Jenna Jameson’s “Choice” Seen Through the Eyes of a Trafficking Victim

by Jacqueline S. Homan

Recently, Jenna Jameson announced with much reluctance that she was returning to porn, citing financial hardship as the reason. What she did not say was equally important: no other options for earning a decent living in a real job with dignity was afforded to her due to her “past”—something that sex trafficking victims, who are much poorer than Jenna Jameson ever was, are keenly aware of.

This is the big, steaming pile of pachyderm shit in the living room that everyone chooses to ignore.

Now, a lot of people are saying that Jenna Jameson should not be so broke that she would be returning to the same porn industry she was glad to exit; that she got $25 million when she sold ClubJenna to Playboy. Whether or not that’s true, that’s not the point.

Even if she did net $25 million and somehow ended up pissing it all away, that does not excuse the rest of society from its role in denying jobs with dignity and an adequate economic safety net to the overwhelming majority of poor women who managed to escape from the sex trade, usually with just the clothes on their backs, who wanted real options and real jobs—not blowjobs.

Remember: most exited women were/are not anywhere near as well off financially as Jenna Jameson. Most of us can’t even afford food, a roof over our heads, medical and dental care, or anything else we need to rebuild our lives.

Society needs to be held responsible for throwing women and girls away into the prostitute class and preventing so many from escaping by denying us all other options—giving traffickers and johns the green light in the first place.

People always knew sex trafficking was happening in the US and that it mainly impacted poor women whom NOBODY gives a fuck about.

They knew that there were never enough jobs to go around for everybody and that poor women were pressed into the sex trade for lack of any other options due to discrimination against women for the good-paying “men’s jobs” that don’t require an unaffordable education (which hardly makes prostitution a “choice” for anyone EXCEPT traffickers and their “customers”—the ‘johns’), and then made damn sure that no other options would EVER be made available to those who escaped from the sex industry (often with no outside help).

Instead, everyone blames the victim—not because they don’t know any better, but because that’s what makes them feel good about themselves.

No one wants to admit that they are beneficiaries of an unjust system and that poor, marginalized women at the very bottom of the socio-economic heap are everyone else’s place-keepers in this classist, male supremacist shithole of a greed-driven, misogynistic country. Poor women have been deliberately excluded from the job market and from mainstream society in general due to classism on top of sexism, and stand better than a 50-50 chance of being trafficked here in the US since all the poverty alleviation programs were cut or eliminated (starting with the Reagan administration) —hurting everyone who wasn’t middle class and/or a white male.

As a sex trafficking survivor, I can tell you a LOT about this deliberately indifferent mainstream middle class public who “didn’t know”  (yeah, like all those “good Germans” who didn’t know what was being done to the Jews).

Let’s talk about the fact that a good portion of the white middle class johns who were clergymen and other “community pillars, and cops (including homicide detectives and vice squad) who arrested me just to get a “freebie” in exchange for dropping the charges when I was only 13, homeless and trafficked by an outlaw motorcycle gang that owned the “establishment” that they patronized (and when they did, they always requested the youngest girls—those under age 15).

Let’s talk about the judges, probation officers and social workers who had a file a mile thick on Shannon Sicker, a fallen sister I personally knew who had been prostituted since she was 9 years old by her mother’s pimp after he threw the mother out of a 3rd floor window leaving her a permanent quadraplegic, as punishment for failing to make her quota— and yet these people from the mainstream middle class did jack shit to help girls like me and Shannon and MILLIONS like us in any real, material and meaningful way. I still remember when the head of Philly’s vice squad laughed after Shannon was arrested (her arrests began at age 9, mind you), calling her “Shannon the pig with a pussy the size of the Grand Canyon.”

Let’s talk about employers’ deliberately unfair employment practices that poor women in desperate need of a job can’t do anything about; the male chauvinist self-entitled, privileged fuckfaces who  discriminate against hiring poor women and girls for male-dominated jobs that pay enough to live on, or who tell us that we can have the good jobs we desperately need in post-Welfare Reform America if we “consent” to service them as disposable fuck toilets.

Let’s talk about all the middle and upper class women who knew what their husbands, brothers and sons were doing to poor trafficked homeless girls like my younger self, while convincing themselves that we somehow “chose” to be there for their precious Nigel to rape, BLAMING us for being victims of their husbands’ sexual crimes, so at least they can have an out-group of “other” women to look down on and feel superior to, women and under-aged girls whom NOBODY ever gave a fuck about; women and girls like ME who were discarded by this society and used as human shields to bear the brunt of institutionalized misogyny and the economic terrorism of poverty so that the “good women” from the “better” socio-economic classes—the only women who ever mattered in any social justice movement—don’t have to experience it.

