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Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

The law shouldn’t stipulate that we’re not allowed to make [personal] choices.  –  Sharon Jennings

Property of the State 

Remember that there have been similar cases in the US, and ever-harsher laws are being passed on the subject:

A woman in El Salvador who became pregnant as a result of rape has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after the death of her stillborn child…Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz became pregnant at the age of 18 but was not aware of it because ”she menstruated regularly”…On 6 April 2016 the teenager felt a severe pain in her stomach and went to the bathroom where she fainted with the pain…The baby…was stillborn but prosecutors argued that it could not be proven the child didn’t die shortly after the birth…

As I’ve pointed out before, this reversal of the burden of proof is becoming more common in sexual matters in the US as well.

Fallen Idol

Not a good move on Deen’s part:

Porn star James Deen has blocked the distribution of a documentary that addresses rape allegations against him, according to a lawsuit filed by the film’s director.  Maria Demopoulos alleges Deen thwarted the film’s distribution…by [stealing] the signed releases from her producer’s office…Demopoulos was hired by Deen’s company, Seven Sins, to direct the documentary in 2015…She was on track to complete a director’s cut…when Deen’s ex-girlfriend, Stoya [and a dozen other women]…accused him of rape…Her producer and a Showtime executive agreed that the film…would have to be re-edited to address the new claims…The producers screened the second version for Deen on July 30, 2016.  He had some requests for changes, but his overall reaction appeared to be positive…However, three months later Deen appeared unannounced at the producer’s…office…and Deen persuaded a production assistant to turn over a binder of signed releases…Deen also asked a post-production staffer for the footage from the film, but the staffer recognized him and refused…Deen then walked out with the binder.  Without the original releases, Demopoulos says the film cannot be shown at film festivals or aired on Showtime…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#599)

In 2011, sex work was re-legalized in Taiwan after ten years of US-style criminalization imposed due to pressure from Washington; however, the pressure has not been relieved, so Taiwanese police still harass sex workers thus:

A total of nine foreign women [whom cops pretend were] forced into prostitution in Taiwan have been [arrested] by Taipei police…during which the alleged mastermind behind the gang was also arrested…The [women] are currently [imprisoned] by…prosecutors…[cops fantasize] the gang…use[d magical] drugs to [mind] control the women, forcing them into prostitution…adding that the [police’s female] victims also included…foreign migrant workers [fleeing from exploitative but legal work contracts]…

Backwards into the Future (#629)

Adult man wearing a costume mansplains professionals’ own job to them:

…Justice Martin Makonese [dismissed a suit by sex worker rights activists in Zimbabwe] which sought an order interdicting police from interfering with [protest] marches…[the judge bizarrely claimed that Zimbabwe is] “an open and democratic society” [while spewing out the following censorious asshattery]…”It is a trade devoid of moral values and is demeaning…if this court allows prostitutes to parade, promote and glorify their trade, other groups…will be encouraged to promote perverse acts…”

The moron then claimed that for sex workers to demand basic human rights further stigmatizes us.

To Molest and Rape 

STOP SAYING “FORMER” COP.  He was not a “former” cop when he committed the rapes:

A…Horry County [South Carolina] police detective [who]…sexually assault[ed] crime victims insists he will reject a plea deal…Allen Large…[raped] multiple women and [sexually assaulted]…the victims of cases he was supposed to be investigating.  Some of those women are rape and domestic violence victims…Large also faces civil lawsuits from women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.  Two of those cases have been [paid off]…

Hard Numbers (#744)

A promising start:  “A bill to decriminalise sex work in South Australia has passed the Upper House…13-8…The bill will now be debated in the Lower House before a conscience vote by MPs…

Cooties (#747)

Despite the popularity of this fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

Crime busters are bidding to free sex slaves from pop-up brothels springing up in Cambridge…many of which house…victims of human trafficking…against their will…women [are] being used as sex slaves within these brothels, with many suffering abuse in the most inhumane conditions…

Though it’s hard to recognize through the layers of cop masturbatory fantasy, what they’re actually talking about is ordinary sex workers using AirBnB rentals.

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#751)

A politician describes my flexible, lucrative job as “undesirable”.  I hope she can hear me laughing:

…Online platform Rendevu has been downloaded by over 2,000 people since launching in Scotland last month and allows users to [book services from sex workers] at the click of a button.  But…[attention-seeking] politician…Sandra White…[said] “It’s quite worrying; it’s like a takeaway menu.  You just get the app, then phone it up and get to take away an escort.  Depending on what the escort is asked to do, it’s really quite disturbing that anyone can access it.  It makes this ‘undesirable’ type of work so available to anyone”…Australian entrepreneur Reuben Coppa founded Rendevu in 2015 and believes the app is a “game changer” for providing a safe space for sex workers…

I’m not sure whose ignorance is more astonishing, Miss “It’s like pizza!” or Mr. “Sex workers had no ability to advertise before my dumb app!”

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#755)

This is another article on that same ridiculous exercise in “sex robot” navel-gazing that we saw in Wednesday’s news column, but it contains this jaw-droppingly stupid rationalization of why the speaker’s personal discomfort with pedophiles owning child-shaped sex toys should trump the obvious benefits of giving people with such desires a harmless way to satisfy their needs:

“Imagine treating racism by letting a bigot abuse a brown robot.  Would that work? Probably not,” Patrick Lin, director of the ethics and emerging sciences group at California Polytechnic State University, told the Responsible Robotics researchers.  “If expressing racist feelings is a cure for them, then we wouldn’t see much racism in the world.”

Yes, this psychological illiterate is actually espousing the dangerous and discredited belief that sexual desires are learned responses, like bigotry.  Presumably he also believes in gay conversion therapy, “john school” and “just say no”, since those harmful brainwashing programs also rely on the belief that psychosexual needs can be “unlearned” or “gotten over”.  Obviously, expressing queer or kinky feelings isn’t a cure for them either, so we should just ban all non-procreative sex, including sex toys that aren’t shaped like anything identifiable.

