Tag Archives: Exploitation

Relationships & Predatory Men – Protect Yourself

“I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies”
-Tupac, Keep Ya Head Up, 1993

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The inspiration for this post came from meeting an unfortunate woman today whose story made my blood boil. It reminded me my own abuse experience and the experiences of so many women I’ve met. It is my duty to create awareness so that others don’t have to experience what we have gone through..

Anyone who comes from vulnerable circumstances (ie: broken, unstable or neglectful families, trauma) is, unfortunately, at a higher risk for exploitation.  Almost all prostitutes come from difficult circumstances. These circumstances are the prime “push” factor that push us towards sex work. And sadly, these life experiences can also make us targets for predators. For me, I was lucky that I developed ‘thick skin’ from a young age and learnt to be resilient to indecent men. I previously had long term relationships with kind and caring men, and therefore I felt I had a good sense of judgement on others. But unfortunately, I was not immune and ended up in an abusive relationship which broke off early last year. In the aftermath, I asked many questions about how I allowed such a hostile person into my life. What made me overlook all the red flags? I had such strict standards for myself, how did I allow myself to settle for such horrible treatment? I realized that I was vulnerable, and I was exploited for it. I mistakenly thought that I was not vulnerable because I was strong minded and my own boss. The truth is: women are less safe when their only defender is themselves. In fact, anyone is less safe when they are left to fend for themselves, because humans by nature are meant to be social. An animal wandering off alone in the woods is at more risk of being attacked than one who wanders with their flock. The purpose of this post is to create awareness, which can help other women protect themselves and be more vigilant about who they let into their lives.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a feminist. I would never endorse the idea that ALL men are bad. Good men do exist indeed. But women need to be warned about the increasing phenomenon of certain men who’s intent is to harm and exploit women. For instance, there are popular men groups on the internet that discuss tactics of using women for the sole purpose of sex. In an age of internet anonymity and the breakdown of strong communities, it is easier for predators to exploit the vulnerable and not face any backlash.

Who is a Coward?

To exploit or harm another person is severe enough, but to harm or exploit a person in a vulnerable position makes one an utmost COWARD. A vulnerable person is one who has weak or little support from family and the wider society, and/or they are too young or physically weak to defend themselves. Vulnerability doe NOT mean one is weak-minded or submissive. I consider myself very strong and resilient, yet I was vulnerable in the sense that I only had myself to rely on for everything.

Cowardly abusers exploit for the very fact that their victims have no protectors. In other words, this kind of abuser likely won‘t dare to harm a woman who has a strong kin, because a strong kin would mean a Father, Uncles and Brothers would take justice if anyone tried to harm their womenfolk. In my experience, my abuser harmed me because he knew he would face no backlash from any male family members or any community. He wouldn’t do the same to a woman with a strong family backing, because he would be worried about ruining his public image. A great way to determine ones true character is to see how they treat others behind closed doors — a lot of people who appear “nice” in public can behave indecently in private (where they can’t get caught). 

As my blog has highlighted in recent posts, I was in an abusive relationship. Even after an abusive relationship ends, the psychological effects of abuse linger. The following website quotes the experience of the aftermath of abuse:

“Even after leaving the relationship, women described experiencing panic attacks, had flashbacks or nightmares, self-harmed, and suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. This could make it difficult to socialise or trust other people.”
-Read more: (http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/domestic-violence-abuse/womens-experiences-domestic-violence-and-abuse/impact-domestic-violence-and-abuse-womens-mental-health#ixzz5mxgxhcbU )

After my experience, I came to realize that what happened to me is becoming common. Indeed there are people who simply make mistakes, feel remorse and actively change. But in some cases, including my own, there are people who can destroy or attempt to destroy the well being of others and have absolutely zero guilt or remorse. 

Since my experience, I have crossed paths with other women whom also were exploited and abused by partners. As I came to know their stories, I realized that these women and myself lacked awareness of what healthy love meant. Our crime was having an open heart. I fear for any woman to experience what these women and I experienced, so it is my duty to warn others. I have seen suicide and lives ruined from abuse and exploitation that happens in the name of fraudulent love.

