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A letter to Rosemary

… from me! Has been published as a guest blog over at theladygarden.

http://theladygarden.org/2012/01/29/guest-post-dear-rosemary/

 

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I’m back from a long absence, and I’m a bit Feminist Hulk

Well I’ve been AWOL for a bit of a stressful time (more about that later). I’m not at uni any more, and I’m moving back to my mum’s house soon for some family times while I do a bit of therapy and self-care. I need a stress break, and being around babies and farm animals will provide that. I hope. Anyway, I got directed by the fantastic Heather to an article, on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Mayhem, about how basically privileged experiences of the sex industry don’t constitute REAL sex work, but are more like dating for ‘compensation’. I shit you not. Let’s start off with just an excerpt. One of my favourite parts of this “class analysis”

“Thus, someone who owns property and has a secure job cannot actually experience what it means to be a sex-worker because hir prime vocation is not one where s/he is forced to sell her body as an economic necessity. Sex labour in a context of class privilege is an activity, a game, where one’s material reality produces a different set of options: you can always stop, you have a far greater margin of choice (your clientelle are more like dating options on Craigslist but with reimbursement attached), and by-and-large you are not a sex-worker because this is simply compensated dating––it is not the material institution of prostitution defined by labourers who have no other choice but to sell their labour in this institution. You are not part of this institution’s army of labour; you are not part of its reserve army of labour when you aren’t working.”

Right. The author starts by calling those who believe sex work and feminism can work hand in hand, and that sex work can be empowering, “stupid”. Continuing on, I’m hit with an accusation of “call-girl slumming” and an assertion that my sex work (ie middle-class, university educated white female) is not part of radical politics. The author is pretty explicit in hir belief that abolishing prostitution is part of abolishing patriarchy, and asserts that the global sex trade is clearly patriarchal and exploitative when analysed on the control of profit and means of production, and the customers of the sex industry. Ze concludes by stating that pro-sex work feminists operate on an individualistic mind set and are successful only in legitimising the ‘pimps’. I have a few problems with this. Read the rest of this entry »

Friendship

I’m writing this post a wee bit wasted, at 12.30 on Saturday night, waiting for one of my besties (D) to show up with chocolate and ice cream.

On Monday, D leaves town. It will be the first time since we met (at least 3 years ago) that we will live further than 20 minutes walk from each other.

I have tried to avoid dwelling on this fact, because over those 3 years D has grown into a massive source of support, love, nurturing, and emotional closeness in my life. My ex-boyfriend acted in a way which often led to me worrying he had a problem with my close and devoted friendship with D. Despite the lessened contact we had during mine and x’s relationship, D was one of the first people who stepped in at break-up level to help keep me safe and healthy.

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Mindless Ramblings

So, New Zealand’s having awful winter storms. Just in case you hadn’t heard.

Anyway, while trying to stagger my way down my steep, icy, snow-covered driveway yesterday I realised one thing. In 16 months I might be in Russia! An actual winter wonderland.

Even more exciting, in 15 months I may be finished with law school. Done. Graduated.

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I wrote a feature for Salient

http://www.salient.org.nz/features/young-middle-class-white-student-rants-about-privilege

But here’s the text:

Hi. I’m a queer, white, sex-radical feminist, able-bodied, fat, whore. I am 15 months away from getting my second degree.

I identify with the gender I was assigned (that is, I am cisgender), I come from a middle class background in a poor rural town. I have experienced mental illness. I am childless, single, an atheist from a Christian family, a survivor of sexual violence, and I could probably defend myself in many situations of physical risk.

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A letter to a rapist- serious trigger warning.

Hi Phil,

Today two really upsetting things happened.

Firstly, I got an appointment for my 3 hour ACC psychological assessment. This is mostly scary because so much rides on it, but also because it’s another step in me admitting I need a fair bit of psychological help getting over the sexual abuse I’ve been through.

Secondly, I accompanied a friend of mine to a specialist’s appointment. I’ll remind you why it was upsetting, because your memories of the weekend you raped me appear to be vague. The day after you’d raped me, and after that confrontation with the Neo-Nazis, you took a very tearful and shaky me to the hospital. Because I’d told you I wasn’t on the pill, and because you’d neglected to wear a condom.

 

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A response to ‘models to offer our daughters’

Martin van Beynan, whoever you are, I’m a bit pissy at you right now.

Mostly coz in this opinion piece, lamenting about the state of femininity today, you not only diss Slutwalk, you also completely misunderstand the revolutionary nature of Hermoine Granger, and you also try and claim that Rupert Murdoch’s wife should be a role model. What for? Oh right, for trying to stop someone pie-ing her bastard husband. Personally, I’d prefer a single daughter to a daughter prepared to marry and defend a rich untrustworthy lying capitalist douchebag.

I recently saw a movie that I think contains some really great role models for ‘our daughters’.

It’s called “Teeth’ and it features a really lovely and polite and sweet and modest young girl. Then someone tries to rape her, and her vagina dentata kill him. Isn’t it awesome! Not only was she (and let’s remember how you say this) “a father’s answer to the prayer for a feisty, studious, stylish, hard-working, chaste, loyal and courageous young role model” but she then ALSO managed to kick the bad man’s ass. And her molesty yuck brother. And other examples of sexual violence, she manages to protect her ‘chaste’ self. Of course, my fave part of the movie is then when she realises she can have pleasurable and consensual sex and her teeth won’t damage her partner.

Coz really, for me, if I were a parent I wouldn’t want ‘chaste’ role models. I’d want role models who owned and realised their own sexuality (and yes kids have a sexuality, but it’s much different to media portrayals) and I’d want a range of role models with sexualities from raging flamboyant pansexuals to raging  flamboyant asexuals, but I sure wouldn’t be worried about protecting my daughter from all these role models (like us slutwalk ladies) who OWN and are PROUD of our bodies and our sexualities. I hope yr daughter has some of those body-proud role models in her life, Mister van Beynan

ACC Update

Just a quick post today.

I tried (and failed AGAIN) at getting hold of my claim administrator, so I left a passive aggressive message talking about my feelings, and called his manager (thanks to a very lovely person giving me some useful info and numbers) and she was AWESOME.

She answered the phone straight away, was super friendly, and really helpful. The reason I got the claim denied letter was due to the 9 month statutory period for making a decision passing, but they are still ‘investigating’ my claim even tho it is officially denied. So basically I’ll go to this psychologist (once she’s finally back in her office and i can get hold of her) and get my assessment, they’ll get a report back and make another decision. Right.

Beautifully, though, I can call up the manager I spoke to if my funded sessions with my counsellor run out before than and request more support sessions. This eases all my worries about being left without support whilst waiting for an ACC decision.

Hey Feminist Law Profs, wait up!

Yeah, I think yr ignoring me. In fact, I get the distinct impression that this group of ‘feminist law professors’ haven’t even noticed the wee law-student sex-workers over here, hanging out with our privilege and our questionable morals at the kids table.

Well. I think I am going to have to interrupt the grown-ups in the corner over there, coz it sure seems like I just heard a somewhat problematic (and somewhat paternalistic) conversation.

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More ACC

So, I have finally motivated myself (I’m going to leave the house today omg) to call ACC, left answer machine message with my ‘case administrator’.

I then called the psychologist they’d given me the details for in the second later, saying they’d organised an assessment. I called that number, as I hadn’t been contacted yet, and find out that this pyschologist is on leave until the 1st of August. The 1st of August! I’ve only got about 2 more funding counselling sessions left. and the thought of being left without that weekly support is a wee bit terrifying.

Ughhh.

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