Sex Workers and Unpersons.

I haven’t written here in a while.  I spent the last few months in a wheelchair, and then healing from being in the wheelchair, and now being sick the past month and finally getting treated for pneumonia.  But I’m coming out of that now, and I’m moving forward.  These experiences has given me so much to be thankful for!

I’m thankful that I’ve had the privilege of making more friends that do disability activism, so that I can learn from their community, and their amazing strengths.  I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to really experience being in a wheelchair, however briefly, and how much I truly loved being an non-person, versus being less than a person. I’m thankful that I had the experience of being violated from their good intentions and grabbing my wheelchair and pushing me across the street without my permission or desire.

But really, I’m thankful for the huge amounts of self growth and new relationships I’ve been able to form.  And I’m so so so very glad I got to watch this video:

The video is all about being an unperson.  I was amazed at the similarities that Sex Workers share with Amanda Baggs’ experience of being an unperson.  Some of the quotes I really resonated with:

“Being an unperson means being at the mercy of the theories other people have about you”.

“An unperson can’t tell about beatings, rape, torture and murder, if  she does, she will not be believed”

“An unperson knows that the law will never come to his aid, not the way it does for real people”.

But, for all the similarities that we have, we have some very strong differences, one is that we can be selectively “unpersons”.  We have the choice of being in the closet about our Sex Work, and when in the closet, we don’t have to face being an unperson.  (Unless you get arrested by the police and they paste your picture all over town, or put you on TV like they have been known to do.)

I’m thankful for learning about my fellow brothers and sisters who are struggling for basic human rights.  Our struggles are different (and sometimes vastly different), but we have similarities and I hope that all of us can come together around the things we have in common, and respect each other’s differences.

3 Responses

  1. This is amazing and profound and universal.

    “Rage is nothing compared to erasure.”

    “Being an unperson means that you are not allowed to want what anyone else [a real person] would want in your situation.”

    Thanks for sharing this, Tara.

    XX

  2. It’s becoming more common in America that anyone who is below a certain income level is considered an unperson, regardless of race. That needs to change.

  3. Especially since it is becoming more common for people to be below a certain income level.

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