I sat in an Understanding Gender class today and it happened that (on their last day of class) they were to watch a 1-hour documentary on Sex Trafficking in Nepal. Though I am not officially enrolled in their class, I felt the obligation to share my insight:
For me, the highlight of the film was when a girl victim of Sex Trafficking said that “Money to them is everything“. The girl, herself, as a victim was able to point out the root of the problem — the GLOBAL CAPITALIST SYSTEM — because she did experienced it (the reason why there’s a need for us to immerse ourselves with the masses to deeply know and understand their plight).
There is this craving for money. For the oppressors, they crave for money because money gives them the power to get what they want. For the oppressed (e.g. sex slaves, prostitutes, etc), they crave for money in
order to survive. Even if the system offers them a wide range of jobs, most of these are not attainable by the oppressed because the structure of the system is designed by the elites to keep the oppressed at the low-level of social pyramid and divert them from attaining class consciousness in order to protect their (elites’) interests and status in the society.
Why is this so? Because the system demands wealth/money for both power and survival. In turn, it promotes individualism; though theoretically, it gives emphasis to the protection of individual rights but in reality, it makes the people care only about themselves, their rights to the extent of harming other people, directly or indirectly. This Global Capitalist System made us blind of the truth, justice, morality and being humane.
That is why the issues of women and children should not be isolated from other social issues because all of them are the downside effects of the capitalist system. From what I learned from this class last semester, the struggle for liberating women should be in concurrence with the struggle for liberating humanity. Liberating from what? Liberating ourselves from the chains of the unequal social structure, from the social norms dictated by the ruling class, etc.
Hence, the only way to stop these social problems is to change the system. If compared to a computer system, there’s a need to reformat the system because the virus has already spread and has caused great damage. Rescuing the victims of sex slave, human trafficking, abuse, etc is not enough. True, they were rescued but how about other people? Since the virus has spread, it may also affect others. These things will also happen to me, to you and to all other people. Just like weeds, the only way to get rid of the weeds is to uproot them; otherwise, they will continue to grow and spread.
It may sound idealistic but remember, the ancient slave-driven societies vanished only when the societal system was finally changed, when the societies were finally revolutionized. There is indeed a need to change the system, from a system that begot individualism to a system that really caters the needs of the people and encourages them to respect one another, care for and love one another and serve one another.