Posts Tagged ‘Validation’

It is an obnoxious and unacceptable conceit, a form of abuse, to deny sex workers their agency.  –  Graham Scrambler

Think of the Children! buttle opener

Sex rays are so insidious they can even radiate from pieces of plastic via the principle of sympathetic magic:

A week after Mark Gregory was elected chairman of the Williamson County school board, an online petition was launched  …demanding [he] step down from the post because of his role in creating the ButtleOpener, a novelty bottle opener shaped like a female rear end…

The Red Umbrella

Matthew Carney, 18, walked with [a sex worker] to a secluded area…after paying her…But as soon as they were alone Carney…repeatedly [punched] and [kicked] her in the head, causing severe injuries to her face.  He then walked off with her handbag…the courageous victim went to the police…[and] Carney was sentenced to seven years in prison…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

[Pittsburgh-area cop] Joshua Rush was [arrested]…[for] texting a prostitute he had a sexual relationship with…When police busted [her]…she showed them a string of text messages…in which he allegedly said he would distract officers from [going into her stroll]…

Check Your Premises

Earlier this year, Bensalem [Pennsylvania] police participated in Operation Cross Country…While the overt goal was busting pimps and prostitutes, the underlying objective was to create connections to help law enforcement find and stop child sex trafficking…“You need an approach that develops trust”…

You read that correctly:  these cops are so disconnected from reality that they think deceiving, raping and caging women is a good way to “develop trust”.


It’s always nice to be backed up by academics:

…the wealthy and powerful should not be permitted to swap policy-based evidence for evidence-based policy…Stereotypes of sex workers are simplistic, replete with errors of commission and omission…most public health researchers…respect…sex workers and oppose…any attempt to (further) criminalize them…[but] the weird admix of radical feminists and Christian…right-wingers who [push] “sexual trafficking”…are resistant to data:  they…wish the public to believe that [all] sex workers…have been trafficked.  Their…”moral crusade” is to legislate for the abolition of the industry…

Public Service Announcement Brooks Newmark

Just in case you thought only American politicians were this foolish:

…Brooks Newmark quit as Minister for Civil Society after he was caught sending an explicit photograph of himself…to someone he believed was a woman…as part of a tabloid newspaper sting operation …Mr Newmark initiated a private message conversation on a social networking website and sent a graphic picture exposing himself…

Surplus Women

Authorities are looking for the killer of a woman found in Lake Lucerne and identified…as a 36-year-old Bulgarian prostitute…Work colleagues…[contacted] police… because they had not been able to contact her for a long time on her cell phone…

Legal Is as Legal Does

Almost all countries criminalise some aspect of sex work, including…Australia…sex work under “legalisation” is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances.  These laws that govern sex work can be found in the criminal code…and…the police [enforce the]…regulation.  When I asked Jules Kim…of Scarlet Alliance…about the effect of all these regulations on the lives of sex workers in Victoria, she pointed out that many were deeply invasive of privacy…

See also “Bottleneck” below.rapist pig Michael Arnold

Above the Law 

Michael Arnold sexually assaulted a female prisoner shortly after she gave birth in 2012:  He pleaded guilty…[but spent] no time in jail…a just-filed lawsuit [names]…Arnold…the [rent-a-cop] firm for which he worked…[and]  Arapahoe County Sheriff David Walcher…Angela Weishoff…was [still] groggy [from an epidural] when [Arnold orally raped her until]…a nurse noticed the dimmed lights and entered the room, causing Arnold to quickly re-zip his pants…

An Example To the West

I hope this is available outside of India, too:

…a music band led by children of Sonagachi sex workers…[launched] their maiden album…Nijhum Raater Taara (Star of the Silent, Still Night)…[is a] compilation of seven adhunik gaan (Bengali modern songs)…The band [is backed by] DMSC…

Wise Investment (TW3 #23)

Let’s hope we see many more cases like this:

Fairview [New Jersey] has agreed to pay $145,000 to a [massage] business that had accused police officers of trespassing and…illegal search and seizure…during a prostitution sting…After five years of legal wrangling…the parties this week agreed to settle rather than go to trial…

The Widening Gyre

All it takes to be a “sex trafficking expert” is to declare yourself one, and to be able to tell tall tales with a straight face:  “Detective [Bill] Woolf said he’s seen some horrifying things working with victims.  ‘Girls have been…locked in refrigerators as punishment for not performing various sex acts’…


Despite the fact that she found some sex workers to support this precursor to criminalization, remember that about 90% of whores worldwide prefer to work illegally than submit to licensing:

A…[politician] wants to force sex workers in Buenos Aires City to register their names with authorities…[as] part of a larger bill that seeks to impose regulation…in order to “distinguish sexual work from human-trafficking”…Maria Rachid…insists [the registry] will be confidential and only accessible to competent authorities…

The “competent authorities” are the most dangerous ones.

