pisaquari: Who are you known as on the internets?
rebecca: rmott, rmott62 or Rebecca.
pisaquari: Site(s) you blog? If any?
rebecca: rmott62.wordpress .
pisaquari: Places you most frequent/comment (can be nonfeminist)
rebecca: Abyss2Hope, Women’s Lives Matters & Women’s Life Matters, Gordon Poisons, Genderberg, Women’s Space and Chicks Dig Me. I comment mainly on Women’s Space.
pisaquari: How would you describe your background? Naming as many points for which you are privileged and oppressed as possible.
rebecca: I get quite confused by my background for in some ways I am highly privileged, but I that I have privilege can mean little or nothing. I am white upper-middle-class English, with all those advantages and baggage, and also quarter American. My family from America were a bigger influence on me than the English part, but that is because they strive to be good people, whilst much of the shit in my life came the Englsh part of my family. I have found the major part of having my background is that when I attempted to get help after many years of severe male sexual, mental and physical violence, I was disbelieved because I did not fit the narrow profile of a proper “victim”. Especially if I mentioned that I may of been prostituted. This makes very angry, for sometimes it feels like it is just words saying “all women can be abused”. But when face with a woman/girl who is desperate for any help but happens to be “posh”, she is often shown the door. My background did not save me from being raped and mentally abused by my stepdad for 15 years. It did not save me from being used as real-life porn in prostitution. It did not stopped the date rapes. Instead, I know many of the men doing the raping and torturing had an added thrill to degrade the posh girl. These are things I am scared to express, but it makes very sceptical. One good thing of my background is that I was brought up with all the arts, including films, novels and going arts exhibitions. My English/Scottish grandmother run a ballet company. The arts was a wonderful escape from my reality.
pisaquari: How did male supremacy first touch you?
rebecca: Meeting my stepdad was meeting male supremacy. I think I round 5, I was first “raped” by him when I was 6. That first rape was what made me a feminist. It give me anger that had no place to go. I encountered grief which I could not understand. I found I could not stop him however I behaved. It was very confusing to me, coz up to that point I never feared men, coz I had only known respect and love till that point. I had felt fear, but that was from my mother. Male supremacy was rammed into me when I forced to view or was read hard-core porn. That destroy any hope, and give me lessons that I was just there for sex, and that I will recieve pain and be degraded. I like my feminism to remember the clear eyes of that girl who was shocked that there could so much hate out there. And wanted so much to believe in hope.
pisaquari: Were there any feminists closely involved in your upbringing?
rebecca: The most important “feminist” in my life was my American grandmother. She a very strong and independent woman. She lived single for most of her life, her marriage was round 20 years, and during the WW2 she went back to Denver, whilst my grandfather was in England on the Home Guard. She was an artist. She was heavily in human’s rights and the civil right’s movements, which was very inspiring to me. It can from a place of liberal Christianity, which is something I have a lot of respect for. Many of female relatives are involved with work with the community, human’s rights or others forms of reaching out to others. I feel my “feminism” comes from Christian liberal tradition. Although I an atheist, I do have a lot of respect for that part of my background. I do read some feminist books, but not if the language is too academic or distancing itself from the reality that women’s lives that refuse to fit into simple boxes. Personally, I find most of what is written or said about the reality of living inside the sex trade is very patronising or distancing. Sometimes it can feel like being a lab rat when you speak out as an exited prostitute. I have enjoyed reading Melissa Farley, I respect Liz Kelly and Nikki Craft. Of course, there is Andrea Dworkin, but I am pretty sick of the worshipping of her. Most exited women from the sex trade would not named themselves as “feminists”, but when they speak or write of their realities, their voices are the most radical feminist voices I have ever come across. They have lived inside male hatred and be on the receiving end of male violence. In their voices there is often a clear-eyed view of living on the front-line of a war on all women. I don’t care if they are feminist or not.
pisaquari: Was there an “aha” moment for you for feminism? For radical feminism?
