human trafficking in the asian community
On Thursday, March 15, 2012, several organizations, including Traffick Free, are partnering with the Midwest Asian Health Association and the Chinese American Service League to bring awareness of human trafficking to the Asian community – and educate the public that human trafficking obviously exists within. As a Hong Kong-born Chinese American, I cannot express my support for this event enough.
Whenever Asian women and sex are portrayed together, there exists a stereotype of submission – a characteristic of what drives people to rape – the expectation and excitement of control. However, johns are able to give themselves a pass at being labeled a rapist because these women obviously willingly submit as it is – no harm in simply directing them just how their submission should play out. If there was not such a niche for this population in playing out sexual fantasies, there would not exist whole pornography websites solely dedicated to Asian women.
Asian women have no more desire to be submissive than any other human being.
Should a survivor of sex trafficking try to reintegrate into an Asian family, there is a high chance of either ignoring the experiences ever happened, as if the survivor controlled her own past by missing opportunities for a straight and narrow path, or quickly acknowledging the trauma happened but forcing the need to move on to pursue worldly success. Asian pride does not typically rely on happiness; rather, it relies on degrees and financial gain. So get over the mistakes you made, there is no need to dwell on it, and move on with the opportunities for success the community expects of you. There is very little room for understanding and healing. And forbid that the trauma resurfaces several years after survival; that was in the past.
Those exiting the world of human trafficking were victims and are survivors. And the pain may resurface at different points for the rest of their lives.
If there is acknowledgement that there exists some trauma that should be dealt with, forbid it that outsiders should get involved. Asian families pride themselves on strong family units that deal with their own issues and privatize the brokenness lest the world see beyond the pristinely clean house, the upper-middle class vehicles in the driveway, and the air that everything is more than okay. Let us not defame the family name that might bring judgment on the whole lot.
Human trafficking is not a private issue.
The irony of this blog being about the stereotypes of the Asian community as it relates to pride, and the more oft inability to put the heart above the head, is not lost. There are always exceptions. But as an Asian, I know how real these stereotypes can really be for many families and communities. So let us all show support for this event on March 15 and show up, be bold enough to replicate it, or at least pass the need along. Kill the stereotypes, stigma and privacy.
from laura ng, executive director, external relations