What’s Current: Backpage seized, founder indicted on sex trafficking charges

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • The US-based classified ad website, Backpage.com, has been seized, and founder Michael Lacey charged, in a federal raid based on a 93-count sealed indictment alleging staff were knowingly abetting and profiting from sex trafficking, including the trafficking of children.
  • Bill Cosby will return to court based on charges brought by Andrea Constand. This trial will be longer, and the jury will be hearing different evidence.
  • Zainab Fayez is the sole female prosecutor in Kandahar, and in two years she has put 21 men behind bars for violence against women.
  • Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, chastised Tony Robbins, a popular American motivational speaker, for berating women reporting sexual harassment as “making themselves significant by making somebody else wrong.” He has apologized.
  • Andrew Burke has been jailed in Liverpool Crown Court for murdering 28-year-old Cassie Hayes, survived by her four-year-old daughter, at the travel agency where she worked. He had been convicted the previous day of harassing his former partner, Laura Williams, who had left him for Ms. Hayes.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • Eva Jasmena

    We need to be proactive with regards to sex sites. We know that those who sell sex will simply move on to hook-up and massage sites. I’m not proposing we necessarily ban such sites (since then they’ll simply move on to room and apartment-rental sites, and if we ban those then on to other sites, etc.) but that we preemptively regulate them to prevent that from happening.

  • Meghan Murphy
  • I don’t care if a very few men might theoretically get penalized for sexual abuse/harassment they didn’t physically commit. Men tolerate the toxic climate that allows most women to suffer from abuse to a greater or lesser degree. Many sexually abused women are scarred for life. When men and women wring their hands about the theoretical possibility that an “innocent” man might suffer if we start believing women, they are saying that the suffering of the innocent women who are sexually abused is acceptable, just so no innocent men suffer. If sexual abuse didn’t occur at such horrific levels, men wouldn’t have to fear being accused of abuse. The people afraid of false accusations should work on draining the swamp.

  • Wombat

    Winton’s article is good IMO – he cares about boys without letting them off the hook or pretending that toxic masculinity hurts them as much as it hurts children. His point was it’s time for men to step up and work with these boys.

    • Can’tUnseeIt

      Yes, I read it. It wasn’t his piece I was bothered by but rather Tishmak’s ruminations on it.

  • Tinfoil the Hat


    Huh. I always thought Tony Robbins was gay. (Not that gay men can’t be masculine; I just never got a particularly “masculine” vibe from him.)

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Counterpunch – specifically Cockburn – just another male-run lefty site pretending to be supportive of the ladies

  • Anthocerotopsida

    How wonderful to have a victory celebrate!
    I don’t care if a million voluntary sex workers lose their source of marketing if it means that even one trafficked child gets a single day of relief from being raped or just one rapist gets put behind bars. Shame on everyone advocating for rapists and (allegedly) voluntary sex work in spite of victims.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    So being tall and married makes you “hyper masculine.” Good to know.

    I still always just assumed he was gay. Didn’t care one way or the other. Just figured he was.

  • kfwkfw

    So true! Ignoring instincts repeatedly, against our best interest & totally in men’s interest. That is brainwashing. That video made me ill, too.

  • Tobysgirl

    I guess you are not aware of the leather scene. It’s the gay bar scene in cities in which hyper-masculine men meet up with other hyper-masculine men for sex — no swishy, limp-wristed gay boys welcome. Apparently, according to these gay men, leather is VERY masculine. Check out videos of pride parades — you’ll see the guys often half-dressed in leather gear.

  • Tobysgirl

    I was the commenter and made no mention of straight or gay. YOU DID, if you don’t remember. You thought Robbins was gay. What I don’t understand is why you didn’t just ask what I meant about being hyper-masculine. When I don’t understand what someone means, I just ask questions. (Which is why I know so much!)

  • Tobysgirl

    Add in Democracy Now! apparently, according to commenter on another thread.