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Posts Tagged ‘Madonna/whore’

There’s no public safety value in prosecuting these low-level offenses.  –  Marilyn Mosby

Policing Womanhood

Scratch a SWERF, find a TERF:

In a t[oxic] essay for the [carceral] feminist website 4W, Donna M Hughes wrote that the “belief” that a person could change their gender was a “trans-sex fantasy”.  She went on to equate followers of QAnon, [the latest form of the “sex trafficking”] web of lies that [Hughes vigorously supports]…to people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were given at birth…Her inflammatory comments were called “beyond the pale” by Annie Russell, the director of the [University of Rhode Island]’s Gender and Sexuality Center…Russell said the diatribe had also angered students at the university, which [also employs Hughes as a tenured professor]…The University…put out a statement distancing itself from Hughes’s comments…In response Hughes said her right to free speech was being trampled [even though she was neither fired, nor censored, nor arrested as she wants others to be]…

For those who don’t recall: Hughes considers herself a political conservative and was the architect of recriminalizing sex work in Rhode Island in 2009.

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#845) 

I haven’t seen this once-popular fantasy since 2018:

A recent 60 Minutes+ episode cites a dubious claim that “up to 100,000” children are sex-trafficked in the U.S. each year…the inimitable Maggie McNeill once wrote that there are “lies, damn lies and sex trafficking statistics.” Now 60 Minutes+, a streaming version of the venerable news program, is helping to make McNeill’s point by highlighting an oft-debunked sex trafficking factoid…in the show’s March 21 episode, “Taking Facebook to Court”…

Social Distancing (#1025)

When this was announced a year ago, prohibitionists claimed it would be a disaster:

…[When] the coronavirus pandemic hit…State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced that [Baltimore] would no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, trespassing and other minor charges, to keep people out of jail and limit the spread of the deadly virus.  And then crime went down in Baltimore.  A lot…This happened while 39 percent fewer people entered the city’s criminal justice system in the one-year period, and 20 percent fewer people landed in jail after Mosby’s office dismissed more than 1,400 pending cases and tossed out more than 1,400 warrants…So…Mosby is making her temporary steps permanent …Baltimore…will continue to decline prosecution of all drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and misdemeanor cases, and will partner with a local behavioral health service to aggressively reach out to drug users, sex workers and people in psychiatric crisis to direct them into treatment rather than the back of a patrol car…

Let’s hope this “aggressively reaching out” doesn’t involve surveillance or “diversion”, which is just another form of state control.  But in any case, this is becoming a trend.

Welcome to the Future (#1107)

Everything I read about modern corporate work makes me happier I became a whore:

Amazon delivery drivers nationwide have to sign a “biometric consent” form…that grants the tech behemoth permission to [monitor]…drivers’ location, movement, and biometric data.  If the…drivers…refuse to sign these forms, they lose their jobs.  The…[surveillance includ]es…facial recognition…The company [claims the surveillance is] being used to improve “safety” and the “quality of the delivery experience.”  But…some drivers are quitting their jobs…because…the [surveillance device even records]…when a driver yawns, appears distracted, or isn’t wearing a seatbelt…and monitor[s] drivers’ body and facial movements…

Torture Chamber (#1122)

If only there were a concise word for “systematically forced to have sex”:

The [murder] of a 19-year-old woman [by] Venezuela[n] police [in a] holding cell has revealed that women in the jail were being systematically forced to have sex with [cops]…On March 13, Daniela Geraldine Figueredo Salazar died from [being]…shot [in] the face…by [a cop]…several of her fellow [prisoners] reported [to investigating officials] that they were being [systematically raped]…the…abuse was being coordinated by a [typical and representative cop] who is also currently jailed…This is not the first [time news] of sexual violence [has leaked out of] the country’s [filthy cage stacks]…In 2018, it was reported that women in Venezuelan prisons were being forced to [submit to rape] in order to be released for court hearings…in 2019, a report by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights pointed to…various forms of sexual violence [committed by cops, screws and spooks]…

You Were Warned (#1124)

Cathy Reisenwitz examines a power-hungry politician’s lies about the internet:

…The SAFE TECH Act would…hold companies liable for their users’ behavior…[an]d force small websites to spend $1 million or more…to prove to courts that users aren’t causing any one of nine new types of broad, ill-defined harm…Only the wealthiest, most powerful companies would be able to afford setting their own content moderation policies.  Everyone else would run the real risk of being sued into oblivion by wealthy people who don’t like what people are saying about them online…Like SESTA/FOSTA, the SAFE TECH Act would make it easier for those in power to stifle unpopular speech across the web.  It would strip away Section 230 protections for any web service that “has accepted payment to make the speech available.”  While many believe the law applies only to paid advertising, it’s written so broadly that it would apply to all content on any platform where money changes hands, including…all paid web hosting and even nonprofits or activist groups that sell merch or accept donations…

Predictable Consequences (#1124)

My friend Kate Zen, cofounder of Red Canary Song:

While it’s easy to repudiate th[e Atlanta shooter]’s actions as that of a monster, he isn’t alone in his views.  Many Americans feel only disdain toward these businesses, and have little respect for the women who work there…On Piedmont Road in Atlanta, where Long shot customers and workers at Gold Spa and Aroma Therapy Spa, church groups previously gathered to protest this so-called red-light district, demanding the shutdown of the sex shop across the street…many Asian street-based sex workers…in [Red Canary Song’s] outreach said some of the religious anti-trafficking groups…can be even more hurtful than the pedestrians who call them names…[besides] collaborat[ing] with police…[one said] they were “nagging her and wasting her time” when she needed to work…Long’s extreme actions are a consequence of the way we treat all sexuality in society…and…the people who are tasked with undoing the harms are often infected by the same dangerous ideas…

