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> "porn: Is It Cock-blocking Feminism?", All About Feminism and Sex Work
erinjane
post Jul 25 2006, 11:16 AM
Post #1


Hardcore BUSTie
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Posts: 1,301
From: Winnipeg


One of the touchiest subjects between feminists is the relationship to sex work/porn/stripping/etc. Rather then further derail the Porn and Boys thread (but you can check it out for a bit of background http://www.bust.com/lounge/index.php?showtopic=52071&hl= ) come on in to this thread and share your thoughts.

What do you define as sex work? Are you pro/against? Why? Do you have a background in it, know anyone involved, are you involved? As Pixie asked, Does anyone see it as conforming to the sterotypes that feminists are against? Does it hurt or hinder feminism?
Just a few questions to get us thinking. So throw out some thoughts!

*I'm just running out the door but I wanted to get this going before I left. I'll be back hopefully this evening to throw in some of my opinions.* smile.gif


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lucizoe
post Jul 28 2006, 01:50 PM
Post #2


Mr. Flibble's very cross.
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I think a big issue is that no one's choices are made in a vacuum. We are all influenced by our experiences and our environment, so while many women may choose to enter sex work because it's simply what they want to do, it is still difficult for me to see it as a choice 100% free from the influence of patriarchal culture. After all, the bread and butter is in playing out (mostly) heteronormative fantasies of love and sex. I think (like katiebelle said) the bigger problem occurs when women enter the field because they lack choices or are coerced.

I am so envious of women who feel sexy, truly, and have found a way to express that which not only makes them easy in their minds, but also sends some cash their way. It sounds beyond awesome to me. If I were capable of it (meaning, if my ego could take it), I could easily see myself posing for some pictures some day, but I'm stopped by my own personal "ick" factor. Men in general squick me out, which is something I am working on, but I couldn't stand the idea of strangers masturbating to my image, and projecting all sorts of unknown and potentially violent fantasies onto me. I know that I would not be aware of any of the actions of the strangers who saw the pictures, but I have an overactive imagination and would certainly torment myself about it. Not from any puritan guilt-induced haze, but because I am uncomfortable with it in the same way I am uncomfortable wearing certain items of clothing in public; eliciting what I see as negative attention is not fun to me. And I feel like a bad feminist for that, because shouldn't I feel strong enough to wear what I want?

That said, that is all obviously my own shit, and I DO think there is a certain dialogue within the feminist movement that cock-blocks itself by focusing too much on porn. Porn does not feel like the issue to me; sexual slavery and human trafficking and violence against sex workers in real life is the issue. Porn - in mainstream America, at least - seems to me to be a symptom of a deeply sexually repressed culture which takes things to the extreme. Maybe if it wasn't still so shameful to be sexual, to be naked, to be honest, there would be a smaller market for the sorts of porn that squick many people out. I like the natural porn - the amateur stuff - real couples who are honestly just filming themselves having fun and getting each other off. I don't really like downloading anything online, and there seems to be a smaller market for that sort of porn than for the ultra-fake, ultra-Barbie stuff I think of when the word "porn" is mentioned.

Empowerment is so tricky, isn't it? I'm not even sure what it os to feel empowered. I certainly feel good about myself when I fulfill my responsibilities (that I have voluntarily taken on), proud when I achieve something I've worked hard for, happy when I'm free to be creative...but I never actually feel powerful. Tough, certainly. Maybe that's it. If that feeling comes to other women by engaging in sex work, then that's great.

As for marriage equalling prostitution, I say yikes! I don't know if I believe in marriage for myself, but I don't think that it is always necessarily entered into solely to have access to sex and money. If Mr.Luci and I were to ever stop living (deeply) in sin wink.gif, I could see health insurance benefits as the driving force of our making things legal, since his job doesn't do the domestic partner benefits, yet. Certainly not to establish exclusive sexual rights, or to legitimize children. He makes far more money than I do, which pays rent and food, while the minor ducats I will receive until I graduate are just extra. But I don't consider myself as selling him sex for a roof over my head. I hope we're not an anomaly in that regard.

