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Posts Tagged ‘The Public Eye’

There is no thought that a person should be able to have which lands them in jail.  –  Brian Shuster

Surplus Women 

Rolling Stone manages to do an entire article on serial killers who target sex workers without bothering to mention the reason so many do:  the criminalization that forces us to operate in the shadows:

The Killing Season, A&E’s upcoming documentary series about…unsolved murders of prostitutes…starts by looking into the Long Island Serial Killer investigation…but…is not just about LISK…the show…found there are likely many, many more predators who have been able to keep their killings sprees unnoticed.  “These guys aren’t getting away with murder because they are such geniuses,” [filmmaker Rachel] Mills tells Rolling Stone. “They have identified the perfect victims.  They know that those are the types of people that maybe they should go after because they don’t leave as much of a trace as a soccer mom who posts on Facebook”…families of…victims…[have] a hard time convincing law enforcement to take their concerns seriously…

Peeping Toms (#331)

Cops just love their “crackdowns” against queers, but in the current environment of tolerance they’re having to get more creative with their excuses:

Toronto police are helping residents…take back a park that has allegedly been used as a place for sexual activity at all times of the day.  Police said…they have laid 89 charges, mainly bylaw infractions, against 72 people…to clean up Marie Curtis Park…[cops], during their “plain clothes enforcement,” were solicited for sex in the park.  At other times, officers witnessed open sexual activity or men soliciting other men…police [pretend they] are not targeting any one particular group….[but] ninety-five per cent of those charged are men…the community wants the park to be a family friendly place where adults and children can enjoy the outdoors without fear of witnessing sexual acts.  There have also been complaints about litter left behind, including condoms…

Note the close resemblance to typical excuses for “stings” vs sex workers (including public sex and discarded condoms), the similarity of tactics and the typical dehumanizing language such as “take back” and “clean up”.

Above the Law (#405)

Once in a while a rapist cop gets his comeuppance:

A former Lake County [Florida] sheriff’s deputy convicted of [raping] a woman during a traffic stop on New Year’s Day 2014 has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Matthew Donnelly was sentenced [November 8th] and his attorney filed an appeal the same day…

Torture Chamber (#407)

What happens when government stops obsessively prohibiting things and treats prisoners like human beings:

While the UK and much of the world struggles with overcrowded prisons, the Netherlands has the opposite problem.  It is actually short of people to lock up.  In the past few years 19 prisons have closed down and more are slated for closure next year…Fewer than 10% [of Dutch prisoners] return…after their release.  In England and Wales, and in the United States, roughly half of those serving short sentences reoffend within two years, and the figure is often higher for young adults…A decade ago the Netherlands had one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe, but it now claims one of the lowest – 57 people per 100,000 of the population, compared with 148 in England and Wales…police…have shifted their focus away from drugs and…judges often use alternatives to prison such as community service orders, fines and electronic tagging…Angeline van Dijk, director of the prison service in the Netherlands, says jail is increasingly used for those who are too dangerous to release, or for vulnerable offenders who need the help available inside…critics…[pretend there are criminals hiding all over who haven’t been caught] and…many of…van Dijk’s staff are not happy about the lack of people to lock up…

The Public Eye (#449) 

Tyranny By Consensus (#528)

This isn’t the first time Weinstein’s been accused of financial shenanigans:

…The Free Speech Coalition…is taking aim at Weinstein and his nonprofit over…improper political spending.  FSC filed a formal complaint…charging that Weinstein’s spending push related to promoting measures such as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, an anti-development initiative designed to curb building in Los Angeles, has been dubious…[and] constitutes a breach of the Internal Revenue Service’s requirements for an organization to maintain non-profit status, since much of the spending is not directly related to AHF’s own AIDS-related mandate…AHF has…spent in excess of $10 million on local ballot measures and lobbying…[and] almost $20 million on statewide ballot measures…while continuing to receive government grants and not paying taxes on pharmacy sales…[of] over $800 million annually…

Guinea Pigs (#623) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers:

California’s secretive gang database, with information on hundreds of thousands of predominantly black and Latino men, uses a controversial overlay of…data analysis and surveillance technologies…they are being employed by law enforcement without public use policies or privacy safeguards beyond the database’s own rules.  The 19-year-old CalGang database has relied on facial recognition technology at least since the mid-2000s…Yet facial recognition, so imprecise that the Federal Bureau of Investigation accepts an error rate of up to 20 percent, is even more inaccurate when used to identify African Americans…at least one jurisdiction was allowed to employ a powerful dataset-linking program created by Palantir Technologies, a Pentagon contractor, and indicate that the CalGang Executive Board has considered using social media mining software…intelligence [is gathered] from stops by police, such as pulling someone over for a traffic violation or jaywalking.  Any information collected during those stops and uploaded into CalGang, including photos of an individual’s face…people [are] classified as gang-affiliated based on flimsy evidence, record keeping [is] sloppy and gang intelligence [has] been used for employment background checks in violation of federal law and CalGang’s own policies…

Change a Few Words (#625)

It’s good to see more and more doctors attacking the drug war:

Richard A. “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D. is a long-time advocate…for chronic pain patients…”Over the past 20 years, I have interacted with thousands of pain sufferers…In many of these people, prescription opioids have made the difference between total disablement or death by suicide, versus at least a marginal quality of life and function…During the last two years, I have increasingly heard from patients who are being subjected to a systematic campaign of medication denial and personal stigmatization by the mainstream medical establishment.     Patients who have been successfully and responsibly managed for years on prescription opioids are now being labeled as addicts and denied renewal of medication…Doctors are being driven out of pain management…by an over-zealous witch hunt headed by the…DEA…the most prevalent causes of opioid deaths are street heroin, a flood of imported fentanyl from China and Mexico, and the diversion of stolen or fraudulently obtained prescription opioids…Chronic pain patients did not cause the “overdose epidemic”…a quarter or fewer of overdose victims have a current medical prescription for pain relievers…

Virtual Unreality 

Prudes will turn anything related to sex into a problem:

Realistic sex robots are still a very long ways away — but realistic virtual reality sex has already arrived…we are already hearing about the potential for virtual sexual assault.  Last month, Jordan Belamire shared a now-viral story of getting groped during a multi-player VR video game, which she said “felt real, violating”…[prudes are freaking out about simulated] sexual encounters with [nonexistent electronic images designed to look like] children…[fetishists imagine] VR sex will become so technologically advanced that it is actually preferable to real world sex.  Kathleen Richardson…is…director of The Campaign Against Sex Robots…but she’s also [judgmental] about the nearer-term reality of virtual reality sex.  She believes that things like VR, and sex robots, encourage us to see other humans as property and decrease our empathy…The issue of acting out sexual assault on a purely computer-generated character is…fundamentally not all that unlike the sometimes hysterical worries that have come up with past technological advances — whether it be cybersex in AOL chatrooms, the proliferation of internet porn, or the advent of swipe-based dating…there is no evidence [violent video games] lead to real world criminal behavior…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#635)

It’s interesting to see how much more critical mainstream media in the British Isles can be about anti-porn hysteria:

…a study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin was mentioned as evidence that porn causes changes in consumers’ brains…the researchers actually concluded that they could not prove if the people in their study had this type of brain before their exposure to porn, or if porn was responsible for changing the brain.  To generalise about this small-scale study of 64 Danish men is disingenuous…and the experience of men cannot be said to be exactly the same as the experience of women…It was also stated that there is research to show that women in porn are abused and mistreated, however…there is no large-scale, longitudinal research done with porn performers.  The closest to this was the Griffith study in 2013 which asked 177 female performers about their history of sexual abuse and their levels of self-esteem.  They reported lower levels of childhood sexual abuse and higher rates of self-esteem, social support, sexual satisfaction, and spirituality compared to the control group of non-porn performers…a statistic…claimed porn receives 30,000 hits a second –  but…comes from a Christian website that campaigns against porn…YouTube…receives a billion views a day…PornHub received just over 4 billion hits for the whole year.  PornHub also [reports] the average viewing time worldwide is about ten minutes each visit.  We must also ask how much time people spend watching Hollywood films, social media, or Netflix, and what kind of content they are consuming on there…

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How could I be happy in a country that is so…puritanical when it comes to sexuality?  –  Gabriela Leite

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

The defense of choice for non-violent sex offenders, plus “autism”:

A longtime conservative activist will spend up to two years in prison after he admitted to collecting hundreds of sexually explicit images of children — but defense attorneys blamed his autism and depression.  Christian Hine, of Fort Mill, S.C…was arrested…after FBI agents raided his home and seized his electronic devices, where investigators found more than 700 images…[which] had been shared thousands of times for more than a decade.  Hine’s attorneys…said his autism disorder had left him unable to communicate well or socialize normally with others.  They said that caused him to become addicted to pornography, which then led him to search for images of children instead of adults…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now 

that Dallas cops brutalized & caged two old women and stole over half a million dollars from them because they gave “happy ending” massages:

Two North Texas women were arrested…over allegations that they operated a brothel at the Dallas Doll House massage parlor…the North Texas Trafficking Taskforce arrested the women on federal charges…Connie Su Moser, 63…is the owner of the parlor…Kum Shugars, 67, [is] a manager…[cops stole] about $420,000 from Moser’s home, $70,000 in her bank accounts and her 2015 Lexus…

The Public Eye Robert Sepulveda Jr

Another sex worker on a TV reality show:

The formula behind Logo’s Finding Prince Charming certainly seemed stale, until…several LGBTQ news outlets reported that the bachelor at the center of the show’s romantic competition may allegedly have been a sex worker in the past …Unicorn Booty and Next posted pictures of Robert Sepulveda Jr.’s former Rentboy.com profile, along with pictures of his penis…from…Str8UpGayPorn.com.  Next  described Sepulveda’s former work…as a “sordid past”…[then a few paragraphs later piously declared that] “Sex work — porn or prostitution — is nothing to be ashamed of”…

King of the Hill

Mostly just a lot of prohibitionist posturing, but contains Chicago’s first claim to one of the top “sex trafficking hub” spots: “Chicago ranks third in the country for the highest levels of human trafficking

Under Every Bed

Make sure you swallow your drink before reading this:

Sex trafficking is happening in Iowa, and not just in the state’s biggest cities…In any given month, there are nearly 900 sex workers in Iowa…[soi-disant] experts gave the audience…warning signs for people who come into a hospital or other health care facility and may be trafficking victims

Public Service Announcement (#330)

It’s almost like he wants to get caught:

…While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton…disgraced ex-congressman [Anthony Weiner] has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a…crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture…shortly after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2015…the cringe-inducing image…shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket…Moments after forwarding the photo, Weiner freaked out over the possibility he had accidentally posted it publicly — just as he did during the infamous episode that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

…We are excited to offer you a curated selection of vintage wedding gowns…Proceeds from all sales go to support Adorned in Grace’s mission of fighting sex trafficking through awareness, aftercare, and prevention…“I have never stopped being captured by the beautiful idea of taking a wedding dress and turning it into something that incredibly blesses someone who is vulnerable and hurting. Everyone deserves to be held up like a bride, beautiful and valuable. Sex trafficking takes that away and the ability to restore that with dresses is powerful.” – Kate Wilkins, founding volunteer of AIG…

Uncommon Sense (#345)

Kudos to the IWW for supporting sex workers in Iceland:

There is no sex worker-led organisation or service provider for sex workers in Iceland.  Stígamót…is the only organisation that provides services to sex workers.  However, they consider all sex workers as victims of violence.  Loi…contacted IWW- Iceland (Industrial Workers of the World) asking if they would be interested in…organising sex workers in Iceland…On the 30 of July IWW organised a meeting for sex workers, their supporters and decriminalisation activists…

Shame, Shame Amy Sharp

I really admire this lady’s chutzpah:

…Amy Sharp…escaped from [a jail in Sydney]…just after 3pm on [August 26th]…The police statement…was accompanied by [a typical humiliating mugshot which was] shared to Sydney’s 7 News Facebook page.  Almost immediately, Sharp commented on the post from her personal profile with a more flattering image of herself and a simple request.  “can you use this photo, please and thank you 😇  Yours Truly, Amy Sharp xx”…She was later [re-]arrested…[and] despite Sharp’s polite request, 7 News Sydney [proved itself a handmaiden to the police state by using] her mugshots in a follow-up post

Oh, and the “crime” for which she was arrested in the first place?  An “outstanding warrant”.

