When I first heard of the novel, Disposable People by Kevin Bales I did not know what to expect. Little did I know that this book would really open my eyes to a different world that I did not exist. The first story that I read was of Seba. Seba is a young woman who was a slave in France. What struck me the most about this story is that she was promised to receive an education. Instead of this education, she was beaten and abused. She did not even know how old she was or how long she had been a slave at the house.
I can not believe that any one would be treated that way. It just is not right. She was whipped with a wire when she was late to pick up the kids, which to me is just a simple mistake that did not receive that drastic of a consequence. What makes me sad about Seba’s story is that she had the intelligence of a five year old when she was twenty two. No one deserves to be treated that way no matter who or what one did. Along with her story, the novel talks about the different types of slavery. I did not even know that there were different types of slavery.
The one that I was really aware was of the debt slavery. It was the first time that I had heard about chattel slavery and contract slavery. When I first read about contract slavery the first thought that came to mind was, “ Who would sign a contract to be a slave? ” But as I continued to read about it, I started to understand that being a slave is not a choice. It is something that is forced upon a person. Some people get kidnapped into slavery and have no hopes in getting out. Some children as young as twelve fall into this horrible pattern.
Siri’s story is the story that really hit home to me. Siri is a young girl who lives in a brothel as a prostitute. Now Siri is only around fifteen years old. My little sister just turned thirteen. I can not even imagine my little sister being in an environment like that. I would sacrifice myself before I ever see my sister in a place like that. Siri is forced to have sex with as many as fifteen men a night. Now who is really capable of that? Now along with that, she is put at risk for a bunch of different diseases specifically AIDS or other STDS.
If Siri is found positive for AIDS she would be kicked out of the brothel and left homeless on the streets. This is no way to ever treat a woman. The one fact that struck out to me was that women would rather have their man cheat on them with a woman from a brothel than go elsewhere. The reason why women feel this way is because they know that there would be no emotional attachment to them and also they know that the only purpose of these women is for sexual pleasures. I can not believe that another woman would allow a man, specifically their husband, do that to another woman.
That just means that she has no respect for herself. I feel bad for the girls in these brothers because they are stuck. There is no way that they can get out. If they escape, the police would pick them up, rape them, and then return them to the brothel. That is not fair. These women are simply prisoners who just have no way out. The next chapter talks about slavery in Mauritania. Here, slaves are only given one name Bilal. I could not imagine having the same name as everyone else.
I would also hate to categorize into one group. I love my name. It is unique and sets me apart from everyone else. If I had a name like everyone else I would not be unique I would be seen as one specific person. In Bilal’s life, all he knows is how to be a slave. He comes from a lineage of slavery. His grandmother and mother were slaves and that is all he knows how to be. But even after being a slave for so long, he is so unselfish. In the text, he says that he does not do the work for the money but rather to help his master.
I felt so touched by this because I can not believe that a slave who has been tortured all their life could say something as unselfish as this. This is just unfair because his master simply uses him for money which at the end of the day only profits him and not Bilal. In Brazil, there are men, called gatos(cats), who drive into the slums claiming that they have jobs for men and families. Sadly, what they do not know is that they are going to become enslaved. When some of the slaves were interviewed, they were very aware that they were enslaved, but they knew that there was no way out.
Like in Thailand, there are places called charcoal camps where the workers are isolated so that the gatos know where they are all the time. It is so surprising to me that slavery still exists in the world today. Even though that it may not be present here in the United States where I would most likely know about it, it still is around. I really do hope that one day, slavery will become abolished for sure. I hope that slavery will just become a thing that will be taught in history class because that is what it will be, just history.