Archive for prostitution

The Age Stigma

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2018 by paulthepoke

Psalm 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.

Psalm 86:15 But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and truth.

Featuring Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine McDonald

Finally, let’s touch on the way age factors into people’s categorizations of “worthy versus unworthy victims.” They say the average prostituted person’s life span in the life of prostitution is seven years. If they make it the full seven years, they often end up dead from drug overdose, suicide, or murder. Only a small percent of these individuals will find a way out.

It is also said that the average age of entry into prostitution is around 13. Think about it. If a 13–year–old becomes a prostituted individual and survives seven years, they would only be 20 years old. We, as a society, see a youth in this awful life as a victim, but once they make it to 18, we expect them to somehow break the mental, emotional, and traumatic chains of prostitution and walk away. Once an individual crosses the invisible line of “adulthood,” we no longer view them as victims but as criminals. All compassion or awareness of the horrors they endure seems to disappear at that magical age of 18. Yet it is so much more complicated than that.

child abuse

As I see it, the longer they are in it, the more trauma they have endured and the deeper the hurt. Yet because they didn’t recover at age 15, we say “screw them” when they are 19, or 22, or 36, or older and trying to find a way out. That is not okay. Think about it: Does God place an age limit on His grace in our lives? No, He does not. However, this is not how the majority of our society sees it.

Why is that? Who are we, as a society, as people of faith, and as service providers to determine what age someone is recoverable to begin their healing process? If God sustained them three days, three years, or 33 years in a horrific life of commercial sexual exploitation, then perhaps we should embrace God’s love for them and reflect that love as His children to His children.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Read more at…

Advertisements

The Bias Master

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on October 12, 2018 by paulthepoke

Revelation 18:11, 13b And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore…  and slaves, that is, human souls.

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine Clarity McDonald

Filming for Christine’s autobiographical movie “Cry Purple” started this month, October 2018. Coming soon to a theater near you.

Prostituted individuals are not only bound by their exploiters, their possible addictions, and the purchasers (those willing to objectify them for their own sexual desires); they are also bound by the biases and judgments that we hold over them.

A human being pays for the possession of another’s body—maybe for moments or for hours. A living, breathing person with a history, a family, a story, feelings, and thoughts is purchased and ruled over, objectified, and commodified. The purchaser knows that their money brings the power to get what they want. It’s a sick issue of
dominating control, as I see it.

sex slaves

But is that how we are used to thinking of it? Stop for a moment and evaluate your own reaction. What comes to mind when you hear the word prostitute? Are the terms that pop into your mind filled with love, grace, and genuine sorrow? Or are they filled with judgment, disdain, and a “got–what–he/she–deserved” mentality? Do you picture the victim of unspeakable injustice, or do you picture a criminal?

Read more at…

Market Forces: Demand is the Problem

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2018 by paulthepoke

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine works for legislative change in Missouri metro areas and across the state.

Regardless of how a person ends up in prostitution, one fact is for certain: the purchasers and predators possess the power. Prostitution exists because a demand for sex exists, because purchasers are willing to pay for it. And predators are willing to procure it.

Would you be surprised to know that the purchasers (commonly referred to as the “johns”) tend to be mostly upper middle class, married men? Most are educated. This stands in stark contrast to the position of those being sold. It is, no doubt, a power play.

It is not just the purchasers who are the problem. Ultimately, it’s a story of predators seeking the vulnerable, the weak, the impoverished—the ones others have forgotten. There is an equal evil in those who see people strictly as a product to be sold. These predators home in on their targets, invest time to build trust, and lay a foundation of control. They are often in no hurry, as they know it is an investment. Just as a hunter lies quietly waiting for his kill, a trafficker invests time waiting for the key moment to expose the reality of what he is. By then, it is too late for the prey.

bling

With all of these factors combined, once a person is in the world of prostitution, there is little chance of a way out. They are stuck, at the mercy of greedy individuals who look at them as objects of selfish pleasure and plump coffers. To be stuck in a situation with little (or no) power to get out is to be the victim, not the perpetrator,
regardless of how you arrived there in the first place.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Read more at…

Prostitution & Oppression

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on September 21, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine has helped author Federal block grant dollars to states for substance abuse.

Joshua 6:17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.

Prostitution: Is it the oldest profession? Or, perhaps more accurately, the oldest oppression of women? I am very sure that the farmers of the times existed before the prostitutes.

