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Posts Tagged ‘LGBT rights’

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 only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused…is to never create it.  –  Apple in 2016

See No Evil

Moral panics really spin out of control as they age:

Spencer Elden, the man whose unusual baby portrait was used for…the…cover…of…Nirvana’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit…[pretend]ing that the nude image constituted child pornography…[despite the fact that] non-sexualized nude photos of infants are…not considered child pornography under law.  [To circumvent this plain fact in order to cash in on “child porn” hysteria], Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s [shyster, fantasizes]…that the inclusion of currency in the shot makes the baby appear “like a sex worker”…[Lewis demands] at least $150,000 from each of the defendants, who include…the…original Nirvana drummer…even though he had been replaced…before the album was recorded or the cover photography shot.  Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries…

“A sex worker”.  Seriously.  I reckon he’s supposed to be one of those hundreds of thousands of infant hookers needed to bring the average debut age down to 13.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#648)

What “legal but heavily regulated” looks like in action:

On August 11, the Nagpur police put [up] a large number of barricades completely sealing the Ganga-Jamuna area….without any prior notice or reason [thu]s drastically affect[ing] the livelihood…of over a thousand sex workers who have been living and working for decades in the area…over 100 [cops] have been [sent to swagger around] the area at all times…Sex workers in India are one of the groups that are consistently at the receiving end of…state-sponsored police brutality…[even though] the profession is not illegal…brothel areas are repeatedly raided and their workers are harassed by the police…A petition by the National Network of Sex Workers, India (NNSW) demanding “Unseal Ganga Jamuna” has been put online and signed by more than 2700 people and organisations…

License to Rape (#720)

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

A Raleigh mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the TSA…a[fter] the[y]…violated her transgender teenager’s rights by [demanding] a strip-search at the airport.  Jamii Erway, 15 at the time, had a valid boarding pass [but] when [t]he [equipment regist]ered a “false positive”…a TSA [goon demanded]…to [leer at] her genitals…[and lied] “that she was not free to leave until she submitted to [the humiliation], in violation of TSA policy, the Fourth Amendment, and…the boundaries of civil and decent society”…the [goon further called the cops on the teenager]…and the[ir threatening] presence…[unsurprisingly] triggered…a…panic…[attack].  Rather than submit to the [molestation]…her mother, Kimberly Erway, rented a car and [they] drove 600 miles.  The Erways seek unspecified damages and an injunction preventing such a scenario from happening again…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops even get their equipment to lie for them:

Michael Williams…was [locked in a cage for almost a year], accused [by cops] of killing a young man from [his] neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May…the [supposed] evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or [snitch, but rather]…from a clip of [silent] security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang [separately] picked up by a network of surveillance microphones.  Prosecutors [pretende]d…a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man…ShotSpotter [claims have] increasingly been admitted in court cases…[as evidence despite the fact that] it…can miss live gunfire right under its microphones, or misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots.  F[antasy stories written]…by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to [lie] that a defendant shot at police, or provide [lies about] the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants…the…system…[i]s a…black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards…[but] the company…fully admits that]…employees can and do modify the location or number of shots fired [on their own whims or] at the request of police…in the past, city dispatchers or police themselves could also make some of these changes

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

Florida [cop]…Naci Tuzcuoglu…approached a woman singing karaoke at…[a] sports bar…[and] put his hands on her hips.  The woman…t[old] him she was married and not interested [but he kep harassing her, so she]…went outside and spoke to her husband…Tuzcuoglu [followed her]…and punched the man in the face…multiple times…[while] taunt[ing him]…“I’m a cop…What are you gonna do about it?”…

Choke Point (#1150)

“Progressives” are finally deigning to notice financial discrimination vs some sex workers:

OnlyFans…has faced widespread backlash from sex workers after it announced…that it will ban sexually explicit content starting Oct. 1.  Some LGBTQ OnlyFans creators say the changes could jeopardize one of their primary sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic…

OnlyFans reversed its position the day after this article appeared, but I still featured it because it illustrates a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately: some “progressives” only seem to think sex workers deserve rights if they’re queer (especially trans).  Now, since the majority of sex workers are some flavor of LGBT, fighting for their rights will still help straight, cisgender sex workers as well.  But I think it’s pretty sad that some people don’t think human rights are worth supporting unless they’re the “correct” people’s rights.

