Cody Wilson: Man at center 3D-printed gun blueprint charged with child sex assault – CBS News

From the article:

Police say they received a call Aug. 22 from an adult described as a counselor, who said her client, a juvenile, had told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man. The girl, who police say is 16, later identified that man as Cody Wilson, according to the Austin Police affidavit. The girl allegedly said Wilson paid her $500 for sex after they met on the website sugardaddymeet.com.

Source: Cody Wilson: Man at center 3D-printed gun blueprint charged with child sex assault – CBS News

Yeah, not really shocking. It’s all about self centered narcissistic power, and paying an underage girl $500, then fleeing to Taiwan after her friends told him he’s being investigated? Fucking coward.

He went to this website seeking an underage prostitute. He went looking for her. Not the other way around. What a shitbag.

Sex Workers Are Getting Involved In Electoral Politics

From the article:

A political candidate with a legitimate shot at elected office openly supporting the rights of sex workers is a relatively new thing in America. But times are changing, and sex workers are flexing their political muscles with ever-increasing strength across the country. They’re getting involved in local electoral politics more deeply than ever, by volunteering for political campaigns, researching viable challengers to punitive district attorneys, and even running for office themselves.

For many in the crowd, Salazar, a 27-year-old Democrat running to represent parts of North Brooklyn, was just the latest proof of their newfound mainstream traction.

Salazar has condemned New York’s criminal loitering statute, which is facing a legal challenge for its outsize impact on women of color. (Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct, which falls in Salazar’s district, was one of five precincts that accounted for 68 percent of all arrests for loitering “for the purposes of engaging in a prostitution offense” between 2012 and 2015.) That night, she stood on a leather chair to project to the back of the room. “I think that the goal should be decriminalization,” she said, to loud applause. “In the meantime we have to stop this charge.”

Source: Sex Workers Are Getting Involved In Electoral Politics

This is an important movement. Trafficked victims are not the people that make up this group. The conflation of trafficking victims with consenting adult sex workers has allowed a lot of legislation to come into being that actively victimizes sex workers, and makes their lives incredibly unsafe.

 

 

Offline Shadows: How Sex Workers Become Marginalized Victims of Morality-Based Legislation | Autostraddle

From the article:

It is questionable whether any of this information matters to those who passed FOSTA-SESTA. With this legislation pushing more sex workers onto the street, the incidences of murder, rape, and assault are inevitably going to rise. It is difficult to directly back up this claim due to a grievous lack of comprehensive data on violence against sex workers — however, if one works backwards, and searches for reduction in violence against women, a recent study conducted by researchers at WVU and Baylor universities finds that when Craigslist introduced the Erotic Services section, violence against women was reduced by 17.4%. Furthermore, the study found that to match this same reduction without the use of an Erotic Services section, 200,832 additional police would have to be employed, amounting to an extra $20 billion per year using higher levels of police employment.

Source: Offline Shadows: How Sex Workers Become Marginalized Victims of Morality-Based Legislation | Autostraddle

The new legislation is just another attempt to morally render sex workers invisible. This is a new twist where they conflate sex trafficking with willing prostitution, to the detriment of both groups. It takes the focus off real trafficking victims and as quoted above forces sex workers into a far more dangerous process to survive.

 

Pittsburgh Sex Workers Are Being Charged With Carrying Condoms, or, ‘Instruments of Crime’–Raising the Question of Who Is at Risk

From the article:

Condoms are now “instruments of crime,” according to the Allegheny County, PA police, which has been using them to charge sex workers with first-degree misdemeanors, ostensibly toward the broader goal of cracking down on human trafficking. The news, first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this month, has pitted the county DA against a coalition of sex worker and public health advocates with debate that SESTA/FOSTA have made mainstream: is it worth jeopardizing the health and safety of sex workers toward the larger goal of ending human trafficking? And more broadly, is cracking down on sex workers even productive?

Source: Pittsburgh Sex Workers Are Being Charged With Carrying Condoms, or, ‘Instruments of Crime’–Raising the Question of Who Is at Risk

This is of particular interest to me as a transgender person. It wasn’t that long ago that Monica Jones (and she wasn’t the only one) was charged with prostitution for just walking down the street in public by cops. This is a thing that happens to trans women. Imagine if she’d had a condom?

This crazy crackdown on sex workers is so damn dangerous. I remember reading a book years ago that was very stat based on sex workers with some anecdotes tossed in. The upshot of the book is the more criminalized sex work is, and the more underground it has to go, the more danger there is to the women that engage in it for whatever reasons.

Right now we have this false correlation that all sex workers are trafficked. This is just not true. There is a whole gamut of people that engage in sex work.

Forcing women to not carry condoms to protect themselves is a horrific prospect and abuse of police power.

