Response to Last Post

I feel that things for me, and for many exited prostituted have become more silenced by feminists turning away from the realities that we have known. Our truths are pushed aside, our pain is pitied, but with very little practical action to end that pain for the future.

That is why I wrote down Andrea Dworkin’s words, for they are a beginning of forcing a change.

Feminists must stop being academic about the ugliness of the sex trade, and should start getting their hands dirty.

To make real change in the sex trade will be painful, will force out griefs that have been buried deep, will mean staring into the utter cruelty that men can do to women and girls,

That is unavoidable.

But to turn away is to not be a feminist, for then you are betraying a whole mass of women and girls – and like the sex trade making them sub-human.

If you truly want to end rape, truly want to end torture, truly want to end slavery – then you must end the sex trade.

This my response to the Andrea Dworkin’s, my response comes from a suppressed rage, my response come from a grief that is my shadow.

I respond for her words are still true in 2009 – and as a feminist that makes me furious, as an exited prostituted that hurts me to the core of my soul.

Every time I read her words of being prostituted is “not have tomorrow in your mind”, my truth screams inside my stomach and forcing my mind to remember.

I lived sometimes by never acknowledging I was alive.

I would wake angry that I was still breathing.

For to be alive was to be raped, was to be a robot, was to what others named as unacceptable.

Tomorrow was just something I fall into, I had no control.

I, like Andrea Dworkin, write this blog for prostituted women especially those who have exited, and are still living in trauma.

I write for the many women who have no voice, or if they do have a voice but others refuse to listen to their words.

These women are my priority, they are my backbone.

For by knowing the voices of exited women, we can know that prostitution is not about abstract ideas, and nice discussions on the types of prostitute, the scale of harm, the difference between forced and voluntary prostitution – all this is clean and tidy, but little or nothing to do with the reality of being prostituted.

Not when being a prostitute – whether a high-class escort or street prostitute, whether working in a brothel or in a massage parlour, whether on the net or working in hotels – means being under the control of men who buy you.

Being prostituted means johns have complete permission to do as he likes. That is he can rape and batter, or he can be smooth talking and slow at sex. He can buy under-aged girls, he can go abroad and destroy women and girls just for fun. He can experiment with sadistic sex. A man can murder.

All this can be done because we have form a class of women and girls that made into the shit that others scape from their shoes.

All this happens for prostituted women and girls have no protection.

The law treats the women as scum, or just ignore that there is rape or any violence.

Hospitals and doctors do not want to know how your injuries come so often. Ignore anal tearing, ignore that abortions are common, ignore bruises in sexual areas. Make it what it can never be, or if recognising the woman may be a prostitute see her as a victim or a slut.

But more likely placed it as a mental health problem, then everything is a nice neat parcel.

All those who could help, choose to turn away or just hand out condoms and speak a little over coffee – all they do is to send you back into danger, and go home feeling they have done good.

Help without real change, without stopping the world to listen to what the prostituted woman needs and wants, without speaking of violence, without some questioning that it a free choice  –  help like that is putting a bandage on a cut throat.

But for me the priority is to heard the truths of what is to be prostituted.

Heard of the mouth that has pain that may never leave – pain of penises and objects shove down the throat till eating and even breathing is full of fear. Know that went on what seemed like forever.

Know that penetration was not just the vagina – know that being raped in the vagina was just normal rape – that penetration was in the anus, in the ear, in the eyes, any holes however small was penetrated. Know that went what seemed like forever.

That is a small part of knowing what prostitution is. Feminists have to face that brutal truth, if they truly care about ending violence against women.

Andrea Dworkin is right that it is impossible to survive the sex trade and to remain whole.

Too much of your essence is stolen by having men making you into an object that is only purpose is to be fucked. To be made into that object involves brainwashing, extreme violence, being closed away from the outside, rapes so often that you have to be named as sex, and living with the knowledge that you may be murdered.

That is how the sex trade makes prostitutes on a mass scale.

To be part of that mass, is to  lose that you are human.

How can anyone come out whole from that, it is impossible.

Not when part of every man that use you is embedded under your skin whether you remember them or not.

That pain and grief is what many brave exited prostituted women are trying so hard to communicate with feminists. Only to hear too often that it is too graphic, too hard to hear, too nasty.

Well, you hear about gang-rapes of “innocent” girls, you look at vicious rapes and incest, you stare into domestic violence. All that is hearable, for they are women who did not choose to be abused.

But prostitution is different, for it can be claimed that it must be a choice, for normal women would not allow men to treat them that why.

To be honest, if you choose to think prostitution is a choice, I cannot be bother to reason with you.

Only if you want to believe that some women are born wanting to be fuck-machines, that it is ok for johns to do sadistic sex on them coz they have high pain thresholds or just love degradation – then just don’t make out that is some feminist statement of empowerment and liberation.

What I ask is that feminism make the abolition of the sex trade as a centre to their work on violence against women.

As long as the sex trade continue to thrive, any work on rape, child abuse and battering are just waste  of time – for men will know their violence is condoned and will maybe hide it a little – but not feel any fear of punishment or condemnation.

