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Thread: The Feminist Thread

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    The Feminist Thread

    Welcome! This is a space for discussing and promoting awareness of issues pertaining to feminism

    Why feminism? EverydayFeminism (imho) nails addressing why feminism matters here. There are also a ton of great introductory articles for anyone looking to learn more!

    Let's start with something fun:

    This is glorious.

    Women are live-tweeting their periods at Donald Trump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by playwithfire View Post
    Let's start with something fun:

    This is glorious.

    Women are live-tweeting their periods at Donald Trump.

    LOL, that's friggin' hilarious. And awesome.

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    I just love this interview with Gloria Steinem:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njOFwIpdq7I

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    SHE'S EIGHTY!? Those genes.

    Steinem is a fucking icon and this interview is fucking amazing. So, so good.

    That said, seeing she was a part of the letter speaking out against Amnesty International's proposal to decriminalize sex work hurt. Precisely because I do look up to her so much. Just a continued lesson in truly great people still being wrong sometimes.
    Last edited by playwithfire; 08-10-2015 at 09:58 PM.

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    Yes, but her reasons behind that are very good reasons from the feminist perspective, considering the abuse involved in a lot of the sex trade, particularly women and girls who are forced into the situation due to abject poverty or were born into the system. She has written some very good essays on the topic. Here is a good article about that, and about this article promoting the Nordic system. That letter was against the decriminalization of the entire sex trade, including pimps and johns; Steinem prefer decriminalizing the prostitutes, only (Nordic system).

    I thought this is a very good article.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-10-2015 at 10:45 PM.

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    I met Gloria Steinem around 2008. She was very cool. She's a family friend to a couple who we're friends with, and Steinem participated in the ceremony of their wedding in upstate New York.

    In other news, a shit story: I left a job at a software company back in April at which I worked with one main client (another large company that used our software). I'd worked with many people at that client company for several years and had a good working relationship. When I left, a woman was hired to take my place; she started working with the same people at that client company. And one of them, a couple of months in, thought it would be a good idea to sexually harass the woman who filled my position.

    The IT world is a male-dominated one, but I was still shocked and revolted when I heard this. I was earning a living, developing professional relationships, enjoying a really good job, but as soon as a woman took it over some fuckhead comes on to her. I've been replaying all my interactions with the perpetrator, looking in hindsight for behaviours that were inappropriate, that I could have called him on, when I was working there. And I can't remember any. It's like there was just a switch that went off in his head that told him, "She's a woman, so this is now an appropriate way to act."

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    Jesus, that's disconcerting.


    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Yes, but her reasons behind that are very good reasons from the feminist perspective, considering the abuse involved in a lot of the sex trade, particularly women and girls who are forced into the situation due to abject poverty or were born into the system. She has written some very good essays on the topic. Here is a good article about that, and about this article promoting the Nordic system. That letter was against the decriminalization of the entire sex trade, including pimps and johns; Steinem prefer decriminalizing the prostitutes, only (Nordic system).

    I thought this is a very good article.
    Thanks for the links!

    I think this is a thing where a lot of feminists' viewpoints split. I don't think it's a morality thing (though I think it is for some). I think that some feminists view the mainstream sex industry (including porn and the like) as bad for women (to MASSIVELY oversimplify), and that some of us are pro-consensual sex work. I think sex work between content and consenting adults is just fine. I sincerely think it can be a good thing. I think porn is often great. Obviously there are a ton of layers to that, but I just completely disagree that decriminalizing sex work (in the United States especially) will cause more harm to women, and I'm listening to the voices of sex workers. We need legislate to protect sex workers, but criminalizing what they do (criminalizing their customers or places of work) isn't the way to do that. Reading Steinem's thoughts on it was great.

    I think the route to take here isn't to criminalize brothels or buying sex or anything like that, I think it's to *legalize* and create laws to *protect* sex workers. I'm quoting here, but: Criminalize slavery and abuse in all industries. Decriminalize sex work. Trafficking is a problem across many industries.

