So.  A while back, my sweetie and I went to a poetry show (we do this frequently, which is awesome).  At this particular show, one of the readers prefaced her poem by saying that she used to live in a neighbourhood with one of those Neighbourhood Associations that are, basically, anti-sex-worker vigilante groups.

But she didn’t put it like that.  The way she talked about the group, and how it had approached her, as a writer, to do a piece for them reflecting their views, made me and my girl very… unsure of where she stood in that regard.

Which, given that she was about to read a poem on the subject, had us nervous.  And a little, uhm, combative.

In my case, this means that I made the snap decision to alter my own reading (I was signed up on the list already) to make my own views on the subject Very Clear[1].

As it turned out, we were all on the same side (<*phew*>), but it was a little… worrying there for a minute.  A friend of ours commented to us, on the way out of the venue, that she could feel the pressure building behind her, during that particular reader’s set.

It’s funny – or maybe not funny at all, really – the way the armour goes on preemptively, the body language changes, wrists get loose and shoulders drop wide even as fingers are crossing that one’s not going to end up “debating” over whether or not a particular group of people, of which you are a part, actually qualify as human enough, in the eyes of the public or the privileged, to deserve human rights.

I’m glad it didn’t come to that.

Every time I find allies where I’m not expecting them, it makes me relieved and hopeful, but it still makes me sad that I can’t just expect that.

Case in point:  A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a friend of a friend, one who, based entirely on her age, dress, and social group, I would have expected to be at least nominally sex-worker-positive, but who actually ended up throwing around whorephobic opinions about the “legitimacy” (or lack thereof) of sex work for much of the conversation.

And yet the poet with the government day-job is on our side.

So, yeah.  While you don’t necessarily know who you can trust… you don’t necessarily know who you can’t trust, either.

Anyway.  That was that. 🙂

–          Cheers,

–          Ms. Syren.

[1] Apparently I wasn’t the only one.  After the show, my girlfriend commented to me that there’d been kind of a Hooker Throw-Down going on.