Every once in awhile, we feel compelled to comment on something that we have observed in our greater society or on our page in specific. Today is such a day. It has been very interesting to read some of the comments on our post about a bust that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted that netted 41 buyers of commercial sex. It was an operation where agents posed as prostituted people, and men, who were looking to engage in the illegal practice of prostitution, made arrangements to meet with and pay for sexual acts with these supposed prostituted people. Many of the men asked for minors.
Many of the comments on our page related to this post were interesting and disappointing because they were defending or feeling sorry for the would be buyers of commercial sex. Please note that when law enforcement does prostitution stings to lock up those being prostituted no one bats an eye. They pose as sex buyers, and when money is exchanged or verbal confirmation of said agreement is recorded, boom, they make the arrest. No one cries foul because what the prostituted person is doing is illegal and the intent was there even if the action never took place. And no one seems to feel sad or sorry for the prostituted person even though we know that most of them have pimps (even the adults) and are there under pimp control or for the lack of other viable options. Now, the exact same thing happened here, but instead of posing as the buyer, they posed as the prostituted person...men WILLINGLY went to the sites, set up meetings and had their money in hand. Many asked for a minor. The intent was there, the money was ready to go. Yet, now there is outrage for these “poor men” who were “tricked” and “entrapped.”
Those suggesting that the buyers have had their lives ruined because they were cited and fined are john apologists. Stop excusing their behavior. Stop lessening it. They are the root of the problem. They went with the intent to commit an illegal act. No one held a gun to their head. No one forced them to be trolling the sites. Please understand that having worked with law enforcement all over this country, officers say that in their "john" busts that all the buyers always say it was their first time, even though records show otherwise. Until we stop making excuses for the BUYERS...those driving this whole illegal market in the first place, we can't end sex trafficking.
Then beyond those just feeling sorry for these “poor men” who “didn’t know any better” and who were “tempted by “hot” girls and couldn’t control themselves,” we had multiple comments about just legalizing prostitution. Here were some reasons given:
· “we can’t stop men from wanting sex and needing it on demand”
· “we can’t beat them, so we might as well join them”
· “we need prostitutes so that they don’t rape our “good” women”
· “some guys don’t have enough game and need to buy it”
· “it’s just like dating and marriage”
· “we’d end sex trafficking if we’d just legalize prostitution”
The ignorance in the above statements is staggering. The setting of the bar so low for men is amazingly insulting. The concept that we need a class of disposable women in our society to be raped and exploited is, at its core, the worst example of misogyny. To those who think the sexual exploitation of predominantly women is just like dating and marriage, we think you may need to examine your relationships and perhaps hold yourself to a higher standard.
The erroneous belief that sex trafficking ends where prostitution is legal, is perhaps one of the most un-researched and ignorant statements of all. Unless you mean that because law enforcement would neither have the inclination, funds or resources allotted to the monitoring of prostitution when it is “just another business” and therefore sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of victims would be completely ignored and no arrests of traffickers or recoveries of victims would occur, then we guess you are right. The sex trafficking and exploitation would just happen, and no one would know…sort of why it is allowed to exist in the first place. Sex trafficking is inherent in the commercial sex industry….the legal commercial sex industry. Normalizing the purchase of commercial sex simply leads to increased demand for it, and there aren’t enough willing participants selling it. It will only lead to more and more trafficking.
Demand Abolition has put together many academic articles and reports from all over the world into one location on their site that speak to the increase of trafficking when legalization of prostitution occurs: https://www.demandabolition.org/resources/evidence-against-legalizing-prostitution/
We have to get serious about the demand side of prostitution and sex trafficking. Will there always be an element seeking commercial sex? Sure, but instead of caving to that minority, let’s send a clear message that we are done accepting their bad behavior. We are done letting it slide, giving it a slap on the wrist, and making excuses for them. That starts with you and me.