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Posts Tagged ‘Sex Lies and Busybodies’

Conventionality is not morality.  Self-righteousness is not religion.  –  Charlotte Bronte

Five stories from the third week of 2012.

Twice As Interesting

It’s not too often a story attracts my attention both as a librarian and as a harlot, but this one from the January 18th National Post did:

Instead of a book, patrons of Ottawa’s city libraries will have a chance to check out a stripper, a prostitute, a Somali refugee, a judge, an HIV-positive man, a Peking Opera performer, a woman born as a man, a police officer…a bipolar man [and many others] as part of a Human Library program.  Billed as “real people, real conversations,” the Ottawa Public Library is bringing dozens of people with diverse experiences into its branches, encouraging patrons to check them out for a 20-minute, one-on-one chat…Human books cannot be placed on hold…Patrons peruse the list of options like an old-fashioned card catalogue and ask to check out the title.  While the event’s message is diversity and dialogue, there have already been complaints about including a stripper and a sex trade worker, said Elaine Condos, the acting city librarian… “Books are about information and information comes in many, many formats, and a human book is a unique way of presenting information…The role of the public library is to provide access to information,” Ms. Condos said.  “People will have an opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation…for 20 minutes and ask them questions about their experiences.”  It is being billed as an event for adults and conversations will take place in open areas of the libraries.  “These are conversations, not presentations,” she said of the stripper and prostitute.  “I don’t think we want the pediatric neurosurgeon to do any demonstrations either”…

It’s sad that bigots felt compelled to complain, but can you imagine a stripper and a hooker being included in such an event in the US?  Not in this decade!

So What Else Is New?

This item from the January 19th Huffington Post isn’t really news because it’s what researchers have said for years:

Many women swear they have one, but a new review of 60 years of sex research shows science still can’t definitively find the G-spot.  Researchers have used surveys, imaging scans and biopsies of women, all trying to locate and define the presumably orgasmic area on the vaginal wall known as the G-spot.  Based on a review of 96 published studies, an Israeli and American research team came to one conclusion.  “Without a doubt, a discreet anatomic entity called the G-spot does not exist,” said [lead author] Dr. Amichai Kilchevsky …The G-spot was named in honor of the late Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg, who in 1950 described a particularly sensitive…spot…a few centimeters in from the vaginal opening…toward the front of a woman’s body…[but though] a majority of women believe a G-spot actually exists…some of those women also say they can’t locate it.

…Kilchevsky doesn’t think women who claim to have a G-spot are crazy…”What they’re likely experiencing is a continuation of the clitoris,” he said.  G-spot skeptics often point out that the tissue of the clitoris extends into the body, behind it where the G-spot would be located…Barry Komisaruk…of…Rutgers University…advocates calling it the…G-region…instead.  “I think that the bulk of the evidence shows that the G-spot is not a particular thing.  It’s not like saying, ‘What is the thyroid gland?'” Komisaruk said.  “The G-spot is more of a thing like New York City is a thing.  It’s a region, it’s a convergence of many different structures”…pressing on the area…also presses the urethra and a structure called Skene’s gland, which is analogous to the male prostate.  “Each of those areas have different nerve sites,” said Komisaruk.  “I think there’s good enough data that a lot of women feel that that is a particularly sensitive  region”…

I’ve always adhered to the “back of the clitoris” theory myself, mainly because it’s consistent with my own experiences.

Update to “A Moral Cancer” (March 6th, 2011)

Crypto-moralists just love pretending that their puritanical agendas are really about physical (rather than spiritual) health, and always disguise their desire to control others’ lives as “for the public good”:

…The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine…put up [a series of] graphic cellulite-filled billboards around Albany [New York on January 17th]…The group claims cheese products play a big role in the epidemic of childhood obesity, and want the Albany city school district to cut cheese from its lunch menu…

Well, if they’re doctors promoting health, they must know what they’re talking about, right?  Wrong.  Their name and hype has fooled the media for 25 years, but in reality they’re a fanatical animal-rights group with ties to PETA which relies primarily on scare tactics and gross-out ads in its continuing attempt to impose veganism on everyone, and less than 5% of its members are physicians.  Its founder is a psychiatrist with no background in nutrition, and the American Medical Association has repeatedly tried to inform the public that the PCRM is a “fringe organization” which uses “unethical tactics” and is “interested in perverting medical science.”  Sort of reminds you of trafficking fetishists, doesn’t it?

