Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Calling Boys "Girlie" Does and Means

image of "Maximo Oliveros" (a fictional character in an amazing Filipino movie linked to below) is from here
Revised on 25 March 2011 and revised significantly again on 29 March:

Years ago I wrote a piece, autobiographical, called "The Trauma of the Gendered Child". You can read that *here*. I wrote it before I knew being intergender was something I could say about myself. Since writing it, I've realised that my experience of childhood was not uncommon. Many children, female, male, and intersex, live our lives not feeling like we belong to the gender we are assigned to and forced to become, under penalty of rejection, scorn, and violence.

I'm aware of three movies which deal explicitly with issues of boys who behave in ways that make most het men uncomfortable (and, for different reasons, some gay men too). Those movies are The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Breakfast With Scot, and Ma Vie En Rose. Each of these excellent movies deals with different issues related to being an non-masculinist boy. (Two of those links go to sites where the movies may be watched in full.) If you watch them, please pay attention to and compare the political, economic, regional, cultural, and social realities influencing the decisions of adults in accepting or not accepting their "feminine" boys.)

I believe there is emotional, psychological, and political trauma done to boys who are called "girlie" by their misogynistic-homophobic fathers (or, well, mothers, or other parent-figures). Socially, there is usually a knee-jerk misogynist, anti-girl reaction to this happening. What typically happens in liberal to progressive families and communities is that boys are told "you're not girlie" or "that's not girlie" or are otherwise encouraged to shore up their self-concept as a boy in some ways--including by believing that boys can do anything, no matter the gendered associations.

The misogyny beneath this approach, which I find myself caught in, is to not tackle, head on, the violence to girls of using the term "girlie". It shames boys, yes. But it shames girls too. It communicates to girls and boys that they are of less value, are worth-less, if they are like girls, as determined by misogynistic homophobes. It should surprise no one that most girls identify as girls--they don't have any choice. And the trouble with patriarchal, woman-hating gender tyranny and terrorism is that if girls are like girls--if girls are "girlie"--they too are not valued. There's no way to be a girl in a patriarchal society and be valued, socially, as much as boys and men are valued, if the boys and men are pro-patriarchal, misogynistic, and masculinist.

We live in tricky times, re: gender. If male children grow up being "feminine" we now have doctors and other "experts" telling us that they must be transsexual. Or gay. Or that there's something wrong with them that needs to be medically "fixed". There are far too many children being told there's something "not normal" about being girlie. But being feminine--as defined by patriarchs (and in the U.S. racist patriarchs)--is part of what is normal for boys and some girls too. It is normal even while it is a largely both a mandatory and manufactured concept in the minds of men. Some boys and girls are not feminine, are not masculine, and are not transsexual. And many transsexuals who transition M2F are also not "feminine" and don't desire to be, either. People, trans or not, simply are who they are: human, fine, healthy--except for the society that tells them they are not healthy or fine, or human. And to label children anything other than "normal" (re: gender and sexuality) for being "who they are" is a form of sexual violence, in the opinion of this blogger.

The point of the earlier essay was that labeling and enforcing a gender hierarchy in which "boylie" boys are valued and girls--whether like girls or boys--are not, is sexually traumatic, abusive, and sets children up to act out that violence against themselves and other children. Also against their mothers, often. Boys learn to hit to be masculine, for example, and can and do hit their mothers, especially if they've seen daddy or other men do it. Girls learn to be silent and self-deprecating, and too often self-abusive in other ways too.

I believe that any man who teaches his sons (or daughters) that they are not okay if they are "feminine" or "girlie" ought to be found guilty of psychological child sexual abuse. And any men who devalue their daughters because they are girls ought to be found guilty of the same thing. Because these actions by men do irreparable harm to children. And of course any het man who bullies his family, who is a terrorist or tyrant, who is a rapist and batterer of his female spouse, should never be allowed to be around children or women at all.

