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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

Prohibitionists never want to hear from sex workers who want rights rather than rescue, and they don’t want anyone else to hear them either.  –  Mark Draughn

The Birth of a Movement

Another excellent article by stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn:

…International Whores’ Day has been celebrated on June 2 for 45 years.  Naturally, this day pisses off…prohibitionists, who…are [now] trying to replace International Whores’ Day with their own re-branded International Day of Remembrance for women who died in prostitution.  What makes this especially creepy is that…anti-prostitution laws are one of the biggest causes of violence against sex workers…If you follow sex workers rights issues, you may know that the traditional day for remembering those who died by violence is not June 2 but December 17, which is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers…[but a quick search of prohibitionist] twitter feeds [from] December 17th…finds lots of ranting about brothels and pimps, but no recognition that it’s the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers…The prohibitionists’ failure to recognize the long-established International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers reveals the hollowness of their concern for the victims of violence in the sex trade.  It’s clear their attempt to establish an International Day of Remembrance is little more than an…attempt to erase International Whores’ Day…

Backwards into the Future (#963)

Will South Africa decriminalize province by province?

The KwaZulu-Natal Legislature…resolved to fast-track the process of decriminalising and regulating sex work…during a sex work symposium held in Pietermaritzburg…as part of the legislature’s public participation programmes…the resolutions…[will] be…debated by political parties prior to execution.  At least 55 sex workers and their representative organisations were part of the discussions.  Dudu Dlamini from Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce…said they wanted a decree before 2024…

I Spy (#1069)

Remember, Amazon eagerly hands data from internet-connected devices to cops:

…buried inside millions of Amazon Echo…speakers and Ring…cameras….[is] the ability to make a new kind of wireless network called Sidewalk that shares a slice of your home Internet connection with your neighbors’ devices.  And on Tuesday, Amazon…switch[ed] Sidewalk on — for everyone.  I’m digging into my settings to turn it off.  Sidewalk raises more red flags than a marching band parade: Is it secure enough to be activated in so many homes?  Are we helping Amazon build a vast network that can be used for more surveillance?  And why didn’t Amazon ask us to opt-in before activating a capability lying dormant in our devices?…

Comfort Zone (#1072)

An especially-incompetent attempt to hide migration control behind the “trafficking” narrative:

The Biden administration…announce[d] new actions to combat [migration by branding it] trafficking as [Copmala] Harris embarks on [a propaganda] trip to Latin America to look into ways of a[ttack]ing the root causes of regional migration…[without actually providing any] additional aid…Harris will also be [trying to remove motes from the eyes of] the governments of countries from which people are fleeing, though [not removing the beam from her own first]…

I Spy (#1082)

Curiosity offends the state, comrade:

…In an insane new bit of federal…overreach, the FBI demanded that USA Today turn over records showing who read a February story about two FBI agents killed in Florida.  The FBI sought…I.P. addresses…[of] all “computers and other electronic devices” that accessed the story during a 35-minute period on the evening of the shooting…USA Today‘s parent company, Gannett, asked a federal court to quash the…subpoena…[as blatantly] unconstitutional and…amid the publicity, the FBI backed off…but…doesn’t seem to think it did anything wrong.  The FBI [only]…withdr[e]w the subpoena because…the person it sought to find…was identified “through other means”the FBI…had other ways to find the suspect…and…still decided that infringing on freedom of the press was a good first step…

Permanent Record (#1099)

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to shut us out of other jobs?

