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Posts Tagged ‘Whorearchy’

The latest government attacks on online platforms used by sex workers are directly undermining [their] safety, health, and human rights.  –  David Grosso

Cuckoo Advertising (#601)

Will gullible reporters ever stop publishing Ashley Madison ads for free?

A [slight] majority of America’s cheaters identify as Republicans, according to…Ashley Madison…The site surveyed nearly 1,000 users on their political affiliations…60 percent of those surveyed said they identify as Republicans, while nearly 40 percent said they affiliate with the Democratic Party…a vast majority (89 percent) of those surveyed said “opposing political views” would compel them to cheat on their spouse, while 55 percent said they’d prefer to cheat with a Republican-identifying voter…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#609) 

“Legalization” of sex work always features weird, arbitrary laws written by obsessive bureaucrats:

Sex workers are complaining that their work is being hamstrung by ludicrous laws in Queensland that police what they can and cannot say to potential clients…advertising regulations…go into an almost perverse level of detail.  Phrases sex workers could get arrested for using in ads includes seemingly innocuous terms such as “natural,” “tasty,” “kissable” and “sweet nectar”…stating they offer oral sex is prohibited, but oddly, saying they specifically do not offer oral sex is just fine…guidelines…also lists words that are fine to use including “magic hands,” “dominatrix,” and “man action”…

Full of Themselves (#614)

If there’s ever an award for the most pompous, stuffy, bootlicking language in anti-whore propaganda, we need to name it after the California Massage Therapy Council:

…California…massage therapists are dogged by a big problem: criminals using massage as a front for sex crimes.  This situation isn’t unique to California.  However, a new [fascist] partnership between [cops] and the entity that administers voluntary massage certification is a novel weapon in the fight against [sex workers]…CAMTC…[claims he right to define] what constitutes legitimate massage therapy services…and…has…created a Sexually Suggestive Advertising Task Force as a tool to weed out criminals posing as massage therapists…police agencies throughout the state are especially [sexually obsessed] with sex traffickers using the massage industry as a cover…

Scapegoats (#697) 

Because obviously pigs still don’t have enough excuses to cage people yet:

The [Louisiana] Senate has approved a bill designed to make it clear that bestiality is illegal…A law on the books prohibits “crimes against nature,” but it also outlaws so-called sodomy and was ruled unconstitutional in 2003…Senator JP Morrell says it’s important that the state has a way to arrest someone for having sex with animals.  He told fellow lawmakers, “God forbid you vote against this bill, good luck explaining it.”  Ten senators did vote against it…

The War Goes On (#711) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to the misogynistic sociopaths in “law enforcement”:

The Backpage shut down…has…prompted fear of where prostitutes and pimps will look to advertise their services…Utah Attorney General’s Office Assistant Chief Nate Mutter [said]…“The demand is going to be there, what this will do is slow the supply side down a bit…My guess is a lot of advertisement from Backpage will find its way to more applications…People need to be aware of that they can accidentally find themselves being involved in trafficking.”  Mutter says sex traffickers are manipulative and may try and extort online dating app users…

Look out, dating app users, someone may offer you quality sex at a set price!  THE HORROR!!!!

Traffic in Nonsense (#747)

Another state requires anti-whore indoctrination for licensing:

A new law passed by the Colorado legislature will require applicants for commercial drivers licenses…to go through indoctrination] on how to spot signs of human traffickers and their victims…Truckers Against Trafficking has fully supported the bill…

Amnesty At Last (#781)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for three years now:

D.C. Council member David Grosso…issued a statement…calling on District Police Chief Peter Newsham and U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jessie Liu to temporarily suspend arrests and prosecutions of sex workers…Grosso said his request was based on concerns raised by sex worker advocacy groups that the recent forced shutdown of websites that allowed sex workers to operate with a “greater degree of safety than on the streets” has placed them in danger of violence and arrest…

O, Canada! (#785)

Canadian cops are really invested in pretending their sexual harassment of women is to “protect” them:

[Toronto] has launched an investigation into the conduct of some of its bylaw officers in relation to [reports] from women working in…body rub parlors…Kristyn Wong-Tam said…women working at the parlours…felt they are being racially targeted…“They felt that having an officer come in three to four times a week…was rather punitive…It was very disruptive to their business”…the women were forced to sing for the officer’s entertainment, told to stand as a form of punishment and barred from using the bathroom during an inspection…

Against Their Will (#799)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

Two…sex workers… died after falling from the third floor of a building while trying to escape a police raid in…Mumbai…by climbing down…with the help of a rope…while climbing down, they slipped and fell…

Business As Usual (#824)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

…prostitutes operating in…Bulawayo [Zimbabwe]…have expressed dismay over the abuse they endure at the hands of [cops] who continuously arrest them and demand sex in return for their freedom.  Some…make the demands daily and sometimes more than once in a single night…The prostitutes…[are] threatened with arrest and to avoid the inconvenience would [allow themselves to be raped]…to avoid sleeping in the cells and losing business.  The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in May 2015 outlawed the arrest of prostitutes on charges of loitering “for purposes of prostitution”…

Disaster (#826)

Some activists believe that FOSTA may have been a serious miscalculation on the part of the government; even the Christian-leaning American Conservative sees it as a bad idea:

…The language of FOSTA is both vague and extremely expansive.  It prohibits website owners from “promoting or facilitating prostitution”.  That can obviously be subjected to wide interpretation, and the penalty for violating the new law is up to 10 years in prison.  Hence, multiple websites are erring on the side of self-censorship…Amending Section 230 is a terrible precedent and a slippery slope towards government regulation of the Internet and censorship…several privacy and personal freedom organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized the expansive nature of the bill, worried that it could ultimately affect web content unrelated to prostitution…

The deeply-confused Rolling Stone published an article by our own Siouxsie Q:

The debilitating shock, sadness and panic that is moving through the sex-working community right now is palpable…Still, the community is rallying as hard as we are grieving, organizing in an unprecedented push to let the voices of those who will be affected by these pieces of legislation be heard.  Survivors, allies, and sex workers from all over the country flooded the congressional phone lines last month…The #LetUsSurvive and #SurvivorsAgainstSesta social media campaign has garnered over 5 million impressions and even mainstream celebrities have started speaking up and standing with sex workers and survivors…

This Means War 

Millions of sex workers can thank Carl Ferrer for selling them out to save his own skin:

Backpage…CEO Carl Ferrer has entered a guilty plea…[saying] he knew that the “escort” section of Backpage was largely ads for prostitution…Court documents in the cases against Ferrer and Backpage don’t reveal any damning new information about the company, nor any new discoveries that allowed authorities to make their case…But this time, Ferrer decided to break from his colleagues and play ball with the state rather than fight.  In exchange for the plea deal, he’ll provide information on the Travel Act and money-laundering cases against his colleagues…Money-laundering may sound sinister…but it’s one of those charges (like conspiracy) that our nation’s cops and courts often abuse.  In this case, Backpage originally accepted payments for its…ads…via typical digital payment mediums…But thanks to hounding and intimidation by various government entities, Backpage was forced to stop accepting all those payment methods….and…to encourage people to use cryptocurrency for payments.  The company also created intermediary companies to handle payments, so that the transactions wouldn’t raise alarms with risk-paranoid bankers and financial processors.  Ultimately, the money-laundering that…Ferrer admitted wasn’t about shielding assets in offshore tax havens or otherwise hiding the company’s profits from government tax collectors…without subsidiaries and crypto, Backpage had no way to accept payment for…ads…

Elephant in the Parlor (#828) 

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

[Thai] police have filed new charges against…a woman who claims to have evidence of Russian ties to U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign…Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, has attracted widespread attention for claiming to have recordings of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a crony of President Vladimir Putin, discussing interference in the U.S. election.  She is being held in an immigration detention center and has pleaded not to be expelled to Russia….[she was] arrested with eight others for holding a sex training course…

