AMERICA’S “MEENA”

This week in class we talked about the patriarchal society that controls women and their rights, not only in America but around the world.  A woman’s status is controlled by the power held by men in her society; women’s lives are threatened by the patriarchy that trumps all femininity.  We discussed excerpts from Half The Sky in class and formed groups to not only talk about the women’s stories but to propose ways that society could aid in creating opportunities for women.  The story that really touched base with sex trafficking was that of “Meena” and her struggles to survive and escape a brothel controlled by the powerful Nutt tribe running the local sex trade in the Indian state of Bihar.  Reading about her horrifying experiences and separation from her children, of whom she wasn’t even sure of their fathers, really made me think about how trapped women are in today’s patriarchal realm.  I don’t think we as Americans ever consider that women just like Meena exist inside the confines of our “safe” little United States.  We don’t realize that women and young children are being brought here and forced into sex slavery everyday.  These victims are promised a future or an education and are instead locked into the sex trade with little to no hope of ever escaping.  I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and saw a friend from Nashville posting about a recent “prostitute bust” at local massage centers that is now being looking into as a sex trafficking case.  With most of us living in comfortable homes and attending such an expensive and privileged university, we don’t stop to consider what horrible things could be going on right under our noses.

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