G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Women’s rights groups hate the Super Bowl. They hate men.
Almost two decades ago special-interest groups floated a myth claiming that Super Bowl Sunday was a domestic violence bonanza in which men – ostensibly angered by their team’s loss or the long wait for their pizza delivery – took their anger out on their domestic female partners. The myth was debunked, but every now and again it floats into the mainstream ether and hobbles what would be characterized as a “masculine holiday”.
Under the headline “Why Won’t the 2011 Super Bowl Committee Protetct Kids from Rape?”, leftist-activist website Change.org, this year, the thousands of men gathering in Dallas to attend the Super Bowl will pay to “rape” young women who have been sold into sexual slavery.
Citing 30,000 supporters (the number is up to 43,000 + now), Change.org is using a particularly rhetoric-filled tactic in order to get air time for a new pet agenda. Its
members have signed a petition to get the “I’m Not Buying It” campaign, created by a group called Traffick911, included in official Super Bowl event materials based on the vague assertion from a South Florida human trafficking task force which estimated that “tens of thousands were trafficked through that area during a recent Super Bowl.”
Change.org and Traffick911 have sought to shame Super Bowl event organizers for not molding their agenda to fit this “very important” issue. They hitch their wagon, one that aims to thwart sex trafficking in general, to the Super Bowl because it is such a high profile event. These outfits are tacitly suggesting that the Super Bowl event organizers have an obligation to support the fight against human trafficking because, like the domestic abuse campaign, the Super Bowl is the human trafficking event of the year and its evil male fans are the cause for this great scourge. This despite anything resembling statistical evidence – much like the domestic violence campaign nearly two decades ago.
Change.org and Traffick911 play up the evil-misanthropic-empire card in hopes to force Super Bowl organizers to submit by offering up their time and space for any fly-by-night activist group with an ax to grind. The NFL supports many causes, the most obvious being breast cancer awareness, and during every Super Bowl run-up, the NFL sponsors various charity and community outreach programs. Given limited resources, focusing attention on the “I’m Not Buying It” campaign would detract from other well-deserving causes. But like teat-gorging piglets, these activists believe that their succor is more important than any other.
Traffick911′s “I’m Not Buying it Campaign” is especially deceitful. Fostering vague statistical references like “tens of thousands” of “rape” victims is bad enough, but they go further by distorting the picture of sex trafficking in this country in order to appeal to Super Bowl organizers and gain sympathy for their cause. They make outrageous claims, ignore statistical citation, and shame otherwise innocent men:
By floating ratios that don’t pass the sniff test and appealing to our sense of urgency, Traffick911 wants us to re-rank our priorities and push human sex trafficking at the top of our watch lists. By citing this 48 hour window, we are led to believe that we have little time to confront the problem of human trafficking. One must remember that by adopting such tactics, Traffick911 and every other campaign is displacing other viable public service campaigns.
In their own PSA (please watch through the videos, they are particularly disturbing), Traffick911 shows a clean-cut young white male opening with the line “I am the face of human trafficking”. He can barely hold back a smirk as he says that “my customers are Americans much like you”. His customers are “fluent American men: fathers, husbands, lawyers, teachers. The young punk asserts that these “rapists” (that’s what Change.org calls them) “walk, talk, and look just like you.” Through this snipped, human sex trafficking is “vanilla-ized” and “Americanized”. This ropes every man in as a potential predator which would undoubtedly spur all responsible citizens to remain constantly vigilant against the threat. The problem is that these vague assertions are not only made in bad faith, they hinder the ability to actually thwart the issue. These activists, in lumping all men together, construct a guerilla-like enemy. In a war, who ever heard of constructing guerilla opponents? Only war-mongers would adopt such a tactic.
In another PSA, Dallas Cowboys’ player Jay Ratliff states that it has been brought to his attention that American children are being bought and sold for profit and pleasure. He directly states: “I’m mad. Men I’m talking to you.” The problem, one also embraced by Change.org in their opening salvo, is that his anger isn’t directed towards the slimeballs who sell people into sexual slavery. Instead he hurls his ire at men in general by saying that “real men don’t buy sex.” Please note: Ratliff has a narrow definition of the word “buy”.
The real problem here is that the Change.org campaign, the Traffick911 campaign, the domestic violence PSA’s, and Jay Ratliff have all tried to jumble men together and present this problem as something that any man is capable of doing. They muddy the waters even more by pretending that men who use prostitutes are base rapists. They paint men who have sex with prostitutes and men who wrangle prostitutes up against their will as two sides of the same coin. But they’re not; this glossing-over is a sneaky way for activists to demonize all men for the actions of a few. Bernard Chapin of “Chapin’s Inferno” handles this particular facet of the argument well:
Traffick911 teaches men how to spot sex trafficking victims and encourages them to call 911 or the National Human Trafficking Hotline if they spot a woman who:
I don’t know if I have enough cell phone minutes to keep up with all the calls I’m going to have to make. Good thing the Super Bowl is taking place on both a night and a weekend. One wonders if 911 and the hotline are equipped to handle all of the calls that would come into their stations if men actually acted on Traffick’s advice. The modern day woman commonly fits most of these descriptions.
Furthermore, it should be noted that with the advent of feminist sex-positivism, following Traffick911′s advice to watch for and act on potential signs of human trafficking could be seen as an affront to a woman’s sexual autonomy if not downright criminal or patriarchal (same thing right?). Disturbing her sexual autonomy by judging and then reporting her would be a high crime and misdemeanor in the Feminist handbook.
Misandry is a tool. A marketing tool. Anti-male rhetoric plays well; it sells tickets, raises eyebrows, money, and awareness. A relatively innocuous problem is made to appear worse when it can be showed than men in groups are responsible. Despite the fact that the FBI task force on human trafficking has rescued 1,200 trafficked children in over 7 years (that’s less than 200 kids per year; less than 4 per state per year), we are made to believe that human sex trafficking is of paramount concern in this country. This isn’t to diminish the importance of those crimes, but there are worse things happening in this country. On top of that, the purveyors of sex trafficking of children are most likely not your normal workaday Joe; they are pathological men and women. While sex work is considered by some to be a form of women’s empowerment, men who purchase sex are villified in the same way as human traffickers. That these groups don’t delineate between traffickers and Johns fits perfectly into their “all men are the same and they are evil” line of reasoning. All of this is wrapped up in one neat little bundle and ribbon-tied to the Super Bowl since that is a day of misogyny.
I wrote this piece before I stumbled across Paul Elam’s write-up on a letter he received and Bernard Chapin’s video blog. Both are well worth watching and reading.