Feds Shutter Backpage; Sex Workers Left in the Dark

Last week the FBI shut down Backpage. We talked to a sex worker on what that means for her.

Comments

101
@98, my response to Dan Savage would be verbatim what I said in my comment #97. His formulation is absurd and indicates a desire to absolve prostitution at all costs.

@99-100: Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry no one listens to you - never mind everyone's claims that they "listen to sex workers." I hope you're doing OK these days and have the support you need.
102
@88
Your post is a perfect example of the rampant ignorance and outright lies that prop up an industry whose only purpose is to keep vulnerable women trapped in a situation that destroys their humanity.
Who told you half of all prostitutes are men? Your pimp? I only ask because I heard that exact same lie from my own pimp twenty years ago. It's kind of a joke in the sex industry, one of the well-known lies that is often repeated by pimps to manipulate naive young girls into thinking it's about "equality".
Anyway, sorry you got caught up. Stay strong.
103
@11
If it were legalized and regulated, sex workers would just get abused, intimidated and exploited by the government regulators instead of the pimps and websites who do it now. The nature of the industry would not change at all.
104
Katie Herzog: looks like you have a genuine sex worker commenting on your story in user RestingB1tchF@ace. Seems like you should follow up with this person if you want to have the full truth. I'm guessing that you won't, because your agenda doesn't allow for the existence of prostituted women who want to exit the life.
105
Similar to Rachel Moran, who reports that she is speaking for the "authentic voice" of sex workers, Rolando has a voice to point this journalist to as "genuine." Obvious are the use of rhetorical conceit and the need for therapy.

How condescending can you be?

Kant held that "free will" is essential; human dignity is related to human agency, the ability of humans to choose their own actions. You push not harm reduction but to further exploitative elitism and infantilization.

106
@Upside, you are just parodying yourself at this point. Again, if I were you, I would ask myself why I've been hanging out here for days in defense of prostitution. What's so great about prostitution that it must be defended at all costs?
107
"...you are just parodying yourself."
1. Parody is an imitation of another writer not oneself.

"...I would ask myself why I've been hanging out here for days."
2. You have nearly twice as many posts and I haven't been here in a week.

You have not made one valid point yet. Maybe you can do better.
108
But, honestly, where does your commitment draw from to be here and manipulate the topics and throw accusations at the journalist? If you didn't enjoy her article go to journalism school. Or, get on Medium.

The only model being defended is the harm reduction model: the Amnesty and World Health Organization models.

And, an independent journalist's right to report. Just because you refuse to acknowledge the topic of Katie's story doesn't mean it's any less true. Or that the many lies you have spread over the field like manure, are any less smelly.
109
@Upside, the difference is that I'm not embarrassed to articulate why I'm here, whereas you refuse to answer questions about same.
110
No Rolando, once again you are grossly incorrect. You have asked that same question (maybe you meant parroting instead of parodying in @106?) to multiple users on this same forum. I answered honestly, I see the issue as harm reduction, I see Katie's article as harm reduction, I see the policies of Amnesty as harm reduction.

You manipulate and equivocate with the usage of the same, tired question. I can't control what you choose to believe. However, I can call you disingenuous, which you have proven to be time and time again.

I don't need to ask you a like-king question. I know how you feel. I know how you feel about trans-genders. I know how you feel about safe spaces. You are an archetype, not a thing that believes in humanism.

I also still believe that you have not read Katie's article. I believe that you immediately come on to an anonymous board and criticize her choices. You have neither the reputation or the respect to do so.

Again, if you wish to control people's opinions, go to journalism school, or do something beyond wiping your feet on the work of others. It's lazy and unappealing.
111
Wait, maybe I misunderstood the nature of your question. You aren't referencing the article or public policy issues, you are trying to determine if I know sex workers so that you can use that against me. Ironic prejudice as a tool for debate, per se? Maybe you wish to call me a pimp? Absolve yourself of any original thinking outside of your false idols: Mackinnon, Bindel, Dworkin, or Murphey?

I do. So did Jesus, possibly. Do you contest that they are human beings with complex existences under criminalized conditions? Should I treat them as pariah to satisfy your need?

I have heard that you are threatening with your form of white feminism, which is carceral and classist in nature. I have heard their fears that you place their lives subservient to your life. I have read that you have made their existence more dangerous. How do I know? I have actually spoken with and listened to, people.

112
If this were an Oxford style debate. Upside just wiped the floor with rolando74.
113
@112, Upside just wrote a bunch of words. That's pretty much it.

Upside, when I said you won't answer the question of why you're here, I was referring to my comment #106, where I asked you, "What's so great about prostitution that it must be defended at all costs?" You manifestly think defending prostitution is important, but you haven't said why. I can't help wondering why you've devoted so very many words speaking on behalf of an institution that you're not willing to explicitly defend.
114
To restate:

Rolando: I think we should provide assistance to prostituted women and we should prosecute men who buy and sell women's bodies.

Upside: [two pages of arguing with Rolando]

I don't know about you, but I just don't think this is a good look on your end.
115

@113, 114
“What's so great about prostitution that it must be defended at all costs?”
“Rolando: I think we should provide assistance to prostituted women and we should prosecute men who buy and sell women's bodies.”

In my opinion

The idea to defend is the inalienable rights we all hold above all - “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness”.

Your position denies agency to an adult individual to pursue a choice of work (for economic reasons) that they rationally believe is better for them relative to other choices they have.
Your moral position (and the majority moral position) is against prostitution. Should the dominant view of the collective outweighs the rights of the individual in this case, like in any other case - gay rights for example? Michael J Sandel makes a great case in his discourse on “moral limits of markets”, but the answer is not clear cut. Where do we draw the line between pursuing a good life vs actions we perform to achieve that good life? Who arbitrates that line?
Your policy prescription is partially correct. Criminalizing demand will not solve anything. Prohibition does not work, enough examples out there and you seem educated enough to know them. I am with you on harm reduction and help needed for those who want to do something different. Your policy suggestion is missing two important pieces - a. how do you empower those who are pursuing this by choice (includes economic necessity) to be safe, secure and capture the greatest value for their labor? b. How do we become better at identifying where a persons agency has been compromised and tackle those situations swiftly and effectively?

116

@115: "Your moral position": It's not moral, it's class-based. Prostitution reinforces the idea that women's bodies are a commodity. This idea harms women as a class. I do, unapologetically, believe that the well-being of women as a class trumps any individual woman's desire to pursue prostitution.

117

@116
“Prostitution reinforces the idea that women's bodies are a commodity.”
You lost me here. Hiow do you support this statement?

Do you realize how dangerous and marxist your line of thinking is sounding?