Friday Spotlight: Super Bowl 2014

I don’t follow sports, but I have it on reasonably good authority that the Super Bowl is this Sunday.
That’s a big football game, for the uninitiated.
I won’t be watching because, as previously stated, I do not follow sports (I’m not against them… they just don’t tickle my fancy)… I will probably be hard boiling eggs in the oven and watching Third Doctor episodes.

There have been several headlines on the topic of trafficking at the Superbowl. For the past few years, this has been a major topic of discussion, because several organizations have said that when there are large numbers of people with disposable income packed into one area, there is a corresponding uptick in sex trafficking.

There’s a debate going on about the numbers, but I’m not going to get into that argument.
Would you like to know why?
I don’t actually care.
I couldn’t possibly be LESS interested in whether people are able to accurately document the number of illicit and illegal sexual encounters that occur during “The Big Game” (and, yes, I do include prostitutes when I talk about sex slavery).
I’m not interested in counting the victims or johns or pimps. If scores of victims are herded into the area, then we should put a stop to it. If victims aren’t herded into the area (so the same victims who have always been there are continuing to be victimized there before, during, and after the Super Bowl), then we should put a stop to it.
Numbers are what people argue about when they don’t particularly want to be bothered with the issue, and the issue is this: if anyone (ten people, five people, or one person) is trafficked during the Super Bowl, we should probably do something about that, and a great way to do something about it is to make sure that there is so much attention and so much pressure on that area that pimps and traffickers can’t do business there.
Yes, they’re going to do business elsewhere… but the same people who started paying attention during the Super Bowl will probably not be able to turn that attention off afterwards. They’ll start noticing the signs and reconsidering pornography and the notion of paying for sex will start to make them feel a little bit weird (and not that way).
I am 100% in favor of saturating the public consciousness with this issue, because wet people can’t pretend to be dry.

I don’t support number fluffing in any form, but if we’re glaring fixedly at the numbers and concluding that the whole Super Bowl Trafficking issue is a myth (because people just aren’t coming forward and admitting that they hired a sex worker, or the number of arrests in the area didn’t change), then we’ve effectively closed our eyes against all of the people who are already victims of sexual slavery in that area. Once we toss out the word myth, we lose our ability to recognize the reality of the situation. Once we decided that trafficking is a minotaur, we won’t see it until we’ve been impaled on it’s horns.

Yeah, sorry about the imagery… I watched “Minotaur” last night, and it was dreadful and I regret it terribly, and I can’t get it out of my thoughts now.
Ugh.
Just awful.

Here is my point: people need to be aware that the prostitute on the corner or the scantily clad woman in the backpage ad or the person in the triple X club or the couple simulating sex acts on film may have been trafficked.
You don’t know.
So don’t plunk down cash during the Super Bowl for anything sex related.
And when you go home, don’t plunk down cash for anything sex related.
Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, don’t plunk down cash for anything sex related.
Because you don’t know.
That doubt is ultimately the value of the Super Bowl anti-trafficking campaigns.
Now you’re aware, and you can’t pretend that you aren’t.

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