The Difference

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Sex Work

Oddly enough, several years back I did a post of the same dang title on the same dang issue…had I not nuked the old joint I could just link the fucker, but alas, the Empire got sacked…I could dig it up and paste it here, but meh, not feelin’ like it…so, you know, I am gonna go with a condensed version with the same sorta feel…less wordy, more basic, but hell, I reckon the points will be made all the same.

So let’s jump into that shit, shall we? 

The Main Difference between a Harm Reduction Stance and an Abolitionist Stance Re: Sexwork  (or my opinion on the matter anyway)

It really is a pretty simple but HUGE thing, really.  Abolitionists seek to end the sex industry, and end the conditions and factors which cause it- everything from poverty to the idea that its okay for men to purchase sex from women.  Harm Reductionists seek to, well, reduce the harm done to those who are currently working in the Sex Industry.  Because of this Abolitionists are dealing with the future, looking towards a future in which there is no sex industry and no situations or factors which would lead to their being one.  Their end game, as it were, is not something that can or will be accomplished in the here and now- it is a goal for the future.  Harm Reductionists?  Well, they are dealing in the here and now, where there is a sex industry and ALL the situations and factors that lend themselves to it’s existance.  There you have it.  Main difference, right there: Future vs. Now.  Pretty basic, yeah? 

And because of that main difference, the Future vs. Now thing, it can be very, very hard for people of the two different camps to be on the same page on pretty much anything.  Group A wants a world where sex is not for sale and is working towards that end, Group B realizes that in the here and now people are selling sex and thusly want to make it as safe for those whom are doing so as possible.  Because amid these two groups the desired result of action is seriously different- destruction of vs. safety in- well shit, no wonder these two camps seem to be at one another’s throats all the time, yeah?

And I can tell ya flat out why I am firmly planted in Group B, the harm reduction camp.  For one, to me it is far more practical and logical.  I’m not gonna take a piss all over what Group A wants, but I do tend to think it is a serious pipe-dream, and if not that, an end goal which is so far in the future, and one that is not even necessarily wanted by a whole lot of folk, women included, that well….fuck it, I will be blunt…I think its a waste of time.  Especially when there are sex workers in the here and now and eliminating anything and everything that would lead people to be on either side of the sex biz, things like capitalism, the current social order, poverty, drug addiction, folk wanting to live off the grid, so on, so forth- could take eons…well, it makes no logical sense to me, and I figure my efforts are better spent dealing with the here and now and not on some future possibility that may or may not ever happen….after all, there are a lot of folk in the sex biz in the here and now who could sure as shit stand with their lives being safer, more respected, and a shit ton less complicated.  I mean, I ain’t gonna spin out my brain trying to imagine a world with no sex industry when sex workers are doing their thing right now…at this second…and well, shit, maybe the help or effort I can put forth in the here and now will be of some use to them. 

Hell, I bet you were expecting this to be some seriously long and drawn out shit, yeah?  Shrug.  No need for that, because when you cut right down to it, the shit is pretty basic. 

If you wanna see more about Harm Reduction & Other Stuff and my Writings On It, well…

Here…check it…

Overview 

Harm Reduction

Decrim

Problems with Creating a Monolith

Terminology (aka, Ren is Grumpy Bitch)

Heh, and fuck it, a Rant!

Comments
  1. Roy Kay says:

    Reviewed responses to “Heh, and fuck it, a Rant!”.

    I am really tired of “Privileged” being used to dismiss anything and everything anyone has to say. Basically it boils down to “Anyone articulate and reasonably prosperous has no valid experience”. Remarkably, the people so saying are usually “privileged” themselves, but I guess the best defense is a good offense. The upshot being that attacking is the most politically effective tactic.

  2. I’ll piss on the straight abolitionists position. Camp 1 may have good intentions but moral victories have very limited value when something is harming you and you don’t have the ability or resources to stop it. Abolitionists claim to be working on behalf of oppressed women and girls in the sex industry offering a glorious ending of freedom from exploitation for all by virtue of ending the sex industry. Yet, they offer no plan to achieve their goal. Well, except one, Nikki Craft claims there is a plan but it is known only to the most senior radical feminists. Which begs the question of what planet Nikki is currently living on. But aside from Nikki, no one has a plan. Why? Because it isn’t going to be ended. But they live in their world with a cavalier sense of saying there is no need for harm reduction and all the focus should be on ending exploitation. Meanwhile those in need suffer longer because resources are diverted to the grand battle. It is easy for abolitionists to take a position of leaving others in pain for an alleged political good. It isn’t the abolitionists who are going to suffer the consequences. Abolitionists who oppose harm reduction are sadists. They have no problem inflicting pain on others. And the pain only matters to them when it is one of them that feels it. Thus, someone has to piss on the abolitionist who oppose harm reduction position. Hmmmm, shrug. I guess today it’s me who will play the role of villain and call them on their elitist bullshit. The straight abolitionist who opposes harm reduction is as harmful and dangerous to sex workers as the predators they claim to be fighting. The straight abolitionist position sucks. It’s harmful, sometimes deadly.

    • Ren says:

      well, I asked for a plan about billion times and never heard one, so yeah, very much with you on the “Whats the goddamn plan?” theory.

  3. ernest Greene says:

    Indeed, the greater the misery of sex workers, the more propaganda they generate for the prohibitionists (who I won’t dignify with the title belonging to those who actually worked to end slavery). Harm reduction carries with it the dangerous notion that life could actually be improved for sex workers under the existing system. Can’t have that. Better they should be as wretched as possible so their plight can be exploited to the ultimate ideological ends of heartless fanatics.