We cannot make feminism work until we smashed the myth that there must a class of women and girls named prostitutes that only purpose is for men to fuck, to place their hate of all women as they fuck them.

We cannot make feminism work whilst women argue the toss whether it a choice to have a group of women and girls that men can sexually tortured.

Feminism can start working better if it includes the realities of prostituted women – with all it’s pain and grief.

I do know this is very painful and hard – but to allow the sex trade to continue is to allow the mass destruction of women and girls.

7 responses to “Response to Last Post

  1. You’re right, the abolition of the sex trade should be the number one priority of feminism.

    “All those who could help, choose to turn away or just hand out condoms and speak a little over coffee – all they do is to send you back into danger, and go home feeling they have done good.”
    That’s it, isn’t it? This handing out condoms/ coffee thing exists to make people feel better about themselves, but leaves the whole oppressive and vile institution intact. How exactly is a prostituted woman going to make that john wear a condom? Why are we putting the emphasis for her basic human rights and dignity on her actions instead of taking that john away from that woman? Why do some so-called feminists insist on protecting these men?

    A world with lots of lovely free choices seems like such a happier place – but it is not the reality. But oh what a comforting wilful delusion it must be! How lucky some ‘feminists’ are that they can partake of such fantasies, safe and cosy from a distance.
    Prostituted women do not have that luxury.


  2. To be honest I’ve never thought that women who support prostitution or who argue that it’s a woman’s choice are feminists, at least not in any meaningful way. But you’re not supposed to say that are you? No one is allowed to “police” feminism.

    The thing about handing out condoms and coffee – a whole lot of people with a john and pimp agenda got given huge grants in the anti-AIDS campaigns of the nineties. They were able to promote their pro-prostitution, pro-john agenda on the back of it. Sheila Jeffreys has done a good analysis of it in The Industrial Vagina. Of course money and grants gave them a platform and a voice that is almost completely denied to the feminists who do make eradicating prostitution a central part of their work.


  3. Thanks Laurelin and Delphyne.

    Laurelin – The concept of choice when you are in the middle of being prostituted is just a sick joke.
    Choice is in the hands of managers/pimps who decide what men you will go with, how much violence you will experience, and what label you will called.
    Choice is the arena of the johns who choose the amount of violence they think is acceptable, whether they choose to make into hard-core porn material or “girlfriend” experience.
    Choice is stolen from the vast majority of prostituted women and girls.

    Delphyne – I agree that it doubtful that women who support prostitution or speak of it as “free choice” are feminists. For it a betrayal of millions of women and girls, in order not know or view the “nasty” thing that is prostitution.
    But what makes me hurt and very angry, is women who work against violence against women, and push prostitution away as a very low priority – for they believe the myth that it not real violence, for it was the woman’s choice to be prostituted.


  4. I got abiot desappointed to see that my post with usefull link was deleted and my email,for some reason,wasn´t replayed,but in any way,one more time,i´m here with some support.

    I am in touch with CATWA,Latin Branch(Sheilla Jeffrey´s organization)and I were asked to look for the prostitution laws in my country(Brasil).I have found out that it´s a crime,to be a pimp is a crime as well as to be a john( i suspected about that,but had to make sure);the problem is the law is ignored,like many other laws.Children prostitution is considered hideos crime,children pronography is reported even by consumers(we had a case some time ago)and there are public campaings against women traffic and pedophily.It may seems ironic but even in the entrance of brothels,you see an advice to report children prostitution(i saw it in downtown).The “sex paradise” portraited out in international midia,specially about Rio,is not what johns dream about.We also have campaings against sexual tourism and our authorities have power to arrast them.You also don´t see strip clubs in every corner,like you do in USA or Europe(according to what i have read).

    It seems that this culture of “sex trade tolerance” is stronger in countries from Europe and North America.I am surprised that women in these countries don´t have special government organs,like we do.These organs are begining to think to fight for the swedish solution.I´m really surprised that governments have abandoned women and girls in the First World.

    The world that Andrea Dworking dreams about has been under construction in Latin America;many other countries are fighting sex trade and creating projects to improove women and girls lives.We are no longer beliving in this “free choice” s* talk.

    So,this priority exists somewhere :].


  5. Isobel – I thought I would take off that link because it may of triggered Survivors, who are my first priority in this blog.

    It is very good to hear of positive work being done in Latin America, that is very heartening.

    Thanks so much for your support and doing such to help prostituted women and girls.


  6. It’s great to see a former prostitute stand up and actually try inform people stop to the sex trade. I don’t think that the prostitutes and people who support their free choice understand how they further support a society with a monetary value placed on people, mostly women and girls. I think you are a very strong women and admire you for not letting people further victimize you. I hope that many women and girls who were in your situation can find strength to fight for themselves and not anyone use them anymore. I must wonder have you ever met any of the “high class” prostitutes who swear they love their jobs. I can’t really understand how they rationalize that it’s a victim less crime.


  7. I was technically a ‘high class prostitute in NYC. One of my punters actually gave me a condominium and kept me for two years. I never met any other ‘high class’ prostitute who loved her job. It’s what the punters want to hear — that’s why it’s repeated ad infinitum. Because it helps pimps sell. It helps sell books. TV shows. You name it.


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