It Takes a Village…to Traffic Girls

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Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods

Backpage accounts for about 70 percent of prostitution advertising among five Web sites that carry such ads in the United States, earning more than $22 million annually from prostitution ads, according to AIM Group, a media research and consulting company. It is now the premier Web site for human trafficking in the United States,according to the National Association of Attorneys General. And it’s not a fly-by-night operation. Backpage is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns the estimable Village Voice newspaper.

Attorneys general from 48 states have written a joint letterto Village Voice Media, pleading with it to get out of the flesh trade. An online petition at Change.org has gathered 94,000 signatures asking Village Voice Media to stop taking prostitution advertising. Instead, the company has used The Village Voice to mock its critics. Alissa thought about using her real name for this article but decided not to for fear that Village Voice would retaliate.

Human trafficking

Women make up the majority of modern-day slaves in the world. They’re forced to work as sexual slaves in prostitution and strip clubs. (Men and boys are often enslaved as laborers). Women and girls can be shackled, beaten and raped, and forced to not look their “masters” in the eyes. The similarities to the Atlantic Slave Trade is striking; one difference, however, is that estimates place the number of modern-day slaves at a higher number.

Here’s a blog post from Amanda Kloer at Change.org on her 10 predictions for 2010:

Top 10 predictions for state of abolition in 2010: Sexualization to lawsuits   

This is particularly scary:

6. Increased sexualization of children. I hate to make this prediction, but 2009 trends indicate that in 2010, the sexualization of kids will increase. Whether it’s sexy Halloween costumes for tweens like Noah Cyrus, dolls that pole dance, or an increased pressure for younger and younger girls to slut it up MTV-style, the barrage of sexual culture aimed at kids is going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe 2011 will be the year we finally see a dip, but I’m not optimistic for 2010.

With our increased awareness of sexual slavery, pedophilia and incest, WHY are women being hypersexualized and children being sexualized? Does sex (let’s get real, we’re talking about female sexuality, for the most part) really sell? Is there proof to this or do we just buy into it? Is sexuality really liberating to women or is the “whorification” contributing to making us less credible and ignoring our real contributions to society? And while men are increasingly being sexualized, has it diminished their credibility at all? Is there a demand for male sexuality, whether by gay men or hetero women? Does it exist or is it ignored?