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Posts Tagged ‘The War on Whores’

Diary #455

Today I’m heading for Vancouver BC for the Canadian premiere of The War on Whores, which will be tomorrow night at 7:30, at 151 W Cordova St. (tickets are $15 at the door and you can reserve seats by email); if you’d like a special visit with me before I leave town Thursday afternoon, let me know ASAP.  My next screening will be in San Francisco on Tuesday, April 9th; I will let you know the details as I receive them, possibly as early as next week.  After that, I’ll be at Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN on April 29th; at 4 PM in the Ostrander Auditorium in the Centennial Student Union; that event is free to students & faculty.  I’m also trying to set one up in Chicago a few days later, and we’ve got possible future screenings in the works for Washington, DC, Austin, TX, Providence, RI, and Orlando, FL.  So I took advantage of one of the few slow weeks I’ll have for a while to take Lorelei to a special Doctor Who episode screening (of “Logopolis”) last Wednesday, then went for a short visit to Sunset over the weekend.  Because I really have learned that this poor mortal body and brain really do need at least a little downtime.

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No sooner was SASS over than my travel schedule began to populate!  As of right now, the next two public screenings of The War on Whores that I know of are 7:30 PM March 20th at 151 W Cordova St in Vancouver, BC; and 4 PM April 29th at the Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University, Mankato MN.  For the Vancouver show, tickets are $15 at the door and you can reserve seats by email.  I don’t know the details for Minnesota State yet.  Immediately after that appearance I’ll be speaking at the Libertarian Party of Illinois convention on May 4th; while in Chicago I’d like to do a screening, so if you can help with that please let me know.  We’ve also got irons in the fire for Washington, DC; New York City; Providence, RI; Orlando, FL; St. Louis, MO; and some other places, and if you’d like to see a screening in your city please let me know so we can get working on it.  Well, so Paul Johnson can get working on it, anyhow; he’s better than I am at that sort of thing.  In case you’re wondering what this picture has to do with all this, the answer is “nothing”; it’s just a picture Grace took of me with my late, beloved Friday in late June, 2012.  I was thinking about her last week, so I decided to share it.

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Diary #453

SASS weekend is always jam-packed, and this time was no exception.  My friend Angela Keaton flew in on Tuesday, then on Thursday we had a baby shower for my friend Winnie.  On Friday night I volunteered to staff the kissing booth at the Sexy Circus fundraising party, and if you look at this picture I took in my booth (too bad you can’t see the fishnet stockings), I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I did a brisk business all evening.  On Saturday my documentary, The War on Whores, premiered to an absolutely packed house, and their enthusiastic response let me know we had a winner; if you missed it, you can either watch it on Vimeo or get to Vancouver on the 20th!  We’re planning a number of other showings, so keep your eyes open.  Anyhow, I was pretty spent by Sunday night, which I spent quietly at home with Angela and a couple of other friends.  I’m going to need as many nights like that as I can get; it looks like I’ll have a busy travel schedule this year!

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If it really were as easy to get a sex slave as it is to order a pizza, then every cop, every FBI agent, every ICE agent, every law enforcement officer at every level needs to be fired immediately. –  Mike Siegel

To Molest and Rape (#729)

This is rape and armed robbery, not “sex trafficking”; see how the stats get padded?

A [typical and representative] Washington D.C. [cop] pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor…Chukwuemeka Ekwonna…faces up to 20 years in prison…and will be required to register as a sex offender…Ekwonna was charged in April 2017 with [raping] a 15-year-old girl in Glen Burnie and then robbing her at gunpoint…Ekwonna [offered] the girl…money…[so she submitted to the rape, but] as she tried to leave, Ekwonna pulled out a…gun and demanded his money back…Ekwonna also paid for sex with a 14-year-old girl numerous times…[getting her to agree by threatening her with his status]…as a [cop]…Ekwonna and his father…were [previously] accused in a federal lawsuit of beating an inmate…while the two were [screws] at a Washington D.C. jail…

