To refresh memories - this is the Florida woman who was prosecuted for shooting into the ceiling to try to protect herself from an abusive ex. She was not allowed to use Stand Your ground, because we all know by now that law is only for white (or white passing) men to get away with killing people of color.
In other words, sign the motherfucker, ok?
Because shooting into the ceiling in self-defense while you’re in fear for your life means you deserve 20 years in prison.
Wait…no. NO. This isn’t right. Let’s help her, everyone. Seriously. Sign the petition. It’s not right that she be punished for trying to protect herself (and at the ceiling! as a warning shot!) while her husband (who admitted to being abusive, by the way) was threatening her life.
SIGN THIS FUCKING PETITION OKAY?!?!
I’ve been watching the petition’s progress and it’s pretty dismal. So I’ll be reblogging again and again in order to get the word out. Please help signal boost. I don’t think any of us wants to see someone defending herself against a real, immediate threat to her life go to jail for firing a warning shot at the ceiling.
I mean for fuck’s sake the NRA boys are foaming at the mouth about their right to have their guns but a woman uses a gun to shoot at the ceiling to protect herself? Nooo, she has to go to prison for two decades!
Please. Sign the petition. Signal boost and tell your followers to sign it too. Let’s get this number way, way, way up.
street harassment and being a street worker
I guess this is sort of a companion piece to this post I made earlier today.
last night when I was working I was wearing a leopard print dress with a pink ruffle trim. now, wearing this dress out to a social occasion, I’d team it with pink shoes and all but because I was working I wore my comfiest pump heels (i’m a lazy ho), a black pair (that kick off real easy). since the spots on the dress are black, it still tied in and matched.
anyhoo, this guy and this girl strolled past at one point and the guy looks over and says “you should be wearing pink shoes, they’d match the dress just right”
so I just blank-stared at him and said “I’m not asking for fashion advice, mate”
instantly he began hostile, his face twisting in an ugly sneer and he shouted back “well you’re just a fucking whore anyway”
this certainly isn’t the worst harassment I’ve faced working on the street, but it is an example of how abruptly someone can turn hostile and target their abuse very specifically on what they know you’re out there doing, that they play on the fact you’re a sex worker to hurt you.
I guess this topic has been on my mind ever since this post went around on tumblr, describing the difference between street harassment and street work, asking for understanding that in some neighbourhoods the street is a work place. and a bunch of feminists became absolutely outraged at the very suggestion they should show any consideration to the fact that there is a difference between someone asking if you’re working and someone going ‘haaaaaayyy baaaaaby show us yer tits!’. because being mistaken for a sex worker - along a KNOWN, RECOGNISED BEAT - is totally sexual harassment and is just one of the most dreadful things a “NORMAL” woman could ever be subjected to.
the thing is.
I mean, I want to be careful I don’t undermine the street harassment non-sex working women very much are subjected to, often on a daily basis, in the writing of this post. because it’s very much a real thing. when I’m not working, I experience street harassment in non-beat areas and it never stops being awful. it’s a shared experience for women, trans and cis, the world over. we all know what it’s like. we’ve all experienced street harassment and we all know how vile and dehumanising it is.
but there’s a part of me, an angry, resentful, bitter part, that just wants to scream YOU DON’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW WHAT STREET HARASSMENT IS UNTIL YOU’VE WORKED ON THE STREET.
the thing about street work is that it’s high-level exposure, particularly for those beats that are in big party areas of town. everyone knows where they are. even the tourists know, cos there’s always someone telling them about it, or a tour guide book listing it, as example of ‘local colour’. there’s no secret about it. people know the beats.
and that’s why, when you’re a solo woman standing or wandering up and down a beat EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE THERE TO DO.
there is simply no way to get around it. there is no hiding it. everyone knows. and they make sure that you know they know, even if it is something so subtle as the side-eyes followed by the smirk as they pass by.
even just that can be as intimidating as fuck.
but it gets so, so very much worse.
