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Posts Tagged ‘Worse Than I Thought’

[Sex worker] distrust of law enforcement…is well earned. – Kate Mogulescu

Surplus Women 

Imagine the murder of any other businessperson being described as a “scuffle”:

A 25-year-old Ugandan woman was…stabbed to death [in Bengaluru, Karnataka] in a scuffle over payment for sex…Ishan…has been arrested for fatally stabbing Florence Nakayaki…the deputy commissioner of police…PS Harsha [said]…neighbours called the police on hearing screams…Harsha [otherwise repeated the murderer’s version of events as though it were fact, casting blame on the victim for asking for her fee]…

Worse Than I Thought

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

A plan that would expand capital punishment in Utah so that [people] convicted of aggravated human trafficking or child sex exploitation that leads to death could be executed…[was passed by a] law enforcement …committee…despite concern from both [politicians] and [normal people]…sponsor…Paul Ray [fantasizes that] human trafficking is a big problem in Utah, so…“I want to be able to pull down a cartel kingpin or somebody and put them on death row if women or girls are dying in their trafficking rings,” he [bloviated]…The proposal is only the latest effort by Ray to institute hardline death-penalty plans…

Property of the State 

Authoritarians’ latest dodge for getting around civil rights: encouraging profiteers to file civil suits instead:

…Arkansas Act 45…bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy.  Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony.  The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks.  With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s [sire] to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say.  The law could go into effect as early as spring…

Business As Usual deblasio-wife

Prohibitionists just can’t understand why sex workers refuse to believe that clients and imaginary “pimps” inflict the most violence on us, and that the police are our “rescuers” from it:

…[politician’s wife] Chirlane McCray urged [sex workers]…in New York City to trust the police to investigate, prosecute, and punish [our sources of income]…”We are already hearing that victims are afraid to come forward for fear of being deported,” McCray said. “If you are being forced to engage in any sex against your will, we want to help you…Please, do not be afraid”…[but in reality] prostitution-related charge[s] can land a non-citizen in a database accessible to federal immigration agents…NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill described [his own cluelessness by thinking sex workers want our clients persecuted]…But [in reality, as] Immigrant Defense Project attorney Genia Blaser said, “the city has investigated sex trafficking by arresting people…for…sex work”…between 2012 and 2015, the NYPD arrested 1,300 people…for allegedly “loitering for the purposes of prostitution”…631 people were arrested and charged with practicing massage without a license last year, up from just 31 in 2012…91 percent of the 2016 cases are against non-citizens…

Safe Targets (#452)

A profile of Tara Burns, with emphasis on her activism in Alaska:

…“people in the media were saying that they were using [a 2012 Alaska] law to ‘save’ the poor trafficking victims” Burns tells me.  But…“the law was only being used against us and not…to protect us…I was familiar with all of these different issues – police having sex with people and then arresting them, and people being turned away when they were trying to report crimes,” she tells me.  After studying for a Master’s Degree in Social Justice at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and conducting her thesis, Burns resolved to fight for change – using her research to find out the percentages of people who had experienced this.  “I brought that research to the Alaska legislature to tell them how their law was working and when I got down there I found out that I had to register as a representational lobbyist – so I was the first person in the history of Alaska’s legislature to be a representational lobbyist representing sex workers”, she explains.  Now, Tara is a founding board member of the organisation Community United for Safety and Protection, which works for safety and protection in Alaska’s sex industry…

Checklist (#514) 

More absurd “air hostesses vs pimps” nonsense:

…former flight attendant Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, is trying to [indoctrinate] airline staff across the nation…[in] human trafficking [propaganda, using fake stats such as the fabricated claim that] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year…[and promoting myths about] the Super Bowl…[prohibitionists like Rivard fantasize that] sex work and human trafficking often go hand-in-hand…Airline Ambassador Sandra Fiorini, 69, testified before Congress in 2010 about [her BDSM sexual fantasies about]…girls…flying from Moscow to the United States…

Vendetta (#523) 

A female “contributor” to GQ is paid to fellate Peter Qualliotine, the deeply misogynistic prohibitionist who runs Seattle’s “john school”, where he attempts to indoctrinate normal men in the dogma that their sex drives are pathological because women are too stupid to make sexual decisions for ourselves:

…Peter Qualliotine [is] a co-founder of the Seattle-based Organization for Prostitution Survivors [and a prohibitionist for many years]…In plenty of cities and counties around the country, men busted for buying sex get sent to a class known as “john school”—usually just a scared-straight afternoon with [propaganda] about STDs and jail time and the harms of prostitution…Peter had taught those classes and didn’t think much of their effectiveness.  He had something [more grandiose] in mind…In class, throughout those first weeks, a number of the men showed with their body language that they [understood] the whole exercise was bullshit, a waste of their time.  Several…made it clear that they [understood] it was nonsense that prostitution was a crime at all…

Naturally, Brooke Jarvis consulted no actual sex workers for the article, despite there being plenty of very public members of our community right here in Seattle.

A Woman’s Point of View 

As with cannabis legalization, if enough of these are thrown at the wall one of them may eventually stick:

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution…after House Speaker Joseph Souki introduced a bill…Transgender activist Tracy Ryan says she’s pushing the bill because transgender women in the sex trade are disproportionately impacted by criminalization laws… Souki says he takes no position on the bill, but he introduced it as a favor to Ryan.  House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says this and a bill to decriminalize marijuana may be part of a push to reduce the prison population.

Gorged With Meaning (#639)

It’s so nice to see sex work treated as the normal thing it is:

…Portland State University’s (PSU) Women’s Resource Center… “supports the right of all students to seek and access safety in all aspects of life, including in the workplace.  For students working in the sex industry, this can be a unique and isolating challenge.”  Adrienne Graf is Portland State University’s Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Program Coordinator…and…created Portland State University’s Student Sex Worker Outreach Project…Graf’s been personally connected to sex workers since she was 18- or 19-years-old, when she first was starting her career in social work…“When I went into getting my Masters in Social Work, I was really intrigued and also disturbed by how social workers did and did not interact with the sex industry, and I became increasingly more involved in sex worker activism as a result”…

Pimps Ahoy wannabe-pimp-chef

I predict we’re going to see a lot more rescue industry dudes pretending to have been reluctant pimps:

[Self-proclaimed] pimp turned do-gooder Kaushic Biswas…is now teaching the sort of women he once exploited how to cook their way out of sex trafficking… in the 1990s…Biswas earned big money as a pimp, managing and selling women for sex after they had been trafficked into prostitution.  “Every night I broke down and cried…because I was part of the exploitation,” Biswas [fantasized]… “Sometimes they forced me to watch”…Biswas bought a plane ticket to Thailand to escape Mumbai, working once more as a chef, first in a 5-star hotel in Thailand, next under his mentor in Hong Kong…he found solace in a church and joined fellow believers…

