If you follow me on Twitter you know I only post two things, what words aren’t recognized by spell check and links to my blog posts. Yesterday the tweet went out about the post on how Backpage is now allowing free sex ads and how I thought that this is signalling the beginning of the end for Backpage. In response to that tweet I received the following from a woman who appeared to be a professional escort…
@trenchreynolds You are so happy to see us struggle! Don’t you care if many girls have to walk the street now? This won’t stop pimps
I hate having extensive conversations on Twitter because I hate being hamstrung by the 140 character limit. I can be so verbose at times that it’s sometime hard to get my point across in a limited space but I decided to engage her in discussion. My reply was…
Backpage is responsible for 80% of all online prostitution. Shutting them down would stop a lot of pimps.
Also if you don’t have a pimp you have a choice to not walk the streets.
Those were two separate tweets by the way. She responded with…
@trenchreynolds Stop attacking us and then say that you care about us. You hate us. You will never stop prostitution
@trenchreynolds Hardly any girls have pimps. I’ve never met one. You just want to keep us in poverty
After the tweet me hating them I wanted to say there’s nothing further from the truth but in response to the tweet about how she never met a pimp I wanted to say which one is it? Are there pimps or are there no pimps as her positions seem to contradict themselves. Not to mention I’ve met and heard from plenty of women who did work under pimps and how dangerous and violent that was. It was at this point I realized I was dealing with someone who was arguing their beliefs and not facts, not unlike someone who belongs to a fundamentalist religion and refuses to believe anything that goes against the tenets of their faith. I decided to cut the conversation short at this point.
Youre obviously not interested is having a logical discussion since you insist on hurling untrue accusations at me. Be well
This is what I mean about being hamstrung by the character limit. I wanted her to know that I bear no ill will towards her and wanted to wish her well but ‘Be well’ was all I could fit in. She responded with two more tweets…
@trenchreynolds How can I have a logical discussion with someone who is happy to see me struggle and live in poverty?
@trenchreynolds #backpage is my best my only source and you are happy to see it attacked. It’s stupid to think you can stop prostitution
After I went back to whatever it was I was doing I had a feeling of deja-vu. I felt like I’ve had this conversation before or at least something similar. Then I remembered that I was previously accused of hating sex workers by someone on Tumblr. Here’s some excerpts of that…
You don’t even have the decency to *pretend* to be concerned about women’s safety here: you are a man who ardently supports a system that treats sex workers with incredible brutality compared to most of the rest of the planet. Men like you are absolutely complicit in the endemic violence against women that occurs as a result of that.
You live in a country with dystopic levels of violence against sex workers because men like you will always value your own ego, and the fantasy in which you get to tell yourself “I AM A BIG TOUGH MAN WHO FIGHTS TRAFFICKING” when really the things you’re doing are basically only succeeding in empowering predators against sex workers.
And you have privileges actual women with lived experience of the sex industry could only dream of, with your access to as you so proudly tote, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, CBS News, The Globe and Mail, the Boston Globe, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, among others. That men like you use your power to do the exact opposite of the things sex workers around the world are fucking screaming for makes you more complicit than most.
Too many people would rather live with a comfortable lie than an inconvenient truth I guess.
It feels like that they’re reading from the same figurative script. While they may not have had pimps it sure sounds like they’ve been indoctrinated by someone, my guess is whoever brought them into the business which is almost as bad in my opinion.
The bottom line is I do not hate sex workers, I do not wish to see them in poverty or have violence committed against them. Whether you like it or not I’m trying to fight for the freedom of those who have no choice in the matter who Backpage is willingly making money from. I’m not doing this because I’m a man who thinks he knows better than any woman. I’m doing it because it’s what decent human beings should do for each other.