Until our society grows up and stops believing in ridiculous fairy tales about magical sex acts and ritual purity, sex workers will continue to be treated as disposable. And until the day that sex work is universally recognized as work and sex workers recognized as fully human, we must never stop reminding our society that it has our blood on its collective hands. – “December Seventeenth”
Last year, I wrote the words above just two days before keeping vigil with my sisters for our fallen; less than three weeks later the “authorities” in Seattle saw fit to destroy one of the means by which we try to prevent the violence which claims so many of us. It was a grim reminder of the deep evil of Prohibition, the sociopathic belief that a certain group has the right to dictate which kinds of peaceful, consensual behavior are acceptable within the confines of imaginary lines drawn on a map, and to send out armed thugs to destroy people’s lives in hope of “sending a message” that the so-called “authorities” don’t approve of the behavior in question. I want you to really think about the morality of that for a minute: these “authorities” know that they can’t ever stop consensual behaviors; everyone knows it. No form of prohibition in the history of the world has ever succeeded; the twisted monsters who pretend to “lead” us can’t even stop people in prisons from getting drugs, so how can they possibly succeed in stopping people who aren’t locked up from having sex with each other for the “wrong” reasons? It’s utterly, completely and absolutely impossible; nobody but a madman could possibly imagine it had even the slightest chance of succeeding in a million years. In fact, most prohibitionists willingly admit this, hence their oft-repeated statement that by inflicting savage violence on peaceful people they hope to “send a message” to others. But the morality of that motivation is even more profoundly sick, evil and vile than the idea that “authorities” have the right to control people’s lives in the first place; it is based in the notion that those “authorities” not only own every single person within their claimed jurisdiction, but that the worth of our lives to them are as that of pieces of paper, to be used to “send a message” upon at their whim. Under prohibition, my life, your life and the lives of everyone reading this are nothing but cheap, disposable and interchangeable objects with which “messages” can be sent to all the other pieces of human trash…and then crumpled up and thrown away. That is the real “message” sent by the very existence of prohibitionist laws: we own you and millions of others, and we can dispose of you at a whim. On this day, we remember the sex workers whose lives were destroyed by the State’s “message sending”, but the State sends similar “messages” using the bodies of others 365 days a year. Its agents shoot people down in the streets like mad dogs; it shovels them into holes in the ground like garbage. And though our bodies and those of our clients are the ones the State mostly uses to send its “message” against sex, that isn’t the only “message” it wants to send; it also wants to send “messages” against drugs and many other forms of pleasure; against free thought, free speech and free movement; against self-determination and self-ownership; and most of all against the dangerous idea that it does not own you and has no right to control your body, your mind or your possessions. And when its power-mad functionaries decide to emphasize a “message” that you happen to be a good example of, you will find yourself just as disposable to those functionaries as sex workers are to them now.