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Posts Tagged ‘The Naked Anthropologist’

Governmental mechanisms to frame policy based on lies are not uncommon.  –  Laura Agustín

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín on “sex trafficking” snake oil:

Swindle, chicanery, skullduggery, con.  There’s no one perfect word to describe how trafficking came to be hailed as one of the great problems of our time.  Excess in rhetoric has known no bounds, with campaigners saying theirs is the new civil-rights movement and claiming there are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history, amongst other hyperbole.  And there was me thinking it was about folks wanting to leave home to see if things might be better elsewhere…I was asking reasonable questions about a social phenomenon and refused to be fobbed off with explanations that made no sense.  My trajectory as a thinker happened to coincide with a piece of governmental legerdemain that switched the topic of conversation from human mobility and migration to organized crime, like peas in a shell game…

Shame, Shame (#649)

Gee, who could’ve anticipated draconian “revenge porn” laws would be used this way (except all the free speech activists who have opposed them for years)?

Bethany Austin did nothing society would reasonably call wrong.  She received, without asking, sexually explicit images that her fiancé’s paramour sent to a shared cloud account.  She quietly called off the engagement…[and] her former fiancé [responded by] spread[ing] a hurtful and untrue rumor that he had ended the relationship because Ms. Austin was crazy and refused to cook and clean for him.  To clear her good name, Ms. Austin wrote a letter to her friends and family explaining what really happened.  She attached some of the images as proof.  Now the ex‐​fiancé and his paramour are using Illinois’s “revenge porn” law to punish her for speaking, and the state is happily obliging…The trial court found the law unconstitutional, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed.  Cato, joined by DKT Liberty Project, has filed an amicus brief supporting Ms. Austin’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court…

I Spy (#1001)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google will use its mammoth collection of mobile location data to [spy on] people across the globe [to see whether they are obeying] government [orders] to remain at home [until politicians deign to let them out again]…or are venturing out to [live their lives]…Google will provide county-level percentages that are updated every few days, but summarized in a way that the company [claims] will not reveal any individual’s travels [until politicians demand such information…

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

With the economy tanking and families locked together because of stay-at-home orders…domestic violence rates appear to be soaring.  This requires an urgent response:  States should immediately order the closures of liquor stores.  They can reopen when [politicians declare that] home isolation is no longer needed…

Like Houses (#1025)

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that [the] right [to self-defense]…is…”nonessential”…a…decision…which allowed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to unilaterally ban the sale of firearms and ammunition…Villanueva…[was forced to] rescind…his ban…[in the face of a lawsuit and]…new federal guidelines.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy…[and] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf [made similar defeated attempts]…their reluctance to respect [Constitutional rights does]…not bode well for civil liberties at a time when many people seem to think that fighting the pandemic trumps all other concerns…Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argued…Congress should suspend the writ of habeas corpus…[so] people [can be indefinitely] detained by the government…[and a recent poll showed] sizable majorities of [useful idiots]…favored confining people to their homes, [caging] sick people…government takeovers of businesses, [enslavement] of health care workers…and even criminalizing [speech that the government disapproves of]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Oh Maggie, you’re paranoid; this is about keeping people SAFE!

Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas…residents…face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth [until politicians declare] the coronavirus outbreak [over]…all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas…residents will also be required to adhere to a daily curfew or possibly face a fine or jail time…the curfew…lasts from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m…and may only leave for…work…[if they have a permission slip] from their employer…

It’s not about expanding the police state at all!

…New York [cops] arrested three people in Brooklyn…after they allegedly “failed to maintain social distancing”…despite [politicians] promising that those disregarding the lockdown would face fines at most…the individuals [were]…charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct…one…woman…[was mobbed by pigs] wearing no masks…[who] pepper-sprayed [her and her boyfriend]…she…was…then [locked in a filthy cage]…with two dozen other women for the next 36 hours.  Only women who already had masks when they were arrested were allowed to keep them…The woman was…[fired] because [her employer]…fears she was exposed to the virus while in [the disgusting, unsanitary cage]…

Government officials can be trusted not to take it too far!

Louisville residents [accused of]…contact with coronavirus patients [whom cops also accuse of] refus[ing] to isolate themselves are being [forced] to wear ankle [monitor] bracelets…there are [four] known cases so far…

Social Distancing (#1028)

American anti-sex work attitudes have slowly caught on in Japan:

Advocates for bar hostesses and [other] sex workers have urged the government to reconsider its exclusion of them from compensation for parents unable to work because of school closures, noting they are among the most vulnerable members of society.  A support group for such workers submitted…a letter asking the government not to discriminate by occupation and to protect the lives of all families as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Japanese economy…

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Anti-prostitution crusaders behave as if we were at war over a symbol rather than discussing possible and partial solutions.  –  Laura Agustín

Check Your Premises 

Yeah, I’m sure they answered the pigs’ fake ads and said, “Hi, I’m interested in buying sex from a potential trafficking victim”.  That sounds totally legit:  “The FBI and police in St. Louis County…[claim] that [14] men contacted undercover officers….[and] were interested in paying for sex from potential trafficking victims…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think owning a “legal” sex work business protects you:

A brother and sister were sentenced…to two years in federal prison for their schemes to promote prostitution at 10 Portland-area strip clubs and adult video stores.  Kandace Desmarias…and her brother, Gilbert “Mace” Desmarais…also were convicted of conspiring to evade paying more than $728,000 in federal income taxes by concealing $2.6 million in income from the clubs’ strip shows and prostitution.  The ringleader of the operation, their stepfather Lawrence G. Owen, 75, was sentenced in April  to two years and six months in prison…

“Ringleader”?  Seriously?  Are owners of non-sex related businesses called “ringleaders” when convicted of tax evasion?

Life Imitates Artifice (#139) 

It took four years, but eventually an Islamic theocracy followed Russia’s lead in using “sex trafficking” hysteria as Anti-American propaganda, exactly as I predicted:

[Bahram Qassemi of the foreign ministry of] Iran said…“The root causes of human trafficking lie in unilateral, interventionist and aggressive policies as well as the wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in which the military and security forces of America and some of its allies are involved…the U.S. government…cannot shirk its responsibility for that by playing blame games and leveling unfounded and false accusations against other countries”…

Business As Usual 

Given that cops raping sex workers is both typical and tolerated by police departments, my guess is that this dude pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

An NYPD cop working undercover prostitution stings in Manhattan…[raped] six women…All of the[m]…illegal immigrants…[Michael] Golden would pay between $40 and $300 for the sex acts, prosecutors said.  Then, a field team made up of fellow officers would burst in and…arrest [his victim]…Under the rules, undercover cops can strip down to their underwear, but they aren’t allowed to engage in any sex acts with the sting targets…

The Hooker Vote (#615) 

Yet another Dennis Hof PR scam, because reporters are stupid enough to keep giving him free publicity:

Licensed prostitutes in Nevada…are organizing against legislation they say will devastate them, other prostitutes across the nation and their families…dubbing itself “Hookers for Health Care,” this group plans to go “on a political offensive…to stop the Republican effort.”  At the helm is Alice Little…who works…at Dennis Hof’s Sagebrush Ranch brothel…About a hundred women working in Hof’s seven brothels have already signed up to be involved with this new movement…

Are these reporters complete dolts? Are they unable to see that a real “movement” would involve prostitutes who didn’t work for Hof as well?  Are they oblivious to Hof’s unimaginative naming convention (cf “Hookers for Hillary”, “Tarts for Trump”, “Pimpin’ for Paul”)?  Why do these imbeciles keep providing free advertising for this dangerously self-centered jackass, who’s happy to get in bed with prohibitionists against sex workers who aren’t forced to give half of their income to him?

