NB: This post focuses on female sex workers because it is their experience that i’ve seen
For a lot of people a sex workers (whores, hookers, prostitutes) are either something you see in movies or something of an abstract idea because they’ve never actually met/talked to/made an effort to understand the men and women who choose sex work as their job/career. this included me until a few years ago. i wasn’t bothered by the idea of it, i didn’t judge anyone who worked in any part of the adult industry, in fact i never have and never will. i just didn’t know a whole lot (bear in mind, i am NOT claiming to be an expert now!) but over the last few years, more so over the last few months i’ve seen some things that have made me angrier and angrier as time passes and i see more.
Before i go on, i should probably mention that i have no problem with people who might have ethical, moral or religious issues with sex work or the adult industry as a whole. what i DO have a problem with is the way i’m seeing these issues expressed! i’ve seen cases where a woman who wrote about sex work (a former sex worker) received death threats, i’ve seen sex workers who tweet about their work (not specific clients, of course!) bullied and harassed. and the amount of women in the industry who are told their victims with one breath and the cause of rape in the next are just ridiculous! but what gets me is that a lot of this is not coming from the conservative, right-wing, dare-i-say-it misogynistic (interesting note: no matter how many times i have to say or write that word, i still cannot spell it! not liking how often i have to use it, perhaps?) men you’d expect. a lot of it comes from women – and indeed women who call themselves feminist. The brand of feminism i was brought up on was focused on equality, openness, sex positive attitudes and fighting to allow women to be who they want and do what they want.
But this so-called radical feminism (aka radfem) is something else entirely. i see anger, hate, judgement. i see women so caught up in how they want to see things that they refuse to allow others to have their own perspective. i see antisexualism. i mean, really? i thought we outgrew this phase. how about we focus on the real issues. equal wage, rape culture (as it effects women in and out of the adult industry!), reproductive rights? how about we just plain stop being vicious and abusive to other women just because we disagree with their actions? how about we stop telling women they don’t know their own minds and aren’t making their own choices? it’s never going to be okay with me that anyone, anywhere feels that they cannot talk about how they feel and why without having their own words used against them. and that’s what it has come to. when the words “because I can’t openly admit sometimes I DONT like my job, otherwise radfems JUMP on it & use it against me.” (@teacuptempest) are spoken something has gone very wrong. this, the death threats, etc are beyond not okay. this is dangerous, toxic behaviour. it needs to stop. sex workers are already dying at the hands of violent clients, employers & police. but this, to me, is even more insidious. i honestly worry about this abuse-induced self-censorship will impact the mental health of those victimised to the point where they may take their own lives.
THIS. IS. NOT. OKAY.