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Posts Tagged ‘The Public Eye’

The only issue is that the people having sex are consenting to it and anything else is an arbitrary moral judgement which no one has the right to make.  –  Stephanie Farnsworth

The Rescuers

Harassing streetwalkers to scare away their clients has become a popular “Christian” pastime:

Valerie Carter…has been prowling some of the toughest highways in Richmond, Virginia…for the past eight years.  She and her “streetwalking ministry” volunteers look for women and girls caught up in the local sex trade……they…pray with the women, hug them, give them a list of resources to help them get out of the trade.  They keep the visits short to avoid putting the women at risk of beatings from their pimps…Carter says. “No one dreamed about being in this kind of business.”  But they are in it, most of them unwillingly.  Someone else makes money by exploiting them, whether it’s a pimp or a trafficker…

Acting and Activism Amal Clooney

Apparently, she’s less human rights lawyer and more Hollywood propagandist these days:

Amal Clooney took her first trip to Dallas to…[speak] before a sold-out crowd at the annual New Friends New Life luncheon…The event raised more than $1 million for the anti-trafficking organization, which [claims to] offer…counseling, housing and other services to 1,400 formerly trafficked teens and women every year…

In actuality, the “services” this organization “offers” are the usual things: feel-good bullshit like art therapy and a photocopied list of government welfare programs.

Droit du Seigneur 

I just love watching them eat their own:

Federal prosecutors…have indicted two DEA employees for moonlighting as strip club owners and then purportedly lying about it to their bosses…Special Agent David Polos and Greg Glover, a telecommunications specialist, have been charged with conspiracy and making false statements in connection with the forms they submitted to renew their national security clearances…Polos and Glover conspired to conceal their ownership of the New Jersey strip joint, “Twins Go-Go Lounge”, and that Polos also failed to disclose an “intimate relationship” with one of its foreign dancers that lasted for months…the government [alleges]…prostitution, drug use, employment of illegal immigrants, and running the club during “DEA business hours”…

Divided We Fall

Go, Stephanie Farnsworth!

The fact that many LGBT people end up in sex work is an issue often overlooked rather conveniently by many activists and charities.  Sex work is still talked about in moralizing terms, and the…image of the LGBT world in recent campaigns has been that of white cisgender gay people in long term relationships, often with children…The heart of the demand for LGBT rights is the idea that all people should be granted autonomy over their lives and bodies, that anyone should be allowed to sleep with who they choose and that it only concerns the people in the relationship and not the government or bigots…People enter into sexual relationships for all kinds of reasons.  It is rarely a fairytale of two people falling in love.  Sometimes it is for fun, but many engage in [transactional] sex…or…to shut their partner up.  The list is endless and every reason is valid…It is simply hypocritical for LGBT activists to fight for bodily autonomy but deny it to sex workers, and given the huge numbers of people within the community who engage in sex work it also throws a lot of LGBT people under the bus…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Norman Ochs is facing charges for allegedly hiring prostitutes…The 76-year-old was charged…with four crimes.  Each misdemeanor count carries up to a 93-day jail sentence…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit and the sex workers, nearly always immigrants, can easily be pressured to “co-operate” or be deported:

…federal law enforcement has rebranded as a sort of national ministry for vice prevention…Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigators and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials conducted a widespread raid on Korean massage parlors in New York City, which the feds allege were…fronts for commercial sexual activity…11 massage-parlor owners were…charged with conspiracy to launder money and to violate the federal Travel Act…informants…who…[are] “cooperating with law enforcement in the hope of receiving a more lenient sentence”…[say] the alleged prostitution…was not being forced upon the staff.  Any money earned from such endeavors was split between workers and business owners, and workers were free to come and go as they pleased…Nonetheless, the indictment refers to the massage parlors as “commercial sex trafficking businesses”…

Monsters 

Though the reporter couldn’t resist mentioning a past criminal charge, at least NBC refrained from publishing her mugshot:  “…a transgender woman who may have been working as a prostitute…Keyonna Blakeney…was found dead, with trauma to the upper body, in a [hotel in] Montgomery County [Maryland]…

Cops and Robbers Adam LaRoche

The rescue industry provides many opportunities for wealthy white folks to play cowboy:

Adam LaRoche is a 36-year-old who played Major League baseball for 12 seasons before causing a ruckus by retiring earlier this year…the first baseman, a conservative Christian, “spent 10 days in November in Southeast Asian brothels, wearing a hidden camera and doing undercover work to help rescue underage sex slaves”…LaRoche…[and] Milwaukee Brewers pitcher…Blaine Boyer… “tried to determine the age of the girls…and identify their bosses”…

Safe Targets (#512)

My friend Tara Burns, still doggedly fighting for sex workers in Alaska, with the help of Maxine Doogan of ESPLERP:

…What Burns and Maxine Doogan really want is for prostitution to be decriminalized.  That’s the mission of the advocacy group they started, Community United for Safety and Protection (CUSP)…[but in the meantime] they’re after the next best thing:  improved safety and protection for those in Alaska’s sex industry and equal protection as citizens under the law…The two women…stayed in Juneau the entire legislative session, pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 21…[which] grants prostitutes immunity for prosecution when they come forward as a victim or witness of a violent crime…

Doubling Down

This is mostly just ignorant cheerleading for a do-nothing law, but it contains a repetition of the moronic statement, “It is estimated that here in the United States more than 100,000 children are victims of human sex trafficking each year.”  For an analysis of what that would actually look like in the real world, click on the subtitle above.  I reckon it’s a good thing Aleeshia Carroll is majoring in social work, because basic math is obviously far out of her grasp.

The Widening Gyre (#616)

Misinterpreting ordinary interactions is common at the height of a moral panic:

The propaganda-created panic over sex trafficking in your own backyard!!!! has claimed yet another victim…Amanda Kalidy…was shopping at Target [in Edmond, OK] with her 4-year-old daughter when another young girl began following them and repeatedly asking her daughter for candy.  Kalidy says she asked the other child where her mom was, but the girl, who looked about 9 years old, did not answer.  Later the girl offered her daughter some gum.  That’s when Kalidy noticed a “strange” man nearby.  Obviously, the only explanation for the situation is that the man wanted to steal Kalidy’s daughter so he could sexually exploit her and was using this other child as bait…She reported the incident to a Target manager, who allegedly told her that that’s “what [sex traffickers] do is target places like Target.”  For the record, there have been zero reported cases of sex traffickers kidnapping children from Target in the history of the United States…

The Public Eye (#618)

Color me unsurprised:

The Las Vegas Madam: The Escorts, The Clients, The Truth is the tell-all memoir of Jami Rodman, the madam who came to fame by employing…Suzy Favor Hamilton...this book was…written more to play to outsiders’ expectations than to advocate for the people Rodman worked with…What really got to me, though, wasn’t the manner in which Rodman chose which stories to tell, focusing on titillating accounts such as nonconsent roleplays gone wrong and customers with pedophilic ageplay fetishes.  It was her disdainful attitude toward other sex workers and the industry…the book certainly doesn’t foster sex worker solidarity, nor does it paint a nuanced picture of escorts…At one point, Rodman cites statistics from [Melissa Farley‘s] “Prostitution Research”, a site which is heavily affiliated with rescue industry organizations…it became painfully clear to me that she was buying into the flawed statistics, salacious reporting, and misleading accounts of the wider industry put forward by abolitionists rather than trusting her own sex work experiences and those of the many women she worked with whose lives stand in direct contrast to prohibitionist tropes.  It’s funny that she quotes a website which would label her a trafficker…

Traffic Jam (#619)

Of course, even if Weyker and the department lose, the money won’t come out of their pockets. But the more lawsuits against the cops, the better:

