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i find the idea that society somehow thinks horribly paid labor in a factory is somehow more empowering to women then sex work. to me ( now that i have really thought about it) it really seems just an extension of the age old idea that an "honorable" woman and sex simply cannot be uttered in the same sentence. shes honorable if she gets paid 1 cent an hour to make a white persons shirt but that disappears quickly if she is being paid 500 dollars to sleep with a white man bc its sex work. add sex to the equation and any sort of pride goes out the window in societies view.

thanks for those links snaf it really made me think.

and i agree, i have very very mixed feelings on the sex industry, i just dont like the idea of "morality" being thrown around so wontonly.
Thank you, snafooey, for posting as you did.

I've found it pretty hard to remain in this thread, and I have deleted several posts I've started writing recently. What's bothered me most is that there seems to be a lot of emphasis placed on how some of us are different (eta: and by "different" I mean "different in a superior way") from those "other" women over there, rather than trying to explore our commonalities so we can improve the condition of all women. (eta: And I don't want to seem like I'm finger-pointing, either...this isn't something coming from one or two people's posts, but rather, something that seems to be a sort of general malaise of the discussion.) In my posts, I've felt like I've been trying to make a case against this kind of separate-ness, or at least, towards more inclusive thinking, yet it seems like I'm only pushing more people into their respective corners. I feel bad about this, but I don't know how else to advocate for women who basically don't have a voice here.

Understanding the condition of women who "differ" from us - and understanding how that condition is affected by our own privilege - is an essential part of feminism. So is understanding the oppression that affects us all as women, and makes us similar, even when we don't want to see ourselves and our struggles as being related. Yes, the process is uncomfortable. It's supposed to be uncomfortable. Painful, even. If we remained forever in our bubble of safety, and never examined why certain ideas make us so uncomfortable, we would never grow as individuals, or as a movement.

I've spent almost 11 years in the feminist movement listening to people say, "Why are we always fighting, why can't we get along?" But the truth is, anyone who is remotely marginalized away from the privileged versions of "woman" has to fight to make herself heard. And the other truth is that most women of privilege resist those "other" women's voices and contributions to our collective struggle, and we especially resist doing the work - yes, uncomfortable and painful work - necessary to make space for those women. The disagreements, the debates, the challenging and uncomfortable discussions, and even the fighting, are necessary in order for us to move forward as a more inclusive movement, one that honestly represents real women's struggles.

Anyway, I'm kind of going all over the map, and I don't know what else to say about this right now, so I'm going to end this post and leave space for others.
I'm just a little ol' newbie and so I'm not quite sure when to jump in, but I'd like to add my point of view on this one.

Snafooey--great comments, enjoyed reading them smile.gif

With regard to female sex workers (that sounds odd--like it's a utility company or something biggrin.gif ) I honestly believe that in most cases (note the "most" here) the male consumers are the ones who are being degraded, especially in the case of exotic dance clubs, phone hotlines, etc. These women are using assets that they have at their disposal to make a living. Men are sexually attracted to women, and there's just no getting around it. Again, in MOST cases, the men are walking away from the evening with nothing to show for it (except a much lighter wallet than they came in with) and for what? So that they could have a few moments to look at a girl who, under normal circumstances, wouldn't give them the time of day. The power in this situation most definitely lies with the women. Is it really wrong that the source of this power is partly from her body?

Besides, I think that most of the guilt/stereotype associated with being a women working in the sex industry came from embarrassed men, not from other indignant women.
i would like to say, i *genuinely* do not intend to be condescending. unlike many academic busties, i do not have the reference to debate in a debating sense. i only know how to exchange views and opinions, and i attempt to continue to remain as open-minded as possible. i've had an extremely religious, conservative republican upbringing. my personal views, are rooted in my experiences. i am open to learn, and i continue to learn through each discussion i engage in. i simply do not have the formal "training" to discuss my views in the manner most well-educated feminists have had the opportunity to gain.
QUOTE(KnittinKitten @ Aug 2 2006, 03:07 AM) *

I'm just a little ol' newbie and so I'm not quite sure when to jump in, but I'd like to add my point of view on this one.

