Recently in Week 14 Blog Category

Extra Credit Comment to gomol003's Post- Week 14

I agree completely with your views in regards to education being the most effective long term solution to sex trafficking and sexual harassment, but as you said, it is a very difficult motion to organize.  In regards to what you wrote about sexual harassment in the workplace, a lot of the same type of information came up when I was doing research for my group project on women in the military.  There are just so many women who have been not only sexually harassed, but also sexually assaulted in the United States armed forces and don't say anything for fear of repercussion.  They usually end up coming out with their stories after they are already out of the military and it makes it so they have no legal means to press charges because the assault/harassment happened so long before it was reported. 

I think that what it comes down to is that there not only should be a more education to the general public about issues regarding sexual harassment/sexual assault in the workplace, but there should also be on-site sexual harassment training so [people not only have a guidelines for what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate, but also so employees can have more knowledge about whether they themselves are being harassed.  There is so much harassment that either just goes unnoticed or unreported because people think that that is just "normal" workplace behavior, when it really isn't.

Education on most of the issues that we have spoken about in class seems to be the answer to a lot of the problems that plague our society and women especially.  Maybe our government money should be used to implement more of these programs that we have talked about as opposed to what a majority of government funding is being spent on now. :p

Comment to ches0087's Blog 14

You bring up a good point relating job dependency in sex trafficking with sexual harassment in the workplace. But I would disagree that job dependency causes the more overt types of harassment found in blue collar jobs. I think women in white collar jobs, especially very competitive ones that require a lot of education, are just as fearful of losing their jobs as blue collar workers. The blue collar workers fear losing their paychecks, and the white collar workers fear losing a place in their field. So I don't think it's a matter of tolerance on the part of the women, but rather tolerance within a given occupation. That is, it might be more likely for a lawyer to be fired for some overt form of harassment than a construction worker, because it's inappropriate for the former but expected of the latter. I think we discussed the reasons for these differences in class. Men in white collar jobs equate their masculinity with the size of their paychecks, whereas men in blue collar jobs, which generally don't pay as well, make up for this lack with their physical strengths.

Extra Credit: Response to Bute0023

When I first learned about the amount of human trafficking that occurs in the United States and specifically in Minnesota was shocked, too. I am not sure why, but the issue is not addressed directly in the media. Unless you are aware of the problem and how it manifests, it is hard to identify even when the media does cover it. For example, there was a story in the Star Tribune last summer ( that discusses the bust a "prostitution ring." Once familiar with some of the common practices of traffickers, you can tell by reading this story that at least some of these women are victims of human trafficking. Here are a few key phrases from this story as an example:

·         "They allegedly recruited prostitutes, mainly from Mexico and Central America, and took their identification papers to prevent them from fleeing"

·         "A house at 3212 Cedar Av. S. in Minneapolis was the hub of operations, where prostitutes stayed while en route to and from the airport or moving from brothel to brothel"

·         "one woman was forced to provide sex to 46 'johns' in one night"

The first point is perhaps the most important...besides using physical violence and forcing women to take drugs, one of the primary ways traffickers make it nearly impossible for victims to escape is by confiscating their passports. In fact, a major part of the Federal legislation regarding human trafficking specifically addressed this issue by making it illegal in and of itself to confiscate and/or destroy passports, visas, or other forms of international identification.

For anyone out there who would like to get involved in this issue, I recommend looking into a local organization called Breaking is the link:

Week 14 Blog

I think education on this topic is essential. The word needs to be spread that this is happening and these issues are real. People always like to think that terrible things do not happen to people like them because it is comforting to believe that. The reality is that it could happen to anyone. It was very productive for the groups to talk about what is going on in the communities around us because that hit very close to home. It made me realize that the problem is real and it's everywhere; not just overseas.

Perpetrators do need to be prosecuted however, no matter how many times someone is prosecuted; the issue will still exist somewhere. This is why I also feel that it is incredibly necessary to assist and help the victims. The groups discussed the negative effects sexual abuse and sex trafficking has on the victims that escape. After all the torture they are put through, they survived and deserve a shot at a normal life but they need help to do so.

blog 14

I think the problems of sex trafficking and sexual harassment are interrelated problems that must be adressed together.  Its absolutely astonishing to me at how many people are trafficked into the u.s. each year and that Minneapolis is a major hub of this sort of transportation.  My project was on sexual harassment and when coming across the statistics of how prevelent the harassment was I was turly shocked as well that in this day in age sexual harassment prevails in such high numbers. 

I think that when it comes to these two topics we need to not blaim the victims.  There needs to be prosecution and jail time on behalf of the perpetrators and not the women or children exposed to trafficking or women exposed to sexual harassment.  I think in terms of sexual harassment that companies need to be held somewhat liable in terms of the harassment, but that the perpetrators of the harassment should be prosecuted by the company as well as the law and the victims should never have to worry about losing their job or relatiliation.  i think the penalties for the harasser should be even stiffer if there is a clear sexual harassment policy in the workplace.  Sex trafficking should be more heavily policed.  The men/women who purchase the sex need to be the ones prosecuted and the women/kids who have been trafficked should be helped in returning home and some sort of psychological help.  The women/kids who are recovered in the sex trafficking could also help uncover larger operations which could then be taken down and have the people who run these larger operations being punished.  There also needs to be FAR stiffer penalties for anyone caught trafficking humans.  i found it absolutely ridiculous that you can get longer for trafficking drugs than humans.  That makes me absolutely sick.  Eiether way both of these issues deal with helping the victims of the crimes, and prosecuting the perpetrartors further and more severly.  Many changes in legislation needs to be made in terms of human trafficking and sexual harassment.

Blog 14

Sexual harassment and human trafficking are very difficult issues to address. Race, class, and gender do interact with each other to make women vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination. I believe that these terms such as "race" "class" and "gender" is a generalization that pretty much covers all aspects of the problems. Take for example the women that are forced into trafficking, it was noted that the majority of them are either sold off (which address's class, income, poverty) to either benefit the family, or help the family. When it comes to race, we learned that the majority of races are included in human trafficking, from Asian, Latino, white, and black, it just depends on what is in demand, and gender is obviously prevalent. Women are primary targets for sexual harassment and human trafficking. The education of a woman can definitely benefit a woman. When it comes to sexual harassment, being more familiar with laws to knowing ones rights in the states allows for sexual harassment to be address, knowledge is power. 

As for policies that target both issues, I personally believe the each should be addressed individually. Both topics are serious and should be treated with the same amount of concern, but by having individual policies would make for better results. Rules that apply to one cannot always apply to another, so by have separate policies, both cases will have direct attention.

I believe in prosecuting perpetrators, assisting victims, and educating the population. I believe that if people were just to be more aware of what was going on, coming together, and fighting for women's rights, it would create change; however, that is easier said then done. Living in a patriarchal society, it is difficult to change culture completely, or find that support. Unification of women and men who support women is a way to address issues at bay. But I guarantee you that there are still men out there who believe women are below them, and that form of thought allows for sexual harassment, and human trafficking to persist. There is a reason as to why this underground industry is so successful, there is no respect for women, and even I see it on a daily basis. My Uncles still hold on to traditional values in which women are to cook. At my Grandpa's funeral this past summer, we women were not even allowed to sit at the table with the men because according to my mother "it's tradition, and because we are women, it is not allowed". It drove me insane, and if we (little sister and I) gave anyone an attitude, my mother gave us the dirtiest look because we would then be viewed as "rebellious daughters who shames the family". My point here is, cultural beliefs in other countries make it more difficult to address these issues because women are generally viewed as inferior, thus making them mere objects to be used.

