Kamala Harris answered questions on CNN last night. One important thing the senator and 2020 presidential candidate cleared up is any notion that she actually supports decriminalization of prostitution. Harris still thinks paying for sex should be a crime, she just wants to classify all female sex workers as victims so as to avoid arresting them.
In response to a question about decriminalization, Harris said "what I don't support is criminalizing these women." (Are there no male or non-binary sex workers in Harris' world? Or is it just that only women get to exchange their agency for their freedom?) Harris said she would, however, still target the "johns"—an old-timey word for anyone who pays for sex.
This method of sex policing is called the "End Demand" or Nordic/Swedish model. It's roundly panned by human rights agencies (Amnesty International and the World Health Organization, for example), migrant groups, doctors, criminal justice researchers, and sex workers themselves worldwide, for creating the same harms of full criminalization while letting police and politicians pretend to be taking a liberal and feminist tack.
"The Nordic Model is a legislative wolf in sheep's clothing," as Zoë Bulls and Victoria Watson of the Center for Health and Gender Equity put it. "Instead of protecting the health and rights of sex workers, it embodies an elementary, paternalistic understanding" and undermines "the agency and bodily autonomy of sex workers with a victimization framework."
???? The anti #sexwork abolitionists are now referring to the Nordic model (criminalize the clients but not workers) as "decriminalization."
This is NOT decrim, and has been called a "failed experiment" by UNAIDS & others. Don't let their misleading verbiage confuse you. #sexwork
— Christina Parreira ???? (@VegasTrollop) April 20, 2019
#swedishmodel has enabled protections against shockingly explicit racial discrimination to be rolled back.
2013- appeal court ruled in favour of a venue who'd refused entry to Asian women- deciding it ok as long as the intent= "preventing prostitution "https://t.co/PVn381zowb pic.twitter.com/v6Qt9so6Ox
— Rose Alliance (@RoseAlliance) April 23, 2019
But this sort of progressive authoritarianism seems to be in keeping with the overall Harris 2020 agenda. She also told the CNN Town Hall last night that she would give Congress 100 days to pass "reasonable gun safety laws" and "if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action."
Harris said her executive order would expand the list of people not allowed to legally purchase guns, require anyone who sells more than five guns a year to conduct background checks on customers, and that any gun seller who violates any gun regulation would automatically have their license pulled by the feds.
Oof. Asked about Bernie supporting the Boston Bomber, those on death row having the right to vote, Harris said…
"I think we should have that conversation."#awkwardsilence
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) April 23, 2019
In keeping with her all-things-to-all-people strategy, Harris also remained vague about some issues (including impeaching Trump and voting rights for the incarcerated), suggesting that we really need to "look into" or "have a conversation" about them.
kamala harris: the future is looking at the best way of doing that
— Angus McChicken (@Mobute) April 23, 2019
I don't think the 10 months we have until Iowa is enough to have all the conversations Kamala wants to have https://t.co/xCgSh4mPjz
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) April 23, 2019
Notice how she doesn't explicitly call on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings, but endorses "steps toward" that end, which could mean just about anything, including never initiating impeachment proceedings. Lawyerly deflection https://t.co/ykcTjireuM
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) April 23, 2019
Child in drag prompts legislative overkill in Ohio. In response to one example of parents letting their child perform in a charity drag show, Ohio is seeking to create a new law criminalizing the appearance of children in any show that "appeals to prurient interest," an incredibly vague category. There are already laws criminalizing actual abuse and (sexual and labor) exploitation of children; this new rule would simply invite threats against and prosecutions of parents for anything folks found distasteful or didn't understand.
In the case of the drag show, the child's parents say there was nothing sexual about the performance and that it's actually outraged conservatives who are sexualizing children here. But the bill's sponsor is invoking everyone's favorite new bogeyman—human traffickers—to back up his legislation. "Given our heightened focus on human trafficking and the role money plays in trafficking children, I knew I had to take action to make sure this activity does not occur again," he said.
Washington law could keep kids in car seats through middle school. A new measure signed into law by the state's governor says kids must use booster seats until they reach a height of 4 feet and 9 inches tall.
"In some cases, that means some kids could still be in a booster at the age of 12," points out ABC7 News. "The new guidelines will go into effect in January."
People underestimate how devastating a stint in jail can be even when charges are dropped. This mother spent a week in jail and lost her job and children. The charges were then dropped b/c of mistaken identity.https://t.co/5raBkoqbyn
— Waqar Vick Rehman (@WaqarVick) April 21, 2019
Should victims of sexual assault have to spend time in jail for refusing to testify against their assailants?
"Jennifer [Newstead] is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said about the company's new top lawyer. Newstead also helped create the PATRIOT Act.
- Student journalists versus the Department of Education?
I was there on site…no one from our staff knew student journalists were attempting to attend. Everyone attending was required to RSVP (including journalists) but we welcome student journalists & would have been happy for them to attend had we known they were there. https://t.co/IeG0OzhMrM
— ED Press Secretary (@EDPressSec) April 22, 2019
- NYPD confidential:
SCOOP: @WNYC/@Gothamist has confirmed that all 5 borough prosecutors are using (or building) secret databases of cops with credibility problems. If released, these records could call 1000s of past convictions into question:https://t.co/rrEF1wEFk2
— George Joseph (@georgejoseph94) April 22, 2019
- A few Pizzagate/QAnon conspiracy theorists have been scouring my social media for proof of something and found…me and Peter Suderman at a Reason Halloween party and a cover of Reason magazine. (Dastardly!) I bring this up solely by way of sharing this response, which I offer as a peace offering to reason.com regulars unsettled by the site redesign:
You should add a few extra pics of random weirdness just to mess with their heads. I'd love to see what twisted symbolism they find in the classic @reason lobster-kissing-girl image. pic.twitter.com/k7hbQJyfnT
— Ardent Crayon (@ArdentCrayon) April 23, 2019