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Posts Tagged ‘Who Did Your Tits?’

Arresting our way out of the problem is not the solution.  –  David Grosso

Who Did Your Tits? 

I’ve been naked with literally thousands of men over the past 18 years, and I’m here to tell you that 99% of men who claim they don’t like implants are full of shit:

…I still reach for the ubiquitous term “fake boobs” even though I don’t consciously think of them as unreal…advertising tends to prefer “breast augmentation”, a term that…avoids the undesirable connotation of falsity in favor of the language of personal improvement.  Doctors increasingly promise natural looks, feels and shapes…the idea of the “natural woman” is a powerful one.  There’s a whole genre of “natural” porn, which typically refers to women with unshaved armpits and no apparent body modifications.  But…is going to the gym unnatural?…Dyeing your hair?…tattoos or piercings?…The existence of “no-makeup makeup” looks — creating the illusion of facial nudity but concealing blemishes, adding glow and so on — should be evidence enough that what we crave isn’t true naturalness, whatever that means, but our idea of what we should look like…We want to be able to congratulate women on looking “so natural” when they’re wearing $200 worth of makeup…

License to Rape

This will continue for as long as prohibition does:

The Georgia sheriff who authorized intrusive pat downs for hundreds of students at Worth County High School earlier this year was indicted for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violating his oath of office.  Authorities will issue a warrant for Jeff Hobby’s arrest later this week…Two deputies were also indicted…they groped male and female students, touching them inappropriately during the completely pointless search.  No drugs were found on any of the 900 boys and girls subjected to the pat downs…

Saving Them From Themselves

How dare they interfere with the pigs’ “right” to destroy their students’ lives?

…Two members of the leadership team at a charter school in [New Orleans] were arrested Tuesday on allegations they failed to [rat out students to the cops] about their discovery of video clips allegedly showing a student being forced to perform oral sex on a group of her peers in a bathroom…New Orleans police booked Nicole Kusmirek…and Shayla Shane…on counts of possessing child pornography as well as [refusing] to [delegate their judgment to the pigs] despite being required to do so…An attorney for both women, Nandi Campbell, said…her clients’ actions…actually prevented children from being able to go on social media and share a video of the incident…”For NOPD to charge these teachers with possession of pornography is the most obscene thing I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this work,” said Campbell…

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

…attorney…Nicole Pittman…has been defending children [from sex-crime accusations]…for 12 years, and says there are…several thousand juveniles on the sex offender registry in the State of Michigan.  Some…[are] on the autism spectrum or struggling with disabilities, but most judges have refused to make exceptions, citing what Pittman describes as a “one size fits all” policy…”Most times with children there is no sexual [motivation]…the moment the touching looks sexual, though, society labels them pedophiles”…Minors are not listed publicly on the sex offender registry, but they’re forbidden from attending school because that’s where children congregate.  Once they turn 18, most states require them to register on the public sex offender list with an identifying photo…”There’s a lot of homelessness and depression [because people can’t get jobs],” Pittman explains. “We have a whole new generation of victims on this law.”  Pittman has interviewed 500 registered kids.  While only some were on the autism spectrum, she says all of them have been victims of abuse…

Amnesty At Last (#564)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for over two years now:

Will Washington, D.C. buck national trends and actually take a stand for sex-worker rights and safety?  It will if politician David Grosso gets his way.  The at-large councilmember has just introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the District…The “Reducing Criminalization to Promote Public Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2017” would amend D.C.’s criminal code to make both the selling and the buying of sex legal.  It’s co-sponsored by At-large Councilmember Robert White.  Unlike moves by Canada and many Western European countries, the D.C. plan would not attempt to regulate sex work by setting up red-light districts, providing for brothel permits, or similar schemes…

What’s In a Name? (#572)

Though I’m not personally bothered by the word “prostitute” (though I do think it’s ugly and legalistic), I understand that many of my sisters feel differently:

…Language is fluid and malleable; it drives social attitudes, rather than simply expressing them.  So what is being reinforced when we use the word “prostitute”, and why is it important?…”Prostitute” first crops up in English in 1530 as a verb meaning to sexually dishonour yourself…And…the word has been linked to a state of dishonour ever since…‘Prostitute’ is not a neutral term and it never has been.  It’s a word burdened with considerable historical and cultural baggage.  Lizzie Smith argued, “the term ‘prostitute’ does not simply mean a person who sells her or his sexual labour, but brings with it layers of ‘knowledge’ about worth, drug status, childhood, integrity, personal hygiene and sexual health”…

Morality Lessons 

We’re lucky to have such outstanding moral exemplars to “protect” and “lead” us:

Four…Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operatives face federal corruption and conspiracy charges after…engaging in all sorts of shady behavior, from selling drugs themselves to lying under oath, falsifying records, falsely identifying drug suspects, accepting bribes, and stealing cash and other property from the people they arrested.  In at least one instance, their behavior led to someone being wrongly imprisoned for more than two years…special agent Chad Scott…and…task force [cops] Rodney Gemar, Karl Newman, and Johnny Domingue—worked with the DEA’s New Orleans Division…

Pyrrhic Victory (#765)

The word for collaboration between government & private industry to control people is “fascism”:

…U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd…Prime Minister Theresa May, and leaders in other countries have been fighting to force…social media platforms, app makers, and other tech companies to make it easier for officials to access private conversations on demand…Rudd said she doesn’t understand how encryption works but knows that it can keep the government from accessing data it wants, so Something Must Be Done…It’s particularly telling that Rudd wants to make this a debate about how she’s being mocked even as she yet again fails to show any actual concern about the security of citizen data.  She’s being mocked for a reason (as is Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who responded to the encryption debate by saying the laws of mathematics are subservient to the laws of Australia)…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

Want to know why “sex trafficking” hysteria is so pervasive?  Follow the money:

…a group calling itself the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE)…run[s] the website “End Sexual Exploitation”…[they] are strong supporters of SESTA…the true mission of NCSE isn’t to end sex trafficking… but to rid the world of the “public health crisis of pornography.”  You see, NCSE began its life in 1962 as Morality in Media, and was a reaction to a ridiculous moral panic over “pornographic material” being left outside of a school…The group has insisted that porn is a “public health crisis” and has worked to get states to declare it as such.  It also posts a Dirty Dozen list of organizations that it needs to shame for “perpetuating sexual exploitation“…They include the American Library Association and Amnesty International on this year’s list…They…claim that libraries have been turned into “a XXX space that fosters child sexual abuse.”  It put Amnesty on the list because Amnesty dares to call sex workers “sex workers” rather than prostitutes…

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We have to accept the truth…the oldest profession in the world [will only disappear] when humans no longer exist.  –  Khuat Thu Hong

Who Did Your Tits? 

A Tampa massage therapist, Jasmine Tridevil…contacted more than 50 doctors before finding one who would give her [a] third breast…The surgeon she found couldn’t create a silicone areola, though, so she had one tattooed onto the implant, which is made from silicone and skin tissue from her stomach.  While Tridevil’s dream is to star in an MTV reality show, she [said]…she had the surgery to become “unattractive to men” in addition to gaining fame.  “I don’t want to date anymore,” she said…

Alas, there is strong evidence that the story is a hoax.

Safe Targets

Here’s a good example of how criminalization makes sex workers vulnerable to extortion; Terra Jones not only shares the actual letters, but details the total uselessness of Alaska cops in responding to them and explains how “sex trafficking” laws have made conditions even worse.

