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Posts Tagged ‘Torture Chamber’

How it is I can give sex away and nobody cares, but as soon as I capitalize on it, it’s a problem?  –  Betty Lynd

Surplus Women 

This is only being investigated because unsolved cases make cops look bad:

With the arrest of a 58-year-old man from Rotterdam the police believe they made their first breakthrough in a cold case investigation into the murders of 85 prostitutes in the 80’s and 90’s…the suspect can definitely be linked to two murders, and possibly to three others as well…The judiciary has evidence against the man for the murders of Berendina Stijger in 1990 and Maria Hofland in 1991.  There are also similarities between these two murders and the murders of Beppie Michels, Mientje Balkom and Jeanet Sip in 1989 and 1999 – four of the five victims’ throats were slit and there were “similar sexual acts”…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

When political activists like Daw Sander Min were imprisoned for their campaigns…they were locked up alongside sex workers criminalised by Myanmar’s harsh laws against prostitution.  Now Sandar Min is an MP and Thuzar Win addresses parliament on behalf of the Sex Workers in Myanmar network, and they’ve joined forces to improve the lives of Burmese people…the women…are adamant that Myanmar’s future wellbeing…depends upon the decriminalisation of prostitution…journalist Thin Lei Win is…finding out how Sandar Min and Thuzar Win are getting on in their bid to amend legislation which dates back 70 years…One young woman, mistaken for a sex worker and imprisoned for six months, says whoever changes the law will get her vote.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#139)

Turkey continues its campaign to close brothels despite their legality:

The registered brothel in Antep [may] be closed due to the reason that it “does not suit Antep”…[politicians] told [the owners of] the brothel that if they “don’t transfer their properties without making any trouble, they would [steal]…the brothel’s land in other ways”…Leyla works and stays at the registered brothel.  She has two children studying in another city.  “How are we going to pay our debts if this place is closed?…They don’t care about us…We are not captives nor slaves here.  We pay our taxes…What are they protecting us from?  If they want to protect, they can buy us a home, grant us early retirement”…some 60 women work at the registered brothel, which…has employees other than sex workers; cafeteria workers, hair cutters, cleaning workers.  So, there are as many as 100 workers in addition to the sex workers…

Torture Chamber

“Having sexual conduct” is an especially clumsy euphemism for “rape”:

A Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested…for reportedly having sexual conduct with an inmate…Deputy Jermaine Minor…was terminated, arrested and charged with four counts…

Whither Canada?

Two years into Canada’s vile experiment with the horrible Swedish model, I’m going back to using this subtitle because “A Year Later” no longer makes sense:

As police in Edmonton, Alberta, clamp down on the demand for paid sex with mass “john stings” in the name of protecting women, sex workers and experts say such efforts are ineffective and have already made conditions more dangerous…So far this year, the Edmonton police have carried out one sting a week on average, resulting in 63 arrests…The force [brags] it’s on track to arrest more than 200 johns in 2017, nearly twice the 104 arrests made last year…[Edmonton pigs] recently changed [the] name [of its] vice unit to the human trafficking and exploitation unit, and conducts most of its john stings online by posting fake ads…the vast majority of men caught in the sting are first-time offenders who typically get diverted into so-called “john schools”…Chris Atchison, a sociologist at the University of Victoria…says…john stings typically don’t end up curbing the demand at all, but send it further underground…he’s seen no evidence that “john school” is effective in changing the desires of clients, and they are primarily run by groups that seek to abolish the sex trade — not make women safer.  “These programs are based on a very particular…moral agenda based on misinformation and fear mongering,” he said…

Edmonton has a long history of abusing & dehumanizing sex workers, literally treating them like wild animals.

The Course of a Disease (#634)

One day I hope to see myself described in print as a “rebellious prostitute”:

…sex workers took to the streets of Paris protesting a lack of clientele and poor working conditions…[due to imposition of the Swedish model on] April 13, 2016…the incomes of [many] prostitutes fell sharply, as they had to significantly lower their prices in an attempt to attract more customers…In some extreme cases, girls committed suicide; some were infected with AIDS because for the sake of earning they were forced to agree to any demands made by men.  Also, there have been cases of women being beaten by aggressive and drunken customers…Since the law [was] implemented more than 800 people have been fined…

To Molest and Rape 

He paid an underage sex worker, then pulled a gun on her to steal the cash back, but he’s been charged with “prostitution” rather than rape:

A Washington, D.C., [cop] has been charged with soliciting sex from a 15-year-old…and then robbing her at gunpoint…Chukwuemeka Ekwonna…[hired the] girl…[but after he raped her] Ekwonna pulled out a handgun…[and] demanded his money back…the girl complied and left…Ekwonna faces a number of charges, including armed robbery, assault, prostitution and two counts of third-degree sex offense…Judge Eileen A. Reilly said…that he could pose a “danger to the community”…Ekwonna…[was previously] accused in a civil lawsuit with beating an inmate…at a Washington, D.C., jail [but] the plaintiff settled the lawsuit…

“A danger to the community” is what you inevitably get when you let armed thugs run around doing whatever they like to people without consequences.

Too Close To Home (#701)

Another of the men who claim they want to “protect” Seattle from consensual sex:

A 46-year-old Kent man sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray…[saying] Murray “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old high-school dropout…“D.H.” [reported that] Murray sexually abused the crack-cocaine addicted teen on numerous occasions for payments of $10 to $20…the man, now sober for a year, said…he was coming forward as part of a “healing process”…Murray, who is running for re-election this year, [naturally] denied the [accusations]…D.H. is not the first to accuse Murray…of sexual abuse that occurred decades ago…Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, said they knew Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children, and later as teenagers.  They accuse Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when he was in his 20s.  Simpson made the [accusation] as a teen in 1984…[yet Murray’s mouthpiece pretends that] “The…accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement [who worked for Murray] authorities and the [lapdog] media”…

Business As Usual (#717) 

Isn’t it weird how defining a non-crime as a “crime” creates all kinds of problems?

