by Rachel Krueger
I love youtube videos and am opposed to sex trafficking. I think it’s safe to say these two sentiments extend to a large percentage of the population. So why am I baffled by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s hilarious “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls’ videos?” They feature foxy mens! Who isn’t down with foxy mens?
Leaving aside issues of perpetuated gender stereotypes, how droll! Only, are they supposed to…what? Raise awareness? Did anyone NOT KNOW that child-trafficking exists before they watched Sean Penn iron a grilled cheese sandwich? Call me old-fashioned, but I remember a day when Public Service Announcements announced something.
I mean, I get the aim. But I’m slightly skeptical that Johnny ChildBuyer is watching these thinking, Well if the man your man could smell like isn’t buying girls, then I guess I won’t either.
(Also, is there a logical fallacy here or am I taking crazy pills? Real men can make a meal and real men don’t buy girls and Bradley Cooper clearly cannot make a meal and is therefore not a real man and more therefore…guys, is this whole scheme just a covert attempt to let us know Bradley Cooper buys girls?)
And maybe it’s better than doing nothing only it’s not better than doing nothing, because when you’re doing nothing at least you KNOW that you’re doing nothing, and then maybe you do something. Throw up a Rainbow Brite picture as your facebook profile and you’re all *dusts hands* I’ve done my part to help end child slavery.
It’s that misplaced sense of back-pattery that bothers me most. Because while it’s understandable for celebrities to take a stand on controversial topics like wearing fur or using eco-friendly plastics, topics on which people might reasonably take sides and therefore be swayed by Hot People Opinions, this is sex trafficking, something we don’t need to be told how to feel about.
The website itself provides survivor stories and places to donate. Too bad it’s unhelpfully addressed demiandashton.org (because who doesn’t hesitate a second before clicking that, expecting either Punk’ing or phone-photos of Demi’s ass?) and slipped into the end credits that no one reads anyways. And I mean “too bad” in the literal sense, not in the “too bad you suck” sense, because this is clearly a cause Los Kutchers care deeply about.
Ultimately, I’m torn. I’m all for good intentions, and maybe making people laugh about a thing is the first step towards making them do other, more useful things about that thing. Or maybe it just trivializes the movement.