Looking at the local aspects of these issues, I realized that even I was not aware that Minnesota ranked 13th in human trafficking. This just proves the lack of education for the public, I've asked several of my friends, and none of them had any clue as well. Questions as to how this goes about, to what kinds of signs to look for would be an interesting way to approach the topics. Law enforcements that specialize in "busting" human trafficking should definitely educate the public on what signs to look for. On a personal note, I actually had a friend who had work for a massage parlor in uptown. I remember her telling me that the men that came in usually talked dirty to her and she could not figure out why. One day her boyfriend came up to her infuriated because of what he had found. The company that she had been working for had an ad in the erotic section of advertisements in a local magazine! She immediately quit.This just shows us that some girls really don't know what they are getting into, and education is perhaps key in preventing such atrocities from happening. 

Blog 14

In trying to compare sexual harassment and human trafficking, my first thought was "well, they're completely different." I think of sexual harassment as strictly within the workplace and human trafficking as strictly an outside, crazy phenomenon. Then it occurred to me that the two are actually similar because some women actually choose to involve themselves in trafficking on the belief that they will make money from it and be able to leave whenever they wanted (like prostitution). They endure the negative consequences of trafficking in order to make some cash. Similarly, sexually harassed victims in the workplace may ignore harassment for fear of losing their jobs. In both cases, money and power are involved. Both involve unwanted touching and emotional pain. It seems that human trafficking is sexual harassment taken one step further. Neither are ideal but can be tolerated on some level.

The only common policy/strategy I can think of that would address both sexual harassment and human trafficking would be to have more general awareness of the effects of sexual abuse and what it means to harass/traffic women. I think we need to gain more respect for women; I don't have a specific solution for that, but I think that is a significant part of the problem. If women had enough self-esteem to appreciate their bodies enough to not allow anyone to abuse them, it may lead to a decline in women choosing to sell their bodies. Likewise, if men knew what kind of toll they were taking on women and were taught how to treat/respect women, it is likely that less men would participate in such demeaning activities.

I think we should focus on educating both victims and perpetrators. Prosecuting perpetrators is great, but it can be very difficult to change perpetrator's behaviors. Therefore, when they are free to go back out into the world, they will most likely re-offend. However, It may be beneficial to educate perpetrators after they are sentenced in an attempt to get through to them.

I was surprised to learn of the local human trafficking stints. How have I heard nothing about this until now? I think it is incredibly problematic that I am so shocked. Why is this such a seemingly-taboo topic? I definitely think we need to have some basic education around human trafficking, specifically within our local communities.

Sexual Trafficking and Sexual Harrassment

I was very surprised to learn about the high levels of sexual trafficking in the Twin Cities; I had no idea that we ranked so highly in the list of large cities. I've also never experienced sexual harassment in the workplace (despite working as a security guard for a summer), so it was really eye-opening to read this week's blog responses and hear about everyone's experiences. I think part of the reason sex trafficking and sexual harassment policy is so difficult to create and enforce is because things happen behind closed doors and few people are willing to speak out, and it's not something that can be easily spotted.


I think it is impractical to assume that a one-size-fits-all policy would work to curb either sex trafficking or sexual harassment because no two incidences are the same. I do, however, think that what needs to be consistent in these policies is victim protection. From reading through this week's blog entries, it's clear that polities to combat sexual harassment do not take the victim's privacy or comfort into account. I think this is because sexual harassment is an internal issue with companies instead of a legal issue. I'm not familiar enough with discrimination policy in the US to know how far the reach is of law enforcement and discrimination, but I am assuming that there is very little influence on how complaints of sexual harassment are handled within an organization. So, I think that laws need to extend the protection of victims of both sexual harassment and sexual trafficking.


As far as sexual trafficking goes, the role of protecting victims has really only been by third-parties, like this:

Sex Tourism and Sexual Harassment

The problems of sexual harassment and human trafficking are distinct problems that should be dealt with as such. Both problems do affect women and deal with typically unwanted sexual interactions, but the situations that make people vulnerable to these problems differ greatly. Human trafficking often involves a pimp and/or kidnappers to create the human capital for their business. Sexual harassment is usually unwanted sexual attention in a public setting like work or a bar, where the victim is not receiving any money for being exploited. Laws can be passed that address both problems, but I also think we need to be aware of the specific differences in each issue.

As far as policies and strategies go, perpetrators need to be prosecuted, victims need to be assisted, and target populations need to be educated. If we focus on one and not the others, someone is getting left out and the problem is not being solved as a whole; holes are still being left. If the target populations are not being educated, the perpetrators that continually evade the law will still be able to find victims who are unaware and vulnerable. If the victims do not receive help, it will be detrimental to their mental and physical health. Without help, victims might also go on to become the victimizers as we discussed in class. High penalties must be placed on convicted perpetrators as well because if they think they can continue to get away with harassing or trafficking people, they will continue to do it until they get caught and penalized.

In terms of sexual harassment, local laws and national laws are equally important for putting a stop to harassment. Local laws can force companies within the state and cities to educate their workers about appropriate and inappropriate work behavior. Victims of comments, touching, or innuendos that they feel are inappropriate need to understand the role that they play in stopping harassment as well. Companies need to have policies in place to protect their workers and avoid lawsuits.

In terms of human trafficking, the problem becomes transnational as many tourists partake in "sex tourism." Sex tourism complicates the local control over problems. I recently watched a Dateline story on sex trafficking of young girls in Svay Pak, near Cambodia. The main clients for the pimps in Svay Pak were from the United States. Some of the girls trafficked were as young as five years old and the police corruption often made it difficult for raids to be successful. Laws both in Svay Pak and in the United States need to address these sorts of situations. If U.S. citizens are caught in other countries partaking in illegal sexual activity such as sex tourism, they need to face severe penalties upon return to the U.S. The pimps and kidnappers of these children must also face severe penalties in their own countries. If the U.S. citizens did not provide the pimps with clients, no girls would be subjected to the terrors of sex tourism.

Blog #14

This weeks presentation were very eye opening for me. Something needs to be done in order to make sure that women and children are not being exploited against their will. I think i good idea would be to try and regulate the sex trade is a more humane way. This would mean that we could make prostitution legal. I believe this would be a good idea because then these women can still sell their bodies, but have the government help make it more safe. Not to say that women should have to sell their bodies to make a living, but this is just one way to make it safer.
Providing more education programs to women who come into the United States so they can get a job that doesn't include selling their bodies would also be a good idea. If there were more programs that received government aide, this would make it easier to come to the U.S. and make a legitimate living instead of being thrown into a sex ring.
Safety is the main issue here. There should be more education about how to avoid being taken into a sex ring so this would not happen in the first place.