sex workers hold a very low status in society, street workers in particular and I’m pretty damn sure that directly correlates to how exposed it is. it’s the whole ‘keep it behind closed doors’ thing - street workers are working on the street, not obliging “polite” society by hiding our disgusting selves away so everyone else can forget we exist.
when we’re on the street, people feel like they can’t ignore us.
people have strong reactions to being denied this option to forget and ignore us.
those reactions invariably take the form of street harassment.
it’s not the clients who ask us to show them our tits, or who scream ‘HAHAHAHA HOW MUCH BABY HAHAHA’ (the number of WOMEN who do this is truly disgusting) or who yell out slurs like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’, or like one guy last night who BELLOWED in a voice I noted most for the undercurrent of pure fury: “GET A REAL JOB” as he sailed by in a car one of his maters drove.
it’s not the clients who stride up with chests puffed out and shoulders back cos the fact they’re some drunk guy twice your size is just not enough to intimidate you, a lone woman who’s trying to do sex work, asking stupid, invasive questions, trying to touch you and stick their hands down your top or up your skirt, who grope you and try to tear your clothes off you.
it’s certainly not the clients who ARRANGE with their FRIENDS in FACEBOOK events to drive past beats and throw eggs at the workers. I’m not even kidding. yes. facebook events. people plan to do this shit. they think it’s a great night out. we are so dehumanised, regarded so much as pig shit, that these assholes actually think it’s good, clean fun to arrange evenings-out of egg-throwing. if this doesn’t make you furious, I hate you.
it’s not the clients who cluster up in groups, circle you and start shouting and shoving you around because you dared tell one of their group to fuck off when they shouted out some stupid remark.
i mean, I could go on and on. sometimes this harassment escalates into violence and beatings. groups of men and women ganged up on one woman, who’s only guilty of the crime of trying to work - and not tolerating anyone’s bullshit when they try to interfere with that work.
and the thing about all of this is that this is DIRECTLY a consequence of being recognised as a sex worker. it amuses these people (you people) as much as it infuriates and disgusts them. they see you as absolutely public property. as fair game to harassment because you’re not a ‘real’ person. as a reasonable target because you’re a whore. you’re not one of them. you’re not a person. you’re not someone with feelings or thoughts. you’re absolutely not someone protected by the same rules and guidelines that protect them. you’re just a hooker.
you’re just a hooker.
and don’t even fucking pretend to me this isn’t how most of you think. if you don’t think we’re actively responsible for our own rape and assault and harassment, you have a complacent reaction to the street harassment we face because, well, what else can we expect? we’re EXPOSING OURSELVES.
but those beats are our work place. we don’t fuck them, right out in front of anyone. but it is how we meet our clients. how we connect with them. beats are created so clients know where to come to find us.
and it is typical for street workers to be the most disenfranchised and marginalised of women, the women for whom it is hardest to get places in brothels or escort agencies, or who are unable to set up privately for themselves except in swapping contact details with clients they get on the street. the women who are from the lowest socio-economic spectrum, with the least education, with mental health problems and addictions, who are often trans* and of colour, who are older women with debts, single mothers, homeless women…
the street is vital as a work place for such people. it COSTS NO MONEY to work on the street, which is the single most compelling reason to work on it. private work requires massive overheads. brothels & agencies take half the money you make. the street you just go to a beat and wait. you start when you want and finish when you want. you get paid for service, not time, which means you can do a job and be back out there waiting for another in five minutes.
and, you know, i am so infinitely privileged that I have other options to work beside the street because that means I don’t do it often enough for all the shitty parts to outweigh the amazing parts (anyone who doesn’t think making $150 for five minutes work is amazing, we just live on completely fucking different planets) because putting up with all that bullshit night after night and knowing NO ONE fucking takes it seriously cos everyone thinks you deserve it cos you’re a dirty whore would drive me into the ground.
no one offers street workers reasonable substitutes for street work. they just get mad about it.
