Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Saturday, July 15, 2006

To all pro-pornstitution 'feminists' out there...

...The best way to stop the global scourge of sexual slavery of women and girls is not to reduce men's slavering for warm, wet fuck holes but to offer oneself to the task.

How does that feel....thinking about that? Would you?

Would you choose that as a way to feed your kids, pay your bills, keep your particular wolf from the door?

No?

Why not?

So how come you kind of 'elect' and hide behind those women/girls who don't have the same level of choice that you do? Poor women, women of colour, drug/alcohol addicted women, girl children, teenage runaways, sexually abused in childhood women, etc. Women and girls whose humanity you should actually be fighting for - as feminists.

Instead, it seems to me, you're saying it's ok that these women/girls are in sexual slavery because it's somehow their choice. They're somehow 'living their dream'....or is it your dream? The phallic dream? I don't know. Whatever.

All I know is that you're not fighting for them. You're complicit in their destruction. You're colluding with patriarchy in dividing women into 'them' and 'us'.

So.....

I want to see every pro-pornstitution 'feminist' put her money where her mouth is (hah) and do a six month stint in the job (or send her daughter in if she's 'too old') before she tells me that it's 'ok' for any other woman/girl to go through it. And I want a report about how great it is to command such power and how it's touched and released her innate sexuality and re-formed her as a woman and made her feel sooooo good about herself she does talks about it to girls in junior schools.

Actually, I don't want any woman on this Earth to go through it but, hey, seems to me that some women need to properly understand exactly what feminism means.

If you're pro-pornography or pro-prostitution you are NOT a feminist. These institutions are the props of patriarchy and have nothing to do with women's self determination, ergo they are NOT feminist.

132 Comments:

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger asdgasdfaserwe said…

    Feminism is about the advancement of women's status and advocating equality. It is also about examinig existing power structures.

    'Feminists' that in one way or another support the idea of prostitution are not, in effect, advancing the status of women because they fail to examine existing power structures.

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger johnny said…

    "If you're pro-pornography or pro-prostitution you are NOT a feminist. These institutions are the props of patriarchy and have nothing to do with women's self determination"

    This is really not patriarchy. It's "because of" capitalism. Earning Money is the goal of pornography or prostition. It's a "material way of life" not a patriarchal philosophy.

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger spotted elephant said…

    Perfectly said.

     
  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Pippa said…

    Nice one! Because of my friends I'm often really conflicted by this prostitution argument. I hear feminists suggesting that sex workers should be legally protected (yes, I think they should be safe but that's not quite the same thing) or unionised, legal safe brothels ought to be promoted so that women can safely and legitimately "sell" what they have to offer. I hear this from some of the women that I most respect. BUT>>> I dont understand why anyone thinks that it is okay to be a sex worker. How is it possible to think that sex is just a commodity and that selling it in the same way that cars, books, chocolate etc is sold is somehow business? This is crap. Men and women are taught that the female body is disposable, usable, changeable and has monetary worth according to age, condition and availability; no such conditions attach to the male body. Imagine if people argued for the legalization of buying the bodies of rent boys? It isn't even part of the whole prostitution debate.

    Thanks Witchy, I love you and your blog. Pippa xxx

     
  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger soopermouse said…

    that is so true it hurts. Well said.

     
  • At 3:00 AM, Anonymous Pony said…

    The pro-pornstitution feminists who upset me most on this issue are the ones who build their academic careers on it, studies, lectures and books (publish or perish) about how much power the lap dancers, women in porn and prostitution have. Ad nauseam.

    I recently received a press release about one such feminist academic jetstar. The PhDs new book promo teases us with mention of her brief career as an exotic dancer. All in the name of research, you understand. The fact that it will vault her book onto the best seller list is, you know, beside the point.

    I don't think this is what we had in mind in the '60s and early '70s when we marched and held sit-ins to demand academic appointments for our daughters equally with their brothers.

     
  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger Edith said…

    The phallic dream, indeed! What an interesting point. You only have to cast your eye upon the S-Factor women to see what it's about. Same ol' exoticizing the other as it ever was. Oh, the lucky, lucky, happy carefree poor! The peasants are mere children compared to us lords and ladies! The simple life of the slave, like an animal, all free! The sexy, sexy poor! I want to be sexy like THEM, without the, you know, lack of health insurance.

    These are the kind of women that made penis envy so believable. Eek.

     
  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    Hear hear x

     
  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Sarah Louise Parry said…

    Totally agree. I hate that 'them' and 'us' divide as if prostitutes are lesser women!

    I also hate people who are pro-prostitution because they believe it is a 'glamourous' trade when in reality when it boils down to it a lot of them don't have a choice, they are just trying to live day to day.

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Pippa said…

    Jonny, it's a "material way of life" based particularly on the assumed commercial value and subsequent exploitation of the female body for sexual purposes. That's patriarchy.

     
  • At 3:16 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Edith - what is the "S factor"?

     
  • At 5:17 PM, Blogger Christi Nielsen said…

    The S factor is the stripper workouts made famous on Oprah. I posted about all of the poledancing and lapdancing workouts on my
    blog
    . Amazing - the amount of women who think they are being liberated!

     
  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger nectarine said…

    also their argument leaves women who do not "choose" to be prostutues but are there through force, coercion, poverty or a life time of being told thats what they are wortth (which I would say is most prostitutes) compleatly undefended. They can shout louder than us because they have the malestram media listenig to them because they are upholding the status quo and they are esentialy telling prostiuted women to shut up and put up and telling men that it okay to use women, I hate it.

     
  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger hexyhex said…

    And what if those women do perform your 6-month mandated stint in the sex industry, and come out of that experience with just as positive a view of that industry? What if they remain pro-porn and pro-prostitution, only now they have the backing of experience to their arguments?

    It's entirely likely that that would happen. By definition, the women you are referring to have the choice NOT to be prostitutes. Ironically, this means that if they DO enter the sex industry, they are likely to step into one of the few positions where a woman can control her life and her work, and can actually have a positive experience as a sex worker.

    Those women exist. The point is that they are the minority. I'd bet that all of the women you are issuing this challenge to have the capacity to remain in that minority.

    *sigh* Not an attack on your entry, just a general rant at something that frustrates me greatly.

     
  • At 5:35 PM, Blogger belledame222 said…

    *sigh* Well, it was nice while it lasted.

    W-w, I am a feminist whether you believe it or not. I am a feminist regardless of how many pronouncements you lay down. You can't make me recant the label anymore than I can make you sit down and actually read the 10,000 volumes' worth or so I and others have been saying about all this, not least of which the incredibly aggravating charge of "not having examined" blahblah. If that's your line in the sand, so be it. It ain't mine, though; and all the shaming and blaming in the world isn't gonna change it. Sorry.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm back to go deal with my and my (queer) peoples' own pressing issues; and leave the lot of you to discuss the binary menmenmenmenmen are the oppressors period band cap slash end of story.

     
  • At 7:42 PM, Blogger Whitters said…

    I am a pro-porn, pro-prostitution, sex-positive feminist. NO ONE can tell me that I'm not a feminist. You have absolutely no right to say something like that. You can say that you don't agree with me, or that you don't understand my position, but you CANNOT blanketly dismiss my entire value system just because it doesn't gell with your worldview.

    I want to see every pro-pornstitution 'feminist' put her money where her mouth is (hah) and do a six month stint in the job (or send her daughter in if she's 'too old') before she tells me that it's 'ok' for any other woman/girl to go through it
    OK, hon. I've worked as a stripper, and I actually quite enjoyed it. But even if I had hated it--even if I had never tried it--I would NEVER presume to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her life. By implying that somehow these women are too "stupid" or "brainwashed" to make the "correct" choices in their lives, you are implying that they have no power over their own bodies/lives.

     
  • At 8:36 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    Believe it or not, w-w, there are women who have the same level of education and variety of choices as (I presume you're implying) you do - and they choose to work in the sex industry because that's what they want to do.

    One such woman is one of my closest friends. A sex worker with a Master's degree? Ye Gods!!

    Yes, they are in the minority. But they do exist, and to talk about all sex workers without acknowledging these women and men does them a disservice.

    I realize this may fall on deaf ears. But I'm saying it anyway.

     
  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    And, furthermore? As to your suggestion that I do a 6-month stint as a hooker? Sounds good to me, but give me some time to get my marketing materials in order, place ads, choose a pseudonym, etc. You may not believe it, but for quite some time I've considered doing sex work on the side, but haven't done it because I'm too lazy to deal with all the administrativa. So instead I build web sites. But I sure don't like the way some clients treat me like I'm nothing more than their code monkey, to be used and abused...

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    "shaming and blaming"

    "freedom of speech"

    Your rights.

    Your RIGHTS.

    YOUR rights.

    How about your responsibility?

    My treads are too worn to go this with you Hexy and Belle. And I admit, I'm too impatient and fed up over your abdication of your responsibility in the matter of my rights.

     
  • At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Laurelin said…

    I would NEVER presume to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her life.
    How is recognising prostitution as being the sale of women's flesh telling women what to do, Whitters? Nowhere has WW told a woman what she may/ may not do with her body; what she has done is written the very valid point that the treatment of women as objects to be bought and sold is the mainstay of patriarchy.

    By implying that somehow these women are too "stupid" or "brainwashed" to make the "correct" choices in their lives, you are implying that they have no power over their own bodies/lives.
    Have you been reading the same blog entry as the rest of us? NOWHERE did WW imply any of that. Don't put words in her mouth because you don't like what she has to say.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm back to go deal with my and my (queer) peoples' own pressing issues; and leave the lot of you to discuss the binary menmenmenmenmen are the oppressors period band cap slash end of story.
    I guess this goes without saying, Belle, but that suggests you know nothing about WW's feminism. And by the way, the buying and selling of human beings is a pressing issue.

     
  • At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Sam said…

    In the mad dash to shout about how much some women really do want to be men's whores (really they do!), Belledame, Whitters and Amber glossed over the very first sentence of this post:

    "The best way to stop the global scourge of sexual slavery of women and girls is not to reduce men's slavering for warm, wet fuck holes but to offer oneself to the task."

    That doesn't mean bouncing your tits in a strip club or fucking some of your boy friends for money on your terms, it means the men's rights campaigners who think men's demands for sex should rightly be met only leave as their option for stopping the sexual enslavement of millions of girls the taking of the prostituted slaves' places. Not Jenna Jameson's place. Not Dita Von Tease's place. Sonya's place. Amber, you can have all of Sonia's former customers now that she has been freed because her many male customers are still around and they have your blessing to continue renting women's insides to spill their fluids into like renting a port-a-potty.

    Sonya had a college degree, too.

    "Sonya is a tall, graceful woman who found herself unable to get a job when she finished college in Ukraine. She was overjoyed when one of her father’s friends offered to help her to come to England to study, not realising that it was a trap. She was puzzled by how easily she got a visa, with his help, but she was given a coach ticket and arrived in London, where her father had assured her that she would be picked up by kind people who would help her to register at college.

    “They took me to a nice house and treated me well. In the first week they gave me a tour of London. I was very happy. After a week I asked when I could start my studying. They said: ‘You didn’t come here for studying. We spent a lot of money on your travel to UK.’ They said I have to work and give them the money back. They said I have to do prostitution.”

