Death by Due Process – for Caroline Flack
The only reason this blog still exists is this article:
If you read it through you will see that if I deleted it I would be deleting the facts that defend me from very manipulative misrepresentation of the contents intended to incite real hatred and harm – that remains on facebook as soon as it is deleted I can delete the page too, but until then it is not safe to do so.
This is who I am:
- I am Beautiful, I am Powerful, I am Bethany
- My Memoir of Sex Work in Dublin Between 1987 and 1993 (Revised 2018)
When I was young I was in the care system in the Uk where the abuses were not as blatant as in Ireland. Even so I saw too many young girls completely crushed by the system set up to protect them and then later crushed again on the backswing that offered them “help” and “support” to recover.
Because of my disability it is my fate to live out my whole life on the outside, looking in, with ruthless objectivity, because of my intellect, it is sometimes my curse to understand what is happening long before anyone else, and because of my conscience it becomes my duty to act on that insight. I am always profoundly aware of this.
Fear prevented me from acting to try and expose what I had seen in the care system in the hope of protecting others and that has always been a deep shame too. It is only now, 45 years on, that some of the things I saw are coming to light, but more of them are being buried forever behind sensationalist scandals and, I suspect, perpetuated in the system in an ongoing way.
Between 1987 and 1993 as a street sex worker, and 1993 and 1998 as an independent activist (publicly under the name “Angela”) I saw remarkably similar patterns within the system replicated not only in the treatment of sex workers in general, but also, in more diverse ways in their individual lives and ironically, the factors that had driven many of them into a corner where their only remaining honest option was to sell sex.
- “Girls on the Street the Need For a Welcome” Jim Finucane 1989
- Interdisciplinary Report on Prostitution in Ireland, Dublin, Irish Human Rights Commission, April, 2009 – now ignored by some of it’s authors.
By 1998 I still had not found any help and support for my own situation which was, and remains, in most ways, dire, and I was exhausted. I felt I had achieved all that I could and that the resistance to independent self advocacy was impenetrable throughout state provision and civil society.
Over the next few years I was horrified to see remarkably similar patterns replicated in the treatment of autistics and other disabled people. I am coming to believe that, as a society we are incapable of seeing anyone disabled or disadvantaged as an equal deserving autonomy and equal rights on a very deep level and that, as a result we infantilise and commodify them throughout civil society as a default. Which is a neat objective description of a reality that excludes real human beings from the rights and privileges most people can take for granted and slowly destroys their potential from the inside out.