The organizers of the Women’s March took to Twitter over the weekend to defend the embattled Backpage.com. The website, popular among sex workers, was shut down over the weekend by U.S. law enforcement.
“The shutting down of #Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients,” the official account for the movement tweeted over the weekend. “Sex workers rights are women’s rights.”
. The shutting down of #Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients. Sex workers rights are women’s rights. Follow @SafeSpacesDC @melissagira @swopusa @KateDAdamo @supporthosechi @anaorsomething for more info. https://t.co/S3Orx3aM8Z
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) April 7, 2018
“In the coming days, we will be sharing more about sex workers rights to uplift this critical issue,” they added. “We’re all still learning and as always, we have to listen to the voices of those most impacted. #SexWorkIsWork”
In the coming days, we will be sharing more about sex workers rights to uplift this critical issue. We’re all still learning and as always, we have to listen to the voices of those most impacted. #SexWorkIsWork
– Women’s March (@womensmarch) April 7, 2018
Backpage was shut down over the weekend by federal authorities in an effort to protect women from being trafficked on the site. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp — one of the Senate’s 21 women– tweeted about the news approvingly.
Proud of our work across the aisle to crack down on Backpage & those who facilitate human trafficking online. This is a big step, but there’s more work to do to make sure North Dakota communities are strong & safe for the future. https://t.co/I98d0IJNW9
— Heidi Heitkamp (@HeidiHeitkamp) April 7, 2018
Though the original Women’s March on Washington D.C. attracted a broad swath of women from across the country, the movement has faced increasing criticism — from women and men — that its aims are partisan and not broadly representative.
One of the organizers of the march, Rasmea Odeh, was convicted in 1970 for her role in the bombing of a supermarket in Jerusalem that killed two people. After she was deported from the United States for lying about her legal history last year, a local Women’s March chapter in Iowa expressed its disappointment.
“We cannot express the amount of sorrow felt, a broken system deported an amazing activist & organizer,” they said in a now-deleted tweet, along with the hashtag #HonorRasmea.
“Perhaps the women’s movement is too elitist and out of touch with ordinary citizens, especially working-class women,” Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who also maintains “The Factual Feminist” video blog, wrote in the Washington Post last year.
“I would go one step further. Today’s feminism is not merely out of touch with everyday Americans; it’s out of touch with reality. To survive, it’s going to have to come back to planet Earth.”