Posts Tagged ‘The Naked Emperor’

Selling sex is not inherently harmful or dangerous.  Criminalising it would be.  –  Alex Bryce

The Proper Study

Prevalent discourse would have you believe that sex workers are problems to deal with, or victims to “save”.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, when you ask sex workers about their job satisfaction and working conditions – as a study led by Leeds University just has – the majority of them are happy…91 per cent of sex workers described their work as “flexible”, 66 per cent described it as “fun” and over half find their job “rewarding”…this came as no real surprise to other sex workers or experts in the field, who are well aware that the common view of sex workers is wrong…

The Mote and the Beam

What distinguishes this rather typical New York Times anti-whore screed is the fact that all three of the politicians it praises have been ridiculed in previous columns:

…A bill championed by Senator John Cornyn…would…[impose]  additional fines on people convicted of sex…trafficking, child pornography and other crimes…The second bill, put forward by Senator Amy Klobuchar…would give…grants to states that adopt “safe harbor” laws…A…measure that would help ensure housing and services for homeless juveniles [was] introduced [by]…Patrick Leahy

An Example To the West Savannah shirt

Elizabeth Nolan Brown presents a worldwide roundup of Sex Worker Rights Day events.  It’s great to see the media outside of the demimonde beginning to notice these observances; it’s only one step from there to actually recognizing that we’re saying something.

The Notorious Badge 

Ethiopian scriptwriter and film director Hermon Hailay says she grew up close to prostitutes.  “I know them as young, beautiful women, mothers, sisters and friends…I always wanted to tell their story, because I know it well.  As a kid, I did not see the shame in what they do”…her latest film, Price of Love…follows the life of a young taxi driver who…falls in love with a prostitute…his mother…also earned her living from prostitution…

The Pygmalion Fallacy

Elizabeth Nolan Brown explores the history of artificial sex partners, from dolls to sex robots; she even explores the ethical and psychological implications of robot whores that I’ve examined so many times under this heading.

The Naked Emperor

Here are 9 social panics that gripped America, were totally false, and did lasting damage” trumpets the headline.  Guess which one is conspicuous by its absence?

Broken Record

This is particularly funny, given that the Pan Am Games were among the first sporting events for which this myth was disproven:

Cities that host international sporting events…ignore an ugly reality behind the spectacle: the exploitation of women and children shipped in to cater to the sexual proclivities of spectators, says the general secretary for the Canadian Council of Churches.  “Human sex trafficking goes with national and international sporting events,” Karen Hamilton said…“And…Toronto is hosting the Pan Am Games this summer”…Scholarly studies of human trafficking also reinforce Hamilton’s contentions regarding human trafficking…in regard to sporting events

Think of the Children! (#445) Hump the Bundle

Sex rays!

…a new adult site…Hump the Bundle…raised nearly $15,000 …[but]  they can hardly find any charities willing to take their money…So far, Hump the Bundle has managed to partner with the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture, which promotes sex positivity through art and advocacy, Able Gamers, which develops better video games for disabled people, and Angels Giving Tree, an organization that gives holiday gifts to needy children. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. Just this week, Hump the Bundle received the following rejection by email: “After speaking with our legal and communication teams, we have decided that we will not pursue this offer”…

Original Sin (#445)

It’s really good to see the mainstream media beginning to question the hysteria:

…sex trafficking…has become…a Christian cause célèbre…Many…compare their work to the 19th-century abolitionist movement against chattel slavery…But…the better comparison may be to the “white slavery” panic…[which] engaged both feminist and Christian activists…[and] focused primarily on protecting female virtue—often depicting prostitution as “slavery”…women being forced…was mostly malarkey…“rescuing” supposed slaves has…been criticized as paternalist, moralist, and ineffective.  Then there’s the numbers of the forcibly “enslaved,” which seem to be wildly overestimated…

Doubling Down

“The notion of choice…by women.”  Yes, that phrase is actually in here:

In his…PBS documentary, A Path Appears…Nicholas Kristof says it’s time we acknowledge sex trafficking as an American problem, and that we take a hard look at prostitution and the notion of choice, especially by women…average age…12 to 14…self-esteem problems…predators…sneak in…recruiters lurk in bus depots, homeless shelters and foster care facilities…

Read Full Post »

[Sex workers] can’t be slandered, apparently, because our status is THAT low.  –  Mistress Matisse

Out of Control

This was obvious to anyone who’s actually known any actual men, and whose mind is not fouled entirely with “social construction” dogma:

Priests’ vows of celibacy may have led to paedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said…A group advising the…Church on how to deal with thousands of cases of child sex abuse said celibacy may be psychologically damaging for some priests…The…conclusions were quickly dismissed by the Vatican…

Think of the Children! 

The statute under which these people were arrested defines “near” as 100 feet:  “Eleven people…were arrested and charged with prostitution near a school…[in] Memphis…the…arrests were all within a mile and a half from [any of several schools]…Thierry Schaffauser

Lack of Evidence

On December 16th…Thierry Schaffauser, founding member of STRASS, was distributing leaflets and condoms when he was arrested [in]…Paris…He was accused of having spoken to a sex worker.  Two plainclothes police officers then committed acts of violence against him including strangulation…He was handcuffed …and taken to the police station…without being able to request…a lawyer.  The sex worker he was talking to…was also arrested…Homophobic and racist remarks were made during the arrest, incl. “it is because of people like you that mamas bring in African women for prostitution in France”…

Welcome To Our World

Not the late actor, but rather the president of a fundamentalist Christian group:

…Tony Perkins [claims]…his fight against gay rights is necessary to prevent an economic crash and [is] no different than saving someone from a burning building…the Family Research Council president…told [the Faith & Liberty podcast]…that gay rights present such a grave “threat to religious liberty” that the movement for LGBT equality will inevitably lead to “a rapid downward spiral of our nation, including our economy”…Perkins insisted that his anti-gay activism is motivated by love for the gay community.  Just as an onlooker would try to wake up a person sleeping inside of a burning building, Perkins explained, he is simply trying to tell gay people about homosexuality’s destructive nature…

Whores know all about people who “love” us and want to “help” us by denying our basic human rights, criminalizing our lives and locking us up in state brainwashing centers.

