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Consent versus Misogyny

After sharing a popular meme first posted on Rowdy Conservatives this past week, we found ourselves having some interesting conversations, on- and off-line. Our Awareness Representative, Elizabeth, summed it up rather well in a guest blog post. This is not a political post or a hint at our political views, so please refrain from making comments in that manner or any rude comments for that matter. We're simply trying to continue some much needed conversations. 


By Elizabeth B. 

This is a needed and valuable conversation. Understandably, people view fiction and a presidential nominee in very different categories and standards. Part of the hurdle in comparing Trump’s repulsive comments to Fifty Shades has more to do with the romantic characterization of the book.

The book garnered huge support, however the majority of people who DIDN'T like it objected to its graphic and kinky content. To truly understand the misogyny, female degradation, and control underpinning the story line in Fifty Shades requires considerable thought and consideration. I have to wonder, did most readers see past the surface and attempt to understand what drove both the characters in the book, and the countless readers proclaiming it a victory for sexual freedom, and specifically, female sexual freedom?

Fifty Shades made it seem that the man would only do what the woman consented to, no matter how badly he wanted to do otherwise. The character was ostensibly enough in control of himself to wait for - or manipulate - the woman's consent. Interestingly though, our modern public arena strives to make men and women equal, and political correctness forbids such displays of 'masculinity.'

A large percentage of us have been taught, for millennia, that men are made to be in control and women are made to respond to that. That's why pornography and BDSM often depict a woman being subjugated, degraded, and used by a man...and the woman depicted as deriving pleasure from such treatment.

The issue in this case is both one of consent and one of misogyny. To compare Fifty Shades to something clearly awful and non-consensual, aka Trump’s reprehensible comments, is to evoke every woman's personal experience of sexual harassment, which is very real and by no means in the realm of the fictional.

Many people though will not see, or choose not to see, how Fifty Shades of Grey and Donald Trump's comments are related. 


She's Somebody's Daughter the phrase

Working for an organization entitled, “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” often raises the idea that a person should not have to be ‘owned’ by someone in order to have value. I agree with this 100% - it is the very thing we fight against - the idea of an individual owning another individual. 

However, the idea behind our name is that the phrase, “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” or, “He’s Somebody’s Son” strikes a chord with people. There is an emotional connection with these familial terms. The simple fact that a girl is her own person, or that her name is Jane seems to do nothing for traffickers or johns – for the exploiters. I’ve heard multiple stories from survivors relaying a time where they caught a glimpse of a family photo that their trafficker had, and the mere question of, “What if I was your daughter/granddaughter?” was enough to somewhat convict the person who was holding them captive. 

In today’s society, we often forget, as hard as this is to consider, that these traffickers/johns/exploiter are people too - just like survivors, just like you and me. Being somebody’s daughter/son has to do with who they are as individuals, but also with the fact their identity is found in being part of something- a family. It’s so easy to categorize the traffickers/johns as people with no emotions, which, many times, it feels like that’s what they are. 

However, if the phrase, “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” or “He’s Somebody’s Son” can stop at least one person’s innocence from being tainted, their life from being forever ruined and convict another person, I will take it. Sure, this mentality might not stop exploitation everywhere, but if we can change the life of just one, we are changing her/his family history for years and generations to come. 

One heart and one life at a time! 

Jasmine  

She’s Somebody’s Daughter, Awareness Intern 

Four Ways to Start Helping a Friend Whose Husband is a Sex Addict - and a Homosexual.

Four Ways to Start Helping a Friend Whose Husband is a Sex Addict…and a Homosexual.
 
According to Covenant Eyes, studies show that 70% of wives of sex addicts meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  We’ve seen the affects of this up close and personal;  so what does this mean for those who are navigating the fact that homosexuality is also involved? That dynamic adds a different dimension to the initial shock and eventual healing. No wonder so many of us feel ill-equipped and aren’t sure where to start or what our role should be, especially when we care so much about a friend whose life has been turned upside-down. 
 
Sex addiction is one of the hardest issues to talk about, let alone to know how to support a friend whose husband (or wife) has been living a double life. Most of us don’t know how to handle the sex addiction component, let alone when homosexuality is involved. Spouses are told: "If you are wise, you will reach out to wise and loving support, starting with trusted friends…”  Some spouses are left wondering where their trusted friends have gotten to or with whom could they even share such personal things. We’ve heard from friends who have told us that their churches are 'not equipped to handle this’ or they are told to get help for their ‘co-addiction.’  Good resources for spouses and those who want to know the best way to offer support are harder to find than we had hoped. 
 
However, we’ve landed on four things you can do to support a friend in the initial days of the trauma. We offer the following as suggested starting points: 
 

1.  Be present and listen. She, or he, will benefit greatly by knowing they have a trusted friend who will be present and hear their story. No advice, no judging, no information gathering to gossip with later. Just be present, lean in and listen. This is one of the most loving things you can do for someone whose heart has been broken so deeply. Remember these two quotes: LISTEN uses the same letters that spell SILENT and the greatest gift you can give someone is your presence.   

 
2.  Buy a copy of this book for your friend and one for yourself: "Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal” sexuallyaddictedspouse
 
The authors offer groundbreaking new research, which shows that partners are not codependents or co-addicts, as so often labeled, but post-traumatic stress victims. This is a good reminder so we don’t automatically put a label on someone and view the spouse through the lens of her husband’s choices.   
 
