Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Hypocrisy

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to believe in God.

I know God exists. I know God does not judge. I know that by calling those who believe in God who do judge hypocrites, that I am being judgmental. But do they recognize the quality in themselves?

I’ve emailed churches to ask for help with sex worker services and had my emails ignored. I’ve gone to church alongside adulterers (who are “holier than thou” as they say). I don’t judge one particular fellow for surfing the internet for porn, but why did he print photos of me to show people at my church? I’ve searched the internet for a group I belong to (BCCEC), and found disparaging comments made about us on a website created by and dedicated to self-proclaimed “Christians.” I’m trying to see the spirit in these people. I’m trying to be like God and recognize the light of the Lord in them. But it’s hard when I know they deliberately hurt me in His name.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be a feminist.

Feminism is supposed to be about equality and choice and inclusion for all women. But some feminists insist on misrepresenting a whole segment of the female population – sex industry workers. For some reason, these self-proclaimed feminists think sex industry workers cannot speak for themselves. They believe us to be too exploited and incompetent to represent ourselves. They devalue and degrade us by silencing and betraying us.

First of all, someone should point out to them that the sex industry is made up mostly of women – where’s the equality they claim to embrace? Someone should explain to them that the sex industry is an option for women to have financial independence – where is the choice they claim to embrace? Will someone please tell them that by excluding sex industry workers from their groups and initiatives, they are excluding women? Hello! Is feminism not about inclusion of women?

Sometimes I’m embarrassed I was a stripper.

But only when I remember the time I forgot to do a cookie check and had a big chunk of toilet paper stuck to my yoni. Or the time I forgot to take my g-string off before the last song ended. (At least being a stripper is honest.)

But seriously, strippers amaze me sometimes with their attitudes of condescension towards other sex workers. Stage dancers who think they’re better than the girl doing a lap dance. Lap dancers who think they’re better than the girl giving blow jobs. Here is a group of women (strippers) who are constantly judged, stereotyped, and condemned in our society, and they have the gall to imitate this oppression by passing it onto other women?

As a feminist and a believer in God – and as a former stripper – I’d like to see all this hypocrisy ended. We ARE all equal. We’re not the same. But we’re equal. And we all deserve acceptance, respect, and love. Even the hypocrites (and that includes me).

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