The Widening Gyre (#755) 

I am so enjoying watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control of the “authorities”:

The Brown County [Wisconsin] Sheriff’s Office is investigating a sex trafficking complaint after a local woman posted on social media about [her fantasy]…In a Facebook post, a mother [pretends] two men were discussing how much money they could get for one of her daughters while watching the children play at a park…[even most “sex trafficking” profiteers admit] that children are [not] randomly kidnapped from parks or pools or shopping malls…Authorities…urge people to [let them control the narrative]…

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To make policy that truly benefits sex workers we must separate myths from facts.  –  Lynzi Armstrong

Down Under

Another good, basic article on the success of the New Zealand model:

Myths abound regarding New Zealand’s model, including unsubstantiated claims that the sex industry has expanded, with pimps emboldened in the wake of the new law, and that sex trafficking is rife…Decriminalisation in New Zealand differs from legalised regimes, such as that in Germany, since it focuses on empowering sex workers themselves, rather than the state, to have greater control over their work…[a government-mandated] study…by researchers from the University of Otago’s School of Medicine, highlighted many benefits: more than 60 per cent of the 772 sex workers who participated reported feeling more able to refuse to see certain clients, and 95 per cent said they felt they had rights after decriminalisation…[it] supports sex worker’s safety strategies, enabling street workers to take their time in initial conversations with clients…and…clients can provide information to police when sex workers are assaulted…there is neither evidence that trafficking into sex work is a problem in New Zealand, nor is there evidence that the size of the sex industry has increased…research suggests that decriminalisation has had little impact on the sex worker population at all, apart to provide it with protection…the academic evidence that has been gathered so far clearly supports the New Zealand decriminalisation model as an ideal starting point…

Saving Them From Themselves

No law caging people for consensual behavior is “well intended”:

Teens who text each other explicit images could be subject to 15 years in federal prison under a new bill that just passed the House of Representatives.  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee…ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, has called the measure “deadly and counterproductive…While the bill is well intended, it is overbroad in scope…[and increases] the unfair and unjust mandatory minimum sentencing that contributes to…mass incarceration”…[bill sponsor] Mike Johnson [idiotically claims that]…the measure would [never] be used [by prosecutors] in ways he didn’t intend it to be used [and quoted the Bible to claim he’s acting as God’s agent]…

Smoke and Mirrors

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

A 19-year-old Toronto woman is facing human trafficking-related charges after allegedly coercing a 39-year-old woman to work in the sex trade.  Police say the older woman met the teen in the Hamilton area in 2016 and was allegedly recruited into working as a paid escort so she could make money to repay a debt she owed to the 19-year-old.  They allege the 19-year-old took photographs of the woman in various stages of undress, and posted advertisements on…backpage.com…

Train Wreck 

I’m fascinated by the bizarre & stilted language used in African news articles about sex workers:

The rusty, broken down coaches, disused rail wagons and the unkempt grass at the National Railway of Zimbabwe Harare locomotive yard have become a haven for concubines, street urchins [and] drug abusers…destitute…hooker goddesses from around Mbare…are…using the “sleepers” as their permanent place of residence…women dressed in skimpy outfits laugh hysterically and make obscene gestures, hoping to attract men passing by…Street urchins…claim than hookers…are invading their home, turning it into a “brothel”.  “Prostitutes are disturbing our peace here.  Sometimes we discover used condoms in our apartments,” complained one…The sex workers, however, accused the street kids of being naughty as they often disturb the former when they entertain their clients…Trymore Sanduri…said…“We have heard worrying cases of men being robbed and beaten up by these hookers”…[busybodies] urged…authorities to remove the locomotives and the police to restore order…

Hard Numbers (#321)

Another try at decriminalization in South Australia:

State Parliament could vote on decriminalising sex work within months after an Upper House committee recommended South Australia become the second state to do so…The seven-member committee received 87 written submissions and went on interstate brothel tours after it was formed in 2015…the majority of the committee agreed it should be passed with no amendments…

Naturally, authoritarians on the committee want violence inflected on people seeking consensual sex, and vomited out evil nonsense about “sending messages”.

Japanese Prostitution (#327)

Japan’s descent into American-style anti-whore rhetoric is highly distressing:

Fifty people were rescued from human traffickers in Japan in 2016, with Japanese nationals making up half of the victims, a government report [claimed]…13 were aged 17 or younger…Many of the Japanese victims were forced into prostitution through online dating sites.  Foreign nationals were largely forced to work as hostesses or prostitutes…

Signs

Ever notice that the supposed experiences of self-declared “survivors” are always years or decades in the past & thus very difficult to disprove?

A woman who [profits from] training [cops in “sex trafficking” dogma]…is now facing a new battle, because a federal grant is about to expire.  “Bruising, and abuse, and things of that nature — you don’t always get to see that”…said Shanna Parker…a survivor of human trafficking…The crime is hidden so well even [self-declared] experts [paradoxically] say they’ve missed signs before getting training…[one sign is] a young person…getting their hair and nails done…Parker…[did] not [ever] discuss [her supposed experiences] until almost 20 years after she [claims to have been] rescued…

Across the Pond (#653)

Though gullible reporters believe cop lies about “helping” sex workers, the truth is that this policy of harassment has dramatically (and predictably) decreased sex workers’ willingness to report crimes against them:

[In Hackney the] vice patrol…[is euphemized as the] safer neighbourhood team…[they stalk known sex workers] and pull over the van to [scare clients away], asking them to leave the area and handing leaflets with details of organisations that can help with addictions…[the cops pretend they’re trying to] build up a rapport to get information about…people who have attacked them [but in actuality they treat them like vermin to be removed from the area via]…dispersal orders…

Send In the Clowns 

“A psychiatric evaluation was done on the scene”, in other words by cops, who believe their little tin talismans magically grant them expertise in all fields of study:

…motorists in California…spotted a creepy clown standing along Highway 101, [carrying what appeared to be]…a bloody machete…deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene with guns drawn to find…61-year-old Larry Allen Tovey holding out his thumb like a hitchhiker…He was then handcuffed, questioned and released.  “The guy wasn’t charged because we didn’t have a victim that was threatened by him with the machete,” the department wrote on Facebook, adding that the “blood” on the knife was just cotton with red dye.  Since a machete is technically a tool and not classified as a weapon, it’s not a crime to carry one in public ― unless it’s being used in a threatening manner…Although a psychiatric evaluation was done on the scene, Tovey did not meet the guidelines for commitment.  He also didn’t meet the requirements for arrest on a charge of disturbing the peace…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#710)

San Diego ramps up its anti-whore pogroms:

Thirteen sex buyers were arrested in a [sting]…conducted by more than 75 [filthy pigs] from various agencies across San Diego County.  “Operation Big Bad John” was spearheaded by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF)…[Pigs] also [stole] more than 17 grams of methamphetamine and several ecstasy pills…

75 evil men playing soldier, down to the moronic and childish “operation” name, to destroy the lives of 13 peaceful men seeking consensual sex.  But hey, San Diego, I’m sure y’all think this was a wise use of funds, right?