Update To “Against Their Will” (July 23rd, 2011)

Prostitutes “rescued” against their will generally fight their “saviors” and attempt to escape from “rehabilitation centers” at the first opportunity, but at least one “rescue” organization has figured out how to get around this issue:  they simply abduct the women’s children instead.

“How many nights of safety can you give a child?” is India Partners’ tagline for its campaign to rescue children of sex workers in India.  More than 2.3 million girls and women in India are believed to be working in the sex industry against their will.  In addition, there are at least 5 million children of sex workers in India.  India Partners is working with an organization in Mumbai to rescue the children of trafficked women and relocate them to loving safe homes outside the red-light districts.

Children in red-light areas are vulnerable to abuse, trauma and second-generation prostitution.  During the day, children are often left alone while their mothers are sleeping.  At night, some are drugged and put under the bed while their mothers work the trade.  Anandalay, a safe home for daughters of trafficked women, provides the rescued girls with education, food and excellent accommodation under the committed care of a houseparent couple.  If the child’s mother is still living, she is granted supervised visits.

One couldn’t ask for a finer example of doublethink; we are told that these women are “trafficked” and working “against their will”, and that the solution is to further victimize them by stealing their children.  The brainwashed supporters of this filthy scheme are assured that the children are “loved” by their jailers, because obviously those degraded whores (oops, I mean “exploited victims”) can’t possibly have any maternal feelings.  But hey, India Partners isn’t completely inhumane; they magnanimously allow their victims to occasionally stare at their kidnapped babies under the watchful gaze of armed thugs.

Update to “Sex, Lies and Busybodies” (January 27th, 2012)

From a January 18th AP release:

Some of the most prominent purveyors of porn say they’ll start packing up their sex toys and abandoning the nation’s Porn Capital if authorities really do…police their movie sets and order that every actor be outfitted with a condom…[on January 17th] the Los Angeles City Council voted 9-1 to grant final approval to an ordinance that would deny film permits to producers who do not comply with the condom requirement…the council has called for the creation of a committee made up of police officials, the city attorney, state health officials and others to determine how it might be enforced.  “It’s going to be interesting to see how…they…try to enforce it…[and] fund it…” said Steven Hirsch…of…Vivid…”Ultimately I think what they will find is people will just stop shooting in the city of Los Angeles…”

…Other industry officials condemned the measure as an unneeded [and unenforceable] exercise in political correctness…”The only thing that the city could potentially achieve is losing some film permit money and driving some productions away, but you can’t actually compel an industry to create a product that the market doesn’t want,” said Christian Mann…of Evil Angel…The ordinance would require filmmakers pay a permit fee…to pay for surprise inspections at film shoots…Mann said smaller productions involving only a handful of people can probably fly under the radar and just ignore the permitting requirement.  Larger ones, he said, will likely just leave town…

Raise hands, anyone who didn’t see this coming.  The porn industry has no choice; in order to survive it has to produce a product consumers want, and if it can’t do that in Los Angeles it will do it elsewhere.

One Year Ago Today

Not an Addiction” explains what an addiction actually is, why it’s impossible to be addicted to sex and how the myth of “sex addiction” is used to promote moralist agendas (and dating websites).

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All books can be indecent books,
Though recent books are bolder,
For filth (I’m glad to say) is in the mind of the beholder
When correctly viewed,
Ev’rything is lewd.
  –  Tom Lehrer, “Smut

My miscellanea and update columns have always been popular, but I’m getting so many items now that it’s become too cumbersome to organize them on a monthly basis as I have been; since I write most of my columns days or even weeks before they appear, my present format tends to make some of the features “stale” by the time I present them.  So I’ve modified an idea used by SWAAY and Tits and Sass (both of whom present “Week in Links” columns) and by The Agitator (which presents such a list nearly every day) to create “That Was the Week That Was”, a weekly feature which will appear every Saturday (though sometimes shifted by a day where necessity demands).  This won’t just be a list of links; it will look pretty much like my traditional miscellanea and update columns, but combined and appearing weekly.  The first few installments will cover stories from January and early February, but by the end of the month each column will feature only items which came to my attention in the preceding week (even if the actual story is somewhat older).

