Posts Tagged ‘HIV Cure’

[Pandemic] measures [seem to] constitute the fulfillment of preexisting authoritarian tendencies.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope this makes Swedish criminalization fans extremely uncomfortable:

A…[typical and representative] Toronto [cop]…solicit[ed] a sex…worker…[Travis Houston implicitly threatened her with a gun] and told her that he was a [cop, but instead of submitting she]…demanded that he leave…He was charged with weapons dangerous [sic], obtaining sexual services and mischief [but also rewarded with a paid vacation]…

The More the Better 

Even lurid gawking by creeps at the New York Times can serve the greater purpose of demystifying sex work to squares:

…financial domination [is] a form of B.D.S.M. [sic] that has flourished during the pandemic, when many sex workers and their customers have migrated online because of social distancing..The concept is simple, even if the allure is not immediately self-evident: “finsubs” (short for “financial submissives”) send monetary “tributes” to a financial dominatrix…in exchange for being humiliated and degraded…

Rough Trade (#448) 

Can we not all agree something is wrong without giving the state another excuse for violence?

…antics now considered merely caddish or immoral—like lying to a prospective sex partner about one’s relationship status, social standing, or future intentions—would count as criminal sexual misconduct…[under a] bill…sponsored by [a gaggle of]…New York [politicians which would criminalize sex]…”obtained with…the use of…deception, fraud, concealment or artifice”…Women could be guilty for lying about contraceptive use or menstrual cycles, and men for lying about having a vasectomy.  Trying to win over a date by saying you have a better job than you actually do, live in a nicer place, or went to a better school could become a crime if that date sleeps with you…Someone might try to sue or press charges based on the idea that makeup, Botox, boob jobs, and similar measures to enhance one’s appearance should count as illegal artifice that negates consent.  It also seems likely that people could attempt to use the law against transgender…people…

As I pointed out in the subtitle-linked article, this would make prostitution stings legally rape, but no cop would ever actually be prosecuted for it.  Overbroad laws, no matter how good they may sound to some, are only ever used to increase the power of those who already have it at the expense of those who don’t.

Little Boxes (#865)

Forced sexual contact with strangers is “trust building”, but voluntary sexual contact with strangers is a “crime”:

A former employee of…Panda Express…was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion…At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing…participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth…the woman…was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building…while, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress…Attendees…were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation…[and not even allowed] to use the restroom…[even] to throw up…

HIV Cure (#920)

Another silver lining for the COVID pandemic:

new HIV vaccine, based on the Moderna COVID-19 inoculation, has shown a 97% antibody response rate in Phase I clinical trials…If approved, this vaccine could become the first stage of a multi-step strategy to combat HIV and other viral diseases.  The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of rare immune cells needed to generate antibodies against HIV…

Like Houses (#1031)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

…the…world that is more-policed and less-free than it was a year ago…Protests continued across the U.K. over…a proposed law that would increase police powers…[after a cop] murder[ed] Sarah Everard…[in] France…[t]ens of thousands…protest[ed] legislation that would restrict people from publishing identifiable images of [cops]…police have [brutalized] demonstrators in countries including Belgium, France (again), Greece, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.  Mounted police in Brussels trampled a woman at an anti-lockdown party, before opening up with water cannon.  In Athens, [a cops beat]…a man…to enforce a…lockdown…”Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime),” [wrote] The Economist…and…at least some countries want to permanently increase the status and power of police…

To Molest and Rape (#1127)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative New Jersey cop] and [known lecher has been] sexually assaulting a [girl] for five years, starting when she was 15…Tyrone Rolls…was charged…with sexual assault [but also rewarded with a paid vacation.  As usual, “authorities” are weirdly fixated on whether]…he was [wearing his magical clown costume while committing the rapes]…The [victim finally gathered the courage to] report…Rolls [after he slapped her]…and knocked her to the ground…

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Be wary of people in the media trying to sell you on the idea that sex traffickers, hate criminals, migrant caravans, and Momo are coming to get you.  –  Robby Soave

Surplus Women

Naturally this monster preyed on whores; the state put them directly in his path:

