“My manager told us we will work as a prostitute. I’m still virgin. I tell my friend I don’t want this work because I cannot give myself to anybody … My boss tell me I sign contract, I cannot go back Philippines. I’m afraid I have AIDS.”
-Anna, Philippines (MSNBC, 2007).
Part I-The Problem: Sexual Trafficking
According to the United States Federal Government, sexual trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person. Today, the United Nations estimates that an approximate 27 million people currently exist as sexual trafficked persons. This number is greater than the number of slaves held in captivity during the Atlantic Slave Trade at any one point. The United Nations cites sexual trafficking as the fastest growing, and most profitable international organized crime, taking in between $9-$30 billion dollars in profit annually. Around 50% of all trafficked persons are 18 and under (Hodge, 2000). The three top countries from which traffickers find their victims are Romania, Thailand, and Japan. The three top countries to which these people are trafficked are Italy, Canada, and, perhaps surprisingly, the United States (Hodge, 2000).
Many people fall victim to sexual trafficking. The traffickers target people living in poverty and play on their desperation, promising new jobs in other countries. These victims trust their predators but find themselves far away from home and forced to live as prostitutes through violence and black mail. Other times, victims are kidnapped.
Despite the prevalence of sexual trafficking in America, the country remains ill equipped to deal with the problem. Only four shelters exist in the United States that specifically cater to the needs of trafficked persons. These shelters exist in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Columbus, Ohio (Not For Sale Campaign, 2009). Furthermore, the United States has only passed one set of laws, the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act,” which deals with the problems of sexual trafficking. In the first section of this act, the government plainly states, “Additional research is needed to fully understand the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and to determine the most effective strategies for combating trafficking in persons” (United States Congress, 2008).
Part II-“Modern Day Slavery”- Sexual Trafficking vs. Slavery
Social workers often refer to sexual trafficking as “modern day slavery.” In fact, many similarities between the Atlantic Slave Trade and modern sexual trafficking exist. Between 1680 and 1865, around 500,000 slaves were brought to America. These slaves, mainly taken from Africa, found themselves subject to abuse of all forms, including sexual abuse (Randall, 1997). Slave traders, like traffickers, preyed on those in poverty by convincing African tribes to sell their own into slavery. Slave traders also kidnapped many of their slaves. Like the sexually trafficked, slaves often experienced physical and sexual abuse.
Part III-Research Question
My researched compares the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act” with the laws of the Atlantic Slave Trade that protected slaves from sexual abuse. I hope to resolve the shortcomings of the United States federal laws by finding strengths I the laws of the slave trade. I hypothesized that I would find slave trade laws, or aspects of them, that could be applied to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to help curb the incidents of sexual trafficking in America.
Part IV-“Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act”
All American legislation concerning human trafficking resides in the “William Wilberford Human Trafficking Reauthorization Protection Act of 2008.” William Wilberford, born in England in 1759, adamantly fought for the abolition of slavery in Europe (“William Wilberforce,” 2010). It therefore seems appropriate, as many now refer to sexual trafficking as “modern day slavery,” that this act be named after him. Congress passed the first protection act in 2008. The legislation received revisions in 2005, 2007, and most recently in 2008. Four sections exist within the act itself: Combating International Trafficking In Persons, Combating Trafficking In Persons In The United States, Authorizations of Appropriations, and Child Soldiers Prevention. The first three sections contain the majority of the sexual trafficking laws.
The first line of the act states the purpose: “To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2008 through 2011 for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, to enhance measures to combat trafficking in persons, and for other purposes (United States government). Made clear through both the title and the stated purpose, this act aims to decrease the prevalence of human trafficking nationally and internationally, and to aid the victims of this crime. Furthermore, the opening section says, “Additional research is needed to fully understand the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and to determine the most effective strategies for combating trafficking in persons” (US government). This line proves that the government openly admits to their lack of knowledge about trafficking and the desperate need for further research. One could perform an entire study, dissecting the ins and outs of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008,” but for this paper, I will highlight three major aspects of the act.
The act creates a T-visa. Only victims of human trafficking can receive this visa, and only on the ground that they willingly assist in the prosecuting of their traffickers. Those qualifying for the T-visa may stay in the United States for three years, at which time they can apply for citizenship. Visa holders qualify for the same services that refugees do, including health care, counseling, and access to need-base services like food stamps. The T-visa also provides victims with protective services, sometimes including police escorts and even false identities. Due to fear, victims of trafficking oftentimes refuse to name their traffickers or testify against them in court. By providing victims with protection and incentives to co-operate in the prosecution of their traffickers, law enforcement can make a dent in putting traffickers in jail.
