**I apologize for the state of https://scarletoshea.com/. It is brand spanking new & development has been going at a leisurely pace. However, I will not let the skeletal state of my platform preclude sharing my opinions of the Backpage shutdown. https://www.missscarletdd.com/, my current site is still live for anyone wishing learn more about me.**
As sex sellers & sex buyers wake up this morning to find Backpage shuttered, many are upset, some are relieved & most are confused. One thing is for certain however, all have been placed in danger. Is Backpage used to promote prostitution & human trafficking? Yes, absolutely. Does Backpage knowingly profit from illegal activities? Yes, absolutely. Is that wrong? Maybe. It is necessary? Yes.
Why does demand for human trafficking & sex work exist? Because a utopian society where gender/race equality are the norm & diverse expression of healthy sexuality is seen as moral does not exist. This is a world where genders are not equal, where the color of one’s skin still defines one’s worth, where healthy sexuality is repressed for being immoral & where sexual norms vary from region to region. A topic for another day, but the higher the occurrence of normal sexual behaviors being made to seem taboo, the easier it is for truly taboo acts to become acceptable within those psyches. When even masturbation is stigmatized, the slippery slope to pedophilia or rape is surprisingly short.
Humans live in a culture of binary absolutes. If the simplest thing is wrong, then even the most wrong thing is no more wrong. Wrong is wrong, right is right, therefore anything not right is equally wrong. There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence on the increase of more extreme fetishes in cultures where basic healthy sexuality is repressed. See Victorian England, modern Japan, the American South, the Middle East, etc.
To stop adults from buying & fucking children, teach them, from birth, about healthy sexual expression, teach them that homosexuality or submission to a woman is acceptable; teach them that all human beings are deserving of choice & respect. To stop grown men from raping & torturing women, each them, from birth, that all human beings, despite race, creed, gender or color are equal & deserving of equal respect; teach them, from birth, that the size of their penis is completely irrelevant.
To end demand for trafficking & sex work, every single human being on the planet must be mentally, physically & emotionally healthy. Then each of those people must be capable of maintaining a network of personal relationships so as to fulfill any possible personal sexual needs. All people involved must be capable of withholding jealousy & insecurity. Completely unrealistic and therein lies the fallacy & misguided idealism of the “End Demand” movement. Demand will never be ended, so let us instead examine how to manage supply & demand safely.
Backpage is not moral or righteous, they knowingly profit from the misery of others. So do McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente & most large-scale for-profit companies. They don’t care about who is buying as long as someone is enabling their Learjet lifestyles. Why is Backpage being punished for demonstrating the same ideals previously lauded in other companies? Because they facilitate the sale of sex, but it has to be more complex than that. Lots of companies make their primary income from sex. Pedophiles & rapist wear Trojan condoms, where is the backlash for that? Gang bangs for the poor trafficked women are being held in Motel 6 rooms, why aren’t they receiving death threats? AT&T allows johns to use their network to call prostitutes, why aren’t they being picketed?
Because as always, there is a double standard. This time it’s the kids. Of course, think of the poor, helpless, child sex slaves that the evil overlords at Backpage are essentially selling via live auction from their living rooms to bespectacled, pot-bellied predators salivating at the tender virginal flesh. What is wrong with adult SWs that they would possibly value their own ability to make a buck over the poor children? (Here’s where I could use a hand, would love to see actual statistics on percentage of ads being placed by adult SW vs underage.) From what I’m gathering, the ad percentage is heavily in adult SW favor. So it is not that the adult SW community is uncaring to the plight of the children, it is that they are rarely, if ever, personally exposed to it. Therefore the need for a safe space to consensually buy & sell sex takes precedence. As for the actual trafficking & underage ads, by taking them away, the predators who run them will get smarter & better at hiding. Vilify & demonize Backpage, but they are doing nothing that cannot be done at the bulletin board of a college campus.
“Better the devil you know, then the devil you don’t.” Backpage is a known quantity. Adult SW use it as a primarily safe space to conduct business. It isn’t a perfect system, bad things happen. That cannot be blamed on the system, but the variables within, i.e. human behaviors. Law Enforcement uses it to track pedophiles & traffickers. There are established patterns which have been allowed to exist to further larger agendas. The awareness of these criminal networks has been fundamental in understanding how they operate, eventually to end them. Until another pops up anyway. The antis do have one thing right, until demand is gone, it’s basically Whac-a-Mole on the traffickers. So knowing where the traffickers & pedophiles are at all times would seem a far more advantageous strategy than scattering them to the wind. Truthfully I’m wondering if this isn’t all just a bit of political theater so that the US government may secure any number of backdoors into Backpage for long term surveillance.
When a known quantity is removed, by default, people eventually move towards unknown quantities, in which there is always larger inherent risk. But not all people will move, only the risk takers. The safe clients, having lost their safe space, will retreat until those quantities are no longer unknown. It will be the unsafe buyers forging new trails & new protocols. It will be them bragging about it on new boards, then finally the safe guys will come back. By shuttering Backpage, anyone advertising there will be forced to entertain those they previously would not have considered. Some can ride out the storm, some can be sanctimonious, but most just need to pay the bills.
Here is the aforementioned danger, when a specific amount of money becomes the primary objective of sex work (surprise, it isn’t for lot of SW!) then it’s any means necessary to achieve that financial goal. If one has to make rent, it’s the 28th, & she’s not even close, is she more likely to take a risky appointment? Sadly yes, maybe she’ll consider working that street corner she heard about but has never actually had to step foot on. Or maybe she’ll just let a man come over who she knows isn’t going to be nice to her. That is human nature, to compromise morals for the sake of personal & familial survival. Again, unknown quantities with unforeseen risks are at play. When accurate risk assessments are impossible due to to a change in variables, (like the shuttering of Backpage,) then more risk are taken and more harm is received.
Aside from the long term goals of human equality, the solution is a return to our previous system. Backpage needs to stand up and fight for free speech, they are legally in the right here. Free speech forums cannot be censored because humanity has deep & pervasive malignancies that it refuses to overcome as a species. The average human being needs to understand the difference between intent & inaction. Backpage doesn’t promote trafficking & prostitution, they simply don’t care enough to stop making money off of it. You can no more malign Backpage for promoting human trafficking than you can your local community bulletin board for suggesting you see that terrible local theatre performance of “Grease.”
Shuttering Backpage will harm the victims that the antis are claiming to protect. Shuttering Backpage will drive previously safe SW & their clients into unknown & riskier territories. These not are solely my opinions, these are the deep-seated beliefs of generations of SW’s. Open acceptance, legally & culturally, of consensual adult sex work will not only not increase the occurrences of pedophilia & trafficking, it will decrease them. Acceptance & promotion of healthy sexual expression will lead to a decline in unhealthy sexual expression.
**As previously mentioned, this website has little actual functionality at the moment. That is feverishly being rectified. Feel free to comment, DM me on Twitter, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org**