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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

Denying rights and enabling trafficking are the same thing.
–  Jean Bruggeman

Down Under

The events which eventually led to decriminalization in New South Wales:

Libertarianism Happens To People

Why do people refuse to see injustice until it’s inflicted on them?

…Alyssa Reid [was]…a faculty member of [James Madison University], where she met a student named Kathryn Lese…in the spring of 2013…The following year, Lese graduated from JMU…the pair…eventually…became [lovers]…for two and a half years, living together for much of that time.  The relationship ended badly, [then]…almost a year later, on December 4, 2018, Lese filed a Title IX report with JMU…and Reid was accused of engaging in a nonconsensual relationship with her former girlfriend.  JMU suspended Reid from teaching.  Then, following a hearing where Reid was given no meaningful opportunity to rebut the allegations against her…the university de[cid]ed she had violated an aspect of the sexual misconduct policy that had not even existed during the time period in question…Reid is now suing JMU, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, which pushed colleges and universities to adopt unfair sexual misconduct adjudication policies during the…Obama…presidency…Reid herself strongly believed in the [policies at the time]…but becoming the target of a false accusation has broadened her perspective…

Torture Chamber

“Inappropriate contact with inmate” is such a nice way to say “rape of a caged woman”:

Richard Wade Sanders…was arrested [and charged with raping a caged woman.  He was also fired from his job as a screw]…

The article was so totally larded with euphemisms and circumlocution, only five words survived my edit.

What Were You All Waiting For? (#568)

About damned time, considering they backed Amnesty six years ago:

…[Cops] love to be the saviour, to do a raid and to rescue the little girls.  The criminalisation of sex work is tailor-made for that sort of project.  [They’ve] been given…carte blanche to stroll into any building or business where they think sex work is taking place, to pull over cars, or to arrest people on the street in order to investigate an on-going crime that they [claim] is being committed…and [cops] never want…a [power] taken away from them…sex work…[is] a form of work.  The people who disagree…usually give moral[istic]…reasons for why they think that.  But…FNUSA is grounded in representing workers who are doing dirty, dangerous, unpleasant work.  No little girl dreams of being a garment factory worker…or…a poultry processor…yet that is what some little girls end up doing, which is why we must put protections and regulations in place that make their environments less dangerous…even if it’s an industry that little girls don’t dream of going into, all sex workers deserve protection…and we don’t protect workers when we criminalise an industry.  We leave them…out in the cold…

Out of Control (#954)

Spooge-based sexual assaults are growing worse:

Thomas Stemen…who stabbed a woman with…a semen-filled syringe last year was sentenced [to 10 years in prison]…In February 2020, surveillance video showed [that Stemen] cre[pt up] behind a young woman…returning a shopping cart at a…grocery store…and stabbed her…Stemen…also…[tried to stab] a 17-year-old girl in the same supermarket, but he was unsuccessful…Doctors prescribed [the victim] a 30-day mix of preventive medication as she did not know what she [was injected] with, but…police searched Stemen’s home and vehicle, and found similar syringes were filled with semen…that…matched Stemen’s DNA…

The writing of this article is rather odd, including referring to the 52-year-old Stemens as “elderly”.

Torture Chamber (#1123) 

Stop faking!

…on May 6, 2019…[Tanya] Suarez…was arrested for being under the influence of [methamphetamine]…she was “acting bizarrely and responding to internal stimuli” during the booking process….[and] started clawing at her eyes.  [Screws]…cut…off her clothes and her acrylic nails with scissors.  The…nails cracked, leaving jagged edges…Suarez told the nurse she was bipolar…took psychiatric medication…[and] was having delusions…she…[was locked in a] bare concrete…hole…left naked…and…gouge[d] out her [own] eyes…[while a sow stood at the door recording the whole thing on her cell phone]…“for over a minute…and…never once…intervened in a[ny]…substantial way”…Six minutes later, the jail video shows a different [screw] walking up to Suarez’s cell and looking through the window, then watching as Suarez removed her right eye…[the screw then casually walked away to fetch more screws, who were eventually followed by medical staff after Suarez had gouged out her left eye.  After both eyeballs were on the floor and Suarez was bleeding profusely from the empty sockets, the screws waited another five to ten minutes to actually do anything]…