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said recently that he is shifting the department’s sex [work persecution] tactics, in an effort to [improve PR]…”Like all crime, we can’t just arrest our way out of this problem,” he said.  O’Neill’s new plan, he explained, is to focus on arresting [his way out of the problem while pretending that sex workers are “victims”]…prostitution arrests continue, and this week, O’Neill [pretended to have]… an “open mind” about moving prostitution from the criminal code to the civil code [while simultaneously representing sex workers as dumb animals that need to be forced to accept “help” at gunpoint].  Mayor de Blasio agreed. “I think that the concern at the jump is that if you only have those civil penalties, that it is harder to [pretend sex work is a]…crime”…”I don’t know what movie the mayor is watching,” said Kate Mogulescu, who heads up the Legal Aid Society’s human trafficking advocacy program.  “Please don’t justify arrests by saying we’re helping people”…Her team has argued that not all prostitution is exploitative, and that focusing the narrative on trafficking—suggesting that police sweep in as saviors—has bolstered criminalization all around…

The Notorious Badge (#726)

Never mind; this tells me all I need to know:

Harlots is a lavish 18th-century period drama about dueling houses of ill repute and the ruthless women who run them.  With all the power, lust, and flashes of humanity that we usually associate with male antiheroes, Margaret Wells (Oscar nominee Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (stage and screen legend Lesley Manville) pit their considerable intelligence and stable of girls against each other for control of Georgian-era Soho.  But unlike the fictional liars and feuders currently flooding the Peak TV market, these sex workers aren’t manipulated by men—onscreen or off.  Harlots is the rare show entirely written and directed by women…[the reporter asked] Were you surprised to learn how much power these prostitutes and madams actually had in the 18th century? [And Morton replied]…You know, the sex industry, the sex trade with children, with trafficking—it is a very contemporary, present day issue.  The only difference with this—and this is what made me incredibly sad—is that women seemed to be more in control of the industry back then.  Certainly in Margaret Wells’s house, these women have a choice.  It’s a business…I think that back then women did hold a lot more power in that regard…

Gee, if only there were a way for actresses playing sex workers to talk to real sex workers and find out our reality so they don’t need to make ignorant guesses. You know, maybe a computer-based way for activist sex workers to make themselves publicly available to interact with, like a form of media designed for social interaction…

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

Surplus Women 

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

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

Peeping Toms (#331)

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

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

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

Above the Law (#405)

Once in a while a rapist cop gets his comeuppance:

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

Torture Chamber (#407)

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

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

The Public Eye (#449) 

Tyranny By Consensus (#528)

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

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

Guinea Pigs (#623) 

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

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

Change a Few Words (#625)

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

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

Virtual Unreality 

Prudes will turn anything related to sex into a problem:

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

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#635)

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

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

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All that criminalization of prostitution does is make people afraid.
–  Tara Burns

Droit du Seigneur 

Though pimps are pretty rare, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:  “[An] Oklahoma City [cop]…was arrested…on multiple complaints, including aiding in prostitution.  Lt. Alex Edwards…was [also charged with a bunch of vague ‘crimes’ used by prosecutors to stack penalties]…

Pyrrhic Victory

When they smash down your door in the middle of the night, murder your dogs, terrorize your family and embroil you in a decade-long court battle which will utterly bankrupt you because some computer decided you look like somebody who supposedly broke some law, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study…”The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use…is virtually unregulated…Alvaro Bedoya…co-author of the study [said] “By [scanning]…the faces on 26 states’ driver’s license and ID photos, police and the FBI have basically enrolled half of all adults in a massive virtual line-up.  This has never been done for fingerprints or DNA”…researchers obtained documents stating that at least five “major police departments,” including those in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles, “either claimed to run real-time face recognition off of street cameras, bought technology that can do so, or expressed an interest in buying it”…

Spotlight (#47) Asstoon

I wonder if Asstoon will ever get professional help for his delusions of grandeur?

Ashton Kutcher [made grandiose and unsubstantiated claims]…about how Thorn, an organization founded by himself and ex-wife Demi Moore, has been working to combat human trafficking…Kutcher [fantasized] that his organization had saved more than 6,000 victims from human trafficking in 2016, identifying more 2,000 trafficker in the process…An additional online menace that Thorn intends to combat…was online pornography…“I’m going to eliminate child pornography from the internet.”

Imagine a reporter neither expressing skepticism of nor demanding proof from a person who claimed to have saved 6000 rape victims and vowed that his next super-deed would be to eliminate every opium poppy in Asia.

Pearls Firmly Clutched 

Using Suzy Favor Hamilton’s story without her input is pretty sleazy even for an anti-whore sleazefest like Law and Order:

…an…episode on Law & Order SVU…revolved around a female Olympic Pole Vaulter who had been sexually assaulted while secretly escorting…They flash in the intro, “The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person, entity or event.”  Well that’s kinda laughable because with the exception of the sexual assault and a couple minor modifications, it’s pretty much me out there.  Olympian?  Check.  Track & Field athlete?  Check.  Married?  Check.  Mom?  Check.  Secretly escorting?  Check.  Bipolar?  Check…It’s strange to me that a show like this…can rip off a story so blatantly.  I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how all this works, but what I do know it that as I watched, it felt a little icky and sneaky.  Like someone had broken into my life uninvited…

Torture Chamber

Americans keep pretending to be shocked by this, then support sending more people to prison:

A former inmate of a Louisiana private prison is suing the company that runs the prison after two guards [orally raped] him [on several occasions]…Aaron Franklin…was abused by Derrick Deshotel and Tyler Strothers…at the Allen Correctional Center…An investigation by the prison substantiated his allegations…The guards were fired…and criminally charged…[but] received only probation…

