Jamilah Lemieux at Ebony magazine recently asked women to “RT if you are a Black woman (trans or cis) and have been assumed to be a sεx worker by a White man.” The reaction was jaw-dropping, with women tweeting their experience of having been mistaken for a sεx worker in a variety of different settings.
One woman tweeted that she was wearing glasses and carrying a briefcase when she was assumed to be a sεx worker, while another woman said she was accosted by a white man who would “stalk” her and demand her prices when she was working on K Street in Washington D.C.
This prompted Maureen Evans Arthurs to share her story of being mistaken for a prostιtute while out with her white husband.
“The first time I was mistaken for a sεx worker I was on my husband’s arm at a corporate event in California four years ago. A man approached me, asking if he could buy me a drink. I declined, and he proceeded to whisper to me, ‘How much?’” writes Arthurs.
Arthurs, stunned, says she asked “How much for what”, then took one look at the scoundrel and knew exactly what he was asking. She quickly flashed a wedding ring and walked away, but left feeling humiliated. To make matters worse, Arthurs says the assumption that she’s a prostιtute haven’t stopped, even though she and her husband have been together over ten years.
“Just last month, at another event, several male acquaintances propositioned me. Comments ranged anywhere from, ‘You’re on the wrong arm, sweetie, I wish I could go home with you…’ to the incredibly forward, ‘We have this whole place to ourselves, it’ll be a shame if we don’t maximize our time here and slip away?’ all said within 10 to 15 feet of my husband.”
Have you had a similar experience of being mistaken for a sεx worker? Is this out of the ordinary or more common than we’d like to believe?