Stacey Swimme

Innovative Thinking On The Sex Industry & Social Justice

Deceptive Politics (4 of 6)

Excerpted from a post I contributed at Sex In The Public Square on February 25th, 2008.

Political Posturing

Ever wonder why the ineffective anti-trafficking policies are so universally supported by both Republicans and Democrats? We know that it’s not because of their deep understanding of and commitment to human rights. It’s because politicians get an easy out. The Republicans get a high score with the ‘feminists’ and the Democrats don’t have to risk upsetting the ‘progressives’ (read: compassionate capitalists)… “We’re doing it for the women.” “We’re challenging the inherent exploitation that is prostitution.”

Oh, yes, for the women. It’s all about taking care of women. Never mind that women are being infected by HIV at increasing rates each year and the US is actually making that problem worse—not better. And by throwing billions of dollars into abstinence-only, anti-prostitution and anti-abortion (yes FEMINISTS we’re on the same team here!!!) efforts rather than ANTI-HIV and ANTI-POVERTY efforts, they are killing women and enslaving women, children and men into labors of all kinds in order to create cheap products for the capitalist economy to chew up and spit out…

The Cycle of Deception

Politicians don’t want to have to change policies that will affect the bottom-line of their donors’ companies. So focusing on sex trafficking exclusively is a pat on the back for both the politicians and the corporations. Consumers remain distracted and un-moved by the real plight of migrant laborers. They’re obsessed with the trafficking stories, assume that the government is doing something about it and believe that they are not part of the problem. Nobody wants to think too deeply about this. So consumers continue to give money to corporations that thrive on a cheap labor market. The corporations protect that cheap labor market by funding political campaigns and special interest groups to influence foreign and domestic policy. The media gets excellent ratings when reporting on anything sex trafficking-related, which drives up the advertising rates that the corporations pay. Then the consumers go out and purchase the products that they saw advertised during the sex trafficking news and TV dramas without giving thought to where and how those products were created… and the cycle continues… The media, the politicians and the corporations all win at the expense of human lives.

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