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Month: January, 2012

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 »