I think a healthy response to witnessing a child being told they are too feminine or too much like a girl is to note that there's nothing at all wrong with being "girlie".  That is essentially the message all children need to get, with confidence and social assurance: that there's nothing wrong with being who they are, intrinsically, even while we know that gendering children is social and political, designed to replicate male supremacy and female subordination, and that children absorb social messages about gender as it applies to them.

I hope children can grow up knowing that that girls being "boyie" and boys being "girlie" (or any other combo) doesn't make them transsexual any more than it makes them lesbian or gay. Being transsexual makes them transsexual. Being lesbian makes them lesbian. Being gay makes them gay. Those are complex social-psychological teenage to adult realities that, along with the labels heterosexual or bisexual, are not appropriate to put on pre-pubescent children, in my opinion. It's not that I think pre-pubescent children can't know who they are attracted to and don't learn how to be misogynistic and heterosexist. It's that coming out as a lesbian, as bi, or as gay, is a social experience, not a private intra-psychic one. It requires negotiating social, cultural, political spaces, not just private mental, psychological, emotional spaces. And to label small children as "gay" or "lesbian" or "het" is to layer onto them adult social/cultural ways of being that simply ought not be applied to young children, in my view. To reinforce ideas that being a feminine boy means he's going to be gay, or a non-feminine girl is already a lesbian is to participate in hetero/sexist stereotyping.

When adults proclaim "their" children to be heterosexual, for example, they are projecting or simply reinforcing gross heterosexism. To do so because their son likes sports and their daughter doesn't, is sexist nonsense. This, to me, is a form of psychic sexual violence against children as it leads children to feel bad about themselves if they end up not being heterosexual as homophobic patriarchs violently define and politically defend the term and it being "natural" among children.

And in my experience queer and non-queer communities are increasingly confused about this, to the detriment of queer and non-queer children. Because as soon as young children are labeled anything other than "normal", their understandings of themselves changes and begins to absorb self-concepts and negative feelings they see being attached to those terms. When adults, some of us realise that being "normal" is far from desirable. But I don't believe children are capable of forming strong self-concepts and confident senses of self if they are labeled or feel "abnormal". I personally would rather not be normal; but at age six or even at age sixteen, I wasn't entirely capable of genuinely wishing to be abnormal as a healthy rejection of the status quo.

Being transsexual isn't abnormal either. But, unlike being lesbian, bi, and gay, only a very few children are transsexual--although this will be socially, medically, and culturally determined. I witnessed the harm to teens and young adults who suffered the malpractice, most systematically through the 1990s in the U.S., of them being labeled as ADD and ADHD children. There is currently a social trend among some "specialised" mental health care workers and medical professionals, who are effectively pro-misogynistic and pro-heteropatriarchal, of labeling children both as non-transsexual when they are, or as transsexual when they're not. I've seen this over the decades done by het, bi, lesbian, and gay adults too--of deciding who their children are based on insufficient evidence, or biases from the dominant culture or alternative cultures parents live in.

I'd argue that sexual and gendered identities and conditions are so culturally relative that they can likely only be known and determined in later childhood or adulthood--and even then, as many of us know, such determinations shift with time across adulthood.

Being heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, intergender, or transsexual are largely social-cultural-political phenomena. We can note that being Two-Spirit, for example, isn't something any white medical professionals will likely determine anyone to be while they may determine some children, teens, and adults to be non-transsexual or transsexual. Does this mean no one is Two-Spirit? No. It means labels are ideological, cultural, and political. And for many decades, for centuries non-industrialised, Indigenist societies have had differing ways of acknowledging and honoring people who were not what white, English-speaking, Westerners call "straight" or "women" or "men". It is so easy for white, English-speaking Westerners to forget that "heterosexual" is not an acultural, ahistorical, or asocial reality. Not is being lesbian or gay. Nor is being "gendered"--whether non-transgender or transgender.

Each involves finding out what one's own experiences and feelings mean within the societies and cultures we grow up in. In some cases it means finding out about our cultural traditions that have been devalued or traditions that are being destroyed. Our understandings of ourselves--how we come to name ourselves--cannot be done outside of political, social, cultural realms, and young children are not really equipped to know all of that when so young.

