It makes me angry that in 2016 another sex worker was killed in Christchurch. Actually it makes me more than angry. It makes me rage. This is the fourth sex worker murdered following being picked up at their place of employment, or in the course of their employment, in Christchurch in less than 12 years.
If this were another industry, say she was a Doctor, and someone came to her place of work and murdered her, there would be a huge outcry about violence against doctors. Questions would be asked as to why the hospital work place is no longer safe. There would be inquiries regarding how this could happen to someone in a care-giving profession. Perhaps security would be increased to make other doctors feel safe. Doctors throughout the country would have rallied around the victim.
But she wasn’t a doctor. She was a beautiful woman whose place of work was just down the road from my office. Apart from outcries concerning the publicity around her employment, I haven’t heard much foot stomping. I have heard nothing from the burlesque community.
But why should we as a community care? Why should it be our business if a street-based sex worker in Christchurch is murdered? I guess this is where I would turn around and ask you why aren’t we enraged at this murder? Why shouldn’t we be demanding that society places importance on the safety of ALL its workers? No person should be murdered in their workplace, regardless of occupation.
I am not sure how to effectively use words to describe what I want to say. The fear of failing to achieve an understandable pattern of non-offensive, supportive, and loving letter combinations has woken me at 4am with a nightmare. Within this mad dream, a faceless burlesque performer beats me black and blue by twirling her gigantic diamond tipped tassels right up in my face. I mean, this may be some people’s before-sleep fantasy, but for me it is alarming.
My fear is not just that my words won’t make sense, but that what I am about to write, no matter how I craft it, is going to be taken the wrong way by at least one person. I fear it might push a button for them, or they might think that I am directly pointing the finger at them. Then they may go and talk to their friends, possibly within the burlesque community and say:
“OMG, did you see what THAT Constance Maehem had the audacity to write? Who does she think she is? I mean, what?! She has only being doing burlesque for a year. I had a look at her Facebook page and there is this photo where she looks like she is dead. Like, I mean seriously, that picture is better than what she looks like in real life. And she thinks she has any right to be performing, let alone writing her thoughts about like, what did she call it… Horizontal Hostility? I mean seriously. Who is she to comment on how WE behave?”