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Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

How can we dial back the obsession with sex trafficking?  –  Lenore Skenazy

Check Your Premises

Step One: Define people who make choices the law refuses to recognize as “victims”.  Step Two: Define the decisions of 21-year-olds as legally invalid. Step Three:

…researchers have found that roughly one-fifth of all homeless youth in the U.S. are victims of human trafficking, often for purposes of sex…Covenant House funded the report…The youths who spoke with researchers were all 21 and under…

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (#351) 

Has this histrionic now made a rotting moral panic her whole career?

The horror the victims suffer is almost too much to contemplate.  And yet, we can’t combat the abomination that is human trafficking unless we first acknowledge that it exists.  That’s why [has-been] actress and [moral panic profiteer] Mira Sorvino came to Bakersfield…According to Sorvino…the trafficking of human beings claims some 40 million victims and generates obscene annual profits, making it one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in history.  One young woman Sorvino interviewed estimated she was raped 43,000 times between the ages of 12 and 16…

Nice While It Lasted

Buried in the usual pap about “signs of trafficking” and masturbatory fantasy about passive, doll-like 12-year-olds being “sold for sex” is this horrific proposal:

…Assemblyman Brian Maienschein held a news conference in San Diego…to push his bill, the Commercial Child Rape Prevention Act, which aims to give governments tools they can use to target sex trafficking in civil court…This would mean that district attorneys, attorney generals, some city attorneys and the victims would be able to sue the perpetrators, hitting them where it might hurt the most — their profits…State Sen. Toni Atkins…has two bills pending…one…would allow prosecutors in criminal trials to introduce evidence of past illegal acts…that would typically be excluded at trial…

In civil court, the burden of proof is reversed; this would allow prosecutors, backed by the vast resources of the state, to levy charges that presumed guilt.  I wonder how much longer before presumption of innocence is nothing more than a mere historical relic?

Traffic in Nonsense (#508)

Despite its name, The Libertarian Republic is Republican, not libertarian; that explains why it’s printing pro-surveillance, anti-body autonomy “sex trafficking” propaganda:

Human trafficking has become…the third largest criminally ran [sic] industry in the entire world, generating estimated revenues of $32 billion a year…the average age a person is abducted/coerced into this horrendous trade is 12-14…resilience against law enforcement…trying to shut down this insidious industry…[snitching on sex workers to the pigs] can help combat human trafficking at the source, on the street level…truckers have found themselves leading the charge against this industry…Commonly known as a lot lizard, prostitutes often wait around truck stops to solicit sex to the drivers who are passing through…truckers are exposed to the largest portion of prostitutes…it is vitally important for news outlets to [uncritically parrot police-state propaganda]…

The idea that truck-stop hookers make up the largest fraction of sex workers is probably the stupidest statement in this reeking pile of stupidity.

Checklist (#523)

Arizona wants hospitals to rat sex workers out to the pigs:

A hospital network with several facilities in Arizona said it was taking steps to counter human trafficking.  Dignity Health said it has trained staff at three hospitals…to look for indicators of possible human trafficking and that it has implemented mandatory screening in emergency rooms and obstetrics departments…so-called “red flags” of trafficking include homelessness, discrepancies between reported and apparent ages, lack of identification and a dominating or controlling companion who refuses to leave the patient alone…

Signs 

How many resources will our society waste in trying to stop an omnipresent voluntary activity older than the human species?

…The Palm Beach County Commission…approved additional training for several groups of its employees to spot signs of [“sex trafficking”], which has been described as modern-day slavery.  Employees who are out in field — code enforcement, youth services and parks and recreation workers, for example — will be among those receiving the training…Among other signs, victims of trafficking may exhibit poor health, show signs of physical abuse or restraint, and lack control over personal documents or the ability to speak for themselves…

Rooted in Racism (#605) 

It’s no longer safe for men to travel with their children:

A dad returning from Mexico with his 3-year-old daughter who has lighter skin than his is suspected of sex trafficking her…despite papa having her passport, his passport, AND a notarized letter from the mom saying that she gave them her permission to travel, the authorities felt compelled to act upon a “tip”…that was nothing more than a passenger’s hunch fueled by the hysteria of the moment:  That 3-year-olds are being trafficked right and left in the USA…

Where are the Victims? (#634)

We’re so lucky to have cops qualified to diagnose us as “victims” no matter what we may think:

Seven men and a woman have been arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on…prostitution.  Dawn raids were carried out out across Lancashire, Gateshead and Evesham in relation to a…[so-called] “Romanian crime group” centred on Blackburn.  [Cops fantasize] the gang netted up to £1.3million…Eight women, aged between 18 and 26, were found inside the suspected brothels and are [pretended] to have been trafficked to the UK from Romania for the purposes of prostitution.  Police [used euphemisms to cloak the fact that the women were being held without charge pending deportation]…

Peeping Toms (#662)

The larger implications of anti-sex toy laws:

An ordinance of the City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, prohibits the sale of sex toys.  Businesses and individuals have challenged this statute as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause in controlling their consensual, sexual behavior in the privacy of their homes.  The district court and a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the ordinance given the Eleventh Circuit precedent of Williams v. Attorney General (2004), which upheld an Alabama sex-toy-sales ban…Williams…is inconsistent with more recent Supreme Court precedent in United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)…Windsor and Obergefell… raised the protection of rights concerning private sexual intimacy and Obergefell described this right as “fundamental”…Williams also misinterpreted Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which in striking down a ban on homosexual sodomy made clear that it wasn’t merely the right to perform “a particular sexual act” that was in question in these intimacy cases, but the infringement of rights regulating “the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, in the most private of places, the home.”  Lawrence also made clear that state assertion of a “morality” interest isn’t a sufficient justification for limiting the right to adult sexual intimacy…

Eternal Vigilance (#667)

Puritans are still upset about the fact that some women are comfortable paying our rent (and other expenses) with sex:

…despite the fact that [sex for rent] ads have been around for more than a decade and tend to transparently describe the (consensual) relationships they’re after, a gaggle of outraged internet activists are suddenly convinced it’s “abusive” behavior that must be stamped out.  The issue has been getting attention this week because of U.K. columnist Vonny Moyes, who covered it in Scottish newspaper The National…The ads she shared ranged from requests for household labor from a hot girl in exchange for free rent to fetish-related requests…ongoing mistress or “sugar baby” type situations…and people looking for short-term sex-for-housing arrangements…But the Twitter outrage brigade can’t conceive of these varied individual ads as anything but a big patriarchal plot to extort sex from homeless women…

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If living my life on my own terms is being a feminist…then I am a feminist.  –  Vidya Balan

Bad Girls 

Men: pay your whores!  Ladies: get the money up front!

