An online dating app has been attacked as sexist and has been accused of being prostitution.
Carrot Dating, developed by an MIT graduate, allows men to bribe women into offering them dates with everything from jewelry to a tank full of petrol. Users wanting to get the romance going can even offer prospective suitors plastic
The idea behind the app is that users dangle a carrot in exchange for getting women to go out with them, according to its creator Brandon Wade.
Business Insider's Christina Sterbenz wrote:
Through Carrot Dating, users (but really men)... can buy credits to send gifts to other users ... so they'll agree to a first date. That sounds quite like an activity illegal in most of the continental US --- prostitution.
Aside from being blatantly sexist, Wade's app clearly won't build the chemistry needed to fall in love.
In fact, this problematic app is teaching men that women are greedy idiots who can't see through blatant and pathetic misogyny.
For the record, if you offer a woman a present in exchange for a first date, then you're implying she can be bought, much like a hooker.'
A U.S. man who runs a travel company specializing in trips to Thailand and the Philippines has been convicted of promoting adult prostitution.
The Westchester County district attorney announced the conviction of Douglas Allen, the owner of Big Apple Oriental Tours.
In 2010, an online investigator pretended that he wanted to use the company to go overseas and have sex for money. Prosecutors say he paid Allen $2,500. Allen told the investigator he would be taken to Angeles City in the Philippines, where he
could negotiate at bars for sexual acts.
It seems that Allen has fallen victim to a particularly vengeful persecution by anti-prostitution campaigners and a state attorney general who supports them.
Big Apple Oriental Tours is a travel agency based in New York that is at the center of a campaign against adult sex tourism operators in the United States.
The company was founded in 1993 and offers all-inclusive trips to Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia for the single male. Their advertising brochures highlight the erotic atmosphere and easy availability of women in these regions.
Tour guides would meet the men upon arrival, explain everything, and transport them to the local bars and brothels.
Since 1996, the New York based human rights and feminist group Equality Now has lobbied the local District Attorney to take action against the company, complaining about promotion of prostitution and possible exploitation of minors. The District
Attorney declined to prosecute in 2000, stating that the alleged acts did not occur in New York and were thus beyond the reach of state law. Supported by Gloria Steinem and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Equality Now then contacted State
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2002.
In response to lobbying by these groups, the first legal action in the U.S. against a business of this type was initiated: Spitzer filed a civil suit against Big Apple Oriental Tours and obtained a restraining order in July 2003, in effect
preventing the company from advertising.
Spitzer then made two unsuccessful attempts to charge owners Norman Barabash and Douglas Allen with promoting prostitution. The Attorney General's office obtained the first indictment of Barabash and Allen in February 2004. The case was
dismissed in August 2004, because the grand jury had been presented with hearsay evidence and because the judge did not find the law applicable. The dismissal was upheld on appeal based on the hearsay argument. The case was returned to the grand
jury and Barabash and Allen were indicted for the same crime again in October 2005. These charges were dismissed in January, 2006. The court held that according to the evidence, What the tour customer did when he arrived at the location is
not part of the Big Apple Oriental Tours enterprise.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a First Amendment dispute over whether the United States can force private health organizations to denounce prostitution as a condition to get AIDS funding.
Justices said they will hear the government's appeal of a lower court ruling that found the anti-prostitution pledge, in a provision of federal law, violated the health groups' constitutional rights.
At issue is the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003. It requires groups seeking federal money to announce publicly that they oppose prostitution and sex-trafficking.
The government often attaches conditions to the receipt of federal funds, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the law went well beyond what is permissible.
Four organizations that work in Africa, Asia and South America filed a constitutional challenge to the law in 2005. A federal judge sided with the groups and a 2nd Circuit panel affirmed that ruling in a 2-1 vote. The majority said the rule
doesn't merely force organizations to refrain from certain conduct, but also requires them to espouse the government's viewpoint.
The case probably will be argued in April, with a decision due by the end of June.