Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Where are the sex workers in our feminist movement

Most recently i have been re-thinking a lot of things in the journey of our feminist movement (some argue that it never existed, but it did to me), one that aspired always to become a feminist social movement regardless of the ruptures and the complication it faced on a personal and collective level, which i assume is something inevitable. And today while i was reading it hit me: where are the sex workers in our feminist movement? How come after all these years i know nothing about them? The question here is not only where are they, the more profound question that probelmatize the situation is dare we! Dare we articulate our feminist support, dare we communicate our stand on sex work as a kind of labor - within highly hostile social values circumscribed in morality as a language and practice of what is right or wrong! Dare we confront a society with such a stand that still believes our honor lies between our legs and define it with a piece of tissue, and then measures accordingly if we deserve to live or die, and if it was generous enough to grant us life, what type of life would that be.....If the voice of the sex workers wasn't included in our statements and marches, does that mean we reproduced what we fight against: exclusion? This though is only a personal view out of pure personal analysis that can be totally  illegitimate and someone else can view from a totally different angle, but it doesn't deny it's credibility as a question!  Did the space we created (and by space i don't mean only physical space) wasn't inviting enough for the sex worker's voices? It is non arguable that this voices exist somewhere, but have we opened up enough to listen to that voice? And if we don't dare to - given that mostly we are called crazy angry feminist that are over reacting over everything - how are we interacting with our ideologies in the everyday? If we don't dare confront the social about morality as a deep patriarchal construct against our bodies and challenge these abstract power hierarchies, how are we moving forward? I am not denying the achievements of the feminist movement, on the contrary, as a subject and a product of this movement if there anything i learned was to be critical even about ourselves, about everything and question the world from A to Z, again it is a question. Moreover, while i was thinking it struck me that in the most recent rise of the labor workers few month ago, and the upgrade of solidarity in labor unions, in the news and articles i read nothing was mentioned about sex workers. But again the question of dare we, dare the labor movement admit sex work as part of it? And is the labor movement ready in itself to embrace sex work as labor?

To be very specific, sex work rotates mostly around women's bodies  - bodies who have been the site of a long long history of structural violence by men against women, that said it does deny that sex work should be debated as a kind of labor away from moral values - but at the same time does not reduce and ahistoricize violence against our bodies for the sake of simplifying  an argument - it's complicated you know.

Furthermore, did we in our multi-angled activism and hectic violent political space forget to vocalize our stand about sex work? And are we ready to confront the huge fuming dinosaur of morality? and what is at stake if we don't.  

I say we and i smile, i am not even sure there is a such a thing as we anymore, at least the "we" as i know it, maybe "we-our" feminist movement is a romantic idea for me and i am getting older and bitter, but because really who are we? away from logos and names, who are we? can we all fit in one collective now? maybe at one point we could, at one point what brought us together was bigger than the ruptures that broke us apart, but now can we still do that? and if not what is the way out of this mess and back into a movement? Because honestly there is a lot to do a lot to destroy and maybe just maybe we are not meant to built anything starting with a movement, maybe we are meant to break down and destroy in a parallel individual way that falls down to a collective unintentional act, maybe we can start with morality.... we did take a lot of steps towards it before in different forms, but still there is a very long way to go, inevitably beyond our life spam but hey destruction takes a lot of time. 

Sometimes i imagine that one of the ways to break this cycle of morality is for every women to come out as a whore and embrace it, then they will have to live with all of us and maybe they will get the fuck over it. 

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