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FOSTA/SESTA…proved that the government can successfully confuse the public by using scary but vapid words like “sex trafficking” and enact a law to wreak havoc with the internet.  –  Scott Greenfield

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

This guy’s too pathetic to make it as a sex worker; he should’ve stayed a cop:

A [cop] from Sussex, England has been sacked after being caught…Using his sick days to moonlight as a male prostitute…Chief Constable Giles York…said it wasn’t the actual prostituting that got [Richard] Holder fired, but rather how it affected his performance as a detective.  York accused Holder of a “pattern of disruptive behavior that has been on the verge of criminal at times” and says he struggled with “under performance”…Holder is the second Sussex Police officer to have been discovered moonlighting as a prostitute in less than two years.  In 2016, constable Daniel Moss was let go for doing sex work while he was on sick leave.  And in in 2015, Inspector Lee Lyons was fired after admitting he contacted prostitutes he met while on duty…

The More the Better 

The more people see “mommy whores” like this, the more they’ll realize harlotry is mundane:

…Jordyn Smith…has held a variety of jobs — from serving as a cocktail waitress to being an exotic dancer — to offset the costs of raising her teenage daughter.  Currently…the Las Vegas, Nev. resident is…employed…Through a website called WhatsYourPrice, Smith is being paid to go on dates and maintain [what she absurdly claims are] platonic relationships with men…It’s…fairly similar to Seeking Arrangement…or…being a prostitute, [but like most halfway whores] Smith insists that this process is different because of…legality…

I really wish these dumbasses would stop trying to pretend there’s no sex involved in their sex work, though; nobody believes them so it just makes them look stupid and dishonest.

Where Are the Protests? (#415)

It’s not “trafficking” when that would be inconvenient for a government:

Two Vietnamese men who were smuggled into Ireland to work in a cannabis grow house containing nearly €1.8m of [plants] have been jailed for two-and-a-half years.  One of the men travelled to Ireland in a shipping container and thought he would be working on a farm, while the other thought he would be working as a chef…Ngog Toan Vu…and Thang Nguen Van…each pleaded guilty to one count of cultivating cannabis without a licence…[after an “investigation”] had concluded that neither man was a victim of human trafficking…

Choke Point (#610)

Because we’re choked out of the mainstream financial system, a lot of adult businesses are forced to use dodgy payment processors:

Choice Bank Ltd. told accountholders…that it has been forced into a “liquidity-constrained position” and has suspended all withdrawals from deposit accounts, as well as other outbound payment activities.  Choice Bank, the card issuer for several adult payment solutions, said that as it progresses through its current position, “the bank is confident that all its depositors, cardholders and creditors will be kept whole”…the Belize City financial institution maintains a strong balance sheet with total equity including paid up capital and accumulated retained earnings in excess of $26 million…and statutory liquidity ratio of 74.59 percent…

To Protect and Serve (#628)

A rare victory for sex workers over pigs:

Nearly five years after the first of a series of police raids on San Diego strip clubs, a federal judge…ruled that a Municipal Code section allowing such “inspections” is illegal…Still to be decided: Whether the city broke Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures…The court didn’t rule on damages — how much money the dancers get…A trial on damages is expected, though…

To Molest and Rape 

From the same “authorities” who claim they want to “protect women” from consensual sex:

A woman held at an immigration detention center in Washington state…was raped by a medical worker…Another woman…[was] maced…at an immigration detention center in Florida.  Then…[a pig] sat on her…[with] his “erect penis on her butt”…[and his cronies] filmed her as she showered to wash off the mace…a man…[was] threatened…with deportation after he refused to [suck an agent’s cock]…Many other women and men held in immigration detention across the country reported routine searches that turned into groping and fondling…and threatened with retaliation if they spoke up…These…are just a sample of hundreds of complaints of sexual…abuse in immigration detention obtained by The Intercept in response to a public records request…The reports…include 1,224 complaints filed between 2010 and September 2017…But in earlier responses, officials…indicated that the office received some 33,000 complaints between 2010 and 2016 alleging a wide range of abuses in immigration detention…sexual assault and harassment in immigration detention are not only widespread but systemic, and enabled by an agency that regularly fails to hold itself accountable…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#656)

Liz Hilton of Empower on “rescue raids” in Thailand:

…Entrapment operations have increased and sometimes the operations can go on for up to three months, while they try to collect evidence.  These are followed by raids, and this raid was 50 armed soldiers at least to catch 22 little women.  They must feel very brave…It’s one stop shopping.  They can raid for trafficking but then use a prostitution law, immigration law, migrant worker act – you can even do some drug testing if you like, or claim money laundering.  We once were in a raid they even got them for playing music that has a copyright…

The End of the Beginning (#718)

Another setback in getting rid of these tyrannical and unconstitutional laws:

…the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a state law banning sex offenders from public parks, overturning a 2017 appeals court ruling that deemed the statute “unconstitutional on its face because it bears no reasonable relationship to protecting the public.”  The seven members of the higher court unanimously disagreed…In reaching that conclusion, the justices relied on alarming claims about recidivism among sex offenders, even while acknowledging that the claims have been discredited.  The decision, written by Justice Mary Jane Theis, shows how fear overrides logic in dealing with sex offenders and how toothless “rational basis” review can be, allowing legislators not only to draw their own judgments but to invent their own facts…

Too Close To Home (#825) 

Since judges have become the handmaidens of prosecutors, this is no surprise:

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did not have a conflict of interest with a national anti-prostitution group when prosecutors pursued charges against men arrested in the shutdown of a popular sex work reviewing website, The Review Board (TRB)…lawyers for one of these men, Charles Peters, asked that the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office be disqualified from pursuing his case…because of a conflict of interest…But…Judge John Chun found that Peters’ lawyers did not prove…that the Prosecuting Attorney’s relationship with Demand Abolition “materially limit[ed] the prosecutor’s ability to make judgments free from improper influences”…Impartiality is not required for prosecutors under Washington State law…

Censor Chic (#827)

Fascism allows for an indirect form of censorship just as effective as direct suppression:

The idea of the government swooping in with rules, limitation, potential prosecutions, isn’t good for business.  Even if they can be eventually thwarted by courts protecting their rights, they will be tied up in litigation for years, at great expense, and party to misinformation campaigns to make them look like the bad guys…What we did to Backpage…we can do to you, Zuck.  Nice platform you have there.  It would be a shame if anything happened to it.  And every government wants its own piece of control.  California believes it should be in charge of the internet, while Germany…”requires companies to remove hate speech from their platforms within 24 hours or face potentially crippling fines“…much of what constitutes hate speech in Germany is speech critical of its government and officials…every SJW…will be sucked into supporting it, much as their fellow emotionalists found SESTA acceptable because it used the terrifying “sex trafficking” sales pitch to confuse the useful idiots and obscure its greater significance…Can the government get away with…pressuring platforms to self-censor upon threat of intervention?  They already have, with the public’s blessing.