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

Any amount of criminalization, no matter how slight, gives “authorities” an excuse to harass whores, even to the point of paying men to rape them:  “Fred Allen…is a gun for hire, having received tens of thousands of dollars from Sydney’s…councils in exchange for crucial evidence that is presented in court to help expose and close underground parlours.  In short, Mr Allen has paid sex with prostitutes and ratepayers foot the bill…”  Yes, I would class having sex with a woman for the express purpose of harming her – stealing her job or even getting her deported – as a form of rape.  No, I don’t want to debate it.

Halfway Whores

VIP partyPearl-clutching sociologist agonizes over the “exploitation” involved in recruiting models for VIP parties; she says “This is a system of trafficking in women” and thinks it’s a problem that “the girls don’t seem to mind all that much”, indicating that she absolutely Does Not Get the halfway whore concept at all.

Welcome To Our World

surrogacy opponents…include…social conservatives and Christians, especially Catholics, who either see surrogacy as unnatural and immoral or a gateway for gay parents, and some feminist groups, who see surrogacy as exploitative…Even the ostensibly pro-surrogacy crowd seems to favor making surrogacy more complicated and less accessible…[such] solutions [are billed] as “pro surrogacy” because they don’t outright forbid or criminalize the practice but…create more categories of people who can’t participate and raise financial costs and privacy invasion for those who do…

The Proper Study

A new Canadian study won’t surprise anyone who’s been listening to sex worker activists, but the backup comes at a crucial time:

Researchers have released…the first national report on the sex industry in Canada…based on five studies undertaken in St. John’s, Montréal, Kitchener, Fort McMurray, Calgary, and Victoria…“Many of the people linked to Canada’s sex industry—workers and their intimate partners, managers and clients—have much in common with other Canadians”…The average age of sex workers’ first sale was 26 years old…29 percent of sex workers first sold…sex…before …19…The average sex worker has 10 years of experience…67 percent of sex workers finished high school, and 15 percent have a bachelor’s degree or more…77 percent…identify as women, 17 percent as men, and 6 percent as other genders…Sex buyers purchase a sexual service a median of four times a year…only 17 percent bought sex on the street…

Surplus Women

Angelia Mangum & Tjhisha BallThe bodies of two Tampa teenagers…Angelia Mangum, 19, and Tjhisha Ball, 18, were found…[on a Jacksonville roadside] bound with zip ties and lying on top of one another…both…had been…working there as exotic dancers…”  Naturally, the media cares more about recounting their record of a couple of petty offenses than about two young women whom society considered disposable.  A fundraiser has been started to assist their families with funeral costs.

Follow Your Bliss

No, he didn’t “turn pedophile”; he took this job on purpose to enable and cover up his crimes:

…Gregory Pyle…of…Illinois…was sentenced to 50 years in prison…after confessing to sexually abusing a child and distributing images…online.  Pyle was a 10-year veteran of his police department who…worked in a child predator task force…and…used his position…to obstruct the investigation into his actions…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

88-year-old grandfather, Edwin Venn, was arrested…for prostitution, along with his john Amanda Pearson, 23.  Police had been watching Venn for several months and noticed a peculiar  pattern…Mr. Venn stood most weekend nights with cardboard sign on Hollywood Blvd that read:  “I’m for sale.”  Pearson admitted during her arraignment that when she found the 88-year-old Venn trying to turn tricks she and her friends decided it would be funny to sleep “with an old guy”.  Word spread and lots of girls paid Venn for sex.  Pearson said he only charged five dollars and gave them lollipops afterward.

The Public Eye

Here’s another sex worker on a reality TV show:

Kate McGrew [says sex work] is…”an aspect of my feminism…sex workers…have good strategy.  People say it cheapens the experience [of sex]…No, it doesn’t, it makes it more expensive”…

And one who was previously on a show runs for office:Charlotte Rose

One of the independent candidates for the Clacton by-election is Exeter sex worker Charlotte Rose…[who] previously appeared in a…TV series…called Love For Sale…[with] Rupert Everett and Russell Brand.  “My main policy is about sexual freedom…I also want there to be better sexual education in schools”…The former teacher and mother-of-two…was hounded out [of her neighborhood] by locals following media attention sparked by the TV show…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another case in which the truth is so obscured by exaggeration, dysphemisms, myths and lies that we’ll probably never know what really happened:

A…[Missouri] Judge sentenced 24-year-old Tiffany Piper to eight years in prison for selling two high school girls for sex…managed the [girls’ work]…and placed ads online…[prosecutors claim that]  someone was [previously] trafficking Tiffany Piper for sex…[and] said…”At some point she was no longer a victim…because she perpetrated the same crimes that were perpetrated upon her”…[they] can`t say who first trafficked Piper, or who worked above her, because Piper never said…

The narrative simply doesn’t allow the prosecutor to admit that there is no shadowy “pimp” pulling the strings here, so Piper becomes the scapegoat.

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #42)

in recent months a fierce debate over whether to legalise and regulate the sex industry [in Vietnam] has sprung up online and in the official press…even the National Assembly is due to address the issue at its next session in October…Researchers estimate there are around 200,000 sex workers in Vietnam…”We should legalise prostitution because it is part of human rights. Everybody has the right to enjoy sex,” said sociologist Le Quang Binh…

Comfort Zone (TW3 #311)

Given that the Immigrant Council is one of the groups trying to impose the Swedish model on Ireland, I trust you can see the endgame here:

A report…finds that victims of sex trafficking are left vulnerable to further abuse in…[Ireland’s] direct provision centres because they can be easily contacted or intimidated by pimps and traffickers…the Immigrant Council of Ireland said…”traffickers have actually used the asylum system for residency and accommodation while simultaneously trafficking victims”…

rubber stampLack of Evidence (TW3 #316)

California Governor Jerry Brown [signed]…legislation which now requires district attorneys to get a court’s permission to use possession of more than one condom as potential evidence [of]…prostitution…”  How this will play out in real-world courtrooms:

DA: Your honor, I need permission to use these condoms as evidence, because “sex trafficking”.  It’s for the children!

Judge:  Granted.

Traffic Jam (TW3 #403)

sex workers…and advocates submitted a report to the United Nations…on human rights violations committed in the U.S. against sex workers…and those profiled as such…Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP), Desiree Alliance and Sex Worker Outreach Project-NYC (SWOP-NYC) [documented] extensive violations of the right to equal protection before the law, the right to be free of cruel and inhuman punishment, and the right to health…Due process violations are also rampant…The report…[calls] on the U.S…to make good on a [2011] commitment…to address discrimination and violence against sex workers…

Imaginary Crises (TW3 #410)

Another good article attacking the “rape culture” myth:

…Both critics and supporters…note [that]…While the CDC estimates that nearly 2 million adult American women were raped in 2011 and nearly 6.7 million suffered some other form of sexual violence, the NCVS estimate for that year was 238,000 rapes and sexual assaults…[the high numbers result from a loose definition of rape, but by this standard]…the…CDC [found] that women rape men as often as men rape women.  The CDC also reports that men account for over a third of those experiencing…“sexual coercion”…defined as being pressured into sexual activity by psychological means:  lies or false promises, threats to end a relationship or spread negative gossip, or “making repeated requests” for sex and expressing unhappiness at being turned down…We must either start treating sexual assault as a gender-neutral issue or stop using the CDC’s inflated statistics…

The Scarlet Letter (TW# #413)

At least a few reporters are publishing critical views of currently-fashionable “john shaming” tyranny:

…“This violates the bedrock principle that punishment should not begin until you are convicted,” says Jonathan Simon…[of] Berkeley Law…“It’s the police saying, ‘We’re going to punish you upfront’…This isn’t just a few days in jail.  It’s distinctly degrading treatment, public exposure that puts people at risk of long-term internal trauma …it’s the kind of thing that the 8th Amendment…was designed to prevent”…assistant professor Andrea Roth says…“Public humiliation affects a lot of people besides the johns…People say, ‘I saw your dad or husband on Facebook,’ and that can be devastating.  Your career can be affected—maybe permanently, given that once something goes up on the Internet, it’s there forever. It can disrupt entire families”…

Full of Themselves (TW3 #418)

Of all the semi-whores, none are as pompous as masseuses; they even infect those who write about them:

…Many [massage parlors] are locally owned small businesses staffed by well-trained professionals who provide high-priced services.  On the other hand, some are fronts for brothels…California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill that acknowledges that the state’s last attempt to regulate the massage industry struck the wrong balance…centralizing power moved massage parlors outside the authority of local governments, which are more likely to know when a business is illegitimate…

Given that most unlicensed massage parlors are Asian-owned, there is a strong whiff of racism in phrases like “locally owned” and “high-priced services”.