    Reading that letter, clearly people's hearts are in the right place. I think this is a situation where everyone has good intentions, but I disagree, and I've been listening to the sex workers. I hear the argument of "Which sex workers am I listening to?" but a ton of sex workers have been speaking out about this. I do know there are a lot of oppressed voices that don't have access to Twitter.

    Content warning for sexual assault: Amnesty International And The Decriminalization Of Consenting Sex Work

    What's the right way to protect sex workers?

    Also! Different subject but also about sex work:

    This is a GREAT article about why sex workers should have access to PrEP: Why Isn't A Revolutionary HIV Medication Getting To Sex Workers?
    Last edited by playwithfire; 08-11-2015 at 05:30 AM.

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    @playwithfire do you follow Melissa Gira on twitter? This is a good interview with her about sex workers as someone who has been one herself. Like you said, I'm sure detractors of the AI proposal have good intentions but you have to look at who are primarily targeted by police and they are women of color and LGBTQ, especially when you factor in policy like Stop and Frisk, where women-who aren't even sex workers-have been arrested for solicitation by NYPD for simply sitting on their stoop or having a condom on them when frisked. (The last bit being illegal but when has NYPD ever followed their own rules?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by playwithfire View Post
    Obviously there are a ton of layers to that, but I just completely disagree that decriminalizing sex work (in the United States especially) will cause more harm to women, and I'm listening to the voices of sex workers. We need legislate to protect sex workers, but criminalizing what they do (criminalizing their customers or places of work) isn't the way to do that. Reading Steinem's thoughts on it was great.

    I think the route to take here isn't to criminalize brothels or buying sex or anything like that, I think it's to *legalize* and create laws to *protect* sex workers. I'm quoting here, but: Criminalize slavery and abuse in all industries. Decriminalize sex work. Trafficking is a problem across many industries.
    There has been a recurring discussion in France (and Europe in general) about sex work, especially prostitution, and indeed the most vocal and intelligent voices against were feminist ones, arguing against the exploitation of women, and putting women's lives at risk.
    Now, there is indeed a lot of exploitation in this "industry" around here. Between the Shengen agreement, the refugees and the illegal immigration, a lot of women are simply shipped in France for the sole purpose of prostitution, and the way things are there is no way to guarantee their safety, or even to make sure the have a choice in the matter.

    But I think banning isn't the solution either. It needs a legal and structural oversight. Obviously, a government still reluctant to de-criminalize the consumption of cannabis isn't any close to endorse and protect prostitution, so that's not going to happen any time soon, but I think in this case feminist voices would have a tremendous weight if they decided to fight for this.

    Legalizing prostitution, especially in a traditionally socialist country, would go a long way to protect the women willing to work in that field. There's a stigma attached to sex work of any kind, which is extremely dangerous because the women and men associated with that are treated as disposable and fundamentally lost. Governmental recognition and oversight would be a huge step to correct that, I believe. They wouldn't be as respected as a banker or a dentist obviously, we still have a fucked up, neurotic attitude towards sex where we are utterly fascinated and obsessed with it yet extremely aggressive towards any person openly dealing with it. But still, it would really help the men and women involved.

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    Former sex workers were involved with that letter to Amnesty and signed the letter so I guess there are opinions on both sides of the fence re that issue.
    @Khrz , if you read the above blog post, she addresses the "fucked-up neurotic sex attitude" stance very well, I think.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-11-2015 at 06:57 AM.

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    Just to be clear here, I'll re-quote myself : "the most vocal and intelligent voices against were feminist ones".

    Now I probably phrased that wrong to begin with. I mean that those who had the most impact on me were the feminist ones, because their arguments went far and beyond the whole "family values / moral pseudo-high ground" rhetoric.

    If I understood that letter well, it's a protest against the decriminalization of sex work as is. Obviously you can't do that, that's not what I had in m
    ind at all when I mentioned it. The core activity would remain, maybe even give the sex workers psychology courses and give them a whole array of social skills and turn prostitution into a form of companionship for hire. Also, no private contractors, not without a huge governmental oversight. I completely agree with that letter, you can't turn pimps into businessmen, at least not without a huge set of rules and regulations, which would have to be seriously and constantly enforced.