Dr. Elena Shih also works with Red Canary Song:

…anti-trafficking organizations…have [repeatedly] called for the increased surveillance and policing of massage businesses, and the result has been hundreds of raids across the country which have terrorized and criminalized massage workers.  These systemic forms of violence cannot be divorced from the brutal killings of massage parlor workers in the Atlanta area on March 16…When my colleagues and I talk to Asian massage workers, they often share stories of [cops] entering their workplaces at random under the guise of stopping sex trafficking.  When they don’t find any evidence of wrongdoing, they demand to see massage licenses.  Workers tell us they are frequently arrested if they don’t produce a license, or are hit with building code or public health violations.  Those who are arrested are often funneled through special courts and programs where workers, seen as morally flawed and traumatized victims, are offered programming framed as rehabilitation…[including] everything from religious proselytization to “recovery-focused yoga” to unpaid labor, when what they really need is economic security…

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DHS…is spending its time knowingly policing paid sex acts between consenting adults (even though prostitution is not a federal crime).  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Japanese Prostitution

A modern descendant of the walled districts of feudal times:

…In its prime from the late ‘70s to mid ‘80s, Japanese civil servants, policemen, and salarymen from the nearest main island would take a 3-minute boat ride to [Watakano]…where a quarter of its 270 residents were sex workers…girls…could each make as much as two million yen ($19,000), or the equivalent of $26,000 today, every month.  Residents who weren’t sex workers ran grocery stores, cafes, and apartment complexes.  Hidden yet prosperous, Watakano Island enjoyed decades of economic wealth.  But when Japan’s economic bubble burst in 1992…high spenders stopped visiting…the[n]…In 1998, Japan legalized [outcall] escort services…

Rooted in Racism

Anti-sex laws are deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

…law enforcement uses sex-negative legislation to enable harm against marginalized communities…Laws targeting sex work and pornography “have sexist, racist, and classist origins”…and those underlying roots continue to manifest themselves to this day.  For example, “anti-trafficking” organization Polaris works with [cops] and ICE to arrest and deport…sex workers with a special emphasis on Asian sex workers.  Between 2012 and 2016, arrests of Asian people in New York City for “unauthorized practice of a profession” and prostitution rose 2,700 percent.  In 2018 Polaris launched a campaign to close “illicit” massage parlors…thousands of Asian women have lost their businesses and their livelihoods…Laws against loitering for purposes of prostitution…empower police to profile, harass and arrest women for existing in public spaces…[using excuses] such as “wearing a skirt” and “standing somewhere other than a bus stop or taxi stand” as justification

Think of the Children! (#571) 

No doubt the children were contaminated by sex rays!

A Sacramento [woman’s] three young kids were expelled from a Catholic school because she sells sexy videos online.  The principal…[wo]n’t even [let the children] pick up their things left in class.  Crystal Jackson…is making up to $150,000 a month selling access to photos and videos on her Only Fans account.  [Only] some of the pictures include nudity.  But…a [busybody caught her husband looking at]…her site and started a campaign [with her busybody friends] to get her three kids [expelled by sending poison pen letters including screenshots]…to the diocese and school principal…

I’m sure Jesus would approve of punishing children for the sins of their parents.

Lack of Evidence (#897) 

They were “safeguarded”, no doubt at a “safe house”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Twelve people have been arrested after…police [staged a pogrom] in Woolwich and Kent…[in order] to…exploit…sex workers [to further racist propaganda]…police st[aged an American-style raid]…on…February 16, by battering down the door and smashing glass as they [chased their terrified middle-aged Chinese victims] down [like animals]…This [pogrom resulted in] the arrest of a 44-year-old woman…a 52-year-old man…a 37-year-old…man…a 59-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman.  Another woman was arrested for immigration offences….and two [other] women were…safeguarded…to [be deported] at a later date.  [Two spokespigs oinked a lot of filthy wanking fantasies about]…modern slavery…organised…crime…and money laundering…

This is your regular reminder that massive police operations in the UK have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1026)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

…the Guardian and the Observer [have] launched…a two-year reporting project [advertised as] investigating and exposing human rights abuses around the world…[but is in actuality sponsored] by Humanity United…[it] builds on [previously-published propaganda and yellow journalism]…on human trafficking…modern slavery…[and] sex trafficking…

Click on the subtitle link for Gustavo Turner’s previous reporting on the previously-published content mentioned above, which includes “articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn…slant“, including providing “a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…Humanity United…[is] a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…[founded by] a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

Social Distancing (#1084)

While India allows deranged prohibitionists to dictate public health policy:

Bangladesh has started inoculating older sex workers at the country’s biggest brothel…to protect the most vulnerable in the pandemic…“If I don’t reach them, they may not come…It’s important to encourage groups…who are disadvantaged,” said Dr Asif Mahmud of the Goalanda district where the brothel is…Bangladesh…launched a vaccination drive in the first week of February and has since vaccinated nearly 2.5 million people…

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

Hysterical fantasies about normal events seem most common in the South:

Savannah [Georgia] is [becom]ing [a hotspot for fantasies about]…human trafficking.  In one incident, a woman claim[ed] a man…was attempting to distract her at a…gas station so that he could take her children…[in reality, the man she intended to inflict cop violence upon] was actually a gas station employee who was attempting to tell [her] that the pump she was at was inoperable.  The second…post [claimed] an unmarked black car with a blue dome light in the dash attempted to pull [her] over…[she] further [lied that she] called 911 and learned the black car and a blue truck have been involved in local human trafficking incidents.  Police [den]y [that there was any such call or any such]…incidents…[in reality] the post[er]…had [simply] been involved in a confrontation in traffic with the other vehicle…

