Rabat - “I am fine, for the time being at least,” is what I say when asked such questions. The reason why I am the person I am now may be because of you. Sorry for pointing fingers at you that way, but it lessens my agony and tantalization for a moment, since there is always someone to blame. For so many reasons I would not step into a territory where my safety is in jeopardy. Yes, I am a sex worker, and I have been dehumanized. You might ask by whom, but I won’t answer because you already know. I have been looking for the missing “me: for ages, and I am sure I will never find her, for now I know I am the men’s sexual object.
Rabat – “I am fine, for the time being at least,” is what I say when asked such questions. The reason why I am the person I am now may be because of you. Sorry for pointing fingers at you that way, but it lessens my agony and tantalization for a moment, since there is always someone to blame. For so many reasons I would not step into a territory where my safety is in jeopardy. Yes, I am a sex worker, and I have been dehumanized. You might ask by whom, but I won’t answer because you already know. I have been looking for the missing “me: for ages, and I am sure I will never find her, for now I know I am the men’s sexual object.
I will tell you a little secret. When I was sixteen, I was my father’s little toy: obedient, soft, loving, and even submissive. I never asked my dad for anything I knew he could not afford because I believed that being petulant towards him all the time would not bode well for the family’s welfare.
I imagined every single thing in my little brain my dad could not get me. I loved him to the extent that I used to cry on his lap when he was at his lowest point, due to some familial duties he could not execute.
Forlornly, it was a laughing matter for him because he was preparing a commodity for which he would get millions a month. You might wonder what that thing is. Well, it is the person you are interviewing now. I was seventeen back then, and the only thing I ever wanted was for my dad to be with me. He, however, sold me, and I was raped by a 45-year-old man who was a merciless monster. I was commodified by a man who has brought me into being. Clients would come every night and my dad was the welcoming host.
Now I am 21 years old, fatherless, motherless, and even homeless. I am a street prostitute asking for people to buy my sex services. Now I know why my father sold me, and I won’t blame him, for I know he would not have done it if there were an option. He violently estranged me, and now I just want to know who I am and why I am not the person I am supposed to be.”
“H” replied to a question I asked her with drops of tears streaming down her yellow cheeks.
When compared to you and me, “H” is no different. However, she insinuates that she is so much different from us and that she is an animate being whose mere function is to be turned into a working instrument and be used for sexual gratification. For some reason, she is not what she is supposed to be—a normal person. She is deprived of her social life and even of possessing her own body, to which she has every right. Additionally, she thinks that she dwells in a world where monsters come in the form of men.
It is not difficult to seek out the reasons behind the phenomenon of prostitution. Rather, it’s salient to ask questions related to the way females are being treated in the modern societies, regardless of the sort of job they occupy. Prostitution may be a vocational choice out of financial necessity, but a dignified person never chooses to be dehumanized and molded into a thing whose existence is more or less dependent on the kind of services provided.
A society in which human bodies are commodified and brutally used is categorically animalistic. Moroccan society, more often than not, lacerates the sex-selling individuals for being the persons they are, but it never criticizes itself for being the reason behind the existence of this phenomenon in the first place.
A society, irrespective of the political trend, is created for one and only one reason: which is to guarantee its subjects’ dignity and social acceptability and tolerability. This is elucidated by Immanuel Kant, whose moral doctrines are to be taken seriously and obligatorily, and responsibly applied in our present context. For Kant, persons should not be used merely as means, because doing that breaches the fundamental right of self-ownership—they are to be respected and deemed as persons themselves.
So much of what has been claimed so far comes into play by asking some questions related to the parties involved in the sex trade: the supplier, the consumer, and even the viewer are to be blamed. Undeniably, these three parties contribute to the commodification process.
The financial need drives the supplier to objectify herself to survive. The consumer is no different from the supplier, as he is the victim of his sexual desires. The viewer, however, is wholly different from the aforementioned parties, for he is aware of the commodification process, but he keeps pretending to be blind. Thus, the viewer is also objectified by his inactivity and dormancy. Clearly, the three parties are now objectified. Based on what was just proposed, a question should be asked: who is more blameworthy?
In contrast, “H”s only aim now is to regain what rightly belongs to her. She believes, according to her answer, that she is nobody but who she made herself to be. Her only ambition is to know herself and be seen as a human being. Moreover, she is a person who only exists for others, and her existence makes no difference for those for whom she is existent—because once their sexual satisfaction is met, her existence as a rational being is gone.
It’s a wake-up call for everyone to pay a close attention to the way we conceive of other’s individuality and humanity. Certainly, no one likes to be commodified and treated as a mere means. Every being is to be respected and dignified. It’s time to think of a way to get rid of prostitution and honor every individual as an end. No one would like to be a prostitute if she’s provided with the necessary means to survive. Strangely enough, the blame is always put on the woman, but I think that every thinking individual has to give some thought to the collective consciousness of our society regarding this phenomenon.
Edited by Katrina Bushko
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