In Part 2, Suki delves deeper into the hidden enslavement and abuse of women, and asks why prostitutes are affored less rights than any other category of human being.
Please note that this is Part 2 of a very long article — approx 66 pages — but it is one that is well worth taking the time to complete.
AS SOON AS I FINISHED my "Plight of the Helpless," I, of course, thought of more to say. Given what's going on out there in the world, I could keep adding to "Plight of the Helpless" forever — until it runs to thousands upon thousands of pages. I feel as if this ought to be an ongoing column, and in it I chronicle everyday the plight of every helpless being (human and animal).
In lieu of a column, I felt compelled to put "Plight of the Helpless II" down on the page, and I fervently hope there will not be a "Plight 4, 5, 6, etc." This hope stems from sheer exhaustion in the face of such sexual pain and sexual evil inflicted on us women. I don't want to be writing "Plight 1000" years down the road.
Not that more words will ever make a difference. My "Plight" is just one more piece of writing that will not make a dent in the problem. It is a way for me to release what troubles me. Nothing can combat the dark evil that is the human when it comes to the determination to make money off of the helpless. And nothing can combat the male force of domination of the helpless on Rape Planet Earth. I think that all the anger and outrage and sympathy I pour into my writing is self-indulgent. Does this anger change anything? Do I just write for release? But, for what they are worth, here are a couple of more ideas —
The Modern Language Association is composed of respected scholars from all over world. So it seems quite odd that when they devote a whole issue of their magazine to "War," that it did not even occur to these prestigious academics to include prostitution-rape as a part of war, despite how vast the scale.
The 200,000 Korean Comfort Women were just the tip of the iceberg: millions of other 'comfort women' have been sacrificed in wars. It is a commonplace: one long hidden, but thanks to the testimonies of the Korean Comfort Women (KCW) in the early 1990's, this Big Can of Worms, this Huge, Dirty Secret of War, this enormous piece of human history simply gone missing, has finally been noticed. Finally! I mean — consider that the Japanese first instituted their system of sexual slavery in the early 1930's — years before WWII even started — so they could keep the occupying troops 'happy' in places like China (where vulnerable Chinese girls were conscripted for use). Consider that it took those poor KCW 50-60 years before they were able to utter a syllable of the truth, so silenced were they.
Aside from the high-profile stories of the KCW, other military comfort women are still hidden — and the sacrifice of their bodies still remains a staple of war. The average American or Australian knows nothing of the 'comfort stations' set up in post-WWII Tokyo, where Japanese girls were raped 15-60 times a day by soldiers from those countries. The average American or Australian apparently does not want to know. "All the rapes that happen over there, stay there"? Is this the idea?
All of these Modern Language Association people are among the most highly educated in the world. They have no excuse for being indifferent and uniformed. You would think that every writer in this "War" issue would be aware of who the comfort women are. If these scholars study 'war,' how could they possibly miss the presence of the comfort women? Back in 1989, maybe, yes — since the big, dirty secret was still being hidden. But in 2009? I cannot help but think that they must know who the comfort women are, but that they are simply unimportant to them. The massive sexual abuse and sexual enslavement of these poor women's bodies — not important enough to merit one article?
The wartime rape and occupation-rape of prostituted women simply invisible to them? It looks as if all the education in the world will not make one wise and compassionate. Education is display and show, particularly in the humanities, where articles written in a language no one understands mask a lack of heart.
If prostitution-rape is not important to the academic mind, I think this shows how hard the battle will be in terms of ever eradicating this most extreme abuse of women — it is ignored, not just by your average person, but by practically the whole academic community. Somehow war is "the soldiers." It is never the hundreds of thousands of starving vulnerable women fed to them as prostitution rape-fodder to satisfy their "manly, warrior needs." This is one reason I have trouble finding anything noble in the soldier. If it is a commonplace of his life to rape prostituted bodies, how noble can he be?
Do the academics who ignore the vast prostitution-rape of women by soldiers simply consider the purchase of these girls bodies as a military norm — sanctioned, accepted — and therefore not worth commenting on? Even though we are dealing with a form of sexual slavery? An accepted form of sexual slavery. That "harmless and necessary recreational activity" of getting drunk and fucking a whore and "letting off steam."
I read the idea that having access to whores was a "harmless and necessary recreational activity" for the military somewhere, but I can't remember where the phrase came from. It is one of those many that I found, in my readings on the subject, that stuck but that I did not make note of the source at the time. The phrase has haunted me. The buying of women's bodies for sex is "harmless and necessary" for the soldiers? Their pleasure/our pain. The more I think about this paradigm (the soldiers must have sex and it must be provided by whores and it is "harmless" and fun), the more outrageous this seems to me. One can transfer the paradigm to the civilian arena. All the men in India or Cambodia or Pakistan (or add your own country) who have to have access to young girls in brothels — so they can have 'fun.' Their fun/our wretchedness. What a cruel irony. That which gives men such pleasure causes us such pain. Destroys our bodies with diseases and tearing of our tender parts and insides. Makes us numb or forces us to turn to drugs or alcohol to bear it. Takes away our beautiful sexuality. Makes us self-mutilate since we loathe our bodies so much due to the 'public access.' What kind of 'fun' is this?
Back to those MLA people, who are as bad in their own way as the military and the huge numbers of civilian buyers of sex slaves — after all, these highly educated people are also indifferent to the pain of the whore since they have ignored her in a whole, big issue on "War" — a typical omission, I might add. The historians don't care about her; all those pseudo-progressive women's studies folks give her scant attention: perhaps a reference now and then in a text or a class to 'sex work' and 'trafficking' — as if these were just distant subjects on one of the moons of Saturn. A few stats about how many girls are sold for sex and then they move on to more important matters — like how horrific 'sexual harassment' in the work place is. Not a clue that the 'sexual harassment' in the 'workplace' of the whore can, in some extreme instances, consist of 100 violations a day, and the breaking of the body and the spirit so completely that there is only a drugged-remnant of a human being, with a torn vagina, lying there to be raped yet again.