The Roof Caves In

Somaly Mam has spoken out to defend herself for the first time…in the new issue of Marie Claire, Mam tells Abigail Pesta, “I didn’t lie”…she adds that she didn’t mount a legal fight against the claims because “I didn’t need a lawyer…I did nothing wrong.  My heart is my lawyer”…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #423) 

Alan Young…summed up…bill [C36] as “a very confused response to a very clear judgment”…when…asked if the bill could be amended, he was unequivocal:  “No.”  As a constitutional lawyer, he said, he’d “have a field day” with the bill, given…irreconcilable inconsistencies between the objectives, as laid out in the preamble, and the text of the proposed laws…Young also challenged the assertion that the government had struck the appropriate balance…”How can you even talk about ‘balance’ when you use the word ‘asymmetrical’…I’ve never seen anything in the history of [Canadian] criminal law that sets up asymmetrical prohibitions”…

A Whore in Church (TW3 #433) 

If George is smart, he’ll call off his protests first:

…A letter to Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Ministries and Foxhole North strip club owner Thomas George was sent by city officials asking them to stop the weekly protests of each other’s establishment…the feud is straining local law enforcement and hurting the community…[but] they can’t legally be stopped from protesting…George explained to [reporters] that he…believes it is necessary to draw attention to…harassment by Dunfee and his congregation…

Above the Law (TW3 #434) 

Another one from Oklahoma:

A Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy…accused of sexual assault and indecent exposure resigned…as investigators search for more victims…Gerald Nuckolls…was arrested…[after using drugs as a pretext] to ask [a woman] inappropriate questions and…exposed himself to [her]…Nuckolls reportedly said he had a problem with pretty women…

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I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.  –  Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

Election Day

At last the madness is over, and the world is relieved of the poison Americans vomit out everywhere in advance of our presidential elections.  The pretense that one fascist is somehow superior to the other is of no concern to this column, but ballot initiatives in Colorado, Washington and California are.  Let’s start with the good news:  possession and use of small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in Colorado and Washington, and Coloradans are allowed to cultivate up to six plants and give away weed as long as no money is exchanged.  State authorities have been granted plenty of time (8 months in Colorado and 13 in Washington) to draft and adopt regulations for commercial cultivation and sale, and though the federal ban still stands it’s going to be rather difficult for the feds to enforce that, considering that 99% of all marijuana arrests are committed by state and local police (who in those two states will now be forbidden to act).

But while the forces of prohibitionism lost a little power over 12 million people, they gained a great deal over 38 million.  Not only did Michael Weinstein’s crusade to turn porn movies into creepy goggle-and-glove festooned condom commercials succeed, but also the horrific Proposition 35 passed by a landslide due to its dishonest portrayal as an “anti-human trafficking” measure.  The law defines a “‘commercial sex act’ as one that…occurs on account of anything of value being given or received by any person… ‘anything of value’…[could] include…dinner…a movie…a drink…” and defines coercion so broadly that a wide spectrum of previously non-criminal behaviors (including begging or buying a woman a drink) falls under it.  Parents, adult children, roommates, spouses and landlords of prostitutes could all be charged with “pimping”, which along with “coerced commercial sex” is defined as “human trafficking”; million-dollar fines, decades-long prison sentences and lifelong “sex offender” registration are the penalties for the new “crime”.  Furthermore, it demands that those condemned to this registry turn over all internet screen names, passwords and other “identifiers” to the police so they can be continually spied upon, forever (though this one narrow portion of the law has already been challenged by the ACLU and EFF).  Finally (and most incredibly), the registration and its attendant surveillance are retroactive to 1944, so a 90-year-old woman convicted of “pandering” in the last days of World War II for assisting a hooker friend could be forced to register as a “dangerous sex offender” (with all that entails).

The word “Kafkaesque” falls utterly short.

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!

Tomorrow is the 237th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps, and is observed by Marines as the Corps’ “birthday”.  Military men have been among the best clients of whores since men first started going to war, and that will always be so despite the recent efforts of evil-minded prudes to change it.  You can read my personal and professional thoughts on the subject from two years ago at the link above, and from last year also.  And if you know a Marine, he’s sure to appreciate a “Happy Birthday!” tomorrow.

Not an Addiction

“Sex addiction” seems positively reasonable compared to the notion of an escort service that “wasn’t prostitution or anything”:

…Jennifer…was hooked on heroin in her early twenties…but straight after she left rehab, a new problem began to emerge.  “I’m not really sure how it happened, but I started to work for an escort service…It wasn’t prostitution or anything, but what drew me to this particular company was the fact that all I had to do was go on dates with men…lots of men.”  Jennifer says she didn’t sleep with her clients, but that working as an escort made her feel the same “high” that drugs had given her, because of all the attention she received.  At the same time, she also became obsessed with constantly posting provocative pictures of herself on her Facebook page…After a year of this…Jennifer…quit working as an escort and [sought] counseling.  She was told she was “addicted” to male attention…While the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t classify Jennifer’s condition as an addiction, some mental health professionals say they regularly encounter behavior like this in recovering addicts…Cindy Grassin…emphasizes that an obsession with or addiction to male attention is different from a sex addiction…

Actually, they’re exactly the same:  obsessions which quacks mislabel as “addictions” to capitalize on a fad.

Make Up Your Damned Mind!

Prostitution stories involving Florida cops would be hilarious if their moronic shenanigans didn’t hurt real women:  “The alleged illicit activities…not far from Walt Disney World…came as a surprise to some central Floridians.  ‘That’s crazy…because people are coming here for fun,’ said…Tamika Stevens.”  If Tamika thinks sex isn’t fun, I suggest she seek a competent therapist.  “‘Every time we’ve been here it’s been as safe as anything,’ said visitor Wayne Aston.  Law enforcement officials said they want to try to keep it safe.  And to help do so, they are cracking down on prostitution.”  Because we’re dangerous criminals!  One never knows when a hooker will burn a kid with a flashbang grenade, or taser a pregnant woman, or machine-gun a bystander in the back…oh, wait, that’s cops.

Across the Pond

Though brothels are illegal in the UK, the city of Edinburgh has long tolerated prostitution in saunas as a way of reducing streetwalking.  But when the licenses of 13 of the 15 saunas came up for renewal recently, protests were filed by busybody prohibitionists spouting idiocy such as “…The buying and selling of vulnerable women…is not a private matter…it harms us all.”  Fortunately, the city council did the right thing and renewed the licenses anyway:

Twelve saunas in Edinburgh were…granted…licences by councillors, despite…one [man’s]…campaign against them.  Michael Anthony, 59…left the City Chambers in protest…He had earlier accused police…of turning a blind eye to criminal activity…[but] police officers at the meeting said they had no grounds to object.  Ten of the licences were granted and two were continued, because of ongoing police investigations, and will be reviewed within six months.  Until then they will continue trading…Scotpep, a campaign group supporting sex workers, welcomed the decision…However, Jenny Kemp, co-ordinator of Zero Tolerance, said:  “We are appalled by this decision.  Sexual exploitation is a huge problem in Edinburgh and saunas are a key place where that…happens.”

