Posts Tagged ‘trafficking’

Getting Along With the Opposite Gender

February 26, 2016

Do you do much traveling alone? Happens to me a couple of times a month. This week I’ve made a business trip to San Diego. Nice city.

Got into a conversation about guys we know who made a practice of making unwanted advances on women. I am so used to interacting with women professionally, that I don’t really give a thought to trying to get them into my hotel room–or the other way around.

No, honestly. I’m so naive that twice when women hit up on me, I actually realized they were prostitutes. But once (she was drunk), it was something like 12 hours later when the thought hit me that she was hinting strongly about following me to my room.

Americans still have some of that Puritan heritage (or is it just Calvinist?) about how we have to be so suspicious of relations. Any wink can send us spiraling into a sexual adventure.

Oh, grow up.

I think about Jesus. We don’t usually think about how scandalous it must have been that Jesus, a rabbi, had bunches of women followers. And friends. Yet he was single. No problems there.

But there are guys who just don’t seem to get it. They seem to think it’s like being at the grocery, and you’re looking to pick up the most attractive package. They don’t seem to realize that women are actually humans. Some times it works the other way around, too. It’s not always a man’s problem.

I guess I’m just making a plea to treat people of whatever gender as a human being with a personality, imperfect though we all might be. I’m sitting here in San Diego not 30 miles from one of the most notorious red light districts in the world. It services American men. The men never realize that those girls don’t really want to be there. That they don’t spend all day dreaming of the guy who is going to buy 15 minutes of pleasure.

What does it mean to be a disciple? One thing is to treat every human being as a child of God, loved by the Father.

Despite Gains, Women Are Still Exploited

September 9, 2015

Laws and opportunities for women have greatly improved over the course of my adult life in North America and Western Europe. As a group, they are treated better by the law and business.

They do remain virtually or actually enslaved in much of the world. At least three speakers on the TED Talks circuit have pointed out one of the major problems still facing the world is treatment of women. Some identify the situation as a major drag on economies. Jimmy Carter called it the biggest problme not discussed.

This is even among people who consider themselves Christ followers. And sometimes even women themselves are talked into excepting (and promoting) the concept that the Bible says that they are second-class church citizens incapable of participating in church leadership.

Much worse than exclusion from church leadership is the reality of human trafficking–recruiting women by one means or another into sex trade basically enslaving them in a life centered on entertaining the pleasures of men.

A group of people have begun organizing a coalition in our county to raise awareness of human trafficking occurring even in our rural area–probably due to the busy Interstate highway and heavy truck traffic. Only a few men have attended the meetings. I’m the only representative of a church.

One of my small groups is studying the gospel of John. A close reading of the last few chapters shows how important women were in the inner circle of Jesus’ followers. Even if some want to continue mis-reading Paul, Jesus message is unmistakable. 

The remarkable part of the stories recorded in the gospels and Acts is simply the fact that they were recorded at all. Given the culture of first century Mediterranian peoples, giving leading roles to women in some of the stories was actually revolutionary at the time. 

There are so many problems. We can’t solve all at once. But things begin by changing hearts. You do that one heart at a time. You meet someone in an abusive situation, you try to help strengthen the heart to leave the situation. Offering support–emotionally, financially, spiritually. 

And we need to change the hearts of men to overcome whatever basic drives and emotions compel them to be the reason for the problem in the first place.

As a friend of mine said, we can do all manner of things, but unless we work on changing the hearts of people, nothing will change.

Trafficking And The Mistreatment of Women

July 23, 2015

Jimmy Carter recently gave a TED Talk on why he thinks mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse.

About the same time there were other TED Talks on trafficking for international sex trade.

Yesterday morning I attended an inaugural meeting of an organization that hopes to rescue people caught in various types of trafficking including women caught in the sex trade.

I have visited the “red light” district in Tijuana. In all my travels, I have never seen so many prostitutes per square foot. None of those women chose this life. Many times the family was so poor that not all could be fed. It was easy to sell off a younger daughter or two at about age 14.

These all feed off the insatiable demand of many men for sexual intercourse. Of course, I’m not opposed to the act. Just that there is an appropriate time, place, and partner. Many people just cannot contain themselves.

And that is not the only type of trafficking. Both men and women are caught up in what amounts to slavery–promised jobs, given loans, only to discover that the jobs don’t pay a living wage let alone enough to pay off debts.

Back to my group. They are talking about education. Intervention. Helping those who escape start over. Worthy ideals, all.

But it will take a change in the human heart to really affect change.

One of the biggest obstacles? Jimmy Carter stated, “Men just don’t give a damn.”

Help will come when hearts change. That is our main work.