I guess I owe you all an explanation for why I’m leaving Twitter and the blogosphere on the 12th of this month (isn’t that such a pretentious term? Blogosphere? Really?) [If you want a quick explanation without the words, scroll down for screenshots of Jem outing the wrong person as me.] Anyway, before I say this, I just want to say that I don’t want or need sympathy. I brought this all on myself by being too naive and trusting, by trying to overcome my trust issues, and by forgetting the lessons I learned as a child about not trusting anyone, ever. And also being really careless when I was trying to warn C.
So, what happened was, Jem a.k.a @notahappyhooker a.k.a. @ahauntedhoor a.k.a. @itsjustahobby outed what she believed to be my civilian account and only stopped tweeting it when the person proved to her that she wasn’t me. I’ve known she was trying to dox me since a few months ago; she’s even publically said I’m a fake and admitted of trying to find information about me. And another person, who shall remain nameless- let’s call her Q- well, I told her my identity when we met in real life. Q’s kid and my friend were present when I told her. I told Q that only 2 people on the internet know (C and X) and both only knew by accident. Q was the first person ever who I trusted with that secret, and she kept it secret for maybe two months before saying it publically on social media, possibly as a revenge for something she blames me for but which I didn’t do intentionally. And no, I will never reveal her identity any more than I’d reveal my own; the reason being that the end result would be the same.
So, that’s it in a nutshell: one person, Jem, is trying to out me and I’m worried that one day she is going to succeed; and another person, Q, already has that info. I do not know when Q will next strike and frankly I’m tired of waiting and wondering. To complicate things further, I outed myself to someone else and gave info to another person so they could warn C, who interacts a lot with Q and Jem, and has met both in real life. Those two people then refused to pass the message, so that was all for nothing. Now too many people know my identity or information about me. And the four people I like the most on Twitter are now the four biggest threats to me, as both Q and Jem are among these four; the other two (C and X) know my full legal name and are pissed off with me (in C’s case) and support Q and Jem outing me (in X’s case. She unfollowed me for telling her they outed me- I was panic-DM’ing X and two other people at the same time and they were all offline. I’m actually kind of embarassed of panicking like that and being all upset and scared in front of the,, because I’m known as being super confident. But there’s nothing I can do about that now. Anyway, the next morning X unfollowed without replying, which I’m assuming means she supports Q and Jem. As she knows my full legal name, that hardly inspires confidence. I would never ordinarily dream that X would reveal info about me, but then if Q did it, why not? I trusted Q almost as much as X, and I trusted Jem too. There was a time when me and Jem were always retweeting and reblogging each other. Even C acted in ways I wouldn’t expect by believing Q’s side of an unrelated event and assuming the worst of me without asking me what happened. C stopped talking to me which meant I had to try to pass messages to warn her not to give her real name to Jem and Q. Which indirectly leads me to quit the internet. FML).
It doesn’t take a risk analyst to work out that this whole situation no es bueno; it is just a matter of time. An anti tried to out C and outed the wrong person once; I hope C escapes Q and Jem, but if they get pissed off with her one day and out her, I’ll lose no sleep over it because I tried to warn her. There is nothing else I can do. Quitting the internet is a pre-emptive move and at least this way I get to keep what I’ve already blogged. If I was outed I might have to delete this blog and Twitter or even my civilian social media. It’s a smart move and at least this way I’m in control and as long as I remember my passwords, it’s not irreversible. I’m working on something that could be damaged if I was outed, and I’m not about to let some randoms off the internet ruin everything I’ve worked for years to achieve. That’s my main reason for my fear of being outed.
It will come as no surprise to some of you that Jem was involved (though she and Q acted independently and I don’t think it was a concerted move, given that, according to Twitter gossip, Q apparently is wary of Jem too, like most people who know what Jem is like.) Jemima made around 8 public tweets ‘outing’ a feminist blogger as me, and also tweeted this information to a magazine, a sex worker ally, someone else I don’t know, National Ugly Mugs and Ruth Jacobs. Really Jem- a magazine? Nice try, but they won’t out me unless I’m famous, hun. Try Eamon Dillon next time, huh? (She also tweeted that I’m a fake). Jem kept tweeting until the feminist blogger proved to her that she isn’t me. Some of the tweets have been deleted, and Jem’s constant typos make a Twitter search difficult (though some of it does come up in a Twitter search) but luckily a DM alerted me just after it happened and I was able to screencap most of it. Today I did a Twitter search and screencapped more stuff.