when people talk about street work, they talk about ‘cleaning up the streets’. street workers are unsightly. for being older women, mentally ill, addicts, poor, trans*, homeless… fuck for just being women!! who are obviously making a living by selling sex. our very presence, the fact we exist, offends people. they just want to get rid of us.
no one views street workers as active professionals in a work place. only as victims, or as scum, or as both - but never whilst offering reasonable substitutions for street work. which is not to say street workers are out there having a grand old time living the dream, but the fact we nonetheless ARE working and KNOW our business and how to perform it is NEVER respected or acknowledged.
all this hate and disrespect and disgust and disdain manifests in street harassment - targeted, specific, deliberate and even planned. from people who are not clients of street workers, who often are NEVER clients of street workers.
and yet, when “concern” for street workers is expressed, these are NEVER the things that are talked about. it is always, ALWAYS, the clients who are spoken of as the predators, the abusers, the creeps, the perverts, those who are the greatest danger to our lives and livelihoods. without fail. no one factors in all those ‘normal’ people just strolling past, who have absolutely no intention of soliciting a service from us.
and those asshole clients certainly exist. but bluntly, the bulk of abuse and harassment on a nightly basis comes from the non-clients. there’s always the possibility a job can go horrible wrong, in any number of ways, that a predator might feign being a client to attack you. but it’s not a nightly guarantee.
what IS a nightly guarantee are all the non-clients engaging in a whole spectrum of abuse and harassment as they pass you by, borne of the simple fact that they all know you’re a hooker and don’t think of you as worth any respect or compassion as a result of that.
then to top it all off, we cop - from everyone, including feminists - responsibility for street harassment. that the fact we exist - trying to live, to get by - working makes men believe all women are sexually available or creates an environment that condones sexual harassment. our need to work is assigned blame for the fact that men harass women when the fact that men harass women exists within a vastly complex societal construction. but it’s easier to just blame the whores, cos who goes out to bat for the whores?
meanwhile, the harassment and abuse we face is never considered except in the ways can be othered, disconnected from reality, where all you can be absolved of any hand in it, where those who assault us are simply spectres, rather than your best friend after one drink too many.
so forgive me if I don’t indulge your butthurt that when you’re walking down a KNOWN BEAT that a guy asks you quietly “are you working?” or “how much?” or “what’s the service?” (in my experience the most common enquiries from serious potential clients) seriously, I could give less of a fuck that you’re outraged someone asks you if you’re working, because you never muster one ounce of a fuck to give about the way street workers are abused and harassed constantly by you and people just like you and all your fucking friends who clatter down our working areas when you’re drunk and full of righteous hatred and make us feel unsafe, intimidated and bullied.
because let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t about street harassment, it’s about your personal distaste for the work that we do, that you think it’s disgusting and awful and degrading and wretched and OMG how could anyone think you’re SOME DIRTY WHORE because you’ve got this bullshit idea hookers all look and dress a certain way but if you’re dressed up for a night out and on a KNOWN BEAT then you just look like any working girl but even not being dressed up is no guarantee because hookers work during the day too and just as likely to work in jeans and a t-shirt as a mini skirt and heels and actually it’s the fact you’re a woman by herself on a KNOWN BEAT that leads a client to think you might be working and make a perfectly reasonable enquiry (clue: the guys screaming “HOW MUCH?” as they pass or drive by are NEVER actual clients & THAT is actual street harassment, I know the differences might be too subtle for you to recognise over your indignance anyone could think you’re a hooker, but they’re definitely there!). that respecting that street workers are out there working because of necessity is too much for you, that you don’t really think of street workers as human or as deserving of any consideration or respect and so your only concern ARE your concerns and your concerns are solely that some dumbass client might think you’re working and ask what your service costs.
that you have the nerve to equate that enquiry, made only when you’re on a known beat, with getting eggs hurled at you by carfuls of assholes screaming out ‘YA DUMB WHORES’ - or, fuck, walking past the proverbial construction site only to have a group of men calling out sexual obscenities at you.
seriously. if you can’t see the difference, don’t even tell me you are any kind of friend to sex workers. you’re way more an enemy than any guy who wants to give us money for giving him a service.