King of the Hill

Prince George’s County…[is] seeking to crack down on human trafficking…by banning hourly rentals of hotel rooms…The Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force has called the state a “hot spot” for trafficking on account of…Interstate 95…bus stops and truck stops…The state ranks eighth in the country for…human trafficking-related reports.  Police in Prince George’s County have conducted a number of high-profile prostitution stings in recent years…

With Friends Like These…

I’ll bet this delusional ignoramus thinks he’s being “fair” and “sensible”:

…Most of the women who enter the sex trade have done so before a true age of consent.  They are…dependent on their pimps and usually on one or more narcotic substances, they have entered the sex industry as serfs…They age at an exponential rate of maybe 5 to 1…The average age is 13.  Some victims are as young as 9 and 10…many…are…literally…abducted…the reality for most…lured into this work is…a seven-year life expectancy…I think that regulating the sex work industry — granting and renewing licenses…would give sex workers some of the protections they want and make it possible for…authorities to rescue teen sex slaves…this…recognizes both the reality of human behavior…and this new…exploitation of children…There is an explosion of pornography…and…perversion.  Americans are oversexed…Something is deeply wrong in our culture and…spiritual life.  And I have to think that this is related to the sexualizing…of children…

Dysphemisms Galore 

“Authorities” have no idea how moronic they sound:

Ramona Judith Mora Garcia…pleaded guilty…to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit pimping…Garcia is a pimp/ modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain.  She required the victims in this case to turn over half the payment they received for performing unlawful sex acts from sex purchasers…

Book Review:  America’s War on Sex

At long last, Dr. Marty Klein has made a public statement against “sex trafficking” hysteria:

…if you define trafficking broadly enough, it does look like there are a million or more victims…Some…define [it] to include all prostitutes…[and] porn actresses…No wonder these…“researchers” get such enormous, scary, numbers…activists keep warning of the number of people “at risk” for being sex trafficked…because they’re poor, or unloved, or drug-addicted, or have trouble with English.  Using that logic, 45 million Americans are “at risk” of dying in plane crashes every month, and twenty million Californians are “at risk” of dying in car crashes every week…

A Procrustean Bed (TW3 #339)

Ohio now has “trafficking court” as well:

Judge Paul…Herbert’s five-year-old human trafficking court…[is] the first…in Ohio…The court is an intensive two-year commitment that starts with women arrested for prostitution pleading guilty before Herbert.  They’re required to enter counseling programs…Erica Cortez said…”I had to completely surrender to what they were trying to show me”…

China and Vietnam recently abandoned coerced “re-education” for sex workers, but Americans are embracing it.  Welcome to the future.

Rough Trade (TW3 #351)

Jillian Keenan is proving herself a worthy ally:

…If history is any evidence, serial rapists target sex workers first.  And when they get away with it, they’re…free to hunt all women…Prostitutes who report sexual assault to police can be laughed at, ignored, accused of lying, arrested, or worse…New York State’s…rape shield law—which protects rape victims from having their sexual histories used against them in criminal proceedings—explicitly does not apply to anyone with a prostitution conviction…And when an…Oakland [California] sex worker…applied for state-funded victim compensation after…rape left her unable to return to work immediately, she was denied support…The police and criminal justice systems treat sex workers as though rape were a mere “occupational hazard” of their work — an accusation that would never be thrown at a bank teller who survived a robbery…

Imaginary Crises (TW3 #410)

This parody springs from the absolutely true observation that “if the risk of sexual assault on campus were truly one in five…no parent in their right mind would send their daughter to coed universities.”

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #431)

File this one under “100% predictable”:

…Surabaya…mayor…Ibu Tri Rismaharini…[assumed] that Dolly’s sex workers would be eager to take up a lower-paid…vocation, such as cookery or garment making…[but] only 476 sex workers bothered to claim their $400…severance package…the overwhelming majority of ex-Dolly sex workers are now…undercover – working Surabaya’s streets, hotels and karaoke bars…prior to the shutdown the sex workers…told us that they would…go on selling sexual services no matter what…But…the shutdown went ahead regardless…

Bait and Switch

If you believe this, I suggest you reread the original of this title:

Long Beach police…arrested 91 suspected pimps and johns during an eight-month investigation aimed at combating sex trafficking.  Authorities also recovered 22 young women who they alleged were working as prostitutes…In one case, a man arranged to have sex with two children under the age of 10…When the trunk of his car was searched…a large roll of carpeting, several rolls of duct tape, handcuffs, and a magazine full of bullets were found…

“Recovered” means “abducted and caged”.

