Once a year, the New York Times publishes something with which we wholeheartedly agree; Saturday's Nick Kristof column takes that honor for 2013:
NASHVILLE — WHEN men paid Shelia Faye Simpkins for sex, they presumably thought she was just a happy hooker engaging in a transaction among consenting adults.Read the whole thing, including Simpkin's testimony of being rescued, here.
It was actually more complicated than that, as it usually is. Simpkins says that her teenage mom, an alcoholic and drug addict, taught her at age 6 how to perform oral sex on men. “Like a lollipop,” she remembers her mom explaining.
There’s a common belief that pimps are business partners of prostitutes, but that’s a complete misunderstanding of the classic relationship. Typically, every dollar earned by the women goes to the pimp, who then doles out drugs, alcohol, clothing and food.
Of course, there are also women (and men) selling sex voluntarily. But the notion that the sex industry is a playground of freely consenting adults who find pleasure in their work is delusional self-flattery by johns.
Sex trafficking is one of the most severe human rights violations in America today. In some cases, it amounts to a modern form of slavery.