Dec 16, 2015
Trying to be silent in an office feels futile. Faced with comments of ‘wow its quiet in here’, some goading and the singing of ‘O Happy Day’ from those around me – ‘KEEP CALM and SHUT UP’ was the message of my silent day.
Silence in Translation
It was strange being silent around people who know me so well as they attempted to translate my frustrated charade game. They knew what I thought and guessed what I was trying to say; what a relief!
I hope, in some way, this is what we do as we work alongside women affected by the sex industry. Far from speaking on women’s behalf, maybe we translate what women would want into contexts where they would never be invited to speak? I like to think so – feedback from women we support tells us that we might be on the right track.
At the same time it was in a way, a relief to be disconnected, not expected to comment or have the answers, to have the opportunity to observe the normal and everyday and to ‘zoom out’ a bit. It was strangely comforting to not be talked to, like being in a big duvet that muffled the sound.
Through listening to stories women have told me, many speak of a disconnection that they do in order to sell sex, particularly during times when they really don’t want to, but see few alternatives. This disconnection can be a great emotional protection at times, creating a buffer to potential harm.
At times, I gave up trying to communicate, too frustrated to keep going – again, being disconnected helped this. However, I had the luxury of choosing another day to talk about something. I can fully see why women that have been sexually exploited give up trying to communicate. Perhaps we expect women not to communicate, we see passive ‘victims’ and don’t bother to find out more, and so we allow this silence to exist.
Posted by Beyond The Streets on 27/11/2014 at 08:00 AM