Archive for February 1st, 2012

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. – H.L. Mencken

The Super Bowl will be held in Indianapolis this coming Sunday, and though the egg-covered faces of Dallas area “authorities” seems to have chastened some of their Indiana counterparts somewhat, there’s still plenty of hysteria to go around.  As I explained in my column of one year ago today, there is absolutely zero evidence that prostitution or so-called “human trafficking” follows major sporting events, and in fact there are a number of studies (besides anecdotal evidence) which proves they don’t:

Here’s a detailed examination of the 2006 “World Cup sex trafficking” hysteria in Germany, which you will notice closely resembles our current Super Bowl hysteria…Luckily, prostitution is legal in Germany, so it was easy to research and publish an expose of the myth…And just for good measure, here’s a report by the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group which conclusively shows that there is absolutely no correlation between mega sports events and either sex trafficking or a dramatic increase in prostitution.  Also, the Swedish government funded a separate study which also demonstrated the falsity of the World Cup sex trafficking claims.  In 2006 the German authorities uncovered only five cases of “human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation” instead of the imaginary 40,000; in Tampa…there were NO arrests for prostitution during Super Bowl week, and according to this report from the  Vancouver Sun:

After the last four [Olympic] Games (Turin 2006, Athens 2004, Salt Lake City 2002, and Sydney 2000), there were almost no confirmed reports on the numbers of sex workers, level of violence or other associated factors.  Notably, almost all anecdotal reports suggested no obvious change in level of activity.  During the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, where sex work is legal, only a marginal increase in prostitution was reported.  In Salt Lake City, one confirmed report indicated that city licenses for escort services increased by only 12 per cent in the period leading up to the Winter Games.

In short, there is literally no evidence whatsoever for any measurable rise in prostitution during such events, much less thousands of trafficked sex slaves.

Regular readers may recall that after all the hype, the number of prostitution arrests in the Dallas area during last year’s Super Bowl week was typical of any other week, and the one single individual accused of “human trafficking” got the idea from the propaganda.  Texas officials tried to blame this utter and complete failure of their predictions on unseasonable weather and a supposed deterrent effect of all their “precautions”, but I doubt anyone other than die-hard “true believers” was fooled; for example,

…Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Bates said he did not expect a lot of human trafficking at the Super Bowl.  “In Dallas, they expected a big influx, but they saw a lot less than they thought they would,” said Bates, who went to Dallas and talked to police there.  “They had only a few arrests.”

Bates of course went on to make stupid statements about “prostitution unrelated to human trafficking [being] expected to rise” and equating stripping with hooking, but he also seems to comprehend that most whores aren’t streetwalkers.  Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller is far more credulous and made the jaw-droppingly stupid statement that “There are limits to our hospitality, and certain activities are not welcome…Prostitution and human trafficking are way over the line” (presumably he believes that there are no resident hookers in Indiana), but even he seems to realize that not all whores are helpless victims.  Still, Governor Mitch Daniels is “concerned that the approaching Super Bowl will bring women and girls sold into sexual slavery” and state Senator Randy Head wants the legislature to “target…human traffickers who flood Super Bowl sites with teen prostitutes” by increasing the penalty for statutory rape (sex with a minor) to equal that for aggravated rape.  And apparently, there aren’t enough members of the Indiana legislature who don’t “believe the Super Bowl to be the biggest human trafficking event in the country, if not the world” to stop Head’s ill-conceived bill from sailing unanimously through the legislature just as nearly all sex-crime legislation does.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of this year’s Super Bowl hysteria is the concentration on meddling in the business affairs of hotels rather than indulging in the Texas-style “law and order” threats and swagger to which we were subjected so much last year.  A group called Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (whose founder’s horror stories strike me as very odd indeed) plans to use special bars of soap to fight “human traffickers” hiding in hotel lavatories, and a group of nuns (who unlike Sister Lynda Dearlove are unencumbered by any actual experience with real whores) has been annoying the managers of hundreds of hotels within an 80-km radius of Indianapolis with prying questions, and then further harassing those who give the “wrong” answers (or, presumably, tell them to mind their own business).

Of course, a lot of this moral panic is supported by the media, who repeat the bogus “trafficking” statistics and claims of marauding hordes of nomadic strumpets without so much as a qualifying statement, despite the fact that the studies disproving those claims can easily be found online in minutes.  Ah, well; sooner or later a few of the mainstream journalists will begin to wake up, and once that happens it’s all over but the shouting.  I wonder how many more annual invasions from the demimonde have to fail to appear before the American Fourth Estate comes out of its collective mental hibernation?

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