Snafooey--great comments, enjoyed reading them smile.gif

With regard to female sex workers (that sounds odd--like it's a utility company or something biggrin.gif ) I honestly believe that in most cases (note the "most" here) the male consumers are the ones who are being degraded, especially in the case of exotic dance clubs, phone hotlines, etc. These women are using assets that they have at their disposal to make a living. Men are sexually attracted to women, and there's just no getting around it. Again, in MOST cases, the men are walking away from the evening with nothing to show for it (except a much lighter wallet than they came in with) and for what? So that they could have a few moments to look at a girl who, under normal circumstances, wouldn't give them the time of day. The power in this situation most definitely lies with the women. Is it really wrong that the source of this power is partly from her body?

Besides, I think that most of the guilt/stereotype associated with being a women working in the sex industry came from embarrassed men, not from other indignant women.

I know for me the question if not a question of is it wrong… but rather does it liberate women to be able to do whatever they choose including sex work.

There seems to be this view that women in the west are FREE… that they are on the other side of the liberation struggle and that they have won and that Feminism is not primarily about liberating women, but rather in protecting their liberated statues…

In so much as people believe this I think they are seriously deluded. I don’t see women as even close to liberated, and therefore the argument that one would compare making $1 a day in a sweatshop to making $500 dollars as a sex worker is a straw man.

First because sex work is just another form of sweat shop work and played equivalently, and second because when we are talking about women’s liberation, we are talking about the right of a women to be paid enough at any job so that she can make a choice which is made according to what she wants to do, not according to what will allow her to starve the slowest.

Clearly the solution to the sweatshop and the brothel is Unionization, and end to Male tyranny and Work Place Democracy and control of for women of their lives.

That means the right to healthcare, the right to land, clean drinking water, the right to collective organizing, the right to free speech and organize for a better situation in the home on the street and in the workplace…. I mean when we start talking about choice of sweatshops vs prostitution vs being locked in your house with a burka on… we are talking about the basic reality of women.

That is that women in 2006 are slaves, chattel, and servants…. An under class with few rights… the only people who have it worse are children and animals… to be born a women in 2006 is a truly miserable proposition, because not only are women already enslaved in a vast amount of society, but what freedom they have is under siege.

In my estimation it is not unimaginable for women in the next hundred years even in America to loose every right and privledge they has won and to be considered the property of men… I think this is a distinct possibility, one that has a historical president in Europe’s domestication of women through the witch-hunt.

all that is fine and good nohope but really it does nothing to address reality and stating these facts doesnt get anyone anywhere.

you can bitch and moan about womens position all you want, but the fact remains that you see something so deeply entrenched that it can never be fixed. if that is the case, why are we bothering at all? i would like to turn the world upside down and on its head as well, but thats just not feasible. i think its counterintuitive to just enumerate how awful we have it without giving any suggestions on how to change it, or even how to begin. while i agree with the idea of "know thy enemy", i think it only gets us so far, bc you are speaking about something so much deeper then just the idea of women in porn, its completely off topic and doesnt really add anything to the thread bc it applies to every single topic we speak of in here. so, we all know it, what else do you have to say on the topic?
Personally, I love it when a man comes along to tell me how oppressed I am as a woman. I mean, how would I know, otherwise? Men are so wise. I don't need to rely on my own experience as an oppressed woman, as long as I've got smart men telling me what they've read and heard and theorized about my experience. Why, I wouldn't know anything if some male authority didn't explain it to me!

I'm sure there are some black people somewhere just waiting for a white person to spread his pearls wisdom about how oppressed they are, too. Because I'm sure they wouldn't be able to understand until the wise white man schools them.
I'm not sure if I made it clear in my earlier posts or not, but just to clarify- for personal reasons, I am not a big fan of pornography. As for prostitution, strip clubs, phone sex, it just makes me sad I that anyone should have to pay for sex and companionship. BUT... I think a woman has just as much right to choose that line of work as any other. I live in a pretty small southern city, and there aren't alot of job opportunities for women, or anyone for that matter, who have a high school enducation. I can easily see why someone here would choose to work in one of the many strip clubs and make decent money, over working at Walmart or the dog food factory. Even though (again, for personal reasons) sometimes I hate that pornography even exists, I don't want to see it eradicated. I think it would be better for everyone involved if it were a more transparent, and less taboo industry. These people are earning their money, just like anyone else, yet are offered few protections (especially as to their health). I think as long as it remains something "shameful" or what have you, people judge it from their own moral perspective, rather than objectively, and people shy away from wanting to deal with it (such as lawmakers, health organizations, etc.) it will remain a dangerous work atmosphere.
I posted a link to this article previously ( and was really curious as to what you all thought. To me, it was disturbing that this female is saying, yeah sure there's some really degrading and potentially harmful stuff out there, but I like it, and so do lots of women. It really made me stop and wonder. What would any woman gain from seeing other women (mock?) abused and humiliated. I've heard the point made before that for men its a "power" issue. What's the issue with women? Are we becoming so ingrained with the mentality that other females are a threat, and we should be jealous or not trust them. that we enjoy seeing them "put in their place"? Maybe I'm reading too far into what she was saying, but it really scared me. I mean, how can we expect to move forward when we are using the degradation of other females as a form of entertainment?
Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'd be happy to clarify later when I'm not zonked out.
Interesting link, zahia. I think that's one of the touchy subjects brought up in the thread title -- are women who willingly participate in or consume porn that looks to be completely sexist or patriarchal setting back feminism?

