So there was a documentary that aired on BET on Friday night called Stolen Innocence: Your Daughters Are Our Daughters a panel discussion on the resent kidnapping of the girls in Nigeria. They talked on the kidnapping there but also on our home front in this country. They had five women on the panel some who were strippers or where victims of sex-trafficking. I only got to watch half of the special but here is what I think about all of this.
The way it can be called Sex Slavery when half or more are women and young girls being trafficked are of color can bring up more hurt from our community. From the beginning of slavery in this country and others women and young girls were most of the time sold into a family where the man of the house would rape the women and most times have babies with them. Some of our so called “For Fathers” of this country were big into slavery and most of them had female slave mistraces.
Fast forward and you have the creation of clubs. The 1920s was the around the first time women where really aloud to where short dress. Jazz was the hip new music coming out of every night club and life seemed glamorous. The shorter the skirts became the more opportunities there where for women to work in the clubs.
Through out the years strip clubs & other such establishments where created and even things like Play Boy magazine became huge. The more glamorized sex became the more these men knew they had them. Then fast forward to tv & the internet.
Now it has been hard over the years to find a positive image of women of color in the media. If there not in a “black film” or in a hip-hop music video as the “girl” or the hoe, bitch, and the rapper as the “pimp” as they call themselves. There at a beach or a strip-club and the men have on jeans and their shirts with gold chains, watches, rings but you then have the women in tiny bathing suites or g-strings and bras. Then our young girls are watching these movies and videos and think this is all so wonderful you get money and the rapper loves you so they start wearing short skirts and raveling outfits. Same goes for the young boys they become accustom to treating girls the way they hear it on tv and in music.
Let’s say a girl dressed provocatively and gets a boys attention. Now this boy thinks by the way you are dressed that you will give it up but all you really want is a nice boyfriend. You post a picture of your outfit on line and you say where your date is going to be. You go on a date dressed that way and he tries a move on you. You leave sad because it didn’t work out and let’s say you don’t get the love you wanted a home. So with our fast pasted technology heavy world you are on Facebook, Twitter, snap chat, Skype or whatever and your talking to your friend about what happened. You get a message from a random guy who somehow was able to listen in or read your conversation with your friend. He sinces how venerable you are and knows just the rights things to say to make you like him. You start to feel happy talking to him and he asks you to meet him. Your not sure but he says he loves you and would never hurt you. The feeling of love makes you feel better inside and you decide to go out and meet this man. You meet him and he takes you to a hotel. He says that’s where he staying and he has to check on something. When he comes back he tells you he will keep you safe with him and to come inside. You do and when you get in, there is another random guy waiting for you. You try to run but the first guy blocks the door and tells you he will kill you if you run. There you are stuck in an endless web of sex and every day you hope and pray someone will find you.
This happens all too often these days. We are always too quick to post every little detail of our lives and for sex-traffickers this is prime. They also love to find girls who are from broken homes or single parent homes where there parents or parent work long hours. They know that you might not get the love you need from your parents and that you feel vulnerable about life. So they try to tell you how special you are which to most girls is something that they don’t hear often.
On the other hand you have the girl who got pregnant early in life and doesn’t have the money to support her family so they go into stripping to pay the bills. Her boyfriend is not really in the picture and you feel you have no other options. Then one day a man with a lot of money comes in and offers you a job doing private customers. That private striping leads to prostatution and then sex-trafficking where you don’t see your child again.
You even have the men who find girls walking home from school or in college and they kidnap them and lock them away in there basement to be beaten and raped repeatedly.
A recent thing that has been in the news for a while and I don’t even think they have found this poor child is the little girl who was kidnapped from the shelter in DC. All traces lead to her mom who we all think sold her down the river for drugs so sad. The man who kidnapper her is dead and they didn’t find her when they found his body. She could be anyway alive or dead.
With all of this going on in our society these days it’s all just too crazy. That being said we need to re-vamp the idea of how we look at our girls and boys for that matter and teach our girls to love themselves and that they are much more then sex objects. They have brilliant minds and the capacity to effect change in this world. We also need to put the message in the boys ears where calling a girl a bitch or a hoe and only seeing us as there sexually play objects and start looking at us like human beings, equals even. Last night I was watching another BET special called Black Girls Rock! It’s a tv special/award show of sorts where they honer black girls and women who are making a sound difference in our communities but don’t get the main stream recognition they deserve. It’s also a movement to uplift black girls to be all that they can be and more. This was the 2013 special and they honored some fierce females like Marian Wright who started the head start program, Ameena Mathews who is fighting violence in Chicago & Mara Brock Akil one the first black ballerinas. They even gave the rock star award to one of my favorites Queen Latifah and her amazing determination to show the world that girls do have what it takes to be MCs. It’s a great award show and a great organization and we need more celebrating of our girls and less exploitation of our daughters.
This world started with a black women and it will end with a black women! We are strong with divine presences & we have to know that we are powerfull! 💪