I didn’t have a clue how, or where to start this, until I saw those two words “trust issues”.
It doesn’t matter whether you believe me or not, I am still telling the truth, if anything, the restrained version, about the lies and corruption being piled upon sex workers from within “civil society” itself. I can only surmise whether those lies are deliberate and conscious, and likewise I can only surmise the motivation for them. But that they are lies is not in question, and the outright refusal to listen to the constant challenges of real sex workers decisively rules out any altruistic motivation.
It really is that blatant. During a recent abolitionist conference in Melbourne various significant members of the pack were approaching the most vocal protesters online. They addressed us with more condescension than you would expect a 5 year old to accept, informed us that we were rejecting the opportunity to input into abolitionism and raise any problems we had, but as soon as we replied truthfully, with the real problems, each, in almost the same words said “I am not interested in discussing this with you any more”. All they wanted was blind surrender on demand.
We know perfectly well that we do not work for pimps. We know that we don’t have any more connection with “organised crime” than the staff of our local library do. We know that we were not selling sex at 14 or even 20. In most cases we know we were not selling sex at 25.
If we are only 2% of sexworkers then heaven knows where the other 98% are hiding because we have never seen them! Only a few of us can speak out, most of us are too afraid of stigma, too busy running families, or even, very simply just too shy. (We know we aren’t all “brazen hussies” too) But the few of us that can speak out, know, and are known to, dozens of us each.
Most of us are intelligent, many more intelligent than the abolitionists, some of us are even better qualified. We know what valid evidence and research are and we know that the assertions the abolitionist present do not qualify as either by any standard, let alone represent our reality. We can recognise that the abolitionist lobby are almost uniformally dysfunctional and disordered. We know their approach to us is condescending, manipulative and abusive. We know that their ideological stance mirrors and reinforces all of that. We know that their ideology is delusional and abusive hogwash. We know how unhealthy it would be to engage with them on any level.
All the while they lie about us and our world and lives, all the time they misrepresent who we are and what we need, whatever you believe *we* are constantly aware that all they are doing is lying…and yet, it is assumed, that if they plough our lives into the ground we can be expected to submit to coercion and place, not only our lives, but perhaps the lives of our children into their hands.
Knowing what we are dealing with, we have a responsibility not to do that, and the fact that nobody seems to believe us does not change that. Responsibility is more than a levy we pay for approval and validation, it is a debt we owe to those we are responsible for.
Would you place your children at the mercy of ruthless liars who are determined to live in a little world of their own?
…and in our free time we are human. We have feelings. We are enraged that a ruthless and dysfunctional little clique goes on falsifying “evidence” and reinventing reality for the sole purpose of making our lives impossible and imposing their control on us, pointlessly and senselessly. We are devastated and heartbroken to have learned that, even when we come out of hiding and risk everything to explain, there are people quite happy to do so much harm to us, and our children. We are terrified of what will become of the most vulnerable of us.We are insulted and offended to be talked at, and over as if we were animals.
We never want to have to spend a minute in the same room with the people who have chosen to do this to us.
However we feel about sex work some of us are quite happy with it, some of us hate it but have no better option, most of us are making the best of it, we all know that sex work is many times less harmful and degrading than having to engage with the abolitionists who fully intend to make a living out using the laws they demand to impose their warped idea of help and support on our lives.
You could say we have “trust issues”.