Some would say, "No, we're advancing it, because we're admitting our own desires (even if they look like men's desires, they're ours) and acting on them without shame, and that sexually liberates us, making us stronger people and therefore stronger feminists."

And others would say, "Your hentai rape porn, with animated little girls being sexually torn apart by giant-dicked robot squids, has nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with supporting the patriarchy, and you go ahead and enjoy it, but you're really setting the rest of us back."

Obviously, we're all trying to be supportive and open-minded and all that stuff here, so few people want to come out and call another woman, especially one who identifies as feminist, a fucking sell-out. Everyone's sexual desires are vaild, as long as they don't lead to harming others (harm yourself all you want; that's your right). But the question is, if you lift your shirt for Girls Gone Wild, are you harming others by supporting attitudes towards women that are damn harmful?
I agree with you on the artcile, zahia. And I think it's such a cop out when people have reactions like the ones you refer to, girlbomb. But while I hate and would never support something like 'girls gone wild' i also think it's in a whole other avenue then the porn discussed in the article. I think neither of does a damn thing for feminism but I think that max hardcore, rocco, etc are a lot more damaging.

I dunno, I look at articles like that and I think the same thing over and over...why aren't there more alternatives? Obviously there are a good number of women who like porn, and more hardcore stuff, but there's still only access to the mainstream crap. So then feminists who admit to watching that stuff because nothing else is around are gonna get flak, while at the same time feeling guilty. It's horrible that the porn industry is dominated by men and the patriarchy and I think that's the thing that needs to change the most right now. Like I said before, changing it from the inside out...using the tools that are there right now.
good article zahia, i found it very interesting. i think the conclusion we seem to be coming to that yes, the industry needs to change, bc there are many things problematic with it, however, that doesnt mean certain aspects arent empowering or good for certain people who take charge of their own situation.

also, while i agree that its sad to pay for sex and companionship bc you can get it anywhere else, many people can, and they are paying the person to leave, or truly (in addition to having a good sex life with a person they love and care about) get stimulation from it. i mean, i dont know about anyone else, but thats why one night stands are attractive to me, i dont have to have all that companionship and love laden hassle to deal with afterwards. sometimes that (love and companionship) is one of the least attractive things, depending on what point i am in in my life. i do see what you are saying though bc many people dont hahve a choice and do actually have to pay.
You know, I don't think anybody "has to" pay for sex.

I've seen people cite the differently-abled as those who "can't get sex any other way." Like, what would these poor differently-abled men do without sex workers? The same thing the women do; the same thing people of all abilities do when nobody seems to want to fuck them -- try to meet people who do want to fuck them, or fly solo. My brother-in-law's in a wheelchair with brain damage, and he sure wants to get laid, just as much as he did before his motorcycle accident. Does that entitle him to buy sex? Not in my mind.

girlbomb, I agree with you: it does not entitle him to buy sex; noone is entitled to buy sex, to "purchase" the use of someone else's body.

Everyone has a choice to pay for prostitution; the people who are choosing to pay for sex, IMO, are also getting sex from elsewhere: from their wives, lovers, one night stands... Some buyers of sex have an addiction to sex and others have sexual peversions; both they could seek counselling for like any other addiction and not exploit someone who is trying to make a living, sometimes the only way they can.

snafooey, i just got to the articles you posted. Really interesting stuff, leaves you with lots to think about.
Interesting girlbomb. Do you think yer bro-inlaw is entitled to say, watch porn or call a phone-sex line?

zahia, I do have a problem with the hardcore degrading stuff, thats why I orginally posted in the 'porn and boys' thread. I DO think that stuff is harmful to women as a whole. But all porn? No, not really. Its not my biggest feminist concern anyway. Girls gone wild? I go back and forth on that one. My main problem with that stuff is that its commercials are on basic tv, exposed to impressional young minds who are just shaping their idea of women and sex. But whatever. France, Brazil and other countries are exposed to a lot of T and A, and I've met a lot of intellegent and strong women from those places.

