Centering Children and Women victims of the Seattle Green River Killer: Calling for Day of No Sexploitation

Contact: AF3IRM Seattle || [email protected]

We of AF3IRM Seattle continue to fight against the Genocide of Womankind and even further to call for a Day of No Sexploitation.  Sexploitation, or the exploitation of women and girls for sex, is one of the most commonly unseen but overrepresented ways women are existing to survive on occupied Duwamish Land. To honor both the victims of the Green River Killer and our survivor sisters in the sex trade, we call upon our community to participate in a Day of No Sexploitation. 

Gary Ridgeway, also known as the Green River Killer, brutally claimed the lives of at least 49 women and children. The majority of the Green River Killers’ victims were prostituted women or runaways, targeted by their gender, vulnerability, and class.  As T. Ortiz Walker Pettigrew and Rights4girls states, “There is no such thing as a child prostitute-there are only victims and survivors of child rape.” 

Womanhood should not be equated to violence, rape, and exploitation. Today there have been little efforts to provide women and children with protections and assurance that they will not become the next victim or be exploited due to their class. The lives of the victims are sacred and give examples of  exploitation in systems that use women as a stepping stool to the satisfaction and fetishization of men. 

And today we say no.  We call to end both the genocide of children and women of our past, present, and future. We deserve to live in dignity and without fear of being coerced and forced into violent, racist, and misogynistic industries like the sex trade.  As Katherine McKinnon states in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, “as women’s experience blurs the lines between deviance and normalcy, it obliterates the distinction between abuses of women and the social definition of what a women is.” 

Women deserve to exit the sex trade and death should never be the way out. Children deserve to be protected. When we say abolition, we mean that it should lead to genuine liberation for children and women; it means being free from oppression in all its forms: criminalization based on race/impression, class disparities, and hypersexualization in society. 

On International Working Women’s Day we voiced this cry for safety, autonomy, and rights for women and children, and we say it again. Our bodies are sacred and held by something bigger than capitalist ideals of success and fortune… bigger than the American Dream.

We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams of liberation, self-love, community accountability. We dream of a return to true community care, where our choices as individuals are informed by the wisdom of our foremothers and by the impact that will be felt by our great-great-great-great granddaughters.

We recenter the narrative of these murders onto the victims – our stolen women and children. We condemn not only Gary Ridgeway and murderers of women globally, but also the  systems that thrust women and children into violence in the first place. Our vision and fight towards a feminist future takes collective action and militant dedication to abolish the sex trade and it’s imperialist partners globally. 

What does a day/month/year look like without sexploitation?