Checklist (#859)

The rescue industry is trying to expand its surveillance net:

The New York City-based NoVo Foundation has announced a three-year, $10 million commitment in support of [anti-sex, anti-migration] programs in the United States…The new  program will focus on those who are disproportionately [involved in]…sex…[work] but are [not harrased by cops often enough for prohibitionists’ liking]…including…girls and women of color, immigrants, and trans women…With the goal of…closing “on-ramps” to [economic freedom]…the program will support [surveillance by]…teachers, social workers, bus drivers, [cops], emergency room doctors, and [ICE thugs]…

Safe Position (#865)

Coming from politicians, this is very big:

We must end the criminalization of sex work now…most people trade sex out of economic need: to pay bills, make rent, and put food on the table…LGBTQ, black and brown, immigrant and disabled communities engage in sex work at higher rates because they are locked out of jobs in the formal economy.  Criminalization encourages rampant abuses by law enforcementNine out of ten people arrested in sex-work-related massage parlor raids are immigrants, most of them undocumented Asians…People arrested for prostitution are then diverted to the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs), which conflate all sex work with sex trafficking and claim to treat sex workers as “victims” while essentially treating them as “criminals”.  ICE uses these courts to stalk and deport immigrant sex workers…we, along with Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, are working with Decrim NY to introduce a bill to rewrite the state’s penal code to decriminalize the sex trades in New York State…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#870) 

What this article omits is that until recently, cops were the primary vectors of this hysteria:

The “Momo challenge” is a recurring viral hoax that has been perpetuated by [irresponsible] news stations and s[tupi]d parents around the world.  This entire cycle of shock, terror, and outrage about Momo even took place before, less than a year ago:  Last summer, local news outlets across the country reported that the Momo challenge was spreading among teens via WhatsApp…The Momo challenge wasn’t real then, and it isn’t real now.  YouTube confirmed that, contrary to press reports, it hasn’t seen any evidence of videos showing or promoting the “Momo challenge” on its platform.  If the videos did exist, a spokesperson for YouTube said, they would be removed instantly for violating the platform’s policies.  Additionally, there have been zero corroborated reports of any child ever taking his or her own life after participating in this phony challenge…”A lot of this relies on people believing their local school or police force knows what they’re talking about when it comes to the internet.  Unfortunately most don’t have a clue and are sending letters to parents warning of non-existent issues like YouTube videos being ‘hacked’”…“Momo” itself is an innocuous sculpture created by the artist Keisuke Aisawa for the Japanese special-effects company Link Factory.  The real title of the artwork is Mother Bird, and it was on display at Tokyo’s horror-art Vanilla Gallery back in 2016.  After some Instagram photos of the exhibit were posted to the subreddit Creepy, it spread, and the “Momo challenge” urban legend was born…

O, Canada! (#885)

Canadian cops continue to try to sell their grotesque sex worker intimidation tactics as “helping” them:

Some of the work done by human trafficking detectives is proactive…about four or five times a month they set up “dates” where they book a time with a sex worker, but when she gets to the hotel room, she finds a cop who asks about her safety and gives her resources…[they] looks for keywords in listings — such as young, new to the area or no restrictions — as possible flags for human trafficking…

In other words, they waste a sex worker’s time (she may have turned down actual work because she thought this busybody thug was a real client) and travel expenses in order to browbeat and intimidate her; in incall situations their visit also sends the message “we know where you live”.  They specifically pick on inexperienced sex workers who may be easier to fool and frighten, and their so-called “resources” usually consist the phone number of the welfare office and some cheap, insulting garbage like flip-flops, toilet paper & religious tracts.

