Not literally, but figuratively.
I’m working on that post about trafficking in women that I wanted to do for International Women’s Day and Blog Against Sexism Day.
Talk about biting off more than you can chew! Holy crap, there is a GIHUGIC amount of material out there, but I’m still finding several problems with nearly all of it.
1. The vast majority of material is secondary source material. Though some of it does in fact give credit to primary sources, actually finding those primary sources is rather difficult. It seems a good portion of it was done before the mid 1990s and doesn’t seem to be online at all. What’s really frustrating is finding references to literature by an author’s name, the title, and the year, but not where (i.e. in what journal or publication) it was published.
2. Even some of what would by reference appear to be primary source material turns out to be secondary source material. So I read Bob’s 30 page article and Bob references an article by Joanne. When I finally find Joanne’s 75 page article, I read it all and it turns out to be based on Fred’s article. Fred’s 90 page article is difficult to find, but when I actually find and read it all, it’s just a review of Sally’s article. Very frustrating.
3. When I eventually find the actual primary research, it’s useless. I’m surprised at one thing in particular, and that’s the nearly universal tendency of research on the topic of human trafficking to be infused with a great deal of opinion and assumption of the conclusion, and assumption of facts not in evidence. I guess a quick synopsis goes something like “we interviewed 250 women sold into prostitution in Cambodia, and 85% of them said they would like to leave the business and 67% say they have been raped, assaulted, abused, etc., therefore prostitution is bad and pornography is slavery”.
Now, I’m a huge believer in the mantra “If you want to know something about cars, ask a mechanic, and if you want to know something about science, ask a scientist,” but does anyone else see the problem with the logic above?
And 4. – much of the primary source material still never gets around to addressing human trafficking, but rather just rants on and on about how horrible the sex industry is in all its forms.
I’m still working on it, but this is going to take a while.