    Gee, I haven’t posted here in ages and probably won’t again for who knows how long, but this one was just too easy.

    • Ren says:

      well, sometimes you gotta do some sitting duck shooting…I understand!

    • Xena says:

      Yes. Prohibitionists is a much better word for the Church Lady/Radfem set. Do these women even grasp the meaning of the word backlash? They’re doing The Man’s dirty work for him and they don’t even know it. Segregate the women and micromanage the virgins?!? Puh-LEASE! That’s NOT feminism. More like some kind of right wing Doodly extremism.

  4. Idiocracy says:

    Abolitionist – weasel words. When is a woman selling sex? When she could have any man but she prefers the one buying her the drinks and the dinner- or she just plain fancies him herself? When is a man selling sex? Or are women so naturally sexless (‘pure’?) compared to men that they never even think of such bestial things? Or so much less interested in human contact that mechanical thrills satisfy a woman while men need the sense of another person? Or do women find more problem fighting unwanted ‘offers’ off than having to pay to get sex?

    Underneath ‘Abolitionist’ is the implication that sex is always something that men impose on unwilling women to their shame and detriment. Even if the money is not outright, it is easily found by invoking a circular idea of male supremacy because women who don’t reject it are ‘obviously inferior’ – in the eyes of the women saying so (and a few tosspot men with the same belief in ‘male supremacy’), nobody else’s!

    Behind the ‘saving women from themselves’ is an assumption that women always meet men on subordinate terms, they never have sexual or emotional feelings themselves unless men have put them there.

    Women often must be ‘saved from themselves’ because for most of history they’ve been struggling to free themselves from those (mostly women) determined to save them.

    There is plenty fetish porn that women would not do if they hated it, and if they only cared about the money, they could get more in straight stuff. OK, maybe they could do it for free – there’s no shortages of free sites by women either. Maybe anybody in a job they love could do it for free too. Maybe a lot do. But the killer then, if they do ti for free,. they must be even more exploited than if they don’t.

    How the hell we ever got here except like the concentration camp guard asked “Name of the man who raped your whore mother?” these women determined to save women from the subordination of sex with men seem unable to answer. If it’s a human development, then we need to know how and why women suddenly stopped being as sexual as other animals.

    If it isn’t and sex is ‘subjection’, then it has been that way ever since two creatures had to choose to come together to do it – and usually the female chooses to allow the male, not the other way round, so she is in control. If that’s the case and it makes females ‘subject’, then that’s about the best argument that they are naturally ‘subordinate’ that can be – so not a very convincing one to make them anything else.

    Under it all isn’t really ‘sex industry’ or ‘forced’ – it is just plain good old-fashioned ‘sex is a nasty thing boys want from girls’. One minute you’re ‘protecting prostitutes’, the next incarcerating girls to treat their ‘nymphomania’ for losing their virginity underage.

    What they all depend on at heart is that “girls & women aren’t really competent to know their own mind because if they were they would never do what we disapprove of for them”.

    • Ren says:

      um dude…a lotta leaps and somewhat erronous assumptions there, I’m afraid. And yep, as I said to Ernest, it could be duck season…but I got some more Sons of Anarchy to watch before I even TOUCH some of this stuff and its utter wrong/fail…

      • idiocracy says:

        Dead right, because I wrote as I felt after some traditional Italian mind-liberation, but I’ll go with JillBreenoman up earlier – so-called ‘abolitionists’ have first off decided what is ‘good moral respectable’ and that means sex isn’t for women. Second, they know they are pushing idealistic crap, so in the name of ‘saving the benighted’ at some future date when the ‘benighted’ come crawling to them confessing the sin forced on them by evil men. they’re all ready to act – but right now, to help the ones in real need means accepting the system – and who would ever do anything practical when they can make a big noise complaining about something they do not control, so cannot change?

        They are like arguing 200 years ago against protection for slaves because slavery should not exist. On the face of it, maybe good idea but at the time, it’s not going to happen. Even if it does it will only amount to a change of name and no real difference in conditions.

        So stop telling us all the perfect ideal, and do something to ameliorate what is here and now and even accept that there are people who would rather be a trusted house-slave almost part of the family than ‘freed’ by people who have not thought it through any further as to how to make a living with all the other prejudices that were around at the time.

        These people decide – just like ‘tradition’ – that all sex on sale is so degrading that no woman ever could choose to do it (and no man ever does to either sex, or woman pay for it). Under that is the belief that sex degrades women, they’d only do it when forced by threat or poverty.

        But that’s circular – if women are sexless and only men want it, then of course that keeps prices up for sellers! Puritanism breeds prostitution and prostitutes love Puritans.

        I worked for somebody once who thought about establishing a brothel in a tourist resort in the 80s (with the wife of a business colleague he was involved with). Never got anywhere because the women felt as free as the men to screw around, so who was going to pay for what they’d get at any disco?

        Personal ‘moral’ approval has nothing to do with genuine protection of vulnerable people. It’s over-stating, but whores stand a far better chance of looking after themselves and knowing what they’re doing and not getting raped or beaten up than kids running away from family horror – and they can be the victims too of intruding on professional ‘beats’.

        They want to play the traditional game of making ‘sex’ responsible for all ills – and through it ‘men’ that they feel resentful inferiors to. It’s the homelessness that matters, and the lack of support if women (even less men!) work hard to care for a child – but that’s not a ‘paying job’. Never mind how they raise the money to support themselves – mind why they are forced to at all.