    Fundamentally, turn the whole activity into an extreme form of social work, with all the regulations and boundaries that apply in such activities. I'm probably naive, but half the activity of prostitution amounts to social work to me. People who can't find companionship, who have nobody in their lives or who, for a reason or an other, can't find anyone to listen and care for them, even for an hour.

    Legalizing prostitution as it is would amount to turning a blind eye at what happens, wash your hands and grab the tax cash, in effect turning the government into nothing more than an over-procurer. Obviously it doesn't work, and you can't half-ass that situation like this. I'm terrified at the prospect, it's a terrible implementation and a stupid lack of foresight. You wouldn't legalize cannabis like that, you set up rules, you put steps in place to reduce the risks of corruption and workarounds to a minimum, and you cut the dealers from the equation. How one would imagine that you can just say prostitution is legal the way it works today is just baffling to me, obviously you can't and shouldn't do that !

    That's really a difficult topic. On one hand, criminalizing sex work only forces the "providers" to go underground, because obviously prostitution isn't going anywhere. You're only making it more expensive/lucrative and dangerous for the persons involved. If no one can mention it, you just can't know what's happening, simple as that. But on the other hand I actually can't imagine how to legalize it 100% safely. I still think forcing a governmental oversight and putting it in legal boundaries is better than nothing. A government endorsing prostitution is forced to deal with the associated problems, which in my mind is still better than ignoring it entirely and blaming everyone involved.


    Edit : I'm still reading the blog post you linked, sorry I'm slow, but it's interesting, I'll reflect upon that.
    Last edited by Khrz; 08-11-2015 at 07:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khrz View Post
    Fundamentally, turn the whole activity into an extreme form of social work, with all the regulations and boundaries that apply in such activities. I'm probably naive, but half the activity of prostitution amounts to social work to me. People who can't find companionship, who have nobody in their lives or who, for a reason or an other, can't find anyone to listen and care for them, even for an hour.
    I think half is really really optimistic; Steinem has often quoted statistics about the horrible increase in physical violence directed toward women, especially in the U.S. but all over the world, and this is particularly evident in the sex trade. See this article.

    Studies have shown that the majority of the customers aren't there for a companion; they're often violent. For the most part, this isn't some high-class call-girl version of Pretty Woman. They get beat up. A lot. Especially if they're trans.

    A lot of them are homeless teens who have no other choice.

    It's sad that our social programs are so lacking, or that our society is so stupid and uncaring, that people are forced into such degrading circumstances. I've been watching that show "I am Cait," and several of the trans women that Cait talks to at the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco told stories of having to resort to sex work because they lost their jobs because they were trans and they couldn't find another job and they had to survive, and several were severely beaten. One woman said she was beaten and then the man drove away but then she heard his car come back and she realized he was coming back to run her over with his car.

    But, not all "sex work" falls under these categories, obviously. There are different levels, and it would be hard to make any kind of one single sweeping legal change that makes any sense from the real feminist perspective (supports choice but also supports oppression and violence against girls and women).

    Quote Originally Posted by Khrz View Post
    Legalizing prostitution as it is would amount to turning a blind eye at what happens, wash your hands and grab the tax cash, in effect turning the government into nothing more than an over-procurer. Obviously it doesn't work, and you can't half-ass that situation like this. I'm terrified at the prospect, it's a terrible implementation and a stupid lack of foresight. You wouldn't legalize cannabis like that, you set up rules, you put steps in place to reduce the risks of corruption and workarounds to a minimum, and you cut the dealers from the equation. How one would imagine that you can just say prostitution is legal the way it works today is just baffling to me, obviously you can't and shouldn't do that !
    Well, exactly, yeah.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-11-2015 at 09:22 AM.

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    Yes, but those are circumstances surrounding the state of sex work as it is right now. Again, I'll easily admit that I may be naive and optimistic, but it doesn't have to be this way.

