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!
July 19th, 2011 at 12:55 pm
What about the ones who actually traffic women? Or what about the man below who used an Eastern European woman to “slurp his cock?” Obviously Eastern European women just have this thing for loving to travel the world for servicing men, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with trafficking. Every man who watches porn or uses a prostitute supports trafficking because there is no way of possibly knowing under what circumstances a woman is there.
Also I hate how choice must equal not exploitative. There are women who chose prostitution without force or threat of death because of horrific circumstances including poverty, sexual abuse, drug addiction, etc… Is that not nearly as bad?
I’m glad Newsweek wrote this article, but reading through those comments made me convinced that just about every single person on the planet hates women. For instance nearly every female sex worker to comment talks about how horrific it is and is told she is confused. Then a MALE sex worker comes in and says the article is wrong because HE is a sex worker and HE loves it and has never been abused AS A MAN and is hailed as a hero for exposing the truth about women in prostitution. Disgusting.
July 19th, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Thank you for posting about this article, No Sugarcoating. I have been following the comment section of this article very carefully, and it is absolutely heartbreaking. I know there are more women on our side, but honestly, who wants to share their story on a board like that? The couple women that have done so are incredibly brave.
July 20th, 2011 at 6:39 pm
These comments are STILL driving me effin’ nuts. I hope everyone who liked this article e-mailed Newsweek to thank them; they may never want to run another story from the abolitionist perspective with all the hate they are sure to receive.
July 21st, 2011 at 9:18 pm
I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, but I don’t believe that we all deserve equal outcomes. If you are a surgeon, for example, I believe you deserve a higher salary than a janitor. However, both people deserve to be treated with dignity.
If you mean patriarchy to be a society that is ruled by men, my question is, is that system unjust? Men tend to perform tasks which are high-risk. High-risk behaviors are always followed by high-rewards. Is this unjust? I don’t believe so. Few women seek high-risk tasks, preferring flex and part-time time schedules to allow for more nurturing and feminine rewards. This is evidenced by the career fields women choose.
July 22nd, 2011 at 2:02 am
Okay, Neil. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt for my first replies, because it’s possible you may just not be as familiar with feminist theory as you seem to think, and could use some clarifications. I should note that other women would be able to answer these questions much better. My “area of expertise” is sexual issues, not fundamental radical feminist theory.
This example is not equivalent to gender dynamics though, because these are actually jobs you have to earn. Men are not surgeons and women are not janitors. We are born with the sex we are given, and it has absolutely nothing to do with how hard you work, how much education you have, etc. It’s 100% luck of the draw. Having a good job is not male privilege. It is possible that male privilege helps a man get said job though. Male privilege is a set of advantages or entitlements one gets specifically because they are male. Example: Men are never at risk for pregnancy, and the potential for pregnancy won’t factor into whether you get a promotion or get a job with long hours. Here is an introduction to this concept.
Yes. First of all, women are half the planet. Second of all, men haven’t exactly looked out for women’s best interest throughout history. It is clear that we need more representation in all power spheres.
This is probably where feminists lose their patience with you. Historically, not all (at times any) jobs were available to women. Unfortunately, the right to pursue a career did not change attitudes (such as yours) overnight. Women are often discouraged from “smart” careers, because much of the attitude that women are less intelligent and less capable than men is still pervasive in society. It is only recently that it has become somewhat acceptable for women to pursue careers as aggressively as men – if they’re single. Men are assumed to be the future primary income by default, and the woman is supposed to take care of the home, the children, etc. Obviously, this would leave them little time, hence part-time jobs and flexible schedules. The answer to your question is: social conditioning. The reason women are less likely to seek “high-risk tasks” is because of patriarchy, and it’s silly to use that as an argument for patriarchy.
July 22nd, 2011 at 4:19 am
There is no attitude that women are less intelligent and less capable than men. This is a figment of your imagination. My GP is a woman. My sister’s best friend is a police officer. I could go and on. Your statements remind me of the old adage, “Women are never more powerful than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” There is no assumption in 2011 that a man is supposed to be the primary breadwinner and the woman is to tend the house. This is a choice women make themselves, of their own volition. My ex girlfriend used to say that “she wanted to be behind me, to follow me, wherever I went.” I never forced her to say that. And this is typical for most women, I am certain.
It is not male privilege that men do not suffer childbirth. It’s just a biological edict. It is no way a social construct. Men can be exploited for their labor more easily than women, this is the actual result.
July 22nd, 2011 at 5:19 am
Your level of ignorance and self-absorption is unfortunate, and you can’t even provide a novel debate point. I’ve heard your shtick hundreds of times, and at this point, it’s just funny. This is a website for women. If you had bothered to read the rules, you would have noticed that I ask men who comment to have a basic understanding of feminist concepts, but I let it slide this one time. I am not going to argue the value of feminism or whether women are oppressed. That is not what this website is about. You should find someone else’s time to waste.
July 22nd, 2011 at 2:16 am
The most dangerous jobs pay the least money. I suggest you read the ENTIRE series on this:
With emphasis on:
August 6th, 2011 at 2:35 am
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