        Maybe this is disjointed, but I think the best book of the last century was ‘Animal Farm’ because I see in there just how so much that started off promissing Heaven on Earth has come back worse than what it opposed but under the new name preventing any argument against it.

        What is worse, the women you refer to are probably absolutely as genuine in their beliefs as any Born-Agains. And absolutely as cut-off ignorant of what really matters to ‘real’ people and hostile to them for upsetting their precious ideals.

        It’s women like you who speak for most people, not the ‘junior Anti-Sex League’ whatever name they give themselves.

  5. rootietoot says:

    I am with you on the harm reduction side. Human nature is human nature, and sex work is the oldest profession and isn’t going anywhere. Abolition is pie in the sky and a waste of time. Give me a minute and I’ll come up with some more cliches,but there it is. The only way sex work is going away is for all the men to be neutered and all the women to have FGM, and that ain’t happening.

  6. polly says:

    My head hurts a bit, cos I’ve got a cold. But so-called ‘abolitionists’ have first off decided what is ‘good moral respectable’ and that means sex isn’t for women.

    Well I’m sure SOME of them have. But all of them?

    When is a woman selling sex? When she could have any man but she prefers the one buying her the drinks and the dinner- or she just plain fancies him herself?

    When it’s a financial transaction Dude. When is someone selling a television, or a chair? I’ve bought people meals before now without expecting sex in return. It’s 2011 now you know!

    Yeah, you know what I can’t be bothered either. I kind of agree with you on the pragmatism bit though Ren, I have never agreed with sex work being illegal (and contrary to popular myth, it isn’t illegal in the UK and never has been). Nor do most abolitionists of course, but let’s not let that get in the way of an irrational argument.

    • Ren says:

      I’ve finished “SOA” but am hitting the road for FL today…but yeah, I will be back to offer one of my legendary responses to some of this stuff…those take some effort which is Beyond Even My Skill when in a car…

    • idiocracy says:

      I was being sarcastic. What is ‘selling’? When you get more that straight exchange sex for sex?

      It’s 2011 and I expect women to think of sex as ‘something to enjoy with a friend’ and have done all my life – not as a service for sale. I leave that image of the female with no sexual demand of her own just ‘giving in’ to the man who pays enough to ‘Victorian’ prudes and Lesbians terrified of men.

      How can we say a woman is not ‘selling’ sex unless she goes with any man on offer? Nobody would even raise such a daft question about men!

      So take it from the male side. Exclude rapists. It often looks like men would screw anything. There’s a lo o neglected women over 50 out there!

      What I was saying is that it’s always possible to call sex ‘selling’ if you look at that way. It’s no more than girls flirting sex in a bar for sex they reckon was enough just flirting to be bought a drink.

      Women have always exploited men that way, as they will not allow men to exploit them. So they want the highest payer – but nobody condemns them as ‘whores’. But all that stuff is still looking for the best offer they can get.

      If sex is central, then when is anybody not bargaining some kind of payment for either getting or giving it?

      A prostitute, a ‘old-fashioned girl’ and a feminist all agree that men only want sex and that is too degrading for any ‘decent’ woman to want. But there are still women prepared to take the risk of conservative=feminist condemnation for admitting that they actually enjoy sex for themselves without any shame of feeling inferior ‘sex objects’ subordinate to ‘male dominators’.

      • Ren says:

        Lesson one of our long and annoying road trip: let the tweaker drive..cuts down on nap breaks. Lesson two: assuming any woman of any stripe thinks sex is by nature and default degading is a moron or a person with a seriously questionable agenda. Lesson three….a dude talking about women, sex and prostitution is a lot like me wandering into a meeting of men and proclaiming my knowledge and expertise on how a culture of forced masculity lends itself to hyper aggression and an over emphsis upon strength and athletic skill amid young men….and assuming I got a better perspective on it than the dudes who lived it..

        Savvy?

  7. pollly says:

    “It’s 2011 and I expect women to think of sex as ‘something to enjoy with a friend’ and have done all my life”

    Very liberal of you dude. Personally I expect PEOPLE to think of sex however they think of it. Something they’re not interested in. Something that only comes with marriage. Something that’s fine on a one night stand. Something that’s fine with 1, 2, or any multiple of people of any description. You get get my drift?

    The minute you start dictating how others should think of sex you’ve moved right over into fascism.

    Perhaps if you were less misogynist you wouldn’t get stuck with these gold digging females. Just saying.

  8. Idiocracy says:

    Never been stuck with a gold-digger old dear. I expect lovers to be friends, not something to leech off me as if sex were a privilege for men but not for women, or even an imposition for them.

    I guess we can all switch words to suit our own prejudices, but I referred to women because men were not under discussion and women often have a lot more to say about the further implications of sexual relationships.

    It looks like you start from the prejudice that anything a man says about sex is ‘dictating’ – while no doubt the millions of women talking about it are not.

    All I can get from your post is that you feel whatever anybody says is fine – unless they’re a man saying he likes sex to be ‘fun between friends’ instead of rape or paying a woman he despises, it seems.

    Since ‘the moment you start dictating how others should think of sex you’ve moved right over into fascism’, as you say, you have nothing to say on the subject – since that would be ‘dictating’. So you cannot ‘dictate’ that sexual relations should involve mutual respect, even when no long-term relationship is involved; you cannot ‘dictate’ that a woman should actually enjoy sex instead of supplying it as a service to her husband because that is not just her duty, but her entire culture she has grown up in unaware that there could be anything different.

