Thursday, February 6

What Guys are Looking For in Girls

Ok girls, we know are wants in guys, but what are guys looking for in girls? Here is a website I found on what a guy is looking for in a girl.

1.  She shares your beliefs
When it comes to finding your wife, I’ve heard “equally yoked.” It has nothing to do with weightlifting for those of you guys who like muscle women. Your potential wife should have the same beliefs you have. Now, you may think you can do some missionary dating, and turn that situation around so she will believe everything you do.  You’re probably going to be very disappointed with some bad side effects.  If you don’t have the same core beliefs….good luck.
2.  She makes you a better man
If everyday is hell with her, that should be a red flag. Your potential wife should elevate you to Yourself 2.0. You can get a good idea from your friends and family. Do they say you act differently in a bad way when you are around her? Not a good sign.  She should bring out the best in you, not bring out heartache and frayed nerves.
3.  She’s trustworthy
In fact, she should inspire trustworthiness within you. If you don’t trust her, you’re probably making her as bitter as you’re making yourself. Not worth it. If you can’t trust her, maybe you’re not ready to date her or maybe you need to work on confidence issues within yourself. If there’s good reason not to trust her, don’t even go there. Just like any cheater, it’s bound to happen again.
4.  She has ambition
She should have strength in character and carry herself with confidence. As a man, you should be the leader in the relationship, but for any dictators who feel justified here; we’re talking servant leadership. You probably don’t want the consummate follower either. She should have plans too. In fact, she should be a hard worker just like you. That doesn’t mean having a job is a requirement. One of my friends is a stay-at-home wife with three kids, and she works harder than any of my friends with careers.
5.  She’s selfless
She should care about others. Look at the way she treats her family and her friends. If she’s not close with her family, and doesn’t have any good friends, that’s not a good sign. If you start dating her, much less marry her, you will discover why soon enough. Some questions to ask yourself: Does she care about causes? Does she go out and volunteer? Does she give change to the needy or buy them a meal? These are important characteristics to consider.
6.  She’s attractive
In your eyes, she should be a “10.” When my wife walks in the room, I’m awestruck by her every time. She’s beautiful from the inside out. However, I’ve dated “hot” girls who ended up being downright ugly by the time we broke up. Personality plays into attractiveness big-time. Just remember, “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting.” She should be beautiful down to her soul because that kind of beauty lasts forever.
7.  She’s smart
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with her, so she should be able to hold a good conversation. She should be wise, smart, and give you good advice. Her women’s intuition should be strong. I look to my wife all the time for advice. She’s collected all sorts of wisdom from her mom. She remembers everything. Yes, everything….maybe too much.
8.  She loves you unconditionally
If she’s trying to change you to be another person, it’s time to move on. Your future wife should love you just as you are, regardless of anything you’ve done in your past. There will be minor adjustments along the way, but if she nags you about your core characteristics, it won’t get any better in marriage.
9.  She’s responsible
Does she remember appointments and meetings? Does she flake all of the time? She should already do a good job of managing her own life. If she’s got loads of debt and doesn’t work, you’re going to be taking all of that on. Ultimately, she will have some part in your financial well-being, and guess what? Finances remain one of the leading causes of divorce.
10.  She gets along with your family and friends
If she doesn’t even try to connect with your family and/or friends, let her go. She shouldn’t be critical of the people who you love and have been loyal to you throughout your life. There might be cases where your mom doesn’t like your future wife, and that may require your intervention; but in general, she should be a good fit with the people in your life. Marriage is a joining of two lives that existed prior to meeting the other person.

Tuesday, January 28

You'll Never See This Side of the Super Bowl on TV

It almost seems like another life, or like it could've, should've, just been a nightmare. But it's very real.
Several years ago, Danielle Douglas, now 31, was trafficked into sex slavery. Her story does not begin with a spring break gone wrong, or in a dusty town in Cambodia, or on a dark, brothel-lined alleyway in Bangkok. It starts in an apartment in Boston.
Douglas was 17 years old in 2000 when she moved from New Jersey to start college at Northeastern University. One night, when she arrived at what she thought was a party, she found nothing of the sort. There was only one man there, who appeared to be in his mid-40s. He claimed to feel badly that there had been a misunderstanding, so he offered her in for dinner. For the next two weeks, they casually kept in touch. "I honestly have no idea how he got my information," she said in an interview. She suspects that he paid off her friends for her phone number.
At the end of that two weeks, everything changed.
"I was hanging out with him, we were going to get something to eat, so I thought, and I ended up in Chinatown where he basically shoved me out of the car and told me to make money for him."
She did not have her phone, purse, identification or anything. "I was pretty much in shock. I saw other girls out there at the time so I kind of understood what he wanted me to do, but I wasn’t interested in doing that. … I went into an alleyway to figure out what I was going to do."
He came around the other side of the alley. "He beat me very badly and threatened my life and told me to make the money or I was going to die. So at that point I just started following directions."  
It only got worse from there. She was constantly beaten, and he was always with her unless she was with a john (a client paying for sex.) "I was in so much fear, the only thing in my mind was to not do anything wrong and get killed or hurt."

She was manipulated, intimidated, and forced into submission. "They know everything you do, every minute of the day. [You are] mentally and physically chained."

(A trafficked girl whose pimp forced her to have his name tattooed on her back. ©Tricked Film)

Perhaps one of the most jarring and perplexing types of her abuse was the psychological. The pimp brainwashed Douglas to believe she was worth nothing. "You're so ashamed of what you've done already, and then to be told every minute of every day, 'I'm the only one that’s going to love you now. The only one who is ever gonna love a ho is a pimp … I can take care of you.' And this is drilled into you. Drilled, drilled, drilled. Until you start believing it.'"