rebecca: I am not sure if I had an “aha” moment, just a steady awareness that my life not natural. I remember being in a workshop “studying” porn. What struck me was how cold and detached I was seeing porn, when other women were shocked, sickened and saddened by it. I realise that I was “used” to porn, and saw maybe that was not the norm. I had moments in prostitution, when I could look down onto myself. I would view my degradation, my posing like I was inside “Hustler”. I would see that I should be in pain, and observed I was feeling very little. In these brief moments, I knew this what not natural. Even as a kid, I had a rage that thought how dare my stepdad think I was his sex toy.
pisaquari: What attributes in your personality/upbringing do you think made you more open to radical feminism?
rebecca: There was always a part of me that had resistance. Mostly it keep in silence. It was keep inside of me until I was safe enough to express my rage and to show how much damage I had been forced to live with. I think my detachment keep me safe. It also made into a writer and an artist. Many times, when I was on the recieving of extreme male sexual, physical and mental violence, a very detached part of me would be thinking – one day I will make a record of this. Part of my resistance is an refusual to forget. When I write I write as a witness to the war against women. Partly through my background in Quakerism, I tend to believe that men choose to be violence to women and children. The men that do that I hate with a passion, but only them – I tend to give most people the benefit of the doubt. I will not hate a mass of people, I will hate and condemn the men that have made the choice to destroy lives.
pisaquari: Do you call yourself a radical feminist to others?
rebecca: I find it hard having any label put on me. It always seemed that I resist belonging to any group. I will say I am radical feminist when speaking about the sex trade with people that see no problems with it. I mainly say I am a feminist. But after having living a lifetime of being roles for others, I now hate being put into any box that take away that I am more complicated then that. I have a terrible habit of once a label is put onto me, I do something that is way outside that box.
pisaquari: How do you integrate radical feminism into your personal relationships? Buying habits? Love? Family?
rebecca: I am not sure how much I integrate feminism into my life. It is behind everything I write or put into my art, but at the same time I need to feel free to question everyone’s attitudes to survivors of the sex trade, including radical feminists. I am very un-pc in my pleasures, such as TV, sports and films. To very honest, I find much of feminism too smug or earnest to be a pleasure. I use my pleasures to escape, so I really don’t care too much. On a more serious level, It is part of my personal politics to let women who lived inside of hell to find pleasure and joy by any means that will bring them back to their true selves. My essence love Hollywood films, eat all food, want to live in huge cities, enjoy TV, watch sports. I take these things, and I do not lose my intelligence, I do not forget the reality of male hate and violence. No, I do both, I fulfil my need to be a person who refuses to put ito easy catorgories. It is my resistence after being made into nothing for too much of my life.
pisaquari: What has been the hardest part of radical feminism to integrate into your life?
rebecca: I find hard to make radical feminism part of my life, because of my resistence to belonging. I am scared of being made into a role again. Also, I get worried that some radical feminist have patronising attitudes to the voices of exited women from the sex trade. Sometimes, keeping them in the victim-role, and not seeing the massive strength and powerful radical words they are saying. Or into the role of the “heroic” woman who speak out against the sex trade, but then disappoints by doing non-feminist stuff. I worry about tokenism when I speak out about the sex trade, I don’t like the way Andrea Dworkin was put on a pedestral. I always run away if that is happening to me.
pisaquari: How do you survive/find happiness living in a patriarchy? What are some things you like to do?
rebecca: I survive by finding what gives my essence pleasure, and much of it is not feminist. I have let myself be a film addict, watch dramas on TV, follow sports I love. All these things give me back my life. I feel my work is bringing my self back, and that is the hardest thing in the world. So I relax whenever I can.
pisaquari: What sort of activist activities are you involved with?
rebecca: My writing is my activism. As I have very severe PTSD, that is the most I can do. Through my blogs, I have made connects with some amazing women even in the sex trade or exited. I feel that my conversations or emails with them is very much part of my activism. I do support some children’s charities, mainly ones that campaign round homelessness, trafficking, under-aged prostitution and working with teenagers.
pisaquari: Okay, so there is a radical feminist island–you are there right now: what are you doing?
rebecca: I don’t know how long I would stay on an island for radical feminists, or whether I would be looking longingly for a ship to get me back to any city. I would feel I didn’t fit in, especially if I caught out trying to get some meat.