Blog 14

I think that sexual harassment is something that is still very prevalent in our society today, and something needs to be done to address is. Another issue we talked about last week was sex trafficking, which presented some very surprising information that I was not aware of, especially how close to home it is occurring.

In my opinion these are two separate issues that need to be tackled by two separate agendas. I think to stop sexual harassment businesses need to make sure they are putting into motion the policies that they have in place already. I think often times women are two afraid to speak up about harassment that his occurring in the work place and there needs to be a confidential way for women to confide in their administration and reassurance that the harassment will be put to a stop.

For sex trafficking I think the most important thing we can do is educate you women on how they can prevent themselves from falling victim to this crime. For me I didn't know anything about it, especially that it is taking place right here in the twin cities. Along with educating women on what sex trafficking is and how to avoid it, we need to take a look at why women are voluntarily entering into the work world of selling themselves for sex. If we can encourage women that this is something that can be avoided and there are other solutions to making money, we can stop perpetrators from gaining women to work for them.

I think we also need to enforce harsher punishments on those perpetrating these crimes, often times it is repeat offenders, which just goes to show we aren't doing enough to stop these people the first time. I think with punishment should also come some form of counseling, so these people can realize why they are doing these things and find a healthier outlet to their problems.          


Blog 14

Sexual harassment and sex trafficking are two issues addressing sexuality of being unwanted. However, from last week presentation on sex trafficking, some women do volunteer themselves to be in the business. Others are force and do not want to get involved in the industry. Similar with women who work are being harass. Both issues do have similarity of addressing how class, race, and gender play a role. In both of the presentation, it indicated that women are the target of experiencing harassments and trafficking. Base upon their class, women in the lower class are taking more advantages of being harassed to get promotion or more money. Women or girls are more likely to enter the trafficking industry because they are either sold from their parents or in need of money due to poverty. I think race varies in between, depending on whom you are and the location the issue takes place. But most likely, trafficking are more likely happened in the European and the Asian continent area. Harassment occurs depending on the location such has business not having a harassment policy in which it is easily for employees to get advantage of being harass.

I also think that perpetrators should be prosecuted because taking away a person's right of saying no is against their will. And I do know that in some countries, they don't function that way. However, if both issues happen in the United States, then of course it's a different story. I think it's better to tell than later because like the case mentioned in the sexual harassment, it took forever for the case to come to a conclusion because it took her long enough to not say something about her being harass. The sooner the victims report, the better it is for their case. Also helping women who are trafficking to get out of the business or help them seek counseling because treating women at sex objects for money is disrespect to all women in general.

Women who experiences unwanted physical sexual touching in both harassment and tracking should be address in school so that the students are aware of the issues that can happen to them. I know that the movie called "Taken" give a good example of the process of trafficking young girls into getting into the sex trade industry. However, there should be a documentary or research videos that could help education others to know how to avoid getting trafficking, and the outcome. Some working industry has been aware of the harassment that can occur at work and it's a good thing that they are having a harassment policy. I do think that people can break the policy and harass their own co-workers, but I think the person being harass should say something about it because it can affect themselves, the person harassing them, and the company as a whole.

Blog #14

Sexual harassment and human trafficking is a problem that should be educated more about for people to know and also addressed in a way that would help women from sex-based exploitation and discrimination. It may seem like women do want to be harassed or trafficking, but it is not their fault. They are truly the victims because if they are sold or pushed into trafficking, they don't have the choice to decide since others are deciding for them. They have rights and a life that they should be able to choose for themselves. Sexual harassment is an issue that should be addressed in a way that would help the victims instead of saying they had the intentions of making someone harass them.

There should be strategies or policies that are stricter on these types of issues and should be dealt with on a daily basis because if it is ignored then people would not know what is occurring around them. There should be harsh punishment for perpetrators and more on assisting the victims so that they can recover easier knowing that the perpetrators are being punished. Educating people more on sexual harassment and trafficking will help people open their eyes more and actually see what is going on and to improve. Anyone can get harassed and become a victim. Anyone can choose to do trafficking whether their own decision or someone else's. It's not just certain people. I think the more information or knowledge people have about these issues would help women from discrimination and exploitation.

Blog 14

I think these two examples of sexual exploitation need to be addressed differently on a smaller scale, but there are common strategies that can address the larger scale issues contributing to both. Sexual harassment is generally a workplace issue. Education in the form of workshops can help, as can making sure every employee knows the sexual harassment policies and that those policies are clear. Prosecuting the perpetrators and enforcing zero tolerance policies are both important. The victims need legal protection that ensures job security. On the other hand, human trafficking is much more underground. Perpetrators need to face harsh penalties, and more assistance needs to be provided for victims, who might be in a foreign country with no place to go and no resources. Public awareness needs to improve. I certainly did not know the scale of this problem in Minnesota, and I'm sure I'm not alone.


On a larger scale, class and gender inequalities need to be addressed to eliminate discrimination and the demand for sex entertainment. In considering these examples of sex-based exploitation, I thought of the related issue of prostitution. In these three cases, only the prostitute might be prosecuted, because she is not seen as a victim in the way a trafficked or harassed person is. I think this represents a lack of recognition that these issues have a common cause.

Week 14 Blog

Sex trafficking and sexual harrassment do have similarities in which that women are sexually exploited, and how these crimes are prosecuted and handled by our society. In order to resolve sexual harassment, or bring justice, one must speak up first. Which is very intimidating I would imagine.  Also after the inital speaking up, one must file a claim with their employer. If this claim is denied by the employer, the person may file a claim under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and if they believe your case, then you file for a civil lawsuit. So basically the task of getting justice for sexual harassment is a long road of paperwork, proving you were sexually harassed, and waiting.  In human trafficking as talked about in the presentation is less prosecuted, and has more broad laws leaving the fact that people get worse punishments for other crimes. Laws and policies should target in assisting victims, but prosecuting the perpetrators more harshly.  

To target sexual harassment and sex trafficking, there needs to be education/awareness brought to the public's attention.  Many people know about sexual harassment in the workplace, but many people don't know about sex trafficking, especially in Minnesota.  Just lastnight I was having a conversation in which my friend said "that doesn't happen here!" People are blind and don't want to believe terrible things can happen in America, even in Minnesota.  


Blog 14

While I believe that prosecuting perpetrators is important in the long run - ridding the workplace or streets of people who actively exploit or harass, I think the most effective long term solution, is, education, especially in the case of sex trafficking. Unfortunately, this is also the most difficult to organize, the most difficult to effectively and efficiently put into motion. 

But, in many ways, educating potential victims of sex trafficking goes hand in hand with the plight of sexual harassment in the workplace. Women who are sexually harassed in the workplace have probably had some education, and in terms of 'professionals' - doctors, lawyers, etc., they have had many years of education. So the problem then becomes what is lacking in this education system, or in this system in general, that doesn't allow for women to feel open and honest enough to speak up when they are mistreated?

Certainly most business situations have mandatory sexual harassment codes in place, to deter such behavior. However, it is so deeply rooted in a fear of being fired, or fear of losing respect, that it seems like the legal system itself has been set up against these victims. "You can tell someone about this, but you'll probably lose your job and the respect of your colleagues." I think the only way to address this, within the realm of education, is to make the topic more visible and more open for discussion. Visibility lends itself well to transparency, which most office interactions could benefit from as well. 