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

Canadian cops are trying to intimidate sex workers again:

Holed up in a hotel room close to Calgary’s airport, a handful of [pigs]…dig through piles of online escort ads as they prep for Day Two of Operation Northern Spotlight…they make calls to unsuspecting sex workers and [lie to them to] set up “dates”…they hope to [intimidate them] to leave the world’s oldest profession…The women all react differently to the initial contact with the detective.  Some are hostile, as they realize the [cops have robbed them of hundreds of dollars of their time]…

Between the Lines

Sex workers, our clients, our associates and our families were once again subjected to the FBI’s periodic anti-sex worker pogrom, “Operation Cross-Country”:

This year’s Operation Cross Country—the largest to date—involved 55 FBI field offices and 74 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces throughout the country composed of more than 400 law enforcement agencies.  Hundreds of law enforcement officials took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and their customers…

The FBI learned years ago not to give any clear figures on the number of peaceful adults whose lives are destroyed in these fanatical jihads, preferring instead to represent any underage sex workers they arrest as “rescued victims” and pretty much any male unlucky enough to fall into their hands as a “pimp” (though the conviction rate is only 4%).  So it may take a week or two to get a picture of the extent of the carnage; right now the coverage is dominated by nauseating fluff like this in which cops and politicians engage in a vast circle-jerk to fantasies of enslaved teen girls:

Calling child sex trafficking a “scourge,” FBI Director James Comey announced Monday that 82 minors had been rescued…through an international effort held this month to locate victims and arrest the perpetrators…”These children trapped in this hell need a hero,” he said. “And the men and women who work for us, federal agents, state agents, local police officers and partners around the world are those heroes.”  Comey’s comments came during the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in San Diego…

But the tide has turned, and this time the usual cacophony of cop-fellation which accompanies these pogroms is interrupted by a few voices speaking the truth:

…sex-worker advocates [explain that]…better results could be achieved by decriminalizing prostitution.  They argue that eliminating the fear of arrest would sharply increase the reporting of abuse and exploitation from both sex workers and their customers.  Tara Burns…said people involved in the sex trade can’t rely on the hope that [a cop]…they encounter will use their arrest discretion to zero in on abuses, and could just as easily wield it to commit them, as seen in the ongoing East Bay police sex scandal…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s unusual for reporters to actually use the word “rape” in reference to rapist cops:  “A Festus [Missouri cop] charged with rape and domestic assault…has been [given a desk job]…Andrew J. Hirth…was charged Sept. 15…

No Moss

Let’s hope Rolling Stone‘s fortunes follow its credibility down the anti-sex toilet:

[Nicole Eramo] the University of Virginia dean [of students is] suing Rolling Stone for defamation over how she was portrayed in an article about a campus rape report…Sabrina Rubin Erdely [falsely] described a woman named “Jackie” being gang-raped by seven men…and portrayed the administration as not doing enough to help…“I don’t think anyone at Rolling Stone thought of me as a real person,” Eramo said…“You can’t just do drive-by journalism”…Rolling Stone made her “look like the devil”…[even though]…Jackie [had written]…”Dean Eramo has truly saved my life….[she] was helpful and understanding and, above all, compassionate”…Eramo disputed that she ever said any of the [quotes attributed to her in the article and]…no one at Rolling Stone contacted…[her] during the fact-checking process…Jackie forwarded an email to the reporter showing that the dean had set up two meetings with police so Jackie could report the alleged rape to authorities.  A reference to these meetings…was included in a draft of the article but was later edited out…

In other words, Erdely & Rolling Stone knew that the dean had supported “Jackie” in her claim, but willfully chose to depict her as a villain to make it a better story.

Send In the Clowns ooh-so-scary

As clown hysteria continues to mount, institutional responses to it grow increasingly more stupid:

The Russian government warned citizens traveling to Britain to beware of clowns…San Francisco schools went into lockdown during a clown fear wave, and have now claimed the FBI is looking into things…in Concord…a mother [claimed] a “creepy clown” tried to kidnap her 1-year-old child…The woman [supposedly] kicked the clown in the shin and the person fled…Sonoma State University has responded to clown sightings as well as an unrelated person in a gorilla suit…That’s the second…clown-gorilla connection

Meanwhile, elsewhere in California:

Police arrested a juvenile Tuesday following a social media post that suggested “armed” clowns would visit three Hanford schools…police began receiving calls about the post…from [idiots] fearing for their own safety or for the safety of their children…Capt. Karl Anderson attributed the fast resolution to citizens who [snitched]…The Spooky Halloween Super Store…and…Halloween City…said the recent clown scares around the country haven’t hurt sales of creepy clown masks, costumes and decorations…

But while these entrepreneurs are sensibly making money from people’s herd behavior, Target decided to “send a message” that it’s part of the Establishment:  “Halloween costume shoppers won’t be finding any ‘creepy clown’ masks on Target store shelves or online.  The decision was made late last week to pull all clown masks from stores…”  And Snopes is fielding some manifestations of the hysteria:

On 17 October 2016, the Empire Herald web site published a gruesome article about the arrest of a clown after police found eleven human bodies stuffed in a freezer at his Memphis residence…this story…was…a…fabrication intended to exploit…clown hysteria…The Empire Herald is a fake news site that does not publish any factual stories…

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We see no constitutionally adequate basis to criminalize sex solely because one consenting adult pays another.  –   Hayley Gorenberg  and Richard Saenz of Lambda Legal

Rough Trade 

Be careful out there, my sisters in Philadelphia:

Philadelphia police say a predator who’s attacked female prostitutes earlier this year may be responsible for two more recent attacks…the most recent incident occurred Oct. 1 when a man on a bike propositioned [a street worker] for sex…the man choked her until she lost consciousness…Police believe the same man also accosted another prostitute at gunpoint Sept. 19.  He took her to an alley and [raped] her while holding a knife to her face.  Police believe the same man attacked a prostitute with a brick then stabbed [to death]…on July 16. She died.  The same man, often arriving on a bike, is believed to have attacked at least one other prostitute, slashing her throat April 19.

