Wednesday, October 21, 2020

my recent pages

I've created a number of pages recently on this blog. They can be seen on the right of this post. The reason why I have done this is because there are issues that I want to deal with in detail. They are reference for people who need to know facts about these issues. I want to keep posts more for my own experiences although since the lockdown I haven't had many of those.

I have been finding out about prostitution in developing nations (the Global South). This has been reflected in recent posts, 'behind the veil of vice', 'sex in the cities' and 'prostitution in developing nations'. I have put the important information in a slightly more coherent form in the page 'trafficking'.

Most of the information I have copy-and-pasted from various sources so sometimes there might be inconsistencies. I have referenced some of this but if you wish to find the source then copying sentences and Googling them will usually let you see where they have come from. I have divided the pages into different sections using horizontal rules.

'trafficking' shows how this issue has been used by evangelicals and especially George W Bush to try to stop sin. What they are doing to poor countries needs to be exposed.

'brothel-keeping' is about how a simple change in the law can make life better for many sex workers.

'public opinion' is about how the Swedish government has manipulated the opinion of people in a sinister way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

behind the veil of vice

I am reading Behind the Veil of Vice by John R Bradley which is filling in a lot of the detail about what Evangelical Americans are doing in developing countries.

"The opponents of sex traffickers are an unlikely alliance of evangelical Christian and salvationist feminist groups. Their cause was given a huge boost, both in terms of publicity and funding, by George W. Bush, at the expense of funding for groups fighting AIDS, combating poverty, and promoting women's autonomy. This was in 2003, the year that the Iraq invasion was launched. One of the biggest beneficiaries of these faith-based initiatives, receiving tens of millions of dollars, is the International Justice Mission, a militant evangelical outfit that employs hundreds of Christian lawyers and moral cops, and even advocates vigilante raids on brothels. This and other evangelical groups are drawn into a mutual embrace with the salvationist feminist organizations, despite their ideological differences, because they believe that it is primarily prostitution that creates human trafficking, so banning prostitution will largely put an end to it." page 31

If you look on the Wikipedia page for the International Justice Mission it is quite disturbing. They instigated raids on nightclubs and brothels in Thailand which resulted in Burmese women being deported. 'About half the group subsequently escaped; some apparently feared deportation to Burma.' It seems many were from the Shan ethnic minority who faced persecution from government forces in Burma.

When Thai organization Empower raised questions about a televised brothel raid, Empower staff say International Justice Mission accused them of supporting pimps.

In Cambodia they invited an American TV show to film a brothel raid. At least 12 of the detained women escaped from the 'safe house' they had been taken to. A number returned to the brothel.

In the Philippines a number of the women housed in a government-run facility following rescue missions escaped.

Google donated $9.8 million to them. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $5 million. To combat trafficking, which they want people to understand means coercion of women and underage girls.

In 2016, Holly Burkhalter, IJM's senior advisor for Justice System Transformation, said that within 10 years of working with the government in Cambodia, less than 1 percent of victims of sex trafficking were minors.

Another thing that I learned from Bradley's book is that there is little evidence that trafficking exists on any scale. He mentions the Nick Davies 2009 Guardian article 'Inquiry Fails to Find Single Trafficker Who Forced Anybody Into Prostitution'. I knew about this and commented on it in this blog.

What I didn't know was that there was another important piece of investigative journalism, the Jerry Markon 2007 Washington Post article 'Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence'.

It says that in 2000 Congress passed a law, triggering a little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking that began at the end of the Clinton administration and became a top Bush administration priority.

"He [Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary] said that the president's passion about fighting trafficking is motivated in part by his Christian faith and his outrage at the crime. 'It's a practice that he obviously finds disgusting, as most rational people would, and he wants America to be the leader in ending it,' Fratto said. 'He sees it as a moral obligation.'"

"Feminist groups and other organizations also seized on trafficking, and a 1999 meeting at the Capitol, organized by former Nixon White House aide Charles W. Colson, helped seal a coalition. The session in the office of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) brought together the Southern Baptist Convention, conservative William Bennett and Rabbi David Saperstein, a prominent Reform Jewish activist."