This Means War

The US thinks it has the right to war on all sex workers, even those in other countries like Canada:

When the U.S. government shut down Backpage…sex workers in Toronto — who used the site to advertise — started calling a local advocacy group in a panic.  “People are frantic,” said Monica Forrester, who works for Maggie’s Toronto…“Because they have mortgages…and now their main source of income is gone, so they’re really scrambling”…sex workers who were used to finding clients through Backpage ads may feel pushed into working the streets of Toronto…

And New Zealand:

New Zealand sex workers are already feeling the impact of an online sex work forum being shut down…Many sex workers have spoken out against the shutdown, saying it will make the industry more dangerous for those who rely on these forums for support and safety…Backpage was used quite widely in New Zealand by those who couldn’t afford to list ads on escort directory New Zealand Girls…

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[It’s traumatic for escorts to end up] face to face with a [cop] who wants to know your name and question you and detain you until he can establish that you’re not a victim of whatever exploitation that he’s imagining you’re a victim of.  –  Sandra Wesley

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

…a recent study on unprotected sex…had some sobering results: Of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 65.5 percent said they had unprotected sex—and 29.1 percent of those people said they had unprotected sex every single time…68.4 percent never ask their partners if they’ve been tested before [barebacking] with them…many [supposed adults]…said they were daunted by the idea of asking a partner to fetch one in the heat of the moment…One friend told me she was too insecure to ask for anything when she first started having sex…”I couldn’t imagine messing it up by asking them to wear a condom because then they might not think I was sexy or cool anymore”…

To me, the first part – in which the author actually admits she planned to have sex with a penniless liar she didn’t know who didn’t even have a bed of his own, much less any cash to give her – reads like a dispatch from an alien world.

Whorearchy

Though this article is mostly about the word “hooker” itself, it contains this choice example of whorearchy from an empty-headed little twit in Nevada:

“I call myself a legal courtesan,” says Allissa…She works at Sheri’s Ranch…in Pahrump, Nevada…A “hooker,” she says, is “someone that’s being managed by a pimp [just like Allissa is], is on the street, is making money any way they can.”  By contrast, she says, she’s a [pimped] professional.  “Everything we do is legal…Condoms are mandatory [and pimp-enforced].  We have strict rules [set by pimps] to abide by.  And we also pay taxes”…

So in Allissa’s tiny mind, a “courtesan” is a hooker whose pimp has a LICENSE, so it’s different.  One wonders what she thinks (and I use the term loosely) about independents like me.  Another highlights of the article: vile excuse for a human being Dennis Hof, who claims to be a libertarian, praising Donald Trump.

Skin To Skin

Not a bad article on the benefits of sex work for the disabled:

People with disabilities still face social stigma and isolation when it comes to intimacy…EASE Canada founder Dave Symington [said] “It’s the hidden disabilities that seem to be more troubling in society…People…really struggle with mental health issues”…Symington has heard again and again how interacting with a sex worker…completely changes their capability for creating and maintaining intimate relationships…Some countries have already taken the step toward covering sex work for those with disabilities.  People in the Netherlands…can use their disability benefits however they like, including purchasing sex…

Policing for Profit

Cops have almost completely abandoned the pretense that this is about anything other than profit:

…South Carolina police agencies raked in $4.3 million through federal forfeitures in the 2015 budget year, and slightly more the year before that.  Every year in Spartanburg County, the Sheriff’s Office organizes a week-long [shakedown racket] on Interstates 26 and 85 involving multiple local and federal agencies.  They call it “Rolling Thunder”…[this year the thugs] pulled over 1,110 motorists — the majority of whom were black or Hispanic — mostly for infractions such as making improper lane changes or following too closely…[and] searched 158 vehicles, including large tour buses…[they stole over] $139,320 in cash…State laws typically set a higher burden than the federal government for seizing assets…But police can still tap into the federal forfeiture rules…Less than 4 miles of I-95 runs through the small…town [of Ridgeland, but]…that little stretch of interstate has been a [porcine] cash machine.  Ridgeland’s population is only about 5,000, “if you count the prison”…but police there have [stolen] more than $6 million…since 2002…

Whither Canada?

Articles like this are much more common in the Canadian press:

…For 13 years, we at SWAN…have been supporting migrant and immigrant women who do sex work in Metro Vancouver…Despite the preponderance of ads advertising sexual services of 20-somethings, the average age of the women we support is 40.  Over the past few years, there has been a war against online classified-ad websites such as Backpage that carry sex workers’ ads.  While this war started in the United States, it has crept across the border to Canada…But one perspective is consistently missing: that of the sex worker exercising agency and using the Internet as a safety tool…The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act introduced in 2014 criminalized third-party advertisers like Backpage, although few charges have been laid to date.  Shortly after the law came into force, many websites imposed stricter posting criteria for adult-oriented ads, banning the use of sexual terminology.  This prevents sex workers from clearly communicating in their ads what services they provide…The ban on advertising violates sex workers’ rights to personal security and freedom of expression.  Canada does not need legislation that inhibits communication between sex workers and their clients and impedes sex workers from working independently indoors…

New Excuse

Even mainstream websites are beginning to recognize that the War on Whores is the new War on Drugs:

…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a gathering of more than 1,500 federal, state, and local [pigs]…that he was…”mak[ing] the fight against child exploitation and human trafficking a top priority”…Sessions warned of the dangers of…encrypted-communication platforms, social-networking sites, and “the so-called Darknet.”  These, he declared, are the tools of such “depraved people” as “child pornographers, sextortionists, and human traffickers”…Even the aggressively neutral Politico couldn’t avoid making drug war comparisons, describing the video as “hearkening back to the D.A.R.E era” with its “hyperbolic language”…The idea that every American child is just one smartphone app away from being snatched into sex slavery is absurd…But it does make a nice narrative if you want to wage war on pesky encrypted technologies that thwart [cops]…or to get everyone from flight attendants to truck drivers telling federal agents about anyone “suspicious”…

The Mote and the Beam (#510)

It just keeps getting worse:

So far this year, federal lawmakers have introduced more than 30 bills related to “sex trafficking,” which many in government now define to mean all prostitution…following the familiar pattern of the drug war, these measures mostly focus on giving federal law enforcement more “tools” to find, prosecute, and punish people for [consensual] actions…One…would expand state and local government authority “to seek wiretap warrants in sexual exploitation and prostitution cases” (emphasis mine) and mandate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Justice conduct a “study on the long-term physical and psychological effects of the commercial sex trade”…law enforcement across the land…[would be required to] target prostitution customers [under the pretense that purchasing sex]…”is a form of gender-based violence,” opening the way for possible hate-crime enhancements for anyone who tries to pay for sex…

Little Boxes (#576)

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt saying “there is no constitutional right to” whatever you’re trying to ban in the text of a law banning it actually carries any legal weight:

[The] Ocean City…[Maryland] Town Council…prohibited women appearing topless on the beach during an emergency session…The newly refined ordinance states “there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public…in a state of nudity”.  The…unanimously passed…ordinance took effect immediately, clarifying that anyone showing “the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering,” would be…subject to a fine of up to $1,000.  Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said the emergency ordinance was a response to “hundreds of calls and emails from residents and visitors, expressing their concerns over this issue…Each year, thousands of families visit our beach to relax in an atmosphere free of this type of activity”…A town spokesperson [imagined] that the ordinance would have no bearing on breastfeeding…

I’m not sure what’s stupider, the idea that there could ever be such a thing as a visible-tit emergency, or the one that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family.  See also clauses purporting to prevent a law from ever being amended, repealed or judicially reviewed; politicians are totally losing their minds over sex.

Teacher’s Pet

Remember how I said that, for a celebrity sex worker like me, mentoring young sex worker groupies was much too dangerous because it could open me up to “sex trafficking” charges?