The narrative is age–old: those with power wielding their power over the powerless, taking another human being’s sexuality as a product for the purchasing for their own pleasure, casting them aside when they are done.

Not only do the oppressors, the predators, the purchasers cast these individuals side, but so does the rest of society. They are deemed unwanted. Inferior. Expendable. Forgotten.

prostitution girls globe

Photo: Girls Globe

Such people are the unseen backdrop of our world. They are all around you. In the drugstore. On the street corner. At the abortion clinic. Hurting, pleading, silently begging someone to notice, someone to care, someone to offer hope. But most people don’t see them. And when they do see them, instead of offering hope, they offer judgment. Instead of caring, they look with disdain. Instead of reaching out, they turn away.

It is our judgment of these individuals that gives programs, government, and even churches the power to walk away. People take vocal stances that further stigmatize and bury these individuals beneath labels—yet they do so without understanding  the deep complexities of human trafficking. There is a profound disparity between the hopeless and the rest of society. This disparity only perpetuates the cycle and prevents real, impactful intervention.

If we commit to a better understanding of what life can be like for these individuals, maybe we can better connect and embrace people more holistically. Maybe we can look without judgmental eyes and, regardless of age, race, or the form of exploitation suffered, love the hurting with open arms and a mindset that each of us is worthy of safety, hope, love, and grace.

Matthew 1:5-6, 16 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king… of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

Read more at…

Love, Condoms, & Moral Indignation

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is the current Director of Outreach, Advocacy and Curriculum for Restoration House.

http://restorationhousekc.com/

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. -God

A few years ago, I operated a street outreach. We went to the streets and parks where I myself had existed for nearly two decades. We took sandwiches and basic hygiene items to the women and men in that area.

I was contacted by a TV news show who wanted to join us. The news crew had done food service during the holidays, but always in an artificial environment. They had never actually gone to the streets where the many who avoided the long feeding lines dwelled.

We brought bean burritos from Taco Bell that night, as well as water and condoms. As I handed the condoms out, the reporter stopped everything. She turned off the microphone.

I knew the deal. I had heard it before from women of faith who had joined us on these outreaches. The ladies who had so much church. I suppose, that they forgot about the human in us all.

I listened as they ranted all the reasons she couldn’t be a part of us giving out condoms. I had heard all the reasons, so I’d just hear them again. My mind raced, thinking maybe she had a new reason. She didn’t; nobody ever did.

“We are promoting their actions of prostitution” or “We can’t promote prostitutes to sell their bodies out here” were reasons commonly cited. But I was geared up and ready. Goodness knows I had given this speech at least fifty times.

 

If you are one of those individuals who might have concerns about giving out condoms in ministry work, then please continue to read this. Give this a fair shot of thought. Consider for a moment that maybe your moral indignation isn’t as productive as you think it is.

We all know by now that I was prostituted. As a formerly prostituted person, my voice provides a different perspective. During my exploitation, I was rarely in a position to go to the store to purchase condoms. If I was working for my “man” or “pimp,” my priority was to make my funds as fast as I could so I could eat and avoid drama. To state it bluntly, condoms were a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon for a trick or John to pay an extra twenty bucks to have sex with you without a condom. Statistics tell us that about 68% of all tricks are married or in a “committed” relationship. Do you think their loved ones at home have any clue they are paying for a prostitute to have sex with them, much less without a condom?

The prostitute might turn twenty dates in a 24-hour period, not to mention the times she has been raped. Keep in mind that her man or pimp has other girls he is having sex with – other prostitutes who are having unprotected sex with many others. Are you doing the math here?

A girlfriend or wife learns she is pregnant, and during this joyous announcement from her doctor she is also informed of another piece of highly unexpected – but far from joyous – news that she is now HIV positive. This is an extra “gift” contracted from her husband or her boyfriend – the john who purchased sex from a prostitute. Of course, this means he is infected as well. So, stop and think of how this woman and her unborn child’s life are forever affected by the man’s urge to purchase sex from a prostitute.

Please note. I am not saying all prostitutes have HIV. I worked the streets for nearly two decades and am HIV free! But I have friends who have died of AIDS and some who live with it daily.

This is yet another reason we must end the purchase of human beings. This cycle of exploitation and suffering affects not only the purchaser and the prostituted individual. There are also innocent victims who are affected who play no role in the event yet end up suffering from it.

