Dahlberg

Nine updates and a metaupdate.

Backward, Turn Backward (March 15th, 2011)

Apparently, Zimbabwe is a colony of the Bizarro World, where whores force men to have sex with them for free:

Three sex workers accused of raping 17 men in Zimbabwe have been freed…[they] were arrested last year after…a police…search of their vehicle revealed more than 30 used condoms…men…said the women forced them to have sex while brandishing weapons.  However, DNA evidence…disproved any link between the women and [their accusers]…[there was] widespread speculation that the sex workers were collecting semen for witchcraft.

You’ve gotta love the use of the modern term “sex worker” in that last line.

The First Time (March 20th, 2011)

Victorian men used to pay big money for whores who could credibly be passed as virgins, and apparently that kink is still around:

…Sweet Girls Premium Escort…is offering a Chinese-born Melbourne high school student [for $12,000]…”She is a virgin, you can tell,” [said] a spokeswoman…”She goes to your place or hotel and you can spend two days together.  She does not have a boyfriend and she wants to do it for the money,” she said.  The escort agency recruits mostly Asian women aged 18 to 25…The website written in English and Chinese suggests working for the agency “to solve your financial problem within short time”…

The rest of the article is a chorus of “feminists” clucking a lot of nonsense about “financial desperation” (as if anyone ever worked for any other reason), “no woman should have to sell her body” (because a woman is nothing but sex so selling it is equal to selling her entire self) and “double standards” (like the one they’re upholding by suggesting a girl’s virginity is too precious to sell and should instead be pointlessly given away).  I wish I had had the sense to sell my virginity; the experience probably would’ve been a lot more interesting than being clumsily mounted by some inexperienced boy in a dark room, and I would’ve had a lot fewer money worries the first few years of university.

The Scarlet Letter (March 29th, 2011)

Greece has joined the parade of countries using extrajudicial punishment against hookers, and Cheryl Overs explains why this is a bad idea:

Greece has been in the news for prosecuting HIV positive sex workers and posting the women’s photographs on the Internet…public health prosecutions and “naming and shaming” of [HIV+] sex workers occurs…across the world, including in the UK and US.  We are also observing a general increase in mandatory HIV testing…Successful HIV prevention is known to depend on a large portion of sex workers and clients using condoms and accessing…treatment …there is sufficient research and experience to compare the results of “rights based” approaches with heavy handed tactics like those used in Greece that have been shown to drive sex industries underground…repeatedly testing a few “legal” sex workers while  alienating “illegal” sex workers from services and testing them  forcibly in the wake of sporadic raids is not good public health…

Simply put, if hookers know they’ll be shamed and prosecuted for turning up positive, they simply won’t get tested.  And if legal workers are forcibly tested, they’ll simply work illegally instead.  This isn’t rocket science, but “authorities” seem completely unable to comprehend it.

Because We Say So (June 8th, 2011)

The crusade to impose Western cultural norms on Nepal has turned low-caste people into persecuted criminals:

…[Members of] the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution…live in the western districts of Nepal but…work in…cities…including Kathmandu, Mumbai and New Delhi.  Four years ago the Nepal government banned the Badis from pursuing their traditional occupation…[and] local communities…[have] used violent methods to compel the Badis to give up their sole means of livelihood…”We didn’t want to continue with prostitution but the government has failed to fulfill its promises of rehabilitation,” says Bishal Nepali, husband of a Badi sex worker.  The government did announce a package that included housing, income generation activities and scholarships…but these were never implemented…Nepali society gives little encouragement to Badi girls to pursue other professions and those among them who enter public schools are “often severely harassed by high caste students”…Badis are not allowed to run legitimate businesses.  “People fear to buy anything from my shop because they fear the villagers,” says Dinesh Nepali, a Badi male who runs a small shop selling cigarettes, vegetables and soft drinks.  “How can we survive like this?”…In 2007, Badi activists threatened to march naked through Kathmandu to embarrass the government into implementing the court-ordered rehabilitation, but that brought nothing except more promises…

September Q & A (September 30th, 2011)

In response to a questioner who defined using every minute of a call in penetration as “getting what he paid for”, I replied:  “…the price doesn’t assume that; it’s like going into a restaurant and complaining because every square centimeter of the plate isn’t covered in food.  Though I usually gave a price break for multiple hours, I didn’t do so if I knew the client was doing cocaine because the work of attending to him was much more difficult; the same thing could be said of a client who wants 60 full minutes of pumping.  Most girls even give a price break for dinner-date type calls because they’re much easier per hour than calls spent entirely in bed.”  Well, here’s a man who apparently had the same attitude as the questioner, but was far less civilized about it:

A 58-year-old Elgin [Illinois] man…tried to strangle a prostitute in a motel room after the woman refused additional sex after more than 30 encounters over a four-day period.  Kim P. Brandmire was charged with aggravated battery…[the] woman said the two had rented a room at the motel Thursday and…when she refused to have sex Sunday…Brandmire…choked her…The woman was charged with prostitution…

The realization that it’s sick and sadistic to charge a crime victim with a crime herself never dawns in the lawhead mind.

The Immunity Syndrome (March 5th, 2012)

Back in March I mentioned in passing that gonorrhea was rapidly becoming immune to all antibiotics; here’s an article from Scientific American which goes into more detail:

…Last summer…the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…demonstrated that up to 1.4 percent of 5,900 gonorrhea bacterial samples from around the U.S. had diminished susceptibility to cephalosporins…gonorrhea…is the second-most reported infectious disease in the U.S., with more than 600,000 new cases a year…if untreated, it can cause widespread organ damage…and infertility…Gonorrhea…[can borrow] DNA from other bacteria to construct new…defenses.  It steadily gained resistance…first the penicillins in the 1960s, then the tetracyclines in the 1980s, and…fluoroquinolones…in the 1990s.  By 2000 the only class of drugs that could provide [the inexpensive, effective, single-dose cure that] public health strategies rely on…was the cephalosporins.  [But] cephalosporin resistance has been emerging in Japan, and moving east and west from there, for at least a decade…Efforts to control STDs may have inadvertently accelerated the spread of resistance.  For years standard practice has been to quickly identify an infection, dole out the appropriate treatment and then move on to the next patient.  If symptoms return, the assumption has been that the patient was reinfected.  Experts now say that such patients may in fact have harbored resistant bacteria that were never killed in the first place—bacteria that the patients possibly spread to others…so far attempts to create a vaccine against gonorrhea have failed…

Even if a vaccine is eventually developed it won’t help the US, where adolescents – the carriers of 35% of all STIs – will certainly be blocked from receiving it by the same parental insanity which already prevents their vaccination against HPV.

Much Ado About Nothing (April 18th, 2012)

Dania Suarez, the escort Agent Arthur Huntington cheated, was interviewed on the Today show in Madrid:

…the alleged escort at the center of the Secret Service scandal…  [described] the…agents…as “stupid,” “idiots”…Dania Londono Suarez told NBC that the Secret Service agents seemed accustomed to soliciting women, saying the three men who approached her were not shy, drinking vodka “like it was water”…U.S. investigators have yet to talk with the single mother after she says she fled Colombia fearing for her life.

Note the dysphemism “alleged”, as though prostitution were criminal (which it isn’t in Colombia); if you don’t understand what Suarez was afraid of, you might want to read my column on Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

Meanwhile, “Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby…stated in a May 6 memo that troops in Chicago during the [NATO] summit that begins May 20 will not ‘solicit prostitutes or engage in conduct which is unprofessional or unbecoming of a member of the armed forces.’  One military officer called the restrictions ‘an overreaction to recent Secret Service misconduct in Colombia’.”

Hiring whores is “unbecoming” to a soldier?  Pardon me while I die laughing.

Little Boxes (April 29th, 2012)

Dr. Marty Klein published a superb essay entitled “Why Janet Jackson’s Nipple Won’t Go Away”:

You may recall that way back in 2004, Janet Jackson’s right nipple was unexpectedly exposed for exactly one-half second during the Super Bowl halftime show.  Grown men cried.  Women fainted.  Children were driven mad by the brown protuberance.  Not surprisingly, the stock market crashed only four years later, soon followed by the meltdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors.  To punish the TV network on which the travesty occurred, the…FCC levied enormous fines…Since then, the FCC and our federal courts have been going back and forth in an attempt to design a TV censorship policy that doesn’t involve, um, censorship…So why are two successive presidencies…obsessed with a half-second of nipple?  Why are millions more of your tax dollars about to be spent attempting to punish CBS for what they failed to prevent over 8 years ago?…It’s a special kind of politics:  coding certain phenomena as sexual…makes them…subject to public control.  There is virtually no private sexual behavior in America…the “public-izing” of sex is a key weapon in the War On Sex…

One has to wonder:  Do American politicians want to make the US the laughingstock of the entire world, or do they really not comprehend that’s what they’re doing?