Okay, that was rambly, but it took me a while to write it, so y'all have to read it.
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erinjane   "porn: Is It Cock-blocking Feminism?"   Jul 25 2006, 11:16 AM
mermaidgirl13   I define sex work as stripping, porn or any kind o...   Jul 25 2006, 11:47 AM
maddy29   thanks to ej for starting this thread. i have lot...   Jul 25 2006, 11:56 AM
jsmith   I second Maddy's definition of sex work. And I...   Jul 25 2006, 12:06 PM
greenbean   Wow, okay, this is a verrrry broad topic. If y...   Jul 25 2006, 12:28 PM
erinjane   I've talked about posting this before, but I w...   Jul 25 2006, 12:41 PM
pixiedust   I mentioned this in the other thread, but aI'l...   Jul 25 2006, 12:49 PM
erinjane   I meant to make this point in my last post, but fo...   Jul 25 2006, 01:17 PM
maddy29   ej-what is the website for? who is it geared at? w...   Jul 25 2006, 01:29 PM
zahia1996   I'll try and keep this as brief as possible (h...   Jul 25 2006, 01:57 PM
pixiedust   I think I'd have go with the answers from som...   Jul 25 2006, 02:05 PM
erinjane   I'll give you some direct info from the websit...   Jul 25 2006, 02:13 PM
girlbomb   I, too, wonder about the "empowering" th...   Jul 25 2006, 04:25 PM
pixiedust   I can't help going back to what falljackets sa...   Jul 25 2006, 05:33 PM
zahia1996   Pixie, what you mentioned about FJ made me think. ...   Jul 25 2006, 07:26 PM
knorl05   zahia: the double standards exist and it is frustr...   Jul 25 2006, 08:44 PM
falljackets   wow, knorl, i completely agree with your last post...   Jul 25 2006, 09:26 PM
txplumwine   This is a fantastic thread and I'm so glad to ...   Jul 25 2006, 10:09 PM
erinjane   Prostitution is actually legal in canada, but NOT ...   Jul 25 2006, 10:38 PM
doodlebug   Um...just want to clarify...while prostitution is ...   Jul 25 2006, 11:07 PM
maddy29   great post doodlebug. you said what i was thinkin...   Jul 26 2006, 08:08 AM
erinjane   Seconded doodle. I don't think I made it clea...   Jul 26 2006, 10:51 AM
greenbean   Condoleeza Rice. Hillary Clinton. Barbara Boxer. D...   Jul 26 2006, 11:16 AM
erinjane   I agree greenbean. I wouldn't define power ex...   Jul 26 2006, 02:37 PM
candycane_girl   I think the problem here is that there are so many...   Jul 26 2006, 02:45 PM
erinjane   That's exactly what I was thinking...another ...   Jul 26 2006, 02:46 PM
knorl05   maddy: i do agree.   Jul 26 2006, 04:14 PM
knorl05   i'm big into philosophy, so i'm gonna inte...   Jul 26 2006, 04:28 PM
zahia1996   That's a good point Knorl. But it made me thin...   Jul 26 2006, 09:43 PM
pixiedust   The is really good insight khorl. It looks like y...   Jul 26 2006, 10:10 PM
maddy29   Love this knorl! "considering sex appeal...   Jul 27 2006, 06:59 AM
doodlebug   Hey all...this is a quick post...I'm sorry I d...   Jul 27 2006, 09:45 AM
maddy29   very true doodle:)   Jul 27 2006, 09:52 AM
pixiedust   You are right Doodle! You couldn't stay em...   Jul 27 2006, 10:02 AM
falljackets   i think that makes total sense, doodle. people g...   Jul 27 2006, 10:15 AM
maddy29   so fj-for you it's more the taking of the pict...   Jul 27 2006, 10:25 AM
falljackets   absolutely. i took down the website nearly two yea...   Jul 27 2006, 10:34 AM
pixiedust   That makes sense FJ. I am always mezmerized with ...   Jul 27 2006, 10:43 AM
erinjane   I'm inclined to agree with Falljackets in term...   Jul 27 2006, 10:52 AM
knorl05   absolutely no time to reply, at work. just wanted ...   Jul 27 2006, 11:28 AM
knorl05   FJ: you have an amazing philosophy on life that i ...   Jul 27 2006, 05:04 PM
girlbomb   Okay, I'm not trying to be a total see-you-nex...   Jul 27 2006, 07:19 PM
nohope   I consider anything in which sexuality is used to ...   Jul 27 2006, 08:41 PM
knorl05   girlbomb: thats an excellent point. it's true ...   Jul 27 2006, 08:55 PM
girlbomb   Okay, I'd edit my last post, but I'd rathe...   Jul 27 2006, 08:59 PM
knorl05   nohope: although i respect your opinion, i complet...   Jul 27 2006, 09:10 PM
sixelacat   So, I think what girlbomb is trying to differentia...   Jul 27 2006, 10:37 PM
zahia1996   I got so wrapped up reading what you all had to sa...   Jul 27 2006, 11:28 PM
doodlebug   I don't have the brain power for this tonight,...   Jul 27 2006, 11:37 PM
