Very Young Girls
You wish it...I dish it.
"Long story short, I want more people to know and be outraged by this."
~ Tory Fuller
My sister Tory (not the lil one; the redheaded one) sent me this. If you haven't seen the documentary "Very Young Girls" I recommend you do so ASAP. I know some of you are already hip to this but I'm new to the game. Either way, you can get it from Netflix or even watch it instantly there.
Don't barf, don't barf, don't barf. When I first started watching the documentary, listening to the tender ages of these girls, watching the heartlessness of the pimps, the utter uselessness of cops, the crude callousness of the johns as they were being "rehabilitated", and the ineffectiveness of the parents, I had to keep telling myself not to barf. When I approached the middle of the documentary, seeing the girls talk amongst themselves in their support group, I had to tell myself not to cry.
It takes no genius to figure out why these girls are chosen. Most of them are of color, and we all know how highly POC are valued in America. They're all poor, and heaven knows this society is classist as hell. They're aged 12-13, entering puberty, their self-esteem is extremely fragile, and they're plagued with childhood ignorance. In short, they're easy prey. And as Tory notes above, their age causes "complications" in the social work system, so it's difficult for them to find help.
"You Need a Daddy in Yo' Life"
This seems to be one of the recurring themes of the documentary. I noticed the absence of father figures; I heard the eagerness in the girls' voice when they talked about the "possibilities" of having a lover, provider, teacher, and father figure all rolled into one. They are lulled in by the notion of family, of being part of a unit. Tack on the dependency and impaired judgment which comes with substance abuse, and bondage is complete.
Hard Out Here for a Pimp?
Rachel Lloyd, founder of GEMS, calls out the Academy for awarding "Best Song" to Three 6 Mafia's "Hard Out Here for a Pimp", while neglecting to think about how hard it is for a 13-year-old getting beaten and raped daily. She points out that we talk about human trafficking in the Philippines and Thailand, but when its happening two blocks down, "we look the other way." Why do we look the other way? Because they're mostly American POC? Because they're on home soil and thus expendable? Conchita Sarnoff writes:
"...if you believe that only Latin, Russian, Balinese, Haitian or Eastern European children are being sold for sex outside of America take a long close look at the latest Congressional figures given to me today: 'Over 100,000 children in the United States are currently exploited through commercial sex. Although it is hard to believe, the average age of first exploitation is 12-13. We can no longer ignore that American children in our country are being so horrifically exploited for economic gain.'Race & Gender War
"...If we want to abolish child slavery in the 21st Century our world view must change once again. Congress must shift gears like it did in 1861. For two thousand years or so we have used visible realities to remind us of invisible ones. So I say, let's create a visible reality that can sharpen that distinction; the distinction between an active and inactive Judiciary and one that will allow Congress to create more stringent legislation against child traffickers.
"As Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Chris Smith judiciously assert in their letter: 'In order to reduce child trafficking we must all care for the victims, ensure adequate resources for law enforcement and prosecutors... put pimps behind bars, strengthen deterrence and prevention programs aimed at buyers, and require timely and accurate reporting of missing children.' Amen to that."
Grown black and white men buying and selling little girls, most of them of color. Male prosecuting attorney trying to throw these exploited, manipulated, underaged girls in jail while letting pedophilic johns walk free after "taking a class" for six months. Are we serious? What stood between one girl and jail, I noticed (and was very proud to see), was the army of women standing around her...black and white female attorneys and counselors from GEMS trying to make damn sure she didn't end up behind bars. The judge may have thought she was being "lenient" and giving a "gift", but Tory's right: that wasn't a present. That girl shouldn't have been in court in the first place; it's not where she belonged. Law enforcement and the legal system have already shown their utter worthlessness in this matter, so much that people like Lloyd - an ex-child prostitute herself - have to do most of the heavy lifting (she started out GEMS with a borrowed computer, $30 in her pocket, and housing girls in her tiny apartment).
It's no surprise this problem goes neglected in America. We don't value females and POC very highly here. One reviewer on Netflix wrote, "I didnt like this. Just people being black. I feel bad for the girls, but this is a country where everyone has a chance." Another wrote, "This isnt even worth one star. I couldnt even finish watching it because hearing those girls talk was worse than hearing my babies cry. It was pathetic, and disappointing." Yet another wrote, "BORING as h----. I feel bad for the girls because its obvious they no longer have a sense of reality bc of their pasts, but it is so boring to listen to in my humble opinion." Many more reviewers ignored the message altogether and focused strictly on critiquing the filmmaking.
But when people say they hate America, these folks are always the first to wonder why.
Child Exploitation and Obscenity (CEOS)
Sexual Trafficking of American Indian Women