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Posts Tagged ‘The Spiral of Absurdity’

Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

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

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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Is this going to school or going to prison?  –  anonymous Chinese citizen

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

I’ve been waiting for this shoe to drop:

Lawsuits alleging improper classification of workers and a recent California Supreme Court labor law ruling are impacting…adult dancers in San Francisco, many of whom once relied on daily cash payouts to survive…dancers, previously considered independent contractors, now are walking out of club doors with biweekly employee paychecks and not with cash in hands after their shifts end.  The move to convert adult dancers to employee status is causing an exodus…[from] those establishments…BSC Management…operates the majority of adult clubs in San Francisco…According to Axel Sang, BSC’s marketing director…“The BSC-managed clubs now have matching payroll taxes, unemployment compensation, workman’s compensation, Healthy San Francisco costs, Affordable Care Insurance costs and San Francisco sick leave pay for several hundred new employee entertainers in addition to the hourly wage”…Sang estimated that 200 dancers have quit their jobs since the policy change to paychecks…

Blunt Instrument (#596)

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

…the New Port Richey [Florida] City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ban bathhouses in the city…[in an attempt to strangle] massage parlors…The ordinance would ban any establishment that’s not a medical facility from [letting water touch] clients.  Anyone who violates the law would be fined up to $500 for each violation and possibly imprisoned for up to 60 days…

Subtle Pimping (#802) 

Yet another scumbag profits from the criminalization of sex work by basing a game on lies about us:

Billy Cain…started searching for a way to use virtual reality technology — or VR — to [profit from] people…[by promoting hysteria] about sex trafficking…Texas has been a hub for…human trafficking [hysteria] for [a] decade…[one typically disgusting masturbatory fantasy claims] 79,000 children are being sex trafficked in Texas at any given moment…[in] his sex trafficking [sex fantasy] simulation…people put on a special pair of goggles to [roleplay an imaginary] 13-year-old girl who fell victim to trafficking.  In “Trapped: VR Detective Story”, players see where the girl is being held and interact with objects to [flesh out the fantasy prior to masturbation]…players will learn…who is most vulnerable to being trafficked — anyone.  Anywhere.  From any background…

TRAFFICKERS ARE EVERYWHERE!  THEY’RE WAITING TO GET YOU!  EVERYBODY PANIC, THEN BUY MY GAME!

Overdue

Collapsing empires are obsessed with form over substance:

“We’ve made a conscious effort in TSA … to use floppy ear dogs,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told the Washington Examiner…”We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better…Doesn’t scare children”…in the last year, 80 percent of dogs purchased by TSA…were…breeds…[with] droopy ears…which are deemed less intimidating…

Yes, the people who literally grope children’s genitals claim they’re worried that dogs will frighten them.

Choke Point (#850) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

…a death metal/black metal record label has shut down in the wake of PayPal pulling out support for processing purchases, along with the creditors at Visa and MasterCard because the company was labeled as “high risk”, “promoting hatred”, “promoting violence”, and “promoting hate speech”…Elegy Records, a label that hosted all sorts of death metal music since 1996…[has closed due to] the inability to sign with a normal credit processor due to being…classified as “high risk” by the banks and credit processors, which meant that he was effectively blacklisted from the banking industry…the only way to accept payments from customers was…via cash or money orders.  For online businesses it’s not possible to operate without some sort of banking institution, or credit card processing since all purchases are made electronically…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

Where US schools are soon headed:

In China’s latest quest to build an all-seeing surveillance state, schools…in…one of China’s poorest provinces…are now required to wear…uniforms…embedded with electronic chips that track their movements…[they] keep track of the exact times that students leave or enter the school…an[d]…facial-recognition equipment stationed at the school entrance can match a student’s face with the chip embedded in the uniform…The chips…can activate an alarm when the sensor detects that a student has fallen asleep in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#884) 

While activists and Amazon’s own shareholders & employees were asking for the company not to support fascism, Bezos was doing this:

The FBI is piloting…Amazon Rekognition…as a means to sift through mountains of video surveillance footage the agency routinely collects…While Amazon is now a significant supplier of technology to the government…[and] includes the CIA and Defense Department as customers—it is less clear how its facial recognition software is being used in the [police state]…the company pitched the software to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last summer, a move that has…Amazon employees asking questions.  The company does not list any federal clients on its customer page, and currently only identifies as a customer one local law enforcement agency, the Washington County Sheriff Office…[yet]…the city of Orlando recently began a second pilot of…[the] software…

Imaginary Victims (#896) 

The Cyntoia Brown case has attracted attention to the cases of other underage sex workers who killed abusive clients:

…Chrystul Kizer, 18, is charged with first-degree homicide, arson and auto theft for the June 5 shooting death of Randall Volar III.  She was 17 when Volar was killed…he had been shot twice, and that the fire to the house appeared to have been set…Investigators said…Volar had paid for an Uber driver to bring Kizer from Milwaukee to his home…she initially denied knowing Volar, but later told police that “he (Volar) helped her with money and places to stay”…she reportedly confessed, saying “she got upset and was tired of Volar touching her” and that she had shot him…before his death Volar was under investigation by the Kenosha Police Department for sexual conduct with underage girls.  In a motion to compel discovery…[her lawyer stated] “The defense believes that the discovery in this case suggests that Ms. Kizer acted in self-defense”…

First They Came for the Hookers… (#900) 

It’s rare that judges side with sex workers against the government:

Imagine a symphony orchestra barred by the state from performing again because a musician was [accused of selling] marijuana to a colleague backstage…In Providence, Rhode Island…it happened to a strip club called the Foxy Lady.  On Dec. 19, the Providence Board of Licenses voted to permanently shut down the…[club] after police arrested three employees [and accused them of prostitution]…By doing so, the board threw more than 200 people out of work less than a week before Christmas.  Within days, the state Department of Business Regulation quickly restored the club’s liquor license, but the Foxy Lady’s owners were required by law to petition the state Supreme Court to regain its entertainment license…the state Supreme Court agreed to issue a stay, allowing the club to reopen for now, but the threat of future closure remains…

