As unique individuals, we have come to have a rather refined way as to how we carry ourselves and the manner by which we frame ourselves through our interests, hobbies, beliefs, etc. Though we may come to see our personal interests as building blocks to our character, there is something rather limiting to this idea. By constricting ourselves to particular interests or areas of focus, we come to set up boundaries around ourselves that come to dictate where we as individuals are willing to venture.
Visualize moving out of your comfort zone. What does that look like for you?
While we may come to rearrange and reconstruct different parts of us, there is something that we can never truly change about ourselves and that is this––we are human. Being human is the common denominator that connects us all. As much as we like to stand apart from the crowd and be aware of our own uniqueness, the opportunities that are available to us if we come together as humans is limitless.
Following this same narrative, the categorization of social issues has created more division than unity among us. Take for example the term “gender issues”. As the social theorist Jackson Kat has come to expose, the term “gender issues” in American society has become synonymous with the term “women’s issues”. By simply labeling issues like domestic abuse, sexual assault, and relationship abuse as being issues only relating to women, the male population from our society is given a free pass when it comes to these issues––as if these topics do not concern men too; men have become removed from the problem but also have been removed from a possible solution.
But in order to create the change we seek in addressing the issue sex trafficking, we must first transcend the gender lines that have been drawn around the issue of sex trafficking. The gender lines only serve to discourage us from coming together and creating real and substantial change in the world. Men and women need to realize that there are human lives that are at stake when we discuss the problem of sex trafficking, not just a woman who is being a victim of sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking is not a women’s issue nor is it a man’s issue, it is a human issue––it’s our issue.
We would all be doing ourselves a great injustice if we fail to make changes in the world because of restrictions and boundaries that have been set before us. We must work together to push back those boundaries of restraint and redraw the lines…or erase them completely to make the world a better place to live in. We must become advocates for each other. We must speak for those that have lost their voice. We owe the possibility of a better tomorrow to each other and to ourselves.