Have you heard of Backpage?

Rising Team - Monday, March 23, 2015
by Heena Gandhi
On November 1, 2014, Nicholas Kristof wrote an article in the New York Times called “Teenagers Stand Up to Backpage.” Kristof starts off with an outstanding statement that makes the reader contemplate the answer, “If prostitution of children is illegal, why is it that we allow an estimated 100,000 underage girls and boys to be sold for sex in America each year - many on a single American website, Backpage.com?” (I did not know what Backpage.com was until I looked it up myself. Backpage.com is a free classified ads website, similar to craigslist.com). Kristof tells the story of two young women who say they were each sold on Backpage at age 15, and raped hundreds of times. As a result, they are suing the company in Boston in federal court. Another suit is winding its way through Washington State courts, pursued by three girls who say they, too, were sold for sex on Backpage when they were 13 years old. 

Nonetheless, Kristof writes that “Backpage also makes it hard to search for missing girls, by allowing scrambled phones numbers in sex ads. If you sell a dog on Backpage in the pet section, you must post a numeric phone number; Sell sex with a girl, and you can use a non-searchable version-such as zero12-345-six78nine-that makes it more difficult for police or family members to locate a missing child with a simple Internet search. It makes me so angry to read that these sick people would actually sexually exploit children, and take them away from their families. To me, these people are not human. If you cannot feel that this is morally wrong, then you are not a person, and should be locked up forever. While I was infuriated to read about these underage girls being sold on this website, I also could not help but admire their bravery. I mean, how cool is that these girls are standing up for their rights? 

If you speak up against something that is wrong, others will most likely follow, and speak up also. If women do not continue to speak up for their rights, and demand equality, they will continue to be taken advantage of, and will never get the life they deserve. It is very important that all women know how much they are worth, and finally stand up against the people who are treating them without respect. 
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