Schwesta Ewa, a Polish-born musician whose [legal] name is Ewa Müller, allegedly “compelled” four fans, aged 17 to 19, to [do sex work]…between November 2015 and September 2016…Prosecutors [claim] Müller did not tell tax authorities about profits she made from the fans, and that she forced them into the work through violence.  Müller…worked as a prostitute before she was famous.  Her lyrics often tell stories about life in the sex trade, including being attacked by clients…Müller opened a bar in Frankfurt, but complained in January 2016 that police had raided it…

Pimps Ahoy 

Another rescue industry character claiming to have been a “sex trafficker”.  It’s an exhaustingly-long masturbatory fantasy for the “sex trafficking” set, full of “pimps”, misstated laws, “gangs”, 30 inhuman clients a night, Pretty Woman idiocy, etc, etc, leading up to this: “Mary knew that deep inside she and her girls were suffering and lost.  Amid the stream of [extremely high income]…the women battled drug addictions, alcoholism and ever-creeping levels of self-loathing and emptiness“…until a new friend “offered to study the Bible with Mary” and Jesus saved her.  Does anyone who isn’t already a Christian actually believe this pap?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#692)

Anybody who thinks this machine “moves like a real human” really needs to hire a pro immediately:

…The Service Droid (now a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo) started life as a personal project by Arlan Robotics…the company claim to have created…an incredibly realistic droid that when assembled looks, smells, feels and moves like a real human…

Lying Down With Dogs (#708)

More on the maltreatment of sex workers in another large police state:

During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg in May 2003, the police raided brothels…[and] booked fake appointments with sex workers…They…drove the street-based sex workers 200 km away from the center and left them there….[as] part of…operations to “clean” the city for the celebration.  Raids against sex workers are carried out on a daily basis in Russia.  On the eve of some important events…the police intensify raids…The Russian ‘foreign agent’ law, introduced in 2012, puts [the sex worker rights group] Silver Rose under the constant threat of prohibition.  The law authorises the Ministry of Justice to register independent groups as “foreign agents” without their consent…if the ministry regards the organisations as engaged in “political activity”…NGOs [so designated] are sometimes raided by state officials…

Broken Record (#742) 

Prohibitionists’ lies are never more blatant than when they claim to be quoting sex workers, but say the exact opposite of the truth:

There seems to be no hard evidence that Montreal’s Grand Prix is more of a prostitution-and-human-trafficking hotbed than other big events…an anti-prostitution group [claims] anecdotal evidence indicates demand for paid sex soars with the influx of Formula One fans…[prohibitionist] Diane Matte [lies]…“We also know from women we meet…that during…any…big sports event…women are solicited more, they are told [by imaginary pimps] to work longer hours to answer the needs of men who buy sex”…[but] Chez Stella, which runs a drop-in centre and medical clinic for sex workers, has launched a social-media campaign to denounce Grand Prix “disinformation campaigns” by governments and prostitution [prohib]itionists…Police…place fake ads on online classified sites…That makes clients reluctant to negotiate details before meeting…Afraid of police, some workers don’t provide services during the Grand Prix, “so they’re desperate for money the rest of the month and may take on clients they wouldn’t otherwise take on; they might deviate from normal safety measures and face more violence”…[Sandra] Wesley [of Chez Stella] said…“those men are at the race track during the day.  At night, they’re at parties with lots of women willing to have sex for free.  So where would they be seeing all these sex workers?”…

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It is time to declare that sex worker rights are human rights.
–  Camilo Gómez

Shift in the Wind (#328)

George Will, who once had a good mind, is apparently going senile.  But National Review, which hs always been anti-prohibition, should’ve known better than to publish this pap:

It is unclear how many victims of DMST there are because…[most people the law labels] victims [do not consider themselves victims]…They are products of poor or nonexistent parenting…80 percent are addicted…Big sporting events…attract traffickers…[prohibitionist & profiteer Frank] Milstead…says: “Leaving your kid alone at night in his room with [a cell phone]?  You might as well leave him or her in the city park downtown.  Anything is available on a phone”…

Drawing Lines 

The whorearchy here is so thick it can be cut with a knife:

…If you spend enough time in Hollywood, it won’t be long before you start noticing pink and black vans with “TOPLESS MAIDS” painted on the sides wherever you turn.  They’re everywhere…However, unlike [TV show] Famous in Love‘s depiction of topless maids — in which Cassie is a legitimate maid who just so happens to be topless, but otherwise wears normal clothes — real-life topless maids don’t focus so much on actual cleaning.  Instead, topless maids just do a little dusting and “light chores,” which apparently consists of sexy dancing with a Swiffer while dressed in lingerie…One thing Famous in Love does get right is that topless maids are in no way sex workers…

Sorry, Sadie Gennis, but topless maids are indeed sex workers; they make a living by sexual titillation.

Maggie in the Media (#429)

Normally I don’t use this tag in news columns any more, but I wanted to be sure to call attention to the previous interview with Thaddeus Russell, for Reason TV three years ago.  This one’s the second episode of Thad’s new podcast, and it’s generating high praise so I think you’ll enjoy it (and if it inspires you to subscribe to the podcast, so much the better)!

New Excuse

It’s so nice to see others writing about the War on Whores as the new War on Drugs, especially when they cite me:

…both authorities and the public believe sex trafficking is far more common than it is…To inflate the numbers, the American government includes people that know the sex workers personally, or who are just buyers as “pimps,” in the list….decriminalization—that is, to stop regulating sex work among willing adults—is the only tool to fight [exploitation]…Prohibition in one form or another has been used for a long time without good results…by decriminalizing sex work, resources can be devoted to preventing and resolving actual cases of trafficking, not paranoia supported by people with a narrow political agenda…The sex trafficking paranoia is like the new War on Drugs and there is even a bipartisan consensus in opposing sex work.  Conservatives usually oppose legalized sex work on religious, moral, or societal grounds.  Even liberals often oppose it by saying that sex work oppresses women, or assume that all prostitutes are really victims of sex trafficking…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels, this time by referring to men trapped by cop sex work stings as “purchasing prostituted children”.  As I’ve pointed out before, one has to wonder what these supposed traffickers do with these “child sex slaves” they “purchase” when they’re not using them; do they store them in hatboxes in the back of the closet, or perhaps hang them on hooks in the garage?  And when they’re done with them, do they just flush them down the loo like unwanted goldfish?  Do any of the idiots who vomit out nonsense like this even bother to think before speaking?

Under Review

The British press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews yet:

The language of UKPunting is, in some ways, similar to that of other online review sites: contributors will gripe about a disparity between the appearance on the marketing shots and that of the actual product – the woman…Those bad reviews aren’t just mean, they can really affect business…Even positive reviews on the site can have a negative impact…a sex worker or an offended poster could complain, but only in a way that doesn’t challenge the status quo here, which is vehemently pro-“punter”.  Basically, punters can post offensive, libellous content with impunity…

Broken Record (#636)

Prohibitionists just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Kentucky’s attorney general is urging people to pay attention to more than horses and parties during the springtime celebrations leading up to the Kentucky Derby…authorities are asking for the public’s help in cracking down on sex traffickers trying to cash in on the crowds expected for the world’s most famous horse race…

To Molest and Rape (#643)

Other classics from this headline writer: “Is the Pope Catholic?” and “Do Bears Shit in the Woods?”

A common theme emerged at a panel discussion on policing and rights…police officers regularly violate the human rights of marginalised minorities such as sex workers and members of the lesbian‚ gay‚ bi-sexual‚ transgender‚ questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) community.  The dialogue‚ hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission‚ heard from Sonke Gender Justice‚ an advocacy organisation against gender-based violence‚ how a survey conducted on sex workers revealed blatant and regular abuses of human rights by the police…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#647) 

It’s nice to see cops’ evil deceptions ruin the life of one of their own for a change:

A Montgomery County [Maryland cop]…pleaded guilty…to proposing sexual acts with an undercover detective he thought was a 15-year-old girl.  Christopher B. Dunkes…was caught in a child sexting sting in June…

Business As Usual (#719) 

In other words, after a couple of weeks of media attention the cops will just rape us & claim they didn’t, as they do in the other 49 states:

Undercover police officers in Michigan will no longer be able to [legally & openly rape] prostitutes who[m] they’re [trying to entrap], under a new law that was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week.  Senate Bill 275 aims to…make it possible [but not obligatory] for [cops] to be prosecuted for prostitution-related offences, “if the officer engaged in sexual penetration [but not groping or other molestation] while in the course of his or her duties.”  Michigan police currently enjoy immunity from prosecution for [raping] prostitutes on the clock, something that doesn’t sit well with…Judy Emmons, who sponsored the bill…