As for the sweatshop vs. sex worker thing, again I see that more as a social/political issue than a feminist one. I mean, poor men have it just as bad as poor women. So far this summer there have been a handful of migrant worker deaths in my state due to heat exhaustion. see what I'm saying?
i tend to think that people who are differently abled are targets of people who have some sort of bizarre fetish who are taking advantage of their position, which would be "no one else will fuck me" (which isnt necessarily true but have heard a few women and men say out loud). in that case, is it really better to gravitate towards those people who have some weird thing going on sexually but couldnt care less about the actual person or their pleasure, or pay for it? i just dont know. i think until you are in a position like that, condemning those that do pay for sex work bc of whatever issue they may have isnt necessarily a good thing.

i am also not sure about the use of entitlement, what about just wanted to. is buying porn thinking you are entitled to purchase someone elses body. i think we have a slippery slope here.

bunnyb what you say is interesting "not exploit someone who cant make a living any other way". ok well, if they dont buy it, and they CANT make a living any other way, is it really exploitation, or is it helping someone out (esp someone who really chose to be a sex worker). i mean, if they cant make a living any other way, and you arent working towards helping there be other options, then maybe the best thing you can do for them is pay them. its weird, and i just dont know.
katiebelle, I thought about what I had written about some who can't make a living any other way and then I thought the same thing: well, if someone doesn't pay them then they are still in the rut they are in (e.g single mother with debts) and I realised it was so contradictory! I know that "punters" aren't being charitable, they're serving their own end (literally) but they do put money in the pocket of someone who is trying to make a living. It confuses me and I'm trying to work things out here by posting some.

The issue, that I see, is when women are pressured into thinking that they have no other option than to sell/use their bodies. It's not always just about lack of money/government benefits/child support/self esteem/education/ family help but a conscious decision that selling oneself is a viable option: that like one's brains, hands, talents, one can also use their cunts or cocks to support themselves. People/women should not be reduced to having to use their bodies as a bargaining chip in the game of life: THAT is what is exploitative.
totally agreed about the last part of your post, and i think its all something that is very hard to wrap our heads around,.
BunnyB, I agree with what you said, that no one should be reduced to thinking that selling their body is their only option, just like I don't think anyone should have to feel like they only have one choice in life as to how to make a living. But looking around, what I see is that lots and lots of people use their bodies to make a living. Take athletes for example. I realize that its viewed as two totally different things, but I think its a little unfair to say you can use your legs and speed, or your great throwing arm and make a living off that, but your genitalia, nope that's off limits. In general, I am not a big fan of goverment control over most things, but I really do feel like we have to draw the line somewhere, as to how much we're going to allow images or acts (whether coerced, or voluntary) that portray sexual abuse, to become normalized. I mean, I think its kind of ridiculous that certain things aren't allowed to be performed or filmed here, but you can still purchase them. To me, that's like saying well, you can't grow heroin here, but its perfectly fine to buy it from another country and use it.
It does concern me, because its so widely available. Even if the people performing in it are willing, paid participants, what sort of effect does it have on young viewers. For example, I was talking to my husband about the whole Rocco, and Nacho Vidal type of aggressive (and IMHO degrading) pornography, and he told me that he first saw it when he was 14! Him and his friends used to sit around all the time and watch it. So, before ever having sex with an actual person, and before receiving any decent sex education (from parents or school) this is what he was seeing sex represented as. And did it have an effect on him? You bet. I know its not the same for everyone, but it really does disturb me that at the same time this country is cutting back on sex education drastically, its also allowing this other stuff to pretty much flourish. I think that sends an extremely contradictory message.
well, technically, its not so much that its widely available, but that the rules for obtaining it are not enforced. i mean, technically its 18, and establishments should be held to that far more than they are. also, with the internet, it becomes virtually impossible, bc all they do is have a little button on which you click to "promise" you are 18. i mean come on.
zahia-that's what is so scary to me-that most guys i know were exposed to porn at a really young age. now, that's not so bad if it was just nekkid people and boobies, ya know? But when they are watching the degrading, violent stuff-and they don't have the context to know that this isn't real, isn't what sex is actually about, that they are acting, that that's not what real girls/women want, etc. it's SO influential to young horny minds smile.gif and not just the violence, but the whole thing- the loud screaming orgasms, the shaved crotches, the fake boobs, etc.