maddy29   doodle-it's funny you brought up marriage, bec...   Jul 28 2006, 07:56 AM
greenbean   I can't believe all the tearing down of beauti...   Jul 28 2006, 11:11 AM
maddy29   greenbean-where do you see women being torn down? ...   Jul 28 2006, 12:01 PM
pixiedust   I agree...I don't think anyone's being tor...   Jul 28 2006, 12:12 PM
maddy29   ooh, that's interesting pixie! or what abo...   Jul 28 2006, 12:23 PM
knorl05   greenbean: what does being a feminist mean to you?   Jul 28 2006, 12:25 PM
katiebelle2882   ok so i guess this thread got started. first off i...   Jul 28 2006, 12:48 PM
erinjane   I wouldn't say I see sex stores in the same av...   Jul 28 2006, 01:04 PM
knorl05   let's just throw some definitions around for f...   Jul 28 2006, 03:28 PM
knorl05   greenbean: i would say if you support the feminist...   Jul 28 2006, 03:49 PM
pixiedust   Traditional marriage=prostitution would be a real ...   Jul 28 2006, 04:42 PM
lucizoe   knorl, thanks for the definitions - most helpful. ...   Jul 28 2006, 04:48 PM
knorl05   pixie, yes i agree, most traditional marriages hol...   Jul 28 2006, 07:30 PM
doodlebug   If sex toy stores are involved in the sex trade, t...   Jul 28 2006, 08:16 PM
knorl05   doodlebug: so then in that light, women should att...   Jul 28 2006, 08:58 PM
doodlebug   knorl, if you are reading what I wrote as saying w...   Jul 28 2006, 09:12 PM
knorl05   doodlebug: could be i misunderstood you. i think i...   Jul 28 2006, 09:24 PM
doodlebug   knorl, I edited my last post as you were posting...   Jul 28 2006, 09:45 PM
knorl05   doodlebug: ahh. yes, completely. thank you for cla...   Jul 28 2006, 09:59 PM
battygurl   Just to clear up the terms here, what you're...   Jul 29 2006, 12:02 AM
lucizoe   battygurl, I would really like to see some documen...   Jul 29 2006, 08:28 AM
battygurl   Eek, I shouldn't have posted when I was so tir...   Jul 29 2006, 11:26 AM
erinjane   Took the words straight outta my head. One thi...   Jul 29 2006, 11:59 AM
greenbean   Ooof, there have been a lot of new posts since I w...   Jul 29 2006, 12:08 PM
lucizoe   Heh, battygurl, I got ya. I agree that the lily-wh...   Jul 29 2006, 12:48 PM
girlbomb   Gah. You know, the sex industry that I've wi...   Jul 29 2006, 05:24 PM
erinjane   Talking about things like bangbus and girls gone w...   Jul 29 2006, 06:04 PM
greenbean   See Girlbomb, thats why this discussion is so conf...   Jul 29 2006, 08:48 PM
nohope   I don’t think it’s all that different at all. ...   Jul 29 2006, 10:27 PM
pepper   oh, nohope. speaking true. nice one.   Jul 29 2006, 11:17 PM
battygurl   Yeah, nohope I think you're right about most p...   Jul 30 2006, 02:33 AM
zahia1996   During (yet another) sleepless night, I decided to...   Jul 30 2006, 02:56 AM
pixiedust   Ok..I went to bed thinking about teh "traditi...   Jul 30 2006, 10:05 AM
greenbean   Wait, nohope...what? Are you saying that whether ...   Jul 30 2006, 01:23 PM
pixiedust   I honestly don't think that was what he was sa...   Jul 30 2006, 01:34 PM
knorl05   pixie: i think thats the key. to live according to...   Jul 30 2006, 09:00 PM
maddy29   greenbean- im not sure where you got the idea that...   Jul 31 2006, 08:34 AM
greenbean   Maddy, so sorry if you thought I was calling you a...   Jul 31 2006, 12:06 PM
pixiedust   Right on Maddy! There will always be exceptio...   Jul 31 2006, 12:27 PM
snafooey   No, but frankly using the expression "femin...   Aug 1 2006, 11:57 AM
pixiedust   Snafooey...I said it was like "the people who...   Aug 1 2006, 12:25 PM
snafooey   Fair enough - it really wasn't clear to me fro...   Aug 1 2006, 12:39 PM
pixiedust   I'm going to try to keep this short. I'm ...   Aug 1 2006, 01:59 PM
snafooey   So is everyone who challenges something someone el...   Aug 1 2006, 02:12 PM
pixiedust   Well...I guess I see debate as expressing ideas an...   Aug 1 2006, 02:57 PM
snafooey   Great discussion? It's "debates" lik...   Aug 1 2006, 03:09 PM
katiebelle2882   all i am going to say is (and i know many other bu...   Aug 1 2006, 03:40 PM
erinjane   Normally I keep out of these, but I think that pi...   Aug 1 2006, 04:53 PM
snafooey   Erinjane, I see what you're saying, but I refr...   Aug 1 2006, 05:04 PM
erinjane   Yeah, I understand, i get really defensive myself ...   Aug 1 2006, 06:03 PM
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