by Furry Girl
"The ["fake"] women are loud, hyper-real versions of the femininity to which we are all supposed to aspire, and the disdain with which our culture drenches them is a telling indictment of its own narratives.
What we have is not a war against fakery, it is a war against that which displays itself as fakery; we're all supposed to be pretending that we're naturally wide-eyed and soft-skinned and blushing and blemish-free. Women are expected to be photorealist portraits of femininity, not expressionist canvasses; lies are tolerated only in so far as they are told convincingly. But when we start being too overt about the fabricated status of natural femininity, there's a lurking danger that we might start to question their absurdity, or realise that we can invent altogether new images in radical moulds.
Style and beauty are produced, discarded and reinvented with startling rapidity and, in such a climate, the very notion of the natural can be seen for what it really is: just another aesthetic category, its signs every bit as carefully fabricated as the most flamboyant artifice."
People are often surprised that I'll be the first person to speak out in defense of makeup, shaving, and cosmetic surgery. They shouldn't be, though.
It really bothers me when some of my male fans and clients assume that my own unshaved crotch means I must have a pathological hatred of women who choose to shave. For almost a decade now, I've been greeted at least a dozen times each week with comments like, "Thank god you're not one of those disgusting fake bimbos," with the unthinking assumption I am in complete agreement about said bimbo's supposed disgustingness.
Why don't I shave? Because I'm kinda fucking lazy. I'm a tomboy-ish chick who doesn't generally put a ton of work into my appearance, and I personally don't feel like the effort and itchiness and pain and money that goes into removing hair is worth it. I never advocate that others join me, I'm not out to convert and save follicular souls.
I wish all of my Furry Girl fanbase understood that I don't hate women who shave, and it's always disturbed me that some of them start an interaction with me by assuming we have a shared hatred. Not a shared fetish or interest, but starting off a conversation or email talking shit on women who are not me, and I don't find this the least bit flattering. It's totally cool to have whatever body hair preference or fetish, but stop projecting your angry shit onto me. (I'm angry about plenty of other things, but I don't give the slightest damn as to how other women groom their crotches.)
I realize that it must be frustrating if you have an uncommon sexual interest that most women do not want to cater to, but that doesn't mean those women are low-IQ monsters. Writing them off with nonsensical personal attacks such as saying they must be "incapable of thinking for themselves" because they won't indulge your kink is not a demonstration of how "sexually liberated" or "appreciative of real beauty" you are. Sexual empowerment is about everyone making their own choices with their bodies, not pushing for some kind of fascist society where all women are forced against their will to look a certain way for the amusement of a small group of men. That's everything that I am against, not what I support.
by Furry Girl
"Browsing through the most gorgeous ties I'd ever seen I realized what was bothering me. Growing up I was taught that the worst thing you could be if you were a man was a queer, and the worst thing you could be if you were a woman was a whore. Then came my moment of epiphany: It was now my mission to have the time of my life being both. No one but my closest friends would ever know I was doing this - it's not like I'd ever write a book about it. And doing something so stigmatized, detested, and illegal, which already described my life as a gay man, also felt like a way to accord my country the same disregard it accorded me. It wasn't as if being a monogamous gay man in love was seen as any better, so fuck it, I'll be a gigalo. I took two ties to the cashier and handed the clerk a hundred-dollar bill. Good riddance to the hungry years."
by Furry Girl
"...SCTNow, along with similar anti-trafficking concerns, uses a simplistic language of good and evil in its discussions of trafficking. In this way, its selling of the anti-trafficking movement closely mirrors the selling of the 'War on Terror' in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Instead of untangling the resentment against American imperialism built up globally through centuries of exploitation, many Americans rushed to accept the nonsensical explanation, put forth by politicans and pundits, that terrorists 'hate us because they hate freedom.' We wanted enemies that we could name and locate so that we might destroy them, not lessons in humility and self-reflection. Likewise, today’s mainstream anti-trafficking movement appeals to middle-class Americans with the idea that trafficking happens because there are bad people out there just waiting to take your kids away from schools and malls. Thus, its prevention efforts focus less on the systemic realities of poverty, racism, domestic abuse, and the dire circumstances surrounding runaway and thrownaway youth, and more on installing high-tech security cameras at schools and stationing more security guards at malls. And it measures the success of its activities by the number of criminal convictions it achieves, rather than by the long-term health and well-being of the women and children who are most at risk."