the sad thing is, if we weren't so repressive about sex in the FIRST place, young people woulnd't have to turn to black market and possibly ickky stuff. i mean, why can't a 14 y.o. get off to some sexy images? but where do they get "nice" sexy images?

most women i know shave their crotches. i dont particularly think that is very detrimental to young boys. the violence at such a young age. the cum shots. the women being treated like meat. that most certainly is.

why are they getting this porn. the age is 18! thats what i want to know. enforcing existing laws could go a long way to get rid of this problem.
um, katie, you know me and I don't shave my crotch. but i Have been with boys who think any body hair whatsoever is absolutely vile and repulsive and have made no bones about trying to make me feel gross about my natural body, as though have any hair was totally unnatural and freakish. so i have to disagree that it isn't detrimental to young minds. body modification of any kind should be a personal choice and not considered the norm as far as i am concerned. my son will grow up thinking that choice and personal expression are the sexiest things if i have anything to do with it.
word pepper. katie- why DO women shave their crotches? when did that start being a trendy, expected thing?
good point maddy, however, most women i know just like it better that way. including myself. its just neater. i mean, in my own personal experience (which of course is nowhere near necessarily what happens to everyone) no guy every expressed a problem when i didnt shave it all, i made the choice bc i just dont like a jungle down there. by no means do i keep up on it so its not always perfect.

i wont rule out being socialized to like it better this way, bc i agree with you that sometimes we do things without even realizing why we do them, however, no guy every mentioned it to me, so who knows.

i meant women i personally know around my age. i mean, i dont know how old you are, but i do know that most girls i know who are my age either shave or trim or something along those lines. perhaps its a generational thing, a trend thing, i dont know. most of them do it for the same reasons i do, bc its neater, esp when you have your period.

i was also a swimmer right thru college so i couldnt let hair be everywhere.

i am not sure its porn though that gets this message to boys. i think its just the general societal view on grooming. i mean, to me its no different then having hairy armpits, which clearly is a message not conveyed through porn but through society and advertising in general.
I was a swimmer too, katie, and everyone at the pool, guys and girls, shaved their nether-regions. Some boys even shaved their legs and arms. I still shave because the habit stuck and I feel uncomfortable when my bush grows out. I dont do it for boys, honestly it just feels 'right' to me. Like trimming my fingernails.

But, yeah, I totally agree that hardcore porn must not be seen by kids. I remember watching softcore as young as ten, and I dont think it had a bad affect on me,..but hardcore would have really been traumatizing.

Zahia: "it really does disturb me that at the same time this country is cutting back on sex education drastically, its also allowing this other stuff to pretty much flourish. I think that sends an extremely contradictory message."

I coudnt agree more! Sex education (or as the call it in Kansas, "abstinance plus") is vital in shaping kids perception of sex. Otherwise, if their parents dont teach them, all they have to go on is what they see in porn.
ok, i was just thinking about who profits from porn/sex work/whatever you want to call it. Like, follow the money up. Sex workers/strippers/etc are making money, but who is above them? is there always someone up in the hierarchy that's making money off of your body, too? or usually?

i'm thinking the whole spectrum, who is really making money off of this? not just who likes it or who consumes it, and not just who provides it, but who profits from it and makes it all happen?

i'm a bit stoned right now so i hope that made some kinda sense. smile.gif
Ha puff puff pass-share the love maddy:)

it made sense, i dont think it can be a straightforward answer. if people are independent, then they themselves profit. if they have a pimp the pimip profits. if they make porn, their is a whole string of people but i would assume the distribution and production company profits the most. if its in a brothel, the madame profits.

hard to say and i guess it depends on the work.
To answer the question of who makes the profits, it depends on the "profession".

