Some of you may read about porn and think what is the big deal? But as is the case with every type of media production, it is not what it appears to be on the screen. And in the case of porn, what goes on behind the scenes is a very dark world. Below is a video of Madyson Marquette, a former porn star, sharing about her experiences in the world of porn.
August 25, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: commercial sex, human rights, human trafficking, physical abuse, Porn, Pornography, sex trade, sex trafficking, social issues, social justice, women and children | Leave a comment
What images come to mind when you think of someone in the sex industry? For as long as I can remember, our culture has portrayed sex workers (prostitutes, porn stars, strippers, etc) as women with no moral compass, who enjoy turning tricks or exotic dancing. Even now, most people carry this mindset, and the media doesn’t help.
Founder and Director of Knoxville based Hosea’s Heart, Angie Duncan, paints a very different story of what it was like for her when she was trapped in that world in an excerpt from her memoir:
“An excerpt from my memoir, Chapter Two, about my first night working in a Memphis club:
I have never been able to forget the first “lap dance” I experienced as a new dancer in Memphis. It was a moment I believed was the beginning of the rest of my life. A division of a time where I thought I had escaped sexual abuse but rather found it had entrapped me. I can’t tell you the gentleman’s name or what he looked like, but he was an older man. We went upstairs into one of the very dark private dance rooms which had tall booths all throughout. There was always a bouncer present but many of the booths faced away from him and most bouncers, I later learned, were okay with whatever the girls were okay with. There’s not supposed to be any touching and definitely not any “services” other than a lap dance with the patrons keeping their hands to the side but that’s more the exception than the rule. Bouncers were often paid or tipped extra to allow sexual services to take place in the private rooms. At any rate, I didn’t know all that at this point and I was just ready to get the “dance” over with quickly and get the heck out of there. I thought I was prepared for and understood what was going to take place but immediately and aggressively the patron pulled me on top of himself, and groping and grinding me on his lap, he did his business quickly and not even a minute later he was done with me. I was paid $40 of which I had to give completely to the club as a fee for my first dance.
Now I don’t know exactly how to explain what all I experienced in the time it took for that one song to end. I also can’t exactly explain why I didn’t just yell out or resist. Nothing was ever explained to me well as far as the “work” and coming from a lifetime of sexual abuse, I just sank back into that familiar place of numb submission and dissociation with the patrons. During that first “dance”, I had flashbacks of an older relative that molested me as a young child in the very same manner and a neighbor’s father who also molested me the very same way, even at the breakfast table while his kids ate and wife cooked. I felt like a young, helpless child all over again just waiting for it to stop so I could walk away.
That first “dance” served to validate a huge lie in my life: that the only thing giving my life any value was the sexual pleasure others could gain from my body and that there was no escaping it. Just as in my childhood, just as with the loss of my virginity, just as with every date rape, sexual battery and boyfriend I ever had, I was used for sexual pleasure then tossed aside like damaged goods. My new “work” just made sense. I almost immediately felt it was where I belonged and what I was created for and it didn’t take me too long to become comfortable in this new life. Up to that point everything only seemed to validate that I was unlovable, unwanted and only desired for momentary sexual pleasure. My chains, although invisible, were powerful!”
There are so many different elements, and experiences that even lead a woman to the sex trade, and once they are there, shame and worthlessness goes a long way to keep them there. What these girls really need is for us to get a mind and heart change toward them and to reach out with love and compassion. They need to know they have value and worth and are made for far greater than what their lives have dished out to them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me. Till next time. 🙂
August 24, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: commercial sex, human rights, human trafficking, physical abuse, Porn, Pornography, sex trade, sex trafficking, social issues, social justice, women and children | Leave a comment
Another atrocious practice that is epidemic in the world today is the practice of child marriage. It goes largely unchecked in many third world countries fueled by tradition and socioeconomic factors.
According to Graça Machel, the first education minister of Mozambique, and Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, “Child marriage happens because adults believe they have the right to impose marriage upon a child. This denies children, particularly girls, their dignity and the opportunity to make choices that are central to their lives, such as when and whom to marry or when to have children. Choices define us and allow us to realize our potential. Child marriage robs girls of this chance. “
Prolific documentary photographer, Stephanie Sinclair, has devoted over a decade to promoting awareness in hopes of inspiring change in this fight for the rights of small children worldwide. I invite you to peruse her website below and ask if there is something you can do to help these girls.
Jeremy Cowart is a phenomenal photographer, and artist. His work is moving. It speaks. Read this great blog he put out last week. Really, what he talks about is applicable across every aspect of our lives. And his work with “Voices of Haiti”, “Voices of Reconciliation”, and “Help Portrait” are awe inspiring. Read his blog here and check out his work. Definitely a post worth reading.
I’m always on the lookout for other photographers and designers who move and inspire me. One such photographer is Tanner Wendell Stewart, a Seattle-based Emmy Award winning photographer who has devoted his career to raising awareness for human trafficking, and spent the entire year of 2013 to creating a book that would raise money to fund A21’s fight on the issue. Not only does he have a huge heart, but also makes breathtaking photographs depicting the beauty of the world around us. Check out his work. You wont be sorry you did. 🙂
August 15, 2014 | Categories: Blog | Tags: A21 Campaign, Christine Cain, commercial sex, human rights, human trafficking, photography, physical abuse, Porn, Pornography, sex trade, sex trafficking, social issues, social justice | Leave a comment
I remember when I first learned the magnitude of the problem of human trafficking within the United States, and to further realize what a huge problem it is in my own home town. A gut wrenching feeling of grief overtook me, and anger, and I knew I had to do whatever was in my power to change that situation for the better. I looked high and low for any kind of organization I could find that was reaching out to the victims of trafficking, and could find none.
After over a year of contacting different organizations trying to find some way I could make a difference in my area, my paths crossed with this groundbreaking organization, Hosea’s Heart. Since I have been a part of their efforts, I have learned so much about the adult entertainment industry. I learned that even though yes there are those who have been physically forced into this world of sex for sale, there is another more prevalent group who have been forced into the industry by the desperation of their personal circumstances. And yes there is a small percentage of women in the adult entertainment industry who have no problem being there.
Whatever the situation, Hosea’s Heart, is dedicated to provide support and encouragement to those either in the industry, on their way out of the industry or having been out for years. It is a safe place for the women to connect, find acceptance, and affirmation, and healing, as well as any resources they may need. Hosea’s Heart is also working on providing transitional housing for those who are exiting the industry.
If you would like to know more about Hosea’s Heart, or live in the greater Knoxville, TN area and would like to get involved, check out their website below.