A sales rep at a T-Mobile store in Fort Worth, Texas has filed a gender discrimination suit against the company after a [personnel manager] in[terrogated] her about having an OnlyFans account.  Caitlyn Stevens had been working at T-Mobile for nearly seven years when a male colleague became angry…and approached her…“in a physically aggressive manager,” forcing a coworker to step in and stop the man from hitting her.  Stevens reported the incident to the store manager.  Rather than disciplining the ma[n]…the manager relocated Stevens to a different location…[which] got less foot traffic, resulting in fewer [commissions]…When Stevens submitted a complaint…a man…called…and began asking questions about her personal life, including “whether she had a ‘sugar daddy’ and whether she had an OnlyFans account”…Then…added, “We’ve heard that people have seen nude pictures of you”…

Guinea Pigs (#1101)

They’re going way beyond fake Facebook profiles now:

…for years…the FBI …[ran an encrypted messaging system called] Anom by…working with [other fascist government] partners, including the Australian Federal Police…to [spy on] the co[nvers]ations [of every single user, excusing the outage by branding all users “criminals”]…their developer source “built a master key into the existing encryption system which surreptitiously attaches to each message and enables [pigs and spooks] to [root through each]…message as it is transmitted”…Since October 2019, the FBI has catalogued “more than 20 million messages from a total of 11,800 devices…in over 90 countries.”  Most of this [snoop]ing seems to have been [to]…sniff…out drugs…[pigs] began [oink]ing [about] the results of the operation—including 700 houses [raid]ed and more than 800 [people abducted]…at a Tuesday morning press conference in The Hague…

These are the same people who thought it was perfectly OK and ethical to run their very own child porn site, so this isn’t a new low. But it does demonstrate just how far authoritarians will go to inflict violence on people for the “crime” of enjoying themselves in ways puritans dislike.

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It was not just that their perspective was discarded. Their perspective wasn’t even heard.  –  Ro Khanna

Torture Chamber

Stop faking!

…in…March 2014…19-year-old Nimali Henry was booked [into the St. Bernard parish jail] on charges of simple battery, disturbing the peace and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling…she was living with a rare…blood disorder and…in desperate need of her medication…[but] did not have [it] with her [when arrested and screws made no effort to obtain it for her]…Two days later, other [prisoners tried] to…talk…to the guards on duty about her.  In a…video from March 31, 2014, Nimali [can be] seen stumbling and…barely [able to] walk as…guards [shout “stop faking!” at her].  Later that same day, another video shows her lying on a prison bunk with no mattress covered with what appears to be nothing more than a blanket…[she] died hours later…[as the direct result of] jail…[staff refusing to obtain] her medication and [intentionally leaving her] in excruciating pain for 10 days.  The[y]…never [even] called an ambulance….St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann [called the willful murder a “]shortfall[” and]…declined….to look at the video [because “he does not want to see anyone…die in jail”]…Four jail workers pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges…Andre Dominick…Timothy Williams…Lisa Vacrella and Debra Becnel…

What the story doesn’t tell you:  St. Bernard dramatically expanded its jail around 1990 so it could make money warehousing human beings for other parishes who lacked the room to cram any more people into their own cage stacks.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

When a “study” makes silly claims like this, look for the reasons:

…Some researchers…seem obsessed with the idea of proving that sex work isn’t gendered and that women pay for sexual services in increasing numbers…from men…This…claim [is]…based on the number of profiles on [adult service websites, but]…most of these male-owned accounts have no feedback which suggests that they’re not escorts, but fantasists who set up a profile pretending to be an escort as part of their fantasy.  They’re attracted to the idea of anonymous sex as well as the misguided belief that someone would be interested in pursuing them sexually and even paying for the privilege.  Men who typically pay for sex are turned on by the idea that someone might want them enough to offer them money for it.  The male-owned profiles which do have feedback often have it because they pay for sex, get feedback from sex workers, then switch their profile around so it looks like women have paid for their services….client posing is commonly known amongst sex workers; if sex workers had been consulted on the research, that claim would have been contested…

This is an excellent article which explains a number of other silly “study” claims as well.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Racist persecution of massage parlors is a popular pastime for California “authorities”:

…the [victim of California] officials[‘ crusade against mundane businesses they ludicrously defamed as] “an organized crime sex trafficking ring operating across California” has been sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison…Jing Chiang Huang was also ordered to pay $557,391 in [back taxes] to the California Franchise Tax Board [thus revealing the true motive behind the joint pogrom]…by federal, state and local [cop shops]…More than a dozen [employes] were [arrested and deported] in the process, according to a press release [calling the violence “rescue”]…