By far porn companies do speaking from experience. They are the distributer and therefore hold the (in most cases) exclusive rights to the film/photos. They want the most from the women and pay the least. Web porn (not to be made into video, yes there is a difference) pays starting at $100 per scene and goes up to $15,000+ depending on the actress and what she is willing to do etc etc. Girls are in most cases responsible for their makeup, hair clothes etc unless it's a big company. The company stands to make $5+ per dvd or viewing if it's web based.

Stripping, varies upon place and the by-laws of where you are located. I worked in Toronto (that is the only place I've worked for that matter) and was paid $10 for each "dance" a dance by the way no matter what song is always less than 3 1/2 min long, that's why there's a dj. I was nude and there was no contact / touching me or you get the end of my heel in your crotch and a bouncer to finish the job off. When you strip you pay a "fee" for working there and having a locker, "it's percent of" eventually I just paid a straight ammount. You also tip the dj, the bartender and the bouncer. All told I paid out on average $80 and pocketed $300-500 a night and my shift was from 4pm'ish -2:30 am. I was responsible for the money I took in so if some crazy chick "took" my money it was still my responsibility. Also just to mention most places (in Canada) will fine you if you don't show up for work, leave early or to "see people" or come in drunk and high. I've seen places blacklist girls for "behavior". Everybody talks in that industry and nice bars don't want the hassel. Costs incured include: "upkeep" of your apperance (I have never spent so much on self tanner, hair spray and foundation in my life), transport and clothing (those shoes aren't cheap!).

As an escort you fee is your call if you work independantly. The worse was working "outcalls" the Madame (for the most part I have only worked for women) made the prices and you made part. I only worked for one outcall agencey and the more I knew her the got greedier she got! Average pay was $90 per "service" (straight sex) plus tips and whatever else you charged for extras. Costs incurred "working for someone" again your apperance, safe sex protection and whatever goodies you carried around in your bag. As the madame, you have to pay for your ads in the phone book (full page in the yellow book is $3000) plus the papers and the websites, buisness cards, multiple phone lines, receptionist and the driver makes their fee off each call he drops a girl off at.

Working "incalls" as an escort was/is in my opinion the safest - creeps won't fuck around in a public place not of their own turf. Incalls are usually in an apartment building or a hotel (I won't stay at a Quality-inn again) to avoid the legalities of being caught running a "brothel" agencies have a girl in each apartment so it looks like the guy is comming to visit her, plus more private. I did incalls independantly for 2mths and found it to be too sketchy, men will try anything if they think you work on your own. When you work for an agency you tell them the days you are available and they fit you into the schedule (most are open 9am-11pm so 2 shifts and 7 days a week) what you work is really your choice I guess. You also have alot of regular clients, mainly blue or white collar men. The agency pays for the apartment, the ads (same as above), receptionist, cleaning and some bitches charge a room fee/cleaning fee. Also they have to bribe the landlord /hotel desk, anonomoty (is that a word?) isn't free. The girls made about 70% usually again it depends on where you work I suppose, plus you make tips and can charge for extras. I also ran one of the agancies I worked at for a summer, being in those shoes i saw exactly what came in and out $ wise and I can't say that the person who owns the agency makes all that much from my perspective. The good placse don't hire girls who do drugs, have pimps or are "foreign". You also can refuse clients for a whole list of reasons, god knows I did on a regular basis!

I haven't worked as a masseuse but know girls who have, rub'n'tugs charge for the "massage" the girl makes her money from her show and what she will do, anywhere from $10-whatever. This job by the way has the most "sex-slaves" alot of those places are run by men who also "supply" their own girls mostly from Eastern Europe or Asia.

Street prostitution is something I know little of except the few girls I met as an outcall escort. I hate saying this but they are usually (98%) the ones with the major drug problems and have pimps. Alot are runaways and many start in the sex industry underage. My heart breaks just typing about these girls. They have the least protection (physically and sexually) and are often so desperate.

**please note what I've written is based on my experience in Toronto and what I have been told by other women whom I've worked with over the span of a few years. Also the major cities cosmo areas charge more and can be pickier because there is a certain degree of competiton amungst themselves, in smaller towns and the US I don't even have a clue!

ps- puff puff pass, I hope I didn't make too many gramarical errors, long day at straight job!
wow girlwithasecret, thank you for all the info. still absorbing! i love to hear about all the amazing busties who have seen and done so much with their lives. really for me, its just such an education that i feel i really couldnt get anywhere else.
Heres the local peepshow I sometimes frequent:
Its the only unionized/dancer-owned strip joint (in the world apparently, yeesh)
Maybe more places should be this way, huh?
battygurl, I would really like to see some documentation or sources regarding the state of marriage changing in the fifties.

