Taking a Brief Break from Speed Freak Humor….

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Blogging, Sex Work

To address something.  I was out poking around in blog land and saw one of those things that a few years ago might have sent me flying into one of my notorious Ranty McBallistic tirades, but hey, I’m too busy putting mattresses in front of the windows and setting up trip wire shotguns for that shit  (joke, people, it was a joke)…but anyway, I thought about replying all civil like over there, but then saw who else was replying over there and said fuck that noise…so, I’m gonna address it here, and hell, maybe it will get seen, maybe not, but what the hell else am I gonna do at 1:40 in the morning without tools or cleaning supplies, right?

So, lemmie offer some insight on this:

The reason these conversations get so hard is not even the difference in opinion half the time.  Sure enough, there is a vast mess of differences of opinions between those who are harm reductionist and those who go for an absolute end o’ the sex industry.  And sure enough, this is just one person who has some involvement and ties both in the industry and in the harm reduction camps opinion, but what the heck, gonna say ’em anyway.  It is my belief that sex workers dislike being endlessly speculated upon, dehumanized, objectified, and treated as less than.  Now, sure enough, those with the hardline anti stance are gonna say that “well, that’s all that stuff that happens to women IN the sex industry, at the hands of men, that’s how they get treated!”  And sure enough, in enough cases to take note, that is true….but it also happens outside of it…flat out, my friends, EVERYONE, even those with the best intentions and true goodness in heart and mind and shit, do this to sex workers and prostituted women (there is a difference IMHO).  Any person in the sex industry- willingly, unwillingly, whatever, will at least once, but more often every five seconds, be lumped into one stereotypical group, or have some serious as shit assumptions made about them, and be made into some sort of object above and beyond a sex object.  They’ll be made a victim object, or a wanton, fallen woman object, or an eeevvvvillll sadistic misogynist object, or some other shit that utterly fails to recognize them as a whole person who is more than the sum of their job (sex workers), or seriously unfortunate and fucked up predicament (prostituted person).   Hell, I know this one from experience….even in my time on the net here, I have had a whooooolllllleee lot of flat out false shit assumed and spread around about me:  I was sexually molested (untrue), I’d been raped (untrue),  I was being paid off by the porn industry to write my (previous) blog (untrue), I was some silver spoon pampered chick who was slumming it being a sex worker (untrue), my man was a suitcase pimp (untrue), I was uneducated (untrue), I’d been beaten had my face rearranged by men I stripped for (untrue),  I was a hopeless cocaine addict & alcoholic  (untrue), I never did any real world activism on behalf of sex workers (untrue), I instigated a massive coordinated attack against radical bloggers (untrue), I was actually a man (untrue), that I had no other choices but to be in said industry (not true)…hell, I could go on all day.  And sure enough, as a veteran of lots of blog wars, I can say this with certainty…I was without a doubt a stone cold brass blazoned hardass nasty piece of work when the blog wars were a flamin’.  Mean, angry, sarcastic, cut throat take no prisoners old school beat down style vicious.  Why?  Well, one, you never take a knife to a gun fight, two, I got as good as I gave, and three….there was a whole lot of utter fail when it came to recognizing the remote possibility that some women could actually choose to do that and did not get forced into it, and a whole lot of utter fail when it came to seeing sex workers (and just that term identified people) and their advocates as Actual Human Beings.  I mean hell, I may dig cyborgs, but I’m not one….nor is any other person on my side of the fence, but often we ended up just as badly objectified or dehumanized or whatever else by the anti side as we ever ended up in a work related situation.  And that shit gets real old, real quick.     A lot of us, hell, we were made to feel unsafe, up and to actually being threatened.  SO that is what makes it so hard, and why often, you do not find people willing to engage, even if in some places, heck, we might even BE on the same page.  If people feel like they have been kicked in the face just one too many times, well, they stop doing what it is that was gettin’ em kicked. 

And on that note, night y’all. I’ll catch ya after you’ve gotten some sleep and I’ve finished with these dang shotguns….

  1. ginmar says:

    I can’t remember if you said it or if you inspired it but you’re right, and not just hat, you’re damned right. It’s just a negative version of the idealization that soldiers sometimes get. But neither you nor I get regarded by the same type of people as human. Sex workers get it really bad because of exiting sexual stereotypes. What you get sometimes reminds me so very much of what I get from some very privileged, very naive little leftists, who call me a hired baby killer and murderer and shit like that. I loved the Army. Some people can’t understnad that. You love sex work. Some people can’t understand that. Both jobs have bad parts and good parts, and if you want to make the bad parts better, you have to do it from the inside.

    • Ren says:

      I love things about it for certain, hell, it has a shit load of flaws too….just like anything I reckon. And I can understand why you’d love the army.

