An expression that is considered a full-stop is –
“Prostitution has always been with us – so what’s the point in fighting it.”
That is meant to stop all those who campaign for abolition. We are meant so stunned by this cliché, that we will give up and apologise for wasting everyone’s time.
So let’s give up on preventing murder, give up on rape, give up on ending racism, give up on wanting gender equality, give up on child abuse, give up wanting to end wars, give up on finding ways to end poverty – heck, most of them “have always been with us”.
I sure most people who patronise me with “prostitution has always been with us”, are fighting racism, want to be feminists, want to end other forms of male violence – want to see themselves as on the side of the angels.
But prostitution is put into a separate category – it become unsolvable, it named as necessary evil, and if all fails it re-branded as the ultimate feminist choice of female empowerment.
Now if I was a cynic, I would believe that prostitution is made separate because so-called liberated people want to keep their porn and full access to the prostituted, without the discomfort of guilt or knowing they are destroying the prostituted’s human rights.
I would think that if I was a cynic.
For what other reason can there be for not striving to rid the world of its oldest form of oppression. Why support prostitution when for the majority of the prostituted in all countries, in all cultures, in periods of history – it is the sexual slavery plain and simple.
I sick of hearing condemnation of torture, condemnation of violence to women and girls, condemnation of war crimes – and no mention of prostitution, except to explain how it is not an abuse of human rights, for it is decided it has been chosen.
There can never be true human rights or an end to male violence to women and girls, whilst prostitution is made so normal that it is mainly invisible.
Ok, prostitution is centuries old. But see that from the eyes of an abolitionist, see from the eyes of an exited woman who has in her body and mind the world of prostitution – see with the eyes of those condemning the stealing of basic human rights.
See that for centuries the prostituted have been thrown away. See in your mind’s eyes their bodies – see centuries of internal injuries, centuries of mental violence to make them suitable whores, centuries of being made have all the latest porn poured into their bodies. See the centuries of murdered whores who are constantly written out of history.
See the centuries of making the prostituted voiceless. Listen with your whole body for those ghost voices that feed our hope for abolition. Hear that whatever punters and profiteers did their bodies – that their inner warriors protected their will to not just to live, but to never give away their true humanity. Hear how much hate and rage the prostituted have always had for the punters, for all those who profit over their torturing, and for all societies that condone the existent of prostitution.
Sure prostitution may of always been with us – but anything that has been invented by man can be dis-invented. There is nothing natural about prostitution.
Prostitution is about power and control, it is about sexual greed, it is about ownership – it not an instinct or some kind of biological urge.
How can anyone believe the bullshit that without prostitution – men would go crazy and rape non-prostituted women and girls.
There is no evidence for that in any culture, in any period of history, or in any form of logic.
There is no letting up of domestic violence, rapes and murders of the non-prostituted, or severe child abuse when prostitution is easily available.
But if you choose to believe that giving violent men access to the prostituted to stop “real” rape – unpack what you are saying.
Are you saying it is ok for the prostituted to just be collateral damage – for that is what abolitionists and exited women hear.
You are saying the prostituted are so sub-human that it would be impossible to rape them – for they feel nothing, they are just machines made to take all male porn fantasies.
You may think that – but I don’t have to respect you, as you dismiss the violence done to the prostituted in such a cavalier way.
Saying “it’s always been with us” is the gospel of despair, and does little or nothing to give hope to women and girls embedded inside prostitution.
It is not good enough to do harm reduction, if you believe the status quo of the sex trade will always be with us. Handing out coffee and condoms, and speaking for short periods with selective prostitutes does nothing to scare the profiteers of prostitution.
Instead, it is allowed by those profiteers for it gives the veneer of being “caring employers” – whilst continuing with the ordinary violence of prostitution only behind closed doors and with regulation.
To tackle prostitution, we must undermine the whole structure of the sex trade – and part of that comes with the belief that it is always a human rights issue, not a labour issue.
Remembering this comes with knowing, hearing and fore-fronting the multiple voices of exited women. That is the start of a revolution.