In Laura Maria Augustine Sex at the Margins, power-knowledge is exercised over individuals by way of controlling institutions and is carried out through such things as punishment, education, and protection. This utilization of power-knowledge as a method to understand “the cult of domesticity and attached ideas of moral reclamation and regulation” was interesting, especially with its application to sex work (Austin 99). A startling example that was illustrated in “Rise of the Social” and thoroughly discussed in class was with respect to women who are active in charity.
Austin points out how a paradox is created because the women involved in hallucination causes are generally from the middle- and upper-class. The question that was whether this was self-police and policing of others was raised. Was it that some women were morally superior? In other words, with relation to sex work or ‘prostitution,’ can it be seen that the women who want freedom and autonomy in some fashion restrain the freedom of “bad women. Moreover, in connection to how women may have felt the need to go out and carve out their own profession, it seems plausible that women’s role in the 18th and 19th century as caregivers in the realm of home was a catalyst in propelling women into charity work. Nevertheless, is Augustine argument still valid and is she perhaps too harsh on the people doing good, considering that her argument is that by doing good someone else is always punished? In general, however, “Rise of Social” seemed to be in some manners disconnected.
The main themes were the victims’ discourse, Faculty’s power- knowledge, and families entering the public sphere. With regards to the Fox News film clip, it was undoubtedly a sensationalists health project that projected sex work in an inherently biased fashion. With a conservative right spin, the clip illustrated a situation that compounded the degree of anger the sex workers experienced by stating how it was a human rights issue as a means to elicit public outrage.
The narrator spun his investigative report with scenes of the women taken with a hidden camera and clips of them talking of their situation. To an uneducated viewer, the film clip would have been successful in communicating and possibly projecting across the narrator’s inherent bias. However, it is important to remember that some of the women interviewed who are involved in sex work may be treating the narrator as a client and telling him the stories he wants to hear in order to get more money.
It is evident that with a thorough analysis that many of the questions the narrator asks would be consider leading, it is clear that some of the sex workers knew what type of answers he was seeking and may have been playing into the role the narrator has designated for her in order to garner sympathy and additional money. The usage of Professor Moon was quite humorous because it was obvious that several portions of her statement were cut out by the abrupt change in frame. Nevertheless, the utilization of academia is an old technique used by the media to lend credibility.
Similar to the undercover interviews with the sex workers, the narrator also uses leading questions to get to what he thinks is wrong with the situation, his inherent bias. With relation to Augustine reading on Faculty’s power- the power of knowledge is the creation of discourses that reinforces the power of institution, the narrator managed to do Just that as he took his investigative report to the State Department asking them to be held accountable which in turn has led to more government enforcement. An interesting question that remains is what is investigative Journalism and should it be inherently biased?
Can it be ever be completely unbiased? As for Modern-Day Comfort Women written by Hughes, Chon and Allergen, nothing could be said in a manner better than what had been stated in Professor Changes response. In the article, Hughes’ believes in the criminal Justice approach, which is less of a solution but more of a band-aid because the cracking down on crime does not mean the crimes will stop occurring. Furthermore, it is still shocking to know that a Journal had published such an article when it was not only outdated but also conflated human trafficking with sex trafficking.
However, following class concussion, it is evident that similar to the Fox News film clip, inherent bias may have played a significant role in both how the research was conducted and cited, as well as, how it the article may have been published given the high standards Journals usually uphold. Overall, this seminar on Globalization of Anti-Trafficking Policy was not only interesting but also invigorating, because the readings and film clip allowed students to use critical analysis to understand how there can be two sides of a story and how inherent bias and Faculty’s power-knowledge plays into the topic of sex work.