Running on fear
It becomes necessary to predict what your abuser might say or do - all possible outcomes - so that you have a better chance of avoiding some of the abuse. So you develop a way of imagining what they will say or do and you run situations over and over in your head, playing out every variation you can imagine, partially to try to avoid abuse if you can, and partially to try to steel yourself, emotionally, for when it inevitably does happen. You do it so often that the imagined voice of your abuser becomes your own voice, then eventually it becomes so constant that it just fades, becomes part of your thought process and you don’t even know it’s happening.
Rihanna confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she still loves Chris Brown. Idiot! Now it’s MY turn to slap her.
Loving someone you’ve have had a deep, intimate relationship with is natural. That love does not magically melt away the instant the person abuses you for the first time.
Calling someone out on being “stupid” because they dealt with an experience you will never have the capacity to understand is called projection. That means you think that you’re seeing your own characteristics reflected in someone else.
Also, announcing that you’re a willing participant in domestic violence is rape culture and victim-blaming at its finest and shows a total lack of taste or sense of human compassion for your fellow human beings.
unpopular opinions of a pillow princess
[Trigger warning age play, sexual abuse]
Anyone who thinks my kink has anything to do with being edgy, needs to pick up a book, because that’s not how human sexuality works. A lot of us who are into schoolgirl roleplay are into it because of childhood trauma issues. I was sexually abused by a teacher. It reshaped my sexuality. It was a very long, very difficult, very painful process to even get to the place where I could start to try to reclaim my sexuality. I was so fucking ashamed for so long, especially as a feminist. I’ve worked fucking HARD to be able to play around with the schoolgirl image in public and feel not just not disgusted with myself, not just sexually satisfied, but like I’m actually doing something positive in exploring these issues in a way that challenges the dominant narrative that infantalization is hawt or edgy without being challenging or an ode to pedophilia or some equally fucked shit. Age play is one of the most complicated and oftentimes painful kinks. No one chooses to have *that* be the only way they can orgasm. The only people who think it’s straight-up hawt-and-edgy are some douchebros who aren’t even into it. So I don’t know if I’m yelling at you or agreeing with you, but, fuck, I need a drink.
if you think that school girl role plays are really hot and edgy then I think you are boring and unoriginal and stuck in the nineties. so there.
I feel the need to add that in regard to the original statement, this could be said about any kink. Once you’ve done it enough or seen it enough, or if you just aren’t into it in the first place, it seems really dull and uninspired.
However, I don’t think I would tell anyone that they were dull and unoriginal just for liking something that’s done often or been around for a while? Like, what makes your kinks so special compared to that? Nothing, it’s just that *you* like them more.
And to loriadorable- I totally get that. I was abused as a child and ageplay is one of those kinks that just fucks with me psychologically, and I hate that it’s something that happens in my brain (and nether regions) but it’s ingrained in me from not only *being* sexual so young and experiencing sexuality at such a young age, but having that compounded by trauma. Actually engaging that kink has been, for me, a way to replace the feelings and experiences related to the subject with something more positive, as well as work through some of the pain of the original experiences.
well, look, I didn’t put a lot of context or qualifying in my original post quite intentionally so I’m not surprised that it hit a couple of sore points for people. The other day when I did my little rant about anal I was careful to acknowledge that it’s really awesome and amazing for many people and I was critiquing compulsory heterosexuality more because anal sex is overwhelmingly regarded as an aspect of gay and queer sex and I didn’t want there to be any shaming around that going on, mistaken or implied. I didn’t feel the same onus to do so for schoolgirl. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of stuff behind it but I know that didn’t come through. I guess when placed in context with the rest of what I blog about it’s more obvious but I can’t rely on that.