-- Emi Koyama, in Trade Secrets on bitchmagazine.org
by Furry Girl
"On the subject of ethics in sex work research, we usually think of the insensitivity and careerism of researchers whose interest is in obtaining information they will take credit for. I want to point to another problematic angle: the issue of whether those being researched are honest with researchers. Why, after all, should people who are being treated as objects of curiosity tell the truth?
To put it another way, keeping secrets may help sex workers gain independence or control over projects to help them. Talking about sexual risks with people who think it's wrong to ever take any risks may cause them to treat you as irresponsible. Admitting the desire to stay in sex work after getting out of the clutches of abusers can render you ineligible for victim-protection programmes. The best policy may be to omit certain information from responses or to put on the expected front.
-- Dr Laura Agustín, in Alternate Ethics, or: Telling Lies to Researchers on lauraagustin.com
by Furry Girl
"...I got a job as a 'featured extra' in a brothel scene for the pilot of a TV show starring an Australian Dane Cook equivalent. Over several takes with each camera angle, I had to walk by as he tells my character, 'Sorry you knew your uncle too well!' The entire crew went wild the first time they heard it. Everyone in the room was all, 'BRA-VO!' like he was the Neil Armstrong of sex worker incest jokes. The general public—the same people who think Sasha Grey shouldn’t be allowed to read Dog Breath to kids—are probably going to think it's totally hilarious and 'edgy.' I didn't laugh once at any of the lines in two days of shooting. Comedy is my passion, yet I felt like an old schoolmarm. I was one of the only people who couldn’t see the emperor’s new clothes...
The opposite of bro jokes isn't a humorless PC academia bubble; it's good jokes."
In a similar vein: Danny Wylde recently wrote about serious gross creepiness he experienced while working in a mainstream entertainment environment.
by Furry Girl
"Over the past half century, women have steadily gained on—and are in some ways surpassing—men in education and employment. From 1970 (seven years after the Equal Pay Act was passed) to 2007, women’s earnings grew by 44 percent, compared with 6 percent for men. In 2008, women still earned just 77 cents to the male dollar—but that figure doesn’t account for the difference in hours worked, or the fact that women tend to choose lower-paying fields like nursing or education. A 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that the women actually earned 8 percent more than the men. Women are also more likely than men to go to college: in 2010, 55 percent of all college graduates ages 25 to 29 were female...
As Hanna Rosin laid out in these pages last year (The End of Men, July/August 2010), men have been rapidly declining—in income, in educational attainment, and in future employment prospects—relative to women. As of last year, women held 51.4 percent of all managerial and professional positions, up from 26 percent in 1980. Today women outnumber men not only in college but in graduate school; they earned 60 percent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded in 2010, and men are now more likely than women to hold only a high-school diploma.
No one has been hurt more by the arrival of the post-industrial economy than the stubbornly large pool of men without higher education. An analysis by Michael Greenstone, an economist at MIT, reveals that, after accounting for inflation, male median wages have fallen by 32 percent since their peak in 1973, once you account for the men who have stopped working altogether. The Great Recession accelerated this imbalance. Nearly three-quarters of the 7.5 million jobs lost in the depths of the recession were lost by men, making 2010 the first time in American history that women made up the majority of the workforce. Men have since then regained a small portion of the positions they’d lost—but they remain in a deep hole, and most of the jobs that are least likely ever to come back are in traditionally male-dominated sectors, like manufacturing and construction."
-- Kate Bolick, in All the Single Ladies on theatlantic.com
The point of this piece wasn't feminist-bashing, but I love seeing factual information like this in a source as widely-read by lefties as the Atlantic. It doesn't mesh with the feminist fantasy that they are constantly oppressed in all areas of life, and I'm sure they'll still keep harping on their lie of a vast income disparity.
