Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘What a Week!’

glowing nudeSometimes, the most difficult part of doing my news columns is deciding what subtitle to use for a given article.  To be sure, many of them are obvious, but that’s not always the case; sometimes I remember a previous story I want to link back to, but for the life of me can’t remember what heading that one was under.  And even if I can remember a few details of the original to search on, that doesn’t always help; for example, a few months ago I was trying to refer back to an article on strip club restrictions, but searching for “stripper”, “strip club” and even just “strip” wouldn’t find it.  When I finally located it after half an hour of digging, I discovered the reason: the original article had used the phrase “exotic dancers”.  Another thing that can make a heading tough to remember is topical drift; new stories refer back to older stories, then newer stories refer back to the update and so on, and after a while the heading doesn’t actually apply very well to what’s appearing under it.  Sometimes I start using a new title for a certain kind of article, after a new full column on the subject appears (such as the recent shift from filing rapist cops under “Above the Law” to filing them under “To Molest and Rape“), and once in a while I even intentionally change the focus of a heading in order to collect stories on one theme which previously appeared under different headings (as I did two years ago with “Rooted in Racism“).

However, I think this may be the first time that I’ve ever written a new column expressly for the purpose of creating such a new heading.  I’ve recently run into several stories about the effects of sex businesses on neighborhoods, and every fucking time I have forgotten which title the last one ran under.  So then I’ve had to go through the pain of finding the last such article, but can’t remember the phrasing it used so the process takes forever.  Well, no more; from now on such articles will appear under this heading.  Previously, such articles have appeared under the not-terribly-intuitive title “What a Week!“, due to the aforementioned topical drift:  the original of that name was an early news column which featured a story about a mega-brothel being built in Spain, then a couple of later ones referred back to it for a mega-brothel being built in Sydney, then another discussed a study done for the licensing of said brothel which demonstrated that the concept of “negative secondary effects” is essentially bullshit.  And obviously, subsequent stories referred back to that.  “Negative secondary effects” is the term used by prudes and authoritarians to make the concept of “sex rays” seem something other than ludicrous; this disproven dogma claims that the very existence of an adult business magically draws crime, and turns men into drooling sex maniacs who then go forth and rape women (hence the pious charade of directing a portion of “pole taxes” to finance rape and domestic violence charities or anti-whore programs).  As a quick perusal of that last cluster of links will demonstrate, stories about claims of such effects mysteriously and malefically emanating from strip clubs rather than brothels or massage parlors have until now appeared under “First They Came for the Hookers” along with stories about former sex workers being fired from post-sex work jobs for having been sex workers.  From here on out, any articles either claiming the existence of such baleful effects or debunking such claims will appear under this heading, whether that business is a strip club, brothel, adult toy store or whatever.  So maybe now I won’t be quite so frustrated the next time I encounter such a story.

Read Full Post »

Criminalisation…reinforces the idea that sex work is intrinsically wrong.  –  Frankie Mullin

Whore Madonnas

Melissa Petro on the stigma faced by sex workers with children:

…For sex workers, there are no legal protections against discrimination, should we become associated with our current or former occupations.  Current and former sex workers risk losing their housing or being refused service by landlords, property owners, and co-op boards.  Sex workers are…often unable to transition to other work…and…can also lose custody of their children.  Finley Fawn is a cam model…who has been fighting for custody of her six-year-old son since April…In 2008, a tantra provider lost custody of her children to a man with an extensive documented history of domestic violence…in 2013, former sex worker Tanaha Koontz lost custody of her three children to [her] abusive husband…Then there’s the devastating case of Petite Jasmine…Those who view sex work as incompatible with motherhood often [pretend] concern for the children’s safety.  They conflate issues related to poverty with sex work—unstable housing, food insecurity, and erratic incomes, for example—even though sex work can often be the very solution to these economic woes…the only legitimate concern having to do with…a child’s safety is the fact that individuals working in prostitution are still being criminalized, so these women tend to be incarcerated or face arrest, which can mean having their children sent to a relative or taken under the dysfunctional care of the state…

The Red Umbrella 

A plasterer who was besotted with a prostitute recruited a teenager to pour accelerant over her and set her alight…Mohammed Ali Fouani wanted the Korean woman to…give up her job and live with him…

Real People 

Following in the footsteps of Norma Jean Almodovar, a policewoman decides to turn to honest work:

A Melbourne single mother has traded her role as a senior constable with Victoria Police for high-class escorting in an attempt to make a better life for herself.  After spending several “soul-destroying” years in the police force, Heidi…became an escort after being introduced to the industry by a friend…

Part of the Picture

The author is right; “porn addiction” in women really IS “equally damaging” to “porn addiction” in men, because zero equals zero:

…there is so little open discussion about the effects of porn addiction among women that we don’t even have a vocabulary with which to discuss it. And it is an equally important topic…Women become addicted to the dopamine rush associated with porn in the same way as men.  They feel the shame and the isolation that addiction inevitably brings.  The same loss of interest in sex that doesn’t live up to the extreme material they’re watching.  And the same breakdown of their romantic relationships while their minds are elsewhere.  It’s hard to quantify the scale of porn addiction among either sex and there are no official figures, but even by talking to people off the record, the scale of the damage is palpable…

Ell.  Oh.  Ell.Ozzy the sex addict

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

Why does it always take so long for people who know anti-sex dogma is bullshit to finally speak up?

Ozzy Osbourne is the latest in a string of people (almost always men) to diagnose themselves as “sex addicts”…the concept of sex addiction has been fabricated by “addictionologists,” the people who claim they have the addiction, and the media.  The concept has rapidly been accepted as truth when there is still no substantive evidence that sex addiction is real…“sex addiction”…[has] become…a blanket term we throw over people whose sexual expression is different from “the norm,” without unpacking the actual behavior(s) or empowering the people involved to take responsibility for their own actions…there is no sound research that supports it and the people promoting it often lack training in sexuality…

Profound Ignorance 

Criminologists aim to prove that economists don’t have a monopoly on painfully stupid assumptions about sex work:

With the sale of sex shifting online, today’s pimps are avoiding police detection by using underground websites, social media, mobile apps and even by hiding their ads on mainstream sites such as Craigslist and Backpage.  In a first-of-its-kind study, criminologists from Michigan State University and Loyola University Chicago interviewed 71 pimps in Atlanta and Chicago to determine how their marketing decisions are influenced by police enforcement…”We found that pimps are exploiting the anonymity that new technology and websites allow,” said Mary Finn, lead author of the study…pimps use their own language, symbols and disingenuous photos to advertise their services and communicate with customers…The pimps were recruited through ads placed on Backpage and paid $60 per interview…

IOW, these dumb bunnies advertised that they’d give $60 to any dude who was willing to call himself a “pimp” and tell tall tales to credulous “researchers”.  What’s most shocking is that these educated doofuses continue to buy into the prohibitionist myth that all whores have “pimps”, when (as I explained to Tracy Clark-Flory) that’s total nonsense:

…Maggie McNeill, a sex worker and writer, argues that pimps have become exceedingly less necessary as the internet has allowed sex workers to advertise themselves…But, she argues, the focus often remains on these third parties because it fits an anti-sex work narrative of coercion…

Monsters

Trans sex worker Hande Kader was last seen getting in her customer’s car about a week ago…Her friends and lover…reported Hande’s disappearance to the police…[who] found a burned trans woman’s body near [Istanbul]…Hande was wearing prosthetics which helped identify her burnt body…

Why I Wait

Always be skeptical of any claim about the sexual habits of the “younger generation”:

…Researchers…are boldly claiming that millennials aged 20-24 are having far less sex than previous generations…15 percent of surveyed millennials in that age range reported having no sexual partners since they turned 18, compared to 6 percent of Generation X people…The authors…offered a variety of explanations for their findings — ranging from the funding of abstinence-only education in schools, to fears about STDs, to the premium placed on good looks on dating apps like Tinder, to popular misconceptions about “millennial hook-up culture” — but there are just as many reasons to be skeptical…the information was gleaned from the General Social Survey (GSS), which…[uses] heteronormative language…Another problem, which the researchers noted in their paper, is that the definition of what constitutes “sex” is left up to the…respondents to decide.  It’s entirely possible that earlier generations unintentionally exaggerated their sex lives by lumping all kinds of sexual activity into the broader umbrella term of “sex”, thus skewing the numbers…

I’ve previously discussed the inadvisability of using the GSS to make any predictions about sexual behavior.

Cops and Robbers

The result of stigma, encouraged by criminalization:

“Dirty whores.” “You should be put on fire.” So shouted the 100-strong mob as it surrounded the house of a group of women, thought to be sex workers, in Belfast on Friday 29th July…Since the video went online, sex workers have come out of the woodwork sharing similar stories says Lucy Smith, who run National Ugly Mugs Ireland (NUM)…”Another woman came forward last week and talked about how she’d been beaten up in the street by a gang,” Smith says…Carmen…worked briefly in Belfast last year.  She…found her flat surrounded by a mob of 30 or 40 people…”They broke the glass of our window with eggs.  They were shouting things like ‘£10 prostitute’ and telling us to go home”…Attacks of this kind happen across the UK and Ireland…In east London, sex workers frequently report having objects and insults hurled at them from cars.  In Edinburgh, sex workers have been surrounded and followed.  In Birmingham, since the beginning of this month, sex workers have twice reported having bottles and urine thrown at them from a car.  In some cases, sex workers have had bones broken before the police arrive…

Choke Point 

Fascism in action:

My wife, Carla Sinclair, is editor of Wink Books…she used Paypal to pay Ben Marks his fee for reviewing a photo book…called Castro’s Cuba: An American Journalist’s Inside Look at Cuba 1959-1969.  Carla included a message to Ben in the Paypal transaction, which read, “Hi Ben – Your Castro’s Cuba review is up!  Thanks so much!  Carla.”  As soon as she pressed the send button, she got a pop-up message on the PayPal site that informed her that the payment was being held for review…an email [later] arrived from PayPal. It turns out, the problem arose because Carla’s message included the forbidden word “Cuba” (and/or possibly “Castro”)…

Whore Detection

Another violent cop, another black woman profiled as a sex worker:

…a Washington, DC [cop pinned] a black woman to his patrol car, leaving her feet dangling while he [called] her “a prostitute”.  [Fortunately the attack was captured on video]…by Twitter user @macandcheeks…and…city authorities have…opened an investigation into the incident…the…woman…named Shadon…is…a schoolteacher…she and others at the bus stop were standing up to a man who was harassing another woman when the police intervened…

Rooted in Racism (#577)

Sweden’s “liberal reputation” is bullshit:

…Liberian [football] player Andrew Nagbe is currently in a detention centre awaiting [deportation]…the 22-year-old…was arrested by migration officials at the Stockholm Pride festival at the end of July…Nagbe was taking part in the…events with his boyfriend [when] he was detained…He had originally travelled to Sweden on trial with Swedish third-tier team Umeå FC before plying his trade at a string of lower league teams…It is still illegal to be openly gay in Liberia…“In prison I’ll be beaten and raped every day until I am released and leave the country again. Everyone I know in Liberia knows I am gay now, so they won’t hold back,” he added…The Swedish migration service [pretends] that Nagbe…[is not] gay and that [the danger]…if he returns home [is] not verifiable.  Only by presenting new evidence will Nagbe be able to appeal the ruling…

What a Week! (#656)

So much for “negative secondary effects”:

Do strip clubs bring down property values?…Surveying 317,056 residential sales in Seattle between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2013, researchers found little evidence strip clubs influenced the prices of nearby homes.  This, note authors Taggert Brooks of UW-La Crosse and Brad Humphreys and Adam Nowak of WVU, runs counter to common arguments underpinning local governments’ rights to restrict strip clubs, which typically hold that such establishments have negative “secondary effects,” including a downward pull on property values…“There was nothing we picked up that was really significant in any way, shape, or form,” says Dr. Nowak.

Read Full Post »

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…

Read Full Post »

The GSI…is not an index of global slavery, but rather of global hypocrisy.  –  Julia Davidson & Sam Okyere

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

A young U.S. citizen is suing the federal government after she said she was taken in handcuffs by border officers to a Nogales [Arizona] hospital for a body cavity search — which found nothing — and then billed for the procedure.  Ashley Cervantes…crossed into Mexico on foot on a Saturday morning in October 2014 to have breakfast at a restaurant where she often eats.  On returning, she presented border officials with her birth certificate and state identification card…they accused…[her] of possessing drugs…she was handcuffed to a chair, had several dogs sniff her, and eventually taken into a separate room where she was patted down and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.  All…without her consent or a warrant…a request to call her mother was denied…Cervantes was taken in handcuffs to Holy Cross Hospital where the doctor probed her anus and vagina…No drugs ever were found…and…[she] was released after about seven hours…They even billed her parents for the “treatment” for $575…

A seven-hour rape, after which the rapists bill the victim for their “services”.  But this isn’t a police state.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Robert Moore

When will these cops learn?  RAPING a whore is OK; it’s only paying her that’s an issue:

[Prison guard] Robert Moore, who…[was] arrested in December on what was at the time referred to as a “prostitution related crime,” was arrested yet again…for engaging/ soliciting for the purpose of prostitution…Moore…[was] “found…with the prostitute with her clothes partially off and a crack pipe in her pocket.  The woman told police…she and Moore read the Bible and talked about having intercourse…Officers say they found a wrapper and condom; Moore told them he put a condom on, but never intended on having sex“…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Some people think prostitution should be legal but “heavily regulated”; here’s an example of what that looks like in action, from India:

On 13 June, the Department of Telecommunications ordered internet service providers to block nearly 240 websites offering escort services.  The diktat came out of the blue, without any attendant statement from the government…In July last year, the Centre had tried to ban 857 pornographic websites, ostensibly to protect our countrymen (and women) from “immoral” influences on the internet.  That initiative came to nought, and the government backtracked, following a huge public and social media outcry against its attempt to police not just the internet, but also the private lives and sexual habits of citizens…However, the directive to black out…escort services shows that a year down the line, the government is unwavering in its resolve to censor the internet at will…in the interest of upholding its own ideas of public morality…when the state is in no position to ban prostitution – under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, buying and selling of sex is not illegal – why is it trying to take up cudgels against…escort services?…The government’s repeated attempts to police the internet and ferret out and ban its so-called corrupting elements are at once absurd and sinister…

Backwards into the Future

This is a bit of a head-scratcher; I’m not sure how working for free could be considered a “protest”:

Sex Workers in South Africa decided to offer free services as a protest intended to force President Jacob Zuma to address the needs of young people in the Rainbow nation…the special service [ran] for 24 hours across the country [on June 16th] to mark South Africa’s Youth Days…

Pyrrhic Victory

Definitely not a police state, no sirree:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has successfully convinced a federal judge to block the disclosure of where the bureau has attached surveillance cams on Seattle utility poles…this privacy dispute highlights a powerful and clandestine tool the authorities are employing across the country to snoop on the public—sometimes with warrants, sometimes without…The deployment of such video cameras appears to be widespread.  What’s more, the Seattle authorities aren’t saying whether they have obtained court warrants to install the surveillance cams…

What a Week! (#26)

You know that “negative secondary effects” bullshit?

The sex industry…has long been perceived and regulated as a “dirty and disorderly” feature of residential communities.  The stereotypical, and unfair, view of sex workers is that they are vectors of disease and social contagions; it’s a moral hangover from the Victorians…[which] is reflected in the regulation and marginalisation of sex work by…government policies to dark and secluded areas of cities…and police forces periodically engage in “clean-up” campaigns that seek to purge local areas of sex work…[these] strategies tend to be based not on science, but on a small number of complaints from a vocal minority who assert particular moral agendas.  Such raids are generally justified by the media and local authorities on the basis that locals, especially women and children, need to be protected from the harmful effects of “sleaze”…Research by Phil Hubbard and colleagues, Penny Crofts, Sarah Kingston, and Emily Cooper…suggests that sex work contributes to residential communities in much more complex ways than is commonly portrayed in the media…

Gingerbread House

“Residential farm” = “doing menial agricultural labor for their keep”.  But hey, at least they won’t be having dirtydirty sex:

For women escaping the sex trafficking industry, opportunities to start over new are slim, and places they can go to heal fully are even fewer.  Such is the mission of Sacred Roots Farm, which aims to be “a place of holistic healing”…The nonprofit’s eventual aim is to build a residential farm for those women and their children.  Founder Sam Haupt…began researching the issue and learned Atlanta is a known hub of trafficking and sex exploitation

Whatever They Need To Say

Cops openly admit being lazy fascists; the public just stays asleep:

California’s Costa Mesa Police Department arrested more people on prostitution-related charges in the first four months of 2016 than it did in all of the preceding five years…Police say this is thanks to a conscious decision to refocus a special investigations unit away from busting gang leaders, career criminals, and drug dealers and toward people involved in the sex trade…A long-term drug investigation could eat up hours of work from a half-dozen detectives…Arresting sex workers, however, is easy…But there may be an additional motive for the new focus:  the city wants to get rid of several small motels and replace them with condo and apartment buildings.  The hotels attract a lot of vice crimes…and policing them is a drain on public safety resources, city leaders complain.  Rather than reconsidering the need to obsess over these activities in the first place, officials want the hotels to go away to make room for higher-end residential housing…more profitable in terms of taxes to the city…

Profound Ignorance 

The only parts of this that aren’t profoundly ignorant are the ones that are profoundly obvious:

Sex workers aren’t only found on the street corners of big cities…the first-ever…research survey in Ontario…has assessed the social and health needs of rural sex workers…Researcher Stacey Hannem said the…project began in 2014 when she was approached by a group of social and health service providers [whom]…sex workers didn’t feel comfortable [with because]…the…providers would often try to [coerce] sex workers [to] exit the industry, when that wasn’t…what they wanted…”There is less street-based work but more of this kind of mid-range, everyday escorting,” [Hannem] said…rural sex workers usually find their clients through online advertising, and it often involves much more travel than urban work…when the garaphic designer doesn't read the story

I’ve got news for you, Stacey; mid-range everyday escorts who advertise online are the norm everywhere, so there aren’t dramatically more of them in rural areas than in cities.  An added level of stupidity: look at the picture CBC chose to illustrate a story about how there are fewer street workers in country towns.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…Between 2014 and 2015, 45 [Sacramento] businesses were cited for prostitution-related offenses, sexual battery and multiple violations of the county codes that govern massage establishments…Twenty-one…had their licenses revoked in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015—more than five times the previous year’s number…these operations…cause more harm than good.  “I can’t tell you how many of these people may want another job, but taking away their job doesn’t do that,” said Kristen DiAngelo…political and legal responses are often sold as cracking down on exploitation and human trafficking…But, at least locally, authorities say there is no connection between illicit massage parlors and human trafficking….“This does not address abuse,” DiAngelo said. “It’s all a game. And it’s a political game”…

Held Together With Lies (#643)

How “Walk Free Foundation” comes up with those ridiculous “slavery” numbers:

Walk Free has just released its 2016 Global Slavery Index…announcing that there are 45.8 million slaves in the world today…Walk Free doesn’t claim that slavery only exists where people are held in shackles.  Rather, it extends the concept to include people threatened with violence when attempting to leave a given situation or tied by debt to a particular employer.  When it comes to children, Walk Free includes even those who are paid for their labour and who are not necessarily subject to violence or debt, but who are nonetheless counted as “slaves” simply because they are under the age of 18…if Walk Free…is willing to expand the concept of “slavery” in these ways, then why stop here  Take “forced and early marriage”…consensual marriages also become violent and oppressive.  Furthermore, because women often lack legal or financial access to divorce, and/or face stigma and penury as divorced women or single mothers, the many millions who suffer domestic violence are frequently unable to “walk away” from their abusive husbands.  So why don’t these wives also appear as “slaves” in Walk Free’s index?  Equally, we might ask, if it is the absence of consent to a lifelong relationship rather than the actual presence of violence in that relationship that makes “forced and early marriage” a proxy for slavery, then why isn’t the “forced and early motherhood” experienced by women and girls in countries which restrict or deny access to abortion also “modern slavery”?…

Policing for Profit (#645) 

Politicians, being slightly smarter than cops on average, must have realized how obvious this was and are now trying to make themselves look good:

A bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to order a stop to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s use of mobile scanners capable of [stealing] money loaded onto prepaid debit cards…Deployment of the scanners comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture has come under criticism in Oklahoma…

The governor has complied with the request, but only until they can put the public back to sleep:

…She says she wants to suspend use of the devices until a clear policy for using the new technology can be developed by the Department of Public Safety.  She says taking the time will help educate the public and “calm the fears of the motoring public”…

Traffic Circle (#647)

It’s so nice when bogus “sex trafficking” bullshit is called out in the mainstream media:

…The [Indiana] task force…launched its effort with billboards emblazoned with the key statistical warning — “13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade”…But even child advocates say it’s not true.  It’s cooked up data.  In fact, it’s been debunked for several years…The Fact Checker at the Washington Post…gave this “fact” a pants-on-fire special trophy…The statistic was based on “pretty slim research” and makes little sense, [Glenn] Kessler wrote.  If 13 is the average age for entering the sex trade, then there have to be children under age 11 offsetting those becoming sex workers at age 16 or 17.  A 2008 study of sexually exploited kids in New York City found the average entry age is about 15, but the researchers warned that even that data is fuzzy, too…

When I pointed out to Glenn that these people were still misinterpreting the average age of debut for underage workers as the average for all workers, he flew into action and added an extra note to his re-debunking.  Because that’s the kind of thing people who actually care about facts do!

Read Full Post »

An abolitionist is an abolitionist…whether Radfem or Muslim.  It is a little bit moot whether you kill someone with a bullet or by making their lives impossible while cranking up the stigmas…You are still just as dead, and in my honest opinion the bullet is quicker and cleaner.  –  Maggie Jones

Bad Girls Alix Tichleman

Ladies, it is NEVER a good idea to provide drugs to a client, because if something goes wrong they’ll be looking for a scapegoat:

An alleged prostitute has been charged with manslaughter for injecting a Google executive with heroin and then leaving him to die of an overdose…Alix Tichelman …is being held on…$1.5 million [bail]…Forrest Timothy Hayes…died Nov. 23 on his 50-foot yacht, Escape…His body was discovered the following morning by the yacht’s captain…Police say security footage from the yacht shows…Tichelman… gathering her belongings including drugs and needles, downing a glass of wine and lowering the blinds before leaving…Tichelman had an “ongoing prostitution relationship” with Hayes that began when she met Hayes on SeekingArrangement.com…

Only the sick mind of a cop could belch out a phrase as moronic as “ongoing prostitution relationship.”

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Get it straight, cops; you have to rape a whore not to get in trouble.  Fairly paying her demonstrates you’re not the kind of person they want in their ranks: “[Florida cop Trenton Moore] was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.  Now he’s out of a job…”  And stealing the cash from the leaders of your cop gang is an even worse idea:

….£120,000 of seized criminal cash was taken from [a Scottish] police office by…Robert Moffat…£90,000 of that cash was found in Moffat’s house and buried under a slab in his back garden…That cash was then taken by…Dean Burnett as part of a £205,000 haul he blew on gambling and vice girls…Burnett…was jailed for 45 months…but was only ordered to pay back £5000…

Rooted in Racism

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

A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in prison for attempting to smuggle refugees into Sweden, after claiming he met them at a wedding in Germany and offered them a lift back…the man…hired a car from a rental firm in Stockholm.  He opted for a vehicle which could accommodate seven people, arguing that he needed the space as he intended to transport a set of large loudspeakers…He offered a lift to six people from Eritrea, who…were seeking asylum in Germany.  He said he received €600…as a thank you…but when he was picked up by border police he had €1,150 in his pocket…

They Just Don’t Get It (TW3 #18)

Reading stuff Pennsylvania reporters write about cops is like watching fellatio porn:

…Sgt. Rick Blake said…he’s discarded the notion that prostitution is a “victimless crime” because women choose to sell their bodies.  He said many women are forced into it…”backpage.com…is a way for them to advertise without being directly out in the view of…law enforcement,” Blake said…”None of them want to lead this life”…When a Florida woman was picked up in a sting…”She thanked us because this was truly her only way to escape from the people she was being used by”…

As Mistress Matisse pointed out, “women we arrest thank us” is the moral equivalent of “she liked it when we raped her”. 

Whatever They Need To Say

Bangladesh’s oldest brothel has been shut down following pressure from local clerics and politicians…More than 750 prostitutes in Tangail City were forced out of a cluster of houses that made up the 200-year-old Kandapara brothel…after the dwelling’s owners ordered them shut…[following] a march last week demanding the eviction of the sex workers…Monowara Begum, who heads a sex-workers group at Kandapara, accused the local mayor…of…threatening the women…“He…sent dozens of young men…they told us that we have only one hour to leave…or they would burn down the brothel with kerosene”…

Under Every Bed 

Just the same old revolting “all prostitutes are pimped addicts”, but nearly all of these wastes of ink include this nowadays: “South Burlington [Vermont] is a busy city of more than 18,000 people…right on Interstate 89…

An Example to the West (TW3 #316)

To commemorate the National Day of Sex Work, the Secretariat of Labour and Employment Promotion (STFE) of [Mexico City] gave 50 credentials to persons exercising sex work and recognized them as self-employed workers with social and labor rights.  The event…represents the second delivery of these documents…since last March, when the first group of 19 persons filed an injunction against the Law…which criminalized prostitution [in the city] as a crime “against the peace of the people”…[agency head] Patricia Mercado… admitted that public policy change was driven by the “Elisa Martínez” Street Brigade in Support of Women directed by Elvira Madrid and Jaime Montejo…[and] litigated by attorney Barbara Zamora…

Passive Voice

Radley Balko on a syndrome I’ve discussed before:

…Use of the passive voice in an admission of wrongdoing has become  so common that the political consultant William Schneider suggested a few years ago that it be referred to as the “past exonerative” tense.  You’ll often see a similar grammatical device when a police officer shoots someone.  Communications officers at policy agenies are deft at contorting the English language to minimize culpability of an officer or of the agency…

Policing for Profit Michael Mobley

When you’re a cop, armed robbery becomes “misdemeanor embezzlement” and decades in prison becomes a few weekends in the county jail:

[Virginia cop Michael Mobley] was sentenced to 30 days in jail…for stealing more than $3,000 from three prostitutes…he…pleaded guilty…to two counts of misdemeanor embezzlement…[and] can serve his sentence on consecutive weekends…Mobley…questioned [the victims] under the guise of a police investigation…[and stole their] money…

If he’d turned the money in to the head thugs, this would’ve been legal.