The Lesser of Two Evils

As I’ve pointed out before, most laws governing sex work prior to the late 19th century were aimed at drawing lines between harlots and “good” women, rather than at advancing a quixotic crusade to “eradicate” the ineradicable.  Here’s a list of garments prostitutes were required to wear in various medieval European cities:

Beaucaire: a mark on the left arm…
Berne: red cap.
Bristol: striped hoods.
Castres: a man’s hat and a scarlet belt.
Florence: gloves and bells on the head…and high-heeled slippers.
Languedoc: a cord belt.
Leipzig: yellow cloak trimmed with blue.
London: striped hoods.
Mantua: white cloak and badge on chest…
Marseilles: striped tunic.
Milan: black cloak.
Nimes: a sleeve of a special colour.
Pisa: a yellow headband.
Strasbourg: black and white sugarloaf hat.
Toulouse: a mark on their sleeve.
Venice: yellow scarf.
Vienna: yellow scarf.
Zurich: red cap.

Saving Them From Themselves

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A man [in Australia] who found out that his 15-year-old stepdaughter was sexting her boyfriend proceeded to download the evidence to bring it to the school and the police to ask them to intervene…Now [Ashan Ortell] has been convicted on child pornography charges and placed on the sex offender registry…for eight years…

Frankly, I’m glad this idiot got what he deserved.  If anything, anyone who would report his own daughter to the pigs for the “crime” of having a sexual relationship deserves much worse than 8 years on the registry.

Gullible’s Travels

Even if this were true (which it isn’t), it’s a testament to the entrenched stupidity of authoritarians that they refuse to see that binge drinking on US university campuses only became common after the drinking age was raised to 21:

A growing number of college are banning hard liquor on campus in a move to curb extreme drinking — but students are still getting their party on, and some are adding an extra element of risk to their binges…the phenomenon dubbed “drunkorexia”…University of Houston Professor Dipali Rinker said in a study of 1,200 students, he found up to 80 percent were restricting calories, overexercising, purging or using laxatives in combination with binge drinking…

Bogeymen

No, the sex trade in Ireland is no more “controlled” by “gangs” than it is in the US.  This is little more than a cop wanking fantasy of there being “bad guys” to target, aided and abetted by the pathological liars at Ruhama:

Five major vice gang members are behind three-quarters of the sex-for-sale business in Ireland, according to data taken from the most popular website used to advertise prostitution.  One gang this week has links to 80 advertised women and more than 10 transgender prostitutes, who can each make €1,000 a day.  Ireland’s multi-million euro vice trade is set for a massive blow as a new law to make it illegal to buy sex is due before the Dáil this week…

But just for fun, ask yourself:  If there really were mobsters behind all the sex work in Ireland, would they want decriminalization or increased criminalization?  Did the Mafia like the end of Prohibition?  And what happened to Mexican drug cartels’ profits when Washington & Colorado legalized cannabis?

The End of the Beginning 

This is what happens when you don’t fight tyrannical laws from the beginning:

A federal class action…challenges a Mississippi statute that requires people convicted of having anal sex to register as sex offenders.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five Mississippi residents who say they were convicted under various sodomy prohibitions, including the “unnatural intercourse” law, and Louisiana’s “crime against nature by solicitation” law…the [registration requirement] is discriminatory and unenforceable in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas invalidating all state laws against gay sex as unconstitutional…

You know why they can get away with this despite Lawrence?  Because the Great Unwashed said nothing when federal courts established the precedent that the horrific persecution and ostracism inflicted on “sex offenders” are not punishments, but merely side effects of a record-keeping process.

Torture Chamber

Stop faking!

[In 1993] Anthony Gay…pled out to violating probation because of a “strong arm robbery.”  Gay was convicted of the robbery and hence the violation after nicking a hat and $1, resulting in a sentence of 7 years in prison…he was warehoused at the notorious…Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois [where]…”his actions…driven by his mental illness, resulted in years of solitary confinement and additional criminal convictions, chiefly due to a series of assaults on guards, including throwing feces and urine out of the food slot in his cell door.  By 2013, his sentence had been increased to 97 years and his release date pushed back to around 2091…he practiced self-mutilation, even to the point of cutting out one of his testicles and hanging it on a cell door in 2010“…He was literally crying out for help, and no one listened, save for his lawyers who managed to…convince…the court that the sentences Gay racked up while at Tamms had been improperly stacked…his new release date is set for August of 2018…Tamms has closed shop because its blatant incompetence and overindulgence in costly solitary confinement of people like Gay…

Making It Up As They Go 

Seattle pretends to be “liberal”, but it’s home to vile bullshit like this:

Escape to Peace launched…a…center for survivors of sex trafficking in Bellevue on Oct. 6….Carol Loya was inspired to create the non-profit after a 2012 mission to Thailand, during which she was shocked to see and talk to young…sex work[ers]…At any given time in King County, 300-500 underage girls are being trafficked.  The average age of entry is 12-14 years old, with some as young as 8 or 9…

Yes, they’re actually claiming that Greater Seattle has 20% of all coerced underage prostitutes in the entire US.

Checklist (#612)

More “beauty salon sex trafficking” idiocy from Ohio:

…100,000…cosmetologists throughout the state of Ohio…are now the latest allies in the fight against human trafficking…In Ohio alone, it is estimated that more than 1,000 girls and boys, between the ages of 12 and 17, are involved in the sex trade.  Last year, Ohio’s state cosmetology board approved a requirement that human-trafficking awareness training become a mandatory part of obtaining a cosmetology license…[fetishists fantasize that] traffickers or so-called pimps may take a victim to a hair salon in order to change their appearance to avoid detection…If stylists see anything suspicious, there are things they can do like get a license plate number and call police…

In a police state, even your hairdresser may be spying on you.