The Pro-Rape Coalition

In which David Horsey un-ironically uses the phrase “women performing like whores” in a fact-free anti-porn rant:

…Thanks to the Internet, Americans have been pushed, unwittingly, into a vast social experiment testing whether unfettered access to the most freakish and foul pornography will warp sexual relations for generations to come…Raunchy actually does not begin to describe the things that any kid can find with a few search words and a couple of clicks…It’s a quick descent into an endless display of photographs and videos…dominated by perverse male fantasies of women performing like whores for men whose sexual techniques appear to have been learned in a prison cell…This is soul-disturbing stuff most human beings have never seen or experienced before…

Because obviously whores aren’t women.  Would-be censors are fond of claiming that online porn is “dominated” by extreme stuff, and that it’s easy to find, but try it yourself sometime.

Imaginary Crises

Women who tell outlandish rape tales undermine the credibility of all women:

In a now-infamous…story in Rolling Stone, disgraced journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely asserted that at least five members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity gang-raped a freshman named Jackie at a frat house party…The Washington Post’s reporting now suggests that Jackie fabricated huge swathes of her gory rape tale, and that Erdely abrogated her duty to properly investigate it…the number of completely fraudulent rape allegations made by women on American college campuses is far from trivial.  With very little effort at all, The Daily Caller has found eight twisted, totally false and especially astonishing rape hoaxes proffered over the years by female college students.  In each case, the cruel hoaxes were initially accepted as true.  In some cases, real lives were ruined…

Surplus Women 

A man obsessed with the Yorkshire Ripper brutally attacked a prostitute and planned to carry out more murders than his idol…David Parsons, 21, bought a claw hammer because it was Peter Sutcliffe’s weapon of choice and used it to repeatedly bludgeon a…call girl he lured to his flat…he was spooked by her screams and fled…[then] told police:  “I have just tried to kill someone”…The victim…suffered head injuries and…psychological damage…Parsons pleaded guilty to attempted murder…[but] showed no empathy or remorse…[saying] “She is a prostitute, I am not even bothered”…

Profit from Panic 

The Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW) recently released its annual peer reviewed publication, the Anti-Trafficking Review…[this year’s] theme…is “Following the Money: Spending on Anti-Trafficking“…The majority of funding dedicated to anti-trafficking initiatives is spent in either prevention or prosecution…there has been little research undertaken into the…effectiveness of funded anti-trafficking initiatives…whether a person is recognised as a “victim” or “migrant” is defined by the media, who are influenced by…political expediency…

Above the Law 

A Louisiana [cop]…has been arrested…[for groping] a woman during a traffic stop…Michael Dayne Selders…touched her breasts…and private areas and tried to kiss her lips…Selders let her leave, saying “don’t tell anyone about this”…Selders [pretended that]…the woman initiated a hug, but denied wrongdoing…he’s [been rewarded with] paid [vacation]…

Meanwhile, in Tennessee:

…Nashville [cop Jonathan Mays] was arrested…for raping a prostitute…The victim had gone to police in June…[and they]…constructed a [sting] to catch Mays in the act…Once confronted, Mays tried to deny having any previous involvement with the woman, but later confessed to the [previous] incident…

The Naked Emperor

Chase Madar’s article about the horrific consequences of the US obsession with policing sex is quite good on issues like “sex offender” registration and the War on Whores…yet breathes not one word about “sex trafficking” hysteria, despite its condemnation of the Satanic panic.

Shift in the Wind

A TED talk about sex worker rights is definitely a step forward:

The Public Eye

Changing the narrative about sex work and battling the stigma  associated with the adult industry are among the primary goals behind a series of events [last weekend]…the Seattle chapter of the Sex Worker Outreach Project…[held] a three-day sex-work symposium to educate the public about consensual sex work, advocate for sex-worker rights and build community among a diverse group of practitioners.  “I hope people who have heard that all sex workers are victims and all sex work is exploitative will see…the adult industry is vast, complex, diverse and not inherently exploitative,” said Savannah Sly…

Property of the State

a…Wisconsin…woman [was] arrested for drug use…brought to court and twice refused lawyers (even though her fetus was given one), and then sent to jail for 17 days, where she was placed in solitary confinement, denied prenatal care even as she began cramping, and not given her thyroid medication for two days…Tamara Loertscher…refused to submit to in-patient treatment because…she…had stopped using drugs.  She was then jailed for contempt of court…the state of Wisconsin then informed her that it considered her a child abuser, which will prevent Loertscher from ever working again in her profession, as a certified nurse’s aide…

Bread and Circuses

They must have threatened him with decades in prison to secure this deal:

[Eric “Red” Omuro]…pleaded guilty…to facilitating prostitution by running a website that allowed sex workers to advertise services…it was the first federal conviction of a website operator for facilitation of prostitution…MyRedbook…allowed users to post and respond to ads offering services including massage, stripping, domination and sex in San Francisco and throughout the West Coast…the website generated more than $5.4 million in revenue…Omuro…agreed to forfeit $1.28 million in cash and property and the domain names…

Schadenfreude (TW3 #429) 

At long last, Seattle’s The Stranger owns up to its part in promoting Chong Kim’s lies and the movie based on them:

…Mistress Matisse, a professional dominatrix and longtime Stranger contributor…sent an e-mail to her editors here in late June referring to a potential lawsuit.  “You’re getting this e-mail from me because I want some answers,” Matisse began. “I believe that…filmmakers Colin Plank and Megan Griffiths”—the producer and the director—”have perpetrated a fraud in their movie called Eden. Allegations have been made, and it’s time for them to either double down—or fess up.  And as The Stranger played a role in promoting the film, it’s appropriate that The Stranger play a part [in] the truth being told about it”…She [discussed] with a lawyer “the possibility of a class-action lawsuit against the makers of Eden“…[but his]  opinion was that “it would be difficult to prove damages, because the prevailing sentiment of the legal system more or less goes along with us being either helpless victims, as in the movie, or just plain criminals”…

The article debunks Kim’s tragedy porn in great detail, but that wasn’t actually very hard because her own published narratives of her supposed “exploitation” in sex work have grown dramatically in the past decade; had the filmmakers bothered to do even the slightest bit of research they would’ve known she was lying from square one.  But hey, the lies are only about whores and our clients, so it’s all good.

