Last October I wrote a post “The Revolution in Me” in which I confronted the feminist attitude to prostituted women whether they working or exited.
I wish to write more on that theme, for my anger, pain and grief has not toned down. To be honest, I find it very hard to trust the majority of feminism will take prostitution seriously, and will not just push it away as something too messy for good women to look at.
I write because I believe too much of feminism betrays prostituted women on a daily basis.
These women are on the front-line of male violence, but their truths and experiences are ignored or placed into the neat language of academia so feminists can be detached.
Yes, I know, hearing and believing the truths of prostituted women is very painful, I know it will or may trigger your own stuff, I know it may be too horrible to believe.
But it you say are a feminist, especially if you say you against male violence against women – then if you choose to turn away from the nasty truths of prostituted women – then you never, ever end male violence.
Prostituted women know too much about male violence.
These are women that are raped on such a regular basis, that the language of rape has no meaning to them.
Feminists need to hear and listen to prostituted women on how it not rape – it is a constant sexual torture. A torture where to survive is to learn to adapt.
Learn to forget it could classed as rape – no named it as work, named it that you must enjoy it, named it that you must be a whore because why else does it happened over and over and over.
Recognise that the way that the vast majority of prostituted women survived by refusing to know their own reality.
Do not speak in easy terms of joining up dots, unless you are able to hear that logic may be of little or no sense to the prostituted women.
I was abused as a child – but I did not connect that with prostitution until many years after I had exited.
No, I was convinced I chose to be prostituted, chose to be sadistically abused because that was who I was.
I thought I was just bad, some kind of rebel.
I thought it was my nature.
I had been effectively brainwashed to accept the unacceptable.
If prostitution is to be spoken of as rape – then say rape factory – never compare it rapes where faces are known, where support is given, where some believe it was rape, where rape is two or three times in a lifetime.
See it industrial rapes.
Known the trauma of surviving prostitution is having no faces, not being able even to know the numbers of men that raped you, living with turned living porn, never knowing if a john will casually murdered you for extra thrill.
Then know, to survive all that is to never name it as rape coz then all hope would go. Then suicide is the only real answer.
I think prostituted women have very few words for their realities, and are slowly with grief, fear and rage, they are attempting to form a language. Feminist need to not speak over them as they are discovering themselves.
For many prostituted women, forming a language that suits their realities is staring directly into a terrifying void.
The sex trade told many women how to be in the world, prostituted women survived by being the role of the prostitute. This meant forgetting who they were before prostitution, and not being able to understand how to be, if they are lucky enough to exit.
Ordinary life is surreal for prostituted women. Many prostituted women lived inside control and being made invisible.
I got so used to just doing as men told me, and forgetting to think much – that I would get very confused when I ask my own opinion or even choosing what to buy in a supermarket.
I lived in a world where men brought me stuff sometimes, so I forget the daily rituals of ordinary life.
Surviving prostitution is learning the ordinary is safe and not full of people wanting to manipulate you. That life can be boring is so wonderful.
Feminism must make listening and really hearing exited prostituted women central to their battle against male violence, not some side issue that they may look at if they get time.
Time is too late for women being sexually tortured in brothels, murdered because the murder of a prostitute is seen as one way not to pay her, prostitutes being made to do hard-core porn coz they are easier to manipulate.
Time is too late if feminists accept there is a class of women that men can buy and sell. Accept that by inventing a language of choice, by inventing women who a different attitude to pain and sex, by saying it not degradation it some kind of business agreement.
I have betrayed by the language of the feminism of choice and then seeing prostitution as empowerment.
My reality of violence ia made invisible – my reality is the reality for the vast majority of prostituted women.
As someone who still call herself a feminist, I deeply believe the only real solution to prostitution is to fight for abolition.
Abolition because for the majority of prostituted women is slavery – and their human rights have been destroyed.
Whilst prostitution is made just one of those things – rapes, battery and murders of women will continue and be made unimportant.
With prostitution in the world – there will be no solution to male violence.
So feminism had better take prostitution seriously, if it is really women-centered – or is it just nice women that count.