To Molest and Rape

“Forced into a sexual relationship” may be the most convoluted way of saying “raped” I’ve yet seen:

…Melissa Granados sued the Otero County [New Mexico] Sheriff’s Department…Joshua R. Sides and others…Granados [reported] that after Sides and four other [cops] entered her home without a warrant and arrested her as she got out of the shower, naked except for a towel, co-defendant sheriff’s Officer John Emory joked with Sides and others that it was “hard to handcuff her … those tits are distracting me”…The five [thugs from] the Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit entered her home “claiming they had an arrest warrant for plaintiff, however never produced any valid warrant to enter her home”…later…Sides told her she had 24 hours to accept his offer to work as an informant.  Granados…refused…[then] Sides [coerced] her…in[to] a sexual relationship…She arrived home one day to find him already inside, though he had no key…he…hit her and knocked her…unconscious…

The Widening Gyre (#692) 

I love watching “authorities” get caught up in their own manufactured moral panic:

A SERIAL conwoman who cost [Ireland] €350,000 in armed garda protection by posing as a child sex trafficking victim is facing up to 10 years in jail after pulling a similar scam in Australia.  Samantha Azzopardi…who is now 28…[is] accused of obtaining €13,500 worth of services from the state and charities by pretending to be a 13-year-old Sydney foster child…named Harper Hart…court documents…cite…her “extensive history of providing false documentation, obtaining passports in false names and assuming identities of other persons” in Queensland, Western Australia, Ireland and Canada…

The Widening Gyre (#697)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

Alex Jones…interviewed Robert David Steele, a man whose Wikipedia page lists him as “an American activist and former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine services case officer.”  Steele laid out a strange theory that suggested NASA not only has secretly sent humans to Mars without anyone knowing about it but that…“There is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space…once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony…Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children…It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them.  It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts”…

Checklist (#713) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

…the House’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill…would require new mandatory training for all “ticket counter agents, gate agents, and other air carrier workers whose jobs require regular interaction with passengers” on “recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims”…federal agents have already been training flight attendants and other airline personnel on how to “detect” human traffickers or trafficking victims on their planes…There is no evidence these efforts have actually yielded any trafficking busts—which shouldn’t surprise anyone not immersed in some Taken-style fantasy…A heightened sensitivity to anything out-of-the-ordinary—which in the United States can still mean interracial families or a child traveling with two fathers—means a propensity to profile passengers based on stereotypes…Airline Ambassadors International, which often works with government officials on sex-trafficking awareness training, suggests that “children and young women traveling alone” should be considered suspect, as should people who say they are adults but have “adolescent features”…

Interview:  Laura Agustín

Another interview with Dr. Agustín about The Three-Headed Dog:

Why should acknowledgement of structural inequalities mean victimising those less equal?  I’ve never understood that.  Unequal in terms of money and power does not mean unequal in agency, connections, street-smarts or guts…The focus on inequality leads logically to self-positioning as a helper – the Rescue Industry.  And if helpers believe everyone must want to be in their original homes, it leads to deportation…

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Victimless crime creates the surveillance state.  –  Wendy McElroy

Amazingly Stupid Statements

License to Rape

At least the European media aren’t afraid to apply the word “rape” to the actions of rapist cops:

Hundreds of people took to the streets of a Paris suburb…to denounce police brutality, after a 22-year-old black man was…sodomised with a baton during an arrest last week…One [cop] was charged…with rape, while three others were charged with assault…The man suffered severe anal injuries which required surgery and was also treated for damage to the head and face…The severity of his injuries led a doctor to declare him unfit to work for 60 days…[cops] deny the [obvious evidence] and [pretend] they were targeting lookouts for drug dealers…

Decentralization

Wendy McElroy on bitcoin and consensual crime:

…There are people who use bitcoin to buy “immoral goods” (whatever that means) just as there are people who use cash to do so.  As long as the participants are consenting adults, that’s their business.  Not yours, not mine.  The state is the one who interjects violence and harm when it points a gun at peaceful adults…The attack on bitcoin will be framed…as a way to protect vulnerable and misguided individuals who use their own bodies in “unacceptable” ways.  Or it will unfold as a campaign of resentment against those individuals who do not pay their so-called “fair share” toward maintaining the surveillance state.  A moral attack must be met with moral indignation, not an apology…

Broken Record 

How fetishists are trying to back away from the thoroughly-debunked “Super Bowl sex trafficking” trope without abandoning the larger “gypsy whore” myth:

While there was a considerable increase in the number of [sex work] ads surrounding the Super Bowl, other events like a Memorial Day motorcycle rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and various industry conferences had a bigger impact than expected, suggesting that resources devoted to combating the problem of forced prostitution have been misdirected….[“sex trafficking” fetishists fantasize] that traffickers and pimps use online classified services like Backpage.com to advertise their victim’s sexual services…[pigs bizarrely fantasize that] words like “young” and “no pimps” can be indicators that the person in the photo is a trafficking victim…

Imaginary Evils

Since there are virtually no actual “sex trafficking” cases in the UK despite massive, multi-million-pound crusades to discover them, cops keep themselves busy with fantasies of “pimps” lurking behind every ordinary escort ad:

West Midlands Police has confirmed they now [waste] a substantial part of their [time] in [fantasizing about] sex trafficking victims in the region…[based on propaganda from] The Salvation Army…The content of profiles leads to more suspicion…A lot of the prostitutes also claim to be ‘independent’…But [since we know women are too stupid to plan travel or get pictures taken] their profile pictures…[and] the fact they move around the country would…allude to a larger, more organised, illegal operation…

Cops and Robbers

These are the kind of people who call us “bad” women:

…a group of sex workers…operate from one of three houses [in suburban Johannesburg] which were attacked by [a mob which]…marched to their house on [February 5th] and tossed their belongings outside before torching them.  Beds‚ bedding‚ plasma TV sets‚ music systems‚ clothes and money were some of the things that the girls lost in the [unprovoked attack which] locals [rationalized as taking] a stand against what they say are drug dens and brothels run by Nigerian nationals…

Guinea Pigs (#630) 

Maker of fascist surveillance software uses Backpage as a prop for self-fellation:

Marinus Analytics LLC has joined DeliverFund’s International Human Trafficking Analysis Center (iHTAC), a consortium of organizations who’ve partnered to [come up with more ways to profit from hysteria over]…human trafficking…The combined capabilities of Marinus Analytic’s Traffic Jam and DeliverFund’s uniquely qualified personnel allowed [pigs]…to continue [oppressing people] without disruption during the recent Backpage.com’s closure of its adult ads section…

To Molest and Rape child-molester-cop-chris-wilbanks

Lying, tricking someone into doing something wrong, threatening harm to compel behavior…gee, I wonder where he learned to act this way?

A [South Carolina cop] was arrested after federal investigators say that he coerced an 11-year-old girl into sending him a nude picture, then told her to send more naked photographs or he would show the first one to others…Chris Wilbanks…is charged with production of child pornography…[he] posed as a 14-year-old boy nicknamed “Redneck Rick” on social media and talked to the girl, who said she was 12…the girl sent about a dozen pornographic images to Wilbanks and was crying in many of them…

Challenge (#677)

What could be more Orwellian than referring to groups trying to take away women’s rights as “women’s rights groups”?

Two women’s rights organisations are to feature in a High Court challenge to a new law making it illegal for men to pay for sex in Northern Ireland…Space International, a [prohibitionist] group [backed by the nuns who abused women in the infamous Magdalene laundries], and Equality Now, [a group led by a former prosecutor who resigned in disgrace after railroading two innocent black men for rape,] have been granted intervener status in proceedings brought by sex worker Laura Lee…amendments to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act breach [sex workers’] human rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination.  Northern Ireland is currently the only UK region to make the purchase of sex a criminal offence…

The Naked Anthropologist (#701) 

Noah Berlatsky reviews Laura Agustín’s new book:

Laura Agustín’s novel The Three-Headed Dog…argues that the notion of innocent young girls exploited, waiting to be rescued by daredevil Kristofs, is a pernicious myth.  People who cross borders generally do so to find a better life.  They end up doing sex work because it can sometimes be the best option available, especially given prejudiced restrictions placed on immigrant entry and employment…Immigrants are often victimized, but they aren’t solely victims…The Three-Headed Dog doesn’t have an exciting rescue narrative…[it shows] exploitation [as]…a fact of life, a constant backdrop too ubiquitous to be felled with a single punch or raid…

The War Goes On 

We have so many more vocal allies now than we did when I started blogging seven years ago!

