Nothing in Girls Like Us will surprise those exposed to how our world works for the less white and wealthy, but everything in it will shock the other half. Both a call to action and a memorable recollection of the author’s own experiences, Girls Like Us is a masterpiece.
If you rape an 11 year old girl, you’re a child molester, a sick individual who should be buried under the jail. If you rape her after paying a third party you’re just soliciting sex and she’s a whore. If you prey upon that same girl, buy her things, treat her well then not so well, then abuse her freely, you are a predator who has groomed her. If that girl has no one to defend her, then you’re her boyfriend. Everything contained in Girls Like Us is authentic. I can attest from personal knowledge that this happens all across our country in many states. Young girls are kidnapped, are raped, are trafficked, are sold, and nothing is done. Police view it as a victimless crime. (I could tell a story here about my friend’s 15 year old niece that would curl your hair if you expect the police to protect you.)
Don’t think this is limited to America. Or Thailand. Or any other nation that isn’t where you might be sitting. Don’t think it only happens in New York. If you have strip clubs, if you have sex for hire, you have child slavery occurring right under your noses. It’s easier to blame the victim than it is to face the reality. Children in your town are being beaten and raped right now. Children are adaptable, they can come to see the most horrific circumstances as normal. Girls are taught to blame themselves for the failures of others. She’s fast tail, she’s looking for it, she’s hard to manage. If she were a better girl, she wouldn’t get raped, he wouldn’t beat her, she wouldn’t need to shake that ass for some cash. She’s too stupid to know better, too weak to change. All the lies the slaveholders tell the slaves and anyone who looks too carefully. Rachel Lloyd lays it out in a way that defies denial.
I think if I read this book I will be doing a lot of screaming – not at the book but at the #*$&@# in the book who are not defending those children with every breath in their body.
That would be all of us, though.
The real engine is the money, not the street. I’m glad that I would never date someone into porn/strip clubs and that I had the chance to see that life up close and personal. I may not have the character Rachel Lloyd does, but not being part of the problem is a start.