Dominant Western society is heteropatriarchal, racist, and favors labeling children in ways that benefit adults, especially adults who profit by this labeling. To label pre-pubescent children in any way as being definitively sexual in one particular way is inhumane, even while it is required by heteropatriarchy: all children are presumed heterosexual until proven otherwise, for example. But, other than for political, cultural, and economic reasons, there's no need to label any young children, period. Children are "human"--and even that term has very culturally specific social and economic meaning.

In my opinion, children deserve to be encouraged to express themselves as they wish, in age-appropriate ways. This means protecting children from adult practices that are traumatic when imposed on or introduced into the lives of children in confusing and abusive ways.

If possible, keep all pornography away from children. And good luck with that. In my opinion, anyone who intentionally makes pornography or other graphic manifestations of racist, rapist society repeatedly available to children should be found guilty of child sexual abuse. I recognise that loving parents may need to show children adult images--not sexually graphic ones--to explain what is and is not appropriate for children to see. Given how pornographic many societies have become, one needn't go further than magazines like Maxim, Vogue, or Seventeen to find these images. Each contains plenty of examples of sexxxualised racism and misogyny. Children never "need" to see graphic, sexxxxually explicit pornography, for any reason, to become healthy adults. That children are so often made into sexxx-objects, disproportionately for white Western men, worldwide, ought to be beyond outrageous. It ought to be completely unacceptable, globally. But that means radically transforming all capitalist, patriarchal, and racist economic and social systems.

I've heard the details of the harm of girls being exposed to their fathers' pornography--written and depicted. Most women I know who have very painful sexual fantasies that are deeply troubling and shame-inducing to them were exposed to their fathers' pornography when young girls. That arranged exposure is also a form of psychological-sexual child abuse by the fathers. The girls I know who also grow up with deep conflict about their own sexuality and self-image are those exposed to normal racist misogynistic media, and those who are incested or molested by males in their families.

Het men, as a class of human beings, are dangerous to children because they are often enough predators and perpetrators of child sexual abuse and rape. They are dangerous to all children. And the denial about that is intense. This reality is displaced by het men onto gay men and lesbian women so that only the latter two groups of adults are stigmatised as "dangerous to children", including sexually.

Because of the sheer number of het-identified men, and also because they are not stigmatised as the most predatory population of adult "child molesters", "procurers", "traffickers", and slavers, this means het-identified and het-behaving men have infinitely more access to children than do gay men or lesbian women. I'm not saying any woman or man or transgender person is not capable of abusing children in many ways, including in overtly sexual ways. I'm saying that the population of adults who most perpetrate overtly psychological and gross sexual abuse against children is het men.

Het men who abuse their children emotionally, physically, sexually, and spiritually are usually not held accountable at all. That tells you a lot about het male supremacy, entitlements, privileges, and power over women and children.

Het men have way too much corrupt and abusive power in society. And the forms of power they have and exercise allows them to do whatever they want to do including anything that is abusive and irresponsible. This includes beating up their spouses, beating their children, raping their spouses, incesting their children, procuring and pimping girls and women, homophobically assaulting children and other men and women, and otherwise terrorising and degrading anyone around them who they can assault without being held accountable by the larger society.

What I hope is that from now on, when I hear of a boy being called "girlie" my response is to cheer, celebrate, and say "congratulations"!!! "Let's throw a girlie-boy party!" And let's not invite anyone who is likely to shame any child who isn't behaving in misogynistically, patriarchally (politically) correct ways.

What complicates this particular matter of gender and children is that toys and so many other products are manufactured in racist capitalist patriarchal societies, and are marketed to children with the understanding that being a girl means being submissive, and being a boy means being active and dominant. Most of what is marketed to girls is sold to ensure girls are submissive and subordinate to boys and men specifically. I think that the "girlie" and "boylie" things that C.R.A.P. manufactures are likely to be harmful to children in the context of living in a society in which male dominance and female submissiveness is normalised, naturalised, and sexxxualised.

