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

I re-wrote a previous post of mine as a cause and effect essay for school. I have edited it for grammar and some content, and think its a better read than before.

 

18 October 2016

Cause and Effects of the War on Sex Trafficking

Hollywood’s contribution to causing this war can be most obviously seen in the movie, “Taken,” in which we see a beautiful innocent girl kidnapped and sold as some kind of sex slave. Then Lifetime picked up the torch, creating made-for-television afterschool specials about human trafficking, watched by millions. The stereotypes sex workers have been fighting against for years are easy to accept, to pick up and embellish, which of course the media and politicians wasted little time in doing, although this is not a new issue. However, the hype was encouraged, the media became outraged, and stopping this horrific crime became the darling project of political activists, prostitution and pornography abolitionists, police departments, and religious groups around the globe.

The war on sex trafficking has become a modern day crusade, with politicians and lawmakers riding into war to fight a battle that is often of their own creation, and driven by ideals that are rooted in personal moral values now being forced upon others. These people have created an industry that may have begun with good intentions but has grown into a monster. This is not to say that trafficking and exploitation in the sex industry does not exist, it certainly does, but this so called war has forgotten or willfully cast aside the variable that is individual human thought.

This war has created a rescue industry hell bent on “saving” women that may not in fact need saving. These crusading knights in shining armor arrest those they claim to save, and then label them “victim”, ignoring any opposition they may attempt. As a woman, this is a direct violation of the rights my sex fought so hard for, to be treated equal, to be assumed unless proven otherwise to possess the mental capacity to be aware of my own victimization, or lack thereof. The war that police and anti-prostitution activists claim is saving women from coercion and exploitation is itself coercing and exploiting these women, yet believing itself justified, because the women in question are not viewed as human beings with capacity for individual choice, but as victims.

This over-hyped crusade has created even more dangerous working conditions, and has imprisoned hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in our country alone, simply for being associated with a prostitute, and has denied millions of women’s rights as citizens of this free country.

The police and the prosecutors are potentially wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money and distorting facts while trying to find the elusive “victims” of a crime that is being grossly over prosecuted: promoting prostitution (which can mean profit of any amount being in the possession of anyone other than the sex worker, or providing any assistance whatsoever to the sex worker, including transportation). Boyfriends, friends, anyone that a girl might have depended on to be able to call in an emergency, are now being charged with a heinous crime, which in turn causes the sex worker to work alone, or without any resource should she run into a dangerous situation.

Police departments around the country receive grants from the federal government to fight sex trafficking. So it stands to reason, that when they don’t find any “forced against their will” prostitute victims, they make them up, so that they won’t lose funding. Many women are not forced into prostitution, they are willing and want to do this type of work, and some go out of their way to do it. It is a vast sum of fast, easy money, and you don’t need a degree or a green card to earn it.
But the government has created an enticing incentive for a demographic that is often preconditioned to accept victimization, especially when it can be so obviously beneficial. All a girl has to do is say someone forced her to do it (a favorite excuse since we were children, but not a valid one until now) and she can avoid criminal charges. This is often the beginning of the end of an innocent person’s freedom.
For example, if an illegal alien is the “victim”, all she has to do is lie and, based on the U.S. anti-traffic prostitution laws: She does not have to go to jail or be arrested; she gets to stay and live in America; the U.S. government will provide her with housing, food, and education;
she will be considered a victimed refugee, and can become an American citizen.

And for the independent, self-sufficient, smart, working girl in the world, trying to stay safe as she tries to put food in her belly, there is no one to whom she can turn should a client become violent, without putting that person at risk of prison. She cannot give her mother money for groceries or to help her pay rent, without jeopardizing her mother’s freedom. She must drive herself to any appointments, alone, or risk the other person in the car going to jail. If she does not want to risk the danger in driving alone to a strange man’s home, she must still receive her client somewhere without anyone else present, even another working girl, or risk the other person potentially being charged with a crime.

Prostitution is already the second most dangerous job in our country, second only in death rate to a convenience store clerk. Yet since this war has become nearly a hysteria, whatever minimal security may have saved her in the past, is no longer a viable option if nobody she knows is willing to take the risk involved by any association with her. So how long until the sex industry takes first place?

The effects of this war continue to grow, and the coercion and injustice is unceasing. Its underlying causes are truly tragic, and those involved should be punished accordingly, but there absolutely must be a better way to investigate and separate them from the rest. This modern day crusade is a clear violation of the freedom that our country stands for.

 

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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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