Porn and prostitution – part 1

Friend Mak asked for more info on feminism, so we agreed on this topic.

Basically, why are prostitution and pornography anti-feminist?

This is a well sensitive subject and splits the feminist community right down the middle.

Let me start with anecdotes before I move onto theory.

Anecdote 1

Back in my late teens/early twenties I volunteered for work at a rape crisis centre. As a woman, I figured it was the shittiest thing that could happen to us, and something that many of us always live in fear of.

Us. I realise that by us, I meant women. Not everyone.

I met my interrogators interviewers at a local railway station. Looked like your average butch lesbians, but not my issue.

The only question I can remember, because it was clearly the killer, was, ‘What do you think to porn?’

Natch, I thought it was OK, if women wanted to do it, and earned money.

I don’t need to tell you I didn’t get the volunteer post.

And the reason I tell you this is twofold.

1) I’ve never been a perfect feminist

2) Had they explained what I had got wrong and why, I might have learned a lot of things a lot sooner.

Anecdote 2

Walking down Macleay Street, Kings Cross Sydney, I was asked, ‘How much?’ by a couple of Americans.

I was flattered. Not only did men want to have sex with me, they would pay me!

Kings Cross in the 1980s was the mega sex area of Sydney (and druggies and backpackers, I was the latter).

Had I not been with someone else I may well have taken them up. Why not get paid for having sex? thought my young mind.

So young roughseas was fine with prostitution and pornography and called herself a feminist? This was back in the 80s. Sounds familiar with sex pos feminism of today?

I do have sympathy with women who haven’t been round the loop. Old heads, young vaginas. Or something like that.

Next: the theory and why maybe porn and prostitution aren’t quite so good …

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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14 Responses to Porn and prostitution – part 1

  1. makagutu says:

    You have my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. abutterflysdiary says:

    The moment you become aware of how bad porn and prostitution are is the moment you become very frustrated with the way these issues are framed by those who dominate the discourse, and the way abolitionists are smeared/attacked for daring to speak up. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on this.

    Like

    • Butterfly. There was a huge disconnect between my young self, and my older self realising, that uh, maybe this is not such a good idea.

      Still, young me, watched the dead body carried out of the brothel next door and STILL didn’t make the connection. Because that wasn’t my life.

      It was sad, but not my life.

      Pt 2 will be tomorrow or day after. Thanks for your interest.

      Like

      • abutterflysdiary says:

        Yeah, it took me a while to get there. My childhood was in parts very sheltered and privileged (and in others, not at all), and then I was isolated through ill health. It’s only through the internet that I’ve become aware of many things, including the harms of porn and prostitution. At that point I became a radical feminist. I just hate the way women are attacked, and the way survivors are smeared/silenced by those who want decriminalisation/legalisation. Like many things, only one narrative is allowed, and it’s the narrative that benefits men and abusers.

        I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog.

        Like

        • I think on a topic like this, it’s important to say, ‘I’ve been there, I thought it was OK too’ and for exactly the same reasons that sex pos feminists claim today. And because of that, I can see both sides of the coin. My views however, are firmly on side of the anti-porn/anti prostitution camp. As I said to Mak above, this will be in the form of a mini series.

          I tend to write more about feminism on here than on roughseas, although I will include newsy items on there eg the recent CPS report about increase in dv, sexual crimes, internet porn, anything from WHO, or anything Spanish related that almost certainly won’t get coverage in Anglo media.

          Liked by 1 person

          • abutterflysdiary says:

            I agree. I think we have to make allowances, not only because the discourse is so distorted, but also because of the attacks we get for speaking up. The Web is a great source of information but it’s also a great source of misinformation, and the loudest voices seem to be those men on the right who are misogynistic, racist, etc. They seem to be winning all over the place, and we need to find ways to counter them effectively.

            Look forward to reading more, it all sounds interesting to me.

            Like

          • Interesting, because many times I do lose patience with funnfeminists and humanitarian feminists and everyone who claims to be feminist so long as it doesn’t involve women.

            On this one, I can see why people think, in theory, that porn and prostitution are valid. In theory. The harsh reality is very different.

            Increasingly women are being silenced. No platformed at university venues. MRAs on Reddit running rampant with misogynystic language (kill the TERFs etc). Poor boys are losing out to clever girls at school. Young women make more than young men. Feminism is out of date.

            Whilever there is FGM, no universal access to contraception or abortion, and the gender pay gap equalisation is 170 years away, I’ll still speak out for feminism.

            Look forward to your comments too. Thanks BF.

            Like

          • abutterflysdiary says:

            Sorry, only catching up properly on things. Oh yes, I lose patience with a lot of people, too, and very often. I try to remove myself from conversations when I realise I’m in the process of losing it.

            It’s tough speaking up for women and girls because it often results in insults and threats. As you say, we’re being silenced in many ways, discredited when men deliberately misrepresent our views, and threatened in so many ways. We can’t let it happen though, we have to keep on highlighting what’s happening. It’s hard work with very few rewards, but it’s good to be able to connect with sisters online: it makes it more hopeful.

            Like

          • Must write my next post, maybe this arvo 🙂
            What is difficult, is people positing themselves as feminist when they are anything but. Aaaargh.

            There is a good WP community of feminists, and a couple of decent male allies too. If you haven’t read them, try deadwildroses and francoistremblay.

            Like

          • abutterflysdiary says:

            Thanks for the recommendations. I follow deadwildroses and I’ve read francoistremblay (or at least the name rings a bell) so I’ll keep an eye out for those two.

            Feminism itself is not well defined, and some forms take an individualistic, neo-liberal approach. Which is daft as it removes the ability to analyse women as a class. This means it’s not a movement and it does nothing to challenge structural obstacles. I really despair of those who think that all the choices women make are feminist choices.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Agree. The individualistic ‘feminism is whatever you want it to mean’ does nothing to help women move forward, but rather pushes feminism backwards. It’s taken long enough to get where we are without having to cede ground now. The liberal, humanist, equal rights for everyone and I’m-a-feminist-too lobby are annoyingly dangerous with their prattle about equality and criticism of evil radical feminists.

            Liked by 1 person

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