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Listen up.

Okay. so here’s the thing. why is it that when I say “women in prostitution” people (especially ‘do-gooders’, liberals, men and trannys) hear “sex worker”? I don’t use that kinda demeaning, oppressive language. even if women in prostitution use it to refer to themselves. There is no such fuckin’ thing as a “sex worker” fer crying out loud. All women in prostitution are rape victims. And if they’re not calling themselves that it’s not because they’re not victims, it’s because they’re trying to not go fucking crazy. No one likes to say, “i was/am victimized”, but let’s face it, men have done some terrible things to women, and these women in particular, and they continue to do it, and for some of these women the only way they can manage to lurch from one moment to the next is to claim that ‘yes, this i my job and i’m gonna do the best job i can’. even though she would fight and kick and holler and lay her body down to prevent her little sister or her mom or her auntie or her friend from taking that kinda job.

but i digress.

I am taking a class, and on the first day, i said i was doing research about the harms perpetrated by harm reduction on women in prostitution in Vancouver. someone said, “sex work” and I said, I would never use that terminology, because it de-genders prostitution and offers pimping some legitimation. I just gave a real short response. But people keep using that ridiculous, damaging, misleading term–and then the other day, this one classmate sent me a link to some ‘research’ that’s being done in new york about and with GIRLS in the sex industry–aka, CHILDREN. Said classmate said in the e-mail to my advisor to send me the info, “i think she is working on sex work”. GAAAAAHHHH!

Now, i know i am easily riled. but it galls me that all these people who are bending over backwards to ‘use the most respectful terms’ can’t even HEAR when some of us say what we freakin’ mean, and explain why we use the words we use, and even go so far as to say, “I find that terminology offensive and damaging”. They claim to want to use ‘respectful’ language, and when we explain six different ways to sunday why that language is NOT respectful, they don’t have the argument, or engage with you in any respectful way, they just carry on as if they hadn’t HEARD in the first place. christonacracker…

But how do you gain access to girls in the sex industry (aka sexually exploited children) without calling them what they claim to want to be called (“young sex workers”, i guess). You do what every fucking researcher does, you give them $5 and some pizza.

then you introduce yourself and get their names and then you call them by their names.  then you get to know them, and you start telling them, “you deserve better, you know”. and you tell them, “the men who are doing this to you are wrong”. and you say to them, “here’s a place you can go”, and you say, “you’re strong and capable and look at all the things you did to stay alive and keep safe and protect your friends–let’s talk about how to get out of this life, so you can have a life that doesn’t include paid rape” .

Research. there’s enough flippin’ research already. Can we just get on with the work of freedom now?

sweet sufferin’ mother of jesus.

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About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, under-employed, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. I play accordion better than I did, and i'm learning the concertina. Slowly.

3 responses »

  1. I’m with you. Have always HATED the term “sex worker” and couldn’t articulate just why. Thank you.

    More, please…

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Listen Up. | Radfem Hub

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