…a 64-year-old man surnamed Lau hired a prostitute surnamed Kong in [Hong Kong]…after having sex…Lau…refused to settle up and, upon hearing Kong threaten to call the police, took her phone and ran out of the room.  Kong chased him, yelling for help along the way, and eventually caught the [rapist]…with the help of passersby…Kong reportedly took off one of her high-heeled shoes and hit the man with it until pulled off him by witnesses.  [Cops] arrived…to arrest the pair for fighting in a public place…

License to Rape 

“Authorities” now claim the right to rape toddlers if shamans declare their parents ritually unclean:

Imagine the Department of Social Services threatens to [abduct] your child from your custody unless you agree to have his urine collected.  Under duress, you consent— only to watch hospital staff pin your three-year-old down and forcibly catheterize him as he screams in pain.  Two days later, he is still in pain.  You take him back to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with a staph infection in his penis…police in Pierre, South Dakota, [raided] a home to arrest a man…because he tested positive for drugs…his girlfriend was told her children would be [abducted by the state] if she did not consent to having their urine tested.  Because of that threat, she agreed to the test, but since her youngest child is not toilet-trained, they forced him to undergo the catheterization…

See No Evil

Once again, a person whose computer contained taboo pictures is condemned to a far worse sentence than if he had actually raped a child:

A 36-year-old [Florida] man…[was sentenced by] Judge Howard Maltz…to 100 years in prison…after a jury found Jesse Graham Berben guilty on 20 counts of possession of child pornography…Berben…denied knowing anything about the files…While he admitted to having a peer-to-peer file-sharing program that he used to download music, he denied using his computer to keep or download child porn…Berben had been offered a plea agreement…that would have netted him a prison sentence of about 5 years, “but he refused…because he said…he wasn’t going to plead guilty to something he didn’t do and become a registered sex offender”…The sentence…was more than four times the “lowest permissible” sentence Maltz could have handed down…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

“Rescuers” swoop in to “regulate” women’s jobs out of existence:

Minneapolis [politicians] are taking steps to crack down on downtown strip clubs after two recent [fishing expeditions manufactured] health and safety risks at…11 venues.  Shortly afterward, a report from the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), commissioned and co-funded by the health department, showed that strip club employees face on-the-job health and safety hazards but have few protections.  Both investigations zeroed in on VIP rooms…the venues where bodily fluids were identified were declared a public health nuisance under state law…

Train Wreck

It looks like articles about sex workers in Ghana can be just as weirdly stupid as Nigerian ones:

Commercial Sex workers at the Uhuru Electoral Area have added robbery to their trade, Ebenezer Cudjoe, [a prohibitionist politician, claimed]…The sex workers, commonly called “Ashawo”…suggest a pub…”While she leads her clients to the suggested pub, the ashawo alerts her male guards, who, then, pounce on the male sex client and rob him of any valuables,” Ebenezer Cudjoe [fantasized]…that a lot of residents feared coming out of their homes in the night.  “A few years ago, I personally reported these ungodly activities of the commercial sex workers to the police, however, the police told me that they could not effect any arrest, unless they caught the ladies in the act,” he said…about three years ago, he tried to woo some of the sex workers to start some vocational training to [do menial jobs at which they couldn’t possibly] earn a decent living [but unsurprisingly, they refused and now he’s making up stories to make life difficult for them]…

Capricious Lusts (#52)

While Hollywood figures are lining up to climb on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon, Bollywood figures support sex worker rights:

…there have been some realistic representations of bar dancers and courtesans, prostitutes…Women are a marginalised section of society even though we are 50% of the society.  Within that, prostitutes are what, a trickle?  But, they are the ones who are standing up on their feet, putting up a fight and saying this is not acceptable to us.  They are staking their claims to their share of the sky, which is incredible.  That’s what I found most powerful, because you don’t expect the so-called weaker sections of society to stand up…

Micromanagement

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

A State panel of scientists is considering a controversial DNA testing policy that would allow police to [harass] the relatives of New Yorkers whose DNA closely matches DNA recovered from a crime scene…police would be able to pull close DNA matches in certain criminal investigations, generating a list of people with prior convictions, including low-level broken windows convictions like [turnstile jumping or loitering]…police would then have leeway to [harass] close relatives of those near matches (son, father, etc.), in hopes of turning up the exact match…In other words, the New York Civil Liberties Union has testified, “criminal suspicion will attach to innocent persons merely because of their biological relation to a person whose DNA is in the state’s databank”…

To Molest and Rape 

Reporters, please stop perpetuating cops’ dehumanizing habit of referring to women as “females”:

…Kenneth Bolton Jr. sexually assaulted two females with a sex toy during an illegal traffic stop in February.  The East Cleveland [cop] was fired by the department last month after he…pulled over the two women, both in their early 20s, about 30 minutes after he heard that they’d been pulled over and cited by another officer.  During the illegal stop, Bolton allegedly found a sex toy in the car and used it to sexually assault both women.  A Cuyahoga County grand jury brought charges of gross sexual imposition, abduction, and civil rights charges…

“He heard they’d been pulled over and cited” means the first pig called him and described their looks to him. “Found a sex toy” means he rooted through other people’s private possessions like the filthy swine he is.