Uncommon Sense (#898) 

The Spanish high court says the government has no power to suppress a sex worker union:

Spanish sex workers have the right to form their own union, the Supreme Court ruled…overturning an earlier court decision ordering [its] dissolution…OTRAS…was discretely set up in August 2018 but was [attacked] three months later by…[prohibition]ist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez….and [his Swedish-criminalization cultist followers even though the law clearly states] that sex workers “have the fundamental right to freedom of association and the right to form a union”…

Imaginary Victims (#902) 

A celebrity accomplished what do-nothing “safe harbor” laws couldn’t:

…in…April of 2020…Ohio’s governor…grant[ed] the release of a 22-year-old…Alexis Martin…[from prison] after Kim Kardashian visited [her there]…after six years, five months and 13 days…she…wi[ll]…be…track[ed by ankle monitor]…every second…[and] on parole, being [spi]ed on and drug tested until at least 2034.  Her record w[ill] always show a murder conviction, [with] all the limitations [that] bring[s]…

The article has some good information, but you’ll need to pick around the wads of ugly prohibitionist propaganda and chunks of infantilizing, agency-denying language as you would pick around slimy green things in a casserole that’s otherwise edible.

Rough Trade (#923)

In the US, the victim would’ve been arrested:

Jessie Campos was found guilty of raping a sex worker in a [New Zealand] brothel in late 2018, and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison…he was made aware on several occasions a condom was legally required and he agreed to use one…but…the[n]…removed [it]…The woman indicated he had acted inappropriately and made him put the condom back on.  Without her knowledge, Campos again removed the condom and ejaculated inside her.  The woman ran to her manager’s office and the police were called…Judge Stephen Harrop…rejected the defence claim that the stealthing was not premeditated and that cultural factors [Campos emigrated from the Philippines] were relevant to the sentencing…

Yes, this is rape.  No, I don’t want to “discuss” it.

Safe Position (#991)

Even journalists are beginning to recognize what a huge backfire FOSTA was:

Sex workers have gained the backing of a small group of Democratic [politicians] after…being [entirely] shut out of the policymaking process [for decades].  The turning point was…FOSTA…also referred to as SESTA…which was [intended] to punish online platforms facilitating [sex work]…Despite the best efforts of sex workers to dissuade [politicians], the bill passed through both chambers easily…in 2018…“until very recently [no politician] wanted to be seen as facilitating…or encouraging sex work,” said Mike Stabile…of…the Free Speech Coalition…[anti-FOSTA politician Ro] Khanna [said]…his colleagues “didn’t even want to take meetings because of the possible images or pictures” with sex workers that could have been taken.  Stigma also hurts [civol rights] organizations’ funding because consumers of pornopgraphy are “embarrassed” to publically back them, says sex worker and writer Cathy Reisenwitz…

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Today is International Whores’ Day.  It is not “Sex Worker Day”; that is March 3rd.  Today is a day to shamelessly celebrate our shameless history, not a day to cater to the precious fee-fees of amateurs by neutering our terminology so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities with a raw, unsanitized word like “whore”.  But for the past several years, I’ve seen a number of sex worker organizations and social media accounts doing just that, and in doing so participating in the same process of sexual sanitization which inspires modern picket-fence gays to absurdly claim that huge fascist corporations and gangs of uniformed thugs employed by the state to inflict violence on sexual minorities are more welcome at an event commemorating an anti-cop riot than kinky queers are.  While the neo-Victorians who dominate 21st-century public discourse

…reject the belief that sex is innately bad, they also believe against all reason and evidence that it’s something like a radioactive material which must be handled with special and elaborate precautions or else it becomes the single most destructive force on Earth.  They imagine that engaging in sex for the “wrong” reasons, or without the benediction of elaborate rituals of consent, or with people separated from one another by more than a very few years of age, is terribly harmful…the desire to describe…sex…as “good” or “bad” is a very strong one, and for the neo-Victorian mind to accept sex into the “good” category it must be ritually purified by amputating all of its darker aspects, branding even the discussion of them as “violence”, and even pretending that they aren’t even sex at all.  This belief flies in the face of reality; sex, fear, dominance and violence are inextricably bound together, and only by living in a state of complete denial can someone pretend that the only valid, “healthy” and legal sex is that which is so sanitized and neutered that it resembles the real thing about as closely as a hamburger does a heifer…

