essay, human right, human rights, personal musings, prostitution, rants, Uncategorized

renegāre meaning to renounce; from Latin re- + negāre meaning to deny.

Renegade…I love the way it rolls off the tongue. I enjoy the state of being….Renegade. It makes me think of a wild and rebellious woman, maybe an outlaw in the wild west, the reckless beauty that is the stuff of legend, or is at the very least, a source of fierce independence, strength of body, strength of mind. The definition of a renegade, the dictionary definition, was perhaps the inspiration behind the term being applied by pimps to label an independent/unrepresented hooker. Webster’s defines a renegade as a  traitor, deserter, betrayer, dissenter. Any outlaw or rebel. Well, I would tend to agree that in the mind of some chauvinistic pimp, a woman with the audacity to promote her own body as a means of financial gain, would need to be discredited as a traitor, to dissuade her from being imitated.

 

I personally prefer the original meaning from Spanish renegado; from Medieval Latin renegāre meaning to renounce; from Latin re- + negāre meaning to deny. Renegade, renegado, or renegare, all have an implicit theme of rebellion, independent thought or actions, and the willingness to be scorned, ignored, or attacked in defense of your independance, and your unwillingness to be victimized, or manipulated.

      My personal experience is rather limited on the subject of pimps, mostly because, I think, they don’t really like me, or they figure I’d be too much work to keep in check. There have been a few who thought they might throw a line or two in my direction, just fishing. There have been none who came back a second time, at least not with any serious intent. I mean, I can’t be entirely positive, of course, but a girl learns to be on guard for the treacherous little fucks, or they will pounce when you are unaware, and then your future gets a little sketchy.

        Me personally, I have one very solid, unwavering, immutable reason to not mess around with a pimp, in any way, shape, or context. Girls like me, we don’t last long in male dominated situations, especially masochistic/chauvinist types who demand abject subservience, obedience, and believe that their’s is the only functioning brain  and therefore the only brain that is needed.

        I had a pimp once. It was a rather short lived experience, but not entirely unpleasant, mostly due to this particular gent and his particular preference for me. I thought of it as a game, where I was the  porcelain doll, who was to be petted and admired for being pretty and good. I would do “me” things like take off with the car to renew my driver’s license , and show up 6 hours later in a new outfit without my DL, and everyone would tell each other how badly he would beat me, which presented me with a new and exciting challenge in my acting skills. I played the game, and I played it superbly. I was ever the “star”, driving “daddy” and his pals around, always sweet and when in trouble, always contrite and in desperate need of “daddy” to explain to me what I had done wrong, and how ever could I make it up to him? Ugh, the retelling is making me throw up in the back of my throat just a bit.

        I was entertained for the most part, never really doing anything productive which did not do much to foster any warmth from my “wives-in-law” who saw me as a lazy mooch, just living off of their work, and getting away with it because I was pretty and good. They hated me. However, it all came to a crushing end one sunny afternoon in spring, with the whole “family” assembled haphazardly in the living room upon our return from some seedy chain motel, everyone talking at once about some non-sense that one girl had done. I could not tell you for the life of me what it was she had said or done, but what spewed forth from his mouth offended me on an intellectual level that had heretofore been unmolested.

           He starts yelling, at all of us, in general, that we are absolutely neither required to, or expected to think. That why any of us would assume that our brains were of any use whatsoever was a mystery, that we should quit attempting the use of our own brains and for any decisions or thoughts needed, we should be grateful to be able to defer to him. I paraphrase, of course, his grammar was atrocious.

      In a righteously indignant fit of anger, I stood up, looking in horror around a room full of blank faces and vacant expressions. Not a single one of them seemed angry, or even mildly offended. That total want of any will to be an intelligent, self reliant human being was astounding. I hadn’t even considered that I might be the only one to whom this was a game, an acting exercise. My own opinions, thoughts, and feelings had been casually disregarded as part of a group of non-thinking, brainless, empty bodies, unworthy to contribute thought? This was unacceptable to me, it went against every belief, every standard of decency, and every aspect of who I believe myself to be.

 

            My feminist notions were  scandalized in the wake of this blatant attack on my until that point uncontested belief that as women, we were stronger mentally and intellectually than men.  The propaganda necessary to condition women to accept this total dehumanization is astounding, and can even be conveyed in such a subtle manner that they are drawn in and caught without any idea what sort of monster they serve.  I agree wholeheartedly with any group working to end what is nothing less than a disgrace.

