The reality of sex trafficking and prostitution is condoned in society by hiding the terrible abuse behind a smokescreen of euphemisms and misdirections. In this way, language itself becomes the foundation of abuse.
LANGUAGE IS ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT. I find myself having to create new words and phrases to try to express the harsh realties of prostitution and sex trafficking — and the oppression of female sexuality. A common definition of a prostitute is "a woman who engages in promiscuous sex for money." Look up the word in major dictionaries and you find it synonymous with "loose woman" or other such judgmental phrasings. Every definition has not just a male bias (being based on man's privileged sexuality) but also a moral-majority bias: the "respectable" people of the world (both men and women) judging the sexual outcast and labeling her with words that indicate her worthlessness.
For openers, I would change the standard definition of prostitute to something like "a girl or woman who is sold for sex." This needs to be refined, of course, since it is in the passive voice and so leaves out the real villains: those doing the selling and the men who do the buying. But for the moment I'll let it stand. It's a start in reversing the language bias.
You will notice that in the realm of non-prostituted women there is no word for any kind of open, free, non-repressed, non-imprisoned, un-enslaved female sexuality. If you are a woman and you voluntarily sleep with a lot of men, you are still 'promiscuous.' A slut. The only synonym I have found is 'non-monogamous.' I suppose this choice is an attempt to be neutral and non-judgmental. But what an ugly word. It sounds like a strangled mongoose. I have yet to invent my own word that would express a beautiful, free, unafraid female sexuality where a woman can joyfully fuck as many men as she wants to — without all of society coming crashing down around her ears. And it would come crashing down — since, for such a sexuality to exist, we would have to reinvent the whole world: it would mean the demise of patriarchal religion, among other radical changes — but this is material for other articles and these are subjects I have commented on liberally elsewhere. So let's get back to language.
I like the word 'whore.' It has been used as a "term of opprobrium" (as they say) for centuries in order to keep us women in our place. 'Whore' is spit at us as the ultimate insult. Actually, what is a whore? She is the 'prostituted' and the 'trafficked.' She is the girl broken in rape camps and put to fuck use for the pleasure of men, with no regard for her own life or being. After the breaking in, she might be 'turned out,' in obscenely revealing clothes and grotesque make-up and those torture devices called high heels, in order to work the streets in Rome or New York or Athens — I am just giving you a random, typical scenario. It might sound like it comes out of a movie, that typical Hollywood-manufactured painted streetwalker — but she really does exist. As 'whore,' she is surface, an end-product, doing her mechanical blow jobs in cars or alleyways, taking her fuck quota for the night so her pimp won't beat her ragged. She is pretty much spat at, or just ignored by the rest of us. For the well-dressed with their cinnamon lattes in hand, she is simply not there. She is, in one Japanese phrase for prostitute, 'a woman of no importance.'
To me the whore is the most pathetically scorned, insulted, abused, battered, violated creature on the planet. Yet she has made it — somehow. She is still alive. So to be called a 'whore' for me is a point of pride. I would rather use it than 'prostitute' or 'prostituted being' since to appropriate it is to defuse the sheer ugly power it has had over us for centuries.
And, for me, as a former prostitute, to be called a whore certainly beats being called a 'sex worker.' That supposedly neutral phrase is an abomination when applied to most of the bought and sold women and girls in the world — what they do, the rape they have inflicted on them, does not even vaguely resemble 'work.' 'Sex worker' is a cover-up phrase thought up by academics wanting to be cutesy and PC, I think.
Show me a 'sex worker' — someone who sells sex in complete safety; someone who is respected by her society for her 'profession' (whether she works in New York or Las Vegas or Bangkok or Dubai or Melbourne — add any city in the world to this list); someone who is never subjected to any kind of violence or humiliation — and I will concede some accuracy to the phrase. But until we change prostitution so that it conforms to the above definition for all women and girls in it, then it cannot be called 'sex work.' As a highly sexual woman, I would welcome a form of prostitution that allowed me to expand the beauty of my sexuality while being paid for it. Not yet on this planet. The majority of women and girls in prostitution 'work' under conditions that are far from free or beautiful: sexual violence, humiliation, other kinds of physical violence, debt bondage, control by owners or pimps or family members who take the money — these are not uncommon elements in the lives of prostitutes. In fact, women working in prostitution under conditions that are completely free from coercion or violence are rare. I hold that since most of prostitution is exploitative, it cannot be called 'sex work.'
In the area of language, we need to stop making a distinction between the 'rape' a prostituted girl undergoes to break her and the 'rape' she has inflicted on her by the 'clients.' The latter of course is much worse since it never ends. It is funny to hear so many people say that she was broken by beating and rape so she would 'accept' her customers. What the 'customers' do to her everyday is a rape far beyond the initial breaking in.
The attitude among traffickers seems to be take the girl if she is a virgin and break her in rough, with hours or days of rape, until she does not resist anymore. By then, she is too submissive and broken to think or speak or to ever care again. Then the thousands of 'customers' who 'enter' her inflict an even more severe form of rape on her by using a completely broken human being.
This situation is one reason I always call the men who do the buying 'customer-rapists' or 'client-rapists.' I try to make this standard language usage in all I write, along with the term 'prostitution-rape.' It's tough, since I, too, have been indoctrinated with inaccurate words. I find myself using 'work,' as in 'when I worked as a prostitute,' since I cannot find any other way to express it. But I am trying.
Besides, it is about time someone said something about the language that obscures the reality of prostitution. How did it come about that we use such words as 'clients' and 'customers' for men who buy girls being held under the most appalling conditions of slavery? I wish it didn't have to be me who says something. It is excruciatingly painful to write about the subject of prostitution and sex trafficking. And it is even more painful to reveal even the most minor of details about my own time in prostitution. In person, I can't talk about it at all; on paper, I'm only able to touch the surface. I don't want to set myself up as some poor, helpless sacrificial goat but I feel compelled to say that most of the time the Sex Industry is a Rape Industry. Australian writer Sheila Jeffreys has a book about trafficking/prostitution called The Industrial Vagina. Now that seems like an accurate word choice! It conjures up images of some poor overused, sold vagina chugging along like a piece of machinery.
But sometimes even the best of the writers on female oppression are often woefully inaccurate in the area of language. Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, in excerpts from their recent book Half the Sky, tell us of a girl named Abbas Be who was sold to a brothel in New Delhi when she was 14 where she was "beaten with a cricket bat, gang-raped and told she would have to cater to customers" (This excerpt appears in the 23 Aug. 2009 New York Times Magazine. All subsequent quotes from the book are from this source.)
Kristof has been telling the stories of enslaved girls he finds around the world for a number of years; and it is partially through these accounts by this compassionate man in his NY Times columns that we know of the plight of girls in Cambodia and India.
I would, however, like to point out to him (and to WuDunn, in this instance) that "cater to customers" is a wildly and wholly inaccurate phrase for what is going on here. These brothelized girls are being raped on a daily basis. So the men are not 'customers.' They are rapists. My phrase for them, as I have mentioned, is 'customer-rapists.' We really do have to start getting accurate with our language. It needs to reflect the reality of prostitution. "Cater" won't do it. Is the girl politely "catering" to the 'rapist's' needs, as if she were serving him a cup of tea? This is what "cater" implies. No she is not doing that. She is being served up to him as a rape-hole, as a toilet, that he can empty himself into. To call him a 'rapist' accurately puts the blame where it largely resides: with the horrible men who do the buying. They are no longer 'sanitized' by being called 'customers,' as if they were simply walking in to purchase a cup of coffee and a breakfast bun. No, they are buying a body and destroying a life. They are inflicting extreme sexual and psychological pain on defenseless girls.
Do these men really not know about the force and torture tactics involved to make girls available for their use? How could they not know? You'd have to be as blind as an eyeless crow in a dark barn to be unaware of the misery of the girls. How could anyone assume that a girl who is beaten and 'trained' and terrorized so she will have sex with men (many men, in a lot of cases, which can cause excruciating physical damage) is really doing this 'willingly.' How could anyone assume that a girl would want her body all torn up by sex with so many men? Some sort of universal blindness or indifference must reign among these 'customer-rapists' — those 'ordinary' men who go home to their wives and daughters after committing such an unthinkable act of sexual torture on a helpless girl.
Back to Kristof and WuDunn, they write that, to terrorize the girls, the brothel owners make them watch the murder of a "girl who had fought customers." There's that 'customer' word again. How can a man who is forcing himself on a fighting imprisoned sex slave be called a 'customer'? He is a vile monster rapist — and remember he is also the man next door — the father, brother, cousin, boyfriend you know — The Rapist-Next-Door among us.
