January 2010

Dallas Judicial System Treats Prostitutes Like Humans

The Dallas Observer has a long and fascinating article about a relatively new initiative for the Dallas judicial system.  STAR Court stands for Strengthening, Transition, and Recovery, and it seeks to give repeat prostitution offenders the tools to turn their lives around.  Unsurprisingly, if a street prostitute is given the tool to turn her life around, she does.

Although this sounds like common sense, it isn't.  A lot of people still assume that prostitutes are less than human, or that they choose their lifestyle to satisfy their own wanton promiscuity.  The very idea of treating prostitutes like human beings is shocking to many people, if not outright laughable.

Working Moms Struggle In Germany

Last autumn when Manuela Maier signed her children up for an all-day school program in Germany and went back to work, she was "ostracized" by everyone in town.  They called her a "Rabenmutter, or raven mother, after the black bird that pushes chicks out of the nest."  (I guess that's the opposite of a "helicopter parent.")

For over 250 years, school for German children has ended at lunchtime.  This of course required a parent at home to care for them.  As opposed to America, for example, where all-day (or most-day) schooling is the norm, and both parents can take jobs outside the home.  A single mother in Germany is in big trouble, unable to accept full-time employment because she has to be home when the kids get out of school at noon.