Sasza Lohrey: Hello, Benji, welcome to the show.
Benjamin Nolot: Hi, Sasza. It’s great to be on the show with you.
Sasza Lohrey: We’re so excited to have you here today. And I’m struggling with how much context to give our listeners. But basically, Benji does an incredibly diverse range of work from his NGO he works with and has founded two partnerships to film short films, full length, documentaries, etc. And I first came across your work as recommended. Have friend to the film liberated, which is on Netflix. And so that film is kind of where I’d like to start our conversation today. And that film opens with a quote from William Shakespeare. And it says, The destiny of the world is determined by the stories it loves, and believes in. And so to kind of open the floor to you, I’d love for you to start by just telling us, in your opinion, how powerful stories are, whether true are the ones we tell ourselves and how they shape our experiences and our culture.
Benjamin Nolot: Oh, yeah, that’s a great question. And I think a good place to start for this conversation. As we dug into the issues that are brought forth in the documentary Liberated, we really started to better understand just how significant the role of story is. in shaping culture, and shaping people’s identity, values, worldview, perception of themselves. And so yeah, that became a very formative theme for us in the film, is to explore the stories of our culture today. And how those cultures are, are shaping our identity. And so the way I think about is like, as we grow up, and specifically, as we enter those pre adolescent adolescent years, we start to look out at the world around us to understand our idea of the world and who we are in the world and the things that will be expected of us. And it’s the stories that are being told in culture that shape our conception of who we are. And so I think that’s yet such a critical part of understanding our development as a species. And this is something that as you look back in history, we can see over millennia since Essentially this inception of the world how stories have played an integral part of shaping our society. And I think the thing that for us is unique in this generation that we’re a part of, is that in previous generations, stories were passed down in various means heavy emphasis on or the passing down of oral traditions and oral stories. But the main thing is that a society could dictate or determine who were the storytellers, the people who are in those roles that would pass on these stories to us and so it could be a village Sage or some other respectable figure in the in the community, whether it be a the head of a school or a town pastor or some wise Sage type person that society would look to. And this has gone on for millennia. And the stories were concerned with the betterment of society. The idea of society is that we as a people have decided that it’s better to do it together than alone. And and so these people cared about how to make that work. And so intrinsically woven into these stories were values that would protect relationships and protect the individuals in that society. But our capacity for storytelling or the role of storyteller has really been usurped over the last 40 5060 years through the emergence of corporate media entities. So the music industry, the television industry, the film industry, the porn industry, these massive media, corporations and entities have really assumed now that role of storyteller and so even for me raising my three kids, I understand that It’s not simply the stories that I would choose to tell, that are going to socialize my kids. And when I say socialized, I mean the process by which they will interpret the stories in the construction of identity, worldview values, and so on. So I understand that I will be in competition with these other storytellers of our culture today that I may or may not choose to be influencing my children. And there’s a whole different motivation for these large corporate media entities, in terms of the stories that they’re telling and why they’re telling them. And so these people are motivated by a bottom line by financial profits. And so I think that it just sets up a culture in which we have a whole different set of challenges now and how we socialize our children into their coming of age and into adulthood. And so Some of those issues are brought forth and liberated. And it’s such a vast subject that I feel like, if it’s a vast, vast Mosaic, we’re looking at like one corner of it. But we felt that that was a really important theme in the film to contextualize and underlie some of the other activities that you are seeing, you know, kind of being on the front lines of hookup culture. Yeah, I mean, those are just a few thoughts on story.
Sasza Lohrey: Yeah, as you were speaking, about how this has changed over time, and how the media more and more has taken on this role of being the storyteller we look to, I think we all know, to some extent, at least, nowhere near probably the truth, the extent to which the media and anything be it from also politics, religion, these others small subconscious influences shape us all, especially in our formative years. But as you were talking, I was thinking, where is it that you learn about anything from a first kiss? To how to ask somebody out to anything sex related for sure, probably, but even certain things is how to act around your friends or at a party. These are stories we hear from other people in their youth, but they’re not really stories or getting by any older or perhaps wiser source. There’s this kind of gray area and I think, one a lot of adults think and in some cases might know that younger people won’t listen to them. But I think a lot of times that’s especially if it’s approached in the same ways, but there’s just kind of this blank canvas that we’re left with as younger people, which is just painted on by The media and the stories and lies that they tell us and then the stories, oftentimes, unintentionally inaccurate by the other people around us. But in terms of coming from people who have been through that or coming from a parental or a mentor, figure, it seems as though that kind of source in building that picture, and that story that we buy into is pretty absent.
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah, it’s such an interesting point that you bring up this idea of, how do we learn about a first kiss? I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone post that question. And it’s kind of I mean, it kind of just put me on tilt a little bit, because when you put it into that kind of a simple framework, it makes you realize, yeah, and this, like, really palpable way, how devoid our culture is Have any kind of healthy sexual education, because the conversation is really like, they start from zero. And then they end up online and watching, oftentimes the most hardcore body punishing graphic, intense sexual experiences through pornography. I mean, it’s they go from a one, or a zero to 100. That’s how that’s a lot of people’s introduction into the idea of sexuality. And even beyond that, I think about just a lot of the notions that I’ve heard put forth about sexual education and ways of going about that. And it’s just an interesting thought this idea of how to educate somebody about a first kiss. I mean, I was on Twitter the other day and I saw something where at a grade school they had brought somebody in of a certain sexual orientation and a certain gender identity that these folks were parading themselves. In a highly sexualized manner in front of these children, and the idea was to be educating them about this particular sexual orientation as protect your particular gender identity. And I thought that’s, that’s kind of a, an extreme again to go from a zero to a 90. And that’s our idea of how we’re going to bridge them in. So I don’t know, I’m just kind of like, processing your question and this idea of how do we talk to kids about a first kiss even? And so yeah, needless to say that I think we are so deficient in this area. In our culture, we’re so deficient of a sexual education. And there’s things I’ve heard you talk about in previous podcasts about this idea, and, and the thing that stood out to me it was, I’d heard you previously talk about how this is something that is so central to virtually every adult human life, and yet it’s the thing that we just avoid talking about and I wonder why that is. Yeah, like I don’t, I don’t understand why we would leave something so significant, just so undealt with. And it seems like it’s setting up a context for a lot of harm for young people who are, again, are going launched from the zero to 100. It just feels like that could be, you know, and is damaging.