I Spy (#1155)

Cops and politicians think barfing out the word “children” excuses any tyranny:

Facebook’s plans to allow encrypted messaging across all its platforms could prevent the [government from snooping in millions of people’s private communications]…every year…[so executive cop] Rob Jones…[is claiming] the social media company’s goal of rolling out end-to-end encryption will stop [cops] from accessing “incisive intelligence” that allows them to rescue abused children…[meanwhile] the home secretary, Priti Patel…step[ped] up her [own] international campaign against encryption…

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than the knowledge that there are private affairs that are none of their business, so they keep trying to convince the masses to share their view of secrecy as a “crime” in and of itself with grossly-exaggerated scare stories, usually involving sex.

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Oh look, picket-fence queers from groups like GLAAD are beginning to notice that deliberately ignoring sex workers after they reached the Big Table (and in some cases, actually joining the crusade against us) wasn’t such a good idea.  And I must add again: stop your fucking partisan bullshit.  This wasn’t “Trump’s crusade” or “the GOP’s crusade”; Democrats were equal drivers at every step of the process under the usual banners (“The Children!!!” and “exploitation of women“), so you don’t get to smugly point your fingers at other people and pretend you had nothing to do with it.  This was done by people you elected, in fascist collaboration with companies you support (and who pay for your multi-million dollar “Pride” parades). You stood by while other sexual minorities were persecuted, and you were fine with it because it wasn’t you.  Well, now those pigeons are coming home to roost, just as sex workers told you they would.  Just as you should’ve known they would, but were too wrapped up in partisan bullshit to notice.  “Operation Choke Point“, the government’s program telling big businesses that it was not only OK but encouraged to discriminate against sexual minorities, was an Obama program, not a Trump one.  And don’t try whitewashing your direct involvement in the anti-whore crusades, ’cause Maggie has the receipts. (See all those embedded links?  There are plenty more like them.)  So sit the fuck down unless you’re going to own it and help fix the mess you helped make.

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The myth of sex addiction is a pathological view of male sexuality, sexual diversity, non-monogamy, and non-normative sexual desire.  –  David Ley

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…in the early 20th century…prostitution became seen [by busybodies] as a social evil that concerned a wide range of [people who were completely univolved in it]…evangelical Christians, feminists, business leaders and medical experts demanded immediate and unrelenting repression of [sex work]…self-styled “abolitionists” in both the United States and the United Kingdom gained public support for their efforts by [spreading propaganda about a fantasized epidemic] of “white slavery”…the legislation they produced was antithetical to prostitutes’ interests…policies that sanctioned state control and punishment of prostitutes flourished…[but] rather than eliminating prostitution, the anti-prostitution movement simply changed the nature of the sex trade…and…subjected [all women] to increased state control.  During World War I, the “American Plan” authorized the arrest, inspection and detention of women suspected of carrying venereal disease…surveillance of women in the name of public health increasingly committed the U.S. to a “neo-regulationist” prostitution policy that controlled women’s bodies…

The article has some interesting information, but if you notice the faint reek of Swedish thinking (as if some cretin had stuffed used toilet paper down between the sofa cushions), it’s not your imagination.

Traffic Jam (#619)

You may remember that I called this as bullshit ten years ago:

St. Paul [Minnesota sow] Heather Weyker…[fabricated] an interstate sex trafficking ring run by Somali refugees…result[ing] in 30 indictments, 9 trials, and 0 convictions.  Hamdi Mohamud, then a 16-year-old refugee from Somalia, found herself caught up in that scheme in 2011, when one of Weyker’s witnesses, Muna Abdulkadir, tried to attack her and her friends at knifepoint.  Mohamud called the police…Weyker…arrested Mohamud and her friends for allegedly tampering with a federal witness, and Mohamud subsequently spent two years in jail before the trumped-up charges were dismissed…but…since [Weyker framed all those victims]…as part of a federal task force, she is entitled to absolute immunity and cannot be sued…Mohamud hopes to change that…by asking the Supreme Court to hear her case, which she made official last week…

