Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho’s investigations found that sex traffickers use the choice rhetoric to justify their trade: “difficult choices are still choices”, said one child sex trafficker in Asia. The “choice” available to a middle class American woman to work on the sex industry is inapplicable to those from a deeply collectivist culture, embedded in systems of poverty and familial responsibility. Yet, by focusing on the privileged few who put forward their agency and free will to engage in the industry, we marginalise the majority who have none. More worryingly, Cacho’s investigations revealed that traffickers also use the idea of western sexual liberation and choice to groom girls. Just consider what Cacho explained in this interview:

In Cambodia, Cacho met a woman who runs a brothel who explained how she ‘reprograms’ girls by ‘normalising sexual exploitation through systematic exposure to pornography. They have to be convinced that they were the ones who chose to do this, and they must be constantly reminded that their lives are worth nothing.’
— http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/11/its-not-anti-sex-to-want-to-expose-pornographys-complicit-role-in-child-abuse-and-trafficking?CMP=soc_567

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