Tagged: feminism

ok this is what I get from antisw feminists when you strip their hectoring of all the accusations of promoting csa:

I don’t agree with some people using aspects of their sexuality to make money so, even tho it’s already illegal most places, I’m going to spend a lot of time and energy agitating to make it more unsafe because

BETTER MURDERED OR DEAD OF HIV OR A BOTCHED ABORTION THAN PAID FOR SEX!

They place more faith in male law enforcement than in sex workers particularly woc sws.
And then they never even acknowledge the inevitable abuse on the part of the very (male) institutions they’re suddenly putting so much trust in.

My other thought, which I believe is actually a big tho necessarily unacknowledged factor, is that it makes middle class white women deeply uncomfortable to see working class women, women of color, transwomen and other historically sexualized and “trashy/slutty” groups of women leverage something that has historically been used to oppress them to gain a measure of financial security.

When feminists are all “you shouldn’t strip/sex work is oppressive/why don’t you get a real job” what I hear is “you don’t deserve this ladder you forged to pay for college, to get to financial security. How dare you use your dirty sexuality to try to get something better.”

I should of course have been content with my lot. We all should be. How dare we aspire to the things they were born to: college and health insurance and nice things. Newer cars. Dental care.

Yet they literally have nothing else to offer in its place.
And we’re expected to be grateful for this rescue or we can be written off as having Stockholm syndrome, colluding in our own oppression?

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idgi, statement of purpose

I hate men and think nearly all men involved on the business end of things in the industry are fucked and exploitative as hell and things need to change; I’m interested in conversations about how the industry is actually exploitative, disempowering, and can contribute to objectification (especially strip clubs!), but I’m not interested in arresting and criminalizing women, throwing workers under the bus in the name of anti-patriarchy activism when that does nothing except put worker’s lives at risk while the patriarchy shambles on.

My time and energies will go to helping and supporting actual living workers whatever their status, whether they are the annoying people who talk about empowerment, people who like it fine or people who hate it and want out. We have so few allies—certainly not law enforcement, men at any level, and most women—and we share so many goals—wanting control of our own bodies, wanting to end sexual assault and rape—it makes me sad that some feminists can’t differentiate between actual victims and workers who need support.

I think that obscuring the difference between consensual sex for cash and actual rape does a great disservice to sex workers, actual victims of sexual assault, and sex workers who are victims of sexual assault. It also seems to imply that sex workers CANNOT be raped since we’re already being raped by definition, since we can’t consent to selling a sexual or sexualized service.

I will never understand feminists whose priority is on driving the sex industry underground in the name of saving women, making sex workers more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation rather than concentrating their efforts on punishing rape and sexual assault whenever and wherever it happens.

feminist failures

Gloria Steinem defines prostitution thus:

The truth seems to be that the invasion of the human body by another person – whether empowered by money or violence or authority — is de-humanising in itself. Yes, there are many other jobs in which people are exploited, but prostitution is the only one that by definition crosses boundary of our skin and invades our most central sense of self.

Later she speaks of prostitution as “body invasion.” This is true of rape, rape is a body invasion, it’s profoundly violating.  Not all sex work is rape. I know people get caught up in the notion of privileged white escorts in the states and “not all sex workers are like that” and like duh. I absolutely agree.

However, when you have WOC in other countries also saying the same thing, women who’ve created unions to advocate for themselves—and for victims of trafficking because they know the difference between sex work and trafficking and they are against trafficking—to spread health information and safety tips, and when western feminists ignore them and paint them as pimps and traffickers themselves, there’s something wrong.  It becomes hard to avoid the conclusion that white western feminists are more focused on saving the poor woc from themselves—whether they want to be saved or not! whether this saving is actually saving or just removing harm reduction skills and access to health care and basic things like condoms—than on actually listening to what they say they need and helping them.

I find this language of all prostitution-as-violation to be disingenuous and deliberately unhelpful.  By defining all prostitution as rape they erase actual victims of rape as well as victims of trafficking.

I hate how the conversation has been hijacked by the trafficking framework, as if the sex industry has become the only place where men rape, abuse, and exploit women and children.  As if all those things will stop once sex work has been made illegal.

As if they couldn’t be just as well (or better!) addressed by a concerted effort to make rape and assault illegal so that when these things happened anywhere, including within the sex industry, there would be legal protections for victims, and repercussions and punishment for the abusers.  Like why is that so unrealistic? So a woman could be like “This john raped me/my boyfriend is abusive and is basically a pimp and he takes my money” or “I was raped on set” because the problem, RIGHT? is rape and assault?  The two go hand in hand, like if as much energy was poured into ending rape culture as into ending trafficking, which after all isn’t it just an extension of rape culture? Women could seek redress for sexual exploitation without being criminalized for their work.

how do people expect to help sex workers if they won’t acknowledge that the problems in the sex industry didn’t begin with it, aren’t confined within its borders, and would continue if it was gone.

men rape, abuse, and murder women who aren’t sex workers.  family members rape and abuse other family members.

in the feminist framework seems like the very fact of sex/sexualized services for money is the real assault.  Trying to get politicians and legislators to focus on taking rape and sexual abuse seriously isn’t a realistic goal!  A better goal is just making sex work illegal.  And that suits politicians just fine, it leaves the actual issue of rape culture untouched.

I don’t understand how focusing on sex work as labour—how seeing that there is actually a difference between sex work (which is labour and sex workers deserve workers rights and human rights) and rape and exploitation. A woman who is being raped is being raped. That’s not sex work.  Sex workers don’t want to protect people who are profiting off rape. Like am I saying it clear enough?  You don’t need to criminalize sex work to punish people who rape women and or profit from the rape of women/children.

If sex work was treated as work we could focus on the people exploiting us and stop it.  If rape were taken seriously anyone who was assaulted could seek redress, whether they were a sex worker or a teenager running away from home. Those two goals aren’t incompatible and they seem a hell of a lot more reasonable and functional to me than banning sex work and punishing anyone who comes near the industry.

What India’s sex workers want

Other organizations have sought to alter or restrict programs dealing with sex worker communities: for example, an established NGO might cut resources for an affiliated sex worker health project. Or a small grassroots grantee might refrain from publicizing sex worker condom-distribution programs. Overall, researchers found, groups felt pressured to limit programs that might be viewed as supportive of sex work, even as sex workers continued to suffer some of the worst effects of the epidemic.

While the court ruling has spared U.S.-based groups from these restrictions, non-U.S. grassroots groups like SANGRAM are still subject to PEPFAR’s moralistic anti-prostitution dictates. Across the Global South, the politics of PEPFAR ironically feeds into the same structural barriers thatput sex workers at risk of AIDS and other social threats. By marginalizing an “underground” labor force, the humanitarian aid system perpetuates the social disenfranchisement of sex worker communities, exposing them not only to disease risks, but also a culture of discrimination and oppression. 

What India’s Sex Workers Want: Power, Not Rescue

Why, Gloria, why

safety and education workers, coerce, kidnap and rape women than it is to believe that marginalized women with little political power might gather together to share health and safety information?

and if it is your preference to believe the former, still, how is taking condoms and sexual health information away a solution to problems of coercion and sexual abuse?

Rape: bad even when it happens to sex workers

I hate how the conversation has been hijacked by the trafficking framework, as if the sex industry has become the only place where men rape, abuse, and exploit women and children.  As if all those things will stop once sex work has been made illegal.

As if they couldn’t be just as well (or better!) addressed by a concerted effort to make rape and assault illegal so that when these things happened anywhere, including within the sex industry, there would be legal protections for victims, and repercussions and punishment for the abusers.  Like why is that so unrealistic? So a woman could be like “This john raped me/my boyfriend is abusive and is basically a pimp and he takes my money” or “I was raped on set” because the problem, RIGHT? is rape and assault?  The two go hand in hand, like if as much energy was poured into ending rape culture as into ending trafficking, which after all isn’t it just an extension of rape culture? Women could seek redress for sexual exploitation without being criminalized for their work.

how do people expect to help sex workers if they won’t acknowledge that the problems in the sex industry didn’t begin with it, aren’t confined within its borders, and would continue if it was gone.

men rape, abuse, and murder women who aren’t sex workers.  family members rape and abuse other family members and this has nothing to do with the sex industry.

Why can’t people just say they want to stop rape and sexual exploitation in all forms and all areas? why limit it to the sex industry?

in the feminist framework seems like the very fact of sex/sexualized services for money is the real assault.  Trying to get politicians and legislators to focus on taking rape and sexual abuse seriously isn’t a realistic goal!  A better goal is just making sex work illegal.  And that suits politicians just fine, it leaves the actual issue of rape culture untouched.

Like am I being kneejerk and crazy here?  I just don’t understand how focusing on sex work as labour—how seeing that there is actually a difference between sex work (which is labour and sex workers deserve workers rights and human rights) and rape and exploitation. A woman who is being raped is being raped. That’s not sex work.  Sex workers don’t want to protect people who are profiting off rape. Like am I saying it clear enough?  You don’t need to criminalize sex work to punish people who rape women and or profit from the rape of women/children.

If sex work was treated as work we could focus on the people exploiting us and stop it.  If rape were taken seriously anyone who was assaulted could seek redress, whether they were a sex worker or a teenager running away from home. Those two goals aren’t incompatible and they seem a hell of a lot more reasonable and functional to me than banning sex work and punishing anyone who comes near the industry.

white western feminism

In the open discussion that followed Ms Steinem’s presentation, there were several participants who agreed with her positions. However, others pointed out that there were certain simplistic assumptions involved. For instance, Ms Steinem and Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap refuse to recognize that unionized sex workers are voicing their own opinions—these women are dismissed as puppets of pimps and brothel owners—a gross simplification in view of the sheer numbers of women across the country who have unionised in a bid to claim human rights and dignity.

Other voices of dissent pointed out to the need to look at issues of poverty and labour in general, and locate sex work within that context, and/ or within a larger context of violence rather than homogenise all prostitutes/ sex workers. While side-stepping rather than engaging with these questions, one of Ms Steinem’s responses was that she would not mind if prostitutes, as she chooses to designate all sex workers, paid income tax—at the same time she advocated a strategy of penalizing but not criminalizing the client—how these were to be achieved remained unclear.

Dr Kumkum Roy is Director of the Women’s Studies Programme at the JNU