Alex Blaze

Bad Child Sex Trafficking PSA's

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 18, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Justin Timberlake, real man

These new videos from Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are just dumb. This isn't the sort of problem that can be solved with ads. Or, as VideoGum put it:

I'm pretty sure that anyone who is interested in buying a CHILD SEX SLAVE isn't going to be particularly swayed by AN IRONICALLY CLEVER ADVERTISEMENT FEATURING JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE THAT PLAYS ON MODERN CONCEPTS OF MASCULINITY. Pretty sure that is not how we move the needle on the whole "fucking kids in dank Queens basements" thing.

Because of my controversial stance against child sex slavery, I'm a real man now too. Guess I can stop worrying about walking down so many roads. More ads after the jump.

via feministing


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Oh good, a series of ads targeting those young 20-something hipsters who buy child sex slaves. Problem solved.

There are those, however, who think that it's a way to prove masculinity. If you can reach just one person with the campaign, maybe someone who was considering it for whatever reason and maybe that was the final straw to get them to decide not to, then I'd consider the campaign a success. Like the little boy and the beach full of starfish, if you can make a difference for one person, it's still making a difference.

The kind of person who would buy a child sex slave--not just have sex with a kid to prove his masculinity or whatever, but actually buy a child sex slave--is severely mentally ill. As such, I'm pretty sure an ad campaign is not going to help them. It's not like the epidemic of depression in this country is going to get magically cured if someone makes a series of ads telling all those depressed silly-heads to cheer up.

It would have been more effective, I think, to make an un-ironic PSA targeting non-potential-child-sex-slave-purchasers, telling them how to recognize trafficking and what to do to stop it.

I'm so confused. Is there an epidemic of men doing their ironing and then buying a girl? And who the hell are the random people that are 'real men' at the end? Edward? Who's that?

Okay, after working with disenfranchised homeless, runaway and trafficked youth since 1987, I totally understand the power of celebrity messaging. The fact that, by and large, we are a society who gives our attention to celebrities' voices does not bother me. We've been trying for years to get this kind of awareness, unfortunately, they are leaving out all the boys and trans youth who are being sexually exploited. I understand the tangent marketing approach a la Geico as well...it's cute, but then it drops the ball. Those men sexually exploiting youth basically don't give a shit about whether anyone thinks they're a man because the emotional, physical and psychological power they hold over a young person for control and profit is the only thing the will hear. They seem to think that appealling to logic will work when those who are the exploiters are really fulfilling a damaged psychological need. Where are the emergency numbers (National Runaway Switchbiard, National Safe Place Hotline) for trafficked youth to call? If an average Joan or Joe watching these videos (many of which you can't even access on YouTube! What's up with Demi and Ashton? Can you sat viral social marketing?!) wants to know what to do or whom to call, where is the guidance. Gee, Ashton and Demi, it's a nice effort, but it pretty much misses the mark. Don't get me wrong, we welcome the attempt at attention, but who did you talk to? Were there focus groups with trafficked youth? What about with actual traffickers, both former and current? What about programs serving homeless and runaway youth who see these youth every minute of every day! Listen, I like your commitment, but if you're going to throw your public weight behind something, then please be thorough and really make an effort...please! Let's give this thing some gas! ;)

As Bofield8 has noted, these idiots who seek out children for sex are not trying to be recognized as "real men." They could care less - all their power, all their desire, and all their "sexiness" is thrust towards control. They want to be in control, to feel superior and to have their way in whatever it is they do. That's got nothing whatsoever to do with masculinity.

A side question here: what's going on with signing in to leave a comment? I seemingly have to change my password daily lately, and the next time I used it, it's rejected. I'm puzzled.

"I'm pretty sure that anyone who is interested in buying a CHILD SEX SLAVE isn't going to be particularly swayed by [this ad]." This person is 1) missing the point, and 2) not educated about the nature of sex slavery. The fact is, most American men who perpetuate this crime don’t realize what they’re doing. You’re too quickly dismissing the idea that “most men don’t buy girls.” The child sex slave industry is enormous, but not because a majority of men are interested in buying child sex slaves. It’s because it’s inextricably linked to prostitution and pornography. Most men aren’t aware that the “prostitutes” they are paying for are actually slaves. They think these girls are workers, that they have chosen to do this, that they entered the industry on their own. They often don’t even realize they are underage. Many men are unable to distinguish between prostitution and sex slavery. Pimps don’t walk out, introduce their girls and say “By the way, she’s 13 and I kidnapped her from Russia after luring her to a trap with promises of a great job and money. I’ve threatened her, abused her physically and psychologically, taken all her documentation, and given her nothing. She also speaks no English. But yeah, have fun, see you in a bit!” The customers are generally completely oblivious to the stories of these girls.

The casual tone is there for a reason. The fact is, child sex slavery IS casual in America. When we are primping ourselves in the morning; when Justin Timberlake is shaving his beard or Ashton Kutcher is doing his laundry; this is going on in our towns, in our backyards. Men are buying girls, and we should be appalled. That's what this campaign is saying.