So. That was weird. [UPDATED]

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.

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17 thoughts on “So. That was weird. [UPDATED]

  1. I got this reply from SCASE to the repost of your post on their facebook page.

    Hi Kate. Thanks for coming here and reposting that blog post. The post giving out details and alluding to GSW was indeed removed earlier. We do not condone the outing of people and I individually will apologise for her upset, distress and worry . SCASE individual members are welcome to share links, articles and information on this page but we will remove any that we consider to put indiviuals at risk. We are more than happy to meet / communicate directly on this specific posting or any other posting with GSW if she wishes.

  2. I’m sorry this happened to you. They have put a sort of apology in a reply on their Facebook page. Their page had a post about lap dancing clubs trying to recruit students and how its exploitation. But recruiting students isn’t any more exploitative than recruiting anyone else who is poor. At least students get more state money than people on Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance. And what about websites like SeekArrangement.com, isn’t that the same thing as it’s ONLY targeted at students, unlike lap dancing clubs? I think Zada Modelling, that was only paying £80-£120 for porn movies was exploitation and immoral, but I wouldn’t campaign against it, because the porn actors are agreeing to do it. And it’s the amount I disagree with, not anything else.

    • Thank you for the sympathy <3. It was a bit of a shock, even though mostly I'm like this is a totally ridiculous thing to have ever happened, because I'm a total nobody (in the best possible way). x

      • Yeah, I was in two minds about it…I kinda wanted to show that I’m not afraid and I’m happy with what I’m doing, but on second thoughts…yeah. Thanks! 🙂

      • Nah, she didn’t successfully out me at all – just the screen shot I posted above (though, you’re right; if she’d been successful & got my name I could hardly have posted a screen shot of that, could I? Whoa, outing people is so nuclear effective.) But she obviously did some research – or at least claimed to (I mean, I’m *really not* fake, so any evidence she found that I was must either be a mistake on her part, or a lie) – so yeah, I was just freaking out about the attempt, and also the weird accusation. I don’t know what funding she thinks SW orgs have, but certainly not enough to pay a blogger to astroturf!

      • Aw, I felt a bit paternalistic in deleting/editing your comment, but I had like thirty seconds before I needed to leave the house when I was replying yesterday evening, and I’ve only just got back in now (8.45am), so I figured since I had twelve hours of no internet to change anything I’d err on the side of caution. I’m glad you’re okay with that, but I am aware that was totally paternalistic, sorry!

        I’m gonna swing by and read the hell outta your blog this afternoon – I’v not had time since your FAQs, which I loved + had thoughts on but no time to comment! So I’ll do that later. Now, to do things. Sigh.

  3. 🙂 I just did a post inspired by that – not specifically about the incident, just about how the anti-sex work lobby is harmful and if their goals were realised it’d just make conditions worse for sex workers and increase trafficking. And how their reasoning is flawed. I might do a more academic one on legalisation v criminalization and why decriminalization is best. Although the status quo might not be utopian, I think it’s a case of ‘tweak and polish’ more than taking a sledgehammer at it. And thanks btw – I was having second thoughts – guess BM was wrong when she said ‘nobody is as concerned about your anonymity than you’! But then, I can be quite impetuous. It’s the thrill. Roland noticed this. And I think I’d be really shaken too that someone just did that out of spite.

  4. Hey! You started following my queerlygendered blog, which I rarely update these days. I’m blogging more regularly about feminist porn and sex work for my honours thesis at sextextsblog.wordpress.com (sorry that this seems spammy, but I’d love your input on what I’m working on).

  5. Pingback: Anti prostitution rhetoric is an agenda for mass irresponsibility (especially you, Stella Marr) « Diary of a VirginWhore

  6. Pingback: The Women’s Support Project, mean words, and the Rescue Industry gravy train. | A Glasgow Sex Worker

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