Surplus Women (TW3 #445)

Hong Kong was shocked by another brutal murder [of a sex worker]…as the half-naked body of a 15-year-old girl was discovered bound and gagged at a local dump – just weeks after a British banker was charged with the killing of two escorts…Kwok Wai-ming…had hands and legs bound together with plastic strips and adhesive tape and might have died during a sex game…the girl was involved in compensated dating…and also posed for nude pictures for money…Police have arrested a 34-year-old former clerical worker after analysing security camera footage from buildings in the area…

The Public Eye (TW3 #450)

Nick Clegg today backed Liberal Democrat MPs who are opposing a ban on a list of erotic acts being shown in porn because they have been judged “harmful”.  Three days after a face-sitting protest outside Parliament against new curbs on what can be shown in internet video porn, the Deputy Prime Minister said…the state should not invade the privacy of people’s bedrooms…

A Year Later

The headline makes it sound like “heavily regulated” rhetoric, but what they’re actually calling for is decriminalization:

The Canadian Public Health Association is calling on the government to regulate the sex industry…under existing occupational health and safety regulations…The testimony [leading up to the new law] laid bare a bitter divide…over whether prostitutes are victims or whether they are making a free and valid career choice.  The government considers prostitution a crime against women, and [pretends it can be] stamped out entirely…

That bit about a “bitter divide” is more prohibitionist nonsense; virtually no actual sex workers support client criminalization, and the ones who claim to are a tiny minority of ex-whores paid by prohibitionists to be human sock puppets.

Read Full Post »

 The left-right divide might be a division between social identities based on class or region or race or gender, but it is certainly not a clash between different political ideas.  –  Crispin Sartwell

Reading Between the Lines

FBI myth: crack experts at hunting dangerous criminals.  FBI truth: lazy pickers of low-hanging fruit:  “…The Grand Junction [Colorado] Police Department…and the Federal Bureau of Investigation gathered evidence at [four] massage parlors…on possible human trafficking and prostitution…”  Here’s the FBI press release; note that they’ve realized huge numbers of sex worker arrests make them look bad, so they only provide figures for underage workers arrested (under the  euphemism “recovered”) and men (probably mostly male sex workers) accused of being “pimps”.  If the proportions hold from previous operations, over 2000 adult sex workers were arrested in all.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

This is especially hilarious given the location:  “Authorities…say they’ve arrested…Phoenix police officer…John Geroulis…as part of a multi-agency undercover operation targeting human trafficking and prostitution…the 25-year veteran suddenly retired [the next morning].”  But this one is even more so:

A sheriff’s deputy and SWAT team member in Washington state was arrested…Darrion Holiwell…physically abused his wife and promoted her as an escort on…backpage.com.  He is also charged with using and distributing steroids, and with stealing thousands of pounds of brass and bullets from the police firing range and selling them to gun shops…

It Looks Good On Paper

I get that the writer is a “feminist” rather than a journalist, but surely the New York Daily News has editors qualified to recognize an incoherent mess when they see it:

The world is awaiting the return of nearly 300 Nigerian girls abducted from their school…girls as young as 14…are a familiar sight in the sex trade.  Demand is so great that traffickers not only import women from abroad, but target…American kids…Brianna [was]…kidnapped…by a school janitor at the age of 9, she was sold to a pimp…The bill she is championing creates the crime of…buying a child for sex…

Change a Few Words

Note how little you’d have to change in this excerpt from the first draft of Radley Balko’s book to make it about the war on whores:

…Nixonians…pushed the idea that drug use was connected to crime…They took their…absurd estimate of heroin addicts…multiplied it by another absurd figure—the amount of money the administration estimated the typical heroin junkie spent each year to get high…then capped off the equation with a third faulty assumption: that heroin addicts steal all of the money…The resulting figures, which seemed to increase with each reiteration of them, were several times larger than the total amount of property stolen in the entire country…Nixon’s top aides themselves didn’t believe their own bull…They were knowingly lying to bring the country along on a drug war.  The press jumped in with sensational stories to help dehumanize the drug offenders…

Pick a Color

It’s such a pleasure to see someone admit this in the mainstream media:

…the left-right axis…is conceptually confused, ideologically tendentious, and…infested by contradictions…the idea that…political and economic power…can be pulled apart and set against each other…is…obviously false, because hierarchies tend to coincide…  corporate capitalism has always completely depended on state power, and the basic practical thrust of left statism has always been annexation of the economyThe…robber-baron period is often held to have been…[eventually]  constrained…by the state [but] the…procedures employed by [industrialists]…depended fundamentally on state sponsorship and state violence…in the so-called Progressive Era…specific cartels and fortunes were compromised, [but] the consolidation…continued, as…government became the central bank…and the modern bureaucratic corporation emerged…the…spectrum stretches from authoritarianism on…one end to authoritarianism on the other, with authoritarianism…between…Instead of left and right, we should be thinking about vertical versus horizontal arrangements of power and wealth.

Yellow Fever Pimp City

Jezebel swallows the “trafficking town” myth like a big, slimy…

In an extensive investigative series called Pimp City: A Journey to the Center of the Sex Slave Trade, Fusion explores Tenancingo, Mexico, a town that makes virtually its entire living from sex trafficking…According to the documentary…”women are actually a commodity to be used over and over and over again…a pimp can make half a million dollars a year with three women working for him, each seeing an average of 20 clients a day, each for 15 minutes”…

In case you didn’t know, Fusion is a site attempting to position itself as the sleaziest organ in the yellow corpus, like an unfunny Weekly World News.

Number Puzzle

…the Dutch National Rapporteur Human Trafficking...recommends…to register individuals as victims more frequently, regardless of if there is an indication of actual trafficking…she acts as if the false positives …are not a big deal…we’re making reports…of situations that have nothing to do with human trafficking, which is making our data completely meaningless…only 2% of the so-called victims want help…[laws] make it impossible for…a sex worker to arrange [travel or visa] for…yourself, but if you get help then that’s called trafficking…Having a guard is seen as suspect, having lots of friends, too, and also having few friends…[even] if an agent…“feels” that it’s trafficking…that’s [enough]…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #312)

…mayor…Tri Rismaharini…announced the closure of the “Dolly” prostitution complex in [Surabaya]…hundreds of prostitutes and others who said their livelihoods depend on the sex trade blocked streets…in protest…The government plans to provide $425 to each of about 1,500 sex workers to help them start a new life…

Sex workers have defiantly vowed the district will remain open despite the edict.