No Difference (#888) 

American puritanism is a pox on the entire world:

One of the world’s most restrictive “anti-pornography” laws, the indecency statute passed by Uganda in 2014, has been struck by the nation’s Constitutional Court as unconstitutional…the law was “quashed” following pressure from women’s rights groups, with a panel of five judges unanimously ruling “that sections of the law that defined pornographic offenses, including a ban on ‘indecent’ clothing, were unconstitutional”…the…law…was [typically]…used for morality policing and led to…song lyrics and music videos…be[ing] labeled pornographic…[with] the…artists criminally liable…the [censorship law and an anti-LGBT law were passed due to lobbying by]…American evangelicals…[especially] the…International House of Prayer…the parent ministry of Exodus Cry

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1033) 

It’s always a pleasure to watch experts trash harmful sex myths:

…it’s important to recognize that the concept of sex addiction was introduced…in the 1980’s during the HIV/AIDS crisis.  As…a society, we were terrified of sexual excess, of non-monogamy, of casual sex, of sex outside relationships, and of gay male sex…It is not by accident…that gay men get diagnosed as sex addicts…around three times more than anybody else.  The second very large group…are people struggling with a moral conflict over their sexual desires…[due to growing] up in religious household or communities where they were taught that any sex other than hetero sex within marriage is a sin…the third group…[consists of] men who get in trouble for sexual behavior…who self-identify as sex addicts to avoid responsibility for those behaviors…going to sex workers is…literally a diagnostic criterion in the sex addiction screening test that many therapists use…sex workers are [therefore] framed as analogous to either a drug or a drug dealer…self-destructive things that help people destroy their lives…

Welcome to the Future (#1052)

Prohibition by human idiots is bad enough:

Over the past two decades, the US…has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into developing and maintaining state-level prescription drug databases…In the past few years…a single [fascist collusion] called Appriss has…merg[ed] the[se] into…a…national prescription drug registry…[managed by] algorithms to generate “data insights” and…[accessing] huge reservoirs of data outside state drug registries to arrive at them.  NarxCare…is Appriss’…“analytics tool”…that purports to instantly and automatically identify a patient’s risk of misusing opioids…the software mines state registries for [so-called] red flags indicating that she has engaged in “drug shopping” behavior…the[n]…assigns each patient a unique, comprehensive Overdose Risk Score…Appriss is adamant that a NarxCare score is not meant to supplant a doctor’s diagnosis.  But physicians ignore these numbers at their peril.  Nearly every state now uses Appriss software…and most legally require physicians and pharmacists to consult them…on penalty of losing their license.  In some states, p[igs]…can also [root in this database]…without a warrant…to prosecute both doctors and patients…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1096)

Sex workers and allies speak out about Nick Kristof’s latest anti-sex crusade:

Kristof’s “The Children of Pornhub” — a…[propaganda screed] dropped as 2020 was winding to a close…triggered the removal of millions of videos from Pornhub and led to both Mastercard and Visa cutting ties with the adult industry giant…protecting…l[egal minor]s [ca]n’t  [be accomplished with] sweeping legislation and widespread content moderation, which endanger the safety and income of sex workers [and the civil liberties of everyone]…“Treating child sexual abuse as a moral failing is the wrong approach and is harmful to sex workers,” [says] Jeremy Malcolm, director of the child protection organization Prostasia Foundation…“dealing with [child sexual abuse] through a harm reduction lens is far more effective and less likely to [be used to cloak]…intended [attacks] on marginalized communities”…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1151) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing number of states by decriminalising sex work…the…government announced it would begin a two-year legislative overhaul, starting with the removal of offences and criminal penalties for consensual sex work, with the aim of having it passed by Parliament by the end of the year…sex work will be regulated through existing government agencies and…laws will be updated to support a decriminalised system…Victoria will join New Zealand, the Northern Territory and NSW…

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Coming together, even in private, is a radical, resistant, and dangerous act for [those] whose very identities are criminalised.  –  Erin Kilbride

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The story is the same the world over:

Sex worker activists are among the most at risk defenders of human rights in the world, facing multiple threats and violent attacks…research…published…by…Front Line Defenders…found that their visibility as sex workers who are advocates for their communities’ rights makes them more vulnerable to the violations routinely suffered by sex workers.  In addition, they face unique, targeted abuse for their human rights work.  Drawing on the experience of 300 individuals in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador and Myanmar, the report focuses on cases of sexual assault, threats from managers and clients, [and police] raids…physical attacks and…surveillance…

Torture Chamber 

A “mistake” during “correction”.  This is not reformable:

A man was brutally beaten by [violently-deranged thugs] and denied medical treatment at the Valencia County [New Mexico] jail…Marvin Silva…was…naked in a holding c[age]…when a [screw rolled up and vomited out the magic word “]contraband[” at Silva’s dentures, thus giving a gang of dangerous cretins an excuse to]…beat Silva…[their cronies pretending to be] medical personnel [then] denied Silva’s [obvious need] for medical care before he was [thrown out] to walk 5 miles toward home…[with] fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, [and] injuries to the spleen…head, neck and abdomen…

Banishment (#848)

How a country treats its prisoners reveals a great deal about it:

For many men…co[nvicted]…of…[so-called] sex offenses in Texas, their prison term never really ends…because they’re [condemned to a different prison pretended to be] a…mental health facility…Civil commitment is the practice of [warehous]ing people…[for years or decades] past their release date, on the [pretense] that they are so dangerous they need therapy…Of course…if the state really…wanted them to have treatment and counseling, they had…20 to 25 years…in an ordinary prison before being civilly committed…For their first year or two…the men are required to wear electronic ankle monitors that they have to pay for…The…only…way…out…[is to] work their way up through four tiers of [shaming and humiliation mislabeled as] treatment…they have to keep a masturbation log…[includ]ing…what they’re masturbating about…so [a so-called therapist can arbitrarily declare] it…deviant…the prison also employs polygraphs and penile plethysmography…When an inmate moves up a tier, which can take a year, he can find himself demoted for [arbitrar]y reasons…One man who had…made it through all four tiers was finally about to get his release hearing.  But…a [screw vindictively] knocked [him] back down to tier 1…He went to his cell and hanged himself…Another man…[treated similarly] castrated himself…Until recently, inmates also had to pay a 33 percent tax on any packages they got, further isolating them from any support system they might have on the outside…

Shame, Shame (#951)

In which a bluenose describes cartoon nudity as “horrifying”:

…a new…website…boasts that it developed…image translation algorithms to “nudify” female bodies, and that the technology is so powerful there is not a woman in the world, regardless of race or nationality, who is safe from being “nudified.”  But it doesn’t work on men…the results are strikingly realistic, often bearing no glitches or visual clues that the photos are deepfakes…The [hysterical reactions of prudes] lays bare the grim and increasingly dangerous reality [that censorship is becoming increasingly popular among sheltered ninnies who can’t conceive of a more harmful use for]…powerful deepfake tools…[than realistic porn cartoons, such as cops manufacturing evidence to frame innocent people and/or excuse brutality and murder]…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state, as these rabid pearl-clutchers are demanding; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.  But good luck explaining that to people who actually think fake nude pictures are worse than totalitarianism.

Elephant in the Parlor (#1078)

People keep pretending “politician hires whores” is something more than a yawn:

Hunter Biden claimed…to [have]…lost a total of three computers – the first abandoned at a Delaware computer store and the second seized by federal agents –  each likely to hold…embarrassing pictures, videos and communications…The third laptop…was taken by Russian drug dealers after they partied with [him] in Vegas, he told a prostitute in a conversation caught on camera.  After filming himself having sex with the woman using his laptop in January 2019, Hunter left the camera rolling as he recounted [the] Vegas bender…

The Implosion Begins (#1091)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