A dozen or more people who say they were harmed by a discredited sex trafficking case soon could be suing the St. Paul Police Department and Sgt. Heather Weyker, according to the attorney representing…Yassin Abdirahman Yusuf [who] is seeking $20 million in damages for the more than four years he spent in jail on sex trafficking charges based on exaggeration and lies…[Attorney Robert] Bennett said he has another nine or 10 people preparing to sue, and other lawyers have several more.  Earlier this month, Hamdi Ali Osman…filed the first suit arising from the dismissed charges, seeking $12 million…

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Such is the extent of the harm caused by anti-prostitution zealots that we must question whether their actions are fundamentally any less harmful than those they are seeking to “save” women from.  –  Laura Connelly

The Rescuers

the UK has a rapidly-growing “rescue industry”…that makes its living from identifying and creating victims of “sexual slavery”.  It is in its interest to find them.  Lots of them.  In a sort of sex industry “neighbourhood watch” scheme, some Christian organisations send their congregation out on to the streets to search for sex workers that they can impose victim status upon.  Other organisations have infiltrated university campuses.  There’s even a “Slave Detective” offering anti-trafficking consultancy.  In the face of mounting evidence that they’re doing more harm than good, people recklessly continue on their rescue missions…many do not wish to be saved.  If they’re a migrant sex worker, their “rescue” can result in deportation…back to communities where they are shunned or worse still, put to death for bringing shame to their family.  Far from helping…the actions of the rescue industry limit the freedom of sex workers.  I’ve heard about women having their mobile phones confiscated in trafficking safe houses, to ensure they can’t sell any more sex…

Something Rotten in Sweden

After they succeed in defining all whores as mindless vegetables, who’s next?

…the…Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task Force…is striving to embody…a “paradigm shift” in moving away from law enforcement’s traditional view of those who sell their bodies as criminals or prostitutes and viewing them as victims moved by “force, threat, coercion or all of the above…Now we understand correctly and view them as as vulnerable victims”…

O, Canada!

As one reads these fetishist politicians’ words, one can practically hear the fapping:

[Rescue industry] organizations…are urging the Ontario government to adopt a private member’s bill to take immediate action to address what they [fantasize is] a crisis.  “Sex trafficking is a growing and significant issue in Ontario,” said Cynthia Bland, founder of Voice Found…“The average age when most girls are trafficked into prostitution is 14, and many don’t even recognize that they’ve been trafficked until it’s too late”…Laurie Scott has a private member’s bill that would give police the power to enforce protection orders against traffickers on behalf of the victims…The bill would also allow victims to seek compensation in court and add convicted traffickers to the province’s sex offender registry…Scott’s bill…[is] called the “Saving The Girl Next Door Act”…Ontario has become a “major hub” for human trafficking…

Above the Law 

Some police departments hesitate to protect rapist cops when their victims are underage:

[Typical] Ohio cop…Justin Bentz was found guilty of [rape]…kidnapping and sexual battery.  Hours before he raped the girl in June 2015, Bentz had taken a class warning of the dangers of underage sexual assault.  But that didn’t stop him from making sexual advances towards the 16-year-old girl after handing her a bottle of 80-proof alcohol, allowing her to get drunk to the point where she could barely stand.  However, Bentz insisted the girl had come on to him…She was found by her sister in a closet wearing only a tank top, curled up in the fetal position.  Her blood alcohol content was up to .19, more than twice the .08 legal limit.  A nurse determined she suffered blunt force trauma to her vaginal area.  A DNA test found his semen on her stomach…

The Widening Gyre trafficking app

No, Snopes, it isn’t “odd” at all; this is the typical pattern of “sex trafficking” rumors.  So when are you going to stop pruning leaves and go for the trunk?

On 25 February 2016, multiple high-volume Twitter [advertising] accounts published warnings claiming that the meetup app “Down to Lunch” was a tool for human traffickers…It was an odd claim, since purpose of Down to Lunch was well documented, the app was hugely popular, and there was no information available to substantiate the allegations…on 24 February 2016, a tweet shared a screenshot of an App Store review from a few weeks earlier.  The review claimed that Down to Lunch was a covert trafficking app, but the story that it offered (which featured strangers in sunglasses and trench coats, random middle-aged people crashing lunches and talking about photography, and — of course — a creepy van) wasn’t substantiated by any evidence…

Worse Than I Thought

The oppression committed in the name of “fighting sex trafficking” rolls on:

A comprehensive bill that would significantly expand Rhode Island’s human-trafficking law was well received by [authoritarians]…Human trafficking is considered to be the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise…the legislation has already been adopted by six states, and four others have enacted partial provisions…The bill…imposes substantial penalties on traffickers and those who pay for sex with someone who is trafficked…and forfeiture of property from people involved in trafficking.  That could include places that rent to massage parlors…The bill also would establish a permanent council on human trafficking to work on prevention and public awareness…The committee also heard a bill that would require sex traffickers to register as sex offenders…

And just in case you think that’s nothing to worry about, remember that all prostitution is increasingly defined as “trafficking”, and that the definition of “prostitution” is expanding:

…Under a measure passed unanimously by [Oregon] Senators…the offense of “promoting prostitution” will include…receiving goods, services, or anything of value in exchange for aiding, promoting, or “caus(ing) someone to engage” in prostitution…Lawmakers [pretend] the measure is needed in order to prosecute sex traffickers, who [they fantasize] often receive things other than cash…[even though] no one has any evidence of this happening at all, let alone frequently…Sex-worker advocates…say the measure will harm…homeless young people [who] wind up exchanging sexual favors for shelter, food, and other basic needs…Criminalizing these attempts to survive…will just make survival that much harder.  While we haven’t gotten dystopian enough quite yet for cops to target conventional dating under this statute, it seems plenty plausible that it would be used to go after…”sugar baby” relationships…

The Public Eye

My friend Caroline handled this interview like a champ; I just wish they hadn’t sullied her words by surrounding them with prohibitionist lies:

…“There are a lot more of us than you think,” said Caroline McLeod…43 and a single mother of two.  And, for the last eight years, she’s been a sex worker.  “It is illegal and I’m doing it and it’s all good, for me…So I made a leap of faith and it’s been fabulous”…McLeod got tired of her long workweek at a startup tech job while her daughter spent the day in day care.  She said she needed to find a way to provide for her kids and be there as they grew up…However, McLeod doesn’t look for her clients on the street and she doesn’t come from an abusive home like so many of the women who turn to street prostitution…She says she’s never been hurt or had problems with any of her clients, but many women in the sex trade do get roughed up.  In fact, law enforcement has shifted its focus to combat prostitution…

Monsters 

Just a couple short days after Veronica Banks Cano, a Black trans woman from San Antonio, was found dead in her hotel room, another Black trans woman is dead. Maya Young was pronounced dead after being stabbed multiple times in Philadelphia on February 21st

Unintentional Hilarity

Remember the imbecile who gave a strange man all her savings, then claimed she had “escaped sex trafficking” because he told her strippers make more money than waitresses?  Well, she’s still clucking about her non-experiences as though they meant something:

Brianna Myers…told an audience of more than 80 the story of how she nearly became a victim of human trafficking…“We’re not here to share fear and paranoia,” said Jo Lembo…for Shared Hope International…[sow] Ariana Ridgely…[oinked that] “Small towns can be even more dangerous than a big city”…Myers offered warning signs that might identify a potential trafficker.  “A guy who is always available to you is…just preying on your vulnerabilities”…someone who will [offer a girl compliments] buy her new clothes, make her salon appointments, drive nice cars or take her to big cities…is someone to be wary of, Myers said…Strip clubs are like the minor league baseball equivalent to major league prostitution, Ridgely said.  And with the plethora of nude dance clubs in Portland, the city is a “hotbed for trafficking”…

So according to Myers, the only safe boyfriend is a loser who never takes you anywhere or spends any money on you.  And the baseball simile may quite possibly be among the ten stupidest things ever said about sex work in the entire history of the profession.