Another aspect of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008” promises to allocate funds towards the cause of ending human trafficking and aiding its victims. By the year 2011, the government pledges $21.5 billion dollars towards this cause (American government). This money will fund American services like shelters for trafficked victims, and it will help pay the legal fees required to prosecute traffickers. Furthermore, the American government will donate $2 billion annually from 2008 to 2011 to the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center. This nationally created program helps end human trafficking by “reporting on the emergence or shifting of global patterns in human trafficking, including data on the number of victims trafficked to, through, or from major source and destination countries, disaggregated by nationality, gender, and age” (United States government).
Although the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008” provides a sound basis for trafficking laws in the United States, problems with the laws still persist. Trafficked victims oftentimes cannot identify their traffickers or find themselves without any useful information for the police, thus making them ineligible to apply for a T-visa. This means that these victims have to return to their original countries immediately, which might mean returning to the same dangerous conditions that led to these victims being trafficked in the first place. The second highlighted aspect of the act, the allocation of the funds, also has its problems. Services and studies definitely require money, which the government promised to provide, but since 2008, the government has failed to report on exactly what programs the money went towards, leaving many to speculate whether the government actually allocated the money as promised or not. Finally, the government promises not to prosecute victims of trafficking for crimes like illegal immigration or prostitution, yet reports continue to surface about women facing prison time for crimes committed during their period of captivity. A recent documentary, “Fatal Promises,” features an unnamed woman who spent months in prison for prostitution although she only committed these crimes because her trafficker physically forced her too (Fatal Promises, 2009).
Part V-New Research Question
I quickly found that no laws existed that protected slaves from sexual abuse. In fact, the law protected slave owners from being sexually abuse by their slaves. Therefore, I changed my research question. I expanded my research to include all the actions taken by the government concerning slavery and compare it to the current American laws surrounding sexual trafficking with the same purpose of finding better methods to decrease the problem.
Part VI-WPA Slave Narratives
Between the years of 1936 and 1938, the Works Project Administration compiled the Federal Writer’s Slave Narrative Projects. This project contains over 5,000 firsthand narratives from American slaves in 17 states. A variety of people are represented. For example, James Cape, age 100, talks about riding horses to Mexico, while Sarah Graves speaks about the agony she felt when separated from her family (library of congress). These documents, now available online through the Library of Congress, provide thousands of ex-slaves with a powerful voice and the tools to share their experiences with the rest of America (Library of Congress, 1938). These documents provide generations who never experienced slavery with an opportunity to understand the horrors of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Although not created during the time of the slavery in America, these narratives were meant to ensure a “never again” policy.
Unfortunately, this “never again” has happened because we now face “modern day slavery” in the form of sexual trafficking. I believe that the government should fund a project to record and compile narratives from victims of sexual trafficking. These first hand accounts can help the American people and government better understand the problems of sexual trafficking victims and thus better enable us to provide helpful services. These narratives could increase awareness, thus motivating people to care about the problem. If people care, they will take action to cause change.
Part VII-International Law
In addition to my research on slavery, I also examined two international models of laws concerning prostitution to determine their possible application in the United States.
Part VIII-The Netherlands
The Netherlands legalized prostitution in 2002. The government passed this law in response to country-wide problems, including an expanding sex industry and increased sexual trafficking from Eastern European countries. Nevertheless, many scholars argue that the prostitution and sex industry has only grown more corrupt. Since 2002, the sex industry in the Netherlands has become 25% more profitable (Raymond, 2003). By legalizing prostitution, the government has removed obstacles preventing individuals from seeking sex in exchange for money, thus creating a new business opportunity that many people have taken advantage of.
Furthermore, the stigma around prostitution has not diminished. In fact, many women in the Netherlands argue that the law has increased the stigmatism surrounding female prostitutes. Since they now participate in legal work, women working in the sex industry must register as prostitutes both with the government and with health insurance agencies, forcing them to lose their anonymity and be characterized as “whores” (Raymond, 2003).
Based on its failure in the Netherlands, I hypothesis that a law legalizing prostitution in the United States would only further corrupt an already corrupted sex industry. Red light districts would appear throughout the country and would act as a breeding ground for traffickers who no longer had to worry about illegally promoting prostitution.
Sweden, in contrast, has decriminalized women who work as prostitutes but continues to punish men who seek out and pay for prostitution. The 1998 “Violence Against Women Government Bill” penalizes those who buy sexual services (Raymond, 2003).
The new law received 80% approval ratings from Swedish votes in 2001 and has appeared to have moved prostitution in a positive direction (Hodge, 2000). Since 2001, the number of women working as prostitutes has decreased by 50%. Furthermore, the number of buyers has decreased about 80%. Due to the relative newness of the law, no group has published statistics on any changes in trafficking (Raymond, 2003).
