Gabi: Aline, in this interview, I want to start with what’s most important. The questions that matter. What are your plans for the future?
Gabi, my plan for the future is to leave Vila Mimosa.
I want to get a regular job. And work honestly, because I can’t take it anymore. I have to deal with different men every day. And that’s when they even show up.
Like today. There was nobody. One day you make money, another day you don’t. So we never know if it’s going to be a good day or a bad day.
So I want to get a regular job so I can save a little bit more money. Because we don’t even make enough to save anything.
And have you thought about having a relationship with someone, once you leave here? What kind of relationship do you want?
I’m not open to having a relationship right now. I’ve suffered so much that I’m… traumatized. I’m getting out of a relationship right now.
I just want to be on my own for now. I want to focus on working, and try to make something of my future.
Do you plan to go back to school?
I plan on taking some courses.
Something short-term, right?
Like an English and Spanish course, to see if I can get work as a tour guide. That would be great.
Something with a quick financial return. A more practical objective.
Right, something faster than school. It was always my dream to be a tour guide.
Do you have plans to grow, beyond taking these courses? Maybe take some other courses, and elaborate your education skills or your work skills? Do you think about what’s after that?
What do you want as a human being?
Gabi, I can’t think about anything other than leaving here. All I’m thinking about is getting out of here and finding a job.
Because I know my limits, and I can’t take it anymore. I show up for work and I can’t tolerate it anymore, having a man touch me. To have to do it for the money.
I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been working here for 13 years. And it’s cost me relationships with people I care about. So it’s really difficult for me.
I want to ask you another important question. Do you have plans to go back to your family roots in Bahia? Or do you plan to stay in Rio, and visit your family once in a while?
Right now, I don’t have plans to move back to Bahia. I want to find work in Rio, because it’s even harder to make a living in Bahia.
I wish my daughters were closer to me. Especially now that they’re bigger… So I want to stay in Rio, because I know they’re going to need to study. My youngest is about to graduate and go to college. She can come and stay with me until she finds a good job.
So I’m not planning on going home.
I want to ask you another important question. Do you feel judged by your family, or by society?
I do. I could care less what society thinks. But there is prejudice within my family because of my work.
They don’t say it, but you can feel it. Just the way my relatives talk to me and ask me for money. My siblings, my children, even my mom. And as much as I love my family, I end up giving in.
So I think they judge me and ask me for things. At the same time they’re judging you, they’re serving themselves to your money.
And do you think you give in to psychologically compensate for your status outside of society’s norms? Do you give in to compensate for their judgement?
No, I end up giving them money because I know they need it.
But I wish it could be different. I wish they could be more humane about it. If I’m giving you money, give me some love or affection back. Things I don’t have.
Do you consider yourself a needy person?
I do, Gabi. Just being so far away from my mom and my daughters and my grandkids. I feel sadness. Too much.
What was it like with your family before you started working here?
My upbringing… my mom raised me on her own, and I never had a dad. Just my mom.
My family has suffered a lot. My mom raised six children on her own. Without anyone’s help. So that’s why I end up helping her. For all that she suffered.
I imagine myself in her place. She raised six kids on her own, without any help. She was the mom and the dad. So I end up giving in. I end up forgetting about my needs, and helping my family instead. That’s why.
So you see yourself as a needy person. Do you have plans to get better? Or to leave here? Like, Yes, absolutely, in the short term? Or are you thinking medium-term or long-term?
Gabi, I plan to work here three more years, then leave. Get a decent job and leave.
Just the fact that… nobody values us. We work in there, and we don’t find any decent men. When someone tries to get close to us, they either want our money, or they’re with us just for the hell of it, or for the sex. Or because they know that the women in Vila will end up treating them really well.
But it’s also hard for a man to accept a woman working in prostitution.
It’s as if we aren’t human.
It’s as if we were trash. We see it all. To others, we’re animals. So it’s really hard to find someone who genuinely likes us for us. Or if they like us, they don’t want to be with us.
They keep their distance, because of the social stigma.
So the solution is really to invest in the present and in the future. And to try to change gradually. Is that it?
And for the women working in here, I think it’s really hard for us to have a relationship with someone who knows what you do and accepts it. Maybe he really likes you, but he won’t accept what you do.
So we can’t judge them, because we wouldn’t want to be in their position either. Imagine if youre husband was an escort. You wouldn’t accept it.
So it’s the same thing. Not everyone sees things the same way.
So for anyone who’s thinking about escorting: QUIT NOW. And for those of us who are already doing it, to move away gradually. With plans to better our future.
Right now I’m in a situation where I was in a relationship with someone for five years. And I think this person distanced himself from me because of my work.
He was always telling me, “Find another job. Get out of here. Do you think it’s OK, what you do?”
And that’s why I’m going through… I lost someone I really cared about. He has his way, and I have mine. We’ve had so many arguments.
But he is someone who valued me. I stayed with him for five years, and he never criticized me. He never said, “You’re a whore.” He just tried not to think about it.
There, I was Aline, working in Vila Mimosa. Here, I was Aline, his girlfriend. So we didn’t really talk about what happened there. He never liked when the subject of Vila Mimosa came up.
But you’re not trying to change because of him, or because of the social stigma. But for yourself. Because you can’t take it anymore…
I’m trying to change for myself.
For the women working in there, nobody accepts what we do. Not our family, and not society.
I’m trying to change for myself, not for anyone else. But I think that we need to be careful about who we get in relationships with.
If we speak up, it’s because we spoke. If we don’t speak up, it’s because we didn’t. It’s a double-edged source.
Well, thank you Aline, for the interview, for what you clarified. It was really good. Thank you.