“cos, you know, you can treat them like shit”


200712122233On the train to this little drinks thing for an education weekly I write some stuff for, just a couple of stops. Three guys sitting in seats across the aisle:

“So, we go from the pub to the match, and then from there onto another pub, and I’m so wasted by now, and then we go on to a strip joint, and I just spend SO much…”


“And this one girl comes up, and I’ve already shelled out loads for dances, and begs me to pay her to dance…”

“I bet you did a bit of that, eh?” (guy mimics lifting up of a skirt)

“…and she then like promises me something a bit special, so I get my cash out, and show it to her, and she looks well pleased, then I think, fuck it, and tell her to piss off, cos, you know, you can treat them like shit”

And I look at the middle-aged lady sitting opposite. And look at them, bigger than me. And think of the broken promises I’d made to get really stuck into campaigning with The Truth Isn’t Sexy, and my stop comes, and I get off, without saying anything, feeling none of the wisdom of the wise men, and none of the raw courage of Joseph, and none of the ‘fear not’, and all of the shame of the shit I’m complicit in and feign to shout loudly about and continue to do nothing about, pray for at least an ounce of John the Baptist’s gall to stand up for what I know is right and pay the price. Because you know I know for sure that every day trafficked women are paying a lot more than that. And I let them get away with it, and treat them like shit, and go and sip my champagne.

Just another compromised day in the life. Sometimes I’m just not proud.


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4 responses to ““cos, you know, you can treat them like shit””

  1. A powerful, honest and painful post tonight, Kester.
    If those lads hadn’t brought her to your attention, I wonder who would be praying for her now…

  2. Hey Kester, I’ve never commented on your blog even though I’ve subscribed for a while. This is a powerful post as your experience rings true in all of us. We all ‘get’ to have these moments where God’s grace in our own lives breaks us for others. I really appreciate your transparency willingness to let us be challenged by your experience.

  3. I imagine a lot of people reading your post will have been in fairly similar situations – but what would actually have constituted a ‘worthwhile intervention’ in this case? I’m genuinely interested to hear suggestions – because often in these cases you only think of what might have been the most effective thing to do/say days afterwards.
    Kester – did you “wimp out” of doing something specific, or were you just stuck for (constructive) ideas altogether?!

  4. I must admit, I’ve been mulling that too Stephen… it’s always easier to come up with a line after the event, but I wondered if just something asking whether they knew that the reason the girl was so desperate for his cash was because she’d probably been trafficked, and then a few pithy punches about what that meant?
    And yes, I think I wimped out.