A [North Carolina] jury sentenced Seaga Gillard to death…for the hotel-room fatal shootings of a pregnant woman and her boyfriend…Gillard…and co-defendant Brandon Hill targeted [sex workers]…robbing and sexually assaulting them…across the Triangle…prosecutors placed a long string of victims on the stand, nearly all of whom described the same scenario:  advertising themselves on Backpage or PlentyOfFish, expecting a single customer but finding two at the door, being tied up with phone cords, robbed and sexually assaulted…Details that spun out of that testimony painted a cruel picture of Gillard: ordering a woman to remove her clothes and then twirling a gun inside of her, instructing another women to show her teeth and then putting his gun to her mouth…

HIV Cure (#31)

For just the second time…a patient appears to have been cured of infection with H.I.V…The news comes nearly 12 years to the day after the first patient known to be cured, a feat that researchers have long tried, and failed, to duplicate.  The…success now confirms that a cure…is possible, if difficult…Both milestones resulted from bone-marrow transplants given to…treat cancer…Bone-marrow transplantation is unlikely to be a realistic treatment option in the near future.  Powerful drugs are now available to control H.I.V. infection, while the transplants are risky, with harsh side effects that can last for years.  But rearming the body with immune cells similarly modified to resist H.I.V. might well succeed as a practical treatment…

Out of Their Tree

While some politicians are beginning to side with sex workers and others are pretending to, the majority are still unreconstructed prohibitionists and a few, like Los Angeles councilwoman Nury Martinez, are dangerous authoritarian fanatics.  Last week, this nut bar talked about going on a whore hunt with the pigs, then vomiting out her totalitarian wanking fantasy that all sex workers should be considered children under the law:

…What became very apparent to me is that the girls they were calling prostitutes were children…the women we were…actually children…we need to stop calling them women…they’re children….[and] victims…We want…to…help prosecutors go after these guys and…put [sex workers] away for good…

This is not the first time Martinez has spoken in favor of legally nullifying the human rights of people who have consensual sex, which she has called “sickening”.  Martinez is pro-universal surveillance, pro-censorship, and pro-asset seizure, and supports the State treating the poor who dare to go out in public as though they were plague rats, so I’m sure she has a long, bright political future ahead of her as a “progressive” political star.

False Witness (#752)

Those who wish to manufacture “sex trafficking victims” can use exactly the same methods:

For years, a group of outcasts in Beatrice, Neb., were convinced they had brutally raped and murdered an elderly woman named Helen Wilson one night in February 1985, even though they couldn’t remember any of it.  That was only [the fantasy dreamed up] by the detectives and [pushed on them by] the police psychologist at the Gage County Sheriff’s Office…[who claimed the group had magically] repressed the traumatizing memories.  The [pig-enabling] psychologist, Wayne Price, assured them the memories of the murder would probably come back in dreams…[eventually he brainwashed] three of the six suspects — [Ada] Taylor, Debra Shelden and James Dean [into] wholeheartedly believ[ing] in their [nonexistent] guilt.  But for at least one of them, Joseph White, it was a different story.  Convicted on nothing more than his friends’ false memories and dreams, he would spend the next 20 years seeking to prove his innocence — a pursuit that finally came to an end [last] week [when]…the Supreme Court upheld $28.1 million in damages to the wrongfully convicted, now known as the Beatrice Six.  The judgment comes as a result of a civil rights lawsuit that White filed in 2009, the same year the group was pardoned and declared innocent beyond all doubt after DNA evidence exonerated them.  They had collectively served more than 70 years in prison…

Uncommon Sense (#774)

The GMB follows up on the support for sex worker rights it first announced 18 months ago:

The GMB union has launched a new adult entertainment branch, which will invite members from across Scotland…The sex workers who fought for the creation of the branch now hope to shape future prostitution legislation…Rhea Wolfson, GMB organiser for Glasgow, was instrumental in setting up the branch.  She [said]…”Sex work is work and it should be safe…People are waking up to the reality that if sex workers are treated differently then that is discrimination”…The GMB’s adult entertainment branch is open to anyone in the adult entertainment industry, including strippers, burlesque and go-go dancers, video cam workers, people who make pornography – any form of sexual labour…

