I was a little nervous when the Husband poured vanilla almond milk into the scrambled eggs, but you know what? It worked!
It made the eggs more sweet than savory, but it was a very light sweetness and an interesting change. Mmmm.
On toast with watermelon and pineapple.
I stayed up SO late last night finishing an amazing book – Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd, which was gifted to me by the publisher.
The issue of child sex trafficking is something that I care deeply about and have blogged about before (Selling the Girl Next Door). Heads up: this book discusses serious and sad topics relating to sexual abuse, so you may want to skip this book review if you are sensitive to the topic due to your own history.
Rachel Lloyd started an organization called GEMS in New York. GEMS is the only non-profit organization in New York City that provides support for girls who have been sex trafficked. And if you think things like this ‘don’t happen in the USA,’ trust me – unfortunately, they do. In the United States alone, between 100,000 to 300,000 children are commercially sexually exploited and sold each year. Many of the girls who come through the GEMS program are as young as 11 – 13.
Rachel can related to their stories because she, too, was a commercially sexually exploited teen and young adult in Europe, where she grew up. About whether Rachel would changed her past if she could: “Obviously there have been experiences I would rather not have had and pain I wish I hadn’t felt, but every experience, every tear, every hardship has equipped me for the work I do now," she says. "I get such deep satisfaction from knowing I’m fulfilling my purpose, that my life is counting for something; it puts all the past hurts into perspective. My pain has become my passion and I find true joy in my work, in my life, and in seeing ‘my girls’ fulfill their purpose too."
One of the things that I really liked about Girls Like Us is that it tackles one of the most common responses to commercially sexually exploited teens: “Well, why don’t they just leave?” Rachel argues that this question is unfair and implies that the teens are somehow responsible, not victims (scary fact: the majority of states charge and treat girls as criminals if they are picked up by cops). Children in ‘the life’ 1) may feel that they do not have many options due to their social, family, racial, and gender status; and 2) suffer from extreme emotional manipulation and physical abuse at the hands of their pimps that creates a Stockholm syndrome-like reaction, among other factors.
Another important topic Rachel tackles is our semantics surrounding the sex trade. She argues that we should call children in the sex trade “commercially sexually exploited children,” not prostitutes. I really loved the chapters about this issue because it’s true – what we call ourselves and others has a huge impact on how we feel. Semantics does matter.
In summary, I really enjoyed this book, although it’s about a very tough topic, because it opened my eyes and heart to the realities of child sex trafficking in our country. Any person who works in the mental health field would especially benefit from reading this moving and inspiring memoir.
If you’re interested in other ‘women’s rights/topics’ books, check out my reviews of:
So Sexy So Soon by Jean Kilbourne
In Defense of Women by Judge Nancy Gertner
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Enrenreich
P.S. – MY book, Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time, is currently on crazy sale on Amazon – only $6.80 as I publish this. It’s a great gift book for a woman in your life!