Feminist propaganda claims that women "earn 70-something cents for every dollar that a man does," which makes it sound like there's some kind of payscale drawn up by The Patriarchy that dictates salaries for people of different sexes doing the same job. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reasons that men have been earning more money than women is not because of sexism, but because men work longer hours at more dangerous jobs which require more education. In other words: men make more because they deserve it.
by Furry Girl
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the only agency that keeps track of how many children the legal system rescues from pimps nationwide. The count, which began in June 2003, now exceeds 1,600 as of April of this year, according to the FBI’s Innocence Lost website — an average of about 200 each year.
Through interviews and analysis of public records, Village Voice Media has found that the federal government spends about $20 million a year on public awareness, victims’ services, and police work related to domestic human trafficking, with a considerable focus on combating the pimping of children. An additional $50 million-plus is spent annually on youth homeless shelters, and since 1996, taxpayers have contributed a total of $186 million to fund a separate program that provides street outreach to kids who might be at risk of commercial sexual exploitation.
That’s at least $80 million doled out annually for law enforcement and social services that combine to rescue approximately 200 child prostitutes every year.
These agencies might improve upon their $400,000-per-rescued-child average if they joined in the effort to develop a clearer picture of the population they aim to aid. But there’s no incentive for them to do so when they stand to rake in even more public money simply by staying the course."
-- Kristen Hinman, in Lost Boys on villagevoice.com
If you haven't read this new installment in the Village Voice's series exposing the myths around sex trafficking, I suggest you do so.
by Furry Girl
"At times, working in news is like playing a giant game of telephone. Someone reports something, and everyone else follows suit. The truth gets lost along the way.
'What about the kidnapped children?' a producer in New York asks.
'What kidnapped children?' I say.
'They claim lots of storm orphans are being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.'
'Who’s "they"?' I ask.
'Everyone,' the producer responds. 'It’s being reported all over the place.'
'We’ll look into it' I respond, which is usually the only way to end such a conversation.
Child trafficking is a major problem, especially in Southeast Asia, but when we start checking the kidnapping story being reported on other networks and papers, it seems slim on facts. It’s mostly just aid workers worrying that children separated from their parents by the disaster may get kidnapped. Part of the aid workers’ job is to get relief, and one way for them to do that is to raise red flags, warn of impending problems. Warnings, however, aren’t facts.
We’ve hired a Sri Lankan newspaper reporter named Chris to help us get around, and when I ask him about kidnappings, his eyes light up. 'Oh, yes, it appears a very big problem,' he says, his British-accented English accompanied always with a peculiarly Sri Lankan shake of the head.
Chris shows us a headline on the front page of one of Sri Lanka’s daily papers: TWO KIDS, RESCUED FROM WAVES, KIDNAPPED BY MAN ON MOTORCYCLE.
'There have been a lot of stories like that,' he says. 'It’s all very dramatic stuff.’
'Is it true?' I ask.
'I have no idea,' he says, 'but it makes for a great headline.'"
-- Anderson Cooper, in his autobiography, Dispatches from the Edge.
Cooper goes on to follow this story, learning that the only two children reported to have been kidnaped were actually taken to a hospital by a good citizen on a motorcycle.
This book was a holiday present from a relative, and while I never would have picked it up it on my own, this memoir was better than I was expecting for a TV personality's bestseller.
by Furry Girl
"One thing I do not see, sadly, is performers as a group making common cause with other sex workers, whether strippers, escorts, massage parlor workers or street walkers. There is a cultural problem inherent in this climate that makes that an unlikely outcome.
Identifying with the oppression and the struggle of less privileged sex workers is not a pleasant thing to contemplate for someone who prefers to see him or herself as a 'star.'
This is a wedge that [anti-porn feminists] effectively drive between us all the time. They love to go on and on about how a lucky few of us get all the rewards while vast numbers of 'enslaved, brutalized, prostituted women' suffer all the miseries into which our visible good fortune has seduced them.
Somehow, we need to take that wedge out of the hands of those who want to see sex work abolished and those who profit by keeping it divided and powerless. Between them, our common enemies make a formidable opposition to be conquered, and before we can take them on, we have to rise above our own misgivings from within."
-- Ernest Greene, in Labor Organizing in the Sex Industry - Hopes and Realities on bppa.blogspot.com
by Furry Girl
"Other reviews of the prevalence of sexual material, even ones which are not particularly skeptical of its purported effects, come up with typical conclusions like People think sexually violent material will not harm them, but they worry about how it will affect others and Most people did not think that the availability of sexually violent material would affect rates of sexual violence.