The language of 'women's rights' and all these universal declarations of human rights always seem sadly cruel and ironical to me since the prostituted being is never included. The phrase and idea 'equal rights for women' is ludicrous in light of the conditions women exist under. That 7-year-old girl getting brutally fucked all day in a filthy cesspool of a brothel in Bombay has no rights at all or dreams or a future. She is basically waste and garbage and a dumpsite for men and their testosterone. What a laugh she would have if she heard the phrase 'women's rights' or even knew what it meant. She can have no inkling what it means since she has no dreams — this rape existence is all she has ever known. All she knows is the reality of being climbed on all day by men who have all the 'rights' in the world, particularly the 'right' to rape her, and she only knows the reality of her poor body being torn apart by them. The damage is permanent when the girls are violated so young. All she will ever be is a body without rights with a bleeding vagina, an infected womb, and ruptured ovaries. The infliction of unthinkable sexual pain is not 'equal rights for women.' (Yet to rape is a right men have always held — and still do hold.) How could 'women's rights' possibly apply to this child? And in India, as in the USA and Britain and Australia — and in every other country in the world — her blind privileged educated sisters will spout this meaningless phrase 'women's rights' as if it meant something. As long as the 7-year-old is being raped while the privileged women take tea, and argue meaningless intellectual points, the phrase has no meaning. It is a cruel joke to those suffering extremes of sexual torment.
I was stirred to a few more language thoughts by psychologist Melissa Farley's study called "Men Who Buy Sex": a survey of a number of British men who do. In it, she addresses the all-crucial 'demand' side. (My view is that if men did not buy us — could not buy us [either because we could stop them doing so or because from within the men's ethical imperatives made them stop on their own] — then there would be no prostitution.) In one section of her study, Farley uses a word, 'turnstile,' in regards to the British men who buy sex in Amsterdam where it is done at a frenzy, a 'turnstile' like pace, with the girl being used by 5 men an hour.
I was interested in this choice of the word 'turnstile' sex since I have only heard 'assembly-line' sex as the term for the continuous violation of the prostituted body. So, I pondered other possibilities for serial violation of the prostituted body. I came up with this: I think the phrase we really need here is 'mass rape' — or maybe 'mega-rape' or 'hyper-rape.' My only reservations about the latter two are that they the 'mega' and the 'hyper' prefixes smack of the academic — all those 'disembodied theorizings about the goddess body within the intertextualities of abstract-absent feminine space and trans-liberal gendered masculinities' — in other words, the use of language at its most self-indulgent and worthless since it obscures the pain of the torn female body rather than revealing it. (I would be ashamed to be classified as an academic or a scholar. I have no intention of covering up female sexual suffering with some imaginary objectivity.)
I am doubtful about the use of 'sex' in regards to prostitution. I don't think this is really 'sex' that the men are inflicting on the women. It is a monstrous form of serial rape; and rape is not 'sex,' so we need to eliminate the word 'sex' from the 'discourse on the prostitute' (pardon my phrasing here). 'Sex' does not apply to prostitution at all. How can a kind of sex that destroys female sexuality be considered 'sex' at all?
Farley reports that the men who go to Amsterdam complain about the 'turnstile' sex. How many men must the girls 'take on'? If the girl does 5 an hour and works 10 hours, that would be use by 50 men a day — an inconceivable number in terms of her body or mind surviving this experience. Even one day of this would kill her spirit and body forever, let alone however many months or years she is forced to do it. So the men complain that this is a turn off, that they are using a body that has been so heavily fucked by other men. Yet it is these men who are turning the girl into lifeless, catatonic fuck-meat just by fucking her — and then complaining about her not giving good fuck? Amazing, the male logic involved in this. This complaint made me wonder if my language campaign will do any good at all. Farley's study demonstrates that most of the attitudes men have toward prostituted beings will lead toward more sexual violence against women — not just against those who are prostituted but against the safe 'good' girls as well — the ones who are supposedly exempt from the degradation of 'prostitution sex' — the kind where a girl 'takes on' men she does not know without choice or volition or a will of her own left.
It is probably impossible to get these men to see that what they are doing is 'rape' — or to get them to call it as such. My half-blind crow in a dark barn dilemma. If they are mounting a girl who has been serially raped several dozen times in one day, and the men cannot see this horrifying action as rape, then what linguistic hope is there?
Farley's study focuses on 'demand,' the men who do the buying. The next study that needs to be done is on all the non-prostituted women who ignore the rape plight of the helpless, the controlled, the trafficked, the prostituted. I once saw a travel show in which a blonde hostess was being shown around the red-light area of Amsterdam by a woman tour guide who said that prostitution in Amsterdam is 'regulated,' which is 'a good thing.' Typical total blindness. What the heck does she mean by 'regulated'? Is there an accountant standing by, ticking off each 'visitor' as the girl is violated, and putting a profit in a column, all neat and tidy? What if we put the tour guide in the situation of the 'turnstile whore'? Would she think this was 'a good thing'? Do all the protected women of Amsterdam — the college students, the tour guides, the businesswomen — just walk around gleefully unaware of the mass rape taking place in that city? I guess they must. I don't think my language campaign would make a smidgen of a difference if they cannot even recognize the horrors of mass rape on a helpless body when it is right under their noses.
Of course this lapse applies to all 'respectable' women in all countries: they blindly and brutally ignore the 'filthy whore,' as if she were a different species. I ask: how could 'turnstile' rape by 50 men a day on a helpless female body be anything but mega-rape of the most monstrous sort? What woman would actually choose this as a way of life — or, rather, it is a way of death. If the men who buy sex cannot see that this is forced sex, there must be something deeply deeply deeply wrong with the male sexual psyche. Even worse, if women parade merrily along as this happens to other women, then we are beyond hope, reclamation, or redemption as a species.
Non-prostituted women commit terrible betrayals of us prostitutes. In the area of language, I came across an article in the Nation by Debra Nathan called "Oversexed," in which she puts forth the idea that we are paying too much attention to sex trafficking at the expense of other kinds of trafficking. First off, this thesis, when I hear it, astounds me. After 5000 years of egregious tearing callous brutal beyond-rape treatment of the woman labeled 'prostitute,' the human race finally deigns to acknowledge her existence and her pain — albeit she has to be transformed into the 'trafficked' to be considered worthy of notice. Add the fact that most of the trafficking in the world is for sexual purposes, and I am utterly astounded that people like Nathan think we need to cut back on our attention to this subject. It has never been paid attention to before! And now are we supposed to return to our former ignorance about it, and make the torn prostituted body invisible once again?
Leaving all of the above aside, I will never forgive the Nation or this author for the callousness of that title — "Oversexed." It is an attempt on the part of Nathan to be witty at the expense of all these girls being raped 30 to 100 times a day. Would the 14-year-old trafficked Slavic girl being used 100 times a day in Greece consider herself 'oversexed'? Nathan must belong to that species of female journalists who have no vaginas. To cure her of her callousness and indifference to the torn female body, I suggest she spend time in a brothel — one with a high turnover rate — one where girls are subjected to what they call 'assembly-line' or 'turnstile sex' — and let us see how 'oversexed' she feels after 50 rapes a day. Then I'd like to see her write an article called 'oversexed.' The title betrays the continuous rape of the prostituted body, and journalists like this woman betray all women everywhere.
We need studies like the one Farley did on British men who buy sex. We need all the information that sociologists and psychologists and anthropologists and medical doctors gather about trafficking and prostitution and sexual abuse. I will not deny that information is absolutely necessary — so that the whole world knows what is going on. But equally necessary is action — far more than we have now. What will get the trafficked 'Natasha' out of her Soho rape bed, where she is destined for the horrors of 'turnstile' sex? A London group who helps the trafficked, Poppy, can aid a few individuals, but what of all the girls who never escape? They far outnumber those who are getting help from places like Poppy. Of course saving an individual life is enormously important; and I am sure if it were my life Poppy were saving, this would not seem like a trivial act at all. It just seems to me that a country like the UK ought to have completely eliminated any kind of forced sex by now. After all, a huge exhibit in Trafalgar Square let all Londoners know about the sexual slavery in their country. You would think that every British woman would rise up in outrage and say, 'We're not going to let this happen anymore.' Nation-wide Lysistrata along with demos by tens of thousands of women in front of the Houses of Parliament and in front of law enforcement agencies; front-page, non-stop stories in all the London papers; immediate assistance in terms of taking the girls physically from their pimps and owners and the setting up of long-term care facilities: all this is easy, logical, completely within the capabilities of the women of the UK. If they, or any of the other women of the world, cared a fig for the torn suffering bodies of these girls. Apparently they don't.
'Trafficking,' 'sex trafficking,' 'human trafficking.' These are sanitized words that are seemingly meant to make it okay to actually recognize sexual slavery as an ill and a blight upon humankind. Why was the same ill not recognized as such when it was called 'prostitution' and when the girl was called a 'whore' instead of a 'victim of trafficking'? Is this trendy linguistic 'trafficking' phrasing a way of making prostitution palatable as a human rights cause — since, of course, any decent woman would never write a book or make a speech to save a 'whore.' The girl has be called 'trafficked' before she is 'sanitized' and 'respectable' enough to be helped? The 'whore' you leave on her garbage heap (or maybe I should say under it — if you have ever seen some of the coarse slime who buy her); but the 'trafficked' girl you regard as a victim? Why does one have to transform prostitution into this trendy thing called trafficking in order to be able to recognize the inexpressibly sad and horrifying abuses being inflicted on the female body? Makes no sense to me.
One of my most controversial ideas is that prostitution is always a form of rape.
