#METOO Must Include Prostitution

There is a selfish reason why we non-prostituted women need to understand the experience of women in prostitution: because our worst nightmares are their daily experiences, and because they understand so clearly what misog-yny in action feels like and looks like.AsAutumn Burris, founder of Survivors for Solutions, put it, “Prostitution is #MeToo on steroids due to the hourly sexual har-assment, rape, unwanted advances/penetration and aggressive and violent behav-ior by white, privileged men sexually commodifying our bodies.”

Speaking about sexual abuse, a woman said,

It just was way, way, way, way too much. Each time that I was taking it, again and again, it just felt like more of me diminishing, just getting smaller until it was just like a shell of a person.

When I first read this account, I assumed I was reading a description of prostitu-tion. No. This account was an automobile factory worker in Chicago describing what it was like when her boss abused her. Another woman described her response to sexual abuse at theFord factory, “No person should have to endure that.You have to force yourself into a place of not feeling anything, of not having any emo-tion, to exist” (Chira & Einhorn, 2017). These descriptions of what it feels like to be sexually harassed on the jobare identical to women’s descriptions of what prosti-tution is like: “It is internally damaging,” said a survivor of strip club prostitution, “You become in your own mind what these people do and say with you. You wonder how could you let yourself do this and why do these people want to do this to you?” Another prostituted woman explained:”They stare at you with this starving hun-ger.It sucks you dry; you become this empty shell. They’re not really looking at you; you’re not you. You’re not even there” (Farley, 2003).


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