Today is not a day for sanitized words or concepts; it is, in fact, exactly the opposite: a day to fight society’s attempts (via law and police violence) to sanitize the wilder, unrulier, more chthonic aspects of sex.  This is a day for sexual outlaws, not well-behaved “workers”; it is a day to celebrate the triumphs of criminalized human beings against a society that would rather we didn’t exist.  It is a day to oppose censorship, not to engage in self-censorship; a day to honor a means of survival that predates laws and governments by eons; and a day to celebrate a power which will always defeat even the most pernicious attempts to domesticate it.

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The…[cops] didn’t count on us not believing their bullshit.
–  Norma Rodriguez

R.I.P. Smarajit Jana

A leader of the rights movement for sex workers in India and a[n epidemiologist] known for his contribution to the prevention of HIV in the country, Smarajit Jana, passed away due to COVID-19 related complications in Kolkata on [May 8th]…He was 68 years old. Dr. Jana founded and spearheaded the first rights-based HIV intervention programmes in India by collectivising the sex workers of Sonagachi and setting up the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) in Kolkata in 1995…Jana was instrumental in setting up a cooperative bank for sex workers…He was a member of a Supreme Court-appointed panel in Budhadev Karmaskar vs State of West Bengal, which in its report in 2016 recommended legal recognition for sex workers through the issuing of ration and voter identification cards, and decriminalising of sex work…

The Lion and the Ox

FACT: Young woman in illegal casino. CONCLUSION: “sex trafficking”!

[San Antonio cops oink] they believe they have found the largest gambling operation in the [universe], while possibly also finding human trafficking evidence…“[We] found a bit of narcotics, we’ve also discovered a 16-year-old young lady that at this point we don’t know if she was a victim of any sort of trafficking, but we do suspect it,” [Sheriff Javier] Salazar said…

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this story doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

The Collin County [Texas] medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide…more than a month after he [was murdered by screws] at the Collin County jail…Sheriff Jim Skinner fired seven jailers and another resigned after [the murder]…One of the jailers was reinstated last week through the civil service process, a decision Skinner has said he disagreed with…The sheriff has refused to release the names of the [murderers]…But The Dallas Morning News obtained…the names…Blaise Mikulewicz…Austin Wong…Justin Patrick…Rafael Paradez…James Schoelen…Alec Difatta…Andres Cardenas…and…Christopher Windsor…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops are often rewarded with paid vacations, but this is extreme even by cop standards:

RCMP…Co[p] Justin Harris…paid [for] sex…[with an indigenous woman known as CC, but then raped] her…four [times]…Less than one month [after she reported him], on April 1, 2007, CC died from natural causes.  In a matter of weeks, the RCMP dropped their case, lifting Harris’ suspension…instead…Harris segued from a paid suspension to paid sick leave for psychological issues he [blames on]…the force’s [trying to prosecute him for his behavior]…His lawsuit against the force, filed in 2008, has stalled while the RCMP attempts to medically discharge him—a lengthy process now in its seventh year.  In total, he has been paid—but not working—for close to 17 years…

Like Houses (#1044)

Lockdowns are to keep people SAFE!