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It’s easy to see sex traffickers everywhere when you define all sex workers as victims.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Check Your Premises

Once again, Liz Brown exposes the tyranny of “fighting sex trafficking”:

Here’s a good example out of El Paso about the way America’s fight against “child sex trafficking” works in practice…two girls—one 15 and one 17—had sex with clients for money, and the boy, who is 18, rented the hotel room in his name and acted as security.  Now he’s locked up on child sex-trafficking charges…Edeme Missiadan…and the two girls…”Lexi” and “Natalia,” are from Phoenix.  One of the girls was dating Missiadan’s brother…and…planned to come to El Paso by herself to work, but Missiadan didn’t want her to go “without protection”…literally anything that makes sex workers safer is considered to be sex trafficking.  Bring along a bodyguard?  He’s a sex trafficker.  Have a friend drive you to a client and wait outside?  She’s a sex trafficker.  Use a booker or escort agency to screen clients?  They’re sex traffickers!  Search for clients via online ads instead of on the streets?  The Internet is a sex trafficker!…People hate the idea that innocent young things might actually choose to sell sex on their own accord.  But some do.  And…treating anyone who assists them in any way—including other teenagers—like a serious criminal doesn’t help anyone…

Public Service Announcement 

Are politicians actually stupider than other people, or does it just seem that way?

Amid allegations that he shared sexually explicit video of himself via his state computer, [Nebraska state] Sen. Bill Kintner appears to have been snagged by a well-documented internet scam.  Since at least 2013, international media outlets and  government agencies have warned people against engaging in nude or sexual live video chats with online strangers who could later use them for blackmail…

Shift in the Wind

Another health organization issues a pro-decrim report:

A report by the Centre for Health and Gender Equity (Change) explores the many barriers to health and rights that female sex workers face.  The report highlights evidence that laws criminalising sex work put female sex workers at disproportionately high risk of harassment and violence by police, clients and intimate partners.  Criminalisation also encourages female sex workers to move their work “underground” where they have less control of their working conditions, including condom use and client screening, and are less able to access essential health services…Based on Change’s examination of peer-reviewed articles and extensive interviews with practitioners and advocates, the report concludes that decriminalisation of sex work is necessary for female sex workers to fully realise their rights and is necessary for an effective global HIV response…

So Close and Yet So Far

You’re supposed to be a libertarian, Gary; this ain’t rocket science:

In a CNN town hall…Anderson Cooper asked Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson whether he supported the decriminalization of prostitution.  In a somewhat muddled answer, Johnson said he would leave it up to individual states and applauded the system in…Nevada…There are so many easy libertarian answers on this one—that there’s no place for the state in consenting sexual relationships between adults; that prostitution prohibition creates many of the same harms we saw with alcohol and drug prohibition…it was disappointing that Johnson appeared to be caught off-guard by the question and seemed visibly uncomfortable with the topic.  But his answer, while not perfect, may have been forgivable had Cooper not pressed him: “Is prostitution a victimless crime?”  Johnson responded that currently, “the victims are the prostitutes”…here I thought totally denying women’s agency was the purview of Democrats and Republicans…I reached out to the Johnson campaign for clarification, and received an answer from its communication director, Joe Hunter…All he would say about what Johnson meant last night was this: “In an illegal environment, prostitutes are at risk.”  It’s not much, but it suggests that Johnson believes the victimhood he attributed to sex workers stems from the illegal nature of prostitution, not that he thinks anyone selling sexual services must be doing so unwillingly.

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

A missing 12-year-old San Antonio girl has been found alive…On June 20, she was outside her home listening to music when she disappeared…no one knew her whereabouts until two weeks ago when she texted her family…Authorities tracked the girl down to a hotel near Nashville.  She was with 36-year-old Tavarie Anthony Williams…[who] has since been arrested, accused of pimping her out and holding her against her will…Williams…[supposedly] offered her a ride home, but drove her to Tennessee instead…“Her mother may have had a role in all this, but it’s still too soon to say,” [cop] spokesman James Keith said…It could be many weeks before the girl returns to San Antonio.  She’s with a foster family, in therapy, but in constant communication with the grandfather…

Williams “offered her a ride home” from her own front yard, where she was listening to music?  And if she had a cell phone, why wait two weeks to text?  This story stinks on ice.

Under Every Bed

Just imagine how far $100,000 could’ve gone toward providing services; instead, it’s used to spread lies:

WEST NC, a new, two-year project to end sex trafficking in five mountain counties, aims to educate the public and service providers…A $100,000 grant from the Women for Women giving circle is funding WEST NC through Our VOICE…Angelica Wind…says the big “goal is to end human trafficking in this area…people are really surprised that human trafficking happens in Asheville”…trafficking often occurs in wealthy or relatively wealthy areas where there’s demand, along with access to major highways and an airport…“Where there are sex workers, there’s also human trafficking”…Nearby major metro areas — Atlanta and Charlotte — have seen significant increases in human trafficking in recent years…

The End of the Beginning

Nearly all “sex offender” laws are this unconstitutionally overbroad:

Sex offenders in Illinois are challenging the state law that bans them from entering parks, schools, places providing services for kids, and even “holiday events involving children”…the rules are so vague that they can’t always tell if or when they are breaking the law.  For instance, if a sex offender plays a round of golf on a municipal course—a solitary, adult activity—is that legal (because kids aren’t around) or illegal (because it’s on parks department land, and therefore a park)?…one of the plaintiffs…would like to visit his granddaughter, but she lives within 500 feet of her subdivision’s playground.  Is it legal for him to see her at her home?  “State police told him he was allowed to visit as long as he walked straight from his car and back — but the local cops said he wasn’t allowed to be there at all“…

Drawing Lines

Not a bad introduction to the concept of whorearchy:

…many sex workers look…down on others with “lesser” jobs.  This hierarchy [isn’t] based on money.  If anything, the highest earners [are] often looked down upon…many individuals choose to work as pro-dominatrixes or dancers “because they don’t have sex, give blowjobs, or exchange body fluids.  They feel superior to those who do.  They use contact as a meter”…A few strippers told me they didn’t think stripping was sex work at all, since they didn’t have to touch any of their clients…This is underscored by the legal boundaries, which are more permissive toward no-contact activities (like stripping) than high-contact activities (like prostitution)…Other sex workers [are] less judgmental about physical contact and instead prioritise…enjoyment of their work…A porn producer, cam girl, and stripper…each told me that the people they admire most in their industry are those who “really love what they do” or are sex workers because “it’s something they’ve always wanted to do”…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#526) 

Despite its appearance in a rag like Rolling Stone, this is an excellent article:

…a Wisconsin appeals court upheld a decision to try…as adults…two girls [who] admitted as 12-year-olds in 2014 to having stabbed their friend in order to please “Slender Man,” an Internet horror meme.  (The victim luckily crawled to safety and survived.)  The decision to try two children as adults – two children immature and mentally ill enough to believe in the literal existence of a fictional character – may seem inappropriate, to put it mildly.  But legally it’s a viable one – thanks to a terrible Wisconsin law with analogues in many other states…Morgan Geyser, who wielded the knife, has since been diagnosed with early-onset schizophrenia…Anissa Weier [was diagnosed] with a delusional disorder and schizotypy…after the two stabbed their friend, they set off to find Slender Man in a forest 300 miles away – on foot.  Mental health professionals testified that Geyser still believes Slender Man is real…The Wisconsin code…is designed to keep cases where the alleged offense is particularly heinous in adult court – which doesn’t make much sense.  The egregiousness of a crime is not evidence of some maturity or self-control that could justify treating a child like an adult.  It’s irrational to say children don’t really choose to commit bad acts except when those acts are really shocking…

Turning Point

More and more groups are speaking up in favor of sex work decriminalization:

It’s a big day for the new civil rights movement known as Black Lives Matter.  Up until now, the movement had famously opted to forgo hierarchies in favor of a diffuse coalition that more resembled Occupy Wall Street than, say, the ‘60s-era Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.  The movement’s decentralized approach has been criticized in the past, and its activists have butted heads with both civil rights leaders and the Obama administration. But on [August 1st]  Black Lives Matter made a decision to be a movement with a plan, a platform, and concrete demands.  In a statement released by more than 30 organizations (and endorsed by an additional 50), BLM released six platform demands and “key solutions”—a list of more than 40 policy recommendations, including…an immediate and retroactive decriminalization of drug and sex-work offenses…

Uncommon Sense (#650)

How does this dude think he’ll get around UK brothel & avails laws?

