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Posts Tagged ‘Zurvivor’

The Olympics are always a chance for hosts to do some moral cleansing, and drive away undesirables by brute force.  –  Scott Long

Saeed MalekpourLying Down With Dogs

The lawyer of a man convicted of building and promoting pornographic websites [in Iran] says a death sentence against his client has been converted to life imprisonment…blogger Saeed Malekpour will spend the rest of his life in jail…”  There aren’t too many other countries barbaric enough to sentence a man to life in a cage for “dirty” pictures, but I can think of at least one other.

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

The [Arkansas] Senate passed a bill…that would ban non-traditional…body art procedures, particularly scarification and dermal implants…

Wise Investment

Pay attention, sex worker activists:

The children of three women who were murdered by Robert Pickton have filed lawsuits against the police and the serial killer…They allege the Vancouver police and the RCMP failed to properly investigate reports of missing women and failed to warn women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that a serial killer was likely at work, despite having evidence implicating Pickton in the disappearance of sex workers as early as 1997 and 1998…

Surplus Women

The suspicious deaths of two prostitutes…has sparked a major investigation…The bodies of Jill Lyons and Karen Nabors, who both worked as online escorts, were discovered in an apartment building in Vancouver.  Ms Lyons, 45, was discovered dead in her own apartment on August 12…The body of Ms Nabors was discovered on August 25, also in her own apartment, and police…suggest…the 48-year-old was murdered…

shampoo adGullible’s Travels

Another ludicrous mini-panic from the clowns who brought you idosing, jenkem and vodka-soaked tampons:

“Parents, lock up your shower supplies”…is an actual quote from an announcement made…at a middle school just outside of Richmond, VA…of…a new practice called “shamboiling”…where shampoo is brought to a rapid boil and then the fumes are inhaled for a hallucinogenic effect…one thing is certain…shamboiling is catching on quickly and…is potentially deadly…The Sheriff’s department is  urging parents to check their shampoos for [ammonium lauryl sulfate] and to take the necessary precautions to keep these chemicals away from children…

Here’s the debunking on Snopes.

Universal Criminality

A perfect example of how laws against consensual behavior are used by repressive governments to harass those they dislike:

Police have detained a Chinese-American…on suspicion of visiting a sex worker in Beijing as authorities crack down on bloggers.  Charles Xue [AKA Xue Manzi], who has over 12 million followers on Sina Weibo…regularly reposts reform-minded content…Among those questioning the motive behind the arrest was the editor of the state-run Global Times newspaper.  “Cannot rule out the possibility that authorities are arresting Xue Manzi…to give him a hard time,” Hu Xijin wrote…in a blog posting that later disappeared…

Sex, Lies and Busybodies

Yet another “sex trafficking” opportunist exposed:

The founder of…anti-human trafficking NGO Sisha, Steve Morrish, announced…he was stepping down from his position due to a raft of allegations accusing him of financial impropriety…Sisha’s alleged financial problems were revealed publicly…on August 8 in…the Cambodian blog Penhpal.  The posting alleged that money donated to Sisha…“has instead been siphoned off to pay for the NGO’s operating expenses”…

Moloch

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

A 10-year-old girl…identified as “Ashley,” was charged by police for aggravated sexual assault…[for] playing doctor…a neighbor saw the children and called the mother of a 4-year-old boy…[whom] Ashley was inappropriately touching…Ashley’s mother…was not allowed to sit-in on the 45-minute questioning of her daughter…

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Gail Dines threatens Radisson hotels

Confined and Controlled

If this were intended to increase sex workers’ range of options, it’s would be fine; however, it’s clearly intended as a confinement system:  “Several communities in Italy have launched a campaign to ban street prostitution and reintroduce brothels, which have been banned since 1958…

Worse Than I Thought

As I predicted last year, the cancer keeps spreading:

…[new] legislation…in North Carolina….increases punishments for sex traffickers, i.e. pimps, as well as for purchasers, i.e. johns.  It also focuses on “treating minors involved in prostitution as the victims they are, instead of criminals,” [the bill’s sponsor] said…”The legislation also offers hope to women who escape a life of prostitution by allowing them…relief to expunge their criminal pasts once they get treatment and help”…[another law] requires pimps to register as sex offenders…

As I’ve explained before, “safe harbor” laws are bullshit that help almost nobody; “treatment” means (usually religious) “re-education”, and a “pimp” means just about anyone prosecutors decide to railroad.

Obfuscation Via Dysphemisms

Tulsa cops continue to justify persecution of adult women by pretending they’re “trafficked”:  “Human trafficking has developed into a booming enterprise in Oklahoma…on a given night,Melissa Ditmore the Vice Unit may deploy undercover police officers to respond to as many as 40 online advertisements posted by ‘escorts’ in preparation for prostitution stings that sometimes uncover cases of human trafficking…”  Note the misplaced scare quotes, around “escorts” rather than “trafficking”.

The Public Eye

Jessica Land interviews Dr. Melissa Ditmore, a prominent academic ally, on her research, The Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work, sex worker projects and organizations, and international issues.

That Old Black Magic

Here’s an interesting article on the connection between harlotry and witchcraft:

…Prostitutes were widely believed to be specialists in erotic magic, especially the use of philtres to sway the feelings of those around them…For example, a woman may resort to a binding spell, to handicap rivals in the trade or lock down a steady client…These women were also sought by those outside the trade for their magical expertise.  Those in troubled marriages might consult a prostitute to concoct a love potion to rekindle the affections of a wayward spouse…

King of the Hill

Most of this CNN story is the usual lurid “sex trafficking” rubbish, but I want to call attention to a fascinating new development:  “king of the hill” stories are now specifically claiming their subjects are the “third-busiest area for sex trafficking in the United States” (see also “Under Every Bed” below) rather than just “one of the busiest” or “in the top ten”.  As usual, the Department of Justice is credited for the “statistic” despite the fact that neither it nor any other agency keeps any kind of state-by-state “trafficking” statistics.  I suspect the “third largest” designation arose through confusion with the claim that “human trafficking is the third-largest criminal enterprise” (though that one’s been upgraded to second), but it will be interesting to see how many claim to be the “third largest” before anyone in the mainstream media starts to awaken.