One Born Every Minute (#645) 

I’m pleased for the very small part I played in helping to expose this rapist:

Matt Hickey…has been charged by the King County Prosecuting Attorney with three counts of rape in the second degree.  The charges…contain allegations from three women, including two women The Stranger wrote about earlier this year…who said Hickey told them he was working with a female porn recruiter, and asked them to audition for them…Not long after the first piece came out, three more women came forward to accuse Matt Hickey of rape.  These women told The Stranger that Hickey got them blackout drunk and raped them while they were unable to consent.  Hickey denied all of the allegations…

Vendetta (#664)

A look at the aftermath of one of the private pogroms bankrolled by billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt:

Cory Walcott, was chair of the Military Science Department at the University of Nebraska Kearney until he was busted in a highly-publicized national sting…Prosecutors have now announced they are dropping the charge against Walcott and another man, Maurice Briggs…Their arrests were both part of the “National John Suppression Initiative”…[in which] police departments across the country pose undercover as either sex workers or their clients, arrest a lot of adult men and women for things like prostitution and solicitation, then put out splashy press releases about all the “sex trafficking arrests” they’ve made…the ultimate arrest/rescue breakdown for Lincoln?

  • no underage or adult sex-trafficking victims discovered
  • no force, fraud, or coercion discovered
  • four women, ages 23 to 36, charged with misdemeanor prostitution
  • five men charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution
  • one man charged with felony solicitation of prostitution
  • one man charged with marijuana possession…

Send In the Clowns

The most interesting part of the clown panic isn’t the hysteria itself (which is kind of a yawn to anyone who’s studied such panics before), nor the copycats trying to get attention by mimicking the imaginary bogeys (ditto), but the bizarre things one finds in news stories about clown incidents.  One story says “Three ‘juvenile clowns’ were taken into custody in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the influence of marijuana“; Holy Reefer Madness, Batman!  One wonders what the Kentucky man who “fired a semi-automatic rifle at a woman walking her dog because he thought she was a clown” was under the influence of; like some others, this story tries to blame the clown hysteria on Stephen King, specifically a new production of It which I doubt has anything to do with the panic.  Then there’s this Massachusetts Halloween haunted house which features “scary clowns” among its attractions, reassuring the public that “they would know if there was a clown impersonator among them.”  Self-important Australian “experts” pronounced the hysteria “dangerous” and “sinister” after it spread to Perth and to cities in Victoria (one wonders why they haven’t opined on the far-more-serious “sex trafficking” hysteria).  But those all pale beside the horrifying statements made by cops in (wait for it) Arizona:

The Phoenix Police Department reports five juveniles ages 14 and 15 were charged with scary clown threats. Mesa police [arrested]  two juveniles…[one maniac said] “I would call it a hate crime.”  To prevent copycats, [pigs] and county prosecutors are taking a zero tolerance approach.  “Every image, every text, every mention will be investigated,” said [Commissar] Nik Rasheta…prosecutors plan to prosecute anyone else making scary clown threats to the full extent…[propaganda operatives] say don’t think social media will be a shield to make scary clown threats. Authorities have the technology to see who’s posting and spreading them…

Challenge (#679)

Lambda Legal has honored the commitment it made to sex worker rights last year by filing an amicus brief in the ESPLERP case:

…At the heart of Lambda Legal’s most groundbreaking victories and continuing mission is self-determination, including bodily autonomy.  When the Supreme Court struck down laws criminalizing same-sex relationships and gay identity in Lawrence v. Texas, it rightly rejected assertions against us that “public health” justified sodomy laws.  The movement for reproductive justice, from which we draw key legal precedents, similarly fights for facts over fiction when government tries to limit the right to contraception, abortion, or other similar personal decision-making.  Lawrence explained that the constitutional right to liberty protects all of us when we make our own decisions about adult, consensual sexual intimacy…sometimes relationships are transactional…consider prenuptial agreements, surrogacy, and hook-up websites; the fact that money is involved does not obliterate constitutional protections for marriage, parenting or sexual intimacy.  All of these truths animate Lambda Legal’s position that the government may not constitutionally criminalize consensual adult sex solely because it is bought and sold.

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When something goes wrong, we never call [the cops]…we know they will arrest us.  –  Maria, a Romanian sex worker in London

Check Your Premises

Florida cops claim to be “helping” marginalized women by brutalizing them and giving them criminal records which will make them forever ineligible for on-the-books jobs:

Seven women have been arrested in a prostitution operation along US 19 in Pasco County…Many of the women have been arrested before for the same crime…Captain Chris Beaman…said prostitutes lead dangerous lives, sometimes targeted by serial killers or human traffickers…Beaman said business owners are afraid of becoming victims of crimes themselves…

The article goes on to say that some business owners are “elated” at the pogrom, which is exactly why we now live in a police state.

Across the Pond

Is anyone really surprised by the fact that young migrant women bear the brunt of police harassment under a system which declares them infantile “victims”?

…Between 2010 and 2014, the number of young women [18 to 25] the police arrested in London for prostitution-related crime nearly trebled…The increase contrasts with steep falls in the number of arrests of men and across all the other ages for crimes related to prostitution…Laura Watson, from the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), calls the rise in arrests of young women “horrifying…The police use public concern for young people’s wellbeing to justify targeting and ‘saving’ young people from working as sex workers by arresting them…No alternatives are given, just criminalization”…treating young prostitutes as victims does more harm than good…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

When will lawheads learn that whores cannot be made to vanish by proclamation?