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It would have been better to be in prison, at least you can meet with your family there.  –  a former victim of what Prajwala calls “rescue”

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Police have confirmed a female reporter’s claim that she was subjected to surveillance and a hotel room inspection like a “prostitution bust” while she was covering a chemical leak in southeast China…The Quanzhou Public Security Bureau…issued an apology and said four [cops] – three of whom were from an auxiliary unit – had overstepped their jurisdiction and “caused negative social effects”.  A deputy bureau chief had been “punished”, while another local police station chief would “make amends” to the local Communist Party committee…One of the [cops] involved has also been suspended…

Case Study

One day, “businessman rents workspaces to small businesses” will be recognized as the non-news it is:

Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to give back hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to the Conservatives by a property tycoon who owns a London apartment block…[because] more than 100 sex workers have been listed online as working [there]…Chelsea Cloisters…is owned by wealthy property tycoon Christopher Moran…the sex trade is so extensive at the Sloane Avenue building that punters booking prostitutes online refer to it as “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “10 floors of whores”.  Reporters were able to [waste the time of 23 sex workers there with] [f]ake bookings…Some of the woman were found to have come from Romania…

To Molest and Rape

Another example of the McNeill Rule following his bliss:

…Neil Kimball, a…sex crimes investigator, [has been arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl]…and is being held on $2 million bond.  He has [also] been [granted] paid [vacation]…

Against Their Will (#736)

May this be the beginning of the end for the evil, deranged Sunitha Krishnan:

Prajwala…[incarcerates] thousands of women and girls…each year [in India] under a draconian anti-prostitution law.  Sunitha Krishnan, Prajwala’s leader, has won numerous international awards…But interviews with sex workers, activists, outreach workers and police paint a picture of life inside Prajwala’s secretive shelters very much at odds with the one Krishnan has presented to the world.  Former [prisoners] describe an atmosphere of fear and despair, where those who rebel against their detention are beaten, and where there is virtually no contact with the outside world.  Self-harm and suicide attempts are common…Krishnan denies the…beatings, but acknowledges that [prisoners are forced into slave labor, claiming they only resist because]…“they are not used to daytime activities”…Krishnan said holding women there against their will is justified because “they are indoctrinated to believe that they have to get out”.  [Prisoners] are denied phone calls if a woman’s family…wants to get their relative released…because [Krishnan fantasizes that]…an “innocent” family would reject a relative involved in sex work…“We do not allow journalists…If people think we are not transparent, so be it”…Prajwala does not distinguish between women who enter sex work voluntarily and genuine trafficking survivors, nor between those who consent to being “rescued” and those who do not…

Broken Record (#848) 

I think this might just be the second stupidest claimed “cause of sex trafficking” of all time, right after “summer”:

…a [Florida prohibitionist fantasizes] this is prime time for sex crimes and there’s a tactic criminals are now using that parents need to know about.  Young faces, including teens, are being used as recruiters…they’ll ask for a cell phone number…“because they can use GPS coordinates to locate the child,” said Lynne Barletta, [DBA] Catch The Wave of Hope.  Barletta is on a mission to [spread hysteria] about sex trafficking…and her message to holiday bargain hunters is don’t leave your daughters on their own…Barletta cites a…[thoroughly debunked] statistic: 300,000 children in America are victims of human trafficking …[her vibrator hums loudly as] she [masturbates to]…the thought that a teenage girl just window shopping at a mall could be lured into that world or shoved into the back of a car…[She also bizarrely claims that] “I saw it happening in our own backyard”…

Feminine Pragmatism (#850)

Why do people have to be branded “victims” and subjected to police theatrics to get help?

Colombian police have rescued 43 Venezuelan women held captive and forced into prostitution after being lured by the promise of a new life.  The women were “recruited” in Cucuta…and taken to Bogota…It was here, police say, where their “nightmare” began…Police said the women were given just 15 minutes of freedom a day and were “constantly threatened and tortured” by thugs in the gang…Police said the rescued women were being treated as victims and were been given food and humanitarian aid…

These women were recruited (why the scare quotes?) in Cucuta because hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia there.  Though the conditions may have been worse than they expected, the idea that they were “slaves” who were lied to about the work is absurd.  Women are not stupid; they knew very well what kind of work they would be doing (see item at subtitle link).  The reason they were able to be exploited isn’t because of “sex trafficking” mumbo-jumbo; it’s because they were desperate and on the wrong side of magic lines drawn on a map by pompous control freaks, and shitty employers have been taking advantage of such desperation since the beginning of civilization.

Uncommon Sense (#869) 

As usual, the mainstream media is a font of disinformation where sex work is concerned.  The New York Times advertised its own prohibitionism in its lede, “Spain’s National Court has outlawed a union of sex workers, saying that recognition of the group amounted to making the exploitation of prostitutes legal“…but as Dr. Laura Agustín explains in her thorough article on the topic, “despite misleading press headlines…the [court] annulled the group’s statutes but hasn’t the power to dissolve the union“…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#875) 

Pigs and prohibitionists say one is “as many as 150”:

As many as 150 teens in Santa Barbara County have been identified as “commercially sexually exploited children”…since the launch of the Human Trafficking Task Force in 2013…a public-forum panel…began with a video of a [single] teen who was rescued from human trafficking, which doesn’t happen often, according to…p[rohibition]ists …”We need more [money],” [a pig oinked]…To…organize…sting operations…

The spectacle of grown adults sitting around telling each other such fantasies will make fascinating material for the appendix of some future ethnography of the strange tribes of the American Decline period.