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All that was left…[was] a pair of sandals and his underwear.
–  Deacon Nkosi

Just in case you missed it, the big news of the week is that Chelsea Manning is finally free again after Obama commuted her sentence as one of his last acts as President.  The video is one I came across by accident, and the links above it were contributed by Rick HorowitzPopehatLucy SteigerwaldMike RiggsMike Chase  and Mike Siegel (in that order; the last two are two links in one line).

From the Archives

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The TSA…[is] an expensive, intrusive show, put on by poorly trained, poorly managed and…dangerously out-of-control actors.  –  Scott Greenfield

License to Rape

The TSA joins cops in the elite group who can rape, sexually assault & molest citizens without consequence:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has declined to say exactly where—and how—employees will be touching air travelers as part of the more invasive physical pat-down procedure it recently ordered.  But the agency does expect some passengers to consider the examination unusual.  In fact, the TSA decided to inform local police in case anyone calls to report [a TSA agent sexually assaulting her]…The physical search, for those selected to have one, is what the agency described as a more “comprehensive” screening, replacing five separate kinds of pat-downs it previously used.  The decision to alert local and airport police raises a question of just how intimate the agency’s employees may get…

Criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield had this to say about it:

…Put aside, for the moment, that TSA agents are not law enforcement officers, but rather the nice folks who you last met inquiring whether you wanted to supersize, now wearing blue shirts to create the impression of important authority…the way to improve [their inept performance] is to direct these pizza lovers to engage in conduct that would, under most other circumstances, constitute crimes.  Why isn’t it a crime?  Because it’s consensual, travelers having consented to their children, their spouses, themselves, being touched on any part of their body…by electing to travel by airplane a privilege, not a right.  Hey, you could walk across country.  Is it TSA’s fault you chose to fly?…

Follow Your Bliss  

What better job could there be for a queer sadist with control issues?

…John Smyth…stands at the center of a widening scandal of sadistic abuse of dozens of boys over three decades…Smyth…“quoted from the Bible and told me I had to bleed for Jesus,” said a…victim, who attempted suicide on his 21st birthday, after Mr. Smyth promised him “a special kind of beating” for the occasion.  “When he was done, he would lean in towards me and put his face on my neck telling me how proud he was of me,” said the man…Some of the victims received up to 100 strokes at a time for masturbating, having indecent thoughts or looking at pornography — beatings that caused some to faint or bleed for up to three weeks…Smyth was removed from the trust in 1984 and sent to Zimbabwe, where he set up similar Christian summer camps for…boys…In 1997, Zimbabwe’s prosecuting attorney arrested…Smyth on a charge of culpable homicide in the death of…a 16-year-old boy who was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool of one of Mr. Smyth’s camps…a year later all charges against him were dropped…In 2002…Smyth moved to South Africa, where new accusations of abuse have surfaced in news outlets in recent weeks…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The story is the same the world over:

Dozens of sex workers and human rights campaigners gathered in Kiev on [Sex Worker Rights Day] demanding the [decriminalization] of prostitution in Ukraine.  Some 50 activists holding red umbrellas and wearing red plastic helmets staged the first-ever march through the capital…the protesters held placards reading “Sex work is work”, “We stand for decriminalisation of sex work”, and “My work is my choice”…there are some 80,000 sex workers in Ukraine who feel vulnerable — particularly to police abuse…[Yuliya] Dorokhova said…“women…have to hand police their…earnings as ‘protection’ money”…to avoid fines and…beating[s]…

Capricious Lusts

Another study shows what’s already been shown over & over again:

Paul Bisschop of SEO Amsterdam Economics…compare crime data for nine Dutch cities with tippelzones and 16 cities without.  The data from 1994 to 2011 include measures of sexual, drug-related and violent crime…The authors provide “causal evidence” of a 32 to 40 percent reduction in rape and sexual abuse within two years of a city opening a tippelzone…

No Friend of Ours

More evil prohibitionist drivel from Nevada:

A state lawmaker has proposed that Nevada give cities and counties the explicit authority to shut down hotels where prostitution arrests are repeatedly made…John Hambrick [fantasized] that his bill would help curb human trafficking…at by-the-hour hotels that work with or overlook [unlicensed] pimps operating at their establishments.  “I’m trying to get to a situation where communities can be safe and not have to worry about the scourge of human trafficking,” Hambrick said…

Monsters 

In which the Daily Fail pretends to care about transwomen so it can print torture porn pics:

A transgender woman was brutally beaten to death by a group of thugs who dragged her from her home and attacked her in a sickening transphobic attack.  Dandara dos Santos…was…kicked, punched, and hit with shoes and a plank of wood…in Fortaleza…Brazil.  Harrowing footage of the attack shows Dandara begging the savage attackers to spare her life, but her…attackers simply lift her into a wheelbarrow and roll her away to a back alley where she was beaten to death amid cheers and laughter…

Dysphemisms Galore 

One wonders if the author has similar sadfeelz about the “forced smiles” of people in other retail & customer service jobs:

…hundreds of women who are trafficked to Hong Kong from mainland China, Southeast Asia, Europe and South America for forced prostitution in the city’s brothels, bars, spas and pornography industry, [prohibitionists pretend]…Many victims do not speak out for fear of being punished by their traffickers, some of them linked to the powerful Triad organised crime group.  Others are afraid of being deported home or criminalised for being in the possession of fake papers arranged by their pimps…cocaine, marijuana and other drugs are used by clients and forced on the girls…

Because sweet, innocent women never snort coke or smoke weed, not ever.  And it’s funny how all the actual studies, ignored by this single-interview-based article, repeatedly find what activists keep saying: sex work in Asia, like everywhere else, is work.