Loose Cannons (#1109)

Too bad the settlement won’t come out of prosecutors’ and sheriffs’ personal assets:

…one of the…[victims of the 2019 pogroms which entrapped Robert Kraft] has filed a federal civil lawsuit to see that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.  Keith Taig is seeking to obtain class-action status for himself and anyone who was [illegal]ly filmed while visiting the…East Spa…and subsequently slapped with criminal charges…While prosecutors [were eventually forced to] drop…all cases against the men who were surveilled, publicly humiliated, and used to make claims of a sham trafficking bust, the women…[are still being] prosecuted [despite being]…the very people police [pretend]ed…they were in this to save.  Four…have already pleaded guilty to prostitution.  Two…are still staring down serious charges…Some local press continues to report that [Lanyun] Ma stands accused of “human trafficking,” although no such charges exist…and…Prosecutors are still planning to use the [illegal] surveillance footage…

Winding Down (#1114)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

Efforts to thwart voter-approved marijuana legalization…are evidence of a “playbook” that reflects new legal strategies and greater willingness among [politicians] to [disregard] election results…In Idaho, some [politicians] are…trying to preemptively ban marijuana legalization through an amendment to the state constitution…Utah [politicians] enacted a much more narrow medical cannabis program than was called for by a voter-approved citizen initiative…[and] the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the governor and Legislature were within their legal rights to [ignore the voters because they know better]…The Nebraska Supreme Court shot down a medical marijuana initiative before Nov. 3, saying it violated the state’s single-subject rule for ballot measures…South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem [used a similar rule] to [ignore] that state’s voter-approved…initiative…and now…backe[rs of liberty are] preparing to appeal to the state Supreme Court…In Mississippi, a constitutional challenge to voter-approved medical marijuana…is based on a signature-collection technicality that would nullify “every initiative in the past two decades”…Montana, which also has faced [authoritarian] legal challenges to its voter-approved recreational marijuana initiative, [is in better shape due to]…having a governor committed to upholding the vote…

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Do you have any idea why some people’s Twitter follower count either stays the same or slowly drops?  Mine used to climb pretty steadily, but lately I’m losing followers even though I’m not doing anything different.

Most internet companies are more subtle than censorship-happy Facebook, which openly and proudly censors posts and bans users using a set of “community standards” so bluenosed they’d make a Puritan swoon.  Google is only slightly less censorious, using secret algorithms to monkey with search results in order to boost its advertisers and “de-weight” any site containing “adult content” (which is why my traffic to this blog from Google is only about 1/6 what it was seven years ago); it also “demonetizes” videos on YouTube (ie, makes them ineligible for moneymaking ads) using similar esoteric criteria.  Twitter, by contrast, likes to represent itself as the most free-speech-friendly of the social media sites, and to a degree that’s no empty pose; it’s the only one left which still allows (some) nudity, frank sexual discussion, and the open presence of sex workers.  But behind the scenes it still has a number of secret mechanisms, most of which it denies the existence of, that are intended to push nasty, dirty, sex into the shadows to make room for nice, fully-clothed bigots.  One of those is the shadowban, a blanket term for a number of occlusions which can be secretly installed by the corporation on the accounts of (mostly but not only) sex workers so as to make their accounts much harder for new readers to find while allowing them to appear normally to those who already follow them:  Twitter used to deny that there was such a thing as a shadowban, but as of January 1st its TOS states that it “reserves the right to limit distribution or visibility of content”, IOW to shadowban users.  But what you’re describing is different.  According to the shadowban checker I linked above, I’m not shadowbanned; yet my follower count, which used to increase by hundreds every month, has now been static for over two years.  I get at least 10-20 new followers every day, yet my count just bobs gently back and forth like a buoy on a calm sea, as though something were draining away followers at the same rate I gained them.  Then since about April, I’ve been slowly losing followers; it’s very gradual, about 220 followers so far, yet I’m still gaining a dozen to a score new followers evey day.  The only thing I can figure is that this is part of their anti-bot campaign; apparently, the site is methodically checking every account over time, and when an account trips some condition that Twitter has decided makes it “suspicious”, that account is either closed entirely or at least “disqualified” as a follower.  I know I’ve had a number of people tell me that Twitter has “unfollowed” me for them without their permission, such that they wondered if I had left the site until they saw someone else retweet me; I suspect a lot of the lost followers are due to a similar process.  But riddle me this:  if it’s an innocent by-product of that kind of routine site cleaning, why are all the people who have noticed it either “adult” or otherwise “controversial”?

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Criticising China is the new blasphemy.  –  Nick Cohen

Above the Law

Yet another sociopath with a title:

[UK politician] Charlie Elphicke chased a woman around his kitchen and chanted “I’m a naughty Tory” after sexually assaulting her, a court has heard.  Elphicke talked to the woman about bondage then…groped her breast and tried to kiss her…while his wife Natalie Elphicke was away in 2007…Elphicke [also] sexually assaulted a parliamentary worker in her twenties several years later after he became MP for Dover, telling her: “Oh I’m naughty sometimes aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved but I can’t help it.”  Both women rejected his advances, with the [second] describing a “disgusting slobbery mess” when Elphicke tried to kiss her before groping her.  In a separate incident some time later, Elphicke rubbed his hand up her leg towards her groin…

Watershed (#899)

I’m glad Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem lived long enough to see the magazine she founded publishing pro-sex worker rights articles:

The U.S. Supreme Court…upheld a Bush-era law requiring overseas affiliates of U.S. organizations to adopt an organization-wide policy explicitly opposing prostitution in order to receive federal anti-HIV/AIDS funds…Serra Sippel…of the Center for Health and Gender Equity…[said] “The [anti-prostitution loyalty oath] hurts public health outcomes and it has always been bad policy”…“The Supreme Court upheld the U.S. government’s quest to impose its harmful ideological agenda on U.S. organizations and restrict their right to free speech,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations…According to CHANGE…“publicly opposing sex work while also providing social and health services to sex workers…is hypocritical”…

Against Their Will (#955) 

The Indian rescue industry is being undone by its own pretense that it wants to “help” its victims:

Holding up the fundamental rights of an adult, [an Indian] court ordered the release of four sex workers [abducted by cops under the pretense of] rescue…The women had argued for their right to free mobility and expressed desire to get back to their hometowns…advocate…Rajesh Katore…submitted a Bombay High Court…ruling…[in support.  Natur]ally, the cops had opposed the application filed by the women, [claim]ing that they needed to [keep them locked in a cage to]…conduct an investigation…

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

Once, blasphemy was damning the faithful’s gods and sacred books.  Now, criticism of the world’s largest dictatorship has become sacrilegious.  You shouldn’t be surprised.  As some of us tried to say in the 1990s and 2000s, the gap between the sacred and the profane was never as wide as religious sentimentalists and liberal multiculturalists believed…Authoritarian politics and authoritarian religion are just two sides of the same debased coin…One of the great crimes of the 21st century is being committed in front of our eyes…if a western country were to display one-tenth, one-hundredth or one-thousandth of the brutality that China is inflicting on Muslims, the global left would be burning with outrage…But the main reasons why Muslims suffer in silence is that the Muslim-majority countries that raged against Rushdie, Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo have decided to stay silent.  They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them…Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women.  They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper…China is now a more active and influential voice at the United Nations because so many countries are benefiting from billions of dollars in Chinese investments through its “Belt and Road” infrastructure programme.  As…Australia found…when it asked for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19, those who blaspheme against China face cyber-attacks and sanctions.  Better to take the rewards and avoid the punishments…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1027) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

[Public disinterest in] human trafficking [propaganda] is…alarming [the rescue industry.  In San Antonio, Texas, fetishist]…Chuck Paul [fantasized that] the ability for traffickers to sell a person…was diminished following the COVID-19 outbreak and traffickers began ditching people they had trafficked onto the street…[but] once the state’s restrictions were lifted, traffickers started looking to “re-supply their stock of slaves…There’s a huge population of young people right now that are stuck at home, they haven’t been going to school…the traffickers are working hard on social media to target whichever child they can.”  Paul [made furtive movements in his pants while spouting fantasies that being a teenager]…is…a…sign…of trafficking…[another is] if you’re in a hotel or motel and [a] person walks right past the front desk because they are [already] checked in…[or] has…tattoos…

So according to Paul, it’s “suspicious” if a person doesn’t stay in their hotel room the entire time between checkin and checkout.  What drugs is he on?

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Canada pretends to care about privacy, but has plenty of other snooping tools:

Clearview AI has advised Canadian privacy protection authorities that, in response to their joint investigation, it will cease offering its facial recognition services in Canada.  This…includes the indefinite suspension of Clearview AI’s contract with the RCMP, which was its last remaining client in Canada…The authorities still plan to issue findings in this matter given the importance of the issue for the privacy rights of Canadians.  An ongoing issue…is the deletion of the personal information of Canadians that Clearview has already collected as well as the cessation of Clearview’s collection of Canadians’ personal information…

Social Distancing (#1055)

“Enlightened” Europe has treated sex workers shamefully during the pandemic:

News that clubs and brothels could reopen in the Netherlands from the start of July took everyone by surprise — including sex workers.  Club owners were warned that the industry would remain in lockdown [using the excuse] of the pandemic until September, months after all other sectors had already reopened.  But the reality is that many sex workers felt forced to work privately and illegally just to survive.  Now, as the industry starts to reopen across Europe, they worry about their earnings and whether they can stay safe…most European governments…paid a percentage of [many] workers’ wages while they were furloughed.  But sex workers rarely qualify…In Germany, the sector remains closed under a government ruling [even though]…most German businesses have now reopened, including gyms, bars and hairdressers…In Britain, the industry remains [officially] shut down…and many…women…have not started working again because they are terrified of contracting the virus and passing it on to their families…

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When “decriminalisation” was formulated we were smoking indoors.  –  Cheryl Overs

Think of the Children! (Updates Galore)

In some parts of the Anglosphere, male teachers who do sex work can manage to keep their jobs:

…Gordon Parsons will still be allowed to teach at Queensland’s Ipswich State High despite allegedly making graphic sexual videos with his porn star girlfriend…Luci Power…Parsons was moved from Corinda State High last year after the Education Department discovered his extra-curricular activities…[and] now teaches under the name of James Parsons after allegedly agreeing to remove any sexual content he was involved in.  But…he…was reportedly spotted [by a deeply hypocritical parent while] at[tending] the Brisbane Sexpo with [his porn star girlfriend. Luci Power]…who was [making a paid appearance] at the exhibition…the [shockingly two-faced slimeball] wrote…a [poison pen] letter…to the school [to try to get Parsons fired despite the fact that he was at the same event]…

Apparently, hypocrisy rays are far less dangerous than sex rays.

So Close and Yet So Far

This could’ve been a decent article about why Filipino sex workers are afraid of cops and refuse to participate in their witch hunts and morality plays.  But instead the reporter insists on smearing them with the agency-denying prohibitionist slur “protituted women”; uncritically labels a prison with the authoritarian euphemism “safe house”; claims prohibitionists really want to help sex workers; and even used the insulting phrase “so-called ‘clients'”.  Not worth wasting your time on.

