Hello there blogsphere, how are you this fine Monday? I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you. This week is all about reading and writing for me, and what better way to start than to write a blog post? This is probably the only place online in which I don’t feel like I have to censor myself, and it’s my blog, which means I get to talk about whatever my little heart desires. So today I want to talk (more likely rant) about the term ‘child prostitute’ and why it absolutely infuriates me.
Child prostitution is not a thing. Ok? Let’s start there.
This morning, while doing my daily, morning Instagram scroll, I came across a post which talked about the language being used by lawyers and other professionals currently working on the Epstein case. If you don’t know, Jeffrey Epstein was a millionaire, who in 2019, was charged with and convicted of a bunch of fucked up crimes against minors, including Child Sex Trafficking.
Conveniently, Epstein was found dead in his cell, suicide by hanging, apparently, but I’m not here to talk about Pizza Gate or any of the conspiracy (or not) theories doing the social media rounds recently. I’m here because today I read that lawyers and such working on this case are using terms like ‘underage woman‘ or ‘child prostitute‘ to describe the victims of these horrific crimes.
I don’t know about you, but to me an ‘underage woman’ is a fucking child, a young girl, and sex with an ‘underage woman’ is actually fucking rape, because a child cannot consent to sex. Let’s call a spade a spade, here. Similarly, the term ‘child prostitute‘ is so wrong, that I cannot find a rational argument for someone who uses it willingly. How can a child, who again, cannot consent to sex be a sex worker by choice? It’s an irrational thought.
In the UK, between 2005 and 2011, a large gang of organized paedophiles were targeting an unthinkable number of young girls. Grooming and then trafficking them, and subjecting these girls to horrific sexual crimes. This was originally reported to the police, who barely investigated the claims, and afraid to prosecute these monsters due to their ethnicity, dropped the case, allowing the abuse to continue for a number of years.
This eventually became known as the ‘Rochdale Child Sex Grooming Scandal’ when years later, GMP (Greater Manchester Police) with its tail between its legs, decided to finally take action against a very small percentage of these predators. In total nine men were convicted of crimes against three victims. In reality the list of suspects surpassed one hundred, and although the number of victims was never truly identified, I am willing to bet that those three did not even make up one per cent.
How did the police get away with this, I hope you’re asking?! Actually, quite easily. By discrediting the victims and branding them ‘child prostitutes‘. By claiming that these young girls were making “lifestyle choices” by going out with men, sometimes forty years their senior, and engaging in sexual activities with them. No police officer has ever been held accountable for the failures committed by GMP back in 2005.
Never mind that the victims had their families and homes under constant threat. Never mind that these men were waiting in taxis, for children, outside of school gates. Waiting to drug them and pass them around at “parties” where sometimes, as many as ten to twenty men would be waiting to take their turn.
So yes, this infuriates me, because the systems in place to protect children, not only in this country but around the world, are so clearly, unapologetically corrupted. Epstein’s victims, The Rochdale Grooming victims, and any underage victim of a sexual crime are not underage women engaging in prostitution and sex work. They are vulnerable children, being abused beyond comprehension and failed by every protective agency in the world.
We need to do better than this.