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit [explains].  The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status…after a federal judge’s ruling.  That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.  It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward…At the heart of the dispute is the Denver Contract Detention Facility…in Aurora, Colo., owned and operated by GEO Group…detainees at the…facility are forced to work without pay — and that those who refuse to do so are threatened with solitary confinement…

Morality Lessons (#689)

Remember this the next time politicians tell you that the point of anti-porn laws is to “protect children”:

Justice Dept. lawyers are asking a federal court to drop a case against a dark web child porn site because it says it [will] not reveal how it used a browser exploit to target thousands of unsuspecting visitors to the site…because the government is “unwilling to disclose” how it carried out the hacks, it has “no choice but to seek dismissal” of the case…Playpen…[was] a dark web site accessible over the Tor anonymity network…[the FBI] seized the server…[and] continued to run the website for almost two weeks…[it used] malware…to deanonymize the users of the Tor browser…[and] gather…IP addresses…which should have been protected by Tor…

Morality Lessons (#703)

Yeah, it’s porn making men less interested in marriage.  Horrible divorce laws couldn’t have anything to do with that:

A joint resolution in the Tennessee General Assembly condemning pornography as a “public health crisis” that is making men less interested in marrying passed unanimously in the Senate…without any discussion…It calls for education, policy change, prevention and [bogus] research [specifically designed to “find”] negative effects of pornography…

I’m sure that “call for education” doesn’t include actual sex education.

All-Purpose Excuse (#718)

Hey Democrats, are you ready to disavow this lunacy you helped create & abandon it to the GOP?

The shadow government led by former President Barack Obama is working overtime to delegitimize President Donald Trump and his administration…Why is Obama remaining in Washington D.C. and moving his top adviser Valerie Jarrett into his new mansion?…the mainstream media is ignoring Trump’s massive sex trafficking busts…the MSM…appear to be censoring stories that expose child sex trafficking and pedophiles…could the shadow government’s coup against Trump be tied to child sex trafficking?…Hillary and Bill Clinton’s [have] ties to sex crimes…there are people at the top tied to child sex trafficking…our corrupt MSM [has a] sick scheme to protect pedophiles and cover up sex trafficking…

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Instead of Scheherazade telling a sociopathic Persian king a thousand stories to save herself and her sisters, McNeill taps away at a laptop with posts that reach sex workers across the world.  –   Sydney Brownstone

Think of the Children! 

DON’T THEY KNOW SEX RAYS CAN PENETRATE WALLS, LOCKED DOORS & PRIVACY PANELS?

A new business, a baby store for adults, is sparking outrage in suburban Mt. Prospect, Illinois…Dozens of residents showed up at village hall…calling for the business to be shut down or moved.  However, officials said they had no legal basis to bar the business, Tykables, which includes features such as a seven-foot crib, an over-sized high chair and adult-sized playpen…the primary focus of the business is selling adult diapers for medical needs and for “ABDL” or “Adult Baby Diaper Lovers”…Residents…said…the store has no place near schools and homes.  “It’s hard for us to swallow in this community,” one concerned resident said…”we’re supposed to sit back and watch,” another…complained.  The doors are locked…and customers can only enter by appointment.  White panels cover the windows, for privacy…The village is investigating whether the store owner lied on the business application.  However, the village attorney said civil rights laws may protect against any action against the business.

The jokes write themselves.

Lack of Evidence

Because anything can be “evidence of prostitution”, even if you’re 12:

[A Zimbabwe] regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga has lashed out at a Grade Seven pupil for alleging that she was raped and infected with a sexually transmitted infection, only for medical results to reveal that her alleged rapist never had an STI.  The…suspect…has been found not guilty…Magistrate Malunga then…lashed out at the…girl [claiming she] “has experience in having sex with different men and would charge them for her services”…

Check Your Premises

Does this writer actually understand the meanings of these words?

The Telangana Government…has been organising campaigns to drive [sex workers] out of the town.  The victims who have been depending on this profession for generations, though ready to comply with the government’s move, demand rehabilitation for themselves and quality education for their children.  The government has vowed to end the flesh trade…Most of them are either forced into this or enter it on their own to meet their family’s needs…

One Born Every Minute 

Another sleaze tricks young would-be sex workers in order to rape them:

According to her Facebook profile, she was “Deja Stwalley,” and her photo showed a youngish blonde woman in a blue romper.  Stwalley claimed she was a recruiter for indie porn studios…Stwalley’s webcam was always broken, and she could never speak by phone.  But she could always type.  If the person Stwalley was chatting with seemed skeptical of the porn recruiter’s legitimacy, Stwalley added that she got into this business to protect women from getting lured into sketchy situations…Liz Shearer was 20 years old when she met Stwalley online…Stwalley told her that she could audition with her ex-boyfriend, a photographer named Matt.  Stwalley told Shearer that she would also have to have sex with Matt.  “To prove to production companies that having sex with someone I didn’t know was something that I could handle”…Allysia Bishop…and Shearer are two of at least six women who…met online after one woman’s account of her experience with Stwalley went viral on Facebook.  Now, after sharing their stories with one another, they believe that the Deja Stwalley profile was fake…the two e-mail addresses—Stwalley’s e-mail that had supposedly been sent from Las Vegas and Matt’s e-mail sent from Seattle…used the same IP address near the University District…Matt…is local freelance tech journalist Matt Hickey…who…did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the specific allegations…Scammers…target sex workers…so often…that Seattle-based sex worker, writer, and activist Maggie McNeill has a regular feature on her website documenting these sorts of scams…