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (TW3 #135)

A new Irish company named Safe IQ “develops safety products and services for sex workers…and raises awareness of the need for [them] to have the same protections as other workers.”  Here’s its first product:

Ugly Mugs for Android is a [free] mobile phone app that automatically screens incoming and outgoing calls and text messages and alerts the phone user if the…number…is listed in the UglyMugs.ie database…When a sex worker encounters a dangerous person, they [sic] can report the incident to the ugly mug scheme, and a warning will be made available to all sex workers…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)Indonesian protesters tear down insulting sign

Only a hopeless lawhead could imagine that closing red-light districts will make prostitution go away:

Hundreds of sex workers confronted the mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city…angrily denouncing the closure of the Klakah Rejo district…The crowd later tore down a “Prostitution-Free Town” billboard erected by officials…”What’s going on?”…the mayor [said]…”We’re trying to help but they are refusing.”  Surabaya is also home to Dolly, reputedly the largest red-light district in South-East Asia.  The mayor said that one and other red-light districts would be closed as the city aimed to be prostitution-free by 2014.

Under Every Bed

Wisconsin is one of “the top three states” for sex trafficking, according to…Michelle Mayefske… Not all prostitution is trafficking. Some women, referred to as “renegades,” simply decide to sell sex and are not controlled or managed by anyone, but “that is very, very rare,” she said…“Gangs are now turning from drugs to human trafficking…[because] drugs can be sold only once and then they’re gone, whereas…a woman or a child can be sold over and over and over…Georgia, California and Wisconsin have the highest rates of sex trafficking in the United States, so we are in the top three”…

1) This is the second time I’ve heard this “renegade” bullshit; neither I nor anyone I asked knows where it comes from.  2) I think Mayefske is extremely confused about the concept of “sale”.  3) She needs to talk to Florida.

Chauvinism

Veteran human rights activist Scott Long argues that activists who compare Russia’s anti-gay purge to the Nazi campaign against Jews are not only wrongheaded, but missing the most obvious comparison:

If Western gay…activists want to know what Putin’s decree will mean in practice:  ask a sex worker…Before every big sporting event, the same rhetoric reverberates:  Prostitutes are going to take over this town…The predictions are nearly always couched as concern for “trafficked” women, but they…come down to…anxieties over nuisances to “normal” neighbors, and…the reputation of the host city…What major sporting events bring is not an “explosion” in prostitution, but an explosion in repression…not in evil Russia, but in liberal Canada and the UK, countries that value human rights, except for sex workers, who aren’t human…Yet in London, few powerful voices opposed the Olympic rollback of sex workers’ freedom — and certainly few LGBT activists…

Deafening Silence

The treatment of sex workers in Cuba, including confinement for the purpose of ‘re-education’, was raised by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women…the…committee said it was “deeply concerned” about Cuba’s reluctance to address the issue of prostitution…” The United States’ confinement and “re-education” of sex workers, however, causes the committee no concern at all.  Funny how that works.

Sold Out

two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the US have stayed quiet about Manning…whose revelations about the US Army’s actions epitomize social justice in action…the [silence of the] Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD…has been deafening… the HRC…[has] the financial backing of…Lockheed Martin…Booz Allen Hamilton…[and] Northrop Grumman…GLAAD has…Goldman Sachs…and Verizon…

Coming and Going (TW3 #331)

Kathryn Griffin finger pointingKate Zen takes a long, thorough look at Texas’ “prostitution diversion” program and its founder, Kathryn Griffin; she examines the program’s lack of any of the normal benefits of such schemes, its close relationship to the rescue industry, its pervasive Christian moralism and its ignoring all of the actual reasons women turn to prostitution in favor of a sin and victimization narrative.

Policing for Profit

Federal and state law-enforcement officers poured into Tukwila [Washington]…seizing three motels whose operators are suspected of participating in illegal drugs and prostitution…U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan…said that the three hotels…have accounted for 17 percent of all calls for police services in the past year…investigators believe the owners actively profited from criminal activity…Durkan said…[her] office will…actively use…seizures to force compliance…

Uncommon Sense (Extra Edition)

Though most English-language media is pretending Zurich’s tippelzone scheme is something new, it is nothing of the kind; this article lists a number of other cities in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands with similar setups.

Zurvivor (Extra Edition)

Donald Hill was acquitted…on a charge of [paying]…Alexis Wright, after a judge ruled prosecutors were not able to prove that money was exchanged.  The ruling could affect any additional charges of individuals alleged to have engaged Wright’s services…

HamletOpting Out

An example of why “porn filters” are a spectacularly bad idea:

A man using the British Library’s wi-fi network was denied access to…Hamlet because the text contained “violent content”…the…library said the fault was caused by a newly installed wi-fi service from a third-party provider.  One security expert said the incident highlighted the “dysfunction” of internet filters…Prof Ross Anderson…[said] internet filters were “pointless” and that it was “completely inappropriate” to have one in the British Library…

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Morality cannot be determined by genitals.  –  Masruchah

Here We Go Again

“The Inside of the White Slave Traffic”, from 1913.  Enjoy, and marvel at how little the “sex trafficking” narrative has changed in a century.

