Dear People who want to stop the sex trade,
I am writing to you today with mixed emotions. I am writing this from my own opinions and feelings, i dont speak for anyone but myself.
Some of you have had traumatic experience in the sex industry, some of you know someone that had a bad experience, some of you are supporters of these experiences and some of you have your very own personal agenda that i cant work out yet.
I dont understand the way you guys interact with sex workers. Why do you treat us like the enemy? Its makes no sense.
I have heard a lot of you say the last week or so, about how many victims are not speaking on twitter, their voices arent being heard. Ive heard you talk about how so many women are suffering from PTSD from their experience in the sex trade. Ive seen you post many photos of women from my industry that have been killed from the last 50yrs. Ive been told by you that my work safety and health and life is not worth the same as a victim of trafficking. Ive had to listen to you tell me that you will never support me, never believe me and that my 14 yrs of first hand experience is not valid... not one little bit.
I understand you have a mission. I get it.. i really do.. but at what cost? At what sacrifice?
Im only one person. I guess that makes me a minority. In this situation, the way you have treated me, the way you have interacted with my peers, the way you have taken our positive hashtag and turned it into a horrible exploitation of sex workers that have passed away, this has had a impact on me that i dont understand and i dont know what to call.
From such a high when the hashtag first came out.. that was really liberating and it was amazing to have so many peers bond in a way.. and then to such a low when you started to attack on a whole new level.
I havent been involved in fighting for sex worker rights for very long. For many years i had no idea the activism world of sex work existed. But when i found it, it opened my eyes.
And, to have people like yourselves attack us in a way like this, id never seen this before and i didnt know how to react to it. I have no experience in dealing with people that seem to hate me. People dont hate me.. I think im a pretty chilled likeable person (even if it is only in small doses).
I didnt know how to digest it internally either.
At first i was annoyed.. then i was angry.. then i was FUCKING angry... and then it started to change into this new feeling... Its like someone knocked the wind outta me. I cant human. My phone rings, i dont want to answer. My dog wants to go outside, i cant get off the couch. I know i need to eat, but i just cant eat. I try to watch tv, i cant concentrate. I swear off social media, then bam! Im back on there checking twitter, seeing another horrible tweet and then i sit there in shock for a moment, not knowing what to do...
I feel shit.
This has affected me badly.
I know i should walk away.. but i guess when you feel passionate about something, you can kinda get obsessed.. and i feel like the right message needs to be out there.. so i keep coming back for round #545
You want to protect people from harm... you want to save people from abuse.... but what about the people, like me, that you harm along the way?
Is it ok to give a person anxiety or whatever it is im having, just to fight the cause?
Is fucking me up mentally an ok sacrifice to save other people?
I read a web page and it spoke of a person who was abused for 10hrs after they posted pics of women that have been killed. I have felt that kind of abuse for nearly 2 weeks. Not 10 hours. Nearly 2 weeks. All due to the negativity you have thrown at us. People were crying on this web page. I havent cried. But ive been close. I dont feel like i have the strength to cry. This whole situation has drained the life out of me.
Is treating sex workers so poorly really helping your cause? Really?
Why is it ok to create a new victim in me, to save another victim that you havent even met yet?
I think you need to rethink your game plan. Sex workers do not have to be the enemy, nor should we be treated like we dont count in the discussion of keeping women safe.
I want many of the things you do! I want to stop exploitation. I dont want anyone in the industry to be forced! I dont want people to be abused!
But the thing that is different to us.. is i believe there is a way to both stop the abuse AND keep sex workers that choose to be there safe and with rights.
And the other difference between us is, i dont want to hurt anyone or make any one feel like they arent worth shit in the process.
You know what, even if we disagreed on everything!! - we still should be having a respect debate. I dont understand how so much hate and distaste came into the equation...
Posting the pics of lost women was horrible. Did you even think what could do to one of us? Did you not think that maybe one of those women had been a friend of one of us? That seeing that pic might trigger something terrible? Did you ever stop to think that maybe the person in the photo would never have agreed to be in a campaign like that, being used to fight her peers? Did you stop to think how their families might feel, seeing their daughter used as pawn in a twitter campaign??? The sex workers who posted their pics, did so with CHOICE. You took away those womens choice and used them! You exploited them. How could you do that when thats the exact thing to you trying to stop?????????
You dont need to resort to this harmful way of fighting. There are better ways. Stop this continued attack on sex workers!
You dont ever seem to want to talk to us. Unless we tell the story that helps your cause, you treat us like we are beneath you.
Im a person just like you, just trying to do what i think is the right thing.
This letter wont make any difference. I know that. I will probably (again) be ridiculed and used as evidence to back some random argument that you need to make, if its read by anyone at all......
But there has to be a better way... I cant keep doing this.... I cant keep feeling like this.....
And if you have any decency in you, you wouldnt be wanting to make people feel like this.
But im just the minority right, who cares?
(supporter of full decrim)