    I know what ‘misogynist’ means – it always means standing up against a woman full of contempt – often hatred – for her own sex when they don’t conform to some archaic macho fantasy. ‘Misogynist’ is the word that women who despise their own sex use to discredit men who respect them as equals instead of the rapists they want men to be and wish they could be themselves.

    The ‘gold-digger’ crap is just as much par for the course – women-who-despise-women invent that fantasy to condemn men who have not had the rapist attitude they want to project onto men, and instead met women with an equality that they do not want to share. Sexism is no more restricted to men than racism to Europeans.

    *YOU* call recognising people, especially female, as equal human beings ‘dictating’ because it does not suit whatever sexist fantasy martyrdom that turns you on.

    Maybe if I were more misogynist, I would not face the anger of sexist bigots for saying that men and women are just plain people and that differs far more between individuals than between sexes, I just do not see why some women like you get so fussed up and offended by the idea of equality.

    You want to believe women inferior to your idea of ‘men’. Tough – I reject your dominant rapist stereotype of ‘man’ that you want to force on me, and I am sick of women like you looking for any excuse to misinterpret anything said to make yourselves appear traditional inferior martyrs at the expense of women capable of equality with men and expecting those men to respect them as equals.

    You told me how you *dictate* you expect people to regard sex. I said they should respect each other and feel friends. But to you, even that much mutual respect is ‘dictation’ and to expect a man to respect the woman he fucks is ‘misogynist’.

    So maybe you feel that outlawing rape is ‘misogynist’ because we must not ‘dictate’ how women respond to sex must we?

    • Ren says:

      ::blink blink::: no, just, well, no….

      • Idiocracy says:

        I didn’t see Ren’s comment but yes she’s right – up to a point. Feminists do march in to dictate what they want to believe men feel and object if the men say otherwise. I don’t know what ‘gold-digger’ was about but it strikes me as a pretty ‘misogynist’ judgment and I find the word ‘misogynist’ howled loudest against objection to a small number of women calling themselves ‘feminist’ condemning all others who don’t share their sense of inferiority as at best cretinous slaves of male supremacy or at worst the sexist equivalent to African slave-traders.

        Is there something so terribly wrong about expecting women, like men, to view sex without sense of shame or inferiority, even when it is on a commercial basis? The only people who throw a fit and call it ‘misogynist’ at the idea that women enjoy porn and sex just as much as men call themselves ‘feminist’.

        That is why most women regard that term as the female insult equivalent to ‘male chauvinist’. Ren calls them ‘rad-fems’ but everybody else knows them as just plain ‘feminists’ and the likes of Ren, just plain fucking ordinary ‘normal’ human beings who happen to to be female.

        It’s the easiest game that all ‘fundamentalists’ play, to pretend their minority represents the majority they usually condemn. So religious fundamentalists scream ‘atheism’ (as if that were a bad thing!) at any objection to their condemnation of every other sect, racists shout ‘racism’ when their own racist stereotypes are questioned, and feminists holler ‘misogyny’ whenever their portrayal of women with a mind of their own as manipulated morons and willing Quislings is questioned.

        If you want ‘misogyny’, start with the kind of person who calls women ‘gold-diggers’ from a fleeting reference and calls it ‘fascism’ to say that it’s a good idea for sex partners to respect each other as equal human beings instead of just being ‘objects’ to rape.

        • Ren says:

          Actually….anyone who has hung around Ren’s various blogs knows that when I am typing away there is a big difference between the generalized statement of feminists and the specific term rad fem. And yep it is possible for women to just enjoy the fun of having sex….and yep women do often harshly police and condemn their own….but when every moral or social code pretty much in the history of the world has been created by men….well not gonna blame women for that. And frankly- gold diggers are a real thing might as well call them what they are…..but I think Polly was going for sarcasm.

          • Idiocracy says:

            I agree with that – but not that ‘every code has been created by men’. Were women really such feeble inferiors right back to swinging in the trees?

            We’re a matriarchy where women traditionally use men as whites used to own blacks. The cunning thing has been that when women spoke up in the 1960s against Vietnam and all the traditional male-superior crap, it was after the 80s that it turned the other way round so that it wasn’t women saying “There’s more to life than money and a title and some uniform and women have it” – it was ‘feminists’ saying “Masculine ideals are superior, women are inferior and have to fit in”.

            It’s like those colonies where the natives were ashamed of their own language, clothes, culture, and ‘proved’ themselves equal to Europeans by showing they could be just like them instead of standing up that they were writing ideas down when Europeans were eating each other!

            It’s not like ‘feminism’ in some abstract idea of men being domesticated and women earning a living is a bad idea – it’s more like George Orwell wrote about ‘Communism’ that the idea was fine, but it got taken over (as most things do) to suit a bunch of Russians that were just the Old Guard sneaking in again.

            That’s why I try to keep a clear distinction between your ‘rad-fems’ and what might be a sort of ‘universal equality’ that might have called itself ‘feminist’ 40 – 50 – 60 years ago, but that bunch are still old-fashioned hypocrites about.

            They believe (they say), that women are totally sexually free. Except, when did they not decide that any woman who does make sexual decisions for herself is a ‘sex object’, a poor deluded ‘victim of the Patriarchy’? It’s like the Reformation with Protestants proclaiming freedom from the Catholic Church – and being far more doctrinaire themselves that ‘freedom’ has to fit their idea or you’re a Witch!

            Yes there are men who despise sexual women. Really, they have problems respecting their own sexuality. But the last person I want to give a woman contemptuous names like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ and ‘sex object’ when they do not see men that way, is somebody who claims to believe in ‘equality’. It’s up to me in the end whether I respect anybody as ‘equal’ and I damned well do not want some ‘rad-fem’ dictating that any woman who does not consider herself inferior and ashamed to be sexual is an ‘object’.