    Sonya falls silent for a moment, steeling herself for the next part of the story. “I was crying, I said I can’t do that. I said I can do any other job to pay the money back. They were beating me and treating me very bad. The next day they took me to a flat, to work there. An Englishwoman provided me with clothes, shoes, cosmetics.

    “The first client attended the place. I was told to go with him. I worked all day, maybe 12 hours. In the evening, someone came to collect me from the flat. She gave me an envelope with money and a list of clients and the services I gave. After that they took me to another flat. There were many girls from different countries, all Eastern European. We were sleeping on the floor, covered with coats. I was working seven days a week. Every day a different place. Sometimes there were two or three girls, sometimes eight or ten. We were not allowed to speak to each other.

    “I was thinking I was in London but one time a client asked me how I liked (a northern city). I thought, am I in this place? I was forced to pretend I’m fine and like the job, otherwise I’d be beaten. I couldn’t keep my money, not even tips, which were paid to me by clients. I was searched after every job. I was beaten on many occasions, very badly, kicked and punched.”

     
  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Whitters said…

    Laurelin- I am not "putting words into [WW's] mouth because [I] don't like what she has to say." I am merely pointing out what it seems to me, a reader, that she is implying. I will address your two issues with my comments with excerpts from WW's post.

    So how come you kind of 'elect' and hide behind those women/girls who don't have the same level of choice that you do?
    To me, this implies that, given all of the choices in the world, no woman would choose to be a sex worker. By extension, sex work is implicated as a "wrong" choice. (Do you deny that WW and other antiporn feminists consider sex work a somehow incorrect choice for women?)

    But what about women who have other means, who don't have to "resort" to sex work, who choose to participate in the field? I didn't have to strip, but I did because I wanted to. If the implication is that sex work is an incorrect choice given other options, then you are basically saying that women like me cannot be trusted to make the "correct" choices with our lives and bodies.

    before she tells me that it's 'ok' for any other woman/girl to go through it
    Again, the implication here is that it's "not 'ok'" for a woman to engage in sex work. And if you want to be a feminist, you certainly can't be a sex worker--or even be pro-porn/prostitution. To me, that's basically giving women a list of "do's" and "don'ts" for their lives.

     
  • At 11:57 PM, Anonymous tekanji said…

    W-w, I understand your frustration and your outrage. Women are being hurt by this stuff, and it sucks. But the frame you're using here sucks too.

    Just like the patriarchy, you're putting the blame on women: women who are in the sex-work industry who don't hate it, feminists who aren't against the idea of porn/prostitution...

    Maybe instead of trotting out the "I'm a better feminist than you" troupe, it would be better to try to rally us all -- no matter how we feel about women's place in it -- to focus on the culture that allows sexual slavery, the industry that enslaves and/or takes advantage of many women in it, and the patrons of said industry who are not only allowed, but encouraged, to treat these women (well, all women, really) as sub-human.

    That, I think, is where the frame should be, not on telling us if we don't think exactly like you that we aren't 'real' feminists.

     
  • At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Z said…

    I really like this post, Witchy. It is passionate :) I do not personally understand how a woman can be 'pro prostitution' (to me this translates as 'pro-men-using-abused-women-as-toys-for-their-own-gratification' and still be wanting the best for women the world over? I find it very hard to reconcile.

    Take good care,

    Z

     
  • At 1:02 AM, Blogger Amber said…

    My treads are too worn to go this with you Hexy and Belle. And I admit, I'm too impatient and fed up over your abdication of your responsibility in the matter of my rights.

    I'm genuinely confused, Pony. How and why does Belledame have any responsibility for your rights? Please explain what you mean by that, because it is waaay too nebulous. And, then, please point out where/how belledame has "abdicated" her responsibility (after explaining what that responsibility is and where it comes from, of course).

     
  • At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Amananta said…

    Ah, same old same old... feminist points out the ugly truth about how pornstitution shatters womens lives and makes them into slaves by the millions, and you get a few people who can't read who come and get all upset because OMG! You're telling them what to do! Even though you haven't.
    A small handful of privileged women who are able to set boundaries for the sex work they choose to do are a tiny, tiny minority of sex "workers" (in actuality usually slaves) around the world. There is tons of evidence for this, I wrote a long blog post about it with just a fraction of the easily found evidence for this referenced. But what to people want to believe? That the happy shiny ads for sex work by a super-privileged few is the reality.
    The apologism is sickening.

     
  • At 3:15 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Hello Whitters. Did you read my post?

    So how come you kind of 'elect' and hide behind those women/girls who don't have the same level of choice that you do?
    To me, this implies that, given all of the choices in the world, no woman would choose to be a sex worker.


    Your point being that, somehow, I believe sex work is wrong for women? Am I right?

    If so, you couldn't be more wrong.

    I believe that pornstitution is a patriarchally driven abuse of women's human rights. I am not blaming women for that abuse. I am blaming men.

    I am blaming the Godalmighty power of the penis. It's so-called 'needs'. It's so-called 'wants'. It's so-called 'must-have's'. I am saying that women and girls (and, to some extent, boys) are subject to it's sovereignty under patriarchy.

    I'm just saying we're not subject, any of us.

     
  • At 3:28 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Amber..."I'm genuinely confused, Pony. How and why does Belledame have any responsibility for your rights? Please explain what you mean by that, because it is waaay too nebulous. And, then, please point out where/how belledame has "abdicated" her responsibility (after explaining what that responsibility is and where it comes from, of course).

    You're confused about the interconnectedness of feminism, Amber?

    Read my todays post.

     
  • At 3:30 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Thank you Z

     
  • At 3:46 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Anji - I'm not pulling the "I'm more feminist than you" trick. I'm not blaming women for where they happen to be individually placed in the power paradigm. Really.

    I wasn't trying to " trot out the "I'm a better feminist than you" troupe, and i agree, it would be so much better to " try to rally us all -- no matter how we feel about women's place in it -- to focus on the culture that allows sexual slavery, the industry that enslaves and/or takes advantage of many women in it, and the patrons of said industry who are not only allowed, but encouraged, to treat these women (well, all women, really) as sub-human.

    Recognition of women's sexual slavery from a sex pos feminist.

    Can we please get rallied?

    Because, if we don't, I can see us getting destroyed again.

    Can we please get rallied?

     
  • At 3:56 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Whitters. (And anyone else who has an opinion) Please explain to me how sex work for females is essentially empowering for women/girls within a patriarchal paradigm.

    The floor is yours. Make me want to do it (if it's so shit hot) bearing in mind the political infrastructure that supports the subordination of women, of course...

    Go for it.

     
  • At 3:59 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Thank you Sam :)

     
  • At 4:28 AM, Blogger Amber said…

    A small handful of privileged women who are able to set boundaries for the sex work they choose to do are a tiny, tiny minority of sex "workers" (in actuality usually slaves) around the world. There is tons of evidence for this, I wrote a long blog post about it with just a fraction of the easily found evidence for this referenced. But what to people want to believe? That the happy shiny ads for sex work by a super-privileged few is the reality.
    The apologism is sickening.


    Amananta, if you are referring to what I said, then I find your comment very odd. I specifically pointed out that women who choose to work in the sex industry are in the minority. Nowhere did I state that I believe the "happy shiny ads for sex work" to be the reality for all.

     
  • At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I'm sorry I missed answering (somebody) but you said what I would have WW. I just had to run out and shake my 63 yr. old booty around the track. You can't imagine the looks of disapproval from the male coaches of the grade junior girls track team. Tsk. I know I should have been doing something more appropriate for a woman my age, but the pole dancing classes are full.

     
  • At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Tekanji

    I think it is incredibly naive, disengenuous, or outright lying for the sake of argument for you or anyone to say women in the sex trade like it, choose to be there, and wouldn't do something else if they could.

    I'm not talking about dabblers who are slumming. And yes, that's what they're doing. If anyone is shaming and blaming it's these women who think they're being so fucking cool and playing at hot. What you are doing is going to kill some poor girl or woman who has no way out.

    http://www.missingpeople.net/

     
  • At 5:14 AM, Blogger Bint Alshamsa said…

    Please explain to me how sex work for females is essentially empowering for women/girls within a patriarchal paradigm.

    Nothing is necessarily empowering, Witchy-Woo, but it needn't be. The issue is whether or not it CAN be. If it can be--and I believe it can--then it doesn't matter if those who feel empowered by it are a small minority, a handful of people, or even just one person. If the number of people who feel empowered by something needs to meet some numerical threshold, then how would it be decided how many women need to feel empowered in order for it to be okay for a feminist to support them? And if we did decide on some threshold, then who should do the deciding? Should we really have to wait until you approve of our choices in order for us to qualify as feminists? I should think not! Suppose I decided that one of your actions or beliefs are not consistent with my definition of feminism. Would you no longer be a feminist? If you don't think my assessment of your beliefs determines whether you are a feminist, then your assessment (and all of its accompanying assumptions) simply don't determine anything either.

    The floor is yours. Make me want to do it (if it's so shit hot) bearing in mind the political infrastructure that supports the subordination of women, of course...Go for it.

    Why should we seek to make you want to do ANYTHING? Just as some of what turns you on may bore me to pieces, I certainly don't expect you to feel the same way as I do about something. In fact, if you wouldn't feel empowered by being a sex worker, then I'd strongly suggest that you don't do it. I would only want you to do that which makes you feel good about yourself. Likewise, those women who do feel empowered by it will always have my full support because, to me, that is what feminism is all about--us having the ability to decide for ourselves what we will and will not do irrespective of what forces disapprove. I have no desire to throw of the patriarchy only to substitute it for the wagging fingers of those who would seek to define right and wrong for other women while feeling completely free to ignore what people think of them.

    See Witchy-Woo, you don't get to define feminism for me or anyone else. You also don't get to determine who is and isn't a feminist. You're free to have an opinion but unless you can provide some proof that you have ascended to the level of deity, you're on the same footing as the rest of us which means we have no reason to adopt your position.

    If a sex worker is being beaten, then we can fight to end those beatings. If a sex worker is being held against her will, then we can fight for her release. If she wants a new career, then we can aid her in that pursuit. However, there are those who are sex workers and aren't being beaten or held captive and have no desire to stop being sex workers then there is no reason for us to attempt to devalue that decision any more than if that woman's decided to be an artist or an author or a biologist.

    In fact, I'd say by giving support to the idea that women shouldn't support other women (e.g. sex workers) who are acting on their own volition, one would actually be supporting the patriarchal forces that also claim to know what's in a woman's best interests.

     
  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    I think it is incredibly naive, disengenuous, or outright lying for the sake of argument for you or anyone to say women in the sex trade like it, choose to be there, and wouldn't do something else if they could.

    But, see, the difference here is that those of us who are simply pointing out that some women - admittedly a minority - do enjoy doing sex work, are referring to some women. On the other hand, those of you who paint the entire sex industry with the brush of "BAD" are speaking about all women. It is extremely presumptuous and arrogant for anyone to claim to know the experiences and desires of all women.

    Those of us that are pointing this out are not in any way saying that it's okay for sex workers to be abused, exploited, or forced into that industry due to lack of options. Far from it. But by refusing to acknowledge that the world isn't black and white, and labeling the entire sex industry as "BAD," you do a disservice to the women who actually are abused and exploited at its hands. How can we help these women if there's no distinction made between their actual suffering, and a woman of relative privilege deciding of her own volition to work in the sex industry?