Today, my heart broke again and I was fuming with anger after I met a woman who has recently been separated from an abusive partner. I went to the masjid (an Islamic place of worship) and I reunited with Samia, a woman I hadn’t seen in nearly 6 years. In those 6 years, she had two beautiful children. The last time I saw her, she was optimistic, fresh-faced, hard-working at a great job and freshly converted to Islam. She is now divorced, on welfare, and emotionally destroyed from an abusive, garbage-excuse-of-a-human husband. Her eyes were swollen (likely from endless tears). I recognized those lost, sullen, terrified eyes that reminded me of the heart-broken women I met when I used to work in a brothel. When she told me her story, I realized her ex-husband was very similar to my abusive ex. A narcissistic abuser — used the same tactics of lovebombing, devaluation, psychological manipulation, and discard. And then she told me her story: she grew up in a broken home, an absent Father and emotionally absent family. As result, she grew up with a big heart yearning for love. She was exploited for her vulnerability. Her story is one that I see time and time again —- a vulnerable woman who just wants to be loved and feel secure (and sadly, she attracted a predator who exploited her loving heart).

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Why is it that vulnerable women (or vulnerable people, in general) crave for love and belonging? That is because it’s a core basic need of the human condition. According to the renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow, a human must have their basic needs (see the diagram above) met before they can pursue their full-potential. After our physiological needs for food, water and sleep, a human needs to feel they belong to a group and feel loved and secure. When the basic need of wholesome love and belonging  is not met, depression and despair is inevitable. As a result, many will resort to drugs and other vices to cope with this despair.

The good news is that difficult circumstances and experiences can be healed and mended. It takes a lot of patience, however. What’s crucial to improving ones life is getting support from wholesome people and gaining a sense of belonging. There is a beautiful metaphor that says we humans are all tulip buds, and we just need the right conditions to bloom (ie: enough water and sunlight). If one comes from difficult circumstances, then have hope that your outcomes can change as long as you fill your life with wholesome things that can make you bloom.


 

Red Flags: Is he a Protector or Predator?

*Understand that “normal” individuals can be sociopaths (lack empathy) and be abusive behind closed doors: These days, modern day villains are not the scary-looking characters we see in fairy tales. They are often “normal” individuals found in everyday life. It may be the well-dressed guy at the nightclub who’s secret intent is to drug you or fill you with alcohol so that he can sexually exploit your lack of boundaries. It might be the everyday guy who gives “high fives” to his peers who brag about the women he’s slept with (or “ran a train on”). Sociopaths, as such, as everywhere. I would recommended one to always have their guard up and not to be trusting so easily. It takes a LONG time to really know someones character.

*Understand the Importance of Social CredentialsWhen meeting random people, it is crucial to obtain social references on that person. This is especially important when meeting random people that have no connection to ones own family or friend circle. In other words, its important that a person has people in the community that can vouch for that persons credibility. I ignored this when I was with my abusive ex. When I met my ex, I realized I knew no one else to speak on his behalf. He had no close friends at all. His acquaintances were always random people. He also changed jobs every year and therefore he had no consistency in anything. Those factors, alone, were red flags that I should have paid more attention too. The lesson to be learnt here is to make sure that anyone in your life has other friends or community members that can act as their social reference.  

*Understand that abusers are often covert (secretive) addicts of something (ie: a covert drug addict or porn addict). Drug abuse not only numbs an individual to dealing with their emotions, but it also changes the brain chemistry in negative ways.  As such, drug abuse often decreases the ability for one to feel empathy. Drug abuse also often means one has a poor sense of self-control and is, therefore, likely to be impulsive. Abusive addicts, in particular, chase highs, and often get bored with people because they are addicted to getting dopamine fixes. Tell tale signs of an abusive, covert drug addict include extreme mood swings, unstable emotions, anger, apathy, psychosis and physical withdrawal signs, such as intense night sweats.

*Understand what healthy love is, and that love is about action (not words): A person claiming to love you without showing it in their actions is a major red flag. Words are meaningless without action. There is a great film about a woman who was exploited by a so-called lover, which highlights the covert, manipulative ways men use ‘love’ to get sex from a woman. The film is called Wajma, An Afghan Love Story (Film is here on Youtube). 