"Bipartisan passion melted any uncertainty, and in October 2000, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, significantly broadening the federal definition of trafficking. Prosecutors would no longer have to rely on statutes that required them to prove a victim had been subjected to physical violence or restraints, such as chains. Now, a federal case could be made if a trafficker had psychologically abused a victim.

The measure toughened penalties against traffickers, provided extensive services for victims and committed the United States to a leading role internationally, requiring the State Department to rank countries and impose sanctions if their anti-trafficking efforts fell short."

'Anti-trafficking' means 'anti-prostitution'. If America wants to help developing countries they should give them money for development. America should not sanction countries that don't cooperate in their futile effort to stop sin. There are more important things, such as fighting AIDS. That's especially true of Cambodia, who America practiced terrorism against from 1970 to 1973 and wrecked their country.*

What is it with these Christians like George W Bush? They talk about weapons of mass destruction and trafficking as an excuse to harm people in other countries. They want everyone to believe that most sex workers are coerced and many are underage. Then they have their excuse to stop sin. They can't stop most promiscuity but they can try and stop men like me from fornicating. It doesn't even work, it just harms sex workers.

Bradley went to Damascus and tried to find underage prostitutes. He couldn't find any. Nobody else could either.

"A nun from the local Good Shepherd Convent claimed that girls under her care had "suddenly disappeared" - most likely "taken out of school, she believes, to earn for their families." There is a dark hint here, but again no clarification is subsequently offered in relation to what the nun was specifically referring to. Perhaps the girls just could not bear to stay another day in the Good Shepherd Nunnery, and had instead decided to sell ducks and chickens with their mothers in the local market? At least there they might get to flirt with the local boys without provoking a lecture on sin from the mother superior." page 35

Or, it could be that the parents of these girls did some research and found out that the Good Shepherd Sisters ran Magdalene laundries in Ireland. Perhaps they watched the film The Magdalene Sisters and it made them think (in the film three girls run away from a Magdalene laundry after being abused by nuns). The nuns see wickedness everywhere but they can't recognize their own wickedness.

Bradley talked to sex workers in different Moslem countries. One typical example was a 26 year old Chinese woman, who came from a small city in China where she had been working in a garment factory since leaving school. She moved to Shanghai and did sex work then moved to Bahrain. She was with other Chinese women, living in a hotel where rent and food were cheap. She made $4,000 in a good month, planned to stay a year then return to China and open a small business.

They had not been trafficked against their will. 'The reason why those working there by choice are doing so is obvious enough: They are earning at least ten times, and sometimes much more, than they ever could in their own countries working in a dead-end job (if they can find one).' page 175

Evangelicals, Catholic nuns, Radical Feminists and Communists should think about that when they advocate sanctions on poor countries or prohibition. These women don't want or need to be rescued. Not unless they have been captured and interned in a 'safe house'. Then they need rescuing from the prohibitionists.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

sex in the cities

In a recent post I wrote about conditions for sex workers in some developing nations; namely Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I wrote that in 1975 hundreds of South Vietnamese sex workers bribed their way onto evacuation flights just before the Communists took over. It seems that they were wise to do so because Communists arrest and intern prostitutes.

In China Communists took control in 1949. That year they arrested large numbers of prostitutes. The quotation below is from The Tragedy of Liberation by Frank Dikötter.

"Many of the women were sent to a re-education camp. Here, as elsewhere in the country, they were made to follow a strict penal schedule, spending much of their time in study sessions denouncing the mistreatment they had suffered under the old regime. But few conformed to the image of a contrite prostitute projected by propaganda. A fair number were restive and quarrelsome, while a few insulted or physically assaulted the cadres in charge of their re-education. They denounced the manual labour they were forced to perform as a new form of exploitation, apparently unhappy to spend their days locked away, sewing olive-green shirts for the soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. Cao Manzhi, one of the cadres in charge of the whole operation, later admitted that even those inmates who came from low-class brothels did not like being interned and missed their life as prostitutes. But most settled down once they realised that resistance was futile. The majority were sent back to inland areas. Brothels that had managed to survive were finally raided on 25 November 1951. Even at that stage some of the women attacked the cadres in charge of the arrests.

