by Furry Girl

06.10.11

"I'm against sex work, but I'm not against sex workers."

It's the get-out-of-jail-free-card of many feminists, religious campaigners, and other protectionists.  They support us!  They acknowledge our choices!  They see us as real people!  And they can't wait to show their loving solidarity with us by putting us in jail, taking away our income, and making our jobs as dangerous as possible.

It's such an astoundingly hypocritical argument, it leaves me stunned every time I see it.  That's why I refuse to buy into their de-personalization propaganda that insists on a vast separation between destroying the porn industry and impacting the people who work in porn, or pushing the police to conduct raids on places of prostitution and affecting the lives of people engaged in prostitution. They see nothing odd about trying to have it both ways: being the heroic would-be saviors of the fallen with one hand, and with the other, the cause of the fallen's increasing unhappiness.  They're the abusive boyfriend who brings you flowers after giving you a black eye.

While I'll use terms like "anti-porn activist" when I want to be specific, by and large, I use the phrase "anti-sex worker activism" to describe the religious/political movement to attack sex workers by calling for further criminalization of their lives.  I'd like to see more people adopt this language, because it's important to not play into the anti's strategic disinformation campaign that swears it's possible to take away sex worker's livelihoods, and even imprison them, without affecting them as people.  We all know this is a lie, so let's stop letting their language frame the debate.

There's no other social movement I can think of, other than overtly religious conversion campaigns, where activists insist on "loving the sinner."  Anti-fur protesters don't dump red paint on storefronts while holding banners that say "We love furriers and mink farmers!  We're here to help them find different careers!"  Women's shelters don't have mission statements that say, "We're here to support men that batter and rape their wives.  Our mission is to help those men by providing a place for their partners to hide from them, and legal resources for those women to file charges against them to put them in prison for a long time."  It sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it?

Don't let anti-sex worker activists keep playing this intellectually dishonest game.  Their public personas rely on being seen as saviors of sex workers who are here to fight for the humans trapped in the sex industry, but it needs to be confronted that they are working against the expressed wishes of sex workers, they are negatively impacting our lives, and that there's no such thing as "supporting" sex workers by making our lives difficult and dangerous.  Their language seeks to discuss sex work as concepts and theories, we need to use language that shows how deeply personal and non-abstract sex work is to sex workers.





26 Comments

  1. I got into a conversation with one of these people once. She was raving on about how porn was rape, and how in it women were raped over and over. I mentioned to her that I had done gang-bang videos, that it wasn't rape, that I had agreed to do it and was paid for it. (I didn't mind. And the next day, I was feeling fine and ready to go again.)

    She basically ended up telling me that if I thought it was consensual, then I was too stupid or crazy to make my own choices, but in nicer words.

    Some people just can't imagine anyone making any choices other than the ones they would make. So they can't see how any of us would choose sex work. Their solution is to keep that option from us, and they think they are helping us in doing so.

    Comment by Comixchik — June 10, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  2. Lurker finally checking in!

    I too have had a similar experience with the anti porn/prostitution/sex brigade only instead of also mentioning the famous "women should respect themselves more!!!" they also mentioned that porn and ranch culture was objectification and a symptom of the patriarchy. Seems that some folks just hate people being sexual!

    I've always said that the mark of true freedom is the freedom for the individual to make "wrong" choices.

    Comment by TheDudesAreEmerging — June 11, 2011 @ 4:38 am

  3. Some of them don't even try to hide it. I have a copy of a letter from the leading anti-sex worker organisation where I live, which refers scathingly to the "pro sex worker movement".

    Comment by Wendy — June 11, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  4. Comixchix, I would suggest that the most obvious way to debunk claims that all porn is rape can be found on Wifeysworld. Any suggestion that Hubby and Wifey would not be having sex if they weren't being paid is simply ridiculous. They just stumbled upon a way to monetize it.

    Though the funnier argument from my view is that if consent doesn't count if it sounds ridiculous to someone then [insert unattractive public figure's name here] is in big trouble.

    Comment by Michael — June 12, 2011 @ 1:43 am

  5. "There's no other social movement I can think of, other than overtly religious conversion campaigns, where activists insist on "loving the sinner.""

    The only one I can think of is the noxious anti-abortion stuff in my area, especially when it comes from religious otherwise-progressives, that's all abouthow abortion is evil, but we don't hate YOU girl-going-to-get-an-abortion, we just wish you were saddled with a child you don't want and a life you don't want to lead. S'cool.

    These are often the same people I deal with around we're-not-anti-worker-we're-anti-strip-club stuff.

    Comment by Miss C — June 13, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  6. And yet somehow Lesbian Porn is ok...it seems to boil down to one aspect that bothers these anti-porn feminists the most - men and women having sex, period.

    They are as rabid as the Christian Right and about as logical.

    Comment by CdS — June 13, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  7. Comixchik: Don't you love feminists who think women are too stupid to be allowed to make their own choices?

    Comment by Furry Girl — June 17, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  8. TheDudesAreEmerging: I've say that it's not the "wrong" choices, per se, but the right to make *risky* decisions. If I choose to do something where I know the risks (be it skydiving or meeting a stranger in a hotel), that's my decision to make.

    Comment by Furry Girl — June 17, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  9. Miss C: I would consider anti-abortion people under the "religious campaign" umbrella, even if a particular group is trying to appear more secular/liberal.