            That is their problem – not the problem of most men or women. If I want to despise somebody. it’s more likely to be a banker than a wanker! I worked a short time in offshore finance and that makes German scat-porn look cleaner than an operating theatre.

            Hard for you to appreciate, and often close to offensive – there’s a lot of ways that the USA now looks a blast from the past from Europe. Like there’s a few You-tubes around with European writers flummoxed when somebody asks “What effect has being a known atheist had on your career?” It’s like being asked “How did being left-handed affect you?” Not that we don’t notice religion – we certainly do that any politician who starts waving God around is as good as finished – but it just doesn’t matter any more than left hand or red hair or freckles.

            A lot of what you call ‘feminism’ is just ordinary life and always was. There never were that many women able to afford the luxury of feeling their sex entitled them to a man to ‘keep them in the manner to which they would *like to* become accustomed’.

            Our ‘old feminism’ was saying the things women did were as good as the ones men did, and we don’t need ways to stop women caring about children so they can spend their life at work (like in the USSR) as much as remember that most of them are working to fund a life more than work, and they want men by their side as equals, not John Galts with nothing more to life than money for its own sake and men no better than themselves awarding them meaningless ‘club badges’. We had all that sort of hierarchical crap way back when with the Nazis and ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’.

            If you’re a ‘frightening feminist’ in the USA, then goddess help the USA! Round here you’d be a tough cookie I guess, but pretty much like the rest and nobody would give a living shit. And there’s ‘real tough’ and ‘swagger tough’ too.

            So if I’m shitty to ‘Feminists’ see it as how shitty Americans are to ‘Communists’ or even ‘Socialists’. Nobody was ever shittier to ‘Communists’ than arch-Communists like Trotsky and Brecht because as far as they could see, the regimes betrayed the ideals. Likewise, I see ‘Feminists’ today as never questioning traditional masculine ‘industrial’ superior values, always telling women how inferior they are to men, never standing up like they did in the 60s against all those ‘conservative’ values.

            In the 80s a certain kind of ‘rad-fem’ isolated themselves in ‘communes’. There was one a few doors up from my girlfriend and her friends in London – and they made a far better ‘commune’ than that bunch of man-scared sourpuss ‘political Lesbians’ ever did.

            If those ‘radicals’ had had the guts to accept equality with men and not to be afraid that they were so feeble that the moment they let a man in, they’d be grovelling obedience, they were what we really needed to say that they had an Ideal that men could learn too instead of writing women off as either having to submit to (their idea of) men or dissociate, but in either case too bloody feeble to deal with men as equal individuals. In the end, they were no more than old-fashioned ‘girlies’ unable to hack equality with men, and exploited by ‘The Establishment’ to prevent men from learning anything for them and opposing ‘The System’ as they had back in Hippy days (even if they messed that up).

            • Ren says:

              well, different countries are different it seems…

              wrt to native cultures…those who “stood up” got wiped out- plain and simple. blending in became a dang survivial technique.

              and we can do this dance forever and it ain’t gonna change shit: Simple fact is I don’t agree with you. Do I think there are some very orwellian feminists out there? Yep. I also think there are ones who hate men period and want reparations and domination rather than equality and all that other stuff….but I do NOT think they are the majority and NEVER will- so you might as well quit barking up that tree. I will also say I am getting REALLY FUCKIN’ SICK of pretty much every comment you make here being some dig at feminists EVEN WHEN the post (ahem, shopping) has jack and shit to do with feminists…for instance, a ton of abolition supporters wrt to sex work are hard core family values relgious right folk- not feminists….but you ONLY mention them.

              And frankly, women folk need folk like you defending us about as much as we need…oh..social diseases. We can hold our own, thanks. You wanna talk about harms done to men and whatnot? Hit an MRA blog.

              • Idiocracy says:

                Your response does sound a bit like “I want to be a martyr, don’t you dare step out of line not hating women”.

                You’re right that I only mention feminists, because only feminists make an issue of equality in order to put women down as inferiors. If there’s a bunch of people saying that the White Race is It that everybody else should copy, then I’ll go for the ones that say they are anti-racist and ‘socialist’ as the hypocrites, not for the outright racists who aren’t talking ‘equality’.

                It is probably a matter of background. You’ll probably find a lot more US women prepared to call themselves ‘Feminist’ who never would ‘Communist’ or even ‘Socialist’, where here it’s the other way round and what matters is less getting women into the same working roles as men, as giving equal value to life apart from that and getting men out of work into paternity leave.

                I do think of ‘Feminists’ as what the pigs became in ‘Animal Farm’ and so do most people – here. That is not necessarily the same there. Feminists once challenged conservative values from somewhere more advanced and further Left than Socialists with a hope to value both sexes equally. Then they followed the Socialists into Obamadom – a lot of revolutionary noise that ends up fitting people to the existing System, instead of changing it to suit the People.

                It is different worlds and your world has to deal with taking Genesis seriously. We don’t have that. So what ‘Feminist’ means to you is probably as different from what it does to me as ‘Communist’ or ‘Socialist’. Those are by far the more usual affiliation.

                I believe in placing women’s traditional preoccupations above men’s and life being about more than being a cog in the economic machine. I don’t think there’s any more women think they are born to entitlement for men to look after them than ever were – probably a lot less – but some use the name of ‘feminism’ to recover that privilege and some use it for the opposite, terrified of men. Most women don’t feel the need to use it at all. But that’s *here*.