Anyway, I think we’ve all been through long, painful processes to accept our sexualities. I’m queer and a sub. I would say the stigma I’ve experienced as a lezzo around sex way exceeds that around kink (and I’ve got plenty of kinks considered “hardcore” to outside society). Sure, as a feminist I experienced - EXPERIENCE - angst over my kinks (which involve ageplay, just so yannow) but I haven’t felt stigma that affects me in an actual practical real-world sense like being queer does.
And trauma survivors experience stigma too related specifically to our traumas and how they affect us publicly and socially and privately and interpersonally and that can really be massive, but that is related more to the fact of being marked out as traumatised.
And I used to be that feminist, when I was much younger, who argued rigorously against the idea that kink in any way upheld misogyny and patriarchy and couldn’t be liberating and that some of these “unsavoury” kinks are amazing and important ways of working through trauma (I have also been that feminist running around the BDSM clubs in schoolgirl uniforms and loving it, I have also been that feminist who wrote hardcore BDSM fiction that upset less experienced people to the point of disturbed tears) and you know, the thing is, I still believe that they can be as both your testaments demonstrate but I have no investment in arguing that these days because in my experience so much of what is practiced and the way it is practiced in the mainstream het-dominated BDSM scene but also it bleeds over into queer BDSM scenes DOES uphold misogyny and patriarchy and rape culture and abusers run rampant in the kink scene and use sex positive denial of how BDSM is necessarily interconnected with the world we live in - not because BDSM is inherently bad or evil or abusive but because nothing exists in a vacuum and all things impact upon each other - in order to abuse.
So arguing that line is way less important to me these days then asking the BDSM community to have some accountability. This isn’t about people like you. Because not everyone involved in this stuff is processing trauma. And I think the repeated insistence by EVERYONE to remember the trauma survivors anytime any criticism is raised of kink is a way of dismissing valid interrogation.
(after all, it’s pretty good odds that in any group of women, at least 50% are processing trauma of some kind relating specifically to the fact they’re women)
I find all kinks kinda boring these days, including my own. It’s got nothing to do with individuals and thinking I’m better and more cool than anyone and everything to do with the scene and a sense of fatigue. I think it’s actually just a general disenchantment with sex positive culture, with the denial that misogyny and patriarchy has an impact on BDSM culture, with the pressure for compulsory sexuality - with having to rigorously investigate people’s motives so I know I’m not being subjected to something that is actually motivated by misogyny - which really inhibits sponatenous play at parties you know! - because, you know, I am a sub. Exclusively. My interest in topping is exactly nil. And I have played with people who are misogynists, whose politics and BEHAVIOUR I cannot trust. Because I was dumb and too caught up in the phoney baloney empowerment rhetoric. It doesn’t mean the specific acts themselves are necessarily bad, it’s what people brought to them. That’s real and that has an impact.
But more specifically about the schoolgirl one - look, yay for people who really get something out of it. Obviously ageplay can be important and significant for very good reasons.
But look around us. Schoolgirl is always, always played up as the number one fantasy of straight, vanilla guys - and not in a really kinky sense, not in the way we may encounter it in the BDSM scene, but as their desire to have a naughty young teenager at their sexual beck and call, because youth is prized above all else and naivety and vulnerability are great things for guys to take advantage of and exploit. Are SEXY things to abuse. Because taking an underage girl’s virginity is absolutely constructed as an incredible triumph for men. It appears constantly in movies and television shows, schoolgirl costumes are everywhere in every sense in their bizarre fetishised sexualised ways, it outranks most other fantasy requests in the sex industry and those fucking fantasies? Are pretty much all the goddamn same. And everyone thinks they are soooooo naughty and edgy because they want to fuck a teenager in a school uniform. No, you are just a brainwashed misogynist incapable of defining your own sexual desire
In this sense it is rape culture, misogyny, sexualisation of female minors, patriarchy and it is so fucking boring and fatiguing and tiresome and pathetic. I am exhausted of it.
Thanks. In this context it DOES make a lot more sense to me.
How human trafficking victims want you to help-
Probably going to update the time on this to a more “normal” hour later today because no one is on Tumblr at 10 am, so apologies in advance.