Let’s talk about the double standards no one ever questions in this society.

When a middle class or rich white 13 year old girl from suburbia is beaten up and forced to have sex with scumbag maggot perverts who are old enough to be her daddy—without the exchange of money or pimps being involved—it’s a crime and she gets all the sympathy and support in the world for being recognized as a crime victim. Nobody says that she “consented” to it or deems her of age to be able to give consent—whether this “consent” was coerced under duress or not.

But when a POOR orphaned and homeless 13 year old girl is beaten up and violently forced by a pimp or a brutal trafficking ring to have sex she’s unwilling to have and not legally able to consent to by any definition—in exchange for money she’s not allowed to keep, against her will with men old enough to be her daddy who have daughters older than she is—she gets slapped with a life sentence of being deeply stigmatized for life as a “prostitute” and criminalized as a “sex offender”, unable to get employment, rent an apartment, qualify for food stamps, never mind finding any social acceptance or love.

When a middle class princess like Laci Peterson gets brutally murdered by her philander husband, and when a middle class girl gets raped in college by a frat boy, it’s a tragedy and a crime.

But when a poor woman or girl pressed into the institution of prostitution that is upheld by an entire “Me First” male supremacist society gets raped by 10-20 johns a day who pay for the “right” to do so, and frequently beaten up, robbed and murdered and stuffed in a dumpster, NOBODY cares.

It doesn’t even count as a crime when murder happens to sex trafficking victims—we’re “only whores”, we somehow “deserved” it. Up until very recently, official homicide reports of murdered victims of prostitution listed the casualties from among our ranks as “No Human Involved.” Think about that for a minute.

Let’s talk about the rich white male Congressional architects of Welfare Reform in government and the vindictive, selfish, spoiled middle class voting public who jumped on these self-serving politicians’ classist, misogynistic bandwagon because they thought that the only way to solve the problem of poverty and balance the budget was to punish the poor (most whom were/are WOMEN) for being poor due to job discrimination, classism, and abusive social and economic policies.

Let’s talk about the prevailing conventional “wisdom” where everyone thought that they should punish the poor out of poverty—a condition that is caused by flawed markets, systemic inequities and discrimination. Everyone felt this was a better way to go than the late president Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs (which fell under attack and suffered budget cuts before they could even get a chance to be fully implemented and work).

Let’s talk about the rich white men in Congress who passed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996— how these people with the most privileges in this society  REFUSED to listen to feminist scholars like Mimi Abramovitz and April Cherry who asked that the government track the outcomes for the poorest of this nation’s women who were dumped off of AFDC regardless if they were able to get jobs or not, to make sure they weren’t ending up pressed into prostitution with no way out. As of 2001, SIX MILLION of America’s poorest women were economically disappeared. [HINT: They didn't go on a vacation to the French Riviera and forget to come home!]

Let’s talk about the fact that 70% of the poor and 94% of those living on less than $2/day here in THIS country as well as across the world are WOMEN while MEN are the only people with legal and political rights and have all the jobs, all the money, and own and control 90% of the world’s resources. And let’s talk about the fact that there were NEVER enough jobs to go around for everyone who could work who needed and wanted a job but got left out.

Let’s talk about the fact that a whole lot of self-centered, privilege-clinging people of ALL races and BOTH sexes were/are perfectly content to see the poorest, least empowered, unwanted, unloved and unvalued women discarded into the socially-sponsored torture industry of commercial rape as the “Final Solution” for poor women.

Let’s talk about how society offers up its poorest, most vulnerable women and kids as human shields to bear the brunt of life-threatening poverty and male sexual sadism, cruelty and torture, and then those very few who survive and escape are punished for the rest of our lives by everybody else for what was done to us by others—by those who DID have a choice.

Let’s talk about how trafficking survivors are treated after managing to escape the sex industry only to end up dying from abject poverty and lack of access to medical care decades before any other subgroup of the population, not including the many who ended up dying at the hands of johns while in “the life.”

The life expectancy for poor sex trafficked or otherwise sexually exploited women is only 26 while the life expectancy for those of us who managed by sheer dumb luck  to escape is only 34 years—because of being left to die from abject poverty. Very, very few commercial rape survivors live to see 40 or 50, while the life expectancy rate for middle and upper class women who have not been forced into prostitution is almost 80.

Nearly everyone knew that they were participating in pushing the poorest and most disadvantaged women straight into the institution of prostitution, and giving the pimps, traffickers, and johns a green light since it is only the VICTIMS who are stigmatized FOR LIFE, bearing the full weight of the consequences for sexual slavery and exploitation for the rest of our lives—causing us to be denied chances for good jobs and access to resources so we can survive with a little bit of human dignity while we struggle for years, even decades, trying to rebuild our shattered lives with no real material help and no support because EVERYBODY looks down on us like we’re scum after making sure that the gutter and an early grave was the ONLY place we were ever allowed to have in this society.