Gullible’s Travels

Long gas station lines and empty gas pumps have plagued drivers across New York and New Jersey since  [tropical] storm Sandy slammed into the East Coast last Monday, leaving a gas shortage across the region…now it seems…Men have been taking to the personals on Craigslist, trading gasoline for sex…” To the credulous mind of the modern “reporter”, a few clueless idiots trying to get laid for about $20 of goods is “People trading gas for sex on Craigslist.”

Little Boxes

Behold:  Olympic-level mental gymnastics:

…Jackie Samuel…is a professional cuddler…[who] turned to snuggling with strangers to help pay for her studies and provide for her young son…her college has threatened to expel her – while others have called her a prostitute…She said:  “I think I was born knowing how to snuggle.  Snuggling is healthy, spiritual and fun…Some of my older clients, their wives have passed away, and they just need someone to be with, like someone to experience touch with.  Some of the younger clients are between relationships, some are in problematic relationships, and some people are just really curious and they come to just find out what it’s going to be like”…clients…are banned from touching parts of her body covered by underwear, which she wears under pyjamas.  The business has done so well she has even hired another snuggling professional, Colleen…[who] has joined Jackie on two occasions in what they have termed a “double cuddle”…

The Odor of Socks

Ireland’s Turn Off the Red Light (TORL) campaign…already enjoys having their own letters widely published in…Irish newspapers, whilst sex worker letters are almost always ignored, but they want more…so…the Irish Feminist Network (IFN) reached out in a mailshot…calling for volunteer “letter writers”, only actually they meant shills.  “TORL will provide the letter – all you have to do is put your name and contact details to the end of it”…

Metaupdates

Who Did Your Tits? (TW3 #5)

Just reading this made me incredibly uncomfortable:

…a police officer in Texas burst [Rebecca Van Hooser’s] breast implant by using excessive force when he arrested her during a traffic stop.  Pantego Officer Eric Alvarez  pulled [her] over…for a headlight violation [then] discovered a warrant for her arrest for an unpaid speeding ticket…”She gets out of the car, [Alvarez] grabs her, throws her against the car…kick…spreads her legs and…yanks [her arms] very hard behind her back,” [said] her attorney, Susan Hutchison…Van Hooser is suing the Pantego Police Department for the Oct. 28, 2011, incident, which…caused her right implant to split and leak fluid into her body.  “She’s screaming in pain, and his response is, ‘This isn’t supposed to be comfortable,'” Hutchison added…

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #10)

So, where are the calls to ban “ethical” chicken farming?

…workers at one company that helped to collect ethically raised chickens were apparently themselves victims of human trafficking and beatings…its…license [was] revoked…after allegations that it kept workers in debt bondage,  among a series of other claims…roughly 29 Lithuanian men…said that they had been told that these would be well-paid jobs…but earned…less than $150 a week…

Amsterdam (TW3 #25)

Dutch “authorities” seem determined to destroy their historic tolerance by outlawing more aspects of sex work and then feigning surprise when the number of illegal whores increases (translated with Google’s help):

…police allege…that there is illegal labor and prostitution in many Chinese massage parlors…there were “signs of sexual acts” in two of the four Chinese massage parlors in Amsterdam…Twenty staff were checked by the police.  Two employees were illegally employed, one was illegally residing in the Netherlands and in one case there were “indications of exploitation”…None of the salons proved adequate records of cash transactions.  About 75 of the 300 massage businesses in Amsterdam are believed to be “happy-ending” establishments…and police concentrated on Chinese parlors in particular because of alleged “signs” that forced women are employed in them…

The More the Better (TW3 #42)

After sponsoring a soccer team in Larissa…brothel owner Soula Alevridou is now extending her financial support to a school in Patra…[by donating] 3,000 euros…to purchase a photocopier and a library for the school…

The Last Thirteen for Fourteen (TW3 #44)

Nine (of Feminist Ire) looks at the willful blindness of “Rhoda Grant MSP…the latest public figure to have jumped on the criminalisation bandwagon” by promoting the Swedish Model; Nine writes that “The proposal, based on a lack of understanding of what the sex industry is actually like, has been put together by someone who doesn’t want to learn about it.  The consultation paper draws from unethical research and selectively uses small-scale studies on specific sectors of the sex industry to define sex work as a whole…”  That’s why it’s important for as many sex workers and allies as possible, even those who don’t live in Scotland, to add their voices to the process.

This Week in 2010 and 2011

Besides my Marine Corps birthday columns and the two previous Guy Fawkes Day columns I mentioned on Monday, this week saw entries on Biblical queens and drama queens, two psychological aberrations which can affect men’s attitudes toward sex, a shift in the attitudes of reasonable people toward sex workers, the incompatibility of facts with dogma and science with law, and the nonexistence of free lunches.  I also featured reviews of several books and short articles on trafficked wood, the weirdness of legalization, the presumption of guilt and a sociological group’s pro-decriminalization statement.

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Beware of billionaires who want to save your life.  –  Mark Leno

Modern Marriage

Brooke Magnanti on Catherine Hakim’s new book:

…people are still marrying, still making that leap into the conceptual and statistical improbability of ’til death do us part.  And where does that leave affairs, clients of sex workers, enjoyers of porn and the rest of us?…When many couples choose to remain childless, or have no familial wealth to pass on, why are we still doing this, anyway?  Those questions and a lot more are what drives the narrative of…The New Rules: Internet Dating, Playfairs, and Erotic Power.  In it, [Catherine Hakim]…calmly dissects the differences between the cultures where it’s okay to throw a strop at the first sign of relationships going off piste, and those where adultery is not only usual but expected…

Aversions

In a way, this is one of those “dog bites man” things, unless I’m the only one who’s ever noticed that most women are more sexually open when they’re very turned on:

A small Dutch study…indicate[s] that arousal overrides feelings of disgust and facilitates a woman’s desire to do something that a woman who is not aroused might find flat-out repulsive…Daniel R. Kelly, an associate professor of philosophy at Purdue…explained that disgust is an “extension of our immune system” that helps prevent people from getting infected by making them wary of things, like bodily fluids, that…make people vulnerable…David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas…[said] “Women show far more disgust and especially sexual disgust, than men…It helps to protect women from having sex with the wrong men, such as men who might communicate diseases…show signs of a high ‘parasite load’…have poor hygiene and so on,” he said.  What is interesting about the new Dutch paper, the two experts agreed, is that it suggests the mission to avoid the potentially “dangerous” parts of sex takes a backseat when women are aroused…

Who Did Your Tits?

Color me unsurprised:  “Letting women ‘test drive’ larger breasts before a boob job…[by] wearing a heavily padded bra for two weeks while doing ordinary tasks…[has led to them picking] 30 per cent larger [implants] than they first planned – at least one additional cup size.”  Despite claims from insecure women that they hate having big tits, the fact is that many women wish they had gone bigger, and most do so if the implants need to be replaced.

