This being Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I think I should take time to reflect. MLK was a great man, and there are tons of quotes that I am sure many people are familiar with. One of the quotes that I have begun to reflect on recently is
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
I obviously do not live my life in silence. I try to shine light on things that matter. It is a difficult path to take, especially when there are so many people against you. I try to look at things from all points of view. When I started this film, I had no idea where I personally stood on the issue of prostitution. Now when I read articles or editorials in the paper, I don’t know how I can remain silent.
Just last week, the Providence Journal had an editorial about Rhode Island’s legal prostitution. I read the paper, and think to myself, just because an “expert” says something does it make it fact? Donna Hughes said “Rhode Island will soon be the sex industry capital of the United States.” That just doesn’t seem to jive with me.
It seems like everyone uses propaganda to prove their point. I actually got into doing this film because I heard that exact same thing from a priest when I was a student at Providence College. So one of the first things I looked at was advertising, and The Providence Phoenix had about half the ads as The Boston Phoenix. In Providence, prostitution is legal, in Boston it is illegal. I have followed the erotic section in the papers since 2005, there has been no change in the prostitution laws in either state, but the amount of ads in both have grown, with Boston two to three times larger than Providence. (If Donna Hughes was right, wouldn’t the erotic section in Providence grow at a faster rate?)
I digress, lets get back to MLK. Is there ever a good time to remain silent? It seems at some points, silence has been forced upon me. Now, I have recently been asked by someone in California to work towards unionizing the sex workers in RI. I never wanted to actually get involved in prostitution, I just wanted to make a film, but I do think that making the film opened up my eyes to so many things. How can I remain silent on something that does matter, even if it only matters to a few?