Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, May 31, 2021
With the tortured power shift that finally took place on Jan. 20, a marginalized sector of humanity at the “intersection” of things that matter in Washington, D.C. is finally getting some love.
“Sex workers have gained the backing of a small group of Democratic lawmakers after largely being shut out of the policymaking process,” reads the lead sentence to a May 30 article in The Hill.
“It was not just that their perspective was discarded. Their perspective wasn’t even heard. They were considered almost untouchable in the Capitol,” California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna states.
“Sex workers sit at the intersection of a lot of important, but exceedingly difficult, issues surrounding law enforcement, gender, race and speech,” Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden is quoted as saying in a statement. “When Congress makes policy that affects any of those concerns, it would be malpractice not to take their voices into consideration.”
The article goes on to imply that Democrats are expressing concerns over what they believe are negative effects from the 2018 legislative package passed by Congress known as FOSTA-SESTA – The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).
Among these effects of FOSTA-SESTA was the regulation of Internet sites to force them to crack down on prostitution advertising. Democrats voice fears about the rights of Internet publishers, but, in fact, legalizing and normalizing sex work has been a consistent and strident aim of progressives for years.
“The New Majority Behind Sex Work Decriminalization,” screams the headline on a January 2020 New Republic article that is posted on Khanna’s official congressional web page. From the article:
It has been slow and difficult work, but you can see some of that shifting tide in a poll to be released on [Jan. 30] by Data for Progress, which found that nearly two-thirds of Democrats support fully decriminalizing sex work, along with two-thirds of all voters under 45. Of voters of all parties, a slight majority — 52 percent — said they “somewhat” or “strongly” support sex work decriminalization.
The full ramifications of this can be frightening. In Nov. 2019, WorldTribune reported on the Urban Justice Center, a radical progressive organization that has been funded by big-name corporations such as leading financial and insurance conglomerate AIG, Airbnb, the Capital One Foundation, the philanthropic arm of General Electric the GE Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation and Merrill Lynch.
The George Lucas Family Foundation is also a hefty benefactor of UJC.
The Center has a “Sex Workers Project” that lists New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice as one of its “supporters.” Normalizing prostitution for the Urban Justice Center means securing the rights of working prostitutes to have custody over their young children.
As WorldTribune reported in 2019:
A 2018 article at the radical progressive website In These Times bears the blunt headline, “The Right to Mother and Do Sex Work.” The subhead deplores the fact that, “In custody battles, sex workers face trial by slut-shaming.”
At the heart of the battle to protect prostitute mothers one can find the attorneys of the Urban Justice Center. “Parents, particularly mothers, who are involved in sex work often have it used against them to separate them from their child,” Sex Workers Project counselor Liz Afton is quoted as saying in the article. “In many cases, we see the inherent biases of the judge at play, perhaps not explicitly, but in their demeanor and rulings,” Atossa Movahedi, director of legal services and development at the Center’s domestic violence project, asserts in a tone of outrage.
This agenda is continuing to be pushed today. On May 24, Vice published an article titled “Growing Up With a Sex Worker Mum.”
Any notion that the child in question, named Jakob, was harmed by the experience is discounted:
It has, in the past, been argued that the children of sex workers are more vulnerable to psychological issues and parental abandonment. These arguments are, on the whole, simplistic and reductive. While his fraught time at school “drove something of a wedge” between Jakob and his mother during his teenage years, his feelings towards her now are of admiration. “[My mum] put food on the table for her kids, and was willing to do whatever it took to do it,” he says. “She shouldn’t be made to feel shame for it.”
“Anecdotal reporting suggests SESTA/FOSTA and the loss of certain web services have had profound impacts on sex workers, who are frequently among the most marginalized members of our society,” a statement from Wyden’s Senate office in December 2019 reads. “While SESTA/FOSTA holds websites liable for knowingly facilitating sex trafficking, it also impacts online platforms where users discuss consensual sex work and related topics,” the statement adds.
“Sex work is work” is a popular phrase among social progressives. For their Democratic allies in Congress, normalizing prostitution has been a steady battle that goes on today.