Cooties (#703)

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves:

More than 30 “pop up” brothels each week are being opened in Swindon, with foreign prostitutes renting properties for a few days before moving on.  Wiltshire Police said that every week, as many as 40 sex-workers, most of whom are eastern European, were advertising their services in the town.  It is the latest in a spate of reports across the country of temporary brothels, where rooms are rented for just a few days before women are swiftly moved on to evade detection…[cops fantasize] many of the brothels [are]…linked to organised crime gangs which traffic women from Poland and Romania…

The War Goes On (#707) 

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

…The shuffling on Backpage is being watched closely in Miami-Dade, where prosecutors have been aggressive about going after pimps and traffickers, while [locking up women by pretending they’ve]…been coerced into selling their bodies…State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle dismissed Backpage’s widely publicized closing of its adult section closing as nothing more than a “shell game…They’ve all moved to the dating section…The same victims are being found there”…[this attitude among] law enforcement hasn’t gone over well with…some advocates for victims of [coercion]…“It’s a symbolic crusade,” said Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, a criminology professor at Georgetown University…“They’re trying to get some accolades and look like the heroes”…

Stupor Bowl (#709)

Barely a peep out of these fanatics this year, and even then only at the last minute:

Sex trafficking tends to increase during the Super Bowl and this year is no exception, according to…Nita Belles…of…In Our Backyard…The Houston Police Department [claims to be]…busy with multiple…sex trafficking [cases]…Belle said…”If somebody’s coming here for the Super Bowl [and has sadfeelz about sex work they should rat people out to the cops]”…

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The only thing [cops]…do is…sweep everyone up in antiprostitution policing, and then somehow assert that this is being done in the name of combating human trafficking.  –  Kate Mogulescu

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic 

How long can this scam go on?

A married doctor who romped with an escort in hospital can treat patients again – after claiming cycling has helped him quit his sex addiction.  Father-of-two Dr Rupert Pemsel…had sex with the prostitute…But when she blackmailed him for £10,000 he came clean to the General Medical Council (GMC) and last March was suspended for “deplorable and morally reprehensible” misconduct.  Now he has been given the green light by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to retrain as a family GP after claiming he has turned his life around…

ozzy-gives-the-birdThe UK media has a bizarre fondness for kindergarten words like “romp” and for obsessing about whether someone in a news story has spawned or not.  But the idea that doctors fucking whores is even remotely out of the ordinary is hilarious; when I was working in New Orleans, probably 20% of my income came from MDs.  Still, the main story here is the way privileged men use “sex addiction” as an excuse when they get caught, a fact not lost on the Ozzman:

Ozzy Osbourne has backtracked on claims he was suffering from sex addiction, which he made in the aftermath of an affair last year…“I’m in a fucking rock band, aren’t I?…There have always been groupies.  I just got caught, didn’t I?…I don’t think I’m a fucking sex addict”…

You’re absolutely right, Ozzy, because there is no such fucking thing as a sex addict.  As my friend Brooke Magnanti once put it, he might as well have claimed he was Father Christmas.

Monsters 

Australian police practice “NHI” as well:

…During the 1980s and 1990s, the Australian authorities now say, gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off the cliffs to their deaths.  But the police, many of whom had a reputation for hostility toward gay men, often carried out perfunctory investigations that overlooked the possibility of homicide…Now the police in New South Wales…are reviewing the deaths of 88 men between 1976 and 2000 to determine whether they should be classified as anti-gay hate crimes…

Imagine the Sky

Here’s an interesting article on regulated brothels in 19th-century St. Petersburg.  As in France and Italy, sex workers were confined to specific brothels in an attempt to control them, and as in the US the writer clings doggedly to the myth that laws and cops were in place to “help” us, and just can’t imagine why so many women refused to submit to this “protection”.

Stupor Bowl

Have you noticed we’ve heard almost nothing about “Super Bowl sex trafficking” this year?  Even Sports Illustrated, not exactly known for hard-hitting investigatie journalism, is calling it a debunked myth and quoting those who oppose it (though, alas, no sex workers):

…The Global Alliance Against Traffic In Women makes the case that by focusing on the sex trade, authorities are taking resources that could be used to investigate [actual crimes]…there are signs that the Super Bowl Sex-Trafficking Myth might be splintering.  Minal Davis, the special adviser to the [Houston] mayor on human trafficking, believes that the “sensationalistic” approach at previous Super Bowls “hurts the messaging” and minimizes the severity…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised the “forced sex trafficking abortions” trope didn’t catch on:

Any woman seeking an abortion in South Dakota would have to be given the name and telephone number of an [anti-sex worker] organization…under a measure introduced…[by] Dan Kaiser…[who pretends] the idea is…an educational measure that might help get women out of dangerous and violent situations…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#563)

The biggest problem with these stupid “like Uber for sex workers” apps is that their developers don’t bother to consult any actual sex workers while developing them:

A new app…aims to make it easier and safer for sex workers to meet their clients…While sex work is legal in some Australian states, there are a number of risks for both parties.  Rendevu hopes to solve that problem.  Developer Reuben Coppa said sex workers could list themselves on the application list, show when they were working, what type of appointments they were taking and their price points…Both clients and escorts can write and read reviews about their experience.  The app also tracks location and requires credit card details…[to] guarantee the amount of the booking…So far, traffic on the app has been high but the number of bookings has been fewer than expected — there have been about 100 since the launch…

O, Canada! (#617)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

…in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area…girls are recruited at school by young males and taken to local motels or condominiums, where they engage in sex work.  Most continue to live at home…[prohibitionist] Katarina MacLeod [parrots,] “You have these guys making regular girls feel special, buying them things and taking them shopping…[The men] know exactly how to build dependence…Girls as young as 13 are getting recruited in”…

The More the Better (#667) 

The law is an ass, and so is this judge:

Claims that First Lady Melania Trump worked as a high-end…escort before she married businessman, billionaire and now President Donald Trump will be argued over in a Maryland court…[after] a Montgomery County judge ruled that Melania Trump’s $150 million defamation lawsuit against a Clarksburg blogger will continue to trial, saying the blog posts implied she acted as a prostitute…”The court believes most people, when they hear the words ‘high-end escort’ that describes a prostitute.  There could be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute”…

Fuck you. Judge Sharon Burrell; there are far worse things a woman can be than a prostitute, such as a hypocritical and prudish politician.

The Crumbling Dam (#668)

Alas, Seattle “officials” think harm reduction principles only apply to drug use:

Officials in Seattle…approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year.  The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe.  Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y.  While [prohibitionists] say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment…

The War Goes On 

Here’s a constantly-updated spreadsheet of sex worker advertising sites; I can’t speak for its contents, but the more resources for sex workers impacted by the censorship of Backpage, the better.