Prostitution was soon proclaimed to be an evil of the past. But in Beijing alone 350 women, some of them only recently released from re-education camps, were soon plying their trade again. Only a handful did so because they could not make a living otherwise. Some pretended to be students or housewives, accompanied by small children and mothers-in-law for cover. A few even wore party uniforms and carried badges. They stood in the doorway openly soliciting customers: 'Come in for a cup of tea!' In other cities too, prostitution went underground. As hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees fled the countryside after liberation, women continued to sell sex in the cities. In Shanghai hundreds of them were arrested in 1952, the women becoming more adept at hiding their activities with every new sweep. In the following years the authorities would adopt much more draconian measures to stamp out vice."

Communists had a weird attitude to sex. "Efforts to relieve sexual frustration privately could lead to public humiliation. One patriotic Chinese who had returned to 'the Motherland' was made to put a sign up over his dormitory bed criticising himself for masturbating." This is from Mao The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. There was hypocrisy though as the book goes on to say "And all the while, Mao was indulging in every sexual caprice in well-guarded secrecy."

So it looks as though Communists are in the same company as Protestant Evangelicals pastors, Catholic nuns and Radical Feminists. They all have a problem with fornication and masturbation too. They all pretend that they have the interests of prostitutes at heart, yet they do untold harm to them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

another false statistic

"90 percent of Irish women in prostitution want to exit trade but lack resources."

"Report finds 90% of sex workers want to leave trade but resources are not there to help them."

I came across this statistic on the Feminist Current site. On this page is a link to an article in The Irish Examiner. The article is about a review done of the effects of the Nordic model in Ireland by Dr Geoffrey Shannon 'The Implementation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, Part IV – An Interim Review'. In the report it states "According to Ruhama approximately 90% of women want to exit at some point but have a perception that there are not any viable alternatives for them". Dr Shannon just blindly believed Ruhama without bothering to check. This is the complete paragraph:-

"Civic society organisations are critical of the insufficient resources provided by the Irish State for comprehensive exit supports for women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking. According to Ruhama approximately 90% of women want to exit at some point but have a perception that there are not any viable alternatives for them."

The point of this paragraph is to say the Nordic model in Ireland isn't working, sex workers aren't getting help to exit. He thinks that 90% of women - he doesn't say Irish women - want to exit. That is not correct, but his point is that a lot of women are in dire straits. Why aren't the Radical Feminists reporting on this, instead of the false statistic, which they have made more false by saying that it applies to Irish women?

You can't try to take away the customers of sex workers while still arresting them for working together and not giving them help to exit. It has always been said by proponents of the Nordic model that help to exit is a vital aspect of it, it won't work without it.

This is what Ruhama have published on this page.

"The only ones who meaningfully benefit are those organizing, pimping, procuring, trafficking and buying prostitutes. There is always someone who wants to profit of the bodies of those in prostitution and it is a rare event to have anyone truly "independent" in the Irish sex trade. International studies consistently show that 90% of those prostituted want to exit. It is this 90% who should be attended to through recognition by society and the state that prostitution is not a harm free enterprise but one that is inherently dangerous and connected to organized crime. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is intrinsically linked to organized prostitution – they cannot be separated as one will not exist without the other."

The 90% statistic comes from the research done by Melissa Farley 'Prostitution and Trafficking in 9 Countries'. None of these 9 countries was Ireland. So the statistic that begins with '90 percent of Irish women' does not refer to Irish women at all. The report by Dr Shannon did not find that 90 percent of Irish sex workers want to exit. Dr Shannon copied a false statistic from Ruhama (not 'found' as in independent research). It doesn't apply to Ireland.

