I find the Margaret A. Baldwin’s essay very important as a backbone to my work.
I believe that although there are many connections between all male violence to women and girls, and it is all about owning women and girls, and refusing them the right to be full humans, just sex objects to be destroyed.
Though that is the underlying basis to all male violence to women and girls – the prostituted must have a separate voice, and not be to hush up by being just part of a continuum.
That is the what that feminists do – whether consciously or without thinking carefully enough – make the prostituted not only into the “other”, but non-existent except to be a warning to non-prostituted women and girls.
That way feminists are abandoning the prostitute on the street, inside the brothel, in the violent sex club, inside porn. She is abandoned to remain in debates, on the academic page – but never a full woman or girl who may be too complex to be pigeon-hole.
By keeping the prostitute as the Other, feminists use the image of the prostitute as a warning of how bad male violence, but too often do next to nothing to listen and hear the voices of the prostituted.
But how can feminism work, if it blocks out the multiple voices of the prostituted. It will not work if the only voices it chooses to hear are made up of preconceived stereotypes of what the prostituted should be.
It is about listening and hearing the variety of exited women who have the strength to speak of the realities.
Do not dismiss voices that have as part of their survival and determination fight to end the sex trade their religious beliefs.
Do not imagine that all prostituted women and girls were abused before entering the sex trade – and make out they are not “authentic” if they do fit that stereotype. Know and believe that the sex trade is violence of itself, so any women and girl who has been in it long-term, even if she enter willingly, has usually endured extreme violence.
Do not dismiss exited women if they were not addicted to drugs or drinks – it does not mean they have less grief and pain.
Do not assume there is huge difference between trafficking and what may be considered to be entering the sex trade freely. Know that all women and girls who are embedded inside the sex trade are made into commodities – so violence is common-place no matter how the individual prostitute enters.
In other words, each time you think you know the stereotype of the exploited woman or girl inside the sex trade – imagine a woman and girl who is the opposite of your often cliché view – and know she is exploited as well.
Listen and hear the multiple voices of exited women – and learn that they come from all backgrounds; women and girls who may of believe they were strong or full of self-hate; women and girls who come from poverty, as well as women and girls who had no love who may be middle- or upper-class; women and girls exploited from every ethnicity, the sex trade using their culture or traditions, and destroying by making it into living porn.
Please if you are serious about ending the sex trade – stop your world for long enough to listen and hear these voices, do not assume you already know what they may say.
I know I am learning every day from listening and hearing from exited women – I know in many ways I need to be humble that I just at the beginning of the true horrors and extent of the sex trade.
I love the way Margaret A. Baldwin points out that prostitution must be separated from other forms of male violence.
Yes, many women are raped and never get justice. But most non-prostituted are not likely to be raped more five or ten times in their lives. This is horrific – but it is not the same as what it is to be a full-time prostitute.
A prostitute if she is “lucky” is raped in the hundreds, but it is usually in the thousands.
A prostitute is raped until she has no language for rape – just the language that is her role, the language of forcing herself to believe it must be part of her nature.
All that is left for the prostitute is framed herself as bad, so deserving to be raped endlessly; or taking the language of the sex trade that is never rape – for she is empowered and manipulating the punters.
All the time non-prostituted women are battered by men who are their partners – all the time these men are murdering their partners. But it is not the same as prostitution.
Those men hate, but still see the individual woman. The prostitute is nothing when is battered, she can any whore, for the punters and profiteers all prostitutes are interchangeable.
The prostitute is in constant fear that any punter at any time will batter or murder her – knowing it will made of no importance for it made getting rid of the rubbish.
The prostitute has the constant fear that her manager/pimp will send her into sadistic violence or beat her up or any or no reason.
Violence is her norm, so she will adapt by not having feelings, acting hard and killing anything human left in her.
I know sexual harassment at work is a massive problem – but many workplaces will have places to report it, it may even be taken seriously.
Being inside the sex trade, there is no such thing as sexual harassment – that is the role of the prostitute.
I am driven mad how no-one listen and hear when exited women try to speak out that punters are just ordinary men who make the choice to buy another human. In making that choice, they own a sexual slave – so why is anyone shocked that the vast majority of punters are sadistic to the prostituted.
For many exited women, the shock is that some punters make the choice to be relatively nonviolent – most still get their money-worth, and fuck her.
Exited women have so much information and knowledge on male violence – but we are ignored or pushed away as damaged goods.
How can male violence ever be ended if the prostituted are silenced and made sub-humans?
We will always speak out against the sex trade – stop making it that we are shouting into the wind.