At first, I thought it was a crude joke. Although I have a long laundry list of issues with the so-called women’s marches and those behind them, their latest move to supposedly show their support for better treatment of women was so out of touch, even for them, in terms of what they were supporting and the blatant and extremely harmful impact on women and girls, that again I thought it had to be some sort of a hoax.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. On the Twitter account of the Women’s March, this organization was lamenting, yes lamenting, the demise of Backpage.com, a notorious website connected with sex trafficking and prostitution. This had occurred after federal authorities seized and shut down the classified ad site which again has been linked to, per an article in the Weekly Standard, “illicit sexual activities, including underage prostitution and trafficking.”
So the federal agents and so many others working to combat sex trafficking see this website as not only problematic but criminal to the point of shutting it down so no one else has access. But does the Women’s March even have a clue that this site is really bad news?
Not a chance, unless you think the bad news has to do with eliminating “work” or “employment” opportunities. Think I’m kidding or stretching it a bit? Here is just one of the tweets the Women’s March felt so moved to put out there for all the world to see.
“The shutting down of Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to get in touch with clients. Sex workers rights are women’s rights.”
An absolute crisis for sex workers? Yes, you read that correctly. How in the world can the same organization that claims to be so outraged by men who mistreat women; the same movement that embraces the #MeToo and #timesup campaigns, completely fail to see that the real crisis has to do with the actual “sex workers” but for very different reasons? These same “sex workers” are treated as objects or property, don’t have any rights and are often forced into the sex industry either because they’re young runaways, or drug addicts, or abducted off the street.
Why isn’t the Women’s March celebrating the news that the move by federal law enforcement is a real victory for women, girls and society? The action exposes the evils of an industry that enslaves as opposed to empowers, which is supposedly what the Women’s March is all about.
According to research gathered by the My Life My Choice organization, which works with survivors of the sex trafficking and trade industry, half of those they serve were trafficked online. According to the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children, 73 percent of all child sex trafficking cases it’s handled involves Backpage.com, the very same website the Women’s March is endorsing, supporting and promoting.
“With operations in 97 countries, and 943 locations around the world, Backpage is likely the largest facilitator of sex trafficking in the world,” says the NCME website. And yet the demise of this site is an outrage according to the Women’s March, and those who dare disagree with the extremely radical and destructive ideology of this group are the backward and oppressive ones.
And at the end of the day the good news is maybe this will cause those who have attended one of the marches or who are thinking about doing so in the future, will finally turn themselves around and march instead toward and for causes that truly help and not hurt women, children and the rest of us.
Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic Connection,” produced by Ave Maria Radio, and the author of “Beyond Sunday: Becoming a 24/7 Catholic” (OSV, $14.95).