My Readers Write

This could be considered an update to “Welcome To Our World”, “Neither Cold nor Hot” or the “All in the Family” update in last week’s TW3, but the fact that it was written by regular reader Aspasia (in her own blog) trumps all that:

Jezebel ran two articles…that…highlight the hypocrisy of much of their readership…The first…“How to Tell Your Parents You’re A Prostitute”…[is followed by a] comment thread…rife with the moralizing pearl-clutching of feminists who claim to be supportive of women’s choices…Three days later, came [another] article…[which] criticizes certain choices made by women…and…[was] roundly condemned in thecomment thread…but…[the second author]…merely [did] what the average Jezebel reader does whenever sex workers…are discussed:  stripped a whole group of women of their autonomy, projected her own standards onto them, and criticized their choices…

Uncommon Sense

Prostitutes in…Geneva have formed [Switzerland’s] first sex workers’ union, citing foreign competition and the high cost of rent…[it will be] called…the Sex Workers’ Syndicate [and]…aims to operate alongside the organisation Aspasie, which has advocated for prostitutes in Geneva since 1982.  Aspasie primarily concerns itself with the health and well-being of sex workers, while STTS was mainly founded to address prostitutes’ financial concerns and working conditions…

I reckon that’s good news, though I’m a bit wary of the protectionism implied in that first line; if foreign women are excluded, it could potentially create a  bottleneck.  Of course, the government is working on one of its own:

Switzerland has long been criticised by the international community for allowing prostitution by teens as young as 16.  The government has proposed changes to the criminal code which would make it a crime to hire or sell the services of a prostitute who is younger than 18…[due to] a Council of Europe convention it signed in 2010…young sex workers would not be prosecuted for their actions – only those who seek or sell their services would be held responsible…

The age of consent in Switzerland is 16, but once again we see the magical thinking that money somehow taints sex and the complete lack of consideration about what will happen to those girls once their agency is denied and their once-legal trade is semi-criminalized.

We Told You So

More of this, please:

[A Philippine “anti-trafficking” NGO named] the Visayan Forum Foundation (VF) [has been] accused of fraud by…USAID…At least…$5 million…meant to fund the group’s projects…[is] missing…the warrant that led to the search…said…the foundation…may be in possession or control of “falsified private documents which were used and are being used to defraud…donors”…

Scapegoats

…Carlos Romero…was arrested…and charged with misdemeanor sexual activity with an animal, by officials in Ocala, Fla., but believes the real outrage is that the Sunshine State is ‘backwards’ towards zoophilia…The victimized animal is a 21-month-old miniature donkey named Doodle he purchased two months ago…”  Whatever you may think of Romero’s preferences, ascribing human sexual hang-ups to a donkey in heat is beyond absurd.

The Last Shall Be First

It’s good to see bigots like this criticized by peers and spotlighted by the media:

An Oklahoma County judge is refusing to let men planning sex-change operations switch to feminine names.  District Judge Bill Graves has denied name changes in two such cases so far…[ruling] both times the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose…His position…has generated criticism of him at the courthouse.  Five other Oklahoma County judges who handle name change requests…routinely grant them in transgender cases.

His reason for this prejudice?  Science!

Graves…has concluded a person cannot really change…sex because the person’s DNA stays the same…“A so-called sex-change surgery can make one appear to be the opposite sex, but in fact they are nothing more than an imitation…petitioner has not even had the surgery…To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent…Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’  The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female.”

You can always tell a legitimate scientific argument by its quotation of Genesis.

Above the Law

As long as bureaucrats have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

[An]…investigator with Florida’s Department of Children and Families has been arrested for “bribery by a public servant, official misconduct, and falsifying records” after he told a woman under his supervision that he would hide the results of her drug-positive urine test if she would have sex with him.  When [she] refused…Andrew Thomas threatened to report her to her probation officer…[he] is the third Florida DCF employee to be charged this year with a sex-related crime.  In August…Peter Crane…was charged with…molesting two five-year-old girls.  In June…Jean Lacroix…was charged with having sex with a teen who was part of a prostitution ring composed exclusively of foster children…

Naked Truth

Fortunately, most of the journalists who contact me are looking for informed commentary on issues rather than a sex-work story they can twist to fit their own agenda, but Charlotte Shane does an excellent job of skewering the twits who pester non-activist sex workers to “get their real stories”.  If you’re not a journalist or academic you’ll enjoy reading this, but if you are either of those you need to read it.

Worse Than I Thought

California’s “Proposition 35” defines virtually all normal sex as “prostitution” and a lot of normal behavior as “coercion”, lists anyone who has anything at all to do with “coerced prostitution” as a “sex trafficker”, and condemns individuals so labeled to decades of prison, lifetime “sex offender” registration and theft of all their property by the state.  It’s so awful, in fact, that even bona fide coerced prostitutes are against it:  “Anabelle sees herself as a victim of sex trafficking. Stories like hers are driving Proposition 35…But Anabelle isn’t supporting [it]…and her arguments — and those of sex workers and their supporters — paint a very different picture of a law that could hurt the people it’s supposed to protect.”  And if that article’s not enough to convince you, how about this slide show?

Metaupdates

Follow Your Bliss
in TW3 (#16)

Another pervert claims to “help” teenage runaways so he can help himself to their sexual favors:

The founder of [a charity for homeless youth named “Stand Up For Kids”] has been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a child over a three year period.  Richard Koca, Sr., 69…faces seven felony charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust…The charges…were…sealed…by court order…after KMGH’s report…investigators are preparing for the possibility that more potential victims could come forwarding the case…the organization’s website was no longer accessible online today, and calls to the headquarters went unreturned…

The Pro-Rape Coalition in TW3 (#30)

Sex work-positive journalist Susannah Breslin interviews two porn producers (one of them Ira Isaacs), two actresses and a lawyer about the potential effects of the ramped-up porn prosecutions promised by Mitt Romney should he be the winner of the quadrennial popularity contest.

Feminine Pragmatism in TW3 (#32)

No matter how carefully and thoroughly I scan for items of interest, a few things always slip through the cracks.  While reading about Nadya Suleman using the money from her porn flick to lease a new house, I encountered the sentence “She spent the summer begging for money from fans and offering dates for cash.”  Wait, what?  Sure enough; the linked article is from August 6th:

…Nadya Suleman…has opened a profile on the dating website  WhatsYourPrice.com, TMZ reports…Although some would consider Suleman’s latest venture a dip into the prostitution pool, Gawker’s Louis Peitzman outlines, “yes, there’s something a little sketchy about selling yourself online, but it’s not prostitution unless they’re paying for sex…”

You’ve got to laugh at the moronic mental gymnastics with which some people justify their childish attempts to draw sharp, static lines between complex, fluid behaviors.  Octomom’s done stripping, porn and sugar baby work, but she’s not a whore, noooooo.  And neither is she a pathetic victim like the rest of us “prostituted women”; according to the house-leasing article,

“It has been the most empowering, liberating thing I have ever done,” Suleman told…Dr. Drew about doing porn.  “There is nothing I won’t do to take care of my family…I had full control and power over my choice.  I take full accountability and I’m proud of it.”

So there you are, ladies; in order for your equally-pragmatic choices to be considered valid, you first have to have 14 fatherless kids you can’t support.

This Week in 2011

A two-part guest column from veteran sex worker rights activist Norma Jean Almodovar was followed by criticisms of people who ask questions but refuse to accept the answers and sex workers who waste energy in internecine squabbles.  “Uncommon Sense” (linked above) was then followed by a look at clueless neofeminist whining and a tale of the Ouled Nail.

This Week in 2010

The week began with my three-part column on the intersection of BDSM and whoring, which was followed by columns on why many escorts shun black clients and the physiological differences between genetic women and post-op transsexuals.  I also told the sad story of an escort I called “April” and published my very first (two-part) Q & A column.

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Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it.  It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.  –  Nadine Gordimer

Eleven updates and four meta-updates.