     
  • At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Look you can hold to that "minority" fantasy if it makes you feel like you've aced an argument on the net; but in real life it just isn't so. I've never met one, in a short stint out there myself, and in years as one who rides in the van that hands out wipes and hot chocolate--not one. Not even the PhD dabblers who claim it's so empowering, and then chuck back anti-depressants by the gobful, alternating with the days they spend in bed so depressed they can't get up, but eventually, they can come out smiling and telling the lies and some demand for their perversion. Because it is a perversion; this insistence that there's anyone who is just fine with this.

    You sickened me with that post about marketing and advertising. You told me just how immature you are, if I had any doubt. But it's not an immature mind they want out there Amber.

    Reality? You're too old. You won't get any good money. Marketing won't help. How to dress tips from tv cop shows won't help. You're too fucking old if you're a day past 15. Thirteen is better. Any older and you'll just get the johns who won't use condoms and want to piss in your mouth. Those johns are not just cruising the drag Amber. Most of them have their hooker habit paid for by their employer. It's on the tab at the Hilton.

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    I just spent my entire lunch hour working on a post and there turns out to be some problem with Blogger. If it didn't go through . . . Bollucks.

     
  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    That's fine that you've never met one. That doesn't mean they don't exist. I've never met a female astronaut, but I'm pretty damn sure they actually exist.

    I guess my statement that one of my closest friends is an educated woman working in the sex industry by choice is assumed to be a lie?

    And if that's the case, then I wonder why you would think I'd come here just to lie? For fun?

     
  • At 7:51 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    Maybe a better question to the pro-pornsitution advocates would be how does sex work give women *power* in this world. Not the bullshit power-lite that is "empowerment" but real power, the kind that men have, the kind which means that you can shape reality to the way you want it to be. After all lipstick, high-heels and breast implants are all "empowering" so it's not going to be much of a stretch to believe that sucking men's cocks for money is too.

    Power however is something quite different.

    And yeah, I'd like to see all the pro-pornstitution feminists take Sonya's place for six months and then find out if they are still singing the male-supremacist line. Except I wouldn't, because no woman should have to go through that. Thank you for putting the challenge out there though, Witchy-woo.

     
  • At 7:52 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    "I guess my statement that one of my closest friends is an educated woman working in the sex industry by choice is assumed to be a lie?"

    What does she do Amber? "Sex worker" and "working in the sex industry" seem to cover a lot of different activities these days.

     
  • At 8:28 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    this reminds me of that fable about the five blind men asked to describe an elephant - the first man says "an elephant is long and skinny, like a snake", the next guy says "an elephant is flat and flaps in the breeze", the next guy says "an elephant is tough and leathery", the next guy says "an elephant is thin and stringy", the last guy says "an elephant is soft and mushy" - the point is, of course, that each one has ample evidence, based on personal experience, to assert the nature of the elephant, except for the fact that the elephant is too big for an individual to grasp alone.

    The sex industry is soft and mushy/flat and flappy/long and skinny/tough and leathery - I'd venture to say it's all those things and more, and one really can't hope to fight its abuses until one has an understanding of it based on its whole reality.

    BTW Pony, I expect that many women are very grateful for the work that you do for them,not only for the wipes and hot chocolate but for the kind words and human dignity. That is a great thing.

    Although you may have a good point based on your own sagacious and reliable observations (which I don't doubt), for me you weakened your case when you made it all about Amber's relative success/failure. How was that necessary, except to be insulting?

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Whitters said…

    Why, hello, witchy-woo. Did you read my comments? Because, from your response, it doesn't really sound like you did.

    (And to answer your question, yes, of course I read your post. Why else would I be quoting it verbatim in my responses?)

    Whitters. (And anyone else who has an opinion) Please explain to me how sex work for females is essentially empowering for women/girls within a patriarchal paradigm.

    The floor is yours. Make me want to do it (if it's so shit hot) bearing in mind the political infrastructure that supports the subordination of women, of course...


    I never said that sex work for females is essentially empowering. (In fact, I don't believe I even implied that.) I personally don't think that anything is "essentially empowering." Our experiences and actions are, in the end, what we make of them. If someone feels empowered because of sex work, then I'm not going to tell them they're wrong.

    Also, I have no desire to make you, or anyone else, want to engage in sex work. That's not what this discussion is about.

    My main beef with your post is this statement:
    If you're pro-pornography or pro-prostitution you are NOT a feminist.

    That is the "how dare you" statement. As in, how dare you presume that, just because some people disagree with you on a few points, they automatically can't be a part of the greater good? How dare you try to tell me, and Amber, and belledame, and many others that we are not feminists?

    You could have easily written something like "if you're pro-pornography or pro-prostitution, you are not the sort of feminist I agree with" or "if...then I honestly don't understand where you're coming from." But it's not up to you to decided what does and does not make a feminist.

     
  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    I guess my statement that one of my closest friends is an educated woman working in the sex industry by choice is assumed to be a lie?

    no - she's not calling you a liar, she's calling your friend a dilletante.

     
  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    w-w wrote,

    Anji - I'm not pulling the "I'm more feminist than you" trick. I'm not blaming women for where they happen to be individually placed in the power paradigm. Really.

    Really?

    If that's the case, then how am I supposed to reconcile that statement with what you wrote in your original post:

    If you're pro-pornography or pro-prostitution you are NOT a feminist.

    Does it count as not saying "I'm more feminist than you" because you're actually saying those that disagree w/ you about porn and prostitution aren't feminists at all?

     
  • At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Amber used the first and econd person and made personal reference so I did too. Don't put so much into rhetorical style.

     
  • At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I am having problems with getting into the blog, and staying into it.

    Antiprincess, and Amber: I mean no disrespect to either of you. But on the subject of insulting I think I'd have to go some to get more insulting than that flippant post about marketing to which I was responding. In_sult_ing. It's just not on in my books to affect kewl on this subject.

    Antiprincess; are you calling me an old hag? :) Luv it...

    (sagacious)

     
  • At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    from Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

    Main Entry: sa·ga·cious
    Pronunciation: s&-'gA-sh&s, si-
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Latin sagac-, sagax, from sagire to perceive keenly; akin to Latin sagus prophetic -- more at SEEK
    1 obsolete : keen in sense perception
    2 a : of keen and farsighted penetration and judgment : DISCERNING (sagacious judge of character) b : caused by or indicating acute discernment (sagacious purchase of stock)

    nope. just trying to be respectful of someone who is clearly more experienced than I am in some matters.

    Antiprincess

     
  • At 12:41 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    OK. Let me try this ONE more time.

    I don't know which "camp" I fall into. This is probably because I'm seeing a false dichotomy here. "Pro" and "Anti" I don't buy it.

    I don't think ANY self-identified feminist is in favor of the sex trade as it exists today. And yet . . . I'll try not to insult anyone's intelligence here, but I feel as though I need to remind people what money IS: Congealed energy, no better or worse than any other kind of energy. It represents this things we like to call "value." It's generic precisely to facilitate the trade of energy for experience. TRADE: Human life as we know it would not exist without it. We ALL constantly trade energy for experience (I buy food, I get to eat. He massages my feet, I kiss him . . . nevermind. In both cases everyone goes home happy). The cash-for-whatever exchange is only one of an infinite numbers of way to trade energy for experience. There really is no point to turning our noses up at it.

    So let's talk about THE FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM, this problem of relative value that I'm pretty certain we all agree on. We live in a world where men are valued and women are not. Specifically, mens lusts are valued to the point where their satisfaction is deemed some sort of human "right," while women are devalued to the point where their humanity and dignity can be wiped away for next to NOTHING, their bodies traded like food at an open market. This society DELIBERATELY keeps women poor and unsafe PRECISELY to ensure a steady parade of women desperate enough to trade their sexuality for a handful of bills or a sandwich. OR A DIAMOND RING, SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE, AND HEALTH CARE via marriage. TRADE.

    Do I believe a woman has the right to do whatever she needs to do to survive in this fucked-up society, including sell her last asset, her body, for cash? You'd better bloody believe it, in the same way I believe women have the right to trade in more socially accepted ways (modeling, acting, marriage). I believe the cash-for-flesh-exchange needs to be decriminalized because women suffer the most when the transactions are pushed underground, away from the sensitive eyes of so-called polite society. Besides, who ends up going to jail anyway? THE WOMAN. I want it OUT THERE IN EVERYONE'S FACE so that "polite society" will take notice and start bellowing for better treatment of the female half of the human race. Decent pay. Medical care. Physical safety. Protection FROM the trade when another path is desired.

    Does this make me "pro-pornstitution?" I don't think it does.

    I think we're squabbling over the symptom, not the cause. I'd rather fight the cause (women's low relative worth), and let women make their own decisions, even if those decisions make me wince. Meanwhile, other women want to battle the symptoms. I imagine us all on a battlefield fighting a bloody war where there is huge disagreement on tactics. Still, in a real war you'd never hear one soldier say to another: "You're not a soldier."

    My vision: A world where the cash-for-flesh exchange would be decriminalized because it would NO LONGER BE AN ISSUE. The "price" men would have to pay for it would be too high, because women all over the world would have chosen other well-paying fields available to them. Only the very rare bird (the exhibitionist, the stranger-sex fetishist, the dilletante) would feel like engaging in the flesh trade at EXTREMELY high rates. Some of these women are behaving as though the revolution has taken place, and we know they're mistaken, but who are we to stop them from pretending? They are OUTLIERS. In scientific circles, outliers are ignored. Let them be.

     
  • At 2:10 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    One point that I don't think I made clear in my earlier post:

    Women who truly ENJOY "sex work" - whether via modeling, stripping, porn, prostitution, whatever - ALSO have a vested interest in obliterating sex slavery, even if their motivation is selfish (i.e., raising the price due to diminished supply). Rejecting potential allies on idealogical grounds may be your perogative, but is it really helpful? Do you want to be "right" or do you want results?

    By the way, full-disclosure here: I confess my personal background (professional cost analyst, conservative pragmatist family, upscale dating habits plus prior experience as a burlesque dancer) colors my opinions on this subject.

     
  • At 2:41 AM, Anonymous dreamingkat said…

    So, I am to understand that because women are still sold into arranged marriages where they are raped and confined, that mentioning that not all marriages are like that and therefore the institution of marriage isn't damned to be limited to such abomination is somehow lessening the hell these women live through?

    I do believe that there is sufficient historical evidence to show that feminist have debated upon both sides of both "is marriage inherently evil" and "is pornography/prostitution inherently evil".

    I have no experience outside of the USA. But I've glimpsed the street system here - and I agree that in that system the sex workers are defacto slaves. I agree that this needs to change drastically. I've also glimpsed the world of dominatrixes, and paid off a few debts with blow jobs. I've had pictures taken of my boobs for a charity drive. I was planning on going to Nevada just to see how the Mustang Ranch and such works. I have seriously considered the possibility of selling nude photos because of a medical condition where my breasts haven't stopped growing (I'm nearly 30). All these things are possible *because* of sex-positive feminism. That it's possible for me to occasionally take money for sexual activities (as well as for making webpages, giving massages, pulling weeds, and doing dishes) and not be permanently shunned from all society as a godless dirty whore is the result of feminism. That I have other options is good - but just like with motherhood, there should in fact be a REAL choice. Which is why I am for the legalization and regulation of prostitution. Because it *can* be a profession. But I don't see how to get it to that point where it's not exploiting people if it's illegal.

     
  • At 4:21 AM, Anonymous Z said…

    pro: to support or favour something

    So to be pro pornstitution then you are saying you support or favour it.