Melissa Farley is known for working with drug addicted street prostitutes and then pretending that it applies to all sex workers. When Ruhama say that 'international studies consistently show' this statistic, they are referring to this one study by Melissa Farley.

If you look at the Farley study, you can see a table which gives the results of questions put to sex workers.

699 as a proportion of 854 is not 89%. It is 82%. I don't know what's going on here. Later in the study she writes that 89% of 785 sex workers want to exit. I have no idea where the 785 figure comes from, the total number of women in the study is 854. The 785 figure isn't mentioned anywhere else in the study.

The countries chosen are an odd mixture of affluent and poor countries. In the three affluent countries (USA, Canada, Germany) between 70% and 95% of the sex workers used drugs: "Canada, USA, and Germany reported the highest rates of drug use (70% to 95%)". I don't believe that this can be true, that the proportion of sex workers who take drugs in North America and Europe is as high as this. Farley obviously has made no attempt to find a representative sample of sex workers. In the six poor countries less than half were drug takers.

"The German women were from a drop-in shelter for drug addicted women, from a program which offered vocational rehabilitation for those prostituted, and were also referred by peers, and by advertisement in a local newspaper." Not surprising they didn't get a representative sample.

Sex workers who take drugs lead very traumatic lives, as do sex workers in poor countries without social security where levels of criminality tend to be higher. This tells us nothing about the majority of sex workers in Britain and Ireland. When making laws in Britain we should consider the welfare of the majority of sex workers in Britain.

They are not drug addicts, aren't forced into it by pimps or traffickers, and don't want to exit. I'm sure the majority don't intend to do it for the whole of the rest of their lives, but that will be true of waitresses too. 

30% of the funding for one of her studies came from the US Department of State. Is this the same State Department that caused so many problems for Cambodian women that I wrote about in my previous post?

Some people blindly believe what Farley says. Farley says "we calculated the average length of time in prostitution to be 9 years across countries". That sounds about right to me. If you feed that figure into the statistics in the report ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ by Ulla Bjørndahl it is certain that violence against sex workers increased substantially in all categories in Norway since the Nordic model was introduced there.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

prostitution in developing nations

I know about prostitution in Britain through experience and research. I know about it in Ireland too through research. I don't know much about prostitution in developing nations. I always assumed that there must be coercion of some sort going on there because you see that in other types of work such as factory work.

I have read two books recently, one about Vietnam and the other partly about Cambodia. The first says that during the Vietnam war sex workers earned much more than other workers. In 1975 when South Vietnam was about to collapse hundreds of Vietnamese sex workers bribed their way onto evacuation flights out of the country. They were the ones who had the money and especially the dollars. It wasn't hundreds of pimps, it was hundreds of sex workers.

The second book says that about 10 years ago the American State Department was 'pressuring the Cambodian government to take a stand against sex work or else lose aid from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'.

"What happened once the sex workers rounded up in brothel raids were unloaded from the trucks and moved to the so-called rehabilitation centres? They were illegally detained for months at a time without charges, as were others who worked in public parks and had been chased, beaten, and dragged into vans by police. The Cambodian human rights organization LICADHO captured chilling photographs of sex workers caught in sweeps locked together in a cage - thirty or forty people in one cell. Sex workers who had been detained reported being beaten and sexually assaulted by guards in interviews with LICADHO, Women's Network for Unity, and Human Rights Watch. Some living with HIV, who had been illegally held in facilities described by the local NGOs that ran them as "shelters," were denied access to antiretroviral medication. In one facility sex workers were "only able to leave their rooms to bathe twice a day in dirty pond water," Human Rights Watch reported, "or, accompanied by a guard, to go to the toilet.""

The American State Department then upgraded Cambodia's compliance ranking. In Brazil it was a different story: "The groups had been strong-armed by the US into signing loyalty oaths declaring their opposition to prostitution in order to keep their AIDS funds. Rather than sell out sex workers, the entire country of Brazil refused to sign the pledge and gave up $40 million."

