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  1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The value of girls ....

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by GingerCoffee, May 2, 2014.

    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: See names, faces of passengers aboard doomed plane.

    How many days of round the clock coverage did and does CNN dedicate to the missing plane? Every new piece of flotsam and jetsam renewed the headlines, I don't need to spell it out. And the resources society has dedicated without question to finding this plane, millions, dozens of countries involved, I don't need to spell that out either.

    But who gives a rat's ass except some grieving mothers about close to the same number of girls, kidnapped from a boarding school in Nigeria who are probably being forced into marriage or sexual slavery, which in this case isn't much different than the forced marriages?

    How is this OK? How is it the world barely notices the difference?
     
  2. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't have enough facts to call this a gender thing.

    Who are Americans more likely to sympathize with. People on a plane, or people from a third world country?
     
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  3. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I suppose this post could be shrugged off as a conspiracy theory, but from the articles, non-fiction books, and studies I've read about the subject, the documents I've watched etc, it looks like the *sex and human trafficking industries are so big and lucrative, that many people in power don't even want to eradicate them.

    I've read accounts of even organizations like the UN turning a blind eye to human trafficking when East-European girls are tricked/lured and then forced into sexual slavery in Europe (Germany and Scandinavia are frequently mentioned in this context), USA, and the Middle-East (Israel and Saudi-Arabia often come up), some individuals working for the UN even participating in the problem.

    Then again, it's not really surprising since human trafficking and the sex industry are some of the most lucrative "businesses" in existence, and if the crooks running the show are willing to open their wallets for those who make the decisions, it's no wonder their operations keep flourishing and real "fake" passports just appear out of thin air when they need to transport girls across broders. The idea that there's no corruption high up the ladder is, methinks, just an illusion, no matter which country we're talking about.

    All that is also a good reason for the press to mostly ignore the problem, especially since the victims are mere "whores." I also don't buy the ideal of free press. At least here in Finland it's blatantly obvious (even if they deny it) that the government does control all the major news outlets and even tabloids, "guiding" them to focus on certain news while ignoring others (Finland-the-ever-so-squeaky-clean-paradise is hardly innocent when it comes to accommodating human traffickers and taking bribes). I don't know how things are in the States or the UK, but I kinda doubt their press is totally free of government influence either.

    Anyway, this was just to say that I'm really not surprised the news @GingerCoffee linked to didn't get much coverage.

    *In this context my reference to the sex industry is not related to all of it, just things like girls forced or coerced into porn (either by people or exceptionally poor circumstances), child porn etc.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The one thing I've learned over the years is that Americans (and probably Westerners in general) only care about terrorist groups and terrorism when it affects them directly. So it doesn't surprise me that not many people know about Boko Haram/Islamic militants in that region and the kidnapped girls.
     
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  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm not surprised, ginger... but i am thoroughly disgusted!

    same goes for all the coverage of the south korean ferry and the efforts expended to recover DEAD BODIES in both cases, versus the lack of attention and effort being expended to find and recover LIVE CHILDREN who are undoubtedly being raped as we speak, and facing an unimaginably horrific future, if they're not found and rescued while still alive...

    all of which is why i have no respect for the human race, or whatever/whoever brought it into existence...
     
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  6. GingerCoffee
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    You can't be serious. This is not only about Americans, very few of whom. by the way, were on flight 370.

    Are there other variables? Yes. Can any of them other than the value of girls explain why there is no worldwide outrage here? Is the jet more valuable than girls? Plane crashes more important to the world that female sex slavery?

    Potential terrorism risks more important if white people can picture it happening to them than if it's something that can't? Sure. But that's a gross oversimplification if you think that is the only key operating variable here.
     
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  7. GingerCoffee
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    So this made me ask, profits or lack of concern about the value of girls. Given what little attention was given to rape in Darfur as a weapon of war, I'm going to look further but I suspect the money made off the sex slave trade is not used in political influence nearly as much as money made in other industries. I don't think it accounts for the lack of world outrage, but surely it's influential in stopping local prosecutions and other measures to stop the travesty continuing.
     
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I wonder if newspapers also consider conspiracy theories more "appropriate" news for the delicate-minded citizens than detailing the systematic rape of women in the Congo, the mutilation of female genitals in Somalia, the fates of the Missing Women of Asia, or human trafficking in Europe.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    Americans (I stick with Americans because I'm not sufficiently familiar with people in other first-world nations) fly. They can identify with something scary happening to a plane. And those things look like solvable problems--more regulations, more engineering, and so on.

    But they refuse to identify with something scary happening to their children. They want to believe that this is about poverty and culture and bad government and other things that won't affect them and their families.

    In fact, I find myself wondering if there might have been more response to the kidnappings if we weren't in the midst of a lot of news about inadequate handling of sexual assault at universities. (And in the military.) Americans are facing the fact that, no, their daughters are not all that safe. And that makes the kidnappings that much scarier, and that gives them that much more motivation to close their eyes to them.
     
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  10. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My guess is both. Like @KaTrian and @ChickenFreak pointed out, it's probably true that fear plays its part in all this. Lots of people are content as long as they don't have to face the evils of the world. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.
    Some of my family are just like that too; they don't even want to hear about the bad things happening in the world much less discuss them, claiming talking about bad things will only do bad, as if their silence somehow helps and as if talking about the issue, spreading awareness of the abuse happening all over the world somehow hurts these girls.

    Guess if even the local incident of a martial arts instructor sexually abusing underage girls (students of his) made the headlines? Or the numerous instances when Finnish business men, family men etc. have gotten caught traveling to Russia and Estonia to have sex with 10-12yo girls who are already prostitutes. No, not our men, they don't do things like that. No, not our daughters, nothing like that could ever happen to them, not here in our cozy little (faux)democracy.
    Fear is a powerful motivator to turn a blind eye.

    It's a problematic issue, sure, but I'm fairly certain the problem still exists simply because those in power have too many good reasons not to fix it.
     
  11. chicagoliz
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    Ah, the eternal lament about what is covered in the news. The plane is covered more simply because anyone who can watch cable news can easily imagine getting on a plane to a major international city, but they cannot imagine themselves as a young girl in an African nation kidnapped from a school they've never heard of and aren't familiar with.

    There are SO many stories that should be covered but aren't. And so many that shouldn't be covered at all, or are worthy only of a passing mention, but are covered ad nauseam.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    The news in the US is a commodity. Not only is the business model all about what things interest the viewing/listening public, but another serious consideration is spending as little as possible on investigative reporting and production. It's relatively cheap and easy to send a reporter and a camera person to Perth and have them hitch a ride on one of the search planes or ships. It's more costly to send a team to Nigeria to cover a complex situation in a country where the government doesn't have full control of all its territory.
     
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  13. GingerCoffee
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    The point of the thread wasn't just about the lack of news coverage. It was about the lack of outrage.

    One can consider that lack of identifying with the victims is playing a major role here. One can consider the lack of interest in a continent where these kinds of massive tragedies are commonplace and that results in people being attenuated to such events.

    I'm merely pointing out one aspect of the problem, and that is the value of girls.
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    I get it, Ginger, and I agree with you. I can't tell you how many times I've been outraged at the lack of outrage over something. I've kind of got outrage burnout.
     
  15. We Are Cartographers
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  16. GingerCoffee
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    It is about the value of girls, Mapmaker. Sex trafficking in particular is almost entirely under the radar. Girls are possessions, they don't count as people in more than half the world.

    I understand what you are saying, I get it. The American at the dinner table pays little attention to thousands of tragedies. I'm not debating that. Boys have been kidnapped on a regular basis and forced to become soldiers in some parts of Africa during various wars they've had and continue to have.

    But on the scale of things, the value of girls is still an overriding reality. This mass kidnapping only illustrates the extent of that reality. I understand how people can dismiss one travesty after another on an individual basis.

    But for me as a woman, the value of girls ... what can I say, it's more painful for me than other tragedies in the world at the moment.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Don't mistake price for value. Price is what the market will bear. Value is intrinsic.

    The market can be despicable, because it can be driven by the worst of the population rather than the median or the best.
     
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  18. GingerCoffee
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    Uhh... Ooo kay. :confused:
     
  19. Acanthophis
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    It's not OK - but honestly - the number is the only thing that makes this a unique situation. They were most likely taken so they can become commodities in the sex trade, as you said. I think outrage at this particular instance would be misplaced, I feel like outrage at the entire slave/sex trade would be better. This story is just one of millions, and those other millions people from all over the world do not care about. There are between 29 and 40 million slaves (sex, labor, etc) across the globe, on each continent, and in nearly every country - this is just another story being neglected by the media, there really is nothing special about this story other than the number.

    People don't really care about this type of story because it technically shouldn't exist, it's a forgotten thing. Slavery is illegal on literally every planet on the globe, Mauritania was the last country to allow it, and that ended in 2009 (I think). You find it weird that people aren't ouraged about this particular story, where I find it weird that people aren't outraged about all of these stories.

    That's just my two-cents.
     
  20. We Are Cartographers
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    People are beginning to pay attention, and it's a good thing. :)
     
  22. Ben414
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    I think the lack of coverage (which I think is related to the lack of outcry) is due to what consumerism news has decided years ago. The public doesn't want to hear about long-term issues such as human trafficking that are dragged out over years and can't be solved quickly. A missing aircraft, on the other hand, can be solved if it is found. A terrorist act or a natural disaster are short-term issues, and they are covered. Poverty in Africa and human trafficking are long-term issues.
     
  23. GingerCoffee
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    200+ kidnapped girls from a boarding school is a single event.
     
  24. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    One day I hope to visit every planet on the globe. Because I didn't know this globe even had planets on it. :D
     
  25. Ben414
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    Yes, but the general issue associated with the specific event is human trafficking. The general issue associated with the missing airplane is merely itself. The news doesn't write much about the people who die daily from starvation in Africa or India as a non-insignificant result of it's long-term status.

    This rule does not define all of the factors that go into "newsworthiness," but I think it at least partially applies here. Your idea may also be correct at the same time; this rule isn't mutually exclusive.
     
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