A non-comprehensive list of questions for Sarit Frishman

27 Sep

“What did you expect after writing that?” This one of the scores of exhausting questions I was inundated with upon publishing my last post, A non-comprehensive list of lies by Lily Fury. The questioner was someone I considered a friendly acquintance. I did what I could to support them when they reached out to the sex work community asking for help a little while ago. Signal boosted their twitter and added them to my duos page. Not much, I know, but I hoped they would benefit from a little bit of cross promo traffic. I wished I could do more.

So I guess my answer to their question is what I did not expect was to get fruitlessly scrutinized by people in my community, especially from those I shared a collegial relationship with, as a consequence of raising legitimate concerns about Sarit Frishman. The optimist in me expected that readers would share my concerns and ask some hard questions of their own. For folks seeking inspiration, below is a list of questions to get you started.

1. Where is the motherfucking lie?

Sarit swears up and down that I’m a bully, I’m viciously speculating about her, and I don’t have any proof of wrongdoing. She talks a big game of victimhood to distract from addressing anything I’ve actually said, which is less speculation and more undisputed fact.

Sarit claims “Lysistrata is one of the only orgs actually doing anything to help sex workers right now” and says their work is inspired by the Black Panthers. It does not register on any level with her how offensive these statements are in reference to an organization operated by white people that facilitated the fraud of hundreds of people to the tune of thousands of dollars.

Whether the organization was intentionally complicit or not, there needs to be some accountability owning to the fault of the organization in getting caught up in this debacle. How could this happen? By their own admission they were unprepared to manage the influx of donations. I doubt the organization has any kind of formal structure but, if they do, it is not listed on their sparse website. In fact, cursory research on the organization reveals virtually no details, absent even basic information like who the members of the organization are or roughly how the organization operates.

In light of their collosal fuck up and the dearth in transparency I see no advantage to donating money to Lysistrata so that it can act as a mysterious middle-man between the donor and the recipient. They proved their incompentence in this regard. It behooves me to understand why anyone would entrust their money with this organization, an organization that once listed the fake Bambi created by Lily Fury as one of their co-founders, rather than donating directly to the person in need. Sarit either founded an organization with someone that she never met, didn’t talk to on the phone even, and could not verify was a real person, or she was in on the scam.

2. Where is the money coming from?

Lysistrata claims in the scant paragraph on their website that they are “largely funded by higher end sex workers.” However, the workers who confirm they received money from the organization are clear in their understanding that the money came largely out of pocket from Sarit herself. While she so generously bails out workers in financial trouble she at the same time claims that she is a low-income street worker who struggles to make ends meet charging double digits on the stroll.

Bitch, where? What stroll in NYC is Sarit Frishman working? Anyone even vaguely familiar with street working in NYC can tell you that the stroll is dominated by Black and Brown workers. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with Sarit can tell you that she does not hang with Black and Brown people. She is a clueless and sheltered yt with no street smarts whatsoever. Without any relationships with other workers or common sense, she wouldn’t survive five minutes on the stroll.

What is more likely, what folks who know Sarit IRL speculate, is that she is a lonely trust fund baby who spreads goodwill in the sex work community as a way to gain friends and belonging. It’s verifiable that she’s done queer porn at least once and it’s possible that she’s turned a trick here and there. But the math does not add up in support of her inflated self-identification as a survival sex worker, no fucking way, and if you believe that I also have some swell magic beans that I’d like to sell you at a super discount.

3. On a scale of zero to Rachael Dolezal, how much of a POC is she, really?

White people are not POC just because they say so and in a post Lily Fury era, where a white woman blantantly impersonated multiple women of color for the purposes of exploitation and personal profit, I will not tolerate anyone clutching their pearls at an interrogation of whiteness in our community.

