Monday, April 16, 2018

The Lies About Sex Trafficking that Brought Down Backpage

Trump signs SESTA
By Noah Berlatsky

The nightmare of human sex trafficking was famously exposed in the 2012 film Eden, wherein a Korean-American high school student is kidnapped and forced into a life of sexual slavery along with dozens, or even hundreds, of other young women. The based-on-a-true-story narrative uncovered and explored a "horrible underworld" according to reviews, raising awareness about a scourge of exploitation targeting the innocent.
There was only one problem: The film was a lie.
There was not, in fact, a massive kidnapping ring dragooning New Mexico teens into sexual slavery. The person on whom the film was supposedly based, Chong Kim, did not commit multiple murders in the course of a daring escape because it never occurred. Trafficking in real life has about as much to do with Eden as a real-life infectious disease has to do with The Walking Dead. The government does not base epidemic response policy on zombie films. But, unfortunately, it does often base sex work policy on narratives like Eden.
As a result, anti-trafficking legislation and law enforcement focus on saving people who don't exist, and harms people who do in the process.
In the rush to save fictional sex trafficking victims, authorities put at risk the livelihood, and even the lives, of real consensual sex workers, and real trafficking victims. The government's attack on sex workers has ramped up ominously this year, culminating this week in President Donald Trump signing the recently passed Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which effectively makes it possible for law enforcement to prosecute people for advertising sexual services online.
Read the rest here.


  1. Law enforcement in this area is a joke. My girlfriend runs a group home for foster kids with a history of commercial sexual exploitation. Almost all these kids have some story about being raped by a cop or being shaken down by a cop. It seems like all you really have to do to be in the 14 year old girl business in Oakland is to be paid up with the right people at OPD. Its sick. God only knows what's going on down at the port.

  2. Our society is completely schizophrenic when it comes to sex and especially when it comes to sex workers. To my knowledge sex is the only service that you can legally give away for free but you cannot legally charge for. Any others?

    1. Women can charge for sex in America, it is called marriage!

    2. If it's free, it's legal. If money changes hands it's illegal, if you film the 'crime' it's a porno and there for legal and protected by free speech. None of it makes any sense.

    3. Touche. However unlike with a sex worker a husband rarely gets what he pays for. And with a sex worker if she doesn't live up to her part of the bargain you don't have hire her again. If the wife doesn't live up to her part of the bargain, you have no recourse. Marriage is the only legal contract with no consideration (in the legal sense).

    4. Isnt there some saying about how you don't really pay the hooker for the sex, you pay her to leave afterwards?