Whorearchy (May 10th, 2012)

In a perfect example of how “authorities” draw lines to divide whores from one another, Spain continues to turn the screws on streetwalkers so as to make it increasingly harder for them to make a living, while brothels are doing fine:

Indignant prostitutes take to the streets in Barcelona, angry at the city’s plans to ban street prostitution.  Unemployment in [Spain] has reached 23 percent, and sex workers say this is the only way they can earn a living…the police make their lives difficult as it is and…tightening the law will make it even harder to feed a family.  But…[brothels have] been making bigger profits every year since the crisis hit…

Metaupdates

The Camel’s Nose in TW3 (#16) (April 21st, 2012)

Even if Obama really does keep his promise to veto CISPA, there’s already a contingency plan in the works:

The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms…to build in backdoors for government surveillance…FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans…The FBI [wants to force] social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and…e-mail [to] alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly…The FBI’s proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers…there are [also] indications that the [FCC] is considering reinterpreting CALEA to demand that products that allow video or voice chat over the Internet — from Skype to Google Hangouts to Xbox Live — include surveillance backdoors to help the FBI…

One Year Ago Today

A War for Peace” turns a critical eye on the antics of Femen, the Ukranian feminist group known for topless protests.

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A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.  –  Eric Hoffer

Eleven updates and two metaupdates.

Election Day (November 2nd, 2010)

The campaign to ban police and prosecutors from using condoms as “evidence of prostitution” is ramping up; last week a group of public health and human rights advocates spoke to the New York legislature, and supporters now have their own website.  Find out what you can do to help end this public health nightmare; success in New York will reinforce efforts in other states.

Maggie in the Media (February 3rd, 2011)

My column on the Secret Service scandal attracted quite a lot of media attention.  Last Friday James Wolcott of Vanity Fair quoted me, writing “Maggie McNeill, whose always provocative and independent-thinking blog The Honest Courtesan provides “a whore’s-eye view on current events,” is unable to stifle a yawn over the unholy fuss being made over the Secret Service  agent and the underpaid escort, which has flowered into a hothouse scandal…”  On that same day I spoke to Abby Ellin of ABC News, whose story appeared on Monday:

“If it had happened here, the woman couldn’t have gone to the police and said, ‘These guys are trying to cheat me out of money.’  Instead, she would have been hurt and cheated, and Mr. Agent Man would have gone home and patted himself on the back for having gotten one over on her,” said Maggie McNeill, a former New Orleans call girl and the founder of The Honest Courtesan.

She also wrote:

But while they acknowledge the potential dangers to national security, sex workers in the United States think the “breach” argument is another form of discrimination against prostitutes.  “If the issue is attracting attention or bragging about being in the security detail, then it would be a problem if they brought in any outsider,” said McNeill.  “If that’s the case, then what difference does it make if she’s a prostitute or an accountant?”

The next day, Newstrack India drew on the ABC story for its own report, which said:  “Maggie McNeill, a former New Orleans call girl and the founder of The Honest Courtesan, and others have said that the policy was ridiculous, and that criminalizing prostitution was not only a human rights violation, but also a safety and labour issue.”  Meanwhile, I was contacted by the producer of The O’Reilly Factor to be on Tuesday’s show, but I didn’t want to show my face on national television and O’Reilly understandably wanted someone he could look in the eye; instead they got Sienna Baskin of the Sex Workers Project, whom I am told held her own very well (probably better than I could’ve, because O’Reilly would almost certainly have flustered me).

Not the Same Tree (February 18th, 2011)

Northern Ireland has railroaded convicted its first “sex trafficker”:

Matyas Pis was…convicted of controlling prostitution…The [two] women said they asked…Pis to book their air tickets, and he provided them with an apartment…Judge Burgess said the women were not being held against their will, but he could not ignore that “human trafficking is a global problem and we should not be blind to the fact that it is happening right now in Northern Ireland…”

So obviously this judge would convict men for having consensual sex on the grounds that he heard somewhere that 1 in 4 women have been raped.