Imaginary Evils (#699)

The UK Home Office is really dedicated to competing with the US in using “sex trafficking” as an excuse to destroy civil liberties:

The Home Secretary has announced…a multi-agency team of analytical experts who will be embedded in the National Crime Agency to help tackle cross-border and domestic slavery…The Home Secretary said “It is exactly this kind of co-operation between the police, Border Force, the National Crime Agency and others that will be our way of getting at the people traffickers.  The Centre will enable us to have a co-ordinated push against the organised crime groups that are at the heart of the trade in human beings and human misery.  Our message to the perpetrators is clear; we are coming after you, and there is nowhere to hide”…

The War Goes On (#711) 

Notice how the narrative is changing; prohibitionists now claim Backpage was “barred” from publishing sex work ads, when in fact it chose to do so to end its persecution by “authorities”:

A…prostitution sting in Delaware County resulted in the arrests of five women in one night.  Deputies found them on a website that’s supposed to be barred from posting sex ads…prostitutes and pimps are finding ways around the rules and posting ads on other parts of the site, through tabs like…”women seeking men”…[pigs oinked that] prostitutes…will travel from anywhere in central Indiana to Muncie to make some money and often times, buy drugs.  “You don’t just get the prostitutes that show up.  You might get pimps.  There might be robberies…” the [pig drooled while masturbating]…

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We have been so brainwashed by talk of trafficking that we imagine we see it everywhere.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Enabling Oppression

It’s hard to get more vile and disgusting than white prohibitionists using the names of dead black icons to support campaigns of oppression that disproportionately affect black people.  Most of this is a typical Julie Bindel smear screed, referring to sex worker rights advocates as “pimps” and “pro-prostitution pressure groups” (Bindel, you may remember, is the one who says Brooke Magnanti and I, along with Amnesty International and a corpse, are the heads of the imaginary “pimp lobby”).  But here’s the money quote, edited for clarity and truth:

…The [prohibitionists fantasize about an imaginary Utopia]…free from prostitution.  Many are keen to campaign for the introduction of a law to criminalise the demand.  “These men [sex buyers] have a comfortable life,” says one of the women, “after they [complete a mundane business transaction] they go back to their homes and their wives.  We want them to be exposed [as people who conduct business transactions]”…”Mandela would understand,” says [one prohibitionist] “I seriously believe that if we had gone to him …he would have [supported police violence against peaceful people having consensual sex]”…

The Notorious Badge

I’d be interested in hearing what actual sex workers think of this show:

Somewhere in the vast terrain between the hooker-as-fairytale-princess fantasy of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and the prim, grim Victorian sociology of Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Woman of the Streets lies Harlots, Hulu’s odd but engrossing new drama about life inside an 18th-century London brothel.  Screenwriter Moira Buffini, one of the five British women who produce, write, and direct Harlots, said in unveiling the project that the goal was “everything from the whore’s-eye view.”  The result is that the women in Harlots are neither glamorous courtesans nor broken flowers, and their depiction is never erotic…

A Narrow View (#25)

Mark Draughn on the hypocrisy of arresting underage sex workers under guise of “helping” them:

Is it really necessary to send cops with guns to forcibly “help” people?  And even if you think it’s necessary to coerce child victims of sex trafficking into accepting social services, can’t you do it without giving them a criminal record?…There are better alternatives. We know this because non-governmental organizations like the Sex Work Outreach Project (SWOP) don’t have arrest powers, and they’ve been doing outreach to sex workers for years…Here in Chicago, the Young Women’s Empowerment Project spent years studying ways to help young women in the sex trade, and they had some useful observations, especially about what they call institutional violence

Profound Ignorance 

This is at least less harmful than the usual ignorance-based sex work “study”, though no less stupid:

To get a feel for what a certain dollar amount can get someone seeking escort services, we averaged 277 images of Las Vegas escorts using face-morphing software and organized them by price point…beauty is not only affected by our personal preferences but is also shaped by our culture…When looking at the women in our composite comparison, the most expensive female escort seems to have more refined features…She also has lighter skin and looks much younger than the woman charging $10 to $99 per hour for her services…

More beautiful escorts are more in demand and can therefore charge more. Gee, who’d have guessed?

Micromanagement

Please, ladies, don’t be so stupid as to give cops evidence they can & will use against you:

Sara Katsanis, a bioethicist at Duke University…was surprised to hear of a program initiated by Dallas [cops] to collect DNA from truck-stop sex workers to solve hypothetical future crimes…Voluntarily give a DNA sample now, the program promised, and if it’s your dead body, at least your family will know.  Can sex workers truly consent when it’s police doing the asking?…The program, which was first proposed in 2007, had done a very small survey and found women universally willing to contribute their DNA with no major concerns.  “So the ethicist [part of me] said, ‘Oh really, no concerns?,’’ recounted Katsanis.  “And who asked?  Oh the police”…So she and a colleague, Jennifer Wagner, went down to Dallas, to talk to the sex workers themselves, without [Porky Pig] in the room…

Case Study

Dysphemisms and gawking abound in UK articles about sex work:

A Fulham brothel operator and head of a London sex empire is facing jail after he admitted a series of crimes including making money from prostitution and human trafficking.  David Archer…pleaded guilty…to running a string of brothels, trafficking women and controlling their profiles on adult websites…Detective Sergeant John Kirby [drooled]…”Archer exploited vulnerable women to build his lucrative empire in the sex industry over a number of years…once he lured the women, they were instructed to pose for explicit photos, and in some cases forced to engage in sexual activity…Neighbours describe seeing women as young as 18 “dancing naked in the garden” before [one] brothel was shut…

Nice While It Lasted

What could possibly go wrong?