Sarit does not present as a person of color. I don’t just mean that she is white skinned with white physical features, although that is most definitely true, I mean that she doesn’t not present any cultural markers of her identity as a person of color. When pressed about her ethnicity her response is “Middle Eastern Jew,” which in my world is thinly veiled code for Jewish people who appropriate poc identity. When further pressed she responds with “mixed race Turkish and Azherbaijani.”

Turkey straddles Asia and Europe geographically. It is seldom labelled a Middle Eastern country although it is heavily influenced by Middle Eastern culture. What is now Turkey was for a long time part of the Eastern Roman Empire. The capital city of Instanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the center for European Christianity for over 1,000 years. The greatest influx of Jews into modern day Turkey occured when the Ottoman empire welcomed Jews expelled from Spain, Portugal, and Italy in the 15th century. Therefore, Turkish Jews are primarily of European decent and understood as white people. Today, the vast majority of Turkish Jews emigrated to occupy Palestine and are strong supporters of the Zionist state of Israel.

With the literal center of caucasity, the Caucasus Mountains, running through it, Azherbaijan is even more squarely identified as a European country composed of white people. Similar to Turkey, Zionism thrives in Azherbaijan. It was a centre for the Zionist movement in the 19th century, with the first Zionist organization established there in 1899.

All of these facts put together does not a person of color make and if you believe otherwise then, again, I have these great magical beans that I can get you an awesome deal on.

4. What took her so long?

Possibly the most compelling evidence of Sarit’s advanced whiteitude is her enthusiastic propensity, typical of Darth Becky’s, toward throwing women of color under the bus. Six months ago when I broke the news about Lily’s scam publicly, she promptly appeared in my inbox accusing a Black trans woman leader in the sex worker rights community of involvement with Lily. When I raised this in my blog post last week, Sarit claimed that she received a call from someone posing as the person she accused and that she bought into it because she was confused.

Even if it was true that she accused this person purely out of confusion, that would be thoroughly fucked to put Black trans women in the line of fire for the white girl wrongdoings of her dear friend Lily, but it’s not true.

She has never behaved as someone who was called by someone impersonating a leader in our community. If that was the case, she would be somewhat concerned about getting to the bottom of it. But until I raised it she had nothing to say about it and never reached back out to me to talk about it or correct herself. To this day she refuses to provide any explaination as to how she was so readily fooled by an impersonator and failed to mention anything about it until confronted half a year after the incident, or even any receipts demonstrating that she actually received a call, saying that it would take too much effort to clear her name.

5. What do I have to gain?

Sarit’s accusation was a transparent effort to distract from my very pointed questions asking about refunds for monies donated to Lysistrata as part of the Lily Fury scandal. In response to my raising this, again in peak Darth Beck fashion, she threw the most convenient woman of color under the bus: me. This is how yt makes it hard and dangerous to tell on them. They malign you, they discredit you, they throw insults at their detractors indiscriminantly and hope that some of it sticks.

Some of her campaign against me did have some staying power. Several people picked up and ran with the absurd idea that I myself am a white-passing person taking up space in the community to, in turn, check another white-passing person for taking up too much space. These people summarily erase my identity as a person of color by comparing my full-blooded Punjabi heritage to Sarit’s highly suspect claims to POC identity.

Others said they weren’t siding with her per se but raised generalized suspicion of my motivations for bringing these concerns to light so many months later, as if my assertion that it took this long to process the experience and write it all out is patently unbelievable. There is something just “off” about it. This is the narrative of white supremacy that teaches us a Brown woman with nothing to gain earns suspicion while a white woman with ample opportunity and proximity to wrong doing is afforded the benefit of innocence.

Folks pointed to my dropping patron and paypal links at the end of my last piece as evidence of my attempt to profit off of the controversy. Let me be clear that I am a writer and an activist that deserves compensation for my intellectual and emotional labor. It’s oppressive to shame woman of color when we ask for pay commisserate with our work product and straight petty to hate on me for it when there are people who are excited to support my work. As such, I’m once again asking that folks with economic privilege, especially those of you who also benefit from white privilege, consider donating via paypal or becoming my patron

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