Last month, authoritarians…forced Backpage, the world’s second-biggest classified-ads website, to shut down its adult section.  A motley crew of elected officials at all levels of government…bullied Backpage and its executives into getting rid of it, supposedly because they were concerned about people being “sex trafficked”…Of course, as Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown points out, Backpage was already cooperating with law enforcement…something that won them numerous accolades from state and federal cops.  Purely with respect to fighting crime, the government’s victory was somewhere between empty and actively harmful…What’s more, politicians and law enforcement conflate sex trafficking with voluntary prostitution. As…Maggie McNeill has been arguing for years, there are no good data to suggest anything but a tiny fraction of sex workers are trafficked…a lot of prostitutes…used Backpage’s adult section, and the government’s self-indulgent crackdown put their livelihoods at risk…

I Swear To God (#708)

Michelle Chen on how the US tests oppressive tactics abroad before inflicting them domestically:

One of the first policy measures taken by Donald Trump…was reinstating and expanding a piece of presidential policy known as the “Global Gag Rule.”  The policy bars USAID funding for any organization abroad that provides abortions or even presents abortion as a family planning option…In another global campaign to spread “Christian values,” the US government’s long-standing “anti-prostitution pledge” restricts funding from going to any organizations that promote or support sex work.  The oath forces organizations to choose between providing comprehensive services to their constituencies, or cutting back on certain services in order to get US funding…the worst abuses of Washington’s hegemonic power have always taken place in international arenas before creeping inward.  The use of private detention facilities and military contractors in border enforcement and migration detention have been experimental sites for the most exploitative forms of prison profiteering.  It was, after all, the expansion of immigration detention that helped revive the private prison industry across the country, after the traditional prison industry’s profits plateaued after decades of mining black communities to fill its facilities…

Stupor Bowl (#711)

Liz Brown finds the usual total lack of “sex trafficking” at this year’s Super Bowl:

To hear the hysterics tell it, thousands—perhaps tens of thousands—of sex-selling women will flock like cockroaches to cities where sports-fans gather, and only some will be there willingly; the rest, including many children, are trucked in by opportunistic pimps and traffickers.  As ample people have pointed out…there’s not a shred of evidence to support this rumor…examinations of actual arrest data in Super Bowl cities shows no corresponding spike in sex trafficking, compelling prostitution, or any other similar charge—despite the verifiable spike in law-enforcement and media attention to the issue…Between the Saturday before the Super Bowl and the Tuesday morning after, no criminal complaints were filed against anyone [in Houston] for sex trafficking, soliciting a minor, pimping, promoting prostitution, compelling prostitution, etc…[the rumor is] what people today like to refer to as “fake news,” and the people who propagate it year after year—police departments looking to justify vice stings and asset forfeiture, missionary groups looking to fundraise or justify federal anti-trafficking grants, sensationalist media, and state and national politicians with human-trafficking measures to promote—are not…“abolitionists” but propagandists, plain and simple.

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There is a well-established connection between moral panic…and laws that produce grotesque injustices.  –  Matt Welch

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

Fetishists claim that Texas has about 500% of the underage sex workers in the US:

With 79,000 kids currently being trafficked in Texas, human trafficking is a statewide, underground issue, and Waco is no exception…The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition held a roundtable meeting…to discuss the underlying issues and new efforts to prevent trafficking.  A [fascist] effort is underway between law enforcement, church groups, and social workers to minimize the demand for prostitution…

Elephant in the Parlor goofy-trump

Politician pays whores for mildly-kinky show.  Yawn.

An unverified and salacious 35-page document, a summary of which was presented to President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump last week, includes allegations that Russian operatives sought to “exploit Trump’s personal obsessions and sexual perversion” to gain compromising material on him…The most explosive allegation is that Trump hired a “number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ [sic] (urination) show in front of him”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

“Sex addiction” is becoming a “get out of jail free” card:

A man [is] accused of trying to have sex with an underage girl, while dressed up as a character from the Men in Black movie…Michael Geressy is known for dressing up as various movie characters…but…police said he had a secret identity as a child sex predator…His attorney…asked the judge to continue his arraignment so his client can begin treatment for sex addiction…

Standard Operating Procedure

If only amateurs realized how common this sort of thing is:

Jason Mount…is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…for records purportedly held by DHS…”that contain information regarding an allegation that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Supervisory Special Agent Peter Edge lost his official credentials to a prostitute and the credentials had to be retrieved by local police“…If the allegations are true, it means that a top ICE agent cavorted with a prostitute, lost his credentials during his date, and then summoned the local police to help him find his papers…

Dysphemisms Galore 

I find the lack of “victim” rhetoric here kind of refreshing:

…four people who live there presented me with the problem of hookers and hopheads in Brooklyn, on the south side of Baltimore…all of them are concerned about crime creep: more and more prostitutes who gather on sidewalks day and night; men in expensive sedans and pickup trucks that form…a virtual caravan of johns looking for sex.  The prostitutes…sometimes solicit customers near a church and an elementary school…Lisa Bowling say[s]…”We can count the whores and johns and drug dealers as they stroll down the street…We have been to meetings with the police where they state that it’s a ‘victimless crime.’  Funny, I don’t think they have whores in front of their houses every day”…

Traffic Circle

“Sex trafficking” debunking comes to the LA Times:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein…[led] off her critical cross-examination of the nation’s likely next top cop with a factually insane claim that will probably give him more power…In order for “human sex trafficking” to be the second largest criminal industry in the United States, it would at minimum need to supplant illegal narcotics (roughly $100 billion a year)…or Medicare fraud (in the ballpark of $60 billion)…So distant is reality from those numbers that even the commonly cited figure of $9.8 billion a year for all trafficking…was given “four Pinocchios” by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.  Feinstein wasn’t done.  “Trafficking victims,” she warned, average “12 to 14” in age. (“Four Pinocchios,” judged Kessler.)  These fake numbers have consequences. Congress has leaned on such bogus statistics by periodically ratcheting up the penalties of…the criminals apprehended [who] are disproportionately adult females who work in the sex industry by choice

It’s Different Because It Involves Sex, Part Umpteen (#546)

As usual, Indians understand this far better than Americans do:

If the government of Maharashtra has its way, there would be bars in the state where the clientele won’t be served alcohol…The law…demanded the abolition of alcohol anywhere near the dancers at dance bars as well as the installation of CCTV cameras on the premises…Even the highest court of the land called these strictures “absurd” and “arbitrary” and “absolutely regressive by centuries”.  Now, in a fresh affidavit to the Supreme Court, the state has argued that bar dancing is “vulgar” and “not an art form that needs to be protected and promoted”.  It has alleged that such activities are often a cover for…the exploitation of women.  The girls who perform the dances, the state added, were not “trained artistes”, their dancing has very little “entertainment value” and borders on the obscene…

Note that such laws are very common in the US, especially in so-called “progressive” states like Washington.

Cheesy Scheme

It was inevitable that the “escort licensing” scam would eventually spread beyond Wisconsin:

…Escorts working in Mesa [Arizona] will now have to register for a license with the city.  [Politicians fantasize that] increasing regulations could help crack down on sex-trafficking operations that masquerade as escort services…Escort applicants will undergo a business and criminal background check…

Crying for Nanny (#659)

Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help Backpage now:

The Supreme Court said Monday it won’t hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims who accuse advertising website Backpage.com of helping to promote the exploitation of children.  The justices left in place a lower court ruling that said federal law shields Backpage from liability because the site is just hosting content created by people who use it…

The Last Shall Be First (#675)

Alabama wants to put pigs in women’s bathrooms.  Seriously.

Alabama might place attendants in public restrooms as part of the state’s potential transgender bathroom bill…to guard against potential “molestation, assault and battery”…The act…would force public institutions to have bathrooms that only serve one gender or to place attendants in bathrooms that serve both genders…

Shift in the Wind (#692)

Medical ethicists are now solidly behind decriminalization:

…health care workers should support the full decriminalization of prostitution…By removing punitive laws that prevent reporting of exploitation and abuse, decriminalization allows sex workers to work more safely, thereby reducing marginalization and vulnerability.  Decriminalization can also help destigmatize sex work and help resist political, social, and cultural marginalization of sex workers…

The Naked Anthropologist (#701) the-three-headed-dog

Dr. Laura Agustín on why she wrote The Three-Headed Dog:

…I’m not making a sudden switch to fiction.  It’s one of the things I used to write before the Internet, before doing postgraduate degrees, before social media.  I began this story, in my head and scribbled notes, not long after starting those degrees in the late 90s…In general such stories are not published unless the migrants are portrayed as passive victims needing rescue by much straighter and more comfortable characters…Just as I strove to show in Sex at the Margins that many migrants don’t perceive themselves as inert objects of cruel fate and evil men, here a few of them act out their stories, trying to find ways to get ahead and stay out of trouble…The characters here are neither real nor unreal but created themselves in my imagination out of my long experience of travelling on my own and talking with people.  I’ve seen everything that happens in this book.  I’ve known people who thought and acted these ways…

The War Goes On 

The operators of…Backpage.com…declined to answer questions from a Senate panel investigating the company’s adult services ads, which lawmakers and law enforcement [fantasize] have helped facilitate pimping and child sex trafficking in the U.S.  Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, his business associates James Larkin and Michael Lacey as well as other company officials appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations but invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves…

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Sex workers are literally dying because of [brothelkeeping] law.
–  Wendy Lyon

Whores and Wives

Let’s hope this means Snopes will start doing more to debunk “sex trafficking” lies:

Snopes.com’s founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.  He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site’s staff members.  They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of “embezzlement” and suggesting he is attempting a “boondoggle” to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Could this bootlicking be any more pompous?

