I recently read an article posted on Yahoo News about prostitution during World War II in Japan. Prostitution is a difficult and controversial subject for feminists, but what most can agree on is that forced prostitution is a horror equivalent to slavery that needs to be stopped. However, the mayor of Osaka, Japan, Toru Hashimoto disagrees. When reflecting on the horrors of World War II, Hashimoto publicly claimed that the Japanese military’s forced prostitution of Asian women was crucial in order for the army to “maintain discipline” and provide a release for soldiers risking their lives in battle.
During World War II, Hashimoto’s opinion on forced prostitution was probably shared by the majority of military officials and soldiers who were serving, but that obviously doesn’t make it right, and …
New book from Rachel Lloyd, “Girls Like Us”, is more than a memoir—it’s a life-changing experience. Lloyd, Founder/Executive Director of Girls Education and Mentoring Network (GEMS), tells the story of the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States. She does this by weaving her story in with the stories of people whose lives she has touched, and the genesis of GEMS itself. But the stories alone are not what made this book the best one I have read in a long while—it’s how effortlessly they get to the heart of what choice really means. In short, “Girls Like Us” is where theory and practice, activism and ideology, all sing in perfect harmony.
You may have heard about the private behaviour of Silvio Berlusconi – the male chauvinist politician that opened his door to protégées and lovers. Add this to Italian culture of degrading media and the poor opportunities women have for careers and the world must be wondering how we can accept all this madness. A lot of Italian women are trying to find the answers to the complicated question (our reality), “Why do women always have to find a solution to excesses of male privilege? Why do we put up with it?”
Over the summer, I read Half the Sky. The entire book was incredible, but I was moved by the chapter on the sex trafficking industry. I wrote this story as a way to try to imagine what that experience must be like. After all, though I am American, with just a slight twist of fate I so easily could have been one of these girls.
There is a fly buzzing by my head. I can see three more scuttling on the wall. In my peripheral vision there are posters hanging pathetically. I try to ignore the pornographic images. I already know the images too well. Far better then any girl my age should. My own experiences are burned into my memory. Painted behind my eyelids.