Written in memory of Denise Marshall, RIP.
A slogan of the pro-sex trade lobby is that – prostitution can be chosen freely.
That is a lie – and could only be said by those who gain from the status quo of prostitution.
All choices made by the prostituted are the trapped bird who if made free faces an electric fence.
All choices made during being prostituted are made with punters, sex trade profiteers and their allies pulling their strings.
The concept of having full chosen for the prostituted is a dream trodden into mud.
Every time, I heard or read of the so-called contented and empowered prostitute, I want to dig deeper.
Like, the original Happy Hooker who as a child was in a concentration camp, and witnessed the horrors including women force into prostitution in the false hope of survival.
Or the romantic view of temple whore – which ignore that they were slaves, or taken during wars. Ignoring that thousands of men consumed those temple whores, made them nothing more than sexual goods.
This turns to the fantasy of the empowered courtesan. Refusing to see it was always men with the power to make the courtesan rise from poverty and the crime of being born a woman – refusing to see men only allow the image of the empowered courtesan if she was fuckable. Once her fuckability is gone or the men have a new sex toy, the courtesan is tossed backed in poverty, often ill, and back to nothing.
I see the prostituted who shout how they choose their lifestyle, and I want to cry.
I know too many so-called empowered prostituted women are not the prostituted – no, they are women who profiteer or gain from the status quo of prostitution.
They could women profiteering from escorting, women who own or profiteer from brothels.
They may be academics who earn more or get more status from saying how wonderful prostitution can and should be.
They may be politicians and their advisers who want to keep the violence and hate of prostitution hidden, so they can deal with more important issues that gain votes. After all, most of the prostituted will not vote.
They may be liberal feminists who play with idea of prostitution – imaging what fun to have sex and get paid for, imaging playing the whore with friends never allowing strange men into their bodies.
Those are some of the women who promote and scream about how prostitution is a chosen lifestyle.
These are the women who refuse to see the prostituted – only see the prostituted through the eyes of a jailer, through the pages of a book.
No, when I cry, I am not crying for those women.
I am crying for the prostituted who speak the language of their oppressor as the rope is tightening round their neck.
I cry as I hear or see women inside prostitution speaking of empowerment and having full choices – as all I see and hear is the puppeteer controlling how the prostituted speaks.
I see the dead eyes as the prostituted speaks to her happiness.
I hear the dead tone in her voice as she describes all the ways she is in control, how she chooses what happens to her, how she can leave at any time but why would she.
All the I hear the words of those who profiteer from keeping the prostituted trapped.
All the time, I see that the prostituted will be raped, will be beaten up and learn not to speak to that. Speak only the words that say any violence was just a risk of their chosen job.
All I see is the hidden punter who has the real choices.
I see the punter making a conscious choice to buy another human for his sexual wants.
I see the punter knowing he can choose to make another human into his porn-toy. That is, he can make the conscious choice to torture, rape and even kill the prostituted without any serious consequences.
I hear the punter making the choice to say the prostituted have the control, and he has no free will when his penis demands sex.
I am sickened by the twisted logic of the punter – for that logic is controlling how we speak to prostitution in the public arena.
The language of debate around prostitution is always making the punter and his choices invisible.
We cannot stop the violence done to all the prostituted until we see and hear how the punter has full control over their life and death.
We must stop blaming the prostituted for the violence that punters make the choice to do to them.
That violence does not occur coz the prostituted do read the body language of the punter clearly, it does not occur coz the prostituted are not skill at their job.
No all violence done by the punters is fully chosen, often pre-planned – and it is easy if we build a society that refuses to see that male violence.
Until we firmly place that male demand as the centre of what is wrong with prostitution – there can never be a safe place to be prostituted.
We must close down that demand – and by doing we begin the road to freedom, empowerment and access to choice for the prostituted.
We begin to build a reality where we see and deeply believe that the sex trade can and will be abolished.
A world where no human is made into sexual goods, where no-one is brought and sold for the male orgasm.
A world where women can fight poverty by having access to jobs where they have safety and respect – and equal pay and access to promotion.
A world where the context of buying and selling of humans as sexual goods, is just in history books as yet another terrible idea that man invented.
That is my dream – help make it true, by saying loud and clear –
The only real choices in prostitution are those of the male punters, those of the sex trade profiteers – never of those who are embedded inside prostitution.
Shout that out – drown out the voices of the sex trade lobby.