A [cop] in Honduras was arrested and charged…for the murder of a young woman…in February inside a jail cell…police…[had until now] claimed that Keyla Martínez, a 26-year-old nursing student, had committed suicide within hours of being [abduct]ed [by cops] for a pandemic curfew violation…

A Broker in Pillage (#1068)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey…signed a package of civil forfeiture reforms that will make it substantially harder for [cops] to [steal] people’s stuff by [pretend]ing that it is connected to criminal activity…property can still be seized [if a cop claims]…it was used to commit a crime or represents the proceeds of illegal activity.  But now the government can complete the forfeiture only after convicting the owner…Arizona is the 16th state to require a criminal conviction for some or all forfeitures…[and] the 14th…to require that the government prove an owner is not innocent rather than making the owner prove that he is…

To Molest and Rape (#1134)

It’s not unusual for fired cops, even child rapists, to simply move elsewhere:

An Alabama state trooper arrested [in April because] he raped an 11-year-old girl had been kicked out of the FBI amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations but was hired by the state agency with the apparent help of a fake bureau letter that scrubbed his record clean…Christopher Bauer was suspended without pay and stripped of his security clearance in the FBI’s New Orleans office in late 2018…[after] he raped…[a co-work]er at knifepoint.  But Alabama…state police…[somehow managed to overlook aggravated rape in its] “full and thorough” investigation into Bauer’s background when he applied to be a trooper in 2019…

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As I pointed out yesterday, there are now a lot more sex workers writing articles debunking prohibitionist propaganda, sharing the truths of our lives with those outside the demimonde, and making powerful arguments in favor of decriminalization.  Eleven years ago, that wasn’t the case; while I certainly wasn’t the only one writing, there were few enough of us that I felt very driven, knowing that my words were helping a lot of people understand that which our enemies don’t want them to understand: that sex workers are as diverse as any other social group and have real lives rather than being the cartoon victims or villain of prohibitionists’ sick sexual fantasies.  Since Day One of this blog my primary intended audience has always been the general public; I’ve always been more interested in humanizing and destigmatizing sex workers in the minds of that public instead of preaching to the choir, which is why I’ve never felt any compulsion to restrict my topics to those of interest to activists.  And now that the heavy lifting is spread out among a far larger number of far younger shoulders than mine, I think it’s time to broaden my focus even more.  Some of you may have noticed it already: I’m ignoring news stories that feel too repetitive, and there are now too many good sex worker articles for me to call attention to them all.  And I’m using the time and energy I save to write about stuff that’s interesting to me, like philosophy, construction projects at Sunset, and science fiction shows.  But that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning my mission; I’m just going about it a different way.  Instead of merely telling outsiders that sex workers are regular folks, I’m showing them instead.  And I don’t plan to stop doing that anytime soon.

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At one time, there weren’t a lot of sex workers writing solid, substantive analyses of prohibition; that is no longer true.  Every year I see greater numbers of sex workers writing strong, convincing articles on why the War on Whores is horrible for everybody, and not just in blogs or “zines” or other small-audience venues, oh no; just last week saw two powerful, in-depth articles on how prohibitionism is nothing but camouflage for the reality that the sexual abuse of children is nearly always perpetrated by people the victim knows, often inside the nuclear family worshipped as a cultic totem by those who publicly fantasize the most vociferously about imaginary pimps with magical ninja powers pulling screaming children through the internet and confining them in dog crates to be raped by 100 men a day in truck stops.  Both are well worth reading in their entirety, but here’s a sample to get you started.  The first one is from Reese Piper:

One study…found that 82% of abuse was organized by a direct family member…despite all the warnings about strange men lurking in vans, only 4% of the abuse occurred by strangers when the child was being victimized by one person; 2% when the child was abused by multiple people.  The rest were biological fathers, stepfathers, acquaintances of the family, mothers, stepmothers, brothers, sisters, grandmas, aunts, uncles, and trusted members of the community such as clergy, police officers, teachers, counselors, and babysitters…Projecting [sexual abuse] outside the home relieves the pressure of the cognitive dissonance, allowing people to accept the darker shades of our world without disrupting their understanding of normal.  To protect the pillars that surround the Family, we need a scapegoat.  Women who work outside the home have always been considered a threat.  Just as daycare workers encountered vitriol and baseless allegations of harm against children in the ’80s and ‘90s, sex workers are now the vessels society empties its anguish and anger into…Often when…bills like SISEA are introduced they seem altruistic.  An average person not schooled in sex work politics won’t understand how much harm censorship can cause in a profession that survives on visibility.  But other times politicians are blatant about their plans to push “fallen women” back into the shadows where they can remain the other…

