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Posts Tagged ‘The War Goes On’

Victimless crime creates the surveillance state.  –  Wendy McElroy

Amazingly Stupid Statements

License to Rape

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

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

Decentralization

Wendy McElroy on bitcoin and consensual crime:

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

Broken Record 

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

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

Imaginary Evils

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

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

Cops and Robbers

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

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

Guinea Pigs (#630) 

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge (#677)

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

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

The Naked Anthropologist (#701) 

Noah Berlatsky reviews Laura Agustín’s new book:

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

The War Goes On 

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

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

I Swear To God (#708)

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

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

Stupor Bowl (#711)

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

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

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[Sex worker] distrust of law enforcement…is well earned. – Kate Mogulescu

Surplus Women 

Imagine the murder of any other businessperson being described as a “scuffle”:

A 25-year-old Ugandan woman was…stabbed to death [in Bengaluru, Karnataka] in a scuffle over payment for sex…Ishan…has been arrested for fatally stabbing Florence Nakayaki…the deputy commissioner of police…PS Harsha [said]…neighbours called the police on hearing screams…Harsha [otherwise repeated the murderer’s version of events as though it were fact, casting blame on the victim for asking for her fee]…

Worse Than I Thought

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

A plan that would expand capital punishment in Utah so that [people] convicted of aggravated human trafficking or child sex exploitation that leads to death could be executed…[was passed by a] law enforcement …committee…despite concern from both [politicians] and [normal people]…sponsor…Paul Ray [fantasizes that] human trafficking is a big problem in Utah, so…“I want to be able to pull down a cartel kingpin or somebody and put them on death row if women or girls are dying in their trafficking rings,” he [bloviated]…The proposal is only the latest effort by Ray to institute hardline death-penalty plans…

Property of the State 

Authoritarians’ latest dodge for getting around civil rights: encouraging profiteers to file civil suits instead:

…Arkansas Act 45…bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy.  Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony.  The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks.  With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s [sire] to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say.  The law could go into effect as early as spring…

Business As Usual deblasio-wife

Prohibitionists just can’t understand why sex workers refuse to believe that clients and imaginary “pimps” inflict the most violence on us, and that the police are our “rescuers” from it:

…[politician’s wife] Chirlane McCray urged [sex workers]…in New York City to trust the police to investigate, prosecute, and punish [our sources of income]…”We are already hearing that victims are afraid to come forward for fear of being deported,” McCray said. “If you are being forced to engage in any sex against your will, we want to help you…Please, do not be afraid”…[but in reality] prostitution-related charge[s] can land a non-citizen in a database accessible to federal immigration agents…NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill described [his own cluelessness by thinking sex workers want our clients persecuted]…But [in reality, as] Immigrant Defense Project attorney Genia Blaser said, “the city has investigated sex trafficking by arresting people…for…sex work”…between 2012 and 2015, the NYPD arrested 1,300 people…for allegedly “loitering for the purposes of prostitution”…631 people were arrested and charged with practicing massage without a license last year, up from just 31 in 2012…91 percent of the 2016 cases are against non-citizens…

Safe Targets (#452)

A profile of Tara Burns, with emphasis on her activism in Alaska:

…“people in the media were saying that they were using [a 2012 Alaska] law to ‘save’ the poor trafficking victims” Burns tells me.  But…“the law was only being used against us and not…to protect us…I was familiar with all of these different issues – police having sex with people and then arresting them, and people being turned away when they were trying to report crimes,” she tells me.  After studying for a Master’s Degree in Social Justice at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and conducting her thesis, Burns resolved to fight for change – using her research to find out the percentages of people who had experienced this.  “I brought that research to the Alaska legislature to tell them how their law was working and when I got down there I found out that I had to register as a representational lobbyist – so I was the first person in the history of Alaska’s legislature to be a representational lobbyist representing sex workers”, she explains.  Now, Tara is a founding board member of the organisation Community United for Safety and Protection, which works for safety and protection in Alaska’s sex industry…

Checklist (#514) 

More absurd “air hostesses vs pimps” nonsense:

…former flight attendant Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, is trying to [indoctrinate] airline staff across the nation…[in] human trafficking [propaganda, using fake stats such as the fabricated claim that] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year…[and promoting myths about] the Super Bowl…[prohibitionists like Rivard fantasize that] sex work and human trafficking often go hand-in-hand…Airline Ambassador Sandra Fiorini, 69, testified before Congress in 2010 about [her BDSM sexual fantasies about]…girls…flying from Moscow to the United States…

Vendetta (#523) 

A female “contributor” to GQ is paid to fellate Peter Qualliotine, the deeply misogynistic prohibitionist who runs Seattle’s “john school”, where he attempts to indoctrinate normal men in the dogma that their sex drives are pathological because women are too stupid to make sexual decisions for ourselves:

