Celebrities Join Forces for "Real Men" Campaign Against Sex Trafficking

The latest Hollywood cause, spearheaded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, is, apparently, child sex trafficking. Although you wouldn't know it from the series of lighthearted videos they hope will turn viral (one of the ads was posted on Funny or Die). Various celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Sean Penn, and Jamie Foxx star, showing how "real men" behave, with the tag line: "Real men don't buy girls."

Now it's not my wish to disparage an obviously well-intentioned political campaign, especially when it aims to take on a serious issue like human trafficking and sexual slavery. It is estimated that two million children are enslaved in the sex industry globally. According to the U.S. Department of Education, human trafficking occurs in all 50 states.

But what seems obvious to me is that the ads are meant to earn a laugh first and question a male viewer's manhood second. Is this really sending a message to end sex slavery? A man who prefers to "buy a girl" is not any less than a man -- he's a pedophile. And what about the young boys who can equally fall victim to sexual slavery?

Just as discomforting to me is how little the celebrity spokespersons from this foundation seem to understand the complexity of human trafficking. According to the website demiandashton.org (DNA):
DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Call me pessimistic, but somehow I don't think creating a hit video on "Funny or Die" is going to achieve such lofty goals. And when I read in the news about severe public funding cuts being made to women's shelters and rehabilitation centers for victims, I wonder just how much of those thousands to millions of dollars spent on ads could have gone toward donations to social programs. But then again I guess donations aren't as sexy as producing an ad featuring Justin Timberlake.
Kutcher recently told CNN: "Sex trafficking is an elastic trade. If you can raise the price for sex you can actually reduce the demand. As you reduce the demand that raises the price.
"[That means] you can, ultimately, put it out of business, and the way to do that is by attacking the demand because the supply is endless."
Actually, Kutcher couldn't be more off point. I'm not sure the former "Punk'd" host is familiar with global sex tourism, but it serves as a major boon to communities worldwide, especially in places like Thailand, proving that those seeking underage sex will seek it out, no matter the cost.

Let's hope this new celebrity endeavor actually donates generously to the victims it seeks to fight for...and that we aren't just being "punk'd."