Harmony Dust: The Sex Industry Isn’t the Problem
This morning on my way to drop my daughter off at pre-school, I passed by a girl I can only assume was working the Sepulveda track. I say this because nobody else was wearing stilettos, micro mini cut off shorts and no jacket at 8am in 45-degree weather. She walked with her knees slightly bent and wobbling as if to try not to put pressure on her feet, which must have been sore and cold, if she had been out there all night.
When she stopped on the corner, a man waiting for his bus looked at her as he would a store window. It was as though he was imagining himself wearing her like a pair of pants.
She pretended not to notice him. A mannequin never looks at the consumer, their gaze always fixed on some other place. To look would be rude and distracting. Even dangerous if he was another pimp and she was caught "out of pocket" by her own.
Her job is not to see, but to be seen.
I could almost hear the grooming that led her to that corner, echoing the same grooming I experienced. "You're beautiful. Everyone is looking at you. Everyone wants you. You should take advantage of the beauty that you have been given. Use it. Make money off of it. Get yours. Get ahead. Survive. Oh, and while you're at it, break me off a piece of that."
And all this, a product of our culture, which tells us that beauty is a bill of goods. Sexuality is a bill of goods. That people are a bill of goods. Products to be marketed, sold, capitalized off of.
Many of us are so trained in this way of thinking that when someone doesn't objectify us, we wonder if something is wrong. With them. With us.
I see this often in the women I have the honor of mentoring. Women for whom being an object of lust is so normal it feels like love. Women who have never known non-sexual touch. Not even from their own fathers and brothers.
People often ask me if I am anti-sex industry. I tell them that I don't chose to define myself by what I am against, but by what I stand for...and I am "for" women living to their fullest potential with an understanding of their value and purpose.
But I would even venture to say that the sex industry isn't the problem. It is a symptom of a larger issue. It is the byproduct of a cultural standard that normalizes the sexualization and objectification of women.
This is one of the reasons I am so excited about the development of the Men 4 Treasures. This is a group of men that is committed to purity, integrity, and seeks to be a voice in their sphere of influence that will begin to shift mindsets. You will be hearing more about them in 2012 and how you can get involved.
Even as they are in the development phase, their presence here at Treasures has been a healing thing. They are showing us what brotherly, platonic love looks like. They are demonstrating what it looks like to be honored in a way that is truly honoring. For this I am thankful.
It is one thing to tell someone they deserve better or more or different. It is one thing to say that things should be different. That our culture needs to change. But as long as we are simply talking about these ideas, they remain an intangible, hypothetical, theoretical thing.
It is another thing to see this in action, to experience it. It's a game changer.
As Nelson Mandela said, "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Thank you Men 4 Treasures and to all of our partners who are living this way. We are freer because of you.
Love, Harmony Dust
© 2013 I Am Treasure Ministry