This post is written for feminists – to say it is a contradiction in terms to call being inside the sex trade sex work.
This post is a rallying call to stop saying is a labour issue.
This post is saying to all feminists to go deeper into the emotional deadness that is the backbone of all aspects of existing inside the sex trade.
I am and always will be a feminist, a feminist of old-fashioned Dworkinist kind, feminist that believes in learning by listening hard, a feminist who find too much feminism is too timid.
We are too timid to take the measure of the sex trade and to confront by any means.
There is no more direct action against porn and sex trade – just endless conferences, blogs that tend to be read by those who agree with us, and the inaction of Twitter and Facebook “debates”
We are too timid to say and speak the conditions for the prostituted class – especially timid to speak to their common torturing, timid to stare down into their emotional void.
It has become like Andrea Dworkin and her like never existed.
Could it be that the “discovery” that Andrea Dworkin was prostituted, was able to speak to the unique deadness of being inside that world – meant her words were and can be dismissed.
For the history of rebellion against the sex trade has always been about never allowing the voices of those who know the inside of existing that world being made to disappear.
There has always been women and men who have exited the sex trade who have spoken out against it.
Always our voices are silenced, are taken over to fit other’s agendas, has been dismissed as individual stories or signs that all the prostituted are mentally damaged.
The language of rebellion and striving for full human is part of all the prostituted – for we have known genocide, know extreme physical and mental torture, know nothing to us is personal is just commerce.
Our multiple voices can never fit your agendas, never be push back to just facts and statistics, never be truly heard until you can hold and truly heard our haunted emotions.
I write now to feminists, but of this about all our allies.
To hear and be a true ally to exited women is to learn to less timid about hearing dark emotions.
We are angry – but not the simple angry of now, it is an angry of nearly the whole of human history being built on the concept that having a prostituted class is reasonable.
It is an anger of knowing how huge that is – that we cannot just look to our time, place and culture and think solves prostitution and porn.
The sex trade has been embedded in most of this world for the minimum of 3000 years – it is not Western/Eastern thing, is it not a Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Buddhist/Sikh/Atheist thing, it not Fascist/Communist/Capitalist thing – it is part of all of them.
But it is about the male entitlement thing that all male-formed religious and political systems have.
That is why the sex trade can embed itself into the vast minority of cultures or ways that people are controlled by religion or politics. For it can fit in with most cultures which were formed for the benefit of powerful men.
The sex trade is a parasite who go under the skin of every culture and slowly sucks it dry.
In the end, since at the minimum of 3000 years it can be almost impossible to separate the wants and greed of the sex trade from what is considered any individual culture, individual religious/political ways of controlling, or even what make any country stand out.
The skill of the sex trade is to make itself acceptable and view as harm-free by adapting to the culture wherever they see a new market.
That is our anger – the anger of seeing what others make invisible or walk by.
We are grieving.
Our grief is partly the grief of never understanding why we survived, when it is just a fact that the vast majority of the prostituted disappear, lose their minds or are dead.
We have survivor guilt and grief – but we are given no space to speak to that.
I cannot understand a feminism that does allow the prostituted to grieve – to speak to that sense of chance that is surviving the sex trade.
I have seen the grief express round rape in feminism, seen the grief of domestic violence inside feminism, even the grief of childhood abuse laid bare in feminism.
But the grief of the prostituted is made to be small, made that it must stay controlled and always to be acceptable to others.
I am sorry to say this is keeping the prostituted as sub-humans who are not allowed to feel like other women.
Our grief is huge – but your fear of our expression of that grief does not make it smaller.
I want feminism to be less afraid of staring into the darkness of what it is and was to be prostituted.
I cannot understand any form of feminism that is not prepared to learn, and to be quiet enough to hear exited women.
After all, we are witnesses to what male violence and control is.
We are and were at the coal-face of patriarchy.
We know in our bodies, in the killing of our emotions, in becoming sub-human – what it is to owned and manipulated by pure male power and sense of entitlement.
We know without any doubt that all male sexual violence is never accidental, or an one-off, or some mental slip – it is planned and an act of power done by very ordinary men.
We have live being sub-human – being holes to masturbated into, being a mouth/anus to be penetrated, to being a piece of meat to fuck until dead or made nothing.
You cannot understand the reality of being prostituted until you know beyond facts what it is to be brought and sold, what it is to be sexual goods that are passed around.
You cannot understand our realities if you do factor in grooming, the skill of all punters/consumers and sex trade profiteers to mentally break down the prostituted.
You will never understand the sex trade if you do see how they can control their sexual goods – often till the point that it the oppressed who become recruiters.
I believe for feminism to move with exited women – it need more courage.
We need to give less space to trolls who are mostly sex trade profiteers or punters.
These trolls don’t listen to anything that feminists or abolitionists say – all they want is tangle us up in endless “debates” that go nowhere, hoping to grind us down or at the least prevent the practical work of forging abolition going forward.
Feminists need to stop speaking over or for the exited women, especially to stop using our ideas and words and saying you invented them.
Feminists should not treat resistance to the sex trade as something new – but know it built on a long and very noble legacy.
Feminists should be so scare of looking in the void of what it was and is to be in the prostituted class.
I want to get back the courage that I call the spirit of Dworkin, the spirit of every Whore who woke up and saw her reality.