I feel that a law copying the legislation in Sweden would decrease help end sexual trafficking in America. Not only would the demand for prostitution decrease, but also by decriminalizing women, the government would be able to legally provide services, like health care and housing placement, to female prostitutes since they would no longer be participating in an illegal activity. Female prostitutes travel between the streets and prison, sometimes with no other tangible options. These services could provide opportunities for women trapped in the sex industry to escape via employment services or free rehabilitation programs. I also think that the Swedish model would help decrease trafficking since traffickers often blackmail victims to maintain power over them. This means that traffickers threatened to turn in victims for partaking in prostitution if they do not submit to the will of the traffickers.
Criminalizing men buying sex makes it clear that prostitution is a crime of men against women. Women do sometimes willing perform sex acts for money, but almost always this happens because these women cannot find another viable way to survive. The Swedish model helps remove the stigmatism around female prostitutes because it shames men for taking advantage of these desperate women in helpless situations. Women trafficked into prostitution, but even “free” prostitutes, are victims at the will of the male buyer. The Swedish model places the punishment on the victimizer rather than needlessly punishing the victim.
Part X- Conclusions
In summary, I propose the compilation of victims’ narratives to increase awareness and understanding. These narratives could incite action on behalf of the American people, but if published internationally, they could also educate people at high risk about the dangers of sexual trafficking. With these narratives, people could completely avoid sexual trafficking simply because of education and awareness. I also propose enacting legislation that decriminalizes female prostitutes but punishes those who purchase sexual services. This would diminish the sex industry and also the sexual trafficking by lowering the demand for prostitution, thus lowering the potential profit and in turn diminishing the sex trade.
My research only covers a very small aspect of sexual trafficking. I suggest more research on other countries’ laws pertaining to prostitution and sexual trafficking. I also suggest looking at international advertising programs aimed at increasing awareness of sexual trafficking and perhaps bringing some of those programs to America.
Part XI- Advocacy
I hope that my research exposes the occurrence of sexual trafficking, which many people are not aware of. The statistics alone prove that this problem is widespread and that action is urgently needed. Those interested in sexual trafficking and its prevention can get information through a number of different advocacy groups. The biggest and perhaps most known sexual trafficking advocacy group in America, Not For Sale (notforsalecompaign.org), provides further information about trafficking and suggests solid steps that people can take to help end its occurrence. At the very least, simply talking about sexual trafficking and throwing the term out into forums of conversation gets people thinking and talking, which is the first step towards change.
Rohrer, K. (Producer). (2009). Fatal promises. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.fatalpromises.com/Fatal_Promises/Home.html
Hodge, D.R. (2000). Sexual trafficking in the United States: a domestic problem with transnational dimensions. Social Work, Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6467/is_2_53/ai_n29459479/?tag=content;col1
U.S. Government, Initials. (2008). Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Retrieved (2010, April 21) from http://www.justice.gov/olp/pdf/wilberforce-act.pdf
United States Congress, Initials. (1850). Fugitive Slave Law. Retrieved (2010, April 21) from http://www.nationalcenter.org/FugitiveSlaveAct.html
Library of Congress, Initials. (1938). WPA Slave Narratives. Retrieved (2010, April 21) from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snintro00.html
Not For Sale Campaign, Initials. (2009). Not for Sale campaign. Retrieved from http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/about/slavery/
Ciralsky, A., & Hansen, C. (2007, August 8). Sex trafficked: anna’s story. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20182993
William Wilberforce. (2010). Encyclopædia britannica. Retrieved (2010, April 21) from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/643460/William-Wilberforce
Raymond, J. G. (2003).Ten reasons for not legalizing prostitution and a legal response to the demand for prostitution. Journal of Trauma Practice, 2, 315-332.
Creation stories directly influence religious societies. Very clear links exist between themes of both the Cherokee and Puritan creation stories and these societies’ views of gender. The Cherokee have a story of male and female balance, which supported their system of gender roles in equilibrium. On the other hand, the Christian creation story puts Eve, and thus women, in a somewhat subjugated position in comparison to Adam, or men. When these two societies meet, the Cherokee Selu falls victim to the Christian Eve as Cherokee men grow less interdependent on their female counterparts, thus diminishing the power of Cherokee women.
The Cherokee creation myth, in summary, involved a female, Selu, and her husband, Kana’ti. They had one child together and captured another. Kana’ti provided the meat because only he knew how to release a single buck from a hole and shoot it with an arrow. Selu provided the beans and corn because only she could rub her stomach and armpits to produce baskets of food. The two curious children, after figuring out their parents’ secrets, accidentally released all the animals from the hole. They then killed Selu, because it was fate, and dragged her body in circles over the fields. Corn sprang up. Kana’ti, infuriated, traveled to the end of the world to live with his wife. Main themes that arise in this Cherokee creation myth reappear in the ways in which Cherokee communities viewed gender constructs.