Thailand’s…sex industry is under fire, with the tourism minister [fantasizing she can] rid the country of its ubiquitous brothels and a spate of police raids in recent weeks…Those who work in the industry say curbs on commercial sex services would hurt a flagging economy…Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul played down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors…”We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone,” she said…

Would somebody from Las Vegas care to school the minister on the likely outcome of her Disneyfication fantasy?

If It Were Legal (#27)

Let’s hope this myth is dead, or at least nearly so, by the next election:

As thousands prepare to descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, a coalition is helping spread the word about a crime that often accompanies large gatherings…Experts say trafficking tends to spike around large-scale events…”It’s definitely a concern,” Hugh OrganMoe the bartender, associate executive director at Covenant House PA, said…”But it’s not anything like the Super Bowl.”  The Super Bowl is the top human trafficking event in the United States, Organ said…

Of course, other people whose names don’t sound like something Bart Simpson would ask Moe the Bartender to page are saying similar things about Republicans:

…The top strip clubs in Cleveland, Ohio, are all preparing for the inevitable influx of horny, cash-flinging Republican out-of-towners who will drop by during next week’s GOP convention…A huge gathering of drunk, lustful Republicans—much like drunk, lustful Democrats, or drunk, lustful registered independents, or drunk, lustful Green Party members—is sure to be great for business…Jeff Kallam, general manager at the Crazy Horse Cleveland strip club…insists…“Republicans love strippers, so we’re just hoping to make some money”…

Traffic Jam (#29)

“Pimp” classification schemes are some of the most painfully stupid tropes of this whole panic:

…The Empower Youth Program…[has] identified five “disguises” that a person looking to exploit someone may take on to gain trust.
1 – Pretender — Someone who pretends to be something s/he is not, such as a boyfriend, a big sister, a father, etc.
2 – Provider — Someone who offers to take care of an individual’s needs, such as for clothes, food, a place to live, etc or their wants, like cool cell phones, purses, parties, etc.
3 – Promiser — Someone who promises access to great things, like an amazing job, a glamorous lifestyle, travel, etc.
4 – Protector — Someone who uses physical power or intimidation to protect (but also control) an individual.
5 – Punisher — Someone who uses violence and threats to control an individual. When the previous disguises have been exhausted, an exploitative person often becomes a Punisher to maintain control…

King of the Hill

If interstate highways are so dangerous, why aren’t prohibitionists calling for them to be banned?

The internet makes commercial sex largely invisible, but northeast Wisconsinites need only pull up a map and draw a line down Interstate 41 to see where much of it happens.  The corridor of cities along I-41 — Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay — is not only convenient for those working the sex trade, but is another form of control for a pimp, since women and girls who don’t feel familiar with their surroundings are less likely to flee.  “It’s a major thoroughfare,” said Carl Waterstreet, a [moron with a penchant for stating the obvious]…

Torture Chamber

Calling a prison an “immigration centre” doesn’t make it any less of a prison:

The Home Office is refusing to reveal if any female detainees have been sexually assaulted or raped inside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre…A member of staff reportedly told a newspaper that “disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests” of people involved with Yarl’s Wood such as Serco, the private company that runs the facility…

Schadenfreude (#434) 

Super-ally Anne Elizabeth Moore has published a new book, collecting her comic-strip-format exposes of the deep connection between the rescue and garment industries:

…The through line of Threadbare is that, due to a combination of US trade policies with developing nations…and cultural restrictions on women working outside the home, the garment industry is the only legal job available to the majority of women in the world.  But…when there are no other legal job opportunities…women will do what they can to get by…So, where the garment trade exists, there is generally a healthy sex trade as well, and it’s often tolerated or legal until the US steps in and criminalizes it, often as a rider in trade deals.  These are presented as “anti-trafficking” measures…the garment industry supports the arrests of, and finances the supposed rehabilitation of, women who leave the garment trade, forcing them to return to these low-paying, high-risk jobs that more often than not include a likelihood of sexual exploitation…

Little Boxes (#504) whore in denial

Sex workers who pretend they aren’t are almost as bad as prohibitionists:

There’s been plenty written about the Power of Human Touch…That’s the concept of the professional cuddling company Snuggle Buddies…Professional cuddling is not meant to be sexual.  It’s a point [Lisa] VanArsdale can’t emphasize enough, though she seems aware of the fact that clients may not fully understand, even when respecting the rules…The Snuggle Buddies website addresses these rules plainly in the contract its clients must agree to electronically.  Clothes are required, sexual requests are forbidden, and anyone who doesn’t abide by the cuddling contract—even with rogue questions asked via email—is blacklisted…Strip clubs and prostitutes offer the fulfillment of more promiscuous desires, anyway…

Every sex worker has some kinds of physical contact she won’t allow; having an especially long and/or strict list doesn’t magically make you into a non-whore.

What a Week! (#648)

It’s a “shock”, except to people who habitually go through life with their heads outside of their own rectal cavities:

Dr Emily Cooper…carried out dozens of interviews…which she said “smashed” her preconceived ideas about massage parlours…and how they affect people’s lives…“They evoke feelings of safety and security via their often 24-hour presence, they are distractions from the mundane hours of work, they contribute economically via the use of taxi services and other amenities for clients and sex workers, and finally, a role that is never reported, the sex workers are also neighbours and friends who ‘put the bins out like everybody else’”…

Guinea Pigs (#650) 

If you think that American whores don’t have to worry about prohibitionist nuns as our Irish sisters have to, think again:

Through a $100,000 matching grant the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has helped the Exchange Initiative and two developers create TraffickCam, an app that helps [cops hunt down sex workers like animals]…TraffickCam allows anyone with a smartphone to help [expand universal surveillance] by uploading photos of hotel rooms when they travel…Sex [workers sometimes] post photos of [themselves] in hotel rooms in their online advertisements.  [Cops] can use these…to find [sex workers to arrest]…