…Peter Qualliotine [is] a co-founder of the Seattle-based Organization for Prostitution Survivors [and a prohibitionist for many years]…In plenty of cities and counties around the country, men busted for buying sex get sent to a class known as “john school”—usually just a scared-straight afternoon with [propaganda] about STDs and jail time and the harms of prostitution…Peter had taught those classes and didn’t think much of their effectiveness.  He had something [more grandiose] in mind…In class, throughout those first weeks, a number of the men showed with their body language that they [understood] the whole exercise was bullshit, a waste of their time.  Several…made it clear that they [understood] it was nonsense that prostitution was a crime at all…

Naturally, Brooke Jarvis consulted no actual sex workers for the article, despite there being plenty of very public members of our community right here in Seattle.

A Woman’s Point of View 

As with cannabis legalization, if enough of these are thrown at the wall one of them may eventually stick:

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution…after House Speaker Joseph Souki introduced a bill…Transgender activist Tracy Ryan says she’s pushing the bill because transgender women in the sex trade are disproportionately impacted by criminalization laws… Souki says he takes no position on the bill, but he introduced it as a favor to Ryan.  House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says this and a bill to decriminalize marijuana may be part of a push to reduce the prison population.

Gorged With Meaning (#639)

It’s so nice to see sex work treated as the normal thing it is:

…Portland State University’s (PSU) Women’s Resource Center… “supports the right of all students to seek and access safety in all aspects of life, including in the workplace.  For students working in the sex industry, this can be a unique and isolating challenge.”  Adrienne Graf is Portland State University’s Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Program Coordinator…and…created Portland State University’s Student Sex Worker Outreach Project…Graf’s been personally connected to sex workers since she was 18- or 19-years-old, when she first was starting her career in social work…“When I went into getting my Masters in Social Work, I was really intrigued and also disturbed by how social workers did and did not interact with the sex industry, and I became increasingly more involved in sex worker activism as a result”…

Pimps Ahoy wannabe-pimp-chef

I predict we’re going to see a lot more rescue industry dudes pretending to have been reluctant pimps:

[Self-proclaimed] pimp turned do-gooder Kaushic Biswas…is now teaching the sort of women he once exploited how to cook their way out of sex trafficking… in the 1990s…Biswas earned big money as a pimp, managing and selling women for sex after they had been trafficked into prostitution.  “Every night I broke down and cried…because I was part of the exploitation,” Biswas [fantasized]… “Sometimes they forced me to watch”…Biswas bought a plane ticket to Thailand to escape Mumbai, working once more as a chef, first in a 5-star hotel in Thailand, next under his mentor in Hong Kong…he found solace in a church and joined fellow believers…

Cooties (#703)

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves:

More than 30 “pop up” brothels each week are being opened in Swindon, with foreign prostitutes renting properties for a few days before moving on.  Wiltshire Police said that every week, as many as 40 sex-workers, most of whom are eastern European, were advertising their services in the town.  It is the latest in a spate of reports across the country of temporary brothels, where rooms are rented for just a few days before women are swiftly moved on to evade detection…[cops fantasize] many of the brothels [are]…linked to organised crime gangs which traffic women from Poland and Romania…

The War Goes On (#707) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to the misogynistic sociopaths in “law enforcement”:

…The shuffling on Backpage is being watched closely in Miami-Dade, where prosecutors have been aggressive about going after pimps and traffickers, while [locking up women by pretending they’ve]…been coerced into selling their bodies…State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle dismissed Backpage’s widely publicized closing of its adult section closing as nothing more than a “shell game…They’ve all moved to the dating section…The same victims are being found there”…[this attitude among] law enforcement hasn’t gone over well with…some advocates for victims of [coercion]…“It’s a symbolic crusade,” said Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, a criminology professor at Georgetown University…“They’re trying to get some accolades and look like the heroes”…

Stupor Bowl (#709)

Barely a peep out of these fanatics this year, and even then only at the last minute:

Sex trafficking tends to increase during the Super Bowl and this year is no exception, according to…Nita Belles…of…In Our Backyard…The Houston Police Department [claims to be]…busy with multiple…sex trafficking [cases]…Belle said…”If somebody’s coming here for the Super Bowl [and has sadfeelz about sex work they should rat people out to the cops]”…

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So what if…women…are doing this…of their own free will? – Rachel Moran

The Immunity Syndrome pornhub-sexual-wellness-center

Porn isn’t sex education, but Pornhub supports it:

