Category Archives: racism

Poor, poor, johns

I swear. Most of the “sex worker” activists I have met constantly talk about how we shouldn’t “demonize” the johns, because they’re usually married/partnered*, etc, and they are simply seeking understanding for a sexual act that their steady partner cannot or will not provide.  Men aren’t just looking to “bust a nut,” they’re seeking the love and understanding every human wants.  Or that some people are just “incapable” of relationships with the opposite sex.  And they’re normal men just like your coworkers and friends. So they need an outlet.

If I don’t have, or can’t have a relationship, I don’t feel like I should have the right to exchange money for sex. I don’t. Especially since there would be no way for me to know if they had “chosen” sex work, or had only chosen it from a range of other shitty options (minimum wage jobs, etc, etc). Essentially, no one has the right to buy sex or sexual acts-we know that a great amount of abuse exists in this industry, and anyone who risks the chance of raping someone so that they can “get some” is sick.  No one has the right to sex, period.

However pitiful some women are, however lonely they feel, I don’t see them thinking they have a right to sex.  Women want love and understanding just as everyone does, but we never get it.  Yet somehow, we don’t use prostitutes.  Women, FOR SOME REASON, generally don’t purchase sex; women represent sex, thus they are usually sellers.   Why are the roles in prostitution so gendered?   Who has the resources and the money?  Men.  Who has the prestige?  Men.  Who has the power?  Men.  Who represents sex?  Women.   Most men believe they are entitled to sex, and as a result they make up most rapists and most johns.  Women are not raised to think of themselves as “entitled” to sex- sex is something women give and men take.

Wanting love and understanding does not make johns understandable or sympathetic, unless you’re the type who “understands” MRAs.  Yeah, they’re human, but so are rapists.   Wanting love and understanding means get a goddamn therapist, or failing that, talk to people.  Hell, you could even just talk to the prostitute, and not fuck her.  It does not mean you should fuck women.  The fact that people say johns are just seeking understanding and love is disgusting.  If they were, they wouldn’t have the sex, they wouldn’t need it, they wouldn’t demand it, and they wouldn’t be violent, they wouldn’t ask for unprotected sex.

These men aren’t seeking understanding: they are seeking the image of it.  A woman, nurturing like a mother, but also a whore, who will nurture the man through whatever sick fetish he’s developed.  A yes-woman, who will agree that his wife is a bitch, frigid, stupid, whatever.  Consequently, the image for a “sex worker” is that of a college-educated middle class white woman (preferably aryan) who drops every career opportunity and hobby to fuck men for money.  Her image is no different from that of “good mom,” who leaves her potential career behind “by choice,” because she wuves her kids so much and wishes them to have the best.

But, here are a few large differences:  children have a need for someone to care for them, men, on the other hand, and specifically johns, have jobs and the full development necessary to take care of themselves.  No one needs to take care of grown men. However much they seem or act as helpless as babies, they aren’t.  It’s an act.

This whole outlet thing is the same bullshit that says men’s sex drives are natural and unstoppable;  therefore they have a right to an outlet.  God forbid we raise men to NOT feel entitled to sex, so that they will not rape or purchase “sex.”

No one has ever died from lack of sex.   Ever.

So can it about men’s sexual and emotional “needs.”  Women’s right to not be raped and used sexually is more important than some douchebag’s orgasm.

*So are most child molesters, rapists and serial killers.  I doubt this is a coincidence.

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By Any Other Name: Mail-Order Brides and Sex Trafficking

I’m sorry for disappearing again.  The influx of trolls wasn’t that bad-only one comment really hurt, because it said I deserved it in a certain way.   I always felt that the only thing that would pull me away again would be being hurt again, and guess what?  That happened in a way.

My period hadn’t come for 80-something days, so I went the gynecologist to try to figure out if this was normal for someone coming off of the pill and maybe check my hormone levels.  I made it clear from the start I didn’t want a pap smear, and she didn’t say I had to have one, until I was already on the exam table.  I still said I didn’t want to but she said I had to, and I guess I froze up from there.  I haven’t felt that violated in years.  It feels stupid because it’s just an exam and they all say it doesn’t/shouldn’t hurt, but it did.  I felt, and still feel, like I was raped again. 

I’m not sure how to label it or anything-that word feels too extreme, maybe.  Just feels like it shouldn’t have happened, because I thought I wasn’t as “weak” as I was before, when I didn’t fight back.  But I still froze up, and didn’t fight really. 

I avoided radical feminist stuff for months-I didn’t read a single book or article.  I didn’t even talk about radfem issues, unless it was blatantly shoved in my face.  I can’t really explain why, I guess, but I think it maybe just felt pointless in a way, since I thought I was stronger for it and, look what happened?  I still let myself get hurt.  I knew the medical establishment was shit, yet I still let it win.  It’s not really the same, but I imagine it might be how Dworkin felt after she was raped the last time.  Knowing so much about the issues makes it worse for me.

Anyways, I figured I’d share the one thing I did write during this space: my term paper for Global Feminism.  It isn’t as radical or angry as I felt about the issue, because college (and liberal feminism) discourages that sort of thinking, but the approach I think couldn’t come from anywhere but radical feminism.  I started with the idea that marriage is basically prostitution, and you can see where it goes from there.    Warning: It’s loooong.  And by the way, I got an A.

        The “mail-order bride” industry, as it is known, has grown significantly since the advent of the internet and represents many of the forces of globalization.  Estimates on the number of marriages orchestrated by mail-order bride agencies vary and many suffer from methodological problems, but generally report around a few thousand marriages a year in the United States.   Concerns have frequently been raised about the exploitation involved in mail-order marriages, resulting in media and scholarly attention to the issue.  Reading the literature, it becomes apparent that there are connections between the mail-order bride industry and human trafficking.  Some of these connections are concrete, such as the use of mail-order bride services for recruiting victims, while other connections lie in the forces behind the trades and the people involved with it.

