Yesterday Louis C.K. became the latest male celebrity to come under scrutiny for his sexually abusive behavior. He made a habit out of pulling out his penis and masturbating in front of women, at least five who have gone on the record so far — which means there are likely many more victims who haven’t spoken up yet.
I’ve heard these stories swirling around for years. It was, in fact, a bit of an open secret. Today Louis admitted these stories are true in a rather narcissistic “apology” letter that lacked an actual “I’m sorry” and kept circling around to the idea that all of these women admired him so much.
Too often the men in these situations are only “sorry” when their behavior finally catches up with them and hurts their bank account. It’s hard to believe he’s sorry when he still hasn’t actually said it and up until recently he was calling these stories “rumors.”
The absolute worst take I’ve seen so far on the Louis C.K. debacle came from twitter user @raesanni. Rae thought it was a brilliant idea to tweet that guys like C.K. could just pay a sex worker instead.
Lovely, yes, great idea to send the Louis C.K.’s and the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world to sex workers, as if sex workers A) aren’t already seeing these powerful, abusive, boundary crossing men in their professional lives and B) as if sex workers aren’t already in danger just by living in a society where their very means of survival is illegal.
When you suggest that sex workers should be the ones to deal with these types of men, you’re obviously suggesting that we are disposable. Are we supposed to deal with the worst of the worst kind of men to protect the more “pure” women in society?
Rae, if you’re reading this I want you to know that sex workers are people, too. It’s not our responsibility to take out the trash for you. We aren’t obligated to deal with abusive behavior from men. When you suggest otherwise it makes me think you believe we can’t be sexually harassed, sexually intimidated or sexually assaulted.
I would hope you would befriend a sex worker and maybe try to learn we’re not all that different from you. Maybe I would’ve told you this privately but you blocked me on Twitter even though we have literally never interacted online or in real life — which again gives me the idea that maaaaaaybe you have something against sex workers?
The brilliant Lorelei Lee said it best: “I don’t care how you frame it. Every time you create yet another god damn narrative that says sex workers consent to see violent men as an inherent part of the job, you normalize violence against us.”
That’s exactly why sex workers (and our allies) should be speaking up when someone like Rae Sanni makes ignorant comments like she did yesterday. She may have deleted the tweet, but the sentiment lingers and it needs to be corrected.