Senior council figures have backed plans to give officials the power to dish out £100 [trial-free] fines for drinking, begging and urinating…[the due-process-free penalties are to be euphemistically labeled] Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)…the orders would allow police…and council officers to issue instant £100 fines for anyone [they claim committed] one of several anti-social behaviour offences in the areas…deputy council leader…Clyde Loakes [lied]…“This is not an attack on homeless people…this is not infringing human rights”…A third PSPO, aimed at curbing street prostitution, has also been proposed for the Lea Bridge area of Leyton…

Signs 

This woman calls bruises and rope burns “signs of trafficking”. I call them “signs of a fun evening”:

…the Southwest Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force recently unveiled two training mannequins that exhibit common physical signs of human trafficking, including bruising, rope burns and possessive tattoos, said Cathy Knauf…She said the tattoos are usually not professionally done and say “Daddy” or are a UPC bar code.  “It shows ownership by the trafficker that this is his property,” she said.  She said the task force started collecting money for Freethem Ink, which will pay to have a survivor’s tattoo changed into something beautiful or removed…

Lies Piled on Lies

Nebraska is vying with Washington, Arizona and Florida to be the state which produces the stupidest “sex trafficking” nonsense:

Seven score and 14 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a different form of slavery lingers in the United States…human trafficking…ensnares children as young as 13 in the sex industry…Glen Parks [a pig mouthpiece, bloviated while secretly masturbating]…“It’s treating someone like you own them, like they’re an object”…The [pig] who pulls over a suspect transporting three inappropriately dressed and unrelated teenage girls, needs [to lock the girls up]…he said…“We can train motel workers to spot the signs of sex trafficking.  These victims get sick more than most, and must be taken to a clinic or a hospital, where if nurses are trained to spot the signs they can [rat them out]”…Connie Lofgreen, a sex addiction [profiteer] in Omaha, [pearl-clutched] that pornography is a “theater” of trafficking…“You don’t know when you look at pornography if that person is participating as a willing participant.  You don’t know that they’re not a minor or that they haven’t been trafficked in from another country.”  Lofgreen said an entire generation of men has developed an addiction to pornography, and that like all addicts they need increasingly stronger doses, a process that sometimes causes them to drift into child pornography…

Under Every Bed (#669)

We’ve heard all these lies before; this is only notable for the sheer density of bullshit, and the fact that it’s claimed to take place in a state with a smaller population than Greater Seattle:

Amber Lawrence…travels…Iowa [for] Teens Against Human Trafficking…trying to protect young people from being “Taken” down a heartbreaking road in which life expectancy is a stark seven years…an educational exhibit…features art of young women in a cage, an empty pair of silver high heels, and an abandoned teddy bear symbolizing loss of innocence…as a college freshman at 19, she had been the target of an attempted human trafficking incident…

An “attempted human trafficking incident”.  You know, like in “The Widening Gyre” below.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

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

With mascots dressed as smiling fish and a police rock band, Thai authorities launched a “Happy Zone”…to [sanitize] the image of a city [known] for sex tourism…the…sex…industry…remains economically vital while being officially excoriated…The latest of many crackdowns in Pattaya happened…last month…A handful of bars were raided.  Bar owners and working women were fined.  Scared to venture out, tourists…stayed in hotels.  Street vendors and shops saw sales tumble.  The money which flows to all levels in the city – including law enforcement agencies – fell off.  The Happy Zone approach is a softer way to try to [pretend] that something is being done…Apichai Krobpetch, chief of Pattaya city police, [said] “We will also stamp out prostitution in the area”…

Guinea Pigs (#723) 

More on the “banks looking for whores to rat out to the pigs” evil from last week:

…banks have become adept at mining data to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations.  Much of that same data can also be used to detect signs of human trafficking…Some financial patterns that could potentially indicate human trafficking include credit card purchases on some classified-ad sites, several individuals with a common address depositing money into the same account, or multiple accounts transferring money to the same beneficiary…analytics tools can also cross-reference customer phone numbers to see if those same numbers appear on classified-ad pages where illegal services might be sold…

“Multiple accounts transferring money to the same beneficiary”.  You know, like when different people pay for purchases from one company.

The Widening Gyre (#723) 

Lenore Skenazy’s take on yet another hysterical “sex trafficking” fantasy:

89,000 shares of this piece from ForEveryMom…”Diandra Toyos is a Southern California mom of three kiddos aged 4, 1.5, and 7 weeks.  Looking for a fun outing, she and her mom decided to take the kids to their local IKEA recently to do some couch shopping…But Toyos never could have imagined that their lighthearted shopping trip was about to take a sinister turn“…This “My kids were about to be trafficked, I just KNOW it” post is so shockingly similar to last week’s “My kids were about to be trafficked, I just KNOW it” post that it feels…creepy.  A lot creepier than being at Ikea where a couple of men glance at my kids…What, two men are going to grab two or three kids, all under age 7, IN PUBLIC, in a camera-filled IKEA, with the MOM and the GRANDMA right there, not to mention a zillion other fans of Swedish furnishings?…You can TELL nothing happened, because the whole thing was described as an “incident”.  And Lenore’s #1 Rule of Reporting is: When something is called an “incident,” it’s because nothing happened…

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I’m just not right in the head.  –  Michael Lane

You’ve probably heard by now that rock and roll legend Chuck Berry died last Saturday at the age of 90; you’ve probably also seen video of him at the height of his popularity in the late ’50s, but whether you have or haven’t you’ll probably enjoy this performance of “Roll Over Beethoven”.  The links above it are from Jason Kuznicki (“serve”), Popehat (“paradise”), Ally Fogg (“rape”), Radley Balko  (“exposed”), and Tushy Galore (“friends”).

From the Archives

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Shouldn’t we help [sex workers] instead of further marginalising them?  –  Christina Cannon

The Red Umbrella 

Because NHI is so feminist:

Last week, we were treated to the release of the trailer for Rough Night, a female-led buddy comedy that sees Scarlett Johannson, Kate McKinnon, Illana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell team up for a wild bachelorette weekend.  The girls drink, go dancing, take photos with selfie sticks, and hire a stripper.  Yay!  And then they accidentally kill him.  Not yay.  And then, for reasons as-yet-unknown to the audience, they arrange his dead body in a sex swing before hanging him out of the sunroof of a Jeep, driving him shirtless through a busy street, and – I can’t believe I’m about to write what I’m about to write – making jokes about his corpse’s erection.  Decidedly not yay…

Elephant in the Parlor 

Politicians hiring male sex workers isn’t much less common than their hiring female ones:

[Oklahoma] State Senator Ralph Shortey…was discovered at a Super 8 in Moore…with an unidentified boy under the age of 18…police have recommended the politician be charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution, prostitution within 1000 feet of a church and transporting someone for prostitution.  The exact age of the boy involved is unclear. Police have said that he is a juvenile, though the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

