In which I refrain from cussing
I recently found a new blog that’s written by a former sex worker.* It’s not a fun or easy read, but it is so fascinating. The blog’s writer sold herself through a website that allowed clients to review the prostitutes, and a recent post discussed why giving the johns a chance to openly discuss and criticize the women was such a bad idea. (Not that she thinks any part of prostitution is a good idea, but in this post at least, she really had it out for the reviews in particular.)
In one review she singled out, the reviewer complained that the prostitute didn’t speak very good English and didn’t seem “interested” in what he’d paid her to do. The writer was really upset with this john (and, by extension, all johns who’d made similar comments in the Review section) because he hadn’t even thought to consider that this woman most likely wasn’t there of her own volition, and that maybe he should do something about that.
When I was telling Todd about this blog and this reviewer in particular, he asked why the writer or I would expect the john to care that the woman was likely a trafficking victim. He was using women for sex, so why should we expect him to care if one of them seems particularly uninterested or unhappy?
Todd had made a good point, but I realized why I was upset with this john, and all johns who use prostitutes and can tell the woman/girl is being forced to do this work. I was upset because I had to be. If I don’t think that all men, even men who go to prostitutes, have the capacity to care that a woman/girl has been trafficked, then what are the individuals and groups fighting trafficking doing? If we don’t believe that those men could be convinced that sex trafficking is an abomination and, whatever they think of adult women “choosing” a life of prostitution, they wouldn’t be against forcing women and girls into that lifestyle, then we have no hope of ever ending this problem.
I know hoping for an end to sex trafficking seems ridiculous to some people, but I want to cuss at those people.** I don’t think that we have the luxury of not hoping, or even expecting, for an end to sex trafficking as long as girls and women are getting raped every single day.
And that’s why I was mad at that john.
* I don’t want to link to it here because I feel like even if I warn you that there’s graphic language and discussion of really terrible situations, you won’t take me seriously and will click through and then will be bothered by what you read.
**You’re welcome, Mom, for my not actually cussing in this post.