Dear Stephanie

As a comment to the post “Not Making Things Worse” I got this:

Andy,

I am a life escort and I escort almost every Saturday morning. And I realize you probably won’t post this on the blog. But I do want you to know that there are quite a few of us who do not wish to hate or speak hateful words to you, any escorts, or any clients. I know that there is a good chance that we will never really find much common ground on this issue. But Ken did say something to me last week about both the clinic escorts and life escorts that I believe is true. He said that we are essentially all there for the same reason…to show compassion. I believe he could not have been more right. I read about the compassion you have for clients almost every week.

I respect you for being so honest in this post. Believe it or not, I too have felt much the same way as you have. I too have been pushed around and hated especially on Saturday mornings. And I too have had a hard time controlling my tongue. And as a result, I too have said and done things I have regretted. And I too have not wanted to apologize for them. But the Lord compelled me to do so. I did apologize and seek forgiveness from that escort I wronged. And here is the part where Stephanie feels the need to tell me all about how I was hurt by my ex, she can empathize, knows what it is like to be me and god can fix it and how great he is for a paragraph or two.

Blessings,
Stephanie

And here is the response I sent her via email today.

Stephanie,

To clarify, I did not write the post about de-escalating. ESM is a collaborative blog and several people write for us. I also want to point out that while you may be able to identify with something that is written here, please do not assume you know about the lives of the escorts and especially the lives of the clients. What is shared here is limited, and certainly not the whole story.

You are correct that I will not post your comment in its entirety. But not for the reason you think. I am not a Christian. I have no desire to hear about your god, beliefs or opinions about the lives of others based on the lack of compassion you and your friends show the rest of us.

I understand you disagree with me and feel like you show nothing but compassion.

We feel judged, harassed and most importantly disempowered by you and yours.

There is a huge difference between intention (what you think you are saying/showing/acting) and perception (what I feel/perceive/interpret).

It is not up to you to tell me that I should not be offended by you if I am in fact hurt by the way you push your opinions on me.

Escorts are a motley bunch with beliefs ranging from very devout Christians, Jews and Muslims to atheists and pagans, but mostly we are people who are just willing to admit we do not have the answers.

We have in our culture a great respect for the faith of our citizens and thus give massive latitude to religious speech. As a person in the cultural majority (Judeo-Christian world view) you may not be able to see that your faith colors every aspect of my life.

And I object.

The protection that grants you the right to speak your faith limits my right to set boundaries rejecting it. This is clearly the Right to Free Speech v. the Right to be free from Harassment social dichotomy acted out everyday in front of the clinic.

And so, this is my blog, and I will not provide space for you or anyone else to prosthelytize.

We know.

We have heard you tell us all about your faith and god ad nauseum.

And the fact that you REFUSE to accept no for an answer puts you in a position as the aggressor. I do not want you to aggress against me or the clients or my escorts any more.

As women we are taught No means No.

I am saying to you, and the clients say to you NO all of the time.

Your faith in god does not change the fact that you are in that moment no different from a rapist. To be clear I am simply making an analogy: person A says no to a certain type of interaction, person B does not accept those boundaries and forces themselves upon person A.

Lastly, I want to point out to you that to escort someone is to safely ensure they arrive at their intended destination.

You do not escort anyone anywhere.

You literally chase people, who are telling you to leave them alone, down the street.

While I understand the literary point you are trying to make, it falls short in every way. You and your friends are engaging in deception.

Your orange vests cause more confusion than they create calm.

I was told the first morning you all showed up in those vests you all were trying to “level the playing field”.

It seems you all view this as a game to be won, strategy to be put into place, and no matter how you spin that statement, I think it was very honest.

And disgusting.

I disagree with Ken on this point.  I don’t think any of you care about these women and the torment you put them through by your actions.

You may disagree with the choice they are making, but many of these women are caused 100% more hurt by you than the abortion will ever cause them.

I know you disagree with me. Which is your right.

But the reality is that this is a choice they must make and live with.

It does not matter one little bit if you and I disagree. What matters is that in my 10 years of escorting I have spoken with thousands of women and most of the ones who talk to me about their decisions are confident they are doing the right thing. And none of the ones who were not sure felt like you all were really there to give them a better option.