Wise Investment (#779)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

…Sandipkumar Patel was wrongly accused of soliciting sex from a massage parlor during [the recent]…prostitution…busts in South Florida….the Martin County Sheriff’s Office [maliciously pretended] Patel…was connected to the operation because [they claimed] he owned a blue, four-door Porsche [parked] in the parking lot…Patel…doesn’t own a Porsche.  Later [pigs admitted] the car actually belonged to a woman with the same last name….Patel…says his life, and his family’s life, has been turned upside-down [due to pigs’ releasing names and pictures for the specific intent of publicly shaming people who by law are presumed innocent]…The David Golden Law Office [is representing Patel] to sue the Martin County Sheriff’s Office…

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from cops:

Adrian Trevor Moore was a [cop in Western Australia who]…pleaded guilty to 180 charges of using a secure police database to access the information of 92 women he had met, or interacted with, on dating websites including Tinder and Plenty of Fish.  A third of the women were checked by Moore multiple times over several years…Defence barrister Mark Andrews [claimed]…Moore[‘s violation of almost a hundred women’s privacy was OK because he] was motivated by “curiosity”…But…Magistrate Geoff Lawrence…said a jail term was necessary…”people can’t trust the public officials…they [should] lose confidence in the system”…

Saving Them From Themselves (#846)

Another bad law giving prosecutors more ways to charge teen sexters rather than simply exempting them:

…a bill that would [offer prosecutors less punitive charging options for]…teen sexting passed off the floor of the Washington State House, but not without resistance from Republican representative Brad Klippert, who spent a lot of his time screaming about the depravity of anal sex and other acts after legislators rejected his amendment…Noel…Frame’s bill would prevent kids from being charged with a felony for possessing naked photos of themselves.  Minors sharing… photos…could [still] be charged with a…misdemeanor [unless the subject is]…12 and under [even if the sharer is the same age]…Brad Klippert, a school [pig] and Pentecostal preacher…[wanted to] only…protect…kids who sent nudes that didn’t offend his delicate sensibilities…

Take a look at the video, and consider that this screaming lunatic is both a fundie preacher and a pig, whose job is (no surprise) spying on and lording it over high schoolers.  McNeill-Rule examples like this are the ones who decide whether to hurl life-destroying charges at teens for normal adolescent sexuality:

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#918) 

Robby Soave correctly classes “sex trafficking” as an absurd moral panic:

Palm Beach County finally unblocked Youtube on its school computers…after falling for the…Momo…hoax…[that] a shocking number of journalists are guilty of spreading…but this should surprise no one…people of all ideological persuasions should beware the frequent spread of nonsensical, sensational, conspiratorial, and utterly false news stories—everything from obvious fakes like Momo to the slightly more robust yet equally absurd contentions that sex trafficking and hate crimes are ever-worsening epidemics…the media, particularly local media, falls for these kinds of hoaxes all the time.  Every year around Halloween, news outlets prey on parents’ unreasonable fears of sex offenders abducting their kids, or malicious strangers feeding them poisoned candy, even though neither of these things ever happen…Sometimes the hoax gets an assist from the police or schools…Trump promoted a Washington Examiner article about ranchers finding prayer rugs at the souther border, an indication that…Muslims…were entering the country illegally…At the Conservative Political Action Conference…Sara Carter…[repeated] a reboot of something called a pharming party; Politico‘s Jack Shafer has debunked its existence over and over again…the so-called sex-trafficking epidemic…has been carefully refutedover and over again…

Top Cop (#918)

Could it be that sex work decriminalization will actually be an issue in the next presidential election?  Though Swedish model devotee Copmala Harris is lying through her teeth when she claims to support decriminalization, the very fact that she thinks claiming to support it will get her votes says something.  Believe it or not, the chronically-stoned Rolling Stone actually seems to have hit on one of the reasons:

…Given the newfound visibility of sex workers’ rights, and the overlap the movement has with women’s rights and workers’ rights as a whole, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are in the position of having to address an issue that has previously been on the margins of the national conversation.  But it’s unclear how many of them plan to do that…A major driving force behind this increased visibility has been the backlash to SESTA/FOSTA, a controversial piece of legislation that was [pre]tended to combat sex trafficking on websites like Backpage…[but] had the opposite effect…