Like many other law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California, Long Beach police have turned their attention to eliminating the scourge of human trafficking…The department formed a task force and vowed to arrest people who profited from and exploited the sex trade…[except] when one of their own officers was accused of trying to exploit the illicit sex trade the department wants to stamp out…William Scott Holder…was arrested last year in a…sting in Corona…[but] remains employed by the department…

Check Your Premises

Remember that these statements are being made by supposedly rational adults who have the power to inflict violence on others at will:

[A confused & self-contradictory propaganda] notice from the Malheur County (Ore.) Sheriff’s Office didn’t [make much sense]…“Victims of sex trafficking and prostitution are forced, coerced and manipulated into this lifestyle against their will…prostitutes…still may be charged no matter what…Because if you don’t charge them, then there’s no incentive to change…we don’t throw them out to the same manager, or pimp, if you will…Most often, they won’t [pretend the cop narrative is true], so you do everything you can to [force] them…to [pretend] that they were or are victims”…[cops pretended that] the 11 men charged with commercial sexual solicitation…responded to decoy ads police placed on “known sex trafficking websites” [even though there is no such thing]…

Profit from Panic 

Three quarters of a million no-strings dollars to spread propaganda & infantilize women:

The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, was awarded a three-year, $750,000 grant…from the U.S. Department of Justice…The charity’s victim assistance program partners directly with local law enforcement to help human trafficking victims become more independent…”We help them go from not being able to tie their shoes to being independent and able to sustain themselves,” [chief propagandist Chuck] Anderson said…Typical signs that someone may be a victim include signs of physical abuse, tattoos or brand marks, especially ones that say “property of,” and possessing large amounts of cash…

Wait, large amounts of cash?  I though the “pimps” took every penny?  I guess people who can’t tie their shoes can’t count, either.

Imagination Pinned Down kazaam-poster

Another example of how people’s memories can be rewritten by others:

…[many people]…recall…a movie called Shazaam…in the early Nineties …the movie starred the American stand-up comedian Sinbad…as an incompetent genie who granted wishes to two young children…[some claim] detailed scene-by-scene recollections of the film…hundreds of Redditors…have used the popular social news site to discuss their memories of Shazaam.  Together they have scoured the internet to find evidence that the movie existed but each has repeatedly come up empty-handed.  Sinbad himself has even taken to Twitter to deny that he ever played such a role…It all began in 2009 [when] an anonymous individual took to…Yahoo! Answers to pose its users a simple question. “Do you remember that…movie in the early 90s where sinbad the…comedian played a genie?”…it took another two years for somebody else to ask about it again online…last year…things took [off on Reddit]…In 1996, the basketball player Shaquille O’Neal played a genie who helped a young boy find his estranged father in a commercially unsuccessful film…[named] Kazaam

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín is back with a novel dramatizing the problems faced by migrants:

European borders are the gates of Hell, lurked over by hounds of police and organized crime…illegal migrants and smugglers are outsiders doing whatever it takes to make good, often by selling sex…In the realm of undocumented migration, knuckling under to thugs can be the sensible alternative to drowning at sea, and putting up with rotten jobs preferable to pointless lives back home…The Three-Headed Dog is international mystery in a downward-spiralling scenario for human mobility…

With Friends Like These…

You might be forgiven for thinking that an article which starts out like this would be pro-decriminalization:

Jamie Rosseland…remembers the day her mugshot and charge were published in a Jacksonville newsletter [ironically] called the Victim’s Advocate as part of a column called “Shame, Shame, Shame”…those publications fuel a stigma against women who are arrested for prostitution…

Unfortunately, you’d be wrong; the rest is a typical “whores are mindless victims” mess which quotes (among others) arch-prohibitionist Pete Holmes, the Seattle city attorney paid to lap up Swanee Hunt’s “end demand” vomit and puke it out again all over reporters.

The Mote and the Beam (#332)

Once the courts waver in slapping down attempts to destroy legal protections, it won’t be long before the vultures start circling:

The families of three fatally shot victims [from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando]…filed a lawsuit against Google, Twitter and Facebook…[pretending] the tech companies provided “material support” for the radicalization of Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired shooter Omar Mateen…The suit [pretends]…all three tech giants…”knowingly and recklessly” [chose not to censor]…accounts associated [by unnamed “authorities”] with ISIS…and allowed the extremist group “to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds, and attracting new recruits”…

The most dangerous part of the suit is that Mateen, an adult, was magically “radicalized” against his will by these mind-control messages; i.e., they paint a disturbed murderer as the passive victim of hypnotic rays beamed through the internet.  Sound familiar?  This is what happens when you allow a precedent to be established that people are passive victims of anyone who can be “othered”, especially when the so-called villains are multi-billion dollar corporations who may be bullied into paying up because it’s cheaper in the long run than fighting these nuisance suits.

Soap Opera (#520) 

Just when you thought the “anti-pimp personal hygiene products” trope couldn’t get any stupider:

…America and Penelope, “The CyberCode Twins,” are developing Beacon of Hope…once activated, [it] can give authorities real-time updates on victims’ whereabouts.  The trackers are embedded into tampons and pads, which would be available from dispensers at highway rest stops, gas stations and casinos.  At the press of a button, a woman in trouble could get a tracker tampon and carry it in her purse or pocket…Beacon of Hope is part of a larger movement to show how tech can be used more broadly to combat…human trafficking…

To Molest and Rape rapist-pig-barrett-boeker

Once again: if you think it matters whether a costumed rapist was “on duty” or not at the time of the rape, you are part of the problem:

An assistant warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola…[committed] rape inside the prison walls.  Barrett Boeker…was charged with one count of second-degree rape…and [arrested]…[Boeker committed] the rape [while off duty]…on Nov. 30 at [his] home on Angola property…the…victim was “not an inmate”…

Traffic Circle (#675)

Wendy Lyon demonstrates that criminalization of sex workers via “brothel keeping” laws is not a mere police & prosecutorial misuse of such laws, but an intended use from the beginning:

…Supporters of the [Swedish model]…regularly insist…that [it]…“decriminalises” [sex workers]…On the rare occasions they’re pressed on it, they usually witter on about how this law is “intended to punish pimps”…that the law is…aimed at…sex workers themselves…can be proven clearly enough just by looking at how the law is actually used in real life…nearly all the reported prosecutions [in Ireland] have in fact been of sex workers, not of anyone managing…them…Go back to the original debates over the 1993 Act and you see very clearly that sex worker prosecutions are a feature, not a bug, of the brothel-keeping law – which was intended to address the public nuisance factor of brothels…it was clearly envisaged by the law, at the time it was introduced, that a sex worker would be prosecuted under it – even in her own home, if she allowed someone else to sell sex there.  This is not a law about pimps…

Too Close To Home (#682)

This is a man who claims he wants to “protect” women, and portrays the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:

New documents in an ongoing lawsuit against the King County Sheriff’s Department [reveal] that…Sheriff John Urquhart told investigators in his department to ignore a woman who [reported that] Urquhart raped her…[in] 2002…numerous people were made aware of the [report]…a deputy also complained that Urquhart and the woman had an affair but…the sheriff didn’t want that complaint documented.  Urquhart denies the allegations, [claiming] the woman [is mentally ill]…

That last is no surprise; Urquhart thinks women aren’t mentally competent to understand which sexual acts are consensual & which aren’t.

Power Play (#698)

Still think you don’t live in a police state?