A company plans to set up a “fellatio café” in central London where customers receive oral sex while having a cappuccino.  Bradley Charvet…is already planning a branch in Geneva to open this December…the business would be like a “normal café” where up to 100 customers can sit and drink a coffee – but also be given oral sex by an escort.  Modelled on similar businesses in Thailand, the idea has already sparked uproar in Switzerland…Westminster City Council has indicated to the Standard that such a venue would not be able to get a licence and it has also been slammed by a leading womens’ rights group.  It could also fall foul of the law as, in Great Britain, prostitution is not illegal but running or owning a brothel or pimping are considered crimes…

A bit of hair-splitting:  a sex worker who sells blow jobs but doesn’t otherwise interact with her client isn’t an escort.

Cooties (#650)

Being a “legal” sex worker doesn’t protect you, so stop your bootlicking & join your sisters in the fight:

…The work [Arianna] Travaglini does is legal, and she…didn’t work out of the Airbnbs she rented.  She claims she “never had a single problem” with Airbnb until she realized she was banned while trying to book a trip to Baltimore and Washington, D.C, where she would teach sex-ed workshops…The email she received…is a form letter, basically identical to one Airbnb sent professional dominatrix and porn performer Julie Simone in March.  Simone faced almost the same problem with Airbnb, receiving a swift ban without explanation shortly after signing up…Asked…whether Airbnb has a policy on sex work, legal or otherwise, a spokesman for Airbnb didn’t elaborate much. “Prostitution is not allowed and we are constantly reviewing the platform to be sure any activity in the listing is in line with what hosts would be ok with in their home,” a spokesperson explained…the reality is that people are going to have sex in Airbnbs, especially if you’re renting to a couple.  It’s even possible that, *gasp,* some will bring a new friend back to an Airbnb for sex…

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

…More than 30 bills this legislative session alone have attempted to combat a multibillion-dollar industry that now operates as much online, if not more, as it does on the streets.  But much of the legislation, still pending as lawmakers return to Sacramento for their final month of deliberations, varies in its approach to the problem…The proposals run the gamut, from providing protections for human trafficking victims in court to enhancing penalties for sex buyers…one…bill…would allow the seizure and impoundment of a vehicle used in the solicitation of prostitution…opponents are concerned some of the laws could lead to unconstitutional seizures and violations of defendants’ rights…[pigs lust for] the authority to arrest minors to hold them in secure facilities, where they can be [forced to accept “services”]…

A lot of bullshit numbers are repeated, and one prohibitionist in the story says, “I don’t think this is the end of the road, but we are in a precipice of sea change with how we deal with human trafficking…” Holy mixed metaphors, Batman!

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Behind the opposition to decriminalise both abortion and sex work lies the belief that…women…are incapable of physical autonomy, that their choices are so socially harmful, so deluded, they must be legislated against.  –  Frankie Mullin

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

If you’re raped by a cop, accuse him of offering to pay you for sex instead; that, they’ll try him for:

…Columbus [cop]…Bobby G. Schoolcraft…is charged with solicitation and engaging in prostitution…[after] the woman reported…that an unknown officer had paid her $20 to $40…Schoolcraft admitted 20 days later that he was the officer involved…The woman has a history of drug and prostitution arrests…

Part of the Picture

Is it just me, or is this hilarious?

…Covenant Eyes was created by evangelical Christians…For $10 a month, you can get an Internet Accountability report sent to your spouse, a friend, or anyone who would understand your struggles with erotic desire. This report is customizable, so you can set it to only report what times you went online, or the most “highly mature” sites you visited…You can also add filtering services to your account.  One person, designated the “Filter Guardian,” chooses an age-appropriate level of internet restriction for family members, and Covenant Eyes blocks domains they deem unacceptable…the app also provides a “Panic Button” you can hit when you’re in crisis and worrying you might give in to temptation.  This effectively shuts down all web access until you call Covenant Eyes personally, and ask them to reinstate your connection—after you confess to them that you wanted to look at porn…Whether it’s possible to be addicted to porn or sex…is still officially up for debate…Jessica McGraa

No, it isn’t.

Surplus Women 

This is about the least-infuriating coverage of this story I could find:

A mother was only uncovered as a sex worker after her dead body was discovered in a flat in Aberdeen.  A 25-year-old man, Bala Wadzani Chinda, has…[been] charged with the murder of the woman…37-year-old Jessica McGraa…She kept the nature of her work private, and her friends and ex-husband were shocked to find out she worked as a prostitute…

As you might expect from the sickeningly-yellow British press, other versions of the story focused on how much she charged and other such salacious details.

Whorearchy

The more sex workers and former sex workers come out, the better:

…there exists what sex workers like to call a whore hierarchy: The closer one gets to full service sex work, the closer one gets to being a whore and the further she is from being seen as a whole, complete woman.  As though the qualities of being a whore negate one’s humanity.  At the bottom of this hierarchy are the full-service sex workers who are most at risk by the stigma and fear mongering…Many women in the stripping community harbor a widespread disgust for escorts who come into clubs with clients, porn workers who occasionally perform at clubs and strippers who offer customers “extras” (i.e. more than just a lapdance).  Some even label fellow strippers who dance more aggressively or work at fully nude clubs as “more whore-ish.”  As if by distancing themselves from those further down the whore hierarchy — in this case, those who show pussy or grind harder — they can save themselves from experiencing whore stigma…

The Widening Gyre

Snopes sez: “this warning makes it sound as though the bad guys are stymied in their search for victims and don’t know where to look for kids to abduct until they see pictures of them on Facebook“:

One day you receive a friend request, as you often do every week or so.  It’s a nice looking man who you don’t seem to recognize…Later that day you decide to post photos of your little 6-year-old girls birthday party, and you tag all of her friends through their parents…You’ve essentially just given a trafficker and his customers multiple pickings not to mention the school they attend and the park which they frequent…stop posting your children’s photos on the internet…All it takes is one account to be hacked and you’ve just offered up your children’s images to all kinds of freaks, molesters, and yes, traffickers…Please share this important warning with all your friends! It can prevent a tragedy…

Under Every Bed

Population 126,326.

Cedar Rapids is a crossroads for human trafficking.  Police say our location between larger mid-west cities makes eastern Iowa a frequent stop for victims and those who control them…”Only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued,” says Teresa Davidson, President of Cedar Rapids Gives…

How do you know this, Theresa? Are you in collusion with the “traffickers” and therefore know how many “victims” they enslave?  And do you possess even the most rudimentary form of common sense?  Meanwhile, in Ohio, cops ominously inform us that “the same Ohio roads that are used legitimately are also used by human traffickers and smugglers to transport their victims and further their operations…” OH MY GOD!  NO!!!! SAY IT ISN’T SO!! THE SAME ROADS???? THE FIENDS!!!!! I’ll bet they even use standard transportation that wouldn’t raise eyebrows.

