Hey, just realized I forgot to blog for Friday. A quick one, because I’m Cinderella-fying myself for the big dance tonight, and brother, that’s a long-term process at my age.
For those keeping score at home: I have just removed unwanted leg and pit hair and moisturized heavily. Next step: Nails.
I’ve also been following internet worm holes on human trafficking hysteria. With the auto show in town, the usual suspects are claiming their share of the spotlight, spewing questionable data and offering such helpful tips as: Watch for situations that just don’t seem right.
See, this is predicated on the extremely shaky contention that any large group of people descending on a city for an event – Super Bowl, Final Four, auto show – will lead to a “spike” in human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking, but I bet you knew that. These press conferences aren’t to draw attention to domestic servants who are essentially held prisoner in their employers’ basement, but to give the local TV stations a chance to break out their whores-on-the-stroll video with the faces pixelated out. Anyway, I think the contention is shaky because so far, no one has ever produced any evidence other than this: Sex-service classifieds on sites like Backpage spike around that time.
This week, I tried to test it. To be sure, there are a lot of Backpage sex ads right now. But the ads drop off sharply after they’ve been up a day or two, and I’m not sure why. I also don’t have a control group from a non-auto show week. I tweeted a thread about this yesterday:
So I've been trying to fact-check the oft-repeated #humantrafficking claim that the sex trade goes into overdrive around large events. (Thread, I guess.)
— Nancy Nall Derringer (@nnall) January 18, 2018
Any of you with experience in this area, feel free to private-message me via email or the channel of your choice. I’m genuinely curious.
Earlier this week, the police and some HT advocates held a presser that advised the public to BOLO (be on the lookout, in the cop lingo) for trafficked women at the show. They also said they made 22 arrests last year “tied to” the show, and apparently no one asked for more detail. So are girls, what? Working the floor? I find that hard to believe. Outside of Cobo? Ditto. Almost all prostitution is online now, anyway, so I don’t know how the public might see one of these women in the first place. Then there’s this:
Last year, police made 22 arrests for human trafficking that were tied to the auto show, Craig said. Some cases are still being investigated.
The chief anticipates there will be more reports at this year’s show, which runs through Jan. 28. Sex traffickers often go to major events that attract large crowds to find their victims, Craig said.
Craig emphasized that sex trafficking is much different from prostitution because trafficking means the person is held against their will.
Wait, what? Prostitution cases being investigated for a year? And what is he saying in the second paragraph there? That pimps are trolling the crowd for girls? Has anyone actually been to this show? The public week is hardly a magnet for young women traveling alone — it’s families, couples, and lots of guys. Is he pushing the “Taken” myth here? Oh, and trafficking vs. prostitution, he’s wrong there. He just is.
When I wrote about HT a couple years ago, one of my sources told me that, in terms of understanding the problem, we were about where we were with understanding domestic violence – in 1979.
It’s an interesting topic. I wish we had better data.
OK, on to the nails. I’ll have a photo roundup of the action tonight Sunday/Monday. Be good, all.