She remained under her pimp's intense, overpowering control and manipulation for the miserable two years that followed. The once innocent, bright-eyed girl from Summit, New Jersey never attended Northeastern University.


Later this week, New Jersey will host the Super Bowl, set to be the most expensive ever, with costs expected to reach $70 million. On Sunday, tens of thousands of football fans will make their way to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey — about 20 miles from Douglas’ hometown — to watch the Broncos and Seahawks go viciously helmet-to-helmet.

Before fans cheer, shout, and drink plenty of beer celebrating the ultimate all-American tradition, they will place their hands on their hearts for Renee Fleming’s national anthem, and sing praise to the United States of America.

(Image Credit: AP)

But there’s another side to the Super Bowl that most football fans will never see: America's most popular sporting event is also one of the largest venues for human trafficking in the world.

According to the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, "The Super Bowl attracts tens of thousands of fans to the host city … But it also attracts a sector of violence, organized criminal activity that operates in plain sight without notice including human trafficking in both the sex and labor industries." Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said, "One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks." Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), once called the Super Bowl the "largest human trafficking venue on the planet."

There are several reasons why trafficking increases around a huge event such as this. As hundreds of thousands of people (mainly men) flock to the New York City metro area for the week’s festivities, the primary motivator for increased prostitution is increased demand for it. According to Dorchen Leidholdt, adjunct professor at Columbia University who teaches about violence against women, "The demand for prostitution will drive trafficking. ... It's supply and demand." According to documentary filmmaker Jane Wells, who produced a film on the topic, "There is corporate entertaining, parties, alcohol, corporate-sponsored parties, people away from their families, anonymity. It’s kind of like a perfect storm."

But this year could be worse.

CBS reported, "Many believe the state's sprawling highway system, proximity to New York City and diverse population make it an attractive base of operations for traffickers."

The three most common forms of sex trafficking expected this year are pimp-controlled prostitution, commercial-front brothels, and escort services.

(Image Credit: ©Tricked Film)


Wells teamed up with John-Keith Wasson to make the disturbing documentary film "Tricked," inspired by the Super Bowl and sex trafficking, which chronicles "the pimps, the johns, the police, the parents and the victims of the America’s thriving sex trade." Douglas features prominently throughout. The filmmakers set out to show the glaring irony that "Americans are trafficked by Americans to service Americans at the quintessential American event."

Here's a snapshot of the startling facts they collected in researching for the film:

- The average entry age of girls into the sex trafficking industry in America is 12 to 14.

- The average life expectancy of a young girl after being trafficked is seven years.

- One third of teens living on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.

- Sex work is the most dangerous job in America, by 51 times.

- The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 20-48 times a day.

Watch the film’s trailer here:



Law enforcement and politicians have been gearing up to address the problem. Mayor Bill de Blasio, members of the NYPD, FBI, and about 12 advocacy organizations recently held a meeting. Professor Leindholdt attended and said in an interview that law enforcement affirmed that trafficking activity is significantly increasing ahead of the game. The NYPD is stepping up its efforts.

Importantly, New Jersey’s Attorney General has made anti-human trafficking enforcement a priority, and recently released this video:


But, the added emphasis on policing can only do so much. The laws that regulate the entire industry are completely out of whack. Currently, the arrest rate of a prostituted person to a john is 9:1. In other words, the blame has historically been placed on the prostituted individual, and not on the john, who could — at most — get a year in jail.

(A john who chooses to wear a mask to stay anonymous. Image Credit: ©Tricked Film)

According to Douglas, "When I was in pimp control, they never arrested the john, ever. They almost always arrested me. They would never arrest the pimps either, and the cops would actually speak directly to the pimps, and they would say things like, 'Is she yours? Get her off the track because we’re going to do a sting.'"

Moreover, pimps are master manipulator criminals. They’re well aware of the fact that if they're just standing on the street, they're not actually committing a crime at that moment, whereas the prostitute technically is. It’s called "prostitution enforcement."

(Image Credit: ©Tricked Film)

Finally, there’s the issue of underreporting. It’s very difficult for victims of sex trafficking to trust the police enough to admit they need help, because they know they could get in trouble.


Unlike hundreds of thousands of trafficked people in this country, Douglas actually managed to escape. About three years later, she found out that her pimp died from a cocaine overdose. "I was definitely relieved. Because I was still constantly looking over my shoulder."

He was never brought to justice.

Now, Douglas is working hard along with a number of other organizations to shift the criminal justice paradigm. She volunteers with the Polaris Project, a leading organization in the field, and also works with the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force and is in the running for a seat on New Jersey's Commission Against Human Trafficking.

The Super Bowl is certainly a good entry point for raising awareness on the issue, and educating more people about it is a huge part of the battle. But, as Douglas said, "It's just the beginning."

The Super Bowl is just one day every year, but trafficking happens every day. Many organizations are working hard with law enforcement to shift the criminal blame away from the prostituted individual and onto the traffickers and buyers. For example, the NYPD's new initiative "Operation Losing Proposition" focuses only on arresting the johns and seizing their assets rather than arresting the prostituted individual.


Today, Douglas is married with two young children. "I love being a mom," she said with a smile. She's told her husband everything about her past, but said, "Having sex is still not normal for me. I was numb for so long that it doesn’t really mean the same thing for me that it would mean for someone else."

She's moved on and taken control, but knows that her past will always be with her.

In the documentary, there is a moment where she said, "I feel sad for that person," then added — as if she was realizing it for the first time — "But that person is me."

(Image Credit: ©Tricked Film)

Tuesday, January 14

The Priestly Blessing

May The Lord bless you
and protect you.
May The Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you his favor
and give you peace.
-Numbers 6:24-26