Matthew Taylor Coleman…kill[ed] his young children…after he said he became “enlightened” by [“sex trafficking” propaganda of the]…QAnon [branch]…Coleman’s…3-year-old son, Kaleo, was found stabbed 17 times at a ranch in Baja California…[his] 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, was stabbed 12 times…Coleman told investigators he used a spear-fishing gun to shoot and kill his children and then moved the spear…stabbing them with it…[because] “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them…[he] was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife…possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children…he…knew it was wrong, but it was the only…course of action that would save the world”…The QAnon movement evolved out of [the “sex trafficking” hysteria intentionally spread by governments, police agencies, news media and “rescue industry” profiteers for the past 18 years]…

The Next Target (#1160)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…Ann Wagner…the religious-right [politician]…who was the original drafter of FOSTA-SESTA, has released a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into OnlyFans, claiming — without…any…evidence [whatsoever] — that the platform has “become a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material…in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors.”  Wagner also penned an editorial for congressional news site Roll Call stating her [ill-informed] opinion that all “sex work” (her quotation marks) is “illegal”…Wagner also [fantasized about]…the impact of FOSTA-SESTA…[whose] impact on human trafficking investigations has also been demonstrably the exact opposite of what Wagner claims

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Regular readers know that every Friday the Thirteenth, I ask those who aren’t sex workers to stand up for us.  If you’re one of them, you already know the sorts of things I’m going to say; if you aren’t, you can simply go back and read the essay for the previous occurence in November, and the one before that from March 2020.  So this time, as I did on July 4th this year, I’ll content myself with reminding y’all of everything I’ve previously said on previous occurences of this particular day and date combination.

Governments sending brutal thugs to inflict violence upon those who enjoy themselves in ways their overlords dislike is less popular in this country than it has been in a century, so now is the time to push even harder to chip away as much of the edifice of prohibition as possible before the pendulum inevitably begins to swing the other way again.  –  11/13/20

Though many people conceive of sex worker rights as a “special case”, in truth it intersects with many other movements.  –  3/13/20

If our allies get lazy and think we no longer need their help because the politicians are finally giving us lip service, we’re going to lose the ground we’ve worked so hard to win.  –  12/13/19

One of the reasons so many outside the demimonde are afraid to stand up for the obvious fact that the government has no business “regulating” private sexual arrangements is they’re afraid of guilt by association.  –  9/13/19

We need your support more than ever, because now voices calling for sex worker rights are more likely to be taken seriously than ever before.  –  7/13/18

Though the sex trafficking hysteria is dying, moral panics get worse as they collapse, and even after the panic is history the tyrannical laws it engendered will still be there for “authorities” to destroy lives with.  –  10/13/17

It doesn’t so much matter what you do today, as long as you do something to promote sex worker rights.  –  5/13/16

Stupidity, ignorance, prudishness, statism, control-freakishness and bigotry run deep in human society, and it will take vast resources and millions of voices to beat those back into the outer darkness where they belong.  –  11/13/15

Any contribution – loud or quiet, public or private, eloquent or laconic, lengthy or brief – is important and worthy, and everyone one will hasten the day when governments no longer believe it’s acceptable for them to persecute sex workers, our clients and our associates in any way they please.  –  6/13/14

It’s time we let the prohibitionists know that if they want to pick on sex workers, we have a whole lot of brothers and sisters they’re going to have to face as well.  –  9/13/13

Even though any one person’s influence is small, lots of buckets eventually fill a pool.  –  7/13/12

Sex worker rights are human rights, and there can never be too many voices speaking up for them, nor too many occasions on which to speak.  –  4/13/12

No collective, “authority” or government has the right to tell women what we can and cannot do with our own bodies.  –  1/13/12

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[Surveillance] is not what makes people or communities more safe.  –  Lauren Johnson

Unintentional Hilarity

Vancouver, Washington is a “hotspot” for “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Sex trafficking is a growing problem across Washington…[blah blah bogus statistics] as close as your child’s school, your neighborhood, or even the internet in your home.  It’s time we double-down on our efforts to put an end to it…Clark County’s…position between Seattle and Portland with Interstate 5 as one of our main corridors makes us part of the sex trafficking circuit in the West.  We need to protect our children…with [propaganda sourced from]…Shared Hope International…

Remember the imbecile who gave a strange man all her savings, then claimed she had “escaped sex trafficking” because he told her strippers make more money than waitresses?  She was encouraged & enabled by this same bunch.