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The bedroom or the dungeon is a place where, with consenting partners, we are allowed to act out power games, even childish ones.
–  Mistress Matisse

Do As I Say, Not As I Do rapey-cop-tyler-valimont

Even cops who pay whores may use threats to obtain compliance:

[Pennsylvania cop] Tyler Valimont…faces five misdemeanor charges…[for meeting a sex worker]…Valimont threatened to arrest her if she didn’t respond to his calls and text messages…during their encounter on November 7, she recognized Valimont as a past customer who paid her…in September…

King of the Hill

Small cities not ambitious enough to claim one of the top spots in the “trafficking hotspot” pissing contest still make ridiculous claims about numbers, “circuits”, highways and the inability of women to drive or make hotel reservations:

Omaha is known as a hot spot for human trafficking.  It is located on the same routes drug dealers have been using for years.  “The traffickers are on a circuit and traveling down I-80 and that’s evidenced by the ads posted in Denver one day, Omaha the next day, then Chicago and to New York City, Washington, D.C. and then on to Philadelphia,” said Anna Brewer…a former FBI agent…”The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative has identified over 2,200 human beings for sale in Omaha”…

Against Their Will (#315)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A 31-year-old Vietnamese woman fell to her death when she was believed to have slipped while trying to leap from one building to the next in a bid to escape from [Malaysian vice cops]…The raiding team…[still had the nerve to refer to three women they] successfully [arrested as] rescued…

Sex Rays

Don’t they know sex ray contamination can last for decades?

For several years there has been a succession of stories suggesting that the imposing Armory building in [San Francisco] was slowly being relinquished by its owner, BDSM porn concern Kink.com…CEO Peter Acworth…says that all film shoots at the Armory will be ending next month as the company diversifies its interests a bit, and moves to reuse the 200,000-square-foot building for other, revenue-generating ends…the business can no longer support the huge facility they purchased a decade ago…because…Kink.com’s subscriber base has shrunk by 40 percent in this age of plentiful free porn…Acworth now says he’s looking to convert the top two floors to leasable office space…but [potential tenants]…have been turned off after seeing the remnants of Kink’s oeuvre around the building…and have backed out…

Broken Record (All Traffick, All the Time)

Poor Tucson; its only big event to claim as a “sex trafficking magnet” is jaw-droppingly absurd:

…the Tucson Police Department and [sex trafficking fetishists]…are coming together to go over their plan to tackle the underground crime before the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins…[they fantasize] sex traffickers cater to the high demand that comes with the event…[bureaucrat Sheila] Pessinguia…[says] “They don’t self-identify and even when we have a real good feeling that they are trafficked they still don’t admit it”…

Because the feelings of pigs & politicians trump reality.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#440) 

These establishments wouldn’t have to “hide” if sex work were decriminalized in Victoria:

Hundreds of illegal brothels, many of which offer unsafe sexual practices and put women’s safety at risk, are operating across Melbourne…police admit the sheer size of the industry makes it difficult to investigate…the majority of illegal brothels operated under the guise of massage shops, with others in homes, beauty salons and karaoke bars…

Original Sin (#449)

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A delegation from the U.S. state of Louisiana was among the special guests meeting with Pope Francis during his general audience on [January 18th].  Led by Governor John Bel Edwards, the delegation asked the Pope to bless the pioneering work that is going on in Louisiana to prevent human trafficking and to protect victims who’ve been trapped in this modern day slavery.  That work includes [lots more money to promote police violence]…

Moving Pictures tricked-fakeumentary-poster

It’s good to see them feeding on each other:

A child sex-trafficking victim who was forced into prostitution by her mother and later identified by a Denver police officer in a [fake]umentary about the sex trade is suing the filmmaker and Netflix for distributing it, according to a federal lawsuit.  Using the pseudonym Jane Roe, the woman said Denver Police Sgt. Daniel Steele identified her by her first name in the 2013 film Tricked and showed a photograph of her during an interview…The film also used her full name in its list of credits…

Paint By Numbers (#620)

The “anti-trafficking hair color” idiots are still at it:

A splash of color in your hair can start a conversation – and with the topic of sex trafficking, that can [magically] make a real difference.  That’s the hope of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, teaming up with a local barber shop for sex trafficking awareness month…

To Molest and Rape

Note how the reporter tries to downplay the cop’s implied threats against the girl:

A Chicago [cop] accused of [pressuring]…an underage girl [for sex] has been charged with felony criminal sexual assault…Eugene Ciardullo…began communicating with the victim and her friends via social media when she was 16…

Worse Than I Thought (#644)

“Sex trafficking” laws keep getting broader and scarier:

Attempting to pay for sex could become a felony offense in Connecticut…Liz Linehan introduced a bill that would take the crime of “patronizing a prostitute” from a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one year in prison, to a Class C felony, which comes with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and a possible 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.  Linehan’s measure would also require anyone convicted of the offense more than once to register as a sex offender…Connecticut is currently in the midst of rolling out another prostitution-related measure…[requiring] all hotel and motel employees…to undergo training on how to spot…”activities related to human trafficking.”  But like so many “human trafficking awareness” shams, the hotel-employee training really only encourages people to report any and all suspected prostitution…

Elephant in the Parlor (#706)  

My friend Mistress Matisse weighs in on the Trump golden shower report:

“When I first saw the document, I was on the fence about it…But then I saw the press conference where Trump denied the story by saying ‘I’m a germaphobe.’  When I saw that, I thought ‘Oh yeah, then you definitely did it.’ Because that’s an irrational fear.  And nothing makes already-taboo things sexier than a tinge of trepidation”…

The War Goes On (#706) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to misogynistic sociopaths like Dart:

The ads for prostitutes and escorts that previously appeared in Backpage’s adult section have simply been redirected to the site’s “dating” section, which has gone from being a platform for finding companionship online to a forum rife with solicitations for sex.  “There’s been this big to-do with Backpage saying they’ve taken down this site,” said Dart, noting he was immediately skeptical of the company’s statements and motives…”they’ve taken down their escorts section but have basically moved all their ads over to another section of the website…We went out and arrested a person off the site…We answered one of their ads and it was no different”…

Yes, he’s actually saying Backpage moved the ads because he can’t comprehend women being intelligent enough to work around the stupid proclamations of he and his fellow control freaks.  Note also that he let his “whores are victims” mask slip by admitting he arrested (not “rescued”) a sex worker.

