Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Convenient, affordable shopping

It’s Friday afternoon. There are about a dozen people coming over to your home for your child’s birthday party. You have most of the things you need, but you’re out of paper plates, plastic cups, you could use a few more sodas and you’d like to pick up one more little something for your son. He’s turning three today, and he’s just now taking on that “little man” side, on his way out the door from his little toddler world whether he knows it or not. Your other two daughters are nine and seven, and are full of personality, lots of their Mother’s side, and argue about sharing a room and play together in decidedly equal portions.
The Costco you usually shop at is about thirty minutes away, and they usually only offer one or two items of any given kind that you might be looking for, and if you find it, inevitably it will be in packages the come by the dozens. By far the best option is a “Super Walmart” that is just about two miles from your home. You hop in your vehicle and drive the short distance in several minutes, park, and go inside. You find your plates, cups, and pick out a brightly colorful Nerf football for your son. It’s time. He needs to start learning to throw.

On your way to go pay, you carefully avoid the black-walled, cordoned off section of the store titled “Adult Services.” You have read that in this area of the store are advertisements, pictures, and contact information for hiring an “escort” service that ranges from $50 for a half hour, to $450 for an hour.  Any gender, race, age or size is available to choose from. The supermarket is able to offer you much cheaper prices on your plates, cups and Nerf ball, due to offering the “thinly disguised advertising for prostitutes” in their “Adult Services” section which brings in a sum total of 30% of their profit annually (1).

When you get home you will find out that the police are attempting to crack down on the amount of child prostitution that occurs in the black walls, but it’s difficult as their ability to filter what happens behind them is limited. The store’s stance is seemingly firm. They require anyone using the “Adult Services” section to immediately report suspicious advertising inside to a national tip-line run by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They have also released statements explaining that they filter out and manually screen any “Adult Services” ads and will reject any that make it “look and sound” as if you’re selling sex (2). But this is not the case. You have also read commentaries, blogs, and critics reviews saying that it is simply not true, and they’re right.
Today, in your town, where you live, are posted pictures of barely clothed women with only their faces obscured, and the words advertising their services state
“I still have my CHEERLEADER outfit - w4m” The end of her ad clearly states “no freebies!” meaning you will have to pay to enjoy the benefits of her and her outfit.
“UNBELIEVABLE time, UNBELIEVABLE beauty -w4m” Her ad clearly states that she costs $150 per hour, or $110 for a half-hour. (3)

“For 2010, its ‘adult services’ revenue will be three times the revenue it generated in that category in 2009.” is in the statement released by the Classified Intelligence Report on April 30th, 2010. Your plates, cups, Dr. Pepper and Nerf football in the back seat of your mini-van that gets 26 miles per gallon, you head home. You’re a Christian with an accountability partner, someone you’re completely honest with that helps encourage you in your walk with Christ and keep you faithful to your wife, two beautiful daughters, and son. You didn’t go into that section of the store, you didn’t look at any of their advertisements. You love your family and wouldn’t do that to them. But it’s definitely the best place to find the groceries and basic family life-upkeep items you’re looking for quickly and cheaply. Besides, with that small, black section of the store indiscreetly pushed to the back and all the way on the left side, there’s no way you could “accidentally” go in there, so you’re not worried about it.

In my town, from July 27th to August 3rd--a period of seven days--there were 456 ads posted in that section of my store. Often called the online “Supermarket” of sex, during the forty-five minutes it took me to write this article Craigslist posted two more ads in their Adult Services “w4m” section, advertising unquestionably, two women who were once in their life two daughters, nine and seven. Tonight men who once turned three and learned how to throw a football will call, text, email or visit them. 
Never forget that behind each link on Craigslist that says "Adult", whether or not you click on it, are hundreds of advertisements for used PEOPLE behind them. A network in every city across America.

1. http://aimgroup.com/blog/2010/04/30/craigslist-revenue-profits-soar/
2. http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/03/craigslist.sex.ads/index.html?hpt=C1
3. Denver Craigslist 3 August 2010, 4:39pm

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