Sasza Lohrey: I think that what must be one of the reasons that we kind of whether we are aware of it or not perpetuate this story in this absence of information, I have to think is because people don’t realize the damage it does. They might not even realize it’s going on. And you know how much we paint that canvas with this other information rather than just having a blank canvas when people ask me why I started BB xx very, very long. story, but part of it was growing up in the Bay Area. And I went to high school in San Francisco and I had no education at all, no emotional education, no sex education, not at home, not at school and realizing that instead of as I would have thought I was left with just this blank slate that would eventually be filled in. I had absorbed all these misconceptions and very unhealthy and tragic perhaps, views on on things including identities, sexuality, relationships, and so once other people perhaps can come to that realization as well that it will get filled in that story will be told. So we need to work on committing ourselves to deciding what story we want to tell where’s the truth? How can we change that story and how can we shape it make it better for others, but I think part of that comes in realizing that the most damaging things are the things left unsaid. And I was just talking to somebody the other day about this. And I was actually referring to loss and grief and losing the opportunity to tell people the things that are most important, and how we pass up these opportunities. But in this conversation, it makes me realize that it’s even more broad than that. And I do think that the things that are left unsaid can be some of the most damaging.
Benjamin Nolot: Absolutely, that’s a great way of saying it. And I think a really helpful way of thinking about it, because if we understand that, then it creates the clarity and the motivation to be intentional about not leaving those conversations on set or undealt with and I think I’ll just throw one idea out there. As we’re kind of batting this around is I think that parents feel like part of their job is to protect their child’s innocence and to protect their their childhood. And I think that some parents don’t want to cross this bridge or touch on this issue with their children for fear that it would somehow disrupt their children’s innocent utopia. And I’m kind of questioning where that comes from this idea that sex has to do with the loss of innocence for a lot of people. And I’m just kind of thinking about this for the first time right now. So my thoughts are abundantly clear, but I do think that it has something to do with being informed by puritanical ideas of sexuality. I know the purity culture movement has been a really powerful influence in this country. And I think there can be some positives that are taken away from that. But I also think that it instills in people a sense of guilt, and this kind of your idea of purity being either that you’re in or you’re out, you’re either pure or you’re impure. And it kind of surrounds the idea of sex with this stigma. And therefore, I think maybe creates in a lot of people an unwillingness then to have a conversation with their kids for fear, again, of disrupting their innocent utopia. And maybe also because a lot of people have had negative experiences with sexuality. But in my estimation, it is one of the most pure and beautiful and incredible aspects of our humanity. I have such a high view of sex, this idea that we can become that intimate with somebody is so powerful, and so yeah, I think If we reverence human sexuality at that level, and we can take it out of the realm of talking to my children about this is going to disrupt their innocent utopia, that maybe that will enable us to begin to have more age appropriate conversations about this subject matter that could better prepare them for, like you said, the first kiss, and then whatever else, you know, comes as they grow and as they mature, but certainly I will say this, regardless of what anybody out there is agreeing or disagreeing with, I will say this is that surely the way we’re doing is not right. Surely there’s a better way than letting them go from zero to 100 or throwing some people in their classroom that are just going to it, they’d have no paradigm to even interpret or understand what’s happening. So anyhow, I think it’s a good conversation.
Sasza Lohrey: One of the last things you said kind of going from zero to 100 in that age appropriate talks, but I think That, in itself is an obstacle that probably stops a lot of parents what is age appropriate, when, but there is no age too young to start teaching a child about the value in another human being about the complexity of power, dynamics, and about respect. And there is so much, if not everything that comes back to those things to empathy, respect, and valuing oneself and others, that we could teach that at any age and should at every age, and I think without alone, we could really get to the source of a lot of these issues. I also think that in terms of parents wanting to protect their children and maintain what you said as the innocent utopia to remind people that doesn’t exist and the influence will happen. I think back in the day, maybe there were people who were read books. And that’s how you get information from other friends. And yes, it was probably more innocent. And then before you had the internet, you had Cruel Intentions, the movie where maybe people were learning about things. But even if we’re trying to keep young people or any age, you know, in this bubble of religion, be it. The Bible is also not a good place to learn about respect and how to value women. So I really think we kind of need to re examine again, the stories we’re telling ourselves that we’re maintaining this, you know, their innocence that we’re protecting them, because the fact of the matter is that that information will be filled in one way or another and it will be by one of these huge range Other ideas or sources that probably aren’t, as you mentioned, the best solution that we could be dealing with.
Benjamin Nolot: I was just gonna say, the reason that we’re having this conversation is because we have a high view of humanity and a high view of sexuality. And I think it’s important to keep that framework around the conversation because when people hear a conversation like this, the idea of of sex, and all this can trigger feelings of awkwardness or shame, or, oh, you’re just criticizing What’s going on? You’re being critical of the culture and you kind of get the eye rolls and things like that. And the thing that I always when I’m engaging, especially with young adults about is like, hey, like, I’m not providing a critique, taking it back to liberate it. I’m not providing a critique of our culture because I have a low view of humanity or a low view of sexuality. It’s the exact opposite. I have a high view of sexuality and a high view of humanity. And that for me, and I know that’s the same for you is driving a conversation about how do we do this better. And I want to just read a quote here from an Italian poet named Gioconda belly, she said, sexuality surrounds us like a dangerous aura. The same reverence that is given to the spirit is not given to the flesh. We have had a sexual revolution. But the sexual revolution only has made sex more pervasive. It hasn’t granted the level of reverence and respect that it should have. And for me, that is such a key and central point to all this is that, on some level, we can approach the subject of sexuality quite subjectively, and it could mean something different to 100 different people. But I think At the end of the day, I think that if we don’t approach this subject with a measure of reverence, and a measure of respect, then we’re losing out. And in the making of liberated, the thing that became so clear to me, was the absolute disrespect for this idea of human sexuality where it’s literally treated like trash. And, and, and I just, you know, don’t believe that that is going to help advance human relationships, even the experience of pleasure in the realm of human sexuality. And so I think for me, that’s like a really good starting point. When we when we bring up this whole issue of like, what is sex mean? And does it mean anything to you? And I had people vehemently arguing with me on some of the most regarded academic college campuses and universities around the world vehemently arguing with me about their rights to hookup culture and their right to casual sex and they’re right. And I can respect that. But at the same time, it continually brought us back to this idea of what the sexual human sexuality mean to us and doesn’t mean anything. And so, I think that’s something that’s good to wrestle with and get to grapple with in this whole conversation. And, you know, like you said, I mean, a lot of us still in this country are looking to the Bible, as a manual for every aspect of life. And when you read through the Bible, it’s one instance of sexual brokenness and violation after the other after the other after the other. I went through and, and I just a while back and just kind of read through in one sitting the whole book of Genesis and it literally reads like one instance of sexual violation after the other that had huge consequences and the development of the And so the idea that we can just leave this to Well, we’ll find out about that in the Bible, or we’ll find out about that over here, we’ll find this. I don’t know, I’m just so grateful for a podcast like this where you’re broaching this conversation and that we can wrestle with these things, because I think it’s really helpful.
