50s · 60s · anti-human trafficking · fashion · hairstyles · human trafficking · military · modern day slavery · nautical · sailor · slavery · vintage

Military and Slavery Connections

– Outfit #9 to stand up against modern-day slavery/human trafficking & promote modesty!

If you’d like me to borrow your clothes to spread awareness against human trafficking and promote modesty, please E-mail me: marvelousthingsphoto@gmail.com

Thanks so much to Casey of  Elegant Musings: Creativity & Vintage Style for allowing me to borrow this spectacular vintage (late 50s/early 60s) sailor-styled nautical dress!!!! It fit like a dream (and I felt like I was in a dream while wearing it).  For those of you who don’t know about Casey, she is married to a Navy man whom she always calls “Sailor Husband” on her blog. Find out more about sailors & other branches of US military for some semi-modern slavery history below!

[orchid hairclip from my sponsor Lila-Jo]

 Reason why I’m doing this #9:
This is going to be a long one. Hope you are willing to read it!  When I was a teenager, before I knew about modern-day slavery, I remember learning a bunch about prostitutes in Hawaii (specifically Honolulu in the 1940s during WWII). Many soldiers (mainly Navy men) were sent to that area after the Pearl Harbor bombing. There were films in their training to teach the soldiers about venereal diseases, but not really anything telling them they couldn’t sleep with prostitutes or who these prostitutes really were (though if they got a VD they received a court martial). There has always been an idea (and huge lie) that prostitutes choose their lifestyle. However, when I was learning about this particular issue during WWII, I saw film clips and photos (like this one) of hundreds of Navy men lined up at the doors of Honolulu brothels.

I was informed while watching the clips that the women were very young (some under 18, some older and up through their 30s) and that they had to have sex with up to 50-100 men EVERY DAY (they didn’t get rest time either). I don’t know about you, but that would leave a woman in a lot of pain, especially because some of these men that go to prostitutes are rough and expect them to serve them however they pay for. The women in these brothels were usually forced into their work, and this is before Hawaii became a state of the US, so it’s not as if they were “serving their country”. According to a book called The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii, women were hired as “entertainers” and were paid and made their own money, however many of the brothels were run by madams and pimps who made sure that they got their money instead, so most of these women were held as prisoners/slaves (while others may not have been) and were often beaten if they didn’t serve these men sex (didn’t matter if they were sick, had their periods, or were pregnant – no days off). Of course now Honolulu has never been the same and people continue to go there for sex tourism. They want to legalize prostitution there which really only legalizes abuse. Human trafficking is a big problem there today.

Also some of our troops during WWII who were stationed in Liberia were actually in an area where two brothels were put up specifically for our 2,100 soldiers to take advantage of. How wonderful, right?

Personal US Family history here, so I’m being really open right now and tell you this in my sadness. My mom’s father who was stationed in England during WWII bragged often about how he would have sex with women in prostitution in display windows in the red light districts there. It was very common for soldiers in those times to be encouraged for “leisure pleasure” from women while away from home to help keep their minds at ease. Yet because my grandfather was involved with such things, he had a lot of sick sexual issues in his life that I won’t go into, but he was a sex addict and the military encouraged it (he was really young when in the military and wasn’t married to my grandmother yet, but goodness did he put her through hell).

My dad fought in the Vietnam war. I have asked him dozens of times about his experiences and knowledge of men in the military who went to prostitutes (he used to ignore me but I’m relentless). He was one of the men involved with them. He was drafted to Vietnam through Army Special Forces when he was 20. When I was a child he would joke in front of my family that men would put bags over women’s heads and then pay for sex with them (and I was horrified at this then and the image haunts my brain and heart). If a woman was unattractive to them, they’d do this just so they could have sex with her and not be distracted by her face.  My father told me that he went into a brothel and was embarrassed, saw a line of girls (teenagers) and men were picking their girls out to spend the night with. My dad chose one and he felt badly sometimes afterwards that she needed money (not knowing that these girls never got to keep their money EVER) that he kept going to her out of pity. Very sad in my opinion, but my father is not the man he used to be and I am really thankful for his openness!!! This is partly why I long to adopt from Vietnam (in a way to pay “penance” for my father’s sins and because there are more females born in that country than boys and mainly all sold into sexual slavery.  I want to save ONE away from that if possible. For all I know I have half-siblings and nieces or nephews or even great-nieces/nephews out there since my half-siblings would probably be in their 40s if they’re alive).

You’re thinking now, “You seem to hate the military of the past for what they did, What about the military today???” This is what is so wonderful!! I have talked to many people who have been in in the military since Desert Storm (my dad knows loads of military men), and they have been educated about human trafficking every year in their training and told they are not to be involved with prostitutes or they can and WILL be dishonorably discharged. I have read some news articles in the past few years that disciplined those soldiers who disobeyed. Most war zones are known for having prostitutes in them, and therefore our military are to not abuse any of them (since they are educated that these women are more than likely forced into it against their wills).  I am really glad our military has cleaned up so much when they used to be so horrible with such issues. Let’s take a moment to applaud our troops (like Casey’s sailor husband)!!!!

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27 thoughts on “Military and Slavery Connections

  1. I love this dress! Your hairstyle is so pretty on you, and suits that dress so well! I loved the last one too, but this is the first chance I have had to read and comment. It is so terrible that the military once encouraged such things. I'm glad that they saw the error of their ways and now educate and punish them. Now my Tim and Casey's husband can serve a military that keeps our men's and women's minds on their missions. I am so thankful and proud for all of them!!!

