A friendly blog where feminists and their male allies can come together and discuss methods, tactics, and strategies for use in toppling White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.

7.31.2006

The Pornstitution Wars- Brief Blip

Alright, y'all. I'm working on something more comprehensive for this topic.

But I did want to update those of y'all not following the debates, the folks who know me personally who don't have blogs, that sorta thing. Because the rest of y'all on my blogroll already know what's going on.

For me it started with 90%, over yonder at The Den of the Biting Beaver, and I just kinda treaded from there to Witchy-Woo's place At the Foot of Her Stairs, and on backwards to all the other stuff that got referenced, which in my stumblings and scurryings was this post on Alas- A Blog, which truly made me think that my head was gonna explode, well-intentioned as it might have been. Etc. and so forth. But if you haven't been keeping up one way or another, please go to these places and follow these threads and read up. Please.
Debate, argument, whateveryouwannacall it, it all has to do with fuck-me "feminism" and it's infiltration and divison of the feminist movement. And this is more than just a debate, y'all. This is a real itchy ISSUE. There's more than just differences of opinion at stake here. Differences that could lead to actions that could make or break the final outcomes for our movement, IMHO. This ongoing discussion's very important, and it's made some wierd shit kinda click together in my head.

Expect a big, blathering rant about it here within the next three days. Still putting the shit together.

13 comments:

CoolAunt said...

I've been trying to follow the discussions or disagreements or whatever they should be called but I haven't chimed in much because I'm still working my Feminism 101 course AND I don't have the gift with words that most all of you possess. But, I'll give it a shot tomorrow. (I'll be sure to carry extra socks in case I put my foot in my mouth.)

By the way, after the initial reaction from not seeing it in print often, I grew to like your usage of foul language, cussing, cursing, whatever you want to call it. As a foul mouth from way back, I can see that you use your fucks, shits and bullshits appropriately, not all willy-nilly like a novice does. :)

GW

Y. Carrington said...

Elaina,

Lord, you just don't know the half. I think I'm the only radical woman of color I know who is staunchly against the sex industry (most mainstream WOC are against the sex industry too, of course, but many "feminist" WOC claim unqualified "support" for sex work and sex workers). Uh, newsflash: Why don't folks understand that the interests of sex workers and the sex industry are directly opposed to each other?

Misogyny Fact #1: The sex industry cannot exist without the sexual and economic domination of females, because it needs a ready class of women who CANNOT say no to exploitation. Therefore, it IS NOT in the interest of the sex industry to end female poverty, rape, child sex abuse, and domestic violence. If these atrocities end, the sex industry dies.

More infuriating than either the accusations of "prudishness" or of being in collusion with the right wing, is the underlying contempt for rank-and-file women and girls that lurks behind the assertions of sex industry apologists. (Not to mention the liberal-Eurocentric assumptions of equality and "choice," but that's another part of the story.) More than one "pro-sex radical" has stated that men "need" sex workers to do what wives and girlfriends won't. Oh, okay...so men need sexual release because the shrews in their lives won't give it up like they should. Where have we heard that one before?

delphyne said...

"Differences that could lead to actions that could make or break the final outcomes for our movement, IMHO."

Exactly. Sex-positive feminists support the legalisation of pimps and johns and we know what that means for women in prostitution. There's no way we can have a truce on this. This issue is much more important than whether it causes feminists to disagreements.

alyx said...

Yolanda hit the nail on the head.

It also frustrates me how getting an answer out of people with pro-prostitution leanings is like pulling teeth. They never answer the questions you pose in earnest, instead evading them with a dismissive wave and a "that's boring."

Not that they really think it's boring, 'course. Just that questioning prostitution's etiology leads people to discover the truth: Prostitution exploits women through their sex, because of their sex.
It's that simple.

Look forward to your future posts, Elaina. :)

spotted elephant said...

Elaina-The quote delphyne put up-it's so perfectly to the point, and the reason why all of this matters.

The two sides can't just ignore each other. I've been reading some sex pos blogs, trying to see their perspective and start a conversation, and it just isn't happening. It's so much easier to just attack the prudish radfems and laugh at us.

Yolanda, Whew! That comment should be a post!

Sam said...

I keep checking back for this eagerly awaited post we've been promised and trying not to wet myself in anticipation.

alyx wrote: "Not that they really think it's boring, 'course. Just that questioning prostitution's etiology leads people to discover the truth"

It is frustrating, but then their selective aphasia reveals a lot about their inability to look in the face the crap spewing from their uninformed mouths.

