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Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

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

Cuckoo Advertising (#601)

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

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

Legal Is as Legal Does (#609) 

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

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

Full of Themselves (#614)

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

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

Scapegoats (#697) 

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

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

The War Goes On (#711) 

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

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

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

Traffic in Nonsense (#747)

Another state requires anti-whore indoctrination for licensing:

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

Amnesty At Last (#781)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for three years now:

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

O, Canada! (#785)

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

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

Against Their Will (#799)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

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

Business As Usual (#824)

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

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

Disaster (#826)

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

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

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

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

This Means War 

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

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

Elephant in the Parlor (#828) 

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

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

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It’s a wonder they lived to tell the tale.  A car.  A mumbler. More than one person in the parking garage at once.  It is all just overwhelming.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Feminine Pragmatism 

Anyone surprised by this knows nothing about women:

…Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now [work] at his [brothel] for $25 an hour.  “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer…All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.”  And all of them came from Venezuela.  As Venezuela’s economy continues to collapse amid food shortages, hyperinflation and U.S. sanctions, waves of economic refugees have fled the country.  Those with the means have gone to places like Miami, Santiago and Panama.  The less fortunate find themselves walking across the border into Colombia looking for a way, any way, to keep themselves and their families fed…But with jobs scarce, many…women are turning to the world’s oldest profession to make ends meet…

Socialism, the way of the future.

Finding What Isn’t There

As I keep saying over and over and over:

Human trafficking arrests are almost nonexistent in most states, according to the FBI’s newly released U.S. crime statistics for 2016…Florida reported 105 investigations into human-trafficking offenses in 2016 but zero human trafficking arrests…Nevada worked on 140 human-trafficking investigations but made only 40 arrests on trafficking charges.  Louisiana looked into 123 potential cases of human trafficking but only arrested 16 people for it…this report only includes arrests recorded by state and local law enforcement on human trafficking charges, which allows us to look beyond police propaganda about what they’re doing and see what it is they’re actually doing….the data do little to support the idea that the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of labor and sex trafficking or that we are in the midst of some sort of “modern slavery” epidemic.  This is probably why you don’t see UCR trafficking statistics quoted in congressional reports, “awareness” materials, or law enforcement statements to the media on the topic…

Backwards into the Future (#629) 

Zimbabwean sex workers demonstrate their clout:

…sex workers in Chiredzi, a small sugar cane growing town in south-eastern Zimbabwe, have forced the reopening of Chigarapasi beer hall, the country’s largest, after threatening to stage a week-long naked vigil at the entrance in protest over its closure.  The beer hall…was closed early this year [after] the…Chiredzi council…[claimed] the bar was no longer making a profit – much to the surprise of…sex workers whose livelihood depends on [it]…

Public Service Announcement (#669)

If your candidate’s campaign can be derailed by the peccadilloes of a virtual stranger, you have a shitty candidate:

Anthony Weiner is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday in a sexting scandal that some blame for Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss.  The former New York congressman faces up to 27 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor…by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to “sexually perform” for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat…

Also: the word “illicit” makes anyone who uses it sound like a pearl-clutching schoolmarm.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#718) 

Because nothing makes authoritarians lose their shit faster than sex:

…Chinese company Taqu (or “Touch” in English)…launch[ed] their “Shared Girlfriend” app online, which allowed users to rent a silicone sex doll for a daily fee of 298 yuan (US$45.15) or 1,298 yuan per week…news of the service quickly went viral…Two days after its 14 September launch in Beijing, the authorities shut the service down after…a police investigation [called the rental] it to be a “vulgar act that disrupts social order“…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