  2. Roy Kay says:

    “feminist lesbian position…” – which as near as I can tell is simply a “lesbian” stylizing of paternalism:

    1) We have to be careful of the messages we send lest men (and impressionable women) get the wrong idea.

    2) There’s good girls and bad girls and you don’t want to be one of the bad girls.

  3. Xena says:

    ARGH! THOSE PEOPLE are the idiots keeping our idiot politicians from doing any real good for poor/homeless women with their fucking debates about sex work!!! THOSE PEOPLE are the ones that see to it that I get harassed and felt up every fucking time I need to hitchhike to my family visits because I can’t afford a fucking bus!!! THOSE PEOPLE built the model that wastes HOURS or DAYS that I could spend job searching instead of explaining…no I’m not battered…no I’m not addicted…no I’m not pimped…ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! IF I COULD TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF FOR CASH DO YOU THINK I WOULD NEED A BED IN A HOMELESS SHELTER?!?! NO I DON’T NEED LITERACY TRAINING! Don’t even get me started on what I go through to prove to these CHURCH LADIES that I finished 4 years of college and came that close to a university degree…

    That shit is enough to give me a frikkin aneurysm. The woman works in a shelter in East Van and she needs to figure out ways to get more funding. Great. She’s hamstringing herself with this classist Queen Bee bullshit. You don’t appeal to people like Jim Flaherty and his Reformers by infantilizing potential recipients of community start-up money. HOMELESSNESS AND SEX WORK ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!! What she needs to do is quit conflating the two and sell the shelter clients as capable and hard working individuals who are worthy of back-to-school or back-to work training allowances, and safe, affordable housing. There are already far too many punitive CONTAINMENT FACILITIES for strung out streetworkers in this country. We need alternatives, not punishment.

  4. Xena says:

    btw, Ren, addressing that shite over here instead of over there was the smart thing to do. You would not have been able to talk sense to those people. Ivory Tower types think they’re info’s better than ours because they had to spend fifty or a hundred grand to let some pompous PhDs who went through the same bullshit payouts tell them what’s what. Just bc something costs more doesn’t mean it’s better. Academics don’t know shit about poor people.

    • Ren says:

      Xena: And well, truth? I got no idea how things actually work up there in the Wonderous Great WHite North.

      Glances around…I have two degrees actually…and they’ve done absolutely jack and shit for me as far as being able to get a job…if I wanted to Go Into My Field, heck, I would need at LEAST a Masters, and those are not free. Shit, still payin’ off loans for the BA’s…

      There is A HUGE glaring difference between the stance over there and the harm reduction one, hell, maybe I will post on it later.

  5. Xena says:

    Holy stereotypes batman! She’s fucking transphobic too! I have NEVER NEVER NEVER in my life met a homeless transwoman who could get an erection, let alone be ‘dangerous’ to other homeless women. The transwomen I knew didn’t even steal, they were so grateful for the little common courtesies that nobody else bothered to show them.

  6. Xena says:

    How do you mean, Ren? “Well, truth?” Does that mean “Is what I God Emperor of Rome am saying true or is it true?” (rhetorical) Or are you asking me for more on the legal/social policy making decisions of the #%*! politicians up here?

    The answer to the first question is Damn straight! The answers to the second might take a day or 2; research, navel gazing, my long-wndedness, yada yada.

    • Ren says:

      lol if I feel so inclined, I Will read up on it then…I’ve met sex worker activists from Canada thou, and well, they seemed like they were trying their damndest to get shit together

  7. Xena says:

    Oops. I forgot to use the reply button on the How do you mean? question. I hope that doesn’t make this too confusing.

    Yes, my education’s worth shit too. I only fling it around in homeless shelters so these people don’t accuse me of laziness when I refuse their misguided drug rehab and literacy training workshops. Forget about playing with primates in Borneo. Fast food restaurants won’t even hire me.

    I actually considered Urban Anthro at one point, but who’s going to fund a study that tells the gvt that the way they treat homeless people creates self fulfilling stereotypes instead of curing them? Politicians and social workers don’t want to admit that when they point their fingers at sexworkers, or any other scapegoat, they have 3 more pointing back at themselves.

    The difference between the ‘abolitionist’ (GODS I hate the way the radfems hijacked the connotations that go with that term! It is SO not the same thing! They might as well be calling me a frikkin copperhead!!) stance up here and the harm reduction stance sounds like an interesting post. You should write it.

    My comments might be a little sporadic over the next few weeks. I’ll still be reading your posts, but I might take up to 5 days to join the discussions. I’m going to Toronto to look for work. So help me, if I don’t find any, and I can get back down to a flubless size 4, I’m getting my exotic dancer’s license. I shouldn’t have to beg for these frikkin crumbs from a bunch of assholes who already think I’m a whatever anyway. I am so much better than that.