Hard Numbers (#624)

Signing a pledge that condemns what you do, as a condition for protecting the health of your community, goes against everything we know about H.I.V. prevention and sex work…Any action or policy that reinforces stigma around sex work not only contributes to bad health outcomes, but perpetuates bad laws and stigmas against “bad sex.”  This is consistent with our experiences in Brazil, the experiences of sex workers globally, scientific research and international recommendations.  This is why Davida…fought the anti-prostitution pledge alongside the Brazilian National AIDS Program in partnership with dozens of sex worker rights and AIDS organizations in 2005…the country turned down $40 million for H.I.V. prevention…Sex workers need to be protagonists of these programs, not just receivers of them…

Dysphemisms Galore (#633) 

There’s something especially nasty about reporters gloating over popular stars’ sex worker siblings:

The sister of pop star Mariah Carey has been arrested on prostitution charges in upstate New York…Alison Carey was arrested [in a sting] at a hotel…she identified herself as the performer’s sister when she was arrested and…an Internet search of the two women appeared to confirmed the claim…[they] have been estranged “for years.”  Police described Carey as a transient and said she advertised her services online…

Obviously that wasn’t enough, so the cops insinuated that there were rumors that Carey had some kind of STI.

To Molest and Rape 

Amy Lange thinks a cop groping a woman is “shocking”.  She’s obviously what I’d call “sheltered”:

Shocking allegations against a member of the Dearborn Police Department.  In May it was alleged a [cop] groped a woman during a traffic stop…Justin Smith, 36, was charged with a felony, criminal sexual conduct…The court file is [of course] currently suppressed at the request of the prosecutor…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#667) 

Canada really is trying to be more like the US.  But at least in Canada, the protests are a bit louder:

Experts in privacy and civil rights are raising questions about a police news conference that identified 27 men caught in a Cape Breton prostitution sting, saying the move amounted to unnecessary “public shaming”…provincial court Judge Brian Williston [naturally] rejected a legal challenge from one of the accused…[Abby] Deshman [of the CCLU] said that line of reasoning doesn’t recognize the impact of holding a news conference to draw attention to the accused…”Absent some risk to public safety, just putting people’s names out there who haven’t been convicted of any crime yet really has an enormous impact on these individuals’ lives and livelihood”…Deshman said the damage to reputations can’t be repaired if charges are later withdrawn or not guilty verdicts are recorded…

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Some people like to paint.  Some people like to dance.  Some people like to express themselves in an erotic way.  –  Sharron Cooks

Social Construction of Eunuchs

Sweden has been systematically working to emasculate its men for a generation, yet wonders why Swedes are having less sex:

…Swedish…Health Minister Gabriel Wikström said in the 20 years since the last survey into the country’s sexual habits, newspapers have been reporting that Swedes are having less sex…The aim of the new survey is to find out if that is true — and if so, why.  Wikström said…“sex is not, and never has been, a purely private matter.  Sex is also a matter of [public] health, and from that perspective, a political issue”…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now piss doll

…that police “investigated” this “sexual assault”:

Murfreesboro, Tennessee’s police…responded to a call reporting an alleged sexual assault by a toy and didn’t arrest or shoot a single person in the process.  “A woman’s husband said she was sexually assaulted when she was squirted with water from a toy at a hibachi restaurant.  The woman, Isabelle Lassiter, and her husband, James Lassiter, called the police but refused to file charges when they arrived…”  The alleged perpetrator of the “sexual-style assault” was a plastic toy in the shape of a little boy used to entertain children at Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse.  When the toy’s pants are pulled down, it squirts water in a manner Isabelle Lassiter found completely inappropriate for her “minor children and grandchildren” to witness…Unfortunately for the Lassiters, it appears the toy and the chef who introduced it to Ms. Lassiter at Wasabi won’t face any charges, as Tennessee’s statute on “sexual battery” requires the “sexual contact” in question be “for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification”…

They Still Don’t Get It

This pompous ass seems committed to braying out of both sides of her maw:

…Unfortunately, a typical “rescue” is muddied by the erroneous criminalization, failed service provision, and revictimization of human trafficking survivors, as well as the infrequent conviction of their offenders.  I became acutely aware of this reality after working with a victim…”Jessica”.  I rescued her from her trafficker on Aug. 21, 2015, after witnessing him abusing her in front of a suburban mall in the middle of the afternoon in Virginia.  She had been victimized on and off for fifteen years, having been shot in the leg, raped, beaten, and mentally abused…Despite having served on two different anti-trafficking task forces and having nearly a decade of experience in the anti-trafficking field, it was extremely difficult for me to find adequate services for “Jessica”…she ended up moving between domestic violence shelters (some with bed bugs), a mental health facility, hotels paid for from the discretionary funds of anti-trafficking organizations, and homeless shelters….law enforcement wasn’t able to incapacitate her trafficker, so about six months after her initial rescue, she was revictimized.  Given the trauma bond that often exists between victims and offenders, it is common for sex trafficking survivors to return to their victimizer, especially when adequate services are absent…

Her “trafficker” was “abusing her in front of a suburban mall in the middle of the afternoon”, and this presumably middle-aged woman “rescued” her?  How, pray tell?  Did she rope the “trafficker” with her magic lasso?  Pick the girl up bodily & fly off with her in her invisible plane, leaving the villain shaking his fist?  Why were the police unable to “incapacitate” someone who supposedly committed a violent crime in front of (presumably) a dozen witnesses or more?  And note the insidious “trauma bond” concept here again, which is nothing but psychobabble intended to negate the agency of women who make decisions of which “authorities” and “feminists” disapprove.

Whatever They Need To Say

Sometimes the land grabs are more subtle, even if reporters’ language isn’t:

The East London Strippers Collective (ELSC) is an ethical organisation of strippers and lap dancers in London and the UK…[who] seek to challenge societal attitudes towards strip clubs by creating their own working conditions and empowering dancers.  [An event called]…RIP Shoreditch…will [take] place at 6pm on 14 August, with a funeral procession beginning in Rivington Street and ending at Red Gallery…they’re commemorating their favourite strip club – The White Horse – closing down after 38 years due to gentrification…Stacey Clare, co-founder of the ELSC [says]…this sort of thing is partly due to political and economic changes…”Gentrification is seeing so many genuinely alternative venues and spaces pushed out of East London, replaced by a sanitised homogeneous zone for the privileged”…It is, she says, “almost unbearable to work as a stripper nowadays” because of…licensing legislation that rigidly restricts the industry from growing or developing…

The Public Eye 

Let’s hope many more reporters learn to feel ashamed of their attempts to shame sex workers:

At this year’s Democratic National Convention…Pennsylvania activist Sharron Cooks was one of 28 openly transgender delegates and two trans women-of-color delegates.  She’s also a former sex worker.  Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, it’s this last bit that The Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Jenice Armstrong chose to focus on…insinuating that having a former sex-worker as a Democratic delegate was somehow at odds with the party nominating its first female presidential candidate.  Cooks, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Making Our Lives Easier…handled the situation with grace…[but] the Inquirer columnist…kept pressing Cooks for more details about her past work.  It’s only after the delegate evades her farther that the writer begins to “feel dirty” about her line of questioning…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#35)

Republican candidate vows to “crack down” on porn. In other news, Pope announces he’s Catholic:

Donald Trump will crack down on internet pornography if elected president, vowing to appoint a commission to examine its “harmful public health impact”…the promise…is part of “The Children’s Internet Safety Presidential Pledge” from the group Enough Is Enough…The anti-porn commitment means he promises to “uphold the rule of law by aggressively enforc[ing] existing federal laws to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online, including the federal obscenity laws, child pornography laws, sexual predation laws and the sex trafficking laws”…

Profound Ignorance 

Why do economists always make such dumb assumptions when studying sex work?

A new study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, examined the link between a prostitute’s age and the price she charges…Kitae Sohn…used prostitutes’ earnings to address a much broader scientific question, one that applies not only to paid sexual exchanges, but to everyday concerns that many of us obsess about at some point in our lives: What does the opposite sex actually find attractive in a partner?…Men do not have unrestrained choice in whom they marry or date, but they do get to choose whether or not to pay a prostitute for sex, and the amount they are willing to pay reveals something about what they most prefer…Sohn’s sample was very large, including 8,560 prostitutes from 15 different cities in Indonesia.  As Sohn notes, Indonesia provides an ideal place to examine this issue, because prostitution is “quasi-legal”…the government…keeps official records on prostitutes’ income alongside incomes from other professions…When it comes to hiring the short-term services of a prostitute, men pay the most for women between the late teens and early twenties.  Between the ages of 25 and 35, the price men are willing to pay for a prostitute drops precipitously…For each increase of a year in age, a prostitute’s hourly wage decreases 4.5 percent…Sohn argues that: “evolution influenced all humans, so we expect that future research will find similar results in other countries.”  Supporting Sohn’s argument, the age preferences found in this research are quite consistent with findings using other methods in other societies around the world…

Because obviously Indonesia being both an Asian and a Muslim society could have no possible cultural impact on preferences.  And obviously, all women tell the truth about their income to government busybodies.  And all whores work by the hour.  And all income is in the form of reportable wages.  And…I think you get the picture.  All other things being equal, most men do indeed prefer a younger-looking sex partner…and all other things are not equal, not by a long shot.

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

Cory Bolduc wants men to fight sex trafficking, grow beards and buy his beard butter…He handcrafts beard butters from his Winnebago [Illinois] home and sells them online and at the Rockford City Market, and 12 percent of all proceeds go to Freedom Firm, a nonprofit that fights the sex trade in India.  But Bearded Republic isn’t just about men’s grooming or charity, it’s about challenging men to take responsibility for their personal appearance and also [meddle in the lives] of others…the “beard movement” is redefining the modern man to be an empowered individual who expresses his individuality and lives by a moral code…

Stupor Bowl

Minnesota desperately tries to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria before it vanishes completely:

Law enforcement officials are bracing for a surge in internet sex trafficking when Minnesota hosts the 2018 Super Bowl…[they] anticipate hundreds of women and girls will be sold for sex around the time of the game…”There’s no doubt that when you have an increased amount of individuals congregating…you are going to have an increase in crime committed.  It’s naive to assume it wouldn’t be,” Washington County major crimes prosecutor Imran Ali said.  Before the Super Bowl…another major sporting event is drawing people to Minnesota — the 2016 Ryder Cup…Already at work is a task force…alarmed by sex trafficking ads spreading on internet sites. Authorities said more juveniles are being forced into the sex trade because the internet has expanded the market…”They’re targeting those that are mentally ill, are chemically dependent,” Ali said…Some experts argue the idea that Super Bowls attract a large commercial sex trade is a myth…

Despite the efforts of sociopathic “authorities” to convince the public that all sex workers are mentally ill addicts, we’re winning the narrative; note the decrease in gypsy whores from 40,000 to mere hundreds, and the now-obligatory disclaimer (though this one tries to dismiss our facts as mere opinion).

Counterfeit Comfort (#420) Jason Vukovich

At least this maniac didn’t manage to kill any of his victims, which doesn’t make the government any less culpable in these assaults:

…Jason Vukovich…is accused of tracking down [three] men on [Alaska’s] online sex offender registry, going to their homes and [attacking] them [with a hammer]…over three nights in late June…[in each case] the attacker called [the victim] by his name and explained he was there because [the victim] was on the sex offender list…If convicted, Vukovich could face 35 years total for the combined crimes…

Thought Control (Traffic Updates) 

Amazon isn’t a library, but given its prominence this is still a censorship attempt:

Books that teach readers step by step how to control women and make money are readily available for anyone to buy on Amazon.  Now an Albuquerque group is working to change that.  As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a local coalition of churches and non-profits started a petition…asking Amazon to stop selling a group of books they claim teaches people how to become a human trafficker…With the I-40 corridor, experts say the metro can become a hot spot for this type of crime.  Christine Barber [is clutching her pearls over]…titles…such as Organized Game, Pimps: The Raw TruthHow To Get A Woman To Pay You…and How To Get A Fat Girl To Pay You…”a pimp is a human trafficker,” Barber [panted]…she had a booklet pointing out other “pimp” products sold on Amazon…like an air freshener or a pimp gnome…She said she’s not asking Amazon to stop selling all “pimp” related products, rather specifically to stop selling the “how-to” books that go into graphic detail about human trafficking tactics…

The worst part is that these morons have now given free publicity to idiotic “pimp”, “Game” and PUA books.

The Public Eye (#439) 

I’m not sure what “awards” there are for whores outside of porn, but I’m always happy to see well-spoken and “out” sex workers like Charlotte Rose appearing on podcasts.  ‘Nuff said, methinks.

