A Manifesto, as It were….

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Sex Work

I am a sex worker.

I am involved in the sex industry.

I actually do the job.

I am not a prostituted person, and there is a difference.

I am not trafficked, I am not underage, I am not a slave, I was not forced to be here.

I have made a choice to be here.

People like me are not included in Anti-Sex Industry Studies.

People like me, though we actually do the work, are not welcome in Anti-Sex Industry Circles.

No one gets to tell me what choices I do or do not have.

No one gets to  tell me when I have been raped or when I have not.

No one gets to decide when I am being abused and when I am not.

The ultimate authority on and thus the only voice that should matter when it comes to any of those things is me, and my voice.

I do not live under some false conciousness. I know quite well the realities of my life, my choices, and my profession.

It is wrong for others to make assumptions regarding anything about me, from my past to my present.

I am one of the faceless women other people assume they can talk about, read about, learn about, write books and papers about- often without so much as speaking to any of us.

I have my own voice, and I will use it.

I will not sit back and be quiet while others make assumptions about us, money off us, and laws for us without even considering us.

I will not allow others to walk all over us while saying they have our best interests in mind.

I am one of many, cis women, trans women, men, who want more respect and consideration than we have now and more respect and consideration than anyone-save ourselves- seems willing to give us.

I am the true authority on my life, my situation, my work, and all it entails, above and beyond anyone who claims otherwise.

I deserve the same basic human respect and consideration as anyone else.

I am a sex worker.

  1. kingschwarz says:

    Dear Ren,

    I like the manifesto. It may inspire me to draft one for my fellow “faith workers,” i.e. the second oldest profession. (Be assured that the pointy end of my schtick will be aimed not at atheists or mockers of religion but at bishops and religious institutions.)

    As a fan and supporter of yours, may I make one suggestion? Not pertaining so much to your manifesto as to the two posts preceding it. I read Hugo Schwyzer and the entire thread of comments. I am absolutely in sympathy with you, but I wonder whether you might eliminate or radically reduce the ranting – your term not mine – and cursing? It allows your opponents to divert the conversation and, as you yourself say in the “Rules of Engagement” post, to “whine” and “deflect.” I think I understand why the Megans enrage you: peeping out from the groves of academe and other privileged perches, they condescend, avoid your questions and look to threaten your livelihood. You should feel free to excoriate and do imaginary violence to them here on your blog. This is your intellectual living room, and the rest of us are guests. You can hang out in your bathrobe, eat Cheetos straight out the bag and throw lawn darts if you like. When you comment elsewhere, for instance @Hugo, I suggest party manners. Only because I think you are a serious and original thinker, and I want readers out there in blogland to really engage what you write rather than be diverted by whining and screaming about your rough tone . I understand that the Megans and like-minded ideologues will not open their ears and engage in a real dialogue, but others may.

    P.S. I begin to get what you like about Hugo. He is not my cup of tea, to be sure, but he tries to foster a genuine conversation that accommodates radically opposed points of view. Although I have all sorts of issue with Hugo’s worldview, I think there is some real value in what he does.

    • Ren says:

      usually I do try to be on my good behavior in other peoples places, i actually do….but I have seen that same patronizing bs SOOO MANY TIMES , well, I lost my cool- and I admit that freely- and I then apoligizd for it, to both Hugo and Meghan….

      However, the double standard remains. I say I am sorry and then try to engage without the cursing and anger, yet receive NO apology at ALL for being treated rudely and in patronizing manner (before I even ranted at all!) by Meghan-nothing, nadda, zip, zero, and that crap happens A LOT. Folk of her ilk think they can treat anyone and everyone who does not think they and their theories are just aces like lesser, stupid creatures not even deserving the most minimal levels of human decency and respect and that wow, those people are just suposed to take it and NOT get angry? No, I do NOT THINK SO. Sure enough, I went off and over did it- but many folk sure as heck do not want to see that what brougt that on was Meghans OWN crap behavior- and UNTIL that double standard is addressed and the patronizing assumptions and bs of her and people like her is ALSO seriously addressed and pointed out for exactly what it is….well, I am inclined to hold a gruge and belabor the point. And the fact that she continues to whine about how I was such a meanie while NOT owning up to her own crap behavior and WHOLLY IGNORING any legit challenge to her views (which hey, I have not forgotten to ask questions and wait for answers) I have offered up speaks volumes really- and truly paints her as a spoiled brat who can dish it out and not take it and obviously KNOWS her precious views could NOT stand up to challenges.