"But I was nice to her," says the serviceman to me about his purchase of a Thai (Filipina, Korean, Russian — fill in the adjective) prostitute for a few days of companionship. "It was still rape since you bought a body," I say. "After all, isn't that slavery, buying a body?" (This is not to say that I would ever take this girl's 'job' away from her or try to 'rescue' her. I would never be so presumptuous as to think I could help her in any way. And I bless the soldier who was nice to her. Better him than some ugly brute who would sodomize her with an umbrella and leave welts across her nipples from a coat hanger.)
I must just go with what I know. And what I have learned. All the conclusions I have come to about prostitution are based mostly on my own body and what happened to it. Most of the men who used me did not hurt me. Most of them did not excessively humiliate me. Most of them just wanted sex; and I smiled at them and did what I could to please and placate them since I knew, instinctively, that I was safer if I did not make them mad. As a prostitute, I had no protection if they hurt me. I was completely dependent on their mercy. And most had mercy.
I wasn't trafficked and no pimps or owners or parents or uncles sold or controlled me. I could move around and go shopping for a book or buy a cup of tea and a muffin and sit at a sidewalk café on a sunny, pretty afternoon (but I rarely wanted to do this since, as a prostitute, I no longer felt a part of the world). I had it good. Compared to trafficked girls. Most of them don't make it. If I had been trafficked, there would be no 'Suki' writing all these articles. I'd have been dead long ago. (Some readers, I am sure, would consider this alternative path for my life with joy and relief. No one named 'Suki' kicking up a fuss about this "harmless and necessary recreational activity" called prostitution, all fun-and-fuck for the boys.)
I know that I see all of history through the sexual pain of the prostitute. Through all the bleeding and swelling and inflamed tearing and unthinkable misery that rack her body as she is forced to endure so much overuse. Most other humans would not have a clue as to why this is so. Most just laugh at her. I am sure that my whole idea of seeing history though her pain is considered laughable: after all, she is incidental to the affairs of 'real' people. There are entire books by scholars on the pain of the body that do not include her. There are numerous discourses on 'embodiment and disembodiment and the body' by feminists that have not an inkling about the pain of the prostituted body. The prostitute? questions the 'normal' safe protected woman of history. The prostitute? queries the privileged academic female. "What could possibly be important about her? She is just the flotsam and garbage and debris of history. Not center stage at all. Not even center-river. She is the ugly scraps and bits and pieces flowing along the side of the dirty water that is history."
I beg to differ. I am at the center. My sexual fragility is at the center. And I see all of life through the lens of that sexual pain.
And, despite the freedom I worked under as a prostitute, I still have to define prostitution as a form of rape — even if you are having sex with a gentle client. You can't really have a sexual situation where a man has the money and the power and the strength — and he feels entitled to purchase the most precious and intimate part of a woman — without it being a form of rape. The entire system is designed to benefit the dominant male and keep the submissive female in her place — as a body for one purpose — to be used for sex. Not for her pleasure, but for his. So, it is rape. Rape of all of us. Not just of the prostitute. No matter how gentle.
I find myself reacting powerfully to all sorts of words, now that I am so hype-aware of the horrors of trafficking. Readers accuse me of thinking that prostitution is "wrong" — as if I am on some big moral crusade against it. No, this is not the case at all. I have no moral condemnation of prostitution or prostitutes. For one, I am not religious, so I do not hold with the harmful hang-ups and repressions that all religions force on us to screw up our sexuality. Those crazy Catholics are among the worst — I am astounded at the heavy guilt they hang upon any kind of free and beautiful sexuality: a woman should be able to joyfully fuck any man she wants, and as many men as she wants, in complete liberated luxury. I can't see this beautiful picture of female sexuality fitting in to the rigid sexual box of Catholicism. But all the big patriarchal religions (are there any other kind? — maybe a tiny pocket of matriarchal sexual believers here and there, but not enough of us to make a difference) repress and destroy female sexuality.
So, no, I do not think prostitution is 'wrong,' by the moral sense implied in the criticism. But I do think that treating women and girls with sexual roughness and crudeness and violence is 'wrong.' I do think that the forcing of young girls into this sex/rape trade is very, very wrong. And considering that the majority of the prostituted beings in the world are girls age fifteen and under, many existing in conditions of unbelievably cruel and brutal sexual slavery — well, that is definitely 'wrong.' I have a theory that if we can simply wipe out the prostituting of minors, we would pretty much wipe out a large portion of all prostitution — since the typical age at which a girl is coerced into the trade is 13 or 14 (this is worldwide, not just in 3rd world countries) and since these girls become the adult prostitutes — well, it just seems logical to me that if there are no children exploited, they won't become exploited adults, thereby greatly reducing the number of prostitutes. And, once we completely eliminate all prostituted beings, men won't be able to get their fuck by hurting us. Remember — if there is no protected, safe, beautiful sexuality for prostituted beings, then there is no sexuality for any of us. The sexual violence and degradation they are subjected to impacts all women.
The notion that there is any 'intimacy' involved in prostitution astounds me, yet I see writers over and over again inserting this word into the transaction. "Three-minutes of intimacy" — that's all those sailors got as they lined up to use the thoroughly fucked, raped-a-100-times-a-day prostitutes on Hotel Street in Hawaii during WWII. The phrase is not mine — "three minutes of intimacy" — it comes from another writer — and the phrase makes it sound as if the rapists are deprived since they only got to ram the girls for three minutes because so many other men were lined up to do the same. Did this writer not even consider the implications of the word "intimacy"? It means tenderness, it means gentleness, it means intensity of sexual sensation. It has nothing to do with the context of the beyond brutal rapes on Hotel Street.
Similarly, scholarly phrases which speak of things like "interracial intimacy in Japan" dumbfound me. The girls involved, the ones given to the foreigners, were almost all prostituted. How can there be any 'intimacy' in this? "Intimate Commercial Sex Transactions in Amsterdam." What kind of a title for a scholarly article is this? Any academic who comes up with this kind of title is betraying the rape pain of the prostituted. (All fancy academic titles betray the suffering of the prostituted.) The cold distancing mechanism of the academic heart/mind that would allow it to put 'intimacy' anywhere in the same vicinity (or even the same galaxy) as 'prostitution,' astounds me.
While I am on the subject of harmful words and phrases, I would like to take a few pot shots at "marriage and family values." This revolting phrase surfaces whenever a politician is caught with his pants down fucking a whore. Woe to the poor wifey-poo and now the whole social fabric of the world is going to unravel.
The concept, if not the actual phrase itself, surfaces everywhere. Case in point: a story on the net from December 2009 about a political leader in India caught in bed with 3 girls. The girls were pimped by another woman who wanted some concessions from the politician. Women's groups in India were all up in arms. About what? Marriage and family values garbage? I guess so since I could not find any information on the girls he was in bed with — it was as if their lives and bodies were invisible — completely incidental. Three ghost girls. No focus on them at all. How old were they? At what age were they trafficked or coerced into prostitution? What are their backgrounds?
The whole emphasis in these sorts of stories is on marriage and family values, and the outcast whore is forgotten, invisible, non-existent — as if she has no humanity at all. As for women's rights groups in India, I did not know there were any since girls are being murdered because they refuse to "perform" in New Delhi brothels and it would be difficult to find a place more unpleasant for a 7-year-old child to get fucked to pieces and eventual death than in those filthy sweatshop whorehouses in Bombay. If there are women's rights groups in India, then why is there even one 7-year-old being fucked to death anywhere? Or one 13-year-old? Or one 20-year-old? India is one of the biggest whorehouse countries on earth. The sexual enslavement and use of children, young girls, and women is beyond ludicrous. All countries are whorehouses since they all enslave us, but this is one of the worst. Are blind privileged Indian women only concerned with 'marriage and family values' — that pernicious phrase which excludes all the wretched bleeding prostituted girls in the world? If there are women's rights groups in India, why are they not helping the most mistreated — the ones not just subjected to extremes of oppression but extremes of sexual torture. You help the most wretched first.
As you can see, it's not just the raping, uncontrollable dick of the male that is the problem. 'Normal,' non-prostituted women are heavily responsible for the rape of the prostituted by blindly and callously ignoring it. They sanction the rape institution that sells the body by believing that there have to be two kinds of women, and one kind has to exist in the rape space called 'brothel' for callous ugly sexual use. Not a clue do these 'normal' women seem to have about the sexual brutality that is visited on the prostituted body. And 'normal' women, if they cared, could easily stop this. World-wide Lysistrata, along with a refusal to sanction the sale of the female body would do it.
You think I exaggerate but not so. I see the blind callousness of the normal protected female toward the rape-prostituted one every single day. I work with women, meet women, correspond with women, go to conferences with women, and, in the past, went to school with women who have not a clue about what prostitution is — nor do they seem to care. It is simply not in their consciousness at all. The "distance in the mind" — astounding — between the safe and protected and the cold and raped. The indifference of the 'normal' female contributes to the rape of every prostituted body in the world.