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)

Happy 50th birthday, silicone implant!:

…Timmie Jean Lindsey, 80…said she…[went to Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston, who invented the implants in 1962] because she wanted some rose tattoos removed from her chest, and he told her she was the perfect first candidate…“It wasn’t a big deal to me.  I went from a B to a C cup.  But it made men more aware of me.  More men would whistle at me”…She said she feels fortunate she never experienced many of the side effects that plagued other recipients…

The reason she didn’t have any side effects, of course, is because lawyers hadn’t invented them yet.

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

Remember those cute little Adelie penguins?  Well, it turns out that prostitution isn’t their only “perverted” sexual behavior; George Levick of the ill-fated Scott expedition also observed rape, sexual abuse of chicks, homosexuality and necrophilia.  He was so upset by the whole thing that he recorded his findings in Greek so that they couldn’t accidentally be read by English speakers, and those facts were left out of the official accounts until very recently.  I’m not surprised; any bird which practices “cash and dash” is capable of anything.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (May 30th, 2011)

Did you read the one about the Swedish housewife who set herself up a BDSM dungeon in an abandoned bunker?  It became news when two fishermen discovered it and called the cops.  When Aftonbladet told her that many of her neighbors were scandalized she said, “I think it is because many are afraid.  Sweden is not really such a free country when it comes to sexuality…”  Sex workers and their clients wholly agree.

Surplus Women (September 27th, 2011)

Yet another maniac chooses his victims from among sex workers:

A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast…22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday (June 5th) night and left early Wednesday.  Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis.  Other body parts…were found later…Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel…

The Capri is one of those dirty, scary places where only truly desperate girls live, so I suspect she was murdered by a client who promised her extra money to go off with him.  At least the story seems to make some effort to treat her as a person rather than concentrating on her sex work as so many do.

See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)

Res ipsa loquitur:

…Phillip Cosby…objects to [a] donated statue at the Overland Park Arboretum [in Kansas City], because it portrays a woman…taking a photo of herself while her breasts are exposed…he has started an online petition…to start a grand jury investigation…he objects to the statue’s availability to children and is seeking a charge of promoting obscenity.  Overland Park has posted signs at the park about the statue’s content but says it has no immediate plans to remove the sculpture.

A statue has no “content”; any “obscenity” is projected into it by dirty minds.

Neither Addiction nor Epidemic (December 4th, 2011)

Regular reader Franklin Harris wrote a column on sex in film in which he stated:

Movies and television take a lot of heat for promoting supposedly immoral, promiscuous and irresponsible sexual behavior.  But when it comes to movies that actually make sex their main focus, you may be left wondering why anyone has sex in the first place. Sex in these movies is awful, joyless and nothing good ever comes of it.  On second thought, that does sound like a pretty irresponsible depiction of sex, just not the one we’ve been led to expect…despite depressing movies such as Shame and a few high-profile celebrity cases of suspect credibility, one fact remains: There is no such thing as sex addiction…[it] is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is no scientific evidence it exists…

Harris also has sharp words for The Girlfriend Experience and points out the deep irony implicit in Hollywood’s typical condemnation of any kind of sex for pay.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this sort of column becoming ever more common in mainstream media.

Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)

Another cop using his position for rape:  “A former Hopewell [Virginia] police officer was convicted…of sexually abusing three women…In exchange for his pleas, a fourth charge of forcible sodomy was withdrawn by the prosecution.  Baggett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count…”  Notice that cops in these stories are nearly always described as “former” police officers, subtly implying that they were sacked out for their conduct, when in fact that only happened as a direct result of a probable conviction.  Had the case been less clear, Baggett would still be a cop right now.

An Example to the West (April 3rd, 2012)

Sex workers in Thailand recently sent a letter to their Prime Minister asking him to stop licking Uncle Sam’s boots:

…Empower alleges that successive Thai governments have sacrificed the rule of law, their international human rights obligations and the well-being of migrant sex workers and their families, in an attempt to please the US government and satisfy the American anti trafficking agenda.  We accuse the United States government of using the issue of human trafficking to coerce its allies into tightening border and immigration controls.  The US agenda has also created a climate where women crossing borders are all seen as suspect “victims” of trafficking…Empower sees the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department as subjective and bias [sic] against the Thai Entertainment Industry…

The Naked Emperor (May 15th, 2012)

Though danah boyd (who like e.e. cummings prefers her name uncapitalized) is generally critical of moral panics about kids and the internet, and has said that “the most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic”, she seems to have bought into sex trafficking hysteria…or has she?  This article also seems subtly critical of anti-Backpage crusade; is she, like others, simply afraid to say the emperor is naked?

…when we as a society see technology being used in horrible ways, we want to blame and ban the technology…I know that technology is being used in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.  I also know that many people have responded to the visibility of “child sex trafficking” on commercial websites by wanting to shut down those commercial websites…my goal is to make sure that we understand what we’re doing so that we actually address the core of the problem, not just the most visible symptoms of it.  Unfortunately, we know very little about how children are advertised, bought, sold, and exploited through the use of technology.  There are plenty of anecdotes, but rigorous data is limited…

Read the article and let me know what you think:  more research is good, but only if it’s conducted in an atmosphere of free inquiry; most of the projects she mentions make unwarranted assumptions and seem tailored to produce specific anti-sex work outcomes.

First They Came for the Hookers… (June 5th, 2012)

I really wish politicians would stop proving me right:

…the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all…”The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” [said] Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney…”Now we have the power, which we’ll [soon] begin using…to deny visas to people who we think…might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation”…

Once again, “trafficking” rhetoric is really an excuse for bigotry.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (June 9th, 2012)

Anyone who’s read more than a token amount of Bradbury has noticed the libertarian ideas in his work, and in this extremely interesting essay by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy he demonstrates that Bradbury was not alone: “Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre.  From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field.  Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work…

Metaupdates

Welcome To Our World in February Updates (Part Two) (February 13th, 2011)

A UK organization is fighting for the sexual rights of mentally disabled people:

…Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships…however they choose.  But some people in society, such as people with learning disabilities, aren’t always given the automatic right to have relationships and flourish as sexual beings.  They have to persuade others to “allow” them to do it.  FPA believes passionately that everyone has the right to enjoy sexual health

I applaud FPA’s efforts; whores also know what it’s like to be denied the right to sex on our own terms.

The Scarlet Letter in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Another example of sex workers fighting oppression via civil courts:

…State-sanctioned forced HIV testing of sex workers also occurs [in places other than Greece]…But in Malawi…sex workers are fighting back…in 2009…police…forced [arrested sex workers] to undergo HIV tests…[and those] who tested HIV-positive were charged with  “spreading disease dangerous to life,”…fourteen [of them] decided to sue the government and challenge the constitutionality of forced HIV testing…

Much Ado About Nothing in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Dania Suarez, the escort whose mistreatment kicked off the Secret service scandal, “has announced plans to open a non-profit organization to support women who have been affected by prostitution” just after turning down “a $500,000 pornography contract with Vivid” in favor of a TV documentary on her life.  As long as she only works with women who genuinely want to leave the trade I’m all for it, but if she turns to “rescue” and/or starts mouthing “child sex trafficking” rubbish, she’ll be following Kristin Davis into the Hall of Shame.