I simply cannot figure out why sexual torture of the prostituted body is so much less of a concern to the women's studies people than sexual harassment in the workplace. We need to concentrated on the most extreme cases first, and get that torn bleeding vagina of a girl out of her brothel rape bed — then we can tackle whether some male might accidentally/on purpose brush a breast in front of the water cooler. My gosh. I think I'd prefer a mild brush of my breast at the water cooler any day to having my insides raped out of me all day long.
And you would think that these academics would at some point be aware of the hundreds of thousands of outcast, half-breed children who were born unwanted after being raped into the bodies of comfort women during and after wars. It's really amazing to think of the way we have accepted the abandoning of these children by their fathers — another norm, commonplace, ordinary, accepted. Man has to get his fuck and then he has to be allowed to dump the result of that fuck — did all the men who fathered children on prostituted bodies in Vietnam just consider the babies 'gook garbage'? They must have since they did not take care of the children they so heartlessly produced. I could not find an article in the "War" issue on this topic either.
It never ends. "Plight" could turn into a running commentary, to get things off my chest, but that is about all the worth it has, I know.
All I have to do is look around me, and yet more denial of the humanity of the prostitute is apparent. I see a trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes movie and catch a glance of what looks like a prostitute. Will this movie carry the obligatory scene of London prostitutes in Victorian England: "painted and empty" creatures with no insides or humanity? The typical ugly non-existence of the prostitute up on the screen — for all to see, reinforcing yet again the idea that the whore is just a whore. She doesn't matter. She is a prop, a decoration. She is incidental. She has no place. If the upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie does not unthinkingly include the staple of the painted Victorian harlot, I will be very surprised.
The real problem is that prostitutes simply don't exist as human beings. Everybody else does. Housewives do. And doctors and teachers and shop assistants — and people of all sorts of sexual persuasions — gays and bi's exist and transgendered sorts. People with disabilities are recognized. All have a place, an existence. But the prostituted is a ghost. A misunderstood, scorned ghost.
Laws exist to protect everyone but her. She is the only victim in the world who is arrested because crimes are committed against her. There is currently an effort to help child prostitutes in the USA, and one way they are doing this is by arresting adult prostitutes who exploit the children. It does not seem to occur to the authorities that adult prostituted women were probably forced into this as well, most likely when they themselves were very young. Prostituted women will routinely prostitute others. When I worked as a prostitute, I detested non-prostituted women. I wanted to see all of them turned into scorned raped whores — like the kind of person I was — so they could see what is was like to be nothing but a dirty joke and to have no existence except as a hole where men went to get their fuck. I still detest the non-prostituted woman because the whore does not exist for her as a human being.
If she did and had some humanity and was in any way important, then all the non-prostituted women in the world would rise up and make sure no other woman is used just as a body for man to get his fuck on. There are anti-trafficking campaigns in Turkey. This means that every Turkish woman must know about the Slavic girls held as sex slaves in that country. If so, why are they still being held as sex slaves? Why is every Turkish woman not getting those girls out of there?
Anti-trafficking publicity is strong in Europe — unlike in the USA, where the average person has not even a clue about the slave-like conditions these girls exist under. (But, then, the average person in the USA has not a clue about much of anything.) So, all of the women of Europe know. If so, why are Greek men still being allowed to climb on 14-year-old Slavic girls, at the rate of 100 men a day tearing these poor little things to pieces? Who are these Greek men? Are they the teachers of other young girls? Are they businessman or restaurant owners or clerks in stores? The women of Greece must know that all these ordinary men are climbing on and destroying the bodies of these young girls. The women of Greece could stop the 'man must have his fuck' imperative — before it destroys another Slavic Girl.
The same for every other country in Europe. What about the UK? There was a big anti-Sexual Slavery exhibit right in the middle of London. Now every woman in that country knows what is going on — everyone knows about the girls being raped up to 40 times a day (maybe even more) in brothels in Soho, and elsewhere. So why have they all not risen up and stopped this?
The indifference of women is as powerful an agent in all this as the strength of the rapist males who force themselves on these helpless girls. Combine those two — the indifference of the 'good' girl to the plight of the 'bad' girl (she's getting what she deserves, right? — for being a slut) and the rape power of the average male — and you have an impossible situation.
Not to mention the 'once a whore always a whore' aspect. For some reason, there is an emphasis on children as victims of prostitution but not older women and girls. All are exploited and often the older ones were forced into it very young. But even the child prostitute can never be a part of the normal world again. It doesn't matter that she was forced — by maybe hundreds or even thousands of men. Once this happens to her, she is filthy forever. No kind of imaginary feminine 'empowerment' will ever heal her. There is no power for the feminine on a rape planet. She will always be regarded as filth by society since all those men had access to her. But even more important is the inner filth. Once all these men have been inside you, there is no way to get rid of the filth they deposited inside you.
On my more courageous days, I think — why should I care if all these normal women scorn me and if all these ordinary men who are entitled to rape us call me a 'slut' and if the whole fucking, frigging world calls me 'whore.' I have so low an opinion of the human species that I should be glad I am outcast from them. Proud of it.
I am proud to not be part the indifference — and I am proud to not be part of the ignorance of the 'normal' woman — whose imagination cannot seem to extend to the pain of the prostituted. These normal women don't seem to realize how completely destructive of your body and spirit it is when men are inside you and you don't want them to be there.
But there is a bigger problem. You can't wash away the filth of one man inside you if you find him disgusting and don't want him to be there. It is a personal, inner filth. So imagine trying to get rid of hundreds. It can't be done. I cringe with pain and embarrassment when I think of this. It's why I simply cannot talk about it in person. Only put it in words on the page.
A big reason behind prostitution/trafficking receives almost no attention: women and girls don't want to do this kind of work. They don't want to have sex with 10 men a day they don't know: or a hundred. They wouldn't even want to have sex with a 100 men a day they do know. Too painful. I wonder why this little fact is left out when people discuss prostitution/ trafficking. I think the main facts about prostitution are almost always left out when people discuss it: the pain, the disgust of sex with all these men. People seem to forget the ugly brutal act at the center of prostitution. (It's no wonder girls never recover from this.)
To return to the public arena, and its disturbing omissions. Hillary has promised us that women's concerns will be uppermost for her. Yet, in her recent trip to Pakistan (at the end of Oct. 2009), she did not make even one visit to the Lahore brothel district to inspect the child sex slaves; nor did she interview even one Bangladesh girl trafficked into Pakistan for sex. She appeared on two Pakistan TV shows and commented on her love of Pakistani food and clothes (information from NY Times story by Mark Landler, 28 Oct. 2009). That's okay. It's charming and comforting to talk about food and clothes. But at least a part of her conversation should have been about the most wretched women in the country — the sex slaves. While Hillary sits safe on a talk show, some poor creature is being rammed and fucked and killed, both body and soul all dead, from the sanctioned rape norms of society.
Hillary should follow the pattern of uncovering those sanctioned rape norms, wherever she goes. After all, prostitutes are still being publicly caned in Indonesia and mutilated in Iraq. As soon as she steps off the plane, the plight of the most wretched women needs to be her concern.
Hillary can have her fancy state dinners and fancy meetings with world leaders at posh hotels like the Waldorf and the Savoy, but only if she makes the plight of the feminine helpless and wretched her primary concern. We all need comforts — fancy dinners are nice. A buttered muffin with a cup of cocoa is nice (my humble, poverty-stricken version of comfort food, since Godiva chocolates are way beyond my budget, as is lunch at the Waldorf). But then, after our little comforts, we all need to get out there and free the helpless. Hillary's intentions in the Congo were good, but every day more women and girls are being sexually savaged — still. It would seem as if all the good intentions in the world — coupled with a $17 million grant, what she pledged to help the women of the Congo, simply cannot make a dent.
And, then, of course Hillary could go off and leave it all behind: she could board a plane, neat business suit and coiffed hair all in place, and sip a cup of coffee on her way to a luxury hotel for a high-powered political meeting — while below her, on the continents skimming along underneath, a whole array of atrocities marches merrily on. As Hillary sips her coffee, in the air, yet one more woman in the Congo has sharp sticks shoved up her vagina; yet one more Slavic girl is being broken, with rough and joyful gusto, by her 'owners,' in a submissions camp so she will accept her daily rape quota of a hundred men in Athens or London or Goa or Tijuana or Seoul. Name any city. Sexual slavery is flourishing.
The forgotton ones of Rape Planet Earth. The truly forgotten ones: The Slavic Girls. Sex Slaves Par Excellent. Slavic Sex Slave Flesh is on sale cheap all over the world, from Europe to Asia to India to Mexico to Dubai. Thai and Filipina girls used to be the Whores of Asia; I guess that the Slavic Girls are now the Premier Whores of Rape Planet Earth.
Despite the best intentions she can muster, none of Hillary's efforts are stemming the problem. Why? Why is this task so impossible? I have given my answers — the main one being man must have his fuck and he is stronger so he will take it — but there has to be more to it than this.
We should not forget men as allies. For all that I am deeply disturbed by what some of them do, I realize that there are others who are often more sympathetic toward the plight of the helpless than women are. Normal women are mostly blind toward the prostituted. I've noticed that a lot of older military men who used prostitutes when they were younger are now more reflective about the experience. Back then, when they were younger, it was what all the guys did and the girls were available — so of course you are going to take advantage of that. You're young, you need sex, the girls are there. End of story. Some men have written me to say that they now see more clearly how hard it was on the girls. How the girls had to take drugs and drink to survive the degradation of what they did. I have a lot more to say about this, elsewhere, in my many other writings — since I've talked to a lot of vets over the years about the prostituted girls they bought during the Vietnam era and more recently, as well, in Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, Dubai, Bahrain, Rio, Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, etc. Too long a list to name all the places where military men buy girls.
I find that I have only a handful of women correspondents on the internet who express their concern for the prostituted. But a far larger number of men who have written to me and said they also understand the plight of these girls. More veterans than not, but also some civilian men as well. So men can be allies. I waver between feeling angry and bitter toward all men when I feel sad about my own raped body — and feeling grateful and hopeful that a lot of men in the world want to be good toward women — and not hurt us. The whole world fills me with unbearable sadness most days — so I hold onto the good men I know, and correspond with, like holding onto some kind of life raft in a frightening, swirling world. I am not empowered in any way. I am timid. And afraid almost all the time. So some deep inner part of me is touched when I come in contact with good, gentle men. The tears come to my eyes from a place deep inside. That place deep enough for the strongest tears.
A return to those scholars who so trouble me by their omissions: I was just reading a review of the The War That Killed Achilles, a book by Caroline Alexander, who has a doctorate in classics from Columbia. Note the title: it focuses on the male arena of war; why is she not writing a book called The War That Enslaved Briseis (and Chryseis, and millions of their sisters)? From the review by Dwight Garner (NY Times, 14 Oct. 2009),
it sounds as if Ms. Alexander addresses every aspect of war but the Briseis one. Garner lists some of the questions the writer asks: "Is a warrior ever justified in challenging his commander?...Do the gods countenance war's slaughter? Is a warrior's death compensated by his glory?" There are many more and they all deal with warriors warriors, warriors. Not a raped bruised prostituted captive body in sight. On those windy plains of Troy, all those thousands of common soldiers would have been forcing assembly-line sex on the captive daughters of war, maybe to the tune of a 100 men a day mounting one girl. Briseis had it easy: she only had to be raped by Achilles and later Agamemnon. What about all the girls who were being forced by hundreds of bored, waiting warriors, needing to "let off steam," as they camped by the sea, outside Troy? They had to get drunk, play cards, and fuck captive daughters. It was what warriors did. What they still do.
It is funny, in a gruesome, sad way, the simple cruelty of the human race which sanctions the ongoing rape of the female body as a recreational activity. Rest and Recreation. The Recreation and Amusement Centers (euphemism for brothels in post-WWII Japan where GI's happily climbed on captive daughters to the tune of 40 men a day sometimes). That "harmless and necessary recreational activity" for soldiers. The only concern is that the men not get VD; the welfare of the women is irrelevant: they are just seen as "equipment." ("A woman of no importance," is a Japanese phrase synonymous with the prostitute.) It's really astonishing — at least to any sane and compassionate mind, that any man should be entitled to buy a body. Why should the sexual privilege of being a male be allowed to destroy these girls' lives? "A couple of minutes of pleasure for me," as one man said to me, "is what I enjoyed when I went into the brothels. At the time, when I was younger, I didn't know this was a life sentence for the girl."
The title of Garner's review "Beneath a Sheen of Glory, the Ugly Horror of War," does not seem to imply anything about the ugliness of captive raped daughters — at least this is not mentioned as part of the concern of Ms. Alexander's book.
Homer did a cover-up. Briseis and Chryseis and all their thousands of prostituted sisters and what the girls felt and the pain they went through did not seem to be of much interest to him: only Achilles mattered. As is still the case, has always been the case, with the chroniclers of war and the students of war (all the storytellers and historians and all the famous theoreticians like the Von Clausewitz's) — not a clue that the millions of captive prostituted daughters even have lives.
Look at a modern day war-storyteller like Kubrick in his Full Metal Jacket where the "I so horny, I love you long time" whore is just a piece of fuck meat the men pick up off the streets of Saigon for $5 — as if she had no existence beyond being fuck meat. Whose daughter is she? How did she become a whore? Was she hungry? Did the process involve being a refugee first, since the war destroyed her home, and then being picked up by a pimp and turned into a whore — as was a typical scenario in Vietnam? No, not a hint of this. She's just painted fuck meat available for a few bucks on the streets of Saigon — from Kubrick's masculine-centric point of view.
Similarly, the field whore, in the same movie, that the men offer to pay $5 a pop for is just a vehicle for assembly-line rape by a bunch of coarse soldiers. She wears sunglasses so we cannot see her eyes. She doesn't want to do the black soldier who she says is too big and he brags about his penis, comparing it to a 'rattlesnake' — appropriate, from my point of view, since he hurts and poisons with it — the 'manly' thing to do to helpless girls in Vietnam, I guess. (My disgust and fear when I watched this scene in FMJ was so powerful I felt cold inside and I wanted to throw up; I could have been the next girl they mounted and poisoned with their sexual brutality.)
When the first man in the line of men who are going to rape her takes her inside the ruined building where she is to be used, he says, "I'll skip the foreplay," and he roughly shoves her in. Not one syllable or whisper or hint or nuance about what she feels. Not one particle of evidence that she has any existence as a human being. She is pure whore-hole fuck meat for the men. From Homer to Kubrick: an unbroken line of captive daughters as whore-hole fuck meat. A line or two devoted to Briseis, and the other captive daughters, and then Homer turns to what is really important in war: men, warriors, bronze arms, strength, power. Never mind the helpless girls fucked by all this power. It does not matter if the Iliad and FMJ are 'works of art' — and they are — I will not deny their artistry. Just the fact that Kubrick can make me ill with fear as I watch the rape-line begin to mount the 'worthless' field whore shows his art. But his art is irrelevant. As it Homer's. What matters is the ruthlessly masculine vision of these works — and thousands like them. A vision that keeps the helpless fucked women of war 'worthless' and invisible. Ignored, as if female sexual suffering on this tremendous scale is simply unimportant. This, ultimately, is what nauseates me — even more than memories of the thousands of times I was raped by noble soldiers who mattered.
In my novel, Comfort the Comfort Women, I continue Kubrick's story. I take us inside the ruined building and show us what the girl feels as she lies on a dirty floor and is fucked serially by a bunch of hard coarse men. I tell what goes through her head (beyond the numbness and pain) as the band of brothers serial rapists use her. And I show the aftermath: how the whore has to drag herself along in heavy sad misery after she has just been treated like fuck meat. Not to mention the physical pain of having your insides fucked out. Not one nuance, whisper, mention, idea, thought, qualm, or question on the part of these typical brute soldiers that maybe getting banged and rammed by a dozen men is perhaps not a terribly pleasant experience for a girl? Amazing, the indifference and brutality of the male.
"I so hungry, I let you rape me long time." That is my refrain down through the ages of and rape sands of time. It is the one the girls at Masada sang, as that military encampment, laying its own siege, assembly-lined their captive daughters.
On every Veterans' Day or Remembrance Day or whatever the holiday is called in its particular country, we need to re-tell the stories of the millions of comfort women fucked by war — and by warriors. This is what I remember.
Oh, well. It does no good. I can write a thousand novels to comfort the comfort women, rather than the five books I have turned out so far. And not one comfort woman will be comforted. All is meaningless after you have been prostituted. There is no comfort. No healing.
I wrote my non-fiction book, The Raped Vagina, in order to concentrate all the sexual pain in the world in one place — and then I thought I would burn the book and get rid of the pain. It didn't work. I think I will call my next non-fiction book Briseis's Tale/Tail: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Captive Daughters of the Trojan War.
What are the root causes of all this sexual violence towards us? And I am defining prostitution as an extreme form of sexual violence toward us: not just the concept itself of course. This concept is hideous: it says that our bodies are for sale and that this is a norm. We can be regarded only as holes to rent and use. That the concept is a norm, accepted and sanctioned — for all time, since the days when Shamhat was raped by the Wild Man — is horrifying. But the mere idea is not nearly as terrible as the reality itself. The reality is separate from all the theories about prostitution and consists of this terrible sexual pain inflicted on the female body. Damage us sexually and the rest of us is deeply impacted. You cannot separate a woman from her sexuality. She simply does not exist without it. That is why you cannot just rent her vagina or her butthole. These parts are not detachable.
The root causes of sexual violence toward us soft feminine beings are easy to spot — men are stronger; they have uncontrollable sex drives; they define certain women with dreadful phrases like "two-dollar whore," or "25 cent whore" — as if we were the equivalent of a pittance of money. Normal women let men define certain women in this degrading way. Normal women even encourage it by doing nothing — or participating in the culture of the whore as dirty joke. Men seem to be willfully blind to the suffering they cause when they define as woman as only a fuck hole. Men seem to believe that they have the right to 'party' on our bodies while we die from rape and humiliation.
That about sums it up.