Watershed (#885)

It’s a rare thing nowadays for an organization to prioritize ethics over the heckler’s veto:

Quebec’s most prominent women’s group continues to lose members after it passed a resolution last month recognizing that women [own their bodies and are not moral imbeciles].  The resolution approved by members of the Federation des femmes du Quebec has split the organization between pro[-violence busybodies] and those who believe [in human rights]…

Kudos to FFQ for standing up for women against the demands of misogynistic control freaks.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#885)

The weird, dangerous belief that masturbation is harmful to men continues to increase in popularity:

…Growing out of…internet message boards…[and] deeply traditional, historically puritanical views, the movement has grown to the tens of thousands, with hundreds posting on the sub-Reddit every single day.  The forum is No Nut November: the internet challenge encouraging men not to ejaculate (or “nut”) for an entire month…NNN came out of the NoFap “movement”, which…has become linked to wider sexism and misogyny, reducing women to sexual objects to be attained or abstained from and shaming sexually active women…the origin point of Not Nut November came from pick-up artist and conspiracy theory sites – ones where the forums’ influential leaders  argued that there was some inherent power in men that could be “focused” by not masturbating…[some even believe] that semen has magical properties, and by storing up as much of it as possible men will become more attractive to women…

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I pray…that what happened to me…never happens to those who did this to my son.  –  Rosario Rodriguez

Bait and Switch

How convenient:

Cody Wilson…started [by] selling blueprints for 3D printed guns, and [then] launched Hatreon, the now-defunct platform he billed as “the #1 funding platform for the Alt Right”…Wilson…used a sugar daddy dating site to contact [a 16-year-old girl who advertised herself as an adult]…they allegedly started communicating via text message and he identified [himself]…On August 15, Wilson met her in person…and paid her $500 [for sex].  He was charged with a second degree felony count of sexual assault…Wilson’s last known location was Taipei, Taiwan, and [cops are trying to extradite] him to the U.S…police said they believed Wilson skipped a scheduled flight back to the U.S. after receiving a tip that he was under investigation…

I have little sympathy for Wilson, because his funding white supremacists far outweighs the good of circumventing prohibition, which someone else would’ve eventually done.  But I also know a honey pot setup when I see one, and characterizing a sugar relationship with a young woman who lied about her age to get on the platform as “child rape” is demeaning to both young people and sex workers and will only help those who want to censor such platforms.

The Face of Trafficking 

What an actual attempt to force an unwilling Nigerian woman into prostitution looks like:

A Benin based pastor has been arrested for his part in trafficking a 22-year-old [woman]…to Russia…Marvelous Odalo, who is the General Overseer of Mega Charismatic Fire Ministry, reportedly worked with a “madam” in Russia…[the young woman said] she and her sister were deceived and fell for the antics of the pastor and his accomplice… “They told me that I was going to meet a woman who is pregnant in Russian and I will assist her with domestic chores.  They said I will also be working as a stylist in her saloon…When I got there, it was a different ball game.  I was forced to engage in prostitution in Russia which I resisted, I rejected it and told them I will rather go home than sell my body to satisfy one greedy woman”…in the heat of the argument with her madam, she met a Nigerian in Russia, who introduced her to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues, Comrade Solomon Okoduwa, who eventually took the matter up in Nigeria…

For more on the juju aspects of this story, see “That Old Black Magic” below.

Moving Pictures 

Another “sex trafficking” hysteria film for future generations to laugh at:

Love Sonia, a [propaganda] film about sex trafficking, will be showcased at the UN…in New York on October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child.  The screening will be hosted by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime [which is one of the few UN agencies opposed to decriminalization of sex work] and Indian anti-[sex work] organisation, Apne Aap…

In case you have forgotten, Apne Aap is a “rescue” organization which runs a private prison in which sex workers are locked up indefinitely for the enrichment of the organization.

Pimps Ahoy

Pigs and screws team up to help a private prison previously shut down for abusing inmates:

Northern California [screws] are banding together [for] the [fantasy] of ending child sex trafficking…In 2013, Dawn Hershberger, a [screw] at California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville, heard Jenny Williamson speak about her nonprofit, Courage Worldwide, which [profits from arrested underage sex workers]…She reached out to the nonprofit to ask how she could assist, and was told they were in need of a way to transport [inmates] to appointments and other…events.  Hershberger partnered with fellow [screw] Joanne Vice and [pig] Randy Hewitt, and the team began organizing a run to raise funds to buy a van…they raised more than $4,000.  Inspired and motivated, they set their sights on a bigger goal, and the Courage Triathlon was born.  Since its inception the triathlon has raised more than $60,000 to [line of pockets] of [Williamson and other profiteers]…

If you don’t remember the ugly story of “Courage House”, click on the subtitle above.

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

Two boys claimed they were chased by a man in a clown costume shouting “run or die” while clutching…something “which looked like a knife”.  After the boy’s parents called the police, a car was sent to the area to investigate…but no person matching the description was seen…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#728) 

Sex workers worried about sex dolls are saying a lot more about themselves than about the dolls:

[Three] legal prostitutes…at Nevada’s…Sheri’s Ranch brothel are [using sex robot hysteria] in hopes of [promoting themselves in the media, since advertising is illegal there]…”It’s dehumanising,” said licensed sex worker Allissa [parroting prohibitionist drivel often used against sex workers]…”Offering sex dolls as a substitute for human sex workers is…[magically] an insult to sex workers…[and] clients [who are not in the room with them]”…”The idea that women should be like dolls – unresponsive and lethargic during sex – is downright dangerous” said Roxanne Price, [despite the fact that nobody selling sex dolls has ever even implied such a thing]…

Sex dolls are a silly fad which will have zero effect on sex workers.  But you know what is dangerous and dehumanizing to whores?  Pompous twits in “regulated” Nevada brothels who regurgitate prohibitionist rhetoric to try to set themselves above other sex workers.