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

The Prison Policy Initiative has campaigned for years to protect incarcerated people’s letters from home…We’ve been concerned for some time that private companies — which already make it costly for incarcerated people to make phone calls and video calls — would someday partner up with prisons to block people from sending physical mail, too.  Now…the telecom company Smart Communications is trying to sell prisons its “MailGuard” service — where the company scans incarcerated people’s letters from home and gives them…digital copies instead — and the federal Bureau of Prisons is piloting the service…Pennsylvania has been using MailGuard in its prisons since 2018…but if the federal system starts replacing letters from home with scanned copies, more states will follow…the Florida Department of [Torturing Caged Humans] is planning not only to convert incoming mail to scans, but to start charging incarcerated people to access their own mail…

Welcome to the Future (#1124)

Pasco County is already being sued and federally investigated over this:

It starts like an offer of admission from a prestigious university.  “We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected”…But the four-page letter from the Pasco [County, Florida] Sheriff’s Office goes on to tell recipients they will be facing enhanced police scrutiny under the agency’s controversial intelligence program…the Sheriff’s Office creates lists of people it [pretends are more] likely to break the law based on criminal histories, social networks and…[a lot of “AI” bullshit, then harasses them merciless]ly…without…warrant or [even the slightest shred of] probable cause…four [victims of these civil rights violations] are now suing the Sheriff’s Office in federal court…and…policing experts drew comparisons to child abuse and surveillance that could be expected under a…[more] authoritarian regime [than is allowed even in Florida]…the agency has a separate program that uses schoolchildren’s grades, attendance records and abuse histories to label them potential future criminals

The Course of a Disease (#1130)

Our recent Freedom Fest panel:

Dangerous Speech (#1146)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

The mendacity of the federal government’s prosecution of award-winning journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin knows no bounds.  With less than a month before…trial…the government claims it had no duty to correctly define “prostitution” to the grand jury in the case.  And so far, prosecutors have dodged defining prostitution for the pending trial…Instead, the prosecution has taken a free-wheeling “it’s whatever we want it to be” approach…

Choke Point (#1150)

PayPal is becoming an active threat to civil liberties:

PayPal announced Monday a new initiative against [free speech] online…it…will track and shut down financial networks that…”profit…from all forms of hate and bigotry against any community [except sex workers]”…PayPal threatens to limit the ability of individuals or organizations that it deems intolerable to engage in private financial transactions.  Even worse, the judgment about what language or opinions stand beyond the limits of toleration will be outsourced to activists with their own…definition[s] of extremism [that are] not limited to terrorism, organized crime, or other direct threats to constitutional government…The goal is to make it as difficult as possible to organize [for groups popularly deemed]…offensive[, including sex workers]…

To Molest and Rape (#1154)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A [typical and representative] Greeneville [Tennessee cop]…was pushed out by his department after an internal affairs investigation concluded he sexually assaulted a woman onboard a Caribbean cruise in 2019…A group of three women [reported that] Alan Dotson…proposition[ed] them and [w]hen [they refused]…he…push[ed] his hand over [one of  the women’s] dress into her genitals…He continues to deny the allegations [on the grounds that cops virtually]…never face…criminal charges [when they rape]…

