I think this should be taken in consideration of her objections to Senator David Norris speech in the Seanad today, 11 December 2015.
“Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”
From: Gaye D [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:01 PM
Subject: Justice Committee Hearings on Sex Work – making history
One way or another, myself and a very brave, trusted friend intend to make history during the Justice committee hearings today, Wednesday January 16th 2013
If you asked real sex workers what they want the honest answer would be:
“I want you to leave me alone because you have done too much harm already, and my family and I cannot afford for you to do any more.”
The state fails people abysmally and leaves them with no realistic option but sex work then persecutes them for it.
The NGO sector fails people abysmally (usually through placing a far higher priority on exploiting them in the pursuit of personal ambition that on their wellbeing) and leaves them with no realistic option but sex work then tries to coerce them into a position where they can exploit, and fail, them all over again.
Quietly, behind the scenes, some of those people, and their families, do not even get to survive, while the state, and the NGOs go off on yet another junket that cost more than enough to solve all their problems.
That is the whole story, there are no justifications, and no excuses.
Compared to the State and the NGO sector even the very worse of sex work clients is a benefactor.
The whole “Turn Off the Red Light” campaign is initiated and run by organisations who picked up the issue of sex work shortly before their own slave labour camps (called “Magdalene Asylums”) were finally caught out for the monstrosities they are. The majority of sex workers see those organisations as the threat they are and avoid them as far as possible…yet they are allowed to claim to represent the best interests of sex workers, while sex workers themselves are silenced.
I do not see what on EARTH business most of these organisations have speaking at all, they no nothing about sex work, and/or never see any need to tell the truth about it
Yesterday I spoke to your clerk of the court, and told him, truthfully, that, by demonstrating, and exposing myself I will be sacrificing everything that makes my life survivable, his reply was:
“I am sure nobody wants you to do that”
Sadly, that is not really true is it? Because ALL of you are perfectly comfortable to sacrifice the things that make life survivable for any amount of sex workers to the demands of a lot of NGOs that you know, as well as I do are unscrupulous and self serving without even giving them a hearing, because if you do not give them a hearing you will never have to face the truth of the real harm that you are happy to do to them. You can pretend it will not happen. Sadly, the sex workers concerned will not have that luxury. Some of them have innocent children to protect and support who will suffer terribly too.
They are ALL PEOPLE not dogs in the pound who need to be represented by humans.
From: Gaye D [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 9:56 PM
Subject: Important Personal Note Re: Sex Work
The most important part of this note is in the first paragraph. I am now a long way over the edge of a complete mental and emotional collapse (for personal reasons). There is nothing more that I can handle.
I never wanted to personally come before the committee anyway. I think, in a 77 page submission, a conference, and a couple of email riot acts I must have said everything I could possibly say, and answered every possible question anyway. Besides, I did not want to be a token “Uncle Tom” so easily discredited by my autism and isolation. I am not that daft, let alone that arrogant.
I want the committee to hear from the women who are working *NOW*. In 1993 I made the mistake of projecting my own issues on to all sex workers, now I know better, I had no intention of making that mistake twice. I haven’t quite forgiven myself for the first time yet.
Nor do I want to become what I am opposing. Like Ruhama and SWAI claiming to speak for the very people I am ruthlessly excluding from speaking for themselves.
I spent last week, running around like a headless chicken getting the snowball to roll before I deteriorated so far. Not bad for someone who is designated unfit to represent themselves either as a sex worker or an autistic I think? In a way the personal part of this has been about proving to myself just what I really would have been capable of given the ghost of a chance, and I am well impressed with myself. I hope it will also change the way a few people think of sex workers and autistics for good. We are people, not animals, and many of us are not even sub-standard. Yet we only get offered life in sub-standard terms that are not tolerable or applicable.
I don’t suppose I could have done it if I had not known that life, as I know it, was on borrowed time because of the same personal issues that are taking me down now. I really am not that brave. This time, just for now, it has nothing to do with money, but the same rules apply to every other time when it did.
Throughout the entire HSE/NGO system there is not one single resource offering valid help, support or even advice available to me…despite a plethora of people getting lavishly funded on the pretence of doing just that.
That, at other times, and in other places, is how sex workers are made. The combined NGO/HSE sector has now assumed the same useless, self serving, law unto itself power that Whitehall hold in the UK.
Once upon a time I was witness to a major Air Crash, Staines 1972, and looking at the NGO/HSE sector feels exactly the same, and leaves me with a similar form of PTSD, except that the inevitable harm is so much greater and more varied my mind cannot really grasp it.
Sex work is one of the very few real options to falling into that trap, and legislating to take that source of income away while giving even MORE power the NGO/HSE sector is just about the worst thing anyone can do to the actual people involved, because the brutal truth is that all those claiming to “rescue” them will exploit them far more than all the mythical pimps and traffickers they invent to bolster their claims put together.
There are no ideal answers. I hated sex work, but there WAS no alternative (with or without Ruhama), so if you had taken my income away I would not have survived. Nothing significant had changed.
Life IS often unfair, but you cannot change that by making it even worse, and that is ALL THAT happens when you take someone’s livelihood away.
You seem to keep asking the exact same questions I would feel compelled to ask myself. PLEASE try and get some of the real sex workers in before the Justice Committee. They are the only true stakeholders here, all the org that are being trotted in are just parasites (Even though she was singing from the right hymn sheet Teresa Whitaker was close to outright fraud, which has done us immense damage.).
I am glad that I met you, it truly reduced me to tears to see that you had changed the way you looked at things (words carefully chosen) just because I explained honestly. I have lived my whole life in a world where explaining the truth has always proved to be the most pointless, futile thing I can think of.