Poem, Ponte Films

Internal Labyrinth (Haiku)

Internal Labyrinth.jpg

Internal Labyrinth
Eating away dignity
Nothing is sacred

Let’s start with a BANG. What are your views on prostitution and human sex trafficking? What do you think happens to a girl’s dignity and sense of self-worth and respect when she gets involved in prostitution? 

wiki.answers.com gives a variety of reasons.

  • There are no jobs they are qualified for and have a family to support.
  • In some countries they are forced to do it as in trafficking
  • Some have been abused and sex is the way they find validation.
  • Their only way to deal with their past as abused children, they relive it.
  • They need money for an addiction. 
  • They enjoy sex.
  • It’s nothing more than a job

In doing some research on the health effects of prostitution I found the following from Prostitutionhlth.blogspot.com:

  • Physically: STDs, including HIV/AIDS are alarmingly high among women in prostitution.
  • Emotionally: Severe trauma, stress, depression, anxiety, self-medication through alcohol and drug abuse, and eating disorders. Ultimately, women in prostitution are also at special risk for self-mutilation, suicide, and homicide.The above poem was inspired by the theme of the movie, “Internal Mazes” (original in Portuguese – “Labirintos Internos”).

The purpose of this movie is two-fold. First, to combat the issue of human sex trafficking (being that the World Cup will soon be held here in Brazil, and soon after, the olympics). And second, to show that God’s love has no limits. That a person that has been socially marked as unworthy of love is precious and worthy in the eyes of God.  Human beings are so quick to judge, but God is not a respecter of persons. He deems all people worthy of forgiveness, acceptance, and the right to a life of dignity

I’m so proud of my husband for producing, directing and creating this film. I believe that it will be a very powerful tool used to speak deeply into hearts and lives.


Photo taken at the premiere in Bahia, Brazil. (me, actors, vocalist)

Ok, back to you. What do you think happens to a girl’s dignity when she is prostituted? Do you think she is worthy of dignity and respect?

Above photo: commons.wikimedia.org




41 thoughts on “Internal Labyrinth (Haiku)”

  1. Olá, Staci. Gostei bastante do seu poema.
    Prostituição é um tema muitíssimo delicado. Como você mesmo disse, acontece por vários motivos.
    As vezes escuto pessoas falarem do tema com falso moralismo, como se isso fosse um fenômeno moderno e como bem sabemos, é uma prática muito antiga. Penso que o governo deve intervir em questões extremas como tráfico de pessoas, exploração de menores, violência sexual, etc. Sobre o restante, acho muito complicado opinar. Se é certo ou errado… sinceramente não sei dizer. Na minha ética cristã, acredito que não seja uma boa prática profissional. Não gostaria de ouvir uma filha dizer que ganha a vida assim. Mas essa é uma percepção muito particular. Além disso, não sei.
    Parabéns pelo poema. O post é bastante polêmico. Dá um bom debate!
    Grande abraço!

    1. Obrigada Adriano
      Pois é. É um tema bem delicado mesmo. Algumas pessoas só vejam a prostituição como uma profissão igual qualquer. Se não tiver uma consciencia moral sobre a sexualidade, então por que não?
      Igual você, eu tenho ética cristã, e acho que não seja uma boa profissão por vários motivos. Mas, como você falou, é mu post bastante polêmico. Pode causar bastante discussão.

  2. Such a timely post indeed, Staci. It’s very true that these girls or women who were prostitutes are look down on by society. Many see them as ‘things’ instead of human beings. But then, let’s not forget that “No one is perfect” before the Creator.

    I’m glad you and your husband did a movie to give these sisters of ours a voice. Like my mother always says “You’ll only understand, if you walk down that road in my shoes.”

    1. Exactly Uzoma. You are so right. Nobody is perfect. And unfortunately these girls suffer so much already as it is. Then society comes along and judges the heck out of them. They are worthy of forgiveness, respect and dignity, just as much as the squeaky clean family sitting in the front pew of church on a Sunday morning. Neither is better or worse. And thank God for that eh.
      Thank you so much for your input, my friend.