The poor little karayuki-san (a kind of portable Japanese prostitute) shipped to Australia back in the early 1900's to be used by the men during the gold rush era was so raped to pieces by all these big Australians and so and exhausted and diseased from what they inflicted on her that she just wanted "to go to sleep and never wake up." (Why any woman anywhere should be reduced to this is beyond understanding, yet it is a norm on Rape Planet Earth.) The big question here, as elsewhere, for me is how could these men have done this to her if they saw she was in such pain when they were climbing on her. Does it make men feel powerful to rape us, the soft and feminine and helpless? Does it make them feel powerful to make us die from the humiliation of being violated by large numbers of them? Who are these Australian men who could treat this little girl like this? Who are the ones in Australia now who are now doing the same thing to her modern counterpart: all the Asian girls trafficked into Australia. Is the Australian male a hard, raping monster, that he can do this?
Lifetime's movie, Human Trafficking, shows a girl being anally raped in public at a party while young men all around her are drinking and having fun. The girls brought to this party to service the men are obviously wretched, and frightened. But the men keep partying on their bodies. Later, the girl says that she cannot even admit the humiliation of this to herself. I was not treated anywhere nearly as badly as this as a prostitute but I am filled with intense embarrassment if I ever try to talk about that time in my life. There is no way I can ever tell anyone about what it was like when all these men had access to my body. I feel scarlet and hot with misery if I try to talk about it. I have learned to write about it — still with intense embarrassment — but face to face conversation is impossible.
A young girl who had been trafficked as a child commented on the internet about the movie Human Trafficking. What the movie showed was horrifying and revolting. This young girl says that the movie does not even touch on the real horror of being forced sexually by men you do not know. Her testimony, and that of others like her, haunts me since I was not able to recover from sexual abuse that would be in the mildest of categories compared to what most prostitutes go through. I am excessively timid and even a small amount of male violence terrifies me — which may be why I am so affected by my much more tame exploitation. It began with a gang rape but even the gang rape was no where near in the category of the 'submissions camps' where the traffickers 'train' girls to be raped all day — docilely, without spirit, without resistance. The perfect passive fuck hole. (The way men like us, I guess — powerless. Man has to have his fuck, true. But he has to have his fuck on a helpless body.)
I knew the men who raped me, so it was not like a line of strangers climbing on me — which would have been revolting and disgusting beyond belief. No one hit me during the rapes; I was not in any danger of being killed or even physically hurt (except for what all that excessive intercourse was doing to me — and did to me permanently since I had some damage that has lasted all my life); and they let me go afterwards. I was not kept in a submissions camp day after day and reduced to a being with no life, no body, and no hope. The rapes were not even excessively rough — just normal guys fucking the way young guys fuck, which can, of course, be kind of rough anyway — and since I was being so overused, I tore and bled. They were all half-drunk and out-of-control and convinced I was 'hot and wanted to fuck,' or so they kept telling me as they raped me.
The experience left me dazed for days. Now, I realize it pretty much left me dazed for life. After it, I couldn't face the world at all. Even walking out the door was impossible. Finally, when there was no money left to live on, I sold myself. At the time, I didn't know why. I just did it. Now I know it was because I think that that is all women are for on this planet — to be raped. I had to be raped again and again by those hundreds of 'customers' since that was all I was here for — to be raped. (And I still feel tremendously guilty since I am not being raped everyday but other girls are. How dare I sit here, peacefully sipping tea and eating a crumpet, while others suffer such dreadful sexual pain?)
I had alternatives, unlike third-world girls in desperate poverty or perhaps those sold by their families before they are old enough to even know what sex is. I was in my 20's. I was not 12 or 13. I was old enough to figure out a few things about life. Before the rape, I had had friends and acquaintances. I probably could have turned to them for help but my embarrassment and humiliation were so deep there was no way I could ever even talk to any of them ever again. I deliberately never saw any of the people from my 'former life' (my pre-rape life) ever again. I could probably have turned to social services to help me: unlike in 3rd world countries, I lived in a society where some help was available for the helpless.
None of this occurred to me at the time. I did not think. I just sold myself. It seemed like the only possible path. There was no other way, no other life, no other alternative. There still isn't. Years after I got out of the trade, I am still a prostitute. I am still just here to be raped. The gang rape and the subsequent prostitution (which was way worse than the gang rape) took away the planet I had lived on and put me on Rape Planet Earth — where this sexual violence could happen to any of us soft feminine beings at any time. We are the helpless ones, because we are women. We are born to be raped; men, the strong ones, are born to rape us.
Of course there are moments and pockets of safety. But they are illusions. I was recently walking through a college campus. It was a mild autumn day with golden leaves falling and students lounging around on benches, reading and chatting. All the girls looked safe. They aren't. At any moment, any one of them could be treated like the Slavic girl in her submissions camp, being taught to accept her daily rape quota without complaint.
One young fellow was tenderly giving his girlfriend a hug. But this was an illusion. Rape is the reality; gentle sex is the illusion — as long as harsh, rape-sex is being inflicted on even one girl in the world, her plight impacts us all. A safe warm hug in safe strong arms is lovely for a moment but so evanescent: it disappears in the rape power inferno that is sex for many girls across this troubled globe.
Rape ruins everything for all women. I can be making love to a gentle man. But this is an illusion. A lovely one, no doubt, but still — not real — since the next moment one of the rough men of the world could get hold of me. And the gentle man cannot protect me. Or maybe he does not care to. I have a theory that if all the good men of the world banded together into a non-raping fellowship, they could stop all sexual violence against women. There would be enough of them. But, alas, the fellowship of men is more likely to take a the form of a that band of brothers so popular in the military, those buddies who get drunk and fuck whores, in collective 'fun,' to let off steam. Some band of brothers.
What would keep me safe? In my fantasies, I think what if I were a tall drop-dead gorgeous Swedish blonde. Then I would have all the power over men possible in the world. But, taking the next step in my fantasy, I think: they are stronger than me so they really have all the power, no matter how enticing my sex appeal, and so they can force me to do anything they want. Even for Swedish blondes, male force fuels their fate. And if men hurt her, to get at her sexuality, then she is not a Swedish blonde anymore. She is just like me: a helpless woman controlled by male physical power. As long as even a hint of male force lingers in the air, threatening to hurt us women, we dare not be sexually beautiful. If we are sexually beautiful we can be punished by having our bodies taken by force. Women are always punished for being sexual. If you dare display your beautiful sexuality, you could be raped and sold. It makes me sad to see young prostituted girls with lovely breasts being pawed and sold. I think: what a dreadful use to put our beautiful breasts to. Pawed at. Sold. Any soft body being sold is inexpressibly sad. Raw and ragged, yet numb, these parts inside you war, so you won't have to feel anything.
