Anti-trafficking poster objectifies victims: Sheepshead Bay, New York

As in the strange exhibition with Emma Thompson we saw the other day, anti-trafficking campaign material is often incoherent. This one comes from a bus shelter on Emmons Avenue and East 26th Street, Sheepshead Bay, New York

Notice how the victim is treated here like an object even though the words appear to come from her. Is she meant to be able to read this poster? Probably not, or even to see it. Rather, the message is meant for the eyes of English-reading citizens, presumably to alert them that she might be around somewhere nearby. I do see the point but the poster belongs to a now long tradition that reproduce thoroughly objectifying images in order to complain about objectification. I have met victims of trafficking but no one who liked this kind of advertisement.

2 thoughts on “Anti-trafficking poster objectifies victims: Sheepshead Bay, New York

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Anti-trafficking | Poster | Sheepshead Bay | Victims | Border Thinking on Migration, Trafficking and Commercial Sex [] on

  2. Michelle

    Personally I think anti-trafficking advocates who equate voluntary sex work with violence and victimization are objectifying women, so it wouldn’t surprise me that the propaganda surrounding their beliefs would refelct that. You’ve shown a great way of expressing this point. GREAT blog btw.


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