The Lounge Guidelines Help Search Members Calendar Blogs

Welcome Guest [ Log In | Register ] ]

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


Hardcore BUSTie
***
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


--------------------
I Could Tell You Stories That Would Make Your Ears Curl
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
 
Start new topic
Replies
doodlebug
post Jul 28 2006, 08:16 PM
Post #2


I know it's only rock 'n' roll. But I like it.
***
Posts: 7,808
From: a riverbank in BC, Canada


If sex toy stores are involved in the sex trade, then so is Sears and other department/catalogue stores, because they've sold vibrators for years...for over a century, actually. Not to mention lingerie! I think if we're talking about the "sex trade," it's probably necessary to differentiate between "goods" as material objects for private consumption (and really, anything could be a sex toy - a piece of rope or a cucumber!), and "services" as an exchange between two or more people (the buying and selling of a person's time and/or labour).

I brought up "traditional" marriage - and maybe I should use the term "old school marriage" instead - for the same reasons other people brought up things we don't generally see as part of the sex trade, like advertising and bartending and the like. (And I'm not trying to shit all over wives or bartenders or waitresses...I used to be a waitress, btw, and my last co-worker at the women's centre held down a 2nd job as a bartender.) I brought it up because I think it's too easy to judge one group of women for how they make a living using their bodies and sexuality (sex workers), while at the same time ignoring how a variety of women make a living using their bodies and sexuality.

My real point was not that we should judge wives and waitresses (there's enough judging of women going on out there!), but that we have to look at the overarching context of how women use - and in a lot cases are forced to use - their bodies and sexuality in exchange for financial security. I think we make assumptions about (and therefore judge) women who are prostitutes and strippers, in ways that we DON'T make assumptions (and judgements) about other women who use their bodies/sexuality to achieve financial gain. And I think that, in particular, is unfair to women who are involved in what we understand to be "the sex trade."

I'm sure it makes those of us who have used our bodies/sexuality for financial gain very uncomfortable to see ourselves in the same context as those we call sex workers. And I'm not cutting myself out of this discussion here. I certainly did use my body and my sexuality to increase my tips when I was a waitress - I even used to do very deliberate experiments using different lipstick colours! (But let's also be fair - it's still true that male servers earn higher tips than female servers, and so we do use our sexuality to bridge that gap.)

And when I think about it, I use my body and my sexuality even to this day, as a public spokesperson for a feminist organization, by doing my hair and wearing makeup and body-flattering clothes when I'm in the media or speaking in public. I do the clothes/hair/makeup on purpose, knowing that it helps me to "sell" feminist ideology to people who might normally dismiss (or at least, be less receptive to) what I am saying if I did not appear attractive...according to accepted social norms of beauty standards (i.e.: if I looked like a stereotypical feminist, sans makeup, with "butch" hair and a turtleneck, or something like that).

Just to come back to my main point about "traditional marriage" or "old school marriage"...I am not trying to lambaste anyone's choice to be a stay-at-home wife so much as I'm trying to make the point that I, personally, would feel more independent, more powerful, and more "empowered" if I were earning and in control of my own money, regardless of HOW I earned it - running a small business or taking off my clothes (or selling marijauana, for that matter) - than I would if I were financially dependent on another person for my food, shelter, and other basic necessities of life. (And to clarify, I've never been dependent on a partner, but I was dependent on public welfare in the past, so I've definitely had a taste of what financial dependency feels like.)

There is a poster in our women's centre that talks about how feminism is not about helping "some poor, downtrodden woman over there," but about helping ourselves, as women. This is an essential understanding to me. The problem IMO is that we are all, as women, in the same boat: we lack economic equality and freedom from violence, and that perpetuates our social, political, economic, and legal position as unequal citizens. And while a few privileged women have managed to achieved something close to "equality" and freedom of choice, equality for SOME should never be construed as equality for ALL...most women are on the same continuum of having fewer genuine choices than our male counterparts.

So, women achieve (or just plain survive) using our bodies/sexuality as commodities - whether we make a "good" marriage based on our beauty, or we accept a promotion that is given to us because we are attractive, or we wear revealing clothing to make better tips, or we take our clothes off in a bar - because that's the main source of power the dominant culture has allowed us to have. (Certainly no one can deny that at the same time women are starting to achieve more towards equality, the culture of "looksism" and bias towards increasingly narrower beauty standards for women also increases...whether it's coincidence or not, it's a fact.)

And I believe, as a feminist, that we all need to recognize that we are sisters on that same contiuum, in order to develop and implement the steps we need to take to achieve genuine equality - and genuine freedom of choice - for women.


--------------------
Check out my band's new demo online! You can DL my original....and please fan up if ya like it!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Posts in this topic
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
lucizoe   I think a big issue is that no one's choices a...   Jul 28 2006, 01:50 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
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
8 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 


Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: November 27, 2014 - 04:50 PM