This society has the blood of the poorest, most marginalized, and vulnerable women and girls on its hands, and I refuse to shut up about that until this shit is made right. One need not read Macbeth to know that blood isn’t so easily washed away.

As an impoverished trafficking survivor fighting for human dignity, to abolish slavery and fighting for restorative justice for those of us who are struggling for our lives and basic human rights as victims of an industry of sexual torture, slavery, and the added oppression of stigmatization which has barred me from any employment in post-Welfare Reform America, your support is desperately needed so I may continue my work in educating the public about this very important human rights issue. Please donate to support my work and my quest for restorative justice. Thank you.

Jacqueline S. Homan

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14 Responses to “Jenna Jameson’s “Choice” Seen Through the Eyes of a Trafficking Victim”

  1. Jacqueline S. Homan Says:

    Reblogged this on Without Apology and commented:

    Society needs to be held responsible for throwing women and girls away into the prostitute class and preventing so many from escaping by denying us all other options—giving traffickers and johns the green light in the first place.

  2. Ramada Luvsick Says:

    u are amazing, u inspire me, however plis dont use the “when a white girl is raped is a tragedy”, because it isnt, even in fox they sided with the rapists. I think to say “at least they care a little bit when a white girl gets raped but thats just not enough, we are also getting raped and we also need to be talked about” would be more accurate. Us women, rich and poor, are all in the same boat of discrimination, l understand ur outrage at the blame the johns wifes directed at you, but maybe they also couldnt leave their husbands due to discrimination and felt that by blaming u they could avoid dealing with their husbands and themselves. What u recount is so painful and full of truth, u are great.

    • Jacqueline S. Homan Says:

      No, we are NOT “all in the same boat.” Middle and upper class women get paid 77 cents per dollar to a man and have many job options. Poor marginalized women from the prostitute class get ZERO job opportunities due to prostitution “pasts” that we would NOT have had we not been trafficked. We get ZERO income. We’re literally left to starve and die in the gutter from extreme poverty because of it.

      And why should poor trafficked women and girls be expected to just suck it up and take it regarding the crap dished out at us by privileged women as if they’re somehow entitled to kick those of us who are already down, treating us as if we’re less than the shit stuck to the bottom of their shoes that they traipsed through on their way to their nice cushy jobs and comfortable lives?

      Sorry, but if you put the desire and agenda of some privileged, selfish co-opted member of the oppressor class ahead of poor trafficking victims just so she can maintain her higher standard of living achieved by “standing by her rapist john husband/brother/son” at the expense of poor trafficking victims’ human rights, then you are not only trivializing the degree of harm done to the prostituted class who live only half as long as everybody else, you are also putting yourself squarely on the side of the oppressor.

      • Nereida Filomena Says:

        It was Lucky Nickel one of my favorite radical feminists other than yourself who says that handmaidens are as bad as the men who commit male violence and sadism. I will try to find the quote.

  3. Nereida Filomena Says:

    It is despicable you have every right to be enraged because it is a righteous rage. I disagree with the RFs to claim that fighting for socialism and the Nordic Model to hold men accountable not RF. Part of RF is HARM REDUCTION. As in we realize that male institutions can’t liberate women put we need to make sure first that women can actually survive long enough to question male dominated society. That is why feminists of all strips fight for birth control and abortion but for us its harm reduction stance that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy or a waste of time. We don’t have to have some kind of faith in the male run system but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a kind of patriarchy-lite like in the Nordic countries because it is working well and vastly improves public health even of men who complain the most about these kinds of measures until they are actually put into place.

    • Nereida Filomena Says:

      *who* claim that fighting for the Nordic Model is useless *is* not RF. ugh typos. The is the thing I like the most about that system is that it holds men and handmaidens accountable. Holding men accountable for their acts of male violence and sadism is RF action. If we need to enforce this with the state right now…so be it. Women are dying in droves and we owe it to women less fortunate. Because women sure are not rich enough among themselves to do something similar to the NM on their own.

    • Orion Starfire Says:

      I’m sorry. What is RF?

      Also what is trafficking exactly? Are we talking about people being abducted and pressed into service?

      • Nereida Filomena Says:

        RF= Radical Feminism.
        Sex trafficking is a criminal industry that operates on the market principles of supply and demand. Demand is created by the men who pay for commercial sex. Traffickers, pimps and facilitators profit from this demand by supplying the women and girls who are exploited every day in the commercial sex industry. Sex trafficking does not just exist because its victims are vulnerable – it exists because there is a demand for commercial sex that traffickers can exploit and profit from. Thus, addressing the demand for commercial sex is a key component of any plan to prevent sex trafficking. Men who buy sex and provide the demand that fuels trafficking have stated that greater criminal penalties, having to spend time in jail and having a letter sent home- stating that they were arrested for buying sex would deter them from buying sex.

