Anchorage, Alaska. (image via Flickr user paxson_woelber)
On April 4, 2014, Anchorage Police Department officers responded to a report of a “hysterical female.” The woman reported that she had lost her purse and she believed her coworker had taken it. In response, she’d threatened to tell the police about the “prostitution ring” they were involved in, and her coworker had threatened to assault her if she did. Three months later, officers with the Alaska State Trooper’s Special Crimes Investigative Unit decided to follow up with that “hysterical female.” They did so by flying to the town where she was then working independently and booking an escort session with her.
“Oh baby,” an officer can be heard moaning in a recording of the encounter,“I’ve never had that before.”
Moments later, other members of the Special Crimes Investigative Unit can be heard entering the room and putting the woman in handcuffs. Under Alaska state law, which has redefined all prostitution as sex trafficking, the woman is a sex trafficking victim. In the incident report, she is listed as a victim. She called 911 and reported that she was, by their definition, a sex trafficking victim, and they chose to follow up on that by what sounded like having sexual contact of some sort with her during a prostitution sting operation. [READ MORE]
(Christy Mack’s dogs, who miss her. Photo via Mack’s Instagram)
Christy Mack, who was brutally beaten by her ex-boyfriend last week, inspiring this week’s series on domestic violence, now has a fund to help cover medical and recovery expenses. Donate if you can, and share!
Vice’s food column this week features an entertaining interview with lesbian stripper and sugar baby Jacq.
Ruth Jacobs does a brief interview with Tara Burns on writing.
Brooke Magnanti, formerly Belle de Jour of book and Showtime fame, explores what decriminalization would look like for the UK. Safer, for one, allowing workers to work together and share flats without being charged with pimping or trafficking. She also brilliantly and succinctly illuminates the economic fallacies of the Swedish model:
The economic arguments are rarely taken into account by those who support the ‘Swedish model’ (or End Demand). By mistaking services for products, they imagine fewer customers would result in fewer sex workers. But this is unrealistic – the assumption that the number of clients and the number of prostitutes is necessarily linked is in itself faulty. If fewer people ate at fast food outlets, would the minimum wage workers there be better off without having to do anything else? Exactly.
In nearly the same vein, the Daily Beast tells us why it’s time to legalize prostitution. Their reasons are all solid, but would apply more to decriminalization, an option many people apparently don’t understand is both different and better than legalization.