In terms of sex trafficking, I believe a louder discussion on sex trafficking should occur. While we as a nation can only control what goes on in our country, as much as we deny this, it would be nice to one day see education brought to the women and children who are most likely to be victims of sex trafficking. In our country, however, it would be good to educate everyone on the prevalence of sex trafficking, even within our borders.

Ultimately, I tend to return to education as the key to whatever ideological problems we encounter, despite the serious problems within that system as well. However, I would agree in saying that will education systems are flawed, they are worth trying to fix and they are worth standing behind.

Blog Post #14

Firstly, I think that sexual harassment and human trafficking, although deal with some of the same problems to a certain degree, are very different things that require specialized different policies as well as overarching policies. Both deal with race and class, to the extent that sexual harassment differs based on class of job. However, surprisingly little was available in regards to race and sexual harassment, though it does play a factor in type and possibly severity of the harassment.

Human trafficking deals with race and class in that those of lower class are more susceptible to being sold to traffickers, and race is approached as a selling point, as the presenters talked about exoticism and familiarity playing a part in how women (and men) are used in the sex trade.

Both sexual harassment and human trafficking deal with dehumanization, though to a different degree. I think with sexual harassment and human trafficking the overall intention is the same, to make someone lesser, to control or have power over someone else, but the degree to achieve that objectification is markedly different. Sexual harassment in the workplace is more about asserting your superiority in the workplace, while human trafficking is more about the complete control and objectification of someone. They both stem from the same thing, but the level of severity in the achievement of the desire for power over a person is different.

To deal with both, there needs to be more awareness and education about them. I feel that sexual harassment is often viewed as "something that just happens", like it's unavoidable and people should just deal. If harsher penalties for sexual harassment existed, if more women felt they were able to talk about sexual harassment or bring complaints to their superiors without worrying about "rocking the boat", then I think incidents of sexual harassment would decrease. Furthermore, I think that there is a need for people to understand what constitutes sexual harassment, I am constantly dismayed to find that gender, class and race classes are not mandatory at schools. People need to know how sexual harassment affects people and why it needs to stop.

In the case of human trafficking, I find that most people don't view this as "their" problem, it's something that doesn't happen in America, and if it does, it certainly doesn't happen where they live. I think that people need to be aware of how widespread human trafficking is, and how it's not just certain people who get taken or sold (the poor, minorities, whatever) it can happen to anyone. While it is somewhat pathetic that people are not able to see a problem if it doesn't apply to them, this is probably the best way to raise awareness and get people to combat human trafficking; by letting people know that it's happening in their white-bread-suburban-middle-class neighborhoods, not just Southeast Asia or the ghetto.

Obviously the ability to provoke action based on class and race is problematic, and America as a nation needs to change it's entire merit and value system to have lasting change and equality, but until that occurs, frightening people into action is the most expedient course of action, even if it's not the healthiest. People respond faster to threats than moralizing and calling upon their sense of social justice.

Education, raising awareness and persecuting perpetrators all need to go hand in hand to affect change; the more people who know about these problems are the more people who can change policies and put in place new policies that target perpetrators.

Blog 14

I know that another woman mentioned this in class at the exact moment I was thinking it, but we discussed how blaming the victims seems to be an underlying factor in both sexual harassment and sex trafficking. I remember taking a class in psychology discussing the projection and replacement theories of how we project our inner failures (and even attributes) on to other people, completely subconsciously. Now I'm not sure how far these theories extend but when an individual is is forcefully taking a woman, or forcefully "rubbing off" on a woman, it's interesting to see the INSTANT the blame turns from themselves to the victim.  It's almost like an invisible flip, like an admission of guilt. But it seems to be a hell of a lot easier to blame the victims, in a society perspective or in an individual perspective.

I think education is a huge factor but the problem I see is that there are only a select population that receive the education necessary to end these problems (worldwide).  Education is a key concept but in reality education only reaches those that choose to be educated, or are fortunately given it. However, I have a friend at work who loves to touch women constantly and make sexual jokes at women...and when we had a work meeting a few months back we all watched a sexual harassment video and his inappropriateness instantly stopped (even though he had worked there 5 years)...something about that little reminder of how much trouble he could get in led him to in that sense is it possible that fear can work?? 

I was amazed when Maleenia told our group of the Sweden experiment where it penalizes men but not the women. What an interesting role reversal...I wonder if something like that were in place throughout the world what it would do it the "masculinity" of men...knowing they can no longer blame the victim and get away with it.  I also forgot to ask her if the women in Sweden only call the police on the men purchasing sex if they are violent or piss off the women...maybe at the very least ending violence against those women?

Week 14 Blog Assignment

I think that watching the presentations on harassment in the workplace and global sex trafficking was a reminder that even though we have come significantly far in terms of women's rights in the United States, there is just so much more work that still needs to be done.  One of the saddest aspects that I feel was touched upon was from the trafficking presentation about women who voluntarily entered the sex industry, but were forced to stay in an industry in which they did not want to be a part of.  The idea of these women being condemned and basically written off because they joined intentionally at he beginning is just way to close to the standard "she asked for it" excuse given in many rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment cases.  NO ONE deserves to be drugged and forced to sell their body to any willing customers.


I agree with many of our other classmates' posts about education simply not being enough.  Of course the issue of sex trafficking needs to be brought to the public eye and people need to become more educated about what is really going on, mainly because people have no idea that it isn't just happening in the slums but in their own backyard as well, but education is not enough on it own.  It is just sad that issues such as trafficking are only brought up when there is a nig bust or when we are sitting in a GWSS class.  The main issue is that our government just seems complacent in regards to the entire industry.  It gets set on the "governmental backburner" when it should be front and center stage, which I feel most people would also agree with if they knew the facts regarding the industry.

Week 14

In last week's discussion, I think the primary link to the sex trafficking and sexual harassment is that these two issue mainly happen to the lower class women. I think government should impose laws that focus on the equality and educate the public about the equality between two sex and class and race. This is the ultimate solution to all kinds of unequal issue like sex trafficking and sexual harassment.

 In last week's presentation, I was so shock to know that the city that I am living is actually one of the active sex trafficking markets in the world. I could believe that sex trafficking is happening around me at anytime because I thought this horrifying trade would not happen in such a modern city. This is a very serious issue that needs urgent respond, otherwise, more and more women and children will fall into the net and being hurt severely. I think that in order to address this issue, we need to focus on education and government involvement in dealing with this issue. We need to end it, so we need a better education that addresses this issue to the youth and make them aware of the harm that caused to the society, to the victims and to the world. I think the government should have imposed more strict laws to secure and protect the victim as the physical and mental harm that caused on the victims is irreversible. I appreciate how Sweden deal with this issue, they punish the one consume this kind of service instead of making all people involving in sex trafficking alone illegal. I think this may not be the best method to stop sex trafficking, but at least they take are taking their very first step to help. I think the American government ought to take action to halt it like what the Sweden government does. The consumers that consume the services lead to the growth of the trade. If they were punished severely, they are more likely to step back and stop the growth of this kind of immoral business.