The myth tells of two independent individuals, Selu and Kana’ti. Neither owned the other nor did either feel subjugated to the other. As Theda Perdue describes it in her book Cherokee Women, “Men did not dominate women, and women were not subservient to men.” In fact, the Cherokee of the 18th century practiced a balanced interdependency. The men hunted and participated in warfare because Kana’ti hunted and fought in wars. Women tended to the crops and took care of the home as Selu had. Men and women rarely crossed into the other’s sphere unless to provide a needed helping hand because men had no knowledge about farming and women had no knowledge of hunting. Nevertheless, the Cherokee did not value the work of a man more than the work of a woman, or vise versa. Rather these opposite boundaries, as Perdue writes, “opposed and balanced each other.”
According to the creation myth, Selu gave birth to her first son and cared for both of the boys throughout their childhood, making her the master of the home. The female control of the home was absolute. According to Perdue, “…men apparently never tried to dominate their wives.” The Cherokee took this even further, tracing kinship only through the women. Because the Cherokee tribe felt intense connections to their kin, women held power because of their control over kinship.
Another aspect of the creation myth, the idea of sin, ultimately led to the reverence of women. A focus on balance, stemming from the lives of Selu and Kana’ti, lead the Cherokee to deem anything balanced “pure” and everything disrupting that balanced, “impure.” Therefore, the period of menstruation marked a time of pollution or disruption because blood suddenly left the body in a unusual, disruptive manor. One might assume that this would stigmatism Cherokee women, but it only increased their reverence because during the period of menstruation, which men did not attribute to anything but female anatomy, women were given privacy and seclusion. They did not have to perform their daily work in order to rest alone. The power lies in the fact that women chose to separate themselves, and the men honored these wishes.
The previously mentioned concept of balance also appeared in the discussion surrounding female menstruation. Not only did females rest during this time, but their husbands also secluded themselves. They sat in the very back of ceremonies and stayed closed to home. Men also played a integral role in the healthy birthing of a child. The balance between male and female led to a pure and function life, or in the case of childbirth, and function child. Therefore, husbands participated in birthing ceremonies with their wives. Some refrained from hunting, fishing, and fighting during this time.
Cherokee women did not have full equality with men. Rather, men and women existed in separate spheres that cannot be compared. Men lived on the outskirts of society. They hunted and fought in wars. Women controlled the inner-workings of the communities by maintaining the crops and households. Because the Cherokees believed so strongly in a female/male balance, neither sex controlled the other. In fact, women could cross into the male sphere and become warriors if they so desired. Neither men nor women were “better,” rather both were “necessary.” This ideal gave Cherokee women a considerable more amount of power than their Protestant and Puritan counterparts.
In contrast, both Protestant and Puritan societies maintained a clear hierarchy of male dominance followed by female inferiority. The biblical creation story of Adam and Eve perhaps influenced these gender roles. God made Eve secondary to Adam from Adam’s rib. Also, Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, making her most directly responsible for original sin. Examples of male-dominance appear throughout different facets of early American Protestant and Puritan life.
Many Puritans believed that women existed for men. This concept comes from God creating Adam before Eve. Author James T. Johnson, in his article “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” describes the Puritan view of Eve’s creation by writing, “The relief of man’s loneliness is the primary reason for the institution by God of marriage in paradise; God responds to Adam’s need by giving him a ‘meet help.’” Johnson describes wives as their husband’s “middle companions,” referencing Eve’s creation from Adam’s “middle section” or rib. In what Johnson describes as an “ideal marriage,” wives uphold their role as “middle companions” by acting as a friend, life mate, and finally, somewhat of a servant. Both Puritan wife and husband adhere to a social order where the wife plays a role subservient to the man. He has the final word and he expects her to support him in his decisions.
A look into the household provides a clear picture of the hierarchy of men stemming from the creation story. Author Leslie Lindenauer, in her book “Piety and Power: Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies” points out that female Protestant colonists, like the Cherokee women, took charge of the household. Lindenauer argues that, “While there is little question that a ‘well-ordered family’ depended upon the willing submission of wife to husband, a husband’s authority in the home was tempered—or even on occasion undercut—by the authority of a woman owned as a Christian mother.” 
Mary Beth Norton, however, in her article, “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America” argues that men in both Protestant and Puritan colonies held immense power and control over almost all aspects of female life, even within the household. The church held men responsible for the spiritual well-being of their families. This responsibility has roots in the story of Adam and Eve, where God created Adam first, thus endowing him with more power to lead the way to salvation.
Norton writes that Puritanism promoted “paterfamilias.” Although women cared for the family, she argues that men ran the household since they were responsible for the spiritual purity of the family. Edmund Morgan, in his book “The Puritan Family” refers to the Puritan family looking to the father for spiritual guidance. He writes, “Every morning, immediately upon rising and every evening before retiring, a good Puritan father led his household in prayer, in scriptural reading, and in singing of the psalms.” 
