Sunday, July 15, 2007

Responsibility

“The pro-porn crew are the true freedom fighters. Freedom from responsibility!”
- someone who shall remain anonymous…

Right then, let’s talk about that…responsibility. We’ve been called idiots, sickos, rapists, rape enablers, mysoginists, johns, whores, and all sorts of other things, and ah yes, irresponsible…

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had sex with anyone against their will, never pressured or coerced anyone into sex against their will…in short, I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never abused a partner or molested a child. Why is that? Well, for as much ugly, rough, degrading and yeah, on occasion, violent porn as I watch and make, I know that doing such things to unconsenting people is wrong.

Wow, imagine that? I know it is wrong, and wow, apparent slave to my sex drive and porn sick perv that I am, I can still grasp that. I can tell the difference between right and wrong, consent and force, reality and fantasy. So, I must ask, if this horrible, degrading porn makes people rapists and abusers…why am I not in prison?

Answer, because porn doesn’t make anyone do anything. Porn cannot make a person rape, abuse, disrespect, or otherwise hurt anyone any more than a song, book, artwork, video game or television show can. Who needs to be held responisble for these sort of acts? The person who committed them, that’s who. Not the porn, not the pornographer, but the person who committed the act.

Yes, it’s easier to blame the porn (or the song, book, artwork, video game or television show). It’s quicker, it’s cleaner, it’s nicer to think that the porn made someone do it rather than that a person, a human, is capable of these things all on their own, with or without porn…but the ugly truth is, people don’t need excuses for their bad behavior, much as they’d like to use them. Marylin Manson no more caused the Columbine Shootings that porn makes people rape and abuse. Rape and abuse occur places the world over where porn is illegal. Thousands of people use porn, of all kinds, and they do not abuse anyone. Porn cannot make anyone do anything, and I believe that when tossing around words like responsibility, it is far more responsible to hold people accountable for their actions than blame those actions on anything and everything else.

What it comes to, you see, is some vices are more virtious than others:

-In the US, There were 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005 – 39 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year. This averages out to one alcohol-related fatality every 31 minutes. An estimated 254,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes. In 2005, 21 percent of the children age 14 and younger who were killed in motorvehicle crashes were killed in alcohol-related crashes.

-Number of 100% porn-related deaths? 0.

-Researchers have found that one fourth to one half of men who commit acts of domestic violence also have substance abuse problems. A recent survey of public child welfare agencies conducted by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse found that as many as 80 percent of child abuse cases are associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs and the link between child abuse and other forms of domestic violence is well established. Research also indicates that women who abuse alcohol and other drugs are more likely to become victims of domestic violence and that victims of domestic violence are more likely to receive prescriptions for and become dependent on tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, and painkillers and are more likely to abuse alcohol.

Now yes, you can find testimony that porn might cause abuse, can aggravate abuse; can give people ideas, but facts? Numbers? Not quite as solid. The research is a bit greyer. There are lots of words like “perhaps”, “possibly”, “may be”…and are often also linked with other factors, such as the above mention substance and alcohol abuse… the words used are nebulous, "some", "may"...these pleas are also not ones of logic, of fact, they are worded specifically to pull at the emotions, to gain a gut reaction, to get at your feelings. Not your mind, not solid fact, but heavily relying on your gut, your protective instincts, your moral center...it's impassioned, but is it proven fact? An absolute like 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005? No, it is not.

So, this begs the question, should we make alcohol illegal? Impose more regulations on its production, sale and consumption then we already have in place? Should we, due to the fact that so many others consume and use alcohol irresponsibly, take it away from those who can merely have a beer or two and remain responsible citizens? Should we rally to keep booze out of our grocery and liquor stores, out of the homes and hands of responsible adults? Should we vandalize, protest, and harass the purchasers of alcohol, and the bars and eateries that sell it? It’s been tried, you know, and all it did was create an illegal, underground crime-ridden market for alcohol, it stopped no abuse.

Or is alcohol fine and okay because even anti-porn advocates like a gin and tonic or glass of wine from time to time (or perhaps even a joint or other illegal substances)? Even though it is a factor in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, rape, and a leading factor in date rape and cases of rape on college campuses?

Responsibility? Is it the fault of the alcohol, or the abuser? Does the blame rest on the shoulders of the brewery, or the abuser? Does it rest on the media, who advertises the alcohol, the movies, which show booze as a fun, sexy, party thing, or the abuser?