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This is neanderthal policing based on hysteria and headline-chasing.  –  Alex Feis-Bryce

Real People 

What’s “shocking” is that some people are so ignorant they actually think it’s “shocking” that sex workers are mostly normal people with mostly normal lives:

Jess Lang…talks about her life before becoming an escort — twice divorced, former fundamentalist Christian.  She…admits most people who know her wouldn’t be surprised to learn of her profession.  Jess seems like the furthest thing from a desperate girl selling her body under the coercion of a pimp.  She is…a middle-class escort who loves what she does and makes good money doing it…a growing international alliance of sex workers [is] calling for the rest of society to understand their work, decriminalize it, and give them the same labor rights as people in other jobs…

Bottleneck

The narrower the neck, the more “illegal” sex work there will be:

In the 2015–2016 financial year, five of Queensland’s brothels shut their doors, bringing the number of licensed brothels down to 22.  This is the lowest it’s been in a decade…it’s not just the state of the economy that’s affecting sex workers.  It’s the way Queensland licenses its brothels…Annual license fees…are…about $35,000, and each manager has to be licensed up as well, which costs $1,000 each…brothels can only have a maximum of five rooms and eight workers on shift at any one time.  In comparison, the limit is six rooms in Victoria, but brothels that were established before 1995 are allowed to have more…Not only are Queensland’s brothels paying more, with less staff to make money, but they’re also prohibited from offering…outcall…services, losing a large proportion of business to private sex workers.  Victorian brothels are allowed to offer such services.  So while Queensland’s licensed brothels are closing, more and more workers are turning to private work…

Monkey Business capuchin-monkey-tools

So much for human uniqueness:

Monkeys have been observed producing sharp stone flakes that closely resemble the earliest known tools made by our ancient relatives, proving that this ability is not uniquely human…archaeologists…can no longer assume that stone flakes they discover are linked to the deliberate crafting of tools by early humans…Unlike early humans, the flakes produced by the capuchins were the unintentional byproduct of hammering stones…the monkeys appeared to be seeking out the quartz dust produced by smashing the rocks, possibly because it has a nutritional benefit…monkeys…selected rounded quartz hammer stones …[then] pounded their chosen stone on embedded quartz cobbles and then licked the quartz dust that this produced.  They made no attempts to use the sharp fragments and showed no interest in them…

Blunt Instrument

I wonder how many happy endings these brave heroes got during their “investigation”?

Hollywood [Florida] police arrested 24 women at 20 different locations this week in a prostitution sting targeting massage parlors.  During the five-month investigation called Operation Red Light, undercover detectives said they found evidence that the women were performing sexual acts on customers in exchange for payment.  All of the women face charges of prostitution, practicing without a license and misrepresenting themselves as a licensed massage therapist.  Two of the massage parlor owners, Giselle Guo…and Yan Zheng…also face bribery charges…Hollywood police Chief Tomas Sanchez [vomited onto reporters]…”These massage parlors breed other criminal activities, including human and sex trafficking, drug sales and money laundering”…

The End of the Beginning 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether North Carolina can ban registered sex offenders from using social media websites and other sites that allow minors to have accounts…Lester Packingham…was…found…guilty [of violating the ban] in May 2012…He appealed, and in 2013 the North Carolina Court of Appeals vacated…[the] conviction…finding…the law…unconstitutional…[then] a divided North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the appeals court a year ago…

Secret Squirrel (#421)

Conditioning kids to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…is pushing to develop…biometric devices wrapped around the wrists of students [to] identify which classroom moments excite and interest them…Gates officials hope the devices, known as Q Sensors, can become a common classroom tool, enabling teachers to see, in real time, which kids are tuned in and which are zoned out…Skeptics…call the technology creepy and say good teachers already know when their students are engaged.  Plus, they say it’s absurd to think spikes in teenagers’ emotional arousal necessarily correspond to learning…

I don’t usually feature four-year-old items, but I made an exception in this case.

Worse Than I Thought (#597)

Backpage’s loss here may actually be a kind of win, since the court specifically stated that the SAVE Act doesn’t apply to regular escort ads:

A federal judge…threw out Backpage.com’s claim that the U.S. attorney general is enforcing an unconstitutional law against [sex work] advertising…Backpage challenged the constitutionality of the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act…[because] it feared prosecution if it did not comply with the law by removing the “adult” category from its website…U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton…said the company lacks standing.  “Backpage.com has not presented evidence that Congress sought to eliminate all advertisements of a sexual nature…through the adoption of the SAVE Act; rather, the legislation is directed only at those advertisements concerning illegal sex trafficking”…Backpage has said it screens, blocks and removes such content…[so] it cannot allege that it would be burdened by compliance measures in this case.  Backpage attorney Robert Corn-Revere portrayed the ruling as a sort of win for his client.  “We are gratified that the court recognized that prosecution…requires actual knowledge that criminal activity is going on”…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops sue news media for revealing that they’re rapists:

A year after CBC Radio-Canada reported allegations of police sexually and physically abusing Aboriginal women in Val-d’Or, Quebec, the broadcaster is getting sued for $2.3 million…forty [cops] have filed the defamation lawsuit claiming [that the truth]…reporting upset their relationship with the community and tainted the reputation of the [cops] who [didn’t get caught]…The Provincial Police Association of Quebec [is] funding the lawsuit…The report uncovered two decades of…sexual abuse against…women [who]…were beaten and raped by the [cops]…

The Course of a Disease (#663)

Truth from a politician is even rarer than a denunciation of prohibition in Ireland:

A Fine Gael minister has caused outrage by [stating] there is nothing wrong with lonely men finding affection in the arms of a prostitute…And he dismissed Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald’s plans to criminalise hookers and clients as something that “doesn’t work…We don’t have the resources to police the women and certainly don’t have resources to police the much larger number of men…where you are talking about a lonely chap who wants to go out and spend his money to have a physical relationship because he’s got a need, there’s nothing wrong with that’’…

It’s a measure of the sickness of Western society that such an obviously-true statement could cause “outrage”.

