News recently broke that Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots has been charged with buying sex from women exploited in prostitution and sex trafficking on two occasions at a brothel disguised as a "spa" in Florida. He was caught on video coercing sex acts from the women with money and was also caught on video driving to the brothel. The sting that exposed Kraft has also charged 20 other men with purchasing sex.
Reporters are saying that the police and the public have both been "stunned" at this revelation. Understandably, it is hard for many to believe that the respected owner of a football team so revered in American culture is a "john." But for those who understand the nature of prostitution and who have spoken with survivors, Kraft being charged with purchasing sex is not surprising at all. Very often, sex buyers are men you would least expect. Many times, it is "trusted" men in society who are knocking on the brothel doors: doctors, teachers, law enforcement, lawyers and even priests and pastors are all commonly cited by prostitution survivors as the men who purchased them for sex.
I am disturbed and saddened to think of the damage done to the women Kraft has used for his sexual pleasure. The majority of women in prostitution, whether they are trafficked or not, report serious harm, both physically and psychologically, as a result of prostitution. I am also saddened to think of the scores of young boys and girls who have idolized him and who now have to face the fact that someone they looked up to lacks the ability to treat women with the respect and dignity they deserve. I am saddened, but I am not surprised.
The reality is that we live in the midst of a culture that normalizes the commodification of women's bodies—a culture where the predominant message about women is that they are sex objects who exist for the purpose of male consumption. We live in a culture where the average boy is growing up with hardcore porn as his primary means of sex education, and where everywhere he looks, women are put on display in media as sex trinkets for male pleasure.
Porn culture is socializing our boys into sexual predators, and we need to take a stand against it if we are ever going to make a dent in ending the demand for prostitution.
Join the movement to end the business of sexual exploitation.
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