Another Day In the Life of A Brown Girl?
WARNING: I don't do this to you often, but from time to time, something touches me so deeply that I don't bother to keep length in mind. This is...LONG!! Grab a cold beverage & kick ya feet up. & if you have feedback, feelings, thoughts of any kind, PLEASE DO SHARE!!
Two weekends ago my friend Starr & I were having a rather deep textversation. Reading all the convo entailed makes me wonder WHY we bothered typing all of this. It dawned on me that part of the beauty of it is that often in a real conversation people are busy making their own points that they aren’t listening. There were no voices talking over each other to distract, no familiar nuances to draw assumptions from—nothing but the words.
Starr was putting me on to a new trend where apparently white [racist] men lure black women via placed ads for what seems like escort & sex services from what I gleaned (though may have misunderstood) & then get these women in very vulnerable positions where they are humiliated, disrespected, & it’s all filmed. Then, it’s put on websites. Star wants to figure out how to protect these women. The act is, without a doubt, despicable. My mind immediately raced to what causes a woman to even be in a position to be trolling for such offers & how hard it is to protect ANY woman in that situation. In my opinion, she’s already crossed the threshold of danger in order to meet some kind of need. The beginning of the conversation, for some reason, didn’t transfer along with the rest, but I’m sharing what remains with you for the sake of information & challenging your opinions on this thing that I just got schooled on.
Starr: Or they walk up to women in the street and off cash for "work". They bring them back to their crib, interview them about their lives on camera. Then rape them. Humiliate them (everything from putting their feces on the women's heads to making women drink their own vomit after they've gagged from penis being forced down their throats). All on camera.
Me: 2 things come to mind:
Starr: And then they put it on a website where other racist men can watch brown and black women being humiliated. They call them names, kick them out and give them 100dollars or so for their time. #hurtingoverthis
Me: 1-women who are sex workers are at risk for/of a bazillion addictions/fetishes & fetishists/psychosis/diseases/attitudes/etc. The list never ends. 2-because of this, they are at risk for the unknown period. & hard to protect from ANYTHING.
Starr: But they're not sex workers.
Me: It's sickening.
Starr: They prefer women who just need money. Young and old. They go for the common round the way girls.
Me: So people post adds bout needing $$?
Starr: Yes. They lure them in with money.
Me: The way you described it is desperate women essentially responding to doin anything for $.
Starr: Then they talk about meeting up. Well they are desperate.
Me: Which is my overall point.
Starr: But I can't classify them as sex workers.
Me: What hurts most for me is the necessity of women needing to engage in any of this for survival. So...a woman who doesn't standardly sell sex. But not formal prostitution? I don't feel any less for a prostitute than a desperate woman. They're the same woman.
Starr: I don't agree.
Me: They're not both desperate?
Starr: I know prostitutes who enjoy their work, this is what they want to do. These girls feel they have no choice left. It’s different.
Me: For education? $$? Acceptance-social or familial?
Starr: They leave battered.
Me: How do u think prostitutes get started? To think you like that is a desperate place your life/mental has gone.
Starr: Not at all, Ndygo.
Me: How not? & there are etc's. Survival. Feed kids. Lack of skills. Sexually abused. On & on. Creates desperation. Rent due. Groceries. Tuition. Drug habits.
Me: Misplaced need for validation. Fill in the blanks w/anything that leads to desperation, disenfranchisement, etc.
Insert a LONG PAUSE
Starr: I'm done. No more.
Me: I was sitting quietly waiting to learn something. But OK.
Starr: No u will.
Starr: I think why this particular movement is so offensive is that it gets women before they have become a part of the sexual system. These guys are doing it purposely to break the black community. I hear u focusing on the women...but the context for which this is going down is not about sex at all. When u watch one of the videos, it is abundantly clear that this is a method (perhaps wllie lynch esque) to systematically break us down, one by one. I can't pull all the blame on the women.
Yes they need to be educated, made aware of what's going down, but they also need opportunities, proper learning places and support groups. Right to all of that. But the men, the dogs behind this, need to be slaughtered. I also find it troublesome when people assume that women have been molested or defiled in some way prior and that's the only reason they get caught up in this. A lot of the women begged to leave once they realized what the deal was. They were threatened (on camera) and forced to stay. I'm not even sure all of them knew sex was part of the equation at first honestly.
Me: I don't blame the women nor do I make any of those assumptions. I just listed any # of things can make a woman feel desperate & linking them to any woman--prostitute or otherwise. Those conditions & unnamed ones are the root for what even makes us vulnerable to this kind of solicitation, allowing the ideas/sickness of these men to even be "successful."
Insert another pause.
Starr: Sorry phone died. Wasn’t finished. To me these girls and women are different from those who choose to give sex willingly. While some may share similar issues socially, psychologically, economical ---or none of the above--- It doesn't mean they can't be saved. That's like saying the dude on the corner can't be saved because his family has a history of going in and out of prison. I don't believe or agree with that.
Responding to u now... I think when u talk about the root of a problem, u have to include the systematic/institution-based problems as well. Not just the disturbing qualities of a person's psyche.
Me: It's actually not. I'm saying they're more similar than dissimilar. Said nothing of them deserving it. Sounds like because they're more "regular" they deserve more respect. ?? I'm saying it doesn't matter which end of the spectrum the woman is on, when she responds to things out of a sense of need/desperation/survival it's difficult to protect her from any number of dangers, including this 1.
Starr: If I am feeling desperate and at my end, if I have a system of support (community or otherwise), access to good education, etc I won't choose or find myself in those situations either.
Me: The institution is what damages the person's psyche. You must've missed that. It's embedded.
Starr: And I am saying to you, that some women who are prostitutes love it. None of the women love this. (I think that's what makes prostitution sticky)
Me: Think they do. & why? Because something is WRONG, whether they identify or not. But the prostitutes aren't the focus.
Starr: My mom was raped last year.
Me: You told me. ((Raises hand)) HELLO! Me too. I'm not blaming any woman in our discussion.
Starr: It sounds like it. And yes I remember.
Me: How? I needed clarification on your distinction because I see no need for any.
A woman, no matter the professsion--full time, part time or 1 time--shouldn't be subjected to this. But when you are in a situation where it comes w/dangers built in it's hard to protect from ANY!
Starr: I agree.
Me: That was my only point. Ever.
Starr: But u dont see how walking onto the strip is different from being bamboozled into it?
Me: I'm asking if it matters?
Starr: Not saying they all shouldn't be saved...but its different.
Me: I ain’t talking bout saving. Speaking to how you get there.
Starr: I'm talking about saving, and how to break the cycle.
Me: HOW does that woman get to feeling the need to respond to such solicitation?
What she assumes is basic, before she's caught unawares. WHY does she need what he seems to be offering?
Starr: I get that.
Me: That's where your cycle is.
Starr: I’m not sure.
Me: OK. Then where?
Starr: Maybe I need time to sort out what I’m trying to articulate.
Thank you for your patience & your commitment as you read through that. Do know that it was just as time consuming for me to get this conversation from phone to page. The conversation is clearly on pause until Starr can get her thoughts together. For now, however, I’m curious about your thoughts on this topic. Keep in mind, the topic itself is disgusting enough for me NOT to do any extra research & try to find the kind of sites Starr told me about. I KNOW full well that I canNOT view any such material. Feel free to look it up or just speak from the heart/mind based on what you’ve read here. If there were ever a time I wanted you to come from behind your lurking curtain, it’s now. Weigh in. Please.
Watch me move.