Surplus Women (TW3 #439)

Peechington Marie on the lack of media concern for Tjhisha Ball, Angelia Mangum and black sex workers in general:

…Little has been said about the murder of…these young women, and what has been said either glosses over or luridly magnifies one very important factor…Tjhisha and Angelia worked as exotic dancers…Even in…mostly positive [articles]…I walked away…feeling both shameful and shamed, as if they were written to say, “News reports say they were exotic dancers, quick, let’s fight to erase that so the girls can appear deserving of our sorrow and rage”…

The fundraiser for their funeral expenses is still open for donations.

The Roof Caves In (TW3 #439)

Somaly Mam’s…comeback scheme…hinges on that one Marie Claire interview, acquired in the course of four and a half days on the ground by Abigail Pesta…the interview is spurious.  It paints all of the allegations against Mam as unique to Newsweek, when in fact they are of a compendium of years’ worth of investigative work…Simon Marks…had done at the Cambodia Daily…one of the…Marie Claire sources, Thou Soy, works for AFESIP…and…holds a stake in seeing Mam’s reputation restored…only 49 percent of…women and girls at AFESIP shelters…could be considered “trafficked” under any definition of the term…and…the job training…[they] receive…is largely suited for employment in the service industry and Cambodia’s $5.53 billion garment sector…It’s one reason the global garment industry may be one of the primary sources of funding for anti-trafficking NGOs…C-36 hearings

Whither Canada? (TW3 #439)

Unlike their US counterpart, the Canadian media are not only politicians’ lap dogs:

…Alan Young…had a lot to say…about the constitutionality of…bill [C36] and where his focus would be if he…[challenges] it.  Few Conservative senators seemed terribly interested…apparently they’re content with assurances from Justice lawyers that the bill is constitutionally sound.  This is the same Justice Department, of course, that argued the previous law was constitutional…I wouldn’t trust these people to tell me it’s raining…What does it say about the Senate if everyone already knows what they will do with one of the most hotly debated and controversial bills in recent memory?  Forget about sober second thought.  Can we at least get some thought?

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A man’s jealousy is a social institution; a woman’s prostitution is an instinct.  –  Karl Kraus

What is it about the end of the year and prostitution-related news?  Last year saw an explosion of such stories after mid-November, so that I ended up doing a number of miscellanea columns between then and Christmas; one year ago today “Bits and Pieces (Part One)” appeared, featuring Derrick Burts’ self-outing, a Melissa Petro follow-up, the duplicitous Annie Lobert of “Hookers for Jesus” and an astonishingly ignorant “child sex trafficking” story from NPR.  Well, this year was much the same; I had so many short articles I had to spread them across six different columns!  Don’t worry, I won’t throw them at you all in a row; we’ll start with a two-part update column and a miscellanea column on Sunday, then save the others for the end of next week.

Think of the Children! (September 30th, 2010)

The list of teachers “outed” as porn actors continues to grow; first Tera Myers, then Benedict Garrett, and now Kevin Hogan of Malden, Massachusetts, whose stage name was “Hytch Cawke”.  But if reporter Mike Beaudet of WFXT in Boston imagined he would be hailed as a hero for exposing the dirty porn-making fag lurking in our schools to corrupt innocent children, I’m sure he was unpleasantly surprised.  Oh, he was easily able to find the usual assortment of sheeple to bleat out quotes like “I’m disturbed. I’m surprised…This is scary” and “he’s teaching our children.  Everyday.  It does bother me a lot.”  But take a look at the comments on the story, which are not only overwhelmingly defensive of a person’s right to do (legal) sex work, but also overwhelmingly condemnatory of the TV station and reporter.  Beaudet actually went on the air the next day to defend his actions, probably because there’s a “Support Kevin Hogan, FIRE Mike Beaudet” Facebook page and a Fire Mike Beaudet petition at Change​.org.  I don’t believe for one second that the furor would be this strong if the teacher were a heterosexual woman, or if Hogan had been a gay prostitute rather than a gay porn actor, but any vociferous public support for any flavor of “sex work is work” is a huge step in the right direction.