It’s Just A Hobby is a great blog though I’ve not been by for months; I’ve heard that she and Carter now have a new blog. For what it’s worth, I’m sure it’s brilliant. I’m not complaining; as this storify by Caroline Criado=Perez shows: http://storify.com/CCriadoPerez/just-for-the-record Jem has a habit of turning on people who think they’re her friends, even people she’s had in her home. In the storify she accuses 8 or 9 people of whorephobia and of unfollowing her when in fact she had unfollowed or blocked them first. That’s actually nothing compared to what I’ve seen her tweet about other sex workers who were her former friends, as well as allies and feminist bloggers who she was friendly with. She actually hasn’t been all that shitty to me, apart from libelling me that I tried to frame people and get them sued (tweets are now deleted, unfortunately), and constantly claiming I’m a fake who deliberately “destroyed the Merseyside model” out of “malice” and “ruined any chance of the Merseyside model becoming UK wide” by, er, making a petition to get it UK-wide….(no, really. Yes, REALLY. See the screencaps). Which is kinda weird since Jem admitted months ago that I wasn’t working with Jacobs – and shared one of Ruth Jacobs’ blog posts, calling it “great”!
Here, Jem lies that “we” (who?) invited me to SWOU to campaign for the Merseyside model, but I didn’t go. Actually, I wasn’t invited. Rhoda Grant and others were invited but didn’t go. Nothing to do with me.
She publically- and constantly- gives Ruth Jacobs credit where it’s simply not due, acting as if Jacobs created the petition when actually we’d already split up by the time I created the petition. I may suggest that Jacobs hires Jem as her PR assistant and Jem can write me out of the story altogether and give Jacobs all the credit. Jem also thinks that sex workers have to “work with” Jacobs but that they won’t. I don’t see why sex workers would have to work with any non sex worker who supports the Merseyside model; aren’t there lots of random non sex workers who support Merseyside, the New Zealand model or decriminalisation generally? Don’t Object and another anti org support National Ugly Mugs? Don’t antis in Ireland support Merseyside? Especially allies, feminists, people who work in the medical, academic, legal or policy fields; relatives and friends of sex workers, random members of the public…and Ruth Jacobs is just one of these many people who support it. She’s nothing special. Jem glamorises her into some mythical ultimate enemy when really Ruth is just some unknown blogger on t’internet, with no bigger of a platform than Jem herself.
That being said, the fact that the head of the NSWP and the manager of Ugly Mugs, as well as sex workers, have interviews on Ruth Jacobs’ blog kind of disproves the “no sex worker will work with her” thing. Jem always has to be right. If anyone has “destroyed” the Merseyside model (a task which would be impossible for any lone individual to achieve), it’s Jem. She has made many public tweets and comments against me and the petition and tried to turn sex worker activists against the petition. She promotes the lie that it’s Jacobs’ petition, thus ensuring that some sex workers won’t support it. Apparently she doesn’t seem to notice that people go silent or change the subject whenever she lies about me. But perhaps Jem has a right to criticise others’ activism, after all she’s done so much sex work activism herself…oh, wait. She’s done fuck all about either Merseyside (apart from, like, being the person who tweeted Ruth Jacobs the link that started the idea for a petition, so God knows why she’s criticising me for creating the petition when she actually was its catalyst) or sex work activism more generally. Recently she’s been tweeting from @whorephobia – an amazing account I think everyone should follow- but tweeting isn’t any more activism than I or anyone else does. Her blog, It’s Just A Hobby, isn’t a sex work activism blog; though I can’t speak for whatever her new blog is called. Criticisng each others’ activism just seems so counterproductive and petty and bitchy to me; I feel so bad and small about writing the above sentences about Jem’s activism, but it had to be said. On that note, Jem made several statements that she should have created the petition and would be the best person for the job, then told me that her name should be on the petition, so I agreed and took steps to change it. When I tried to finalise the name change, Jemima suddenly backed out and declared the petition to be “permanently tainted”. That was my first clue that Jem’s obsession with me might be more about herself than about political disagreements.
