Letter to the Editor: Cartoon disrespects survivors

By Bianca Enedina Martinez

Student Services

I am writing regarding a cartoon included in Volume 75, Issue 6 of ELAC Campus News, distributed on October 18.

First off, I love reading the Campus News and think you all do a great job covering a variety of important topics on and off campus.

When going through this specific issue, my attention was grabbed by the story on sex trafficking.

I was happy that the story was included, as I think sex trafficking is an important topic to expose, but I was really disturbed by the graphic that accompanied the story.

While I acknowledge that the illustrator, Jorge Vazquez, has the right to exercise his artistic freedom, I felt as though the imagery belittled the compelling story that accompanied it, and I believe the editor of the newspaper should have exercised better judgment.

A visual of some data might have been more appropriate. There are a variety of other options that would have been less troubling.

The cartoon, a medium that lends itself to the depictions of cute animals or super heroes, depicts a naked woman blindfolded in a cage, with a man outside the cage holding money and looking in at her.

The story explains that sex trafficking, and human trafficking in general, do not necessarily meet the stereotypes that are often thought of and depicted. But this cartoon depicts those exact stereotypes.

A naked, hairless, sightless and helpless woman caged by an overweight hairy man in a dungeon.

The story tells of a woman who was trafficked from the time she was 12 until she was 20 by her father, and nothing in this image speaks to the resilience or power of that story.

Nothing in this image honors the survivors of human trafficking and in my opinion, it actually further objectifies and disrespects them.

Bianca Enedina Martinez

Student Services

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