Paint By Numbers

“Anti-trafficking” stunts grow ever stupider:

Members of a [University of Florida] fraternity used a children’s game to [indoctrinate] students about human trafficking…60 silver and red blocks each had a [propaganda trope] about human trafficking.  A student would read the block he or she picked before placing it back on the stack…Rafael Cruzado…learned human trafficking is a problem in Alachua County because of its proximity to Interstate 75…Jason Feliciano…[said] “People don’t know that it is still happening”…

Seriously, debunking this nonsense isn’t even fun anymore; it’s just too easy.

A Procrustean Bed (#339)

Another jurisdiction officially classifies women as passive objects without agency:

People ensnared in the cycle of prostitution and the criminal lifestyle it engenders now have a lifeline…[Shreveport, Louisiana] District Court…in partnership with faith-based Purchased: Not for Sale…have begun a diversion program called Exit Strategy…[It is] the brainchild of Assistant District Attorney Holly McGinness…[who despite her apparent possession of a law degree, and thus presumably understanding the principle of separation of church and state] said, “The idea behind the name is that no person is for sale, we’ve already been purchased by Jesus”…Most people who engage in prostitution and other “sex industry” crimes, which begin as victimless misdemeanors, cannot engage in other meaningful productive work and often have underlying drug or mental problems that contribute to their cycle of criminal activity…

I wonder what underlying mental problems contribute to an attorney’s flagrant violation of one of the most basic principles of American government?Eliot Spitzer

Droit du Seigneur (#401)

Reminder: Spitzer’s a fan of choking women during sex:

…Eliot Spitzer was [regularly] seeing a…25-year-old blond [escort]…but became enraged when [she]…wanted to move back to her native country…The disgraced former governor is accused of attacking Svetlana Travis…a day before she flew home…Travis…wrote a 2014 article for…Medium that was headlined “Sex Is Sex, But Money Is Money”…after Spitzer…allegedly choked and pushed Travis…she cut herself with a broken glass…In the hours after the alleged scrap, Spitzer was caught on hotel video wearing a wool cap pulled down low over his eyes, sources said. While Travis was in the hospital, a man identifying himself as “George” called twice to ask about seeing her…but was told he could not…Police believe the caller and the visitor were Spitzer because hospital video shows him wearing the same wool cap…

Property of the State 

As with abortion…so with sex work…almost every form of labour reflects and is shaped by social inequality.  Yet there’s no call to ban, for instance, the cleaning industry…No one is claiming that agency always equals feminism.  However, the removal of it, the demand for state intervention in women’s choices, is deeply anti-feminist.  There’s nothing radical about denying us agency over our bodies.  A view of the state as a responsible arbiter of justice, and of the police as a benign force for good, is one that comes from a place of privilege…[prohibitionists often] claim to be protecting the vulnerable – unborn babies, trafficked women – but by allowing the state increased access, the outcome is yet more danger…

Full of Themselves (#553)

Oh, California Massage Therapy Council, please never change:

City Attorney Barry DeWalt will present a report to the Redding City Council…on the connection between illegal massage parlors and sex-trafficking, highlighting the need for an ordinance regulating businesses that could act as a front to human-trafficking…the Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition suggested the Police Department send officers to personally inspect each massage business and issue city permits, with associated fees…DeWalt will recommend massage therapists operating in Redding receive certification by the California Massage Therapy Council, ensuring therapists have at least a minimum number of hours of therapy education.  The report will also suggest hours of operation for the businesses and appropriate dress or conduct for massage therapists…

The Course of a Disease (#606) 

Some [politicians] including…MP Fiona Bruce are calling for buying sex to be criminalised under laws similar to those in Sweden…But the idea has drawn an angry response from Britain’s sex workers, who say they fear it could put them in danger.  Around 96 per cent of those who took part in the survey by National Ugly Mugs…said people should not be criminalised for buying sex from a consenting adult and 82 per cent said they would feel less safe if the law were introduced.  More than 200 sex workers took part in the survey, along with 52 organisations that offer frontline services to between 20 and 2,000 sex workers…

Cooties (#612)

Remember, kids, the Swedish modelTM eliminates prostitution!

…Swedish police reported an increase in human traffickers taking advantage of people renting out their homes through…Airbnb.  This is an obvious nightmare for anyone whose bed has been used to host this kind of sexual exploitation, but an even more nightmarish situtation for people being prostituted, often having to face numerous sex-buyers every day.  The vast majority of people exploited in prostitution are trafficked into it…[“pimps”] are in fact intentionally luring innocent people into contributing to what is best described as transnational organized crime…Sweden’s sex purchase act…has come to be regarded as the archetype for preventing prostitution and trafficking of human beings for sexual purposes…Because of the significant increase in knowledge among hotel staff to be alert to possible prostitution…traffickers now seem in desperate need of new venues to ensure the continuation of their criminal activities without being detected by police…the police badly need more resources.  This has even been pointed out many times by the police themselves…

Wow, what a surprise; the police agree that they need more money and power.

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If the patriarchy is about men making decisions for women…why do some feminists want to control other women’s decisions?  –  “Lauren”

Gorged With Meaning

The situation described by this article – girl does sex work to pay for university – is so typical as to be a case of “dog bites man”, and nowadays doing porn won’t stay secret for long.  But the article actually says more about its author than about its subject:  “Lauren” seems like an intelligent, sensible, pragmatic young woman, while writer Katie Fernelius appears to be a supple-spined airhead who lets other people do her thinking for her.  In response to this:

I worked as a waitress…and not only did it interfere with my school …but also I was making $400 a month after taxes…For people to tell me that doing porn and having sex, which I love, is more degrading than being…somebody’s servant and…being treated like a lesser, second-class citizen, that…makes no sense…I felt more degraded in a minimum wage…service job than I ever did doing porn…

…Katie  crawls into her navel, quotes Gloria Steinem and babbles about “patriarchy”, “power dynamics” and words being “problematic”.  Yet I’m sure she thinks she’s better-adjusted than Lauren is. African artists protest in Korea

Where Are the Protests? 

There’s a word missing here, but I just can’t think of what it might be:

African artists hired by a Korean museum have been laboring under conditions “similar to indentured servitude”…The 24 artists came from various countries…to sculpt, perform, and do other tasks at the Africa Museum of Original Art in…Pocheon…They…were promised salaries of…minimum wage — 1,269,154 won ($1,183) per month — and comfortable accommodations; instead, they were paid [only] 500,000 or 650,000 won…and forced to live in cold, mice-ridden rooms.  Their salaries barely covered the cost of three meals a day, and the museum gave them only spoiled rice to eat.  Their contracts stipulated three performances per day, but they were often forced to do four to six performances…when they complained…their concerns were either ignored [or] dismissed…

Held Together With Lies

The new claim:  “The number of British children being trafficked for sexual exploitation has more than doubled over the last year…The figures…are thought to be just the tip of the iceberg…”  And the truth:

…these statistics are…drawn from…the National Referral Mechanism…a…process adopted in 2009 to identify…potential victims…the most recent NRM statistical bulletin states…“the number of referrals…is not a measure of human trafficking in the UK”…[but only those suspected by officials]…

The Scarlet Letter (TW3 #19)

Human rights activists in Kyrgyzstan are concerned that…police…[are] forcing sex workers…to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases…and…[have] carried out numerous raids since…November…Prostitution by individuals has been decriminalised in Kyrgyzstan, although organised activities like running a brothel are illegal. Sex workers report widespread harassment and extortion by police…

Whorearchy (TW3 #19) Spain protest 1-16-14

Prostitutes in Spain…[protested] a planned crackdown on streetwalking…Hetaira said it would rally…against plans to fine prostitutes and [clients]…fearing it will force them to work in dangerous conditions….[a new] law would make offering or soliciting sex in prohibited areas punishable by a fine of between 1,000 and 30,000 euros…

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #41)

