Am I a misogynist? A bad person??(15 Posts)
I am a 28 year old woman. In the past during some hard times I have done a few weekends as a dancer in a strip club, and once gave a hand job for money. Hated it, but at the time felt desperate. Also at the time felt like I was mature and making a proper thought out decision and bought into the empowerment and feminist argument, that I was being savvy and surviving in the best way I could rather than ending up homeless.
Since then, I have changed my ideas and don't see it as empowering at all. I am dealing with memories of childhood sexual abuse, and feel I will never be able to have sex again, that I'm ruined, nobody will ever want a loving relationship with me and if I want sex it's always going to have to be with someone who hurts me.
Lately though I was in Amsterdam with a friend, and we wandered through the red light district. I was uncomfortable and sad, and I guess wanted to prove to myself I'm not scared of sex the way I am these days. We paid 2 euros to see 2 minutes of a peep show, the girl gyrated and touched herself through her knickers.
I feel so ashamed of going in there, like I have let women down everywhere. And really confused, because I have lost my job, and I feel so numb about sex and desperate to pay the rent I wonder if I should just do sex work and become an escort because I'm ruined anyway. I don't really want to do this but I feel so hopeless at times.
How can I put this right?
Are you getting help and counselling for the abuse you suffered and your views on relationships? That would be a very good starting point.
You are not a bad person. I think you need professional help, someone who can help you work through what you are feeling, what you are dealing with, and help you come to terms with it all. I don't think this is the place to do that.
I think this is probably the wrong place to discuss this. You are dealing with a lot and you sound vulnerable. Are you getting help and support from a professional? I know it can be tough to reach out.
Yes I am having counselling. But apart from my counsellor there is nobody else to talk to and it all goes around in my head and drives me mad so I guess I was wondering aloud here.
One thing is definite and that's you're not a bad person. Please don't think of yourself as ruined.
Misogynist - because god knows why that girl was in that peep show, I've been there, and yet I still went in. I should have known better. Misogynist - because it's turning my back on myself and also feminism if I break down and turn to escorting just so I can pay my bills.
I'm glad you are getting counselling. I understand wanting to talk about it all and I don't want to silence you, I just worry because this can be a harsh place and sometimes people set out to hurt you for no reason. Of course, if you are happy and comfortable to discuss it here then carry on.
You made some choices based on the context you were in at the time. You are not 'ruined'. Based on the information you have provided in your OP, there is nothing to indicate that you are a bad person. I don't think you are a misogynist because misogynists hate women, whereas you only seem to hate yourself.
1. Get this moved out of AIBU to somewhere where you can get support and understanding. You can get it moved by reporting your own post.
2. Keep going with the counselling, and consider confiding in one or two others in real life. You don't have to tell them everything.
You're not 'ruined anyway'. Please don't believe that about yourself or you're likely to throw the towel in, give up and make some unwise choices. You've been abused and this has understandably messed with your head and this will take time to work through.
You've had some horrible things done to you but this doesn't make you a bad person.
If you went back in to the sex industry to make money that would be one thing. But you sound like you're going there because you're not worth anything. That's not true at all
I don't think you're a bad person. You've been through a lot of distressing experiences and you sound very sad and vulnerable. I hope the counselling helps you to heal. X
You sound pretty depressed to me- have you been to your GP about trying antidepressants alongside the counselling? Please stop giving yourself a hard time about all this- you are worth so much more, I promise you. The stuff you are talking about is a really common reaction to being abused, but it is possible to get past it. I know you think you have colluded in other women's oppression, but show me somebody who hasn't, in one way or another; you can't be expected to remain utterly untouched by the society we all live in. From what you've written, you actually sound like an extraordinarily compassionate and sensitive person- please try and turn some of that kindness towards yourself.
No, you're not a misogynist. You've thought about the issues, and you've been honest about your motivations.
You also -- like all of us -- live in a woman-hating patriarchy ("Rule of the father"). We are all socialised to a greater or lesser extent to hold women in less regard than men. I'd best most women have caught themselves doing it at one time or another, or looked back to times they've joined in the woman-hating, woman-blaming that is endemic in our society.
You've recognised this. That's a huge thing, and you should be proud of yourself, not beating yourself up. Go easy on yourself. And use this insight and consciousness raising
oh yes, I am an old 70s feminist not to do it again, and to try to make a difference, in whatever ways, small or big, that you can.
Look after yourself.
Thank you so much for the wise and kind replies. Helps me get a bit of balance in my perspective, that I'm not just a lost cause.
I'm comfortable with the topic staying here, I'm a tough cookie and don't want to shy away from any criticism - I know I did something wrong.
It isn't that I ever think consciously of holding women in less regard than men (I am a feminist, although my choices have sometimes been poor and un-feminist) but what I think happens is sometimes I feel I identify so much with the woman in an oppressed situation like a sex worker and think, oh she's just like me and it's all fine to be that way. It's just a 'bit of fun' no harm done and look you can earn money. So I hold myself in less regard, and then essentially do other women a disservice. Every time I consider escorting, that's essentially what I'm doing.
As I say, I don't believe that stupid bullshit about it being ok for a moment anymore, not cognitively. But my emotions are still faulty.
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