 As the presentation addressed, blue collar jobs are more likely to experience sexual harassment and they are less likely to report. However, in white collar job, women are better educated and they are more knowledgeable about how to stop sexual harassment before it really happens to them. Women who have low status and less education are less likely to find jobs, they don't want to get into trouble so they choose to endure it, this make the issue worse and worse.. We need to give the victims counseling and supporting services to back them up, to make them feel cared. In such way, harassed workers are more willing to report the cases and the perpetrators would not be easily get away. Surely, a better follow up services or counseling work is necessary to the workers as a supporting mean. Also, I think education is also the important step to stop this issue. As people are better informed about the harassment, they are more willing to help out and know how to respond once it happen to them.


Blog 14

After listening to the group presentations on sexual harassment and sex trafficking on Thursday we saw how that race, class and gender made these women vulnerable to sex- based exploitation and discrimination. I do see the similarities between both of these issues and policies that need to be enforced to target these problems.

 It was shocking to see the effects of sex trafficking and even scarier to think that it is happening here in Minneapolis.  Because this is a shock to many I believe we need to educate the public to raise awareness on this issue. People may know it is happening but many do not see in happening on a local level. We should first need to address the economic and social issues in the communities that these women come from. Also educate the population that are going to strip clubs and "using" these victims making them work for money. There should also be policies where these venues should no longer be open. By eliminating the source all together this problem should lessen and eventually be ended all together.

         One major change is how we treat and see the victims that are sexually trafficked. They should not be punished but rather helped. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and victims helped. There should be a service where these victims can go to and receive support. They should not be scared or ashamed but rather just interested receiving advice, counseling, and help. When they told us about Sweden's policy in class making it illegal to purchase sexual services but not punishing those who offer the services, I think this is a first step to go about dealing with this issue in the United States.

         Sexual harassment in the work place is another issue that needs to be addressed. Having a few jobs over the years I can see how different places enforce sexual harassment policies more than others. At my current job we have training videos, policy handbooks, and yearly workshops addressing this issue. This makes one more comfortable and it is easily accessible to get help. They target you on a personal level and have a zero tolerance policy. Nobody should have to deal with sexual harassment at a work place because of all the available help offered. Women who do experience sexual harassment in the work place is due to the fact that it mainly goes unreported. One should stop this problem before it happens so they can have a positive work environment, not allowing this to effect their work. 

Blog #14: presentations 1

The greatest link and the best solutions lie in addressing economic and political equality, as they really are at the heart of these issues. Policies that have such lofty aims often fail, largely because they seek to change underlying and often subconscious social values, but not addressing them would only seem to worsen the problem. I feel like policies that aim to address equality have a better chance of being successful at a national than at an international scale. Partly because of the enormity of the problems, and partly because people seem more willing to address the problems of people they see as being like them (when examining international issues its easier to see it as "not my problem").

It seems the political tactics used to deal with the issues discussed last Thursday would have to be different. Obviously providing aid to victims and education are both important aspects of addressing sexual harassment and sex trafficking, but in somewhat different ways. Aiding victims of international trafficking must include providing necessities and helping victims build a life outside sex industries. Assistance for victims of sexual harassment are not the same, although in severe cases, including sexual discrimination which results in the loss wages, providing basic necessities, at least temporarily, may be important. However, sexual harassment victims are more likely to need legal aid than other forms of assistance. Moreover, both of these issues may be improved through public education. Today, most individuals and employers are fairly well educated in sexual harassment and discrimination, but since these practices persist, it seems important to continue efforts to educate employers of their responsibility and workers of their rights.

In issues of human trafficking, addressing the prosecution of traffickers has not led to a successful reduction, but persecuting the purchasers of sex has had some success in Sweden. However, prosecuting perpetrators of sexual harassment/discrimination in the United States has been somewhat successful in opening opportunities and bringing awareness to the issues. It is interesting to me that both Sweden's law and high profile sexual harassment cases in the United States have been successful not so much because of the laws, per se, but because of the negative image attached associated with breaking the law. In both cases, the media play an important role in dissuading certain behaviors, and seem to reiterate the importance of changing not just laws, but the underlying beliefs and values.

blog 14

The primary link is that both methods of victimization happen to women.  On a wide range scale, I believe that more education and legal reform need to be addressed to these issues.  For sexual harassment, I feel that each case is different, primarily because there are different levels of sexual harassment. And while both are bad, there is a big difference between calling a woman a sexist nickname (for example) or something much worse, like forcing oneself on her.  In that case, the punishments and/or other methods of action need to vary one what methods of harassment are actually happening.  Human trafficking is typically (overall) a more severe issue as it usually involves force, thus the punishment should always be severe.


As far as locality is concerned, I feel that a lot could be done about human trafficking in Minnesota if people were simply educated about it.  I feel that many don't know how prevalent this is in our state (13th, was it?).  I certainly wasn't... I propose that the Minnesotan public could be educated via two methods: a cause marketing campaign as well as an undercover investigation journalism piece performed by one of the local news organizations. Ideally, the cause marketing campaign would advertise in locally used/based/visited media: websites, blogs, print, outdoor, transit, etc.  The investigation piece would be broadcast would be showcased during a ten o' clock special.


I feel that both methods would be effective in educating and raising awareness simply because between the messages placed in local advertising and in a ten o'clock news segment, there would be great frequency and reach.  Furthermore, once the public is informed, I think that there is a good chance that an attitude of "not in my backyard" will arise and maybe some more serious action will be taken as people write to representatives, make police inquiries, and take more safety procedures overall.

Blog 14

Thinking back to the presentations of sexual harassment and the global sex trade I can see many similarities between the two topics. 

I wanted to mention my thoughts on the possible differences in behaviors of perpetrators of sexual harassment with regards to race and gender.  I kept thinking about how racial harassment would be likely be categorized under a hate crime. The way the perpetrator carries out the crime can be considered in other ways.

If the crime is committed by a male against a male, it's likely to be physical but not necessarily sexual unless the perpetrator is harassing this male because of their sexual orientation in the first place. 

If the perpetrator is a male and the person harassed is a female, the behavior is likely to be in a sexual form.  This sounds like I am generalizing males but this is the way males generally act with females.   

If the perpetrator and the victim are not the same race I would personally feel that the crime was based on race and the way the person was harassed would come after that whether it was physical, verbal, sexual etc. 

By looking at reports of hate crimes, it would be interesting to see what the percentage is of the perpetrator and the victim being from racial backgrounds that are not the same vs the same. 

I've read this over a couple times and  I think I'm making sense of this.  It's complicated and very confusing when you get these dynamics together. 

Whether the person if blue collar or white collar employed, being faced with having to make a decision whether or not to file a sexual harassment case is going to cause them to have a fear of losing their job which provides financial stability for them and/or their family.  Financial loss to an individual due to losing a job is a major loss no matter what class level they work in. We all need references for a new jobs regardless of them being white collar or blue collar, both people , if they stay at the job need to go their everyday realizing that the talk that happens around the water cooler may be about them this time.

I feel that education is one way to start the battle.  It needs to start young though.  For much too long I've felt society in general has needed to switch gears when it come to sexual harassment, any kind of harassment for that matter between students in schools.

