January 27, 2004



[It is snowing again. I suppose this is because maybe there is someone who has been asleep for a month and God wanted to give everyone a chance to cross-country ski across Canal. This photo is from the last snowstorm. I no longer respect the weather, so I will not photograph it again. Ha! Snag on you, elements!]

Last words on Landesman for today. He made clear on NPR (link below) that he did attempt to meet one of these girls under the pretense of business, but ended up walking away. The language barrier would have slowed things down, or made them impossible, it sounds like. He also said the threat of death (hers) was moments away, and he didn't want to endanger the girl by making funny moves. Having asked around, it seems that implying a constant state of doom may be the kind of enhancement he's getting critical heat for. Nobody I spoke to suggested he's a full-on Kapuscinski-type, fabricating characters.

I will now let Julianne Shepherd reiterate the point, or the point we agree on:

"Why would anyone even care if the sex-slave epidemic was exaggerated, if it's even happening AT ALL? Do you think people were put off by the Bush-fighting aspect of it, that maybe his involvement/advocacy of new laws is making people subconsciously turn off their thinking/human rights faucets? I also think people are in denial of what the sex-slave trade means at its basest levels: 1. sexism, 2. racism, 3. ageism (not to mention this couldn't happen if the US weren't phenomenally well-off compared to most of the rest of the world, and also that Mexico owes a fair amount of its desperation to US policies). And a denial/skepticism of this is, in a way, a denial/skepticism of the existence of those things. The Radosh thing is even more ridiculous. Reading his argument and then scrolling down to see a photo of a bra-wearing female torso, even advertising the wacky yarmulkebra, was actually kind of unsettling.

Aside from that, it's well documented that much of the sex tourism market for young prostitutes/slaves in SE Asia comes from American and European businessmen (which Landesman kind of said in the article), so it's almost unavoidable that there'd be a similar market in the US. Have you seen Anonymously Yours, the documentary about Burmese women sold into prostitution because of poverty/sexism? I have a VHS copy I can send you, that is if you even want to see it. It's pretty unbearable. But much of the testimony in the Landesman article is mirrored by the women in the film."

Posted by Sasha at January 27, 2004 09:08 PM | TrackBack