*Stay away from shallow people who objectify others and yourself: One of the most dehumanizing feelings is when someone looks at you as an object (where your mind is completely irrelevant). There are hurtful individuals out there who evaluate women in the most dehumanizing ways — whom are convinced a woman’s worth is based on her sexual organs and appearance. Even more sad is that many women with low self-esteem are pandering to these dehumanizing trends. My abusive ex tried really hard to break down my self-esteem by picking at my flaws. Despite I know my worth is much more than the external, I almost started to believe my inner qualities mattered less. When my abuser couldn’t crush my self-esteem, he then tried to crush my soul by manipulating my heart and emotions. Abusers are competitive, shallow and envious, which is yet another major red flag I ignored.

*Speak out and Don’t be Silent: Silence allows predators to thrive. Do whatever you can to ensure that an exploitative/abusive person cannot put others at risk. Call the police, inform members in the community — anything!

If you are a man who wants to help, then speak out against men who exploit women in overt and covert ways. Be an older, protective brother to women who don’t have the protection of brothers. Creeps are actually ruining things for decent men. How? When a woman is harmed by a predator, she is more likely to be guarded towards most men. She might be susceptible to feminist propaganda that will teach her to mistrust ALL men (and that’s not the answer). We need more wholesome unity, not disunity between men and women.


 

Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship:

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Tupac’s Keep ya Head Up (1993), a power song in support of vulnerable women from difficult circumstances. Tupac represented a time when Hip Hop was about unity and positive growth. Whereas now, mainstream hip hop has been hijacked and is about destroying humanity, glamorizing evil and promoting sociopathy.

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To my Dear Readers: What is your advice to young women and men? What is your experience with an abuser? What are some RED FLAGS for you? Please share your thoughts.

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Prostitution is Increasing in Society: Why?

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I have seen how prostitition has increased in the just-over-a-decade that I have been in the sex industry (I never ever imagined this would have been my life!). I became a prostitute a few years before the Internet Escort Craze began. At it’s peak in 2008/2009, the Craigslist Erotic listings truly changed the nature of the sex industry. Later, websites like Backpage would also act as a popular medium for sex workers and clients to connect. I jumped on the Internet craze a bit late, starting in late 2010. In essence, I have witnessed a LOT of change in the sex industry from my early days until now. The pivotal change is how the Internet made sex work more easily attainable for both clients and sex workers. The Internet mediums for selling sex, in alignment with the 2008 economic recession, also led to an increased number of women joining the sex industry due to economic woes.

The Internet, however, increased negativity for women in the sex industry. More and more women were joining the sex industry, and yet standards within the sex industry became more degraded. The price of sex, for one, has barely increased in line with monetary inflation. Instead, the inflation of women has cheapened the price of sex. As a result, many sex workers have to truly lower their dignity and price to attract clients. When I began sex work just over a decade ago, there was no such thing as “quickies” as a high-class escort. Now, there are beautiful women who will do it all for much less. I feel deeply sad whenever I see escort ads —  I had never heard of “15 minute specials” or things like “blow and go.” I can’t even look at those ads anymore without feeling immensely sad at what the lives must like of the women who post such ad’s. Moreover, it makes me sad (and scared) to imagine there are men who will contribute to a woman’s worth being reduced to a quickie or “blow and go.”

In my case, I was able to maintain the same standards that I had from the beginning of my sex work days, thankfully. This is because I had the ability to work low-volume, or part-time. Most prostitutes don’t share my experience, however. Most are subjected to having less control over their bodies, which leads to severe emotional (and sometimes physical) trauma from their work. Despite all the sadness I have felt all these years, I cannot even dare to imagine the pain that most other prostitutes experience (again, my situation is not comparable to the majority).

Why is Prostitution Increasing?

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The answer is: Society is increasingly losing it’s humanity. Inequality is increasing. Unhappy, stressed and overworked people are increasing. Relations between men and women are more conflicting. The family unit is decreasing. Wisdom/morality is decreasing. All of these social ills are related and are the result of a capitalistic world system based on consumerism (ie: $$$$$$$$$). When people are unhappy or stressed, most will resort to various outlets (drugs, sex, porn, food) to cope.  Prostitutes fill a void for the men who visit them.

In times of increased stress, the demand for prostitutes will increase (this is the world we live in now).

For clients, prostitutes are an escape from a stressful work week, stressful responsibilities, etc. People, in general, are stressed more so than ever before in history, and thus there is an increased demand for escapism (the sex industry is one form of escapism for men). Are prostitutes a healthy outlet for escapism? There is no simple answer, because men visit prostitutes for a wide variety of reasons and at different frequencies. In essence, the demand has risen, and thus the supply (prostitutes) has increased.

