The idea behind this bill is that anyone found to be involved in human trafficking - which as we know from SESTA/FOSTA is a poorly defined term - can have access to banking and other financial services severed by the US government.
The first thing to note: Since FOSTA is now in effect, that means the government can not only fine or seize websites when a USER (not merely the owner) uses it for "human trafficking" (not well-defined) the owner is responsible & can have their access to banking severed.
Believe the victims. Yes. Believe them.
At the same time, we must talk about what constitutes belief and victimhood.
Because right now, unfortunately, the battle cry is "believe the victims!" without much reflection on what that means.
When we say "believe" part of that belief - this should be obvious, but unfortunately is not - is accepting that someone went through a painful experience.
It is not a value judgment on the experience.
It is not a determination of whether or not the experience "really happened.
This sort of belief is a counterbalance to the decades of non-belief. Decades of people, particularly women, saying, "I was hurt!" and others, particularly men, saying, "I'm sorry but I see no evidence of your hurt."
That counterbalance is needed. Why?
Quick breakdown of why it's such utter bullshit that celebrities like @sethmeyers are promoting the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, (SESTA).
Perhaps the celebrities will learn something from this too, if they're willing to listen to sex workers.
First you should know - since this seems to be a majorly persuasive point for many reasonable people - that the act is backed by Ted Cruz, John McCain, and Marco Rubio.
These are, as you know, not nice people who care about women's autonomy.
Second, you should know that #SESTA is OPPOSED by most freedom of speech/information groups.
And even groups that you might be surprised were defending sex workers' rights, like the National Organization for Women.
That's because it threatens internet freedom.
As uncomfortable as this makes me feel, I think it's necessary for me to express an encounter I had with Olaf Tyaransen when he interviewed me for @hotpress, in light of the newly disclosed evidence that he sexually assaulted sex worker Laura Lee (RIP). medium.com/@belledejour_u…
And I want to be clear that in telling you this story about Olaf and I, I'm doing so firstly, stand with sex workers and Laura, secondly to address how sex workers are routinely treated, and third, what we need to do to moving forward.
I am NOT addressing this to support a carceral or punitive model, but to help raise awareness to end abuse. I'm also NOT doing it to compare my situation to Laura's, or to aid in runaway pop discourse of equating uncomfortable sexual situations w/sexual assault.
With that said:
Hi, I'd like to tell you about what's been going on with porn and US culture in the past 24 hours.
I want you to understand first of all what sex workers are expected to constantly endure, but also that a cultural movement to ban pornography is building right now.
The first thing is that the NYTimes thought it was appropriate to publish - as their Magazine cover story seen by millions of people - a feature by @maggiepjones about why porn is so problematic for teen sexuality, and how we can mediate that problem.
It's a cowardly article.
Maggie displays no knowledge about porn history, porn as an artform, porn aesthetics, how pornographers make it..
She doesn't know anything about porn. She's an MFA professor.
Somehow, the @nytimes thought, "now THIS is the person to write this story about the problem of porn!"
I want to tell you about an amazing woman who changed my life, and who you need to know about if you don't already: biologist Lynn Margulis.
She died on this day, 6 years ago.
She was my main intellectual mentor in life, my friend, my second mom.
Lynn made quite a few major scientific discoveries.
She's best known for proving that organisms and cells that have nucleuses have symbiotic origins - that they originate from the coming together of different bacteria (and sometimes protoctists/protozoa)
She also discovered, with James Lovelock, that the Earth regulates itself quite a bit like an organism - particularly through the interactions of bacteria and the abiota (the non-living aspects of the environment). This is called the Gaia Theory or biogeochemistry.