Lorna Hendricks

After breakfast at the hotel, we went back to Observatory to see Lorna.

We filmed her as she sat inside her home. Twiggy and I squatted at the entrance.

I tend to feel very deeply and passionately about women and the tempests they face on their own. That day I came into contact with the reality of how low and how dire the female condition can get.

Lorna is a homeless sex worker who lives on the Park in Observatory. Based on her story alone, what I understood was that her life, as well as the lives of many other women that share the same occupation would be doing significantly better if sex work was decriminalised.

Lorna said that she took up sex work because she needed to feed herself and her child, and to buy drugs. That’s the reality of being homeless. Ask yourself if you could stay drug free if you found yourself homeless and dejected.

“Two nights ago one of the men that lives in these other tents tried to kill himself. He hung himself on that tree and we had to get him down before he died,” Lorna said bluntly.

I began to be disturbed by the dynamic that exists between the coloured people that live on this park and the untroubled white people that walk through it everyday. These white people are the same ones that talk about not wanting to give homeless people money because they ‘fear’ that they will use it for drugs (these are the same people that have their children snorting cocaine at house parties, but that’s none of my business).

Autonomy shouldn’t be seen as a privilege for the wealthy. We need to stop hiding behind these false pretences that make us look more righteous than we are. Give without policing how the receiver uses your gift.

As a sex worker, everyday on the job is like having Jack the Ripper as a companion. The fact that a risk this large is seen as worth taking by many women in South Africa (especially with the Gender Based Violence crisis) is evidence that there is a major economic issue.

Not only are their male clients a threat to their lives, but so are the people that are supposed to be protecting them. This shouldn’t be a surprise, and I’m about to say this as unequivocally as possible;

The police are also the perpetrators.

What really perplexes me is the man’s ability to label these women with disgust and strip them of their dignity by using their societal control, while being filled with desire for those same women.

I am disgusted by the man that uses these women’s services but looks down on them. He must look within and figure out who is actually better than the other.

The woman is in needs of money to survive and sees her body as a tool to acquire that money. Her work is to allow a man to all he way into her physical space and withstanding the permanent psychological marks that it entails. Sex can be seen as inherently violent when the man utilizes the body without caressing the mind.

On the other hand, the man who pays for sex needs to look at why he would need to pay for it. I’m not saying that all men that pay for sex are pathetic, but a man that pays for sex and degrades or violates the woman that opened herself up to him has an overflow of repulsiveness within, which explains why he would need to pay a woman for her to have sex with him.

I think the truth behind all of this is that the man is repulsed by himself and not the woman. In the famous words of every gaslighter that has existed; You’re projecting.

I found it heartbreaking that

Back to Lorna though.

I honestly could have stayed and spoken to her for hours.

When it came time for us to depart, we said our fair wells, and Lorna instinctively embraced me and I honestly felt the love that she had been wanting to give but had no means of release. As I hugged her back I generated the same, and realized that in that respect we had healed each other.

An ignoramus would probably say: “She’s a sex worker, she is constantly getting physical touch, so why would she need you?”

Well, Sir, (I’m assuming it would be a man) there’s a difference between love and sex. If anything, almost all the physical touch that Lorna receives is of a violent nature.

As we were driving away in our trusted 5-seater, what do we see?

We see a man exiting Lorna’s tent.

She had a client in her tent the entire time we were there.

She went through more trouble for us than we thought.

FUNDERS