What’s the Legal Definition of Prostitution Again? (April 17th, 2011)

I wasn’t going to say anything about this article  criticizing a new halfway whore site, because it’s sadly typical of Jezebel’s stealth anti-sex work oeuvre.  But then Lolo de Sucre of Tits and Sass published this thoroughly awesome takedown entitled “Jezebel Blogger Saves Unwitting Women from Accidentally Prostituting Themselves ‘in Fucking Thailand or Some Shit’”, which you absolutely must read; her caption for this picture is especially brilliant.

Handy Figures (June 11th, 2011)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti referenced this column and two others in a new article on the methodological deficiencies of prohibitionist “studies”.  Meanwhile, an otherwise-uninteresting news article led me to this equally-uninteresting 2006 item which nonetheless contained one interesting statistic:  49% of Indian men are now willing to admit they’ve paid for sex, which is much closer to the truth than the laughably low figures many American “researchers” produce via poorly-phrased questions.

Sisters in Arms (July 14th, 2011)

Tennessee joins the list of states defining miscarriage as murder; this article quotes and links others from Knox News, RH Reality Check, Think Progress and The Tennessean.  Had enough yet, neofeminists and nanny-staters?  Because the policies you support provide the precedents for these abominations.

Schadenfreude (November 28th, 2011)

Great news about Kristof’s “hero”, fanatical anti-whore activist Somaly Mam:

[At a UN panel] Somaly Mam…[falsely claimed] that when police raided her Afesip centre in Phnom Penh in 2004, eight of the girls were…murdered…83 women…[were taken to the] centre…after a raid…on the Chai Hour 11 Hotel, where it was alleged that underage girls were providing sexual services…However, the following day, the centre itself was raided by government officials and members of the detained women’s families, and the women released…Somaly Mam [claimed] these officials colluded with the owners of the hotel, but a number of the women released [insisted] to reporters that they…resented being “rescued”.  It was also disputed that any of the women were underage…No reports…suggested any of the women…were missing…[and] the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights [expressed] surprise at Mam’s…claim…[Pierre Legros, Mam’s ex-husband and] Afesip’s international director at the time of the raids, also denied that any…girls were murdered…he said that previous claims by his ex that their daughter had…been kidnapped and gang-raped in revenge for her mother’s activism were also untrue…[the] daughter had simply run off with her boyfriend…the lack of evidence of Mam’s claims…seriously [undermines] her credibility.  Observers had for some time felt that Mam had become preoccupied with her identity as an international celebrity…

Presents, Presents, Presents! (December 29th, 2011)

On Tuesday I received a DVD of The Thing from Lord Oberon, then yesterday the UPS man brought me John Stossel’s new book No, They Can’t from Elisabeth Whispers.  Thank you both so much for thinking about me!

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

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) held its conference in Istanbul last week, and unlike similar events in the United States, sex worker rights groups were welcomed there as important participants.  Dr. Laura Agustín wrote about the proceedings:

…I was at this event most of last week, part of a group promoting a vision of sex work, migration and feminism that emphasizes agency, the state of being in action, taking power, making decisions even when presented with few options. We overtly challenged the reductionist, infantilising ideology that has come to dominate mainstream policy and faux journalism  (like The New York Times’s) by attending many sessions and commenting…

TrustLaw reported on the conference as well, highlighting Agustín’s contribution and also quoting the EMPOWER Foundation:

“We are forced to live with the modern lie that border controls and anti-trafficking policies are for our protection…We have been spied on, arrested, cut off from our families, had our savings confiscated, interrogated, imprisoned and placed into the hands of the men with guns…all in the name of ‘protection against trafficking’”…one woman [said]:  “At a restaurant you get a menu and you look at all the options before you pick out your selection …Some restaurants have a huge menu and some only have a few dishes – either way the process is the same.  Vegetarians may not understand when you choose a steak, and others may not understand when we choose to do sex work.”

Much Ado About Nothing (April 14th, 2012)

Since the public stubbornly refuses to get worked up over the “news” that G-men hire whores, the news media is casting its net more widely:…anonymous sources [said] that Secret Service employees received sexual favors from strippers at a club in San Salvador and took prostitutes to their hotel rooms…in March 2011.”  Stop the Presses!  Men buying sex while travelling on business!  Why, that’s never happened before in the history of the world!  Contrast that non-story with this, which SHOULD have caused a scandal last December but was instead ignored by the American media:

A former Brazilian prostitute plans to sue the United States embassy and five of its personnel for injuries sustained outside a strip club [on December 29th]…Romilda Aparecida Ferreira…[is suing] for injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and psychological trauma after an embassy van ran over her and left her stranded in the club parking lot with a broken collarbone, punctured lung and other injuries…A civil suit would compound a case in which Brazilian prosecutors have already said they are considering criminal charges…Little noticed at the time, the incident in Brasília…gained traction this week…

It was “little noticed” because the American media didn’t give a damn about several apes in uniform mutilating a hooker (NHI and all that).  But now that it can be tangentially hooked to a “prostitution scandal” it’s suddenly news.

