by Furry Girl

08.16.09

Sex workers are one of the world's most spoken-on-behalf-of groups, which goes hand-in-hand with us being among the most reviled groups. So many people feel the right to speak on behalf of me and my experiences- generally the people furthest removed from my life and the least inclined to actually ask my opinion on the matter.  Without hesitation, these folks think that it's their right/duty to proclaim to the world that I am exploited and degraded by taking my clothes off for cash, and propose their own moral solution for my "problem".

And, as much as it makes me blood boil to watch these people in action, I'm glad that, from them, I've learned to always check myself on my own occasional paternalistic urges.  I know to never presume to speak on behalf of other people or, as an outsider, assume to know their needs- including the needs of other sex workers in different branches of the industry.

It's a valuable lesson worth repeating: don't act like a paternalistic douchebag who thinks it's your job to speak or act "on behalf of" communities with whom you have little-to-no contact or experience. It seems like common sense, but I wish more people had that understanding, especially people on the left with a tendency to rush in to "help" first, and ask questions later.

This week, I've been thinking about how the many of best parts of me are things I've taken from watching horrible examples of human behavior in others and resolving to do the opposite.  There are times when we just don't have positive role models, or as many positive examples as we'd like, but that doesn't mean we can't still grow by learning from the failings of others.  Like living well, it can be the best "revenge".





2 Comments

  1. I am getting my best revenge for sure!

    People are always surprised when a prostitute or porn star is a normal healthy person without addictions or mental illness.

    Comment by The Beautiful Kind — September 18, 2009 @ 3:58 am

  2. Great points, Furry Girl. Sex workers are a variety of people with various experiences and perspectives, so no sex workers or people from the outside have any business trying to speak for all sex workers. It's interesting how certain people claim to speak for sex workers who they say can't speak for themselves, yet try to shut up and invalidate those of us who can and do speak for ourselves. It's like certain people just want to designate themselves the voices of all sex workers in order to promote thier own agendas against us.

    Comment by Vegan Vixen — August 30, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

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