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Pornography: White Women’s Liberation

Now, us white women have always been really slow at picking up the intersections of race and gender-many of the most prominent feminist works focus only the white heterosexual middle-class woman’s perspective (i.e. The Feminine Mystique, any critique of beauty standards, suffragettes, burlesque).  Mainstream and academic feminists have begun to “pay attention to” nonwhite women* only after numerous criticisms, and now at least feature them occasionally as commentators on race as another layer of oppression.  They couldn’t possibly still be racist, as the coverage proves they care. (Pffft.)

Pro-sex industry feminists, on the other hand…wow, they haven’t even gotten to the “I-need-to-talk-about-race-issues-sometimes-so-I-can’t-be-called-racist” stage. Maybe because they hang out with white liberal dudes? But seriously.  Look ’em up, if you don’t believe me (or just check out the examples): they’re invariably white, even though most data gathered on the sex industry says that “sex” workers are disproportionately nonwhite women or formally colonized peoples. I always try and look at the source of a perspective and the privileges they benefit from, because I don’t want to be blissfully unaware of my privileges (although I have that ability) and be a self-centered douche.  All of us have a responsibility to do this with each of our privileges before we speak, since we benefit from the systems of oppression and were raised to see our privilege as natural and our experiences as universal.

When reading debates on the empowerment of pornography, many of the pro-sex industry feminists would cite “feminist pornographers” such as Susie Bright, Annie Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, and others as examples of “good” pornography.  Because I always have that lingering doubt that I could be wrong (thanks gender conditioning), I generally will at least consider that whatever the person says could be true, no matter how much it goes against my reasoning, my instinct or common sense. This doubt of my reality is the same kind that was invoked when someone would tell me I “consented” with my ex-boyfriends, glenn and david, or I was only “imagining” the problem.  I feel out of my body, confused and stupid, so I try to look at their argument and their references in depth, to see how I was/could be wrong.

So, taking them at their word, I researched these pro-pornography “feminists,” and (not surprisingly) it confirmed many of the ideas I had about the “sex-positive” school of thought: the perspective of “sex” work, pornography, and promiscuity as liberation depends upon the patriarchy-imposed expectation of virginity and chastity given to middle-to-upper class white girls.  Black men and women are considered exotic and animalistic; they always want sex.  Latina women are also considered exotic and perpetually aroused; they always want sex.  Asian women are exotic and always willing to please.  Only white (and some Asian) women can qualify for the virgin/purity, side of the patriarchy’s dichotomy, because nonwhite skin itself is seen as a sign of sexual deviance; and thus, declaring that you want sex or have a high sex drive can only seem liberating when the chastity and purity are assumed, expected, or valued.  The construction of nonwhite women as always wanting sex, or at least having a high desire for it, is what makes them “unrapeable” in our culture.  To say that promiscuity, “sex” work, and enjoying all of the above is liberating for women, then, would ignore the reality of most of womankind.**

And as always, history is being repeated.  When white women decided the “solution” to their oppression would be entry into the workforce and self-reliance, nonwhite women had been in the workforce already and were still not free.  They complained about the exclusion of their experience from the women’s movement, but were ignored.   Even earlier, when white women were complaining about being seen as delicate, being patronized and wanting the vote, Black women were forced to plow, plant, do housework and make it on their own. (see Sojourner Truth)   White women insisting that “sex” work is empowering or will make us free is repeating that same damn mistake.  We throw any women under the bus, and the patriarchy wins.  We commodify ourselves and capitalism smiles.  There will be no women’s liberation if it does not free the most hated of us.  And as we should know, the most hated of us is going to be the darkest, poorest, and least employable of us.

Note that these examples are only some examples from what I came across in searches of the “feminist pornographers” sites or their links, not references to some distant financial or political associations with other “more” blatantly racist and sexist pornographers***, though I will discuss that in some time.  All information was gathered from their sites and/or links.

(Canadian-based) Commercial Sex Information Service, Whore Heroines and Heros
According to government reports, however, Aboriginal  women are disproportionately represented in all estimates of the  racial distribution of prostitutes…yet all the whore heroines/heros are white. (Link)  This site also hosts several “sex worker” organizations, such as PONY and COYOTE.

Candida Royalle, according to her site,

“[leads] the way in women’s seuxal empowerment and pleasure” and created the idea of “couples erotica.  “Royalle recently created a new line of “ethnic erotica for couples” called Femme Chocolat in order to provide high quality intelligent erotica for the largely underserved market of ethnic women and couples.”

She reinforces the racist paradigm of white as default by describing this line that includes nonwhite women as “ethnic,” while proclaiming a progressive idea.  ‘Cause white people don’t “have” an ethnicity.  And to top it off, it’s called Femme Chocolat?  You’ve gotta be shitting me.

BIG FUCKING TRIGGER WARNING: Notable “Feminist” Nina Hartley in Little Red Rides The Hood #4.  No link here, just google it if you doubt it exists.    Because white ladies = innocent who are going to get fucked by Scary Black People.

* I use this term, because I found this post on the idea of “women of color” and Black women very enlightening. So I’m now going to use the term for women who aren’t white that was used by its author/the commentators since their obviously more knowledgeable about the subject than I would be.   And their argument makes a fuckton of sense.

**Most women are not white, and I hope you knew that.  The fact that I have to say that disgusts me, but it was pointed out in a post on AROOO (which one, I cannot recall) that when people hear “women” or “woman,” especially in a feminist context, they think “white ladies.”

*** The quotes are necessary, as many of these examples are so incredibly racist I can’t help but gag and wonder how the fuck anyone “progressive” could tolerate, defend, or let alone publish these.