Send In the Clowns 

We’re probably nearing the end of this year’s clown panic, and that’s kind of sad:

On 12 October 2016, the Facebook page “Clown Hunters” published a post warning that clowns may be “planning their own purge the night before Halloween…Stay inside, keep all pets inside and keep all doors and windows locked”…Despite having all the hallmarks of an opportunistic social media hoax predicated on contemporaneous purported clown sightings, close to half a million users directly shared the post within 48 hours of its appearance…Missing from most versions of the rumor were details about how information on the clown purge was obtained, how the clowns might be organizing among themselves, whether the clown purge threat was localized or widespread, or indication that any credible entity believed such a thing was possible or likely.  The rumor was a variation on cyclically viral general “purgerumors spurred on by social media panics in specific areas, often occurring around Halloween…no outbreak of widespread crime has ever followed them…Unlike previous viral purge panics, we haven’t been able to find any indication that police in any jurisdiction have even bothered to address the clown purge rumors…

Whatever They Need To Say (#684)

Frankie Mullin on the recent Soho & Chinatown raids:

…A [cop mouthpiece pretended]…that the operation was “launched specifically in response to concerns raised by sex workers themselves”…[but in reality it was] “concern”…from…[prohibitionist NGOs masquerading as] charities…In 2013, the justification for the raids was, again, trafficking.  But no evidence of trafficking was found.  After a series of court cases and public outcry, 18 of the 20 closed flats were reopened…definitions of trafficking conflict with common sense understandings of the term.  It’s deemed “irrelevant whether the victim consents to the travel”.  No coercion is necessary, meaning any undocumented migrant worker in the UK is fair game to be “rescued” as a trafficking victim…the Met…confiscated £35,000, bagged it up and, in the style of the best teenage Instagram gangsters, released trophy pictures to the press…

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Prostitutes are far more honest, sincere, humane, compassionate and better bang-for-buck than [a politician] will ever be able to deliver.  –  Jacqui LambiePALMER UNITED PARTY 2013

The Biggest Whores

Only in Australia would a politician follow this insult with this apology:

…Senator [Jacqui] Lambie compared [Cory] Bernardi’s outrage to a “prostitute lecturing us about the benefits of celibacy…Before I receive unfair criticism from the sex workers, I apologise to them profusely for comparing them to Senator Bernardi – I know that is a really terrible low-down thing to do”…

Think of the Children! 

Yes, this article actually equates sex workers with child molesters and murderers.  Because THE CHILDREN!!!

A total of 3450 brazen individuals with 9960 convictions applied to become teachers in the past year, with the criminals, many of whom would have served jail-time for their crimes, weeded out through extensive background checks….27 [had] convictions for indecent assault…one…with a manslaughter conviction…17 [had] counts of prostitution…[and] three convictions for possessing obscene material…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops, you’re allowed to RAPE us, but not to obtain consent:  “A [New Jersey cop] has been charged with soliciting a prostitute while on duty…William H. Dick III….[also tried to subvert a witness]…

Dirty Amateurs

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

…Since 2011, the gonorrhea rate in [Utah] “has increased substantially,” according to the CDC.  We’re talking a fivefold increase to 49 cases per 100,000 people…To put this in perspective, though, the national rate is 110.7 cases per 100,000 people…At the same time, gonorrhea rates among men who report having sex with men has consistently gone down since 2009…Utah’s sex education stresses abstinence and does not require teachers to provide information about…condoms…

Welcome To Our World (#15)

Another rape victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

A former guard at Oregon’s only women’s prison is awaiting trial on accusations that he [raped] an inmate – but it’s the…victim in the case who’s in jail.  Washington County Circuit Judge Charles Bailey this week ordered that the 41-year-old woman remain in custody on a material witness hold because of the state’s fear that she won’t show up to testify at the Oct. 4 trial…she’s been held since Aug. 16.  Brian Balzer, the [rapist jailer]…who faces two felony charges, was arrested last December, posted bail and has been free since…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Buried lede:  the pigs stole $26,000 from citizens & spent it on strippers:

Greenville County [South Carolina] paid a private law firm nearly $80,000 to assist the Solicitor’s Office in litigation against a strip club accused…as part of [a] settlement in which the sides agreed to the six-month shutdown…[politicians pretended] the nightclub would no longer operate as a sexually-oriented business when it reopened.  However, Platinum Plus dancers almost immediately started to [do their jobs when the club re-opened]…Judge Charles Simmons [of course] ruled in favor of the [state] and imposed another six-month shutdown of the strip club…In 2014, undercover deputies started a yearlong investigation into Platinum Plus.  Deputies spent $26,000 in drug seizure money at the strip club during the investigation…

Imagination Pinned Down

“Unbelievably” is a good adverb for nearly every sentence in this fantasy:

Sex trafficking is a terrible reality in Middle Tennessee…As she clutched a teddy bear, the woman said she is afraid to be identified “because he’s still out there, because I didn’t have the courage to press charges when this all happened”…She met her trafficker when she was just 15 years old…He served prison time but came back into her life when she was 27, now divorced with a young daughter.  She thought he had changed.  “It took me a while to put together that he was drugging my drinks…The type of people that would purchase me… It would be the most sadistic of the sadistic…The ones where the more you cried and the more you screamed, the more they enjoyed it”…One time she tried to resist by slamming a door in her husband’s face.  “The next thing I remember, after that I remember waking up and my daughter was screaming…there were a lot of people in my house I didn’t know.”  She then realized she had been out two entire weeks…“I had 14 wounds stitched up with fishing wire.”  She believes those cuts, all over her chest, were most likely the result of  blood-letting ritual…“When we got married, he was holding a knife to my back in the courthouse…As a reward for being pregnant, he sold me to a man who tied me to a tree for three days”…She survived that, and unbelievably gave birth to a healthy baby…

Traffic in Nonsense (#508)

Quickly becoming one of the stupidest tropes of the whole panic:

…Attorney General Ken Paxton came to San Antonio to announce a coalition to encourage truckers to become the eyes and ears that identify and catch human trafficking on the state’s roadways…truck stops and roadside motels can be hotspots for…modern day slavery.  And truckers are often the first people to notice it…Texas ranks second worst in the country for reports of human trafficking…“It could be an RV or a van pulled up outside the truck stops,” said Kylla Lanier…[of] Truckers Against Trafficking.  “They might also see branding tattoos.  We’ve had a lot of victims that have had their pimp’s name tattooed on them, or a dollar sign, ‘daddy’s money maker,’ things of that nature”…

The Widening Gyre (#632)

Nothing happened; film at 11!

[While shopping in a grocery store] “I noticed a couple that seemed rather close to me.  Wherever I went they followed in the same pattern”…Fearing that they were being stalked, [Amy] McCloud purposely started wandered [sic] to different aisles, watching their behavior.  “My mommy instincts were alerted and so I kept an eye on this couple…And I just kept going through the store.  And when I went to the checkout they were right there.”  McCloud and her daughter headed for the coffee shop inside the store, sat down and waited until the man and woman left…

Her “mommy instincts”?  More like “herd instinct”, going along with the hysteria du jour.

Worse Than I Thought (#638)

Watch for escorts to be prosecuted for “trafficking” themselves under this law:

Missouri is adding new measures to its sex trafficking crime bill…[which] will now include the advertising of a human trafficking victim for sex or pornography production…Emily van Schenkhof…of Missouri KidsFirst task force, hopes this will lead to more prosecutions in the state…“there have only been seven state prosecutions of trafficking offenses in the history of Missouri,” she says…

Yes folks, that’s a rescue industry profiteer complaining that there isn’t enough coercion to suit her.