As I discuss a bit in the essay linked to atop this post, I didn't neatly fit into any gendered category when growing up. I could play with dolls with a female cousin. I could also play chess with a male relative. In what sense is playing with a doll or playing chess "gendered"? Boys play with dolls, of course, but tend to be sold dolls that are soldiers or superheroes of some kind. It's difficult to know who one is when media and parents tell you there's only one choice.

It took me over forty years of living to come into my own identity as intergender, in part because the term and concept wasn't presented to me as a child, a teenager, or a young adult. We tend to call ourselves terms that are socially real. If a child is not traditionally gendered or sexed, they will likely be especially vulnerable to the terms adults around them use to describe and define them. I choose a term that is hopefully respectful of women and girls, that doesn't allow me, as a male person, to impose my self-naming over and against women and girls, and that honors women and girls as specific groups of people oppressed by men and boys in patriarchal societies from day one onward--as long as those people are perceived to be female by men.

I hope that children, teens, and adults are offered terms that don't make medical interventions necessary. This isn't to make medical intervention "wrong". It is to make it possible to understand our lives as ones which are more collectively politically shaped than individually medically fixed.

I want to thank all the women, and the few men, over the decades, who have refused to raise their children in oppressively gendered ways. Goddess bless you. But let's not forget that it will take collective, sustained, organised activism aimed at the radical transformation of the whole of these societies to ensure that those parents' good work keeps children emotionally, psychologically, politically, and spiritually healthy.

Boys who are identified by adults or peers as "feminine" are wonderful just as they are. They don't need harmful, misogynistic labels or Western patriarchal medical interventions to be wonderful. Spread the word.

Capitalism is Broke Because Rich White Het Men Are Looting It: Details here, by Catherine Austin Fitts

Corporate capitalism is dying, folks. And well it should. It only exists to make the rich richer and the poor and working and middle classes more and more exploited, traumatised, and insecure to the point of being terrified of losing home and livelihood. (Not only the middle class.) It only exists in the Global North to loot the Global South. It exists to enslave, rape, and murder women and girls. It profits by murdering the Earth and all live on it. If you don't accept this, you are living in denial. That's a requirement of corporate capitalism: you living in denial.

Please click on the title below to link back to the activist website which is where I found what follows.

Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting Of America
Financial terrorism and the war on the middle class.
Former Assistant Secretary of Housing under George H.W. Bush Catherine Austin Fitts blows the whistle on how the financial terrorists have deliberately imploded the US economy and transferred gargantuan amounts of wealth offshore as a means of sacrificing the American middle class. Fitts documents how trillions of dollars went missing from government coffers in the 90′s and how she was personally targeted for exposing the fraud.

Fitts explains how every dollar of debt issued to service every war, building project, and government program since the American Revolution up to around 2 years ago -- around $12 trillion -- has been doubled again in just the last 18 months alone with the bank bailouts. "We're literally witnessing the leveraged buyout of a country and that's why I call it a financial coup d'état, and that's what the bailout is for," states Fitts.

Massive amounts of financial capital have been sucked out the United States and moved abroad, explains Fitts, ensuring that corporations have become more powerful than governments, changing the very structure of governance on the planet and ensuring we are ruled by private corporations. Pension and social security funds have also been stolen and moved offshore, leading to the end of fiscal responsibility and sovereignty as we know it.

Fitts explained how when she was in government she tried to encourage the creation of small businesses, new jobs and new skills to compete in a globalized world otherwise the American middle class was toast, only to be forced out by the feds using dirty tricks. The elite instead wanted Americans to take on more credit card, mortgage and auto debt that corporations and insurers knew they couldn't afford, while quietly moving their jobs abroad in the meantime.

She has an extremely sophisticated understanding of how the world's financial system works right down to the "inconvenient truth" that revenues from the illegal drug business are essential for propping up the big money market banks. (Not a theory. Proven over and over again in criminal court trials.)

Fitts' well thought out ideas about exactly what needs to be done to put the American economy powerfully back on course were not welcome in the crime-friendly Bush administration and she was driven from government.