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes

Dr. Brooke Magnanti on the latest development in British “feminism”:

…Twitter has been a-bubble with prominent feminists endorsing Who Made Your Pants, a company which employs refugee women…to sew…underwear…with prices between £18 and an eye-watering £21.50 a pop…the implication (from people on Twitter, not the company itself) that not wearing them makes you not ethical or not feminist leaves a bad taste in the mouth…Many of the people who can’t afford to spend £20-plus [$34] on purportedly feminist knickers are themselves workers in a marketplace that devalues their labour.  This does not make them bad feminists, bad consumers, or bad people.  If we who are in a position of financial privilege are unable to recognise that, the fault lies with us – not with them…

Traffic Circle

Even the more ethical “human trafficking” folks are now starting to distance themselves from “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Human trafficking has become the cause célébre for sensationalist…media…a great deal of the…content is both inaccurate and irresponsible …[This] sensationalizing or falsification…is often excused…[as] “raising awareness”…[but] misinformed people…support policies and  organizations that are ultimately counter-productive…

The author, Ryan Turner, goes on to list what he considers the worst offenses:

…All human trafficking statistics should be regarded with some  skepticism…Misleading statistics obscure the true nature of the problem and…when…inevitably exposed as false or methodologically unsound, it undermines the credibility of the whole anti-trafficking movement…Conflation of sex work and sex trafficking often leads to policies that criminalize prostitution, making sex workers more vulnerable to violence and exploitation.  Meanwhile, the distinct needs of trafficking survivors are ignored in favor of “demand reduction”  programs that…harm…sex workers…Reveling in graphic details does not help victims and survivors, nor does it contribute in any meaningful way…The myopic focus on sex trafficking…draws attention away from the fact that the tomatoes we eat may be the product of forced labor in Florida…

Down Under (TW3 #350)

Prohibitionists insist decriminalization doesn’t work:

Police resolved a dispute between a sex worker and a client who refused to pay — by escorting the man to a cash machine to settle his $100 bill…A [New Zealand] police spokesperson said…”It…is a routine thing. Police would help any citizen having a disagreement whether they were a sex-worker or working in a pizza shop”…

What a Week! (TW3 #402)

Gunmen…attacked two buildings…in Baghdad’s Zayounah neighbourhood, killing at least 33 people including 29 women…there are suspicions the buildings were being used as a brothel.  The words “This is the punishment of those practising prostitution” were scrawled in black on one of the buildings…Michelle Obama bring back our girls

Here’s an excellent commentary on the story from another Maggie:

…where is the outrage…Where is the team of “British specialists” sent… to Bagdad to investigate…Where is Michelle Obama gormlessly holding up a  #BringBackOurGirls sign?  Where is the hysterical Twitter campaign?  Perhaps if we were to relabel those women as “vulnerable victims of evil sex traffickers” their death might attract more sympathy?  As independent women…supporting themselves, not relying on some well funded NGO organisation to “rescue” them…they were…simply the “wrong kind of women” to be deserving of the ritual hand wringing…

Devil’s Advocate

Intellectual honesty is dead in the West:

Once we start creating sex-robots, what will be the limits we put on them?  It’s not a human being so you should theoretically be able to rock your human-like Rumba however you want, but there may be some situations that create moral panics even if the Cylon-victim involved is just a bundle of algorithms and plastic.  I asked the panel how society would deal ethically and legally with a hypothetical company that starts producing child sex-robots to satisfy deviant sexual desires…

You can guess the result.  Nobody wants to admit that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster.

Drawing Lines

Another excellent Marijke Vonk essay:

…It’s a mistake to think that prostitutes are fundamentally different from other people…that sex is obviously and clearly different from non-sex, that sex work is strictly different from other types of work, that prostitution is clearly different from non-prostitution.  Violence against sex workers should be stopped…but it’s a mistake to think that violence won’t harm us all.  There’s no clear line between sex workers and the rest of us…

Maggie in the Media (TW3 #424)

Recorded while I was in Los Angeles early last month:

Schadenfreude (TW3 #425) 

More and more reporters are discovering the truth about “sex trafficking”:

Eden supposedly follows the life of Chong Kim…whose…story has been trumpeted [by “trafficking” fetishists while]…activists…have been busy poking holes in…it…In 2004, Kim published an essay titled “Nobody’s Concubine”…[which] has little in common with Eden.  Kim writes that she suffered abuse at home and was…raped by an acquaintance…She started working as a stripper and then for an escort service after escaping an abusive boyfriend and falling on hard times…Missing…is the desert warehouse full of teenage sex slaves in Nevada and the daring escapes described in her later accounts.  Over the years, Kim’s story has grown more lavish and sensational as the bad guys morphed from abusive clients and boyfriends to international gangs of kidnappers, pimps, human traffickers and johns that included law enforcement agents and even an unnamed former state governor…

Consult my research paper “Mind-witness Testimony” for an explanation of the psychological mechanism behind the inflation of stories like Kim’s.

Divided We Fall (TW3 #427)

Canada’s Bill C36 is merely the hook for this excellent essay against sexual prohibition:

…“unnatural” sex has always been problematic for moral crusaders.  For example, masturbation and homosexual acts were previously depicted as “harmful” to individual and collective health; yet such claims proved not only to be unfounded, but dangerous.  This, however, has not stopped the perfectionists among us from endorsing a new cause:  the present obsession with prostitution …the so-called deleterious effects of masturbation [were] widely discredited in…[the early] 20th century…and…by 1973, the American Psychiatric Association no longer considered homosexuality a disease…Yet here we are in the 21st century, justifying state repression of prostitution…we can get over our anxiety…whenever we come to realize that sex workers and their clients do not require “treatment”…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #428)

Many religious groups in Canada…have been enthusiastically supporting the government’s new prostitution bill…But dozens of Anglican clergy say the proposed law is immoral and endangers sex workers, and they are urging the government to withdraw it.  Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott…has submitted an open letter to the justice committee signed by 33 of his…colleagues…

Read Full Post »

Did I dream of becoming a sex worker when I was a little girl?  No.  But I didn’t dream about working at McDonald’s either, and yet that was my first job.  –  Celine Bisette

Real People

Good satire sticks close to the truth:

…stripper Nicole Timbers does not live the…exciting and scandalous life many friends had hoped for.  “When we met Nicole, we figured she would have the craziest stories,” said Diana Alvarez…“but our friend Ashlynn’s actually had sex with more guys than Nicole – and she’s a preschool teacher”…When Timbers is not taking off her clothes onstage, roommate Sarah Kelvin-Fan confirms she “mostly just studies for her LSATs” and “wears men’s sweatpants – not even the cute, booty-hugging kind.  She won’t teach me how to give a lap dance, and she seemed kind of annoyed when I asked if she could strip at my birthday party”…

Because We Say So

A report on the havoc wrought by “sex trafficking” hysteria on Nepal:

…The hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that flow into the country…enable corrupt outfits…to flourish…the groups…[claim that] thousands of Nepali women and girls are lured each year into the sex industry…NGOs…inflate the number of people they’ve helped and the size of the problem…Their shock tactics include street performances featuring young girls being dragged off to brothels by traffickers…In one remote…village, parents pulled their daughters out of school after an NGO performed such a skit for fear that traffickers would kidnap the girls if they left the house…

