Out of the Box

I have been writing this blog for several years – and sometimes it would nice to know if some of my more loyal readers are doing practical things to further the fight for abolition.

It would help with my despair, may ease some of my trauma to know I making a change.

I feel close to rock bottom – so maybe to get me out of my box of depression, knowing others are fighting to make a real change – doing more than writing and speaking to friends who already agree.

I do not want to sound as if I don’t know of the wonderful work being done for abolition – but what shocks and sometimes saddened me is that mainly done by exited women.

These are women who working despite their trauma, despite their grief, despite living with injuries from their pasts, despite having shock coming over and through them as they speak out.

Exited women are leading the understanding and ways to bring about abolition – often in the face of deep ignorance and of dismissal of their truths.

Each and every exited who speaks her truth, is a beacon to giving the prostituted class a real future and true dignity.

But the amazing determination and courage of exited women is often isolated – they are made to feel they are screaming into a hurricane.

This is because so many who claimed to be our allies and say they want abolition of the sex trade, can be totally dismissive of exited women.

They put us in a box – a box which only opened to give an example to prove a point, a box that only allows out one exited woman at time for our multiple voices may have too much power, a box that is labelled as “fiction” for to call it “fact” would mean seeing exited women as full humans and not statistics.

Exited women have been kept inside that box for many centuries – in the box our voices have been silenced and mis-recorded, in the box we are given labels that rip away that we are humans and make just the role of whatever token whore is needed, in the our so-called allies destroyed our humility and reminds us of what to be prostituted really means.

I believe it is vital for exited women to lead the movement towards abolition – for it is the slaves who know and have lived the reasons to free all the prostituted class.

We can say it from the inside-out – but more we can make the connection to how men hate females, how that is often pre-planned and organised, we know that all violence done to females is for control and done from a place of fear.

Our words can be the key to seeing male violence with a clear eye – I suppose that is why it is vital to dismiss us just sad cases or deluded.

We will speak our truths – but it so hard, so full of pain, there is so much grief. It would good to know that those who choose to hear and not to run away from our words, were able to reach out and assist us to spread our truths.

It would be good if it was regular when exited women are asked to speak at meetings or conferences, that it is known that there is often after-effects from speaking.

This is because what is said is the tip of an iceberg of what they have live through. Speaking for many exited women is to go into performance role – a role that is the norm for many inside the sex trade.

I enjoyed speaking at large meetings, I enjoyed being able to manipulate an audience, I enjoyed having respect and some power – I enjoyed it because I am playing a role, inside that role for a short period, I am in control.

But being a role is also poisonous for many exited women – to be a role is to be detached, to be a role has roles that are scary is they go out of control, and most important being a role for many exited women is a remainder how it was inside the sex trade and to be the role of a robot.

Those who truly care for exited should be with them after these speeches.

Know it normal to go into being tough after speaking, but it may also be normal to be paranoid and feel utterly vulnerable. Know it may the exited woman may talk about everything but the sex trade and her speech – or she may want to rehash her speech and ask direct questions of you. Know she may try to run away and fall back into self-harm, or she may appear so scarily happy that you may want to run away.

All this is common after-effects when exited women speak out in public.

We need to know that solid allies and friends can be with us – not as carers, not to make themselves feel better, not from duty – but with us as equals and viewing us as full humans.

For it is terrifying to hear the power and truth of our words – we can lead, but only if we are also known to be vulnerable and in great pain.

It is the same when we write – writing is the most isolating job I know of, and to write into the depths of hell is to be alone.

Writers need their readers – we need your feedback, we need to know we have made some connections. Exited women who write need to see their words make others have a change of heart, that we can make others do practical moves to build the road to abolition.

Your comments matter so much. Knowing you sign petitions matters. Knowing you work with the prostituted matters. Knowing you speak in the language of torture and human rights matters.

Exited women love to know their words and thoughts have some impact. That they are not pissing into the wind.

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7 responses to “Out of the Box

  1. I can only speak for my self but In my point of view, the exited womens voices are very important when we talk about prostitution and what mens purchase of sex does to women body, mind and to humiliate women. Therefore I have made my blog http://ingenkendersandheden.blogspot.dk/ where I offer space for the Survivors’ voices and I have collected all the reports, studies, articles and other things, that shows the damage the sex industry and mens purchase of women does to us – or should I say does against us.

    I also spend time to speak against the sexlobby and the mis-information they bring. It drains me of energy but I hope it makes a difference, that people see, that the sex industry don’t gives the truth and that they don’t represent the prostitutes. We do have the same problem in Denmark, where a small “elite” of brothel owners, socalled sexual free-minded (if you understand what I mean), liberals (its all about the money and people can do what they want with their bodies) and some confused leftwingers, who think it’s a question about unions, speaks on behalf of all the prostitutes. You have written quite good about the last group.