Theatre for a Change says there has been tremendous progress…in its efforts to raise awareness on rights of sex workers…[in] Malawi…Eric Saforo…says since 2012 the Malawi Police Service is beginning to recognize that abuse against sex workers is…not acceptable and that the police service is opening up to…[improving] working relationships between the two parties…

Due Consideration

Jennifer Whalen…was charged…with felony and misdemeanor counts for ordering…misoprostol and mifepristone online…for her 16-year-old pregnant daughter…She said she couldn’t find an abortion clinic nearby, she didn’t want to go out of state, and she didn’t know she needed a prescription…The felony…is for “medical consultation and judgment”; the misdemeanors are for not being licensed as a pharmacist, endangering the welfare of a child, and “simple assault”…The same thing happened to a mother of three in Idaho in 2012 who took RU-486…[because]…the closest clinic was hours away, would have charged $500, and because of state law, required multiple trips…

Monsters

A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to “cleanse” their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them…Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they…were kicked and punched by…officers who…threatened that [they] would be incarcerated for 14 years…under Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act…[activist Ifeanyi Orazulike said] “They were told ‘If you come back, we will kill you'”…The walls of [their] houses…have been painted with graffiti declaring “Homosexuals, pack and leave”…

Original Sin (TW3 #321)

Trafficking math is hardThis mostly-typical “sex trafficking” gobbledygook is only notable for “Michigan is one of the top five states for human trafficking” and for its use of “sex worker” rather than “prostituted woman”, “trafficked child”, etc.  But the picture that came with it, borrowed from one of the numerous Christian sites linking porn to “trafficking”, has some interesting math:  6000 total “rapes” (i.e. transactions) over 7 years is only 857 a year…awfully low for “50 per day”.  Even with weekends off that’s just over 3 per day, which is pretty realistic; obviously somebody is deviating from the program.

Unclean Situation (TW3 #330)

Justice for Magdalenes Research has hit out at the “subterfuge” being employed by the Government [against]…victims of the laundries…the department is writing to women offering formal lump sum payments, while stating that all other aspects of the scheme remain subject to legislation or discussions with other Government departments.   Despite the fact that the full terms of the scheme are not finalised, women are requested to sign a waiver accepting “all the terms of the scheme” and waiving “any right of action against the State or any public or statutory body or agency” arising out of their time in a Magdalene laundry…

Opting Out

The UK government’s futile and ham-fisted attempts to purge the Internet of all of its rough edges and naughty bits are about to see international escalation…David Cameron’s government has long-stated they want this filtering to eventually extend to websites deemed “extremist”…and it appears that…[ISPs] will soon [be ordered] to include websites declared to be promoting terrorism…as we’ve seen with the porn filters, there’s probably no limit to the number of entirely legal and legitimate websites UK citizens will find suddenly inaccessible.

UK readers who use Chrome and haven’t yet installed “Go Away Cameron”  should probably do so immediately.

Lack of Evidence (TW3 #344)

Nine men [arrested in a November raid]…were convicted of prostitution and sentenced to between three and nine years in prison…[followed by] a three-year…period for rewiring…in…mental institutions…The police report…and the results of anal examinations do not connect the…men to prostitution.  But…the arrest and prosecution of men who don’t fit acceptable standards of masculinity reassures Egyptians that the ruling military regime is as conservative as any Islamist party…

Remembrance

The moral purification of the Armed Forces continues:

The commander of the Naval Ordnance Test Unit at Port Canaveral has been relieved of duty for allowing two strip clubs to sponsor a military-related golf tournament last year…“Those type of organizations just don’t reflect positively on the Navy” [a spokesman]…said…

Number Puzzle (TW3 #349)

Matthias Lehmann has put together a short video of highlights from a symposium about the German Prostitution Act last December.

Where Are the Protests? (TW3 #350)

Miranda Barbour has a delightful conversation with credulous cops:

A Pennsylvania woman charged in the…slaying of a man she and her husband met through Craigslist [claims]…she killed many more victims…A law enforcement source close to the investigation said Miranda Barbour’s new claims could be “the real deal”…the 19-year-old Barbour [said] she participated in at least 22 killings in the past six years in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California.  “When I hit 22, I stopped counting…I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them”…Barbour [said] she had her first experience with killing when she [was] just 13, shortly after she…joined a satanic cult in Alaska…she [says that she] felt no remorse for her victims and…killed only “bad people”…

Whatever They Need To Say (TW3 #350)

No justice for victims of the Soho pogrom:

…at least six sex workers have fought the closures, [saying] they had not been coerced into working and that closing the brothels would make their work more unsafe.  In the first of three appeals…two women…lost their battle to have their flats reopened after a judge [claimed] that unknown figures were “controlling” prostitution in the area…However…the Reverend Simon Buckley wrote that trust in the police had been severely undermined by the “seemingly ham-fisted” nature of the operation.  “The girls who continue to work in the unclosed flats say that they would not feel confident in turning to the police if they were a victim of crime…[they] previously…had a good rapport with the police”…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #351)

As preparations for the World Cup accelerate, Brazilian authorities are attempting to sanitise the country’s image by clamping down on sex-related businesses.  More than 2,000 websites have been targeted, and prostitutes are being threatened with prison sentences for…[advertising]…according to Thaddeus Blanchette…media hype…rests on the false assumption that fans will…seek out sex with children…Tatiana Mauro…of Promundo Brazil…points to a report published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, which finds no evidence that large sporting events cause an increase in trafficking or prostitution.  Sensationalist reporting on trafficking and mega-events is not only unfounded, it is also paving the way for a more repressive prostitution policy…

What Next? sex work is real work

Canadian readers, here’s your chance to be heard:

The Conservative government wants to hear from Canadians about how to rewrite the country’s prostitution laws [which] were struck down by the Supreme Court…A month-long online consultation period on the Justice Canada website…runs to March 17.  The high court gave the government one year to come up with new legislation…the…government has made it clear that simply allowing the laws to lapse…is not an option…

Predictably,

The [survey]…is being criticized for…loaded questions and misleading information about available options…It assumes prostitution is dangerous and that all sex workers want to be saved, said Chris Bruckert…[of the] University of Ottawa.  She also criticized government for not conducting town-hall style consultations where people have more time to unpack their opinions…She also says the Nordic model could contradict the reasoning for striking down the Canadian laws in the first place…

The Course of a Disease (TW3 #404)

549 NGOs and civil society organizations…have signed letters to the members of the European Parliament asking them to reject a report by MEP Mary Honeyball, which asks EU Member States to consider the criminalisation of the clients of sex workers.  The letter…denounces the conflation of sex work and trafficking, the disregard for sex workers’ health and safety and the lack of evidence [in] the report…signatories include…many women’s rights groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation …Another document drafted and signed by [45] academics and researchers…[analyzes] the lack and misrepresentation of evidence in [the] report…amongst other astounding errors…Honeyball completely misinterpreted a [Dutch] report…by…“mistaking” data on coffee shops for data on brothels…

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #404)

As thousands of cash-strapped Italians take to the streets to protest against their tax bills…[prostitutes] are instead…fighting against a tax code that does not recognise their profession, even though paying for sex is legal, leaving them no chance to…qualify for a pension…What has really irked prostitutes is that…the tax office has now decided to fine them for tax evasion, even though it has given them no way of paying tax…Playing the Whore

The Public Eye (TW3 #406)

Another good interview with Melissa Gira Grant about her new book, Playing the Whore; she speaks to Noah Berlatsky of the Atlantic about sex work as work, the range of sex worker experiences, anti-sex feminism and the similarities between the gay and sex worker rights movements.

Drawing Lines

Because obviously sex work isn’t a profession, uses no creativity and nobody earns a living through it:

…Mercy Mushaninga…has taken to social network sites to address her bitterness over the labeling of models as prostitutes…“Modelling is a career…and a profession with some people earning a living through it…Models…use their natural endowment and creativity…”

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