Monthly Archives: June, 2009

Quote of the Day: Anarca-feminism

We are tired of being told that anarchists don’t need to be feminists, because ‘anarchism has feminism covered’. This is just a convenient way of forgetting the reality of gender oppression, and so ignoring the specifics of the struggle against it.

From No Pretence.

More HIV cases in the LA porn industry

From the Los Angeles Times:

Despite porn industry assurances that an adult film actress’ recent positive HIV test is the first since a 2004 outbreak shut down production for a month, Los Angeles County health officials said Thursday that at least 16 additional unpublicized cases of HIV have been confirmed in adult film performers.

The newly released data bring the number of HIV cases in porn performers in the last five years to 22, including the case disclosed this week.

The report — and what state and county health officials perceive as stonewalling by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which tests porn performers for sexually transmitted diseases — is bringing renewed scrutiny to the estimated $12-billion-a-year industry’s long history of resisting regulation and condom use.

Since 2004, 2,378 people who identified themselves as adult film industry performers have tested positive for chlamydia in Los Angeles County. An additional 1,357 tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to data released Thursday by the county’s health department.

Public health experts tried again in 2007 and 2008 to require condom use in adult films, but no lawmaker agreed to sponsor legislation, said Paula Tavrow, an assistant professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health. But porn industry executives and officials, including its advocacy group the Free Speech Coalition, argue that they do a good job of self-regulation and say that the rates of HIV infection remain low. If laws are passed requiring condom use, they said, porn production would be pushed underground or outside California.

John Stagliano, a former porn star and president of Evil Angel productions, said: “The market determines whether or not this will be shown. A government agency the size of Los Angeles couldn’t stop it. It’s not going to change.”

More on the IUSW

Cath Elliott has another piece up on the IUSW here.

I’ve just had word that Sunday’s fringe meeting on sex workers at the GMB Congress has today been cancelled following an intervention by the IUSW’s Catherine Stephens.

Apparently Stephens wasn’t happy that a representative from the Poppy Project had been invited to speak, so she managed to convince the GMB’s equalities peeps that Poppy were an anti-union organisation who shouldn’t be given a platform at a trade union conference.

Sorry, if you could just excuse me for a minute…..


The IUSW trying to dictate to others what trade unionism is all about?

What’s with the ‘sex positive’ response to prostitution?

I am writing in response to this post. In the blurb attached to a report on sex workers in India, the commentator writes:

“For these women in poverty working in the sex trade, sex itself is not the violation.

Being dehumanized, brutalized, infected, neglected and reviled because they are women is the great violation.”

Firstly, says who? I’ve skimmed through the text of the report, and it doesn’t come from there, it is purely the commentator’s own opinion. How is compulsory sexual activity itself not dehumanising and brutalising, and not an intrinsic part of what makes prostitution dehumanising and brutalising? Of course poverty is dehumanising and brutalising in itself, I am not denying that in any way, but why deny the harm of having to engage in unwanted sex, and why ignore the intersection between women’s low status and the status of women as the sex class?

This is what I really do not understand about the ‘sex positive’ response to prostitution; sex is a wonderful, important part of life, but if a woman is forced, through poverty or some more direct form of coercion, to engage in unwanted sex, suddenly, sex means absolutely nothing.

Surely to be truly positive about sex, to say that what happens to women really matters, would mean absolutely condemning any kind of compulsory sexual activity?

Quote of the Day: Raunch Culture Critique

Those of us who are really exploring our own female sexuality aren’t standing on some lofty cloud above Levy’s raunch culture shaking our fingers at the folks down there jiggling around in their G-strings. We critique “sex-positive” culture because we know all about it, from being in it. We’ve all been to our own versions of CAKE parties and seen our share of Playboy and Penthouse. In addition to opposing pornography because it feeds on the sexual abuse, rape, coercion, and trafficking of millions of women and children worldwide who don’t have a “choice” about being “empowered” by “participating” in it, we “anti-sex” feminists oppose pornography because we’ve used pornography and it left us empty. We reject cheap sex and “playing” because we’ve “played” and had cheap sex–and plenty of it–and we realized it had nothing to do with who we were. Like Levy says, “When I’m in the plastic ‘erotic’ world of high, hard tits and long nails and incessant pole dancing…I don’t feel titillated or liberated or aroused. I feel bored, and kind of tense.”(p. 81) Sexual experiences that are not in keeping with our intellectual and social values, our ideas about the ways we want to be treated and the way we want all women to be treated, can’t ultimately be comfortable or enjoyable for women of conscience. Feminism always was about enabling women to be whole people instead of martyrs or blow-up dolls, but in raunch culture Levy accurately perceives that “we have accepted as fact the myth that sexiness needs to be something divorced from the everyday experience of being ourselves.” (p. 44)

From Feminist Reprise, ‘Big Fat Dyke Loves Sex’.

Quote of the day: “human-rights-as-defined-by-Larry-Flynt”

And I cannot resist noting the extent to which the orgasm, in our current bizarro era of human-rights-as-defined-by-Larry-Flynt, has assumed preternatural importance as a kind of all-purpose salvific justification. If you’re a guy who likes seeing women get beaten up and raped and mauled, but you don’t get any kind of sexual charge out of it, you’re a creep who hates women. But if it gives you an orgasm, then by god, it’s a healthy and beautiful thing. And anybody who says otherwise is a prude.

From Reclusive Leftist.

Quote of the day

Pornography and prostitution are not about being allowed to have sex with people you want to have sex with. Pornography and prostitution are about being allowed to have sex with people you don’t want to have sex with, for money.

From Learning Feminism.

Quote of the Day: Abuse

I mean: you knew it was happening, right? Even before you knew it was happening, even if you didn’t know it was happening, for sure, until today: you knew it was happening. It was in the context. It was in the other photos, the ones where the rape wasn’t shown. Eroticized violence; sex as violence; sex as humiliation; “feminization” as both violence and humiliation: it’s a dynamic, a dynamic you know, something that’s a part of jokes, fraternity initiations, straight-guy porn, something woven into the culture at such a deep level that you can’t help but recognize it, get that sick taste in the back of your mouth when you see it. Especially when you know where it leads. And you know where it leads. It leads here.

From Tiger Beatdown, on the ‘new’ Abu Ghraib photos.

22nd Carnival of Radical Feminists

Is up at Genderburg.

We get a mention, and there’s lots of cool stuff up.

Quote of the day: hate

Following on from this post, it seems some men think we’re getting all worked up over nothing. You see, the term ‘hate fuck’ isn’t about hating women, it’s only about ‘hating’ women, which isn’t a big deal at all (and anyway, some women like being abused). So I’d like to quote ‘lucywatchthesky’ who left this comment on the Daily Dose blog (can’t seem to link to it directly, it’s posted at 6.09pm on June 2).

Thank you for writing this, and thank you for being sensible enough to really explain what is wrong with this entire sentiment (because apparently for some it’s not as obvious). I despise the term “hate-fucking”; I hear it all the time at work and otherwise, and yes, it is VERY different from being counter-intuitively attracted to someone you’d otherwise despise. In the contexts I’ve heard it, when a woman is powerful and outspoken, and inspires resentment from men around her, it’s as if the only way they can tolerate to be around her is to think about “hate-fucking” her. In other words, if they can think about her as a sex object, then it makes it easier to deal with the reality that she is in fact more powerful than they.

This piece only highlights how cavalier some men are about their inherent privilege, and how they think nothing of using sex as a weapon against women. This is not edgy journalism; it’s hate, and it’s disgusting.