Porn is often blamed for miseducating people about sex…[and] members of the adult industry often counter that porn is simply entertainment and shouldn’t be expected to teach the public about the birds and the bees — but now Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular tube sites, has decided to get in the game of sex education.  On Wednesday, the site launched its new Sexual Wellness Center, an online sex-ed hub run by Dr. Laurie Betito…It has information about everything from the female reproductive system to sexually transmitted infections to testicular cancer. Betito will answer reader questions about love and romance…“[W]e wanted to provide our fans with a trusted educational platform they can utilize as their go-to resource for information and advice when it comes to sex,” said Corey Price, Pornhub’s vice president…

Shift in the Wind

While the prohibitionists continue to scream their filthy fantasies at the top of their lungs, thoughtful people are quietly coming to realize how truly awful anti-sex laws actually are:

To better control their working conditions, sex workers need the removal of punitive sex work laws, rights to security, and to be regarded as authorities in what does and does not improve their lives…Even though sex work was legalized in Hungary in 1999, sex workers continue to face mistreatment by police and other authorities…sex workers are routinely and arbitrarily fined, arrested, and detained under vague laws.  Sex workers are also regularly targeted for administrative fines on unsubstantiated grounds, such as littering or violating pedestrian or traffic regulations, in order to meet police quotas…As a result of regulations that are impossible to comply with for the majority of sex workers…a significant proportion of sex work continues to takes place illegally, even though sex work is officially legal…In a 2011 survey…more than 10 percent of the 246 respondents had been [raped] by…police…and 43.4 percent…had experienced verbal or physical assault by authorities…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

Marcel RaAnthony Richard…is charged with human trafficking and compelling prostitution.  If convicted, he faces up to life in prison…The teen, who is not being named because she is the victim of an alleged sex crime, has a history of using suggestive screen names and chatting online about sex with older men…The teen’s testimony…was peppered with “I do not recall” and “I do not know.”  She was often unclear about dates, times and events…She testified Richard had posted classified ads on Backpages.com [sic].  The ads…included…photos of a woman that was clearly not the teen…she [also] testified that she was high when she first talked with police and…[some things she said then weren’t] true…police were unable to find any specific locations [she described] nor could they locate any of the other people that the teen said she came in contact with [while supposedly being pimped by Richard]…

Checklist

Huge sums of money given to cops to inflict violence on adults for consensual sex is, alas, not news these days.  But the NYPD is being given a new list of “sex trafficking signs” that describe a very large segment of the population:

New York City…[is creating] a dedicated hotline that will allow [people to rat sex workers out to the cops]…the Vice Unit has been restructured, including the addition of 25 more detectives who will [actively hunt sex workers full-time and]…placing a greater emphasis on pimps and johns…Some of the warning signs people may exhibit are:

  • Signs of physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Lack of memory of recent events
  • Limited freedom of movement
  • Being unpaid or paid very little
  • Having limited access to medical care
  • Seeming to be in debt to someone
  • Working excessively long or unusual hours
  • Having high security measures in the work and/or living locations
  • Showing signs of fear, anxiety, depression, tension, or paranoia
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Having a strong fear of authorities
  • Appearing malnourished or showing signs of repeated chemical exposure
  • Having numerous inconsistencies in his/her story…

Most of the US population is “in debt to someone”, and most women, minorities & young people will show signs of “strong fear” of pigs who are harassing & questioning them about personal matters, including so-called “inconsistencies” due to the disorienting tactics cops intentionally use during interrogation.

Real People (#422) 

A profile of the woman who set up a home for retired sex workers in Mexico City:

After years of working the streets of Mexico City, Carmen Munoz wondered what happened to sex workers like her when they got old – so…for the next 13 years she lobbied the city authorities to provide a retirement home for elderly and homeless sex workers.  With the support of several well-known artists, neighbours from the Merced and fellow sex workers, she finally persuaded them.  The city gave them a large 18th Century building, just a few blocks from Plaza Loreto…It took a lot of work to clean up the building, a former boxing museum, but in 2006 the first women moved in.  They named the shelter Casa Xochiquetzal, after the Aztec goddess of women’s beauty and sexual power…

To Molest and Rape 

Stop faking!

A federal lawsuit brought by a Cincinnati woman against several guards and medical staff from the Warren County Jail [states that she]…was held at the jail in May 2013, after turning herself in on a four-year-old warrant for deception to obtain drugs…the jail’s nurses refused to give the woman her prescribed medicine for her epilepsy, causing her to experience seizures and withdrawal, leaving her debilitated in her jail cell…her jailers [then] Tased her, [stripped] her…turned off her running water and forced her to drink out of the toilet…[they then] held…[her] facedown…[and] at least two [pigs]…climbed on her and raped her…and…orthopedic surgeon said bone shattered on her shoulder was caused by blunt-force trauma consistent with sexual assault and would later have to be surgically treated…six days into her sentence, the woman was sent to the hospital by her tormentors, where doctors found sperm in her urine…one of the defendant nurses, Krys Lambert…said that the inmate was “playing” them, and even refused to give her medications after the jail doctor prescribed them…the guards covered the windows with black garbage bags to conceal the assault…