Two other solutions: 1) A bonobos-like matriarchal social structure, where women protect other women, and 2) a radical change in attitudes toward sex — so that it is regarded as, and — in reality — practiced as a pleasurable beautiful warm friendly comfortable safe lovely experience for the female — not just a hard fuck for the male. And never any condemnation of the beautiful joyous freedom of the female to have sex with any man she wants. This should be celebrated, not condemned. Now the girl who does this is called a 'whore' and is an outcast. Condemned for the most lovely part of ourselves — our free radiant beautiful sexuality. The vagina should be cherished as a lovely treasure, not raped like a piece of 'industrial' equipment. "The Industrial Vagina" (phrase courtesy of Sheila Jeffreys). Replace these words with "The Beautiful Free Cherished Protected Vagina." Treated tenderly. None of this will ever come about until we eliminate prostitution (at least, the coercive form of it — and the majority of prostitution around the world is not based on liberating the beauty of female sexuality: it is based on raping that sexuality into non-existence).
Speaking of language, if I were to label myself, it would be that I am an 'anarchist feminist academic whore' who pretty much despises most other academic women because they mostly ignore the terrible sexual suffering of non-privileged women; and I also deplore the whores who call themselves 'sex workers' because the latter put forth the illusion that there is some safe place to be a sell sex in this world — there isn't. It's like the illusion that prostitution is a 'respected profession' in Asia: this dingbat idea arose as a result of Western demand, particularly military demand, and the need for the illusion that this was a great way for a starving girl to make it in the world — she gets to fuck for food and is 'respected' by her society as well. Total garbage. Asian whores are regarded as garbage by their societies. It is not a 'cultural thing' — to be a prostitute. The girls are treated like garbage, not like 'cultural treasures.' It is not a 'cultural' thing to do pussy shows and stick lit cigarettes up your vagina. Pussy-show whores are treated like garbage, not like precious beings who do a 'respected' job. What 'garbage' the human mind is capable of when it wants to justify the exploitation of the female body. More language lies: it is a 'cultural thing' to be a whore; it is a 'respected profession' to be a whore. There is no evidence in any culture anywhere in the world that whores — prostituted beings — are treated like precious 'cultural' treasures or that they are 'respected.'
Far from thinking prostitution is 'wrong,' I would say that Co-op Brothels would be great. But where are they? Do they exist anywhere? Are they working? Do the girls have complete control over their bodies? Why are they not the norm in, say, Germany, where prostitution is legal? Why does selling sex there take the form of Eros Centres full of trafficked girls whose owners take most of the money they earn? Germany, Land of Legal Rape.
Ditto for Co-op Brothels in Amsterdam, another legal-rape sex locale. Why do the women there not have complete control over their bodies: the majority of prostituted beings there are trafficked and many are being forced to endure the 'turnstile' sex of 5 men an hour violating them. What 'free' sex worker would invite the agony of continuous use of her body — along with the dreadful humiliation of men just using you as a hole? I mean, how much courtship can you cram into sex where you are just mounted by one man after another and do not know even know their names (imagine the tremendous emotional damage resulting from this — in addition to the inflammation and swelling and pain from so much sex). Not to mention that you will be subjected to these really coarse sleaze slime men that you would never let touch you in real life — if you had 'choice' — and a real life. I always wonder why no one writes about these aspects of prostitution — how disgusting it is to be just mounted, by one man after another. And how painful. I think Sweden (the only sane country in the world) has the right definition of prostitution: it usually takes the form of "sexual violence toward women."
Courtship has to be part of the sexual process for a prostitute, just the way it is for a 'real' woman — if we are going to allow — and to grant — that the prostituted is a 'real' human being. All the same tenderness and consideration and sexual gentleness are her due — just as they are for 'real' women. Prostitution has to benefit the prostituted — sexually, emotionally, and financially. As currently practiced, it rarely does so.
By all means, turn selling sex into a 'respected' profession where there is no debt bondage, no pimps, no owners, no traffickers, no rough drunk sleaze buyers (those men commonly referred to as the 'customers' — those men who cause all the trouble by having dicks they can't control, so they force themselves on helpless bodies). Eliminate the helpless, torn, hurting soft feminine body from prostitution. Then we can concede we have something called 'sex work.'
What to call the raped-for-sale body? Prostitute? Whore? Hooker? Sex Worker? I wonder if it matters given the total lack of understanding on the part of almost the whole world as to what the prostitute/whore really is: a body subjected to enormous amounts of sexual abuse. Thousands of examples could illustrate this lack of understanding. I will just toss out one at random: an Angelina Jolie movie in which she is an aid worker and one of her fellow aid workers, a male, says that when he's done with his aid work stint he's going off on a vacation to get himself a couple of hookers/whores/prostitutes in Melbourne. Said jokingly, by this male aid worker who is supposedly aware of the abuses visited on the helpless of the world. I wonder Jolie would allow such a line in her movie, given that she lived in a country deeply in need of aid workers, Cambodia, and so is aware of all the trafficking due to the dreadful sex trade there. Yet, in a movie that is supposedly about having a social conscience, a man who is supposedly working for humanitarian causes is going to go off and buy himself a couple of whores/prostitutes/hookers in Melbourne. This joking line in the movie points to how much we take the sanctioned rape of the whore body for granted. Men have to have their fuck. No matter what. Total lack of awareness of what that male fuck-drive means to the helpless enslaved female body. Male sexual privilege is paramount.
When certain parts of Australia legalized prostitution, sex trafficking skyrocketed. Most of the whores in Australia are trafficked beings. Astonishing that a humanitarian aid worker would even consider going off and buying himself a couple of whores/prostitutes. If the humanitarian workers are not even aware of the deep, deep abuses that prostitution visits on women and girls, imagine how blind and ignorant the non-humanitarians must be. Looking at this casual line in this movie, just tossed off, as if the bodies and lives of whores were of no importance, makes me see how deeply blind the world is to the in-pain prostituted body. It's just a 'norm' somehow, that when an aid worker gets a break, he goes off and buys himself some whores (no big deal). With no awareness that they are probably trafficked, enslaved beings, far more in need of aid than anyone else in the world. Astonishing, sometimes, is the blindness of workers labeled 'humanitarians.' Some of them have been known to make girls in refugee camps fuck for food. Who is watching The Watchers? With the blind, brutal, corrupt human race, is there anyone to watch the watchers?
Keeping up with how the world defines female sexuality is a thoroughly depressing task. The latest Playboy Forum article, "Decoding the Veil" (Jan./ Feb 2010 issue, pp. 195-197)) is about the controversy of the covering of the female body in Islam. Author Malise Ruthven quotes a Muslim cleric in Australia who believes that Australian girls gang raped by Muslim men got what they deserved for flaunting their bodies. The cleric likens the situation to putting meat out for a cat and says you can't blame the cat (195).
My point about all this is that the cleric's attitude is not that different from what we see in other religions and cultures and in countries worldwide: all blame the woman for the rape of her own body. The prostitute is the woman blamed most heavily for the rape of her own body: after all the breaking and training and numbing out she has to go through to withstand fuck from men she does not know, she is scorned for 'allowing' the men to enter her and — if arrested — is treated like a criminal for 'allowing' the ongoing violation of her body. In all of this is the implication and belief that man has to get his fuck — nay, that man is entitled to get his fuck — no matter if he has to rape to do it. And prostitution is 'sanctioned' rape.
Malise's Forum article contains a history of sex and pleasure in Islam — how it is this holy thing for the men, giving them a glimpse of greater pleasures after death. He points out that the men gained this pleasure and sex on the bodies of slave girls and dancing girls (196-197).
Sounds like a familiar scenario to me — my point again being that this is the same picture and attitude we have, in one form or another, in other religions and other cultures: female sexuality and pleasure do not matter; the girl is a vessel for the male, his chattel, his property; her sexuality is a lesser thing and is ruled by the needs of the male, by his privileged sexuality. The girls in 2010 may not be slaves, although many still are since slavery, especially sexual slavery, is rampant in the world — but even technically unenslaved women still have no way to express their own sexuality. If there were such a thing as a full expansive ecstatic pure beautiful female sexuality on this planet, we would have no way of recognizing it since it has never been seen before — so astonishingly original would it be that there would be no way to define it. It would certainly have nothing to do with the systems of sexual enslavement that still rule all women in 2010 — prostituted or not.
No free female sexuality exists. A girl is still labeled a whore and treated as such if she wants to fuck and fuck and fuck and open herself up with wet abandon and be hot and wild and voluptuous and take as many men as she wants. (Now if men she does not want are forced on her, en masse, in the form of prostituting her body for male use, that's considered okay. No objections to the absolute disgust the girl must feel by violation of her most tender and beautiful part by coarse strangers seem to arise in discussions of prostitution.) There is no vision of female sexuality that can encompass the girl who wants to fuck and fuck and fuck and loves to fuck and gets to pick large numbers of men she wants to fuck. For such wild and 'lascivious' (ugly word) behavior she would be punished, gang raped to show her that her sexuality does not belong to her, but to the men who use her. Look at the time-honored tradition of brothelizing 'promiscuous' (ugly word) girls in Japan to punish them and to show them what their bodies are for: rape by men — for male pleasure. I certainly am familiar with a version of this. Although I was thankfully never brothelized (I would not be here writing this if I had been — I would be dead) I was gang raped for being hot and wanting sex. Men punished me and showed me my place in the world. I have never forgotten the lesson. I am still terrified. For me, the world is a vast place of sexual pain with no place for the soft feminine.