Recently at White Bear Lake High School at female student whose life was threatened because of her race.

This is the link, but I was really surprised to find out that the story is no longer available to view.  I found part of it in the archives but it said to read the full story it had to be purchased.  WOW!  This girl did what she should have done which was reporting the other kids who were threatening her.  She ends up being pulled from the school by her father because he is worried about her safety.  This is an great example of why I think so many people do not report abuse or harassment against them.  Too many times the victim end up losing more than the perpetrator does. 

I'm sure this type of thing also has been known to happen to people who are trafficked and people who are harassed in the workplace. 

Blog 14 Assignment

Sexual harassment and human sex trafficking are more severe problems than most of us imagine.  Sexual abuse occurs in 1 out of every 4 females and 1 out of every 5 males in the United States.  That is an alarming statistic.  There are similarities between sexual harassment and human trafficking.  First, in both instances, a victim is emotionally and physically abused.  The victim also has increased chances of behavioral and emotional problems.  Second, the perpetrator or abuser, often times gets away with it.  Whether a victim is too embarrassed to report abuse or does not have the resources or support to do so, the abuser gets away with it and most likely victimizes others.  This is a severe problem because unless an abuser is found, arrested and given a harsh sentence they will keep abusing.

I think sexual harassment issues should be dealt with right away.  We need to keep letting communities (especially younger people) know they are not alone.  We can do this through education and community organizations.  Victims of abuse need to know that there are endless organizations that offer support, both financially and emotionally.  They need to know that they are safe.  We also need to identify and incarcerate abusers right away.  Often abusers are only sentenced to a few months or years behind bars and when they get out of jail they almost always abuse again.  This cannot happen.  We need to make stricter laws and severely punish those who abuse others, especially children.  In regards to sex trafficking, the problem is deeper and more complex.  Sex trafficking is such an underground industry that it will take more time and resources to stop it but we need to.  Sex trafficking is not just an issue abroad, it is happening in our own country, and in our own city.  We need to find the organizations that are behind sex trafficking and put an end to them.  Sex traffickers need to be imprisoned without parole and also fined large amounts.  Part of the reason sex trafficking organizations stay alive is because they have money and power.  When we arrest members of these organizations they need to be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.  They also need to serve long sentences in jail. 

It is up to us, as a community, to put an end to these issues.  We need the government to crack down on abusers and with the law on their side put an end to sexual abuse and sex trafficking.  If we do not take drastic measures sexual abuse will continue and get worse.  It is time to take action.

Week 14 Blog

I think that an aspect these two issues have in common is that they primarily face women, however, there are men affected by them as well. Often in primarily female working environments men are objectified the same way women are in male dominated industries. Boys are also involved in sex trafficking which was shown in the presentation on Thursday. A strategy that can target both problems is better educating men and women about these issues. At most jobs there are seminars warning employees of sexual discrimination and its affects, but there should also be sexual discrimination seminars in schools. Not just in colleges, but in high schools too so that kids are aware of the consequences before they go out into the workplace. Women should also be educated about the signs of sex trafficking in their area. Law enforcement is also important in both cases because a lot of people believe that women who are discriminated against were "asking for it" by wearing suggestive outfits, however women in male dominated blue-collar industries will not be wearing these clothes but do get discriminated against. Also in sex trafficking people believe that the people could get out of the industry if they wanted to, however people are forced into staying.

Blog Post #14

I think the first step to addressing theses issues is the education. For Sex Trade education is key for vulnerable individuals, victims who have gotten out, individuals who live in areas with large amounts of trafficking, locations where trafficked individuals pass through regularly. The education part is so key because there are simple things that everyday people can do to be aware and cautious about this issue.  The big step that I think should be taken is to focus on "helping the victims" and making sure they are seen as victims and not violators.this last task can  can be reiterated into legislation by simple having rights and protection for the as prosecution is taking place for related crimes like prostitution and trafficking of persons.
As far as Sexual harassment I think a lot of time the problem with these cases is that its kept quite or under wraps even after its been reported. Similar to what takes place in Sweden, I think individuals reported or convicted of sexual harassment in any setting  to somehow have their name known publicly. So if sexual harassment was taking place in a work environment and it was reporting a supervisor or boss it should be their duty to make the individual being accused name known to the entire company/business, but the individual experiencing the harassment should be kept confidential. I'm not sure if this creates any legal issues but I feel as if a person is bold enough to sexual harass someone they should be able to deal with the consequences. I think this will also make people think twice about harassing someone if it has a chance of publicly ruining their name and reputation. Our society takes a huge emphasis on what other people think of us, so if our reputation is on the line I think 9/10 a person would choose to keep their name or reputation out of a situation like this.

Blog 14

There were many different concepts about underlying everyday life that was presented within both of these presentations. When I use the word 'underlying', I am expressing the view that while people go about their everyday lives, there is this other culture that is being perpetuated and looked over because it is not a part of the common American's daily life. I think that both of these issues, sexual harassment and human trafficking, is something that every person knows at least  a little bit about, whether they have experienced it themselves, known of others that have gone through it, or have heard about it on some form of media broadcast.

They are also ideals that work hand in hand as catalysts to broader forms of human exploitation and de-humanization. They have the obvious ramifications that appear to be all against the women and people of lower classes that are involved. Along with this though, I think that we have to look at how the women, especially ones that I have regrettably known, who have played certain systems, within the harassment issue in specific, in order to better themselves within the company they were a part of. This type of use of the system is one that I don't think the group had talked about. I just think that it can be pushed to encompass people other than just heterosexual women. It is something that men experience and it is something that society classifies as a gendered offense, meaning that it is a 'manly act' that only men do and when they are accused, they are rarely proven to be wrongly accused. Also, when I say that it happens to heterosexual women, I mean that I have heard plenty of instances in which my homosexual friends have been 'released' from their job position due to being accused of sexually harassing another co-worker (male harassing a male) and in most places, especially a job within a school district, they have a zero tolerance policy for anything pertaining to this act. I just think that both of these cases should be incorporated when looking at harassment and the way in which they are gendered and sexually oriented to benefit what society sees as the normal victim.    


I think that there should be reforms to the policies that we have set in place due to the fact that one group had information about corruption within the policing and other forces that were set in place to try to prevent harassment and trafficking from happening. I see these issues as things that encompass the same types of unwanted exposure of one's personal space, feelings, emotions, morals, and everything else that involves these types of acts. I think that harassment and trafficking are things that involve the same types of psychological and physical hurt for the people deemed as victims, but also the people that are the criminals in these situations. Overall, I think that there may be policies that could address and help to correct both of these issues. The most important thing that a person can acquire and that no one can ever take away from someone would be what is inside of them, the knowledge, the intuition that can be instilled at a young age and reinforced through various mentors and teachers throughout their lifetime. I think that this would be one of the most important programs or things that should be set in place to help people across a lifetime. Along with that, you can only do so much for a person that has experienced such a traumatic event and you can only do so much to help the perpetrators and prevent them from doing it again. I think the best way to overcome and avoid an issue is to always prepare yourself and plan ahead in case there is no way to get out of said situations. As far as the local issues that have come about within Minnesota, I am not proud to be apart of a state that has such a high population of people involved in sex trafficking, but I think that it needs to be seen as an opportunity that I can be involved in to stop and prevent.  

