While looking for links for the post earlier this week on MPs’ call for an abolitionist approach to prostitution, I clicked on Nichi Hodgson’s profile on the Guardian.
She is a big-time idiot sex pozzer, who still sticks in my mind the most for her claim a few years back that men are oppressed when women refuse to have sex with them – Such sex positive! Much feminist! (I promise this is the only time I will do that meme!).
On men being discriminated against by feminist groups that won’t allow them voting rights, that isn’t the only example of discrimination. Another eg would be political feminists that do not have relationships with men on the basis that they are the historical ‘oppressor’, regardless of their personal position/relation to gender equality.
Read her comment in full and see if you can spot any difference between her and your common or garden MRA.
Anyway, her profile on the Guardian says: “Nichi Hodgson is [...] director of the Ethical Porn Partnership,” Oh dear, I thought, I better see what that’s about, expecting another game of ‘spot the difference’ between ‘ethical’ porn and ‘regular’ porn (beyond the tattoos and piercings), but what I found instead was this:
In eight months they (/she?) have not been able to find a single piece of ‘ethical porn’ to blog about!
The bumph on the front page is all very nice:
The EPP wants to challenge the notion all porn is exploitative. Instead, we want to collectively establish ‘best practice’ for the industry, while proving that it’s possible to advocate the health, welfare and working rights of those involved in its production, and offer consumers high-quality, original content made to certain ethical standards.
The EPP will also channel funds to anti-trafficking, anti-sexual violence and sex education initiatives, as well as taking an unequivocal stand on condemning child abuse imagery, and all non-consensual sexually explicit material, such as so-called ‘revenge porn’.
But it’s no good if you can’t find any of this so-called ‘ethical’ porn!
I like the claim that they’ll ‘channel funds’ to anti-trafficking initiatives; my guess is they have no funds at present. And hang on, I thought trafficking was made up by radical feminists? What’s going on here then, did she forget and accidentally let slip that trafficking is, in fact, real?
she “want[s] to collectively establish ‘best practice’ for the industry”, but it seems the industry doesn’t care!
Don’t worry Nichi, it will still look good on your CV!
“The appropriation of BDSM imagery is problematic”
“you have a rape culture that started by borrowing from BDSM’s imagery without reading its rules.”
I cannot believe how ridiculously stupid this is. I cannot believe that post ended up on my dash without criticism.
You really do have to laugh at how ignorant tumblr-tots are (people who, like the above quoted by Pomeranian Privilege, very obviously have no real world experience, and get all their ‘knowledge’ from other know-nothing tumblr-tots).
Rape culture is not a fashion or a ‘scene’ or a sub-culture like goths or bronies, it’s a description of patriarchy, of the status quo, of which there is no outside to get to; it’s the air we have to breath in every day.
If someone can’t understand that much, they have no business commenting at all.
British prostitution laws should be overhauled so that women selling sex are no longer criminalised but buying sex is against the law, a cross-party group of MPs said on Monday.
In the first report of its kind for 20 years the all-party parliamentary group on prostitution said current laws around prostitution were complicated, confusing and ineffectual. The report called for Britain to follow in the path of countries such as Norway and Sweden and make it a criminal act to buy sex.
MPs and peers called for the introduction of a new “general offence” banning the purchase of sex while calling for soliciting offences used to prosecute prostitutes to be removed from the statute book.
The group warns that legal loopholes enable men to escape prosecution for abusing girls as young as 13 and fail to protect trafficked women while the legal framework has helped turn Britain into a destination for criminal gangs involved in the sex trade.
Norman Baker, the crime prevention minister, said: “We believe that those who want to leave prostitution should be given every opportunity to find routes out. We will ensure that legislation surrounding prostitution remains effective and continue to work with law enforcement agencies to achieve this.