  8. Xena says:

    Canadian sex worker activists are amazing. Valerie Scott and Teri Jean Bedford are on my list of personal heroes. They are THAT CLOSE to getting all but the “communicating on the street” and “committing an indecent act in a public place” laws struck down. Rub&tug and incall services may be fully decriminalized in the next few years. Our fascist gvt is appealing Scott&Bedford’s Charter Challenge, (our version of an American Supreme Court challenge) but without a massive public outcry the fascists will probably lose. Personally, I’d like to see them turn the matter over to The People with a referendum. I’m getting sick of these tiny slanted little studies that use a sample of 40 19-year-old parochial school students to try to tell us that 90% of Canadians abhorr sex work. MY ASS! I want to know the truth. And I want the truth in a ballot box.

  9. Idiocracy says:

    Disclaimer – I hope nobody misreads this as directed at Ren instead of the people she’s commenting on!


    Why not? Because no ‘decent’ woman would do such dirty things whether for money or for fun? Because you can’t imagine women an on equal footing with men in *any* heterosexuality (you do say ‘Lesbian’ at the start). In passing, since the majority of females – animal as well as human – are not homosexual (even if they’re bisexual) just where do you get authority to speak for all of them?

    You know what Ladies, there’s a lot of people ‘forced’ into work they don’t like by circumstance. Some are forced by more than that. Sex workers aren’t the only ones to get knocked about – or raped. Would you rather show your body off and perform sex acts with a whole crew around or work 14 hour shifts for sod-all in some 3rd world sweat shop or as an illegal maid terrified you’ll be deported back to Hellistan if you’re seen on the street the one day you get off?

    When I read these people I think of all those Good Respectable Ladies in their crinolines setting off to Save Fallen Women from Disrepute and find them Respectable Work getting a tenth the money working sunrise to sunset in dangerous factories or as skivvies in households that controlled their every move (and then the Young Master reckoned himself entitled without paying).

    That’s before thinking that homeless men get knocked around too and they don’t attract traditional ‘protect the weaker sex’ sympathies.

    That sentence I quoted says it all. *You* don’t start from respecting the work equally. *You* are the ones looking down on these women you pity from you old morality dressed in new ‘feminist’ words.

    If you don’t like women forced into sex work them make something better for them – and for the rest, leave them to make their own decisions without looking down your long nose at ‘sex objects’ and by implication damning women who actually choose to do it. In *your* opinion the men in porn are Patriarchs, Masters, Dominators – in *your* opinion because in *your* opinion men always are.

    And that’s so easy isn’t it? You can ‘help’ but you’re never responsible for any contributing conditions are you? ‘Patriarchs’ cause the problems – nothing in your life has any effect. You say Patriarch, David Icke says alien reptile and the rest say Illuminati. It’s different language for the same thing: “Nothing to do with me mate”.

    I might have little time for religion but there’s some good stuff in all of their original sayings. Let’s start with “Cast the bough from thine own eye before the speck from thy {in this case} sister’s”

    • Idiocracy says:

      Sod! My quote disappeared! ‘Angle brackets’ must have some effect I didn’t realise!

      It should start

      Because we don’t start from the premise that prostitution is a form of labour, like hair dressing or retail sales or nursing.

  10. Idiocracy says:

    I am all on the side of people wanting to ‘do good’ – and all against ‘do-gooders’. There’s nobody seems more determined to tell women what’s right for them and to do it with a 19th century attitude dismissing any women who disagree with them as ignorant, stupid, indoctrinated, collaborationist – or any other word to avoid any valid point of view worth respecting enough to bother arguing with, than these believers in female inferiority [ab]using the words of equality to put women down as stooges of ‘The Patriarchy’ if they disagree with the Party Whine.

    Is sex – sexual intercourse – the same for both sexes? Of course not. Do women pay men for the attention they prefer? Often they don’t need to but there are trips to parts of the Caribbean and Orient where gigolos are expected.

    Maybe most women would not pay a man with no interest in them for sex. Most men would not pay a prostitute to open her legs and wish he’d get it over with fast either. And maybe we’d be better off if some women admitted they like to see a hunky man strip off – but that doesn’t make him their ‘object’ or even more bizarrely, them ‘subservient’ to him for finding the same attraction that ‘rad’-fems condemn in women.

    Maybe I was extreme – maybe they are too. I left a nasty little message on there under this name because I feel that what these ‘women’ – who even admit their prejudice against men as equal lovers, so who are they to dictate how heterosexual or bisexual women, even more men, should feel when they can’t feel it themselves – they are just the Old Guard wearing New Clothes to discredit what those New Clothes once stood for.

    I put a comment up here http://alicesrestaurant.yuku.com/forum/newtopic/id/29 under a female name on a ‘derelict’ board.

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