Hearing about my stepmum’s illness seems to have made me break this week.
Many things I think and feel about prostitution, that I keep to the back of my mind in fear I will offend, have comes to the surface. I will write on some of it, coz I deeply scared I am losing my mind.
I find it interesting that as an exited prostituted woman, if I speak of the horror, it read and listen – but when I try to speak or write that it more complex than that, it often go down like a lead balloon.
But for many exited prostituted women they were in the sex trade long-term, therefore in order to adapt there was both good and bad times.
But always remember when I say “good times” it from the point of view that the prostituted has no freedom, no rights and no words for her existence – so good times are relative.
I was in and out of prostitution for round about 12 years. There is no way I would of survive if it was vicious raping all the time.
There were occasional times when the sexual acts were ok, even on rare occasions I can say now I am free, I could “enjoy”.
There were occasions where johns show some respect, and even noticed that I was a human being.
This must be said.
It does nothing to stop my deep passion that I want prostitution abolished. In many ways, it makes me feel that passion deeper.
For those men still owned me. Those men could switch into violence at any time.
Those men still held my life in their hands.
And no man who truly respect women would buy or sell them just for his sexual kicks.
But if exited prostituted women are to included in the struggle to end the sex trade – the whole of realities must be heard.
For the sex trade can and does divide prostituted women by brainwashing them it not that harmful, and if it is bad it’s the fault of the individual woman.
I feel if exited prostituted women are time and space to express the whole of their realities is may help get rid of the brainwashing from the sex trade.
But all too often when exited women try to say their truth, if they do fit the listener’s/reader’s stereotype, they are spoken or told what they really might to say.
This is ignorant and very patronising.
I also find it interesting that if non-prostituted women speak out against the sex trade, especially women in academia – suddenly shock horror it a bad thing.
But the words of academia are safe wrapped up in statistics, surrounded by footnotes – and if it gets too messy the academic crowd can move to another subject.
I suppose I must be bitter coz I was brought up in Cambridge, so I have see how academic will pick on social issues and move on, leaving the people who have to live it still in a mess.
Sometimes they are cruel for they give the people a glimpse of hope, and then they bugger off to their comfortable lives.
I hope academia doesn’t do this to prostituted women and girls, but allow my heart to be cynical.
But what is so hard is the words of centuries of prostituted women is not heard or just placed into footnotes.
Everything that academia is saying is wrong with prostitution has been expressed by prostituted women as long as they have access to try to communicate their realities.
It is in the graffiti left at archaeological sites where there were brothels. It is in letters exchanged. It is coded in novels. It is in songs and dance.
And it is written as plain politics as prostituted women formed groups to support each other.
In my life, I have seen and read powerful attacks on the sex trade by exited prostituted women going back to the 1970’s.
They words are very clear-thinking, very upfront about why the destruction of the sex trade is vitally important for full women’s liberation.
But their words are made to disappear.
Andrea Dworkin has somehow been allow to survive – but many exited prostituted women and their groups have been disappeared.
Maybe their language is too visceral to be heard. Maybe it show complexities when others would rather it was simple.
But academia parrot out the words of these lost women, and it is suddenly an issue.
I said I was angry. This is a rant, coz I want the words of prostituted women to be taken more seriously.