The Widening Gyre (#697) 

The NY Times is still pretending “Pizzagate” is about cranks, when actually it was a natural & predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve aggressively promoted for two decades:

Four minutes into a video that was posted on Instagram last month, Justin Bieber leaned into the camera and adjusted the front of his black knit beanie…someone had posted a comment asking Mr. Bieber to touch his hat if he had been a victim of a child-trafficking ring known as PizzaGate…there [i]s no evidence…Bieber [saw] that message.  But…[fetishists] quickly uploaded hundreds of videos online analyzing…Bieber’s [casual] action.  The videos were translated into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, amassing millions of views.  Fans then left thousands of comments on…Bieber’s social media posts asking him if he was safe.  Within days…the hashtag #savebieber started trending.  Four years ago…the [fantasy] that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria spread across the internet, illustrating [the damage done by the] crackpot idea [called “sex trafficking”] with no truth to it [which was irresponsibly spread by mainstream] media — and how dangerous it could be…Facebook, Twitter and YouTube managed to largely [censor] PizzaGate.  But now, just months before the next presidential election, the conspiracy theory is making a comeback on these platforms — and on new ones such as [the Chinese-developed] TikTok — underlining the limits of their efforts to [censor] speech online…PizzaGate no longer focuses on…Clinton…its new targets…includ[e]…Bieber, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen…

I Swear To God (#712)

US courts are happy to allow US censorship of non-Americans:

Foreign groups that receive American funding to fight HIV and AIDS must still pledge to oppose sex work…[even though] a similar requirement for U.S. nonprofits was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013…U.S. groups whose international affiliates must still abide by the rule sought to have it overturned, too, arguing that compelling anti-prostitution speech from these foreign affiliates was attributed to the American groups and therefore violated their First Amendment rights.  But in a 5-3 decision, the Court [said]…”plaintiffs…[get what’s coming to them for] affiliating] with [dirty] foreign[ers]”…

To Molest and Rape (#835)

Imagine how many others like him are still free:

Four decades after he started sneaking into homes, tying up victims, raping women and murdering couples, [typical and representative cop] Joseph DeAngelo pleaded guilty…to 26 charges, admitting…he was the sadistic Golden State Killer…He only stopped…when he got old and was no longer spry enough to overpower victims…he was responsible for more than 60 rapes…in…[all], but the statute of limitations expired on those crimes…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#995) 

Cheryl Overs on the erosion of the line between legalization and decriminalization in Australia:

…the Australian state of Victoria…is about decriminalise sex work after thirty years of disastrous legalisation…so I…[tried] to identify exactly which “ordinary business regulations” should apply to a decriminalised sex industry here.  Big mistake…In 2020 the regulatory framework of a wealthy country like Australia requires every business and service provider to apply for a dizzying number of permits and permissions; to pay various fees and taxes; to register their names in various places and to comply with a web of regulations including allowing access to authorities to inspect and enforce those regulations.  No one gets out this.  Some combination of these rules apply whether you are a large engineering plant or a self employed hairdresser working from home…most require the legal name of a “natural person”…When “decriminalisation” was formulated…we could walk into banks and open an account in whatever name we wanted…There were always regulations and records and cross checking of course, but analogue data collection and retention was expensive and limited…So I’m quite thrown by discovering that history has narrowed the gap between “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” in this way.  As Maggie McNeill says, “what we’re seeing here is less a sex-work-specific issue and more just government’s ever-expanding intrusion into all people’s lives and private affairs.  But that’s cold comfort to those who are targeted first as tyrants expand their reach”…

Quiet Genocide (#1002)

There are still some in the West who insist China isn’t trying to exterminate the Uighurs:

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities…even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children…an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with…ex-detainees…[demonstrate that China] is [carrying out] what some experts are calling…“demographic genocide”.  The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands…The…measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply.  Having too many children is a major [excuse Beijing uses] to [condemn people to concentration] camps…with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.  Police raid homes…[to] search for hidden children…

Loose Cannons (#1005)

Apparently, Florida prosecutors don’t know when to stop digging:

Judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal heard arguments…on whether they should allow [illegal] surveillance video captured by [masturbating pigs]…to be…the evidence in the prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others.  The controversial “sneak and peek” warrants [were illegally used by] Jupiter police to install hidden cameras that recorded all activities at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa…similar warrants and tactics were also used at spas in Martin and Indian River counties…[after cops lied, spouting] human trafficking [sex fantasies to judges]…there [was of course] no…human trafficking…[several] judge[s]…suppressed the videos…[but the state] argued…that the videos should be allowed…because [sex]…

Social Distancing (#1034)

A “No shit, Sherlock” headline from the ever-confused Vice:

In Spain, sex work employs an estimated 100,000 women and…like many other countries…legalis[ation includes a host of ridiculous laws which essentially treat sex orkers as tolerated criminals who must]…pay taxes, but aren’t recognised as employees.  When the country went into lockdown in March, sex work was not considered an essential service, and [was] therefore banned…after initially leaving sex workers completely in the lurch, on the 21st of April the Spanish government announced emergency measures [pre]tended to help [the minuscule number of] women forced into sex work…To qualify, workers had to [pretend] they were victims of exploitation by [lying to] social services, or [have an arrest record]…It’s a policy that excludes [the great majority of sex workers]…