    I compared it to the legalization of cannabis earlier. Having been in those circles for a few years, there was a lot of violence involved. Dealers getting their clients beat up because they wouldn't pay, conflicts about the fairness of the trades, territorial head-butting... Those circumstances have more to do with the context of the dealings, not with the drug market itself. If there is no grid and if everything is illegal, things will turn this way. Put a legal structure around it, make it safe and socially acceptable and most of it disappears.

    As it is prostitution is more often than not a position you find yourself into, the last dirty net before you fall completely. It's part of those underground, last resort solutions, and as such you find yourself dealing with a very shady population. Due to the illegality of the whole thing it obviously gives room to all sorts of violence, since there is no legal protection against that. To go on with my analogy, a dealer won't go to court because he's been beaten up and robbed. A clerk will.

    There is a real distress from a part of the population, coming for solitude, isolation. I'm not talking about shy guys, I'm talking handicap for instance, invisible people who for a reason or an other won't find anyone to talk to, or to touch. Some go to see prostitutes, some wish they could but won't because of the current context surrounding it. I believe there is a way to offer this, provide a safe environment for the sex workers who are willing to continue on this route and a safe place for the people who seek that kind of intimacy.

    I won't address the trans perspective, because to be honest I've just recently came to terms with that fact. I have never been against it, I was just not getting it. I'm just starting to grasp the concept now, to start to understand the human necessity of it, which I didn't a year ago. Somehow, as progressive as I like to think I am, my naivete made me think you could just accept yourself as you are, which sounds incredibly stupid to me now. But as I said, this step forward is very recent, and I believe I'm still too ignorant to comment on this whole perspective for now.

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    Well, yeah. See also this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khrz View Post
    I compared it to the legalization of cannabis earlier. Having been in those circles for a few years, there was a lot of violence involved. Dealers getting their clients beat up because they wouldn't pay, conflicts about the fairness of the trades, territorial head-butting... Those circumstances have more to do with the context of the dealings, not with the drug market itself. If there is no grid and if everything is illegal, things will turn this way. Put a legal structure around it, make it safe and socially acceptable and most of it disappears.
    Yes, but here in the U.S, in states where pot is legal it's so expensive the underground market still exists because it's cheaper. As is typical, the government fucks things up with overtaxation and overregulation, creating an underground or black market when they had attempted to get rid of it. Insurance doesn't cover medical marijuana because it's still FEDERALLY illegal, so costs are out-of-pocket. But we digress ...

    Re handicapped people, there could be ways to license that professionally. Like sex surrogates, but legally.

    You don't have to understand the trans perspective to understand that they can't find jobs and are being fired and have to resort to prostitution and are being beaten up, right? And there are enough high-paying customers out there who want to have sex with these trans women (and then sometimes beat them up).
    Last edited by allegro; 08-11-2015 at 09:42 AM.

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    Alright, you've made your point. Obviously, legalization hasn't worked so far, and I see how many of the things I've mentioned have been turned around to further the exploitation of the sex workers.

    I still think criminalization isn't doing any good, for obvious reasons. Everyone washes their hands of what happens to the people working under those circumstances, swoop down once in a while, arrest a bunch of sex workers and clients and call it a victory. I know that proposing for things to be "less bad" than worst isn't really offering progress, but it feels clear to me that something has to be done in one direction or the other.

    I won't comment on this any further, as I have nothing to further this topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Re handicapped people, there are actually legal sex workers in this country who are licensed to do that, believe it or not.
    I didn't know that ! Interesting !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khrz View Post
    I didn't know that ! Interesting !
    Well, I changed that quote, because they do have "some" sexual sort of activity but they don't often have actual sex and one link I found quoted an FBI officer said even THAT was technically illegal, although Masters and Johnson used that for years and years, so who knows.

    But we are talking actual real full-on sex, here, not just instructional sex, although you said more like "companionship" so I don't know.