Sasza Lohrey: Thank you for coming. I am very thankful for all the work you’re doing as well. And so, as we realize, I haven’t given any context to the film yet. So if anybody hasn’t seen the film, please go watch it after this because it’s quite impactful. It is terrifying and deeply profound at the same time. And so I remember kind of the first conversation where a friend recommended it to me, and the way she recommended it, so it’s about spring break. It’s following college students on spring break in Cabo in Mexico, and kind of that quintessential Spring Break culture and she just described it as kind of just this cultural examination of both men and women striving so hard to be something that they’re not inside. And this kind of cognitive dissonance between the struggle to be something they think they should be. But that inside perhaps, they don’t actually identify with and so kind of this charade and this guidebook put on by the media that people try to follow and kind of the sadness that ensues as a result. And so it’s just a documentary and follows several students on this spring break. And while it talks a lot about kind of hookup culture, casual sex, what I want to say is that I don’t have anything against casual sex but what this movie deals with, is not casual sex in the sense of You know, that could be anything that could be somebody you’re dating, but you know, not going to be in a long term relationship. But that could be a one night stand that could be so contextual, and I think is different for everybody else. What we’re talking about is sex, where people are disconnected from themselves from their values, from their boundaries, from the values and boundaries of the other person, and just kind of disconnected from viewing each other as something more than an object or a means to an end. They are disconnected from seeing them as an equal and, as we mentioned, kind of totally disconnected from respect and what that means. And so I have no problem with casual sex. I do think that good sex of any kind, no matter how casual is only good if there is intimacy and connection Then be that with somebody you just met, and have connected with, on through an interesting conversation or even just physically, but there are emotions. And there are kind of values that provide a baseline in order for you to have a connection, and that baseline can be admiration, respect, curiosity, gratitude, but this is a very different concept and what is portrayed in this movie is so fascinating and disturbing because it is in a space completely outside of that. And so again, I’m not making any judgments on we’re not trying to necessarily say sex always has to be sacred, but I would say it does need to be connected and what is sex without intimacy and connection, no matter how brief and what this movie does and where I kind of found myself wondering is, it’s not as if the people say throughout the movie, they keep reiterating sex means nothing. Sex means nothing. It doesn’t mean anything anymore. I can’t say how many times that is repeated throughout the movie. But what I came to think is that sex for them has actually come to means so much. It’s the reason they’re on this trip. It’s the reason they’re acting the way they do. It’s their goal for every night. It’s the lens through which they’re viewing other people’s sex has actually come to mean so much to them.
Benjamin Nolot: That as a consequence, it ends up being nothing events of meaning nothing, and more than meaning nothing being nothing, because what behavior they engage in to me, I wouldn’t call sacks and so I actually have some notes where I might, you know, I write What is it? I wanted to call it something else. And so it’s like exchange of bodily fluids, you know, what is this? They’re doing the only thing I, I wrote just these are very brief notes. I was like, pump and dump question mark, you know, there’s just, there’s no for me while sex, you know doesn’t need to be of the most important or sacred by any means this is not text, this is something else.
It’s something that I wrestled with before this idea in our culture, sexist, themed. I once heard somebody say that your God is whatever is the master passion of your life. And if you look out across our culture today, it certainly seems that sex is the God of our culture. It is the steamed as kind of the pinnacle or the apogee of the human experience, and is mostly only ever depicted as a good thing. This idea that sex can be bad is very rarely Talking about so it’s just glorified and exalted. And it’s the end all be all of the human experience. There’s no qualifiers put placed around it, it’s just like, the more that you can do it, the better. And yet, so but like you said, it’s while at the same time becoming everything. We’ve also completely stripped it of all meaning so that it means absolutely nothing. And yeah, it’s just this really weird, unhealthy relationship that I think we have as a culture with sex and that the environment we went into, puts a microscope on that and kind of an exaggerated way where you really get to see in a microcosm, the kind of logical unfolding of that reality into these extreme examples of what’s going on and how damaging that can be for people and To just kind of take it a step further, again, we can debate about the subjective meaning of sex one to another. But when it crosses over into the realm of sexual violation, I think then there’s something that we can all find agreement on is that we don’t want that to happen. We don’t want our sexual experiences or the sexual experiences for our children as they grow up to involve sexual violation. And when you look at the trajectory of the story of women and the story of men and our culture and the way that that’s socializing them into these conceptions of gender and sexuality, they’re developing their ideas of gender and sexuality. The collision point is a culture of sexual violation. And so we went on one of these trips, thinking that this would be a side point on a larger documentary The sexual culture in America. So we go on this trip, and we’re just expecting to capture young adult attitudes about sex and this heightened sexual environment, you know, grown up watching MTV spring break, we thought this would be a perfect environment to go into just to get people in an uninhibited way, sharing their ideas about this. Well, on the last day that we were there in the last afternoon, we ran into a situation where we saw this group of women who were being sexually violated. And we left wondering, you know, is that part of the normal experience for young women that go down to spring break? So we decided to go back the next year and further investigate. We ended up filming for I think, five years, it could have been six years at Spring Break every year. And during that time, we didn’t meet a single young woman who hadn’t been sexually violated during her time at Spring Break. And so I think that you have to put the two together. If you just bring up the issue of sex, they will immediately Doesn’t mean that and it could be different for you and be different for me or, okay, that’s all fair game, we can have those conversations but you have to at some level include the idea of agency sexual agency and whether or not that is being violated. And because that’s a different reality, and our sexual serenity is a very fragile thing. And it can be damaged or disrupted, you know, by something as simple as urges that are expressed towards somebody or a cat call or something like that can can be disruptive but imagine the tsunami of what happens to a person’s soul and sexual serenity when they’re being groped and grabbed and and much, much worse. So the stakes are very high around this issue. And yeah, I just think that The conversation is really worthwhile because of the fact that there are so many people who are being sexually violated in our culture today. And that’s not okay.