The answer is obvious, isn’t it? The booze didn’t hit, harm, rape, kill, molest or disrespect anyone. The abuser did.

And so the same it is with porn. And most porn users are responsible about their behavior, just as most consumers of alcohol, and even more illegal substances, watchers of action movies, players of video games, fans of music, and other possibly “uncouth” products. Adults have the option to use both these things, and the majority can do so responsibly.

So really, are we so irresponsible, or do we merely possess the common sense to place the responsibility where it actually belongs rather than chase shadows, revel in moral panic, or seek to crusade against something we, personally, do not like, understand, or find “icky”.

Think on that, for a moment, while you consider putting the responsibility where it belongs, on the offender. Not on the porn, not on us, but where it really goes. Then think about, over a glass of wine perhaps, if you really deserve the right to call us irresponsible.

43 comments:

  1. "Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had sex with anyone against their will, never pressured or coerced anyone into sex against their will…in short, I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never abused a partner or molested a child. Why is that? Well, for as much ugly, rough, degrading and yeah, on occasion, violent porn as I watch and make, I know that doing such things to unconsenting people is wrong."

    Me too, Ren. I fantasize about fucking people with machines and knives. I've never done so, and funnily enough, don't feel any sense that my life is incomplete without that.

    "And most porn users are responsible about their behavior, just as most consumers of alcohol, and even more illegal substances, watchers of action movies, players of video games, fans of music, and other possibly “uncouth” products. Adults have the option to use both these things, and the majority can do so responsibly."

    Right on. I don't see why the majority should be treated like unruly children because some people do evil things.

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  2. Trinity; exactly, and I really do think it is moral panic...ohhh, look what those dirty sluts and pervs are doing! Think of the bad men who might get ideas, think of the women...AND THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! I mean, people want to get on my case about, ahem, how porn is a violation of Human Rights or something? Riiiight...like the sex restrictive societies those people are touting and allying with have SUCH great records in the human rights department...like your allies who advocate violence against men are great examples of human rights....gah...

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  3. wait, was that a comment here?

    anyway, yeah: responsibility. Okay. You know, "you did such and so to me" is something people should ought to take responsibility for. Likewise, their own words.

    "My husband saw that movie you made and then attacked/left me" is really not something people that aren't your husband need to take responsibility for. Sorry, that sounds cold, but it's true. Maybe the court who let him off the hook; maybe, sure, his parents who taught him that hitting women is A-OK and nothing will happen to him if he does; or that he's -entitled- to, well, anything other than basic human rights?

    but at the end of the day: it's him, him, HIM. Easier to attack the Other Woman, though. Always has been. Whether it's his secretary or the fantasy girl in a magazine.

    oh, and if you feel crappy and inadequate because you compare yourself to porn stars? Do yourself a favor and stop watching it? And stop dating the assholes who watch it? Your life might be a lot happier?

    signed, looks nothing at all like a porn star and has no desire to do so, because it has nothing to do with my life.

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  4. oh, wait, "over a glass of wine..." i think i can guess.

    but, i thought she was never ever ever coming back? frownie.

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  5. well, its a huge case of lalalala, we can't hear you....you know, just what we're accused of. They don't want to hear that their stats are inaccurate, that gee, no, Farley's 90% (SF streetwalkers and a few low end brothels) cannont and should not be applied to ALL sex workers, that heavy content law will be as effective on eliminating porn and sex work as prohibition was on stopping booze, how there are actual ISSUES we can address with fact rather than with gut emotion and porn-speak for the heartstring effect...but they wouldn't know that, because who needs activism for porn? Or porn performers? Or freedom of speech? We're all just a bunch of selfish over privlidged people who only care about our orgasms and harming women! Some are so convinced of that they can't even be sullied by, oh, reading anything that doesn't say what they want to hear.

    Lalalalal, we can't hear you!

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  6. Nice comparison of porn and alcohol.

    I read of an interesting study on alcohol many years back. Seems they divided people into 4 groups: all 4 combinations of actually consuming alcohol or not and all 4 combinations of thinking they were consuming alcohol. They had some sort of drink blend that disguised the presence of alcohol. This was not, as I recall, really heavy consumption. Behavior was correlated with the perception of alcohol consumption, rather than actual consumption.