    I think that despite the fact a few women might genuinely 'love' being a prostitute, the world would still be a far better place if prostitution was not part of it.

    Hence, I will never be 'pro' pornstitution.

    I still do not understand how a woman could want the best for other women the world over and favour or support pornstitution. Surely a woman who wants to best for women would favour an *alternative* instead??

    Are you all also for cults? Some people in those cults might genuinely love being there -- but we all know a huge portion of people are abused and live lives of misery. Do you think because a select few might be happy in a cult that they are therefore a good thing which should be supported?

    Take care,

    Z

     
  • At 7:23 AM, Blogger alyx said…

    "But some women CHOOSE to be prostitutes!"

    But 100% of male johns CHOOSE to use prostitutes. Can we focus on them, given that they choose 100% of the time, not some of the time?

     
  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger hexyhex said…

    My treads are too worn to go this with you Hexy and Belle. And I admit, I'm too impatient and fed up over your abdication of your responsibility in the matter of my rights.

    Excuse me, Pony? You appear to be ascribing a set of beliefs to me that I do not actually hold. My point was that the tiny, privileged minority referred to by Amananta in this comment:

    A small handful of privileged women who are able to set boundaries for the sex work they choose to do are a tiny, tiny minority of sex "workers" (in actuality usually slaves) around the world. There is tons of evidence for this, I wrote a long blog post about it with just a fraction of the easily found evidence for this referenced. But what to people want to believe? That the happy shiny ads for sex work by a super-privileged few is the reality.

    ... is in fact not representative of the majority of sex workers, but IS almost entirely made up by women who have the choice not to be there, who CAN afford the luxuries like safety and control, and who COULD leave the sex industry without risking the many things that trafficked and impoverished street and brothel workers face. They exist, but they are rare.

    Witchy's challenge, however, is directed at women who do have the privilege of being able to choose work outside of the sex industry. That is evidenced by the fact that they are currently doing so. As amber points out, if she were to enter the sex industry, she would have the luxury of affording marketing and safety and choosing her clients carefully, a choice most prostitutes do not have.

    My point was that aiming a hypothetical challenge like that at reasonably well-off women who are largely living legally in first world countries and making their own livings is bunk. Their experience of the sex industry would not include the horrors less fortunate women face. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's what we're all opposed to.

     
  • At 11:07 AM, Anonymous jo said…

    If I may make a somewhat tenuous analogy....
    If you were a black actor and were offered work in big blockbuster movies where the pay was excellent but the characters you had to play were all stereotypical "black" roles (maids, pimps etc), you may feel empowered by the money and fame (given to you by a predominately white organisation by the way), but in what way would you be helping the anti-racism movement as a whole? You surely couldn't claim to be.

     
  • At 2:03 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Are you all also for cults? Some people in those cults might genuinely love being there -- but we all know a huge portion of people are abused and live lives of misery. Do you think because a select few might be happy in a cult that they are therefore a good thing which should be supported?

    I think there's way too much diversity embodied in the term "cult" to answer that question.



    Someone will surely point out that what became mainstream christianity (for good or ill) began as several small group of very devoted individuals clustered around particularly charismatic leaders - or cults.

    Then there were little pockets of fervent worshippers of the Divine Feminine - Cults of Mary.


    But I think what you mean by "cult" is a group of glazed-eyed, sleep-deprived, half-starved human sheep devoted to a particularly charismatic (and possibly deranged) leader - yes?

    No one's going to come out and say "oh, I'm for that!"

    But the pursuit of Divine Truth (that makes someone want to join a cult in the first place) may make it seem, at least at first, like all that suffering and sacrifice is worth it for the chance to attain what is Really Important.

    What looks like a cult to outsiders can look like The Only Thing That Makes Sense to members.

    The problem with being "anti-cult" is that trying to rid the world of cults is like trying to remove dandelions from your yard. For every one you pull, three more grow in its place.

    I don't support the Chinese government's persecution of the Falun Gong...so if I respect the right of a cult to exist, I guess I'm "pro-cult".

     
  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger Biting Beaver said…

    I guess that what I'm blown away on is this: www.prostitutionresearch.com/faq/000008.html

    With 92% of prostitutes wanting to get out of the profession immediately why in the hell are we spending so much time discussing how we must preserve what the 8% want?

    Why would we sacrifice the 92% to pain, humiliation and rape to keep that 8% happy?

    Seriously, as feminists we don't do this on ANY other topic. It's clear that 90% of women want out of it NOW. They want relief so I must ask, how can someone claim to want what's best for women while ignoring what the women have said they want and instead listening to the 8%? How is that helping women?

    I'm confused. I simply do not understand.

    When men come to my blog and say, "We must spend all this time taking care of male rape victims!" we swat them down by telling them that FEMALE rape victims account for 90% of the rapes and therefore we will focus 90% of our time and energy in helping those victims.

    Yet, when it comes to this topic, many of us appear to be saying just what those men say when they come to our blogs and complain.

     
  • At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I must have read somene's else comment and ascribed it to you. I do beg your pardon.

     
  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Good analogy made about marriage. It points out how you totally miss the meaning of prostitution and pornography exactly the way you miss the meaning of marriage:

    Ownership for marriage, Hust like slaves were owned, even the ones treated well;

    Commodification and objectification for the other two.

    Now that I think of it ownership, commodification, and objectification fit for all three.

     
  • At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I think pro-pornstitution feminism is a commodity. Feminisim as commodity. Those who hold this idea of feminism haven't had that "click", that moment when it all falls into place. When you know, you are your sister, black, Asian, injun, white, poor, wealthy. When you get it, that eureka moment we called "click", you'll be a feminist.

    I don't know how to explain this better than I have. So don't ask.

     
  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger belledame222 said…

    For the record, I don't agree with "swatting down" male rape victims either.

    Know why? Because abuse begets abuse. And while today's victim might not become tomorrow's abuser, today's abuser was most definitely yesterday's victim.

    It's really pretty frigging straightforward.

     
  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger belledame222 said…

    As for "cults"

    Are you aware that one of the cornerstones of cultlike behavior is vigorous ferreting out, interrogation and criticism of one's own and other's thoughts? Desires, fantasies, and so on?

    Just checking.

     
  • At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Queer. Add queer to that list of mine above. I am my sister and she is me.

     
  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    BB - 92% of respondents to a study. A great big VERY reliable study, to be sure - but still, we only know that the overwhelming majority of responders to that study would prefer another line of work to whatever they're doing. Depending upon how researchers phrased the initial question, they may have only attracted responders who were interested in quitting anyway - so people who were not interested in quitting or who were neutral didn't bother to take part in the study.

    lies, damn lies and statistics...I sound snarky, and I don't really mean to - but I'm skeptical of just about any study of just about any thing.

    But even as I say this, I fear that people will think, "oh, so you like it when women are abused? you don't mind a world where women who are desperate to break free from prostitution remain enslaved? you loooove prostitution? why aren't you one then, if you love it so much?"

    which is of course not the case.

     
  • At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Heavy J said…

    BB:

    But the 8% are still women, right? Supporting them in their decision, finding ways for them to be safe, is not at all incompatible with helping those that do want out. Thing is, snapping your fingers and making prositution disappear only solves one of the problems that those women have, and will not answer the rest of it, certainly not the core problem, which has at least some roots in inequality on an economic level.

     
  • At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Jo, that really nails it. Thank you.

     
  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    I still have this lingering question:

    If it is true that non-antiporn women are not feminists, I believe that means we are not welcome in feminist spaces, but merely (barely) tolerated. What does this mean to our participation on other issues?

     
  • At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Sam said…

    Since talking about men who use prostitutes is seemingly impossible right now...

    hedonist,

    "Women who truly ENJOY "sex work" - whether via modeling, stripping, porn, prostitution, whatever - ALSO have a vested interest in obliterating sex slavery, even if their motivation is selfish (i.e., raising the price due to diminished supply).

    That's not how it works. There is no shortage of rock-bottom poor girls to exploit and I don't see that changing anytime soon. If you've ever worked in retail you know the real money isn't in being the best salesperson, it's in management. It has become a sad cliche among some sex workers I've met that they see their exit from pornstitution less about themselves and more about moving up in management so that one day their dream of running their own strip club, escort agency, or pornography business will come true. You know, the old "but what I really want to do is direct" line we hear from actors.

    These upwardly mobile women are running the so-called "sex worker rights movement", women like Robyn Few from SWOP who started being prostituted at age 13 and as an adult got convicted on charges of pimping other women. Other examples of women who moved from having to do the dirty work themselves to pimping other women include Candida Royalle, Annie Sprinkle, Norma Jean Almovadar, Margo St. James, and Heidi Fleiss. That's why there are mamasans, strip club 'house moms', and South Korean ex-prostitutes pimping women even more socially and economically disadvantaged than they are, Phillipina women.

    I know you mean well when you say, "Do I believe a woman has the right to do whatever she needs to do to survive in this fucked-up society, including sell her last asset, her body, for cash? You'd better bloody believe it", but because you've still got only prostituted women in your sights you're forgetting that this is exactly what pimps think, that they just gotta survive. It's hard to be a pimp, to survive, and why should he (most pimps are male) not do what he needs to in order to survive? Why would he work a minimum wage job when there are abused-to-the-point-of-broken girls with goldmines between their legs all around him and manipulating them isn't only profitable but fun and socially-approved as an acceptable, glamorous exploit?

    You say, "let women make their own decisions, even if those decisions make me wince." as if the objection to prostitution is that it's not very pro-feminist but my problem with prostitution isn't about what prostitutes don't do for feminism (as if!). Putting it in the terms of decisions glosses over the facts that the average age of entry into prostitution is 13 and 90% of American prostitutes have pimps, hence no decision, no choice is being made but a trick's choice to pay a pimp to rape a child and a pimp's choice to take the money offered to outsource the violence necessary to ensure compliance with the demands of tricks.

    "The "price" men would have to pay for it would be too high"

    The higher the price, the more incentive for pimps and traffickers. That's why legalizing prostitution does not work, because so long as men are willing to pay $300 to rape a 13-year-old and call it 'transactional sex' there will be someone who will find a 13-year-olds for those men. We've got to take the incentive out of tricking and pimping, which means criminalizing both.

    antiprincess, I have often had people say the studies are hopelessly flawed by the questions asked and the populations interviewed. That's how I can tell the person hasn't read the study they're trying to discredit.

    The methodology for the various studies that have been combined for analysis is in plain view at the Prostitution Research website. You can find the exact questions asked for yourself and see the varied populations of prostitutes interviewed. Not only is there nothing giving credence to your theory that "people who were not interested in quitting or who were neutral didn't bother to take part in the study", but the painstaking efforts the researchers went to and personal danger they put themselves in from pimps to get that information tells the opposite story. Give them the benefit of the doubt when they say people don't want to be whores and read the methodology before poo pooing it out of hand.

    Prostitution Research

    "In San Francisco, we interviewed 130 respondents on the street who verbally confirmed that they were prostituting. We interviewed respondents in four different areas in San Francisco where people worked as prostitutes.

    In Thailand, we interviewed several of the 110 respondents on the street, but found that pimps did not allow those they controlled to answer our questions. We interviewed some respondents at a beauty parlor which offered a supportive atmosphere. The majority of the Thai respondents were interviewed at an agency in northern Thailand that offered nonjudgmental support and job training.