Terminology

Here’s a glossary of the many types of sex workers in 1920s Berlin, including streetwalking dominatrices with extremely specific specializations:

The very first thing foreigners noticed in Berlin was its thousands of prostitutes, on the streets, in hotel lobbies, and seated at cafés and clubs.  How many women made their living selling sex in Berlin during the Golden Twenties is impossible to calculate, but estimates range from a low of 5,000 to the oft-published figure of 120,000 (not including the city’s estimated 35,000 male prostitutes).  It all depended on one’s definition of the term…Altogether there were seventeen distinct varieties…

License to Rape

A New Orleans police officer who was…booked with forcible rape was indicted…on additional sex crimes…Desmond Pratt Sr., a longtime homicide detective, was indicted on one count of sexual battery of a 15-year-old in 2001 and one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 1997 or 1998…

Acting and Activism

Rape for ProfitHere’s actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s entry into the clueless celebrity division of “sex trafficking” fandom:  “Rape for Profit”, a “documentary” based on the premise that “there is a growing problem in major U.S. cities where girls as young as 12 years old are bought and sold as many as 15 times a night to service the desires of men.  Experience the shocking truth and follow several heroes as they fight this modern-day slavery and stop the next generation of buyers…” Yes, this was released in 2013, not 1913; I know it’s hard to tell.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

You’ve got to admire his chutzpah:

The…mayor [of Salvador Mazza, Argentina]…Carlos Villalba…was arrested…during a raid on a brothel as part of a case investigating human trafficking…[protestors] demanding that the mayor resign…threw eggs at the building where the town officials were meeting, and even traded blows with a group of municipal employees…the mayor said he believed he was at a family home…not in a brothel…

Lack of Evidence (April Updates)

A plan by the Education Agency of Prabumulih, South Sumatra, to include virginity tests as part of its high school admission requirements has drawn the ire of legislators and education experts, who say that such an exam is a violation of personal space and an obstruction to a student’s right to an education.  H.M. Rasyid, the chief of Prabumulih’s Education Agency…[said] increasing instances of premarital sex and prostitution among female students prompted the move…

Public Service Announcement

Michael Brooks sextingKansas City FBI agents have scrutinized allegations that an online relationship led to Councilman Michael Brooks being blackmailed into getting city tax dollars for a community event that never occurred…Brooks is a married father of four and a Baptist minister…[who] went to the FBI to report…[that a] woman he was involved with tried to extort $60,000 from him…[after] they…exchanged lurid pictures…

Nasty Words

Regular readers know that I dislike grotesque euphemisms for genitalia and sex acts, but love the history of language; apparently the latter is stronger than the former, because I thought y’all might appreciate these two charts of slang terms for both male and female genitalia over the past 800 years.  The Timeglider platform takes a bit of getting used to, but I figured it out in a few minutes so I’m sure you can as well.

Big Sister

Emasculated Icelandic journalist is absolutely shocked to discover that prohibition of consensual behavior doesn’t work any better in Iceland than it does anywhere else; he goes to a “champagne club” and pays for a stripper, then when he leaves claims to have been “flooded with a range of emotions from disgust, anger and shame, but they settle at simply feeling sullied.”  Retired call girl and blogger tells him that he isn’t fooling anyone but his neofeminist overlords, and maybe not even them.

Girls, Girls, Girls!

San Francisco’s celebrated, unionized and worker-owned peep show the Lusty Lady will close its doors…on September 2nd…due to a lease dispute…the group had negotiated a lower rent…months ago.  A new lease was signed and notarized by the co-op but not immediately returned by the landlord.  After a few months paying the lower rent, the landlord apparently reneged and went back to the higher rent, which the club didn’t have room for in their budget.  The landlord put off new negotiations until [August 19th, then]…notified [them that] they had to be out…[in] two weeks…”if someone out there has a miracle up their butt” they are encouraged to reach out to the Lusties at LustyLadyPR@gmail.com

Uncommon Sense (TW3 #11)German sex box

Zurich…unveiled a sex drive-in which local authorities say will enable them to keep closer tabs on prostitution…the nine so-called “sex boxes” are located in a former industrial zone…[and] will be open daily from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate…they will have to follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed.  Once they have negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the…boxes…[which] will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger…Zurich has spared no effort to encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the city centre and use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible…To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently.  Social workers and security guards will be on hand, however…

Older press releases say most local hookers support the plan; as Laura Agustín points out, however, any attempt at regulation creates some bottleneck:

…whenever this sort of plan arises…numerous street workers simply refuse to transfer their activities to the regulated zones, which are always far away from bustling areas if not in downright deserted ones.  Instead, they move into some other commercial/residential neighbourhood, where the cycle begins again…

An Example To the West (TW3 #39)

over…100…teenage boys…whose mothers are [sex workers]…will be part of 14 [soccer] teams [in Kolkata]…the winners of the tournament, organised by DMSC, will receive soccer-related gear.  Surojit Bhattacharya and Bishwajit Nandi, two children of sex workers left August 2 for Poznan, Poland to represent India in the Homeless World Cup that began August 10…

So Close and Yet So Far

I don’t know if anyone at the American Jewish World Service read my critique of Ruth Messinger’s statements about sex work and “trafficking”, but they’ve prepared a splendid document called “Sex Worker Rights: (Almost) Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask”, in which neither I nor several other activists could find a single fault (and believe me, we were looking).  Bravo, AJWS; welcome to the ranks of true allies!

Backwards Into the Future (TW3 #41)

Malawian lawyers recognize “avails” laws as relics of the “white slavery” hysteria; why can’t American ones get that?

