Saturday, 28 August 2010

The Defence of the Johns

His is the voice of every single man who ever hit me; every man who ever touched me when I didn't want to be touched; every man who ever bought me. 'Lads will be lads... it's just a lapdancing club'. I can read the subtext, no problem. What's wrong with you? What a prude! It's just a bit of harmless fun.

Harmless fucking fun.

I don't think so. It is the buying of women, the sale of an inequality, the legitimisation of abuse. All justified in the name of a 'good time', all squared off by the exchange of money (though most of that won't go to the women being looked at, being touched).

Yet I'm the one who's being charged with being extreme, unreasonable for daring to object, suggest there might be another way of looking at this. !!!!. Fearful of being termed prudes for not joining the cacophany of voices in support of the selling of women, too many women choose to be liberal about the oppression of their sisters. I have felt that pressure myself! Young and naive, I joined in the laughter of my companions at pornography, at some of its more extreme images (fancy putting that in her pussy and arse! You'd think it'd hurt but she loves it, she's smiling!) - until I found myself at the wrong end of the camera, being hurt, being used, being sold, torn apart - smile please! - and realised what this stuff means for me.

If she can be treated that way, as a collection of holes, as a piece of meat to satisfy men, so can I, so can every woman. It would be foolish indeed to think that people who regard lapdancing and pornography as the norm don't carry that mindset with them in their everyday dealings with women. To regularly look at material, or go to places, be that a lapdancing club or a brothel, where women are treated as less than, changes you.

Away from the pimping, the beatings, away from being a prostituted woman, I still rub up against people who think that way all the time. For me, it touches on old nerves, reflecting as it does that throw away attitude of the johns. It takes me back. I cry, I shake, sometimes I vomit.

Perhaps if these people could see the aftermath, see the reality of what they do to the women they use, they might grow a conscience. Maybe, maybe not. I don't feel too trusting of that right now. Sometimes people don't want to see the truth. It gets in the way of the fun, of the orgasm. I guess all we can do is keep putting the truth out there. We got rid of bear baiting, didn't we? Perhaps someday women's rights might catch up.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree. I have not been a prostitute, but I have been in a number of sexually abusive relationships - the most recent one was with a man who didn't see a problem with pornography or lap-dancing clubs and consistently called me a prude when I said that men who used both made me want to vomit. However, I joined in his porn sex for 12 years - it was only the last three years when I said NO I WILL NOT DO THIS ANYMORE. It did not change his views one iota, even when I started volunteering for a charity that helps vulnerable women - he still could not NOT see women as objects. So i left him - took me 15 years to grow some respect for myself. So I feel for you - it takes a long, long time and you have to go against the mainstream all the time - that is hard. But I now have peace of mind and that is worth everything. Meanwhile your blog is fantastic.