Tag Archives: abuse

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.

Continue reading

Battered Women vs. Women in Porn

Any feminist of merit knows what frequently happens with battered and otherwise abused women: they blame themselves, they rarely leave immediately, and they often love their abuser.  “It’s bad most of the time, yeah, but the good times are really great.”  I know.  I’ve been there too (though he only “battered” me via BDSM and rough sex).  She often stays, and we don’t blame her for that, even when she’s rationalizing it.  We don’t say she “agreed” to be hit in exchange for money if she chooses to stay out of economic necessity.  We know battered women’s syndrome and Stockholm syndrome, and a lot of us have been there.  We understand.

But when a woman is in porn, somehow the standard feminist narrative is that they chose it, and they stay because they like it.  When someone feels that women in porn or are being abused, or even just points out that they are paid to act, we are accused of “victimizing” them and accusing them of false consciousness by pro-porn ‘feminists.’  Or worse, being “unable” to handle the idea that a woman might like having sex with strangers for money.  (Because we’re prudes, basically.)   They might be treated badly, but they make good money (better than most other entry-level jobs), they get attention, adoration, and affection.* It can make you feel fuckable or lovable.  If they chose to make money by working in porn or prostitution, even when it’s violent or she has a lack of economically feasible alternatives, most of these feminists would say she consented.

Isn’t saying battered wives who say their partners are wonderful “assuming” they’re a victim and arguing that they have a false consciousness?  Isn’t that just as “patronizing,” to say that a woman is being abused when she says she isn’t?

What is the difference, then, between an abused porn actress and an abused wife?

One stays out of love or fear; the other out of a need for money, drugs or attention.  One is a “good girl”; the other a “bad girl.”  The slut is ok to hurt and punish, the virgin should be taken care of.  What am I trying to say?  Either the “sex-positives” need to blame women for staying with their abusers and defend the rationalizations they make for them, or they need to acknowledge that all kinds of abused and hurt people will deny their pain and situation.  It’s hypocritical to do otherwise.  Unless pro-sex industry feminists mean to favor “good girls” and “prudes” over whores–you know, that thing they always accuse us of.

I am sick of all this “rational choice” shit.  Unfortunately, I know that we’re heading towards blaming women from what I have seen on sites such as feministing and at the feminist club on my campus.  I am sick of empathy going out the window, and all we talk about are the pay gap or birth control.  I am tired of settling.

* What I mean here by “affection” is not actual affection, but the conflating of abuse/love that often happens with rape, especially with incest from what I understand.

On doms, tops, partner’s of submissives, rapists, whatevs

The “feminist” analysis of BDSM is the main reason I became a radical feminist.  Women talking about how they love being spanked, etc, etc, but getting all defensive (i’m still FEMINIST GOSH SEX-POLICING) just got old.  Especially because I said the same thing-without the feminist part-when I was with glenn.  This was high school, what are supposed to be the best years of my life.  With him, I *liked* kinky stuff.

After he first raped me, I stayed with him for two a half years.  I repressed what he did and continued to have “consensual sex” with him.   I’d suggest kinky stuff, he’d suggest kinky stuff, if I was a little hesitant I might say so.  But I always did in the end.   He bragged to his friends I liked it.  I orgasmed a lot-so I liked it, right?  He loved me.  I loved him.  If you asked me about our sex?  I enjoyed it.  Really did, yes I’m sure.  Yeah, I’m just naturally submissive and a nympho.  Nothing makes you feel more desired than being someone’s sextoy.

It’s always about the woman’s desire.  What if SHE consents, what if she ASKS to be spanked, to be bound, to be “raped” in a roleplay, to dress up like a little girl.  Fine, whatever.  I know women can like those things.  I did myself.  We may disagree why they do (I say brainwashing AKA socialization, they say natural/choice), but I know women can like them.

But their partner, the man-what about him?  Like with the “sex worker” debates, the men are made invisible by the “sex-positives.”  For a couple to have “sex” like this, he’s has to do his part.  And he gets turned on by hitting you, tying you up, “fake” raping you, and pretending you’re a little girl.  For a woman to “choose” to be tied up and whipped, someone has to do the whipping. For you to fulfill your desire to be hurt, someone has to like hurting you.   You like being helpless and feeling like he could do whatever he wants to you, giving up any control.  He likes you being helpless, feeling like he could do anything to you, raping you, and he gets off on having total control.

Do I blame submissives and masochists, whether they’re men or women?  No, so long as they don’t act like BDSM is the most progressive sex ever,  avoid the whole “CHOICECHOICE” bullshit and acknowledge that abused women say use the same defenses.

Do I blame dominants, masters, tops, and sadists?   Hell yes.  They get off on pain– specifically, women’s pain.  That’s misogyny.  They have the mentality of a rapist and abuser.  They want control and your submission.

He might say he only likes it because you “consent” to it and like it.  But you can’t know that.  Considering how often men rape, and especially how often it occurs in relationships– enjoying control over you, even if it’s just “pretend,” is a huge red flag.   Kids don’t play pretend to imagine something they wouldn’t actually enjoy, or be someone they don’t like.   They argue to be the main character or the character with the strongest powers.  Most would probably WANT to be a superhero or have magical powers and shit.  The same applies to dominant men and what they “pretend” in the bedroom: if they don’t already have control, they want it.

Even if what he is saying is true, why would he like that you enjoy those things?  Why would he like you to enjoy being hurt and degraded?  The short answer is to make you a slut and other you, but I’ll elaborate on that more later.

PS: Never get on the pill.  Coming OFF of it is a trainwreck.  I had only a bit of nausea when I first started it, but now I’m having a shit ton of cramps, mood swings, boob soreness and bleeding like a hurricane.  Whatever the means.  Fuck.