    I.E. alcohol is used to avoid accountability. Not always in a bad way. When you are consuming alcohol you may be more likely to experiment with behaviors different from your normal behavior (which actually can be a healthy thing). And if the experiment fails, you blame the alcohol. "Sorry, I was drunk, I don't normally act like that". Done in moderation, it can actually lead to growth.

    Then there are those misguided anti-rape people (I think we are all anti-rape here except maybe some of the anti-porn folks) who think that men are responsible for their behavior when drunk but women aren't. Sexist. If you are unconscious or unable to speak, obviously you aren't responsible.
    But if you say "Yes" when drunk when you wouldn't when sober, you are responsible. Don't like it, don't get drunk. Now, I tend to be careful about sex with inebriated women; a little too careful, even. If I get drunk and rape someone (actually, i would die from alcohol poisoning first) then I would be responsible.

    Get drunk enough that you don't regret the things you didn't do, but not so drunk you regret the things you did do.

    Like alcohol, porn can be used in healthy ways to overcome inhibitions and it is often used as a scapegoat.

    Many people say that power corrupts. I disagree, I think power reveals if you were corrupt. Alcohol does the same thing. Even porn. If you behave in misogynistic ways after watching porn, you were already misogynistic and just hiding it behind a thin veneer of civilization.

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  7. "If you behave in misogynistic ways after watching porn, you were already misogynistic and just hiding it behind a thin veneer of civilization."

    Exactly.

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  8. "Many people say that power corrupts. I disagree, I think power reveals if you were corrupt. "

    RIGHT ON

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  9. Abuse of women is more likely when there are unquestioned portrayals of it. Yes, that does include video games, mainstream films, magazines etc.

    Of course feminists aren't trying to ban Hollywood films (different post I know) - how could we? Same with porn. We can't ban anything.

    We can point out that these things are harmful. To both performer and consumer.

    Taking part in pornography requires you to distance yourself from your humanity, and the empathy of the viewer is also corroded.

    That is why you hate humans (your words) and the humans that watch hate you.

    Try love. It's better.

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  10. By the way, are you a part-time sex-worker? Because you spend a hell of a lot of time blogging. How much can you really empathise with the majority of sex-workers who may not have the time or access to blog?

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  11. Try love. It's better.

    And are you, anon, the beacon of LOVE to which we should be looking? The shining example. Because it's coming up awfully... hateful, by my reckoning.

    And you know why Ren spends a lot of time blogging? Because as a sex worker, she makes as much money in a night as I do in a week.

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  12. Anony:

    "Taking part in pornography requires you to distance yourself from your humanity, and the empathy of the viewer is also corroded."

    Ah, see you assume that is fact for all porn folk...you assume, so it MUST be true...lalalala. This is what I think I know for all, must be fact, lalalala...

    "That is why you hate humans (your words) and the humans that watch hate you."

    Blah blah blah....I hate some humans, don't understand a whole lot of other ones...you know, as big of a deal as the anony's make of my "I hate humans" statements on occasion, really, go on back over to some of the rad fem blogs where you can find the exact same statements and give them the caring concern, okay?

    "By the way, are you a part-time sex-worker? Because you spend a hell of a lot of time blogging. How much can you really empathise with the majority of sex-workers who may not have the time or access to blog?"

    Yeah, I blog a lot....big deal. I tend to, you know, work odd hours. This some how offensive to you? I do, however, know OTHER sex workers, some in the same realms I'm in, some who are not, and oddly enough, I treat them like people, rather than statistics or victims, and they seem to appreciate it...

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  13. Of course feminists aren't trying to ban Hollywood films (different post I know) - how could we? Same with porn. We can't ban anything.


    oh, okay, you think you're completely powerless, which TOTALLY inspires me to join your team; woo! for the Revolution of the "we can't accomplish anything! we're a teeny tiny minority and no one likes us and we'll go eat worms, but at least by goshes we're RIGHTEOUS;"

    and, say hey: that provides a handy excuse for attaching yourselves to the coattails of someone who DOES have some power, i.e. the Religious Right.

    because, you can't ban Hollywood films, "of course;" and you can't ban porn EITHER; but at least you -might- have more of a shot at -that,- ey?

    Because porn is already an unpopular cause.

    Thanks, for the most part, to the very VERY patriarchal reactionary forces which you claim you want to overthrow. Ew icky dirty -shudder- save the wimmins and the children, don't frighten the horses. Well, hey, if it -works-, right?

    gah.