Under Every Bed 

One day, we’re going to look back on all this and laugh.  All of us, that is, except people rotting for decades in prison on bogus “sex trafficking” charges.

…”The truckers…of Montana have partnered with us to put…human trafficking awareness posters on their trucks,” said…Attorney General Tim Fox. “The truckers move all across the country, they’re in…a lot of places that human trafficking might take place…We’ve had…young girls…trafficked out of Montana…and…into Montana.  Even right here in Billings…because…we’re…in the intersection of I-90 and I-94″…

Traffic Jam (TW3 #318) Manon Lescaut

I welcome ugly bandwagon-jumping like this because it hastens the day when the public is utterly sick of “sex trafficking” nonsense:

There are few things in opera more depressing than watching great singers struggling in the face of an obstructive and pretentious production.  Yet alas that is the case with the Royal Opera’s first presentation of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut for more than 30 years.  Jonathan Kent…opts for a contemporary setting in which wide-eyed Manon arrives – from eastern Europe? – with her pimp of a brother at a sleazy casino and becomes the fluffy mistress of a banker.  He forces her into soft porn…and then kicks her into sex-traffic hell…Puccini creates an atmosphere of lush melancholy romance, but Kent can interpret it all only in terms of today’s headlines…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (TW3 #318)

It’s time once again for the pompous, asinine, methodology-free “Washington is the World’s Daddy” report (AKA the “Trafficking in Persons” Report), in which the US State Department presumes to judge and rank how every other country “deals with” an imaginary problem defined into existence by American prudishness and “analyzed” chiefly by how closely that country apes American anti-whore brutality.  Canadian prohibitionists are happy to cite the report this year in order to shore up their criminalization crusade, but New Zealand has no such agenda and therefore told Uncle Sam where he could stick his demeaning “report card”:

…The US State Department Trafficking in Persons 2014 Report…criticised New Zealand’s lack of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and recommended New Zealand’s legal framework be expanded to prohibit and punish all forms of human trafficking…The report [included evidence-free accusations]…of…children…subjected to street prostitution…[and infantilized Asian] women…at risk of coerced…prostitution…[Immigration Minister Michael] Woodhouse said all allegations of human trafficking were investigated, but none had resulted in substantiated evidence…

The Naked Emperor (TW3 #324)

In which danah boyd takes a few more steps toward the light:

…journalists and the public reify a Hollywood narrative of what trafficking is supposed to look like — innocent young girl abducted from happy, healthy, not impoverished home with loving parents and then forced into sexual acts by a cruel older man…the…reality…is much darker and implicates many more people in power…many youth…are not pimped…[they] begin trading sex for basic services — food, shelter, protection…when it comes to minors, most anti-trafficking advocates and government actors argue that it’s all trafficking.  Except when that label’s not convenient…

Magic Formulae

Most of this vile article glorifies the FBI’s pogrom against consenting adults under the guise of “fighting sex trafficking”, but this section needs to be pasted to the foreheads of every whore who believes in magic formulae:

…At least two of the women inquired…whether the supposed client was in fact a police officer…[one] woman…“did a cop check” on the officer and then said, “Okay, I just want to make sure you‘‍re not a cop.”  Undercover detectives agreed to a price…and exchanged the money — usually it had to be placed on a bedside table or television, as the women refused to handle the money directly.  The detectives then signaled for back-up, and detectives and agents swarmed the room…

Absolute Corruption (TW3 #326)

Jesse Friedman…filed a defamation suit against Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice for knowingly publishing false and defamatory statements in a report summarizing her review of Friedman’s 1988 conviction…In one example, DA Rice made the entirely fabricated claim that Jesse Friedman “wrote, possessed and distributed” shocking pornography involving incest, bestiality, and child rape while he was in prison.  The DA provided as proof a printout of a series of…stories…[from] the Internet, written by and credited to someone else, whose email address appears at the bottom with an invitation to contact her.  As the DA was well aware, Jesse Friedman was incarcerated at a maximum-security prison, and had no access to the Internet…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (All Traffick, All the Time)

How low can they go?  “[Cop] Adam Kavanaugh…said…'[a sex worker] is a person who has been victimized and probably raped at age 8 if not earlier’…

Whither Canada? (TW3 #423)

While I’m happy to see political conservatives calling for decriminalization, I have to wonder why Tom Flanagan can’t see the moral panic is already well underway:

…Perhaps the most alarming thing about Bill C-36 is its potential to reunite the coalition of radical feminists, social conservatives, and law-enforcement authorities that gave us the triple moral panic of the 1980s over imaginary sexual abuse of children…I hope we’re not seeing a new moral panic over prostitution, but the signs are worrisome.  Conservative MPs are talking darkly about pimps in schoolyards.  The Minister of Justice has started to create a new class of folk devils by calling the customers of prostitutes “perverts”…

Hard Numbers (TW3 #424) 

I do keep telling you so.World Cup 2014 logo

…The World Cup is supposed to be good for sex workers’ wallets…But…sex workers aren’t having an easy time of things at Brazil 2014…with sex workers allegedly pushed out of their usual haunts by police looking to crack down…it’s…more difficult for the workers to find clients.  And when they do, the…crowd isn’t quite as imagined.  “They came here all dirty, thinking we are obligated to go out with them…They…get drunk and won’t spend money with us,” [one sex worker] said…

Feminine Pragmatism (TW3 #425) 

Matthias Lehmann, who studied Korean sex workers’ situations for several years, has some choice words for that “sex working grandmothers” story:

…Lucy Williamson…leaves out the police almost entirely…and…fails to mention the…[government’s offer] to pay…rewards of up to one hundred million won (US$98,000) for tip-offs about prostitution activities…Williamson also omits that…South Korea’s constitutional court is mulling over the constitutionality of the country’s anti-prostitution law…


Note the weird dehumanization of sex workers by calling them “networks”:

Swedish police have issued warnings that it’s increasingly common for prostitutes to rent apartments for work…”The better the hotel personnel get in seeing prostitution, the more unwilling these networks are to stay in the hotels” [said creepy cop Simon] Häggström [who] added that the number of rented apartments where prostitution occurs is minimal, but still “tragic”…

Read Full Post »

This is not just about sex trade workers…The government’s coming in through the back door…to tell you what you can and cannot do in the privacy of your home with another consenting adult.  –  Terri-Jean Bedford


Ignorant reporter apparently believes “explain” is a synonym for “rationalize”:

…The purpose of the sting operation was to discourage sex providers and customers from engaging in the illegal transaction, which often is linked to child sex abuse, robbery, assault and drug use, Lt. Det. Cord Wood of the Corvallis [Oregon] Police Department said…“To gauge the number of thefts, assaults and robberies (associated with prostitution) is difficult because I really believe those are under-reported”…

Because obviously someone named for 128 cubic feet of chopped fibrous cellulose must be an expert in a trade he’s never practiced.