The Public Eye (#639) jacqthestripper-not-like-other-guys

Sex workers reaching out to the public via art:

Sex workers…are celebrated in We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work, a stellar exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center [in San Francisco], on view through Feb. 25…Comprising pieces created by artists who, in one fashion or another, identify as sex workers, We’re Still Working presents an array of experiences in an industry condemned by the majority of Americans as immoral and threatening to public health and safety.  To counter assumptions and harmful stereotypes about who sex workers are personally and professionally, co-curators Maxine Holloway and Javier Luis Hurtado selected the work of artists who deploy a heady mix of humor, anger and sarcasm in their respective practices, all in defiance of society’s judgement…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#662)

San Diego ramps up its anti-whore pogroms:

More than 400 people were arrested in a three-day statewide sweep aimed at [harassing & impoverishing sex workers]…”Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” also resulted in the [arrest] of 28 [underage sex workers] and 27 women…142 male suspects were arrested on suspicion of solicitation, 238 suspects on suspicion of prostitution and 36 male suspects on suspicion of pimping…”This operation sends a clear message to those who would pay for sex in San Diego County,” [vomited out] Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan…

Finding What Isn’t There (#672)

Are people really so stupid they can’t understand that calls to a hotline represent only the prevalence of beliefs, suspicions and paranoia, not actual crimes?

Reports of domestic human trafficking continued to increase in 2016…according to…the Polaris Project…Almost three-quarters of the calls were made in regards to [fantasized] sex trafficking [despite the fact that it’s only a small fraction of] labor trafficking…

The Mote and the Beam (#701)

More on the useful idiots who are trying to destroy the internet:

Lawsuits in New York and California are attacking an important tool protecting online free speech by alleging the interactive computer services…promote terrorism…Without Section 230 protections, innovators would not create online public forums for fear they would be held liable for terrorist attacks or every comment made on their websites…courts have repeatedly dismissed the actions citing Section 230, and rejecting allegations that social media companies provide material support.  At least one of the cases filed against Twitter has been dismissed twice.  The others are similarly unlikely to succeed…

The War Goes On 

We’re seeing more editorials critical of the War on Whores:

Whenever a liberal feminist politician talks to a socially conservative politician, no doubt they’re conspiring to harass sex work.  This truism revealed itself again as Sen. Dianne Feinstein…told…Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing that “human sex trafficking was the second largest criminal activity in the United States.”  Human trafficking costs are estimated at $9 billion a year…Since the drug trade is worth $100 billion, and Medicare fraud is estimated at $60 billion, Feinstein’s estimate was not in the same league, never mind ballpark.  She also repeated the debunked untruth that the “average age” of trafficking victims was 12-14 years.  How many six-year-olds do you see strutting on Fourth Street?  A Department of Justice study released in June 2016 concluded there could be as few as 4,500 underage youth in the sex trade, and only 15 percent had pimps.  Feinstein’s fake statistics fuel the growth of sex trafficking laws that punish actual adult working women and their clients to satisfy politicians’ lust for power…

An Example To the West (#708)

As glad as I am to see this story getting wider press, the use of minimizers like “some” or “not all” to mean “the vast majority” really grates on my nerves, as does the ignorant assertion that sex work is illegal in most countries (totally false, though most do have laws which allow cops to persecute us).  Bonus:  white women like Rachel Moran and Ashley Judd coming to India to negate the voices of tens of thousands of women as “a tiny minority”.  Note Judd’s incompetent parroting of Gloria Steinem’s moronic comments about “body invasion”, which makes it sound as though she shares arch-lunatic Sheila Jeffreys’ belief that intercourse is “unnatural”.

That Old Black Magic (#708)

It’s good to see at least a few judges recognizing these fantasies as such:

A mother accused of trafficking a Nigerian woman into the country and forcing her into prostitution has been acquitted after several inconsistencies emerged in the alleged victim’s evidence.  The complainant had previously told a jury she underwent a “voodoo process” in her home country during which she swore she would not report the alleged trafficker, Joy Imasogie…the alleged victim told the jury that she had stopped working as a prostitute in 2008…However…evidence…showed that the woman continued to work as a prostitute after this date…The woman told [bureaucrats] she was still working as a prostitute and that she advertised her services on the internet.  She also said she didn’t want help to leave that way of life.  The judge also noted that the alleged victim was found in the same house as the accused’s husband and €14,000 in cash on a date after she said she fell out with Ms Imasogie…

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The only thing [cops]…do is…sweep everyone up in antiprostitution policing, and then somehow assert that this is being done in the name of combating human trafficking.  –  Kate Mogulescu

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

How long can this scam go on?

