Oh happy day, an involuntary week off of work, and little but endless hours of accordion practice. I’ve decided to, against all advice from vip-type internet escorts, lower my prices. Clients won’t come in and see me, as I’m bigger, hairier, a bit ruder, and more expensive than most of the other girls. I think I’ve literally priced myself out of the market, which means I am making zilch. And it’s slow season.

In other news…
So I live in a small city where everyone seems to know everyone (and their mother, and every stupid thing they’ve ever done while drunk). Many of the university students are out of the loop, sure, but if you’re mostly friends with people from town or who have been living here for a while, there’s really no one you’ll meet more than 2 social degrees away. There’s one girl who I’ve seen streetworking around town since I got here, and it turns out a few friends of mine know her. It’s also relevant to note that, also related to the small-town condition, I don’t have many friends who I’m on the same page with politically. But they’re friends nonetheless and know what I do and are seemingly non-judgmental about it. Last night I was hanging out and this girl came up in conversation:

friend 1: Oh man I can’t stand ____! She’s so fucking annoying! (to me) you know ___? She’s a streetworker. And she always gets in my face when I call her a prostitute. She yells ‘I’m a WORKING GIRL!.’ Like what’s the fucking difference? All women who work are working girls! And she just pisses me off.

friend 2: Yeah I just call her a crackwhore cause she is one. A dirty fuckin crackwhore.

Now, friend number one definitely knows what I do, friend number two may not have figured out what I meant by “massage parlour.” Either way, this conversation kind of knocked the wind out of me.

me: Well, it’s hard work, and if someone asks you to call them something, you should respect it.
friend 1: Yeah, I would, but she’s just so freaking annoying.

So, what then, you only act respectfully towards me because you like me? And you think that talking like that about someone who does basically the exact same thing as me (except in a generally more difficult setting) will not hurt me, too?

Once upon a time I was at a week long workshop sort of thing, and I was getting a ride to it every day with a male friend. Given the 30 minutes drive every day, we got to know each other and I developed a platonic liking towards the dude. A few days into it, a woman who was also at the workshop started acting really aggressively towards this guy, seemingly out of nowhere. I personally didn’t like her, and so I totally entertained his complaints and agreed that she was a crazy bitch. He told me- “Yeah, we cuddled one night in her tent, and all of a sudden she acts all aggro towards me!”

It came out to me, in confidence, a few weeks later that he’d sexually assaulted her in her tent. She didn’t want to talk about it publicly for fear of the reaction being even more hurtful than the assault itself.

I remember sitting on the steps in of my friends house in savannah, hearing this, and realizing that I’d let my own petty dislike of this woman override my solidarity with her. And I realized how common that is, and that it is a tool privileged people use to pit the oppressed against each other. And I promised my friend who told me, that I’d try my damnedest never to be so shortsighted again.

No, I’m not going to make a racist joke about a person of color I don’t like. I’m not going to call them a fucking faggot because they happen to be queer. I’m not going to insult someone because of their weight because I’m trying to discredit them. That shit is just stupid, and easy, and shows how little one actually has to back up their opinion. After all, if you dislike someone, shouldn’t there be a more compelling reason other than how they look or what they do? If they’ve done you so wrong that you can’t even be in solidarity with them if they’re dealing with some traumatic shit, wouldn’t you have called out or distanced yourself from them already? I know this isn’t possible all the time, especially in a small community, but there should be a really fucking good excuse.
Being “annoying” is a piss poor excuse to shit talk someone, especially who is dealing with economic, gender-based, and sex worker oppression. But apparently I’m relatively lonely, holding this position.