Blog Assignment #14

As our global economy worsens and our resources continue to dwindle it's no wonder that more and more people become desperate for survival or complacent and apathetic to the ills of society. As discussed in class this past week issues like not having enough food and hunger are real threats to 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 4 children in this country.  As jobs diminish women are less likely to bring grievances of sexual harassment at the workplace for fear of loosing their jobs. I know at one of the agencies where I work we have a yearly mandatory sexual harassment training video that we must watch followed by an online quiz at the end.  If we don't we are simply taken off the schedule until it is completed.  The video is new every year to keep current with any legislative changes that may have taken place.  Apparently there is a lot of money being spent by companies on sexual harassment lawsuits where they are help liable.  I think managers are trained too to take allegations very seriously.


"According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of employment discrimination and harassment cases filed per year tripled between 1990 and 2000. In fact, employment lawsuits currently represent thirty percent of civil litigation in the U.S."

Harassment can be interpreted as hardship


"Today, the cumulative costs can come close to $1 billion for the biggest organizations with many companies paying for pay equity incongruities including failure to provide equal pay, offer equal opportunities for promotion, or for not shielding women employees from harassment."


Given this information, the laws and the fact that sexual harassment in the workplace cuts into businesses bottom line I think that employers will be our biggest advocates for real change.  

Human Trafficking on the other hand is something that has not been legislated well enough, nor has there been enough coordination throughout the world to seriously look at the root causes and effects. 

More recently though attention is being given to human trafficking by the United Nations:  


October 22, 2009:






May 13, 2009:






Secretary-General Calls for Strong Laws, Broad Alliances, Concerted

Action, Zero Tolerance; Member States Weigh Need for Global Action Plan

Tougher laws and consensus building among member countries is a start to understanding the problem and addressing inequity, lack of opportunity, sexism, racism and poverty.

Blog 14

 It was noted in the sexual harassment presentation that sexual harassment is more overt in blue collar jobs. I think that this is related to sex trafficking because they both deal with dependency on a specific job. Women in white collar jobs experience less overt harassment because they probably stop the harassment before it becomes too pronounced. They might not fear speaking up to a coworker because they know with the college degree that they earned, they will be likely to find jobs elsewhere. This is a different story for blue-collar women. They might tolerate more sexual harassment because they are so dependent on their job and may be afraid to speak out in fear of losing it. They know that it is hard to find a job with only a high school diploma. This issue of dependency on one's job also relates to sex trafficking. It was noted in the sex trafficking presentation that most people who become involved in this line of work are poverty stricken. The women, children, or men are so dependent on trying to make ends meet that they might be lured into a particular situation such as sex trafficking. Because they do not have other resources, and are dependent upon anything that comes their way, they are essentially heading down a destructive path if placed in the wrong hands.

Distinct issues need to be dealt with regarding sex trafficking and sexual harassment. First of all, if people who have to deal with these issues had resources such as being able to get different jobs and be somewhat independent, it might not be such a problem. Also, if victims had resources such as police to talk to who would not treat them as if they were the in the wrong, it might help as well. Overall, issues such as this should not be under the table. Victims should be assisted instead of prosecuted. If they are prosecuted, especially in sex trafficking cases, the perpetrators will continue to re-offend without any consequences. People involved in sex trafficking often times are so emotionally damaged that they become the ones who partake in recruiting people later on. The cycle may be able to be stopped if there were policies that counseled victims and restored their psychological health. Other policies that would improve sex trafficking and sexual harassment would be education about such issues. If the masses were enlightened about such issues and the harm that they cause to certain individuals, maybe the cycle could possibly stop.

I was aware of the situation of sex trafficking in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The one thing that shocks me about this situation is the fact that the perpetrators were only sentenced to what I believe was 35 months. Even though the policies in the statutes are stiffer, they got away with quite a light sentence. The message that this sent out to the public was basically saying that sex trafficking was okay and to not take the state statutes seriously. I think that there needs to be stiffer sentences especially considering the physical and psychological harm inflicted on most of the victims. If there were mandatory sentences set out for sex trafficking, I think that it would possibly have a deterrent effect and might help stop this booming industry.

Blog 14 Assignment

After listening to the presentations on Thursday, I was shocked to hear that Minneapolis has a very active sex trafficking market.  I wasn't aware of that at all and it came as quite a shock to hear that something as horrific as that is going on in the city where I live.  I think we should focus on why certain areas in the world have high amounts of sex trafficking and why that is.  From this we could start to try to address these factors.  I also think we need to focus on the government's involvement with sex trafficking and make it a point to get the media's attention on the government people who are involved with it.  This would hopefully cut down the involvement that police officers and others have with sex trafficking, therefore, making it harder for these places to be around.  I think all countries should adapt a somewhat similar policy to Sweden's that was discussed in class.  It sounds like this has made a positive step towards ending sex trafficking.  I believe that there has yet to be a policy that deals with sexual harassment effectively.  I think the first step in towards establishing one is to talk to people who have been sexually harassed at work and ask them what they would have liked to seen done to help them out with their situation.  I think we need to focus on prosecuting perpetrators big time.  There are not hard enough laws out there to punish these people for their actions and it needs to change.  We also need to help victims by giving them counseling and support groups.  Also, helping them take the necessary steps to start a new life and start to let go of their negative past.  I definitely think we to educate target populations because it would bring awareness to the community.  I think if the community was more informed on what was happening they would be more willing to help out.  Most people do not want to live in an area where something as terrible as sex trafficking is going on and would want to do something to change that.  After listening the presentations I have motivated to help out somehow with these issues.  Especially that it is something that is happening in Minneapolis.  I need to become more informed of the issue and learn what is being done to stop it if anything is being done.   

Blog #14

I think that it is pretty evident that class and gender come into play when discussing human trafficking. I think that the distinction between the classes has always been a factor when talking about the sex trade. Since it is almost always desperation that drives women and their families to enter the sex trade, it is almost a given that the women in the sex trade and in human trafficking are poor and of a lower class. The rich are the ones who have the disposable income to spend on sex.  While I am not making any allegations against the rich, nor am I stating that poorer or middle class men do not participate in the sex trade, I do think that the richer classes provide the foundation for the industry. As crude as this may seem, sex for recreation is almost a luxury, especially in harder financial times.  The poor obviously do not have the expendable income to spend on sex when food and other human necessities take priority.  Therefore, I don't think that prosecuting perpetrators who buy sex is an effective way to stop human trafficking. People are going to buy sex if the money and the resources are available therefore, we have to put the focus on taking away the resources.

Gender comes into play when we look at the aspect of sexual harassment as it relates to human trafficking. While sexual harassment in it's most basic and elementary of forms may not be seen as a large enough threat that can lead to human trafficking, the idea is still the same. If men do not respect women enough in the work place or other public institutions, then it is only logical that they would not give women the respect they deserve when it comes to purchasing them for sexual favors.

