Tag Archives: Women

Half the sky


I have written about the terror of human trafficking  and  sexual slavery in earlier posts, so I am pleased to introduce a new post that is based on the book Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide that I`m reading right now.  A wonderful emotional outlet, since it gives hope in addition to informing the readers about one of the crisis the world struggles with today.

Sometimes books about serious issues can be so depressing and overwhelming they’re hard to get through. Sometimes they’re so steeped in religious or political opinions that the real issues get lost. Sometimes they make broad assumptions or use fuzzy logic that leave you with more questions than answers.

Half the Sky is not one of those books.

More than 100 million women are missing – Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist

Written by a married couple- the first married couple to win a Putlizer Prize- Half the Sky takes a look at gender inequality around the world. The authors consider gender inequality the current major humanitarian issue- on par with the Holocaust and slavery from the years past.

In their book, Kristof and WuDunn show how a little support can transform the lives of women and girls all over the world. “Women are not the problem,” they write, “they are the solution”. How so? Studies have indicated that when women hold assets or gain income, that money is more likely to be spent on nutrition, medicine and housing; consequently, their families are healthier. According to Half the Sky, for every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family; men are more likely to spend the majority on themselves. If a woman is given access to microfinance, livestock gifts and proper vocational training, she can begin to take charge of her own life and of her family’s income. The outcome? She becomes the solution to combating gender inequality.

The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century. More girls are killed in this routine “gendercide” in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century. | In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world. (xvii)

Many of the stories in this book are wrenching, but keep in mind this central truth: Women aren’t the problem but the solution. The plight of girls is no more a tragedy than an opportunity.

I loved the book, and maybe you will too?

Here is a trailer showing what the book is all about:


It seems that many women (men`s also allowed) are actually raising their voices!


Double standard still exists


imageDouble Standard Still Exists

Posted on June 30, 2013

By many standards Drew would be considered a stud. He has had sex with an outrageous number of women, and no, he is not a porn star. He is a good-looking thirty-four years of age tall and toned man who is a smooth-talker with the ladies. To the guys he is a stud. If Drew were a woman, the perception may be be she is loose and gets around. The double standard still exists. Let’s look at Drew’s story.

As we delve deeper into Drew, we will discover that he is not only a sex addict but an alcoholic as well. One could probably write a book on his life and choices. In an interview, I asked him a series of questions and gained a new perspective into his life. Choosing what part of his story to share and what part of his life to leave out, was not a simple task—but here goes.

Drew’s parents were married 17 years, but his parents did not have the ideal relationship. There were constant fights and arguments that he witnessed regularly growing up. His dad would go to strip bars to drink watch the dancers, and cheat on his wife. On a number of occasions, Drew, as early as the age of ten, would have to go into these bars to drag his passed-out dad home. He would also be physically abused by his dad and see his mom suffer the same recourse. His mom was fed up with not receiving love and positive attention that she would also cheated on him. The family dynamics for Drew growing up were not ideal. In order to seek refuge, he sought sexual encounters with multiple girls while in middle school (ages 11-13). In fact his first sexual experience was when he was eight years of age.

At the age of seventeen, Drew’s parents divorced and even though there was conflict in the home, the divorce really hurt him. He continued having sex with girl after girl to make him feel good. Instead of seeking a therapist, Drew developed a defense mechanism, which was “I will hurt you before you hurt me.” He was tired of being hurt so he figured it was his turn. This decision led him down a long road of self-destruction, alcoholism, and drug use. By the time Drew graduated high school, he didn’t have any respect for women; he just wanted to conquer them.

Drew recalls one New Year’s Eve, his mom bought him alcohol to ring in the New Year and he thought that was just the best thing ever. His mom had a boyfriend over and wanted to be able to do her own thing that night and so he could do his own thing. Parental guidance and boundaries were non-existent for him growing up.

