Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My dream in life........

Every issue I'm most passionate about has to do with women. Whether it's about abortion (which I believe covers up a lot of societal issues), women's health, sexual assault, etc, I always have something to say about it. My favorite class last semester was a women's study course I took to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement (however, I chose to major in International Studies instead because I find that it will take me further than if I major in Women's Studies). Everything I end up volunteering for, whether it's participating in diaper drives for low income women or helping at our school's Breastival (for breast cancer awareness) is about something to do with my own gender.

Now, where do I see myself going with this passion? I want to fight human trafficking at all levels. I want to do it at the grassroots level and at the bureaucratic level. I want to work for organizations like Children of the Night (an organization that rescues children from street prostitution and trafficking) and hopefully end up in the UN Office of Drugs and Crime to help stop this evil. In my personal life, I want to help support organizations that aid women in empowering themselves and help cultivate a culture that gives full equality and respect to the dignity of women.

Why is this such a passionate issue for me? It is because, even in our culture, women are seen as commodities. This may sound a bit paranoid, but it is true. Women's bodies are exploited and used in advertising. Rape goes underpunished, if it is punished at all (after all, if she wore a short skirt at the time, it must speak ill of her character). Women still get paid a whopping 77 cents to every man's dollar for the same skill level in the same job. And, most disgraceful of all, sexual slavery exists in large numbers in the United States and the clients who abuse these women and children are normal people, like you and like me.

Why is this important? Because this form of slavery would not exist in this country if there was no demand for it. While slavery is illegal, many of these women are not treated as victims. They are treated as prostitutes and as women who snuck into this country willfully. They are treated as property, not only by the pimps who brought them here, but by the American clients who abuse them every day. Many of the American children who get trafficked are also treated as criminals when found. After all, they ran away from home, they got what was coming, right? They're afraid to go to the police because they fear they will be the ones who get punished. There is also the fear of retaliation, as many of these pimps threaten to kill their families (and hey, they've got their passports and identities, they could do it).

What is the bigger issue? The issue is that, even in the US, in a nation that speaks so proudly of equality, dignity, and fair treatment, we are influenced by a culture that hates women and children. We live in a culture where they are blamed and punished by society simply because they exist. We live in a culture that is influenced by the mainstreaming of pornography, where violent acts against women are presented as normal and pleasurable. We live in a culture where it's OK and acceptable for older men to joke about wanting to have sex with young teen girls and pray for the day these beautiful girls become "legal". We live in a culture where children are told to do what they're told and are treated like property (hey, they can be killed and sold while embryos and passed off from family to family for government money in the foster care system). We live in a culture where rapists and child molestors walk free and pimps get off easy.

This has got to stop. Hopefully, if we can punish this heinous crime and if we can promote a culture of true equality, respect and dignity, we can see things improve, here in the US of A and abroad. That is why I've thus dedicated my life to stopping the sex trade. Like Thomas Jefferson swore to Almighty God to free man's minds from all forms of tyrrany, I swear to Our Lord and Our Lady that I will fight to free women and children from the bondage of slavery and from the bondage of androcentric culture.

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