Tuesday, June 29, 2010
June's selection at Book Club was Uprising. It's an historical fiction tale about the Shirtwaist Factory Fire back in 1911. It was written really well, but was so sad. It's wonderful how far women's rights have come the past 100 years, but it's horrible how some cultures still treat their women now in 2010.
The book mentions "White Slavery" in passing, and I want to share my great-aunt's story here. My grandmother was the 8th of 9 children, and 4 of her siblings were deaf and mute. When her oldest sister was a teenager, many boys tried to take advantage of her because she couldn't speak. Then she met a young man, who was a complete gentleman and they began dating. One night they went out on a date and she never returned home. My great-grandparents were frantic and hired a private investigator to try and find her. What had happened was that this nice gentleman drove her across the Kentucky state line and sold her into white slavery. There she was tied to a bed, along with several other women, while men visiting the establishment got to pay a fee to rape these poor girls. Each night the women would scream out to the guard asking to be released. Apparently, the guard felt sorry for my aunt who couldn't scream and let her go. When the private investigator found her, she was living in an apartment and was behaving pretty much like a wild animal. When my great-grandpa went to get her and bring her home, she kicked him, scratched him, bit him, and did everything she could to get away until she realized it was her father. My grandma said once she came back home that she didn't leave her room for a year. For the next 5 years, she never left the house and if anyone came over she went straight to her bedroom. Eventually, she married and raised her own family, and had happiness, but her story just breaks my heart. The world we live in now is filled with pornography and sexual perversion. With all the human trafficking that goes on, I wonder how many of those poor women are there by their own free will and choice.
Another thing I want to mention is the slavery that is going on around the world TODAY. After living in Taiwan, my eyes were cracked open to the appalling conditions for factory workers there. I believe in a global economy and sharing the wealth. Unfortunately, so many businesses want to get fat off the backs of those less fortunate and treat humans so inhumanely. We met a guy from the Philippines who came over to work in Taiwan. He was baptized into our church, then we didn't see him again for 3 months. When he finally returned he told us he was locked in his factory and forced to work 20 hour day shifts. I also had several women friends from the Philippines at church that worked as domestic helpers. They usually had to work 16 hour days with only 1 Sunday off a month. These people are so desperate for work that they let themselves be taken advantage of, so they can send the money they make back home to their families to try and give their children an education and a better life. It's really so very sad.
I want to end with a commercial I saw once. The TV screen was split in two. On one side you saw a cute little European boy wake up in a comfy, warm bed then go down to eat a yummy breakfast. He then got dressed in his school uniform, and new shoes and headed off to school. At school it showed him learning all different subjects, playing soccer at recess, and eating another yummy lunch. On the other side of the screen you saw a pair of hands gluing layers together to make the soles of shoes. The same shoes the little European boy was wearing. Finally, you saw those hands were attached to another little boy, a Chinese one, who spent his whole day inside a dark factory gluing these shoe soles together, with just a quick lunch break to eat some cold rice. At the end it said, "Know how much your shoes really cost." I don't have the answers, but I do know that there is enough prosperity in this world that NOONE should ever be treated that way or be hungry!