Listening is Hard

Listening truly to exited prostituted women is hard.

To not listen gives more peace.

To close your ears is to feel safe – but not listening is a deep betrayal.

Our voices have been ignored for the vast majority of human history.

It may be the oldest silencing that humans have invented.

Yet you listen all that time to others speaking to our lives, to our deaths.

You listen to the lies and propaganda of those who profiteer from our suffering.

You listen to many excuses and lies of those who consume us.

You listen to the media that whitewashes our lives.

You listen to the authorities who gain as we are tortured and thrown away.

You listen to everyone but the prostituted class.

Our voices are dismissed, marginalised and spoken over.

This silencing is making our genocide.

You refuse to hear our screaming from centuries of torture, of being made subhuman and being thrown away.

You dismiss our multiple voices of resistance.

You say it unspeakable what we may suffer – but when we speak out you ignore our words.

Even many of our allies don’t or won’t listen – but speak over, speak for or just ignore us.

Many allies keep us subhuman tokens that are brought out for small moments, then tossed aside.

This is shown in many events.

When we speak at conferences, it is rare we are paid even when fellow speakers are well paid.

When we speak in panels, we are always a token, never more one or two exited women at any event.

Always we surrounded by experts who speak to our lives – ignoring that exited women are the experts and our knowledge is not just personal – it is political, it is radical, it is spiritual and it is made by experts.

If you constantly silence the voices of exited women, there will never be a true abolition of the sex trade, just atalking shop and a tinkering at the edges.

We are the true leaders of the Abolitionist movement.

We know what makes the sex trade so relentless in its destruction of the prostituted – and in its hatred of women.

We can expose the conditions of the sex trade, we have no time or energy for the propaganda of sex work lobby speaking of the Happy Whore myth.

We can connect – connect CSE to the sex trade, connect stripping to prostitution, connect poverty to the manipulation of the sex trade, connect objectify all females to the sex trade propaganda, connect child rape to creating a prostituted class, connect political torturing to the conditions of the prostituted and endless other connections.

We know that prostitution never had a golden age – there was always extreme torturing, there was always mass disappearances of the prostituted, it was always mass rapes – and there can never be a future that can be safe or have dignity for the prostituted.

That is why exited women speak for abolition not reform.

We are radical in that belief – so listen to our voices.

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