This month on the Slave Free Earth FB page we have been highlighting the power of words. The way we speak about human trafficking and prostitution matters. It is not just a matter of being “politically correct” because WORDS HAVE POWER.
Look at the words used to describe those who buy and sell women for sex.
Pimp Madam Mamasan
John Client Customer
They have been purposely tailored to normalize and even glamorize the sex industry. Lets be clear, these are people who profit from commercialized rape and exploitation of the bodies of women and children! But we have sanitized the language so we don’t have to confront the fact that we are talking about slave traders and rapists when we talk about the sex industry.
When we talk about the women and children being prostituted the words people use often are an attempt to normalized the industry.
Sex Worker Child Prostitute
In a purposeful attempt to legitimize the exploitation of women and children, the sex industry has pushed the term “sex worker”. They claim that prostitution is like any other work. All the while blatantly denying the well documented harms of prostitution and covering up the real reason for trying to legitimize the sex trade... they make billions by exploiting women.
And the idea that a child can be a prostitute is just absurd! There is no such thing as a child prostitute. There are only children being abused and raped! An underage girl is not a child prostitute she is a rape victim!
On the other end of the spectrum we often hear very derogatory terms used to talk about prostituted women.
Whore Hooker Slut
These terms serve to actually vilify the women themselves. This again serves to shift the focus off of those who buy and sell people. Somehow placing the blame not on the trafficker or the pimp, but on the victims.
So lets choose our words wisely when we talk about human trafficking. Let’s not participate in the normalization of an industry that uses and abuses those most vulnerable in our society for their own profit. Let’s make sure our language reflects the harsh reality of this deplorable practice even if it causes people to be uncomfortable!
WORDS HAVE POWER! Let’s use ours to uplift those around us and to shine a light and be a strong voice for those who have no voice.