The Camel’s Nose (June Updates, Part One)

Just another reminder that though Al Franken claims to be an advocate of liberty, he’s actually a devoted supporter of the police state:  “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people…I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us…There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know.”  Because tyranny isn’t “bad” as long as you wave a flag while stomping on people’s faces.

The Crumbling Dam

Sex workers and their supporters marched and rallied in several Canadian cities…days before a Supreme Court hearing on whether laws restricting the sale of sex should be tossed out”, and prohibitionists fantasize about replacing criminalization of workers with that of clients.  Fortunately this view is unpopular in Canada, and editorials like this one from Catherine Healy and Sandra Ka Hon Chu are not uncommon:

The Supreme Court of Canada’s looming consideration…has led to vigorous debate about the merits of the “Swedish model”…[which] perpetuates…stigma, discrimination and violence…and institutionalizes an adversarial relationship between sex workers and the police.  Less discussed is the model of sex work employed in New Zealand….[where] sex workers are covered by legislation that protects them from exploitation while accessing labour laws to promote their welfare and occupational health and safety…The Art of Not Being GovernedThere is no substantiated evidence of trafficking despite repeated efforts by the immigration department…

Presents, Presents, Presents!

This week I received a copy of The Art of Not Being Governed from SA.  Thank you so much!

The Sky is Falling!

Dating and highways cause sex trafficking!

Birmingham [Alabama] residents have voiced concerns over a billboard that suggests young women date a sugar daddy if they’re in search of a summer job.  Alexa James…[said] she wants the arrangements.com billboard taken down…”I-20 has now become the superhighway of human trafficking…Make a stand, call the mayor’s office, call your state representative.”  The service is an online dating site that facilitates mutually beneficial arrangements…and…has no plans to remove the billboard.

Above the Law

Yet again:  As long as government actors have excessive power over individuals, this will keep happening:

…two [Georgia] sheriff’s deputies…pleaded guilty…for their part in a scheme to send an innocent woman to prison…Judge Bryant Cochran solicited sex from [Angela Garmley] in return for legal favors.  Shortly after Garmley filed her complaint, she was arrested…and charged with possession of methamphetamines…Since this scandal broke, three women who worked in Cochran’s court have filed a separate lawsuit…claiming Cochran sexually harassed them…

And keep happening:

…a…19-year-old Omaha woman…[said] Deputy Cory Cooper made her perform oral sex after pulling over a vehicle containing her and her boyfriend on a marijuana violation…Cooper told the boyfriend to walk to the lake to dispose of the marijuana…then turned his attention to the woman…she said she felt like she had no choice…

Held Together With Lies

Ronald Weitzer speaks on the mythology of “sex trafficking” at Queens University, Belfast; unfortunately, this is audio only.

Crime Against Society (TW3 #14)

The ordeal of those victimized by New Orleans’ sadistic game is over at last:

…a settlement…will remove from the sex offender registry approximately 700 individuals who had been required to register solely because of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) conviction…“The lingering injustice, resulting from over 20 years of discriminatory enforcement of this law at police and prosecutors’ whims, will now finally come to an end,” said Andrea Ritchie, co-counsel to [the Center for Constitutional Rights] in Doe v. Jindal and Doe v. Caldwell

The Naked Emperor (TW3 #24)

Though danah boyd’s last article on “sex trafficking” annoyed a number of activists with its ambiguity, this one is much more firmly anti-hysteria:

When most people think of sex trafficking…they immediately think of stereotypical images.  Like that of a vulnerable girl exploited by a pimp…But…[it] is more often about young people who are homeless, yet turned away from crowded shelters.  About teens exploited by family members (or kicked out of the house for being gay or transgender)…In other words:  systemic factors that have little to do with the actions of predators…one group of advocates long clamored for classified-ad sites, like Craigslist or Backpage, to be abolished — holding on to false hopes that eliminating these platforms would eliminate exploitation…the data I’ve seen suggests that this approach is neither effective nor productive…

Lying Down With Dogs (TW3 #29)

Cop threats to persecute travelling whores aren’t confined to the US:

…commissioner…Charity Katanga has warned that police will arrest…sex workers who have…started migrating from Kitwe to Livingstone ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in August…Mrs Katanga said the laws of Zambia…are clear…“If we do not find appropriate charges to slap on them, we will throw them in jail.  If they are migrating to Livingstone, we will also ‘migrate’ so that we can deal with them ruthlessly”…Laura Lee

The Public Eye

A profile of activist Laura Lee:

Growing up in a strict Irish Catholic family, Laura Lee was lined up for a respectable career as a lawyer.  But after watching a film…she wanted to become a call girl.  Aged 19…[she] took on a Saturday job at a massage parlour.  Now 35 and mum to a 12-year-old daughter, Laura campaigns for sex workers’ rights…

Across the Pond (TW3 #45)

A year and a half ago sex worker activists wondered if the creation of a single police force for Scotland would be a good or a bad thing.  Now the news is in:  it’s extremely bad:

Brothels were targeted by…police…who accompanied social workers to help potential victims…Customers and employees were taken onto the street and questioned at seven saunas…officers are pursuing inquiries relating to several serious sexual offences…police said:  “Three people…have been charged with drugs offences…and it is estimated that assets worth in excess of £500,000 have been seized”…Since the country’s eight forces came under the single Police Scotland umbrella, regional variations in policy have surfaced…Edinburgh’s apparent sanctioning of prostitution had created a climate whereby city officials had to defend perceived leniency on the practice…

That £500,000 theft gives away the motive, and this demonstrates what I said Thursday about policies vs. laws.