There is no vision of female sexuality that can encompass the desires of the female body since the entire history of sexuality, up until right now, 2010, is one of male privilege which has defined what a woman should be sexually. Should a woman want sex with tons of men and tenderness mixed in and lots of love and beauty and ecstasy, as she opens herself to the men she wants — well, good luck. Where is she to find this? The only space in which humans can imagine mass sex for the female is the rape-space called the 'brothel,' where the woman must open herself to men she does not know or want, and must take pain and fuck without love or tenderness. You see the difficulty: no space, no reality, no place in which we can even imagine a woman exercising the beauty of her sexual freedom.
Malise's article contains a picture of a grotesque artwork of a Tehran whore with the caption — "The premise of sexual availability is satirized in artist Shirin Fakhim's Tehran Prostitutes series. The work above was shown in London's Saatchi Gallery. There are more than 100,000 prostitutes in Tehran, where Fakhim lives" (197). The article did not go into why there are so many prostitutes in Tehran — I wish it had — but it did lead me on to another depressing train of thought: if there are that many in Tehran, think how many there must be in war-torn places like Afghanistan and Iraq. War inevitably leads to starvation-prostitution for women, a fact conveniently hidden from the public by those who make the wars since, after all, man has to get his fuck, while he makes war. Whores are just a necessary convenience of war — no more. The way wars have sexually destroyed millions of women is just a minor byproduct of the grand and glorious activity of making war.
Covering up what happens to women in wartime seems to be standard practice in the media. In Vietnam, the way every soldier had to get his piece of ass, either through rape or through buying it, was simply not noted by the journalists — regarded as so trivial, compared to the manly business of making war as to not make a ripple. The cover up continues. It's practically impossible to find out about the sexual abuse of women in the wars currently being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. All I have to do is pick any media article, at random, to make my point. I sit here with the Jan. 13, 2010 New York Times beside me. I find the day's "Afghanistan story" — a piece called "Eight Protestors Die in Afghan Unrest" by Dexter Filkins (p. A6). Unlike most of its cousins — which make no mention of sexual violence at all — this one makes a brief reference to allegations that American troops "defiled local women in a…village." That's about it for the sexual abuse coverage, of which huge amounts must be taking place in Afghanistan, as it does in all wars. No more details about what kind of defilement may have taken place or, specifically, who the alleged defilers were, in terms of names, etc. We have how many men over there now — 50,000? I lose track. American and multi-national forces with another 30,000 on the way and how many military contractors? Men at war from all nations who typically fuck while at war. I mean, what are all these men doing for sex? Forced fuck and war go together. Those R & R trips to Dubai for the contractors: the pimps must be making a fortune off the trafficked girls in that city. Plentiful starving Afghan prostitutes and also Chinese sex slaves imported into brothels in Kabul. Are the troops using these helpless girls? Are the Afghan men using them?
Villages with helpless women are always a venue for war-time rape. It was standard practice — it was even called Standard Issue Military Rape as a joke by the guys — in Vietnam. Everyone did it — American and South Vietnamese troops, North Vietnamese ones — they all had to get their piece of ass as they destroyed the whole country and all the women and children in it. It's not really war unless rape accompanies the murders. My Lai was typical, not the exception.
Girls in villages in Vietnam got raped from all sides — as the troops passed through. What is happening in Afghanistan? Could the women ever tell what happens to them without being killed for being 'defiled'? What a great word — it drips of the ugliness of patriarchy. The 'defiled' female body. No blame upon the defilers. They are the gallant ones who have imposed war on the human race for 5000 years of blood and rape glory.
There is no where to look, no where to hide, no where to turn, no where not full of the unbearable. I come across a story on the heavy trafficking of girls in Turkey, a country that continues its grand-old tradition of enslaving women for male pleasure by serving not just as a trafficking destination for Slavic girls but as a major corridor by which they are sold into Western Europe. So it continues. So it goes. The world has not changed any since the 12th century. Female sexual slavery abounds. Everywhere.
Oddly enough, a lot of the men using prostitutes must know that the girls are trafficked and coerced. It's kind of hard to miss it, with all the scars and burns and bruises and deadness and screams and whimpers as the anal sex rips the girl up; but I guess the 'customers' have to delude themselves that the girls are really 'enjoying their work.' Do the men really think that the girls can just get up and walk away from their situation, I wonder? If the girl manages enough courage to ask the man to help her escape (I say 'courage' since she might be badly punished by her owner if he finds out) — even if she begs him to help her, does the 'customer' still assume she is having sex with all this male slime for fun and enjoyment and self-fulfillment? I mean, how deluded can the male rapist slime penis shit be? Does he have to embrace total blindness so he can get his fuck, no matter what, or does he actually enjoy the complete helplessness of these pathetic creatures? It's a real psychological puzzle, this thing called the 'manly man' who has to get his fuck, no matter what.
There is quite a bit of coverage of sex trafficking all over the world. Turkey makes men aware of it though things like information ads on the sides of buses. And given that Europe also has a lot of ads informing men that the prostitutes they use are probably trafficked, how could all these men not know that the girls they buy are coerced and forced? During the World Cup in Germany in 2006, flyers told the male fans that the girls in the mobile brothels and the drive-through brothels were probably trafficked. The male fans bought the girls anyway. The majority of women in prostitution are not their by choice, in any meaningful sense of the word. So how could the men not know? They must know. Yet they use the girls anyway? This is an act of rape-murder on helpless bodies.
Our sexual enslavement has shaped me. I was born just after WWII, so my innocence was taken by the men who fought in that conflict. I grew up around men, was exposed to men, who joked about the whores they used in "Pig Alley" in Paris and who joked about how those filthy Italian women would do anything for a slice of bread or a can of Spam. I sat in college classrooms where male professors who had been in the war told crude ugly stories about the hungry girls they screwed in Tokyo. "You just dropped your bags and went out and found as much pussy as you wanted, it cost less than a buck to find a whore and you could fuck your balls off all day long there." The students in the class, including the girls, snickered and snorted at this cruel sexual filth. It disgusted me to the point of deep sickness inside my soul, but I was apparently alone in my sensitivity to the sexual suffering of the female body.
The Vietnam War enslaved me along with the hundreds of thousands of Asian girls forced to whore because of that war. All that "cheap gook pussy," as the men called it like a joke to be snorted at. I found not the remotest understanding or sympathy in other girls of my generation for the Vietnamese girls forced to whore. The privileged girls around me assumed it was 'by choice' and that it was part of the Asian girl's lifestyle to be a whore. The Asian girls were also branded as filthy outcasts in their own culture because they were forced to whore. No protests of the war even mentioned the raped prostituted bodies of women, girls, and children — in Vietnam or in the places where the rapists took R & R: Thailand, Okinawa, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong. I came of age, of tender age, surrounded by the rapists of my generation — and I seemed to be the only one aware of the invisible bodies they violated — invisible to all the other girls of my generation — so these privileged girls were complicit in the rape of their sisters. The same acquiescence to the rape of the helpless surrounds me today: no protests from American or European women about the girls forced to whore in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan due to conflicts in the Middle East — which their men are involved in. It is as if these raped miserable prostituted creatures do not even exist: turn on your CNN or FOX or any news show and those violated ruined body and ruined lives make not even a ripple — in the consciousness of female newscasters. All these privileged women are guilty of allowing the rape of the helpless.
Little was written of the Vietnam whores during that era (still not much has been put on the page, to this day) and what little I came across was horrifying: like one poor Vietnamese whore that 30 guys would line up to fuck while other guys took pictures. She was a dirty joke of grand proportions. In addition to feeling how much she must have bled in pain, it also scarred me deeply to see any girl reduced to this level. It reduced me to that level. And it reduced every other woman to that level. I found this horrifying description confirmed when a soldier boyfriend described a similar situation: how he and a bunch of guys in Vietnam took a whore back to their barracks and a couple of dozen guys used her. He said, with coarse humor, that "she enjoyed her work so the men screwed every inch of fuck out of her they could." I don't how they could tell that she enjoyed her work since they were fucking a corpse. Maybe they didn't notice she was dead. The sexual slime that is the Vietnam vet terrifies me. I cannot be in the same room with a Vietnam vet. Their ugly brutal enslavement of so many women also enslaved me for life.
I wrote a book called The Raped Vagina into which I poured all the sexual cruelty and horror and malice and pain in the world — in order to get rid of this unthinkable suffering. I thought I would burn the book and be free of the pain. This did not work. So I find myself writing yet more articles about the sexual agony of the forced body, in yet more fruitless efforts to still the pain. This article is one of them. Every new thing I read is like adding one more red-hot iron rod to the wounds. Fortunately, I have no internet at home, so I must go to a public library to look up information. I dread it. I dread reading anything to do with prostitution, so saturated am I with the hopeless rape pain of existence. But I made myself google Shirin Fakhim's Tehran Prostitutes sculptures at London's Saatchi Gallery. The material put out by the gallery uses phrases like "Persian working-girl circuit" and "ladies of the night" — which seems to key me in that the gallery has not even a minor clue, not a feather of a soupcon of a hint in hell about the red-hot rape hell that is the prostituted body. "Ladies of the night?" Ladies of the night???" Indeed. This is as bad as that tired old ugly lie of a cliché "the oldest profession" — as if there were some necessary historical sanctioned violation of us for all time. Pimping is the oldest profession; not prostitution. Then comes raping. Men are such experts at rape, they have made it into a time-honored profession. It is of course the supreme display of manliness, the violation of a helpless body.
