Tag Archives: sacrifice

Sell Sex Pt. III: Bill C-36, Human Trafficking, and Sex Work (Was I Wrong?)

In one of my early posts on the blog I shared about a fundraiser I organized with one of my best friends. The two of us had both stumbled across the shocking reality of human trafficking and been horrified. Most of my experience was just through reading about it (primarily in Benjamin Perrin’s book Invisible Chains), whereas she had met human trafficking survivors while attending Salvation Army War College.

We felt frustrated, and helpless, but we wanted to do something, anything to prevent it from happening to more vulnerable individuals.

After discussing it a few times, we decided to create some kind of event where we could raise awareness for human trafficking here in Canada. We even created a petition that advocated for the “Nordic Model” of prostitution law. This model was advocated by Perrin in his book and basically entails attacking the demand side of prostitution rather than the supply, specifically by making the purchase of sex illegal, rather than the sale. In theory, this means that the individuals who are victimized by the sex industry would be protected, while those who are perpetuating human trafficking  or contributing to the prostitution demand would be punished.

So I should be really excited now that Canada is currently debating a bill that would change our current prostitution laws to something much more in line with the Nordic Model, right?

Well, I’m suddenly not so sure.

Bill C-36 was introduced by Justice Minister Peter McKay near the beginning of June. Continue reading

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Evan and Gordon Talk: About Whatever, Because You’re Not Helping Us Out Topics-Wise

EVAN: Dearest audience, I don’t know what happened. There used to be a time when you offered us E&GT topics like it was nothing, and now it feels like something has come between us. Is it Gordon’s divisive posts about Christianity? Just let us know, we can’t take the silence any longer!

That being said, we’re basically just going to talk for 45 minutes about whatever we feel like.

So, Gordon, the two of us have been known to play D&D from time to time, and I’m going to pose it to you to come up with an original class idea. Keep in mind that I already have one and it is pretty good.

He’s a drow, or dark elf, so it’s not technically blackface. . . I think . . .

And I’m expecting something a little bit different from your usual high-damage through bladed weapons or dark magic with low health.

GORDON: Ah, we’re going right for the nerd crowd, eh? Okay, how about this: Continue reading

Fame Day: Aung San Suu Kyi

When I was young, I can’t remember how young exactly, I watched the movie Beyond Rangoon with my parents. It’s a pretty typical American movie in that the protagonist is, of course, American. But I remember this one scene that used to give me chills; in fact, it still gives me chills. The protagonist stumbles upon a protest that centers around a woman I had never heard of before, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: “Super-Independence”

GORDON: Well Comrades, welcome to the Culture War Reporter’s off-grid, self-sustaining commune. Pour yourself some Kool-Aid and make yourself comfortable as Evan and I debate the merits of the movement.

EVAN: While we ended our last segment stating that we were going to discuss the state of the church, starting off tonight we realized a few things.

a) We can’t for the life of us find this phantom comment by Joseph suggesting such a topic [though I swear I read it].

b) We already talked about one of his topics [naps and such] and therefore should give someone else a chance.

c) Hannah has put forth a good handful of them, one of her most recent being the following:

What do you guys think about the new(?) trend back towards super-independence, by which I mean, growing your own food, creating your own textiles, etc (and taking pictures of it to put on your fancy blog….). Is this back to the earth movement a reflection of culture change or just another hippie permutation?

Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: The Greatest Flaw of This Generation [Continued]

EVAN: Last week Gordon and I discussed the greatest flaw of this generation, and discussed apathy, laziness, entitlement, and creative bankruptcy. Deciding that we had much more to work with, Gordon left us with this question last week, which heads this continuation of the topic:

““Do we want to be good, or do we just want to look good?”

GORDON: I’m not entirely sure I can come up with any swift dismissal of this possibility, I mean- look at the world we live in. Do we believe in being environmentally and socially conscious? Absolutely. But to what extent? I mean, we’ll chuck our soda cans in the recycling, but are we gonna picket Monsanto?

Are we really just observing these “little” things because they’re expected of us? Do we actually care one way or another?

EVAN: As far as recycling goes, we do that in Canada because it’s the law. Looking good only has so much to do with it.

If we want to go with the example of, say, giving a few dollars towards an environmental organization [or maybe because the fundraiser was cute], that works a little more maybe. It at least contrasts with picketing/protesting. I think we care, but maybe not enough? That’s if we’re quantifying “care” now by the actions that it results in.

GORDON: Is it, perhaps, that we’re cynical? Do we as a generation ultimately despair of the effectiveness of any method of change? Is the reason we’re unable to really go the distance when it comes to our causes because we think it’s all just in vain?