Meanwhile, in Vice, sex worker Liara Roux wrote:

…you can’t be upset at people for being single-issue voters when that issue is their literal survival.  If Democrat[s]…are worried about our complaints, they would be better served by making sure there is better policy around sex work in the Democratic platform than by asking sex workers to stop fighting for their survival.  We are asking to stop the bleeding.  Hell, we are asking for people to even acknowledge the wound.  This shouldn’t be considered a high bar…a Democrat who believes in increased criminalization will sign the death warrant for countless sex workers.  A Democrat willing to examine their mistakes and work towards decriminalization, decarceration, and destigmatization will help just as many people survive…

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The technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure.  –  Eric Hoffer


I’m very glad I never had this kind of celebrity as a client:

…[a] woman [called] Tiffany told TMZ she had “no issues” with [accused Aurora spree killer James] Holmes…”He was really nice…He felt bad that I wasn’t getting more customers while in Colorado, so he called a few days later and we met up again”

Hooker Humor

I could just as well have filed this one as “The More the Better”:

…Miranda Kane is…telling her tales of life as an escort…“My past career was comedy – I am just new to standing up and telling people about it,” she said.  The 31-year-old certainly has enough material to draw from for Coin Operated Girl…“I was really big – about 25 stone – and I was never without a date,” she explains.  But it would never go further than just one night.  “For men, it is like riding a moped.  You really want to ride one but you would be embarrassed if your friends saw you”…when the recession hit – which led to the market being flooded with women offering similar services – combined with a loss of weight, she decided it was time for a career change…it is not just the chance to hear a modern take on the world’s oldest career which should bring people through the doors, but the chance to save a bit of money…“It’s £145 cheaper an hour than my normal rate,” she smiles.  Coin Operated Girl at the Camden People’s Theatre from Monday, August 6, until Wednesday, August 8, at 9pm…

O, Canada!

Though increasing numbers of Canadians support decriminalization, many Canadian politicians are just as disgusting and dishonest as their American brethren:

The war against human traffickers that prey on our youth is now out in the open.  Those profiting from the recruitment of…women and girls into the sex trade…[are] targeting Canadian high school students since they can no longer import young women from abroad to sexually exploit…Many of these victims are terrified to talk about the reality of their experiences, and are effectively muzzled by coaching, manipulation and abuse…All around the globe…women and girls are forced into…the sex industry through coercion, threats, deception, or fraud…The average age of entry into prostitution in Canada is between 12 and 14 years of age.  It’s impossible to believe that these young girls and boys are making a rational choice to sell their bodies to 20-40 men a night…Canadians must send a strong message to the pimps…that our children will not be bought or sold.

It’s good to see the claims of these fanatics growing ever more extreme, bizarre and impossible; when the hysteria is over their fall will be that much harder.

HIV-Positive Man Cured in Berlin

Two men…[with] HIV and cancer have been seemingly cleared of the virus…more than two years after receiving bone marrow transplants, HIV can’t be detected anywhere in their bodies.  These two new cases are reminiscent of the so-called “Berlin patient,” the only person known to have been cured of [HIV] infection…Both men…endured…treatment for lymphoma, both had stem cell treatments and both had stayed on their HIV drugs throughout… The donor cells, it appears, killed off and replaced the infected cells.  And the HIV drugs protected the donor cells while they did it…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

When will people learn that governments’ use of laws always exceeds the stated purpose of those laws?

Four sex workers from [New Delhi]…have challenged a government eviction order…”There is thus no legislative guidance on the implementation of [the anti-brothel law, so]…absolute discretion is vested on the police administration…[which] has resulted in arbitrariness in action and abuse of power and authority”…the women claimed that they had been staying in the area for decades and not involved in business of running any brothel…”The act never intended to penalise prostitution per se, except in public places…but aimed at curbing…organised prostitution,” the petition said…

Counterfeit Comfort

People are condemned to the “sex offender” registry for many trivial offenses or things that shouldn’t even be crimes, but this is Kafkaesque even by those standards:

In May 2007, my husband and I were asked to assist an acquaintance in putting down a 14-year-old dog…the [owner’s] teenaged daughter…protested the plan vehemently…the day before the planned euthanasia, [police said] the girl had accused him of touching her…since [then] we’ve been fighting a legal system that, without notice, has curtailed our ability to travel, to obtain life insurance, even to petition for redress…police needed no corroboration for the charge; the accusation alone was sufficient, and jail time…was expected…a private investigator…proved the accuser wrong.  But…with a minor, it’s all inadmissible…the county [said it] would accept a no-contest plea, but that my husband would still be a registered sex offender for at least 10 years and possibly for the rest of his life.  If he didn’t take it, a court date would be set in five to six months, and some jail time would be expected.  We were given five minutes to decide.  My husband pleaded no contest…

Since then, the Devoys have had to endure constantly-escalating registration requirements and finally started an organization called Reform Sex Offender Laws of Virginia.

Surplus Women

This happened three years ago, but was called to my attention by Krulac last week; just imagine the uproar if he had said “woman” instead of “hooker”.  But you know, NHI and all.

See No Evil

The sick American mind at work again, seeing sex where it isn’t and imagining that pictures are magically dangerous to their subjects:

…Lauren Ferrari posted a photo on Facebook of her 5-year-old pretending to nurse her 2-year-old.  Within 24 hours, Facebook took the picture down…Stefanie Thomas of the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children…[opined] that Ferrari’s decision to post the photo was “poor parenting” because it’s impossible to control where that photo might end up…it wasn’t the first time the site has deleted photos of young girls pretending to breastfeed…Last summer…[alarmists] were outraged [about a nursing doll they claimed]…sexualizes children…Tessa Blake…  [argues] it is natural for girls to mimic their moms.  “My daughter has been lifting up her shirt and ‘nursing’ her babies for years.  Are you suggesting this is shameful?  What if she feeds her doll with a bottle?  Is she not being a kid then, or is it just the breast that’s the problem?” Blake asked…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

A big “thank you” to regular reader Pat Murphy, who sent me a copy of Ronald Weitzer’s new book Legalizing Prostitution.  I still don’t know the screen name or contact info of the reader who sent me Prince of Darkness, so whoever it was please let me know!

The Course of a Disease

Though few politicians support it, “sex trafficking” fetishists have succeeded in exposing Denmark to the Swedish rot.  Sex worker advocates there are reasonably confident that it hasn’t a chance, so what makes this article notable is the reporter’s attitude:

…despite a report from Norway showing that making it illegal to buy sex in that country…has not resulted in a decrease the number of sex workers…[and has made them] the victims of more violence…[a] parliamentary group…remains focused on criminalising the sex for hire business…”Making it illegal to be a john is a baseless ideological process,” [said] Christian Groes-Green, an assistant professor at Roskilde University…”If they are having problems dealing with real political issues, bringing back the sex debate is just good politics”…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

Sri Lanka police will conduct surprise raids on hotels and guest houses in the country to detect whether underage children are used for prostitution and other sexual acts…”  Because, hey, who cares about property rights and tourists’ privacy?  It’s for the children!

Prudish Pedants

In the UK as in the US, some porn is arbitrarily deemed illegal due to a vague and wavering line; in Britain it’s “extreme pornography”, defined as “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character” or if it portrays “an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals”:

…the Crown Prosecution Service…[argues] that images of fisting should be classified as “extreme pornography” with the risk to the defendant of three years in custody [and] inclusion on the sex offenders’ register…for [an] image…of [a legal] activity…the Prosecution must prove that the act of fisting is “likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus”…Before being arrested and charged with these offences, Simon [Walsh] was a successful professional and politician…who, amongst other things, prosecuted police officers accused of disciplinary offences.  After being charged, Simon lost both professional and political positions, despite the fact that no pornography was found on any of his work…[or] home computers…the police had to “interrogate” Simon’s personal email account (server) in order to discover a few images they deemed questionable.  This…contaminated the only source of evidence; making it impossible to identify whether images attached to emails had in fact been opened and viewed…

Note the emphasized line, especially in light of the fact that the images were in an incoming email and may not have been opened.  In other words, it’s highly likely that the police simply sent the images to him, then pretended to “find” the “evidence” as they do with planted drugs.


Only other peoples’ kind of sex work is bad!  Ours isn’t even sexual!