Traffic in Nonsense (#651)

NPR is a hotbed of empty-headed prohibitionism, so it was only a matter of time before they lauded “Truckers Against Trafficking”:

…”Trafficking happens everywhere,” [Kylla] Lanier says. “It’s happening in homes, in conference centers, at schools, casinos, truck stops, hotels, motels, everywhere.  You know, it’s an everywhere problem, but truckers happen to be everywhere.”  And these days TAT stickers, wallet cards and posters — showing a phone number for a sex trafficking hotline — are becoming ubiquitous in the trucking industry.  TAT [indoctrinates] drivers to try to spot sullen, hopeless-looking children, teens and young adults.  Perhaps they’re wearing revealing clothing, or maybe have tattoos like bar codes or men’s names that might indicate ownership…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#653) 

Pro-censorship loon wants parents to panic about “artificial necrophilia”. I am not making this up:

…Internet pornography is a real problem for the 66 million American parents with children under 18.  Parents don’t have to believe that such material is a direct cause of sexual violence to be driven a little crazy by it.  It’s bad enough that it’s giving our sons and daughters some very creepy ideas about how they’re supposed to look and act…Two bills passed by Congress to restrict minors’ access to pornography over the past two decades were struck down by the Supreme Court because they infringed on adults’ First Amendment rights…In addition to making pornography hard to contain, the internet is making it weirder and weirder…The fetish that’s trending right now…is necrophilia — “artificial snuff films”…I…don’t want my preteens watching actors having sex with corpses, even fake corpses, before they’ve begun to date…

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

Barbie Hello Barbie

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

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

O, Canada!

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

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

Where Are the Protests? 

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

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

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

Bell, Hook and Kettle

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

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

The Public Eye

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

Skin To Skin

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

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

Blunt Instrument

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

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

Lack of Evidence (#314) Oh My Girl

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

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

Backwards into the Future (#334)

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

Torture Chamber 

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

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

Out of Control (#451)

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

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

Now They Notice

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

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

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#573)

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

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

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Crowding what I do into the larger umbrella of “sex work,” without its own name, makes it seem as if I’m supposed to experience what I do as shameful.  –  Charlotte Shane

What’s In a Name?

I agree with Charlotte Shane on words like “prostitute”:

I’ve called myself a prostitute for about as long as I’ve been one…it felt like the most accurate term given the service I provide, and I like the solidarity of it, the refusal to kowtow to class-related stigma or what is sometimes called the “whorearchy”…I believe the difference between “escort” and “prostitute” is that one term relies on euphemistic window dressing while the other is unapologetic and unashamed…I’m at odds with the party line in this stance, though…Increasingly, prostitute is…regarded as a slur…Taking euphemisms on permanently and in a political context, outside of marketing material or work-related correspondence, feels to me like ceding way too much power.  The state forces me to use certain language to protect myself in some contexts; I don’t want to willingly employ that language in all others…

Rough Trade MARY MITCHELL

One rather nasty side-effect of prohibition is that it gives moral retards like Mary Mitchell leave to vomit their odious bigotry all over the pages of major newspapers:

Authorities say Roy Akins went to Backpage.com and agreed to pay a prostitute $180 for sex.  When the unidentified woman showed up at his…home…Akins…pulled a gun.  I imagine most prostitutes in this situation would have run straight to a pimp.  But after leaving Akins’ home…the…woman called the police…I’m grateful [Akins] isn’t being accused of snatching an innocent woman off the street…the way this case is being handled makes it look like sex trafficking is a legitimate business…because this incident is being charged as a criminal sexual assault — when it’s actually more like theft of services — it minimizes the act of rape…For law enforcement to put what happened to a Backpage.com prostitute on a par with [real] rape victims…is an insult.

A few observations:

  • “I imagine most prostitutes…would have run straight to a pimp.” I’ll leave you to imagine what she’s doing while she “imagines” this.
  • Note the conflation of sex work and sex trafficking, and the badge-licking idolization of the clownish tyrant Tom Dart.
  • For another example of a woman using the “theft of services” slur, see the original of this title.
  • Given that last line, would Mitchell be more sympathetic toward the rape of a prostitute like me, who advertises somewhere other than Backpage?

Lack of Evidence

It’s rare to see someone attempt this defense with a straight face:

Lisa Marie Carroll, 34, was charged with one misdemeanor count of prostitution…Police [pretend] that she offered to perform various sex acts…for [specific] pricing…”I did not agree to have sex with that cop…I’m an escort companion and go on dates and sometimes clients make a donation and that doesn’t have to do with sex”…[a sleazebag cop accompanied her] to her room where…they both undressed and laid in bed.  The [cop then tried to get her to commit to specific prices for specific acts] “And I said, ‘No, honey.  This is not how this works'”…A little while later, [the cops invaded] her house…

She’s lucky; many Pennsylvania cops rape women in order to arrest them.