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)

In this post I explained that in some species of cricket, males give females large bags of low-quality food as their payment for sex; I compared them to human clients who pad their pay envelopes with low-denomination bills hidden among the large ones.  Well, this November 13th article from Physorg.com introduces us to the arthropod equivalent of clients who try to cheat hookers with envelopes full of worthless paper strips:

Male nursery web spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) prepare silk-wrapped gifts to give to potential mates.  Most gifts contain insects, but some gifts are inedible plant seeds or empty exoskeletons left after the prey has already been eaten…New research…examines the reproductive success of deceitful males and shows that females are not impressed by worthless gifts.  [In the experiment] male spiders were provided with either a potential gift of a fly, or a worthless item, such as a cotton wool ball, a dry flower head, a prey leftover (previously eaten housefly), or no gift at all.  All the gifts were approximately the same size, so the females would not be able to tell what the gift was without unwrapping it.  Males that offered any gift were more likely to successfully mate than males without.  However the length of time the females allowed males with worthless gifts to spend transferring sperm was shorter than those with edible gifts (and even shorter for those with no gift at all!)  It appears that both male and female spiders are apparently able to assess the value of the gift and modify their behavior accordingly…Maria Albo who led the research explained, “The evolution of male deceit involves a complex equation of costs and benefits.  It costs the males to find and wrap a gift, but these costs can be reduced if the male does not have to first catch his gift, or gives one that has already been eaten.  The benefit of the gift is longer mating, which leads to more sperm being transferred, and potentially a higher number of offspring.  However, the females are wise to deception and terminate mating early for worthless gifts”…

Keep this in mind next time some neofeminist tries to tell you that gender-based human sexual behavior is “socially constructed”.

No Other Option (October 17th, 2010)

Most severely-disabled men and many whose handicap is less severe are completely unable to acquire sex by noncommercial means, so prostitutes are their only recourse.  Neofeminist fanatics declare that sex is not a “need” and that such a transaction still constitutes “male oppression”, but sane, moral, decent people know better and fortunately many whores are happy to help these men experience sex.  A newly-released documentary named Scarlet Road follows an Australian professional who specializes in helping disabled clients:

Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton works with many clients who have disabilities.  Her work has become the subject of the latest documentary from award-winning director Catherine Scott and producer Pat Fiske.  Filmed over a three-year period, Scarlet Road follows Rachel in her relationship with John, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 26 years ago, and Mark, a client with cerebral palsy.  It reveals the therapeutic aspects of human touch and sexual intimacy.  This unique documentary gives voice to two men generously sharing moments of sexual self-discovery.  “People with disability are not seen as sexual beings and on the other hand sex workers are often portrayed as oversexed, victims or damaged goods.  I really wanted to tackle these stereotypes head on”…Scarlet Road shows Rachel in her daily life and follows her on a journey to the UK, Denmark and Sweden, where she meets with sex workers, people with disabilities and their families, as well as making quite an impression as a speaker at the World Congress for Sexual Health.

Aphrodite bless Rachel and her work; I’ve added a link to her charity, Touching Base, to my “Resources” box at the right.

Interview:  Jill Brenneman (starting February 21st, 2011)

On December 2nd our friend Jill spoke at the Sex Worker Summit in Asheville, North Carolina hosted by the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition and several other organizations (including New Orleans’ own Women With a Vision).  Local newspaper Mountain Xpress covered the event and according to Jill even got it mostly right.  I don’t have a lot of hope for North Carolina becoming a center for sex worker rights in the U.S., but I’d love to be proven wrong!

Validation (May 25th, 2011)

Even when one already knows something, it’s good to get validation from others.  And when one is beset by enemies on all sides, particularly ruthless enemies who are willing not only to lie but to distort or completely fabricate bogus “research” to support their lies, every extra bit of academic research which soundly supports one’s position is another arrow in one’s quiver.”  So I was quite pleased to see this November 11th article on the Migrants’ Rights Network; we’ve seen this study before in my November 15th column, but this article mentions a different aspect:

A new study on migration and trafficking in the UK sex industry has challenged the idea that trafficking is the main factor in trapping people in exploitative and abusive employment.  Based on a survey of 100 people of migrant background involved in the industry, [Dr Nick Mai of the Institute for the Study of European Transformations (ISET)] has found that a majority of them had not been forced or trafficked into the profession…[and that] difficulties in exercising rights…were more likely to come from the issue of official immigration status than from forced labour.  Many of the workers had entered the industry because the alternative employment available to them was likely to be more exploitative and unrewarding than sex work.  They also felt that the stigmatisation of the profession had a negative impact on their personal lives…[and that] criminalisation of clients…[would] not reduce demand or exploitation but [would] mean more insecurity for migrants working in the industry.  The report argues that better strategies to combat negative aspects of the industry would…[include allowing] migrants to become and remain legally documented…[allowing] the industry [to] operate legally…[and providing] victims of trafficking the right to remain in the country and the long-term support needed for integration.