It Looks Good On Paper

Here’s yet another teary-eyed article breathlessly extolling the virtues of a “safe harbor” law while negating the agency of women, belching up ridiculously-inflated figures and presenting a sales pitch for the Swedish model:  “This bill is consistent…with a…policy shift around the world that recognizes the need to target traffickers, pimps and buyers and move away from criminalizing those exploited in prostitution – predominantly women and girls…

The Course of a Disease

Swedish cultists are so delusional they want disagreeing with them to be illegal:

The Nordic Model Australia Coalition “NORMAC”, has…[called on the government] to cut funding to the Scarlet Alliance and redirect it to [Swedish model proponents]…Scarlet Alliance is clearly focused on lobbying for liberalised sex laws, rather than [promoting belief in]…human trafficking.  Their estimate of the number of [“victims”] is alarmingly low…“Scarlet Alliance’s core beliefs and ideology seem deeply opposed to [believing in Swedish ideology]”…

Above the Law

Sometimes the state mildly punishes rapist cops:

Bradley Schnickel, the…Minneapolis police officer who used the Internet to lure adolescent girls into sex…was sentenced…to 30 months in prison, minus 197 days for time already served…his remaining prison time could be reduced to less than 14 months…Judge James A. Cunningham sentenced Schnickel…to less than one-fourth of the nearly 12-year sentence that prosecutors sought…there were 18 known victims…

And sometimes it punishes their victims instead:

The former madam of an escort service in Hawaii alleges she was sexually abused and extorted by a federal agent she has known since childhood.  Malia Arciero [says]…Ryan Faulkner…forced her to work as his confidential informant….[after handcuffing] her to a table…and sexually [assaulting] her…He told her:  “I’m your handler and I own you.”  Arciero faces 10 years in federal prison after Faulkner arrested her on drug charges in October 2013…Faulkner [has been obsessed with her since]…1997 when she was a 16-year-old [stripper]…

The Law is an Ass

A prostitute and her parents [were] arrested in [a Tennessee sting]…Christy…Huxoll’s parents…were arrested [for]…bringing condoms…[because] it [kept] her off the streets…”  The state expects parents to “control” their 33-year-old daughter, abandon her, or turn her in to the cops.

Bullies With Badges

police officers physically and verbally abused the manager of a tanning salon and massage parlor during her arrest…and [threatened her with death]…the cops [eventually realized they were] on camera…[and looked for the recording to destroy it] but didn’t find it because the video was stored off-site…two of the officers…were accused of abusing an immigrant [sex worker] in a previous lawsuit…

First They Came for the Hookers…

If they can use these tactics against legal businesses, is anyone safe?

…Club Lace…[was] accused of maintaining a house of prostitution…[Phoenix] police began investigating…several years ago…[making] seven traffic stops near the…club…[and interrogating] customers…they stopped a security guard…[and searched] his vehicle [without a warrant,  supposedly finding] numerous used condoms and envelopes containing ledgers of earnings…

Translation:  they threatened the customers and security guard with bogus charges, and promised the guard immunity to keep his mouth shut about the manufactured “evidence”.  Unless you really believe that drivers go around with loads of other dudes’ used condoms, and that brothel managers maintain records with names, sex acts and exact amounts on them.

See No Evil (TW3 #31)

So, would a photo of a “topless” male baby also be banned?

…Heather Bays, a [Toronto] maternity photographer…said her [Instagram] account was deactivated…[the night] before Mother’s Day…[after] someone posted a negative comment on a selfie of her breastfeeding her 20-month-old daughter…Hours later, Bays…received several emails from [Facebook-owned] Instagram saying some of her pictures violated its terms of use…After…a…social media [backlash]…Instagram agreed to reactivate her account but with…seven photographs removed…a horrible, dirty, evil, dangerous selfiebecause [they] showed Bays’…daughter topless…Facebook’s community standards state that it has a “strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved…”

Soap Opera

It really is like a cult:

…Indiana State University students…will…shine a light on human trafficking ahead of next week’s Indy 500…SOAP…volunteers will…visit hotels, bars and strip clubs near the…Speedway to distribute soap labeled with the human trafficking hotline number…”Most people don’t know that human trafficking is the second leading crime worldwide*, and that it happens in Indianapolis too,” [Tracy] Pruitt said. “Unfortunately, victims are sometimes picked up on college and university campuses…Research is still being done on the effectiveness of outreaches like this**, but we do know that at least 20 girls were rescued during the Super Bowl***”…

*No, it isn’t.   **No, it isn’t.   ***No, they weren’t.

King of the Hill

There are eight Ivy League schools, so I’m going to count this bizarre assertion as a claim to the top eight:  “…Milwaukee is known nationwide…as the ‘Harvard of sex trafficking’, [Sandra] Malone said…’It’s pervasive.  Everyone is at risk’…Part of it…is [being] near Chicago…

Pearls Firmly Clutched

Is the Crown Prosecution Service now hiring bad TV writers to produce the scripts for their accusations?

A lesbian madam…forced a record-breaking athlete into prostitution …Tatiana Shmyrova…exploited the Bulgarian former runner after she was lured to Britain with the promise of work…[defendants] were…part of a “ruthless” sex ring which ran a lucrative business “by bartering in human…bodies”, said [an absurd little] prosecutor…

What a Week! (TW3 #336)

Kim Jong-Un’s ex-lover who he ordered to be executed is said to be alive and well.  The Korean singer, Hyon Song-Wol…appeared on state television…[where she] expressed gratitude for Kim’s leadership and pledged to work harder to “stoke up the flame for art and creative work”…

Torture Chamber 

A…mentally ill inmate at [Miami prison]…was [forced] into [a] locked shower [under scalding water]…and…left…unattended for more than an hour [until]…his skin was so burned that it had shriveled from his body…nearly two years after [Darren] Rainey’s death…the…medical examiner has yet to complete an autopsy and…police have not charged anyone…The shower treatment was only one [tactic used]…by…guards to [terrorize] mentally ill patients…In September, another inmate…hanged himself from an air conditioning vent…[leaving] a suicide note…claiming he and other prisoners were sexually and physically abused on a routine basis…

Secret Squirrel (TW3 #344)

Among the latest gadgets…is the MiniBrake:  A remote control for your child’s bike…Go into any AT&T store and you can buy the FiLIP,” a cute little tracking device…Japan has taken kiddie surveillance once step further and developed a prototype…worn on the chest, measuring a child’s heart rate.  If that rate goes up, the…monitor immediately snaps a photo of whatever…the child is facing.  The idea that the child’s heart is racing because she’s running around doesn’t seem to come into play…Parents may go so far as to give their kids ingestibles” — tiny, swallow-able sensors that emit signals that can be picked up by a smart phone.  These already exist, but their signals are weak.  Eventually, these may be strengthened and fine-tuned to measure whatever [biological] metric parents want to know about…

