The most important lesson of the “Me Too” phenomenon has, of course, gone completely ignored:  it is the same as the most important lesson that ubiquitous cell phone video and Donald Trump’s presidency have taught us, which is that absolutely no one, no matter how respected by peers or loved by the masses or showered with professional accolades by superiors, can be trusted with power over other people.  Any power which can be misused, will be misused, and even if a given holder of power manages to do too little evil with it to be noticed, you can safely bet the farm that other individuals...

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The State, Individuals, and Decriminalizing Sex Work

The chair of the Libertarian Party of Chicago, Justin Tucker, and Outright Libertarians recently hosted heroic sex worker rights activist, journalist, and proprietor of The Honest Courtesan blog, Maggie McNeill, while she was promoting her latest book of short stories, The Forms of Things Unknown. Maggie has been a sex worker rights activist since 2004. She regularly reports on sex work news, critiques the way her profession is treated in the media and by governments, and has become renowned as an expert on the subject by academics and journalists alike. Her work has been featured in Cato...

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The Power of Passivity

[Editor's Note: Maggie McNeill will be joining the Libertarian Institute for an event Friday, June 23, 2017, in Chicago alongside the Libertarian Party and Sex Workers Outreach Project - Chicago, among others, while on her book tour in the area June 21 - 24. More details on the event soon!] Three years ago I wrote “Passive Voice“, an indictment of those who use that sentence form to shift blame from the actual culprit to some amorphous & anonymous scapegoat, or even to the victim.  Cops who murder people, for example, always shift blame from themselves with constructions like “shots were...

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A Brief History of Prostitution in the US

Since long before human beings were fully human, males have in general wanted more sex than females were willing to supply. And by the basic laws of economics, any demand will inevitably be met by someone willing to supply, if the price is right. Chimpanzees trade food for sex,1  and every human society ever recorded has a certain fraction of women who, for a fee, will provide sex to men outside of formal relationships such as marriage. In pre-industrial times sex work was one of the few ways a woman could make a good living for herself, and it is estimated that in the nineteenth century...

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Policing Womanhood

It’s a sad fact that more women than men support the violent policing of women’s sexualities.  Think about that:  despite all the “feminist” rhetoric supporting a woman’s supposed right to control her body and sexuality, polls consistently show that more women than men are in favor of criminalizing prostitution; that is, more women than men believe male cops should deceive, rape, rob, brutalize, humiliate, cage and ruin the lives of other women for having sex for reasons of which these women disapprove.  Presumably-sane women, many of whom would call themselves “feminists”, think it’s...

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