Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

Rebecca’s Story

Posted by charliegrrl on February 5, 2007

Rebecca is a good friend of mine, not to mention a fellow Northwest Feminist and ReSister.

This is her story…

My Experiences in Sex Work
I write this for I wish to connect the reason I became a radical feminist to my experiences in sex work.
I was brought up in an atmosphere where porn and sexual abuse was my day-to-day experience. Therefore, getting involved with paid sex was just an extensive of my abuse.
I can see this now.

In the past, I thought I was dirty and bad. I believed the thought-patterns of patriarchy. To blame myself, was easier than thinking my body was a war-zone for men hatred of women.
In my youth, I felt I had “chosen” to do sex work. Now, I see I was brain-washed by my stepdad’s abuse. He made me feel that I was an object. My stepdad was obsessed with hard-core porn, which I saw as a child. I learnt that sex was associated with pain and fear. I was taught that I was just an object to be used and tossed away. I taught myself not to care.
Therefore, for me, entering sex work was a natural act. The sex work that I did was sadistic sex, but I made myself not care. I could not let myself feel the pain of my abuse.
I was used as a rubbish tip for men to pour out all their hatred of women. I had become real-life porn.
This begun when I was 14. At that time, I was dead inside. This meant that when I was abused violently, I could not feel the pain. I did not cry or scream. I did not even move.
This was very dangerous. On occasions, I almost killed. On many occasions, I was badly injured. Only, I could allow myself to care.
Now I can look back, and I can allow myself to grieve. I have transformed my life. But, I want to remember where I come from. I want to celebrate my strength to stay alive at that time.
I wish to campaign against the sex industry. I find this hard, because my emotions are so vulnerable on this issue. But, I want to stop the suffering of women in the sex industry.
Often I find this hard, especially when I hear other women trivialising the conditions of sex work. I feel that there is an atmosphere that consider that sex work is chosen freely and could be empowering. Although, there may be some sex workers that have chosen their work, I feel that they are in the minority. Many sex workers have to be cut off from their emotions,and are often very defensive of their situation. It could be easier to say that you enjoy doing sex work, than to consider why you enter that world.
Many sex worker find difficult to trust, for they have betrayed for much of their lives.
I wish to work against the sex industry, But it very emotionally draining. I wish to be truthful, but this is hard. I fear that it will seen as individual pain,and therefore unimportant.
I know that story is common. That is why I became a feminist.


8 Responses to “Rebecca’s Story”

  1. Rebecca – thank you.

  2. Sam said

    Rebecca, thank you for telling your story. It really does help all women every time another woman tells her truth, however much it hurts to go there emotionally.

    I don’t know if it’s more of a curse or a comfort to tell you that you’re not alone, but it is what it is.

  3. Ditto Rebecca thank you so much for taking such a courageous stance and speaking out.

  4. witchy-woo said

    And thanks from me, too, Rebecca. You’re very brave.

  5. stormy said

    Ditto from me too Rebecca. ((hugs))

    It takes strength and courage to firstly survive the abuse, the sex industry, and then to become an active feminist fighting against all of those things. You have that strength and courage, and of course our support.

    Most surveys indicate that about 90% of prostituted women wish to leave prostitution. That surely is such a clear majority, that even the most stupid of people can recognise that there is something wrong with the whole thing.


  6. gill said

    Rebecca – thanks so much for sharing your story. Your courage is amazing, and the analysis you make of your childhood experience just goes to show how important is is to fight tooth and nail to protect kids. I wish you all the best.

  7. alexandra said

    Thank you for sharing. i imagine writing that piece was painful and took alot of strength, which you have in ample supply.

  8. Grace said

    Thankyou Rebecca.

    I am sorry for what you have been through.

    I was struck by your comment at the end, about how you want to campaign against the sex industry, but that is painful for you. It is painful enough for those of us fortunate enough not to have been directly involved; so what it must be like for you I cannot imagine. What I wanted to say was – yes, do what you can, if you want, but TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF first & foremost & if it is too much then that is ok. There are others of us who will do this work. I wish you a happy, recovered life free of this s**t.

    Love, Grace x

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