In this fascinating interview, she talks about where things are ultimately headed, the the true nature of the threat we face, and what we can do to turn things around.

Feminist Action Alert: Men Buy and Rent Girls for Sexxxual Terrorism: Why Do We Allow It? Stop Sexual Slavery in Hawai'i and Everywhere Else


3/22/11 UPDATE: Revived Human-Trafficking bills have a new vehicle HB1003 HD2 SD1! Please urge Hawaii's legislature to support it!

There are few things on Earth as terroristic, vicious, and inhumane as men buying and renting girls for sexxx. Please click on the title below to link back to the source website for what follows. It is from Honolulu Weekly.
Cover image for Mar 23, 2011

How much is your daughter worth?

Without legislation, Hawai‘i will continue as a hub for sex crimes
Comes with video
Turns out that she came here through Mexico on a raft through the Rio Grande. Red flag number one–that’s not how Korean women typically enter the US.
Legal / Young girls in Hawaii are bought and sold as easily as pizza. They are ordered online, delivered to hostess bars, massage parlors and strip clubs and are even found wrapped up in gift boxes to be delivered to men as mail-order brides–“satisfaction guaranteed.”
It sounds like sensationalism, but it isn’t. One hundred and forty-six years after passage of the 13th Amendment, humans are still being sold for huge profits. Uprooted from their homes and stripped of their human rights, girls as young as 12 years old are sold into a criminal industry that has existed since antiquity. The question is, when will slavery in Hawaii end?

What looks like prostitution is not prostitution. What’s called human trafficking is nothing less than slavery. For modern-day abolitionists like Kathy Xian, the executive director for the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS), the real world war is on the streets and online, and the worst crimes are committed against women and children.
“You have to understand,” says Xian, “the human brain doesn’t stop developing until around age 24 or 25. If these children suffer abuse and are recruited into this trade, it will affect their brain development. Our society blames the victim, instead of the ones who are really responsible–the pimps and the johns.”
According to International Crisis Aid statistics, between 100,000 and 300,000 children–primarily girls–are victims of the sex trade in the US. Instead of being helped, they are being prosecuted, thrown in juvenile detention and vilified. These jarring statistics mirror their shocking stories, and in Hawaii, sex slavery in hostess bars, strip clubs, sex clubs, and the buying and selling of women online, is skyrocketing. The pimps and johns run free, the sex businesses flourish, and children are abused and put behind bars.
Political theorist Hannah Arendt famously stated that “The calamity of the rightless is not that they are deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or of equality before the law. Their plight…is that no law exists for them.”
This couldn’t be more true in Hawaii. Victims of local sex crimes are re-criminalized due to the inexplicable lack of legislation that would otherwise protect them. Victims are often arrested and sent to jail, resulting in prostitution charges and a sentence that deprives them of the only thing they still possess–the faded possibility of a successful future. Instead, their pimp pays the $250–$1,000 fine, and they once again return to a life of fear.
First Lady Nancie Caraway, who was the director of Women’s Human Rights Projects at the Globalization Research Center, says it is essential to address the “supply and demand” factors of human trafficking.
“Trafficking is a labor problem, a public-health problem, a gender issue, a migration problem and a global criminal problem,” says Caraway in an anti-trafficking task force statement. “Our own consumer habits fuel global slavery.”

Defining Crimes

Human trafficking, in its most basic definition, is a crime against humanity; it is the act of exploiting a person through the use of force, coercion or manipulation.
At its core, it is the denial of liberty for the purpose of making money off of that person.
Sometimes it takes the form of forced labor, such as the recent Aloun Farms case, and can also be the sexual exploitation of a person. In other words, human trafficking is modern-day slavery.
Legally, the only difference between prostitution and sex trafficking is that the prostitute willingly engages in prostitution of her or his own volition.
“On a humanistic level, sex trafficking and prostitution are the same thing,” says Xian. “But for victims of sex trafficking, there is no free will in that equation. For the main reason that you still have the problem of re-victimizing victims as criminals.”
Poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities are compelling factors that facilitate sex trafficking, but are not the root cause.
“Incest is boot camp for prostitution,” says Xian, quoting anti-trafficking activist Andrea Dworkin. Xian adds, “When you understand what happens to the victims, or see it first hand, you can’t walk away from that.”
While sexual exploitation of girls is well documented, boys are often overlooked. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), sex-trafficking can be linked to early childhood cases of incest and sex abuse, and most children are forced into the sex trade as early as age 12 or 13. By the time they’re 20, almost all are addicted to drugs or dead.

