Archive for August 18th, 2011

A man hears what he wants to hear/And disregards the rest.  –  Paul Simon, “The Boxer”

Several stories about “authorities” seeing and hearing exactly what they want to see and hear.

Give It a Rest

I guess the cops in Arlington, Texas aren’t satisfied with just going “booga-booga, I see you!” to escorts and shaming clients any more, especially since what they imagined would be their big chance to look like big shots fizzled exactly as I and other rational people predicted it would.  So now they’re resorting to harassing strippers and strip-club patrons instead:

Dozens of employees and patrons were arrested late Friday during a raid at the Flashdancer strip club.  In all, 44 people were arrested on narcotic warrants, charges of possession of controlled substances or outstanding felony or misdemeanor warrants, police spokeswoman Tiara Richard said…Richard said the location had a history of illegal drugs and prostitution.  Recently, undercover officers had been at the nightclub where they bought drugs from employees and saw prostitution, Richard said.  No arrests Friday were related to prostitution.  “Based on what they saw, there was a need to take action,” Richard said…

Don’t you just love Copese?  They “saw prostitution”; obviously their Super Police Vision allows them to see other abstractions such as “criminality” and “guilt” as well, which is why their testimony is so much more credible in court than that of us ordinary mortals who lack super powers.  Of course, that raises the question of why such gifted beings are wasting their time bullying strippers instead of pursuing international gangsters or something, but we’re not supposed to think about that.

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere!

The American desire to be the world’s moral arbiter, combined with its simple-minded view of reality, has resulted in its attempting to impose “trafficking” mythology on countries which have heretofore largely ignored this largely Euro-American moral panic.  Note the subtly sardonic tone of this July 24th story from New Zealand:

New Zealand is risking an American rebuke over one of this country’s pet aid projects, which brings hundreds of Pacific Islanders here to work for minimum wages picking fruit and grapes, warn high-level US sources.  Wellington sees the recognised seasonal employer scheme as charity, but Washington views it as verging on human trafficking and debt-bonded labour…Last week US Human Trafficking Ambassador Luis CdeBaca came with a delegation to talk with government officials, unions and lobby groups.  No statement followed, but sources say the Americans were alarmed at a lack of recognition of trafficking in New Zealand.  The Americans are investigating bonds used to bring minimum wage workers from Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.  “The burden of illegal costs and debts on these labourers in the source country, often with the support of labour agencies and employers in the destination country, can contribute to a situation of debt bondage,” a source said.

…The Americans also believe trafficking of sex workers – especially from Asia – is taking place.  But Catherine Healy of the Prostitutes Collective told them the collective does not believe this.  “We haven’t come across sex workers who are victims of trafficking yet,” she said, adding the word trafficking was “such a dramatic catch-all…What we are asking for is old-fashioned labour rights.  We explained that sometimes sex workers are made to work exceptionally long shifts and have their money withheld by some brothel operators.”  Healy said some managers and operators are “dreadful to work for” and the Department of Labour should deal with them.  The collective told the Americans it was pleased sex workers had the right to say yes to sex work and that this was getting rid of exploitation.  “[CdeBaca] acknowledged it was important to not conflate prostitution and trafficking, as has been our recent experience in dealing with the American administration and their overall response to sex work”…

I’ve heard several US government officials claim lately that they believe it’s important not to conflate prostitution with trafficking, yet they keep doing it both in this country and in others.  The success of decriminalization in New Zealand must drive prudish American officials bats.  But as for Americans chiding New Zealand about the use of migrant labor in harvesting crops…

{ring! ring! ring!}


Hi, Kettle?  This is Pot.  You’re black.

Waking Up

It’s good to see so many educated people beginning to recognize the truth about sex work, though it’s rather sad to think so many of them (including the self-described “sexologist” who wrote this July 27th Huffington Post article) were ignorant enough to believe all the lies and stereotypes in the first place:

Think “sex worker,” and “affluent,” “educated,” and having a “strong family background” and “access to resources” are not the descriptors that come to mind.  But a University of Arkansas study recently found that many U.S. women joining the “high quality,” illegal prostitution market encompass all of those qualities…Far from desperately trying to fund their next drug high, childrearing expenses, or bills, they bare their wares for the very same reasons most people look for work — for money, stability, autonomy, and job satisfaction.  Such research joins a string of flabbergasting findings on who would consider joining the “world’s oldest profession.”  A British study, published in the journal Sex Education, found that 16.5% of undergraduates would consider sex work, with 93% pointing to money as the primary incentive.  Another Leeds University study, involving over 200 lap-dancers, reported that one in three participants engaged in such work to fund their schooling…a Berlin Studies Centre study has reported that one in three university students in Berlin would consider sex work as a way to pay for their education.  (It further found that over 29% of university students in Paris and 18.5% in Kiev would contemplate such.)  Some 4% of the 3,200 Berlin participants reported already having engaged in some type of sex work, like erotic dancing, Internet performances, or prostitution.  Researchers speculated that greater student workloads and higher fees have made sex work’s high hourly wages quite attractive.

While many people can’t wrap their head around a person’s desire to engage in sex work, this field’s potential to become your “average day job” changes depending on what the sexual exchanges involve.  With the term “sex work” encompassing a wide range of jobs, like erotic modeling, stripping, lap dancing, erotic massage, being a dominatrix, and webcam work, a person can make money doing ‘tamer’ activities than prostitution…Often involving zero physical contact, those sorts of jobs seem much less demeaning and threatening, hence, in some realms, become more socially acceptable.  These “artistic performers,” as they’ll often call themselves, often don’t feel victimized…

Dr. Fulbright, if you consider these findings “flabberga­sting” it’s because you were previously reading anti-sex work propaganda instead of talking to real women (which causes me to question your credibility as a sexologist).  For intelligen­t, educated women to choose sex work is nothing new; we’ve been doing it at least since ancient Sumer, and the Golden-Age Greek hetaerae and Renaissanc­e courtesans were the most educated, accomplish­ed women of their times.  The idea that sex work of any kind, even prostituti­on, is “demeaning and threatenin­g” exists largely in the minds of ignorant outsiders like yourself, not in the minds of the free adult women who make up the vast majority of our profession and always have.

If You Want Something Done Right…

The families of several of the women who were murdered by the Long Island Killer are (unsurprisingly) dissatisfied by the lackluster efforts of police, who (unsurprisingly) don’t appear too anxious to catch what appears to be a cop raping and murdering hookers.  So (as described in this July 30th article from CNN), they’ve decided to hire private detectives and to place Craigslist ads looking for information from other working girls who are too smart to trust cops; as Amber Costello’s sister put it, “I worked for a service when I was younger…We knew we had to protect ourselves. Police were not an option.”  Don’t expect CNN to understand this; they’re too busy pumping up their ratings by advocating further criminalization so more girls like Costello will be murdered in the future.

One Year Ago Today

The Empress Theodora” is a short biography of the woman who was inarguably the most successful whore of all time; she rose to become a Byzantine empress in life, and an Eastern Orthodox saint after her death.

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