I'm late to the party but lucizoe and battygurl, a great source re changing concepts of marriage is the historian Stephanie Coontz, if you haven't already read her stuff. She dates ideas of middle-class male-breadwinner "traditional marriage" as beginning in the Industrial Revolution and becoming most idealized in the 1950s. Also talks about marriage shifting from being an almost exclusively economic contract to the radical notion that it should be based on love. The linked article is too short to get into the 1950s and the shift from economics to love, but her fantastic book Marriage, A History does. I can't recommend the book highly enough. Great read.

Thanks all for the discussion. I'm learning lots.
Oooh, nifty! Thanks anarch!
Thanks anarch! I feel guilty about busting in here all without references to back up what I said.

I have question in regards to the thread title. Is the joke that porn is cock-blocking feminism because in the usual context feminism would be cock-blocking porn? (cock-blocking prevents the cock from doing X, assuming the stereotype: hetero, cocks' quest for porn) 'cause porn can't really cock block anything except sex.

anarch, these links look good, I will check them out later once I get home!

some comments on the thread as a whole:

1.) The erotica vs. porn stuff is tired. as in, "I mean, feminist porn is cool, but the really degrading stuff is bad for women." I think pornography (print, video, film, web) is neither feminist nor antifeminist as is. Societal taboos come and go, and are harmful/okay in different contexts. Granted there are various pros/cons to cultural relativism, but making a distinction out of personal, private choices is kind of problematic. Laws? well, yeah, that's life. But people will find their fetishes anywhere. I just think that blanket subersive/not subversive decisions made for the "good of women" and "feminism" are broad and universalising. And acts/entertainment/fantasy are very very different things - completely linked, but the distinction is still there.

Numbah 2.

Nohope says:

<i>There seems to be this view that women in the west are FREE… that they are on the other side of the liberation struggle and that they have won and that Feminism is not primarily about liberating women, but rather in protecting their liberated statues… </i> (yay-uh!)

hmmm, are you getting at the problematic Opressed Third World woman vs. Liberated Western Woman thing goin' on?

THANK YOU Snafooey for the SASHA linkage. Good stuff. There is so much victimization of the "poor asian sex worker" that contributes this very monolithic Third World Woman archetype; all that stuff about saving the "developing" countries...bah. I find it interesting that "The asian sex industry" tends to be a nice little outlet for us to point fingers at how badly the Third World treats its women (they have to do THAT for work?? What a country!) Anybody read Transnational America? (Inderpal Grewal) Quite an interesting chapter on the human rights as women's rights discourse within various NGOs and the UN.

ok back to real thread.
Random thought - I wonder if forced prostitution and slavery gets brought into the debate all the time because when it happens (like, when you read how your immigration service had to rescue people from your local red light street and retrieve their passports from their kidnappers) it seems somehow to say something about prostitution per se - what is it in itself that permits this to be part of its context?

What does it tell me about my local red light street that it could keep going, regardless, while some of the workers were held there against their will and threatened? What does it tell me about those who use it and their attitudes to their fellow human beings?What does it tell me about the structure and the purpose, what is it in itself? What is sex work qua sex work, that this can be a part of it?

I'm not sure if it tells us much, actually, it seems way too variegated to be reduce like that. But I think that might be why the spectres of the migrant slave or the third world sex tourist kind of haunt our discussions.

You know, rereading the Foriegn Fuck and Empower links Snafooey posted and rantrave refers to, I think it's great that some people choose to do sex work, and I'm delighted they're happy with it. I'm certainly not trying to stop anybody from doing it safely or profitably; my goals are their goals in that respect. At the same time, these sex workers do the same thing they accuse anti-prostitution activists of doing -- they assume their experiences are the only ones that matter. In my experience, knowing both voluntary and involuntary sex workers, I'm inclined to believe that there is a *huge* fucking human trafficking and rape-for-money problem, and it's not my goddamn xenophobia talking, because the shit is happening right here in New York.