Debt Bondage: Aloun Farms

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon, one of the leading investigators in the Global Horizons case– the largest human trafficking case ever charged in US history, in which 400 Thai laborers were coerced into agricultural work–says that debt bondage occurs when captive workers–whether through sex or labor–are held against their will by their employers through threats and, all too often, violence.
In a recent interview, Simon said, “In the old days, they used to keep slaves in their place with whips and chains. Today, it is done with economic threats and intimidation.”
Local immigration attorney Clare Hanusz, who represents some of the defendants in the Aloun Farms and Global Horizons human trafficking cases, says that many times, women are manipulated into thinking that they are coming for legitimate jobs and then coerced into the sex trade in the form of hostess bars, parlors, strip clubs or prostitution rings to pay their recruitment fees.
Hanusz adds that debt bondage is one of the most common ways traffickers lure young women into believing they have no other choices.
“I represented a Korean woman working in a hostess bar,” says Hanusz. “She was arrested in an enforcement raid. She wasn’t charged criminally, actually she was not even working at that bar, but she was asked for identification, and all she had was a Korean passport.”
Hanusz says the woman was sent to the federal detention center and held without bond. After a phone call from another attorney, she found an interpretor and asked the Korean woman the details of how she made it to Honolulu.
“Turns out that she came here through Mexico on a raft through the Rio Grande,” she adds. “Red flag number one–that’s not how Korean women typically enter the US.
“That was her trafficker’s third attempt. Previously, she’d tried coming through Canada. She was coming to Honolulu to work at a hostess bar, but she did not know that was going to involve sexual services. She paid a recruiter a large amount of money. Here’s another example of a debt-bondage situation.”

Current Legislation

Hawaii is currently one of five states in America that has not passed a human trafficking state law, or laws effectively addressing human trafficking as a felony offense while protecting the victims. With current bills in legislation in South Dakota and Massachusetts, Hawaii may in fact become a trio of states remaining in which labor trafficking and sex trafficking will continue to thrive.
Xian, who has committed the last 10 years of her life to being a spokesperson for PASS, says “the law will only see what you tell it to see,” and “without proper legislation protecting the victims of human trafficking, nothing, in Hawaii, will change.”
House bills 576 and 577 would criminalize sex and labor trafficking, and Xian says that what PASS is asking for is a complete policy change.
“We want a mental, spiritual, physical paradigm shift of what [the law] historically sees as a crime, or who they see as criminals–the girls. [Law enforcers] want to retain the power, for various reasons, to choose who is a victim out of a pool of criminals. Current prostitution statutes criminalize victims.”
With the establishment of a state law, Xian says the crimes will be addressed while victims will be protected. Law enforcement will then have specific funding for programs designed to address the illegal trade and trafficking of humans. Without these statutes, citizens and law enforcement will not adequately study and assess the problem in Hawaii.

