Guinea Pigs

As I’ve written many times, tyranny always starts with unpopular minorities, but it absolutely never stops with them.  Every time a new kind of law, legal procedure or police tactic is dreamed up by those with the sick need to control others, it is invariably tested first on some group that the “authorities” know few

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Doubling Down

As I’ve pointed out many times, moral panics do not slowly decline until they vanish; rather, they continue to grow until they begin to rot from within like an overripe fruit, then they burst and spread their noxious juices everywhere.  Seen from some angles, though, the panic may seem as robust as ever right up until

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Moving Pictures

One would think that after a century of the motion picture as an art form, people would grasp that just because something appears on film does not make it real.  Despite its name, even cinéma vérité is less than truthful; as in subatomic physics, even the mere presence of an observer changes the observational subject.  And

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Column: Rotting Fruit

After a moral panic ripens into its fullest development, it quickly begins to rot and ferment, producing noxious spirits which seep into the body politic and cause all manner of aberrations for years; sometimes the aftereffects can last for decades.  The odious fruit of “sex trafficking” hysteria is no exception; it reached its peak last

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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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Feminists and Other Puritans

Every time one reads an article that doesn’t mindlessly parrot “sex trafficking” hysteria or some other aspect of the anti-sex movement, yet isn’t written by a sex worker or ally, one can be sure there will be an obligatory sentence about how it’s “surprising” or “paradoxical” or whatever that anti-sex carceral feminists (to use my

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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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Unreal Horrors

As befits a girl who was born on Halloween night, I’m a big fan of horror films, horror stories, horror TV shows, horror comics, horror poems and just about anything macabre and creepy.  I’ve written about horror fiction on my blog more than a few times, especially (though by no means exclusively) in October, which is

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The Face of Trafficking

I am often asked if, by calling “sex trafficking” a myth, I’m saying that there is no such thing as coercion in sex work.  The answer, of course, is “not at all”; what I’m saying is 1) that coercion is much rarer than “trafficking” fetishists pretend it is; 2) that the term “trafficking” is used

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Cardboard Cutouts

To those who aren’t sex workers and don’t make a full-time job out of following the developments in our  persecution, it must sometimes seem as though I’m exaggerating the awfulness of the situation.  Furthermore, those same people may not think the difference between decriminalization (as practiced in New Zealand) and legalization (as practiced in The

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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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Eternal Vigilance

The Irish politician John Philpot Curran once said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.”  Later orators repeated the aphorism and rephrased it into its current, less cumbersome form, but the main point is still the same:  that governments and other would-be rulers are driven by the pathological need

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Thought Experiment

The dignity of man is in free choice.  –  Max Frisch One of the most important negative effects of the popular concept that sex is somehow magically different from all other behaviors is the modern fixation on pimps.  The nightmares of neofeminists and the masturbatory fantasies of trafficking fetishists teem with brutal (and usually dark-skinned)

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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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The Missing Word

There’s something missing from this story in Smithsonian magazine: …since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup…the Guardian reported that over 400 Nepalese migrant workers had already died at building sites.  Between 2010 and 2012 more than 700 workers from India lost their lives working on construction sites in Qatar, too.

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Delightful Conversation

In early December, Elytte and Miranda Barbour were arrested on a charge of murder in the first degree, three weeks after getting married and moving from North Carolina to Pennsylvania: [The Barbours]…lured a man to his death with an ad on…Craigslist…because they wanted to kill someone together…Elytte Barbour told officers…that he and his wife, Miranda…[lured] Troy

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Helping Themselves

For most of the Twentieth Century, “authorities” in many Western countries (especially the United States) chose to portray sex workers as either criminals to be jailed or “problems” to be solved, “social evils” as the Victorians had termed us.  But by the 1970s, that narrative was wearing thin:  the sexual revolution had opened many people’s

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Not Your Rescue Project

Until the advent of the internet, those who suffer from the sick need to control other people’s sexuality (or use sex as an excuse to hurt people) must have felt that, though they were beginning to lose their grip on gay people, they would always be able to suppress sex workers.  In the 1980s and

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Year’s End

I’ve been writing for Cliterati for a year now, and have covered a plethora of topics.  In my own blog, I always do a year’s-end retrospective of the top stories, but since I only do one column per week here versus seven for mine (and none of these are multiple-item news columns), I think I

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Bell, Hook and Kettle

The profession of a prostitute is the only career in which the maximum income is paid to the newest apprentice.  It is the one calling in which at the beginning the only exertion is that of self-indulgence; all the prizes are at the commencement.  It is the ever-new embodiment of the old fable of the

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Remembrance

Four things greater than all things are, — Women and Horses and Power and War.  –  Rudyard Kipling, “The King’s Jest” Ninety-five years ago tomorrow, at eleven o’clock in the morning, the armistice that ended the First World War went into effect; the anniversary was immediately established as Armistice Day among all the Allied nations. 

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Columns: Innocence Never Had

I’ve often written about the Cult of the Child, that strange remnant of the Victorian Era which teaches that children (and their definition of the term extends far beyond that Nature uses) exist in what cultists term “innocence”, a state which they seem to equate with “purity” and Divine grace, but which in actuality means ignorance

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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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News: Why Stop the Traffik has Got It All Wrong by Brooke Magnanti

By now, most everyone will have seen Stop the Traffik’s recent “viral” in Amsterdam’s red light district, where bystanders who think they’re enjoying a show are suddenly broadsided with a ham-fisted social justice message about dancers supposedly trafficked into the city’s numerous licensed kammers. It’s slick. It’s attention-getting. It’s basically Kony 2012 but for sex

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