A Mound of Filth

“Cuckoo Clock” McCain now wants to vomit her poison all over the entire world:

Cindy McCain told a Senate committee…that the U.S. should be the leader in the global fight against human trafficking.  “We need to recognize that we have a global problem and it calls for a global solution,” McCain said…She is…[also seeking] to [impose a “sex trafficking” propaganda regime]…in [Arizona] schools…

New Excuse

Eternal Vigilance (#610)

Perhaps it’s just because I’m a born whore, but I honestly don’t get why this is considered news at all:

Sex-for-rent advertisements continue to appear online in southeast Queensland…The advertisements, some subtle, others more overt , target vulnerable women, students and backpackers…Exchanging sex for rent is not illegal in Australia provided it is consensual and does not involve coercion or violence…Gold Coast centre against sexual violence director Di Macleod said the issue had existed for many years…

They “target vulnerable women”?  How, exactly?  Do the ads say, “Vulnerable women only need apply”, or are prospective tenants required to pass (fail?) some sort of vulnerability test?  And most importantly, when will Western society stop treating adult women as if they were wayward kindergarteners?

Phantasm

WTF, Atlantic?  Have you lost your collective mind, or is some wealthy prohibitionist like Swanee Hunt paying y’all to run this kind of garbage?

How do you identify sex-trafficking victims when such cases go largely undetected or unreported?…human trafficking is a lucrative industry that around the globe rakes in $150 billion…victims might be fearful of going to law enforcement and being charged with a crime…Women can be pulled in to commercial sex through gangs or pimps—the former function as delivery services, taking women to houses in the area they control, while the latter focus on hotels and street level prostitution…law enforcement…[works] to identify victims who are afraid to identify themselves.

The portrayal of cops as heroes that sex workers need to be brainwashed into being wary of is enough to make anyone who lives in the real world vomit.

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Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  –  Alyssa Ambrosino

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

but damn, has she got chutzpah!

…Alyssa Ambrosino of [Pennsylvania]…posted a listing online Jan. 13 that read in part, “Hey guys it’s Marie or you can call me Lyssa.  I’m working…within the jurisdiction of East Stroud PD.  A police department that couldn’t find their own ass with both hands and a map, so don’t bother even trying to call and set up a date.  Save your gas money for doughnuts and leave me alone because flashing a badge isn’t going to get you a discount.  For all the REAL men out there I would love to see you”…A [plainclothes pig]…arranged to meet Ambrosino at her hotel room…[but] she [smelled him]…and asked him to leave…[then a plainclothes sow] …went up and knocked on the door…[asking] why her husband was in that hotel room…[the sow then planted] marijuana on the night stand [and arrested] Ambrosino…

If anyone knows how to get in touch with her, please ask her to email me; I may be able to help get her legal defense.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

How many times do we need to say this?

Self-labeled sex addicts often speak about their identities very clinically, as if they’re paralyzed by a scientific condition that functions the same way as drug and alcohol addiction. But sex and porn “addiction” are NOT the same as alcoholism or a cocaine habit. In fact [they]…are not addictions at all…and…don’t constitute what most researchers understand to be addiction…addicts withdraw. When you lock a dope fiend in a room without any dope, the lack of drugs will cause an immediate physiological response — some of which is visible, some of which we can only track from within the body. During withdrawal, the brains of addicts create junctions between nerve cells containing the neurotransmitter GABA. This process more or less inhibits the brain systems usually excited by drug-related cues — something we never see in the brains of so-called sex and porn addicts…porn-addiction [promoters]…are wedded to the idea that porn is an uncontrolled stimulus the brain gets addicted to because of the dopamine release it causes…But there’s a difference between compulsion and addiction…

Bell, Hook and Kettle

There’s a word for “partnering” between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

State police officials are working with the Salvation Army and other organizations to help fight human trafficking in the Detroit area…Michigan has stepped up efforts in recent years to [arrest sex workers]…and [steal their possessions]…Human trafficking is a [sexual fantasy]…through which [police departments and rescue industry companies] profit from the exploitation and control of their victims.  Victims…include [sex workers, their clients, their] children…[their friends, landlords, roommates and partners]…

Legal Is as Legal Does 

Sex workers in Victoria will be able to advertise with full body pictures…under changes to the state’s sex-work regulations.  But…sex-worker organisation Vixen Collective says the government should tackle the real issues facing the industry, including full decriminalisation and an end to mandatory health testing…Advertisements are currently limited to head-and-shoulder shots.  Ads for sex workers will remain banned from radio, TV, film and video recordings but ads on the internet and in print may contain a photograph of the whole person, as long as…[it] does not show naked genitals or breasts, a sex act or a person under the age of 18 years.  Sex workers will now be able to advertise with references to [their] race, colour or ethnic origin…Jane Green…[of] Vixen Collective, said…sex workers have been calling for an end to mandatory testing because of the burden it puts on sex workers and taxpayers…25 years of medical research in Australia have shown that sex workers have lower rates of STI’s and practice safer sex than the general population…

Above the Law 

Even cops whose offenses don’t rise to the level of rape employ disgusting defenses:

[Boston cop] Edwin Guzman is currently facing charges of “annoying and accosting” a person of the opposite sex, as well as disseminating harmful material to a minor…if a classmate had sent a photo of his penis to this 16-year-old girl, he might be facing child pornography charges and a lifetime on the sex offender registry, rather than…a maximum $200 fine and 6 months in jail…what’s more disturbing is his lawyer’s dismissiveness of the teen’s response to the unwanted explicit pictures…”Kenneth Anderson…said…’You can’t tell me someone her age has never seen a picture of a penis on the Internet’…by this rationale, the teen shouldn’t be upset if an older relative, politician, church leader, trusted community figure, random neighbor or anyone else…sent her explicit photos.  After all, spend enough time on the internet and you’re bound to see a penis.  Perhaps Anderson could help her get over her fear of penis pictures by sending a few of his own her way…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

The New York Police Department has gained “chilling” access to a vast array of surveillance via the use of license plate readers (LPR), the American Civil Liberties Union warns…the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) obtained the final version of the nearly $500,000 contract between the NYPD and Vigilant Solutions for access to the billions of records the company has collected nationwide through the use of its LPRs…the new system “contains over 2.2 billion location data points, and it is growing by almost a million data points per day…Surveillance is about power.  Vigilant gives the NYPD power to monitor our whereabouts and, by extension, our affiliations, interests, activities and beliefs,” the civil rights group said in its blog…“Even more worrisome…the data comes from private license plate readers that scan locations that the police are less likely to scan: residential areas, apartment complexes, retail areas and business office complexes with large employee parking areasAnd…there is no limit on how long Vigilant keeps all of this private location data…There is no incentive for Vigilant to delete any data because its business model is to profit off of selling people’s data.”  Despite promises by LPR proponents that such databases would not be abused, they [are almost constantly]

King of the Hill

What century do “sex trafficking” fetishists believe this is?