There is a definite pro-sex industry bias in the Guardian at the moment. Not just the unbalance in opinions expressed on CiF, but both this article, and the recent report on MEP’s vote for an abolitionist approach, have been illustrated with images of ECP protestors (the second link is odd, in that the image at the top of the article itself is different to the thumb-nail image linking it from other pages).
Why is the Guardian only reporting reactions from the ECP? (The ‘English Collective of Prostitutes, which, like the Holy Roman Empire, is neither English, a collective, nor prostitutes.) Why are they not interviewing any sex industry survivors to see what they have to say on the subject? Why were the last two pieces on CiF about the sex industry by sex industry advocates? (Why is a dominatrix being given space on CiF to basically advertise her ‘services’?) Why are sex industry survivors not being given a voice on CiF?
The article also says this:
“The ECP and other sex worker rights groups have long campaigned for the introduction of laws similar to those in New Zealand, where sex work is decriminalised and women are allowed to work together in small owner-operated brothels.”
Now, that sounds very nice, but ignores the fact that in New Zealand, brothels and strip clubs are big business, with its first mega-brothel set for construction in 2015, with the full support of New Zealand sex industry advocates (“The Prostitutes’ Collective supports the expansion, a spokesperson saying she was disappointed there had been opposition to the project.”) It’s very nice to portray New Zealand as being full of independent brothels (they sound nice and cozy and counter-culture, like an independent bookshop or coffee shop), but that simply isn’t a complete picture; if the Guardian is engaging in this kind of obfuscation here, which is so easy for me to disprove with a quick internet search, what else aren’t they mentioning?
There was a report in the Observer yesterday on police raids on brothels in Soho. These raids appear to be heavy-handed, with women being photographed by reporters and threatened with exposure by the police, and, from other reports I’ve read recently, more about the gentrification of the area than the welfare of the women. This is not an abolitionist approach, as there are currently no large-scale, comprehensive, non-coercive exit programmes available, and as far as I can tell, no kind of help has been offered to these women.
Any abolitionist model worthy of the name must have exit programmes and safety nets in place first, and these services need to acknowledge that exiting can take a long time, with poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, lack of education, and the legacy of violence and sexual abuse all needing to be remedied. We are trying to undo centuries, if not millennia, of male supremacism and the poverty, discrimination, inequality, and abuse of women under it; that is not going to happen overnight with just a change in the law. We may have to accept the necessity of a legal transitional period, which may have to include tolerance zones for prostitution (which, by extension would mean tolerance of the johns too), in order to keep women safe during this transitional period – a first step would be the Merseyside Model of police relations.
A CiF piece out today by Diane Taylor calls for a “truce in this debate” and claims that “whether you criminalise buyers or criminalise sellers, the impact on sex workers is the same”. Taylor ignores completely the many sex industry survivor individuals and groups that support an abolitionist approach; she also ignores that Germany has become the destination of choice in Europe for sex trafficking, entirely because of Germany’s decriminalisation of the sex industry.
Taylor also says that “those who do want to get out lament the lack of financial and emotional support available to them, and equate leaving sex work to tumbling into a bottomless, moneyless rabbit hole” while at the same time ignoring the fact that there is fuck all in the way of exiting services available in Germany or New Zealand, because in those countries, it is seen as ‘just work’.
No law ‘works’ 100% (in that no law 100% eliminates the thing criminalised; we have had laws against murder for millennia, but murders still keep happening), the Swedish Model does not ‘work’ 100%, but it is still better than decriminalisation, which has led, in Germany, to mega-brothels and entirely legal flat-rate brothels, with New Zealand building its first mega-brothel (with the full support of the New Zealand’s ‘sex worker collective’). To borrow from Winston Churchill’s views on democracy, we have to choose the least worst option available, and that is, still, an abolitionist approach.