Though Puritanism did not consider women as inherently more evil than men, they held a greater potential for damnation and sin. Elizabeth Reis, in her article “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” writes that men viewed women as, “frail, submissive, and passive.” Therefore, the devil could more easily attack women. Men in New England used this logic to support the witch-hunts that terrorized women during 17th century.
Apparent differences contrast the position Protestant and Puritan women in society from the position that Cherokee women occupied. Cherokee women had separate powers from men, while Protestant and Puritan societies directly allocated more control to men than women. It is no coincidence that the Cherokee creation story contains no obvious themes of male dominance, while the bible places Eve behind Adam.
These two gender ideals clashed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as colonists imposed their constructs upon the Cherokee, stripping Cherokee women of their relatively equal rank in society.
Theda Perdue, in “Cherokee Women,” quotes a Cherokee, Nancy Ward, who says, ‘You know that women are always looked up as nothing.’ This statement clearly proves that women felt their equality diminish after the colonists initiated contact, and this feeling was based in truth.
Cherokee women, whom men once allowed to travel with warriors and control community life, suddenly grew “delicate” and “feminine” in the sense that their sphere no longer included the battle field, the markets, or really anywhere besides the garden and the home. Perdue highlights this change in her discussion of trade.
Before contact with colonists, Cherokee societies relied equally on the meat hunted by men as they did on the crops harvested by women. Once the colonists entered the picture and developed trade, the Cherokee men’s products increased in value since the colonists eagerly traded European novelties for hunted meat. Furthermore, colonists demanded war captives, which previously held little economical value to the Cherokees. Men responsible for warfare now took captives and traded them for a high return to the colonists. Oppositely, the colonists could easily grow their own crops, thus making the contribution of the females less than that of the males. 
The trading difficulties that Cherokee women faced were not entirely due to their lackluster crops. Historically, Cherokee men controlled the outskirts of the communities, including foreign relations, which better suited them to profit from trade routes. Colonial traders, who were almost exclusively men, preferred trading with other men because their belief that women should stay at home and manage the households, thus putting Cherokee women at another disadvantage.
Cherokee women suddenly lost their balance in relation to men as they no longer contributed an equal amount to the community. This balance disruption planted the seed of hierarchy in the minds of Cherokee men, who now began to view themselves as more vital, and thus more powerful, than their wives. Perdue writes, “The precipitous growth of individualism threatened the Cherokees’ communal values. Women struggled to keep both the values and their public expression alive.
The intrusion did not end with trading. Missionaries seeking to “save” the Cherokee began building schools and hosting programs to convert the “savages” to Christianity. Of course, with Christianity comes the gender constructs inspired by Adam and Eve. At these schools, the missionaries taught the boys to chop lumber and tend to the crops while the women stayed indoors to cook and clean. Cherokee girls who followed this model were now completely dependent upon men to provide them with food, thus increasing male control.
The Christian missionaries also instilled a new concept of femininity in the Cherokee minds. Cherokee girls learned that women displayed piety, discipline, and humility. They were taught to appeal to the male race by acting subservient. Essentially, the missionaries taught the Cherokee women to abandon their independence and self-reliance and instead assist the man in supporting society. Very quickly, Cherokee women lost their position in relation to men and fell into the trap of dependence.
The Cherokee and Christian creation stories played a major role in the creation of gender constructs within these early American communities. Selu, in the Cherokee myth, shows no signs of subjugation to Kana’ti. Rather, she and her husband create a balance that makes life possible. Cherokee women, before colonial contact, enjoyed a similar status in society. They occupied a different niche than the men, but were considered equally important in the survival of the people.
The bible tells a different story where Eve comes from a part of Adam and then leads humanity into a state of sin, thus reflecting very negatively upon women. Protestant and Puritan women in early America lived within a male hierarchy. They were considered more likely to sin and inherently less powerful than males.
Selu and Eve met when colonists began trading with Cherokees, and the Cherokee women quickly saw themselves losing status. Why did Eve overpower Selu?
Although no person can provide a definite answer, history has shown that societies of complete equally (such as communist countries) do no fare nearly as well as those with a clear power structure. This could be because maintaining equality is simply more difficult than creating a ranking system. This could also be because people are not ever entirely equal, so perhaps the natural state of life will always lead to some people having more power and some having less. One can, however, draw two conclusions. Firstly, creation stories directly influence the gender roles in religious societies. Secondly, when these two societies clash, one “wins” and one “loses.” Unfortunately for the Cherokee women, their balanced role was somewhat, though not entirely, diminished and the male role was magnified.
Morgan, Edmund S.. Puritan Family. Boston: More Books, 1944.