  3. Trafficking of humans is evil, no matter the reason. I think that she shouldn’t do it of her own accord, and if she’s forced to, then the full weight of the legal system must come down on the perpetrators. I have a difficult time thinking that it was a choice of a clear mind.
    Thank you to Daniel for raising this question through his work. And you look wonderful in the photo! 🙂

    1. Yea, it’s a very touchy subject indeed. Prostitution is not new to our post-modern world. It’s a profession that goes way back. However, like you, I have a difficult time thinking it was a choice of a clear mind. I don’t think anyone aspires or desires to be a prostitute and successful in their career as one. For those that choose to prostitute themselves, it’s usually to support a drug addiction, a result of psychological problems, they don’t have money and need it, they aren’t qualified for much else. Then there’s those that do it because they see it as easy money. They can get a lot of money by just renting themselves out for a short period of time. There have been many cases of college students, from middle-class families, they’ve been enticed to work as an escort because of how much money they can earn. The problem is that they drop out of school, get used to living a life of luxury and having a ton of money – then in a few years when they want to get out of it – they are not qualified for much else and are hooked on the life of luxury they’ve been living. So it kind of traps them, in a sense.
      Thanks for the compliment on the photo. I was a bit tired and stressed. At least that didn’t show through in the photo. Up close one could tell (and someone did actually).

      1. After I replied to your post, I was driving through town and there was a car wash set up by the local high school to raise money for the school. It was run by the cheerleaders, who were all in swim tops and cut off jeans. They couldn’t have been more that 16 or 17. I remembered this post and thought that we are institutionalizing sexuality in women at a very young age. What is their self worth if they feel that attracting cars to their car wash can be improved with a sexual approach? We, as a society are to blame.
        No, that did not come through on the photo at all! You look very calm and cool!

      2. You are so right Rob. The unfortunate thing is that sex sells. And, no thanks to media, it’s enforced everywhere we look (tv, billboards, internet, magazines, books, etc). Sex to me is something very intimate and sacred actually. I have a very promiscuous past from when I was a teenager and early youth. It’s only after I became a Christian that I started to see sex as a precious gift that God gave people. So precious, and delicate, that it should only be done with one other. I really believe that when you have sex with someone, you become one with that person. Not just in the physical sense, but a soul tie – spiritual attachment seems to happen. I believe that’s why it’s so heart-wrenching and traumatizing when there’s a break-up/divorce. It’s like a ripping apart of yourself.
        I’m so glad that you thought of this post when you saw those girls. That makes me so happy to know that my humble little writing was able to cause someone to reflect upon this unfortunate and sad issue of ‘institutionalizing sexuality’ in women at a very young age.
        Yeah, I look calm and cool in the pic. I was actually very calm and cool at the time. Although, I had just finished crying because of the film and my mascara was wiped off to the sides of my eyes (hehehe). I was more stressed out the days before.

      3. If you were crying, then the filmmaker did a wonderful job. 🙂 My opinion of film is that it has to evoke an emotional response, or it hasn’t done it’s job. This one has and Daniel must have done a great job! Your writing always causes me to pause and think. You have your finger on the pulse of the topics that are near and dear to you, and it shows. And if you reach just one person, and one person reaches another person, then you’ve done a great service to another human being.

      4. Awwwww, thanks so much Rob. What an encouragement.
        And yes, Daniel did do a great job. We are seeing the fruits of it everyday. We are getting requests from all over the country for it. I’m going to start translating it probably tomorrow.

      5. Are you translating it for subtitles? That’s quite a bit of work just prior to your big vacation!

      6. Yup! Subtitles. I’ll work on it here a bit, probably leave the house for a coffee shop and hubby’s lap top in the evening a couple of times this week too. What I can’t get finished here I’ll do in Canada.

      7. Of course. The English translation will be an option on all forms, whether it be blue ray or electronically via internet.

      8. I’m looking forward to it! Perhaps autographed copies will be available? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Women are always worthy of dignity and respect, it is a shame to see it taken away through trafficking. Good post to remind of the victims and the fact that they are every bit as much daughters of the King as my own girls.

    1. MARK!!! Yeah, so good to see you. How are you doing?
      Here here to that Mark. I totally agree. Women, and all humans, are always worthy of dignity and respect. There’s something special about us people. God made us different than all other animals and I think that, deep within, all people know that there’s something special there.
      “they are every bit as much daughters of the King as my own girls.”
      –So true. There is no one that is better then another. I love this what you said.

  5. Oy vey…you ask the tough ones, which is why sometimes I don’t respond. It’s either that or I will type a 50,000 word thesis on it. So I opt for silence and rested wrists. This kind of comes up on the coattails of that whole #YesAllWomen twitter thing after those murders in California. Not the same topic, of course, but this sort of continetal discussion of the role of women in society and how they are viewed. So that is what your topic (the film) reminded me of.

    Anyway, I don’t know, Staci. I think that trafficking and prostitution can be different things, even though they overlap. Trafficking clearly is wrong, and prostitution…well, that’s a personal thing. I don’t know enough about it, and can’t say what it’s like to be on either sides of it. What’s the real deal – is it an “empowering” (dislike that word) thing for women, or is it objectifying regardless of the situation? And what are the outlying ramifications and results outside of the act of two people having sex – what about the families, the health, the reputation, the guilt, the shame, the sometimes addictions that come with it? The threat of violence? Too many factors for me to have any solid opinion.