EVAN: Do we think it’s all futile? I mean, we’re certainly led to believe that to some extent. To focus on environmentalism, the extent of the destruction to this earth is growing ever closer to irreversible, and we’re made aware of this.

As far as documentaries and the like go, however, we are told over and over that what we do does indeed matter. Being conscious about how we spend our money and that sort of thing.

GORDON: That’s what we’re told, but then again, the creators of such documentaries are overwhelmingly members of older generations.

Look at the Occupy Movement, for example.

People were there from all demographics, but more than anyone else it was the youth- our generation. Despite massive popularity, that venture ultimately met its death under the boot heels of riot cops and a fog of pepper spray.

It’s been about a year since it all started, and the situation is the same, yet there’s really no push for any resurrection of the movement or even for any major protest at all. Have we given up? We’re all the same people- we have all the same drives and values- have we simply despaired of peaceful protest?

EVAN: It’s funny you should say that, since just yesterday former protesters gathered in a park in Toronto to call attention to the movement that happened a year ago.

That aside, maybe you can explain what exactly happened as the movement petered out. It’s somewhat well-known that the weather was a large contributor to those occupying various streets and cities, but what else led to its collapse. Was it simply fatigue?

GORDON: I’d blame massive crackdowns on the part of the mayors of the occupied cities- let’s not forget that mayor Jean Quan pretty much turned Oakland into a warzone. Injured a protesting war vet so badly most folks thought he was going to become the first casualty of the movement (he pulled through, fortunately).

EVAN: This sort of all falls back to a point I made in relation to apathy our first attempt at this topic. That people care, but simply don’t feel like stepping outside their comfort zones. I realize that this may seem like a ludicrous thing to say in the face of the Occupy Movement, but I feel that the vast majority of youth, our generation, don’t want to do what it takes.

They, we, value comfort too much.

GORDON: I’m gonna have to second that theory.

I remember back when I was in college, going door-to-door trying to get students to boycott various unethical companies [Coca-Cola, Nike] doing business on campus. I was amazed at how many people would nod their heads and smile and agree with each and every word out of my mouth until I called on ’em to stop buying those companies’ products.

Guts. We got none. Difficulty with the concept of actual sacrifice, you know?

EVAN: And the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola is the very basest of comforts. If we can’t part with a caffeinated beverage we’re into, then what can we do?

I’ve joined in your personal boycott of the company, and although it can be a little difficult, it’s certainly nothing compared to being beaten by batons as I march on Parliament.

GORDON: Is that it then? Are our values just skewed ever so slightly in favor of immediate gratification? Do we prefer keeping our skulls in once piece over bread and freedom?

EVAN: History would say: yes. At least until things reach a certain point. Until we realize that being comfortable doesn’t outweigh what we put up with to get that comfort.

GORDON:  So what’s the word for this?

EVAN: To put it simply would be “laziness,” and we both know it’s more than that.

GORDON: “Over-Attachment,” perhaps?

EVAN: “Comfort-Loving”?

GORDON: “Hesitation”? “Looking back towards Sodom”?

EVAN: Looking back towards Sodom assumes that they’re actually doing something.

GORDON: It’s a fear- a very specific kind of fear. The kind where you “choke” just before doing something major.

EVAN: I’m going to say there’s probably something in French or German for that, but since we’re writing this in English we’re pretty limited in our options.

GORDON: Can we make one up?

EVAN: Heh. I don’t see why not.

How about . . . “Statusquophilia.”

GORDON: “Fluxophobia”?

EVAN: Haha, I like how we went different directions with our Greek roots.

GORDON: As do I. Shall we have the readers vote?

EVAN: Sounds good to me, and we should be wrapping things up anyway. Want to summarize how we got here?

GORDON: Ultimately, o readers, it all comes down to this. The great and terrible flaw of our generation- from what we’ve discussed- is not a sin of commission. We are not entitled, we are not lazy, we are not without our values. Our fault is in what we lack the guts to be good, the balls to be bad. In short, the unwillingness to part with what we have for the chance to attain something more. We’re trapped in a dance with the devil we know.

EVAN: Vote for the terminology you like more. “Statusquophilia,” meaning a love for things as they are, or “Fluxophobia,” meaning, in this case, a fear of sacrifice.

GORDON: For next week’s topic, we’ve got: Zombies- Are We Beating a Dead Horse At This Point?

EVAN: Or what is going on with all the wars on television? I’m referring to programs like “Storage Wars” and the like. Real wars are happening, I realize this.

GORDON: And with that, people of the interwebs, we are out of time- make sure to vote for your preferred word as well as the topic for next week, and be sure to check out our new “Fame/Shame Day” feature!