Puritan Family focuses on the relationships between husband, wives, and children of Puritan New England. Furthermore, the book discuses the Puritans’ beliefs in a life of piety and virtue. Morgan describes the various ways in which Puritans both lived pious lives and helped others do the same.
Lindenauer, Leslie. Piety and Power:Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies, 1630-1700. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Lindenauer’s book compares the lives of women living in religious communities in early America. The book discuses the gender roles that the women adhere too, as well as their role in the church. Lindenauer analyzes both societies view of women, and women’s’ views of themselves.
Karlsen, Carol. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman:Witchcraft in Colonial New England. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1987.
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman provides an overview of the perceptions of women in colonial America. The book then analyzes the phenomenon of accusing women of being witches. Carol argues that a very distinct group of women were targeted and explains her reasoning.
Ulrich, Laurel. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982.
Good Wives describes the roles that society expected women to fill in colonial New England. The book gives very detailed descriptions of a woman’s daily life. Ulrich also compares the roles of women to the roles of their male counterparts.
Carolyn, Johnston. Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil War, and Allotment, 1838-1907. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003.
Johnston traces the removal and relocation of the Cherokee Indians. She gives detailed background on the events leading up to the Trail of Tears. Johnston also analyzes the political and social changes that the Cherokee experienced during the 19th century.
Reis, Elizabeth. “Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England.” The Journal of American History 1, no. 82 (1995): 15-36. JSTOR. 1995. [Database online.]
Reis breaks down the Puritan ideas on the feminine soul and concepts of “femininity.” The article then attempts to trace the possible roots of these gender constructs. The article also analyzes the effects of Puritan ideals on the witchcraft trials and links ideas of female sin to these trials.
Norton, Mary Beth. “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America .” The American Historical Review 1, no. 89 (1984): 593-619. JSTOR. [Database online.]
Norton attempts to compare white early American women with their counterparts in England to determine who was “better off.” In order to do this, Norton examines the gender constructs of both early America and England. She determines that the “colt of domesticity” encouraged a male hierarchy in early America.
Barker-Benfield, Ben. “Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude toward Women.” Feminist Studies 2, no. 1 (1972): 65-96. JSTOR. [Database online.]
“Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude toward Women” uses Anne Hutchinson’s court case to examine the Puritan church’s view on females. The article draws on actual records from the time and quotes individuals that participated in the case. The article concludes that the church feared the potential of women taking control away from men, especially within the confines of the church and religion.
 Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.13-15.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.13.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.17.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.45.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.41.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.30-31.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.38-39.
 Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” The Journal of American History 82 (June, 1995) p. 15-36.
 James T. Johnson, “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” The Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (Jan.-Mar., 1971) p.107-118.
 (ibid) James T. Johnson, “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” The Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (Jan.-Mar., 1971) p.107-118.
 Leslie Lindenauer, Piety and Power: Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies (New York, New York: Routledge, 2001) p.67.
 Mary Beth Norton, “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America”, The American Historical Review 89 (June, 1984) p. 593-619.
 Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Family (Boston: More Books, 1944) p.136.
 Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” The Journal of American History 82 (June, 1995) p. 15-36.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.60.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.60-63.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.76-86.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 86.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 162.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 170-173.
Volunteers for Peace is an organization that connects American citizens with international non-profits that invite volunteers to travel to exotic locations to give their time. My first experience with VFP took me to Antwerp, Belgium where I joined a group of international volunteers to spend a summer rebuilding a school.
As volunteers, we were provided with housing and meals. We stayed in the school building, which is pictured above. The school building had a kitchen in it which was where we took shifts cooking group meals. We all slept in sleeping bags on the floor in one of better maintained classrooms.
As the school was located only fifteen minutes away from the center, we got to spend weekends exploring the heart of Antwerp. We sampled chocolates, ate Belgium waffles and admired the diamonds (Antwerp in the world’s diamond capitol).
Although we had a lot of fun, we had to work 8 hours almost every day. We had a few tasks to complete over the course of the summer which included building and polishing new desks and tables, cleaning the entire second floor of the school, and most importantly, preparing the ground for the new building. Over the course of our time in Antwerp, we removed over 10 feet of dirt and leveled the ground for the new building. Above you can see Andy and Shiori working.
For our last weekend in Belgium, the local community raised enough money to send us to see Bruges (Yes, the place from the movie In Bruges). The town is incredibly beautiful. Our weekend included a canal tour and a medieval times festival.
Besides providing the opportunity to travel, Volunteers for Peace brings people from every corner of the globe to live and work together. The highlight of my time in Antwerp was meeting the other volunteers and making friends from other countries. That summer our group included myself (an American), two girls from Japan, one German, one Serbian, a Croatian, and two volunteers from the Czech Republic.