This information needs to be pounded directly into the skull of every career politician and cop in the United Kingdom, United States and every other country which uses “human trafficking” as an excuse to persecute whores and/or our clients and partners.

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I am not interested in women just because they’re women.  I am interested, however, in seeing that they are no longer classed with children and minors.  –  Crystal Eastman

Even when one already knows something, it’s good to get validation from others.  And when one is beset by enemies on all sides, particularly ruthless enemies who are willing not only to lie but to distort or completely fabricate bogus “research” to support their lies, every extra bit of academic research which soundly supports one’s position is another arrow in one’s quiver.  But given the current anti-prostitution political climate it takes guts and an unwavering respect for the truth to dare to publish an academic paper which refutes the government’s position, so I was very pleased when Dave Krueger sent me this link to the University of Arkansas Newswire last Tuesday (as it turns out Brandy Devereaux had already posted about it two days earlier, but I was busy when I got the notice and forgot to check it later when I had time).  In any case, an economist at the University of Arkansas has shown on paper what we’ve been saying for decades:  most women who enter prostitution choose the work for the same reasons people choose any other job.

…A new study by an economics researcher at the University of Arkansas analyzes the U.S. prostitution market and provides policy recommendations to increase safety for women and communities…Contrary to assumptions that women enter the prostitution market only because they are desperate – that they need money to pay bills or buy drugs – the study indicates that many women, especially educated, affluent women, are making a rational decision to enter certain segments of the prostitution market…“Our model demonstrated that the prostitution market may be pulling educated women – these so-called ‘high-opportunity-cost’ women – out of the conventional labor market and the marriage market, in many cases,” said Jennifer Hafer, a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Arkansas.  “The findings suggest that these women are not forced into the prostitution market but rather choose to enter it for many of the same reasons that people enter the conventional job market – money, stability, autonomy and even job satisfaction”…Hafer…examined high- and low-quality markets within the various types of legal and illegal prostitution, which includes high-end escorts, call girls, brothel prostitutes, streetwalkers and women who advertise prostitution on the Internet.  The model allowed her to examine the type of market a woman would enter and how variables such as morals, effort, health risks, stigma, earnings and the probability of getting caught in an illegal activity influence a woman’s decision.

…opportunity cost refers to what is lost by choosing one out of two or more alternatives.  It refers to the benefits one could have received by taking an alternative action.  For this study, factors that influenced opportunity cost for a woman were education, training, access to both physical and social resources, access to the marriage market and family background variables such as type of household, the neighborhood one grew up in and education level of parents.  So, women with high-opportunity cost had greater access to or benefited from these variables.  The model revealed that high-opportunity-cost women – affluent and educated women with strong family backgrounds and access to resources – may be choosing to enter the high-quality illegal prostitution market, via a high-end escort service or through the Internet.  These women would not enter the legal prostitution market, according to the model.  Women with low-opportunity costs – that is, women with less education and economic opportunities – choose to enter the low-quality legal market – the brothels in the Nevada counties…Considering the finding that low-opportunity-cost women chose the legal market, Hafer pondered reasons for the existence of the illegal market for these women.  There are significant entry barriers to legal brothel prostitution, such as licensing, which might include background and health checks, house rules that the women must follow, such as prohibition of drugs, and, perhaps most significantly, the fact that brothels are located only in Nevada, many miles away from a woman’s support network…Based purely on the outcomes of the model, brothel prostitution should be legalized and regulated in expanded locations.  Her policy attention to escort and Internet prostitution focused on regulation, such as licensing, health testing and possibly taxation, as a means to ensure safety and security for both the prostitute and the consumer.  For the escort and Internet markets to be regulated, they must be legalized…

The one major flaw in Hafer’s conclusions (which should be readily apparent) is that legalization would still create a black market for the exact same reasons 70% of Nevada prostitutes prefer to work illegally:  namely, the onerous requirements imposed by legalization, which as Hafer demonstrates make it unappealing for women who have other choices.  But this is a minor detail, especially considering that laws in this country are never based on scholarly recommendations.  What’s important is that yet another source (besides the testimony of thousands of escorts) has refuted the oft-repeated prohibitionist claim that “no woman would voluntarily choose prostitution.”

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