Reader: Not all sex workers are victims

"The Lost Boys," Kristen Hinman, November 3

Sex Marks the Spat

Sex trafficking/slavery is used by many groups as an attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims, even if they do it willingly. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims. This is done by the media, aid groups, NGOs, feminists, politicians and religious organizations that receive funds from the government.

They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution — their real goal. No one stands up to say this is foolish; the passive public says nothing.

Jeff Lewis

Posted at westword.com

Are you fucking kidding me? This is the third article that Westword has done this year trying to minimize/muddle the issue of underage sex trafficking. The only reason that they are beating this drum is because their parent company (Village Voice Media) doesn't want restrictions on the Adult Services advertisements in its Backpage.com section (as happened to Craigslist). That's it. Child prostitutes are not good for VVM's bottom line, so they want you to decide that it isn't an issue. How incredibly sleazy. This time they are going to use an article with research claiming that the number of child prostitutes is overblown and only 10 percent have pimps (read: so they really aren't being trafficked). Maybe the pimps weren't keen on having their kids giving interviews, or maybe the kids are doing it of their own volition, but that really isn't the point that they are trying to make here. The point that they are trying to make is that they should be able to advertise for prostitutes because no one knows how many are kids doing it under duress.

I agree that there is a dire need for more research into the topic, I agree that Craigslist and VVM should be able to advertise for "adult services," but I don't agree with Westword/VVM's strategy of trying to muddle the issue long enough to protect their revenue stream until better data comes out. It is disgusting that you will print articles on a weekly basis trying to paint a sympathetic portrait of people who committed heinous crimes as adults because bad things happened to them when they were children, but you will shield an industry that is doing bad things to children.

Lynn Mayo

Denver

"Redemption," Juliet Wittman, October 27

Starting Over

I worked at the same place Josh is staying, the Peer 1 therapeutic community. I've seen scores of people who dropped out of the program because they couldn't handle the discipline and preferred to "do their time" instead because it was easier. Getting through this program says something about this man's commitment to moving on with his life. But it's going to take the rest of his life getting used to being an adult outside of the big house.

This guy has lost most of his social life being locked away and is in great need of being socially re-developed. He still has the grace of youth on his side, but he will never become "normal." It's going to take a lifetime of therapy to get him conformed into the real world we're in. He will always be living in an incarcerated mindset, one that is based on basic survival and prison behavior.... He is extremely lucky that he has had the opportunity to work at a tire shop. That's probably as good as his life is going to get.

We need to start focusing energy on the source of the problem, and not only focusing on the after-the-fact effects of the crime committed. My heart goes out to the daughters of that man killed; I hope they came to a place in their hearts of forgiveness, acceptance and resolution.

Ted G.

Denver

 
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