Down Under (TW3 #350)

In New Zealand, sex workers are protected from buyer’s remorse; I’m not optimistic Texas will be that enlightened:  “A Houston…stripper is being sued…by one of her customers…Robert [no last name]…says she owes him about $3,000 worth of Harry Potter DVDs, a laptop and cash…

Traffic Circle (TW3 #402)

We’re seeing more and more stories like this:

…a myth that comes up every year there’s some big…draw like the Super Bowl…[is that] there’s an influx of sex trafficking.  Last week the Comic-Con of the oil and gas industry, the Offshore Technology Conference, came to [Houston], and with it there was an alleged bump in business for…prostitutes…[and] strip-club[s]…but…that’s just not the case, and the whole sex-trafficking myth is usually perpetuated by…faith-based groups…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #413)

While US newspapers print ignorant opinions from cops and prohibitionists, the Ottawa Citizen publishes articles by sex workers:

Member of Parliament Joy Smith…claims that people only engage in prostitution due to “economic need”…As far as I can tell, the overwhelming majority of people…in any field engage in labour because of “economic need”…people work for money, not for fun.  Some of us are lucky enough to wake up every day and feel thrilled about going to work, but most of us probably don’t.  Folks work in the fast food industry for money.  They work in retail for money, and they collect garbage for money.  Do any children dream of doing these jobs when they grow up?  Probably not…We all need to work, and we can’t all be the next Stephen Hawking or Madonna…

The Missing Worddefinitely not trafficking victims, no sirree

As we all know, the New York Times hates “human trafficking”, yet the word is entirely absent from this article about exploited workers in Abu Dhabi.  Their agency is recognized; their motive is correctly stated as money rather than a bad childhood or being abducted by “pimps”; the paper doesn’t call for their work to be abolished or the people who hire them to be prosecuted; there is no talk of sending cops to arrest them under the guise of “rescue”, and Nick Kristof is nowhere to be found.  But of course these workers are men and their work doesn’t involve sex, so that makes it completely different.

Rough Trade (TW3 #417) 

Having attacked his accusers as vengeful prostitutes and attempted to hide evidence of his crimes…Seattle attorney…Danford Grant pleaded guilty…as a jury was being selected…Grant, a former city prosecutor…was…a serial rapist, “obsessed with Asian women,” who preyed on immigrant masseuses…

Dutch Threat (TW3 #418)

Another excellent essay from Felicia Anna:

In the summer of 2007 the city…of Amsterdam [began to]…close…dozens of windows.  Not because they found criminal activities, since they lost every single court case on that…[they] simply…bought out the owners…Where the women have gone…nobody knows…Did the city government offer them…another job?  Did they offer them another place to work?  Did they ever ask…how these girls could now pay the rent to their apartments?  Did they ever ask those girls how they could live without a place to work?  No!  The city government didn’t do anything, for those girls they supposedly were “so worried” about.  Instead, all they did was buy more windows, leaving less room for girls to work in, pushing them away into nothingness…

Choke Point

Gun retailers say the Obama administration is trying to put them out of business with regulations and investigations that bypass Congress and choke off their lines of credit, freeze their assets and prohibit online sales…Operation Choke Point…has prompted some banks to cut ties with online gun retailers, even if those companies have valid licenses and good credit histories…

Read Full Post »

The “Super Bowl = prostitutes” story begins to look more and more like a lazy journalistic trope…an urban legend…or…a cheap attempt by some local politician…to score points by standing up to the menace of sex work.  –  Alexander Abad-Santos

The Slave-Whore Fantasy

Because male sex workers don’t threaten insecure men’s belief that men are always in control of sex, and don’t interfere with neofeminists’ desire to control all heterosexual activity, they are conspicuously absent from “trafficking” mythology, Swedish-flavored dogma and other anti-whore garbage.  But it’s still pretty galling to see the BBC, which has embraced the catechism that all female sex workers are pathetic victims, publish something like this:

Most people think of male prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work.  But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business…There has been a slow societal shift in the acceptability of sex work, says Del Campbell from the Terence Higgins Trust.  “There is a lot less stigma for men who sell sex,” he says.  “Often, the women are still seen as victims but for some gay men, escorting is now a normal job”…

NY maidsWhen male escorts use online ads, they’re “using the tools of modern business”.  But we women are too stupid to do that, so our ads must all be placed for us by male “pimps”.

Hooters, Japanese Style

In this interview with one of the girls at the first Japanese “maid café” in New York City, she denies that she’s a sex worker four times in only eight short answers.  Who is she trying to convince, us or herself?

Surplus Women

He made sure we’ll never hear her side of the story:

…Tannu Chawla, 27, and his friend, Yogesh, 30…[murdered a sex worker]…in…Delhi [because he was in love with her but she refused]…to marry…him…Chawla said that [he sold his] property and [took] loans to help the woman [pay her heavy debts, and that] her betrayal forced him to commit the murder…”Yogesh…had a loan of Rs.1.5 lakh [$2411] to repay.  He agreed to help Chawla for the same amount,” said [police].

Above the Law

A Payson, Ariz. police officer entered a woman’s house and raped her the day after he got her address from an incident report in which she had been a victim…Emily Morton sued the Town of Payson and Joshua Corey LaManna…[who broke into] her home…and raped her…while he was on duty – then told her it was OK because he loved her…

Somebody’s Daughter

Would you want your daughter working as a stripper/prostitute?”  A common refrain from people who are anti sex work, and who see it as the ultimate argument…Well…my short, rather unpopular answer is:  Yes.  If my daughter is over 18…she is entitled to do whatever she wants with her body…when you have children, you are raising individuals with their own personalities and characters, who will have their own quirks and abilities, and whose choices will differ from your own.  If you don’t like that idea, perhaps having children is not a good idea…

King of the Hill Spanish anti-Swedish model ad

A pair of real howlers introduce North Carolina’s latest bid in the “sex trafficking” race for the bottom; the first claims it’s “in the top eight states” while also admitting that “the true number of sex trafficking victims is unknown,” which would of course preclude any estimate of rank.  This one is a typical paint-by-numbers “trafficking” screed, taking the Profession of Faith as its headline and then quoting all the usual nonsense.  The second story specifically claims that North Carolina “ranks eighth”, but what makes it most interesting (in a horrifying sort of way) is the interview with a sadistic cop who gloats that he “can’t wait to use” the state’s new and draconian “sex trafficking” law to subject his victims to a “lifetime of difficulties” for consensual sex.

