There I sat with my three young daughters, excited for a break from football, anticipating top-notch musical entertainment.
Or so I thought.
I suppose I should have known better, but I didn’t. There certainly was no warning from the NFL or the Super Bowl Halftime Show sponsor, Pepsi.
But there should have been.
Within seconds, I knew the “performance” was in bad taste. A couple minutes in, it was clear this hyper-sexualized show was not going to improve, and I had to get it off my television. The dancing, the (lack of) clothing, the lyrics, even the performers’ facial expressions, were all sexualized. The only place one might expect this type of “entertainment” would be in a strip club. Certainly not on primetime TV, not to mention during an iconic athletic event viewed by more than 100 million people, many of whom are children.
As we watched America’s Funniest Home Videos for the duration of the Halftime Show, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d just seen. It was nothing less than objectifying of and degrading to women. How anyone could call it “empowering” to females is beyond me. It was just the opposite — it depicted the exploitation of women.
What really made me shudder was to think about the connection between what was depicted on stage and what was happening all around Miami last weekend: human trafficking for sex.
Did you know that sex traffickers converge on the cities that host the Super Bowl and other large sporting events each year? They are drawn by the influx of male visitors and promise of increased demand for commercial sex. And do you know what drives an increased demand for commercial sex? To a large degree, it’s pornographic images and hyper-sexualized “entertainment.”
According to the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, the United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating more than $150 billion a year at the expense of 40 million victims.
And it’s not just women. Twenty-five percent of trafficking victims are children. All victims are abused. They are forced and coerced to sell their bodies for sex against their will.
One victim is too many.
As I reflect on what I saw on the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I’m disturbed and outraged for much bigger reasons than what I must shield my children from on primetime TV. My deepest regret is knowing that the sexualization and objectification of women being “sold” on that Halftime Show stage was also being sold outside the stadium in the form of human trafficking.
So, what can we do about it? Must we just accept the fact that the Superbowl Halftime Show will forever be a hyper-sexualized, inappropriate performance off-limits to families and children? Must we all prepare with remotes in hand, ready to change the channel next year?
Yes, and no. Yes, because every parent should be on guard for what could be streamed directly into our living rooms during the Halftime Show—or any show—and be ready to take quick action.
But no, because there are many policy solutions we can support as well. Coincidentally, President Trump announced last Friday that he would request a $42 million budget increase in February to expand support for victims of human trafficking, to boost investigations and the prosecution of traffickers. We applaud him for this action and for the continued attention the Trump Administration gives to human trafficking in our country.
In addition, FPA supports policy proposals to curb human trafficking state by state. We are working with state legislators and allies to introduce and support our model legislation to require increased reporting of human and sex trafficking aimed at improving law enforcement and education efforts to combat this modern-day slavery. This is just one example of how public policy can help end the scourge of human trafficking.
But I believe there is something more immediate than public policy that you and I can do to affect change on this matter. It’s quite simple, but the results could be significant.
I hope that you will take a few minutes to join Family Policy Alliance and me as we speak up for a nation where families thrive and life is cherished, and especially for the victims of human trafficking who can’t speak for themselves.
Standing with you,
Director of External Relations
Stacey Abrams is dangerous for Georgia’s children. I’m serious; this isn’t political-speak.
Many of you may have heard about the 5-year-old girl who was assaulted in the bathroom at her Decatur elementary school- an assault made possible because of a radical pro-transgender policy that puts the LGBTQ agenda over the needs and interests of young students.
The innocence of this young girl has been irreparably violated, and the liberals running Decatur schools are refusing to reverse course. But, these are the kinds of policies supported by Stacey Abrams and her liberal San Francisco donors, and, if elected, this radical agenda could sweep across our state- placing more students at risk.
And, she’s already proven she doesn’t care about the safety of our kids.
Stacey Abrams placed her liberal agenda above Georgia children when she opposed measures that would have kept sex offenders away from our schools and kept them from photographing our kids. She even “took a walk” on a vote to crack down on sex trafficking!
But, wait, there’s more.
Stacey Abrams is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and is a radical, pro-abortion candidate. She supports abortion on demand and would roll back even the most basic protections for innocent human life.
And, for those children in our school system who hope to grab onto the opportunity to achieve a better life, Stacey Abrams wants to take away a crucial scholarship that opens doors for thousands of low-income children- a scholarship that makes it possible for many to end the poverty cycle and achieve the American Dream.
Now, I’m sure Stacey Abrams would tell you that she cares about children, but her policies tell a different story. They place our kids at serious risk in schools. They put her pro-abortion agenda over the basic right to life. They put her big government agenda ahead of the needs of our kids.
My friends, she’s dangerous, and the most vulnerable among us demand action.
Early voting is underway, and I’m pleading with you to exercise your voice. Encourage everyone you know to join you at the polls. Protect our children by rejecting the dangerous, radical agenda that puts our children at risk.
The consequences of losing this election could not be more severe. As a father of 3 young boys, this is personal for me, and I know it is for you. Stacey Abrams is dangerous, and I’m humbly asking you to join us in stopping her radical agenda.
For our kids,
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of Georgia
The question I pose may be an affront to you, or at least you might consider it inappropriate, but the answer is critical. To those of us who are Christian, a girl is worth an infinite amount, because we believe that all people are created in the image of God. However, there are those who undoubtedly answer this by saying, “who cares?”
The “who cares?” answer denigrates the value of women and girls, and fundamentally gives rise to things like prostitution and human trafficking.
Human trafficking is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. It represents one of the darkest, most deplorable aspects of our fallen world. Fortunately, North Dakota has strong laws in place to prevent it and to punish those engaged in human trafficking. However, you and I know that if there is the potential for huge illegal monetary gain, an industry – illegal drug trafficking for example – will be created to supply that demand, regardless of laws.
I’ve often heard people state that human trafficking is a big problem in places such as the Bakken. While it is a problem there, let me fill you in on a secret: human trafficking is foremost a problem concentrated in urban areas around the state. If you think about it, it makes sense. Urban areas often place less importance on family values in line with yours and mine, and all other things held constant, the demand for trafficked girls is going to be proportionate to the number of people in an area.
So, what can you do to help stop human trafficking in our state? We need to be aware that this is happening right here in North Dakota – it is often too easy to assume this is a problem that happens somewhere else. We need to talk about it and raise the awareness of this awful crime. In the meantime, please pray for these young girls and women. They are vulnerable and need our Heavenly Father to help them escape this destructive practice.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well. Psalm 139:14
President and Executive Director
P.S. Remember that we will be hosting our Annual Fargo Dessert Banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn on April 10. We still have seats available, so please join us for an exciting evening and learn about the many ways you can help us preserve biblical values in North Dakota. Space is limited and advance reservations are required, so RSVP online or call 701.219.0948 to reserve your seat(s). We look forward to seeing you there!