    We interviewed 68 prostituted people in Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa, in brothels, on the street and at a drop-in center.

    We interviewed 117 women currently and formerly prostituted at TASINTHA in Lusaka, Zambia. TASINTHA is a nongovernmental organization which offers food, vocational training and community to approximately 600 prostituted women a week.

    In Turkey, some women work legally in brothels which are privately owned and controlled by local commissions composed of physicians, police and others who are 'in charge of public morality'. We were not permitted to interview women in brothels, so we interviewed 50 prostituted women who were brought to a hospital in Istanbul by police for the purpose of venereal disease control."

     
  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Whitters said…

    I think pro-pornstitution feminism is a commodity. Feminisim as commodity. Those who hold this idea of feminism haven't had that "click", that moment when it all falls into place. When you know, you are your sister, black, Asian, injun, white, poor, wealthy. When you get it, that eureka moment we called "click", you'll be a feminist.

    I guess I missed the memo where you and WW were granted the power to decide just who is and who isn't a feminist. Funnily enough, I always thought I was intelligent enough to decide for myself what my own values and beliefs were. Apparently I was wrong.

    Care to enlighten me on what else I think I believe in that I really don't? Next, I'll probably be informed by someone who doesn't even know me that I'm actually a Republican or something. I'm learning so much about myself!

     
  • At 11:56 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    Whitters,

    Yeah, sort of like all those poor, deep-in-denial homos who think they're being true to themselves. Really, it's the secular culture that pushes the message that anything's ok as long as it feels good - that's why they think they're happy being gay. But they're really not. They really need Jesus in their lives - they just don't know it.

     
  • At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Z said…

    This is what I meant:

    Cult:

    A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

    I meant places where people are raped, including children. *Specifically* that. And yes, some people in the cult might think it is a wonderful situation to be in and perhaps for them, it is. Does that mean the cult should be supported just because of a 'happy minority' or should it be disbanded because the majority are abused/brainwashed/trapped?

    I do not appreciate the personal snide attacks going on here. If somebody favours an alternative to prostitution then I think that is great. It is the 'Yayy pornstitution is so empowering for women and needs to continue!' attitude that I do not understand. It seems NOBODY here has said they hold that belief/attitude anyhow, so why all the anger??

    If that is what you believe, then bloody well SAY it - and if not, why are you getting pissed off?

    Z

     
  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    Sam, I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my post. I am, however, very disturbed that you took my opinions to mean I was "okay" with 13-year-olds hooking.

    For chrissake. I have a 14-year-old daughter. And even if I didn't have one . . . oh fer chrissake, I don't even know what to say. That takes the cake. From this point on, when I say "woman," I mean "female human above the age of consent." I thought that would be obvious, but, chri - - - I simply must find a better expletive. Sorry.

    I thought I was perfectly clear when I went out on a limb and said NO FEMINIST thinks the sex trade is "okay" the way it is today. Every last one of us is horrified. I'd be so happy if we could focus our rage - - and our LAWS - - - on the traffickers and pedophiles and illegal users, instead of the adult women involved in the flesh trade. Let me go out on a limb here and speak for the crowd: NO ONE is advocating the exploitation of children. Criminalize away. If we put all of our energy into saving the kids, and left the issue alone with regard to CONSENTING ADULTS, I think we'd be getting somewhere.

    Hey, let's just do that: Table the discussion as it pertains to consenting adults and put all the energy we're presently spending on the internet bitching about f*cking BLOW JOBS into fighting illegal trafficking and the exploitation of children. We can deal with the consenting adults issue AFTER we've saved the world from pedophile assholes.

    DEAL! I declare the Feminist Blogwars over!

    Yes?

    No?

    Hey, it was a thought.

    As I mentioned before, I'd like to treat that hypothetical percentage of WOMEN (not girls) who enjoy what they are doing in the flesh trade as STATISTICAL OUTLIERS. Don't criminalize what they are doing, and don't waste our time bitching that they're not helping the "cause." And don't use them as a wedge issue among feminists, either. IT'S NOT HELPING.

     
  • At 1:31 AM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    Then I take it you'll be happy to criminalise pimps and johns, Hedonistic, as the vast majority of women and girls they use do not want to be in prostitution and many of them have no choice at all about it.

    I'd be delighted if the sex-positive branch of feminism could join us in that fight.

     
  • At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sam - I never claimed to have read the study. I just looked up the citation that there had been a study.

    COYOTE did a study too. Didn't read it either. I could probably say the same dismissive things about it as I did about the first one.

    My point is that for every study there's a counter-study, a study discrediting the first study, a study of the craptacular research methods of some other study...I am skeptical of ALL studies.
    Antiprincess

     
  • At 1:53 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Thank you all for your (mostly) thoughtful responses. I've found them very helpful and I appreciate your honesty and willingness to examine 'women's place' in this issue.

    Amber is the only one, so far, to attempt a rise to my challenge but it seems that the administrativia of the task is currently too tiresome for her.

    It actually was a serious challenge.

    Most of the feminists I know who are not in favour of pornstitution have actually been there and done it (and lived to tell their tale). Ok, maybe they didn't get the choice end of the deal; but they've done it.

    My question was simple, really. 'Would you?'

    Some responses chose to quote the teeny tiny minority who do choose to. Is their voice louder than those who haven't, don't and can't choose to and yet are still trapped? Why?

    Personally, I have no problem with a healthy woman who wants to make her living through pornstitution - there must be...ooooh fifty of them alive in the world today (*joke*).

    But by supporting the pornstitution industry you are not only confirming the 'less than human' status of women everywhere but you are colluding with the enslavement of the majority of women within that industry. By quoting the experiences and volition of a teeny tiny minority - you ok with that?

    How is that feminist?

    I'm not going to respond to comments about feminist memos or homosexuality. I think they're just silly and avoiding the issue tbh.

    But children? Most of the 'women' involved in pornstitution arrived there as children. That's why "choice" is such a non-issue for them - they had none! They don't know what "choice" is.

    Is supporting this feminist? Shouldn't we be fighting against the idea of male entitlement and for women abused as children rather than simply accepting the status quo?

    I stand by this:

    "I want to see every pro-pornstitution 'feminist' put her money where her mouth is (hah) and do a six month stint in the job (or send her daughter in if she's 'too old') before she tells me that it's 'ok' for any other woman/girl to go through it."

     
  • At 2:02 AM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Hed

    I think some of the latent and real pedophile assholes buy and use women who look like children but what they really want is the children. I mean, look around you at the hawt women; they all look like children. Some of these men become brave enough to speak about it openly (spend a night on the net with google)under the guise of pseudo-intellectual discussion about bonobos et al, saying to each other in mutual prickspeak (thanks Alyx) that there is nothing wrong with them but with US, and how their rights are being abrogated and hey, some 12 and 13 years olds are READY. And of course it follows, they're just being victimized. Both by us and those horny 12 year olds.

     
  • At 2:15 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    "Criminalize away. If we put all of our energy into saving the kids, and left the issue alone with regard to CONSENTING ADULTS, I think we'd be getting somewhere.

    I agree, Hed. There'd be so few 'consenting adults' if they just left the kids alone - there wouldn't be an issue.

    But this is reactive response. What I want is a proactive response.

     
  • At 3:35 AM, Anonymous Sam said…

    "My point is that for every study there's a counter-study, a study discrediting the first study"

    I'll be blunt: you're wrong.

    Show me a study discrediting the collected ones linked to and I will send you or your favorite charity a check for $100. Show me this COYOTE study of which you speak. Show me ANYTHING proving that a majority of prostitutes want to keep prostituting and would be okay doing so if only it were safer. You say that for every study there is a counter-study, so prove it and I'll write the check.

    But if you can't prove what you've just said about every study having a counter-study proving it wrong, will you concede that all the evidence shows overwhelmingly that people don't really wants to be whores? I know it's a crazy thesis, suggesting that women don't actually want be every man's fucktoy-for-hire, but I'm a crazy chick like that.

    I once came across on the Internet the preliminary results of a study being conducted by pro-pornstitution advocate and iFeminist Wendy McElroy. She asked sex workers volunteering in prosex work organizations (as biased a sample as can be) questions about their contentedness with sex work. To say the preliminary results were not good would be an understatement, and so far as I know the study was abandoned because I've never seen it completed and published.

    hedonist, I didn't say you were okay with 13-year-old prostitutes, prostitute-using men are okay with it and all signs point to an increase in tricks seeking to use younger and younger children. Here are twenty examples of the age of entry into prostitution the world over getting younger the more prostitution is tolerated and accepted, the more men's right to sex on demand is legitimized. The fact is that just like men who use child pornography started on adult pornography, so does fanning men's sense of entitlement to control adult female bodies sexually lead them to seek child bodies to control sexually. Wherever prostitution in legalized and decriminalized child prostitution increases right along with it, so you cannot separate the two.

    American men have seriously tried to defend what they see as their right to use child pornography with the same laws used to protect adult pornography. Witness this week's news from the Netherlands, Dutch court rules group seeking to legalize sex with children can form political party. We hear the "slippery slope" argument a lot in the form of "first they some for your videos of prostituted women being raped on film (Deep Throat), then they come for your children", but enshrining into our culture men's right to use women's bodies sexually whenever and however men want has led to the real-world situation we have right now with the enslavement of millions of children and women. It's too late to shout "Slippery slope!" on the already-here reality.

    What are we gonna do, add to the end of existing laws against prostituting children "pretty please with sugar on top"? I can't figure what your objection with the Swedish model might be since it appears from what you've said that you should support it, so maybe you could explain that to me.

    At a prostitution conference I met a young social worker from Michigan named Sarah who told me about her first day at work as a social worker. She said she became a social worker because she wanted to help women. Sarah wanted to help wives leave their abusive husbands and give young women the support and strength they needed to apply to college and make the most of their lives. On her first day of work, her first case was a 19-year-old woman who had been prostituted since the age of 12. Opening her hands as if pleading for an answer to fall from the heavens she said to me softly, "Where do you start?"

    I didn't know and I still don't, but I do know that you don't start by saying, "Well, she's an adult so if she chooses to be a prostitute we need to respect her choice."

     
  • At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Pony said…

    WW I thank you so much for this. There's hardly a post here I am not copying onto my hard drive.

     
  • At 4:58 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    Quote: "I didn't know and I still don't, but I do know that you don't start by saying, "Well, she's an adult so if she chooses to be a prostitute we need to respect her choice."


    Sam, my presumption is that this 19 year old woman you write of was assigned to this caseworker because she asked for help. Or, help was offered and the woman accepted. That's the way one normally treats ADULTS, obviously, so, no one, not even the sex-positive-strawfeminist being thrown about in this thread, would say such a thing anyway.

     
  • At 12:17 PM, Anonymous jo said…

    If your definition of feminism is "a woman's right to choose" and that is why you do not oppose porn & prostitution, how do you reconcile this with the fact that these industries were built by limiting women's choices?
    I don't think radical feminists want to ostracize those of you who do not find pornstitution inherently wrong, but just want to ask: Have you really, really thought this through?

     
  • At 1:38 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Sam -I may be wrong - the W. McElroy preliminary study was the one I was thinking about. I didn't know it was preliminary and not finished.

    It would not be the first time I was ever wrong, nor the last, and the world will not cave in if I admit it.

    You, Sam, are absolutely an expert on this topic, for which you have devoted tons of time and resources and emotional energy. I have no problem deferring to your expertise and in any numbers-quoting competition I'd lose hands down.

