melanie (lit*chick)'s Reviews > Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself

Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd
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's review
Mar 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: memoirs, non-fiction

Giving away a copy here:

It takes a great deal of effort for me to step out of my reading comfort zone and pick up something that I know to be challenging either in content or perspective. Girls LIke Us accomplished both of those goals. This book is many things - memoir, essay, social commentary - all bound in a remarkable, sometimes heartbreaking, yet redemptive package.

Author Rachel Lloyd takes real stories, those we hide from, yet know to be true, and shines her light of honesty and pure compassion on what she sees everyday. She is able to guide the reader gently but firmly through the maze of ugliness; she is a gifted writer, beloved mentor, and relentless advocate. I appreciate her candor and skill in challenging the common assumptions many of us may have with domestic slavery:

"Many parents don't trust their own sixteen-year-old to drive their car, pick their own "good enough" friends or stay home alone for hte weekend without hosting a party. Yet interestingly, I've met lots and lots of adults who feel that a sixteen-year-old is completely mature enough to be considered fully capable of making the choice to be in the sex industry. ...It's an unwise choice to meet a stranger in person whom you've met only on MySpace, not brilliant decision making to get in someone's car when you barely know them, nor is it a great idea to run away from home with six dollars in your pocket and nowhere to go. Yet none of these "choices" are the same thing as "choosing" to be in the commercial sex industry - even if they end up leading down that path." (pg 79-80)

Lloyd's work doesn't stop with mentoring the girls out of their tragic lifestyle, but also to educate - changing attitudes and laws that will help the victims break free and start again without condemnation or criminalization. I urge you to read it, even though it may be painful or unpleasant, it is ultimately hopeful with an ending that remains to be written.
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