I write a lot about language, because language forms how others view prostitution, the prostituted and abolition.
I believe we do not need to change language, just learn to be clearer about how we use or abuse words. In this post, I will write to a few common phrases and words we should not use if we demand abolition.
The first is prohibition.
Prohibition is about the banning of inanimate goods. To speak the language of prohibition, is to say that the prostituted class are not human, but sexual goods.
Prohibition keeps all the prostituted as sub-human – without futures, without dreams, without pasts, without feelings or emotions.
To speak the language of prohibition is to deny that the prostituted deserves human rights, access to full dignity, and to know that crimes are committed against the prostituted.
For to speak the words of prohibition, is to state that all the prostituted are not human enough for violence and crime to affect them.
We must speak to the language of abolition, with no fear or censorship.
Abolition is the language of liberation and giving back full dignity to oppressed humans.
Abolition is lead and informed by those who know the insides of that oppression, which is why it is vital that our abolition movement against the sex trade is lead and deeply informed by those who are exited.
Abolition is a movement that purpose is bring about full human rights for all the oppressed, it is a movement that challenges and confronts those who hold the power.
That is why the Nordic Approach is a vital first step to abolition, for it challenges and confronts the demand and supply of prostitution, and provides holistic exiting projects for the prostituted.
This is a wonderful start to the regaining of basic human rights and dignity for the prostituted class, it a start not an end in itself.
Abolition is the language of knowing freedom is not gained without knowing it is a long-haul, and often a very painful and grief filled road to that freedom.
Abolition is a movement that is built on learning from the past, built on learning from other freedom movements, built on the heart and the brain.
To be an abolitionist is to know and see clearly the pain, the confusion and grief that underpins the reasons to fight so hard.
We must mark and celebrate all the moments or events where we see freedom coming.
We must celebrate each and every we hear of or know that the prostituted are able to exit – whether as an individual or as a group.
We must celebrate each and every time, we speak out and know that we have made others re-think how they view the sex trade.
We must celebrate as governments start to go towards the Nordic Approach.
We must celebrated each and every exited activist for their deep courage and ability to speak truth to power.
The next word is choice.
I believe the concept of choice, especially free choice, has little or no relevance to what it to be prostituted.
Instead, the language of choice is used to poison all debate, and silence the way to abolition.
To be prostituted, is have the choice whether to smash your head against a wall or to take an overdose.
There are no choices inside the sex trade that are not restricted, or out of the individual prostituted person’s control.
If there is choice, then place it where it belongs – all choice inside the sex trade is held by those who hold the power, i.e. the sex trade profiteers and consumers.
When you prostituted, it is common to survive by believing that you must have free choice, and with choice hold the power and control.
This is a lie, that is placed by the sex trade profiteers and consumers, to emotionally control the prostituted.
To have the false belief that prostitution can be freely chosen and somehow remain within the control of an individual prostitute – is to make invisible the structure of the sex trade that is founded on the degradation and throwing away of all the prostituted.
We should look at what is meant by choice when we speak to or for the prostituted.
Choice is used to freeze the prostituted into a short moment in time, a moment where there appears to be control, appears to be some form of power for the prostitute, appears to look like freedom.
The language of choice for the prostituted excludes all mention of a past, all suggestions of a future beyond the sex trade, all connections to being human.
The language of choice becomes a prison for the prostituted.
I say lets study and focus on the choices of mainly men who make the demand and supply for the prostituted.
If you want to study free choice, it is these men that have that entitlement.
To be prostituted, is to know how limited choices can be made.
It is to know that there is no why as an individual prostitute, you can know or have any control over when, how or where a punter will make the choice to rape you, beat you up, or decide to murder you.
It is to know you have no control or way to have an opinion, when a sex trade profiteer makes the choice to move you to another of the sex trade, to another city, to another country, or just to place you with more sadist punters for yet more profit.
That a small part of the reality of being prostituted that is keep firmly hidden by the language of choice.
This just a short post – but I hope you think, and can add more words to be vanished from the abolition movement.