Where my secret lies…

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Where my secret lies…

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Up until recently, this is what I had at the start of my ads scattered around the web. I’ve since re-written things, but this quote will remain etched into my mind for eternity. It provides a motivating factor that is far more beautiful and internal than what is symbolised by cold hard cash. It helps to keep me happy… I suspect it is the same for many of us.

The late Maya Angelou left behind this quote. Most people know of her as the poignant author and activist. What few people know is that for a period of time she was also a sex worker. It is important to note that although she didn’t live on the “straight and narrow”; her life choices led her to being a phenomenal woman (her words from the famous poem, but oh so true). Perhaps her life was messy, but she wasn’t messed up.

Most sex workers feel that we are denied the privilege to speak of our work without feelings of shame. So, as today is International Sex Workers Day, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that we are all human beings, with a heart, a soul and feelings too.

The world is slowly changing, but shaking centuries of stigma is not easy. The prejudice lies at odds to how I am. I am happy and I am healthy. Thriving in fact. I live as I wish and each day carving my future into stone.

My version of empowered might not be your version of empowered, but without sex work I would be much less of the woman I am today. I am strong and resilient, compassionate and perceptive. I do not need saving or your commiseration. As one voice of many, what I need is full decriminalisation and acceptance as an equal.

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

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