Ad Scortum (April 16th, 2012)

In order to combat prohibitionist claims that satisfied, well-adjusted sex workers are “not representative”, Greta Christina has invited us to tell our stories in a thread from which prohibitionists and other non-sex workers are specifically excluded.  If you’re a present or past sex worker of any kind (it’s not limited to whores) please contribute; the thread is already over 100 responses long!

Metaupdates

Coming and Going in That Was the Week That Was (#12) (March 24th, 2012)

In yet another sign that the anti-whore tide may be receding, The New York Daily News published this article strongly criticizing Anna Gristina’s treatment:

…in Florida, a judge granted $150,000 bail for George Zimmerman, who is charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin.  Last week, a career criminal named Ivan Ramos was arrested after allegedly raping, sodomizing and robbing a young woman…Facing 15 years, an obvious flight risk and a clear threat to the community, Ramos was given $300,000 bail.  Meanwhile, Anna Gristina…has been held on $2 million bond since Feb. 22 on a nonviolent charge of promoting prostitution…[which usually results in] probation and carries a maximum sentence of two to seven years…two weeks ago five male hotel clerks were charged…with the same exact crime [and] released on their own recognizance, without posting a dime in bail…What’s more obscene?  A woman charged with promoting the world’s oldest profession that attracts governors, U.S. senators, congressmen and Secret Servicemen?  Or this flagrant abuse of judicial power that’s turned the Blind Lady of Justice into a streetwalker?

The Camel’s Nose in That Was the Week That Was (#16) (April 21st, 2012)

American readers, have you called your congressman about CISPA yet?  If not, you’d better hurry:

Up until [Thursday] afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be [Friday].  Then, abruptly, it was moved up…and the House voted in favor of its passage…248-168…[after] an  absolutely terrible change (…amendment #6)…[in] what the government can do with shared information…Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power…though it in fact expands it…Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes.  Those purposes have not been limited or removed.  Instead, three more…have been added:  investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children…Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all…[and] the government could do whatever it wants with the data…CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that…eliminates …all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer…

The government’s doubletalk was so masterful it even succeeded in convincing some CISPA opponents that the changes limited its power, but as Leigh Beadon explains in this follow-up to her article above, that’s totally false.

One Year Ago Today

The Coffee Klatsch” provides samples of the blogs of three other hookers with whom I’m friendly.

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Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom: it is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.  –  William Pitt

Nine updates and two meta-updates; two other news stories from this week will be treated in greater depth in my columns for April 29th and May 6th.

The Camel’s Nose (October 2nd, 2010)

Meet CISPA, formerly known as SOPA, alias PIPA, née COICA:

…some people are calling it “worse than SOPA,” and it’s sponsored by a congressman who thinks the death penalty should be considered for Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking military information to Wikileaks.  Be worried:  they think we stopped paying attention after SOPA — so they made…the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (PDF) (aka H.R. 3523)…[which] has the support of companies such as AT&T, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft…and many more.  A full list of all 28 corporate supporters is here.  The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), is also trying to get tech press to tell you…CISPA is “nothing like SOPA.”  Don’t believe it.  CISPA’s primary function is to remove legal barriers that might keep Internet companies from giving all your communication and information to the government.  It allows “cyber entities” (such as Internet service providers, social networks like Facebook and cell phone companies like AT&T) to circumvent Internet privacy laws when they’re pressured by Homeland Security to hand over or shut down — well, almost anything of yours online that the government wants, no warrant needed…

Here’s a handy graphic (click to enlarge) you can download or link and spread everywhere, and here’s a very comprehensive “tool kit” from Anonymous.  Don’t ignore this, y’all; the fascists figured out they needed to give more to the big tech companies, so this time we have to defeat it without corporate support.