…no provision in the Malawi Penal Code criminalises the selling of sexual services…yet…some police officers in Malawi appear to be operating under the assumption that sex work is illegal…based on an interpretation of [a] section…which prohibits a woman from living on the earnings of prostitution…The [law]…can be traced back to 1912…[and] unsubstantiated allegations of women being trafficked to colonies for the purpose of prostitution…

Tyranny By Consensus (TW3 #51)condoms

There has been a development in the porn industry’s lawsuit to overturn the Los Angeles “condoms in porn” law:

…Judge Pregerson has decided that condoms in porn do not violate the First Amendment…[but] much of Measure B does violate the Constitution…he has…[removed] the County’s ability to [charge a fee for,] suspend or revoke [a filming] permit…[or] conduct warrantless searches of producers…a fine or criminal penalties could not be imposed without a judicial hearing.  The Court also…[found] that Measure B does not define adult films sufficiently since…activities such as kissing…could possibly transmit disease…

Skin To Skin

Tauriq Moosa on sex workers and the disabled:

…sex workers’ services shouldn’t only be recognised in the light of people with disabilities, but people with, say, psychological hangups, and so on…This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with people who choose sex workers because they “can’t get” anyone without paying for it – just as people don’t “resort” to online dating…seeking out sex workers is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s not wrong, or indicative of being a failure, deviant or a slightly off human being. However we find fulfilment, as long as we are not harming others, shouldn’t be an issue and we should celebrate that there are people, like sex workers, helping and facilitating this…

The End of the Beginning

The North Carolina law banning registered sex offenders from commercial social networking sites…that children can use is unconstitutional because it’s vague and violates free speech, the state Court of Appeals ruled…unanimously in vacating the additional felony conviction of a registered offender…[who] created a profile…on Facebook…

A War for Peace (TW3 #321)Amina doesn't need dimocracy

First she had no last name, then we were told it was “Tyler”; now as the Topless Tunisian announces she’s leaving Femen, I think we’re at last getting the real one:

Amina Sboui…was arrested in Kairouan [on] May 19…after she tagged the word FEMEN on the wall of a cemetery.  The group then held several protests to support her…but now that she’s been released after more than two months in prison, Amina has decided to leave FEMEN, calling it “Islamophobic”…[she also said] “I do not know the movement’s sources of funding.  I repeatedly asked Inna [Shevchenko]…but she refused to give clear answers…What if it was Israel that funded it?”…

Ad Absurdum

I find the repeated usage of the word “victim” herein to be especially grating:

Kaitlyn Hunt…was arrested again…Under the conditions of a pretrial court order, Hunt was forbidden from contacting the victim…[and] was offered a plea deal to lesser, nonsexual charges…[but] the state attorney’s office withdrew that offer…following allegations that Hunt repeatedly met with the victim and sent sexually explicit photos via the Internet…

More Harm Than Good

Given that Sam Woolfe believes that sex workers are dominated by “pimps, drug dealers and traffickers”, that we’re diseased and too stupid to care for our own health, that our work is “degrading”, and that legalization increases “sex trafficking”, one has to wonder what the “legalization” he advocates would look like.  And given that he apparently had the time and inclination to fill his head with bogus studies and made-up statistics, one is at a total loss to understand why he wasn’t able to locate the readily-available debunking of the garbage he spouts in this asinine article, or to simply consult with someone who actually knows something about the subject before writing it.

Cuckoo Advertising
Ashley Madison 36 hours of bullshit

Ashley Madison is at it again, and the credulous media are still swallowing their ads as “press releases”.  This time it’s ABC-TV’s Good Morning America show, opening wide for the claim that the average woman who joins the site is in bed with some “lucky” dude about 36 hours after joining; hiding in that comparatively-minor assertion’s shadow is the whopper that 40% of the site’s members are female (though in all fairness, we don’t know how Ashley Madison defines the words “member” and “female”).

But Brandon Wade of Seeking Arrangement is not to be outdone; he wrote a “press release” touting the claim that 40,000 of the aspiring sugar babies on his site are teachers, and got the Daily Caller to buy it…thus plugging into the teacher fantasies of many a would-be sugar daddy, of whom there are undoubtedly more than a few among the Caller’s readers.

Zurvivor (TW3 #334)

Alexis Wright…doesn’t have to answer questions from prosecutors at the trial of alleged client…Donald Hill…Justice Roland Cole ruled Wright didn’t have to testify after her attorney argued her testimony could open her up to prosecution on new charges, including federal crimes and perjury…

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All prostitution laws are conceived as methods to control women who, before ideas of victimhood took hold, were understood to be powerful, dangerous figures associated with rebellion, revolt, carnival, the world upside down, spiritual power and calculated wrongdoing.  –  Laura Agustín

The Pro-Rape Coalition

Dr. Robert King on porn, with a nice endorsement of yours truly:

…Some would like to ban fantasies—hide them away…fantasy can function as an outlet for desire…violence—including sexual violence–has been decreasing across the board.  Has consumption of violent fantasy decreased?  Quite the reverse.  Violent video is everywhere but violent crime has gone down…we really need to stop thinking that we…know what is good for others—especially when those others are consenting adults…puritans…try to control others’ sexuality…through guilt, fear, and misinformation… as documented in exhaustive detail by the excellent Brooke Magnanti and Maggie McNeill…If the puritans were serious about harm to children they would spear-head proper realistic sex education…

Decentralization

Brian Doherty draws on a Forbes article to discuss the government’s latest efforts to shut Bitcoin down, destroy everything good about it or, failing in both of those, to steal a cut of it.

If It Were Legal

One wonders how much more often sex workers could help to fight actual crime were we not absurdly and arbitrarily classed as criminals ourselves:

A prostitute given $300 in dye-stained $20 bills led police to the home of the man suspected of robbing a…bank…she…told the FBI agent [that the suspect, Anthony] Nugent…began behaving erratically [after paying her, so]…she left…later that night…her boyfriend…told her [the money] appeared to be dye-stained…Bubblegum Husky

Scapegoats

Frankly, what’s most “unclear” to me is how this is even physically possible:

An Idaho man was arrested Thursday after police say he sexually penetrated a cat on more than one occasion.  Ryan Havens Tannenholz, 28 – a…”furry” who dresses up as a dog he calls Bubblegum Husky — is charged with six counts of crimes against nature, and one count of cruelty to an animal…It’s unclear how [police] learned about [his] alleged actions…Furry News Magazine Flayrah reports that Tannenholz was a member of…furry fandom…who portrayed himself as a “sparkly” husky, a blue fox named Kismet…and another purple canine…