Number Puzzle

Feminist Ire continues its robust tradition of debunking prohibitionist lies, this time in a guest post by Matthias Lehmann and Sonja Dolinsek:

Der Spiegel published a…deeply flawed report…about…[sex] trafficking…Prostitution…has been legal in Germany since 1927…the new prostitution law of 2002 changed some aspects pertaining to the legal relationship between sex workers and clients and some criminal law provisions.  It recognized the contract between sex workers and clients as legal and introduced the rights of sex workers to sue clients unwilling to pay for sexual services already provided.  In addition, sex workers received the right to health insurance and social security…What is misleadingly called the ”legalization“ of prostitution is actually the recognition of sex work as labor.  However…some states actually never implemented the new law…Most states…declare…[so many restrictions] prostitution [is] de facto illegal…sex work is not allowed for non-EU nationals…who…are thus…excluded from the law [and] therefore [cannot be protected by it]…

Big Sister (TW3 #139)

The UK emulates China and the Muslim theocracies:

Internet and telecom companies will be ordered by the Government to block “harmful” content…Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, has summoned the bosses of companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to a summit…at which she will demand…industry-wide co-operation to prevent the…sharing of  harmful material…[including] illegal porn, images of child abuse, material that could incite religious or racial hatred and so-called “suicide websites”…Possible new measures include greater use of online filters; making public Wi-Fi more “family friendly” so children cannot access harmful material…ensuring all companies sign up to industry guidelines and setting up permanent bodies to monitor content…

Because obviously, government is best-equipped to judge what’s “harmful”, and if the filters just happen to block educational and political content, too…well, omelettes and eggs and all.

Oscillation (TW3 #312)

A rare defeat for control freaks:

The federal government…told a judge it will…comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.  The decision ends a years-long fight between…Obama’s administration, which had argued that age limits for the morning-after pill are common sense, and women’s rights groups, which insisted the drug should be made…freely available…

jury nullificationAnti-sex groups claim the decision “takes away the rights of girls’ parents”…to ruin their daughters’ entire lives for one mistake.

The Story Behind the Story

Rob Arthur alerted me to the fact that Ricardo Cortés has written and illustrated a short, FREE primer on jury nullification entitled “Jury Independence Illustrated”.  Please read it, download it and disseminate it as widely as possible; it’s time people were reminded of their power to overrule the rulers.

The Widening Gyre (TW3 #315)

Drowning was the cause of death for Terrilynn Monette, the missing…teacher whose body was discovered in Bayou St. John…more than three months after…[disappearing] early on March 2…she…had been drinking, and…told friends…that she planned to sleep in her car for a while before driving to her apartment…

I lived near that bayou for years; there is nothing to stop a tipsy, exhausted woman from driving off the street and into it, without any help from Russian Mafia sex traffickers.

An Example to the West (TW3 #316)

One of Bolivia’s sex workers organizations, Organización de Trabajadoras Nocturnas (OTN), has called for the legalization of sex work in Bolivia and for sex workers to be granted retirement benefits and health insurance…The OTN has 50,000 affiliates, 80 percent of whom work in nightclubs…ONAEM (Organización Nacional de Activistas por la Emancipación de la Mujer), a major national women’s emancipation organization…supports [their] demands…

Bottleneck (TW3 #317)

Scarlet Alliance…is urging the Federal Government to expand [a] controversial visa to cover foreign escorts…Jules Kim…said sex workers were just as skilled as other workers allowed to fly into Australia on the four-year work visas…The Immigration Department…said sex workers were not considered “skilled” because the job did not require a degree or diploma…but Scarlet Alliance…said overseas sex workers would be vulnerable to…exploitation unless they could apply for a long-term work visa…

Deafening Silence

In an incident that underlined the harsh treatment often meted out to Chinese sex workers, a…female police officer was “punched in the face” and “dragged” from a hotel room during a botched anti-vice operation…Ms Wang…had been visiting her daughter in…Zhengzhou…when police unexpectedly appeared at the door…she told the men she was also a member of the police…but her pleas fell on deaf ears…

Guest Columnist:  Sarah Woolley

Amnesty International logoAs Sarah explained, the Paisley branch of respected human rights group Amnesty International made the bizarre decision to endorse Scotland’s attempt to impose the Swedish model despite clear proof that it harms sex workers.  When Wendy Lyon informed Amnesty of this, the organization immediately demanded the branch revoke its endorsement and, as Melissa Gira Grant explains, has now issued (for the first time) a clear pro-decriminalization statement:  “What…Paisley Branch have done – perhaps entirely despite themselves – is to push Amnesty International to state their opposition to the criminalisation of sex workers and of adult consensual sex more clearly….sex workers in Scotland and around the world…can now claim Amnesty International in their corner.”

Read Full Post »

Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it.  It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.  –  Nadine Gordimer

Eleven updates and four meta-updates.

Who Did Your Tits? (October 1st, 2010)

Happy 50th birthday, silicone implant!:

…Timmie Jean Lindsey, 80…said she…[went to Dr. Frank Gerow of Houston, who invented the implants in 1962] because she wanted some rose tattoos removed from her chest, and he told her she was the perfect first candidate…“It wasn’t a big deal to me.  I went from a B to a C cup.  But it made men more aware of me.  More men would whistle at me”…She said she feels fortunate she never experienced many of the side effects that plagued other recipients…

The reason she didn’t have any side effects, of course, is because lawyers hadn’t invented them yet.

An Older Profession Than You May Have Thought (October 12th, 2010)

Remember those cute little Adelie penguins?  Well, it turns out that prostitution isn’t their only “perverted” sexual behavior; George Levick of the ill-fated Scott expedition also observed rape, sexual abuse of chicks, homosexuality and necrophilia.  He was so upset by the whole thing that he recorded his findings in Greek so that they couldn’t accidentally be read by English speakers, and those facts were left out of the official accounts until very recently.  I’m not surprised; any bird which practices “cash and dash” is capable of anything.

Another Example of Swedish “Feminism” (May 30th, 2011)

Did you read the one about the Swedish housewife who set herself up a BDSM dungeon in an abandoned bunker?  It became news when two fishermen discovered it and called the cops.  When Aftonbladet told her that many of her neighbors were scandalized she said, “I think it is because many are afraid.  Sweden is not really such a free country when it comes to sexuality…”  Sex workers and their clients wholly agree.

