“Those who harm us deeply are the executing arm of this prostitution system: consumers. Or plaintiffs. Or buyers. I call them whores.”
In his latest book, Ethics for Celia, Ana de Miguel wonders when men will dare to put ourselves in the place of women as a starting point for their recognition as moral subjects and for our awareness of their state of subordination and dependence. An exercise of empathy that is fundamental, in turn, so that we begin to assume our responsibility in the continuity of the patriarchal order and the macho culture in which it is based. This would be the first step to dismantle the practices and institutions that protect and reproduce violence against women. One of these institutions, which far from disappearing in these neoliberal times has found a magnificent context for its multiplication, is prostitution.
This form of exploitation and servitude of women, in which the patriarchal rule that places them as always available to satisfy our desires and needs is evident with all its cruelty, allows masculinity to reaffirm itself and maintain a dominant position that, today for today, it is subject to permanent challenge thanks to feminism. Hence, it is an essential piece in a context of macho reaction and in which patriarchy and capitalism go hand in hand, reinvented and fierce, to inscribe their colonial dynamics on the body of women. All this perversely disguised with the rhetoric of freedom, with that of the empowerment of women thanks to its erotic capital and with the discourse, often backed by academic authority, that prostitution can be a job, in the same way that Renting a womb to satisfy the parenting wishes of others can be an act of generosity. The eternal generosity and dedication of women. Either saints or whores.
The crucial question we should ask ourselves is whether men’s access to women’s bodies, through money, is a right or a privilege. If we understand the latter, also contextualized within the framework of economic and colonial exploitation that intimately connects prostitution and trafficking, it seems clear that it is only possible to adopt an abolitionist position. This means putting the sanctioning and delegitimizing focus on men as prostitutes, in addition to, of course, pimps and even the very States that are necessary cooperators in the growing sex industry. All this accompanied by sufficient measures and resources that allow prostituted women to have other avenues open for their personal development, their well-being and, ultimately, an alternative life project. In any case, this democratic conquest will not be possible without the decisive intervention of the public powers and without the overcoming of a culture that has socialized men to exercise dominion over women. To the extent that this exercise of omnipotence eroticizes us and allows us to demonstrate, in that continuous performance that is virility, that we are real men.
To begin the process of raising awareness that should then lead to our commitment and action against any form of sexist violence, it would not be a bad thing for men, all whores in fact or potential, to read the overwhelming and courageous book by Amelia Tiganus. On The revolt of the whores, This Romanian who is already half Basque, tells us from her experience as a prostituted woman, the horror of what she calls “concentration camps exclusively for women” and describes the whore as “a macho man who makes use of his privileges, money and power, to satisfy their desires, regardless of the human condition and vulnerability of prostituted women and their circumstances. ”
Amelia, who refuses to consider herself a victim and claims her status as an activist, writes not only from the pain she experienced but also from her progressive feminist awareness. In an admirable exercise of honesty, personal and intellectual, he vindicates the need that, in the face of a reality as dramatic as that of the prostitution system, the speeches do not remain in the Academy and bridges are built between knowledge, experience and activism. Tiganus, who is a proud apprentice of so many things, and who does not hesitate to call things by their name, reveals to us the hurts and miseries that most of society, especially men, do not want to look at. And he points a finger at all the accomplices who, starting with the State, allow that on the outskirts of any of our cities and on many invisible floors, rights violations occur every day and the integrity and dignity of who do not seem to deserve the status of citizens.
The revolt that this activist with a deep and unavoidably sad look is claiming is not only about whores. “It goes of all women – united on the prostitution ground – against this form of patriarchal violence.” A revolt that should uniquely challenge men, as necessary participants in a system that continues to pay us dividends. Only when we are able to start a revolt that leads us to dismantle patriarchal masculinity, and all the violence associated with it, will the feminist struggle end up finding that horizon in which women and men are finally equivalent subjects. A male revolt that delegitimizes prostitutes and violent men and that, finally, allows us to eradicate our gaze on women as holes to penetrate, bellies to rent or, in short, soulless bodies to tame.