Finding What Isn’t There in TW3 (#23) (June 9th, 2012)

Considering that prostitution is not illegal in either part of Ireland and that police found no “traffickers” or “victims” in their highly-publicized joint raid, all of the residences belonged to “innocent people”; I reckon what this article is trying to say is that half didn’t belong to the people named on the warrants:

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is facing a serious legal backlash after it emerged that as many as half the residences it raided as part of its cross-border anti-prostitution operation with gardai belong to innocent people…the PSNI is now facing a highly embarrassing and potentially very expensive legal fall-out from what appear to have been a series of botched raids based on intelligence that, in some cases, was at least a year out of date…

Though I feel bad for those who were raided, high-profile jackboot buffoonery like this only helps our cause in the long run, because it demonstrates the fact-free basis for police actions and results in ever more editorials like this one:

…”Rape for profit,” stormed Philip Marshall of the PSNI…Everyone would agree if he had freed dozens of sex-slaves and charged their traffickers…So far, though, the only people charged were three Polish girls, who…were…working willingly…is it really worth months of police time…to arrest and shame…three young people?…Or should we consider…offering prostitutes the protection of the law when they are abused or coerced?…Prostitution has always been with us…We can’t legislate it out of existence, but we could legislate to reduce its damage to the health and welfare of those involved.

One Year Ago Today

June Miscellanea (Part Two)” reports on yet another censorship law, a decentralized online currency system, New York’s declaration that sexy dancing isn’t dancing and more extra-blog activities by yours truly.

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The good news is that Jesus is coming back.  The bad news is that he’s really pissed off.  – Bob Hope

Three new stories and six updates from the fifth week of 2012.

Good News, Bad News

Sometimes, reading stories about prostitution law is like the classic joke format.  GOOD NEWS:  77% of Canadians support decriminalization of prostitution and UNAIDS has condemned criminalization of sex work (including the “Swedish Model”, “end demand” schemes and the rescue industry) as a danger both to sex workers and to public health:

…Forced rescue and rehabilitation practices lower sex workers’ control over where and under what conditions they sell sexual services and to whom, exposing them to greater violence and exploitation…this leads to social disintegration and a loss of solidarity and cohesion (social capital) among sex workers, including reducing their ability to access health care, legal and social services.  Low social capital is known to increase vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections among sex workers and therefore has a detrimental impact on HIV prevention efforts…undermining sex worker organisations is one of the most important negative effects of law enforcement practices…anti-trafficking efforts typically ignore the possibility of engaging sex workers as partners…[even though they] are often best placed to know who is being trafficked into commercial sex and by whom, and are particularly motivated to work to stop such odious practices…Organised groups of sex workers are also best placed to establish safe working norms within the sex industry, and influence other[s]…to ensure that trafficked adults and children are not retained in sex work…

BAD  NEWS:  Western Australia is starting to buy into the “trafficking” narrative:

Federal police have launched an operation to rescue people trafficked into WA for forced labour, prostitution and servile marriages.  There are fears that an increasing number of women are being brought to Perth and forced into the city’s sex industry.  Supt Glyn Lewis…said human trafficking was insidious and abhorrent and many victims were never found…There have been only 14 convictions for human trafficking since legislation came into force in 2003.  People working in the area in Perth fear trafficking is a real and emerging issue “under the radar” of authorities and the public.  Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans said the problem had to be addressed…

None of these people stop to consider that maybe the reason that there are so few convictions and “many victims were never found” is that there was no crime in the first place.  But hey, we can’t let facts get in the way of hysteria and fear-mongering by cops and religious groups.

Scientific Detachment

The ability to look at sensitive subjects dispassionately and to present evidence without emotion is an admirable one, but as Professor G.S. Brindley (the doctor who developed the first medical treatment for erectile dysfunction) discovered in 1983, it’s probably best not to assume that the majority of one’s audience possesses that capacity to any great degree.  This January 27th article on the Discover magazine blog explains, and since synopsizing it in any way would do it a disservice, I’ll just leave you with the link.

Fundraiser for St. James Infirmary

I’ve been asked to publicize an online fundraiser for St. James Infirmary, which provides compassionate healthcare and social services for sex workers in San Francisco.  It will be held tomorrow (February 19th, 2012) at 3 PM EST on BlogTV; even if you can’t attend please spread the word!

Week 5 of 2012 Updates

Nothing in the Dark (August 8th, 2010)

This story demonstrates not only the reason for considering condoms a “safety net” against disease rather than a first line of defense, but also the reason I’m hesitant to entrust my health to a government bureaucracy:

…South Africa’s leading anti-AIDS group said…that…faulty condoms are among more than 1.35 million handed out at the African National Congress’ 100th birthday party…[they were] recalled but the Treatment Action Campaign said no warning has been issued to people that they may have carried away defective condoms…The third recall in less than five years raises questions about the quality of some of the 425 million-plus condoms that the government gives away each year, and the competence of the South African Bureau of Standards [SABS] that is supposed to ensure their quality…In 2007, the government recalled more than 20 million defective condoms…but recovered only 12 million…a [previous] recall…[resulted after] a testing manager at [SABS took] a bribe to certify the faulty contraceptives…

[AIDS activist Sello Mokhalipi] said people started coming with complaints about the condoms…three days after the celebrations ended…”We poured water into the condoms and they were leaking, not just in one place, they were leaking like a sieve,” he said.  Looking at them, “you can see there are small pores” like pinpricks…the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce, said many of the 10,000 to 15,000 prostitutes they work with often complain about the free government condoms…[so] they instead use a brand provided by an international charity…South Africa’s government sources its condoms from several companies and rebrands them with its colorful CHOICE packaging, in bright blue, red, yellow and green…

Any time there’s a lucrative government contract, there’s going to be graft.  And anything sourced out to the lowest bidder…

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)

Most women who have boob jobs feel they confer psychological and/or financial benefits, but I never considered this possibility:

A 41-year-old Florida woman says the breast augmentation surgery she had three months ago saved her life…her ex-fiancé’s new girlfriend…attacked her…stabbing her repeatedly in the left side of her chest…the knife had punctured the implant and she was soaked with saline.  Doctors say the salt water and walls of the implant prevented a deadly blow.

The Camel’s Nose (October 2nd, 2010)

Yet another spooge sneaker; this one is so reprehensible he constitutes a one-man argument in favor of sex offender registries:

…Mark Berndt, a third-grade teacher [at Miramonte Elementary School in California]…is charged with committing lewd acts on 23 boys and girls, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010…[he] was removed from classwork in January 2011 and fired within the month, but only parents of children identified as victims were told…some angry parents…complained that they only learned of the investigation through the media after Berndt’s arrest this week.  School officials and investigators said proper procedures were followed…but…two former students…said school officials were informed about [Berndt’s] odd behavior two decades ago

…Berndt is suspected of snapping nearly 400 photographs of…students, some with a giant Madagascar cockroach from a classroom terrarium on their faces.  Others were blindfolded or had clear tape over their mouths, and some were shown with a spoonful of milky liquid placed near their lips…The photo sessions were treated as a game and some children were given sperm-laced cookies to eat as treats…The investigation began in the fall of 2010 when a film processor became suspicious about the photographs and turned them over to…police…an investigator…found a blue spoon…in a trash can [in Berndt’s classroom] that appeared to be the one seen in the photographs, but it took months before analysis determined there was semen on the spoon and more time before DNA testing matched it to Berndt…Meanwhile, investigators kept trying to identify children in the photographs…

I would hope that prosecutors build their cases on photographic and DNA evidence, and that they, cops and parents have the sense not to question the children or (even worse) subject them to the ordeal of trial participation; adult eyewitness testimony is unreliable at best, and that of children is often worse than useless.  Alas, I fear that’s a vain hope; adults just can’t resist traumatizing young children by subjecting them to frightening and confusing interrogations and filling their heads full of horrible images, thus exploiting them just as monstrously as the criminal did.

