Home Pop Culture Jennifer Macfarlane: A snapshot of women in captivity.

Jennifer Macfarlane: A snapshot of women in captivity.

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In most parts of the world a woman is free. Free to express herself, be aware of herself, free to become who she needs to be. That all changes when you venture to the third world when all a woman is a by product of man’s sexual predatory desires. What will change more is when you read this article and suddenly become aware of the way we conduct ourselves. Jennifer Macfarlane points the camera in your face too.

To look at Ms. Macfarlane’s desolate girls is to look into a culture that has gone astray and complicit in the mutilation of women’s rights. To look at Ms. Macfarlane’s girls is to look into that part of oneself that is held hostage, tormented and abused, except this time the tormentors are the ones holding these girls against their will and exposing them to unspeakable degradation. Unspeakable until now that is, but you know the saying ‘sometimes a picture is worth a million words.’ That said we offer you a thousand million words…

jennifer-macfarlane2In 2006, Ms.Macfarlane accompanied Marriane Pearl (widow of American reporter Daniel Pearl who was executed by Islamists terrorists because of his probing investigations) on assignment for Glamour magazine to record the abuse, neglect and disregard of women and girls in Cambodia. What they also did was document the journey of a woman called Somaly, an ex child prostitute herself who managed to escape the horrors of her plight and at the age of 39 after absence had returned to come and save girls once like her still left behind.

SCV: How did you and Mrs. Pearl gain access into these brothels?

JM: You have to appreciate to go these places is very dangerous and not for the faint of heart. To get permission to shoot these girls required us approaching the social service agencies who provide bare necessities for these girls, like condoms for example.

SCV: They didn’t try to stop you?

JM: No, you have to appreciate that the pimps really don’t care. As long as the social services girls come back with provisions for the girls that’s fine otherwise they just don’t care.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. i guess you lost your ability to spell as well, or is it your bowel movements that fuel your failed rhetoric?

  2. Lorenzino…ascolta me!

    “Perhaps my idea of peace is your idea of chaos, maybe that is the case, “BUT I EXIST IN ALL OF YOU.”
    ———Lorentchi you are’ righteh’…(“hai ragione”) You existed in me in the mornig right before my esspresso… And after I had my bowel movement you don’t exist in me anymore!

  3. “I’m sorry, but no one can help those women but themselves. As far as I’m concerned we all have a choice to be whatever it is we are. “They don’t know they have rights…” Please. cut the shit. Human’s are born into egotism and its that egotism that pushes for personal freedom. You wanna be a slave, be a slave. Your choice. In fact, many people enjoy it. ”

    OK Lorenzo. Point made and taken. Somaly had a choice to be whatever it is she was. She chose to be a child prostitute and decided to stay in that position for as long as she did, she eventually made the choice to get out. Once out, she looked back at where she had been and recognized others like herself who wanted to make the same decision as she did but maybe weren’t quite sure where to start. So she made the decision herself (mind you she is not a Westerner, and I have no idea what brand her bed is or how much her lotion is or if she uses it on her legs or maybe just her arms) to go back and help in any way she can. I’m betting that she wasn’t afraid of any Cambodian prison because there were pimps who envisioned harsher tortures for her and I’m pretty sure she lived through worse anyways.

    So while every night I go to bed on a $70 mattress I bought off craigslist right after rubbing my legs down with Johnson and Johnson’s lotion (you can get really sweet deals on in it at Duane Reade with coupons in the Sunday papers-so yes, it is really cheap) and hope that I don’t have nightmares of what Cambodian prisons might be like, because yeah, I’m f*ckin’ terrified of what they might be like (in general I’m a sort of scared of dying. In general I’m a big wuss)…while this is all going on Somaly is pushing forward trying to change one part of the world, one part of her life.

    So, you’re right. I’m not bringing about any sort of change at all. You’re totally right. And neither is Jennifer. This website isn’t even doing it. Its all Somaly’s doing. She’s the one who started it. She’s the one who brought attention to it. She’s the one who made the decision to change her life. “It’s the will of it’s people that will bring about it’s change”. Indeed you are absolutely correct Lorenzo. Somaly’s will and all the wills of the people in Cambodia who are helping these slaves, former slaves, etc…

    All of us Westerners out here throwing a party to raise money to give to Somaly so she can go about doing what she does to save lives are just pawns in her little game. Ha, I’ve chosen to be used in this way. That’s fine by me. I’ve been used for worse by worse people.

    “The roles that we are assigned in life are the roles we’re meant for. Everything is just as it should be and Jennifer Macfarlane needs those children to be whores just as much as their pimps do.” Well hmmm…now I’m not sure if you mean we are assigned the roles and we have no choice, or if like the child whores have a choice in our assignment…Well then, Jennifer’s role is to be the photographer who needs those child whores so she can take pictures no one wants to buy. If that’s her purpose in life, she’s lucky to have been assigned it or chosen it, at such a young age. So be it. She’s pretty damn good at it I guess. Somaly has been assigned or chose the role of being lifesaver for lack of a better term. She will save only the ones who want to be saved (because like you said there are some child whores who probably reallly dig what life assigned them and would rather hang out and stay put). Ok fine then. I’m down with that. My role (that I think I chose since you said people choose whatever it is we are to be, but maybe it was assigned to me since you also made that point) is to be one of those Westerners throwing down $40 to drink and dance while a child is spear roasted. So what if there was no way to help the people who died while I shook my bootie on the dance floor? I’m guessing my $40 will eventually make its way to Somaly and she’ll be able to use it to save someone in the future. That’s fine by me.

    “There is no challenge in having a party to raise awareness or taking photos or giving interviews. They are all convenient sacrifices that ultimately sum up to patting oneself on the back. ” Well duh. That’s why throwing a party is a brilliant way to raise money for a cause. Because its easy. Really easy. A helluva lot easier than a bake sale (because really, I can’t bake). Who cares if the only reason people show up is to pat themselves on the back? Who cares what the patrons of the party come away with or why they’re there. The real deal is what does the foundation come away with, and that will hopefully be a whole heap of money they can use to save the child whores who choose to be saved or assigned to be saved.

    “Perhaps my idea of peace is your idea of chaos, maybe that is the case, but i exist in all of you.” Yeah you exist in me. The way you feel about this is similar to how I feel about Starbucks and their committment to be a “green” company.

    “I will see you all pretend to be brave, i will see you all pretend to give a shit, i will see you all dance while an 8 year old girl gets spear roasted. Oh how i will see, such fools that you are.”
    I can’t lie or act at all. I’m terrible at it. So if you happen to catch me pretending to be brave or giving a shit let me in on my own acting secret please. Yeah, you will probably see what a fool I am. I’m a total dork when I dance. But hey, I’ll get to walk away patting myself on my back because I indirectly gave $40 to the sister/mother/cousin/brother/father/bestfriend/grandmother/ of the 8 year girl who was spear roasted so that that sister/mother/cousin/brother/father/bestfriend/grandmother/ can choose or be assigned to be saved.

    I can live with that.

  4. The roles that we are assigned in life are the roles we’re meant for. Everything is just as it should be and Jennifer Macfarlane needs those children to be whores just as much as their pimps do.

    You claim that it is your mandate to “force” change and say that I terrify YOU when this very statement is a fundamental principle of what westerners consider terror or terrorism. There is no challenge in having a party to raise awareness or taking photos or giving interviews. They are all convenient sacrifices that ultimately sum up to patting oneself on the back. You call my way a disregard for human life when human life disregards itself. Perhaps my idea of peace is your idea of chaos, maybe that is the case, but i exist in all of you.

    And dear sir, I will buy my own ticket thank you very much. I will see you all pretend to be brave, i will see you all pretend to give a shit, i will see you all dance while an 8 year old girl gets spear roasted. Oh how i will see, such fools that you are.

  5. Don’t worry, such a view is not prevalent.

    My parents are from the third world, and I am thrilled to be an American. Something that really strikes me about this country is our right to the pursuit of happiness; we take it for granted, but in many cultures this isn’t considered a right. Throw physical and mental abuse into this vaccuum and this changes people’s understanding of what they can attain and even what they deserve.

    Probably Lorenzo thinks that slavery in America is a fond memory for African Americans, filled with calorie burning labor, lots of sexy rapin’ and simple livin’.

    People like Lorenzo aren’t the reason this problem still exists – unfortunately it’s the hundreds of millions of people who simply do nothing because they would rather not think about it – this is the problem. So thanks to everyone on this message board who took the time to do something or educate themselves!! (I bt a ticket but won’t be going……)

  6. What a misconceived point of view. I really am outraged that such a view is prevalent. Children do not know what freedoms they have available to them. They do not have they type of egos you call for. Children to not have the mental faculties to appreciate that they have freedom of choice.How can they when all they understand what they are told and physically coerced into doing.

    A chilkd never asks to be a slave. Children who are forced to ‘service’ up to 15-30 Westerners a day do not do it willingly. Theyare coerced. Their is no will in the matter.

    I am terrified that people like Lorenzo walk around with this mindset. It’s peoplke like you Lorenzo who allow such said abuses to continue. It’s people like you who have disregard for life and a misunderstanding for people be it in Chelsea or wherever who are trying to raise awareness and funds. Funds to help provide these people in captivity some semblance of humanity.

    It is our mandate to force changes where injustice prevails Lorenzo, do not shirk from such challenges. Dear sir, I will buy you a ticket out of my own pocket, please come and see for yourself.

    You can see, or do you not have the will to see…?

  7. I’m sorry, but no one can help those women but themselves. As far as I’m concerned we all have a choice to be whatever it is we are. “They don’t know they have rights…” Please. cut the shit. Human’s are born into egotism and its that egotism that pushes for personal freedom. You wanna be a slave, be a slave. Your choice. In fact, many people enjoy it.

    It’s always some comfortable westerner who travels to the third worlds and thinks that they have found their cause. “I can help”…”I’m gonna show the world these atrocities”…”I must raise awareness” Puh-lease. This place, like darfur, like tibet, whichever, whatever – It’s the will of it’s people that will bring about it’s change, not the will of some other who sleeps on an ikea futon with cheap moisturizer on her legs and considers this ruffing it.

    So you’re there – you see all this done to your fellow human – you’re outraged. I say fight back. Oh what? Afraid to go to a Cambodian prison Afraid they’ll kill you? So i guess it’s not a cause worth dying for. I’d bet an American martyr would do far more for their cause than a dance in Chelsea adorned with life size photos of hookers that nobody wants to buy.

  8. I love that Janera quoted me verbatim from Facebook to promote the event. I couldn’t just tell my friends to go to the event because it would change their life, or even to see amazing pictures and meet incredible people and it would be fun. People are so over that. Unfortunately, in our little hole in the world, people are a bit sheltered and disconnected from such stories as this, myself included. During a recession we balk at the idea of throwing down $40-$50 for any door cover but don’t think twice about buying something on sale from $100 to $40 because its a good deal. I’m sure the pimps out there often give their Johns a good deal on the girls lowering the price down from $1.00 to $0.40 for a sweet virginal 9 year old girl.
    Hmmm…that new dress at Banana Republic on sale for $40 that fits me oh so well…or helping to save a young girl’s life who for just the luck of the draw happened to be born in her body in that place instead of my body in my place.
    It’s a slap in my own face that the decision to be made was even a flicker in my brain waves.

  9. If you were planning on going out this weekend and blowing $40-$50 on getting drunk at some lame bar or snarfing down on a crazy New York sized meal at some ritzy restaurant, or buying a new pair of shoes that will fall apart after 5 months of city walking…consider this alternative for spending your money.

  10. pardon my french….but i just read the entire article…and it is fxxxxxg amazing

    thank you for making sense of what i said!

    sorry i was so rushed on the phone…i have been on the road for a week only sleeping a few hours a night…ahhh

    but thank you again…this is great what you are doing!!!

    cannot wait to meet you on thurs

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