Above the Law

I’ve said it countless times:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, cops will continue to rape women in their homes:  “A deputy in Texas accused of raping a woman in front of her children has resigned…Lisa Rodriguez…said [he] told her if she resisted he would take her to jail…” or during traffic stops:  “…Thomas Merenda and Franklin Hartley…are charged with unlawful compensation, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison…Hartley ordered the passenger to perform oral sex on him, then [raped] her.  Merenda…asked the victim…to punch him in the…genital area…’Tom really enjoys this’, [Hartley] reportedly told the driver…”  Note that the cops are charged with “accepting bribes” rather than rape, and the reporter even avoids the word.  TSA agents can’t even confine their groping to travelers:  “A [TSA] manager at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport resigned after he was charged with sexually abusing a co-worker…Shane Hinkle, 38…is accused of forcibly touching [his victim]…

Enabling Oppression

The Polaris Project continues its loathsome and exploitative campaign to link sex work to historical American black slavery:

New undercover footage of pimp-controlled prostitution will be shared…at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and End Slavery Cincinnati to show the realities of enslaved women.  The Polaris Project developed the 20-minute footage from the streets of Washington, D.C.  Following the showing, representatives from The Salvation Army’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program, the Cincinnati Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Off the Streets program will speak about the reality of pimp-controlled prostitution in Cincinnati…

Imagination Pinned Down

Elizabeth LoftusHere’s a short overview of the work of Elizabeth Loftus, the foremost expert on the malleability of human memory:  “…Loftus…has done more than any other researcher to document the unreliability of memory…and…has used what she has learned to testify as an expert witness in hundreds of criminal cases…informing juries that memories are pliable and that eyewitness accounts are far from perfect recordings of actual events…Now…[her] research is starting to bring about lasting changes in the legal system…” I drew heavily upon Dr. Loftus’ work for the research paper I wrote for the Albany Government Law Review, to be published this autumn.

Hooker Humor (TW3 #31)

Miranda Kane, the BBW escort turned comedienne, is getting good reviews; here’s an introduction she wrote for the Edinburgh Festival:

…There’s a stigma to sex-workers, as well as their clients.  We’re all shown the negative side, the poor, helpless trafficked victims.  But all the women I knew were just ordinary, happy ladies who just happened to enjoy having sex for money…Our clients weren’t seedy, sex-obsessed perverts.  They were kind, keen, appreciative men who just wanted a moment of luxury, intimacy… to be able to be with the kind of women they could only fantasise about normally…My show exposes the every-day life of a sex-worker; how we work in the digital age, the bizarre and strange requests from clients, what both elated and annoys us.  I try and show the human aspect – that the women are normal, they’re not drug addled victims, nor are they overtly beautiful and wealthy courtesans.  They’re women you see every day…

Bottleneck

[Queensland] Police Minister Jack Dempsey is considering allowing sex workers to make suburban house calls after lobbying by the Prostitution Licensing Authority.  While it is lawful for sole operators to make house calls it is illegal for brothels to send their workers to clients…brothel owners…[say they] need the extra business to remain profitable…[PLA] chairman Manus Boyce…[said] that illegal prostitution was operating without fear in Queensland and that allowing more outcalls could put more pressure on the illicit trade…

The Naked Anthropologist

Last week Dr. Laura Agustín published “Prostitution Law and the Death of Whores”, a primer for those who haven’t thought much about the harm anti-prostitution laws cause:

…Twenty years ago I first asked two questions that continue to unsettle me today.  The first is answerable:  What does a woman who sells sex accomplish that leads to her being treated as fallen, beyond the pale, incapable of speaking for herself, discountable if she does speak, invisible as a member of society?  The answer is she carries a stigma.  The second question is a corollary:  Why do most public conversations focus on laws and regulations aimed at controlling these stigmatized women rather than recognizing their agency?  To that the answer is not so straightforward… My focus on the female is deliberate.  All who propose prostitution policy are aware that men sell sex, but they are not concerned about men, who simply do not suffer the disgrace and shame that fall on women who do it…

Though it’s not extremely long, the article covers agency denial, the “rescue industry”, the irrationality of prostitution law, neofeminism, the Swedish model and media sensationalism; it’s thus one you should bookmark for sharing with people who are ignorant, but will listen to reason.floating brothels Utrecht

Dutch Threat

As the Netherlands continues to cave in to greed and hysteria, Dutch sex workers have been forced to find their own solutions:  “A group of 15 prostitutes in Utrecht have set up a cooperative to run floating brothels after the council withdrew operating permits from their previous landlords.  The cooperative, named Macha’s, is now applying for a…brothel licence and a boat mooring permit…Some 300 Utrecht prostitutes lost their place of work when the council cancelled contracts for the operation of brothels…because of human trafficking fears…

Backwards into the Future (TW3 #321)

The Commission for Gender Equality has [submitted] a proposal…for the decriminalisation of sex work [in South Africa]…“The current position of total criminalisation has not succeeded in addressing problems associated with sex work”…said the…commission…[which] was informed by studies conducted in…New Zealand and Australia.  “Legislation…should adopt the principle that sex work is work, and allow the industry to be governed by the wealth of existing labour and business laws aimed at preventing unsafe, exploitative and unfair business practices”…The commission said studies…offered strong and concrete evidence that decriminalisation empowered sex workers to protect themselves from violence…improved relationships…[with] the police…[and] reduced chances of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation of children…

Zurvivor

Deals with devils always have more conditions than anticipated:

The Maine woman convicted of running a prostitution business out of a Zumba fitness studio is headed back to court…to fight having to testify at the trial of one of her clients.  Alexis Wright…has been subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify at the trial of Donald Hill…

It’s That Time Again (TW3 #326)

A politician’s wife wants her state to look even stupider than New Jersey by starting “gypsy whores” panic a year and a half in advance:

The wife of Sen. John McCain…is calling on the [Arizona] legislature to pass tougher laws against human trafficking…[for] the Super Bowl in 2015.  “The Super Bowl, as all of you know, is one of the world’s largest human trafficking centers when it goes on in the world,” McCain said…Forbes reported that 10,000 prostitutes were brought to Miami for the 2010 Super Bowl.  There were 133 prostitution arrests in Dallas during the 2011 Super Bowl…

No, Forbes said that habitual liars NCMEC claimed there were that many, and there were 133 arrests of all kinds in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth area during a 2½ week period before the Super Bowl…which is typical for DFW.Spreadsheets

Between the Ears (TW3 #332)

Dr. Brooke Magnanti writes about others who think good sex can be defined by statistics:

…Thanks to the new [iPhone] app Spreadsheets, no longer will you have sex without being able to save and analyse the stats of your performance…according to the company’s website:  “Spreadsheets monitors data from user’s movement and audio levels through the accelerometer and microphone to provide statistical and visual analysis of their performance in bed”…The notion that longer is better…and that loud equals enjoyment has gained such traction in popular culture that it’s hard to find any other measure of what “good” sex is…I once dated a guy whose sole measure of whether a good time had been had was how long he stayed erect.  Being jackhammered long into the wee hours is hardly a great way to spend your time…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (TW3 #332)

A pastor from…Sweden has been convicted of buying sex from a prostitute after…police broke up a major pimping operation…[he] has been temporarily relieved of his duties…”  Synopsis of the rest:  “human trafficking”, “These woman were used as if they were on a conveyor belt“, blah blah blah.

Election Day (TW3 #332)

As you might imagine, I find this new trend of cops arresting retired madams on drug charges to be a highly disturbing one:

…Heidi Fleiss has been charged in Nevada with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell…officers found nearly 400 marijuana plants growing in and around…[her] home in Pahrump…She said she had been growing marijuana without a license and that she intended to sell it to a cooperative in Las Vegas…she was not arrested.  All the plants were taken away by police as evidence.

Yeah, “evidence”.  Pull the other one, guys.

The Privilege Paradigm

Coincidentally, someone else wrote about the problem with the word “privilege” and came to almost exactly the same conclusions as I did:

…A privilege is something extra — and from a very young age, I knew that when something was referred to as a privilege, I was in danger of losing it.  How does that make sense…with something like being free from fear of police harrassment?…when it is called a “privilege,” my initial thought is that it is something unjustified that should be taken away — i.e., we should all have to be stopped and frisked…I [have] some degree of autonomy and dignity in my work — do we really want to say that that’s a “privilege”?  In both cases, aren’t we dealing with something more like a right that’s been denied to a great many people?…

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The idea that [no coerced prostitutes] ever indicate their plight to any of the hundreds of thousands of men who make up their clientele, or that if they do none of those men reports it to police, is simply fantastical.  No one with any experience of real live human beings could possibly believe it.  –  Tim Worstall

Think of the Children!

…For the past two decades, parents who’ve lost children in horrible ways have tried to memorialize them in law…But…support for… “apostrophe laws”…is waning…recession…made officials…hesitant to increase costs…from…more prisoners and longer sentences…the drop in the crime rate…made tougher laws…less politically compelling…[and] the lower-hanging fruit has been picked…

Rebecca Williams
Lack of Evidence

A [West Australian] businesswoman claims…police have stopped her repeatedly…in the crackdown on street prostitution.  Rebecca Williams says…officers…[demanded] to know what she was doing and [checked] her identification…”  Of course she’s wholly clueless, protesting that she doesn’t “look like a prostitute”.

Must…resist…snark…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

A [Las Vegas] police officer is facing five counts of soliciting…while he was investigating crimes of prostitution…Investigators followed [Peter] Connell for months and witnessed him…visiting the apartment of Mary Anne Moore, who had previous prostitution arrests…

Somehow, I Doubt He Thought This Through

A man…dialed 999 to complain about a prostitute’s looks…[saying] he “wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act”…Officers…sent…a letter warning him about wasting police time…

The Enlightenment Police

A young Muslim woman miscarried after being attacked by two Parisian champions of women’s rights:  “first [they] tried taking her headscarf off and later cut off her hair…After she screamed out that she was pregnant, one of the attackers started kicking her in the stomach…[shouting] that the veil was no longer acceptable in France…Lorna Dueck

The Crumbling Dam

This article entitled “Faith Groups Oppose Legal Prostitution Because They Care About Women’s Lives” is just the usual collection of sin-and-degradation prohibitionist control freak myths; the comment thread, however, is a thing of beauty.

Mind Reading (November Updates)

Why do so many politicians think sex overrides the Constitution?

Pierce County [Washington] might make it illegal for suspected prostitutes and their customers to attempt to detect undercover officers…by “exposing oneself or asking another to do so; by asking to be touched sexually; or by requesting to touch or touching another sexually”…

Where Are the Protests?

Notice what words we aren’t seeing here:

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided [several] 7-Eleven shops in New York and Virginia…Nine store owners and managers have been arrested on charges of harboring and hiring undocumented immigrants…the raids are a part of an investigation into human smuggling, identity theft and money laundering…authorities described the alleged situation as a “modern day plantation system“…

Not To Be Taken Internally

Suyima Torres…[died 10 hours after receiving buttocks injections] at…Cuerpos Health and Aesthetics on April 11…she…was rushed to the hospital…by the center’s owner, Ruth Planas…the Venezuelan doctor who performed the surgery…is thought to have fled the country…Torres died only 16 days after…20-year-old Dailen Garcia, received butt implants from the same facility…[and] was hospitalized …for vision problems and bleeding lungs…Meet the Fokkens

Presents, Presents, Presents!

Reader George sent me a copy of Meet the Fokkens and a gift card, with the suggestion I use it to buy the movie Diamond Men (which I did).  Thank you so much, George!

