You might think the prosecution of Backpage.com, a notorious sex-trafficking website, would be universally hailed, particularly by feminists.
You would be wrong if you had such thoughts.
To the horror of many across the political spectrum, Women’s March is calling the shutdown of a site convicted of trafficking women and children for sex a “crisis” for sex workers.
Writing on its Twitter page Saturday, Women’s March – a group that spearheaded protest marches around the world the day after President Trump’s January 2017 inauguration – said, “The shutting down of #Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients. Sex workers rights are women’s rights.”
The group said in a follow-up tweet it would, in the coming days, share more about the rights of sex workers “to uplift this critical issue.”
“We’re all still learning and as always, we have to listen to the voices of those most impacted,” the group said, using the hashtag #SexWorkIsWork.
Lisa Thompson, vice president for policy and research at the Washington-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation, blasted the group on Twitter upon hearing the news: “Prostitution is ground zero for #VAW (violence against women). There is no such thing as safe prostitution. Prostitution is THE bastion of misogyny. Stop defending men who buy women (and children and men).”
She mocked the group in another tweet suggesting the March rename itself something to reflect their stance on the issue like “WeStandWithSexTraffickers,” “March4Misogyny,” or “PimpingOutOurSisters.”
Meghan Murphy, editor of Feminist Current, was perturbed, telling Women’s March on Twitter: “How dare you claim to stand for women.”
Likewise, Marian Hatcher, who was once a victim of trafficking and is presently the senior project manager and human trafficking coordinator at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, was repulsed. Hatcher was actively involved in the advocacy for the anti-sex trafficking bill known as FOSTA-SESTA that Congress recently approved and President Trump is expected to sign this week.
“Utter NONSENSE!!!” Hatcher said, adding, “Why does @womensmarch continue to perpetuate lies!!! SURVIVORS and CURRENT Victims of Prostitution and trafficking are statistically the majority. Patriarchy and $$ has brainwashed the minority’s accepting violence against women (mostly of color) ITS NOT SAFE!!”
Christian recording artist Jennifer Michelle Greenberg, who is also an abuse survivor and advocate, did not hold back her disgust.
“According to Women’s March, ‘sex workers rights are women’s rights.’ It should be noted, #Backpage was shut down for human trafficking and child sex trafficking. The ‘sex workers’ these ‘feminists’ are defending are parasites in the bowels of America,” she said.