    However, I maintain that most studies ABOUT ANYTHING are biased in some manner (and if the researchers are funded by foundation grants, so much the worse for the results.)

    More to the topic -

    I absolutely get the fact that prostitution can be a hard life, a humiliating life, a destructive life. And I absolutely get the fact that you, Sam (and others) are doing The Good Work helping people break free from the paradigm that enslaves them.

    That said, I do not believe that every exchange of sexual activity for something else is by definition an egregious violation against Class Woman.

    Neither do I believe that, by saying this, that it is the same as saying "I believe women actually want be every man's fucktoy-for-hire". A condemnation of DDT is not a ringing endorsement of the malaria mosquito.

    Further, I don't believe that how I feel about this issue should be the defining aspect of my feminism.

    Regarding Witchy's serious question -

    I am monogamous with my partner so won't be turning tricks until he's dead. apologies.

    I don't have children so can't claim to know what to do if my children wanted to exchange sexual activity for something else.

    In my own history, I have never exchanged sexual activity for money. I've absolutely exchanged sexual activity for groceries, for dinner, for a place to stay.

    I thought it was a pretty even trade.

     
  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger Phemisaurus Terribilis said…

    EXERCISE
    Complete the following sentence:

    It's like

    a) talking to a wall
    b) banging your head against a brick wall
    c) talking to a pro-pornstitution 'feminist'

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    "Amber is the only one, so far, to attempt a rise to my challenge but it seems that the administrativia of the task is currently too tiresome for her."

    It probably wouldn't be too hard for Amber to find the red light district in her town - any taxi-driver would be able to tell her and would also be able to tell her where to get the drugs to help numb her from the experience. She could be out on the streets tonight. Don't know which night is the best for business but Friday is usually payday and all those johns will want to give themselves a nice treat of the use of a woman's body at the end of a hard week at work.

    I'm sure there would also be a number of men in whichever area she chooses who could offer her protection and handle the money side of things too.

    P.S. Please don't do it Amber.

     
  • At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    So Antiprincess...what do you think would be an acceptable "gift" for me to offer that guy I'm dying to shag who isn't into me? And would you think less of him (an M.D. and highly respected researcher) if that changed his mind.

    C'mon. Be honest.

     
  • At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    Not a married woman who hasn't done that anti-princess... .

     
  • At 5:18 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Pony - forgive me but I'm not sure I understand your question.

     
  • At 5:22 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    "Not a married woman who hasn't done that anti-princess..."

    agreed. I wasn't married at the time, but I see your point.

    is that/is that not prostitution?

    is "prostitution" for purposes of this discussion narrowly construed to mean "streetwalking"?

     
  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    @ Jo -
    how do you reconcile this with the fact that these industries were built by limiting women's choices?

    that is a good point and something I'll have to explore.

     
  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    It was a question which fell from this, of yours:

    "That said, I do not believe that every exchange of sexual activity for something else is by definition an egregious violation against Class Woman."

    I think that's just what rad fems are saying with the idea of the personal is political; every such exchange of flesh for money (or goods) by an individual woman does violate class woman. When men behave this way, we get it.

    Now this is very simplistic so pleae don't call me on what I've left out. Lots. But we get it so severely that some gay men die for it. It's ok for women to debase an already debased class. For men to do this it's not acceptable and class men will punish even by death for the mere implication of it.

     
  • At 6:07 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    I'm not trying to call you out, Pony. What you have to say interests me (and I'm amazed we're even talking at all - I'm not going to shut you down just as we're getting started).

    When men behave this way, we get it.

    not sure I follow.

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I mean, men don't rush to commodify or prostitue themselves. And if and when some do, this is not viewed with admiration. It's seen for what it is. Insecurity. Self-loathing. Misguided. And finally, against the class of men. Which as the class of men stands in my book, almost anything against it which examined it would be good. But no sacrifical lambs please.

    I talk with my hands. What's not clear is there.

    Thanks for your generosity with me.

     
  • At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Sam said…

    But if you can't prove what you've just said about every study having a counter-study proving it wrong, will you concede that all the evidence shows overwhelmingly that people don't really want to be whores?

    antiprincess: "I do not believe that every exchange of sexual activity for something else is by definition an egregious violation against Class Woman."

    Notice how when you want to talk about individual sex worker choices that's where you linger, but when I point out the cumulative knowledge of those individuals and what they have to say you change the debate into one of all-or-nothing absolutes about "every" act of prostitution affecting all members of "Class Woman". But the studies aren't talking about "every" prostitute or how prostitution affects all women, they have gathered testimonies from hundreds of female, male and transgendered sex workers to record their lack of being able to leave prostitution as 92% say they want to and the studies contain no data about secondary effects on other non-prostituted women.

    hedonist, your presumption is incorrect. After spending years in and out of shelters and jail for prostitution and drug use, the 19-year-old's violent lashing out resulted in her being arrested yet again and the judge offered her the choice of rehabilitition or jail and she chose the former to avoid the latter. That's not an adult woman making the sound choice to ask for help, it's being so self detructive and dangerous to others that the state had to intervene.

    Something I noticed at one prostitution conference in Toledo, Ohio I attended was that even though there were a large number of black women in attendance, not one black woman that I saw supported 'sex as work'. Many black women were survivors who had turned their lives around and decided to try and help others get out, and at one point I thought an ex-prostitute/counselor was going to assault one of the all-white pro-prostitution women for the joking and 'sexy' attitude towards prostitution she was bringing to the roundtable discussion. The counselor was sitting next to me and she said to me in an angry hush, "She saying what I think she's saying? I know she ain't saying what I think she's saying."

    That woman sang a song during lunch and I bought her CD. Here are the lyrics to the song; imagine it sung in a slow gospel style.

    Get Out

    Women selling bodies everywhere
    Prostitution's rampant, does anybody really care?
    Hooked on drugs and beat by doughboys
    Nobody wants to listen, I cry for help, they call it noise

    Is there any hope for us?
    My heart cries out for true love and not lust
    This game we play has got us all caught up
    In a web that seems impossible
    Will we ever get out?

    Every date is like playing Truth or Dare
    Like a vicious game of Russian roulette
    I lost more than my virginity
    Now I'm desperate to find my true identity

    I found the answer lying deep inside of me
    Like a waking giant rising up from sleep
    Ready to conquer and fulfill my destiny
    Got to make the right connections cause it's my only way out

    And I gotta get out

    At the tender age of just sixteen
    Young boy lost his masculinity
    To hide the shame he turns to smoking weed
    Turning tricks and perping drag queen

    Somebody please, somebody please
    Somebody please, somebody please
    get down on their knees
    They need somebody

    They got their hustle but they just don't know
    Death is taking them out oh so slow
    Selling crack, black-on-black violence
    Can't you hear the little boy crying?

    Your desperation has come up before the King
    He's sending out for you a spiritual APB
    No more casualties, I prophesize this day
    That you'll never, ever be the same
    Your life for Him I know claim

    Oh, oh get out
    You've got to get out of this lifestyle
    Oh, oh get out
    You've got to stop running with the wrong crowd
    Oh, oh get out
    You've got to get out of this lifestyle
    Get out
    You've got to get out

    Hope to turn this lifestyle to reality
    Walk out today and tell yourself, "It's time to be the real me"
    And you're heading in the right direction
    And you are finally out

    Out of the chaos
    Out of the all the drama
    I'm so grateful
    So grateful
    To be
    Out

    -L. Hightower

     
  • At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Z said…

    that made me cry. so sad and so beautiful and hopeful too

    thank you for sharing,

    Z

     
  • At 2:40 AM, Blogger Whitters said…

    I do not appreciate the personal snide attacks going on here. If somebody favours an alternative to prostitution then I think that is great. It is the 'Yayy pornstitution is so empowering for women and needs to continue!' attitude that I do not understand. It seems NOBODY here has said they hold that belief/attitude anyhow, so why all the anger??

    If that is what you believe, then bloody well SAY it - and if not, why are you getting pissed off?


    I think you misinterpreted my comment. The "belief" of which I speak is my belief in feminism--i.e., the equality of men and women. This is a belief I was raised with and have had my entire life. This is a belief for which I fight.

    To be told that, if I am not anti-porn and anti-prostitution, then I am not a feminist...well, that to me is saying that the beliefs and values I've had all my life are being judged as invalid.

    I was not speaking of my beliefs that porn and prostitution are somehow inherently empowering for women. As I said in an earlier comment, I don't believe that ANYTHING is inherently or essentially empowering. That is an individual evaluation that each person has to make about his or her own life. For me, my sex work was empowering, but I would never say that that's the case for everyone in the industry.

    Again, as I said, my problem with WW's original post was her assertion that if a person is pro-porn and pro-prostitution then that person is not a feminist. That statement crossed a line with me. No one can tell me that I am not a feminist, when feminist ideals are such a part of my value structure.

    Also, WW issued a call to pro-porn and pro-prostitution feminists to "try out" the sex-work industry themselves and see if they still "thought it was ok" for women to engage in. Again, I enjoyed my time as a sex worker, bt that is my personal experience. Others might not (and do not) have the same reaction. BUT I would NEVER tell someone that it's "not ok" for them to make their own decisions about their lives.

    Yes, there is abuse and horror in the sex-work industry. Yes, these abuses need to fought. Just because a person is pro-porn and pro-prostitution does NOT mean that said person is somehow blind to the "dark side" of the industry. But to categorically say that all feminists who aren't anti-porn/anti-prostitution are somehow not feminists at all...well, that's just ludicrous. Imagine how you would feel if I said, "Since you are against porn and prostitution, you CANNOT be a feminist."

    In the end, we're all fighting for the same cause: the equality of women and men. Yes, we all have different ways of doing so, and different viewpoints of the world. That's only human, and it's not harmful to the greater good. What IS harmful is this sniping--"you are NOT a feminist." I may not be your kind of feminist, but I am most definitely a feminist and will be until the day I die.

     
  • At 11:46 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    Beautifully said, Whitters.

    *applause*

     
  • At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Z said…

    I think there is a difference between being PRO pornstitution and being not completely ANTI pornstitution, which is not being addressed here.

    To be PRO pornstitution, might mean you are overlooking the 'dark side' of the business, because you are saying you completely support the whole thing. However, if you are not completely 'anti' pornstitution this might suggest you understand about the abuse that occurs and want that to stop, but also believe there are women who are completely happy being sex workers and you wish to preserve their right to their choice of profession.

    I see you are using 'not completely anti pornstitution' and 'pro pornstitution' interchageably, but I do not believe they are the same thing!

    THIS is what has confused me about the whole debate...

    Unless of course you are fighting for the right of women who truly are completely PRO pornstitution to still call themselves 'feminist'.

    Which is a possibility.

    My point is - I do not believe I have seen anyone in this thread who truly is 'pro pornstitution'. Hence, I don't understand what the fuss is about.

    I might be run down now, for taking away people's right to call themselves 'pro pornstitution' - but I'm just saying - it's something to think about. If you do not completely support pornstitution, then I personally do not believe you are 'pro pornstitution'. There are lots of places in between for goodness sake.


    And that is my take on the matter. This whole thing has left me confused.

    And whitters - I didn't think you were making snide comments at me, and I also think you have an interesting perspective.