    From the feminist perspective, it's still hard for me to accept that somebody is selling their body when they often really don't want to do that and they have no other choice; and that the real solution is that we should fix society and give them choices, not decriminalize selling their body. It's like if their only choice was having a lion chew off parts of their body at the circus, but that was illegal, so we say, okay, here's a solution: We'll make lions chewing off parts of your body legal! And we'll have doctors on staff to sew up your wounds, and give you healthcare, and the police won't arrest you when lions chew off parts of your body! When, instead, maybe we should help them find a way out of poverty and get them an education and a better career, and give the lions some lion food.

    If we want to have some sort of high-class version of the sex trade that is legal, that's fine; some kind of licensed, college-required or training-required version that is highly regulated with no street-walking or low-class brothels involved where you have a business card, okay. But that doesn't mean poverty-stricken people or teenagers forced into the sex trade who are beaten nearly to death or who are forced to take drugs, etc.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-11-2015 at 10:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    You don't have to understand the trans perspective to understand that they can't find jobs and are being fired and have to resort to prostitution and are being beaten up, right? And there are enough high-paying customers out there who want to have sex with these trans women (and then sometimes beat them up).
    No, of course not, I was just saying that I preferred to avoid commenting on that, I'm afraid I'm too "green" on that topic to avoid saying something grossly insensitive, I'd rather not take that chance as it could be misinterpreted and taken as a solid opinion rather than a simply ignorant one.

    We know full well who the lions are in your analogy. We also know they're not going vegan anytime soon, and to be cynical, we know that if we take the food off of them, they'll start hunting.
    I completely understand your position. I've seen prostitutes take the streets to protest the government cranking up on the criminalization of prostitution, but I'm not naive enough to think those are people who were offered a whole array of career paths and decided to answer the calling of sex work. They will still defend their position if it's threatened.

    I really don't know, as I said earlier I have nothing left to propose. As with many difficult issues, it's a web of economic circumstances, social stigma, ingrained behavior and legal mess. pull a thread and the whole thing becomes a mess of knots.

    God you've got to stop editing your posts a dozen times ahahah
    You definitely described what I have in mind with that last paragraph. Seeing it written like that I understand how it won't fix anything. The underground sex trade will remain there, and nothing will change.
    Last edited by Khrz; 08-11-2015 at 10:27 AM.

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    I think that when people think of "sex work", they often focus on full service sex work. But there are SO MANY JOBS that fall under that category - cam girls, escorts, sugar babies, dancers, pro-dommes, models, actors, etc, etc, etc.

    What happens between consenting adults is their business. I do not believe that victimless crimes should be punished.

    On fetlife, I follow _slut___slut_. She works at the Bunny Ranch, and has really opened up my eyes to a lot of things. I didn't know that words like prostitute and hooker were seen as degrading and dehumanizing to her and other sex workers. So now I try to use "sex worker" in place of all of the other words I used to use. The way that they are regulated to ensure the safety of everyone involved is amazing. She often talks about her story, and I've learned so much from her. I think that just like most things, when something is legalized and regulated, there are few downsides.

    She also posted this quote, which gave me a lot to think about:

    SWERF is an acronym that means ‘sex worker exclusionist radical feminist’ and illustrates the fact that despite their protests, anti sex worker fauxminists actually hate us, including those of us who are forced, coerced and/or trafficked. They hide this behind false statistics and pretending that anyone with a tumblr account is too privileged to have an opinion, but in truth, they just want to silence us and force us out of our jobs.

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    You know, it's funny because I've been to Vegas, seen the Bunny Ranch "menu," seen documentaries about the Bunny Ranch, and most of those workers seem pretty happy about what they do, they're pretty protected there, and that's pretty indicative of what I mean when I said "high class" and when I said "brothel" that is absolutely an exception because that is a high-class version of a brothel. Because you pay a LOT OF MONEY at the Bunny Ranch. They also have a "turnover" there, meaning they usually don't stick around for more than a few years, I guess because the customers want new people after a while, so you make money while you can. But to classify us feminists who don't like sex work when it involves beating people up or children or the only resort with a lack of other options as "radicals" who "hate them" is not accurate, and it's especially weird coming from somebody who works at the high-class Bunny Ranch which is already legal sex work.

