Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm a Walking Contradiction, a Victim of a Catch 22

A few weeks ago, a new writer for the blog introduced herself. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to write for this blog. We're all so passionate about the end of slavery and educating people about it.

In response to this writer’s piece, someone commented on her identifying herself as a feminist and an abolitionist. Said person alluded to feminism being contradictory to being anti-trafficking. I commend the writer for responding to the reader with such dignity and poise. I was slightly angered. Considering myself a feminist, I stand firmly in those beliefs. I by no means believe that feminism and trafficking go hand-in-hand.

Feminism is a controversial belief in and of itself and for someone reason you cannot be feminist and have any other belief. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Christian, Feminist, Liberal, Activist, Humanitarian and Abolitionist. Many of which people say you can’t be one and the other.

I don’t mean this to be sarcastic, or to be rude. I am simply troubled that anyone would think that someone’s ideology would prevent them from being against a cause such as slavery. No matter what or whom you believe in, you should believe that slavery in any form is wrong. My intentions for joining this blog were to help in educating people who stumble upon this blog and to learn, myself, from fellow activists and abolitionists. We’re building a community, uniting a front, banding together to fight against the biggest secret this world holds.

Let’s break down what it means to be a feminist and an abolitionist. Feminism is the belief that women are politically, socially, sexually, and intellectually equal to men. A feminist stance can change from woman to woman (or even man to man), but a huge concern and often argued stance is prevention and protection against sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape. A majority of Human Trafficking going on in the world right now is sex trafficking. Thus making perfect sense for a person who adopts feminist ideology would want to see an end to Human Trafficking. Women of the sex trafficking are not willing participants, no one in Human Trafficking is a willing participant. A woman, feminist or not, would want every woman to be able to make a decision when and with whom she wants to have sex with and without force. Based on the definition of a feminist (being against sexual exploitation) they would be the perfect candidate of someone AGAINST human trafficking.

Trafficking isn't about a woman's right to sexual exploration. I'm sure it's easy to confuse the terms for some people, however when disecting the two would show vast differences. Feminists do think that women should be seen in the same light, sexually as men. We should be able to explore and parade the same way men would and not be judged for the actions we take. That would be sexual exploration. When exploitation is concerned, we shouldn't be forced to do or be something sexually.

An abolitionist is someone who wants to end slavery. In our world today we are blind to the fact that there are 27 million people who are enslaved all over the globe today. Slavery is illegal everywhere. Abolitionists usually have the same stance, some just have a heart for different areas of the world. My heart is in India, and most likely will always be. However, as an abolitionist, I want to see slavery end EVERYWHERE. No man, no woman, no child, no mother, no father, no brother, no sister, should be forced to succumb to these horrible conditions and acts commented by traffickers and the people who participate.

This issue not only bothered me because the viewpoint of my fellow blogger made sense, but because I really think that you can’t keep people in a box. Not every label a person decides to use fits the stereotypes of the label. Clearly, I am a walking contradiction as all of the labels I acquire are not usually together in social circles. The most fascinating factor about the human being is how multifaceted we are. Different parts of our brain fire different signals and affect the way we think and feel about all different types of ideas or matters of the heart. We are allowed to modify whatever ideology we choose to adopt because those ideologies meant different things to each individual.

Readers, I challenge you to think beyond the box of “abolitionist”, “feminist” or any other label you adopt and look towards the big picture that brought you here to this blog. We all have different interests, careers, passions and calling; we all have a common goal, end slavery.

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