Sasza Lohrey: And there’s one part in the movie where there are two kids and they refer to the 60s and how kind of the sexual revolution at that time, could be compared in some ways yet was so different. And they talked about how no one is making love at Spring Break. And again, just to reiterate, how that’s such a strong expression, and obviously, so many things tied to it, but I would go as far as to say that they’re not having sex, and whatever the desperate, hazy, aggressive exchanges that are happening are Peggy Orenstein, who’s an amazing author who we’ve had on the podcast before she wrote a book called girls in sex and recently came out with one just about a month ago called boys and sex in general. re examines the root causes to all of this, and does amazing work. And she often talks about if we redefined losing your virginity, and I can’t remember if it’s based on the first time you have an orgasm for a girl it’s referring to or something else. But perhaps if we were to recontextualize you don’t lose your virginity until you’ve had connected sex in some way or at least respectful, curious, perhaps, still funny, wild, whatever, but just some other level. Because if that’s what people are striving for in this race is on to lose your virginity. But if you wouldn’t even get there until you qualified for this other realm of the definition, and somehow I wish we could kind of change that. And the part where you say that you guys didn’t meet a girl who hadn’t been sexually violated and the whole time on the trip just takes me down the whole rabbit hole to your other work and you No with human trafficking and in the United States, how 95% of the women who this isn’t even, you know, Human trafficking is a broad term. But for people who are thinking in the traditional sense, these in the US can be voluntary people who have gone into prostitution, quote, unquote, of their own free will, aka as a result of their previous traumatic experiences, and whatnot, 95% of them were before ever getting into that sexually abused. And so how is what seems like this college Spring Break whatever, leaching down into all these other levels that go as deep as prostitution, human trafficking, and much further but also as high up as what people say about that industry is that wow, women’s bodies can be paid for and used either If only with whatever percent of the population of women, while men still think they have that power and do to go pay for that, and own someone’s body for however brief of a time, how can even women outside of that context ever? Truly How can we ever have equality between genders, when one is still able to by an own, you know, the other as an object. And so, this other thing in this respect that we see in this spring break and such, how does that still frame our way of thinking going in to the word place and believing you might have other rights or power over people in terms of getting a promotion for them or in the quality of their work or the work that you deserve to do versus them? Just everything is so deeply related? And I was gonna save this question. For later, but you had referred to kind of the tree of exploitation. And so I’m not sure if that’s a good time to go into that now or, you know, I was curious to go through some of the scenes also in liberated and ask you about them and find out. It’s already so hard to be sitting there watching that it’s hard to imagine what it was like being there?
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah, the first time that we left, having been exposed to that we were just really, it was like being in the midst of a mob that was ready to rape. And if you seen it liberated, you can actually see how that whole thing culminates. And I don’t want to give it away as a spoiler to people who haven’t seen it. But yeah, we just recommend that you go check that out on Netflix. But it was, it definitely put us in a very compromising position. And the first time that we ran into it, it was so unexpected and shocking, we really weren’t even clear what exactly was happening and we kind of had to go and process it later. Then as we went out the next year in the next year, it would be a thing of you know, you would be in these large crowds on the beach, and there could be any number of things that would trigger it for sure if a woman was put up on a young man’s shoes, shoulders, then that would invoke the chance. And they would begin to swarm literally like Puranas around that woman, chanting and jeering and pressuring her to show her to take off her top. And when they wouldn’t, would just start reaching and grabbing and pulling off the Kaneez. And as soon as it would pop up in one place, then it would just as quickly die down, and then it would pop up somewhere else. And I mean, this would go on all day, every day. And the police would just kind of sit back and just observe the whole situation. There were situations where we did intervene as a situation played out longer there was, I remember one girl who was only 17 that we intervened in this particular situation, and we weren’t able to use that scene in the film because she was under age, but it was definitely a challenging and strange and heartless breaking environment to try and film in. We were having beer spilled on our cameras, every single member of our crew was attacked at one point or another. And like I said, it was such chaos that it was difficult. I mean, even just to get through the crowd was like, packed like sardines. But it was difficult to navigate that environment. And just as you start to realize what’s happening in one area, it’s dying down, it’s happening somewhere else and so, but when you step back away from that, and you look at that environment, the entire environment is a construct of male demand. This is the outworking of a pornographic culture in which men are taught that you are a sexual predator. Men are cast in the world of porn as sexual predators. If you can think of pornography as sort of this alternate universe, let’s call it the porn universe. The porn man, the way that pornographers cast this man in that world is as an unfeeling, inhuman abuser of women do. Devoid of all empathy, caring, compassion, etc. The weight guild binds to set it is that men and pornography are depicted as a life support system for their erect penis. And so men are accessing this porn universe through the avatar of a poor man whose sole objective is to subjugate and oftentimes abuse women. So the outworking of that level of socialization around our conception of manhood, and sexuality, played out in an environment like that throw alcohol in the midst, it puts women in this really, really vulnerable position. And the result of it was things that I’m not going to say until you see the film, because I don’t want to give it away. But I will say that the result of it is that in five or six years of being down there, we couldn’t find one young woman who hadn’t been sexually violated during her time at Spring Break. And so, to me, that’s very, very troubling and I think it should be troubling to all of us. And it just amazes me the spin that the pop culture puts on spring break is this glamorous thing, when in reality, it’s just a stronghold of exploitation.
Sasza Lohrey: You have some amazing experts in the film. And one of them says, at one point that both young men and young women are, to some extent literally acting out according to these stereotypes or these expectations we have in culture. And so what I did find so fascinating is the extent to which obviously not equally necessarily, but it is mutually perpetuated in many cases in this movie, and there were two points at which I had to pause to try and understand what the person had said. One is kind of towards the end in the movie, for the first hours just kind of you’re a bit uneasy or it’s curious or it’s interesting and then pass the first. Once you get to the our point, it becomes quite quickly disturbing. And the way I’ve described it to people is disturbing, yet profound. But there’s this part where and this is the quote, The girl says, some random guy literally sucked my ticket out of nowhere. I just went with it. There was nothing much I could do. And her friend sitting there goes, Yeah, there was definitely nothing she could do. There was nothing you could do to solve that. And I was struggling between hearing the tone of voice she was saying it and reading the subtitles, I had turned on to double check and to take notes, thinking is she serious? At the same time, like I just couldn’t tell if she was mocking her friend because not in the sense of that I want to take any blame away from this person.