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  14. oh, and you know what: talk is cheap. Yeah, Ren talks misanthropy. Her -actions-, as I've experienced them, however, are a lot more loving and supportive--of women, yet, yes I know, some women are "more women" than others, nonetheless--I find her -far- less hateful than several "I love all wimmin types."

    but say! another thing you share with the Religious Right! dude, it's so much easier to promulgate authoritarianism if you couch in terms of "we're just doing this because we LUUUUUUUUURRVE you." Works for any number of abusive churches!

    p.s.

    "I'll pray for you." *smiles mistily*

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  15. oh and by the way, I just noticed you're using the broad banner term of "feminists" for "we." I assumed you were being far more specific.

    There are plenty of us feminists who, while interested in popular media studies, do not make it our main focus, much less the subset that is porn. Because, there is, sometimes, -more important shit.- Speaking of "privileged."

    This is not, if you've been reading at all thus far, a reflexively "yay porn!" blog; this is critique from the perspective of people who -just don't happen to share your worldview.-

    with, i might add, thus far at least, far less wanking i mean offensive material than you find on many of the "anti" blogs. Whatever that tells you.

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  16. "Of course feminists aren't trying to ban Hollywood films (different post I know) - how could we? Same with porn. We can't ban anything."

    Well, Dworkin and MacKinnon gave it their best back in the 1980s, both with their "civil rights" ordinance and with their appearing as friendly witnesses before the not-exactly-feminist Meese Commission.

    And please spare me the malarky about how the Dworkin/MacKinnon Ordinance didn't constitute censorship – if making all pornography (and quite a bit else) open to ruinous lawsuit just for the fact of its being pornograpy doesn't constitute censorship, I don't know what does.

    Oh, and lets not forget the current British radfem cheerleading for the "extreme porn" bill, which some radfems are openly hoping will bust BDSMers.

    Oh no, that's not about banning anything.

    And, yeah, what Belledame said about riding on the coattails of the religious right, and not just on the porn issue.

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  17. i mean, unless you're considering other sexual issues (prostitution, BDSM...transbigotry i suppose, although legally i don't think there's much direct overlap there) separately.

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  18. Anonymous said:

    "By the way, are you a part-time sex-worker? Because you spend a hell of a lot of time blogging. How much can you really empathise with the majority of sex-workers who may not have the time or access to blog?"

    Well, Anon, if I might ask, what kind of contact do you have with actual sex workers? Any? Because it sure seems like you have some rather select views on who can and can't speak as a sex worker. So where the hell is your unique insight coming from?

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  19. anyway, iacb: if you still want to add to your reading list, if you can find it: "The Sexual Liberals and the War on Feminism," ed. Raymond and o wossname, Dorchen something with an L. there's an intro by Catherine MacKinnon that you might find relevant to the "coattails" business, if you read between the lines.

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  20. " i mean, unless you're considering other sexual issues (prostitution, BDSM...transbigotry i suppose, although legally i don't think there's much direct overlap there) separately."

    That's precisely what I meant, actually. Related issues, but not the same.

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  21. "if you still want to add to your reading list, if you can find it: "The Sexual Liberals and the War on Feminism," ed. Raymond and o wossname"

    The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism. (I can just feel the bile rising in whoever wrote that title.)

    Funny you should mention that, because when I was doing some background reading for my last anti-anti-porn post and came across references to it. To make a long story short, after doing a price search for it, I found that there are a lot of copies floating around for super-cheap, so I ordered a copy just this morning. I ordered it from a California source, so I'll probably get it in the mail shortly.

    I've seen it before – lots of damning stuff there – there really was a Women Against Sex at one point!

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  22. "That's precisely what I meant, actually. Related issues, but not the same."

    More specifically, anti-BDSM and anti-trans stuff, which I've seen come up in some right-wing writings recently. Radical feminists seem to thing their shit exists in a vacuum.

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  23. "We can point out that these things are harmful. To both performer and consumer. "

    Ooh, look at that finger. It's nicely manicured.

    So you've pointed. What now?

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  24. Well, Anon, if I might ask, what kind of contact do you have with actual sex workers? Any? Because it sure seems like you have some rather select views on who can and can't speak as a sex worker. So where the hell is your unique insight coming from?

    Well said.