    One of my closest friends in the 90s was a dancer who worked for a company in Chicago; she mostly did private parties and she had a closet full of costumes worthy of Vegas, and her specialty was Dom kind of stuff. We once did a trip to the Pleasure Chest so she could buy a paddle for her "show" and the guy behind the counter talked her into the model with holes in it, and I had a worried look on my face and she said, "I don't USE this thing, it's just to scare them!" But she always had a body guard ("Driver") with her for each party -- mostly bachelor parties -- for protection. One dancer went off on her own, without a guard, and she ended up being murdered after a party and it was on the local news. Very scary stuff. Anyway, my friend, in order to supplement her income, got a job in a Dungeon as a Dominatrix. She thought it would be the easiest job in the world, involved zero sex, just verbally abusing the customers, but she was bored out of her skull and they kept wanting to lick all of her custom-made shoes from her costumes (most of them were these Come-Fuck-Me pumps with handcuffs on them, or these thigh-high custom boots) and she didn't want them getting spit all over her boots all the time, so she made a shitload of money for a while but couldn't stand it anymore and quit. But, I didn't think any of this was illegal, since none of it (dancer, Dom) involved any sex at all.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-11-2015 at 11:10 AM.

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    You know, I don't know why this reminds me of this, maybe it's thinking about my old friend the dancer, but it does ...

    Back in the early-90s, I was watching that HBO "Real Sex" show and they had a segment on performance artist Annie Sprinkle and in this segment, in front of a live audience in a club, Annie (who is very funny) takes off her underpants, cranks up her legs, inserts a speculum into her vagina, holds out a flashlight, and invites the audience to come up and inspect her cervix.

    Now, my reaction to this was what surprised me.

    I'm pretty jaded. I thought I'd seen pretty much everything, and I'm pretty open-minded.

    But seeing this elicited this instant RESPONSE wherein I jumped up and ran around the room, kind of helplessly, as if I had been, I dunno, set on fire? I just ran around the room.

    Around and around the room, I couldn't even sit down, yet my eyes were still watching this performance, on-and-off, people lined up with flashlights, to observe Annie's cervix.

    And it got me to thinking: I'd never actually seen my own cervix, let alone someone else's. And here was this brave (?) woman up there on stage, allowing her cervix to be observed, and here are all these (inebriated?) people, waiting in line to shine a flashlight into Annie's vagina to take a gander.

    And it was causing me discomfort like I'd never experienced, before, but in so many ways it was fucking awesome.

    It was, like, the coolest fucking thing I'd ever seen.

    And I went to the office and there was this female attorney who was in her early-30s and was pretty WASPy, her parents were pretty wealthy, but she smoked and so did I at the time, so she'd come over to "our side" of the office to smoke, where we all still smoked cigarettes with wanton abandon, and I said, "hey, I saw this woman on HBO do this thing last night, and it made me jump up and run around the room ..."

    And I reluctantly told her about it, but I felt, for some reason, I had to tell somebody, especially another female. An intelligent female. Who smoked.

    I gingerly waited for her reaction.

    She thought it was fascinating and vowed to look for it on HBO, which she did, and after having seen it she too thought it was awesome.

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    I was a member of Amnesty for over 10 years, I sure hope they have a way to make law enforcement carry that out. We can't even keep cops from shooting people to death in this country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah K View Post
    I didn't know that words like prostitute and hooker were seen as degrading and dehumanizing to her and other sex workers.
    To me a prostitute is someone who offers an actual sexual service for money. I'm all for dropping the term, I don't think it's inherently offensive but I understand that it has lot of baggage attached, and using another term somewhat offers a semblance of clean slate. "Semblance" because at the core, the problem is the perception of that activity, and changing names will only confuse people so far before the new name gets the same stigma, but fair enough.

    "Sex workers" is just too large an umbrella though. Different services come with different parameters and context. Cam girls don't have the same life as prostitutes, they aren't perceived the same even though I know that they have their share of attackers and dangerous creeps, and they don't provide the same service.
    While I don't know of "prostitutes" (for lack of a better, precise term) who chose that path, Cam girls definitely did, sometimes in conjunction with modelling for photographers. Whether this is a career path I don't know, I have no idea how it works legally and financially, but it's certainly something they decided to set up by themselves, and the ones I know don't seem to have chosen this out of desperation.

