Except it's probably all a lie. The Dallas Observer ran a fantastic story debunking the "Super Bowl Prostitute Myth," and interviewed an official from the Tampa police department who said that there was literally no increase in prostitution arrests after Superbowl 2009. Same thing in Phoenix.
But it's not just sex negative conservatives who have jumped on the anti-prostitution train; progressive and feminist blogs have also rung the alarm bells about the increase in human trafficking and stripping in Dallas. Change.org claimed that the influx of child prostitution is "well documented" and, as evidence, linked out to a story about a single man who was arrested in Florida last year for bringing a 16 year old girl to work the Super Bowl.
In the same article, an FBI agent said the following: "Listen if any case exists out there in Hawaii it's one too many and fortunately it's not an epidemic problem here but we'd be lying to ourselves if we said it didn't exist." (emphasis added)
So what the hell is going on? Remember the bill, which passed the House and is waiting for Senate approval, which would authorize $15 million in grants for 6 states to provide services to combat child sex trafficking? That bill could be used to fund police officers' salaries and organizations that provide shelter and other services to victims and "outreach and education" programs. Texas is home to a variety of victims' services agencies.
But that bill hasn't made it to the president yet, so that money is hanging in the balance. Texas is surely positioning itself to receive funds and inflating the "influx of human trafficking" for the Super Bowl, despite evidence showing the panic is based on a myth.*
To be clear, I feel confident that the truth about prostitution and the Super Bowl lies somewhere in the middle. With a huge number of people with enough money to get to the big game converging on one location, it stands to reason that, considering the laws of supply and demand, that prostitution would increase. The XXX Bowl is one of surely many potentially sketchy parties happening during the week, but this event is advertised openly online, which makes me doubt that the AG isn't aware of it.
We need to be mindful that while helping women and girls who are trafficked against their will and forced into sex work are victims and deserve to be treated as such by the legal system, women who choose sex work are not and should not be forced to leave their livelihood in exchange for needed services. Those of us who support both the dignity of victims and the rights of sex workers need to be cautious about anti-sex public officials blowing the horn of "human trafficking" and not assume that they're on our side.
Enjoy the Super Bowl. I'll be at the movies.
*the "spike in domestic violence" during the Super Bowl is also a myth.