A married doctor who romped with an escort in hospital can treat patients again – after claiming cycling has helped him quit his sex addiction.  Father-of-two Dr Rupert Pemsel…had sex with the prostitute…But when she blackmailed him for £10,000 he came clean to the General Medical Council (GMC) and last March was suspended for “deplorable and morally reprehensible” misconduct.  Now he has been given the green light by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to retrain as a family GP after claiming he has turned his life around…

ozzy-gives-the-birdThe UK media has a bizarre fondness for kindergarten words like “romp” and for obsessing about whether someone in a news story has spawned or not.  But the idea that doctors fucking whores is even remotely out of the ordinary is hilarious; when I was working in New Orleans, probably 20% of my income came from MDs.  Still, the main story here is the way privileged men use “sex addiction” as an excuse when they get caught, a fact not lost on the Ozzman:

Ozzy Osbourne has backtracked on claims he was suffering from sex addiction, which he made in the aftermath of an affair last year…“I’m in a fucking rock band, aren’t I?…There have always been groupies.  I just got caught, didn’t I?…I don’t think I’m a fucking sex addict”…

You’re absolutely right, Ozzy, because there is no such fucking thing as a sex addict.  As my friend Brooke Magnanti once put it, he might as well have claimed he was Father Christmas.

Monsters 

Australian police practice “NHI” as well:

…During the 1980s and 1990s, the Australian authorities now say, gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off the cliffs to their deaths.  But the police, many of whom had a reputation for hostility toward gay men, often carried out perfunctory investigations that overlooked the possibility of homicide…Now the police in New South Wales…are reviewing the deaths of 88 men between 1976 and 2000 to determine whether they should be classified as anti-gay hate crimes…

Imagine the Sky

Here’s an interesting article on regulated brothels in 19th-century St. Petersburg.  As in France and Italy, sex workers were confined to specific brothels in an attempt to control them, and as in the US the writer clings doggedly to the myth that laws and cops were in place to “help” us, and just can’t imagine why so many women refused to submit to this “protection”.

Stupor Bowl

Have you noticed we’ve heard almost nothing about “Super Bowl sex trafficking” this year?  Even Sports Illustrated, not exactly known for hard-hitting investigatie journalism, is calling it a debunked myth and quoting those who oppose it (though, alas, no sex workers):

…The Global Alliance Against Traffic In Women makes the case that by focusing on the sex trade, authorities are taking resources that could be used to investigate [actual crimes]…there are signs that the Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Myth might be splintering.  Minal Davis, the special adviser to the [Houston] mayor on human trafficking, believes that the “sensationalistic” approach at previous Super Bowls “hurts the messaging” and minimizes the severity…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised the “forced sex trafficking abortions” trope didn’t catch on:

Any woman seeking an abortion in South Dakota would have to be given the name and telephone number of an [anti-sex worker] organization…under a measure introduced…[by] Dan Kaiser…[who pretends] the idea is…an educational measure that might help get women out of dangerous and violent situations…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#563)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

A new app…aims to make it easier and safer for sex workers to meet their clients…While sex work is legal in some Australian states, there are a number of risks for both parties.  Rendevu hopes to solve that problem.  Developer Reuben Coppa said sex workers could list themselves on the application list, show when they were working, what type of appointments they were taking and their price points…Both clients and escorts can write and read reviews about their experience.  The app also tracks location and requires credit card details…[to] guarantee the amount of the booking…So far, traffic on the app has been high but the number of bookings has been fewer than expected — there have been about 100 since the launch…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

…in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area…girls are recruited at school by young males and taken to local motels or condominiums, where they engage in sex work.  Most continue to live at home…[prohibitionist] Katarina MacLeod [parrots,] “You have these guys making regular girls feel special, buying them things and taking them shopping…[The men] know exactly how to build dependence…Girls as young as 13 are getting recruited in”…

The More the Better (#667) 

The law is an ass, and so is this judge:

Claims that First Lady Melania Trump worked as a high-end…escort before she married businessman, billionaire and now President Donald Trump will be argued over in a Maryland court…[after] a Montgomery County judge ruled that Melania Trump’s $150 million defamation lawsuit against a Clarksburg blogger will continue to trial, saying the blog posts implied she acted as a prostitute…”The court believes most people, when they hear the words ‘high-end escort’ that describes a prostitute.  There could be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute”…

Fuck you. Judge Sharon Burrell; there are far worse things a woman can be than a prostitute, such as a hypocritical and prudish politician.

The Crumbling Dam (#668)

Alas, Seattle “officials” think harm reduction principles only apply to drug use:

Officials in Seattle…approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year.  The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe.  Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y.  While [prohibitionists] say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment…

The War Goes On 

Here’s a constantly-updated spreadsheet of sex worker advertising sites; I can’t speak for its contents, but the more resources for sex workers impacted by the censorship of Backpage, the better.