The other is from my friend Cathy Reisenwitz:

…Though evangelicals tend to oppose any sexual norm they believe might threaten the stability and fecundity of the Christian nuclear family—including premarital sex, interracial dating, gay marriage, trans rights, immigration, and abortion—the purity culture [politician Matt] Gaetz and other evangelicals promote may actually exacerbate sexual abuse.  A recent report from the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence found that certain norms embedded in religious teachings, in particular, are associated with high levels of sexual abuse; these include gender essentialism, limited autonomy for women, limited gender egalitarianism, a view of masculinity as dominant and aggressive, and male sexual entitlement.  So while it might seem counterintuitive that sexual abuse allegations proliferate in a movement that emphasizes sexual restraint and propriety, evangelical purity culture shares troubling overlaps with other cultures in which sexual abuse is common…There’s no epidemic of sex trafficking that requires the federal government to censor online pornography or arrest, deport, or incarcerate Americans for buying or selling sex.  Nevertheless, evangelicals have forged a vast network of organizations meant to “raise awareness” and lobby the U.S. government to use state violence to enforce sexual purity standards…Perhaps these organizations rely on anecdotes and flawed data year after year because it has always been vanishingly rare for a stranger to successfully kidnap someone in the United States and force them into sex slavery.  The most cursory analysis reveals that nearly every case of “sex trafficking” turns out to be one of two things: It’s either actually adult, consensual sex work or it’s an instance of intimate-partner violence… The real sexual abuse epidemic isn’t men in vans holding women at gunpoint. It’s…men like Gaetz, and the ideologies of abuse that they promote.

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Eradicating harm—[as now] redefined—may only amount to performance art, in which the semblance of action is all that is needed.  –  Eric Smith

Crying Wolf

This tendency has only worsened over the past decade:

The standard definition of harm has undergone concept creep…Where once the potential for harm existed in contact sports, accidents, physical altercations, traumas and so on, one might now find it while reading a question on an examlistening to a recorded debate in a classroom or encountering an opinion on social media…the broadening meaning of harm…can cause activists to spend so much time on relatively innocuous actions that they have none left for the arduous task of dealing with real societal harms like housing and food insecurity, failed educational institutions, violence in inner cities and disproportionate mortality rates…Defining harm as shallowly as many modern activists do leads them to mistake symbolic gestures for concrete strategies for change…the redefinition of harm [also] infantilizes people of color…I don’t think a world in which people of color give their power away so easily is one any self-respecting person of color would want to see…

Checklist (#986)

Your periodic reminder that Uber encourages its drivers to spy on riders and rat sex workers out to the pigs:

Uber…hire[s former pigs and spooks]…to help police catch suspected [sex worker]s…[by turning over their] uploaded information…[and] account identifiers…to…the…[pigs, referring to sex work as] human trafficking [equal to] carjackings…Uber works with the [rescue industry giant] “Polaris”…[to indoctrinate] Uber drivers [with absurd and overbroad “signs of] human trafficking[“]…

A Moral Cancer (#991)

It’s unusual for prohibitionists to admit they’re openly targeting black people:

[Prohibitionist] groups are applying…pressure on the Biden administration to institute a nationwide ban…o[n] menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products…precisely because of [their] popularity with African Americans…[even if] the law [is only] enforced against sellers…entrepreneurs would still have ready access to both cigarettes and menthol flavoring…[and] combin[ing] the two…[is a fairly simple] process…Unless the federal government attempts to turn menthol itself into a controlled substance, there will surely be many small-time sellers of menthol cigarettes meeting the demand of the millions of Americans who smoke them, including at least 77 percent of black smokers, but possibly as high as 88 percent (and around a quarter of white smokers)…Recall that Eric Garner’s [murderer used]…the petty crime of selling loose cigarettes a[s an excuse, and]…Garner’s mother, Gwendolyn Carr, became a vocal opponent of a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes in New York City [as a result]…in Massachusetts, which banned menthol cigarettes in 2020, at least one [black market]  seller is facing prosecution…the brunt of enforcement [will certainly] be borne by [black] people…

This is, unfortunately, par for the course; “progressive” campaigns to “improve” people against their will always ignore the fact that their moralistic crusades always disproportionately harm minorities, especially black people.