These “close encounters” with near sex-traffickers are like alien abductions.  They are shared wildly — gleefully — by people seemingly thrilled to know this horrible scourge is out there…This latest story, from Reno, involves a mom and dad who noticed every detail about a night that sounds outrageously ordinary.  They passed by some people they didn’t know!  They went into the parking garage and there was a car — with people in it!  They felt scared for their kids and compelled to write a Facebook post warning people everywhere about this terrible thing that…didn’t happen…I, too, walked outside last night and literally every single person I encountered may have “possibly” been involved in a child sex trafficking ring.  Each and every person I saw might “possibly” have also been a Satanist.  Or the owner of a Segway they’re trying to get rid of.  Or been related to the Royal Family…there’s no way to say they AREN’T sex traffickers.  So it’s best to just assume they are…”Holland…described [one man] as looking disheveled and wearing a bodyguard-type earpiece“…I’m sure that “bodyguard type earpiece” couldn’t possibly be an earbud.  It is so much more likely that the man was being commanded from Sex Trafficking HQ than listening to Beyonce…

Saving Them From Themselves (#735)

Lowered penalties for teen sexting may sound like a step in the right direction, but in actuality they simply encourage prosecutors to file more charges for behavior that isn’t even criminal in the first place:

Ohio state lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban sexting between teenagers, potentially turning thousands of ordinary young Ohioans into sex offenders…Legislators could instead amend state statute to exempt teens exchanging pics between themselves, and people a few years over 18 texting with those a few years younger, from laws that treat them as child-porn producers and consumers.  Prosecutors could decline to bring these charges against sexting minors, and schools could decline to hand these cases over to cops.  Instead, this bill would create the new misdemeanor crime of “possession of sexually explicit digital material”…by anyone under age 21…So sexting teenagers might not get labeled child pornographers, but they could still wind up with a criminal record or, at the very least, a lot of court dates and a bullshit DARE-style class on how sexting will ruin their lives.  Worse yet, the legislation doesn’t actually change the state’s child pornography laws.  If it passes, prosecutors can still bring child porn charges against minors…or…use the threat of that charge to coerce kids to consent to searches, take plea deals on the lesser charge, and so on.  The sexting offense would simply be an additional tool at authorities’ disposal…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#759) 

The concept that men can’t tell the difference between a hunk of plastic and a woman insults all humans:

A sex robot with a “resistance setting” that allows men to simulate rape should be banned…[says anti-sex] lawyer…Kate Parker, who…warned the “uniquely sinister” technology normalised sexual assault…

Beware of authoritarians who disguise their deeply pathological need to control others’ sexuality by using words like “normalize” to describe sexual fantasies which are already so normal they’re almost vanilla.  For a deeper analysis of why this woman’s beliefs are deeply offensive, see also “Vile Insinuation“.

The Course of a Disease (#772)

It took a few weeks for Irish prohibitionists to figure out how to celebrate the increase in violence vs sex workers directly resulting from their laws without revealing their sociopathy to everyone:

More sex workers have reported rapes to gardai since new laws on prostitution laws were introduced, a [prohibitionist] group has claimed…Sarah Benson, head of Ruhama, which [persecutes sex workers]…said she is hopeful the laws make a positive difference…

Lower Education (#773)

Go on, keep telling me how the slippery slope is a “fallacy”:

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is poised to sign a worrisome bill that…explicitly applies to children in public kindergarten, elementary and high schools.  So a first grader could face dire consequences if found to have committed an act of “sexual violence,” which is broadly defined to include any “physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person” without their consent.  California lawmakers quickly passed the bill last week after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Sept. 7 that she will roll back the [due-process-banning] guidelines set forth by the Obama administration in 2011…[which] have led to bad outcomes…In case after case, young men were expelled on the basis of allegations that they were not allowed to challenge by seeing the evidence against them or cross-examining witnesses…Put aside for a moment whether a 6-year-old is capable of forming the intent to commit a sexual assault when she plants kisses on an unenthusiastic classmate, or whether it makes sense to bring sexual assault charges against an eighth grader who hugs the girl he has a crush on but who does not reciprocate his feelings.  Put aside for a moment whether school administrators should be branding children sexual assailants even if they are 49.99 percent sure the allegations are not true…Heavy-handed disciplinary policies fall disproportionately on students of color.  Because of the stereotypes associated with them, including the noxious but persistent trope that black males are inherently sexually predatory, black kids are presumed guilty…

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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 (#680) 

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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