Monday, December 24, 2012

An Individual's right to freedom...

Imagine the privilege of being surrounded by family, friends, a large amount of options for career paths or which University to attend. Now, imagine all of this being taken away from you in an instant, your life changing and you suddenly being sold into slavery (whether for sexual exploitation or labour) for what may be the rest of your life.

It's quite easy not to care as long as something doesn't concern us. Thousands - even millions - of people are being exploited for the branded clothing we wear, but who cares as long as it's nobody we know, or our family members? What about young women being exploited sexually? (i.e for pornographic purposes or prostitution). As long as it's not your mother, sister, friend or girlfriend, why should it matter what's happening to them or what they go through to bring 'entertainment' to your computer screen or your television? Of course it doesn't matter, right?

Just recently I read that thousands of young girls in Cambodia, many as young as the age of three, are sold into Brothels (prostitution houses) by their families, annually. This, to me, is absolutely heart wrenching.  It is happening, not only in a country where females are considered insignificant to their male counterparts, but all over the world. What's even worse is that

"As the sex trade continues to grow, it also self-perpetuates. Once girls are sold into sex slavery, they often know nothing else and are so stigmatized that they remain in the trade, even when that means selling sex voluntarily. Drugs and other addictions can also work to keep women tied to brothels." - http://www.halftheskymovement.org/issues/sex-trafficking 

It is quite sad to think about 'entertainment' taking place at someone's expense, or pleasure at someone's expense - even if it constitutes the clothes we wear, the 'garbage' we pride ourselves in watching or our sexual greed. Would it perhaps make any difference if it became a personal issue and we knew that a family member was being sexually exploited so other's could be entertained? - Or that the same family member was being overworked for hours to produce clothing that would eventually be given to someone who couldn't care less where it came from? -

We're so comfortable in our own homes, our own lives to actually care much about where most of our things come from, or what people have to go through for the pleasure of 'the ignorant'; but are we really ignorant, or have we just chosen to be? We're quick to brush it off because it make us upset, or because we feel we don't have to think about it. What really matters is our satisfaction and that we're untouched by the madness.

Thousands of males/females aren't gawking at our naked mothers/sisters/friends in a pornographic movie, so it's okay. Thousands of men aren't sleeping with and mistreating our sisters/mothers/friends/girlfriends daily, so we remain untouched, unaffected.

I, personally, believe that most of the pain others have to endure is caused by our greed and endless desire for things we don't really need. We have many things, yet we want even more. We carry out our frustrations, sexual desires and greed for the things which we do not need on people who deserve to live somewhat 'normal' lives, just like ourselves.

Often times, information may fall on def ears, however, those who are determined on changing, do so.  Change always starts with the individual - whether this is through awareness or a person's determination to do something.  I know that, just like myself, all individuals (unless perhaps they've committed some serious criminal offence such as murder etc) have a right to freedom and shouldn't have to slave away so that someone else can be happy. They deserve at least that much.