I thought the pro-prostitution woman who defended pornography by suggesting pictures of vulvas in Cosmopolitan created the demand for labioplasty was as beyond the pale as it gets, but the recent-heard assumption that if men just had easy access to all the prostitutes they wanted they'd get bored with them and stop (ab)using them takes the cake. We've tried that all-the whores-men-can-afford experiment for the past few thousand years and it hasn't gone well for womenkind, so I think it's time for a new strategy of actually denying men their favorite toys if they can't stop intentionally breaking them.

TNTrash said...

Yeah. Work has me bogged down. And I'm having creative crampage. Sorry 'bout the delay, folks. Don't wet yerselves.

antiprincess said...

It's so much easier to just attack the prudish radfems and laugh at us.

it's also much easier to slag on the crap-spewing uninformed fuck-me "feminists". if the appropriate footwear fits...

But good for you, SE, for trying.

I have to say - the 90% argument, the argument that should convince me if nothing else does, doesn't sway me as much as maybe it should. It seems a little hollow to me - if the numbers were reversed, and 90% of prostitutes were satisfied being prostitutes, would y'all let the remaining 10% swing in the wind?

Sam said...

antiprincess, what you seem to be missing is that radical feminists are trying every way they can to refocus energies and attentions to the problems of men hurting sex working women while most fuckme feminists are trying every way they can to refocus the prostitution debate almost entirely off prostitution itself and make it one of the problems of radical feminists. So you see us saying, "This inability to get pro-pornstitution feminists like Amanda to even talk about men's roles in prostitution is maddening" and interpret that as "Radfems are always hatin' on sex-positives" with an unsubtle touch of "radfems don't care about minority populations and slavishly follow majorities" tossed in.

More of my thoughts on this can be read on the recent Alas thread, because this pattern of radfem attempts to make the prostitution debate about men who (ab)use prostitutes being actively thwarted by fuckme feminists who insist on men's right to prostituted sex on demand while accepting big kickbacks from the pornstitute-using men's world is a major roadblock in helping prostituted women.

Witness how your own post displays this pattern in all its woman-blaming, tragic glory. You avoided discussing prostitution itself in favor of musing if we ideological puritan anti-sex do-gooder radfems would say "fuck you" to sexual slaves if they were only 10% of prostitutes instead of 90%.

"if the numbers were reversed, and 90% of prostitutes were satisfied being prostitutes, would y'all let the remaining 10% swing in the wind?

As an Official Representative from the ideological puritan anti-sex do-gooder camp, let me answer your facetious allusion to radfems ignoring women serially raped for men's profit and pleasure based on some cold and calculated statistical exercise with a reminder that radical feminism has historically been the branch of feminism most concerned with stopping men's violence against women. Opposing pornstitution and trafficking are just the latest incarnations of the staunch anti-violence political history of radical feminism.

jo said...

Deadbeat, posting that same comment on two different blogs (that I know of - there's one on "meanfeminism") isn't going to make it any more comprehensible.

TNTrash said...

Jeez, given my lack of activity this week on my blog I'm surprised that that nazi douchebag made it over here. Oh well.

Trolls are idiots.

Y. Carrington said...

Hey folks,

I must disown a portion of the comment I left here a couple of weeks ago. I'll be blunt: The assumptions I made about women of color and their perspectives on the sex industry were racist, racist as holy hell. I offer the passage again for those who are unfamiliar:

"I think I'm the only radical woman of color I know who is staunchly against the sex industry (most mainstream WOC are against the sex industry too, of course, but many "feminist" WOC claim unqualified "support" for sex work and sex workers)."

Everytime I think about this passage, I cringe. I've been turning it over and over in my mind, nauseated by the arrogance and ignorance embedded in it. Lurking within these words I wrote are some damn tough contradictions about feminism, women, and racism---contradictions that I've been struggling to comprehend ever since. When I can finally eek some sense out of this shit, I'll let you know.

Jesus Christ.

Yolanda

TNTrash said...

Yo-

I'm glad you finally said that. Audrey Lorde immediately popped into my head when I read your comment.

The critiques I've read by women of color of radical feminism seem to be more an attack on the "ivory tower" nature of it; of it's squandering into the halls of *pretty much white* academia, and the focus of the critiques don't seem to be as narrowed in on the general criticism of the porno/sex industry. bell hooks comes to mind as one feminist theorist of color who has at some point come out against the antiporn stance; but I could be wrong. Any suggested reading?

Love ya!
Elaina