Modern Day Slavery


(Photo Soure:

Justin Doucette, Writer

Around the world, women, men, and children are being sold into sexual slavery at every minute. My previous articles “It is a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird: a Pandemic of Child Trafficking” and “Migrant Children Matter”  have exposed the atrocities of human trafficking along with provided methods of prevention. This article will be speaking on the most normalized version of slavery: Prostitution. 


The idea of selling one’s body as a form of income has been around since 244 BC, where Sumerian peoples depicted prostitution, male and female, as a profession. In Hammurabi’s code, dating back to 1780 BC, there are specific mentions of the rights of prostitutes. From the start of humanity, people have been selling sexual favors in exchange for quick cash.


Why do people go into prostitution? In a survey conveyed in Denmark in 2012, half of the prostitutes surveyed claimed they began to sell themselves due to sexual curiosity, while 68% of the mass considers their sex work as a part of their sexuality. Money, however, is a major driving factor for a lot of them. 


(Photo Source: Joe C. Moreno of BBC News) Brenda Myers-Powell smiling, posing for the camera.

Sex worker Brenda Myers-Powell began prostituting herself in 1970 when she was just a child. She was the product of a teenage mother who died at 16 when Myers-Powell was only six months old. Being brought up on the West side of Chicago, she was exposed to lude women on street corners wearing heavy makeup and flashy dresses. She recalls, “as a little girl, all I ever wanted was to be shiny.”


At the young age of 14, Brenda Myers-Powell had two daughters from two different boys. Her grandmother, who had taken her in, said Myers-Powell needed to gain some money to take care of her daughters. On the night of Good Friday, she bought a cheap dress along with cheap, plastic shoes. Her ultimate goal was to “look older.”


That night, she made four hundred dollars from five different men. She cried with each man.


The third time Brenda Myers-Powell prostituted herself, she was kidnapped and held at gunpoint by two men who subsequently took her to a field and raped her. They then went to a hotel and locked her in a closet. She was unrepresented, meaning she did not work under anybody. Consequently, the pimps would not let her out unless Brenda Myers-Powell “agreed to work for them.”


They held her hostage for six months. Every time she ran away, they got her back. They abused her horribly; both physically and mentally.


What started as a once-in-awhile job for Brenda Myers-Powell quickly turned into a daily hell.


Pimping is still legal in places all over the world. That means it is legal for men and women to sell other men, women, and children for personal gain. 


According to, there are about 42 million prostitutes worldwide. 80% of them are between the ages of 13 and 25. 90% of them are dependent on a pimp. The prostitution business is legal sexual slavery and should be outlawed everywhere. Women who are desperate to have a form of income or validation are being met with ill-intentioned men who want nothing more than to profit from these naive and unsuspecting girls. 


Nevada is the only state in the United States where prostitution is legal. In Nevada, it is legal to force a woman, man, or child to engage in sexual intercourse to benefit another.


Being a prostitute is degrading and stigmatizing. People view sex workers as nothing more than objects, that is why over 80% of just 130 San Fransisco sex workers in 1990 experienced physical and sexual violence. Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted and prostitutes are more likely to be the victims of that assault.


(Photo Source: Jeff Solomon of The Washington Post). Mia Khalifa enjoying food at an outdoor cafe.

Prostitution goes beyond flashy women standing on street corners. It extends onto adult pornography websites where anyone can access them. Mia Khalifa is a former pornstar who has spoken out about how horrible the adult form industry is. Online, there is nothing that will completely go away. She said it is a common feeling of “being insecure and being pressured into doing something that [you] do not want to do.” She goes on to further mention how her sense of privacy has completely disintegrated.


Many people believe Khalifa made millions of dollars from the few videos she made. However, the industry only supplied her with about 12,000 dollars. She quit adult film only three months after her first video and since then, she has not seen a penny. Quite a lot of the money stemming from her millions of views on adult websites goes to the big executives who still own the rights to display her body online.


Sex work is a portal for violation, violence, and harm. Prostitution and adult film distribution create the idea that women and men are nothing more than objects and can be used in any way one wants. It should be outlawed everywhere. People should be viewed as worthy and precious. That begins with denormalizing and not glorifying the lives of those who have been taken advantage of.



Things You Can Do To Help Destigmatize Prostitution and Adult Film

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