That Old Black Magic (#825) 

Remember, most of what Europeans brand “trafficking” is just migrating to wealthy Europe to work:

…During a ceremony in March, Oba Ewuare II, leader of the historic kingdom of Benin in southern Nigeria, invoked curses on anyone who used witchcraft to aid illegal migration.  Since then, anecdotal evidence suggests the trafficking has slowed although it is too soon for firm data to be collated…Belief in black magic is deep-rooted in Benin, and many fear crossing their traditional leader could incur death, mental breakdown or a myriad of unexplained physical ailments…David Edebiri, the second highest ranking chief in Benin…believes the Oba’s involvement, inspired by repeated bad press in the international media, has reduced trafficking and could help bring more traffickers to justice as many women involved were too afraid of juju rituals before to testify…

Notice the quick elision of the difference between “illegal migration” and “sex trafficking”.

Disaster (#845)

Why is The Hill turning itself into a platform for rabid prohibitionists, censors and anti-human rights cultists? This vile anti-internet, anti-consent, pro-censorship screed, paid for by the veteran Christian fundamentalist anti-porn organization “Morality in Media“, which rebranded a few years ago to the more secular (and authoritative) sounding “National Center on Sexual Exploitation” (by which they actually mean “against sex work“).  It’s pretty poisonous shit, so I’m not going to quote it here, but if you decide to read it note that it represents Melissa Farley’s propaganda as “fact”, puts forth a bizarre interpretation of Section 230, and pretends that sex workers literally being forced into the streets, where they are exposed to violence from cops and other monsters, is a good thing.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#849) 

It’s fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way to watch the lies spiral out of control:

The University of Alabama school of social work department shared some new a[rous]ing [fantasies] on human trafficking in the state this week…In 2017, authorities recovered more than 600 human trafficking victims stuck in the sex industry…more than half of them were minors, and that’s only about 10 percent of the victims actually out there, [sic] Stats show there are thousands more still suffering in Alabama.

If cops had really discovered 300 kids being held hostage in freaking Alabama, this would be international news, not a minor local story.

The Monsters Are Due (#869) 

More on the young man literally burned alive by “human trafficking” hysterics:

Ricardo Flores…21, and his uncle, Alberto Flores Morales, 56, [were lynched by a hysterical mob who] beat…them before dousing them with gasoline and burning them alive on the street…[while] the police [did nothing]…The pair had been [accused of child abduction]…The barbaric episode — reminiscent of mob killings in India fueled by viral messages — illustrates how [moral panic over “human trafficking” spread by politicians, cops and the mainstream media]…can generate hysteria and vigilante justice…Mob attacks are nothing new in Mexico, where cellphone video of townsfolk pummeling cornered suspects accused of robberies and other misdeeds is a regular feature on TV news…In the days before Flores and his uncle were targeted, half a dozen Mexican states issued public warnings refuting incendiary social media tales of kidnapping rings that remove organs from captive children to sell on the black market…

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It’s kind of like the universe conspired for this to happen.  –  Aidan Hill

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Tameika Lovell was retrieving luggage at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport when Customs and Border Protection officers detained her for a…search….[after] a short Jamaica vacation.  Lovell, who is black, had been stopped before, but this time a CBP supervisor began asking questions she hadn’t heard previously.  “Don’t you think you’re spending too much money traveling?”…Inside a secure room…a female CBP officer searched Lovell’s belongings, presumably for illegal drugs, and asked if she was using a tampon or sanitary pad…Lovell replied “no” and complied when told to remove her shoes, lift her arms and spread her legs…the officer squeezed Lovell’s breasts, and, “placed her right hand into [Lovell’s] pants ‘forcibly’ inserting four gloved fingers into plaintiff’s vagina” before parting Lovell’s buttocks “for viewing”…Her case is one of at least 11 since 2011 examined by the Center for Public Integrity…The women who’ve brought these lawsuits, including two minor girls, say CBP…subjected them to indignities — such as strip searches while menstruating and prohibited genital probing — despite finding no contraband.  Four women further allege they were handcuffed and transported to hospitals where, against their will, one underwent a pelvic exam and X-rays.  In one of the cases, the woman…was intravenously drugged at the hospital…

Monsters 

The only positive point here is that local politicians condemned the hatred:

A middle school in Achille, Oklahoma is closed following violent threats by parents on social media against Maddie, a 12-year-old transgender [girl] who…used the girls’ bathroom.  Maddie had been using the staff bathroom at her old school but used the girls’ bathroom at the new school because she wasn’t sure where the staff bathroom was.  She was then accused of peeping under a bathroom stall…[and] the threats began on a private parents’ Facebook group for the school.  The parents called Maddie “it” and “thing”, suggested that her genitalia be mutilated to make her female (“a good sharp knife will do the job real quick”).  One said it was “hunting season on them kind” and said there was “no bag limit”…

Deafening Silence (#427)

A fascinating look at male actor/sex workers in 19th century China:

…the theater was a venue of culture but also an erotic space.  Patrons in particular focused their obsessions on the actors – almost always male – who played the dàn, or lead female role in the performance…There existed an implicit understanding of the theater, and its performers, as sex workers.  It was even assumed in [rape] cases…[where] attackers [got lower sentences for raping sex workers]…Following the fall of the Qing Dynasty, modernizers in the government of the new Republic of China and in the city of Beijing began to issue regulations which they hoped would curtail the brothels and theaters…[but] despite…efforts…to destroy the culture of male prostitution in Beijing, the trade continued into the mid-20th century when even more puritanical…politicians in the post-1949 era would employ drastic measures which pushed most prostitution – male and female – deep into the shadows for the next few decades…

The Public Eye (#439) 

Sex workers who are also performing artists are valuable ambassadors for us:

…Kate McGrew hopes her new stage show will make audiences think, by highlighting the dangers of our new prostitution laws.  The reality TV star, who made her name in the RTE show Connected…plans to hammer home the message in…her new production Hookers Do It Standing Up…“It has serious points, but lots of punchlines, humour, and musings on the experiences and struggles of sex workers, and how bad laws and attitudes affect us”…Under her stage name Lady Grew, the singer, actor and dancer is now taking her campaign to the stage in Dublin Fringe Festival…

Little Boxes (#579)

Being forced by a corporation to have undesired sexual contact with strangers is “team building”, but choosing to have sexual contact with strangers who desire it is a “crime”:

We’ve launched the world’s first “Cuddle a Co-worker” event to provide a unique alternative to the standard team building exercises you’ll normally find…the event lasts an entire working day and involves co-workers cuddling in a “relaxation tent” designed to reduce stress and encourage team bonding…skin on skin contact…promotes Oxytocin and Serotonin release.  Oxytocin has physical and psychological effects on the brain, including influencing social behaviour and emotion, whilst Serotonin is the hormone which allows humans to feel happiness…co-workers will be required to cuddle each other in a variety of different positions and will need to switch partners every two hours – so that you have a chance to bond with everyone…there will also be a group cuddling session, as well as a conflict resolution cuddle session…


Real People (#710)

Here’s a look at the stories of three residents of Casa Xochiquetzal, Mexico City’s home for retired sex workers.  The tales are by turns beautiful and sad, and it would do them an injustice to even attempt to synopsize them here; please read them and remember that these are the women prohibitionists want to demonize as criminals or infantilize as permanent victims.

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

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

The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook…to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so [pigs and spooks can eavesdrop on private]…conversations…resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance…The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but…three [whistleblowers reported] that Facebook is contesting the…demand.  The…government [is trying] to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request…If the government prevails…it could…force companies to rewrite other popular encrypted services such as Signal and Facebook’s billion-user WhatsApp…

The Lion and the Ox (#796)

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

…a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that former film executive Harvey Weinstein can be sued under a federal sex-trafficking law by an actress who claims he coerced her to have sex in exchange for a movie role that never materialized…Police have not charged Harvey Weinstein with sex trafficking.  But the judge’s ruling means that the civil suit, brought by British actress Kadian Noble, can proceed…Weinstein’s lawyers said they would appeal the decision…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

Welfare recipients are another guinea pig for invasive surveillance methods:

Officials with the Department of Human Assistance, or DHA, in Sacramento, California, have been using license plate readers since 2016 to investigate welfare fraud…DHA violated California state laws dictating that any entity using a license plate database must institute a privacy-and-usage policy that includes regular audits and record keeping…The DHA was using a feature of the license plate reader that collects data about every single vehicle in a particular location, regardless of whether the vehicle belonged to a welfare recipient…and…19 agencies that have been sharing such data with the DHA, including police departments in Texas and Iowa…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#825) 

Texas is replacing Washington and Arizona as the most active producer of “sex trafficking” idiocy:

…Houston…is a known hub for sex trafficking…said Dennis Mark…[of] Redeemed Ministries…As efforts to criminalize prostitution in the city increase, the underground industry is spreading to surrounding areas…he said.  Debi Tengler…[of] Arrow Child and Family Ministries, [which runs a private prison] in Spring, [ludicrously bloviated] “The tighter you squeeze the tube, the more toothpaste squeezes out”…Texas…has the second most of any state…“We…hit…the streets and go…after the prostitutes…and…also online tactics,” [oinked a filthy pig]…Police are also cracking down on brothels disguised as businesses…such as massage parlors and hotels…A December 2016 University of Texas [fantasy claimed]…there were…79,000…juvenile sex trafficking victims [in Texas]…

Disaster (#850)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

SESTA-FOSTA…received bipartisan support [like most truly awful police-state expansions]…Since the law was passed, there has been a swell of protests, political actions and new forms of grassroots organizing among the American sex worker rights community…Perhaps the highest profile efforts to repeal SESTA-FOSTA emerged on June 28th, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the federal government…on the grounds of First and Fifth Amendment violations…

There’s more in this article, which also mentions Salazar’s candidacy (see below).

Safe Position (#851)

If the Democratic Party were run by people who care about human rights, this would be its official position:

Julia Salazar, a candidate for the New York state Senate, is doing what [only a minuscule number of] Democratic politicians have done before:  taking sex workers’ rights seriously.  The 27-year-old democratic socialist, who is shaping her policy by consulting the sex work community, is one of the first candidates to…support those workers, including by proposing concrete steps toward decriminalization…Salazar, who is challenging eight-term incumbent Democratic state Sen. Martin Dilan, has centered her campaign around affordable housing and other policy positions championed by the insurgent left.  But her plan to defend sex workers’ rights has energized a community that has been understandably skeptical of electoral politics.  One hundred sex workers and their allies have signed up to attend a canvassing event in the Brooklyn district for Salazar’s campaign on Sunday, ahead of the September 13 primary.  This follows an event earlier this month, when upward of 120 sex workers and activists hosted a pizza party for Salazar…[whose] platform outlines steps toward decriminalization that include an end to raids on massage parlors; working with district attorneys to stop charging sex workers with crimes; and creating a network of optional social services to address workers’ needs, such as housing, child care, syringe access, and…repealing the exemption for sex workers under New York’s rape shield law…

The Widening Gyre (#864) 

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter; this one’s even funnier than usual to me because it’s from Baton Rouge, roughly 50 miles from where I grew up, a city so cheap and dead it wasn’t even worth keeping an escort service ad posted in the phone book there.  And the mentioned towns are the kind of hick places where the opening of a new auto parts store is the highlight of the season’s social calendar.  One wonders if Kylie and her legion of dumbass retweeters think these “perfume samples” are actually phials of the fabled pimp mind-control philter which will enable them to instantly enslave any hapless girl who whiffs them.