And, should I have sex now, years after the numbness, and should I respond, the man might say, "You really must be some kind of whore, some kind of hot slut to like sex after what all those men did to you — you got the insides raped out of you, and you still want more?" There is no possible way to be sexually responsive in a world that condemns female sexuality.
The biggest mystery for me is how those 14-year-old Balkan trafficked whore girls in Greece and elsewhere can survive even one day of being raped by 100 men. The most I ever got raped in one day was a dozen times — and that led to sexual meltdown and nothingness and numbness forever. It led to terrible physical pain and bleeding and tearing. Do these girls bleed heavily every day? Do the customers just work around the blood? Can these girls eat or sleep after this kind of treatment? Do they beg for drugs to numb them? Are they simply kept drugged all the time so that there is only the dead fuck hole there, and the customer-rapists just use that, and do not have to hear the girl crying or screaming? I'd like to know the physical details of this kind of mass rape since my body could not survive a much, much milder version of it. My body is still messed up, years later, by the relatively mild daily gang rape I went through. How could one ever make it through 100 rapes a day with anything intact — vagina, life, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, ability to just walk around? And what a sad thing it is to have your body ruined at such an early age. Who ever thought up the idea that a 14-year old girl should have sex at all, yet alone with a 100 coarse rough brutes? Her tender self totally ruined so young after just one day of this. No going back. Just one day takes you beyond hope. And nothing happens to the men. I guess they go home to their wives and back to their businesses. Who thought up the idea that a girl forced to whore is ruined and soiled and the men who force her are noble and manly and just out for a bit of fun?
Adolescence is way, way too early for sex. What kind of mind could even conceive of forcing 100 men a day on a 14-year-old?
All the conclusions I come to about prostitution are based mostly on my own body. The reading I have done on trafficking/prostitution is supplemental. I trust what my body tells me. It is far wiser than I am. When I cringe and feel hollow and cold inside at the thought of the few customers who were rough with me, or humiliated me, I have to trust that just this mild mistreatment was a major trauma for me. And I have to not feel ashamed that I was able to take so little. 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.
Even the mild, mild, mild form of daily use by just a handful of customers (no where near the 30 or 40 or 50 or even a 100 trafficked girls take on) did me in forever. So it is beyond my understanding how the girls who endure far more brutal forms of prostitution make it at all.
Maybe they don't make it at all. Those invaluable Comfort Women have told us implacably that they didn't make it — at all: the 30-50 violations a day by the Japanese War Machine took away their lives and girlhood and womanhood forever. So it must be the same for the adolescent Balkan girl enslaved and doing her 100-man rape quota a day. It has to be the same for all the girls held in debt bondage in Eros Centres or used 40 times a day in brothels in London or Vienna or Amsterdam. It has to be the same for the Slavic girl in Dubai who was broken at a nearby labor camp by her traffickers letting a different man every few minutes to use her. I heard her story from a woman journalist who had interviewed her in Dubai. After getting away from her traffickers, the Slavic girl went back into prostitution on her own in Dubai. This journalist's angle on Dubai was that there were a lot of women voluntarily in prostitution there. The journalist asked the Slavic girl why she didn't try some other line of work.
The journalist probably had good intentions, but I find it hard to understand how she could consider the Slavic girl as 'voluntarily' in this trade — knowing the breaking that she went through. It is the kind of breaking that the Comfort Women report broke them forever. They never recovered their bodies or their lives. It's a real puzzler how this woman journalist could think the Slavic girl has 'choice' at this point. That kind of breaking renders you incapable of making 'choices' forever.
Even a much milder breaking of me — only rape by half a dozen men — left me incapable of any choice beyond prostitution. I am still a prostitute. The men, stand in's for all men, showed me my place forever.
The female journalist says that the first sentence the trafficked girls learn to say in English to the customers is "Plastic or no plastic?" Given the sheer sadness of this fact, it puzzles me that the journalist conveyed so little of the desperate sexual brutality of the situation in Dubai. But, then, she is a highly educated, safe woman who teaches at a prestigious university; so I assume that all sorts of barriers prevent her from knowing that the brothel is really a rape slaughterhouse and the sold body is never really, either realistically or conceptually, in a position to make choices that are meaningful. The whole 'choice debate' deeply clouds our views and our ability to get girls out of prostitution. It needs to be tossed aside, as an issue.
I am haunted by the diseases all these Slavic girls must have after being mounted all day, without plastic. Intercourse with infections and sores must be utterly miserable. This fact doesn't seem to receive hardly any attention — the dreadful pain, for example, of constant intercourse when you have PID — which the major of prostituted women have. If condoms are allowed, there is condom abrasion and burns if those are overused. And then there are abortions messing up the prostituted body--and anal sex which is often forced on trafficked girls since the 'customers' can't get it from wives or girlfriends. Only the enslaved will perform anal sex.
I was startled to read that some girls who escape prostitution are not able to make the simplest of decisions. They are not able, for example, to buy a tube of toothpaste or order a meal in a restaurant. So deeply has all will and initiative been erased in them, that no 'choice' in every day life is possible. This fact moved me so deeply that I built a complete chapter around it in my novel Pink Tiger and the Whore Liberation Front. Called "The Minska Whores," the chapter satirizes (in a sad way) all the 'Natashas' forced to whore since the fall of the former Soviet union. The 'fall of the wall' and the other breakdowns of barriers between the West and the Communist world led to massive trafficking of Slavic girls that continues unabated until today; social safeguards stripped away, women suffered from the usual sexual exploitation that accompanies political change — and Slavic female flesh became the major export of countries like the Ukraine and Moldova. Across Europe, the Slavic sex slaves have the reputation of being 'willing' to do anything. The implication is that all Slavic girls are born shameless, without modesty or discrimination, and that the taking of a line of guys for anal sex, in a bar, in public, is just nothing to them. They don't give a damn who mounts them, or from which end. I have a hard time believing that every woman in the Ukraine and Moldova was born, as a baby, into a state of complete sexual numbness. There is every indication that harsh 'training' led them into this permanent sexual numbness. Submissions camps 'housebreak' the girls into 'pure whore,' and nothing beyond whore exists inside them ever again: how else could a girl 'invite' assembly-line anal sex in a bar while a crowd cheers the men on?
