To Catch a Rapist
A while ago, I came home from work to find my mother forgoing her usual routine of reality television to watch PBS Frontline’s “Sex Slaves“. The documentary was about sex trafficking, particularly of women and girls.
Now, I think that this issue is enormous and poignant and heart-wrenchingly serious. But somehow the entire two hours or so of the documentary managed to not show the face of a single man who was guilty of raping a prostituted sex slave. What it featured instead was candid-camera shots—reminiscent of titillating homemade sex tapes—of bared mid drifts, jean-glad backsides, and five inch heels. Human interest stories and interviews primarily featured white European women, and men that had “rescued” or wanted to rescue their
sexual property damsels in distress from other men.
The entire thing was sickening to behold. Invariably, my mother—not very savvy on feminist issues—thought that my objections were “silly” (thanks for the condescension, Mom). Wasn’t it enough that someone was paying attention?
Of course it isn’t. The problem with sex trafficking is not about how pimps and traffickers are “victimizing” the poor whittle men and breaking up their nice white familes. It’s not about stealing the virginity of European girls. It’s certainly not just another story about “Bad Stuff Happens to You When You’re Poor”. It’s about the sexploitation of women and girls and the men who feel they have the right to rape women in order to express their sick conflation of dominance and sex.
What the fauxomentary actually showed was nothing progressive or at all helpful. It was just the same pathetic human-interest stories about nice white virginal women being kidnapped and then being saved by their knight in shining armor. Women of color and of other nationalities were dissected into flashes of boobs and asses to titillate the viewer. Women who did not fall within the patriarchy’s idea of “sexy” were not shown at all. Apparently, it’s only rape if you’re hot.
The result was the fauxgressive capitalist-friendly hand-waving treatment of sex trafficking. No men were shamed, only glorified as heroes. No unsexy women were shown. No trends were explored. No cultural critique was done. The expose of one of the most grevious manifestations of patriarchy reduced to sexploitation. I could picture liberal dudez sitting around their televisions debating over which formerly trafficked woman was hotter, and which used vagina was still pure enough to have the priviledge of being approved of by their cock. Their thoughts would have only been encouraged by plentiful erotic camera shots: the sexploitation of the sexploited. The hypocrisy was utterly disgusting.
Now that I think of it, the only television program that has succeeded in doing anything positive for the victims of rape is To Catch a Predator with Chris Hansen. The show doesn’t sex-up the would-be victim, who is blurred out and seen from afar by hidden cameras. The predator is the star of this show. His victim exits the stage within the first minute of the footage, and then we are treated to close up of his quivering visage and “oh shit” face. We get to hear his pathetic excuses and justification of the rape of children. We curl our lips at his explanations of why he has condoms and lube if he’s meeting a ten year old. We get to see his shame when his sexually explicit and criminally damning online conversations to a supposedly underage plant are read back to him.
What To Catch a Predator does is expose the subject and perpetrator of a heinous crime to the loathing of the population. It doesn’t shame victims who “led on” the poor wittle man in need of sex. It doesn’t warn parents to chain their whorish daughters to their beds and not let them touch a computer. Instead, it presents the criminals to public and says, “look, the emperor has no clothes, and he likes to rape small children”.
That is what PBS should have done. Instead of filming what looks to be a pornography on the subject of sex trafficking, they should have made clear who exactly was causing the demand for rape-for-pay. It should have raided brothels of trafficked women and exposed the rapists and traffickers (and called them such, instead of “johns” and “pimps”) as the disgusting pieces of shit they are. It should have waved a bright light in their face and said, “explain why we found you raping a non-consenting woman”. Then it should have plastered their full name, occupation, and age all over the television as they were escorted in handcuffs to a police crusier.
Wet streets don’t rape and traffic women. Men are out there, right now, demanding and dirving a multi-billion dollar economy bought off the backs of viciously exploited women, children, and the occasional man. Showing the faces of these women is just another drop in the bucket for the porn-sick consumers of America. They either become tainted women in need of rescuing, or whores you can jerk one off to in the imagining of the hopelessly indoctrinated patriachial shitstain.
What the world needs is to for PBS to take their stupid blur off the faces of the rapists and ask them to “take a seat over there”. We need to know who these sick fucks are. We need to know that they are responsible for their crimes and that their excuses are hollow and hypocritical. We need to see the law deal seriously with their transgressions.
Only then will a documentary about sex trafficking be about something other than HOT WIMMENZ FOOLIN POOR WITTLE MENZ INTO BONIN THEM.