Language Was Stolen

I am feeling very angry and somewhat confused about how so many who claimed to against the sex trade, are frighten or threaten when exited women speak with a strong clear voice.

We are continually spoken for, spoken over, and made to feel we are an appendix to the general feminist and or leftist revolution. Could it be that in the pretence of caring – there is still a desire to keep the prostituted class as other – to keep us as sub-humans?

I know you may feel this is completely unfair, will say I going over the top – that maybe my past has damaged me so much that I lost my way.

You may think and say that – but you never will look into a mirror at how you behave, how feminists behave, how leftists behave, how those who claim to be on our side have a terrible habit of betrayal by silencing our speak.

There is the constant insistence that if we speak we do not use the right words, the words that are considered pc – words that make others comfortable, and that they know what it was to be prostituted.

For instance, as I explained in my last post, a common term used by most campaigning exited women is to say we were “prostituted women and or girls”.

We are told this keeps us as victims, we are told this makes the men who do the violence invisible, we are told we should find or invent words such as johnstitution or male violence survivor.

We are silenced when we say loud and clear the reasons for the use of prostituted woman or girl. We say that “prostituted” is what was done to us – done to us by sex trade profiteers who made nothing but consumable goods; done to us by punters who never saw our humanity just an object they owned to sexually tortured; and done to us by any society that condone prostitution and makes the male violence invisible.

Those words are thrown away. Those words are clear in focusing on the male violence; those words that make clear prostitution is capitalism at its worst with buying and selling of the prostituted who are made sub-humans; those words that place torture and utter violation of human rights into the centre of the room.

You make the choice to silence our language – silence any mention of being “prostituted” – and would rather surround yourself with euphemisms or utopian made-up language.

Well, we have come from existing in a world where language was almost completely stolen from us.

Inside prostitution, the words of the prostituted woman or girl is made nothing. If she spoke with some authentic voice – she will be ridicule; she is punished with violence; she is sent to an area where she knows no-one.

To speak when inside prostitution is highly dangerous.

Most women who did long-term prostitution had their voices stolen.

Instead, they learnt to survive by speaking the language of punters and profiteers, the language that is wrongly re-branded as the Happy Hooker.

It is the language of survival – the language that as you in pain and terror speak of how great it is; the language of not caring; the language of being the living dead.

If a woman is lucky enough to exit – and if she has the strength, courage and determination to speak out for real change – then listen and hear her words.

Know that exited women choose their words with great care, they know in every cell of their body how loaded language is about all of the sex trade.

Do not tell we cannot say prostituted woman or girl, cannot say sex trade, cannot say sex industry, cannot say torture – do not tell us how to speak, if it just so you can feel in control or feel at ease with language.

Language round prostitution must never be made comfortable – not whilst in almost every countries, prostituted women and girls are being sexually tortured, are being raped into being made sub-humans, and are being murdered in numbers that are off the scale.

Language can be tame and nice when not one woman or girl is brought and sold for male sexual greed.

8 responses to “Language Was Stolen

  1. i don’t think the human language will ever be able to adequately encompass the entire experience of the hell of the sex trade. it’s ridiculous to even split hairs over it. i will always defer to those who have the experience because only you know what is the most suitable language for it…. and after having been defined by everyone else while in that hell, i would never want to rob you of the ability to define yourself and create your own language with which to express yourself. when people want you to change the language you use for this, it’s because they are trying to get you suit their own agenda, whether it be to make the sex trade look like a rosy heaven, or to illustrate the violence of the men involved and how evil they were. but how can any single word *ever* communicate all that you need to communicate? whatever words exited women decide to use, it is the *stories* that will reveal the truth of the sex trade, the mounting evidence from the increasing number of women speaking out.


  2. Rebecca, you’re a force — every time I read you I realize how thirsty i’ve been for your words.

    I so appreciate what you said Rachael

    Loads of love to you both, xoxoxo


  3. Thanks both of you – it is very hard writing these last two posts, for I have had to confront not just the pro-sex trade lobby, but also some who claim to be allies but speak over and through exited women.


  4. Yes, I know what you mean about how difficult that is. Thank you for inspiring us to own our language, and our experiences, as well as the fact we know more about the sex industry and Johns and punters than anyone else and should be leaders within the abolitionist/anti-trafficking movement.

    We were invisible. It’s taken a great act of will on our part to find our voices, and to be seen, to matter.


  5. Keep writing – for many many radical feminists you are not invisible and we are deeply grateful for your strength and courage to name the violence you suffered


  6. Well said! I would be angry too if I were in your shoes, it’s a terrible disservice to try and silence prostituted women yet again for the sake of theory or whatever the case (it’s terrible to try and silence or talk over/through/around anyone, but especially people/groups whose voices have been especially suppressed). I suspect that ego has something to do with it some of the time or a lot of the time. There is no room for ego when there is RESPECT! Oodles of respect to you, Stella & the rest of the Sisterhood refusing to be silenced ever again. xx


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