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The bedroom or the dungeon is a place where, with consenting partners, we are allowed to act out power games, even childish ones.
–  Mistress Matisse

Do As I Say, Not As I Do rapey-cop-tyler-valimont

Even cops who pay whores may use threats to obtain compliance:

[Pennsylvania cop] Tyler Valimont…faces five misdemeanor charges…[for meeting a sex worker]…Valimont threatened to arrest her if she didn’t respond to his calls and text messages…during their encounter on November 7, she recognized Valimont as a past customer who paid her…in September…

King of the Hill

Small cities not ambitious enough to claim one of the top spots in the “trafficking hotspot” pissing contest still make ridiculous claims about numbers, “circuits”, highways and the inability of women to drive or make hotel reservations:

Omaha is known as a hot spot for human trafficking.  It is located on the same routes drug dealers have been using for years.  “The traffickers are on a circuit and traveling down I-80 and that’s evidenced by the ads posted in Denver one day, Omaha the next day, then Chicago and to New York City, Washington, D.C. and then on to Philadelphia,” said Anna Brewer…a former FBI agent…”The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative has identified over 2,200 human beings for sale in Omaha”…

Against Their Will (#315)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A 31-year-old Vietnamese woman fell to her death when she was believed to have slipped while trying to leap from one building to the next in a bid to escape from [Malaysian vice cops]…The raiding team…[still had the nerve to refer to three women they] successfully [arrested as] rescued…

Sex Rays

Don’t they know sex ray contamination can last for decades?

For several years there has been a succession of stories suggesting that the imposing Armory building in [San Francisco] was slowly being relinquished by its owner, BDSM porn concern Kink.com…CEO Peter Acworth…says that all film shoots at the Armory will be ending next month as the company diversifies its interests a bit, and moves to reuse the 200,000-square-foot building for other, revenue-generating ends…the business can no longer support the huge facility they purchased a decade ago…because…Kink.com’s subscriber base has shrunk by 40 percent in this age of plentiful free porn…Acworth now says he’s looking to convert the top two floors to leasable office space…but [potential tenants]…have been turned off after seeing the remnants of Kink’s oeuvre around the building…and have backed out…

Broken Record (All Traffick, All the Time)

Poor Tucson; its only big event to claim as a “sex trafficking magnet” is jaw-droppingly absurd:

…the Tucson Police Department and [sex trafficking fetishists]…are coming together to go over their plan to tackle the underground crime before the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins…[they fantasize] sex traffickers cater to the high demand that comes with the event…[bureaucrat Sheila] Pessinguia…[says] “They don’t self-identify and even when we have a real good feeling that they are trafficked they still don’t admit it”…

Because the feelings of pigs & politicians trump reality.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#440) 

These establishments wouldn’t have to “hide” if sex work were decriminalized in Victoria:

Hundreds of illegal brothels, many of which offer unsafe sexual practices and put women’s safety at risk, are operating across Melbourne…police admit the sheer size of the industry makes it difficult to investigate…the majority of illegal brothels operated under the guise of massage shops, with others in homes, beauty salons and karaoke bars…

Original Sin (#449)

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A delegation from the U.S. state of Louisiana was among the special guests meeting with Pope Francis during his general audience on [January 18th].  Led by Governor John Bel Edwards, the delegation asked the Pope to bless the pioneering work that is going on in Louisiana to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims who’ve been trapped in this modern day slavery.  That work includes [lots more money to promote police violence]…

Moving Pictures tricked-fakeumentary-poster

It’s good to see them feeding on each other:

A child sex-trafficking victim who was forced into prostitution by her mother and later identified by a Denver police officer in a [fake]umentary about the sex trade is suing the filmmaker and Netflix for distributing it, according to a federal lawsuit.  Using the pseudonym Jane Roe, the woman said Denver Police Sgt. Daniel Steele identified her by her first name in the 2013 film Tricked and showed a photograph of her during an interview…The film also used her full name in its list of credits…

Paint By Numbers (#620)

The “anti-trafficking hair color” idiots are still at it:

A splash of color in your hair can start a conversation – and with the topic of sex trafficking, that can [magically] make a real difference.  That’s the hope of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, teaming up with a local barber shop for sex trafficking awareness month…

To Molest and Rape

Note how the reporter tries to downplay the cop’s implied threats against the girl:

A Chicago [cop] accused of [pressuring]…an underage girl [for sex] has been charged with felony criminal sexual assault…Eugene Ciardullo…began communicating with the victim and her friends via social media when she was 16…

Worse Than I Thought (#644)