Never let it be said that Kamala Harris gives up after being told her totally bogus legal crusade is totally bogus.  She’s now filed brand new charges against the execs who run Backpage.com — despite having the very same lawsuit thrown out a few weeks ago…Harris…knows that she has no legal basis for arresting the execs behind Backpage…because three years ago she signed a letter whining about how she had no legal authority to arrest Backpage because it’s (rightly) protected by Section 230 of the CDA…The press release from Harris claims that the reason for the new charges is that she’s “uncovered new evidence” but that’s a load of hogwash.  The new charges still include bogus “pimping” charges, but now also have a bunch of [bogus] “money laundering” charges as well…

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All prostitution laws are conceived as methods to control women who, before ideas of victimhood took hold, were understood to be powerful, dangerous figures associated with rebellion, revolt, carnival, the world upside down, spiritual power and calculated wrongdoing.  –  Laura Agustín

The Pro-Rape Coalition

Dr. Robert King on porn, with a nice endorsement of yours truly:

…Some would like to ban fantasies—hide them away…fantasy can function as an outlet for desire…violence—including sexual violence–has been decreasing across the board.  Has consumption of violent fantasy decreased?  Quite the reverse.  Violent video is everywhere but violent crime has gone down…we really need to stop thinking that we…know what is good for others—especially when those others are consenting adults…puritans…try to control others’ sexuality…through guilt, fear, and misinformation… as documented in exhaustive detail by the excellent Brooke Magnanti and Maggie McNeill…If the puritans were serious about harm to children they would spear-head proper realistic sex education…

Decentralization

Brian Doherty draws on a Forbes article to discuss the government’s latest efforts to shut Bitcoin down, destroy everything good about it or, failing in both of those, to steal a cut of it.

If It Were Legal

One wonders how much more often sex workers could help to fight actual crime were we not absurdly and arbitrarily classed as criminals ourselves:

A prostitute given $300 in dye-stained $20 bills led police to the home of the man suspected of robbing a…bank…she…told the FBI agent [that the suspect, Anthony] Nugent…began behaving erratically [after paying her, so]…she left…later that night…her boyfriend…told her [the money] appeared to be dye-stained…Bubblegum Husky

Scapegoats

Frankly, what’s most “unclear” to me is how this is even physically possible:

An Idaho man was arrested Thursday after police say he sexually penetrated a cat on more than one occasion.  Ryan Havens Tannenholz, 28 – a…”furry” who dresses up as a dog he calls Bubblegum Husky — is charged with six counts of crimes against nature, and one count of cruelty to an animal…It’s unclear how [police] learned about [his] alleged actions…Furry News Magazine Flayrah reports that Tannenholz was a member of…furry fandom…who portrayed himself as a “sparkly” husky, a blue fox named Kismet…and another purple canine…

Above the Law

I’ve said it countless times:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, cops will continue to rape women in their homes:  “A deputy in Texas accused of raping a woman in front of her children has resigned…Lisa Rodriguez…said [he] told her if she resisted he would take her to jail…” or during traffic stops:  “…Thomas Merenda and Franklin Hartley…are charged with unlawful compensation, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison…Hartley ordered the passenger to perform oral sex on him, then [raped] her.  Merenda…asked the victim…to punch him in the…genital area…’Tom really enjoys this’, [Hartley] reportedly told the driver…”  Note that the cops are charged with “accepting bribes” rather than rape, and the reporter even avoids the word.  TSA agents can’t even confine their groping to travelers:  “A [TSA] manager at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport resigned after he was charged with sexually abusing a co-worker…Shane Hinkle, 38…is accused of forcibly touching [his victim]…

Enabling Oppression

The Polaris Project continues its loathsome and exploitative campaign to link sex work to historical American black slavery:

New undercover footage of pimp-controlled prostitution will be shared…at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and End Slavery Cincinnati to show the realities of enslaved women.  The Polaris Project developed the 20-minute footage from the streets of Washington, D.C.  Following the showing, representatives from The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program, the Cincinnati Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Off the Streets program will speak about the reality of pimp-controlled prostitution in Cincinnati…

Imagination Pinned Down

Elizabeth LoftusHere’s a short overview of the work of Elizabeth Loftus, the foremost expert on the malleability of human memory:  “…Loftus…has done more than any other researcher to document the unreliability of memory…and…has used what she has learned to testify as an expert witness in hundreds of criminal cases…informing juries that memories are pliable and that eyewitness accounts are far from perfect recordings of actual events…Now…[her] research is starting to bring about lasting changes in the legal system…” I drew heavily upon Dr. Loftus’ work for the research paper I wrote for the Albany Government Law Review, to be published this autumn.

Hooker Humor (TW3 #31)

Miranda Kane, the BBW escort turned comedienne, is getting good reviews; here’s an introduction she wrote for the Edinburgh Festival:

…There’s a stigma to sex-workers, as well as their clients.  We’re all shown the negative side, the poor, helpless trafficked victims.  But all the women I knew were just ordinary, happy ladies who just happened to enjoy having sex for money…Our clients weren’t seedy, sex-obsessed perverts.  They were kind, keen, appreciative men who just wanted a moment of luxury, intimacy… to be able to be with the kind of women they could only fantasise about normally…My show exposes the every-day life of a sex-worker; how we work in the digital age, the bizarre and strange requests from clients, what both elated and annoys us.  I try and show the human aspect – that the women are normal, they’re not drug addled victims, nor are they overtly beautiful and wealthy courtesans.  They’re women you see every day…

Bottleneck

[Queensland] Police Minister Jack Dempsey is considering allowing sex workers to make suburban house calls after lobbying by the Prostitution Licensing Authority.  While it is lawful for sole operators to make house calls it is illegal for brothels to send their workers to clients…brothel owners…[say they] need the extra business to remain profitable…[PLA] chairman Manus Boyce…[said] that illegal prostitution was operating without fear in Queensland and that allowing more outcalls could put more pressure on the illicit trade…

The Naked Anthropologist

Last week Dr. Laura Agustín published “Prostitution Law and the Death of Whores”, a primer for those who haven’t thought much about the harm anti-prostitution laws cause:

…Twenty years ago I first asked two questions that continue to unsettle me today.  The first is answerable:  What does a woman who sells sex accomplish that leads to her being treated as fallen, beyond the pale, incapable of speaking for herself, discountable if she does speak, invisible as a member of society?  The answer is she carries a stigma.  The second question is a corollary:  Why do most public conversations focus on laws and regulations aimed at controlling these stigmatized women rather than recognizing their agency?  To that the answer is not so straightforward… My focus on the female is deliberate.  All who propose prostitution policy are aware that men sell sex, but they are not concerned about men, who simply do not suffer the disgrace and shame that fall on women who do it…

Though it’s not extremely long, the article covers agency denial, the “rescue industry”, the irrationality of prostitution law, neofeminism, the Swedish model and media sensationalism; it’s thus one you should bookmark for sharing with people who are ignorant, but will listen to reason.floating brothels Utrecht

Dutch Threat

As the Netherlands continues to cave in to greed and hysteria, Dutch sex workers have been forced to find their own solutions:  “A group of 15 prostitutes in Utrecht have set up a cooperative to run floating brothels after the council withdrew operating permits from their previous landlords.  The cooperative, named Macha’s, is now applying for a…brothel licence and a boat mooring permit…Some 300 Utrecht prostitutes lost their place of work when the council cancelled contracts for the operation of brothels…because of human trafficking fears…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #321)

The Commission for Gender Equality has [submitted] a proposal…for the decriminalisation of sex work [in South Africa]…“The current position of total criminalisation has not succeeded in addressing problems associated with sex work”…said the…commission…[which] was informed by studies conducted in…New Zealand and Australia.  “Legislation…should adopt the principle that sex work is work, and allow the industry to be governed by the wealth of existing labour and business laws aimed at preventing unsafe, exploitative and unfair business practices”…The commission said studies…offered strong and concrete evidence that decriminalisation empowered sex workers to protect themselves from violence…improved relationships…[with] the police…[and] reduced chances of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of children…

Zurvivor

Deals with devils always have more conditions than anticipated:

The Maine woman convicted of running a prostitution business out of a Zumba fitness studio is headed back to court…to fight having to testify at the trial of one of her clients.  Alexis Wright…has been subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify at the trial of Donald Hill…

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #326)

A politician’s wife wants her state to look even stupider than New Jersey by starting “gypsy whores” panic a year and a half in advance:

The wife of Sen. John McCain…is calling on the [Arizona] legislature to pass tougher laws against human trafficking…[for] the Super Bowl in 2015.  “The Super Bowl, as all of you know, is one of the world’s largest human trafficking centers when it goes on in the world,” McCain said…Forbes reported that 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl.  There were 133 prostitution arrests in Dallas during the 2011 Super Bowl…

No, Forbes said that habitual liars NCMEC claimed there were that many, and there were 133 arrests of all kinds in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area during a 2½ week period before the Super Bowl…which is typical for DFW.Spreadsheets

Between the Ears (TW3 #332)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti writes about others who think good sex can be defined by statistics:

…Thanks to the new [iPhone] app Spreadsheets, no longer will you have sex without being able to save and analyse the stats of your performance…according to the company’s website:  “Spreadsheets monitors data from user’s movement and audio levels through the accelerometer and microphone to provide statistical and visual analysis of their performance in bed”…The notion that longer is better…and that loud equals enjoyment has gained such traction in popular culture that it’s hard to find any other measure of what “good” sex is…I once dated a guy whose sole measure of whether a good time had been had was how long he stayed erect.  Being jackhammered long into the wee hours is hardly a great way to spend your time…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (TW3 #332)

A pastor from…Sweden has been convicted of buying sex from a prostitute after…police broke up a major pimping operation…[he] has been temporarily relieved of his duties…”  Synopsis of the rest:  “human trafficking”, “These woman were used as if they were on a conveyor belt“, blah blah blah.