History Repeating

House bills 576 and 577 have been introduced, re-introduced, stalled and killed. Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran, who for many citizens is the “John Brown hope” of deciding whether or not the bill will live or die, originally decided not to schedule the bills for a hearing in time for them to reach the House floor.
In an interview, the Weekly asked him why he wouldn’t schedule the bill, and what he wanted to say to those who are pointing fingers.
“I decided to hear the bills that the prosecutor said would actually help. Those are the bills that I’m pushing forward this year.”
Keith-Agaran believes the debate about human trafficking needs to be an open one. “We need to decide if we are looking at this as a law enforcement issue, or as a paradigm that all prostitutes are victims. Because that seems to be part of the underlying issue. I think law enforcement certainly isn’t ready to say that [all prostitutes] are victims.”
The theory that prostitution is a choice, is something Xian fiercely disputes. She believes that to understand sex trafficking and prostitution, people must understand that when a prostituted person is treated like a criminal and arrested, their story never makes it past the first interrogative interview.
“Trust is thrown out the window,” she says, “and no substantive work can be done to track the real criminals–the pimp or trafficker who trains her to say what they want her to say, and the johns who abuse her.”
While the bills could be re-introduced next session, Keith-Agaran said they probably wouldn’t make it out of his committee this year. However, in another attempt to resurrect it, Sen. Suzanne Chun-Oakland and Rep. John Mizuno revived the human trafficking bill by adding it as an amendment to HB 1003–which relates to the Penal Code–a bill introduced by the governor.
“The language that the Senate Human Services committee has placed in its Senate Draft 1 of HB 1003 has not been posted,” says Keith-Agaran. “If Sen. Chun-Oakland inserted the contents of the labor trafficking bill (HB 577), I’ll look at the legislation…if it moves on towards conference, Sen. Clayton Hee’s Judiciary committee will need to make a decision and return it to the House.”
Keith-Agaran adds that HD 2 of HB 1003 contained important language proposed by Gov. Abercrombie and supported by law enforcement to provide greater protection to witnesses in domestic violence cases.
“I hope that Sen. Chun-Oakland left that language intact in her Senate Draft and simply added the trafficking language,” he says.
Says Xian, “If Sen. Hee does not schedule the bill for a hearing by next Thursday (3/31), we’re back in the same place, and the bill will die.”

What is the real cost?

In Honolulu a woman can sell for as little as $150 or as much as $10,000 for a single night. In countries like Thailand and Brazil, orphans and daughters from poor families have reportedly been sold as servants and sexual slaves for less than $100. After being sold in cities such as Belgrade and Yugoslavia, young girls are reportedly locked in rooms, fed one meal a day, tortured with cigarette burns and forced to have sex with up to a dozen men a day, seven days a week, until exhaustion or disease wipes out her market value. Her pimp makes his money back in less than a week.
In Victor Malarek’s book, Inside the New Global Sex Trade, he points out that prostitution sprang up in Bosnia in 1995 to serve the United Nations troops. Malarek highlights the irony of these supposed “emissaries of civilization” feeding a barbaric industry. The author gives descriptions of 60-year-old US military officers showing up at social events with their 14-year-old sex slaves.
In 2008, Nidia Casati of the International Organization for Migration, which helps sex slaves return home, said that Bosnian women are “bought and sold constantly. They sell women like animals.”
She reports that the young girls are forced to pay off the cost of their own sale. They earn from “$50 an hour to $500 for a night, but are paid between $100 and as little as $13 a month.”

Future of Hawaii

Without legislation, Hawaii will continue as an international hub for sex crimes. Young girls will be trafficked throughout Honolulu, and what was once a family-tourism destination will become a sex-tourism destination.
It is the girl, repeatedly forced into sex that is put behind bars. Until lawmakers are awakened to the horrors inflicted by human trafficking, the war on slavery in Hawaii will persist.

Resources: How You Can Help

Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (P.A.S.S.)
Hale Kipa, Youth Outreach
808-589-1829 x 200
Missing Child Center Hawaii

The Ugly Truth

“I was told by an acquaintance that I could work at his restaurant. I decided to accept his offer as I thought my family might improve their life if I sent them my salary. Soon after my arrival, I realized that I was sold. My life since then has been like that of an animal.
I was sold three times. I begged my last owner to let me go home but she said I owed her lots of money that I had to pay back by sleeping with customers. I was always scolded and forced to do all kinds of terrible things.
It is impossible to describe how horrible and miserable my life was. For six and a half months, I was totally controlled by her. Every day I had to go out and sleep with men. I had no physical or spiritual freedom. She threatened that wherever I escaped to, I would be traced and killed and so would my parents in Thailand.”
–Testimony by Sara P., a woman trafficked from Thailand, []