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The day my last diary column appeared, I was driving into Seattle; much too early the next morning I got on a plane for Rapid City, South Dakota to attend Freedom Fest, where I did some panels and speaking and such.  Both flights out were much too rough for my medicines to handle, because apparently both pilots thought they were auditioning for a remake of Top Gun or something (and let me tell you, that takes some doing when taking off from SEATAC in an Airbus A321), but I was fine by Thursday morning (except for dehydration that just wouldn’t go away despite walking around all day with a bottle) and Friday was my big day anyhow.  In the morning I was on a main-stage panel called “Feminism Needs to Stop Calling the Cops” with Avens O’Brien (of Feminists for Liberty), Brittany Hunter (of the Pacific Legal Foundation), Melissa Mann (of Reason), and well-known author Naomi Wolf, moderated by Elizabeth Nolan Brown (whom I’m sure needs no introduction on this blog).  I must admit I was really worried that such a crowded panel crammed into 30 minutes would result in all of us just kinda lining up to blurt out a few sentences, but I’m happy to say I was wrong; the synergy was amazing and we all worked well together to create an experience that audience members declared one of the best of the conference, despite its brevity.  Later in the afternoon Liz joined me on a panel (“DecriminaLIES: Exposing the Failed Global Policy to Regulate Prostitution”) with Savannah Sly and Kaytlin Bailey, moderated by the ever-awesome Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; that one was an hour, and we hurled out enough information to send any lurking prohibitionists running for the Black Hills; both that day and the next day at the airport, I ran into a number of people who told me how great the talks were, and thanked us for opening their eyes to the truth on the subject.  For years now, I’ve been one of the few sex workers willing to reach out to the libertarian ecosphere, but that time is long over, and I think we’re going to win a lot of allies this way; Alex tells me she’s already signed us up for next Freedom Fest, and it won’t be the only one.  Our days of largely preaching to the choir are over, and we’ll be withering a lot of prohibitionist disinformation with the blinding heat of our concentrated sex rays.

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Diary #577

Since I’ve been less preocupied with construction this year, my summer anxiety is back to its typical levels; I find it difficult to focus and find myself worrying about things that there’s little if any cause to worry about.  Today I’ll be headed back to Seattle, and early tomorrow morning I’ll be flying to South Dakota for Freedom Fest, and I’ve been stressing about it for weeks.  Not about the actual speaking and all that, because that stuff comes naturally to me and never makes me nervous.  No, it’s all the stuff around the trip, such as the actual flying (which regular readers know always stresses me out), making sure my books arrive on time for the conference, getting back in time for my appointment in Seattle on Sunday evening, worrying about how Grace will get along while I’m gone, and probably a dozen other things I can’t even enumerate.  Fortunately, over the weekend I seem to have mostly come out of it, and by a week from today I should be finishing up in Seattle and getting ready to return home to my roses, my animals, my friends, my projects, and the routine which will help me make it through the Dog Days to the time of year when the sun sets at a more reasonable hour and stops getting in the way of my ability to think clearly.

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Prostitution is normal.  –  Carmen Kleingeris

Dutch Threat (#349)

Every few years, Utrecht thinks of a new way to harass sex workers:

Utrecht’s…Tippelzone…[has been] clos[ed by prohibitionist politicians.  Activist] Carmen Kleingeris…said…”Politicians are now actually saying by closing the tolerance zone: ‘sex workers do not belong’…this mentality…legitimize[s]…rape”…[The politicians specifically] decided to close the Tippelzone in 2018 [in order to gentrify the area]…

Monsters (#616) 

“Gender-critical feminists” are also virtually always prohibitionists:

The [UK] High Court has rejected claims that housing trans women who’ve committed sexual or violent offences against women in female prison facilities is discriminatory to cis women…The landmark case was brought by an unnamed cis female inmate…who…argued that her human rights were violated by having to be in the same prison as trans women prisoners who have convictions for sexual or violent offences against women, [but not by having to be in prison with]…cis women [who committed similar crimes]…The…case was supported by several so-called “gender-critical” groups…

Going After the Pimps

Your periodic reminder of what “going after the pimps” actually means:

A nurse accused of living off the earnings of the prostitution of his wife…in 2018…was fined €600 and did not appeal the decision.  [But now a busybody h]as [complained] to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland…and [David] Navarro is now facing an allegation of misconduct for allegedly bringing the nursing profession into disrepute [by failing to stop his wife from having a job]…

Between the Ears (#966)

Any internet-connected device can and will be used to spy on you:

Google Assistant records your conversations even when not in use, the company…admitted to an Indian government panel…even without saying the word “OK Google,” the AI Assistant still listens to your conversations…[even though] Google has…previously…cl[aimed otherwise]…Google [further] admitted…that their employees listen to such recordings…[but claims] it is not being done in a creepy way, [as if there is some non-creepy way to eavesdrop on strangers]…

Remember, Google has a long history of complying with surveillance and other police-statery.