Drew had a decision to make after high school: go to college or the military. He chose the military and quickly found a group of friends to party with and girls to sleep with. His pattern of sleeping around, alcohol, and drug use continued throughout his military career where he was ordered a “general discharged under honorable circumstances.” All that means is because of his good work ethic (and only this one time he was caught with drugs), the military judge had grace on him.

After the military, Drew and a friend, were hanging out at a lingerie bar and it was there he met the girl who would bore his two children at 23 years of age. Their relationship did not last and Drew continued his sexual activity with women even with his young children in the picture. When he was ordered custody of his children, he had to conceal his drug use, sexual activity, and alcohol usage from them.

One day Drew was having a BBQ where he was smoking and drinking. His daughter came out seeing him with a cigarette in one hand a bottle in the other and asked, “Dad, are you doing drugs?” That day a lot came out in terms of his dependence on alcohol (he could drink up to 30 cans of beer a day), cigarettes, and his anger problem. A lot came to the surface that day and he was able to give up alcohol and cigarettes—but not the sex with multiple random girls.

At thirty-four years of age, Drew is now able to look back and realize he was/is a sex addict. Over all the years from when Drew was in middle school all the way through to the beginning of his 30’s he never thought he was a sex addict. He had girls come his way and usually they sought him out most of the time and he was always willing to engage in sexual activities with them. It wasn’t until he finally sought help and his children’s biological mother asking, “Why do you always have to have a woman around you?” that he realized sex was something he needed—that he was in fact a sex addict. Additionally, when he attempted to count up the number of girls he had slept with, Drew estimated it to be above three-hundred.

Growing up Drew watched his dad drink and he self-medicated to mask the pain. With every sexual encounter, he tried to fill a void in his life, a void that he is filling in a healthy manner nowadays.

At first glance sleeping around may seem attractive on the outside, but when one realizes what is going on internally, that is when sometimes a deeper hurt is revealed. How about you? Are you trying to fill an emptiness in your life with sex? Whether you are a man or woman sleeping around, there are still consequences (no matter what our culture says); what are you attempting to escape from

What do you know about trafficking?


In the book I am reading (sex slaves), I have come to the people behind the problem of trafficking. What scares me is how much they earn by using other people, and not giving them profit in return, and their close connection to politics. Examples are the Yakuza in Japan, and politicians in Pakistan.


our knowledge, their problem

Slaves are forced to work for their “master” or “owner” and cannot get free. Sexual slaves are forced to work as prostitutes. The masters or pimps use violence, threats, blackmail and other methods to reduce the woman’s self worth and self esteem until eventually she will not try to escape because of fear or mental trauma. Sexual slavery is a way for a man to make a lot of money and to feel powerful. Society rewards people with power and wealth so unfortunately sexual slavery may continue until society values caring and sharing above all else. Women are trying to alter men’s attitudes towards violence and abuse of power and this is gradually having an effect. There are now shelters for abused women and heavier fines for pimps but there is a very long way to go yet.


imageVulnerable people, usually poor, are deceived or forced into working abroad with promises of a better life. When they get there their passports are taken off them, they are forced to work behind locked doors and beaten or starved if they refuse. Sometimes they are killed and the threat of murder is always there. Their “masters” or “owners” make money by forcing them to work in sweatshops, dangerous jobs or as prostitutes. If the victim manages to get to the police, she is often not helped because she has no documents or the crime is not taken seriously. Because she is likely to be deported to her own country where she will probably be murdered, she doesn’t usually try to contact the authorities and so human trafficking continues to grow.

Women and girls are at particular risk of becoming victims of trafficking due to diverse factors, such as the high global prevalence of violence and discrimination against women; unequal access to education and the consequent lack of good employment opportunities which may render women more susceptible to false promises of work abroad; the lack of legal channels of entry for unskilled workers; and sex-selective migration policies.
The ILO estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million victims (55%), compared to 9.5 million (45%) men and boys. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 500,000 women are trafficked into prostitution each year.