To Molest and Rape rapist cop James Blair

Just protecting and serving, you know?

A North Carolina cop impregnated a 14-year-old girl while mentoring her in an attempt to prove that “policemen are good”…James Paul Blair…is…in jail on a charge of statutory rape…The girl’s mother said she was reluctant to allow Blair to become friendly with her daughter after she had run away, but allowed it because she had trust in police.  Besides, her daughter wanted to be a cop when she got older…After learning her daughter was pregnant, the mother confronted the cop who admitted everything.  He also told her he wanted the girl to have an abortion to save his own skin.  But the girl’s mother said she does not believe in abortion…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#656) 

You know you’re in a moral panic when

It’s weird enough trying to shoehorn Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal into a parable about online pornography.  But what makes this Wall Street Journal op-ed truly bizarre is its co-author:  icon of ’80s fantasy Pamela Anderson…there’s no evidence Weiner’s problems were related to online pornography, or that he even consumed it regularly…while people have cheated on their spouses, sent ill-advised erotic communications, and gotten-off on exhibitionism for centuries, folks for some reason want to believe that online porn is the culprit for Weiner and his kinky contemporaries…Anderson [and her pearl-clutching ghostwriter Schmuley] Boteach [bloviate]…”we are a guinea-pig generation for an experiment in mass debasement that few of us would have ever consented to, and whose full nefarious impact may not be known for years…the incidence of porn addiction will only spiral as the children now being raised in an environment of wall-to-wall, digitized sexual images become adults inured to intimacy and in need of even greater graphic stimulation.  They are the crack babies of porn.”  The crack babies of porn! (So… a media-hyped panic that turned out to be way overblown?)…

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Adults with critical thinking abilities realize they aren’t entitled to treat other people like characters in a dream sequence.  –  Anonymous

Deadbeats

I can’t emphasize this enough: Don’t try to get freebies from sex workers.  Seriously.

If you’re trying to date or hook up with someone you know from their work in escorting or porn, without paying them, your chances of success are close to zero…It may come as a shock to hear this.  You may feel like sexual attraction is only part of the connection you have with this worker, and that paying would deny the authenticity of that.  Or maybe you think that you are a really good (looking) person and only creepy or unattractive people pay.  Maybe both you and the sex worker are queer and/or have similar politics.  You know sex workers and are down with decriminalization.  There are many reasons you may feel you are exceptional.  You are operating under a basic misunderstanding of who we are and what we are doing…

Lack of Evidence

In which China aspires to be more like the US:

…Condoms have come to play a central role in police activity around sex work. …[cops] stop sex workers on the street, open their bags, and search for condoms; they burst into rooms to look for condoms in wastebaskets, beds, and quilts; and they even remove the trousers of clients in order to find condoms.  Police raid rooms rented by sex workers, as well as bars and massage parlors…Unsurprisingly, the danger of detention for carrying condoms discourages sex workers from using them…

Moloch

Don’t say I didn’t tell you before:

My piece in today’s New York Post will probably surprise folks who think the sex offender registry is filled with middle-aged men arrested for luring kids into white vans with the promise of puppies…But in fact, the most common age that people are charged with a sex offense is 14…because people tend to have sex with people around their own age…And much under-age sex is illegal…Of course, recognizing that young people experiment would require politicians and law enforcement to also recognize that people can do dumb things, even sexual things, and not be irredeemable monsters. Right now, that’s not a big political talking point.  So instead, over one fourth of the people we label “sex offenders” get that name when they themselves are juveniles.  Considering the registry has over 800,000 people on it, we’re talking about more than 200,000 people who get put on the list while they are in middle school or high school…

Above the Law  

Judge orders jury to find an “authority” not guilty of rape.  What a surprise!

…Judge Keenan Johnson directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of coercion after ruling that the prosecution had not established that complainant had been intimidated.  He stressed that he was making no determination on the truthfulness of either the accused, Andrew Gilmartin…or the complainant Martha Rooney…[who] alleged that the defendant [demanded] oral sex in return for her not being prosecuted for fraud…Gilmartin…was charged with intimidating Ms Rooney with a view to compelling her to do an act which she had a lawful right to abstain from doing…

Broken Record boat race

The “big events” that supposedly attract “sex trafficking” grow ever sillier:

As revelers gather for the Tri-City Water Follies this week…A church-based nonprofit is teaming with Tri-City hoteliers to train staff to recognize and report human trafficking rings that bring minors to town…during special events.  The Stop Under Age Domestic Sex Trafficking Project or SUDS is a five-year effort by Mirror Ministries… “Boat race weekend is our largest weekend. Every hotel is packed,” said Tricia MacFarlan, executive director…

Gingerbread House

Remember, “safe house” is a euphemism for “prison”.  These girls are not allowed to “transition” out until their keepers declare they are:

Freedom Place…[confines] minor girls who had been [arrested for doing sex work]…With Texas reporting the second highest sex trafficking rate in the United States and Houston considered one of its largest hubs…According to [prohibitionist propaganda] nearly all prostitution is involuntary and, legally in Texas, is considered to be the result of coercion for minors…

Calling a prison “Freedom Place” is about as Orwellian a touch as one could imagine.

Dirty Laundry

People need to be frequently reminded of what Ruhama actually is:

The Magdalene Laundries might have closed, but sex workers are not safe from Irish Sisters at all.  The nuns simply regrouped, renamed themselves and are still harming prostitutes…Ruhama does not offer any actual help to sex workers who need help.  Rescue organisations and anti-prostitution NGO’s rarely do,they mostly make money by “raising awareness”, abusing prostitutes, receiving money from governments and providing “education” to health professionals and policy makers.  But it seems they haven’t killed any babies.  Yet.  So, you know, that’s something…

The Prudish Giant (#414)

Note that this was accomplished via the usual whorearchical line-drawing:

…Patreon has been hard at work on behalf of its adult content creators, trying to win back what they lost.  And on July 12, Patreon sent an email to users announcing a PayPal about-face: “We were able to convince PayPal, or more specifically their subsidiary Braintree, that Adult Content creators on Patreon are not a serious risk.  Our content policy, and the nature of subscription payments, means that Adult Content creators on Patreon are less risky than most creators making adult content.”  Patreon’s adult creators, both PayPal and Patreon believe, will generate few chargebacks or fraud allegations, making the financial hazards to the payment processor negligible…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised this has taken so long to catch on.  Note how closely it resembles “sex trafficking” propaganda tactics:

A Texas GOP lawmaker has teamed up with an anti-choice organization to raise awareness about the supposed prevalence of forced or coerced abortion, which critics say is “wildly divorced from reality”…Molly White…[wants cops to intervene]…when [someone claims] a pregnant person is being forced to terminate a pregnancy…Allan Parker, the president of The Justice Foundation, a “Christian faith-based organization” that represents clients in lawsuits related to conservative political causes…alleges that the majority of those who have abortions may be forced or coerced…“I would would say coerced or forced abortion range from 25 percent to 60 percent”…This statistic is found in a 2004 study about abortion and traumatic stress that was co-authored by David Reardon, Vincent Rue, and Priscilla Coleman, all of whom are among the handful of doctors and scientists whose research is often promoted by anti-choice activists…Other research suggests far fewer pregnant people are coerced into having an abortion.  Less than 2 percent of women surveyed in 1987 and 2004 reported that a partner or parent wanting them to abort was the most important reason they sought the abortion, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute

Full of Themselves (#533) 

I wonder if any of them recognize how pathetic their denials sound to us?

