Nobody Asked

  I answered this reader’s question on my own blog a year ago, but since it addresses issues that arise periodically I felt it would be worthwhile to revisit it here: I’m passionately against sex-trafficking, and on the whole I do not support sex work.  If the existence of the sex industry hides trafficked victims,

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Column: Year’s End 2014

The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. – Edward Powell As has been my custom for five years, New Year’s Eve is the occasion for a retrospective of the year’s news. But while in previous years I mostly reported on the things other people did, the biggest story this

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Traffic in Nonsense

I’ve previously predicted that the “sex trafficking” moral panic will start to fall apart in about three more years: …skepticism about “trafficking” (especially in regard to its conflation with sex work) will slowly increase, and by about 2015 it will be possible for a major media outlet to publish articles critical of both the statistics

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Let Me Help

Last November a reader asked me to explain my view on “sex trafficking”.  She wrote, “I…understand your disdain for people who assert that no educated person could ever choose the life of a prostitute, and I understand that most people who work for anti-human trafficking orgs assert that every single sex worker needs to be saved from herself,

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Business As Usual

After generations of ignoring the violence against sex workers which is directly or indirectly caused by either full (as in the US) or partial (as in the UK) criminalization, the public is slowly beginning to wake up to the reality: most of it is perpetrated by the police.  Prohibitionists and “authorities” want everyone to believe the opposite, that clients

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Bread and Circuses

Last Wednesday (June 25th), the US Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the venerable San Francisco escort website, MyRedbook, under the usual vague and evidence-free charges the US government always uses when it wants to destroy peaceful businesses who have hurt no one.  This time, as you can see above, the pretenses are “money laundering” and “racketeering”,

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How Many Will It Take?

According to the popular narrative, sex workers are “bad” or “defective” or otherwise abnormal; we are not to be trusted even to run our own lives, so when “good” women who claim to want what’s best for us say that we need to be criminalized for our own good – that our statements should be

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A Day for Whores

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  –  Mahatma Gandhi Tomorrow is International Whores’ Day, the 39th anniversary of a protest in which… …over 100 French prostitutes occupied the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon.  In a very real sense, today is the birthday of the

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Not What They Expected

Back in January I wrote, Until the advent of the internet, those who suffer from the sick need to control other people’s sexuality…must have felt that…they would always be able to suppress sex workers…But…the arrival of…social media gave…widely-scattered sex worker rights groups a way to connect easily and cheaply in real time, resulting in an explosion

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Rescued To Death

Though it’s wrapped in layers of feminist and “anti-crime” rhetoric, the truth of the matter is that the war on sex workers (whether in its pure form or disguised as concern over “sex trafficking”) is “deeply rooted in Protestant Christianity’s obsession with ‘pure and pious womanhood’, and even when there is no Christian group involved in

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Sex Worker Rights Day

A slave is one who waits for someone else to free him.  –  Rosellen Brown Asian sex worker activists are my heroes; they are everything I wish American sex worker activists could be.  Here in the US, we let the media run so absolutely wild in spreading the prohibitionists’ poisonous lies that the few of

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Honoring Our Dead

I know who held the knife, but they might as well have put it in his hands.  –  the mother of murdered sex worker Petite Jasmine Several days a year sex workers and our allies get together, either in person or in spirit, to observe certain occasions.  On March 3rd, we agitate for our rights and

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Columns: Everything Old is New Again

History, it is said, repeats itself.  And while the parallels are never exact, they are often pretty damned close.  Witness, for example, the new Victorianism which has engulfed Western society: …we have become shockingly hypocritical about sex and grant our governments tremendous power to suppress it while simultaneously spending tremendous amounts of time and money

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