I found the following comment on the Tehran Prostitutes exhibit at a site called ministryofnomads.com: "the sculptures…provide an uncanny representation of violated human bodies. Pieced together from a variety of ready-made, found materials, these obscene creatures smack of a post-coital state….this vulgar spectacle of dismembered women [is] a chilling reminder of the uncompromising cruelty of the sex industry." This critique is better in terms of pointing out the misery inflicted on the prostituted body — as is a comment by Ben Davis, associate editor of ArtNet Magazine: "Shirin Fakhim's abject sculptures [are] her tributes to Tehran prostitutes — bulbous figures made out of lumps of grotesque black fabric…belted violently, misshapen, dehumanized" (www.artnet.com).
The figures are indeed grotesque and thus do highlight what is at the center of prostitution: a grotesquely ugly sexuality. But I fail to see how Fakhim's supposed satire of these prostitutes is any sort of "tribute" to them. I think her whole exhibit is an utterly brutal betrayal of their pain. When you satirize cruelty in this way, you contribute to the misery. Satirizing the raped body does nothing to comfort it.
A great deal is being written about the prostituted body now that it is labeled 'trafficked.' It is fashionable. A fad, for all these academic women who like to think they understand the prostituted body. But the women who can read understand nothing of the illiterate women who are raped for money. No hope. No empowerment. No softness. No femininity. Tons of articles all over the place, but sexual slavery is increasing all the time. More and more women involved in writing on trafficking/prostitution and, at the same time, more and more women and girls being enslaved. It would seem that nothing can be done. No sculptures of Tehran prostitutes, no 'studies' of child whores in Cambodia, no impassioned furious books by me will ever do any good. Male demand and male strength are overwhelming. As long as men can rape our helpless bodies, they will. Nothing can stop them.
Galadriel — "take this light to guide you in the darkness when there is no other light." There is no light, no star, no protection, no warmth. No kindness. No compassion. No mercy for the raped whore body.
I base a lot of what I write on my own body. I was not treated the way many prostitutes are. No being sold by others; no pimp beating me; no being broken down to the lowest levels of degradation by public anal rape; no submissions/rape camps taking every last ounce of my will and life and dignity away. If any of that had been inflicted on me — these horrors which are the norm for trafficked girls — I would have died after the first day of it. These poor girls, if ever 'rescued,' should be mercifully shot, to put them out of their misery. It is cruel to let them live with those kinds of memories. I, unlike them, experienced probably the mildest form of prostitution you could imagine. But I still remember how painful the sex was. Overuse of my resistant body. Somehow, even after my emotions had thankfully numbed out and then died, so that I knew the relief of feeling nothing during sex, somehow, even then, my body would not numb out. It really hurt, miserably, all that unwelcome sex. That hurt has stayed with me to this day. It is why I regard myself as a helpless violated body and nothing else. It is why awareness of sexual pain rules my life. It is why I am always full of phantom rape pain. And I cannot seem to enjoy the safety of my life now if even one girl is full of the terror of being raped all day. I cannot even imagine how the 14-year-old Slavic girl being held in sexual slavery in Greece and being used 100 times a day by Greek men is still alive at all. She is probably not. She probably died after the first day of such treatment and the men are fucking a corpse. How could any girl survive the terror of a 100 rapes a day? How could any 14-year-old body make it through even a dozen rapes, given how fragile the adolescent girl's vagina is? And how does a dry, unaroused vagina take even one man without pain and tearing, let alone a hundred? Why does the 14-year-old used a 100 times a day not bleed to death, or get fistula? Great mysteries. Why can we be raped so much?
Great mystery: why am I the only one sensitive to how pathetic prostitution is? Take any scenario. I could choose thousands. Let's take the one of the young girls, just kids, 12- or 13-years-old, innocent hungry poor vulnerable helpless unprotected girls picked up by Korean pimps and then broken through rape and complete submission and 'turned out' so they could fuck all those hundreds of thousands of GI's in Korea who needed whore-fuck when they were stationed there in the 1950's, 60's, 70's. They're still stationed there. Now they're getting their whore-fuck on broken Slavic bodies. When the men were getting it on broken Korean bodies, these poor girls were producing pathetic whore babies raped into their pathetic whore bodies. Didn't anyone else find this pathetic? I mean, since there were so many babies, and so many young whores, didn't any of the American women over there notice what was going on? Why didn't they tell the women back in the USA what all their brothers and sons and husbands were up to — that they were violating the bodies of these helpless young girls and giving the girls diseases so that the girls were ugly filthy spent wrecks by the time they were 30 — and maybe it was good the girls died young — can you imagine how many times these girls must have been raped if they were turned into whores when they were just 12 or 13 — hundreds of thousands of times by age 30, I would imagine. Does no one find this pathetic? And it is good the girls died — what kind of life would be possible for a rape-dead fucked whore — she is just a walking corpse after that much rape. Does no one find their abandoned outcast whore babies pathetic? Is no one else shocked by the fact that men in the Peace Corps in Korea in the 1960's visited different brothels every night and sampled all the raped bodies they could? Men who were over there as 'humanitarians' were a bunch of rapists of young girls. "We are here to preach democracy, not practice it." Does no one find it rather ironical that all the soldiers of the 'free' nations of the world have been buying sex slaves for decades?
On a slightly different track, does it not seem strange that rape-crisis centers will not help the prostitute — she who is raped thousands of times — yet they will pamper a 'privileged' girl who is raped only once — as if this were some huge, huge tragedy. But no tragedy attaches to the ruined beyond repair bodies and souls of girls who are only 15 who have already been raped so much they are thoroughly 'seasoned' whores — and all this happens to them years before their bodies are even ready for sex. It is happening right now — all over the world — in India, Cambodia, China, Australia, the UK, the USA — name any country — they are all Rape Nations. Well, I guess that these girls, like all those Korean adolescents decades ago, 'choose' to be whores. After all, it is always the girl's fault if she gets raped all those times, right? Male strength has nothing to do with it. The 'slut' — such is the power of this word when we force it, as a label, on a girl — the slut should have kept her legs closed — even though the man forced them apart. The ironic sexual insanity of the human race astounds me.
How could the violation of these young girls' bodies be called anything but 'rape'? How can the men who line up to use a body be called anything but 'rapists'? We seem to have invented other terms that do not reflect the searing, tearing, bleeding, dying reality of the female body when it is entered multiple times by force. "Rest and Recreation" it is called. Or "Recreation and Amusement." Places where the rape-death happens are called "Comfort Stations" and "Houses of Pleasure" and "Amusement Centres" or "Eros Centres." So odd to think of 'rape' as a 'comfort' of any sort. Does it 'comfort' men to know that they are stronger than we are and they they can rip us sexually to pieces? Why is their comfort our death?
It's really hard to be the only person in the world sensitive to all of this.
When I make forays to the public library and peruse the new books shelves in order to keep up on what is being written, my depression deepens about ten layers, into a darkness so hopeless and heavy that I practically cave in from the weight of it. What I find is attitudes expressed in choices of language that show no understanding of the helpless soft ravaged feminine. Attitude and language reinforce each other. As I look through the new history selections, always an unbearable task since I know I will find no tribute to the helpless soft feminine, I could pick any book. Totally at random — to illustrate my point. I look through a volume called Hokkaido by a women historian named Ann B. Irish and find that her only contribution to what happened to the helpless soft feminine during the occupation is a relatively brief paragraph. In it, she makes one quick reference to what was actually the widespread rape and gang rape and brothlelization of Japanese girls by occupations forces. Her way of phrasing the situation is this: "when American paratroopers first entered Sapporo, some of them apparently erupted in sex, violence, and looting" (p. 257). No details about how the attacks on Japanese girls were frequent; how the occupying soldiers actually kept "rape tallies"; how starvation left girls vulnerable to being sold — she leaves out so much! She also writes that "The American base at Chitose attracted vice and drunkenness….Brothels enticed a number of GIs" (p. 257).
Her phrasing is most interesting. The brothels "enticed" a "number" of GIs. First of all, the number of occupying soldiers occupying the helpless bodies of the soft feminine was pretty much 99%: almost no men were compassionate enough to hold back from taking advantage of the starving destitute vulnerable helpless girls forced into brothels to serve them. (So none of the men were "men." A man does not take advantage of the helpless and the starving.) It was not an "enticing" situation — as if Ulysses were being pulled into Calypso's cave. The helpless raped starving pimped broken girls being sold to the GIs were not "enticing" anything. "Oh, yes, please come into this brothel and rape me many times. I so horny. I let you rape me many times." Is this what the girls were saying? If so, it was due to their pimps breaking and beating them into submissive nothingness so they would "entice." A girl does not "entice" the serial rape of her body.
The phrasing of this woman historian astonishes me. The men were "enticed." The word implies sirens and femme fatales and the whole notion of female as seductress. The reality of the situation is that strong men, GIs, men who were not really men but cruel and sadistic and sexually selfish little boys, used girls who had no choice. The girls were starving. Starvation and poverty were rampant in occupied Japan.