So I fictionalized the 'Natashas' in my Pink Tiger novel. All of my novels are, oddly, works of joy — despite my subject matter. I use humor — rather dark at times — but not always. For every part of misery or darkness, I mix in others of sunlight and safety. In these fictional spaces, I can get rid of suffering. It is when I write things like the "Plight of the Helpless" that all joy leaves me. "Writing is pain, "said William F. Buckley, "and I would not do it except for some chance to save your immortal soul." This sentence, on an index card, held in place by a red pin, on the wall above my computer, keeps me going when I must put down the plight of the helpless, without the buffer of fictional space.
News. November 2009. In the USA the "Franken Amendment" has been introduced into the U.S. Senate. It will attempt to curb the sexual abuse of female employees by military contractors overseas. David Arkush, Director, Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division, tells us that "at least 40 women working for civilian military contractors have come forward to report sexual abuse and assault in the mostly male barracks overseas….
Sen. Franken's amendment will give women who have not yet brought their claims an opportunity to seek justice and to hold accountable any contractor that permits sexual abuse to occur on their watch."
Jamie Leigh Jones, one such abused woman, was gang raped both vaginally and anally by contractors in Iraq and suffered such severe damage to her breasts that she had to subsequently have an operation. She has spoken in front of the U.S. Congress, set up a website, and made her cause into a movement. Her father is also influential, so I wonder if her work in this area was the impetus behind the amendment? I would like to see the amendment include, as victims, all the unprotected trafficked girls that the contractors buy overseas. With 125,000 contractors still in Iraq and 70,000 in Afghanistan, that makes for a huge demand base for sex; and if some of these contractors are stopping off in, or taking R & R in Dubai and Bahrain, they are most likely using trafficked girls. Ones like the Slavic girl mentioned above. Girls who may have been broken in submissions camps. The ICC (International Criminal Court) says that use of any girl in prostitution against her will is rape. So, all of these men should be held accountable in this area as well. They may be buying girls with little defense against being sold: girls with ever less protection than the U.S. female employees overseas.
The ICC ruling could apply across the globe. Since the majority of prostituted beings are coerced in some form or another — and on some level definitely unwilling to have intercourse with the men who buy them, it's all force, it's all inflicting sex on bodies that don't want it. So, all these customers are guilty of violating unwilling girls. That sets an international stage for millions of prosecutions — should the ICC ever have the power to do this; and should the girls ever escape their captors — and be given protection while they testify. I see this as a hopeful, untapped area for stemming the — thus far — sanctioned rape of the for-sale body.
A second piece of news. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, an annual event, is coming up on November 25. I dutifully googled the event, and found that there are all sorts of people involved. Let me lay out a bit of the data I found, and then I will interpret it for you. After all, you are only as good as the data you theorize from.
There is a statement from the UN Secretary-General about commitment to this cause and funding more services for it, etc.--the usual statements that one hears coming out of the UN.
I find a big source of information on a Rutgers University site about an organization called the Center for Women's Global Leadership. I wasn't quite sure from the wording on the Rutgers site, but it sounds as if this is the group who started the idea for this Day back in 1991. Among other ideas on the Rutgers's site, I see "demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world." There is an Annual Theme for the Day: for example, in 1994, it was "Awareness, Accountability, Action: Violence Against Women Violates Human Rights." This year, 2009, it is "Commit, ACT, Demand: We CAN End Violence Toward Women."
The Rutgers's site tells me that the UN will host a big celebration in New York on Dec. 3, 2009 commemorating the 30th anniversary of the adoption of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). The event is "by invitation only." My response: I am not sure how an elitist event like this can help those women suffering on the lowest, most brutal levels. Will this even make a tiny ripple in the violent airwaves around these women?
Also, says the Rutgers's site, there will be a big online UNIFEM campaign urging people all over the world to say "NO" to violence against women. Apparently last year over 5,000,000 people said "NO" online. My response: a concerted simultaneous effort by 5 million people over the past year should have been able to halt a really huge amount of the violence dumped on women. Did saying "NO" do anything constructive?
The Rutgers's site has 23 pages of resources, including a big bibliography. A lot of the sources seem to be about reproductive health and AIDS — centering on the 'mainstream' women of the world.
My overall response to the Rutgers's site is that, as a prostitute, I feel pretty much left out of their calculations and concerns. I do find a bit of scattered attention to prostitution but it is quite minimal in light of all the sources and resources referring to what one could call the 'normal' women of the world: that is the non-prostituted ones, the ones who are part of 'the family' (that sacred institution). There is attention to rape on the Rutgers's site, so apparently you fit into their vision for women if you are raped. To be raped is respectable in some way — it still validates you as a member of the human race. To be prostituted does not seem to — at least so it seems to me from the scant reference to us on their site. We prostituted beings might fit into a little corner of their site, no more.
Here is the minimal little scattered ashes of what I was able to find in their 23 page resources/sources section on anything that related to the 'prostituted':
A 2003 Human Rights Watch report on "sexual violence" in Sierra Leone called "We'll Kill You If You Cry."
A reference to a book by two women, Kempadoo and Doezema (editors), called Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition.
A couple of sources on sexual violence and war crimes.
The "Network of Sex Worker Projects," which is trying to be recognized as a "legally constituted international organization to promote sex workers health and human rights."
The "European Network for HIV/STD Prevention in Prostitution." Here is what they say about themselves: "Europap is a network across 18 Western and Central European countries, linking over 400 specialist health projects, sex workers' projects and social support programmes. The members of our network include health and other project staff, sex workers and academics across Europe working on HIV prevention and other health and safety issues. We share information and experiences in order to promote best practice in local projects."