Election Day (TW3 #332)

As you might imagine, I find this new trend of cops arresting retired madams on drug charges to be a highly disturbing one:

…Heidi Fleiss has been charged in Nevada with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell…officers found nearly 400 marijuana plants growing in and around…[her] home in Pahrump…She said she had been growing marijuana without a license and that she intended to sell it to a cooperative in Las Vegas…she was not arrested.  All the plants were taken away by police as evidence.

Yeah, “evidence”.  Pull the other one, guys.

The Privilege Paradigm

Coincidentally, someone else wrote about the problem with the word “privilege” and came to almost exactly the same conclusions as I did:

…A privilege is something extra — and from a very young age, I knew that when something was referred to as a privilege, I was in danger of losing it.  How does that make sense…with something like being free from fear of police harrassment?…when it is called a “privilege,” my initial thought is that it is something unjustified that should be taken away — i.e., we should all have to be stopped and frisked…I [have] some degree of autonomy and dignity in my work — do we really want to say that that’s a “privilege”?  In both cases, aren’t we dealing with something more like a right that’s been denied to a great many people?…

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

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine

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

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

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

Third Party

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

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

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

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

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

Saving Them From Themselves

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

Wholesale Hypocrisy (TW3 #25)

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

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

Because when governments ban things, they magically vanish!

Shift in the Wind

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

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

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

Legitimate Outrage

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

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

The Naked Anthropologist

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

Unclean Situation

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

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

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

Skin To Skin (TW3 #313)

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

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

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

Flush Criminalization

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

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

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

Still a Child

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

True Colors (TW3 #327)

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

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Feminism still feels like someone rescuing me from the patriarchy so that I may be told what to do by “sisters” who need to get their opinions out of my knickers.  –  Sarah Woolley

Lack of Evidence

The Fourth District Court of Appeal…deemed West Palm Beach’s “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” ordinance unconstitutional…[because it was] “overbroad and vague”   It… cited a 1993 Florida Supreme Court ruling [striking down]…a similar law [in Tampa for discriminating]…against previously convicted prostitutes.  [The earlier decision stated that]…“All Florida citizens enjoy the inherent right to window shop, saunter down a sidewalk, and wave to friends and passerby with no fear of arrest”…

Meanwhile, in California, “Two women suspected of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution were arrested at a Burbank hotel…after officers reportedly discovered incriminating text messages, condoms and oils in their possession…

Check Your Premises

…Baltimore City police officer [Lamin Manneh]…and his…wife [Marissa Braun were]…charged with human trafficking…19-year-old [Braun was caught in a sting]…and…investigators charged the pair with human trafficking because Braun looked so young…”  You read that correctly; she’s been charged with “trafficking” herself.RedTraSex street art

Feminine Pragmatism

Justice minister Francisco Dominguez’s warning…that…men…who seek [paid] sex…will be…[prosecuted] has roiled [Dominican] workers… “There are customers who’ve called us to tell us that they won’t come”…said Carla Matos…who…said she had to become a prostitute…to raise her children…”What we’ll have to do in a couple of days will be to go out and rob and kill people, because imagine, we can’t do nothing else.  I will not let my children starve,” [Jennifer] Paniagua said.

The Prudish Giant

From the “progressive” Huffington Post:

Not only is “prostitution” a tagged skill you can select on LinkedIn, there are actually escorts who advertise their services [there]…[but] LinkedIn…now explicitly bans escorts from using the site…The new user agreement states that you must not:  “Create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution” even if [they are] legal where you live…Not only can you list “prostitution” as a skill, you can list a whole lot of other unsavory skills like “rape,” “shoplifting,” “gangs,” “manslaughter,” and “drug trafficking”…

Yes, the writer did seriously equate consensual sex with rape and murder.  Dr. Brooke Magnanti comments on the absurdity and futility of the whole thing.

An Angel of Mercy

Shona Langley, a street sex worker support officer, and Charlotte Crossland, a harm reduction nurse…[work for] the Harm Reduction project…[in] Lancashire…twice a week…they load their van with…condoms, panic alarms, needles and bank note checker pens, while Charlotte offers Hepatitis B and other vaccinations…[and] treatment for minor health issues…Shona said:  “We don’t judge.  We are not here to criticise or bully them into stopping what they do”…

Scapegoats

[David Beckman of Illinois]…faces a charge of misdemeanor animal cruelty after police said he sexually abused his pet peacock…police learned the bird died while they were investigating Beckman about an alleged case of indecent solicitation of a child…

jelly wrestlingObjectification Overruled

Feminists at Cambridge University lead such privileged, unchallenging lives that they imagine jelly wrestling (girls grappling in gelatin in front of male spectators) has “a significant role to play in the degradation and abuse of women,” and imagine they’ve won a great victory for womankind via a petition which caused the event to be cancelled.  Sarah Woolley explains why this is pure bollocks:

…”objectification” is a herd word used by women who can rarely recall the name of their last waitress…If a person sees a woman arse-deep in jelly and regards her as subhuman because of it, then that shit is on them…it takes more than nudity to cancel out a man’s regard for a woman as a human being.  There will be misogynists in any crowd but –newsflash- a true woman hater will dehumanise you no matter how you behave or what you wear…Cambridge feminists …[are affiliated] with Object…a group known for lobbying against sex worker rights and for spreading irresponsible misinformation -particularly the fantasy that the Olympics would usher in an “explosion of prostitution.”  Also on the list is “Smash Miss Contest”  who “set off stink bombs”…at beauty pageants…

Worms in the Apple

New York City’s wallowing in the “end demand” sewer produced this grotesque display of political pandering:

…mayoral candidates…argued for tougher penalties.  Joseph J. Lhota…[called] for “a john list every day in the newspaper”…Adolfo Carrión Jr…went further, saying he would publish their license plate numbers…the moderator…took note of Edward I. Koch’s controversial directive…to read the names of convicted male customers on air…Christine C. Quinn…said she disagreed with publicizing the names…[but] favored an “incredibly effective” program in Brooklyn…that forces “johns” to sit through a program intended to deter bad behavior…

And no, “john schools” are not “incredibly effective”.

Finding What Isn’t There

police admit they do not know the scale of trafficking in Victoria’s illegal brothels and cannot say how many…there are.  The cloak of anonymity and secrecy surrounding the industry makes it hard for police to investigate, Senior Sergeant Marilynn Ross told [a parliamentary] inquiry…”we suspect that in a small number of…licensed brothels human trafficking is occurring…on a…larger scale”…

Translation:  “There’s no evidence whatsoever and the real experts say otherwise, but this makes a perfect excuse to ask for more power to stick our noses into people’s private business.”

