As a comment to the post “Not Making Things Worse” I got this:
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.
And here is the response I sent her via email today.
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 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.
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.
abortion is not a dirty word.