Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stereotypes & Assumptions

I am a young Asian woman living in the United States. I know there are many Asian women who are being trafficked for sex in the United States and around the world. I am not blind to this. I have been aware of sex trafficking since I was a school child. I just didn't know what it was called until now. In Third World countries like my homeland, the Republic of the Philippines, are trapped into sexual slavery because of poverty and/or the allure of making lots of money in prostitution. In First World countries like the United States of America, they are abducted and beaten & tortured (physically & psychologically) as young girls, average age 13. But not just Asians, but also Caucasians and African-Americans in the US are abducted and enslaved by sex traffickers.

I am a 29 year-old woman who usually is dressed in conventional business clothes because of the dictates of my day job. But on my free time, I can say I dress pretty fashionably and sometimes, a bit on the trendy, rock & roll side. But also because I tend to look 10 to 15 years younger than my actual age, I am mistaken for a high school kid. Today, it was so odd that I was asked for ID when I used my debit card to buy food. I wasn't even buying alcohol or tobacco. I guess the cashier thought I was 15 or 16. Too young to have a card. He must have been shocked to see my birth date. LOL! But this is just the benign side of being a girl and being Asian...

I cannot validate this with anything yet but I believe the area I live in a big hub for sex traffickers. I have just been informed about a few drug houses on a certain street and this street is close to a Montgomery County police station. As I walked on this particular street, it donned on me that this is just the surface because as abolitionists are learning that drug trafficking is closely linked to human trafficking especially sex trafficking. And while I walked on the street, men as they drive by whistle, honk their car horns and call me as if I was a prostitute or a pimp. I was shocked. I was wearing a short summer dress. Not that short... It was only two inches above my knees. It was a conservative length in my view... I was scared and mad at the same time. I really couldn't believe what was happening just because I was wearing a short, sexy dress. It's a terrible assumption. I tried to ignore them but it's hard to especially when you know what they may be thinking. And on this street, small children are living with their families. They play on the streets in the summer. I am more afraid for the little girls than for my own safety.

And then on Sunday afternoon, I saw a woman with shorts & high heels walking from the Silver Spring Metro station. Not a very common sight in downtown Silver Spring at all. But what got me suspicious was her behavior... She had her hair styled like, I'm sorry to say this, a prostitute. She kept looking around as if she was looking for prospective clients or worst... Then she had a black bag that seemed to hold something very precious to her especially when she kept making sure it was secure. Maybe I've been watching too many thriller or mystery movies but these are signs I've learned to pick up on.

No comments:

Post a Comment