It’s On Us (in honor of International Women’s Day)

According to No Boundaries International, “Normalization of the oversexualization of our women is bigger than just “having a good time” or “everyone is doing it…”. Once the message that a girl/women is only as good as her body parts is engrained into a young girl who has low self-esteem or a poor support system, it becomes an easy entrance into the world of human trafficking, online prostitution sites, addiction and violence.” http://neverforsale.com/societal-influences.html

Half of the battle of stopping human trafficking is preventing it in the first place. One major facet of prevention education is exploring societal norms that lead to trafficking and encouraging societal change.  Our mission statement, “Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now, desires to create a community that actively works towards abolishing Human Trafficking locally and globally”, emphasizes the importance of community involvement in creating a world without Trafficking. We believe that human trafficking is a violation of human rights and dignity and must be stopped.

Our society has created the perfect environment for human trafficking to grow. Like a mold, human trafficking will grow rapidly when placed in the right environment. In order to stop trafficking, we need to eliminate the conditions we have created for it. Our society’s emphasis on hypermasculinity leads to violence and domination rather than equality, the oversexualization of younger and younger girls creates pressure to perform and live up to demands, and the weak laws and policies against trafficking do nothing to discourage pimps.

Never For Sale said it best “The reality is that main-stream pop culture is shouting, “Sex is EVERYTHING”—glorifying it as the end-all, be-all of a person’s life. That message is pervading every aspect of our culture although in reality, they are really cheapening sex and stripping it of it meaning and true significance…So what is the message sent to women?  The message is to conform—conform to this hyper-sexualized picture of what they view a woman is. Again and again, women and girls are taught that your worth is directly linked to your sexuality. It’s a view driven by a sexist view in which women are perceived as having less value than men and the value they hold is purely sexual. And what is the message sent to men? The message is to consume—consume women and consume at great frequency. It’s hinted that masculinity is shaped by one’s ability to dominate and control women. So when a man lives up to this standard, he is considered a stud or a player.”

Our society enables:

Rape Culture

Victim Blaming

Hypermasculinity

Oversexualization (of people in general but especially young girls)

Glorification of Violence

Lack of Prosecution

Read More:

http://humantraffickingcenter.org/posts-by-htc-associates/rape-culture-and-sex-trafficking/

http://gcm.unu.edu/publications/articles/a-human-rights-approach-to-human-trafficking.html

http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2015/February/Hyper-Sexualized-Culture-Fueling-Human-Trafficking

http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/five-studies-our-very-real-problem-with-human-trafficking

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

What can we do to reverse these societal conditions?

An Elon University essay says that “Men should advocate behavioral change and social responsibility because of their position in society. And that media messages should portray positive images of masculinity associated with them nurturing their families and maintaining a sense of responsibility towards themselves and their sexual partners.” https://org.elon.edu/summit/essays/essay9.pdf

But it’s not just on men. We as women can stand up for ourselves and educate our daughters, sisters, friends, and neighbors about their power as women and the fact that they don’t have to conform to society’s standards. Limit your exposure to negative media and influences.

“The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society.” – Jack Kemp

“Never question the power of one! Throughout history it has been the actions of only one person who has inspired the movement of change.” – Steve Maraboli

 

Get Involved, Make a Change, End Human Trafficking

 

Writing for Freedom,

 

Darien Smith

 

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