    Great question.

    I also love the pic – Wolverine photo bombed you in the back there…lol.

    Blessings and hugs,

    1. Hahahahaha. Are you trying to get all Brazilian on me here Paul? “Oye Vey” (should be ‘oi’ 🙂 )
      “It’s either that or I will type a 50,000 word thesis on it.”
      –I love that you said this, because I feel the same way. When I start writing my own reflections, it’s soooooooooooo hard. Hard because there’s so much I could, and would like to write. However, I know that nobody has the time or desire to hear me banter on pages and pages about a subject. If you were to talk to me in person though….. that’s a whole different story. I am so humbled that my simple writings would actually cause such an awesome writer, as yourself, to think so much on it though. I really appreciate it Paul.
      “I think that trafficking and prostitution can be different things”
      –I totally agree Paul. However, I do think that oftentimes prostitution can start out as simply the need for money, and then turn into trafficking and something very degrading and abusive, beyond sexually.
      All in all though, I don’t think any woman every aspires to be a successful prostitute and dreams of making a life at that. Because I am a Christian, I have my moral opinions on it and all I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all women don’t grow up dreaming of being a prostitute.
      For the rest of what you said – Yes, yes, and yes, and Holy Crap, one could certainly write a huge 50,000 word thesis on this.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You know, Wolverine was never my favorite. Too bad it wasn’t Spider Man. My son would appreciate that. Thanks for compliment.

      Blessings and hugs to you,

  6. Staci, first, are you the redhead? J/K…which one is you? I am proud to know you. This effort is truly blessed by God. You will make a difference serving his children this way, my friend.

    Everyone is worthy of dignity and respect. The notion of them not being worthy saddens me. I cannot judge what one does with their life. I will love them inspite of their choices. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? I don’t know…

    Congratulations! !

    1. Hiiiiii Audrey. Hahahahaha. Nope. Not the redhead. I’m the white blonde in the middle with the red shirt on.
      Awwwwwww 🙂 Really? You are proud to know me? I’m so touched Audrey. I’m the one that is proud to know you. You whip up these writings all day, everyday. I’m lucky if I get two out a week.
      “This effort is truly blessed by God.”
      –Thanks Audrey. I believe so too. We have people from all over the country that are contacting us and wanting to show the film. One city in the north wants to show it to the students of the city and the city will be paying for it. The doors just seem to be flying open. So much so that we may end up moving from the city we’re in right now to a larger one. Daniel’s even getting all sorts of proposals now for work. He has become a reference here in Brazil for independent Christian film.

      “Everyone is worthy of dignity and respect. The notion of them not being worthy saddens me. I cannot judge what one does with their life. I will love them inspite of their choices. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? I don’t know…”
      –Yes Yes Yes! I agree with you 100%. That IS what we’re suppose to do. I love that you said this.

      Thanks Audrey. You rock.

  7. I came across this article today, a unique take on this question by the renowned deceased poet


    1. I read the article. Interesting to see someone who actually confesses that she didn’t have any sense of regret or feeling of a lack of dignity. Then again, only she really knows what went on inside her heart and thoughts. According to her biography, she had a son that she needed to support and ended up working various jobs to do so. I’m thinking that her reason for prostitution was simply out of the need for money. And, as the article expressed, she saw it as a profession. I’m sure there are many out there that think of prostitution as a profession and merely that. I actually know a woman that is an ex-prostitute and now she fights for the dignity of these women and against the legalization of it where she lives. There are also many cases of young girls from middle-class families that go to college and then get a taste of the amazing amount of money she can earn working as an escort. They drop out of school and start living the high life of luxury. Most of them want out of the profession after a few years, but are imprisoned by their own lust for all of the luxuries that that type of live offered them. By the time they want out, it’s almost impossible. They don’t have an education that would afford them a job that would supply the luxuries they have become accustomed with having. So they’re essentially bound. They can’t get a ‘regular’ job, nor start a family or do any of the things that human beings have desired and lived for since the beginning of time.
      Anyhow, I know that this topic is a loaded one and opinions are many and differ. I just feel sorry for the majority of the girls that are involved in prostitution and sex trafficking that are literally treated like s*&t day in and day out. They have lost all sense of worth and value. They are beaten and raped and stripped of dignity. Really sad indeed.
      Thanks for suggesting the article Ray.