This female historian continues the tradition of seeing history through the blindness of masculine-centric thinking. She, and others like her, apparently cannot help it since they were trained at institutions that know no other way. All female historians think like men. Even the ones who proclaim to include women in history leave out the soft helpless raped feminine. This Hokkaido book sees the occupation from the point of view of the soldiers who go to the brothels. History needs to be told from the point of view of the girls in the brothels. Then there would be no "enticing." Instead, the history of occupied Japan would tell us what the girls felt as they had the insides raped out of them all day. Girls pimped and broken and sold and used while the men who sold them took the money. Girls held in debt bondage, ruined forever since they had their bodies and lives and sexuality brutally ripped from them. We need to re-tell all of history from inside the raped vagina. From the pain and tearing and softness and helplessness inside the female body.
Instead, we have this: men "enticed" into brothels. Mind you, this book was published recently — in 2009. The implied attitude in this "enticed" verb — that the prostitute seduces the male — still seems to be prevalent — in this era when we are supposedly more enlightened about the soft helpless coerced torn-apart feminine. I see no enlightenment.
Inaccuracy and blindness reigns in history. History is a tale of lies told by men, and by women who think like men, about men. In this respect, all the women historians are men. They repeat all the old lies — it is all they know — they cannot tell history from the view of the soft helpless raped wretched feminine. There is no model for this. It has never been done before. I tried, in my Raped Vagina book. I failed. I tried to not re-tell the old lies. But they were all I knew. I tried to tell history from the point of view of what I am. I am a raped being. I am a soft helpless vulnerable feminine outcast — and I am non-existent. I have no history. And certainly no 'herstory' — that fancy, meaningless word that deserves a place of dishonor beside 'empowerment.'
How can that which has no history and no language or definition have any existence?
Magazines like Playboy and GQ and Cosmo and Glamour carry material about 'better sex' and 'hot sex' and 'naughty sex' and the 'best sex' and all those numerous kama sutra positions (apparently Cosmo and Glamour are unaware that the positions were originally forced onto bought bodies in a 'sex-slave' pleasure culture designed for male sexual privilege). All sorts of rhetoric flies about concerning 'great sex' and 'wonderful wet sex' and 'the hottest sex ever.' We now have tons of books and articles by sex therapists and sexologists and sexperts about orgasms and clitoral-this and clitoral-that and 'the naked truth about female sexual response.' I see articles about things like '188 new sex moves, hot and delicious and dirty and slow and delicious and dirty' and I wonder what possible meaning this could have to the forced body turned into a vessel of complete filth by the 'dirt' shoved into her prostituted body hour after hour after hour. Do we need more 'sex moves' to torment the already heavily raped body? Or more 'positions'? What is this obsession with different sexual positions? Almost all of the 'positions' you contort the poor female body into cause her tender vagina pain. Get rid of this obsession with forcing us into all these unnatural positions that cause us such misery. Then there is this other obsessional idea of 'maximizing the male sex drive' and 'enhancing male performance.' The male is already terrifying and rough enough as is — why would we want to make him even more capable of raping the insides out of us?
I cringe when I read, in these deluded women's magazines, about this notion of a 'sisterhood of sexuality.' What possible kind of sisterhood could the 14-year-old being raped ten times an hour have with all these ridiculous privileged women who write about their fake empowerment and their fake orgasms? Take these privileged women and put them in a rape bed and ram them to pieces hours after hour until they are shredded bleeding remnants — and then tell me you have 'empowerment.' You will have nothing left but a ghost woman and a ghost whore who is beyond any help, or any recovery. That ugly 'empowerment' word is a complete illusion. No empowerment can exist for any woman if even one 14-year-old girl from the Balkans is enduring unthinkable sexual torment by being raped a 100 times a day. Her plight negates all female sexuality everywhere. My idea is that we liberate the most wretched — then we will also be liberating ourselves. Otherwise, 'great sex' and 'hot sex' are as meaningless to us as they are to the 14-year-old prostituted girl in her sexual agony. Sexuality is a cruel, beyond-pain joke for her. There is no 'sisterhood' for her. There is none for us as long as she exists. Only when all of us women feel tremendous guilt for allowing her torment to continue, will we free her and ourselves.
Concerning those prostitutes in Tehran, the number was rather startling. As many as in countries that are currently at war. Are the usual reasons for entering prostitution present: abuse, destitution, coercion? Are the women and girls scorned as impure and outcast from society — the way they are everywhere else: where are the free, respected whores with complete choice as to the destiny of their bodies in Western Europe or the USA or Australia — or anywhere in the world?
If there are so many prostituted women in Tehran, why was their plight not at the center of the recent protests in Iran? Do the 'normal' women of Iran ignore the bleeding misery of the whore body, just the way all their 'normal' sisters all over the rest of the world do? Are a lot of the prostituted very young, as are the Iraqi refugee girls in Syria — many being sold when they are only 14 or 15. What does the very young prostituted girl think of her plight, since her body is not nearly ready for sex yet, let alone her emotions? These are important questions. Why am I the only one asking them — me, a lone Caucasian ex-whore, a ghost woman with only language as her shield. Is "reading Lolita in Tehran" so much more important than helping the wretched raped bodies of the prostituted girls? Are the girls pimped, held in debt bondage, sold by their families, punished if caught by the law with public whipping and gang rape by the police? More important questions that I find no one asking. And there are of course no answers to them since the whore is expendable, incidental, non-existent, invisible. The Eternal Ghost Whore.
Individual words and phrases can mislead us terribly. But so can entire statements and pronouncements. I was just reading an article called "The New Slave Trade" by E. Benjamin Skinner in the latest Time magazine (18 Jan. 2010) which focuses on the sex trafficking that will accompany the World Cup this coming summer in South Africa. Skinner quotes South African President Jacob Zuma: "We have noted the concern among women's groups…we are putting systems in place to prevent [human trafficking] (p. 57). These words come at the end of an article which has just documented horrifying sexual abuse of trafficked young girls, mere children practically, in South Africa. We know that trafficked girls are being broken and "groomed" to provide sex at the World Cup. Here is more information from the Skinner piece: "While South Africa invests billions to prepare its infrastructure for the half a million visitors expected to attend, tens of thousands of children have become ensnared in sexual slavery, and those who profit from the abuse are also preparing for the tournament. During a three-week investigation into human trafficking syndicates operating near two stadiums, I found a lucrative trade in child sex. The children, sold for as little as $45, can earn up to $600 per night for their captors. 'I'm really looking forward to doing more business during the World Cup,' said a trafficker. We were speaking at his base overlooking Port Elizabeth's new Nelson Mandela Stadium. Already, he had done brisk business among the stadium's construction workers" (p. 56).
Skinner is one of these daring and adventurous journalists who plunges into the middle of the maelstrom: his book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery, is based on his travelling the world to investigate conditions in person.
Skinner opens his Time article with the story of one of the child sex slaves, a girl just like those being sold to the construction workers as they build a stadium named after a man who supposedly represents a call for freedom. (Did any of the workers who purchased and raped the child slave bodies pause to think of this irony, I wonder?) Skinner finds the girl lying in a state-run hospice where she is pregnant and dying of AIDS. Just 17 now, she was orphaned and then trafficked and forced to sell sex on the streets 12 hours a night. When she became too sick to work anymore, her pimp threw her away.
I remind you of Zuma's words about "putting systems in place" to prevent human trafficking. Where are they, I wonder? Just asking. And where, I wonder, are people like Charlize Theron. This is her country, and she can allow such unbelievable cruelty to be visited on the soft and helpless? I thought she was supposed to be an activist, with a conscience? I don't see her protesting the sex trafficking that will be part of the World Cup 'festivities.' Rape as a 'festivity.' Astounding. She once protested the incredibly high rape rates in her country — but did this do any good, her just speaking up about it? Did she follow through with any action?
Unfortunately, in an otherwise excellent article, Skinner slips up every once in a while. He does all prostitutes everywhere a disservice when he says that most of the prostitutes around the stadium selling sex are not enslaved, thus giving the impression that those who are not technically "trafficked" lead better lives than the girls who are. Perhaps marginally so. But non-trafficked girls also tend to be pimped and they experience violence from customers and must endure the degradation and misery of sex with men they do not know, without tenderness or care or love. It would be hard for me to imagine any girl, trafficked or not, actually volunteering to stand on a street corner, then get into a car with a man she does not know, and be fucking him a few minutes later. Just the psychological damage to her would be tremendous. Once she numbs out to endure this, she will have to numb out, to some extent, for the rest of her life, even if she manages to get out of the trade. Skinner points out that the girls in South Africa who are picking though garbage in order to eat are vulnerable to the sex trade. My point in citing this sort of information being: other than complete desperation, what would drive a woman to the disgust and misery of sex with men she does not know? And under conditions that are often violent and abusive and that take a life-long physical and psychological toll of huge proportions on the girl. How voluntary could this ever be? If you are eating out of garbage bins and have no parents, of course you will sell yourself. Just to eat. But certainly no element of 'choice' can ever enter into this, given the desperate conditions of the girls. Selling sex around a soccer stadium to a bunch of construction workers or to a bunch of rough drunk rough fans, even if you are not trafficked, is not exactly a lifestyle that any woman would pick. It astonishes me that one could ever possibly read "choice" into such desperation circumstances. To say that these destitute girls are not "enslaved" is totally false. They live in a rape prison as vivid and hard and blood-red with pain as do the trafficked girls. It is the same female body, helpless, being raped — whether you call the girl trafficked or not.