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  25. o yeah. yeah, i got it from the library, but it was a while ago. and yep, there is one piece that really does say "no sex, period; it's ALL patriarchal." the Southern Women...Writers' Collective? something. anyhoo even the editors made pains to say "we don't agree with this," but...it's in there.

    and there's all kinds of other great stuff. Raymond and Jeffreys, of course. Dworkin. MacKinnon's intro. a lot of...well, you'll see it. it's a fairly quick read, if not a particularly enjoyable one.

    but yeah, that intro is just amazing stuff. "Once upon a time, there was REAL feminism; and then, well, it got RUINED by these people." stuff that verges on the pure-D homophobic as far as I'm concerned, too.

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  26. o yeah, it's Dorchen Leidholdt (sp?0) and interestingly, she and Raymond are also the two names behind Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.

    so, the book might be obscure, the theories might be obscure, but they're actually not all that obscure.

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  27. Are you telling me you think the pretty little DC socialite stripper part time porn for fun girl with the Duke education, GTO and beltway townhouse lives in the same world as the DC streetwalker or the 18 year old getting off the bus in LA? Renegade Evolution's greatest personal concers seem to be getting bigger implants and what "gonzo" stunt she can pull next for profit. She is not the typical sex worker at all, and letting her be "the Voice" is almost criminal.

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  28. 'Nony baby?

    You ever screwed for money? If not, that makes me more qualified than you. Next???

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  29. Renegade Evolution isn't THE voice, but she certainly is A voice, and not as atypical as you might think. And certainly somebody with a fuck of a lot more direct knowledge about sex work than you, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Troll. By what measure do you say that a "worst case scenario" streeetwalker is "typical"? By what token do you get to say who is and isn't a "typical" sex worker anyway?

    And don't talk to me about "criminal" – its clear that any and all dissent from radical feminism is "criminal" according to the mentality of all-too-many radical feminists and would probably be literally criminal if people like you had political power. That's a big reason why radical feminists are opposed so damn vehmently, by me anyway.

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  30. Are you telling me you think the pretty little DC socialite stripper part time porn for fun girl with the Duke education, GTO and beltway townhouse lives in the same world as the DC streetwalker or the 18 year old getting off the bus in LA?

    Nobody's saying such a thing.

    Remember, not a one of us is every woman. But we're each our own woman.

    Here, would you like a Q-tip? Apparently you need to clean the wax out of your ears.

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  31. and, to repeat:

    Well, Anon, if I might ask, what kind of contact do you have with actual sex workers? Any? Because it sure seems like you have some rather select views on who can and can't speak as a sex worker. So where the hell is your unique insight coming from?

    ANSWER THE QUESTION, CLAIRE!

    maybe i should put that roundup of sex workers posting online on my permanent link list...

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  32. pretty little DC socialite stripper part time porn for fun girl

    oh no, we're not sexist at all, no.

    "pretty little girl," uhm.

    and it doesn't matter anyway, right? if Ren writes (again) about her actual background, which is pretty damn far removed from lala socialite i'm just doing this for fun, then she gets -that- as a black mark against her (as others have done on her blog): clearly conditioned by her background, someone that fucked up can't be trusted to have her own agency.

    what it boils down to is that no one who doesn't agree with your worldview gets to be taken seriously...even if it means "o, we value the voices of ALL WOMEN" sneering at, discrediting, even attempting to silence (yep, blackmail counts)...um, other women.

    bored now.

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  33. oh, and almost missed this:

    whom do you imagine is letting her do anything?

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  34. I'm increasingly convinced that the "typical sex worker" is a cipher. She only exists as the mouthpiece of someone who wants to dismiss the experiences of an actual sex worker.

    and, anyway, globally women with college educations are anything but typical. If any sex worker with a college degree suddenly doesn't get to speak as a sex worker, then I want all college educated feminists to shut up as well, for, say, a week. That would be pretty refreshing actually. I'll even zip my own lips.

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  35. but here, nony, you want to hear the voice of someone who fits a demographic that you think is more "typical" than the one Ren represents? Okay. Here's one--several, actually: Ubuntu

    UBUNTU was born in the aftermath of the March 13, 2006 rape of a Durham, North Carolina black woman by members of the Duke University lacrosse team. UBUNTU is a women of color and survivor-led coalition with both individual and organizational members. We prioritize the voices, analyses, and needs of women of color and survivors of sexual violence. We are women, men, transgender people, and people who do not fit into the gender binary. We are people of color, multi-racial, and white. We come from throughout the Triangle area and have roots both within and outside of the United States. We are sex workers, students, and community members. We are workers. We are lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit, questioning, queer, and straight. We are young, old, and in-between. We come from a broad range of economic, geographic, spiritual, and political backgrounds. The name UBUNTU reflects a commitment to a traditional sub-Saharan African concept, which roughly translated means, “I am because we are.”