Let your friend know you are also reading this book. It shows that you are willing to invest time into understanding what your friend is going through and learn how to best support her. It shows a commitment to your friendship that is important at this time in her life.   
 
3.  Pass it on. Make sure your church, pastor, counselors, and those who have influence in your friend’s world know about this book. It's an important resource because of thegroundbreaking new research and distinct differences from other books. The authors start by explaining and addressing the trauma, and take readers towards empowerment, health, and hope. This is a book writtenforpartners of sex addicts, and they willnotlabel a spouse as a co-addict or co-dependent. This resource offers a much needed shift in counseling approaches so spouses can begin to find true healing. 
 
4.  Time is priceless. This is a life-altering situation that has rocked your friend’s world, similar to experiencing a death. She needs time to grieve the loss of the relationship and the life she thought she had. Don’t rush her, don’t interrogate her, don’t tell her you know how she feels (because you don’t) or that it’s time to forgive and move on. Just be present; make time to be available. Give her (or him) as much time as they need to navigate this difficult path. 
 
We offer these things as starting points first, because we believe if you're reading this and can offer to do these things for your friend, you can become a vital part of her support team in the coming months. 
 
Have you supported a friend navigating a spouse's sex addiction? Or are you a spouse who would like to add something that was helpful for you during the initial days?

Stopping the Traffic: Runway Style

SNUFR

Guest post by a student/journalist at Southern Nazarene University who interviewed our intern, Jasmine, in Oklahoma City.

The SPEAK theme house - a “theme house” for women who are passionate about fighting human trafficking at Southern Nazarene University - has partnered with 18 year old freshman, Jasmine Abraham to host the first Stop the Traffic Fashion at Herrick Auditorium on March 27th at 7:00 p.m..

Different stores and boutiques from all around Oklahoma City have volunteered their Spring styles for men, women, and children to be featured.  In addition to the show, there will be entertainment, refreshments, and prizes. Pay $10 online or at the door – you won’t want to miss this!

I had the privilege of interviewing Jasmine Abraham and asked her more about her involvement with the anti-human trafficking movement. Jasmine first found out about human trafficking in November of 2011, and since then, she has been working to spread awareness and raise money for different organizations that combat trafficking. Last year, Jasmine held the Stop The Traffic benefit concert at her high school for two anti-human trafficking organizations, No Boundaries International and Beautiful Dream Society. This year, she wanted to try something “a bit different.” All proceeds made at the Stop The Traffic Fashion Show will benefit “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” an organization that confronts sexual exploitation at all levels.

Many people have asked why SPEAK is hosting a fashion show, since most people associate fashion shows as just another way to “exploit women.” When asked “how is being a model contributing to the hope for those who are human trafficked,”  Rebekah Jeong, who is part of the SPEAK house, shared her thoughts and said, “usually models are looked at as objects, as objects of desire rather than being looked as humans. This is a representation of how victims of human trafficking are looked at. With these models at SNU walking the runway, we want to point out that instead of looking at models as objects, that we can look at them with love and compassion. These models walking the runway are symbolizing that we will not look at these victims as objects, but as our brothers and sisters.”

Jasmine’s response to this question has been that,

“When people come to Stop The Traffic, we want them to see that fashion can convey beauty without exploiting men and women. It can show beauty through expression of personality and individualism instead of skin. Usually when we see a model for a magazine or runway, we don’t think about the person behind the clothes. We think about the outfit. With Stop The Traffic, we have many SNU students and faculty as our models to emphasize the fact that they are more than just students or teachers- they are somebody’s daughter, somebody’s son, somebody’s friend.”

From Jasmine, our intern in Oklahoma City:

If you could support this show with your prayers, or if you feel the urge to support us financially, that would help us out tremendously. Both are vital to the success of this show. To donate money to the show, Click the Donations tab and under the dropdown menu, choose “Stop The Traffic Fashion Show.” Your donation is tax-deductible. Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

For event details, visit the Stop the Traffic Runway Style Page and get your tickets today!

She was only 15.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness month

Does it surprise you to learn that the subject of child trafficking at truck stops entered into our sharing time at a family Christmas dinner this year? Does it surprise you even more to learn that the victim was only 15?

"She was only about 15 years old...but she knocked on the door of his truck, offering herself...of course, he said no..." is what was shared.

The next question was: did he call the trafficking hotline number (or 911)? We were sad to learn that he didn't know there was a number to call.

SSD15 PSA FINAL opt
Joining efforts with many organizations across the country this January, we've partnered with two outdoor advertising agencies to raise awareness and post this PSA on digital boards in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.



Let's continue to be the eyes and ears on the road, at the mall, online - in our communities, for these young lives enslaved in the sex industry. Be prepared to make the call!

Get involved by asking your outdoor agencies for digital space or consider giving a donation today to keep this PSA posted.

 


Special thanks to:

 

Billboard Designer: Marci W.

Our Reps at Lamar in Lancaster, PA & Oklahoma City, OK

Our Rep at Kegerreis in Chambersburg, PA

Photographer: Josh Fisher

Model/Advocate: Jasmine A.


 

She's Somebody's Daughter Blog

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Occasionally we feel compelled to write and share about current events or topics related to pornography, sex trafficking, and sexual abuse. Our blog is the outlet for when those urges strike, so sign up and look for new posts in the near future! 

It is our hope with our blog that readers will be encouraged, challenged, empowered, and compelled to speak up about these isues as we work together to create the kind of culture that honors all women.

We hope you will enjoy reading our archived posts published here that had been previously published on our Wordpress blog.

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