Hey, if you want to do sex work, do sex work! But don't assume everyone else in your line of work does.
so long as there are people willing to sell their ass, or a glimpse of it, to strangers for cash there will be others willing to sell some other, unwilling person's ass for less money.

it's been said here recently that i ain't gonna go nowhere any time soon, there has to be a move towards making it legit and safe. i have to agree with that, no matter how i feel about it as a whole. it has to get cleaned up as it is before anything else happens. light one candle instead of cursing the darkness kinda thing, ye know.
what I should have said - There are problems, they exist, they are bad, etc. but to complicate our ways of "helping" does not scream of choice-feminism.

and on cleanin up, all i can think is "My My Metrocard"
Am I the only one that thinks theres a big difference between porn and prostitution?
My friends and I were talking about this the other day, and while most of us dont mind if our
boyfriends watch porn (and most of us watch as well) we would have a problem if our
boyfriends had paid for sex at some point in their lives. One of my friends claimed her
boyfriend HAD paid for sex long before their relationship, and she was fine with it.
I dont know if I could be. Is that hypocritical of me? I just feel like prostitutes are more
exploited/in more dire straights than your average porn actor, so it would disturb me if a
guy I was with had participated in the exploitation of a woman, yet I dont feel that way
if he viewed porn.
Does that make sense?
I think that makes sense. I definatly see a big difference, the similarity would be that they're all sex workers. As for having a problem with my boy going to a prostitute, for sure. The difference is he would be with a real person, when I know that porn is just fantasy. I don't really know how I would feel if I was dating someone who had paid for sex in the past. *ponders*
Just got the new BITCH today in the mailbox - all about sex, with a couple of articles about sex workers...mentions a bit about how the women for whom sex work is a free will choice are overwhelmingly white and middle class...

anywho, just wanted to give a heads-up if anyone was interested...go buy it smile.gif
Sounds great, I'm definatly gonna have to pick it up.

Unfortunatly, that information doesn't surprise me at all.
Oh yeah, those stats dont surprise me either.
Of course any issue about womens 'choices' is going to be overwhelmingly in white middle class favor.
Its like the issue 'to shave or not to shave'. White women can go hairy and unkempt and still be considered a 'natural beauty' or a cute hippy chick...but a non-white comes off as a dirty and gross.
Also related: This really gross article about Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild, in which he physically attacks the female reporter.

But here's an interesting excerpt that says the women aren't exploited:

I call Vicki Mayer, a sociologist and Tulane University assistant professor, for guidance. Mayer teaches a class on the nudity rituals that take place on New Orleans' infamous Bourbon Street. She has studied and written about "Girls Gone Wild," and she contends that it's simplistic to say that Mantra takes advantage of women. "For some women this is liberating, for some women this is something they do on a goof or for a lark to show friends they can, for some it's a way of flirting with the cameramen," Mayer says.

Mayer has studied the young cameramen, who, she says, often sign up because they hope to break into Hollywood. Usually, she says, they end up disillusioned after spending night after night with women who lose their inhibitions for a T-shirt. "As much as it would be easy to see this as a simple relationship of men treating women a certain way, there are mutual relations of exploitation. I kind of feel like both sides could be seen as exploited."

She's concluded that the winners are "the owners of these companies who are contracting cheap labor and free talent for a media product."
Eewwww. That guy will get what he deserves one of these days. Is that true that he was humiliated at gunpoint!? Well thats a step in the right direction. I wonder how many other girls have punched or slapped him, know theres gotta be a handful,..and if they got it on tape?! That'd be a funny outtake video, like, "Girls Gone Wild,..with RAGE!" But seriously he is playing with fire, and if hes careless someone is going to get enough evidence on him to put him in jail. Shall we Busties plan an undercover bait operation?...
Girlbomb, a friend just referred that article to me, as a survivor, this brings up a boiling rage I have not felt in years.

I think there needs toi be a non-profit action group against this asshole....The next Hugh Hefner? Hef's dried up giz stains have more class then this asshole. mad.gif
Just commented on it in feminist outrage as well. GGG, that's exactly how it made me feel as a survivor as well. Just sickening.
QUOTE(lucizoe @ Aug 7 2006, 09:34 PM) *

Just got the new BITCH today in the mailbox - all about sex, with a couple of articles about sex workers...mentions a bit about how the women for whom sex work is a free will choice are overwhelmingly white and middle class...

anywho, just wanted to give a heads-up if anyone was interested...go buy it smile.gif

Was it this issue? I should be getting it from smitten kitten in a week or so, so I don't wanna buy it if that's the one.
(Nope...cover is sultry red with lip-shaped lifesavers candy or some-such...)
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