What is your narrative

“Looked at from the front, the back of the object remains unseen!”

Art credit: One of the brave-heart survivors

They say that those who are into prostitution enjoy their glamourous life; that they have chosen this life happily. Well, one can say that they always smile at you, they look so attractive and happy, they dress up nicely, they get to enjoy sex and the list can go on and on. Someone else also said that they are just openminded women who love love love sex. Somebody’s version is that they do this to maintain their addictions.

What is the narrative that you have believed?

Which of these stories have you taken for truth? Or perhaps, you have your own narrative.

Probably, by now, you would know what I am going to talk about. I stumbled upon the above quote from Sartre, while reading a book recently. It says, our visual perception or experience of things, situation and people is limited to our perspective.  

So, what does this mean?

This means that our perception of things, situations and people cannot present the entirety of it, but only perspectivally.

We, as human beings, are limited by our own experience. We are at a risk to misinterpret things and take our initial perceptions for truth, at its face value.

As a result, sometimes, we are too quick to reject as well as buy into a story without even considering the entirety of it.

Let us explore this deeper.

Have you ever judged someone around you based on what you saw as truth in your own perspective? 

How many times have you rejected an information or thoughts that challenged your own pre-conceived notions about something?

The picture above speaks a thousand words. I met her as she stood as an epitome of courage. As she spoke, I also met the hope that was glimmering through her scars. Her breathing dreams below her blows, like flowers ushering in the badlands. She made a choice to step into the unknown and to live out courage. She stood up for her, for all others like herself and she stood up for me, to model bravery. I no longer call her a survivor because she is a braveheart, just like in the picture.

“Studies show that of working adult women in the sex trade: 82% have been physically assaulted, 83% have been threatened with a weapon, 68% have been raped while working and 84% reported current or past homelessness.” — National Center for Biotechnology Information

And yet sadly, these brave hearts are accused of causing such crimes onto themselves.

They are looked at with contempt as accused. Their plight for justice gets lost into the battle between victim or accused. How tragic!

There is also data that shows that majority of the survivors are defrauded with the promise of a good job. They are subject to a conditioning period, they are beaten, burnt, starved and raped. They are ripped off of their freedom and dignity in every possible way to be molded into the form of a typical sex worker that you and I see. 

Would we all care to rely on these facts? Well, closing our eyes certainly would not deny the entirety of these facts.  

It’s time we question our own limited perspective and take notice of the injustice happening towards these equally valuable lives. Let’s seek to understand the entirety of the situation that these victims of sex trade go through; that most of them are not into it because they enjoy it. Perhaps, there are other reasons not so visually visible to you and me.

It’s time to change our narrative.

As much as we feel empowered by the knowledge that comes from the facts, we need to empower these brave hearts such as they feel part of the society. We need to embrace them and support them to stand up back again empowered to live a life of independence and freedom.  

“Knowledge brings responsibility and responsibility breeds empowerment.”

By Shally Munjal Dass

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