Until today, I have been less than pleased by Piers Morgan’s replacing Larry King on CNN. His smarmy sucking up to entertainer types was too similar to King’s royal reticence to never ask a tough question to please me. His program on April 17, 2011 interviewing Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher about their campaign against contemporary sex slaves was a really luminous exploration of the increasingly pervasive global horror of sex slaves, especially the abominable datum that 13 is the average age of current recruitment.
Demi Moore and Ashton Klutcher three years ago founded their DNA Foundation to fight this horror. (That name DNA combines their first initials with their tactical conviction that no man with real DNA would ever stoop to such deplorably tacky sexual behavior as becoming such a john.) They have just devised celebrity-using mini-mockumentaries shaming Johns and pimps for their dastardly behavior.
The facts are indeed terrifying to all of US, basking complacently in the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s rejecting black slavery. Depending on definition, 100-300,000 girls are so enslaved. Demi and Ashton do not expect an early solution, contending it almost as their fourth child, in terms of commitment. Family problems create the context for the scandal. Morgan interviewed on camera Nicole, an early DNA informant.
An abusive father and drug-addicted mother prompted her to leave home pregnant, and a “friendly” future pimp treated her humanely at McDonalds and a shopping mall to gain her compliance. She wanted to return home, but her pimp incarcerated her, beat her so that she lost her baby and was pimped to three johns. The terms became $1500 a night, and short falls had to be made up. The economics of this exploitation of human beings is simple. Pimps can purchase a slave for $2000 who produces $29,000 a year of income. Women who leave their own countries even more become dependent. Demi sadly reported that her investigation of this malaise in Nepal reveals the processes are similar. DNA Foundation estimate that 1-2 million sex slaves in America brought their masters $39 billion in 2010.
How does law confront this terror? Feebly. Only 4 states have laws punishing johns for abusing underage prostitutes. And many johns claim they didn’t "know” their victims were underage. A few pay the $200 john fine and go away unincarcerated. Not so lucky their victims. They are criminalized and frequently jailed. Alas, police spend 300-350 times on non-violent drug convictions than pimp and john punishment. There is now a free telephone for the exploited and those who would help them: 1-888-373-7888. One tactic is to blueline Craig List for abusive clients. Tina Rosenberg’s new book, “Join the Club”, describes the use of social media to cut back successfully on teenage smoking. It is hoped that such needling by your peers can reduce exploitative sexual behavior more effectively than, say, political or religious hectoring.
Finally, as we consider the long range defects of Casino Capitalism, let us not forget their contempt for the working classes and a resultant exploitability of their beleaguered condition. Dysfunctional families are the fertile breeding grounds of sexual slavery. Let the bonus barons put that truism in their empty heads and ice-cold hearts. The same moral flabbiness in our exploitative upper classes that still delays the total freedom of black and brown minorities in America exacerbates the disgrace of sexual slavery.
Rattle and Hannigan with the Philadelphia Orchestra
12 hours ago