Incidentally, I’ve borrowed the title as well as the concept.  Readers over 50 (or those who, like me, are fans of vintage television which aired before they were born) may recognize the name as that of a satirical sketch comedy show hosted by David Frost which ran in the UK for two seasons (1962-63) before moving to American television for one more (1964-65).  It satirized current events and did not shy away from controversy; it was thus in a way the ancestor of programs like The Daily Show, Not the Nine O’Clock News and Politically Incorrect…and considering the way I lampoon the writers or characters in many of the articles I cover, I felt it was an appropriate title.  I’ve never actually seen an episode, but I know of it from my reading on the background of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and from the work of Tom Lehrer, who wrote a number of current-event-inspired songs such as “Wernher von Braun”, “National Brotherhood Week” and “The Vatican Rag” for the American version.

Without further ado, let’s look at a story from Week 1 of 2012:

Update to “Sex, Lies and Busybodies” (January 27th, 2012)

The news about the rescue industry scam run by a group of Australian cops called “The Grey Man” broke on January 6th, but wasn’t mentioned here until three weeks later.  In a perfect example of why this format change was necessary, this follow-up to investigative reporter Andrew Drummond’s initial “Grey Man” story was published on January 7th, yet isn’t appearing here until today.  See what I mean?

The village of Baan Khun Suay in Northern Thailand is populated by people of the Akha Hill tribe.  They earn a living from farming rice, tea, and coffee, and are poor but self-subsistent…they hit the headlines when The Grey Man, an Australian registered charity which boasts it comprises ex-Special Forces men and police officers announced that its ‘operatives’ had rescued 21 children – 13 boys and 8 girls – and saved them from certain slavery and sexual exploitation…[they] also claimed that one of the girls, aged 13,  had also escaped from a brothel and been taken to a police station where she was held for two days and raped by a police officer before being returned to the brothel, and…that [they] had videos of the traffickers fleeing the scene…But our investigation shows that [the children shown in pictures as “rescued victims”]…were going to school as they normally do…

…[After the “rescue” was announced] Trafcord – The trafficking co-ordination unit of northern Thailand – [told Grey Man president John Curtis that it]…was eager to get involved…Curtis [then] wrote to Trafcord saying: “…it seems that we were misreported in the Australian press that we rescued those kids.  Embarrassing for us and I have pulled the story off the net.  It must have been one of the other groups up there.”  This was not true.  The Grey Man  organization had in fact put out their own press statement and the story was covered by [many press organizations and]…websites.  Meanwhile Trafcord had done their own investigations and had confirmed that three grey men, had on two different occasions visited Baan Khun Suay, together with an unregistered American charity called COSA – Children of South East Asia.  They had gathered a group of children together [and] posed with them for a picture, and then returned to photograph individually for the charity’s records and to show they were providing medical assistance and transport to school.

Trafcord reported its findings to [the Thai government]…who issued a statement on December 7th saying that the rescue was a scam…Curtis reacted in anger and issued threats to Trafcord…saying the rescue HAD taken place after all…readers of the Grey Man Facebook page had been getting regular updates at what was happening to the children still allegedly being held in a secret location…

Faced with this massive clash of stories… [Drummond travelled to the village and found it] comparatively prosperous for a hill tribe village…coffee shops can be found throughout Thailand selling their produce.  When [Drummond] asked where the trafficked children were – it was a school holiday – all but one, who posed for [the original picture] appeared within half an hour…The missing person was…from another community.  [Drummond] reconstructed The Grey Man picture outside the house of farmer Jaimuk Laisai who said:  “The three foreigners came to the village…They said they wanted to help kids in the village and asked what sort of help we needed.  We said the kids needed help with the school and healthcare.  There was no talk about prostitution at all.”  [Village elders are upset that] “…Other people are exploiting our children” and the children themselves seemed upset…about the taunts of “prostitute” given by children from neighbouring villages…