To Protect and Serve (February 9th, 2011)

Another sex worker murdered by cops, and another victim of so-called “non-lethal” tasers:

Adult performer Sledge Hammer…[whose legal name was Marland Anderson, died on April 13th] after…police…shot [him numerous times] with a Taser…Anderson…“had a mild form of schizophrenia, and it wasn’t a problem until he started smoking pot and taking various things for depression,” [friend and film director Stoney] Curtis explained…On Sunday night…Anderson suffered a severe anxiety attack and his girlfriend, adult performer Alexa Cruz, called 911 to prevent him from harming himself…police showed up with an ambulance and…“instead of trying to talk to him or grab him and get him to the ground, or the paramedics giving him a sedative, they decided to break out their tasers and just tasered him excessively until the point where he went into cardiac arrest,” Curtis said…

Once again:  never, ever call the cops for any reason, not even if you think you’re dying.  Because once you do, they think you are their personal property to dispose of in any way they wish.

Not the Same Tree (February 18th, 2011)

This article about a Scottish escort service owner convicted of “human trafficking” is a perfect illustration of how the warped minds of police, prosecutors and prohibitionists project crime and evil into everything they see, and how they and their media lackeys use dysphemisms, distortion and exaggeration to create monsters out of businesspeople:

Scotland’s first convicted sex trafficker…revealed the secrets of the seedy vice empire that raked in a fortune – before landing him in jail.  Stephen Craig…described how he and…Sarah Beukan…ran their infamous Scottish Elite Escorts and recruited girls to join their prostitution ring.  Craig also claimed that footballers, actors and comedians were among the biggest clients…and…admitted taking a third of the money paid by punters to his girls…Craig denied making threats to girls or forcing them to sell their bodies…a police officer claimed one witness said Craig threatened to pour boiling water down her throat…But Sheriff Sam Clark said there was “no pressure, force or threat” on women who worked for him.  Craig now faces a proceeds of crime investigation.  He said…“Police say Sarah and I made £20,000 a week…[but actually] we probably split about £5000 on a good week”…

“Seedy vice empire”.  “Infamous”. “Prostitution ring”.  “Sell their bodies”.  “Taking money” to mean “charging fees”.  The lurid accusations totally unsupported by fact, and the wild exaggeration of his income so the cops can steal more of his property and savings.  I wish there were some way to make these asses fully cognizant of how  ridiculous they’re going to look once Western society fully awakens from “sex trafficking” hysteria.

Give It a Rest (August 18th, 2011)

Remember the Texas strip club which cops were trying to destroy via harassment of dancers and customers?  Apparently, they either succeeded in driving the owner over the edge or else just decided to get rid of him by the time-honored method of framing:

Ryan Walker Grant, co-owner of Flashdancer topless club in Arlington, was arrested after an FBI investigation revealed he tried to hire Mexican hitmen to kill two Arlington city officials whom he blamed for the closure of his business…Grant [allegedly told the FBI plant that]…he stood to lose $800,000 a year if Flashdancers closed for good…

Follow Your Bliss (November 29th, 2011)

Though most “child sex slave” fetishists restrict themselves to writing lurid newspaper stories, this one sought the opportunity for “hands-on” experience “helping” underage hookers:

A counselor at a new…shelter for prostituted children groped and propositioned a girl there…prosecutors in Seattle contend Ralph Nathaniel Wells accosted the then-16-year-old girl in late January.  Wells, 32, had been employed by the shelter as an overnight counselor…the girl said Wells called her out of her room several times…[and] made inappropriate comments and sexual advances, pulled on her clothing and touched her.  Wells was suspended without pay immediately…

Obviously Wells bought his own organization’s propaganda that the girl was “prostituted” (i.e. a passive object without volition) and a “child”, and therefore too stupid and helpless to turn him down and report his sleazy behavior.

Presents, Presents, Presents! (December 29th, 2011)

I got two new presents this week!  On Monday I received a copy of Never On Sunday from Martin English, and on Tuesday a new book named The Origins of Sex from another reader who prefers to remain anonymous.  Thank you both so very much!

An Angel of Mercy (January 25th, 2012)

You don’t have to be a Catholic nun to do outreach to streetwalkers; Cyndee Clay is a lapsed Mormon who heads Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS) in Washington, DC.  In this interview with Metro Weekly she talks about sex work stigma, “prostitution-free zones”, police harassment, harm reduction and the services HIPS provides, including “weekly support groups…daily maintenance groups for active drug users…case management, linkage to care and services, including HIV testing and drop-in syringe access…our bad-date sheet” and condom distribution.