I have traveled quite a bit of the world, thankfully. From my travels and my anthropological studies, I observed that only certain societies can allow prostitution to thrive. Despite prostitition being “the oldest profession in the world,” not all societies in the past had the conditions for prostitution to occur. Historically, more simplistic societies with a strong emphasis on kin/family had no reason for women to prostitute themselves. Many simple societies had little sense of individualism, so therefore it would be extremely rare for an individual to be neglected and left on their own to care for themselves. A woman is prone to become a prostitute in a context where she is neglected in some form and left to fend for herself —- such a phenomena can only occur in the society that has the conditions where exploitation and inequality can occur. In the current global context, a woman has very little security to protect her well-being and thus many can be easily ‘pushed’ into sex work. It’s an unfortunate reality.

I live in a city where there is a high ratio of women who are in the sex industry in some shape or form.

I remember sitting on a train a few years ago, and I overheard two college girls casually discussing sugar daddies. One girl was telling her peer that she really needs to considering getting a sugar daddie online to help pay her bills. Both girls looked like completely normal, typical college girls. It was a shocking realization for me, because when I was a teen I would never imagine “normal” girls casually discussing schemes on making money by through sex. But clearly I was out of the loop, because THINGS HAVE CHANGED. When I was 16 years old, I had no idea what an escort was! But nowadays, young ‘normal’ girls know all about the sex industry — they know (thanks to music and social media) that a viable option for them is to became an escort, cam girl, sugar baby, stripper, or porn actress. Now, the sex industry has become normalized. It’s even glamorized (for the dark purpose of indirectly trafficking more girls into sex work).

Hip Hop, Social Media & the Entertainment Industry is Making Prostitution ‘Cool’ 

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Celebrities like Amber Rose are promoting apparel that tells women to proudly say they are a “hoe” or “slut.”

“You’re such a fucking HOE, I love it!”

Kanye West and Lil Pump in ‘I love It’

“Fuck him and I get some money. Yah! Fuck him then I get some money…”

– Cardi B with G-Eazy in ‘No Limit’

THE NEW PIMPS are popular music entertainers and other celebrities:

They hook their viewers by telling them it’s fun to take drugs (smoke a lil weed to dumb and numb them down ), which then weakens and makes the victim complicit in their exploitation. 

I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a young man or woman these days (mind you, I am talking as if I am super old…..I am an old soul!). Young minds are so impressionable. A young girl these days faces tremendous pressure from the most soulless, superficial role models. The most popular music ‘artists’ are ones promoting women to literally hate their natural selves. They glamorize a woman’s worth based on her ability to be being a sex object. This kind of objectification was around when I was a teenager too, but it was not to the extreme that it is today. When I was a teen, there was NEVER any popular music that was openly telling me to sell my body as a prostitute. I was in my late teens when I entered sex work and I had literally no idea of what I was getting into. But nowadays, things are much different. Young girls may already know about escorting or sugaring as a career option due to sex work becoming mainstream. Instead of the traditional pimps, celebrities are the new pimps, telling women to become sex workers, to be petty. And now, many women are actually doing it since it has become so mainstream (escorts, strippers, porn actresses, cam girls, etc). Women will have less hesitation to join the sex industry when it is NORMALIZED and ENCOURAGED by pop culture. It’s truly heart breaking, because these women are led to believe lies of empowerment and happiness through false propaganda. Even some escorts will pimp out other women by selling the false image of a luxurious lifestyle. What women are not told about are the consequences of living such a life, and moreover how materialism only creates a VERY short-lived sense of fulfilment. No woman feels empowered when she is treated like an object (where her inner qualities are rejected or ignored). There is short term joy for newbies to the sex industry, but the long term consequences always contain harm, exploitation and psychological distress. As mentioned, almost all sex workers will resort to drugs, drinking, and other harmful habits to cope with the lack of wholesome love that led them into sex work.


Given that the Internet explosion of sex work is still relatively new, it will be very interesting to observe the long term effects of this new attempt at making sex work ‘cool’ and ‘trendy.’ 

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**For any of my readers unfamiliar with street slang, a “hoe” is the same derogatory meaning as a whore, slut or prostitute. 

Dear Readers: What do you think? Have you, too, also noticed the expansion of the sex industry? Are there any things that influenced you to the sex industry?