Surplus Women (September 27th, 2011)

Yet another maniac chooses his victims from among sex workers:

A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast…22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday (June 5th) night and left early Wednesday.  Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis.  Other body parts…were found later…Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel…

The Capri is one of those dirty, scary places where only truly desperate girls live, so I suspect she was murdered by a client who promised her extra money to go off with him.  At least the story seems to make some effort to treat her as a person rather than concentrating on her sex work as so many do.

See No Evil (November 26th, 2011)

Res ipsa loquitur:

…Phillip Cosby…objects to [a] donated statue at the Overland Park Arboretum [in Kansas City], because it portrays a woman…taking a photo of herself while her breasts are exposed…he has started an online petition…to start a grand jury investigation…he objects to the statue’s availability to children and is seeking a charge of promoting obscenity.  Overland Park has posted signs at the park about the statue’s content but says it has no immediate plans to remove the sculpture.

A statue has no “content”; any “obscenity” is projected into it by dirty minds.

Neither Addiction nor Epidemic (December 4th, 2011)

Regular reader Franklin Harris wrote a column on sex in film in which he stated:

Movies and television take a lot of heat for promoting supposedly immoral, promiscuous and irresponsible sexual behavior.  But when it comes to movies that actually make sex their main focus, you may be left wondering why anyone has sex in the first place. Sex in these movies is awful, joyless and nothing good ever comes of it.  On second thought, that does sound like a pretty irresponsible depiction of sex, just not the one we’ve been led to expect…despite depressing movies such as Shame and a few high-profile celebrity cases of suspect credibility, one fact remains: There is no such thing as sex addiction…[it] is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is no scientific evidence it exists…

Harris also has sharp words for The Girlfriend Experience and points out the deep irony implicit in Hollywood’s typical condemnation of any kind of sex for pay.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see this sort of column becoming ever more common in mainstream media.

Above the Law (March 8th, 2012)

Another cop using his position for rape:  “A former Hopewell [Virginia] police officer was convicted…of sexually abusing three women…In exchange for his pleas, a fourth charge of forcible sodomy was withdrawn by the prosecution.  Baggett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count…”  Notice that cops in these stories are nearly always described as “former” police officers, subtly implying that they were sacked out for their conduct, when in fact that only happened as a direct result of a probable conviction.  Had the case been less clear, Baggett would still be a cop right now.

An Example to the West (April 3rd, 2012)

Sex workers in Thailand recently sent a letter to their Prime Minister asking him to stop licking Uncle Sam’s boots:

…Empower alleges that successive Thai governments have sacrificed the rule of law, their international human rights obligations and the well-being of migrant sex workers and their families, in an attempt to please the US government and satisfy the American anti trafficking agenda.  We accuse the United States government of using the issue of human trafficking to coerce its allies into tightening border and immigration controls.  The US agenda has also created a climate where women crossing borders are all seen as suspect “victims” of trafficking…Empower sees the Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US State Department as subjective and bias [sic] against the Thai Entertainment Industry…

The Naked Emperor (May 15th, 2012)

Though danah boyd (who like e.e. cummings prefers her name uncapitalized) is generally critical of moral panics about kids and the internet, and has said that “the most deadly misconception about American youth has been the sexual predator panic”, she seems to have bought into sex trafficking hysteria…or has she?  This article also seems subtly critical of anti-Backpage crusade; is she, like others, simply afraid to say the emperor is naked?

…when we as a society see technology being used in horrible ways, we want to blame and ban the technology…I know that technology is being used in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.  I also know that many people have responded to the visibility of “child sex trafficking” on commercial websites by wanting to shut down those commercial websites…my goal is to make sure that we understand what we’re doing so that we actually address the core of the problem, not just the most visible symptoms of it.  Unfortunately, we know very little about how children are advertised, bought, sold, and exploited through the use of technology.  There are plenty of anecdotes, but rigorous data is limited…

Read the article and let me know what you think:  more research is good, but only if it’s conducted in an atmosphere of free inquiry; most of the projects she mentions make unwarranted assumptions and seem tailored to produce specific anti-sex work outcomes.

First They Came for the Hookers… (June 5th, 2012)

I really wish politicians would stop proving me right:

…the government says it will end giving work visas to foreign strippers once and for all…”The problem is, under the current Immigration Act we don’t have the legal authority to deny people visas based on the industry they’re working in,” [said] Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney…”Now we have the power, which we’ll [soon] begin using…to deny visas to people who we think…might have a high chance of trafficking or exploitation”…

Once again, “trafficking” rhetoric is really an excuse for bigotry.

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (June 9th, 2012)

Anyone who’s read more than a token amount of Bradbury has noticed the libertarian ideas in his work, and in this extremely interesting essay by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy he demonstrates that Bradbury was not alone: “Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre.  From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field.  Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work…


Welcome To Our World in February Updates (Part Two) (February 13th, 2011)

A UK organization is fighting for the sexual rights of mentally disabled people:

…Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships…however they choose.  But some people in society, such as people with learning disabilities, aren’t always given the automatic right to have relationships and flourish as sexual beings.  They have to persuade others to “allow” them to do it.  FPA believes passionately that everyone has the right to enjoy sexual health

I applaud FPA’s efforts; whores also know what it’s like to be denied the right to sex on our own terms.

The Scarlet Letter in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Another example of sex workers fighting oppression via civil courts:

…State-sanctioned forced HIV testing of sex workers also occurs [in places other than Greece]…But in Malawi…sex workers are fighting back…in 2009…police…forced [arrested sex workers] to undergo HIV tests…[and those] who tested HIV-positive were charged with  “spreading disease dangerous to life,”…fourteen [of them] decided to sue the government and challenge the constitutionality of forced HIV testing…

Much Ado About Nothing in TW3 (#19) (May 12th, 2012)

Dania Suarez, the escort whose mistreatment kicked off the Secret service scandal, “has announced plans to open a non-profit organization to support women who have been affected by prostitution” just after turning down “a $500,000 pornography contract with Vivid” in favor of a TV documentary on her life.  As long as she only works with women who genuinely want to leave the trade I’m all for it, but if she turns to “rescue” and/or starts mouthing “child sex trafficking” rubbish, she’ll be following Kristin Davis into the Hall of Shame.

