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White John privilege: why sex work made me hate white men White men who visit sex workers are blind to their privilege and easily become clingy and emotional. It's OK to be misandrist.

Like any subculture, the subculture of sex workers has its trends. Currently, the latest thing is misandry — ranging from the playful to the deadly serious. You have probably seen the castration jokes and #KillAllMen hashtags.

It’s sort of a complex issue, because while I firmly believe one can’t simultaneously be a good sex worker and also a true misandrist, it’s also true that as sex workers we often see men at their rawest, which means we frequently see them at their worst.

It’s not that my clients are violent or cruel — it’s just that, well, dudes can be the worst. They can also be thoughtful, charming, sweet, and generally lovely, but eventually they all tend to revert to their default of complete and total obliviousness coupled with a belief that their experience is the only one that matters.

It’s infuriating when my clients — mostly white, middle-aged professionals — tell me that I have it so easy because I’m young and female and pretty and I can sell sex. It’s as if it doesn’t even occur to them that by virtue of being all those things, I actually have fewer advantages than they do.

Sure, for an hour or two I’m the one with all the power and they’re the ones paying me, I’m the one who gives or retracts consent, and I’m the one with the power to kick them out, but in normal life they are the people who can get away with almost anything and I am one of the people who cannot.

It sounds like it would be very easy to just deal with the annoying clients, make my money, and go about my life, but it’s only easy if you see clients as something less than human.

Clients are people just like anyone else, and they are men just like any others. There is nothing that makes my clients any different than a guy you might see on the street, and because of that, it’s very easy to take frustrations with clients and put them on every man I encounter. This is further complicated by the fact that most men really do seem to share the same obliviousness and entitlement that my clients suffer from.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in the middle of a conversation with a boyfriend or male friend, and they have said something particularly myopic that could have been pulled directly from the mouth of a client. All too frequently they try to explain it away with “I didn’t mean it that way,” or worse, “why are you overreacting like this?”

While this may be true, it’s simply not realistic. As annoying as they can often be, men live in this world with me, they are people like me. Just because they can often be narrow-minded, oblivious to the various privileges that come with being male, overly emotional, and frequently unable to express those emotions in any kind of helpful manner, it doesn’t mean that they should all be shunned and shut out of the worlds of women.

Another huge problem with misandry among sex workers is that it’s entirely counterproductive to our work. While it may seem as if our only duties are to provide sexual services, that’s just the surface of our jobs. We are healers above anything else.

As I said earlier, we see men at their rawest. We see men who are stressed by demanding jobs, failing marriages, the existential crises that come with getting older without having achieved the things they once dreamed of. It is our job to provide peaceful spaces for them to decompress and de-stress. It’s hard to do our jobs well if we truly hate our clients. Even the best clients can be terribly frustrating — faking orgasms while a man mashes your pubic bone with calloused fingers or timidly licks your urethra is one of the most irritating things in the world.

It can be very cathartic to joke about misandry and castration, and I don’t make excuses for it when it happens. Sometimes I just want to scream from the top of a mountain.

This world we live in can be so profoundly inhospitable to women and so hospitable to white men. Yet their privilege isn’t always their individual fault, and in most cases their blindness to their privilege isn’t either.

That’s the thing about white privilege: in a world where it’s accepted as “just the way things are,” it can be very difficult for those who benefit from privilege to see it for themselves. Besides, there are plenty of things to love about men. Even their annoying tendency to become clingy and emotional can be almost adorable at times.

I suppose hatred and exclusion won’t help anything, but it’s an easy way out. It’s much harder to explain the challenges women face than to just shut men out and let them keep living in a fools’ paradise.

Sure, I can’t explain to my clients what it’s like to experience street harassment. I’m certainly not going to get on my sex workers’ soapbox, thereby reminding clients that they are paying for my time and favors, unless I’m directly asked.

It’s frustrating to not be able to tell my clients that the world does not revolve around them, especially since I sometimes feel as if I’m reinforcing their privilege by selling them an hour or two during which the world really does revolve around them.

But simply because I can’t talk about these issues to clients doesn’t mean I can’t talk about them with the other men in my life. And you, dear reader, who read this.

Sorry, Afrunauts! While 85% of you are wonderful people, the other 25% were far too frequently brigades and troll farms. Their abusive comments have traumatized our moderators, and so we can't allow comments until we have built an ethical way to address the troll problem. If you feel the calling and you have familiarized yourself with what is and isn't free speech, you can still email us your scribbles. If your feedback is excellent, we may manually add it!
PS. The A Black Woman Is Speaking mug is a standing invitation to sit down, shut up, and engage in the wisdom shared by Black women. Lord knows the world needs it right now.

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6 thoughts on “<span class="entry-title-primary">White John privilege: why sex work made me hate white men</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">White men who visit sex workers are blind to their privilege and easily become clingy and emotional. It's OK to be misandrist.</span>”

  1. Both genders are pretty cruel to one another really. :/ man buy woman sells, Men raped and pilaged villages, while woman made the bullets and sent them off.

  2. This is a good, insightful piece. I like how you addressed that hatred and exclusion won’t solve inequality; it will only deepen the rift and will fuel the extremists on both sides. Extreme feminists and extreme MRAs can be both misguided and misinformed in their own right, and none of the two should be representative of their gender as a whole.

  3. Your views on men are disgusting.

    I have been hurt really badly by women in my life, yet I don’t harbour sexism like you.

    I am NOT worse than women by “default” as you say. I hope you do cut yourself off from men in your life, for their sake. I quietly go about my life and mind my own business, yet you prejudge me.

    Sexism against men is just as hurtful. You are a hypocrite for hating misogyny but being a misadrist.

    • I COMPLETELY Agree…..If the genders were reversed and this article got published, YOU would be cancelled.

      The Double Standards are blatantly obvious and unfair.

      • And yet, they’d have us believe WE are privileged.. they can spew vile hatred that paints all men as bad by ‘default’ and yet.. nothing. they print those words proudly.

        As they say, if you want to find who holds the power, find who you can’t criticise. It’s these people. all the while they are simultaneously empowered strong badasses… but also vulnerable and need care from the evil manosphere!

        It’s all bullshit, this is just tribalist bullshit on the left. akin to the daft racism we see on the right.. and as always, it’s the normal people in the middle who suffer!


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