Whorearchy (TW3 #19)

Prostitutes helped clean up the streets of Murcia, Spain, in an effort to draw attention to…[a] proposed bylaw…aimed at curbing prostitution and sexual exploitation [which] would damage [their] livelihood…”We’ve spoken with neighbors and local business owners and…they’ve told us that there’s no problem as long as we follow some of the requests that they’ve made, such as sticking to a timetable and keeping the streets clean…That’s why we decided to hold a clean-up day.  We wanted to show that we…want to get on well with everyone”…

Worse Than I ThoughtTraffic in Souls

As I predicted, the cancer of incredibly-broad “sex trafficking” laws based on the CASE Act is spreading, now to Pennsylvania:

House Bill 663, which was unanimously passed 195-0…expands what the state considers “commercial sex acts” and raises the crime of buying or selling people for sex work from a third-degree to a…first-degree felony.  Under the new bill, the definition of commercial sex includes being forced to perform “any sexual activity…in which anything of value is given…or received”…

The bill’s sponsor complains that the “current law is vague”, but what he actually means is that it isn’t vague enough.

So Close and Yet So Far

Another would-be ally misses the bus by not bothering to check with sex workers first; though she makes several very good arguments against criminalization and recognizes from the title on that sex work is work, she also overestimates the role of pimps and the prevalence of street work, accepts the false “sex trafficking” dichotomy, supports regulation and licensing and ends by undermining her own argument with the typical mealy-mouthed disclaimer, “I am not endorsing the act of selling sex.”

Schadenfreude (TW3 #43)

Another rescue industry icon is exposed as a con artist:

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has…become the face of the Philippines anti-trafficking movement…but now she is fighting a battle that could truly ruin her.  Fraud allegations made by Philippine investigators threaten to destroy her reputation and the anti-trafficking organization she’s run for more than two decades…

Nonetheless, the credulous CNN reporters spends about 95% of the story lauding her and repeating her bullshit stories, apparently forgetting about that word “fraud”.

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

Scottish local governments seem unusually resistant to anti-sex business hype:

The owners of an over-21s nightclub in Inverness have been issued a licence to introduce lap dancing…Rhoda Grant…said…“The commodification of woman in society is damaging and I would have hoped the objections raised by the Highland Violence Against Women Strategy Group would have been listened to”…

Japanese Prostitution (TW3 #131)Toru Hashimoto

A perfect demonstration of how the “sex trafficking” paradigm confuses those whose minds it pollutes:

…Osaka Mayor…Toru Hashimoto…told reporters…that Japan’s wartime sex slave system… “were necessary in order to provide relaxation for those brave soldiers who had been in the line of fire”…Hours later [he said]…he’d…told [U.S. military brass] that…there were legal facilities for releasing sexual energy, and that unless soldiers in Okinawa made more use of similar facilities, it would be difficult to control the sexual energy of the marines…

The media have conflated two totally different statements.  What Hashimoto said about military personnel needing whores is true and every experienced commander knows it, no matter what political crap the Pentagon may emit.  But that isn’t the same as his disgusting rationalization of the enslavement of the comfort women, who were neither professional sex workers nor volunteers.

Skin To Skin

A centre in Nuremberg is offering a course to sex industry professionals on how to cater to the sexual needs of disabled clients.  Those who complete training successfully attain a certificate in “sexual accompaniment and assistance”…

Comfort Zone

It’s great to see ever-larger numbers of academics openly declaring that the “trafficking” narrative is largely an excuse for restricting migration:

“anti-trafficking”…essentialises gender and childhood, it confuses and obfuscates, and…it…acts against the interests of many that it purports to serve…the state is directly and inescapably the source of vulnerability…those formally excluded are given…the right NOT to enter, to be protected from movement.  The [victim of “trafficking”]…is supposed to return home.  Indeed the narrative is that she wants to return home, and part of her innocence and victimhood is that she never wanted to move in the first place…immigration controls are claimed to be a mechanism of protection for migrants, rather than a mechanism of oppression…

And here’s a UN official on bogus data and bad definitions:

…data is often taken from methodologies that are not…estimates…media…have often reported that 79% of trafficking is for sexual exploitation, based on the “Global Report on Trafficking in Persons” by UNODC…[but] the data is of victims identified by state authorities and of convicted traffickers…The internationally recognized definition of human trafficking states the purpose of human trafficking is for exploitation…yet [it] is…equated with sex work or irregular…migration…as a result…data on trafficked persons almost exclusively focused on women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation…

Cops and Condoms (TW3 #313)

If we’re honest, many of us do see condoms as robbing us of pleasure, stealing some excitement and spontaneity…and dulling the intensity of sexuality…These factors are the primary reasons that still only 60 percent of teenagers claim to use condoms…[and] usage declines as people grow older.  The number one reason…is the reduction of pleasure…[but] criticism of the condom opens one to…demonization…Bill Gates’…plans to make a condom that “is felt to enhance pleasure”…came under ideological fireGawker called the argument that condoms reduce sensitivity one for “creeps” and “pervs,” while Popular Science reacted by concluding “men are idiots.”  Salon likened any criticism of the condom’s detrimental effect on sexuality to “whining“…

The Naked Anthropologist (TW3 #314)

The Proper Study (TW3 #319)

The feminist antiporn group Stop Porn Culture has sponsored a petition…to change the editorial board and title of Routledge’s forthcoming…publicationPorn Studies…Constance Penley…co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book…[said] “[The petition] reveals a total lack of understanding about academic freedom, academic integrity and the nature of scholarship…and…how desperate the antiporn people are to prevent any research being done that might not support their ideological position”…

Somewhere in the Middle

St. John’s, Newfoundland has just over 200,000 people, which means fewer than 100,000 males.  The escort interviewed for this article (“Iris”) says there are about 30 escorts working there full-time, and doing such good business travelling girls are stopping in as well.  Now, ask yourself:  is it credible that only about 14,000 of those men have ever paid, that the majority of those who did are now regulars and that those working girls are doing well on an average of 1 client per day?  Or is it more likely that the claim few men ever pay for sex is completely absurd?  As Iris said, “We wouldn’t be doing this well if your husbands and boyfriends and friends weren’t coming to see us.  It’s that simple.”

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There are people who believe that migrant women who sell sex need to be saved; that they must want to go home; that they must want another job and they have 200-year-old ideas about what those jobs should be.  –
Laura Agustín

Carmine InfantinoR.I.P. Carmine Infantino

My favorite comic book artist of all time has passed away at the age of 87.  It’s impossible to overstate his influence on the industry, nor how iconic his style was for those of us who grew up with Silver Age comics.  If you’re unfamiliar with his work, take a moment to look at this portrait of one of my favorite heroines and this 8-page story (written by Gardner Fox).

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

Cops do this all the time, but Pittsburgh-area cops are especially shameless:

Homestead Officer Ronald DePellegrin, 48, admits that he allowed Diana Gross, 26, to give him oral sex before he informed her that he was actually a cop…attorney…Michael Waltman…says DePellegrin’s conduct is unacceptable…”The police…are engaging in the exact type of…activity that they’re…[allegedly] trying to protect the community from”…

Lack of Evidence

You know how I keep pointing out that prostitution laws harm all women?

What do you do when you’re detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary “evidence” is held against you, and you’re treated like a moral deviant?…It happened three times in two weeks — being detained by U.S. border officials…my…“sexy underwear” were mentioned…[and my] condoms…were looked upon scathingly…[one official told me] that adultery was a crime in America — a crime that he could deny me entry for…I was detained, yelled at, patted down, fingerprinted, interrogated, searched, moved from room to room…without food, water or being told what was going on…

The Pro-Rape Coalition

Furry Girl explains how laws supposedly intended to “protect children” were really intended to harass the porn industry:

…”2257″ is shorthand for the…irritatingly-named Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act…when you appear in adult productions in the US, you as the performer/model must give the production company/photographer two forms of identification and sign…paperwork promising that you are over 18…fake IDs [exist]…and any contract a minor signs is void anyway [so this]…doesn’t do a thing to guarantee age…Any random person can search for companies reselling and licensing adult content, and with a purchase, buy performer’s legal names, social security numbers, and addresses…a determined stalker can comb through enough adult content resellers and have a good shot at finding their target…Independent pornographers…have to choose between a fear of federal prosecutions and prison time…and a fear of…stalkers coming to our homes to rape or assault us…

Subnormality #138 (Possible Future Salvage)Where Are the Victims?

A man convicted of crimes related to promoting prostitution was sentenced…to…eight years in prison.  Kevin J. Barker…had about 35 women working for him…Barker would get $80 and women would get $80 per call and…anything after that was negotiable…

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere!

