Monday, April 3, 2006

Pimpin' on Craigslist?

Everyone who uses Craigslist, a free online classified ad service available internationally by city, knows how awesome it is, how many quick responses it facilitates and how essential it has become to modern communication in the cyber-realm. Indeed, I once posted an ad to get rid of my empty moving boxes after unpacking a new apartment, and within 5 minutes I had over 20 emails from people willing to come pick them up within the hour.

But did you know that some entries in the Craigslist housing section include rent-for-sex ads? In a recent article in the Miami Herald Nicole White reports that the Miami Craigslist has a number of ads like this one:
Upscale executive seeks beautiful female 18-24 to live in his luxury condo in Coral Gables for $1/month in exchange for some light duties. Help take care of dog, cook occasionally. Sex 2x/week. Serious inquires only. Please email a picture for consideration.
Sophie Brion, director of the Miami chapter of NOW said of public ads like these:
"Advertisements soliciting women for sex in exchange for housing are offensive and disturbing. They are an indicator of how much work still needs to be done to eradicate institutional inequities and harmful attitudes toward women that persist."
Because Craigslist is user-monitered, not "published" like a newspaper, it is excluded from Federal Fair Housing Laws which stipulate that advertisers posting housing ads must not discriminate. Although Craigslist users can "flag" ads they find offensive for review by the Craigslist moderators.

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