The owner of a Saskatoon exotic dancing business [argues that]…the new…licensing bylaw for adult services…is discriminatory.  “We provide entertainment, not sexual favours,” said Bella Kaje, owner of KJ’s Party Favors…”I don’t like what they’re categorizing us with…and…these obscene amounts (for a licence) is more…discrimination” …An adult service agency licence…will cost $500 [plus] $200 for each renewal…[then] $250, plus $100 for each renewal, for [each] performer…[or employee, including] drivers and receptionists…

Meanwhile, across the pond:  “Council officials say they will check up on a new ‘tantric temple’ centre which offers clients massages from women in G-strings…owners are insisting that no sexual services will be carried out…”  Because erotic massages from naked people aren’t sexual services.

Gingerbread House

Birds of a feather, and all that:  “Jerry Sandusky’s ‘The Second Mile’ wants to divert…$2 million dollars in assets…to the Arrow Child and Family Ministry…[in order to prevent] victims from seeking to liquidate his organization’s assets as civil cases are pursued against him…


Wise Investment in TW3 (#23)

Yet another gun to the internet’s head is turned aside:

…Section 230 says that websites aren’t liable for third party content…[and has therefore] become the foundation for the entire user-generated content industry…Despite [the] enormous social benefits…state legislators [frequently] consider enacting laws that conflict with Section 230…the Washington state legislature enacted one such law in an overzealous effort to shut down online child prostitution…[but] in Backpage and Internet Archive v. McKenna…a federal judge rejected the Washington legislature’s efforts, turning the case into a major victory for…user-generated content…

This Week in 2011

The erosion of “innocent until proven guilty”, a short biography of the Athenian hetaera Aspasia, and a Canadian town buys a strip club; also, answers to questions about “doggie style”, what happens when a client finishes quickly and whether a whore and client can ever be friends.  “August Updates (Part One)” contains items about a book of vulva pictures, cops harassing strippers and streetwalkers, and the beginning of decriminalization in India; “Part Two” discusses invented “sex trafficking” victims, rising STI rates in older amateurs and South Korean whores fighting for their rights.

This Week in 2010

Genesis of a Harlot” is the three-part story of how I slowly grew toward sex work and “The Only Working Girl in New Orleans” the three-part story of what happened after Hurricane Katrina; “Phryne” was a famous Athenian hetaera, and “Whores and Wives” discusses the varied reactions wives have to discovering their husbands have employed hookers.

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In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.
–  Cole Porter

It’s time for another collection of short articles about various things of interest; think of today’s column as a collection of provocative little presents from Maggie’s fishnet Christmas stocking.  The first one is a seriously big deal; if it pans out it’ll be the best Christmas present the medical community has given mankind in many years:

HIV-Positive Man Cured in Berlin

Doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood announcing that Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the “Berlin Patient,” appears to have been cured of HIV infection thanks to a stem cell transplant he received in 2007 as part of a his treatment for leukemia.  The doctors stated that the results of extensive testing “strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved.”  Brown is the first person to ever be declared cured of HIV, and his case shows the way toward a potential cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells.

And just last week, Time named another AIDS-related discovery to its list of the Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2010; recent studies show that healthy individuals who take antiretrovirals, medicine commonly prescribed for treating HIV, reduce their risk of contracting the disease by up to 73 percent.  It’s too early yet to say that AIDS has been cured, but the millions already infected and those (like sex workers and medical professionals) who have higher-than-normal risk definitely have reason to hope that a cure may finally arrive in the next few years.

Definitely Not the Worst Pickup Line Ever

As I’ve mentioned before, Jezebel tends to sit on the fence between third-wave feminism and the last remnants of second-wave feminism; its editorial staff seems to give considerable leeway to contributors, and some unfortunately have the tendency to write articles which exude the unmistakable dead-fish smell of neofeminism. I’ve noticed the writer of the following article (reprinted verbatim) in particular has a strong tendency to rely on rhetoric which was already pungent in 1991 and has grown ever-more-foul in the intervening two decades:

We’re referring to the words allegedly spoken to Mark Wahlberg at some party for The FighterAccording to the NY Daily News, a “young beauty” approached Wahlberg in the “VIP Section” of the Top of the Standard bar.  Her line? “Well, I’m the single girl and you’re the married man.”