Welcome To Our World (January 20th, 2011)

I think my readers can answer David Reber’s questions, which he seems to consider rhetorical:

…What could a teacher possibly know about education?  Countless arguments used to denigrate public school teachers begin with the phrase “in what other profession…” and conclude with practically anything the anti-teacher pundits find offensive about public education…In what other profession, indeed.  In what other profession are the licensed professionals considered the LEAST knowledgeable about the job?  You seldom if ever hear “that guy couldn’t possibly know a thing about law enforcement – he’s a police officer”, or “she can’t be trusted talking about fire safety – she’s a firefighter.”  In what other profession is experience viewed as a liability rather than an asset?  You won’t find a contractor advertising “choose me – I’ve never done this before”, and your doctor won’t recommend a surgeon on the basis of her “having very little experience with the procedure”.  In what other profession is the desire for competitive salary viewed as proof of callous indifference towards the job?  You won’t hear many say “that lawyer charges a lot of money, she obviously doesn’t care about her clients”, or “that coach earns millions – clearly he doesn’t care about the team”…For no other profession do so many outsiders refuse to accept the realities of an imperfect world.  Crime happens.  Fire happens.  Illness happens…People accept all these realities, until they apply to public education…

Well, Mr. Reber, there is at least one other…

The Enlightenment Police (October 1st, 2011)

One would think the usually-sensible Dutch would have waited to see what the European High Court will do with the French version of this first:

The Dutch…government plans to ban Muslim face veils…”People should be able to look at each other’s faces and recognize each other when they meet,” the interior affairs ministry said…The ban will also apply to balaclavas and motorcycle helmets when worn in inappropriate places, such as inside a store, Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen told reporters, denying that this was a ban on religious clothing…The face-veil law, which still needs to win approval in both houses of parliament, excludes clothing worn for security reasons such as that worn by firemen and hockey players, as well as party clothing such as Santa Claus or Halloween costumes.  The ban does not apply to religious places, such as churches and mosques, nor to passengers on airplanes or en route via a Dutch airport…

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark (January 11th, 2012)

Since neofeminists insist that all gendered behavior is “socially constructed”, I’m sure they’ll deny these findings just as creationists deny fossils and carbon dating:

Testosterone makes us overvalue our own opinions at the expense of cooperation, research from…University College London has found…Problem solving in groups can provide benefits over individual decisions as we are able to share our information and expertise.  However…collaborating too closely can lead to an uncritical groupthink, ending in decisions that are bad for all…research has shown that people given a boost of the hormone oxytocin tend to be cooperative.  Now…researchers have shown that…testosterone has the opposite effect — it makes people act less cooperatively and more egocentrically.

Dr Nick Wright and colleagues…[tested] 17 pairs of female volunteers who had previously never met…On one…day…[they] were given a testosterone supplement; on the other day, they were given a placebo.  [Men were not used because supplements can trigger a drop in their own testosterone production, invalidating the results]…as expected, cooperation [in a task] enabled the group to perform much better than the individuals alone…but, when given a testosterone supplement, the benefit of cooperation was markedly reduced.  In fact, higher levels of testosterone were associated with individuals behaving egocentrically…”Most of the time, this allows us to seek the best solution to a problem, but sometimes, too much testosterone can help blind us to other people’s views,” [said Dr. Wright.]  “This can be very significant when we are talking about a dominant individual trying to assert his or her opinion in, say, a jury”…

One Year Ago Today

Not the Same Tree” showcases a Detroit reporter’s excellent and very perceptive article about the federal persecution of an escort service.

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…changes aren’t permanent, but change is. –  Pye Dubois and Neil Peart, “Tom Sawyer”

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st)

As those who remember this column already know, I can deeply sympathize with any woman who gets a boob job, whether for personal reasons or for business reasons.  And though I wouldn’t do it myself, I can even understand why a woman might want more than one boob job so as to be even larger.  But I have a lot of trouble comprehending why anyone would feel the need for SIX boob jobs by the age of 23, nor for that matter why it took her five surgeries to get to the same size I reached in one jump despite the fact that I was pretty flat-chested to start.  And to have the surgery against medical advice in a desperate bid for publicity is just sad.  Requiescat in pace, you poor, misguided little kitten.

Jezebel (November 6th)

I touched on a number of topics in this column, but one of them was self-appointed guardians of the public morality who belong to groups like “Morality in Media”.  Well, the Marriott corporation has apparently decided to kiss up to such groups in an attempt to make itself appear “family friendly”.  This is paraphrased from a story which appeared in USA Today on January 20th:

Marriott International reports that it’s removing access to adult movies from the new hotel rooms it will be opening the next several years.  The decision coincides with a pending shift to new, in-room entertainment technology, and comes after years of discussion on whether the availability of adult entertainment in guest rooms is “appropriate” and whether secure safeguards exist to keep it away from children.  But it’s certainly no coincidence that in-room porn, for years a reliable money-maker for hotels, has been steadily declining in popularity (and thus profitability) as business travelers increasingly turn to cheaper self-provided entertainment (or simply access porn via the hotel’s broadband internet connection).

According to Marriott’s statement, “It is our practice to keep adult content out of the reach of children and unavailable to any adult who chooses not to view it.  We have strong controls in place that allow guests to block these materials. Changing technology and how guests access entertainment has reduced the revenue hotels and their owners derive from in-room movies, including adult content.  We are working with in-room entertainment providers and technology vendors to transition to the next generation of in-room entertainment.  This new platform of Internet-based video-on-demand will facilitate our exit from the traditional hotel video systems that included adult content in the menu selection, and will also provide guests greater choice and control over what they watch across our system.  As we transition to this new platform, adult content will be off the menu for virtually all of our newly built hotels.  Over the next few years, this will be the policy across our system.”

When I showed this story to my husband (who frequently travels on business) he pointed out that another reason for the decline is that adult movies are always much more expensive than the other options, which is not only a financial disincentive but causes these selections to stand out on the hotel bill even though the name of the movie does not appear.  Obviously, Marriott’s discontinuing in-room porn is the equivalent of a sneaky Catholic schoolboy trying for an easy Lenten penance by giving up a type of candy he no longer likes.

Welcome To Our World (January 20th)

Just a few days ago I wrote about women in other walks of life being on the receiving end of the same kind of rhetoric whores endure constantly, then yesterday the Guardian was kind enough to provide me with another example I’ve paraphrased here:

Protesters blockaded the main entrance of New Scotland Yard in London in a demonstration against undercover police officers having sex with members of groups they infiltrate.  The protest followed the revelation by former undercover cop Mark Kennedy, reported in the Observer Sunday (January 23rd) that undercover operatives attempting to infiltrate environmental and left-wing activist groups routinely use sex as a tool to blend in and gather intelligence.

Anna Jones, who was among 35 protesters at the headquarters of the Metropolitan police, said: “These women were not able to give informed sexual consent.”  Another demonstrator, Leila Deen, asked a young male staff member:  “Did you know your agents were using sex with women like us to get information?  It is a clear abuse of public office.”

The protesters carried pictures of the undercover police officers identified in reports along with placards with slogans such as “Keep your truncheon in your trousers.”  They demanded that other undercover officers should be identified.  “We want a fully independent judged inquiry into the way undercover policing is being conducted in this country,” said Kate Blagojevic.

The Association of Chief Police Officers claimed last week that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists, but Kennedy denied that and said that senior officers encouraged the behavior; the only stipulation was that falling in love was considered highly unprofessional because it might compromise an investigation.

Hmm, cops having sex with women under false pretenses in order to bust them; now where have I heard about that before?  Welcome to our world, environmental activists!  And BTB, policemen, there’s a word for a man obtaining sex from a woman by force (deception, after all,  is a mild form of force) that she cannot be persuaded to give by other means, especially when his intent is to hurt her by means of that sex.

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