I Spy (#1161)

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm [about its plans to snoop in customers’ phones].  The company [pretend]s reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.”  We disagree.  We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and…we’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works.  The problem is, we understand exactly how it works…Our system could be easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship.  The design wasn’t restricted to a specific category of content; a service could simply swap in any content-matching database, and the person using that service would be none the wiser.  A…government could, for example, compel a service to out people sharing disfavored political speech…WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, already uses content matching to identify dissident material.  India enacted rules this year that could require pre-screening content critical of government policy.  Russia recently fined GoogleFacebook and Twitter for not removing pro-democracy protest materials[, and US politicians are pressuring social media companies to censor anything they declare “misinformation”]…We warned against our own system design…[an]d planned to discuss paths forward at an academic conference this month…[but] the week before our presentation, Apple announced it would deploy its nearly identical system…

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I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money.  –  example of typical cop math

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

Chets Creek…Southern Baptist megachurch in Florida, [distanced itself from]…former Southside campus pastor Jeff Bedwell [when he] was recently arrested for…sexually molesting a young girl from the age of 12 until…17…Senior Pastor Spike Hogan [bloviated a lot of excuses and added some copsucking for good measure]…Bedwell served as a youth pastor…before his [promotion] in…2018…

Policing for Profit (#645)

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A New Mexico man [was robbed at gunpoint by] Oklahoma sheriff’s deputies [of] more than $140,000…[using the bogus excuse] of drug trafficking, [but] a local news outlet found the records to [show the cops were lying]…Thai Nang…and a business partner were traveling to buy a piece of land when they were pulled over.  Sheriff’s deputies [rooted through] the car and [stole] the money…[claiming moronically], “I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money”…but…[reporters] obtained the bill of sale and interviewed the owner from whom Nang was intending to purchase the property…Nang also [reported that] the amount the sheriff’s office reported s[teal]ing is roughly $10,000 short of the actual amount.  The Institute for Justice…[says] Canadian County, Oklahoma is [notorious for this kind of]…abuse…

Lack of Evidence (#861) 

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

A raid on a Maryland adult bookstore in May resulted in…unconstitutional arrests of three men for violating the state’s [unconstitutional] sodomy law…nine people [were arrested, but]…only three…were charged with perverted sexual practice.  Another four were charged with indecent exposure…and one…was arrested for solicitation of…a…[sow fantasy role-playing a sex worker]…NIMBY complaints appear to have motivated the…raid…

Checklist (#1059) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black Colorado woman…[was harass]ed and [interrogated] by [armed government thugs who accused her of “]human trafficking[” her] adoptive four-year-old sister…Olivia, [who is white]…Lakeyjanay Bailey…was [harass]ed by [cops] after their flight touched down at…DFW…[because] Frontier Airlines [air hostesses decided it was OK to sic dangerous thugs on the sisters because a white busybody] on the flight had [sexual fantasies about them]…

To Molest and Rape (#1092)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Progreso [Texas cop] will spend the next 30 years in federal prison for sexually assaulting two [young men] he arrested in 2019, [one] a minor…Matthew Lee Sepulveda…[arrested both] after minor traffic stops, then [abducted] them back to a jail that otherwise stood empty due to the late hour.  Both testified [that] Sepulveda asked them questions regarding their sexual activity and masturbation before…[assaulting] them…The jury also unanimously found that Sepulveda had committed bodily injury, aggravated sexual abuse…and…kidnapp[ing]…

Safe Position (#1111)

Why “policies” not backed up by law reform are worthless:

P[igs deceived and brutalized adults seeking consensual sex] in…Brooklyn…following [recent prohibitionist yellow journalism.  Most of the arrests]…targeted men [simply] driving [through a] four-block…stretch…the NYPD [vomited out a lot of disgusting propaganda and bragged about sows spicing up their pathetic sex lives by fantasy-roleplaying as sex workers]…The [pogrom] came [despite]…the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez [claiming it was] moving away from prosecuting prostitution cases…a DA spokesman said the arrests were for solicitation…an[d bragged about how its “]Sex Trafficking Unit[” indirectly victimizes women by]…vigorously prosecut[ing their friends, associates, and family members and trying to deprive them of income so they’ll end up homeless]…

I Spy (#1156)

Amazon only likes fascist surveillance schemes it owns and controls:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group that sells spyware Pegasus…[after] Amnesty International…[shamed them by] report[ing on how]…Pegasus spyware…[is used by repressive governments] across the world, including India where around 300 mobile numbers were snooped using the spyware.  Pegasus is…installed by sending a malicious link to a target device, and…is [difficult]…to…identif[y] by the person using the targeted device…

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Civil forfeiture is an abomination.  –  Travis May

The Red Umbrella

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…Over four days in May, the same man stalked seven women and sexually assaulted three of them across [Philadelphia] and [its] suburbs….he took [few] steps to evade detection, [even wearing]…the same clothing…[yet cops] from Mississippi to Philadelphia [let Kevin Bennett pull off] a…crime spree staggering in scope, spanning eight states over 50 days, until [they finally managed to arrest him] in late May.  He’s a suspect in at least five rapes, three jewelry-store robberies, and a handful of stalking and assault incidents…

A Broker in Pillage

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

…the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to permanently [steal] the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes, including over $85 million in cash and precious metals, jewelry and other valuables worth millions more…the boxes’ owners have not been accused of any crime and have not been told what the government thinks they did wrong.  Now, several of those owners are joining an existing Institute for Justice (IJ) class action lawsuit to stop the government’s forfeiture plans…“This is an $85 million cash grab by the federal government,” said IJ Senior Attorney Robert Frommer.  “The government has no basis to think any of these people have done anything wrong.  It just wants to keep their stuff”…

I first linked to this story in Links #563.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1003) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

GirlsDoPorn…recruiter and male talent Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia was sentenced…to 20 years after pleading guilty to sex trafficking charges against him in the case that also involves the site’s fugitive owner, Michael Pratt, and others…

Forward and Backward (#1058)

A good example of why “policies” not anchored in law are no solution:

…Leeds City Council…[ha]s deci[ded] to “step away from what has been a pioneering and compassionate approach to on street sex work” and scrap the Holbeck Managed Approach Zone…almost seven years after [it] was first launched…The zone was officially closed down temporarily last April, [using] the [excuse of the] pandemic…forc[ing women] to work in riskier environments and ma[king] it harder for them to get help in an emergency…[and apparently thepoliticians liked that result and wanted it to continue]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1090)

Puritanism is throttling the entire world:

[Politicians] in Hungary passed [a law] that prohibits sharing with minors any content that portrays being gay or transgender…supporters [of the ban projectile-vomited the word “]pedophilia[” a]t…human rights groups [who] denounced [the new censorship law] as anti-LGBT discrimination…The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and [politicians] from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure…All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session in protest…Some human rights officials have compared it to the so-called gay “propaganda” law passed by Russia in 2013…[in order] to harass sexual minorities…

Winding Down

You know things are changing when Louisiana eliminates an excuse for caging people:

A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana…in Louisiana will become law after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation…Although…the bill [doesn’t legalize cannabis]…the penalty would be less than most speeding tickets…[it] would make possession of 14 grams or less…a misdemeanor in all cases and limit the fine to $100 with no jail time.  It takes effect Aug. 1…

Torture Chamber (#1141)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Cases of sexual assault and prostitution have been [anonymously] reported at a [prison] for unaccompanied migrant minors…in Spain’s Canary Islands…The complaint…also detailed “physical assault and sustained abuse” allegedly committed by workers at the center, as well as deficient sanitary conditions.  According to the complaint, these episodes of “negligence” have been “condoned and encouraged” by members of current and past management teams, who “have done nothing to stop it”…

What kind of sick mind thinks that voluntary “delinquent” behavior is the same as being raped, tortured and locked in filthy cages by brutal armed thugs?