    I personally would not tell anybody that they were not feminist because they were not completely anti pornstitution, yet if somebody said to me 'the whole pornstitution thing rocks!' (something to that effect) and then proclaimed themselves to be feminist, I would have to wonder if they'd really thought the whole thing through.


    Take care,

    Z

     
  • At 3:26 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Witters:
    "BUT I would NEVER tell someone that it's "not ok" for them to make their own decisions about their lives."

    And neither would I. And I haven't. Anywhere.

    It's been really interesting reading this thread develop - thank you again for all your (mostly) thoughtful responses.

    I believe, like the 'angry wimmin' of the seventies that the sexual subjugation and exploitation of women in all it's forms is the major tool of the patriarchal oppression of women. I believe that message is fed to men and reinforced through their manipulated orgasm. I believe that, in order for women to start to gain some semblance of societal and individual freedom - some kind of political power and equality - that tool has to be disabled.

    I believe that the institutions of pornography and prostitution are the cutting edges of that tool because they tell men, through the promise of orgasm, "it's ok to (ab)use women" in order to reinforce their individual sense of 'power over' and they tell all of us that women are somehow ok with that (ab)use because, other than the 'power' we have to comply with, and seemingly enjoy, that (ab)use, we're essentally powerless.

    We are so not free.

    Women (and children and gays and trans people and others) are living miserably abused lives - even dying - because hetero men (as a group) are taught by the patriarchal establishment what their sexual needs are and that those needs negate the humanity of everyone else because hetero men have the power. Men need to have, and enjoy, and get kudos for using that power in order for them to continue to support and defend the establishment. When you consider race in this equation it gets even uglier.

    In the world of pornstitution, women's sexuality is framed by the patriarchally defined 'needs' of men in that we simply exist to serve their power trip. We're not human. Our status as human people is negated in order for their 'needs' to be met. Yes, sometimes we're able to turn their power trip to our advantage - we may even, as individuals, enjoy serving their power trip. Doesn't mean that women have power, though. It doesn't make us equal.

    If, as I believe, hetero men (as a group) are largely complicit in this notion that their 'needs' and 'wants' negate the humanity of those they (ab)use to sexually service them, that by accessing the oppressed 'others' for the servicing of those all important 'needs' and 'wants', they're demonstrating a level of disdain for - even hatred of - those 'others'.

    (Bad phraseology, I know. It's late here...but am I making sense so far?)

    What are your thoughts about institutionalsed misogyny in relation to pornography and prostitution? Is it there? How does it manifest itself? Is the woman's humanity ever acknowledged in the overt transaction? (I know others are porned and prostituted and perhaps hatred of them, too, is apparent. Please tell me about what you know.)

    And, yes, I understand that, in spite of all this, some women freely choose sex work (acknowledging jo's point about the fact that the sex industry was built by limiting women's choices in the first place). It's really ok for some - not most, I think we agree. I understand that. But - just like the drunk driver who made it home without stacking her car - that doesn't make it safe or ok for everyone else. I think, sometimes, individual 'choice' needs to be examined in the context of what's good for all.

    I think we mostly agree that the status quo has to change in order that women (and other oppressed groups) are no longer vilified and marginalised by the dominant ideology. Perhaps my ideas of challenging the status quo are more proactive than some? I dunno. I realise I've affronted some people with my assertion that if you're pro-pornstition then you can't be a feminist but, truly, I don't understand how anyone can believe that pornstitution is good for, accurately represents the sexuality of or promotes the political equality of women. Not the individual. Women. Everywhere.

    Just for the record: I have a son who is having difficulies finding his own way through all this. He acknowledges the spurious 'superior status' conferred upon him by virtue of the fact that he was born male. He acknowledges the misogyny inherent in all the 'women as meat' messages he gets all the time, everywhere. He knows what they're trying to tell him. He doesn't buy it but he finds it difficult to resist the pull, sometimes.

    I'm not anti-sex nor am I a prude. This may have been suggested elsewhere but the truth is that I find the fact that my sexuality, as a woman, is culturally defined by the 'needs' and 'wants' of a patriarchal establishment totally opressive. It has nothing to do with me or anyone else I know. Female sexuality isn't some generic, submissive, penis worshipping commodity. I don't want to identify as 'sex positive' or 'sex radical' because I think they're reactionary terms and so why the hell should I? I'm just proactive, hetero female.

    I'm happy to indentify as a radical feminist because I object to and fight against patriarchal ideology. I think it's toxic to humans.

     
  • At 4:19 AM, Blogger Yawning Lion said…

    Great post, Witchy-woo. I started to make my way through all the comments, but I just couldn't bear it. I like the way you speak the truth so clearly and succinctly. You don't pull any punches, and I know just where you stand. I respect that.
    YL

     
  • At 5:42 PM, Anonymous tinypieces said…

    Well said, thank you for standing up for people forced to swop their rapes for money

     
  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger belledame222 said…

    w-w, your challenge was to ask non anti-sex work feminists (for that is what we are, or at least that is what i am) to try it for six months. whitters says she did. you ignored it.

    She also said, as have many of us, that the real problem we're having with this post is not even your position on sex work but the fact that you gave yourself the authority to call those of us who don't happen to agree with you "not feminist." whitters explained *why* this is a problem rather eloquently.

    You've also ignored this.

    Speaking of brick walls.

    Is it really a dialogue you want here? How do you expect people to respect and understand your views when you can't even respect other peoples' self-definition? Much less have any familiarity with the rather vast array of feminist schools and authors who are *not* automatically and unbendingly anti-porn and prostitution.

     
  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger Renegade Evolution said…

    I do work in the sex industry. I do like my job. I do consider myself a feminist, though not at in in the radical sense, and I do beleive that women who CHOOSE to work in the sex industry should have that choice. To some, sex is an intimate, nearly sacred act, to others it is not, and they will engage in it for money or "sport". And they should have the right to do so if they wish.

    I am not for anyone being forced into doing ANY profession they would rather not, but I DO choose to do what I do, thanks.

     
  • At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Pony said…

    I do wish I had the time to write an essay on the fascinating connection between the patriarchy's duo of choice for women (virgin or whore) and the comment made above however, I've been distracted by the choir.

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    "w-w, your challenge was to ask non anti-sex work feminists (for that is what we are, or at least that is what i am) to try it for six months. whitters says she did. you ignored it."

    Well, maybe I misread either witchy-woo or whitters, but I thought witchy-woo threw out the challenge for pro-pornsitution feminists to be *prostitutes* for six months and whitters said she was a stripper. Those two things are not the same, although it's one of the reasons why pro-pornstitution feminists like to use the catch-all term "sex-worker" because when anti-pornsitution feminists speak out against prostitution you can use the term to muddy the waters.

    So if any of the pro-pornstitution peeps have said they'll step up and be prostituted for six months, I haven't seen it. In fact I'd challenge you to do it for six hours not six months because that would probably give you a pretty good idea of what it's really like for prostituted women, those women whose bodies you are so keen for men to be able to sexually access.

     
  • At 5:49 AM, Blogger Renegade Evolution said…

    Sigh, okay...here goes...

    First off, I am of the mind (and seemingly, not alone) that there are several different flavors of feminism, and not even THEY can agree on anything.

    Two: Do I consider myself a feminist? Yes, actually, though not in any way "radical". I admit that freely.

    Three: I work in the sex industry. By choice. And I actually enjoy my work. I also happen to be college educated and financially secure. I don’t HAVE to do it. I do what I do freely; no one is forcing me to.

    Four: Yes, I REALIZE there are many women in the sex industry who do not wish to be there, and I realize there are abuses within the industry, and I am ALL FOR anyone and everyone doing WHAT they can to help these women AND help stop the abuses. I also believe those of us who DO what we do by CHOICE (even if we are THAT few and far between) should have that choice.

    So there you go…one of the small percent, speaking ONLY for myself, but speaking nonetheless.

     
  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger Antimatty said…

    i am a libertarian. i feel that people should have the freedom to do anything they want as long as they do not infringe
    on the right of others to do so. if what you are doing doesn't hurt anybody . who cares? i am also a artist and i see the human form as a beautiful thing, not something to be ashamed of. and i am a man. as i man i have never seen women as anything other than equals. i have never thought of women as " objects" and i don't know any men who have ever thought of women as " objects".

     
  • At 10:58 AM, Anonymous laurelin said…

    Antimatty- this has nothing to do with the beauty or otherwise of the human body. Don't bring up something no-one was arguing to derail the conversation.

    Did you actually read WW's post, or any of the comments, where it has been mentioned how over 90% of prostitutes want to get out of their profession? You surely know that the vast majority of women in prostitution are survivors of incest or other sexual abuse? And that they suffer rape and are far more likely to be murdered in prostitution? Read up on the facts before you bring out your strawfeminist.

    Oh and if you really believe that you don't know any men who objectify women, you're either incredibly lucky, or just not very observant, or in complete denial.

     
  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Witchy - you've determined, and many people agree with you, that no woman who is pro-pornstitution is feminist. You've argued your case, supported it strongly - you did your thing and lots of people got behind you. This thread did get me thinking and looking at the issue in all sorts of ways I hadn't before. It was hard and it was brave and good for you for even entertaining the subject.

    What's next?

    How does making this division help to accomplish the goals of feminism?

    I fear that now, before I'll be able to participate in other feminist-related activities, I'll have to preface everything by "well, as a non-antipornstitutioner", and brace myself for being ignored or derided. I fear that people who used to stand next to me and carry banners with me on other issues may refuse to work with me until I come around.

    I can envision a world where antiporn feminists refuse to work with non-antiporn feminists, and nothing gets done. No rallies, no protests, no clinic defenses, no support of feminist candidates - nothing.

     
  • At 12:46 AM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    I remember you doing something similar on Twisty's thread when you got told that BDSM wasn't feminist, antiprincess.

    Here's a clue - most feminists are pro-pornsititution. There are many, many feminist places you can go where your ideas and arguments are welcome. There's Feministing.com, feministe.com, Bitchphd, Pandagon Livejournal Feminist (a huge community that is very unwelcoming to anti-pornstitution feminists). I'm sure other people here can suggest places you can go where you can find thousands of like-minded feminists. Not only that, but there is the mainstream culture which just loves porn and prostitution so you will find many of your ideas and beliefs reflected there too. Me, I have to make do with a tiny clip of Sheila Jeffreys that they show about once a month on the British TV channel More4 in between TV programmes where for about 20 seconds she talks about her objections to pornography, a few blogs and some hard-to-get-hold-of books.

    I can't actually believe that you are trying to paint yourself out as some oppressed minority. Anti-pornstitution feminists aren't the dominant majority in feminism, your group are. You don't appear to want us even to have a tiny corner of feminism without trying to make us feel like we are big meanies.

    As for whether I agree with witchy-woo on whether you are a feminist or not, I didn't even have that question in my head for a long, long time, but after having spent many wasted hours telling pro-pornstitution feminists that yes I did believe they were feminists and that it was possible to be feminist even whilst holding some unfeminist views I'm beginning to wonder if you have been trying to tell us something all along and that you aren't really feminsts and you don't care about women. What do you think? I hope I'm wrong.

    Why does all this have to be about you anyway? My argument is with male supremacy and the men who think they have the right to sexually use women. I'm not calling a truce in that battle any time soon. Maybe you should all just get out of our way.

     
  • At 2:19 AM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    I found this thread thoughtful:

    http://pandagon.net/2006/07/23/leave-the-internets-for-a-few-days-and-everything-turns-to-shit/

     
  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    I remember you doing something similar on Twisty's thread when you got told that BDSM wasn't feminist, antiprincess.