To Molest and Rape 

Yes, I understand the legal arguments. And no, putting extraordinary restrictions on people who have as much power as cops do is not remotely unfair or unconstitutional, considering that the institution of professional policing itself rests on very questionable constitutional ground:

A divided Ohio Supreme Court…declared unconstitutional a law that made it illegal for [cops] to have sex with minors simply on the basis of their profession.  The court ruled 4-3 that the law arbitrarily added police to a ban on professionals having sex with minors that includes people with authority over children such as teachers or coaches…At issue was the 2012 conviction of…Matthew Mole, who…[raped] a 14-year-old boy…

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Anti-prostitution advocates…incorrectly portray the global sex workers’ rights movement as dominated by Western, white, middle-class, cisgender women…as a way of dismissing the movement as “non-representative.”  –  Chi Adanna Mgbako

License to Rape Joseph Stanton

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

Joseph Raymond Stanton…was arrested on June 29…[for] the rapes of two prostitutes and the attempted rape of a third…In each case…Stanton…passed himself off as a…[cop] and lured the victims to his car.  He then drove them to a secluded location and raped them.  One of the women was able to escape before he could [rape] her…Stanton posted bail and was released…the day after his release [cops] found him dead in what appeared to be a suicide…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

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

Four Montreal police officers who work with informants have been arrested…Fayçal Djelidi…is facing nine charges, including perjury, attempting to obstruct justice, breach of trust by a public officer and obtaining sexual services for consideration…David Chartrand…was charged with two counts of perjury and two counts of attempting to obstruct justice…Two more officers were also arrested and are being questioned by Montreal police…Djelidi…is alleged to have communicated with unknown persons with the aim of procuring sexual services for himself in exchange for payment…

An Example To the West

Chi Adanna Mgbako on sex worker activism in Africa:

…In the past 10 years or so, sex worker activism has exploded throughout Africa, and there are now sex-worker-led organizations in African countries as diverse as Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and many more.  In Kenya alone, there are now over 80 sex-worker-led collectives.  All of these groups are advocating for their right to work, to access de-stigmatized health care, and to live free from violence and discrimination.  It’s also important to note that outside of formal civil society actors like sex-worker-led NGOs, sex workers informally organize and resist criminalization by supporting each other financially, socially, and emotionally in their local communities.  This informal activism is an indispensable part of movement building…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

Kate Iselin gets it, though four years after I did:

…The scenario that gives rise to the demand for android sex workers reads like a great big “told you so” fantasy of anyone involved in anti-sex work campaigning…It’s a creepy, shallow rendering of the nightmare portrait of sex work we’re too-often sold:  An industry that we worry dehumanises women can only be saved by, in this case, literally replacing humans with what amounts to an almost-sentient Fleshlight.  The idea that a robot brothel can solve all of our problems is naïve at best, and deeply ignorant at worst.  What assumptions does one need to make about our clients to suggest that they would be just as happy – or happier – penetrating chrome steel instead of receiving the touch of a human?…the “any hole’s a goal” mentality presumed in the [notion] overlooks the vast reasons one may have for seeing a sex worker: loneliness, curiosity, sexual or emotional unfulfilment, desire, the want for a certain skillset, or perhaps simply the need to be touched by a new and unfamiliar pair of hands…Plus, it’s telling – and hurtful – that little to no consideration is given to the skills of the sex worker.  I know myself and the service I provide well, and there is no possible way that the warmth of my body and the skill of my touch could be unnoticably replaced by an android…

Damned If You Don’t

But picket-fence queers say cops aren’t our enemies:

On July 4, police made sweeps and arrests at a gay beach in New York City, much to the surprise of beachgoers.  At the far corner of Jacob Riis Park—a gay beach that has been a notorious LGBT safe haven for decades…police descended unannounced…gay Brooklyn photographer Krys Fox…stood with a towel wrapped around his waist…Suddenly, the towel loosened and dropped.  Before Fox could refasten it around his waist, he was tackled to the ground by a squad of police.  Fox told the Daily Dot that police had dominated the gay beach all day—”on horses, in uniform, undercover”—and were “everywhere.”  But he didn’t expect to be arrested, he said, because he hadn’t done anything wrong…those who…were [there]…noted that police targeted the gay section of the beach specifically, stating that there were no police on the rest of the beach…

Dysphemisms Galore 

It’s kind of refreshing to read an article which portrays us as depraved monsters rather than pathetic victims:

…Police raided a Warsaw [Indiana] massage parlor…next door to Kevin Love’s home.  He said he knew something suspicious was happening for about three years now…The two women were arrested after police found evidence related to prostitution, tax evasion and corrupt business practices.  Love said he often saw two women walking around the neighborhood in the evening…”just like any normal person would get out and go for a walk”…Love…is just relieved it is over.  “There are children on back further in the neighborhood, and they don’t need to be around something like that,” he said…

Bait and Switch

One can always assume there’s a wide gap between what actually happened and what the cops claim happened:

Aren Lindquist…has been sentenced to 25 years at Montana State Prison with 20 years suspended…[he was tricked by a fake] online ad for an escort service called “Barely Legal 18.”  [Cops told] the respondents…that no 18-year-olds were available and they had the option of having sex with a 15-year-old or a 12-year-old…

Another Fine Mess

Reporters never get tired of pretending that ordinary sex work practices are new and novel:

…at least 60 prostitutes from China [are] advertising their services online and operating in condominiums and apartments in Geylang…Instead of relying on pimps and brothel keepers, the women post suggestive photos of themselves and ask those interested to contact them on mobile phones directly.  These freelance prostitutes enter Singapore on tourist visas and typically work for up to one month…

A Procrustean Bed (#440) Judge Paul Herbert

It’s enough to make one vomit:

…These weekly court sessions are the core of a special probation program for victims of sex trafficking in Columbus. [Judge] Herbert started the program—known as CATCH (Changing Attitudes to Change Habits)—in 2009.  Women arrested on prostitution charges in Columbus can opt into this program – where they get safe housing, counseling, and close supervision instead of jail time.  Nearly all are in recovery from addiction.  As he moves through the docket, Herbert calls each defendant by her first name…”He said we’re going to love you until you can love yourself. And…I see something in you that you can’t see yet”…

King of the Hill (#537)

It looks like they’ve scaled back the claims about Charlotte, North Carolina’s “hub” status, maybe because the kids they’re trying to scare with it are smarter than the adults who believe this crap:

Starting this fall, sex trafficking will be addressed in seventh and eighth-grade classrooms across Charlotte…Director of Present Age Ministries Hannah Arrowood [said] “Charlotte is actually the number one city in the state of North Carolina for human trafficking”…Five-hundred new ads are posted soliciting sex in Charlotte every day…many of the women in the ads are not women at all, but rather trafficked teenagers and young girls…forced to have sex with multiple men…