And who came up to her but in the sense where also it felt like she wasn’t giving her friend any credit for being an autonomous human who is has, you know, her own power, the fact that she’s making any statement about any action, be it sexual or not on her friend and saying there was nothing she could do just implies that she’s a pretty powerless agent. And so that part was a bit shocking. And there was a scene in which two of the guys in the group of boys from the UK I believe, who were particularly wouldn’t know what word to describe them. But one of the boys in this group who was particularly unpleasant to observe and listen to, it starts to open up about how much pressure there is about losing your virginity and he actually asks to say it off the record. I found really interesting and you guys didn’t like him and he goes into kind of. It’s gamified. And it says competition and you’re ridiculed if you haven’t. And he starts opening up basically saying how what I’m getting out of it is how it’s kind of torturous. And there’s just so much pressure that you can’t even act as yourself. And if you tried to be you would never be accepted. So there’s no use that in that instance, he’s saying the same thing. Like there’s nothing you can do. And when he’s describing how it’s this game, the girl next to him goes, is that fun? You know, as a as a comment to the camera like, oh, man, it’s so fun, you know, they make a game of it. And I just was dumbstruck again, because she couldn’t even understand what he was saying. And maybe it’s because of the person that he had already proved himself to be but the lenses and the earmuffs through which everybody in this movie are seeing, and hearing and understanding and feeling things is mind boggling.
Benjamin Nolot: Oh man, there’s a lot to unpack there.
Sasza Lohrey: Is so much where like I could literally go through and I basically transcribed. Eventually I found full transcription, but just so many of the quotes from the people but also the experts because the juxtaposition and the complementation of their rationalization of the behavior not in a way that says it’s okay. But in a way that says, if you look at our culture, it’s obvious why they are doing this. How can we even wonder what are they thinking? Why are they doing this? When these are the messages were sending?
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah, I think that’s what let me first go back to just in a more kind of direct way. The conversation that you mentioned with the women, the two women and talking about there was a man who came up and softer tip was what her exact phrase I think what they were making a reference to When she said, there was nothing you could do about it, it wasn’t so much to do with her autonomy or her power as a woman. It was to do with, she was accosted, it happened. And then it was over. That’s part of what I’m trying to get out with the way that the environment was was that it was literally like, a guy would come up, you think he’s gonna offer you a beer, the next thing, he has his head in your chest and the next thing he’s gone, and you’re left as a young woman going? What just happened? What just happened? And then when you wake up sober The next day, you’re like, Oh, my God, I think I was sexually assaulted yesterday, you know, and it’s like, but that’s the environment. Yeah. And on the male side of that, right to get back to some of your later comments. This applies to the realm of trafficking and prostitution as well and then the demand side of that equation. And in this context, you have to look at one of these guys. Like there was a guy Who, who had encroached himself on a woman and started to grab her genitals, pulled down her pants. And then later he boasted to us about how he was fingering this unsuspecting young woman. And he said, you have to look at a guy like that and go, I mean, going down there, the thought of doing that to somebody would literally never occur to me, I would never be in that environment and think to myself, Gee, I wonder if I could just go pull somebody random, unsuspecting woman’s pants down and start molesting her, you know, that that thought would never occurred to me, it’s so disturbing. And yet, here that type of activity was happening all around us. And so you have to start to reverse engineer that picture and go, Okay, this guy did not wake up yesterday, and decide that he was going to come over here and do that. So Something has happened in this young man’s process of socialization that has brought him to that point, this level of entitlement to which that becomes the next natural progression for him. Well, I’m going to go find a woman whose pants that can rip down and start blasting without her consent. And so to me, that’s where the compelling conversation has to happen and is around that process of socialization like we started this podcast talking about it because what ingredients are we letting into the soup or or that we are not putting into the soup? What is happening in the larger social experiment of which we are all a part of in our society today, that is producing these kind of mindsets and this kind of behavior, and a lot of people, they do kind of the simple math on it and go well, this just means that all men are evil. No, all men are not evil. I have two sons. Boys are not born this way. You look at a class of kindergarteners, one of my sons is in kindergarten right now. And they come out of class and it’ll be boys holding hands with boys boys holding hands with girls. There’s no weirdness attached, they’re all friends. And yet, in a few years, that kind of behavior would be criticized and challenged as not being hard or, or whatever. And those relationships begin to get goofy over time. And so something’s happening in the process of socialization, and our social biological maturation that is bringing us to that point. And so to me, that’s where I think, yeah, a lot of conversation needs to happen because like a friend of mine, Tony Porter says the majority of men out there are good men and I look at some of the Beautiful aspects of masculinity of my male brothers and I know a lot of beautiful men who are laying their lives down for their families sacrificing all kinds of things to put the women in their life first, who are exhibiting incredible traits of what it means to be human through empathy and respect and these kind of beautiful qualities. But this more beautiful expression of manhood is being hijacked in mass, by, I believe, a lot of the stories that we are telling in our culture, about what it means to be a man and how to view woman, women and how to treat sex. And again, that’s coming through pornography through the music industry, the film industry, television, the collective socialization of manhood is producing these kind of encounters. They are not one off bad apple anomalies, that is a myth. And we have to get that out of our thinking. Because as long as we believe that that guy who did that was just a bad apple, and he’s just an anomaly of our culture, we will actually deal with the deeper root issues that are producing that kind of behavior. I mean, it was when we were there, it was there was a collective idea consciousness in that environment, that men are going to behave this way. And women are viewed this way.
