We can all agree that sex trafficking of women and girls is abhorrent and should be illegal. Maybe we won’t agree about whether consensual sex work should be legal. (I personally believe it should be.) But where do you stand on punishing cab drivers who knowingly drive around prostitutes?
On Friday morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation that pins a $10,000 fine on a cab driver who is convicted the second time for knowingly transporting prostitutes to their work. Simply transporting a prostitute or a decoy prostitute would not be illegal, the mayor said, but knowingly driving around sex workers even after getting caught doing so once before would now constitute participating in a ‘sex trafficking operation.’ Keep reading »
Human trafficking is the number two most lucrative illegal industry — behind drug trafficking — in the world. Because of its clandestine nature it’s difficult to gauge the extent of its reach, but experts believe that at any given time there are anywhere between 12.3 and 27 million people in forced or bonded labor — and many of them forced against their will into sex work. Promised good paying jobs as waitresses, shop girls and dancers — these women leave their families and their communities and are sold into a life of sexual servitude and abuse.
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Last month, The New York Times profiled Barbara Terry, a 52-year-old prostitute living in the Bronx section of New York City who’s been working as a lady of the night for more than 30 years. As a woman in her 20s, Terry was left alone to care for four young children and needed to find a way to support herself. And though she had two years of training to become a medical lab technician under her belt, she was drawn to the “exciting” life of prostitution. Over the years, Terry’s learned a thing or two about how to get along in the world — and while we certainly don’t recommend that you pursue a career as a prostitute, we do think Terry has a few points of wisdom to pass on. While her children are less than thrilled with her life on the streets, she says, “I’m the mother, so they can’t say anything. When I’m ready to get off, I’ll get off.”
After the jump, eight pieces of wisdom from a woman who’s seen her share of the seedy side of life.
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, is either the world’s worst liar or the world’s biggest egotist.
He’s the world’s worst liar if he thinks anyone will believe he didn’t know his ladyfriends at French sex parties (aka orgies) were not being paid for their, um, services. And he’s the world’s biggest egotist if he was genuinely unaware that these women were prostitutes (say, if the women had been hired by an employee) and thought they were all just fielding cumshots as they lay in awe of his awesome sexual prowess. Keep reading »