What’s Current: Backpage shuts down in the United States


About damn time: Backpage shuts down in the United States after pressure from government! Sadly, this online hotbed for sex trafficking, including trafficking of minors, is still operational in Canada.

Restaurants run by Trump’s labor secretary nominee report “disturbing” rates of sexual harassment/degradation

Anna Yocca finally released from jail after being held for over a year for attempting to abort at home.

Domestic violence allegations were a missed red flag before Florida mass shooting. Esteban Santiago was accused twice of strangulation, yet the reports were not taken seriously.

“Domestic violence and mass shootings are intricately linked in the United States. Many mass shootings actually target intimate partners or family members, though those incidents rarely make the news.

According to data collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, of the 16 mass shooting incidents in 2016, seven — 43 percent — involved a male shooter targeting a family member or intimate partner. In those shootings, women and children made up 81 percent of the victims.”

Actress Lola Kirke gets death threats online because of her visible armpit hair.

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • Marla

    The man if he marries will batter his child and have endless excuses
    The woman sadly will do much the same thinking that it’s right and it’s proper

    Better than their mommy or their daddy did. Better than the childhood they suffered
    The truth is they’re happier when they’re in pain In fact, that’s why they got married

    ~ Lou Reed ‘Endless Cycle’

    I have no doubt that Santiago was raised in a hostile, abusive environment where he was taught to hate women – by both parents – or be considered “weak” and immature to handle them in any way other than the anger he learned

    Reed was right. Boys, moreover than girls, are taught to hate and destroy. It is an endless cycle that no matter how much I would like to see broken, it never will be in my lifetime. And I’m not being cyclical on the issue, I just don’t see it happening.

    • Cassandra

      Yeah, when I hear someone say, “Be a Man!” I often say, “Please—don’t.”

  • Death threats over hairy armpits? Oh, that’s right. Death threats are how some people say hello.

  • Cassandra

    Apropos of nothing and yet everything, great new masthead Meghan!

  • fxduffy

    Re: Lola Kirke. I’m sure these armpit hair enforcers are the same as the “bump” enforcers. They insist celeb women be a cross between mothers and children–or, in this case, infants/angels.

    The hairless armpit has to have been part of the backlash against 1970s feminism. Cuz before that assault, and even prior to feminism, all the women around me, including my mother and sisters, and local beach goers, never gave underarm shaving a thought, as far as I could tell.

    And no wonder, because it’s so utterly inoffensive–and so damn natural. Why the hell is it any different than head hair–and the different colors & growing types are just as interesting. Some of us have say black straight hair and curly red body hair. Anyhow, it’s all interesting and, I think, attractive (the shaved “style” has an antiseptic, ready-for surgery look)

  • fxduffy

    Thanks for telling me. I was just about to send them a small, sincere donation. But I think I’ll wait till I’m better off, so I can send a larger, less sincere offering.

    I’ll give my money in hand to the Salvation Army. (I meant this to be a little humorous, but now I think of it, the SArmy also does a lot of anti-trafficking support work).

    • Wren

      This is a horrible reality, but despite many organizations doing a lot to help prostituted children, there is sometimes a hidden agenda. Men are often willing to “compromise” and maintain their access to paid rape by agreeing that children are off limits (not that they actually avoid buying children, but they SAY they do). Of course, anybody who knows anything about prostitution knows that most women are lured and groomed as children. Nothing magical happens at the age of majority to make them super empowered happy hookers. The false dichotomy between exploited children and “consensual” adult paid “sex” is becoming somewhat intractable in the mainstream.

      The fact that Hugh Hefner, the man most responsible for normalizing and making porn cute for little girls to embrace (bunnies!!) is the man forking over some of his pimp money to save children from himself is extraordinary duplicity. What a fucking hero!!

      If you really want your money to help prostituted women directly, give it to Cherie Jimenez at the Eva Center. I know her and she’s good people and struggles for funding:

      • susannunes

        I for one will be dancing near that shitbag Hefner’s crypt when he dies. I say crypt because his empty one is next to Marilyn Monroe’s at Westwood Memorial Park. Hefner is a degenerate who has done a lot of damage to our culture.

  • radwonka

    he either forgot that that he and his pals created concepts such as “youth sex work” or is trying to create a good image (which is something pimps do a lot in order to convince people that they are “good” guys)

  • Tired

    Holy mother of goddess, a bill to decriminalise DV. ??? I’ve seen the ‘if he beats you it means he loves you’ thing before but not in support of legislation in this day and age, holy shit.

    • melissa

      I know.Completely shocked.

  • lk

    So happy that the backpage escort section was shut down in the us! Any chance this will happen in Canada too?

    And lol at the deleted escort site linking to sites that support free speech..what the hell does free speech have to do with selling children for sex?!

    • Katie MunchmaQuchi Smith

      I’m not defending them AT ALL, but there is legal precedent for this, which makes life pretty damn convenient for thieves, murderers, and perverts. Several cases against “hire a hitman” have have been thrown out. The scenario is usually someone hiring a hitman to kill their spouse (usually a man to kill his wife, of course) and getting caught and either they or their family or their victim’s family try to implicate the publication. The courts have decided that the burden is solely on the customer not on the publication. The ACLU also notoriously defends child porn and prostitution under similar conditions under the guise of NO CENSORSHIP EVAAAAR! Then there’s that joke of an institution the “Free Speech Coalition.” They’re the lobbying arm of the porn industry. They’re the reason we have all that step daughter and teen porn and incest porn. They said it was violating their free speech to not let them use girls who LOOK under 18 and the SCOTUS agreed. Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition is the case.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think free speech and free press absolutely SACRED and I generally don’t believe in censorship, but with freedom comes responsibility and it seems we are pretty goddamn irresponsible with it! We have so few people out there teaching people, “Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD!”

      When people complain about, “butbutbutbut now these child prostitutes (read: their pimps) don’t have anywhere to advertise and their lives will be harder!” It makes me think the same people would have been against the abolition of slavery because, “If you abolish slavery, the slaves will be homeless, so don’t abolish slavery because life will be harder for these folks.”

  • Wren

    I’ve been thinking about “men are the same” recently and usually agree, but the image of the young grad students who witnessed and intervened when Brock Turner was raping the young woman behind a dumpster always confounds me. How many other men just walked by and turned away? Not only that, but the account was they were crying and very disturbed by what they witnessed, as two compassionate humans ought to be. They weren’t American, THEY WERE FROM SWEDEN where the Nordic model is in full force and women have a much more elevated status in society. This is not a coincidence. Men can be better if society tells them they can and must. Idk, I guess it gives me hope and a reason to continue.

    • Tired feminist

      Yes, this was also my first thought when I learned they were Swedish.

  • radwonka

    aaaaah you are not alone! I feel frustrated too when they deny the existence of human trafficking.

    Im glad that there are still women, even if they are just a minority, who want to end that nightmare 🙂

  • radwonka

    it also can be used by pimps, cam girls, “sex therapists”, [insert patriarchal activity]

    • Tired feminist

      Omg sex therapists too? Seriously!? (eyeroll)

      Imagine how it skews the statistics… how many “registered sex workers” are anything but prostitutes.

      • radwonka

        Yes, the concept is truly evasive (and we shouldnt even talk about “sex”, its patriarchal/objectified sexuality)

        IKR? anyone who has sent a sexual SMS or sent a nude can be said to be a “unpaid professional sex worker” lmaoooo

  • radwonka

    but sadly, all the women who were raped wont get justice, shutting down sites is not enough: criminalize the rapists who use it too!