I was shocked to learn that Michigan is one of the top spots in the United States for human trafficking…Michigan ranks No. 2 in the country…No. 1 is Nevada.  Two of the things that make Michigan a primary spot is our close proximity to Canada and our waterways…

Train Wreck

Translation: They provide forged papers and provide passage for migrants who want to escape Nigeria:

…[A police] raid [resulted] in the arrest of the leaders of a Nigerian-based group running an international sex-trafficking ring in Barcelona.  It’s known as the Supreme Eiye Confraternity (SEC), or the Air Lords…[cops] first came across the group in 2011 during a forgery investigation, but quickly discovered it was a huge network trafficking…human beings and narcotics (cocaine and marijuana) and [forging] passports.  It has also facilitated the transport of stolen crude oil into Europe…Benin City, Nigeria, is a human-trafficking hub

Sexual Predators

WARNING: The badge-licking in here is so loud and fellatory, it may nauseate you:

The customer has no idea what he is walking into.  He is in his early 30s, dressed kind of schlubby, and wanting to buy some sex on a gorgeous weekday afternoon…There will be no happy ending for him today.  He will be greeted by a [cop]…posing as a prostitute…Elsewhere in the hotel, a 27-year-old woman with heavy eye makeup and a short, short skirt is sitting on a bed looking concerned.  She is a prostitute, who, like the man, was [duped by pigs] on backpage.com, a popular prostitution website.  She had come to this room thinking she was about to have a “date.”  Instead, she is being interviewed by trained advocates from the YWCA who are looking for signs of coercion and fear…

Signs of coercion and fear, when she’s surrounded by armed thugs who’ve just deceived her?  How could that POSSIBLY be? The tone isn’t surprising, though, considering that the LA Times is the only newspaper I know whose reporters are specifically forbidden to call rape, “rape” when the rapist is a cop.

Crime Against Society (#324)

Though they can’t do it as easily as they once could, New Orleans prosecutors still love condemning sex workers to the “sex offender” registry:

…She had spent weeks in Orleans Parish Prison once before, sleeping on a mat, getting in fights.  She was desperate to get out.  Plead guilty to “attempted intentional exposure to AIDS,” an antiquated felony created during the darkest days of 1980s AIDS hysteria, and the prosecutor would agree to 60 days time served, her ticket to immediate release.  She took the deal.  About a week after she got out, the 22-year-old woman received a phone call.  It was her probation officer, threatening to take her back to jail.  Why?  She hadn’t registered as a sex offender…nobody – not her lawyer, not the judge, not the prosecutor – had mentioned anything about adding her name to a list of society’s most reviled outcasts.  Nobody had said anything about the special driver’s license she would have to carry, or the expense of mailing postcards to hundreds of her neighbors.  Aaliyah had condemned herself to 15 years of frustration and humiliation, and there is no record of anybody telling her until it was too late…

The Public Eye (#593)

Laura Lee talks about how she became a sex worker:

…In 2003, I moved to Scotland to take up a position with a financial institution, corporate prostitution at its finest.  Over time, my part time endeavour to top up my miniscule salary became known, and the proverbial hit the fan…In a small highland town, that’s better than a double live episode of Eastenders and various locals couldn’t wait to make their views known.  Some were to my face, but mostly it was done on social media, by members of staff during a “confidential” investigation…I was angry I had to leave the town for my daughter’s sake and start afresh.  I was angry for being judged, by the very people who’d come to me for help in the past.  But mostly, I was angry that many people spouted speeches about the sex industry, when they quite obviously didn’t have a clue…I’ve since learned that some people build entire careers on that…

Too Close To Home pompous press conference

Journalists are starting to listen:

…The women [Seattle cops pretended] they “rescued”…may not actually have been trafficked…King County’s prosecutor did not charge any of the people arrested with trafficking, only with promoting prostitution…The court documents include no affidavits or victim statements from the women themselves…[the] one woman [cops managed to catch]…said her family in South Korea was in debt bondage and that if she didn’t do sex work and pay off their debt, her family might be hurt…I can’t help but wonder about the element of coercion involved in obtaining the statement of an illegal immigrant who knows she may be jailed or deported unless she depicts herself as a trafficking victim…There is also no evidence that these women were being forced to stay in the apartments or forced to sell sex.  Indeed, the instructions on the TRB site says explicitly that “No means NO.  Regardless of your particular expectations, what is offered is completely up to the provider”…

Stupor Bowl (#608)

This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:

On February 7, the Super Bowl will return to the Bay Area…and it’s an oft-repeated chestnut that when sports championships come to town, so too do human traffickers…the link between the Super Bowl and trafficking is, at best, unsubstantiated.  (The maybe-canard even has its own Snopes page).  At worst, it’s an attempt to link trafficking with hyper-masculine sporting events and voluntary sex work…the mayor’s anti-trafficking task force [imagined] the region to be “a hub for human trafficking and a hot spot for child sex trafficking”; the FBI has also [pretended] it to be one of 13 national “high intensity” areas for child sex trafficking crimes…Traffickers often use airplanes to transport victims through networks that span the globe

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If you want to reduce abuse, you need to find a way to hack the system that increases the power of marginalized people, not of the police.
–  Noah Berlatsky

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Remember, sex work is legal but “regulated” in India.  Here’s what that looks like:

…police abuse and bad laws live on despite decades of evidence of the harm being done to millions of Indian women…[who] are arrested under charges of “possession of condoms”, or even on false charges of “possession of narcotics”…(They) are rounded up at the end of the month when the target for petty/minor offences are not met…Some [cops] are known…to be self-avowed crusaders against “prostitutes”.  Instead of protecting these women from…criminal elements, the police adds its own violence and abuse to that of other criminals…whether [under] the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, or the myriad “vagrancy” and “public indecency” acts commonly used against them…[police] “victimise the women,” doubling their “exploitation and extortion”…

It Looks Good On Paper

It’s not “surprising” in the least; as I’ve explained repeatedly, only very rare “perfect victims” are helped by so-called “safe harbor” laws:

…Latesha Clay…was sentenced to prison for up to 20 years…Clay, whose name was inexplicably released by local press despite her status as a minor, had been offered up as bait in a Backpage post advertising sex with the underage girl.  When the clients showed up at a Motel 6…they were met by an adult male, Trayvin Donnell Lewis, who used a realistic-looking airsoft gun to drive the clients to an ATM and rob them…However, Clay herself fits every guideline for qualifying as a trafficking victim just by virtue of being underage and [advertising] online for sex.  According to the Justice Department’s federal definition of sex trafficking, a person under 18 engaging in prostitution (even the mere “offering” of sex for sale) is automatically considered a trafficking victim regardless of whether a pimp or client used “force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion, or any combination of those means, to cause the minor to engage in a commercial sex act”.  When the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) was signed into law in 2015, many advocates [imagined] the federal government [would] increase protections for underage…teens…in the sex industry…That’s why Clay’s prison sentence, rather than the kind of support and treatment outlined by the JVTA, is surprising…

Tyranny By Consensus 

Los Angeles County and the porn industry are at “a stalemate” over a mandatory condom requirement, according to criminal and constitutional lawyer Paul Cambria Jr…”Measure B”…was approved by L.A. voters in 2012, and has been embroiled in legal challenges ever since…Both a U.S. district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Vivid’s argument that the condom law violates the First Amendment…But…affirmed the lower court’s decision to enjoin several key provisions…including stipulations that noncompliant production companies could have their permits taken away and a provision related to searches and seizures…The state can still go after filmmakers under California’s occupational safety rules, however…the agency’s heart doesn’t seem to be in enforcement…Karen Fuller Tynan…who specializes in adult-industry cases…helped one client settle with the agency for $685—down from an initial attempt to fine the company more than $20,000 for “lack of barrier protection” in a film scene.  She also represented porn company Evil Angel…they went to trial, and half way through the first morning in court the agency dropped all charges related to condoms…

The Public Eye

This interview with retired madam Jami Rodman is overblown & sensationalized, as such interviews tend to be when the interviewed sex worker was connected to some kind of scandal.  But the more the public sees us as real people, the harder it will be to keep the “sex trafficking” lie afloat.

Bottleneck

How Laws Regulating Sex Work Ignore Workers Themselves” is another good example of the stupid, evil laws created by amateurs to “regulate” sex workers, justified under the excuse of “protecting” us from our own choices.  Click to open the image at right, then click again to enlarge.