                We do have equivalents to Sarah Palin but we just look at them and maybe, somewhere in the back of beyond, they troop out of church to elect one – the rest just stare in horror! There’s no way you’d find the majority of women feeling they need to label themselves to say they are not like her than you would men making a point that they believe that family commitment comes before work.

                What I mean by ‘Feminists’ are women who despise women and want a one-way deal where men revert to traditional machismo depersonalised ‘work objects’ and women become the same or ‘inferior’. You may mean something entirely different but if so, it’s something that has played out here and taken a different meaning on. ‘Equality’ to me means recognizing men learning from women instead of seeing everything ‘female’ as inferior to force women into the same box as men

                • Ren says:

                  Uh…martyrs tend to get set on fire a lot…been there done that in no rush to do it again….

                  And I feel like I am now about to explain something to you that seems so basic and obvious:

                  This…due to the fact that I’m American …is a US centric blog. It’s also MY blog (they are free anyone can have one). Thusly…well it is gonna reflect my views and I figure when you make it all basic a feminist is someone who works to see women treated as equals….so when I use the word that is WHO I am talking about….not your boogyman version. Any feminist I know would not care for instance if you wore a skirt…and most DO think women can enjoy casual sex ect. Now I guess I have to make this clear: I am not gonna change my vocabulary to suit you. My experiences do not match true with your words….so yeah I am gonna disagree….and you know I really do okay with folk who disagree with me….but you come across so one trick pony it is both sad and tedious and I HATE thread jacks and utterly off topic comments ….and ya know in my own house as it were I ain’t gotta tolerate them.

                  Oh and there is already a word for people who hate women…misogynist. and yep I do think there are SOME women who claim to be feminists who are just that.

                  But you know I actually moved to this blog to get away from a lot of the feminist BS and just be able to write without worrying about all that classification and bashing and show your feeds bs…and I did that for a reason.

                  This is my House and I am the House Music.

                  • Idiocracy says:

                    There’s nothing quite like written I/net rows that could be cleared up in 5 seconds face to face. I made a point of saying “call themselves ‘feminists’ “. Lots of people call themselves lots of things but that doesn’t mean they all agree even among themselves and that’s especially true of ‘Feminists’, ‘Christians’ and ‘Socialists’. You said “a feminist is someone who works to see women treated as equals” and I tried to tell you that that is not what it means to me or most people around her at all. That puts standards on men as superior that women must reach up to and that is something most women and the majority of men want liberation from. Feminists look for ways to get more girls looking to grow up with the same corporate commitment over personal as traditional men; ‘real’ women and men look to extend work flexibility to take more account of personal commitment and give men the same parental leave and understanding that personal commitment comes first as women have managed to retrieve over the last 20 years.

                    I think it’s a European-American culture clash thing that comes down to two simple points.

                    One – no Bible-waving maniacs proclaiming their choice bits of the Old Testament as to what the LAWD GAWD hath decided (or they have decided for him) is right for each sex to do, wear think, and every other bloody thing. Would you believe that up to 100 years ago you could read any ‘psychological’ explanation of why it was ‘obvious’ that girls naturally preferred the calm shade of blue while pink with its overtones of life and blood was the obvious natural shade for boys, and parents should naturally discourage girls from the violence of pink and boys from the weakness of blue?

                    We do not have raving nutters laying down a load of sexist lore to have to face up against. Ironic, but in reality, apart from very general principles, there is more real separation between religion and politics in the EU than in the US.

                    Two, our welfare states and relative poverty have never given the overpowering value that the US does to Company Man valuing himself only by his status and pay with the little woman patronized in the background, her in the Home and him shut out of it. Or the close military similarities. We had that ‘military-industrial complex’ like no American liberal’s worst nightmare and in the West from 1945, the East from 1990 – never again. Even the Germans and Russian work to live, they do not make ‘work’ their life.

                    We are far more concerned with allowing men equality with women, taking it for granted that a man has as much right as a woman to adjust work hours to suit family commitment, and to see himself as a ‘complete’ person just like her, not just something that does a job, hands the money over and avoids the children in case they make him ‘effeminate’.

                    What women see in political feminists (ignoring the man-scared ‘rad-fems’) is power-crazed women depriving them of their allowance to care for their children in order to force them to 100% dedication to ‘work’ that men will no longer tolerate either. The USSR had boarding creches so women could do their duty all week just like men. Neither men nor women want that.

                    We don’t want women to become as dehumanized as men – we have been liberating men to become as human as women for 40 years and that started as a ‘feminist’ project every bit as much as anti-Vietnam protests and the Green and Pagan Movements. It is only the big 1980s swing to the Right that took ‘feminism’ with it into holding an ideal of ‘men’ as the standard that women had to match up to instead of valuing what each sex did equally and sharing together.

                    ‘Feminized society’ is all the catch-phrase. Not as much as I’d like personally – I think there is far too much fitting women to be like tradition men compared to liberating men to be like traditional women – but that’s just me being brought up in a rural matriarchal household.

                    I think that the US is fighting battles I hope are generations in our past. The way the Republicans are going, you could end up having to re-fight 1776 against the East India Company’s monopoly and local theocracies!

                    ‘Feminist’ means something as different to me from you as do ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican. Call yourself ‘democrat’ here and people will wonder where you’ve been – like we introduced democracy in 1922 and it’s no great deal. Nobody questions it. And since nobody does, nobody needs to parade the word as a label. I think that is how you use ‘feminist’ – is there anybody to disagree? Well yes, waving a bible – but not here. You’re assuming a female inferiority compared to an uptight male ideal that we hope we’re continuing to free ourselves from.