      And the sad thing is- that is UTTERLY TYPICAL and par for the course. Hell, even IN a university setting when I was debating Jensen? ANY direct challenge to or proven blast to his theories? He ignored or tried to change the subject. Smirk. I guess some people cannot afford to be challanged or wrong in ANY way, because their precious theories and such? It’s ALL they’ve got and without them, and without them being wholly correct and accepted as such? They are and have nothing.

      Sad, really. But being sad does not mean I or anyone else needs to tolerate such lies, disrespect, distortion and patronization.

      • kingschwarz says:

        I can see why Meghan is infuriating. Went over to the “F Word,” where she is a principal and looked around. Even her bio is annoying. One might even call it jejune, if one were a pretentious grad student. But getting riled – at least in Hugo’s and other venues – plays into her hands. Better to calmly point out where she is being rude and patronizing and classist and then go on to coolly argue your position. Full disclosure: I do not always practice what I am preaching here. I have really worked on anger issues, but I can still lose it. Rarely to my own benefit.

        • Ren says:

          LOL I spent YEARS being generally civil and whatnot- changed nothing, most of ’em never learned to NOT be pretentious jerks.

          • kingschwarz says:

            I hold out no hope for your reforming Meghan, whose course seems set: tootling about campus, wine-bibbing, murmuring “affinage” one moment and “misogyny” the next, happily convinced that she is a serious radical engendering social change. My concern is for other commenters and readers, who might be persuadable but who also might be distracted from the content of your questions and arguments.

            This contretemps is about something real: per the F Word’s landing page, an Ontario appeals court is on the brink of striking down Canada’s prostitution laws, which might extend civil rights and make life a bit easier for some working folks. The Meghans want to keep the present punitive system in place – because feminism as they interpret it requires such – but perhaps others will hear you and support positive change.

  2. Roy Kay says:

    Heh heh – Tried to mimic her condescension. We’ll see what happens.

  3. I just reposted this on Facebook, so maybe a conversation will actually take place? Link to my FB wall: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/daisy.deadhead

    If anyone says anything interesting over there, will let you know… I think you can read my FB wall yourself, but I never understand how all these different sites work and whether you need to log in or not…(duh)

  4. Catlover says:

    Permission to quote this? Most especially with regard to certain ‘feminists’ claiming that the very fact of having ever looked at the porn they are too disgusted to go near disqualifies by prejudice towards it from giving any opinion less hostile than theirs. I find it sad that I heard much the same from a friend in 1980 and not ‘sex worker’, but ‘slut’, ‘giving it away’, ‘selling yourself cheap’ (and doesn’t that reveal the real ‘moral’ mentality!), ‘being used’ blah blah a few years either side of 1970. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Most of these ‘rad-fems’ use feminist language to support attitudes that never cold cope with equality, sexual or otherwise. They are just the traditional inadequates saying same as their Puritanical sex-scared man-fearing grandmothers against what was then “Women’s Liberation” but using WL words to say it.

    Most of what ‘normal feminists’ like I suppose you’d class yourself is the same as what most women (and men) who don’t call themselves ‘feminist’ believe. It’s a bit like if people call themselves ‘Christian’ and their values are identical to most who do not, but another small group also call themselves the only real ‘Christians’ full of condemnation for everything, they are ones we’ll think of as ‘Christian’ (and they want us to think that way) and wonder why the others choose to stick an isolating label on themselves when they are just like everybody else. Same for Muslims compared to ‘Islamists’ and Feminists compared to ‘Rad-fems’. Are there really many women or men who do not accept the equality that feminism claims? But it is the extremists calling themselves ‘Feminist’ who are the greatest preachers of superiority of all things traditionally ”masculine’ and inferiority of ‘feminine’ instead of promoting their equality so men can cook and change a baby and both women and men can think that cut-throat corporate aggression and lack of emotion expected of men might be more problems with men than ideals for ‘feminists’ to force on women too.

  5. […] Renegade Evolution has been dealing with waaaay to many antipornradfems who just won’t shut-up-and-listen, and has a Manifesto, as it were. […]

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