Statements like those imply that we trust ourselves not to go over the edge when looking at porn, but we don't trust other people. Why? Why not give others the same benefit of the doubt we extend to ourselves? Is it ever intellectually honest to imagine that I am somehow unaffected by something in the fabric of our culture, but everyone else is powerless to resist its worst possible interpretation? Why is that kind of thinking unfortunately something that crops up time and again in anti-porn arguments?
The vast majority of those who enjoy a bit of rough and tumble want it with consenting partners. This is important to remember. People who like it rough do not want to actually rape you or to be raped. Understood? Can we keep repeating it until, you know, everyone finally gets this?"
-- Dr Brooke Magnanti, in Porn by the Numbers 2: Is pornography violent? on sexonomics-uk.blogspot.com
Furry Girl: a good time not yet had by all.
- I operate SWAAY.org, an accessible sex workers' rights site that educates the general public about our lives and our issues.
- I've been vegan for 13 years because it's the easiest way for an individual to contribute to less violence, suffering, and exploitation.
My adult sites
- Cocksexual.com: Strapons
- EroticRed.com: Menstruation
- FurryGirl.com: Unshaved
- TheSensualVegan.com: Store
- VegPorn.com: Herbivores
More of me online
Enjoy my writing? I enjoy presents!
Buy SWAAY shirts:
Browse by topic
- (Anti-) Beauty Standards
- 80s Movies' Wisdom
- Add to Your Lexicon
- Advice for Sex Workers
- Allies and "Allies"
- Atheism / Religion
- Book Reviews
- Crab Mentality
- Events & Happenings
- Frequently Addressed Accusations
- Government & Law
- Infographics, Memes, & Ads
- Kink / BDSM
- Labor politics
- Leisure of the Theory Class
- Love & Relationships
- Nutters & Moralizers
- Other Political Issues
- Privacy & Anonymity
- Queer / Gender
- Seattle / WA Local
- Sex Toys & Products
- Sex Work
- Trafficking / "Rescue"
- Transitioning Out of Sex Work
- Violence Against Sex Workers
- Women as Oppressors
New to my blog? Some favorite posts
- "You have no right to dislike feminism after all it's done for you!"
- "You misrepresent true feminism by focusing on the bad feminists. They're not real feminists anyway!"
- An argument for more sex workers to be out?
- Degrading, violent desires
- Do you have what it takes to be an empowered sex worker?
- Feminism is the shitty relationship you had in your early 20s
- Feminist porn isn't a branch of sex workers' rights, it's an obstacle
- How are we branding sex workers rights in the US? (Let's focus more on *worker*, less on *sex*!)
- How to do your homework on trafficking, "rescue", and the affected communities
- Let's stop pretending that "objectification" is a thing that exists
- Musings on ethical porn and the red herrings of "feminist porn" and "violent porn"
- My call for a "working" class uprising against inaccessible discourse and the over-representation of dabblers
- Sex trafficking is the new crack: manufactured "epidemics" as political tools
- The common logical fallacies deployed by anti-sex worker activists
- Things I've gained from being a sex worker: an anti-paternalistic perspective
- Vigilantism and 'crushing bastards': in praise of anger, hatred, and taking joy in the smiting of one's enemies
- Want to play BINGO with the antis?
- Watch out for psuedoscience: my long-time nemeses of concern trolling and "teaching the controversy"
- What do I mean when I say "sex worker"? Why I'm against an overly-broad definition
- Why I call them "anti-sex worker" rather than "anti-porn" or "anti-prostitution," and why you should too
Favorite sex/ho blogs
- Amanda Brooks
- Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers
- Belle de Jour
- Born Whore
- Bound, Not Gagged
- Dan Savage on SLOG
- Danny Wylde
- Jiz Lee
- Kat's Stories
- Laura Agustín
- Lux Nightmare [2006-2007]
- Maggie McNeill
- Our Porn, Ourselves
- Sequoia Redd
- Serpent Libertine
- Sex Worker Pie Charts
- Sexonomics by Brooke Magnanti
- Shit They Say to Sex Workers
- Stuff Sex Workers Eat
- Whore Madonna