    Delphyne, I assure you - if I hadn't been treated like yesterday's garbage at Twisty's back in February, I would not still be on about it today.

    go where you can find thousands of like-minded feminists. Not only that, but there is the mainstream culture which just loves porn and prostitution so you will find many of your ideas and beliefs reflected there too.

    you know good and well I never said I "just loved porn and prostitution." Part of the problem with this whole discussion is that it's too too easy for one side to paint the other side as absolutist, even as we're all raising the chorus of "I never said that!"

    And if I found many of my ideas and beliefs reflected there,why would I bother to come here? The rest of the libfemblogosphere does not particularly speak to me or for me.

    I can't actually believe that you are trying to paint yourself out as some oppressed minority. Anti-pornstitution feminists aren't the dominant majority in feminism, your group are.

    I didn't mean to imply a)that I was part of any sort of organized group or b) that I felt "oppressed" - you're right, that would be stupid - I just meant to say that I felt excluded and disrespected by people I really admire and like to work with.

    Although a great many voices claim to stand in opposition to antiporn feminism, the important voices not only come out loud-n-proud antiporn, but scornful of those who are not as loud-n-proud as they. it's the scorn that bothered me then, and still bothers me now.

    I'm not calling a truce in that battle any time soon. Maybe you should all just get out of our way.

    I wonder if you meant that as your coup de grace or as a serious point for discussion. It's a good coup de grace, but an even better serious point for discussion.

    I'm not sure having two seperate feminist echo chambers is the way to go. I think that's a good way to waste resources and lose ground.

    If I had gotten out of y'all's way six months ago, I never would have read Pony's comments to this thread, which have definitely added some depth and meaning to the issue that was missing for me previously.

    Why does all this have to be about you anyway?

    me personally, or non-antiporners in general?

    I can't speak for others, really - but I think it's at least somewhat important to determine the extent that the people I otherwise respect and agree with don't want me (or any others like me) around.

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    And you know well and good that I didn't say you just loved porn and prostitution, antiprincess, what I did say was that mainstream culture does love it, and does support many of the views that pro-porn, pro-pornography feminists hold. I was saying that in response to your cry of "woe-is-me, I have nowhere to go". The point I'm making is that you do. Anti-porn, anti-prostitution feminists on the other hand really do have incredibly limited options. Can't you feel sorry for us instead of wanting us to feel sorry for you?

    "I just meant to say that I felt excluded and disrespected by people I really admire and like to work with."

    I just don't understand this focus on a tiny number of feminists. There is a huge world of feminists who completely agree with your views, right across the board (I feel pretty excluded and disrespected by them BTW, you should see what R. Mildred has to say about us for example). Why worry that you can't work with anti-pornsitution feminists? And as it's only on pornstitution that you can't work with them on, what's the big deal?

     
  • At 8:11 PM, Anonymous pony said…

    Delphyne

    I have to disagree with this.

    "Here's a clue - most feminists are pro-pornsititution."

    I would say there are some feminist who are pro pornsitution and I would agree that those blogs you've named are, but they are not in the majority, neither the blogs nor the feminists. This pro pornstitution is new, it is third wave, and it is as a result of the colonization of feminism by men.

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Anonymous pony said…

    And no, I don't think you're a femninist anti-princess, although I think you're a person I'd like to sit and share a cup of tea with, which is more than I can say for most of those with whom you ally, who I think are nothing more than colonizers as I've said, crass opportunists and selfish me'ists who have yet to grow up.

     
  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    Why worry that you can't work with anti-pornsitution feminists? And as it's only on pornstitution that you can't work with them on, what's the big deal?

    yeah - that would be fine if that were true. As it stands now, I can think of several blogs where any comment I make on ANY subject gets modded out, regardless of whether I'm talking about porn/prostitution or the weather. This leads me to believe (inaccurate that belief may be)that antiporners are not interested in what I have to say on ANYTHING. And if they're not interested on what I have to say, they're clearly not interested in working with me.

    And I'd happily pitch in to end trafficking if people would just fucking talk to me like a human being and not a diseased gender traitor. (sorry - that was hostile. I beg your pardon.)

    Can't you feel sorry for us instead of wanting us to feel sorry for you?

    The last thing I want is for someone to feel sorry for me. Pity implies lack of respect for one's position. I assure you, I respect your position. I just don't like how people are treated when they disagree.

    @ pony - I don't know how to respond to that. Thanks...I think...I mean, at least you're honest...

     
  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this. I feel as though participants only talking past each other. Only a few people on this thread seem to be TRYING to understand the so-called opposition-that-really-isn't.

    Pardon me for going Vulcan on yer asses, but here's my logical reasoning: To me, the difference between A) Prostitution and the (traditional, patriarchal) institution of B) Marriage is akin to the difference between renting and buying. You might take offence at this, especially if you are or have been married (I was married once too). Still, this is my position, and like it or not it's a logical one:

    A:B

    Continuing with the logic:

    Let's talk about traditional marriage for a minute. Reasonable people flip out at the thought of a 13-year-old being "sold" into marriage. It's wrong on so many levels for obvious reasons. I, too, am against it and believe it should remain C) Illegal. Obviously.

    if A:B then if A:C, B:C

    Past the age of consent, however, I cannot in good conscience hold the same opinion. I still despise traditional marriage, and publicly proclaim that I'd love to see the institution disappear from the face of the earth. But would I go so far as to make traditional marriage illegal? I would not, because as much as traditional marriage disgusts and offends me, I still believe consenting adults should be allowed to D) make their own social contracts without state interference. (also, I would press for the social and financial support of women who need/want a divorce.)

    If A:B, then if A:D, B:D

    This does NOT make me "pro-traditional-marriage" and "not a feminist," however, and if anyone ever accused me of being such I'd probably want to slap him/her. I wouldn't, but I'd want to! Agreed, a woman choosing traditional marriage is probably NOT a feminist. But the women who refuse to agitate for the criminalization of traditional marriage . . . would you say those women aren't feminists, either?

    Now I want a logician to show up and diagram this properly, because I no longer know how.

     
  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    anti-p - I'd sit down and share a pot of tea with you too. And I'd march alongside you at feminist protests and rallies as well, I expect. Just as you'll pitch in to end trafficking because....

    Trafficking is wrong, because?

    Because women who have no desire to do so are being forced into sexual slavery?

    As has been so eloquently pointed out in the comments on this thread, 90% of women already in sexual slavery (however they got there) have no desire to remain and actively want out.

    Is this different?

    Hed: Wow! Sciency stuff ;)

    I'm not a scientist but I appreciate your effort to make your thoughts clear and I think I get what you mean.

    I'd no more agitate for the criminalisation of traditional marriage than I would for the criminalisation of pornstitution and I agree with you that a woman who supports traditional marriage for women is probably not a feminist.

    I think we agree that women are situated as the sexual chattel of men in both marriage and prostitution.

    As a feminist, I can't support this and would like to see an end to it.

     
  • At 11:33 PM, Anonymous hedonistic said…

    Agreed!

     
  • At 12:23 AM, Anonymous pony said…

    I'd advocate for the criminalisation of pornography and prostitution, not the ponies but owners.

    Because?

    Dealing in human flesh should be illegal, not just when someone crosses a border and one country loses gnp over it.

     
  • At 12:34 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    Quite, Pony.

    I believe women performing in pornstitution should no more be criminalised than those in traditional marriage and that it's the institutions themselves that are criminal and should be ended.

     
  • At 12:36 AM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    "And I'd happily pitch in to end trafficking if people would just fucking talk to me like a human being and not a diseased gender traitor. (sorry - that was hostile. I beg your pardon.)"

    People are talking to you here aren't they? And this "diseased gender traitor" thing is ridiculous, we just think you are *wrong*. Most of us get told that a lot on the internet, whatever side we are on.

     
  • At 12:43 AM, Anonymous pony said…

    It wasn't so long ago that a leader in the eco movement--internationally respected, admired role model, activist, lobbiest, able to get the ear of the most radical and the most conservative--raped his good friend's 14 year old daughter. He's still working the eco movement. His act was not viewed as criminal or even a transgression by some of the left who blamed this child asked well how much under the age limit was she, he was under stress, etc. She's been in therapy since I learned recently. Does not function very well. He barely skipped a beat. Influential friends found place for him. Not for him years of being an outcast, prison and then living on welfare.

    He was a lefty. Had and still has all the proper leftspeak.

    But there was a huge segment of society he didn't see, and no-one knew. Everyone accorded him what they assumed. Until then, we didn't know his leftspeak didn't include women.

     
  • At 4:15 AM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    And no, I don't think you're a femninist anti-princess, although I think you're a person I'd like to sit and share a cup of tea with, which is more than I can say for most of those with whom you ally, who I think are nothing more than colonizers as I've said, crass opportunists and selfish me'ists who have yet to grow up.

    ok - I had a little time to think about this, and I must regretfully decline the invitation.

    At first I was honored, flattered, pleased that you decided I was human enough to share a cup of tea with, especially given the fact that we've had words in the past.

    I was a little blinded by that and it took me a while to realize that you were just faking a gesture of friendship in order to say mean things about people who have supported me, backed me up, defended me against people like you.

    what was I supposed to do - sell them out for a cup of tea?

    shame on me for nearly falling for it.

     
  • At 1:23 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    When you describe women talking about our oppression as " the pink-ribboned vulvolalorrhea of the eternal underdog" is that treating us as human beings, anti-princess? Or is it just as sexist as fuck?

     
  • At 3:44 PM, Anonymous pony said…

    Antiprincess I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't fake or manipulate. I think you can find plenty of evidence for that truth in my posting history.

    I have no desire to carry this further with you.

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger Amber said…

    I remain floored at the bullying going on here. AP goes out of her way to try to engage with people who openly insult and attack her, and what does she get in response? More insults and attacks!

    It's disgusting.

     
  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    oh yeah - from this blog post back in April:

    I also admit to hating all women some of the time. Womankind, the all-powerful sisterhood, my own XX chromosomes - some days all of it makes me want to run screaming from the pink-ribboned vulvolalorrhea of the eternal underdog and go pound down boilermakers while watching The Man Show, just to establish some equilibrium.

    quote the whole damn thing - it might make your case a lot more solid.

    or it might point out that you misinterpreted my attempt at self-effacing humor (note ref to "my own XX chromosomes").

    or the passage may speak to an undercurrent that we'd all rather not mention, the elephant in the room so to speak, that women will occasionally drive other women batshit crazy despite all efforts to the contrary.

     
  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger antiprincess said…

    @ pony - you were a worthy adversary, and I learned a lot. for that I thank you.

    but you went too far.

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Anonymous delphyne said…

    I don't see how quoting the whole thing makes it look any less sexist, AP. And I don't think it's the elephant in the room that sometimes women drive one another crazy. Is that *really* news to you? Although you seemed to be being driven crazy about women talking about misogyny - kind of weird for a feminist but there you go. Noting your the composition of your own chromosomes didn't make it less sexist either - here's another bit of news - women can be sexist too!

    P.S. Amber, it was antiprincess, who was calling herself a "diseased gender traitor". I dont think anybody here actually agreed with her.

     
  • At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Z said…

    Well, I think there's something in here to insult and alienate just about everyone.

    Goodness me

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    I agree, Z.

    Comments on this thread are now closed.

     

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