and trafficking

don’t let yourself forget the huge contingent of middle class white feminists who think it’s totally fine to threaten to out, rape, and murder sex workers on the internet, because to them we’re just “fuckmeat” and they hate us even more than men do.

sex workers’ rights are human rights and if you find yourself following someone who doesn’t think so, know that what they post publicly is a tiny fraction of what they do and say anonymously to us, including threatening to out us to clients or cops in the hopes we get murdered.

white supremacy, imperialism, and misogyny don’t always look like richard spencer.

the policies swerfs promote actively result in the assault and murder of brown women in southeast asia as well as the houselessness, loss of day jobs, and murder of woc and white women in the western world.
they force us into sweatshops, to stay in violent relationships, out into the streets as a part of their imperialist vision of proper womanhood.

fight all forms of oppression at home and abroad.

Some thoughts about the “DC sex trafficking ring” stuff spreading all over FB this week:

You know statistically, it’s very likely that missing kids are runaways/throwaways (50%), or that they’re reported missing due to a simple miscommunication (38%), or were taken by a non-custodial parent, which typically happens as a kinda revenge against the custodial parent (7%). That’s 95% of cases right there.

Underage people who run away or are kicked out have an increased chance of entering the sex industry, but a study conducted in NYC showed that extremely-few underage sex workers are even pimped: for some kids, doing sex work is actually preferable to whatever shitty things were keeping them trapped at home. I don’t wanna argue about the “ethics” of underage sex-working or whatever, it’s just a reality of what some teenagers do to survive in nearly-impossible circumstances.

Which brings me to another concern about how we ignore the systemic, and much more difficult to address, reasons why kids end up missing. It’s rarely stranger-danger, and more likely something like abuse (physical, mental, sexual, etc.), or a broken child welfare system, or queer kids feeling unsupported at home or whatever.

Politicians and law enforcement and whatever other opportunists love to jump on whatever new sex trafficking panic rears its head (which happens routinely in different forms) as a way to crack down on already-marginalized communities (poor ppl, poc, sex workers, illicit drug users). They arrest a buncha of adult streetworkers and massage girls, tossing em into the inherently-VIOLENT carceral system, and get pats all around for “at least doing SOMETHING”.

And ppl point to sketchy-but-more-benign magazine-salesperson recruitment posters and stuff as proof of trafficking (pix of which a number of folks on my feed have been passing around this week), thinking that that’s what trafficking looks like, just out in plain sight like that (believe me ive had some sketchy jobs like that and so have my friends but they were technically legal and non-sexual! There are tons of ways to economically exploit highschoolers that won’t get you thrown in prison bc “free market” n shit).

— 

-a woc friend who is shy and wants to remain anonymous.

but just a reminder: the stats around trafficking are deliberately vagued up by antitrafficking orgs who stretch the definition of youth and the definition of trafficked, but the info we have gives us no reason to believe that sexual exploitation numbers differ materially from sexual abuse and rape numbers; that is, two thirds of sexual abuse and assault are committed by people known to the survivor or even their family.

if you want to support kids and survivors of sexual violence, you need to be supporting the creation and funding of youth shelters, day centers, drop in centers, the renewal of RHYA and the inclusion of LGBT in the population services it funds, and a total overhaul of the child welfare system AND the DHS: adults in foster homes and developmentally disabled adults are exponentially more likely to be sexually exploited and abused than almost any other category of adult.

I want to know why people who think that sex work is bad think that sex work, the act of exchanging sex for something of concrete value, is so much worse than casual hookups, people having sex to procreate, drunk sex, breakup sex, sex you have because you want to feel closer, and all the other weird reasons people have sex–sex to just get losing your virginity over with!–so much worse than all these reasons and ways of having sex.

Talking to other sex workers and people in harm reduction, we keep encountering the idea that sex work is more “high risk” than any other kind of sex except gay sex.

This is demonstrably untrue, however. When sex workers are given the tools to have safer sex, we have exponentially lower rates of sti infection that the surrounding population of civilians of pretty much any age.

Sex workers need protections from civilians, not the other way around.

