Sex, Power and the Big Game


Sex, Power and the Big Game

Children as young as 11 are being sold for sex in the United States. It is estimated that 16,000 to 25,000 women and children are trafficked each day in the Chicago land area.

How can we raise awareness, spread the word and change the prevailing attitudes and misuse of power over women?

Creative Activist, Mary Bonnet’s play Shadowtown 11: the Johns begins to look at how pornography and prostitution/ sex trafficking affect the family. I am an aware, educated activist in this arena and I was deeply moved by her play. The portrayals of the innocent bachelor party with 13 men having sex with an underage girl, to the father playing out his sex fantasies or the son a porn addict unable to have intimate relationships thinking he is in love with the prostitute was gripping. It was powerful and thought provoking.

 My father, pre- internet used to send porn through the mail to his female friend wrapped in a brown paper bag. Until I saw this play I did not get why my mother was “crazy “. She felt less than, worthless and unlovable. No wonder she acted out. I never had the complete story why my mother was called a “ball buster”. Now I get it and I have more empathy for her situation.  This play made me wonder about my attitude toward men, relationships, sexuality growing up. What story did I tell myself to justify my fathers’ actions?

January is now National Slavery and Human trafficking Prevention month and Super Bowl Sunday is being hosted in Phoenix on February 1, 2015.

Traditionally, advertisers spend millions during the game to promote sex and booze. What kind of messages are we sending to young men?

Last year in January there were numerous articles written about the myth that human trafficking increases during sporting events. It does not matter if the numbers don’t hold up for that day. The NFL has had real domestic violence issues and child abuse allegations this year. The league is supposedly cracking down with cuts, mandatory education and censure. It is not enough.

 Broadcasters, ESPN and anyone who covers the game has an opportunity and the responsibility to add Public Service Announcements about trafficking, porn addiction, violence against women and child sexual abuse.   Millions of men and boys around the world need to hear the truth about sex trafficking. It is not sexy, it is not fun, the girls don’t want it. If they are not being part of the solution then you are part of the problem. We need to take responsibility for what is happening and begin an awareness campaign. Actually football players should be wearing navy blue gloves/ribbons for sex trafficking awareness.

 Learn the facts. Become educated.

A trafficker can be someone you know, or your family knows. A child may be still living at home, attending school and being sold for sex.

Sex trafficking can occur through an escort or marriage service, brothels, bars and clubs. It is big business, 32 billion dollars globally. If men/ boys don’t buy they go out of business.

Signs a child could be a victim:

Unexplained gifts, jewelry or cell phones

Controlling boyfriends or relationships

Vague stories about their whereabouts

Marked changes in behavior and speech

Hidden communication/emails/texts

Unexplained school absences

Run away from home



Call to Action: If you know anyone at ESPN that can make this happen…call them. Let them know how important this is. Share a PSA.

If you are in Chicago you can still see Shadowntown 11: The Johns through November 23