Monthly Archives: July 2011

Anti-Porn Feminist Survey

An interesting question was posed on The F Word. K asks, “I’m wondering though, what do feminists want out of the porn critique. I realise that feminism is not a wholly cohesive unit with a single direction, but still… what’s an approximate or rough kinda outcome you would like to see?”

This got me thinking. There are differences of opinion even in the anti-porn movement. What are the lowest common denominators that unite us?  These would probably be most representative of the views of the majority of women, women unfamiliar with feminism.  Additionally, is anything less than total liberation unacceptable, or is there a bare minimum that you would be willing to compromise for? So, I made a short survey to help answer these questions.

1.) What constitutes pornography?

2.) What is your ideal outcome of anti-porn feminism? How would porn change, would only softcore (Playboy, etc.) porn be acceptable, or would there be any porn at all?

3.) Do you distinguish porn from “erotica”? If so, what constitutes erotica, and would this still exist?

4.) How far are you willing to compromise (at least for the time being) to get rid of the worst elements of porn, or do you think compromise is unacceptable? Where do you draw the line?

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That’s not feminism – Part 1

I stumbled upon a new article at Newsweek about prostitution. The article is written from an abolitionist perspective, but there are no mindblowing revelations to be had for anyone well versed in this kind of debate. What prompted this post is not the article itself, but the comments. As usual, they’re a treasure trove of examples of why “sex-positive feminists” ideas are so unfortunately not feminist.

This is awful – squeezing dubious facts into bad conclusions. You ought to be ashamed, for conclusion which emerges from malice and contempt bear those ills and spread worse moral degradation than lonely people seeking company ever could. Don’t you know Anything about youself? Newsweek should be ashamed to publish this- Unbelievable Ameican garbage. – Robert Macrae

Well, gee, it sounds so innocent when you put it like that! What about this guy, Robert? “The window did not open, and the room was very warm, and Amanda got an attitude about how much I was sweating. I wanted to drive my c*** down her throat until she gagged on it, but she insisted on doing it her way . . . Certainly not the experience I had been anticipating, as I have met with some very charming and accommodating Czech and Slovakian ladies who have gagged and slurped on my c***” Just a poor, lonely fellow?

I have been working on these issues for almost twenty years. I believe Ms. Farley’s alleged findings about johns are nothing but manipulated data. Newsweek made things worse by the dismissive way they treated people such as Tracy Quan and Melissa Ditmore. I have been communicating with these two bright and courageous women for many years. They are credible sources of information. Farley is not. The fact that Ms. Quan can recall a bad experience with a john creates no support for Farley’s generalizations. Someone who does another person harm needs to be held accountable.  

In Hawaii we had defacto legalization of prostitution from 1932 to 1944 with regulated brothels in the Chinatown area. Military personal lined up every morning to receive sexual services. A large portion of all the men who served and died in the Pacific during the war may have been customers. Are we supposed to believe that they were men who wanted to degrade and humiliate women? In 1942 prostitutes went on strike against the repressive regulations the police department had established for the brothels. After three weeks and with pressure from the military authorities the police acquiesced to most of the worker demands and the strike was settled. Do slaves go on strike? The fact that some women may experience slave like conditions in prostitution is no more an argument for the suppression of that industry than suppressing the cotton industry would have been to end slavery in the antebellum south. In every other industry where abuse occurs the fight has been for labor rights. It is this fight being waged by Quan, Ditmore, and thousands of sex workers internationally that has been treated with dismissal by the Newsweek story.  -Tracy Ryan

Because being a soldier means you can’t be a misogynist?? This argument is pathetic and basically amounts to, “If you’re against prostitution, you’re unpatriotic!” And surprise, the male commentators arguing in favor of prostitution chime in with stories of their fathers’ prostitution escapades while at war. “Hookset” contributes this almost adorable passage: Well, can definately say, my Dad did the same thing while in Vietnam. I’m sure large percentages have done the same thing to find comfort during the greatest horrors of their lives. Our govenment knew about these things, they knew it was good for the men. The same government that refuses to let it be legal here in the states. Ironic yes. What’s even more even more shameful is that women’s right advocacy groups would rather keep it illegal with no way to stop the problem. There solution is men should just stop doing what there doing. Why? Because if they accept legality then women are now doing a profession they feel “degrades” all women and doesn’t meet there agenda’s. Instead, they fight to keep it illegal. One man below said something amazing by proposing Labor Unions which would absolutely improve things and stamp out the problems with trafficking. They refuse to believe that an honest man like me exists and that I would do everyting in my power to stop trafficking if I ever saw it and had no legal percussions by reporting it. Thank god for our Vets, to bad some groups don’t show them the proper respect.

Sounds like SUCH a nice guy, right? If this is representative of the average john, I might have to change mind on some things….wait!

Everything in this article is exactly what I saw and experienced during my 13 yrs of being forced into prostitution by a pimp (of course at the time I perceived him to be my boyfriend/father of my children.) I am shocked that the writer of this article was able to dig up these truths. What man would be willing to admit these things about themselves? I am very happy that they are speaking. Until we can understand what drives these men to buy sex will we ever be able to find a solution for human trafficking. I’ve always thought more effort needs to be put on the buyer to understand what goes through their mind and what drives them to think the way they do. Hell….. They have a pill for depression, why not a pill to make men act morally right. (Ok, maybe too much to ask for). Kudos to the writer of this article. I appreciate greatly that you wrote this story and are taking the time to dig up the truth. It’s not ok to buy another human being. Stand Up for what’s moral and right. – Wendy Barnes

Here’s the deal though, not one man would ever support human trafficking. We oppose more than anything else!! This article is completely slanted towards Women’s Equality groups trying to bash men as a whole. We all know the problems in this industry and we know that the biggest is it’s not legalized and kept on the black market for foul play like you’ve unfortunately experienced. They don’t get the solution is to legalize and control it and want to do nothing but keep it illegal. They are offering no solution at all other than saying men should change their way which is complete “garbage”. Men would protect and make this industry safer than it’s ever been if it wasn’t for the hard liners using your “plight” as the propaganda to gain equality. Go through posts below and you will many other workers who are here by choice and are not “exploited” one bit. Trust me, you’ll get more sympathy from me than these crass ladies below and who wrote this article. – Hookset

I know that a lot of johns are delusional, but this is an eye opener.

…will be continued in part 2 ASAP!


Stalemate

I’ve been thinking recently about how I can be an ally to sex workers while simultaneously advocating the dismantling of the prostitution industry. Chiefly, is that even possible? So far, I have not received an answer to either of these questions. It disturbs me to think that I’d be at odds with the women in the industry, women who are vulnerable enough as it is. While I haven’t seen this topic elaborated on, I assume this alliance would still entail advocating for legalization of prostitution. Unfortunately, that is something I absolutely cannot and will not do, for one very obvious reason. Legalization will inevitably lead to growth of the prostitution industry, and along with it, human trafficking. That should not be an acceptable price to anyone who calls themselves a feminist. The end.