Finding What Isn’t There in TW3 (#23) (June 9th, 2012)

Considering that prostitution is not illegal in either part of Ireland and that police found no “traffickers” or “victims” in their highly-publicized joint raid, all of the residences belonged to “innocent people”; I reckon what this article is trying to say is that half didn’t belong to the people named on the warrants:

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is facing a serious legal backlash after it emerged that as many as half the residences it raided as part of its cross-border anti-prostitution operation with gardai belong to innocent people…the PSNI is now facing a highly embarrassing and potentially very expensive legal fall-out from what appear to have been a series of botched raids based on intelligence that, in some cases, was at least a year out of date…

Though I feel bad for those who were raided, high-profile jackboot buffoonery like this only helps our cause in the long run, because it demonstrates the fact-free basis for police actions and results in ever more editorials like this one:

…”Rape for profit,” stormed Philip Marshall of the PSNI…Everyone would agree if he had freed dozens of sex-slaves and charged their traffickers…So far, though, the only people charged were three Polish girls, who…were…working willingly…is it really worth months of police time…to arrest and shame…three young people?…Or should we consider…offering prostitutes the protection of the law when they are abused or coerced?…Prostitution has always been with us…We can’t legislate it out of existence, but we could legislate to reduce its damage to the health and welfare of those involved.

One Year Ago Today

June Miscellanea (Part Two)” reports on yet another censorship law, a decentralized online currency system, New York’s declaration that sexy dancing isn’t dancing and more extra-blog activities by yours truly.

Read Full Post »

So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy.  Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes!  Don’t they fit him to perfection?  And see his long train!”  Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool.  No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.  –  Hans Christian Andersen

In Andersen’s tale the Emperor, his court and his subjects are all taken in by con artists who claim to have made him a suit of magical cloth which is invisible to fools and those unfit for their positions; of course nobody wants to admit that he can’t see the clothes, and so everyone pretends to admire them despite the evidence of his own eyes.  The scammers who weave the insubstantial “sex trafficking” fantasy are something like that, except that in this case they claim that those who can’t see their tissue of nothing are “evil” or “sick” or “don’t care about children”.  So everyone follows along with the procession, proclaiming how terrible this epidemic is, and how we have to “do something” about it no matter what the cost, despite the fact that they themselves can’t see a scrap of evidence for the existence of this horrible garment.  Like the people in the story they all take each other’s word that the thing exists, but unlike those people they ignore the voices shouting “but he has nothing on!” instead of recognizing the truth of the statement.

I’ve run into several examples of the syndrome recently; as you will see, these writers are clearly not entirely devoid of skepticism, yet still refuse to call “sex trafficking” hysteria what it is.  The first example appeared two months ago in Gawker; it’s entitled “A Timeline of Moral Panics in the Last Decade”, and though author Max Read clearly understands both the concept of a “moral panic” and the necessity of extraordinary claims being supported by, you know, like evidence and stuff, “sex trafficking” hysteria is conspicuous by its absence.  It’s not just that he avoids politically popular scares; he’s perfectly willing to call “cyberbullying” on the carpet.  But “trafficking”?  Not a whisper.

More recently, Gawker subsidiary Jezebel published “A Complete Guide to Hipster Racism”, whose author lists what she obviously considers ALL the ways (“complete guide”) in which young, middle-class white people display racism while pretending that they’re not racists.  Since I don’t have television, don’t read pop-culture magazines like People, don’t live in a city, and don’t go to “hip” places when I visit cities, I honestly have no idea what most of author Lindy West’s examples are even about.  But I do know that caring oh-so-much about brown people and following celebrities who “tweet” about “rescuing girls from sex slavery” and shutting down Backpage is practically the definition of “hip”…and it’s entirely based on the incredibly racist premise that brown people are so simple and childlike that if they leave their quaint, picturesque villages to work in nasty, rich white people’s countries or seedy, unwholesome brothels in their own or nearby countries, it must be because their simple, childlike minds were deceived by evil men and they were “trafficked” to those places. The idea that maybe they chose the best available option (just like white people do) and relocated for more lucrative work (just like white people do) never occurs to these “hipster racists”, nor does the realization that maybe they neither want nor need white saviors to “rescue” them from their own decisions, and that perhaps they might resent their meddling and condescension.  But apparently, Lindy feels that pop covers of hip-hop songs are much more racist than infantilization of millions based on the work they choose to do.

But lest you think this refusal to acknowledge reality for fear of what others might think is limited to Gawker bloggers, consider Sex Panic and the Punitive State by Roger Lancaster, a recent work about moral panics that wholly ignores sex trafficking hysteria.  Here’s an April 28th review by Dr. Laura Agustín:

…For all Lancaster’s broad inclusivity in his thesis and in his construction of a narrative of sexual crime, he fails to account for the single most widespread sexual-crime issue in the United States:  the persecution of prostitutes/sex workers, treated as anti-social offenders, in virulently punitive, long-infamous legal policy.  Where are the figures on arrests of prostitutes in the panoply of ills Lancaster reveals?  Is this egregious injustice deemed somehow different, and if so, why?…In the current anti-trafficking hysteria in the United States, lawmakers and activists alike conflate trafficking with prostitution as a tactic to promote abolitionism.  Women who sell sex are divested of will and figured as helpless children in a deliberate attempt to provoke further panic.  Does this scenario not fit into Lancaster’s narrative, or how does it fit?

…Leaving aside adults, child sex trafficking surely constitutes the most vibrant panic of the last few years, despite a lack of evidence that it actually exists (what does exist are teens who leave home)…Law enforcement chiefs from numerous states have joined the targeting of online classified advertising services like Craigslist and Backpage, with the justification that minors are being sold there by traffickers.  Simultaneously, everyone ignores the palpable harm for adult female sex workers caused by these campaigns; apparently no one is bothered.  The absence in Lancaster’s account of the adult woman who sells sex reproduces the social death society inflicts continually on this group, as though prostitution were obviously different, separate, real, or intransigent–having nothing to do with the history of panic at hand…

I suspect Lancaster is silent on the issue for the same reason the others listed here and so many journalists are:  though they may perceive the Imperial nudity, they are afraid of admitting it for fear of moral censure.  And until the mainstream media are willing to join us in announcing the truth, the ridiculous procession will continue on just as if the garments existed.

One Year Ago Today

Harm Magnification” explains how laws against consensual behaviors invariably inflict harm both on those they restrict and on society in general.

Read Full Post »