Yes, I know it's been over a month since I last posted.
I have been so busy, but mostly, I've been at a loss for words (rare for me, I know).
The Human Trafficking conference was absolutely life-altering and it has taken me some time to process everything I saw and heard while there. So much pain... which leads to so much anger.
First, I was mad. Then I cried.
Now, I'm just determined.
But where to begin?
How do you sum up an ocean of thoughts and feelings and convictions into a single blog post -- or even an entire blog? There is so much I want to say, but I find myself unable to write about the passion I feel for this outrage. Once I begin, the words come tumbling out faster than my fingers can type!
For one thing: I feel like we've been sold a bill of goods... like all this talk of "feminism" is nothing but hot air and wishful thinking.
I was a proponent of feminist ideals; my degree focused primarily on Women's history (as well as African-American and Latin-American history). I applauded the amazing accomplishments of the early abolitionist and suffrage movements... and I vowed that MY children would grow up knowing this amazing part of our history.
Now it all seems like such a farce.
Maybe some so-called feminists can pat themselves on the back and think they have made so much progress, but I imagine that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott are rolling over in their graves. Modern feminists fight for abortion rights -- claiming that it's a woman's right -- but (for the most part) ignore the increasing degradation of women, globally. What about the rights of those who are being bought and sold like cattle?
What about the rights of children who grow up never knowing innocence?
PETA fights tooth and nail to protect animals (and I do love animals); Meanwhile, women and children are being treated far worse than any caged chicken or young cow. You want to talk about living conditions? What about being born into brothels, never even given the chance at a "normal" life? At least the caged cows and chickens will be fed on a regular basis without having to perform disgusting acts in return.
Young girls are being bought and sold in astounding numbers while the world continues to congratulate itself on "modern progress."
Sexual slavery is being "normalized" and the sex trade industry is becoming increasingly socially-acceptable with the likes of Oprah promoting "pole-dancing" as a fun workout.
The goal is to desensitize our society so much that it becomes blind to the ugly reality: these girls are in bondage. It's NOT OK.
MOST women who work in the sex trade industry -- whether it is pornography, strip clubs, prostitution, or an "escort" service -- are NOT there by *choice.*
THINK ABOUT IT.
What little girl says to herself, "When I grow up, I want to be a hooker." or "I want to make pornographic films."???
They choose that lifestyle.
Is that what you REALLY believe?
This is a lie that we tell ourselves so we don't have to feel guilty or compelled to act. We can ignore the awful truth, which is that women and children are WORSE off today than they were 100 years ago. And our society's acceptance and increasing demand for these sex industries are driving the human trafficking trade!
This has nothing to do with being a "prude" or "religious;" this is HUMAN RIGHTS in their most basic form.
Sure, we have the right to vote and we have (almost) equal pay, but women are seen as sex objects more today than they ever were before in history. The African slave trade was a hideous part of human history, but the current slave trade rivals those historical figures and, in fact, may already surpass them.
Today's numbers are mind-boggling. (pdf link)
There are hundreds of thousands of women and children (boys, too) who are screaming for justice and intervention. You can shut your eyes (and your ears), but if you do, you are complicit in their bondage. How can we rest in self-proclaimed "progress" when they have no rest at all?
Perhaps I've said too much?
I think not.