Do not misunderstand me- I am not singling out pimps.  The anti-prostitution rescue crusader’s attitudes towards prostitutes, and their determination to label any woman in the sex trade a victim, is that not also dehumanization? Is that not also a disgraceful lack of basic human rights, to further degrade the group of people that you claim to be rescuing? Is it not also exploitative to gather up women and force them to assume the necessary roles to further a cause that dismisses their choices as a deluded product of someone else’s propaganda?

 We are human beings. Intellectual beings, with brains that produce independent thought, whether the choices we make are morally distasteful or totally incomprehensible to society’s social norm’s, we should be afforded the right to be treated as equal to any one of your “crusaders”.

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Uncategorized

Reminiscing, my humble beginnings…

I clearly remember the first “date” I went to, as a hooker. I was terrified, but not for the reasons you may assume. I did not know what was expected for $200, I remember I kept asking if there was some sort of price list I should know about, and on top of that I was not the requested girl for this particular client.

Let me back up a teensy bit. I had gotten myself into a bit of a mess, criminally speaking, being the resident of a house that had recently developed a small criminal enterprise that had, shall we say, not gone as planned, and necessitating myself and my best friend/roommate at the time, and another girl finding alternate housing for a few days. Unbeknownst to me, the 3rd girl, let’s call her Lacey, had thrown all three of us at the mercy and generosity of a pimp. Supposedly he was a friend of hers, and had offered to get us a room at the hotel that his girls were working out of, all the way in Tumwater. Now, we were from Puyallup, a good 30/45 minute drive, in the middle of the night.

So this surprisingly generous “pimp” rents us a townhouse, for the love of God, with his own money, and we all three settle in to chill, but I am called into his room (of course, he left his already secured money-makers at their own room, and moved himself into ours…how cozy!) to discuss the money he expected to be repaid for his generosity. I assured him we would do our best to pay him back, and he told me very courteously and very firmly that he didn’t care if we wanted to ho or do whatever hustle we were skilled at, but he expected his money ASAP, because nothing in this world is free.

I ran back to the bedroom that my girlfriends and I had moved into, and told them what he’d said, imploring them to pack up and leave, because I felt like I was being singled out, and would end up being required to do the paying back. They both brushed me off, saying I was being paranoid, and that we were going to go out boosting the next day and would pay him back together, no problem. I clearly remember sighing in defeat, and telling them that I had called it, so whenever the time arrived that I ended up selling my ass, for the record, I knew that that’s what would happened.

As luck would have it, our boosting adventure the next day resulted in a near arrest as we ran from Walmart security, and very little to show for ourselves besides some clothes and toiletries, and a pizza my best friend Jolene had scammed out of Dominoes for free.

Our benefactor had by then paid for a second night at the hotel and he came over to chat while Jolene and I munched our pizza and cheesy bread. He brought up the money we owed, and asked how our day had gone. Our reply was of course that we had nothing to give him. I remember thinking that he was being surprisingly pleasant considering the amount we now owed him, as he again brought up the idea of one of us simply pulling a date, and having it done with. Jolene was horrified at the idea, stating firmly that if that was going to go down, it would NOT be her. Leaving, of course, only me, as Lacey had left to go back to Tacoma. I agreed, however, that if it came down to it, I would take one for the team, as the idea did not really bother me at all. I had done it once as a teenager, with a guy I’d met in a yahoo chatroom. He’d paid me 50 bucks, which I thought at that time was amazing, to be paid for something my slutty ass would have probably done for free, just for something to do.

We ended up riding with our new buddy into Tacoma that evening, and on the way back he received a phone call from one of his girls. She had a client, a regular, that wanted to see her, but she wasn’t feeling well, and wanted to cancel. This girl was the complete polar opposite of me in every way; blonde to my brunette, short to my tall, petite to my thick/curvy, white to my olive complexion….experienced, to my vast lack thereof, but I was offered the chance to make $200, if I wanted to. It was more than we owed, I hadn’t had a cigarette or anything to eat all day long, and I was encouraged and flattered and assured that the gentleman would not  care once I was standing in front of him. My biggest fear was not knowing what to do- what does a $200 date entail? Is it like a blow job? Sex? I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of some guy not only accepting me instead of an itty bitty blonde, but paying me that much money? So I figured, what the hell, don’t knock it till you try it, right? Go hard or go home!