A Broker in Pillage (#896)

Perhaps Michigan will shut down its marauding cops before SCOTUS is forced to:

The Michigan Senate passed a civil asset forfeiture reform bill…that would require police to obtain a criminal conviction to seize assets valued under $50,000…police, particularly in Wayne County, Michigan, seized thousands of cars in 2017 under the auspices of marijuana enforcement…by…surveill[ing]…medical marijuana dispensaries…Wayne County’s asset forfeiture program is now the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a woman whose car was seized after Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies found $10 worth of [legal medical] marijuana in it…[cops are of course] pushing back against the reform efforts…

Top Cop

Another police-state advancing lie from Copmala Harris:  “Harris says she is open to seeing sex work decriminalized. For those who have criticized her support of SESTA…and FOSTA…her willingness to explore decriminalization may be welcome news—or not“…Let’s go with “not”.  What Harris actually supports is the Swedish model, whose supporters often try to sell as “decriminalization” of sex workers: “I was advocating…that we have to stop arresting these prostitutes and start going after the johns and the pimps…Backpage was providing advertisements for the sale of children…And so I called for them to be shut down.  And I have no regrets about that“…As regular readers know, it’s very easy for cops to charge sex workers with “pimping”, and even when they don’t the Swedish model is pure awful.

Legislators Gone Wild (#909) 

All prohibitionists have emotional problems, but Guinasso seems to be an unhinged obsessive:

A woman who [pretends] she was sex trafficked through a Nevada brothel filed a federal lawsuit…that seeks to overturn the state’s legalized prostitution…Rebekah Charleston, who was born in Texas, [claims] in the lawsuit that a man she initially considered her boyfriend trafficked her…[through] the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Northern Nevada [at a time she claims she is unable to remember, but sometime during the period when the brothel was featured in the reality show Cathouse.  Neither brothel records nor the sheriff’s office has any record of Charleston under that name or any of her aliases.  She is represented by prohibitionist]…attorney Jason Guinasso, who [has previously backed both legal initiatives and propaganda campaigns against]…Nevada’s legal brothels and [has also tried to get prostitutes’ personal information so he can out them]…

The War on Whores

From The Stranger:

Maggie McNeill…has been a sex worker, writer, and advocate for more than three decades, and her new documentary, The War on Whores, which was produced by Paul Johnson…[was] screened at the Rendezvous on March 2, during the Seattle Annual Sex Work Symposium (SASS).  In addition to covering the King County prosecutor’s shady dealings with an anti-sex-work group that paid the office more than $140,000 to arrest and prosecute a bunch of grown-ass men who were having consensual sex with adult sex workers, the film details just how politicians, law enforcement, and activists drummed up a panic against sex trafficking that…has expanded government powers from internet surveillance to asset forfeiture.  It’s a film that should be seen by everyone with an interest in civil liberties, but the people who really need this film are those who’ve never heard sex workers talk about their work and their lives for themselves…

Stupor Bowl (#914)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

For Miami-area officials preparing to host the 2020 Super Bowl, the high-profile bust of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft…served as a poignant [sic] reminder of the [prohibitionist fantasy that there are] connections between big sporting events and sex trafficking.  Sex traffickers often converge on big-ticket events like the Super Bowl…[Prohibitionists are trying to salvage this moribund myth by now claiming without any supporting evidence] that sporting events like the Super Bowl don’t increase trafficking per se…the events can increase concentration of trafficked sex workers in the host city in the days surrounding the event…

An Avalanche of Bullshit

This tissue of lies is unraveling in record time:

From the very beginning, people who write about sex work were skeptical of these claims.  We were skeptical because the cops took six months to rescue these women from supposed sexual slavery.  We were skeptical because these narratives are often spun around racial minorities doing sex work (particularly those of Asian descent).  We were skeptical because the prosecutors and police started to quickly distance themselves from the narrative.  We were skeptical because the rhetoric — particularly the eight men a day thing — sounded like the same old hysterical narrative that has been building over the last decade…every time the media hypes “sex trafficking ring broken”, the merest due diligence shows that no trafficking charges are brought; only prostitution charges…if it really were as easy to get a sex slave as it is to order a pizza, then every cop, every FBI agent, every ICE agent, every law enforcement officer at every level needs to be fired immediately.  It’s a scandal that only a quarter of the murders in Chicago are cleared.  But it’s not a scandal that only one in a thousand purported sex slaves are found?…

