EDITORIAL: Hawley ignores centuries of human trafficking in his spin on morality

AP

Print Article

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley demonstrated recently why it’s so important to pay attention to political campaigns. During a speech to pastors in Kansas City, Hawley, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, blamed the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s for the human-trafficking industry. As if that wasn’t enough of a head-scratcher, his campaign reinforced that position when given an opportunity to clarify Hawley’s words.

Hawley’s statement, in an audio recording obtained by The Kansas City Star, brought to mind Todd Akin, the Missouri U.S. Senate Republican nominee who in 2012 asserted that women don’t get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

What happens to the thought processes of Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate in Missouri? Akin, an anti-abortion activist, might have wanted to highlight differences between himself and incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Could Hawley, who is likely to face McCaskill in November, have been similarly motivated?

“We’re living with the terrible after-effects of this so-called revolution, which was in fact, I think, a great step back,” Hawley says on the audio recording. “And one of them is, one of those effects, is a crisis in our country that goes by the name of human trafficking.”

Hawley got his bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and his law degree from Yale. Perhaps he missed school the day they taught that the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910 made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. In other words, human trafficking existed long before the ‘60s rolled around.

Maybe he missed other historical facts about sex slavery, such as the early American colonists who used force to procure wives, often capturing and enslaving Native American women. Or that African-American slaves were systematically raped by white men or forced to breed with other slaves. Or that poor European women were forced to migrate against their will to be wives to men in the United States.

Human trafficking long predated the sexual revolution, and Hawley is being either excessively naive or intentionally cynical when he says it didn’t.

Not surprisingly, Hawley failed to mention society’s gains from the sexual revolution, such as accessible birth control, women’s liberation, improved divorce laws, greater child care availability and greater emphasis on workplace equality.

Hawley might be uncomfortable with such social changes, but the sexual revolution is not responsible for society’s demeaning treatment of women. If he truly wants to take on the morality challenge, he might start by declaring his rejection of President Donald Trump’s degrading remarks about women, or his reported bedding with a porn star.

Hawley met his wife while both were Supreme Court clerks. Maybe she can help enlighten him on the proper way to take a stand.

Copyright St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reprinted with permission.

Print Article

Read More Political

Courageous women paved the way for the #MeToo movement

AP

February 15, 2018 at 8:17 am | In the days of #MeToo, the Time’s Up movement and women’s protest marches, women continue to demand an end to sexual exploitation in the workplace. Women so often have been backed in a corner, so...

Comments

Read More

Total ban on texting and driving heard by Senate committee

AP

February 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm | JEFFERSON CITY — Under current Missouri law, only drivers under 21 are explicitly prohibited from texting while driving. Everyone else just needs to follow the state's broad distracted driving law by...

Comments

Read More

Idaho House gives OK to minimum wage exemption

February 14, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The Idaho House passed a bill to exempt minors working for immediate family members from minimum wage laws in a 60-9 vote Tuesday. Current state law offers minimum wage exemptions for minors worki...

Comments

Read More

‘Liberty legislators’ unveil alternate tax cut, health bills

February 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee BOISE — A group of Idaho House legislators, the “liberty legislators,” held a press conference Friday announcing counter-legislation to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s $200 million tax cut and the Idaho He...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X