  8. Thank you so much for making this film. There is nothing good about trafficking or prostitution. And who are the men that either lead this or take part in it? They are evil to treat a human being in such a way. Trafficking is not just in “other parts of the world”. Where I live we have an organization called Exploit No More that our church supports that is dedicated to fighting trafficking right here in my state. We supply a lot of prostitutes to Chicago. These are mostly girls. Girls that are vulnerable and easily snatched and trapped into this life. And as for addiction, while a woman may turn to prostitution to earn money for her addiction, this happens, pimps have learned that getting their girls addicted is first thing. Then they have them and can control them. It just makes me sick how people can do this and somehow justify to themselves that it is ok.

    1. Hi Cynthia. Unfortunately, trafficking and prostitution go way back. They’re not new to today’s society. I’m sure that there are women that prostitute themselves just because they need the money, or because they see it as easy money. I have a hard time believing that it doesn’t affect the spirit of these girls too though. Nobody every grows up saying, “I really want to be a prostitute when I’m grown up”. And I definitely don’t think there are any parents that dream that for their kids. It’s a very sensitive and very touchy topic indeed, my friend.

      1. Yes, I do believe it affects their spirit. I believe this is true with any behavior we do that does not agree with our values. As you said, nobody grows up thinking that prostitution is what they want to do. Add to that the likelihood that they feel trapped and also that it goes on and on, it’s not a one-time thing. It’s their life. Similar to the way an addict feels.

  9. My first wife’s sister was a prostitute. And I believe her story was pretty much the norm for many women in her profession. She had more money that she knew what to do with, nice things, and, of course, drugs. After an endless line of worthless boyfriends and drug use, she committed suicide. Sad.

    1. Wow, what a sad story. Unfortunately this is the reality of far too many women. Would you say that she got into prostitution because of the easy money, or in order to support her drug addiction? Or maybe she had another reason? Very sad indeed Richard.

      1. To be totally honest, I believe she and my first wife were sexually abused by their father. Though it was not admitted, my wife certainly had her share of personal issues, and lived her last two years of high school with her grandparents. And her sister wanted out of the house by any means possible. I do know the drugs came later. Probably her way of dealing with her profession.

      2. Wow, how devastating. I can’t hack that. Sexual abuse, especially to young children, and by someone close to them, like their father. Uck!

  10. some obviously have to do it for money or others do it to pay debts and because they are forced too.
    I don’t think they enjoy this at all. I think they feel worthless and miserable. I hope and I always wish that in some way they get saved. women do not deserve this :/ it makes me sad

    1. Yes Yazmin. It really is sad. And even if the woman does it just simply as a job, and say that it doesn’t affect them emotionally or their self worth, I’m sure there’s still something that happens to their soul.
      Very sad indeed.

  11. Forgive me for not reading the comments so if someone has said this I apologize,

    I think the worst thing that countries do is to put the prostitutes in jail; it doesn’t help them at all to be arrested and seems to exacerbate their problems. Costa Rica legalized prostitution but made being a pimp illegal. While I’m not endorsing prostitution at all; I like the way Costa Rica has focused their energy on arresting the (usually men) people who control the female prostitutes and throw them in jail instead of the women.

    1. Actually, no body mentioned that yet. I’m glad you brought this up. Exactly. Why put the women jail?
      I agree with you 100%.

  12. My heart aches when I read about human trafficking! I think it strips the women of their dignity and their self-worth. It objectifies the women to the point that they often don’t see themselves as loveable human beings. It is hard for them to receive love from another human being and even harder to receive love from the Lord. Great post!

    1. Hi Kirsten. Yes, it’s such a sad reality of so many women. I know that there are women that prostitute themselves out of their own will because they need money, but I really don’t think they ever aspired to a career of prostitution. There are even young college girls that give up on their education because they see escorting as easy money. They end up making a ton of money and living a life of luxury. However, when they want out of that lifestyle, get a ‘normal’ job and maybe get married and have a family, they are unable to. They don’t have an education, and they are used to having a lot of money. Nothing else is going to give them that with the qualifications they have.
      Now trafficking, different than prostitution is just plain wrong and inhuman. It really does strip a woman of all dignity and self-worth.
      Thanks Kirsten.

      1. In ministry you run across both prostitution and trafficking. I’ve found that many of the women have the same need for love. The problem is that they don’t really know how to receive the “agape” kind of love that God wants them to know. The so called “love” many of them have received was not love at all. It’s amazing to see the transformation in the women when they embrace God’s love and learn to give it as well! Wonderful thought provoking post as always!!

      2. It’s so true that it’s difficult to understand and receive the ‘agape’ love. Not just for prostitutes, but definitely for them. There is a lot a hurt and pain that they need healing from, and a need to learn what true love really is. The idea of just simply being loved for nothing is a very difficult concept to grasp.
        Wow, do you work up close with prostitution and trafficking victims?
        Thanks Kirsten.

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