                    Call yourself ‘republican’ and you could be a terrorist suspect.

                  • Xena says:

                    Damn, I wonder if Idiocracy and Lord Sod know each other. This rant sounds really familiar. Or is that just some Transpondian guy thing? He sounds kinda like my Grandad.

  9. Joan Kelly says:

    I swear I will read this whole post and comments, but right now am trying to tear through a mountain of work this week, but a I’ve been thinking about in some ways a similar post myself the last couple of days, the idea of harm reduction and where it fits for me, personally (as in, what I personally would do and want to do to reduce harm, not telling anyone else or orgs what they should do), versus not knowing how I feel about spending time on harm reduction – me personally – when what I actually want is john-reduction. I want male-entitlement-to-female-bodies reduction/abolition.

    But so it’s all confused for me, right now. I feel like, I want to have workshops or web resources for women who are new to the industry, on all the different ways clients can and will try to fuck you over, take advantage or you/your time, how to tell ahead of time who is worth seeing or not (from the seeemingly most innocuous phone calls/interviews, etc.), stuff like that.

    Meaning, there is a part of me that wants to just go – okay, if so-and-so is going to do it anyway, I’ll be goddamned if the males who want to use her get to do so without her being fully armed with knowledge about how to defend herself against their more-than-the-norm indecencies and disrespectfulness and attempts at what amount to robbery (of time, of fees, etc.). Then there’s the other part of me that feels like, there is no way for me to do that without mentioning that I hate that the sex industry – as it is today, how it is formed and why and how it functions – exists, and there is no one who wants to hear “tips for avoiding the BIGGEST assholes” along with complaints about any of us messing with the lesser assholes to begin with. So. I remain conflicted and bummed about it. But thank you for a space where I can at least talk about such conflicts.

  10. Kelly James says:

    LOL Ren every time I come poking around over here you crack me the fuck up :-)

    Jill – I’ll piss all over MILF Melissa, film it, and put it up on clips4sale.

    It can be her privilege :-)

  11. MzBiebs says:

    Hello, you are my hero Ren! \m/
    I know most of the posters here are old women, but I just wanted to let you know that you have a young fan too. :)
    I am seriously considering a future career in sex work now, thanks to your advocacy and activism for harm reduction.

    Well, as a fallback Plan B if Plan A (marrying Justin Bieber) doesn’t quite work out.. Cross your fingers for me, yay.

    PS – Were your boobs and any plastic surgery tax-deductible? And do you ever have to do ugly guys?

  12. MzBiebs says:

    Oh I am planning on graduating. Or uh trying to hehee

    But then I want to get me some new boobs for my 18 bday/graduation gift and start working, if not sooner. Time’s a wasting while you’re young, right? Why wait till you’re old to start living your life!

    BTW, what are the min age limits for stripping/porn work?

    • Ren says:

      18. And I strongly suggest everyone considering porn and boobs wait til 21.

      • Xena says:

        Actually, I hear there’s a market for tiny boobies too. If I had a fifty for every 30 year old Asian friend who tells her clients she’s 17…

        So much for all the ‘exploited children’ in the business. Yeah, it happens. But of the girls I know, I’d put the number of child turnouts at about 5%. Then they turn 16 and rob their pimps and go independent. It’s just how people work. How long were any of you gullible enough to wash mom’s dishes for $5 or$10 a week? You all probably smartened up in a hurry and got yourselves real jobs, right? Same deal with sex work.

        So, MzBoobies, if you’re not a troll, leave them small. Look as young as you can for as long as you can. You’ll thank me when you’re 40 and your girls DON’T look like baseballs inside droopy socks.

        • MzBiebs says:

          Thanks for your advice, but I won’t get droopy bewbs because I wear bras.
          And I’d still rather be old with droopy bewbs than old with no bewbs. Just being flat-chested doesn’t make you attractive or young-looking. :)

          Besides, I’m planning to retire and get married once my looks no longer serve me. So I won’t have to worry about what I look like then.

          • Xena says:

            Yep, MzThang is a troll, and a male troll at that.

            Even a 16 year old child-woman knows what the looks/male admiration/loss of looks spiral entails at a psychosocial level while they’re still in highschool. Highschool girls are also well ahead of this OBVIOUSLY MALE interpretation of the depreciation curve in the value of the commodified female as she ages.

            “I’ll just sell this old clunker to my cheap neighbour for a case of beer once the engine goes” is a male, NOT a female acquisition strategy.

            But if our God Emperor doesn’t mind my playing with the trolls here, and MzBoobies wants to convince me that she’s worthy of the good advice she’s received from the *old girls guard*, MzBoobies may convince me of her femaleness by telling me about her menstrual cramps, and any other bodily sensation that only a female would understand ;-)

            • MzBiebs says:

              I don’t really get what your trying to say there, but it sounds like a very sexist assumption to me.

              I could make some assumptions about you too, but I wont be so rude. Lets just hope your not a creepy old perv who gets off on hearing about young girls “bodily sensations” :(

              Ew.

              • Ren says:

                B: It’s simple. We’re having a hard time beleiving that anyone real can be so stupid, naive and superficial. Hows that for easy to understand? I mean, for real, what person INTERESTED in the sex industry does NOT know the legal age is 18? Um, an idiot or a troll. Now, could just be that you are some dumb spoiled and seriously fucked up 14 year old, at which point, at this hour, you should be in bed, otherwise….yeah, see my lead off statements.

                • Xena says:

                  That’s about what I was trying to say, Ren. MrBoobieGawker was the one who opened with “How do you do sex work?” in the first place.