Harm Magnification

Kerry Porth discusses the Harper government’s campaign to harm as many people as possible via increased prohibition:

…After winning a majority government in 2011, the Harper government quickly…introduced mandatory minimum sentencing for drug possession…despite warnings from current and former law enforcement from the United States…and respected Canadian drug policy experts…the Harper government has waged a costly war against Insite…[and] established 26 new requirements…that are costly, onerous and designed to prevent future sites from opening.  Then…the…government…reintroduced the old laws [that the Supreme Court had struck down] and introduced a prohibition on the purchase of sex and the explicit advertising of sexual services for the first time in Canadian history.  Despite a great deal of florid rhetoric about the government’s desire to ensure the safety of sex workers, the real intent behind the new laws was memorably stated by Senator Donald Plett: “Of course we don’t want to make life safe for prostitutes; we want to do away with prostitution. That’s the intent of the bill”…

The Proper Study

a…new Canadian study…concludes the average porn user holds, if anything, more egalitarian views regarding women than non-users.  Many pornography aficionados might even be “useful allies” in women’s struggles for equality in work, income and public office, the researchers…argue…Taylor Kohut…and his colleagues analyzed data from 35 years of the General Social Surve…the 23 per cent who reported having watched an “X-rated” movie in the previous year were no more or less likely than porn abstainers to identify as feminists, or voice support for the traditional family.  And the blue-movie watchers expressed on average more positive attitudes toward women in positions of power, and less negative attitudes toward abortion and women in the workforce than those who refrained from pornography…

Divided We Fall

Unfortunately, this revolting attitude is not unusual among picket-fence queers:

…had there been a sequel to [Pretty Woman], it would have been salacious. We would watch Richard Gere struggle with the fact that his girlfriend was a confirmed whore and had been with hundreds, maybe even thousands of men…There would be a scene at a dinner party when other women were whispering about Julia Roberts, all of them knowing that she could be found at one time on Hollywood Boulevard spreading her legs for any man with $200 in his pocket…I have been poor…and never once was selling my ass an option…When you make a choice to work in the sex industry…you are immediately shrinking your dating pool…I would never subject myself to a How-was-your-day,-honey? conversation with a partner who took anonymous loads for a living…

Moloch

The robed simian who presided over this case planned to use this young man to “send a message” about having sex without a state license to do so; he should be caged for several years and then put on the “sex offender” registry for life.

A young man from Indiana who had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl who told him she was [17] has been removed from Michigan’s sex offender registry pending his resentencing.  Zach Anderson [who was 19 at the time]…spent 75 days in jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.  He was given a five-year probation that banned him from using computers or the Internet and also had faced 25 years on Michigan’s sex-offender registry.  But…Anderson’s lawyer successfully argued prosecutors failed to remain neutral on a key part of the plea deal, which would have erased Anderson’s record if he stayed out of trouble…Anderson’s resentencing will be Oct. 21…

What “crime”? He had consensual sex with a physically-adult woman he believed to be a peer.  The concept of strict liability is an abomination in any civilized society.

They Still Don’t Get It

The jaw-dropping stupidity of this article takes precedence over the FBI money grab it talks about:

At the click of a mouse, almost anyone can buy a girl online, anytime…ads with identical phone numbers can be traced to other cities…a sign, police say, that the women are on the move with their traffickers.  Some ads even state “only in town for three days, special.”  That’s the pattern of traffickers, always on the move, according to…Charlie Benton, who is known locally as the foremost law enforcement expert on sex trafficking.  The ads give no clue, though, which women are being forced to sell themselves or are under 18.  And the men who often answer the phone aren’t about to volunteer that information…

Yes, that’s what touring looks like to the warped mind of a pig obsessed with BDSM masturbatory fantasies involving adolescents.  Guys, have you EVER called an independent escort’s ad and had a man answer?  Ever?  It’s almost idiotic enough to distract the reader from the FBI agent asking for more money to fulfill his sick dream of attempting to entrap and cage literally every single escort on Backpage.

Reframing

So Close and Yet So Far

Why do so many would-be allies insist on including vile, insulting garbage like this in otherwise-supportive essays?

…You may not approve of prostitution, and many quite reasonably do not.  It raises serious, ethical questions.  Having sex with people for money is degrading.  It transforms an intimate and private act into a commercial transaction.  It can pose a threat to those involved, especially women…

Torture Chamber 

This is what our society refers to as “correction”:

…Gesnerson Louisius…was slammed in the back of his head with a bar of soap stuffed inside a sock.  Six inmates pinned him down, and one grabbed him by his throat, as two others dragged him across the carpeted floor by his ankles…The young prisoners, between the ages of 18 and 20, kept demanding that he pay them money to stop the beating, but Louisius refused…The extortion ritual is so common and well known by both inmates and corrections officers that it has a name.  It’s called a “test of heart”…Hakiem Blount, 18, grabbed a broom and began pushing it into Louisius rectum…as far up as he could push it…there were no video cameras in the room, and the one corrections officer assigned to the dorm that afternoon was inexplicably nowhere to be found…Louisius…lost a lot of blood.  His rectum was ruptured and he underwent an emergency colostomy…he…served out the rest of his three-year prison term while wearing a colostomy bag, and had five or six surgeries in prison that likely cost Florida taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars…

Uncommon Sense (#557)

The Professional Association Erotic and Sexual Services [of Germany] (BesD) criticises the draft bill by the Ministry for Family Affairs for a “Prostitutes Protection Law” in the strongest terms…the BesD concludes, “A law that pretends to aim at strengthening the right to self-determination of a group of people but then denies them the maturity to make their own decisions, attempts to paternalistically ‘protect’ them from those decision, needlessly interferes with their basic rights, and that, quasi in passing, also creates regulations to save society from this group of people, allegedly in need of protection, via arbitrarily expandable ordinances…should be rejected in its entirety.”  Instead, the association calls for a complete decriminalisation of sex work…

R.I.P. Candida Royalle 

Elizabeth N. Brown on Candida’s legacy:

Candida Royalle is the kind of sex positive, free-speech-friendly artist and advocate that…is…relatively rare in feminist circles…[she] founded the (now defunct) nonprofit Feminists for Free Expression (FFE), which described its mission as “working to preserve the individual’s right to read, hear, view and produce materials of her choice without the intervention of the state ‘for her own good'”…The group opposed speech-censoring legislation; defended free speech in court cases, on college campuses, and in the media; and opposed the book, movie, and music banning efforts that were popular at the time.  Royalle and FFE’s other leaders believed that “freedom of expression is especially important for women’s rights” and that the suppression of sexist messages “will neither reduce harm to women nor further women’s goals”…

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