Friday, May 21, 2010

Why are Craiglist's Craig Newmark and its CEO Jim Buckmaster Such Pimps?

[image of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is from here]

[image of Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster is from here]

Some describe Jim Buckmaster as anti-establishment and even (gasp) a "communist". More power to him if he is either. But promoting and profiting from sexist-racist-classist trafficking in girls and women is about as "communistic" and "anti-establishment" as are the entrepreneurial practices and ethics of Walton siblings of Wal-mart. I accuse both Jim and Craig of being dishonest, intellectually and otherwise, in hiding or masking or disguising the fact that they are pimps, in the most basic definitional sense of that term. They make money from the rental and sale of human beings for other human beings who want to have bodies against and into which they can ejaculate without regard for the humanity of those they treat this way.

It is the ethical and political position of this blog that promotion of openly legal or surreptitious and criminal pimping and procuring of human beings anywhere, imperils girls and women around the world who are and are not part of systems of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual slavery. The economy of my country and in the West generally has been globalised by corporate thieves, thugs, ecocidalists, genocidalists, misogynists, and pimps. It is my belief that anyone with race or class or regional privileges ought to consult with those of us without any of those about how our actions impact them before publicly, socially promoting any form of prostitution or "sex work". That some privileged people choose "sex work" is not the issue here. That such "sex work" has a negative, oppressive, dehumanising, and lethal impact on girls and woman being trafficked and enslaved around the world is the issue, for me.

From Wikipedia, *here*:

Significant events for Craigslist

  • In January 2000, current CEO Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO. Buckmaster contributed the site's multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature. He was promoted to CEO in November 2000.[19]
  • In 2002, a disclaimer was put on the "men seeking men", "casual encounters", "erotic services", and "rants and raves" boards to ensure that those who clicked on these sections were over the age of 18, but no disclaimer was put on the "men seeking women", "women seeking men" or "women seeking women" boards. As a response to charges of discrimination and negative stereotyping, Buckmaster explained that the company's policy is a response to user feedback requesting the warning on the more sexually explicit sections, including "men seeking men."[20] Today, all of the above listed boards (as well as some others) have a disclaimer.
  • On May 13, 2009, Craigslist announced that it will close the 'Erotic services' section, replacing it with an 'adult services' section where the postings will be reviewed by Craigslist employees. This decision came after allegations by several US states that the erotic services ads were being used for prostitution.[23] Postings to the new category cost $10 and can be renewed for $5.

Criticism

  • In July 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Craigslist for allowing ads from dog breeders, and thereby allegedly encouraging the over breeding and irresponsible selling of pit bulls in the Bay Area.[26]
  • In January 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial criticizing Craigslist for moving into local communities and "threatening to eviscerate" local alternative newspapers. Craigslist has been compared to Wal-Mart, a multinational corporation that some feel crushes small local businesses when they move into towns and offer a huge assortment of goods at lower prices.[27]
  • In August 2007, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin wrote a letter to Craigslist asking the company to take steps to avoid unwittingly enabling child prostitution through its classified ads.[28][29]
From Huffington Post, *here*.
Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal compares the sex trade on Craigslist to "an online red light district" that's "as obvious and plain to you as Times Square was in the 70s or 80s."
Sex ads are reportedly big business for Craigslist, and comprise around 30 percent of the site's total revenues.
From Marcella, at the great blog, abyss2hope, *this* opening paragraph to a recent blogpost.
In a comment on my post about the rape of a woman which happened after the victim's ex-boyfriend, Jebidiah James Stipe, posted a Craigslist ad seeking sexual violence while pretending to be her, the man who answered that ad, Ty Oliver McDowell, was positioned by commenter Social Worker as a victim ("In this case, it really does sound like there are two victims here.") and the fact that he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty was used as supporting evidence.
From A.R.P., right here on this site, this: 
Why is it when men do violence to women, the knee-jerk-off reaction is to immediately consider how and in what ways he MUST have also been a victim?

When a man harasses, stalks, batters, rapes, and/or murders a woman, his "whole" humanity must be immediately shored up by the masses. He will be psychologically analysed by society, not politically assessed. No matter the level of atrocities, or the number of times he's committed them, there will always be someone--or hundreds or thousands of someones--at the ready to speak out in support of "us" not forgetting he's "human", as if that's ever really been a social problem with regard to non-poor white het men (forgetting they're human, that is). Every radical feminist I've ever known always sees white het men as human, and everyone else does too, with the possibly exception of fathers of daughters who vow to kill the bastard who touches "their" daughters (unless, of course, the bastard is the father or step-father himself).

So unnecessarily and disingenuously "insecure" are white het men's own sense of themselves that they need and demand, legislate and force, this public propping up of their status as a "really deep down a good and decent person".

I don't give a damn about "decency", and I measure goodness in action, not in hypotheticals and abstract philosophies about the nature of being human. I make no assumptions about anyone's goodness. Show me what a man, any man, does with his life, his time, his attitudes, his values, his habits, and especially his practices--his behaviors--and I'll conclude from all of that whether or not he's going anything "good". And "goodness" is the liberal substitute for something far more important: is he being oppressive? Is he being accountable? Is he being honest and responsible? Because "goodness" is really such an elusive matter, such a projection on the part of others and such an invention and masquerade, too often, on the part of the one who declares himself such.

Which brings us to Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster. They cannot seem to "serve the community" by shutting down options--fully within their right to do--to allow trafficking, pimping, and procuring of women for het men. They clearly view sexist "sexual services" to be something that any liberal society ought to have made available on Craigslist, because, well, they don't have to suck cock or be fucked for money. I welcome them to do both for a few years and let me know, here, on this blog, what impact it has on their sexuality and the degrees to which they feel that sexuality belongs to them and exists for the benefit of the community. And to detail for me how being ejaculated in and on impacts their humanity, their sense of being statused or stigmatised by others; this isn't fair of me: white het men have institutionally bolstered status that even sucking cock and getting fucked by men cannot destabilise. But they should be able to describe to me the degrees to which they are more or less vulnerable to rape, harassment, and gross physical, psychological, and emotional mistreatment. I'm waiting.

As has been written, I am among the most privileged people on Earth. Not-so-lucky me. This is entirely due to being white in the West and also due to being male. I met a man in motel rooms for years to satisfy him sexually. He paid for the room, always. He didn't pay me anything. So this was, according to liberals and others with shallow understandings of what consent means, "consensual" activity. He didn't force me to do anything, ever. But there was profound coercion in place, for many reasons. Too many to get into here right now.

My case of being damaged  by these "meetings" for sex are meaningful only when set next to the stories of hundreds and thousands and millions of women who are coerced in many ways to satisfy men sexually. Taken together, patterns emerge. Seen in isolation, only some conclusions can be drawn. I prefer to analyse my own experience when placed next to and with those without the privileges I have.

I abhor the social practice of pretending individual actions are not social. Of pretending that civil liberties are very meaningful in a society where legally and militarily enforced social hierarchies which oppress and harm the poor, people of color, women, non-heterosexual men, intersex people, transgendered people, the disabled, and the elderly and children are in place with no sign of budging, and with no comprehension of the relationship between civil liberties, civil rights, human rights, and the global atrocity called non-Indigenist industrialised, kyriarchical, plutocratic civilisation.

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