Checklist

Fellow librarians: this is bullshit.  It is a serious breach of your professional ethics to support the surveillance state against patrons:

…More than 800 staff members at all of San Diego’s 36 library locations recently received training on how to spot sex trafficking victims, how to start a conversation with them, and ultimately how to steer them to the appropriate resources for help…Local law enforcement statistics show an alarming rise in sex…trafficking cases.*  San Diego is one of the top 10 worst cities in America for human trafficking**, and…it is the second most lucrative industry in the region, right behind drug trafficking.^  “It’s a big problem with gangs,” said [library director Misty] Jones. “Gangs are actually trafficking people more so than trafficking drugs now”^^…

*  No, they don’t.   **No, it isn’t.
^ No, it isn’t.        ^^No, they aren’t.

Opting Out

New Zealand bureaucrat imagines he can stop people from seeing online porn he doesn’t like, despite the fact that Australia abandoned a similar censorship scheme as unworkable:

…deputy chief censor Jarred Mullen detailed the harm that [he pretends] increasingly extreme pornography that can cause, and outlined some possible steps towards regulating it.  These steps could include an ISP level ban, where pornography viewers have to “opt in” to viewing pornographic content, similar to that of the United Kingdom’s…Current censorship law…already bans certain types of pornography, including [BDSM & scat]…Censors also look at whether the pornography “degrades or dehumanises or demeans any person,” but this does not necessarily result in a ban.  The censor’s office reviews every DVD released in New Zealand, as well as anything customs seize at the border, but their control over online market is essentially non-existent…

All-Purpose Excuse

in California…an elected official [is] attempting to use the latest law-and-order magic words—”human trafficking“—to push for mandatory decryption on smart phones…Jim Cooper wants to order smartphone manufacturers to be capable of decrypting and providing access to their products on demand…Cooper [bloviated]…”We’re going after…people who are doing bad and evil things.  Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it“…

Moving Pictures 

Yet another ridiculous “sex trafficking” fakumentary:

…Filmmaker Gunther Meisse II teamed up with…Mark Lovely to create a…30-minute documentary on human trafficking, “Shadow in the Heartland”…The pair hope to [sell] the documentary…to schools throughout the state so teachers can show it in…schools where it can be seen by young people who are most vulnerable to human trafficking…In 2013, Ohio ranked fifth among all states for calls to the Nation Human Trafficking Hot Line.  Each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio children become victims…

Stupor Bowl (#601)

This is the typical “Super Bowl sex trafficking” story now; it debunks the specific gypsy whore myth while still accepting the greater “sex trafficking” myth:

Media briefs screamed into inboxes, blaring in all caps that the Super Bowl is NOT the largest human trafficking event in the world.  But…officials from the D.A.’s office and City Hall took the mic at Boeddeker Park to declare human trafficking an invisible scourge that haunts us 365 days a year…It’s hard to say how what began as an urban legend became the animus for ad campaigns and undercover stings involving everyone from local police departments to the FBI to the Department of Homeland Security…The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women reported that in 2008, 2009, and 2011, local law enforcement observed “no increases in sex work-related arrests” during the Super Bowl…judging by statistics, San Francisco is a hub of the global trade in humans.  The city has the 13th-highest number of child sex trafficking cases in the country…Many victims are shuttled through brothels, massage parlors, and other underground channels, while some are never counted at all…

But because the rescue industry can see the end of the hysteria is coming, it’s really trying to milk this Super Bowl for everything it can get:

…Traffickers from all over the nation and local traffickers already here are believed to gravitate toward the thousands of fans in town for the game.  Lisa Blanchard, executive director of the Grateful Garment Project, believes a sizable number of girls and boys trapped in the sex trade will be arrested or detained, enough to persuade her to organize Sunday’s backpack-stuffing event…”We’re already a hot spot…so when you bring in a big event like the Super Bowl, common sense tells you there will be an increase.”  Her…group assembled two dozen or so volunteers…to fill 165 backpacks with several items, including fleece pants and sweatshirts, underwear, socks, toiletries, flashlights and books — memoirs by people who survived the illicit trade.  Blanchard said the youths would need the clothing and items because they’re dressed “scarcely, almost naked,” when they’re [arrested]…by police…

The idea that “trafficking” fanatics arrive at their beliefs by anything remotely involving common sense is hilarious, but it may not be as funny as this:

The Archdiocese of New Orleans is calling on all Catholics to take a stand against human trafficking.  They want people to fast from social media on February 1…“the…day of Prayer and Awareness coincides well with two major events that cause a spike in human trafficking activity:  the Super Bowl (February 7) and, locally, Mardi Gras (February 9),” the Archdiocese said…Barbarella orgasmatron

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#605) 

You almost have to feel sorry for geeks, wanking to their ludicrous fantasies of a day when they only have to pay once for sex instead of every time.  But really, the idea that computers or highfalutin’ 3D goggles could ever replace actual women is deeply misogynistic at best, and misanthropic at worst:

…The world’s oldest profession is under attack from the newest…VR displays video through screens that strap to your face and create lifelike scenes…[Nevada brothel] Sheri’s Ranch has taken notice of the changes shaking the porn industry and is worried they could be bad for business…Demand for sex might be a constant, but how people go about getting it done has changed.  These days, they’re not paying for it like they used to. In 1948, 69 percent of American men reported having at least one experience with a prostitute, according to a study by The Kinsey Institute.  By the 1990s, that fell to as little as 15 percent…

No, it didn’t.  Honestly, repeatedly refuting this bullshit gets exhausting.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#605)

Contrary to a…report by CNBC, picked up by numerous other media outlets, Penthouse is not shutting down its print magazine.  According to [managing director] Kelly Holland…the magazine is launching a digital edition, [but] that will be a companion to, not a replacement for, its print publication…

Vendetta (#607)

Noah Berlatsky on Swanee Hunt’s HackTrafficking4Good scheme:

…the righteous, adrenalin-fueled approach to battling sex trafficking isn’t likely to help much of anyone.  The statistics on the site are grossly exaggerated and confused.  The claim that hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of sex trafficking is based on what the Washington Post calls “nonsense facts,” and the 12-14 year age of entry is similarly dubious.  In fact, the whole narrative that pimps are systematically kidnapping children and forcing them into sexual slavery doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.  Most underage people…engage in survival sex because they are fleeing abusive situations at home…not because they are in the thrall of criminal gangs.  The vision of noble hackers helping police to swoop in and save exploited women is dear to the hearts of anti-prostitution groups like conference sponsor Demand Abolition.  But it’s also fanciful—not least because police are in fact one of the chief dangers faced by sex workers…But the HackTrafficking4Good conference doesn’t see law enforcement as a potential threat.  Instead, the conference is focused on helping police with surveillance…

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For me, “whore” is a synonym for freedom.  –  Angela Villon

Lack of Evidence

As long as cops are given power over private behavior, this will keep happening:

A…Las Vegas [cop] was indicted by a federal grand jury…on felony charges of roughing up a woman he suspected was a prostitute.  Richard Scavone…was charged with violating the civil rights of the woman when he used excessive force while arresting her in January 2015 and falsifying his report of the encounter to obstruct an FBI investigation…Scavone…grabbed the woman around her neck and threw her to the ground, struck her in the forehead with an open palm, slammed her face into the hood of his patrol car two times and slammed her into the door of his car…Scavone was wearing a body camera during the scuffle, but police have [hidden]…the recording…

Rooted in Racism

No, this wasn’t a “mistake”; it was a deliberate action proceeding directly from government-approved profiling guidelines:

When Kathleen Chan and Jay Serrano boarded a flight from Miami to New York City, they didn’t expect to be escorted off the plane by police once it landed…the flight crew had alerted the police that it was a possible case of sex trafficking…the couple was [persecuted because] when Serrano went to the bathroom…because he was sick…Chan walked with him there and waited for him outside the lavatory.  And [later they shared]…a cup of orange juice…Michelle Guelbart, who works with the travel industry for…[rescue industry profiteers] ECPAT USA…[bloviated that] “One of the indicators for sex trafficking is someone who’s not allowed to move freely through the cabin”…

The Last Shall Be First

Pervert politicians want to give pedophile cops the power to inspect children’s genitals before they use the toilet:

A bill filed by a Virginia lawmaker…would require schools to be certain that children are using the restroom corresponding to their “correct anatomical sex”.  The legislation, which would prohibit transgender students from using the bathroom matching their gender, is being sponsored by Republican…Mark Cole.  House Bill 663 defines “anatomical sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s anatomy”…any student who violated the bathroom rules could be fined $50 by [armed government thugs]…Civil rights advocate Tim Peacock noted that “adults would be required to inspect children’s genitals before they use the bathroom” for the legislation to be enforceable…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

It’s kind of fascinating that so much effort is being expended over something that not only doesn’t exist, but will never exist in the form and timetable imagined in these articles:

The sexbots are coming.  Technology is transforming every step of our love lives.  What started as meeting and flirting through screens and progressed to sexy time over Skype is now leading to products that promise happier relationships and more meaningful connections…Experts predict that future generations will get frisky with the help of virtual reality goggles, holograms, stimulating bodysuits and, yes, erotic robots…What is the line between augmenting human connection with technology, and replacing it altogether?  What does it mean for sex as we’ve always known it — eye contact, skin, sweat — if there’s a digital third wheel in the mix?…

The Public Eye

Comfort Zone (#320)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

Human traffickers are exploiting the U.S. visa system by forcing young women to pose as fiancées or family members of American gang members, who force them into a life of misery once here…Sold by their parents, lured by promises of wealth and fame or kidnapped, young women are being brought to U.S. soil in plain sight, and with federally approved paperwork, said Claude Arnold…of [ICE]…A newly released audit…confirms the U.S. government may have issued hundreds of visas to human traffickers…The report blamed a critical lack of communication between ICE…and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services…

Original Sin (#321)

It was inevitable that some state actors would eventually start mouthing this idiocy, despite the fact that porn is legal:

The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, announced Texas will combat modern-day slavery with a the state’s first human trafficking unit…“Where you find trafficking you find drugs, you find smuggling you find arms, you find violent crime of a whole large variety,” said [prosecutor] Kirsta Leeburg Melton…“There are huge links in the culture between pornography-use and the demand, that creates a demand for prostitution”…

Prudesville (#448)

Can this absurd little drama finally be over now?

…Carmela Panico faced up to a year in jail…but a judge agreed to grant the espresso madam a first-time offender waiver…Panico served two days in jail after her stands were raided in 2013. The former Snohomish woman…was forced to walk away from her lucrative bikini espresso stands in 2014 after pleading guilty to promoting prostitution and money laundering. Prosecutors alleged that the stands were operating as drive-through brothels, raking in millions. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Hendrix [pretended that] Panico engaged in predatory behavior, profiting from women with drug problems and financial troubles…

Feminists and Other Puritans

Suppressing dissident views is a typical behavior of religions:

Katherine Zappone, the [Irish] senator, has been criticised after a sex workers’ rights group claimed it was “uninvited” from her feminist conference because of political differences.  Fempower…had originally granted Ugly Mugs, the sex worker support group, a stand at the event but revoked the pass this week…

Stupor Bowl (#510) 

No facts to support your money-making propaganda?  No worries!  There are morally-retarded academics who’ll happily invent bullshit for you:

For the first time in its efforts to crack down on sex trafficking during the Super Bowl, the FBI will try to reach out to women and girls selling sex in the run-up to the game to give them a way out and get them to turn against their traffickers…This year’s event in the San Francisco Bay Area, like past bowls and other large sporting events, is expected to be a magnet for trafficking…according to [opportunistic liars who pretend]…that victims are often too fearful to help prosecute their traffickers…“A lot of times they don’t see themselves as victims,” said Jennifer Madden, a local prosecutor…[profiteers trying to keep the myth alive concede that] there is no evidence that additional women or girls are forced into prostitution to serve the Super Bowl market.  But [they pretend that] those already trafficked may be moved to such events…Dominique Roe-Sepowitz [designed a bullshit “study”] leading up to the 2015 Super Bowl in…Phoenix…They [invented] an uptick in online sex ads…[and pretended that] more than 60 percent of the 1,300 prostitution ads researchers flagged showed significant signs the sex provider was a trafficking victim…

Another Fine Mess (#547)

I’ve often pointed out that ordinary business practices don’t magically become newsworthy when whores use them.  However, I don’t so much mind these articles when their primary goal is demystification rather than gawking:  “…finding clients is just one small part of what technology can do for sex workers.  Equally, if not more, important is the way sex workers use apps and websites—often ordinary, everyday ones used by many outside the sex industry—to mitigate the risk that comes with their working environment…Penthouse September 1969

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#580)

Internet porn just claimed another casualty.  Penthouse has announced that it’s dropping its print magazine after 51 years of publication…the magazine [will] close its New York City offices and move into the Los Angeles location of its parent company, FriendFinder Networks.  FriendFinder isn’t specific about the reasons behind the decision besides a plan to “keep Penthouse competitive.”  However, it doesn’t take much to read between the lines.  Much like Playboy, Penthouse is struggling in an era when it’s trivial to find porn online…It had to either give its print mag a better reason to exist (Playboy‘s strategy) or else cut that overhead completely…

Harm Magnification (#599)

No, it’s not a “complicated issue”; it’s a non-issue complicated by the sociopathic need to control others’ sexual behavior:

London [Ontario’s] street sex workers fear growing isolation and the danger that comes with it…The places they fear most are often the one that many [clients] want to go, a survey of 33 workers found…The women said they would rather not travel to isolated places to perform sex, but the [clients] insist because they fear being caught…[due to] Canada’s new prostitution laws, which make it illegal to buy sex with punishment by fines and imprisonment…Prostitution legislation is a complicated issue with intense debate from all sides…

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You will hear our voices, because they are becoming louder and louder and you can’t drown us out any longer.  –  Laura Lee

Above the Law 

Well, this is different:

Male strippers stopped by gardai for having no tax disc performed for female officers to get out of a fine…They…entered the Garda station and began their performance.  But one female is understood to have fallen during the incident, injuring her back…an internal investigation is underway…the officer who brokered the “deal” is also being investigated…

The Rape Question rape rate by age

I’ve been saying this for 30 years:

In…1975…Susan Brownmiller…asserted that “rape is about power, not sex.”  Ever since, the conventional wisdom has been that rapists are misogynistic men seeking domination and power over women, not violent men seeking sex…there has been no significant empirical research to support her claim.  Yet, almost everyone repeats it…Social science has demonstrated a strong relationship between age and sexual attractiveness.  Heterosexual men are sexually attracted to young women, while homosexual men are attracted to young men…If rapists are primarily motivated by the desire for power and domination, then one would expect them to prefer middle-aged, career women.  However, if rapists primarily desire sex, then one would expect them to prefer young women and men…The percentage of female victims who are over 50 is close to zero…A 15-year-old male is more likely to be a victim of a sexual assault than a 40-year-old female…An analysis of whether female robbery victims are sexually assaulted during the incident suggests that the sexual attractiveness of young people is an important factor.  Since the robber has already established dominance over a vulnerable victim, the effects of opportunity and vulnerability are removed, and only the effect of the offender’s age preference remains.  In such cases, robbers are much more likely to rape victims between the ages of 15 and 29…The reason most rapists target females is that a larger percentage of males are heterosexuals, not that they hate females…Gay men are just as likely to attack males as straight men are to attack females…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Plus the fact that so-called “virtually reality” doesn’t involve actual touch:

Virtual reality technology is unlikely to kill off real sex work, according to people working in the business, even if the biggest predictions about it come true…Virtual reality allows people to strap on a headset and move around a world as if they are really there, with the image changing as they move their head for an immersive experience. But that experience will never be enough to threaten the business of real sex workers…

Imagination Pinned Down

I’ll just leave this right here:

Stories are so natural that we don’t notice how much they permeate our lives…That’s precisely why they can be such a powerful tool of deception.  When we’re immersed in a story, we let down our guard…[and] may absorb things…that would normally pass us by or put us on high alert…In his book Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, Jerome Bruner…proposes that we can frame experience in two ways:  propositional and narrative.  Propositional thought hinges on logic and formality.  Narrative thought is the reverse.  It’s concrete, imagistic, personally convincing, and emotional.  And it’s strong…What kind of person do you need to be to make up a history of…sex trafficking?  For one thing, you need to have an intimate grasp of the workings of human psychology—you have to understand that this story, above any other, will elude scrutiny even when the facts that justify it are sparse.  Victims, in the right light, stand above reproach.  No one questions an escapee from human trafficking…

The central example of the article is the case of Samantha Azzopardi, but I don’t think you need me to point out dozens of other important examples.

Shift in the Wind (#134)

Mary Emily O’Hara of the Daily Dot published a very decent review of the year’s top sex work stories; however, in the course of preparing the article she used some materials without permission, possibly endangering sex workers.  Though the materials were removed when their original author protested to O’Hara, the incident just goes to show how little even sex-worker-friendly journalists stop to think about the effect of stigma on sex workers’ lives.

Little Boxes (#138)

Anyone who would be “alarmed” at the sight of a nipple needs to just stay home with a coloring book:

A proposed law in New Hampshire would charge women with a misdemeanor for exposing their nipples in public, with an exemption for the act of breastfeeding. Toplessness is currently legal for both women and men under New Hamphire state law, although some local ordinances forbid it…[the] bill would update the state’s indecent exposure and lewdness statute to include “a woman [who] purposely exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts in a public place and in the presence of another person with reckless disregard for whether a reasonable person would be offended or alarmed by such act.”

Oscillation (#312)

This is what prohibition looks like when given perspective by time:

Hundreds of letters were received by [Irish] President Patrick Hillery in 1985, urging him not to sign legislation that allowed condoms to be purchased without prescription…In a file…released as part of the 30-year rule, letters warned of the “imminent dangers to which young people will be exposed” and claimed the “lives of decent people” would be “threatened in the streets and even in their homes” if [people could buy condoms]…A woman from Clontarf, Dublin, reminded Hillery that it wasn’t long since the people “voted to protect unborn life” in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.  “This Bill is totally opposed to the whole concept of unborn lifescreaming loony because it closes the door to the right of unborn life to be conceived,” she said…

Under Every Bed

I found out that human trafficking affects every single community.  Places big, small, urban or rural, human trafficking is everywhere.  The realities of human trafficking are disturbing and unsettling.  Experts at a conference I attended in September said the multi-billion dollar industry has now surpassed the drug and arms trades…

Uncommon Sense (#337)

Once again, myths and agency denial convince Switzerland to narrow the bottleneck for legal sex work:

…Switzerland began awarding eight-month permits in 1995 to women from outside the European Union who wanted to come to the country to work as strippers…The programme was meant to protect people who may have otherwise been vulnerable to sex traffickers…But…Swiss authorities…announced that [blah blah blah sex trafficking so]…the programme will formally be cancelled as of the new year…the visas, called “L permits”…gave women a chance to earn significant money in wealthy Switzerland which they could send home to their families…

This will, of course, result in these women working illegally, thus making them vulnerable to persecution by cops.  Progress!

Innocence Never Had

People are so unwilling to let go of the ridiculous “pimps & hos” myth and the “enslaved children” wanking fantasy, that even when they question a few of the elements they can’t let go of the rest:

While headlines tout stories of women and children trafficked from overseas…you need look no further than the streets of Los Angeles to find America’s sexually exploited kids.  Over 90 percent of [young people] under 18 [arrested by LAPD]…have not been kidnapped and stuffed into the back of a van, which is Hollywood’s version of sex trafficking…While “trafficked” implies transportation of victims across borders, anyone…under age 18 performing commercial sex acts is considered a trafficking victim…whether or not there is…force or coercion…When [a vice cop] suspects someone on the street is underage, he approaches her and introduces himself as an officer from the trafficking unit…Then, instead of arresting her, he [arrests her]…But girls like this aren’t usually rejoicing to be “rescued.”  In fact, they are usually afraid of law enforcement and attached to their pimp…

The Public Eye (#407)

Laura Lee published an open letter to prohibitionists:

…You’ve decided I’m the “dirty girl”, the one who ought to be ashamed.  You pour scorn on me when I don’t feel that shame…You tell me I must have been abused as a child, that can be the only explanation.  You tell me I’m irrational, I have PTSD or I simply don’t care about myself.  You tell me I can’t possibly parent, I can’t look after myself, let alone my daughter…You tell me that if I like what I do so much, I should work for free…you even tell me I target vulnerable disabled men, without one thought for their ability to make their own choices.  You lie, you do it all the time.  You tell the public that the country is awash with victims of trafficking when you know that simply isn’t true.  You put your own funding and career above my life…

No Other Option (#420)

In the US, this business would be violently suppressed and its customers and workers shamed, robbed and caged: “A 24-hour brothel in central Bankstown [NSW] will include…seven rooms for clients, including one [specially fitted] for people with a disability…

Checklist (#542)

A ridiculous and insulting new law takes effect in Florida:

Posters are going up in adult businesses, airports and other places where human trafficking victims might see them throughout Florida.  They are aimed at combating sex trafficking.  The FBI says Florida ranks third when it comes to human trafficking.  A new state law goes into effect Jan. 1 requiring adult businesses and other locations to display posters with telephone numbers and other information to assist potential human trafficking victims…

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How dare someone tell another person how they should or should not feel.  –  Rachel Wotton

Barbie Hello Barbie

I’m sure “feminists” will be much more concerned with analyzing the “sexism” of Barbie’s utterances than with this:

…As part of the Investigatory Powers Bill, children’s…toys could be the next item to be used by the government in an effort to spy on people, claims Antony Walker, deputy CEO of technology trade association techUK…Walker warned MPs of how the…Bill could be abused to turn any Internet-connected device into a snooping tool…Smart Toys, such as Hello Barbie and My Friend Cayla – that come Wi-Fi enabled and have microphones and cameras built-in – could become spying tools for intelligence agencies…After concerns were raised early December by Bluebox Labs, Barbie’s manufacturer Mattel reportedly tightened the security on Hello Barbie that allows kids to talk to dolls over a cloud server connection…

O, Canada!

Canadian “authorities” are nearly as obsessed with “trafficking” porn as US ones:

Ontario needs a police task force to fight human trafficking of girls as young as 13…“They really are the girls next door”…MPP Laurie Scott said…[fantasizing about] the vast majority forced into the sex trade by human traffickers…[and] calling human trafficking an “underground and very fast-growing crime”…

Where Are the Protests? 

