my understanding of radical feminism is inextricable from my time in the sex industry. honestly, I think if I hadn’t been in the industry when I started learning about radical feminism, it would have taken me a lot longer to understand it. but, confronted daily with men who buy sex, you see misogyny for what it really is. you see rape and abuse so often, it almost stops registering. people disappear, and you never know what happens to them. everyone – everyone – is carrying the weight of trauma, stories shared drunkenly in the back of a club about abusive ex-husbands and incestuous fathers. the women’s bodies show their stories – self-harm scars and track marks and bruises, runny noses and cigarette burns and knees that crack when they stand up. it was the sex industry that showed me what men do to women, in a way that I couldn’t ignore or rationalize or explain away. that was where I realized that “empowerment” is a hollow goal. I saw the hypocrisy in sex-positivity so clearly. “some women are empowered by sex work!” really? where are they? because all I see are a bunch of women whose self-worth is entirely tied up in male opinions of them, because if men don’t like them, they don’t eat. and even if someone is empowered by it, how does that help the single mother of 3 turning tricks out of a strip club to feed her children? how empowered do you think she is?
I could write about how the sex industry is the opposite of empowering all night, but I’d be preaching to the choir, and the people who need to hear it don’t want to.
sex work abolition is probably the most important aim of radical feminism, in my opinion. no woman should have to live like that.
QotD: “sex work abolition is probably the most important aim of radical feminism, in my opinion. no woman should have to live like that”