1.29.2004

NEWS - Kristof the Pimp

NYTime's columnist Nicholas Kristof has a heartbreaking audio/video feature about sex slaves in Cambodia, and his efforts to buy two women out of their "contracts". But if you can buy a prostitute her freedom, will she accept it? It's a heartbreaking situation, and a social disorder that is ignored in America. (I say that we ignore the social problems inherent to prostitution, I'm very aware that America loves to pay attention to prostitution.)

The NYTimes Magazine ran an article by Peter Landesman this previous weekend about sex slaves and trafficking. It's another heartbreaking piece that has met with a little bit of controversy. Jack Shafer disputes some of the claims in the NYTimes Mag, but concludes
None of this is to dispute the existence of sex slaves in the United States. Women, girls, and boys are transported into the country and pressed into sexual service. In the Plainfield, N.J., case, which Landesman features in his lede, two people got 17-year sentences for enslaving four Mexican girls.
[...]
But Landesman's story fails on every level to convince me—and 95 percent of Press Box readers who sent me e-mail, I might add—that "perhaps tens of thousands" of women and children are spending the night as sexual chattel. I await real evidence.

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