Monthly Archives: February, 2009

UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

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The full report is available as a pdf here.

It is a little bit long (292 pages), so I haven’t had a chance to read it all yet. The following quote is from the introduction.

[S]exual exploitation is by far the most commonly identified form of human trafficking (79%), followed by forced labour (18%). This may be the result of statistical bias. By and large the exploitation of women tends to be visible, in city centres, or along highways. Because it is more frequently reported, sexual exploitation has become the most documented type of trafficking, in aggregate statistics. In comparison, other forms of exploitation are under-reported: forced or bonded labour; domestic servitude and forced marriage; organ removal; and the exploitation of children in begging, the sex trade, and warfare.

[A] disproportionate number of women are involved in human trafficking, not only as victims (which we knew), but also as traffickers (first documented here). Female offenders have a more prominent role in present-day slavery than in most other forms of crime. This fact needs to be addressed, especially the cases where former victims have become perpetrators.

I would say though, that forced marriage and the commercial sexual exploitation of children still belong under the general heading of ‘sexual exploitation’, and women and children held in domestic servitude are going to extra vulnerable to sexual violence. In other words, there’s a whole lot of sexual exploitation going on out there.

It’s Official: Men Don’t See Women as Human

From this article in today’s Independent

Scientists have demonstrated something that many women suspect and most men would admit only to themselves: pictures of scantily-clad females turn women into sexual objects in the minds of men. Feminists would no doubt see the discovery as the science of the bloody obvious, but the researchers claim the results demonstrate just how pictures of bikini-clad women affect the inner workings of the male brain.

The study found that the part of the brain that keeps in check a man’s sexual hostility towards women is deactivated when he is shown images of women in bikinis. The findings also support the idea that pornographic images turn women into commodified objects in the minds of men, the researchers said.

“It is as if they are reacting to these women as if they are not fully human,” said Susan Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, who made the study on 21 male undergraduates using a medical scanner to analyse their brain activity. She told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago: “I wouldn’t argue for censorship, but I would argue that it is important to know about the impact of the images you are showing.”

Quote of the day

I think that feminism works for the liberation and equality of women, and it is not in prostitution that we are going to find them. I can’t say that I have seen many feminists help prostituted women to try getting out of it, many have the impression that there are more feminists who try to keep them where they are by making them believe that this is the best profession in the world. The groups that represent “sex workers”, do they help them to walk out or do they feel satisfied just by requesting the legalization of prostitution ? I wonder who is behind the intense propaganda to change the law so as to make prostitution more acceptable. There must be huge financial interests at stake considering all of the arguments to justify the existence of prostitution and there must be important people pulling some strings somewhere.

From: The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution

Another Twisty Quote of the Day

I know, I know, it’s lazy of me to just keep on quoting IBTP, but it really is the best thing on the internet, and you should just go read it. But this struck me so much:

Unfortunately, due to the bogus set-up where women are considered a priori to have given consent to male abuse — which is consistent with global accords governing fair use of women — rape is very difficult to prosecute.

The phrase ‘global accords governing fair use of women’ sums up perfectly the way that the abuse of women is normalised and trivialised and excused to such a degree that we don’t even see it any more.

Did you know? We, in the comfortable, safe, civilised developed (please imagine ‘scare quotes’ around all those words) world, live in a rape culture, there is an epidemic of violence against women, and it hardly ever gets seen.

WH Smith ditches Playboy!

“High Street chain WH Smith is to stop selling its Playboy range of stationery following complaints that it was unsuitable for sale to children.”

Quote of the Day: Porn-Poisoning

According to the dudely blamers, porn-poisoning makes it difficult for men — even feminist sympathizer men whose intellective powers impart unto them the objective knowledge that pornography is the graphic representation of rape — to behave as though, or, one extrapolates, to believe that, when doin’ the boinky, women are human, and congratulations if you made it through this sentence alive. Their discussion centers on whether it is even possible to “dislodge the [pornulated] ideas embedded in [a chap’s] brain.”

Another cracking post from Twisty Faster

See also, Women’s Sexuality 2.0

Quote of the day, take two

From another review of Bodies, this one by Hilary Mantel.

Nothing estranges us from reality, nothing damages the body and how we think of it, so much as the violent pornography even children know how to access; but the book has little to say here, perhaps because the topic of pornography and censorship poses so many difficulties for the liberal imagination.

But if the present book is timid, perhaps it is because she feels compromised. Orbach, her book jacket tells us, is “consultant and co-originator” of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which is a smart marketing campaign with a veneer of feminist concern. Just like the usual ad-fodder, those bonny, bouncing lasses of the Dove posters have something to sell us, products to shift. The brand is owned by Unilever, which will fatten you up with Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and streamline you with Slim.Fast; which makes “Fair and Lovely” skin lightening products, so that black and yellow buyers can be whiter. What is most odious about the Dove campaign is its assumption of sympathy with its prey, the way it pats you on your dear little head as it takes your money. Orbach’s involvement suggests we must now look elsewhere for radical thinking on sex, self and society.

More Playboy Merch

Photo from Cruella-blog

Photo from Cruella-blog

Kate has blogged about yet another manifestation of Playboy tat aimed at children, check it out.

Quote of the Day

bodies
“Body tyranny has been hurting us for decades. At bottom, I think, it’s about making us want things. Reading this book [Bodies, Susie Orbach] made me think: our system makes us want things until we’re so damaged that we can’t go on, and it’s showing on our skinny, obese, scarred, tattooed, pierced and hated bodies. And now it looks like the system is breaking down. Which might be good news for bodies.”

William Leith, today’s Observer Review

Quote of the Day

From A Radical Profeminist Blog

On Gay Pornography:
It carries virtually all the same destructive, anti-intimate, anti-Erotic (as Audre Lorde used the term), anti-humane, anti-joyful values as the heterosexual pornography white straight male pimps (by and large) make for their brethren. Christopher Kendall has worked for many years analysing and and explaining the politics (and negative impact on gay men) of gay male pornography. That gay male pornography is white supremacist and racist should be obvious to anyone who has encountered it. That it is also male supremacist and misogynistic, to the core, should also be blatantly clear, but often isn’t, because white male supremacy, as an institutionalised, enacted, enforced ideology, is so effectively invisibilised in liberal societies as “just how things are”.