I am extremely tired.
I was awake, freaking out, for much of the night, because Stella Marr did some research on me and attempted to out me on SCASE.
Given that SCASE were just the other day complaining about how the “pro-sex worker lobby” will try to out (anti-sex work) former sex workers, it seems a little hypocritical of them to be celebrating this development. Or, if they’re not sure why I might have been up half the night, they could of course ask the woman they know who has exited prostitution. She might be able to clear up any confusions about why, when people go looking for information about you, that’s a threat, and your hands shake.
Self-evidently, Stella’s slur is the perfect catch-22. I can hardly prove that I’m not an internet campaigns company without outing myself, can I? I can hardly invite any interested SCASErs to replicate Stella’s research to see if they get the same results. I would certainly be interested to see where she got that information from, because I’ve just googled the email address that I signed up with – it’s an old email associated with a zine I briefly wrote, about eighteen months ago – and nothing at all comes up. Luckily for me.
I say luckily for me not because I’m hiding the fact that I’m an internet campaign generator, or something. If I was, I wouldn’t be very good value for money – I’ve probably written thousands and thousands of words here (sorry, y’all) over the last few months, and my stat counter sits stubbornly at approximately sixty hits a day. Which is great! I’m not complaining. I don’t want to be a star, I just want a place to write about the stuff that I’m reading and thinking. If the substance of what I’m thinking disturbs Stella – or any other prohibitionist – they’re welcome to argue back. After all, the post literally underneath this one is a serious request to SCASE on how to make the conversation safer for former sex workers who share their analysis.
The other thing is, if I was an internet campaigns generator, what would happen if someone messaged me looking to – as my page rather bluntly puts it – buy sex? Sending an intern would, I believe, be against the law. Anyway, I suppose I should be flattered that anyone could think that writing this thing is someone’s job. It’s great that you think I’m so professional, I … guess.
I really am exactly who I say I am, and it says a lot about the prohibitionist worldview that they can’t accept that. My feminism is about believing women – about listening, and not erasing. I’ve never questioned the authenticity or the experiences of anyone who disagrees with me – because I believe women, and because I can question their politics without attempting to discredit their identities.
SCASE have, in fairness, now deleted Stella’s post. But to me the damage is done – there’s still the idea hanging over me that I’m a fake, there’s still the implicit threat of “I did some research and I could do some more”; there’s still my night of lost sleep and my shaking hands, and my zomboid demeanour today. I’d like a public apology from SCASE, on their Facebook page, since that’s where this ridiculous fandango went down.
Obviously that won’t happen – who’s easier to ignore than a hooker, eh? But it would be great if one of you people reading could maybe click through and leave a link to this post on their wall, just because I’m so frustrated that as it stands, I don’t get any right of reply. (Normally I wouldn’t invade their space like this, but since this blog was smeared there last night, I think one instance of replyness seems fair.)
NOTE: obviously I don’t mean harass them. If just one person posts this once that would be great; I don’t even suggest you stay and argue; since it is a prohibitionist space, that would kind of be trolling. Don’t troll!
UPDATE: I was wrong! They did apologise. Thanks SCASE! I kind of didn’t expect the link to be allowed to stay up, but it has, so that’s great. I accept your apology gratefully. Now let us return to our respective barricades and mutually endeavour to always keep it political, not personal.