Attorneys in Denver have filed a national lawsuit against a chain of strip clubs.  The class action suit accuses PT’s Show Club, PT’s All Nude, Diamond Cabaret, La Boheme and The Penthouse Club of exploiting their exotic dancers.  The…suit…involves hundreds of dancers in 20 strip clubs across eight states…Mari Newman, the attorney who filed the suit, said that the company’s lack of fair compensation for the dancers’ work is illegal…

Watershed

Even in Ireland, the truth is dawning on many feminists:

Gillian Wylie…and Eilis Ward…state that they are “weary” after several years of fighting the perceived definition of sex work in Ireland…“We did a piece of research…on the…extent of trafficking for sexual exploitation of women into Ireland”, explains Wylie….the number of people being trafficked in Ireland was being quoted as being in the hundreds.  Wylie and Ward’s “rigorous piece of research” came up with a figure of 76…For both women, a critical turning point in their opinions on sex work came from talking to people involved in the industry.  When met with a roomful of sex workers, Ward listened as they explained that they “didn’t consider themselves to be victims of violence”…and this limiting definition “didn’t capture the reality of their work”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#325)

Ladies, please don’t let people who aren’t doctors inject who-knows-what into your butts:

On the internet, she goes by the name Vanessa Luna, starring in porn videos that highlight her ample rear end…she used her real name, Ruth Planas, to…operat[e]…an unlicensed clinic in a West Miami-Dade strip mall…Cuerpos Health and Aestheticwas shuttered after…Suyima Torres, died following a botched butt lift performed there.  Prosecutors have charged Jose Robusto, a purported medical doctor in Venezuela, who they believe injected Torres with illegal and dangerous liquid silicone at the facility.  But nearly a year after his arrest, authorities have been unable to build a case against clinic owner Planas, who claimed no injections were ever done at the business.  Planas insisted she only used the clinic to sell cosmetic products, pitch Herbalife nutritional supplements and, a couple times a week, perform on live X-rated web videos…witnesses say that Planas arranged and helped carry out illegal cosmetic surgeries there…Robusto…is awaiting trial for manslaughter, one of many high-profile cases involving botched cosmetic surgeries in South Florida — a hub for sham doctors who offer cheap cosmetic procedures performed in homes, warehouses and pseudo clinics.  Just last week, a Miami man was arrested after police said he gave butt injections to a woman who wound up in the hospital because of the procedure…

If Men Were Angels

Is anyone actually still surprised when this happens?

Ottawa police have laid four new charges against a retired Catholic priest in connection with alleged sexual assaults at two local churches in the 1960s.  Rev. Barry McGrory, 82, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male, and two counts of gross indecency…McGrory was first arrested in November in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy in the 1960s…the Archdiocese of Ottawa…settled out of court with two women who said they were abused as adolescents by McGrory in the 1970s…One of the victims was paid $300,000 in one of the largest settlements of its kind in the history of the Ottawa diocese.  In an interview last year, McGrory said he was a sex addict…

Umpteen Thousand People Can’t Be Wrong (#546)

Prohibitionist Scottish politicians exhume the rotting corpse of the “Scottish model” (ie the Swedish model) yet again:

…SNP members [backed] a motion for a Scottish model for [oppressing sex workers]…MSP Ash Denham proposed the motion, based…on the Nordic model of [prohibition]…Denham [drooled]…that “a girl who enters prostitution at 14 will service the sexual demands of more than 4000 men before she’s old enough to drive a car”…Christina Cannon, who is standing to be an SNP councillor…argued against the model, and told delegates to be mindful of the motion in front them…Women in the trade, she argued, were opposed to the criminalisation of the purchase of sex, pointing delegates to a consultation held when Labour’s Rhoda Grant put forward a similar proposal in 2012…

Property of the State (#561) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

…new moms in Alabama…[are subjected to] hospital drug tests [without their permission] after birth and [the results are] passed along to police.  Dozens of women have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child since 2006 for using marijuana during pregnancy…Although Alabama isn’t the only state with laws against drug use during pregnancy, its prosecutors have been the most zealous – bringing charges against hundreds of women, even those with low levels of THC and no criminal history.  State lawmakers [recklessly passed] the chemical endangerment law in 2006 [supposedly] to protect children from exposure to chemicals and fumes from home-based meth-labs…[but] prosecutors immediately began applying it to women who used drugs during pregnancy, a practice that increased after being upheld by the Alabama State Supreme Court in 2013…

Bell, Hook and Kettle (#615)

There’s a word for collaboration between government and private corporations; it’s “fascism”:

…Philadelphia’s Special Victim’s Unit…[has] joined forces with Federal Homeland Security investigations, the FBI, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the District Attorney on a new task force charged with cracking down on sex trafficking, thanks to a $1.3 million federal grant…Investigators…[pretend to] work hard to get young women out of the sex trade and on a better path in life.  The Salvation Army plays a vital role in helping women break the vicious cycle of sex trafficking…

Is that anything like “the dangerous cycle of prostitution“?

To Molest and Rape

“Errors”.  You know, like turning a blind eye to cops raping teens:

Louisville’s mayor announced that he has asked the FBI to investigate…the…sexual abuse of children in the police department’s Youth Explorer program.  Mayor Greg Fischer also said he had hired former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey to review an investigation conducted by Louisville Metro Police and determine whether “errors were made,” including by police Chief Steve Conrad…A lawsuit…on behalf of a former scout identified as N.C. charges that his alleged rape by Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood was “concealed” by department officials.  Betts and Wood are accused of sexually assaulting the former scout from 2011 through 2013 and recording the incidents to make porn…

Leaving the Life (#657)

This is a lot better than Vice‘s last article on leaving sex work:

…sex workers are able to…pick up transferable skills that they can use in their future careers.  Few sex workers stay in the industry for their whole working lives, and they leave for diverse reasons—often returning for short or extended stints from time to time…Raven Bowen of the University of York [said]…”If people get pregnant or fall in love, they often leave right away.  Middle-class sex workers might be able to make a plan when they transition out—dabble in some square jobs, then gradually leave.”  Another common motivator is a child approaching their teenage years…Rarest of all are [those]…who…settle down with a client, although Bowen [says] this isn’t unheard of…Many sex workers view the industry as a short-term stepping stone to a…straight…career, and aim to retire from sex work when they’ve amassed enough money to fund tuition or open a small business…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#688) 

