Amnesty International, you have failed women. With your policy to promote and stand by the decriminalization of prostitution you have thrown us to the dirt and in our place put the all-mighty pimp/trafficker/buyer on a pedestal which towers over our human rights as women. It casts an ominous shadow over women that will take decades for us to crawl out from under. That is, it will take decades unless you reverse this egregious decision.
The glorified and erroneous imagery of the “happy hooker” presenting themselves as arm jewelry at the sides of wealthy clients is never the full story. Most women in prostitution have suffered childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and homelessness. (I could go on but it would take a tome to list it all). The few, and when I say few I mean approximately 2% according to most studies, who do perform this form of prostitution known as escorting are the loudest voices promoting decriminalization. They effectively drown out the ever present murmur of the remaining 98% of broken and battered prostituted women their clients leave in their wake. But they are only the loudest because they are funded by the buyers. As well, these 2% rarely engage in only one form of prostitution. Most women, myself among them, worked the high end but also had ads in weekly papers, online, and would just as quickly don a ball gown as we would turn a trick out of a motel to make a buck. Amnesty, you are not listening to the reality of the situation, you’re listening to the men destroy or who make money off the backs of women.
So, how exactly can you claim infinite wisdom on the topic of consent? How can you in your entitled state of privilege discern the difference between the 2% and the rest of us? When men pay for sex (and yes the majority of buyers are men and the majority of prostituted people are women) they pay for a lie, they pay for fantasy and in doing so they throw consent to the wind along with their ethics, morals and compassion. In essence, they’ve cut off any part of themselves that even slightly resemble humanity, and so have you. In ignoring this you are essentially telling men it’s quite alright for them to use women as masturbatory aids, equating them with inanimate sex toys to be used and disposed of when the batteries run down.
By Alisa Bernard, Survivor of prostitution, Organization for Prostitution Survivors Board Member, and student of psychology.