On Dec. 20 the Senate passed Senate Resolution 439: “A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC should eliminate the ‘adult entertainment’ section of the classified advertising website Backpage.com.”
I am clearly weeks late responding to this. This happened in the flurry of holidays, travel, and the Sandy Hook shooting media storm. It was also on the heels of December 17 so most of the sex work activist community was burned out and exhausted. Though not necessarily intentional, the highly unfortunate timeline of events is important to note.
In immediate practical terms, this doesn’t mean much. A simple resolution only expresses nonbinding positions of the Senate. No one is required to do anything is response. But the implications are disturbing.
The Village Voice, which up until recently was part of the same subsidiary group as Backpage, declared in 2011 that “the Craigslist beat-down was absurdist theater.” Remember the debacle when Ashton Kutcher declared himself a spokesman for the anti-trafficking movement? If you don’t – here are somereminders. It was a perfect illustration of the absurdist theater that the Voice pinpointed.
But they have responded very differently to the campaign to shut down Backpage.
The Atlantic ran a brilliant review of After Porn Ends, a documentary on the porn industry and the difficulties of leaving it. “Really, based on this documentary, the problem porn workers encounter seem like problems lots of workers encounter: abusive working conditions, inadequate (or more often non-existent) pensions, and lack of options… it’s not necessarily different in kind from the antipathy and contempt that workers in general face.” Thank you.
In spite of Kerry Washington’s awe-inspiring beauty, I really wasn’t interested in watching Scandal, a show about a crisis management firm in Washington DC who works to save reputations and careers when damning personal histories are about to come to light. My boyfriend bought it on AppleTV, though, and like the manipulative man he is, played the second episode one night while I was next to him on the couch. And it had hookers in it! So I was all in. The episode begins as several of head honcho Olivia’s (Kerry Washington) employees are clearing a woman’s home of all relevant and incriminating evidence, beating the police by mere seconds. Who is this conservatively-clad woman evading the police? Why, she’s “DC’s finest madam,” and she’s sipping tea at Olivia’s huge, superhero-y work loft, waiting for her client list to be safely delivered back into her hands. [READ MORE]