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I don’t pay much attention to where blog traffic comes from any more; Google hides so much now that it’s no longer possible to easily deduce why there might be a sudden spike in traffic on a given day.  But when I saw an unusually-large spike one day last week, my curiosity got the better of me so I decided to search for the source.  As you might expect I found nothing, but in the process I followed a link back to some kind of bulletin-board site on which a newbie client was asking other dudes for advice on what to do on his first professional date.  One of the repliers had linked back to my site (alas, not to this article or this resource); a couple spouted “sex trafficking” nonsense at him; and one was clearly an exploitative hobbyist-type who gave him “advice” that mostly involve looking for the youngest, lowest-priced sex workers available because they have poor boundaries in comparison with older, established escorts.  But I was honestly a little surprised at the number of replies from guys containing various bizarre tales about how most escorts are robbers, a large number have “pimps” literally hiding under our beds or in our closets, etc.  Now, part of this is undoubtedly propaganda (possibly from either prohibitionists or “incels”) which those who shared it don’t actually believe, but use in an attempt to scare the gullible away from pragmatic sexual arrangements.  But the rest seems to me to be a resurgence of the “whore as criminal” myth popular through much of the 20th century, and still secretly popular among cops and other assorted lawheads no matter how much “sex trafficking” garbage they vomit up.  Given that we seem to finally be approaching the end of the “sex trafficking” moral panic (though a few years later than I originally predicted), this may be a bellwether for the direction prohibitionist propaganda will turn next; it certainly fits in well with charging sex workers as “pimps” for helping each other, etc, and follows the pattern we saw in the US following the collapse of the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria about 90 years ago.  But we didn’t have social media then, and this time sex workers need to be ready to jump on these old lies as they’re taken out of mothballs, before they can be fully laundered and trotted out as popular fashions again.

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Sex work is becoming cool again.  –  Maggie McNeill

The Cop Myth

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution…The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers…None of it worked…because “procedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing.  It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone…[but in reality,] over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing.  Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage.  The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing.  Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police.  Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs.  Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life.  Police have also become more militarized…The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight.  It is to dramatically shrink their function…

I Spy (#1001)

Violet Blue on protecting yourself from phone-based surveillance at protests:

…our phones are spying on us 24/7.  These little handheld sidekicks are…Big Brother’s most useful asset when it comes to tracking and surveilling anyone…The only way we can completely refuse to be tracked is not to use our apps, or leave our phones at home. But not using apps or going without a phone isn’t a realistic option…Smartphones leak your information and leave a trail of your information by design.  Your info can be discovered and your habits known by any bystanders who know how to look.  Hackers and developers have been trying to raise the alarm about phone security for years, but have gone practically ignored…

You Were Warned (#1007)

Basically the same thing Biden wants; now please tell me more about the “wings”:

Donald Trump [issued an executive order] in response to [Twitter]’s attempt to fact-check his tweets [which] proposes a radical modification of Section 230…The…order…“attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230….orders a review of alleged ‘unfair or deceptive practices’ by Facebook and Twitter”…and calls on the…FCC to “examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under Section 230″…Lawrence Walters, a First Amendment expert with extensive adult industry experience…[said] “Any order impacting Section 230 immunity will likely be challenged in court…Congress is the only body that can alter the broad protections granted by Section 230 but we are seeing some legislative activity in that realm as well — particularly the EARN IT Act“…

Surplus Women (#1010)

Government never, ever blames itself for the harm it causes:

On May 17, the RCMP charged a 17-year-old [who hacked Ashley Noelle Arzaga]…to death with a machete inside the Crown Spa with first-degree murder – terrorist activity…The parlour owner and another man were also injured in the February attack.  Police allege he carried out the murder in the name of the “incel” movement…but sex worker advocates say that while the RCMP is making a show of the case, the government is evading practical change to protect sex workers – namely, by decriminalizing their occupations.  “Laying a terrorism-related charge here…makes it look like we’re more concerned about sex workers’ deaths,” says international criminal law professor Heidi Matthews. “In reality that’s not true…We still have a whole matrix of criminal laws that make their existence and their work more precarious and less safe”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1039)

Far too little, far too late: “Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”)…Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (“CAASE”), Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago (“SWOP-Chicago”), [et al]…bring this Complaint against Defendant Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) to put a stop to its unlawful surreptitious capture and storage of millions of Illinoisans’ sensitive biometric identifiers…”  The suit is based on “the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), which [is intended to] protect…people against the surreptitious and nonconsensual capture of their biometric identifiers, including faceprints.”  That’s well and fine, but other states are far less fastidious about how they collect information on unsuspecting citizens.  And as we’ve seen, cops freely and surreptitiously exchange facial recognition data without any permission at all, even lying in reports and committing perjury in court to cover up how they obtained any given data.  So even if this suit succeeds in banning facial recognition technology in Illinois or even destroying Clearview, the facial recognition djinni was released from its bottle years ago, and has no intention of going back in.  I do find it interesting to actually see a sex worker organization involved in a lawsuit like this, though, so kudos to SWOP-Chicago.

Working From Home (#1042)

I’m extensively quoted in this article about everyone suddenly joining OnlyFans:

While, as far as McNeill is concerned, anyone selling their own erotic labor is in fact a sex worker, she acknowledges that as online sex work becomes more popular, “some people [are] claiming the mantle of sex worker who really shouldn’t because they think it’s going to give them cachet…The criticism that those ladies are leveling at the newcomers is a correct one, but at the same time you kind of have to give them the side eye and say, ‘Yeah, honey, you were new at one time too’”…while McNeill agrees that celebrity interest in sex work…will probably “suck money from women who really need it,” she remains hopeful that mainstream exposure from celebrities may eventually have a positive effect on the progress of sex work destigmatization…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Like its neighbor the Netherlands, Belgium only pretends to respect sex workers:

A hotel where many sex workers receive their clients briefly opened its doors…despite the coronavirus regulations forbidding it, because the rules were not clear…Despite hotels being allowed to stay open…the[se were forced by government diktat]…to close their doors as they are mainly used by [human beings whom authoritarians deem “nonessential”]…“a lot of those hotel owners probably think that, based on the measures for hotels, they are also allowed to open again,” [said] Daan Bauwens of UTSOPI, the Belgian union for and by sex workers…“We strongly advise sex workers to…stop working [and live on happy thoughts, sunshine and pixie dust]” said Bauwens…

