Questionnaire

I thought I would ask my regular readers some questions. Please answer if you have the space and time. These questions are from many angles, but will remind me why I do this blog.

1. How do you find the style that I write in? Is it too simple or too complex, or somewhere in the middle?

2. Do you find I am too repetitive? Or do you think my repeating thoughts, ideas and phrases need to be done? Please explain more.

3. Would you be interested in me writing deeper about trauma and exiting prostitution?

4. Would you be interested in my exploring fragmented memory and its deep connections with prostitution?

5. Do you read other exited women’s writings, especially from other cultures and times in history? Or is most of your information on being prostituted from outsiders or allies?

6. Do you think that exited women can and should have separate voices? Do say as much as you can.

7. Would you do more to support exited women when they are attacked by the sex work lobby? Such as noticing and responding to attacks on Twitter, on their public writings or when they give speeches etc.

8. Do you question or respond to the media stereotyping how we should view the prostituted, especially when the constant refrain is that is just work, and the image is  of the Happy Hooker?

9. Do you ignore jokes about the prostituted, do ever confront men who speak lightly about prostitution?

10. Do you think that countries who have parts of the Nordic Approach are fully enforcing the radical changes or not? Please explain.

11. Would you be able to think of how exiting programmes can improve and made permanent?

12. Do you think that exited women should have more of a leadership role in how laws and exiting programmes are made and carried through? Do say more.

Please write as much as you can, and if possible also send money to my PayPal account, I can give you my email if you need it.

Advertisements

5 responses to “Questionnaire

  1. I’ve written answers. But my answers are long – should I post them here, or should I send a email?

    Like

  2. Sorry to reply late. Here are my answers.

    1. How do find the style that I write in? Is it too simple or too complex, or somewhere in the middle?

    You write as you feel, and you are very honest about your feelings. It’s commanding. It makes me listen, whether it makes sense to me or not. Your anger and sorrow remind me to be open to other narratives. You force me to listen. And as someone with privilege, I need that. I’m very grateful for your writings.

    2. Do you find I am too repetitive? Or do you think my repeating thoughts, ideas and phrases need to be done? Please explain more.

    You write when you need to. As a gay man, I have learnt that if I need to talk about gay issues, no one should silence me. I have no wish to silence whatever you feel you need to say.

    3. Would you be interested in me writing deeper about trauma and exiting prostitution?

    I support whatever you feel you need to write. Your perspectives are always eye-opening. But I am always open to learning more. If you find articles or videos, I would be very happy to read them..

    4. Would you be interested in my exploring fragmented memory and it deep connections with prostitution?

    Same as above.

    5. Do you read other exited women’s writings, especially from other cultures and times in history? Or is most of your information on being prostituted from outsiders, or allies?

    I believe you are the only “exited narrative” I read. I don’t get to read a lot about sex work. What I have read is shallow, but what I have read is wide-ranging – including LGBT homelessness and survival sex, disability and sexuality, feminism, “Anarchists in High Heels”, “The Story of the East Van Porn Collective”, comfort women, the issue of high school girls selling themselves for money in Japan, etc…

    6. Do you think that exited women can and should have a separate voices? Do say as much as you can.

    Of course they should. Every voice is important, every opinion is important, and democracy is built on dialogues and narratives. Exited women are also survivors of oppression, and in their own time, in their own words, for whatever reason (to heal trauma, to process emotions, to advocate reforms), their voices should be heard. Without shame, guilt… and without a sense of duty? They shouldn’t have to speak for others. But in my case, at the same time, if gay men don’t come out, gay rights will struggle to progress (I live in Japan). It’s a paradox I have yet to solve – how do you respect people’s desire for their own pace, but fight a societal-battle that your comrades aren’t ready to fight for? When are you allowed to say “we don’t have a choice, we need to fight?” I’m not saying exited woman should fight (it’s not my place to speak for anyone but myself), but the only reason comfort women in Asia have achieved justice is by coming out with their stories and demanding change.

    7. Would you do more to support exited women when they are attacked by the sex trade lobby? Such as noticing and responding to attacks on Twitter, on their public writings or when they give speeches etc.

