So by now Superbowl Sunday is either in full throttle in your household or you have checked out and don’t care. If you chose to recognize it or not American citizens will be impacted either directly or indirectly by this Sundays BIG GAME. Economically, socially, emotionally, and mentally there are ripple effects. By now you are probably wondering what this has to do with sex…..don’t worry….I’m getting there.
So even though it is Pittsburgh Steelers versus Green Bay Packers, Dallas is hosting this year’s Superbowl in Jerry Jones’ 1.2 billion dollar stadium.
Superbowl tickets are costing about $5,000 a ticket. Homebuyers near the stadium are reportedly renting their homes for $10,000 per night. People will be paying a great deal of money for overpriced food and drink.
What many of you don’t know is that according to a recent article in Reuters, “Pimps will traffic thousands of under-age prostitutes to Texas for Sunday’s Super Bowl, hoping to do business with men arriving for the big game with money to burn, child rights advocates said.” The article goes on to say that “the Super Bowl is one of the biggest human trafficking events in the United States,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott told a trafficking prevention meeting in January.”http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/02/us-nfl-superbowl-sex-idUSTRE71183220110202
Many people don’t know how significant a problem this is in the United States. We have been conditioned to believe that prostitutes are the criminals, using moral judgements to maintain strongholds of judgment against them. Everyone remembers Hester Prynne in the Scarlett Letter? Her town’s people were more concerned with casting her out of town because of her part in the adulterous affair rather than the man who was also guilty of adultery. In our society today, women who have multiple sex partners are called whores or worse names; while men who have multiple sex are studs or players. Society has not demonized the men; male promiscuity is explained away with excuses like “well that’s just how men are.” So while men solicit women and young girls on the street for sex, the girls are those ones who ultimately pay the price. They are not only physically scarred but also labeled as throw aways and rejects in society.
Reuters states, “up to 300,000 girls between 11 and 17 are lured into the U.S. sex industry annually, according to a 2007 report sponsored by the Department of Justice and written by the nonprofit group Shared Hope International.
Some 90 percent of runaways and children whose parents force them to leave home fall into the trade and are often beaten, drugged, raped or imprisoned to force compliance, said a section of the report which referred to Atlanta.”
I mean lets look at this realistically, do you really think these women, young girls and sorry to burst your bubbles, even young men wake up and say: “Hey, I think I want to go live on the streets and sell my body for sex, risking my life day in and day out. I think I want to end up in jail for selling my body or become addicted to drugs so men can use my body hour after hour???” Come on people, I don’t think so.
Somewhere there is a huge failure… Let’s imagine little Lexi she is cute 5 year old little girl, she could be any race… She is just living her life, no worries, no problems or maybe her mother works two jobs and she is left in unsavory and dangerous childcare situations. She could be your neighbor, your child, your relative… Can you imagine how Lexi goes from learning her ABC’s to having to count between 5, 10, or 15 men she sells her body to in a day? Lexi could have come from any household, one of poverty or one where she could have anything she dreamt of.
Somewhere…someone missed something. How do we as a society justify this? Should we justify this? Afterall, Lexi isn’t my problem…is she? She isn’t my daughter or sister or niece or cousin. But it is your problem, when a pimp can buy and sell a 13 year old for $100 an hour or a piece, you should make it a point to make it your problem. No one deserves to live that way. We need more community buy in. We need to have a stronger focus on prevention. We also need to educate community partners on the facts and myths about prostitution. We need to provide true intervention for these women, young girls and young men. We need to hold pimps and johns accountable!! People are not usable property!
So as you sit and enjoy your chicken wings, hoagies or a bowl of chili during Sunday’s Superbowl, make it a point to consider what is going on behind the scenes. Make it a point to consider how this game 4 hour game is impacting the community. Make it a point to recognize that this 4 hour game could be just the beginning of years of pain and suffering for a young girl who didn’t really understand what it meant when a guy told her to get in and offered her the chance of a lifetime! Then think about what this means in your community…if it is happening in Dallas, it is happening in Stafford, Dale City, Lexington, San Diego, and Baton Rouge! Don’t fool yourself, it is happening everywhere and it will take everyone of us to do something about it! So make it a point to get up and do something!
Once you do this count up your points and even if you only have just one; use it to reach out in your community and stop sexual violence. If you use that point to make our community safer you will definitely end up on the winning team!!