Of course selling your body near soccer stadiums is better than picking through garbage to eat: although you are having to fuck male garbage, so the environment of filth is similar. "Intervention," Skinner points out, is not always wise. If you take the girl away from prostitution, where is she to go? Back to eating out of garbage sites?
And what of the construction workers who are buying the child sex slaves? Don't these men have girl children at home? Or sisters?
Skinner tells of helping a 15-year-old South African girl escape her traffickers. He is well aware that without support systems and rehabilitation help, she will probably be re-trafficked: after all, she will return to the same situation that got her trafficked in the first place. This is one reason it is so difficult to help girls out of prostitution. Where are they to go? And of course, their psychological destruction is so complete that few can imagine any kind of life beyond, or outside of prostitution. After so much rape and abuse and degradation, it is all they feel they are fit for — more rape and degradation. Skinner seems to be aware of this. He says that a Chicago couple are sponsoring the girl so she can go to school. "She has another chance at life," he writes (p. 57).
I have powerful doubts that she will really have the chance, not in any meaningful sense, for a "life." She may go to school, but her memories will terrify her forever. It is of course immeasurably better for her to be 'free' from continuous rape and fear and terror — but in some ways these will stay with her forever. One never recovers. Going to school is good in some ways, although it cannot really balance out the toll. You go to school but you know that you are a raped being sitting there with other beings who are non-raped. So you never belong. You might even get a Ph.D., but it's just an illusion on paper. You are now a Raped Being with a Ph.D. Nothing helps.
Just a few blocks from the soccer stadium, Skinner tells us, is a place called the Maitland Hotel, a brothel and torture house. Skinner details the way the girls are broken here, for 'customer' use: rape, drugs forced on them, torture, sleep deprivation — all the typical methods, by the way, used to varying degrees, on trafficked girls all over the world. (He also points out that the place is a center for drug trafficking, which made me wonder how closely linked the two kinds of trafficking are. Do the same men control both kinds? If so, can the disproportionately large amount of money the USA allots to stop drug trafficking be transferred over to stopping human trafficking? Why is so much given to one cause, at the expense of the other? Just stray questions that arose as I read the Skinner article.)
Why I think one never recovers: "breaking" really does mean "breaking." Your old personality is gone. Helpless, submissive, desperate, numb, dead, a fuck machine, an "industrial vagina," a woman with no sexuality, a woman of no importance, a woman so filthy from being entered by slime men that other 'normal' women will turn away — so as to never face the extreme sexual cruelty visited on a woman because she is a woman, and this horror can be done to her. Where are the prosperous women of South Africa, in this prosperous nation? How could they possibly let girl children be sold to these slime construction workers and to the slime males who will buy them during the World Cup? I guess the prosperous women of South Africa are doing the same thing that the prosperous women I see around me everyday are doing: being blind and selfish and living at the terrible expense of the sexual suffering of helpless girls.
Mafias from all over the world, Skinner informs us, are involved in South African sex trafficking: "Nigerian, Chinese, Indian, and Russian, among others," he writes, "collude with South African partners, including recruiters and corrupt police officials, to enslave local victims" (p. 56).
The picture never seems to change. Corrupt officials involved in the trafficking; corrupt police using the "services" of the enslaved girls. In fact, what is astonishing is the sameness: no matter where you are in the world, you find the same human greed and male penchant for causing enormous sexual misery — men behaving without mercy or conscience or moral beauty; men so ugly in their selfish brutal appetites that they have to fuck enslaved, helpless bodies. I suppose I should not be surprised. Men must love to terrify and degrade and destroy us sexually. They do it with such frequency and so thoroughly. Look at the poor girl mentioned earlier: the one that Skinner finds in the hospice, dying of AIDS from being raped by 'customers.' She was helpless and undefended, an orphan sold and then forced to fuck on the streets 12 hours a day. How much more helpless can a girl be? Yet the men (customer/rapists) showed her no mercy. They brutally raped her continuously and gave her AIDS and now she is dying at age 17 even before she had a chance to live. Raped continuously way before her body was ready for sex with even one gentle man, let alone with thousands of rough ugly coarse 'customers.' And the men who inflicted their sexual brutality on her made her life a death-in-life and they are all not just rapists but murderers. But they walk around freely. As if such despicable male slime had any kind of right to even live at all. The male aptitude for killing the soft feminine, for raping our sexuality away from us, is so complete, so perfect, you think that they would have taken lessons: Rape 101 — a course being taught all over the world. Except that apparently this does not need to be taught: rape comes naturally to men. (It is love they must be taught.)
My truths are simple, and universal:
- Men are born to rape. They derive enormous benefit from raping us: sexual pleasure, complete control over us through terror. Why would they want to stop? The imperative — "man must have his fuck" — rules all of human history and all of life.
- Women are soft and helpless. We have no empowerment. Men can do what they want to our bodies. And they do.
- This situation will never change.
Back to South Africa. I wonder if the Chinese and Russian mafias will import girls for the World Cup. As is, the Chinese ship their sex slaves all over the world: the poor things work as fuck machines in the rape mines and brothels from Australia to New York to Kabul. Ditto for the Slavic girls that the Russian crime syndicates break and sell. The poor submissive, hopeless, helpless shredded remnants of human beings are fucking away as sex slaves in China and Korea and Australia and all over Europe.
Whereas Thai and Filipina girls, flesh exported everywhere, were once the Whores of the World, now ones from the Ukraine and Moldova and Bulgaria are the major fuck-flesh exports. So thoroughly are they broken, in 'Submissions Camps,' that they will 'do anything.' (It seems to be assumed, by 'customers' and other whores who will not 'do anything' that these Slavic girls were just born to be whores. [It must be 'part of their culture' — to whore.] From the time they were tiny babies 'whore who will do anything' was written on their foreheads. Such is the attitude of the world to the New Whores — the new 'industrial vaginas' exported for massive serial rape by the men of all nations.
Back to Skinner — as usual, with this journalist as with all others — no coverage of the 'demand' side. He does mention the construction workers but he does not talk to them, or quote them, or find out how men can do such things to helpless girls. Until we stop having an invisible population of sanctioned rapists out there (called 'customers'), we are never going to stop this thing. My idea for stopping 'this thing': in addition to punishing the traffickers with anal rape (they need to be violated the thousands of times that the girls who were their 'property' endured) and then with castration, followed either by the death sentence, or life in prison — where many male prisoners will be happy to continue raping them — I think that we need to punish the 'customers' as well. They have murdered the bodies of these girls with extremes of sexual abuse. As 'rapist-murderers,' they deserve the worst.
Currently, neither traffickers nor customers are being punished. Rarely do these men even go to prison for committing the greatest crime again a woman that you can commit: destroying her sexuality. It's the girls who are considered guilty and who are arrested and stigmatized and scorned for 'allowing' themselves to be 'filthy' enough to be entered by all these thousands of men. Such is the role of patriarchal thinking. And its rule. Such is the role of brutal sexual male dominance. Female sexuality does not matter at all.
Can we ever change? I do not think so. The best that can be hoped for is the rescue of a few girls. When Skinner took that girl away from her owners, he heard another girl in the brothel screaming: she was being punished by the 'enforcer' — the one who keeps the girls in line. Skinner had to leave the screaming girl behind. He couldn't save everyone. I imagine he is haunted by leaving her behind. But what a remarkable man he is — to have the passion to save just a few. I cannot seem to find anyone around me — man or woman — with any passion for compassion at all. Just self-indulgent blindness.
"Having researched modern-day slavery for eight years, I know how difficult it is for survivors to heal after emancipation," writes Skinner (p. 56). He also says that after talking to a Slavic girl trafficked into Amsterdam, he felt that he could not understand what it means to be a slave.
Both his observations hit home with me. Although I have thankfully not been exposed to the extremes of sexual torture that are visited on so many women and girls as a result of exploitation, male privilege, and the sheer blindness that regards prostitution as a norm and a necessity — still, I can empathize since I too have a soft feminine vulnerable body.
But, unless you have it happen to you, you probably cannot understand the depth of harm that is done to a girl who is beaten and raped and tortured and so totally controlled and sexually destroyed that she has no self left. Nothing to resist with. I certainly cannot understand it. The most I can say is that the very mild form of prostitution that I went through pretty much killed me forever, so I know I would never have survived a form a thousand times more intensely horrifying — the kind inflicted on the trafficked girls. And I hold there is no healing. If you are a man like Skinner — one gifted with great moral strength and courage — you have to rescue the girls. But after he does so — what hope or life for them? They can never recover.
I think the kindest thing you can do for a girl rescued from sexual slavery is to shoot her in the head. Only this will erase her memories.
* * *
This little article is just for starters. We have much work to do — so that language will reflect the harsh sexual realities of our world.
Copyright © 2009 Suki