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If lockdowns worked as advertised, we would not see such enormous variability in the death rates.  –  William Briggs

Blasphemy

As I’ve said for decades, so-called “radical” feminism is a cult:

…Looking back on her time in the “gender critical” feminist movement, [Amy Dyess] is unequivocal: it’s a cult…that groomed her when she was vulnerable and sleeping in her car; a cult that sought to control her, keeping tabs on her movements and dictating what she could and couldn’t say; a cult that was emotionally and sexually abusive towards her.  As Amy began to notice more and more red flags about the GC movement – like how it defended abusive women, how it wouldn’t let lesbians speak out about sexual assault perpetrated by women, and how it was forming alliances with homophobic groups – she started asking questions.  Last year, she began speaking out against what she saw as increasingly blatant homophobia in the gender-critical movement.  The cult tightened its grip.  Lesbian journalists who are household names “lovebombed” her, she says, trying to keep her in the movement…

Surplus Women

More blood on prohibitionists’ hands:

Lawrence Paul Mills III…targeted…sex workers on the southside of Detroit…he would [hire] his victims…and [transact their business] in…his [car].  When the victim left the vehicle, he would [intentionally run them down]…and then [steal back] his payment…Mills was arraigned…in connection to a Dec. 22, 2017, incident in which he…[ran over] a then-pregnant woman…several times before driving away…The woman and her unborn child survived…

The Swedish Pimpocracy (#719) 

The key to understanding Swedish law: the government thinks it owns the citizens:

As infections continue to grow in Sweden, several parents and teachers in the country have raised concerns over the risk their children (and everyone the kids come into contact with) face due to the mandatory school attendance required among those aged from six to 15 amid the ongoing pandemic…parents (some of whom have serious health conditions) have reported being threatened with fines, being reported to social services and other repercussions for choosing to keep their children at home to minimize the risk to their own lives…

Safe Position (#947)

This is the woman who beat the pro-decrim candidate Tiffany Caban:

District Attorney Melinda Katz…announced the creation of a [so-called] Human Trafficking Bureau that is exclusively dedicated to [persecuting sex workers]…in Queens County. This newly formed Bureau will…aggressively prosecut[e sex workers’ clients, friends, family members and associates]…and will also [infantilize and criminalize sex workers]…

I Spy (#1035)

It boggles the mind that anyone could be gullible enough to install this:

The Care19 app, developed for the North Dakota Department of Health by developer ProudCrowd, [claimed it would] assist health officials in their battle against coronavirus by logging users’ location data…[which] it also sent…to Foursquare…this is especially concerning, as the app’s [supposed] privacy policy [claims] to explicitly prohibit [exactly] what [the app does]…”This location data…is stored securely on ProudCrowd, LLC servers,..It will not be shared with anyone including government entities or third parties, unless you consent or ProudCrowd is compelled under federal regulations”…

Reawakening

In case you missed this:

…quarantining an entire population is not some set-in-stone technique that has been used for decades to stem the spread of a virus.  It was first proposed in 2006 by two [medical bureaucrats]…neither of them infectious disease specialists —  after President George W. Bush asked for a plan to combat pandemics…But four scientists who were infectious disease specialists…wrote…a devastating critique.  There was no science to support the notion that a national quarantine would halt the spread of infection, they wrote.  It could increase the risk of infection for people living in close quarters.  Closing theaters, malls, restaurants, stores and bars…would have “serious disruptive consequences.”  Closing schools was not only impractical “but carries the possibility of a seriously adverse outcome”…there is surprisingly little evidence that lockdowns work…a statistician named William M. Briggs…compar[ed] countries that locked down with countries that didn’t.  As of May 12, the U.S. had 237 deaths per million people.  Taiwan, a no-lockdown country, had 0.3 deaths per million…No-lockdown Sweden has had 347 deaths per million; lockdown Belgium, with a similar population, has had 763 deaths per million.  Ethiopia…had no lockdown — and a death rate of 0.04 per million…

Social Distancing (#1037)

India refuses to give sex workers stipends to survive on, so I’m sure these pompous blowhards’ scheme will work:

India can add 17 days of additional delay to reaching the peak of novel coronavirus cases, and prevent 72 per cent of projected new cases by closing down its red light areas till a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, [prohibitionists fantasize]. Based on [authoritarian nonsense that imagines people can survive indefinitely with no income if the government demands they do], the [prohibitionists claim]…closing down these places of sex work may reduce projected COVID-19 death toll increase in India by 63 per cent [and besides, whores are expendable]…

Working From Home (#1038)

Internet companies use sex workers to build themselves, then screw us over:

…In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, [OnlyFans] has exploded in popularity, seeing a 75 percent increase in sign-ups in recent weeks and garnering 170,000 new users per day…[so-called “]influencers[“] like Caroline Calloway have flocked to the platform as a way to monetize their content by selling directly to their fan base.  The influx of…civilians…has prompted concern among many sex workers, who’ve long relied on the platform as a source of income and are worried about oversaturation of the market…To make matters worse, some…[are] being pushed out of the platform, reporting that their accounts have been deleted [and their funds stolen by the platform] even when they have not violated OnlyFans’ terms of service…Emails shared with Rolling Stone show the boilerplate language OnlyFans has sent to such creators, saying accounts are “typically being deleted due to suspicious/fraudulent activity”…

This is, of course, exactly what Paypal did, down to stealing sex workers’ money and claiming it was about “fraud”.