R.I.P. Margo St. James

A “Celebration of Margo’s Life”:

Margo St. James…fought for sex workers at a time when the mainstream U.S. feminist movement was hostile to them and leftist organizers mostly wanted to portray them as victims…St. James still helped position the sex worker rights movement as a broad and classical liberal battle for civil rights, sexual freedom, economic liberty, and bodily autonomy, while advancing the idea that decriminalization would be good for women and good for sex worker safety.  In May, a group of COYOTE’s 21st century descendants released a video memorial to St. James, who died in January 2021.  Celebration of Life for Margo St. James features archival footage, photos, and interviews plus new commentary on and paeans to her life and work from an international and intergenerational squad of admirers. You can find the whole thing at margostjames.com

The Course of a Disease (#1118)

When a politician does the right thing, it’s usually for the wrong reason:

Maine Gov. Janet Mills vetoed legislation that would have made the state the first in the nation to [impose Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation because]…she wasn’t convinced that the bill [taught dirty whores a lesson and she shared her masturbatory fantasies about how]…the state is a trafficking hub where victims are recruited and sent to major cities…such as New York and Boston…

As usual, the ignorant fuckwads who infest US journalism swallowed prohibitionist vomit about the Swedish model being “partial decriminalization” instead of consulting actual experts on the subject.

Property of the State (#1149)

Women with young children should avoid Alabama if at all possible:

Erika…Prock’s husband was smoking a cigarette outside the[ir] car…[when] an [Alabama cop pretended he] smelled marijuana on his breath.  Todd Prock [foolishly] told police he had [legal] marijuana [from their home in Michigan] in the trunk of the car.  The…[pigs therefore] arrested both adults and [abducted] the[ir toddler]…Weeks [later] the…Prock[s]…were charged with felony chemical endangerment, a law originally [represented to useful idiots as necessary] to target parents whose children were near meth labs…Instead of returning to Michigan, Prock and her husband moved into a tent behind her in-laws’ trailer while they fight a[ccus]ations in [both] criminal and [so-called] family court.  Her child has been [given away to] an Alabama foster family…Alabama courts have ruled that drug use can’t be the sole reason for [abducting people’s] child[ren], but [that doesn’t stop cops and prosecutors from maliciously attempting to destroy their lives for months or years until a court finally dismisses the charges]…

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Ten years is a long time for one human to do anything without a break, much less publish a blog post without missing a single day.
–  “Tenth Anniversary

I’ve always been an outsider, even among outsiders.  I’m an atypical intellectual, an atypical writer, an atypical sex worker, an atypical bisexual, an atypical nerd, and even an atypical blogger; I came to the internet later than most of the bright kids, started blogging sometime after the peak of the medium had passed, maintained an atypical level of consistency, formality and sheer volume, and have continued blogging long after most of the sort of people who would have blogged in the Oughts have now moved on to vlogs and/or podcasts.  And though I’ve aged and tired, I haven’t stopped posting content every single day for eleven whole years.  Oh, I’ve gone from a full-length essay every day to less time-intensive features, and in the coming year I’m going to try to limit myself to one high-effort feature per week.  There are four main reasons for the change:  First, because I’m doing a lot of other things (both personal and professional) which take up increasing amounts of my time; second, because in the time I’ve been publishing The Honest Courtesan I’ve aged from “still able to see 40 in the rear-view mirror” to “just able to make out 60 on the horizon”; third, because censorship keeps increasing with no end in sight, and I’d rather not be going full speed when the Establishment drops a wall in front of me; and finally, because I’ve already published over 4000 posts and I feel as though I’m starting to repeat myself a little too often.  Furthermore, I’m no longer one of a very few voices crying out in the wilderness; there are now lots of sex workers publishing a lot of powerful content in more mainstream venues than I ever had the patience and humility to approach, and our message finally appears to be penetrating the thick skulls of politicians, the soft ones of reporters, and even the empty ones of the American public.  In short, my work is no longer as vital as it once was, and since I was one of the loudmouthed harlots who helped create the social climate which made all this possible, I think I’ve earned at least a little rest.

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