Abusive Statistics


We live in a world were lot of good things happen, but also in a world full of suffering. This might be tough reading for some, but if you are interested in information on abuse, here follows some scary statistics about abuse:


Teenage Relationship Violence:

  • •One in three teens are victim of some form of abuse in a romantic relationship(including verbal and emotional abuse)
  • •40% of high school girls–ages 14 to 17–know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by their boyfriend (or girl friend)
  • •Almost 80% of girls who have been physically abused in an intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. (This happens for many different reasons. They may feel stuck. They might be afraid of what their abuser might do to them if they break up. They might not have any support. Sometimes, they don’t even know that what is going on is wrong……Never judge someone who is in an abusive relationship, just be there for support and remind them that they deserve better.)
  • •1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have been pressured to perform oral sex or engage in intercourse.
  • •1 in 4 females will be the victim of sexual abuse by the time they graduate from college.
Sexual Violence:
  • •According to the U.S. Department of Justice, somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. Victims of sexual assault and rape stretch across every age, race, class, gender and demographic and it is disturbingly common. Sexual violence is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. Young women, ages 16-24 are FOUR times more likely to be raped than other women.1 in 4 women will experience rape or attempted rape during college
  • •84% of rape victims know their attacker
  • •For every 1 rape reported, it is estimated that 6 are not
  • •The most common reasons women give for why they did not report the crime is the belief that it is a private, personal matter or they are afraid their assailant will retaliate.
  • •In 75% of college rapes, alcohol is involved. 55% of victims and 80% of perpetrators were intoxicated. Alcohol is the #1 date-rape drug.
  • •1 in 12 college men admitted that they have performed acts that could be defined as rape.
  • •30% of men admitted they would force someone to have sex with them if they knew they would not get in trouble.
  • •On average, it takes a victim of sexual assault/abuse 5 years to tell anyone about the incident.
  • •70% of women with eating disorders have been sexually assaulted or abused in their lifetime
  • •99% of rape victims are female (10% male)
  • •99% of rapes are perpetrated by men (1% are perpetrated by women)
  • •Approximately 28% of victims are raped by husbands or boyfriends, 35% by acquaintances, and 5% by other relatives.
  • •The FBI estimates that only 37% of all rapes are reported to the police. U.S. Justice Department statistics are even lower, with only 26% of all rapes or attempted rapes being reported to law enforcement officials.
  • •In a national survey 27.7% of college women reported a sexual experience since the age of fourteen that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape, and 7.7% of college men reported perpetrating aggressive behavior which met the legal definition of rape.
  • •The National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that for 1992-1993, 92% of rapes were committed by known assailants. About half of all rapes and sexual assaults against women are committed by friends and acquaintances, and 26% are by intimate partners.
  • •Victims of rape often manifest long-term symptoms of chronic headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, recurrent nausea, decreased appetite, eating disorders, menstrual pain, sexual dysfunction, and suicide attempts. In a longitudinal study, sexual assault was found to increase the odds of substance abuse by a factor of 2.5.
  • •Victims of marital or date rape are 11 times more likely to be clinically depressed, and 6 times more likely to experience social phobia than are non-victims. Psychological problems are still evident in cases as long as 15 years after the assault.

**Statistics compiled through Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics,

U.S. Dept. of Justice, RAINN, and Porchlight Counseling Center.

Sexual harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, andother verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in which submission to or rejection of such conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s work or school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or school environment.

Sexual abuse: Any unwanted sexual contact, including sexual touching and fondling
Rape/sexual assault: Forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oralpenetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.
Acquaintance assault: involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.).
Incest: sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.
Consent: Consent occurs when both partners freely and willingly participate in sexual activities.
The legal definition of rape includes any sexual contact without consent. Consent cannot be legally given in the state of Illinois if a person is:
– Under 17
– Mentally incapacitated
– Drunk or high
– Coerced
– Forced
Additionally, the absence of “no” does not mean “yes.” So, even if a person does not fight back or explicitly say “no,” they still are not necessarily giving consent.
*Information compiled from Porchlight, RAINN, and ICASA resources