Narratives

6 Mar

I do a lot of reblogging, and linking to the writing of others. Two subjects I find particularly of interest are transgenderism and prostitution. I and others have written about how, of late, transgenderism has become a kind of popular narrative, more than it is a medical condition. More of an externally inflicted narrative, a sort of seduction.

I was commenting on another blog this evening, and got to thinking about prostitution, how narratives might work there.

To argue “prostitution is empowering,” one has to wade through a lot of stuff prostitution proponents don’t want to admit exists, so how does one prove this proposition scientifically? Alternately, if we work from the premise that prostitution trashes prostituted women’s mental health, where are we to get our evidence?

From the punters? Highly unlikely. Bit of a conflict of interest there.

From the actual prostituted women, who must rely on dissociation in order to survive prostitution? Not too reliable witnesses, though some of them manage to keep a part of themselves separate and bear witness. But who listens to them? They reliably are attacked online when they try to share their experiences.

From actual exited prostituted women, who are still working through the damage done to them? Somewhat more reliable witnesses, as they are in a better position to acknowledge how horrible that which they have escaped, was in actuality. Especially when they are brave enough to write under their own names. But who listens to them? They, too, suffer much gaslighting, accusations, and other attempts at silencing.

From supposed women on the Internet who say they are prostituted and that it’s all just fine and dandy? Ding ding ding ding ding.

Do we ever get any genuine retired prostituted women who haven’t moved on to being pimps, who say “Yeah, that was a good career move, so empowering”?

Pro-prostitution is based on narrative just as much as transgenderism is. Without objective data about what happens to prostituted women, it’s all we’ve got. So we are, what, supposed to support decrim, feed even more girls into the maw of this monster, in order to get more reliable data about what it does to them?

It reminds me of that experiment where the researchers shot cats in the head in order to study brain trauma.

Even without decrim, what data there is, looks pretty grim. All the disappearances. The violence. The shit where the porn industry eludes OSHA protections. And in countries with decrim, the data is arriving, and it’s clear at the very least that decrim makes prostitution a growth industry. And illegal trafficking feeds legalized prostitution. And they work in tandem: Legalized prostitution, a growth industry, provides more and more cover for trafficking, for the exploiting of young girls, the most popular prostituted persons.

Meanwhile, girls and women are destroyed. But the victims are not victims until proven victims. They do not exist until it is scientifically proven.

This is what we have come to. Men want women to use, and we live in a culture that is so unwilling to consider the possibility that this might be a problem, that nothing is done without women, mostly women, fighting an uphill battle to point out that being prostituted really fucks girls and women up. Those who survive, that is.

I have corresponded with a number of prostituted and exited prostituted women. I remember so much of what they have said, but one in particular stands out. She wrote about how pro-prostitution people think this is some kind of service industry. “The punters don’t want to be serviced,” she wrote. “They want to control. They don’t want you making any decisions at all.”

Is this like burger-flipping? Maybe if the hamburger customers got away with vaulting over the counter and stuffing your spatula up your ass.

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5 Responses to “Narratives”

  1. Miep 2016/03/06 at 3:19 am #

    Samantha Berg has pointed out, as well, that in what other so-called profession does one become less and less valuable, the more one is experienced?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Miep 2016/03/06 at 4:59 am #

    Third paragraph edited for clarity.

    Like

  3. stchauvinism 2016/03/06 at 11:01 am #

    Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to.

    Like

  4. No More Paper Towels 2016/03/07 at 12:38 am #

    Great post. I think this follows the greater problem of politics in general, and that so much of it is based on perspective. If we’re asking abused women how they would rate their abuser, they would rate him higher than non-abused women would because they are seeing the world through a set of mental gymnastics and rationalizations. What surprises me about the prostitution/transgender discussions is that many transwomen are pro-prostitution, yet they talk about prostitution as being both oppression and a valid choice. I don’t think it can go both ways, especially not for females who are denied political, economic, and educational opportunities no matter what gender they identify as. The conversation about pro-prostitution is simplistic. It assumes that women choose it, therefore women should suck up the abuse of men and rape as “their choice” as well. There’s no holding men responsible for their behavior, and certainly nobody holds transwomen responsible for going into prostitution. So, there’s a classic pro-male double think going on there. Women are responsible, but men are not, even though men are the primary power holders of pretty much everything.

    Like

    • Miep 2016/03/07 at 12:54 am #

      Thank you. That’s insightful.

      Like

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