Do we say because they were “predators” or “exploited others” they don't belong here? Who among us has the right to judge this line of distinction? Are we saying that the prostitute who robbed their “johns” or knowingly exposed them to an HIV/AIDS virus by taking more money not to have protected sex, or who recruited a juvenile into the industry with us because it made us more money, is any “less” of a predator simply because they called themselves a “prostitute”? What about those of us who were forced to recruit others into the industry by force or fear? Is it any better or worse if the fear was that of starvation than of a gun? Again, who is to decide where these lines are when we know the only one who can truly judge our hearts at the end of the day is not man. This is why we have “one requirement for membership” only. No one is going to stand at the door blocking some over others because their past is viewed as “different” than any other in the rooms. We're all the same once we cross the threshold into our meeting as “anonymous” members.
Which is why we have a 4th step to help us sort out all those differences between where “pride” can be harming or saving us. To understand the differences between “humble” and “humiliation”. Something many of us have great confusion about being we're coming out of a world where everything's been all twisted upside down for us. The alcoholic has some instances where alcohol can be viewed as a social event taken for a celebration. The addict sees some drugs are used to save lives. But there's no instance we can see where the sex industry is something positive for anyone involved. Therefore to justify our actions, we've had to twist things all upside down even between “right” and “wrong”.
Once we had a woman call the hotline from a motel room. She'd paid for the night but didn't have money for another night while not having a job yet. She was in the motel in the first place she said because she'd decided to quit prostitution, and as a result had also been evicted out of her apartment. The last cash she had went into the motel room and she was calling us asking to help her pay for the room.
This woman however cited this was “too embarrassing to her” to go and speak to her motel manager about her situation, and decided to go out on the corner to get the cash rather than to try to ride this out in another manner. In other words, she didn't want the “humiliation” in her mind of telling the motel manager she didn't have the cash to pay them the next morning. We however knew if she would have just “humbled” herself and talked to them like many people have who have found themselves in just such a financial jam, then we could get her through this without her having to resort to relapsing back into prostitution.
Should we have paid her rent? If at the first sign of financial struggle she was willing to go back on the street corner, then this would have been money wasted. We would have been no different than any “john” hearing her sob story and reaching for our wallet. Doing this would have saved her nothing. Because if that was her mind set, then the next time her check was late, she got fired, a client screwed her over on her paycheck, or any other financial crisis hit her that her first response was going to be to think of prostitution as her “back up option” then we saved her from nothing.