I’ve got a few click-throughs from a Yahoo Answers page regarding the ‘social problems of pornography’, and some wierdo shit-for-brains left this comment:
the website http://antipornfeminists.wordpress.com/whats-wrong-with-pornography/ tells you strait up “ANTI MALE with NO INTEREST of fairness or honesty” in the title. I will not believe ANYTHING from there. they are LESS HONEST than religious people (and that is saying something).
let me guess…
“feminist porn” DOES NOT “harm women”.
“feminist porn” DOES NOT “stunt sexuality but instead “expands it”.
“feminist porn” portrays sexual violence against men as normal, natural and an inevitable part of female sexuality.
“feminist porn” DOES NOT reinforces male supremacy, and the idea that men are entitled to sexual access to women’s bodies.
“feminist porn” portrays sex and MEN as disgusting.
“feminist porn” promotes misandry.
do you suppose the fact that this site is SELLING in opposition to others might have ANY EFFECT on their beliefs?
The sheer idiocy of your average MRA is mind-boggling. First of all, how does the name ‘Anti-Porn Feminists’ equal ‘anti-male’, unless you are going to beg the question by claiming that being anti-porn is the same as being anti-male?
And then that bizarro-bullshit about ‘feminist porn’, which demonstrates that 1) he hasn’t read any of this blog beyond that one page (and if he’d bothered to read through the comments he would have seen me being critical of the concept of ‘feminist porn’), and 2) he has no idea what ‘feminist porn’ actually means anyway, if he thinks it’s some kind of ‘female supremacist’ tool.
Also, read this one again:
“feminist porn” DOES NOT reinforces male supremacy, and the idea that men are entitled to sexual access to women’s bodies.
Whoops, MRA just made it plain what ‘misandry’ actually is, refusing male supremacy!
Also, I can’t even work out what this sentence is supposed to be accusing me of: “do you suppose the fact that this site is SELLING in opposition to others might have ANY EFFECT on their beliefs?”
I’m not ‘selling’ (as in asking money for) anything, so if that’s not his claim, and he’s using ‘selling’ in the sense of ‘selling an idea’, then he’s just said that my having an idea to ‘sell’ is affecting the ideas I have, so he’s accusing me of having the ideas I have!?!
There are three days left to answer the original question, anyone with a Yahoo account willing to go there and point out what a moron that MRA is (feel free to copy and paste in full)?
Following on from the previous post, I have added the category of “male allies” to the side bar. This will be for posts quoting men who actually have a genuine understanding of feminism, a recognition of male privilege, and a real desire for change and progress.
Fake ‘male feminists’, who argue that feminism is about their dicks (or their prostates), and that it would be ‘benevolent sexism’ not to punch a woman’s teeth out when she says something he doesn’t like, can be found under “MRAs, Nice Guys(TM), and ‘male feminists’”.
I will be going back through the blog to add the category to old posts as appropriate.
Neal Hugh was, until today, an anonymous dudebro who left inane comments that I deleted unless they gave me the chance to say something interesting in response (which wasn’t often, I’ve only passed two – see below – and I’ve deleted many more – see the latest of which below that).
Neal loves his porn – condomless, if I remember correctly – and wanted me to know about it. The times I did reply to his comments, he didn’t come back to engage in conversation, so he wasn’t interested in debate, just sending me ‘notes from his boner’ to quote The Bewilderness.
But today’s comment contains a link to his gravatar. Neal Hugh is a real person, with a professional career:
NY, NY-based professional fundraiser and development consultant to non-profits and business organizations.
Former member of the faculty, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, in Public Law & Government/International Relations, Columbia University, NY, NY.
I hope his current and future employers, colleges, friends and relations see this and know how he chooses to spend his free time.
He can’t even be bothered to hide what he does, this is all information he has freely chosen to post about himself on this blog, and therefore to the world at large (note I have blanked out his IP address and email – I’m not doxing anyone here).
This witless wonder was left under this post.