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A woman has sued Reddit [because] ex-boyfriend…repeatedly post[ed nude] images of her as a 16-year-old.  The lawsuit applies controversial measures instituted in 2018 under FOSTA-SESTA…The resulting case will test the limits of platforms’ legal shields amid ongoing efforts to [destroy] the law behind them.  The woman…[claims] that “Reddit knowingly benefits from lax enforcement of its content polices, including for child pornography”…She’s accusing Reddit of distributing child pornography, failing to report child sexual abuse material, and violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act…

The Widening Gyre (#1128)

It’s ironic that the newest target of “sex trafficking” scarelore is Target:

A…Reddit…user…who writes under the username Peeky-Lou…[and is so obsessed with] human trafficking…[fantasies that] she…[carries “]several legal self-defense items[” to go shopping at Target predictably imagined that]…three men…[in the store were] follow[ing her]…“It felt as if I was being surrounded like a wild animal —hunted, even,” she wrote…The…[nitwit spent] an hour…wandering around the store, [scaring herself silly with melodramatic fantasies of]…“darkness in his eyes…an eerie smirk [and]…sinister gaze”…[when] a male employee…walk[ed] her to her car…[she] saw [something that]…”solidif[ied] all of my suspicions…A white windowless van was parked in the lot“…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapist cops are sometimes treated like other rapists if their victims are prepubescent:

A [typical and representative] Louisiana [cop] has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting three girls, all less than 11 years old…David Monceaux [was sentenced] to…two life terms and a 50-year sentence consecutively…without probation, parole, or suspension of sentence…his youngest victim was 4 years old…

Predictable Consequences (#1130)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

A mansion owned by Feras Antoon, a Pornhub executive, was torched in an apparent arson last [week].  Police…were initially called to [the Montreal] property…at 11:30 P.M when two people were spotted trespassing…when [they] arrived…shortly thereafter they found…a…fire…so massive that more than 80 firefighters were called in and the neighbours were forced to evacuate…

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Diary #565

I had only a few days back at Sunset before heading back out again, but at least it was only an overnight to the east side of the Olympic peninsula, namely the convention of the Libertarian Party of Washington over in Port Orchard.  I was on a panel on sex work decriminalization early Sunday afternoon and it’s only a two-hour drive, so I could’ve just gotten up early Sunday and driven over.  But since I didn’t really know where I was going and wanted time to schmooze (such interactions are useful in building coalitions and making contacts), they covered a hotel room for me Saturday night and I drove over after dinner.  I was glad I did, not only because Sunday morning was less hectic, but also because it gave me a chance to talk to some other awesome sex worker activists.  The audience was really receptive to what we had to say, which is especially important now that things are finally starting to move (albeit with glacial slowness), because we’ll need all the allies we can get.  Alas, I never sleep well when I know I have to get up, so I got home pretty exhausted Sunday night and then wrote this; if it’s a bit short and blah, at least I have a good excuse.

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[Prohibitionists] are to blame for the fear sex workers live with, and the deaths that follow.  –  Mary Moody

The Course of a Disease (#342)

Business As Usual

Wow, a headline writer without a boot permanently lodged in his mouth:

…[a typical and representative New Haven] cop [named] Gary Gamarra [claimed that his rapes of] two different…sex workers [were OK because they wanted it]…Gamarra resigned from the force after [lying about] the [rapes, but]…now he’s seeking to have the resignation rescinded [so he can] get…back [to raping again].  The police chief, meanwhile, is seeking to have the state bar Gamarra from ever serving as a police officer in Connecticut again.  And the state’s attorney’s office has decided…[not] to pursue a criminal case against Gamarra [because whores.  Other “officials” thought it was much more important to note that he was not wearing his magic clown costume at the time of the rapes]…

Disaster (#974)

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…the gaming chat platform Discord [has] quietly updated its guidelines to restrict adult content, issuing a ban on users accessing NSFW servers…on iOS devices…entire servers, as opposed to individual channels, are…designated NSFW if the community “is organized around NSFW content or whose content is predominantly 18+”…It will still be possible for Discord users to access NSFW servers on its desktop version, and on Android…[because] the…policy shift was intended “to comply with Apple’s policies”…

See also “The Next Target” below.