They dropped me off ( in jeans and a tank top, no time to change) with my cell phone and a condom in my pocket, and instructions to answer the phone when they called to check on me, even if I had to answer it with a dick in my mouth (which I thought was a joke, but was definitely not…safety is number 1, apparently). The client was a little confused as I explained that his date had run into some personal issues and had suggested me instead. He kind of shook his head for a second, looked me up and down, and said “ok, you’ll do. At least you’re pretty.” He led me upstairs and down a carpeted hallway to a little candlelit alcove with a bean bag chair. I told him I was told to expect 200, and he replied that he’d give me $100 now, and then the rest after, since he didn’t know me. I figured that sounded reasonable, whipped out my condom, and started to get undressed, but he stopped me with a gentle nudge down to my knees, putting the condom on himself. I had never given a blowjob with a condom on before then, but I must have done pretty good because about 8 seconds later, he was done, and asked me if I would be ok with just another $20, since he was finished with me and I’d only been there less than 5 minutes. I agreed, hoping that I wouldn’t be reprimanded for coming out with less than the $200 I’d been told to expect. I didn’t have a clue how that would play out, having had my only experience with pimps either via hollywood movies, or some predatory masochists masquerading as good samaratins, pretending to help me as a homeless 16 year old, and trying to force me to work for them. But that was a long time ago, and this wasn’t exactly a deserted dark alley in Hilltop. Nor was it Hollywood, as the only pimp-ish thing about this particular specimen was his tendency to call everybody ( females anyway) Bitch. Like literally, he’d say it in the most casual, non inflammatory manner I’d ever heard, as if it were the most normal, mundane way to address a woman. When he said he called his own mother Bitch, he said it so smoothly I was inclined to believe him.

  Anyway, back on topic. I was walking down the street away from the clients house, calling for the car on my phone when they pulled up. I climbed in the back seat behind the passenger seat where rode his pimpishness, and handed him the money, explaining about the missing rest of the $200. “Listen, Bitch,” he replied in a cool and collected tone, “ you did good. The call was only supposed to be for $80, I just wanted to see if you’d get more. The regular bitch never gets more than $80. I’m impressed.” I was feeling pretty puffed up at that point, and then his next move shattered everything I had previously thought I knew about him, or pimps in general. Even though I owed him close to $180 for the room, he took my $120, counted it, and gave me back half. He told me to consider the debt paid, and get myself something to eat, and my own pack of smokes. I could hardly believe it, I had been on the streets and struggling to save up 2 nickels to rub together, and here in 5 min I had made 60 bucks! I ran into the first gas station we stopped at and bought myself a cup of coffee, a pack of newports, and a bottle of Pringles.

Perhaps it could be considered a “tell”, a small preview or hint of the ferocity with which I took pride in my work, or the independance I guarded with the tenacity of a pit bull and the obnoxiously easy strength and self-assurance of a woman possessed of a priceless bit of treasure, that my most vividly remembered moment that evening was this; I offered some of my hard earned snack to everyone in the car, and everyone thanked me and took a couple, everyone except my so called best friend. When I held out the can to her ungrateful ass, she wrinkled her nose and asked what flavor they were. I lost my temper. After everything that she had received along with me, she had refused to do anything to repay the debt. Which I had not begrudged her, I loved her and did not mind taking one for the team, with of course a base idea that it would be appreciated, at least. My subsequent raging outburst served to provide laughs all around. Perhaps wars over pringles are uncommon within the pimp community. Regardless, I was deeply offended.

“Do you have any idea what I did to get the money for those fucking chips you ungrateful bitch!!! I sucked a dick for these pringles and you wanna act like they are not to your taste? Fuck you bitch, you can’t have any of my pringles anyway.”

Thus began my life as a whore; the priceless unintentional comedic moments, the people I have met and the ones I have refused the privilege, the endless parade of requests and male egotism, from the low life perverts and creeps to the truely classy older gentlemen, those are my favorites, the gentlemen that treat every woman like a lady, no matter her situation. The kindly faced married gents, that have dedicated their lives and hearts to a marriage that is bonded with love and history, romance…but one in which sex is no longer a part. I have grown to respect the constancy and loyalty of these rare men who stand by their commitments, their marriage and family, instead of throwing away decades of love and memories simply because they can no longer fuck their wife. I feel that these men deserve respect and compassion; I have a thoroughly realistic view of the institution of marriage, (though I am still planning to join those hallowed ranks ) ; I know more about men than any woman has a right too, and I am fully aware of the workings of their minds; I have had the opportunity to be whoever and whatever I want to be, to play a role that many might find disagreeable, or difficult, emotionally draining. I agree, this can be all of those things, and so much more. I have the confidence, the independance, the bold self-sufficiency that allows me the security of knowing that no matter what life throws at me, I will not only survive. I will THRIVE!!!

 

And my name is Renegade~

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human right, human rights, human trafficking, prostitution, sex industry, sex worker rights, Uncategorized

crime victim impact letter

 

Hello, Your Honor, my name is **Karmin** and would like to speak regarding sentencing, and the impact of a crime. At the time of his arrest, I was engaged to be married.. And while my life, my relationship, and the life of the man I intended to marry have been torn to bloody pieces, I’d like to state, for the record, that I still have every intention of making this man my husband, in spite of the valiant efforts of a twisted system to dissuade me from doing so.