                  Sounds like he’s the perv. Nice trolling, tho. When somebody calls you out, just call the caller what your mama raised. Pfft.

                  So enough with the ad hominems, MrB. Contrary to your MALE opinion, our attention spans are not that short. Prove you’re female or piss off. Talk about shoes, manicures or your grandmother if you want. Calling somebody a perv is not proof of gender. It’s troll subterfuge, and we’re too smart to fall for it.

                  • MzBiebs says:

                    “Prove you’re female or piss off. Talk about shoes, manicures or your grandmother if you want.”

                    Funny. Obviously your the male troll making sexist stereotypes here. Cuz being a girl is all about glitter and shoe-shopping, right?

                    Gee, why dont I ask you to tell us about menopause and going batty and catty to prove who you are?

                    Sry, I thought harm reduction focused on education. If I needed a masters degree to be a girl or fuck for a living, I prly wouldnt need to fuck for a living. Altho I prly still would anyways. ;P

          • rootietoot says:

            Y’know, I’ve worn a bra since I was 12. Having 4 kids and being 46 made them droop, not not wearing a bra. Good luck with that one, sweety. Oh…and I was an A-cup until 40, then perimenopause hit and now I’m a C…do I need to explain that one to you, hon?

  13. Ren says:

    Idio:

    Had to start a new thread….

    First I gotta point out thou- women have always been as dehumanized as men- just in a different way.

    And I agree, there are cultural differences going on here, be that as it may….this is my blog, and is US centric, so when I speak in gneral terms of feminists you KNOW what types of people I am refering to and thusly raging on about your Those Who Call Themselves Feminists IS threadjacking because that is NOT who I am talking about – and really…why bring them up in a post about shopping really? Shopping sucks for everyone regardless of identifications!

    And perhaps to you the need to self identify in various ways (Feminist, Republican, New Yorker, Baptist, whatever) does seem silly, but to Americans it can be REALLY important. One, probably because we are a freakin’ HUGE country fill of vastly different types of people, scenery, cultures, so on….it can be real easy for someone to be “lost” and without some sense of community here. Two, we seem to have a knee jerk reaction (well, lots of us anyway) to anything that seems “communist and anonymous” here that takes away from a sense of both individuality and a sense of like-minded community…..and to be fair, I have seen my fair share of UK’ers who get right pissed off if you mistake them for Aussies. As for religion and such, people All over the World have been fighting about that shit for eons and shoving it in other peoples faces…heck, in the UK don’t y’all still have some folk who just do not see eye to eye RE: Ireland/Catholic/Prod? I seem to recall those issues were not just about a “free ireland” but relgious in nature as well.

    And I would agree that the US imparticular HAS an obsession with traditionally defined gender roles and that, to this day, there are way too many men who hold their self worth in their job and pay check and women who do so in their number of children and how well kept their home is and sure as hell- that CAN be damaging to everyone. In a PERFECT world if a woman wanted to be “the Company Man” well, so be it, and if a man wanted to be the “homemaker”, again, so be it and no one would bat an eye. It is becoming more prevelant here, and we have made head way in so much that some companies here offer things like “paternaty” leave for men and such. But there is still a lot of ugly here that I think does require some form of feminism. Sexual double standards, wage gap issues, equity in home/child duties (which goes for men too, actually- they can get hosed out of that), and other stupidity.

    I will say one thing about Americans though- men or women- tell them they cannot do something- and they will fight you on it. Endlessly. Often just to prove you wrong. But the basic fact here remains: You and I have very different views on feminists, and even if you know where I am coming from when I use the term, thread jacking and making everything about your view and agenda on your view is…annoying.

    When I mean folk with extreme views, I will say extremist. But if EVERY post I make (or almost every one) ends up with some totally off topic comment about feminism on it from you….I will get annoyed and ponder the delete option.

    Not everything is about that topic, after all.

  14. Hugo says:

    Christ, Ren, you’re determined to make me completely rethink everything, aren’t you? I feel like I need to go back through my pre-2009 archives and delete a lot of what I wrote about sex work from an abolitionist, Jensenian perspective.

    Funny that it all coincided with becoming a father. (It’s when I became a Dad that I stopped seeing you as an interesting ally with whom I disagreed and just started seeing you as an ally, full stop.)

    • Ren says:

      heh, you ally with gun nut hicks? COOL!

      and Jensen, ugh…having met and debated the dude live and in the flesh, i seriously do not think he gives a crap about women in the sex industry at all. He is so oblivious to his own “maleness” it is stunning ( i mean, hint here, do NOT turn your back on and dismiss the sexworker you are about to debate if you want to seem concerned…be aware of the fact that you are a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than she when near her…BASIC shit like that)

      Funny thou, I have been saying this shit here is pretty basic and obvious for like…8 years??? So not sure how other people miss it.

  15. Xena says:

    Hi Hugo :-) You were a Prohibitionist once? Nice to know you’ve seen the light in that respect, too. You’re one of the coolest Xtians I’ve ever met.

    • Ren says:

      well, Rootie is the COOLEST one, but…heheheh

      • Xena says:

        Oops, sorry Rootie. I forgot you called yourself a church lady once. I guess that makes you a Xtian too. And a very cool Xtian :-) but not a Church Lady the way I use the title.

        Btw, Ren: I’ll be emailing shortly.

        • rootietoot says:

          Oh I’m definitely a ChurchLady, and a Christian…you should see the disapproving looks I can give. i just don’t expect the entire world to fall into line and get pissy when they don’t.

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