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There is a dark side to sex worker activism which everyone knows about but most are too frightened to speak about. Bullying to silence, frighten and dismiss the voices of sex workers who do not accommodate a paralysing political stranglehold that oppresses freedom of speech.
I have been the victim of such bullying for ten years on line, on sex worker lists, in articles by other so called sex worker activists. I have also witnessed the abuse of other activists who have dared stand up to this small clique of bullies in sex worker meetings, places that pretend to be sex worker safe environments.
Sex worker activists and whole groups are excluded from so called activist activities because the bullies will only accommodate within their activism one voice/opinion/politics. To have a differing opinion, a different politics or to not fit their ideal of an appropriate social/political profile will mean that you are excluded, ignored or bullied into silence.
This is one example of the abuse I received last night.
@whoreseyeview @pastachips @dfharlot but u embody radical praxis shitcunt
Most sex workers (there are a number) who do not meet the social and political profiling criteria remain silent; do not speak on lists or forums and usually blog alone. They often do the best stuff. Most are women (and a few men). Those people are usually discreet about their politics but even so they have to be careful. One wrong move and they would feel the wrath of the bullies.
I have become fairly well known in sex worker activism in the UK. Harlots is a popular blog. I am a man, a sex worker in a relationship with a man who is, horror of horror, an escort agent, and sadly my politics does not match a leftist/anarchist profile popular with many of the bullies. I am an easy target and to a point I accept that. What is worrying however is that these bullies are often encouraged by those who take a leading role in activism and are allowed to bully by authority figures who never seem to reprimand them but sometimes reward them with high profiles in/with activism/jobs/grants for their groups.
It was interesting to note for example that in one “bullying” tweet directed at me last night that ”Luca” ( he uses several surnames) was mentioned as obviously enjoying the abuse I was receiving.
@whoreseyeview @TrashPrincessss @dfharlot Just run this past my pal Luca, who DF has always hated. We are shaking with laughter at DF.
Luca I mention because he runs SWOU (sex worker open university) which is a collaboration of mostly leftist/anarchist sex workers/allies also involved with ECP and X-talk and who seems to be now involved with ScotsPep the Scottish organisation run by Ruth Morgan Thomas who is also one of the leading figures in NSWP and ICRSE. He is an old adversary and friends with some of those who have been involved in recent twitter hate campaigns. He is also someone “formally” accused of bullying in the GMB sex worker branch and who is now a very well known figure in sex worker rights.
A small militant group in the UK and internationally have been engaged for many years in silencing voices and intimidating opposition to their understanding of sex worker activism. No one does anything about it and questions should be asked why it is tolerated.
I have personally endured these bullies for many years and they are often scary if in a crazed manic way. Be assured no matter how abusive they are they will not silence either myself or Harlots. On Harlots all sex workers regardless of status, politics, faith, ethnicity or orientation will be allowed to post about their lives. Sometimes they will say things that I will not agree with. I will post things others will not agree with. What I will never tolerate is bullying or the manipulations of sex worker voices by manipulative and disruptive groups or individuals.
I live in the North East of England and I meet and socialise with a variety of sex workers. Real sex workers who sell sex to feed their families, pay rents and mortgages, lead the lives of ordinary people. I have little interest in the political Primadonna’s who enter sex work because they have fallen out with their rich daddies (I could mention names but won’t) or for whom sex work is just another add on to a list of anarchist/leftie clichéd part time (ohh look I take drugs am I not rebellious) types who sadly litter activism.
If truth were known most sex workers are just too dam busy to be bothered with activism and most run a mile when they see the sort of people involved. Activism is its own worst enemy in the west, something I point out often and yes get abused for it. One day there will be a force within activism that will be truly inclusive and welcoming and which all sex workers, activists and just the normal sex worker with two point two kids and a Pekingese can be proud to be involved in. Until then we all must fight the bullies and carry on regardless as they say.
I have taken just a “few” of the tweets directed at myself last night to illustrate some of the constant abuse thrown at sex workers ( in this case me) by the bullies within sex worker activism.