In her new book GOOD BOOTY: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music (out now from Dey Street Books), the accla...
giovedì 2 giugno 2011
Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children
exerpt from the book on “How a Child Becomes a Product”:
We see a “hooker” on the street and we’re disgusted. We read or hear the language of prostitution and we’re appalled. But what we don’t realize is the extremese of anguish that have led to this nauseating end. And so – - to understand clearly — we have to go back to the beginning. To the “why” of prostitution. It’s simple supply and demand. There is a buyer who wants a product. For that product to come to market, the seller — pimp, the facilitator, the trafficker — must prepare his product to meet the demand. He does this by first obtaining a raw product, then preparing and packaging the product, and finally distributing the product, offering it for sale.
And the product? Usually a girl. Usually around the age of 11 to 14. Here’s the process…
Obtain a Product (Child)
A number of strategic practices are used to obtain children for sex trafficking, and more tactics are being developed as the demand for children continues to rise in the U.S. As to location, it’s cheaper and less risky getting a girl from a small town or a city in the U.S. than to import women and children from other countries.
A trafficker gets a child by:
1. Abduction — sometimes right off the streets, other times after a period of luring (the girls may believe the pimp is a boyfriend, then on day the “boyfriend” lures or forces the girl to leave her home or hometown).
2. Coercion — which is still a form of abduction. This is when a child is lured into the life. The girl may believe that she’s willingly chosen to go with the pimp and to do the things he or a facilitator ask her to do. She is usually not aware of the physical and psychological brainwashing she’s being subjected to.
Preparation of Product (Child)
As with any product, the seller seeks to meet the desire of the buyer. In this case, the buyer desires a young girl who appears to be equal parts innocent child and slut.
- Innocent — a little girl’s age alone makes her an innocent. This element is natural. Even among girls who have been in “the life” for years, I always find “layers” of the children they really are…perhaps in the way they giggle, or the way they long for a mother figure. Even after years of abuse and deprivation, the innocent child can be perceived.
- Slut/Whore — this part doesn’t come naturally. A little girl doesn’t grow up as the product that buyers want her to be — she is by no menas a slut or a whore. She doesn’t have a sexually depraved mind or sexual desires. Someone — a pimp, facilitator, porn producer, and/or molester — must forcibly condition the girl to become this way. This is product preparation.
So how does someone turn an innocent little girl into a “slut”?
- Language — the unique language used in the commercial sex industry is, to us, crude and vile. To them, it’s the norm.
- Pornography — this is used in two ways: for the enticement of the buyer, and for the preparation of the child who will be bought:
- Child pornography often increases a person’s desire for sex with girls and boys. The direct link is clearly evident. Most buyers of children have spent extensive time viewing children in sexual situations. This creates an expectation that the child he buys should live up to.
- Pornography is used to train a child in how to behave, what to say, how to sound, how to seem. Children are forced to watch and learn.
Packaging of Product (Child)
- Language — The child must adopt the new language, the dialect of the street. She must be able to use the crude langueage that the buyer expects, to initiate the fantasy, exciting him and inciting him to use her — yet at the same time keeping him from a desire beyond his sexual hunger, which might make him want to rescue her from her pimp.
- New name — The child is usually given a new street name designed to provoke the fantasy. Her old name is discarded. She is now Lacy, Star, Cherry, Sugar, or some such.
- Appearance — a girl is dressed and made-up in the manner which a buyer expects and desires — as a “schoolgirl,” a “little beauty queen,” a “sexy child,” a “woman in a child’s body.”
I have to admit that at times, this all sounds beyond belief. For us living our regular lives, raising families, striving in our careers, going to college, planning vacations, it’s as if these children and women exist in another dimension. We may pass a gentleman’s club or see a girl dressed in a manner that makes us question –she’s not really a slave, is she? — and yet, it’s true. Our research, our investigations, have revealed a reality that still doesn’t seem possible in our own towns, in our own nation.