Much Ado About Nothing (April 18th, 2012)

Well, the story’s beginning to make a lot more sense now; it turns out the argument wasn’t over $47 as initially reported, but rather $770 (the difference between the $800 fee Agent Asshole agreed to and the $30 he tried to give her instead).  Some of the agents are now making the sophomoric claim that they didn’t know their dates were whores, which is not only unbelievable to anyone in the know, but also flies in the face of reports that they met the women in a brothel.  And Dania (the lady who was cheated) insists that contrary to what the bouncer and cops claim, the agents were very discreet and she had no idea they were Secret Service.

But despite media efforts to sex up the story and to overdramatize its importance (“Eleven Secret Service agents…and nine military servicemen are under investigation for hiring 20 or 21 hookers”) the American people seem refreshingly unmoved.  My own perceptions and those of several of my sources indicate that more people are concerned with the agent’s trying to cheat a sex worker than the fact that he hired her.  A reporter who interviewed me yesterday (I’m not sure when it will appear) felt that the real story was that Colombia’s system protects women by allowing them access to police, and a Vanity Fair article which quotes yours truly points out that the whole scandal is a convenient misdirection from the issues of the Cartagena summit, which Washington doesn’t want the public thinking too hard about.  Spirit Airlines mocked the scandal in a promotion, and Dennis Hof of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch opined that Secret Service agents should only hire American whores.  But most interesting (and heartening) of all is the reaction in many mainstream media sources (including Forbes), which might be synopsized in the words used by Reason’s J.D. Tuccille: “Maybe, just maybe, we could stop pretending that exchanging money for sex is such a terrible thing.”

Hard Numbers (April 20th, 2012)

Brazil follows the example of our friends Down Under in recognizing that it is attempts to ban or regulate prostitution that cause the problems “authorities” associate with it, and that decriminalization is the best way to eliminate those issues:

A proposal before the Senate…[eliminates] criminal penalties for owners of brothels.  The legal experts…want to end what they call the moral “cynicism” of the current legislation.  In practice, they say, the ban on brothels only serves to corrupt police who extort money and services from the owners of the establishments…Prostitution itself is not illegal in Brazil, nor is it regulated by the government…the change will…permit labor unions to establish a link between the employees and the employer as is the norm in countries such as Germany and Holland.  ”It is a historical claim to the movement for prostitutes,” [said] Roberto Dominguez…legal advisor to the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes…

Metaupdates

Counterfeit Comfort in That Was the Week That Was (#8) (February 26th, 2012)

In their quest for absolute power over the lives of their subjects, politicians can’t let little things like justice, decency or the law stop them.  After a federal judge overturned a Louisiana law banning victims of the “sex offender” registry from social media, tyrants in New York realized the same thing would probably happen if they enacted a similar law, so they used political pressure to force online companies to do their dirty work for them:

Back in 2008, New York passed a law requiring…sex offenders to register all email addresses and social network accounts with the government…[now] Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has  announced the first wave of an initiative called “Operation: Game Over”…[in which] over 3500 sex offenders’ online gaming accounts with companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Blizzard have been banned completely.  AG Schneiderman applauds the effort with “We must ensure online video game systems do not become a digital playground for dangerous predators. That means doing everything possible to block sex offenders from using gaming networks as a vehicle to prey on underage victims”…[But as] the New York Civil Liberties Union [points out]…“the problem…is almost non-existent. Children are almost always abused by people they know – a friend or family member – not by people they interact with while playing video games online.

…Not only are these people blocked from playing with children through these services, they are also blocked from playing with friends and family members.  We are further eroding the ability for these people to reintegrate themselves with society, and for what?  While New York and those gaming companies that partnered with the state continue the witch hunt, they will surely earn some brownie points with parents.  After all, that is really what matters in an election year…Who cares if justice is actually being served?  Sex offenders are expendable.  They aren’t real people.  At least you can keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night.

A Manufactured War in That Was the Week That Was (#15) (April 14th, 2012)

While I contended myself with dispatching the New York Times’ scare story on “sex trafficking” in Spain via a quick shotgun blast, Dr. Laura Agustín preferred to vivisect it instead.  I think you’ll find the result well worth your time.

One Year Ago Today

Faerie Tale” is exactly that…but probably not in the way you’re thinking.

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