“Sex trafficking” laws keep getting broader and scarier:

Attempting to pay for sex could become a felony offense in Connecticut…Liz Linehan introduced a bill that would take the crime of “patronizing a prostitute” from a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one year in prison, to a Class C felony, which comes with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and a possible 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.  Linehan’s measure would also require anyone convicted of the offense more than once to register as a sex offender…Connecticut is currently in the midst of rolling out another prostitution-related measure…[requiring] all hotel and motel employees…to undergo training on how to spot…”activities related to human trafficking.”  But like so many “human trafficking awareness” shams, the hotel-employee training really only encourages people to report any and all suspected prostitution…

Elephant in the Parlor (#706)  

My friend Mistress Matisse weighs in on the Trump golden shower report:

“When I first saw the document, I was on the fence about it…But then I saw the press conference where Trump denied the story by saying ‘I’m a germaphobe.’  When I saw that, I thought ‘Oh yeah, then you definitely did it.’ Because that’s an irrational fear.  And nothing makes already-taboo things sexier than a tinge of trepidation”…

The War Goes On (#706) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to misogynistic sociopaths like Dart:

The ads for prostitutes and escorts that previously appeared in Backpage’s adult section have simply been redirected to the site’s “dating” section, which has gone from being a platform for finding companionship online to a forum rife with solicitations for sex.  “There’s been this big to-do with Backpage saying they’ve taken down this site,” said Dart, noting he was immediately skeptical of the company’s statements and motives…”they’ve taken down their escorts section but have basically moved all their ads over to another section of the website…We went out and arrested a person off the site…We answered one of their ads and it was no different”…

Yes, he’s actually saying Backpage moved the ads because he can’t comprehend women being intelligent enough to work around the stupid proclamations of he and his fellow control freaks.  Note also that he let his “whores are victims” mask slip by admitting he arrested (not “rescued”) a sex worker.

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If all the little black books in the world were opened, far more than golden showers would trickle out.  –  Brooke Magnanti

License to Rape

Another excuse to justify rape:

…Inmate visit procedures for Rikers Island state visitors are subject to search at any time.  Before anyone is allowed to visit an inmate, he or she must pass through a metal detector and have items such as handbags pass through a fluoroscope machine. If the metal detector sounds an alarm, prospective visitors might face a “pat frisk” search…Jasmine Quattlebaum…was led to a private area by a female [screw] who asked her during the pat frisk to unbutton her pants…“Once I put my hands back up, she pulled my panties out, takes her two fingers, and just jams it in between my crotch…I slapped her hand away a little bit”…When she objected…the [screw] “tried to pull both of my hands together with one hand, and she tried to still put her fingers into my crotch”…her experience is one many female Rikers visitors experience, according to information from 311 complaint calls obtained by The Intercept…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

After arresting one of their own, pigs oink a lot of nonsense about how the families they damage in stings were magically damaged before (but presumably didn’t know it):

Dunwoody [Georgia] Police say a months-long [violation of peaceful citizens’ private lives] has netted nearly 60 arrests…Police Chief Billy Grogan [bloviated that sex work]…“damages families” [yet somehow arresting fathers doesn’t]…DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said the arrests should send a strong message…“Both supply and demand must be eradicated if we are to stop…consensual sex”…Among the accused customers arrested is Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Chris Quinn…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

My friend Cris Sardina of Desiree Alliance on the ridiculous “statistics” spouted by prohibitionists:

…If you look at any leading anti-trafficking organizational rhetoric…hundreds of thousands of sexually exploited people…are held captive by hundreds of thousands of pimps…[Norma Jean] Almodovar satirically makes a valid point in questioning Polaris’ statement as to why neighbors wouldn’t take notice of the lines of men waiting outside to be sexually serviced in the approximate 15 minutes they would have from the door to the sexual act itself?  In truth, these much cited numbers would entail victims to service 25 to 48 men daily during a 12 hour shift, with no time to take care of daily functions such as using the bathroom, eating, sleeping, or texting the Polaris BeFree Textline…andrew-sustaita

Scapegoats 

Presented without comment:

A [Houston, Texas] sheriff’s deputy is out of a job after a [not remotely] shocking allegation…[involving] production of obscene material that includes sexual contact with a dog…Andrew Sustaita Jr…was relieved of duty after his arrest…

End Demand

On what planet is “end demand” anti-client bullshit “disregarded” in “sex trafficking” propaganda?