If we are truly attempting to connect to the humanity of this complex issue, then offering condoms for the prostituted persons we encounter is not only responsible help; it is loving help. Withholding something that could save a life simply because of our moral objections to its use doesn’t stop the activity. Nor does it convict the buyer or seller of sex. All it does is place additional conditions on love and help, therefore devaluing both love and help until neither is recognizable.

HIV is only one of many damaging effects these acts have on unintended victims. The collateral damage abounds in so many ways we can’t easily see. If we are going to truly help, we must be careful of misapplying our moral objections in ways that further compound, rather than help, the problem.

Our ministry is not only for the buyer and seller, but the unintended victims whose lives can be unknowingly changed forever by someone else’s choice to pay for another human being for their own sexual gratification.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

Collateral Damage

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is appointed by the Missouri Attorney General for the Trafficking Task Force.

“For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation.” – Nelson Mandela

Collateral damage is what we call the loss, injury or victims incurred by an action or event who were never intended to be involved. Many times, when we venture out in a helping capacity, we have our sights squarely focused on the population we serve. Yet oftentimes, those individuals we serve touch the lives of many we may never encounter.

Compassion and love at their best grow and extend indefinitely. The things we do out of love for others can have a massive ripple effect across time and space. Likewise, the things we don’t do can carry greater, far-reaching ramifications. What if one simple, yet sometimes controversial, moment of service could save a life? Conversely, what if a misapplied moral objection costs a life?

When we consider human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution, we tend to recognize the purchaser/exploiter as well as the person being used. However, there is another population that is inadvertently affected yet rarely lands on our radar. Sometimes our narrow view of the impact and our tightly-clung-to moral objections have unintended consequences.

human trafficking

When we think of serving and how we serve, the most important thing we can do is put on the love of Christ and remember how much He loves and would give all for just one person. We have to ask ourselves, is making a moral statement that will inevitably be lost more important than the individual?

Jesus was well known in His day for spending His time with those viewed as the biggest “sinners.” When the religious leaders of the day verbally lashed against Him for this, He told a parable about a shepherd who had one hundred beloved sheep and one ran away. In the parable, the shepherd left the 99 to go after the one. The Son of God did not withhold His presence from the “sinners” to make a moral statement. Instead, He left us all with a clear example to follow. He made it crystal clear that every one of those “sinners” was invaluable to Him.

Even while knowing His days were limited, Jesus didn’t spend His time with His family and loved ones. Instead He chose to spend time among the untouchables of His day. And though He – the perfect, Holy, God of the universe – had many moral objections to their actions, He didn’t let those moral objections become the focus or stand in the way of an opportunity to touch their hearts.

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

 

Be Living Water

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2018 by paulthepoke

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… -Jesus

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is a Member of the Missouri State Advisory Council for Behavioral Health & Substance Disorders.

Trigger warning. Do you see them? The unseen all around you?

So yesterday we did street outreach. Every time I hear these words from women when I offer them food…

“I am starving, I have not eaten in days” or “I have been trying to figure out when I was gonna be able to eat again.”

I hear the almost tears as they say thank you for the food. I continually pray I never forget all those years I was hungry. I was just wanting someone to see me, to see my pain, see my hopelessness, my longing to be cared about. I just wanted my simple humanity to be noticed.

There are times when we all want to slip into crowds unnoticed. But there is still a part of us that deeply longs to be known and seen and cared for. Jesus offers this to believers. Being known by the Creator of the Universe is the most profound “knowing” we could possibly experience.

However, the world around us is full of broken individuals who feel invisible because they don’t yet know Christ. The rest of humanity either ignores them or only sees them when they can be used.

water well

In John Chapter 4, we read the story of Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The most profound aspect of the story isn’t that Jesus calls her out for being married multiple times. Nor is it that He knows that the man she is currently living with isn’t her husband. What is profound is that He truly knew her. He saw her. Because Jesus was able to see her. When He offered her living water, she believed.

We claim to feel moved by the hurts and sufferings of others. Yet we fail to truly see those who are hurting as individuals. Our efforts to relieve suffering or bring healing fail. Sometimes, such efforts even do more harm.

God doesn’t ask us to take on the world, but to offer the world hope. We are His ambassadors to a hurting world. Being intentional and thoughtful in our interactions can go a long way in offering hope to those in our sphere of influence. What if we open our hearts to Him? Let Him help us see those around us as He does.

Each and every soul on this planet was fearfully and wonderfully made. Each one is a treasure to the One we love most. He is calling us to see them as precious treasures too.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch

%d bloggers like this: