The Mighty 12: A Song about the Unchecked Slavery of the Sex Industry

SONG BACK STORY (see lyrics below)

We are told that the sex industry in general, and the porn industry in particular, are “sex positive.” But what if they are in fact the opposite, and we have been hypnotized and ultimately brainwashed by the incessant bombardment of our senses? What if these ideas about sex are in fact scripted and formulaic, distorted and simulated, spoon-fed to us by a multibillion dollar misogynistic industry?   

If the sex industry is in fact “sex positive,” then how is it possible that pedophilia and human trafficking are rampant in the industry? Wouldn’t those more explicit practices of slavery be an anathema to an ideology truly based on freedom, positivity, and power? What might our sexuality look like if it is inside-out, instead of outside-in – if we feel allowed to be 100% present in our bodies, following our innate sensations and desires? Do we even know what those look or feel like anymore, or has our sexual self-expression been hijacked?   

These are the questions behind Iraqis in Pajamas’ song, “The Mighty 12,” which integrates original lyrics and music with an ancient Judeo-Arabic passage about slavery, from the Iraqi shetacha, or haggadh – the retelling of the story of Exodus, which Jews recite every year. The Jewish practice of storytelling, praying, and singing, while eating special foods, has had a magical transformative power of alchemy – transforming the experience of trauma into one of celebration. How might we draw from that model, to heal individually and collectively from the deleterious effect of the sex industry? 

Find out more about Iraqis in Pajamas at  


I get off the ferry Turn right on 1st Ave Because it’s the easiest way To get to the south side Without taking the freeway  I turn my head As I pass the stadium Know what’s coming Larger than life size Images of degraded women Flashing with bright lights And when the game gets out Pounding music  Because here in progressive Seattle We celebrate men’s strength With women’s servitude  I want to fire-bomb the building As I watch families walk down the street With little girls The important thing here obviously The 12th Man jerseys Everyone is sporting Not the fact that we’re collectively raising Another generation of souls With distorted notions Of pleasure and power  Eroticizing slavery Psychologically manipulating Presenting it as an aspiration So that by the time girls turn 12 The mighty mighty 12 It’s self-inflicted  

©2018 by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be copied without author’s permission.

Contact me

Sign up for my newsletter

Contact Me