… the future for The Grey Man in South East Asia seems limited unless they can now find someone to trust in Thailand and who trusts them.  They claim they work closely with Thai police and foreign police agencies, and [though] that has been true with individual police agencies and even charities in the past…they are [now the] subject of both a DSI investigation and a Thai media frenzy…[which] accused “foreign gangs” of faking the rescue to stuff their own pockets with cash.  The Grey Men were even accused of being the traffickers…

Drummond (who also produced this 15-minute video on the affair) goes on to say that though his investigation indicates it’s unlikely The Grey Man has made any real money from Thailand,

The way The Grey Man presents its information using military and police jargon…and stories it puts out of attacks by men with Molotov cocktails, and bullets ricocheting [off] of cars in high speed chases,  has raised a few eye-brows.  On behalf of organisations in Thailand I myself have gone into brothels and massage parlours to bring out under aged girls.  I am careful about it, but have never seen it as a real risk and don’t normally expect to be petrol bombed or shot at…

Going by the evidence and what we know of the rescue industry, it seems most likely that the Grey Man’s profits come from grants and from their well-meaning supporters rather than from their victims or innocent bystanders in Thailand.  Their real motivation is probably not profit but rather the desire to play hero; as I said in “Schadenfreude”,

…when the speaker dwells lovingly upon lurid details, treats humans as passive objects to be done to (“rescued”, “saved”, kept from making their own choices, etc) instead of helped, arranges as many photo-ops with starving children/trafficking survivors/disaster victims as possible and makes sure that his own name and image are always prominently associated with his crusade, one can be…certain that one beholds a narcissistic “baby person” whose interest in tragedy is his own self-aggrandizement and a paternalistic satisfaction in controlling “lesser” (usually brown-skinned and/or female) people “for their own good”.  The “rescue” industry is stocked to the rafters with such people…

In the next edition of this feature tomorrow, we’ll look at items from the second week of the year.

One Year Ago Today

A Distorted Lens” is an introduction to Iceland’s particularly nasty variety of the Swedish Model, which has also banned stripping and is now taking aim at porn.

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Justice means minding one’s own business and not meddling with other men’s concerns.  –  Plato

A busybody is, by definition, one who cannot resist meddling in other people’s business even when his victim’s actions have absolutely no effect on him.  And because respect for the rights of individuals has generally increased since the late Middle Ages, busybodies (both those with political titles and those without) in “democracies” usually have to find ways to justify their meddling in order to keep the opinions of the masses in their favor (or at least divided enough to prevent unified opposition).  The chief means of doing this is via propaganda, and one of the chief targets of such busybodies is sex (especially commercial sex).  In the four stories we’ll look at today, the busybodies in the latter three use a very old moral panic (disease as punishment for “sin”) as an excuse for persecuting sex workers, but in the first con artists use a relatively new (130 years) moral panic (sex slavery) as a means of robbing busybodies.  Investigative reporter Andrew Drummond broke the story on January 6th:

Officers of the Australian Federal Police were summoned to the Thai government  complex in Bangkok…and urged to look into [an] alleged fake rescue…by an Australian registered charity…The Brisbane based…”The Grey Man” [claimed to have] rescued 21 Akha hill tribe children and saved them from certain slavery in factories and brothels…[but a Thai government] investigation…found that the children never left their village…[they] were all living at home and were attending a school on a daily basis…under a special government fund [which provided] all their meals, uniforms and schoolbooks…The Grey Man [which is staffed by ex-special forces and former and active Australian policemen] issued an appeal for funds…after their claimed rescue…but on October 21 last year they removed all references to the rescue from their site and Facebook pages…[Their] president initially announced the rescue had taken place, then denied it again.  He later said his denial was to protect the children…

[Thai authorities are] investigating …breaches of both the Child Protection and Computer Crime Acts…It’s alleged that The Grey Man abused [and defamed] the children by putting their pictures up on the net and linking them with prostitution to raise cash…The Grey Man President John Curtis has claimed that the children and local community [were] intimidated by Thai government officials and his organization…[was] the subject of a vendetta by Thai [NGOs] because The Grey Man had shown that they were better [by rescuing] more than 140 children from sexual abuse in Asia…Also subject of the enquiry is an American registered charity “Children of South East Asia” (COSA)…[which] supplied the pictures…exhibited on [The Grey Man’s] Facebook site…

I hope the matter really was called to the attention of Thai authorities by another NGO; once these sleazy opportunists start fighting each other, all we have to do is sit back and watch.