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Sex work is like any other kind of work and should be treated as such.  –  Anja Derungs

Acting and Activism 

Not an article you’d see in the US:

…Celebrities…[such as] Ashton Kutcher, Ricky Martin, Demi Moore, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Emma Thompson have all been extensively involved in [so-called] anti-trafficking campaigns…Recently, comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Meyers starred in a [propaganda video] in support of…new [censorship] legislation in the US to curtail sex work in the name of preventing sex trafficking…Celebrities…bridge the gap between brand and cause ambassador, between hawker and humanitarian.  A clear example of this is Demi Moore’s partnership in 2011 with a jewellery retailer to sell diamond handcuff pendants, with some of the profits going to support the anti-[sex work] foundation established by Moore and her husband at the time, Ashton Kutcher…the presence of movie and television stars at the forefront of awareness campaigns can fuel the expectation that real trafficking victims are just like those we see on television or the big screen…sex slavery…is a popular storyline in entertainment mediaTaken…was a smash hit…spawning two sequels and a television show…Stories of sex trafficking have featured in other movies like The Whistleblower and Trade, and numerous television shows including Criminal Minds, CSIHawaii Five-O, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS: Los Angeles, Without a Trace, and The Wire.  The broad reach of movies and TV means that we are more likely to hear about human trafficking in a fictional context…The lines between entertainment, infotainment and information become blurred, especially when we are told…stories of trafficking by the very people who might play the heroes on screen...

Saving Them From Themselves

Dr. David Ley can always be counted on to speak good sense:

…prosecution of teen sexting suffers from the same disparities as much of our legal system: teens who are Black [or LGBT] may be more likely to face prosecution…Males are more frequently charged than females, even in cases involving mutual sharing of pictures…it is mostly the US that is having this teen sexting panic.  Countries in which social nudity is common and accepted don’t seem to be reacting quite as punitively to these phenomena…Amy Hasinoff, author of Sexting Panic, argues strongly that…child pornography laws need to be updated to be more consistent with age of sexual consent laws:  If you can have sex at age 15 or 16, then you should be able to take or share a naked or sexual image (of yourself) as well.  But she also says that we need to take a better educational approach with teens, teaching them about healthy sexuality and relationships and giving them support and guidance on how to sext safely, not trying to stop them sexting altogether.  In other words, we need to start practicing harm reduction strategies…

Gorged With Meaning

Cracked has fewer pro-sex work articles than it once did, but this one’s excellent:

…”Being alone with a man is being alone with a man,” says Fancy, “and they don’t see a difference between a sugar baby and an escort.  In fact, because it’s the first area of sex work many people start with, the risk is higher because the expectation of screening isn’t really there”…Despite sugar sites’ insistence that “entering the sugar bowl” is all about forming lasting romantic bonds of convenience, the turnover rate for arrangements is high — about two months on average, in Fancy’s experience…Both of our sources recently made the decision to quit sugar dating.  Julia got a promotion at her day job, while Fancy decided that the profit wasn’t worth it compared to traditional escorting and stripping.  “I found the men on the sugaring sites to largely be cheapskates who want to trick young women who are too scared to escort into providing escort services for a fraction of the cost,” she says. “It’s very manipulative, financially”…higher-end escorts tend to charge at least $2,000 for overnight stays.  In her experience, that amount is at the upper end of the monthly  allowances sugar daddies offer — and for escorts, those overnight stays don’t require the devotion, time, and attention that often accompany a sugar arrangement…”I was taking $300-$600 for overnight (sugar) stays!  All just so I could call myself something other than a whore”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A…Lethbridge [Alberta] school teacher…Dwayne Schnell…pleaded guilty to charges of making and distributing child pornography…Schnell abused his position of trust by taking pictures of eight students…without their knowledge…a psychiatrist said…Schnell has no concept of the harm caused to the children, parents, or the school where he worked….[and] assertions that he suffers from impulse control and addiction issues were “self-deceptive excuses to justify his behaviour”…Schnell…[claims] he has a pornography addiction…

Uncommon Sense (#545)

How countries with healthy ideas about sex react to the Swedish disease:

A campaign to make prostitution illegal in Switzerland is being met with stiff resistance from human rights group.  The Swiss Aids Federation [and] Amnesty International…are among several advocacy groups rallying against the…[crusade, which] was launched by the Women’s Centre in Zurich…and calls for a Swedish-style ban on prostitution…Anja Derungs, spokesperson for the Zurich Equality Office said that “sex work is like any other kind of work and should be treated as such”…Daniel Seiler…of the Swiss AIDS Federation, said that sex work “is the oldest profession in the world” and would not disappear if a ban was in place.  This approach had not worked it Sweden either, where the trade still exists, he noted…The Women’s Centre in Bern also expressed its opposition to the campaign launched by its counterpart in Zurich…

Social Autoimmune Disorder (#594)

Shaming clients is an exercise in evil fuckery that just won’t die:

The Catalan town of Gavà wants to stamp out [sex workers]…and snitch on those who [enable sex workers to pay their bills and support their children]…by sending fines to their family addresses…”Up until now, the client used to pay the fine (to police) in cash right there and then so that there was no record of the offence”…[anti-sex] Minister Gemma Badia is quoted as saying…As a result, authorities have decided [cops]…should send the fines to clients’ home addresses…Even if the clients were to insist on paying before the fine was posted, they would still receive a letter informing them, and quite possibly their family members, on the settlement of their prostitution case…

The Monsters Are Due (#742) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

A 92-year-old man…was thrown to the ground [and] stomped on by strangers on the Fourth of July…in…Los Angeles…Rodolfo Rodriguez [is] a native of Mexico and legal U.S. resident…Laquisha Jones, 30, was arrested…[and] booked for assault with a deadly weapon…Rodriguez had gone out alone for his daily walk, [the victim’s grandson, Erik] Mendoza said…While walking, Rodriguez may have bumped into a small girl, witness Misbel Borjas…said…she [then] saw a woman with the girl push Rodriguez and beat him with a brick.  The woman also told Rodriguez to “go back to your country”…Borjas had been driving by, she said, and wanted to stop, but the woman threatened to hit her car with the brick.  Borjas instead called 911 and took a picture of the woman, which she shared with police and put on social media.  Borjas said a group of men then came down the street, and the woman accused Rodriguez of trying to take the child.  That’s when about three of them also began beating him…Rodriguez…suffered two broken ribs and a broken cheekbone…