Woman works for herself selling sex: It’s a national tragedy!  “Rescue” her against her will!  This story: {crickets}

Every morning at 2 a.m., they heard a kick on the door and a threat:  Get up or get beaten.  For the next 16 hours…[they] stood in the factory that owned them with their aching hands in ice water.  They ripped the guts, heads, tails and shells off shrimp bound for overseas markets, including grocery stores and all-you-can-eat buffets across the United States…Pervasive human trafficking has helped turn Thailand into one of the world’s biggest shrimp providers.  Despite repeated promises by businesses and government to clean up the country’s $7 billion seafood export industry, an Associated Press investigation has found shrimp peeled by modern-day slaves is reaching the U.S., Europe and Asia. The problem is fueled by corruption and complicity among police and authorities.  Arrests and prosecutions are rare.  Raids can end up sending migrants without proper paperwork to jail, while owners go unpunished…

The main reason this goes on?  Because the US is too busy forcing Thai authorities to raid brothels for nonexistent “sex slaves” to bother policing its own food supply chains.

Bell, Hook and Kettle

This shelter was not operated by the Salvation Army; however, as I demonstrated just a year ago, the Salvation Army has done very similar things:

A Kentucky homeless shelter said that it has banned all women and children in an effort to stop them from having sex with male residents.  Emergency Christian Ministries Director Billy Woodward [said]…he had to put a stop to the “sex problem…It seems like these last days it’s getting worse…the ungodly type”…Emergency Christian Ministries forced up to a dozen women to leave…It was not immediately clear if the women had been able to relocate because Emergency Christian Ministries is the only shelter for the homeless in Williamsburg.  A female-only…shelter in Gray, Kentucky was reportedly accepting women.  However, that shelter is a 40 minute drive from Williamsburg…

The Public Eye

many candid, eye-opening stories…populate a new theatrical production in Vancouver called The Hooker Monologues, which brings nine sex workers and…allies…together on stage to deliver real-life stories about the world’s oldest profession…The Monologues were recently workshopped for a select audience, as the performers gear up to unveil their stories at the Firehall Arts Centre next March.  They hope to dispel stereotypes about prostitution by giving voice to women who perform sex work…

Skin To Skin

Here’s another good article about one of my heroines, Rachel Wotton:

In Australia and overseas, disability advocacy groups are trying to raise awareness about disabled people and sex.  Veteran sex worker Rachel Wotton is one of the co-founders of Touching Base, an organisation that allows people with disabilities to connect with sex workers.  She says the stigma surrounding the sex lives of people with disabilities is disheartening.  “It’s ridiculous. Just because someone can’t walk the same way as others, or doesn’t have the same technique to use their voice, doesn’t mean they haven’t got the same sexual desires as other people…People need to move away from the idea that sex is intercourse.  Our sexuality is expressed in many different ways,” said Ms Wotton, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years and was featured in the documentary Scarlet Road

Blunt Instrument

Due to their visibility, massage parlors are taking the brunt of the “sex trafficking” hysteria in smaller cities:

Columbus is banning those convicted of drug- and human-trafficking crimes from obtaining operating licenses for massage or bathhouse businesses…The Columbus City Council…also has approved spending $50,000 to help hire a probation officer…who will focus on [brainwashing]…women convicted of prostitution…City officials said the new laws and new probation officer are efforts to reduce human trafficking, which police [fantasize] is on the rise in central Ohio…

Lack of Evidence (#314) Oh My Girl

I’m sure racist “sex trafficking” myths had nothing to do with this:

A pop group has flown back to South Korea after officials in Los Angeles thought they might be sex workers.  The eight members were travelling to America for an album cover shoot but were detained for 15 hours in customs…Oh My Girl…had…been booked to perform at a gala event in Los Angeles…

Backwards into the Future (#334)

[South African] sex workers have made impassioned pleas for the decriminalisation of their trade…to fight…exploitation, abuse, discrimination and violence…In a report…that was unanimously adopted at the legislature…sex workers decried how police officers confiscated their condoms as evidence that they were sex workers and [explained] how they were…denied their HIV antiretroviral treatment when in police detention…

Torture Chamber 

No, you assholes; when a guard coerces a prisoner into sex, it’s rape, not “barter”:

…Lowell [state prison in]…Florida…[is] the largest women’s prison in the United States…women who have done time here say Lowell’s quiet veneer belies the corruption, torment and sexual abuse within…[jailers] spit in their faces, threaten to slam them into concrete and call them whores, bitches and porch monkeys…male prison staffers tramp through the showers, make them flash their breasts on a whim and force them to beg for basic necessities…[guards] use their positions of power to pressure inmates to have sex…in bathrooms, closets, the laundry and…isolated areas of the prison…those who yield to the…demands are…rewarded with soap and sanitary pads, cigarettes, drugs and money…[those] who don’t comply…are harassed and humiliated…and…threatened with [solitary] confinement…their belongings [are stolen]…and the privilege of visits from their families [withheld]…

Out of Control (#451)

Celibacy erodes men’s judgment, sometimes until their behavior becomes completely out of control:

A Catholic priest swiped collection-plate donations to pay…[a professional dominant]…a new lawsuit…alleges he…stole…at least $1 million since 2003 while leading churches on Roosevelt Island and in The Bronx, where he is currently pastor of St. Frances de Chantal…[Reverend Peter] Miqueli also spent $60,000 in 2012 alone for “illicit and prescription drugs” he used with [Keith] Crist, bought a $264,000 home in Brick, NJ, and paid $1,075.50 a month for his master’s East Harlem apartment…The suit…also charges that the Archdiocese of New York and Cardinal Timothy Dolan knew about Miqueli’s “illegal scheme” and did nothing to keep it from growing into “the monster it is today”…In addition to skimming $20 bills from the collection plate…Miqueli ripped off money raised to buy a new pipe organ at his former church…He also put Crist in charge of the Cabrini thrift shop, where Miqueli “misappropriated and diverted money . . . for his own personal use” and destroyed financial records to cover up the theft…The suit seeks unspecified damages from Miqueli, Crist, Dolan and the archdiocese on grounds that include negligent supervision, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and unjust enrichment…

Now They Notice

The hopelessly-square Advocate is slowly coming around on sex work, though its misleading headline makes it sound as though the report is urging politicians to make a special case for transwomen:

A new report on transgender sex work sponsored by the Red Umbrella Project, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Best Practices Policy Project urges policy makers and legislators to “repeal criminal laws for prostitution and related offenses.”  Building on data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, “Meaningful Work: Transgender Experiences in the Sex Trade” concludes that decriminalization is “essential to protect the safety of people in the sex trade and to combat HIV.”  The report finds that transgender people engage in the sex trade to forge a better socio-economic existence for themselves, to provide for their families, to find employment alternatives that do not expose them to the harsh discrimination that they may face in traditional workplaces, and to ameliorate high rates of joblessness and homelessness.  Black transfeminine individuals are particularly impacted by these problems…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#573)

I’m not sure which are more pathetic:  the poor saps who think they’re going to get artificial, programmable whores in the next few years, or the sociopathic control freaks who want to use violence to stop them from diddling with dolls in private:

…Kathleen Richardson…director of the Campaign Against Sex Robots…[says] “David Levy is taking people’s insecurities and offering a solution that doesn’t exist…Paedophiles, rapists, people who can’t make human connections – they need therapy, not dolls”…It’s a direct path, she believes, from the way we communicate through machines, from social networking, to robots.  And this, she says, is dangerous…If the future of sex…is in robotics, then Richardson is right:  it requires a thoughtful discussion about the ethics of gender and sex.  But while she identifies the relationships that appear to be emerging as modelled on [prohibitionist myths about] sex work – the robot as passive, bought, female; the man as emotion-free and sex-starved – surely rather than calling for a ban on them, to forlornly try stalling technology, the pressure should be to change the narrative.  To use this new market to explore the questions we have about sex, about intimacy, about gender…

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