This is what robo-fetishists want you to believe will take my job soon:

Sergi Santos…wants to make sure robotic sex dolls…enjoy the sex as much as the humans ― or at least act like they do.  The Barcelona-based engineer has just created a sex doll named “Samantha,” who…responds when the user touches her hands and hips by saying positive statements like “I love this” and “Nice and gentle” in a singsong voice…she is programmed to want romance first, then get comfortable before getting sexual.  “The…final objective of the sexual mode is to give her an orgasm,” said Santos…Santos is now selling Samantha…for around $5,374…

One Born Every Minute (#717) 

I’d be much happier if the money went to Hickey’s victims instead of the State:

Things are not looking good for Matt Hickey.  The former tech journalist, who is currently being held in King County jail on four separate charges of second-degree rape, failed to respond to the Attorney General Office’s lawsuit against his fake porn scam.  As a result…Judge Ken Schubert issue[d] a ruling finding that Hickey did, indeed, scam at least six women by pretending to be a fake female porn recruiter online since 2006; Schubert also ruled that Hickey owes the state $300,000 in penalties that represent 150 violations of state consumer protection laws…[and] must pay $32,201 in court fees…

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People have the right to do what they want with their bodies. -Dr Paul Ryan

Rooted in Racism

Sometimes “trafficking” just means “bringing in brown people“:

Police in India have arrested eight foreign nationals…for allegedly forging passports and impersonation…The arrested included four Britons who were allegedly trying help four Sri Lankans gain entry into the UK with fake Indian passports…Police believe that the suspected traffickers are part of a wider network that could be helping non-Indian nationals to fly out to other countries on fake documents…entering the UK and getting a job for people carrying Sri Lankan passports is difficult, so they opt for the easier route of travelling with forged Indian passports…

Somehow, I Doubt She Thought This Through

Seriously, has this girl been living under a rock?

A pregnant woman in northeastern Alabama has been charged with rape after…she wrote on a Medicaid application that a 14-year-old boy was the father of her unborn baby…19-year-old Mekenzie Leigh Guffey…[was ratted out to cops by] the state human resources agency…and charged with second-degree rape and second-degree sex abuse, along with enticing a child for immoral purposes, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography…If convicted, Guffey could face up to 20 years in prison…

Just think; if the state sends her to prison it will be ruining three young people’s lives with one action.  Of course, prosecutors consider that a win.  Protecting the “children”!!!

Monkey Business 

So much for human uniqueness:

A chimpanzee was filmed using tools to apparently clean the corpse of her adopted son, the first hint that animals other than humans have mortuary practises…Noel…was seen using a stem of grass to remove debris from the teeth of a young male named Thomas, who she had looked after since the death of his own mother four years earlier…Dr Edwin van Leeuwen…said:  “Noel…sat down close to his head…select[ed] a hard piece of grass…and used her thumbs to explore his teeth…she…started to meticulously poke the grass in the same dental area as where her thumbs had been”…Nina, her adolescent daughter, stayed at her side and observed the cleaning efforts of her mother…researchers say Noel might also have been trying to understand how Thomas had died.  She was seen tasting the debris she had picked from his teeth.  A post-mortem revealed that Thomas had most likely died from a combination of a viral and bacterial lung infection…

Across the Pond (#333)

Four years ago, Ipswitch was claiming to have “eradicated” street work:

…The number of calls Suffolk Constabulary has received reporting suspected street prostitution in Ipswich has more than tripled over a year, jumping from three in 2015 to 10 last year…Up until February 7 this year there had been two recorded sightings.  [Politician] David Ellesmere…said plans for a new [snitching] system…were being put in place…Brian Tobin…of Iceni Ipswich…said…“I…believe that in any great shape or form street prostitution won’t return to Ipswich…People are…now [arranging meetings]…online…if people are safe and they are not coerced, they are not under-age…then who are we to judge them?  In a massage parlour or a flat you’ve got more security”…[But] Ellesmere [fantasizes about]…problems of trafficking and child sexual exploitation…[fellow politician] Ben Gummer [drooled over his fantasies of]…“the growing number who are being exploited in hotel rooms and rented accommodation across the town”…

Paint By Numbers

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

Traffic Circle

Little by little, bit by bit:

…”Awareness raising” campaigns are typically aimed at two main audiences, namely potential victims of human trafficking and the general public…both types…suffer from serious problems…there is little empirical data demonstrating that public service announcements (PSAs) such as posters in bus stations and airports are effective mechanisms for trafficked persons to access help.  The organisations that [create these] receive vast sums of money…Campaigns aiming…[at] the general public are even more problematic…[they] rely on images of sexual exploitation, and their “further information” links or phone numbers are often either non-functional or [simply connect to the cops]…Both types of campaigns…utilise scare tactics and voyeuristic, often sexualised images.  In addition to being ethically questionable, these can actually redirect our attention and resources away from more common forms of exploitation, such as children engaged in child labour, workers picking fruit, catching fish or packaging chicken…

Guinea Pigs 

It’s absolutely insane that anyone thinks this is OK, even if the notions it was based on weren’t completely idiotic:

A British bank is helping to identify women trafficked here to work as prostitutes by monitoring customers’ accounts for daily purchases of contraceptives…The same unnamed bank has also been looking for payments to “high end restaurants and cheap diners on the same day” in the belief that such transactions could indicate a sex worker dining with a client while her “handler” eats more frugally nearby.  Another financial institution provided 80 tip-offs to [pigs] after identifying accounts which received multiple cash deposits of under £10,000, often paid in anonymously, as well as regular payments to websites advertising “adult services” and flights to Eastern European countries [which are commonly featured in men’s fantasies of] sex trafficking…

I’m not sure if the stupidest premise here is that the only things people buy at pharmacies are condoms, or if it’s that whores pay for our client’s dinners rather than the other way around.  But I have to admit the idea of a pimp following a sex worker around by lurking in McDonald’s is totally hilarious.