AntiPornography.Org has a video interview with Danny Austin, one of the men who appeared on ‘Date My Porn Star’:
He gives a more detailed insight into the ‘Fuck a Fan’ segment of the documentary, saying that the shoot took over eight hours, the ‘girls’ weren’t allowed to rest even when physically exhausted, were obviously on drugs, and only smiling for the camera.
Danny also expressed concern that the live, unscripted format made it easy to manipulate and pressure the women into sex acts they may not have given specific consent to.
(As a side note, it also allows me to update the number I gave in my write up of the show. ‘Porno Dan’ reckoned there were only 500 ‘girls’ working in the LA based industry at any one time.)
There were two articles on CiF last month that wrote about intersectionality in a way that was thoughtful and intelligent.
The first is from Lola Okolosie, writing about her mother as a black woman, an immigrant, and a victim of domestic violence:
Through the work of feminists looking at race, class, disability, sexuality and nationality, I came to understand my mother as a person who was, as we all are, constructed by social and cultural forces beyond her control. My jumbled-up feelings and ideas found full voice in the work of literary and academic black feminists: women like Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, bell hooks, and Kimberlé Crenshaw showed the meaningless of separating sexuality, class, race and gender oppression when they simultaneously affect the lives of black women. What a relief it was to discover that in “feminism” you could find a place that collated all the experiences of women like my mother – women who were, and continue to be, routinely ignored by the dominant feminist movement.
Critically, black feminism is championing a more nuanced understanding of how oppression and privilege operate. We, all of us, must understand that at the level of the individual, we can at differing points occupy positions of privilege. I am a black woman from a working-class background. I also have qualifications from elite universities that mean I am able to access a career, friendships and a lifestyle my 18-year-old self would never have imagined. When and where I experience privilege or oppression changes from day to day, hour to hour.
Though women who live in the “real world” – ie outside academia – may not bandy the word intersectionality, it nevertheless speaks to our lives within it. This is not to deny that power can be invested in language and that for some the term is perhaps alienating. It would be great if we had a word already in existence that conveys the complex and complicated nature of oppression. We do not. The language that we currently use serves to compartmentalise inequalities. It won’t do. I am less interested in whether feminists choose to use the word or replace it with (no less academic) phrases such as multiple oppressions. What is of greater concern is how we work to empower women whose lives are impacted by a number of inequalities.
The second is Eleanor Robertson, an Australian writer (as her writing is Australia-focused, I’m not actually sure who she is referring to as the ‘popular feminists’ refusing an intersectional analysis):
Crenshaw coined the term as an explanation of why black and immigrant women’s experiences ended up being ignored by both feminism and the anti-racist movement. Her original paper contains dozens of stories detailing how domestic violence and rape crisis facilities had serious trouble helping these women because their cases were “too complicated”. Those were immigrant women who were too afraid of deportation to use legal redress against their abusive husbands, women who spoke a language other than English and weren’t given access to an interpreter, or staff who had no idea how to handle a victim whose cultural background forbid her to acknowledge an abuser within her family for fear of damaging the family’s honour.
These examples reveal an emergent feature of many more institutions than rape crisis centres in the 1980s. The problem is not that the individual women who ran these centres were racist, but that the entire structure tended to produce outcomes that were much worse for women of colour – and that’s something we can see playing out over and over within feminism and women’s services. Unless feminism goes hard down the road of recognising and including women from many differing backgrounds, the path of least resistance is for it to work mostly on behalf of women who are already relatively privileged.
So there you go, this is what intersectionality is when it’s done properly, acknowledging that women who are oppressed along multiple axis will have a harder time of it that middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual white women.
‘Intersectionality’ has been seriously misused, particularly by liberal feminists: to make feminism be about anything and everything other than women; to claim that ‘everybody oppresses everybody’; to try to ‘prove’ that such a thing as ‘woman privilege’ exists; and to try to claim that there is no commonality at all among women’s experiences. So it is certainly refreshing to see intersectionality being used correctly within the mainstream, liberal press.