Nor an archetype, a case study, an insect under a magnifying glass. I am not a virus to isolate. I am not a social disease, I can’t be cured, and I don’t need to be. I am not a remainder, a conclusion, or a result. I am not a sob story, or a example. I’m not a vector, though I might be contagious, but that’s not my problem.

A friend of mine likes to say I always make friends with anthropologists because I’m a case study. This turned out to be a bit of a prophetic statement. A few days ago one of my housemates (described here) told me he was doing a paper on organized crime in this city. Furthermore, he was going to use me and one of the other guys who stay at the rooming house as his primary sources. Now, as you can see from the linked post, this dude is basically my political enemy. Conservative, straight white able bodied rich boy who grew up in the suburbs and voted for Harper. Seriously. Not only that, but he’s a mean, manipulative fuck who’s been starting drama between housemates, and given me shit for my job on numerous occasions. Obviously, this international business major has never even heard the term anti-oppression, nor empowering methodology, or have any sense of “giving back” in this project. It’s more that “If I did this study in Montreal, I’d get in some serious shit.” So instead, he wants to study me and this other guy who he talks shit on all the time for having an accent and being poor.

“Aren’t you excited to have someone find something interesting about your life?”

I ripped into him, obviously. Or more, I ripped into the vast majority of popular and academic portrayals of sex workers which objectify, fetishize, victimize, sell out, silence and disempower us. I said he’d have to compensate me to make it worth it,  to which he asked why I would , in my own words, selling out fellow sex workers. A good point. I’m not going to.

At one point another woman who lives there, who was sitting through this conversation (and who I hadn’t come out to, way to violate sex worker ally rule #1 shithead), interjected that “Most prostitutes have been sexually abused as kids…” Thanks dumbass, did you get your degree in sex worker studies at Fox university or what?

The conversation ended with me again stating that such studies often disempower marginalized populations, and him firing back that rapists and pedophiles are a marginalized population. “Some of them have, like, tumors in their heads that make them do it. It’s not their fault. Should I be sensitive to them, too?” I walked away after that one.

I think this guy is the shittiest person I have ever met. I feel far more violated by this dudes constant judgement, mild sexual harassment, manipulation, and attacks then I ever have by a client. More even than some people who have sexually assaulted me.

I try to remember that some people, though their priviledges give them a mask of confidence, superiority, social seductiveness, are really just idiots. And though their toxic bullshit might hurt my feelings right now, I’m smarter than them, I’m nicer than them, and a better person than them.

The reason this hurts is not because these individuals think so little of me. They also watch hip hop dance shows and make comments on how shameful it is “they can’t speak english” and are “gangsters,” among other racist jabs. They listen to me play klezmer, call it “circus music” and then make anti-semitic remarks. The woman I mentioned had two kids with an Indian man, and will cook biryani while ridiculing her ex-inlaws’ accents. This is not the type of statement I often, or really ever make, but I’ll say it here: they are below me.

The reason this hurts is that, though these rich, white, straight, “sane,” able-bodied, rich, isolated shitheads are the demographic minority, they are the moral majority. The shit they say is what so many think but hold back. The law is on their side, the academy is on their side, the media is their side. It’s easy to be privileged, that’s the point. And even those of us lacking in such privileges often internalize their oppressive ideologies at the cost of our own self-esteem, and solidarity with eachother.  Why do we continue to be seduced by “normalcy,” and the attentions of people who will never understand what it is to hate yourself as much as the powers that be already do? That’s a rhetorical question, I know why. The hardest thing to internalize is to privilege experiences of hardship and marginalization. Even harder to convince others that this is a relevant stance to take. Even harder to enact it.

Last night one housemate, she’s younger and and from a poor background, and I were discussing what to do about this guy (again, the one writing the paper) harassing another housemate who suffers from bipolar and schizophrenia. I said, it seems like this guy is the one source of most of the drama and intrigue, why don’t we try to kick him out? She agreed and we went off about all the shit that has been talked behind our backs just because we’re not “normal.” Yet this morning she and the rest were making jokes at my expense over breakfast. Where’s the solidarity?

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