Streetwalking in Silicon Valley: Has Prostitution Found its Place on Craigslist?
Well, I'll recap/highlight some parts for you:
Craigslist is unique in that it plays host to both real estate brokers looking for a sale and horny twenty-somethings looking for a date in the same place. Believe it or not, it didn’t take long for these two disparate sectors to find some commonalities on the community site, and unnerving postings like the following (posted on 3/19/06 in the “manhattan rooms & shares” section) began appearing with frequency:
“FEMALE ROOMATE WANTED ONLY WHO IS PRETTY & IN GOOD SHAPE.TO RENT, WITH ADDED SEX INCLUDED. AND SHARE A 1MEDIUM SIZE BEDROOM.2WINDOWS.UTILITIES/CABLE INCLUDED. SHARE KITCHEN.AND BATHROOM. RENT CAN MAYBE BE NEGOTIABLE TO A LOWER PRICE WITH ADDED SEX INCLUDED.”
In several major cities, including New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and undoubtedly many other places around the country, men are offering free or discounted rent on their shared apartment space to young, attractive women who are willing to negotiate sexual favors as payment. For the past year, stories such as the one that appeared last Sunday, March 19 in the Miami Herald have chronicled the practice as a growing phenomenon. The disturbing trend in this coverage is that very little preventative measures are being taken; the authorities are always seen standing on the sideline of the Internet with a dumb stupor, wondering what laws they should consult, and whether or not they should intervene at all.
Sometimes, posters will mask their sexual solicitations with more vague terms such as “services,” or by requesting other suggestive activity, such as regularly cleaning the apartment in their underwear. Frequently, potential roommates will be asked to send a provocative picture for review. Nearly always, what is being asked for is explicit enough to scare away young women not wishing to prostitute themselves, yet implicit enough to avoid legal prosecution.
In February of this year, the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Craigslist’s operators, claiming that the site is in violation of the Fair Housing Act. In reality, the group was attacking the vile sexual solicitation they found becoming a rampant problem in their city, but legally they took the case against Craigslist to another level. The Fair Housing Act in question outlaws “discriminatory preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.” This means that the Chicago Lawyers Committee found Craigslist postings making specifications such as “Godly Christian Roommate Wanted” (a surprisingly frequent occurrence) to be on par with “Female Only CHEAP RENT FOR SERVICES.” Their lawsuit is still pending.
This legal strategy conflates the real problem of sexual solicitation with the imagined threat of housing discrimination. People should be allowed to say if they prefer to live with someone who has a similar background as them (provided that they don’t directly attack those people they prefer not to live with). They should not, however, be allowed to sell their ritzy Manhattan penthouse for daily sexual gratification, at least not on Craigslist where their vulgar offers contaminate a shared community space.
Oh yesiree, we have reached the age where men (no women place the ads, how strange) seem to think that it's ok to exploit women's need for shelter and their inherent belief that all women will want to have sex with their socially inept, misogynistic, slimy selves. I mean, does that sound like a fun or even fair trade to you? I mean these guys are so charming that not only will no one date them of their own free will, but they will exploit our basic need for shelter to get laid. Apparently these ads first started pooping up after Hurricane Katrina. See how much men think of us? They were kind enough to offer the hurricane survivors shelter, they just ask for a little poke now and then. I mean really, they're opening up their house for you, right? It's the least you could do. (I prefer cooking for the house or doing random chores when I'm a guest, but that's just me.)
And the poor women don't even get their own bed. They can't just fuck the guy and get away. No they are his sex slave/cuddle buddy/warm body for him to do whatever he wants to with. Can you imagine how easily it could escalate for someone desperate enough. Hmmmmm...I think that twice a week isn't enough. And I think you ca only wear this:..... How easily it devolves into a Travis Frey type situation.
I especially love the part where legally they are saying that looking for a live in prostitute is the same as looking for a gay/Xtian/smoking/drug-free roommate. What a sad sad legal system we have.
Yes ladies, they love us. They love us so much that they see us as fucktoys around only for their pleasure and nothing else. Now that's sexy.