Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. – Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940)
Longtime readers know that I always publish my hate mail; newer readers may not realize it because I actually don’t get that much. In fact, I don’t recall getting a single piece in 2012, with the exception of the rare hate comment or “tweet”. Now, I’ve received a number of long anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and misogynistic screeds (which I keep for archival purposes in a folder labeled “crazy people”), but those aren’t personal; genuine hate mail, as I define it, has to be directed at the recipient. The three previous examples appeared in the posts “An Angry Reply”, “Criticism and Response” and “The Country of the Blind”, and if you read the three of them you may be struck by certain similarities which also apply to the new piece I’m going to share today.
The most important unifying factor is that all of these people are incredibly narcissistic. They write to a complete stranger out of the blue and literally demand that she spend her valuable time engaging with them; one insisted that I change my entire writing style to conform to his notions of propriety, and another apparently imagined that I would totally rewrite several of my columns into a new comment for the benefit of an obviously-hostile stranger. None of these people has a shred of evidence to back up their assertions; it’s simply that the narcissist becomes angry and confused when someone challenges his weltanschauung, and demands that the offender defend himself to the narcissist’s satisfaction…however long that takes. The typical True Believer simply turns his back on an infidel, but for the narcissist this is insufficient; if he does not get the personalized explanation he demands, he becomes furious and begins hurling insults. The hate-mailer described in “The Country of the Blind” is a fine example, as is the one I’m about to discuss.
I first heard from him on December 8th, in a short email which asked the last question in yesterday’s Q & A column. Because I was so busy over the holidays I was unable to answer him until December 30th, but he replied within two hours of my answer; he did not thank me or even acknowledge my response, but merely fired off several more questions (the one on squirting and the multi-part one starting “Do most sex workers enjoy sex with clients?” are his, plus another one too vague and broad to be useful in a Q & A column). I answered those as well, and again his reply barely even acknowledged my response; he instead fired off a dozen new questions, most of which I’ve answered before and the rest…well, their tone made me uncomfortable, and also made it abundantly clear he had read virtually none of my columns. I therefore directed him to “Previously Asked Questions” and politely suggested he read the blog for a few weeks before asking more; within hours I got the following response (reprinted exactly as it appeared in the email), under the subject line “how dare you call yourself an honest courtesan”:
If you want people to accept you and whores, you do it by coming out into the open, not by hiding. If you do get abuse, you fight it. Thats how you change peoples attitudes. You cannot make any progress by hiding behind an anonymous name. The same reasoning applies to your second point about not trusting authorities. If what you are doing is legal, you should be open about it. Changes in laws are brought about not by hiding but by challenging peoples views. The same applies to your third reason. You have all these fears about the consequences of revealing your identity. You would rather live in fear through anonymity than face any opposition that might come about by revealing your identity. This is a cowardly act and does not support your cause to defend prostitutes and uncover the myths about them. Perhaps these are just excuses to hide the real reasons you want to remain anonymous?
By the way, you are not and can not be representative of all prostitutes. Different women do it for different reasons. You say that prostitutes are no different from other women. This is a lie. You are not only hiding behind an anonymous facade but suggest that what you write is representative of all prostitutes. This is a fallacy. Some are victims of trafficking and a lack of other job choices. Other prostitutes such as yourself who go into it specifically to profit from it, are the perpetrators. The victims are the men. Its the men who have a lack of choices here. Prostitutes in this case only serve to profit financially from meddling with the relationships between women and men. It does nothing to address the reasons men seek prostitutes.
Prostitutes of your kind, increase the demand for all sex workers. This means it fuels the more sinister form of prostitution, including trafficking which you deny even happens. There is plenty evidence available.
Sex can be a part of a committed long term relationship or a casual encounter. Where do whores like you fit into the picture? They are the opportunists who come along and profit from any reason a man can give for seeking sex. They may be unhappy with their marriage, or unable to find a partner. People like you do nothing to foster healthy relationships between men and women, it only undermines it. Just because men have difficulties having a fulfilling sex life, it doesnt make it right for you to exploit their needs for your profit. Its clear now why you would want to remain anonymous. You swindle men and pretend you are doing them a favor. That is quite shameful.
As you can see, he dropped his previous veneer of politeness and pretense of seeking knowledge as soon as I refused to waste my time answering questions he could easily have answered for himself just by reading the blog. The commenter has an Asian name, and this mixture of authoritarian statism, moralism and misogyny is not unusual in that part of the world; the “sex trafficking” mythology and “end demand” rhetoric are Western additions to the mess, and the Madonna/whore rubbish, sleazy accusations and straw man fallacy are common among muddleheaded individuals around the world.
My answer to this was a single line: “Thanks for revealing your true motivations before I waste any more time on you.” His reply was even more pugnacious, daring me to post his message so we could “see what others have to say in response.” When I informed him that I always posted hate mail and had already transferred his letter to a draft document, he made a logically-incoherent reply about my “defensive behavior [being] indicative of guilt”, but then asked if I would refrain from publishing his letter if he asked.
My reply? “Nope.”
Postscript: This column was originally scheduled to appear Tuesday, but when I reshuffled a number of columns to make room for “The Truth About ‘The Truth About…’” it was moved to today. Like clockwork, the hate mailer (whom I had told when to expect his letter) emailed me on Tuesday, demanding to know where it was and launching into a new torrent of abuse. Now go back and reread the paragraph about narcissism.