The other day I posted a video about how two organizations very dear to my heart are partnering up to stop human trafficking (you can watch it here.) Afterwards, a man I work with told me that while that video inspired him, he still didn’t know how he could help.
What could he, a man, possibly do about human trafficking?
It’s a common question, one that I have heard echoed by many men. So I went to a group of honorable men that work in the same department as I do and asked them, “What prevents you from getting involved in the fight against sex trafficking?”
One of them answered that the spirit of lust in places where trafficking occurs is really heavy. And, having struggled with lust in the past, going back into those environments can be terrifying.
There’s guilt and shame from their past, knowing that what they struggled with isn’t too terribly different than what men who purchase girls struggle with.
On top of that, what do they have to offer? They don’t know what a woman who has been trafficked has been through, so what would they say?
I understand these thoughts, I do. It’s completely comprehensible that a man might feel he has nothing to offer on this “women’s issue.” Who knows? If I were born a man I might think the same way.
But as valid as these thoughts are, they are absolutely holding back the fight against sex trafficking.
The truth is, that unless we get a majority of men involved in the fight, we will never see the end to human trafficking.
Here are seven reasons we need men to get involved in the fight.
1. Men get it.
In my years of working to see an end to trafficking, there is one thing that has become so clear to me. It’s a business: supply and demand.
I have often become frustrated even though I have seen so many women rescued from the bars, there are still more girls to replace them. That is not to say we shouldn’t rescue girls and women, it’s immensely valuable. But it is never going to end unless we take away the demand.
We need men to reach out to the Johns who create the demand because they understand the battle and can relate with men currently going through it.
They’ve struggled with lust. Many have been addicted to pornography, a medium that directly drives the demand for sex trafficking.
They understand lust, but more than that, they know what it is like to overcome.
Who better to reach out to the John who is purchasing women than a man who knows lust and has overcome it?
2. Johns don’t know about the harms of pornography and sex trafficking but you do. Men can bring a new perspective.
I’ve talked to many Johns and mostly they think they are helping a woman by purchasing her for the night. They think they are giving her money and a good time, which could not be further from the truth.
“She likes it,” they say.
And that very well might be what she tells him. The consequences are severe if she doesn’t pretend to like it. But selling your body, no matter which way you look at it, is reducing a person to an object; and anyone who has ever been treated like an object knows how damaging it is.
Men can bring a new perspective to men who purchase girls. Read the success story of my friend doing just that here.
3. Men can be a role model to boys and young men.
When I was in Malaysia, I learned that many young boys in the area believe that rape is an inherent right when a woman is dressed or behaving in certain manner. But one good man in the area is teaching young boys that rape is a choice, not a right and having a positive affect on boys in the area.
One good man influenced a generation of countless boys below him.
The same thing is happening in America, many men who once struggled with the addiction of pornography are teaching boys about the danger of pornography and how it affects the way men view and treat women.
Fightthenewdrug.org is an EXCELLENT resource for those who want to learn or teach on the harmful effect of pornography.
4. Men bring safety and protection.
There are countless times in my life that I have gone to the red-light districts to reach out to women there, both with men and without them.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that I feel much more comfortable knowing there is a good man only a couple of feet away that I could reach out to if I ever feel unsafe.
With men around, it takes away an element of fear that I might have otherwise. It allows me to really dive into conversation with a woman.
Even outside the bar scene when I write a somewhat controversial article about women’s issues, I feel a lot safer knowing there are men backing up what I say. It gives me more freedom to say things that matter.
5. Women need to know there are good men.
The sad truth is that many women working in the sex industry have only experienced the worst attributes a man might possess.
They only know the violence and lust of a certain kind of man, and because of that they lump all men in the same category: evil.
We need men to come into the lives of these women and show them there are good men out there. Men who want nothing more than to love them as God would.
I have seen many women’s view of men change when a good man enters their life, allowing them trust men again.
Kenny Sacht, founder of Wipe Every Tear, is one of those men who redeem that view for many women who have left the trade.
6. A man’s voice in a “women’s issue” is amplified.
If you remember back to the Civil Rights movement African Americans were being persecuted across America. There were many who fought for equal rights which made a difference, but whenever someone of another race stood up for their rights, it seemed their voice was amplified.
When people stand on behalf of an issue that is not their own, their voice seems to stand out and accelerates the movement.
When men speak on behalf of a “women’s issue,” their voice acts a catalyst.
Plus, to me, there is nothing more attractive than a man who uses his voice on the behalf of others.
7. Men carry influence.
If you’ve ever traveled the world, it isn’t too difficult to see that men carry more influence than women in many countries.
I wish this wasn’t true. I wish that a woman’s voice held just as much weight as a man in many parts of the world, but the world as a whole isn’t there yet. (we will be one day if I have anything to do about it)
Men hold more positions of power and authority and as a result more influence than women in society.
If you were born a man, you naturally carry influence. I am begging you not to waste it.
When you hear people degrading women in anyway, say something. When you hear your buddies talking about women in terms of body parts, correct them. When you hear someone talk about their struggle with lust, reach out to them.
Men, we need you. We need you to end the sex trade, but more than that we need you to use your influence to demonstrate that women are humans too.
I believe in you, I believe you can change the world. So please, get out there and change it.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.