Shut the Subaltern up! And if you can’t do that, deride her.
Partially cross-posted at community.feministing.com
I was appalled to read Donna Hughes’s opinion piece in the Providence Journal entitled “R.I.’s Carnival of Prostitution ,” where she resorts to ad hominem attacks on women who speak for themselves about their experiences in the sex industry. She is an endowed chair at the University of Rhode Island’s Women’s Studies Program, and I am forced to wonder what her students are learning. She condescendingly refers to one woman as “tattooed,” and derides another (while constantly mentioning her ethnicity) for referring to her profession as “it.” As one commenter pointed out,
That never ever ever happens with other professions, right? I mean who, when asked if they enjoyed teaching women’s studies for example, would say “oh yes, I love IT.”
It has been a long-standing issue with sex workers that we are silenced by the media and others; spoken for and about but never with . People even caution others to not listen to us, as we are under “false consciousness” about what we choose to do with our bodies. Now we are being derided by the very people who proclaim to wish to “rescue” us.
Sadly, both the RI house and senate have decided that it is a good thing to criminalize sex workers.
Someday, folks will realize that sex workers are people too, and that we have a voice. And they may just one day begin to listen to us.