Sub-Human 2

This was written in a thread on f’b on the Stop Porn page – to explain why I use the phrase “sub-human”.

“… But is hard to stay calm when there is an attitude the woman inside porn are sub-human, and that it is just our individual flaws that means it is our fault to be in porn. This is not the attitude to date rape, domestic violence or child abuse – they do not blame the victim, but the perpetrator. The perpetrators of porn are not just the consumers and producers – but the whole structure of the porn industry that makes women and girls sub-humans.

I use the label of sub-human as a survivor of porn and prostitution – for it is not just how the punters and profiteers view us – but how a great deal of our society views us. Women in the sex trade are made sub-humans – that they have different levels/attitudes to pain, are more likely not to “care”about violence or degradation that “real” women would hate or be disgusted by…

… It need to be faced, for whilst outsiders of the sex trade viewed prostituted women as either deserving as choose to be there or pitiable victims – this is not viewing them as humans … We must stop the Othering of the prostituted class if we want to tackle the sex trade.

… The prostituted class are considered to be just commodities to be fuckable – they are not considered to be fully human, rather they are made disconnected from real women…. It is harsh language – but nowhere as harsh as being in a culture that invents the prostituted class so men, very normal men, have an outlet for their hate and violence on the prostituted without serious consequences – just a sweeping under the carpet. That is what makes a society that makes the prostituted sub-humans.

I am not saying that she is made sub-human in her essence, I am saying for society to create the prostituted class as sub-humans – they ignore the constant violence and hate inside all aspects of the sex trade. It makes that any violence done to the prostitute is ok for it is her role/work – that comes from deciding she is sub-human…

May I say I am not talking about the individual woman – but the prostituted class, for when you are inside the sex trade you are not given the luxury of being an individual. For you are just considered a consumable and disposable object. In the end for the punters, profiteers and a society that condones the sex trade – the bitter truth is that the prostituted class have no humanity – in the end all whores are the same. This doesn’t make the prostitute to blame or victims  – it is just a truth that must be faced if we want real change – that the sex trade does break women until they become goods – that is the purpose o the sex trade. To keep it is just about individuals, lets the structure of the sex trade off the hook – and it can continue business as usual.

Of course, the prostituted woman is an individual – but to deny that the whole structure of the sex trade is about breaking those women into being sub-humans means there can never be real change. For then it remains about the individual woman’s choices or how she was mistreated … We must focus on ending demand, and viewing it as a massive human rights issue. In the end, to bring out full humanity to the prostituted class – we must start believing that abolition of the sex trade can be a reality – not just deal with one prostitute at a time. We must dream harder.

… This is decided that the prostituted class unlike “real” women – are “designed” to sleep with many strange men; are designed to not care sexual violence – the sex trade has created the myth that the prostitute probably enjoys sexual violence or at least doesn’t care…

… I say this as an exited woman from prostitution and being inside porn – I know that even as the intensive brainwashing and violence goes on constantly – that most women in the sex trade have amazing strength and determination to keep a huge part of themselves private – the part I would name as their essence… It is not just how prostitutes are treated – or even if it is viewed as a freely chosen lifestyle – the prostitute is made a sub-human in order to service men without messy human emotions or back stories. Being made sub-human is to be just a role for others – with no past and no future – just in the moment the buyer and seller wants you… It is wonderful that good people can’t bear the word sub-human – that means you have some understanding of our utter pain and deadness when we were embedded in the sex trade.

… This has a real effect on the lives of the prostituted  – in that once it is the common view that they are sub-humans – then punters have full permission  to pour all their porn fantasies into their living bodies. These men are not as the sex trade propaganda has just one-off bad apples – but in reality they are just ordinary men, who by the creation of prostitutes as sub-humans – are made to believe that they are entitled to do as they want to the non-human prostituted class. By the sex trade creating the prostituted as sub-humans, it gives full permission to make women into goods to be used until they are thrown away. When you are embedded inside the sex trade – you know you are viewed as sub-human. You know you not anything but parts of a body, only the parts the punters and profiteers can use. You know that all women and girls are interchangeable – that is taught to the prostituted class as they moved round different aspects of the sex trade to break them down and completely disorient them to be suitable goods. You know you are not viewed as human when those who consume and produce porn ignore, make a joke of and say it is your role – when there is great pain and degradation. You know you are not viewed as human when men that make the choice to buy a prostitute – off the net, a line-up in a club or brothel, driving down a street – is just picking out goods like choosing cheese at a supermarket. Of course, being viewed and classed as sub-human, does not make a prostitute sub-human, as she always keeps her essence. But it has a real effect on her human rights. For it becomes a common belief in many cultures and societies, that it is impossible to rape a prostitute – let alone the everyday sexual torturing of the prostituted. To justify the myth that the prostitute must be sub-human is built up by she must have chosen to be there – then everyone can sweep it under the carpet…”

2 responses to “Sub-Human 2

  1. Hi again, I am going back in time on your blog to catch up on your earlier work.

    Excellent post. What you say is very clear and strong and makes total, perfect sense. It also leaves me much to think about because I compare/contrast your clarity with the sex trade industry (the propoganda it spins and its circulation in wider society), and the bigger mess that is the culture that prostitution is embedded in (I don’t think cultures, past or present, that respect human beings have anything close to porn/prostitution)…unfortunately, we’re stuck with this mess of a culture right now.

    When I read “It is wonderful that good people can’t bear the word sub-human – that means you have some understanding of our utter pain and deadness when we were embedded in the sex trade.” it made me pause because I *can* bear the word ‘sub-human’ — so much so that it disturbs me, and when I think about it, I realize it’s because I can relate to feeling sub/non-human (and its natural outcome of dissociation), just from different circumstances and not so brutally physically violent ones (my own emotional, spiritual and mental pain and prison from the past). That’s why I related with a recent post of yours where you say you are learning to be human. I am too, and your blog and words help my own growth in humanity and understanding; only when we understand ourselves can we understand others, and it is not linear because everything is so connected. And for people who know what it’s like to have to perform and not feel or be treated as fully human, in whatever way/to whatever degree, it takes a little more time and work to (re)discover who we are/our identity (for some, while others may have a stronger sense of Self and the process may be easier). There’s a lot to it/lots I’m thinking about, don’t want to bombard you with my rambles!

    In a bigger context, this idea of subhuman/human reminds me of John Trudell (I mention him a lot because he is such an exceptional human being and helps ground/focus me on what really matters/what’s really going on) — he says “I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human” and that really means something to me as I navigate in a world that doesn’t seem to care/have time to care about or treat people as unique, fragile (yet also strong) beings. How you describe the sex trade seems to me this loss of understanding of being human manifested to its extreme degree (on the punters & profiteers’ part), and it is clear how/why women in the sex trade have amazing strength and determination, it is necessary to survive it (that and some luck).

    I completely agree that targeting the demand is the way to go, but I also think the demand would naturally dissolve if each person within these cultures and societies that have prostitution were recognized and nurtured TO be human, rather than have their/our humanness slowly chipped away at, disrespected and eroded as we age. If the punters and pimps were in touch with their own humanity, it would be impossible to not see the person in front of them as a fellow human being and they would not be able to do the things they do to the women, or even imagine them. We (this culture and some others) are just so far removed from this kind of simple yet profound connection/relation. It’s a miracle to me that some of us retain or re-discover our humanity with all the forces at work trying to erode it.

    Gosh I just realized how much I’ve already written, I’m sorry. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you want to dialogue, and if not, I’ll maybe move these essays over to my own blog if I have more to write as I continue reading through your blog and work through the thinking your words trigger for me. Take care and have a great day. 🙂


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