Feminamist has written powerfully about her experience of the sex industry, particularly in relation to how images of her have been used:
There have certainly been times in my life when I have felt violated by the gaze of others. Or made uncomfortable by the thought that images of my body have been used for sexual purposes. Why? No one was touching me. My body physically remained my own, I wasn’t actually violated, but I still felt abused, sometimes even in cases where I didn’t know at the time that my image was being used. I suspect that just like with physical violation, the tension is about consent and whether you have granted the viewer yours or not.
She also illustrates succinctly how men view the buying of sex/ualised services as buying an object to be used:
I was also thinking about how as a stripper, when I was doing a private dance for a punter, sometimes he would get annoyed if another man watched his show. Like he was being robbed, and I say that trying to hold back ironic laughter. He would often make a remark along the lines of, “I ought to go and get $20 off that guy to cover his share”. Of course I wasn’t being robbed, it was never me out of pocket when some arsehole watched a dance for free and nobody ever offered to go and retrieve some money on my behalf, but why would he? He had bought me and the experience was his, not mine, the body and its display his, not mine, the money his, not mine and the theft of it left him feeling violated.
I found this rather awesome post by what appears to be a new blogger, redmegaera:
Jeffreys’ main objection is to “idea of prostitution”: the idea that women and transsexuals (as well as boys and “feminized” men) exist to be used by adult men and that prostitution is an appropriate way to use them. It is based on an analysis which sees prostitution as an institution (like marriage and compulsory heterosexuality) that is socially constructed out of men’s dominance and women’s subordination. […]
Prostitution affects all members of the sex-class “woman”. All women should be allowed to participate in the debate. Radical feminists like Jefferys and myself see prostitution as a sexist and exploitative institution incommensurable with the idea of a post-patriarchal society. However, radical feminist activism should not focus on stigmatizing, silencing or criminalizing prostitutes but in delegitimizing the idea of prostitution itself. This means ending demand. In practice this may affect women as prostitutes but all anti-prostitution feminists are deeply concerned about the long-term psychological, economic and social welfare of prostitutes as persons. Radical feminists support the parallel funding and development of targeted support services for prostituted women, including welfare, education and vocational training, psychological and medical services.
Apparently Playboy has published a list of Conservative women they would like to ‘hate fuck’, and in response, some men have clued into the fact that men hate women.
See this post: Playboy Magazine Officially Hates Women, Conservative or Otherwise. (NB: I haven’t clicked through any of the links on the page so don’t know how SFW/triggering any of them may be).
How sweet, there’s now a ‘boycott Playboy’ campaign (I guess the jokes about rape and Heff boasting of his bestiality porn collection just weren’t bad enough).
And please note, it was heterosexual, porn loving men who came up with the term ‘hate fuck’, not supposedly ‘anti-sex’ radical feminists.
OBJECT, London Feminist Network, Anti-Porn London and Scary Little Girls are delighted to offer a fantastic Stop Porn Culture training session led by US Feminist researcher and activist Rebecca Whisnant. Rebecca was one of the founder members of the U.S. National Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement and has co-edited Global Feminist Ethics, 2007 and Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, 2004.
This is a brand new and updated training focusing on young people and pornified culture – which gives a grounding in feminist theory and pornography as a form of violence against women. It also gives participants the experience, knowledge, and confidence to talk publicly against porn culture in a variety of situations. Spaces are limited, please book before Friday June 5th 2009, after which time places will be allocated to a waiting list.
Date: Saturday 13th June
Location: Central London venue (tbc)
Time: 12pm – 6pm
Cost: £7 (£5 concessions)
To book a place email anti.p.london [at] hotmail.com