    If it comes up in discussion I can facilitate to reflect on the issues. If I saw it online, I would speak out (although I don’t know how the sex trade lobby speak out, and I don’t use much social media, only Soundcloud, Quora and Instagram). Because the sex trade here involves the Yakuza most likely, and I’m an immigrant and without any social work experience, I don’t feel equipped to speak out here. That, and I’ve not met an exited woman (that I’m aware of). I can give best intentions, but unless there’s a concrete idea to help, I’m a bit stuck. What I can do is encourage my girl students to resist in my classes (although middle school strips Japanese kids of all their strength). I also hope to make video games (studying now), and Anita Sarkeesian has taught me a great deal about how to tackle misogyny and the male sense of entitlement in games. But these are still empty promises right now – A few twine games, but otherwise just hot air. I’m not very reliable at this point in my life.

    8. Do you question or respond to the media stereotyping how we should view the prostituted, especially when the constant refrain is that is just work, and the image is of the Happy Hooker?

    Only because of your blog and from reading about LGBT homelessness. Nothing is ever black and white. I think my problem is that I want to believe that the Happy Hooker can exist, that there are people who can consent to sex work (actually, I have a Japanese friend who does, and has been able to travel around Europe as a result! However I’ve only heard the good stories, not the bad). To see it all as only evil is… it makes you feel powerless to stop it.

    That and I have read the story of a gay man, with severe physical disabilities. Obviously he’s considered ugly by the gay community, and his only sexual release was with a male hooker, who gave him time and touch. But writing that, I see the real issue – why is that man considered ugly? Why should he have to pay for touch he fully well deserves? However, and I say this with great resentment, temporarily, people have no other way to secure touch. What else can they do, while they are waiting for the global revolution, except purchase what they are denied by others?

    9. Do you ignore jokes about the prostituted, do ever confront men who speak lightly about prostitution?

    If I hang around with men, they’re either gay or elementary school teachers. The gay guys I know don’t use rent boys and the teachers would get fired on the spot for such comments.

    The one guy I do know who bought sex from women a couple of times – he spoke about it to me factually. And because we were talking about his financial and mental health issues, I think I expressed my wish that he didn’t hurt them, but left it there because I felt judgement was not the appropriate action at the time.
    Actually, some old colleagues (different workplace) showed me around an area where women worked once – They did laugh, and I did call them out a couple of days later on how uncomfortable I felt with them laughing about it.

    However I am guilty of speaking lightly about my Japanese friend. To explain, his work is never a joke, and for others who know him, I ensure there’s never any shame or disgust present in the conversation. The joke is more about where he’s managed to fly off to this time. However I have enjoyed talking about it when it wasn’t my place to gossip.

    10. Do you think that countries who have parts of the Nordic Approach have fully enforcing the radical changes or not? Please explain.

    I have no idea. All I know is that Scandanavia looks at prostitution in a different light to the rest of the world, and I wish we would follow them.

    11. Would you be able to think of how exiting programmes can improve and made permanent?

    As with homelessness, the key issues are stabilising a person’s emotional and mental health, while helping them find financial independence, a means of getting through rent bills and food, as well as friends or supporters to look out for them. Are there any anarchist communities or grassroots collectives that can house them? In France, there is the ZAD movement, occupying land to block the building of an airport. Surely they would adore having extra help?

    I have also heard of emotional first aid tents. I think it’s a fascinating idea, but for trauma, it may not be enough.

    12. Do you think that exited should have more of a leadership role in how laws and exiting programmes are made and carried through? Do say more.

    Speaking from my ideals, politicians can’t be trusted at all and neither can the media, so exited women should be supported in managing themselves. But as long as we still believe in laws and leaders, yes, I feel that exited women should be the only ones to represent themselves.

    If I may add
    thank you so much for your words. I don’t read every email, but your emails have taught me a lot, and I thank you for helping me improve myself (although I know I’ve probably upset you with some of my answers). At the very least, I understand more than I would only just reading the newspaper. Thank you for your time and education.

