Where to start? they say at the beginning, but that is somewhere shortly after creation and the fall from the Garden of Eden. I don't have the time, inclination, education or megabytes to write all of that.
What I can tell you is that Taken, again, brought to the forefront of my mind an issue that I can't seem to get away from. An issue, that once it took hold in my heart and mind and soul and spirit, I don't want to get away from. An issue that baffles me that more people aren't talking about. Something that I truly have a difficult time fathoming that it even still exists.
more specifically, the Sex Slave Trade.
Taken is about a man who worked for his government for many years as a 'preventer' as he tells his daughter eventually. He retires in order to try to build a relationship with her after years of absence and disappointment. As in many many fractured relationships the attempt seems too little too late. Which to begin with is quite sad. Something that happens in far too many relationships, sadly.
Through a bit of lying and a touch of emotional blackmail the daughter, and her mother, convince the dad to agree to let her go to Paris for a trip. It's never truly clear how long they'll be gone but it's a week or two at least. In his former life as a 'preventer' he knows just exactly the possibilities the world could hold for his beautiful and innocent daughter. He at first says no and then gives in, with some conditions. Conditions that end up being useless because to begin with his daughter doesn't follow them and then once she has started to follow them she is kidnapped and doesn't really have the opportunity to follow them.
She is kidnapped by an illegal immigrant ring in Paris who have found that kidnapping tourists is cheaper than conning women from eastern europe to travel with them so they can be forced into trafficking after they've arrived in western europe. A kidnapping ring that now specializes in the sex trade. A kidnapping ring that provides the 'best' girls for private auctions to wealthy foreign men. A kidnapping ring that, clearly, has absolutely no belief in humanity.
Throughout the movie, one man, the father, is the only man who seems to care that these are girls, these are daughters and mothers and sisters and friends! The french police are even extorting the kidnappers ring to allow them to continue their business in Paris. One man even goes so far as to say, explicitly "I have a daughter too. This wasn't personal. This was just business, it was just business!" To which the father replies, quite aptly, "It was all personal to me!" and shoots him.
The thing that truly gets me about this, is that so many people in our world are
either unaware or absolutely, unequivocally apathetic about this whole issue.
How can you be apathetic that millions of women and children are forced to work against their will every single day, many of them doing sex acts we wouldn't even read about in a book much less do, with multiple partners every flipping hour?!?!!!
I don't understand how you can hear that and not want to put your fist through a wall. How you can hear that and not want to simply cry for all the women that are stuck in that hell right now, all the women who don't have a father with those skills or a family with the resources or anyone at all to even attempt to save them from that torture. And, honestly, I don't think torture is a strong enough word, but I can't think straight through the red haze in my mind to find a better one.
I think it's easy for us to sit here in the midwest and pretend it doesn't touch us. Pretend it doesn't have anything to do with me. Pretend it will never happen to me or anyone I know. So I can breathe easy tonight and sleepy soundly and know that me and mine are safe.
What if I told you that I can almost guarantee there is at least one woman being held against her will within 100 mile radius of where you are sitting right this moment? What would you do then? Would you pay more attention at the store? Would you pay more attention to your neighbors? Would you listen more carefully at night when you hear those weird noises your neighbors make every once in awhile?
More importantly, would you be willing to put your neck on the line to do something about it?? I'll be honest, I'd like to be able to say that I would. But if I heard noises that didn't sound right, would I actually do anything at all? I'd like to hope that if I noticed an unusual amount of visitors at all hours of the day and night at a house in my neighborhood, that I would call someone. I don't know. I'd like to hope that if I saw a woman at the grocery store that just didn't seem 'right' like she didn't know where she was or what she was doing or seemed overly scared or something, that I would ask if I could help her or if she was ok. But we all know that it's easier not to do anything at all, and to walk away and pray that the person is ok. That God would make it ok. But what if YOU were the answer to prayer for that woman, and now her tomorrow won't be any more ok than today was??
We talk about domestic violence, and that is a horrible thing as well, I won't even begin to think about arguing with that for a second. But the only reason we are having that conversation is because someone we know has been hit. Someone we know watched their mom get hit. Someone we know has died at the hands of someone in their own household. When it is someone you know, it changes things. When it is your friend being hit, it changes. When it is your brother in law doing the hitting, it changes. When it is you pleading with someone to leave for their own safety, it changes.
How much worse does trafficking have to get before it hits close enough to
home for it to change??
does it have to be your daughter?
does it have to be your friend?
does it have to be your child?
At what point do we decide that enough is enough!! That ignorant, greedy, selfish men with no appreciation for the inherent human value of a female person do not get to win!! That they can be brought down daily, by people like us?
I know what you're thinking, if you're still reading. It's the same thing I thought.
What can I do??
First of all, talk. Be willing to have the conversation and be willing to be the first to bring it up. Next, support causes that are already fighting this fight. There are causes that provide jobs and extraction options to women caught in trafficking. There are causes that raise awareness and lobby for changing laws. Then, pray. Pray about how you can make a difference. Pray that those organizations that are already working on this be fully funded and then some. Pray that the organizations have excellent staff and wise and Godly counsel. Pray that the staff have a supernatural hedge of protection around them every time they step into this particular lions den.
Lastly, and this one comes from my own heart. Refuse to allow women to be degraded or treated as objects in any way in any place that you live, work, play, function or breathe. Refuse to let people tell you that trafficking has always been and it will always be. Refuse to let people tell you that there is nothing you can do. Beat the ever living snot out of any man that you ever find out has visited a prostitute, EVER. (You can let him live because I don't want a murder rap coming back at me, but i'm just suggesting it.) Smack a guy around if you find out he's watching porn. Take the magazine and give him a few smacks, like you would a dog, if the magazine shows more skin than you'd like to see in church. And punch a man, as hard as you can, wearing every ring that you own, if he so much as hints that trafficking should EVER be legalized, in any form or fashion. Slap any man who has the audacity to tell a joke that honestly compares a woman to an object or an animal or objectifies her as nothing more than a tool to be used by men for sexual release.
Yes, that is incredibly extreme. Yes it is violent. Sure, violence begets more violence, or so they say. But at the end of the day, a new set of laws will not stop the men who perpetuate this abomination!! The only thing that will ever truly make a difference is for women and men (yes, MEN) to stand up and say NO MORE. This is not only illegal and immoral, it is a scourge on the 21st century!
I truly believe that trafficking at its worst all begins when little boys are told that mommy's 'job' is to keep daddy happy or to keep the house clean. When young men are given magazines full of impossible images and told to 'be a man.' When college boys decide that a woman being passed out is close enough to consent to do as they wish. When men of any age decide to pay for release or affection rather than work to create something real with another human being they consider equal to themselves.
Will you help? or will you label me a fanatic? or will you throw up your hands in defeat and concede victory before we've even begun? Will you allow those hundreds and thousands of little girls to be victimized over and over today? or will you do your little part in your little corner to say NO, it ends, NOW, Here, forever.