The book says about Cambodian women that 'many have also worked in garment factories, and left the factories due to low wages to move into sex work'. So, again, we see that sex workers earn more than other workers. And yet the people who want to 'rescue' sex workers say they want to teach them how to operate sewing machines. Women don't do sex work to avoid starving, they do factory work to avoid starving and when they are fed up scrimping they turn to sex work. As we saw with the biography of the Duke of Westminster, the choice is to stay in your home town and be unemployed, move to a city and work for little money, or become a sex worker and have a better lifestyle.

Who are these influential Americans who are harming women in developing countries? It can only be the Evangelicals and their Radical Feminist supporters. I'm sure they, and especially the Radical Feminists, would say that they never wanted women to be locked up. They would say they support the Nordic model where prostitutes are decriminalized. But in every Nordic model country women who work together are arrested and sex workers get evicted from their homes. When Amnesty International exposed this abuse and hypocrisy they were demonized. It was said that Amnesty International works in the interests of pimps and traffickers, whereas (as I wrote in my last post) they are expressing the views of many (non-Radical) feminists.

Sex workers know what they need to escape from and how to do it. They don't need Evangelicals and Radical Feminists trying to stop fornication/objectification. There is coercion but not so much from pimps and traffickers, more from the police, the State, and neocolonialist America. It's not as if the people of Cambodia haven't suffered enough from the Americans*. It's only going to increase pimping and trafficking.

The first book is Vietnam by Max Hastings. The second book is Playing the Whore by Melissa Gira Grant. If there are any Vietnamese former sex workers who left in 1975 reading this I would like to hear from them. I'm sure they have an interesting story to tell.

According to this site: "Empower Foundation, the sex worker organisation in Thailand, was represented by Liz Hilton who reported that wages in other industries that commonly employ women, such as agriculture, fisheries and factories, were so low that even the lowest paid sex workers were earning twice the minimum wage."

Friday, July 24, 2020

review of Burn It Down by Breanne Fahs

I came across a book by the American feminist writer Breanne Fahs. It is called 'Burn It Down!'. It is a collection of feminist writings on a number of subjects. The two chapters that were of interest to me were Chapter 51 entitled 'Feminist Manifesto to Support the Rights of Sex Workers' by an organization called Feminists for Sex Workers and Chapter 30 which is the words of Andrea Dworkin.

You can get the impression that feminists believe that prostitution should be banned. That they believe in the Nordic or Swedish model where men are arrested for paying for sex. The truth though is that many if not most feminists don't believe that.

There are 11 points made in Chapter 51. Each is a paragraph with the first sentence in bold text. It's worth me replicating each of these sentences below.

1. We acknowledge sex workers as experts in their own lives and needs.
2. We respect sex workers' decision to engage in sex work.
3. We affirm sex workers' ability to claim consent.
4. We advocate for measures that provide real help and support to victims of trafficking, with full respect for the protection of their human and labour rights.
5. We fight to eliminate all forms of violence against sex workers.
6. We work every day to end misogyny in all spheres of life.
7. We respect migrants’ rights.
8. We respect LGBT rights.
9. We call for full decriminalisation of sex work.
10. We speak up against women's increasing precarisation in labour.
11. We demand the inclusion of sex workers in the feminist movement.

I agree with each of these points. When Amnesty International found out how women are being harmed in Nordic model countries they were accused of promoting the views of pimps. It is clear though that they are promoting the views of many feminists. I don't know who the Feminists for Sex Workers group are, but if Breanne Fahs agrees with them then this must be a mainstream opinion within feminism. What's more, this isn't a watered-down form of feminism - Fahs sees herself as a revolutionary.

They say it is wrong for people to say that women 'sell their bodies' or 'sell themselves'. And that a client buys a woman's body or a woman's consent. And the other false idea that a client can do what he wants to a woman; this has 'dangerous real life consequences for sex workers'.

They say that the Nordic or Swedish model and similar systems 'harm sex workers'. 'The Swedish model pushes them into poverty, reduces their power in negotiations with clients, criminalises them for working together for safety, evicts and deports them.'