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I’m going to be spending a lot of time promoting The War on Whores and my other projects this year, and frankly, I’d like to get ahead on my budget so there’s less financial pressure on me while I’m doing all that.  So I’ve decided to rerun not one but two of my specials from last year at the same time!  For the rest of the winter (ie, until March 19th) you can take advantage of whichever of these specials strikes your fancy; as bargains, they’re pretty comparable.  I got really good response from my “Two Out of Three” special, so let’s remind y’all of that one first:

…I’ll give you an extra half-hour when you book an hour-long date and an extra hour when you book a two- or three-hour date.  And if you book four hours or more, I’ll only charge you my social rate instead of my full rate!  If you look at the math, you’re basically getting a date of any given length for about 2/3 as much as it would normally cost (up to a whole weekend, after which it starts to flatten out)…

The other option is a special on a rate I call my “Day Tripper“, which seems to have slipped beneath most people’s radar though it’s quite a good deal; you get 7-10 hours of mixed private and social time for only 2/3 of the cost of an overnight.  Yes, that fits neatly in with the “Two Out of Three”, but that’s the normal rate; for the special, you don’t get a price break but I’m willing to travel anywhere in the United States to do one.  If you live in Seattle or within three hours of travel from here, I’ll knock $200 off the price instead.  If you’d like to take advantage of ether of those, email me and we’ll discuss scheduling.  Of course, you could also set up a screening of my movie and get me to come to your city that way; one way or the other, I won’t complain.

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While the snow was on the ground (and the cars, and a lot of other things) it was remarkably quiet; for days I barely heard any traffic noise, and my neighborhood at least was blissfully spared the periodic nuisance of testosterone-addled cops blaring their sirens to run red lights in the middle of the night.  And strangely, my emails and other channels of communication were also fairly quiet.  But as soon as the snow started melting, everything started back at once, and I was inundated with correspondence and other stuff to do.  But one of those things was planning future showings of The War on Whores, so that’s good; we’re already looking at screenings in Orlando, FL, Minneapolis, MN, and Washington, DC, and would love to hear from you if you can help us show it in another city!  Finally, it shouldn’t be much longer before I release The Essential Maggie McNeill, now that someone else has taken over producing the cover.  See, I told you I was serious about letting others taking care of the stuff I’m not good at, so I can just concentrate on being Maggie McNeill.

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After more than three years of work, my documentary The War on Whores (produced and directed by Paul Johnson) is finally here!  The world premiere is less than two weeks away, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 2nd, at The Rendezvous in Seattle.  Then on March 20th, we’ll have a second showing in Vancouver; I’ll tweet details of that soon, but it wil include a panel discussion I think y’all may find interesting.  The video is already available as a download on Vimeo, and will soon be available on DVD from several different sources (I’ll provide links as they are given to me).  But what I really would like is the chance to do sponsored screenings all around the country (and even in other countries, if that can be arranged) in which I can do a short talk and Q&A period along with the documentary.  We’ve already got a few possibilities in the works, but if you represent a university, political group, corporation or any other entity which might be interested in sponsoring a screening for your members and/or the public, please get in touch with me via email so I can put you in contact with Paul, who will be handling all that sort of thing.  Naturally, I’ll be available for professional dates during the time in any given city, so you might consider that a bonus to helping set something up.  But most of all, I just want to hit as many venues as possible; I think the movie is great and I’m very proud of it, and we believe it’s going to open a lot of eyes to the reality of how politicians, other “authorities”, and wealthy busybodies have redirected the dying War on Drugs into a war on women, consensual sex, and migration intended to accomplish the same goals as its predecessors:  growing the police state, enriching fascist cronies, and putting as many people as possible – not to mention the entire internet – under direct government control.

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