The next item, also from Australia, is another look at the mining-community controversy we’ve seen before; what makes it interesting is the combination of so-called “health experts” spreading lies they have statistical proof are false, an unusual version of the “gypsy whore” myth and the paternalistic attitude of unnamed “community members” toward adult miners:

A prostitute from Queensland’s mining regions…[says] discrimination against her work was “disgusting” and putting sex workers in danger…[she says motel owners] “kick you out, no refund – regardless of whether you have one or seven days left”…she [also] said…the harsh treatment posed risks to sex workers and could force them on to the streets…The reports have…sparked concerns from health experts about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.  They have also had community members concerned about the fiscal responsibility of high earning miners who appeared to be wasting money.  Late last year University of New England associate professor John Scott told Australian Mining there was no evidence to suggest a rise in sex workers translated to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases in the community.  He also said there had been no study to back up claims rural sex work had increased beyond normal levels.  “There hasn’t been any data on it, but my hunch is that it would not be epidemic in these areas,” he said.

The “dirty whore” myth appears again in this January 9th article from the Daily Caller:

…The Korea Times reported that [a] survey of 500 South Koreans over age 60 determined that 66.2 percent are having sex, and that 53 percent of that group — or 35 percent of the survey group overall — said they pay for sex.  Paying prostitutes is illegal in South Korea…The Korea Herald reported on Sunday that more than half of the sexually active senior citizens said they buy anti-impotence pills, and 19.6 percent of them said they used sex toys.  The government-funded study also found that prostitution in South Korea is closely linked with sexually transmitted diseases.  One out of every eight interviewed  seniors suffered from gonorrhea…Prof. Chae Kyu-man of Sungshin Women’s University told another newspaper that the government “should induce them into venting their sex drive legally and in a healthy manner.”

Only one in eight have an STI while half see whores, so of course the disease must come from the whores rather than those good, clean amateurs the government wants to somehow force to have uncompensated sex with old men.  Of course, the government of South Korea is under considerable political and economic pressure from the U.S., so it lies for the same reason as “The Grey Man”:  profit.  The same is of course true of Michael Weinstein; the latest on his crusade appeared in the LA Weekly on January 10th:

The L.A. City Council today said that yes, porn stars must wear condoms when performing within city limits.  The 11-1 vote means that a costly ballot initiative asking you, the voter, to approve just such a rule can be avoided.  The AIDS Healthcare Foundation…noted that the City Council’s approval seems to defy a move by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to block the initiative in court…[on grounds that]…it would supersede the state’s authority over workplace safety enforcement…The industry is against condoms, arguing that…production will simply flee the city and perhaps go underground, where things would be more dangerous…Our industry source…said this law will not apply to studio shoots and will only affect off-site and “location” production…Diane Duke, executive director of the…Free Speech Coalition, sent the Weekly this response to today’s votes:

Performer health and safety is a priority for the adult film industry, which is why the industry’s standards and self regulations have been successful as represented by the industry’s low rate of STI transmission…Government regulation of film making would likely undermine existing health and safety efforts and industry standards that are effective as well as take the government into dangerous new territory.  This approach betrays our Constitution; it betrays the hard lessons we’ve learned in the 25-year fight against HIV/AIDS; and it betrays aggressive health and safety efforts in place that are proven and effective.

Given Weinstein and AHF’s history of using lies and grandstanding to line their own pockets, that brings us back full circle to the first item in today’s column.  And until the busybodies are prevented from interfering in other people’s lives, there will always be plenty of opportunities for con artists to capitalize on their deep-seated urge to meddle in things which are none of their business.

One Year Ago Today

Wild Guessing (Part One)” is my debunking of a “study” by the Schapiro Group, a marketing firm which crows that its new “methodology” represents “a quantum leap forward in determining…the magnitude of the problem” of “child sex trafficking”.  And what is that ground-breaking methodology, you ask?  Why, guessing their ages of escorts from pictures they post online, of course.

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