Saturday, October 5, 2013

Feminists vs. Sex Workers

Aside from the usual "Fuck Atheism+" uproar, my Twitter feed has been a-buzz with more cyber-warfare raging between two very different opponents: Self-described New Feminists attacking self-identified Sex Workers (and for the sake of this blog post, I'm including strippers, web-cammers, prostitutes and porn actors in my definition of "Sex Workers") because NFs think that all SWs are either unwary and unwilling people who are being exploited or simply must be out there waiting for their next paying client willing to participate in "destroying women..." where-as the SWs claim a distinct difference between human trafficking versus legitimate sex-work (the biggest difference, obviously, being the ability to consent to have sex with clients) and many also feel betrayed by NFs for lack of support, even though many of them are also women themselves.

Pretty Woman was a terrible fucking movie, anyway. 

I wasn't alive during the original Feminist Movement of the 1970's, but my mother was: I don't think she invested a whole lot into the idea back in those days, being a recent newly-wed and a semi-devout Catholic (and it shows, even today.) There's no reasonable way that Gloria Steinem could POSSIBLY have anticipated the needs, or even the possibility in a few cases, of transgender women publicly speaking out against violence and bigotry toward them, women in the military & the ongoing Military Rape Crisis, or even the persistent lack of women in science. Her writings and activism got one Hell of a ball rolling, but Feminism as a philosophy has one serious Achilles Heel: Aside from better life and equal opportunities for all women everywhere, which are certainly nothing to look-down-your-nose-at and I would completely agree with, there are no solidifying foundations or rules.

Essentially, if you're down with giving women a fair chance at life and prosperity, you're considered a Feminist: Which is great, on the whole, but consider this...

Is it somehow completely impossible that a woman, or even a man since we're discussing equality in general, might actually WANT to get naked or otherwise use their bodies sexually to earn their living? Surely not EVERY stripper on the pole at your friendly neighborhood titty-bar comes from a broken home or otherwise "just paying for college," is the idea of ANYONE embracing their sexual identity AND making a living from it just that outlandish that it simply doesn't happen? Certainly, if we're talking about a better life and better opportunities for people than we can't rightly leave consenting and aware Sex Workers out of that picture or else what kind of "Feminist" could one possibly hope to be?

The supreme irony of New Feminism's objections to Sex Work is that these are the very same people that can't bare the thought of Republican Congressmen/Senators legislating their bodies on their behalf, and yet here they go on trying to invalidate the needs and concerns of their "Sisters on the Streets" by doing THE EXACT SAME THING. Who is ANYONE, male or female, to tell another grown adult what they can and can't do with their own body in any capacity whatsoever? How does any organization or ideal based on empowering human beings & breaking free of gender oppression have ANY RIGHT WHATSOEVER to tell other consenting adults that being happy enough with your body to use it for your job is morally wrong or in any way deplorable?

"If you want it you're going to pay up front for it, we're going to lay down some ground-rules and NO MEANS NO" When put in terms as straightforward as these, I am hard pressed to think of a more "Feminist Occupation" than PROSTITUTION.

I've had a few conversations, mostly via the internet, with a few people claiming to be SWs: I'm not going to drop names or locations, not only to be respectful of the people I spoke to, but also because they didn't give me any. Many of those, surprise-surprise, actually enjoy what they do and regulate their own circumstances as best they can. From what I've gathered from talking to them, these are not people who were smuggled into the US in the hull of a cargo ship and sold to the Mafia, these are natural-born US Citizens (and one Canadian) who charge an up-front fee for their "services" and don't take shit from shady prospects.

These are not scared or dirty "Broken Dolls" in slums & street-corners, these are flesh and blood human beings with active social lives and a very interesting outlook on life: THEY own their bodies, not their customers. THEY draw the lines and call the shots in any given "session" and not some pimp looking to make a buck off of other peoples' hard work. Shit, I can't dance worth piss regardless of how many drinks I've had, I'm not ashamed to admit that I envy a stripper's ability to not only expose herself semi-publicly but to climb up a shiny steel pole without help (I've tried, I can't do it, even when I DIDN'T have herniated disks in my spine, that's a NO-GO for me. But I won't stop someone who honestly wants to...)

An argument I recently heard against legalizing prostitution was that "it's rarely anyone's  first choice of work." Before I joined the Army I was a JANITOR for many years! That job isn't ANYONE'S' first choice!

The lives of these SWs isn't all Kinky Boots and shiny steel poles, BECAUSE certain aspects of their chosen profession is still illegal in much of the United States, they face very real dangers at the mercy of the public: SWs are unable to report incidents of assault, rape, murder or pretty much anything else. Unless they have a solid network of amazing friends, or so happen to be Ju-juitsu Masters as well, they have little to no recourse if someone hurts them: This happens to them ALL OF THE TIME, and they get next to ZERO SUPPORT from so-called "New Feminists."

So until you're actually willing to see the other side of the $2 Bill, regardless of where it came from, NFs can shut their lying cock-holsters about better opportunities for women everywhere if that includes leaving SWs in a bad way. I'm not interested in Sex Work, that's just not for me, but I will never put down another human being for using their own body to earn their living how they see fit & without hurting anyone else.

MASSAGE THERAPISTS "use their bodies to earn a living," the same with UFC Fighters and Broadway Dancers: No one is arresting THEM (well, not for THAT, at least...) 

Be respectful to SWs, for they are ALSO human beings.

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