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A Question of “Poison” – Western-Liberal Values

I apologize to my viewers for not posting lately. I have been writing extensively, but my thoughts, like my life, are complex, confusing and dynamic.

I find myself becoming more cynical towards Western-Liberal ideology, and all of its implications. In a nutshell, I sum up Western-Liberal ideology as: money accumulation, perpetual economic growth, competition, individualism, lack of a family and communal values,  and the discourse of ‘freedom.’ These are all values that I, unknowingly, adopted and internalized. Western-Liberal ideology is what I attribute to what has harmed mine and many others well-being. I am starting to view Western-Liberal indoctrination as ‘poison.’ And people who practice such traits, I refer to them as ‘poisoned.’ I am ‘poisoned’ myself, yet I am aware of it’s negativity.

So why so cynic? The more I study about the history of cultures and make comparisons, I realize that the modern world has failed to fulfil the basic human need: belonging.  Individualism, by way of Western-Liberal ideology, had turn most of us into self-indulgent, narcissists. The implications of ‘greed’ is that we neglect others for self-gain — thus, the human need to belong is jeopardized. Moreover, in an economic sense, the inequalities between the favored and unfavored are growing.

Yet so many people are unaware of this. We ‘self-regulate’ ourselves in ways that do not benefit others, but rather maintain the hegemony of neoliberal capitalism. Many notions of Western-Liberal ideology are unchallenged by the majority, because they are so embedded into our minds (most of us do not think about the origin of these values). How often do people challenge the concept of economic ‘growth’ and realize that accumulation of things is not sustainable? Others may be aware, but they have no need to worry, because they are ‘normative’ people who get along well with like-minded individuals. But what about marginalized individuals? What about people who do not fit the ‘norm’ of society? They suffer. They are isolated. Nobody pays attention to them. And even worst, various institutions, such as the mass-media, feed us propaganda to dismiss these ‘misfit’s’ and blame them for social ills.  My heart cries for fellow marginalized individuals. Suicide crosses their minds, because the worst punishment for anyone is social isolation. As Emile Durkheim notes, those who belong are less likely to commit suicide. Happiness is linked to social cohesion, yet the current dynamics of conformity are based on maintaining social asymmetry rather than an egalitarian goal.

I strongly admire those who are not affected by this ‘poison.’ I cannot admire those who possess all of the negative traits that I possess. I outcaste myself. I don’t like doing things that most people my age do. I am still ‘poisoned’,  yes. I still carry poisonous items, such as designer items,….but slowly, I hope to getaway from all these things that are meaningless in life. What has meaning? Love, family, traditions, spirituality, nature.

Sometimes I have this dream…to run away. I love that novel by James Hilton, “Lost Horizon,” where a traveler accidentally arrives at a blissful haven on earth, away from the ills of civilization. Yet I have traveled the world. I have travel to several parts of the world, both wealthy and poor, trying to find meaning. Like James Hilton’s novel, I too have realized that the most kind and loving people are those who are content with less materialism. The unfortunate reality is that the entire world is being incorporated into this ‘poison’ — adopting Western ideology (capitalism). The old traditions will, tragically, die out.

On a recent venture to the Middle East, my expectations of a culture-rich society was met with disappointment — it is very evident that adopting the notion of wealth accumulation is destroying the beauty of the old traditions. Most cultures were manipulated, via colonialism and coersion, into this new modern ideology. In the rich Gulf States, most women and men are no longer concerned with tradition, but rather men are focused on comparing Ferrari and Maseratis in the Majles, and women are concerned with the latest Chanel or Birkin handbag and beautifying themselves on a  ‘plastic surgery’ trip to Lebanon. What is more disheartening is that it’s very ‘uncool’ to be traditional (in the premodern sense). It’s common to hear unintellectual youngsters being proud of not being beduoin or not having beduoin mannerisms.

Often, I like to imagine if I had a child one day. Where is the best place to live with good communal values? How would I protect my son or daughter from these individualistic ideals and practices that plague the majority? How do I prevent my child from living a meaningless life of going to nightclubs, drinking, drugs and using material things to determine their self-worth?

I was once the epitome of everything that I currently detest. Yet often I wonder why didn’t I end up like the majority? I feel very grateful for my experiences, otherwise I would have continued with empty, shallow habits. Everything happens for a reason

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