feminism really loves the Good Victim trope when it comes to sex workers
it’s very easy to tell who secretly believes that Bad Victim categorizing has merit when it comes to sex workers, even if their only response is silence
it’s so gratuitous and obvious and vicious and inhumane, and I wish that I had specified it in the original Good Victim post, but you know what, if I had, those nice feminist bloggers who are not sex workers and who are very thoughtful about the feelings of their feminist friends who are not sex workers might’ve never picked it up, and it certainly wouldn’t have the 1000+ notes it does now
because feminists understand Good Victim/Bad Victim, but they do not believe everyone can really be a victim, not if you’re a person like that, not really, not without a Mary Magdalene tale of penitence attached, not without a surrender of narrative agency
and then we’ll all go back to reblogging that Dworkin quote about remembering that women in porn are Real People, because we do care about Real People, as long as they don’t undermine our arguments with the facts of their lives
"… because of course Jasmine could have been listened too, could have had custody of her kids, could have been flying off to international conferences and doing TV shows, instead of being prepared for burial, all she had to do was lie. There is a whole industry around survivors, be the sort of victim people want, swallow the crap about not really choosing sex work, tell a few stories about bad clients and pray with the fervour of a convert at the altar of end demand and all the support you want is there, on their terms.
Those opposed to sex work have constructed a narrative that only allows sex workers to parrot theory, be good little puppets who trot out the party line like defendants at a Stalin era Russianshow trial and then the doors of rape crisis centers, domestic refuges and conferences open wide to you. Dare to say no, I have choices and I choose sex work, but this bad thing happened to me because bad things can happen to anyone and you are “romantacising sex work”
It is the radfems who claim all men are potential rapists, it is feminism as a whole that says a woman does not invite assault by her dress or behaviour, except it seems when she chooses sex work, then she is simply a faceless, mindless, cipher whose own story is not worth listening too. Listening to the victims means throwing out your beliefs and prejudices about who can be a victim and how a victim should behave, not demanding they fit into your box of acceptability.
A woman, Eve Marie, lies dead today because Sweden is a feminist country. Yes, her ex was the one who directed the fatal blow, but the guiding hand was that of the Swedish state, a state that wants to make sex work so intolerable no “sane” woman would choose it. A state that sees not a victim of domestic violence but a dirty whore who can be ignored, a state that prefers dead sex workers to live, campaigning ones. A state that sees the death of a woman as a price worth paying.
The last words go to that woman, that mother, that sex worker, who refused to be a victim, who refused to give up, and in whose name the fight will continue. On her blog Jasmine wrote about seeing her children;
After one year and three months finally see her standing in front of me. The feeling when she runs into my arms and hug me, to get sniff her hair immediately becomes soaking wet of my tears, drag your finger along her small nose and chin, stroking her little hand and hold on her tiny body hard in my embrace and kiss her eleven thousand times in the forehead. To finally get to see her in the eye and say seventeen thousand times how missed and loved she is. And never want to let go again, but must. Created by my body when we two have been and we are part of each other forever. The love for my children is indescribable. (And justice system as said joint custody and half the time, where were you when everything was going on?)”
dinner the other night got me to thinking about little petty displays of cruelty, things like hair pulling or pinching or low-grade insults, stuff that can be played off as loving teasing or playfulness, and thus does not evoke the reaction slaps or punches or outright profanity might, even if the target does not seem light-hearted about it. But we would reprimand a child for doing those things, or at least readily condemn a caretaker who does not reprimand a child who does those things, and yet an adult, while they might be perceived as dickish and immature, will often be left alone to chip away at the other person, in tiny bits and pieces, while everyone looks aside because dickishness and immaturity are too gentle and too common to be a feature of abuse.
Anyway, the question that arises is “when does it become abuse?”, as if there’s a obvious line. It’s the wrong question. Is the target unhappy, angry, anxious, miserable? Who cares if it falls into the majority’s definition of abuse, no one should be allowed to perpetrate such meanness, and I feel sometimes that if abuse was opposed on the basis that it is unkind and disrespectful rather than because of its extreme end capacity for maiming and/or killing, it would be easier to recognize and to get away from early, and more people might understand.
Warning for partner/domestic abuse. The following appears in “Is He Going to Get Violent?” in chapter six of Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft.
Before I take you through a list of points to consider in examining this issue, make a mental note of the following:
Research indicates that a woman’s intuitive sense of whether or not her partner will be violent toward her is a substantially more accurate predictor of future violence than any other warning sign.
So listen closely to your inner voice above all.
When a woman tells me of her concerns about her partner’s potential for violence, I first encourage her to pay close attention to her feelings. If he is scaring her, she should take her intuitive sense seriously, even if she doesn’t believe his frightening behavior is intentional. Next, I want to learn more about what has already happened:
Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out?
Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you?
Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did?
Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you?
Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you?
Has he ever threatened to hurt you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent: he already has been. In more than half of cases in which a woman tells me that her partner is verbally abusive, I discover that he is physically assaultive as well.
It is critical to use common-sense—and legal—definitions of what constitute violence, not the abuser’s definition. An abuser minimizes his behavior by comparing himself to men who are worse than he is, whom he thinks of as “real” abusers. If he never threatens his partner, then to him threats define real abuse. If he only threatens but never actually hits, then real abusers are those who hit.