Pyrrhic Victory

“Authorities” want you to panic about young women’s “sex trafficking” tattoos while they secretly analyze yours:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling for an end to government research that could be used to map connections or make inferences about people based on their tattoos.  The National Institute for Standards and Technology began its initiative to refine automated tattoo recognition technology for the FBI in 2014…[it] collected 15,000 images of tattoos from arrestees and inmates and distributed the images to third parties…to test tattoo recognition algorithms…Now the institute is prepared to begin a new, larger experiment using 100,000 tattoo images that will sort people and their tattoos based on images…the institute…says tattoos can suggest affiliation to gangs, subcultures, religious or ritualistic beliefs or political ideology…EFF says…“This type of tattoo matching could sweep up fans of the same bands or members of the same labor union or military unit.  This application has a high likelihood of generating false positives—matching someone whose tattoo may be visually similar, but not actually symbolically similar.  That could result in people being improperly associated with groups, such as gangs, with which they have no actual affiliation”…

Policing for Profit 

Cops seem to be moving toward discarding even the pretense that this is about anything other than pillage:

Oklahoma police agencies are being equipped with devices that allow officers to scan prepaid debit cards and [steal] funds linked to them…The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machines for installation in Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma City police cruisers…The device [allows pigs to root in] the balance of prepaid debit cards and gift cards, and allows them to [steal] the money if they [pretend] it’s suspicious.  ERAD readers also can provide limited information about pretty much any card with a magnetic strip, including bank debit cards and credit cards.  Oklahoma has become a battleground in the debate over civil asset forfeiture reform in recent years, prompted by high-profile cases of cops using the practice to [steal] cash and property from innocent people…Each ERAD reader is costing the state about $5,000, plus…7.7 percent of all funds [stolen] with the readers…

Sexcrime

A feminist pornographer has won the right to re-launch her fetish website…Pandora Blake, who runs DreamsofSpanking.com, was among UK pornographers forced to close their websites after a 2014 law brought porn made in the UK in line with rules binding DVDs sold [in] shops.  The Audio Visual Media Services regulations (AVMS) banned sex acts that were deemed morally damaging or life-threatening, including strangulation, face-sitting and fisting.  Spanking beyond what was deemed to be a gentle level, humiliation, full bondage and restraint…female ejaculation, and depictions of non-consensual sex were also forbidden…Blake is believed to be the first pornographer to be granted the right to re-open her website in the wake of the law, and is one of only two UK producers who can legally publish videos of face-sitting, female ejaculation and spanking which leaves a mark…she…now plans to continue campaigning and  fundraising to see the anti-porn regulations scrapped entirely, alongside obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman who helped her with her case…

Traffic Circle (#546)

It’s pretty pathetic that prohibitionists cling so tenaciously to their lies, Glenn Kessler has had to debunk this one twice:

Regular readers know that last year the The Fact Checker exposed a series of false statistics associated with sex trafficking of children.  All too often, we found, politicians and organizations credulously accepted flimsy or poorly researched statistics…advocates only harm their cause when they tout statistics that are so easily disproved.  Our fact checks led many politicians and organizations to be more careful in their use of statistics concerning sex trafficking, but problems continue to surface.  Case in point: a billboard campaign launched by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, tied to the recent Indy 500…One of the billboards offered a statistic we had thoroughly debunked last year — that 13 is the average age for children to get involved in the sex trade…

The Notorious Badge (#630) 

Deon Haywood of Women With a Vision on The Girlfriend Experience:

…Most sex workers operate in the shadows…[they are criminalized] for the simple act of surviving.  Decriminalizing this work is the way toward providing health, safety and true economic opportunity for marginalized women.  As it stands, sex work is wrapped up into the language of anti-trafficking, the new war on drugs.  And like that war, it fuels the incarceration of mostly poor black and brown people just as the misbegotten drug war has done for 40 years…the so-called war on trafficking has been a vehicle for expanding criminalization because incarceration—including for a woman’s “own good”—is touted as the chief tool of justice…About 55,000 prostitution arrests occur in the U.S. annually, and more than two-thirds are women…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Say what you like about Larry Flynt, but he’s a dedicated foe of censorship:

Every member of the Utah State Legislature is getting a free copy of Hustler…as part of a protest of the state’s declaration that pornography is a “public health crisis”.  The magazines began arriving in the mailboxes of lawmakers on Monday…publisher Larry Flynt…has famously sent members of Congress subscriptions to Hustler since 1998…Jim Dabakis…the only openly gay member of the…Legislature, joked that the magazine was “wasted on me”…[but] many lawmakers [used the arrival as an opportunity for moral signaling since they]…recently passed a law that allows [them] to throw away publications they get in the mail…

Out of the Dark

Practically a definition of “wrongheaded”: A popular porn site is shaming its customers for enjoying one popular type of porn:

In response to media coverage of the recent, high-profile Stanford University sexual assault case, porn giant xHamster is taking on rape fantasies.  When a user searches for the term “rape” on the site, they are greeted with a pop-up window reading, “If you are searching for this category, probably it’s time you consulted with a professional psychologist.”  It then links to a free online therapy website…David Ley…says it’s…“a gross exaggeration to suggest that all people who have a fantasy regarding rape or forced sexual behavior are…psychologically ill”…more than half of women have fantasies of being “overpowered” by a man…Dan Savage…agrees.  “I get letters constantly from women who feel deeply conflicted about having rape fantasies while viewing themselves as feminists, progressive and opponents of rape culture—and to shame people, I don’t see that as helpful”…

To Molest and Rape

A cop’s idea of “courtesy”:

Scottsdale [Arizona] police arrested…[rapist cop] Jay Hun Wu…[molesting] a woman in his custody…On March 29, Wu gave the woman a courtesy ride to her home…she asked…Wu to let her out at her residence but…he pulled over…next to a residential wall…and said he needed to pat the woman down before he [groped] her under her clothing.  He then gave her his business card and told her to call if she ever needed anything.  The victim immediately told her family and Scottsdale police about the encounter…She recalls “nightmares and a lot of crying,” saying the incident has “really impacted me emotionally…to have trust in a law officer an then feel violated”…Sgt. Ben Hoster [lied]…”when police find a bad apple among their ranks, they’re quick to remove them”…

