The Trafficking of Women and Why “Me Too” Just Won’t Cut It.

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An estimated 500,000 women are trafficked every year into sexual slavery and even when caught the perpetrators are seldom held accountable. Excused by a justice system that is corrupt, they continue to treat human beings as if they are nothing more than mere bodies for them to do with as they please. Again, in order for these pigs to do what they do, they are supported by people who know what is going on, who see what is going on and who do nothing. They are supported by all the people who pay to use these women, caring nothing that these women are there against their will.

These women are taken and forced into prostitution because they are poor and desperate or they are victims of war and of natural disasters. They have no hope to help themselves and have few options. It is not uncommon for them to be burdened with a need for money for healthcare for themselves or loved ones. We talk about not being able to catch the perpetrators as if that is the answer. Why aren’t we doing more about poverty?  Why is it we are so afraid to peel back the layers of our damaged world, to get beyond the symptoms and address the actual source?  While the fish is great when you are starving, the fishing pole and directions not only feed the body, they feed the soul.  People want the right to self-determine, to create their own lives and make their own choices.  You know, like all of us privileged first world people do.  When did we get to the point where first aid was it.  We arrive at the scene of the accidents, stem the blood flow, and then leave them by the side of the road to die.

THIS is an issue that women should be caring about and speaking to. How dare we complain about inequality and our first world issues when there are women being treated like this. Where is our compassion?? How can we justify our outrage over our right to equal pay and complaining that we cannot buy a new designer purse without a raise in our salary when there are women who just want the right to not be taken from their families and raped every night by dozens of men?  We are outraged by the rich and famous having their “ass grabbed,”  how about listening to the nightmare that these women live with?  And before someone else comes up with some ridiculous, social media sign of solidarity, “me too” campaign, this is a problem that requires real help.  I don’t know that we can fix the damage that has been done to those who manage to escape but I do know that those who are still there right now, have no chance unless we decide that they matter.

I doubt very much that at the end of this life we get to smile and say we helped because we wrote “me too” on a computer screen, or because we burned incense for them one night.  Life is real.  Suffering is real.  This is our world and whether doing nothing may be our most damning crime.

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The Death of Hollywood and the Echo of the Silence.

 

Silence of Hollywood“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”  Adrienne Rich

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Plato

Hollywood has erupted with a number of actresses coming forward to speak out regarding the abuse they suffered at the hands of American Producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein and his brother founded Miramax which has been responsible for successful films such as Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting. He has received numerous awards for his work and has been active in issues such as AIDS and Juvenile Diabetes. He was, undoubtedly, a Hollywood powerhouse who had the connections to make or break careers.

Sexual assault is rampant around the world and I have long been an active voice speaking out against it as well as advocating for the victims. I am in no way minimizing what any woman suffers in my comments regarding this particular case but I have some serious concerns and I think they are concerns that should be shared.

Lately, there has been a whole stream of public figures who stand accused of various sexual assaults. Some people are hopeful that this signals a new willingness to expose these atrocities and that they represent our commitment to draw a line in the sand and say “No more.” We seem to circumvent the whole legal process meant to determine guilt and jump straight to judgement. Guilt appears to be amplified by the public lives of the accused. Is it easier for us to comment on a life that we already feel we have a right to because we see them in our own homes on our media devices and on the news? It appears to at least polarize the accusers as legitimate and the accused as guilty. No-one seems to worry about questioning what we read and hear. A trial and its outcome are irrelevant. As long as you have Gloria Allred on one side of the microphone, the truth is irrelevant.

The story never dies and the accused, even if innocent, will never completely recover. Continue reading