Cops and Robbers (#823)

No fad spreads faster than a new way to tyrannize innocent people:

Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco announced new initiatives to [harass]…sex [workers]…Deputies will utilize intercept bots to track people who use the Internet to search out [adult consensual sex]…The bots will communicate like a [very stupid and robotic] person, exchanging information such as phone numbers and could even set up meeting locations.  [Pigs]…will [creep] in to lock up the buyer and then go after the person in court…

Guys, it’s extremely easy for men to know which ads are real and which are pig swill: women in real ads will have an established online presence.  Just Google the name, email address, phone number, etc; if there are no other hits on an escort site, other ad sites, Twitter, etc, you’re probably looking at a pig trap.

The War Goes On (#831) 

We told you so:

…promoting prostitution…cases, according to [spokespig] John Daggy [of Indianapolis]…have…dried up…[since] the feds closed police’s [easiest site for stings]…Backpage…“We’ve been a little bit blinded lately because they shut Backpage down,” Daggy said…

The melodramatic telling of the arrest of a wannabe “pimp” is especially hilarious.  NB: Every time his name comes up, I remind readers that one of Daggy’s jobs is to make excuses for cops who rape sex workers.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#849) 

It’s fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way to watch the lies spiral out of control:

Fulton County Police Chief Darryl Halbert said 100,000 children become sex trafficking victims in Georgia per year and are mostly runaways between the ages of 12 and 14.  He said the county police department uses surveillance cameras and sting operations to [pretend they’re fighting] the [imaginary] crime…

Yes, that’s a pig oinking that almost 5% of the entire below-18 population of Georgia (something like 30% of the age group mentioned) become “sex slaves” every year.  Even allowing for half “escaping”, that would mean roughly half of the population of Georgia under the age of 30 are now “sex slaves”.  One wonders where they’re all stored, and where the clients to support this massive population all come from.

Welcome To Our World (#853)

Locking pregnant women in cages for “trafficking” themselves.  Had enough yet?

Phnom Penh Municipal Court…charged 33 women with human trafficking after they were detained following a raid on a surrogacy business…last month…[being pregnant in a way politicians don’t like] is illegal and could carry a jail sentence of up to 20 years…Chou Bun Eng, chair of the National Authority Against Human Trafficking, said…“We cannot tell you the place where the women are [locked in cages] because we want to protect their rights and…keep them safe”…

“Keep them safe” and “protect their rights”.  By locking them in cages for 20 years.  For being pregnant.  Feminism!

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When we come back, we come back stronger.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Surplus Women 

Politicians won’t even wait for a whore’s body to be cold before launching vile attacks on her community:

Just a few hours before the march…in memory of [Eunice, a Nigerian sex worker] who was mortally stabbed on…5 June, the Committee of Brussels’s Alhambra District…speaks…in favor of…prostitution tolerance zones…and of a building complex to shelter…prostitutes’ shop windows…The Alhambra Committee [claims] that it is not against prostitution, but rather against the disturbance it causes in a residential district…“We can accept several independent prostitutes ‘working’ in the neighborhood, but it is difficult not to notice the Rumanian-Bulgarian-Albanian-Hungarian mafia installed on our streets since 2005″…the…Committee…[also stated] that they are favorable to police control of clients…[and] denounces the fact that [activists are against this ghetto because]…prostitutes without official papers could not work there…

Dehumanization, racism, end demand garbage, scare quotes around “working” and a bottleneck to keep “dirty foreigners” out.  They didn’t even include her name, just called her “a prostitute”.  But they’re not against sex work, no sir!

Broken Record 

Hysteria is like a disease; it spreads among friend & foe alike:

Even though prostitution is illegal in Russia, there are around three million regular sex workers in the country, according to activist group Silver Rose.  Until recently, the group says, the police had turned a blind eye to the practice or taken kickbacks.  But with hundreds of thousands of tourists descending on Russia for the World Cup, the authorities are [purging as “authorities” always do before such events]…this means frequent raids on well-known prostitution sites…Despite the authorities’ efforts, though, [prohibitionists fantasize] that the relaxed visa regime introduced to simplify travel to Russia during the tournament is encouraging illegal trafficking of women.  As Yulia Siluyanova of Alternativa, a Moscow-based [prohibitionist] organization, put it, “The World Cup is a gift for traffickers”…

Under Every Bed

Is it just me, or are “sex trafficking is EVERYWHERE!” articles beginning to sound very tired?

Some Central Texans are taking a stand against sex trafficking…the T.S.O.Y., Texas Save Our Youth organization, held a meeting…to [indoctrinate] the public…[in bogus] statistics, [fantasies] of trafficking and warning signs like strategically placed tattoos…The U.S. is the number one producer and consumer of sex trafficking in the world, and Texas is in the top three states in the country.

Bottleneck (#638)

“Licensing” is one of the ways governments try to surreptitiously ban things:

The state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums…to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution.  Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, have reportedly shut down to avoid prosecution.  Reuters reports: Regulations passed in March made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a license.  Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.  Digital activists say the law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech…Government officials [pretend] the new rules are aimed at tackling hate speech and other online crimes, including cyberbullying and pornography

Does that list of “crimes” justifying censorship sound familiar?