Cops are such clueless narcissists, they just can’t resist any excuse to belch out pathetic, self-congratulatory lies.  And prosecutors use any excuse to reduce their penalties:

A [cop] charged with sexual assault has taken a plea deal.  Troy Estree pleaded no contest to assault by strangulation…In return, prosecutors agreed to drop one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct…Estree was [previously charged with and acquitted of] sexually assaulting a teen relative

The Prudish Giant (#641) horse fucking man

In which Facebook demonstrates the dirty-mindedness of its censors:

…this actually is…an attempt…to show how similar the bone structure of human beings and horses are by aligning their respective physiology in this way.  A rep from the publisher told BuzzFeed:  “Obviously, we never wanted to shock our readers with that drawing…our goal was to make the child visually comprehend that the bone structure of the horse and the human being are similar…Putting them in the same position makes the likening more understandable and concrete”…BuzzFeed wrote a post on the image, only to find that — you guessed it — Facebook had begun flagging the article as it was being shared on the site….And this is why Facebook should get out of the morality business to every last degree possible…

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Let us not treat prohibitionists as misguided people who care, any more than we should waste breath over whether it is right or wrong to lynch black people or gas Jews.  –  Jerry Barnett

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope they keep feeding on each other:

A [New Jersey cop] who claimed he was retaliated against after [ratting out] a former public safety director [who] sought prostitutes has been promoted and awarded $80,000.  Frederick Walz was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015…Walz also got wages equal to a year’s difference in salary between the sergeant and lieutenant positions, a year of pension payments retroactive to his promotion, and $80,000 in compensatory damages and attorney’s fees…

Backwards into the Future

Yes, Zimbabwe is actually ahead of the US in this area of human rights:

Sex workers in Zimbabwe have welcomed the recent court ruling that outlaws police arrest on charges of “loitering for the purposes of prostitution”…The ruling builds on another Constitutional court ruling last year that ruled against the arrest of women on allegations of soliciting for sex in the streets…

Rooted in Racism

ICYMI:  a tiny minority of French politicians managed to impose the Swedish model last week:

…it takes a truly Orwellian mindset to believe that one can outlaw the buying of a service without hurting those who sell it.  This is, of course, designed to hurt sex workers.  The bigotry of the anti-prostitution movement is there for all to see…It is well known that criminalising any aspect of the trade clearly harms sex workers…unlike last time around, the driving force of French fascism is the the political left.  A few days ago, for example, French Socialist government minister Laurence Rossignol said that women who wore veils were like “negroes who supported slavery”.  The anti-veil law was presented with a thin progressive veneer, using “secularism” as an excuse…to viciously abuse minorities…in the UK, a Labour-led parliamentary inquiry is also trying to ban prostitution.  Open anti-sex attitudes, and veiled racist attitudes are now commonplace on the political left everywhere…

The Pygmalion Fallacy toasters

Those trapped in magical thinking can’t see that a human-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

Touching a human-shaped robot in areas that would be considered “intimate” if they were on a person, has the power to arouse humans, a new study suggests.  Researchers from Stanford University…looked at how humans would respond when asked by a machine to touch parts of its robotic body; from the more accessible regions like hands, to the more “intimate”, like eyes or buttocks…test subjects…were wired up to a skin conductance sensor to measure their reaction time as well as their physical responses, while sitting next to the robot and following its instructions…when the…robot told test subjects to touch its “intimate” body parts, participants were “more emotionally aroused” but also “more hesitant”—suggesting potential discomfort—compared to touching less intimate regions, which saw subjects deliver a more natural, and typically quicker response…

So Close and Yet So Far

I believe J.R. Thorpe wants to be an ally; I really do.  But this listicle is more interested in being “cute” than it is in being accurate:

It’s important not to judge sex workers, assume that we know what motivates them or what experiences they have had — especially when we’re basing our ideas on film and TV depictions of sex work, as many of us are…It’s equally important to not glorify what can be an intensely exploitative and dangerous industry…particularly in countries and states where regulation doesn’t exist and workers are operating without state or government protection…a [really bad] study of…advertising…in the UK found that…over a third [of sex workers] identified as transgender or male…(The Urban Institute has a detailed exploration into the economics of that, including average pimp income and the various restrictions pimps place on their workers…in decriminalized places, the incidence of STDs among sex workers is really low

Smoke and Mirrors

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

A woman chained to a stripper pole.  A man with four wives.  Child pornography photos.  This is what authorities stumbled upon during a raid in Detroit, where a house-of-horrors tale is unfolding in federal court, with prosecutors accusing one man of enslaving women, selling them for sex on the Internet and…[sharing] sexually explicit photos of [children]…The suspect is Ryon Travis, a 32-year-old unemployed Detroit man…“Sex trafficking occurs all around us, and the victims are sometimes hiding in plain sight,” [bloviated] U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade…

Long-time readers may recall that we’ve seen Babs McQuade (AKA Electrawoman) before, and she was spouting “sex trafficking” bullshit then, too.

Policing for Profit 

Burn. It. To. The. Ground:

…[UK] police [routinely robsex workers] under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)…Janice [said] “They took my life savings, including money from my mom…They even tried to take my home. I was left with nothing after a lifetime of hard work”…Janice’s story isn’t unique.  Last year, Kent Police [stole] nearly £40,000 from two women accused of running a brothel in Folkestone.  One woman was forced to sell her home…or face an additional jail sentence…Jenny…called the police when men threatened to torch her working flat.  Police didn’t pursue her attackers; instead, they charged her with brothel-keeping and…[stole] her home and life savings…Niki Adams of ECP [said] “Their powers are draconian and they can take every penny earned from years of hard work—her house, her savings, her car, her jewellery, even her children’s and other family members’ money”…

An Example to the West (#349)

Indian sex workers are getting tired of bullshit:

Sex Workers in West Bengal are using the upcoming election to remind politicians they need to keep their promises…Many politicians have not shown commitment to taking action on the demands of sex worker-led organisations…Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC)…have made it clear they want “concrete” actions and measures [including]…Pension rights…Decriminalisation of the profession…and…self-regulatory boards to stop minors from being forced into the profession…

Cops and Robbers 

“Christian” vigilantes playing with people’s lives and lying to men in an attempt to steal income from sex workers who may need it to pay rent and feed their children:

Bait and Switch (#545)

If you’ll look back at what I’ve previously reported on Grady Judd, I’m sure you can guess what kind of tactics were used to entrap these people so Judd could destroy their lives for his self-aggrandizement:

A Florida sex sting targeting [supposed] child predators netted…Eighteen [victims of the sting] face multiple charges…Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.  They all allegedly responded to fake online ads from undercover detectives posing as children…

Signs

It was only a matter of time before male “survivors” started cashing in:

Hundreds showed up for a first-of-its kind symposium to train…San Diego’s hotel and motel employees to recognize and respond to the warning signs of human trafficking…in preparation for upcoming summer events such as the MLB All-Star Game and Comic-Con…[religious nut] Jamie Gates [said]…”There are about three to eight thousand survivors in a year”…experts say…70% of transactions [utilize]…social media.  “You’re groomed into a certain…mind frame that makes you susceptible to anyone’s demands,” said Tom Jones, a sex traffic survivor…Sex trafficking in San Diego is a $810 million dollar industry…and is run mostly by more than 100 local gangs.

Ridiculous numbers!  Facebook pimps!  Magic pimp mind control!  Gangs!  Gypsy whores catering to comic book fans!  And more, coming up in the next episode of They’re Coming for Our Children!

Choke Point (#610) 

A few journalists are starting to see where this is going:

…In a cashless society, the cash has been converted into numbers, into signals, into electronic currents.  In short: Information replaces cash…But wherever information gathers and flows, two predators follow closely behind it: censorship and surveillance…Where money becomes a series of signals, it can be censored; where money becomes information, it will inform on you…Operation Choke Point…[was actually] a policing of vice…One pundit wrote, “[W]hile abortion clinics and environmental groups are probably safe under the Obama administration, if this sort of thing stands, they will be vulnerable to the same tactics if a different administration adopts this same thuggish approach toward the businesses that it dislikes”…The choke points are private corporations that are not only subject to government regulation on the books, but have shown a disturbing willingness to bend to extralegal requests—whether it is enforcing financial blockades against the controversial whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks or the website Backpage…A little bit of pressure, and the whole financial system closes off to the government’s latest pariah…For the most vulnerable, the cashless society…only extends the reach of the existing paternal bureaucratic state…

Challenge (#628)

This can only be a good thing:

Former adult star Bree Olson is joining forces with the ESPLER Project in a push to demand that California legislators act to outlaw discrimination for all types of sex workers.  ESPLER Project has posted a petition online that is intended to reach California state Assembly and Senate members…Olson…said…current and former as well as legal and illegally working sex trade workers are having their due process rights violated, both by the law and members of society…

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In its moral simplicity and willingness to exploit its subjects, [Hot Girls Wanted] ends up resembling the genre it aims to expose.  –  Susan Shepard

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

A [Merseyside, England] police sergeant [named David Gibson] has been charged with misconduct after allegedly engaging in a sexual act with a prostitute while on duty…

The Pro-Rape Coalition Ava Taylor

Hot Girls Wanted…looks at five young women who were recruited off of Craigslist by an “agent” in Miami, Florida named Riley from Hussie Models.  It was directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, whose previous documentary Sexy Baby, looked at an alleged cultural shift in the sexual landscape that, the women claim, was caused by adult entertainment…Writing in Vice, Susan Elizabeth Shepard notes that the team’s new film is actually an exercise in offering “unexamined statements and vague intimations about how doing porn harms women and watching it warps men”…one of the documentary’s subjects, ex-performer Ava Taylor …oozed a sense of entitlement…she wanted to make money and get famous fast…the dressed down and bespectacled Ava…claims to be out of sex work…[she] is angry and combative, hurling blame at producers, her agent, and even the testing system for adult performers.  On one of her Twitter accounts, she has repeated how glad she is to be out, and moving on with her life…However…two months after Hot Girls Wanted premiered, Ava was back in Los Angeles shooting brand new porn scenes…[she also] currently offers escort services online…

It Looks Good On Paper

The national “safe harbor” law is just as useless and dishonest as the state ones:

The average sex-trafficking victim is a 13-year-old girl, often forced into the illicit business against her will and fed illegal drugs to keep her tethered to her pimp.  These children need housing, education, jobs and hope for a future — not a criminal rap sheet, says U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar…President Obama signed a law championed by Klobuchar that…creates financial incentives for states to pass laws that ensure minors sold for sex aren’t prosecuted, but are instead treated as victims…

Wise Investment

The latest hit to companies who are actively anti-sex industry is a lawsuit against the payment processor Square.  Xbiz reports that attorney William McGrane is taking them to court with the claim that the 27 business categories in…“Prohibited Businesses” are being discriminated against and having their civil rights violated under the policy.  According to McGrane, the majority of the types…listed are either too vague to be valid or are legal businesses, making it illegal for Square to discriminate against them…

Policing for Profit

When the cops raided Ginnifer Hency’s home in Smiths Creek, Michigan…”they took everything,” she told state legislators…including TV sets, ladders, her children’s cellphones and iPads, even her vibrator.  They found six ounces of marijuana and arrested Hency for possession with intent to deliver, “even though I was fully compliant with the Michigan medical marijuana laws”…Hency, a mother of four with multiple sclerosis, uses marijuana for pain relief based on her neurologist’s recommendation.  She also serves as a state-registered caregiver for five other patients…[the] judge dismissed the charges against her.  But when she asked about getting back her property… “The prosecutor came out to me and said, ‘Well, I can still beat you in civil court.  I can still take your stuff’…the Michigan House Judiciary Committee [is] considering several bills that would make this sort of legalized larceny more difficult…Annette Shattuck, another medical marijuana patient…was [robbed of]…bicycles, her husband’s tools, a lawn mower, a weed whacker, her children’s Christmas presents, cash (totaling $85) taken from her daughter’s birthday cards, the kids’ car seats and soccer equipment, and vital documents such as driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and birth certificates…

