World Chocolate Day is 7th July every year and if you want to reverse your clothing, you can officially do so on every January 31st; World “Backwards Day”. These international days of recognition came first, and subsequently, the UN admits to its adoption of international days and occasions to “educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems”.
This month is no exception, with the final day of July being coined as World Anti Trafficking Day. Primarily a day to raise awareness, and to build towards initiatives which will make a small but undeniable dent in the third largest international illegal trade, Phoenix Staffing today wishes to honour this raising of awareness, and be true to our key pillar of ‘integrity’ in lifting the lid on the areas where perhaps an attitude has snuck in, perhaps a predisposition is prevalent; which means particiating in the trade of a human life for sex , drugs and/ or money; isn’t entirely far off, based on the insider views & opinions of a few of our close working colleagues/ our close working staffers.
In a month that has seen the newly-wed, new mother Duchess of Sussex become the guest editor of Vogue, taking up the position with a whole host of women “trailblazing changemakers, united by their fearlessness in breaking barriers,” the fight for equal empowerment sees colleagues like “Sally” for example, a stunning, bright young, and highly attractive professional in the dancing and acting industry, face a very different reality.
Having followed the promise for accolade and further professional development overseas, life on the West Coast of the USA has seen her interact with many an agency, manager, production company and a constant stream of discerning; is this opportunity a legitimate chance to be recognised for my skill in the industry?
She constantly recognises some, if not many, of these could be false. And that some, if not many of these could be ploys to have her surrender just that right amount of information which will see her laid bare to a divisive scheme to extinguish her individuality forever.
Where does the problem lie, according to Sally? Why is she on constant watch for whether or not sexualisation has seeped into her skill set as a working professional, keen merely to build her portfolio on great photo shoots and solid stage presence.
Well, as she goes on to elaborate; it would seem womankind is amongst our worst enemies within that.
In the dawn of phrases like ‘love whoever you want’ echoing anthems of the 60s ‘free love’, it could be possible to think we have indeed ‘arrived’ at an attitude which will perpetuate the ultimate successful cocktail of principles to finally be “progressive”; care and concern coupled with expression that doesn’t “limit” people.
Look more carefully at the lexicon, and such phrases that we have seen around the capital for Pride 2019 and beyond, actually is exhorting sexual activity with no boundaries. From the rooftops it would seem, we are celebrating giving ourselves in such a way that could lead to highly unboundaried forms of relating.
Taking it back to the grass roots for a moment, prevalence of Sugar Daddy Sugar Baby relating are strong in certain US pockets of society. Dependance on a man for finance, with an implied degree of the relationship being on aesthetics and the premise of being ‘on hand’ for a man’s convenience already sets an affirmed framework on a form of relating which has undertones of permissive derogatory relating. It begs the question, how does a woman know the line of a celebration of who and what she is has not been marred into her objectification.
Rewind then, to the scenarios where perhaps a man would find his sugar baby, and parties encouraged within this culture come littered with invitations to sexual behaviour with via little prior knowledge, under the proviso of it being normalised. It can be scarce argued that a cheapened view of sex does not contribute to the prevalence of the sex trade, and the pressure for illegal sex trade and trafficking to fulfil a sky-rocketing demand.
Ultimately, it is he- or she- without sin, who can throw the first stone. Is it possible to say for those caught in profiting from the exploitation of others within a trafficking environment specifically, truly know their worth?
So amidst this slew of countless ways of ‘self expression’, have we in fact lost touch with our original purpose? Have we lost the emphasis on the qualities which are imperishable, that continue when the outer shell; as ‘beautiful’ as it may be, has gone.
In a culture where suicide & depression rates are the highest ever recorded, are our key culture shapers responsible for hiding really talking about their feelings behind “perfectly” curated, or manipulated bodies?
So for this year, as we take undoubted bold steps towards abolition, we wish to see more discussion. “Where is that line?”, “Why do you feel the pressure to cross it ? “, “What do you do to celebrate and affirm your eternal worth?”, “ How do you distance yourself from influences which value you solely for your sexual performance or physical appearance?” A conscious ethic which targets human trafficking at one of its roots, will surely provide a more shaky basis where the conscience becomes woke, and the presumptuous ‘slink’ of this illegal trade onto our very doormats, challenged.
How much is complicity and non confrontation actually allowing this to perpetuate for our generations to come? All of us must know that if we wouldn’t give the thumbs up to snatching a woman or man from their home culture to become an outlet for sexual gain for others who disregard them as holistic equals, we must challenge the attitude in our nightlife spaces which paves the way to this slippery slope.