Checklist (#593)

Because there aren’t enough real “victims” to go around, the rescue industry creates fake ones:

Catherine Pisha…is…an actor learning how to portray a [stereotype of a] human trafficking victim.  Pisha works at the University of Vermont’s Clinical Simulation Lab…[and] helps health care professionals improve the quality of their care by being a human guinea pig…Edith Klimoski…writes the scripts for these actors…Studies show that anywhere between 50 percent and 80 percent of human trafficking victims will come in contact with someone in the medical community during the time they’re being trafficked…

The Public Eye (#609)

Laura Lee braves the hostile waters of Mumsnet:

…One of the most infuriating strands to the current feminist discourse around sex work is the assertion that we are abused, or even raped, every time we sell sex.  That statement is injurious and grossly insulting to those who have survived abuse and rape, and it also strips sex workers of our agency.  As much as we campaign for the right to say “yes”, we absolutely reserve the right to say “no”.  I detest the use of the word “empowerment” in any debate on sex work.  My job is no more empowering than anyone else’s; it allows me to support my family and pay my bills.  But as a community, there is no doubt that we are more empowered to say “no” when we are permitted to work together for safety…

Uncommon Sense (#619)

the upcoming German law…will enforce mandatory registration of sex workers nationwide.  The law pretends to fight human trafficking…Forced registration through obligatory counselling includes the evaluation of one’s mental status by a state authority and implies sex workers…are perceived as irresponsible, mentally incapable beings…Our very own whore ID will be a state-issued document including our picture; our profession (that is “prostitute”, as the word “sex worker” is a bit too modern for the German state), our real name and address…In order to get it we will be forced to visit a state body and undergo counselling…You read that right: a functionary will decide in a compulsory talk if you have the marbles in your brain to be a sex worker…

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An adult who chooses to engage in sexual activity, whether for recreation, procreation or in exchange for something of value, makes a private, individual choice that should not be subject to criminal sanctions.  –  Jeanne LoCicero and Udi Ofer

Something Rotten in Sweden

The 5th installment of the Tits and Sass series “Big Mother is Watching You” profiles notable American proponents of “end demand” and the Swedish model, namely  Rachel Durchslag, Tom DartBeth Klein, Shirley Franklin, Yasmin Vafa and  Dominique Roe-Sepowitz.

A False Dichotomy 

They “see it as a business transaction” because that’s exactly what it is:

…in recent interviews conducted to understand what is driving [migrants] into the hands of human traffickers, it is clear that those involved see the risk they are taking as a business transaction, not a crime.  Malick Traore of Mali…said…“It is even more risky to live in misery in my own home country with a family always having tears in their eyes from hungers…the traffickers…do not call the migrant from their homes, or force them to cross the sea.  It is just an agreement between shipman and client”…Mariam Camara…is a widow with two daughters…[she said] “the criminal is Malian government but not the traffickers.”  Hamidou Thierro…says:  “I do not see those traffickers as criminals, because they are helping the poor migrants who are sacrificing their life to get into Europe to help back their families and plan better life for their children.  The traffickers are not human life protection agent but normal transporter as air plane or train”…

Lawheads just can’t get that normal people don’t really give a shit about their bullshit regulations.

Gorged With Meaning

Just about everything you need to know about this craptastic mixture of the obvious, the pearl-clutching and the dead wrong is that the author interviews the sociopathic narcissist Meghan Murphy instead of one of the many sex workers who write on the subject (such as, oh, ME for example), and approvingly quotes her as saying that raping a sex worker is no big deal.  That, and the fact that it’s named “The New Prostitution Economy” because it pretends that young women trading sex to older men for resources is some kind of new thing.

Follow Your Bliss 

Again, don’t think this is unique to Oakland:

When Leneka Pendergrass’ seventeen-year-old daughter…escaped…a pimp…Pendergrass turned to an organization that had previously helped.  She called Patrick Mims…of the Sexually Exploited Minors program at Bay Area Women Against Rape…the lead East Bay nonprofit organization in the state’s Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force…BAWAR works closely with Oakland police…to [indoctrinate] them about child sex trafficking.  And BAWAR employees…accompany Oakland cops on their anti-[sex worker] sting operations…Pendergrass…and Mims frequently texted the first few nights after she and her daughter escaped…Then…less than a week [later]…Mims came to her apartment and they had sex…[this continued for six weeks, then] Mims suddenly stopped responding to her calls and texts…[and] her daughter’s case was no longer a priority for BAWAR.  She felt Mims abused his position of power.  Feelings of confusion and remorse grew intense, she said.  She worried that her access to OPD and the DA was being curtailed, too…Pendergrass also wrote a letter to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, an umbrella organization of rape-crisis centers like BAWAR…nothing ever came of her letter, or the police report…BAWAR…appears to never have acknowledged what happened…Jacqueline Montero

The Public Eye 

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

…Jacqueline Montero…worked as a prostitute for years to feed her children.  Now, after a decade of activism for women’s rights in the Dominican Republic, she hopes to put her life experience to work following her election to the Chamber of Deputies as part of an opposition coalition…The 46-year-old wants to focus on improving opportunities for women, a significant challenge in a country where about 35 percent of households are led by single mothers in poverty…She plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit discrimination against…LGBT, sex workers, people with AIDS and the elderly.  The walls of her office are adorned with diplomas and posters from international conferences dealing with sex work…Activists say the significance of her election transcends her relatively minor legislative position because she will be a powerful voice for largely unrepresented people…

Cops and Condoms (#313)

Remember Bill Gates’ $100,000 grant to develop “the next generation of condom”?  Well, the first results are in:

…After weeding through 953 applications, the foundation awarded grants to 26 applicants.  Among them was Richard Chartoff, a polymer scientist at Oregon State University, who developed an idea for ultra-thin condoms made from polyurethane elastic polymers that respond to body heat and conform to the penis’s shape…the HEX condom, developed by luxury sex toy company LELO…[features a] “hexagonal net design [which] effectively holds together the condom,” [founder Filip] Sedic explains, “so we were able to make the majority of the condom’s surface very thin without forfeiting strength”…the hexagonal design gripped his penis without squeezing it.  My husband’s sensations were less dulled than usual, too, since it was the thinnest traditionally shaped condom we used…myONE Perfect Fit from ONE Condoms will bring 56 different sizes to the market, allowing men to use a kit…to measure their penis length and width to determine the best size for them…

Devil’s Advocate

This guy seems like a real scumbag…so why isn’t Thailand asking for Norway to extradite him for prosecution there? Do you really want a precedent that people can be prosecuted in one jurisdiction for things they did in another jurisdiction where their actions weren’t illegal?