A Procrustean Bed (#339)

Another jurisdiction officially classifies women as passive objects without agency:

[Chicago] officials have launched a new alternative program for men and women charged with prostitution…the new court would help connect the women – and sometimes men – connect with social services so they can turn away from prostitution…“and turn their lives around”…Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said, instead of prosecution, defendants will get mostly treatment and help from social service agencies. “They will learn how to break their pasts, and cut all ties with those who have abused them, or dragged them into living lives of desperation”…

The Roof Caves In

The US government knew about the now-infamous deceptions and malpractice within organisations run by Somaly Mam for years prior to the media exposés…last year.  Even so, Washington continued to see her as a “positive force in the anti-trafficking effort”, despite evidence that medical care at her shelters was not available and that her…NGO, Afesip, had “mismanaged” funds…A cable titled Somaly Mam Under Microscope sent to the State Department from the embassy in Phnom Penh on May 8, 2012, shows that the embassy suspected as early as 2006 that a key claim repeated by Mam over the years – that her daughter was abducted in 2006 in revenge for an Afesip raid on a Phnom Penh brothel in 2004 – was false…

Welcome to the Future

News media used to just report news; now they allow propagandists to make bogus predictions of disaster:

From 1 June, it will be illegal to pay for sex in Northern Ireland…The Immigrant Council of Ireland and…Turn Off The Red Light…will…call for similar laws to come into force in the south immediately…[because]  counties south of the border will become “more attractive for pimps, traffickers and thugs”…

And then gin up fake “statistics” to support their own predictions:

Pimps and prostitutes are moving into the border counties as a crackdown on the sex trade in Northern Ireland comes into force, campaigners have warned. There has been more than a 50 per cent rise in online sex trade activity in counties Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and Louth in recent weeks, according to a study by the Immigrant Council of Ireland…Brian Killoran…of the ICI…said the Border counties now face being used as a “safe haven” for sex traders in the absence of a similar ban by the Dublin government. “The initial indications are that those who run prostitution have been feeling the heat of Northern Ireland’s new laws even before they came into force and have been switching their operations to the south”…

Yes, they’re actually claiming the laws had effects reaching into the future.

Monkey Business (#449) 

More than a year after the starting fight for legal personhood for the research chimpanzees Hercules and Leo, the apes and their lawyers got their day in court…A decision could set a precedent for challenging…the captivity of other chimpanzees—and perhaps other species…New York assistant attorney general Christopher Coulston…argued that [the judge] was bound by the previous decisions of two appellate courts, which had ruled that other Nonhuman Rights Project chimps didn’t qualify for habeas corpus…Both those decisions are controversial.  In one, judges decided that habeas corpus didn’t apply because the chimp would be transferred from one form of captivity to another—in this case, a sanctuary.  But illegally-held human prisoners have been released to mental hospitals, and juveniles into the care of guardians.  In the other appeals court decision, judges declared that chimps are not legal persons because they can’t fulfill duties to human society.  But that rationale arguably denies personhood to young children and mentally incapacitated individuals, as several high-profile legal scholars…pointed out…

Moving Pictures just as truthful as Jurassic Park

Because “trafficking” means anything we want it to mean!

Ed Smart…visited east Idaho…to attend a screening of a documentary about child sex trafficking…“When Elizabeth was abducted do we think of her being enslaved?…She absolutely was…she was assaulted once twice a day for almost every day of the nine months she was gone.”  Smart is now on a mission to rescue children from sex trafficking.  He’s working with Operation Underground Railroad….“Any time you have a resort area more than likely trafficking is going on there.  Any time there’s a big sporting event in the United States you can believe trafficking is going on.”  Operation Underground Railroad  has produced a new documentary called The Abolitionists.  It shows investigators rescuing endangered children and going after the adult perpetrators around the world…

Vendetta (#518)

It’s hard to tell the worst part of this “end demand” propaganda.  Is it the bullshit claim that women aren’t being arrested because they’re forced into “re-education” rather than jail?  The badge-licking description of cops hunting down people seeking to engage in consensual sex?  The Orwellian euphemism “recovering a victim” used to mean “arresting a woman”?  The cop bragging about how many women he’s arrested?  The pervasive denial of female agency?  The description of a prosecutor as a “defense attorney”?  Or the fact that neither warped billionaire Swanee Hunt (the architect of the fascist program Seattle is participating in) nor her “CEASE Network” front organization are mentioned at all, even though she paid for the policy change with grants?

Guinea Pigs 

What can one conclude about an article on “data analysis” that begins with mathematically-illiterate bullshit?

The average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is 14.  The kind of profit a pimp can expect to make on a child prostitute each year is $150,000.  Child trafficking operations spend about $45 million a year advertising their services on literally thousands of sites and millions of pages…Two computer science professors, Pedro Szekely and Craig Knoblock…have developed a new search tool intended to…turn advertising against human traffickers.  The work is being funded by Memex, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program aimed at developing the next generation of search technologies…The tool they’ve created combs through escort ads; downloads all relevant pages, including the ones those ads link to; discovers connections, folds the data into a repository; and provides query and analysis functionality to enable searching by law enforcement users…Currently, the database contains content from 50 million Web pages and 2 billion records; it’s growing at the rate of about 5,000 Web pages per hour…

Another Fine Mess (#527)

Why are amateurs so surprised that sex workers use ordinary business tools?

…in Zimbabwe…many people in the informal economy make use of [a South African cell phone payment service named] EcoCash and sex workers are no exception, with some carrying multiple phones.  “If I’ve got 20, 30 or 50 bucks and I’m not going to use it, I will put it in EcoCash,” says Ncube.  “Even if someone steals my bag, I will open my mobile wallet tomorrow and the money will still be there”…Officials…express surprise at the swift integration of mobile money.  Jessie Majome, a former deputy minister of women’s affairs, says…“Wow. Hi-tech sex work.  I’m struck how early they’ve adapted to that”…

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