Number Puzzle

The indispensable Wendy Lyon does it again:

…what the Swedes say internally about their sex industry is often very different to the impression they give abroad…This is a good…example…only issued in Swedish…police [admit they]… “are not engaged in continuous or structured reconnaissance” [of sex workers]…we normally hear…absolute confidence and certainty that their sex industry has declined since clients were criminalized…if you aren’t monitoring something…you can’t reach a definitive conclusion as to whether or not it has declined…the admission that Sweden remains attractive to “human traffickers and pimps”…is totally contrary to the propaganda we hear about it all. the. Time.  A genuine jaw-dropper follows a few paragraphs later:  “In 2009…there were about 90 Thai massage parlours in Stockholm…at the turn of 2011/2012, the number…was estimated to be about 250”… what kind of “successful ban” leads to an almost threefold increase in one type of provider of the banned thing in less than three years?  If the estimate is accurate, this statistic alone ought to put paid to any claim that the law is an effective deterrent.  An industry that has lost a lot of its customers couldn’t possibly expand at a rate like that…

What a Week! (TW3 #322)

A Baghdad brothel was the scene of a violent attack…as gunmen shot and killed seven women and five men – presumably prostitutes and their clients…By coincidence, (or is it?) a similar attack took place in the same area on May 22 last year, killing the same number of people…

Surplus Women (TW3 #335)

Police have made an arrest in the case of two sex workers who lived in the same building and were found dead two weeks apart – and…say they have linked the accused to the killing of a third person…Sarbjit Bains…is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Karen Nabors and Jill Lyons, and second-degree murder in the death of Amritpal Saran…

Peeping Toms (TW3 #341) Cuccinelli & Garrett, two crimes against nature

A new…bill would bring back much of Virginia’s infamous “Crimes Against Nature” law, months after federal courts struck [it] down  as unconstitutional.  The proposal, which ostensibly would change the law to make clear that “engaging in consensual sodomy is not a crime if all persons participating are adults, are not in a public place, and are not committing, attempting to commit, conspiring to commit, aiding, or abetting any act in furtherance of prostitution,” would restore felony penalties for minors engaging in oral sex and treat public sodomy differently from other public sex acts…

Shift in the Wind (TW3 #342)

Truly horrible rescue industry organization Apne Aap is trying to pressure UN groups who support decriminalization to instead support laws which criminalize sex workers’ employees, spouses, dependent family members and co-workers, and to adopt the infantilizing and stigmatizing term “prostituted woman” in place of “sex worker”.  Since it’s extremely unlikely the UN organizations will give this lobbying (supported by a petition signed by prohibitionists and shills) any more attention than it is due, the most interesting part of the article is a new lowering of the “average age of debut” myth to 11 (see also “The Leading Players…” below).

Pyrrhic Victory (Hysteria on Parade)

Demonstrating that Bales is completely bereft of the faculty of introspection:

…Kevin Bales…announced a proposal to use…drones…to identify and film forced labour in remote areas of India and Bangladesh…Local authorities and non-governmental organizations could also use the images…to rescue slaves…But some Indian human rights activists…say it is a misguided publicity stunt that will do little to eradicate the practice…Vrinda Grover [said]…“I thought India was still a sovereign country.  So we now have the Westerners coming into rescue us all over again?”…Bales…hopes this “novel approach” will inject a fresh perspective into the standard slavery narrative that “we’ve been hearing over and over for about 15 years…This has got a little more excitement, movement, exotic locations”…

Traffic Circle

As I predicted, we’re beginning to see more evidence of the impending implosion of “sex trafficking” hysteria; while major media organizations like the AP continue to parrot myths about the “menace” of gypsy whores (complete with moronic assertions like “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks“), smaller organizations are starting to feature articles like this one:

…it’s…time for the annual “here come the prostitutes” story…The premise is…[that] prostitutes…will be shipped into the city…by sex traffickers trying to meet the demand…In 2012, The Houston Press‘s Peter Kotz thoroughly tore apart that story, explaining that law enforcement officials in the cities where past Super Bowls occurred never actually saw increases…despite increased efforts…Further, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW)…said in a report that there’s no correlation between sporting events and a rise in prostitution…The history of those events make this year’s claims of trafficking even harder to believe and bring up questions of the gullibility of the media…

Challenge (TW3 #345) Joanne Giannini

One of the anti-sex crusaders behind re-criminalizing prostitution in Rhode Island brags about how she ignored sex worker activists because she is more qualified to make decisions for adult women than they are about their own lives:

…I remember being in an elegant beauty spa one day…when a white stretch limousine pulled up out front and about eight young Asian girls got out.  They were going into the spa for a day of beauty.  They were laughing and giggling and…seemed very excited.  They looked so young and naïve…the saleswoman…told me…these girls were brought…from the massage parlors…the managers paid well and the tips were good…I was accused of wanting to hurt women by stopping them from making a living.  The fact is, I was trying to protect them from sexual predators who had deceived them with promised lives of hope, but gave them short lives filled with pain, sexual abuse, drugs, diseases and deplorable living conditions…

Pain so horrible it made them laugh and giggle, and deplorable conditions like days at a luxury spa.  What I see is a nasty, racist old white woman who didn’t like seeing young Asian women in what she viewed as her domain.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #346)

More of this, please:  “The Oregon Court of Appeals…threw out the conviction of a woman arrested for doing little more than walking down [the] Avenue and glancing over her shoulder…The case drew applause from defense attorneys who say police often overstep their bounds in…their quest to fight prostitution…” The cops claimed that the woman exhibited “tell-tale signs”, like wearing high-heeled boots and talking to a “known prostitute”.

King of the Hill (TW3 #347)

I’m always glad to see the truly ludicrous “sex trafficking” claims repeated, because they hasten the whole myth’s downfall.  Here’s a repetition of the claim that Texas has 25% of all American “sex trafficking victims”; it includes the portentous statement that Houston is a “hub within a hub” (This Means Something!) and claims that “victims” are “as young as 12”, which rather contradicts the idea that the “average” is 13 or 11.

Shame, Shame (TW3 #348)

[Missouri] State Representative Kevin Engler…filed legislation that would criminalize…revenge porn…Engler said he was working with [Mary Anne] Franks in development of the bill…

Under Every Bed (TW3 #350)

yuk yuk yukNorth Dakota “State Sen. Elsie Arntzen…said that human trafficking is not a laughing matter…”  I disagree.  When I see creepy politicians and sleazy cops trying desperately to pretend that businesswomen are actually either “criminals” or “victims” (but can’t seem to decide which), and portentously declaring “sex trafficking” to be a “serious problem” while simultaneously admitting that “no one has yet found any evidence of the existence of a prostitution ring,” that is indeed a laughing matter.  And the joke is on the politicians and cops.

The Leading Players in the Field, Not (TW3 #351)

A…film featuring…Mira Sorvino’s fight against sex slavery in Cambodia made its US debut at Bayside Church in…Sacramento, Calif…Freedom Project: Every day in Cambodia was produced in partnership with CNN…Girls as young as four years old are sold into slavery and the sex trade by their own parents…the church…[donated] $400,000 to raid brothels…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »