#BringBackOur Girls – Outrage Tunnel Vision?

Outrage is a fickle thing. Yes, the kidnapping of an entire girl’s school is outrageous and wrong. Selling these young girls as brides is nothing less than than pimping for pedophilia.

But long before #BringBackOurGirls made outrage all the current rage, millions of girls — many of them just 11 or 12 years old — were being sold, bartered and traded for the child bride sex trade. Heck, this isn’t even the first time this sort of thing has happened: Kidnapped ‘Virgin-Brides’ Believed To Be Cure For HIV

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Why no global outrage? I made the child bride sex trade a centerpiece of my thriller, Die By Wire. Other parts of that book got raves. But legitimizing the rape of little girls? That part just got yawns, no outrage. Ditto a site I started: Stop Child Brides.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 9.19.31 AM

#BringBackOurGirls: A Birmingham Moment?

It’s heartening to see #BringBackOurGirls spark such widespread outrage and awareness. One could hope that this is a Birmingham moment when the U.S. could no longer turn its face away from the evil of American apartheid.

But outrage without action changes nothing. Only action and force make change. Decades of ghastly torture lynchings across the South sparked outrage, but no change. Emmitt Till’s brutal murder outraged, but changed nothing.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests, the Birmingham church bombings, the officially sanctioned murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi outraged. And they finally provoked change. They didn’t cause change. They provoked action which finally did change things.

If You Are Genuinely Outraged, DO Something!

Real change in the United States began when the force of the U.S. federal government moved in to show the Klan, and the Citizen’s Councils and other white supremacists that where were outgunned. Feet on the street pushed back against violence and inequality.

All of the well-intentioned Tweeters behind #BringBackOurGirls must¬† realize their outrage is symbolic and empty unless it provokes real — meatspace not cyberspace — action.

 Individual Actions Can Start Now

People are not helpless as individuals. Don’t wait for bureaucrats. Don’t wait for politicians and commissions. History shows they act slowly if at all.

Take a good look at the chart above and check out which countries tolerate child brides.

Before you buy that tee shirt, does the tag say “made in Bangladesh?”

Don’t buy it.

Look at other products from those other countries. You can make your outrage count for something more than just gratuitous feel-good symbolism.

Keep on not buying. Tell others not to buy.

Sure, it might cause you some inconvenience.

So, how does your inconvenience stack up against this girl’s: Man Sells Six-Year-Old Daughter As Bride To Settle A Debt

Or this girl: Afghan child bride had escaped torturers but was sent back

Think about it. Read tags. Be an agent of change.



Lew's Books