 

  These last 13, almost 14 months of my life have been the most stressful and frightening of my life. Stressful because I wanted to fight these lies, and frightening because nobody would listen to me.

Steve Webb may not mean much more that just another name on a paper to a crowded court system, but to me and to the rest of his family, he is everything. He is a fiance, he is a son, he is a father, he is a brother.

He is loved and he is needed.

He is not perfect, his mistakes are not secret, and for those crimes in which he participated, he has faced consequences, and deservedly so. But how long must we all be punished for a crime that never happened, and now one that is a result of that incarceration? This unnecessary theft of almost 14 months of life is a tragedy in itself,

 

The arrest that began it all was literally where it all began. My initial confusion, trying to figure out why these detectives were asking me questions and accusing me of lies . My confusion became utter disbelief 3 days later, after I downloaded the probable cause from the internet, thinking to find out what exactly was going on. But those were not my words, those allegations were untrue, the honest denials I had given to the police were not there but had been replaced.

 As time progressed and I came to the realization that this nightmare was in fact being accepted as truth, and I and my feelings and reputation were defamed and drug through the mud by lies. My disbelief turned to outrage, which in turned was tempered by helplessness and fear, as weeks became months, and my world continued upside down and unsteady.

 I replayed all of those moments between us that his insistance that I stop working, that I needed to come home had been met with my senseless need to thwart any possible threat to my independance. The times that I would yell and scream in stubborn spiteful fury at the audacity of a fiance who loved me and wanted me at home with him.

It never occurred to me that my lifestyle choice would affect anyone else. Nor do I believe that it should have.

  I immersed myself in research, writing letters to news stations and the governor, and the department of justice. I created a website, a facebook page, and a blog, detailing this case and downloading every available document online. I tried to explain that my choices were mine, that I am independant  and intelligent, and my fiance had no part in my work. I tried to explain that I am very passionate about what I do, and that I am entirely my own boss. All this to no avail. My letters were ignored, my pages of little interest to anyone but me.

 In a vain attempt at what I had been led to believe was a chance to explain all this to the prosecutor, I described my personal opinions, my awareness of and heartfelt sympathy to those girls who were in fact the victims that I absolutely am not. I stated facts, explained and defended both my choice and whether I am even capable of making it when it was implied that i was not. I was called a liar, and told that not one word out of my mouth would be believed. That the state of mind causing me to believe that I chose this was understandable and probably a result of trauma. I was so far stereotyped that I was also informed that I am no different than any other prostitute, that he’s seen it all, that he knew that I am simply damaged, abused, or the victim of poor parenting.

    To insist that any and all women who trade sex for money are always “victims” who are being “exploited” by men is simply a way to dehumanize women, as it presumes women to lack agency and capacity to consent. I ask you, should I be treated differently, or as someone inferior, by an officer of the law, simply because my lifestyle choice is deviating from that individuals notion of“decent” female sexual norms? Am I so morally offensive as to be unworthy of fair treatment?Is this prejudice and degradation to be expected all around, or just for lowly prostitutes that have the nerve to think for themselves?

  I recently recieved a letter informing me that I may attend this sentencing and speak regarding sentencing  and this case’s impact upon my life. This is the most accurate summary of the crime who’s prejudice and caprice knows no bounds, the crime who’s victim is the man in the defendents chair, who’s victim is the assumption of equality and justice. Who’s victim is my naive illusions of world where liars are ridiculed and honesty is rewarded.

To conclude, my thoughts regarding sentencing are these.

14 months in a county jail is a challenge even if you’re guilty, even if you have a solid freedom date.

14 months in a county jail, fighting for the right to take part in the rest of your life, being forced to acknowledge the fragility of it, the real possibility that even though you were trying to do right, everything can be taken from you, in the blink of an eye.

I personally have never experienced that kind of trauma, my experiences are limited to 3 months at a time for stuff I was absolutely guilty of.

My heart aches for the man I love, and I am desperately impatient to wrap my arms around him. I am ready for him to come home, I am ready for this nightmare to end. I would ask, no beg, that you take a moment to really see us all.

I am a whore, but is it such a crime for whore to be loved?

**I wrote this letter to the prosecutor’s office of Pierce County Washington, regarding the unlawful and unfounded arrest of my fiance, and their charges against him of human trafficking, as well as their arrogant and dehumanizing insistence that I am a victim, incapable of making a concious choice about my own body. He very nearly lost his entire life because of this prejudice and stigma.

#notyourrescueproject

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