To Molest and Rape (#1066)

Just protecting and serving:

…the Boston Police Department in 1995 filed a criminal complaint against [rapist cop Patrick Rose]…for sexual assault on a 12-year-old [boy], and…an internal investigation…concluded that he [was] likely [guilty, but he was allowed to]…ke[ep] his badge…for another 21 years, and rose to power in the [pig] union…his [victim grew up and lasy year discovered that] Rose [had been raping his daughter since she was 7]…The department’s cover-up]…left Rose free to [rape] again and again, from one generation to the next…

Quiet Genocide (#1118)

China is ramping up its propaganda campaign against those who tell the truth about the ongoing Uighur genocide:

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced more than a dozen [people who escaped]…Xinjiang…as liars, criminals, terrorists, and persons of “bad morality”…in a bid to undermine reports of abuses that have led…Western nations to [recognize that China is conducting] …a campaign of genocide.  [The propaganda also claims that of about 12,000 known victims listed in several]…database[s]…nearly 1,350 were “fabricated”…nearly 7,000 are “living a normal life,” while some 3,250 “have been convicted and sentenced for crimes of violent terrorism and criminal offenses”…[and] another 500 had either died of diseases or are living in foreign countries…

The Next Target (#1122)

The prohibitionist crusade against all adult material online continues:

Mastercard Inc. is “[tightening] the requirements it sets for banks that process payments for sellers of adult content”…the company will demand “clear, unambiguous and documented consent…[and] document[ation of] the age and [government-approved] identity of anyone depicted in pictures and videos as well as those uploading the content…the banks…will need to certify that the…sites have a review process prior to any content being published, as well as a system for complaints that addresses illegal or non-consensual activity within seven business days…[including] an appeals process that allows for anyone depicted in adult videos or photos to request that the content be removed”…

Predictable Consequences (#1126)

I’ve been pointing out the inherent violence of prohibitionism for years:

…While Exodus Cry has largely tried to get Pornhub shut down using political and social media pressure, its rhetoric is used by people who want to take matters into their own hands.  Sex workers and organizations targeted by those people believe that the rhetoric is going to lead to real world violence, and say that several high-profile mass killings can be traced back to anti-sex worker rhetoric more broadly…these groups have used extremist language and tapped into QAnon sentiment toward child trafficking, so it…is…not the least bit surprising, to see extremists using Nazi paraphernalia, death threats and photos of weapons alongside Exodus Cry’s Traffickinghub logo

It seems as though Vice is now trying to distance itself from this evil hysteria, which it has always tacitly supported via its credulous attitude toward “sex trafficking” propaganda.

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Diary #564

The more complicated a plan, the more there is to go wrong with it.  So I was very relieved when I touched down in Seattle on Sunday afternoon without any major hitches.  Oh, there were a few minor ones of course, mostly invoving the drive down, but nothing infuriating or catastrophic.  Of course, I was pretty exhausted by the time I arrived; the van was unfamiliar and not nearly as maneuverable as I prefer in a vehicle, and every time I drive into the Bay Area I forget how large it is and continually need to re-adjust my time estimates.  But I arrived only half an hour over my ETA, and Matt now has his stuff, and I had a lovely visit with my gentleman on Saturday, and my flight back on Sunday was both short and uneventful. I’ll be returning to Sunset tomorrow, then this coming Sunday I’ll be speaking at the convention of the Libertarian Party of King County, which is starting to put more energy into promoting decriminalization.  I’m glad that’s only a short drive away; I hope to have at least a little recovery time before taking another flight.

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