G I R L I S A G U N is a theatre performance that explores the process of self-determination and that attempts to reverse the collective perception of sex workers, through the issue of gender construction, the problem of violence and exploitation mechanisms and the moral stigmatization of women as victims. Today, to say that prostitution can be a choice that should not be criminalized, both regarding demand and supply, means to hold a minority position.
In the name of sex workers -yet never of their autonomy- an imaginary based on their supposed weakness is being built. The word “freedom” has been replaced with the word “dignity”: hence a fast transition that has led to judge those who sell sexual services.
Paul B. Preciado states that “sex workers – migrant, precarious, whose linguistic and somatic resources are their only production means – embody the emblematic figure of the biopolitical worker in the XXI century. The first reason that causes sex workers’ alienation is not the extraction of their own work’s surplus value. It mainly depends on the lack of recognition of their subjectivity and of their bodies as a source of truth and value”.
We are dealing with a moralistic and normative society that, quoting Judith Butler on pornography, intends to “discipline not only representations, but also the way people think, their desires, their fantasies”.
Just like any other work, sexual work is the result of the cooperation between living subjects based on production of symbols, language and feelings.
“Sex workers are the subordinate productive flesh of global capitalism”, Preciado declares. “Women’s fluids, organs and body practices underwent a process of privatization, capture and expropriation which is nowadays confirmed through the criminalization of prostitution”. He adds: “Similarly, the best antidote against prevailing pornography is not censorship, but the production of alternative representations of sexuality, created by divergent prospects from the normative look”.
Therefore, the aim would not just consist in liberating women or in reaching juridical equality, but in dismantling those policies which produce class, race, gender and sex differences, in order to create an artistic and political platform able to create a common future.
Thus, because violence has to be fought by strength, freedom, creativity and positive examples, by overturning the imaginary. Conceiving ourselves as active and not passive subjects, conceiving ourselves as protagonist and strong, never as victims: this is liberation. Because what happens to sex workers concerns us. Because there is no such thing as sex or sexuality, but only uses of the body recognized as natural or punished as deviant.
We are not all equal. We are all different. We must not share the same sensitivity. It would be great, instead, if we were free to choose, in any circumstance. This is what we call self-determination. If we don’t defend it (while agreeing or not with each other’s choices), how can we even dare to talk about women independence?
Co-production > Tenuta dello Scompiglio, Lucca (IT)