    So, okay, let's drop "prostitute" to define a person offering a sexual act performed on a client in exchange for currency, but we need new words in exchange, because for example the discussion I was having with @allegro only applied to prostitutes, and not to cam girls. Different context, circumstances etc...

  24. #24
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    I misspoke on that... I asked her about derogatory terms, and this was her response to me:

    Whore, hoe, hooker are all derogatory slurs. Prostitute is a legal term and is used to strip away pur humanity, ie, "local prostitute was found dead" instead of "local woman found murdered" It explicitly implies the illegal nature of most workers jobs. Than you for trying to be aware!
    Then she did a writing on different things related to it a few days ago.

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    Alright, that I can get behind 100%.

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    I think something that bothers me about sex work is the whole "human being as a commodity" aspect. It just rubs me the wrong way. I don't even like the way that this already exists in so many other areas of our society, like in the service industry. Some people go to a restaurant and act so rude and entitled with their server, like they're their slave or something. Fucking hate that shit.

    And in general, I just don't think it's good to view a person as a product. I remember years ago reading through this website for a full service escort agency and there were all these dudes writing their reviews for the different escorts, almost like they were writing an amazon review or something: "She was okay I guess, but I can't say I'd recommend her. She wasn't nearly as enthusiastic as some of the others I've tried and seemed kinda rushed. 2 stars out of 5." I've seen the same thing on cam sites too. That kinda attitude just doesn't sit well with me. There's already such a strong tendency in this society to view women primarily as aesthetic objects and to place them into roles of servitude. Ideally, I'd like to see less of that, and I guess I don't really see how you can avoid that with sex work.

    Of course, I would never advocate arresting/criminalizing sex workers, which is obviously offensive and unethical. I'm just not entirely sure how to reconcile the nature of sex work with a more feminist perspective. Not that I'm an expert on this subject or all the different perspectives that people have on it.

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    @Mantra , you've eloquently stated how I feel on the topic but couldn't quite put into words. Thank you.

    I understand it from an open-minded perspective but it's hard for me to reconcile viewing women as a commodity or a product from a feminist perspective. It just seems, I don't know, counterintuitive, a step backward and just more patriarchy in denial. There's always some fat rich male pimp at the top. I try to see if there is a way to resolve this by involving more intellectual qualities, maybe a college degree, but there just isn't because ultimately it's totally base. It creates this cognitive dissonance for me that I can't reconcile. And then feminists like me tend to get grouped by other feminists into this "rigid prude-y can't get laid hates sex" group, which is false and counterproductive. I am totally into sex-positive feminism but I never understood how this fit into that picture. But this has been going on since the 80s so I pretty much gave up even discussing it, really. If it can be a civilized and intelligent discussion, which we seem to be having here, that's great.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-12-2015 at 11:56 AM.

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    i wish it worked like on firefly, where there are Companions, who are essentially on the highest tier of society, who get to carefully select their clients, and offer an experience that is physical, emotional, and spiritual. and i'm sure there are some sex workers who operate that way, but it's certainly not the majority of them, from what i understand.

    also, i realize it's unlikely that we'll reach a point like that across the board any time soon, but it would be fantastic.

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    The trustees of my charity are in the process of finalising documentation so that we can set up a proper website and start being a proper resource for our beneficiaries.

    Being a charity that tries to encompass alternative lifestyles and the multiplicities of gender and sexuality is hard! We've realised that we have no binary women or transwomen on the board, so are considering consultants. We're divising questionnaires to make sure we can cover our blindspots, and to create safe space policies and guidelines as we grow. So, an organisation that covers drag queens and transpeople, spectrum embracers and the binaries, the gender and the agender, the polyamourous pansexual, asexual, and....all the various intersections when you match that up to people who are fetishists, goths, furries, punks, metalheads, hippies, and cosplayers.

    I am learning a LOT!

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