Pakistani men are unwittingly being sold as indentured servants to their brides’ families
“Slave grooms” — i.e., South Asian men tricked into arranged marriages — are being trafficked to Hong Kong and forced into indentured labor by the families of their wives.
Ashraf, a 35-year-old Pakistani man, is one of them.
He says his mother-in-law promised him that he’d enjoy a better life in Hong Kong and be able to support his parents financially. So he married her daughter, whom he met through a family matchmaker, in 2011 and moved to Hong Kong on a dependent visa.
When he arrived, however, his in-laws took his passport for “safekeeping” and began physically and verbally abusing him. “Every day [my] wife slapping me, [saying] bad language. … Sometimes I didn’t eat for two days,” he explained to the South China Morning Post last week.
When he wasn’t working as a full-time security guard, he was forced to cook and clean for his wife, her son from a previous marriage and his mother-in-law. His wife took the entirety of his salary and gave shim a small allowance for transportation to and from work.
“These ‘matchmakers’ find a man in a particular situation — often he’s the only son living in a poor household and not making very good money — and bring him to Hong Kong, which is notoriously lax in prosecuting human traffickers, to marry a woman so her entire family has access to free labor,” explains Matt Friedman, a human-trafficking expert and CEO of The Mekong Club, an NGO that fights modern slavery.
Friedman tells me that marriage trafficking has typically involved women being used as unpaid maids to cook, clean and do whatever other domestic labor is needed. But now, he says, men are starting to reveal that they, too, have been targeted for the same scam. While “slave grooms” have been around for some time, Friedman explains, shame has prevented their stories from being told. Now, more grooms are stepping forward to prevent other men from suffering a similar fate.
A Michigan college student was charged Monday after she falsely reported to campus police that she was attacked and raped.
Mary Zolkowski, 21, faces felony charges after she told authorities contradictory stories about a rape at Delta College in University Center, according to Michigan Live.
Authorities said the student’s mother initially reported the alleged attack on Feb. 22 to the Delta College Public Safety Office.
Zolkowski then got in contact with police and claimed she was walking to her car when a man grabbed her from behind. According to her account, the man raped her without a condom while holding her face and throat.
She told police she only saw the man’s hands and he sped off in a vehicle before she could get a look at him.
The 21-year-old refused a physical examination following the alleged incident. Authorities said there did not appear to be any bruising on her body despite claims of soreness.
Following the police report, Zolkowski met with school officials to tell them she dropped her classes because of the attack. Police said it was later revealed that the courses were dropped prior to the Feb. 22 incident.
When investigators met with Zolkowski again, they noted several discrepancies in her story.
Police said she told them that the suspect was an acquaintance and she had been raped at an apartment in Saginaw Township. She said didn’t give consent because she was too intoxicated.
The college student reportedly apologized for the confusion during the interview and said she didn’t want to press charges against the suspect, according to Michigan Live.
Police interviewed the suspect, who provided text messages with Zolkowski in which she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a stranger at Wal-Mart on Feb. 22.
The suspect also told officers that Zolkowski had been trying to get a refund from her college for her courses.
In a third interview, Zolkowski changed her story again — telling police she wanted to tell the suspect to stop during sex, but it was over before she was able to.
Zolkowski was arraigned Monday in Bay County District Court for one count of false report of a felony.
If convicted, Zolkowski faces up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
A Vermont man says he was stabbed outside his home by a group of five masked men armed with box cutters on Tuesday, after being labeled a “Nazi sympathizer” for denouncing attempts to ruin the life of a Unite the Right rally attendee — even though he himself strongly disavows white supremacy.
The victim, Sam Wormer, who identifies as neither right or left, is so concerned about the divide in the country that even after being attacked he wasn’t sure that his story should be told. Leftist friends of his confirmed to Big League Politics that he frequently sticks up for “marginalized members of the community.”
Earlier this month, Elle magazine featured a video of an eight-year-old boy (yes, eight!) “transforming” into a drag queen named “Lactatia.”
The video disturbingly shows Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden being dolled-up in full-on drag makeup, a long, blonde wig, a sparkly red dress, and high heels before he meets a famous drag queen for some pointers; then he proceeds to pose seductively. All the while, mind you, the boy’s mother is gushing about her son’s gender confusion and her role in exacerbating it.
In short, the video is stomach-turning.
“We just want our kids to express themselves however they see fit; as long as it’s respectful and they’re nice people, we don’t care,” says the boy’s mother, Jessica.
Jessica says she started putting drag makeup on Nemis when he was just two, after her son handed her earrings he took off of a Mr. Potato Head toy.
“When he was about two, he came to me with Mr. Potato Head earrings and asked me to put makeup on him, so we did a little drag photo shoot and he duck-faced, and it was really sweet,” she explains, giving off a laugh. “And, yeah, anytime he wanted makeup, I put some on him.”
Nemis began dabbling in full-on drag at just seven years of age when his mother says they started watching VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race together.
Here’s Elle’s celebratory caption accompanying the video of Nemis:
“I think I’ve had Lactatia inside of me since I was born, and that’s why I love that song ‘Born This Way’.” Eight-year-old Nemis likes dancing, loves dressing up, and won’t let anyone stop him from doing what makes him feel accepted: transforming into drag queen Lactatia. Watch his story —with a surprise guest who thinks Lactatia is going to grow up to be “a weapon of mass devastation.”
And Elle wasn’t alone.
The Advocate, an LGBT site, hailed young Nemis as the new hot thing in drag and applauded the boy’s “supportive parents.” In a featured video, Nemis said kids who want to dress in drag but are prohibited by their parents “need new parents.”
“Anyone can do what they want in life,” said the boy. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you want to be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents. If you want to be a drag queen and your friends don’t let you, you need new friends.”
Additionally, the young boy was previously invited to the Werq the World drag tour in Montreal, where he joined famous drag queen Bianca del Rio.