Choke Point (#610)

From Sex Worker Helpfuls, here’s a list of payment processors that are openly hostile to sex workers, and others which are friendly so far.  Obviously this can change on a whim as it does so often, but it’s a good starting point.  The post is two years old, but appears to have been kept up to date with edits.

The Widening Gyre (#670) 

More “grocery store sex trafficking” lunacy:

My name is Amanda…a Longview, Texas resident.  I’m convinced that our two-year-old daughter was the victim of a potential sex-trafficking scam yesterday.  I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon.  I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how “cute your daughter is” and then asked about her age…I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman’s body language and close proximity…the woman ask[ed] if she could hold her…my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond…The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms…

“Cultural differences”.  In other words, the woman was an immigrant and therefore (in Amanda’s fear-crazed mind) immediately suspect no matter how mundane the interaction.

Power Play (#701)

Marc Randazza & other 1st-amendment lawyers speak out against the Backpage persecution:

The First Amendment Lawyers Association (FALA) is asking new Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra to end the “abuse of governmental power” perpetuated by predecessor Kamala Harris against current and former executives of the classified-ad site Backpage…FALA…sent a letter to Becerra condemning “the abusive prosecution of individuals associated with…Backpage.com, and also the use of expansive search warrants seeking vast amounts of constitutionally-protected material, including personally identifiable information about all of the website’s users.”  In the letter, FALA President Marc Randazza says he can identify “no theory under the First Amendment that would countenance such an abusive use of prosecutorial discretion or such a dragnet demand for information”…

Devil’s Advocate (#714) 

Authoritarians refuse to admit that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The very idea of a child sex doll — a life-size, anatomically correct figure typically modeled after a little girl — tends to evoke abject horror.  But…a Finnish non-profit that has spent several decades promoting “sexual well being” suggested that these disturbing little dolls might actually help to protect children from abuse.  Tommi Paalanen…of the Sexpo Foundation…argued that pedophiles can be prevented from abusing kids if given an acceptable channel for their desires…“A person who uses a lot of money and effort to purchase the doll has already made the decision that he wants to carry out the sexual tendency…Therefore, it is important that…authorities…do not hamper their availability.”  The statement…came following news of an uptick in Norway of imports of child sex dolls from Hong Kong.  Police there have seized 21 such dolls since October and…men in Canada and Australia are currently on trial or being investigated for allegedly purchasing child sex dolls…Milton Diamond, a sex researcher…has long argued that simulated child pornography — meaning pornographic content that features computer-generated images instead of footage of real children— can prevent child abuse.  In 2010, he published a study finding that during a period in the Czech Republic when child pornography was not illegal, there was a “significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.”  Studies have found similar evidence in Denmark and Japan.  From that, he argues, we can conclude that child sex dolls would have a similar effect…

Authoritarians deny this, of course, because their belief-system insists that a human is a tabula rasa for the almighty State to write upon, and all that’s required to change sexual and other desires are sufficiently-punitive laws intended to “send messages” in blood.

The Course of a Disease (#715)

It’s good to see academics in the afflicted countries saying this:

Dr Paul Ryan has been lecturing at Maynooth University…for 10 years.  He is a board member of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland…“Most academics do want a focus on harm reduction, but public policy in Ireland has moved towards a…point where all sex work is seen as a violence against women…The argument is…not backed up by evidence.  Sweden has had this law since 1999 and it still has a thriving sex industry”…Ireland went one step further than its northern neighbours, however, by increasing the penalties criminalising sex work itself…Ryan is concerned the law could have unintended consequences…an advisory group on a project commissioned by the Department of Justice and undertaken at Queen University Belfast…found the law to be largely unenforceable.  The proposal ultimately became law anyway.  So, Ryan asks, “Is it about real change, or sending out a message?”…

Ryan is, of course, being diplomatic by saying “unintended consequences”; politicians in every country which has passed the Swedish model have been very clear that the law is fully intended to harm sex workers. It’s only the model’s prohibitionist cheerleaders who pretend otherwise.

Worse Than I Thought (#717)

It’s good to know there are at least a few sane people opposing the bizarre schemes of Oregon politicians:

…new laws that would suspend professional, recreational, and driver’s licenses of people busted for visiting a sex worker…were tabled last week…[but] “a new bill will be put forward which will combine elements of these two bills”…[and] mandate something known as “john school,” which aims to [brainwash] men [with propaganda claiming fantasized]…negative effects of paying for sex…[blah blah blah] child sex trafficking…the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) [points out that such a law] will only hinder people from getting their lives back on track after a conviction, citing a 2016 state study that found “the inability to obtain or reinstate a driver’s license is one of the single greatest barriers to obtain/maintain stable employment”…professional and recreational license…[suspensions could gravely harm] doctors, teachers, cosmetologists, contractors, liquor licensees, hunters, anglers, and so on…Gail Meyer, an OCDLA lobbyist [also pointed out that]…“The whole issue of whether or not two consenting adults ought to be able to choose whether or not they want to engage in sex for a fee is sort of getting swept under the rug”…

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White people saving white people is not as sexy and compelling as white people getting to further exercise their savior complex through the racist stereotype of the submissive, obedient Asian sex slave.  –  Laura LeMoon

Rough Trade 

From Norway, the other feminist paradise:

A 36 year old man has been sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of two rapes.  The punishment would have been harsher if the victims were not prostitutes…the judgment of Stavanger District Court [reads]…”By the rape of a prostitute who has agreed to sell sexual services, but where a situation arises where the offender will not pay, and thus develop into a rape which in this case is the violation of sexual integrity by a somewhat different character”…the verdict has been appealed…

The Daughters of Shamhat

Sex work is not an evil to be tolerated, but a good to be celebrated:

…Over the next year I sought out…sexworkers…every for every time I felt I was losing control…the only thing holding me together was the sexworkers I was seeing every three to four weeks.  They kept my wife safe from my anger…Based on the recommendation of a sexworker I sought help.  I was diagnosed with PTSD…later [my wife] filed for divorce…years [later] I met a young lady…that stole my heart.  After two months of dating…she said she could not have an exclusive physical relationship with me, but if I was willing to have a mentally exclusive and love exclusive relationship, she would be more than happy to join me in such a relationship.  That’s when she explained that she was a sexworker…Today, she and I are married.  We have a loving relationship based on openness and honesty.  She actually encourages me seeing sexworkers…

If Men Were Angels

This is obviously a major ethical violation, but I don’t think letting drug warriors handle the case helped anyone:

[Doctor] Naga Thota…was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for distributing controlled substances without a legitimate purpose, part of…a “quid pro quo situation in which he exchanged drugs, gifts and money for sex.”  A criminal complaint accuses him of having similar arrangements with two other patients — all of them in their 20s and addicted to pain pills…Thota and the women would exchange sexually explicit texts, then Thota would write prescriptions in exchange for sexual favors…he switched them to more powerful painkillers, then increased the dosages — and their dependence on him as a supplier…

Guinea Pigs 

“Protecting women” is nearly always code for either spying on us or controlling us:

…the imagination of safety for women in public spaces always ends up focusing on monitoring their moves – by dotting the cityscape with closed-circuit television cameras.  The Karnataka government responded to the allegations of rape and molestation by announcing the purchase of 550 more CCTVs, never mind that the thousand-odd such devices had failed to stop the assaults in the first place…in spite of having more security cameras than any other country in Europe, only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images in 2015.  Additionally, this bolsters the notion that crimes against women are always inflicted by unknown persons — the ubiquitous stranger rape – and erases that most such violence happens within the home, by family members, where there are no CCTVs…The gentrification – which included CCTV installation — of Kolkata’s biggest lakeside park threw sex workers and transfolk onto the streets and made them far more susceptible to police and stranger violence…

To Molest and Rape 

Don’t socialize with the sleazy fuckers, either:

A Minneapolis [cop]…sexually [assaulted] an unconscious woman with whom he was out drinking earlier that night…Thomas Robert Tichich…and the victim were with another woman who invited them to spend the night at her home…to avoid driving drunk…the victim passed out on a large living room couch.  The woman went to sleep in an upstairs bedroom and told Tichich to sleep on a smaller living room couch…[she] woke up later to find Tichich in her bed touching her arm…[so she] told Tichich to leave the room.  A while later, the woman, unable to sleep, went downstairs to find Tichich naked and standing over the victim sleeping on the large couch and attempting a sex act.  She took photographs using her cellphone, then kicked Tichich out of her house and called police…

Still a Child (#677) 

A rare victory against prohibitionists:

[Prohibitionists] were dealt a blow…in a federal court in Louisiana, with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier siding with strippers between the ages of 18 and 20 in their dispute with a recent Louisiana lawthat prohibits anyone age 18 to 20 from dancing nude in Louisiana strip clubs.  The decision deals a major blow to what legislators [pretend is] an effort to shield young women from being exploited by  human traffickers that they [fantasize] recruit young women in clubs…The ruling appears to establish stripping as a constitutional right under the First Amendment, making Barbier not just a hero to strippers, but to Americans in general…

Send In the Clowns 

Back so soon?

Extra police patrolled West Mifflin, Pennsylvania over the weekend after officials received reports of two men with weapons, dressed as clowns, frightening a group of children…The search didn’t turn up any evidence…The children were playing hide-and-go-seek in the woods, when around 4:15 p.m. they [claimed] two men dressed like scary clowns and carrying weapons approached them…

The War Goes On 

The prohibitionist arseholes at the New York Times still refuse to understand how anti-sex crusades harm sex workers:

In the fight against child sex trafficking, shutting down an epicenter like Backpage was a major victory, but one against a relentless foe that quickly unfurled new tentacles…it…illustrated how difficult it is to stamp out the practice of selling children for sex…Eric Quan, a [vice pig]…with the San Jose Police Department, said there had been a conspicuous rise in street prostitution…

It’s interesting how often cops & reporters with “sex trafficking” fantasies are also apparently fans of hentai. Also note that though this reporter keeps drooling about “selling children for sex” the woman he interviewed for this tragedy porn is 18.

Cooties (#711)

Super-ally Frankie Mullin exposes cop bullshit:

“Pop-up brothels” full of trafficked women are sweeping the country, according to a spate of recent reports…The tale – valiant but kindly cops, the suggestion of women chained to radiators – with its trendy packaging in hipster terminology has been guzzled up by the press.  Basic fact-checking…is absent…in the last 12 months recorded, Devon and Cornwall police have made just one referral for sex trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism…and that was for an underage girl from the UK…Insp Dave Meredith…admitted…”We haven’t managed to locate any traffickers as a direct result of visiting pop-up brothels”…when I checked out Meredith’s claim – repeated by every news outlet which covered the story – that “the sex workers are the victims so we try to offer them help and signpost them to various agencies”, I hit a dead end…So…contrary to news reports: no Eastern European trafficking victims have been found, and “signposting to agencies” is, as yet, a hypothetical concept.  If the situation arose, cops would “google it”…

Spotlight (#715) 

It’s so good to see people who had a bad time in sex work attacking self-proclaimed savior Asstoon:

With tears brimming his eyes and a quiver in his voice, Ashton Kutcher testified…how he had recently seen a video of a 7-year-old girl in Cambodia being raped.  Search for his speech online, and shockingly, no one seems to have one word of criticism for the actor-turned-crusader…despite the fact that he…according to his own admission, is somehow getting ahold of and watching what is essentially child snuff porn — and then crying about it to the senate, where he’s praised for his compassion.  Unlike Kutcher, I am a trafficking survivor. I have also come to the sex industry at various points of my own choosing and have worked as an escort, adult film performer and street-based sex worker…What Kutcher represents…is exactly the problem with the global anti-trafficking movement today: paternalism and the trafficking savior complex…it has become abundantly clear to me that there might be — at most — one other trafficking survivor among potentially hundreds of people at [“anti-trafficking”] events.  This is precisely why Kutcher is problematic…

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