  2. Wow–you look so beautiful! 🙂 I just love how you styled your hair–suits the dress perfectly. I'm so glad it fit you to a T!I've read a bit about the brothels and such during WWII (and other eras of our military history), and it is so sad. I remember reading a passage in a history book when I was very young, and being utterly horrified that girls of 13 or 14 would hang around soda shops in large cities (like NY) during WWII and try to pick up soldiers for business. I wonder how many lives were affected by this? It's such a shadowy, not-talked-about part of our history. I'm glad that the modern day military has really campaigned to encourage our forces to not engage in things like this. It has really helped take the military to a more professional level! (As well as, I hope, help to start cutting down on the proliferation of sexual slavery–every little bit counts!) Of course, there will always be issues and those who disobey directives regarding conduct, but the modern military is far more polished and discouraging of this sort of thing. (YAY!!!!)

  3. Oh wow, I didn't know about young girls doing that in soda shops and such in larger cities in those days. That's really sad. You're right that it is not talked about enough in our history. I guess they don't want to talk about the icky part of our history? I don't know really. I agree with you about the professional level of our troops now compared to back when men were drafted and such. Thanks for the compliments and especially for helping me out so I could borrow this amazing dress!!!!!!! It was fun to wear! 

  4. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of rape, sexual abuse and cheating rampant in the military particularly during deployments. So many people cannot handle being apart from loved ones and/or physical intimacy for a year whether they are the ones who stay home or go overseas. My husband is retired Army (chaplain's assistant) and I've heard stories from him about other people and also stories from other military wives on milspouse.com.Anyways, you look just darling! 🙂

  5. your hair looks great. love it.and it is a sad fact about those brothels. horrible sad for the women and horrible that our men took part in it. it is really hard for military men to keep away from such places (not specifically brothels, but strip clubs never seem to be far from a military base). My Air Force boyfriend (passionate Christian) is constantly avoiding such places and having to explain to the other guys why he refuses to go out with them on weekends. Powerful testimony for him, but I do think it is really sad that so many of these young men (unmarried, obviously as the military has rules against adultery) are spending their weekends in such places. but I have great appreciation for our troops, and especially those who are willing to stand for what is right!

  6. Lovely dress, it's such a pretty color on you!  It is very sad about the history of the military and prostitution but I'm also very glad that our current day military is educated about such things.  My brother is a Marine and I'm SO happy that things have changed so that he can make smart, informed decisions (and that those who don't are punished for it).

  7. Wow, I absolutely love this post, especially since I'm a Military wife myself. I'll be honest, I knew about prostitution during WWII but not too much. I was pretty ignorant in believing that women chose to be prostitues. Thank you for making this post, really, my heart breaks for these women. And I think it's great that you want to adopt a little girl from Vietnam!! Please keep us posted if you feel like God is calling you do to it, I'd love to see how the process works.

  8. i just came across your blog, and i really admire your cause.  i'm a survivor of sexual abuse, and it makes me glad to know that there are people out there that are passionate and brave enough to bring these injustices to light.  most people don't want to think about these things.  it's good to force them every once in awhile.anyway, the dress is beautiful 🙂  xx

  9. I read every word of this post and am apppauled that such terrible things were actually done to women. I greatly appluad you though for what you're doing and it is for such a wonderful, wonderful cause! You are someone I truly look up to and admire.Lauren of Someone Like You.

  10. I have heard from a friend who is engaged to a man in the Army that there are lots of rapes inside of the training areas themselves between the male soldiers going to the female soldiers, which is awful (but I don't know much about that other than what she told me, but should research it more).  I guess you figure most of these people int he military are entering at young ages and so when they go out, they long for intimacy and take it in a way that is perverse. I'll have to take a look at that site you linked.

  11. Good for him to stand up against such things!! I should write about strip clubs sometime too because loads of women are forced into those type of places too, but they are more common to have women CHOOSE to work in the strip clubs compared to prostitution, but it is still more than half of them that don't choose.  I don't have enough research for strip clubs, but I have read enough news articles regarding trafficked women working in them. 

  12. I don't think I'd be able to adopt for a long time, since we haven't the money and it costs a lot, but we pray that God will help provide for us to "care for the orphans" as He tells us to do throughout His word! It is cool how most of the people commenting today on here have family or spouses in the military. I think our media and culture make it seem like women choose to be prostitutes. It is sad what lies we are told. I used to be really ignorant of it too in the past.

  13. Wow, there sure is some dark history in our nation's past.  I knew about other heartbreaking cases of prostitution, but not the women in Hawaii.  I can't even imagine how horribly and incredibly painful this was for this women.   I'm so glad that you are raising awareness for this kind of thing going in today's world.  It breaks my heart that any woman or young girl would have to suffer such sexual abuse.On a lighter note, I love the dress that Casey sent you, such a gorgeous shade of blue, and I love the skirt! The way you did your hair goes so beautifully with it.

  14. There is a woman who wrote a book about her time as a prostitute in Hawaii during WWII and the abuse she suffered but I haven't been able to find a surviving copy ever, which would be awesome to read through. Thanks for the compliments!!!

  15. This was a very informative post.  Thank you for your open and honest stories.  All of the human trafficking that did and still does go on is very sad, but it's so hopeful that the military now educates against prostitution instead of encouraging it.  Also, on a lighter note, I LOVE your dress!

  16. This dress is lovely – and you look great in it!I know a friend who only wears black nail polish, too, except she does it on her finger. It's a pretty look, I'm just more of a pastel colors and sparkles kind of girl. 😀

  17. This is a very touching post. Koreans hated Americans (some older generations still do) because during the Korean War, American men would rape innocent women and the women would give birth to half-and-half children, which were severely looked down on as dirty and bastard-ish. Now Koreans are all obsessed about looking western, which is why plastic surgery is so popular…but that's besides the point. I love this outfit so much because it consists of three of m favorite elements: tie neck, sailor collar, and accordion pleats!

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