Teen Vogue's Article Raises Fury
According to an article in NYPost.com, April 30, 2019, Teen Vogue recently printed an op-ed that engendered backlash from sex-trade survivors and anti-trafficking advocates. The column, written by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a South African reproductive specialist, argued that, "...selling sex is a legitimate job and should be decriminalized." Though agreeing that it should be decriminalized, opponents furiously disagreed with the main premise, saying, "...Teen Vogue was glorifying the trade and ignoring its many victims."
The Post article said, "Nicole Bell, who spent most of her adult life in prostitution and now runs a clinic for those in the trade, blasted the doctor’s column.
“It’s not empowering. You’re told what you’re going to do with your body for how much by the men that are buying and selling you … you’re at the disposal of the sex buyer,” Bell, 38, told The Post.
Studies have shown the average age of women entering the sex trade as trafficking victims is as young as 12 years old. Law enforcement experts and advocates have told The Post many of those girls continue to be trafficked under the guise of consensual sex work well into adulthood because it’s all they know.
Though some would like to promote sex work as a choice, our society is gradually realizing that sex work most often involves trafficking of vulnerable people and a lack of choice.
What can we do? Let's educate our youth about trafficking so they can keep themselves and their friends safe. Let's surround our youth with caring adults. And let's watch out for our youth -- those vulnerable 12 year olds -- so they aren't trafficked in the first place.
Meanwhile, in Seattle, court gives sex trafficker 23 year sentence
On May 22, 2019, kgmi.com reported that, "A Seattle-area man was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison and fifteen years of supervised release for crimes of threats, violence, and sexual assault, which included sex trafficking of a minor using force, fraud and coercion.
“This sentence should send a strong message that those who use physical and emotional coercion to force and manipulate victims into sexual slavery will be held accountable for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran in a Department of Justice release.
32-year-old Aubrey “Uno” Taylor had worked as a pimp in Washington, Idaho and Nevada. He transported girls to Las Vegas to engage in commercial sex acts, and controlled his victims with things like heroin and making them get tattoos of his name.