Social Distancing (#1041)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

The red-light district is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam.  While coronavirus…restrictions are starting to ease, sex work is not allowed to resume until September…the lack of support for sex workers has exposed how vulnerable they are under Dutch law.  Hella Dee…started a fundraising campaign when she realized how many of her colleagues were in financial distress…The campaign collected over $20,000 that was distributed to over 400 sex workers.  Masten Stavast, who rents out 31 windows…is compiling a protocol with sex workers, club owners and other people from the red-light district to lobby policymakers on how sex work can safely resume before September…”If everything goes all right on July 1, there can be 100 people together, why not one to one then with all the protection that everybody has?”  M[ost] sex workers are [also intentionally] excluded from the billions of dollars of government support offered to overcome economic hardship…

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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The broad language in the law leaves a lot of room for lawyers to treat FOSTA like a get-rich-quick-off-Big-Tech scheme.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The Lesser of Two Evils

Those who are surprised by this haven’t read much Church history:

Pope Francis assisted a group of transgender prostitutes who were struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic in Italy…They reached out to the pope through Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who is responsible for charitable work done in the name of pope…It does not appear that the leader of the Catholic Church was signaling any changes in Catholic teaching on gender and sex

Why do some “journalists” feel compelled to virtue-signal by putting an ordinary word like “customers” in scare quotes?

The Proper Study (#968)

Men who respect women more also realize we don’t owe them free sex.  Gee, what a shock:

…Using an online survey of 519 clients of sexual services, we examine whether male client attitudes toward gender role equality are related to the main methods customers used to access prostitution services (i.e., through print or online media vs. in-person contact).  We found…all clients had more egalitarian attitudes toward women’s roles than the U.S. male population in the General Social Survey (GSS)…These findings point to need to rethink how masculinity and gender role attitudes affect patterns of male demand for paid sex..

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#995)

Just in case you failed to grasp the extent of Morality in Media’s depravity:

…[Morality in Media], a religiously inspired lobby that is behind the language of the scientifically discredited, multi-state “porn is a public health crisis” campaign…deliberately rebranded as NCOSE a few years ago to deceive the mainstream media…[and] are [now] trying to pressure [McDonald’s] to send a letter to all their employees “to make them aware of the exploitation and harms of the pornography industry.”  This latest attempt by NCOSE to flood the mainstream with their fringe messages (e.g., they consider Sport Illustrated as full-on “pornography” and repeatedly try to get supermarkets to hide it from their customers) was prompted by an offer by adult company IsMyGirl to “beat any platform’s percentage for new model sign-ups”…The absurd goal of this latest morality intervention by NCOSE is to demand a multibillion company help them spread fringe religious propaganda to minimum wage employees.  The message: a Victorian warning that safe, at-home sex work is a fate worse than starvation…

Torture Chamber (#999)

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

…the Department of Justice [has] released a report about sexual violence in New Jersey’s women’s prison…that concluded…the risk of sexual harm was so high that it reached constitutional proportions and violated inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment…The United States is witnessing an explosion in prison rape reports by women…[from Alabama]…Missouri…OregonConnecticutVermontFloridaCaliforniaKansasPennsylvania…[and many others].  Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women.  Even though women account for less than 10 percent of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men…Seventeen years after the law’s passage, it may be time to acknowledge that the Prison Rape Elimination Act isn’t protecting incarcerated women, most likely because it was never designed to…

Crying for Nanny (#1002)

We fucking told y’all so, over and over and over:

Companies anticipated that FOSTA would be used more broadly than its proponents claimed…Craigslist is now the target of one of the first FOSTA-based civil lawsuit efforts, with plaintiffs in California and Washington state…Both cases…rely on a “radical theory of liability,” wrote University of Notre Dame Law Professor Alex Yelderman…The suits do not claim Craigslist had specific knowledge…[but] simply claims that [because fetishists had for years claimed] Craigslist [was a “hub” of]…”human sex trafficking”…it…was thus responsible for any [actual exploitation] that happened…Another case…targets Mailchimp, an email automation and marketing service.  Anyone can sign up for an account and use Mailchimp tools to create and send mass emails…lawyers…[claim] that by letting YesBackpage use its software, Mailchimp was complicit in, and thus financially liable for, any crimes brokered through YesBackpage’s user-generated content…in January the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted [Eric] Koszyk and [Alex] Andrews standing to continue the [Woodhull/EFF backed] challenge.  Hopefully, they can fight their way to a decision that will undermine FOSTA before FOSTA further undermines free speech on the web…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1035)

With their anti-whore schtick failing, the rescue industry is desperate to find new things they can call “sex trafficking”:

…when I heard that “Mia,” as the Land O’Lakes Native American maiden was known, had been taken off the butter box…it was the stereotype some saw that bothered me.  North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Buffalo…for instance, [bloviated]…that the…image…went “hand-in-hand with…sex trafficking…by depicting Native women as sex objects”…How did Mia go from being a demure Native American woman on a lakeshore to a sex object tied to the trafficking of native women?…Mia was originally created for Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928…In 1954, my father, Patrick DesJarlait, redesigned the image again…[he] had been interested in art since boyhood, when he drew images related to his Ojibwe culture…he…[w]as one of the first modernists in American Indian fine art…

Social Distancing (#1036)

Another country which, like the US and France, shamefully neglects women:

…It is now a month since India went into total lockdown on 26 March to contain the spread of Covid-19.  With no clients, [sex workers’] savings have dwindled…As…economic activity [declared “non-essential” by politicians] has ground to a halt, the lockdown has hit millions of people working in the informal sector…As part of the government’s relief scheme for the poor, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has announced a financial package that will deposit 500 rupees (£5.30) monthly into the bank accounts of 200 million people.  But those working in…the sex industry…are [specifically ex]cluded…

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