Wednesday, November 26, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 18
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New Times / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on June 18th, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 47 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 47

The price of being a 16-year-old girl

Rodi Bragg - San Luis Obispo, GRRL TALK

In response to the articles from June 5—“San Luis Obispo prostitution sting nets nine arrests” and “Paso Robles High School teacher arrested on suspicion of sex with minor”—I remember what it was like being a 16-year-old girl at Paso Robles High School, and my list of worries thankfully didn’t include being sexually exploited by a pimp or sexually abused by a teacher. It was hard enough for me to just get through high school, let alone be faced with sexual exploitation and abuse like these young girls allegedly have been.

I’m trying to organize a group of feminists who are interested in collaborating on possible projects to create zines (self-published magazines) and events to raise awareness about the plight of girls. Some people think feminism is dead, but we need feminism today now more than ever when 16-year-old girls are being sent to jail because they tipped off their pimp.

What did one girl’s previous warrant entail? That she was a runaway from a group home? Who knows, but let’s quit the victim blaming. Resisting arrest? She obviously hasn’t had a good track record with the authorities. Being a runaway, do you think you’d run into the cops’ arms to save you? Or do you think you’d tip off the only sense of security (even if it is false security) you have despite the fact that they are your abuser? I don’t know how active of a participant you can be when your body is someone else’s property.

I hope that Tracy Schiro develops policies to dissuade arresting trafficked minors ASAP. I also hope that local authorities receive additional training on how to handle human trafficking cases. Read Runaway Girl by Carissa Phelps, and I swear you’ll look at every girl you see differently.

The fact that both of the nameless girls were 16 years old seems like more than just a coincidence to me. So, I ask you: What is the price of being a 16-year-old girl?

Send your manifestos to grrltalkzine@gmail.com.