…KT Coates, president of the International Pole Sports Federation…wants to see pole sport included in the Olympics, although she admits that is probably a long way off.  It isn’t yet recognised by SportAccord, the umbrella body for sports federations, but Coates says that is “only around the corner”…There are rules aimed at moving pole sport away from its strip-club shadows – costumes can’t be too skimpy, and there are no sexualised moves (no gyrating, hair flicking or grinding).  “If someone got on stage and did that, the whole crowd would be in shock,” says Coates.  “We’re not embarrassed of our history, it’s just that [pole sport] is a polar opposite.”  Are there competitors here who work in strip clubs?  “No. I don’t know a single one.  These are athletes.  You are not going to get someone who does exotic dance doing the world sports championships – it just does not overlap.  We have the same apparatus, but it’s not the same thing”…

Crying for Nanny (#570)

Pro-censorship morons are still trying to destroy the entire internet:

In the last year, Backpage won two significant victories in battles stemming from adult ads on its online classifieds service.  Now, the losing parties both hope the Supreme Court will review the decisions.  In one case, lawyers for a group of [soi-disant] teen sex-trafficking victims recently took the first step toward asking the Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit accusing Backpage of facilitating crime through the design of its online classifieds site…A second battle involving Backpage that could reach the Supreme Court involves Sheriff Thomas Dart of Cook County, Illinois. Last November, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order prohibiting him from attempting to influence credit card companies to stop working with Backpage…

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

The answer to the titular question: “Because it doesn’t actually exist as such”.

…a cancer…is metastasizing across the country:  Violent pimps and sex traffickers use online services like Backpage to exploit and profit off of unwilling victims.  To avoid detection, those creating the listings often use code words or phrases.  “New to town,” for example, is typically code for listing a teenager.  According to a recent U.S. Senate subcommittee report, Backpage enables this sort of behavior rather than preventing it.  While Backpage’s terms of of use and guidelines claim that they do not allow for bartering of sex or sexual services, let alone those of children, the committee charges that Backpage does little to prevent it…the subcommittee has subpoenaed the head of the website, Carl Ferrer.  Ferrer has refused to submit to the subpoena, arguing that Backpage is protected under the First Amendment…

This is plenty enough to give you the tone of this exercise in virulent anti-whore yellow journalism.

An Example To the West (#626) 

More on EMPOWER’s sex work museum:

…This Is Us tells the history and lives of sex workers in Thailand.  Inside the museum, which displays in one room, visitors can find a dance platform with a metal pole, a minibar, a karaoke machine, a bath tub, condoms, sex toys, a boxing ring and more — all with the stories of how the prostitution industry in Thailand has evolved over the years.  From brothels out of the Ayutthaya period to go-go bars, coyote bars, aab ob nuad (bath houses) and more, this museum collects and displays ideas rather than merely “old stuff”, as the foundation’s director puts it…

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The first seats at the table ought to be reserved for those from the sex work community– and everyone else should listen.  –  Benjamin L. Corey

Droit du Seigneur Milton Anthony

Not quite a rapist cop, but bad enough:

An Oklahoma sheriff requested a sexual relationship with one of his female employees in exchange for hiring her husband…Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Carter County Sheriff Milton Anthony at his office [on June 1st]…The female employee’s husband was hired shortly after the sexual contact started, and sexual contact between the sheriff and the employee continued for several months…When the woman tried to end the contact, Anthony allegedly insinuated he would alter her work hours and even fire her and her husband if she did not continue with their agreement.  The woman began saving the sheriff’s texts and recorded a conversation between her and the sheriff in April…

One Born Every Minute

I strongly suspect that these rapists are the same ones discussed in the original of this title:

…a Jane Doe plaintiff sued Internet Brands, parent company of popular networking site Model Mayhem, alleging that the site’s operators had violated California state law by failing to notify Model Mayhem users of the very real risk that they could be targeted by…a pair of…sex offenders that the plaintiff claims Internet Brands had known about for years before they — under the pretense of being a “talent scout” — lured her to Florida, where she was allegedly drugged and raped in Feb. 2011…the pair had been at this scheme for around five years, using Model Mayhem as a hunting ground for victims; not only sexually violating…[them] but then allegedly distributing video of the acts…the plaintiff points to a 2010 lawsuit filed by Internet Brands against the original owners for allegedly failing to disclose the potential for civil suits arising from the activities of these particular rapists…“Posting or emailing such a warning could be deemed an act of publishing information, but [the Communications Decency Act] bars only liability that treats a website as a publisher or speaker of content provided by somebody else,” reads the ruling.  “A post or email warning that Internet Brands generated would involve only content that Internet Brands itself produced”…This ruling…determines that the lawsuit against the company can move forward…

Universal Criminality

That whole “freedom of speech” thing was nice while it lasted:

Lancaster [Pennsylvania] police arrested 13 people after a recent crackdown on prostitution…12 men solicited an undercover Lancaster police officer posing as a prostitute during the sting…Charde Clawges…was charged with obstructing administration of the law because she approached the undercover officer and began yelling that she knew the woman was a police officer.  Police said Clawges and the undercover officer had prior contact…

Worse Than I Thought

“Sex trafficking” laws keep getting broader and scarier:

…advocates against…sex trafficking of minors, are celebrating the passage of [a draconian new Connecticut law]…Public Act No. 16-71 will require [hotels] to keep records of their guests’ receipts and transactions for a minimum of six months after the guest has vacated.  [Indoctrination] programs will be recommended for staff at hotels and motels to learn to identify the signs of human trafficking and report the suspected crimes…The [law] now [requires] a mandatory $2,000 fine for convicted buyers of sex and an automatic $2,000 fine for those who [hire] a sex worker in a motor vehicle…accused buyers…cannot…claim…that they did not know the age of the sex worker to avoid harsher penalties that come with trafficking minors…

Legitimate Outrage

Being an ignoramus is no impediment to a career in politics:

Another Republican lawmaker suggested women and girls are unlikely to become pregnant from rape or incest.  Idaho State Rep. Pete Nielson…expressed his doubts that post-rape pregnancies were medically possible…“It is a logical conclusion that any woman who got pregnant after such a despicable and gruesome act must have, in fact, enjoyed it even on a small scale, which eventually led to the obvious consequences…the brain and our emotions affect our bodies.  So, when a woman gets raped, if she experiences that as a trauma, she doesn’t get pregnant.  And you can say what you want, but when she does get pregnant after such a crime, that undoubtedly means that she liked it at some point, regardless of how strange or unbelievable that sounds.  Medicine and biology don’t lie.  They just don’t.”

