"The Truth About White Slavery"
Recently, one of our long time sex worker rights activists, Carol Leigh (who coined the term "sex worker" years ago) came across this amazing article from a century ago, on the Columbia University website under 'gender and sexuality' archives. "The more things change, the more they stay the same" is very appropriate here.
Published June, 1913, in The English Review (as in "UK"), and written by Teresa Billington-Greig (click on link to view article as pdf), this article could have been written in the present time to describe the current situation in the US and the rest of the world. Only the names have changed- those who crusaded against prostitution back then, are all dead. Unfortunately the crusade and the lies told by today's abolitionists are exactly the same.
Then as now, it is a crusade fueled by sexual hysteria and promoted by the radical left/ progressives and religious conservatives who don't give a fig about sex workers (or prostitutes, as we were called back then) and are only concerned with promoting their false 'trafficking' narrative to impose their moral and/ or social agenda on the rest of us. The lies the anti- prostitution groups told one hundred years ago and tell now in 2014 continue to harm those whom these abolitionists claim to want to help.
The lies haven't changed one bit. They are the same old tired fabrications created by people who have a limited imagination but an unlimited capacity for telling tall tales without a shred of evidence to back up their claims; horrific stories of virginal young women kidnapped in broad daylight and forced into brothels. Back then, it was the 'motor-car' which helped facilitate the alleged kidnappings and 'trappings'- but today, it is the internet- and 'craigslist,' 'backpage' and all the other social media sites which makes it possible for sex workers to advertise their services- and which are deemed to be the facilitators of 'sex trafficking.'
The author has a very colorful and charming way of calling the "alarmist campaigners" liars- she says "The truth is that the structure erected by the neuropaths* and prudes is reduced to ashes. They are convicted of getting legislation by false pretences. These dabblers in debauchery by word of mouth have given us a shocking exhibition of unlicensed slander." [to which we say a hearty "AMEN, sister, AMEN!"] [*neuropath was another word for 'psychopaths' and 'sociopaths' - which is an excellent way to describe abolitionists past and present! Two such abolitionists immediately come to mind who, in my opinion, so closely resemble this description- Melissa Farley and Donna Hughes- our very own dear American neuropaths, as well as the recently exposed Cambodian 'victim pimp' Somaly Mam being another for whom this is, again in my own personal opinion, an accurate adjective; and not to forget Bradley Myles and his ever inaccurate count of 'potential victims referenced' phone calls taken by his faith based Polaris Project which brought him and his toadies over $7 MILLION in 2012... or Dominique Roe- Sepowitz of the also faith based re-education camp at Project ROSE... there are SO MANY of these neuropaths it is difficult to remember all their names and tax-payer funded rescue and re-educate pogroms... ]
Says Ms. Billington- Greig:
"To all the previous evidence we may add these statistics, the weight of which is entirely against the alarmist campaigners. Indeed, they are now left the choice of two unpleasant admissions: either the Act has failed to achieve the chief purpose for which it was passed, or there was no need to pass it!"
To the foregoing weighty pronouncements we must add the equally weighty opinion of Assistant Commissioner F. S. Bullock, the Central Authority in England for the Repression of the White Slave Traffic. I was referred to him by Mr. Arthur Lee, M.P. when I asked for authentication of statements made in the Commons. I am afraid that there is little support for Mr. Lee's views in Mr. Bullock's reply to my questions.
He says: "I cannot call to mind a single case of the forcible trapping of a girl or a woman by drugs, false messages, or physical force during the last ten years that has been authenticated or proved. I should say such cases were very rare indeed .... The average number of cases of procuration in London is about three per annum, and none of these are really cases of trapping."
["trapping" was what these same 'alarmist campaigners' now call "trafficking"]
Admittedly, Ms. Billington-Grieg does call prostitution "evil"- but then, this was a time in our history when ALL types of sex outside of marriage were considered 'evil' - including masturbation. Fighting the 'scourge' of masturbation was a companion battle against all sorts of 'immoral' and 'anti-social' sex acts and interracial relationships. The puritan/moralists and the feminists/ progressives certainly had their hands full fighting sin and keeping the poor in their place! And both groups of moral/social busybodies were also fighting to prohibit alcohol- to mold America into their dream utopia - where women remained at home taking care of their family, and men neither drank, or smoked or committed adultery... or masturbated in private. Everyone would be as pure as Ivory soap...
But regardless of how she personally viewed prostitution, she and her colleagues understood that the crusade to 'eliminate' or abolish prostitution was not ever going to be successful, and that by making up statistics without evidence and creating false stories about an endless number of women and girls 'trapped' into prostitution was NOT a way to help ANYONE!
"The two police court workers approached are entirely without knowledge of this phase of evil. Mr. Thomas Holmes of the Howard Association, and twenty-three years a Police Court Missionary, replies with "Never" twice repeated. He writes; 'You will notice that I say that I have never known of a girl being trapped. I have never even heard of one, excepting through common report. I have had nearly thirty years' connection with the police courts; the prisons and the sweated women of London, and my own conviction is that the matter is grossly exaggerated.'
Mrs. Eleanor Carey, sixteen years Police Court Missionary and Probation Officer at Thames Police Court, is equally emphatic. She says: 'In every case known to me of a girl being dragged down to life in a brothel, she has been a willing though blind and misguided victim .... I have never found reason to believe that any girl is ever forcibly carried off.' The statistics kindly supplied by a number of Chief Constables complete the destruction of this campaign of sedulously cultivated sexual hysterics..."
Oh, if only cops were as "honest" (sarcasm) now as they were back then... but now, unfortunately, the federal government is in on the "campaign of sedulously cultivated sexual hysterics" 'anti- trafficking' scheme in a GRAND way and offers funding to law enforcement agencies to keep up the destructive and fraudulent campaign- the 21st century War on Whores. [Which is why Denver CO. Vice Lieutenant Aaron Sanchez so earnestly says "Prostitutes are not friendly. It’s not like you’re talking to a child-abuse victim or a fifteen-year-old sex assault victim who wants to cry out and wants to explain what happened or is just scared. These girls just flat out say, ‘Nope, that’s NOT what’s happening.’ We have to help them realize they are victims"- because otherwise we don't get all that federal grant money to spend investigating whores, which is much safer for us than looking for REAL criminals such as the hundreds of thousands rapists whose victims reported the crimes and have asked for help but we just don't have the resources or inclination to pursue them!]
Apparently NONE of these prostitution abolitionists are aware of the past failure of this same idiotic crusade, because if they are aware of it and still consider it within the realm of possibility to 'eradicate all commercial sex' through their absurd 'End the Demand' campaign, we would have to consider them to be the epitome of insanity as defined by the brilliant Albert Einstein: "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It is very disheartening to think that our governments and media outlets are being run by people who, in centuries past, would have been locked up in an asylum for being too dangerous to live among us. Nicholas Kristof, are you listening?
The original pdf of this article can be found here: Columbia.edu gender and sexuality
I cleaned it up (by removing the black down the center of each scanned page and highlighted the important quotes. There are a few pages missing from this document- 433 to 438- which may have been deliberately left out if they were ads. If anyone knows where we can find a complete version, please contact me normajeanalmodovar [@] gmail.com