This new post was written by Alex, our summer intern.
Warning: she is fired up about this topic!!
The other day I was listening to the radio while driving and was simply appalled by a song that came on one of our “hit” radio stations: “Whistle” by Flo Rida. Have you heard it? The chorus goes like this:
Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby. Let me know.
Girl, I'm gonna show you how to do it. And we start real slow.
You just put your lips together. And you come real close.
Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby. Here we go.
It’s unfathomable to me how a song with such a strong sexual innuendo can be played freely on public radio for anyone of all ages to hear. I personally remember in great detail numerous songs I listened to on the radio when I was in elementary school - songs that my friends and I used to sing together – then as I got older realized what the lyrics were actually referencing! To think that there are children and pre-teens hearing songs such as this, and even singing along to the lyrics disgusts me.
Even more disturbing is the way our society continues to feed into this kind of music and language, without truly understanding its effect on our culture and the next generation. It’s very clear, isn’t it, that this song is about oral sex. So…what does the rapper, Flo Rida, hope to stir up within his listeners? Listening to something sexually explicit, whether it contains innuendo’s or not, can very easily instill sexual thoughts and desires in the minds of those hearing it. It’s these sexual thoughts and feelings that lead people to want to find a release for this tension.
This can occur, and often does, in the form of watching online pornography, engaging in sexual acts alone or with a significant other, or even purchasing sex from a stranger. Songs such as this often lead to online pornography use, thus leading to a demand for sex, ultimately giving pimps a market for selling sex slaves. While some might think I’m jumping the gun in saying that sexually implicit/explicit songs, and other related material, can lead to a greater demand for sex trafficking, allow me to share a few statistics. The National Campaign shared this in a recent study: “…portrayed or implied in about 12 percent of all shows, precursor behaviors, such as kissing and touching, were more prevalent than sexual intercourse.” The National Campaign continued to state that on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox alone, between 2001-2002, “71 percent of programs contained sexual content, with an average of 6.1 sex-related scenes per hour.” Another alarming statistic shared was, “…in 2005, youth were 1.7 times more likely to report aggressive solicitations than five years earlier. Among the U.S. youth Internet respondents to the 2005 (national) survey, 20 percent reported being victimized online, with nearly half of those (45 percent) receiving requests for sexual pictures of themselves.” Stay with me here…coincidently, statistics by The Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking stated, “From 2001 through 2005, the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney's Offices reported a 405% increase over the number of trafficking cases filed from 1996 through 2000.”
While this could very well be a coincidence, it seems clear to me that in a society where sex is glorified, and television shows, movies, and the content of musical lyrics have continued to grow in regards to how much sexual content it contains, these statistics are in no way a coincidence. Therefore, I believe there is a clear correlation between the two heightened numbers of sexual content in the media and the demand for sex in America.
Where something begins, however, it can also end. While the media has heightened the glorification of sex in our society, it can just as easily educate society on the harms and dangers of human trafficking; on the impact the sex trade has had, not only in surrounding countries, but in our country as well. That’s why, as a journalist, I choose not to “go with the flow” of the media and glorify or write about scandals, sex, and manipulation. Instead, I choose to shed light on these matters, and the insidiousness that lies beneath them: betrayal, lust, loss of a sense of freedom, coercion, and imposing danger. I encourage everyone to get involved in raising awareness about the issue of human trafficking and the heightened demand for it: blog and write about it, share articles and fact sheets about it on your social media sites.
I, for one, cannot and will not sit idly by knowing that there are currently 1,000 children being trafficked in my home state this very minute. I encourage those who share this passion to join me in standing against this injustice and enslavement of free will. There is a demand for sex in our country. Adolescents, teenagers, and adults are paying the price in the cruelest ways imaginable. Let’s not be afraid to speak up about this issue and to stand against what the media is telling us is ‘just for fun and has no serious consequences or imposing danger’. The consequences are clear and happening right under our noses this very minute. "Whistle" by Flo Rida is currently (week 28, 2012) in the HOT100 Billboard charts at position 20.”