It was not long after that that I received a DM which warned me about Jem and said that if someone is being raped or beaten, would they really care about who created the petition? When a sex worker is sitting in a police station reporting their rape to the police, will they even have heard of my name or Ruth’s, and will they actually give a flying fuck? Would the family of a dead sex worker be delighted that the petition failed because it was “permanently tainted” by Jacobs? Jem’s arguments were petty and they were the typical arguments of someone priveleged enough not to worry about rape on a daily basis. Others later warned me about Jem but I thought “it takes two to tango”. I found it difficult to completely believe their tales of Jem bullying, lying and accusing people of whorephobia or misogyny. No matter how much Jem hurt me and the petition, I still saw her as Jemima, the blogger I looked up to, whose politics I agreed with, who had so much to say about kink and law and sexuality; who reblogged me; whose posts I commented on and shared. I imagined meeting her in real life and telling her my real name. I’ve come close twice to telling her stuff about me that I don’t put on the internet.
Jemima also gives me too much credit. The petition is just a petition. Lots of people create petitions and lots of feminists, activists and sex worker activists do stuff all the time. Lots of people- sex workers and non sex workers- support Merseyside and have been trying to get it nationwide. I didn’t create anything new. The petition isn’t as special or important as Jem makes out. Sometimes I feel like she sees it as so incredibly unique because she wishes she had created it. Someone once described Jem as “toys out of the pram” and while I feel that’s a little unfair, Jem does seem to act like she’s the Chosen One who should be heading every campaign and only her politics are legitimate. The petition will not succeed – its deadline is approaching and there won’t be 100k signatures by that time (something Jem would know and be delighted about if she actually paid attention to the petition instead of obsessing over me). Jem’s very public vilifying of me and her constant lies as to Jacobs’ involvement and trying to turn sex worker orgs against the petition has no doubt contributed, but one person can’t “destroy the Merseyside model”, so I’m not blaming her for its failure. The bottom line is that there was not enough publicity and few people care about sex workers’ issues. My initial prediction that my partnership with Jacobs wouldn’t last very long and that the campaign wouldn’t work have turned out to be true – unsurprising really as sex workers have tried and failed to get the Merseyside model for years, so why would it succeed now. That’s what I thought, and that’s what has happened. Well, at least I tried.
Oddly enough, Jem previously said that the whorearchy idea that I don’t count as a sex worker was wrong (not that I really mind what people call me. It’s up to them) and said that whether people support my petition or not is up to what they feel comfortable doing. She would even brag about being the one who changed Jacobs’ mind- in her defence, that’s definetly something worth bragging about. Now, some of those who were my biggest critics retweet the petition account while Jem, who defended me from them, is defaming me. Jem’s violent U-turn was something I struggled to understand until five minutes ago, when a search for evidence for this post turned up a tweet by someone alleging that they’d had to block Jem “long before she turned against the banknotes petition which she previously supported”. So I guess maybe supporting then not supporting stuff is sort of her thing.
But I don’t want you to only get this side of Jem. Jem can be funny, sweet, a good educator and- the quality I most admire-she has real confidence. That’s the Jem I used to know and the one I’d like to remember her as. She’s not a bad person, she’s damaged and disturbed, and this isn’t me being naive, this is a view shared by several people who have been bullied and defamed by Jem. Looking at Caroline Criado Perez’s storify, I don’t see a bully or a troll. I see a good person who is paranoid and damaged. I see an articulate blogger and a loving mother who has been hurt.
As for Q, though- she did it deliberately. As a petty revenge. And it’d be so easy for her to out me and pretend it was a mistake; all she has to do is talk about Kalika on my civilian social media.
I’m down to one possible buyer. I am not sad to leave the internet because I did what I came here to do, plus much more. I blogged about earning £2,000 from selling services to Roland and the time before that, and while I didn’t get to blog the consummation (cos Roland moved away) I blogged feminist stuff and sex work politics stuff, met people I wouldn’t have otherwise, including C, who while I’m hurt that she assumes the worst of me because of what Q told her, I’m glad I got the chance to know her. If I do sell my virginity I won’t blog about it even under another identity. But maybe in a little while I’ll come back to Twitter. I’m all blogged out, but tweeting is addictive. I’ve recieved several tweets and DMs from those of you sad to see me go. Thank you all; but don’t be sad for me. I’ll be around in the future. Thank you to all my Twitter followers and everyone who has followed this blog, or reblogged, commented, or liked and faved posts and tweets. I have no regrets; not a single one. I am Kalika, after all.