I had a fantastic experience with Volunteers for Peace that summer in Belgium. In fact, I have now participated in three work camps through VFP. Unlike some volunteer experiences I have had, I do feel like I made a significant difference for the children living near the school in Antwerp. I had the opportunity to live in a different country and meet people from all over the world. I’d recommend the experience for anybody.
i love you always
Turn your scrap film products into unique lomography mobiles. It’s simple, great for the environment, and looks excellent hung over a bed or on the wall.
My lomography escapades have left me with bags full of the following:
-empty film canisters
-negatives from pictures that didn’t come out well (or at all)
-pictures from my Fuji Instax
Instead of throwing them out, I decided to make a lomography mobile to decorate my apartment with. I gathered the above supplies, plus a an empty coffee container, some paperclips, a hammer, a nail, a hole puncher, string (if you want to hang it over your bed) and a hot glue gun.
Using the nail and hammer, I made six holes in the bottom of the coffee container (which I used for my base). Using my hot glue gun, I covered the coffee can in my spare negatives. Then, I punched holes in all my other scrap supplies and hung them in strings using the paper clips. I attached them to the base by stringing paperclips through the holes I nailed. And voila! I had a lomogrphy mobile that I hung in my kitchen as art.
The whole process took about 45 minutes. I got to save all my film materials, and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on the mobile too!
Laurelwood Park, located in Belmont, California, is a perfect oasis from the chaotic life in San Francisco. An hour drive from the city, Laurelwood has over 227-acres of park, mountains, and greenery to please the outdoor enthusiast. Beginners can stick to the shoter trails that don’t climb much in elevation, while the pros can trek up the tall Sugarloaf Mountains to the secluded creeks and waterfalls that are scattered throughout the park.
Last year my friend Brian and I woke up at sunrise, grabbed our hiking shoes, and set out for a nine hour hike that canvased most of the park. I also remembered my Holga CNF 120 loaded with Kodak black and white film. Unfortunately, I managed to drop my camera early in the hike so most of my film was ruined. I did, however, manage to capture Brian free climbing a giant rock…enjoy!
For Further Reading: http://www.trails.com/trailguide.aspx?trailid=HGS013-014
to love is to lose
and to be heartbroken so badly your stomach aches and your chest resists everytime you take a breath.
to have high expectations is to be dissapointed
no. high expectations are never good
to promise is to lie
but to speak is to lie, and you promised me you would never lie, so what lie are you telling me now? Perhaps you should stop speaking.
to wait is to wait forever
because it won’t come
it won’t happen
he won’t happen
But still i am waiting because i had high expectations and i don’t want that ball to drop in my stomach and sit there, seething, reminding me that this is disappointment, and this is my own fault. I didn’t love, so I didn’t lose, but my chest still feels like its caving in and there’s a hole in my stomach. It’s black but it glows red. And my heart does ache. But I can’t tell you how it feels because all your words are lies and all my words are lies too. So only i can know how my body crumbles and burns while we sit here, waiting, in silence, not daring to breathe a lie. I want it to stop hurting, my heart that is, but when it does stop, i fear my heart has stop beating all together because i can no longer feel it. And still you can’t speak, or won’t speak, but my words are going so fast that they can’t leave my mouth, which is probably better so i’m not a liar, but they want to escape so badly to lie the truth.
i think it’s time, again, for me to disappear, again
It is so easy to forget that on the sunny, tropical island of Oahu lies the Pearl Harbor Navy Base, famous for the 1941 bombings that killed almost 2,500 people. When my friends and I decided to vacation in Hawaii, I know they had surfing, tanning, and swimming in the ocean on their minds. I, however, grabbed my diana f+ and booked a spot on a bus to take me to Pearl Harbor, where I had one of the most moving experiences of my life.
I booked a tour through “Discover Hawaii Tours.” For $30 dollars, they provided a shuttle service that brought me to and from Pearl Harbor, and then toured around the island pointing out historical sites like the home where Barack Obama grew up. The price also included a guided tour of the Pearl Harbor Museum, but I opted to grab an audio headset and walk around by myself.
The museum traces the beginning of Pearl Harbor and how it transformed over time leading up to the bombings that took place on December 17th, 1941. The exhibit follows a few navy personnel who were serving in Pearl Harbor on the day of the bombing. The personal stories helped me connect with navy men and women who were about my age and already serving their country.
After my audio tour ended, I jumped aboard the navy-operated power boat and we sped out towards the memorial that was built where the USS Arizona sunk. On the way, the boat passed by other naval ships that are still in service. I could see men and women dressed in uniforms scurrying around the top of the ship.
The boat stopped and we all got off on this floating white monument. Inside I saw this wall, which lists the names of all the navy men and women killed during the December 17th bombings. On man on my boat left a bouquet of flowers in front of a name on the wall.