"Transnational AIDS STI Prevention Among Migrant Prostitutes in Europe." This is described as "an international networking and intervention project operating in 24 countries in Europe, including 7 countries in Central and Eastern Europe."
V-Day's list of what it fights against — "rape, battery, incest, FGM, and sexual slavery" — actually includes the prostituted.
My interpretation of the data: this paltry little list is swallowed up by all the other entries on these 23 pages — once again, as if the prostituted were simply marginal to women's concerns.
The phrases "sexual violence" and "sexual assault" appear frequently on the site — but I do not see them as being connected with what happens to the prostituted. By my definition, prostitution is sexual violence inflicted on us on a huge scale. Yet it seems to be left out of the public consciousness of most women and most groups that want to eliminate violence against women.
A group like "Women Against Violence Europe" (WAVE), based in Vienna, says they are headquartered at a shelter for women. A place called CASA House in Australia, attached to Royal Women's Hospital in Carlton, Victoria says they are "committed to ensuring that the silence which surrounds sexual assault continues to be broken and that victims/survivors are provided with necessary support." I'd like to ask CASA if the prostituted are considered as fitting under their definition of victims of "sexual assault" and if the Asian girls trafficked into Australia are being taken in to their shelter and given support? Does the shelter in Vienna take in the prostituted? The majority of women prostituted in Austria are trafficked. Is this shelter for them as well? I ask these questions since some shelters, and some rape crisis centres, in the USA will not help the prostituted. The girls are not considered victims. Only the woman raped once or the woman seeking shelter from domestic abuse is actually considered worth being helped. She is 'respectable.' Is the prostituted being a throwaway piece of garbage or can she seek help at shelters in Australia and Europe? I am asking since many shelters in the USA will not help her. The police will arrest her for the crimes committed against her, but many women's groups and shelters consider her plight incidental to that of the rest of humanity.
I have little patience with all this 'solidarity' rhetoric since it doesn't include me.
On that same Rutgers's site is listed "WOMANKIND Worldwide" a group for women's rights who say they think the best "people to help women are women themselves." With this thought hopefully in mind, I visit several of the universities and colleges in my area. It is a liberal part of the country with many institutions of higher learning and many women's studies departments. All are planning events leading up to Nov. 25 and on the Day itself.
I try to join in but the masculine tough women academics put me off. (I am soft and timid; not tough at all.) Heavily educated and in masculine suits, they speak with such objectivity that it seems as if the sexual suffering of women is taking place on one of those moons of Saturn. And I have a lot of trouble talking to women in masculine suits. Their sartorial style signals that they are part of all the grand male institutions — universities and senates and law offices and big corporations — what have you — that make the decisions that kill the feminine spirit.
Little or anything about the prostituted encroaches on the agenda of events set out by the women's studies ladies. As I walk by a bulletin board, I see listings of women's studies courses. One course has a unit called "Sex Work as Part of the Global Economy."
Well. In the scant list on the Rutgers's site, the phrase "sex workers" pops up a couple of times. "Sex workers" are part of Europap's big network across 18 countries and are linked to health care people and academics all across the continent. Then there is the "Network of Sex Worker Projects," which "promotes sex workers health and human rights" on an international scale. Are these two organizations actually helping what are called "sex workers"? If they are and their influence is extensive, all across Europe, and even across the world, why are their women still called "prostitutes"?
By my definition, a "sex worker" would be a woman who sells sex under conditions of dignity and refinement. No pimps, no traffickers, no brothels, no debt bondage, no violence from 'customers,' complete choice as to who she goes with, limited numbers of men to prevent abuse and overuse, complete safety in her work environment, respect from the society around her, no being an outcast, no hiding what you do from shame. And she keeps all the money!
Does this "sex worker" exist in light of the fact that most women and girls who sell sex do so under conditions of coercion, if not outright sexual enslavement? The majority of "sex workers" in Europe are actually trafficked beings. They don't keep the money. There doesn't seem to be anything much lower on this planet than the whore. She fucks for money. That which is even lower is the whore who fucks for money — and someone else takes the money! That's really low. And that's the case with most "sex workers." The Eros Centres in Germany are full of trafficked girls fucking away so their owners can get the money.
Who is this imaginary "sex worker" listed on the Rutgers's site? Does she exist and work under the conditions of dignity and safety I outlined above? If so, I'd like to be her. If she exists, then it is hard to understand why there are trafficked girls. Why there are prostitutes? Why there are whores? It would seem that a European organization that spans the continent and protects "sex workers" would eliminate all forms of sexual exploitation of those who sell sex. After all, you can't have one set of girls held in sexual slavery while side by side there is another set working with freedom, safety, and dignity. All women who sell sex have to be "sex workers"; otherwise, all women who sell sex are degraded sex slaves.
The above are just some of my thoughts regarding the International Day to Eliminate All Violence Against Women. Academic women walk by me, in the safe halls of the university, confident and strong and hard and tough, all hopeful and determined. In her corner, in her crack-whore corner, on her outer moon of Saturn or Uranus, the most brutally used and degraded of women — the sex slave with her insides being raped out of her — she makes scant impression on the strong 'empowered' types in their masculine suits marching through their empowered halls.
I feel left out of the mix, as you can tell.
Not in the mix, I stand in front of that bulletin board, in front of the Office for Women's Studies and Diversity of All Feminine Beings, looking at that syllabus with its unit, "Sex Work and the Global Economy." Will the unit take us on a fake-empowerment trip down the condom-lined corporate corridors of brothels far away, on one of the moons of Jupiter? Will it ever go into the drugged baby under the bed of the young whore, age 13, needing to keep her future whore daughter from crying so the sacrosanct sanctioned global sex work violation of her body can proceed without any annoyance to the entitled male needing to have his bit of fun.
Insofar as I can tell, all the people around the world busily working upon the Day When Violence Against Women Will Stop, don't seem to have factored in that trafficked 14-year-old getting pounded into the mattress by hammering penis number 80 for the day. What a joke this Day must seem to her — if she is even aware of it.
Copyright © 2009 Suki