A Letter to Radical Feminists

Dear Sisters –

I write this from a place of love, and a desire for the prostituted to fully seen and known by radical feminism. This is not so for now.

Let me say loud and clear, the vast majority of radical feminists either through experience or from their hearts are completely behind abolition of prostitution, and fully back the Nordic Approach.

That is fabulous, and I deeply proud to be with and by you.

Those women have little or no problem in listening and hearing the multiple voices of exited women, they use our words to lead the war against the lies spread about prostitution, especially indoors prostitution.

What saddened me, is that are words and language is used sometimes with no credit, or even in the worse scenarios – our language is re-claimed or stolen. and made that out it all thought of by non-prostituted women.

We are mined for our experiences and ways of seeing the wider picture – but rarely are we allowed leadership roles in the battle against the sex trade.

This keeps us as sub-humans – we are used as examples, we are made pets, we are kept as “victims” who must be spoken over.

This is hard to say – for like most exited women I am a radical feminist, it was the only real route to finding freedom for most of us.

But daily, there are small parts of radical feminism that betrayed the prostituted class.

Sometimes it feels as if Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon never existed – for so many inside radical feminism reject the concept of the prostituted class, and stick to the individual choices and mental welfare of prostituted women.

There is nothing radical about focusing on the individual prostituted woman – when that is used to say it must have be chosen freely by some prostituted women, when that is used to hide the violence to find the good in prostitution.

Of course, there are a few prostituted women who are in control and content – but they can be raped at any time, can be sexually tortured at any time, and can be murdered at any time.

They are part of the prostituted class – and in the eyes of the consumers and profiteers of prostitution, they are made into consumable goods with no humanity.

We must be there for all of the prostituted, not select the ones we may help, and throw away the rest.

There are some inside radical feminism who appear terrified of the power and strength of exited women. They wish to contain us, and in that containment to silence us.

Well, that is wrong on so many levels, it is an unbearable thing to do to exited women.

The whole point of men inventing the prostituted class was to have a class of mainly women and girls that had their voices stolen, were kept contained and manipulated to believe they were free.

When radical feminists attempt to contain our power, contain our righteous fury, contain our pain, contain how we use words – that will and does trigger what it was to be made sub-humans.

We will always resist that.

In our resistance, it is vital that the way and how we use language is heard thoroughly and respected.

We must use the language of sex, we must use the language of human rights, we must use the language of torture.

Our language is not the language of individual rape or domestic violence – though parts of it may be connected to those worlds.

It is the language of trying to find what it is to be human, it the language of our oppressor making the meaning clear for its mental torture.

Our words are never new – they comes from many centuries and many cultures that always silenced the prostituted class.

Our words may seemed new or shocking – but mostly they are just simple descriptions of what it is to be prostituted and how that fuels our anger to end that world.

Know that exited women have no choice but to be radical, it not a hobby for them.

Once a prostituted woman sees how trapped she is, how her human rights have been stripped – she can never return to the deadness of prostitution again.

It become almost impossible not to see the manipulation and brainwashing, almost impossible not to connect prostitution with all forms of torture and slavery.

Exited women are some of most radical feminists that have ever existed.

Just allow us to be fully human – and place our multiple voices on top of all your debates about prostitution.

We are your sisters – if you let us in.

11 responses to “A Letter to Radical Feminists

  1. STANDING EFFING O. Kickass. Sharing.

    It feels *hideous* to not want to be a radical feminist, to not want to identify with radical feminism — even though you can’t be anything else so far as identifiable political activism and goals go — because of * the way you are treated, mistreated, erased and dismissed by radical feminists!* Some kind of effing poster child, or always suspect because of your “background” or probably reacting out of your trauma or whatever. Enough of that bs. Get off me.

    And if you give me a moment, I will tell you how I really feel, argh.


  2. Pingback: “A Letter to Radical Feminists” — Rebecca Mott « Women's Space

  3. “When radical feminists attempt to contain our power, contain our righteous fury, contain our pain, contain how we use words – that will and does trigger what it was to be made sub-humans.”


    It was only once I spiraled *out of control* that I could see over the containment wall. It was vast.
    You must see oceans upon oceans.


  4. This is a really important statement. Thanks so much for sharing it. I’m reminded of what Linda Boreman (aka Linda Lovelace, the “star” of Deepthroat, who later spoke out against pornography) said about working with Women Against Pornography:

    “Linda Lovelace: When I look back at all the feminists and Women Against Pornography – I feel kind of like they used me, too. Because when I came out and said what I said, you know, about being a victim, too, it supported everything they had been saying, and it was coming from the horse’s mouth.
    They needed me; that was good. But if I ever needed anything, they weren’t really there. Between Andrea Dworkin and Kitty MacKinnon, they’ve written so many books, and they mention my name and all that, but financially they’ve never helped me out. They don’t want me to do this or that, but they’ve never really helped me. When I showed up with them for speaking engagements, I’d always get five hundred dollars or so. But I know they made a few bucks off me, just like everybody else.”


    That’s how it was 30 years ago, and it hasn’t changed. How are we supposed to do anything to help other women survive (or never have to get into!) prostitution, when even speaking out and telling our stories is just another industry for someone else to profit off of putting our suffering on display?


  5. Rebecca, this is an important post and a really important perspective. Thanks for putting this out there. I strongly believe that if anybody deserves a leadership role in the culture war against the sex industry, it is *exited women* — nobody else can do it but you and others like you because you have the courage of your experiences and convictions more than anybody else.

    Thank you for your courage and for speaking out.


  6. “Exited women are some of most radical feminists that have ever existed.” HELL YEAH!

    LOL @ abolition work being a “hobby”!

    Re. Willow’s comment about Dworkin & Mackinnon using her — I am not surprised this happens & it must stop, but I am surprised to hear Dworkin accused of this because she came from the same background (abuse and prostitution) and was also poor and barely keeping her own head above water financially & emotionally as she did her work. But it is a shame if the financial stream wasn’t distributed equally.


  7. Re. Leadership roles — I don’t think people are “given” these roles per se, they are up for the grabbing/choosing, and up to individuals to decide for themselves which voices are representative for whatever issue. I don’t care who or what is popular, I care about what is being said (and not said), and your work here makes you an obvious strong, informed leader & teacher.


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