A 34-year-old Swedish businessman based in Oslo is facing trial in Norway accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in Thailand for several years – including making her pregnant…the girl…is from a poor family and had started working as a prostitute straight after finishing school…at the age of 14 she gave birth to the baby…DNA records have shown that the man is the child’s biological father…Police launched their investigation after he was arrested for…drugs two years ago.  During a search of his home in Oslo officers found indecent images…and 51 movies showing children being sexually abused.  They also found pictures of the Thai girl…

Guinea Pigs 

This is one of those potpourris of hysteria that could fit into any of several headings, but I think the most important one is yet another surveillance tool for hunting down sex workers:

…Tim Wedge, a Forensics Science professor…in Defiance, Ohio…[created] FAGIN, Facial Analysis to Gain Information Now, a basic crude prototype…[which] is designed to take…pictures of missing children, run it through the facial analysis software by comparing them to pictures in ads for people being sold for sex online, and produce a report whenever there’s a match…Wedge says FAGIN has the possibility of rescuing a shocking amount of victims…800,000 children are reported missing each year.  One in five of them are sex trafficking victims…

Can this “science professor” even do math?  Because the reporter sure can’t.  But more importantly: the same program could also compare pics from ads to, say, a driver’s license database, thus giving cops an escort’s legal name and address.

Aloha, Oy!

Hawaii was the last state to criminalize prostitution, and now it’s become the last state to fully rebrand it as “sex trafficking”:

Hawaii has become the last state in the nation to explicitly ban sex trafficking.  Gov. David Ige signed the bill…[which] makes [acts that were already illegal illegal again], expands the statewide witness protection program to include sex trafficking and provides victims access to criminal injury compensation.  “It’s a historic day for Hawaii.  Now, from sea to sea, the United States can say it [criminalized some crimes twice],” said Kris Coffield…[a “sex trafficking” profiteer]…

What Were You All Waiting For? (#622) 

Is the ACLU finally beginning to do the right thing, at long last?

In honor of International [Whores’] Day, activists marched on Atlantic City on June 3 to call for the decriminalization of sex work…This is a goal the American Civil Liberties Union…strongly supports.  Since 1975, the ACLU has believed that prostitution…should be decriminalized…It’s time to stop sweeping consenting adult sex workers into the criminal justice system.  We need models that protect their rights, their health and their safety…Amnesty International adopted a policy advocating the decriminalization of adult consensual sex work in its efforts to prevent human rights violations.  Amnesty isn’t alone.  They joined the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, Human Rights Watch, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and many other…groups in calling for the decriminalization of sex work to stem the abuse, discrimination and violence that too frequently plague the lives of sex workers…

King of the Hill (#623) The Keep

One of the more amusing tropes of this moral panic: labeling a particular street a “hotbed” of sex work or “trafficking”:

For more than three decades now, the corner of Cypress Avenue and Starr Street has been known as one of the old-school New York prostitution hotbeds.  Even as gentrification of the area rapidly progresses, prostitution as a symptom of the “bad old times” continues…Unbeknownst to the owners at the time of the opening, [a bar named] The Keep became somewhat of a local epicenter for…“Operation Losing Proposition,” the goal of which is to lock up johns as they solicit sex from undercover [sows who use]…the bathrooms at The Keep [without permission] to change into their [costumes]…Eli B. Silverman explains that the initiative was designed by CEU attorneys who researched the law that allows for [asset seizure]…In this case, johns’ cars could be seized…the operation has been yielding incredible [profits]…and [Silverman pretends] prostitution has been greatly reduced…the operation has been consistently dubbed a success, but 26 years later, one has to wonder whether the number of arrested johns is the correct indicator of success, or whether the operation opened a bottomless well of meaningless arrests…

To Molest and Rape (#651)

No, you fucking filthy liar, it’s not “unique” and you fucking know it:

Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ray Kelly, a former sex crimes investigator who serves as the agency’s spokesman, said several members of his department were investigated but a review showed none had done anything illegal or against policy. Kelly would not say if the deputies had sex with [Celeste Guap]…“This case is unique, and it’s not a good example of the relationships between sex crimes victims and police officers,” he said…

In typical tone-deaf LA Times fashion, the reporter concludes a story about people abusing women under the guise of “rescuing” them from their choices by praising someone who abuses women under the guise of “rescuing” them from their choices:

…[Sylvia] Vigil…has been preaching to the girls she [condescendingly dehumanizes] as “twilight treasures” since 1982…when she founded the Oakland branch of Victory Outreach…On [a] recent visit to International Boulevard, Vigil shook her head as she watched [a] young woman enter [a client’s] car, said a prayer, then brought her van’s engine to life and hit the gas…As the man in the Cutlass attempted to drive away, Vigil pulled her van in front of his car, blocking him in.  A colleague from the ministry who sat in Vigil’s van held up a Victory Outreach business card and shouted “not tonight” at the man…

Naturally, Vigil didn’t offer to pay the girl for the client she scared away, so the girl probably didn’t eat that night. But I’m sure the knowledge that she had been “saved” from dirty, filthy sex assuaged her hunger.

The End of the Beginning (#653)

Another in an anti-registry series from Vox:

When I first became a public defender, I believed the worst punishment that my clients would face would be time in jail.  Since then, I’ve learned that incarceration is not the…worst…punishment the criminal justice system can impose.  The registration requirements imposed on those convicted of sex offenses are unfairly harsh and punitive…I had always assumed that sex offender registration was limited to those who committed the most egregious and dangerous offenses.  I had also trusted that the Supreme Court was right when, in 2003, it stated that sex offender registration laws are not punishments but merely administrative requirements to protect public safety.  But I realize now that many of my clients would choose…anything to avoid being labeled a sex offender for life…because our current…laws apply an…inhumane one-size-fits-all approach that does not prevent future sex crimes and in fact makes us all less safe…The registration process appears designed to make people fail.  The rules are so complicated that few non-attorneys can keep up with them…

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I could be a slave to the banks for the rest of my life, or I can spend a few years doing this and I could be free.  –  JohannaVillage Voice 5-18-16

Gorged With Meaning

Yes, this is yet another article on student sex workers; what makes it interesting is its “so what?” tone and emphasis on facts over hysteria.  It concentrates on NYU, but it does mention other schools, most notably “Oregon’s Portland State University…the only college in America with a student sex worker outreach program…no one involved [is] permitted to speak publicly…[by order of] the university’s administration…”  The article also quotes veteran activist Norma Jan Almodovar (much to the chagrin of some snotty youngsters who were still in diapers when Norma was already doing activism).