I think education is not the way to stop human trafficking. Yes the more people know about trafficking the more we become alarmed, but speaking from me on a personal level, even though I know about it and am sickened by the whole thing, the  most I could do on a personal level is to donate money to organizations. To stop human trafficking, it has to become a governmental concern and become a governmental policy. If the world, or even just our country, becomes united in it's thinking and desire for prevention. The government not only has to make the participation and the promotion of human trafficking illegal with serious consequences, but it has to strengthen our borders to stop the influx of people being shipped around the world for trafficking purposes. If the Minneapolis Police Department can spend the time and resources to bust drug rings, why can't they focus just as much on stopping forced prostitution? Clearly, human trafficking is so dark, and horrific, that the measures needed to eliminate the problem must be serious, severe, and strict.

Week 14 Blog

After listening to the presentations and reading the prompt for this week's blog, I thought about the similarities between sexual harassment and sex trafficking. At first, I had trouble coming up with similarities other than the exploitation of another person for sex. However, after thinking about it further, what sex trafficking and sexual harassment have in common is that a person through the intimidation of another (the perpetrator) feels they have no choice but to give in to the perpetrator and do as the perpetrator demands - usually perform  sex acts against their will. In both cases, the victim feels either their life or their livelihood is in jeopardy if they do not do what the perpetrator demands.  In both cases, the victim is not able to break the cycle that consequently develops. Once a victim of the perpetrator, it is extremely difficult to escape from the hold of the perpetrator.  When rescued from the perpetrator's hold, the victim remains a victim for years. Embarrassment, shame, guilt, and hopelessness often consumes the victim. Without professional help, the perpetrator continues to control the life of the victim.

Both sexual harassment and sex trafficking are offenses that have occurred for many centuries. For example, when you think about slavery in the United States, sexual harassment and sex trafficking of female slaves were prominent even back then.  Therefore, dealing with these issues will not occur quickly or easily.  Sexual harassment is typically thought of as a workplace concern. Fortunately, laws have been enacted to help protect workers from intimidating supervisors and managers who demand "services" in return for a more promising career. Employees who report sexual harassment are protected by retaliation laws so that if a victim reports sexual harassment, they cannot be terminated for this reason. Retaliation claims and lawsuits have helped to reduce the number of terminations that have resulted as a result of filing a claim against a supervisor or manager.  With the continual emphasis on training and education in the workplace, victims of sexual harassment are speaking out more.  

Unfortunately, unless the perpetrators are "punished" for their inappropriate actions, the perpetrator will continue to behave using the same intimidating tactics to get what they want. Most perpetrators are demoted or may even lose their jobs. Lawsuits filed by the victim may cost the perpetrator hundreds of thousands of dollars for their actions. However, rarely will the perpetrator serve jail time. Until sexual harassment is viewed as a criminal offense versus a civil offense, the perpetrator will face only "monetary" punishment.  Therefore, I believe the perpetrator should also complete supervised, mandatory community service time, helping individuals who are less fortunate than others. The perpetrator should not be able to "buy" his way out of trouble.  I believe more states should require sexual harassment training of all employees, not just those in management or supervisory positions. I also believe the schools - high school and college - should include sexual harassment education in their core curriculum.

Sex trafficking however is much more complicated in my opinion. The fact that sex trafficking often crosses state and country boundaries adds much to the complexity. However, as stated in the presentation, those caught and convicted of sex trafficking must be punished with stiffer jail sentences. Parole should not be an option and the perpetrator must serve the complete sentence.  The perpetrator who had financially benefitted from their inappropriate actions must also compensate their victims by providing quality medical and psychological care. In addition, since many of the victims of sex trafficking are young, innocent girls, the perpetrator should be required to set up education funds for each of the perpetrator's victims.  Education and public awareness of the continual problem of sex trafficking should also be funded by the perpetrators.  In addition, while not viewed as a crime by all countries, countries such as the United States should work with other countries such as France, Sweden, Britain, etc. and enforce other countries to recognize that sex trafficking is an atrocious violation of human rights of women and children.

In terms of the local aspect of sex trafficking, perhaps I am just naïve and at times, walk with "blinders on", I was not aware that the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was dealing with such a problem as sex trafficking. When I moved to Minneapolis from Nebraska to attend school, I of course did not find materials on the web about the sex trafficking business in Minneapolis. The citizens of this state need to voice their concern to their state's legislators and through education of the citizen of the state, put an end to this concern.


blog 14

I do see the links between sexual harassment and sex trafficking and how race, class and gender interact to make women vulnerable to sex-based exploitation and discrimination, especially on a global level.  I think that each of these, sexual discrimination and sex trafficking, are distinct issues but common policies and strategies could target both at the same time - although each also needs distinct policies and strategies that focus on it specifically.

I think we need to focus on prosecuting perpetrators, assisting victims, and educating target populations for both of these issues - education and legal reform are both necessary to address sexual discrimination and sex trafficking. 

To better address sexual harassment we need to address the social aspects that make this something that happens with frequency and provide actual remedies.  As someone who has been sexually harassed in a work place, I think there needs to be something other than laws and courts to address sexual harassment.  I think for a lot of people who have experienced sexual harassment on a mild level, it just seems overkill to report it and make such a big deal about it.  That might sound silly (or offensive to some), but for me, I never reported my experience because I didn't want to make the situation a bigger deal than it needed to be.  Perhaps education in the workplace should be stressed, and instead of just having a boring policy on sexual harassment, people should have to be involved in workshops or trainings that bring the issue to them on a more personal level. 

For sex trafficking, we need to address the economic and social issues that exist in the communities many of these women come from.  Poverty and cultural values around females must be worked on - which can be done through education and legal means.  We also need to assist victims of human trafficking, and not make things harder or more traumatic for them. 

I think that Sweden has a good model for addressing human trafficking by making it illegal to purchase sexual services, and not criminalizing those who offer such services (whether providers of sexual services are forced into it or not).  I think this is a good approach to dealing with sexual trafficking, but I don't know if Sweden has any support services in place for helping victims of sexual trafficking.

I was surprised to learn Minnesota had such high levels regarding sexual/human trafficking.  I feel like we are so progressive on social issues, but we fail to have anything in place to help victims of sexual trafficking - and that surprised me.

In general, I think that our policies and strategies for addressing sexual discrimination and sex trafficking are very reactive, when they should be proactive and preventative.  We need to look at the roots of these issues and focus more energy there.  We need to stop these things before they happen, rather than deal with them after the fact.  Addressing the larger systemic issues holds the possibility for reducing sexual harassment and sex trafficking because it may change ideas about what is ok and acceptable to do to other people.

Blog 14 Assignment

Thursday's group presentations on sexual harassment and sex trafficking addressed how race, class and gender interact to make women vulnerable to sex-based exploitation and discrimination. Both presentations also addressed the roles of education and legal reform in combating these problems, and both groups discussed the inadequacies of these efforts.

In this week's blog posts, I'd like you to again think creatively about how to address sexual harassment and human trafficking. Do you see links between these issues beyond those similarities I listed above? Are this distinct issues that should be dealt with as such, or might there be common policies and strategies that can target both problems? Should we focus on prosecuting perpetrators, assisting victims, educating target populations? I'm especially interested in what you think about local aspects of these problems, as discussed in the presentations.