    Comment by Furry Girl — June 17, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  10. You nailed it with the "love the sinner, hate the sin."analogy! It's Bullshit. I hear this, less and less, thank god, from the Christian community about LGBT people also, but they are saying, "this person is going to hell, and if their life is hellish here on earth they deserve it." They are also saying "the only way I'll accept you is if you get into one of my brainwashing programs, admit that you're entire life has had no merit and then totally reinvent yourself according to our design for you." And then we would still be the questionables with a harlot past that they wouldn't want as part of their nuclear family. We'd be good to give tearful testimonies about "even someone LIKE ME can change" and wear the scarlet letter forever. Fuck this shit. Your website rocks my world. Finally a clear voice emerges to tell it like it is.

    Comment by mumtaza — September 9, 2011 @ 1:56 am

  11. Thanks, Mumtaza!

    Comment by Furry Girl — September 10, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  12. Another thing they love to say is "Oh, but you will feel different once you have exited!".

    Pathetic really, they cannot accept even a single exception to their worldview.

    Comment by Gumdeo — September 25, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  13. Perhaps some of you women in pornography do enjoy being treated like and treating others like subhumans; but there are indisputably many sex workers who want out and helping them seems much more worthwhile than being concerned with those who are offended by such an offer.

    Besides, the main reason I, as a feminist, have a problem with the proliferation of pornography is that it hurts ME. That's right. People are curious and imperfect and are going to look at some point if all it takes is a couple clicks of the mouse in a dark room. And then not only are YOUR brains and bodies poisoned, but ours as well. Keep it out of the mainstream. Keep it away from families. Have some respect for humanity, even if you don't have any for yourself.

    Comment by Brandia — December 7, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  14. Brandia: No one enjoys being treated like subhumans except feminists like you who live solely to invent new ways in which you believe the world is oppressing you. Porn has as much of an impact on you as abortions do on pro-lifers: that "harm" exists only because you desperately want it to insert yourself into other people's business.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 7, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  15. With all due respect, Furrygirl, if I (as a "pro-lifer") were somehow involved in the business of another woman choosing whether or not to have an abortion, I don't imagine that I would then be worrying about myself or any "oppression" or my desire to be treated like a subhuman; but would be considering the lives of the woman, baby and (in some cases) the man involved. Then again, maybe I'm not as versed in the deepest aspects of my subconscious as you.

    Comment by Brandia — December 7, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  16. Brandia: You feminist dipshits are so cute. You come to my blog and tell me that I enjoy being degraded and treated as a subhuman, and then you get offended that I would presume to know how *you* feel. 100% disrespect intended, sweetie. ;)

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 7, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  17. In the case of pornography, the action speaks for itself. It is purely animalistic to attribute no sanctity to the act of sex. And you say you enjoy it. I wasn't presuming anything.

    Besides, you are just trying to be manipulative and 'flip the script' on me by saying 'I know you are, but what am I." It's immature, baseless, and not sound reasoning.

    We should all try to become more human, aspire to our higher selves. Why not? And please tell me why someone with that philosophy would really, honestly, secretly want to be treated as subhuman.

    Don't worry, there's more of you out there these days than there are of me, so don't be so defensive. What's legal and accessible becomes acceptable by most people.

    Comment by Brandia — December 7, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  18. Translation: "The way that I imagine your life is an irrefutable fact, the way that you imagine my life is a lie."

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 7, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  19. What a waste.

    Comment by Brandia — December 7, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

  20. Hey, you're the one who sought me out and has been pestering me on my blog. I must be important to you in some way to warrant your fascination.

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 7, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

  21. How DARE you involve Patrick Swayze in your filth! You're disgusting and gross. What a waste, I agree.

    Comment by Raz — December 7, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  22. Awww, look at this twee little feminist, trying her hardest to be clever and make it look like lots of people agree with her, and failing miserably.

    Author : Brandia (IP: 184.3.192.250 , nc-184-3-192-250.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)
    Author : Raz (IP: 184.3.192.250 , nc-184-3-192-250.dhcp.embarqhsd.net)

    Further comments from this chick will be moved to the spam bin. Thanks for proving once again that feminists are nutjobs, though!

    "It's amazing, Molly. The IP address inside, you take it with you."

    Comment by Furry Girl — December 7, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

  23. First of all, thank you for this awesome blog that I just discovered today! You've pretty much summarized my frustration towards the single group of people who make my job as a part-time prostitute the most challenging: the feminist activists. Living in Scandinavia, the feminist stance is pretty much accepted as a given and if you choose to oppose the outright oppression of these groups, you are generally thought of as being weak and stupid.

    In my country, they're actively pursuing the total criminalisation of buying sex, which makes absolutely zero sense to me. At the moment, my clientele consists of nice, normal men and I am able to choose my customers, ignoring the 'weirdos'. Imagine if it would be made illegal - surely these nice, normal men would be put of by the risks of legal action. And who am I left with? The men who have no issue with breaking the law, which I consider way more risky for my own safety than the current situation. Just this one point makes me wonder, how anyone in their right minds could believe that by banning buying sex, they would be doing me a service?

    Finally (sorry for the marathon comment), if you don't mind, I'd like to link an article that shows just how ridiculous these people can get around here. http://grapevine.is/News/ReadArticle/Big-Sister-Sends-Out-Tips-For-Spotting-Illegal-Massage

    Comment by Taruj — February 8, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  24. Taruj: Thanks for the comment and praise! It's sad to watch how viciously the feminist Nordic countries go after sex workers in the name of female empowerment or something. Sigh.

    Comment by Furry Girl — March 7, 2012 @ 1:41 am

  25. Comment by Trackbacks — April 29, 2017 @ 11:22 pm

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