We live in a culture where the word “bitch” is thrown around as an endearment,  “pimp” is a status, and sexy equals looking like a hoe.  I wrote about the whole bitch phenomenon and how it relates to trafficking in an earlier blog.  You can read that one here.

Beyond our culture’s new embrace of “bitch”, we have put the words Pimp and Hoe in bright coloured lights that make them seem appealing.  You may not personally be effected, but what these words are speaking to the heart of young people can’t go unnoticed.  Girls are learning beauty from what they see on videos and advertisements.  In fact, who uses the word “beautiful” any more?  Beauty has been replaced with a cheap “sexy”.   Every where you go and every time you listen to the radio, count how many times “sexy” is being sold to you and notice what “sexy” looks like.  Even my six year old runs around the house singing, “Heeeyyyyy, sexy lady!” at the top of his lungs.  (Gangnam Style).  The picture noted of Trina, who is featured on Gaga’s song; “Let dem hoes fight”(lyrics at the end of the blog), is the most decent picture I could find of a typical image of beauty we are sold today.  Some of the visuals I found would have suited better, but were pushing the edge of what would be appropriate for my blog.  That being said, you don’t have to search far to find visuals of “hoe” being expressed as today’s standard of beauty and worth.  You can see the result of this by looking at the facebook profiles of girls ages 13-25, looking in the mirror, cleavage in full effect as they pucker their lips for their self portrait with their iphone.  Somewhere, they were told THIS was the image they were to convey of themselves.

Take a young girl, say around 15, and expose her to this “glamor” and you’ve numbed her from innocence.  All it takes is a man who says he cares for her, makes her feel sexy and special by buying her gifts and taking her out to lure her into a life where he makes money off of trafficking her body.  What girl would do that?  Why would she stay with a man who would have her sleep with his clients for money?  That’s how warped it is, folks.  She is so caught up in this so called “glamorization” of living with the bling that she has been told is the high life, that she’s hooked.  Her lack of understanding or even opportunity to observe a model of a healthy relationship has her mind so twisted that she thinks THIS is love. That’s why trafficking in Canada is such a problem.  In this case, she’s in full agreement of the exchange, making the transaction legal.

More than ever, young women need to have a message of beauty offered to them.  This becomes hard when even women my age are sucked into the vortex of “sexy” too!  Young women need to see healthy couples who talk about overcoming the hard times and what love truly looks like.  Maybe if we offered this to them they would have an alternative to think about?  I feel we haven’t shown the alternative loud enough.

Switch over to the gentlemen for a minute, where “pimp” is a status symbol. Where hearing about having multiple partners in today’s music is common.  For a young man learning about his role in this life, where does he learn to be a man?  Seems like Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Akon, etc are teaching him what a man is, and how he treats a woman.  “Pimpin’ got harder cuz hoes got smarter”  (Akon).  Here you see a typical picture of Snoop Dog and what he’s proud to represent.

How many guys see girls as a status symbol, along with money, cars, bling and cribs (not baby cribs for my mommy friends).  What do you think they’ll do to prove their “manhood”?  To what heights will they go to show they have status and deserve respect?  Sell drugs?  Steal?  Sell someone for sex?   It’s not hard to imagine how easy this may actually be for a man who has been exposed to the amounts of pornography that’s been easily accessible since he was a kid.  Gangsta rap and music videos follow behind walking a thin line between pornography, objectification of women and violence towards women.  Interestingly enough, violence in the sex industry has gone up as pornography has become more accessible and pushed to more disturbing visuals.  Some that include children and an increase of violence.

If there’s ever a time for strong male mentors to take hold of young men’s lives, it’s now.  It may safe his life and many others.

It’s not enough just to think this is wrong.  It’s not enough to look at these young people in their disillusionment with a displeased disposition.  We can’t stand back passive and let MTV raise this generation.  We can no longer stay silent, only to find ourselves falling for these same messages!

What can we do?

1. We can think about what we watch and what we listen to beyond a beat and entertainment.  What is the message and does it represent something we believe in?

2. We can invest in a young person’s life through mentoring and being willing to journey with them through the nitty gritties of life.

3. We can put aside judgment and put on compassion and empathy.

4. We can stop buying into advertising trends that are feeding trafficking, violence against women and objectification.

5. We can teach our children how to value one another.  I tell my son every time he sings Gangnum Style that women weren’t created to be “sexy”.  They were created to be valued and hold within them a contribution to the world.  (to which he wanders off confused, still singing the song, but one day it’ll stick)

6. We can seek to understand the issues of trafficking by talking to organizations that work in that area.  I have found they are happy to speak on the issues.

 

The culture we live in is a result of what we put up with.  Are you satisfied with your surroundings?  Take a woman and reduce her to “hoe” or “bitch” and she’ll live up to your expectations.  Model to a young man the success the status “pimp” can bring him and he’ll strive to achieve this success.  Are you ok with the idea of trafficking?  If not, think about these subtle influences that are having great effect and act.

Trafficking is just one of the issues being addressed in our show, “Invisible” June 14-15, 2013 in Calgary, AB at Theatre Grand Junction.

Let them hoes fight lyrics – Lady Gaga featuring Trina

Stressin’ on me for the attention

Let them hoes fight

‘Cause you’re no competition

 

Let them hoes fight

Comin’ at me, guns are a blazin’

Let them hoes fight

I could stomp your face in

 

I was looking hella good

When I stepped off in the club

She was jockin’ on my Gucci

‘Cause her boyfriend want my cookies

 

She just keep on lookin’ back

I keep throwin’ her the bird

I’m about to walk away

I don’t care what you heard

 

Watch me, watch me swing my weave

I’m gon’, I’m gon’ fix my lip gloss

I’m gon’ stunt on them hoes

With my hands up on my hip bones singin’

 

Jealous bitches, jealous bitches

Don’t hate me, don’t hate me