Hey - excuse anonymity. I create content and strategy for a prominent anti-trafficking group. Am wary of speaking publicly lest my own opinions are interpreted as those of the organization (I get to call some shots, but no plays). Was moved by you calling BS on the more pious, naive aspects of our movement. Was wondering - if you had your druthers, what could the movement do to better support (and listen to) survivors in all their diversity? Yours, also a proud atheist.
Thank you for asking this. It is one of the first times someone has asked me this question and I greatly appreciate it. You have no idea. Thank you so much for actually asking what we need.
The following is a list of specifics anyone can do that trafficking survivors suggest. If you want to help a survivor, please read and reblog.
What can I do to other rape victims/child prostitutes??
What can I do to help those who have gone through and/or are going through the same things that you did?
(rebloggable upon request)
GOOD question. If it’s a child:
- Get evidence. Any kind you can. Get them to tell you in front of someone that something happened. Judge carefully, because the system is not always kind to abused kids, so don’t call CPS or the police unless you have something to show them. Unless, of course, there is an immediate threat, in which case, the authorities will protect.
- If you can’t save the child directly, try pulling them aside and telling them (in vague, but straightforward terms) that if someone is hurting them, it’s not their fault and you know they don’t like it.
If the person is older, like a teen going through it:
- Tell them they don’t deserve it.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. Ask questions, don’t offer unsolicited advice, just listen and try to understand.
- Tell them you’re there to help if they want to escape BUT IT’S THEIR CHOICE. Do nothing until they are ready.
- Suggest options - school counselors, people to go to for help. I don’t generally recommend religious counseling, especially for teens in this position because religious “counselors” are often untrained and supportive of violence. But any counseling is usually better than none.
If it’s an adult who has survived these things:
- Ask if they want to talk about it. Gage carefully. Sometimes people say “no,” to be polite, other times they are genuinely uncomfortable withe the topic.
- If they are willing to talk, freely admit that you don’t know what it must feel like, but you can tell they feel _____ (angry, scared, sad, ashamed etc)
- Remind them, again of the “big 3” - “It’s not your fault,” “I believe you,” “You didn’t deserve this.”
- Again, listen, listen, listen. Encourage more talking (where appropriate) and ask specific, easy-to-answer questions.
Bottom line, no matter what the situation, be a resource, not a commander.Any abuse victim, young or old, needs to feel that they are in control and being listened to. EXCELLENT question.
(likes and reblogs always taken as support. Help your followers by reblogging this info!)
So I was trying to sleep last night, and I have this tendency to sort of daydream horrible situations, especially when I’m attempting to sleep. Anyways, I was laying there and my brain decided to think about if my mom were in counselling and her counsellor told her to write a letter to someone she was upset with. So she wrote it to me, basically asking where the hell I’d been the whole time my stepdad had been abusing her.
What the fuck, brain? Why would I invent this hurtful situation for myself? Like, all this accomplished was upsetting me. A lot. Like furious and hurt.
I mean, I get it. It brought up all this stuff I was pissed at her about, eventually leading to “Where the hell were YOU when all this was happening to me?” So I guess it was actually kind of useful in identifying that I still have a ton of issues with her and what they are.
BUT CAN YOU NOT DO THIS AT A MORE CONVENIENT TIME, BRAIN? PERHAPS AFTER I’VE HAD SOME SLEEP AND AM SOMEWHERE I CAN VENT OR FIGURE OUT HOW TO DEAL?
Survivor Stories/Confessions/Messages/Other Words
If there was ever anything you wanted to say to someone, something you wish the world knew about what you’ve experienced, this is the place. If you want to share what it’s like to survive, this is also the place. If you want people to know how you’re feeling, how you’re dealing with things, but don’t want YOUR people to know, this is also the place for that.
Go anon if you want to talk about anything that has to do with surviving. Lets get our own words out there and debunk the myths. Lets show Tumblr what real survivors look like to erase the stereotypes.
Please boost so survivors can find this.