First They Came for the Hookers…

Regulations on sex work are never intended to “protect” the workers, no matter what politicians claim:

Dancers in Mumbai are apprehensive about new laws that…limit dancers’ ability to earn a decent wage…Varsha Kale…of the bar girls’ union…[says] they have been treated like children and ignored.  The new laws dictate a number of restrictions…[including a] 3 feet high railing separating the dance floor from the seating area [with] at least 5 feet between the railing and the customers…Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted…that the state’s intention…was to ensure that dance bars do not survive.  The new laws also state that dancers must receive a fixed salary and will not be able to directly receive tips…This is a step backwards for dancers, who fought hard to end fixed salaries nearly 20 years ago…

The Lion and the Ox

In the US media, “sex trafficking” is now just a dysphemism for “sex work”:

Fifteen men from 6 different states will likely be prosecuted after being arrested during an undercover sex trafficking mission…by the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit.  The mission focused on addressing online sex trafficking…The…15 men contacted undercover police officers to arrange payment for sexual acts…

Try not to laugh too hard at self-important cops calling their pathetic little deception a “mission” as though they were the A-Team or something.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management…mission is…allegedly…preparing for and responding to terrorism and natural disasters, so it’s…a joke that its officials are concerning themselves with catching unlicensed massage therapists and people engaging in prostitution…[they] and police…took down four women…all Asian Americans in their early 40s…Each was charged with one count of unlicensed practice of massage therapy.  One of the women was also charged with one count of prostitution…

Backwards into the Future (#334)

Which is to say, the second country in the entire world:

South Africa may become the first African country to decriminalize sex work.  If it does, it will be one of a handful of countries that have fully decriminalized sex work (including New Zealand and New South Wales in Australia)…Currently only Senegal makes some provision for legal sex work and subjects it to regulation…

Opting Out

But it’s not a surveillance measure, no sirree!  Because THE CHILDREN!!!

The [United Kingdom] is going to force…all sites that contain pornographic material…to verify that their users are over 18, forcing them to register their age and potentially even their credit card details…[domestic] sites that don’t comply with the ruling could be banned from advertising or even shut down entirely…the blocks [will] apply…to any [sites] that…would get an 18 rating if they were classified formally…Free speech campaigners and civil liberties experts have repeatedly criticised the Government’s plans…but the Government has repeatedly cited [bogus] research about the availability of porn to children and the damage that it can do…

Cops and Robbers

How barbaric!  This is TOTALLY different from what American cops do:

During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel…in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working…He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked.  He managed to carry out an attack on a similar establishment in central St Petersburg, but he was detained by the brothel’s security guards and was taken to the police station.  Datsik has a huge criminal background…and…has been imprisoned several times.  He is a former member of the ultranationalist Slavic Union…and…[intends] to run for the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg.  If elected, he has promised he will promote laws against sex work.  Datsik believes the penalty for sex work in Russia should be forced labour…Datsik filmed…the…raids and shared these videos with the media…In the past [Datsik has] threatened and raped several sex workers…

The Public Eye (#511)

Here’s a glimpse at the return of the Sex Workers’ Opera:

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#618)

Politicians the world over promise the same evil, impossible things, and stupid people just keep believing them:

Prostitution is heavily frowned upon in [Indonesia but]…there is no specific law that penalises it, with people only facing legal action when acts are associated with other crimes.  The fact that the legal status of prostitution remains a grey area has helped commercial sex to become a big business in cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya…In a bid to stop the flesh trade, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa vowed in February that by 2019 Indonesia will be free from prostitution and all the red-light districts in the country will be shut down…Days after the announcement, Jakarta’s oldest red-light district, called Kalijodo, was demolished.  But that does not seem to have put the brakes on the sex industry.  Many workers from there seem to have just moved, or gone online

Paint By Numbers (#625)

Given the exploitation of “rescued” sex workers in garment-industry sweatshops, the use of fashion shows to promote “sex trafficking” hysteria is particularly loathsome:

During a fashion show..High School senior Hannah Rezabek will showcase a black couture number handcrafted by noted fashion designer Korto Momolu….her outfit…reinforces how a human-trafficking victim feels “tied” to the streets, as reflected by the struggles of victims, even when rescued, to break free from the grip of pimps and prostitution…Rezabek is among 30 students who will serve as models for the Unchained Fashion Show — a different sort of runway event whose message runs far deeper than the latest prints and hottest summer colors…

Monsters (#632) 

Police in Maryland said they have arrested two people in the slaying of…Keyonna Blakeney…Arbra Arnie Bethea, 17…and Keith Christopher Renier, 21…[were charged] with murder…armed robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery…Bethea has been charged as an adult…

What Were You All Waiting For? (#638)

Mike Crawford is one of the most eloquent male voices on sex worker rights, and I predict we’ll be hearing a lot more from him:

It seems that after the recent New York Times piece on sex work, those who seek to completely prohibit commercial sexual exchange are concerned they no longer have a stranglehold on the dialogue about sex workers’ lives.  Over the past few days, there have been three pieces attempting to undermine the Times’ article: one from a radical feminist, one from the bastion of journalistic integrity that is the NY Post (written by a correspondent whose primary focus is religion, no less) and then today’s from a representative of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW.)  Today’s piece is a simple continuation of the others; it’s a disjointed combination of appeals to emotion, anecdotal evidence meant to discredit actual studies, flawed statistics, frequently told lies, obfuscation, a blithe dismissal of reality, and an absolute refusal to engage in the core of the argument for the decriminalization of sex work: harm reduction…

To Molest and Rape

I wrote yesterday’s column on Tuesday night, and the very next morning I had another example:

A Walker County [Georgia] deputy was arrested…[fired] because…he sexually assaulted a woman while transporting her from one hospital to another…Wesley Holland…[orally raped the prisoner but Sheriff Steve] Wilson…is [trying to pretend it was] consensual [so as to minimize the deputy’s punishment while pretending to take it seriously]…

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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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