Sasza Lohrey: So kind of starting from the beginning of what you said, which was responding to those two girls sitting there. And I think it’s, yeah, hard to process because on one hand, she says, I let it happen, or she says I went with it. But then obviously, as you mentioned, she’s basically costed so there’s this you know, You want her to hit the person in the face. And there are a couple of girls in the movie who mentioned they had hit people in the face. But at the same time, you don’t even want in the first place people to feel like they have to be on physical guard in a public what is in reality, very unsafe place, but that should be otherwise. And so there’s this, I think, yeah, frustration between that and one of the girls actually mentions, when you guys ask them what their definition of fun is, they say it would be being able to be carefree, essentially, without worrying about being accosted. And so kind of this struggle between those two sides. And you mentioned then going into the roots of these issues with masculinity. And so again, it isn’t just a few bad eggs and I actually An interview coming up with Neil Malmo, who is a researcher out of UCLA, who studies what the thought processes, the myths, you know, false understandings and gender roles we consume are that lead to people being accepting of rape culture or participants in and the numbers are staggering and truly frightening and I won’t get into them at this point. But he talks about there’s no relationship between like psychopathy, and these measurements. This isn’t something like you were saying that somebody was born and you know, they were a bit off from the beginning and as dawn says in the movie, one of the experts when people are wondering, what are they thinking and he says, they think it’s okay, they think that’s what you’re supposed to do. They think that’s the party. And as you They don’t just wake up one day. He says, they were socialized in our neighborhoods, they were socialized in our high schools and in our communities. And we can sit there and wonder what were they thinking? But at the same time, where did they get it? And why are we sitting there watching it? as something you know, I would also add, and that becomes one of the most disturbing parts of the whole movie is not only kind of the bystander effect that happens, particularly at the very end, and the extent to which people create, cultivate and perpetuate this culture of violence has culture of aggression and lack of respect. So I think that it also needs to come down to whether we think we’re a part of it or not. If we are living in this society living in this culture, how are we Either as active participants or as passive participants, and this is another thing that comes up in Neil’s research, that it can be the not engaging in certain behaviors that actually perpetuates rape culture more than the people who are acting out in the behaviors, we’re criticizing, that it can be almost even more damaging. And that’s going back to, you know, the things that are left unsaid. And so while I was watching this movie, kind of trying to process all of that, and then additionally, finding one of the most disturbing things is the fact that all these people know they’re on there being recorded. This is being internalized to this and then publicized. So what truly is it that they’re thinking and this goes back to Dawn’s comment, it would appear as if they not only think it’s okay, but they think it’s cool otherwise How is it? Or why would it be that they’re agreeing to be immortalized as these versions of themselves and I’m saying these versions because, you know, I know there must be something else in there or and I want to give them the benefit of the doubt to evolve and change and reform and grow. And so I’m wondering how hard it was being there.
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah, I think what you’re pointing out, is the tragedy on both sides of this equation. And so the tragedy for these men is that many of them have bought into these ideas of what it means to be a man and this way of behaving, that is such a diminishment of their humanity, and actually a weaponization of manhood. And in a way that causes enormous harm to women, and on the other and anti men. It’s damned And violent to their own humanity. But on the female side of the equation that the tragedy that you pointed out in that conversation with those two women is the way in which women have been pressured to conform it to a resigned attitude about what’s going on. I mean, she’s invested time, money and energy to get down into this environment. Nobody wants to be a victim. And I think we have a difficult time distinguishing between being victimized and being a victim. And so as she’s down there with her friends, and this thing happens this that occurs to her she has a choice in that moment of like, okay, am I going to allow the reality of this to now define my ability to enjoy this vacation that I’ve spent time money and energy investing in? Or am I going to, in a sense, let it just kind of run like Why? off of a duck’s back and just keep going and just kind of like, Okay, well, that happened. But to me that is part of the tragedy is that women find themselves pressured into this way of conforming and resigning themselves to I guess this is just the way things are. And obviously, that’s not all women. But for the women that were in this environment, I think that is how a lot of them rationalized being there was like, well, this is just kind of the way things are, this is just kind of what happens at Spring Break. And so I see a tragedy on both sides of this equation. And again, that’s why thankful for a conversation like this, that we can be elevating the importance of this dialogue in a way that will challenge these cultural norms, these sub cultural norms in a way that we can can see these really violating circumstances be eradicated and where it Become an environment that people can truly let their hair down and feel safe and not feel threatened or like their sexual serenity or is going to be violated in some way.
Sasza Lohrey: Some of the experts throughout the movie actually do reference as well, believing that probably a lot of the men don’t truly want to be engaging in this behavior in the sense of it’s coming from a different place. It’s not coming from there. It’s a script being written for them by culture that they are then following and Don MacPherson says that masculinity is really a performance. And it’s a performance that boys do for other boys. It’s not for themselves, it’s not for the women. So what ends up happening, he says is that girls become part of how boys prove their masculinity to each other. And another one of the experts mentions that as well how girls and women become basically just this prop through which on which by which men can try and prove themselves to other men. And so really, as you mentioned, trying to reform that whole context of masculinity and what I’ve started calling modern masculinity, the term used for, you know, this movement about emotional intelligence, and about mutual respect, and all these companies that are out there, like every man who are a couple of interviews we’ve done recently. I like to think of that as kind of modern masculinity, this new view of the term that is grounded in emotions and connection and understanding. But then there’s the other side where carolyne heldman talks a lot about how women hold just as many false beliefs as these men in terms of what their role is, they’re following the same script. She says, I think that women believe that being a sex object is empowering because it makes them feel as though they are wanted and desired. But the idea that our bodies and our value means that we are forever dependent on men to validate us, means we’re dependent upon an outside source to say that we are important to say that we are valuable. And I could just go all day because then, so it also discusses how when, whether it’s men or women, boys or girls are only seeing this one version of the macho man or this one version of the woman, highly sexualized and music videos, you can only understand an image and its meaning and its power, in context to what you see around it. And if it’s always that same image, it’s not just one you know, music video then surrounded by stories portraits of strong female athletes of politics. Are women creating change have amazing mothers of all this if the context in which we see these is as the greatest, the one ideal only option, then again, we are pigeon holed by our own society into these toxic, tragic and mutually self perpetuating roles.