I understand that a lot of people think sex should ONLY be had in the context of a loving and committed monogamous romantic relationship, but relationships end. At a certain point (say, 2017) divorce rates and breakup rates and hookup culture all combine to make the censure of sex work seem truly hypocritical and ludicrous. So many people are having so many kinds of meaningless sex for stupid reasons, but it’s adult women, trying to leverage the one thing society agrees that we have of value, that need to be protected from themselves.

But take it to the logical legislative conclusions.

Can we really be sure that drunk co-eds can be trusted to make good decisions about who to have sex with? what if in two weeks they find out the person they were sleeping with was LYING to them and sleeping with other people? what if he was doing it without condoms? That’s pretty fucking rude and unethical, shouldn’t we protect young women from this all too common scenario? CAN we? what does that look like?

What about a couple having sex to get pregnant when neither of them is really feeling it but they both want a baby?

Under Oregon law, a stay at home housewife having sex with her husband who pays her bills and mortgage, is trafficked.

And it’s frankly shameful that people criminalise adults under the guise of concern trolling about sexually exploited children when they aren’t lobbying even close to as hard to a total reboot of the child welfare system–Texas’s CPS system recently made international headlines after human rights abuses so bad they make Minnesota’s or Oregon’s look fine. (I’m being bitterly hilarious, the abuses of different cps systems are never fine).
People are willing to support misogynist and racist abuses overseas and at home (TPP, H&M, Goodwill) and they’re willing to close their eyes to child abuse in the the very system made to protect them, but they love to jerk off to the idea of exploited people and being the magical white saviours of fragile exploited women and children. it’s this ONE SPECIFIC CONTEXT they love to circle jerk about.

They don’t give a damn about other kinds of slavery, they don’t publicise instances of it, they don’t organise against it, they don’t support sex workers trying to organise to aid vulnerable people. they genuinely JUST care about this one aspect of sexuality, regardless of how interconnected all misogynist and racist abuses are and the realities of survival under global capitalism.

I think it’s amazing. Just amazing. In one hundred years, nothing has changed except to become worse for poor people around the world, but the middle class is still more concerned about legislating adult women’s sexuality than real change that would protect vulnerable people.

usatoday.com
Where are they? Outrage over perceived increase in missing black, Latina girls in D.C.
Black lawmakers are calling on the FBI to investigate whether there is an increase in cases of missing black children and teens in the nation's capital.

Unfortunately there isn’t an increase in missing girls of color (which means this is NORMAL!) And missing black girls are usually classified as runaways which means no Amber Alert! Anyone else seeing an issue here???

All of a sudden I have a newfound respect for Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher, testifying in front of the Senate about stopping human trafficking, was told by Senator John McCain that he was “much better looking in the movies.”  His response: to blow McCain a kiss before talking about his experiences working to stop human trafficking with his software company Thorn.   It is interesting to see a man subjected to comments about his appearance meant to make him appear weaker, when usually it is women who suffer this, but he handled it with aplomb and went on to do his job.

theguardian.com
Migrants from west Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’
UN migration agency says selling of people is rife in African nation that has slid into violent chaos since overthrow of Gaddafi
By Emma Graham-Harrison

West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya, survivors have told a UN agency helping them return home.

Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

Human Trafficking in Michigan

There have been a lot of cases of human trafficking around here lately. The trick is: they’ll wrap something on your windshield wiper or leave what looks like a ticket or note on it. When you reach for it, they’ll get you. Women have been taken recently all over my town (southern michigan) and neighboring ares. Please be safe.

huffingtonpost.com
Religious Sisters Dress Up As Prostitutes To Rescue Trafficking Victims From Brothels
The low-key network of 1,100 sisters currently operates in 80 countries.

PSA if you got something like this in the mail it’s a scam. Do not call back for an interview. A simple google search will tell you they’ve been involved with human trafficking and preying on teens and young adults who don’t know any better. When you call they will tell you you’re “lucky you called so soon” because they’re on a “first come first serve basis” for “these” jobs, promising $15 or more an hour. Glad I found all this out before my interview in the morning.