Above the Law

Texas jailers…”repeatedly raped and humiliated female inmates”…[who’ve now] sued Live Oak County and its…jailers Vincent Aguilar, Israel Charles Jr. and Jaime E. Smith…All three…were arrested in August 2010 and charged with sexual assault…Smith and Aguilar are in…prison…”these guards would withhold food and water, engage in physical abuse, restrict privileges and verbally and emotionally abuse the women – even threaten to kill them in order to compel their compliance”…

The Widening Gyre

In which we learn that nail parlors are havens of “sex trafficking”:

…the advocacy group ECPAT estimates 100,000 minors are forced into prostitution or pornography each year — but no one knows how vast the problem is because it’s under reported and underground, said Kathy Maitland of the Michigan Abolitionist project…”It’s the second-largest-growing activity in our country”…She says Michigan is especially vulnerable because of a large agricultural industry…and its location along an international border…Lt. Wendy Reyes…said…”If we had more manpower we…could get online…and find these victims”…trafficking is often linked to online and street prostitution, ethnic restaurants, masseuse businesses, pornography and nail salons…iEmpathize founder Brad Riley…called…the proliferation of pornography…a “super fuel” that promotes trafficking…

Beside the usual rampant illogic, mathematical illiteracy, blatant racism and “King of the Hill” foolishness, you’ve got to love Wendy’s claim that cops need to web surf all day to “find victims”.

The More the Better (TW3 #27)

French footballers Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema go on trial in Paris…accused of paying…Zahia Dehar…for sex in 2008 and 2009…Algerian-born Dehar, now 21, has since become designer Karl Lagerfeld’s muse and protégée, launching her own lingerie line…State prosecutors have requested that the case be dropped, however, arguing the footballers did not know Dehar was a minor…

Follow Your Bliss (TW3 #44)

A…top [TSA] officer…[named Miguel Quinones] was arrested on child pornography charges after items were seized from his locker at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport…”  As explained in the referenced column, the TSA is well-known for attracting pedophiles.

Q & A (TW3 #134)

P411 lilyTwenty-two female escorts were arrested last week during a two-day sting in…Denver…The women were advertising on two websites — DenverBackPage.com and Preferred411.com…” Despite the involvement of the FBI’s lugubriously-named “Innocence Lost” project, note that verified professional adult escorts were targeted via P411; these cops had no illusions they might find “trafficked children”.  In fact, the sting was enabled by one creating a fake profile and then arranging several “coffee dates” with escorts and asking for “OKs”, which the escorts gave in violation of P411 rules; their accounts were suspended for their negligence in enabling predatory monsters to hurt other sex workers.  Ladies, ONLY give OKs to men you actually see behind closed doors; how can you possibly know whether a man is dangerous if you’ve only seen him in public?

Profound Ignorance (TW3 #310)

A scathing demolition of the horrendous “study” which claimed legalized prostitution increases “sex trafficking”, and also of the “sheer implausibility of the claims that 30% of all prostitutes are trafficked…”:

The…scare campaign…over “sex trafficking”…becomes a complete and total mess…because [campaigners confuse]…the transport of unwilling people…into forced prostitution…and…the illegal movement of willing people across borders to enter the sex trade…people from poorer countries…wish to…move…to richer countries.  And such is the system of immigration laws that many of them will be unable to do this legally…

Cathy Reisenwitz also had a few things to say:

The Guardian recently quoted UK solicitor general Oliver Heald QC describing “victims” of trafficking as people who pay a lot of money to escape their home countries and then are forced to pay it back…That’s not slavery, it’s indentured servitude, and it accounts for two-thirds of immigrants to America from the British Isles in the 17th century.  Anti-prostitution and anti-immigration campaigners have  hijacked the term “human trafficking” to describe any instance of a person crossing a border to do sex work…It requires buying into the rather insulting idea that women aren’t capable of choosing to leave their homes and do sex work abroad…once you establish that women aren’t capable of making their own choices, you can justify taking all kinds of rights and liberties away from them…

The End of the Beginning

Corrections officials are refusing to remove a sex offender’s name from the state’s public database, defying [the] order…[of] The Court of Appeals [which] ruled…that [Robert Merle Haines Jr.] should not be named on the…registry because [it] did not exist at the time of his crime and registration would be a form of retroactive punishment, which the Maryland Constitution doesn’t allow.  Corrections officials say federal…requirements prevent them from complying with the ruling…

Meanwhile, in Minnesota:

…Minnesota’s Sex Offender…Task Force…[is] redesigning the…program…each of the state’s 687 committed sex offenders [costs]…about $120,000 a year…with…50 more…each year…The task force came into existence as part of a lawsuit filed by the committed sex offenders, who argue the…program is unconstitutional because…no one is actually treated and released, thereby creating an indefinite incarceration system even after the offenders have served their criminal [sentences]…

Another Small Victory (TW3 #317)

As expected, the “anti-prostitution pledge” was struck down in the SCOTUS.  This is not actually a victory for sex worker rights in the big picture; it was decided wholly on first-amendment grounds and the “allies” were at best ones of convenience.  If you’d like to read more about the details and implications, I recommend Melissa Gira Grant, Popehat and Mike Siegel.

"The Ionian Dance" by Sir Edward John Poynter (1895) was recently rediscovered after being "lost" since 1915. It depicts a scene from ancient Pompeii.