Benjamin Nolot: Absolutely, yeah. I think that commentary around the behaviors that we see depicted in the film is so helpful in order to provide a lens through which to see them. Because the behavior itself, I think, is disturbing. It could be sensationalized. And we could leave a film like that just going, Oh, that was so awful that these things happened. The more compelling thing is to understand why they’re happening. And then to me that is part of the gift of documentary as a genre is that it takes us well below The surface level of consciousness where most of us live our lives and, and help us to see and think about things from a deeper place or a different perspective. And so that commentary, I think, from some of those professionals that you mentioned is so important in the larger framework of a film like this to where we can leave with a bigger vision for where and how and why we need to change things. And to elevate a standard that says that understands that has built into it an understanding of the severity of sexual violation. We grew up a lot of us on movies that made light of sexual harassment. I mean, there’s so many movies that were made by well known actors today, comedies that made light of and joked about instances of sexual harassment as just part of the dialogue. Part of the trend that I’m seeing in our culture today is that those movies would not be getting made in that way today. And so I do feel this shift beginning to happen, but we still have a long way to go. I mean, imagine another scenario. Imagine a scenario where when you have 10,000 people on the beach at spring break, a guy reaches out to rip a woman’s top off, which again, was so commonplace that I mean, we have hours and hours and hours of footage of instances of this happening that we did not include in the movie. And so what you see in liberators is just a very small sample size. But imagine where a guy does that and the whole thing stops. The music stops, the partying stops, everybody looks to that individuals, the cops come down, they arrest him, and people think to themselves what on God’s Earth was that person thinking? Like, imagine that as the standard for an environment like that. And so we have a long ways to go to get there. But yeah, I do feel like this idea of like, how did we get here? And what are the stories in the culture that are producing this is a really, really helpful thing to think about it, and to challenge the status quo and to challenge the stories that are being told and to inspire a new generation of storytellers, and filmmakers, and so on and so forth to rise up with a value system built into them that says any instance of sexual harassment is not okay. And it’s never the victims fault.
Sasza Lohrey: As you mentioned, kind of that utopian society really made me kind of think about how the first step isn’t even making people realize how wrong this is.
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah. Yeah.
Sasza Lohrey: Because there’s so far on the other end of the spectrum like this is not Cool, you know, that shouldn’t be the ultimate is you’re the man behavior is first, recognizing that this example we’re setting and following isn’t cool? isn’t what to follow then from there understanding, okay, it’s actually quite backwards and wrong. And then from there, how can we rewrite the scripts? How can we reshape everything? And from there start to understand, wow, the whole long, long set of roots growing beneath it that leach into everything else in so many other topics. But to kind of wrap up that that part about liberated, I have in my notes, just question which I think a lot of what we’ve been talking about kind of basically lends itself to this, but to pose to our listeners, I wrote a very, very frank Question as I was watching the movie, and it says, How did we get so desperate? In terms of how is it that we are all so dependent on the opinions, and not even the opinions because some of these other people also might not even be acting or saying things in accordance to what they truly value? So how did we even get so desperate for this approval of facade of a culture or this reinforcement? How does this go back to and again, your work with prostitution and human trafficking, so much of it basically just goes back to knowing we have worth knowing ourselves value and having a source of love in our lives, and that is the stem of everything and from there you have power and from there, all these other things, but when did we become so dependent on Other people and the wrong people, I’ll say, because I think in a huge way, the right people can help us realize how much we’re worth can give us, you know, enhance our value bring out parts of us, we couldn’t otherwise but so desperate to choose the wrong people by which to define our thoughts and behaviors. And so that was kind of something that was really interesting to me. And then that really delves deeper and is the same theme that goes throughout so many other topics. And you mentioned, like going from liberated and as we kind of close up that chapter, we need to understand the severity of this. And you know, this isn’t just spring break. This isn’t just young people. This isn’t just this surface level stuff. How does that mentality how to certain thoughts, certain influences create certain thoughts create certain conversations, which then lend themselves to behaviors, which builds an entire culture that we currently live in. And so helping people understand that. And so I’d love to take this and kind of ask you how this lends itself to other work of yours. And in what ways Maybe this inspired you to go about other work, but really, since I realized I didn’t do this in the beginning, and maybe we’ll end up putting it back in the beginning later. I’d love to hear your story about how it is that you came to be doing this amazing work.
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah. So for me, you know, I had a very, I guess you could say idyllic childhood. I was the youngest of four kids and a somewhat sheltered from issues going on in my home. And we lived in a place where there was a lot of country I could go out exploring and riding motorcycles and I felt like my younger childhood, looking back to that time, I had a Just a childhood that every young boy with love. And when I was 11 years old, I remember seeing a movie, which I don’t know how that came on television or what happened how I saw this movie, but it’s a movie called The accused, and it was about the gang rape of a woman named Shawn Arroyo and her ensuing fight for justice. And that, to me was the defining moment where I was awakened to the knowledge of the presence of evil in our world. And the scene that depicted this woman being gang raped was so brutal. And I remember just as an 11 year old, having no ability to process that at all, and yet it left me with this deep, deep, haunting, feeling that rape has to be the worst thing that could ever happen to a person. And so, I think that was a defining moment in my own personal story of how I became involved in some of these issues. That I would be awakened to later in life. But as somebody who was raised by my grandmother and my mother and my two sisters, I think I just had kind of an intrinsic identification with the plight of women and the unique vulnerabilities and situations that the challenges that they faced. And so it was really when I found out about the issue of human trafficking and the idea that not one woman here or there, but literally millions of women systematically being brought into a lifestyle of systematic rape was just so horrifying to me. And I think when I found out about that, all those feelings that I had, as a child came welling back up inside of me, and I think I had this impression that, well, rape is probably the worst thing that could ever happen to a person but it rarely ever happens and is these just kind of For out, yeah, just not a regular occurrence. And so when I found out about human trafficking and began to read the stories and began to learn about the life that these women were enduring, it just pierced me. And it wounded me. And so out of that, I just decided that I’m not going to turn I can’t turn a blind eye to this injustice. And there was a season in which it was difficult. Even just something as simple as like going to bed at night was difficult because I was haunted by the stories and the ideas of what was happening to these people. And I literally thought for a while, how can I go to bed at night in peace, knowing that this is happening to people out there.