  4. QotD: “Jenna Jameson’s “Choice” Seen Through the Eyes of a Trafficking Victim” | Anti-Porn Feminists Says:

    […] By Jacqueline S. Homan, continue reading here […]

  5. mockymur Says:

    Great piece of writing. Hits like a sledgehammer, as any frank discussion about sex-trafficking should.

    Although I was lucky enough to escape the direct fate of being trafficked – there were numerous attempts to lure me in that direction – I still got the whole, dehumanizing treatment for being “bad” after I was violently raped at age 15. Word gets out about this stuff in a small town. The girl is the only one who gets punished for being raped, usually for the rest of her life.

    Spoiled goods are spoiled goods, no matter which socioeconomic class you’re born into. This is America, godammit, land of the lily white, puritan man-god who likes to diddle little girls when the missus isn’t looking. Ain’t that his holy, God-given privilege?

    I agree that the women who are “elevated” to positions where they now feel it’s OK to piss down on poor women only got there because of the men they did ( or didn’t ) willingly fuck. All economics are still sexual economics in this country, with big-daddy patriarch leading market capitalism right over the brink of the abyss by his unruly, greedy and brainless member.

    Your article really riled me up, Jacqueline. That’s a good thing. Guess I’m an RF, after all. : )

    • Jacqueline S. Homan Says:

      The sex trafficked are unable to get jobs ANYWHERE if they have prostitution arrest records. Even if those arrests happened when they were 13, 14, and 15 yrs old. Even if they happened as a direct result of being trafficked. Additionally, there are many states that deny even a meager food stamp benefit to jobless, destitute trafficked women on those same grounds. And who can afford to hire an attorney to get their prostitution records expunged when just affording food, a place to live, medical care, clothing, and transportation is mission impossible? We’re literally left to starve and die out on the streets for all this society cares.

      • mockymur Says:

        I hear this loud and clear. It’s really a “fate worse than death” to be perpetually shunned by the same society that exploited and all but destroyed you. Great talents, like yours, shrivel up and go to waste, as a rule, but that’s the whole idea behind systematic oppression of a specific group. I can closely relate to your position, Jacqueline.

        An old friend used to say, “You’re looking for Fair? Fair don’t live around here.” She’s dead now. Beaten to a pulp by a man (or several men, she could never remember the event) she only lived for a few more agonizing years afterward, until her brain just exploded one day, two months shy of her 45th birthday. Liz was only the first of several close girlfriends who died like this in the past 15 years. The oldest friend was 54 when she died. Also named Liz she, too, had been hideously abused in every possible manner and subsequently shamed for surviving the initial assaults. Galloping cancer ate her alive because she had no medical insurance.

        Then there was Carol and Brenda and Verdelle and Joey. Yeah, Joey was only 25 when she died after just a few bad months on the street. She left a baby daughter behind. The rest left teenaged kids to figure out what the hell happened to their mamas- in the prime of their lives- in this, the “greatest nation on Earth”.

        I’m never going to forget these good women. What’s more, I’ll screech like an alley cat to my own dying breath in order to call attention to this ongoing domestic atrocity. You get to the point where the future is a dead end street, sometimes, but then you cut a new path – if you live – and figuratively plant new signposts along the way, in code, so that other dehumanized women can see a new horizon, too. Actually, I’m all for creating sustainable habitats for women outside of this corrupt culture: places like the old “nunneries” where we could safely go to be free of the hyper-sexualized burdens we’ve all shouldered since birth. Yeah, it’s a fantasy, today, but I think it’s a really good one. What other chances do we have?

  6. Jennie Says:

    Excellent writing…I feel terrible for Jenna having to go back into an ever-increasing violent and sadistic “business.” It makes me so sad. It takes a long time to heal from being sexually abused or paid for rape (prostitution and porn). Jenna had healed for five years and now she has to go and throw herself into a business that she abhors. She will be a wake up call to young girls and women who want to get into the “industry.” No matter how much $ one makes, they could lose it all and have to go back to “work” at one of the most horrendous “jobs-yeah right” that a woman can do. It ruins lives and shatters dreams and the sanity of so many women. It is NOT glamorous. It’s a nightmare.

  7. Is Being Poor A Choice? Being Broke Circumstance or Choice? | StyleMeCEO Says:

    […] Jenna Jameson’s “Choice” Seen Through the Eyes of a Trafficking Victim (godlessfeminist.wordpress.com) […]

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