Grow the Hell Up! (#139)

The bullshit is so deep in this, you’ll need waders to get through it:

…Up until her 18th birthday, that would have made Lexi a sex slave and the hotel sting her emancipation.  A social worker would have been summoned and the man who booked the room arrested for human trafficking.  But Lexi’s 20 now—too old to rescue unless she asks.  Instead, she’s cited for prostitution…Women and children involved in prostitution are now seen as victims instead of criminals…A vice squad goes after prostitutes.  A human trafficking unit looks for slaves and their captors…San Jose specifically has received annual grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 to pay for police overtime pay, cameras, binoculars, night vision monoculars, cellphones and phone number-reset software, body wire and other equipment for undercover ops…When a sting nets an adult instead of a minor, he adds, sometimes they just let them go…Still…commercial sex breaks laws police have sworn to uphold, so they can’t let them walk every time…

Traffic Circle (#429)

Theologian Benjamin Corey is quickly distinguishing himself as one of Christianity’s most outspoken sex worker allies:

…the stories of those in the sex work community are individual, varied, nuanced and complex, and do not line up with some prefabricated narrative where one size fits all…far too many in the anti-trafficking movement are not in dialogue with the sex work community…I hear voices expressing feelings of being silenced, discounted, stigmatized, ignored, and even parented by strangers who think they know what’s best for them– without even knowing them or their individual stories…What is happening today in the anti-trafficking/anti-sex industry movement would be offensive in any other context.  It’s a form of moral colonialism:  “Oh, hey– I’m here, I have moral objections to how you’re living, and I know exactly how your life needs to change without even listening to your story.”  The only reason why it’s tolerated in this context is because of the stigmatization associated with the sex industry– one that is often perpetuated by the very people who claim they want to help…

Dr. Corey’s work also appeared in this blog earlier this year when he debunked the “gypsy whores” myth.

All-Purpose Excuse

When men get caught in some kind of sexual misbehavior, the usual excuse is “sex addiction”.  I really hope “sex trafficking” doesn’t start providing an equivalent excuse for women:

The 15-year-old girl had only been a student at South Fort Myers High School…for two weeks when she went looking for her new crush in the boys’ bathroom.  She’d spent the prior two years in and out of treatment facilities…learning to cope with the horrors of the sex slave industry into which she had been trafficked at age 13.  So when…her crush…asked her for sex…[she] agreed.  But…someone started filming, and over the next hour as many as 25 male students were shown on school surveillance footage passing through the bathroom…Multiple boys had sex with the girl…Sixteen students were disciplined…Though the sex was described as consensual…the girl was not legally old enough to give consent.  And because of her troubled background, the teen’s mother and advocates have said this behavior, called promiscuous by many outraged community members, is actually quite common among sex-trafficking survivors…

Vendetta (#588) 13 billboard

It isn’t just morally-warped billionaires’ money going to vomit anti-whore propaganda all over the landscape, but yours as well:

Not content to spread false sex-work statistics in the media and legislature, Indiana activists and officials have now put up billboard advertisements to promote their anti-fact, anti-prostitution message.  One billboard—emblazoned at the top with “‘She looked 18.’  She’s not”—claims that 13-years-old is “the average age kids are first used in the sex trade.”  Any way you slice it, that’s simply not true: whether we are talking about the average age of entry into prostitution in general or the average age of minors engaging in prostitution, there’s no good evidence to back this assertion and a whole lot to suggest that it’s wrong. Even Polaris Project, arguably the most influential anti-trafficking organization in the United States, says that “this stat is not actually supported by any data“…The misleading ads are made all the more egregious because they’re paid for with taxpayer money.  The billboards were a project of the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force, a group that lists itself on Facebook as a “nonprofit” but is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and headed up by U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.  In addition to billboards, the group’s “Not Buying It” campaign also features ads on city buses and elsewhere…

Book Reviews (#630)

Another good interview with Chester Brown about his new book:

…Brown was last in the public eye in 2011 with Paying for It…a book that generated extreme reactions with its frank and dispassionate treatment of a [controversial] subject…and its advocacy for the rights of sex workers.  “I hadn’t been intending to do any kind of followup (to Paying For It)…I thought I would do a very different book”…Mary Wept Over The Feet of Jesus…is, as planned, a very different book.  Yet it’s a followup too, or at the very least a complementary companion piece.  Going back two thousand years and more in search of the roots of what Brown calls our culture’s “whore phobia,” the new book reinterprets a range of parables and stories from the Old and New Testaments, emerging with a thesis…that “Jesus was arguing that prostitution is a good thing, something that benefits society”…What specifically spurred Brown into writing Mary Wept was an interpretation he read of the enigmatic Parable of the Talents, in which seemingly the least responsible of three slaves entrusted with a master’s fortune – he literally spends his whole stake on prostitutes – gets rewarded…

To Molest and Rape

It’s rare to see a new outlet actually use the word “rape” in reference to a rapist cop:  “An Owenton [Kentucky cop] was arrested [on June 2nd] and charged with first-degree rape…Rufus Shearer…is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center…

Turning Point

Kari Lerum, a UW professor I’ve worked with as an activist, discusses the wrongheadedness of opposition to decriminalization:

…with Amnesty International’s recent unflinching policy recommendation to decriminalize all adult consensual sex work…it is becoming increasingly difficult for naysayers to ignore the well-documented ways that sex workers are harmed by criminalization.  Amnesty’s position is based on many years of empirical research by leading health and human rights researchers, as well as calls by sex workers and advocates…for some individuals, no amount of evidence or logic will change their opinion that sex work is intrinsically wrong.  For them, decriminalizing any form of sex work – including adult consensual encounters – would send the unacceptable message that sex work is a legitimate form of income generation…I ask students to honestly reflect on how their life experiences might shape the way they approach the issue of exchanging sexual services for pay.  At the end of the course I ask students to revisit their feelings.  I have found that when given the opportunity to make space for their feelings and to evaluate the best empirical evidence…most students conclude that adult consensual sex work should be decriminalized…even if they still personally do not “believe” in it…I wish that I could also give this assignment to all policymakers and anti-sex trade activists…

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