[New Hampshire’s] Trafficking in Persons Council announced its new “End Demand” campaign…“Conversations about sex trafficking almost exclusively disregard the role of the individual buying sex — the ‘john,’” TIPC Chairwoman Jillian Gilchrest said [moronically]…

Sold Out

Pride Toronto has voted to ban police from having any official presence at future parades, making good on a demand made by Black Lives Matter Toronto last year…

Size Matters (#566)

If Rainbow is “notorious”, I’d hate to see what adjective they use for me:

Seattle-area madam Rainbow Love has again avoided prison time for operating a string of Seattle-area “temples”…Love, 51, pleaded guilty to pimping- and drug-related crimes…[and] was sentenced…to inpatient drug treatment, rather than jail…

Choke Point (#593) 

Think you’re safe being a sexual minority just because money isn’t involved?

Recent censorship enacted at FetLife is the result of financial discrimination by multiple credit card processors who have ceased business with FetLife for what the processors claim are “Illegal or Immoral” reasons.  It began for users one week ago when FetLife announced changes to content guidelines, stating “We can no longer allow FetLifers to publicly share sexual pics and vids containing blood visible in them.”  Then without warning, Fetlife deleted hundreds of groups and literally thousands of fetish categories that represented a range of kinky communities (like ones with hypnosis, blood, and humiliation in the name).  This was in response to to significant pressure from FetLife’s credit card processor…

A Woman’s Point of View kate-murray

Given all the “sex trafficking” rhetoric and agency denial, I smell a whiff of Swedish rot here rather than actual decriminalization:

Four female [New Hampshire] representatives have sponsored a bill that proposes establishing a committee to study decriminalizing…sex work…[yet] one of the bill’s sponsors…Kate Murray…said…”I have no interest in legalizing prostitution…this is about…human trafficking with the goal of protecting the victim”…the committee would study reports about sex work and human trafficking by Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Foundation and Anti-Slavery International…and…would also study prostitution laws in Germany, Great Britain and New Zealand where it is legal…

To Molest and Rape

Your regular reminder that rapist cops aren’t solely an American aberration:

a garda detective has been suspended after a woman accused him of demanding sexual favours…this…is the third garda from the same district to be suspended, transferred or disciplined over separate sexual assault cases…the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC)…shows 70 allegations of sexual offences were made between 2010 and 2015. However, so far, only one of these cases has resulted in the DPP directing there be a criminal prosecution…

Permanent Record

The prohibitionist Seattle Times once again prints a story containing the typical libel against sex workers without consulting any sex workers for the story, despite the fact that this particular reporter knows several of us and has our phone numbers:

[New and awful Washington state] legislation would extend the statute of limitations from three to 10 years for the crimes of human trafficking, commercial sex abuse of a minor and promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor.  “For victims of human trafficking, the very nature of that relationship is that they’re under the control of their trafficker,” [attorney general] Ferguson [fantasized while touching himself]…Many victims are reluctant to go to police and are so traumatized by their exploitation that by the time they come forward, “three years has gone by and there’s no justice for that victim”…Embedded in the bill to extend the statute of limitations is a request to alter the legal definition of commercial sex…[to] change “fee” to “anything of value,” which could mean drugs, food or even a bed for the night…

The War Goes On 

Lawheaded idiots are amazed that their persecution of Backpage didn’t magically make sex work go away:

Backpage.com…shut down its erotic services section where most prostitution ads were posted.  But in New Orleans, people posting ads for prostitution have found an easy workaround:  Just post them in the section reserved for people looking for dates.  At least 60 ads had been posted in the “Women seeking men” section of the website…Jan. 17…Some of those ads contained emojis that [fetishists fantasize]…the prostitute may be underage…the volume of ads began rising significantly on Jan. 10, the day after Backpage announced it was shuttering its adult services section…

Elephant in the Parlor (#705)  

My friend Brooke Magnanti on politicians & whores, including a quote from me:

The rich are jaded souls.  Kinks that we otherwise associate strictly with lifestyle BDSM seem to litter stories about wealthy men caught in compromising positions…For some sex workers, golden showers are bread-and-butter work.  Dominatrix friends admit to chugging diet cola by the litre in preparation for such dates…Nearly every sex worker has at some time met someone powerful and famous.  Because it isn’t just about the kink, it’s about the discretion…Maggie McNeill, an escort in Seattle, remarks: “I personally could wreck the careers of a dozen politicians.  And there are roughly half a million [sex workers] in the US”…

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

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

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

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

Elephant in the Parlor goofy-trump

Politician pays whores for mildly-kinky show.  Yawn.

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

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

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

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

Standard Operating Procedure

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

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

Dysphemisms Galore 

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

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

Traffic Circle

“Sex trafficking” debunking comes to the LA Times:

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

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

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

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

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

Cheesy Scheme

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

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

Crying for Nanny (#659)

Unfortunately, this doesn’t really help Backpage now:

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

The Last Shall Be First (#675)

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

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

Shift in the Wind (#692)

Medical ethicists are now solidly behind decriminalization:

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

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

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

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

The War Goes On 

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

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