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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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We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound…our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color…we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star!
–  Endora (Agnes Moorehead)

A couple of years ago I rewatched Bewitched, a show I always enjoyed in my youth but hadn’t seen since the early ’80s.  I’ve always thought Elizabeth Montgomery was an excellent actress, but this time the magic of cannabis (which slows down my hyperactive nervous system so that I can really watch these shows in a way I’ve never been able to before) opened my eyes to just how talented she really was; she could convey so much with just her facial expressions and vocal manner, and her comedic timing was brilliant.  But beyond that, I saw aspects of the show itself that were previously opaque to me.  I’ve always recognized that many of the episodes are veiled commentaries on racism and other forms of bigotry; that was typical of the 1960s, when fantasy and science fiction shows could sneak controversial issues past uptight sponsors and network censors by disguising them as the stuff of alien worlds or magical happenings.  When Samantha angrily denounced ugly witch stereotypes or mortals’ fear of those who are different, the perceptive viewer understood what the show was really saying.  As I grew older, I realized that there was also a more-deeply-buried queer subtext which was too radical even for most contemporary viewers who thought of themselves as liberal:  beside the fact that several of the principals were played by gay men, Samantha had to hide her true nature in order to exist in the judgmental mortal world, and only in the company of other witches could she really be herself.  Furthermore, those mortals were willing to hunt, persecute and even burn those like her merely because they were different.  But queer people weren’t the only sexual minority violently persecuted and actively hunted by 20th-century puritans; while I’m sure it was unintentional, sex workers can also see ourselves reflected in this magic mirror.

When I last watched the show, in my late teens or very early twenties, I naturally identified most with Samantha.  But on this rewatch, I found myself identifying with her mother, Endora, due in part to her age, in part to her unique personal style, and in part to her attitude toward her daughter’s marriage.  I’m old enough to have a daughter in her twenties or early thirties, and I can certainly understand how I’d feel if she married a man I thought wasn’t good enough for her.  But it goes beyond that: the association between sex work and witchcraft is a very old one, and even today many sex workers metaphorically describe our work as “magic” (not to mention the many sex workers who actually do specifically practice witchcraft, though obviously not the fantasy TV variety).  Endora’s chief gripe with her son-in-law isn’t really that he’s mortal; it’s that he wants to rob her beloved daughter of her birthright by forcing her to eschew magic and submit to mortal drudgery.  And every time I heard her say this to Samantha (in quite a few episodes), I imagined how I would feel if my beautiful daughter gave up a successful career in sex work to marry a “dumbo” who demanded she renounce her heritage, shun her whore friends, and work a shitty square job when she could make far more with far less effort by doing what she’s good at instead of letting herself be limited to behavior that doesn’t make dreary, unimaginative authoritarians uncomfortable.

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[The “sex offender” registry] thoroughly ruins someone’s life.
–  Elizabeth Ehret

Elephant in the Parlor

Americans pretend “politician hires whores” is something other than a yawn:

When…Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was…a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event…The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will [out] that escort to [busybodies] as one of more than 15 [sex workers] Gaetz [hired]…what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that…Greenberg [moved money around to tip her an extra]…$7,000 to $17,500…Gaetz…has declared that he “never paid for sex” [and] wrote off the stay at the hotel as a campaign expense

“Politician lies” ain’t news, either.

The End of the Beginning 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

In 1993, when he was 18, Randall Menges had consensual sex with two other teenage boys at a camp in Idaho.  [He] was charged…with “crimes against nature”…and served seven years in prison…[then condemned to] the sex-offender registry…a federal judge in Montana ruled that Mr. Menges’s name should be removed from the…registry…but…the Montana attorney general, Austin Knudsen…said he planned to appeal…because “[laws are more important than people]”…Last September, [attorney] M[atthew] Strugar, along with the A.C.L.U. of Idaho, filed a federal lawsuit challenging Idaho’s law on behalf of Mr. Menges and another man who was forced to register as a sex offender because he was convicted 20 years ago in another state for performing oral sex on his wife…

Torture Chamber

Funny how people die of “undetermined causes” while cops are brutalizing them:

…[two South Carolina screws murdered] Jamal Sutherland, a Black man with mental illness, in jail…[by tas]ing [him] and pepper-spray[ing him multiple times while he cried that]…he couldn’t breathe…The county coroner has [tried to exonerate the screws by blaming]…his [his death on] an “excited state” with unfavorable effects from prescription drugs [rather than the fact that] police [were attacking him with a high-voltage weapon and dangerous toxic chemicals]…Sutherland’s manner of death remains “undetermined,” according to the coroner…[screws] Lindsay Fickett and Brian Houle…were [at first rewarded with paid vacations]…but the…sheriff…[later fired them in response to public outcry]…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

I hope they’re so “disheartened” they go out and find honest work:

Organizers of New York City’s Pride events…are banning [cops] and other [government-sponsored thugs] from marching in their huge annual parade until at least 2025 and will also seek to keep on-duty [cops] a block away from the celebration…“law enforcement…can…be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason”…the Gay Officers Action League said in a release it was disheartened by the decision…and [called] the decision…[to place the safety of cops’ victims above the sadfeelz of cops] “shameful”…

To Molest and Rape (#862) 

Note that politicians took three years to act on doing something about rapist cops:

House [politicians] just passed a bipartisan bill that would make it illegal for federal [pigs, spooks and g-men] to [rape] people…the[y have abducted]…th[us closing the “she wanted it”]…loophole…[which] protect[s rapist cops]…The Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, created by Rep. Jackie Speier…would make it a criminal offense for [pigs, spooks and g-men] to engage in any sexual activity with anyone…while exercising their [police powers]…On the state level, it’s still legal in 34 states for [cops] to [rape] someone in custody [as long as they belch out the magic words “she wanted it” when caught]…

Disaster (#1130)

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…eBay…has changed its policies regarding what it considers “adult items” effective June 15, completely eliminating the category “Adult Only” for new listings…Items that contain nudity are allowed only if the eBay moderators consider it to be “nude art listings that do not contain sexually suggestive poses or sexual acts” and if they are accordingly categorized and labeled…[however] eBay also…reserves the right to decide what is and is not “art”…The company…somehow decided that vintage copies of only four magazine titles — Playboy, Playgirl, Mayfair and Penthouse — may be listed for sale or auction “as long as the listing does not contain nude images or explicit content.”  All other adult publications are banned…[as are] erotic videos and films…video games with a rating of X, XXX, R18 or unrated…and all “sexually explicit anime, comics, books, films, animation, manga, hentai [and] yaoi”…

To Molest and Rape (#1137)

Imagine a non-cop child rapist getting only three years:

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop]…convicted…of [raping] a child was sentenced…to [less than] three years in prison…Daniel Cintron was convicted in a jury-waived trial of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and two counts of intimidation of a witness…Cintron has been in [jail] since 2018 when he…rap[ed] three girls.  But a jury in 2019…[said it was OK for him to] rape [kid]s while deadlocking on [mostly clown-costume-related] charges…

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Statists are fond of pretending that the slippery slope is a “fallacy”, because they don’t want you to think about how either legal precedent or human psychology work; as I wrote years ago in “The Devil’s Toys“,

…In the common law tradition, laws are defended from those who would challenge them by arguing precedent: demonstrating that a new law or practice strongly resembles others already in existence which have never been challenged (or better yet, withstood such challenges) constitutes evidence that the new act is also permissible.  But there’s another factor, a psychological and moral one: once people get used to an idea, they’re much more likely to support laws that reflect that attitude…Those who rejoice when a private corporation deletes a writer’s article, and would gloat if she were fired, are already receptive to the idea of censorship; enacting the practice into law and establishing censors to act “on behalf of the public” is only one step further…

In the past decade, we’ve seen so many tyrannies enabled by these mechanisms, there’s very little point in my rehashing them; however, useful idiots being first and foremost idiots, they just keep on cheerleading for face-eating leopards that they believe will never eat their faces, because they either believe or want everyone else to believe that the slippery slope is a “fallacy”.  There is indeed such a thing as a “slippery slope fallacy”, but it’s different from the real principle of tyranny via incremental extension of legal precedent; what makes the difference between the two is what one might call a “conceptual ledge”, a break in the chain of logic that those employing a slippery slope fallacy intentionally gloss over.  The difference is so clear and simple only a fanatic or other victim of dangerously-disordered thinking could miss it:  an example of the real slippery slope is the way that surveillance powers approved for use against “terrorists” were in fact mostly used to persecute people for drugs, while an example of the slippery slope fallacy looks like this:

Any questions?

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Regular readers know that I feel strongly about promoting online resources for sex workers, especially if those resources are owned and operated by sex workers!  I recently met Val on Twitter and asked her if she’d like to introduce my readers to her sex-work-friendly social media site, Lips.  So without further ado:

Hello lovely readers of The Honest Courtesan!  My name is Val, and I am a tech researcher, erotic filmmaker, sex worker activist, and the community manager of Lips, a community-designed social media platform for women, non-binary folks, & the LGBTQIA+ community to express themselves openly & honestly without fear of censorship or harassment.  I am beyond honored that Maggie has entrusted me with this opportunity to introduce myself and Lips to you all today.

Lips began as a print zine on a college campus in 2008, and was founded directly in response to the mainstream media’s representations of female & queer sexuality – often through the paternalistic, patriarchal lens also known as the “male gaze.”  Lips invited folks to mail in (or anonymously drop into a P.O. box) stories, poetry, and artwork for the publication, and over time it grew into a much-needed community-led space for self-expression – including sexuality – that was safe, open and honest.  As the community grew and the zine moved online, it became increasingly apparent just how radical this project was.  The community faced tons of obstacles: internally, it was difficult to combat the shame that society projected and foster self-esteem and self-love, and externally, stigma, whorephobia, digital censorship, and harassment all posed threats to Lips’ existence.  This was when the team came together and decided to build our very own social media platform called Lips.social.  We hosted co-design sessions with groups of artists, sex workers, sexual health and wellness educators, and LGBTQIA+ young people to bring the community’s ideas together for what this app should do and be.  We co-wrote our own Community Guidelines that reflected our community’s values – not the values of the mainstream society we aimed to resist.  And finally, thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Headstream Youth Mental Health Accelerator, we were able to build and launch the first version of the Lips app.  On December 31, 2020, all of the hard work paid off and we welcomed a vibrant community of over 14,000 members into our new little digital paradise.

Of course, we continue to face obstacles like whorephobia, but will always respond with the care and best interests of our community at the forefront.  With Lips, our main mission is to design and build technologies that make the internet a healthier and safer place for marginalized communities – including sex workers.  We do this through:

  • A more nuanced, community-led approach to sexuality moderation
  • UX/UI that protects against harassment and trolls
  • A business model that is directly linked with the economic success of marginalized creators
  • And finally, most excitedly, the co-ownership of our company with the community members!


That’s right!  We are very excited to announce that we are now selling equity in the company to the community, so if you are interested in joining our team and becoming an investor, visit wefunder.com/lips to learn more, and reach out to us at team@lips.social if you have any questions. (Anyone can invest, minimum is $100).  Join us in building a better (digital) world for marginalized communities.

My parting words – Personally, I need Lips to exist because women, non-binary & LGBTQIA+ artists, activists, educators, sex workers, healers, and more have created the kind of body and sex-positive art and experiences that have saved my life and the lives of so many people around me.  So, if you’re still here, thank you for reading this far – you’ve already supported our work – and please become as involved with Lips as you’d like.  Every investment, every share, every new community member counts. Thanks y’all.

XX, Val

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