So that really catapulted me onto a journey of formalizing a response to this injustice, and beginning to take a stand against human trafficking. And the commercial sexual exploitation of predominantly women. So that was a little bit of my personal story. But as we’ve been just conversing about this, and you’ve kind of raised a lot of like, really big, deeper root level questions and underlying questions about this whole subject matter. I mean, I feel that this has been a struggle for hundreds and hundreds of years. And when you think about the way in which the vulnerability of women has been exploited throughout the centuries, it has been a struggle, and that struggle continues today. I mean, in times past, it was something you know, that today we would take for granted but something as simple as the right to drive for women had to be organized and fought for the right to vote, the right not legally not to be beaten and raped in your marriage. So these freedoms that women actually experience today were fought for by previous generations and required organization and intentionality and sacrifice. So that struggle continues today. And when we look at something as evil and as unjust as human trafficking, I think it brings into perspective how much work we have left to do, because I can say this in all of my years of investigating this issue is that there is no way that 42 million people could be exploited in this manner, apart from a facilitating culture, apart from a culture in which the social lubricating factors of this culture allow this injustice to continue. And so, conversation about liberated about the pop culture that we’re living in today. The stories are told in pop culture, and how those intersect between men and women and sexuality, I think those issues continue all the way out to this injustice of human trafficking. That’s happening in our world as well. And so all of these things are interconnected. And when you start to deconstruct what’s going on, you see those points of intersection and commonality. And it goes back to the same thing of, you know, the guy at Spring Break that’s ripping that woman’s top off, having no remorse for that, and feeling that level of entitlement to a woman’s body. You have to wonder how did he get there? And it’s the same thing for men that are going and traveling halfway across the world to buy a 12 year old girl for sex. How did he get there? And I think the thread or the theme that runs across all of this is men’s entitlement to win Men’s bodies. There’s a lot to say about that. But I just gave you a mouthful. So I’m gonna stop there for a moment.
Sasza Lohrey: Going into that I was trying to come up with a word is culture of being complacent or being, I don’t know, this culture that perpetuates these things by doing nothing. And what was really interesting when you first started discussing, you know how women had to fight, to vote, to drive, or to buy property, all these things we had to do, but I hadn’t stopped to think much about the things we have had to and continue to try to fight and not have unto us, you know, fighting for your own basic human right to not be beaten, fighting for the right to not be raped, which is from one spouse in the US was only in all 50 states. Going up towards the 90s actually legalized. So these, and I guess it just keeps bringing us back to, you know, the things left unsaid or undone, you know, I’d never looked at it from that angle and how many rights we have to fight. And I say we not just as a woman or women, but as humans who care about basic human rights to make sure everybody has
Sasza Lohrey: That’s a really powerful way of thinking about it. And I think it ties in directly with some of the areas of society that we’re looking at that we’re talking about, for example, I’ve heard argued that prostitution is a human right.And yet, the perspective that I hear you introducing is what about the right, you know, and the way I would say it is, what about the right not to be in prostitution? What about the right not to have your body used by strange men all day, every day, as an outhouse for their offloaded sexuality, and all that comes with that? How about that? Right. And I think that is something that Sweden has done really well is they have understood the underlying issues in prostitution and taken a victim centered approach to addressing their critique of prostitution after 30 years of research. They developed an understanding of this industry and the way that it functions and operates and develop legislation.
Sasza Lohrey: To go along with that, that I think is incredibly empowering and liberating for women, and brings accountability and culpability to the men who would use them. There’s a part in the movie in which one of the women says, and this is a woman who had gone into prostitution. And again, I don’t know what term to use, but on a surface level, what people would label as of her own free will, and said that in her 30 years as a prostitute and the hundreds and hundreds of women she met working in that as well. I don’t know if she was working in the UK or in the US, but she said she never met a single woman who enjoyed it, and she described it as the world’s best acting job. And just there’s so many intense intense quotes in at the end of the movie in particular, but they’re all routed back to having no recognition of their value as a person, having no self worth having no self respect. And so when people look at, you know, well, people choose to go into this, or people who were forced into it. That’s the common thread. But what I might just put out there for thought as well, some people are forced into this who may have, whether they were kidnapped, or would have had the chance at another life given different human rights and access to the result is having zero self worth this fortress level of self deprecation. And really one of the only differences I saw between that and people who choose to go into it is that one’s the consequence and on the other side, it’s the cause. And those are people who have been subjected to 95% of them to you know, sexual abuse previous. And so those are people who already have those feelings and because of such go into it, but does that mean that we should raise this up as something that could be great or should be okay? I think people really need to re examine the preconceived notions that they have surrounding this topic. I think to kind of tie these two themes together and whether we make this latter part of the conversation into another whole extended interview, which we definitely need to do so many more to kind of going back to liberated and kind of segwaying and tying these things together. I’d love as we close out to just hearing your words, how the stuff we signed, liberated these cultural themes, the media respect, power, kind of, how do you see these things you work in, interconnected on a deeper level.
Benjamin Nolot: Yeah, I think just going back to where we started is this idea of the concept of socialization? How are we as a species as boys or girls, developing our ideas of what it means to be a man or what it means to be a woman or what it means to be a sexual being? Are these things, how are we developing our values, our worldview, our identity, and understanding the unique role of media in our generation from previous generations. And I think that we are still in this social experiment and conversations like this is kind of pausing and, and trying to take an inventory for what has happened. So the unique thing of our generation isn’t just that the stories have been usurped by these large corporate media entities but also the visual imprinting that has a powerful neurological and psychological impact on us.
And so I think that when we look at some of these larger obvious in justices women being violated at spring break, or sex trafficking or child sexual abuse, when you begin to look at some of those bigger things, we have to reverse engineer that back into, okay, what are the ingredients? What’s the soil that our humanity is being cultivated in? That is somehow resulting in some of these behaviors? And what can we do to begin to challenge those things and begin to fill that void in that gap and begin to change? Like you said earlier, the story and so I know we’re pressed for time right now. But I would just say that they’re all interconnected through the way in which we are currently being socialized as a species. And that’s obviously a big thing to stare at. But I think conversations like this are what can help us begin to change things. And continue the struggle against injustice and the struggle for equality to make our world a better and a safer and a more compassionate place to live.
Sasza Lohrey: Thank you for that I love the part about the soil. Because it was kind of in my head, I was thinking, Okay, we create this culture we cultivated, and we perpetuate this. And when you think of kind of working the soil and the ingredients we’re putting into it, the ground, the base, we’re building the ground to walk on and the earth we live in kind of on a literal and metaphorical way. And I can’t help but imagine the machines that tell the soil and it’s that perpetual motion that just recycles that same thing. And are we just putting back into it what we’re taking out, or At what point will we become aware enough? Yeah. And take action enough to start putting in other ingredients to start? Yeah, giving nutrition to this world we live in and that we help shape and empower ourselves to do so and to kind of change that vicious cycle. And to slowly begin to change parts of it and build in the nutrients and the awareness and the knowledge and the respect to kind of absolutely create a new basis on which to walk and live. So thank you so much for joining us today.
Benjamin Nolot: I very grateful for all the incredible work you’re doing and to be able to chat with you and I am very much looking forward to the additional long chats that we have to come. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much Sasza.