One of the few concessions New Zealand has made to “sex trafficking” hysteria (and one of the few things that keep it from absolute decriminalization) is its ban on international students in sex work.  Of course this creates a bottleneck which leads, predictably, to the very type of exploitation the law is supposedly intended to prevent.  The New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective of course understands this and is calling on the government to end the restriction; Catherine Healy explains:

Just recently I was dealing with a case of a young woman who…had gone into this agreement with a brothel operator who said…I’ll look after your money until you need it to pay for your student fees, and of course when that time arrived, the money wasn’t handed over…She couldn’t stomp off to the police, she couldn’t talk to…the university, so really…the law…contributed to her exploitation…back in 2003…the then minister of immigration had hatched this dopey clause in the 11th hour, and we said look, this will have the opposite effect of what you’re intending…

None So Blind

Funny how religious fanatics are always ready to make convenient exceptions:

A Kuwaiti woman who once ran for parliament  has called for sex slavery to be legalized – and suggested that non-Muslim  prisoners from war-torn countries would make suitable concubines.  Salwa al Mutairi argued buying a sex-slave would protect decent, devout and “virile” Kuwaiti men from adultery because  buying an imported sex partner would be tantamount to marriage…[she] even suggested that it would be…better…for women in warring countries as they might die of starvation…offices could be opened to run the sex trade in the same way that recruitment agencies provide  housemaids…

To sum up:  prostitution under individual control = sin.  Compulsory prostitution under government control = good.

Counterfeit Comfort

…If Governor Bryant [of Mississippi] signs “Lenora’s Law,” sex offenders who violate the state’s registry system will wear a GPS tracking device…[the law] also [extends] the residence buffer for sex offenders to 3,000 feet from a school…”These are people who have proven they won’t obey the law,” said [bill sponsor Will] Longwitz.  “Now…we will know where sex offenders are at all times, and can prevent them from striking again”…

No, these are usually people who can’t obey the law because its requirements have become increasingly-difficult to comply with:

Michael Byars’ effort to modify [Iowa] sex offender laws was a case study for effective citizen activism…until…he was arrested and fired from his job…[because] he didn’t update the state sex offender registry to reflect his voluntary, unpaid and, so far, largely successful attempt to persuade lawmakers to change the law…Byars…was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child…[for] a short, consensual relationship with a 13-year-old high school freshman while he was an 18-year-old high school senior.  The conviction…saddled him with a lifetime…sentence that requires him to check in regularly with a parole officer and stringently limits his interaction with children, including his own son…

24-year-old Byars was such an amazingly successful lobbyist that an opponent called the cops, claiming that his advocacy is a “job” and demanding he be arrested for failing to register it (despite the fact that when he tried to do so he was told it was unnecessary).  The cops were of course happy to comply, because we can’t have those dirty girlfriend-daters demanding their rights.

Naked Truth

Via Reason TV, Tracy Quan speaks with Shereen El Feki in “Sex and the Citadel: Does the Arab Spring need a Summer of Love?

The Widening Gyre

Observable fact:  16-year-old leaves home.  Conclusion: sex trafficking!

…Vancouver police are investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Isabella Castillo, and her family…thinks she’s caught up in sex trafficking because one of her friends told them they’d seen her around with another girl who is known in the local sex-trafficking world.  That girl is used by sex traffickers to recruit other girls by befriending them.  She then lures them in, grooms them and gets them to run away.  The girls are never heard from again…

“The local sex trafficking world?”  Was it really necessary for cops and fanatics to fill the family’s head full of this kind of nonsense?  Young women don’t leave home because they’re induced to run away by “traffickers”; they leave because home has become intolerable for some reason, often sexual abuse.  And if they enter the sex trade it’s because the laws have made that their only means of support, not because they’re “trafficked”.

Zimbabwe

I wish I had all the magical powers Zimbabwean harlots do:

A prostitute in Bulowayo, Zimbabwe…[apparently] died during an encounter with a customer…[but] came back to life just as officials placed her in a metal coffin…she suddenly woke up in a panic screaming, “You want to kill me!” at the officers…Seeing a woman presumed to be dead spring back to life shocked onlookers, many of whom ran away in fear…

The More the Better (TW3 #32)

Apparently the word “legal” is not part of this reporter’s vocabulary: “Vicksburg [Mississippi] mayoral candidate Linda Fondren and her husband once owned a [brothel] in Nevada…it’s not clear…if the Fondrens are still involved…[and] Linda…denies she ever was…”  After the actual evidence, the fact that Mr. Fondren once publicly defended adults’ right to have consensual sex with other people is presented (presumably on the “only a witch…” principle).

Monkey Business

…chimpanzees…have the ability to “think about thinking”…according to new research…researchers…required them to…name what food was hidden in a location…chimpanzees named items immediately and directly when they knew what was there, but…Laura Agustinsought out more information before naming when they did not already know…

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín is currently in Ireland (speaking at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair today), and gave this short interview about “trafficking” hysteria and related prohibitionist schemes.

Change of Heart (TW3 #41)

Alexis Wright…has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in the Kennebunk prostitution case…[agreeing] to plead guilty to theft, tax evasion and prostitution…clients…who have been charged so far include a former mayor, a…hockey coach, a minister, a lawyer and a firefighter…

No Other Option (TW3 #132)

Another interview (this one in Reveal) with Becky Adams about her plans for a brothel for the disabled:  “More than 700 people have already agreed to work for a reduced price…’We’re expecting the local council to object, but we are prepared to take the argument all the way to the European Court of Human Rights‘”…

Dutch Threat

A similar prohibitionist deception from a decade ago:

[In November 2000]…a Swedish radical feminist named Alexa Wolf…showed her “documentary”…Shocking Truth…[which]…shows what seems to be a rape scene…Wolf…[slowed] down the film making it appear as the woman was helpless and drugged…[thus creating] a moral panic…The pay per view-channels promised that there would be no “violent porn”…Video stores removed porn from the shelves.  57% of the Swedish population wanted to ban ALL porn…in conservative Norway we had more or less the same reaction…The woman seen “drugged and raped” in the film…is…award winning porn actress…Mila Shegol [who stated in an interview that] she was not on drugs, she was not raped, it was all acting, she actually took part in directing the scenes…she was not a suffering, oppressed or exploited woman, and she had no idea there had been made a documentary about her alleged rape…

A Broker in Pillage (TW3 #312)

Here’s that weird “pay back” euphemism again:  “A…brothel owner who made thousands exploiting vulnerable women was…ordered to pay back…£75,000 of his sordid gains within six months [or] he [will] be locked up for…two years…”  Because money gained via business is “sordid”, but that gained via extortion is “just”.

Birth of a Movement (TW3 #312)

Muslimah PrideThe French senate has voted to repeal a law banning ‘passive’ soliciting for sex… opponents said it put sex workers in a precarious situation…and…[led] to police abuse…

A War for Peace (TW3 #313)

Muslim women have launched a campaign to send a message to “sextremist” collective Femen.  “Muslimah Pride Day” was organised in response to Femen’s self-declared “Topless Jihad Day”, a day of topless protests around the world to support Tunisian Femen activist Amina Tyler

Under Every Bed

Montana lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent and punish human trafficking in response to reports of increased prostitution [among]…people who have come to find work in the Bakken oil boom…there is no actual proof that trafficking is a problem in Montana, said…Rep. Sarah Laszloffy…But without the language on the books…authorities [lack] the tools needed to track it…

And more importantly, the way to clean up on “trafficking” grants!  Already, selfless volunteers are working to make sure “authorities” have sufficient disinformation to block out real facts:

…Melissa Woodward…helps train law enforcement about how to spot a child that may have been sold into prostitution…”Does she have physical markings on her?  Tattoos that are often visible…things like wearing very provocative clothes…”

You heard it here first, kids!  Tattoos, sexy clothes and looking for work are all signs of “sex trafficking”!  If you see a woman with any of those telltale signs, call the cops immediately so she can be “rescued” into the nearest jail!

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

The Naked Anthropologist

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

Updates

Madonna and Whore

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

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

Bad Girls

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

Bad Jobs

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

Real People

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

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism”

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

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

Against Their Will

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

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

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

Sex, Lies and Busybodies

Yet another “sex trafficking” liar is exposed:

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

Knights Erroneous

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

My Favorite TV Comedies

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

Shift in the Wind

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

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

Bottleneck

Behold the inevitable result of trying to stop sex work:

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

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

Metaupdates

Something Rotten in Sweden in November Updates (Part One)

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

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

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

The Course of a Disease in TW3 (#28)

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

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

O, Canada! in TW3 (#31)

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

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

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

This Week in 2010 and 2011

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

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