April 10, 2018

Media Ignoring Women’s March’s Unhinged Position on Backpage Shutdown

Saturday was, as Katie Yoder at NewsBusters noted Tuesday afternoon, a “sad day.” That’s when the Women’s March sprang to the defense of Backpage.com, tweeting that its Friday seizure by the Justice Department “is an absolute crisis for sex workers.” In that same tweet, the group declared that “Sex workers rights are women’s rights.” Backpage and seven associated individuals were indicted Monday on charges relating to facilitating prostitution — including child prostitution conducted by human sex traffickers. Thus far, the establishment press has been almost unanimously running cover for the Women’s March by ignoring its disgraceful position.

According to the New York Times’s coverage of the the first Women’s March in January 2017, participants reportedly were there to “Protest Trump.” On the eve of that first march, a Times op-ed writer, who hoped that it “Could Resurrect the Democratic Party,” lamented that “Sex workers have rightly raised issues with its failure to meaningfully address their concerns.”

There was no other reference to “sex workers” at the Times during the last half of January 2017 — even though, according to Archive.org, the March’s “Guiding Visions and Definition of Principles” were published the next week. That document stated that “we stand in full solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement.”

Friday’s tweet was thus consistent with the March’s “principles”:

WomensMarchOnBackpageShutdown040718

The underlying Friday tweet from the affiliated Collective Action for Safe Spaces has one more word (“bodies”) at its end. It fails to acknowledge that Backpage made no meaningful effort to distinguish between “consensual” and “coerced” sex, or between adult and child prostitution.

The full Collective Action for Safe Spaces tweet also provides the following Q & A which belongs in the “You can’t possibly make this up” file. It was issued in response to Congress’s recent passage of “SESTA-FOSTA” (the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Acts):

WomensMarchCASStweetQA040618

The Backpage indictment shows that it engaged in a comprehensive game of “Let’s pretend” to avoid inferences of illegal activity:

BackpageIndictmentProstitution040908

Despite the supposedly vaunted “safeguards,” the site deliberately failed to screen out underage sex trafficking:

BackpageIndictmentUnderage040908

Thus, according to the Women’s March, it “is an absolute crisis for sex workers” that a site which knowingly concealed its users’ intentions and allowed human trafficking to occur has been shut down. This position, regardless of what one thinks of SESTA-FOSTA’s larger implications, is unhinged and opposed by the vast majority of Americans, the vast majority of women, and the vast majority of people who describe themselves as feminists.

Establishment press coverage of the Backpage shutdown and indictment have failed to mention the Women’s March’s objections. That would include Reuters (shutdown; indictment), the Associated Press (shutdown; indictment) and the New York Times, (shutdown, while relying on wires for indictment stories).

A Google News search at 6:15 p.m. ET Tuesday on “Backpage Women’s March” (not in quotes, sorted by date, past week, with no duplicates) returned only 22 items. Only Newsweek’s related article came from a site which would be considered part of the so-called mainstream media.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

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