Friday, September 26, 2008
Giving Human Trafficking a Human Face
MOJ-reader Denise Hunnell sent me this reaction to the final paragraph of Chato Hazelbaker's comments on yesterday's University of St. Thomas Law Journal symposium on human trafficking:
When my oldest was a high school junior, my mother gave him a subscription to Sports Illustrated. That was great until the February swimsuit issue rolled around. I had teased him saying that I would take a Sharpie marker to it when it arrived. However, when it did show up in the mail, I realized a Sharpie wasn't going to take care of those pictures. I had no idea that Sports Illustrated was now at the level of what I remembered Playboy to be 20 years ago. No telling what Playboy is like now. In any case, my husband and I sat down with him and looked at a couple of the milder pictures. Then I told him to remember that the women in these pictures were mothers, daughters, and sisters just like his own mother and sister. He handed the magazine to us and said, "I don't need this." By humanizing the women in the pictures, the images became distasteful rather than erotic. I think the key to fighting against human exploitation is to always fight for human dignity.