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WA Human Trafficking Sting Highlights Importance of New Law

A recent human trafficking sting in Washington State led to the arrest of 12 men, all of whom are being accused of trying to sexually exploit children.

The charges include attempted child rape, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and commercial sex abuse of a minor.

The sting, which was conducted in Pierce County by Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force, involved officers posting and responding to sexual ads online, according to the Tacoma News Tribune. The officers impersonated “preteens or parents offering their children for sex.”

Officers say they rescued two children during the latest sting. Detective Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez, who runs the task force, told the Tacoma News Tribune that suspects who unknowingly meet with undercover officers often bring along children.

The recent sting highlights the need for recently passed legislation that helps protect those who are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

In addition to experiencing inconceivable trauma, victims of sex trafficking often find themselves with criminal records after being convicted of engaging in prostitution and other crimes.

Thankfully, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation earlier this week that allows victims of sex trafficking to petition the court to vacate their convictions stemming from their time being trafficked.

The new law empowers victims of sexual exploitation to begin the arduous process of rebuilding their lives free the criminal records resulting from their time as sex slaves.

Although most Americans mistakenly assume that slavery has been eradicated in the United States and throughout most of the world, “sex trafficking in the U.S. a ‘problem of epidemic proportion,’” according to an FBI law enforcement bulletin quoted in the Washington Times.

Human trafficking victims are often prostituted or forced to participate in pornographic videos distributed online. It is believed that there exists an “inseparable link” between porn and sex slavery:

“The truth is, there is no way for [viewers of pornography] to tell if what they are watching was made illegally or if all parties are there willingly. And even if they’re there willingly, performing on camera, were they coerced or threatened into agreement? For this reason, clicking porn directly fuels the demand for sex traffickers to make money by selling video of their sex slaves to porn sites.”

Washingtonians need to be aware that human trafficking for sexual exploitation is occurring in their communities. Any progress against human trafficking in our beloved state will need to come through a concerted effort by law enforcement, legislators, and concerned citizens to prevent exploitation, punish traffickers, and protect victims.

 

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and research fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Women and the Politics of Pornography

by Silence*

Content Warning: Every Link

Feminists used to be famous for speaking out against pornography. Then the left got mad at them for it. Liberals even accused them of working with conservatives in the 1980s, though it wasn’t true. Gradually, men affiliated with the left found more compliant women to be the public face of feminism, many of them either drawn from the sex industry or groomed by porn-worshipping male liberals to expect no better for themselves.

Newer waves of activist-minded women keep rediscovering that pornography is unethical, and that even nonviolent, real-world imitations of pornography culture are unsatisfying. They keep trying to fix it. It keeps failing. The enterprise is doomed because pornography is irredeemable and women aren’t benefitted by life as a sexual object, not even for supposedly enlightened, liberal men. Most of the women who called themselves feminists once knew that.

Now, like the existence of transgender male rapists, the fact that pornography is an exercise in torture for women is a truth that the left will no longer tolerate hearing. Women who speak out against any aspect of the sex industry get blacklisted by people like Lux Alptraum, who runs a major women writers network and conference. She seems nice, doesn’t she?

Lux

Alptraum is a major gatekeeper in feminist journalism. Explains a lot, right?

I know the word you’re probably thinking; I’ve heard it from the lips of Rush Limbaugh. But what I’m telling you is that this promoter of Nazi porn isn’t a feminist. She’s someone who has unrepentantly profited from the sex industry’s torture and degradation of women. And it’s important to realize that the so-called fantasies depicted in violent pornography — which is the majority of all pornography — are recordings of the torture and degradation of the women in the film, before it has been shown to anyone as a consumer product.

Torturing and degrading women, either doing it or being entertained by it, has never been feminist.

Alptraum and her cohorts demand that women not speak aloud the truth that Elizabeth Smart knows. Sex “positive” pornography enthusiasts like the Center for Sex & Culture, who sponsor the site Feministing, don’t want to hear about the negative effects the industry and its products have on women, both behind the camera and in the audience.

So you won’t see many feminists sharing or talking about Elizabeth Smart’s courageous statements. Even when they want to, they know it’s a risky proposition.

I know a lot of my friends would hate that I’m writing with an organization that opposes abortion. If you are wondering, I support it. We don’t have to talk about that here, but I bring it up as an example of how bad the relationship between liberals and feminists has become.

Because if you think about it, everyone who follows politics knows of male Democrats who we on the left would call “bad on choice,” by which we mean they would agree with conservatives about abortion. Are these men blacklisted? Do they get threatened with violence over social media? Does the entire left rise up as one to call them backstabbers?

No.

Male Democrats get to cross over on issues like abortion because everyone understands that they have to win a swing district. Or it’s about their faith. Or they had to trade a favor for a vote. They always have some excuse. Feminists grumble about it, but in the end these men are still part of the team.

A man crossing over to work with the right on a matter of conscience is a bipartisan statesman. A woman doing the same thing is treason. Especially on this subject. Because men love their pornography.

He can cheat. She has to be completely loyal. How feminist.

This is why women’s criticisms of the sex industry have become more marginalized within the left, even as pornography has become so much more extreme and violent than the pin-up posters of nude women that were the mainstay of the porn industry even 30 years ago.


*Note from the Author:

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”