Body

Published on March 12th, 2015 | by Juniper Fitzgerald

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THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE by Juniper Fitzgerald

I belong to a class of people known only as whores. Our shadows pour over nighttime cobblestone, our lives exist in the B-rolls of legs and ass. We are sociopaths or infantile victims, depending on whom you ask. Our deaths are bracketed by alleged evidence of titilating yet soiled pasts; violence against us is an exercise in inevitability. And in the rare instances when prudence and virtue allow us a breath of unadulterated intimacy, we keep one eye peeled for fear of losing it all.

Eager droplets of men pay to see, to touch, to fuck me; my body. Tits and ass and pussy, you call them. You–the jejune boy with a penchant for performing virility. You–the man shoving his teenage son into the careful arms of a whore. You–the businessman, the organic farmer, the professor who’s “not like other guys.” You see in my fertile body that which you covet obsessively, the most fundamental of all human needs–The Maternal as nutrient rich soil. You desire me like an infant, yet your toxicity prevents you from truly loving. And when I bring my newborn daughter to my breast in the softness of early morning, I am disturbed by your lack of reverence for my life sustaining parts. I’d demand you bow down and worship, but you’d probably turn it into masturbatory fodder, anyway.

belly

And yet, despite your contemptible obliviousness for the sheer magic of my tits and my ass and my pussy, I find sex work to truly be my most viable option (not that my reasons for doing anything are any of your fucking business, anyway). I am the Madonna and I am the whore, spank you very much.

The thing about whores, you see, is that we are always, always whoring. As the pornified narrative goes, from the rubble of childhood trauma grows an insatiable and wicked, whorish perversion. Our perversion gnashes into the sweet flesh of nice boys and married men. We just can’t help ourselves, you understand. So it is certainly unsurprising–albeit no less ridiculous–that a cocktail of unscrupulous sexuality with a twist of maternity should leave the most unsavory taste in the prudish mouth of culture. It would seem even less surprising that the children of whores should be made the sole property of the state, tormented for the sake of “purity.” It’s not hyperbole. It happens all the damn time.

So here I am. I am a whore with a kid. A daughter, nonetheless, who will surely come to resent her mother’s boisterous sexual antics, if society has anything to say about it. And of course, that’s assuming my sweet girl isn’t taken from me first.

turkey

My daughter. My beautiful baby. She has a head of unruly curls and an orneriness to match. Her breath is at once musky and sweet, a bouquet of milk and blueberries. She’s recently learned how to growl and enjoys practicing her technique at about 4:00 every morning. When I hold her in my arms, I embrace her with the will of impermanence. My unconditional love for this extraordinary human is rooted in infinite appreciation–a kind of appreciation hard won from an adult life steeped in profanity. And for this crime of sexual blasphemy I must pay with every single relationship I form, including the most sacred of them all–the relationship with my daughter. I live in constant fear that I will one day be deemed an unfit mother. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fear that she will come to find my love inappropriate; that the narrative of the unscrupulous whore will infiltrate her memories of my affection and she will somehow feel within the layers of my adoration an element of exploitation. A whore cannot tickle her child with the same whimsy as a desexualized and disembodied Madonna. A whore’s intentions are forever interrogated, her actions almost always deemed lecherous. When I tickle this tiny creature, this magnificent little human who once lived inside the folds of my flesh, I do so tentatively. I am a card-carrying member of the subhuman category of pervert, after all. My affection might seem suspect to the puritanical sensibilities of lawmakers and their pimps. When a woman can’t even wear leggings without her morality being drawn into question, is it any wonder that her sexual and/or work life should be woefully scrutinized, particularly if she is a mother?

umbilical

And where, oh where, are my loving, feminist sisters? Where are the radicals, the bad ass queers and perverts who’d rather empathize with a whore mom than advocate for her arrest? Where are the marginalized freaks who remember stonewall and the roll of whores there? The anti-capitalists who actively resist the prison industrial complex instead of claiming, like many feminists do now, that it’s essential for corralling and erasing sexual deviants? They surely aren’t here. Here, in the Bible Belt of America where whores service cops and clergymen with the fervor of an indentured servant while  “feminists” seek to enlighten us–the whores–with fists of middle class words. “Class consciousness,” “human dignity,” “freedom from degradation”–It all stinks of respectability politics. Trust me–a bourgeoisie “anti- trafficking” film party won’t save me from poverty, no matter how degraded you try and convince me I am. And it won’t arm me with the politically and socially radical community I need to fight the state. The state–the sole determiner of my maternal sufficiency. The state–at once illusive and material; my sacred maternal bond is entirely dictated by the whims of this institution. The state–cleverly constructed to service those who find its presence inevitable.

That a social, political, and economic institution has the power to deem my sexual behavior “incompatible” with motherhood is indeed a human travesty (and if you don’t believe me, ask your mother). But it’s not simply the ill will of an innocuous structure, as structures are made of humans and humans are made of all kinds of bad ideas. As the late 19th century sociologist Max Weber pointed out, the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. The state as a violent institution has been illuminated by the recent, state sanctioned murders of John Crawford, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and others. But somehow, taking away a whore’s children simply because she’s a whore continues to be uncritically accepted, even among feminists. And with the rise of lucrative, religious-based “anti-trafficking” efforts, many with vested interests in discrediting whores, I don’t feel especially optimistic.

JuniperBaby

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About the Author

Juniper Fitzgerald

Juniper Fitzgerald is a mother, writer, professor of liberal propaganda, and former sex worker in the Midwest. Her work has appeared in Tits and Sass, Mutha Magazine, Pacific Standard, Seafoam Magazine, and Jezebel.