    ...UBUNTU’s work is centered on ending sexual assault. When we look at sex work and this case in particular, we see that there are many connections between sex work and sexual assault that make sex workers more vulnerable to attack, less able to report attacks, more likely to be discredited in the process of criminal investigation and trial, and less able to draw on support of their communities.

    For some of us who are current or former sex workers, it is clear that a traditional feminist take on sex work (All sex work is harmful to women–period.) does not address any of these issues, or empower sex workers in any way. For this reason, two former sex workers and sexual assault survivors in UBUNTU developed a political education workshop to address these issues while discussing the particular needs that sex workers and former sex workers have in the healing process as survivors of sexual assault. Our coalition members really responded to this workshop and it has grounded our work in an internal politics that puts sex workers’ dignity, humanity, and right to safety at the forefront of our work to end sexual violence.


    For some of us who are current or former sex workers, it is clear that a traditional feminist take on sex work (All sex work is harmful to women–period.) does not address any of these issues, or empower sex workers in any way.

    does THAT resonate with you at all? can you at least have the grace to go read -someone- else, or do we all just get to be treated to yet more dreary boilerplate?

    and no, I am not suggesting that Ubuntu! would particularly be in support of this blog. (One could, I suppose, just ask). My point is:
    here are some people whom by everything you've said so far you -ought- to take seriously, and they are saying flat out that "sex work is bad, period" doesn't help. Not from feminists, not from anyone.

    and there are others. coalitions' worth. they can't ALL be instantly dismissable, nonny...unless, you know, you really -want- to dismiss them.

    Hence, those of us who aren't necessarily YAYPORN! still being far more sympathetic to YAYPORN! than BOO PORNSTITUTION! and if you don't agree you're a TRAITOR or whatever it is.

    and by the way, Renegade's been pretty defensive of anti-porn people who've actually done the work. whatever you like to imagine about her, the truth is she's been pretty damn consistent about that: fairminded and honest. more so than a lot of other people I could name.

    (yes, i know: blahblahblahGINGER, but what the hell).

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  36. and, anyway, globally women with college educations are anything but typical. If any sex worker with a college degree suddenly doesn't get to speak as a sex worker, then I want all college educated feminists to shut up as well, for, say, a week. That would be pretty refreshing actually. I'll even zip my own lips.

    there is that.

    or, well--just having 'Net access is a privilege, right? oh but right, we're speaking for the poor mute masses yearning to breathe free. it's so much more -convenient- when they NEVER are going to get to speak for themselves...without our help, anyway, and a platform we've built them to stand on.

    whatever else about Renegade, you know, she speaks for herself. I'm following her lead here. I might challenge her about some things, but I'd never -dream- of trying to tell her I know more about her profession or life than she does, for fuck's sake. Much less what she -should- do with either.

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  37. goddammit y'all, keep it down, I'm watchin' porno!

    :)

    (thanks Belle! I appreciate the havin' of the back and all)

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  38. someone who wants to dismiss the experiences of an actual sex worker.

    Uh-oh, it's the... (wait for it)... STRAW SEX WORKER!

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  39. Another thing to keep in mind – porn models are a subset of sex workers with their own specific issues. So dragging in rhetoric about street prostitutes in DC or brothel workers in Calcutta isn't entirely germane to the discussion. Particularly if its somebody trying to play the "more oppressed than thou" card by brining up a marginalized group that person doesn't even have any connection with.

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  40. "I'm increasingly convinced that the "typical sex worker" is a cipher. She only exists as the mouthpiece of someone who wants to dismiss the experiences of an actual sex worker."

    Right on.

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  41. This reminds me of something Dacia was telling me about... she was interviewed on some radio show (which purportedly offered "what women want" or something like that) via telephone, and at one point the interviewer asked, "Do you look like a sex worker?" After she picked her jaw up off the floor, she managed to stutter some answer like, "Well, I *am* a sex worker, so, therefore... yes." What the hell is that question even supposed to mean?

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  42. amber, thats worth a post of its own

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