“The Ionian Dance” by Sir Edward John Poynter (1895) was recently rediscovered after being “lost” since 1915. It depicts a scene from ancient Pompeii.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #318)

If anyone really believes this is anything but an attempt to save face, I have some lovely beachfront property for sale:

For the first time, the State Department on Wednesday declared China and Russia among the worst offending countries…a designation that will lead to sanctions against both…the…2013 report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP)…officially downgraded China, Russia, and Uzbekistan to the lowest possible rating…along with Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, and Zimbabwe…

What If They Threw a Party and Nobody Came? (TW3 #321)

The prevalence of dangerous strains of the human papillomavirus…has dropped by half among teenage girls in recent years, a striking measure of success for a vaccine…that was introduced only in 2006…The magnitude of the decline…surprised…experts because only about a third of teenage girls in the United States have [received]…the full course of three doses.  By comparison, vaccination rates in…Denmark…Britain [and]…Rwanda…[have] reached 80 percent…

Deafening Silence

When this happens in India, it’s a media circus; in Sweden…{cricket sounds}:  “Six teenage boys aged 15 to 17 were convicted on Friday after raping a 15-year-old girl in…Stockholm…The case was the third…gang rape to take place in the Stockholm area…this year…

The Mills of the Gods

Despite the annoying visuals and a few clumsy phrases in the first third, this is an excellent argument against prohibition of sex work.

Where are the Victims? (TW3 #322)

A novel attempt to use New York State’s sex trafficking law…ended with mixed results…as the men were convicted…of promoting prostitution and of money laundering, but…acquitted of…sex trafficking…The law defines trafficking based on the methods the pimps use to control the prostitutes, rather than whether the prostitutes view themselves as victims…prosecutors…presented an expert to testify that women working as prostitutes are often not aware that they are victims.  But three of the women themselves  testified for the defense…and…were upset…at the…[suggestion] they were not to be believed…

Consider for a moment the incredibly dangerous precedent a prosecution victory would have set; state “experts” would be allowed to define any person as a victim in any crime regardless of that person’s viewpoint.

Zurvivor

The owner of a Lawrence [Massachusetts] massage parlor coerced employees to perform sex acts on…customers, some of whom were videotaped without the clients’ knowledge…Authorities said Barron used the videotapes to blackmail employees to keep working for her…”  Dear ethically-challenged sex business owners:  Stop videotaping clients, you moron.  See, there’s this thing called “evidence”…

Pimping the Pimp

More egregious use of “pimp” mythology to justify Nevada’s draconian “sex trafficking” law:

Because of their age, they will have difficulty working inside most [hotels].  For most, that means hitting the streets under the eye of a pimp and more experienced prostitutes.  And the more they must rely on the pimp, the more difficult it is to pry them from his clutches…So when Assembly Bill 67 surfaced…earlier this year, the police welcomed it as a way to send a message to pimps that there would be a higher price to pay for running young girls…

Once again:  teens don’t turn to sex work because a “pimp” abducts them from their loving families, and 84% of them have never as much as met one.

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When cowardice is made respectable…it easily becomes a fashion.
–  Eric Hoffer

Alexis WrightSo, the saga of the “Zumba prostitute” comes to a close, and we have a new inductee in the Hall of Shame.  But I’m getting ahead of myself; here’s the essential portion of the story:

A Zumba fitness instructor at the center of a prostitution scandal…told a judge who sentenced her…to 10 months in jail that she’s happy to have escaped her former life…Alexis Wright said she felt relief when police raided her business on Feb. 12, 2012, because she wanted out.  “In my eyes I’m free. I’m free from this,” she told the judge. “I have an incredible amount of strength that I knew was in me somewhere. Now that I have the strength I want to encourage others to come forward”…The former single mother was accused of conspiring with insurance business owner Mark Strong to run a prostitution business in which she videotaped clients without their knowledge…the defense said…that Wright became part of Strong’s private investigation firm and was manipulated into believing she was an “operative” working for the state with the task of investigating “all manner of sexual deviants.”  Her attorney, Sarah Churchill, said…said self-deception is a coping mechanism for women involved in prostitution…

Fuck you, Alexis.  Fuck you for that bullshit story about how you were manipulated, for that bootlicking garbage about how you were “relieved” at being arrested, for calling your clients “deviants”, and for letting your lawyer mouth bogus prohibitionist “false consciousness” filth.  It was obvious from the start that you were extremely unprofessional and had no clue about the ethics of our trade, but hundreds of thousands of your fellow-whores around the world felt sorry for you anyway, spoke harsh words about your persecutors, hoped and prayed that you would get a lenient sentence and be able to put your life back together after this public pillorying.

And how do you repay us?  By throwing us all under the bus.  By standing up there and embracing every fucking myth the prohibitionists have used to attack us for the past decade.  By confirming all the stupid stereotypes of how all sex workers were sexually abused, that we never do it voluntarily, that there’s always a big, bad pimp “exploiting” us, that we’re “relieved” when the cops smash down our doors to “rescue” us by caging us, stealing all of our profits and subjecting us to public ridicule.  And worst of all, by letting your fucking shyster stand up there and vomit out Farleyisms about how we “survive” the horrible assault on our sexual purity (which is a woman’s only important characteristic) by convincing ourselves we like our work when deep down we just want out.  The message being, of course, “Don’t listen to all those whores demanding their rights; what they really want is to be ‘saved’ by the police.”

kissing the bootSome of my readers may think I’m being unnecessarily harsh, that maybe you really were abused as a child (after all, some people are), that maybe you are as dumb as the proverbial box of rocks and got yourself into a situation you couldn’t handle.  Maybe you have such a supple spine that your lawyer bullied you into reciting that script as the best way to appeal to the judge’s and prosecutors’ pathologically-swollen egos.  Maybe.  But even if that’s all true, it matters not one whit in my opinion of you, because the difference between my level of contempt for evil and my level of contempt for moral cowardice is so minuscule I probably couldn’t shove your scruples between them.  Even if you had made all the same revolting claims but left out the bit about being happy to be arrested, I might have found room in my heart to give you the benefit of the doubt.  But to sanctify the actions of tyrants, to provide the enemies of all our kind (and that means your kind, sister, no matter how much you deny it now) with another excuse to justify their barbaric tactics to the Great Unwashed, is utterly beyond the pale.  You disgust me.  The judge said to you, “I know that you will succeed when you’re released,” and she’s probably right because, unfortunately, amoral quislings willing to collaborate with the oppressor to save their own skins usually do.

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