SECRET DIARY of a STOP THE TRAFFIK worker. A question of humor.

 G’day everybody!

It has been a long time since I cast my thoughts on the blog. I’ve been busy writing the NEW ACT stuff– don’t forget to check it out at www.stopthetraffik.org/act

Now I have a bit more time, I will be back with my regular blog spot. Here’s entry number 1… 

My buddy Preston sent me an article about an online community who may have helped save 2 girls from an unknown, murky fate. You can read it here http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/05/metafilter-russian-sex-ring – it’s interesting (shorter version here http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2010/05/21/excl…  

The article and situation are both very interesting and show how important it is to raise awareness and tell as many people as possible about the dangers of human trafficking. 

The thing that struck me though, were the comments people made after the article.  One said ‘i am glad they’re safe etc, but were they hot?’ 

To which someone replied….. 

‘Yes, it’s hilarious to make jokes about young women who might have become sex slaves. Because, you know, if they were HOT, it makes it cool to fantasize about having sex with them against their will (aka raping them)’ 

followed by…

‘.. like most human beings, now that the crisis is over, I’ll find a bit of humor in it…’ 

Similarly, I watched a TV show being recorded last week where the host made a joke about girls who’d been trafficked into the sex industry.  At first I was shocked but then I thought about it and realised that for trafficking to be mentioned on mainstream TV at all – especially on a comedy show – may mean that trafficking is no longer such a hidden crime and it is a good and positive sign that people are more clued into the issue.  

So here are my thoughts…..

Is it ok to make jokes about things like trafficking if it sparks debate? Is it ok to excuse something being said for comedy value if it means a term or issue is more understood / in the public domain? Do we use humor as a way of processing and dealing with horrific information? If so, why haven’t there been loads of holocaust comedies?

I don’t know, it’s just got me thinking. Think with me…….

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2 thoughts on “SECRET DIARY of a STOP THE TRAFFIK worker. A question of humor.

  1. Interesting, I just read a post about this very topic that Love 146 just wrote a blog post at http://love146.org/blog/how-tina-fey-ruined-my-date-night

    Comedy is such an interesting thing. I think there is a huge difference between sarcasm and down right inappropriate mocking. Sarcasm often will highlight and issue that is serious in a way that makes people think. Mocking can normalize cruel behaviour. Those comments you mentioned above I think to be cruel (in the second category), while maybe the host of the show was more of the sarcasm kind?

    Interesting post. Thanks for this!

    Michelle

    1. HI Michelle, I agree with you. There is a difference between the cheap shots slung around after the article I mentioned but maybe the TV host’s comments were more… tactile? I don’t know though. I wonder whether the sex industry is just seen as something more ‘light hearted’ and ‘fun’ and the men and women who work as prostutues or strippers or whatever are not given as much respect as other members of society making it easier to mock and laugh at them. You don’t hear hosts making jokes about Jewish history, the hideous plight of Palestinians, women being stoned in Iran for demanding equailty. Is sex different? Most people have sexual relations or will do it at somepoint in their lives, men and women buy sex to such an extent ttrhe sex indusy makes millions in profits…. this is a bit of a rambly point but I am sure you get my meaning!

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