    I would also like to express my admiration. I get the feeling that English is not your native language; I feel that to blog in a language that is not your native tongue… It’s very brave. And I imagine, very exhausting! To let people see your mistakes, to express yourself in new ways when you’re upset…. I know your emotions and experience take priority when you write, and that I am privileged to consider shame and tiredness… If I am mistaken, I apologise profusely! But regardless I still think you’re very cool for continuing with your blog.

    Like

  3. 1. I think your style of writing is simple yet profound. Meaning, you don’t need jargon or buzzwords to convey these important emotions, experiences, and ideas.

    2. I think repetition is a great way to make sure messages stick.

    3. I would encourage you to write more about your trauma only if you think it would help you and if it wouldn’t be too taxing for you.

    4. Yes because it sounds interesting. But only if it is comfortable for you.

    5. I have read other exited women’s stories from different cultures, but I haven’t found any from before the 70’s or so. Now that you mention, I think it would be a great idea to read more from earlier time periods. I haven’t read any from outsiders or allies, I don’t think they would really know what they were talking about unless they had been through it. If they direct me to an exited woman, then I read that. That’s how I found you 🙂

    6. YES. I think this is possible and necessary. All oppressed groups have a right to tell their own experiences without outside intervention, and as you said, prostituted/exited women are practically their own oppressed class, with unique experiences only they can properly convey.

    7. I don’t have social media so it’s harder to respond when a site demands you sign in to Facebook, Twitter, etc to leave a comment but when I can respond, I do. They make me so angry, especially when no one else is jumping in, and it makes me feel a little better to not only help but also release that anger onto the offending person. I’ve never been one to let any injustice, no matter how small, pass me by without confronting it.

    8. Yes. I know that this reframing as “just work” or glossing over anyone not a “Happy Hooker” is wrong and detrimental and I’m not afraid to speak out in public about this.

    9. I never ignore jokes about the prostituted because everyone thinks it’s OK to joke about and that is so wrong. Man or woman, young or old, I don’t let it stand. I’m usually more harsh with males than women, and will cut them out of my life immediately if needed.

    10. I do not believe these countries are fully enforcing these changes, because they don’t want to disrupt the status quo too much. I must say they are doing better than the countries that have completely decriminalized prostitution, or defineded sex as a “human right”. But like you, I think the Nordic Model is a start but not the real solution. The full goal should be to completely eradicate prostitution, which has many levels and contributing factors like economic/mental/physical coercion, previous sexual trauma, women being seen as lesser and “other” and ultimately deserving of being used as sexual commodities because of patriarchy. But I know these changes can be done.

    11. I have not read that much about specific exiting programs, but I have read from exited women that some things that make it hard to leave the life are threats, money, and the personal ups and downs of dealing with trauma. So I think to improve any exiting program, these women should be better physically protected (by others or having self defense), given adequate money or viable job prospects, and effective psychological help. I know personally how hard that last one is. So I think properly educating the people who run these exiting programs on how to effectively fulfill the mental needs of exited women is another must. And of course, improving the culture of how societies think of prostituted women, women in general, etc.

    12. I think mostly women should have say in these laws and programs, and that exited women should make up the majority.

    I don’t have a job but if I had money I would donate in a heartbeat! Keep being you and doing what you are doing. You are helping so much.

    Like

  4. *in an edit to my comment, I wanted to add that #4 sounds not only interesting but also important to understanding the many effects of continued complex trauma and how it manifests after the trauma.

    Also, to Tom Pengelly, while your effort was honorable, I think it is important to recognize that the life of a prostituted woman is different from that of a prostituted man, even if he is gay. And conflating the two is not only inaccurate but does a disservice to the experiences of all prostituted people, especially when you describe any of it as “happy”. Prostitutes of either sex are not happy being prostitutes, no matter what you may think you see. And even if they were, if you have been reading Mott’s blog at all you would understand that this is a survival technique that usually comes falling down when/if they are able to exit. And if these people can come forward with their stories of how evil was inflicted upon them, who are we to say they were not the average experience because thinking otherwise would make us feel too powerless? How powerless do you think THEY felt? We can’t shy away from evil because that makes us almost as bad as evildoers. The least we can do is listen to these stories and accept the truth: all prostitution is bad.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s