    We even have a politician-whannabe (luckily she wasn’t selected) who performed as a prostitute in a campaign video for sex work – she claimed in the video, that working as a prostitute she earned a lot of money she could spend on buying lingerie. I think, that the video has been removed again.

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  2. Thank you again, Rebecca, for stating your position in such a detailed manner and for expressing clearly your needs. I hope that more and more exited women take up your call and move into positions of leadership of the abolitionist struggle. Indeed, I am convinced it will happen if we all come to extend the kind of support you request.

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  3. Sharing your posts have resulted in women confiding in me their experiences with formerly being strippers and porn performers, in addition to variations on a theme of being prostituted. Each had been waiting a long time to tell someone and be accepted.

    From that I have seen, these little pieces here and there, that would never have been possible if it were not for your writing and the writing of other exited women.

    For instance: a website posted a piece railing against men going to lap dance clubs and called the women who worked there “skanks.” I immediately thought back to your piece “It Is Not Acceptable or Cool” and wrote to her sharing your blog post. The site owner apologized AND she deleted the reference. Your blog got through to her. Yes, you did that.

    You have helped re-shape my entire thinking about being prostituted and for that I am ever grateful. You have been patient with me as I am learning to better carry the abolition torch.

    One of the things I most appreciate about your blog is that you say directly and without flinching the stark truths that others merely allude to. You speak of the torture and rape and misogyny that everyday men impose upon the prostituted. By using the phrase “the prostituted,” a cold light is cast on the lack of choice—the object upon which horrible things are done to—and you do so with poetic directness.

    You are changing me, and I vow, with your guidance, to work to the end of my days for abolition. XOXOXOX

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  4. I hear you loud and clear…. I sign many petitions and educate myself constantly on the injustices happening to women all around the world. It is despicable and unacceptable what women are forced to bear every day. You should know that we see you as, and know you are, a valuable, real human being and we care for your life, safety and feelings… We support you and all efforts toward abolition! 🙂 Much love … keep speaking out for change! 🙂 Your voice is being heard.

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  5. I feel the same way as nuclear night. How can one ever do enough? And then I wonder…where are all the men who are thinking this? They are far and few between, and yet their words are taken more seriously than women’s are. If men wanted prostitution to stop, it would.

    But to get back to what I’m doing/have done, here are some things:
    1) speaking up at school whenever a prof makes a pro-sex industry comment, which sadly, happens all too often. Professor’s words are often taken at face value, and it seems so wrong to relatively privilaged 18-20 year-olds that prostitution is a job like any other.
    2). Posting things on social networking sites against pornstitution. I hope this gets people reading and thinking.
    3). I do sign online petitions, and occasionally write letters for a cause. I often feel petitions don’t do much, but sometimes personal letters, especially if one has a personal story to share, make a difference.
    4). My blog.
    5) Leaving comments on other blogs that hopefully support the prostituted. I try to link to survivor’s work as much as possible.
    6). I have left anti-pornography leaflets around Hooters, the local library, etc, though I haven’t done that in some time.
    7) Reading the writing of survivors.

    There are probably other smaller things. It’s not enough, but for social change to happen, we need social movements. (I believe Andrea Dworkin said that, though I could be mistaken). That means, we need lots and lots of people involved; no one person can stop the paid rape industry by herself.

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  6. Reading your blog has changed the way that I view prostitution. Your words have had a profound effect on me. But sitting in my living room in small town Ontario, it’s hard to know what to do. How do I help? I am reading as much as I can, from as wide a range of perspectives that I can find. Like others who have responded, I use social media to spread the word. From my understanding, this is a critical human rights issue. I liken the situation to that of slavery of Africans in the States, and the advocacy of prostitution by ‘sex workers’ I compare to those African Americans who were once slaves themselves and went on to purchase and exploit slaves upon obtaining their freedom. I wonder how you would perceive my analogies, but that is the best way that I have to understand the issue.

    I am frustrated with the number of people who believe that erections and orgasims justify and necessitate an industry built around sex, with little concern for the well being of those immediately involved. Last night I discovered that my own husband is among the ranks of people who believe that prostitution should be legal, despite him hearing my going on about the issue and despite being exposed to voices like yours. He simply shrugged, said something about you’ll never get rid of it and it’s safer when legal…. Safer for who, was my quick and loud response, but he won’t discuss the topic. As if the idea of there being no prostitution somehow offends his primary understanding of the universe. It’s horrifying to come to the realization that it likely does…

    I wish I knew what else to do. Now that my eyes are open I can’t look away.

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