Morality Lessons (#689)

In which the FBI running an actual child porn site is called “law enforcement ingenuity”:

…we spearhead and coordinate massive nationwide and international operations to disrupt and destroy child exploitation networks….these…are most successful only when we can rely on our close partnerships with the many federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental partners here today.  Operation Pacifier was a prime example.  In that case, we…[took over] a highly sophisticated, global enterprise on the dark web called “Playpen,” where users exchanged tens of thousands of postings relating to the sexual abuse of children – even, revoltingly, children as young as infants and toddlers.  Operation Pacifier was a model of law enforcement ingenuity.  Agents identified and seized the “Playpen” server, which gave the FBI a very short window of time to [keep running it as normal]…to identify site users…

Your regular reminder that the word for a “partnership” between political and corporate interests is “fascism”.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

Another sighting of the “sex trafficking” fetishist who masturbates to the fantasy that emojis in low-rent escort ads are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

“Human trafficking is a business,” said Jessica Whitney, “where people are treated as inventory”…Whitney [fantasizes] that traffickers use certain language and emojis (symbols) to appeal to certain buyers.  They market the girls — by age, race, skin color, “new in town” (i.e. limited time only) — as a retailer positions its products.  In fact, victims are often forced to write their own customized ads.  The [fantasy] doesn’t relent…

The Course of a Disease (#757)

Israeli prohibitionists ladle FOSTA slop on top of an already-bad anti-whore bill:

The state is petitioning the courts to remove five Israeli prostitution websites from the internet…[clients careless enough to be] caught [in pig stings] within three years of the first offense will pay doubled the original fine, according to the draft legislation…[Injustice Minister Ayelet] Shaked had decided that customers would be pursued through administrative rather than criminal enforcement: the offender would not be considered a criminal with a criminal record…The minister [bloviated] that the draft bill fining customers is…part of a wider plan she intends to bring before government in the months to come…Meanwhile…the Knesset approved a bill banning advertisement of prostitutes…for the first time, the prohibition will apply to the printing shop that printed the ad…offending internet sites and phone numbers involved in promoting prostitution services could be blocked…

Surprised how fast mass censorship is taking hold? We did warn you.

Devil’s Advocate (#761) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The U.S. House approved a ban…on the importation and trafficking of anatomically correct child sex dolls…that [perverts wrongly claim] “normalize sex between adults and minors…These dolls can be programmed to simulate rape. The very thought makes me [excited]” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte…“Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child”…[fantasized bill sponsor] Dan Donovan…The proposal [imagines] the…dolls…“can resemble actual children”…Goodlatte [pretended to be] “distraught” that…child sex dolls even exist…“Customers can order bespoke dolls, providing pictures of specific children they would like the doll to resemble.  They can indicate a preferred facial expression such as sadness or fear”…

Even in the world of anti-sex propaganda, this bill and article are egregious.  They express psychologically-illiterate fantasies and scare-claims in declarative sentences, and make assertions that are not only untrue, but calculated to demonize the buyers of such dolls (eg, the last sentence).  I also remind you of the McNeill Rule.

Feminine Pragmatism (#778) 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

…in Colombia’s border city of Cucuta…Venezuelan sex workers…now [do a fairly ordinary job] to support themselves and their families…About 672,000 Venezuelans have crossed into neighbouring Colombia alone, both legally and illegally, since 2015…The exodus from the oil-rich country is the largest migration of people in South America’s recent history, and it shows little signs of abating.  For some, sex work is [a reasonable, practical] option…

The Widening Gyre (#811)

Lenore Skenazy is doing great work reporting on these absurd “sex trafficking” panics:

Here’s [a] mom’s Facebook post:  “we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break.  Just my daughter and I went inside…some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter…I heard…her say “the little girl” [to another woman]…As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave…I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors.  Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open…I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware…my daughter may have been taken from me“…stranger danger is so rare that even the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…has asked people to stop using the term.  And David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, told me he had heard of no children ever abducted from their parents in public for sex trafficking purposes…A media organization uncritically promoting this hysteria is…reckless journalism…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#834) 

Lewis & her friends are fools; what they want is legalization & protectionism, and they’re not going to like it if they get it:

[A small group of] New Zealand sex workers have written an open letter…asking for the election of a Minister of Prostitution.  The letter also rejects the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) as the representative organisation of sex workers here, and attacks the collective’s support for illegal sex workers.  The letter by Hamilton sex worker Lisa Lewis carries 25 other names…In an unlikely alliance, the letter was written with the help of [conservative Christian group] Family First…Lewis said… “Prostitution needs to be governed in New Zealand.  If there is a legislation, there should be a Minister.”  The letter claimed migrants coming on temporary visas to work as prostitutes were “taking money off legal sex workers, not paying tax and going home with the money …NZPC’s current focus is legalising internationals to be allowed to provide commercial sexual services here in New Zealand and no legal New Zealand sex worker wants this”…Family First is highly critical of the Prostitution Reform Act and is calling for a Nordic model…

I am reminded of the fable, “The Frogs Who Desired a King”.

Choke Point (#839) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because phone and internet sales were gun-related…Some of the payments stopped didn’t even involve firearms, but simply T-shirts and coffee mugs and gun safety classes…As a result, the businesses had to scramble to track down customers to get them pay their bills after Intuit credited back to customers’ accounts the purchases — even if the T-shirt was already shipped or the class already taken…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Disaster (#839)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

After…SESTA-FOSTA…organizing around sex workers has been reinvigorated with a new urgency.  The legislation…cripples sex workers’ ability to work safely online.  It’s merely the latest example in an unbroken history of harmful anti-sex work laws.  But at a time when activism…is all the more crucial…SESTA-FOSTA…[is] silencing and criminalizing the very organizing and advocacy that would help sex workers stay safe and fight persecution, even chilling journalists’ efforts to cover these issues…In one poignant example of how these laws harm advocacy, the Desiree Alliance Conference — the largest U.S. gathering addressing human, labor, and civil rights for workers in the sex industry — announced that it will not take place this year due to fears surrounding SESTA-FOSTA…

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