Sometimes it can feel like you’re not allowed to stand up for a cause because you think you’re unqualified or like your voice doesn’t matter. But let me assure you that your voice does matter and that we need everyone with a heart for change to step up to the plate and advocate. There is room for you in the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation; please don’t let shame and guilt silence your voices, because we need your battle cry. Together we can change the narrative that is being read by our culture, and we can bring freedom to the oppressed and the oppressor alike. We are brothers and sisters, and we cannot continue to stand by while our family members are hurting.
While our chains may be different, men are trapped in bondage just as much as women are. We have all believed the lies of how we should treat each other that have been fed to us, but by joining hands, we can fight back against the darkness. Collectively we have the chance to not only change the way that we relate to each other but the way that society relates as a whole. We cannot do this alone; we never could. I know that some of you may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because you feel like you are at fault, but let me be the first to say that we are all at fault. We have all looked away when we should have helped, we have all bought into the lies of our hypersexualized world, and we are all guilty of walking down a path we never wanted to be on. We’re all messy, and we’re all works in progress with loads of baggage. But each of us also has a unique voice and story that can break through the fog and allow the light to come in.
Guys, you have the fantastic opportunity to be a role model for those around you. We need you to stand up for the poor, the weak, the orphan, and the widow. Our society needs you to show them that the only way to treat women is with respect and honour. Your sons, friends, and coworkers need you to show them what it looks like to be a man who treats each person as sacred, not as something to be consumed. By going against the grain, standing up to your peers, and engaging in conversations with those around you about pornography and sexual exploitation – no matter how uncomfortable it might be – you are able to not only decrease the demand for the industry but shift the lens our culture uses to look at women through. We need you to show those around you that there is another option, one that treats every person as someone worthy of dignity, value, protection, and choice. As the co-founder of Thorn, Ashton Kutcher, said: “Real men don’t buy girls.” No one should be bought, sold, or used for the pleasure of another person, and we are all responsible for how we engage with those around us.
The time has come for us to unite. The time has come for us to stand tall together. The time has come for us to strive alongside one another to ensure freedom for all. The time has come to answer the call. Will you?