I want to pass this informative (and difficult) piece along. It’s one of those issues of which everyone should be aware. Most of us know about the trafficking of women for prostitution, but the problem of trafficking for the specific purposes of rape is a lesser known fact.
Rare is the blamer who is unfamiliar with the concept of human sex trafficking: rape-o-preneurs lure indigent overseas women to the US, lying to them about the real nature of the “work” they’ll be doing, enslaving them under repellent conditions, and pocketing the filthy lucre.
Peridot Ash, writing in 2007 at Friction, A Sex Worker’s Weblog, points out that the supply of prostituted women already here is sufficient to fulfill the demand, so why go to the trouble of importing them? Two reasons.
One [reason] is obvious, to keep all the money they make off these slaves. The other, a point which most documentaries and news reports about trafficking don’t dare touch, is that there is a demand for RAPE that needs to met.
Face it. It’s not just the rare sicko. There’s a whole market for rape that these kinds of traffickers cater to. The traffickers lie to the women about what work they’ll be doing abroad. Because the customers WANT women who aren’t willing, who will struggle against them while they force them to do things and beat them. They get off on that and they’ll pay somebody to let them do it in a place that’s safe for them.
Trafficked sex slaves, young onions, are the murky far end of the rape continuum, the one that proceeds from the pornulation of mainstream media, escalates into your boyfriend going, “Come on, just a little longer, I’m almost there,” devolves into the mainstream with the winky, nudgy, boys-will-be-boys attitude toward street harassment, and climaxes with the date assault you are reluctant to report because you didn’t say “no” loud enough. For the joyrapist who’s keepin it real, there are prostituted women he can pay to assault. This shit is all rape, but the rapists are protected by long-standing patriarchal tradition.
I allude to the tradition that women are toilets.
Nobody knows how many women are illegally trafficked into the US to be sold as rape victims. A 2007 WaPo article chronicles the “outrage” echoing throughout the land when lavishly funded anti-trafficking initiatives failed to find them in sufficiently garish numbers. The Bush administration paid out 28 million bucks to save an estimated 14,500 to 17,500 annual sex slaves, but no sex slaves were to be found. $125,000 granted to a Dallas nonprofit only turned up 3 victims, goddammit. That’s $41,000 per perma-raped woman. Unacceptable!
Given my intimacy with the creepy manifestations of patriarchy, I find it hard to believe that in the whole Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, only 3 trafficked women existed in 2007. The more likely scenario is that, given the subterranean nature of rape culture, traffickers weren’t exactly leaping to their feet, waving tattered lingerie in the air, and yelling, “Here we are, Serpico!” One suspects that slavers might take steps to avoid detection, and that they’d keep their victims so marginalized that they’d fall resoundingly through the cracks that our misogynist social order so conveniently maintains for just that purpose.
But even if the number of victims has been, for whatever reason, exaggerated, what of it? Trafficked sex slaves, real or imagined, form a significant chunk of our mainstream pornulated domination narrative. TV crime dramas can’t keep their mitts off the idea. Just last night I watched a popular cable TV show called “Burn Notice” (advertised on the USA network as “pure and simple fun”) which featured an underground dungeonful of Russian hotties in torn underwear fleeing for their lives while the smirking rockstar hero shot a bunch of people up. DudeAmerica can’t resist hot young prostituted Russians! And clearly, they can’t resist the idea that there exists, in some bounteous, sexy netherworld, hordes of kidnaped foreign sluts just waiting to be abused in the dank subumbra of their beloved rape culture.
It gives me difficulty breathing.