Whats Sex Got To Do With… Immigrant Workers?

The lack of protection of women’s bodies, as well as the exchange of women’s bodies as commerce is something prevalent right here in the United States. It is no secret that people from around the world come to the United States, legally and illegally, in search of a better life. Desperate for work, many of these immigrants take on low quality minimum wage jobs just so they can survive. Legal immigrants have rights and insurance and whatever comes with legitimate working papers and a Visa, but what happens when you have undocumented workers working low wage jobs in this country? In the documentary Rape in the Fields, we listen to the stories of undocumented workers who have been sexually abused and raped while at work. We learned that there is a great deal of an informal exchange of power- women desperate to keep their jobs while in the United States illegally are raped and abused at the will of their bosses and higher-ups. Because illegal and undocumented women are not protected by the government, they have no autonomy over their bodies. The situation is the epitome of being stuck between a rock and a hard place- to an extreme extent. For undocumented female workers, they had to deal with being raped and abused so that they would not be exposed to the government, surely resulting in deportation. How can it be fair that these women come to the United States in order to have a better life, when it turns out that their lives become worse than they could have ever imagined? Experiencing the things they have gone through while working in the California fields, they might as well have stayed in Mexico, specifically relating to the documentary we watched, where they would still be poor but would not have to live in fear of being raped by their boss who dictates their pay- and in this case life.


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