Outside of the memorial, as I was boarding the ship, I smelled oil and looked down to see it leaking into the water. Since the USS Arizona has been left untouched since it sunk in 1941, oil is still leaking out of it at an estimated 2-9 quarts daily! I was able to snap a quick picture before our boat sped back to shore.
Both seeing and photographing Pearl Harbor moved me. I got to walk, breathe, and stand where brave men and woman stood before. The entire experience was easy to navigate, as the museum did a great job giving the history and the floating memorial made the bombing seem more real than watching “Pearl Harbor” did. I know Hawaii is mostly about relaxing on the beach, but during your next trip to Oahu, I really do suggest that you go see Pearl Harbor. Everything included, it cost me $30 plus the money I spent in the bookshop. I learned a lot about my country’s history and got some great pictures out of it too.
For more information visit:
The world lamented when the polaroid camera was discontinued, along with the polaroid film (or at least I did). But lament no more! Fuji has introduced the “Fuji Instax” which, like the polaroid, takes instant pictures. This weekend I decided to try to capture some of my friends using the “Fuji Instax.” Here’s what I learned.
The harsh flash on the “Fuji Instax” does an excellent job of capturing colors. It works great for colorful scenery, floral dresses, or in this case, for catching the warm blue color of my friend Emily’s eyes.
The Instax lacks many features that new digitals have, including focus and zoom options. Instead, it has 4 flash options and the button to press to take the picture. Because of the complete lack of options, the “Fuji Instax” isn’t for fiddling with until you get the best shot. Instead, just point the camera at your subject and press the button. Don’t worry if their eyes are closed or if they aren’t smiling. I was able to catch some excellent candid photos this weekend.
Because the “Fuji Instax” doesn’t show a lot of detail, I like to use it to highlight one or two main props in the photo. In these pictures, the cat hat and the balloon really stand out.
Another good trick to use is to put your subject against a colorful background. The “Fuji Instax” will show the strong contrast between the foreground and the background of the photo. The color, as previously mentioned, will be highlighted as well.
So far, only color film is available for the “Fuji Instax,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t alter your pictures and make them black and white on the computer. I think removing the color makes the photos more “artsy” looking and more vintage as well.
I had a great time taking pictures with my “Fuji Instax” this weekend. The downside to the camera is that film is pricey (about one dollar a picture) so I probably won’t be using this camera every weekend. Nevertheless, I was able to capture some great photos. The exposure makes the pictures bright in color but simplistic in nature. The “Fuji Instax” has a lot of potential, but I like it most for taking pictures that show the true nature of my friends, mostly because I can snap a photo when they least expect it.
New York City and The American Institute of Architects held a conference last Tuesday to introduce new building models designed to promote healthier lifestyles.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, “The Active Design Guidelines will prove architects, planners and urban designers with a framework for incorporating designs that will improve public health.”
The Active Design Guidelines, distributed at the conference, outlined suggestions for “promoting physical activity through design. The proposal suggests “improved ventilation, safety and amenity of stairwells” to encourage an alternative to using an elevator. Another design policy advises city planners to encourage bicycle use by building more bicycle paths and providing free bicycle storage at offices. City Planning Commissioner David Burden said, “The Active Design Guidelines support City Planning’s initiatives to create more walkable, bikeable and inviting neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.”
The pamphlet uses the New York Times offices as an example of a design that promotes health. The building, built in 2006, has a number of the proposed designs already in place including centrally located stairs for short trips and an underfloor displacement air system that provides better air quality through a very energy efficient method.
These cutting-edge building models target a problem which has long plagued America: obesity. According to healthyamericans.org, the national obesity percentage has increased in 23 states since 2008. New York ranks 37th in rate of obesity in adults with a whopping 24.5 percent. New York’s percentage of overweight youth reached an all time high of 32.9 percent last year. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a report last year that stated that “the citywide weigh gain totaled more than 10 million pounds in just two years.” The Active Design Guidelines assume that sedentary lifestyles contribute to the American obesity epidemic.
The conference last Tuesday sought to lessen the obesity rate in America and the audience seemed on board. The New York Center of Architecture forcibly offered standing room to latecomers as only those who arrived early found a seat. “As somebody who has spent time reading and writing about the connection between architecture and health, I am encouraged by the proposal,” said New York reporter Alex Pasternack. “I’d like to work in a building that is located near a park and has open stairwells and bicycle racks. Everyone would.”
Regardless of audiences response on Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg and the AIA still has a long road before the proposal becomes reality. Commissioner of the Department of City Planning Amanda Burden, however, remains optimistic. “I think tonight we really just got the ball rolling,” she comments. “The New York I know is progressive and ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Once we can get the proposal through in the city, I cannot imagine that other cities wouldn’t jump to follow suit.”