We need to talk about patriarchy. Seriously. Beyond the rage, beyond the frustration and the desire to smack some misogynist freaks upside the head, I think we need to have some old school feminist discussion here.
What we do not need is to kid ourselves that this stuff happens because people are “squeamish” about sex, and that the solution is for people to get more “comfortable with the whims of whatever sits between [their] legs,” as the misguided writer at Jezebel would have it.
Prostitution is not about being hung up on sex, any more than slavery in the Saharan salt mines was about being hung up on sodium chloride. Prostitution is about the reification of women—which is to say, the conceptual transformation of women into sexual property to be bought and sold. And that reification is the very cornerstone of patriarchy.
I think I feel a massive theory fit coming on. Especially after the past few months, with the conservatives in this country asserting that unmarried women who have sex are public sluts; asserting that men have the right to control, withhold, arbitrate, and demand sex tapes in exchange for women’s access to contraception as part of their own medical insurance; asserting that any woman who has ever had consensual sex is fair game for whatever object the State might want to stick up her vagina and whatever humiliation the State might want to impose.
It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others - but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.
Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating
Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating
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