Instagram’s Censorship of #Stripper Sparks Outcry from Sex Workers and Allies (Updated)

From the article:

Perhaps the muting of a hashtag seems inconsequential, but, as Jacq explains, “a lot of strippers use social media to connect with each other”—and hashtags like #strippers and #stripperlife are a key way for dancers to find each other. Reese Piper, a stripper and journalist, took to Twitter to explain that there are frightening consequences to silencing these hashtags. “The ability to share info publicly is a survival tool,” she said. “Without access to public strippers, I would have never learned techniques on how to stay safe in the industry. We live in silence – the internet is our only place to congregate.”

Source: Instagram’s Censorship of #Stripper Sparks Outcry from Sex Workers and Allies (Updated)

Sex work is a part of human behavior. It has been there since humans first had coins to spend. We have studies and data that shows when you shove sex workers underground, it gets dangerous for them really fast. The more draconian the laws, and more isolated the sex workers, the more deaths stack up.

In the US the outright craziness of sex selling every product, women half dressed and sexual on ever media screen, while freaking out that actual sex workers exist is so damn hypocritical. It’s okay to use a woman’s body to sell beer, but if she strips for a living that’s the bridge too far?

Think about this. Sex workers are human beings, and should be kept safe.

Trump Signs FOSTA Into Law, Ignoring Sex Workers’ Warnings and Putting Their Safety at Risk

From the article:

President Donald Trump signed a terrifying and deeply destructive bill on Wednesday that purports to protect sex trafficking victims, but that endangers sex workers’ safety and threatens free speech online.

Source: Trump Signs FOSTA Into Law, Ignoring Sex Workers’ Warnings and Putting Their Safety at Risk

I’ve been chewing on this for a while. This is a backdoor way to hold websites accountable for anything said on them. This is a way to push sex workers out of the public eye, into more dangerous work. (Which seems to be the GOP agenda for all of us undesirables.) This is not going to help sex trafficking victims.

Wow.

Senate Passed Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill That Compromises Sex Workers, Is Now On Its Way to Trump 

From the article:

But the bill is leaving civil-liberties advocates, Silicon Valley, and sex workers—who rely on online platforms to drum up business—reeling. Sex workers are particularly vulnerable, especially given the news that Reddit banned escort and sugar daddy communities just hours after the bill passed the senate. In an Allure article critiquing the bill, Alana Massey explained just how important it is for sex workers to have online spaces, not just for business, but for safety as well

Source: Senate Passed Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill That Compromises Sex Workers, Is Now On Its Way to Trump 

This is a problem. The way I see it, the GOP’s strategy this time around is to just sweep everything they dislike under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist.

LGBT? Get all mention of that off the websites. Transgender issues? Make it a word that will get your funding questioned, on that list of words. Sex workers? Let’s just make it so they have to go further underground, and not even have the safety of the websites they use.

It’s already happening.

Working As An Escort Helped My PTSD – The Establishment

From the Article:

My answer to the trafficking problem is not simple, but it’s necessary if we want to truly address the systemic destruction of vulnerable populations. We have to decriminalize prostitution, removing the legal penalties; this is not to be confused with removing all government regulations. This decriminalization must, in turn, be combined with an overhaul of state and federal policies aimed at dismantling institutional oppressions such as racism, poverty, sexism, and transphobia.

Source: Working As An Escort Helped My PTSD – The Establishment

I often wonder if the folks try to drive sex workers out of business because they believe every last one of them is being trafficked, and would characterize their work as rape? I wonder if they ever really met people that engaged in sex work willingly?

I grew up knowing a lot of sex workers. Not the kind of gals that were pimped out or trafficked. Usually DOM’s, or solo entrepreneurs of the more vanilla variety, that made their living with a select clientele of their choosing.

One gal I knew, kept getting picked up by the Seattle Police Department in the 80s for prostitution, but kept getting off the charge because all she did was dress sexy and force cis white men to smell her dirty running shoes. It’s sex work, even if you never take of your clothes or touch your John. Just not legally.

I don’t think there is even a position that supports trafficking people, and forcing them to engage in sex work. It is a horrific form of slavery, that hits women and children the hardest.

However, a lot of the white knighting around sex workers denies people who work in the industry of their own free will.

I have never seriously worked in the sex industry, but I did cheesecake, and on-demand pictures through a website. Not a lot, but since I had friends that did much more, I tried it out. It honestly gave me a better feel for my sense of body. Being a transgender man, it actually helped me knowing the men I chose to pose for thought I was hot and sexy, because I certainly couldn’t see it. I was not being degraded, or oppressed.

My friends that chose to engage in sex work, either back in the day, or in a more internet friendly time, weren’t oppressed either. They chose their clients, they chose their prices, and they chose their hours. They made way more than I did. They were protective of their choice to engage in this kind of work.

That’s why I think this article is important. She hits the nail on the head. Although I don’t think you will ever stop sex work from happening, I do think you can safeguard the people that engage in it by looking at the systemic issues that drive people into survival prostitution.

That is a way better goal, then criminalizing the people that engage in sex work, and cutting off their attempts at safe screening of clients.

Most of what is done to “help” sex workers, actually drives trafficking farther underground, and removes tools workers use to stay safe.