Monday, December 21, 2009

Half The Sky

I'm reading Half the Sky. It is a brilliant and important book that I think everyone should read.

I am on an early chapter about keeping girls enslaved as prostitutes by drugging them with meth.

It struck me that my husbands family used this same approach to keep him compliant. I think giving minors drugs or alcohol is the most despicable act I can think of. When money is involved, it is a hard life to get away from.

"Neth and Momm underscore that Many prostitutes are neither acting freely nor enslaved, but living in a world etched by ambiguities somewhere between those two extremes. After her return, Momm was Bound to the brothel by drugs and debts, but the owner let her leave freely with customers, and Momm could have easily escaped if she had wanted to do so." 39

" the girls would have to go into debt to the trafficer. That's a classic means of gaining leverage over girls: The debts mount with exorbitant interest rates, and when the girls can't repay the loans, the trafficer sells them to a brothel." p 41

The situations these girls are in are terrible and unimaginable. In any case, reading this book has been empowering to me. I am surprised at how hopeful I feel when I put it down. There are a lot of horrible stories, but overall I feel like this is something we can all tackle.

The big thing that has been coming to my mind is that addiction keeps you centered on yourself. Even if you are the co-dependent, you are centered on the addict and the harm caused to yourself by having them in your life.

The thought that I have is, why aren't we helping people who want to be helped?

I mean really, there are millions of young girls being trapped into slavery around the world. Why not try to help those women who want out of that life?

Adult addicts can step out of their hell anytime they are ready to. But millions of young people do not have such choices.

Instead of spending money on alcohol or things that might enable an addict, why not sponsor a young woman abroad? Many people around the world live for under $2 a day.

So, I am hoping that more of us take back our power by helping those who are truly powerless. I recommend this book to everyone I know. I would highly recommend it to people who have addicts in their lives. Our world is bigger than the small, hellish one we create for ourselves.


  1. This is a book I want to read; I've heard the authors on NPR and they have much to say. I will be checking it out soon.

  2. Virginia, you would LOVE this book. I think it is the most important book I have read for a very long time.