I trust you speak with women who are grateful for your services, and while I find the services provided at AWC to be dishonest and disingenuous, it is not my choice make. And I will ALWAYS provide support to every person regardless of what I think about her decisions. This is not the same for you and your friends.

The climate on the sidewalk in front of the clinic is more than just the words we speak.

Can you even imagine what it must be like for women to be surrounded by 15 people, half of them shoving lit in your face, calling you a murderer, shoving in front of you to block you from taking another step?

Your words are the smallest of the ways in which you and your friends intimidate and cause fear.

We are all human and say things that we regret. There are always better ways to interact. But I can not stress enough that you contribute more to the hurt that women feel through your disempowering actions than anything else they are dealing with that day.

I don’t want to be your friend. I certainly do not want to develop a relationship with you so that you can have secret, or overt for that matter, plans to save me. I don’t need saving nor do any of the escorts or clients. Please leave us alone. In the end, all anybody wants is a little privacy to live our lives the best we can.

Andy

abortion is not a dirty word.

18 thoughts on “Dear Stephanie

  1. Pingback: Trespassing and Invasion « Everysaturdaymorning's Blog

    • Stephanie is like the long wolf. She is always in the hunt but can never get the ‘GOLD’.It is my personal opinion, that she has been “FUCK SO MANY TIMES” and hever got the ring. She’s a loose canon whose only pleasure in life, is to make other woman fell bad because of what she CAN NOT HAVE.

    • Andy:

      I have been scorting for only 10 months. When I started escorting, I did to remember a friend. Every day when I go to the clinic, somebody wants me to see God and stop beings an escort and go to their side. Stephanie is a woman who has no idea or is capable of understand why a woman will choose to have an abortion. When I ask them why God let my friend die, and his wife to commit suicide leaving three children behind; their answer is as stupid as why thier are there. “GOD HAS A PLAN FOR THOSE CHILDREN THAT WE DON’T KNOW’. I think that answer tells how moronic their thinking is

  2. The comparison of the abuse of these people who gather on sidewalks to harass women going into clinics to rape was something I had never thought of before, but you’re right. Any time you force something on someone, whether it’s a physical act or a world view, it’s like rape. If you say no, and they do not let you escape (in this case, chasing you down the street), then it is in a way rape.

    I would like to see a publicized account of one of these sidewalk harassers being charged on counts of harassment. I want to see it in all the newspapers, so people who think they should join in this little bullying game will think twice. That it is harassment and a crime. If I ran after people walking to church, shouting how I disagreed with their faiths, if I ran inches from them, shouting and waving pamphlets in their face, you better believe the police would be called on me. So why are these people allowed to harass women entering clinics? Doing something that is legal?

    Thank you for your important and well-written blog. While I respect the opinions of many people who claim to be pro-life (as long as they don’t harass others), I am very much pro-choice myself.

    • Stephanie needs to just mind her own business.

      All these anti-abortion escorts think is:

      They believe in life before birth and after death, but not in between.

      Stephanie: MYOB

  3. Thank you!! And thank you for clearly showing her/their total lack of compassion.

    If they really wanted to prevent unintended pregnancies and help people in need they’d hand out condoms and teach kids comprehensive sex ed. But they don’t because this isn’t about any of that – it’s about women and our “god-prescribed” role in society as bearers of children for men.

  4. Oh, so greatly written!

    I think one of the issues with not having spent much of my life involved in healthy confrontation (which is mainly because I wasn’t involved in many confrontations, healthy or not) is the impulse to say “oh, sure, thanks, you’re right, we see eye to eye!” when someone apologizes. This is a wonderfully written response in that it does point out some commonalities that we have, while also doing more than simply “agreeing to disagree” – it points out many of the reasons that the life escorts are not all they think they are.

    • When I say “so greatly written!” translate that to “So beautifully written!” and realize that I just woke up and didn’t re-read my comment before posting it…

  5. That was clearly a well thought out and well written reply. Thanks for sharing that with us.
    I am very grateful for what you escorts do.

  6. Andy,

    Wow. Just wow. I know I couldn’t do what you and the rest of the safety escorts do. My temper would flare, and only more problems would be left in the wake.

    My hat’s off to you and the people doing the good by protecting people who are exercising there right to chose.

  7. There is sooo much too be commented on here but I’ll just thank you for keeping religion out of this corner of our lives.

    Beautifully written as always…

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