Notice: This article contains pictures not suitable for children.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”— Desmond Tutu
I’ve taken some heat in the past for articles. And that’s to be expected when writing about issues that people disagree with. I suppose this one will be no exception. But let me preface what I write by saying, I… don’t… care. Especially when it comes to this one.
I am a family man. I have daughters. And perhaps nothing is more special to me than the relationship I have with them. So, when someone informed me that an espresso station known as “Boomtown Babes” employs young girls (i.e. under 18) – and not only has them dress provocatively – but advertises it to their customers, together with the times they work, I was not impressed.
According to their web site, Boomtown Babes has locations in Williston and Tioga. The web site welcomes you with this from their CEO:
You can see many posts to their Facebook page like this one:
Since I know people in both locations, one source confirmed for me that this girl is under 18. And allegedly she’s not been the only underage girl that has worked for the company. Pictures like this result in comments like these:
I’m not naïve. I’ve been around long enough to know that we live in a society where sex appeal sells. And you’d for sure have to be completely naïve to believe that Boomtown Babes isn’t using sex appeal to sell their product. This cover photo from their Facebook page is evidence of that:
One observer admitted as much with this review:
One of the uncomfortable hot button issues resulting from North Dakota’s oil boom is that of human trafficking. Just yesterday, the Bismarck Tribune posted an article you can see here about it. Included was this statement from caseworker Heather Ingman about a sting operation:
“Nobody ever thought that when they did the sting for the 13-year-old girl that so many guys would show up that they had to call the sting off.”
Now, I’m not saying that Boomtown Babes is involved in human trafficking. I’m not saying that at all. But my point is that if there are men in the Bakken oil field willing to show up for a 13-year old girl in a human trafficking sting, don’t you suppose they’d be more than happy to frequent an espresso station with young girls as their advertisements and employees?
Does such a business make these young girls safer? Or does it put them at risk? Does it send a message that they are valuable for who they are? Or does it make them a cheap thrill to the next paying customer?
When it comes to the adult women working for Boomtown Babes, let them do what they will. I may not agree with their choices, but adults have the right to govern their own lives as they see fit. But hiring young girls, posting their provocative pictures as advertising, and including the times in which they will be working is – in my opinion – nothing short of exploitation. And all for what? A profit. Few things are more despicable.
I suppose someone will point out that they aren’t doing anything illegal. And that may be true. But that certainly doesn’t make it right.