Wahlberg allegedly “wasn’t amused,” and we don’t know why he would be, since it wasn’t remotely amusing. What it was, in fact, was depressing, degrading and reliant on archetypes that we wish didn’t exist.  And while we’ve described it as an abysmal line, there’s always a chance it’s worked in the past — which is more depressing still.

For all we know, Wahlberg’s PR is pushing the story to highlight his upstandingness (and really, you shouldn’t get special credit for normal, decent behavior) but that’s not where our interests lie.  Young beauty, whoever you are: you are better than this.  You shouldn’t be defining yourself in relationship to the nearest man, and you shouldn’t buy into a world that pits “mistresses” archaically against wives.  We hope that seeing this item will serve as a wake-up call.  You’re not “the single girl” — you’re a person!  A person with opinions and history, and value.  You deserve to be not just in the VIP section, but in the VIP section of life!

First off, it’s only a “pickup line” if a man uses it; the female equivalent is called a “come-on”.  But even if the two are considered together, this does not remotely even make it into the running to be considered to be nominated as among the worst pickup lines of this month, let alone ever.  My nomination for that honor would have to be, “Let’s  joust; my pork sword versus your clam salad.”  Yes, that was a real line, spoken by a guy I actually knew and overheard by another friend.  What makes it even more astonishing is that it actually worked; I guess low female self-esteem is a horny-but-clueless guy’s best friend.

The rest of the piece is so judgmental and indicative of rigid, indoctrinated thinking that it is – to paraphrase the article itself – “depressing, degrading and reliant on rhetoric that we wish didn’t exist.”  The author clearly believes herself to be “better” than the young half-hooker who solicited Wahlberg, yet says the girl is better than “this” (meaning her profession).  But you’re right about one thing, Ms. Neofeminist; she is a person with opinions, history and value, just as every other prostitute is.  We don’t “define ourselves in relationship to the nearest man”; it is YOU who are doing that by “defining” her in relation to a potential customer even though you know nothing else about her, and you shouldn’t buy into a world that pits “feminists” archaically against whores.

Funny Shows

These are just a couple of funny slideshows which are only tenuously related to this column by the “Video Girl Barbie” entry in “Toys Not To Get Kids for Christmas” and the “Free Hugs” entry in “Obvious Traps”.  Think of them as stocking stuffers.

Another Whore Who Thinks She Isn’t

The ex-porn starlet ex-wife of actor Kelsey Grammer, infuriated over his divorcing her for a younger woman, now plans to blackmail him with a sex videotape demonstrating “just how twisted his sexual appetite is” in order to extort a larger alimony payment than the court assigned her.  A woman demands money that she would not have if she hadn’t sex with a man; why isn’t this illegal again?  Oh, yeah, that marriage license thing, which makes prostitution legal.  I don’t remember anything about it making blackmail legal, though, so why hasn’t this sleazy trollop been arrested and charged with attempted extortion?

Hooters, Japanese Style

This article talks about “maid cafes”, Japanese establishments in which guys pay girls to give them a GFE without the sex.  This is of course exactly what many of our clients want as well, and it’s a very old tradition in Japan; really, the girls are like low-rent modern descendants of geishas (who as you may remember replaced the oiran by practicing then-modern entertainments instead of archaic ones).  It’s also not all that different from the being-sweet-and-cute-for-money procedure practiced by strippers and Hooters girls.  Still think there’s a clear line between illegal prostitution and legal professions which dance all around it?  What is it that defines prostitution?  If it’s penetration, what about hand jobs?  If the guy doesn’t climax, is it still prostitution?  What about police busts in which neither sex nor any conversation about it occurs?  How about guys who just want to watch a girl masturbate or play with another girl?  If a guy comes in his pants during a lap dance, is it prostitution?  How about a Las Vegas escort who gets a quickie wedding with her client, does a all-nighter and then gets an equally quick divorce in the morning?  How about the Muslim temporary marriage, which can be as short as one night?  And if a ex-porn starlet blackmails her ex-husband with video of him clapping and chanting “lubbu-lubbu”, is it illegal?

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