In the words of George Bush, you fool me once shame on you. Fool me again, I won’t be fooled again. Well, I feel as bright as that statement. Yesterday I went to the State House to testify against the prostitution bill. As I made “Happy Endings?” I realised that if you change the prostitution law, all you will do is arrest women. I felt that it was my duty to speak on the behalf of the women who are working in spas, some of them in my film. These women are the ones who “work behind closed doors” .I thought that my insight on the spas would help some legislators see through the propaganda.
I should have known that there would probably be raids the day after or the day before the testimony. That happened in 2006 with one of the women in my film. At that time Providence Police raided 3 spas the day before a “Human Trafficking” forum. I should have seen it coming, but like George Bush says fool me once…
Here is what I don’t understand, actually I don’t understand a bunch of things, but here is one thing. If you believe the women working in the spas are victims, trafficked from a foreign country, would you send a bunch of police in to question three women, take their cell phones, laptops, licenses (yes drivers licenses, they are citizens), and cash and keep it all as evidence and tell those three women “we are saving you”. (Also there were no translators)
I consider myself a regular functioning American woman, but if you want to take away most of my ability to function, separate me from my cell phone, lap top and cash, and I don’t know what I would do. I don’t know anyone’s number, they are all in speed dial. I don’t even know my sister’s number and I talk to her everyday, she is just programed to speed dial. If you took away my phone, money, and even my license, I would be messed up. I am lucky that I have enough family in RI so I could just jump on a bus, but from what I hear, the women in the spa today were left with nothing.
Now put that into the perspective that these women were running a legal business. It would seem to me that if you wanted to “save” these women from human trafficking, you could do that in a more humane way. Since these business have licenses, why not send in health or business inspectors to find out if any of the women are hear against their will?