The more I grow away from the individual parts of my past – the more I have found I need to fight for and feel the need for separatism for exited women.
I am a feminist – an anarchic or radical feminist – but the more I write and speak out, the more I prefer the label of saying I am radical exited woman first and foremost in all my work.
I state that because I need to criticise all who have stereotypical views of the prostituted, who prevent or restrain our access to speaking in our words.
This means it should be allowed that we should criticise our allies – we do it from love, and the desire to make real change.
A real bugbear is the concept that male violence is a continuum – this is true on a superficial levels, but there is also vast differences between the motivations and methods of all male violence – especially for the prostituted class, especially for the women who are long-term embedded in the sex trade.
My blog is for and speak with the prostituted class – I do not write or speak of all violence done to women and girls – rather I speak to the gaps and silences that makes the majority of violence done to the prostituted class invisible.
The trouble with the concept is that is linear, and works on there is a start and an end to the line.
All too often when speaking of male violence against females – everything is place on that line – domestic violence, rape, rape in war-zones, sexual harassment etc – but women in porn and prostitution are made into an appendix, or an example of the “extreme end”.
This is another way to Other the prostituted class – or to avoid seriously tackling the sex trade for it is considered to big and powerful to deal with.
This is an utter abandonment of the prostituted class in the guise of appearing to care.
Why do even our allies have to Other the prostituted class? Why are we considered too frightening to be allowed to have separate voices?
Do not answer with your normal defensive answers, which are used to closed the demand for separatism.
I did not become a feminist because I thought all women and girls were or are the same – or that they must be forced into a box that makes them all the same.
I see nothing wrong with any oppressed group of women and girls with demanding separatism – I would never intrude where I do not belong, or tell to speak in my language or ways of expressing their realities.
I believe separatism is vital for many and complex reasons for exited women.
For me, separatism does not mean it is a constant – good separatism gives women the strength and language to express their realities and their politics of change to the wider feminism.
A vital reason that exited women deserved and need separatism, is because many of come from an environment where our language and sense of reality was stolen from us.
Separatism is the time and space to make our own languages to express what it is to inside the prostituted class.
We need a language that not about us as individuals – for we were not viewed as individuals – we were goods, we were interchangeable, it was mechanical.
We need to allowed to expressed how we can take many years to feel we are part of the language of rape, and that often we do understand expressions or actions round the language of rape.
We cannot think or act as an individual who was raped – we were too many times to speak of what happened, it becomes a blur where only the unusual or extreme pain is remembered.
We want to say it was never personal, as the rape language often makes out – we were just holes and hands that must be available. If we were not available to be rape – there are many interchangeable prostituted women and girls to be brought and sold.
Rape language is not enough for that reality.
That is why the language of routine torture, the language of destruction of human rights is needed – and the language that goes to another depth.
The language of fiction is nearer to our disjointed memories, the language of horror, the language of fairy tales, the language of ghost stories – they fit better that so-called factual writing.
We often have to reach into a spiritual part of ourselves to find that we never lost being human – we may look to the language of parts of religion, we may speak to aboriginal beliefs systems, we may look deep into our own hearts seeking the parts that no punter or profiteer could reach to destroy.
The language of the spirit is a silent and angry voice, it a voice that see with a clearness that the past cannot wipe away, but it can be used to make real change.
The language of spirit gives us the patience to make our fight for abolition long-term, and gives us rest when it so easy to give up.
We need a separate voices, for the voices of the prostituted are not just from now, or one particular cultures.
We speak always with the voices of the prostituted from many centuries, from every continent, from all cultures that make the sex trade acceptable.
Our voices speak to the rage, pain, search for humanity, desire for freedom – that cuts across all centuries, all countries and all cultures – of the all the prostituted living or dead.
Our voices always hold the prostituted who were murdered and made forgotten – whether we knew them or not, even if it many centuries ago or in a country we have never been to.
For we know that we were made sub-human in life – so each murdered prostituted woman or girl whose death is made into nothing, is a daily remainder that we are always sub-human.
There is a silence around the vast majority of the deaths of women in the sex trade – whether they were murdered, whether they committed suicide, or whether they died for their bodies could not live with so much torture on such a constant basic.
Prostituted women and girls died too young, too often – without the majority of the world caring or even seeing that they existed enough to die.
We need separatism to find space to deal with the vastness of living with death all around – we need to find our humanity through our vast grief and numbness.
We need to speak to forgiving ourselves for closing down the deaths of prostitutes we knew, forgive ourselves for thinking at least it was not me.
I feel it like being in a concentration camp, where you know at any time you will be murdered. You cannot allowed emotions in or allow yourself to care when the person sleeping above is murdered, just even in hell think I’m alive.
That is how it inside the sex trade – everything something terrible to the prostitute next to you, you cannot help but think it is not me. Only knowing all the time, it could you any time, any place – and no one will care.
Of course, we survived by closing down, by refusing to know our own hells – we survived by refusing to being fully alive.
We need to find our own voices for that reality – voices that can express it to those outside the sex trade, in order to build a road to abolition.
Let us speak from a place of separatism – do not be afraid, just let us speak – and listen with respect.