I am exhausted by the constant refrain that prostitution is not an issue because many of the prostituted may say they are happy in the world of the sex trade.
I find unsurprising that many women inside prostitution would say – but what saddened is how their word is taken on the surface.
It is almost like the only many want to hear is the voices of the Happy Hooker, or the prostitute who speak to a script that means outsiders do not have to be concern about conditions for the prostituted.
It is very hard for me not to be cynical, as see no analysis of why a prostitute may say she is fine, no interest in her past or if she has any future.
The words of the Happy Hooker is fossilised and kept under glass.
She is kept struck in a time – the time she under the control of a punter, the time when the sex trade can pour poison into her.
The time without hope, the time without contact with reality, the time where all thoughts have to vanish.
And you make the choice to take her at her word.
Do you purposely ignore that there is mental abuse in every aspect of the sex trade?
Do you purposely frame sexual violence inside the sex trade as non-events or play-acting?
Do you purposely decide in a random fashion that if a prostitute is paid – then that must be her full consent to being made into sexual goods?
Tell why you choose to believe beyond evidence, beyond common sense and ignoring the real – that a prostitute must be happy and independent just coz her word.
I worked in Women’s Aid, and expected battered women to say over and over that they loved their abuser, that with work they could stop the violence, that everything would be fine.
I know many women or girls raped by a man they knew well or lived with – heard many times how it was an accident, that it must have been something she did.
I have read accounts of kidnapped victims who adapt so much they think the kidnapper is the only person who can care for them.
I know many survivors of torture adapt by blocking out the bad and clinging hold tight to any good that comes their way.
It is normal to adapt to hell if there appears to no end, no hope, so thoughts that the outside cares if you are alive or dead.
If you can see and understand the battered, woman, the incested child, the soldier in the front-line, or those tortured for their beliefs will adapt by saying they are fine.
You know to question their words, and not see just the surface smile, but looks for embedded suffering.
Why then do you do the same for the prostituted?
I would say it is wilful ignorance that is being a bystander to the daily genocide of the prostituted class.
It is like you are a toddler, who thinks if you shut your eyes tight enough then nothing bad can ever happen.
You refuse to see the ordinary sexual violence that is prostitution – instead you name it sex work, say it must be ok for it chosen, say all the violence is just acting out.
You refuse to see the deaths and disappearances that destroy the concept that like any other job, maybe a wee bit more dangerous.
Refuse to know that it is common that the prostituted are killed or died before they 27. That the known murders of the prostituted is estimated to 12 to 20 times more than women or girls of similar age or background.
How many jobs do you know where murder is just considered to work risk.
I know many jobs where working conditions are life-threatening – but that is not murder, it is either accidental or manslaughter.
I do not know of many or any jobs where rape is the job, where all sexual violence or harassment is just what your role is.
I do not think miners, deep-sea fishermen, workers in fast-food expect on a regular basic to be anally raped, to forced to deep-throat, and to smile when in sexual agony.
All this sexual, mental and sexual abuse of the prostituted is hidden in plain view – and let’s be honest to not see that hell is a choice.
So wake and smell the coffee – learn to see below the image of the Happy Hooker.
Learn to open your heart to compassion, your mind to empathy.
Learn that the prostituted have to adapt to survive – so maybe the word of the Happy Hooker is just voice of the sex trade, leaving an empty shell.
It your job to go below those words, and find the human in every prostitute that is screaming -
There must be more – more than this Hell.