Chapter 30 is an excerpt from Andrea Dworkin's influential 1987 book 'Intercourse'. Dworkin believes that when a man has sex with a woman he possesses her. She becomes like a slave. 'The normal fuck by a normal man is taken to be an act of invasion and ownership undertaken in a mode of predation: colonializing, forceful (manly) or nearly violent; the sexual act that by its nature makes her his.'

This confirms what I have learned from other sources that this type of feminist - the Radical Feminist - believes that any time a man and woman have sex it objectifies the woman. That is why they believe women should become lesbians. A lesbian - political lesbian - is a woman who doesn't have sex with men. She doesn't necessarily have sex with other women.

They oppose prostitution because it is one of the ways that men and women have sex. They're not going to tell you that though. They are going to pretend that they are doing it for the welfare of prostitutes. No wonder they hate Amnesty International and will do anything to stop them exposing the harm done to women by the Nordic model.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

before lockdown

I've had a look at the guidelines and it doesn't say anything about having sex with prostitutes. Even so I have avoided it recently. Also I don't like standing in queues. I'm joking of course, all the brothels have closed. So it's not true what they say about prostitutes spreading disease.

I did have two pleasant experiences before lockdown though. I went to a Thai massage place in Liverpool. I asked for Kim and the girl said she's not here today. I had seen Kim three times last year and she was lovely. The girl suggested that I look at all four of them there and choose one. I hesitated but she insisted and went out the back. It seemed to amuse her.

This has not happened to me before. It must be that they weren't busy. Perhaps they were a bit bored.

Each of the three others came into the room, one at a time. One was called Jessica and I remember I saw a Jessica a long time ago but couldn't recognize the face. One was Nicky who I have seen a few times over the years. She hesitated in the doorway. She's a pretty girl and didn't need to be wearing so much makeup. I have called her Vicky in previous posts because I didn't want to reveal her name, but as long as I don't tell you the name of the place it should be ok.

The one I chose was Katie. She is older but nice to look at. She started the massage then asked if I wanted any extras. I hadn't taken a viagra because I wasn't really looking for a sexual experience. I told her I would give her some money if she played with my willy but don't try too hard because I probably won't get an erection and I'm not going to have an orgasm.

We talked about what I had done with Kim. I said she had shown me her pussy. With the lights full on. She had let me touch it but not let me put my finger inside. I told her that I have seen Nicky but she doesn't like me. She doesn't like the way that I look at her even though I told her it's just because she's so pretty. Katie said maybe it's just that she's shy. I thought if you're shy you're unlikely to tell a man you don't like the way he looks at you.

I did get an erection but I didn't orgasm. I wouldn't have orgasmed even if I had taken a viagra. I can't come that way. Although I did have one orgasm with Kim last year, I wanked myself to orgasm when looking at her pussy.

The other experience I had was I went to the brothel in Ellemere Port (The Office). There were two women there, the 'maid' and the sex worker. The maid was a woman I hadn't seen before. She told me the name of the sex worker but I didn't recognize it. She wouldn't let me have a look at the sex worker before I gave her the money. She said I would have to give her £10, refundable if I decided to stay. They tend to do that there. They can have some ugly and old women working there. I said I'll just go elsewhere. I don't mind older women if they are attractive but I didn't want to take that chance.

I got on the train to Rock Ferry and went to the Thai place. Rock Ferry Thai Massage. The old woman said there are two girls there but one of them is in the room below. The one available for me was Annie who was older and not pretty but quite sexy. I asked Annie what did the old woman mean by the room below. She told me that for customers who paid for an hour they could go to this room where they have extra facilities. I can't remember if she said a bath or a jacuzzi.

If I paid £100 I could do that and it sounded nice. No doubt the man who was doing it had the prettier of the two women available. Maybe the pretty girl was in the bath with him. I will have to try it when things get back to normal. I had a good time with Annie. This place is not really about massage. I had penetrative sex with her and I orgasmed even though I was using one of her condoms not my own thinner ones.