13 Responses to THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE by Juniper Fitzgerald

  1. Kathi says:

    This is amazingly written.

  2. Caroll says:

    yes, this is brilliant. poignant and powerful and totally STRONG. get itttt!

  3. Help is on the way.

    I want to tell about special case that is going to be filed in federal court against California district attorneys and the California state attorney general for violating the constitutional rights of individuals who seek the right to be compensated for or to give compensation for private intimate contact. This conduct is currently criminalized as prostitution in California.

    This case is being sponsored by the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project, a non profit, a diverse community based group of erotic service providers and community member who are work towards empowerment by advancing sexual privacy rights. One way to advance sexual privacy rights is launch a legal impact case such as the one I’m going to tell you about.

    So far they have a top notch litigator who has experience arguing these types of constitutional issues before the US Supreme court. He is specialist so of course he’s quite expensive, but we think its well worth it.

    Then there are the plaintiffs. The female plaintiffs represent the people who want to assert their right to be hired to provide intimate private contact which is currently criminalized under the anti prostitution law. They are ordinary women who have children, families, hobbyies and lives outside of work just like every else. They just want to raise their families and live in peace with access to equal protection under the law, like everybody else.

    Then there is the customer plaintiff, who has stepped forward to represent the right compensate for intimate private contact. He wants the right to hire comfort without being arrested for prostitution.

    The case will also demand the right to associate and right to organize without fear.

    The type of relief we are seeking from the court will be accessible to other through out the united states to keep unjust criminal charges from being filed and to keep the police from arresting erotic service providers and instead force prosecutors to provide equal protection under the law.

    This court case might take as little as a year to litigate or as long as several years. Many people have stepped up and contributed to this cause so far but more help is needed. The hope is that with your help we will end negative social stigma and the resulting discrimination in housing, employment, education, child custody and access to financial institutions for being compensated intimate private conduct in our life time. Our constitutional rights are human rights and must be upheld NOW! Now is the time!

    For those who keep saying that the justice systems mistreatment of sex workers isn’t right, its your chance to make a contribution and help us take this landmark step by making a tax deductible anonymous donation.

    https://liberatetoemancipate.tilt.com/liberatetoemancipate

    Here is the brief
    http://esplerp.org/here-is-the-brief/

  4. Laura says:

    This is amazing, gorgeously rendered and makes me feel not-crazy in this sick world. Thank you.

  5. Krissy Gibbs says:

    I’m one of the radical, queer, feminist mothers who are on your side. You sound like a wonderful mother to me. What you do at work is what you do at work. If you have boundaries around it–it won’t hurt your kid. How you survive is not up to me to judge. I hope you can always be safe… but that’s not because you happen to be a sex worker. That’s because you are a woman and it is tricky business in this world.

    I think you are wonderful. Keep on keeping on. If something atrocious happens and your child is taken and you need financial help to get her back, ping me or Mistress Matisse on Twitter and I’m sure that your story will be heard widely enough for you to get some help.

    There are people in the world who care. There really are.

  6. Esther Shannon says:

    Read your article on the FIRST list serve. Founded in 2007, FIRST is based in Canada and is a national coalition of feminists that work for sex worker rights and for the decriminalization of sex work. Just writing to say your article is stunning – over the years I’ve read countless pieces by sex workers and cannot recall reading one so powerful. Perhaps the maternal instinct was your muse? I’m a mother – my kids long adults and I’m not a sex worker. The hardest thing about this issue for me is that the mothers cannot speak out – their beyond justifiable fears of the State take their voice. You have the same fears, yet you wrote over them. Your courageous article – the points you make and, as much, the tone you use – helps all of us understand that the day when all sex workers who are mothers will speak out is coming. Thank you.

  7. Juniper Juniper says:

    thank you all so much for the kindness, thoughtfulness, and support. Much feminist mama love!

  8. Domina Elle says:

    FEIRCE AND TRUE.

  9. Emma Dixon says:

    Whores are nurturing of hearts and bodies, not an unimportant quality in mothering. Children need loving touch, and adults need loving touch (only in adults, it is often sexual). I know a few sex working mamas and my hope for you is to find a community of whore mamas. There is nothing like community to give you support, validation, to share a laugh and a cry. Online or even better in person. Your daughter might grow up to be a 20 year old virgin just to shake you up, because hey, kids do that!…. but she will love you to the core of her being. Honest communication about your choices, when it’s age appropriate, that’s all you can do, and that’s a far second from just loving her, listening to her, and validating her beautiful uniqueness. Best of luck xx

  10. Sending much support for your so very needed voice, sister.
    It is a great perversion that women should be limited and dictated in what they can/cannot do with their sexuality, the sexuality that gives birth to life….a great perversion indeed that this life she’s created should be used as a weapon and evidence of her sexual power being wrong and evil. A sane mind can barely wrap it’s thoughts around that…
    I bow to your courage to speak up!

  11. Emily says:

    Thank you!!! Beautifully expressed. I too am a mother whore. I understand your fear. I was a very out worker before she was born but went into the closet for her protection after. Hiding it from her was too tough – she knew of my activism but not that I was actually working. For some reassurance – my amazing teenage daughter has known about my work for 4 years now. It has deepened our relationship and she is now one of the queer radical feminists you refer to above. She is proud of me and gets so angry at how society labels me. She does wish that she knew other kids of whores….hopefully one day. Again, thank you for putting into words what I felt all those years ago so eloquently.

  12. Powerful! Portuguese language speakers will find it translated at http://www.mundoinvisivel.org/a-mae-e-a-puta/

  13. jemima says:

    all this mother and whore can say is thank you for this

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